The seasons are changing and with the lingering breezes of fall I feel myself retreating inward. I'm calling more awareness in around these feelings. I spent a long time on the phone with my sister this morning taking turns talking about what Dr. Wayne Dyer taught us, working through sadness, density, question marks and focusing on what's begging to be noticed today. I said, "sis, I'm so burnt out" and she replied, "that's great!" ...
We've enjoyed some really lovely coverage (thank you all so much) of our RV make over lately from the Today Show, Country Living and Design Sponge. It feels like now is the perfect time to share some Pro's and Con's of our experience so far.
- We've been living in our RV for nine and a half months now. We've finally stopped saying "we sold it in the garage sale" or "I think we gave that away" when trying to find something. It was a running joke early on but now makes me feel so good in knowing we truly have everything we need.
- We recently did a clean sweep and got rid of anything that we haven't touched or used since July 1, 2014. Hard to believe but we are even lighter now than when we moved in. Buh-bye hand mixer and baking sheets!
- This country is incredible and I've never loved nature more. We are spending so much time outdoors. Everything about that feels right. I've started making nature mandalas as a ritual. It reminds me of my time in Bali and it takes me back to memories of making flower soup and mud pies as a kid. I don't think I would have done that if we were still living in a traditional house.
- Practically speaking the fridge is not that small, the shower is plenty roomy, we are always home wherever we go and we never have to stop to pee!
- We eat together more, mostly prepare meals at home and togetherness is sort of our middle names now. Ned is always with us and he totally owns the place (as you can tell he is in most of our photos).
- We look forward to getting on the road as much as we do sitting still. Ned prefers the sitting still parts.
- Anytime Cliff walks towards the cockpit or turns on the motor Ned dives under the couch. He has a really safe and comfy spot under there that we've created for him but he still gets nervous when we are on the road.
- The water is my happy place and I get exactly 8 minutes of hot water per shower. EIGHT. And that's an improvement thanks to an oxygenating shower head. It's not all bad though, when we visit new cities we go in search of Hot Springs (Ojo Calente is still our favorite).
- Cliff says if he bangs his head one more time on the low hanging cabinets the damage may become permanent. I have managed to stop laughing when it happens.
- Me time. What is that?
- The necessary evils of cleaning the composting toilet and defrosting the fridge and freezer got old fast. I currently have a bag of berries being held hostage by a giant chunk of ice that has covered the freezer opening.
- Internet connection has been an effort. I'm using my phone as a hot spot because once again we've gone over on our Jet Pack gigs. It's like the early days of cell phones when you could go over on minutes and then you'd get a surprise bill that made your stomach drop. Let's just say I could have bought an entire new capsule wardrobe for spring on what I spent paying for overage charges. All for binge watching season 1 of Outlander.
Thanks for all your love and sweet words about the renovation and this life we've chosen. I hope that you read something here that inspires you. One of the things I'm learning over and over through this experience is that you really can have whatever you want and it's grounds for celebration to change your mind, make a U turn or go the other way. We do that a lot!
With love, Lacy (and Cliff and Ned)
UPDATE: We have settled down in a cozy cabin in the woods. See our DIY renovation progress on Instgram here with #youngfamilycabin. Barb has gone on to a bright new future as the Pumpspotting Bus called The Breast Express! You can see their Kickstarter and following along with the RV's continued journey here.
It's bananas to sell everything you own and move into an RV, right? Yeap. Completely bananas. But you know what... WE LOVE bananas! In May of 2014 we sold/ gave away most of our stuff, purchased a 1994 Safari Continental. As we started to renovate we found mold which ended up being a tremendous gift. We gutted her and made her into what truly feels like home. It has been and continues to be a BIG adventure and I'm convinced that adventure really means advanced troubleshooting!
I'm so excited to share our home! I've linked most of the stuff for ya just in case you see something that inspires. There are a couple of affiliate links that relate directly to my work as a health coach. The rest are not affiliates, just sharing the love.
Timeline: - Bought her in May. - Renovated at warp speed (seriously it was madness) in June. - Moved in July 1. This was the first time she was clean and put together. Felt sooo good!
- Got used to her in August and continued working on aesthetics. Lots of bumping into each other and hitting our heads on cabinets. Depending on the day it was completely hilarious or frustrating. - Spent September on the road driving from Texas to California and back. - October/ November. Parked her again for more renovations and for me to go to Bali for a month on soul journey! You can see it over here.
That giant hole used to hold the backup camera. On our first trip we hit a bump and it came flying out! We've since removed that TV box. It's just an open hole at the moment but we plan to either 1. get a new smaller back up camera to mount there or 2. make it into a cabinet to match the other two.
Welcome to our home!
It took Ned a little over three months to get used to his new life in our mobile abode. He was an indoor/ outdoor cat before so it's been a little tough on his waist line and spirit to be indoors most of the time. We let him out anytime he wants to go. It's usually once we've stopped somewhere for a few days and when the nights are nice and quiet.
We love having plants in our home and air plants seem to be the way to go in an RV. We've lost a few but about 75% of them are hanging in there! My mom sewed these and the living room curtains for us from linen fabric that was gifted to us by my friend Jamie House who is an incredible interior designer and was my sanity saver on this project.
This is what it looks like when we are stopped. When we are in motion we take everything off the surfaces and put them into three 12x12 collapsible storage bins that then sit at the base of the bed on the floor. We had the bookshelf custom built for the space and there's a leading edge on each shelf that helps to keep everything in it's place.
We started with older orphan garage sale chairs (you can see them in the photo of when we first settled in above) in the dining room that I spray painted white. They were cute but not comfy. We upgraded to these Ikea chairs and they've been great! We've tried to hold our belongings to the rule that it must be beautiful or practical or both (and that feels so good).
We didn't want to bolt down any of our furniture so we made sure the items that were in spaces that could move or fall while in motion would stay put. The kitchen table is wrought iron that I spray painted a soft yellow and we added a table top from Home Depot. That baby doesn't move an inch and it's become the center of our home. We sit here to work, to eat, to chat. I love this space.
I love our kitchen. LOVE IT. I love the butcher block counter tops, the sink mounted under the counter, the subway tile, the color (that was Jamie!), the hardware. I love everything about this space.
