Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Last photos in Easterlin

I was uploading a few pictures in front of our new home and these were on my memory card. They so beautifully portray the year of many still coffee fueled moments spent in our 23foot 2005 Dutchman travel trailer that I couldn't help but want to preserve them completely unedited here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Wow. Words cannot explain how incredible the past 2 days have been. I cannot believe that just 2 days ago when I posted my last Irma entry I didn't yet know the people I now feel so connected to. My life was changed by the lessons I learned volunteering with the awesome Red Cross folks. As soon as I posted my last entry, I found the Red Cross shelter coordinator who promptly gave me a Red Cross disaster relief vest, taught me how to register people and gave me a tour of the school. There was 2000 people staying there and only about 15-20 volunteers so everywhere I walked people asked me for things or information. I am so, so glad I was put to use almost every minute after that except when I was sleeping the past 2 nights or indulging in a massive crustable PB&J at meal time. I'm not complaining that this was the only vegan option for each lunch and dinner because with 30 grams of sugar they sure are delish and also the reason I most likely packed on some pounds at the shelter! I'll be dreaming of those giant crustables for a long time. I did have all my vegan soups, bars and canned fruit and beans with me so I certainly was spoiled by all the food.

The shelter layout made it hard to do anything in the high school without a journey to the other side of the building. The first building had the gymnasium which was filled with people and is where Dave and I set up camp. The gymnasium was right behind the entry doors where we registered everyone and then the building on the other side of the cafeteria is where 3 floors long wrap around halls were lined with families on the ground for 3 full days. Many only had blankets on the hard floor, a bit of food and change of clothes with them and they slept in the bright halls and gymnasium for the entire time like that. The lights were never shut off!  Most families had young kids.

The first night I volunteered I did a lot of running around and then got my first little helper, a sweet 3rd grader named Angelina. She wanted to help out but wasn't 16 and when I saw her start to cry I crowned her my little helper and we put a orange vest on her. Her face lit up and for the next 24 hours I had myself a sweet, kind little shadow helping me out wherever I went! Angelina and I gained 2 more helpers a little later in the evening when we played beads with an adorable group of little girls. Gabby and Isabella, a 4th and 5th grader became my next little angels. I then had 3 little angels following my every move!

