What next?

So I really thought we should name the airstream Waldo, but it seemed rather masculine for it….after many conversations about the name we still have yet to nail one down since our children had strongly opposing opinions on the matter. Anyway, name or not, our little tiny home has landed for awhile and we are taking a ‘break’ with some family. In fact, they want us to stay around so much that they are actually finishing out their basement so that we can have a ‘landing spot’ to come during our travels with some of our own furniture from our last sticks and bricks house!! Can you believe that!? We are super blessed that they would even consider doing that for us, and we are helping right now as they finish off that basement area (which is actually larger than our last house). So yes, before we’re even fully done with the airstream we’ve found ourselves knee deep in another renovation project, but I guess we know by now we’re suckers for a good renovation. While we’ve had fun staying here for an extended visit with LOTS of space, we miss some of the simplicity of our tiny home and having all the essentials right there at our fingertips.

Never to worry, we are hitting the road again in a few weeks and will focus on traveling around the ‘other’ side of the country for most of this summer! While I can’t pretend for a second that I don’t miss California weather, it is fun to get out and see all of our wonderful friends on the east side 🙂

We are looking at 2017 being a GREAT year for us as a family, traveling this half of the country and visiting many of your smiling faces. Our 6 month crash into full time life on the road was a big success, despite doing part of it in construction and going WAY too fast for what we wanted to be able to spend time in each place and really get to know it well.

Our favorite take-away from the 12 states and 12,000 miles we put on the new truck was probably the time we had on the Oregon coast. We saw SO MANY beautiful places, but that one struck a special place in our hearts. Not sure if it was enough to pull us back to stay, but we still have a lot more states to explore!! Along with this transition, we are FINALLY settling in to a pace that we can manage, doing school with the boys and traveling around teaching lots of awesome people more about natural lifestyle changes and how to use essential oils. That also means I have more time now to keep up with our travels and our posts, which makes me happy. There are way too many memories that we’ve made not to document them and share them with those who are following our journey!

Stay tuned for our 2017 adventures!!

People make the places

I’m pretty mad at myself. We are over 2 months into our life on the road and have been so busy figuring out this new life that I have been a complete failure at documenting our journey short of an Instagram photo a day (hey, at least we’ve got that going)! 

More than just a travel log, I want to capture the little things – stories of the people and the moments. Like the time we took a turn off because a boy needed a potty break and found ourselves in the little one horse town of Concrete, Washington.  Not only did we stumble upon an entirely gluten free cafe that was like a little slice of heaven for our two who usually can’t order much when we go out to eat, but we struck up conversation (and by we, I mean Erin since we all know he’s the outgoing one) with a guy who turned out to be the pastor of the church in town. In a matter of minutes it felt like we had friends there and before we knew it, our kids had a few new toys for the road and he was sending us off with a blessing and a basket full of fresh apples right off their tree. 

Or the new friend I made who chatter with me for 2 hours in an ER on Whidbey Island while our youngest was covered in blood and waiting for stitches.

Or a friend we know through doterra who opened up her cabin to us, allowed us to park at her house, made us a delicious salmon dinner and took us fishing the next morning. We may have only seen her a few times before this, but she treated us like family and the kids never wanted to leave.

Or the friend of Erin’s we met up with this week that he had not seen in years, who drove to another town in the pouring rain (though I guess there used to that up here in the PNW) and spent a few hours with us in the weirdest little coffee shop we’ve encountered yet. Who got on the ground and played with our kids. They cried when he left because they wanted to spend more time with him.

Their are still good people out there, and finding them is what makes our travel rich. It’s not the scenery, though breathtaking, because after awhile all the beautiful mountains, beaches and landscapes look the same. It’s the people. Life on the road is amazing, but lonely when you are moving from place to place. The people – both new and old friends that we are crossing paths with and the memories we are making with each other are the highlights of each week! I want to document the stories that our travel atlas maps will not be able to tell 10 years down the road!

