Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Move Over and Around

Tommy and I went and submitted all our paperwork to the PSD (Personal Services Department - actually, I'm not sure that that is exactly what PSD stands for, but in my head it does. Meh, moving along.) to make sure we get all our allowances and our plane tickets yesterday. We asked for, and should be leaving on December 11th. There didn't appear to be any reason why they would delay us, so cross your fingers.

We also asked a few questions regarding WHEN we would be receiving our allowances, and losing our COLA (Cost of Living Abroad - a big allowance the military gives us for living, well, abroad. I'll be sad to lose that one!) Now we have all the info, we feel good and we feel prepared.

Tommy got a hold of his new Command, on the phone, the other night. (He couldn't sleep, poor guy. Not a problem I ever have! So, I can't really relate...) He found out our sponsor's name, and shot him through an email yesterday. We can also be expecting a "Welcome Aboard" package, with lots of helpful information, in the mail. He did forget to ask what job he'd be doing once we got to Virginia, though. (Whether he'd be in Sick Call (Basically military members walk in with their ailments...) Immunisations, Admin, Records, etc...) He did ask his sponsor in the email, so now it's a wait game. Hopefully he can come up with the goods.

Stood on the scales yesterday - I have lost even more weight. My new, size smaller clothes are now starting to sag and bag. I'm loving the weight loss (I am eating healthily (Mmm, salads!) going on daily walks, with Wesley and breast feeding for those who are curious as to how it's falling off...) but am hating my clothes getting too big and needing to buy new ones. I think I'll wait until my weight stabilises a little before I go on a shopping spree. (Though, as I've said before - I will need to buy some winter woolies once we get to the States!)

Tommy had his PRT (Physical Readiness Test) today. He passed as expected, and now he is "free" for another 6 months. (Though, never really free. He is in the Navy, after all.) He also gave me some good news, Navy-related, yesterday. But, I think I'll let him tell you all. Just know it's really wonderful and I'm super-duper proud of him!

I am wondering how my Close To My Heart business will go once we move, too. It's fairly quiet, but steady here in Okinawa. I maintain enough sales to earn myself some free product, and stay over the "minimum sales requirements" set by CTMH to keep my discount from disappearing. I will admit that since Wesley came along I don't have the time, nor the inclination to be running monthly workshops, or pushing my business the way I once was. Maybe I'll just sell to myself once we move? Who knows.

I would like to get a job once we move, too. I am a little over not working. Tommy and I have been talking about it a lot. We agree that we don't want me to work full time. I want to stay home with Wesley, and Tommy wants me to, too. Plus, I have no desire to work just to pay for child care, which with minimum wages in the US, I probably wouldn't be left with much after paying child care. And another factor is losing time with Tommy, and time as a family. So we're thinking just 1-2 nights a week, maybe waitressing, or working in a department store? Just something to restore my sanity and get me out of the house and conversing with adults. I guess it's something else we'll see when the time comes.

Okay, enough for today, though if I think of anything else, I'll come back and add it in. I'm going to go and do a little housework while my little monster naps (at the same time, in his crib, for the second day in a row. Can I get a "Go Erin!" here please? I won't deny I'm proud of myself. Next task, increase it to TWO naps, at the same time, in his crib, everyday. LOL.)

Few Photos from our walk yesterday:

Dear Military Spouse...

Dear Military Spouses,

Congratulations! You found a good man and have married them or are actively pursuing a wedding. We're so happy for you.

We regret to inform you that, your future as military wife, you will have to undergo a severe hazing. Unfortunately, by the time you're well immersed, it may be too late to change your mind. The military is not a bowl of peaches and cherries. As Erma Bombeck famously asked once, "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?" You will come to understand this in time.

Here, compiled for your convenience, is a list of things that will not please you, and strong advice on how to deal. It is separated into sections: Military Life, Money, Deployment, and Family. It is both funny and serious, trivial and deep, every day and extreme, but most of all, it is honest.

Military Life (In General)

1. Troops don't work 9-5, Monday to Friday only.

2. One day they could be working days, the next, nights.

3. Don't bother planning a vacation. Leave-chits can and probably will be denied, depending on what kind of mood their superiors are in that day.

4. If you DO get leave approved and plan a vacation, you can rest assured that at the worst possible time, you and your husband will be pulled aside and checked in airport security, because his dress uniform (WITH metal belt buckle and nameplate) will set off the alarms. Supposedly they're not supposed to be allowed to check military members in uniform. Someone tell them that.

