New Website Up and Running!

 

Change isn’t always easy but I’m determined to keep trying new things.  I have been doing two separate blog posts for more than six weeks now and have decided to combine them into one.  As much as I love the title “ItsAllHisFault” it made more sense to put everything into my new site.

Please check it out at www.organizedkamper.com.  You can still see my weekly rants by clicking on the blog tab and then going down to “our story.”

Thanks so much for all your encouragement.  Please stay in touch!

P.S. I don’t have the old posts switched over yet but they will be back soon.  (In case you are having trouble falling asleep one night and need to read back over our journey!) 🙂

My Bucket List

Even if most of us don’t have it written down, I think we all have a mental “bucket” list.  There are things that we know might not happen, and maybe, probably won’t happen, but it’s nice to dream.

I’ve never written out my bucket list, but looking back on my life, I’ve been so blessed.  I’ve known God since I was a little girl and met a man who, even though he didn’t know the Lord at the time, was open to Him. I’m a wife, a mom to six of the most amazing kids on the planet, and now am adding adorable grand kids and sons and daughters-in-law to the mix.

I’ve lived in the states, in Europe and in Africa and have had my eyes opened to how much we take for granted and how blessed we are as a country. On a lighter side, I’ve been to some of my favorite sporting events, like the U.S.  Open, several Colts games, and, of course, the ultimate sports experience, a Buckeye game at the Horseshoe!

Throughout my life, I’ve seen quite a bit of the United States and those wonderful memories bring more than a few smiles, remembering special moments with family.  I was also able to take two short-term mission trips to Poland and be involved with several wonderful churches.

For the most part, I loved being at home with my kids during their growing up years.  My youngest, Jordan, was in high school when I struck out on my own and started a business, Yikes Organizing.  I’ve met SO MANY amazing people on this journey and have so much to be thankful for, including good health for most of my life.

But, as you know, life is never static and this is especially true for us!  In August, Brent and I decided to try something new…again!  We sold almost everything and bought a Winnebago Minnie Winnie and started traveling the country.   People don’t really ask us how we like it, but if they did my answer would be that I’m glad we are doing it, but it isn’t always easy.

When we first decided to RV full-time, I guess I thought if we hated it, we could go back to renting, and I could probably start Yikes back up, either in Nashville or another city.  I felt stuck in life and knew it was time for a change.  I’ve read a lot about failure and that it’s better to try something and have it not work out than not try at all and this made sense to me in some sort of warped way!

Sometimes I get bogged down in the forest of the moment and miss the trees.  It’s hard to totally appreciate the special moments in life when you are in them, but then I look back and realize how much I have.  Brent and I did this little overview of our lives the other night and it was so encouraging the things we remembered, the people we were able to help, the friendships made, the things we’ve been able to see and do.

Recently, I’ve decided to try another new thing with a business aimed at RVers.  I guess my primary market is full-timers but there are a lot of people who are in transition to full-time RVing or who just love camping and I want to reach out to them as well.

If asked how to describe this new business, I would say if Yikes Organizing and Full-time RVing had a baby, it would be Organized Kamper!

So, the proof is in the pudding as to whether I can make a go of this or not.  I think in my first two months with Yikes I made like $800 so the bar is set kinda low, which is good!  It is fun though to imagine the possibilities.  It seems like RV renovations are huge right now, so if I could tap into that market, that would be amazing.

In closing, I’m grateful to those of you who read this.  Thank you for giving me a reason to write!  And I would love to hear what’s on your bucket list!

The one that got away…

 

  • On a lighter note…some goals are truly unattainable. I’ve had this picture for probably at least ten years and I’ve never been able to get the outfit.  When I first saw this in a magazine, I couldn’t afford it, and then later, when I could, it wasn’t in stock anymore.  I guess if that’s where my head goes when I think of regrets, that’s not horrible, right?  But, seriously, isn’t this just the most classic look ever? 😊

 

My Love/Hate Relationship with Instagram

I’m not sure if this is a personality defect or just a trait, but when I do something I’m usually “all in.”