Pismo Beach – CA Central Coast

There is nothing as wonderful as waking up to the sound of the ocean, a cool breeze with overcast skies and nothing on the agenda for the day.


 Last night we rolled into our campsite at Oceano Dunes – Pismo Beach State Park!


This morning we set out on the trail from the camp to the beach with no idea what we would find. Thankfully after a pretty little walk through some wooded areas we came through the clearing to these awesome sand dunes for miles. 


So the shoes came off and hours of running, sliding, jumping fun in the softest, finest sand we have found in this country ensued.


Thankfully they wore out for a short bit and I had a few minutes to snap some pics against this perfect coastal dunes backdrop.


We also discovered Pismo recreational vehicle area is the only place on the CA coast that you can drive your vehicles right onto the beach (at your own risk of getting stuck, of course). Thankfully the beach was still open and beautiful with the occasional horseback rider in the distance.


Pismo is a nice change from the crowded beaches of LA or the rugged coastline further south, and we LOVE the cooler climate of central coast!!

Malibu + seafood

Before leaving LA we had to make a stop at Camping World – it was my first ever trip and I’m sure some sort of rite of passage into camping life. Funny the little things that you care about once your only home is a tiny house on wheels. After loading up and getting all hooked up with our ‘Good Sam’ discounts, we were ready to hit the road toward the central coast…..via Malibu, of course.

We have hit some AWESOME little places to eat so far on this trip, but this one takes the cake for the BEST fish and chips I have had to date (I’ve eaten a lot of fish and chips). My former front runner was the Fisherman’s in San Clemente, but for now this one will knock them down a spot. It’s literally right on the coast hwy and we almost drove past it, but quickly pulled our massive caravan off the road and hopped out to run back to Malibu Seafood.

WARNING: this is not a healthy lunch. Actually 1/2 of this had to go right back because of a massive miscommunication in the food allergy department (despite a long conversation about how they could only have GRILLED fish). They were amazing though, and remedied the boys’ meals with a delicious and super generous portion of grilled fish – perfectly cooked and topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Their cilantro lime sauce on the halibut was TO DIE FOR. Even the slaw goes down in our books as the best we’ve had. Fried seafood perfection and definitely worth the stop (though the crowds picked up fast when it was actually starting to approach the dinner hour). Luckily for us we are all off schedule and realized around 4pm we had yet to eat a meal that day.

The view isn’t half bad either 🙂

Trying to get three boys to pose for a pic is such a joyful experience. ha!

For a few hours of our lives, we had beach front property in Malibu!! I even had to clean up a massive balsamic vinegar incident and mop the kitchen floors – all right here in the celebrity playground of America. Watch out, Ellen – we’re right next door!

We thought about taking up residence here for awhile, but there is still so much coast to see and so little time, so we must keep. on. driving.

Adios SoCal! It’s been fun! We’ll be back in a few weeks – unfortunately not to this cool breeze and ocean view, but we know we’ll return again soon. E has spent the majority of his life in southern california and there really is no place on earth like it. So beautiful, but we’re ready to explore some new territory!

the new normal

I did it! I survived our first laundry day on the road! You can only put off this stuff so long before it creeps in, so I braved the laundry room and oddly realized how much I LOVE being able to throw all our loads in at the same time! MAJOR bonus!

I also pulled off using our stove and oven and making some dinner just like we had at home. Let me tell you  how tempting it is to go out to eat lately – especially with all the amazing food options here in Orange County. ACK! It’s so tempting to just grab something out, but this is another thing we have said we have to master soon and get used to cooking just like we did before.

Love our campsite on the bluff overlooking the beach

The kids are more than settling into their new life. This little guy is lounging, enjoying his first ever SAFE yogurt that we were not able to find out where we lived before in the desert. He is in his little happy place.

