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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Letter To Myself: Remember

“Because life isn’t just about pomp and circumstance, the need for daily fireworks and material perfection. It’s also about loving yourself, being happy with yourself, drinking in every second you have with your loved ones, and laughing at spilled olive juice while it soaks into your bare feet!”
Dearest Zoe,
   When you look back on your blog a long time from now, I want you to remember what a typical day was like for you and how happy that plainest of days made you. Though your happiness starts inside you, it allows itself to be seen in your every day interactions with your loved ones. This is a pretty typical day for you guys when you’re not on the road. I suppose it isn’t as glamorous as most people think it is, because you aren’t exactly exploring the countryside, climbing mountains or visiting the local museums non-stop. But, though you sometimes do those things, you guys really are quite the homebodies and none of you have a problem with that. Some people are the get up and go, go, go types. You just like to sit back, relax and watch the day unfold organically before your eyes, without planning every moment.
   Before we get started though, there were a couple things this day lacked. First, it was without a run…you only run every other day. You did do your Yoga though, so good for you! The second thing it lacked was outdoor activity. When you don’t hang out indoors all day, you can be found with your girls exploring the resort, picking fresh fruits (or picking leaves off of trees to identify and scrapbook for Science), biking around, pushing Cindy in her “truck” or watching her push it around herself. You also like to bowl with the light up bowling set Nic got you all just before Christmas. You all enjoy tossing a ball back and forth and sometimes, Nic even gets the slackline out for you to pretend you’re a tight rope walker. Yoga is done outdoors if weather permits and there aren’t a bunch of Looky Loo’s, and sometimes, games of tag are played as well. Gardening in the summer provides a creative outlet and a modest harvest of herbs & tomatoes. Any home remodeling projects undergo the majority of their work outdoors until the nearly finished product makes its way inside. Also, BBQing & throwing back a couple of beers amongst yourselves, or in the company of friends, will keep you from staying inside. Oh, and let’s not ever forget how easy it is for you and Nic to stay up way too late talking for hours about everything and nothing. Just the two of us and the stars.
   This lifestyle typically triggers images of grand adventure in far away places, but I think what most people (and indeed what you used to imagine) envision RVers doing, and what you actually do are a bit different. I just want you to remember how much a simple day touched your heart…even if there weren’t Grand Adventures in the mix. Living in an RV has brought you all so much closer together, so even the most plain of moments is a treasure to remember…always.
   There are so many things I want you to never forget. The giggles, and smiles and little feet stomping and running up and down the hallway should never be taken for granted. Remember the messes and spills and toys constantly being thrown from the kitchen floor into the girls’ bedroom. Sometimes it drives you nuts, and sometimes you smile…grateful to even have kids and their toys all over the place, when there are so many people that would kill to have that problem. Remember how healthy you ate and how it made you feel like a Rock Star. Remember how you could even get your family to eat that healthy too (sometimes), and how little to no one complained. Remember when the girls were this young and everything that happened to them was the Best. Thing. Ever. (even if it was just picking an orange off a tree next door). Remember them playing hide and seek in the laundry room and bringing laughter and joy to all the other RVers that are retirees now. Remember the challenges of finding enough storage for all your boho treasures of clothes, jewelry, kitchenware, and sentimental items. Remember how hard you have to work at not hoarding shoes.
   Remember when you quit smoking on September 10th and how that date added up to a 7 and you don’t like the number 7. You had no idea why your body picked that very day to quit. But, your Mom being the Christian that she is, will tell you it’s because 7 is the number of completion. And just this once, it won’t kill you to admit that your Mother is right Zoe. There was something so amazingly, stress-free (except when you’re on the road or something breaks) about your lifestyle, that you finally realized you didn’t need cigarettes for a crutch anymore. You’ve been so happy and healthy since then, and every day you feel even better. Maybe it was the sweet Virginia air that triggered it, or maybe you just removed another complex layer of your being.
   Remember how much you missed your old Yoga studio, but how it forced you out of your shell to become confident enough to lead your own solitary practice. As it turned out…you knew exactly what to do. Look at you doing your own flow without a teacher or video! You’ve come a long way my dear. And remember when you hit the road running the day after Christmas? You never ran a day before in your life, and you LOVED it! What triggered that? Who the hell takes up running in the middle of winter anyway? Well, Phoenix isn’t exactly cold in the winter. Perhaps another transformation needed to take place right at that very moment?
   This lifestyle has brought on so many transformations in yourself. So many beautiful and necessary transformations. You have stripped off so many layers of yourself to the point of being so incredibly vulnerable. I would say you *almost* feel out of place in this healthy and happy body of yours…but you’re adjusting to it well…and I am proud of you. I enjoy watching you as you embrace your new self. It’s so much better than the toxic and chemically poisoned body you used to encompass. Your physical health has improved your mental and emotional health as well. I’ve never seen you happier in your life…except for maybe your wedding day and the birth of those two beautiful little girls of yours. The point is, that you AND your family are so very happy right now. There may come a day, though, when you might want to look back and see what drew you to live in 200 sq ft with 4 people and 2 cats. How could anyone, or why would anyone, want to live in such confined quarters with so many people.
