Make new things possible – love the gap.

Ever since my husband and I met (over 6 years ago now…) we’ve been campers. We camped on Valentine’s Day (in the snow), over long weekends and late nights (in places you could only walk to), and slept 10 feet from gorgeous lakes seen only by the lucky few with a strong enough truck (or legs) to make it there. He even proposed while we were camping – on a cliff, above the river, in the woods. But 4 years ago, just before my oldest daughter was born, that changed.

Camping with a baby seemed like a crazy idea – especially the way we did it, in a tent in the backwoods. Suddenly our camping concerns were less about beer and a view than about diaper changing stations and climate control. Things changed. We decided that before we would go camping again, the kids would be a bit older and we would (gasp) have an RV.

There Was a Gap Between Where We Were and Where We Wanted to Be.

The past 4 years, we’ve moved twice, had another baby, started (and ended) my corporate career, and launched 3 businesses. Each time, there was a gap between where we were and what we wanted – and we closed it. But the RV remained elusive… Until a week ago, when we finally decided to make the leap.

Days and days were spent driving to dealerships, scanning Craigslist, driving for hours to see a tent trailer that turned out to be a piece of… “Junk”. We were almost giving up hope that we were going to close that gap, until we found it.

A 1995 Dutchmen with a toilet, shower, furnace, fridge and sink. Two beds, just the right size. A table and bench for seating and extra sleeping. And it was within budget! We towed it home on Wednesday night, and left on our first camping adventure as a family Thursday morning.

There were hiccups, of course. The winch stopped working – and we had to replace it (in the campground, with borrowed tools!) The showed leaked. The sink overflowed. The roof dropped a quart of water on Darren’s back at 4am Friday. All hiccups, but all fixable. We were camping, and we were in an RV!

But The Gap Remains.

We bought our first tent trailer, and once we make a few repairs it will be everything we need as a family. It would probably last us well into our old age if we took good care of it. No issues.

Pulling into a campground with tents and tent trailers, we felt like real “grown  up” campers. And then we saw it – the 23′ Creek Side bunkhouse we looked at last year. Hard walls. Proper water supply and holding tanks. Bunkbeds for the kids. A bigger fridge and more storage – all with a $20k price tag.

And we wanted it.

There we were, finally sitting in the tent trailer we’d been dreaming of for 4 years, and we wanted to step up. What we had wasn’t enough. And for a moment, I judged myself for feeling that way.

“Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“Shouldn’t you just be happy?”

“This is just rampant consumerism running through your brain!”

But I stopped myself. That was the gap. It never, ever goes away – every time you reach a goal, the gap will show you something newer, bigger, and better on the other side.

Before the tent trailer the Creek Side seemed a million years away, and yet now it is a simple trade in and a few thousand dollars to get an older model and we’re there. It is within reach in a couple of years.

So I loved the gap.

I loved it for showing me what is possible.

For bringing a dream closer to reality.

For reminding me that when we get the Creek Side, I’m going to want something else. A new truck, a bigger RV, a 5th wheel… Something else newer, bigger, better, and closer to my reality from that point.

The Gap Stretches Your Boundaries.

When you were 16, if you were anything like me all you wanted was to get your drivers’ permit. The symbol of freedom – being able to go off on your own somewhere. But once you got it, you probably wanted your own car. And then a better car (better on gas, faster, sexier, whatever your fancy.)

You didn’t just “get your permit” and stop wanting – having your drivers’ permit opened up new possibilities on the other side.

Embrace the gap for everything it is, and everything it shows you. Allow yourself to reach a goal, then revel in “what’s next”. Love the gap.

What is On The Other Side of Your Gap?

I want to hear from you – what is on the other side of your gap? What is your “big goal” – not the meaningless business one, with the numbers and the comparisons… The real emotional goal. Supporting your family? Getting the bigger house? The fancy car? The freedom to buy an RV and take off camping without having to answer to a boss, like I did?

Do you know how to close that gap? I want to show you – so let’s talk. For 15 minutes, I’ll listen to your biggest goals and refine them into a plan that makes sense for you. One you can actually implement (without the frustration and overwhelm of those boxed “systems” you see elsewhere.) Something that is personalized for you, your goals, your future, and your skills.

I’ll show you how to love the gap, and push it further – to stretch the boundaries of your imagination and reach entirely new goals.

And it’s completely free. No cost, no catch. You, me, and a plan to reach your next big thing. Just click here to schedule a time to chat.

