Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pine Tree!

Jeff and I love taking walks...not as much as Jackson and Mahone....they are tied for first in the who loves to take walks the most contest.  Seriously there is something about a good walk, especially in the spring time when the weather starts to get nice.  Our neighborhood is an okay place to walk...we have sidewalks and stuff, but it is FAR from an ideal stroll through nature.

We live on a fairly busy road.  The speed limit is a loose 25 (I say loose because nobody seems to know that), but it is busy enough that we have double lines.  Walking either north or south we hit even busier roads.  Nice for a long walk....not nice if clean air or peace and quiet are things you are seeking on your walk.

I took Jackson on a walk the other day...literally a walk...that is to say he walked (toddled or stumbled are probably better words for it) while I held his hand.  The walk was slow and we stayed just on our street.  While we were walk/toddle/stumbl-ing we walked beneath this pine tree:

which I've done a hundred times before and never noticed.  Maybe because I was in a hurry all the other times.  For some reason it just didn't stick out before.  This time it stuck out.  I smelled the sweet pine, and because I was trying to help Jackson walk, I saw the ground around it all covered in pine needles and my heart jumped a little.

Orem is by no means a "big city" might be able to call it a big "town" or just a "city", but it is certainly not the remote, country town I grew up in or the mountains my parents took us camping in every summer....far away from people and cars and traffic.

I am SO excited to get away from that, and to be able to take peaceful, quiet walks with sweet smells of fresh fields and pine trees and good things all around!  I can't wait!!

Yard Sale Success!

We had a yard sale on Friday and Saturday this weekend, which was pushing it a little considering we didn't put much planning into the thing AND we'd been sick all week.  We did it anyway.

Friday was disheartening to say the least.  We called our little 'yard sale' an estate sale partly because we wanted everyone to know that EVERYTHING is for sale, partly because we didn't want to move everything we all of our belongings out into the yard and partly because there was rain in the forecast for Friday.  Word to the wise, don't even TRY to have a yard OR estate sale on a rainy day.  There was almost no one around, though I think we did make twenty five bucks....better than a poke in the eye, as my mom always says.  :)

We got up on Saturday to sunshine (yahoo!).  Jeff's first chore was to get all the tools and stuff out of the shed, which took him about 20 minutes, and I swear by the time he got it all out there, he'd already sold half his stuff (something he half-mocked me for...said he was SUCH a good salesman.  What can I say...guess he is!).

My favorite sale of the day was the sale of the sombrero we bought in Mexico on our honeymoon.  A Mexican guy with the most sparkling 'I want this' eyes asked how much it was...$15.  He carried it around for a while and looked at everything else before finding me again with his $15.  The best was that he went straight to his van where his kids were waiting and put it on for them.  I went to find my camera to capture the moment, but was too late, and only caught him when he had it in his hand again...dang. :)

Some people who make deals at yard sales are funny (and when I say funny I mean on the verge of funny and reeeaaaallly annoying).  A couple came and asked what the price was for 2 yard tools (a rake and some other weird tool).  I said $5 each, to which the man replied..."hah!  I can get these at the tool store for $5 each!"  His wife, "we were just on our way to the tool store for these exact things..."  My thought, "If you can get NEW tools at the tool store for the same price that you can get them at my yard sale, why don't you go to the tool store?!" :)  He offered $4 for both, which I politely declined and he and his wife left...I assume to go get their brand new tools.  He came back 30 minutes later, handed Jeff $10 and said, "okay, $5 each".  Haha!  I don't know why I think that is so funny, but it gives me a tickle in my belly every time I think about it.

The lawn tools were hot items, and like I said, they sold fast.  A lot of people looked at the lawn mower and one guy especially was all about wheelin and dealin with Jeff.  He kept trying to chisel down the already low price.  Finally Jeff cracked and told him he'd give him $10 off the price if he'd mow our lawn.  haha!  No deal.  He took the mower at full price.  Good news and bad news.  The good news is that we got full price...bad news...our lawn still hadn't been mowed at ALL this year, and was way past due.  Seriously, there were places (luckily only in the fenced back yard) where it was like a foot long {blush}.  What can you do?  We ended up paying the neighbor girl to do it.

