Living in an RV with toddlers

What is life like in an RV with toddlers?  Not really a whole lot different from life in a house with toddlers.

You still have no sense of privacy or alone time.  All of my bathroom breaks are accompanied with at least one child at my feet or sticking his fingers or toys under the door.  I can’t cook dinner without someone being underfoot and stuff it getting knocked off the counter.  Life with toddlers is messy.  A beautiful mess.  RV, house, apartment – they don’t care.  At the end of the night if your toddler/baby is safe, fed, and clean they are happy; their needs are being met.  They are adaptable to the environments you put them in.  They watch for cues from -YOU- about how to act.  My kids don’t know that living in an RV is different or may be viewed as ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ by some.  Corbin will gladly tell anybody that will listen about how awesome his loft is or how he has the most amazing pile of dirt right outside his front door to play in with his tractors.  He is proud of who he is and where he lives.  Bubba?  That boy is happy in every situation and does not know a stranger.  He is still so young that he does not even remember days before the RV life.  Living in an RV has really helped to teach me about what is important to my kids.  I have learned that from the abundant amount of toys we still have they only care about a handful of them.  I have learned that they love quality time spent with them more than anything – whether it is going on a bike ride together or just watching them play in the dirt – they love my presence.

How did I prepare for the change?

I really didn’t.  I don’t know if this is something you can prepare for.  It is just something you have to do and learn along the way.  And you have to pray.  A lot.  Of course we talked to our kids as we were packing up the house and explained to them what we were doing and why.  I don’t know exactly what their little minds processed, but they did not seem to traumatized or phased by the move.  We let them both help ‘pack’ and feel like a part of the change.  I tried to keep as much normal for them as possible.  I kept their same bedding from home.  We brought all 3784327 of our stuffed animal friends (because they hit high importance in their world, weigh nothing, and take up no space because they are hidden in Corbin’s loft).  I brought their favorite moo cow picture and hung it in the ‘playroom.’  I brought our game room area rug from the house and put it in the toy-hauler area.  I really thinking that helped keep it normal for them.

photo credit: Bob Dabbelt with TenFive Studios. This is the playroom AND doubles as Wyatt’s bedroom.
Where do your kids sleep in an RV?

Sleeping arrangements actually work like dream for us!  See what I did there – dreamy arrangements haha!  Seriously, my kids sleep fantastic – maybe even better than at home AND Bubba is back to napping everyday (say what?!) – he had kicked that to the curb before moving out of the house, SO this is a HUGE WIN in momma’s book!  So originally the set up back here has another bench and a folding table to create a booth style table.  We removed one bench and replaced it with this AMAZING kids table and chairs (best purchase ever). The other bench as you can see stays in bench form during waking hours and for nap/bedtime we simply roll it down make the bed and viola-Wyatt has a bed!  He loves it.  He has NO trouble sleeping in it and from the nights I have slept with him it really is pretty comfortable.  He was already climbing out of his crib at home prior to the move so the transition from crib to this was easy peasy for him!

photo credit: Bob Dabbelt. Bench seat folded into bed!

Corbin has his own digs in the loft area.  This kid LOVES his loft {so does Wyatt.  We have tried to let them both sleep up there, but it turns into a toddler style all night frat party}.  You can see in the previous picture the ladder hanging – this is the loft access.  We hang it up each morning to prevent doorway blocking and take it down at bedtime.  I was nervous for Corbin to be in the loft initially because of the entrance and him potentially falling out.  This however is never a problem.  It is an ‘L’ shaped loft and he LOVES to sleep in the cave.  I usually I have to crawl up there and dig thru stuffed animals and tractors to find him 😉

photo credit: bob Dabbelt. Corbin perched in his loft and Wyatt digging in the snack bin #shocker
photo credit: Bob Dabbelt. The loft stretches around and the right behind the boys and makes a little cave. That is their favorite spot!
What are some of my ‘must haves’ for camping/full-time RV life with toddlers/babies?

