2018 is a year of change for my family. I don’t mean a little change either. I am talking, everything we know has turned and flipped upside down and we are starting a brand new chapter. Heck, you could even say a brand new book. These changes have taken priority in my life over the last several months but now as things start to calm down, it is time to get into the groove of my families new normal. It is time for me to say Hello Georgia!
Yes, my friends, my family has left North Carolina and this time by choice. The Army didn’t tell us where to go this time around. My husband has retired from the Army after 20 years!
My husband’s transition from military to civilian life has been a project he has been working on that started well over two years ago. Yes, he is retired but while his retirement and VA benefits are enough to live on if we had to, things would be tight financially. We have kids, kids are expensive, we have to be realistic.
Transitioning from the Army
While in the Army, my husband earned his bachelors degree and over the last couple of years, he got his MBA. An investment that is proving to be worth every penny we paid. At about 2 years out from retirement, my husband became active on Linkedin and started networking. This was a critical piece to his retirement process, it led him to a variety of resources for retiring veterans.
One of those resources was Hiring our Heroes. Without them, I don’t know if we would be in Georgia right now. In January he started a fellowship program with them. His fellowship brought him to the Atlanta area and learning about a Fortune 50 company. He met with the CEO and other “big wigs” and worked in the various departments. His fellowship ended with a job offer that brought our family to the metro-Atlanta area.
While my husband was in Georgia for his fellowship, our kids and I stayed back in North Carolina. For us, it was one last TDY. We had our own changes going on anyways.
The Kids are Growing Up
Back in North Carolina, our kids were all finishing their respective school years and I had 3 kids graduating. One graduating elementary school, another graduating middle school, and the big one, my oldest son graduating from high school. I’m still trying to figure out how it is possible that my kids are that old but time flies and in 2018 it is going at a lightning-paced speed.
With my oldest son graduating from high school this meant he would be starting his next chapter too. He decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the Army. My husband likes to joke that he raised his own replacement. While we know he will do well, we are still his parents so we worry about how he is doing and miss him.
The Big Move
With so many different pieces of the puzzle going on, we ended up moving ourselves piece by piece to Georgia. The weekends that I spent on long runs were put on hold. Now when I wasn’t working or dealing with something Murphy had slung my way, I was packing and attempting to get things ready to move. Nearly every weekend in May and the first half of June was spent pulling a U-haul trailer down I-95 and across I-20 to Atlanta. Of all of our moves, this one was by far the most stressful and took the longest to complete.
The New House
Never in a million years would I have guessed my family would end up in Georgia, much less the Atlanta area. One of the things you learn when you move here is Atlanta is HUGE and has some crazy traffic. Being that the area is so huge you will find a variety of homes and areas. We ended up in the North Metro Atlanta area. The house we bought is a 1947 farmhouse with plenty of room to have a big garden, some chickens and more.
Being an older home, while it has good roots it does need some updating and we have several projects planned in addition to a few surprises that have come our way. After years of renting from landlords that did the minimum to maintain their properties, we are loving owning our own house and making it our own.
So how is Georgia? Georgia isn’t that bad or too awfully different from North Carolina outside of being a bit more humid (if that is possible). After going to my kid’s schools, I did feel a bit like Kattie Otto from American Housewife. I felt a bit surrounded by Stepford moms and started wondering what have we gotten ourselves into? I am interested to find out though as we unpack and find our new normal here in Georgia.