Category Archives: Moving out of state

Summertown & Nashville Tennessee weekend recap, fun times!

We had a blast this weekend and even took some photos to share with you. Hopefully you enjoyed the belly shot photos I shared with you over the weekend. If you haven’t seen those yet you can by following this link.

For those of you who didn’t already know we planned to spend my birthday weekend in Tennessee. It was our last appointment with our midwife out at The Farm until we come to stay and deliver Tater in early June.

We figured it would also be kind of nice to plan a mini vacation for that weekend since it will be basically the last time we travel for leisure as just the two of us before Tater arrives.

N did have a nice dinner planned for me at The Melting Pot in downtown Nashville on Saturday night. We saw Pamela for our prenatal appointment Saturday afternoon then we stayed at the very unique Hotel Preston that evening.

On Sunday we headed out to the Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville, we also stopped by The Mall at Green Hills to buy me a nice maternity top since the one I brought wouldn’t button around my boobs anymore.

I found 2 at Macy’s for $16.00 that weren’t even maternity tops but fit great, they were my birthday splurge. We also went by the Whole Foods near the mall to pick up a few grocery items and some calcium supplements per Pamela’s suggestion.

Like I said we had a blast together and we captured so many great belly shots for the scrapbook and our baby announcements (that I am not allowed to share with you just yet because they are a surprise!).

The photos I am allowed to share are of The Farm and I figured I would tell you more about the appointment too. First here is a slide show of the photos:

We were late to our appointment again which was a bummer, being late is also a big anxiety trigger for me so that wasn’t pleasant for us. Plus poor Pamela was waiting for us. We got lost on the way there once again thanks to GPS and internet directions.

I think we’ve finally figured out the correct directions there so N will be able to navigate his way there confidently once my labor has begun. It would really suck for him to be lost while I am in labor!

Anyway, once we arrived at The Farm Clinic I got to pee (finally) while N and Pamela talked. N ratted me out about my anxiety and stress levels these days then the appointment got underway.

All checked out normal. I am still weighing in at about 123.5 and my blood pressure is good but I’ve been warned to start laying more and to stop feeling bad about it. Apparently, laying down (preferably on the left side) means better overall circulation which has a major impact on kidney function while pregnant.

Blood pressure and kidney function go hand in hand so if my blood pressure is to stay at a good level my kidneys need to have adequate blood flow which means I need to lay down more… Like I’ve got time to lay! I am making a big effort to lay my ass down more now so don’t worry.

I am also working to drink more water and I’ve added a calcium supplement because calcium and magnesium also go hand in hand with lowering blood pressure. Blood pressure is basically the only potential concern for us right now. We are trying to be proactive so that we don’t have problems later.

We heard Tater’s heartbeat again and she checked out fine, N was having a great time taking video and snapping photos the whole time. We all got to chat about what is going on with life. We told Pamela about the move and all the stuff that is going on for us right now.

My OBGYN said I could lift stuff and not worry about a weight limit on lifting as long as it didn’t hurt. Pamela advised me not to lift stuff during the move at all. She said major lifting could lead to premature labor and that it is better to be safe than sorry, which we totally agree with.

We also talked and have ultimately decided to hold off on getting the RhoGam shot until after Tater is born (if her blood type warrants it). Having the injection while pregnant is just something we are not comfortable doing. We are more concerned with safeguarding Tater now as opposed to safeguarding my future fertility.

Oh and we did talk about the game plan for possible early labor and when to call Pamela or head to The Farm. Right now I am having some of my first practice contractions, fun!

All in all we are feeling good about the pregnancy progress, confident and ready for the last leg of pregnancy! It was a great weekend for us and now we are looking ahead to next weekend with anticipation. We get the keys to our new place, yay!

Hey mama, win some goodies!

I have been in a crappy mood today basically over finances and lack of preparedness. You probably got that from my last post huh? Well, I wasn’t going to whine about it here in another blog post cause that is a downer. So I resolved to sleep and lay around all day instead having anxiety and feeling blah.