At the end of the day, we brought in about $2,500...not a bad start for our little truck fund.  We still have a few pretty nice furniture items to sell, and hope to make at least another couple thousand.  We will have another last-ditch yard sale before we move for good - we still have too much STUFF around here.  I am getting excited to be JUNK FREE!  (You know...except for that junk in the trunk.  Can't seem to unload that no matter what I do! :)


In the last year or so the word "brave" has taken on new meanings for me.  I used to think that in order to be brave, you had to be a warrior or go up against some huge and well-known adversary.  I certainly didn't think that housewives could ever be able to call themselves brave or that they would ever have to.  My mind has changed now.

A quote comes to mind:

"I've been terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."
-Georgia O'Keeffe

It's exactly how I feel.  And if I REALLY really think about it, there's nothing to be afraid of.  There's no such thing as monsters, no one is going to come in the night and take my family away, I have everything I could ever need and want.  But still, I feel a little afraid of this new adventure.  I feel lots of things all at once - excited, anxious, afraid, unsure, completely sure, free, and on and on.  And I guess this is where the brave part comes in.  Brave means doing what you're afraid to do...not NOT being afraid, but doing it anyway.  Putting 'one foot' in front of the other, which I'm proud to say we're doing...buying a trailer, selling our stuff.  Those were big and scary steps, but we took them.  We are on our way...ready or not.

The funny part is really...there is nothing to be afraid of.  I KNOW that...I just don't FEEL it yet.  I know I will soon.  The more we get things arranged and settled the better I'll feel.  Change always takes a little getting used to, right?  I'm going to say yes...because I'm going to need a little time.  Just a little.

Wanna know the MOST ridiculous part?  The most ridiculous part is that the biggest problem I can't solve in my mind is where we are going to put our dirty clothes in this trailer.  And really?  If that's the biggest thing I have to worry about, I should be counting my blessings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Road Less Traveled...

I've been feeling.....weird...lately. 

{Remember on "What About Bob" - my favorite movie - when Bob goes in for his first appointment with Dr. Marvin?  "As long as I'm in my apartment I'm okay, but when I leave I get....weird."  "Talk about weird."  "Talk about weird....okay...."}

That's what I plan to do, and I kind of feel like Bob with a blogging world of psychiatrists listening. :)  I am having a hard time telling people about our plans and I think it's because I'm not sure what they'll think.  Some of the people we've told have kind of looked at us with super sympathetic eyes, like we're in the middle of the most horrible time of our lives.  One of those people found out we are selling all our things and said, "oh, I'm sorry you guys."  Another person said, " is upside-down for you guys right now, but..."

It's comments like that that keep my mouth closed about our plans.  Not that anyone is trying to make us feel...weird. :)  But we don't FEEL like we're in the most horrible time of life.  Yes we're making some changes...some BIG changes, but we don't feel sad at all.  We don't FEEL like life is upside-down.  Maybe we should, but we don't.  In fact, I feel more free and happy than I have in a long time.  Free from so many things.  I feel free from our home, which we love, but has been holding us down for almost a year now.  I feel free from our STUFF.  We both LOVE the idea of not having to lug a bunch of crap around anymore.  We are hanging on to the bare necessities and that feels so good!  Life is soooo not about things

One of our good friends - you might call him "older and wiser" - is a financial planner.  We sat down with him a couple of years ago and he taught us lots of good things...common sense things like the longer we could live as college students, the better off we'd be.  The thing he taught us that keeps coming to mind the most these days is that wealth isn't about having things.  (Speaking of financial wealth alone with the understanding that there are other pieces to the 'wealth puzzle'.)  Wealth is about cash flow.  I got what he meant in theory the day he said it to us, but now I get it with every part of me.  In this home, we are surrounded by beautiful things.  We have lots of things, but no wealth.  To experience wealth, we ALL have to live FAR below what we bring in which flow.  