 I found myself suddenly taking over the group games in the center of the gymnasium where a square had been blocked off in the middle for little kids to play. This was the most magical moment for me. Having 40 children laughing and running playing red light green light, duck duck goose and telephone. It was getting late and since we were in the center of where many people were sleeping, around 10PM I found a gentlemen who had his guitar and who had been playing for people with his wife earlier and asked to play a lullaby for the children in the circle to help them calm down. Oh my goodness-what an unforgettable moment this was for me! I literally felt my heart melt after I made the children draw close to this man and I witnessed him lead the kids thru humming to rock a bye baby with his guitar. Something about knowing what these kids were going home to and watching this sweet, connecting, still moment warmed my heart so much. He was wonderful with the kids! We then did the same lullaby and all made an "OOOO" sound instead of humming. We did the same to twinkle, twinkle little star and we all quietly sang the ABCs before we all dispersed for bed. 
I slept so soundly that night, feeling so fulfilled and like I actually was able to make a difference! I awoke yesterday to Dave telling me my little angels had already came by our "tent" for me. It was 9AM and the little girls told me I slept forever! As soon as I got ready, it was non stop go all day. We rallied all the children up for sticker and coloring time in the cafeteria. Waking thru 2000 people to find all the little ones and tell their parents that there was an activity going on certainly did take a while! Probably about 200 kids were able to come and color donated WAWA activity books and play with stickers. I'm sure that giving them a change of scenery and something new to do with all the other kids really brightened their spirits. 
The rest of the day was a whirlwind helping out wherever I could. The sky started getting dark around 2 and the winds began to pick up. We rallied all the kids up again and started playing games with them in a new location other then the gym. The older kids played taps and I led the younger ones in duck duck goose. I went to get coloring books and beads and while I was gone, the fire alarm went off and all the kids scattered back to their parents because it was pretty loud and scary. Someone smoking in the stairwell set it off. 
Eventually the kids came back and we made bracelets and colored for hours. The area we all met at was open and spacious with huge windows so it was a nice place to relax with the little ones and give the parents a break as the storm started to get near our area. The storm started to get worse around 2 or 3. They told us it was going to be bad from 3-9PM and no one was allowed on the roads. We heard that police pulled over anyone driving to inquire where they were headed. Supposedly some people even got arrested who were on the roads after 3. Not only was it extremely unsafe on the roads but they also wanted to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and I believe to prevent looters from breaking into places.
 It started to get quite dark and we started seeing poles and trees swaying in the wind outside. The rain slowly got heavier and the gusty winds The shelter went into lockdown at 3 and no one was allowed to leave but we wouldn't turn anyone away. At 4:30 we cleaned up the crafts and sent the kiddos to be with their parents for dinner.
That night I saw some pretty sad things and heard some sad stories. An apartment building with families trying to wait out the storm caught on fire from lightning and the roof flew off. Since no one but SWAT teams were allowed on the roads during the worst of the storm, 60 family members had to be rescued and brought to us in the SWAT vans. We registered them as quickly as we could and kept the cafeteria open to feed them and opened up another hallway to give them space since everywhere else was completely swarmed with people lining the walls. These poor families had no blankets or anything so later in the night the mayor brought by blankets and pillows from his own home to deliver to them!
I also saw an elderly gentlemen have a medical emergency get taken off in a SWAT van along with another man who had stayed in his home and witnessed the roof fly off  over his head who was suffering from trauma. 
Around this time the power went off at the shelter. The school's generator kept the lights on but the  air conditioner and fountains no longer worked and some of the bathrooms started to act strangely. The halls and gymnasium started really heating up but I think everyone was grateful to be safe inside. I started feeling really exhausted but knew I'd regret not continuing to help out so I kept going until I no longer could. I stepped outside before laying down for bed and was comforted by the post storm breeze. Irma had come and gone on to the next cities to tear up on her path. The air felt cool and the rain had subsided. After 3 days of waiting, the storm was over. I was so tired but satisfied that I didn't stop helping when the exhaustion hit. I now would go to sleep knowing I did all I could to help.

Dave woke me up today because I could've slept forever. We sat up to see most people cleared out. We were eager to see how our home stood up so I went to say goodbye to the other volunteers and was sure to exchange contact info with these INCREDIBLE people! When I said goodbye they were still working passing out breakfast to the disabled and elderly. What angels these people were. I learned so much from them!
After 3 days at the shelter, we felt hopeful on the drive home. The power was out so the street lights weren't working but the city was quiet and felt still. Some downed trees lay scattered around and I was shocked by how the winds could knock over some massive ones! There were branches everywhere but we saw no broken windows or torn roofs. We got a bit scared when we couldn't get down one street due to huge tree laying across the road. When were able to come down another way and I ran around the back to see our floor to roof window doors which were not hurricane proof completely unharmed! The only "damage" to our property was our 2 huge flower bushes in our backyard got ripped out of the ground. We are grateful especially after hearing all of Miami is flooded.
The water works but no hot water because the electricity is out. We set up our new dining room table and I took a cold shower and a 4 hour nap before we biked to our beach a mile away thru our torn up park nearby to see 100 surfers out surfing the biggest waves this area will probably ever see. There were so many people out at the beach it was a pretty cool time. I went for a swim and Dave and I talked about our time at the shelter. We came back when a rainstorm hit and took another cold shower and ate some of our canned food at our new dining room table by candlelight with the screen doors opened letting the slight breeze help to cool off our place. I lit incense and love how it feels like we're camping. Our new dining room table and chairs got set up at the perfect time to make it all just that much more memorable!
Ive been sitting out here charging my phone in the car and listening to the crickets. The neighborhood is going to get cleaned up quickly and the power will be on soon enough. This wild hurricane weekend will always be remembered, even after the trees regrow new limbs and the streets are all cleaned up. I'll never forget the beautiful souls I met and the amazing time I had living at a crazy hurricane shelter. 
I look forward to working with the Red Cross more in the near future. You also can sign up to go on 14 day assignments with them at They will buy your plane tickets and give you 35$ stipend per day for food. If you feel called to help with Irma cleanup, this is a great option. 
Now it's time to watch some downloaded shows on Dave's tablet. I was so busy at the shelter I only watched 1.5 of the 10 shows we downloaded! Chilling out today with no power feels great. I'll post this when we have wifi again when the power comes back on.
Send your love to all the people negatively affected by this terrible storm and consider volunteering! It will be hard but so rewarding. 



