ALSO this picture does not in any way relate to this post...
We are mere weeks away from Rob signing out on terminal leave. Things are chaotic and stressful and moving fast, but slow at the same time. I've sorted through clothing and bins of purses. Listed and sold our guest bedroom set, desk and almost all of our outside stuff. I'm starting to feel more at ease about this transition and a lot of the things that are still relatively unknown (Will we be in a house/apartment/townhouse for the holidays? When will we be leaving Clarksville? Where will Rob land a job? Etc, etc, etc) I am making plans for Thanksgiving in Kansas City, scheduling Brooke's baptism and thinking about Christmas gifts for my girls. We are still excited for this transition, but nervous.
When it comes right down to it though... I am okay with separating from the Army and the lifestyle we have known for the last 7 plus years. Here is why.
Rob doesn't have to put in a pass or leave packet and cross his fingers for approval to travel on any given weekend. College friend getting married next summer in California? No problem. At the very least we can fly out Friday night and come home Sunday evening without having to take extra time off.
Our girls will REALLY know their grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and all of the beautiful children my very best friends create. They will have the memories of family and friends being at every birthday party and special occasion. Going to grandma and grandpas will not be a giant ordeal but rather a quick trip (even going to see Rob's family in Missouri is still only a 2.5/3 hour drive!) and part of the norm.
We can actually buy a house and not have to worry about getting orders 2-3 years later and having to sell a house on short notice. Never thought we would be settling in at this point in our life... but dang it, I'm excited.
Rob can utilize his skills, certifications and degrees and maximize his potential. All while getting paid accordingly.
Our girls can go to the same school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. They will have the same friends. Know what to expect out of their schooling experience. And (hopefully) never be ahead or behind based on what their last school was doing.
The pace in which Rob's knees are falling apart may slow down enough he will not be 30 years old and in desperate need of both knees being replaced. It's inevitable... but it would be nice to avoid this for a few more years if at all possible.
I may actually be able to do something without my husband being present or his power-of-attorney. Heaven forbid the MOTHER of his children and his wife do anything without her sponsor. It will be nice to not just be a dependent in the eyes of my husbands employer.
We can use Rob's vacation days to actually go on vacation and not always be traveling to and from the Midwest visiting family. All those adventures and trips we've talked about in our future? They can actually happen a lot sooner now.
The Army has been so good to us. We've lived places I never imagined living. Traveled to states I've never been to. Befriended people from all over the country, and other countries too. Made countless memories that will always define this chapter in our life... but the civilian world? It's intriguing and I am excited to find our new normal!