Final Overseas Update: Part 5

This will be our last update, because as I type this we are sitting in a Firestone waiting room (free wifi yay!!!) to do some last minute car check up before we send it over to meet us in Germany and then we are off to the airport. We are currently looking forward to a flight just for the simple reason- we get to sleep. Right now we are literally running on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and three hours of sleep. Yet, our lack of sleep has not been able to catch us up on everything we need to do.

This PCS has really tested us, last minute trips, last minute car tune ups, last minute problems galore. Everything that could’ve gone wrong and delay us has happened. So, at this point I am confident that we will come out of this smarter for the next move.

I can’t speak for Kyle, but I have a whirlwind of emotions. I couldn’t sleep last night because I’ve been putting off a panic attack for as long as humanly possible but, it was inevitable. I should’ve been put on anxiety meds just to deal with this move. Aside from that, I feel kind of scared. People ask all the time, ask all sorts of questions: “where?” “when?” “how long?” ect. but the new one I’ve gotten a lot of lately “are you scared?” or the even more carefully and persuasive phrase “aren’t you scared?” is it too brass to say “well, I wasn’t until you mentioned it”? Well, nevertheless I don’t respond to people like that, my momma raised me better. At first I couldn’t help but think “scared of what?” the terrorists? the distance? just plain scared of not being in my comfort zone? I can honestly say I didn’t feel scared until maybe this last week of planning. The reasons I’m scared haven’t fell into those categories though. Im scared our stuff will be stolen, arrive broken or go missing. I feel scared that I don’t know my way around because I hate feeling lost and I only just recently got the hang of driving in Texas. Im hesitant on making new friends, finding new places to shop and hang out. I’m not looking forward to being even further from friends and family. This whole experience has been eye opening.

You don’t realize how comfortable you get being in the same routine. In a way I couldn’t be happier to mix things up. But, I will rest much easier when we have a place to live, our stuff arrives and most importantly to me: our pup arrives!

 

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Overseas Update: Part 4

This has by far been the most stressful month of my life thus far. I have peaked the acne and loss of sleep phase and made it all the way to the physically ill phase of stress and could be potentially on my way to the pull your hair out phase, but I REALLY like my hair so I’m trying to keep my sanity or whats left of it at this point.

Since my last post, we have come to some serious decisions in the dog department. Overall, we had to make plans for every circumstance regarding them. We made a total of three plans and bounced between them every other day, because wouldn’t you know something new would come up.

EVERYTHING ELSE:

Our date for departure has been pushed back but we still managed to schedule or reschedule rather our movers and packers, our plane tickets, and plan a trip to Arizona (long story continued below).

DOGS:

After finding that so many airlines don’t allow bulldogs, and by so many I mean all of them have an embargo except for one german airline, I decided to do my own research. I figured that they would put an embargo unless they have a good reason. It is hard to find the actual numbers because airlines don’t like to draw attention  to the number of animal deaths on their planes, I can’t imagine it would entice anyone to fly with them, but I read numerous articles from various publishers and various statistics and it doesn’t look good. Over half of all dog deaths were of the brachycephaly breeds, mostly bulldogs. The airlines almost all said the dogs died of underlying conditions worsened by the stress of flying, but c’mon.

Biscotti is about to be three, but what concerns me is he’ll be seven when our time in Germany will presumably over. Bulldogs life spans are 9-13 years, so on our way home he’ll sadly be considered elderly. I have an okay feeling about getting him there but as he gets older it just gets riskier. I would never forgive myself if something happened to him. Not to be dramatic but he IS the closest thing to a child I have at the moment.

So, Kyle and I have to be rational. Someone did put it to me this way: “He is like your chid and being a parent is full of making hard choices.” I guess thats when it came into perspective for me. I’m his dog-mom and I have to put his well being before my own. Now is certainly not a time to put my selfish needs of needing him before his need of being alive.

We cuddle all the time, go on walks, play, spend most of our days together. He’s a huge part of our lives and we could never leave him all together, “rehoming” him isn’t something either of us want or feel comfortable with. Putting him on a plane, a known flight risk, with a chance of death, doesn’t make me comfortable either.

We have come up with an alternative. My parents, god bless their souls, have decided to help us in an alternative way.

Biscotti will be going to live with them for the next four years. It isn’t my favorite idea because ideally I want my baby WITH me and I DONT want to miss his best years. But, he does know them and their house (they have a yard he loves) and he’ll most importantly be safe. We still want established that he is still our dog and we will still be financially taking care of his food, shots and whatever else he needs.

After, this alternative solution I have finally gotten my appetite back. Knowing he is safe and loved takes some of this stress off my shoulders.

Even though, we got him figured out we still had to make decisions about Kona Berry.

At first, we thought all thirteen pounds of her would sit well in coach with us. But, that would be easy and my life has been nothing but since we found out we were moving.

Turns out my little terrier got screwed over by her long legs. Depending on the airline she is either 3-5.5 inches too tall to fit under the seat. She would fly in cargo except Texas is a land of eternal summer and it is too hot for her to fly already. So, she will be spending the summer with Biscotti at grandmas aka my parents house. Only until it is below 80 degrees, then she will be joining us in Germany.

