It finally came up

Changes have been greater than constants since I started the blog, which can be expected since life is a cyclical thing and I’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years. We’re also a military family which definitely comes with an abundance of surprises. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised when this finally came up last night:

“So I talked to the boss today about what my plans are and where we’d like to go next.”

I know. NEXT. We just got here! But it’s kind of how it works… as soon as you get to a base, you’ll be there for about 3 years with a plan of where you would like to go or do when you’re sent somewhere else.

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Since Tom and I have been together, I’ve found that constantly moving has been one of the best and worst parts about military life. It sucks packing up your stuff (we have no clutter, though- bonus), saying goodbye to close friends, and feeling like a newbie and temporary fixture everywhere you go, but on the other hand, it’s helped calm my hardcore Type A ways, I’ve met so many wonderful people and lifelong friends, and seen places that I’d never otherwise visit.

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As soon as we started this crazy ride of being moved around at the government’s whim and forced to be flexible, Tom has always made me feel like he appreciates the fact that I roll with the punches. I declined finance job offers when I was in college since I wouldn’t be In Tucson or able to relocate where they’d like me to, and while it doesn’t matter in the least because I’m crazy in love with my husband (and have a job that I love a thousand times more than I would enjoy any of those), he’s always reminded me that he’s thankful.

MY OTHER VIDEOS

When it came to places where we’d like to be stationed, I told him that if we could ever get back to Tucson to be around my family, that’s all I could ever want. It didn’t have to be soon, just sometime, but I’d like the chance for our kids to get to be surrounded by family, because I grew up with all of my aunts, uncles, nanas and tatas a car ride away. Of course, Tom’s always wanted to instruct, so while we were in Valdosta, he spent 4 years working his ass off to hopefully become an IP and earn an assignment to Tucson. They held us there longer, and longer again (1 more deployments), and when it was finally time to get our assignment, there was one Tucson spot… for the entire Fighter Group. And he got it.

Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier or feel more blessed that we’re here, especially during this time, and have told Tom that since he brought me to Tucson, I don’t care what we do next. We could go wherever, and it’s up to him to decide what he wants to do career-wise or where we go.

Last night, he told me some of the options of places where we could end up, but I told him that as long as I have him, the baby and Bella, I’ll be happy. Even if it’s not an assignment I’m super crazy about, I’ll find ways to make it fun for our daughter.

I’ve definitely thought about how she will feel about moving around all of the time, but I’m not too worried about it. Military kids are some of the friendliest, most adaptable, independent (and polite!), kids I’ve ever met and I think she’ll be ok.  It’s the deployment factor that worries me, but if we have to go through that again, I’ll be strong for her and we’ll do fun things for the time to pass quickly. We’ll have to make lots of videos and send care packages, too.

us (4)

Just like while we were in Valdosta, I had no idea that in 4 years I’d be sitting on our patio in Tucson. I have no idea where we’ll be 4 years from now.

It’s a crazy adventure, for sure, but it definitely keeps us on our toes <3

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72 Comments

  1. Liz on December 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    You’re an inspiration when it comes to relationships – this post is such a great reminder to be thankful for what you have in your life, and the power of positive thinking. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Brittany on December 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Is it strange when you get to a new base? is it hard having to make new friends or does it come easy to military wives? Could you do a post about what life on the base is like? I would be really interested in reading about it!

    • Fitnessista on December 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      sure, that’s a great idea for a post!

      • Brittany on December 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

        Thanks. I have never been around the military. No one in my family (except for a distant cousin) has ever been in the military and I have always been fascinated with the lifestyle. I would love to hear about it from a military wife’s point of view.

        • Ana on December 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

          I would love to hear about your life at the base too! Like Brittany I have no one in the family in the military and no experience with these situations. It would be really nice to learn more about how it is to live at the base!
          Ana

      • Catherine on December 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        I would LOVE a post like this! My fiance joined the Army JAG corps this summer, just finished training, and is in his first week at his new post. I’ll be a military wife as soon as I finish grad school, and I am constantly wondering what it’ll be like – especially since we are apart right now and I can’t experience it with him or meet any other wives.

        Also, you’re positive perspective on being in the Military has been so influential in making me feel okay with it and seeing how it can be a good thing – so thank you!

