Sunday, September 16, 2012

Things are finally getting back to normal!

Man, has it been a wild several weeks!
We finally have our car back,
Mark's done with ALS,
and last night was the last big event for a while, thankfully!

We went to the Air Force Ball last night, celebrating the Air Force's 65th Birthday!
We got a beautiful room for the night as well, so we could just relax after.
We were at the ball until midnight (we went back to our room for a while so our friends
who got ready with us could get their things), then went back down to hang out with friends in the lounge. 
The food was outstanding, and I ate wayyy too much, but it was worth it, and I danced most of the calories away anyhow. 
When we finally got back to our room, we stayed up even longer to watch Indiana Jones and eat
chocolate covered strawberries!
All in all, it was a wonderful night. We didn't get to stay in my hometown that morning like we had planned, to see the parade, but it ended up being a fantastic night. It was a nice, glamorous little getaway that was very needed! 

I'm glad things are slowing down for a while, though. I need time to get stuff completely cleaned up and done before the holidays hit (which, they're fast approaching, if you haven't noticed!), especially with all the traveling that we're planning on doing with my family, then going to see his dad around New Years!

Also, our orders to Germany were officially canceled, because they're not sure if the Herd will be shutting down this year. It was very disappointing, but we'll be getting there eventually, so we're trying to be positive! It just gives me more free time to focus on the holidays and family! I have big plans for decorating our house, and it'll take a lot of planning! 

I'll leave you all with a few more pictures from last night. If you ever have a chance to go to a military ball, take it! They're a lot of fun, the guest speakers are fantastic, and as all you ladies know, it's very fun to get dressed up, especially when your man is in blues!

Have a great day!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's FINALLY over! :)

Airman Leadership School is OVER!
I get my man back! WOOHOO!

I'm so proud of him I could just explode. He did absolutely amazing through everything
that we were trying to deal with, the car, his bike having issues, etc.
He stuck it out, and it paid off for him BIG TIME.

He received the Academic Achievement Award, the Distinguished Graduate award, a special, large coin (the one on the far right up top) for his service, and was coined by the commander, and Captain Meckes. I'm 
going to get the frame for his diploma tomorrow once we get the car back (finally!!).

He's going to do amazing things in his career, and I truly believe he's going to be an outstanding NCO. The last five weeks have been extremely long and rough, but they had some very bright spots.
Mark should be sewing on Ssgt end of November/December/January, somewhere in that time frame, and 
hopefully we'll receive our official orders to Ramstein so we can get stuff started. Unfortunately, we were informed that several other people received orders and were not supposed to due to the freeze on orders for the Herd, so ours may not stick, or they may just get pushed back. It's hard to be positive when you don't know what you thought you knew, but that's the military way of life, and all we can do is be positive. Even if we don't get to go this time like we were told, we WILL get there eventually. :)

To top EVERYTHING that's happened this week off, there's a slight cold front coming in today,
so it'll actually feel like Fall, even if it's just for a day or two.
Our life is finally done spinning for a while, I hope.
So with that, I'm going to go work on some crafts, and do some baking. I can think of a certain ALS graduate/Ssgt Selectee that would enjoy a homemade German Chocolate cake when he gets home. :)


Monday, September 3, 2012

My bucket list..Europe Edition!

So I've obviously been doing a lot of thinking lately about
what I want to do while we're overseas, 
and I decided to compose a bucket list.

  1. Visit the beaches at Normandy.
  2. Visit the Holocaust Memorial.
  3. Go to Berlin.
  4. Go to Paris.
  5. Go to Venice.
  6. Go to Prague.
  7. Go to Amsterdam.
  8. Go to Ireland. 
  9. Go to England.
  10. Visit Austria, pick edelweiss for mom.
  11. Go skiing in the Alps.
  12. Eat authentic German chocolate.
  13. Eat authentic Swiss chocolate.
  14. Take a train to France.
  15. Go to Barcelona.
  16. Go to Madrid.
  17. Swim in the Mediterranean and Atlantic in Spain.
  18. Visit the Eiffel Tower.
  19. Drive on the Autobahn.
  20. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich.
  21. Go to Rome.
  22. Go to Scotland.
  23. Go to Greece.
  24. Hike in the Alps.
  25. Visit the Black Forest and purchase a cuckoo clock.
This is just a portion that I could think of off the top of my head. I'm getting more and more excited with everything that passes. The thought of just being able to hop on a train to Paris for the weekend or just drive to Switzerland for a day or two is amazing. I'm going sometime next week after Mark gets out of ALS and he's back to work to start the process for my passports, so I'll let y'all know how it goes. There was some debate on my personal FB page about whether or not I need a 'military issue' passport, the no-fee one for traveling there on his orders, so I will let y'all know what the official word is when we go. If any of you have any questions, pleeassee keep them coming. I'm about to answer some that I had gotten since announcing our PCS.

