When we first moved into our tiny home for this adventure, I worried about creating stability for the boys. Would it be strange for them to sleep in a new place each night? Would they be worried or scared or confused or not feel like they were "home"? Quickly realized that our tiny home, with the curtains shut tight each night, was the same place they were sleeping every night. We are all crawling into the same exact bed, the same comforts of home, surrounded by the same 4 walls, sleeping under the same heavy blankets that make someone feel the safest.
Travis and I often crawl into bed at and quickly wonder where we are. Are we on the beach? Are those ocean waves we hear? Did we bring in all of the food? Are there bears in this area? Are we surrounded by redwoods or are we in the middle of a desert? Are we in my parents driveway? We have these same feelings when we wake up each more also. Where did we just sleep last night?
It's an odd feeling, but also a feeling of such freedom. Where we can decide the surroundings beyond our walls of our tiny home and be anywhere.
New Years are always a bit haunting. After feeling the loss of a loved one, New Years Celebrations can bring on a new meaning. It's a bit of a fresh start, a feeling of, "this year is going to be better than the last." Last year sucked, you lost someone you loved. Someone you spoke with every day, someone who made an impact on your life, maybe it was your spouse or father, your sister or your aunt. When you lose someone you love, a New Year comes along with a bitter sweet feeling, a heavy heart, it's never a big celebration. On the first New Years after I lost Steven, I believe I gave 2011 the middle finger. I hated 2011 with every single inch of my soul. I rang in the New Year's on my best friends couch with my kids scattering toys all over the place. Actually, I rang in the New Year at home in bed because we left their house and drove back home before the clock struck midnight. I was grateful 2011 was over but terrified as to what 2012 would bring. New Years sucked that year as I adjusted to my new normal. An only parent with two little boys who were ready and wide eyed to take on each and every day. As for myself, my eyes were closed and I was wishing every day didn't feel like such a nightmare.
Fast forward 6 years and I am still here. Still taking on each day. I have learned to celebrate each New Year again, never without the thought of Steven in the back of my mind and how it's another year he's not here to watch his boys grow, celebrate their achievements and teach them all they need to know about cars. I take in each New Year with a ton of gratefulness, a full heart and an appreciation for this moment, for today, for the loved ones I do still have around me and the immense amount of love I have with my now husband. You face each New Year not with a heavy heart, but with an appreciation and understanding that each and every moment is a gift.
For those who grieve this New Year, my heart is with you. Know you will be okay. Your memories of your loved one that is gone will become fond memories. This last year will be the year of hurt and loss, but this next New Year will be full of adjusting to your new normal. You will be okay, I promise. And in those moments you feel you are not okay, know you are not alone. I gotcha.
I've gone back and forth on this topic and how to narrow down the adventures we've had in these last 6 months. With so many amazing stops along our trip, its been hard to just get a top 10. We finally sat down as a decided to list our Top 10 Adventures based upon where we've stayed and what we've done. Ready
10. Bend, Oregon
We spent 10 days in Bend, Oregon in August 2017. It was great to settle in to the Thousand Trails Campground for a longer period of time. Bend offered so much, although I don't think we took advantage of everything, we really enjoyed our time there. The campground had a lot to offer and since it was the middle of summer, we took advantage of the pool area and enjoyed playing in he stream that went through the campground. The great part about this campground was how family friendly it was. The pool area offered an adult pool along with a kid pool area and a toddler pool. Trenton spent most of his time in the toddler pool which was only a foot deep. He floated around in circles while the big boys jumped endlessly in the big pool. We had very exhausted kids at the end of each day and very happy parents.
We also took the kayaks out a few times and enjoyed Sparks Lake. All of us except Jake, who tipped his kayak, swam to a log, climbed back in and ended up with leaches on his arms. He was not pleased, as we cracked up. Don't ask him about it either, he hates the story, although it made a good story. We also purchased the kids kayaks while in Bend. When we started our trip, we had a large adult kayak and a paddle board with us. We'd take turns taking adventures out on the lake until we realized we really wanted to explore more, for longer periods of time, together. I jumped on to the Bend Craigslist and found a fantastic deal on 2 kid kayaks. They ended up being perfect for Bryce and Jake.
