Did you know there is such thing as un-schooling? YES, UN-SCHOOLING. Sounds ridiculous right? Just the word sounds crazy. Wouldn't unschooling mean that you don't go to school? Not quite. Unschool means you don't force school on anyone, you let school come to them. According to a great article written by Earl Stevens, "A large component of unschooling is grounded in doing real things, not because we hope they will be good for us, but because they are intrinsically fascinating." Since we will ultimately be living on the road, with new and exciting things at our fingertips each and every day, the ability to un-school is at our doorstep. Of course, why wouldn't we?! In 2007, I graduated from CSUSB with a major in Liberal Studies, I was going to teach. I wanted to be in a classroom. I know the curriculum, I love writing lesson plans, I love teaching and watching little minds learn. I was in and out of the classroom for several years as a substitute teacher. Becoming a full-time teacher has yet to fall in the cards for me. So the idea of just un-schooling, blows my mind. There are standards for each grade and core subjects that each child just master for their grade level. How could un-schooling ever really work? My kids would be bored, they wouldn't be self motivated, I'd just fear they were missing out on long division and proper sentence structure and the definition of an idiom. Wouldn't they need a weekly spelling test? How would they keep up? And when we come back to school, how do they prove they have mastered the 2nd and 4th grades to move on with their friends? (That is if we return when we say we will). So, un-schooling just doesn't sound like the best option for us, unless it is. Is it? People, this is where my mind is tonight at 10:13pm, while my husband and 3 boys are snoring upstairs.
So homeschooling seems like the best option. Yet, there is one holdup. Each student needs to meet with their assigned homeschool instructor every 21 days. (This is what is required via the program attached to my kids charter school). Nope, can't do that. And since FaceTime or Skype isn't an option either, there goes this homeschool program.
But wait! They offer virtual school? Online schooling for kids? Yes! I currently have the boys signed up for this program. I don't know much about it and Im hoping after spring break, I'll learn more. Only downside, internet won't always be an option for us. If this program requires internet at all times, we may be SOL. Which than means, I have to do some major research on homeschooling, unschooling and road schooling. Yes, ROAD SCHOOLING.
So, if anyone has any advice to throw my way, I'm ready and willing to take it! I am a worrier and a researcher and I always want to get it right the first time because I am terrified of failure. There you have it.
On that note, I'm off to search out my bedtime essential oils and read myself to sleep.
We've been planning this trip for 9 months now. 9 months of prep work. 9 months of day dreaming, minimalizing, renovating, 9 months seems like a good amount of time. Holy crap, it's gotten real really quick folks, let me tell you. We are officially out of this place we've called home in 26 days. We've had our enormous yard sale, which was a huge success, we moved a ton of things to storage and Travis is near complete with the trailer renovation. It's gotten real.
It's funny because in the early stages of sharing this adventure with our family and friends, telling them our plans and dreams, we were the ones convincing them as to why we were doing this. We reassured them that we would be gone only for 1 year and we convinced them we would survive for 1 year. We shared with them were we wanted to go and why, how the kids would adjust and how this would all around be healthier for our family. We have now completely switched roles. Our family and friends are excitedly asking us when we launch, what's our first stop and if we are beyond excited. Our answers are less enthusiastic each time. We are nervous, wondering if we have made the right choice and questioning our every move. Should we have waited longer? Should we have not sold all of that? Should we maybe keep this and should we be moving out of our comfort zone? Is homeschool the best option for our kids? Is it the best option for me and my sanity? Questioning it all. Every move we make. We are all on the edge right now. Our home is a mess, we eat our way too often, things that need to be stored but we may still need are piled up or strewn across the floor. Another 18 days is what I keep telling myself. Enjoy it, breathe it in because this is the home where we became a family. This is our home.
When we watch other peoples adventures on social media, we are reminded as to why we are doing this. When each person we come across who hear about our plans say, "I wish I would have done that", we know we are doing the right thing. We ARE excited to get out. We are hoping it bring us all together. Slowing down.
