We used to be four and now we are five. Follow our journey as we explore life with a new baby who has Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
Come explore with us.
Life is too short to act my age. With a baby who has OI and losing my mom and dad already and Brian having lost his mom years ago, we know how fast life comes and goes. We no longer want to spend any more time trying to keep up with what society feels is proper.
What is the American Dream? Is it really owning a home? Having the fancy cars? Not to me. The American Dream is freedom! Ask yourself this “How can one gain freedom when you’re attached to an idea that isn’t your own?” Dig deep and find out what matters to you. What brings you joy? Do you require stability for that peace of mind? What stimulates you? The thrill of a new adventure, the ability to meet new people, knowing your friends are within a few minutes, mowing your lawn? Do you believe that success is in your bank account or counted by what you own? A happy family perhaps? A nice body? A large amount of friends or facebook followers? Is success measured by how much you give back? The answer is, there is no one size fits all answer. I can’t tell you what is right or wrong. I can’t get into your mind and heart and know what will make you happy. You have to answer these questions and probably a whole lot more if you’re trying to change your life.
Your dream might be someone else’s nightmare. That’s ok, they aren’t living your life. Don’t let someone else’s ideas of perfection dictate your choices. We are all made beautifully different, with separate goals and desires. Pave your own way, create your own happiness. We are a tapestry of colors and textures, so unique, yet woven together for a glorious purpose. Heavenly Father didn’t make clones, He made us, and we make art.
The truth is, I got to my breaking point. Brian and I had always dreamed. We are day dreamers, me more so than him. After years of dreaming but staying in the same place I got sick of it. I wanted to take action. Something had to give. I was no longer happy. My life wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the word. My life could have been the envy of others, though I never bothered to check. I was a stay at home mom. I had a loyal husband who made good money. I lived in one home my whole adult life, in a great neighborhood with amazing schools for my children. I went to a great church with strong ties to the community. I had friends and family that were close. I had a great social life. I didn’t have anything to legitimately complain about. Despite my seemingly great life, I was not happy. Brian travels for work and he was hardly home. Family means the most to me, and within that, Brian is at the top of that list. I missed him. I had everything except the one thing I loved the most, my husband. It was time to take action, it was time for me to sit down and figure out what I wanted out of this life.
One day Brian and I got our two teens into our room and we all wrote down the things that meant the most to us. It was a list that ranged from their baby sister, Brielle, to the pets, to the community, schools, family, friends, cars, house, musical instruments, toys/personal items and even our disney membership. This list had literally everything that was in our lives. We ask the kids to put them in order of importance, we did the same. It was done in private so no one could influence the other. Then we came together and put a score on each. Some of list was easy, chickens were further down the list than the dogs, the cars didn’t seem as important as Disneyland and for us all Brielle and her care seemed to top the list, along with family time. Other things were tougher, for Kevin and Kylie is was hard placing our Church family and their school where it needed to be, because those things meant a lot to them but other things meant more. They had to think hard and rearrange. For Brian and myself it was hard to place things that we worked hard for so far down the list. It was a good heart workout. It was eye opening. It was heartbreaking. It was relieving. It was revealing. Once we added the scores of each item on the list we found out what our top five were. We placed everything in categories. There were the most important and things we couldn’t live without, then there were the things that were very important and that we would try our hardest to keep, then there were the things we could give up if needed. It was hard seeing some of things we thought we couldn’t live without actually being placed in a category of lesser value, but that is what this exercise was about. If given the option I think everything would be a “must have” but in reality its not. This was necessary.
Brian and I are constantly working towards our dream of traveling and spending more time together. We have already started the process, we sold our home in Salem and moved states to a location that allows us more freedoms. But, we didn’t downsize. In fact we did the opposite, we live in a house that is three times the size of the one we owned in Salem. We have a floor for each member in the family. We have a large game room, multiple bathrooms, full size dining room, spacious kitchen and a master suite that is the whole top floor. It feels like we have more stuff now than we ever did before. However, we are renting. This isn’t “our” house. This isn’t our financial responsibility. The idea of selling our home was so we didn’t have anything that we were attached to, we achieved that.
