Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Thoughts on Moving with the Military...And How We're All Dealing with it

Moving in the last month from Omaha (Offutt AFB) to Colorado Springs (US Air Force Academy) was one of the biggest transitions we've gone through as a family. It was our first move with children as we were blessed to have been able to be settled for over 4 years in one location.  Of course we couldn't make it easy on ourselves by going from one location to the next but instead went to Alabama for a couple months, back to Omaha, then to Minnesota, back to Omaha for a night, and then finally to our home in Colorado Springs.

So how are we all doing with it?

Layla (2): Doesn't seem to notice really anything different. She likes the new house, her new room, and really is along for the ride.  She loves saying "Colorado Springs" whenever she hears it on the radio or tv. She's been sassy and had plenty of tantrums but I think that's due to the fact she's 2 more than anything. Oh, the 2's....that's a whole 'nother post.

Brady (4): Loves his new house, love the mountains, but really misses his friends and old preschool in Omaha. He talks about Omaha and the people there at least 3 times a week.  I think the process has given him a little bit of anxiety unfortunately.  We went away for a night to go camping and he cried and told us he didn't want to leave this house. I think he thought we were going to go house hopping again. Once I explained to him that we'll be here for several years (hopefully but you never know with the military) he calmed down.  I think this age is when they really start understanding things and I know moves are just going to get harder as he establishes more friendships and connections.

Rascal-dog (8): Not that he can really convey his emotions to me but I figured I'd better include him in here too.  He's been with us for every PCS move living in Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, and now Colorado. And he's just along for the ride as well.  I think his only complaint would be the small backyard here but it makes up for it by plenty of bunnies to chase. And he likes hiking in the mountains too.  So I think he's good.

Rachel: This was our 3rd move and it's definitely been different every time.  Our first move we were newlyweds, it was my first time moving far away from home, and I was just so, so excited to start my life with Brian. Our second move I was 33 weeks pregnant with Brady. I was just so ready to get settled into Omaha, set up the nursery, and welcome this little boy into the world.  This move, not much was different in our lives.  Leaving Omaha was really hard, mainly because of the friendships I gained. Not that we didn't make good friendships in Mississippi, it was just that we all knew we were there for a little over a year and we were all going all over the country/world.  You didn't have as much time to develop deep, deep friendships. Omaha is a little different because most people are there 5-8 years which is very odd for the military.

 I knew that  when we came here we'd all have to "start over" when it came to friendships. We knew a couple of people here and that's made it easier but it still is so hard to start over.  I feel like I'm almost dating as I'm trying to make friends. I've found that I'm much more comfortable just putting myself out there and making connections with other people here than I've ever been. But it's still hard. And I still have days where I cry because I miss my friendships in Omaha so much. I miss being able to call up one of my good friends and have a playdate that day or a girls night that night. I know that it'll come and it just takes time, but being patient isn't always my strong suit.  It's also hard being that much further away from home. I miss our families and want them to visit every month if they could! But I seriously love Colorado and try my best every day to enjoy the beauty of it and to be truly happy where we are. And it is fun to get to redecorate and live somewhere new!

Brian: He's doing great. But you can put Brian in almost any situation and he'll thrive. He's just that type of guy.  He's going to start learning to fly the gliders soon and for now is just learning the ropes in the squadron. A couple of his friends from the Academy are stationed here now so it's been fun for him to see old friends. He's been a great partner to me, especially when I'm sad and feeling homesick.

When Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street) found out that we recently moved they sent us some wonderful resources for the kids.  They sent us a wonderful booklet on different challenges and ways to explain them to children and to deal with them along with a dvd to go with it.  They also sent some wonderful stickers for moving that I know the kids would have loved to use as we were moving but have used on their things now!  And they also sent information about their newest free app called The Big Moving Adventure. It's designed for children ages 2-5 about to go through a move and helps them understand the different stages of moving by creating a character to go through those stages. Sesame Street recognizes the hardships that come with military life as a child of a military family and has a lot of resources Check out their Military Family Initiative and all they offer including help with deployments, homecomings, self-expression, grief, and many more. I know the deployment dvd really helped Brady understand what was going on when Brian deployed the last time.
( I received these items for free but the opinions are all my own.)

I know that we'll come into our new normal soon and I feel like I'm more prepared for the next time we move because we all know another move will be happening, such is life in the military!  I'm just grateful that we're together, for the adventure of it all, and the fact there are good resources out there to help!


Jen said...

Moving is not an easy situation that is for sure. It is exciting though. :)

Becky Dougherty said...

I'm glad to hear that, overall, you're all adjusting well. I'm not patient either, but I do believe that new friendships will come in time. I admire you for putting yourself out there. I find that the older I get the harder it is, and the less I feel the need to make new friends. I have a hard enough time keeping in touch with the ones I already have!

KelseyB said...

Moving is difficult, you would think after so many times of doing it it would get easier. But when you throw kids in the mix it adds so many different emotions. Glad to hear you are all settling and that you are comfortable putting yourself out there more. I still struggle with that!

Alejandra said...

It breaks my heart everytime our 4 year old mentions her best friend from our last duty station. I'm glad that everything is going pretty well for you guys though! I hope to end up in the springs one day..

Jenn said...

So glad that the majority is transitioning well! I know how you feel "dating" new friends. It is SO HARD. WHY IS IT SO HARD?!

Jenny @ Creatively Blooming said...

Finding new friends is the hardest part. I feel like I'm counting down the days until school starts so that we can all make some friends (our immediate neighbors are all 10+ years older and Jarrod and me).

The Chick Nest said...

We miss you all, too. Our kids both ask about Brady and Layla often. I miss your friendship, too! I have a feeling that when preschool starts, Brady will make new friends right away being the sweet guy that he is. I bet you'll be able to make some connections with other mothers. In the meantime, I am counting down until my visit with my best mommy gal pal!!! ;)

Shannon said...

I love how you told us everyone's perspective. I find military life so extremely interesting.

Also, that SS app sounds pretty amazing too.

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