I'm hot. Last night was the 3rd night sleeping in sweltering heat. I know we could have it so much worse. I know we could have gotten flooded or lost a roof but it's crazy that our home is on one of 2 streets in the neighborhood without power. Each day that goes by, the hotter it gets in here! We go to the beach to cool off on our bikes during the day and the size of the waves and amount of surfers out to play is just crazy. The beach is truly beautiful post irma with light blue water and huge rolling waves. We were stoked to see our local grocery store was open and after the beach we stocked up on healthy fresh food. My dinner was LIFE CHANGING. I feel like I'm my taste buds were numbed from all the canned food and each thing I ate with dinner tasted like the best food I've ever had in my whole life. I hope that eating real food again will help with the extra pounds put on during Irma!

No power in our home in this Florida heat is starting to make me feel crazy. I feel that the constant heat is really  getting to me since I am lethargic and little energy lately. Last night I took 3 cold rinses in the shower since it was the only thing to do to get my body temperature down a bit. We are sleeping on only a sheet with nothing over us and still we lie there and sweat. Being hot while I sleep is making me have some wild dreams. It has to be well over 90 degrees in our home and with no air flow. Good thing my gym is now open and I'll be getting an intense workout in which should help with my low energy. It's also crazy to be in the house with no wifi or cell service. We have to use a repeater to get cell service in our home and it has to be plugged in to work. The grass in our backyard is starting to look like a jungle and all the ice is melting in the fridge. I'm so glad businesses are starting to reopen because after my workout today and my cold shower at home, I'm heading to a local cafe to get some work done! I'm excited to sit in the air conditioning with cell service and wifi and not feel so hot right after I dry off from my cold shower. It's funny to think that the whole year we lived in the camper we didn't have internet! Oh how quickly I've become spoiled! However, I am a firm believer in the benefits of ice cold showers so those have not been so bad and I am also lucky that I regularly drink cold coffee so that also hasn't been a hard adjustment. Unlike my love who loves his coffee piping hot - he daydreams about hot meals and a cup of hot coffee!

I was supposed to work a trip over the time the hurricane hit but since the airport shut down, obviously I didn't go to work. Dave has his vacation this week and next so we've been enjoying some much needed relaxing quality time with each other. For so long it was all HOME HOME HOME talk every moment we were together and always deciding on big things for the house since we are doing a major renovation and also moved into this 3 bedroom home from the camper with nothing. Now that the constant home update choices are slowing down, it's been good to reconnect and focus on each other under these unique circumstances. Unfortunately it looks like my mom won't be coming anymore this weekend for her visit unless we get power back tonight. 

Grateful that things aren't worse and for all the lessons I've learned during Irma! 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

3rd post to my IRMA DIARY. SEP 9, 2:00PM

(Writing on my cell-please forgive mistakes and lack of paragraphs.) 
Well, we have been at the shelter now 24 hours and we are finally starting to see some weather changes due to Irma. I'll update on what it's been like to be hanging out at this shelter in not the most glamorous surroundings in a highschool in West Palm Beach since my last post documenting last night.

