In the Beginning

It was August 2015, when my husband {Steve} and I {Stacy } were itching to move.  Out of state.  Anywhere.  We needed a change and we wanted it now.  We were considering towns such as Medford, OR {who hasn’t heard of Oregon’s beauty?!}, Coeur d’alene, ID, anywhere in SC, and a few other places.  We had our hearts set on Coeur d’alene and so one day I said to Steve, “What if we rent an RV and take it up to Coeur d’alene and check it out to see how we like it?”  His response- “You want me to get in an RV, go up to Idaho in the winter and freeze my butt off?!  Ya right!”

I was so bummed.  Until the next day when he came to me and said, “What if we sell our house, buy an RV and go to every state in the country?!”  Heck Yes!!  I was ecstatic.  So for the next three months we fixed up our home and on November 10th, 2015 it was up on the market.  Ugh.  That explains how fun the selling process can be.  While you’re homeschooling.  And have a dog.  With no car.  Props to the realtors who give the homeowners a bigger warning time then 10 minutes and who DON’T come earlier then expected!  And I would also recommend never selling over the holiday’s, AND don’t ever paint your house yourself, in the winter, when it’s freezing, and really windy.  Ya, that wasn’t the smartest thing we’ve done.  But, we did it, and we’re not dead.

March 23rd, 2016 we closed on our home.  What a feeling that was handing over our keys and seeing our home one last time.  It was so strange- I couldn’t have anticipated what that would feel like.  When we walked in for the last time it did not feel like our home anymore.  We had our memories from it, but the heart of it was not there anymore.  It was very surreal.  I wonder if it would have been a little bit different if we were moving into a different S&B {stick & brick} home.  I imagine we would miss it a little more then we do now.  None of us have missed it.  Yes we miss our friends and our neighborhood friends, but we don’t miss anything else.  We lived there for 8 years, almost to the day, so this surprised me.

During the transition from our home to our new home, which would be our RV, we lived with my dad.  My mom passed away in 2014 so it was just my dad in a huge 3,000+ sq ft home.  From this experience we learned a few things:

  • NEVER, under any circumstances, move back in with your parents.  {Sorry dad!}.  It’s just never a good idea.  I’ll stop there.
  • We HATE stairs.  Ugh.  The. Worst. Ever.  And no we’re not lazy.  Ha!
    Shopping for RV’s is one of the funnest things in the world.  No really.  Do it for a date night some time and pretend you’re buying one.  Just one word of advice though- See the crappier ones first and then ask to see their nicest one.  We were floored at how nice they could be.  Dishwasher?  Yes please!  Double sink in bedroom?  I’ll take one please.  Fireplace?  Uh…. Duh!
  • Good RV salesmen are rare.  Like clean ocean water, you’re never going to find any.  Except for Ronnie at Little Dealer.  He was the most genuine, but alas we did not buy from him.  We go where the RV we want is.  It’s a rough, and busy, market.
  • Getting the mail at my dad’s house may kill you.  Which might be why my dad never got it.
  • When my brother Brad comes to my dad’s and my dad is there, it is VERY entertaining.  Like pull out the popcorn and a video camera entertaining.
  • Living by a park and going on bike rides everyday is the BEST ever.  I highly recommend it.
  • We have too much crap.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Americans- or most Americans, have WAY to much stuff.  Like holy heavens, get a garbage bin, one of those huge metal ones that a truck has to bring you, and just start throwing stuff in there.  I think we would all be a little less stressed if we didn’t have this much crap to bug us.  Ok I’m done.  Maybe.
  • Never underestimate the love of your family.  Even if you never talk.  Or hate each other, or live half way around the world from them.  Love is powerful.  So get out of the way and let it work its magic.
  • Neighbors are the best.  Get to know them.  It’s never to late.  Go and say Hi, I promise you wont regret it.

During the RV buying process we saw a few that we really really wanted.  We had a budget and we knew there were certain things we wanted.  We knew {or thought we knew} we wanted bunk beds; a Class A, two couches would be a plus, a dinette style kitchen table, and a washer/dryer combo would be a plus.  We also knew we wanted one of four makes.  Either a Winnebago, Allegro, Fleetwood, or Monaco.  After talking to many dealers, and doing plenty of our own research we knew that any one of these makes were the best of the best.  I didn’t keep track but we probably went to over 20 different dealerships, and looked at over 50 different RV’s.  It’s very much like house shopping.  People can buy it out from underneath you just like that.  It’s painfully frustrating.  At one point we found one we wanted SO bad.  We put $1,000 down on it and continued to ooh and aah over it.  It had bunk beds, a dinette kitchen table, two different walkways in the middle so someone could get to the bathroom without going into the bedroom in the back, and the girls could sleep in their bunk beds without us walking past them because we could just go through the bathroom instead.  It was Perfect.  And $30,000 over our budget.  Sadly our credit, which had been screwed over by ridiculous medical bills, did not qualify for the loan we would need for that RV.  Reluctantly Steve asked his parents to cosign on our loan.  Because of their position and circumstances cosigning would not be happening.  I was Devastated.  I was a wreck!

God has a funny way of waking us up to what we need.  In the words of my wise friend, “We will be led to what we need.”  And that’s exactly what happened.  A few days after losing that Gulfstream with bunk beds, my brother Seth, two daughters, and I all went down to Tucson to look at a motorhome that we found online.  We got there and the dealer started to show us one.  After looking inside it I was confused.  It didn’t look like the one I saw online.  After stating this aloud he said, “Oh, we emailed you this morning that that one was sold already.”  Wonderful.  Ugh.

So back to Mesa we went.  On the way I looked up RV’s for sale in Mesa that we could go see while we still had a car.  {We have been a one car family for about 5 years}.  I found one in east Mesa and we went straight there.  The one we saw, and loved, had money down on it from someone else.  The dealer explained over and over again that the people who had money down on it didn’t seem like they were going to be able to come up with the rest of the money.  We would find out three days later.  This dealer knew nothing of what we had seen and not seen.  He had no idea we had money down on the Gulfstream.  As we were finishing up talking he was explaining how wonderful the maker of the Allegro’s are.  He mentioned there were some makes he would never buy, and concluded, “Don’t ever buy a Gulfstream.”

At this point we knew we weren’t going to get the Gulfstream but were still kind of holding out hope.  Once that dealer said that I just knew we weren’t supposed to have that particular RV.  It was an answer to prayers for me.  To me it was God saying, “It’s Ok.  I have a better RV in store for your family.”  Of course God was right.

The first time we all looked at what would be our new home, we were all in love.  The girls picked which couch would be theirs.  The factory curtains weren’t that bad looking.  And, there was even a washer/dryer combo.  The only thing it didn’t have: bunk beds.  And it was a Fleetwood.  And $30,000 cheaper then the Gulfstream.  Boy were we blessed.  And then the first week living in it hit us.

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