The moment we came home
July, when we left on this grand adventure, is starting to feel like a long time ago. As this entire chunk of time moves into the rearview mirror (sorry, couldn’t help it) we really enjoyed looking back at all that we did.
Some of you asked about this and so we thought that we would share our final statistics. Here is our trip through numbers:
The journey home
After driving just under 8,000 miles through 20 different states we are now home.
We left the kids with their grandparents so that we could set up the house a little bit before they arrived.
Which means we went to the house first by ourselves.
Naturally we decided to record it.
Already?! What it's like going home.
This adventure has changed us. We will get into that a bit more once we are able to wrap our heads around it a bit.
We need to first acknowledge the moments that made up the craziness of our voyage home.
Gina made a video that gives a taste.
You asked great questions!
Today is the day we walk back into our house.
There are mixed emotions for all of us.
The kids have been a little bit “off” these past couple days. A bit more clingy and pouty while having a tougher time listening.
It seems like they understand it well.
It’s kind of how their parents feel too.
We could use your help
Hello everyone. Thank you for all the questions...there were actually so many that they can’t answer them all in one post. Therefore allow us to welcome you to the first installment of our “mailbag” and we’ll have another coming up soon.
Going Home…at 40
We have begun our return leg back home to California. Our path is taking us south and then west as we search for warmth and dry roads. So far the desert has not disappointed and our days in the car have been smooth.
There are only so many cacti we can look at and times we can watch the movie Cars. We may have hit the limit 2 states ago. So we had an idea! This is where you come in…
We found out...
It’s a funny thing coming home.
Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same.
You realize what’s changed is you.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this and thought about our extended stay at home in Chicago. Then I thought about what it will be like at the end of all this when we go back to California. Going to the home I was raised in, did something to me. And returning to the home we’ve built, feels like it will too. Both seem they should be comforting…and yet, for me, some fear showed up.
The biggest disagreement of our marriage...
After much deliberation within our family, the final guesses were:
Here is when we found out…
Weekend of giving!
Naming our children.
This entire subject has layers upon layers and some well entrenched opinions.
The short version goes something like this:
Gina and Jon each have names they really like and unfortunately there is not a lot of crossover. What ends up happening after a bit of each person trying in vain to make their point is that the 1st choice names cancel each other out. Then the real conversations around naming begin.
Our Nonni. My Gram.
We’ve had so many people give us things our adventure...people have put roofs over our heads, cooked dinners for us, and even given us horseback riding lessons. We are so so grateful. Not sure we can aptly express our thanks. But we can give away some of our staples and favorite items that we’ve used daily on the road. We’re excited to announce a WEEKEND of GIVING!
A peek behind the curtain
This past weekend we lost the matriarch of our family. My Gram passed away after 96 years of living. She saw hardships, she was an orphan before being taken in by her aunt and uncle, she lived through WWII when her husband was in the army, and she had 7 children while working full time at the bar that her and my grandfather owned
It’s been asked, and we feel open to explaining, exactly HOW ARE YOU DOING this? Seems the question behind the question is about our work. Our J.O.B.s. The day to day. The way we pay. How can we be gone for 6 months without having a sponsor, millions of dollars, or millions of viewers on Insta? Those things we don’t have, the opportunity to work from anywhere, we do have.
Jon just returned from his 6th round trip flight without the rest of the fam. 1 international, 5 domestic, and all for work.
It’s been 100 days since we left our home and started this nomadic life.
Instead of trying to put into words what this has been like we decided to share some of our experiences through numbers.
Here is a statistical breakdown of our 100 Days thus far.
It snowed for the first time this season. I repeat, it snowed. It snowed, and we were here to see it. In person.
We are in Chicago with Gina’s family for an extended stay. Not only does it feel good to unpack the car for a bit but it feels important to be able to let the kids spend some real time with our family here.
Gina comes from a big Italian family and to say that Reny and Kaleb are enjoying the time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all their cousins is like saying, “Yeah, I guess gelato is pretty good.”
National Parks. National Parks with 2 little kids. 2 little kids who have not camped before. No problem. They’re going to love this. Easy, no sweat. We got this.
You have to be brave first before asking the kids to be, which I forget from time to time. Had to give myself little pep talks here and there (like the one above) along the way.
Did we mention we're pregnant?
I am finally at an age where I am willing to admit that I’m an adult. (Insert jokes here.) Along the way there have been many surprises about what that means. What it entails. Near the top of that list is that there are lots of different paths to take in this life.
Growing up it felt pretty straight forward. Go to school, go to college, get a job. In hindsight, this was just another thing I was wrong about.
We tried to camp.
In case the “us 5” title didn’t give it away…we are indeed pregnant. Here’s the deal:
Gina and I are both the oldest in our families, I come from 3 and she comes from 4. In the beginning stages of our conversations around having a family I pushed hard for 3 kids while Gina was in the “we should have 2” camp.
We have 2.
However, about a year ago there was a bit of a softening and she seemed to start to entertain the idea of 3. Naturally, this seemed to directly coincide with my feeling like 2 was plenty.
One of the big debates before we left was do we bring camping gear? The two schools of thought being: It took up a lot of space in the car but it also represented a great experience for them that we wanted them to have that also was cheaper than a hotel.
In the end, we packed the car to see how it looked…then unpacked it and set up the tent in the living room to see how the kids liked it (they did) and brought it along.
Typical Day in the Car
"Go outside!” Add this to the ever growing list of phrases I remember from my childhood that I have adopted. Our home in California has enough space for them to run and play. However, this trip we are spending more time outdoors than I can ever remember…and I am finally beginning to see the wisdom in that phrase.
There is something about seeing animals in real life that has made an impact on our kids that nothing else can replicate.
When planning for this trip the big unknown…well, one of them, was the car rides. How could we keep the kids from flipping out after being in the car for 8 -10 hours at a time? Well, it certainly has not been without incident..we had a shoe thrown up onto our dashboard yesterday…but for the most part it’s gone pretty well.