North Carolina for Christmas and the 5th Move

Clayton, North Carolina – December 27, 2016 – Christmas Break! Well such a break does not exist for college graduates – but I love to pretend that it still does. Thankfully Rob was approved for Marine Corps leave at the last minute so that we could go visit his family in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Plus, a shout-out to the awesome advertising company that I work for, for letting me join him. It was my first Christmas away from my family in Texas, but as a newly married couple with families across the country – we will have to become used to splitting up the holidays. Our new puppy Trigger tagged along for the trip. He was a very “good boy” *hehe* and our family loved him!

On the road to North Carolina. Rob looks grumpy because I made our start time late. Whoops!
On the road to North Carolina. Rob looks grumpy in this photo because I made our start time late. Whoops!
My precious
My precious “rabbit-eared” German Shepherd Trigger.

Our trip to North Carolina was just what I needed to re-boot for 2017. I realized that one of my shortfalls will always be trying to take on too much in my life. Some days I think I’m super-woman and can do everything for everyone, but it’s just not realistic. This break taught me to let go of things that are not bringing joy in my life and learn that saying “no” to a project is not always a bad thing. Rob took his time to relax, but he is super pumped to get back to Pensacola and start flying. After a long NINE MONTHS, he will finally start flying the T6. Everyone’s experience in flight school differs – but Rob was definitely put on the long track since we arrived in Pensacola. Word to the wise, always be flexible when it comes to the Marine Corps schedule.

In North Carolina, we enjoyed days of eating Grandma’s Spaghetti and Meatballs, Grandpa’s London Broil, pizza nights and endless, endless desserts. On the evening of Christmas day, we lit a bonfire in the backyard of Robert’s grandparents house, gathered round and chatted over a cup of coffee. It may sound simple, but I live for these moments.

A Carey-style bonfire in North Carolina.
A Carey-style bonfire in North Carolina.
I loved our simple nights with friends and family in North Carolina. Trigger loved it too.
I loved our simple nights with friends and family in North Carolina. Trigger loved it too.

We didn’t spend much time exploring Raleigh on this trip and instead focused on spending time with family and friends. We did manage to hit up the Crabtree Valley Mall and Rob let me stop in Pottery Barn and H&M, my two “must-go’s” when I’m out of Pensacola. I love having so much time to spend with Rob while he’s in flight school. Anyone who says “you’ll never see your husband in flight school” is lying. You will see your spouse plenty, trust me! I’m trying to enjoy this time in our life before we start dealing with deployments, etc.

A storefront in the Crabtree Valley Mall. I highly recommend this mall for new visitors to Raleigh.
A decorated storefront in the Crabtree Valley Mall. I highly recommend this mall for new visitors to Raleigh.

One of the things I’m focusing on going into the new year is having a positive attitude no matter what my situation or location may be. I am convinced that your attitude truly reflects on how much you will enjoy a duty station. You can always make the best of your situation with the right mindset.

We will have some big surprises for 2017 though. Robert will find out which aircraft he will be selected to fly for the Marine Corps (Helicopters, Jets, Ospreys or C-130s) which will be exciting! I will have some new projects in the works for social media management. And…..another move! Surprise – we’re moving to Milton, Fl! Ok. So not so much of a surprise – it is only 25 minutes from our current apartment. I remember saying to Rob, “I’ll never live in Milton…it’s too small…blah blah.” Ha! Never say Never, my friends. Oh how soon I forget that I fell in love with a small college town in East Texas (Nacogdoches) where Walmart was jokingly referred to as “The Mall.” Sure downtown Pensacola is the developed area and has all the “fun things to do.” But I think you have to look at how you, yourself define “fun.” The more I thought about it, we 100% prefer entertaining guests in our own home, rather than bar hopping downtown every weekend. Don’t worry, we still love to get out on occasion. The Wine Bar on Palafox is a personal favorite.

We made this decision together because it will simply fit our lifestyle more. Our new puppy will have more room to play, Rob’s drive to work for 5:00 AM briefs will only be 15 minutes versus 45 minutes and I will be able to host more events for the local spouse group that I’m involved in. We are SO excited! No more dragging eternal boxes of groceries from Sam’s and Costco up those six flights of apartment stairs!

In the coming days, we will be planning our move for the middle of January. Which to be honest, I am dreading – but having moved four times in the past two years, I think I’ll be able to handle it. Have any moving tips? Drop your suggestions in my comment section.



One thought on “North Carolina for Christmas and the 5th Move

  1. Moving tip-as OCD as it sounds, buy stickers and markers in matching colors – one for each room. Number each box and put colored stickers on every side of each box. When moving in, make a few signs that explain the color codes – blue for kitchen, etc. post everywhere. That way your friends who are helping you move can easily know where to take their boxes!

    Also-very well written update. Love how you make everyone feel a part of the adventure!


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