Adventures, Family culture

We Did It!

As I write this I’m sitting in Chico, California, and all of our worldly possessions fit in a 10’x25′ storage unit down the street. We did it! We’re on the move and on the hunt for our next home!

Crazy as it sounds, we moved without a final destination in mind. Matt and I both can work remotely, we homeschool the kids, and we’re not sure where we want to plant some roots so we figured–why NOT? We moved to Oklahoma 7 years ago knowing we weren’t staying. Despite our house feeling like our little family haven, the state and area itself never felt like home. I’ve gotten that feeling of coming home to Orange County, Point Loma in San Diego, even places in foreign countries like Italy and Scotland and Romania. But interestingly enough never in Seattle or Oklahoma. Like a tree in a pot being moved around, looking for the place to be planted.

Our first stop is an adorable Airbnb in Jacksonville, Oregon. We’ll check out that area for a month, and if we love the area then we’ll look for a 6 month or year rental. If we feel that’s not quite “it,” we’ll continue to explore. Matt wants to spend time in Bend–which I think would be amazing but as far as my dream of a sustainable homestead, Bend’s 52-day growing season won’t cut it. We’ve heard a ton of outdoor people are moving to Boise, ID because of it’s proximity to outdoor activities. I’m not convinced, but you never know until you get there! And I’d really love to check out the Coeur d’Alene area. The evergreens and gorgeous lakes seem to just be calling to me!

The timeline for all of this is flexible, and we might spend a month back in Chico with family after our time in Oregon. We might do another Airbnb on the Oregon coast because…well it’s the coast and it’s just magical!

For now, the girls and I just wrapped up a week of traveling and meeting up with over 30 people (in 4 days! Crazy!). We truly loved it, and the girls were on a constant high meeting new friends and having new experiences!

We are just starting to get back into a routine of school and play and homecooked dinners. We have our Roy Boy with us, of course, and though Matt is traveling this week we’re looking forward to having our own little family altogether in one place for a bit of time.

Yes, I whipped out my yoga mat at a rest stop in Arizona because those hips needed some stretching! Those pants, however, were not stretchy, lol!

I’ve been packing to move since I put away fall and Christmas decorations in 2017, we got our storage unit in Oklahoma nearly a year ago, and I’m so glad to have that part behind me! I’m ready to not hear the sound of packing tape for awhile!

When we talk to people about our crazy wandering plans, I find a lot of people sigh and say they wish they could do that. No, it wasn’t easy getting to this point. It took a LOT of work. A LOT of planning. Hard goodbyes (for now). And it still will take a lot of planning and budgeting to make this work. But it IS possible. Whatever “one day” dream you have is possible if you make it work. I also talked to a lot of people in Oklahoma who, upon hearing we wanted to originally move to Colorado, responded with, “Yeah, we wanted to do that to…and 5/10/20 years later and we’re still here!” I didn’t want that to be us.

We’re not in our final destination yet. Yes there will be a lot of expectations not met. There will be a lot of expectations exceeded. It’s going to be like that WHEREVER you are in life. But if your heart is truly desiring something different from where you are in life, stop dreaming. Dreams are fun and great and expand your brain and imagination. But without planning and grit and perseverance and ACTION they stay in your head and heart. So dream, and then start planning your adventure!

Adventures, Family culture

The Past 9 Months

Well hey there, it’s been a minute, right?

Most of those who would follow this blog also follow on Instagram or Facebook, but in case you’re new here’s a recap!

Last January we decided it was time to sell the house, travel more, and figure out where we want to move–yay!

Then my brother and his wife moved back in with my parents so that got put on hold…fast forward to last summer and we spent an awesome two weeks in Colorado and Utah being with family, Matt and I went to the Young Living International Convention, our girls got to experience the farm in Mona, we hiked in the Rockies and got to see family. It was magical–the kids did awesome traveling and we couldn’t wait to go again!

After we got back we prepped and painted and finally got the house on the market…and had a full price offer from the first person to view it!

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Isn’t she pretty? She was a good home 🙂

We moved in with my parents, and planned on Thanksgiving with Matt’s parents in Paradise, CA when on November 8th I got a call. They were evacuating due to a fire, and so were a large portion of Matt’s family who lived there. Thank the Lord they all made it out, but Matt’s parents, sister and her fiancé, aunt and uncle, another aunt, and a cousin and her husband, along with numerous other family friends lost their homes in one fell swoop.

Considering by the time we knew it was all gone, and our flight was scheduled to leave on November 13th, we had some big decisions to make. We found an Airbnb on the southern Oregon coast and booked places to stay for a week while the smoke cleared out, and flew to California. The first night we spent with Matt’s cousin and his wife and their 3 girls…oh my goodness! The riotous joy of 6 little girls that grew to 7 girls and one baby boy when another cousin and his wife came–it was a cousin-fest! Though we left that day for Oregon, the girls couldn’t wait to get back and play!

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Oregon was magical. There’s no other word for it. The beach, the sunsets, the ocean, the redwoods–it was deep nourishment to my soul.

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After getting back to Chico, we decided we needed to spend more time there. With rental cars at a ridiculous price, and Matt needing a new(er) car anyway, we decided to cancel our flights, buy a car, and drive home! Yeah, we’re a bit crazy.

