A Time to Catch Up on Life

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Three years ago we moved from the little farmhouse that we remodeled into a bigger farmhouse that fit our growing family. We found what we thought was the most beautiful piece of property with the most fertile soil that you can imagine. The house was a little big for our tastes but so unique and with so much potential. After a year of living here, we opened a business in town that took off quickly. It was a wonderful life.

This is my piece of heaven….at least for the past 3 years.

My gardens here grew in abundance and we did what we can to improve our home like renovating the bathrooms and kitchen and creating a beautiful space. We thought we would live here forever, we loved it.

Over the past 2 years, life has become more difficult. With 3 children with varying special needs, we never know what is going to be around the next corner. We’ve been lucky to have a great team of doctors and therapists close by but they never gave us what we really needed, which was family. Of course, we made friends in our new area but it wasn’t the same and with the nearest family being 5 hours away, the most we would see each other was once a month and only for a day or two.

Something else that we reflected on over the past several months was our financial goals in life. We originally hoped to be debt free by the time we were 30. (Consumer debt free by 30, mortgage free by 35.) Well, hubby is 30 and I’m 29 (and not getting any younger apparently!) and we aren’t close to our goals yet. Even by following a strict Dave Ramsey program and budget it would still take us too long to get to where we want to be.

So today I’m sharing our new journey with you.

We are moving.

Back into an RV.

Hold on a second…didn’t I say that we would never do that again? And now we have more children and a smaller rv than we’ve had in a while. Is it really possible to condense an average size American home into less than 300 sq feet and be organized enough so that 5 people aren’t going to go crazy?

I really hope so.

Family is the most important thing. We’ve been so blessed here. (Our family minus the newest one!)

Why on earth are we doing such a thing? Well, we are headed back to live by family once again. Life is completely different than it was 5 years ago when we originally moved away and into the small farmhouse. We just had one 1 year old. Now we have a 6, almost 4, and almost 1 year old. We are looking forward to being around family again for the first time since we’ve become a “whole family” (no more babies for me unless God has a plan I don’t know about!). We are looking forward to their support and to be able to help each other out like we’ve been unable to do for the past 5 years.

But why the RV? Well, because we already own it, the kids are familiar with it, and we won’t have to move into a rental. The RV can go with us where ever we are. PLUS, we will be 100% debt free. We don’t even know what that life is like yet since we went from having student loans to having car and home loans and anything else that came up in between.

Our new/old backyard. I think we will find plenty to do!

In short, we are sad to go, somewhat nervous about the journey, but excited about the possibility of the future.

I’ll be updating you on our new journey as we go along. In the meantime, feel free to read all about our last fulltime RV living journey. I’m glad you will be coming along with the ride. 🙂 I still can’t believe that we are doing this again! In my next post, I will have a video of our RV and share with you what I’m doing to create a livable space for our family for the coming months.

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  1. Rock on! Thank you for sharing Merissa. You and your husband are so very intelligent! Very. I’m proud of you and find inspiration in your journey. My hubby would love to retire, at age 58. We have saved faithfully and if we sold our home could be free as birds. Yet the pace of hard work, pattern of life, what we are used to (especially hubby) is hard to change. We raised our two older kids and have a 12 year old at home. Hubby doesnt want to give him anything less than the older two but a carefree dad I think would be priceless……… dreaming about that and wishing you huge blessings on your journey! Jen from Mi.

  2. May God bless you on your journey and keep you safe… I enjoy your plans posts and learning your simpler ways of living, cooking and in general, being healthier…thank you for your time…

  3. I admire your willingness to do what you need to do to meet your goals and live your dreams. Financial goals are much more difficult to meet when your children have their own unique needs and you have health issues of your own. Being by family who can help will be such a blessing both to you and your children ( and them!).

    Best wishes!

  4. I am excited for you and your family as well as excited to read about your journey. I too, would value a life you are embarking on. My hubby, not so much.
    What a way to enjoy life!

  5. I am excited and nervous for this next step for you. More importantly,I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep smiling! Lots of love!! Sally

  6. Halo, Dear Merissa,

    I am so glad to know you are expanding. Your horizons will take you to your goal. You will win. I congratulate you and your Husband for the bold decision. wish you all the best for your future plans . Lots of blessings to you.

    Looking forward to your next mail.

  7. How exciting! I hope you all love the extra time together and the additional family time you will get by being closer to your extended families.

  8. If you are going to make a dramatic life change with little kiddos, it’s best to do it when they are little. I admire you for your decision, you will find your little piece of paradise again. Question, will you be changing your format much? I do love your country-farm-homestead-homemade format so very much.

    1. We agree, that’s why we felt the need to do this now instead of later. No plans on changing the format! I will be sharing more of our near-future plans very soon!

  9. Oh how happy I am for you and your family. You have your priorities straight. Family and the time you spend together is more important than “big houses” and “fancy things.” I dream of that same way of life. I do my best to live it. Best of luck to you. I will continue to follow your journey. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  10. Just keep rolling on!. I got this advice from my Lord and Savior a day before my husband’s recent surgery. Side note: I will probably give my new email soon. Old one is changing.

