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five people twelve times – may 2011

May was a month filled with logistics. How to get from point A to point B. What to do with cars. Selling houses. Packing. Organizing. Purging. We left our house a few days ago and it was a hard day. When I express my concerns or anxieties about moving I always hear, “You knew what you were getting into when you married into the Coast Guard.” While there is some truth to that, the 26 year old me had no idea what the 35 year old me would be getting herself and her family into. Here are a few things that I have learned:

1. The Coast Guard has given us a nomadic life that is rich and always interesting. We are proud of what Wes does and most of the time we love it.

2. Moving every few years gets a lot harder as the age of your children increases. We lived in Cali for 4 years and made roots. Friends. Surrogate families. Fell in love with teachers and schools. It was not a big deal to move babies, but it is a big deal to move kids.

3. It really sucks to fill out preschool paperwork and be unable to fill in the emergency contact info. You realize that you literally do not know a single person that can be your “person”. Thankfully, this simple fact forces you to get out and make some friends.

4. You will make the best and dearest friends, and they will be all over the world. Really, we are so lucky to have met the people that we have and we really are good about staying in touch.

5. The military community really is like none other. They are a group of people that give unconditional support and will help any and every one that comes to them. We are a fiercely loyal bunch and I am proud to be a part of it.

6. Where we live is just geography. The 5 of us are what we consider to be home. We stick together and are a close knit little bunch because we have to depend on each other so much.

7. Make your life as simple as possible. Do not acquire a lot of stuff. This move was the easiest one because we have pared our lives to the essentials. It makes the packing and unpacking so much easier. It also makes the living easier.

8. My kids are rock stars. In the last 5 nights, they have slept in 4 different cities. They have spent a lot of time in the car and they did not bitch or moan. They get that this is an adventure. They are making the best out of something that is hard. For all of us. Play up the adventure aspect of moving. Make its sound exciting and fun. Right this minute, the three of them are sleeping sideways in a bed and holding hands. Can you hear my heart melting?

9. Treat the place that you live like you are tourist. No matter how long you live somewhere, do the things that tourists do. Visit all of the kitschy things and do the dorky stuff. Explore. Adventure. Get the most out of each and every place that you live.

10. I understand that my attitude is the one that dictates how my children deal with moving. If I am down, and depressed, and make no effort to make new friends and see new things, then they will share my attitude. Even if it is hard, I am sad, and I miss my life, I put on a happy face for my children’s sake.

I am off to bed, tomorrow we are headed to Colorado. Or we will spend the day in Cheyenne. Who knows. We are enjoying the ride and seeing the country.


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  1. shawna [of styleberryBLOG]

    June 5th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    best wishes for a smooth move across country!! If you stay north & drive through Omaha, promise me you will let me know–I have the BEST two little places to send you–one breakfast, one lunch. Seriously in the restaurant rankings they are #1 & #2! Have fun!! & LOVE this list. so super true. ((hugs))

  2. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I have a girls trip planned to Omaha, I will definitely talk to you before I go.

  3. sarah dobbins

    June 6th, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Bree, this post almost made me cry. You are a wonderful mama! I moved around a LOT growing up, and you are so right about so many things–our family is super close because there were so many times we were each others’ only friends. Moving is such an adventure, and it will make you tougher! Best of luck on your journey to Kansas! Your road trip sounds like it will be a lot of fun; I look forward to keeping up with you in your new home!

  4. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    thank you Sarah, I appreciate you telling me this.

  5. Autumn

    June 6th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Cali misses the Hester family already. Great post,,,so much truth written here! Enjoy the rest of your cross country; Colorado will cheer you up (it is my favorite state!!)

  6. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    thanks Autumn, I am so glad that we got to spend some time together before we left.

  7. heather

    June 6th, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Enjoy your adventure, even though it is hard. But you are right, your best friend may be waiting for you in Kansas. Great job keeping the perspective. Best wishes!!

  8. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    thanks Heather, this move was much easier than I thought that it was going to be. We all had pretty good attitudes and it made a big difference.

  9. Daina Mahaffey

    June 6th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I love that you are so positive while in your heart you miss those friends that have become family out here in Cali. Remember to keep posting…. letting us know how the Hester’s are doing. I am very proud to call you a friend and I know that the CG family will always support you, that helps ease my heart. Miss you already!!!

  10. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I try to be, leaving CA was hard, we loved the friends that we had and the community. Thank you for being part of it.

  11. Sarah

    June 8th, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I’m in the midst of a move right now and I can totally relate to the homesickness when you realize you don’t have a local emergency contact! (we’re not military though, so we don’t have the advantage of the built-in support system) Thanks for your positive attitude though…you’re a good example to me!

  12. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you Sarah, moving is hard, but I truly believe that attitude will make the experience so much better.

  13. Erin Ledford

    June 16th, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    been following you through facebook and blog. i know you are busy so have not called. so glad your household goods arrive tomorrow. on to the next adventure!

  14. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Things have calmed down. Was thinking about you yesterday, but it was a bad time to call you. I’ll call you this weekend.

  15. Kelly

    June 17th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Wow Bree, your writing is beautiful and you have the best attitude. I’m contemplating a move from MD to California… and it scares me! All the best to your family.

  16. Bree

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    thank you so much Kelly. Don’t be scared, moving is wonderful. So many new friends and experiences. It is worth all of the effort and inconvenience.

  17. Emily

    August 31st, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Loved this post. Just ran across this blog. My father was in the military, and so naturally we moved a lot! I’m not sure that many people understand how rich and fulfilling moving was for my childhood. Most wonder how I dealt with what most consider a traumatic childhood. But moving so much just acted as a binding agent for our family. We close! Other than than – what an opportunity to see the world and meet all kinds of people! Thanks for this – I’m all grown up now and my own family is considering joining the military.

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