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We got back to Oklahoma December 9th, and flew right into the holidays!

Now we’ve rounded the corner into February and I’m so ready to get back to the oily education that I love! We’ll be filling up that calendar more, and begin offering a lot more classes you can access at anytime on our YouTube page–subscribe to get the latest updates!

I’ve dive more into that later, just wanted to give a bit of a filler for what we’ve been up to the past 9 months! We’re not 100% sure what our next step is but we keep moving forward with faith!

Adventures, Family culture, Parenting-thing

5 Lessons From Hiking With Kids

Looking ahead to summer there are a lot of trails I would like to see, especially during our two weeks in Colorado and Utah coming up in June.

Last week I nabbed a pair of Ahnu Sugarpine hiking shoes from REI (thank you dividend!) and when they got here today we all were so excited we decided to go try them out right away. I figured it would be good to get them all outside and on a “hike,” because while they’ll play for hours on a playground getting from Point A to Point B is a whole different thing.

The big girls pulled on their hiking boots as I put on mine, and we headed to Mitch Park with a backpack, 3 water bottles, and two types of snacks for a bit of an experiment.

All went fine at first. The girls scampered, giggled, climbed rocks, pointed out flowers blooming in the grass…

You only wished you were as cool as them. I can almost hear some theme music…

That was the first 5 minutes.

It was almost 90° outside, and despite the high winds their cheeks were getting flushed and they started begging for water like they were lost in the Sahara.

We stopped in the shade and everyone chugged from the big water bottle…impatiently waiting their turn.

When Tatum was done she squatted down so I took the opportunity to point out she was in a lightning position…

 

So we all crouched in the lightning position. Yay us. And the 834 lightning-related questions that followed from my curious 6-year-old.

We chose our next route and Kenna was fascinated with the sign…and chose to show it off in style. This kid has more ‘tude and style than she knows what to do with!

A few minutes later I got my first “Up?” from Bennett and I checked my phone to see our distance… .35 of a mile 🤦🏼‍♀️We made it another third of a mile and one more water bottle down before I gave in and got her up and into the back of my backpack (finally putting those WAFA skills to use!) and we kept on cruisin’.

We spotted birds, drank more water, ate a snack, drank more water.

Lesson #1   Assume my children are part dromedary and carry three times the amount of water I think we need. Let’s just say we’re going nowhere in the mountains without a LifeStraw.

I noticed a gully with a clear cut trail across that cut out a significant part of our path. Since Tatum was exclaiming she needed to go to the bathroom, a shortcut looked like a good idea.

We started downhill when Kenna–my often too-fearless kid decided to become terrified of going down a little trail. And of bugs…all of the sudden. Kenna, who often will pick up bugs to inspect them, squeal with delight over the cuteness, and I have to warn not to touch the quarter inch stinger on the cicada killer. But there she was, having a mini meltdown in a gully about all the bugs…that I couldn’t see.

Lesson #2 Assume your kids will do a 180° on their preferences and personalities at any time.

Once we reached the bottom of the gully it actually turned out to be one of the most interesting features I’ve seen in Mitch Park–ever! And we’ve been walking there for six years!

Once at the bottom it wasn’t quite so windy, and there were trees and bushes so I gave Tatum permission to relieve herself “like a hiker.” You’d have thought she hit the jackpot–ever since she first peed next to a tree while hiking in Colorado it’s the height of outdoorsy excitement for her.

Lesson #3 Always carry toilet paper/tissues/baby wipes and plastic bags with you. Thankfully I was prepared.

With 90% of our water gone we ate a few more snacks, Kenna calmed down about the bugs, Bennett was down from the backpack and exploring, and things were looking up. I even managed to find a rock to do a group photo…this was the only place where the wind wouldn’t knock the phone over and I could prop it up.

Lesson #4 Always carry one of those mini tripods for your phone. Memories are the big things and the everyday moments.

 

We hiked up the hill–Bennett insisting on doing it herself a lot and sometimes fully face-planting in the red Oklahoma dirt but keeping on. The girls spotted some trash we gathered and threw away (made my Leave No Trace heart so proud), and by the time we were just maybe one fifth of a mile away from the car they decided they were having way too much fun to go home.

Bennett became quite desperate to show me every flower in the grass. Kenna’s eyes became quite adept at finding all the bird houses and bird feeders in the area. Tatum spun in circles. When I realized it was almost 6:00 and we needed to get home to make dinner, Bennett became the noodle child, Kenna wanted to stop and admire everything, and Tatum became the task master trying to help me drive them forward. Which leads me to my last lesson.

Lesson #5 Give yourself three times the normal amount of time to do any hike. 

Yeah, that has to be the slowest seven-tenths of a mile EVER.

BUT, it’s a starting point.

Everyone ate a BIG dinner (which isn’t always the norm).

Bennett crashed as soon as we put her in her crib.

I hardly had a moment to realize my new hiking shoes were amazingly comfortable…even carrying a 10 pound backpack and a 30 pound kid.

And the girls want to “hike” again. Tomorrow.

I’d call that a success…but glad of my lessons learned!