See You Later, RV….

So much changes in a year.

So much changes in a week.

When I think about 2014: I think “RV.” The entire year was basically dedicated to our RV. We purchased it in January, spent the next five to six months tearing out the inside and re-doing many parts of it (with the fantastic help of our amazing family & friends), we moved in June 1st, and six weeks later, were off to a new adventure in Kentucky. Not only that, but we purchased a truck specifically for the trailer, had the hitch installed, and spent countless hours repairing walls, ceilings, pipes, etc., you name it, within the RV. Nearly all of our savings  were poured into this dream. After we arrived in Kentucky, our plans to get settled on our land kept being delayed because of tight finances and unexpected expenses, but we dealt with it. Meanwhile, so much support overflowed to us from many people in our lives — family, friends, online faces, and complete strangers. We took a huge risk and chased a dream. Nine months we’ve been in the RV. Nine crazy months that have given us new experiences, new lessons, new abilities, and brought us closer together as a couple.

We stayed married (ha!). We adjusted. We got used to a different way of doing things, like living without hot running water when the hot water heater stopped working and putting our clothes on the heating vents so they weren’t as cold when getting dressed on a winter morning. We even made it through a rough, record-breaking Kentucky winter and learned that we are more capable of handling cold weather than we thought. (Our bodies adjusted, seriously — going into a 70 degree house is way too warm now.) Also, buying propane constantly is expensive! Yet, we accomplished something. I feel good about that.

That said, fulltiming in the RV wasn’t a forever thing. Our original plan was to stay in the trailer until our next step, which was to build a small house on a gift of an acre of land in Kentucky. Visions of goat barns and muddy boots and huge bonfires filled our heads. This particular promise of the gift is the main reason we choose Kentucky. We purchased the RV and prepped it & our lives because we knew we had a spot of land waiting for us. If the land wasn’t there, I don’t think we could have done the RV unless we somehow found a year-round park near Chicago or something (don’t think there are any). Maybe we would have gone ahead with the tiny house we originally aimed for. Or maybe we would have purchased some land somewhere. Or maybe we would be doing something completely different. All we knew was that we wanted to to live simply.

Yet…. as much as we loved our little trailer home and wanted to start building our own small farm this year, we just haven’t been ourselves. As I mentioned earlier, the RV consumed all our thoughts, energy, and sanity (in one way or another). We could handle that. We couldn’t handle the other unexpected circumstance thrown our way — our relationship with our ‘aunt’ (whom, if you recall, gifted us the land) quickly changed from a welcoming relationship to a strained one. We needed to leave quickly for everyone’s sake. [I really want to say a lot more about this, but we are still dealing with some aspects of it. When all is said and done, I’ll share the bizarre story someday. I believe there are valuable lessons we learned through this experience.]

We prayed. We talked. We decided to move out of our beloved RV into a studio apartment in town.

Which is where I am at this moment.

I thought we’d be on our land today, putting up fences, preparing for baby goats, and planning a summer garden. We never thought we’d be in an apartment again, but here we are (and for those of you who are wondering, we are breaking even financially with this apartment vs. RV costs & bills on that farm).

I know many people who live in RVs just pack up their RV and move to another location. As much as I wanted to stay in our RV, there wasn’t a good option that fit us right now.  We had to leave quick and that RV isn’t moving any time soon. It doesn’t help that it’s still sitting in a pile of snow, mud, and hay.

We are growing roots in this community and do not have plans to go anywhere else (sincerest apologies to those of you back in Chicago!). Both of us feel called to stay. Within me is a growing sense of purpose in this humble Kentucky town. Instead of building a house on the land we thought we were going to have, we will be looking at other options within the next year. Our beloved RV will probably be sold (hopefully to someone who plans to travel often or full-time), but our decision with that has yet to be determined. As soon as this weather stops (we got another snow storm today!) and disappears, we’ll be moving the trailer to another farm for temporary storage.

We’ve been in this apartment for two weeks and I do miss the farm. Oh, those chickens, ducks, and horses. But in this moment, I am grateful for our own shower & hot running water, warm toes & fingers, the ability to cook more at home now that we have water to use & wash dishes with, plenty of room for the cats to run back and forth across the floor, and the chance to walk nearly anywhere in town. Most of all, I am also grateful to be free from toxic people in a toxic environment. It was bringing me down in a way I haven’t been in years. Not good. As hard as it was to leave behind the ‘gift’ of the land and the intended generosity of the person who let us stay on her farm, we know this was the best choice for us. Are we disappointed? Of course. Do I feel like I’ve disappointed everyone that supported us? Very much so. It breaks my heart. But it’s time to dream again of another future (I still see a farm in it). I am oddly excited, which is a good thing, right??

I feel better than I have in months. I am rested. Nourished. Free.

This recharge is giving us the energy we ned to be able to focus on other people again.

And to give. I want to give. Oh, so much — I just want to share and give what God has given us. We have been unable to give much lately and it’s been hard because we love to give. Giving is just natural to us — whether it be time, money, or a helping hand. We want to give more. But to recieve? That’s hard. It’s hard to let other people take care of our needs. It’s hard to not feel an obligation. It’s hard to be unable to reciprocate. But all that we’ve been receiving? We are so, so blessed to know a God that takes care of our needs, one way or another. Someone told me this is a season of our life where we have to be good recievers. With that in mind, I have been trying to be a gracious reciever.