Erin has an Aunt in La Pine who we spent time with as well. They were great navigators for the area and amazing s'more makers as well. Offering a plethora of chocolate, peanut butter and mints to add to your s'mores. We enjoyed spending time with them at their home and at the High Desert Museum, where we saw beautiful animals who were rescued and had a hands on experience in an old Pioneer town.
Bend was great and offered so much. We had a great visit with friends from California who drove up to visit and mom enjoyed the farmers market, twice. Bend offered the Milky Way as well, which is where Travis captured the best photograph of the trip. (See below)
9. Montana & Glacier National Park
We squeezed in Glacier National Park on our way down to Salt Lake City. From Washington, we had two weeks to get to Salt Lake City so we took the scenic route. We jetted over to Glacier National Park at stayed for 2 days. While we were there, we did the Going to the Sun Road. It was the best way to see Glacier NP and spend the day. The drive took us several hours. For the month of September, it was not crowded. The downside, the smoke. We happened upon there 3 days before they closed the Going to the Sun Road due to the massive fires that took over Glacier NP. Although we feel we could have seen and done so much more, we were still in awe of the hazy beauty Glacier offered. We saw our first bear, sitting on a hillside eating berries. Trenton also met his first real cowboy and was even invited to the mans ranch. He was very disappointed when we didn't follow him home. It was a quick trip through and although we saw a lot, we'd love to go back one day to experience the lakes, the views and everything Glacier has to offer. The stops along the way as we drove to Glacier were even more stunning. The waterfalls, bridges to walk across and hiking gave us a great chance to get out and stretch our legs. Being from Southern California, rushing rivers are foreign to us, to the beauty of these rivers left us in awe.
This little town was one of our very favorites. From the campground to the small town feel, to the Rogue River that runs right though it, its beauty and quaintness was beyond desirable. We spend 2 weeks in Grants Pass. I have an Aunt who lives here and we enjoyed our time with her, we also had a small family reunion in town one weekend, which was great as well. Most of the time, we were attempting to fish, enjoying quiet mornings and small coffee shops while the big boys did VBS at my aunts church. Dutch Bros. Coffee was also founded in Grants Pass. When we went to grab our first coffee from them, the barista chatted with Travis, who then told him about our travels and our coffee ended up being free, on him. Great first experience, I'd say. Grants Pass offered so much. We enjoyed the Farmers Market, where we ran into the boys VBS teachers. We felt like we knew someone. We also enjoyed the drive to Wildlife Images Rehabilitation Center. There were small farms all around with fresh fruit and vegetables sold at little stands all along the way. Once we were at Wildlife Images, we took a tour of the center and enjoyed seeing all of the animals they had rescued and now housed. The boys especially loved the birds and bears. Grants Pass also offers the Rogue River. We took the boys on the Hellgate Jetboat Excursion. This was one of the highlights of the trip. These jetboats load up in the center of Grants Pass and you take off for a while ride to the lunch location. Once there, you're served lunch and drinks and then you head back to the boats for a fun ride back. This is something I'd recommend to anyone in the area.
While in Grants Pass, we also took Bryce zip lining in Gold Hill. We received his report card a few weeks prior and it was fantastic. We decided it deserved a treat so Travis and I surprised him with an adventure. He loved it, as did we.
Grants Pass was a favorite of ours. Enjoy the images below!
7. Bryce Canyon National Park
Our very own Bryce has anticipated this stop since we set out on our adventure. Mainly because it's his own name, I don't think we anticipated the beauty this National Park had to offer. This stop left me in complete awe of the country we live in, and the fact that most people I know have NEVER seen this place! I couldn't believe people don't flock here to witness this with their own eyes. Until now, I myself had never been to Bryce Canyon. Some of the best parts about Bryce Canyon was the fact that you didnt need to take any big hikes to witness its beauty. Another great part about this stop was Travis' parents joined us along the way. Travis, Bryce and Travis' mom hiked down into the Canyon to witness its beauty from below. I stayed back with Jake, who most likely wouldn't have survived this hike without whining. Trenton was on my back and Travis' dad, having just had major surgery a few weeks prior, took a break from the downward and strenuous hike as well. The view was enough to take it all in and I look forward to going back again when the boys are older and we can all hike into Bryce Canyon.