So, as the trailer renovations continue, I cannot wait to get before and after shots together. Travis is working on clutter closets for the boys bunk beds. Each will have a space to store their stuff as well as a desk to go with it. He is building a hamper in the bathroom, as the toilets obnoxiously sits far away from the wall, leaving a huge empty space between the toilet and wall. He's built a laundry box to fill that space and will add shelves above it. It's all about the storage space people. Next project would be a small closet up front for us along with book shelves. Reading on this adventure is one of my many goals. After we put our mattress inside on our bed, he will then build the wall, operating the living space from our bedroom. It will also be the spot he hangs the TV.
So, after typing that, Im once again excited for this adventure.
We have lots more to do and will continue to share it all on our instagram @ourlivelytribe.
After talking with Travis last night, I am so relieved that I am not the only one here freaking out a little. Okay, maybe a lot. Reality is setting in. We have 1 month before we move out of our home. Our home we have been in for exactly 4 years on our move out date. As small and as much work as this house needs, we've made it our home. Its cozy and perfect. Last night I realized we would no longer have a "home". A place to come back to. Space from one another when needed. The more I type this, the more freaked out I get. I love camping. One of the best parts about it is coming home and taking a long hot shower afterwards. Not going to happen this time around. My hope is that this doesn't feel like camping. Hence the reason we completely renovated the trailer. We want it to feel like a home. We want it to feel like our space. It will function exactly the way we need it to. I hope.
While talking to Travis, his biggest fear is the adjustment period. Our entire routine is about to change. No more school days and attempting to rush out the door. A majority of us in this household are not morning people. Do we have a set wake up time? Do we have a set bedtime? Or do we just casually go with the flow? We've always had pretty set routine for the boys sake. Now to just chuck that out the window and chill...hmmm...
The little things will change. Shower times for the boys, our dinner and bedtime routine, school work, our work, all of it. We will be adjusting to one another adjustments. Believe me, I know this will not just be a walk in the park. I am aware that as a family of 5 and 2 large dogs, we will need all of the patience we can get.
What I've heard is it takes about 3 months. 3 months of questioning it all, wondering what the hell we've done and if we've made the biggest mistake ever.
Although we are freaking out, the excitement of it all does outweigh that. The adventure, the unknown the plans and ideas, the people and places we will visit, the opportunity to see and go anywhere and the amount of learning the boys are going to be able to do outside of a classroom and in the world. This is why we are doing this. We are confident in our decision, but a little freaked out.
Escaping the day to day, that's exactly what I feel like we are doing. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if we are running away. I've struggled with this idea for a while now. I feel guilty leaving our family and our friends, setting out on a "vacation" with no end. When we tell people what we are doing, their first reaction is, "wow, how are you going to do this?". Within minutes their reaction then turns into, "I wish I could do that." which then reminds we that we can do it, so we need to.
This idea would not have sat well with me 6 years ago. When I was married to Steven, I was so set in the idea of settling down, buying a home, raising our kids, soccer games on the weekends, running them around from school to sports to dr visits and squeezing in any me time where I could find fit. Chaos and the life I was taught was the "American Dream." This was the life we were all raised to believe was the right way to do it. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this. It's great if that all seems to work out for you. I started that life. I bought the house, settled down, starting raising my two kids with my then husband, only to have it all ripped out from under my feet. Losing my husband was a stark reminder that I am not in control. From that day forward, I was never settled. In comes Travis and we find our home together, we start to raise the boys and add another, and I still, in my heart was not settled in the day to day. There is so much living to do and I felt like we were stressed, tired and watching it all go by.
When this idea popped up, Travis and his adventurous heart ran with it, and so began our plans of hitting the road and experiencing a new day to day, everyday. We are lucky to completely be on the same page, we are lucky to have jobs that give us the ability to live this lifestyle. We are lucky. We don't take that for granted.
