Saturday, March 12, 2022


Well hello there!  

Yes it really is me, and yes, it has been a very very long time since I've last written.  

There's no specific reason why I've been gone so long, other than life was just so super busy for us the last few years.  Our little family went through big life changes, and the interest in this little blog of mine seemed to diminish after we moved back to the States.  So over time, I guess my blog fell to the bottom of my priority list and I didn't even notice until now.  
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.  

When Eric and I were walking around Maryland's Eastern Shore over the weekend of our daughter's 19th birthday, we talked a LOT about how different traveling looks for us now, and how different our perspectives are at this stage of life.  We high-fived at all that we've accomplished (and endured), and cheers'ed at the spectacular human we raised.  We wondered what's ahead and I marveled at how life unfolded for me and the teeny tiny baby I birthed 19 years before.  And that's when Eric mentioned that he missed my blog and hoped I'd consider starting it back up again.  

I didn't take his comment seriously at first.  I might have even laughed at him.  But a couple of glasses of wine later, I started to feel like I wanted to write again.  For him, and even if it's just this once.

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.

"You'll know him when you see him by the way he looks at me..." -Gabby Barrett

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.

Then, Isabelle graduated!  TWICE!  First she graduated with her associates degree from El Paso Community College, then three weeks later she graduated from high school!  If we've had even a smidge of a conversation in the last year, you already know because I was sure to brag about that child in the first 2 seconds.  And if we haven't, but might at any time in the next few decades, this is your heads up... I am absolutely going to tell you how amazing our girl is (wordy or not, it's happening).  Isabelle completed six years of school in only four and that combined with Eric's deployment and Company Command, and my spending time at the Rescue Mission of El Paso, is why life was too busy to blog.  But also, have I mentioned how much we hated the desert?  

July 2019

September 2020

May 2021

God, we hated the desert!  Eric and I are now together in Virginia and Isabelle is in college across the country.  She's adjusted to dorm life and is busy pursuing her BSN (or Health Sciences, depending on a Statistics class that's causing her some stress).  That means we're now empty nesters!  It took some adjusting, but our spirits are at ease knowing that Isabelle is joyfully figuring out life on her own terms and seems to be doing a good job of it, which has made it easy for Eric and I to joyfully figure out our lives on our own terms too.  

Actually guys, that figuring out thingy wasn't easy for me.  Joyful, but not easy.  Not having my baby at home anymore forced me to evaluate my life and how I wanted to spend my energy.  But not having my baby at home and being in a new State and without the things I had focused on for so long... y'all, it put me into a slump.  My life slowed down too quickly and drastically, and up until then I had never thought about what I would do next.  For the first time in my entire life I didn't know what to do.  I didn't even know what I wanted to do.  All I knew for certain was that I did NOT want to go back into a dental office - the place I spent alllll of my twenties sacrificing so so soooo much to become apart of.  That realization made me slump even more.  If I wasn't a mother anymore, what was I?  If I'm not a Dental Hygienist, what am I?  I worried that my talents were useless outside of a dental office, which then my brain twisted into my being useless entirely.  

Eric was super reassuring during this moment of life, but there's only so much the guy can do.

Until one day I came across a job fair on Facebook and knew that it was perfect me.  I went to it.  I didn't even think twice about it.  I handed them my very dental-specific resume and interviewed that day.  I left feeling.... clearer... not so slumpy.  If this didn't work out I left knowing which direction to finally move towards (which was a really pivotal moment in my life at the time).  About a week later I got the call that I was hired!  I was now a "Autism Paraprofessional" at a local elementary school!  And just like that... life fell into place again.

Our traveling slowed some but never stopped.  We went on a post-deployment Caribbean cruise, spent our 10th wedding anniversary in a teepee in Big Bend National Park.  Isabelle and I drove 16 hours over 2 separate days to get vaccinated against COVID, and Eric and I hiked part way down the Grand Canyon.  I was able to take a trip to move Isabelle into her dorm, and Eric and I spent a brutally hot weekend in D.C.  We celebrated our 12th anniversary at the resort where Dirty Dancing was filmed, then ended the year all three of us together again at Disney World in Florida.  And we've taken every opportunity to explore the east coast, most recently my birthday weekend in Norfolk, Virginia!

Farmville, VA - November 2020

The Grand Canyon - May 2021

Washington D.C 2021

Fredericksburg, VA - 2021

Christmas 2021

Norfolk, VA - March 2022

But maybe the most exciting thing we've done since I last "talked" to y'all was... we bought and then moved into.... an RV!!  

Eric and I had our hearts set on a life of travel from the minute we took our very first trip together.  A year into dating we went to the Sturgis Bike Rally (2007) in my dad's little Class C where we camped in the Badlands and fell in love with the freedom and excitement of travel. We paid no mind to the fact that we were in our home state, we were experiencing new things.  A year after that we took my dad's Class C again to Colorado for our friends' wedding and that entire experience sealed the deal on our desire to travel.   But after living in Europe our dream evolved even further and we decided that we wanted to fully live a life of travel.  For us that meant.... RV LIFE!  

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

We officially moved in last winter during the coldest, wettest, and muddiest week ever.  For delivery day I had to make a second 1,900 mile road trip from Texas to Virginia (and back again) with 1,000lbs of our things all by myself.  I managed it safely in 2.5 days and I would like to think that's a testament to my driving skills, but it was a long couple of days and I will NEVER drive through Atlanta, GA ever again!  Never never ever again.

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.)

It's been 9 months since I moved to Virginia to be with my husband again and all of those changes were happening at the same time.  Life now is... good, so very very good.  I've done all of the adjusting I hope to do for the rest of the year and have settled comfortably out here on the east coast.  I can see myself working in the realm that I'm in for the foreseeable future and it's comforting.  Our next PCS isn't for another year so we aren't thinking about it yet and are just living in the moment.  

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.  


  1. I read your blog. I have found myself coming back here and there to see if you have posted anything new. I was really excited to see a new post today. We too RV fulltime with our three kids. I hope you continue to blog. I have always enjoyed reading about your adventures, life, struggles, and accomplishments. May God bless you as you step into your new empty nester life!

    1. Thank you SO much for reading! I can't tell you how much this means to me! God bless you as well!

  2. yay! a new post! so exciting to read!