Helluva

Yep, that about sums it up!
Helluva day, weekend, week…. you name it. Not in a negative way, thank goodness. But in a “whoa did that just happen?” kinda way.

So…. I think I left off at what all we had been looking at in terms of move-to vehicles. Truthfully, after seeing and driving like the 5th rickety old bus…. and just ONE RV… it was abundantly clear that we need to hone our search. We had a little pow-wow and agreed that the bus was not necessarily our route because we ( me namely) would not like the adventure (the new lifestyle) to be about the bus as a project, but the travel and exposure to the world around us. I was drawn to the class C with the sleeping loft above the drivers cab. This offered enough sleep space for everyone, was small enough for me to maneuver and perfect for the task at hand.

As the weeks wore on however, I was getting a little stressed trying to (a) hone in on one specific/suitable/affordable vehicle and (b) get our twelve year home packed up and move us out by the end of the month. As K’s 48 Hour Film Festival project approached it became even more apparent that I needed to nix the vehicle search for the present moment and get us packed and moved. So two weeks ago, that’s the direction in which we moved.

 

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August 26th through the 28th K participated in the Chicago area 48 Hour Film Festival. Last year’s participation was on a team with others guiding the way, and with that experience at hand, he wanted to lead his own team this year. He signed up under his business name, Saikouba Entertainment, and rallied some friends to help with writing, acting and filming. It was quite a whirlwind of a weekend with everything  that came into play but overall a super amazing experience. He learned a great deal both from the successes and the mistakes and is already gearing up for next year’s festival (not to mention several other festivals he may participate in throughout the year before then). I’m extremely proud of the efforts he put forth and all that he carried away from the weekend. It was a seriously intense project and from what we found out from the first night…. he is the youngest director to enter this festival. Huge kudos to K and team! We look forward to the movie premier this coming weekend back in Chicago!

From the close of that weekend we had the rest of the house to pack up, purge, move, freecycle, sell, store…. you name it. The 72 hours before we locked the door behind us is truly kind of a blur 😉 . I recall lots of phone calls, texts, emails, FB posts, people stopping by. I frankly to remember what was thrown to the curb and what was taken away. All I know is that 5 x 11 storage space is truly packed to the BRIM! Not an inch to move. Had we had our RV (or alternate vehicle) in hand before leaving, we would not have packed likely so much into the storage unit. There is lots crammed in there awaiting a second and third round of purging as we move into the new RV. So that will be a whole other experience to endure. Bracing myself.

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Our last night was bitter sweet. All of our beds had been moved out but one. Rock star C kept me company as we packed up the last of the last. And we all camped on the living room floor on a pile of blankets and pillows. The final day we had three more trips to the storage, packed up, slipped the key under the door and we were OFF!

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We did not find and RV or similar before leaving town. But alas it was time to go. End of month, end of lease, and conference pending. We were venturing off to the Rethinking Everything gathering which we are still truly reeling from. It was such a remarkable time being among this significantly profound group of people. It was right where we needed to be at that very moment in time. So much ahead to still face and settle, and at this very moment in time we could be among the kindest, gentlest, most supportive and abundantly grateful group of people we could have ever met. It was remarkable.

Leaving there Monday we headed to Chattanooga where we were going to look at an RV. I figured, once I got over my stress of the immediate need (or the original thinking that it was an immediate need), it would likely be best to check out RV listings on Craigslist all the way down and back from AL. After all, we were going through several states, many of which would likely have plenty of listings at a price range we could afford! Thus the Chattanooga stop. It was the perfect size RV but it was in really rough shape. Onward…. to a wee bit of bummer. We were hauling to Louisville to see another and just an hour before arrival we get a text that one had sold already.

We stop for dinner, set up two more appointments and think we should just haul but to Cincinnati that way we were right there to see the next two. Welp….. about an hour out from Cincinnati a text….. it’s sold already.