And I know that Jeff and I aren't there all the way yet, but I FEEL close to it, and I honestly FEEL wealthier than I did before we made this decision a few weeks ago.  I mean honestly.  My heart feels lighter, my mind is completely unburdened, my whole soul feels free. In a few weeks, we'll close on the sale of our home and go to live in a home that's much smaller, BUT that requires $0 in rent or mortgage payments.  Sometime after that, we'll sell our financed car and buy a truck for cash...again $0 in payments!  Don't YOU feel free just reading that?? :)  It's like a breath of fresh air to spring fever times 1,000!!

I don't know why that's so hard for me to communicate to other people.  I guess I kind of feel like no matter what I say, maybe they won't believe me.  Who would believe that we are choosing to live in an RV and that we're excited about it and that it's exactly what we feel like we should be doing with our lives right now??  ( just doesn't make sense on paper...even typing it it's hard to 'get') :)

There are a few people who get it and are just as excited as we are for our new adventure.  It probably shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks anyway.  I was reminded of that when I read this blog post by my sweet Aunt Melody.  She felt trapped by a full-time job...she longed to be free of it, so she made the decision to be...she left her 'cage'.  Her blog post talks about how even though she KNEW KNEW KNEW she had made the right decision, she still sometimes yearned for the safety of her cage.  And how she sometimes felt stupid for making the choice she'd made to be free.  I'm sure she sometimes felt crazy and judged and misunderstood.  BUT she knew what she'd done was the right thing for her and her family, and even if no one else in the world understood HOW or WHY it made sense for them, the truth is that it did.

I suppose the "road less traveled" is just that....less traveled.  The nature of a 'road less traveled' is that fellow travelers are few and far between....most people are on a different road.  And I guess sometimes people not only don't want to go down a different road themselves, but they honestly don't understand how anyone else would choose that road...And that's okay.  We don't expect everyone to see how this is the best thing for our family and how we are actually excited about it - heck sometimes I don't even see that! :)  And if people can't see and feel what's in our hearts, we can't expect them to see and understand either. 

Friday, April 23, 2010


So Jeff and I have been talking and trying to figure out what kind of 'rig' to get to pull our new home.  Before we decided on a 5th wheel, we talked about a Chevy Suburban, a Ford Expedition, and all different kinds of trucks, including the option of a dually.

{this is a dually...two tires on each side in the back}

Jeff had obviously been thinking about it a lot, and one day out of the blue said:  "I think duallys are ugly unless I think of cowboys then they're cool."



Something I've always known about myself is that I don't do very well with chaos.  I don't know where it came's probably partly something I was born with and something my mom nurtured by keeping a clean and orderly home.  My dad is also organized and likes for things to be orderly.  My parents are tidy people.  They are small town people who avoid crowds at all costs.  I am like them in a lot of ways.

I like for things to be in order.  I like my home to feel peaceful and put-together.  I like it that way because I don't feel peaceful in disarray and disorder.  My husband can attest to that.  I can't remember how it came up, but about a year into our marriage, he told me (in the nicest way...I can't seem to remember how he said it either) that it bothers him that I clean at weird times sometimes - like late at night or as we're heading out the door for church.  It's a joke between us now, and I try not to annoy him too bad...I can always tell when I've chosen the wrong time to clean.  I really don't do it to be annoying or for any reason other than to make me feel better and more peaceful.

Moving is hard for me because of that.  It is really hard for me to relax with boxes and STUFF everywhere.  It's hard for me to feel peaceful when the house looks so taken apart and cluttery and messy.

We decided that this week we would REALLY start sorting our things and selling what we could, so we advertised for an estate sale for today and tomorrow.  We were up late last night getting things ready...bringing things up from the basement that have been tucked pleasantly out of sight in the basement for months.  Things are just how I hate them (strong word I know...).  Pictures are gone from my picture frames, and all my favorite decorations are in the out of the reach of yard-salers.  There is stuff for sale all over the counter in the kitchen, in every corner of the living room, and even covering most of the floor there.  It IS progress, I know it is, but it's tough for me to deal with.  And maybe it would be better if it I knew we'd only have to live like this for a day or two, but we will most likely be in this house for another month or so.  That's probably the part I have to get over and then I'll be okay.  It's this chaos...I have to get over it.

