Sunday, March 3, 2013

We're Moving On!

Update!! For those of you who haven't' heard, Chris got his first choice at assignment last week! We will be staying here in Columbus while Chris is an instructor pilot for the T-1.  Although sometimes we get a little jealous that we won't be going somewhere new, exciting, and fabulous like some of Chris' classmates, we know that staying here for another 3 years will be a step in the right direction for both of our careers.  I, of course, will be able to finish my Ph.D. and Chris will get lots and lots of hours in a multi-engine plane, which will be good for his career if he ever decides to move to airlines after we leave the Air Force, and he will get lots and lots of instructor hours, which is really good for an Air Force career.  Even though we really are kind of ready to leave, the good thing is that we get another few years near our family and friends.  Chris will probably get deployed once while we are here, but it will be nothing like when he is fully operational. Most Air Force pilots are gone for either deployments or overseas missions 2/3 of the year, so this is really a blessing that we are excited about and plan to take advantage of!

A bit of a damper on our excitement came when Chris got his orders (his official dates) on Thursday and we found out that he is leaving for his instructor pilot training in San Antonio, TX, the week after his graduation on March 15.  We were shocked when we found this out, since it is VERY rare for anyone to leave Columbus that soon after graduation.  Usually FAIPs (first assignment instructor pilots) leave sooner after training ends than other people, so we expected we would be moving soon...perhaps, sometime in April? No, we are moving out of our house on March 16. We also have to move ourselves because, technically, we could stay in our house since we are still assigned to Columbus.  However, for those of you who haven't seen our house, it is really small and we are basically busting at the seams here.  The way that military housing allowance works is that it increases every time you get promoted.  Since Chris is getting promoted to First Lieutenant in May and will be a Captain by the time we leave, if we stayed here we would effectively be paying an additional $500 a month just to live in the same tiny house. That just doesn't make much sense.

The plan is for us to move most of our stuff to the condo in Tuscaloosa, and some of the really big stuff to a storage unit, until Chris gets back from training.  He is scheduled to finish instructor pilot training in July but will still have about 6 more weeks of training in Washington and Pensacola. I will live in Tuscaloosa until the end of the school year, and then I will spend most of May and June in San Antonio with Chris. I am so excited because San Antonio is going to be a blast!! There is so much to do and see there.  It is a very artistic town.  I have been doing all this research about it and I kind of wish we were moving there, haha.  Anyway, in July I will be teaching, so I will be here.  In the summer I only have to teach a couple of hours a day so I will have enough free time to travel between Tuscaloosa and Columbus and move into our new house.  That is the plan for now!

When Chris is at training (it's called PIT, which I'm guessing stands for something like "Pilot Instructor Training"), he probably won't have to do much at first.  The first stage of training is re-learning how to fly the T-1s since some of the instructors have been flying different planes and may need some refreshing. Since Chris just finished T-1 training, he won't have to do a whole lot in that part.  That's around the time I will be out there, so hopefully we will be able to have lots of fun together!

Moving is so bittersweet.  I know we have outgrown this house...let's face it, we'd outgrown it before we even moved in.  Technically, we never even should have had to move into these houses in the first place (we kind of got stuck in these small ones because none of the bigger ones were available when we moved in and we didn't want to have to wait).  But we've had a lot of excellent times here, we've really gotten to be at home here and are actually kind of attached to it at this point.  I remember when we first moved in and finally got it all decorated, when Chris said something like "One day, we are going to look back at this crappy little house and really miss it!"  I knew he was right when he said it.  However, as we get all our stuff packed, we are finding that we are also really excited about moving to a new place, that will also become "home" to us, and excited about starting a new assignment and a new chapter. Most of our friends are leaving, too, but that's the nature of the military and we are excited to have some people we can visit in some cool places (Jon and Autumn are headed to a base in California right between San Diego and L.A....jealous!) and to make new friends.

Okay, I could keep going about everything that's been going on, but I have to be honest...I am up to my eyeballs in bubble wrap and cardboard boxes right now, so I should probably just post the assignment night stuff and get back to packing! Since I'm gone during the week, we have a LOT do to during the weekend.  It's a little intimidating   A little stressful.  I'm freaking out.  A little.  But it seems like we've kind of gotten a lot accomplished this weekend.  Poor Chris will have to take the reigns by himself during the week if we have any hope of getting it all done.

First, I'd like to post a couple of videos from Assignment Night.  The first video is the class assignment night video.  This is something every class makes to be played for the audience at the assignment night before the class walks in. It's just kind of a fun tradition, because they are always really funny and creative.  I think 13-06's video was no exception!

Next, I have a video of Chris' actual assignment.  Before watching it, I should probably explain that assignment night is NOT this super dignified "ceremony" where people find out the fate of their Air Force career. It's more like a party where everyone gets made fun of before finding out the fate of their Air Force career.  Everyone gets "roasted" before they find out their assignment, and usually they make fun of how "bad" they are, don't actually think that anything they said about Chris is true! Or about me, haha! It's all just supposed to be funny.  I just wanted to clarify, because the first assignment night I went to, I turned to Chris and said "That's so mean that they are talking about what an awful pilot he is in front of his wife and all his friends and everyone!" It took a little while to realize that they were joking and that it's all in good fun. Anyway, here is Chris' assignment!

Here are some other pictures from that night.

Autumn and I before the assignment night started.  I already decided to grow out my bangs...they were fun while they lasted but kind of annoying and hard to make look right! 

Chris' slide that they showed while doing his roast. Glad our 2006 prom picture made it, haha... Yogi is his call sign. It has to do with an incident at a state park that I would rather not re-hash at this time! 

All the wives/girlfriends/fiances of the 13-06 guys!

Chris taking his roast like a man

Super excited when I found out that Chris got his first choice!

Whenever someone gets FAIP'd, all the other instructors come up and shake his hand, etc...also, someone slaps his new patch on him.  They must have slapped it on there pretty hard, because his arm was sore the next day.

Congratulating him!

Chris' new IP patch
 Besides finding out that we are basically moving ASAP, we really haven't had a lot going on since assignment night.  Once we realized that we would probably not get the chance to entertain in our house again, we decided to have one last dinner event.  We decided it was a fine-china, crystal, and silver type event since we know we will be packing all of our things and won't get to see them for several months.

So here is our table right before dinner...

And here it is 24 hours later...

Clearly, we have a ways to go, but progress is being made. Mason has been no help, except to life our spirits! Haha

Here are a couple of other pictures from the past week or so.

Our celebratory dinner last Sunday night

Mason, Stuart, and Dubs, entranced by the Oscars. 
Well, that's it! I've managed to kill an hour of time that I should have been packing! They are repaving one of the runways, so Chris has had to go to the regional airport to help drive people back and forth from Columbus.  Training doesn't usually take place on Sundays, but it is today for some reason.

One thing that I didn't mention is that the sequestration kicked in this week.  Chris got an email saying that all training would likely stop for at least a month, so there is a good chance this will delay his PIT training and make it last even longer.  Also, all the training here in Columbus will likely stop.  I'm sure the terrorists are really excited to know that the US is going to completely stop training because we would rather cut military funding than the million other wasteful and ridiculous programs that our government funds. Fortunately, I am so busy with everything we have going on that I haven't had time to seethe over this...not yet, anyway!

Thanks for reading! :)

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