4. The bathroom will now and forever be referred to as "The Head". Hats will always been known as "Covers." Yes, you will call them that, too.
5. You will be dumped into a totally new town where the neighbors will be crazy, no one will know how to drive, the radio stations will suck, and you'll spend a good part of your first month trying to figure out the cheapest place to buy food... and a stiff drink.

6. His friends will not only be your friends, but if you get married and move him out of the barracks/dorms, you can probably expect one or 6 of his friends to move in too.

7. You now have to main the yard to government standards - even if the rest of the grass on base is 2 foot tall.

8. Civilians, take note. He DOES work when not on deployment. He doesn't just sit around in my living room eating bon bons and watching soap operas.
(Oh wait – or is that me because I'm a stay-at-home-mum?)

9. Stereotypes. People will assume he's cheating on you, he cusses, and he will have a tattoo. They might be right. There's a reason for the stereotypes. This is an issue that requires you TRUST him.

10. CLASSIFIED means SECRET, which means he is not ALLOWED to tell you. It's not a choice. This is another issue that requires your TRUST. It also means you need to KNOW the rules.

11. You will have to deal sometimes with higher ups who think their poop doesn't stink, and that your husband's petty, trivial inconveniences (you know, his wife is 35 weeks pregnant and can't get a doctor's appointment) don't matter.

12. Also, wives who wear their husbands' rank (this is NOT always, or even often, in some cases, officers' wives. They are human too. Most of them are wonderful people. Some of them wear their husbands' ranks, but so do some enlisted wives).

13. Free medical care: Otherwise known as waiting to take care of it until you get to a base/post with a decent hospital/medical system that accepts Tricare, so you can go back and forth between the military clinic and/or Tricare over whether it's covered or not, then go back for referrals, prescriptions, etc.

14. Just because a ship's doc is called, "doc" doesn't mean he'll give the same attention and care as a doctor in the civilian world. Chances are, he won't give much notice at all and will slap your hubby's back and tell him to take some ibuprofen and let him know how it is in a week.
Then, when your hubby goes back the week later, he'll tell him it's the same thing and give him more ibuprofen!

15. Another pseudo-perk: 24 hour maintenance doesn't always mean 24 hours. Most of the time it's, 'Turn off the main valve for your water and we'll have someone there between 8am and 4 pm tomorrow', which could very well turn into next week.

16. Forget everything the recruiter told you. Their job is NOT to make happy marriages.

17. You will get screwed again and again…and again. It's par for the course. Don't worry, you're not special. It's like a code.

18. To that effect, do not be surprised if you get so stressed you begin to hear Mimes. In fact, you may just answer the questions going through THEIR heads.

Onward and upwards:


1. The BX (Aka: PX, NEX) will probably rob you, price wise. We suggest the commissary for food and batteries and basic needs. The BX does, however, price match (to downtown stores, not the commissary), and you don't pay tax. Woot.

2. Be prepared to have your pay messed up or delayed for no reason at all.

3. If the military gives you too much money, it will be ripped out of his account faster and harder than a Brazilian wax in bikini season. If they underpay him, that money will slowly trickle into his account...sometime over the next six months to three years. And if you don't catch it, don't expect to ever see it again.

4. Companies may hesitate to hire you, because they know you'll move.

5. Likewise, the military doesn't care if you're halfway through college and no credits transfer. He will move when they tell him to.

6. When you do move, most likely you'll be in Podunkville USA and air travel will be twice as expensive, or you'll be in Touristville USA and living costs will be twice as expensive. God help you if you want to see your stateside family while he's stationed overseas.

That wasn't so hard.


1. To begin with: Your husband has signed up for a chance at death. I'm sorry. Some of us like to ignore this. Some like to be prepared. Some still haven't found a way to deal. All are normal.

2. Six month deployments are rarely six months.

3. Acquaint yourself with your computer….fast. It may be your best friend.

4. If you hear a schedule more than a few days before it happens, most likely it will be:
A.) Longer,
B.) Longer, or
C.) Longer than you anticipated.

5. If you don't have kids, you will more than likely end up with a dog or cat.

6. Get a dog. They don't talk back, and can't drive for you, but they keep you warm at night, still make messes, require you to wake up at a decent hour in the morning and go to bed at a decent hour of the night. Plus you have to keep them fed and watered, so to sum it up, dogs keep you from going into the, "He's gone; I don't have a reason to live" fog.

