Our big announcement...

October 31, 2018

July rocked our world as, with the help of 6 positive pregnancy tests, we were overjoyed to find out that after almost 6 years as a family of three (more if you count the 9 months of pregnancy for Little Phil which I totally think counts!) we are going to be welcoming a new little one into our crew this coming spring! Bring on all the little, bitty, cutesy baby clothes!!

Here is one of my all time favorite family videos that we've made...

We knew that we really wanted to tell Philip's family the news in person, but making the trip from San Diego to Wisconsin kept having to be pushed out. Weeks began to fly by as we wrapped up projects and kept trying to figure out how to get out there. We knew that's how we wanted to tell them and we'd make it work! Each phone call or FaceTime with them was so painful as we were just trying not to shout our secret from the rafters! I'll tell you who did the best though - LITTLE PHIL. He was amazing. Such a good secret keeper...we were impressed.

We finally were able to make the trip in mid-September. I'm just so thankful for a husband that does crazy things with me and makes these things happen. I mean how often do you get to tell your very patient in-laws that you're finally having another baby?! And as cheesy as it may sound the truth is that there is very little as important as family. Plus Philip's family has the best reactions...every mile of driving was so worth it.

My pregnancy so far:

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am the first 3 months are over....I was eating SO bad, SO tired, and SO sick... I know, I know...everyone has a worse pregnancy or whatever, but I'm gonna' allow myself to whine for two seconds there and just be honest without needing anybody to tell me how bad they or their sister's aunt's godmother's granddaughter's pregnancy was. I get it. It can always be worse and being sick is a good sign for sure. All I'm saying is I'm just really enjoying being out of that stage!

I think I'm fairly stereotypical as a preggo - I've had pickles AND ice cream in the same hour period at least 5 times now. I had so many cravings you guys. I was insane. Poor Philip (officially Saint Philip after what he's put up with!) One day I HAD to have Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza. Mango smoothies were always a good idea. Absolutely don't even talk about tacos or burritos or chips or salsa. Fries for days. Simple, plain sandwiches on repeat. Lately I've been a million times better, but I still definitely know what I do and don't want. *guilty, 10 pounds heavier grin*

Oh and I got a belly band thingy so I can wear my jeans again so that's pretty cool. 

As of now we're enjoying our time in the Midwest (FALL LEAVES people!!!) for a couple more weeks before heading back West. Oooooooh we also have another, albeit not nearly as exciting in comparison, addition to our family that I'll be sharing more about soon! (yes, it's our new home)

Peace, joy, and all that sincere & fluffy stuff, 

Allie Esther

The Travels Continue - from Colorado to San Diego

August 23, 2018

My sister and I were chatting on the phone the other day and she was encouraging me to open up a bit more about what my journey, especially the motherhood side of it, looks like as we are a full time traveling family.

I think...errr...scratch that I know...that I often limit what I share online. Part of it is that I waffle back and forth between being a very private person and not caring at all. That and a few other reasons are off the top of my head are as follows:

a. I'm lazy *guilty crinkled neck face*
b. It's way easier to keep putting off sharing until the story is all buttoned up...but then what ends up happening is the story keeps going cause you know - it's life.
c. 50 more excuses. My life lacks consistency. Working on this big time, BUT it's a major deterrent to motivation when you're taking each day at a time. Procrastinator extraordinaire. 

I'm learning to get more excited and not hold myself back from documenting our "in between"...the "in process" version of me and my family's life. That darn critical in between - it makes up a majority of most of our lives. For me I'm realizing more and more how much the messy parts are where God shines through and I can see His hand clearly in my life in those times. He seems to love that part and I'm learning to love it too. So yay.

One of the biggest things that I'd be lying if I didn't admit I actually am a little sad looking back about not sharing more, for my own personal benefit (as selfish as that might sound I mean it in the purest way), over the past 7 years of being on this wild ride of being Mrs. Philip Leclerc and 5 years of being Phil Jr's mom...and 28 years of being in this crazy game of life. There have been so many lessons, good and bad. More than that, hopefully, there will be many, many more to come. All this to say...better late than never. Enough about me and my lazy tush. End brain fart.

We arrived in beautiful Colorado pumped for a week of vacaction with family. I personally was stoked to have an arsenal of people to play games with me. *Phil is not a board/card game person EVEN THOUGH HE WINS WAY TOO OFTEN WHEN HE DOES PLAY WHICH IS DUMB...DUMBITY DUMB.