We continued to lay out on the benches last night and ate the naughty chocolate I had bought earlier in the day. We also watched some the Bachelorette I had downloaded on my phone before going back inside for bed. The Red Cross volunteers said they were shutting off the lights at 10 but when they turned off the insanely bright gymnasium lights, we were left with only slightly less bright, bright lights. Certainly they must be shutting of more in a few minutes but once 11pm rolled around, we realized that this was as dark as it was going to get! With babies screaming bloody murder in 2 corners of the large room and people talking still all around in their outside voices no matter how many children and elderly were trying to sleep in the bright, cold room on the hard floor Dave and I felt like a king and queen in our tent and earplugs. The dark navy sheets I brought made an epic fort over our twin air mattress. I secured it over our luggage and tied the end of the sheets to a chair. I used the extra pillow cases to further block the light. The ear plugs blocked out enough sound for us to sleep for about 8 hours! I awoke in the best mood ever. Comfortable and safe with privacy in the dark tent amongst the bright, loud mayhem around me. Dave and I went to the cafeteria for coffee and they were offering cereal boxes and boxed milk. We then made our own coffee that is stronger than crack by mixing bottled water with cafe bustello instant espresso! When you have a caffeine addiction  as bad as ours you do whatever it takes to get your fix and I'd be lying if I told you I don't make this concoction of luke warm water and instant espresso at home on occasion as well.
With my caffeine kick on full blast I listened to some ZEDD while doing my makeup sitting on our air mattress in the center of the gymnasium. It started to dawn on me how similar my surroundings were to my squatting days in Europe which were some of the best memories I have. I started feeling very excited for this experience of being in the shelter. 
I found the head of Red Cross here to find out how to help out today and he told me to sign up to volunteer at and then find him again at 3 to help out. It took about 15 minutes to complete the application and sign up for the background check. Since my check probably won't clear I'll most likely be helping register families when they start pouring in the front doors when the winds pick up at 3, an hour from now. That's fine with me because I'm pass the initial shock upon first arriving here so I can better help others who first come and feel scared and overwhelmed. I'm seeing a good amount of new families and often times they look sad and scared just as we did. You know when you walk out of this place your world will never be the same. 
I know there are many stages to grief and Dave and I are pass the initial shock and feeling better. To be completely honest, at this point Dave and I are actually enjoying ourselves thanks to our comfy tent made out of these dark sheets. Seriously-thank goodness for this tent!!! I keep thinking that all those years of building forts at home has truly paid off.
Ted, the head of the Red Cross at our shelter told me at 3 they are issuing a lockdown. We won't be turning people away but at that time people won't be allowed to leave anymore. 
I knew it would be great to have somewhere for me to be at a certain point of today. To kill time beforehand we went for a walk outside and stumbled upon a beautiful park nearby. It had trails and a river with a pretty bridge and outdoor workout stations. The animals seem to be acting a bit off. Perhaps they know the storm is near. We felt the winds start to pick up and we came back from our walk, the shelters parking lot certainly started to fill up. There were many more families coming and the place was much busier. We had lunch and i fixed up our tent even more to provide for more privacy and light blocking. Now, nap time until I go to volunteer for the night and watch the storms impact start to take effect, although we won't get the full hit until tomorrow. 
Love and light!

  • Kate 

Friday, September 8, 2017

2nd post to my IRMA DIARY. SEP 8, 7PM

6:50PM - STILL SEP 8
(Just like my first entry, please forgive the lack of paragraphs and proper grammar as I'm typing this all into my phone.)
Today has been insane. I had no idea what I was in for when I wrote my calm entry this morning.
We packed up pretty leisurely and made the food that we knew was going to go bad. I made a giant juice of many of the fruits and veggies. Leaving was eerie because it's such a beautiful day out but we knew we'd come home to a total wreck. We made it to the first shelter a bit after 1 and we were told they filled up the second the doors opened at 10AM. This is so wild because the storm isn't hitting for another full day. We were sent off to the next shelter and when we arrived, we felt like we were checking into a prison. The governor said the shelters were to keep us safe, not comfortable and I must remind myself of this but when we first arrived, I had some shock knowing we were staying for 3 days on this school gymnasium floor right next to countless unhappy strangers. We spoke about maybe going to Orlando to stay with an aunt but Orlando doesn't look any safer. We were able to leave to get some items at home and I stopped for a Publix grocery store for a veggie wrap and some chocolate to bring back to the shelter with me. I went thru a few hours of some tears, some anger, some frustration. Dave and I were both feeling the sudden change in our reality and realizing a bit clearer what was ahead. When I came back I made us the sweetest tent with some new dark sheets we brought from the house and that added privacy really boosted my spirits. Our little bed felt so cozy! Something shifted and I now am doing so much better. I think the fact that 2 gentlemen started jamming to countless Pink Floyd songs on their guitars nearby really helped. Another man turned a garbage can upside down to make it into a drum! Loved their uplifting music filling that place. 