This Phil&Teds highchair earned a 100% in my book.  Easy to clean, compact, lightweight, and attractive.  I cannot recommend this high chair anymore to someone looking for one to have in their RV/camping world – or at home for that matter!  We LOVE it!  We kept is short – meaning we did not add tall leg extenders on it.  We used the toddler chair height and kept tray on it.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

Each boy has one plate, one bowl, one water bottle, and one sippy cup.  I won’t lie.  The search for missing cups has drove me near this end of insane, but we are really on stressing teaching the boys to put stuff in the sink to be washed when they are done and how to keep track of their water bottles.  It’s a learning curve we are all still learning, but I can’t rationalize taking up more space on cups.  We use these and are really happy with them all!  I am looking to ditch the sippy cups and will let you know what my lidded kid safe plan B is once I find a good replacement!

You need an organization system!!!!  We installed an amour/dresser in the toy hauler area for the boys clothes.  They each have half.  I used these collapsible box bins to hold their piggy banks (yes, those made the cut!  Never to early to teach your kids how to save!) and pajamas.  These bottom bins hold underwear and socks.  It is a great system for us and really easy for the kids to know where their stuff is and access it.

photo credit: Bob Dabbelt with TenFivestudios. The amour was added by us and that is where I store the bins mentioned above. The two shelves came mounted with the RV and I use it for cookbook/kid book storage.

As far as toys go, I had originally planned out a toy rotation system.  I was going to trade out bins every couple of weeks for new ones.  I thought this would help keep their toys exciting and fresh to play with!  Reality – that never happened.  Once we were living the daily life I realized they did NOT need 6 bins worth of toys rotated out.  I condensed it down to 2 bins – one for each boy.  We used these bins from home depot and I love them.  They are sturdy and hold up against the rough housing my boys put them through.

Bath time in an RV has been a bit of challenge.  We are all adjusting (momma misses her bathtub :)).  It isn’t {bad} it is just different.  The boys don’t have a tub anymore and showers every night were not our normal at home but are (obviously) our new normal here!  For the sake of storage each boy has one towel.  I originally brought alligator bath toys from home, but ended up tossing them a few weeks in because there is just no space.  I do have foam alphabet letters and numbers that I pull out occasionally for them to play with, but bath time is usually short and sweet around here.  I love this brand of hooded towels from target.

photo credit: Bob Dabbelt with TenFIve Studios. This is the boys half bath located in the toy hauler area of the RV

I have talked about this stroller before, but I am obsessed.  The boys and I go running every morning and it just cant be beat.  It takes up room, but it is worth every square foot.  I store this baby in my car to keep it out of the elements and prevent mildew from growing on it.  If you take the wheels of it, it folds up very compact.  It is very quick to reassemble as well.  I use the belly bar feature on it and the boys and I love it!  I also have this stroller for my single kid days and I love it just as much.  I also store this in my car as well.  I know my car storage is going to need to a blog post of its own after reading this.  HA.  Anyways, the performance of these strollers far outweighs their cost.  Both of them do great when I am out of the trails with them!

My final ‘must have’ outdoor/camping item is this infant/toddler bike seat.  I think my husband may have rolled his eyes and asked me if this was necessary when he saw it in our amazon cart.  My answer was 100% we do (hoping when it arrived it was all i had it talked up to be).  It has surpassed every expectation I had.  I feel so sturdy with Wyatt and HE loves the front seat view and little steering wheel.  He literally thinks he’s driving the bike – haha! If you are bike people {with kids}, this is worth every penny.

 

we have the red one.
photo credit: Bob Dabbelt with TenFIve Studios. ibert seat in action. We LOVE bike rides and this seat makes it all possible – even trail rides!

Is there anything y’all want to know about more in-depth regarding kids and camping and full-time RV life?  Let me know I will be happy to update this post!  I will doing a room tour and discuss sleeping arrangements etc SOON!

*this post contains affiliate links*

XO,

j

FIVE reasons why living in an RV is the better than living in a house

Does the title of this post sound partial?  I don’t mean it to.  I have lived on both sides of the spectrum and both sides will always have pros and cons.  Today I am focusing why living in an RV is better than living in a house.  Grab a cup of coffee and a warm blanket and get ready to open up your mind to a whole new world of possibility.

one.

