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

 

 

A Christmas to Remember

Y’all.  I LOVE Christmas.  SO SO SO much – LOVE IT.  I LOVE birthdays too – maybe that is why Christmas is my favorite.  It is like the ultimate birthday party for our Lord and King.  I finally got the last of our decorations packed up and put away and I am feeling the post-Christmas blues. I am missing all the family time – guys we HAD an untold of amount of time off of work to just be together.  It was the best gift of the season.  My living room is looking pretty barren, I miss the soft glow of the tree lights, and I miss my boys turning them on and off 10934375 times a day and being equally amazed each time they would light up.  I miss it.  This Christmas also brought so much bittersweet emotion with it as well.  It was our last Christmas in our first home and it was also my parent’s last christmas in my childhood home.  So many lasts and so much excitement for the all the firsts to come next year.  We really had fun digging into the family traditions with the kids this year.  I know it is only going to get more special each year.  We started with our annual polar express ride that you can read about here.  My mom hosts cookie decorating for Santa every year on the 23rd.  Once my kids reach the glorious age of FOUR I can drop them off and enjoy some momma time while they decorate but until they become of age to attend Nannie camp alone I get to go swimming in sprinkles and frosting and it. is. messy magical.  Corbin actually totally surprised me this year and was totally into it.  He took his time dumping the entire jar of sprinkles onto his cookies.  I expected him to either not care, just eat the cookies or throw sprinkles everywhere and then lick them up.  So, I was pleasantly surprised.  Bubba on the other hand.  He lived up to every expectation I had and then SO much more.  He was in his happy spot.  He claimed the jar of rainbow sprinkles immediately by licking the entire thing and then proceeded to eat cookie after cookie with and spoonfuls of frosting here and there and then would tip the sprinkle jar back like it was an ice-cold beverage and wash it down with rainbow sprinkles.  I lost track of how many cookies he ate, but I am pretty sure he is still feeling the effects of the sugar high.  We left with some pretty special cookies for santa.

this cookie front and center is a Christmas staple at moms. A york mint in the middle of chocolate heaven with frosting on top. Fights ensue over these cookies ya’ll. My mom’s tree is one of my absolute favorites. Every ornament has meaning and a story and I can’t wait until one day my tree is filled with treasures that tiny hands made….like this glitter star I made in kindergarten.
my most prized Christmas treasures. I would totally run into a burning house to save these…

Christmas Eve we attended church, and by we I mean Andrew.  The kids must have been experiencing some post sugar withdraws or something terrible because they were acting CRAY.  straight crazy.  It immediately resulted in us worshiping in the car while Daddy enjoyed church.  After church we changed into our tacky Christmas sweaters for the annual Hoopers go tacky Christmas tradition we started a few  years back and then headed to my parents for Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve is just so special to me.  I LOVE being with my family and I know the kids will cherish these memories of running around with their cousins and getting their magical PJs from the PJ Elves before we leave Nannie and grandpa’s house.  It is a night filled with red beans and rice, birthday cake and songs for baby Jesus, gifts, lots of laughs and lots of little kid squeals.  It is perfect.

Hoopers go tacky 2016
PJ elves left urgent packages at the door and then the blurry excitement that ensued to put the PJs on ASAP
a handful of sweet memories from the night

Christmas day we will always spend at home.  I want the kiddos to have that memory of going to sleep at home and waking up to Santa at their house.  It was such a fun morning this year because Corbin was SO excited.  I know next year will be even more magical.  Santa was good to us and we are so blessed.  Andrew spoiled me rotten and sent me on a scavenger hunt through the house to find my gifts (that we weren’t supposed to give).  He is so creative and it really made me feel so loved and so special.  I even got a Christmas poem with my final gift – an apple watch – eeeeeep!  SO exciting.  I am actually meeting Andrew for lunch tomorrow and we are going to pick it out!

One of my favorite memories this year. Bubba could care less about the presents but he was in HEAVEN when he saw some leftover cookies and milk. Cookies for breakfast. smart kid.