And this kid…..he’s gone from wanting to watch TV and being ‘bored’ to getting out and literally playing in the dirt for entertainment. SCORE! This is what we love to see. It seems like they will never change and get used to it, but we are starting to see some great changes for the better in the boys already. Super thankful they are adapting and loving this adventure so far.

on the road!

It’s been a few crazy months gearing up for our big move, but all the insanity has finally landed us ON THE ROAD!! ??

It is a weird feeling handing over the keys to the house, sending off everything that we own that does not fit into 200 sq ft and driving off. It was a BUSY, stressful week (renovations on top of moving are a bad idea) and we are exhausted, but excited!


I’ll do another post on the status of the inside, but we managed to get this thing ‘liveable’ and fit a LOT of stuff in there (more than I thought we would).
We officially have no home other than our 1973 Airstream Sovereign, and even with many late late nights our renovations are not completely done ?


Despite not being as ready as we’d like, we have moved in anyway and are hitting the road to explore, see the world, teach people about essential oils, and visit friends and family along the way.?


It has been a whirlwind of emotions – too much to really process what a massive change our lives just took. Hoping you will follow along and enjoy our journey with us!!

faq: plans for life on the road

We have a lot of questions about what we are doing, where we are with the airstream renovation and our upcoming plans for full-time life on the road!

We are so busy working on this airstream that we’ve only had time for quick Instagram photos! We are in CRUNCH time now! What does that mean? The movers come in less than a month to take everything we own that is NOT going with us in the airstream.

Here are some FAQ:


What are you guys doing?

E is retiring after 20 long (but good) years of service! We are renovating a 1973 airstream camper and will travel once we get outta here!

What is your timeline?

We’re moving into the airstream in July 2016 and will travel around SoCal traveling testing it out until Sept 1. Our first trek out of CA will be to CO to drop off a small load that we’ll store with family.

Where will you go?

After our CO stop, we have a week in Salt Lake City and then will hit Yellowstone and some of the beautiful National parks this fall. From there, PNW and then back down the CA coast exploring along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Who will you visit?

We want to see you! Shoot me a message if you want us stopping in and we will be in touch!


Where will you settle down?

No idea how long we will live on the road, but we will head to the east coast to see family by the end of 2016. We’ll start our east coast adventures in 2017.

What are you doing with your stuff?

We are getting rid of a lot of junk!! We are moving furniture that we  want to keep and household goods that we won’t need in the airstream to SC. My parents are generously allowing us to keep it all there until we decide if and when we will settle down.

How will you fit everything in there?

The airstream is 31′ – about 200 sq ft to share 🙂 The boys have a bunk room at the back, we have a kitchen, bathroom and a dining area that converts to a king bed (that doubles as our master bedroom). We have no idea, but we’ll make it work!

Why do you want to do this?

We can’t wait to get out, explore & show the boys what life is like across the country. We have so many friends and essential oils teams scattered across America. What better way to visit them all!

How will you work?

Thankfully Erin is retiring, but I have been working with doTERRA for the past few years and we are blessed with a large team of people who love and use the oils. Not only does doTERRA pay us well for sharing, but we get to continue to ‘work’ doing what we love everywhere we go!

What do the boys think?

They are super excited and cannot wait to get out and explore. They are over the moon that daddy will soon be with us every day. Camping in the airstream is their favorite thing – hopefully that will continue 😉


Will you have it ready in time?

Great question!! Man I hope so. We are working like crazy nights & weekends to get the renovation done. It’s come a long way, but we’re not there yet. Lots of stuff happening this month!


Follow us on Instagram @essentiallyunrefined to see updates and progress. I’ll update this blog and we’ll catch up once we are finally done and out of this house!

airstream renovation :: wall panels back in

We finally have some visible progress! The walls are finally all in! E made a door to cover the big hole (aka generator opening) and we have sanded, primed and painted every single wall panel and re-installed them all.

Since we have moved several things on the top center panel, we had to cut a new piece of aluminum for both the center panel and the front end cap (curve). E did an amazing job engineering that – NOTHING about working with curved space is fun or easy, but he pulled it off and it looks great!