{this place was FULL of stuff all the stuff is in my living room}


Yesterday I got an email from the Brave Girls Club...I am on their mailing list and get emails from them every day.  Yesterday's message said something like, "true joy has nothing to do with circumstances".  (I can't find it or I'd include the whole thing.)  That's been on my mind today as I have wondered....could I teach myself to be happy no matter what kind of chaos is going on around me?  Do I even want to?  I mean, do I want to learn to be happy in clutter and mess?  Big answers yet, but I'll work on it.  I could at least learn to live happily with the way things are until I can start arranging things the way I want them in our new little place.

On the bright side, this morning Jeff took Jackson to get some change for our yard sale.  While he was gone, he got Jackson one of those suckers that looks like a bottle.  When they got home this is what Jackson's sucker had done to him....

...his mouth is still blue. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home for SO many reasons. :)  We got the trailer back to my mom and dad's house last night (story to follow), and tonight are finally home in Utah.  I am very glad not to have any long road trips to go on in the next days (or hours) like we have had for the past 3 days.  I feel like I have been in the car for 72 hours straight!

Towing our trailer home was more than a little surreal.  I will admit that as we were leaving the little town of Jerome - 5th wheel in tow - I had a weird, out-of-body, 'am I dreaming?' moment.  I was looking at the trailer and it was like I suddenly woke up from a dream and thought, "did we seriously just buy a 5th wheel to live in?" ... "did we seriously just do exactly what we said we were going to do?" ...And for a minute all my second thoughts and doubts and feelings like that came rushing back.  Luckily though I didn't feel well at all, so I didn't have time to dwell on that, I was too busy trying to figure out how to make my tissues last the entire trip home (at this point I had Jackson's full-on cold), and I was focused on getting comfortable in that tiny seat in the 2nd row seat of grandpa's truck.  Mahone was comfortable....lucky.

I am on the mend now, and I still don't know if I quite believe that we are really going to do this! :)

So the drive home was pretty interesting.  Grandpa thought it would be a good idea to take the old highway instead of taking the freeway, which he was probably right about.  It seemed like semi's were climbing all over us for the short time we were on the freeway.  It was windy the whole way, and seemed to get stronger the further we went.  It's easy to tell when a big gust of wind hits the side of a giant 5th wheel behind the truck you're in...the whole thing would rattle and shake and fishtail.  Grandpa looked like he was concentrating really hard, and I could tell he was worried.  But I wasn't worried.  I don't think there's anyone in the world a girl feels more safe with than her husband, her dad and her grandpa.  We found out later that we had driven through one of the worst wind-storms they'd had in a was all over the news even.  yipes.

Once again the drive took WAY longer than it normally would have, but the scenery was breath-taking.  You know....they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but looking around out there, you'd have to be crazy for it not to just make your heart sing.  I don't think there are many things in the world as pretty as the snake river valley....all farm land....during a spring rain storm.

We made it back, and got 'the king' all parked in its new home.  I went inside and took a hot hot shower, took some medicine and went to bed while Jeff went with grandpa to pick up our car and little Jackson.

We are pleased with our purchase.  There are things we want to improve cosmetically AND it rained like crazy last night, which was lucky because the leak that Mark said he didn't think had leaked for a while leaked a LOT right through the roof.  We were glad we were there for that, and that we hadn't left for Utah for a couple weeks, then come back to find the damage much worse than it could have been.  Jeff didn't waste any time, and got the leaky part covered up with a tarp, then got to work tearing out the ceiling in our bedroom to stop the damage from getting any worse.  We thought we would probably fix the ceiling anyway, just didn't think we'd have to get started on it so soon. :)

{yikes...I hadn't looked at this picture until looks much worse in the picture than it is in real life.}

Jeff went to the RV repair store (first trip of many over the next little while, I'm sure), but it turns out we need to wait until it's sunny and warm to fix it, and sunny/warm was not in the forecast.  So Jeff did what he could and we came home.  SO good to be here and SO good to know that we have a place to live in Idaho now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We paid CASH for a house! :)