7. Tylenol PM and a journal might become your best friends during deployment! Chances are a bottle of wine and a bubble bath will accompany them both. Don't be surprised when you are doing normal things around the house and 15 minutes later you realize that you have not done them yet because you were stuck in a daydream about what it would be like if he were here right now.

8. You start missing little things like yelling at him for not taking the trash out, leaving his empty beer bottles in the living room for the dog to lick, or his socks on the stairs because he starting undressing, walking up the stairs.

9. Dinner may just become pickles and dry cereal when he's not home, because you don't have to cook for anyone. Burger King (or the restaurants on post) will be one of the things you're happiest to see, but over time will become your greatest foe. You may even hiss a little when you pass them downtown, because you've spent so many lonely 8am's in the parking lot waiting for them to open, so you have someone to talk to.

10. When he comes home from a deployment, be prepared for both of you to look different. Your hair will most likely have a new style, length, and/or color, and you'll pray that he likes it. He will have gained or lost weight, and have much shorter hair than your liking. He may come back with a new tattoo and/or scars. You may have either gained weight from nervous/bored eating, or lost weight because you had no appetite while he was gone. Despite all that, you'll buy a fabulous new dress to greet him in, which you will only get to wear for no longer than the 30 minutes it takes to drive home.

11. Don't be offended when he doesn't notice the new blanket on the back of the couch, the new paint in the bedroom, the new shower curtain, dishes, table, desk, appliance. Or the new flowers, comforter, lamp… Basically, more than likely all he wants to look at are you, the tv, and the backs of his eyelids.

12. He might come home from deployment and not want to be "Daddy" right away. Or "Husband" He will be happy to be home, reveling in all that is "safe" and "normal". In the time he was gone you learned to do what you used to need him for. It might be hard giving those duties back to him. Don't be surprised if he doesn't want to take them back right away. Your best bet is to talk to him. Let him play with the kids, or not, for a few days. Remember, if he was gone one month or 15, you and the children may not be the exact people he remembered. Find wives on base who have been there.

13. Also, don't be offended if your Troop asks for Macaroni and Cheese over the gourmet meal you have prepared. He's been used to eating runny eggs, undercooked bacon, moldy charbroiled toast, and a meaty substance known as meatloaf that is .05% meat and 99.95% You Don't Want to Know. Macaroni and cheese is simple, tastes good, and can get the job done. It's also only 50 cents a box at the commissary and can get you through those months that you are missing $500 out of your check and only have $50 after bills to put gas in the car and get groceries.

14. Something to think about: When he is deployed, if it is possible, he will very likely relax by playing video games. They aren't real, and that means they can take him far, far away from real, and that's the most comforting thought he can get sometimes in a wartime situation. This may lead to an addiction. Our advice: try to help him keep it in moderation, but understand that this helps him. It's fun for him. It keeps him young. Take up a hobby, go out with friends, sit in the room and read while he plays. Try the game. You might like it.

And finally:


1. You are not first in your marriage. As long as he's active duty, you never will be. The military does not care if it is your anniversary. If there is a terrorist attack, pending deployment, or they just plumb feel like calling him in to work, he will go. The other option is jail time. You pick.

2. Your husband will not keep every promise he ever made. In fact, between the military and his given gender, you'll be lucky if he keeps two. As long as he keeps the basic, "Promise to love, cherish, and be faithful" you're in good standing. The rest will have to be hashed out, fought over, and bitched about to girlfriends.

3. This is one a lot of people don't understand. As the spouse you become the person who gets the news. Most of the time, he will call you, write you, e-mail you first. God forbid he dies, because you will be the one to find out. This leaves you in a very poor situation, as someone (often, but definitely not always, his mother - especially in my case. I love Sherry!) will be jealous that they are not receiving every call made out of the war zone, school, or basic training. This can lead to verbal/physical/mental feuds between you and his family. If you are lucky, most of his family (ESPECIALLY any prior military members) will understand and leave you alone.

4. In regards to this, it will also be your fault, should you marry him, if he does not call home.

5. Over time, the number of deployments you and your husband have been through will greatly outnumber the number of anniversaries you two have actually spent together in the same town, let alone state or country.

6. You will remember the year your son was born, but you'll fight over what base you were at, in what state or country.

7. Never assume your husband is going to get his ten day TDY [or time off of work for ANYTHING]. You may just get stuck doing all the legwork finding a place to live yourself because you're number 213 on the base housing list and they are not concerned with helping you find a place off post. When he's promised his days and they never come, you're steady out on your own running up the miles on your car in a town you know nothing about. But, as they say, when you assume, you make an ass out of "u", and me.

