Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time to Play Catch Up

So with all of the changes in our life, I figured it was time for a new blog.  It's been a hot minute since I've updated any blog o' mine, so let's dive right in, shall we?  Forgive me if my writing is a bit rusty - I'm realizing my last blog was back in 2011.  YIKES.

Things are changing in a big way for the Hein's.  In lots of big ways actually.  For starters, we're moving to the good ol' USA.  Jesse's assignment in Okinawa has been extended four times, mine once and now it's finally time to move on to the next duty station.  We will be leaving Okinawa the first week of December and headed to Tampa, FL for the next 3 years or so.  We are excited for SO many reasons.  I will limit myself to the current top 5 as to not overwhelm you with the awesomeness of my new blog.

Exciting Reason #1.  We'll be about 8000 miles closer to Sophia.  We'll be in the same time zone, and we'll only be about an hour and 40 minute plane ride away instead of 16.  I mean really, who doesn't want to be closer to this precious kid?

Outer Banks, NC

#2.  Jesse is pumped about his new assignment.  He actually had to apply and interview for this job.  Who knew such things happened in the military?  For those of you who have asked, he will be working at MacDill Air Force Base.  Yes, our Army family is assigned to an AFB.  These things happen more often than I ever realized.  The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is located in Tampa, and this is where Jesse is going to work.  He'll be working on a team with fellow Green Berets, Navy Seals, and Marine MARSOC guys.  His team time is essentially being extended which is every Special Forces operator's dream so he's beyond thrilled.  Their team will have a somewhat slower pace than what he is running in Okinawa which is part of why I'm thrilled.  It's a win-win for our family which is not necessarily common in this lifestyle.  The job is very different, but he's excited for a challenge and our family is excited for the change.  He will still be traveling a lot, but only within the Continental US (CONUS) which is much easier than flying all over Asia.  While he's only home about 3-5 months out of every year right now, he should be home much more while we're stationed in Tampa.  I'm not sure how I'm going to adjust to having him around all the time… I'm sure there will be a blog on that later down the road.

#3.  Oh yea, we're having a baby!

Thanks to my wonderful friend MacKenzie for creating this!

Baby Hein is due on April 20, 2014 (Easter!).  We are very excited to add to our family and Sophia is excited to be a big sister again. Well, like any 5 year old, she was excited for about 30 seconds before she moved on from the "Mimi has a baby in her belly" news to what she was going to be for Halloween.  The relocation of our family couldn't be better with the timing of the pregnancy.  I'm out of the first trimester junk - HELLO nausea - and not quite to the 3rd trimester uncomfortable-ness I keep hearing about.  We'll have time to visit friends and family in Texas for Christmas, see Sophia for 2 weeks, get settled into a new house, find a new midwife, and nest all before baby arrives in April.  Before you ask, we don't know yet if it's a boy or a girl.  We've gone back and forth about finding out the gender.  I want a surprise, Jesse wants to find out.  There's a plan where we meet in the middle and we both get what we want, but we're working out the details.  More to come on that.

#4.  Family and Friends.  It will be so wonderful to live on the same continent as the majority of our family and friends again.  We will of course miss the friends we've made on this side of the world and the small bit of family that is out this way, but we are so happy to be back within a short drive or plane ride to see the rest of the people we love and care about.  It's strange to think that I've been gone for 4 years already and Jesse has lived here for 7!  It's going to be great to SEE people and hug on them after all this time.  iMessage, Skype, and e-mail have all been lifesavers, but there's nothing like Mimosa Friday's.  Lookin' at you MacKenzie.

#5.  Starting a life together in the US.  I was a rare breed in Okinawa - a single female contractor.  People always assume that Jesse and I were married before we came to Okinawa and that we have "stuff" and a "home" in the States.  Well we don't.  When they ask where we're from, we just kind of look at each other and go through the story.  We don't have a common hometown, a common high school or university, or even a common state of residence.  Okinawa is the only home we've ever known as a couple, so it is exciting to start a life somewhere we could potentially retire someday.

And there you have it.  So while I flew to Japan alone with 2 pieces of luggage, a backpack, and no sense of what I was in for, I'm leaving Okinawa an Army wife with a baby on the way, a step-daughter, and a tiny five pound dog.  We've acquired 5000+ pounds of "stuff" according to the Ninja Movers who put all of our things on a ship last week.  I speak a new language and it's not Japanese.  Military acronyms should be considered a language and should be part of a mandatory military marriage course.  I can't tell you how many arguments we've had simply because I could not understand what Jesse was talking about.  I used four or five of these in one paragraph up there so you can imagine what my day to day life consists of.  Things have changed friends and family and not in a small way.  While some people get very flustered and sad to leave one duty station, I can honestly say we are ready.  We're prepared, we're happy, and we've done what we wanted to do here.  Okinawa, it's been real but Sayonara!  I'll be even happier to say it in December.


I'm at 17 weeks now but I've been lazy about pictures.  Oops.

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