I don't know WHAT we were thinking, but we decided to go back to Jerome to check out the trailer this morning!  We didn't go to bed until like 11 (including little Jackson), then we turned around and got up at 6 (Jackson usually goes to bed at 8 and gets up at 7:30...poor guy got ripped off!) so we could leave my parent's house by 6:30, so we could drop Jackson off at my sister's house by 7:15ish, so we could stop by my aunt's house and still make it to my grandpa's house by 8.  Whew...exhausting just typing it!  {Side note: as I was typing that, I realized how lucky I am....all these incredible people willing to help us out with whatever they have...and 'what they have' is not by any means overflowing...they are just willing to share whatever they happen to have at the moment.  I love that we will be close to them for a while!}

We got to my grandma and grandpa's house just after 8...record punctuality for us.  My grandparents are in their 70's, but you'd never ever guess it.  Both look young and the running joke in our family is that no one can out work my grandma.  She honestly spends 10 hours a day on her yard in the summertime.  They are both loving, serving, happy, incredible people....everything you'd ever wish for in a grandma and grandpa.  They are night owls and often stay up past midnight, so when we called and asked my grandpa what time he'd want to go, he said 8 was okay, but that he'd have to get up a little earlier than usual.  Love it! :)  When we got there, they were both waiting for us.

{Aren't they cute??}

Grandpa had gotten his truck out (we took his truck since he has a 5th wheel already and thus a 5th wheel hitch...we didn't want to take 2 trips in case we decided to buy it).  I went inside for a minute and Jeff took Mahone to run around the yard for a minute and take care of his business.  My grandparents and I chatted for a minute, then grandpa said, "Well is Jeff going to come in for a prayer?"  I loved that.  The way he said it spoke WAY louder to me than the words.  What I heard was a message loud and clear - that we always pray before we go on trips, and that everyone should without thinking twice.  So we prayed, hugged grandma, and the 3 of us (plus Mahone) were on our way.

The first 45 minutes or so of the trip were pretty boring....just a drive on the desert freeway...and THEN...well...have you ever seen those pieces of tire on the freeway that look like this?

For some reason Jeff, my grandpa and I all thought those pieces were from semi trucks.  I don't know why we would think that.  Turns out they come from any old car (or truck in this case), and they aren't blown out tires like I thought they might be.  Those little shreds of tire are what is left behind when the tread separates from the tire mid-trip.

So there I was dozing off when all of a sudden, I hear a loud noise and the truck all of a sudden pulls to one side.  Grandpa white knuckles it, and pulls over to the side of the road (thanks to a nice trucker who saw what happened and slowed down so we had room to move over).  Freaky.

Jeff and Grandpa got out and I heard Grandpa give his signature, "Well I'll be."  When I got out, I saw what he meant and felt like giving a, "well I'll be" myself.  The tire hadn't blown or popped....the tread had just come clean off, so the tire was now bald, but as inflated as ever.  In case you've never seen something like this up close...let me treat you with a picture.  When a tire loses its tread, it looks

{like this}

{and this}

 Mahone and I stood by nervously while Grandpa and Jeff got under the truck to get the spare tire.  I was relieved when after about 5 minutes, my grandpa decided he'd just try to drive into town instead of staying on the side of the road to change the tire.  24 years ago, Jeff's dad was hit by a car while he was bent down under it trying to get it ready to tow (read more here).  That was going through my mind the whole time we were there on the side of the road, and I watched the oncoming traffic carefully.  In retrospect, I don't know what I would have done if I'd seen an out of control car coming toward us, but in my mind I guess I would go wonder-woman and be able to warn them to get out of the way.  Luckily it didn't come to that.

We were only about 20 miles from the next town, so grandpa took it slow and stayed on the side of the road at a cautious 40 miles per hour.  Once we got to the tire shop, it took them about 30 minutes to pop the new tires on and we were on the road again.

{I have always loved my grandpa's concentrating mouth.  I remember it from when I was a really little kid - I love how his bottom lip sticks out a little.} :)

What is usually a 2 hour drive instead took 3 1/2 hours.  But we arrived in good spirits.  We showed grandpa around the trailer.  The thing he was most worried about were the two little places it looked like there had been leaking in the roof, which we'd seen before.  Then he and Jeff went outside and on the roof and looked all around.  I was bored and starting to feel Jackson's cold coming on (he'd been VERY sick for a few days, and I knew I was getting it), so while Jeff and grandpa called Mark to ask him some questions, I went and laid down in the truck.

