It’s been forever since I wrote a blog, and so much has happened that would appear to demand a blog! First, and best of all, Coby was born! What an incredible and amazing birth his was. Now I can truly say I’ve delivered every way possible … and SURVIVED! But even more amazing is who he is. He is the sweetest, cutest, chubbiest, most adorable baby in the world! Seriously, he’s not even 3 months old and he’s pushing 15 lbs!! Adored and cherished by all, he is nothing short of a miracle.
Then, of course, we went to TX for two weeks and The Today Show flew in to San Marcos to film us traveling and kayaking. They then came up to Colorado to film us as we finished packing up our house and drive on out! That last day, the day we were supposed to leave by noon, according to Dan, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We had about 15 visitors, 100 million fixer projects before our tenants moved in, a visit from the tenants with bank issues, and our Suburban died and had to be towed to the storage facility! We finally left around 5 or so, the Producer had to leave an hour or so earlier to catch a flight home, and the camera and sound guys hung out and waited for us to get our act together. They were crazy patient and when we finally left it was too dark for them to get much outta the departure! But such is our life. You roll with the punches and face the trials head on with a “Bring It” type attitude, right? Cuz, if you can’t and/or don’t, what are you left with?
Now we’ve been on the road for 15 days and I gotta say it’s been the best 15 days! We stopped in at Rock Island, having had hope that we could put in an order for a gazillion boats, but that won’t happen until after tax refunds grace our accounts. The traveling lifestyle hits home when you are scraping pennies for gas!! However, as expected, we did have an epic day surfing at Rock Island. Both generators were running and the water was perfect!! We didn’t stay the night, instead opting to beeline for Alabama and hook up with fellow Jackson Paddler, Jeremy Adkins, for a week of creeking, surfing and all around amazing fun.
There is something truly amazing about AL, or at least the part of AL we’ve been blessed to see and play in. I don’t know if it’s Jeremy, if it’s where he lives, if it’s the people we’ve met, if it’s the weather, the water, the rivers or what, but I don’t think we’ve ever been so relaxed and stress-free. I can’t tell you how sure we are of the decisions we’ve made thus far. Renting and leaving our home, was tough, but as we travel as a family and meet new people and see new places, we can’t help but feel a sense of renewed patriotism and strengthened faith in God. The water we paddle, the mountains we snowboard, the cliffs we climb, the trails we bike … all are so full of beauty, it’s breathtaking, exhilarating and humbling. All these places have been here forever and will be here long after we have passed. It makes you realize how short our time here really is. Which makes us want to make the most of every second, every minute.
And then there is something extraordinary about all of us being together. It feels so right. It’s exactly what we are supposed to be doing right now, right here. Being off the grid, out of the societal system enables us to make our own schedules, live our own lives and be absolutely true to ourselves, our true, pure selves. We’ve always enjoyed spending time together, but it was always an hour here or a half hour there. We were stretched so thin between school and sports and work and errands that we might meet at dinner and then scatter immediately after to do what we needed to do. We thought this was what was best for our family, our kids. Socialization, every sport imaginable, every extra-curricular activity. Rush rush rush was the name of the game.
I’m so thankful that God spoke to our hearts and we were always in search of something better. Now better is exactly what we are doing. We are living our version of the American Dream. And in our version we are all together experiencing the same things; what’s more is that we get to see it through so many different lenses. And this is what I love about kayaking, climbing, snowboarding and biking. Dan and I get to experience it all with them. We are living out a second childhood. Instead of living vicariously through our kids, we are living alongside our kids! That’s the best life ever!!
Obviously, socialization is not something you must seek out. It naturally happens, unless you live in a bubble. Our kids encourage each other, they coach each other, they police each other and they love each other. They have built-in BFF’s and they are meeting new people in every new stop – both kids and adults.
Brody ran into a “kid” a few years older than him yesterday on the Mulberry River. This “kid” recognized him as one of the KelloggShowKids and was really psyched to be paddling at the same wave. He asked Brody all sorts of questions about the different wave moves and Brody had him clean spinning in 2 surfs. Dally met an older guy on the same river the same day who, again, recognized him as one of the Kellogg kids and introduced Dally to his daughter, a 10 year old who was just learning to boat. He let her jump into his boat and paddle around in the eddy because her dad had heard Jackson boats were the best … she loved everything about it, except the color!! LOL!
This lifestyle also allows our kids to remain kids for as long as they wish. They run, climb trees, build fires, play pranks, wrestle, yell, scream, holler and laugh all day everyday. Dally summed up the enticement of RV life in one simple sentence: “I like having my house on wheels because I can go anywhere I want without having to pack and plan.” Yes! Freedom. Freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want! We don’t play well by other people’s rules. We don’t like to be told what we can and cannot do. This nomad life is exactly what we were born to do!
And it doesn’t hurt that sometimes we are treated like rock stars by people who recognize us from YouTube or our blog! I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world.