Fresh Start

Well gang, it’s been a few years, hasn’t it? Rather than go through the pile of things that have happened since my last post, let’s start with 2019?

I started therapy again in the summer of 2019. M and I were ring shopping, and my mental health started to significantly deteriorate. I was diagnosed with CPTSD due to emotional and psychological abuse from a previous relationship. I found the best therapist (if you’re looking for one in the NOVA area, let me know – she’s great!), and we have done a lot of work since then. M and I got engaged in December 2019 in Vienna, Austria at the St. Stephan’s Cathedral. His plan had been to propose in Munich at the English Gardens, but it was so damn cold and the timing never quite worked. Regardless, it was perfect and it was us.

And then, much like everyone else…our plans were derailed because pandemic. About a week after we signed the contract for our venue, I went home from work and didn’t go back to the office until the beginning of August 2021. Even so, we managed to hold with our plans for March 27, 2021 and get married. Our wedding was SUPER small (only 21 of us!) and almost exclusively outdoors, which was how we got away with it. It was an absolutely perfect day and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Three of my best friends made it – L, G, and C – and G’s daughter N was our flower girl. M had his brother and three of his best friends as his groomsmen, and my uncle T officiated.

Most importantly, NO ONE GOT COVID. Most of the group was at least partially vaccinated – there were five of us that weren’t yet. We did have a minor scare when L got here – she tested positive, but it turned out to be a false positive PCR (from a shallow nasal swab). It made no sense to us that she tested positive, so after that result from a free testing center, we called my doctor and had her rapid tested and PCR tested at their office. After the brain tickle rapid came back negative, we were pretty sure it was a false positive to begin with, and then her brain tickle PCR came back negative, and then mine a couple days later came back negative. And this is why it’s super important to ensure everything you’re using is sterile and you’re not cross contaminating your samples. We ended up only losing a weekend of girl time, but it was the longest weekend I think I’ve ever had.

M and I have obviously not had a honeymoon yet (thanks COVID), but we did something kind of insane, which is why I’m blogging again. After a lot of conversation, he started looking for jobs in March, and he got an offer that we accepted in June. I say we because, even though he’s the one working there…we’ve relocated. I’m writing this at 7AM from Stuttgart, Germany.

If you’ve never had a full service relocation before (particularly a DOD-managed relocation), it is a WILD experience. My parents used their full benefits a few times, but I missed those relocations, so this was my first. On September 22 at about 830 am (they were early!), two lovely ladies rang our doorbell and started packing our house. An hour or so later, three more people showed up. I packed exactly one thing – my Bernina 570QE, and I had to be watched and the box had to be checked before it could be stickered. And then, about 6 hours later, our entire house had been packed and a good chunk of our furniture had been wrapped like presents.

Sewing room..99% packed.

On the 23rd, they came back. They loaded all our stuff into a van in about 4 hours, finished wrapping our furniture like presents, and took it all away. And again, we weren’t allowed to help. As soon as they picked up the couch I practically died of embarrassment. Why is it that as soon as a piece of furniture is moved, your reasonably clean house looks like you’ve never used a broom or vacuum in your LIFE? They picked that thing up and the only thing in my head was “oh god oh god oh no why I swear I cleaned yesterday.” I’m sure delivery will be just as weird as packing/taking was, but at least the floors will be clean?

And with that, we had a few days to have the house and the carpets cleaned and do our walkthrough. M went to Florida for a wedding, and I stayed to avoid both COVID and gluten (lol, the gluten thing didn’t work out very well), so I stayed with G, N, and G for the weekend to relax and get some kind of normalcy back for a short time (and lots of girl time and kid snuggles). I ended up getting glutened at lunch on Monday, but M and her boyfriend were absolutely great about it and we managed to do enough intervention to skip MOST of the symptoms I would have normally had. Couple that with the fact we got the upgrade we had been hoping for on our flight, and frankly, the trip over could have been so much worse. We both got some sleep on the flight (god bless United Polaris), and our crew did a great job of cobbling together something gluten free for me since…due to COVID they’re not accommodating dietary restrictions? All the business class meals were full of gluten, but one of the economy ones happened to be gluten free, so at least I got something for dinner. And I may have gotten a little bit of extra fruit for breakfast (because it was either an egg pastry or french toast) and M let me have his yogurt as well.

And then…we were here. We had a lot to do on Thursday, and Friday M went in for a little bit to finish up paperwork. L came down for Saturday, so we checked out the pumpkin festival (Kürbisausstellung) in Ludwigsburg. It was so great to get to see her again, and my heart is so happy to know that she’s only a few hours away instead of an actual entire ocean away.

L, me, and M with the winning giant pumpkin at something like 1200 kg?!
The theme of the Ausstellung was oceans/ocean plastic, which feels deeply appropriate for me and L given our tendency to shout the scientific names of fish at each other. Here, a shark/Haifisch and the family he ate (we don’t know them).

M has gone in for his first full day today, and I’m in charge of sorting through apartment hunting stuff and figuring out phones and there’s a quick run across the street to the grocery store in my near-ish future. We have a couple apartments to look at on Thursday, so probably most of my day will be spent either reading or working on my La Passacaglia. Now seemed like the right time to start working on a 2000 piece hand sewing project, since who knows when our stuff arrives?

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