Living in an RV – A True “Finding Yourself” Endeavor

A rough day for both boys in the 2nd World Cup Series Competition has seen us going through all the typical array of emotions:  shock (how the hell did I score so low), Anger (what the eff, are they blind?), Frustration (I dunno what the hell is going on), and finally Perseverance (I’ll KILL it next time).  It’s a known fact that our kids need some expert coaching.  They have every trick in the book, and nail those tricks … occasionally.   But that’s not the purpose of this blog.  Over the course of the last 4 months we have transformed from simply travelling to kayak events to pursuing the sale of our house in order to facilitate living in an RV for the next few years.  How we came to this decision is still perplexing, but most of the credit can be given to the fact that when we would return home we weren’t relieved or happy to be there, instead we were focusing on when we could get back on the road.

It’s not that living with 13 people (including one pregnant crazed emotionally charged chick) inside a 36′ RV — probably less than 300 sq feet — is easy, I’m here to tell you that is NOT the case.  We’ve had our struggles.  We’ve had our ups and our downs, but the ups have far outweighed the downs and we’ve learned so much about not only who we each are individually, but more importantly, what our family is made up of.

Somehow, over the course of the last few days, we wound up discussing Ann Romney … of all people…  and her RNC speech about LOVE, specifically the love a mother has for her children.   I am a mother bear.  I keep them close.  I love them to the point where I feel their disappointment and revel in their joys.  I protect them.  Then Dan said it was the same love he felt for me, that everyone thinks men don’t get it, but they do … they just don’t react the same way women do.  And the more he talked, the more amazing he was.  My heart melted, I teared up.  I am, hands down, the luckiest woman on earth.  I have 12 children who love me and a husband who cherishes me.  That is more than I could have ever dared pray for.    He then started talking about how he was concerned that maybe I didn’t realize how much he loved me and that since we started living in the RV he’s seen so much and realized so much and he was so thankful for having this opportunity to really see us as a couple and us as a family.  There are no escape routes, there is nowhere to go if you want to get away.  You HAVE to stop and face everything – you feel the good more purely and see the bad more clearly.  You can’t talk about loving each other, you have to actively love each other and there is a huge difference.  You must practice the golden rule, you must shake your selfishness and you must practice great charity.  This is true for all of us, even the youngest.

The most amazing aspect, and possibly the greatest reason for pursuing this life style is the effect it has on our children and the relationship they have with each other.  We’ve always been a tight family, some have even accused us of being somewhat isolated and private; but, we’ve never been this TIGHT a family.   God is working miracles within our lives, this I know to be true.  He’s doing so via trials and triumph.  Quite frankly, I’ve been getting kinda sick of the trials, ready for the onslaught of triumph, but them I’m reminded of how minor our trials are.  How there are so many people fighting for the lives of their children, I know a few personally, that the fact that we don’t have the money to eat out ceases to be a trial, but rather a non-issue.  It is through trials that we are able to appreciate our blessings, seriously wish this wasn’t the case, but alas, it’s the way of the world.  Thanks Adam, thanks Eve.

It’s also the way of the world that through self sacrifice you learn to value the little things.  Little things, like ice and showers and shaving and toilets that are close — or even more amazing, the rare occasions when we R&R at a hotel and the toilet is a mere two feet away!  That is heaven for someone who is 31 weeks pregnant!  ha!  Things like non-pay showers and measley spickets under which to wash dishes become a luxury.  Walmart is our home away from home, I daresay we’ve camped in more Walmart parking lots than we have campgrounds!  I’m thankful for Walmart … their policy to allow RV camping has saved us so many times.

So, to answer everyone’s most pressing question … how do we live in an RV with so many people? … my answer is we are learning. Soon, less than 9 weeks, we’ll be adjusting once again to accommodate life in an RV with our newest addition, but s/he’s the luckiest of us all, s/he’ll have the benefit of being surrounded by the 13 people who love him/her more than anyone else in the world 24/7!!  I’m excited to begin this journey with my family.  And even more excited to announce that we now have 3 options for a Reality Show and/or Documentary and will be signing contracts in the next few weeks!  That is exciting!!!

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19 Comments

  • The adventure continues! I am so excited for you guys that you will be on TV, sharing your lives and love with the nation. I hope we will get to see it here in Sweden! Make sure you get payed well so you can buy that jet we talked about! 😉

  • I was re-reading and realized I had missed SELLING OUR HOUSE? God, if you weren’t a close knit family you will be. Are there any mental institutions near any of the places you pass thru? What did you do with your pets or are they with you? BRAVE, BRAVE PEOPLE.

    xoxo

    • ha ha ha We thought we were close, I think most people think they are close, but if you can’t do this, you’re only so close, know what I mean? Tired of living someone elses version of the American Dream … too much working, too much buying, too much stress … this is total FREEDOM!!! 🙂

    • My husband just showed me this post because he wants to do this very thing. We have two kids and if you can do it surely we can. The hardest thing will be the possessions, how do you ever let go?

  • Amen,Susie! It’s just too much working,working,working and for what reason? So we can pay for more things and less time w/our families? Good for you!

  • This is a really unique family. I wish, I wish, I wish I had the guts to live according to my own will … but alas I’m still stuck in the life of a slave. Perhaps I’ll find my inner self and courage by watching?!

  • Wow, what a really great blog. I think my family is pretty close, but no way in the world would we survive all living in such close quarters, we’d probably kill each other in the first 24 hours. I guess you do work past that though, huh? You are very inspiring, I think this weekend we’ll do a family thing. God Bless.

  • omg.. PLEASE..
    i would love to meet you guess… i am always fighting with my dad.. and my mom. im adopted.. and my birth mom barley wants to ever see me.. i am begging you… i would love to meet you guys!
    i am like in love with Grady thoughh (:

  • I so hope you do not sign up for a reality show..It is not that I do not want to see you and your travels. It is because these reality shows always, always end in disaster.. Producers want drama and will go to any lengths to find it and destory a family. A documentary would be really cool.. maybe a special. I realize the money always helps the travels, yet it can also destory the travels and the family. Its one thing to have a family camera to capture the memories, its truely another thing to have a whole camera crew in your face 24/7 and be in a 36′ RV. I adore your blogs, videos and pictures, I love that your raising your children with such values.. As I posted on one of your other blogs, I have camped all my life in primative campgrounds, and when I was 8 my family crossed the U.S. in a station wagon towing a pop up trailer, camping most of the way, occassionaly staying in a motel or visting relatives we’ve met for the first time.. Amazing adventures. I so wanted to do this for my children, yet I have been a single mom most of their lives and I can only tell them my memories.. Camping is the thing that keep my family close. Im a pioneer as well, trying to keep life simple and uncomplicated, its always a work in progress. Have fun Kellogg family, life is simply too short! hugs for you all.

  • I think it’s awesome what you are doing with your family and teaching them to live in the moment. Wish I had the means to do the same. Must be an adventure with such a great big loving family. Coming from a family of seven I can only imagine your family dinners. LOL

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