We made it!

Sorry for the cliff hanger. If you don’t follow me on Facebook or instagram, you haven’t gotten the updates that we are alive, in Kodiak, and loving it. 

We are currently living in a hotel room, and neither of the children are sleeping well, so I’m a little bit of a zombie. 

So, let’s see….last update was Watson Lake, Yukon…..

We spent two nights in Whitehorse, YK. We stayed at Hi Countey RV Park. It was still close quarters, but at an angle which provided a little more privacy. Whitehorse was a cool town. We had some good food, found a good brewery, went on some fun walks, and even hit up the hot springs North of town! And I found a bluebonnet!! 


We went from Whitehorse to Tok, AK. Hello America. We stayed at Tok RV Village, but Joe has that picture and I forgot to get it from him! Sweet, sweet people there. 

From Tok we cut over to Anchorage and spent a couple days there. Go to the zoo. It’s so cool. All the animals you never see at other zoos are all there. It’s not huge, but it’s super fun! We also went and bought waders for fly fishing, so we are excited to do that soon! 

We stayed at Creekwood Inn, which is barely more than a parking lot, but the people there were so, so sweet. And their facilities were incredibly clean. 

We drove down to Homer on the 2nd. Our ferry was scheduled for midnight with a 10pm check in. We washed the camper, had dinner, cruised around the Spit, then hung out in our camper and got the kiddos in jammies. We checked in, lined up, and finally got on board! We left a little late, but had a good sized room aboard the Kennicot. 


We are loving Kodiak. Joe is already back at work, I’ve basically been living at the Delahunty’s house, hanging out with Elizabeth, and we were able to do a walk through of our rental house and we are even more excited than we were before about it! 

Now if I can just talk everyone I know into moving up here, that would be perfect. Here’s my view every morning for breakfast at our hotel. 

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A week to go!

After an easy discharge from the hospital, this crew jumped right back into the thick of things. 


I’d like to take a second to profusely thank everyone that’s been praying for Taylor. I’m happy to report that she’s doing incredible. Like really. Her congestion is gone, her cough is gone, she’s back!! We are so, so grateful! She’s back to eating anything we will let her and singing “da-da” all. day. long. (No, I’m not bitter about that at all. Really.)
Before I get any farther, I’d like to point out some Canadian differences. And of course, this doesn’t apply to all of Canada, and different isn’t necessarily bad. 

1. The dang metric system. I know this is more of a rest of the world thing, not just Canada. But seriously, I get a little excited when I see a 110km/h speed limit sign before I remember its metric. 

2. They call restrooms, washrooms. That’s even what it says on the sign above the door. Washrooms. And people say they need to use the washroom. 

3. The roads. Even before we got on the Alaskan Highway, which has been pretty nice so far, the roads were a little crazy. There’s been places where it’s 4 lanes wide, 2 lanes going both ways, no median and there are NO LINES. None. For example…


4. Canadian currency has thrown me for a loop. Specifically the coins. More specifically, the coins needed for the laundry machines. I was told they take loonies ($1 coins) so I went off to get some cash back one evening. A nice gas station guy got me cash back and when I mentioned I needed it for laundry, I thought he said, “oh, well then you need some loonies. I’ll give you your change in those.”

Turns out, he did not say loonies. He said tooies. That’s what Canadians call their $2 coin. And just for informational purposes, tooies do not work in the laundry machines. You’ll have to go scrounge around your RV site and chance running into a neighbor or 3 and hope they are nice and have change to break your tooies into loonies. 

5. Last one today. Lots of full service gas stations. And there’s sometimes no option to go anywhere else. I’ve never been anywhere that had this many mandatory full service stations. 
Okay, back to road trip madness. We had to cut out Banff and Jasper, which was really sad. Seriously, go google those places in British Columbia and you’ll see why. But by skipping them, and going a different route, we were able to stay on course. 

We headed up to Whitecourt, BC on Tuesday. We stayed at Sagitawah RV Park. The internet wasn’t great and there wasn’t lots of room. But the guy running it was nice and it had a great playground. Sadly, no picture. 

The next stop was Dawson Creek, BC. It’s where the Alaskan Highway starts. 