We crafted this space to suit our needs. We removed a giant and dated looking microwave and replaced it with a toaster oven. We brought our juicer AND our blender which are my favorite two kitchen appliances of all time.
My only regret in our renovation process is that we rushed the paint (you can see where it's worn above the top two drawers). We only had one day to get it painted before we took it to get the cabinets reinstalled after having the molded damage bits removed and rebuilt. One day we'll touch up but for now we're much too busy living here.
The entire RV is 4 colors from Sherwin Williams.
What we lack in wall space we make up for in cabinets! When I was first decorating and deciding what would go where it dawned on me that I could decorate INSIDE the cabinets. Hello! Happiness! This is our smoothie station. We use it almost everyday. The print is a free download on my site! And loads of smoothie recipes.
We downsized our kitchen BIG time and at the end of the year I plan to comb through and downsize a bit more getting rid of stuff we've not used since moving in. We have 4 plates, 2 glasses and several bowls. We kept too many pots and pans considering we have only 2 burners but I adore our cookware so we made space for it.
Can you tell that's Ned's favorite spot in the living room! We added the divider curtains once we got out on the road. One day we'll purchase actual window screens for the front windows (they're pricey). For now we've improvised in a really beautiful way by installing a track from Ikea and hanging two cotton shower curtains from West Elm, the Pintuck shower curtain. We have the same curtains in our bedroom. The black and white rug is from Anthropologie.
The floor is cork called Barcelos (and it sounds best if you say it with an Antonio Banderas accent) from Lumber Liquidators. And we ADORE it.
I keep my shoes in the baskets under the couch. Cliff keeps his in the cabinets over the bookcase. We have been a no shoes in the house family for the last few years so it makes a lot of sense to keep them at the front of the bus near the door.
The couch is a futon and we've had exactly one overnight guest so far, my sister. She confirmed what we all suspected... most uncomfortable nights sleep ever. On the plus side it fits the space, fit into the door with no problem and was the right price. Downside it's sort of this weird felt fabric that holds onto Ned's fur for dear life and is not comfortable. We'll upgrade at some point but for now it's working just fine.
The Moroccan pouf came from my friends store in Belmont, MA called Marmalade. The squirrel pillow came from Target. The chair was a Home Goods find. The rug was a hand me down from my mom.
We were in Joshua Tree in our house and it was by far the most magical experience to date in the RV. It's wild driving your home everywhere with you. WILD. This maiden voyage west and the way I felt... I'll remember it forever. I remember the way I felt when Ned chose me to be his mom, I remember the way I felt watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon with Cliff when we moved from California to Texas and I remember the way I felt driving through Joshua Tree in our home.
You get a little peek of hardware in this image. Since the entire place is lined in cabinetry, I tried to help differentiate rooms by choosing different knobs or handles for each room.
We used my favorite blanket to create a divider curtain for the bedroom. It helps to keep the morning light from blazing in and also helps regulate the temperature. We used the same track system from Ikea as at the front.
The bedroom! Oh the bedroom. When we went to purchase the RV the bedroom was a sad, sad place. Old window boxes, stale energy and the bed was what they call an RV queen which is really code for too small to sleep on. We knew if this place was going to feel like home we'd have to be able to fit our Cal King mattress in the room! Getting it in the door was pretty hilarious. Picture the mattress folded like a taco with Cliff inside pulling and me and mom outside pushing.
We ripped out side cabinets to make room for the mattress which obviously eliminated some storage space but it was totally worth it. Cliff made a bigger bed platform and we covered the base in the same bead board that we used for the ceiling throughout the RV. You can see we still need to paint it white... soon. The massive diesel engine is actually under the bed and the platform that the mattress sits on is on hinges to allow access.
Jamie found this amazing reclaimed wood for us! She hand picked every piece! Cliff cut and pieced it together to create a headboard. It's both glued and tacked into place with little finishing nails. It's stunning, so warm and beautiful. It's our favorite project in the RV so far.
This gives you an idea of space in the room. Cliff can easily walk along side the bed to get in but since my side is near the wardrobe it's a tight squeeze so I get in and out of bed via the foot of the bed.
You can see we're all comfy here. <3
Clothes... we downsized our wardrobes BIG time to move into the RV and have downsized even further by adopting the capsule wardrobe lifestyle.
I believe your home is a snap shot of who you are. That meant we HAD to have an art wall somewhere. This is literally the only wall that is open floor to ceiling and you can see I took FULL advantage! The little cat is from Whismy Kitten on Etsy is Ned's favorite thing. He uses it as a pillow (no idea how he learned to do that but it's adorable).
We used conduit pipe for the bedroom curtain rods and since the curtains are actually shower curtains I used leather cord to tie them to the rod. The hook with our robes is from Anthropologie. I had it in my studio holding oodles of ribbons in our house before and I love having it on our bedroom now.
That little black unassuming fan has been a lifesaver! We will eventually get one more for the bedroom and two for the front of the bus. The top cabinet pulls are from Anthro. We made the leather pulls on the desk intentionally to have something soft since it's so easy to bump against everything living in such a small space. It's a bit like child proofing to make sure we can bounce off the surfaces without injury. The calendar and pockets are from Pottery Barn and the idea came direct from one of my besties who has a similar set up in her kitchen.
The bathroom got thoughtfully spruced. We have a full makeover planned. The sink is a find from ReStore. It's a hair washing sink, a nod to my dad who has been a barber since he was in the Navy. He was on laundry duty and they asked if anyone knew how to cut hair... he said yes (total lie to get out of laundry detail) and has been a barber ever since! Mom sewed a skirt for the sink and our collapsible laundry hamper lives underneath.
The composing toilet was a big win though it took us a little trial and error to figure out the proper proportions of coconut coir. These days we've got it dialed and have a home completely free of any unwelcome odors. The shower curtain rod is a double curved rod from Lowe's. We use the extra rod for hanging wet towels and clothes. Shower curtain is from Target.
The floor is pebbles that give a mini foot massage every time you walk on them. The tub used to be trimmed in this weird, peeling gold foil stuff. We weren't sure if there was anything that could be done but the man who helped us renovate her in record time surprised us by covering it with wood! Completely awesome.
