Tuesday, August 1, 2023

My Mountain Top

Our little family has moved so many times that I probably start out every moving announcement the same exact way:  It's that time again!  But after six big moves as a family, 9 since I became an adult, I can't think of any other way to say it. 

Except that, for this one, we decided not to say anything at all.  We have known for a good while that we are going back overseas, and even though we are ridiculously excited about it, Eric and I didn't feel like saying much.  Normally I'm an over-sharer, but it's taken me almost a year to begin writing this post.  

So yeah, it's that time again!  Or was, actually, since we already moved. 


More packing.

Unpacking after 5 days on the road was too much for some of us.

To Korea and Kansas, and then back to KOREA!

All of the details of everything we've had going on aren't as confusing as I'm sure I will make them sound, but basically, we moved me and our RV to Kansas, and my husband went ahead to Korea.  We're doing life this way because Eric won't be in Korea for long before he has to come back to Kansas to finish a portion of the course he is currently taking.  Because of that and the timing of it all, we knew that we would be facing a separation and had to decide which end of things (and of the world) we would rather do it.  Doing it on this end allowed for us to live the RV life for a tiny bit longer, and for us to tie up a few loose ends that we couldn't tie when Eric got his official orders.  And, if I had to be left alone, it just made sense for it to be in the States where I am closer to our daughter and can continue to work.  After Eric finishes his course in the Spring, we will be making our 7th move to South Korea together!

Moving to Korea was NOT a surprise to us; we've known for a while that that was where the Army would be sending us next.  And it was exactly where we were hoping for.  Eric, Isabelle, and I have talked endlessly throughout the years about wanting to go back overseas and that if we ever got the opportunity, we hoped so badly it would be on the other side of the world.  When the time came to make decisions for Eric's career and our lives, we were VERY meticulous navigating all of the complexities that formed our ultimate decision.  Once that decision was manifested, we were ecstatic!  But for whatever reason, our spirits turned introspectively at that time and we just didn't feel like saying anything to anyone.  There was something about this newest chapter that felt precious, and we became almost protective about it.  Even posting this feels a little bit like I'm going to disrupt the matrix or something. 

Instead, we concentrated our energy on each other, our daughter, and enjoying our last few months on the East Coast.  

And nothing else.  

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  My shoes were killing me.  I got blisters and they bled and it all made me super duper grumpy.  Don't let my face fool ya, I'm pissed.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia - it's breathtaking there. 

Eric and I took Journey camping in a yurt when it was a bajillion degrees.  No one slept.

This was the view from the yurt.  The view didn't make us sweat any less, but it was pretty.

Virginia Beach, VA - we booked a hotel with a balcony overlooking the ocean solely to sit on the balcony and drink wine while watching and listening to the ocean.  I will never get sick of being near the ocean!

Roanoke, Virginia - the trip that Eric didn't think would amount to much but ended up having a blast!  The Black Lantern Inn made our entire trip and we will never go to Roanoke without staying there.  But a day spent at the Roanoke Pinball Museum sealed the deal on his love for Roanoke, VA.

Christmas in Mexico.  We got rained out of most of our trip and had to stay indoors, even here we were in the middle of the jungle getting absolutely poured on and we were a little bit miserable.   

Annapolis, MD where we got absolutely wasted and I spent the entire next day puking my guts out every few miles on our way home.  God, we had fun.

Empire State Building - New York City, New York.  NYC has a piece of my heart now... aaand my sunglasses since I lost them soon after this picture was taken.

This is one of my most favorite pictures I've ever taken of my husband.  Times Square, NYC.

George Washington's birth place - Virginia.  All of it was recreated, nothing was original and the historians had to "guess" a lot to make it what it is, so it was a little disappointing.

Assateague Island National Seashore - Maryland - where a real life angel walked on sand.

St. Patrick's Day at Busch Gardens - Williamsburg, Virginia.  Too expensive to enjoy.

United Flight 93 National Memorial - Pennsylvania

Visiting our baby girl (I have her permission to post this picture).  Look at that daddy’s face.

Now that we have part of our PCS behind us, we now move forward with all the rest, and I'm not sure if I'll still feel as introspective about it or not because… I'm conflicted about it.  I started this blog in 2012  when we were preparing to move to Germany.  Getting to live in Europe was such a huge opportunity - the kind of opportunity that doesn't happen for someone like me - and I wanted to scream every detail of every moment from the mountain tops.  I didn't want to take a single second of it for granted.  I can't always contain my love or excitement for things so my blog became the keeper of all the extra.... and, my mountain top.

For the most part, I received loving feedback about each blog post I wrote.  But there were a few things said to my face, like my blog being "braggy," that made me pause on things I might have been quick to write about before.  Even if those comments were few, they stung enough for me to re-think how and what I should share.  At the same time, life for us matured and changed and we settled comfortably into a new chapter of life in the middle of the desert that wasn't at all interesting enough to blog about anyway.  Our fertility story came to an end, we hated the desert, and our daughter grew into an adult who makes her own decisions - one of which being that I not post about her life publicly.  Then a few years ago, most everything online began to feel gross and toxic and algorithms were changed because of it.  So then things like my blog became less visible and it just felt better to me to keep a quiet spirit.
From the research we've done about life in Korea, and from alllll of the people we've talked to who have been stationed there and/or visited (and we have talked to a lot of people about it), it feels like a magical door has been opened and the experiences there will be abundant.  I know I'll feel like I want to share all of it with you, but whether I do or not... that's what's conflicting.  I will always want to write about the world as I am experiencing it - new experiences make me happy, writing makes me happy - but the last thing I ever wanted was to sound braggy.  Being braggy mixes my blog in with all of those toxic things on the internet right now, and that is just not what I would ever want to contribute to in any way.
Eric and I have spent the entirety of 2023 preparing for, and PCS'ing, two humans and two animals to an entirely different continent and one different U.S State simultaneously.  We have been mindful of our energy spent as we moved towards this newest chapter of life and we were deliberate in every decision and preparation we made.  Turning into each other and focusing on what we hold dear throughout this process was right for us.  But I know that that is much different from the last time we moved to a foreign country so all of this might not jibe so well with the blogger you've all come to know.  We are soooo excited for the future, and I hope y'all will want to come "with" us into it.  But I don't write for this to be anything negative in any form, so if reading this feels gross to you please understand that you do not have to read this for my sake.  

But if you clicked on my little blog's link and are still reading this, I could never adequately tell you how thankful I am that you're on this mountain top with us.


  1. Beyond excited for you and Eric! Life is not a competition and never once did I ever take anything you shared as braggy! Share away because I will never leave the country and we have to live vicariously through your sharing! Enjoy, continue to lean into each other and know that those who love ya will never judge you for sharing!

    1. Shannon, my lifetime friend and supporter, I am eternally thankful for you!