Today was not a good day. We've been trying to file our request for an exception from the mandatory on post housing policy for what seems like for-ev-ver now. We put one together, had it signed and submitted it about a week ago. But, it was kicked back to us by Housing because when they told us they just needed The Man's command to sign off on us living off post, they didn't really mean that. We've since gotten the paperwork together exactly as they've requested this time and have been waiting for his command to sign off again. Hopefully we'll get it back and be able to submit it next week.
After another fun visit to the Housing Office this morning, I got to trek over to Finance to learn that we'll be paying a full 30 days of hotel stays (at more than €150 per night) before we see any reimbursement at all from the Army. On top of the travel costs we've already incurred and in addition to the mortgage we're paying on our vacant house back in the states. Just to pile on a little further, The Man is traveling back to the states pretty shortly here for some training. So, we'll be paying for two hotels. They know what they pay him! I have no idea how they think we can cover all this at once.
And the most devastating news of all is that the information already given to us was completely wrong and, in fact, if our request to Housing is not approved, they will not pay a monthly housing allowance and we will be effectively forced to live on post. For civilian readers, the way the Army pay system is set up is that soldiers are paid a "base pay" and a separate "housing allowance". If we decline the on post housing we have already been offered, they will not pay him the separate housing allowance and that would be the same as your employer deciding to cut your paycheck in half because your family had the audacity to think they might have some say in choosing where they live.
All of this has me feeling a little defeated today, and now I feel bad for puking that out all over all of you. But, now that I've indulged myself with a whole day and an entire blog post feeling sorry for myself, it's time to focus my energy on our request for an exception. What you put out in the universe is what comes to be, and I want more than anything for that request to come to be approved. So, it's time to believe with every fiber of my being.
And on that note, here are a few pictures of things that are happy and small and festively dressed and seen en route to the bus stop yesterday.