Hello! A catch up post.

I’m kind of over blogging. Over as in, I don’t ever feel like taking the time to write things down anymore. Over as in, I never want to upload/edit/share pictures from my camera anymore. My hobby of blogging has been evolving since the day I started my first blog back in 2010 and I assume it will continue to evolve until it eventually fizzles out. Then I read back on something I wrote 4 years ago and I’m so thankful that I took the time to blog because I love the little glimpse into the time capsule that I created. Our lives are so different now than they were just 4 years ago. I’m ridiculously nostalgic so even though my life today is exactly (almost) where the me from 2010 would have hoped it to be, I can’t deny that it makes me sad to look back and remember where I was then.

I think I’ll probably get back to blogging a little bit more since it’s officially summertime in the Kistler house but since I can’t promise anything I thought I’d write a little random update post to share with everyone (especially the future me) what is going on in our family and my mind lately.

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  • Living separately from the love of my life absolutely sucks. Today marks two months since we started this geobacheloring journey and while these two months have flown by, we still have 16 to go. As to be expected, we’ve already had some issues but we knew this wouldn’t be easy when we signed up for it. For me, aside from just really, really missing my best friend, the hardest part is keeping the feeling of resentment at bay. Some nights, when the kids have been particularly difficult or the work on the house is wearing on me and Josh calls to tell me he’s out at a bar in Manhattan with the guys from work, I feel it creeping in. I feel like he’s such an ass to be out on a Wednesday night partying like he’s one of the guys (everyone he works with is single) and I really, really want to be mad at him. But I know that he isn’t really partying like one of the guys and that this isn’t something he would be doing if we were there with him. I don’t expect him to sit in his apartment and twiddle his thumbs because I’m back at home tucking our kids in bed. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that he’s not choosing his friends or the bar over us – we’re just not there for him to choose. The kids are handling it well though. I was afraid they’d live their lives Sunday to Friday just waiting for dad to come home but just like they always do, they’ve surprised me with their resiliency. We FaceTime every morning and every night and have only gone 5 days max without being able to squeeze Josh so it’s not too bad. Ruby has become obsessed with New York. Any time she sees anything that resembles a city she says, “Look! It’s New York!” because she knows that’s where daddy is.  photo IMG_8627_zpsa2831249.jpg
  • Moving back home has been pretty much completely opposite to what I thought it would be like. It’s not a bad or a good thing, it’s just different than what I imagined. I love our little house but it doesn’t feel like “home”. As a matter of fact, while we are very happy that we made this decision and we’re very happy to be back in our hometown for right now, I don’t think that any of us feel this is long term. For the first month, while the New York funk wore off, Parker made comments every other day about how badly he wanted to grow up here. I felt it too. I was actually disappointed that we didn’t buy a bigger house because this house is just too small for us to grow into if this is going to be our forever town, but slowly that feeling started to fade for all of us and now I wonder if we’re just addicted to the nomad lifestyle. A few weeks ago, Parker and I were talking about our life here and I asked him if he was happy that we moved back. He said, “Yeah I like it here and I want to stay for a little while but I think I’d be okay to move again.” Hearing him say those words felt a little like gaining permission for something. It felt like a relief of some kind.

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  • As for the house, Josh and I have been busting our butts and have the downstairs 99% of the way completed. We’ve changed nearly everything. The color of the walls, the light fixtures in every room, we’ve painted the fireplace, stained the mantle, installed a door bell, installed central air, changed the entire kitchen, upgraded the blinds in the windows and on and on and on. We’re currently working on fencing in our back yard and we’re creeping upstairs as we continue on with sanding the floors, painting the hallway walls and changing out the upstairs hallway light. I’d say overall, we’re at about 70% complete with everything I envisioned on the first day we walked through the house. The speed at which we’re working is insane – basically projects haven’t stopped for 2 months – but it’s just one of those by – products of being a military family. You only have so much time in this space so do what you need to do before you have to move on. That’s the way my brain is wired now. That feeling is draining at first but now that we’ve accomplished so much I’m actually starting to feel elated. I nearly have the house I’ve been picturing since February which is allowing a little bit of contentment to trickle down. I don’t think I’ve felt content since 2011 so this is nice. With that said, I am very bipolar when it comes to this house and some hours days I feel like we’re pouring sweat and money into a pit. Hopefully not.

