Official

Today marks our 3rd week in Albuquerque….. and two weeks in our new home!

We had a blast in CA! As we headed from San Francisco to L.A. to visit family, we had such a beautiful ride. Time with family was priceless. Got lots of exhausting swimming in and plenty of pizza!  :-) And peacock feathers for the taking! What fun to see peacocks on the street like we would see squirrels in Chicago! We spent time checking out the ‘musts’…. according to offspring. One wanted to go to Diaso  Japan, another to Hollywood Blvd.. On the way out of town we also made a swing past a famous filming spot for Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Excitement was impalpable!

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As we headed south and eastward we decided we just must pass through San Bernadino to visit the site of the first ever McDonald’s. The older two and I had watched The Founder not long ago and wanted to swing by and see the spot and visit the free museum. It was super cool and the curator was eager to give us a very VERY interesting earful of the ‘real deal’ …. quite a fascinating experience all around!

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Having the gumption to make it as far as possible we over-nighted in Phoenix. Warm and cozy and closer to NM! I felt like it was getting to complicated finding a temp housing situation in Albuquerque via internet and phone so I made the executive decision to just get there, spend a weekend in a hotel, hit the ground running, find a place and move. Little did I know just what would transpire!

 

20170607_115444(0)We landed here June 7th in the evening. That gave me till the following Monday to find something. I spent that evening scheduling appointments and setting up a schedule for Thursday. We leave early Thursday morning to see a few places. As I’m seeking, looking and realizing I see that the better option would be to get a short term lease with a move-in special. After the first few stops we are thinking we have selected the place we want, but for save measure we opt to drive to other places listed on the vast checklist I’ve made. As we are cruising along I spot this place with flags and balloons waving, “move-in special!” I veer off the road to check it out. The place is awesome! Nice, neat, clean, 2 pools, 2 laundry rooms, a playground…. the view of Sandia’s is incredible! The units are perfect for what we are seeking, AND…. a 6 month lease and affordable to boot!

All this transpires to us having a new home!!!! We are officially New Mexicans (wanna be’s perhaps)…. But we have a semi-permanent residence here which will allow us to still do our fall travel, allows us to meet the homeschool community (which we’ve already had the pleasure to attend 2 park days, yeah!), and….. find a place where we will ultimately/permanently land when the 6 month lease is up!!! I still wake daily to the need to pinch myself as this place is just so freakin’ amazing! We are steps to the mountains and over see the whole town of Albuquerque. I have switched my license over, as well as driver account over so I was able to continue driving for Lyft here. It’s fun and amazing the kindness of people here. Everywhere I go I am beaming from how kind folks are. The landscape around me soothes my soul and the kindness of people makes my cup overflow.

We are planted here for the rest of the summer with many day trips all over this amazing state. Just the other day we did a complete route around the Sandia peeks and it was super duper fun and adventurous. We found a back road that was quite the back road…. we just laughed and joked the entire time at the situations we always encounter. At the massive peek we were able to look down and see all of the foot hills we’ve been hiking as well as our new home. We’ve had daily swimming in our pools, and the dry heat is just a sheer blessing. Nothing better. My daily Vit D doses the highest I’ve ever felt ’em and that makes me one happy mama.

K is gearing up to do the 48 Hour Film Festival here in Albuquerque in July!!! (With viewings the week to follow, early August.) Towards the end of the summer we head to another conference in Alabama. From there we will get a bit of travel in, head to Chicago and unload our storage unit and bring everything home…. our new home! Already planning for friends and family to come visit and our doors are open to YOU if you would like to visit Albuquerque as well!!! We will have a blast discovering new things together! Just let us know when you arrive and you have a place to stay!!!

xoxo, off to the pool!

 

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Nomads’ New Year

Happy New Year!

We had such an incredible 2016! It was truly fantastic for each and every one of us on this end. I realize I have been somewhat incognito for some time. Life has been…. busy…. to say the least. End of October we spent much time bouncing from place to place in and around Chicago. November 1st we ended up at my brother’s home. We had made the familial decision that it was best to sell this rig instead of invest in new tires (after the massive blow out), simply because this rig is just not big enough for us. Also, it became abundantly clear in our adventures that having a vehicle and wee bit more storage would be MUCH wiser for the sheer number of people and activities we have going on. So, we needed a place to park it for a few months, allowing us time to sell the RV and invest in a truck/vehicle plus a travel trailer. TT seems the much better route for us.

And…. it just so happened that my brother was in major need of some family support. Our family is quite distant (to say the very least). Last I spoke to my brother was years ago. But I heard from my dad that he was in a tough way. He was laid off, house nearing foreclosure, and mounds of debt if he did not swing things around right quick. House was kinda in shambles when we arrived, but we struck a deal that I’d help him get his house back in shape and help him rent out rooms to build up income to save his house. At the start, we lived in the RV in the driveway for quite some time. Needed to get the house in order before moving in. Eventually we moved into a large back room to the house that has backyard/private entrance. Kids have a fabulous yard, a fun fire pit, and super nice neighborhood and forest preserves to explore. Overall been a great stay.

