We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

A few nights ago I dreamt that I was about to be swept up by a tornado. Call me superstitious but I deeply believe dreams are a bridge between the past, present, and future. When a dream is as dramatic and memorable as the tornado one, I look up what it could potentially mean. One meaning I found is that dreams of tornados represent rapid or sudden change. As it turns out the dream could not be more relevant to my real life, and not just because I’ve been through some actual tornado storms — gotta love Kansas!

Allow me to update you on the crazy whirlwind of bittersweet change I’ve experienced lately. Pour yourself a cup of tea because this is a long one.

Change #1:ย I quit my job. This was more sweet than bitter since my job was really taking a toll on me. My days consisted of more work than play. I was thinking about work even in my sleep. The moment I handed in my resignation letter I felt a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. I quit because of the other changes you’ll read below, but I’m sure I eventually would’ve quit regardless. I don’t have another full time job lined up, but still I am at ease. I am hoping to find something I love to do, so that it doesn’t feel like work at all. Wish me luck on the job hunt!

Change #2: The title already gave it away, but I’ll repeat…Casita Chaparro is not in Kansas anymore! We’ve moved to…ย *drum roll please*… New Jersey. Moving, especially halfway across the country, was nightmarish. We endured many headaches, literally and figuratively. The funny/crazy thing is that while we knew we were going to move we had no idea where we were headed. I drove from Kansas to Pennsylvania two weeks before my husband would make the same journey with all of our belongings. I managed to find us a reasonably-priced-for-the-area place to live in less than two weeks! I’ll tell you more about the specifics and logistics of our move another time. Although, I’m sure you’re wondering why we moved and why in the world did we pick New Jersey?! Read on.

Change #3: I am no longer an Army wife. Mr. Chaparro has decided to separate from the military and pursue a different career path. Though I was getting used to the lifestyle, I’ve always called myself a fake army wife because I was not the stereotypical kind of army wife. Part of me wishes he would have stayed in a little longer because I would have loved to move to a different duty station and meet more interesting people, but I support his decision and am excited for life as a normal married couple.

Change #4: We live 20 minutes outside of the Big Apple (Manhattan, NY) as opposed to 30 minutes outside of the Little Apple (Manhattan, KS). While living close to the city is a major plus, it was not the reason we moved to North Jersey. ย We moved so that my husband could go to school and to be closer to our family. Living back on the East Coast is definitely a welcomed change of scenery, especially since it’s the cure to my homesickness.

Change #5: Our dog Skittles will not live with us. Skittles won’t be living with us because he’s not permitted to live with us. We rented the second floor of a multi-family home and our landlords don’t allow dogs. We could have chosen to live in an apartment complex and pay a monthly pet fee (something we didn’t pay in our Kansas home) in addition to our rent and utilities, but we are getting a lot of bang for our buck with our new place. The pros of our new home greatly outweighed the hefty con of parting with Skittles. Luckily for us, my parents have, with lots of convincing, agreed to take our beloved pup. We may not be able to see him everyday, but at least we’ll know where he’ll be and can rest assured he’ll be safe and sound and loved.

There you have all of the major changes in my life. It’s surreal to think that just a few short weeks ago I was living in a different timezone. I had such a hard time adjusting to life in the Midwest, but I am grateful for the experience. Stay tuned for more details on the big move and a little glimpse of Casita Chaparro 2.0.





More about Leyka Chaparro

I'm a twenty-something Army wife who enjoys a good love story, unique adventures, and a soothing cup of hot tea. Catch up with me on Instagram @lalalaleyka!


  1. Reply

    Hey girl! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I love yours so I am bookmarking for sure. You are indeed going through lots of change. We all are. It can be so burdensome but all you gotta do is just smile and breathe and you’ll get through it. I am going through a lot of crap and sometimes I just want to give up but I’m reminded don’t. Finish the race and it will all work out. Change is good…it always makes for great progress….into something greater. Best of luck with everything! – Chiara

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