the sea of sanctification | Ventura, CA

Perched atop a wall of immovable rock, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I watch as my kids create an imaginary world.

sea of sanctification

Each child sets up shop in a different location, collecting treasures: sea glass, red wood, seaweed, and driftwood.

Their shell currency allows them to conduct commerce amongst themselves while they build and expand their rocky residences.

BEACHSIDE TREASURE

I’m invited to peruse and shop at my leisure. Soon, I’ve discovered a brilliant excuse to invest in the purchase of driftwood: new curtain rods. Over the course of the afternoon, my living room becomes more personalized as the factory rods are replaced with decorative driftwood.

Later, as I walk through the campground I notice that I am not alone in my driftwood acquisition. Nearly every RV I pass has a stash laying about. In a lifestyle that fosters minimalism, the popularity of this beachside treasure does not escape my notice.

PAINFUL PROCESS

What could be easily overlooked, however, is the inherent pain represented in each piece of wood. Devastating wildfires, followed by substantial rains resulting in fatal mudslides have recently swept through this coastal area. An influx of driftwood debris has ensued.

Birthed from deep devastation and death, a treasure trove has washed ashore. Continue reading “the sea of sanctification | Ventura, CA”

my caring coddiwomple community | Fulltime Family Rally

We’ve often said that this full-time traveling lifestyle has thrust us into a season of “feast or famine” when it comes to community. While we are in close proximity to other traveling families, fireside chats, meals and general life together often abounds quite effortlessly. Conversely, the opposite is also true. When we are alone, especially for long stretches of time, a feeling of isolation is not uncommon.

Fulltime Family Rally
A time of feasting: Instant Pot Potluck: Photo Credit: Staffan Lindström

A TIME OF FAMINE

Our first few months on the road felt very isolated. We knew there was a community out there, it was just a matter of finding them. Six months into our travels I wrote a post where I listed the highs and lows of our nomadic lifestyle. In it, I noted our lack of outside relationships as one of our lows. Three months later I wrote a post titled “Is it possible to have community on the road?” Below is an excerpt from this post.

Without a doubt, there are relationships to be had if you are willing to pursue them.  Herein lies the rub. At times there is a choice between the pursuit of the location or the people…

Should our travels continue beyond this first year, I anticipate that the pull between places and people would begin to yield much more heavily toward people. As a result, I expect that we would begin to pursue places which are in close proximity to the people we wish to see rather than the reverse.

In three short months, our entire outlook had improved in this area. One key factor to finding our tribe was attending a Fulltime Family Rally.  Rallies are in place to help families connect and create opportunities for relationships to develop that can continue down the road (both literally and figuratively). Some have even likened it to “speed dating for families”.

Fulltime Family Rally
Before and after: rallies helped my daughter make new friend connections

OUR FIRST FULLTIME FAMILY RALLY

We attended our first rally in Tallahassee, Florida last February. We came to it new to fulltime travel and very parched of community. The Florida Rally was huge, with over 80 families present. Seeing so many families all in one space really allowed us to get a better grasp of the size of the community we were joining. As we started to learn the number of years that these families had been on the road (some as many as 7+) and see the number of kids (and pets) they were traveling with, we began to see that this lifestyle could be sustainable. Continue reading “my caring coddiwomple community | Fulltime Family Rally”

comparison crap | my first 5K

I’ve never done this before. In fact, the concept still seems to lack a sense of sagacious* forethought.

my first 5K

Nevertheless, I have woken up at 5:30 in order to be ready to take my place behind this starting line. In all ironic honesty, I paid money to wake up early and stand behind this line.

my first 5K

I can’t help but wonder what the high-school version of myself would have thought of this unexpected twist. I–the girl who saw no logic in running unless it was from something dangerous or toward home plate–is about to run 5 Kilometers for the pure challenge of it. Continue reading “comparison crap | my first 5K”

6 free (or almost free) RV decor ideas

Ashlyn was recently gifted a large amount of scrap fabric from a kind lady we met at church. As we pondered ways to make use of it, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. This led us down a delightful decorating rabbit hole. Come along and I’ll show you 6 free (or almost) RV decor ideas that we discovered!

free RV decor ideas

1) NEW NO-SEW CURTAINS

I’ve considered redoing the dark brown curtains in our main living area multiple times. I even went so far as to purchase fabric from IKEA last winter for this purpose. However, upon making the first panel, I discovered that the color scheme just wasn’t quite right and I abandoned the effort.

It all worked out however because I’d kept that not-quite-right fabric and was able to repurpose it into no-sew fabric strip curtain valances by intermingling some of the fabric we had been given. The end result was perfect. It brightened up the room, required no sewing and was very cost effective! If you want more details on how to create these valances yourself, here are the instructions I followed.

free RV decor ideas

Continue reading “6 free (or almost free) RV decor ideas”

pulling joy

Hello from Acton, California! It’s a chilly 49 degrees outside. Swift 25 mile an hour wind gusts are giving the juniper bushes outside my window a proper morning workout. Despite the clear blue skies and few stubborn leaves still clinging to the trees, we are not fooled; even here in Southern California, we have not fully escaped winter’s clutches.

FESTIVE FEEL

Inside our electric fireplace blows its warmth and the faux logs eternally burn. Nat King Cole fills the air with the sounds of Christmas past. Our pint-sized Christmas tree, complete with homemade ornaments, and the neighboring diffuser emitting evergreen dream into the air, completes the seasonal sensory requirements. It’s not snowy Idaho, but we feel festive just the same.

SHARING SICKNESS

Not so jolly are the germs we’ve been battling. Sore throats, coughs and fevers have been unintentionally swapped between the families we’ve been traveling with. It’s tricky to balance sharing spaces like playgrounds and potlucks without also sharing sickness. Continue reading “pulling joy”