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.Β 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰

 

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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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Prep

Today is day #3, let’s say, of prep. Hard to say as this decision has been a long time coming, but it’s been 3 days since the official decision to not renew our lease has come to fruition. Since I have been scouring the internet for income for virtual income opportunities to expand my business, and have been seeking out mini buses and RV’s to check out.

NB_ins

SBJ has been in touch with the Wheeling CVS a few times this week. A meeting with the district manager that was set for mid week ended up canceled, but there are emails circulating and things still appear to be promising. Awaiting news on our potential living space and what the availability may be….. but since all is up in the air and awaiting its correct placement/alignment in our lives, I spend today purging. That, at the very least, is something I can do and feel accomplished with. I can prepare things to toss and sell in a garage sale. I can package books to take to Half Priced Books to sell and I can donate clothes not needed. I am feeling like clearing the path, such as not renewing the lease, and purging the ‘stuff’ that clutters our lives contributes greatly to what needs to align for our future path. And each time I settle more deeply with this notion, I feel more comfortable with the unknown.

We are raised in a society where security comes in the form of a roof over our heads, money in the bank, jobs to collect such money, and food on the table. ALL of which we are throwing air to the wind and seeing where it may land. Having faith in the unknown that lies ahead can be scary has hell when you are responsible for five of the most precious beings on this earth. And, in that very same breath, it is exciting and exhilarating to trust so deeply that the universe will transpire to exactly what needs to happen for your happiness, health, love and well-being. This journey I embark on is a *massive* transformation of self. The type of trepidation I feel is a feeling I have not felt since I was a kid taking on new life-challenges. And with each baby step closer we delve, I’m over-the-moon at the fact that my children are experiencing such at such a young age. These trust, evolution, and adventure-making-moments will only inspire transformative futures for each and every one of them. This will reflect in their future life decisions, and hopefully…. a profound initiative to see each and every moment and opportunity.

Whatever the case and whatever may transpire, character building is never a negative thing. I am honored to be on this journey with the most amazing people in my life and look forward to seeing what transpires!

 

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It’s Final

Woke up this morning with a sense of peace about a MAJOR family decision.

We have just returned home from a magical month long adventure eastward. (I will post pics and adventure details soon!) While on the road we visited friends who live on a farm in SE Ohio. It just so happened there is a rental property on that farm that potentially we could rent in the very near future. We fell in love with the area, but more importantly the people of the community. During the trip we began investigating the potential move. It’s been the most serious we’ve been about moving with a pending lease renewal in a long time. Each year our lease has come up for renewal, let’s say in the last 5-6 years, we have a family discussion about it. We may even go as far as investigate potential move-to areas, but ultimately, we have stayed put. The cost of a move, the decision to move, the process….. just about everything about it has prompted us to extend our lease for “just one more year.”

This spring we asked for a short-term summer lease so we could figure out what we’d like to do. It feels like it’s really time but we just did not know when and where. Phoenix has always been high on the list, but we know absolutely no one there, it would be a vast difference, and let’s face it…. interviewing for jobs out of state is just pretty much impossible. And so moving would mean moving with a little moola to rely on, and that’s just never really been in the bank for us in the process.

So, coming up at the end of this month, our lease is over once more. We have the option of extending til spring of 2017. This last journey is one of many 4-6 week long journeys I have done with the kids. Each time I am on the road with the kids we fall in love with the adventure, journey, experiences and do not want it to end. I read about fulltimers through FB and blogs over and over with deep envy thinking ‘one day’….. but one day does not seem to be coming.

While we investigated this potential move SBJ was able to check out local employment opportunities and some things look promising. The hitch is that the rental home needs a great deal of work. Much of which does not appear to be able to be done by September 1st. So we are looking at least some sort of gap in housing. There are temporary housing options we could consider, but frankly I’m weary of moving a family of 7 just to have to move again in a short bit of time. While we await word on what may transpire on that end, we venture home and settle back into the typical (or not so typical) routine.

We’ve been gone a month. This is not the first time we’ve done these long adventures, as I mentioned before. This trip however was perhaps the last nudge needed to bring us over the cusp?! Driving back to Chicago I felt a growing sense of a deep dark lull I wanted to kick to the wayside but finding extremely challenging to do so. Instantly we returned, unpacked and showered, I was on the computer investigating ways that we just take off in 4 weeks. Just four short weeks, sell and store all we own and hit the road full time till things pan out as they may be intended!?!?! Sounds nutzo, eh?

BUT as I diligently look into vehicles we co-habit the idea feels more and more feasible! All I need to do is secure a vehicle larger than our van, and get rid of all of our SH#@! No biggie. Clear out and make way! I can do this! With no rent looming over our heads, this IS a feasible feat. (Of course is scares the you-know-what out of me!!!) But it IS feasible!

I lay down to rest last night and woke up with the massive rush of “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” We CAN do this. This will work out. I simply need to tell our rental company “no” we are not renewing and ALL will fall right into place as it should. To hold onto the lease out of fear is what will hold us back from moving forward. So, we…… after 12 years of living here….. are *not* going to renew our lease. We are saying no to the tie, and YES to the adventure!

Whew.

Now I gotta start purging!

 

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Zoo

Today my big kids wanted to go off and be the big kids that they are so I took advantage of the time and took my littles to the zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo is a great location for a summer afternoon. We started at the farm this time around because we always seem to start near the conservatory and not make it to the second half of the zoo. This time we started that end and worked our way back to the Pritzker Family or Kids Zoo….. by that point they are pooped and can’t go on any longer. We had the most yummy ultimate nachos for our snack at the little cafe area, and after hearing the wolves howl in tune to the passing city fire engines (only in Chicago!), we headed over to the park to get a last run-around before climbing back into the blue bus and heading back to pick up the big kids. It was a pretty sweet day….. aside from my sweet M whining every second for food. Once those nachos hit her belly she as back to her usual self! πŸ˜‰ I know you call can relate to those moments when you’re wee-one is whining up a storm and your thinking, “why on earth didn’t I just stay home?” And then your mommy senses kick in and you realize…. feed that stinkin’ belly! Wowza! Now why didn’t I just think of that before all this? πŸ˜‰ Yeah, then you learn your lesson (for the millionth time) and enjoy the rest of the day in bliss. Happens to all of us! Been there…. done that!

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Rainy Day

Rainy dayToday was one of those days…. the weathermen predict we will all be blown away by gastly winds, or hail balls will knock us to the ground flat, and yet it barely drizzles much before 8pm. With the intent of a rainy day in store, the family plan was to have a day at home anyway. Not too much a disappointment when we can finally get to attack projects we’ve been leaving on to-do lists. While I tackled the to-do’s one by one, I’m greeted with this smilely face. Her brother S built her a beautiful dress out of these Knex type deallies. Quite impressive if you ask me! These toys hardly get touched most days and then he whips out this amazing dress!? Very cool. Times like this when you realize just how awesome our radically unschooling life is.

 

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