See you on the other side…

– Cheryl

We're back!

Sorry for being MIA ladies (and gents), but hubbster and I had a weekend away. I suppose you could say it was our babymoon!

Our first wedding anniversary was July 1st (Canada Day!) and so we decided to go camping. We got a great spot right on the beach at a local lake, and spent the entire weekend just relaxing by the campfire!

I even got to show off my camp-culinary skills, making us some sautéed asparagus, boiled potatoes & mustard crusted salmon on Saturday night!

Of course, everyone around us was paranoid (my family, his family, etc.) with me being 8 months pregnant and us being so far away from civilization (and even cell phone reception… Which was actually a welcome treat!) but the midwife gave us the OK, so I was completely comfortable with it. It was actually really nice to get away, because coming back home felt like “okay, now we have to get ready for baby!”

Unfortunately I’m also procrastinating with many baby things… I’ve finally registered at the hospital, but my 36 week home visit from the midwife is next week and we STILL haven’t finished shopping for the home birth, I don’t have my hospital bag packed, and baby’s crib is still filled with the gifts we received at the baby shower.

In some strange way, it is like doing those last few things is like admitting that yes, baby will be here very soon! I’ve gotten comfortable being pregnant, and this is going to be a big change… Obviously one I’m looking forward to, but a little bit scary with all the new-ness, nonetheless!

Lots of updates this week as I work through my to-do list of home birth shopping, hospital bag packing, buying the last few baby items, washing all of my cloth diapers, and more… Stay tuned!

Pregnancy, and friends…

There is something on my chest, dear people, that I need to let go. I need to blog about it, because this blog is – first and foremost – my outlet. Second, it is a way to help others by sharing things I’ve learned – but primarily, it is my outlet. And today, I need to let it out.

Hubbster and I – since we got together, we’ve never really had a big circle of friends. He had a bunch of friends in his previous relationship that his ex stole, I had a  bunch of friends in my previous relationship that my ex stole – we both ended up together, but alone, with a whole bunch of people we used to hang out with hating us for no reason. It sucked.

And since we got together, we’ve had a few friends, but very few that stuck around. Hey, we hardly even talk to our maid of honor and best man anymore, and we haven’t even hit our one year anniversary yet.

We do have a couple of friends, but something one of them said the other day hit me kind of hard – and hubby is tired of hearing about it, so I’m going to cry about it to you.

What happened…

We were all going to go camping for May long weekend. It’s tradition, we ALWAYS go camping for May long weekend, even in the rain or snow or hurricane-earthquake-forestfire-monster-outbreak. WE GO. It usually isn’t our first camping trip (although this year it will be…) but it is a nice beginning to the summer season.

And this year, we were going to go with our friends – J (the guy who I think really should have been in our wedding party, I *heart* his fuzzy butt) and K (my preggo buddy, who found out she was knocked up 7 weeks behind me with her 2nd babe!). J&K just so happen to be dating and expecting their first little one together.

Now, hubbster and I don’t go to camp grounds. We HATE campgrounds. The throngs of people, the huge stupid price tag on a slab of gravel, the “quiet time” enforced by stupid park rangers, the fire bans, the fact that even tenters have to pay for running water when really, what am I going to freaking hook it up to?

Yeah, we hate campgrounds.

We honestly believe that if you’re going to go to a campground, you might as well just put up a tent in your backyard – it will be quieter and cheaper, but you’ll still have the amenities.

ANYway – hubbster’s cousin also happens to do surveying for logging and things, and happens to know all of the beauty spots to go camping. And he was going to give us access to a gated spot with porta potties (YAY!) which I thought would be perfect for my slightly less bush-man-like friends who prefer NOT to poop in a hole you dug in the ground. They like their poop holes man made.

So I bring it up to K – and she starts talking about booking 4 camp sites. I was like “huh? I thought we were just going to go up Bench or something, like we always do”

And what do I get told?

They’re going with “4 other families” – so they want facilities and parks and things.

AKA since we’re not a family, we don’t understand.

AKA we’re not a family *sob*

Now, I know my fetus is still contained internally – but that just isn’t fair! To hold it over our heads that we waited until we were married and in a stable relationship, and planned our children, so we’re a little behind you in the number of kids we have. Your babies were surprises – we never even had the chance for a surprise. We needed fertility drugs, thanks.