The kids are having a lot of fun now that they can spend more time inside with us ‘helping.’

Because we have added in fans and moved the A/C unit we had to completely replace the top center panel. This was a fun process of a LOT of measuring twice….and three and four times to make sure we only had to cut once. It was pretty funny watching 4 adults try and hold that piece of aluminum up as we slid it into the center holds. Amazing how heavy a little piece of aluminum can get holding it above your head for an extended amount of time, but we made it and it fit perfectly!!

We installed 12v led lights down the center panel through the whole thing. We now have working lights, outlets and a working A/C unit (we hit our goal to get the A/c installed and up and running before the desert heat creeps in!).

We’ve been really blessed this week with some cooler weather – I know it won’t last long, so we are enjoying the clouds and moderate temps while they’re here! 

It’s time to start getting serious about the interior design and build out the insides! We think we know what we want, but I am having a hard time deciding on some of the materials (shocker, I know). We want the interior to be bright, open and airy so we are going with a lot of white and light colors, but with 3 boys (ok more like 4 counting the hubs) and living outdoors most of the time, too much white may prove to be a bad call.

We are en route to the lumber yard as I type this so stay tuned for some good progress pics in the next few weeks!! We’re down to 7 weeks to get this thing completely DONE and get moved in, so the pressure is on and the hours are getting long!

airstream renovation:: part 3

We decided for sure in November that we were going to go forward with this and jump into FULL TIME LIFE ON THE ROAD (at least until we get tired of it), and since then have kicked this reno project into high gear! Despite spending a LOT of time on it, visible progress is LOW AND SLOW right now. We have been taking out the last little bits of the ‘old’… patching vents and spots that won’t be needed with our new design and layout, and getting it cleaned up and water tight. Within the next month, we should FINALLY be on the up and up and can start re-constructing this thing with new and usable insides.

People ask all the time how we know how to do renovations or how we’ve  created a successful home business and get the freedom that we are looking forward to. Our answer: we just decided what we wanted, followed our passions, jumped in, and you learn as you go – sometime along the way you start to actually know what you’re talking about! My husband is pretty much a genius, I will admit, and extremely handy, but we have adapted a little secret we have called – FIGURE IT OUT AS YOU GO. Seems to be our motto in life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose {like discovering that a few of our windows are leaking when it rains}, but then you go back and learn how to fix it (thanks, YouTube)! Now we love sharing our stories with others in hopes they can save a bit of time and get to where they want to be a little bit faster!

I feel like we are finally starting to round the corner on this big scrap of metal….. and we’re getting excited!!

this is the year

truck_family_hit_roadThis is going to be a BIG year. I know, everyone says that come January 1, but for us, this really is going to be a BIG year. We’ve been waiting for 2016 for a LONG time, though we didn’t always know it was 2016 we were waiting for. Now it’s here, and now we know!

I’d be lying if I said we weren’t scared. There’s a comfort in the familiar, but something deep inside us is not happy with staying there. We know life is more than the routine, than the familiar, than sitting at a desk day in and out while the kids grow up when we’re not looking – while we’re off at work and engrossed in the habits that so easily suck our time away from what really matters.

Just two years ago we had no idea 2016 was the year. It seemed like a distant dream of ‘one day’ that may never be attainable. Funny how God works when we don’t even know what is going on. I have found a passion in helping others discover ways to use natural options for better wellness that we never imagined would also become a lifestyle and calling for us. Circumstances beyond our control kept leading us to the next thing and the next thing, God has worked out all kinds of details that were in the way before, and now here we are!

There are SO many unknowns {that is where fear creeps in}, but we are trusting that the God who got us this far will light the path when needed. Ok, enough with the vagueness:: here are some of the things going down in 2016 and to say we are excited is an understatement!