8. You will NOT see your family as often as you want to. You will most likely not be stationed near home. (Definitely not, in my case!) Your siblings will suddenly possess time machines and constantly step too far into the future for your liking. Invest in a good phone plan, and webcam. It helps.

9. The most heartbreaking thing I've had so far - you will have to choose between your job (or lack of money) and your grandma's funeral. Or weddings. Or baptisms. Or family reunions. We are sincerely sorry. We can almost guarantee this will bring you to your knees more than once. On the same note, it is not extremely uncommon to hear of women who delivered, raised, and/or lost babies while their DHs were deployed/TDY.

10. Expect that during his career in the military, more often than not, you will be both Mummy and Daddy at home. You will take care of your kids, giving them all of the love you can and emphasizing the honorable role of their Daddy. You wait (sometimes not so patiently) for him to come home and embrace him, giving him back his Daddy "role". This is especially prevalent if you have very small children for they will "know" Daddy but as you look forward to homecoming day, your children will be looking at you to wipe your eyes, stand up and brush it off and continue on being the amazing wife and mother the military sometimes forgets to acknowledge.

The biggest advice: Surround yourself with positive influences. Stay away from negative, gossiping women, of which there are lots.

It's too easy in the military to drink underage, party, etc. It's also very easy to doubt your husband when he is away. This is harder for National Guard wives, who don't have a post nearby to run to. Still, find stories of marriages that did last. Through many deployments. Find people whose husbands broke up with them because they thought it would be too hard, and got back together. Be nice to veterans. If all goes as planned, you might be one of those someday. A lot of vets are still married to their high school sweethearts. Get to know their stories, if you can. You'll be amazed.

As one husband once said, and every military wife can tell you: "While life apart is miserable, life alone is death."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home from work

Señor Tortuga here. Home from work, taking care of Wes, figuring out what to do while the wifey does her thing. I suppose I can do my likes and dislikes too, no? Here goes.


  • Chelsea FC and Chelsea FC related items
  • My wife
  • Our son
  • Good music (ask me and I can give you a couple artists other wise it would just end up a blog on here)
  • Crayfish/Crawfish/Crawdads - Wiki def for those who don't know.
  • Coca-Cola
  • Soccer in any form.
  • My job
  • The internet
  • Manchester United (Especially C.Ronaldo)
  • Ignorant people (especially when it comes to politics)
  • People who don't use their turn indicator
  • People who say "Don't worry, his hair will fall out."
  • Guilt trips
  • Emo kids (the only thing they should be allowed to cut is my lawn!)
  • Racists
  • Lag (gamers will understand)
Short list of dislikes...too hard to thing about all of the things that bother me and stay in a good mood. Think happy thoughts and you will be happy...or something like that. I think my mother once had a mug that read, "I think, therefore I am." And yes, it did read at a 6th grade level which is quite impressive for mugs.

As said before, we are going to be moving soon. I know I'm excited about it! New car, new home, new job. Almost like getting a new life, eh? Should be fun! Well, that's all from me for now. Adios!

~Señor Tortuga

The Blessed Nap and Election Day

I guess I'll start a little differently today.
A little about me. I'm realising with motherhood, you change a lot. Your views on life, as well as your personality.
This is all about the "new and improved" Erin.


* Coca-cola.
* Shopping online.
* Coupons, Sales and FREE things
* Scrapbooking
* Walking (Uh, Erin Who?)
* Eating out
* Sending and receiving packages in the mail
* Unscented deodorant
* Slobbery baby kisses
* Clean sheets
* Laptops
* Writing budgets and balancing bank books. (Huh?)
* Three quarter sleeved shirts, preferably with a collar
* Television series on DVD
* Spinach and artichoke dip
* Empty clothes hamper and dishwasher


* Full clothes hamper and dishwasher
* Piles of papers/magazines/crap on the dining room table
* Piles of papers/magazines/crap anywhere
* Okay fine, CLUTTER.
* Gossiping Military Wives. The other kind are fine.
* Okinawan Tap Water - it taste funky.
* Having to buy bottled water.
* Shower curtains
* Fly away, frizzy hair
* Paying full price or for shipping when shopping online.
* Having no emails
* Blurry photos
* Biting own finger nails...... but can't help it.
* Jalapenos
* When mail doesn't arrive when it is suppose to
* Racists

That said and done, allow me to talk about something else.
I'm not doing so well at this "Making Wesley nap in his crib, during the day" thing.
I am trying - but am not succeeding.

