We Have Orders!

We Have Orders! | Keating & Co.

We finally have orders, my friends!  But first, let me give a little backstory.

We already had a bit of a plan in place for when he returns home.  I know it’s not realistic to make plans in the military, but we did.  First, we ideally wanted to stay on the east coast, preferably North Carolina, but we requested South Carolina since he’d already spent five years in North.  We assumed they wouldn’t let us go back so we didn’t bother to request it.  Since we want to live in North Carolina long term when he gets out in 2018, living in one of the Carolinas would allow us to purchase a home and get settled a bit before he gets out.  We figured it would make the transition a bit easier.

Next, we wanted his time off to align with my dad’s wedding which is happening at the start of September.  We had our fingers crossed that his report date would be the end of September rather than August.  That way he could be here for the wedding and he’d be able to help out more with the move.  I did not want him to have to fly to our next base and leave me to make the drive by myself with an anxious dog.  That’s far from ideal and it literally gave me anxiety to think about.

The last thing we needed was for him to be back in PMO (military police station). Currently being overseas, he’s in a field unit and field units deploy.  As an MP (military police), he’d be in a non-deployable unit like he was when we lived in North Carolina.  This was my biggest concern.  We want to start our family when he comes home this summer and it worried me to no end that he’d possibly come home from being away for 12 months just to deploy and leave again soon after arriving.  This would either prevent us from having a baby like planned or it would mean I’d be going through my entire pregnancy and/or delivery by myself.  Not only would that have upset me, but it would have upset him as well since he wants to be present for every moment of it.

So we had a bit of a plan in place.  About three weeks ago, we got an email from the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) regarding my “back problems”.  Since I got denied overseas travel last summer, it’s required that I fill out EFMP enrollment forms.  For those of you who do not know what EFMP is, it’s a program designed to fit the needs of dependents who need ongoing medical care for things like diabetes or even more serious issues like autism.  Sometimes this limits where a service member can be stationed which is what really worried me.

After 8 months of stress last year trying to get approved to move to Japan, the nightmare still wasn’t over.  I called the program director for EFMP and she was so incredibly helpful and supportive.  I explained to her that I had zero issues with my back and she assured me as long as I wasn’t on any medications for it and haven’t been hospitalized in the last year for it then I’ll be all set and the enrollment packet will be quickly denied.  Thank God!

This made me feel a bit better, but then came the part where I had to get the paperwork signed off by a doctor.  I have a doctor here, but it’s only a temporary doctor since I’m only here for a year.  I had never visited her before so of course when I called to make an appointment, she wanted to do a whole physical for their records and didn’t have an available time slot until the end of May.  When the military gives you paperwork at the end of March and says it needs to be done ASAP, they do not mean two months later.  So I was super worried that it would turn into another PCS horror story where they send him to his next base without me again.

Thankfully, the doctor was able to see me this past Monday, I submitted the paperwork that night, and we got orders yesterday.  SO.  With all that said, I am SO excited to announce that we will be moving to MCAS Miramar in beautiful San Diego, CA this September!

I cannot even begin to explain how excited we are.  It’s not the Carolinas, but we’re very excited to have the opportunity to see the west coast and live in California.  He’ll be back in PMO so there should be no more deployments between now and when he gets out and he doesn’t have to be there until the end of September which means he’ll be here for the wedding and to help me move.  It worked out so perfectly for us.

It’s such a sigh of relief right now.  He told me at around 4 o’clock yesterday morning (yes, I was still up at 4am) and I instantly broke down in tears.  This past year has been so hard on us and it’s such an amazing feeling to have the plans in place and really begin to take the steps needed to make the move.  At the same time, it doesn’t even really feel real.  I’ve never left the east coast of the United States before.  And I never could have imagined being able to actually live in California.  And the road trip out is going to be so much fun!  I cannot wait see other states and I know Zack is super thrilled to be stuck in the car with me for so many days (did you catch the sarcasm there?).  We definitely plan to extend the trip a bit so that we can make some stops and explore a bit on the way over so it’s going to be amazing!

Of course I’d like to thank all of you amazing people for being there for us this past year.  It’s crazy that we’re already making plans for him to come home.  Sometimes I feel like he just left yesterday.  But these past eight months really have gone by so much faster than I had anticipated and I couldn’t be more thankful to have all of you!  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you!  I’ll keep you all posted when I have more updates on our move!