They provided dinner for us here at the shelter and now dave and I have been relaxing outside of the cafeteria laying out on these benches in a quiet courtyard under marvelous, swaying palms catching the last glimpses of sunlight for the next few days. There's barely a soul out here so it's simply lovely. I cannot explain just how lovely it is just laying here texting my 3 best friends and relaxing under the pretty blue sky. There's just a few puffs of clouds floating around and I'm loving this fresh air with a wind that's getting just slightly more chilly with each passing minute. It's all very peaceful indeed.

When I first came out here I found a painted rock that says "things will get better". 

They most certainly will. They may get worse before they get better but eventually, one day...THINGS WILL GET BETTER.

1st post to my IRMA DIARY - SEP 8, 7AM

I've typed all this into my phone notes today and won't be able to edit it, please forgive the lack of paragraphs and terrible grammar. 

8:00AM - SEP 8
This morning as I write this with my coffee in our quiet furniture-less great room I feel strangely calm, at peace. The storm is coming and there's nothing we can do. Our lives are going to change and I'm going to be seeing things I cannot fathom but at this moment, I am feeling serene. Still. At peace. It's a beautiful morning and I find it so strange that the landscapers are outside mowing the lawns still when we all know that the lawns will be ruined when the storm hits tomorrow. I feel that things are normal and calm still, so I decided to clearly document what my experience of being an Irma survivor is going to be like for me before heading to the shelter in a few hours. After recently listening to "Man's Search for Meaning" written by a concentration camp survivor (a book I HIGHLY recommend!) and hearing the story of a Yemen girl raped by ISIS leaders for months after they killed almost her entire family, I feel bad sounding dramatic in any way while I tell my story. I'm not asking for pity and as I said, I feel that I'll be fine and feel deep peace at this moment although I know many, many people are going to lose their lives or everything they have in this storm so I don't want to say I'm taking it lightly but I also do not feel like a victim because for me personally, things could be much worse! I just want to document publicly this time in my life.
The reality of the size of this storm set in when I got home from my work trip 2 nights ago and had been told I needed to fill up on gas and the first station I tried to pull into was sold out. I had to sit in a line of cars for gas for a half hour. The line wrapped around the street and was being directed by a woman. While getting gas I saw the kind handyman from the RV park we lived at for a month right down the street. "There hasn't been a hurricane of this size since 2004." He informed me. "We had to evacuate the whole RV park." With this knowledge depending on how you look at the situation, it could be seen as a blessing we just sold the trailer about 2 months ago. It's now 2017 and Dave and my new home is a mile to the ocean and less than a half mile to the intercoastal. Dave planned to put hurricane windows or shutters up in the near future but the house has been here for 30 years without damage so we truly didn't feel a rush. No one could have predicted a hurricane of this size coming a month after we moved in. Our home is extremely vulnerable because we have 2 walls worth of floor to ceiling sliding glass doors in the master bedroom and all around the great room and dining room. At least the total kitchen renovation hasn't begun yet nor the floors ripped up and our new flooring put in! 
Another blessing is the fact we still don't have much stuff in the house because we decided to move slowly with getting new furniture and making purchases so we still only have a few items that may get damaged. 
I hate watching the News. Despise it, really. I guess it's a blessing that when I was at the gym yesterday morning it was on the tv over my treadmill and it was the exact time the governor of Florida was having a live interview. Dave and I decided to talk plans yesterday afternoon after hearing more of the updates that come out every 4 hours following the eye of the storm. I'm very happy that the governor came on and prompted people to flee because of the severity of the storm. When I got back from the gym, it became clear to me that we were in the same boat as many Floridians not yet in a clear evacuation zone. The highways were already backed up for hours since all of Miami had already been evacuated but the thing is, there's only 2 roads to get out of Florida and with every passing hour, more and more of the entire state became a danger zone so where exactly were these people supposed to go? Also, with gas stations running out of gas, the reality is that people were going to start stalling on the side of the road or outside sold out gas stations. I kept thinking about the storm hitting and people being stuck in their cars. I didn't want that to happen to us since again, there was no where to go to for sure get out of harms way anyways. We also wanted to be able to come back to our home to patch up any broken glass as quickly as we could. We spoke briefly about flying away but the airports are closing and the idea of flying out of state with no idea when we could get back was never a big choice for us. We are planning for the worst with 180 mile hour winds and all glass walls wrapping around the back, I'd be surprised if a palm branch didn't get blown into them and shatter them so we want to come to patch up any holes if that happens hopefully before too many bugs and animals get in. 
Before we watched more of the News and realized the size of the storm, we hoped it would be possible to stay in the center of our cement's home guest bathroom. I now realize that with 180 mile winds that Urma has, we are basically dealing with a giant tornado. More than 30 miles outside of the eye of the storm will be severely impacted by this storm.
After hearing the governor say that it is not the type of storm you can just wait out and that no one will be able to help save you once the storm hits made me feel differently about not taking the orders to find serious shelter seriously. Dave and I started talking about going to our local shelter and made a plan to go there before it potentially filled up. With each hour that went by, we realized the seriousness that we faced with making sure we made it to our shelter since late last night we found out our home was in an evacuation zone. 
I'm sure most Floridans felt just as we did: clueless. Were we making the smart choice to stay in town and go to the shelter? Where are we really supposed to go when there are only 2 roads leading out of the state and then more and more of the state is in potential danger? 