I’ve started to stress less and am trying to just be grateful for my parents, which I am. It’s just easy to forget your blessings when your focused on everything thats going wrong, which it just feels like it has been.

I’m not taking it easy though, last month when I was in AZ for only two weeks, I had nightmares that my dogs forgot who I was or something happened to them. FOR TWO WEEKS I was gone and had these nightmares, I can only imagine what mess will become of me when I’m without them for months and years.

TIPS:

Something I hadn’t fully taken into consideration when getting a dog or any pet is the laws and conditions that come with it. I knew we couldn’t have an “aggressive” breed because our apartments made us aware of it, but I did not know that certain country don’t allow certain breeds, so if you or your spouse have a job with the chance of moving around look into all the possibilities so you don’t have to rehome them if the possibility arises. Also look into things like what breeds can fly, I never though anything of this but there is a list of embargoed pets, if thats an eventuality or something that could affect you. Not to say that this really could’ve kept me from getting Biscotti because a possibility is far from reality. We are going to Germany but we could’ve just as easily been transferred to Timbuktu and it wouldn’t have made a hell of a difference and I would’ve never gotten to know him.

 

Overseas Update: Part 3

Many firsts and lasts in April, you could say its a pretty big month for us. My first legal drink, our last month in our first apartment. Our first trip to the Southeast coast, our last month in the U.S. Our first PCS, our last chance to take in Texas. Our first time seeing another country… you get the point.

I’m so overwhelmed. Just as I was about to get my sh** together and started feeling comfortable about the whole move, we find out that our bulldog is hard to ship overseas then we first imagine. I found a good and well reputed airline, known for their safety and care of animals. So, I’m starting to feel confident when more research and previously overlooked (by me) information comes to light- these airlines don’t allow brachycephalic dogs.

Brachycephalic means short headed, nearly as broad from side to side a it is from front to back. If you google image this term associated with dogs, I guarantee you’ll see an array of pugs and majorilly bulldogs of all descendants.

Come to find out, no american owned airlines that also flies to Germany allow these snubbed nosed dogs and lucky for me the military only pays american owned airlines to transport US service members. I hope you could read my sarcasm loud and clear. So, we are in quite the conundrum. I can’t even begin to describe the anxiety I feel.

Biscotti Hilo is a huge part of our family and theres no part of me that thinks we could leave him behind. So, I’m spending countless hours researching and calling people to find a solution. My problem is even if I find a solution to getting him on the plane he could still die in transport which also doesn’t sit well with me. He is healthy, he’s almost completely muscle, eats healthier food then I do and has no issues whatsoever. That makes me confident that he would do fine but I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened to my almost three year old pup.

This post was supposed to be a happy one because besides all that, I actually had/have good news. We got my VISA approved and got both our passports in the mail. We’ve scheduled the movers. My dad gave me a couple new suitcases and I received some cute cases to hide my valuables in. I’ve organized all my closets with the help of my mom and brother which makes moving a little easier.

Also, we are all set to take our trip to Florida for my 21st birthday. But, I will admit that I find the idea of relaxing a little awful when I can’t sleep right now at the thought of not knowing how everything with Biscotti is going to pan out. We are going to the office on base first thing Monday to see what they can tell us.

 

Overseas Update: Part 2

The look on my face when Kyle tells me we got our orders!!! WHAT?!?!?IMG_7756

No, seriously though. We have long awaited this moment and we finally have what we need to set everything into motion we are SO close to leaving Texas!

Since the last time I updated everyone a few new things have come to light, my mom and brother are coming to San Antonio for their spring break! Yay! Then, I will be traveling back to Arizona with them! EEK! I can’t wait to see all my friends and family one more time before going overseas for four years. The only time I *know* (know in the way my heart is set on it, not in the way most people like to know or be sure of something) I will be back in the states is for when my little brother graduates high school, because I feel I’ve already missed out on enough just not being in the same state or town but that is still two years away. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see everyone! As much as Kyle wants to see everyone, he won’t be able to come back with me, this will be the longest we’ve been apart since we were married nearly three years ago.

Today we are going to finish everything up for our leisure passports because we have so much traveling to do. The dogs have secondary appointments this week to get their rounds of vaccinations.

Then, we will just need to make appointments with TMO to pack our things, ship our car, and schedule us and the dogs plane trips. We’ll need to go to the finance office to change our BAH to OHA for the German allowance. We also have to cancel our lease pretty soon. Thats all I think is left to do! Its still a sizable amount though.

 

 

 

Overseas Update

As I may have reiterated before, we will soon be moving to Germany. Which has had its own set of stressful check lists. So far, we have had a number of things to do just to get the magical orders that are basically a ticket you have to show to schedule things and cancel leases ect.

