Remember this post where I talked about how I long to write about everything but I often have trouble getting it all out. Well Jesse read it one day and he told me it sounded like I was down in the dumps and depressed! I had to laugh at that! I promise you guys I am not depressed. Stressed, maybe. But not depressed.
As I mentioned yesterday, our big move is officially less than a month away! Yep, you read that right! We have less than a month until we say sayonara to this foreign land and hello to the good ol' US of A! We are so, so excited and we absolutely can't wait.
Unfortunately the actual logistics of the move are not the most fun to deal with. We are still debating about where we want to live and it's turning out to be a much harder decision than we anticipated. I've been researching a lot and I've learned that a lot of the military housing areas that I originally liked are no longer a possibility for us because of Jesse's promotion. There is one that I absolutely love but it comes with a 10-12 month waiting list. So that's probably not happening. However, we have been told that we do qualify for at least a three bedroom, which is great news. We've also learned that we have the option of picking from a few places that are open and we can go ahead and pre-lease it before we get there. It would be so nice to have it all taken care of and to know exactly where we will be when we arrive.
Our other option is to live about an hour away from base and have Jesse commute every day. They currently have a vanpool program that is subsidized by the government. Jesse would be able to ride with them without having to pay anything, which is really nice. The houses out in the area are very nice and we can get about twice as much space for less money than renting in the city or living in base housing.
Obviously both options have their negatives and positives. If we decide to live on base we will most likely have a tiny yard or patio and we will be in a townhouse style home which means less privacy and a lot less space. Being that close to your neighbors can lead to some great friendships but I've also seen some major drama and we want not part of that! But the good thing is that Jesse will be just minutes from work and he will have very little traffic to deal with.We already know that he's going to have great hours so if we are nearby he will be home with us quite a bit and we will be able to get out and do more. He could possibly even come home for lunch every day and I know Emerson would love that! We'll also have all of the amenities right there and we will be in the city so we can easily do things on the weekend. It also means I will have a built in support system with military spouses all around me. And if I decide I want to work again, there are many more opportunities in the city than the suburbs. Not to mention we will be minutes from the beach instead of an hour.
If we decided to live in the suburbs Jesse will spend a minimum of two hours in the car a day. That is two hours less that he gets to spend with Emerson. On the other hand, we will be able to have an almost new and very roomy home with our own yard, our own driveway, and the privacy that we have missed so dearly! After living in a big city for the last 20 months we have learned that we crave a more quiet and slow pace of life. While we love to be able to go into the city when we want to, we're just not city living people.
We've talked to several people out there and they all love it. Since everything they need is right there, they rarely have to go into the city except for work. There is very little crime and it seems to just be an overall safer and quieter environment. We also know for sure that we can get a home big enough for all of our furniture and with room to grow. We currently have enough furniture to fill our home in North Carolina so if we don't get a larger house we will have to sell most of it because it's definitely not going to fit in base housing. I'd also love to have a playroom and extra bedroom for baby#2 and all of these houses have that and more.
But- and this a big one- I've heard that the commute can really wear on a person after a while. When you add it all up, he would be spending at least 10 hours in the car each week. Granted he wouldn't have to actually drive it because of the vanpool, but I'm sure it would still get old really quickly. Instead of getting home by 4:30 or 5:00 he wouldn't be home until closer to 6:15-6:30. He'd also have to leave around 5:00 AM every morning. So in exchange for a nicer home and yard, Jesse would be giving up a lot of time. Is the tradeoff really worth it?
So, that is our big dilemma right now. We're trying to decide which option is going to give us a better quality of life. We're going to be there for several years so we want to get settled and stay in one spot. We would ideally like to stay in the same house as long as possible so we want to make sure that we make the right decision.
I'd love to hear from anyone in a similar situation. Do you our your spouse commute and would you recommend it?
edited to add: I orginally said that he would spend 20 hours in the car each week. Apparently I need to brush up on my math skills. It would be closer to 10, which is still a lot but way less than 20! :)