With the coming of Fall in Montana, there also some big changes arriving in the Windmueller Family.
No Mom. I'm not pregnant. Not even thinking about it for at least a year. Ask me again in June 2011.
The main change arriving in our household is a new job. Jeff is resigning his post as sports editor sometime after football season (so, like, December-ish) and pursuing a lifelong desire of joining the military. Yes. The military. Jeff is joining the National Guard. He's going to try and join full-time.
Now, let me explain. Since I have known Jeff (circa 2004) he has always expressed a desire to be a part of the military. Both of Jeff's parents were in the military. In high school, he was offered an ROTC Scholarship with the Air Force. He turned it down because he wanted to get his college degree first. When he graduated Jeff decided he was going to join the Marines. It was a stressful two months before our wedding because that would have been a very HUGE decision for us as newlyweds, but eventually Jeff opted out of it and focused his attention on being one of the best sports reporters Helena had ever seen. Now, three years later, Jeff is frustrated. He's become burnt out on writing and the politics of being an editor. He doesn't love his job anymore. As a wife, it's been very hard for me to watch this and try to boost his confidence. At times I've felt like I've been running into a brick wall over and over and over. After applying for two jobs Jeff really wanted, interviewing and then being turned down, he started talking more and more to me and the friends he has that are in the National Guard about joining.
I also applied for some jobs with Jeff, thinking that if he got either of these two jobs it would probably be a good idea for me to have at least started the job search process. I got interviewed and was offered one of the jobs I applied for. This really set Jeff in to motion when we were sitting down going over the financials.
This isn't something we have just jumped into. We've actually been talking about it for three years and started to come to the realization that this would be a good path for us.
It will be hard. Jeff needs to lose 20 pounds before January. He's been doing great working out every day and eating healthy. He ships out for basic training in January and will be gone for 8-12 weeks. I will be a single parent at that time. When Jeff comes back from Basic, he'll start taking Officer Training classes. This means he'll go every weekend for six months or one weekend every month for a year. During this time, Jeff isn't guaranteed to have a full-time job with the Guard so he's actively been talking to his current editor at the paper about a position and he's been talking to the Guard reps about possibly lining something up. Once he's done with Officer Training. There is a good chance that they would send him to Texas for a year- this would mean we would move. But then, at that point, he would be fully trained in the field of his choosing and could get a full-time job immediately- more than likely in Helena.
Since Jeff and I have known each other and been married we have expressed a desire to STAY in Montana. We love it. We have family here and its beautiful. Jeff feels that in joining the military, he will ensure that we can stay in Montana. He also is excited about the prospect of being able to move- if we wanted to, like to Arizona- and having a great chance of getting a job. In joining, he will be getting a substantial pay increase and such excellent benefits that we'll all go on the family plan. We get housing, daycare and grocery assistance while Jeff is in basic training. If we move to Texas for his continued training, we get free housing. He has the opportunity to get his Masters Degree and even PhD for free and much more.
There is always the chance that Jeff would have to go and serve his country overseas somewhere. Though that may come, and though it will be very hard and scary for us I know we have a great family and friend support system to help both of us out. Plus, wouldn't it be cool if Jeff and i could meet in Paris for a long- weekend. Can we say Romantic with a capital R. Hey, it could happen.
So there you go. That's the main change going on in our lives right now. Have I knocked anyone's socks off?
Change #2: We are saving up to buy/build a house
With Jeff going this new job route, we decided it was time to actively start saving up for a house. Of course, the benefit is that we have a whole year to a year and half or more to save. But, on the down end, we have a whole year or year and a half to wait before we can buy a house.
We recently restructured our budget and are excited with how much money we'll be putting in
savings each month.
Change #3: Helena is probably permanent
That's why Jeffy is joining. We like Montana. We like Helena (more and more each year).
Change #4: No baby for at least a year
If you'd asked me a year ago if we were going to have another kiddo in the future I would have said "Absolutely!" and if this plan had stuck through I would actually (if everything had gone as planned) have been pregnant today possibly expecting in May. With the new job situation, we've put our family plans on hold for at least a year so that we can make sure the route we are going is more stable than it currently is. I don't want to have to haul two kids across country. It's much easier with one.
So there you have it. Come December and January our little family is going to start down a very different path. We're excited about the change and hoping only for the best. Wish us luck!