Getting this old gal in shape had been a true team effort and we've felt tremendously loved and supported along the way. I love that our home has been a collaboration of so many hearts with time and talent.
Huge. Massive. Grand. Big, big, big thanks to Jamie House Design for helping us at every turn. When I was maxed out and could not make a decision she was always there. Thank you sweet Jamie for your time, your love and holding the vision of this project from the beginning. I love you.
Thank you to Johnny Loftis who worked diligently, quickly and honestly. We appreciate you! To mom for scraping, peeling, sewing, sweating, pushing, pulling, lifting, adjusting, hammer and nailing! To dad for knowing which power tools to bring, how to use them and for teaching me what a miter box is! To Aunt Mary for expert painting and tile demolition, Cody for serious man power in the demolition category, Mema for the best cork shelf liner install I've ever seen. Thank you all so much for your support with and through this huge transition.
UPDATE: We have settled down in a cozy cabin in the woods. See our DIY renovation progress on Instgram here with #youngfamilycabin.
We're over a week into the journey and it feels like time to sit and write. So much has happened in seven days. So many states covered, so many new sights experienced, so many shifts.
I'm getting pretty good at making tea while we're driving. We stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. No published prices because why bother when there's no competition for 100 miles. It's the most we've paid for gas so far. Note to self:: get gas in big towns.
It's interesting to set out on an intentional healing journey. To know that come what may we are in this RV and on the road to live our lives, have fun and welcome healing at every turn. There was a comment on one of my instagram photos that said "I wish I could run away like that." And it struck me as a gift in perspective... we're not running away from anything. We're running towards our life, our happiness, our whole health. We're so sure of this truth and it feels really good.
For months I've not been able to see past September, still can't. All I know for sure is that this is the month that our what next is revealed. We set out on Thursday evening and got a full hour down the road before the back of the RV filled with smoke and we had to pull over and sleep for the night without a/c in a grocery store parking lot. Full system shut down.
A journey is full of unexpected experiences around ever turn. I think that's actually in the definition somewhere! I figure there's bound to be a few in the category of our home is also our car and therefore requires a bit of maintenance to keep it all working. Right? Right!
We got something called Feliway to help Ned acclimate to the RV and despite being completely unamused when we are in motion it seems to be helping with his confidence.
After the black plume of smoke filled our bedroom full of white linens we sat with each other. We ran through a few scenarios and faced some serious fears about the journey ahead and our financial means to get there. It was quite possible that in one RV repair event we'd spend everything we had for the entire trip which would land us an hour down the road back home. That simply wasn't an option for us. We knew we had to see this journey through so we decided it would be and we sent love to our home that is also our car. We went to bed that night laying as far apart as possible hot, sticky-sweaty and on top of the covers with parking lot lights blazing into our open windows. After several phone calls and help the next day we were back on the road. Want to know the miracle part? They never did find anything wrong with the brakes. All told it was several hundred dollars (and a case of Budweiser to the helper at Dale's) instead of several thousand. Miracle. Total miracle.
We had our giant green juice and impromptu photo shoot the second day on a campground picnic table in Junction, Tx. (( For those wondering, I'm holding the phone out and we used the GorillaCam app on timer. We did the blast and took a bunch of picts, this one was the cutest (and I love it). ))
Somewhere on the road in New Mexico we really hit our groove. It was 65 degrees out and glorious. In the middle of who-knows-where New Mexico we stopped on the side of the road. I ran around taking pictures and standing in the middle of the desolate and empty road yelling, "THIS IS SO PRETTY! THIS IS SO FUN!"
A Facebook post of recommendations (note to self:: ask for recommendations more often, they're amazing) lead to the two most fun water experiences we've had in a long time. We'd just been having a conversation about Cliff's love of flying. I was wondering... what do I love as much as he loves flying? The answer----- w a t e r. Being in the water. Showers are my happy place. Steam rooms feel like a hug. Soaking is pure bliss. And so we ventured to Ten Thousand Waves and we soaked together with other naked bodies under the Santa Fe sun.
I'm struck by how natural it is to be naked with strangers. I'm not a nudist though I'm super comfy in my skin and certainly don't shy away from an occasion to be in my birthday suit. I observed myself sitting in the tubs with these other bodies. Bright shiny souls in human form getting all pruny together. I couldn't help but see us all as little kids running around with naked bums playing in the water just like my sweet two year old niece Chloe and her friends do every weekend at birthday parties.
As Cliff was laying in the sun (one of his very favorite things) I got back in my robe and went down to sit in the meditation room. I resisted at first. Did I really want to meditate when I could take a third shower? I decided ---yes--- time to meditate. As I sat there listening to soothy music waves of sadness washed over me and puddled at my trachea and around my heart. It was so much it had to be put into smaller (metaphorical) containers and made ready to leave my body. It wasn't a full on release as I've sometimes experienced in meditation. It was an elephant sized mass of sadness overtaking me and the room. It was dark and sticky and was broken apart by my breath and willingness to sit there with it. To feel it. To observe it.
When I opened my eyes and Cliff was sitting nearby in the foot soaking area. I joined him without a word. We sat together and looked at the Koi pond and water fall and smiled.
A full day later we visited Ojo Calente, another of the recommendations. We slathered ourselves in mud and laid in the sun to let it dry all that sadness started to move from me. You know how I know... I was having a blast. I went from all out exuberant joy throwing mud everywhere to laying still waiting for it to dry smiling at everyone walking past. There was what felt like a moment in the shadow of the joy, this stillness came in and with it I felt the sadness start to go.
The largest release came when we went into the iron pool. There are several different pools based on what minerals are present. Iron felt best in my body. The floor was natural pebbles and the water bubbled up from them. I felt still but playful in that pool. And then we went back to the mud one more time... and it was done. I keep hearing that dear woman's voice in my head, "playfulness will heal the wound" and I'll be damned if she's not completely spot on. The more fun we have the more freedom I feel and the easier it is for me to breathe.
The next day I felt really quiet. Deeply quiet.
I've been observing, experiencing and though I would still really love a solid nights rest, I am happy. There's been no feeling of "are we healed yet" no force, no struggle, no expectation. Just fun. We wake up each day and decide where we will go next. Literally on the spot. Sometimes we start driving, map out a few routes via the trusty iPhone and then decide. And that feels just right.