Small nugget of history: when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they also bombed Dutch Harbor up in the Alaskan island chain. In 8 months in 1942-1943, the Army built this road from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks, AK so they could get up there and protect our country. That’s crazy fast! And after driving through the terrain, I literally can’t believe it. Thank you Jesus it’s paved now. 

We stayed at Northern Lights RV Park. A little cramped, but impeccably clean washrooms, showers, and laundromat. 



Next stop Fort Nelson, BC. We stayed at Triple G’s Hideaway. This didn’t seem as cramped because we got to stay in the round about area which had some trees, but still close quarters. Owners were nice and the restaurant was great. What was even cooler was the Fort Nelson Museum within walking distance. I can’t even put into words what a cool, quirky place it was. I’m pretty sure the curator never threw anything away and one day realized he could organize it and call it a museum. But he has some stuff of serious historical value too! From a giant engine that used to generate electricity for the whole town and a propellor from an airplane that crashed at a local runway, to 3 tons worth of old telephone company equipment with switchboards and even the owner manuals. Mounted bears, foxes, ferrets, hawks, caribou, mountain goats, even a moose! 


Yesterday we drove from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake, YK and it was seriously the best part of our trip yet. We saw lots of animals on the side of the road, even crossing the road! Bears, caribou, mountain sheep, bison, deer! But the best part was Muncho Lake! So, so pretty! We had to stop and take some pictures. Breathtaking view, HUGE lake that was almost jade in color. 


Last night we stayed at Downtown RV in Watson Lake, YK. Very nice owner, but it’s basically a parking lot. There aren’t lots of choices up here. Most places don’t have websites, and you can’t make reservations on line. You can see how we are packed in here, and how one of our neighbors was already gone before I got up to take the picture. 

We’ve found that we see lots of familiar faces at our RV parks. There’s like a herd of us all going the same way and all stopping at the same spots. What we are doing for a military move, lots of people are doing as their trip of a lifetime. There’s not a whole lot of people on the road at all, but the ones that exist are 90% of the time going to or from Alaska. We don’t get up and on the road as early as the, ahem, mature crowd surrounding us do. Be we usually catch up or pass them before the day is over. We should probably take a lesson from them in pulling over and enjoying all the historical markers, but it’s a big hassle getting everyone out and then back in! Most of the people our age that we’ve seen are doing the trip on a bicycle. With tents. 

Heck no techno. 

T-minus 11 days

Today I figured I would catch up before we hopefully move forward! We’ve spent 4 nights in Alberta’s Children’s Hospital here in Calgary, Canada. My 9 month old’s cold/virus turned into pneumonia. She had a couple rough days, but is doing so much better. Hoping for a discharge today!

**on a side note, this has been an incredible hospital. Like, super incredible. 

Our last stay in the US was in Great Falls, Montana. We stayed at Dick’s RV park and it was just okay. Joe was able to fill up our propane tanks and we hit up a cool brewery downtown. It rained most of the day. That’s my excuse for not taking a picture. 

But here’s one of us at the gas station at the border!



For the record, Jackson does love Canada.

We stayed in Lethbridge, Alberta which smells like cows. Not the RV park, but like the whole city.  Bridgeview RV Resort – nice place, no free wifi. 


Onto Calgary! We stayed at Mountain View RV Park. Which had a bazillion bugs, and was also just an okay place. 



I didn’t realize it was on the opposite side of the city when I made the reservation, so Joe ended up moving to a new place when Taylor got admitted to the hospital after our ER visit. I’m hoping he got a pic, so I’ll update that later. 

Our plans have changed a little bit. I think we are going to have to skip Banff and Jasper, which we were really looking forward to. But we should be back on track tomorrow. 

Excited to be moving forward and so, so thankful for the incredible medical staff here in Calgary! 

P.S. Jackson likes having cable and free ice to crunch on. (And sitting in Tay Tay’s cool bed)

Montana!

Talk about wide open spaces. Goodness. 

I left off when we were headed to by brother’s house in The Woodlands, TX. We stayed in their house and had an incredible visit. Joe did a great job backing the camper  into their driveway!


From The Woodlands we headed over to the Austin area to visit with Joe’s sisters. We had such a fun time having dinner, wine, and cigars while the cousins ran themselves ragged. It was just so fun! Joe’s sister and her hubby are currently building a house, so they are living in a camper outside their barn on their land. So it was so fun to pull up in our camper and have the nieces jump up and down because we were moving our house by their house!