Ergh. Well, at the very least we got to enjoy a very nice hike through Mammoth Cave, and a super cheap pizza buffet. We decide to stay in OH anyway cause we need to see one more in OH tomorrow, and then hopefully, one in Indianapolis. Also, a quick peek online tonight and I revealed there were two more super great listings in the Chicago area! So there are options ahead! We are eager and abundant! Looking forward to finding *the* one so we can begin to feel more settled in this process. The hotel living and eating out WAY too much is getting old. It’s bringing about mama grouchy at that moment, and that means everyone is feeling it. Realizing it has me revamping myself…. but it is going to be SO amazing to finally have something picket out! To get the storage unit purged, *and* to feel we finally have a ‘home’ to settle into! Keep your fingers crossed that we may fall in love with *the* perfect one before pulling back into Chicago!

-xo

 

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Seeking our angel

I slept a whooping 11 hours last night. I needed it, apparently…. big time.

It’s been a long haul the last few weeks. Purging, cleaning, selling, packing, job hunting, travel planning, and….. dealing with 12 years of life here, with six other individuals; some of who are meeting the departure (from this home, not for travel) with a bit of apprehension. To be expected though. It has been a home base for twelve years. Many ups and downs in this home, but primarily…. supreme awesomeness. Bittersweet that the end was met with such a toxic blow as a homicide was discovered in our storage locker. The murder in the building has taken an immense emotional toll on each of us in our own right. A few kids feel this adventure and departure a blessing. A few see it as a mixed blessing. They are eager for the adventure ahead, but they are met with the sadness of this not being home any longer…. and in the same breath, *all* are relieved this will no longer be home. A murder in your home is something so immensely powerful it truly feels an unanswered question as to whether we would ever be able to get passed it and move on. One thing remains certain though… we would not be the people we were intended to be if we stayed, lived through it, and came out the other side the bitter, cynical people I am already seeing us veering towards. So undoubtedly this is a timely departure.

With all of that on my plate, sleeping over 11 hours last night, and having a $#it ton on my to-do list today, I remained kind of paralyzed throughout the day. We need to make a storage run tomorrow. I have a ton more to sell off or we are immensely screwed with not having enough storage space (as I intend for all furniture and sellable stuff to be gone), AND we have tons we were planning to move into a new vehicle that we do not have at the moment…. and may not have till after the first trip or two.

With all of that more thought out, it becomes abundantly apparent that we need a bus or RV immediately. We looked at a bus yesterday and the majority of us like it. It would definitely be a work-in-progress…. unschooling 101 kind of project. But the fun of it all is that we could make it the way we’d like to have it. There are not too many RVs in our remote price range on Craigslist right now. That (the RV route) would be kind of nice too because it would be all set and “all set” is appealing after the last month of ‘getting ready’ for this life change.

Point boils down to we are seeking our angel. There is a person out there that realizes a small personal loan to purchase the vehicle of need will change our lives forever. We are not seeking donation. We are seeking the assistance to be able to handle this big move, with full intent to pay back in full. Without a car loan or rent, utilities, etc. hanging over our heads, we are able to invest fully in repaying our angel.

I have full faith there is someone out there who has it in their heart to assist us. This magical time in our lives is meant  to be with all that we have been through. Abundantly grateful!

 

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Metro

metro

 

 

We are now the proud new tenants of a 5 x 11 x 8 storage unit. This family of seven will be cramming in 14 years of life with kids into this little closet space. Think we can do it!?!? 😉

No furniture, just the essentials. Just the “I just can’t bare to get rid of this” type things. I think we are doing an amazing job of widdeling it all down to next-to-nothing! But the hour glass is dropping! Quickly! Very little time left to accomplish the amazing!

 

 

 

 

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Lemons

lemonToday was a lemon kinda day……

We’ve been on such a high lately it felt like kinda a brief blow. But the most amazing thing came from ‘the blow’ and that was an immediate high!!! Nothin’ is stopping this bucket-list-dream-of-how-life is-supposed-to-be manifest stand in our way.

