Guten Tag Deutschland!!

After almost TEN MONTHS of preparing, we are finally in GERMANY!

It took so much effort and so much stress, and I am pretty sure I have a few grey hairs now, but looking around us it is completely worth it. I still have to constantly remind myself that we are not in the United States of America anymore, but are on a different continent entirely.

Everything here is hectic currently. We just finished inprocessing Friday, and still need to find a house and a car as soon as possible. We have been walking everywhere and it has been fun but also exhausting. I can’t wait to be able to just drive around base instead!

We can’t wait to find out what is in store!

PCSing OCONUS while your spouse is a Geo-Bachelor!

So I know I promised those Disney reviews, but oh my goodness this past week has been crazy. You know those weeks where all of a sudden you look around and realize it is the weekend already, and you still have a full to do list? Totally feeling you right now.

One of the main things that I have been finishing up is my paperwork for Germany. Let us pause while I scream into a pillow, out of both pure excitement and wanting to strangle someone.

Okay, much better now.

As you can tell from this title, my situation is unique. Which means I can barely find any information necessary. Big surprise, it is hard to get information out of the military. Because of that, I am going to compile a list of what I had to do to be cleared.

1. Lets go over the title, to help everyone out. PCS means Permanent Change of Station, meaning you are leaving one base and going to another for a few years. OCONUS means Outside [the] contiguous United States; i.e. Alaska, Hawaii, and all other countries. Geo-Bachelor is a military member that is married, but is currently living alone. So if you are currently not living with them due to work, school, family, etc, they are a Geo-Bachelor.

2. As soon as you get wind of PCSing OCONUS, start filling out paperwork. Ours was a bit different, as he was deployed when he found out, so we had to wait much longer than we would like to. Make sure you have a PCM, Primary Care Manager. This is just your regular doctor, but if you haven’t gone in a while and need to find a new one, do this asap. It may take a while to get it through Tricare, and physicals may take a few weeks. Because I am far from a base, my PCM is a civilian doctor. Some of you may be going onto a base for it all, which on the paperwork side of everything is easier because they already know what they are doing. The paperwork seems huge and daunting, but is really simple for them to fill out.

3. Do the same with a dentist. You will need to enroll in Tricare Dental if you are going that route. Just get it done and out of the way asap. You never know what will happen when you go in. You want all of your dental work completed, so they can check off that you are cleared. There is one page for them to fill out as well.

4. Get your Military No-Fee Passport done. This will take a few weeks to go through. This needs to be done on base. I needed Form DS-11, DD Form 1056, my original birth certificate, two 2×2 photos, my marriage certificate, and a copy of the front and back of my and my husbands military ID card. Thankfully I was able to do this while visiting my husband.

5. In my experience, I had to drive to my nearest base (an hour and a half away in rush hour traffic for my 9:30 am meeting) for my clearance. My meeting just confirmed that everything was correct and there were no problems in our marriage. I think it is great that they ask, but my goodness, why couldn’t I do it over the phone?! I know others have been able to, so maybe you will get lucky. My meeting took a total of three minutes, then they handed me back a copy of my form and sent me on my way.

That has been it for now. The hardest part of the process for me was the final meeting, as I am in school. They had to work a bit with my schedule. That meeting took around 6 weeks to finally get to, which pushed back all of his paperwork.

If anyone has ANY questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

On to the next step!

Wait, Germany?

I love to plan. I love to have everything figured out, with my lists completed and every step of my life figured out.

Then I married the military. Seriously, what was I thinking?!

In the past year, I’ve gone from engaged and planning a wedding eventually, to planning a wedding in a few months, to planning a wedding in two weeks, to married, to moving to Georgia, to PCSing TO GERMANY next summer!

Yep, that’s right. Germany. The country in Europe.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you could hear my screams (of excitement and fear) through the screen.

Of course Germany was on the top of his wish list. We would LOVE to live there, and I am very, very excited for it. But AHHH.