Last night, Dave and I began to prepare to leave our home. We had gone to the store yesterday and saw the city start to shut down. Windows in our local strip mall across from the ocean were boarded up and the city felt much quieter than usual. We went for a walk along the beach and took in the beautifully manicured surrounding area of our protected beach because we knew this is probably the last time we would see it looking so pristine and perfect. I'll never forget that time spent on the beach last night. In my mind, I was making a permanent memory of the perfection that was before the storm. Jupiter is a very special place because it's like living in a garden. A wild garden where all the plants are manicured just so for as far as the eye can see. The roads are all perfectly smooth and grass is green, lush and cut to perfection. This place is gonna get the shock of a lifetime. Its almost certainly going to get completely tore up. 

The shelters open today at 10AM and the evacuation will be issued today at 10AM so we will probably go after lunch time. Packing for these days away was interesting. What are we supposed to take to this type of shelter for this long that's set up at a middle school? We will be there for 3 nights. I already spent 100$ on vegan canned soup and some canned fruit since the state will be turning off its power tomorrow so last night I packed a decent amount of that food up. I decided that I will be a volunteer at our shelter because there will probably be a lot of families and elderly in our local shelter who won't be able to help out. It will give my 3 days meaning there and hopefully having tasks to do and places to be at certain times of the day will help me not go crazy waiting for our electronics to die. 

Anyways, time to do a long yoga session before being cooped up inside the shelter and coming home to a broken house. My friend just texted me that people in Texas were getting eaten by alligators and stung by poisonous snakes while cleaning up after Harvey so I think the long term implications of what is going to be my life the next few months is starting to set in. God help us. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

fresh start

Everyday that passes, our new house feels more like home and we are loving it. Our king sized bed is pretty much the size of our old home and the master bathroom's bathtub and shower is a complete dream especially since we are used to walking a few minutes to the bathroom in the RV parks we stayed in whenever we wanted to shower. Having a dishwasher and a washer and dryer here has been nuts! We are so used to waiting until we have a few loads worth of laundry and having to get quarters and spend all day at the RV park's laundry rooms. Needless to say, we've been doing lots of small loads of laundry and taking way too many baths and showers over here. I've also been using the oven to cook all the amazing food that I've wanted to make over the past year but couldn't since we never used Easterlin's oven. Another crazy addition to our new life is wifi! We never had Internet in Easterlin the whole time we lived in her so we always had to pack up and head to a hotspot to get work done online. Funny how these little things still feel foreign and luxurious.

