Day in Long Beach, WA

One of the things that had me worried before we even left for this trip was the quality of sleep we'd all be getting while living in this thing. We are a sleep-needy family and for at least three of us, getting a good night of sleep is more important than it is for most people. Elijah was diagnosed with a sleep disorder a few years ago called Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome, where basically his body is ready to wake up WAY earlier than most people....every single day, no matter what. We've learned to manage this and we have taught him to be respectful of other people's sleep early in the mornings, even if he's wide awake and ready to start his day. But we still do occasionally hear him talking to himself and he will sometimes get out of bed and start wandering around at 4:00 am.

The first week of this trip was a bit rough in the area of sleeping as we adjusted to our new tiny home on wheels. Then on the eighth or ninth day of our travels, I started sleeping more deeply than I was sleeping even back in our huge, cozy bed and immobile house. We have fallen into a rhythm here in the HQ and I think we are all at our premium portable sleeping levels. I've done some thinking about why I personally am sleeping so well in here. Before the trip, I was sleeping HORRIBLY. I was lucky to sleep past 4:00 in the morning and usually I was up for the day around 3:00. I was constantly waking up and thinking about all of the things I had to do in each coming day. NOW, I'm realizing, I no longer have a mile-long daily to-do list. Any worry that I have now is momentary. Instead of "Clean entire house, go to DMV and pick up 92 things from Wal-Mart," my lists are more along the lines of, "Clean sand off of boys' legs NOW, get quarters for laundry NOW and prepare veggies for dinner NOW." It's all in-the-moment stuff that can't be foreseen and therefore is unable to be stressed about. Life is so much simpler on the road and that seems to have freed up Stress Space in my brain. I haven't slept this well in months! It feels amazing!

This morning we woke up to a light rain. We lingered in the HQ, snuggling, doing a bit of work and making breakfast. We headed to the beach mid-morning despite the clouds and we were the only ones there for the majority of the time. It was chilly, but we didn't mind. The boys made a killer sandcastle and Buddy ran around like a CRAZED but happy puppy. The ocean had way receded from last night, so we were able find a few seashells and it was fun running around and splashing.

This afternoon we hit a rough spot and we all started clashing. Another thing about this tiny-home living is that you can't just run away from conflict. Back in our huge home that I once thought was super-tiny, there were times when things started getting nuts and I would literally run to my bedroom, close the door and stare out the window. That was probably good for momentary peace, but not so great in the sense that I was running away from conflict. Here, though, we have no choice but to face things and work through them. Dan and I are even beginning to face little things we've tucked under the rug for so long because it's just so easy to do that.

Today really was a day of learning and growing. We enjoyed our time at the ocean so much, but we also had some tough growing experiences that I TRULY believe will make our bonds stronger in the long run.

Tomorrow we are heading into Oregon for a few nights. I traveled through Oregon as a kid, but don't remember it. I'm excited to take in yet another beautiful state! We have friends and family that we are excited to see in our next few stops. Thanks SO MUCH for peeking in here. This journey has been so incredible and it somehow feels good to have "silent partners" experiencing it with us!