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If you haven’t read part 1, make sure you take a look!
December 2018 we loaded up our car for our PCS to Washington. We made a pit stop in Idaho to see family, then continued to our home town Vancouver, WA. Remember when I said I wouldn’t live with my parents again…yeah? Well I did.
Markus had to go to some training for a couple month before officially being stationed at Fort Lewis (JBLM). So I had the choice to stay in freezing cold Kansas, I’m talking negative temperatures, and not leaving the house much, or go to Washington, where the weather was more mild, and we would be a lot closer to our next duty station.
Thank goodness we decided it was best for Cooper and I to stay with my dad, because trying to find a house around JBLM is…HARD and competitive, and most places aren’t dog friendly.
Advice: Apply for on post housing early, they won’t put you active on the list here, until you sign out of previous duty station. Start house hunting off post ASAP. They go fast but at least you’ll have an idea, or can save to put a payment down. Buying a house is an amazing option, I think you get more bang for your buck that way!
We found a rental that was dog friendly and affordable. We rented sight unseen, which unfortunately is normal around here too. We got offered a house on post too, but we weren’t willing to live in a hotel and wait for it. We stayed in our rental for 6ish months, before we bought a house.
While we were living in our rental, we found out we were having baby #2!!! HEART EYES, we were so excited. This pregnancy I dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression (more on this at a later point), and a lot of it was that we didn’t love our rental.
So we made it a goal, to BUY a house before we had Baby Oliver.
Advice: Do your research. I highly recommend Amber McDonald of Rally Point Properties, and Veterans Lending Group. She found us a house in budget, that’s everything we could have hoped for.
We moved into our house October 2019. A couple weeks later Markus left to go to the field…
We were in a new house, which helped me a lot mentally, but I struggled hard this time, probably the worst I struggled with him being gone. Depression is no joke.
Advice: It’s okay to talk to a therapist. It’s probably one of the best things I did for myself. Just because I am better now, doesn’t mean I still don’t need to see her.
Thankfully, we made our house feel a little home-y before he left, so that helped. He told me to do whatever I needed to do around the house to try and make myself the happiest (Hello, Marshalls and Target lol)
Another thing that helps a lot, is living so close to home and I’m SO thankful for that every day. Parents are close, friends are close, we have family basically down the street, I’m not “alone”.
Advice: Just like part one, make friends, meet your neighbors, join the dreaded “Army Wives” pages, just DO NOT GET INTO THE DRAMA. You hear me?! DON’T DO IT. Just grab your popcorn and sit behind the scenes.
Fast forward to January 2020, Baby Oliver made his arrival. PRAISE. He made his arrival 20 minutes before a Seahawks game was about to start, that’s our boy. After we got home, we got to keep Markus at home for the next 3 weeks!!! My heart became happy again, Oliver was everything I didn’t know we needed.
Fact: Paternity leave is NOT guaranteed, sometimes it’s 7 days, sometimes it doesn’t exist, sometimes your spouse is deployed, and misses the whole thing. Make the most of every moment you get your spouse HOME.
So remember that, “you need to make friends” thing, yeah…haven’t fully been able to do that here yet. ENTER CORONAVIRUS. Do I need to say more? Luckily, minimal work schedule for Markus, so we aren’t going too crazy.
…to be continued someday. We have been very lucky with our journey. Some people aren’t as lucky as we are. Some people spend years and years away from their “normal”. The military journey is different for everyone. I do hope these post helped guide you a little. I could go into every little detail I learned along the way, but quite honestly, it is something you have to experience for yourself. I am here for any and all questions, I only touched on little details, I am more than happy to elaborate. You just gotta let me know what you want to know.
Stay Confident <3
PS. Visit your spouse if its allowed, when he travels for work. We never did that, until he was at training in TX. Go to all the places you can!!