So now, instead of figuring out what to bring out to Georgia when I was supposed to move out there this summer, I am figuring out what I need to buy to completely furnish a place. In Germany.

I am so excited to take you all on the journey with me, from figuring out what to bring, to where to live, to what to see!

Birthday care package for the birthday boy!

You know those times when you think to yourself,  “Wow, they’re gonna think I’m crazy”? This is one of those times.

S’s birthday was this past weekend and we have yet to spend his birthday together. So, I decided to send him a birthday in a box! Because what guy hasn’t always dreamed of a pirate birthday party? Heck, I want a pirate party!

Excuse the horrible photos. At 4 a.m., getting quality photos was not high on my priorities.

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Oh the box. The lovely box. Honestly I was surprised how easy the banners were to make. I made tons of triangles and alternated two different patterned paper. I used two different ribbons as well and attached them to the box through a hole I punched. I also used a dot of glue on each triangle to keep it in place.

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I really tried to keep with the pirate theme through the box. Yes, I know the emphasis should have been on the RRR but again,  4 a.m. 

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I included:
Napkins
Cakes in a jar
Frosting
Candles
A photo book
A music player
Temp tattoos
pirate noisemakers
And 8 goodie bags for his friends, with eye patches, mini Rubix cubes,  and a ton else.

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The cakes were a simple Funfetti boxed mix. I LOVE how they turned out. They were just colorful enough.

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I only included the blue frosting because I ran out of room. I love how it includes sprinkles too!

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Oh the goodie bags. I was SO worried they would hate them. They LOVED what I put in them and even sent me photos with the eye patches on. Love it!!

So glad it all worked. On to the next box!

Thanksgiving Care Packages

I’m going to be honest with you, I am incredibly proud of this care package. My husband is deployed right now, and for a while was in a place I couldn’t send mail to. So, now that I can I’m going overboard.

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As you can tell, I pack as much as possible into each flat rate shipping box. I generally only send the large ones, as it is only a few more dollars for a lot more space! I decided to do a Thanksgiving theme for this box and might have overdone it, if that is possible.

Some of the items included:
Flannel pajamas
Thanksgiving decorations
Crest anti-sensitivity strips
Tuna
Lots and lots of baked goods

I love to include baked goods in my care packages whenever possible. For this one, I included chocolate chip pumpkin bread (baked in mini mason jars),  white chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, and my husband’s favorite, brookies, a cookie topped brownie.

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This is what I’m really proud of though. I spent much too long on this, but I am totally okay with it. I came up with the idea after finding some ideas on Pinterest, altering them to be more “me.”

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I created a simple Turkey face,  using scraps of paper I had.

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The “wings” were using scraps as well, and by far took the longest amount of time to put together. I made an accordion of paper to attach the middle sign.

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The feet were a last minute addition and I am SO glad I put them on! I folded over the top of the “legs” and gluing down just that part so they are lifted up a bit and swing around.

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I told you, I pack the box as much as possible. Usually I’ll organize it three or four times before I am satisfied. I have a bag of small items that I can use as packing material, like the penguin stress toy that I used to pack in the bread jars. You can see the bag of cookies on the right, that I essentially use as packing material. I use my vacuum sealer as much as possible, and have even used it to pack a blanket!

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I used a small bit of tape to attach the sign to make it easy to remove when he receives it.

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Of course I couldn’t stop there. My best friend is on her mission and has been CRAVING cookies. I have been a horrible friend and haven’t sent any. I used the same basic design,  on a smaller scale. I used the small flat rate box as a base, although I put it in another bag to cut down on shipping costs.

I had to cut apart the red paper to make it easy to open and close.

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I made mini wings, just big enough for the flaps.

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Here it is with the vacuum sealed brookies and cookies in the middle.

I’m very happy with how they both turn out, and am really hoping they get there in one piece. I hope this helps you!