6. Zion National Park
From Bryce Canyon, we headed to Zion National Park, where we found a stunning boon docking place. (If you don't know what boon docking is, its basically dry camping. We find some BLM land and you can stay for free. As we drove to Zion, we attempted to enter on the east end. We were told we couldn't pull a trailer thru there and we needed to turn around. We were beyond disappointed, as turning around meant we needed to head back where we came from, jump on a random highway through the mountains, drop into Cedar City and come in on the other side. We were far from pleased, as this added almost 3 hours to our drive, yet this ended up being a blessing in disguise. We back tracked and took highway 14 through the mountains. This drive ended up being one of the most beautiful drives of our entire trip. The grades were steep but once we made it to the top, towing our 30ft travel trailer, the terrain changed from woods to forest to volcanic rocks the size of your car. Every turn was a different view and it was stunning. Well worth the drive on this random highway into Cedar City. Once there, we stopped for groceries and headed back into Zion from the opposite end, on the West side. We found some BLM land, parked the trailer and camped for the night. Our surroundings were stunning. The next day, we headed into Zion, minus the trailer. We quickly realized why we couldn't come in on the East end towing our trailer, the tunnels were low and narrow. The drive, breathtaking. There were so many things we wanted to do in Zion, yet we couldn't take the scenic road because it was restricted to shuttles only. Since we had the dogs, were dry camping in the heat and couldn't bring them along, we didn't get to take the scenic road and only drove highway 9 into and out of Zion. This road was enough to blow our minds. It was like being inside of the canyon. The walls were high and full of color. On our drive out, we stopped at a rock shop and the boys learned so much from the 20 year old guy who ran the place. We left with several keepsakes and a yearning to go back and explore more. We know there was so much we didn't see, Zion will be on our list of places to see again. Luckily, its not far from Southern California. A good 3 days would be a perfect getaway to Zion.
5. Mammoth Lakes, California
Mammoth was our first stop on our adventure. You can check out that blog here. I'll save you from a ton of reading. Mammoth hits our 5th favorite place because there was so much to do and see. We took advantage of the hikes, the ghost town, the lakes and the views. Travis even saw a huge bear early one morning while heading out to photograph the sunrise. We also celebrated Trentons 3rd birthday! We loved Mammoth in the summertime.
4. Cottonwood, Arizona
Cottonwood was one of our most recent trips and we loved it because it offered so much. Cottonwood Arizona itself was adorable, but the location was perfect to really get out and explore. We were close to Sedona, Flagstaff, Jerome and so many State Parks. We enjoyed the hikes and the monuments. We even extended our stay because there was still so much we wanted to see. We spent a lot of time in Sedona, as it was a 25 minute drive from the campground. We found hike outside of town and loved the colors and surrounding mountains. We also went to watch a quick 3D Christmas video they shined up on the mountain side. While here, we also went on the Polar Express and visited Montezuma's Castle and Indian sites. We loved our hike through Red Rock State Park which had a fantastic little hands on visitors center for the boys to enjoy. We even found a cowboy show at Blazin M Ranch in Cottonwood that was the highlight of our 3 year olds life. This area of Arizona offered so much to see and do. We almost headed to the Grand Canyon from here, but after checking the weather, we opted out of that idea and headed south towards home.
3. Jalama State Beach, Californi
The entire California Coast would be our number 3 adventure. From Carlsbad to Ventura, Santa Barbara, Jalama, Morro Bay and San Francisco, each and every spot was the best and it got better and better. We are beach people at heart. The beach is our place, but if we had to narrow it down to one specific spot, it would be Jalama. Oh Jalama, you have my heart. I also hesitate to write and share about this place, because its a hidden treasure. I went here 10 years ago with some girlfriends and we froze our cute little, pre- married, pre-kids butts off as we camped on the beach in a tent. I took my late husband back here after we were married with our pup Hana, now our old lady dog, and we enjoyed miles of beach walking with no end in sight along Cliffside's that shot up to the sky. There is literally no one here other than fellow campers and pro surfers who know the area and know this spot. I knew one day, I'd take my family back here. Little did I know I'd be married to someone new with 3 boys in tow on the adventure of a lifetime. Just like myself, the kids and Travis fell in love with it too. There's something magical about Jalama and there really are no words to describe it. It will be a place we visit regularly as a family on the California coast. You have to experience it for yourself.