The next morning, Joe’s other sister came by to hug some necks, so we were very blessed to get to see all of them! 

We drove to Joe’s parents, picked up his dad and brother, and then drove into Del Rio, TX for a weekend fishing trip! My parents met us, so Dad could take us out on his boat while Mom watched the kiddos. Super fun, super exhausting. 

We stayed at Broke Mill RV park, but I didn’t take a pic of the site!! It was small, but definitely nicer than anything close by.  They even had peach trees with lots of peaches in season!


We spent the rest of the week in Texas with family and headed North on Friday. We stayed with a sweet college friend of mine in Earth, TX. It was so much fun to relax and let our kiddos play – something we’ve always been sad about since I moved away.  And yes, you can really see for miles and miles in West Texas. 

We spent our next night at the Puebla KOA in Colorado. It was a nice site. I’d definitely recommend it. I ran into town and stocked up on some groceries. I made it back for sunset!


The next day we made it up to Casper, WY and stayed at Rivers Edge RV Park and it’s been my favorite place so far. Incredible playground and lots of toys for Jackson to play with. Gorgeous river behind and we walked down and tried our hand at casting our fly rods (I’m not even a little bit good, I won’t lie) Happy Mothers Day!


Last night we spent the night at the KOA in Billings, MT. It was also gorgeous. I’m between moving our laundry, we hiked down to the river behind the campground. We found a beautiful river and worked on our casting again. Shiner went swimming. 


Tonight will be our last night in the US and we will cross over the border into Canada tomorrow!! 

Westward and Texas Ho

2 nights ago, I wrote up this witty post. Super cute pictures, funny stories, a very thorough account of our adventures. And then I tried to link it to Facebook….and it deleted the post. 

Lesson learned. Save everything first. 

So, I apologize. This won’t be as thorough. I just want it down though!

We got up from a wonderful first night spent 10 minutes from our home. And when I say wonderful, I mean I tossed and turned all night wondering if the AC unit was too loud for me to hear when the kids woke up in the middle of the night. And when they did, I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning in disbelief that I could have ever thought that. 

It’s a travel trailer, Lauren. 

I’ve learned tearful goodbyes mean that you’ve been loved well. And man, we’ve been loved well by our church family.  


I tried to take a picture with the Tamp la Bay skyline behind me, but all I got was an incriminating selfie-while-driving pic. Sorry, Mom. 


We decided to get down the road and stopped a little North of Gainesville, FL at a park called Travelers Campground. Beautiful place, cash only, lots of animals and a good dog park. 


Monday we eased ourselves up towards Atlanta, about 15 minutes away from the car drop off spot. Atlanta South RV Resort was packed. All hills with Trailers crammed in with lots of full timers. Very pleasant people, just not a whole lot of room. I almost forgot a picture of this place, so a dark one will have to do!

Tuesday morning we got up and around slowly. Joe went and re-cleaned my car for the shipping company. Apparently they are slightly neurotic about the condition of your car. We spent an hour and a half at the drop off place. Yup, an hour and a half. 

From there we drove a good chunk down to Mobile, AL. Joe found us a great campsite at this beautiful park. Chickasabogue. Say that five times fast. I wish we could’ve stayed here longer. Gorgeous pull through spots with tons of privacy which is not something you find many places with rv spots!


So, Westward and Texas Ho. Headed to my brother’s house in The Woodlands tonight, through Austin to hug some necks tomorrow before hitting the Hill Country for a week. 

Chevy Set Go

One night this week I was up worrying about all the things on my to do list. I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Then Jesus stepped in and gave me this brilliant hash tag. (because, yes, a cool hashtag was on my list) #chevysetgo 

Because we are off on an adventure. Clearwater to Kodiak. (Through Atlanta and Kerrville, TX to see family, too) 5,000+ miles. Jesus, take the wheel. 

 I’m currently listening to Jackson (almost 3) sing along to his show on the iPad while I nurse the baby (almost 9 months) and pray that they both sleep in their designated bunks. 

Tonight is our first night on our trip, even though we are spending it in our own town, minutes away from our home that’s not our home anymore. It’s been a quiet little site and our Starcraft Launch 19BHS is really comfortable!


