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I love moving. Seriously, I really do.

military moving

The other day, I was having a conversation with someone that I didn’t know very well. I mentioned that we were moving, she looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry.”

I looked at her, puzzled, and asked, “Sorry for what?”

“Your poor children have to move again, that must be so hard for them.”

It took me a second to regain my composure, but I answered her the nicest way that I could.

“My children look at moving as an adventure and love it. If they didn’t, we would probably figure something else out, but for now, this is what works for our family. We think that moving is an opportunity.”

She didn’t really understand where I was coming from. This time, she looked at me with a puzzled expression. She has lived in the same house for 20 years. Her relatives all live 10 minutes from her house. Her kids have never switched schools. She loves her life, just as much as I love mine.

When I married my husband almost 11 years ago, I knew that I wasn’t just marrying him. I was also making a commitment to the United States Coast Guard. I knew that I was marrying a search and rescue pilot and that our lives probably wouldn’t look like a lot of other families.

I knew that there would be time apart. Lots. Moving every couple of years. Transitions. Duty nights. Not living near family. Rental homes. I knew that there would be sacrifices.

But what I didn’t know was how rich our lives would be because of it. We have lived and seen a lot of our country and some others. We have friends literally all over the world. We get to experience living some place for a short amount of time and absolutely embrace it. We get to be tourists in our own town. We have friends that are honestly family. Our family of 5 is extremely tight. We get to make our own traditions. We get to reinvent ourselves every few years.

My husband has a million dollar education. He lived out his childhood dream of becoming a pilot. He saves people’s lives. And gets paid for it.

I was, and still am, 100% happy with that decision.

Life is about choice.

Every time it comes time to rotate, we sit down and have a conversation about what is the best thing for our family. What are our options? What will our life be like there? What are the schools like? Where will we live? We never have the answers. But we choose to go. We move forward and if we don’t like the options, we keep an open mind and know that it will all work out the way that it is supposed to in the end.

After all of these years, I have realized one thing. Where we live is simply geography.

We will never be homeless. We will always have what we need. The kids will go to a good school. And as long as we have each other, everything will be just fine.

I have come to terms with the fact that I sometimes move to a new place and not know a soul. I know that I will never live down the street from my sister and that airplanes are almost always going to be involved when I want to see my family. I know that my career will take a back seat as long as we are in. I know that my kids will switch schools and use which house we were living in to reference time.

One of the things that I hear over and over from military wife friends is that they have no control over their lives. There is some truth to this, but what you do have control over is your attitude. Having an open mind, positive outlook, and just a little sense of adventure go a long way.

And not even just for you, but for your children. How you react and treat moving will be picked up on by your kids. Even if I am not thrilled about the place where we are going, we talk up the new friends we are going to make, the things that we are going to see, the new things to do and how fun life is going to be. It is not fair to tarnish their experience with your fear.

Having fear is completely normal and expected. But what if you changed your mindset from what you are leaving behind to the new experiences you are going to have?

I think that I have been blessed to not be a worrier. I don’t get very fussed over moving. I love it. I don’t always love the actual move, but I do love the promise that a move holds. It’s like Christmas times a thousand every couple of years. I love change. I crave change.

We are one month out from our 6th move in less than 11 years. I am excited about where the next few years will take us.

How does the idea of moving make you feel?

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  1. Blueberry Pecan Granola - Baked Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 8:00 am

    […] use any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut, that you like. We are getting ready to move (a month from today!) and I am trying to use up what is left in the pantry. Blueberry and pecan is […]

  2. Michelle Naomi

    May 16th, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This was a lovely thing to read this morning! I’m feeling very emotional about leaving somewhere I absolutely love in about a month and heading into very unknown territory. I’m excited about moving to the east coast but leaving the people I love here makes me so sad. I know it will be an adventure and I can’t wait to see how it turns out but the initial feeling I have is pure anxiety.

  3. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you so much Michelle. I had one move like that. I sat in the driveway and cried when the moving van pulled away. It was hard. And it took me a while to get my bearings, but you do. Sometimes it just takes a little while. My advice – get out of the house and make some friends. It makes the transition so much easier. Best of luck on your move.

