And now I am overwhelmed.

Tonight I am overwhelmed. Like, sit in the car and talk to my mother on my cell phone for an hour overwhelmed.

I guess somewhere along the way I forgot that moving to Germany was going to take a little more work than the average “across town” relocation program. We’ve been here over a week and my kids haven’t seen a castle. We’ve been here over a week and I have yet to register the boys for school. We’ve been here over a week and apparently I missed soccer sign-ups.

We’ve been here over a week and the only thing I’ve managed to stay on top of is the laundry. (Okay, I’m kind of proud of that one.)

We want to travel, but when we start asking other families questions, I feel like what we get is an encyclopedia of “good ideas” that fly past at light speed. Can’t someone hand me a piece of paper and say, “Here, take this trip on Saturday. Your family will love it. Afterwards, please report back for your next assignment.”

As civilians, we know next to nothing about military living. The resources (which are available aplenty) and opportunities that all the good mothers are already on top of–I’m overwhelmed and slightly frightened that I’m going to miss the boat and end up homeschooling my children in the German countryside.

Oh gosh, that was a really bad visual.

I know we’re going to be fine. I know this will take time and patience and trial and error. I know we’ll screw up and get it right and hit all the colorful areas in between. And I guess the good stuff is worth working for.

So this is me, rolling up my sleeves. Bring it on, Germany.

You only scare me slightly.


  1. I feel for you Annie. Have the same feelings but for totally different reasons! Glad you are able to chat with your mom – every daughter needs a good therapist to pull you out of the pit of despair to a reality “haven.” Write down your list(s) of what it is you want to do and accomplish on a big piece of paper (consider it your art work), cut the items all out, and then as a family move them all around and decide what is the most important. Then go for it!

    P.S. Clean, folded laundry – it is an art 🙂

  2. Well, I want to leave some witty, supportive, comment but can’t come up with anything besides, you and every other woman who follows her man across seas is braver than I could ever imagine. I am sure things will work out though, sounds like you are of the same mind 😉

    Love and miss you though.

  3. I don’t know you, but I would love to be in your shoes right now. 🙂 I had the opportunity to live and travel in Germany as a teen, and again through a college internship. I would love to go back with my family at some point.

    I don’t know where you are at (Wiesbaden, Ramstein, etc)? The Heidelberg is a beautiful city. A trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen / Füssen (Neuschwanstein Castle) would be well worth your while. And while you are headed that way, you may as well go to the Berchtesgaden (Eagles Nest) and Salzburg, Austria. The drive is absolutely gorgeous. There are activities a plenty in Salzburg and elsewhere.

    Other must see places: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Berlin, Lübeck, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Köln, Dresden, Lucerne, Switzerland, Munich (lots of museums & things to see), Vienna, etc.

    Give yourself time to get acclimated and settle in from your move, and then start going for it. Good luck!

  4. t5winmom says:

    Annie – WAY TO GO with the laundry!! That is a Major Accomplishment!

    Now – ASK FOR HELP! Start with school (cuz homeschooling is not an option, right?), then extra-curricula. Then ask some friends to make you lists of their top 10 places to visit with kids (& don’t ask the ones with 3 or fewer kids… ask moms with families like ours: numerous, potentially noisy, energetic, & under 12). Compare the lists. Go to the duplicates first, then work thru the others.

    Then cruise thru the castles like the Princess you are! (meant in the VERY best sense of the word) And post photos so we can all want to be you. Those lucky Germans… <3 Angie

    PS – I'm sad about Sensaria… 8^<

  5. I’m still totally scared to go on base and use the “resources” there. I’m always afraid someone’s going to yell at me and tell me to drop and give them twenty or something. Hey, I’ve failed to register to my kids in school and I haven’t even moved…don’t tell anyone okay?

  6. sues2u2 says:

    Go to the travel office (it was ITT while we were there – have your husband bring home a military phone directory – it’ll help). They’ll have tons of tour ideas & even help w/ just the average family wants to tour for the day thing.

    Your w/ the military now. Even though soccer signups are over they are used to families pcsing all the time. You should still be able to sign up for soccer plus get other ideas. Check out MWR. It’s been 8 yrs since my hubby retired & nearly 14 yrs since we lived overseas so I’m struggling to remember!

    One of my friends who just moved back from Germany loved going to Disney Paris w/ her kids. We lived close to France & would travel back & forth to shop. It was awesome although the first time we saw the entire freezer row of escargot I nearly died laughing! In a few months you’ll be so settled & in the “know” you’ll look back & laugh. I promise!

  7. I can’t speak for the rest of your moving woes, but one thing I learned in Europe was to ask very limiting questions. “If you could only see this play one time, where would you want to sit in this theater?” “If you only had one afternoon to spare, which castle would you want to go see?” I felt like it made people slow down and give me their best recommendations.

    Deep breaths. I hear Death by Laundry Pile and Death by MIssed Soccer Season are extremely rare conditions.

  8. Hello, you’re in GERMANY! Enjoy the chaos–it’s all part of the fun! And most of us moms in the U.S. can’t stay on top of all that crap (I have yet to see Bryce Canyon and it’s in my backyard) and we’ve lived here for years.

  9. I can’t imagine the guts it would take to move across country with your family! Good luck in everything—wish I could help in some way.

    Well, actually, if you live near my friend that lives over there I can see what she can do to help you. Where in Germany are you? If you’re close it’s not a bad idea. 🙂

  10. Those castles have been there a long time, Anniebelle. They’ll wait another couple of weeks while you catch your breath (although on FB it looks like you’ve already started the tour!) You have four years; you don’t have to get every dial set to the proper frequency in the first month. And truth be told, you can’t rush this process anyway. It’s like wanting your life to get back to normal after you have a baby. You know you “should” be able to do this, that, or the other — so why can’t you? Because you’ve had a major upheaval and the only real “fix” is time.

    Relax. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy the beautiful view from your bedroom window. Take naps. Use the base; it absolutely saved us the four years we were in PR.

    Life without soccer for one season can still have meaning. A weekend spent puttering around your new home is not wasted. And you know what else? Home schooling while living abroad is also totally do-able, even for a nut job perfectionist like me.

    You’ll do everything you want, and you’ll do the things you love most over and over again.

    Give yourself time.