February 11, 2014

Where to next? Colorado

The theme of this post is ADVENTURE.  You see, when I started this blog, it was called Expecting the Unexpected because I was living a life in Alaska I never….expected.  I eventually changed it, but the theme of our lifestyle is kind of the same.  We're at our 3rd address in 4.5 years.  Granted, that's not even a lot for the average military family, but it's a lot for someone who lived in the same bedroom for 23 1/2 years.

Anyway.  ADVENTURE.  Onto the next one, right? (See Rachel's blog for more on adventure).

Before we know it, our stint in Missouri will be up.  Recently, it was decision-making time, because sometimes the army does let you choose where you go.  Or, at least they let you think you're choosing and then they choose for you.  Much like a parent or teacher would with a small child.

Scott called the one night and asked, "Do you want to go to Hawaii?"

The last time he asked such a question was in 2009 and it was, "Do you want to go to Alaska?"

This time, it was 5:34pm on a Wednesday.  He said, "I'm never going to ask you this again.  At 5:35pm I write it down or I don't."

This was my chance, guys.  But, when it comes down to it, do we really want to move 3 connecting flights away from home (again)?  Do we want to spend our life savings on plane tickets for Christmas each year (again)?  Do we want to potentially end up with island fever?  The answer is: not really.  Maybe if we'd vacationed there first and loved it or felt happy and at peace there…but going somewhere to live when you've never been there is risky.  We did it last time and got lucky that we had a good experience (mostly) in Alaska.  I really did grow there, and learned how to be independent.  I had to.  I'm grateful for all that. And Scott is still in love with the 49th state.

But Scott, I know, does not want to go to Hawaii.

So we didn't put it on the list.

Ft. Drum, New York has been our #1 choice for the last few years.  Unfortunately, the army says it's not an option for us now.  Maybe later.  We believe we were meant to live in the northeast, where there are 4 seasons.  I'm a fan of 4 seasons.

Unfortunately, that would be #1 on our WISH list, not the list we were presented with…you see, the army tells you to pick from a limited list of assignments and then they just give you one.  And judging by the fact that the woman assigning the duty stations (truly, it's ONE woman) is the same one who kept screwing up Scott's schedule/tuition at MS&T, I don't have a lot of hope or faith in this system.

However, when the choices were emailed out on December 23rd, after all the soldiers had gone on leave and no one was around to even compose a list to email back, we didn't see it.  Yes, we came across this email on January 3rd.  (Like I said, that is one qualified individual who's been given way too much power.)

We filled it out right away on a Thursday night and sent it back.

Our choices were:

1. Ft. Carson, Colorado.  Everyone we've talked to had loved it there.  It seemed like a happy medium for a husband who loved Alaska and a wife who didn't really want to live in sweatpants year round.
And, because there were 2 positions open there..
2. Ft. Carson again.  Might as well stack the odds, right?
3.  Gulfport, Mississippi.  There was a great position on an Air Force base open there.  Everyone knows Air Force base jobs are nicer than Army jobs.  Hurricanes be damned, we were willing to give it a shot.
4.  Ft. Knox, Kentucky.  Closer to home.  We know people in Kentucky.  Louisville could be fun.  We already live in the pseudo-south.  Why not?
5.  Ft. Leonard-Wood, Missouri.  Uh huh.  Well, I have a pretty great job here.  It's not the worst place. Housing is cheap.  We started looking around at where we could buy some land and settle in.

You also get a couple of choices to put on your No-Go List.
What was on ours?

1.  Korea.  Hear me out: We have a Brittany Spaniel.  A dog that needs fields to run through and birds to chase at least a few times a week or he starts to get all twitchy.  He wouldn't fit in well there.  We have two new cars we'd have to turn around and sell.  We've spent the last 4 years "overseas".  Alaska is OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) so it gives you overseas time.  He also spent 16 months in Afghanistan.  Our entire army life, thus far, has been overseas.  We don't really feel like doing that again right now. It's exciting, yes.  It's also taxing.