Redwoods & Fern Canyon
This is in California people! Right here! Have you been? I think the most amazing part of this trip has been how eye opening it has been. The United States is beautiful!!! Here in our very own home state, the California Redwoods were amazing. You hear stories about these places and its awesomeness, yet seeing it for yourself is a MUST. We made our way up to the Redwoods before we jumped into Oregon. Fern Canyon was a stunning and very worthwhile hike with the kids. The walls of ferns and trees were breathtaking. We headed into the Redwoods after Fern Canyon and were blown away by the size of these magnificent trees. If you could only image what they've seen over their hundreds of years. Here is our YouTube video from this adventure.
#1 Favorite adenture - yellowstone!
This number one spot was unanimous between all 5 of us. When we arrived in Yellowstone, we set up camp on BLM land headed into the National Park. First of all, thank goodness for the 4th grade pass. We could not have afforded to pull into every National Park and experience its amazingness without it. If you have a 4th grader, take advantage of the Every Kid in a Park program. Your 4th grader and your entire family can visit any National Park, as often as you'd like for a full year. After hitting 7, Yellowstone was by far one of our favorite adventures this year. Travis describes Yellowstone as, "The Disneyland of National Parks." Every turn offered something new to see and do. There were so many stops and so much to see, we were blown away. Best part about it, we saw a grizzly bear eating a bison. Yep, that happened. From the open ranges full of tall grass and deer to the roaring waterfalls and hikes down into the craters, the colors and the magnificent views took our breath away. Watch our YouTube to see it all.
While staying in Northern Arizona, we surprised the boys with a ride on the Polar Express. We've had so many friends take their kiddos on this adventure over the past several years, we knew if we would be in this area, we couldn't pass it up. Travis' sister insisted the adults wear pajamas and had nothing but amazing things to say about it. The night before the train ride, we "randomly" decided to watch The Polar Express. When the boys woke up in the morning, their new Christmas pajamas were laid out with a note. They were thrilled. We hit the road several hours early, had dinner at a brewery in town and boarded the train at 7:30. If you arrive to the venue early, there is plenty to do to keep everyone entertained. The boys over watching the light display outside that was synced to music. The colors were fun and the music was all Polar Express themed. We also spent some time inside where it was warm. Travis grabbed his evening coffee at the cafe and the boys enjoyed coloring and meeting Mrs. Claus.
The train ride was the most magical. The two chefs assigned to our cabin were exciting and enthusiastic. They pumped up all the kids, danced and ran thru the train, served hot chocolate and fresh cookies and called out all of the dads who refused to sing Christmas Carols. They had an entire routine laid out and they nailed it. It was fun to see all the parents joyfully involved. Santa topped off the evening when he surprised all of the kids by boarding the train and handing out bells. Its a loud YouTube, full of merry/screaming kids, but the experience is so magical and so worth it.
Check out the YouTube below.
This is a highly recommended activity if you are near this area for the holidays.
When we were looking for a trailer to purchase and renovate for our year long adventure, I knew I wanted to find something that gave the boys their own space. I didn't want to make and put away beds each night. I knew it was important that they felt like they had their spot, no matter how small it may be. A bunk house would have been amazing, but I knew we could make bunk beds work as well. We didn't change much of the original look of their bunks. We did add a small step for Jake to climb up into his bed a little easier. Our hope was that Bryce and Trenton would share the bottom bunk and Jake would have the top. Jake got the top because he is more the type to need to get away, to need to have space and not have others up in his business. So he got the top. Bryce on the other hand is the oldest and gets along great with the youngest, he was completely open to sharing his bigger bed with Trenton, which has yet to occur because little man apparently needs his space too. Travis also built the boys boxes at the end of their beds. Since they are smaller, they don't need the entire length of their bed, so Travis was able to take up about 8 inches at each end and add on some awesome boxes. They serve as a storage place for their junk and toys along with converting into a table for them to color and draw on. To give them a little more privacy, and a way to close them in at night, we added a curtain round the top. I used a fabric shower curtain I found at Target and Travis welded together a bar that goes around the top. So far, this space has worked out great. They also have window coverings they put up at night. Since the door on their boxes would hit any stationary curtain, I cut a blackout curtain we had hanging in Tretnons room at our old house and I added velcro to the wall and the curtain. They hang them each night. They love their space. Trenton tells everyone its his bed also, but in reality, he has slept on the small pullout at the bottom of our Ikea couch and then ends up in our bed around 4am. Images are below!