Over and out from the road, Lacy
If the RV's a rockin...it's Cliff doing jumping jacks. Seriously. I've woken up to him getting his fitness on in the living room twice so far. The first time I swore we were in an earthquake. Um... but there are no earthquakes in Texas. RV life is hilarious.
We've been running more and more and it feels amazing. This is post run. 3 miles for him. 2 for me. 100 degrees at 10 am. Oy!
We've finally got the whole composting toilet thing down. We empty the liquid tank every 3 days or so and the solids tank every two weeks or more. We've been taking turns emptying the liquid tank, basically whoever notices that it's time does it. And post poo in the face Cliff has been cleaning the solids tank (which I ADORE him for) though it is MUCH easier now that we've got the right combo of composting material in there. We're using 3 gallon zip lock bags full(ish) of coconut coir and 3 cups diatomaceous earth. That seems to be the sweet spot for us. The diatomaceous earth has gotten rid of the gnats that were seriously trying my patience.
Oh the door. So we have one door to get in and out of the RV (which I like). We joke and call it the front door, side door, passenger door, driver door, back door but it's all just the one door.
Our favorite things about living small so far :: - We always know where everything is. It's pretty awesome that we have everything we need plus some in these 40 feet. - Simplicity. I used to feel a bit of a panic (sometimes exciting, sometimes overwhelming) when I'd go into stores and want to buy everything. Now I feel at peace and I know if I'm buying something it's gotta be pretty amazing. Everything we purchase gets held to the useful and or beautiful standard. We don't buy it if we don't absolutely need it or love it. I have started the 1 in, 1 out rule for clothes and so far that's working really well. We still don't have our winter clothes in the RV yet. There's all at my moms so I'm not exactly sure how that's going to work when we really hit the road. We're likely going to keep a couple of bins in the 'basement' of seasonal clothing. - Mobility. We can literally go where we want to, when we want to and we're always home. That's RAD! - Being close to nature. At night when it's calm and still around here we open the door and let Ned venture out. He's been so brave lately exploring the field behind where we are parked. Little fella is getting a bit of an RV belly from stress eating. We're excited to get on the road and do some wild camping so he can go out more and more. It's that or he's going to have to start doing jumping jacks with Cliff in the living room!
- I don't miss TV! I thought I would but so far, nothin. We HAVE been watching more movies and this week watched Casablanca. I'd never seen it! I knew the famous lines but had no idea what the movie was all about. LOVED IT!
- I'm loving adding greenery to our home. Air plants are everywhere! I have hot glued them into the backs of canvases onto pieces of wood and in empty frames. Yesterday I put together this little succulent garden using a piece of Mema's vintage enamelware. It will sit on the front dash board. Yeap, plants on the dash.
- On days when it's just the two of us I have a Ned shadow all day. He moves with me from room to room (even in this tiny space), waits patiently and then we move along. He's such sweet company.
Small living challenges :: - Umm it's small. Cliff has hit his head on nearly every cabinet. And I keep running into the bathroom door when it's not open all the way. We bounce off each other daily. Some days it's hilarious and others it's the last straw. - Odors. If the laundry pile is full of workout clothes after a week of running in 100 degree weather, or the trash is full of juice pulp, out or the composting toilet fan stops working it's a full on situation around here. I have the most sensitive sniffer in all the land and there aren't enough expensive candles in the world to remedy a smelly RV. That said we now have great smelling candles on our short list of things for a well stocked home. - I'm flexing between totally excited to hit the road and a nervous wreck over the endless to do list. I'm in that phase where I'm making up things (that will likely never happen) to be worried and stressed out about. It's wildly illuminating to step back and watch myself. So far what's helping is to be able to talk it through with Cliff. One of the stories that I notice I play out and identify with is that I tend towards withdrawing, ruminating and letting the issue fester. That's not really me, it doesn't feel loving to worry and fester so talking it out when I feel my body tense up has been and is good, good medicine and I seem to be moving through it pretty quickly.
- When the RV goes into the shop so do you. We spent half a day this week at a local shop getting new shocks put on and testing the alignment. Getting your home worked on is way different than having your car serviced. It was actually pretty delightful except for the fact that Ned was utterly traumatized. He hid in the corner cabinet in the kitchen ALL DAY and didn't come out until we opened a can of wet food at 5 pm. The shop had a little room for "drivers" where we could sit in the a/c, everyone took off their shoes before coming inside the RV and Cliff had some really neat conversations with some of the guys working on our rig. The RV was doing something called Porpoising which means it was bouncing up and down WAY TOO MUCH on the road and the new shocks seems to have fixed the issue. YAY!
That's life in RV land lately! We leave for California on September 5th to go and do some serious healing work. I'll keep you posted from the road! If we're not friends on Facebook yet and you'd like to follow along on the journey you're welcome to friend me (just leave me a little note that says you're following along on the RV adventure so I'll know you're indeed a friend).
Hope this finds you well, Lacy
I went to the doc on Thursday here in Houston and had pictures taken of my trachea. There's a little pin hole where there should be a big black hole. The images confirmed what I've been feeling and hearing in my breathing for some time. My trachea is in need of some intervention to bring relief and so I'll have a dilation procedure very soon in Boston with the doctor who performed my resection in 2008.
I'm learning the difference between muscling through and standing in grace. My sister and I were talking on the phone and she recalled a moment when Chloe was recently born. She was having a conversation with her Doula, Haripriya telling her all about how cloth diapers just weren't working and it wasn't going like she planned and she was so stressed out about it and struggling... Haripriya listened to her story and she looked at her and so sweetly and calmly said "and then we bow."
So as I was going on about how I don't want this to be my story. How I don't want to be this girl who can't breathe. How I'm completely healthy except for this. How I've been eating anti-inflammatory foods, and meditating and and and... and Kayla said... "and now you bow."
And she's right. So I'm bowing. Not in defeat, though there have been many moments in the last few days when I've felt defeated. Or in sadness, though I feel that too. But in pure humility. In acknowledgement that there are forces much greater than me at work here. I'm allowing the illusion of control to be just that... an illusion. This isn't working out the way I thought or the way I'd hoped but it's all working out. And it's all going to be ok.
