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.
Day 5 of our 3 week travels and things have been a little wild around here. We had a great time in Williams, CA. No surprise there. When you are with the ones you love, life is good. We spent time with the boys God Parents. They absolutely adore the boys and completely spoil us. Spending time with my namesake Erin #2 is the very best. We are so at home there, its the best.
So, just say the bumps in the road all happened to me. I'm the mom, I run the show, I keep things moving in an orderly fashion (at least I like to think I do), I cannot be out of commission! Where to begin. The day before we left for this trip, I made a stop at urgent care and was diagnosed with shingles. Yes, you read that correctly. Shingles. No, I am not 60 years old. And, this is not the first time I've had this. It's the second time. The Dr. at the urgent care walked into the room. She was my age and the first thing she said was, "What in the world is someone our age getting shingles?" I said, "Right?! Please explain!" She said that shingles mostly happen to women over the age of 60, but it can come on with stress, anxiety and the heat. I laughed a little because with everything going on, I should be stressed! I have actually been great. Things were really falling in to place and we were packed and ready to go. So, stress didn't seem to be a factor. Either way, I was in tons of pain. If you have ever had shingles, it feels like someone is holding a lighter to your skin while pricking you with a needle. Mine is on the back of my neck and in my hair line. I was given a prescription and told it should be better within 2 days. I was also given a prescription for a shingles shot. Awesome. So, we hit the road the next day. Once we arrived in Williams, the shingles were still there and still burning, but I have a high pain tolerance and was dealing.
Our first night there, we were sitting outside and the mosquito starting coming out. Before I could grab my doTerra Terra Shield, I was eaten alive. I ran inside. The next morning, the bites on my feet had swollen into marble sized bumps. Allergic? Yes, Im allergic to mosquitos. Just a little. doTerra Lavender please! Let me just say, the doTerra touch kit is my best friend. Pre-dilluted lavender oil and I've been applying it obsessively to relieve the pain. So I now have these awesome welts around my ankles. Manageable, whatever.
Back to the shingles. I woke up Friday morning in so much pain I actually cried. When I cry, Travis knows it's bad. So, my other Mom Marcie put me in the car and off to the ER we went. I was treated as if I had the plague, because there were 2 pregnant woman working in the hospital office. Shingles are most dangerous for women that are pregnant. Everything I touched was wiped down the second I turned around. The nurse was laughing and said she would hug me if I needed it. It was comical, but I felt so bad. I was glad to have Marcie there, because all we did was laugh. When I told the Dr my pain was an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, I wasen't sure he would believe me because we were laughing so hard at things that probably are not that funny. I was hitting the point of deliriousness. I ended up with a shot in my butt, which later made me sick and barf and a lot of new medications. So far, I'm still feeling a little cruddy, but I can deal. I'm not contagious, unless someone has not had chicken pox or the vaccine so I'm careful of where I go I wash my hands often. It's manageable. I've got really good pain medication so that's been fun.
While we were in the hospital, Travis and Eddie took the boys to the lake, which I was so looking forward to, but they had a great time without their mom hovering over them. Black Butte Lake, and they actually had the entire lake to themselves. The boys enjoyed paddling the kayak across the lake. Travis took Trenton out on the kayak and Trenton enjoyed jumping off the side, in to the water, and being pulled back in, over and over again. They saw a few deer on their adventure and had a great time. Jake said his favorite part was, "Going on the canoe thing. I liked that so much."
So with the Shingles on the road to recovery, I hope, I was in the trailer later that afternoon, on the ladder to the boys bed, making their beds, and the ladder collapsed under me. Yep, that just happened. As I hung from the top bunk wondering if Trenton was below me and if I could just land on my feet, the slippery sleeping bags made me slide right off the top bunk. 6 feet below me, my legs caught the broken ladder and I landed flat on my back. Head hit the ground, leg burn from the ladder. While falling, all I could panic about was if Trenton was below me. Thankfully, he wasen't. He was at the other end of the trailer. I'm pretty sure I laid there for an entire minute while he walked over to me and said, "Mama, owie?" and patted my head. Sweetest baby ever. When I finally got up, I was dizzy and knew I needed to get back to the house. I walked back over there, told everyone what had just happened. I then curled up on the couch and cried for a minute, okay, maybe a few seconds. I need a pity moment. Did I have a moment that I thought I was done. Absolutely. I was ready to turn around and head home. But that feeling didn't last long. I stood up, took a shower, and got back to life.
So, bumps in the road. These things happen. I'm glad they've all happened to me. It's hard when your kids are upset and in pain, so I'll take it. But let just hope that things clear up and move forward. I'm ready to stop itching, bruises on leg to heal and mosquitoes to go to H E double hockey sticks.
Today, we are in Grants Pass Oregon and spending time with my Aunt Kathy. We are taking the kids to splash pad today and tomorrow we are heading out the Hellgate Jet boat tour! We are super excited for that. Afterwards, Travis and I may sneak off for a date. My best friends family owns a winery not far from here. Folin's Winery. Date night please! We are loving the road life, loving the view and excited for our next adventure. These bumps in the road wont stop us.