  • E is retiring from a 20 year career in AUGUST and we will be free to move where we choose for the first time in our life together!
  • We are renovating a 1973 31′ airstream that will be our next home {yes, for all FIVE of us}, and have to have it ready by the time we leave!
  • We will finally escape the desert —-> destination unknown!
  • We will travel around seeing parts of the country we haven’t yet been able to explore, visit friends and family across the country, get to share our love of essential oils while we travel, and visit many of you who are a part of our amazing team!
  • We are homeschooling our oldest child and will take that to the road. No better way to learn than to get out and see the world!

The next 8 months are going to be the ‘prepare to launch’ phase for us. The ‘simple’ life we’ve been longing for does not come easily. We have a lot of STUFF to get rid of. Hard decisions to make. Time to put the action behind our dreams.FRESHSO many details to still work out, but we hope you guys follow along with our journey and adventures. Life with these 3 amazing littles is never boring, and mobilizing it to a 2 room camper will guarantee plenty of ‘adventure.’ Having my husband join us 24/7 is a blessing I could never have imagined, but for anyone who is married, you know that will come with a whole new round of challenges as we figure out new roles and hopefully master time management.

We know a lot of you have done similar things – thanks for the inspiration! We know it can be done, so we’ll see where the roads lead us! Here’s to a crazy ride in 2016!

Around the Bend

When I go too long without posting I get about a million things going through my head that just want to explode on the page. I’ll spare you my chaos and try and organize my thoughts, but one thing that I am SUPER excited about is that we have some BIG changes coming up in this next year. More details to come, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this article that gives you a peek into what we have in the works behind the scenes right now.

http://www.theplaidzebra.com/this-family-sold-everything-they-own-to-visit-400-national-parks-in-an-airstream-bus/road_curve

God has opened up doors and opportunities for us that I literally never would have asked for or imagined. It is not all flowers, sunshine and rainbows – we are working super hard and trying to refine ourselves daily to be where and who HE wants us to be. We fail at this daily. What I can say is that the process is starting to be enjoyable as we catch glimpses of an abundant and free life ahead that lies more in our attitude and our outlook vs our situations and circumstances. Can’t wait to see where it all goes…

airstream renovation:: part 2

We arrived in the desert the end of May 2014 and soon realized renovating a camper in 110+ degree heat was not going to be an easy, enjoyable task. After we survived a summer and temps started to cool, we slowly started making plans and E started in on some of the critical framework. We figured it would come in handy by the time we had to PCS again (about 3 years down the road) so we weren’t in any hurry.

Once we finally got all the disease-ridden trash out of the thing and gutted everything that couldn’t be pressure washed or bleached off, Erin and a few guys started re-building this thing from the ground up. The frame had to be scraped to the bare metal, new parts had to be welded on, the entire thing was painted with POR-15, we went to a freshwater and grey water tank system only (going to use a composting toilet), and replaced the decking with a composite material from Nyloboard (marine board so it won’t rot….ever).


EARLY SUMMER 2015:: we took it in to get some electrical wiring set up. We worked long and hard trying to re-design the interior plans taking into account how we THINK we may use it (this is super hard since I am a visual person and can’t get a good idea of the feel of the space yet). With summer travel and crazy temps in the desert, not much happened with it until we finally picked it up from the electrician in November.

Next step:: get all the old patches sealed up, clean out all the old peeling clear coat off the double paned windows (what a pain), patch a few doors and get this thing water tight and ready for insulation to go in.

the airstream:: in the beginning

Some people have asked how we decided to randomly buy and renovate an airstream and travel the country. Short answer is….we didn’t. Now that we have been through counseling and I am hopeful that our marriage will no longer dissolve over this issue, I’ll post a bit of the back story…

Have you ever had one of those ‘maybe one day’ conversations with your spouse that you casually mention dreams or ideas that might be cool to do at some time in the way distant future, but isn’t even on your radar or in the scope of reasonable possibility at the time? So I thought we were having one of those the day Erin said, ‘Oh I saw an old airstream for sale on ebay.’ Fast forward (I’m omitting the part where I snapped back and said, HECK no) and by summer 2013 we were the new owners of a 1973 piece of rolling aluminum that came complete with the hantavirus.

