Monday, July 16, 2012

Cambridge or Bust!

We haven’t ordered new address labels just yet, but our hopes and hearts are set on 2 years in Massachusetts. CPT Fromage is applying for the Harvard MBA program and the goal is to start in the fall of 2013. I have full confidence he’ll be accepted! Behind the curve? You bet. Rushed? Yes, yes we are. Panicking? Yep, a little. Excited? H3LL yeah we are!

The timing couldn’t be more… wonderful… as we’re only about 6 weeks away from the most hectic time of our lives (Though, nothing could take away from how excited we are to bring Baby Fromage home from the hospital!). Prepping for the GMAT, the application process for an Ivy League school, trying to lock in where we'll be until we make the transition and rearranging our finances so we can live on about half of our current income for 24 months seems overwhelming on its own, but coupled with a brand new baby, it’s really going to suck. (Though I’m sure Baby Fromage will try to be helpful and wake his dad up throughout the night so he can get up and study. What a thoughtful baby he will be!)

While it’s going to be a challenge to make it happen, it’s also doable. Living on student loans makes me nervous, but based on others’ experiences, we should make it just fine and come out with a manageable amount of debt (though, it’s still going to be a lot). At the end of the day having a happy family, unseparated by war, a husband who’s happy at what he’s doing and can be a dad to his kids’ from home instead of via Skype is worth pinching pennies, tightening our belts and taking on some debt. The saying “Some people are so poor, all they have is money” comes to mind.

Right now, in addition to being totally stoked, we’re also pretty overwhelmed. Every time we think we’ve solved one issue, 10 more pop up in its place. Not to mention that CPT Fromage isn’t actually out of the Army just yet, they can still make things hard for us until he’s out from under their thumb – assuming they let him leave at all (but things look good... for now!). We’re bracing ourselves for whatever happens to mess up our plans (as things certainly will). Things are a little stressful and I’m sure they’ll continue to be until we get out feet on the ground in Boston and make it through the first few months. Thankfully, we’ve just about mastered the skill of taking turns being the rational, calm one and the partner who’s having a breakdown. We rotate every few days to keep it interesting. :)

The coming months will likely be full of excitement and disappointments, huge steps forward and as many backward, and lots of readjusting to make things happen. But we’re so excited to change direction; we’ve just got to brace ourselves since we’re doing it at full speed!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Warning: Sharp Turns Ahead

Things have been a little crazy around here lately. Actually, that’s an understatement; it’s more like, upside-down, backwards and inside out all at once!

After lots of discussion and careful consideration, CPT Fromage has made a big decision, one I’m super excited to get behind…
He’s getting out of the Army!

(that is, he's submitting the packet and we're crossing our fingers and praying it gets approved. This isn't the real world, so he can't really quit at will. It's unlikley that they'll prevent him from leaving, but it's not beyond realm of possibility that they'll decline him.)

Neither of us has enjoyed this lifestyle and he’s been more disappointed with his job every day, but until recently the plan had been for him to stay in for 8 years in order to give things a chance in his new branch. What changed?

First of all, the more (soon to be former!) CPT Fromage learns about things in his new branch the more he’s been disappointed. It’s really not going to be much better than the situation he’s coming out of, and in all likelihood even if he doesn’t hate it he won’t like it enough to make a career out of it (And if you don’t stay in the Army for 20 years, you might as well have not stayed in at all… no benefits if you get out a day before two decades). Why spend 3 more years doing something he hates if it’s not going to take him anywhere (except on another few deployments!)? Might as well jump ship now, there’s nothing in it for us by delaying the inevitable.
Next, job prospects are less promising the longer he stays in. Again, since he’s not planning to make a career out of military work (he doesn’t even have a desire to get on with the FBI, CIA, etc, where top secret security clearance, etc, would be appreciated), he’s not gaining any skills that will transfer into “the real world”, putting him 8 years behind his peers who are also competing for jobs. Sadly, the fact that he’s a West Point graduate with military leadership experience won’t offer much of a push when it comes to seeking employment later (outside of government or police type work). Once again, it looks like it's going to be best to get off this path now and start down one that’s going to be more productive for us.

Then there’s the obvious: deployment, time away from home, lack of stability and all of the other disadvantages to serving in the Army. With Baby Fromage due next month, the idea of those things sounds even less appealing than it did before. It’s a sucky lifestyle, and it only gets worse as we go.
There are some personal opinions and feelings about the military, and Army in particular, that came into play, but it’s not really my place to broadcast CPT Fromage’s feelings about that here and now.

So what’s next for our family (Hard to belive that in less than 7 weeks until we grow our household by 1!)? I’ll tell you in my next post!
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