I lived in Pittsburgh for my entire life, literally on the same street and in the same colored house. I grew up in a cute little white house in the suburb outside Pittsburgh in a little place called Verona. When I was in middle school, we moved across the street to another white house where my great grandfather lived. We moved in with my Great Pap so my parents could help with his daily needs as he aged. My mom, dad, two sisters, and I lived there with him until he passed away at age 94 and my parents and little sister still live in that same house today. I moved out when I was 18 to go to college and lived in Beaver Falls, PA for about 3 years, then moved back into that white house in Verona my senior year of college.
Fast forward 6 months after graduation I started working for a healthcare staffing firm as a Home Care Director for half the state of PA. Talk about a challenge, I’ll go into more detail on that later. I stayed at home while working for them and I loved every second of this difficult, but rewarding job. Armando and I got engaged in February 2018 about a year and a few months after starting with this company. We had talked about getting married and moving away to be able to really figure things out as a married couple, but where should we go?
Georgia? Florida? The Carolinas? We knew we wanted sunny, warm, and as little snow as we could find. Turns out, Armando’s brother and sister’s family live on the other side of Virginia so we started looking… Somewhere along that line, Armando applied and started the hiring process at a shipyard in Newport News, VA.
Naturally, I jokingly ask my COO at the time “Do you think we could start an office in Virginia?” And to my surprise (and slight horror), HE SAID YES.
Our wedding was planned around Armando’s hiring process and my job’s ability to start an office in a brand new state. I wish you could have heard my Vp of Operations’ voice when I said “Yeah we are going to get married at the end of next month actually so I’ll be ready when you are with the new office!” LOL. I thought he was going to pass out on the other end of that phone. It was especially great when we flew to Norfolk, VA together two months later to interview a potential recruiter that would be working with me and I told my boss I didn’t have a place to live yet. To which he answered that we were two weeks away from our Grand Opening for the office and was worried for my sanity. (Same.) He even offered to delay our flights home and visit apartments with me. I politely declined out of awkwardness and we flew home the same day.
Just two short days after sending an offer letter to the recruiter we interviewed and making the final arrangements we got the news…
Armando’s job had retracted their job offer to him.
I was moving to an unnamed apartment in a new state and starting a new office without my husband, whom I had been married to at that point for 30 days.
It was terrifying, exciting, and bittersweet.
On June 11th, 2018 Armando moved me into an apartment in Chesapeake, VA that we had never seen. I had a blow up mattress on the floor in the master bedroom with about 20 boxes of belongings in the living room, no couch, no dining room table, no furniture whatsoever.
To make things worse, Armando caught a stomach bug and the first thing that home knew was Armando throwing up in the bathroom and me with no cleaning product trying my best to wipe it up and nurture my new husband. All while my little sister and best friend were in the second bedroom terrified of catching the same bug, wrapped in 4 blankets on a second air mattress with a hole in it. We were a sight to see! It was a mess. We ended up sending my sister and best friend on a flight home while Armando recovered and drove home 2 days later and I started my first day of work at my brand new office!
When people ask me what brought us to the area they usually expect to hear “the military” with this area being heavily Navy and Air Force. I honestly tell them it kind of was an accident by the end of it.
In October 2018, Armando finally joined me in Virginia so we could finally start a “normal” married life. We should have learned from this first experience, our lives would never be “normal”, we were just made for adventure together.
To give you some perspective of 2018 and our big move:
February 2018 – we got engaged.
April 2018 – we got married.
June 2018 – I moved to Virginia and started my own office.
October 2018 – My husband followed and moved to Virginia.
I wish I could say 2019 was an easier year, but it sure wasn’t!