   This is why. Life. Love. Happiness. So, look at the rest of this blog. See what your day looked like. There were no hiking excursions, or cliff diving, or aquarium expeditions, but there was lots of Life, Love and Happiness! What did you do? What were you teaching your kids? What did you eat? How did you improve your body? Who did you see? What happened? And as you look through these pictures, remember the moments and smile.
On this such day, we reside in Arizona. Nic is off to work early…about 6:30 am.
You wake around 8am & shortly thereafter, MHG brought this to you excited and proud of her design. It is what triggered this post.
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Breakfast
(Cindy has Cheerios with Coconut Silk. MHG has Cheerios with Chocolate Almond Silk.)
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Raw Vegan Berry Delicious Shake
Blend together the following ingredients & enjoy! (Add ice if you like a chilled shake.)
  • Juice of 1 small pink grapefruit, 2 medium oranges, & 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 large banana
  • handful of cherries, pitted
  • handful of raspberries
  • 5 large ORGANIC strawberries (if there is only 1 thing you buy organic, it should be strawberries)
  • 1 apple cored, de-stemmed & diced (with skin)
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 4 tablespoons of milled flaxseeds (it’s harder for your body to digest whole flaxseeds)
my Boho self
You love your Boho finds at Wal-Mart, Target, Sprouts, Ross, Marshall’s and local merchants.
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Look at your silly kitty cramming himself into the bathroom sink. This is his hang out spot. I have no idea how he fits.
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It isn’t always sunshine and roses though. You  do have two girls and that means there quite often are times when someone doesn’t get their way, or they fight, or they’re just grumpy in general. So, instead of incessantly yelling at them to stop fighting, you usually burst into song singing “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”. MHG knows that song well now, lol. It would be unfair of me to write about only the happy stuff, because life, as we know, it isn’t always easy.
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Before you start Homeschooling, there is typically a period of goofin’ around and playing while you ready for the day.
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Cindy is good at occupying herself while you focus on MHG’s lesson. Once MHG sets to work, you can teach or play a bit with Cindy. You are the master at multi-tasking these days!!!
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Cindy hangs the Mystery Gang upside-down from her bed lattice. Where’s Velma? Her obsession, though, is Daphne. She won’t go anywhere without her. She is currently missing a thumb & is super-glued together at the waist where the legs and skirt meet, lol.
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Homeschooling
At the Kitchen table…just like we did before we moved into “Hope”.
You are teaching MHG about different graphs in Math, Reflexive Pronouns in Grammar, Autobiographies in Reading, and she writes with exceptional cursive for Composition. It’s better than most adults’ handwriting that you know. In Science, you are studying the Solar System, which rocks because you’ve waited forever it seems to finally start going over that! The girls love their planets, Moon and stars that are decorating the ceiling of their room. Cindy is still obsessed with “Mo” (the Moon), and so she is constantly jacking MHG’s Science book to look at the pictures of “Mo” that it contains. In Social Studies, you two just learned about Albert Einstein, Florence Nightingale and George Washington Carver. Geography is a cinch for her, which probably comes from being over the road so much!
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Your 2 boys. Tigger and Onyx. They’re getting older (10 & 9), but they still have kitten-like feisty moments left in them.
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Lunch
Kale, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, cucumbers, celery, olives, avocado, snap peas, green beans & olive oil.
(Carrot on the side not pictured.)
The girls have turkey and cheese sando’s with a side of raw veggies & apple slices.
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Some RV decorations (they get packed away for transit mode). You have a couple statues & 3 framed pictures that sit on the shelf above the slide.
This is currently your favorite statue. It’s Ganesh. You also have a Husband & Wife Willow tree statue, and a white Aphrodite.
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Your pantry collection is coming along nicely. This sits on the shelf above the slide as well.
You have your sugars, flour, assorted grains, beans & nuts. It’s your Vegan dream come true!
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Some color to add to the Boho kitchen decor & to brighten up the place a bit. You never can get enough color.
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When Cindy’s bored with her schooling, she can be found either playing or doing her Yoga. Her schooling consists of doing puzzles, her Road To Reading “Hot Dots” cards, drawing & “reading” anyone’s books.
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This child changes her clothes WAY too much…but you don’t argue with her. You’ve learned to pick and choose your battles. She also has way too many stuffed animals for a child that lives in an RV, but until you go over your RV GVWR, you aren’t too worried. Her newest obsession (along with Daphne) is FROGS! Everything must be frogs. It reminds you of Tractor Joe’s Mom, Erma. God rest her soul. You loved her so much.
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Once school is done, there is cleaning to partake in…and all hands are on deck!
Norwex to sweep & mop the non-carpeted floors. Shopvac for the carpeted ones. I think if you couldn’t have your Norwex, you might opt out of RVing…it certainly makes you life WAY easier.
While MHG vacuums, you do the dishes. If you don’t do them after every meal, it takes you over an hour to wash them all.