So…. first off let me be perfectly frank and say we are doing this with literally nothing. We are purging all earthly possessions, both giveaway or selling, and simply dumping. One of the biggest motivations is learning how important life is and not the actual *stuff* in it. That said, my kiddos already have a pretty good grip of this life-fulfilling notion, but even for myself who ‘knows’ it, it’s always good to ‘practice’ it. Let’s face it, sometimes it is far easier said than done. And to practice in life verses in theory is a whole new ballgame… brings on new meanings.

At any rate, another motivation is to expose ourselves to the world around us. We have traveled quite a bit with the kids already but at a pace that was more or less on a timely schedule. Often we could move at our pace, but there were plenty of times we just needed to measure up to someone else’s schedules and/or expectations. So this adventure will take on a whole new beast of it’s own. And for that I am eager and grateful. It feels much more how life is intended (and needing) to be for our troop.

And then, there is the financial factor. We expect that living frugally with little-to-nothing and very little expenses will end up saving money and building us back up to where we prefer/desire to be. We have had a super rough financial go of things since 2010 when SBJ was laid off. We never seemed to fully recover living off of nothing and it seems like this plan will pick us back up again and set us right. This is a very exciting prospect for us as parents who long to provide the best, but also to set up a better future so that SBJ is not working to his grave!

All that said, we had a plan. We are starting this adventure with nothing…. in all sense of the word….. nothing. The plan was to take what little we made from selling all earthly possessions, the sale and pay-off of the van, and then turn around and find an RV suitable enough to take our family on a journey. If a small loan was needed it would not be for much and would not take long to pay off because we would have no overhead bills to deal with, with SBJ’s still full time income.

As it all transpired it seemed we would need a small loan just to tied us over. We could afford something outright by October, or we could aim for the loan now and see what happened.

This morning I woke up to what seemed like a very positive response (via email at least). To be perfectly frank, our credit history is not one lenders will fall in love with, so I was a bit skeptical, but still hopeful. But as I opened my email and began to read other news…. like several things listed on Ebay had not sold and were being relisted…. The person who intended to come pick up an item from a FB garage sale site was no longer coming…. Ebay (and/or PayPal) were holding funds pending from sales I have already completed because I am a new seller and they deem 21 days sufficient time for me to “think about how to be a #1 seller”… or something like that. It was beach day, we needed to pack a few things to ready for our new storage locker tomorrow, and packing over beach did not seem like happy thoughts to me. Not to mention…. there was literally *no* food in the house for breakfast cause…. well…. cause I have just not realized that groceries may possibly be essential this week.

Yea. Whelp. You guessed it…. the bank denied the small loan. I was bummed…. but shockingly I did not (even in the slightest) take it as personally as I typically take things 😉 I was actually a-okay with it. Cause…. well…. when I pondered the game plan a bit more…. there was no reason not afford something very shortly, on our own, without a loan. Come October we could have a very nice selection and take off in style. And since we need to come back to Chicago twice between now and then, then we are not in any way not able to do it in the vehicle we have at this moment! We take our two week vacation to Portland. Then after a week back here, we take another two week vacation to Phoenix. Upon return, we can scour for the RV we deem our dream, and set forth from there!

In fact…. i’m taking that lemon and making even MORE lemonade, because this just leaves one less thing on my plate between now and the end of the month! I can now concentrate purging and moving. Selling and selling. I pocket away and forget about it. It’s a secret stash for our RV. And…. it’s certainly not to say that we aren’t still peeking around 😉 I have an appointment to look at something tomorrow even! I just feel far less pressured about it. We are getting a sense for what we want to move into more permanently by scoping things out. So these little vacations before the ‘full timing’ begins is a real treat! OH…. and the freedom we will have to be widdled aaaallllllllllll the way down to just a few storage boxes!

Excitement continues to mount and I intend to enjoy that lemonade! 😉

 

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Serious

Times a getting pretty serious over here…. in the “wowza-this-is-getting-really-real” kind of way. Packing, purging, selling, moving shuffling. Working. Hauling. Dumping.