This guy Mark was a country boy if I've ever seen one.  In his late forties, weird beard/goatee thing going on on his face and he had like 7 guys in their early twenties just hangin around his property, which was FULL of trucks and tractors and semi's and tires and an enormous shop.  I mean, you almost knew what kind of a guy he was going to be before he ever came out of the house.  One of those guys who a.l.w.a.y.s. has a story to tell.  I imagine him as the guy everyone buys drinks for a the bar just to get him to keep telling his fish stories.

I don't know WHAT he thought he had to tell Jeff and Grandpa, but they talked and tinkered around that trailer for like 3 hours.  I would sit up every once in a while to try to see what they were doing, and they were always in man-stance.  One of them would point at something on the trailer, then they'd all come in close to get a good look, then some talking and some nodding, then they'd back up a few feet (and spread out of course...for their man space), put their hands in their pockets and not say anything for a few minutes.  Then it would start over.  And I swear every time I looked over there was another one of Mark's goonies there to add his two cents.

FINALLY I heard Jeff say something about going to lunch and he and Grandpa came and got in the truck.  Jeff had agreed to buy it, but Mark and his grunts (mostly his grunts we found out later) were going to put smaller tires on it to make it easier to tow.  A relief since the tires that were on it were ENORMOUS and because of them the bottom stair leading into the rv came to my knees. :)

A few Subway sandwiches later we were on our way back to pick up the Kind of the Road.  We settled up with Mark and traded him our money for some paperwork (an ordeal that took at least twice as long as it should have because you know....the stories.)

And long story short, we are now the proud owners of a 1989 King of the Road 5th wheel...home sweet home.  And the joke keeps going that today we paid CASH for a house. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

We came, we saw, we liked.

We made it....even though we FORGOT that we no longer have a DVD player to take in the car, and we've never been on a trip with the little one without it...he did great.  Check it out -

 {Jackson and Mahone chillin in the back.  The chest you see belonged to my Grandma Boyd.  She left it to me when she passed away.  We brought it to leave it at my mom and dad's...since we won't have space for it in our new little place.) :)

Anyway, we saw the RV. In true Idaho small-town style, Mark told us he left it unlocked and that we could "go right in". :) We had plenty of time to look around and didn't feel awkward talking about what we liked and didn't like, which was nice.  I hate when the owner is there and makes you feel all weird about looking at whatever you want to look at, and saying whatever you want to say.

The 'King of the Road' is an '89, and honestly I was expecting it to be more out of date and beat up than it was. Now, I might be wrong, but not knowing anything mechanical or how stuff like that works, and being the woman, I feel like it's my job to give the cosmetic okay - looks, smells, layout...that kind of thing.  So that's what I did.  

{Living Room}
{Bathroom...WITH bathtub.  That was a requirement for me since we do have a 1-year-old to bathe...:)}
{Bedroom...didn't get a very good looks tiny....but that's a queen sized bed, and there is plenty of room to walk all the way around it.  Also...we don't have to hunch over to walk in is extra tall...bonus for a 5th wheel!}

We both liked it...the looks are good (we'll make them better, of course), no funky smells and the layout is awesome.  We still need to do the 'mechanical' inspection with my grandpa, but we're sold so far and as long as there aren't any serious problems, I think we'll be calling it home sweet home soon.

In other small-town news, we rushed to the small town where my parents live (about 2 hours away) after we left Jerome to try to make it to a school contest that my brother was in - the Mr. Mustang Contest. We were late, and Jackson was tired, so Jeff took him to my parents house and I went to the contest. It did not disappoint. At one point my mom leaned over and said something about how spot on Napoleon Dynamite really is a perfect glimpse into small-town life. She was sooo right, and as I sat there I kept wondering if Napoleon himself wouldn't come on stage next. He didn't.  Dang.


Jeff and I are both pretty spontaneous people. We don't mind heading out without a plan. You might call today a 'case-in-point'.

Yesterday we saw an RV on Craigslist that we knew we had to see. It was much bigger than the ones we'd seen that are in our price range AND was priced well beneath what we thought we might have to spend. It looks AWESOME and plus it's called "King of the Road". Hello! :) It had been on Craigslist for a few days before we got a chance to call on it, so we were worried it might have already been sold. When we called this morning, we were delighted to find it had not sold, but that they had had tons of calls.