Little Phil had such a blast with his many Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and especially his Mimi and Grandpa. Phil's parents are the best at staying in touch long distance with Little Phil and he just adores them...though we all know our place and his Mimi is his number one. It's really sweet and made the week so special to get to stay all together in a big house in Winter Park, Colorado. We took several hikes, long mountain drives (had to break in the new truck), and as per the usual....ate and ate...and ate some more. Minus Little Phil getting a gnarly sunburn despite our best efforts (that Colorado sun is no joke!) we had a wonderful trip.

Once we parted ways our little trio stayed in Colorado for another couple days. We wanted to hit up a couple coffee shops in Denver and we'd been wanting to check out Boulder for awhile. It was a fun detour and we look forward to making it back to this gorgeous state again soon!

We spent the 4th of July morning in Grand Junction, Colorado - we got to catch the local parade and fuel up before heading to spend the night truck camping outside of Zion.

Next stop Las Vegas! We spent the night in Vegas...got to explore the strip for the first time. Hot dang that place is crazy. Ended up spending most of our time poolside at our hotel enjoying the happy hour menu and sun!

All that and now we're back in San Diego. We've spent the month and a half in hotels, staying with amazing friends, and at this point our life is still in the living out of suitcases and taking each day at a time all while running our business and working phase. Taking every day as it comes with big plans and an exciting next stage in our nomadic journey is *almost* here!!

Peace, joy, and all that sincere & fluffy stuff, 

Allie Esther

Road Tripping from Arizona to Utah to Colorado

July 21, 2018

Every move matters. We make choices every single day and oftentimes we think that that’s all those choices are….daily trivial decisions that are only for a moment. Tomorrow will be back to ground zero -  a blank slate. And there’s some truth to that, but nothing truly starts over. Yes there’s “always tomorrow” and “ a new day with no mistakes in it”, but at some point in my life I decided to believe that every day builds upon the other…that there are few truly meaningless choices. Making lifestyle choices like the ones Phil and I have made is not all for funsies. It’s a series of choices that are leading us…we want to do more than listen to God. We want to obey him. To stick our toes in the water…to make the leap. To trust and let Him run wild with us. It’s amazing. It sucks. It’s too hard. It’s so much fun. It’s stressful. It’s freeing. I feel the need to reiterate this in most of my writing not only to try and explain some of our crazy and heart to anyone who might actually be reading this, but for my own personal reminder. Let me tell ya’ some days I need the reminder more than others. 

June 12th, after 6 months, we left Alaska. It was a bittersweet season, full of so much good and too much bad. We never thought we would be there that long, but boy I am glad we were. Every day it felt like we needed to be there and to spend as much time with my beautiful family as they are all going through so much of the downs of life right now. I think we’re all hoping that they’re all just getting it all over with at once. All I can say is wow, my family (i.e. my parents are super heroes) is so strong and I love the crudderola out of the whole crew. 

We flew into Phoenix, Arizona to trade in our old car and get our new rig…I can call it that…a rig. It’s a beast. We just decided on a name…Snowflake. 5 points to whoever can guess the color ha.

After we signed on the dotted line and traded the dealership an arm and a leg we chugged off into the stunning South West sunset. We had 5 days to get to Colorado for a mini family reunion with Philp’s side of the family.

Day 1 we spent hiking in Sedona, Arizona, eating Thai food in Flagstaff, scouring the local Walmart for necessities (i.e. air mattress) and camping under the stars in the back of our truck.

Day 2 we made it to Monument Valley where we drove the full 16 mile loop, searched for wifi for Philip to upload some files, then made our way to camp in the Valley of the Gods in Utah for the night. I don’t know exactly what time it was, but I woke up in the middle of the night and have never seen the stars and Milky Way so perfect. It was almost hard to go back to sleep.

Day 3 we spent being amazing parents and fulfilling Little Phil’s dream of going back to the Dinosaur Museum in Moab, Utah. This time we spent hours and hours there and enjoyed every single video, 4D aquarium, dino exhibit that they could throw at us. After this we got dinner and ice cream in Moab and then headed to our campsite for the night at Slickrock Campground.

Day 4 we were dirty and wanted a real bed for the night. We did 5 miles of hiking in 100 degrees (thankfully one of the hikes included lots of swimming) and then we were off to Grand Junction, Colorado - our traditional stopping point for this route. Coffee stop at Kiln, we checked into our hotel, the Phil’s took a swim, I took a nap.

Day 5 Showered and organized we oaded up and made the stretch to Winter Park Colorado where we would spend the week at an airbnb with the rest of the Leclercs!

I’ll post separately on our week with the fam bam, but for now here’s some shots I love from the week before.

Peace, joy, and all that sincere & fluffy stuff, 

Allie Esther

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