As I mentioned on our Facebook page, I am going to be doing a surrogacy journey this year which means that I will have many restrictions upon my activities. I'm trying to not freak out about how tiny my circle is shrinking and instead use it as a time of focus and preparation, Similar to when we returned from Mexico and spent the next year planning for our move to Spain, I will spend this year planning for our Mega Roadtrip in 2018. I had originally planned to begin our travels on January 1, 2018 but reality has already pushed that date out a few more weeks. I will likely be giving birth in January and I'll need some recovery time before we hit the road.
So with that, here's how I imagine our 2017:
January 2017: José and I celebrate 10 years together and success of a happy, healthy relationship. We have reservations for the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington for a little family getaway. You've probably noticed by now that our celebrations always include family.
Spring 2017: José gets to finally buy the Toyota Tacoma that he has been dreaming about for years. We are planning to pay cash for the majority of it using a combination of the trust check from Grandfather and our Federal/State tax refunds. This is the last year that we'll receive a nice fat refund so we might as well enjoy it while we can.
March 2017: Can Krystal sneak in a fast trip to Finland to visit Anika and Michael in their new home?? Only time and finances can tell.
April 2017: Embryo transfer on my mother's 64th birthday and hopefully the start of a long and healthy pregnancy. José submits his application for US Naturalization so we can put his immigration nightmare behind us and begin the process for his mom, sisters, and oldest son. It will be several months before he is scheduled for the exam in Portland. In the meantime, continue working on his English and learning the 100 questions on the civil exam that most Americans couldn't pass.
Summer 2017: We already ordered our free Canada National Parks pass and plan to explore/visit/camp in some of the parks located in British Columbia and Alberta (Jasper, Banff, Pacific Rim, Gwaii Haanas). If you've been, we'd love to hear your tips and experiences! We also plan on doing many upgrades around the house and finishing the outside remodel that we haven't gotten around to in the last few years.
September 2017: The girls are going to be homeschooled this year with Erika entering 9th grade and Mia going into 4th grade. Mia has the option to continue attending her bilingual international school until we head out on our roadtrip but she would prefer to learn at home. I still haven't found the right curriculum for them yet so we might do a combination of unschooling along with a math curriculum like Math-U-See. This timeframe also begins my restrictions to a 100 mile circle around my home. Since every single city falls just outside this perimeter, I won't be going anywhere for anything. Thus a slight touch of panic and one of the biggest differences between my own pregnancies and a surrogacy. It's all good though, I have something in mind to keep me busy.
Fall 2017: I had planned on purchasing a VW Campervan and refitting it as a home on the road for our Mega roadtrip. After doing a lot of research and reading about the trials and tribulations of ownership, I've decided that it's not the right vehicle for what I need. Instead I have decided to purchase a used R-Pod, most likely the 178 model, and make some modifications for it to suit our full time travel needs. I will receive some compensation for the surrogacy so I'd like to put it towards something for our family that we will remember forever.
December 2017: If all goes well in April, I will be a very large mama this month and celebrating my 44th birthday. If the timing is right, the baby might be arriving before the new year and giving it's parents a tax break! S/he goes home with the IP's right away and I get to experience pumping exclusively for the baby for the first six weeks. Rumor has it that I might be receiving a sum of money from the closure of my grandfather's trust fund and it will be going straight towards our Mega Roadtrip. I also plan to express breastmilk and sell it to the Preemie Milk Bank which pays $1/oz. so that will fund our travels as well. I breastfed the girls for two years each so it's a possibility, just not sure if it's sustainable.
So 2017 is going to be a lot quieter than last year but it will not be any less by any means. My family needs time to remain in place and charge their batteries, especially before Mama drags them on the road for a few months. You can look forward to more frequent posts this year and I have hopes of posting weekly as we establish our routines. So many stories still to share of our past and future travels. I hope this new year brings many wonderful memories for you and your family. Life is precious, stop putting off for tomorrow what can be done today, and remember that tomorrow is never guaranteed for anyone. Take nothing for granted.