The Big Move

It’s unreal to me that some of my peers are buying homes. Or perhaps they choose to rent, but they are essentially settled in a city/town for the foreseeable future unless a major career move were to arise. Or they get called away on some unexpected adventure. This isn’t a comparison game that I’m playing; it’s that as a military family, it is so difficult to imagine what it would be like to choose a permanent place to live or actually buy property.ย Our life is so mobile, ever-changing that it is wild to me that my friends are settling into nests that they plan to live in for the next 5…10…15+ years. While I am glad for the opportunity to see so many beautiful places, I do look forward to a day when I don’t need to think “Alright, well…might as well not unpack this box, because we’re just going to pack it again in a year and a half.”

It’s funny, because in some ways this move to PA is easier and in some ways more difficult that our initial move to ND. I go back and forth about it. Don’t get me wrong…moving to ND was tough. I went through a period of mourning for about the first 6 months of ND life, but I won’t rehash that now. Nonetheless, Josh and I were definitely riding high on the newlywed life, and enjoying the beginning of our adventure together as husband and wife. But moving to PA, we’ve faced different emotional obstacles. Because we’re here for a shorter amount of time, it’s easy to stay in the mentality of “We’ll be leaving in 17 months…why try?”Meeting new people is hard, and it’s tough to motivate myself to get out there and invest in new relationships when I know that we’ll be leaving soon. It’s an isolating feeling. But State College, PA is really a beautiful place to live and it has a great energy – not something I really could truthfully say I felt toward good, old Grand Forks. It’s harder because there isn’t a base here, and therefore no other military families sharing the same struggle. Because of that it’s challenging to find that sense of community. We have started to get involved with the Catholic group on campus, and so far so good (the first few parishes we tried didn’t quite feel like the right fit). Another good thing is that we are closer to Josh’s family. In fact, our brother Mike and his wife and daughter, Rachel and Sophia, live in Philly this year! It’s awesome to know we can drive to see family, instead of having to arrange plane flights. It’s hard because I feel like I’m just getting further away from my side of the family…and it can be discouraging to know that we don’t even have the option to live in the PNW for another 4 1/2 years. Pretty much just in time for my 10 year high school reunion (whaaaaat?!). Good, bad or simply the facts – it’s alot to process.

Ok some really great things about moving/PA (lest you think I am always a rain cloud):

  1. It is lush and green here. There are gorgeous rolling hills and thick forests that cover them, and it reminds me of home.
  2. We really like our townhouse, and have good neighbors. It’s a quiet place, primarily made up of professional single people and young families. It’s great to see parents and their kids out playing and riding bikes every day. There’s also a biking/walking trail right by our place. Not that I’ve utilized it nearly as much as I tell myself I will, but it’s always a beautiful walk when I do go.
  3. There’s a great bus system that allows Josh to ride to campus for only $5 a month because he is a grad student and doesn’t have a daytime campus parking permit. This has allowed us to make the switch from having 2 cars to 1 much easier (and not have to pay for a parking pass!)
  4. Saints Cafe. I love it. There weren’t really any local coffee shops that I feel a distinct loyalty to in GF, so it’s nice to have immediately found one.
  5. PSU’s campus is amaaaazing. Super confusing and ginormous, but perfectly collegiate.
  6. I signed up for a watercolor class through Penn State! I was glad I was allowed since I’m not a student or staff member, but it all worked out. I went last week and I’m looking forward to attending that weekly.
  7. And really this should be more like number 1, but Josh has this crazy opportunity to go to school again. It’s like a full time job in many ways, but flexible. So I get to see him and go visit him on campus quite a bit!
  8. We’re so excited for a north east fall. Bring it on.
  9. Moving is tough, but it does allow us to go let things go. We also get to take a mini vacation (kind of…the moving stress still looms a bit) when we drive across the country.
  10. We found a great midwife about 30 miles away, and had a smooth first appointment with her last week. All looks good with Baby Dill!

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That’s enough for now. So although the adjustment period is always a little hard on the heart, there are many a silver lining. I know that other military families have insane moving stories and crazy transitions – any military wives (or non mil!) out there that would like to share? Share in the comments and/or leave your blog link to your moving stories.

3 responses

  1. Hi Ashlie! I was going through some things and found the sweet card you sent us after our pilgrimage trip. You look great! You’re really blooming. As I recall, the big due date is in November…right? I would email you more, but I don’t have your email address. You can send me a note if you like. Lots has been happening here. God is good!!! Say hi to Josh.

  2. love you love you love and love you more. Thank you for the time you take to do this blog. One day you will be closer {miles wise} and can teach your grams some computer stuff and I will share things life has taught me. Time passes by seemingly slow but yet flies by all at once…amazing. Just watch how quickly one season goes into the next. You look BEAUTIFUL! We all miss you.

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