What I hope to gain from this, I hope that as a family, we rely more on one another. We focus more on one another. As a mom, I find my mind is constantly thinking about the next month ahead and each and every thing happening each and every day. Trying to keep our schedule on track between doctor appointments, school activities, sports, more doctor appointments, birthday parties, work, work and more work. I don't feel focused on what is important, those three little man cubs waking up each morning in my home, in need of my full attention. My husband, who is constantly on the go, making ends meet and keeping me sane.
What are we giving up? The ability to have our family and friends a quick drive away. We are leaving the comfort of our neighborhood and our routine. We are going to miss events and celebrations and for that, we are sad. Grandparents have played such an important role in our kids lives and they have kept us sane. From a quick phone call and drop off, we get a date night here and there. We will miss that. Yet, I remind myself that so many people don't have that luxury because work has taken them further from their parents and families. We are giving up all of our stuff and I couldnt be more excited about it. The weight of a garage packed with crap we don't touch, closets filled with toys that never get touched, too many clothes that I hope to fit into agin, crap, crap and more crap. Selling it all. The desks, the dressers, the dining table and chairs and shelves that all hold things we hang on to because we can. Not because we need it. I cant wait to rid of that weight.
Maybe it takes a loss or a life experience to come to this way of living. Maybe it takes an adventurous heart and mind actually do it. Maybe it just takes an idea. Whatever it is, we are doing it. Call it escaping, call it running away, call it whatever, but we are doing it.
I am also aware that this lifestyle will not be perfect. I've heard there is an adjustment period like no other. I love camping, but I always love coming back home and taking a long hot shower. 300sq ft of living space with 4 boys and two dogs, lord help me. But the pros outweigh the cons. We will need a whole lot of patience.
We will be back, we will visit often. We do still have a blossoming photography business and we will be back often. Yet in between, we will be nomads, adventurous and a family living each day differently, together on the road.
If you're just hitting up our blog for the first time, it probably means you got our Christmas Card! HEY! I wanted to explain our blog a little and share a little bit more about our adventure we are about to embark on. I've blogged off and on for several years. If you click here, you can get access to my others blog pages. I've combined all of our info here, in this one spot to share with the world. As I'm sure you know, we've got a lot happening, all of the time. Between raising 3 boys, navigating through widowhood, dealing with grief, Jakes KT Syndrome and all the other business, we have decided to hit the road, full time, living in our 30ft travel trailer we are in the process of renovating. Yep, I'm pretty much that crazy. So, on this blog, I share it all. Or shall I say, we share it all. We also podcast every Wednesday. We share our story not just so our family and friends can follow our adventures, but to give others hope. From those deep dark places, we have been, and come out of. So, as we embark on this next chapter of our lives, we hope you enjoy reading all about it, seeing pictures we share and listening along to our podcast.
We hope you all have a very very Merry Christmas!
Christmas cards are addressed! Boom! There is such an immense feeling of achievement in this daunting task. Why do it? Everyone sees our crazy kids faces on Instagram just about daily. A warning to those recieving these cards, there are no formal images on them. We do have time to take everyone elses pictures, but ours sorta hit the sidelines and in the end, a tripod and clicker just don't do the magic that Travis gives everyone. One year, we will hire a professional, maybe, okay probably not. Enjoy our not posed, totally random images on our cards again this year. We are addressing our cards with the intent of sharing with those who don’t yet know, that we will be nomads come June 2017. Living life on the road, trailer in tow and traveling the United States. Our Christmas cards direct our family and friends to this blog. Where they can follow our adventures. So, blog and share I must.
We've really jumped into renovating the trailer once again. The wall between the living space and our bedroom is gone. Then we got crazy and took out the bed and storage in the front room completely. Gutted it. Nothing left but walls. From there, I shared my love of Pinterest with Travis, as he forced his face to not give me the eye roll. A lifted bed with drawers and storage under is what I wanted. Steps at the end of the bed leading up to the raised bed. Please?! Its not too much to ask, right? For our small bodies and short legs, it's perfect. No leaning over a bed or crawling on top to reach our tiny bit of clothing storage space we were once given. We could just reach under the bed, open a drawer and slide a cabinet. Oh, and then, honey, could you please add a slide out desk. He must love me. He doubts himself too much, because I’m not asking if I didn’t have complete confidence in him and know he could build it better than I imaged. No pressure honey.
