Friday, April 30, 2010

Yearbook of Life

Jill's Journal: In our steadfast purging, I came across a letter dated 1995 (can that really be 15 years ago already?) from my dear friend Ernie. I knew immediately why I’d kept it.

Darling, Lucille Ball-loving Ernie and I worked closely together and sat literally inches apart during our American Express years in Anaheim Hills, CA. I was just a baby, brand-new to a major corporation and wide-eyed to the ways of the world after a very sheltered childhood. He was a seasoned professional and the first person I’d ever known who openly lived an alternate lifestyle. I was enamored with him and he was charmed by my naivety. We quickly bonded. He’s a dear soul and while we still keep in touch occasionally, passing years and a few thousand miles separate us.

But this letter, dated nearly three years after the last time I’d seen him, still speaks to me. I have to share it.

“Eventually we have to sign the yearbook of life – and what will our picture look like? I want mine to have the look of excitement in my eyes – life, a picture I’d be proud to sign. The older I become, and hopefully wiser – I realize we are here but for a vanishing moment and then we’re gone. Live for the moment and make it worthwhile!”

I’m so grateful to have had inspiring people like Ernie in my life. Without a history of that kind of encouragement, would we be embarking on this adventure now? I can think of 20 other dreams we’ve also followed over the years, some big, some small – would we have had the courage to jump?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

For Sale

Jill's Journal: The time has come for us to sell our house! This is the mother of all preparations to leave our stable lives and full-time it on the road.

We officially went on the market last Friday. I’ve quickly learned selling a house ranks up there with my least favorite things to do in this world. I do believe I’d rather have a root canal. Without anesthetic. Seriously.

I thought I was a strong woman – I can give birth to 13 pound, 11 ounce babies at home, thank you very much – but I’ve found my breaking point. Strangers tromping through our personal sanctuary with their shoes on is more than I can handle. Hopefully someone buys our clean, cozy little home soon and puts me out of my misery!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

“Live the Life You’ve Imagined”

Jill's Journal: I came across the perfect quote (for us at this moment in our lives) by Henry David Thoreau, who is of course the master of perfect quotations.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

Live the life you’ve imagined. I love that. We’ve been striving so hard to get there and we’re so close we can taste it. Six weeks to launch.

A recent, wonderful post on said essentially the same thing: Is the Life You’re Pursuing the Life You Want?

I can honestly say yes! And it’s not a foreign concept to me or to us. We’ve made drastic changes before to follow our dreams. We’re not afraid to jump. Yet, reading posts like this makes me think a lot of people are afraid to step outside of their known comfort zones. I don’t understand that. If you are unhappy with something, change it. Or change your attitude about it. We only live once. Make the most of it. Make it a beautiful life. Live the life you’ve imagined.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Jill's Journal: Spring is beautiful in Kentucky. Just sensational. Maybe it’s the fact we’ve lived here for 13 years that has made me take it for granted. Or maybe I’ve just been distracted lately by this busy season of our lives with our “littles,” but somehow I’d had a momentary lapse about how completely divine spring is here in the Bluegrass.

Knowing this is our last official spring in Central Kentucky has opened my eyes and I’m so grateful. Everywhere I look, I can’t help but drink in the beauty of this amazing place. Of course, the perfectly manicured, rolling green paddocks with magnificent Thoroughbred mares and their long-legged, frolicking babies bounding about can’t be beat by anything in the world, but even non-horse lovers have to admit Mother Nature must take special pride in the Bluegrass. The image at right of flowering trees cascading into a pond was taken at Easter sunrise last week. This is truly God’s country.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

All Work and No Play…Nah

Jill's Journal: Rob’s been working so hard on all the physical repair/upgrading/beautifying of our house inside and out lately, whereas my contributions (with three little kids “helping”) are more along the lines of decluttering/purging/packing. But last night, after the girls’ bedtime, we roped my sister, Kristi, into the mix and the three of us set out to paint the master bedroom. It was last done 11 1/2 years ago when we moved in and definitely needed a fresh coat of paint and a more neutral color.

Armed with paintbrushes and margaritas, we primered and painted and drank until the wee hours of the morning. Kristi’s and my margarita consumption and giggles soon outpaced our painting until Rob finally took away our brushes with orders to simply keep him company. It was close to 2:00 a.m. before the walls were fully transformed from a bold, deep green to a gentle “wicker.”

I can’t speak for those two, but it certainly was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a home project! Kristi's photo on the right confirms it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It’s Really Happening!

Jill's Journal: The past two weeks have been a flurry of activity as we depersonalize the house and prepare it for market. It’s always been neat and tidy, but we’re going the extra mile to make sure it stands out when we hang that “For Sale” sign out front. It’s incredibly exciting to see progress and realize that our “launch date” is a mere two months away!

Another successful garage sale is in the books, more big items have been sold on Craig’s List, and charities ranging from All God’s Children to Blue Grass Farms Charities to Goodwill have been blessed with boxes upon boxes of donations.

We’ve also “bought” a mailbox at a place that will enable us to keep our Kentucky residency for now and has a professional mail forwarding service to boot. We’ve made decisions on online banking for the road. And perhaps most significantly, we’ve rented a small storage unit and began moving in the boxes I’ve packed of sentimental and significant items we’re saving.

Somehow, that made it all real to me. Not buying the fifth wheel or the big truck to pull it. Not the mountain of preparations we’ve been making for months and months. Not the hours of planning and dreaming and discussing we’ve done for the last 1 1/2 years. Nope. It was the storage unit; such a minor little step along the way, yet when we scaled it, it hit me. It really hit me. We’re doing this. It’s really happening!