In February 2014 the Army sent us from Georgia, where we had lived for 5 years, to Germany. At the end of this November, they sent us back to America (Kansas to be exact). I have learned through many moves and many years as an Army wife that your duty station is largely what you make of it, so, while it was hard to leave the friends we had made in Georgia, I was determined to make the best of Germany. We were excited and made plans to travel and do all sorts of fun things. Well, Germany and the Army had other plans and all I can say is our almost three years there was a much bigger challenge than we anticipated. Saying we are thrilled to be back “home” would be an understatement.
Moving with a large family, especially moving overseas, is no joke (not to mention being 33 weeks pregnant) but I survived and got 6 people and 2 pets (and about 16 bags) over the ocean and back in the U.S.A.!! We are still waiting on our vehicle and belongings to make it over but at least we are here.
We are settling into our new house as best we can with no furniture. We were blessed to have both sets of parents come visit within the first few days of being here and bring things to help us settle in; dishes, a folding table and chairs, air mattresses, sheets and other creature comforts.
It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks. The trip started with a 7-hour bus ride to the airport. Then we had a 14-hour wait at the airport because our flight was delayed. The flight over the ocean is about 8 hours. Once we made it through customs, collected our baggage, picked up the rental car and made it to the hotel we only had about 3 hours to sleep. We briefly considered just staying at the airport but I think the showers and nap we got was worth paying for the hotel! The next day we finished our trip with two more plane rides and a 2-hour car ride. In all honesty, the kids did amazing. The littlest did scream the last 15-20 minutes of every flight and being stuck in the airport with a toddler who doesn’t understand is not exactly a walk in the park but they could have been so much worse.
Another thing we have learned from our multiple moves is that it is best to jump right into your new community.
So far in the last not-quite-2-weeks we have:
Visited a church
Attended a Family Readiness Group function
Met up with some online friends at Chick-fil-a
Hosted our parents
Acquired a new dog
Seen my midwife
Interviewed for two jobs (at home)
Attended a Christmas Party for the Classical Conversations community we are joining
Joined the local food coop and placed my first order
Visited the Farmer’s market
and done lots of shopping!
We have been very impressed and happy with Kansas so far. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and we are thrilled to be here. We live a good distance from the Army base where hubby will be working so I’ve only been there once but it is a lovely installation with many of it’s old/original buildings preserved and tons of history. We are looking forward to getting even more involved with our new community and making a home here.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned about moving overseas with kids:
Moving in the third trimester of pregnancy is hard but moving with a toddler is harder!
Do not get a large dog if you have any plans to move overseas at any point. Moving the dog home was the single hardest part of this move to arrange!
Take lots of snacks for the kids.
Pack as light as possible.
Plan well but be very flexible.
Now that we are here and semi-settled I will be able to blog more regularly. Later this week I will share with you more about our new house and little piece of land and our upcoming homesteading plans!