This week lead to a bit of chill time with tons of pack and purge time. I received a call from Ohio by which it lead us to feel that the potential move would be stalled quite a bit. At this moment in time we are simply considering ourselves full time nomads. We await word from the potential job in OH for SBJ, as without that… well…. Ohio is kind of a pipe dream. If he gets the job, it’s likely he’d reside with friends for a bit till kids and I figure out a temporary housing situation as the house we’d LOVE to move into is still in stall-position. No firm decisions made about whether they desire remodeling vs a full tear-down. Once word of the job comes through we know where to go from there.

At this point, kids and I are heading into this VAST upheaval as we are converting ourselves to full time nomads. We are thoroughly excited about what’s to come, but also truly *thick* into the changes happening right here. We are packing up and purging a 12 year life in this home. Three children born here. D practically born here as she was just 3 months old when we moved in. We’ve been through tons of changes here… physically, emotionally, spiritually…. you name it, it’s happened. So to envision the ‘never return’ is pretty intense. Each time we come back from somewhere it runs through my thoughts yet again, “what it will be like when we don’t return home to this home.”

That said, there are no really physical attachments to this. It’s all memories that we carry with us. Through family stories, pictures, movies, etc. We have been marveling at many of these very memoirs as we pack and purge. Family movies often playing saying “remember when… ?”

Bittersweet! Adventures ahead though are looming nearer and nearer and the excitement is huge. I’m eager for the amazing possibilities that lay before myself and my children.

Tomorrow we host a massive garage sale. We managed through 2 more rooms of the house including kitchen and bathroom so we have tons to head to the curbside tomorrow. From there, we also have tons listed on Ebay, and online Garage Sale sites…. Craigslist and the like. Trying to keep it all straight is a bit of a whirlwind up there. But so far so good. The purge is an *amazing* feeling. The weight lifted as the house become emptier and emptier. I can’t explain the completely weightlessness I am starting to feel as these “things” depart from our lives. It’s an amazing, freeing experience.

That’s all at this moment. For sure will keep you posted on the newest transitions as they transpire!

 

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American Dream

The question posed on Facebook: How did the “American dream” play a role in your decision to worldschool?

And I really got into reading the responses. Made me contemplate deeper how and why we are choosing this path:

When I ponder this question I reflect on all of my life choices to date and how I’ve had to break free from the mold to be able to follow what my heart deemed the best life path for me. When I wanted natural childbirth, to breastfeed, co-sleep, attachment parenting, and (gasp) radically unschool!!! None of these decisions came lightly. None came without the total internal struggle of “this is not what is deemed ok”…. “this is not what folks do”….. “what criticism will I have to endure”….. “let me just hide this decision for awhile” …. etc. Each new choice has built me a stronger person though! Come to think of it…. same came when I wanted to spend a couple years in the Peace Corps as well. My immediate family and community thought me insane to spend years away from “home” in a foreign land. So it was not just the start of parenting…. but I digress from my point here. Just as folks speak of deschooling ourselves becomes essentially with many of these parenting choices, “desocialization” (like that one? :) ) becomes necessary for many who may be looking to step outside of that “american dream” idea, especially when those around them feel they have completely lost their marbles. The American dream philosophy perhaps often keeps folks from seeking out true dreams and passions, and it’s this false idea of what creates happiness that often leads people to their graves miserable, unhappy, empty, feeling completely unachieved. I’m sure I could ramble on, but if I were to answer for myself on a personal level, it is that the false idea of this “American dream” has forced me to accept the ‘challenge’…. I accept the challenge that myself and family can be perfectly (and beyond) happy without brick and mortar and droll-dum of a day, schedule, routine…. and that the world truly is our oyster and being a part of that is what creates true happiness. Home I where you lay your head with loved ones…. not where you go into debt trying to pay for the roof. And it’s not the say that this challenge is not accepted with trepidation!! Oh boy…. each day you reconsider, rethink, and move on. And with each day you become more free!! Freedom physically is beautiful…. freedom internally is like winning the lotto!

 

 

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