When we found out we were moving to Okinawa we weren’t even engaged. In fact, we were driving a U-haul cross country to move me out to Kansas, where I had just signed a lease for an apartment near Dane’s in Old Town. I’d spent the last 9 months living in a little, teeny, tiny apartment in the Upper West Side (that I look back on ridiculously fondly through my notstalgia-colored glasses) and all I could think about was sheepskin. Sounds weird, right? But seriously. I wanted fluffy, white sheepskin everywhere.
Perhaps I was so fixated on this because fluffy and white were the exact opposite of what I had in New York. Perhaps because I was so cold all winter that all I wanted was fur all around me, all the time. Who knows. All I know is that everything I bought, for the apartment I never got to live in, was white, grey, navy or gold. Oh and hot pink. There was a little bit of hot pink in there, but I digress.
My point is that about a year ago, after returning from Asia, I started wanting to nest in a way that I had never really felt before. I wanted an apartment that I could decorate however I wanted. I wanted to hang pictures and paint walls and sew pillows and make everything that surrounded me fluffy and white.
Most of my life I have prided myself on my ability to pack everything up and move it, quickly and easily. Which was handy considering all the moving I’ve done. Dane has teased me for years because I don’t own a single “good” knife. I always defended that as a calculated choice. You spend money on your priorities and my primary priority had always been experiences and traveling, never knives. Besides how sharp does a knife really have to be to slice a zucchini?
All of that changed when I returned to the States. What can I say? I guess my biological clock was telling me that it was time to start prioritizing pillows (and knives) a little bit more.
You know what’s great for a girl who wants to nest? A wedding registry. (And an overseas PCS sure sped that process up for us!) But do you know what’s damn near impossible when creating a wedding registry? Filling it with things you will need for a house you have never seen. Newlywed nesting is probably pretty awesome for most people. Newlywed nesting overseas, though… not so much.
We had absolutely no clue what kind of place we were going to be moving into. We knew it would be in Okinawa, but that was about it. We didn’t know if we would be on base or off, have two bedrooms or four, bathrooms with showers or tubs, a kitchen with cabinets or not, American outlets or converters. We shopped blind, we registered blind, we even packed blind… Oh, another thing that is not so easy is to shlep everything to the other side of the world before you even unwrap it (thank heavens for military movers). The whole time we just hoped that we would have enough space for everything we were bringing, and we were bringing enough to fill whatever space we’d have.
I write all of this to say, that instead of the nesting I was expecting a year ago, now we’ve become more of a homemaking-adventuring hybrid. I mean, sure, we got the mixer, the duvet, the Le Creuset… but we have no idea where in the world they are (somewhere in the Pacific we’re pretty sure) and no idea how they will all fit in here when they show up. We registered for a nondescript American house with white walls and fluffy carpet. We ended up with a hard wood floored beach condo that we like infinitely more– but I’ve certainly had to re-paint the picture in my mind. So sure, I expected to be a newlywed that nested, but as it turns out, some newlyweds PCS overseas instead– and we are lucky enough to be some of them! Nesting will keep. For the next three years, I’m pretty stoked to just keep adding pins to our map in the Far East. Our next house will have fluffy carpet. For now, I’ll be reusing a lot of the driftwood and glass buoys that decorated my place in Florida. As for my dreams of fluffy, white sheepskin… well, it’s already on its way.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.