  3. Laura on December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Your attitude is so awesome 🙂 It bums me out majorly that I never moved to be with my husband (timing/deployments) and I’m so glad you are there for Tom.

    My hus is toying with the idea of joing the army to become a helo pilot… maybe I’m not through with the military wife thing.

  4. carrie on December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    You are always soooooooo positive~I love that!

  5. Lara on December 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Your attitude is inspiring, and I have total faith that your little family will thrive no matter where in the world you are! <3

  6. Kris | iheartwellness.com on December 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I love that you go with the flow and make home where the heart is 😉 I admire that about both you and Tom! What a great environment to raise a little one 🙂

    xxoo

  7. Aimee on December 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    This is such a strong, positive, post! I’m in college now, but when I was younger my family moved essentially every 3-5 years (for reasons other than military). High school was the first time that I had started and graduated from the same school, which I could not be more thankful for. Moving sucks. The packing, unpacking, leaving friends behind, sitting alone in the cafeteria the first day; but, now that I look back, I realize that each move truly was a great opportunity. I’ve lived in 6 different states within the US, and I feel like I’ve learned so much about people and places (despite only being in the US). However, luckily for me, all our moves took place before high school, so I never had to deal with moving then. I know some people who moved during high school and their responses varied. Some got along great in their new home, and some were constantly resentful for having to pick up and leave in the middle of it. I think a lot of it depends how you’re raised. If your children learn to be adaptable and to welcome change, it’ll help them with so much more than just moving. Best of luck to you!

  8. Stacy R. on December 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I know being a military wife is stressful, but I think it must be one of the most rewarding gifts ever. You have such a positive attitude.

    I’ve always wondered how do military families deal with owning a home, especially in this economy. I know it’s great to find good deals, but if you are moving so frequently do you anticipate buying/selling a lot or how do families handle that? That always struck me, because part of the “american dream” is owning a home, but if you are never firmly planted in one place does that make it challenging?

  9. Jamie@cupcakedynamite on December 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I’m not part of a military family but living in VA Beach has allowed me to babysit for a ton. I always admire their strong positive attitudes, and yours too! So nice you get to be with your family at this time.

  10. Crystal on December 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I <3 this post. I'm an Air Force brat, and although it was difficult to leave friends behind and start at new schools all the time, moving every 3-4 years really helped shaped me to be an independent, outgoing person who adapts easily to new situations. I think it also made me closer to my parents and sister, since they were the only real constant people in my life. I am so proud to have had a dad who was in the military, and I'm sure that your little girl will feel the same way 🙂

  11. Dani on December 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Beautiful post, Gina! <3

  12. Ashley on December 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    You are so amazing!!!! Just out of curiosity, is Tom thinking is being active duty permanently? My fiancé flew w/ the AF for 12 years. Now he is in the reserves and is also a pilot for a major airline, so he gets the beat of both worlds. We’re not going anywhere!

  13. sarah on December 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    san diego please!!! 😉
    ps i’ll be there next wed to the following tues so i hope we can find time to get together.
    pps i got your ty card. sooo cute! thanks xo

  14. Sam on December 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    As the product of a military family, I can assure you…your little girl will adapt just fine. 😉 I was lucky enough to have a mom who made the best of our situation and taught us to enjoy the opportunity to see the world. By the time I was in second grade, I’d already been to 14 different countries, and even at a young age, I knew how special that was. My mom always taught us the history of where we were going and really helped us appreciate everything we encountered. Yeah, moving sucked, and saying goodbye to friends was never easy…but I learned to be a great pen pal and quickly learned how to meet new people and feel at home in a strange place. As an adult, I’ve got lifelong friends scattered around the world, and an appreciation for different cultures that keeps me traveling every chance I can get. I always looked at it this way…being in a military family and watching a loved one go to war is so hard…as a thank you, the military gives you a (relatively) free pass to see the world. Eat it up!! 😉

  15. Ali on December 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I am in such awe of you and your amazing attitude. I hope that you consistently rewarded with awesome assignments from now on. I also agree that you could really use the military thing to your advantage when raising your little one, she will be able to adjust to almost anything!

  16. Sana on December 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You have done an amazing job with keeping yourself busy and positive! I am soo proud of you!

