Get After It!

Hey guys! Mikey Here.

I have been working my butt off getting our little family ready for our van adventure. Who knew there was so much that goes into downvsizing your life. Shouldn't simplifying be simple! :) 

There is so much that goes into down sizing that you probably didn't realize. I know I didn't until I started to do it. First of all, there is the van itself. A lot of my free, well pretty much all of it is spent working on getting that guy family friendly, and comfortable!! Things like painting, flooring, seating, engine maintenance, counter tops, upholstery, sink, burner, propane, generator maintenance, plumbing... and the list goes on and on. But wait there is more, there is getting rid and selling all the stuff we have unconsciously accumulated over the last 4 years of marriage. That is not a small feat. Also, there is the need for medical coverage while traveling with a toddler and getting finances squared away. I think you are starting to get the idea. 

I have never wanted something so bad in my life, and never had to work for something so hard before. It may sound silly to some but it is my reality. My number one goal with this trip is to inspire others to get out of the office, out of the movie theaters and into nature! Nature is God's antidepressant, it has a way of reflecting what is in the soul of man. If you have big goals and big dreams, get after it! It may be the hardest thing you ever try to do, but damn it, it will be worth it I can promise you. Don't know what your goals are and feeling a lack of direction. Get outside, in nature and connect with the big picture. You won't find your passion behind a screen, you may find inspiration, but passion comes from doing! Do the thing and get the power. When it gets tough just know that there is one other crazy guy with his little family trying to make something really special happen in his life. :)

 Me and my little dude! 

Me and my little dude! 

DIY Van Butcher Block Counter Top

First step! Find wood. We built our butcher block out of cherry wood. Hard wood is best for butcher blocks (think fruit bearing trees) so they don't get marks and dings so easily. 

Next the cuts. We measured and cut the wood a bit longer than the final length. 

Glue time. Don't use too much, but not too little. We did both. Too much left us with glue pouring out the cracks when it came time to clamp and not enough left us with a broken butcher block....(fixed easily by glueing it a second time). Go for a thin line down the entire length of the wood. Go ahead and use a couple pieces of scrap wood to test it on. Put the amount you think is right then clamp it together. You will know soon enough if you put too much. 

Clamp it tight! We learned some good lessons here. Best to get the planks of wood as level as you can get them. Place the glued board on a flat surface with some weights on it, or clamp some 2X4's on either side of the butcher block perpendicular to the cuts. We did not do this and the result was ALOT of sanding to get a level flat surface. The alternative is running it through a planer, which you probably don't have if you are reading

Wait 24 hrs and give it a good sand! Use some rougher paper to get it flat if needed then switch to some finer paper to get the smooth finish. 

Apply butcher block conditioner (yet to come for us) and there you have it!

We are still waiting for our sink and stove to come to install the block into the van but this is what it looks like for now. 






Well we got a fresh new coat of paint on the dream machines interior. Wow what a difference! We knew painting the interior white would be a good decision. It gives the inside a brighter/airy feel. Not so dreary. 

We are so stoked to continue on rennovations. Next up butcher block, sink and stove!