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The Light Life Blog RV Remodel

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Back when we lived a more normal life in an actual house, I was known for changing the paint color on my walls every other year or so because everyone who knows me knows that I get bored easily and love to change things up! Now here we are, about to enter year two of our journey to full time RV life. So naturally, we I, felt it was high time to give our little home a facelift too! And somehow I got lucky and managed to talk my husband into the insanity of it all.

We went all in and decided to do a marathon remodel session on the last weekend before summer cranked up to hot as hell status! *We own the Open Range Light (LT308BHS) model camper.

For now, we have completely revamped everything with the exception of the master bedroom and half of the kid’s bunkhouse area. We will finish those up soon..but we just couldn’t wait to share it with you anyways.

And of course it was just too much to wait until next spring when the entire thing was done to show you all how turned out. So here is snapshots of our face-lifted, personalized, a bit more cozy RV home! We hope you are inspired to make whatever space is you live in, your very own!

(Be sure to click here to view the before pics)

11311543_1603387973269899_189322981_nAs you can see, we had quit a job ahead of us…and we made quite a mess! Since our camper is only two years old, we didn’t really need or want to change a whole lot structurally except for the living/dining room slide-out area (which used to be a huge u-lounge area) and the bathroom sink (which was entirely too small).

I’m a huge fan of bright and fresh spaces. And since we homeschool and spend much of our time in our RV, we decided we wanted to get rid of all the dark and use lots of white and grey to lighten and open up the space as much as possible!
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We began the process by taking down every cabinet door and hardware. We kilzed every wall once then painted them with two coats of a light grey premium grade satin finish paint. The dark wood cabinets were also kilzed and painted with two coats of a premium grade antique white in satin finish. We didn’t really worry about 100% perfect coverage on all the cabinetry since we wanted them to have an aged feel and everybody knows that aged things aren’t perfect and definitely don’t look new!

We used a medium/coarse grit sandpaper to distress the cabinets once the paint was dry to give them their aged, shabby chic look. I love the way they turned out!

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We decided to go ahead and completely re-do Olivia’s side of the bunk house area of the camper, so Olivia got to work and helped her dad build her new bed area and mommy did the painting. It was definitely a team effort. We think it turned out so lovely and Olivia absolutely LOVES her new space! She says it feels so cozy…I agree!    (Jackson’s side will be revamped soon!)11905751_10153697338327847_4035993158962612862_n11951968_10153712451262847_5831649625826629152_n11892012_10153712464292847_4331026778324875532_n        11215704_10153613252677847_5702014323835840354_n

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We still have a bit more remodeling left to do (in between dad’s work schedule and school) and will definitely show you when we’re 100% finished. But for now, we sure have loved giving you a mini tour of our tiny home on wheels and we hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into our freshly remodeled camper home!  Please feel free to leave us questions and comments below in the comments and then click right here to follow us on Instagram @thelightlifeblog!

Comments { 12 }

Sex On Wheels

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{Disclaimer: This post is intended to be a humorous, light post written tastefully on the challenges of RV married life. Enjoy!}

When we first decided we were really going to ditch the house {along with our wonderfully large master bedroom attached to a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and closet bigger than our entire RV!!!!} I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I had a small panic attack the first time it occurred to me that we would have to learn how to manage {ahem!} married life activities within the confines of less than 300 sq. feet with two young kids sleeping just footsteps away at the other end of the RV.

 I began imagining random nights of silent lovemaking involving violent shaking of our entire home, things falling off of walls and out of shelves! Something resembling a scene from a silent love horror movie! Or worst! The END of our love life as we knew it!

Maybe this isn’t even an issue for everyone. And if you don’t have children, I can’t think of any reasons why this would be much of an issue at all even for RV life. But for my husband and I, RV life or not, all we knew was this was a part of our marriage in which we were NOT willing to negotiate possibilities of it slowly dwindling away into oblivion for lack of a good plan.

But for those who might also be facing this issue like we were, I can assure you that after six months of full-time RV life on the road with two young children in tow, my husband and I have yet to become forced into living the celibate lives of nuns & monks.

No, our bedroom is not soundproofed and no we do NOT wait for weekend getaways without the kids to have a love life! But there have been a few necessary adjustments we’ve made to continue to make our love life a priority, to keep it alive and well all while ensuring that our children are not scarred for life!

