Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Moving Update and 4th of July

I realized I've been kind of quiet about the big move back to the United States so here's the big moving update. We've been so busy adjusting to life with Finn and then traveling that the move has been on the back burner (kind of).

We've known all along that we will be heading to Groton, CT after Mike is done with the Olmsted because he must attend department head school (SOAC) for six months, which is located in Groton.  Once he is done with SOAC, he will be attached to a submarine at one of the seven submarine bases (Groton, Norfolk, Kings Bay, GA, San Diego, Bangor, WA, Pearl Harbor, and Guam).   A few months ago, we submitted our location preferences, as well as preferences for what job Mike would do and what type of submarine would be on.  Unfortunately, Mike got an email while we were on our road trip saying that they didn't have the job Mike wanted on the type of submarine he wanted and the detailer (person who chooses where we go) wanted to know if we cared more about where we were located or the job that Mike did.  We had preferenced Groton as our number one location because it meant that we wouldn't have to move again after SOAC (very appealing considering we've both moved every year since graduating college).  As much as we don't want to have to move again after SOAC, ultimately, Mike said he'd rather be doing a job he enjoys than to avoid another move, which makes sense to me.  For me, while another move would be a pain, I understand Mike's reasoning and I can find a job wherever we go. So, now we wait another month or so until we find out where we are going.  Groton isn't out of the picture completely, but we're mentally preparing for the possibility that we'll be moving again in March.

Did you get all of that?  If you did, props to you.  If you didn't, don't worry. Just know we're moving in August and we might have to move again in March.

While moving is not fun, we're really lucky because the Navy sends movers in, they pack us up and load everything into the truck(s) and we just have to supervise.  As one of Mike's classmates said, it's kind of like we're celebrities.  Ha! Even though we don't have to do a lot of physical labor during a move, there is A LOT of organization and preparation that gets done beforehand, especially since we're moving overseas.

We returned from our Balkan road trip and went right into moving mode. We came back on Sunday and had one week until we left for the UK for Mike's sister's wedding and some travel.  We get back on a Saturday and the movers come that Monday, so we basically have to be ready for the movers when we leave for the UK.  Stressful? Yup.  Impossible? Nahhhh.

The main thing to do was to figure out what is going in each shipment.  We will check bags with us when we fly back that will be filled with stuff we need in August.  We're going to be traveling around Virginia visiting friends and family, so we'll need things like clothes, diapers and laptops in this "shipment," but nothing we don't normally pack when we travel.

The next group of stuff that needed to be sorted was the express shipment.  Since we are moving overseas, we get an express shipment of stuff that we will want immediately when we move in to our house.  This shipment can include up to 1000lbs of stuff, but can't include furniture since it is being sent by air. We've kind of decided that we're going to live in a furnished apartment for the six months while Mike is at SOAC since our final shipment of stuff isn't going to arrive until at least November and there is the possibility that we'll be moving again at the end of the six months.  Therefore, we're sending things like our printer, Christmas decorations and a few kitchen appliances such as our KitchenAid Mixer and Keurig. Oh, and all of the baby stuff! I doubt we'll reach 1000 lbs, but we want to make sure we have everything we want in our temporary house.

The last shipment is everything else, including our furniture. Because we aren't planning on seeing this stuff until March, we are really trying to make sure nothing is going in it that we don't need.  It makes me wonder how much of that stuff we could get rid of...

Anyways, we had lots of stuff to do and not that much time to do it.  Finn also got his first round of vaccines on Wednesday morning which took a toll on him and meant we basically lost an afternoon to a (understandably) fussy guy.  Luckily, a little medicine helped bring back our happy baby and had him feeling back to normal by evening.
All of the things we had to do.  If you look closely, you'll see Mike had to get an HIV test.  Apparently the Navy requires them every 2 years and wouldn't buy our tickets home until he got the test done. Normally this wouldn't be a problem because he would just go to the clinic on base, but there isn't a base here.  On top of that, the only HIV testing locations we could find were for gay men, so we had lots of fun trying to get that one checked off.  Luckily, we figured it out.

So many lists, so little time. 
One of the things on our list of things to do was ship the car and that we did.  Friday afternoon, the tow truck came to pick up the car around 4:30 and by 4:45, the car was gone.  By far the easiest car shipment we've done thus far!  


Amid all of the moving chaos, we took some time to celebrate the 4th of July! We hosted a little cookout in our backyard and hosted about 15 people.  Mike grilled burgers and bratwursts and I made red, white and blue sangria and cupcakes.  We couldn't pass up an opportunity to share our patriotism with our neighbors and Mike's classmates. It was  a lot of fun and we had fun celebrating, even if we weren't in the United States. 

So many burgers!


Needless to say, it was a busy week in the Hogan household. When we return from the UK, it'll be even crazier, but we'll just cross our fingers and say a little prayer that everything makes it to the US in time!  Happy moving season!