hey there friends. it has been too long since my last post! i really wanted to have a goal of blogging every week but, goodness, we are busy. i never thought i could possibly get busier, especially with our new “simple” life, haha. goodness, here’s the real nitty gritty for ya… we are all together, all six of us, all the time, every moment, trying our hardest to just get through the trenches and cling to the highlights. sometimes the trenches are beautiful and we are waking up on a foggy beach or a prairie with wildflowers and that can be pretty amazing, it’s one of our favorite parts of this whole thing! and then there’s the logistical stuff and the (not really hardly ever) sleeping stuff, and the whole trying to raise up four amazingly brave, spirited, happy children that thirst for knowledge and truth. and aside from that, we have to remember to get everyone fed (preferably not chicken nuggets), and bathed (outside in a kiddie pool, with swimsuits and a hose), loved on, and then remember to take a moment and enjoy it. and then do our best to nurture our marriage and work out any arguments or make travel plans all after the kids are asleep (but really, there’s always at least one kid awake somewhere). and then there’s the emails… i won’t stress you out by discussing how behind i am on those (thank you, pals, for loving me in spite of my one month average turnaround time on emails, please forgive me, i’m trying – just call me). and then there’s the making sure clothes get washed outside and hung to dry or running to the laundromat at night when we’ve run out of pants. and we just started cloth diapering so that is exciting/crazy/i’m determined to do it, so that’s another laundry thing. and there’s trying to breathe, sometimes. and trying to read something that inspires me to keep it together. God is good at meeting me there. deep breath… it’s a crazy season of life. and i left out the other 75% of it, really. i almost don’t know how to sum it all up. we will say, it is rewarding. ;) i remember when i was pregnant with gracie, people would always say that being a parent was going to be hard work, but rewarding. it feels the same way. just figuring it out, minute by minute, and trying to look like we know what we are doing. so far, we made our way from southern california up the coast of california, through a lot of oregon and the washington coast and almost to canada in friday harbor, washington. we took the trailer on a big ferry, it was amazing! then we zigzagged back through washington and oregon and california, a happy stop in big sur, and back to southern california for a few weeks of work/shooting weddings/enjoying having my mama to help with the kiddos/trying to catch up on sleep. we head out back on the road august 6th as we journey through utah and wyoming, montana, idaho and a little bit more of oregon (we are doing a little stop in bend, oregon for the one and only katie daisy to finish painting the other side of our trailer, complete with some manly pine trees for donny)!
every day is totally different. one great thing is that we seem to be getting better at the traveling part of this! it took about a month for us to get into a rhythm with that. we realized it’s best if i sit between the babies in the middle seat so i can feed them and entertain and also read to the kids the very back and such. donny just drives the car and gets a little quiet time up there that i think he enjoys not having me talk his ear off for 300 miles at a time, haha. also, we’ve been trying to not drive at night, that’s not good for any of our mental states. and we are being more intentional about getting out all the kids’ energy any time we stop the car. we’ve also learned that it is better to stay in a location for atleast a few days in a row so we can actually enjoy it a bit. the 24 hour stays are just brutal and just feels like a lot of work nonstop with no quality time and that is just a bummer.
we have stayed with some seriously amazing, beautiful people along the way. i really think that this is the part that is changing us the most. pulling up in a friend’s driveway after a long drive, hugging someone a real, genuine hug, seeing our children grow lifelong friendships, seeing a family live life together in the day to day honest stuff and we had never spent this much quality time living life together with people until now. folks we barely knew have now become irreplaceable to us. gracie and i were talking the other day and she told me that the only thing that she doesn’t like about having a house on wheels is that we have had to leave some of her best friends. it was so bittersweet to hear that! but so heart warming to know that the extended time she’s spent with these other families along the way has truly built relationships she now holds dear. we are going to get good at having pen pals, i have a feeling.
we’ve been visited from some exciting folks this last week. one was a film crew from yahoo! news filming a documentary on us! um, crazy nervous about that. we just hope that it shows the reality of who our family is in our raw state. so hard to know if that was accomplished on a difficult, long day of traveling being followed by a crew of 5 (producer, sound guys, camera guys, assistant, and also cameras suction cupped to our car and trailer – inside and out – for a full day and night) with cranky kids, no naps and extra camera anxiety on all of us! i almost threw up. that’s coming out this next week on their webpage, i will keep you updated(!!!). we also got a little visit from chris wiegand who is traveling the country in his airstream documenting the lives of bloggers for his own documentary called ‘american blogger’ coming out this fall. i adore his wife’s blog too. so honored to have be picked to be a part of both of these amazing, slice of life, beautiful films.
oh yeah, we did a full renovation to the inside of the trailer! the couch to bed combo thing just wasnt working for the three oldest kids. the idea was very lovely and worked great six months ago, before we had baby number four and before clementine turned into a wild sleeper and gracie grew a foot. so we moved our bed to the front instead for us and donny built custom bunk beds with a full play nook for the kids in the back. it’s amazing. i will do a full post on that soon. there are some peeks in the slideshow below.
i know there are a million other things i wanted to blog about and i will, soon. i just needed to get something out here on the blog to say “hey, we are still alive! and we are happy! and tired! and encouraged! and it’s still totally worth it!” i put together a slideshow of our summer so far on the road. it’s not fancy. most of these photos are just from my iphone (edited with the apps pictapgo or afterlight), some from instagram, others just not edited but i wanted to try and give you an idea about how things have unfolded these last six weeks. i’ve been taking tons and tons of pictures (and dreaming of the day i get to process all of them). excited to make big awesome photo books (looking forward to using artifact uprising) for the kids to do justice to this special season of our lives.
so here’s a few favorites from the big camera and then just below that is the slideshow!
music on video: kacey musgraves’ “home”. the lumineers “flowers in her hair”. alabama shakes “hold on”. music is keeping us sane on the road! ;)