  4. renee @ savoring life through the lens

    May 16th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    oh, bree, this made me cry, happy tears. I come from a family who still lives in the same area since I was born. My parents still live in the same house they bought before I was born. My parents and I went on the SAME vacation every summer while I was growing up; North Carolina. One year they switched it up and took me on a Disney cruise. LOVED that! And, we did do lots of Disney trips, too. But our BIG trip was always to the smokies.

    But, anyway, marrying my college sweetheart, Coast Guard lawyer, change was SO hard for me once starting this Coast Guard life. We started on Guam together, then back to my hometown in Fl, then VA, now New Orleans. And all those moves made me who I am today. I embrace change now more than I ever have.

    When first move, I use be VERY frazzled…I was little frazzled at the beginning of our last move her to NOLA. Nowhere near as bad as our first move. I’ve grown SO much because of my husbands Coast Guard job and most importantly, this life has help me connect more and more to who I am and what I’m most passionate in life.

    I, too, am hoping to raise my children to see all this moving as an adventure…something that’s taken me time to adjust too. But, now, this is something I really wanna model to them. It’s SO true…it’s all about your attitude about it. The most impt. thing I’ve learned!! And, I’ve learned that everything works out in the end…EVERYTHING!!

    we aren’t moving this summer, we were able to extend, but my heart is kinda sad that we aren’t. but i know i’m gonna BE SO ready for our next adventure in 3 years!!

    wishing you smooth transitions to your next duty station!! can’t wait to read all about it!!

  5. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Oh Renee, I am so glad that you liked this post. It gets easier and harder every time. I know that my life is so much better because I married into this crazy life. I can’t say that it would look like this if I stayed put. For now, this works for us. I love it. I love the chaos. I love the newness. Now, I am such a PRO at moving. It doesn’t even stress me out. 🙂

  6. Diem

    May 16th, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Hi Bree, good thing you love moving since it is bound to happen quite often. I moved a lot as a child and have always, always craved stability. I don’t think my parents had a negative attitude about the moves, it just was. I think it has made me into a very flexible, easy going type person though and I make friends wherever I go. As an adult, married with two young kids in elementary school we have moved them several times (once out of the country)…like you I embrace change and get antsy if we don’t travel or get out of town every few months. We move for work reasons and adventure. I am, however, tired of moving at this point. I loathe packing – hate it! I want to put down some roots until our kids are ready to head on to college one day. My kids have experienced so much at a young age – the little one has been to 6 countries and he turns 7 this month. Even though we have a good attitude about moving, they reminisce about the good old days…which is funny to me since they are still so young and have never lived anywhere for more than 2 years. We are lucky to have good, rich lives, but I want to stay put. I think everyone is different and whatever works for you is what matters. So good luck on your next move! I don’t feel bad for you at all 😉

  7. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I too long for stability sometimes, but right now it isn’t possible for us right now. Life is what it is sometimes and it is all about your attitude towards it. I truly believe that when the time is right for us, we will settle down. I do dream of being a home owner again.

  8. Heather @ French Press

    May 16th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    LOVE this post! I absolutely love moving, and my parents/siblings just don;t understand it. We have not uprooted as much as you have, but we have now been in our home three years, and I am getting the itch…good luck in the new adventure

  9. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you Heather. Some people just don’t understand, and that is okay. It isn’t for everyone. I understand the itch….

  10. Brittany

    May 16th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I loved this so much. We have moved around quite a bit ourselves, most recently from Denver to Charlotte and we always sell our kids on the adventure. Moving can be hard but I love to watch the growth that comes from it, new experiences and places have made our family stronger and given us some of our dearest friends. Good luck with your upcoming move. I am sure exciting things await you and your family 🙂

  11. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you so much. I love the idea of adventure and wanderlust for our kids. 🙂

  12. Liz Ricci

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Wonderful post! We move quite a bit as well. We’ve lived in our new “hometown” for two months this week and we’re really enjoying it. This was our 4th move in 3 years, but I wouldn’t trade it in to have stayed in South Jersey. Although we too have no family nearby we’ve adopted your philosophy of sticking together, embracing our new surroundings and making wonderful friends and new colleagues who are our family. I think it’s wonderful to spend time living in different places and would agree that even at age 3, our son has gained valuable qualities of worldliness, flexibility and a sense of adventure. Moving is a way of life for us, my husband’s career lends us no other choice. I too knew this when we left Northfield 13 years ago, and I’ve enjoyed the experience so far(minus the rainbow of inventory takes I still find from assorted moving lines :). Best of luck with your latest adventure!