Today started with a busy morning : loaded the travel trailer and the truck up so Joe could go weigh it, errands, maintenance on the pool, new windshield wipers on my car, quick lunch, quick wipe down of everything we got messy in the last 24 hours since the cleaning lady left, and then some final pictures of us with our first home.  We spent 4 wonderful years there – brought both children home there and became a family.  


Then we headed over to our camp site and  relaxed while the kiddos slept in the truck!


I went out again to find a bed rail for the top bunk because Jackson is all over the place when he sleeps. Our current plan for the kiddos is they each get a bunk. Half of both bunks are being used as storage. (for who even knows what anymore) Baby gate on the bottom bunk for Taylor. She’s not pulling up on anything yet, and hopefully she doesn’t learn that trick anytime soon. (Knock on wood)

Please, feel free to pray everyone sleeps tonight. After 3 nights on an air mattress, the Chevaliers could use a win in the sleep department. 

I’m not exactly looking forward to saying goodbye to our church friends-turned-family tomorrow. It’ll be awful. It’s hard to get excited about a trip when you can’t take all your people with you!!

 My tribe, you know who you are, I love you. 

What 30 really looks like.

30.

I wasn’t afraid to turn 30. Not really.

But growing up, I always had an idea of what 3o looked like. (Probably more like what my Pinterest board looks like!)

But 30 didn’t feel different. I’m pretty sure I’m still not a grown up. The only adult-ish things I’m really good at doing is making super expensive wish lists of house hold things. (laundry pedestals, farmhouse table, more stain resistant couches…)

But let’s be real here. I’m sure you all want to see the behind the scenes of my 30th birthday, but I’m just going to show you the more glamorous side. No pictures of the dirty dishes I finally did this morning. No pictures of the house that is still in a desperate state.

Heck, I’m just going to share pictures of 2 days before my birthday when we got dressed up and went out. I didn’t take a single picture on my actual birthday.

Things change, y’all.

For me, 30 meant pumping so I could be baby free for the evening.

For me, 30 meant arranging for someone to watch said baby and her big brother. Dang, we have some good friends.

30 meant trying a martini again and deciding I still didn’t like it.

30 meant dinner and flamenco watching, then off to a cigar shop for a hand rolled sweet tipped smoky thing, coffee, and dominoes.

For me, 30 meant a peaceful evening with fabulous company and great conversations!

And ultimately, 30 meant not staying out all night, walking inside barefoot with a Minion backpack because I still can’t wear heels for a whole evening, and getting everyone in bed. (And pumping again, but I didn’t take a picture of that. You are welcome)

30 looked a lot different than 20, I’ll be the first to say that. But it was great.

30 is going to bring lots of adventure.

I’m going to embrace the bittersweetness of what a move to a new duty station means. I’m going to cherish the family away from family that has loved me so well these past couple years. I’m going to stay checked in here with my people and soak up the very last drop of their company.

I can’t wait to find out where we are going, and start to plan out our year.

30, just do it.

What 30 really looks like.

30.

I wasn’t afraid to turn 30. Not really. 

But growing up, I always had an idea of what 3o looked like. (Probably more like what my Pinterest board looks like!)

But 30 didn’t feel different. I’m pretty sure I’m still not a grown up. The only adult-ish things I’m really good at doing is making super expensive wish lists of house hold things. (laundry pedestals, farmhouse table, more stain resistant couches…)

But let’s be real here. I’m sure you all want to see the behind the scenes of my 30th birthday, but I’m just going to show you the more glamorous side. No pictures of the dirty dishes I finally did this morning. No pictures of the house that is still in a desperate state.

Heck, I’m just going to share pictures of 2 days before my birthday when we got dressed up and went out. I didn’t take a single picture on my actual birthday. 

Things change, y’all. 

For me, 30 meant pumping so I could be baby free for the evening.

For me, 30 meant arranging for someone to watch said baby and her big brother. Dang, we have some good friends.

30 meant trying a martini again and deciding I still didn’t like it. 

30 meant dinner and flamenco watching, then off to a cigar shop for a hand rolled sweet tipped smoky thing, coffee, and dominoes. 

For me, 30 meant a peaceful evening with fabulous company and great conversations!

And ultimately, 30 meant not staying out all night, walking inside barefoot with a Minion backpack because I still can’t wear heels for a whole evening, and getting everyone in bed. (And pumping again, but I didn’t take a picture of that. You are welcome)

30 looked a lot different than 20, I’ll be the first to say that. But it was great. 