I received an email this week from a dear friends sister and she said "You may not be physically breathing but you are running circles around this life! I love you and what you bring to this life!" Her words brought me to easy tears. I feel deeply seen. Held. Grateful. Supported through this. Sharing this story real time is counter to my usual nature. I'd typically withdrawal and go deep underground to take stock, figure it all out and then I'd emerge and keep going. This time is different. I see that somehow this is part of my sacred work and my continued healing and quite possibly part of helping others to heal too.
We've been living in our RV for 19 days now and she's feeling like home. I'm so excited to share our most recent layers with you (and what's been happening with me + the composting toilet)!
Notice how Ned is in every.single.photo. Front of the bus is his territory. We spend mornings together here. I check out my phone and see what the day holds while he goes back and forth from my lap to the pouf.
After looking and looking for a proper fold out sofa to fit this tiny space we finally decided on a futon. It does fold down flat so we can have an overnight guest (Mema!). We're still hoping to find a more traditional looking couch but this one is serving us well for now.
Ned has become a bit obsessive about this corner cabinet. Due to it's location and all the wiring, propane line etc in there we weren't able to fully gut the old carpeting out so it smells a little stale in there, like old RV. He's probably attracted to the strong smell. We sit and watch him and make up reasons why he's paying homage to the corner cabinet.
The kitchen runner arrived. As soon as I rolled it out it felt like it had always been there. My friend, Jamie House picked it out for us! She's been amazing through this entire project doing everything from hand picking the reclaimed wood pieces for the bedroom to finding accessories like this rug. There's something so powerful about having other people believe in your dreams as much as you do. Jamie has held this vision for us from the very first moment I told her that we wanted to buy an RV and make it our home.
Cliff + Dad installed the bathroom thresholds. Feels so good that we're at the finishing stages on many of our renovation projects.
This is what the bathroom looks like right now.
- We still need to have an electrician out to help restore power to all the lights and most of the outlets throughout the RV.
- Mom sewed a skirt for the sink as a temporary fix until we can have the cabinet guy out to build something around the sink. I love it! She attached it with sticky velcro squares and so far they're holding great.
- The little blue box used to hang in our kitchen in our last house. Planning to paint it the same color as the wall. It's currently holding hand soap and TP, you know- the essentials!
- We're thinking we'll use some of the left over reclaimed wood from our bedroom wall project to make corner shelves near the toilet.
I've developed a h e a l t h y respect for our composting toilet. This morning I overflowed the 'liquid tank' and quickly transformed the single most satisfying pee of the day into a dirty job. We typically pride ourselves on being a low to no paper towel house hold but let me tell you this morning I was singing praises to Bounty select-a-size and gallon Zip Lock bags. Ned sat at the door and watched as I carefully soaked up the overflow and placed the wet paper towels into a Zip Lock bag. I couldn't help but laugh. Cliff and I have been making full use of the toilet and smiling pile of poo emojis.
Last week I dumped and cleaned out the main tank (aka poop, paper, coconut coir). It was one of those HOT + HUMID Texas summer nights. The sky was just about to lose light. I was nearing the end of the project and so ready to be done, to shower, to sit with Cliff and unwind. I put my thumb over the water hose to create a stronger spray. As soon as the water hit the tank I knew I'd messed up. Soapy poo water sprayed right in my face. I immediately closed my mouth. It felt like slow motion as brown foamy drips fell from my nose, my chin, from my ear lobes and eye lashes. UGH. The voice inside my head said R E A L L Y! Is this really happening right now? I turned the water hose to rinse my face, finished the job and rounded the RV with the tank in hand, completely soaked. Cliff was trying to get the exhaust fan for the toilet to work again, it was dark now and curse words seemed the best option. So he's throwing out his best dammit-shit-shit-shit and I'm standing looking at him holding the toilet covered in our shit-shit-shit. He looked up at me and started to give me the download of how poorly his project was going and I interrupted to say in the most pathetic little girl voice possible... "I sprayed our poop all over my face." His response, "You win!"
I'm loving this bedroom. I'm loving that we took out those side cabinets to make room for our Cal King bed. It's cozy and comfy and we all have plenty of room. I feel the most at home in this room so far.
This space is technically in the bedroom. I've yet to use it as a work desk. So far it's been the place where everything gets piled. We cut leather straps to make our own drawer pulls. Cliff used brass screws to attach them. We both super appreciate the softness of those straps each time we get out of bed in the middle of the night! I'm working on the bedroom art wall today. Hopefully I'll finish that and the hallway divider curtain this weekend.
Hope you're having a beautiful weekend! Lacy
Currently. Cooking up some mung beans in the steamer + it's totally working. Yay! My usually very strong self is all kinds of mushy and tender today. I'm negotiating some serious breathing woes which have lead me to practicing some truth telling. The kind where I'm saying -- I'm not ok. But I hope I'll be ok.
There's a literal blockage in my trachea that I've tried to clear with everything from crystals to brute force. I've tried healers of all sorts and have made some very dear friends in the process. I've been affirming that I breathe with ease. I've been managing with food, meditation, quality time with Cliff and Ned. Oh and making major life changing decisions like selling everything and living in an RV. Simplify, simply has been the calling in our hearts for so many reasons and we've been answering like it's our job.
It's all consuming not to be able to breathe properly. My labored breathing has become like saying Voldemort in our family and I've hit that point where THIS is no longer working. I've tried not talking about it nearly all year. I've exhausted it really. It's not a secret, never has been I just didn't want to give it any power. Kind of like hiding under the covers so the boogie man can't see you. The truth is that method is not working and this sucks and it's hard. And so I'm leaning into the discomfort of it all. I'm allowing myself to grieve and feel deeply.
I am in touch with the fact that this isn't for nothing. That resonates so deeply. I know it's for something and I feel that most when I'm with my coaching clients. I love them so much. I love my work so much. We learn from experience and from wisdom. Somehow I feel this experience is allowing in more wisdom.
We are all carrying something. For some it's visible or audible like my breathing. For others it's hidden under the surface. No matter what you're carrying I want you to know it's ok to give yourself permission to take a minute and feel. Deeply. Tell the people who are close to you. Ask for what you need. Even if all you can ask for in the moment is someone to listen or just give you a hug.
I've made a doctors appt to get looked at and see just how closed/ open the airway is. I'll keep you posted in my updates here.