  13. Bree

    May 16th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Liz! I love this. I think that a lot of my community feels that moving is something that only happens to military families, but that is not true. Lots of people move. I can’t imagine living in South Jersey at this point either. I loved growing up there, but am so grateful for the life we have now. I am so glad that you are enjoying where you are. XOXO.

  14. Jennifer

    May 20th, 2014 at 12:39 am

    As I said in my FB comment, we are on 18 in 28….and I could have written this post, only I don’t write as well! Over the years I have told many people the same things you wrote. Our children, 25 and 26, wouldn’t have changed a thing and because of this life they have adventurous spirits and see things with a world view. It is a wonderful life…when you embrace it as you have!! Happy Getting Settled!

  15. Bree

    May 25th, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Thank you Jennifer, that is really sweet of you to say. 🙂

  16. Stephanie

    May 20th, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Navy spouse of 24 years here! I don’t mind moving – and our children thrive – but it does get harder as they get older. Mine are 15, 17 and 21 in one month! I had a theory that since I grew up and graduated with some of the same kids I started kindergarten with, and ended up liking to move – that my kids who were forced to move a lot – my oldest attended 3 different high school and my youngest was in a different school for every year of middle school – would crave stability and want to stay put once they could choose for themselves. Notice I said that I HAD a theory – lol – my middle child wants to be a Navy pilot like her dad, and the oldest says she wouldn’t hesitate to marry someone who wanted to join the military. Good luck with your move – we are staying put for the next 2 years or so – gotta love those “fleet up” orders!

  17. Bree

    May 25th, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I would imagine that it would. I just hope that they look at the experiences that they have had because of it. 🙂

  18. Kira Lemons

    May 20th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Your article is awesome, Bree! I grew up with both parents in the Army (they met in OCS, it’s kind of adorable). I’ve lived in the same town for the past 3 1/2 years, though I’ve moved twice in that time, and I’m definitely getting restless.

  19. Bree

    May 25th, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Totally adorable. 🙂 Thanks Kira!

  20. Laura

    May 21st, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Bree, Thank you for sharing your positive attitude! It is refreshing to read a positive take on our adventurous Military moves! I to enjoy the excitement of moving ( not the actual process) if I live in a home mote than two years I start rearranging furniture etc…
    We need more positive articles like this especially for our young Military spouses.
    I hope you share your next adventure with us!

  21. Bree

    May 25th, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Thank you Laura! I feel you. I start to get the itch to move or rearrange my house. 🙂 You will be tired of me sharing, I promise! We are beyond happy about this move. 🙂

  22. Karen @ And Then We Laughed

    May 21st, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I agree 100%. Very well said!

  23. Bree

    May 25th, 2014 at 12:03 am

    thank you Karen!

  24. My best moving tips and tricks. - Bree Hester

    May 23rd, 2014 at 10:54 am

    […] want to thank you for the kind words and comments from last week’s post. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me that you take the time to read what I have to […]

  25. Black Forest Trifles - Baked Bree

    May 30th, 2014 at 8:01 am

    […] (AKA – my house). I am in the purge/clean/donate/purge some more mode getting ready for the movers to come in the next couple of weeks. It felt like it would never get here and then this morning I realized […]

  26. Yellow Tulips

    June 18th, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    You’re exactly right about this topic!

    About 40 years ago I married a fellow from Colorado who was a Lieutenant JG in the Navy. I am a native New Englander. We lived in so many great places – and, embraced and enjoyed each of them.

    Have fun on “my” Cape Cod. You will love it except for the traffic in the summer. Beaches are great and the seafood is phenomenal!

  27. Bree

    June 18th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I grew up in a beach town, I am no stranger to the traffic. 🙂 And thank you, I am so glad you loved the experience like I do.

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