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Happy Friday: A New Chapter Begins…

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So this isn’t a typical Happy Friday picture, as it’s not from a reader… but from me. I thought it seemed very fitting, though, as today is my last full day in North Carolina.

I never really thought that I may actually feel sad about leaving. I guess I was just thinkin’ that sadness would never even be a feeling I’d have… I mean, I’m moving back to be by family after having lived far away for so many years. My kiddos are going to be with their cousins and we are going to now have so many fun family gatherings. What could possibly be sad about that?!

I was completely wrong. I am, at this very moment, sitting in my car with tears streaming down my face. I am incredibly sad to see this chapter in my life come to an end. It is bittersweet.

Military life definitely has its ups and downs, but this is what I have known for more than 10 years. This is was so much a part of my life and now it’s not. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to drive off base today for the last time… to wave goodbye to the house we have called home for over 3 years… to see my kids tear up as they gave their friends hugs goodbye… to know this may be the last time I ever drive on this base again…

Please don’t get me wrong, I am extremely excited for this new chapter of my life to begin, but I am just really having a very hard time saying goodbye and letting go of this chapter in my life that I’ve grown to love.

As we drove off the base, I lost it. I couldn’t seem to hold back the tears. Part of me hoped we could just turn around and go back to our house on base – rewind time and cherish all of those wonderful memories we’ve made. As we curved around the road to leave base, I looked up and couldn’t believe what I saw. Yep… exactly what you see above. Idaho plates.

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Comments 296

  1. Dianne

    My daughter who has gone through many hard time in her life and much of them alone with 5 children posted on her facebook page in answer to this question:

    If you could go back, what would you change?
    She answered:
    Nothing, because it wouldn’t bring me to where I am now.

    May the choices you make bring you to happiness where ever you are Colin.
    You are loved!
    Enormously appreciated!
    By many!
    Spread your love!

  2. Tina

    Seeing those Idaho plates can only be a God shot! You are where you are suppose to be. Now I don’t have to gett up at o-dark thirty to catch deals before they are gone, (since I live in Portland) I hate change also, and you are making a big one. But I am also excited for you and yours! What a wonderful Christmas you are going to have! Being with you family! Awesome! We all love you.

  3. Susan

    God bless you on your road HOME.

  4. Shannon

    I have moved from another state and left my family behind and wish everyday that I could move back. I have often thought that the day I get to move “home” (if it comes) I would high-tail it outta here and not look back, but it’s probably very true that I would be just as sad, as well. Your post made me teary-eyed. Thanks so much for sharing and enjoy every second with your family!

  5. Alla

    Best of luck to you and your family, Collin! You’re an inspiration to me, personally and I am sure you will have a great life wherever you are. I only knew you through your site, but you inspired me in so many ways. Thank you so much for all the great ways of saving you put up on your site. My whole family is thankful to you. Very best wishes for the new chapter of your life and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  6. teena jackson

    Collin-

    We are not military but I know exactly how you feel! We have moved crosscountry 4 times and it has been an adventure! We have been in CT for over 6 years now because once my boys were in high school – I wouldn’t allow any moves & since they are now both in college here on the East Coast- Guess what? Now that I CAN go WHEREVER I WANT, I’m staying here for now!
    You will make new memories back in Idaho & I know your kiddos will make plenty of friends (they are YOUR children after all!) Good luck to y’all & have a blessed holiday season. & Thank You for all you do for us all out here!!

    Teena 😉

  7. carolyn

    May God bless your journey and your new chapter in life. Merry Christmas, Collin!

  8. Christina

    It is only natural to be sad about it, as that will pass. I am sure you have made some amazing friends along the way who helped shape who you are and how you look at life. Every journey we take is to better prepare for the next. I am sure it has made you a better daughter,sibling,niece,aunt,friend, wife and neighbor to return to them now. That plate is such a great sign to be sent your way but also to never forget where you have been. I cannot imagine what military wives have gone through but I respect them. Cheers to you and your family. Happy holidays and safe trip. 🙂

  9. Becky

    Collin you and your family are a true blessing to all of us hipsters.
    I can’t wait to follow you on your new journey….best of luck and
    Merry Christmas!

