Posted on November 2, 2020
You’re the first!
Hello D-Fam, you are currently reading our very first newsletter! We have selected a few of you to begin receiving these updates via e-mail until we can work out some of the bugs on our internet platform Diaryofafamily.com. It is our great hope that our website will perform as expected and will publish these updates for your enjoyment at the start of each month (again, not exactly sure how that will work yet but we are hopeful). If by any chance you do not want to receive our notices, please respond with “unsubscribe”.
Before we get too carried away let us explain what to expect: This first newsie we will share a shortened version of our year up to the month of October. In the future we will mainly write about what’s happened the past month, sharing snippets from the kids, recipes, funny stuff we didn’t manage to get on video, or anything else we feel you’d enjoy that you may not get in a Diary of a Family video or livestream. Without further ado…
Brief Overview of 2020
We began 2020 in the desert of Arizona, learning how to boondock successfully for three months just west of Phoenix. What an experience. We are not set up with solar or an inverter; heck, we don’t even have lithium batteries! We were flying by the seat of our pants and loving every moment. Our Predator 3500 generator was working overtime to keep our coach batteries charged and Mama happy cooking in her Instant Pot.
Saddle Mountain Dispersed Camping was our favorite location. It was so beautiful and quite the favorite with boondockers and locals alike; many gorgeous agates for the rock hound, jutting buttes for the avid hiker in a quiet setting just a few miles from I-10.
We had a mini meetup with 5 other families who are members of Fulltime Families, the kids couldn’t have been happier! They had so many playmates to explore the mountain and dry washes. They were even invited to a birthday party in the desert!
January also found us reaching our long-desired goal of 1000 subs! Thank you to all you D-Fam members, we really appreciate the support and community you have created for us on YouTube. We celebrated our achievement on a livestream with guacamole, a giveaway, and Kristen Farnsworth from No Ordinary Path (check them out on YouTube).
Fast forward a month and a half. We were starting out from East Texas heading west right as Covid hit. With Reno, Nevada as our destination we were excited to do a joint contract with another amazing travel nurse family! Bill and Natasha Stevens from Nursing Our Travel Bug, along with their two great kids, came with us to Nevada. We self-isolated together as well as celebrated four birthdays, Easter, and Memorial Day!
Knowing all the Covid craziness was going around the country Natasha and I felt so blessed to be on contract with Renown. However, this was not to last. Renown canceled both our contracts 5 weeks before the end, leaving our families wondering what to do next. We were not ready to go ourseparate ways but God had other plans for us.
The Stevens landed another contract in Illinois and headed east almost immediately. After discussing our possibilities, we decided to head north, returning to Washington to visit family and friends. This was not what we had planned but turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We arrived in time to help Garrett’s dad finish up a complete kitchen overhaul. While there we also saw Carolyn’s family, visited with several friends from our past community, and got both vehicles into the shop for much needed care. There was even time to see Garrett’s sister and kids who flew in from North Carolina.
During this family time Carolyn remained diligent to the hunt for another contract. Repairing the vehicles meant we now had financial catch-up to do. But no offers were coming in. Finally, with three interviews completed we had three offers and we chose Saint Louis, Missouri! On July 17th we arrived in STL and settled our family down in a little RV park across the Mississippi river from the Gateway Arch!
Exploring this great city took some work with some Covid measures still in place. Carolyn was also working long hours at Barnes Jewish Hospital. But the STL Zoo, science and art museums, as well as the Cahokia Mounds and Eckert’s Farm, provided excitement for everyone. Jerry and Kelly from Gallion Adventures visited one weekend and we spent a day with Bill and Natasha again when we visited Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois.
Wow, we’ve done so much this year and still we have not caught you all up on our recent trip down to the great state of Texas and the NRVTA campus. But you will have to wait until December to hear the amazing adventure we are about to embark on as a family.
Stay safe and enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving. We love you all and are so excited to bring you along as we live life intentionally.
Diary of a Family
Garrett & Carolyn,
Emma, Timmy, and Edison