What we DON'T want to have happen is for it to be sold before we get a chance to even look at it. That has happened almost half a dozen times already. I'm sure that is the case with most stuff on Craigslist that is well priced. Part of our problem is that we're looking in Boise/Twin Falls because there are almost NO trailers for sale here in the Orem/Provo area. We hadn't been willing to take a trip up there for any particular trailer until now. With our experience in losing several before we had a chance to look, we are jumping on this one.

SOOO after Jeff got off with Mark (the guy with the RV), he turned to me and said, "wanna go look at it?" [Keep in mind it is 4 hours away]. I said, "today?" to which he replied, "ya". :)

Long story short, as soon as I finish this post, we will get the house cleaned up, then we'll pack and get on the road to look at that trailer. :) Not sure if we'll buy it or not - we'd like to have my dad or grandpa or uncle Marq come check it out with us (since we are both a little clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff...for now). But we'll at least see if it's even worth the extra inspection before we drag either of them into it from Boise...more to come!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Nitty Gritty

As I've been researching rv living, I have come across lots of blogs and stories of other people who have made the same decision as we have to live on the road full time in an rv. It's interesting to read their stories, but I have yet to find one that matches our situation. I've read a lot about single guys who converted vans into homes and lived there as a cheap alternative, and I've also read a lot about retired couples who've taken to the road.

For example earlier this week, I came across Howard and Linda's website. They have a journal there where they've recorded the entire process. When they decided to become "full-timers" (that's what we'll be called), they were at the other end of their careers. Many of their feelings were the same - unsure about whether or not they would be able to live in cramped quarters and what their new life would be like. BUT Howard and Linda bought their RV at an RV show - top of the line with slide outs and plenty of space. To haul it, they bought a brand new Ford F450...straight from the factory.

And they paid for all of it in cash with part of the proceeds from the sale of their home and business. They planned to work on the road, but had enough in savings that they figured they could live for about 3 years if they couldn't find work. Even though Howard & Linda and Jeff & I will end up in about the same place (living full time in an rv) our ways of getting there could not be more different.

Like Howard and Linda, Jeff and I are selling our house, but we won't get enough out of it to buy a gumball. :) SO in order to be able to buy an rv, we plan to sell everything we own that we don't need or that isn't an heirloom. We will also be using our tax return for this year and putting that toward the cause. We plan to buy used (obviously) and have been cruising craigslist for just the right truck and trailer.

Howard and Linda and the majority of other couples who've decided to do what we're doing have their own reasons, and I can honestly say that we share some of those. We are excited for the adventure of it and for the freedom of it - to be able to go wherever we want and take our home with us. I mean, honestly, I can't think of anything that sounds MORE fun to me. But that's not where our reasons end, and to me our reason for moving into an rv at this point in our lives is the "nitty gritty" of our entire story. Without it and if I didn't tell you about it, I would feel a lot like those retired me, our story would feel like it didn't have an anchor.

I don't think we could move into an RV with two babies and a dog on the prospect of fun and adventure alone. I just don't think it ever would've crossed our minds if it hadn't been for the financial side of things too. Honestly if we were in Howard and Linda's situation and had the money to buy THAT kind of rv and THAT kind of truck, we wouldn't...not at this point in just wouldn't help us get where we want to go.

Before you can understand where we're coming from, you have to know that Jeff and I both believe firmly in our children being raised by their mother. That may have come from the fact that my mother was always home with me and my siblings, but wherever it came from, it is a feeling we both have deep in our souls. My going back to work is out of the question. Something that often comes to my mind when I think about what it would be like to go back to work is a quote from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Remember when Charlie gets the golden ticket and wants to sell it? Charlie's grandpa (Grandpa George) pulls him aside and says:

"There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket -- there are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for
something as common as money.

Are YOU a dummy?"