Yesterday I put him down, and he fell asleep at about 11:15am. I was so excited and so proud. 10 minutes later, my building Fire Alarm goes off - there is a Fire Drill. Needless to say, poor Wesley freaks out, and then is wide awake after that because he thinks "I've been asleep. I feel refreshed. Time to play!"
I finally got him down in his crib again at 2pm. 30 minutes later, the Fire Alarm goes off a second time... But ONLY on the 9th floor. Where we live. I am less than impressed that two naps got disturbed, and that I've had to traipse down nine flights of stairs twice in one day. I put Wes in the sling for the second trip down, and he fell asleep. I left him there, and he ended up sleeping for about two hours until Tommy got home!

Today - I put him down and he slept for only 15 minutes. I am not sure why - but he was unhappy when he woke up, and refused to be soothed back to sleep. And not long after that, it was time for our daily walk anyway, so I changed him, fed him, and bundled him into the pram (stroller) and off we went. He slept the entire time! (Of course he was tired, he only napped for 15 minutes!)

He then decided to whine at me for a little while, once I got to Tommy's work (I always walk for a while, and end up at his work so we can eat lunch together) and then he screamed about being put in car seat (which he can scream all he likes about, he's going in it, as long as the car is in motion!) so I put him in the sling to eat lunch. It calms him down a lot, and it leaves me (or Tommy - whoever is wearing him) both hands free. Well, he fell asleep. And as my Mum says, "Never wake a sleeping baby." That was 2 1/2 hours ago.

November 4th is creeping up on us, Election Day! And, as a family, we've made no secret of the fact that we support and that Tommy voted for and Barrack Obama. We both feel (though, only Tommy can vote, obviously!) that he is the change that America (and the world!) needs, very much. He represents our beliefs and is refreshing in terms of politics. We understand that a lot of people will not and do not agree with us. That's okay - but hopefully Obama gets elected, anyway, LOL! Tommy was very eager to get his absentee ballot, and vote for the first time. (He had never really taken an interest in politics before and spent a lot of time researching both candidates and what he really believed when it came to the issues.)

Speaking on November 4th, I am scheduled for a minor surgical procedure that day. Nothing too major - in fact, I'm more nervous about leaving Wesley with a baby sitter for the first time, than I am about the procedure! I trust the friend he is staying with. But still, its hard to even imagine just dropping him off and leaving him for x amount of hours. Oh well, gotta "cut the cord" someday, right?...Right?

So that's it for today, anyway. I'm going to go and relax while this babe of mine continues to nap on me!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Señor Tortuga here! El wifey suggested that put some stuff in here so here it is. If you're might find more. ¡Adios!

What To Bring and Winter Woolies

We're slowly getting ready for the big move. It's nerve-wracking for me, and I'm trying to be uber-organised, so it is less daunting.
We've been doing lots and lots of paperwork to make sure that the military pays us every allowance that we are entitled to. (If you don't claim it, you don't get it! And moving is expensive, as we all know!) We've been writing lists about what to send in our household shipment, what to send in our express shipment and what to take in our 6 (yes, SIX!) 70 pound (31kg) bags we're allowed to take on the plane with us.
We're not exactly sure as to what we can live without for about 3-4 weeks with Wesley. Obviously, we've never traveled with him, and we use EVERYTHING we have. How do we go bare-minimum? No idea. We can't see ourselves being able to survive without the bouncer, but how do you fit that in a suitcase? And how many nappies (diapers) should we pack? How quickly will we be able to get to a store to replenish? Yes, these are the new challenges we face!

We are also thinking hard about how we're going to "baby proof" the house. We've been asking all our friends with mobile kids, and we plan on doing it from the get-go, because from what everyone has said, it's easier that way, rather than converting a lived in house.

We've been cleaning out cupboards, throwing away stuff we don't want, don't use and haven't used in the time we've been here (stuff that has been in our storage closet!) It's amazing all the stuff we "can't live without" but haven't used in two and a half years. Ridiculous, really!

I am sad about leaving Japan. About leaving this house. It's our first home together, and Japan is utterly beautiful. There is always some adventure to be had, something to see, and new things to try. The food is delicious - though, the upside I suppose, is that once we get to the States, we won't be so enticed to eat out as much. One can always hope...