The girls’ bedroom is clean…for once. This is a rariety.
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Yoga
You hate side plank…as witnessed by your ultra red face. You’ve been working hard on your hip openers and you’re trying to learn to do a handstand…you still suck at that & that’s ok, but the hip openers are getting easier. (You need grass to practice handstands.)
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Daddy’s home from work now. It’s time to dump the tank. The hose comes in through their bedroom window. Cindy pulls it into the bathroom for Daddy to take over.
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Meanwhile, you spilled olives and their juice all over the kitchen floor…guess you’re mopping twice today! You take a few minutes to laugh at your clumsy self & giggle at the sensation of the juice between your toes.
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Blondie stops by to play for a few minutes with MHG. It touches your soul to see her so happy with her new friend. That’s always your highest priority when you get somewhere new…let’s find that girl a friend!
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That’s the one and only hard part about this lifestyle though…leaving the new friends.
You tell her to try to be happy about making lots of friends all over the country, instead of remaining sad about the ones she’s left behind. But, you’re pretty sure your words fall on deaf ears. Your heart breaks for the weeping girl that thinks she’ll never find another friend. If only she could see how much of a special girl she is, how social she is, and how easy it is for her to make friends. You’re more worried about Cindy as she grows up. She’s not exactly the most social child on the planet. That’s a ways away though still. No need to worry about that now.
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Dinner
Spaghetti & Meat Sauce for 3/4 of you & Raw Vegan Carrot Spaghetti for yourself.
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Raw Carrot Spaghetti
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 mushroom
  • 2 stems broccoli
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 leaves spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1-2 tablespoons mixed seeds and nuts
INSTRUCTIONS:
Turn the carrot into long strips of spaghetti with the help of a julienne peeler, chop the rest of the veggies into small pieces, and throw everything in a salad bowl.. Pour in the tahini, salt, oil, mix everything well. Sprinkle some seeds and nuts on top! This meal is to die for!
The link to where you found this incredible recipe is here.
Scooby Doo before bed…Daddy didn’t last thru the movie. He works hard for this family & is typically exhausted by the end of the day.
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After you get Cindy to sleep, MHG can’t do the same. You have her get up and join yourself having some Sleepytime Tea.
It ended up being a really sweet moment with her and some much overdue Mommy-Daughter time. Your heart is beaming by this point.
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You sat there for about an hour, sipping your hot tea and talking about everything and nothing. I know you will cherish that moment forever.
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Once she goes to bed, it’s some overdue time alone for yourself. On this particular occasion, you chose to knit.
If you don’t knit, then you either read your Kindle, blog, Facebook, do a Power Vinyasa Yoga flow @ night or if Daddy’s still up, you talk for a few hours. Sometimes, you catch an episode of The Big Bang Theory or Modern Family…but TV isn’t your thing…it never really has been.
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When you crave chocolate, you help myself to some of this yummy deliciousness! (It’s not Raw, but oh well.)
Best. Fake Ice Cream. Ever.
And, you don’t feel guilty if you have some, because it’s still Vegan.
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   Yes, it was a rather simplistic day, but a wonderful one nonetheless. It was full of laughter and joy and even a couple of sweet moments. There were some yummy meals and maybe even some dessert. Friends stopped by and the weather was To. Die. For. (Gotta love Phoenix…it was in the high 70’s!) Yes, there were messes, but they made you laugh at your clumsiness. The children’s knowledge expanded and it did so in a fun & comfortable setting. What more could a girl ask for. There were tickles and kisses and too many hugs to count. Yes, I suppose you could’ve gone on some Grand Adventure, and that would’ve been fun, but you also know how to find joy in the littlest of moments as well.
   Maybe someone someday in the future will hear about the time you lived in an RV and you travelled the country for your Husband’s work. They might ask about all the fun things you did, the cool places you checked out, the things you saw and they probably won’t be interested in hearing about the exceptional bond that grew between you and your family, or the countless days spent inside 200 sq ft having fun and that’s ok. You can tell them about the time you went to Virginia Beach, and visited family around the country and hiked in the desert. But you, you will secretly treasure the times when you chased a toddler down a 28 foot home on wheels and sipped tea with your 8 year old, while you discussed her obsession with Harry Potter.
   Because Life isn’t just about pomp and circumstance, the need for daily fireworks and material perfection. It’s also about loving yourself, being happy with yourself, drinking in every second you have with your loved ones, and laughing at spilled olive juice while it soaks into your bare feet!
   Remember this day, and all the days like it, forever Zoe. Always smile, don’t worry, be happy, and love yourself more than anyone else could ever possibly love you. Also, realize what’s making you happy. It’s not the RV, it’s yourself…you just finally allowed yourself to BE happy…good for you! It was a long time coming. That’s probably what came of all your transformations and your inner soul searching this past year. You deserve it girl. Now, you can finally allow that inner glow to reach out to others and pass on the love. I sound like a hippy, haha! On that note…
Peace and Love!
Your Happy & Loving Self