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!!!