We are officially at our 2 month mark! 2 months as nomads, life on the road and its hard to believe we’ve been at it for two months. I thought time was flying by when we lived in our sticks and bricks home, raising kids, running around to school and soccer and dr appointments. I miss those days. Truly, I do. Yet, we are making so many memories. I once read somewhere that it felt like time went by so quickly because you were making so many memories. As a kid, your memory bank is low. As you get older, experiences and life lessons and adventures and so on grow and grow and therefore, time feels like its going by so much faster. Each week we are in a new place.Each place offers new expierences. Maybe this is why these two months have flown by and why the rest of this adventure will most likely too.
I’m often asked how we planned out our adventure. We did plan it. For the most part. We have traveled across California and Oregon these past two months. Most of our stops have been to visit family and friends. Which is such a privilege we have. We’ve seen the boys God Parents, friends on the Northern CA coast, an Aunt in Oregon and we met up with my family there as well, Aunts in Bend, in laws in eastern Oregon and now we are in Washington. We planned most of those visits and stays around two weddings we photographed and a family reunion. We knew we needed to be near family we could leave the boys with while we went home to photograph. We are so lucky to have some amazing people in our lives who completely take advantage of having the time with our boys, spoiling them rotten and loving them hard.
In this 3rd month of our adventure, we are in Washington. Next week we meet back up with my late husbands family in the Seattle area for my sister in laws wedding. We are super fortunate to be photographing it and cannot wait! We are also looking forward to seeing so many of our extended family and spending much needed family time with them all. After, we have 10 days open to get to Salt Lake City. We plan to go through Spokane, Idaho and get to Glacier National Park. We then may head to Idaho Falls, and continue on to Salt Lake City. Those 10 days will be the longest amount of time we have not had an actual plan and to be honest, I’m looking forward to it. We love visiting family, but we also are ready to have the 5 of us under one roof again. This will especially be good time for us together before the bigs start school! We’ve found a great Charter/homeschool program we begin Sept 5th. I thought it would be harder watching all of my friends kids begin school, first day of school pictures flooded my Facebook and Instagram feed and surprisingly, I was totally okay. We will be posting our “first day” pictures soon enough. Until then, we will continue to make memories.
As for the rest of the year, its sorta planned out. We head back to Southern California on the 14th of September and will be there for several weeks as we see family, squeeze in all of the family photo sessions we can and celebrate several important birthdays, Travis being one of them. October, we may go up the coast or we may head towards Colorado. We have not decided yet and we are in no rush. If course, the coast is on my list, but, I may get out voted. As for heading to the East Coast, thats for the New Year. We will decide then.
Boys and their fort building
Hard to believe August is just about here. We are halfway thru summer time and a month and a half into our travels. Hows it been? That's a loaded question. There have been pros and cons, ups and downs to this entire adventure. It's hard to believe all of the things we have done and seen in the past 6 and a half weeks. We started in Mammoth, moved on to Pollock Pines near Lake Tahoe, visited family in Williams and went to Ukiah to stay with Taylor. We saw the cold Northern California Oceans. We then headed towards the Redwoods, met up with more friends, saw Fern Canyon and spent two nights in the Redwoods, probably one of my favorite places. From there we went on to Grants Pass, Oregon where we day dreamed of settling down in this small quaint town, spent good time with my moms side of the family, went on the jet boats and took Bryce zip lining for having some great grades. From there we went back to Williams, dropped off the big kids and headed home for a much needed visit with Travis' family, photograph the adorable Kylie and Ben's wedding at Plateaus Edge and then headed back to Williams to grab the boys. From there we went to Lake Shasta which we found very dirty and hot, headed to Crater Lake which was mind-blowingly beautiful and finally landed in Bend Oregon. Boom. It's hard to believe we've done it all in only 6.5 weeks. To think of the things we still have to come is exciting. We've kayaked lakes and rivers, hiked to waterfalls, enjoyed small town coffee and farmers markets, rodeos, carnivals and family time.