On the plus side, this means I can stay focused and am a hard worker but sometimes this translates into that gray area known as obsessive compulsive behavior.  When I play tennis, I’m super competitive.  When I organize, I want it to look Pinterest perfect. When I interact with people, I want them to think I’m charming and amusing, and… well, you get the point.

The latest thing I’ve “discovered” (as in, like, how Al Gore discovered the internet) is Instagram.  Sure, I knew about it and my kids were on it, but I never understood the fuss.  Now, after 36 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes, I’m eating, sleeping and thinking Instagram 24/7.

I find myself on the phone in the middle of the night checking to see if I have any new followers.  If I realize that somebody dared to “unfollow” me, I get on that phone and “unfollow” them back as quickly as humanly possible.  I keep lists of who I started following first to see if they follow me back.  I was giddy when I got to 200 followers two days ago.  Seriously…it’s a sickness.

I will say, because I have a touch of OCD, I’m good at it.  I don’t just slap up a picture of our pet (maybe because we don’t have one) or what we had for dinner (because I’m usually eating it before I remember what a great shot it would make), I give these posts serious thought. They are an interesting combination of funny sayings, helpful tips for organizing, and family shots so people know I’m a real person.

Another great example of a picture I posted on Instagram. Who doesn’t need a “to do” list like this?

But I can’t leave it alone.  I’m embarrassed to admit, I have lists of things that would make good posts.  Even more embarrassing, I go trolling through free photo sites, looking for even better pictures for better posts.  (Usually these are the funny sayings because they are hard to think up on the spur of the moment.)

I mean, really, what is the end game here?  Last night I even looked up one of my kids, the one who I thought would have the most followers and sure enough, (dang it!), he’s has 702 followers and has 711 people following him.  Even worse, his dog has an account that he started Feb. 12 OF THIS YEAR and Freya has 112 followers already.  I did tell Jon if Freya ever gets more followers than me there will be blood.  (Of course, Freya is a German Shepherd puppy who weighs in at 80 pounds, so maybe I should go light on the threats!)

Stupid, stupid, dog!

Anyway, today I finally decided enough is enough.  I need to wean myself away from Instagram.  Not entirely, because as I continue with my organizing business for campers, I’m going to want those contacts.  But I need to stop spending so much time and energy on it.

I’ve decided it’s kind of like having the Jeep Wrangler.  When you have a Jeep, you are supposed to wave to other people in Jeeps and it’s such a little dumb thing but it’s always fun to feel like a part of a community and Instagram does that for me.  I write cute little comments to people and they write back and it’s just a moment of connection that feels good.  And…in my defense, tonight we are meeting an Instagram family who is at the same RV park in southern CA where we are.

Meet Riley. We got her last year and she’s a sweetie!

I honestly think, as my followers grow, that it might provide some real connections and that’s exciting.  But then I get way ahead of myself and think if I can’t keep up with 200 followers, what will happen if I ever get to 1,000?  Do you see how tangled this web can become?

Everything in moderation.  Heavy sigh.  Well, I will try anyway.

 

Wanted: Change of Perspective

It has been a hard week for us.  We had two very long travel days in a row to get to Mesa, AZ from Texas.  We stopped for a few days in a “55-years and over” RV park, which is basically all they have here in the Phoenix area!  They let us in even though, technically, we are under age.  Brent joked that you know things are bad when you need a fake ID saying you are older than you really are! 😊

I’m back to struggling with what I want to be when I grow up.  Time is short and I want to make the most of it, but am still not sure what that looks like or what God’s plan is for us.

We got some bad news today that a friend’s child, who is only three and has struggled with bladder cancer for over a year, now has it in his stomach.  This little guy has been through so much and although I don’t know this family well, they have become close to my heart in a way that I can’t explain.  So there have been lots of tears and questions tonight and I finally gave up on sleep and am writing this at 3:45 a.m.