  17. Rachel on December 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    ahh girl don’t worry about your little one adapting to the military at all! Both of my parents were in the AF, and both were pilots. We LOVED moving around all the time, and getting to see new places and meet new people. We didn’t see nearly as much of our parents as we’d have liked, but it’s quality>quantity, just like everything else in life. I’m joining the army after grad school and I couldn’t be more excited that my son will get to experience military life 🙂

  18. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on December 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Meowmeow mwah mwah. That’s all I have to say about that.

  19. Ashley on December 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    As a fellow AF wife (and mommy) who is currently going through a deployment….with a crazy active one year old…by myself lol I know how it is dealing with the deployments and moving around. It’s an adventure though and I love my love and aside from being a little more stressed out because I worry if I’m doing everything right with our son. I know that may sound weird but I just want him to come home and be proud of the mommy I am to him….if that makes sense. Also having no “me” time has been overwhelming at times but we manage 🙂 it’s what we do 🙂 you’ll be awesome and your little girl will be fine and worldly! Good luck to y’all!! <3

  20. Alaina on December 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    My husband is in the National Guard with two deployments behind him. We’ve never had to deal with relocation but having him away for the better part of a year is tough. We don’t know where the Army will take us!

    I hope that everything goes well with you and your husband in Tucson. That’s great that you get to go home!!

  21. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    My heart goes out to you both…just when you think you’re settled and are really happy and living right where you want to be..it all changes. Not that you couldn’t be happy somewhere else but I know how much you have wanted to be right where you are at right now: in Tuscon near your family. And with your daughter almost here, the thought of uprooting her and moving away from Grandma, your bro and his soon to be new wife…gosh girl, I can’t even imagine it.

    But good for you for thinking about it and knowing that as long as Pilot is a pilot, that nothing is permanent in terms of where you live. Hugs and strength vibes to you both!

  22. chelsea on December 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Your positivity in everything makes me smile <3

  23. Ali on December 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    You are the CUTEST! So upbeat and positive. I completely agree with you, you’ll be happy anywhere you go! As long as you have the ones you love, you’ll be happy anywhere 🙂

  24. Shaina on December 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I grew up with my Dad in the military – and I hated it so much that I joined the Navy after college. 😉 And then I married a Navy Pilot! Its hard when your loved ones go away, but I think moving so much helped me be those things that you listed. I make friends wherever I go because I didn’t have a choice growing up. A strong, tight-knit family can overcome all of the hard stuff. 🙂

  25. chrissy on December 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    leave it to a boy to calm a girls Type-A ways:) i’ve met many non-military couples doing the whole move thing, one will do a residency here then a few years later they’ll move so the other one can get a PhD at a certain school and then they’ll move again for a job and then the other one will get a better position elsewhere, etc. etc. all while toting and having kiddies and pets! i’m sure it’ll work out for you guys:)

  26. Michelle W on December 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Moving is my favorite part of military life…I truly LOVE living in new places!

  27. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on December 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    You have such an amazing attitude about all this! I an always inpressed Go to Hill AFB!! It’s 30 min north of downtown salt lake city and we can be BFFs 🙂

  28. Emily on December 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Can you do a post about “adapting” to military life? I, too, am totally type A-I love being in control. My fiance is in the army and there is absolutely no room for being a type A freak. We will be moving to Germany in April and I’ve never really moved away from my home. Any tips for a military-wife-to-be?

    • Fitnessista on December 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      yes, i’ll definitely do a reader’s request post on that!

      • Tierney on December 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm

        Emily, you’re so lucky! Germany is AMAZING! I first went on a MAC flight and toured around with my (now) ex. The country was more beautiful than I thought- make sure you go to Wursburg! This will likely make me sound like a total ignoramus but, even though I have travelled a LOT, I thought Germany was going to be cold steel and barren. Instead, I loved my vacation. My recs, based on being a Navy brat (Rota, Spain woot!) and now Navy doc (previously stationed in Japan), is to learn a bit (or more!) of the language, utilize MAC (military airlift command- just Google it) flights for vacations, hit up your nearest ITT and MWR for trips especially when you first get there and have a TOTAL blast. Oh! And make your reservations now for the Edelweiss resort now if you’re into skiing or boarding- it’s a MWR resort in the Alps!