We are in Bend Oregon for another 10 days and are booking up our days with activities and pool time. Pools are one of the greatest blessing on this road trip. All three of the boys can be entertained for hours when given a pool and they sleep like a rock that night.
The adjustments of living in a small space, well, I'm still adjusting and may be having the hardest of times out of everyone. I'm missing carpet and clean floors, showers that are not a 10 minute walk in the dirt and dark away because we don't have full hook ups and hot water for all of us. I'm missing my own washer and dryer, my routine and home and SPACE. The ability to close a door and take a breather. First world problems, I know. The pros do outweigh the cons, I think, and when I look back, I'm hoping these boys appreciate the memories we are making. You never know with kids. Especially when they're screaming and fighting and talking back and throwing fits, because yes, that happens on the road too.
So, we continue to move forward. Reminding ourselves why we are doing this when the times are tough and loving the moments we are all happy and enjoying one another.
Today we did a small hike to Tumalo Falls. There were a lot of people and when we got behind the falls, all the boys chickened out and didn't want to walk behind it. It was beautiful and so worth the hike. Heads up, don't take the dogs. lol.
We've made it! One month in! For all of those people who bet 1 month or less, sorry, you lost. We are still at it and going strong. I've debated on the best way to write this blog to update everyone on the realities of this adventure we've embarked on. I want to tell you it's been all rainbows and sunshine, as our Instagram may portray, yet the reality is, we are raising 3 boys and two large dogs on the road in 300 square feet of living space. The idea that this is going smoothly is ridiculous. Granted, it could be 100x worse and I am very aware of that.
Overall, its honestly going well. We've had bumps in the road but it isn't anything we wouldn't have encountered had we been living in our 1,500 sq foot house in Temecula. Let me say, I miss it terribly. The truth of the situation is I miss it so much. I cried hard once about it. Lost it a little over the fact that the routine we once had is gone. I'm pretty sure when my friends kids start school and the pictures of their first day of school come rolling in on my Instagram feed, I may lose it again. No back to school shopping there, new backpacks and shoes, walking them to their first day back at the school we adored. Gah. I'll stop there. I don't get emotional about things like this! Who am I?! Yet, the reality that we don't have a home to go back to is settling in and its hard. We loved our home and our neighbors. We loved our routine and our family and friends. We really were settled and good. So why did we leave? We had an opportunity that most people don't get and we ran with it.
So, here we are. 1 month in to living on the road. When I look back at the last month, I really cannot believe all of the things we have done and places we have gone. It's quite impressive. Best part so far, spending so much time with my kids. Worst part, spending so much time with my kids. I do feel like I hug them more and listen to them more. I watch them play far more often because we are in a new place each week and I cannot just send them outside to roam, yes, I'm one of those moms who doesn't let her kids stray too far and I don't care. Yet, spending so much time with them means I'm correcting their behavior more, yelling at them more (I'm not perfect, I totally yell), and not getting any personal space. I am learning my kids personalities more. Their needs, desires and abilities.
One month in, bio of each kid.
B- He's obsessed with cars. Broncos, old cars, engines and the sounds they make, Jeeps and drawing them all. He also learned how to "jump" his bike over speed bumps in the campground, he loves to ride around and make friends. We received his report card as well from the 3rd grade and he killed it. Conqored the 3rd grade. As a reward, we took him zip lining. He's turning into a kid you can have real conversations with. He's held my hand more than he ever has and I love it. He's too cool to dance to the songs at VBS but I caught him doing the movements when Jake was singing. B loves working out with Dad and makes up his own Crossfit workouts. He's been awesome and he's loving this adventre.
J- Oh Jake. Jake loves each and every place we visit. So much so he never wants to leave. He wants to stay at each spot, move in with the family member we're visiting and never leave. When it's time to move on, he is sad for a good full day and then quickly adjusts to the new spot. He has enjoyed the lakes and has no fear when it comes to jumping off the kayak or paddle board, over and over and over. He wants to fish all of the time and hopes to catch something soon. We have not had the best of luck. He's still a snuggly kid, so much so that sometimes he just can't keep his hands off his brothers. I've snuggled Jake more than ever in the last month. He's also done more burpees in the last month than he ever has before, if only he could keep those hands to himself. Overall, he's been good. Challenging, but good.