Mama getting spoiled. Not pictured was my fancy new die cutter(and lots of fun stocking goodies) – can’t wait to get crafty
Christmas Poem

December 2016

Tis The Season Of Giving

No Matter Which Form It Takes,

It Could Be A Simple Hug

Or Delicious Cupcakes

It Could Be A Trip

To A Place Near Or Far,

It Could Be A Nice Conversation

Over A Drink At The Bar

It Could Be Toys Galore

Or A Handwritten Letter,

But I Bet A Poem From Your Hubby

Makes This Season Much Better

I Know That We Said

No Gift Exchange This Year,

But Again I’ve Broken The Rules

Please Don’t Shed A Tear

You Make Me So Happy

And I’d Give You The World If I Could,

You Know That I’m Serious

And You Know That I Would

But As This Isn’t Practical

You’ll Have To Settle For This,

All I Ask In Return

Is One Helluva Kiss

The Present I Got You

Oh What Shall It Be,

I Hope You Like It

It’s To You From Me

Merry Christmas To You

My Sweet Loving Wife,

I Can’t Wait To Pass The Time

With You In My Life

Love Hubby

We headed to Andrew’s parents Christmas night and did Christmas with his family on the 26th.  We all piled into his Grandma’s house and ate chili and stew and shared lots of laughs and lots of memories.  The cousins LOVE exploring through all of grandma’s treasures and it so much fun to see them all together.  We do a white elephant gift exchange and it is always so much fun.  This year we did the oven mitt gift game.  We had to open a gift with an oven mitt on while the person next to you tried to roll doubles with the dice.  Once doubles were rolled you passed the oven mittens and gift onto the next person.  Whoever opened the gift got to keep it.  It was a riot and had us all laughing.  Andrew’s grandma is an AMAZING baker and y’all she made PIES.  Her pies are like heaven.  No lie.  They are just SO good.  She gets her merengue like a foot tall and its heavenly.  They are beautiful and they taste even better.  We have the recipe for her chocolate pie and it lives in our safe – because it is just that good.

daddy and his mini-me

nothing more beautiful than the sunrise and sunset in the country

We spent the rest of the week at Andrew’s parents out in the country and it was nice.  Andrew worked himself silly putting up fence and doing jobs around the farm with is dad.  The kids ran themselves silly running around and breathing in all the fresh country air and chasing cows.  It was a good week and a perfect way to wrap up the year.

LONG days and HARD work gets you a new fence
country fun. fires, wood collecting, leaf playing, tractor rides, cow calling…..
he’s an ole’ fishing pro now 🙂
I know a good mechanic if you need one

 

hardest workers

I brought my fancy camera and had so much fun playing on it 🙂  I am a work in progress learning all the settings on it, but I am having fun.

determined
in his happy spot
honk honk
just hanging around
checking out the tractor tires
little worker
playing

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas.  Enjoy this year, next year will be here before you know it.

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.

2016-07-24 17.49.13 2016-07-24 15.39.45

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.

2016-07-22 12.23.31

2016-07-21 14.28.20 2016-07-20 08.42.10 Photo Jul 17, 4 38 29 PM

2016-07-21 19.50.48

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 😉

2016-07-23 09.24.02

xo,

j

Coming Soon

And just like that this sign ended up in our front yard.

2016-07-18 15.31.56(1)

Day 8 and we were feeling a bit feisty 😉 A family friend of ours is a realtor so we had him stop by this morning just to do walk thru of the house for us and help us open our eyes to what we can better or fix to get market ready. Peak selling season here is coming to an end so IF we decide to hit the GO button then we don’t want to waste any time on the selling front.  Our walk thru turned into “are we doing this? For real? I mean, ok. Lets do this!” SO we have a padlock on our door and a coming soon sign in our front yard. Pending week 2 goes well it will say For Sale. Totally a surreal day. We were not expecting a sign and seeing it is certainly bringing many emotions to surface. Excitement, fear, sadness. We are still so very sad at the thought of leaving our RCR family and our very first home that we have poured so much love and labor into. We also know that we can’t let fear and what seems easy guide our future and for that we are VERY excited. We can’t wait to see the doors that open and opportunities that God provides our family. With that said, neighbors…plan on us crashing every RCR gathering that goes down 😉 and seeing our cars here often because it will always be our first home and our ties here are strong #faloopers forever.

 

xo,

j