We've been in our new duty station in Georgia for one week, but it feels like one MONTH. Forget hitting the ground running, Fionn and I hit the ground sprinting. I am exhausted. But in this action packed week, we have...
-picked up my car that we shipped from Germany
-visited 11 apartment complexes in ONE day, ultimately signing a lease on a sweet apartment within 2 days of arriving
-bought a couch
-picked out a new bed (waiting on delivery)
-rented a washer and dryer
-got American cell phones
-set up internet, water, and other utilities
-got Fionn all squared away at his new job
-begun unpacking our Unaccompanied Baggage shipment that arrived just this morning.
Happy sight from my window this morning!
It has been a CRAZY week!
Once we found an apartment, the biggest stress for us was the lack of furniture. As I said in earlier posts, our German apartment was fully furnished so Fionn and I had to start from nothing in terms of furnishing a house. Can I just say, Holy Moly furnishing a house is ridiculously expensive?! We tried to save some money for this move since we knew we'd have to buy a couch and a mattress and chairs and everything else, but the cost was still shocking. Add to that all the moving start up costs and eating out since we don't have a kitchen...I definitely felt like we were hemorrhaging money at some points this week.
Luckily, we left no stone unturned when it came to finding deals. We've scoured thrift stores, Goodwill, flea markets, Craigslist, and outlet stores to find some amazing deals (like a leather couch for $480!) and we're slowly piecing our house together. I just hope our Household Goods shipment arrives soon so we can really feel like home!
Emotionally, we are both holding up but definitely starting to feel homesick for Germany. Our new duty station is huge and sprawling and well, kinda ugly. Having come from a close knit, cozy community set in picturesque Bavarian countryside that would make even Heidi sigh, this has been a rough transition. Everything seems so new and fake and suburban and impersonal. We miss our sweet grandpa of a landlord who'd rush upstairs to change a lightbulb and got misty eyed when we moved out. We miss drives through German farmland. We miss trains and medieval city centers and Germans drinking jovially in lederhosen.
We miss our friends and familiarity and our little life in Germany. It sounds dumb, but when the Unaccompanied Baggage arrived today, I got a little teary as I started unpacking my kitchen stuff. Even though I complained about it, I loved my cozy kitchen and all my stuff in it. Seeing my stuff made me feel at home and wish I was in my old home all at the same time.
That sounds so silly to say, doesn't it? That inanimate objects can reduce you to homesick tears or make a place feel like "yours" instead of an empty cookie cutter apartment. It sounds silly but it's how I felt all the same.
I'm trying to stay positive though. I really like the apartment we found-it's spacious and pretty with sunny windows and enormous closets. I love my big kitchen and two people can be in there without constantly hitting each other. I love the couch we found and it's been fun decorating our new place together. Bed Bath and Beyond and TJ Maxx are within walking distance of our house, we have air conditioning, and even a sweet pool in our complex. All the things I wished my German apartment in the middle of nowhere had!
I love that I can drive to my parents' house for a weekend visit, or that when my brother has his Senior Art show I can drive down and cheer him on. I love that if I need something it's so readily available, and if I can't find it in store I can order it online and have it at my doorstep the next day. I love that I can talk to everyone and eat Chick fil a whenever I want (well, except Sunday). All these things make coming back to America pretty cool.
Pros and cons, y'all.
I'm off to start unpacking my Unaccompanied Baggage and cooking again! Hope all of you are well out there in blog land. :) Any advice for furnishing a house on the cheap?