Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Surviving on the same clothing for 101 days!

Can you believe it?  Yes, we have been surviving on the same clothing for 101 days!  More worthy of note is that we left the 101st Airborne Division 101 days ago.  I feel like this is an accomplishment seeing as it did change seasons here in Germany and we thought we’d only be without clothing for at the most 30 days and I carefully calculated the pick-up days of unaccompanied baggage (UB) and our house hold goods (HHG).  UB is flown over earlier, so it will be there close to when you arrive.  I had them pick this up a week after Sam came home from deployment.  Talk about a crazy household.  If you know at all how moving goes, you know this was a mess.  We were up the night before contemplating what to put in the shipment and what not to; including, what to give to Goodwill and what to keep.  We decided to pack all of our clothing, so we would have it early on because, you know, the whole change of season thing that would happen. 

Here's a random picture of a picture of some of the stuff we packed in UB.

Here’s a list, since the pic above is not at all in any kind of order:
Most of our wardrobes
Pots and pans
Dog bed
Dog crate
Dog food bowls
Mop and Broom
Dishes, including glasses
Coffee to-go cups
Baking dishes
Pasta strainer
Cutting board
Cooking utensils
Measuring cups
Water bottles
Protein shakers
A cook book (because I suck at thinking of recipes)
A workout mat
2 camping chairs (in case we didn’t get loaner furniture – Sam used these when he moved to ft Campbell for a solid month)
Blow up mattress
Trash can

I thought we were doing pretty well that day and it would all be wonderful to have everything from essential clothing items to cleaning supplies.  Plus, since we were moving at high PCS season I was pretty happy with myself that I got a blow-up mattress.  Well, all of my pre-arranged packing and planning is a waste because it has all been sitting in storage since 1 week after we arrived in July.  It should go on the record how amazingly I timed it though.  Our entire contents of our house (HHG) arrived and has been in storage since mid-August.

You : Why are you sitting here complaining about not having any clothing?  Well, it is mainly our fault (when I say mainly, I mean 52%).  When we arrived we thought we would be a shoe-in to live off post.  We (and everyone we talked to) thought for sure that Sam’s job would make us ineligible to stay on post.  We thought, oh we’ll submit and exception to the policy (ETP) and it will get approved and we will be on our merry way looking for housing in this amazing city.  Not the case, we waited 14 days (the time it takes to get the ETP looked at by housing) for a denial letter saying it would be financially irresponsible to place us off post.  We immediately submitted another ETP again citing the issues we thought we’d come across actually did happen within that 14 day period.  And we were still denied another time around.

During that whole time we were staying in the hotel, but when we got the second denial we were forced to take on post quarters.  The first place we looked at was a joke.  It looked like we were living on the courtyard in The Wire.  We both decided we would never be able to actually have visitors there, so we accepted quarters at a different location.  This place is all of 900 sq ft and it will be a miracle if most of our furniture fits without feeling like we are hoarders.  The upside is there is a room in the basement for storage, so all that doesn’t fit can sit down there for 2-3 years.

Okay, so yes, we have accepted our quarters and have been in this place for a month now.  You:  Why haven’t you accepted at least your unaccompanied baggage?  That would seem like the logical thing to do, but we wanted to submit one last ETP, and did you see the list of all the stuff that we packed in UB?  If we accept any of our shipments and are granted to live off post, then we are responsible for moving it to the next location.  So, we’ll say the answer is pure laziness.  I still stand firm that this is 52% our fault.  So, what’s in these glorious bags that we packed 101 days ago?

Yup, we only packed one big suitcase, 2 carry-on sized bags, and 2 backpacks because we thought we would be without UB for only a few weeks.  Don’t you love the backpacks?  We gifted them to ourselves for our European travels.  And we’ve used them already…a lot!  We were even able to get all of the stuff we needed for a week in Paris.  I guess you’re getting to see that I’m not a normal "girl" when it comes to packing, but hey, it was hot out and you only really need sandals in the summer, right? So, here’s a list of everything in those bags:

3 workout outfits
3 dresses
5 pairs of shorts
3 pairs of jeans
15 shirts (a variation of dress and t-shirts)
1 long sleeve sweater
2 professional dresses (in case I got an interview)
Make-up (duh)
Nail polish (it makes me happy)
2 pairs of sandals
1 pair of running shoes
1 pair of closed toed shoes
1 pair of heels
1 clutch
1 purse
1 jacket