You might wonder how in the WORLD that relates to me mothering my babies...I see it like this. There IS plenty of money in the world. They DO print more every day. But there are only 2 babies (so far) that I can ever call mine. Only 2 in the whole world, and I won't give up one minute with them for something as common as money. And in that, I am lucky to have a husband who fully supports me, and who wants me to be with our babies as much as I do.

{Our babies}

{My brother-in-law calls ultrasound pictures "skeletor pictures" .... sorry if ours creeps you's the only photo we have for now ;)}

So I'm the mom and wife and that's that. Meanwhile Jeff is self-employed and working his tail off to start a new business, which we also both firmly believe in. I love what he's doing and how he's working to help other people reach their dreams. But as any entrepreneur knows, building a new business in any economy (especially one like the one we're living in now) takes not only an investment of money, but an enormous investment of time. That investment of time is something we are both willing to put in...unfortunately, mortgage companies and utility companies and credit card companies don't 'get' our entrepreneurial spirit and aren't willing to invest their time and resources while we get things going. :)

So in order to reach our dreams and stay true to our hearts, we found we'd have to lower our living expenses substantially for a while. Living in an rv will give us a chance to do that and to have some adventure while we're at it. And now that I'm writing this out, I see how much more grateful I should be than I have been. What an incredible thing marriage is and the chance we have to support each other in our dreams and ambitions. We are a lucky couple of folks.

I don't feel worried about not having a "sticks n bricks" home (that's what the rv'ers call regular We are not worried about letting go of this house and of all our things because they don't matter. What would our home be without the love that is here? What is a kitchen table without the people we share our hearts with around it? Our new house will still be a home....because WE will make it so. Because the things that matter most to us (the things that matter at all) are coming with us, along with the spirit of family and support and an overwhelming amount of love. And as far as I'm concerned all the love that fills up this house will overflow from our little rv and we'll be blissfully happy there because we will be together in every sense of that word.

{My sister-in-law took this candid picture at Disney World a few days after
we got engaged in December of 2006...I love HIM}

Friday, April 16, 2010


This will just be quick - we started posting things on craigslist today. We are starting with the things that will make the least difference in how our home shows - I started by listing our storage shed and the bistro chairs on the front porch:

In other news, we showed the house again 3 times yesterday and got another offer this morning. It was higher than the first, and luckily the realtor who had sent over the first offer had told us that the buyers LOVED our house. Our realtor called their realtor as soon as we got the second offer and now they are working on their "highest and best" offer. Yahoo! Let the buyers bargain with each other instead of with it.

UPDATE: We just got another call - 2 more showings late this afternoon...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What it's supposed to be...

The best thing I ever heard about blogging came from one of my closest friends. One of my other close friends was talking about a blog post she wanted to do and asked, "Is that too boring or narcissistic?" To which the first friend replied, "It's a blog! It's supposed to be boring and narcissistic!" Hilarious...and true.

I am going to take that to heart today....though I will try to be as un-boring as possible, I can say that this post is a little more for me than it is for you.

First I will say that we are only 3 days into having our home listed and I am already tired of showing it. I mean, it's not bad, but leaving our house with the dog and the baby at the drop of a hat gets old quick. Today, for example, we are at Jeff's mom's house for the afternoon so Jackson can get an uninterrupted nap while someone looks at our house. (The offer we got was at full price, but our realtor thinks we might be able to get a higher offer if we show it a few more times....we're down for that!)

The GOOD thing about having our home listed is that I have all the motivation in the world to keep it looking STELLAR. It feels so good to have everything clean and organized....even the laundry is done. My home looks the way I wish it looked every day. Then to top it off, when people are coming to look at it, I turn all the lights on, and it is extra bright and cheery and looks more like a dream than reality. Then again, I do live a pretty dreamy life.

Today as we were rushing out the door, Jeff was taking a little longer to get something done before we could leave, so I took the chance to take some pictures while we were waiting for him. Because I want you to have an idea of where we're coming from and because I want to remember exactly how our sweet home looks before we start selling everything, I am going to share them. Get ready...there are a LOT.

{Living Room - what you see when you walk in the front door.}

{Master Bedroom}

{Jackson's Room}


{Laundry Room}

{Downstairs Bedroom - currently Jeff's little sister who is in college lives here.}

{Bottom of the Stairs....I love this picture}