I was reading your blogs, commenting and tweeting throughout the day just wasn’t in the mindset to post anything worthwhile when one of the people I follow tweeted about a contest that was right up my alley! It was for 3 Fuzibunz cloth diapers, I still have none so I went and entered.

Then I got to thinking, “Hey whiny baby! Change those poopy pants and do something to improve the situation instead of just being all sad about it.”

So I did a twitter search on diaper giveaways then I found all these other bloggy contests to enter. Instead of keeping them to myself I figured I could share them with all you. If you have a need for the stuff then I’ve helped you, if you don’t you can still enter the contest and just give your winnings to me if you are drawn as the winner, Ha! (Kidding, but not really).

So here is what contests I’ve found:

Then I found the Ultimate Blog Party Giveaway and found a ton of great baby/ kid giveaway items! My top 3 picks that I’ve entered for there are:

  • #19 – $50 gift certificate to Target Stores: Provided by: Shoot-Me-Now
  • 21 – $50 gift certificate to Target Stores Provided by: Agoosa
  • 22 – $50 gift certificate to Target Stores Provided by: Beginner Baby Blog

And if my top three picks are already chosen, I’d love any of the following (in order of preference) or anything else related to babies since I have my first child, a girl, on the way!

  • 26 — $30 gift certificate to Target
  • 7Ergo Baby Carrier
  • 45 – Ultra Chic Diaper Bag with matching Diaper Pocket
  • 91 — $25 gift card to Target
  • 118 — $25.00 Old Navy Gift Card
  • 123 — $20 Gift Card to Kohl’s
  • 30 $25 gift certificate to weeBgreen
  • 43 — Two $25 gift certificate to eco Store USA
  • 83 – Prize: $25 Gift Certificate to

Brain Spew: Bullet Point Thursday. Bun in the oven edition.

I could be long winded and thorough about all these things but that is just a tad boring and seriously nobody cares that much right? So here is my brain spew for you in the form of an infamous bullet point post. Enjoy!

  • My tap water gives me diarrhea.

Yep I know that is TMI huh? It is serious though. About every 2 weeks it happens and oddly enough it is coinciding with my water intake. Any time I drink more than my 2 jugs of water it just runs right through me. Someone remarked “wouldn’t you just pee the water out?” and I thought to myself, “why yes I should”. Problem is that is not what is happening. Then my mom reminded me that her water has some unusual levels of minerals that cause them stomach upset among other issues. Our bodies really can have problems with the levels of stuff in our water and if my body can’t process whatever is in it and sees it as harmful wouldn’t it just eliminate it as quickly as possible? We are putting this theory to the test, I am now only drinking water that had been distilled first. Hopefully that will do the trick, I can tell you after 2 days I am peeing way more!

  • Our OBGYN never called about our appointment that never happen.

We were planning to have our ultrasound on the 29th of January but since the town was literally shut down as a result of the storm our doctors office wasn’t open. They didn’t call to inform us of this either, this makes us a bit annoyed. We’ve been expecting them to call us to reschedule the missed appointment but I guess they really don’t care. I called them today and got booked for an appointment next Thursday, 2/12/09. We should be finding out Tater Tot’s sex then. *fingers crossed*

  • I am still researching genealogy, now for Tater Tot’s sake.

Remember those silly family tree projects you are assigned as a kid in school? I never had fun doing them and always kind of despised them because we had no info on our family history at that time. In my baby book in the family tree area my parents and grandparents are filled in but nothing else. Where it says great grandmother/ grandfather someone wrote “dead”… Nice huh? Anyway, I am still loving the site and would encourage each of you to sign up there (it is free) and record all the info you know about your family. It may help others later on down the road and you never know when you might want to reasearch your own genealogy further.

  • Our residential roads are still iced over, the city doesn’t plough them- ever.

Flagstaff had 12 ploughs in operation, the same number of ploughs are working here in Evansville… Funny thing is we had better snow/ ice removal in Flagstaff, which is was smaller than Evansville and gets way more winter storms. Things are ass backwards here with regards to winter weather response/ management, big time!