As many of you know, and most of you don't, this 3 week trip is just the beginning of something bigger. Drum roll please....Next summer, we will be hitting the road, full time, with our tiny house (aka trailer) in tow. Launch day, June 30, 2017. Destination, the entire United States. Timeline, approximately 1 year. Not kidding. It's happening. Now, are we crazy? Totally. Are we excited? Completely. We have talked about this for a while now, but it was more or less joking and dreaming. Until we got a serious look on our face one night while I was reading a blog about another family doing this and it was like a light bulb flickered in our heads. Wait, we really could pull this off. We really could do this. From that moment forward, we haven't stopped planning. I thought the idea would eventually fade away, but it never did. We continued to get more and more excited about it. The dreams got bigger and plans became reality. When we started to tell our families and close friends, we received nothing but support. Our parents had a few hesitations about it, mostly because the idea of being gone for a year is hard to imagine, but the adventure and opportunities outweigh that and they understand. We will be back. And, we love Face Time. Most of the responses we get from people are wishing that they could do the same. Which then just pushes us to do it, because we have this opportunity to open the world to our children. If we didn't do it, we would completely regret it. 1 year, the entire United States, 3 kids, 2 dogs and our home in tow. We could not be more excited.
We have given ourselves 1 year to prep because there is a lot that needs to be done before we can go. We need to upgrade the truck. We currently have a Ford F-150, that just wont get us where we want to go for an entire year. We have even talked about trading in our trailer we currently have for something a little longer with a little extra space. As far as the inside of trailer, this is where things get fun. Have you ever searched Pinterest for Trailer remodels? If not, do it. The possibilities are endless people! Check out my Pinterest board full of inspiration. Between Travis' woodworking skills and my big ideas, our trailer renovation will make a trailer into a cozy, organized, tiny living, dream home.
We will be introducing homeschooling into our lives for 1 year. Jake will be entering 2nd grade in the fall of 2017 and Bryce will be entering 4th grade. With my degree in Liberal Studies and years working in classrooms, I will finally put that to use again. I'm a little nervous about this idea. Kids always push their moms to the limit. Seeing how much they can get away with before a mom breaks. Will they listen to me as their teacher? Will the tantrums ensue? We shall find out! 2nd and 4th grades were two of my very favorite grades to teach, so I am excited to jump in to that curriculum, which I am familiar with.
For all of our oh so faithful friends and family members, clients and future clients, don't panic. We still will be actively doing photography. We will still be taking weddings for the year 2017-2018, so please continue to share us with your family and friends. Flying Travis home, editing on the road, continuing to share our love of photography, we are still on it. We will be back and forth to capture all of your moments, milestones, weddings and more. Do not fret! We are also excited to meet new face and capture new families moments on the road. When we hit a city where you may know someone, share us! I can only imagine the images Travis will capture on our adventures as well.
One main concern of ours, before we decided to really hit the road for sure, was Jake. Between his $900 prescription that we need to make sure was covered and available on the road to his in ability to sit for long periods of time, to all the MRIs and check ups and doctor appointments and blah blah blah, we need to make 100% sure that traveling with him was safe to do. I spoke with two of this doctors who were so completely on board. They were willing to follow up on him monthly with blood draws across the US. We even talked about weening him completely off his medication, which makes me too nervous to do. Filling his medications could be a challenge, but its something I'm willing to take on. If all else fails and this ends up being too much, we come back. Nothing lost. Yet, with the doctors on board, and most of the KT specialists on the East Coast anyhow, we got the go ahead.
So, that's it. For all of our friends across the United States, be ready for us. We will be doing our best to see you. For those of you who have traveled to places around the United States and know some MUST see places, we want to know about them! For those of you need photography services around the United States, were on our way. We are enjoying this last year here with everyone, beginning to sell things and make lists of what to take and what to store, and making plans. We couldn't be more excited for an adventure.
This current 3 week trip we are on is great practice to find out what we need and want in a tiny home, teaching us patience with our kids and with each other, and giving us incite into trailer life. Were excited and glad to have you following our crazy adventures. You only live once, right?
We are heading out! 3 weeks, on the road, with our kids, minus our dogs. Truck, trailer and an open road. We are heading to Seattle for Amanda and Tim's wedding. (Stevens little sis). We decided rather than spend the money on plane flights and then turn around and come back, we will be towing our trailer and making some fun stops along the way. Yes, 3 weeks of trailer living. We have a 24ft trailer that we will be living in. There is a pull down bunk on top that the big boys sleep on. Under that is a portacrib for Trenton and up front is our bed. Before this trip, we slept on a futon like queen mattress. More than 3 nights of sleep on that pretty much killed my back. (The sad reality that I must be getting old). For several months Travis had heard about the Casper Mattresses on his podcasts he listens to, so we purchased one, it arrived in a few days, and it is currently in our trailer. We are excited to use it. If all the hype about it is true, we may end up moving it into the house when we return.
We have also renovated the toy hauler, just a bit to make the living arrangement inside doable for 3 weeks. We took out the tables and one couch, took out the nasty rolled up carpet and laid new flooring in the back half, and have added hooks and hangers to every inch. (See pictures below). Command hooks are my new best friend.
I can't stand when we travel and I have to dig through bags to find clothes for the boys. After a few days, clothes are everywhere. Our trailer lacks storage, so I purchased these bins from Target. Each boy has a drawer. I used the amazing KonMari method to utilize space and rolled their clothes to make more fit. Its nice that Trenton is so mall, because I was able to bring a ton of clothes for him. Between the 5 of us, I plan to do laundry every 3 days or else I fear dirty clothes will rule my life. The adorable poster of the United States I also purchased in the dollar section.
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.