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

The Springs to Granby

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Originally I had wanted to blog along the way during our trips. I mean, with an app and your smartphone you can do it anywhere, right? Theoretically, yes. With three small demanding kids, no.

Let me put it to you this way–in 12 hours of travel and a book I was so excited to read, I got to read…three pages.

So here’s the recap. The girls are pretty awesome at traveling. If we have a good sense of humor. Bennett is the queen of “want it–don’t want it.” Asking for things, tossing them away, then crying for them again. Tatum is all about listening to the Kirsten American Girl books. Kenna is happy if she has her Tinkerbell dolls or can color. We actually made it a couple days of traveling before we ever turned on a movie for them–so we consider that a win!

Friday, June 8th we got a late start leaving Edmond to Colorado Springs…and by late I mean we didn’t pull into our hotel until about 5 am. Tired, much???

The next day we got to explore Colorado Springs, get an oil change (hmmm…the shop that checked our car before our trip missed that), and then

headed up to the Garden of the Gods. It was hot, but a dry heat so it wasn’t bad at all–and the girls loved having their own cameras (old digital ones we don’t use anymore) to take their own pics.

Up through Woodland Park and Divide, we headed towards our next destination–Granby. We took the scenic route that was maybe 30 minutes longer (probably not when you consider Denver traffic), and it was one of the best decisions EVER. The sunset over the valleys and mountains was breathtaking! So beautiful we pulled over just to take some pics and enjoy it!!!

We stopped in Breckenridge for ice cream and changing into jammies before heading on.

We had a bit of a surprise when we got to Granby at 11:30–all of the lock boxes had been removed! After calling over a dozen hotels we were finally able to find one that gave us a great deal, and the girls got to spend another night in a hotel (which was so fun for them).

Even on the road we drink our Ningxia Red!

The next morning we walked around Winter Park, the girls were blown away by the mountains and the soft grass and just EVERYTHING. After climbing some stairs to an outdoor amphitheater, Kenna looked around, sighed loudly, and said, “I just LOVE it here!”

We were able to get into the condo, unpack, and the girls thought that bunk beds, a balcony, a giant bean bag, and a dog crate were just the best things to play with EVER. Who needs toys?!

The next day was Monday and Matt had to work, so after a leisurely morning I loaded up the girls and we went for a short hike along the Fraser River Trail.

I’m learning with most kid hikes, the first 10-30 minutes consist of complaining, and then if I get them distracted with something they’re all in. After we started trying to identify wildflowers they loved it. We took pics, used our book, ate snacks, and ended up having a good time.

I’ll post more updates later, but that gets us to the beautiful mountains of Colorado–which sort of feel like home. We’re not sure where we’re going in the next 6 months or even a year, but I’m so grateful for tidbits like this.

 

Adventures, Family culture

The Wind in the Pines

I’ve had a number people asking me what’s going on with our traveling plans and the truth is… It changes almost weekly.

We’ve had some family stuff going on that has put a delay in plans, and we are still hoping that when we move my parents and grandma can move with us (and maybe eventually Matt’s parents too–eh? Eh? 😉). As it is, everything is in limbo for the moment.

And in the meantime we keep moving forward with fixing the house up, replacing the porch light, fixing the toilet, and those little things we’ve been meaning to do for a while and are finally getting around to.

Thank GOODNESS Spring is finally here and the gray is giving way to GREEN again! Looking at pictures on Facebook from “On this day” years ago I can see lots of foliage in the background of pics…for some reason everything decided to leaf out late this year and honestly that got to me almost as much as the winter darkness in Seattle. This girl needs SUNSHINE and GREEN THINGS (I’m lookin’ at you evergreen forests…).

So these are a bit late but here are some pics from our quick little trip to Robbers Cave State Park.

At Van’s Pig Stand in Shawnee…Matt’s BBQ blows this out of the water…
No one makes her squeal with laughter quite like her daddy
Everything is brown and gray…
Since it was just one night, we opted to stay in a cabin instead of do the whole tent thing. The girls were VERY excited about our home for the night!
We headed down by Lake Carlton to explore a bit–we had the place to ourselves!

Honestly as soon as we got into our cabin and all was quiet for a minute I felt so relaxed. There’s something about the sound of wind through the pines. If you live by it you take it for granted most of the time. Even in Southern California where I grew up, the center loop of our neighborhood was ringed in pines, and in Seattle we definitely had no shortage of evergreens. But living where most of the trees are deciduous, during winter when the leaves are gone it’s a different sound. So too, is the sound of the wind through broad leaf trees. Call me crazy, but there’s just something relaxing about the sound of the wind through pine trees. And I drank it all in.

These girls are pretty fearless and were more than eager to set off exploring!

After a LOT of attempts with damp wood and a smokey fireplace we finally got enough flames to roast some marshmallows

Tatum is a bit of a stickler for the rules…
They were excited for cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
Even if it was just a tiny bit, bouldering was so fun and felt so good!

At the Visitors Center there were fish, snakes, and lots of hands on things for littles to explore–and we had the whole place to ourselves!
Bennett loved the snake and wanted it out…ummm…nope…

It’s a little odd to me that state parks have playgrounds, mini golf, Frisbee golf, and snow cones…but when you’ve kinda done all there is to do and have some time to kill why not?
This baby handled hiking in the carrier like a champ! Except when were were a on a high lookout and she suddenly wanted down…not happening…

It may have only been a small oasis of mountain-y wilderness surrounded by Oklahoma plains, but we drank it in!
On the way home we stopped at a couple of state parks so the girls could get their state park passport stamps…

It may have not been the most scenic place but the girls had fun and it was a good stretch of the legs.