The Beginning

Jon, Madelyn, and I are starting on a great new adventure and figured this would be the perfect time to restart my blog.  I have taken a ‘hiatus’ from blogging and placed it on the back burner for almost a year.  But since we moved to Germany at the beginning of the week, I figured this would be the best way to narrate our journey and experiences for ourselves and others!  The best way to tell a story is to start at the beginning, so here goes nothing!

When Jon and I first got together 10 years ago, he always spoke longingly of the time he spent in Germany as a child with his family in Wiesbaden.  His father was in the Air Force and was stationed there for 3 years.  He LOVED it! They got to travel with school and as a family and they were memories he cherished.  Jon knew even in his early 20s that he wanted to be able to take his family there in the future.  After several years of trying to get a job with a defense contractor in Germany (or anywhere in Europe), he had almost given up when a company told him the reason they could not hire him was because he did not have a college degree. They explained that in order to be approved by the German government to work in the country as a contractor, he needed to be an ‘expert’ in his field and prove he was not taking a job away from a German citizen that could do the same job.  So long story short, he went back to school about the time Madelyn was born and graduated shortly after her 2nd birthday.  At that point, he started realistically considering applying for jobs in Germany and started talking with companies.

Over the next few months he had a lot of hits and interviews as well as several offers.  The offers, however, were not the right ones for us.  It would have been a large pay cut, or didn’t offer the right benefits, or something didn’t feel right about the position.   During this time, we also found out we were pregnant with our second child!!  We decided to maybe cool it a bit with searching and go in a year or two.  I wanted to be a stay at home mom with Madelyn and financially, we just couldn’t work it out.  With a second one on the way, again, not going to be an option, but we loved Madelyn’s school and loved her babysitter when she was younger and would take Baby #2 there as well.  Things seemed to be falling in place on a different path, but one we still were wanting.

At the beginning of March, Jon was contacted by a company that had seen his resume and were looking to fill a position in Stuttgart, Germany.  He figured there was nothing to lose by talking with them, and honestly assumed it would be like all the other companies he had talked with before and would end in either no call backs or a low bid that wouldn’t be an option.   After several interviews, everything seemed to be lining up.   On March 15th, he was given an official ‘offer we couldn’t refuse.’ We talked all that weekend weighing pros and cons and deciding if this is the ‘right choice’ for us…. Move out of the country to start a new job with a 2 1/2 year old and another baby on the way in mid-June.  The deciding factor was that the pay, additional cost of living adjustments, and housing allowance would actually keep us at the same income level as if I was working as well.  This meant I would be able to stay home with Madelyn and Olivia (Baby #2) for at least the first year before heading back to work.  Add on the ability to travel Europe at our leisure, and we knew it was the right move for us, literally.

So in less than a month, we resigned from our jobs, arrange to have the house and car shipped to Germany, de-cluttered 5 years worth of belongings, arranged to have our house managed by a rental company, sold a car, moved into a hotel and packed up what we would be living with in a hotel for the next month or so.  Friday, April 12th was both our last days at work and as of 4PM that day, we were jobless, homeless, carless, pregnant and couldn’t be more excited!!!

We flew out Sunday, April 14th… less than 30 days from when we received the offer letter.  We have been here 5 days and have yet to regret the decision.  This is going to be an amazing adventure, one that we are glad we were brave enough to start!