  11. Merissa, I wish you and your family many blessings as you all embark on this exciting season of your lives! How smart you and your husband are, you are wise beyond your years. We also lived close to family when our kids were young and the memories (and extra help!) were priceless. It has taken us until age 53 to do what you are now, living debt free, so don’t give up. Remember your farmhouse fondly, and trust you will find your new “piece of heaven” when the time is right. Looking forward to your RV life updates!

    1. Thank you, Katherine! I know you are right…we will find that perfect place for us! I lived close to my grandparents when I was growing up and those fond memories played a large part in this decision. 🙂

  12. Congratulations for making this decision and leap of faith. In the final analysis, family is everything. I’m an old lady and this is one of my life lessons. 🙂

  13. Will be praying for you. Husband & I have been empty nest since Dec. 22nd when our 21 y.o. daughter, who just turned 22, got married. Our 25 y.o. son is 3 1/2 hour drive from home attending college. Still adjusting to this empty nest thing…

  14. I wish you a very happy and successful journey! Thank you for sharing your life with me and countless others! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
    You Rock!!!

  15. I love this! One of my dreams is to sell our house one day and live in an RV with our kids. God hasn’t made a way for us yet, but I’m not completely ready to let go of that dream. I am definitely one who likes change, and can never see myself living in one house or one spot for the rest of my life. I think it will be awesome journey for you and your family. Sure, it will come with roadbumps but what adventure doesn’t? Can’t wait to read and follow along in your journey.

  16. God bless you on your new journey! I wanted to share that my husband and I met a couple, retired, who sold their 10 acre/ large home in Michigan to live in a VW bus! And they were estatic about it. It wasn’t early days of living so free, but this was around their year 6 or so. They traveled and lived where they wanted to. They were in the northeast to attend their son’s wedding. Amazing. But God leads and we will always be fine when we leave ourselves in His hands. Looking forward to reading about your new journey. And P.S. – we moved back to our hometown, in a more espensive town and much smaller house than we originally thought we’d live in – specifically to be very near all our children’s grandparents – and 33 years later? we would do it again in a heartbeat.

  17. We have just gone through a similar experience. I look forward on following you on your new journey and may God bless you and your family abundantly!

  18. I am 57 years old, am married 37 years and have five sons. We have moved 23 times!!!!!
    What an adventure and education moving can be! Even more so than “travel.”
    You take the important things with you where ever you go: Family. Faith. Your Choices.
    Rock on! You will do great things!

  19. Oh my dear girl I understand the reasoning completely. I hope it all goes smoothly and look forward to your continuing adventures from the RV. Good luck and god speed.

  20. I know the bible says in phillipians 4:19 my God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus, be strong and keep believing that God’s plan for you is going to come to pass
    I know your dreams will come true.
    Thanks for sharing your recipes and your stories.

  21. I must of missed a lot here, I didn’t know you moved from your small farmhouse.I would love to have something like that but good luck with your new plans and I hope all goes well.

  22. Congratulations Merissa and Hubby on keeping your life simple! I wish you the best on your small RV living lol!! Not sure I could have been that brave! It has been so awesome to have found you. Your adventures and simple living recipes have been so good. I wish you all the best!!

  23. Wow, that is quite a new adventure! I will pray that God directs all your steps and decisions, along the way. ?

  24. I am so happy for you and the family. My husband and I gave up our hometown of almost 45 years to move to be near our only child and three grandchildren. The children keep us busy and young and I don’t know what the parents would do without us helping. Just please keep the blog going and best you can and God bless.

  25. Wishing you and your family new adventures, the joy of being near to those you love, safe passage and many positive vibes… lots of things grow in pots and are portable! Canning equipment takes us space but I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it all work. Best of luck!!!

  26. Well, awesome! I think that’s wonderful! I remember reading about your RV journey and wanting to do that so bad. Here we are living in a 5th wheel stationary on a farm, it’s been about 17 months now and it’s the best thing. We have 8 kids but only 4 still live at home, 18&16 yr old boys in high school and 4&3 yr old girls. Hubby works the farm in exchange for rent and also works the farm next door for income.
    Exciting! Looking forward to hearing about this new adventure for you all.

  27. Melissa, long time follower, seldom post comments. But this is so huge I had to, wow! Y’all must be full of mixed emotions leaving your wonderful farm and the life you have created there. But it sounds like supportive family will go a very long way when it comes to the quality of yours and your children’s lives, so fortunate for all of you, a huge blessing! Great to read your direction is so clear too! You’re very blessed to have such supportive family, not all are. Wishing you a smooth transition my dear. Love your blog!!

  28. So happy for you. I can relate we moved 3 years ago 2 hours away and its been so hard to be away from my church we love, our friends and family. I can’t wait to go back home and starting a new road to. I’am re-starting my antique business to and so excited for that and my son is going off to college , so many changes here to. Best of luck. Love your blog and have learned so much from you. Thank you. Can’t wait to see your next one.

