House Hunting Time is Here!

Alan and the boys, National Mall, Washington D.C., summer vacation 2017

Alan and our two boys on the National Mall, Washington D.C., when we first moved there in 2009

We have been officially notified that we’ll be moving back to the D.C. area this summer.

I SHOULD be like WAHOO!!  Let’s do this!! After all, I love D.C., and this is an excellent job opportunity for Alan. Plus, I’m moving close to so many friends. I love D.C. It’s like an entire metropolitan area of people who are ALL just as uptight as I am. These are my people!!!

But in the words of Forrest Gump, “I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now.”

Oh, wait. Where is home??? Ya’ll, I’m just tired of the moving, the packing, the researching, the move-out cleaning, the de-cluttering, the stress, making the kids say good-bye to their friends….That’s the hardest part.

We are quite happy to return to an area that we loved, underneath all our anxiety. In fact, I have so much anxiety over this move, I’ve been unintentionally clenching my jaw as I scroll through hundreds of housing ads. It hurts to eat now.

Y’all!! The decisions are overwhelming, and we’ve lived there before. It feels like we just left D.C., but it’s actually been almost 4 years!

It’s mind-boggling, all these houses and schools and neighborhoods. I have to pick a house that comes with an acceptable elementary as well as middle school nearby now. I’m simply going to HAVE to do a re-con trip to go look at things for myself. We are in the process of planning that out too.

Caleb, age 2, by the fountain in front of the U.S. Capitol building

But wait. Why should I allow this move to make me so crazy?

I need to s-l-o-w down. Take a few deep breaths. Trust Alan. Trust God. Everything will work out just fine. And no, I may not get everything exactly how I want it, but it will all come together.

I taught a Sunday school lesson, to my class of 4th and 5th grade girls, this morning about Paul and Silas. They were arrested in Philippi for casting a demon out of a slave girl. They were beaten and thrown into prison. What did Paul and Silas do? Worry until their jaws hurt? No. They sang. They knew God had their back, and they weren’t worrying themselves silly. (Acts 16)

I guess if Paul and Silas could sing in prison with their feet in the stocks, I can sing through this move. After all, this move is a blessing anyway, a blessing that’s carrying us back to a place that we love.

God’s got this, so we got this too. Breathe. Calm down.

Me with the 2 oldest boys, at the National Archives, 2009

Want to see a few houses I’m looking at?

Just for fun, really because I won’t get up there until March to look around…but these houses are so beautiful.

See if you can guess which two are on a military base. The base is my back-up in case I can’t find a rental.

But y’all, I just don’t know if I can move back and NOT live in my old neighborhood, and none of those are advertising yet. We loved that place and those people so much, but it has to be right for all 6 of us. I’m hoping it will work out!

***All photos were obtained from zillow.com, with the exception of the on-post houses, which were obtained from here.***

 

Amazing, huh? These will all be gone by the time I’m ready to sign papers though. If any of you know of a rental coming open in my old neighborhood or surrounding area, be sure to let me know!

I’m beginning to calm down and get excited now! It’s time to do less worrying and more singing. Let’s have a little Faith Hill and Shelby Lynne and “Keep Walkin’ On!”

 

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Military Finances: Newlyweds on 2 Separate Continents

 

*******This post is part of the series, The Real Army Wives. For last week’s post click here.*******

Guest Post from Cloe

Real Army Wives: The Mystery Checks

Today’s post is written by a good friend and fellow real Army wife of mine who is the inspiration for the character, Cloe. You can read more about her on this post. When I mentioned this to Alan, he said, “Oh yeah, Rob! That dude had to shave his face twice a day.” Oh, the things you remember…

 

Early Summer 2003

“What? What do you mean there isn’t enough in the account to cover this withdrawal?”

I stand in front of the bank teller counter confused. I’ve been the only one using the account for three months since my husband left for war. I thought I had a handle on this part of military life, even if I was only 20 years old.

The teller says she can pull the account history. Apparently, several checks just cleared and they were signed in my husband’s name.

I haven’t heard from him since he left- no letter, no email, no phone call. I had written to him at least once a week. Although I was in college, I didn’t know many people since I hadn’t lived near Killeen for long. Writing letters helped me feel closer to him.

I wrote him a different kind of letter this time: expressing my concern of the possibility of fraudulent checks or if it was him- I was really upset he spent that much money without thinking of how I would pay the bills! I had paid the rent by the “skin of my teeth”.

But I kept glancing at the account history and copies of the checks. I even called his dad and asked him to take a look at them.

Somehow each check had the date, amount, and signature written differently. Why were the dates sometimes numbers but others written as words? Some in cursive but others in print letters? Why was the signature not consistent? It made no sense to me.

In the letter I wrote, the first words were “We’ve got a real problem”!

I also sent him the bank paperwork to claim someone had committed check fraud, pretty serious stuff. I believed someone had stolen the few checks he took with him.

A few weeks later he called! I was so nervous to take his call, I had dreamed and wished for so long (3 months) to hear from him and talk gushy sweet nothings as newlyweds . But, it wasn’t the sappy call I was hoping for. He called because his command heard about the potential check fraud paperwork I had sent. His Lieutenant Colonel allowed him to call because they were concerned.

That’s when he breaks the news to me that he had never written a check before.

Seriously, at 20 he hadn’t written a check before???? I couldn’t believe he had actually written those checks. He said he really needed those items he bought at the PX in Kuwait.

I felt sort of bad for him, being in the midst of war and all, but I still asked him to rip up any remaining checks.

It was one of the first financial lessons we learned as a married couple.

–And looking back probably a clue into my love of accounting. To this day we still joke about one item he bought, which was new technology for 2003. It never made it home since within a few days of purchase it “fried” in the intense Iraq summer heat! So much for being “necessary.”

 

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It truly was a struggle trying to manage finances from 2 separate continents. You can’t predict the crazy things that will happen!

Thank you so much for allowing me to post your story, Cloe!

Click here for the next chapter in this series.

 

 

 

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Shock and Awe, March 22, 2003

The Last Visit

For a few minutes there, people began to joke that the 4th Infantry Division was never actually leaving for Iraq. By the first of March of 2003, the whole division was still waiting, and the other division in town, the 1st Cavalry Division, had orders as well. Some of the 1st Cav guys began to joke that the 1st Cav would beat the 4th ID to the punch after all. » Read more

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