Day in Williams, Arizona, and discussing STRESS!

It is crazy that today, Day 27, is only the SECOND time we've spent three days in one spot. The last time was way back in Polson, MT, like a million years ago. Dan and I realize that, even though we plan to travel much more now that we own an RV, this 6-week adventure is a trip of a lifetime. We want to make the most of every second and we've been trying to squeeze in as many sights and experiences as possible. Once in a while, though, it's nice to just chill. Today was lovely. There was no pressure to pack up and clean or get anywhere. We had a lazy morning, grilled breakfast (one of my favorite things to do), went to the park, the pool and the game room. We had lunch and quiet time, spent more time in the game room and we've just started a few loads of laundry.

For the first night since we've been on this journey, I am not going to write after the boys go to bed tonight so you're getting an early post today with limited pictures. My sanity thanks you for understanding! I'm kidding. I actually love writing posts and editing photos daily or else I wouldn't do it. But I figure it's finally time to give my cute hubby some undivided attention and not bring my laptop to our nightly campfire.

All four of my boys are at the dog park, so I thought I'd get some "extra" writing done while I have a few spare moments. One of things I've wanted to write about since my shingles ordeal is my theory on why they are visiting. I've been doing a ton of thinking about it because they are quite painful and I'm therefore constantly reminded that they're hanging out.

Before we left for this trip, I was experiencing colossal amounts of stress. Work for me was super busy, Dan lost his job, we prepped our house for selling in a very short period of time, Elijah had surgery, we bought an RV, we said goodbye to the only house our boys have ever known, we wrapped up soccer and swim lessons and we said goodbye to third grade and kindergarten. There were about a hundred tasks to complete that related to this trip and to our house sale and also Elijah's many medical appointments. The six weeks before this trip began were absolutely indescribably nuts. I was waking up between 3:00 and 4:00 every morning worrying about my huge list of tasks that each day brought. My body started revolting in various ways as a sign to SLOW DOWN. But I couldn't. This trip was the light at the end of our tunnel, so I pushed through.

Almost immediately after our departure, I began sleeping through the night without a worry about anything. The strange things that had been going on with my body quickly disappeared. Any stress I've experienced since being on the road has been momentary, instead of prolonged like before. Even though that insane amount of stress was gone, I have continued to think back on it because part of me cannot believe I came out on the other end without major damage. I had a feeling deep inside that the stress needed to come out somehow.

So a week ago when I discovered that the painful rash on my body was shingles, I was surprised but I wasn't surprised. My body has had a chance to relax and after a few weeks it is revolting and also screaming at me, DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN. This morning I was lying in bed already stressing over things that need to get done when we get back to Minnesota. It's two weeks away and I'm already stressing about soccer registration and Elijah's appointments and school supplies and purchasing a new home and on and on. I stopped myself because I cannot start this crazy cycle again!

My tendencies to over-do and over-commit need to be reigned in. Things are going to have to change when we get back home or the cycle will start fresh. My body gave me a stern reminder not to ever do that again, and this time I'm going to listen. No more shingles. No more 3:00 a.m. to-do list planning. No more saying "Yes" to everything. No more pointless and endless worry.

This trip was partially the cause of some of my stress, but it has also been the catalyst for a new way of thinking and living and I am so excited about living differently and better.

We are learning so much about ourselves and each other. Sometimes you just have to follow God's lead, even if it seems crazy, and do what He has put on your heart in order to put your foot onto a different path. Thank you so much for following this journey of ours!

Ok, I promise I am closing my computer for the night. :)