It has been far too long since I’ve added any new thoughts to this space! Getting pregnant with baby number 4 and then welcoming our sweet girl into the world, along with many other changes have had me completely overwhelmed. I contemplated letting the site go, but instead renewed it – twice – each time promising I’d start blogging soon. Almost two years later, I’ve been feeling the itch to write again, so I’ve recommitted for real this time. I want to record these experiences, even if only for me and my family to look back one day.
I remember when we stopped touring, how excited I was to finally have my own house and get into a routine with the kids. Kelly and I loved getting to furnish our rental and make it feel like home, my boys thrived on a consistent schedule, and we made some wonderful friends. Once you get a taste of the road though, it’s hard to get it out of your system. I soon realized that I still have a strong case of wanderlust, and I spent many evenings dreaming of places I wanted to visit and revisit and scheming up plans of how we could make it possible.
After many late night conversations with my husband and lots of prayer, the stars aligned and we were blessed with a job opportunity that would take us back on the road. I gave birth to baby Stella at home, which was an amazing birth experience that I will have to share in another post. Within a month of giving birth, we purchased a truck and trailer. We sold most of our belongings, packed what we could into the trailer and put what was left in a storage unit and off we went. This will be the second time in my life that I have gotten rid of everything except the essentials and each time it has been a very freeing experience. I would recommend it!
It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for everyone, mostly positive. People comment on how tough it must be living in an RV with kids and I tell them about how I used to travel in an RV with 16 people, including in-laws and hired musicians back in the band days, so this is a piece of cake haha. My sister Alisa and her family are also traveling in their RV (our husbands work together) and they have four kids that are close in age to mine, so there are a lot more little kids running around than there were in the band days. That poses its own challenges for sure. We have to be very diligent with our kids since there’s a lot of traffic and different people coming and going in an RV park. My kids miss a private yard and their trampoline. I miss having my own washer and dryer. I remind them that we’ll have all those things again one day, but that right now they’re getting to see things and experience the world in a way that many people only dream of. I’m excited for them to have this opportunity. I’m so grateful for the chance that I had to travel. It taught me to appreciate people from all walks of life and it taught me to be very flexible when it comes to change. I was also able to experience first hand things that I was learning about in school – visiting places like the Alamo in San Antonio, Williamsburg,, Boston – walking the streets of these places brought history to life for me in a way that books never could. I’m excited to be able to give my kids a similar opportunity while they’re young.
We’ve already been able to visit with so many old friends from our Redhead Express days, and that’s really been a blessing. Our first job was in Tampa, FL. On the way down, we got to meet up with friends from Virginia. Harold, Brenda, Yvonne, David & Tammy Grizzle…these friends have been in our lives so long, they may as well be family. It was good for my heart to see them again. While in Tampa, we got to the Florida Strawberry Festival and visit with our friends in the Dennis Lee band. By the way, if you ever get the chance to go to the Strawberry Festival and see one of his shows, do! We shared a stage with Dennis Lee for several years at Strawberry fest. He and his band are some of the finest entertainers out there. He’ll have you laughing harder than you have in a long time. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see Leon Jacobs Jr. playing keys with him. We made some dear friends in our church family while we were there too and I loved getting to serve as a youth leader for the young women we went to church with. It’s always bittersweet – hard to say goodbye to familiar friends and places and exciting to embark on the next adventure.
After 5 months in Florida, we made our way to the Virginia Beach area for the next job. It’s much colder here at the moment, but the cold actually feels kind of nice after a warm, sunny FL winter. I love having all four seasons. I’m looking forward to taking my boys to Monticello, Jamestown and Williamsburg while we’re here and we’re all enjoying the change in landscape. I love seeing the landscape change as you move from state to state. Laundry is still the hardest part about being on the road and most days I have a pile of it overflowing off of my couch. I joke that I’m going to give everyone 2 or 3 outfits and get rid of everything else so there aren’t so many clothes to wash all the time. All good though. It’s such a first world problem. I’m grateful.
Stay tuned and I’ll do my best to keep you updated on the adventures and misadventures of the Stevenson family!