It’s been a while since I’ve written about how life in the Army is going for us. I honestly can’t believe so much time has gone by already. We’ve now been an Army family for over a year – about a year and 2 months. I’ve been completely shocked by some things while totally unfazed by others. Let me share just a little bit of it all with you!
* Army wives are so much more friendly and welcoming than I could have ever imagined. They truly all know what it’s like to be the “new girl” and they are willing to reach out to help you, invite you over for coffee, and let you into their friendship circles right away. They don’t care about your age, just your attitude. I was worried about coming in and being so much older than many of the wives, but it hasn’t been an issue even once. Even though some of my new friends are almost half my age, it doesn’t matter because we are in similar seasons of life and that is what helped us form a bond.
* The Commissary!! Great prices on groceries! I’ve also been impressed at the number of organic and gluten free products they offer at awesome low prices, which saves me from making the hour long trip to the nearest Whole Foods.
* I LOVE my neighbors and am having so much fun with them! God has truly blessed us with our home. Not only was it available almost right away when we moved here (saving us from having to move twice or being on a long waiting list), but we live right next to some amazing people. Our next door neighbor and the ones next to them are great friends of mine now. Our kids all play together almost daily, while us mommies get to chat with each other. We share lots of laughs together! We also share food – when one of us cooks something new, we often take samples of it over to the other two to try. We borrow things from each other – a steam cleaner, a vaporizer, foil, mayo – whatever! I love it! I have never had neighbors I could do this with and it’s so fun. Sometimes I’ll step out to take the trash out, see one of them, and end up talking for 30 minutes. It’s great!
* Our FRG (Family Readiness Group) rocks!! Seriously. I wasn’t sure because before I got her I had read very good and very bad stories about FRGs. But, I was determined to jump in and volunteer because I figured you can’t complain if you don’t try to help :) Turns out we have a great leader who works hard to keep us all in the loop, and even plans fun things for us to do. So, if you are not sure about whether or not to get involved with your FRG – give it a chance!! At each and every duty station, even if you had a bad experience before. Try it again.
* Living on post – I love it! It’s like a little city of its own. We have grocery stores, a PX (think mini-Walmart), a Post Office, chapels, car repair, car washes, gyms, pools, running tracks, Starbucks (2 that I know of!), gas stations, bowling alleys, playgrounds, etc. It’s also nice not having to pay rent, electric and water each month. It all comes straight out of our check in the form of our Basic Housing Allowance. No wondering what the electric bill will be this month – we pay the same every month.
* Lots of activities for adults and children! There are endless options for getting involved in groups or classes to have fun and meet people.
* Friends moving away. I connected with an amazing woman almost immediately after moving here. I met her through PWOC and it turned out she lived right down the street from me! She has a son that is Lovebug’s age and they hit it off right away too. I knew right away we would be great friends. Unfortunately our husbands never had the chance to meet because mine deployed, but I know they would have gotten along too. But she just moved! All the way to another state. I realize it’s a fact of life in the military and either we will move, or our friends will at some point, but it still stinks. I’m very thankful for the internet and I know we’ll keep in touch that way. Plus, we’ll have a new place to visit.
* Drama! Oh boy, the drama! Just like anywhere else in life, it’s out there. You just have to do your best to avoid it, stay out of it, or don’t let it bother you. It could suck the life out of you if you let it.
* Not being able to plan. I’m a planner. I like to know when things are going to happen and what path we are going to take to get there, but that gets thrown out the window in this life. I’m learning to embrace the concept of the unknown and just be comforted knowing I don’t have to make the choice rather than let it stress me out.
* Obviously the worst part is the deployments. I miss Hubby so much and can’t wait to have him back on my sofa, in my arms, snoozing away to NASCAR in the background. It also stinks when my friends’ husbands have to leave and I know how much they are going to miss them.
However, even during these times there is good to be found. I have grown in some amazing ways, and proven to myself to be stronger than I thought. It’s also great to be surrounded by people who “get it”, and that leads to those great friendships because we instantly have something in common. It also makes my heart grow even fonder for my Love…my best friend…my Hubby! Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love him even more – I do!
All in all, it’s been a great ride so far and I look forward to seeing where the next year takes us.