We’ve officially been living in our new apartment – a.k.a Casita Chaparro 2.0 – for two months! As promised, here’s the nitty gritty of how we got from Kansas to New Jersey with the majority of our stuff and sanity in tact. Grab yourself a glass of wine. This is a long one.
First, let’s rewind back to about six or so months ago…
My husband has finally decided he’s leaving the military (he was back and forth on this for about a year) and now it’s time to figure out the next steps: should we stay in Kansas or move somewhere else? Where else would we move? Should he get a job right away or take advantage of the GI Bill and attend school? Should I try to go remote with my current job or leave it? The list of questions seemed endless with only one answer of uncertainty: we don’t know.
We’d consider Florida, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and some cities in between. I was frustrated because we were all over the map without a clear direction. I had told Mr. Chaparro I didn’t care where we lived as long as he made up his mind. Of course, I did care and wanted us to live somewhere we would both be happy and have the opportunity to succeed; but, when I get overwhelmed, my decision-making skills turn to mush.
Many arguments and silent treatments took place in the process of planning for our next journey. It wasn’t until May when we flew back to the East Coast for my sister-in-law’s graduation that things fell into perspective for Mr. Chaps. Prior to our visit in May, we had not seen our families since the Christmas holiday of 2014. I think being around the family provided some clarity and helped us make a firm decision. Shortly after our trip, I gave in my two weeks notice as we had finally narrowed it down and together decided to move back to the Northeast. He’ll attend school and I’ll pursue my career. At long last we had a clue!
Fast forward to three months ago…
Beginning of June rolls around. We are to move before the end of the month. The game plan was simple: find a reasonably priced apartment with a max 40-mile radius from Mr. Chap’s future school. Two weeks before the big move, I fly in one of my best friends and we embark on the 18+ hour drive. I left Kansas on a Sunday night and arrived to my parent’s house in Pennsylvania at around 1 PM on a Tuesday. After some much needed rest, I immediately began the apartment hunt.
Quickly I learned that finding an apartment would be difficult. However, I did not lose hope that I would secure the perfect place to call home. I’ll admit I did get worried throughout the hunt, but by some miracle I signed our lease exactly one week after my arrival. And, it was truly a miracle. I found our apartment on hotpads.com, a site that I had never heard of before and somehow never showed up on my Google searches. The listing had been posted for only 20 minutes when I found it and I quickly contacted the realtor. She called me 5 minutes after I reached out and everything else happened just as fast! I toured the apartment that same day and met with the landlords. Before I knew it, I had the keys and all that was left was my better half and our stuff.
Now, about the madness before Move-In Day…
I’m sure most of you know how much of a headache moving can be, but insert the military into the mix and you’ve got yourself a week’s worth of migraines. We had planned to have the Army move us, meaning they would pack, ship, and unpack everything for us. It would have made life a lot easier, but nothing related to military life is ever ever easy. EVER! So, of course moving would not be an exception.
Not even a day after I left Kansas, my husband calls me to let me know that the Army would not be moving us as planned. I should’ve freaked out, but I think I had subconsciously prepared myself for something to go wrong. Still, I got upset because this meant my husband would have to pack and clean the entire house by himself (nothing was packed because you know the Army was supposed to do it). Plus, we’d spend a lot out-of-pocket and have to wait for the Army to reimburse us (we still haven’t gotten that yet, but patience is a virtue so we’ll wait).
This move has been an eye-opening experience to say the least. I’ve never felt more “adult” than I did throughout the process. Thank you to all those who’ve helped in some way to get us from point A to B. I don’t know how long we’ll be at our current location, but I plan on enjoying every bit of life in our new home. Stay tuned for an apartment tour and other fun posts I have planned!