Hello! I haven’t posted in a while. Turns out deciding to write a book and launch a blog at the same time may have been a little over-ambitious. I’ve been prioritizing my book (for now), and I’m happy with that decision. But don’t worry, the blog will be heating up soon.
I thought I would take this opportunity to give everyone some updates on what’s happening with the Longhurst family!
We have so many adventures lined up all of a sudden! It still seems a little surreal. We are so happy to be fully vaccinated (with the exception of our youngest who will get her shot very soon now that it is newly approved for her age group), and we feel like we can lean into our wanderlust again. In the coming months we’ll be visiting some of our favorite spots in Washington, Idaho, and Utah, and blazing some new trails in Mexico and Kauai!
I’ll be sharing our favorite experiences and hopefully inspiring some post-pandemic hiking and travel ideas!
And . . .
We’re off to France!
Last year we had planned an extended stay in France, which didn’t happen because of the pandemic. However, looking back, despite our careful planning, it simply wasn’t the right time for us for reasons beyond Covid. In the spring I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in the fall we lost my dad suddenly. For these reasons and several others, it was a hard year, and I needed to be home.
But now, after taking the needed time to process grief, change, and allow my body to heal, and I am ready to make space for new, beautiful things. Our entire family is ready. France just announced that they are opening their borders in June, and we will be heading out in August. Everything’s booked. We will be staying in the Alsace region, near the town of Colmar, which is pictured below.
We’ll be gone for 6 months, and I can’t wait to share some of it with you! I’ll scout out post-pandemic Europe for you guys and let you know how things are looking.
As I mentioned above, I’m in the middle of writing my first book. It is already the longest thing I’ve ever written by many orders of magnitude. I may share more details in the future, but for now I’ll just say it’s ballroom dance satire. These days I spend several hours writing every day. I have weekly word count goals and I am driving towards those, and resisting the urge to go back and edit (it’s so hard!). Edits will happen in the coming drafts.
If I am able to meet all of my targets, I will have most of my first draft finished before we leave to France. Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I feel pretty good about how things are shaping up, and other times the anxiety and self-doubt sets in and I question everything–my ability, my idea, my words. But it is a dream come true to be able to focus on my writing, and overall, I’m having a lot of fun with this project.
Many people have asked about the plans of my oldest daughter, Cora, after my post, Mothering and the Art of Letting Go. And, as of today, I think I have a firm plan to share! In the fall, Cora will be attending . . . Europe. I’m so happy that she has decided to forego fall semester and come with us on our family’s European adventure. I firmly believe that traveling is the best way to learn!
For winter semester, she will be attending . . . Brigham Young University. She will be participating in a BYU program that we just discovered called the FlexGE program. She is also in the process of reapplying for full admittance for winter semester. But even if that doesn’t happen, through the FlexGE program she will still be able to take classes on the Provo campus or at the Salt Lake Center, live in BYU housing, and earn BYU credits. We were delighted to find this program, and it is a perfect solution for Cora right now and gives her a solid plan for winter semester.
Our New Home and Garden Plans
We are also in the early stages of building a new home that we envision as a gathering place for our family into the future. We are hoping to break ground sometime this summer, and we hope it will be ready for us to move in by the end of 2022. After being nomads, I think we will be ready to settle down.
Our new home will have about 5 acres of land, and we are planning to do a lot of permaculture gardening. What is permaculture, you ask? Let me assure you, it’s very hippie dippie. My husband and I did not realize we were flower children, but apparently we are. If you want to know more about permaculture, read this article.
We have big plans for a BIG garden, and believe me, this is going to be a wild ride you guys. How many houseplants have I killed this week? At least one. Am I qualified to take on a project of this size and scope? Not in the least. But don’t worry–we are reaching out to experts for help in designing and planning, and we will undoubtedly need more help along the way. It’s going to be fun! If you come to visit, plan to leave with a paper bag full of zucchinis.
So there’s our update! I’ll be back soon!