While not the greatest year ever, I really can’t complain about 2017. Life was good and filled with some major changes! We moved from Hawaii to Kentucky, and bought a house and car! Living back on the mainland gave us the opportunity to travel some more and spend lots of time with the people we love.
John’s change of command took place in early January. We survived 18+ months of command/FRG time. Relinquishing command was such a relief, although I instantly missed the company. At the ceremony I was awarded the Order of the Vivandieres, an award for spouse volunteers in the Military Police Corps.
In January we also learned that we’d be moving to Fort Knox, Kentucky.
March brought the end of our time in Hawaii. Even after living there for 3 and a half years, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
We spent our last 10 days on the island living in Waikiki at the Embassy Suites Beach Walk. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone PCSing to and from the island. There was a delicious FREE breakfast (hard to find at other hotels), FREE drinks during their 2-hour happy hour every night, and it was in the perfect location.
After a visit home to Florida, we arrived in Kentucky in mid-April. After lots and lots of house hunting, we decided on the off-post house that we had been looking at since we were still in Hawaii. Closing was going to take over a month, so we ended up spending a total of 46 days living in a hotel.
During that time, I made this Instant Pot potato soup roughly a gazillion times. Not having to dice or peel anything made it incredibly easy!
We finally closed on our house towards the end of the month. We purchased a foreclosure, which meant lots of cleaning up and minor improvement projects. Thankfully, the house was in pretty good condition, aside from being dirty from sitting empty for a few years.
The next Monday, half of our household goods were delivered. Somehow, six of our crates went missing along the move. I’m just glad they didn’t fall off the ship or end up being auctioned.
For my birthday, our closest friends from Hawaii surprised me by coming from Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a Sunday morning around 9 or 10 when the doorbell rang. I honestly thought it might be neighbors or something inviting us to go to church, until I saw a little face through the glass that I recognized. I cried. #framily
For the 4th of July, we traveled down to Clarksville, TN to hangout with our friend stationed at Fort Campbell. We spent some time celebrating around town, but spent the actual holiday in Nashville, at some shady hipster brewery on the river to watch fireworks.
For John’s birthday, we drove to Cincinnati with aforementioned to watch the Bengals play the Tampa Bay Bucs. Actually, the boys went to the game, and after dropping them off, I made the trip half an hour up the road to Ikea! For less than $100 I got a ton of useful little items!
My parents were here for Ju’s birthday mid-month, and then for the girls all stating school at the end of the month.
We also had two sets of friends visit during the month. Having visitors is always nice, because it forces us to get out of the house and explore.
In October, we took a trip to Illinois to party with aforementioned friend and the rest of the Hawaii crew for the 4th annual family Oktoberfest party. We went to the first two in Hawaii, and with being so close to our friend’s hometown this year, we couldn’t miss out.
Almost as soon as we got home, we were on the hunt for a new vehicle!
The following weekend, we headed up to Indiana, for John’s 1SG’s retirement party. It was a black tie event, so my heathen children and I hung out at the hotel in the pool. We showed up towards the end to say hello to 1SG and his family.
Before heading home, we added another hour to the trip by going up to South Bend, to see the home of the Irish. John is a Notre Dame fan, and since we’ll never be up that way again, might as well.
To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, we drove up to Virginia. It felt like old times, sharing the feast with the family we always celebrated with in Hawaii. We did plenty of sightseeing while up there, but the highlight was watching A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater.
Our seats were directly across from where President Lincoln was shot, and the perfect spot for viewing the play. We saw the Nutcracker a few years back with these same friends, and we all agreed that this experience was MUCH better!
Our final trip of 2017 was a weekend in Georgia, to watch Star Wars and celebrate a birthday! Once again, we had a blast. When the Hawaii crew gets together, it’s always a disastrously fun time!
We all experienced our first bit of snow in many, many years. The girls ran merrily through the back year, collecting snowflakes on their tongues.
For Christmas, my parents, brother, and sister, along with John’s mom came up to celebrate. My brother came all the way from Amsterdam, so I wanted to make it extra special while he was here. We did a traditional Noche Buena dinner on Christmas Eve. That evening was spent playing beer pong in the basement, before Santa showed up. The next morning we opened gifts, then bro and sis were off to the airport.
For dinner on Christmas, I did a traditional Christmas dinner, which seemed SO much easier than dinner the night before! Following dinner, we drove around to see lights in the area. There is a park that had some AMAZING displays, all for free!
I have high hopes for 2018 and can’t wait to share it with you! Happy New Year!