It's truly hard to believe but we have actually completed our adventure! We got back to Texas and suddenly it hit us...the adventure of a lifetime was over. Instead of being our reality, it was now about to become a thing of our past, a thing we did that we can only now remember and talk about. I honestly cannot believe we succeeded. When we came up with this idea last summer, we thought we might be lunatics. We literally thought it would be a good idea to take three kids and set off around America in an RV! Let's add to that statement that I do not camp, have never camped and had no desire to camp EVER, in my whole life. Oh and for fun, let's also add that neither of us have ever driven an RV, owned an RV, have never home schooled our children, had no idea if something of this magnitude could actually be pulled off and yet we still went ahead with it! We heard "we were insane, we were nuts, we were awesome, we were cool, we had lost our minds, we were incredible parents, we were bad parents, we were getting in over our heads" and so many other things. All of this should have stopped us, should have made us have doubts in our parenting abilities, should have made us just forget the whole idea. BUT IT DIDN'T. The more we talked about it, the more real it became, the more we saw we had to at least try. We knew that if we tried and failed, at least we could know we tried to do something extraordinary with our kids. We knew that if we had gotten ourselves this excited and then decided not to bother, we would regret it the rest of our lives. Sometimes you have to tune out everything else and just trust your gut. Trust that you are being led to make an insane decision and hope and pray there is someone, somewhere looking out for you.
Don't get me wrong, we had our share of moments this past year that we are not proud of...living in 400 sqft is gonna make anyone crazy! Our kids have heard a few choice words come out of our mouths that we never dreamt we'd say in front of them. They have seen us fight and make-up, they have learned to live with so much less, they have truly seen how others live and have voiced over and over to us how lucky they are. They have become their own little pack...having each others backs for the rest of their lives, they have seen and done things they might never have had the chance to do had we not taken them on this adventure, they have made and checked off bucket lists, they have made their own dreams a reality, and they have seen that hard work pays off. The biggest thing we hope they have taken from this is that it is okay to dream and it is even more okay to take a crazy risk. You may be successful or you may fail. But if you don't try, you have no way of knowing what the ending would be. Let's be real...I never had a dream to live in an RV, never had any desire to pack up my life every few days like a homeless person, but I did have a dream to take my kids to every state in America and show them just how amazing our country is. I had a dream to spend endless time with my kids as they become young men really just enjoying them, spending time with them, playing with them and learning who they are slowly becoming.
I never in my life thought I would be sad to have the RV gone, but I am. Being back home is great, we have a beautiful new home, we have seen our friends and family that we missed, our kids are back to the daily hustle of sports, appointments, sleepovers, etc. We have all our stuff back from storage, we have a dishwasher again :) and we all have our own space to get away from each other. And you know what, every single one of us would give it all up in a heartbeat if we had the chance to do this again. We have all learned so much about ourselves this past year, and have learned that we actually really like being on top of each other, in each others business. We like having nothing to do on our schedule, we like having only each other to rely on and we like spending endless time together. Funny enough, we have this big new house with our own space and 95% of the time we are all in the same room. I am so proud of us, proud that we stood our ground and did this, proud that we made it home having actually checked off our whole list. I told my kids continually some things are clearly meant to be in life and this trip is an example of that. I thank God everyday for keeping us safe the entire time. We had zero incidents, zero emergencies, we missed severe weather constantly by pure luck. Gas was at record lows the entire year, enabling us to complete this trip. The perfect home fell into our laps in the exact place we wanted to return. There are so many things that could've gone wrong over and over and they just didn't. We are truly blessed to grow old together knowing we did something with our kids that made a difference in their lives, gave them something they will remember forever and know we can both now look back and say "we actually did it" with giant smiles on our faces!