I’ve helped him rent out some space in his home, he regained his job back (whew!) and he’s at the very very beginning stages of getting back on his feet. I’m working hard on selling our rig for it’s value, and getting the conference up and running! It’s only a few short 6-or-so weeks away! Wowza!

Our hope is to be situated by conference time so that start of March we may set back out once again. And so far, we seem to be on par with that plan! In the meantime, the kids are having fun catching up with Chicago friends and taking a few classes. D got back on the swim team for our period here, K has been working VERY hard on filming projects, and the littles will all start park district classes in the week or two ahead. AND!!!!!! A new puppy has been occupying much of ALL of our time. Meet Mansa. He’s a true sweet pup. 10 weeks old now, but was a xmas present to the kiddos. Super awesome addition to our family!

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So….. the new year had me thinking….

Well…. actually it was the FB posts I had been seeing ALLLLLLLL over the place suggesting that 2016 could go F-itself. I was kinda confused. But really….. the confusion just is mine and mine alone. Yeah, there were clearly some truly crazy wordly woes that happened this past year. Many celebrities died, we had probably one of the craziest presidential elections of all time…. Natural disasters and the like. It was rough on a wordly perspective. Ironically however, our family had one of the best yet. It was such a super-special year full of experiences and personal achievements.

February we hosted our first ever unschooling conference and it was a raging success. By May K had completed a full feature documentary about homeshcooling and hosted a movie premier. We participated in the UWG conference, traveled some more in the summer, including east-coast travels and participation in the Unschoolers Rock the Campground weekend. We furthered beautiful relationships with friends on a farm in Ohio and fell in love with them and their amazing slice of heaven. We explored ideas to move/relocate but then ultimately decided to pick up and hit the road full time on our nomadic adventures. Just before nomadic adventures commenced however, K participated in the 48 Hour Film Festival and won Audience Choice Award (amazeballs!!!!). A first-time trip to Rethinking Everything completely changed our lives for the better. The experience, the adventure, the people…. it nourished us in ways we did not even realize needed nourishing and fostered amazing connections with beings I LONG to see again super-duper soon. We purchased our first RV and had the most “amazing” adventures in the first rig. (And yes, I’m being sarcastic there!) But in all seriousness, I was meant to have that rig to teach me a plethora of things I could not have gathered from any other experiences. So I feel totally blessed to have had the time and experience in our first rig. We had the MOST AMAZING trip to AZ to participate in the Free to Be conference. We happened upon the International Balloon Fiesta in NM and man…. live felt completely altered from there. Upon return we rekindle family relations with my brother which has actually been super duper great. The kids did not know their uncle at all. And, we have been able to spend more getting things on track for the conference (which we are SO excited about due to all of the amazing speakers AND registered participants already!)!!

I’m sure I’m leaving some things out…. mainly due to me not recalling every detail but living in a state of bliss for all that has come our way this past year. It was a really amazing year, and because of this I am super stoked at what 2017 is bound to bring our way! It’s going to be a great one!

I’m closing out with some pics of our near-end-of-year adventures here. Some are likely repeated due to previous blog posts I’ve shared, I’m just thrilled to share them with you! Happy New Year!!!!

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Found It!

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It finally happened for us today! Miracles of all miracles! We have been searching high and low. In Chicago…. Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana….. back to Chicago again. We considered converting buses, drove a few and almost bought one and that fell through due to car dealer negligence (blessing in disguise). We looked at several more and then after seeing an RV we honed in on that as being right route for us. Then…. made an offer outside of our budget simply because I fell in love too quickly and then needed to renig cause going in debt was not what it was about. Since we were going to be on the road anyway figured it’s likely best to check out each state as we roam. Country farms and budgets more accessible seemed the way to go. Having failed appointments, seen the worst of the worst, RVs selling before we even made it to the schedule appointments….. and….. test driving an already converted diesel bus I was not quite sure I was willing to put my most precious beings in, we came back to Chicago empty handed but with one last appointment set for the time being. Figured if this last one were not ‘the’ one, then we had a slew more states to track one down in as we head to Ohio this week and then westward to Phoenix by end of September.

Alas! This was a great fit! The body is in incredible shape. The inside quite vintage and ready for our personalizing. It’s not huge-mongous like I was attempting to avoid, and yet sleeps us all. The mileage under 80K. Within budget so we are officially loan free and can work on rebuilding ourselves financially. The one and only clincher…. minimal storage so I’m about to get crazy-creative. The ultimate small-spacing living challenge is ON! I’m pumped at the challenge at hand and simply relieved this decision has been made in a manner that feels insanely fun, scary, exhilarating and AMAZING all at once!

After purchasing we made it to the DMV for title and plates with just 15 minutes to closing time. All went smoothly without a hitch. Incredible to have been on such an amazing journey and see it to materialize to this magnificent outcome!

We pick her up tomorrow, and say a bittersweet goodbye to our blue bus tomorrow in turn. We get the new-to-us RV cleaned up and ready for packing. Sunday is K’s movie premier and Tuesday our very last beach outing to celebrate C and M’s birthdays… and our departure.

Excitement buzzing all around. I tell ya, we have been so blessed by the immediate friends and community supporting our adventure…. I’m beaming with abundant gratitude for these amazing beings in our lives! We are truly blessed and lucky!

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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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