I know that questioning the “why” isn’t going to get me anywhere but I can’t help it.  It seems so unfair. And then I start thinking about my parents, whom I miss so much, and my thoughts just take an ugly downhill turn.

I know I need to get back to the truth about God and His character. When I was texting with my daughter, Kaitlyn, tonight (who is very close to this family) she said, “I think the longer I live the more I realize how my perspective needs to change.  That this world is sick and dying.  That any safety, happiness, or peace we feel is an undeserved grace of God each day.  That heaven is real and soon coming and that He must withhold more evil than we can ever fathom.”

Took this picture on one of my frequent walks on the river green way in Nashville. It reminds me that I’m never alone.

How did I get to the place in life where I’m learning from my own kids?  I don’t think I had that kind of wisdom or perspective at age 28.  So, in a strange way, that comforts me. God has blessed me with amazing kids!

Some interesting things did happen this week.  There’s another lady who isn’t an organizer, per se, but who has made a living writing books about organization and who has lived full-time in an RV for the past eight years.  Long story short, I emailed her about something, not knowing that she and her husband were in Mesa for the winter.  So last night (well, technically two nights ago) they invited us over for dinner.  It was fun to hear stories from another couple our age who have decided to live this way.

Then today, the people who live on our street had an annual pot luck and we were invited. We joked that our social calendar has never been fuller!  But being here for four days has made us realize that we aren’t quite ready for this life…meaning six months somewhere warm and six months somewhere else, although when you get to be a certain age, I certainly see the appeal.

Later this morning we head to Desert Hot Springs where we plan on spending a month.  We are both excited to be in that part of the country and hope to do some day trips to Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego and other fun spots.  I also hope to catch some tennis at Indian Wells in March.

Guess I will try to get back to sleep.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Nite!

Where’s Your Focus?

I’ve just completed my second day on a Habitat for Humanity build here in Louisiana.  Usually the builds are two weeks long but this one was just a week because of Mardi Gras next Tuesday.  Can I be honest?  I’m glad we chose the shorter one!

Part of this is my fault.  I had visions of an old-fashioned barn raising where we would be in on the beginning of the build, the sun would be shining, someone with a guitar would be singing country songs and beer and chips would be plentiful.  (Are you thinking I might watch too much football?)  Instead, we were more at the tail end of the build in torrential rainstorms and I’ve spent two days painting.

I know I shouldn’t whine about this. After all, I volunteered, which, I think, means I’m supposed to be good with whatever they want me to do.  The thing is… I’m not a good painter and I really, really don’t like it.

Do you think I’m being a wee bit dramatic?  Well, today the Habitat crew leader (who hadn’t said a word to me until this point) came up and criticized my painting.  I wanted to say, “Well there’s no electricity so it’s hard to see and because it has rained for two days straight I’m walking through knee deep red mud to get to my car and I’m peeing in a port-a-potty, so, of course, my painting isn’t great.”

Instead I asked him how I could do it better.  (Ten points for me!)

Bless her heart, one of the other volunteers spent the next half hour trying to talk me off the ledge by saying that it really was dark in that back bedroom and that at least I excelled at window caulking.  (Which was true.  Maybe I will just go around the country caulking windows!) 😊

Anyway, I bring this up because I keep up with another RV couple  and earlier this week they shared that they tried to launch something (not a rocket!) and the system got overloaded and crashed and their point was that you need to share your failures as well as your successes.  I was touched by their honesty and  applaud them for that.  As cool as life on the road can be, it doesn’t always meet our expectations and things like the flu or vertigo or people who make fun of your painting skills can still ruin your day if you let it.

Deep down, I know we are helping people and that comforts me.  In fact, we met the homeowner today and she was as sweet as could be and very appreciative of what we were doing. So if I focus on anything right now, I’m choosing to focus on that!

This is our team in front of one of two homes that we worked on this week.