It creates a whole new level of communication within the family.  I thought Andrew and I were good communicators.  Then we moved out of 3000 sq. foot home into a 350 sq. foot RV……. The learning curve was steep, but I think our communication skills (verbal and nonverbal) have improved drastically.  Something about this adventure has made our family bond insanely strong and I think we are just weaving the threads stronger and tighter between each of us every day that we continue on!

two.

It is an amazing conversation starter.  I LOVE meeting new people and going through the series of what do you do, where are you from questions.  The facial expressions that we get on the daily when we tell people that we live in a state park in an RV are worth this journey alone.  Priceless.  People generally think it is totally awesome or that we are crazy.  Not many people have told us we are crazy to our face (a few have), but I am sure there has been some behind the scenes real talk about our life.  We are ok with that.  It is our life, and it is totally riveting.

three.

Freedom.  Y’all the sense of freedom that comes with living tiny is indescribable.  Financial freedom, time freedom, clutter freedom, the list could go on for days.  It is a breath of fresh air.  We are also just far enough out-of-town that I have developed a new-found freedom in the word ‘no.’  I used to never say no before – never.  It was exhausting.  But this life has given me the freedom to say no and have no regrets.  The time we spend with our people has become just more precious and appreciated.  I have learned how to plan my in town days and become more organized so we can maximize our visits when we are there.  We soak up every minute.  We also love having visitors.  Sharing our new life with our family and friends brings us so much joy!

four.

It is easy.  For the most part RV life is easy.  It is small, so it comes with smaller problems.  Less things to break, less to clean, less to worry about.  It is just easy 🙂

five.

Adventure.  Everyday is an adventure.  Nights at our house consisted of play (90% of days inside play), bath, bed.  Nights in the RV consist of campfires, trail rides, hikes, bug catching, bath, bed.  Not only do my kids sleep better and later but they are living out a wild and adventurous childhood.

I know RV life is not for everybody and the thought of going full-time can be daunting and seem downright crazy.  Open you mind, you never know where the ‘what-if’ might take you in life!

just because this is one of my most favorite pictures ever.

 

XO,

j

 

 

Living that {un}common life

When we started this journey we knew that we were taking a huge leap of faith.  We knew that we would come across varying opinions from people in every walk of our lives.  We knew that we were about to make our very common life, very uncommon.  God has done nothing but provide from day one.  Given, many times he left us wondering “why” and “are we doing the right thing?”  As the weeks have passed and we are becoming deeper into our journey it is so evident that yes we are doing the right thing and so many times along the way it is not that God was telling us no, he was merely orchestrating his work and a series of events in the timing that it needed to happen.  The opportunity God is giving us now has us so excited thinking how much we are loving this {un}common life.

