Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ch-ch-changes (in which I ramble. A lot.) my usual fashion it's been MONTHS since I've blogged here.  Let me clear the dust and spiderwebs to sit for a spell.  :)

In August we were on a homeschool field trip when I got a phone call from The Hubs.  He had some news for me that he knew I was NOT going to like.  We had orders to move...which actually had me ecstatic (I loathed Wright Patt).  However, the orders were to move to Japan.  When he said that I busrt into tears. In front of about 30 kids, 10 moms, and a guy licking petrified dinosaur doo-doo...I absolutely lost it.  ((When we were first married I was adamant with The Hubs that I was absolutely not moving overseas.  Ever.  And if he ever got orders to Japan, it was not going to happen.  Japan was the LAST place on earth I wanted to move.)) 

Every time we had moved in the states we were given an abundance of time to prepare.  I know what to do during a CONUS move.  That's easy-peasy.  This was the first time we had ever received overseas orders.  I was positive that something was going to happen and they'd fall through, but I decided to go through the motions anyway.  I posted on Facebook to see if anyone knew what to do or had any advice for me.  Almost immediately I had answers and a lot of my fears were alleviated.  One new friend walked me through pretty much every step of the way... I don't know what I would have done without her.

The next couple months were an absolute whirlwind of activity.  At the beginning the military member only gets a RIP, which is like temporary orders.  They can't get actual orders until this HUGE checklist of things is accomplished.  You can't secure housing at your new base, schedule movers, or any of that important stuff until you have actual hard copy, in your hand orders.  We had medical clearances, figuring out shipments, selling a car, finding a new home for our dog, getting passports, and a million other things to do which we had never done before.  The kids were cleared with no problems, but mine took forever.  I am on Synthroid for my thyroid and that caused a few headaches, and hit a few snags due to seeking "mental" help when I was really stressed after having KK.  It eventually all sorted out though.  We finally had our medical clearing with the board at Wright Patt and they approved us and sent our stuff off to Misawa.  It took them a little bit, but we were finally cleared.

When you move stateside, you have one shipment.  What the movers leave behind, you can take yourself and it all works out.  With moving to Japan, we had to have 3 shipments...and we couldn't bring our car.  The brand new car we JUST bought in May.  Also, moving from our HUGE 2 stor- 3BR-2.5Bath-2 Car garage + storage shed-house in Ohio to a fairly small 3BR tower apartment-with NO storage in Japan was going to be quite the feat.  We went through everything.  EVRYTHING.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much JUNK we donated/threw away.  We searched forever for a buyer for our van and finally sold it for almost exactly what we needed to pay it off.

We got everything figured out for the shipments.  Had our unaccompanied baggage (ships ahead of you with some essentials) packed one week, and our household goods (everything else) and storage (everything you can't won't take with you) packed the next week.  Our house got very empty very fast!  There were several mishaps with the movers as well, but as with everything else it worked itself out.  We got our passports in the mail 2 days before we were scheduled to leave Dayton.  Then I got really sick and had to go to the doctor.  Turned out I had bronchitis.  The Hubs insited we pay to have someone clean the house (if you've never moved out of military housing, you're lucky!  That requirement list is NO joke!) for us.  I fought it at first, but he won in the end.

We signed out of our house and headed to the hotel on base.  We stayed there a few nights and headed out of Dayton as soon as The Hubs had outprocessed the base.  We were almost out of Dayton when we realized I had left the passports at the hotel that morning (Hey!  I've never had to worry about them before!  haha).  We had to turn around to get them and wound up staying another night in Dayton.  We finally got on the road and spent a month with family in Oklahoma.  The Hubs had to fly to CA for training and arrived back in OK the day before we had to head to ILL to drop our car off for storage.  He had a LONG weekend!

The furthest the kids and I have ever flown before (When Bones was 4 and KK was 4 months!) was from Tampa to Tulsa.  We had to get on the plane in St Louis MO and fly to Seattle WA (4 hours)...then wander around the airport for about 10 hours until our flight was ready to board at 6am...and board another plane in Seattle and fly straight to Misawa.  I am terrified of flying, and terrified of water.  Bones and KK kept asking me all sorts of questions about what to do if the plane crashed, which did nothing to help my fears!  We left Seattle around 730am Pacific time and landed in Misawa around 10am Japan time.  We were in the air for around 9/10 was a LONG flight.

So see, this time I had a good excuse for not updating!  :D

We've been here in Misawa for just over a month now, and had several adventures so far.  Can't wait to tell y'all about them!  For now though, konbanwa!

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