Tommy is starting to get excited about moving, too. Every day he there is something else he "can't wait" for. From a new position, work-wise, to International House of Pancakes, to seeing his brother Jonathan (who is living only about 2 hours away from Virginia Beach.) I'm happy to see him excited about life. It is very infectious!

Speaking of Tommy - he is getting incredibly excited to take Wesley home to Florida for Christmas. He cannot wait to show off his son to his family. He talks about it a lot. He is such a proud Papa! And I know that Sherry is probably counting the minutes until we pull up in her driveway and she can meet her grandson for the first time. (Secretly I think that Kris might push her out of the way, because he is a big softie and is equally as excited! (Just Kidding!))

I admit, I'm very nervous about the snow aspect of Virginia. Part of me wishes we were going a bit sooner, before it gets REALLY cold - there will definitely be snow on the ground when we land (they've already had light sprinklings, according to weather reports!) I have no idea how to dress myself, or Wesley for snow! Not to live in, anyway! I've bought Wes a bunch of warm clothes online and had them shipped here, including a snow suit, so he'll be okay for a little while once we get there. (He's a spitter-upper-er, so we need quite a few changes of clothes!) I have a few warm-ish coats - but my concern is they are warm for Okinawa and Brisbane winters. Not 3ft deep snow. I guess we'll see, won't we?

I guess that's about it for this update. I'm sure as the week goes by, I'll think of more things to jot down! I decided to jot a few sentances down whenever I can in a word document so I don't forget all the things I have to tell everyone when I get a chance to sit down and actually blog!

I'll leave you with a bunch of photos of the little guy - the guy I know you all really come to see and read about *pokes tongue out*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Of All The Updates...

I just wanted to have a public blog, where I could update on Wesley, and the Turtle's as a family for all of you to read.

It's much easier to post pictures, and what-not in here, than on Facebook.

Wes is doing wonderfully. He's sucking his thumb like a trooper, drooling like a bulldog and giving us massive smiles in between the wailing.

I ordered a MeiTei from the other day. It was a investment, it was so expensive. But, I've done my research, and babyhawk's are the best. Plus, having seen the way Wesley responds to being "worn" I am certain he will love it! It'll make the plane trip so, so much easier. I will post photos when it gets here.

If you haven't got a chance to read the update I posted on Facebook - I'll cut and paste chunks (the important chunks) in here.

So it looks like we're flying out of Okinawa on December 11th.

If not then, then only one week later on December 18th. We'll know for sure in the next week or two. We're hoping for December, 11th though. It's just a little further out from Christmas!

We're going to Florida for Christmas, for about 14-20 days, so we won't be settled into VA until early January. Tommy is to report to his new Command NO LATER than January 15th. He'll probably report in December when we land, and then we'll head to Florida to avoid any mishaps.

We have bought a new car. We got it tax free, and a BUNCH of other massive savings because we are overseas with the Military. It ended up costing us about $15,000, total, all everything-everything. Pretty good deal, we think.

This is the one we test drove - it's the same color as the one we chose, but we have the next model up, with fancy bits, and whozits.

It is a boring family-type car, but still, we're excited. We did get a bunch of extras and upgrades to make it more trendy. Plus, we figure we'll probably not have a brand-new-new car again for a LONG time, so let's make this one worth it. It has illuminated cup holders, and the glove box is a fridge! (Handy for baby bottles was our justification, LOL!)

We've also go somewhere to live, now, too.

Yes, it is unseen, but we got a GREAT deal. (Like ridiculous-great) And we figure that if we don't like it when we get there, we just sign a 3 or 6 month lease and look for something else while we live there. (We'll probably look to buy then, if that is the case)

Plus, Tommy was in Virginia Beach before Okinawa, and actually knows this complex/community. So that makes it less worrying about sending a security and holding deposit :o)

Below is the floor plan of our new place in Virginia. It is a lot roomier than a few other places we looked - and a LOT roomier than here in Okinawa (However, I do need to remember, everything is smaller in Japan!)

I think it'll be great. Three bedrooms is desperately needed, we really have outgrown this two bedroom apartment now! (It's really small rooms, besides being only two bedrooms.) If we were to stay here in Oki, we would've looked at moving off base, we are that pressed for space. Perfect home for newlyweds, but for a growing family, not so much!

So that's it for this entry. I'll try and update often, with pictures and news. It's hard being away from you all, and hopefully this will close the gap some.