When moving is a part of your life journey:

I grab my cup of coffee and sit as warm air from the fireplace wraps around my legs.

I open my journal, an old leather cover I’ve recycled over the years, wrapped around a cheap notebook. But who would know?

Truthfully, I haven’t written in a journal in years. Who has the time for that? I open to the blank pages, thumb through and find these words scattered throughout: journal


I had repeated these words on random pages throughout the entire journal. It was raw. It was real. But mostly, I am struck that I truly believed it would never change. That when I was writing in my journal a week, month or year from now, I’d still feel the same way.

But there is always hope, and often the most remarkable life changing events come right after the storm. 5 years ago I penned those pages just before we grasped a flurry of change and rode it to a different life.

Yes, a few days ago, we arrived at our five-year anniversary of moving to Utah.

Moving to Utah

Moving, in itself, isn’t necessarily life changing. In fact, one piece of advise has been true both in moving and in travel:

You don’t run away from your hardships and weaknesses. They go with you.

All those things you hate about yourself, all those familial struggles, questions, weaknesses? Yes, all those go with you. moving to SLC 013

Last summer, we took a small step towards traveling more as a family, and spent a month in Lake Tahoe, CA. Our drive out went flawlessly. The house we rented? Perfect. The weather was beautiful. We spent the first few days running trails at lunch time and playing at the beach every afternoon.

But the first week was also a bit of a disaster. One kid, our more sensitive kid, wasn’t handling all the change very well. A few tears, lots of missing home, one kid throwing up and another emotionally assaulting us at every turn…

At one point I threw myself in the middle of the living room floor totally flummoxed! I mean, we are living the dream, right?!

Ah, remember? Those weaknesses and instabilities? Yes, they go with you. They have to be weathered and worked through here and there. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can get onto happy living.

HIking by Echo Lake, CA, near Lake Tahoe.

Hiking by Echo Lake, CA, near Lake Tahoe. Don’t mind the dog-butt-photo-bomb in the back. 🙂

Yet moving to a new place, where you know no one is also empowering. We were given a blank slate and told to fill it how we wanted.

This week, Facebook very happily reminded me of our move 5 years ago. So many things brought life back into our family. But one thing resounds, we learned to enjoy the things we are supposed to enjoy –

Beautiful ridges silhouetted by blue sky and the burn in our quads,

Chris loaded the kid's skis onto the exterior of a Deuter Kid Comfort Two for the skin up. I had the boots, layers and lunch. :)

Chris loaded the kid’s skis onto the exterior of a Deuter Kid Comfort Two for the skin up. I had the boots, layers and lunch. 🙂

Candy hearts shared with our tiny tribe of skiers,

Tailgating on a ski day, family skiing


Wrestling with granite or sandstone and having victory,

toddler rock climbing

Friendships that survive the test of time, and new ones born of laughter and ambition to challenge ourselves.

Every night she watched, studied and helped make dinner and carry water up from the river.

Every night she watched, studied and helped make dinner and carry water up from the river.

I think one of the greatest diseases of mankind is the invisible box, the one we place ourselves, our spouses, our circumstances in, limiting everything else that is outside it.

Sometimes we need things to nudge us out the door, to break down our walls, to crush our boxes. I am very thankful for our nudge, knowing I will need many more in the future. I guess, when a change comes, embrace it. Remain open to it. Keep hoping.

I turn back to my journal. I thumb to the first page I find the writing on and rip it out. I rip them all out. That isn’t my reality any more, thank God.

Utah rock climbing, ISIS for Women


4 comments on “When moving is a part of your life journey:
  1. I love this post!! Question for you: do you homeschool? We’ve got 3 kiddos, ages 7, 5 and 2, and we are expecting our 4th in April. I love what you said about the invisible box, and I’m toying wih the idea of homeschooling next year. I’ve asked questions of several of my homeschooling friends, looking for “nudges” or radical encouragement…I value your opinion, and would love to hear your thoughts on homeschooling in order to have more time together and time for experential education in the great outdoors!!!

    • Hi!Thanks so much! We do homeschool. And most of the days I love it. 🙂 What began as an experiment for us and a desire to have a few more years to work on their character before sending them off for 8 hrs a day to be with others, has now changed more to a love of the lifestyle.

      I won’t say it is easy. Probably, at times, on all of us. Sometimes the kids don’t want to be taught by mom. Sometimes they are struggling with a concept I feel inadequate to help with. Sometimes I am just tired. But like every endurance sport, you have highs and lows and push on. I think you have these public or private schooling too, they just look different. I’d also say it is a calculated financial cost, having one adult not work much or at all, while most likely paying for curriculum.

      If you’ve considered all these things and still are interested then here are the thing we love: Our kids are each other’s best friends. They have ton’s of neighborhood friends and even friends from our school co-op but they’ve had to figure out how to love each other and spend a ton of time together. They teach and cheer each other on minute by minute. Our days allow for me to insert outdoor learning or just outdoor fun whenever. If the snow is good, we hit the slopes. We can head hiking at noon, explore local wetlands and insert learning into our travels. We are also able to travel and explore on our schedule not someone else’s. For the most part this means we can avoid the crowds. Lastly, I know it is what is best for kids right now. I fully admit we take it year by year, and are willing to make changes when needed. But I think of my super energetic boy who has a hard time sitting for an hour trying to sit through an entire school day and I cringe. I love letting him learn while moving or adventuring or even just out in the backyard.

      When you first start it can be so overwhelming. Know that it passes. Find a curriculum that suits your strengths and needs. If you want to plan everything, great! I want it all handed to me in a neat package (even craft and outdoor ideas) so I don’t have to spend a ton of time planning. There are endless curriculums that do this. And it might be a great way to start especially with really young ones around! Let me know fi you have any more specific questions! Also check out cragmama.com. She just started homeschooling and has talked about the journey.

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