Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No Longer Homeless!

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?


14 comments :

  1. wow, looks like a super cute apartment complex y'all moved into! happy unpacking :)

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  2. Pros and cons indeed! I'm at the one week mark today and the homesickness for France feelings are beginning to creep in... on the plus side I have a closet (!!!), and TK Maxx, and Marshalls, and Tex-Mex, and big movie theaters to distract me. So yes, I'm hemorrhaging money too ;)

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    1. Who knew America was so dang expensive?! Well, it gets expensive when you have TK Maxx right outside and your door...and cheap burritos...mmm

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  3. Your description of your arrival back in the US, with all the jobs to do, sounds a lot like when you are newly expatriated. Interesting to know it doesn't change just because you're a repat. We've always had our apartments furnished so we own nothing (not even kitchen utensils). Whenever we finally head home, we'll have to start from the tiniest detail - but you've shown there are loads of ways to do it so I'm sure it'll be fine!

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    1. It's annoying, but it's doable. You never realize how much stuff can make your life easier until you don't have it

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  4. Oh, you just made my heart squeeze. I had not thought about how painful it will be to transition back to living in the US when it is time for me to leave Germany. I'm happy to see that you are getting all set up in Georgia and that you are close to family, though!

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    1. It surprised me too! I thought whoohoo, going home, no problems here! But I'm slowly learning that moving sucks whenever you're headed to, expat or no. It's not all bad though!

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  5. Good luck dear, I'm sure this definitely a tough time for you guys. At least there aren't anymore 'surprises' (i.e. like how I just realized that we've been using lard instead of margarine this whole time..). Germany will always be that special time in your life that you'll think back on for years to come. Enjoy Georgia! Get some shrimp and grits as soon as you can, you won't regret it! :)

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    1. Haha oh no! Yeah, I don't miss the language mix ups! Now you totally have me ungrateful for shrimp and grits...

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    2. Errrr...I meant hungry, not ungrateful. Gotta love autocorrect

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  6. The ups and downs will come, but keep positive. =) New adventures await and new challenges, too but everything will feel like it's really falling into place eventually. *hugs* Hang in there!

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    1. I needed to hear that today! One step at a time! :)

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  7. You dealt with that packed week pretty gracefully. I'm glad settling down was quick, though I can't say much about how hectic it was. I hope you're feeling better about being homesick. It's at least reassuring to know that your parents' house is just a drive away from your new apartment. Wishing you all the best! :)

    Juana Adams @ Manage My Property

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