Almost a year ago now, last June, is when all of this lets go full-time in the RV chatter started.  We did a 2 week trial run in a local RV park to make sure we felt good about our decision (because 2 weeks really gives a glimpse into what real life will look like – am I right 😉  Well, one week in and we decided heck we are wasting time, let’s just do this.  So, we did.  Our realtor was contacted, our house was placed on the market.  We thought we would be sold and closing in a matter of weeks.    We had it all planned out.  We would “hop” around some local state parks because they were so beautiful and we spent so much time there on weekends hiking and taking in all that God’s creation has to offer.  We “planned” to stay at each park for a few months and then go on to the next one.  Silly us.  As we sat around waiting for our house to sell, we actually had some time research into our grand plans.  Wouldn’t you know that you cannot stay in state parks for longer than 14 consecutive nights as a time.  We had little dream bubbles bursting all around us. We sat on the market until the week of Thanksgiving before pulling it off.  Fast forward to late January, we get a call from our realtor on a random Sunday afternoon.  You can read about that here.  By the grace of God our house sold.  You can read about that here.  We settled in at wonderful RV park in Brookshire.  It had a pond with ducks, a playground, a swimming pool, and gravel roads that turned muddy and filled with the biggest puddles when it rained.  The boys were in little boy heaven.  We made friends.  It was a good first home on this journey.  We started getting the itch a few weeks in to be in the woods, for some state park camping time.  I scrounged all the parks close enough that we could maintain our commutes with work and life.  EVERY single site/park was booked every fri/sat night thru June.  Hello boy scout camping season!  We settled on the last week in April and first week in May (sun-fri visits since they were booked fri/sat).  We wanted to be in the woods for both of the boys birthdays so those two weeks worked out perfect.  Plans were already made to go home to the country in between those weeks to celebrate grandma Charlie’s 79th birthday.  It was perfect timing.  We pulled into a big, shaded spot right across from the playground last Sunday afternoon.  The spot directly across from us was vacant and had a park host sign hanging in the front of it.  This immediately caught my attention and got my wheels turning.  After a quick conversation with Andrew and a little google searching our suspicions were confirmed.  There was a park host vacancy at one of our favorite local state parks.  I immediately emailed the Ranger and we met with him Monday morning.  Friday afternoon before we left town we had our final meeting with him and accepted the position at Park Host!  Yeah, I get it.  Much of what makes us excited these days has the majority people just looking at us saying “huh?”  But we are really excited about this opportunity friends!  This means that we get to stay for extended periods of times in the state park (buh-bye 14 night rule) and not only do we get extended stays BUT our stay here is F R E E.  Can we just say Thank you God.  His hands were at complete control and we are feeling his blessings coming down on us for sure.  In exchange for our stay, we are an active presence in the campgrounds.  We are to help enforce park rules as needed, sell ice and firewood if need, help keep the sites clean and free of trash once guests are gone.  All of these duties are so manageable with the kiddos and they are SO excited to have the important job of picking up sticks and litter.  Corbin is already the litter police.  This does not require us to be here 24/7.  We can still go about life, but when we are home we basically keep doing what we usually do (plus sell ice and firewood) and get to stay in this gorgeous park.  We are so excited about this opportunity for us and the boys!  I hope they always remember that time in their lives when they lived in a State Park.  Come visit us!  We will always have a campfire going and an endless supply of s’mores.  We would love visitors 🙂

getting settled
it’s official
these boys are all smiles about the new gig

xo,

j

 

 

A Christmas Roadtrip -Nashville, TN

Stop number two on our Christmas roadtrip trip was Nashville. Nashville was the bee’s knees for me. The city just made my heart flutter. I LOVE me some history and Nashville is a beautiful mess of history and music heaven. LOVE. AND it is beautiful and had some awesome hiking. Double LOVE. AND the food is in-describable good {especially El Rey – ;)}. Triple LOVE. But is all seriousness if you do nothing else while you are in Nashville go to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Wait in line, no matter how long, and then send me a thank you note. Hattie B’s we will be back, until then I’ll see you in my dreams!

Nashville did induce a bit of anxiety on my soul. There was just SO much to see and do in so little time (and we didn’t make it through half of my list!). Our first full day there started out as a bust as I tried to navigate us to some of the “hot spots” and must eat at places for lunch. After 3 failed attempts {thank you Hattie B’s, Pharmacia, and Mas tacos} due to lines wrapped around the block, we ended up driving in circles, parking in downtown and walking into the first restaurant we crossed – insert El Rey, a little Mexican restaurant painted bright yellow and blue on the out skirts of downtown. The food was a 2/5 but the memories and laughs we eventually had were a 5/5. El Rey was the turning point for us in Nashville.

After El Rey we walked Downtown and showed Andrew’s parents some of our favorite bars from the night before (more on that to come) and then walked to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Awesome. I didn’t really know what to expect but it was on Andrew’s bucket list for Nashville and I am SO happy we went. It was one of my favorite spots. SO MUCH HISTORY. Nerd alert. I LOVE it all. It was a completely amazing place and I am so happy I got to experience it {even if I was wearing a 30+ pound kid the whole time}. A few of my favorite exhibits were Alabama, Elvis, and the Hall of Fame Rotunda. The museum was also decorated so beautiful for Christmas and the staff was so friendly! I hope to back here either kid free or once they are old enough to appreciate it at all of its worth.