This RV adventure is part of our deep desire to live fully. The dream, the best case scenario is that I'll be able to take full, deep breaths. That I'll be able to run as fast and far as I want to. That I'll be able to jump and hike and twirl and sing 80's songs at the top of my lungs with Cliff as we drive down the road. That I'll be able to talk in complete sentences and never once have to stop and gasp for air. That I'll be able to give full on speeches anytime I feel like it.
Would you hold that vision for me and with me?
We picked up the RV from Johnny on Friday the 27th of June. I was giddy. I couldn't stop smiling or saying I LOVE OUR LIFE! THIS IS SO PRETTY! Kayla + Brian + Chloe were headed into town and our paths crossed literally on the freeway so we pulled over to show them our new home! I love this picture of us. It just says it all. At the end of the day I was exhausted from joy.
Chloe kept calling it our Big Bus. Cliff's big bus. Lacy's big bus. Ned's big bus.
We moved out of our rental house and into the RV from the 28 - 30th of June. We are now comfortably parked in a Resort RV Community (which makes me giggle). They're stretching it on the resort part but it is shiny and new with wifi and a pool. And bonus it's close to Cliff's work! Houston is a really big city and we wanted to be sure that what we're saving in monthly bills didn't get absorbed by a long commute. I'm officially working from the RV. Sitting at the kitchen table right now!
We put all our extra stuff into mom's garage and we've been going through deciding what stays and what goes. It's getting WAY easier to let go of things now that we are in the RV. There's a certain freedom in seeing the piles go and the space open up. I can feel it opening up inside of me too.
We're getting to know the RV which is really code for comedy of errors. We're continuing renovations and decorating. We still need to get an electrician out to fix the lights. We have two plugs that are working in the kitchen and one light in the hallway. The rest seem to be taking a break from their purpose in life.
Honestly, it feels good to sit still for a minute. We were hoping that a road trip to Boston at the end of this month for my dear friends wedding would be our maiden voyage but ole Barb (that's what we've been calling her. Barb. Short for Rhubarb.) just isn't ready for the open road. Barb is a pretty clear communicator.
That's Mema's hand in the corner there. She was on shelf paper duty! Hours upon hours were spent on making sure each drawer and cabinet were properly lined. A small fortune was spent on cork shelf paper.
I LOVE the new kitchen. L O V E I T. I was adamant about having the sink mounted under the counter. Cliff drove all over town to get the supplies needed and Johnny made it happen. I see it every day and I love it every day.
We're all learning how to live in a small space. Ned is doing pretty good though the door and the steps that fold out every time the door opens sends him running to the bedroom and under the covers. He hasn't gone outside yet and I can't blame him. It's a lot of concrete. I brought him to work from home with me over at my mom's yesterday and we spent some time in the yard together. I could just see his spirit getting fed. Sweet boy. I keep whispering to him that there is going to be lots of nature to explore very soon.
Ned turned 14 on July 1st so naturally I made a crown from cork shelf paper. ; ) I can think of about 1400 reasons why I love him. You know how some animals show up in your life and choose you. That's us. He chose me, I was present enough to get it and sappy enough to cave in and take him home. I'm so glad I did. He's a big piece of this RV adventure. Cliff and I were really craving simplicity and travel but we didn't want to leave Ned behind. It feels really important to keep our little family together.
Dad came over to see the RV and installed all the kitchen knobs, shower curtain rod and bedroom curtain rods. The man knows how to use a drill! I had some legit childhood flash backs as he was asking me to hand him this tool or that one.
I used to joke that the secret to a happy marriage was separate bathrooms. We've not shared a bathroom for our entire marriage and now we share about 300 sq feet of living space with one bathroom and a composting toilet. We're both still really happy that we got the composting toilet but we also take full advantage of using flushing toilets like it's a total treat (because it is super nice not to have to carry away your own #1 AND #2). There's a plastic jug in front (the one with the black handle on it) that holds the pee. We empty it every three days or so. The poop (and paper) goes into a bigger holding bin and will get emptied every 3 - 4 weeks. We add coconut coir for the composting bit.
Bathroom is coming together! Ombre shower curtain from Target. Rope handles from West Elm. Starfish pulls from Anthropologie. At some point we'll have a basin built under the sink.
What we lack in wall space we make up for in cabinet space. I've started hanging our favorite pictures in the cabinets. I set up our smoothie station first since we use it almost daily. Makes me happy every morning when I open this cabinet. The print is a free download on my site! You can get yours here.
Another daily ritual around here is tea. Morning tea. Evening tea. Rooibus for him. Mint for me. Of course all the stuff on the counters will be taken down and put into bins when we're on the road but as soon as we're parked it will get set up again. The pea + carrot print is one of my faves. The decoupage frame is one I made ages ago. 2008 I think. I had it hanging in my studio at the rent house. I looked at it one day as we were packing up and noticed it reads 'Take to the Highway' right there front and center under our smiling faces. FULL BODY CHILLS.
We're doing a reclaimed wood wall behind the bed. My friend, Jamie House hand picked each piece for us. Mom helped us lay it all out and Cliff started on it yesterday.
He will finish it up on his next days off this coming weekend. I can hardly wait to see it all done. I already love it so much.
The new curtains arrived! They're actually pin-tuck shower curtains from West Elm. We used conduit for the rod (hung from the ceiling) and tied the curtains on with leather cord so they won't make noise as we drive down the road. Mom made blackout curtains that velcro to the window so we can sleep in. We have our priorities. ; ) This is what it looks like right now, mid day, no lights on. Pretty awesome!
That's the update from RV land. Lacy
One of my besties voxed me yesterday singing The Final Countdown and it could not have been more perfect. It's all go over here. Last week the Rv got egged, we found out our floor was back ordered til mid July and the painter backed out literally an hour before he was supposed to show up and start the job.
It was neighborhood kids, less than a dozen eggs, nothing crazy but it makes the list for dramatic effect.
The guy who sold us the floor at Lowe's called and said it wouldn't get here in time for our RV adventure. I was touched that he remembered who we are, what we were doing. He was super nice about it all, really like that guy. I called all over town and found a place with cork in stock (super rare). Lumber Liquidators to the rescue. What was going to be a silvery cork is now a dark chocolate brown cork. It's called Barcelos and it sounds best if you say it with an Antonio Banderas accent.
