Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mike's Career Update

This past weekend we went to Lake Anna to visit with one of Michael's good childhood friends, Kyle, and his wife Alice (the couple I made the toybox for, for the baby shower). Kyle and Alice live a few hours from us and since life keeps getting in the way, we don't see them much and I really never had the opportunity to get to know them, especially since I missed their wedding last year. Saturday was super cloudy and dreadful so we spent the night inside just catching up and I really got to know them both much better. Their little boy, Ty, is due in just a few weeks and Alice sure looks like she's ready to meet him! ;)

Sunday started out cloudy but cleared up by the afternoon and we took the jetski out and did some tubing with Alice's two daughters. After a long day in the sun and the water, we packed up and headed home.....sat in traffic on 95 for a solid two hours. Anyway, we had a great time and I really hope we're able to clear some time after Ty arrives when we can go visit them and meet their sweet boy!

Sooooooo onto Mike's never ending story with the Army... after a long year and a half of trying to switch to Active Duty from the Reserves, it has happened. We have dealt with his crappy recruiters and MEPS being a pain in our asses, but it's finally done. Mike signed his new contract last Friday and got orders to South Korea for one year. Neither of us are too excited about it, but it is what it is and we will get through it. I will address several questions that I continue to get from friends and family:
1. Where in South Korea?
  • Camp Carroll, South Korea is on the Southeastern portion. It is a very small base and about a 3-4 hour train ride to Seoul. From what we've heard, not many people have enjoyed being stationed there.
2. Will I be going with Mike?
  • No. Mike's 1 year tour will be unaccompanied and not only that, I still have two years remaining on my contract at my current duty station. Next July I will be up to pick orders to my next duty station, and Mike will also be looking at order to transfer after Korea. We are going to try to colocate and hope for the best. 
3. Where will I live while he is away?
  • Our lease ends Oct 31 and I don't really like where we live right now and the house is just too big to have all to myself. I plan to rent a basement apartment somewhere in the Fairfax/Vienna/Falls Church/Springfield/Annandale area. A lot of people have suggested I get an apartment to myself but I have several reasons why I don't want to.
    • For one, an apartment community would charge me an arm and a leg to keep Max and Winston. Also I don't want Max in an apartment where we might end up on the second or third floor because he gets excited sometimes and can be noisy when he runs around and I know how much I hated that when I lived below a family with a dog. \
    • Secondly, I only plan to sign a 6 month lease, and then take it month to month until Mike returns. We are hoping to save a lot of money while he is away and either buy a house while he is home on leave half way through his tour, or buy one when he gets back. 
    • Lastly, basement apartments are much cheaper. I can rent a basement for about $1000/month and have my own bedroom, own bathroom, small kitchenette, and a living area all to myself and probably my own private entrance. Also most single family homes that have basement apartments have a fenced in yard which will be very convenient for Max. By having a landlord instead of a management company, I can also work into the lease agreement to have utilities be included in my rent so I'm not paying 5 bills a month. It's just more convenient and less stress. If I got my own apartment, I'd be spending closer to $2000 and not have the convenience of a yard, too. 
I can't really think of any other questions I've been asked except, "Are you happy about it?
  • To answer that, I have to say...Yes and No.
    • I am happy that Mike has finally switched to Active Duty because we have wanted that for some time now.
    • I am happy that he is not leaving until December because that means he will FINALLY graduate from GMU this fall! (He'll have to take his finals a few weeks early but his teachers are accommodating.) 
    • I am happy that his time away will provide us the opportunity to save a lot of money and get jump started on the things we pay off my car, buy another car, buy a house, etc.
    • I am not happy that I will have to be apart from my husband for an extended period of time and I am not happy that he will be in a shitty part of Korea.
  • I think that answers the question. I am just trying to stay focused on the silver linings of this.... mostly that he'll finally finish his degree and that we can save money but some days it's hard to think positively. I am glad that I will be moving back to Northern Virginia because I've about had it up to my neck with living in Southern Maryland. ICK.
Well that's about it for now. Here's a few pictures just because... :)
Michael's cousin Danny and his blushing bride, Stefanie :-)

 Audrey taking Max for a little walk around the house :-)

Girl's Night with Megan and Jennifer :-)

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