We topped off this day with the Grand Ole Opry performance at the Ryman Auditorium.  It is was so much fun guys – such a neat experience. Considering our show was starting about 30 minutes after bedtime the kids did amazing!  I was wearing Wyatt and I did stand in the back the majority of the time so i could bounce him to keep him asleep.  Corbin took advantage of my empty seat and stretched out and slept through the show.  We could not have asked for better out of them.  We really pushed their limits this trip and all I can say is we have some pretty awesome and flexible kids.  Charles Esteen was one of the headliners performing the night we went.  Who is Charles Esten you ask?  Good question – I wondered the same thing until I did a little google search and discovered this.  I have always been horrible with names (so embarrassing) but I can remember a face anywhere and HELLO, Charles Esten, AKA DEACON FROM NASHVILLE.  Nashville is only one of favorite shows.  (it was secretly one of the reasons I wanted to visit Nashville so badly!)  So at this point, I am giddy with excitement AND then I find out he’s doing a meet and greet before our show (insert giddy school girl scream here).  I was excited.  I got to meet Charles Esten.  As crazy as the day was leading up to it – it was fantastic.  Andrew took the kids back to the camper to run off some energy before the show and my MIL and I stood in line and got to meet Mr. Esten.  He’s a classy guy and taller than I imagined.  This must mean that Rayna (Connie Britton) is much taller in real life too!

Let’s back track to our arrival day in Nashville. The drive from Branson to Nashville was a beautiful one. We stayed at the Grand Ole’ RV Park and had a grand ole’ time. The folks running this place were wonderful and again so friendly and helpful! The resort is large and right off the highway so it has easy access in to Nashville. With that said, however, our GPS guided us through the teeniest small winding back roads to our arrival at the RV Park. I LOVED the back road tour and enjoyed all the houses and different architecture. Andrew did not. Hauling an 18 wheeler through a 2 lane winding road with low hanging trees and steep climbs had him sweating bullets. We just had to laugh when we pulled up in one piece and saw the park was right off the highway. We settled in and did a quick wardrobe change and hit the town KID FREE {thanks nana and pa}. We made Tootsies our first stop and it was crowded. Like shoulder to shoulder packed. It brought me right back to my college days of navigating though overly packed bars. We did our duty went to the rooftop snapped some pictures and headed on to the next stop. We popped across the street and put our name on the wait list to eat the Mercantile (a must) and then headed into a few more bars until we got the text that our table was ready. The Mercantile was such a fun and YUMMY experience. We ate at the top-level which is more of the chef’s choice style menu. I look forward to going back and eating from the southern comfort lower level menu. From there we walked to Painter’s Ally, which has tons of history in itself that you can read about here and ventured into Skulls. Skulls was recommended to us by another couple who are full-time RVers that recently left Nashville. I reached out to them after their trip to see some of their favorite spots. Skulls topped one of our favorite spots as well. It was a fun back alley bar with great drinks, great food, and great music. We had fun learning about the history of skulls when we were there and had the pleasure of watching an artist who was an original performer when the bar and restaurant first opened.

Our final day was one of my favorites!  It was the day we got it together.  We went back to our roots, our comfort zone.  We went to Radnor Lake State Park and did some hiking.  Hiking is your comfort zone you ask?  Yes, yes it is.  Nothing beats walking through the woods with my family and watching my boys run through nature and explore.  This state park was small and oh so perfect.  It was just the refresher our souls needed.

After Radnor Lake State Park is when Hattie B’s happened (yummy).  Andrew’s parents met us there to gorge our souls on food and then we headed to the Opryland Hotel.  I cannot even put into words how grand this hotel was or how beautifully it was decorated.  No picture does it justice.  One of my favorite areas was the giant Nativity outside.  It was so beautiful and I just love any display that highlights the true reason for the season.

We loaded up the next day and headed to Hot Spring, Arkansas.  This was our midway point to break up the trek home.  We stayed at Catherine’s Landing RV park and man we were sad we were only there for one night.  It was such a great park and we are already talking about going back!  We did a quick visit to the Garvan Gardens for the Christmas light display and it was gorgeous!  So happy we ventured out and did that even though we were so tired!

This was such a great trip.  It was kinda our “test run” to see how the kids would handle driving and what not and it went so great.  Hopefully it is the first of many out-of-state adventures for the Hoopers!  Nashville is defiantly on my return to list.  There is just SO much we didn’t get to do {bluebird cafe :(}, but I am so excited to return!