        • Fitnessista on December 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm

          awesome tips- thank you for sharing them!! i’ve never been overseas, but i’ve heard wonderful things about germany

          • Catherine on December 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm

            Are there overseas options for you guys? Would you ever consider that?



          • Fitnessista on December 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

            yep, korea and germany are options that we would definitely consider.
            the pilot also speaks italian, so if he could do liaison work for the italian air force, i wouldn’t be opposed to that at all 😉



  29. Madeline@foodfitnessandfamily on December 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Ah the joys and tribulations of military wifedom. We just got to our current post in September and move agail in April. Where to? We still don’t know. Haha. I told my hubs the same thing – as long as I have him our daughter and pups I will be happy. We will take things as they come. He’s an Army brat and I think military kids are also among the most resilient. Beautiful post.

  30. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) on December 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I love that last picture of you guys! It’s so very sweet, you can see the happiness beaming from both of you. 🙂 It’s obvious that you guys will be happy wherever you go, and it is great to get to experience so much of the country. I hope the next chapter is just as exciting as the current one!

  31. Amber L on December 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    You are one strong woman <3

  32. Kristen on December 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I love your positive attitude! My husband is in the Air Force as well. We are stationed at Holloman AFB, and while it’s definitely not the greatest place in the world, we were lucky to have 3 awesome assignments previously. He’s deployed right now and I have a 15 month old daughter. It’s tough and I wish we had family nearby, but we just keep swimming and try to stay as busy as possible. 🙂

  33. Daisy on December 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve mentioned this in the comments before, but my Dad was an F-16 pilot when I was growing up. We lived all over the world and it was an amazing experience. My parents had a great time with it, we carried our family traditions with us wherever we went and we truly saw the world together. I wouldn’t change it for a thing- and the best part is, I make new friends really easily 🙂

  34. gabbw on December 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Hubby has been active duty for almost 20 years now and I have the same attitude as you. As long as we are together it doesn’t matter where we go. Our three boys are so much the better for all the moves too. It has been great for them to experience other cultures and see that not everyone lives like comfortable Americans. It has given them a much greater appreciation for what they have and for our family. Your little one will be wonderful with the great atttitude of her parents!

  35. Jill on December 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    As a former Aussie Army brat, I agree with the other posts about the benefits of this amazing lifestyle. Lifelong friends and an appreciation of other cultures are just two. My 80’s childhood in Washington DC was so much fun and the camaraderie of our army cohort made this one of the best times of my life. The strength of your relationship will help get you through, and one of the things I love about your blog is how clear your love for the Pilot is (& vice versa)!

  36. Sarah on December 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Hmmm, we have a number of air force bases in CO, and aren’t that far from AZ… :). It must be hard to not know where you’ll be for more than a few years, but you handle it with such grace! Tom is very lucky to have such an awesome wife and your little girl will adapt just fine anywhere with wonderful parents like you guys will be!

  37. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 17, 2011 at 12:39 am

    This was so beautiful to read! You have such an amazing family, with the right people by your side the ups and downs of life are just one big adventure!

  38. Jessica on December 17, 2011 at 6:02 am

    I grew up moving all over the place every few years (my dad worked for Boeing) and honestly, I think it makes you so adaptable and gives you such good people skills. I think it is definitely a positive thing in my life!

  39. Courtney on December 17, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I love your positive attitude about everything! You will definitely be the best, strongest mommy to your little girl no matter where you guys end up. What will you guys do about the house in Tuscon? Didn’t you buy it? Do you think you will sell it, or keep it to someday come back to? Best wishes!

  40. Jessica on December 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

    This was a beautiful post <3 I'm sad for you that you'll eventually have to leave Tucson because you really do seem to love it! But you have a wonderful attitude about it, and I hope you're sent somewhere that you'll enjoy just as much (or close to it). xo

  41. Eleah on December 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I grew up in a military family… it was certainly hard and times and there were times when I had a lot of disdain for my parents for making us move all the time. My father retired when I was 10 but my mother kept moving us (she grew up in the military as well and was used to it.)
    Sometimes I wish I was that person who had friends since 1st grade and memories of my neighborhood as a child.. but I do also love the way I grew up.. constantly seeing new things and learning different (American) cultures. And now, though I’m on my own, I still move around my city every year so for change. 🙂
    Just make sure you let your kiddo’s express themselves every time the “M” word comes up!