T- This kid turned 3, two days after we left and on his 3rd birthday, he decided he was done with diapers. I had really wanted to potty train him before we left but he was totally not interested. Suddenly, he's telling us when he needs to go and in 3 weeks, he's had one accident. (Little mommy cheer). He also got a bike for his birthday from his Nino and Nina and after riding it for just 2 weeks, he's over the training wheels and wants them off now. We've seen so many animals on our adventure and he wants to hold them all. "Look T, an Elk!." His response, "Mommy, me hold it?" As he stretches out his arms. He did 2 days of VBS and by the 3rd he realized the routine, us leaving him, and he was done. He loves his cowboy hat and often wears only that and his new Paw Patrol undies.
Travis & I- We celebrated 4 years of marriage on the 12th. No date or anything special, just enjoyed our quite time the two previous days while all 3 kids were at VBS. (Thanks AK). We try to laugh at situations where we want to rip our hair out. There is no way I'd ever do this adventure without him. He's my sanity when I'm about to lose it all.
So, there you have it. 1 month in. 7 stops, 1 vet visit, zip lining, no more diapers on our kids, new hitch, a few hiccups but nothing major. So far, so good!
For most of my life, when I heard the term, "mamas boy" it was something you didn't want to be. I used the term, "Mamas boy!" as a diss towards my little brother. When someone couldn't handle a situation, didn't take a dare, were worried what their Mama would think, they were a "Mamas boy." As the mom of 3 boys, who are very quickly growing into men, I love that I have "Mamas boys". I have boys that completely love their Mama. I am currently their world. I hear the word "Mom!" 1000x a day, between screaming, needing me to watch them do a new trick, them needing a snack or a wipe or just to say they can't remember what they wanted." It makes my head spin and sometimes I even say, "Moms not here right now." Yet, I am their mom. Their one and only lady and right now, I am going to breathe that entire thought in.
One day, I won't be the number one lady in their life. This thought goes through my mind on a daily basis and it breaks this mamas heart. Maybe it's because we photograph weddings regularly and each time, I am faced with looking through the lens of a camera of a Mom who is giving her son away. I watch each and every mom dance with their son on the dance floor, bury her face in her little boys chest once more. When I am faced with that same reality, I pray I am ready for it. I pray they are ready for the world. I hope they'll come back home once in a while. I hope I will still be needed in their lives, just a phone call or quick question, sometimes dinner and a hug. I only hope and pray when I am that mama, I love the person they have chosen to have me hand them off to.
For now, I will breathe them in, hold their hands, kiss their owies and cheer them on. Today they are "Mamas boys" and I'm so okay with that.
Have you ever watched a married couple attempt to back a trailer into a small spot at a campground? If not, then you should. I'll be your muse. I must look and seem ridiculous. Today, I was hanging out in the trailer eating a plum with Trenton when I noticed a woman standing behind an oversized RV making hand gestures like I've never seen. When I stand behind our trailer to help Travis back into a campground space, I feel like I make movements with my arm that resemble "backing up." I wave him back, simply. Not like a beauty queen in the 4th of July parade wave, but a smooth wave of the hand, gesturing him to back up. If he needs to move to one side or the other, I point in that direction. When there is an arms length of space between the back of the trailer and whatever tree, rock, stump or gate is behind us, I feel like I give him a good hand gesture to explain that too. This woman I pretty much paparazzi-ed without a camera from my trailer made gestures I couldn't even make sense of. I swear if I had put music to her moves, she could have been on a club floor dancing in the 70's. Granted, she got that oversized whale of an RV in there on the first try as she made these obscene hand gestures to her husband. Kudos to her. She's doing something right. Maybe I'll ask her for some advice. We've got too many campground to count coming our way. Some advice may be needed.
It's taken Travis and I about 5 years to get our system down, that was until someone said, "why don't you just call him and talk to him when he's backing in." Ah-ha moment as well as a stupid me moment, all rolled into one. So, I call him when I'm standing behind the trailer assisting him as he backs into the campground space and don't look like a crazy lady with obscene hand gestures.