 

New Orleans during Mardi Gras week

Well there has never been a dull moment in the Eimer family and I don’t know why that would stop now.  So far, this week two of our kids have gotten pets and one moved.  Brent bought a ticket to Florida to see the Falcon Heavy launch and we made it to New Orleans to help with a Habitat for Humanity build.

We met the coolest family from Quebec who are traveling the country in a converted school bus.  We boondocked for a second time with our favorite host, Jason, (and it doesn’t hurt that we stay in the parking lot of his amazing restaurant so days in Fairhope are no cooking days for me!)

I feel like I’m getting some traction in several areas of life. I started an Instagram account @organizedkamper. Starting to connect through Instagram with people who could be friends and it’s just encouraging to see pics from dozens of other people who are also full-time RVing.  I just got in touch with another family who is in New Orleans right now so maybe we will be able to meet.

I like it that different parts of the country have different specialties when it comes to food.  We did go a little crazy and bought crab legs four times while in Destin, but I may have met my match here with the King Cake.

I had never heard of them but apparently, it’s an Epiphany and/or Mardi Gras thing.  The definition I found online describes it as a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry.  It’s decorated in royal colors of purple which signifies justice, green for faith and gold for power.  We bought one, but I couldn’t get past the sprinkles!

This is as far as we could get with the King Cake!

Here’s an interesting part of it though.  A plastic baby Jesus  gets baked into the cake and then the person who gets that piece is supposed to buy the next King Cake.  I feel like there’s a mixed metaphor in there somewhere but I’m trying not to overthink it!

Hoping to get to a parade while we are here.  Who doesn’t want Moon Pies thrown at them at least once in their life? 😊  I joke, but I think it’s cool that every place we have been has events that are special for them and that they are proud of.  Having spent the last eight years in Music City, I understand taking pride in where you live.

That’s it for now.  Have a great Sunday everyone!!

Destin Wrap Up

Our time in Destin is coming to an end.  It’s only the second place on our journey where I feel I made friends and I’m sad to leave them.  There’s a group of 16-20 people who play tennis a few miles from us and they have been so kind to include me and it’s meant a lot.  I’m already hoping to come back next year and stay even longer…or get here earlier.

Out to dinner with some of my awesome tennis friends!

I feel like I’ve grown as a person during our time in Destin.  I know, it has only been a month, but you can fit a lot of living in a month!  I’ve made it through the worst of the vertigo scare – although I still need to get checked out by an ENT as my right ear hurts and I’m still experiencing some dizziness.

I’ve done a TON of work on my new blog and reached out to quite a few people in the RVing arena to get that started.  I had a ball in Tampa at the RV show.  I’ve taught myself Instagram (with a little help from my kids) and have consciously been striving to be grateful, fearless and intentional.  I’ve tried several new churches and have gotten out of my comfort zone several times in reaching out to others, including bringing donuts to my super annoying neighbors! (Maybe one of my three words should have been attitude!) 😊

I think this month I’ve been able to let go of “my” plans and be more open to what God might be saying.  In other words, I’m still working on the “being” but I feel my death grip is at least loosening on doing things “my way” so we will call that progress.

Does it make it worse or better that I bought this mug for MYSELF! 🙂

I’ve been encouraged by my husband, my kids, my sisters and friends back home on days where I felt a little sad or frustrated. I feel like we’ve had a plan for the past two months, but, after Habitat in February, I’m not sure what’s coming next.

My daughter Marta and I want to check out Seattle together before her planned move there in March.  Our oldest son is getting married in April but there are definitely some gaps, so we will see what happens.

For now, I’m just trying to take things one day at a time…

 

Truth in Advertising – Minimum Criteria for Resorts?

It’s funny the things you think about when you are on the road full-time.  Recently I found myself having a discussion with a vendor at the Tampa RV SuperShow.  He was representing an RV resort in South Haven, Michigan and I joked with him that his resort looked very nice but that we had stayed at some “resorts” that didn’t even deserve to be called “campgrounds.”  I even went so far as to suggest that there needed to be some government oversight in this matter.

