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.