Number One. Stability – STABILIZERS. Yes, yes and amen.  Although most campers have their own stabilizers, my husband bought additional stabilizers to, um, well….keep the trailer from rocking’.

Two. Privacy – Real doors. Many if not most RVs don’t have real doors with real locks on them. We were not interested in those for the most obvious of reasons. I am quite sure you could make it work with less, this was simply a personal safety preference issue for our family.

Three. I guess this one could also fall under “privacy.” Having a bathroom directly off the master bedroom. In our search for an RV we toured one that we absolutely loved. We did not however buy that one based solely on the fact that the bathroom was at the other end of the camper next to the bunk house. (kids’ room) And since naked midnight streaks through the camper with children in tow are NOT on our list of things to do for fun, we opted for one with a bathroom right off the master bedroom.

Four. Boundaries –  Just because we live in an RV doesn’t mean we are irresponsible, nudist hippies who have no value for decency and modesty. Since we do live in a small space together, setting clear boundaries between the two of us and the two of them is something we’ve made important. The kids know that after we’ve spent time together as a family at night and they are put to bed, when mom and dad retreat to their room that is our space and our time. Alone. Therefore at that time they know it becomes our, “no kids aloud zone/ mommy & daddy time.” 

Now that doesn’t mean things can’t get a bit tricky at times. Such as when the little taps at the locked bathroom door that connects to our room and a “But I’ve got to go to the bathroom REAL bad” happens. And when it does, we adjust.

Five. Bedroom Noise. Well, um…. let’s see there’s always turning the tv up real loud and duct tape! {kidding about the last one} Other than that, this is the one part that we do happen to reserve for our weekends away. So if any of you other RVers have discovered or created the solution to this one, for the love of Pete please let us know!!!!!

Six. Space limitations – Well, that’s a whole other post for a whole other day. Let’s just say, I’ve had my share of head trauma for a lifetime.  😉

In all seriousness, we have discovered that this topic, as with most other things in life, is exactly what you make of it. I can think of plenty of marriages that have crappy love lives that have nothing to do with living in under 300 sq. feet of space. I can also think of some really great marriages with healthy love lives that are not dependent upon the circumstances around them.

I always think back to how it was in the beginning. You know, when love was fresh and new and exciting and no person or difficult circumstance could have kept us from each other. Why should the quality or intensity of a love life have to change just because we’ve been married for twelve years, have two children and live in a tiny home on wheels?

I can’t think of one single reason it should.

Two thumbs up for rockin’ the fine art of “sex on wheels!”

Tiny home, big life. Live light!

Please feel free to leave me your own funny or serious stories, thoughts & experiences on this topic below!

Comments { 41 }

The Bridge

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                              Just beyond this familiar place is a bridge leading to the other side.

The scariest part is that we can’t see the end.

But we trust.

We are brave.

And we go anyways.

This, the very essence of faith.

Believing in all that is good,

Even that which has yet to be seen.

A faith that starves out fear

and gives wings to hope.

Beyond the comfort of all that is known

Is the path that leads us home.

This is where the story of our journey begins.

– Rachel Rowell

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In Which We Wave Goodbye To The American Dream

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Eighteen and newly married, I dove head first into a life filled up with anticipation for the fulfillment of long awaited dreams. This simple country girl who grew up down a long, winding dirt road on hundreds of acres of undeveloped land had spent her entire girlhood imagining a brand new future filled to the brim with all of the things that most young girl’s dream of –  You know, the great marriage, secure jobs with nice incomes, new cars, a spacious house with a fenced in back yard for the kids to play; all held within a neatly manicured, comfortable middle class neighborhood just on the edge of town- these were the things of this young American girl’s dreams.

There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with these kinds of dreams; most of us have them right?

And then something happened – I got all that. 

“So, now what?”

That’s the question I’ve found myself asking a lot lately.

It has become clear to me for some time now that no amount of stuff can substitute for a life fully and freely lived. And so it is that the pursuit of a dream rooted in material gain sounds way more fun in theory.

The truth is, most Americans spend their lives chasing comfortable when comfort wasn’t at all what we were designed for. 

At least, I wasn’t.

It has taken me some growing up before I could come to my own conclusion about this..among many other things.

What I’m realizing is, I am not the same girl as I was twelve years…or even just three years ago for that matter.