We attempted to work on it together last Friday. But my staring at him while he tried to plan out in his mind how this was actually going to happen, didn’t make for a good combination. So I think I'll just leave the rest of the construction end to him. When it's time to paint and decorate, I'm your girl!
So, thats about it. Our timeline is creeping up on us. It's sad to think of leaving this place we’ve called home for almost 4 years. So much has happened here and the thought makes me so surprisingly sad. But, like the old man in the movie UP says, "Adventure is out there!"
Also, if you haven’t, check out our podcast. Where we share all sorts of randomness about our lives and soon to be, our adventures!
Last year I came to a realization. I called Travis hysterically crying because I had realized, Bryce lost his person on the day Steven died. I have always been Jakes person. He's a mamas boy thru and thru. He and I have spent every night together in the hospital, every IV poke, every cry, every doctors visit, it's been with me. (Minus the blood draws over the last year that I realized he didnt shed a tear over when Dad took him). Overall, I am Jakes person. Travis is Trentons person. Trenton is obsessed with his Dad. If Dad is home, Trenton is at his side, around his ankle. Skateboarding, cuddling on the couch, banging and screaming at the bathroom door when Travis needs a minute. Travis is Trentons person. As Trenton got older, I began to see all of him in the toddler Bryce used to be and at that moment, it hit me. Bryce's person, whom he was obsessed with, adored, idolized, loved dearly at the age of 3, is gone. At 3, he lost his person. How I wish I could have realized that years ago. My heart breaks for his loss. It's hard enough trying to understand the loss of your dad at the age of 3, but when that Dad is your person, your heart, I cannot image the unexplainable void he must feel and he may not even know it.
Death and loss is different for everyone. We all handled losing Steven a little different than one another. Does that mean it hurt more than it did for others? No. It just means that void is different for each of us. Bryces void is one I wish I patch up, one I wish I could somehow fill for him. I don't even think he knows this void is there, but I know it is.
As I watch the realtionship he and Travis have grow into a deeper bond and appreciation and love for each other, I am beyond greatful that he has a Dad in him. An amazing Dad at that. He is one lucky kid to have been blessed with that from Steven and from Travis. Yet that void, is one he will have his entire life. We hug him a little tighter, I share more stories of his dad as he gets older and I see the sparkle and pride in his eye when he thinks of him. How I wish he could really hug him and know him. I wish he could have his person with him. What I do know, all of us around him, in his life now, will do our very best to shower him with the love that Steven would have, and in that, he will be okay.
Last month we headed to New York to visit some new doctors at the Vascular Birthmark Conference. 3 years ago, we met with the same group of doctors in Irvine with very different circumstances. Jake had not been on the medication he is currently on and we were in and out of the hospital every 2-3 months. When the doctors saw him 3 years ago, they called his malformation quite severe. Since he began his medication shortly after that visit, his malformation and KT Syndrome has changed drastically. We were anxious to get their opinions.
Leaving B and T at home was hard, but they were in good hands. Jake was excited to get mom and dad to himself, stay in a hotel, and see the Statue of Liberty. It was our first stop on our adventure.
After our tourist adventures, we headed to the VBF conference on Saturday. Jake went to the kids room while Travis and I attended 5 seminars. Each one pertaining to our kid and KT Syndrome. This time around, the information the doctors had was much greater than three years prior. 3 years ago, Jakes medication was not even spoke of. This time around, it was the main option for treatment they recommended for KT patients. Jake was a great representation of how well the medication worked. We did learn from one doctor that the amount of Sirolimus (medication) they would want to give the patient, could potentially "cure" the lymphatic portion of KT Syndrome. Yet, the dose is far to high for any kid or KT patient. So, we are on the right track. My concern is still the long term side effects of Sirolimus, which are unknown but don't seem to be of concern to the doctors.