Have you lived/been stationed in the San Diego area?  I’d love some tips on where to go and what to do while we’re there!

  • Oh all of this made me so happy for you all! No more deployments?! That’s living the dream right there. And how did I not know you were in the Carolinas? We’re in NC!

    • I’ve greatly lucked out with deployments. He deployed in 2012 before we were a couple and then ever since we became a couple, he’s been in non-deployable units. He “deployed” to Korea back in February, but he’s already overseas so it wasn’t a huge deal. No combat or anything lol and we LOVED North Carolina. He lived there for five years and I lived there for about a year and a half before he went overseas. I’m now in our home state until he comes back. But we both really enjoyed it there. It’s such a beautiful state.

  • Congrats! Love San Diego!

    • Thanks Erica! We’re so excited to get there and start exploring! 🙂

  • Jen

    I am so excited for you guys and happy that it worked out the way it did! I am a born and raised west coaster so I am excited that you guys get to experience it. 🙂

    • Thanks Jen! I cannot wait to experience it! I’ve never left the east coast before so the drive alone will be exciting haha

  • Congrats! California will be a great experience! My best friend’s husband was stationed in Oceanside, CA at Camp Pendleton. I wish I could have visited them more because it was absolutely gorgeous and right on the ocean. She loved living down there in Cali! Which is funny because we are all from a small town, so she was a bit worried about the traffic and size before moving there. She really loved the warm weather!

    • Thanks Christy! We have friends at Camp Pendleton. It’s only about 45 minutes from us so it’ll be nice to have a few friends there already. But we’re huge beach people and I love the warm weather so this should be a great move for us haha

  • Congratulations!!! It sounds like you got all of your wishes except location, but honestly, maybe it’s a blessing since you know where you want to settle down anyway in 2018… so it’ll be SO AWESOME to get to experience the west coast for a bit as well!! Sometimes I don’t like where bases are located (especially Air Force bases… ugh… they’re usually in the middle of nowhere because people don’t want the jet sounds near their houses and for testing purposes… blah), but places are definitely what you make of them, and San Diego will be wonderful! 🙂

    • Thanks Janelle! I’ve already asked my husband if we can stay in San Diego and we’re not even there yet haha I’m already not wanting to move all the way back to the East coast so we’ll see. If we have well-established lives there and love the area then there’s a high chance we’ll just stay. So I’m SO excited.

  • Let me tell you – I < 3 San Diego. In fact, it is our vacation destination when I go visit Hubby in California. We head south and go play in the warm waters. Check out the beach cottages at San Onofre Beach – they are a perfect staycation destination! Well, I wish you had received orders to the Carolinas, but I do think this one won't be awful – you won't have snow, but you will have some sand!

    • I’m going to have to check those out! I cannot wait to get there. And I cannot stand snow and cold weather so I’ll be all set with the sand and sunshine haha we’re not even there yet and I already asked my husband if we can stay long term rather than moving to North Carolina like planned lol

  • That’s so cool! Say hello to Cali for me! I’ve always wanted to go. North Carolina is the best state ever (I’m a bit biased), but I bet California will be amazing!

    • Haha I will! We loved North Carolina so much. It was so laid back where we were and we completely fell in love with it. But we’re super excited to experience California. We’re not even there yet and I’ve already asked my husband if we can just stay there long term rather than moving when he gets out lol

  • That is awesome! San Diego is beautiful! I’ve been there a couple times, and it’s one of my favorite vacation spots. The weather is perfect, and you’re going to love it. I’m so glad everything worked out timing wise too. 🙂

    • I’ve heard so many great things about San Diego. I’m so excited we get to live there. I added it to the weather app on my phone and I’m already excited to be there haha I definitely prefer the warm weather and sunshine to cold temperatures and snow. So it should work out well for me lol

  • Eek! So exciting! I’ve never been to the west coast before but I’ve heard great things – I’m sure you’ll love it!

    • I haven’t either so I’m super excited for it!! 🙂 it’ll be an adventure.