 I am so grateful for this beautiful place we will grow into but it would be a lie to say this adjustment process has been a breeze. I stopped so many bad habits during my time living tiny and I can already see that living in a big house brings back an urge to start those bad habits over again. I will stay strong though and remember to live all the lessons and better habits I developed over the course of the past year until they become second nature here just like they were in our tiny home. I look forward to combining the better habits with more solid, organized life routines as a result of living in a permanent home now! I will always be a traveler and I can finally implement things I like about other countries into my own home and routines now.
Moving from Easterlin, the tiny camper we lived in for a year to this 3 bedroom home has been a wild ride. Our days off have been filled with furniture stores, searching online for furniture and of course sprinkled with blissful beach moments. I love the ocean with every fiber of my being. I melt into the water and feel one with the sea and think so clearly at the ocean. I love our natural, protected beach! After spending May and June in San Diego I have fallen madly in love with my new home city. There are many reasons why I would rather live here now over California but probably the biggest one is that San Diego was way too cold for me. I love the warm Florida nights and how the ocean is the perfect temperature. 
I can't spend too much time floating around at the ocean though because we will be very busy for months to come with the updating of our home. I've eaten many meals on the floor due to the fact we had no furniture at all moving here. We don't want to rush and buy any furniture we don't love and won't last a long time. This process of moving very slow with buying furniture is helping to ensure we don't end up with a big house filled with junk we don't adore. I'm also a very true Libra and very indecisive so making tons of huge decisions with such big purchases is a challenge. I feel a lot of fear and anxiety but I'm working through it. I feel unworthy of this awesome experience of getting able to set up a home a mile to the ocean in this dream city. This epic time is a lot to process and take in. I know this sounds so cheesy but I can't believe my wildest dreams are  actually coming true!
The hardest adjustment moving into a space 10,000 times bigger than what I have been living in is remembering what I walked across the house to do and remembering to put things away. I haven't yet developed a flow when moving through the kitchen because I have to constantly remember where things are. Everything in Easterlin was within an arms reach. Here, I have to walk across the kitchen to grab something after pausing to remember where everything I need is hidden. In fact, when I walk anywhere to do anything in another room here I normally get so side tracked along the way that I forget why I first came to the other side of the house to begin with! I also feel mentally scatterbrained but that's also probably due to the fact that we have a thousand things to do with the complete update and the purchasing of all the furniture. 

In time, this beautiful house will be in order and I'll have it all organized but for now, this wild journey from living in a camper into a house is going to be such a memorable time and really is pretty fun. At this moment, life is just filled with opportunity. I hope to look back and feel I made the best of this crazy time.

Photos in this post are from the evening of July 9th. 
One of our first beach walks when we were still living in the camper!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Looking forward...