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  • I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about summertime in my life. The dog days of the two summers past have given me a huge appreciation for Ohio summers. I plan to move at an extremely slow and laid back pace, earn the nick name of pool rat, play outside in our pajamas at 8 am, eat most of our meals on our new picnic table, run and bike hundreds of miles and eat more fair food than I’d ever admit to. The boys are signed up for basketball, soccer, and art camp, we have two vacations planned and a visit from my sister and new baby nephew in early August. I know I’m going to blink and it will all be over with but like I told the boys this morning, the second half of the year in Ohio is just short of magical. Fireflies, football, holidays and family is all that’s left of 2014.

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All of the details.

I’m not really feeling this blog anymore and I don’t know how much I’ll be using it from this point on but I thought I’d write out a quick little explanation for the latest development in our lives.

We bought a house in our home town.

No one knew that we were even planning it (besides a couple of friends who helped us out with some things) and no one knew that we were making trips back to Ohio to look at properties or go through the purchasing process. Josh and I chose to keep it a secret because we wanted to work through the entire thing, just the two of us. We looked at several houses back home and decided on a very small and inexpensive 3 bedroom house in a great location. We based our decision on location, price, potential for renovations (we’re crazy about home improvement projects) and opportunity to become a rental – because, this move may not be permanent.

For the next 18 months, the kids and I will live full time in Ohio while Josh shares an apartment in NY with a coworker and makes weekend trips home. I know some family members are concerned with Josh driving back and forth but it goes without saying that his safety, as well as the safety of every person in our family, is above and beyond the most important aspect of our lives. Josh is a very experienced traveler (having driven our family across the entire country four times) and has made the drive from New York to Ohio over 20 times already, with no issue. We’ve done research on safe vehicles and plan to fly him home once a month so he gets a little break. Also, since he’ll have his own apartment (versus living in the barracks as we had planned last fall) the kids and I will come to him some weekends.

As of right now, our plan for our post Coast Guard life remains the same as before. Next summer Josh will begin to look for civilian jobs and then we’ll go from there. This move isn’t necessarily our “settling down” but it is a huge opportunity for us in many ways. We’re all very excited for what lies ahead.

Of course, moving home after living away for almost 7 years will have it’s challenges. Josh and I are very different people than we were when we left and, really, have never lived as a family back home. It will be an adjustment to be surrounded by friends and family (a welcomed adjustment) again as we’ve gotten used to living on our own and only visiting people, pretty much, by appointment. It will also be a huge adjustment living separately from each other for most of the week.

As for the house, we have so many plans and can’t wait to get started on all of them. One of the best things about Ohio is the crazy, insane low cost of living which will allow us not only to afford to live separately but also to be able to do a lot of upgrades on this little cottage. We purposefully kept our budget very low (our mortgage payment will barely be more than our van payment) so we never feel stretched and so hopefully, we end up having made a great investment.

Currently our timeline puts us moving in around the beginning to middle of April. When we asked to be released from Coast Guard housing, we requested a June 1 check out date so the boys wouldn’t start at a new school until the new school year. But due to the CG’s summertime transfer season we were told we’d need to be out by May 1 so that housing would have time for the turnover on our apartment. In turn, we asked for April 15 so the boys have more than 30 days at their new school (not much more but it’s the best we could do).

The kids (Ruby included) are beyond excited for this move. Our house is one street over from our town’s park and public pool and directly behind the Dairy Queen so the location screams kid friendly (the boys call the house the DQ house). We’ll also be just two blocks away from Josh’s favorite pizza shop so the location also screams salami and pepperoni 🙂 The kids are excited to be a part of the community, close to friends and family and to live in a house again versus an apartment.  Ruby knows that some of her favorite people live in Ohio so she keeps asking if she can get her boots on to go to “Hio and pay with Mia and Chelsea.” Josh and I are excited for babysitters 😉

Our inspection was this morning and we’ll receive the report tomorrow. As long as there are no serious issues, our appraisal will be done within the next few days and then it will be a 30 day closing from there. My fingers and toes are crossed!