First of all, we are sorry about the lack of posts. Our winter has been much busier than we had expected. We will do a much better job of keeping this site up to date. Thank you to those of you who kindly and gently nudged us into writing again
Dan retired at the end of 2018. Together the four of us spent the month of January working on projects for the boat, enjoying living in the city, and getting out hiking and Mt biking. It was nice to share all of the household duties as well as the Schooling responsibilities evenly between Dan and Ashley. We visited the Flight Museum, Pacific Science center, and Woodland Park Zoo. We hiked Mt Si and spent many days biking at Duthie Hill mountain bike park. Victoria and Alexander were so happy to have their dad with them throughout each day. Dan was excited every day that he has able to wake up, have breakfast with the kids, work on schooling, have lunch, more school, then go play, have dinner and be there to tuck them in at night. It was so easy for him to find joy in even the smallest of tasks because he was with his family and sharing their experiences firsthand as opposed to hearing about things that happened when he got home from work. Dan had zero problem adapting to retirement and did not miss work even for a second.
In February Ashley took a job at a local property management company. She worked 40 hours a week, 5 days a week. This was quite a change from her last 8 years when as a stay at home mom/wife she worked around the clock 7 days a week. She very much enjoyed the time spent in a professional atmosphere and the quiet peaceful time to herself when commuting on the bus. Dan assumed the household duties to include all cooking. This was a major adjustment for him due to his extreme dislike for cooking. As it turned out he learned very quickly to not only embrace it but he came to enjoy cooking for his family. Dan also took on the role of teacher for the kids. For those of you who know Dan well, you know that he loved this new role the best. Dan loves to challenge the kids in all that they do.
March continued with Ashley working, Dan and the kids working on school and boat projects. When the weather was bad Ashley would come home to all three of them working on a project. Dan is very, very good at getting the kids involved in projects and making it a fun adventure or challenge for them while fixing or improving something on the boat. With the improving weather Dan and the kids were able to meet up with the other kids that live at the Marina. Often Ashley would come home to Dan, Victoria, and Alexander all playing with some of the many marina kids up at the marina courtyard.
April was the month that the Murphys went to Moab Utah. Most of you know that of all of our activities, mountain biking is Dan’s favorite. From the moment the kids could both ride a bike (at the ages of 4) Dan began planning a family trip to Moab. If you did not know; Moab, Utah is well known to have some of the best mountain biking in the world. We loaded up our van with four mountain bikes, two kids, Ranger the dog, and Sonny the cat. Then we began the 19 hours drive to our rental house in Moab. The kids did an amazing job on the technical trails of the Utah desert. We went on many bike rides, a beautiful hike through a canyon, played hours of foosball and went swimming in the pool. We spent two action packed weeks in the high desert. Dan’s parents and Ashley’s dad all visited us while we were there. This allowed for Ashley and Dan to have some alone time on more difficult (fun) trails. Ashley really rocked the harder trails and showed huge improvements in her bike handling skills. Dan was on cloud 9 the entire time there. Even Ashley had to admit to really enjoying mountain biking, which is something she would normally never admit to. Both Alexander and Victoria did an amazing job on the drive down and back.
May finds us back at the boat finishing the last few projects and constantly looking at the calendar anxiously awaiting our June 19 departure date. Ashley is no longer working so she and Dan are sharing the load. Between home schooling, final boat projects, more hikes and bike rides (the weather is much better these days) and getting our affairs in order for us to be away, May has been a very busy month. While the list will never truly end we have checked off most of the “would likes” and all of the “must dos”. At this point other than a quick trip to the grocery store and a stop at the fuel dock we are ready to get under way. The kids last day of school is June 18. The next morning we plan to head north. On June 8th and 9th we are having an open house/boat for those who wish to see what our new life is like and what a cruising boat setup is all about. If you would like to stop by please email us and let us know.