So we did it, we officially said bye to our first baby…The Airstream.
I say that jokingly, but it is the truth. That’s how it feels anyway. We birthed this baby. If you’re one of our friends, then you know the blood, sweat and tears that went into this thing. There were fights, tons of man hours that we’ll never get back, and a lot of joy, laughter, and love. So in the spirit of gratitude and celebration, I’d like to list a few things that we learned through our three year journey remodeling our Airstream:
1. Ideas are great, but execution is what counts.
Three years ago we dreamed up his wild idea about remodeling our Airstream, and living in it. We thought it would take 6 months to get this baby in tip top shape, and then we could park it in some awesome place and/or buy a piece of land and live off the land so to speak. In reality, it took us three years to remodel, we didn’t get to park it in our dream spot, and buying land for it is a little harder than we thought because of zoning laws. Even though things didn’t go the way we planned in many instances along the way, we wouldn’t change anything for the world. We learned sooooo much along the way, and this Airstream will always hold a special place in our hearts. One of the biggest things I think we learned was that we had to keep showing up. We had to get out to Lago Vista every Saturday (a 45 minute drive from where we lived), and put in the work. Sometimes it felt like we weren’t getting anywhere, and every task always took longer than expected. But we just had to keep going. Small steps were made every weekend, every hour, every minute that we were there. It was making a difference, and now that we can look back at the pictures we can see that. But not only that, we can see the stories, and the love, and the memories that are forever engraved in our hearts.
2. Sometimes it’s good to bite off more than you can chew.
I know many people thought we were crazy, some of you might still think that! Most people didn’t tell us to our face, but a few did. But I think that’s one of the things that was so exciting. We were getting out of our comfort zone, going against the status quo, doing something that most of our friends/family would never do, and I feel like in the end we have been richly rewarded because of it. Not just monetarily, because that is great, but just through the experience of it. It was such an incredible experience, and I feel a little at a loss for words in describing it for you. I feel like no words I write or say will do it justice. All I can say is that it is something I will never forget. Maybe you just have to buy your own Airstream to remodel, and then you’ll know what I’m feeling. Haha!
*On a side note: I now know how to wield a drill, and work a belt sander, among other things!
3. Throw away the plan because it most likely will change.
Oh the plans we had, and oh the plans we failed at. 🙂 Dustin and Larry were the masterminds of the whole project, and I’d like to think Grandma and I were the visionaries behind the design. Dustin and Larry were constantly cooking up plans, and many times things had to be redone, reworked, and improved. Sometimes it felt like it was one step forward, and two steps back. And as much as that sucked, it was a great learning experience. Don’t let the subtitle confuse you, you do want to plan ahead when you’re doing a major project like this, but don’t be married to it. Because if you are, you will drive yourself crazy. Be willing to listen to other input, and be willing to consider that maybe your idea isn’t the best. There are a hundred ways to do something, and you’re not the only one with good ideas.
4. People will surprise you.
When we started the project, we expected that certain people in our lives would help a lot. Don’t do that! If you need help, reach out, or don’t. But don’t worry about who’s helping and who’s not. It’s not fair to you or to them. You have to communicate expectations with your friends and family. And honestly I think the best attitude is to just to be grateful for any help you receive. This is not their project, it’s your crazy project you decided to take on! Many people didn’t show up, but then there were people who we never expected would show up, and they did in incredible ways. We can never repay our grandparents for letting us park the Airstream at their place, for Larry’s (aka Paw Paw) hard work and energy he put into the Airstream, and for Grandma’s amazing cooking that we got to indulge in every weekend. And then there’s our friend Aaron, who not only came out to Lago to help us on several occasions, but he also let us live with him for a whole year! Who does that? Great friends, that’s who. The Airstream definitely showed us that we are surrounded by an incredible group of friends and family. We are so grateful for the people in our lives.
5. Your purpose may change along the way.
When we originally started we thought it would be fun, cool, and we’d save a bunch of money! As months, and then years began to pass, our purpose definitely changed. It was then a challenge, we HAD to finish the Airstream. It was definitely daunting. It didn’t help when friends would ask, “When are y’all gonna be done with the Airstream?”, or “Y’all aren’t finished yet?”. Honestly I know people meant well, and were generally making small talk, but it drove me crazy and I wanted to say, “Don’t you know how hard we’re working every weekend?! No, well then you should come help!”. I didn’t do it though. 🙂 We began to realize that the project was much larger than us. The purpose was to build our character, strengthen our marriage (we were newlyweds, married only 2 years when we started), and most importantly to grow our relationship with Dustin’s grandparents. Without the Airstream, I guarantee you we wouldn’t be nearly as close to them as we are now. The exhaustion, headaches, and time we spent toiling with our silver bullet pale in comparison to the joy, fulfillment, and gratitude that we have. We would do it all again, because now our grandparents are our best friends.
So with many tears, smiles and memories we say goodbye for now to our Airstream. I know this won’t be the last one we have. Dustin and Larry are already on the hunt for another one (crazy right!). But this one will always be the first, the most important, the beginning of our story as a family. As this chapter ends, I know it’s only the beginning. I’m excited to see what the next chapter brings. And if this one is any indicator of what’s to come, it’s gonna be BIG.
Thanks for reading.