enjoying the process » loving the journey, not just the destination

Are We Crazy?

At the beginning of December 2102, James and I were pretty much at the end of our ropes. Exhausted, emotional, burned out, weary, drained, done. We needed to simplify.  Running our business (Northlake Land Surveying), training our 6 little ones, homeschooling: Cade was 10, Canyon 9, Kennedy 8, Keagan 4, Chloe 2 and Carson had just turned 1. Trying to keep our house in order, balancing our ever-growing schedules, maintaining all the “stuff” we possess (WAY TOO MUCH!!!), running payroll, trying to keep clients happy, keeping enough work for our employees…. Christmas was upon us with 2 birthdays in the month, losing our beloved assistant and trying to train a new one in less than 2 weeks time…..  I remember feeling so overwhelmed and burdened I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days (not really an option with 6 kids). I felt like I was drowning all the time- I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe most days. It was a pretty dark time. And it had been that way for a while.

We made it through Christmas but the beginning of the year just brought more of the same. Now it’s one thing when I’m feeling exhausted and depressed, but when my husband is feeling that way it’s scary for me..For all of our married life he has been the pillar of stability and a solid rock for me to cling to.  So he came to me in early January with a plan. He said he wanted to close the business for a YEAR, buy a motorhome and travel around the United States. I’m pretty sure my first response was a laugh. And then I realized he wasn’t laughing with me. Now, if you know my husband at all, you know he DOES what he SAYS. If he says he’s going to run a marathon, he does it. If he says he’s going to lose 20 pounds, he does it. So when he set his mind (and mine) to this adventure, there was no doubt that he would follow through.  And so.. he began to plan and save.

Our 1 year goal was too far away. We quickly realized we needed to get away sooner even if that meant we couldn’t stay away as long. So we changed our plans and now we’re leaving at the end of July. That’s right. July 31st- we pull away from our home for a FOUR MONTH journey across the USA. See? I’m not just a Hobbit (although I am a homebody), there’s a little bit of  TOOK in me : )

God has worked out all the details so perfectly…even giving us someone to stay in our home while we’re away and providing the perfect motorhome for our large family at just the right price.

Some of the things we’re most excited about:

-Spending time in God’s Creation- Praising Him for His Amazing Beauty (actually having the time to notice and enjoy)

-Spending more time with our kids – not just managing them, but really enjoying and discipling them, training them up (probably the main reason James wanted to do this trip)

-Visiting Family in Washington and Ohio- we cannot wait to see you all!!

-Visiting friends along the way

Who knows? Maybe we’ll love it so much, we’ll sell all our belongings and live on the road permanently?

This quote made me sob  “Beginnings are sometimes scary, the endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that really counts”  Taken from Joy Prouty’s blog (she is on the same type of adventure we are- only MORE daring!)

And these quotes from Anna Quindlen are hanging all over my house and inside my scrapbooks. I carry them with me to remind me..

“Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live…to love the journey, not the destination.”

(speaking of her children)..“but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

I’m crying again. That last quote by Anna Quindlen gets me every. single. time.

July 22, 2013 - 7:37 am

Julie Long - What a beautiful story! I admire the two of you so much and am so excited for you! Can’t wait to hear/see your story and trip unfold. 🙂

July 22, 2013 - 7:54 am

Carol - So, so, so excited for you! I love that you are willing to take the risk and invest in your family like that. Oh the memories you will make!!!

July 22, 2013 - 9:38 am

Carolyn - May each day be filled with unearthing treasures in God’s creation, God’s character, each other and yourself. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more reports.

July 23, 2013 - 6:16 am

Abby - Love the RV. We are so excited for you to come. We will pray for continued safety on your trip.

July 23, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Bethany - This will be such an amazing adventure! Praying your time away is refreshing for you and James! Looking forward to seeing pics along the way! Safe travels!

July 25, 2013 - 9:33 am

Tiffany - What a wonderful way to regroup and refocus. I love that you and James are such a team. Praise God for that and for the insight to take a much needed break. If you’re ever close by, we would love to see you. You inspired me long ago with the remodel of our home. XOXO

July 25, 2013 - 10:44 am

Stacey - You guys continue to be the hugest examples to me- even from three states away! Can’t wait to see you guys!!

Keagan’s 5th Birthday Party

So…we had Keagan’s birthday party a little late this year. You see, I only give birthday parties for ages 1, 5, 10 and… some teen year yet to be decided. So Canyon & Keagan both had a milestone this year, but Canyon broke his thumb and we had to push his party back to March, which meant Keagan’s party got pushed into May. It’s all party of large family logistics and the fact that birthday parties are a lot of work. A labor of love, I like to call it.

Mother’s Day 2013

I didn’t get my annual Mother’s Day photo in bed with all my kids because we weren’t home. We were in Santa Barbara this year.  I think I’ll need to re-create it though because it’s kind of tradition.  James took us all to Santa Barbara for a few days to relax (well, as much as you can with 6 kids) and to PLAY at the beach. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend…

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