We arrived at Randolph Air Force Base and found our way to our new temporary home in the Temporary Living Facilities. Living? Lodging? I am not sure what the L in TLF is. Either way…

We had thought my husband was going to be put in a single room, like a studio with a kitchenette with a microwave and mini fridge, because his orders are TAD, not accompanied. But I guess the lodging people decided to be nice because we were given a one bedroom apartment instead, with a full kitchen, living area, and an extra bathroom sink in the “hall” (not really a hall, but you know).


The Guy took our kids to the playground nearby while I set to work unpacking us and figuring out how to make the space work for us for an entire month. We moved the dresser into the living room, so that we could get changed without waking children in the evening or morning (or fold laundry and put it away during nap time), which also made room for 2 pack and plays in the bedroom.

Anneliese doesn’t mind sleeping in a pack and play as long as it’s a Special Thing. When we found the blue one that was here already, I gasped and exclaimed, “Whoa! Do you know what this says? It says, “Special Bed, For Big Girls Only.” She instantly claimed it and has several times explained to Joseph that, “This is my bed for big girls only. Yours has the animals on it. That’s for little guys.”

I made a play area in the living room, with open-ended toys I brought with us, and several books. The woven blanket we picked up at a New Mexico gas station for $15 is lovely as a rug, and more inviting to play on than the TLF carpet is.


We’ve gone on walks, found the library and their story time (and got a library card so we can check out books each week), and watched Grease song-and-dance videos on YouTube about a million times (We Go Together is Anneliese’s favorite).

We’ve also had an update from my Mother-in-Law (top right below) about Zora. Zora and her cousin-dog Eowyn are starting to be more comfortable with each other, and Zora is settling into her long-term-temporary home. I’m glad to see happy pictures of her, and updates from my in-laws for sure!



It’s going to be a big month here in the San Antonio area! LOTS to do and see, and we’re not going to let it slip by without taking advantage of it!

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  1. Hi Emily,

    My children ( 2 years and a 4 month old) and I have accompanied my husband on his TDY to Randolph. I noticed that one of your other blogs mentioned a playgroup in the area. Any idea if that is still going on and, if so, how I could get in touch with the coordinator. I have been trying to look up playgroups for my daughter as I hate for her four months here to be lonely, but I havent really found anything.

    Also, I will be checking out those playgrounds and weekly library sessions! thanks for sharing those.

    Molly, if you are still around the area maybe we can get together as I am new here too. Will be here until sometime in May!

    • I’m sorry, I don’t remember the name of the playgroup, but they did have a facebook group, so maybe you can do a search for it?

  2. Hello! I realize this post is super old, but I stumbled across it while looking up “one bedroom TLF, San Antonio.” My husband will be stationed there for 5 months, and they want to put us (I have a 3 and 1 year old) in a one-bedroom! Do you think we’d survive?! Do you happen to have any pictures of the actual apartment? 🙂 thanks in advance for helping a military mama out!

    • Hey Molly! I absolutely think you’ll do great there if you go with the right expectations and attitude. There’s SO much to do in San Antonio and a nice playground right behind the TLF, an awesome library a quick drive away with the most amazing playground ever and the BEST story times several times a week… so much awesome stuff. I actually kind of miss it even though we were only there for a month.

      The kitchen was super-nice and big (and I cook a LOT) and even though you’re not supposed to, we rearranged things a bit to make it more comfy for us… we moved the dresser into the living room so that we could put 2 pack-and-plays in the bedroom for the kids (even though our daughter especially was a bit big for that, it was an adventure for her and she was ok with it). Having the dresser in the living room meant that we could fold laundry and put it away after the kids went to sleep for the night or while they were napping.We also stored a bunch of stuff in the bedroom closet (their giant ugly lamps and other stuff we didn’t want to deal with or the kids to mess with) just to get it out of the way. We used the front closet for hanging clothes and shoes for all of us, and all shared the dresser too. The end tables have drawers so that’s more storage too… all in all it was plenty, and really comfortable once we were settled.

      I mean, if you can get 2 bedrooms, do give that a try (although I think those are duplexes in a totally different area, so I can’t speak to what temporary living is like in that part of base), but 1 was fine for us and it felt more intimate than cramped, if that makes sense. The housekeeping staff was also SUPER nice.

      I also highly recommend that you read my mini-book Finding the Awesome, which you can get for free at http://www.sodamndomestic.com/theawesome … it goes through a lot of stuff that I learned on our temporary living journey. I think you’ll enjoy it and it might shape your trip a bit.

    • Also check out other posts about our San Antonio excursions here – https://www.joyfulabode.com/category/family-life/
      And Schertz is the town with the amazing library and playground… you HAVE to check it out. the kids will be in love.
      We also went to Chick Fil A for the indoor play area when it was rainy… the kids had an awesome time.

      • This seriously brought tears to my eyes! I have been so anxious – just not knowing what to expect! It feels so good to hear from someone who has been there! I’m now scouring your blog and have been reading about everything you did while you were there! SO excited! We are definitely excited for the adventure and especially excited for the climate! (We will be there all winter… and Texas winters are just a little different than North Dakota winters!) 😉 thanks again for taking time to answer my question – oh and I’m now obsessed with your recipes! So happy to have stumbled across your blog!

        • Ohhh I’m so glad you feel better now! You’re really going to have an awesome time there. 🙂 You’re very welcome. Happy to have you here. I hope you subscribe to my email newsletter … I’m not sending out much at the moment, but planning good stuff.

  3. You are the most amazing mother. You never cease to fill me with awe.

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