Hello, friends. It’s been a minute since I’ve updated this space. How in the world is it already September??!!
This year has been a HUGE year of transition for our family. If you have been following our journey for a while, you know that we started 2022 with so much change!
Here’s a brief recap.
We bought a beautiful little house in Bellevue, IA, just two blocks off of the Mississippi River. We moved everything we owned from our RV, which we had lived in for 6.5 years, into the house. We basically started with a kitchen table and chairs, one queen-size bed, our couch from the RV, our washer/dryer combo unit from the RV, and all of our daily use things – you guessed it – from the RV. We were able to snag a few essentials off of Facebook Marketplace and our friends generously helped furnish our house with the rest things we were missing. ❤️ We have gradually put “RV things” back in the RV as we’ve acquired “house things”.
We survived our first Midwest winter. This was a very new experience. We didn’t hate it. Winter here has a lot of beauty. It’s just long…about as long as Texas summers! LOL
Emily got a job at our local grocery store back in January and graduated high school in May. We took a big, monthlong trip to Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for her “Senior Trip” and final big camping trip with us for a while.
Our oldest daughter, Vicky, flew up from Texas to spend the week with us around the 4th of July. This was her first time to visit the Midwest. It was fun showing her around.
We had big plans for lots of camping trips this summer, but that was not to be. We ended up with truck troubles and having to rebuild the backend of our RV due to a major water leak.
Tyler had back-to-back summer camps in July…Boy Scouts and then Church Camp.
Emily moved into her own apartment and started college at Northeast Iowa Community College the end of August. She got to be one of the very first residents at the brand new, beautiful College Suites.
Tyler started 9th grade and has grown several inches in a few months…he’s almost eye-level with me. We are still homeschooling for this year.
We finally got to take the RV out to camp with friends at a local campground…lots of campfires, good conversation, and laughter. That was good for the soul! The truck has been in the shop, and has had several necessary repairs, but is still acting up. Someone generously and anonymously paid the last repair bill. A BIG thank you to whomever that was! ❤️ We have a couple more things we are going to try…praying for success!
Most recently, Paul discovered a section on the side of our house where the wood has all rotted and is currently in the process of rebuilding that. It’s a lot of work keeping up the maintenance on essentially two homes…the RV and the sticks and bricks!
So much change! I’m used to changing scenery, but it’s been so weird watching our little family change. I think the one major disadvantage to living and traveling fulltime in an RV for almost 7 years is that our family got so close! We learned to lean on each other and to do everything as a team. I wouldn’t normally call that a disadvantage, but I never dreamed how hard it was going to be to launch my girl off to college…the doubts in myself on whether I prepared her enough, the feeling of loss, the what-ifs, and even grief that hit really surprised me. She’s only 45 minutes drive away from us, but I’ve been a hot mess the past couple of weeks! Sorry, Paul and Tyler! BUT, we’re all beginning to find our rhythm again. She is doing great and I am doing much better! 🙂
Emily is thriving in her new environment at Northeast Iowa Community College. She is soaking up all the things. She is enjoying her classes. She is learning so much and loving every second of it. She landed a job at the grocery store just behind her apartment…and a job doing graphics for Student Impact on campus. She is meeting tons of new people and experiencing so many exciting things.
She was prepared. I’ve always told my kids that “if you can learn to learn, you can learn anything!” The sky is the limit because she knows how to learn. She will succeed at anything she puts her mind to. She has proven that over and over. She is exactly where God has called her to be, which is evidenced by the many doors that have opened for her in a very short period of time of her being there. She leaves a trail of sunshine behind her everywhere she goes and is making an impression on everyone she meets. And most importantly….she calls or texts her Mama everyday and doesn’t get annoyed when I randomly text her. 🙂
Thank you to our prayer warriors who have prayed us through all of this change! We have truly felt those prayers and appreciate them so much. Thank you to our friends who have been so generous and kind. Thank you to the community of Bellevue, IA for making us feel right at home. We have been constantly amazed at how God continues to move in us and around us. Life is such a journey, isn’t it?