  29. Best of luck on this next adventure in your life. I am not sure I could live in an RV with littles, but it IS something DH and I are considering as we are becoming empty nesters, again. One thing weighing on me is that if we don’t have a ‘house’, what happens if one of the kids/grandkids needs a helping hand, would we be able to put them up again? We may end up doing like you, moving closer to the grands. Family support is so important. Hugs!

    1. I’m not really looking forward to living in the RV with 3 little ones but hopefully it won’t be for too long until we can move onto phase 2 of our plan.

  30. Congrats on following your heart. We are actually going through a similar process where we have decided to move towards family. Our family is over a 6 hour drive away. We’re in our 30s and only have our animals to move with us. It is still a process and we are excited and nervous all at the same time! We’ll be leaving the life we have known for the last five years but having lots of time with family is much more important to us. Much more important that the high paying jobs and big house. You and your family are such an inspiration! We have been dreaming about having a simple and sustainable lifestyle surrounded by family for a while now. We are getting closer to that dream! Wishing you the best for your journey towards the ultimate life you want to live <3

    1. Julia, it’s good to hear from someone on the same journey! Yes, our family is 5 hours away so it will be quite the process with our tractor and homesteading things. Thankfully we only have one cow right now.

  31. What a brave and daring plan, Merissa! Family is paramount, so this might be the best course of action for everyone involved. Will you be parking your RV on “family land”? Your children will know the joy of close family living, and you’ll be better of financially. Good luck to you!

  32. Wishing you the best on your new journey! How exciting to become debt free and not be held down. We are working hard to pay off our mortgage and become debt free, so we can save as much as we can to buy some land.

    Best wishes!

  33. We all have ‘dreams’ and goals. Then reality! What is admirable, to me, is you cherish family over things. Who knows, God may have more in store and you will not need distractions from His plan. God bless and keep you all.

  34. WOW you are making a really hugh decision. However, I understand wanting to be around family. Family (most of the time) really are the ones that you can count on in a pinch. Friends and church family are helpful, however, you can’t always call them at 2 am to babysit your children while you take an ill husband to the ER. Been there done that. I love reading your blog. May God Bless your journey keeping you sane in your small space. l

  35. Good Morning Merissa,

    It’s true that with special needs children, a surprise lurks around every corner. Each path is different from the mainstream, many adaptations to everyday situations are needed. Advice and criticism arrive from every direction.
    The heartaches, worries, joys and triumphs of the special needs community are of a different flavor than those of mainstream folk.
    I have a (now somewhat) special needs, 19 year old son. Originally diagnosed as moderately autistic and “severely hyperkinetic” at 3 years old, He now “no longer identifies” as autistic, lol! He says “I have OCD and ADHD, but everyone has something.” He is social (within his comfort zone), affectionate, and attending community college. I do not know if he will be fully independent, but it is looking like he will be. He is a gift, and a joy and has progressed light years from what his abilities used to be.
    While preparing for and living through these changes, don’t forget to put down your sword once in a while and have a good cry. I offer encouragement and prayers and wishes for much laughter and love. I will be praying for you and your husband, for your relationship together…and of course for your children.
    As for me, my heart is has always been in the countryside; the best services for my son as a child were in highly populated areas. Despite living on Long Island, in Suffolk County NY (crowded suburbia), I live more simply every day, and my life is fuller because of it. Thank you, because you have helped me on my path to simplicity. You are making this move in order to become debt-free and to be near family; closing a door but opening the window. Life must seem anything but simple right now. Hang on through the upcoming changes.


  36. Good luck from Ontario, Canada! Hubby and I are moving back into our trailer this spring for the same reason – to become debt free. We’re 54 and 61 and it never ends. Life keeps throwing curve balls! Just hang in there and do what it takes to finally be able to breathe easier. Wish we could live in our trailer year round but it gets too cold up here. I’ll be looking out for your experiences. Keep in touch and God bless.

  37. Hi, Happy Easter and Thank You for your wonderful article, always very much appreciated, dearest Melissa. I adore your strength and determination, and Good Luck with your new project !

  38. Best of luck on this new season in your life. I’m sure there will be many blessings along the way.

  39. Wishing you all kinds of luck and prosperity as you enter this new and exciting next adventure. I will so look forward to keeping up with you and your blogs. ❤️

  40. I’m excited for your next chapter in this life. So happy you will be near family. I am looking forward to reading about this journey. My husband and I are working to become debt free also. I am making our last mortgage payment this month. We still have a student loan hanging over our heads but we will keep plugging away at it. I am really big in decluttering but my hubby is really struggling with it. His mind just isn’t ready to let go. Take care and enjoy the ride.

    1. It’s hard to get into the mindset, sometimes it can take others longer to get there. Congrats on your last mortgage payment, that’s amazing!

  41. I pray for your beautiful family to have a smooth transition. Will you be able to park the RV on family land? Will you be able to move your business as well? Best of luck…don’t forget about your loyal readers!

    1. We will be on family land for a while but we are actually going to be going into full time missionary work (in the US) shortly after 🙂