Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Why Yuma Isn't Such a Bad Duty Station

When I tell people we are stationed in Yuma, most people give me a look of pity. Typical responses we get are...

First of all...RUDE.
Second of all...Yuma is not a "hot spot" duty station for most Marines. It's literally in the middle of nowhere. There's not a whole lot to do here. The summers are brutal. There's not a whole lot of things that make Yuma appealing when looking at it from the outside. When Nick broke the news to me last summer that we would be coming here instead of going to Okinawa, I was a little crushed. But I came here with a positive attitude, and I was determined to find the silver lining. I put my faith in God. I just knew he had a great purpose for us being here instead of Okinawa. I have always had conflict with God when it comes to the Marine Corps, and this is the first time I truly surrendered to Him.

His plan was evident with just our house hunting journey. We originally had planned on living on base housing.  But after looking at housing market trends in Yuma, we had to jump on the chance to buy. The cost of living in Yuma is SO affordable! I will have to do a whole another post on buying real estate. Nick and I have owned 3 homes in the last 10 years, and they've been the best investment. Anyway, we purchased our home (site unseen), and thanks to an amazing realtor (shout out Breanna Sanchez), we found the most adorable house in a great neighborhood. We had so many concerns about this house because it had sat on the market for so long. A turnkey house in a nice neighborhood shouldn't sit on the market for as long as it did. Our realtor did some digging, and found out that the listing agent had the number of bathrooms listed wrong, and it probably wasn't coming up on people's searches. This house was sitting on the market when we had orders to Okinawa! I truly believe in divine intervention. I believe that God had this house "saved" for us before we knew we were coming here.

Friday afternoon in our backyard! We are putting a pool in our backyard!

Another wonderful thing about Yuma is that it us just a short drive into California. Yuma literally sits right on the California/Arizona border. I literally accidentally drive into California all the time by missing an exit. Our family has done several trips to Southern California to get away from the desert, and it has been wonderful. We have a ton of friends stationed at Miramar and Camp Pendleton, and it's been great to just drive over to visit them for a weekend.

We've known Emilee since we were stationed in Boston. She is now stationed on Camp Pendleton, so it was a treat to be able to go visit her on a weekend trip to SoCal!
This past weekend, our former nanny from College Station flew out to San Diego from Houston to spend 3 days with us at the beach!

It's really nice to be able to be near a place where people are willing to travel to in order to see you! Let's face it, no one is dying to come to Yuma, but no one is going to say no to San Diego.

Nick is also in an amazing billet with amazing Marines. He genuinely enjoys going to work every day (minus the occasional complaints that EVERY SINGLE MARINE has). He has "normal" working hours, and we get a lot of family time. That's been the biggest blessing for our family....FAMILY TIME. After spending so much time apart, our kids are really taking advantage of having dad around.

We live just 2 miles away from a famous hiking trail here, Telegraph Pass. 

Visiting dad at work on base!

I look back at the last 7 months here in Yuma, and I've been really happy. I miss Texas. I miss my Texas friends. I miss my kids' school. I miss being near family. I MISS TEXAS...it's my home. But there is so much I don't miss about Texas. I don't miss living away from my husband. I don't miss solo parenting. I don't miss the humid weather. I don't miss the feeling of "keeping up with the Joneses" (there is a LOT of that in College Station).

I don't have to explain every detail of life as a military family to people who don't understand it. It's refreshing. Again, I truly miss Texas...but there's also a lot I don't miss. Don't get me wrong, I definitely want to go back home one day when Nick chooses to retire. Texas is home. You will never convince me that there is a better place than God's country.

I can truly see God's plans for our family in action here in Yuma. We found an AMAZING church that we absolutely love. We found an amazing school for our kids to attend. We love our neighborhood. We have truly found the "silver lining" in being stationed here, and are excited for our future. We have found that Yuma is a great place to be stationed. It is a small, tight knit community, and a great place to raise a family. All my skepticism and doubt about coming here are completely gone.

For my military spouses who might be stationed here one day, it's not the end of the world. It's a pretty great place!

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