I wasn’t serious (but maybe I should have been?) because it would be nice if there was a way to tell if something truly was a resort.  For example, the last “resort” we were at in Goodlettsville, TN had this view…

I support the bill that says if you can see or hear a train (or the interstate!) from your RV it’s NOT a resort!

and no amenities to speak of and now we are staying at a place in Destin that doesn’t bother to call itself a resort and it’s the nicest place we’ve ever been.

Anything with direct beach or mountain views qualifies automatically!

I guess this is what Google reviews are for and we do look at those but sometimes you are in the middle of nowhere and there aren’t tons of choices.  This is further complicated by the differences in the things people are looking for as I think a pretty spot with a view is a requirement for a resort experience, but others may want a pool and fishing or miniature golf.  And, it can be argued that some of the prettiest and nicest spots aren’t in resorts at all but in state or national parks.

As sometimes happens in these blogs, I’m not sure there’s a point to this but I feel better having got it off my chest! 😊

When Vertigo Becomes More Than a Hitchcock Movie

I used to think this was pretty!

I woke up yesterday feeling extremely strange.  I’ve never fainted before and have only been dizzy a handful of times associated with the flu but was so dizzy walking was difficult. It kept getting worse and by noon, I must confess, I was kind of panicking.  Whenever I took a step, I felt like I was in a bouncy house.

Brent is in Orlando this week, so I debated about driving myself to an Urgent Care Clinic but was scared I would pass out while driving. Long story short, I talked with a friend in Nashville and she made me promise to Uber.  This was a big concession for me because I can be stubborn and didn’t want to pay for a ride (and, more importantly, admit I needed help) but it was the right thing to do.  I didn’t want to be “that” person who causes a wreck because she’s stupid.

After an agonizing three hour wait, I did get a vertigo diagnosis.  The doctor tried to explain what was going on in my ear, but I didn’t hear anything past “No, there really isn’t a cure.  It just usually goes away on its own at some point.  Of course, it can reoccur at any time….”

Now, I know it’s not the world’s worst diagnosis, but it is sobering to wake up one day and everything is different.  I can’t exercise or play tennis or do anything that involves moving my head much.  This is day two and it is better than yesterday but still something that I’m aware of at any given moment.  I only feel “normal” when I’m sitting perfectly still.

I’m trying to look on the bright side and for me it’s that my plantar fasciitis doesn’t seem quite so horrible anymore!  I will keep you posted but if anyone has dealt with this and has any tips for me, I would be grateful for your advice.

You Are Every Move You Make – Part 2

I thought I was done with the previous blog but yesterday something weird happened.  I got a call from a woman who lived in my old neighborhood in Franklin…four years and three moves ago!  She asked if I still did organizing.  I told her about RVing and asked how she got my name as my website says I’m on a sabbatical and I’m not on the NAPO website anymore.

Are you ready for this?  Four years ago, I sent a Yikes mailing to my neighbors and she had saved my postcard all that time.  I felt like that mailing was a total failure as I never got a single client from it and then I get that call.

Her story was a sad one.  Her son passed away 18 months ago, and she was finally ready (her words) to sort through his things.  As I’m in Florida I couldn’t help her, but I have an organizing friend in Nashville who is very compassionate, and I gave this woman her number.

Could this woman have just looked up professional organizer in a Google search and found someone?  Of course, but I felt it was supposed to happen this way and she was supposed to be with my friend.

Also, given her situation, she might not have reached out to anyone else.  I felt she called me because of our neighborhood connection and she was obviously still struggling with her loss.

You are every move you make. Could my total failure from four years ago have had a hidden purpose?  I believe it did.  It seems like so often we hope or pray for something and aren’t sure if our prayers are answered and today was just a good reminder for me that God works in mysterious ways.

A friend who does traffic reports from a helicopter sent me this photo and it always makes me think of angels.