 

xo,

j

Yogi Bear Jellystone Halloween

We spent our weekend at Yogi Bear Jellystone RV in Waller.  We have camped at this RV resort before, but this was our first Halloween experience there.  It was a BLAST!  It was so much fun to just be surrounded by family and friends all weekend and to watch the kids play and ride bikes/scooters until their little bodies just couldn’t take anymore.  We played hard…and we ate lots of candy {perfect weekend}.  I recommend Yogi camping for sure.  If you don’t have an RV they have cabins to rent.  We usually tend toward the state parks without all the activities and hustle and bustle but the kiddos sure do love this place.  They have water slides, pools. a lazy river, a train, fishing in the lake, outdoor movie, a HUGE play-set.  I mean from the eyes of child this place is basically heaven on earth 🙂 I would say overall the park amenities can be updated a little bit, but overall this is one of our top close to home go to family fun spots.  We already pre-booked Halloween for next year.  Let the tradition making begin!

yogi1

yogi2

picmonkey-collage-3

trickortreat2016camping

We had a washer and dryer unit installed for when (hopefully sooner than later) we go full-time.  I was nervous to use it, but man I love it!  A little dude gave us a very special first load when he decided to get sick in the middle of the night-that was fun.  BUT it worked like a charm and Andrew and I were feeling especially grateful at that moment.

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We had our annual RCR Halloween party.  Pizza, treats, friends, pictures and trick-or-treating.  One of these years our clan will get it together.  Last year we were struck with a hand foot mouth outbreak and this year the moo-cow child of mine decided to lose his dinner right as we walking out the door and the little sheep made it to 3 houses with our crew before he promptly chucked his candy bucket across a yard and threw a fit because I wouldn’t let him eat EVERY piece of candy as it was put in his bucket.  It was awesome.  I have a feeling next year will be our year – except we will have to loan a house on RCR to host our bash at because HOPEFULLY we will be full-time by then – any volunteers {ahem, misty?} :).

snapchat filter fun and goofball brothers
snapchat filter fun and goofball brothers

rcrhalloween

haloween2016
Corbin chose our farm animal theme this year and assigned us costumes!

Hope everybody is enjoying their post candy crashed kids today 😉

xo,

j

Palmetto State Park

We spent the weekend camping in Palmetto State Park and boy did we have a great time.  This little gem is hidden just a few miles past the    Buc-ees in Luling (so stop and get you a slurpee, some golden nuggets and a candle on your way).  We had the most perfect little spot at the bottom of the hill.  The boys had SO much fun riding their racers and bikes down the hill.  The hiking trails in the park were perfect and we escaped only having one snake encounter (yikes!) and one of us getting poison ivy (ahem, Andrew).  But seriously, they were wide enough and nice enough that I could have pushed the double stroller through them no problem.  Corbin rode his bike through them (he’s a little mountain biker in training – he rocked it), I wore bubba and Andrew wore the camel back.  I give this park a 10/10 and highly recommend a visit if you haven’t made it by yet!

our soon-to-be (hopefully) full time home

our soon-to-be (hopefully) full-time home

palmetto1

100% boys. 100% dirty.

best hiking trails
best hiking trails
campsite fun
campsite fun

Sigh.  It really was the best weekend.  The lightning bug catching, the s’more eating, the laughs and the memories.  I’m {SO} ready for this to be full-time {and simple} life for a bit!

xo,

j

Hey, Monday

Hey guys…IT’S MONDAY!  I am **LOVING** every second of the olympics.  Last night I was in heaven…swimming and women’s gymnastics all night!  I am also loving how Corbin is totally into it this year.  Twice now when swimming has come on he turns to me and says I want to do that mommy!  Well ok kiddo, lets do it!  Swim lessons have been on my agenda for WAY too long and this is definitely putting a fire under my booty.  Not that I am saying I am raising the next Michael Phelps, but I want Corbin to know we support all of his dreams ( and the sooner he can swim and gain that confidence the better for safety sakes!).  He has been in this “I can’t phase”  “I can’t put my shoes on mommy, I can’t get dressed, I can’t buckle my seat.”  I have been ensuring him that yes son, you in fact CAN do all of that and you have.  It is a daily struggle to coach him along through those moments when his 3 year old I can’ts really mean I don’t want to.  We have been trying to reinforce into him that you CAN do anything you put your mind to, you may not want to do it but you CAN.  I am trying so hard to eliminate the “I can’t” attitude  from our home.