30 is going to bring lots of adventure. 
I’m going to embrace the bittersweetness of what a move to a new duty station means. I’m going to cherish the family away from family that has loved me so well these past couple years. I’m going to stay checked in here with my people and soak up the very last drop of their company. 

I can’t wait to find out where we are going, and start to plan out our year.

30, just do it.

Daily habits

Today marks one week…a whole 7 days…of me consistently making the bed.

Yes, I should be embarrassed to admit that I’m 29, have been married for 4 1/2 years, have a 1 1/2 year old and don’t make my bed. Except for this week that is. This week it has been made.

However, I recently realized some things about myself. The biggest being that I’m a naturally inclined slob. 

I don’t mind dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor of the bathroom, toys and couch pillows thrown around the house, baskets full of junk from my last cleaning sweep stacked on top of each other next to the bed, or beds being unmade. It just doesn’t bother me. I can sit peacefully in the middle of the huge mess I call home and  read a book. (Maybe being in Fiction-Land helps me cope, who knows?!)

But I also recently realized that my husband was not created the same way I was. He can’t handle it. It really bothers him when the house isn’t picked up. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why the clothes next to the toilet make him boil, or why he starts fuming when I’ve run out of room on my desk to pile things that really need to be put away. 

But whether or not I understand the “why” doesn’t excuse me from understanding that ultimately, it makes him feel unloved.

So last weekend when I cleaned the house, I cleaned our room first. I went through all the laundry baskets, dusted, vacuumed, and made the bed – nicely. (We even have super cute euro sized pillows that have been stacked on top of the laundry baskets) I made it a point to make our room look and feel nice, and have been intentional about making the bed and keeping it  straightened every day. I have loved having a mini sanctuary. 

Maybe this is why neat freaks love cleaning. 

I’m working on making the dishes a daily habit too. As a team we stay on top of them, but I’m working really hard to unload when I’m making breakfast and to start the dishwasher and wipe down the counters at night. Simple things that I’m sure most wives already do, but they haven’t been happening around here.

What are things that you do daily to help keep your home organized and in order? 

Favorite Things Party

Wowzers! Why have I never heard of this idea before? This was so much fun!!! I want to go to one every week!

Okay, so for those who haven’t heard of a Favorite Things party…

  1. You pick out one of your most favorite things and you buy 3 of that item. (our limit was $10, $30 total)
  2. Wrap the items separately and bring them to the party.
  3. Everyone puts their name on 3 slips of paper that go in a hat, then everyone draws 3 names….wait for it….
  4. You give your items to 3 people explaining why it’s one of your favorite things.
  5. AND you get 3 different items in return!

It was so much fun! One of the wives from our church told me about the idea and it was perfect for the monthly church ladies get together I’ve been planning. While I am glad I left my phone out of the way to enjoy everyone, I wish I would’ve taken a couple pictures!

My favorite part was that I had the thought to use my grandmother’s tea cups! I mean, they are one of my most favorite-est things in the world, so it only seemed right. I made some Lady Grey tea in this cute teapot I found at Hobby Lobby and I was surprised how warm it stayed!

I wanted to write down all the Things we brought because I know some people can be stumped trying to come up with ideas. We had some really great Things! Definitely make sure you draw all the names before beginning – they you can sort out the drawing the same name/drawing your own name drama before starting.

Publix French Roast Organic Coffee

Publix Organic Honey

Conair Hot Air Curling Brush

Journals

Better Than Bouillon Chicken Stocks

Riesen Chocolates and Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers

Starbucks Gift Cards

Arbonne Products

Pioneer Woman Measuring Cups

“The Shack” by William P. Young

“Give Thanks” Coffee Mugs (These were brought by a woman who has been back and forth fighting cancer and she shared how important it is to give thanks in every season because all of it is from God – so, so cool)

“Eli” by Bill Meyers

Yankee Candle Spheres

Starbucks Gift Cards/Reeses Fast Breaks

Picture Frames

Body Butters

Doterra products in a favorite scent – Citrus Bliss

Mrs. Meyers Honeysuckle hand soaps

As always with our crew, we were up to our ears with good snacks. And overflowing with good fellowship. Definitely do this with your girlfriends!