Tag Archives: military life

Hello, World

I know I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks and here’s why – we just moved to Germany!  And let me tell you, it’s been a RIDE.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is in the Army.   Several months ago we got orders to go to Germany, and now…well…here we are.

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I’m going to be real with you.  My exercise routine is shit right now.  I’ve been eating a lot of crap (partly because I wanted to try some of the authentically German treats and partly because the first 2 weeks we were here the jet lag was so bad it was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy).

 

I’m homesick.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity of everything back in the states.  And the driving here – whoa!  It takes some getting used to.  I have not ventured out very far unless my husband has been sitting in the passenger seat.  It’s like I’m a teenager all over again with my learner’s permit.

The first day we got here, my daughter and I couldn’t even figure out how to flush the toilets.  And the shopping carts here – you can’t just take one.  They are all locked together and you have to put a coin in the slot to release one.  When you return it, you get your coin back.  Well, before someone took pity on us and told us that, my husband was quite a sight trying to figure out how to get a shopping cart.  He was yanking.  He was pulling.  He was muttering to himself.

I’ve gotten lost several times already walking around on base.  I’ve thrown my kids in the back of a stranger’s car (a soldier’s at least), sans car seat, and gotten a ride to my daughter’s school to go pick her up because I was 20 minutes late.  I’ve been stranded at the grocery store, with my baby and a cart full of groceries, for over an hour, because the taxi stood us up.  And yet again, I sat my kid on my lap and got into the backseat of a stranger’s car, with my groceries in the trunk, and got a ride to our hotel.

We bought a car off the “lemon lot” and I’m afraid to say we may have actually gotten a lemon.  I only had it 2 weeks before it had to go in the shop…It needs a new muffler…which they have to order from the states…

It has, literally, been one thing after another.  I have gotten a few workouts in here and there.  I’ve had a few healthy meals and a few not-so-healthy meals.

Wah, wah, wah, right?

I mean, here we are, in Germany, in this beautiful country, in Europe, where we have the chance to experience other cultures, try new foods, learn other languages and travel…and here I am…bitching…

So, now, here’s where the cool part comes in:

The OLD me would have continued to focus on the negative and the fact that our lives right now, every day, have been a true comedy of errors.  I would have decided that this is going to be the worst three years of my life.  I would have cried.  I would have spiraled into a depression.  I would have dug my heels in and begged my husband to take us back to the states.

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BUT…now…being in this particular situation of just moving to another country with three children in tow…I can truly see how far I have come.

There are times that it really sucks right now.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  My nerves are frayed.  I have very little patience for my children’s shenanigans.  My husband is stressed.  I’m stressed.  There are tons of partially unpacked boxes in our house.  There is a TON of trash piling up in the garage (not to mention bags and bags of dirty diapers) because we have yet to receive the trash cans our landlord ordered for us.  Our dishwasher doesn’t work.  We have an ant problem in our dining room…and yet….

Despite all of this, (this is the cool part), I KNOW it’s all going to be okay.  I know that once we get settled, we are going to love it here.  I can see beyond all the shit (and I do mean, literally, all the shit in the diapers in our garage) that this is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to travel and explore and learn and grow and make many wonderful memories with our family.

 

 

Blessings in Disguise

Summer is winding down.  (Already! Can you believe it?)  School supplies are already piled up on the shelves in the stores.  Fall fashion has already started filling the innards of the magazines at the supermarket checkout line.  People are already talking about trading in their bikinis for skinny jeans and what they are doing for Labor Day.

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It’s truly mind-blowing how fast time goes.  My daughter, my baby girl, will be going into first grade and my son will be attending preschool.  It’s hard to fathom, that in less than a month, we will be flying overseas and spending the next three years of our lives there.

As I reflect back on the past few months, I can attest to the fact that this summer has been especially crazy for us – moving out of our house, our house that we brought our third child home to, a house on a street where the neighbors were absolutely wonderful to living out of suitcases while visiting family for several months as we prepare to move to Europe.

Yes, this is stressful.  Moving is always stressful.  It’s hard on the family as a whole, the kids and the marriage.  I told my husband, “I’m surprised more couples don’t get divorced after they PCS.”

On top of getting ready to move to another country and not having a place of our own, my husband is away at school for the summer.  And do you know what the kids like to do when he is gone?

I bet you can guess – they like to act exponentially more crazy.  I’ve got a 5 year old who is going on 16, a 3 year old who throws impressive tantrums, and a 6 month old who is totally chill (Thank God!)

But, despite all of this, you want to know something funny?  As I watch my three year old screaming and kicking, as I watch my 5 year old give me sass and roll her eyes…I think…I’m going to miss this.  I’m going to miss them being this little.  One day they are going to grow up and they won’t be fighting over who gets to sit on my lap.

When I feel like tearing my hair out because I can’t take the whining for one more minute, I try to remind myself (when I can remember, that is) that this is only temporary.  That it could be SO much worse.  That we are SO lucky to have healthy, beautiful kids.  That there are so many people out there who have lost their children and they would do anything to hear that whining.  That there are so many people out there who have very sick children and they would give anything to hear their kids bickering upstairs instead of having to sit in their hospital room faced with the unknown.

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I am LUCKY.  So VERY lucky and I am grateful for it.  Everyday, I thank God for my children, for the blessing that they are.  It’s not lost on me.

Yes, I’m human.  I get frustrated.  I lose my temper.  BUT I know that every fight, every eye roll, every tantrum is a BLESSING.  I know that despite the daily stressors that come with having little kids, I wouldn’t want it any other way.