  • Scott MacIntyre did advance to the next round on American Idol.

I recorded it and fast forwarded thought all the commercials and annoying drama girl parts but did see him in many of the filler shots and the show did indicate that his group made it to the next round. Of course he wouldn’t be featured in the group night drama episode, he is nice, cooperative and does well with others. I am sad that they didn’t show his groups performance though.

  • Tater is crazy active and we are in the planning for baby phase now.

Tater’s kicks and punches continue, I am used to them now. Shoot! We’ve only got about 5 months left to this pregnancy, almost half way through and we have tons to do! [cue anxiety]

Here is my “perfect world” scenario brainstorm: We’ve got to get out of this place and in to another rental preferably before May (even though our lease doesn’t officially expire until August 31st). Any ideas on how to nicely get us out of our lease?

This means we only have 3 months to pack, find a new place and move in to it. Didn’t we just do the moving thing? *sigh* Once we are moved we’ll have the month of May to unpack and nest before any chance of early labor. We don’t want early labor folks!

Then I’ll take it easy for 2 weeks before we drop me off at The Farm (around the 2nd week of June). Then I’ll wait at The Farm for labor to begin while N is back in Indiana working and caring for the pets (I could end up being there until the 2nd week of July if baby wants to come later).

I’ll call him when I feel like it is time for him to make the trip down to be with us for the delivery (but who will care for the pets?). We’ll hang at The Farm for a few days after labor to get breastfeeding support and to make sure baby is doing well, then we’ll head home and adjust to being new parents.

See? Told you this was a brain spew post! Oh and we sat down and got our baby registry lists semi updated too! We still haven’t added gender specific stuff like bedding and clothes but all the other junk is on the registries now! You can check out the registries by using these buttons:

My Wish List

So basically that is it in a nutshell, sort of… Stop diarrhea, find out Tater’s sex, genealogy research, clean, pack, find new home, move, buy baby stuff, unpack, nest, rest, go The Farm, squeeze baby out, rest more, learn to breasfeed, bond with baby, enjoy, adapt, head home. The end (for now).

Remember when…

Remember when I outlined all N’s job uncertainty in this post back on May 2008? Back then we still had no idea where his job search would take us and we were pretty worried that we would end up stuck with the status quo if no better offers came along.

We were barely making end meet, were financially frustrated, itching to start a family, had no chance of buying a home and were ready for a little more job security. Too bad my lady doctor said I was not fertile because of my low weight and N’s job told him they really valued him but could not increase his salary from here on out. That was 5 months ago…

Can you believe how much has happen in 5 months? Holly crap! N got the job in Evansville, IN so we started planing our cross country move. We got engaged 7 days before we were scheduled to move. We made the week long cross country move with minimal drama. We were in our new home for 3 weeks, were planning our wedding for July 2009 then we found out we conceived our first child! I just did the bills and we actually have several hundred dollars left over after everything was paid oh and houses are damn cheap here!

That really is a ton of stuff that fell in to place all at once for us. I guess it makes up for the 3 years we spend in limbo land huh? I almost can’t believe all has worked out for us in such a freaking short amount of time.

Now I just need to master taking photos of water already (I didn’t forget Wordless Wednesday, just a bit late) Lotus says anyone can do it and my camera has a freaking macro setting but my water photos suck big time. I guess you can’t have it all huh? Here are my crappy attempts and a funny video!

Soon I'll be able to read street signs again!

Well we got up very early and pushed off to Sam’s Club for my optometrist appointment. All in all I got my 1 pair of glasses and my eye exam for $150, I paid 100% out of pocket because we wont have insurance until late November.

Turns out I have 20/70 vision and am near sighted. The doc said I have no other eye problems and that I just have mild vision issues. He said the folks at the BMV just were being all mean and embarrassing and that my sight was not that bad. Just can’t read small print from very far away.

