She Speaks!

I haven’t had the chance to make my blogging debut here. It was a busy end of school year, an even busier summer at work, and processing a trip of this magnitude took its toll. 

If you’ve been keeping up, this was kind of my idea originally. As my work life and personal life were super overwhelming, the thought of picking up and leaving for a year seemed like a just right fit for our family. 

I can imagine us having the time of our lives and making memories that would last a lifetime. Jay told you he was a hopeless romantic…frequently I’m the opposite of that, so it was a huge surprise that I felt so content and calm with the trip. (This may have been a bit naive.)

I know that Jay officially announced the postponement of our trip. And, like he said, we are sad. Life doesn’t always end up how we plan and we’re not always prepared for what is thrown at us, but we really do believe that this year will still be filled with making amazing memories for our family and community. And who knows. We may still end up in an RV soon anyway.

Stay tuned…we aren’t done with our crazy ideas!

Radio Silence, Business is A-Brewing

You haven’t heard from us in a while. I’m not going to make a silly excuse for it and say that we’ve been too busy to post or write or communicate at all for the past two months. But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

The past eight weeks have been a ridiculous rollercoaster of emotions for me and Megan, and the simple answer for all of it is that we can’t seem to make up our minds. We want to go on the trip. We are excited by all that it could mean: new experiences, more music performing for me, and the chance to grow together as a family in ways otherwise impossible. But we love our home and neighborhood. And we fear that once we leave, we might not return.

Many of you know that I have a particular fondness for beer and for brewing it. And that love has slowly grown into a full-blown desire to open a nano-brewery in my hometown of Saint Charles, IL. This, of course, complicates matters even more. I have a meeting with the city’s economic development team on September 8th. How that meeting goes will likely determine our next steps—either sinking in our teeth further  here locally or, possibly, moving ahead to take the RV-trip plunge. The next two weeks could get really, really interesting…

Scarlett, Eleanor picking blueberries at DeGrand Champ in South Haven, MI. 8/3/2017
I’d like to conclude today’s post by sharing an excerpt from a post that I never finished. It was supposed to be our official declaration *not* to do the trip. After taking a week away on vacation in western Michigan, now we’re not so sure:

Post Title: Detour
Last Modified: 6/24/2017
Status: Draft

Sometimes we make plans and sometimes our plans are made for us. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs and adjust accordingly.

We are sad to officially announce today that an RV trip will not happen for us this year beginning in August, as we had first hoped. At best, our traveling adventure will be delayed until Summer 2018. At worst, indefinitely. The decision did not come easy, but only after taking a step back from full-throttle planning, assessing our family’s needs, and truly considering our heart’s desires.

Regardless of taking a year-long road trip, what do we truly want to see happen in our family in the next year? (Yeah, we are talking about goal-setting—at the family level.) What do we consider possible—and impossible—and can we dream big?

For those who know me well, there’s no question as to my level of Romanticism. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’m Romantic Level: Hopeless. I am a dreamer of dreamers. An entrepreneur. (But make no mistake, the mood swings can be extreme. Big dreams are accompanied by equally-big come-downs.)

So what brought our plans to an RV-tire-screeching halt? In a word: growth. Our greatest desire as parents is to see our children grow into beautiful displays of the human spirit—spiritually-attuned, active contributors to society, dreamers, explorers, eager to learn, critical thinkers, empathetic.

Doing the Impossible… in 29 Days

Is it even possible to get all of our ducks in a row, as the saying goes? Is it even possible to do it all in the 29 days we have left to pull the trigger on our year-long RV plan? Well, it most certainly doesn’t seem likely. And why the July 14th deadline? Here’s the short of it:

We don’t want to burn any bridges.

As a school administrator, Megan has a ton to do in the “off-season” as it were. While teachers get a few solid weeks off (well-deserved, I may add), most administrators are already planning for the next school year on day one of “summer break”. The last thing we want to do is leave Megan’s summer work half-done, essentially burning our bridges for future employment opportunities (or just changes in employment) within the district.

School starts back up at the end of August, so that will give the rest of her staff time to decide how to tackle a Megan-shaped void. We have a couple of ideas for how to help the district make the transition and she’ll be officially presenting those [fingers crossed] to the superintendents and the Board once we know for sure the trip is going to happen. As it turns out, job security is really one of the least of our concerns.

The big details yet to be decided.

We have a few leads on the rental of our house, some info to go through regarding health insurance options, and an RV that we like that’s for sale that we haven’t gone and seen yet. Hopefully we can take a few steps in those directions this coming week.

I’ve also taken a look at our budget a bit closer, and as tight as I know it could be, I think the trip is still doable. A number of sizable steps must happen, in this order, in order for this trip to happen at all:

  1. Purchase an RV. No RV, no trip, right?
  2. Rent our house. Uh… no (or low) income while on the road? Yeah, zero chance of paying our mortgage and our trip expenses without a reliable renter.
  3. Sell our Honda Accord. It’s a well-maintained 2011 V4 Sedan. Wanna buy it for $8,000???
  4. Sell my 1976 Honda CB360T motorcycle. It’s in great shape. nearly mint. I bought it for $2,150 and put another $250 in parts into it. Needs a new starter clutch, if you didn’t want to kickstart it all the time (I have to kick it about every other time I ride).

With the stars aligned and these four major details taken care of, we are officially cleared for take-off. The clock is ticking. It’s decision time in 29 days.