  10. bcjen

    Colin, how exciting that you are going “home”. Though truly your home is where your husband and children are, but that you get to go be with your family from now on is such an amazing situation. But leaving behind your life in NC has to be so difficult. I can actually imagine the shock that you feel at your surprise that you’re so emotional over this move.

    We moved to Phoenix 6.5 years ago from Texas. I ranted and raved and cried the first 2 years here. I wanted to “go home”. But now? I don’t. We’ve built a really great life here. My husband and I were discussing “what if something bad happened, would you move back to Texas?” type things. I’m sure it surprised both of us when I thought about it and said, “I don’t know, I don’t think I would.” Our life is here. Our friends, our church, our homeschool co-op, etc.

    “Home” is were you live each day with your spouse and kids. It’s where you wake up, get the kids up and do your day to day routine. It’s play dates and date nights. It’s shopping trips with girlfriends and church services each week (in our case). And being a military family, it’s where you rally around each other in times of crisis and in times of celebration. Those bonds are strong, not easily forgotten (if ever). Military spouses have tight bonds. You become “family” with each other because most times you’re on a base with your spouse somewhere else, protecting this world from evil. The “Base family” becomes a real family.

    You’ve spent three years making NC your home. You’ll have such wonderful memories of friends and places and milestones. It shows the depth of the love you have for NC that you have tears when leaving. Allow your tears to flow and spend time with your husband and kids talking about “remember when…in NC”. Those memories should never die because it’s all part of who you all have become.

    Best of luck on the move “back home”, I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  11. Carissa R.

    I love it when God gives us those reassuring and confirming signals – Idaho plates! You’re doing the right thing for your family. It’s natural to be sad, but you have even more happiness ahead. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

  12. Bonnie

    So said to hear of your having to leave the base and to think my husband and I were on the base visiting and staying in the houseing on base during the time you were there and never new it! We love to visit Onslow Beach and since my husband served twenty years. we go back and enjoy the base on a different level. We are planning a move back to the area in the future. I can only imagine how sad you felt leaving the base! But you are on to bigger and better things. Many Blessings to you and your family and we wish your husband the best of recovery!

  13. Amy

    Collin, your post was a godsend for me. I went through a big change yesterday too. Not quite as extreme as yours, but none the less it was a very emotional day. After teaching 12 years in the same second grade classroom, I was told on Wednesday that I had to be out of my classroom by Friday because our school is going to be renovated. I will be in a mobile unit for a year. After that, I will probably be changing schools because our school is going to be divided into two separate schools. I worked until 11:00 on Thursday night packing up all of my things. Also, we have a very sick child in first grade and he came back to school this week after being in the hospital for a month. It has just been an emotional week. I was feeling all of the emotions you were feeling yesterday. I am excited about the future, but I couldn’t help to think of all of the wonderful memories I have made in that classroom. I have taught so many sweet children in that room. I cried when I read your post this morning. I think you are wonderful and I have saved so much money in the last year because of you. My friend and I were just talking about how you have helped saved Christmas this year. We have both gotten so many awesome deals on presents. I appreciate everything you do, but I totally understand that you need to focus on your family right now. Give those kids plenty of hugs and kisses and don’t worry about anything else. Thank you so much for everything and god bless you and your family!

  14. caroline

    yeah, leaving is sad, especially when we build up feeling with it. But like you said, you have even sweeter life ahead of you. So this is just one memorable chapter in our life. Bless you and your family have a smooth transition!

  15. Brooke Medina

    I understand. I’ve been an Army wife for nine years, and an Army brat for twenty-three. It’s a humbling and honor-filled experience, that I know you’re glad you’ve had. It’s something you’ll be able to remember with a smile, while you’re on your way to stop by a family member’s house that will now only live five minutes away. 🙂 Enjoy being a civilian wife and mom!

  16. tpv

    Wow…what else can I say…I am crying for you too. Change is certainly hard butt hat is a good sign that Idaho is the next wonderful step. I can only imagine what your husband is going through. that is his livelihood. Men take that as a big part of them. Best wishes! The excitement will kick in…I miss my sisters so I would focus on seeing them!

