Don't worry folks. I know you were all so very worried that I hadn't posted in two and a half months, but I didn't quit blogging, I just haven't had internet. Here is a quick update on what has been going on in my life since Thanksgiving. Since I'm using the Library internet, I can't post photos, but those will come soon!
Right after Thanksgiving, the movers came to our apartment in Italy and packed up our stuff and sent it to Montana. Luckily, the big couch belongs to the landlord so we at least had something to sleep on instead of the floor!
On December 8th, I flew to Missouri to stay with my parents. First place I ate...St. Louis Bread Co! (better known to those who don't live in Missouri as Panera Bread) I spent those weeks before Christmas playing with my nieces, helping my friend Shannon plan her wedding, and looking for Jake's Christmas present (more info coming later!)
On December 22nd, Jake was supposed to fly home, but Italy got a freak snowstorm and his plane couldn't land on the base. Luckily, the snow melted quickly and the plane did come the next day. He made it home on Christmas Eve. Yay!
Christmas Day we opened presents in the morning at my brother's house. We were completely finished opening present and were just starting to dig into the cinnamon rolls, when there was a knock on the door...and in walked the present I got for Jake. A boxer puppy! Jake got a boxer puppy as a High School graduation present but since he had joined the military, the dog (Diesel) had been living with his mom. Jake had planned to take Diesel to Montana with us, but sadly, he died in October. I knew Jake was pretty bummed and he had even talked about looking for a boxer puppy. I convinced him that we should wait until January to start looking so I could surprise him with one on Christmas morning. Jake loves the puppy and also named this one Diesel. He is a beautiful full breed brindle boxer. (The puppy story isn't over yet...more later!)
Christmas afternoon we drove down to Jake's mom's house. We spent a few days there, visiting his family and friends. Then on December 29th the movers came to pick up my stuff from storage to send to Montana. Another highlight of our time in Missouri was going to the Zac Brown Band Concert on December 30th. I can't even remember the last time I went to a concert and this one was very good!
On New Year's Eve, we spent a quiet night at my parent's house. We had an early day planned for the next day, so we were in bed by 10. New Year's Day, we dropped off the dog for the breeder to baby-sit because we drove across the state to my grandparent's for the extended family Christmas get-together. When we came back that night, we sat and talked with the breeder for awhile. She told us she wasn't having any luck getting the runt sold, and even mentioned that if she didn't have him sold by that Tuesday, she would probably give him away. Jake jumped right in and said "We'll take him!" Two dogs...yikes! (continued later)
We originally planned to leave for Montana on January 2nd, right after my niece's birthday party. We were planning to take both cars, the car I drove when I was living in Missouri, (which was being stored at my parents house) and Jake's truck that had been stored at his mom's house since he left for Korea 4 years ago. Needless to say, his truck needed some work, which took a couple extra days than expected, so we weren't quite ready to leave for Montana until January 6th.
Meanwhile, the breeder still hadn't sold the runt...so the day before we left, we stopped by and got ourselves a second puppy. This one we named Campbell (we were so thankful about getting a free full-bred boxer that we named him after the breeder's last name)
We packed up both cars and headed off to Montana on the 6th. Now, if we had left on the 2nd we would have had fantastic clear weather and made it there in 2 days. But, since we didn't leave until the 6th, we hit a snowstorm before we even made it to Kansas City and ended up traveling about 10 mph while heading north from Kansas City to Sioux Falls, SD. We already had reservations for a pet room at a hotel in Sioux Falls so we were determined to make it there that first night. We really should not have been on the roads, but we made it, at 1 am, but we made it!
The next morning, we found out they had closed I-90 across SD, so we didn't even try to find an alternate route, we just stayed at the hotel another night. On the 8th, the roads were clear so we headed for Buffalo, WY. No bad weather so we made it easily. Our last day of travel, the 9th, we drove the rest of the way to Great Falls, MT and arrived at about 4pm. We checked into the hotel on base, which only has 3 pet rooms which were already occupied, so we took the puppies to a kennel downtown. I hated leaving them while they were so young, but we went to visit them everyday.
On the first day of in-processing, we checked with housing to see how soon we could get a house on base. The housing on base is brand new and very nice, but since we have no kids, we were only authorized for a 2 bedroom house. The list for people in line for a two bedroom house is about 70 people long! Since Jake is an NCO, it bumped us up to #33, but that was still a 4-5 month wait. No way were we going to stay in the hotel that long, or rent an apartment for a few months (the only apartment's available that would allow dogs were pretty scummy looking) so we started looking to buy a house. Before we even left Italy, we had talked about buying a house, but we wanted to live in the area for awhile before buying, so we had planned to live on base for a few months, then start looking for a house. We decided to instead start looking right away, and if there was nothing we fell in love with, we would wait it out in a crappy apartment.
We got our approval from the bank and got connected with a great realtor. He showed us over 20 houses in just 3 afternoons. We knew we wanted a house with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and that did not need a lot of updates. We also preferred that it have a fenced in back yard for the dogs and a large garage because Jake recently bought a third car to use as his "project car." On the second day we viewed a great house that had a very nice updated kitchen and a 2 car garage with extra space for a workshop. The house is small, but it has a fully finished basement and a TALL fence in the backyard!
After looking at the other houses, we decided the smaller house with the bigger garage was perfect for us! We are closing on the 19th! We really wanted to get out of the hotel on base and didn't want to keep paying to keep the dogs in the kennel, and the home owner had already moved to a different home in town, so we convinced him to let us rent for a few weeks until the closing date. We moved in on Saturday, our shipment from Italy came yesterday, and my shipment from Missouri comes tomorrow! The boys love the backyard and now we can really crack down on this potty training thing!
I had an interview for a job today and I'm really hoping I get it. I'm ready to have my own money again. I really hate asking Jake for money everytime I want to get a new pair of jeans, or pick up a few groceries, or buy decorations for the house. I should know by the end of next week if I got it, but I'm going to continue applying at other places in the meantime. Wish me luck!
As I promised earlier, I will post photos once we get internet at the house. Photos of the puppies, of the house, of Montana, of my new life as a military wife at Great Falls, Montana!