1 ACU uniform
Dress blues (in case he had a trial…he’s worn them twice now)
5 work shirts / socks
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of khakis
2 pairs of shorts
2 workout outfits
10 shirts
2 polos
2 sweaters
1 collared shirt
1 jacket
1 pair of running shoes
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of Dress blues shoes
1 pair of flip flops
1 pair of everyday sneakers

Random stuff:
Shampoos and conditioners (my hair is very special)
Prescriptions (Make sure to get these before going OCONUS because they can’t transfer them overseas)
Measuring tape (this has come in handy)
3 towels
Dog shampoo
Dog bed
Dog toys

Craziness, right?  I think we are just stellar packers to get all that stuff in those bags.  My picture isn’t exactly accurate because we had one Vera Bradley weekender bag too.  We really haven’t hated our lives too much based on what we brought.  Just wish we had packed a few more warmer pieces of clothing, more church clothes, and dog nail clippers (Emma tore her dew claw the first week we arrived).  And I do laundry on the regular, so Sam can have work clothes. 

A few positive things that came from this experience are that now Emma is trained to stay out of her crate when we leave, I’ve gotten less dependent on a cook book, and the neighbor is really nice and cooks me Brazilian food while I play with her adorable 2 year old. 

We were extremely lucky to have a great sponsor and our friends we met in the beginning who let us borrow stuff when we moved into on post quarters.  They let us borrow things like bedding, pots & pans, and dishes.  I’m not sure how we’ll ever re-pay them.  Even with the help of these amazing people we couldn’t get by without buying some things.  We had to buy a few things including dog nail clippers and a sweater from H&M for me to have another long sleeve option.  

Here’s a few pics of how we’ve been living:

This 13 inch TV with DVD player has been our saving grace.  We got it at the on post Thrift shop for $15.  Score!  Obviously we’re going to donate it back, but we only had to buy an adapter cable and we are able to get 10 free channels from AFN.  We supplement this with DVD’s we borrow from the Wiesbaden library.  We’ve been able to catch-up on New Girl and Community. Since the government has shutdown, our AFN service has also been shutdown, so I see a lot of DVD’s in our future…unless the library shuts down, yikes!  Don’t you love our dual-usage of Emma’s crate?  Classy, I know.

This blue throw is doubling as our curtains in our bedroom.  My thrifty side couldn’t imagine buying new curtains, since we have ~1000 pairs.  So, I opted for this throw blanket that we could use later as an accent in our guest bedroom.

It looks pretty bad, but don’t you think it will look great on this bed?

The movers forgot to pack this, but in hindsight it's a major plus because it makes it feel like home.

I HAD to buy these pillows, because I’ve been looking for this ikat pattern everywhere and these colors match our living room décor.  They were marked down to an astonishing price of only 8 Euros.  Can you believe it?  I even contemplated making my own pillows last year but even Hobby Lobby didn’t carry the fabric.  Who knew I just needed to move to a whole new country to find them.  Don’t you love them?  This store is amazing, and I will be doing a blog about it eventually.  For now these beauties have been making the loaner furniture that much more comfy.

This vacuum has saved my sanity.  I don't even have kiddos like you, Jenn.  One thing I can’t stand is stuff on my feet.  So, I end up using this item all. the. time.

We were invited to a Great Gatsby party, and since we didn’t bring our 1920’s attire with us, we had to go out and buy a new black dress and suit.  Sorry, for the mirror pic, but doesn’t he look dapper?

We went to Durkheim's Wurstmarkt wine fest and definitely needed some dirndl and lederhosen for that event.  We wore them again this past weekend for an Oktoberfest party, and we’ll get more use out of them this weekend for the real Oktoberfest in Munich. Probably our best buy yet!  This is just a preview of our outfits....

Luckily it's Oktoberfest season, so we might get by just wearing our lederhosen and dirndl on a regular basis.


1 comment:

  1. This is great! Well, not great that you don't have your stuff or the housing you want, but great because you all are in EUROPE and now we can see your lives via the blog.

    Cool stuff. I hope you get housing soon!


Your comments bring a smile to my face!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...