Friday, March 7, 2014

Order Up!

Finally, FINALLY got THE CALL from the detailer last week.  Funny thing is, after all that waiting, this is the earliest we have ever received orders!  Despite 8 years of being a military spouse, transfer season still brings out my anxious side.  And this one seemed to be the worst.

Since the moment the job list came out last fall our prospects seemed fairly dismal.  When Jon started his current job almost three years ago, we bought a house here with the expectation of attempting two tours in a row.  But we also know that when it comes to the Coast Guard, you don't always get what you want.  And the local jobs that were available this coming year didn't look too appealing either.

You wanna send me where?
Drawing up your "dream sheet" isn't just about location though.  We also have to consider Jon's career.  The Coast Guard is a small service, and Jon's area of expertise is smaller still.  But he's also building a resume, which means garnering a variety of experiences within his narrow field.  If that makes sense.  It means picking a job, not because we like the location or even that he likes the work, but because it will be good for his future career.  And you only get to choose from the jobs that happen to be open that year.  It all makes things a bit difficult.

So back in the fall, I thought for sure we were going to end up in San Diego.  I even started a Pinterest board to research the area.  But then that job didn't appear too promising.  So we were thinking Florida. A few days later we heard that job probably wasn't going to open up either.  We didn't know what to expect - Oregon, Seattle, Philly, New England ... I quickly gave up on the whole Pinterest board thing.

Jack doesn't want to move, he likes this house.
A few months after submitting our first draft we decided we needed a re-do.  We felt that we should try to stay close to our family for just a few years longer.  But ultimately, that decision is left up to the detailer.  And the detailer thought that Jon needed a particular kind of experience to boost his career.  And we agreed, we were just hoping to get that kind of experience in the future.  So we rearranged our wish list and of the 12 jobs we picked, 10 allowed us to stay right where we are.  And then we waited.

So far, Jon has always gotten his first choice.  We kind of expected that to NOT happen this time around.  Our first choice was a LONG shot.  Our second choice was a long shot too, and we were told early on that it wasn't going to happen.  But with 8 other jobs to choose from, we were fairly confident we'd still be living in our house this fall.

I think this was our detailer's reaction as well ...
Well, not entirely confident.  Just to be safe, I stopped buying food in bulk a few months ago.  And although I've been wanting to get new curtains for our master bedroom, it would have been pointless to do so if we ended up leaving.  And then there's Kindergarten registration, should I even bother to start researching?  MOPS planning, I can't volunteer for next year if I don't know if I'll be here.  Or the garden, what's the point in planning that out if we won't be here to watch it grow?  And clothing, should I bother buying any more sweaters or boots if we're going to be wintering in Florida?  Life has been one big question mark.

And then Joci's diagnosis happened and suddenly that question mark desperately needed an answer.  The day after we found out about Joci's heart, Jon went to work and started the process of filing for Special Needs status.  Basically, this means that we have a child that requires special medical care so we can request not to be sent to really remote places that wouldn't have adequate medical facilities.  During the process, Jon's boss called the detailer to inform of them of the changes and found out he had us penciled in for ...

Game changer!
Boston was on our list.  I think we squeezed it on to the very bottom or something just as a courtesy addition.  Because really, I had no intention of going there.  Now I LOVE England.  So I'm assuming I would like the newer version as well, but I just wasn't prepared for this.  But I will say Boston does have one thing going for it -- an excellent children's hospital.  As one of our friends told us, Boston is where the military sends its families with "heart babies" because they can get great care.

Still, we didn't know when Joci's surgery would take place.  We didn't want to move in the middle of her care, or change surgeons in the process.  And now we really wanted to stay close to our families.  And during that week of fretting over my baby girl's health I definitely wasn't thinking about trying to put a house on the market...

There's this saying in the military -- "God is my detailer."  We usually say it with a laugh, but we know it's true.  We can make up our list and plead our case, but at the end of the day, the future is out of our hands.  And so I let it go.  Honestly, I was so wrapped up in Joci those first few days that everything else was just background noise.  If God wanted us to go to Boston, so be it.  I even managed to find a few potential houses to rent that were big enough for our growing family.  Because as much as I was hoping and praying to stay right here, I'd much rather be in the will of God.  So we waited.

A week went by and Jon's boss mentioned something at a meeting about Jon's future job that got our hopes up.  But it wasn't official.  And until we got word from the actual detailer, even good news isn't much to get excited about.  So we waited some more (and had a mini-celebration that we kept to ourselves and our close family and friends).

Another week went by and Jon got a call from the detailer.  It was official (well, official without official paperwork) ... we were staying here for two more years!

First things first, love my new curtains!
We don't know much about Jon's new job except that he'll have some funky hours.  As long as he's traveling less and not working 60 hours a week, I'd call that an improvement!

To say we're relieved would be an understatement.  Ecstatic is more like it.  After a year of wondering we can finally dream again.  Naturally, I started with master bedroom curtains.  Jon's making a list of "manly" home improvements.  I'm starting to brainstorm ideas for our MOPS group next year (the theme is going to be AMAZING!)  We're slowly bringing up school, and Jack pretends he's going to kindergarten at least once a day.  We'll be meeting with our cardiologist again soon to check out our three other kids now, since Joci's issue is genetic.  And Joci herself will be having another heart-check this summer as we continue to go forward.

I like that.  Moving forward, but not moving.  Two more years!  I told myself not to get too attached to this house, but some days I just can't help it.  I could kiss the floors this week!  But something tells me that by the time our kids are 7, 6, 4, and 3 we may be ready for a different place.  The good news is we have two more years to make a few minor improvements and build a little bit more equity before we say goodbye.

I don't feel guilty about replacing a broken fixture with a new light that I like and can enjoy for two more years!
Sometimes I feel guilty that we're not taking proper advantage of the military lifestyle.  We've done 5 years in Virginia Beach, it will be 5 years here, and then that one random year in DC.  We've never been further than 400 miles from our parents', we haven't had to move too often, we haven't really seen too much of the world.  Of course, we've certainly been off on another adventure these past 5 years.  By the time this job ends, our youngest will be nearly 3.  I don't know what it's like to not have anyone under the age of 3 in the house, but I'm hoping it means a bit more freedom.  At least from diapers, if nothing else.

And I think that, by then, we'll be ready for an adventure.  I'd love to go abroad if the opportunity presents itself, but if not, I think I'd settle for Hawaii.  Or even Alaska.  I just found out that there is a Target in Anchorage, so I think that would be totally do-able.

But not just yet.  For now, we're going to enjoy a little more time of being "settled."  And I think the best way to celebrate that event is with a date night courtesy of our favorite (and local!) babysitters, Uncle Jared and Aunt Kylee!  Hurrah!

1 comment:

Andria said...

Your comment about a Target in Anchorage making a tour there do-able -- well, that made me laugh out loud! I feel pretty much the same way!

Andria (Navy wife)

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