dream big little boy
dream big little boy

Speaking of swimming we spent the most fun weekend camping at Splashway. I highly recommend this water park, even if you don’t have a camper a day trip would be tons of fun for the whole family!  This park is VERY family orientated and has a large number of small children’s pools, slides, and attractions.  However, it also vibes out to those thrill seekers and older kiddos with a HUGE wave pool and 7-8 giant water slides (tube, free fall, mat, etc..).  They have lots of shaded areas for free or you can rent a cabana for the day which includes an ordering service for food and drinks.  We did not get a cabana this year (we did not know anything about the park before going) but we will probably be investing in that if we go back!  You are allowed to bring your own coolers and drinks into the park, which is also big perk for those watching the family budget.  Another aspect of splashway that I just loved is how you can feel the christ centered family approach they are bringing to the table.  The world desperately needs God to be more on the forefront and this place and serving up just that!  Every day at 1 pm the whole park does a moment of silence followed by the national anthem in honor of our soldiers and veterans, every couple of songs played over loud speakers are christian based and Sundays on the campgrounds they have church.  We did not realize about church, but man what a joy it was to be coming out of the woods on our hike Sunday morning and hear the praises of Jesus blaring over the loud speakers at the campgrounds.  We will definitely be attending church on our next stay at Splashway!  The campgrounds also boast a HUGE catch and release lake (where you can also rent canoes and paddle boats), a few playgrounds, ziplines, tractor train rides, arts and crafts, live bands and so much more.  It is affordable family fun.  We booked this trip without much research but it will become  regular spot for us – even without the water park we plan on going back to the campgrounds during the off season!

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xo,

j

weekend recap

This weekend was just plain fun.  It was the perfect wrap up to our two week trail.  We left our little spot in Brookshire early Friday morning and headed to Lake Livingston with our long time family friends the Rabons.  We spent the weekend in the sun eating way too much food, staying up way too late, and turning into prunes in the swimming pool.  It was a simple weekend, a perfect weekend.  The Rabon Family is quickly becoming a regular camping duo with us on the weekends and we love it!  Our friendship spans back 9 years now and it is so neat to watch our kids grow up camping together.

food > everything
food > everything

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best buds
best buds
me and my boys
me and my boys
evenings are my most favorite part of camping
evenings are my most favorite part of camping
this boy loves his dirt and trucks
this boy loves his dirt and trucks
lakeside splashpad for the win
lakeside splashpad for the win
Corbin found the ladder om the side of the camper. We have a new battle. {insert eyeroll}
Corbin found the ladder om the side of the camper. We have a new battle. {insert eyeroll}
evening races
evening races
traffic jam on I45. #shocker
traffic jam on I45. #shocker

PicMonkey Collage

We get super serious about our watermelon. I am pretty sure Wyatt is going to turn into watermelon one of these days.

dirt cake collage

Of course these boys had to get some dirt cake in a bucket.  I don’t think Wyatt enjoyed it at all 🙂

I am SO happy we got to be a part of baby M’s first camping experience.  ALL the heart eyes right here.  I need some baby girl in my life and she was just perfect!

PicMonkey Collage(1)

xo,

j

two.