  • Justine Y

    Congratulations on coming to sunny California! There are so many wonderful things about it (not all the people or traffic, but you’ll get over it eventually) and I know you guys will have a great time while you’re here. 🙂 You definitely want to check out Old Town San Diego (that will probably become a favorite spot for you), and the Wild Animal Park, and Sea World of course!

    • We grew up in a very small town in Maine and it flat out sucked haha I would LOVE to be surrounded by people and have things to do. I do hate traffic though, but I will get it over it quickly. I’ll have to add Old Town San Diego to my list of things to do there! (yes, I already have a list going haha). Sea World is on the list and I will add Wild Animal Park as well! Thanks for the recommendations!!

  • Congrats girl! I’m glad things worked out for you. I visited San Diego last spring and absolutely loved it. How nice that he will be in a non-deployable unit too!

    • Thank you!! It worked out way too perfectly haha San Diego is on my travel bucket list so we’re thrilled to be able to live there. So many items will be crossed off our bucket list this summer 🙂

  • That’s exciting! That is about an hour where I am from 🙂

    • That’s awesome! I didn’t realize how many blog/military friends I have in that area. I already have plans to meet three others. It’s exciting! 🙂 good to know I’ll have friends in the area already haha

  • That’s so exciting!! 🙂 You’ll love California, it has so much to offer! I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for Josh’s first assignment!

    • You’ll have to let me know when he gets it!! We couldn’t be more excited about this move 🙂 we’re already planning our cross-country road trip haha

  • Congratulations!! Finally!! Imagine how much fun you guys are going to have in the sunshine. It’s not as big of an adventure as Japan would have been, but it’s still an adventure for you two 🙂 ?

    • Honestly, I much prefer California to Japan. Japan was actually the very last base we ever wanted to be stationed (along with Hawaii). He can’t stand it there so I’m very thankful that he only has to be there for a year. We’re very similar so if he hates it then it’s pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn’t have liked it either lol It sucks to be away from him but everything really did work in our favor so we couldn’t be more excited for this move 🙂

  • I am so happy that everything worked out so well for you guys!! I grew up in San Diego and live in the SF Bay Area now, so I am obviously a big fan of California 🙂 You are going to love San Diego! Beautiful weather and beaches–what more could you want?! Good luck with your move!!

    • Thanks Jess! I love beautiful weather AND I’m a huge fan of the beach haha so it should be the perfect match 🙂 we’re not even there yet and I already don’t want to leave.

  • Belle Vie A Deux

    That’s awesome you’re gonna love it!

  • Donnica Smalls

    Congratulations! That’s exciting and I’m happy that it worked out. South Carolina is my home state so I’m a bit biased towards the Carolinas, but California will be amazing.

    • I love the Carolinas! I was born in South Carolina and lived in North Carolina for a while. I would have loved to move back. BUT we re so thrilled to have the opportunity to see and live in California 🙂 so we’re pretty happy regardless. We’ll be back in North Carolina at some point!

  • Congratulations. San Diego is a great city and I think you’ll really like it. There is so much to do there and lots of other places within driving distance nearby (LA & Vegas).

    • San Diego is on my travel bucket list so I’m thrilled that we get to live there. I’ve heard such great things about it. And we definitely plan to see LA and Vegas while we’re out there as well 🙂

  • I was selfishly hoping for Hawaii, but I know that wouldn’t be ideal for you. Congrats again!

    • Haha we all have our selfish moments. I forgive you. Hawaii was definitely not on our list of places we wanted to go. We’d love to go there for a vacation, but not to live. We also said that about Japan and now Zack’s stuck there :p so we’re very happy with California! 🙂

  • OneCrazyKid

    Congratulations! Your year apart is in the home stretch. I think you will love California, it’s beautiful there. I’m so glad it is working out for you both. 🙂

    • Thank you!! It feels so good to be so close to his homecoming. I remember him leaving like it just happened yesterday. It’s crazy to think it was 8 months ago now. But we’re so excited for this new chapter 🙂

  • Keating! This is amazing! You will LOVE California and I am so glad that you get to start your next chapter with your husband so soon!

    • Thanks so much Chelsie! We really couldn’t be more excited for this move 🙂 it’ll be the perfect place for us to start fresh and rebuild our life together. Just over 3 months left until he’s home for good!