Friday, April 20, 2012

Thinking About Our Futures

Every so often I write a blog post, just to get stuff written down and get some ideas out in words. This is going to be one of those posts, so you may find it boring to read, but I find it therapeutic. Hope someone enjoys reading it though:).

Last year I started an associates degree in Human Services. I already had quite a few credits, so I was almost done with my first year when I started. I took a break around the time we moved, and with all of McKaleigh's medical problems, so that was about 2-3 months off. I've finished my first course since starting back and have started my first of two internships, along with another class. After this term I'll do my second internship and another class, and then after that 8 week term I will have one final class! So about 6 months from now I will be totally done with my associates degree (and I will have a 2 month old baby!)

After I finish, I will be taking a break to enjoy my new baby:). Michael will be done with his year in Korea a few months later, and I honestly have no clue what we will be doing then. We will have less than one year from that point until he can get out of the Army, but hopefully they will still move us to his next duty station. If not maybe he can just extend for a few months so that we can experience the Northeast for the year.

The bachelor's program I'm interested in is a direct continuation of the associates I'm doing right now, and they offer the whole program online. I'll be able to start pretty quickly after my break, probably after we get settled into a house in the new town.

One of our options involves Michael getting out of the Army, fall of next year. He would start school, using his G.I. bill. We would probably both have to work, alternating shifts as much as possible to try and avoid daycare costs. This would mean I'd have to start working, along with still working on my bachelor's degree, when baby Matilda is about one year old.

That's where option two comes in. I haven't worked since having McKaleigh, and really hardly worked since I've been married. I've enjoyed staying home with my girls and it's hard for me to imagine not staying home with Matilda. Thankfully Michael being in the military has provided us an income that has been steady enough to allow me to stay home. Part of me would really like for him to re-enlist for one more term, just long enough for me to finish my bachelor's degree and at least stay home until Matilda is ready for kindergarten.

The upside to this is that Michael would be able to do some of his school while on active duty and could use the Army's tuition assistance program. This is different than the G.I. Bill, so he could try to do as much as possible and then would have the G.I. Bill left to pursue more advanced degrees, since he will likely need a masters or doctorate for most of the careers he's interested in.

Part of me wants him to get out ASAP, just because I want to feel semi-settled somewhere for awhile. Also, if he re-enlists, by the time he's about to get out again he will likely be at his "halfway to retirement" point, and it will be hard to see him get out after investing so much time into a military career. He talks about getting out of the Army a lot though, so I don't want him to be unhappy with his job for the next 14 years, just for the sake of a retirement check. I also really like the idea of us settling down somewhere while the girls are still young. If we get past that "halfway to retirement" point and he ends up staying in the Army for the full 20 years, we won't settle down until the girls are teenagers. The year he could retire would likely be right before McKaleigh graduates from high school.

I guess that's really not so bad, if we can get our last duty station to be where we want to be settled, then McKaleigh could likely go to one high school for all 4 years, and all three girls would go to that same high school.

So much to think about. Writing this out really does help:). You'll get to see our decision making as it goes on!

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