This one was a legit toughie. The painter we were going to use does super meticulous finish work. He texted an hour before he was supposed to show saying that his current job was running over and he was too busy. Wha? My actual text back to him was... SHIT! Yes, I'm very professional under stress. But really an hour before the appointment. COME ON! The painters we found to replace him did a piss poor job. When I say piss poor I mean over-spray on the screens and window frames and in the ceiling vent fans +++. Paint drips that are all globby and dried and several of the bottoms and insides of the cabinets didn't get painted. The good news is that the ceiling looks great and it was awesome to be able to deliver it back to our multipurpose-whiz-master Johnny with at least a coat of paint on her. We needed the RV to be painted in one day and they did. So, that's something.
The cabinet people wrapped up on Saturday. They replaced all the water damaged wood on the cabinetry, built a book case, created a shelf where the microwave used to be, and built two more cabinets in the very back above the bed where we ripped out the old cabinetry so that our Cal King mattress will fit. When he finished I said, "I'm going to hug you now!" and I gave him my best long Lacy hug and it was awesome. I'm going to have them build a cabinet around the bathroom sink once we are all moved in.
Cabinetry was completed and paint happened Saturday (21st). We dropped it off on Sunday (22nd) at Johnny's place which is an hour and a half away when there's no traffic. We're getting pretty good at making that drive. This guy is my hero at the moment. He's a referral from my dad (did lots of work on their home) and I will be sending him a Christmas card for the foreseeable future. He's full of CAN DO and does amazing work. He's putting the cabinets back in, installing the cork floor, putting in the pebbles in the bathroom, installing the bathroom sink and faucet, installing the kitchen counter top, sink, 2 burner stove top, faucet, adding tile backsplash, putting in all the trim, adding bead board to the bottom of the bed platform, doing all the electrical +++.
We are hoping to pick her up tomorrow all outfitted and we'll have this weekend to move into the RV and out of our rental. Mom will be sewing curtains while Mema is putting in shelf liner and I'm unpacking into the cabinets, organizing as we go. Cliff will be loading in everything that goes underneath and getting it all squared away like he wants it.
What I'm learning ::
- This whole thing feels like playing golf with your boss. She/He's looking to see how well you negotiate the game (especially when your ball flies into the woods). There have been some moments where I've calmly put down another ball and swung again (the floor) and there have been moments when I marched into the woods, curse words flying (the paint). I'm already laughing about it all so that's a good sign. It's pretty awesome observing myself. I'm pretty entertaining in all my humanness.
- Cliff and I are a super effective team. We're juggling work, this reno project, the move and we're still being super supportive + considerate of each other. There are piles and bins full of stuff in the living room but our evening routine of candle light, cup of something (red wine or tea, usually both in that order), soothy music and chatting about the day/ what's next is still happening. It's our soft place to land at the end of the day and it's awesome. Some days we have both used up what feels like our word allotment for the day so we just sit and sip and breathe.
- Money is energy. You can draw it to you or block it from flowing. I knew that before this project but I'm really feeling it now. I'm seeing how money flows in our life. How we really do always have everything we need. When we found the mold I thought it was a doomed budget buster. It's turned out to be such a gift. We will have a completely healthy and beautiful home now. Money has shown up in every way possible. There have been some really predictable ways via the garage sale + selling things on Craig's List. There have been some unexpected ways via donations (thank you!) and I got two checks in the mail from random refunds that I never even knew were on the radar. One of the affirmations I use often is All the money I spend and earn brings me joy. I'm not kidding when I say that beginning working with a new health coaching client and then ordering our composting toilet brought me immense joy! It should arrive on Monday.
Highlights of the week so far ::
- Mema showed up yesterday with all her cleaning supplies totally decked out. She knocked on the door really loudly and when I opened it she had her hip all cocked out leaning on the broom with her little ruffle apron dangling there! We both cracked up. She said she really wanted to have a cigarette hanging out of her mouth too. That women can clean anything within an inch of it's life. Seriously, you should see the fridge. It's sparkling.
- Mom came over after work to hug me. It was perfect.
- WE HAVE A LOGO! Angeles has done it again. She is a gift and I adore her. She creates from the center of love, always for the highest good. There was a moment maybe a year ago or more that I'll remember for a very long time... I was having one of those days where I felt very alone in my business. Like a solo-preneur on an island. I emailed Angeles and she said something so simple but so profound, "we're in this together." She's always been here with me from the beginning and I am deeply grateful. Is there a word more powerful than gratitude? If there is I'd like to use it for Angeles.
Thank you for everyone who's been holding the 27th in mind! All is looking good that we're going to be able to pull this off. Will be sharing updates on Instagram over the weekend as we're moving in.
Off to pack! Lacy
The guy who changed out the walls and put in the ceiling got the canopy open and it's awesome! He took photos as he was working so I could add them to my blog post. Love that!
Transition is weird and stressful even when it's good. This RV renovation project is testing me in what feels like every way possible. There's still so much to pack up in our house even after the mega garage sale. We've decided that living in this RV will be a lot like living in a hotel. I'm t-r-y-i-n-g to widdle it down to having just over our day-to-day needs! That said, we are still convinced that we need 8 pots and pans for our 2 burner stove. LOL. These are the topics of conversation at our house right now.
We're still optimistic that we will be able to get all the renovations completed in time to move in at the end of June, 13 days (counting today, because every day counts) from now.
Cliff and I have gone back to meditating together before bed to help soothe the abundance of energy that has set up camp in both our bodies. You know that night before a test feeling? We're having that every night. The extra mediation is kind of helping. I mean, it's helping but it's not making everything all butterflies and rainbows, you know. We're in it. Just really in it and at the end of the day we keep telling each other that it's all going to be great and not to take everything so seriously.
I've started saying affirmations again with increasing regularity to drown out the nay-say-er that lives in my head. It's like I've gone back to when I first learned about the power of positive thinking. The channel in my mind is on all affirmations, all the time. I'm keeping it tuned to that station to drown out that shadow self telling me I'm a complete and total fool for thinking we could pull this off in this amount of time, with our budget, both working full time, etc etc etc.
