Well hello there!
Yes it really is me, and yes, it has been a very very long time since I've last written.
We never stopped traveling, though! But life being as busy as it was and us unhappy in the desert, I just didn't care to put any of our trips into words. That chapter has ended, thankfully, but then we became empty nesters, moved across the country, started new jobs, and all of that took a lot of adjusting and my blog stayed where it was in the jumble that is my life and priorities. Every once in a while I wondered if I still felt like blogging, but then I'd shrug off the thought when I reminded myself that no one was reading it anyway.
But this one, I'm writing this one for my husband.
So here I am! For him. If no one else reads this, he will. I dedicate this post to Eric; my guy, my lover, my best buddy, my life partner and soulmate. To the man that magnifies my light and reminded me that the brilliance of it is not defined by who does or doesn't see it.
So now I'm like... where do I start?? My little family went through a few life changes so maybe that's as good a place as any to start.
Y'all, I'm rusty... bear with me.
Eric, Isabelle, and I made it through a deployment, and then a year or so later, Eric relinquished Command after 24 months in a single Command. Three days after that he moved to Virginia and that started more than 9 months of us living in two separate states. I explained why we decided to live that way in my last blog post so I'll spare you a whole 'nother wordy thing about it (someone told me once that I'm "wordy" and I'm still salty about it). I was awarded the Commission of the Yellow Rose of Texas by the Governor of Texas for volunteering more than 200 hours with El Paso's homeless community. I'm embarrassed to even mention it, I'm not trying to brag, but volunteering was a big part of my life while living there and I spent three years focusing wholeheartedly on those incredible souls.
And once we set our hearts on something, we don't look back. So, with both of our hearts and all of our eyes and all of our feet, we belly flopped into our newest chapter of life! Getting to this point wasn't quick, but we focused wholeheartedly and paid off our student loans & vehicle loans and saved every penny we had in between with the intent of buying and living in an RV after Isabelle graduated. As Isabelle made her way through high school we downsized little by little and were very mindful of the things we bought - if it couldn't or wouldn't be useful in an RV, we didn't buy it. It was a process, and took a few years to do, but we knew that with each step we took it would eventually take us to the life we wanted.
And at the very end of 2020 those steps took us right to a 2021 Alpine 3712KB! MEET, JOYFUL!
We purchased her from General RV in Ashland, Virginia (a terrible experience; do NOT recommend) and had her delivered a few months later. She's a big rig! At 42 feet long she's a big girl! But for full-time living she is just PERFECT. Our favorite part about her is the pantry in the kitchen. *see above
Eric and I spent the last few years researching how to live in an RV and the things essential to do so, so we felt pretty prepared when Joyful was delivered. But even still there was an initial adjustment... that took all of 2021 to do. Eric endured a massive ice storm that knocked out power to 98% of the county just two weeks after moving in, forcing him to seek refuge at his generous former landlord, and forcing us to purchase a costly generator. That summer we moved to a different spot in the same camp ground that gave us more room and more privacy. We've experienced our fair share of headaches and frustrations, and woke up more times than we can count to frozen water pipes, but through it all, we're living our dream! (Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that because frozen anything in an RV will make you want to throw in the towel on it all.)
I know that I'm going to blink and it'll be that time again where the Army moves us somewhere new and we'll adjust to different changes all over again, but for now we're happy right where we're at. But just in case I blink and I've forgotten about this little blog of mine in the jumble that is my life and priorities, know that my husband will be pulling for it.