So because my ovaries are junkie POS wrecks instead of fertile ground, we “aren’t a family” – and we can’t go camping with them. We budget for our camping every year, and to be honest, there isn’t $100 extra in that budget for 3 nights at the outdoor equivalent to a roach motel.

And who is to say when fetus is born, that we’ll magically change our minds about campgrounds anyway? What is wrong with kids being out in the wilderness, AWAY from things like playgrounds and stuff? You just come equipped – it isn’t hard. Hubbster did it with his ex-step kids for YEARS, and the kids loved it. So what does our not being a family have to do with us hating campgrounds, anyway?

I’m just upset about the whole thing, because I can’t see where we fit in anymore… We have some friends that we don’t see that often. Some of them already have kids in gradeschool, and never leave the house with the kiddos.

Some have babies and leave the house all the time – but we’re not equal to them. We don’t “understand” what its like to have a family to watch out for, and all that responsibility. (Did I mention we’re the only ones married with a savings account and a planned pregnancy? Oh yeah… We’re so irresponsible.)

Some don’t have babies and are still living the single life, so of course they want nothing to do with us old boring married people, because they know that soon, our lives will be too consumed by baby to go bar hopping.

So where do we fit in?

Do I just randomly go running around the mall, asking every pregnant woman I see if this is her first baby? If she’s married but renting, with a planned pregnancy?

Do I put terms and conditions on my friendship, with qualifiers to make sure that I’m “good enough” to be that person’s friend?

I don’t want to. I like my friends, but all they can seem to tell me is how life is going to suck after this baby is born, and how different we’re going to see things because “we’re not a family yet”.

Well I’m sorry, but I don’t see it that way. Life is NOT going to suck once Fluffy is born. How do I know that? Because we tried so long and so hard for this baby, our hearts ached so bad with every appearance of “the witch”, that even during the worst moment – my low point, exhausted beyond all belief, unable to console a crying baby, breaking down into tears – I’ll still be grateful that I’m crying with my little girl, instead of crying over another negative pregnancy test.

Maybe that’s the difference. Maybe it isn’t that we don’t understand *them* – that’s not the problem. Maybe they don’t understand *us* – because we chose a different path than they did.

They went through surprise pregnancies. Some of them, before they knew we were trying, complained to us all the time about their kids and told us to wait YEARS before having babies, because it sucked. Maybe they just can’t understand that we are a family, because this little girl is already our baby – internal or external. We’ve gone through so much to make her a part of our lives, and we couldn’t imagine living without her now. This is our family, the three of us plus cat & dog.

And it’s never going to suck.

And I’m still never, ever setting foot in a campground… Because that, I don’t think I’ll ever understand. No matter how big or how small our family gets.

Camping With Babies??

Camping is something that the hubbster and I LOVE to do. We’ve gone camping since we first got together. We got engaged while we were camping. We even planned on having our wedding at OUR camp site (until they shut that site down.) We love it.

And it is absolutely beautiful where we go camping. Tall evergreens, the river just literally a stone’s throw away, sun shining – it doesn’t get better.

And this weekend, we may be going camping. Yay!

Now, camping while pregnant? No big deal. I mean, when it gets closer to my due date, we won’t be camping out of cell phone reception that is for sure – but the morning sickness is gone, and getting away from it all would be a GOOD thing, not a bad thing.

But the problem is, it has me thinking about next years camping trips. And camping with Fluffy on the OUTSIDE of my uterus.

Now if you have an RV, you may be thinking “What’s the problem?” Well, in a nut-shell, we sleep in a two man tent, our kitchen is a screen house with a folding table and Coleman stove, and we do our “business” somewhere behind a tree. And that has me thinking that maybe, our style of camping…

… IS NOT EXTERNAL FETUS-FRIENDLY

Just sayin’.

Sure, the back seat of the truck makes a perfect change table. And the Graco pack n’ play would make an awesome change table/sleeper/baby jail. But it won’t fit in our tent. And it gets COLD outside at night, especially when you’re in a tent.

The only solution I can think of is to give in, and buy a tent trailer with next year’s tax refund (we always get a big one, so we have fun figuring out what to spend it on each year… Guess what we spent it on this year? LOL)

Nothing too fancy, just something with indoor space big enough to put baby to sleep OFF the ground.

What do you think? What would you do if you wanted to go camping with your baby, but didn’t have an RV? Buy one? Or just get a bigger tent?