These days, I find myself staring into the face of my own American dream life and thinking, “Am I the only one who feels like all of this is madness? Am I really the only in which none of this brings fulfillment?” 

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Last week I mentioned in a previous post that our family would be taking a brand new journey. One that will no longer include a life marked by earthly possessions.

Our little family is currently in the process of selling everything we own (except our vehicles, bare necessities and kids) to head out on a new adventure leaving behind the comfort and safety of everything we’ve known. One in which we will not be tied down by mortgages & debt, nor will we be defined net worth or even a permanent mailing address for that matter. Our success will no longer be defined by what we own, but by how we live. Honestly, something about that is just so freeing.

And I have to be honest again and admit that this whole thing sort of feels like jumping off a cliff without being able to watch others before us try it out first to see that we WILL land safely.

And maybe it would seem more responsible or even sound more spiritual if we could say we are making this decision because ,“God spoke to us and told us to” or because we are going to a foreign country to save souls. But, that isn’t the case.

All we know is, we want to be free to spend more of our lives actually doing life with each other rather than just working for a paycheck. There is a rat race – and we want out.

And I just can’t shake this lingering question in the back of my heart that says, “But what if there’s more?”

What if, just what if  – at the end of slavery to this normal American way of life, a new sort of freedom awaits?

Have you ever wondered if there’s more to life than the typical American way of life? I’d love it if you’d share!

*There will be much more to share with you about our new journey! We invite you to follow along with us right here and join the conversation by clicking on the “leave a reply” link at the top!

Comments { 2 }

Where The Journey Began

I haven’t written much lately. For a few years my writing has been sporadic at best. Not for lack of anything to say, actually the opposite. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to express that the words get all tangled and twisted around in my head and I don’t even know how to put them in some sort of form that makes rational sense to the rest of the world. Maybe some fragments the lives we lead are simply meant to be experienced and understood by us alone. I have been allowing time for that.

But over the past couple of years in particular I’ve been on sort of personal journey; a journey that has been slowly changing me – mostly in good ways. Some days I look at myself in the mirror and still see the same woman I was years ago, and yet so much inside isn’t the same at all. I see and feel life differently. Maybe it’s the natural maturity that comes with age, maybe it’s loss, maybe it’s the way that we make mistakes and then grow and learn from them, maybe it’s grace. I think it’s a combination of them all.

Still though, for me – mostly it’s been grace.

I saw it

I felt it

I breathed it in

I experienced it

I received it

I lived it.

Grace changes everything – mostly it changed me.

I don’t see anything the same as before.

Grace made everything more beautiful

People

Experiences

Life

Love

When the tender flow of grace entwines itself around the complexities of our souls – everything in life beams with more color, dances with more rhythm and sings out more beautifully than before.

Things we deemed important suddenly lose their luster while things we never noticed before cause us to pause with delight and wonder.

This grace isn’t only the first grace that came when perfect blood was spilled out to redeem fallen man,

but the again grace born out of that first grace.

The grace that comes when it’s no longer just a concept based on family faith

But the kind that comes to us again in human form, the kind that we can taste and see and touch and feel

The grace that pursues us when we are running away

That comes to us when we are the most unloveable

The grace that embraces us when we’ve ruined everything

That picks us up, cleanses us and takes us back again as if nothing had ever gone wrong.

The grace that chooses mercy over justice.

If you had been given a priceless heirloom diamond ring that meant everything to you, and one day it happened to slip off of your finger and into the mud – you wouldn’t just look down at it and say to yourself, “Oh well, it’s ruined now and walk away.” But rather you would bend down, pick it up, clean it up again and slip the ring back on your finger as if it had been before. That is what grace does.     ~Anthony Rowell

I heard it in his words, saw it in his eyes and felt it in his tender embrace.

In my unfaithfulness and my running the other way, those were the exact words of truth that would stop me in my tracks, turn me around, change my heart

And eventually my life.

I literally can’t get over it.

It became my priceless gift that I am compelled to give out to others, over and over again without end.

That was the tangible again grace that set my heart and then entire life on a new journey.

One marked by truth tangled up with grace.

This is the stuff that a free life is made of.

Grace is where the journey begins.

I will be writing more of the brand new journey on the horizon for our little family very soon. We hope you will follow along with us as our lives together take a whole new direction!
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Comments { 5 }
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