2.  Texas.  I once told Scott it might not be so bad.  He looked at me and said, "Why do you hate me?" The south isn't his thing.  Therefore, we were also trying to avoid Polk, Bragg, and Benning like the plague.
When the hammer came down and the verdict was dropped, we were assigned Ft. Carson, Colorado.  I think we're still in shock over this because we just got what we wanted. But Scott staying here an extra semester not only afforded me the opportunity to get a job while we're in Missouri, but it's given us the chance to have a shot at a desirable duty station.  Who knows where we would've been assigned to if we had PCS'd (moved) in November with everyone else?  We're definitely satisfied with the army (on this day).


  1. You'll love Ft. Carson! I dated a West Pointer who got stationed there for 5 years and I loved visiting. It's so beautiful with the mountains and Pikes Peak. You'll have a blast!

  2. Ft. Carson is beautiful! I love the area and I have always wanted to live there.

  3. Ugh. I wrote a whole comment and blogger ate it. I am SO excited that you guys got your first choice! I know with that kind of life that is rarely the case so YAY!!! When do you guys move again? And is there an assigned length of time? It looks like we'll probably be moving in November...but I'm forcing myself not to think about it yet.

  4. I have never been to CO, but have a ton of friends who live there after having lived here in Florida, so I'm thinking it can't be bad! I had a friend who was in the USAF and was stationed in Gulfport and hated it, so I am glad you got your first choice! Can't wait to read your next adventure ;)

  5. Colorado sounds good! But, if I may defend Texas for a sec... we really aren't the south! Geographically, absolutely, but Atlanta and the Carolinas are more southern than any big city here. Small towns can be another story, though...

  6. How awesome that you guys got your first pick! Before we found out we were going to California we were hoping for Colorado. I bet it will be great for you guys!

  7. I know a bunch of people who either live in Colorado or vacation there CONSTANTLY...I think you're going to love it. Plus...hot summers and cold winters? Sign me up!!!

  8. Yay!! That's so exciting that you got your top choice. Angel loves Colorado in general--I've never been but he's told me before that he'd love to live there. I'm skeptical of the winters.

  9. I'm glad you got where you wanted!!! We would not be in Texas had it not been for a by name request haha.

  10. Congrats on getting your first (and second!) choice!!! I think I really need to visit Colorado some day! Not only does it seem like the place some of my favorite bloggers are heading, but my student teacher got a job teaching 4th grade in CO, and I would love to see her!

    Scott and I LOVE Texas! I was surprised to see that on your no-go list. If we ever decided to leave PA, we would move to the Dallas area!

  11. I am so happy you guys got your first choice. I don't know how I would do in that lifestyle, but then again, if Craig was military I'm sure I would adapt and end up enjoying the adventure. Too bad you couldn't be stationed in Oregon. It's pretty good here.

  12. My hooooome. Maybe I'll see you there some day! I bet I will.

  13. Lucky girl! That was our first choice, too, but we got stuck with Korea. Not looking forward to it, but I'll make the best out of it, I suppose. Can't wait to live vicariously through your photos.

  14. This whole process is so foreign to me, I find it really interesting. Thanks for going into detail for those of us not in the know. I'm glad you guys got your first pick out of what was available to you!

  15. Ahhhh! That's so exciting! I'm really, really glad you guys get to be where you want to be. And who doesn't love Colorado, right?? :)

    I just about died at Scott's "why do you hate me?" comment. I mean, I am obviously a Texas girl, through and through, but I definitely, DEFINITELY get why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. (particularly the stupidly hot summers). But strangely enough, the things you've written about Scott make me think he'd actually really love it here. Tell him he needs to visit and at least confirm his hatred before he commits to it! :)

  16. Yaaaaaay!!! I am SO selfishly excited!!! I think you guys will really like it here. Summers are (supposedly) lovely although it will be a while before I get to see one. haha

  17. I've only been to Colorado a few times but I always loved it. My husband is from there and has fond memories (albeit of his first 6 years, ha).

    Plus? You're closer to me! (Said the stalking food blogger.) :)


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