Wow — I sure do move around a lot! I feel like I just arrived in New Mexico, and now I am prepping to move again! Back to Virginia again, and I am so excited to be back on my “home coast.”
My time in New Mexico has been…bittersweet, for lack of a better term.
- I still miss my friends from Polk desperately. It is always hard leaving friends, but leaving my Lousiana family was the hardest transition to date.
- Los Alamos has a housing shortage, so our accommodations have been…less than ideal. We are paying the most we have ever paid for a house, for the lowest quality house we have ever lived in.
- Knowing we would only be here for 10 or so months has made it difficult to settle in mentally and feel at home.
- We found an amazing church here and got plugged in right away. There are several couples in the same walk of life as us (late 20s/early 30s professionals without kids) and it has been wonderful getting to “do life” with such a godly group of people.
- New Mexico has chocolate houses on every corner (picture your favorite coffee shop but with a menu comprised entirely of different types of hot cocoa and truffles.)
- Dave LOVES his job here. I can say with 100% certainty this has been and likely will be, the best work experience of his entire life. And after such a grueling company command, he deserves it.
I think if we ever get permanent orders back to New Mexico it would be a better situation because I could make myself more at home, and not be afraid to get attached. But until that happens, I am very ready to be back in Virginia.
The southern Richmond area is experiencing a bit of a housing shortage as well. Nothing as severe as here in Los Alamos, but enough that to be worth mentioning. There is a very long waitlist for on-post housing, and off-post rentals are far above BAH. Competition for purchasing is also steep, but fortunately for this PCS, we got our orders well in advance so we were able to work with builders to construct a new home. This will save us quite a bit of hassle during the move, and will hopefully be a great longterm investment property for us.
I think I can safely say this new house will be our nicest one yet! It will be just shy of 2,000 finished square feet, with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a flex space, an open-concept main living area, a two-car garage, and a four-car driveway. Plenty of space for guests, so pack your bags! The lot we chose is situated on cul-de-sac towards the back of the community, and our property backs up to a conservation area so no more houses will be built behind us. When we step out onto our deck each morning our view on all sides will be a peaceful, untouched forest. The community itself is in a great location — about 15 minutes from base, 10 minutes from the historic downtown area (lots of antique stores, tea parlors, and boutiques), 5 minutes from several different grocery stores, and less than 5 minutes away from the middle school and high school. It is close enough to everything to be convenient, but far enough away to be very peaceful, safe, and private. We are thrilled!
Before we get all moved in and settled, we are going to take a couple weeks to go on a trip to Disney for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. We will be spending a few nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, in a Kidani Village studio with Savannah views. Then we will switch over to our home resort, the Polynesian Village so that we can be on the monorail loop. I am very excited to stay at my two favorite resorts, and glad to have a couple weeks to unwind in the most magical place on earth.
As far as school goes, I am still plugging away! I will be 50% completed by Christmas and should be completely done by the end of 2020 or Spring 2021, depending on how many sessions I need to defer between now and then. I will most likely have to take off the entire 2020 spring semester to account for weddings and business trips, but even if that happens I can still finish 2 classes in the summer and 2 in the fall, leaving me with only 1 class and my thesis to finish the following spring. I would love to just power through and double up classes to get it all done, but finishing well is more important than finishing quickly, right?
The rest of this year and the first half of 2020 promise to be busy. After our two week trip to Disney, I will be heading to San Francisco for a week for work. After Thanksgiving I am likely going back to Disney with my mom and sister, then, of course, Dave and I are planning our Escapemas tradition. We will most likely head back to New Orleans for the winter holidays unless some stellar last-minute deal to somewhere even warmer pops up. In early 2020 we will be heading to Hawaii to visit some of our best friends, then February and March are full of bachelor/bachelorette parties and bridal showers. April is my little sister’s Disney Cruise wedding, followed by (you guessed it) another week at Disney. In May we will be heading to Newport, Rhode Island for one of my best friend’s weddings, and then after that things might actually settle down for a bit.
It’s a busy life, but it’s a blessed life.