One thing that has been the most stressful is getting our dogs ready to go overseas. They are our family as much as a child would be so making sure we do everything right to get them over there is priority number one. We took them to get a fifteen digit microchip, which didn’t go over well for Biscotti. If you are of a light stomach you probably shouldn’t keep reading. He was so terrified of the vet he actually released his anal sacs all over the vet tech. Which wasn’t funny at the time but looking back at it, his funny wrinkly face with his ear pushed back, the disapproving look we got from the tech whose pants would now perpetually stink of rotten tuna fish sandwiches, it is all kind of funny now. Now that its done, we will follow up in 28 days with a round of vaccines, most importantly rabies vaccine. Then, we need a certified stamp and health certificate saying they’re okay to travel, all with in 10 days before we are set to fly out. All of that is for not if the temperature for either the departure city or the arrival city is over 85 degrees. Its crazy stressful to think that we could do everything right and it could all be for nothing if mother nature is feeling hot that day.

IMG_00396

On a happy note, I have been medically cleared. I didn’t think there would’ve been any reason to not clear me but after the meeting I had to go to in a sub zero conference room with doctors who I have found to give me what they call “white coat syndrome” even though the military doctors don’t wear white coats at all, they give me the worst anxiety and highest blood pressure, for no reasonable explanation, I just had some serious doubts.

Lastly, before we can get orders, Kyle has to pass a German drivers course. I will have to pass it too if I want to drive in Germany; which of course I do. But, only he has to pass for us to start the transition to move over there.

Besides that we still have a handful of things to do, send our car over, schedule movers, get leisure passports, learn German, buy the dogs kennels, you get the idea.

 

 

 

Overseas Anxiety

As excited as we are to be moving overseas, we are as equally over whelmed. Sounds easy enough, pack up all your belongings into cardboard boxes put them in an even bigger box, get on a plane and viola! You have successfully moved! I wish!

**countdown isnt exact**

The more you read, the more you know and in my case the more anxiety will grow. It’s the little things you don’t think of right away like foreign car insurance, overseas drivers license, international phone service, shipping our cars and dogs, the newest epiphany being that our appliances won’t necessarily work over there, that overwhelm me. I’m already stressing on how I’m going to learn German as quickly as I can (unfortunately for me, I took Spanish in high school), get medically cleared to move, get passports and map out everywhere we want to explore. Not that most of those things should be stressful but I just feel like I have so much on my plate. Which is definitely exciting in a way but until we are there I feel like there’s just going to be a weight on my shoulders.

In the midst of all that I’m sad to say I need to find a new school. Which is just another thing I didn’t want to worry about right now.

I can’t begin to process it all. We found out with about six or so months to prepare and it seemed like enough time, I remember wishing we could leave the next day. Now I almost want more time, even though I would still stress out just as much. Anyone want to help me fill out paperwork?

*at least i have cute passport covers*

 

Post-Thanksgiving Thankfulness

I hope everyone had a blessed and amazing thanksgiving day, I just wanted to take some time to write what my family is thankful for. About a week before turkey day as we were packing our things to head back to the Grand Canyon state for the holiday, my husband received an email on his phone while eating dinner. My friend Alex was helping me pack and by that I mean we were drinking wine and watching pretty little liars when Kyle came racing out to us and handed me his phone. I read the first line and all but jumped with joy like a reflex. We got orders! In the military it’s called a “PCS” permanate change of station which means we are moving! I cannot even begin to describe how great of news this is to us! God bless San Antonio but it is really, really not the place for us and I could go on and on with the pros and cons of the lone star state with you but I won’t. I really don’t mean any disrespect but let me just say, we are excited! Now at first we did not know where we were going to. The email was very vague. So, since we were leaving before Kyle was due back at work, he put on his slippers and went to work to find out and do the basic processing and I don’t know what else. Now at this point Alex is already crying. Alex, if your reading this I’m sorry but it’s like the best part of the story. She fills up her wine glass to the top and just starts saying how I can’t leave her, she’ll miss me so much ect. We wait for what seems like forever before Kyle comes in. I can see right away that he is happy but trying to hide it. Being the mean person he is he try’s to bluff but his poker face is not quite up to par with my ability to see right through him, in the most endearing way possible, of course. He hands me the paper and I’m freaking out, “where do I look? What am I supposed to read?” He points and I immediately jump into his arms, Alex simultaneously punched him and Kyle and I fall back into the refrigerator together. So happy that we didn’t even think about how much it hurt. Germany. The paper said Germany. We would be starting our new life together in the late spring of 2016. Might I add, that’s when my birthday is.¬†Alex is very unhappy with this news and about six wine glasses later she is crying of course and telling me how happy she is for us and how deserving we are but also how she isn’t ready for this and how we needed more time together and some of the most off the wall things I didn’t see coming, my personal favorite being:

We took the holiday to tell everyone we possibly could tell in person, mostly our parents and grandparents and other extended family. We should’ve maybe led with that we were moving and not the vague “we have big news, please meet up with us” because everyone and I mean EVERYONE thought I was pregnant. Which will be big news some day but not at this moment. At least, I know when I tell them how they’ll react because mostly everyone was disappointed when I said I wasn’t.