With just five weeks left in Kansas, we’re officially gearing up for the “Farewell Tour” portion of PCSing (or in our case ETSing since we’re getting out.)
The “Farewell Tour” is what many military families describe as the period right before you move where you start saying your “see ya laters” and experiencing your “lasts” at favorite restaurants and places around town. To say that I hate this part of moving would be the understatement of my life; It’s downright torture. Even sitting at Hadley’s parent-teacher conference yesterday, I had to choke back tears as we talked about how she only has a couple more weeks left at the school we love so much.
Thinking about our last church service, saying goodbye to our pediatrician, my MOPS group, and of course our friends… it’s just tears me up because I hate thinking that I might never see that person again. It sucks a LOT. It’s kind of embarrassing that I am incapable of saying goodbyes without crying, but after eight years of military life, I’ve just come to expect that the waterworks are gonna flow!
But let’s move on to some happy pictures via a “Slice of Life”, shall we? I’m in a great mood putting this post together, so I don’t want to do any more thinking about those stinkin’ goodbyes. 😉
When it comes to house showings, these girls are troopers with a capital T. I snapped this picture last week after being out of the house for a last-minute afternoon showing. Hadley had a 102 fever, Sadie was forced to take a very short car nap, and they walked into the house and immediately melted into the couch to watch a movie. Both of them. Love my chicks!
They don’t hate showings when it involves going to get sweet treats though, as they often do. Last week we hit up Dunkin’ for some heart-shaped, pink icing doughnuts, and I wondered how many I could eat before my stomach would explode. So. Darn. Good! I stopped at one, but dang… I love me some fresh doughnuts. So do the other three members of my fam. 🙂
Despite the temperatures that have often still hovered in the 20s or low 30s, we’ve been at the playground a lot during these showings to let the kids get some fresh air. We have two great playgrounds within a mile of our house, so if we drive by our house and see the people are still looking, we just jet to the park for another 15-20 minutes.
I’m not the biggest peanut butter fan, but Jamie and the kids devour it. We ran out last week the day after I’d done a big grocery trip, and because I hate going to the store more than once a week (because I know I’ll buy more than one thing), I decided to grab a random jar of peanuts that weren’t getting eaten and try making our own. Plus, Hadley loved it and was able to see how peanut butter is made! If you’re looking for a good all-purpose blender/chopper, I can’t say enough good things about this Ninja one. We’ve had it for 2.5 years and use it constantly.
Jamie got home early on Tuesday, so I suggested we venture about an hour north to Marysville. The girls and I watched the eclipse in 100% totality up there back in August, and ever since then I’ve wanted to go back to check out a cute antique shop along the way and explore that small town a little more. Jamie was up for it, so around 3 p.m. we loaded up and went exploring.
We played at the cutest playground, walked around a couple stores, and finally ate dinner at the #1 place to eat according to TripAdvisor, The Wagon Wheel Cafe.
Oh my goodness, we ate one of the best meals of our lives! It was a classic “seat yourself, everybody knows each other” type of place, and we just couldn’t stop smiling. There was an older gentleman across the restaurant that Sadie become buddies with after giggling over his frequently “peek-a-boo” games.
He came over to our table and asked where we were from. It was that kind of place; He knows everyone who’s local and people who are from out of town stick out like sore thumbs. 😉 His daughter owns the restaurant, so he treated the girls to a handful of lollipops for the ride home.
We smiled and talked the whole way home during sunset. These Kansan sunsets just own me!
And on Wednesday, we had a sweet, fairly quiet Valentines Day. Both girls had school, and Hadley was beyond pumped for her school party.
After we dropped the girls off, we booked it to 9Round for a sweat sesh! Tim and Melissa, the franchise owners, were also getting ready to going through the workout themselves, so we called it a Valentines Day power couple workout and did it all together. So much fun!
Afterwards, we went straight to The Chef for mimosas and brunch. So enjoyable!
For dinner that night I made a heart-shaped pizza for the girls, while Jamie and I used the other half of the dough to make ourselves a speciality pizza with grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, mozzarella cheese, etc. Delish!
We ended the day with a walk around the neighborhood and some hang time with our awesome neighbors.
And that’s just another slice of our lives. 🙂
The following portion of this “Slice of Life” is sponsored by Taxes For Expats, a tax preparation agency that Jamie and I are thrilled to be working with this year.
Before I sign off here for the weekend, I want to share the resource that is saving our sanity when it comes to filing our taxes! Holy moly, our taxes became quite complex this year. Jamie has always filed them via another website, but this year we handed everything over to Taxes For Expats.
The weight that’s now off of Jamie’s shoulders is tremendous. The more layers we uncovered while doing our own taxes earlier this month was making us both a little crazy.
This is our first year to hire an expert to file our taxes, and we’re thrilled that the work is now theirs. I’m not sure we’ll ever file ourselves again.
I know most of you are just getting started with filing your taxes (or maybe haven’t even begun to think about it), so if that’s you, I’d cannot recommend handing things over to Taxes For Expats. As the name implies, they specialize in handling the nitty gritty of taxes for those Americans who live overseas, but they’re also able to file taxes for those living in the states as well.
Here’s how simple their process is.
If your spouse is the one who handles your taxes, send this recommendation along to him or her to consider for filing your family’s taxes. Also, if you have a friend or family member who moved overseas and is possibly dealing with expat taxes, they need to know about these professionals.
Our experience the last couple of weeks working with them has been phenomenal. You can check them out here and get started today! There’s way more fun to be had during the evenings and on weekends than locking yourself inside and navigating your taxes.
What have been the biggest roadblocks you’ve hit while filing your taxes in years past? Dealing with our rental property in Tennessee (that’s now sold) as well as my blogging income have been quite hairy.