    • tpv

      oops.. I meant “but that”….oh boy!

  17. brandy

    Hi Collin!
    I totally know what you are going through. My husband and I are in the middle of a PCS. I had to move from Texas to Delaware by myself with our 2 kids, dog and cat! My husband is joinging us tomorrow. I met my husband who is in the AF 9 years ago in Delaware which is were I am from and now we are being stationed here. While I am not excited about leaving my life in Texas as it was awesome! I loved my house and my daily life and all the wonderful friends. I am conforted to know that at least for the next few years my children will be right down the street from grandma and poppop! Aunts and uncles and lots of cousins and friends!. I cried on and off the entire trip but seeing my kids with my family makes it ALL worth it.! I love your site Collin and I know you and your family are going to do and be just awesome as you already are! Enjoy your holidays and take care..moving is alot of work and stress! Drive safe and Have some fun too!

  18. Lisa

    Welcome HOME to IDAHO Collin. I grew up and continue to live in Idaho and it is a wonderful place to live. My family is my everything and whereever we are is home, but it sure is a blessing to have our family only 1 1/2 hours away. Travel safe and happy moving home. My heart goes out to you and your family as you make this change in your lives.

  19. Lynette

    Blessings to you and your family during the transition.

  20. Steph

    Aww…I SO understand where you’re coming from. I, too, left my family in Oregon to follow a Marine, and I, too, lived for a few years not too far from where you lived, in New Bern. Something about that time still sticks with me…not only the life-long friends I made, but also the small-town atmosphere, which I miss now that I’m a big-city girl again. I wish you and your family all the best in Idaho! Despite the temporary sadness, I know you’ll love being so close now to your family. Merry Christmas!

  21. brenda

    MAY GOD BLESS YOU DEARLY FOR ALL THAT YOU DO,YOU HAVE REALLY HELPED MY FAMILY THIS YEAR, ENJOY BEING BACK WITH YOUR FAMILY..YOU ARE TRUELY BLESSED

  22. redhairedchick

    Hugs! My Dad was in the Air Force for 22 years. I was 15 years old and had lived in 11 states and more than 15 different locations (I can totally relate to Jimmy Morris as a kid in the movie “The Rookie”.) Never once ending up in a place where any extended family lived.
    It’s all good. Moving reminds us that this is our temporary home. It makes us long for the peace of Heaven that much more.
    May the road rise up to meet you…

  23. Donnie

    Hubby is retired out of the US Coast Guard and I know what you mean. After all the moves we would spend the first year exploring our new station and the next year getting ready to go to a new place. (The USCG moved us every 2 years). Best wishes for wonderful new adventures.

  24. Ann

    It must be so hard to leave everything you are familiar and comfortable with…. we have thought about moving away from Boise many many times, but just can’t bring ourselves to do it. I am sure you will love it here!

  25. JJ

    This post make me sad that I miss my son who also is in the Army too.
    He just went back to Germany from Afghanistan and won’t be able to come home for Christmas and New year.
    Wish you the best and Merry Christmas!!

  26. Amanda

    :. ( I’m right there with you. We are PCSing back to Pennsylvania next month after spending nearly three years in Okinawa. Of course we knew this move was coming but it came 6 months early in order for my husband to fill an empty billet. I already miss this beautiful island and the wonderful friends we made here. We also are moving close to home, but it’s always hard to say goodbye!

  27. Samantha P

    Welcome Home Collin. I’m an Idaho native and love it. We are glad you have you back 🙂

  28. Tiffany

    The transistion from military to civilain (even for a spouse, i would imagine) can be extremely challenging. You just don’t realize how deep you are in until you are out! I have been out since August and it’s still an everyday thing for me! Keep your chin up! God bless!

  29. Lacey

    I will say a prayer for you and your family! I have been through the same thing and still 5 years later I catch myself missing it. Things are great and it is nice to be close to family but i think it is just missing that part of our lives even though we are enjoying the new life. Good luck and I hope you have an easy transition.

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