Less Equals More

We did something crazy. Well, crazy when held to the standard of conventional American living.

We sold our house and almost all of our belongings, and we became a fulltime RV family!

Let’s rewind and give some backstory, shall we? I’ve been pretty restless for the past couple years. I grew up traveling, living in different places, doing different things. I LOVE to experience new things, and I only last so long staying in one place and doing the same thing everyday. Most of my life, I viewed this as a flaw in myself. I would pray and beg God to make me content and at peace with the ”normal” life I saw everyone living. It just didn’t happen. There were a few things I noticed God did shift in me. I was no longer trying to have some huge-boss-babe career. I was no longer interested in having a big house. I became content with less. In fact, I craved it. About a year ago, I started purging our house. I didn’t have a reason why other than I hated clutter and having things in closets we never used or wore. It is like therapy for me to take a load to Goodwill or the dump.
Looking back, I was preparing for this new season of our lives without having a clue. That makes me smile.

I spent all of last year feeling like I was in a weird life crisis. Looking at my life, it was great. My husband has a great job, I am now homeschooling my kids, we lived in a nice neighborhood. What is there to complain about? Don’t take my restlessness for ungratefulness. I was extremely thankful for all that we had. I was thankful for our home, I was thankful for the opportunity to homeschool, and I was thankful for my husband and his robot work ethic. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, it was more of a shift in my heart. I wanted my kids to see more of the world and less of their video games. I wanted to make memories as a family and not be so exhausted from our days. I wanted my husband to actually be able to do things he enjoyed instead of working for the weekend just to catch up on sleep. Our lives were in a zombie routine mode and it was fine, but not really living. We were just doing everything we were ”supposed” to. So I started to pray. Months of prayer, months of laying down my desires and plans, and asking God to fill my heart with His desires and plans. That’s where the shift happened. Slowly, but surely, a shift and desire for something I didn’t quite expect.

It was the beginning of February of this year, so a month and a half ago, and I told my husband, ”If the house behind us sells for what they are asking, we need to get our’s on the market”. It sold within a day.
We began tossing around ideas. We could sell our house, but the market is so insane, we couldn’t buy back into anything we would like. Plus, we didn’t want to stay in our town. We had felt that our time in that town had been coming to a close for a while. So we just started brainstorming. Honestly, we didn’t brainstorm too long. The idea of selling it all and living in a camper was pretty quick on our list. But it was just an idea.

How crazy would that be?” I probably said that to my husband at least 50 times just to hear him tell me it wasn’t crazy and we should do it.

Fast forward two weeks, I have spent 10 consecutive days painting doors, baseboards, trim, and walls from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep. Before our house was even on the market, it was sold. We received an offer above asking and they waived inspection. If you have ever worked in real estate, or if you have sold a house, you know the inspection can be the tricky part. It has the potential to break the deal, or it can add on an expensive list of fixes that you didn’t even know needed fixing. Our house is older, we have taken good care of it, but it still causes anxiety. Thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with that (praise).

I’ll spare you the daily details of dump runs, thrift store runs, selling things, a few days of pure panic wondering if the deal was going to fall through, finding a camper, finding a person selling the camper who would be open to waiting until we closed on our house, and exhaustion. It was a fast three weeks with every single emotion you can imagine. A rollercoaster would not give it justice.

Now, here we are. We are in a 33 foot travel trailer with our three kids, two dogs, at a campground by the river. Some may hear that and think it sounds absolutely miserable. We love it. Let me give you a few reasons of why we did this, and why we love it.

  1. We wanted freedom. We wanted to be debt free, we wanted the freedom to travel, freedom to move, freedom to have adventures with our kids while they still want to. FREEDOM is the biggest and only reason. It can explain our ”why” with our kids, our finances, all of it.
  2. We love it because it is simple. It is a simple life. My kids play outside almost all day, and have made new friends. They aren’t begging to play video games or fighting over a TV. It is less space to clean, less things to take care of, and more time for family time. We make a fire almost every night and sit and talk together, we cook together. It has only been a week, and we have done more together as a family than we have since the beginning of the year.
  3. Fulltime people are our people. It is a community. Our first day here, neighbors parked around us helped us get hooked up, leveled, and everything needed to park the camper. We are new to this and weren’t fully confident in everything. Fulltimers came to the rescue and have helped us and taught us. Within our first few days, one of our neighbors made this amazing Cuban dinner (authentic by the way, he is Cuban and from Miami), and fed my hubby while I was grocery shopping. It is the epitome of community in all the best ways.

Many people have said “Wait until the new wears off, it won’t be fun anymore”, or “Why would you do that with three kids?”. For a minute, I questioned myself again, wondering what is wrong with me to want this and not the stability they all live and love? But then I realized something, God made us all to be different. He made us to be unique, have different passions, talents, desires, personalities. We are not all the same, and that is AMAZING. Maybe down the road we will be over it and learn this life isn’t for us anymore, and that is okay! But the best part is this, we get to figure that out as a family. We get to make the memories along the way. We may look back and say ”Hey, remember when we lived in an RV? That was nuts.”, or we may love it so much, we keep it up for a while and don’t look back. I have no idea. A few months ago, I didn’t even know this would be our life right now, so how am I to know what’s ahead? Quite frankly, that’s my favorite part. Not knowing, following God’s lead, and taking it one day at a time. What a life!

Obviously, I will be updating our adventures here on this blog. Henley Happenings is actually the perfect name for it too. That also makes me smile. If you pray, pray for our family and our travels. Pray for safety, direction, and also a fun time 😉

If you are a Fulltime Family, I hope we see you on the road! 🙂

Here we go!

This feels strange to start this. I’ve had blogs before and deleted them. Usually it would depend on the time of my life, what I thought my content should be, and that would fade. Funny how we grow older and realize who we are and become more confident in that.

So here I am. Almost 30, starting a blog that basically has no limits. I’ve thought about what I want this blog to contain, and I can assure you… there is not one topic. I want this to be a place to share almost anything. But to narrow it down, what can be expected on this site is simple.

It is called Henley Happenings because we are the Henleys! I married a Henley, therefore I am one, and we have three little Henleys. What goes with Henley? Happenings. It is a site of our happenings, life, my side of being a mom, my encouragement to other moms and women, recipes (if I’m feeling fancy in the kitchen), outings, stories…. happenings.

Welcome, and I hope I’m not too boring. 🙂 13679969_1252176801472933_277013525988134873_o