Jake was very open to showing the doctors his bottom and leg during the two clinic appointments we had that afternoon. We met with Dr. Rosen, an Interventional Radiologist. He had great information and insight for Jake. We also met with Dr. Delfinian, the leading doctor in the United States for KT Syndrome. He and Dr. Fishman were very optimistic and impressed with how far Jake has come. Dr. Fishman did notice a discrepancy in Jakes legs, one was longer than the other. We are now seeing Orthopedic at Rady to follow his leg growth. This may be why we see a small limp when he walks. Its important that we continue to follow this. Dr. Fishman said when the difference becomes more drastic, a small incision can be made to adjust this in the growth plate. Although with Jake, nothing is small, but we hope that wont be necessary. There were several other operation, in more private areas that I wont go into detail about that we found can also be helped for him down the road. We are very optimistic.
We checked on Jake a few times in the playroom area. There were all sorts of toys, activities, movies and fun things to do. Each time we checked on him, he was in the corner, playing on the iPad with his headphones on. Jake without Bryce is a different kid. Bryce is his safe person. His best friend, and worst enemy. Yet, when they are apart, Jake is withdrawn. He comes alive in school, but it takes time. He has just began to realize he is different and that scares him. It takes him time to adjust and warm up to people he doesn't know.
After the clinics, we explored more of New York. We especially loved Central Park. With all of the walking we did, we took Jakes wheelchair and we are so glad we did. He fell asleep in it twice. We'd push him 10 blocks to central park, he'd jump out, run around and play, get back in his wheelchair and fall asleep on the walk back. Having the wheelchair saves us a lot of headache. When Jake is done, he's done. With the extra blood flow in his leg and up and down his body, his heart works harder to pump blood through his body which then makes him tired. Having the wheelchair gives him a break and gives us the ability to stay out longer.
Overall, this was a trip that was very worth it. We learned a lot about Jake, came back with a ton of new information for his doctors and we spent some quality time with Jake. I don't think I have ever held his had so much for so long. I loved it. having the chance to cuddle him reminded me of the long nights in the hospital, just he and I. He is a sweetheart of a kid, a cuddler, aware of his differences but active and fun.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported us and this trip. The booster.com fundraiser helped fund the entire trip and tonight, we are dropping a donation in the mail to Vascular Birthmark Foundation. We are grateful and blessed.
Hi! We're alive! Blogging is serious business people. When I finally get a chance to sit down, I usually fall asleep rather than blog. All day long I think about my next blog, but when it comes to getting it done, ugh, I need to be more of a commitment person. There are few things in the world I'm committed to. First, my husband, of course. Second, applying lotion regularly. Third, keeping my kids alive. Thats about it. When I want to commit to something, the idea runs through my head for a few days or weeks and then before I know it, its been months and I've done whatever it is once.
So, I just sat down, I have a few minutes while Trenton naps and before I get the big boys from school, so Ill blog for a minute. (I cant lie, I hear the door upstairs opening and closing, music getting turned on and off and footsteps running from one room to another. Who am I to kid? Trenton's not sleeping. He will likely fall asleep in the car on the way to get the boys from school and then wake up when they climb in the car, fighting over who touched the car first and who's sitting where. Jake will be excited that the new little girl he's crushing on sat next to him on the colorful carpet and Bryce will need to tell me that he beat a 4th grader in tether ball today. Sums up my afternoon).
So, we have been home from our summer adventure for a little over a month. It was fantastic, despite the stops at the hospital and urgent care several times. The boys are fantastic travelers. Especially since we were going from one place to another in such a short amount of time. They adjusted really well and are still talking about it. The kayaking, the animals, the jet boats, Amanda and Tim's wedding and of course, Nino and Nina. It was so much fun getting to spend time with those who mean so much to us. Our main reason for the trip was to get to Washington for my sister in laws wedding. Its an amazing thing to see how families come together despite the heavy feeling of someone missing. Travis officiated the wedding for my sister in law. This was not his sister. My sister in law is the sister of my late husband. It was in incredible thing to watch Travis marry my late husbands very best friend, his little sister. Stevens family has been wonderfully accepting, open and nothing but loving to Travis and especially Trenton. They mean the world to us and may never know how much we appreciate their support.