  42. mary on December 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Is there a time when he will retire and go civilian? It’s probably 15 years away but it’s still something to look ahead toward (unless he’ll never leave the military unless forced or something)!

  43. Jenn (eating bender) on December 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    The relationship you two share warms my heart, truly. You have such great attitudes – both of you – and support for one another’s dreams, and I have no doubt that your daughter will be just as lovely because her parents are such great role models! <3

  44. Allison on December 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    So touching… I have never been part of a military family, but growing up in the DC area I’ve been surrounded by friends whose parents work for some part of the government and had to move throughout their childhood. They have said it’s been hard at times, frequently having to say bye and switching schools, but they always said if they could have it any other way they wouldn’t… With my optimistic personality, there is always a bright side to everything- just think, you and your future family will get to experience the world and if he ever is deployed, you all will have more time for mother-daughter bonding!

  45. Lindsay Loves Veggies on December 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    You guys are so amazing! Your love always makes my heart swell.

    You should check out McChord AFB in Washington state! It’s definitely a change from down south, but it’s pretty awesome up here! 😉

  46. Caitlyn on December 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I am a military brat, and it was definitely a fantastic experience – living internationally and moving every three years was something I loved. It’s a great experience to have as a kid, and it’s unfathomable to me that people spend their entire lives in one place. Deployments I think were harder on my mom then they were on me and my siblings – at some point, it becomes normal that dad’s gone for six months, and it means mom just lets you eat cereal for dinner and watch more movies. 🙂

  47. Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit on December 18, 2011 at 7:10 am

    We’re a military family with 2 kids and we’ve moved several times with them in tow. I believe moving will enrich my children’s lives, and I agree with you, military kids are some of the most adaptable children out there. I grew up a military kid and I handled deployments the way I saw my mom did: with strength and the knowledge that life goes on and Dad will be home.

    I absolutely love the life the military has afforded us and look forward to seeing new places; I think the right attitude is what helps one survive the crazy military lifestyle. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      you’re totally right- attitude makes all the difference <3

  48. Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run on December 18, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Hey Gina…I’m a military brat!

    My father was transferred a gazillion times when I was a child. He retired when I was a month away from getting married (at 23), so I did move around literally my entire life. 13 different schools, and there was literally only ONE move I hated: the one where I was dragged away from my best friends in between 9th and 10th grade. I still give my parents a hard time about it. 😉 I was in marching band (which was HUGE down here in the South) and moved North…where marching band was NOT so cool. I was miserable. (High school would be the one time I’d say to be wicked vigilant of her feelings on moving.)

    Otherwise? I’m lucky. I’ve seen things. I’ve experienced culture (and your little one will so in more ways – as I never went international). I’ve made friends all over the place, and have many memories to share with my girls. As an adult, I see that aspect of my childhood as a blessing…because college was a really easy transition, finding a new job is always easy, and moving is always easy!!!

    (Not to mention I get the “itch” to move around every 2-4 years. Haha.)

    I have two sisters….and BOTH are military wives. (And mine WANTS to be in the military!) I feel like military life as a child and watching our mother support our father has been the reason why my sisters were able to (barely) handle military life. (I say barely, because they were SO young when they started…and the one that’s still seeing her hubby deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan has seen him go now for the 6th time next month.)

    She’ll benefit from it. It’s an experience, for sure. 🙂 (And sorry for the long winded comment!)

    • Fitnessista on December 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      i loved your comment- thank you!
      we’ll definitely be sure to talk to her about potential moves and possibilities- she’ll be as much a part of the decision process as we are.
      i also get the itch to move every 2-4 years 🙂

  49. Laurie on December 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    You’re so amazing!! You have such a wonderful attitude on so many things relating to this! I would do the same as you, as long as I’m with my husband and daughter (and Bella of course!). Tom is very lucky to have you! Good luck on whatever the future brings to you and your family!

  50. Pure2raw twins on December 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Girl I do not know how you do it, I hope you realize how strong and amazing you are!!!!

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