I hate that there have been such long pauses between blog posts here. I intended to write much more frequently, but we’re so busy getting all the pieces in order right now that there’s hardly any time left at the end of the day.
Scott is still working through the end of the month (more job details at a later time), and my workload has essentially doubled. Add to that the holidays, living in between our RV and a vacation house (generously provided by family), and trying to get everything unpacked and ready to roll out of here the first week of January, and we have made life EVEN MORE BANANAS. It’s the storm before the calm.
We took our 2nd drive with the RV last night (the first being the drive from Dallas to south of San Antonio the day we bought it) up to the Austin area. The first time we drove it, south central Texas got hit by a very rare snowstorm. This time, it was raining and so foggy that visibility was next to nothing for a good part of the trip. No big deal! Just pulling a 42 foot, 16k lb trailer, mother nature. It’s fine. It’s all fine.
It was worth the nail-biting, though, because we made it to Star Hill Ranch and met up with Tyler Schmitt of The Mill Photography to recreate some magic. See, on October 8th, 2006, we got married at Star Hill Ranch, and Tyler was our photographer. 11 years later, we brought our four kids and our RV back! I don’t know what would have been more shocking to newlywed me- that I would be living with my family in an RV or that we would have FOUR kids. Ha!
Despite running very late (actual story of our lives), the mist, the rain, and 4 energetic kids, Tyler managed somehow (and I really don’t know how because the conditions were awful) to get this and a few other magical shots…
I know a lot of you are really interested in the exact details of our truck and RV setup, so here they are:
The truck is a 2017 Ford F350 Super Duty Super Cab dually, complete with hitch prep package. We didn’t plan to buy a truck with a hitch prep package. We figured we’d just pay someone to install a hitch for us, but this was what they had on the lot when we were looking. It was a great deal, and we are now SO glad we got the upgrades we did, including that package. All we had to do was order our hitch and Scott was able to install it himself. We didn’t have to have anyone drill anything into the bed of the truck. Our hitch is the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch.
It has a bench seat up front, so Kendall sits between Scott and I. He’s 9.5, big for his age, and passes the 5-Step Booster Test. There is no airbag in his seat, and he has a full shoulder and lap belt, just like we do. The other 3 kids are in the backseat in 2 Clek Foonf carseats (Wallace is rear-facing in the center, Lowell is forward facing on the driver’s side), and Leyna is in a Clek Oobr high back booster.
I work with Clek on BabyRabies.com (my parenting blog) and they generously provided the kids’ carseats.
The RV is a 2017 Jayco North Point 377RLBH. It’s 42 feet long! It’s a midbunk model, so there is a bunk room in the middle of the RV with one set of bunk beds. Leyna and Lowell will share this space. Kendall, our oldest, will get the loft above the bunk room. There’s a separate master bedroom that we managed to squeeze our own king bed into, and we’ll share that with Wallace, the baby.
You can watch a live tour of it from the morning we picked it up here. (And be sure to like our FB page because we’ll do many more live videos over there!)
An RV trip around the country with our kids wasn’t even on our radar 11 years ago. On our way to the photo shoot, I texted Tyler, apologizing profusely for being so late. He offered to reschedule because of the weather, but there’s not really another day that we could make this happen this month.
I took a deep breath, and reminded myself (and Tyler) that imperfect, wild, and loud are on brand for us.
I stressed about tiny details when we got married in this very room. I wish I could go back and tell that girl she has NO IDEA what stress is! Hahaha!
Okay, and also that the best moments in life can be born from the most stressful.
Happy, loud, and happy loud.