We are missing the open road and the adventure, but planning the next.
Big things have happened since we returned. We sold our 23ft Toy Hauler and purchased a 30ft travel trailer. To say we got a deal on it all is an understatement. Once we began looking for Travel Trailers, it was slim pickings to find what we were looking for in our budget. We didn't want to finance anything, we wanted to use the cash we got from selling the toy hauler. We also had an idea of what we were looking for. The trailer needed to have a slide out to make the living space larger, it needed a bunkhouse in the back or bunk beds and we knew we wanted a walk around bed in the front. We found it, quick. When we went to look at it, an offer had already been placed on it, but we arrived with cash in hand and some cute little kids and they accepted. This trailer is 5 years newer than our last and Im not kidding when I say its barely been used. Its been sitting. Thats it. We brought it home and began gutting it right away. Our parents were a little shocked and skeptical because it was in perfect condition, but it waswnt our home, it was a trailer. After taking out the dinette and sofa from the slider which was way too easy, we took out the counter tops on the bedside tables, wall paper and the wall between the front bedroom and the rest of the trailer. We will be building a much cooler looking wall to house the TV in and make the wall connect all the way to the other end, so we don't have two entrances. Next we will take out the kitchen counter tops and begin to paint the entire interior of the trailer.
We are still beyond excited to hit the road for a full year. I am feeling a little trepidation, I won't lie. I sort of feel like we are ditching out on the world. Escaping from this day to day routine. Yet, that is exactly what we are doing. Were spending an entire year, in close quarters, together as a family, focused on us. Having this opportunity seems like something we cannot pass up. Will we be back? Of course! Between booking weddings and photo sessions, holidays and such, we will be visiting. After the 1 year, we will be back. Settle back in and continue on. With adventures here and there. So, trailer updates?! Here they are! Follow our Instagram @ourlivelytribe. Why did we make a new Instagram for all of this? Its a whole new adventure and story and Travis and I will both be contributing. More to come! Maybe. No really, more to come.
Travel Trailer Before Pictures
Where to begin??? If you have not seen my latest Instagram update, then here it is. After leaving Williams CA and heading to Grants Pass Oregon, my "shingles" and I write that with quotations as you will find out a little later, felt a little better. We went to Grants Pass, Oregon where my moms oldest sister lives. She moved there about 10 years ago from Orange County. So when I get to see her, its time well spent. The most exciting thing we did was the Hellgate Jetboat Tour. This adventure could not have been more fun. We left around 8:30am and went right to the launch docks. This excursion is for any age. Even little ones. Our three boys, ages 8,6 and 2 loved it. The ride down the Rogue River was scenic and great. We saw 2 bald eagles, in which our bird enthusiast 6 year old loved. We also saw several other types of birds. The driver shared the rich history of the area with us. We ended up down at the caverns and from there on, the river became too shallow to go any further. We turned around and we went back 5 minutes up the river to the OK corral where we were served a family style lunch in a large outdoor patio with around 100 other guests. We were all off 3-4 boats from the excursion. Food was good and service was great. The bar line was a little long, but I'm glad I didn't up having anything to drink because the ride back up the Rogue River was insane. Now, they warn you that you will get wet. Soaked? I was not prepared for. I had my phone out a lot of the time, taking pictures of the boys and their reactions to the splashes from the water here and there. Our driver did several 360s or what he referred to as "Shake n Bakes" which were great as well. Most of us had our cameras out. I would then stuck my phone in my back pocket and hold on or hold Trenton. This is where things got crazy. Our driver turned our boat around so we faced the other two boats head on. He then hit the gas and as we got between the other two boats, they hit the gas, causing a massive wave to crash into the front of our boat. We hit the wave of water full speed which then filled the entire front half of the boat. Mind you, we were in the second row of the boat. We had all felt like we just jumped into the Rogue River. It was shocking and fun. I quickly handed my dripping wet phone to Travis to stick in the backpack, which was dripping wet. It was a very hot day to the drench of water felt amazing. Yet still shocking. It was so much fun and so worth doing. I highly recommend it for any one traveling to this area.