I'm currently writing this after just completing my morning journaling, meditation, ocean swim and beach yoga session. Laying in the sand and typing this in my phone notes, I just want to make a permanent reminder that no one but myself is keeping me from doing the things that make me feel my best. The things that keep my mind in check and make me glad to be alive. I know what I need to do to feel happy and good and no one else will do them for me. Action is required. Just do it, no matter how I feel before starting. 
It's a wild time of transition right now and I want to remember it. We sold Easterlin yesterday and I spent all of last night pretty torn up because I cannot believe that after a year of living in this space she will no longer be. This camper is so, so dear to my heart and I will miss it terribly. I can say that I made the best of the Easterlin phase of my life! I will cherish this past year. It's time to create a new life. A life very different than what I'm used to but one filled with fresh opportunity. A clean slate. A fresh start. Room to grow into my ideal self. Let go of the old, open to the bright, full, exciting NEW.
I'm so thankful she's going to an adorable and sweet young couple who will be doing the tiny home living in her as well. They have some awesome ideas for remodeling her even more and I couldn't be more pleased with knowing she's going to good people who will keep her good vibes alive. 
I am so happy to know that this new couple who will be living in her will learn all the life changing lessons she taught me. Their intentions for living tiny are so pure and beautiful and her new name will be "little foot" because they are so environment conscious about leaving behind a small footprint and being good to the earth. They are even going to be doing solar panels! 
Next week, we will go from living in our 23 foot camper to a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house a mile to the beach that we are completely updating. It is a total DREAM that lies ahead but letting go of Easterlin is still a challenge. I keep telling myself, Katelynn, you gotta let go of the old to allow the even better new. With a permanent house as a home I will have many awesome opportunities. I keep thinking that change is inevitable but growth is not. I want to use this transition into an actual house to become my best self and to finally set roots in this city I adore. I will use the space of our new home for good.
Easterlin taught me so much and I loved coming home to such a darling little space. I loved being so near the few things I cherished and needed. It's been a life changing and truly beautiful experience living in her. I love that I was blessed to have such a unique experience and it will remain a beautiful memory.
This next phase of my life is an important one, just as each and every phase is. I want to open to all the GOOD coming my way and unapologetically accept it with open arms. I want to say YES without fear to the new life ahead. I choose to live in acceptance and joy. Let the wild life of living in a house we get to renovate exactly to our liking near the most beautiful ocean begin!
 Letting go of the past doesn't have to hurt so much. I can choose to look ahead and feel excited instead. I want to hold the past in it's beautiful cherished space but be so excited for the epic future that I do not hold on to the old with a longing or grasping for what has past.
Here's to being open to create a beautiful, bright future!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What we ate in NYC.

Dave decided to join me in NYC for a 30 hour work layover super last minute. When I say, "last minute" I mean it. I was about to head to the gate for my delayed flight and he had just landed from another flight so we happened to both be at the airport at the same time by luck. My flight was so delayed we didn't get to the hotel until the middle of the night so we were super tired walking around the city the next day.
 We decided on the top 2 places we wanted to check out and took the train, uber and walked all over the place to find them! Here is my little reviews of the 2 restaurants in Manhattan we checked out.
by CHLOE.  
A cute 100% vegan junk food restaurant perfect for a casual lunch with your veg girlfriends. The guac burger with a subbed potato bun was delicious once we added more of the aioli. The air baked sweet potato fries were so-so. Loved the color of hot pink beet ketchup but the taste left me wanting the real stuff.
We were super excited to check out Ivan Ramen because one of the only shows we ever watch together is Chef's Table and Ivan Ramen was one of our fave episodes. The restaraunt is in a very low key building that gives the impression that you have to kind of have plans on going there to find it. It is not the type of location you would walk by and realize it is a restaurant and just stop in. In fact, the font on the front door that says "Ivan Ramen" is so small and hard to see that we almost missed it!
 We loved how low key and affordable this place was and the food was delish. Unlike many of the other famous chef's on Chef's Table, Ivan is so down to earth and easy to relate to and the vibes of his restaurant really reflect his personality. The wall when you walk in is covered by cut out comics which was pretty cool. The staff were all super kind and wore T-shirts. It was such a relaxing and cozy environment. We split the Vegetarian Ramen and the Coney Island tofu dish which tasted and looked like it was covered in meat but was actually completely vegan! For sure watch the Ivan Ramen episode of Chef's Table and check out this place next time you are in NYC.
 All in all, it was such a fun day even though we were both very tired. The energy of the city is so awesome to experience once in a while. What a wild place unlike anywhere else! I can't imagine what living here would be like. I don't think I could deal with how busy it is 24/7 but it is such a dope place to visit. Until next time, peace out NYC.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vegas and LA sister's getaway!

My beautiful sister Emma came to the West Coast during a winter snow storm in WI for a fun trip away. The first night we stayed in Las Vegas with Dave in our camper and we hit up the strip. The next morning, just us girls flew to LA and spent two nights in an Airbnb in Hermosa Beach. Here is a collective of both of our photos from this special trip.

Now, for the LA portion of the trip! We spent time in Hermosa beach, Manhattan beach and Redondo.

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