There isn’t a set date on when we will be living full time on the road. Right now we are focused on establishing health care for our kids, going to church and setting up a solid independent study program for Kevin and Kylie. As it stands both kids attend the local high school but are eager to move to an online only program. Kylie is well ahead of the curve and will graduate as a Jr if she continues down this path, and has the potential to graduate even sooner if she were doing a self study program. Kevin is looking at another year in high school, a super senior as they call it. If he does the online program he can move faster through the courses and graduate on time. Neither of the kids are concerned about a graduation ceremony and lets face it, these days graduating high school is equivalent to us graduating middle school. It’s not the end of schooling, as a high school diploma just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Our loose plan is to slowly amp up our travel life together. While still renting here, we want to go on a few trips with Brian. We will be starting slow and then moving up to longer periods of time that are closer together. Some families can just jump right in and it works out great for them but for a variety of reasons our approach has to be more methodical. 1) I have pets, I can’t just leave them here at the house while me and the kids wonder off for days at a time. We need to have solid plans for them. We either take them with us, and that can be exhausting, or we can find them a boarding facility and that can be expensive. We need to try different things to see what would work long term. 2) There is Brielle, she needs care. We can’t pack and go without planning out all her appointments in advance and making sure that wherever we are there is an adequate hospital nearby that can accommodate her in case of emergency. 3) There is all of our stuff. For the most part I am not attached to it. The furniture can be sold and the clothes can be donated. However there are the pictures and geeky memorabilia, games and toys that I would either like to creatively take with or find a secure storage unit to house them. We do plan on traveling in our little Coleman travel trailer. For now that seems to be the reasonable thing to do. We have everything we need in there and it is small enough to go places with relative ease. As we explore we will find out if our travel trailer will work well for full time living or if we might want to upgrade. From our short time in our trailer we haven’t found anything to be inadequate, just some minor storage issues that can be solved with some creative thinking.
Kylie, Brielle and myself managed to stay in the trailer for about 3 weeks while we emptied our house in Salem. Brian, Kylie, Brielle and myself, along with all our pets did well on our 3 day trip down to southern California. I realize that those short times are not comparable to full time road living but it does help with understanding what we can and can’t handle while traveling.
There are some certainties in the travel life, like, I am certain that I will have to figure out a productive way to work out. I am also certain that we will be eating healthier because the freezer space is ridiculously small. I am certain that I will not be able to shop in bulk anymore, no more bulk toilet paper or bottles of water. Then there are things that I am unsure about. I’m unsure if Kevin and Kylie will want to travel around with us. The door is always open for them to hitch a ride and explore. Maybe they will start off traveling and get sick of it, maybe they will love it and figure out ways to make money while on the road. With so many variables when it comes to Kevin and Kylie (due to their age and the ages they will be once we go full time) we have tinkered with the idea of renting out a cheap 1 or 2 bedroom apartment somewhere fairly cheap for them to live in while they attended college. We would pay partly for the apartment and they can keep whatever furniture they wanted to. They would pay their share of the apartment but also house some of those things that we aren’t wanting to give up, like the pictures and geeky stuff. This way I could always have a homebase to go to when I needed it. Another idea that we have played with is knowing that Brian gets hotel rooms wherever he is working, we could set the kids up in the trailer while he is at a job and Brian and I can get the hotel room. We can all shower at the hotel and spend time together, of course, either in the hotel or in the trailer but it would give us all some room apart if they did decide to keep traveling us as adults. We have also thought of the possibility of neither Kevin nor Kylie wanting anything to do with the travel life once we start full time. They might decide that living on their own and creating their own families will be the best route for them. That’s ok too. Brian and I would revisit the storage idea and see if the kids want anything of ours before we sell it.
Life is so full of opportunity and the more I think about our future plans, the more excited I get. I can’t settle on one plan, I can’t put together a solid path or idea. I don’t set anything in stone. I use the words “loose plans” because that is exactly what it is. What fun would life be if we -had- to stick to anything? What if those plans don’t work out? Why set ourselves up for possible failure? Let it flow. Set your dreams, work towards them in ways that fits you best, but know that those ways can and will most likely change at any given moment.
When Brian and I first started thinking about traveling together, we thought it would be in a sailboat. That changed to traveling the US, just him and I, in and out of hotel rooms. That changed to having more kids and finding a more creative way of traveling. Then we had Brielle who needs special care, so again our plans changed. We are constantly tweaking and fine tuning but never losing sight. If our plans had been solid, sailing or nothing, we would have had to give them up. But we don’t live that way, we don’t stifle ourselves. We live our lives as if there is no box. This is a world of adventure. Follow us as we navigate the path to true happiness while living with joy.
Learn about our kids!
Check out my first live write! Hoping to be less confused in the future.
Under here you will find some background on who I am, and how we got to where we are now.
New Adventures await! Here is where you find everything new going on with our lives.