1. Jessica I.- "How was your husband able to find out about orders on a holiday weekend?" He got an email to his personal email, informing him that he had been selected for PCS orders. He has a CAC reader that he uses at home, so he was able to log in from there and see the orders.

2. Angela W.- "How do you know that you'll actually get the orders? We've been told we're going somewhere, and never actually went, just wondering if it's cause of something we did or not." In all honesty, we don't! :) The military is unpredictable. There's always the chance that they could change their minds and send us elsewhere. However, I'm taking my chances and planning for Germany, because if I didn't start planning until we had orders in hand, I would feel very, very overwhelmed from procrastinating. My advice, DO  NOT put your life on hold for fear you may not actually get orders in hand. What's the worst that could happen? Go ahead and plan for moving. If they end up sending you somewhere else, you'll already have plans in place for movers, flights, everything!

3. Marilyn J.- "What about your dog?" We're taking him with us, of course! We have to make sure his shots are up to date, get him chipped (They're chipping him when he gets fixed in a month or so), and several other guidelines must be met regarding his crate, etc. When we start that process, I'll do a post specifically about it!

Thank you for the input, guys! Please keep it coming!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The best has yet to come!

I'm still awake. Partly because Mark is playing a game with his friends, and yelling at them, and partly because I'm still trying to process my thoughts.

Germany is really, REALLY far away from Oklahoma.

I've never been more than two days driving away from my state. Being across the ocean in a different country is going to be a HUGE change. I can't describe how much I'm looking forward to it though. 
We'll be there for four years. 
That's a really long time.

However, there is a LOT we can do in four years. A lot we can see.
The more I think about it, the more excited I get.
But, the more I think about it, the more it sinks in that I have a LOT to do,
and a lot to learn before we leave.

I speak ZERO German, for one. I know most people there speak at least a little English,
but I would like to be able to communicate more if I need to. Which I probably will.
I don't know anything about PCSing. 
Especially not overseas.
With a large dog.
I've never gotten a passport before, so I don't know the process.
I know the military will give me one, but I need one to travel with once we get there.
Plus, have I mentioned that Germany is far away from Oklahoma?

In all seriousness, I'm very excited. I was pretty nervous at first, but the more I think about it, and the amazing adventure that Mark and I are about to go on, the more excited I get. Yes, I'll miss my family (especially my parents and grandparents) and friends desperately, but I'm already making plans for many
of them to come and visit as soon as we get settled and they can, and I'll only be a plane flight away.
I'm going to be in GERMANY, in EUROPE, for four years. I can see a lot in
four years. Mark's already talking about going skiing in the alps, and all the castles he wants to take
me to see, so as long as he's excited, I think I can manage it.
I really feel like, despite the anxiety and anticipation I feel right now, that the best really has yet to come. Germany is going to be an amazing experience, and one I can't wait to share with you all.

Like I said in my previous post, if you have any PCS stories/tips, please share them! I know 
several of you are doing your first PCS soon, so any tips would be appreciated by many!


A new chapter

So, I have some extremely exciting news.

No, it is not a baby, like so many friends thought.

My husband is a member of the 33d combat comm here at Tinker, and they're starting the process of shutting the whole unit down. We have been waiting to see if we would get orders due to the shutdown, or just natural pcs orders for his time on station.

Well, I'm tickled pink to announce that we received orders last night for his time on station.

This spring, we will be moving to Ramstein AB, Germany.


I've never been more than a couple days drive form Oklahoma, much less out of the country, and now, we'll be in beautiful Germany for the next two years! Mark has been there before, two years right after basic, so he's ecstatic to be going back! I'm very anxious, but I'm very excited as well. I've been wanting to go to Europe for a long time, and now I'll be living there.

We will be leaving in April 2013, so probably right after the holidays, I'll have to start getting things together that we want to take right away, and start preparing for TMO to come move our stuff. I've never pcsed before, and like I said, I've never left the country before either, so this will be a very new experience for me, and one that I'm eager to share with all of you! I'll share new details as we get them! If any of you have any pcsing tips, or want to share your experiences overseas, please share!