On repeat in my head lately:
I focus on what I want and draw it to me. My dreams come true. I picture abundance for myself and others. Everything I do brings me aliveness + growth. My energy is focused + directed toward my goals. I always choose the path of most light. I congratulate myself often. I forgive myself, knowing I did the best I knew how at the time. I love the process of getting there as much as being there. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat! My beliefs create my reality. I create what I want easily + effortlessly. I expect only the best to happen and it does.
Cliff put the new bed platform in! Yay!
All the windows were pulled out and sealed! It started raining today and I ran outside to the RV and stood inside inspecting every window. Looks GOOD!
We're doing pebbles in the bathroom Zen Fiji Cream Pebbles by Bliss ordered from a local flooring store. Cork flooring for the rest of the RV in Sage ordered from our local Lowe's.
The pebbles are very similar to ones we used in the yoga studio project when building Breathe in Los Gatos. I love them and Cliff totally loves them so we're using them in our bathroom. I believe that we carry all our past experiences with us, that they mold and shape who we are now. It makes me smile that this RV is going to have literal reminders of some of the most formative pieces of our journey. Besides that they give you a little foot massage and that's awesome!
Since we are a smart car + RV household we drove the RV to IKEA last Sunday to get the new counter top! Ikea butcher block. Inexpensive. Awesome. We also got a faucet to go with on the new (to us) bathroom sink that we purchased at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore. Love that place. We will definitely be going back there before this is all said and done.
We bought the white sink in the basket for $10 for the kitchen at Habitat. It's a heavy old cast iron Kohler. I was thinking we'd get it resurfaced to fix the chips until we realized it costs as much to resurface a sink as it does to buy a new one. Whoopsie. So now we have a beautiful old sink that might look lovely in someone's garden! It you want it, stop on by! It's yours!
This will be our bathroom sink. It's a hair dresser wash basin! Fun, right!
- Cabinet people will be out tomorrow morning to start work on changing out the water damage and rotted pieces of wood on the backs of all the cabinets that Cliff and Cody took out.
- The painter comes out Friday to give us a quote.
- The floors come in Monday (fingers crossed).
- If all goes to plan we will drop off the RV to have it all put back together starting Tuesday. Cabinets in, install kitchen counter top, 2 burner stove, both sinks + faucets, the bathroom floor, kitchen backslash (hopefully).
- And then... wouldn't it be cool if we could have it back by the 27th or 28th to move in over the weekend!
- Ooooh and then we have to actually find a place to park our new mobile abode. We drove by a few places in our area that were very sad. Basically just patches of cleared land with dirt and full sun and skinny, stray dogs wondering around. Sad. If you know anyone with a beautiful spot of land near Humble, Texas that we could park on for a bit that would be oh so wonderful!
Please hold the 27th in mind! That it all works out with so much ease and we're drinking wine and scratching our heads over where to put the rest of my clothes by the 28th!
Getting there, Lacy
We bought our new mobile abode May 28th, got it home the 29th and began exploring how it all works. As soon as we had a pretty good idea we started tearing it all apart! DEMO IS FUN! Mom + I started with ripping the old wall paper out and that's when we found MOLD near the windows, lots of it.
These are my "Oh man, this is really bad!" eyes.
Cliff immediately bought a mold test kit and we started taking samples. It grew, and grew, and grew! The silver lining... now we get to change way more than we'd planned! It's going to be a healthy, beautiful home!
Thank your lucky stars this isn't smell-a-vision. Old, stagnant pipes full of hair and goo and sludge. EW.
Aunt Mary took out the bathroom floor + peeled the old paper off the walls! I am so happy to see that pink floor go. Yay!
This is what the bedroom looked like the first and only night we've slept in the RV. And this is what it looks like now! We're making space for our Cal King bed! After sleeping with our feet hanging off the end we decided having our own bed was an absolute must. It means losing closet space and still totally worth it.
It's been a bit of a challenge because these babies do not come apart the same way they went together. I was on Xacto knife duty cutting carpet out of the bottoms + tops of cabinets, cutting around wall paper and trying my best to extract all the old stuff.
The cabinets themselves were a whole different story. All the screws are out of this and it will still support ALL of Cliff + Cody's weight! We all hung off of it, Cody did pull ups and still, not even a wiggle. The solution... CROW BAR + brute force. All better now. Best demo crew ever, by the way! And the right price. We paid Cody in beer. ; )
We handed her off totally gutted last weekend. Right now she's getting her windows sealed, new mold free walls, a new ceiling and new floors!
Good things ::
- Early last week Cliff had a genius idea, "Hey babe---- How about we see if the old RV paperwork has the previous owners phone number? And call him to answer our Q's!" John answered the phone and he's our new BFF! He and Cliff talked for over an hour. He was so glad to hear it went to a good home. We're going to meet up with him at some point in the journey to show him what we've done with the place. And likely get him to teach us how a few more switches, buttons and levers work in person.
- I'm remembering how good it feels to sweat til you can wring out your clothes. Seriously satisfying. Makes me miss my hot yoga days.
- I'm learning that Cliff is pretty incredible with his hands. O.k. I mean, I already knew that but there's something amazing about seeing him in action.
- We've said "we sold it in the garage sale" more times than I can count. "Hey- do we have a paint scraper?" "We sold it in the garage sale." "What about a rubber mallet?" "Sold it too." Although totally inconvenient in moments, it feels oddly freeing.
- Last week as we were working three gals who made purchases at our garage sale stopped by and came into the RV. One women squealed and said, "YOU GOT YOUR RV! We just had to stop! We are so excited for you!" It was really sweet. I love that people are driving by, seeing it and cheering us on. I love that we invited them to be a part of it all with our awesome garage sale signs!
- The neighbors have been over to see the demo in progress and have been really lovely about having a giant RV parked in the street. We've promised them post cards from the road + an open house as soon as she's ready!
What's Next ::
- We are headed to Habitat ReStore this weekend to see if we can find sinks, faucets, drawer pulls, etc. We're planning to re-purpose as much as we can to keep reno costs down. Hoping to find tile for the bathroom this weekend too!
- Cabinet restoration will begin soon. The backs need replacing from water damage and the drawer slides are old + rusty.
- Then... paint!
Over and out from RV central, Lacy