Lesson here: not everything advertised on ebay is as it seems. picking it up

Fast forward a few more weeks and we were now the new owners of a Toyota Sequoia because our previous vehicle was not even able to tow the aforementioned ebay purchase. OH MY!!!!! Once we got the new ‘find’ home I was told I could actually not step foot in it for health and safety reasons (I was super preggo with baby 3) and even from a distance I knew why. GROSS {insert several weeks of marriage counseling over the disagreements on making this ‘investment’ at a time in our life where I was a frazzled mom with soon to be 3 kids 3 and under who was lucky if I got a shower once a week and CERTAINLY had no time or energy for a renovation project}.

So after much counseling and debate, I finally caught a glimpse of the vision that E had for a longer term dream he had for our family. With his love for adventure, activity and desire for our boys to grow up experiencing the outdoors as much as he did as a kid, he knew something like a camper could come in handy (not to mention we had to move 9 times in 5 years and this would have been super convenient in those transitions). I fully agreed, though the means by which we got to the end would have been very different if I’d had my way. But we were at where we were at, so we agreed to keep the crazy thing….rats and all.

Life threw many curves at us just a few short months later and we found ourselves in the midst of a lot of changes. Our 3rd child was born in October, we moved to a new house across the neighborhood in November, and by January learned we were making an unexpected move to the middle of nowhere, CA. Thing were a bit busy to say the least. 10 months after we had purchased it, once I was no longer carrying a little human inside me and could get away long enough to actually shower afterward, I was allowed to set foot inside our airstream (with hazmat gear, of course). April 2014 E and I ripped out all of the old ‘insides’ in about a day and it was NOT pretty. These are the first publicly released images of what we saw:

 

Road trip!!

Ok, so I have a whole new level of appreciation for my oils thanks to the road trip we have embarked on today.

keychain
First of all….packing up toiletries/meds/first aid stuff was AWESOME! I grabbed my little 4ml spray bottles of our daily used oil blends, a few soft gels (just in case), and my little keychain of 8 oils I thought we might need. I put everything in a makeup bag, and it was still mostly empty! In the past it took 3 bags to bring along all the ‘stuff’ we thought we might need!

Simplifying is a beautiful thing!!

The biggest win has been having the oils on hand while on the road. They have saved the day FIVE times within the first 60 miles!!

  • Kids hungry and hadn’t washed hands….no problem! We have a powerful blend of oils like clove, cinnamon, melaleuca, rosemary, eucalyptus and orange to the rescue!
  • 2 year old started crying of a ‘really really bad tummy ache’ thanks to car motion…..a blend of awesome oils like peppermint, ginger, caraway, fennel, anise and coriander saves the day! I mean seriously. Handed the little vial to my toddler and he ‘sprinkled’ it on his tummy, rubbed it in, and within 2 minutes was back to laughing and not crying. The blend of oils I have that supports healthy digestive system is amazing. Didn’t even have to pull the car over!
  • baby starts screaming (this one usually sends me over)….instead pull out lavender oil and stick it under his nose! He gets distracted, relaxes and we’re all good!
  • pull off for a pit stop and above mentioned 2 year old wipes out while ‘racing’ down the sidewalk…all better (and disinfected) with owie spray!!
  • 4 year old removes shoes in front of the air vent….WHAT!?! How do 4 year old boys already have stinky shoes!?! Wishing I would have grabbed the disinfecting and odor-be-gone spray (it is now on my ‘to pack’ for any future trips), but instead whipped out a blend of spruce and woodsy oils and smelled fresh trees instead of stinky shoes

Not sure what I did before we had these, but we will certainly NOT be leaving home without them!

If you don’t have any of these oils yet, shoot me a message and I can give you more info about where to get them!