Let's rewind back to November. That's when the story really starts. You may remember when we found out that our next duty station that the Army was sending us was Fort Hood, TX. We were excited! If you remember, we went down there and found a brand NEW home and started the process of buying it.
Then the last week of Jan, it all feel apart. The Army decided that Ben needed to stay here longer... a LOT longer... so the house sale went through. We were pretty devastated. But we hung in there and had faith that things would work out.
Ben went in and talked to the guys in charge of the transfers and assignments. He asked what the chances were we would still be going to Ft. Hood at the end of the summer. They told him to plan on it. So we did. It hurt a little knowing we would soon see the house that was almost ours... and that someone else was living in it. But we held on knowing that there must be something better for us.
Then in May, Ben and I went to the social that they announced where each new LT was being placed after they finished this training. We already KNEW it was going to be Ft. Hood, TX -- and almost didn't go! But it turned out we were WRONG. Ben had been doing so well in his training, that he was allowed his first pick, which was Fort Campbell, KY. To say we were SHOCKED was an understatement -- we did NOT see it coming! But we were THRILLED. (For the full story click here!)
Naturally, I started looking at houses in the area. We could forget about living on post. There was NO WAY, we could fit our family of soon-to-be 6 in the small houses/townhouses they had there. So we started looking at buying or renting off. Now, I was still a little traumatized at the thought of trying to buy again after the last one fell through. I didn't really trust the Army any more when it came to orders... So I told Ben, I would rather rent again. I was just too scared to do anything else. But the rent for a house that would fit our growing family was out of our budget. So our last option was once again buying... and nothing was looking good. We knew the area we wanted to be in, but the houses were either too small or too pricey. I was feeling super frustrated.
Then there was the fact that I didn't want to sign any contract until Ben's orders came through and they were solid. End of story. I just couldn't go through losing a house again.
But fate had other plans for us.
One of my Army wife friends put me in contact with one of her friends whose husband was getting stationed at Fort Campbell the same time Ben is. We connected and since she is already in the area, she had a head's start on looking at areas and housing. She found a great Realtor, and he was connected to a builder who was building new houses just 2 miles south of the base. There is a whole new area they are developing, and what we could do is contract for one of the houses they are building, pick a lot, pick a floor plan we love, pick some of the colors and extras, and then they would build it. Then we would take possession of it after closing and after it was finished. Ben and I did some research to make sure the guys were legit and honest... and they were! But I was still having a hard time deciding if that was the way I wanted to go... I mean, I wanted to, but what if Ben's orders got changed??
Finally, I decided that if we wanted the house to be done by the time got there, we would have to contract now and get it going. I warned them, though, that Ben's orders could change... and I don't trust them. They just said it was fine and it was the way we could get out of the contract if we had to. But I just hate people going through all the trouble to help us out if we have to back out. I hate being a disappointment!
So after much praying and discussion, Ben and I decided to go ahead with it. We weren't going to find a better deal! Here we were, with the chance to build the PERFECT house for us and our boys -- and in our price range! We had to take a chance.
So this is what our little house is going to look like:
It's got 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a two car garage. The builders are putting in a tall man's shower and toilet in the master bathroom for Ben. For me, I get my gas fireplace, a pantry, an island in the kitchen with a breakfast bar, and a huge walk in closet. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!
But then the unthinkable happened.
Ben was gone for field training for a week and when he got back, he checked his email for his orders and there they were! Only they for Fort Hood.
And it HAD to happen on a Friday night. When everything is closed for the weekend and there is nothing you can do, no one you can talk to. We just had to sit and stew all weekend about it. And stew we did -- since our AC went out not 5 min after he discovered his orders.
I near had a severe panic attack. I am talking full blown take-me-to-the-ER kind of attack. But I didn't. I kept calm as best as I could. I had to. For the baby, mostly, and for Ben who wore his disappointment on his face like I have never seen him do. But at night, when he was asleep, I cried. It just seemed so unfair. We worked so hard. Sacrificed so much... my heart was breaking, again.
It wasn't that we have anything against Fort Hood. We love Texas! But we were really looking forward to having our custom built house and Ben was SO THRILLED to be doing his dream of Air Assault and getting his first pick -- which hardly EVER happens.
We made it through Saturday by choosing to think that it couldn't be fixed... and mostly Sunday. Then we went to a BBQ with Ben's fellow classmates and soldiers. We told them what was going on, and they just kept telling us how screwed we were. Even his instructors gave us the whole you will be going to Hood so get over it speech.
The drive home was quiet and sad. Our hopes were dashed. Ben was angry.
After a bit of an argument over what to do, we got on our knees and we prayed together. We pray together every day, but this time it was different. I said it, and I poured my heart out and pleaded for things to work out. And I said that if we really needed to be in Texas, then things would work out and we would know it was right.
We both felt better.
Then the next day, Ben went in to talk with them. I was on pins and needles at home feeling completely helpless! I hate not having control of things!!
Then I got the call. It HAD been a mistake! We are Fort Campbell bound FOR SURE! I can't tell you how much relief I felt! I cried again, this time because I was happy! Things DO work out!
They really do.
Yesterday, Ben graduated from his Field Artillery Basic Officer Leadership Course. It was LONG and grueling... but he worked so hard! I am so proud of my man... in fact, I thought the whole event deserved a new dress for yours truly. (Mainly, because I only have one maternity dress and it is for the winter. And I really wanted a cute summer one...)
However, I did decided to highlight my hair -- this pregnancy made my color grow in SUPER dark. So I put some color in the other day and it got really light. Not normally a problem... but my new dress was a turquoise color and by the time I got my hair all curled and pulled up with my orange flower, I realized that I might look a little too Disney... only the chunky & pregnant version. Oops. Oh well.
So all is well! At least for now :)
Now to the giveaway:
To celebrate Ben's graduation of BOLC and the coming Independence Day, Lil'Troops is letting us giveaway TWO of their new fully-licensed, Military action figures to ONE of our lucky readers!! (Participants must be US residents)
The Desert Trooper
The Rescue Pilot
The Recon Scout
The Urban Trooper
Lil' Troops also help big troops! A portion of each Lil' Troops sale is devoted to U.S. Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
LIL’ TROOPS FAST FACTS:
· MSRP: $7.99
· Can be found at ToysRUs.com, local AAFES Exchange Stores, and online!
· Fully licensed, 3" tall vinyl figures.
· Collect all 5 Series 1 Figures!
· Ages 4+
· For more information visit www.LilTroops.com
Mandatory -- Leave a comment telling us which two you would pick if you won! (Note: The Infantryman is back ordered until Aug -- you can still pick it, but you will have to wait a few weeks)
Optional additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each.
-Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, personal blog, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. You can have a separate entry for each share! (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)
-Follow Lil'Troops on Facebook (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)
-Follow 5 Nuts in a Nutshell on Facebook (come back and leave me a comment that you did!)
Contest ends on July 4th at 11:59 pm! Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 5th! So enter today and spread the word!
These are the ones we picked:
And I am thinking we might need to get a few more because they won't stop fighting over them... even Ben has a hard time sharing these... lol.
PS If you are headed to Fort Campbell and are looking to buy a house or build a house, I will hook you up with a trusty realtor (who can also help you in any state you are looking to move) and an awesome builder!