two weeks.  14 days.  We survived 14 days in the wilderness, er, our camper.  We had lots of laughs, made lots of memories, shed some tears, and are currently battling a poison ivy (or something of the sorts) outbreak on Corbin.  Are we scared of this lifestyle?  Not at all.  Are we excited?  Totally!  Are we doing this, like really uprooting our family and moving into a 300 square foot camper?  YES!  Our home officially listed on HAR yesterday and we had our first open house today….whoop!  So now we wait.  I am learning that I am much more impatient than I thought.  In my mind I was expecting our house to be scooped up off the market in 24 hours 😉  Reality check.  I’m partial and not everybody may think it is as quite of an awesome house as I do.  It is though.  It really is.  And the walls are filled with lots and lots of love and lots of good happy memories.  BUT I get it.  I must be patient.  God is training us in this area.  Today as we prepared for our open house was a true test of that.  We were having communication issues between our AC and our phones to verify that the temperature was cooling.  We packed our camper up and headed home early from our weekend on the lake to ensure the house would be nice and cool for the open house.  As we were racing the clock to make it home on time we had to stop 3 times to re-plug in the camper break lights that kept getting knocked loose (which has NEVER happened before) and then we got stuck behind a huge funeral procession that had traffic stopped.  We made it though and our house was cold…praise God!  We wished our realtor good luck and headed to the Kroger parking lot to “camp” during the open house.  Yep, you read that.  We were boondocking at Kroger.  We got the kids fed and got some grocery shopping done.  One stop shopping.  We briefly debated boondocking full time.  Parking lot hopping.  Walking distance to the grocery store one day academy the next.  Kidding.  kind of 😉  Best part? Our best friends and neighbors just happened to be grocery shopping during hour 2 of our little campout and spotted our camper in the back of the lot and started banging down our camper door.  It was so nice to have their unplanned visit and their little boy got a kick that we set up our camper in the parking lot.

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Looking over our two weeks I can easily say it flew by.  I am not surprised by this as I feel like life’s clock has exponentially gotten faster since we had children.  I wholeheartedly agree with the quote that the days are long but the years are short.  For this very reason I know that this goal of ours is within total reach.  The time in our camper before we find our next home is going to FLY by and I truly believe 10 years from now when we are looking back on our life and our marriage that this will become one of our favorite seasons.  Most likely one of the hardest, but often times those have a way of becoming the ones you look back on the most and treasure the closest.  I feel over these 2 weeks Andrew and I have become more of single unit as we have had to help each out more than normal.  We worked as a team and were very efficient.  Last Sunday, we purchased new landscaping to brighten up the front yard for photography for our listing and had it all planted watered and were back at the camper grilling within 2 hours.  We have had to learn how to conquer bed/bath time routines and how to childproof our camper.  A post on that coming soon.  We had to figure work schedules and how to manage alarms and get going in the morning without waking our sleeping dragons children.  We got through it together.  I could not and would not want to do it alone. Together we are stronger and I feel like these 2 weeks made that particular quality shine.  It is now out of our hands.  God’s plan will be shown over the next couple of weeks.  Our house must sell before we can officially start this crazy awesome adventure.  I have faith that if it is meant to be then everything will fall into place.  Until our answer is clear, I will sit back and be impatiently waiting.

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We had lots of inside time week 2 due to Corbin’s rash but we did manage to sneak out for milkshakes, haircuts and house prep for selling.

Here is exhibit “A” as to why during this stage in our life we need no more than 300 square feet 😉

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xo,

j

one.

Week one has come and gone.  It was a good week.  A really good week.  We had a few bumps in the road, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.  We are continuing to build our “we gotta get this or do that” list if we go full time.  It has been a great learning experience so far and very eye opening on how LITTLE we need for the day to day.  The kids have been adjusting great.  Wyatt is such a laid back baby – as long as he has food he could care less about the rest of his environment.  He thinks that running from one end of the camper to the other is about the coolest thing in the world and just giggles the whole time as he does his Frankenstein wobble run.  Corbin is having a BLAST.  He talks about living in the camper and has actually gotten upset the last couple of times I had to run home to grab things forgotten.  He even refused to get out of the car and go in the house on the last trip and asked to me to please go back to the camper.  I think it is safe to say he is sold on the concept.  Andrew and I are still adjusting.  Obviously, it is a much bigger lifestyle change for us than it will be for the littles.  Andrew’s commute has been a touch longer while mine is actually shorter.  We are learning new routines that work for us in the camper as opposed to what was working at home.  It has been fun though, we are just continuing life as normal.  We took a field trip to Nannie’s house one to day to go swimming, had play dates with friends, and Andrews parents, Nana and Pa, came to visit us.  The only thing that has changed is the roof over our head….and we still have a roof over our heads!  For that, we are blessed.

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage

XO,

j