THANK YOU. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement, the coffee gift cards, the handmade hats, the unexpected funds, the video messages, the shared meals, the nerf gun wars, the letters, for simply being in my life. I am overflowing with gratitude towards family, old friends, new friends, the kindess of strangers, and our new church here in Kentucky. Our church has been one of the biggest supports here as we are away from family & friends, and I don’t know what we would have done without them. I don’t know how often I can say it to everyone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks. Love you.

16 thoughts on “See You Later, RV….

  1. I’m sorry u both had to leave the farm but hopefully u wil reach that dream again. I wish both of you a good journey. Start a family 🙂

    1. The thing about dreams is that when you’ve already accomplished one (or part of one), you tend to dream more! Because you know it can be done! I do not know what the future holds, except more adventure of some sort. 🙂

  2. There are two sides to your story Laura – like how much you took advantage of others, how you failed to pay for damages you created/caused and how much you didn’t appreciate all the sacrifices your ‘aunt’ made for the two of you. My heart is broken and I never thought for a moment my kindness would be used and taken advantage of. Do you have any idea how much debt I have gone in to because of you? Because of my trust for you and Kyle? Through it all I wanted nothing but the best for you both. I still do and hope you are grateful to others because you sure were not grateful to us.

  3. Be very careful what you publish online and say to others. There are two sides to every story and I do believe others know more about you than you realize.

  4. No matter the obstacles or complications, you have had a learning experience. More are coming in your new place. I feel the need to tell you how much seeing your blog show up in my email brightens my day. I’m ecstatic for your love of your church family. I too have a church family I have fought to stay close to just because I can’t see myself surviving anywhere without them. They are such good people. Until the next blog post, God be with you and bless you both.

    1. I am glad to hear you have surrounded yourself with good people! 🙂 We were sad to leave our old church in Chicagoland because it was great too, but this church just speaks to my heart more. It’s a small community and the people aren’t afraid to be real. It touches me to hear my posts make you smile. I am planning to write more this year. Thank you for all your comments — they always make me smile!!

  5. I am sure everything happens for a reason and this just may be a temporary (but slightly more comfortable than freezing-RV) living arrangement for the time being! It is also good for change to be constant sometimes and you have a ton of people who support you and your choices! I am sorry this all happened, no one could have foreseen such an unfortunate circumstance. LOVE ❤

    1. Everything does happen for a reason. And every current opportunity prepares us for a future opportunity. For sure. Definitely feeling grateful for all the support. No one ever expects certain things to happen, but they do, and it just makes us stronger….. THANK YOU! ❤

  6. Laura I agree with others, this was truly a sad situation. I’m sorry you feel the need to call me ‘toxic’ and spread mean rumors. I only wanted the best for you and Kyle and tried to help as much as possible. Yes, this situation is disappointing for me as well, and as I wrote earlier, truly heartbreaking. I have found peace with this situation through prayer and support of family and friends too, and regardless if you and Kyle ever pay back the costs I incurred in an effort to protect you both, it doesn’t matter to me anymore. I look back with no regrets. I did my absolute best by the two of you and my heart was always in the right place.

    I do believe everything happens for a reason, on both sides. I’m walking away from the anger and hurt, you can write whatever you choose about me and I won’t read it, because in the end, I know you are writing from hurt and anger as well. Yes it will hurt, but if that’s what it takes for you to find peace, then so be it.

    peace, love and light, wishing the best for you and Kyle in your future, wherever it leads.

  7. your from chi town. martha is a hillbilly and i’m a hick. hillbillies with a proper upbringin will go on bad mouthing someone and then say ‘god bless them’.

    jordan is wwwhhhaaattteeevvveeerrr but “god bless her”. see.

    i could go but i wont. “god bless me”. i’m a heathen.

    the real lesson here is do everything yourselves. don’t take favors you don’t get shit. well not as much. and you can say git. “god bless you”. you will came out of this fine. i don’t know about stronger, but certainly wiser. don’t go to family reunions, i don’t. enjoy life. smile or grin an wave when you pass. it’ll drive them nuts. i know.

    ice cream raz

  8. hey it’s me again. why not block jordan? some blogs moderate all responses. i can see the attraction. jordan has not forgot and ain’t never going to, “god bless her”. toxic. sadly. i am sending this to you and kyle. this not for public edification. you appear to be at your wits end here. this will heal. avoid negative people. they will tire of you and move on to their next victim. “don’t get in spittin contest with a skunk”.

    ice cream raz

  9. I found a link to this post on Rowdy Kittens and I’m so glad I did! It was reassuring to read your words and accept the similar circumstances I have found myself in during a year of “experimental living”. I have also struggled with making plans (beautiful and bold plans) and then having to accept that plans must change, because reality always has something up its sleeve. I wish you the very best and will revel with you over the simple joys of warmth, space, and a regular kitchen.

    1. Ohhh, I know too much about the disappointment of having to drop bold & beautiful plans. So much in the last few years have we been on board for something only to have circumstances come up and force us to create new plans and so forth. It’s hard. I am glad to hear we are not alone, though. Thank you for your warm wishes! Good luck with your changing plans. 🙂

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