After this adventure, my "shingles" were feeling much better. We were able to leave the boys with my aunt and sneak off for a date. YES! A DATE! As we head in to next year and our year long trip, these date nights will be important for us to squeeze in. Even if that means we put the boys to bed and drink a beer around the campfire. Us time is going to keep us going. So, my bestest told me that her family owned a winery not far from where we were staying. We jumped at the opportunity and drove the 30 minutes to Gold Hill to wine taste at the Folin Cellars. The drive was beautiful. I cannot get over the rivers that seem to be around every turn, the open space, the huge trees and beautiful landscape. We had a great time at the winery, and received special treatment, as we were the only ones there. I'm assuming not many people go wine tasting in the middle of a Monday. We left with a delicious bottle of Temperanillo and headed back.
On Tuesday, we had breakfast with some of the amazing ladies in my Aunts church group. These ladies have done a lot of praying and supporting of our Jake, so they were anxious to meet the famous (so he believes and we will keep it that way) Jake.
After this, we packed up and left Aunt Kathy's, which is always hard to do when you don't have a date of seeing them again. We hit the road, heading to Portland for 2 nights, or so we thought. On the drive, we pulled off and drove through the Wilderness Safari. If you are ever in Winston Oregon, this is a MUST stop. The animals roam completely free. It was an incredible sight and a great break from the road. The boys were especially in to it when we got to feed the animals from the car. They put food pellets in the window crease and the emu and ostrich would just about put their heads in the truck. If you do stop here and are pulling a trailer, I also recommend leaving the trailer in the parking lot. They don't allow you to stop along the road if pulling a vehicle behind you. When you spot a rhino, in the wild, near your truck, you want to stop for sure.
So, things were going smoothly, I thought. We hit the road again, only to find that my "shingles" had spread across my neck and down my arm. I was in so much pain, things were blistering, (I know, a little too much info) but its reality. We decided that Id hit an ER that night after we dropped off the trailer. Well, we stopped in Salem Oregon and Travis made an executive decision when we saw a Hospital sign. He dropped me off and left to find a campground and dinner for the boys. I walked in alone, on the verge of tears. Again, I don't cry. Really. I'm a hard ass and it drives Travis crazy. Yet between the pain and frustration, I was just about done. Once I said I had active shingles, I was taken immediately to an isolation room. With masks, gloves and gowns, the nurses came in, hardly touched me and told me the Dr would be in soon. In cases like this, its oddly nice that hospitals don't scare me. They actually are quite comforting. I know what each monitor and each beeping sounds mean. I know what everything on the walls are used for and I know the procedure of things. A doctor finally walked in, took one look and said, "Nope, not shingles. They don't spread like this. They look like this, and feel like this, but they sure don't spread like this. This is contact dermatitis". A wave of relief washed over me as he took off his mask and gloves, yet then I was curious as to how this is treated and how much longer before I scratched my neck completely off. He gave me a high dose of steroids and sent me on my way. I was given a prescription for steroids that Id take for the next 10 days. After going to bed last night, the rash had receded and was drying up. Today has been a much better day.
We decided to leave the trashy RV park Travis has found and make it all the way to Washington, our final destination before we head back. We made it here, with most of our sanity in tact. Boys were stir crazy and exhausted. We are all tired and looking forward to settling in here for the next 4 days. Major celebration on our hands Friday as Amanda and Tim tie the knot. For those that don't know, Amanda is my late husbands little sister. Its always bittersweet being with them all, because there is a gaping hole with him not here, but I am also beyond blessed to call them all family. Heres to a cheerful 4 days with this tribe, always full of love and laughter.
I'm Erin. My husband is Travis and we have 3 little boys that keep us busy. I blog, Podcast and Instagram @OurlivelyTribe and @ErinsTribe. We use these social media outlets to share our story.