So getting the eye doctor thing taken care of was nice, then we grabbed some necessary groceries from Sam’s Club and came home. I had a headache from the eye doc tests so we relaxed for awhile. I ended up taking a nap which is pretty unusual for me.

We got in to “a baby is coming” mode while at the bookstore today and ended up buying The Pregnancy Journal; A Day-To-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancyso we could track progress and also learn about the pregnancy process. Speaking of pregnancy it seems people are rather divided about my baby weight as the last post’s comments suggest.

I am thinking about hosting a little betting pool on how much I’ll gain in pregnancy and how much weight will remain after the delivery. I am thinking $1.00 per guess to get in on the pool, then the winner and runner up will take the pool a few weeks after the delivery. What do you think? Winning some cash would be pretty sweet for the winners and we can all speculate about how my body will handle this pregnancy.

I know some of you might think I am a bit perverse for putting this very personal thing on display for the whole bloggosphere, I am just not a shy person and I think it will be interesting to have a pool going. What do you say, are you game?

You asked for it: The wedding dress

Like I said in a comment yesterday I have been only been perusing dresses online because I don’t want to get my heart set on one particular dress and have it be unavailable. I am not really a “by the book” kind of girl so my dress selections are a bit different, I think different is good!

So here we go! Since I am 1500 miles away from all my girlfriends in Arizona we are going to have a little wedding dress day right here on my blog! It is like you are in the dressing room with me helping me pick a dress huh? Shh, just pretend okay? If you click on the images can see a larger image of the dress.

This first dress caught my eye about 5 years ago when I was working the front desk at The Radisson in Flagstaff. They were holding a bridal convention or something and there were wedding books lying around so my coworker and I started flipping though them. This was the one and only thing it the book that I liked.

I love the way it has that flash of color. I am also questioning the red though, will it look strange with my hair color? Although I have seen it in other colors like white with a peach trim & trail and sage green. I would really love if I could find it in a forest green, that is the color I would like my bridesmaids to wear. Would forest green look funny on the dress?

This next dress is super adorable, it reminds me of my Jazz choir days of singing 1940’s & 50 tunes and dancing around the stage in cute period dresses. (Yeah that is me singing the in the photo on the left.) Isn’t the belt cute? The dress is so pretty, girly and unique. My only concern is that is it short. Is a short wedding dress inappropriate for an outdoor forest wedding?

This last one N really loves. I like it because it is also unique and it reminds me of a ballerina tutu with the tulle fabric. It is actually very pretty and is the dress with lots of shiny accents on the skirt but it is not too over the top either. This is the dress I am most leaning towards. Problem is the dress shops in and around Evansville don’t stock it so I may need to find another option.

I am not really set on having a long flowing train and I really like the tulle layering look for the bottom of the dress. I am kind of uncertain about how long a frail my arms will look in a strapless dress and of course I wont know what I love for sure until I actually try on the dresses I have found. Trying them on changes everything! So there you go, my dress options are now shared!

Days 7-11, We are here but the chaos continues

We are here in our new home and off the road but the chaos continues… It’s been almost 2 weeks since my family joined us to make the 1500 mile trek from Flagstaff, AZ to Evansville, IN. We have had our ups and downs like any family over the course of the two weeks. We are close but also very fiery, that’s how we roll!

The day after we arrived at our new home my brother was having some anger issues. Actually we were all at wits end and were ready for some quiet calm time. Unfortunately he broke his cellphone and that made him upset the previous night.

The anger had also carried over from one day to the next until it erupted. When he lashed out on my mom we stayed out of it but when the rage was directed at us we were not willing to allow the behavior in our home especially when he became physically aggressive. Lets just say my brother and I got in to a full fledged brawl.

I still don’t handle physical aggression well and am prone to respond likewise. I suspect it has something to do with my abusive childhood. Anyway after N and my mom broke up the fight my brother aimed his anger at my mom and then stormed out and then called the police on us.

We retrieved him from the Evansville juvenile detention center on Wednesday morning, obviously the first three days in our new home were not relaxing or calm with my brother being detained. Today he was released and we are fine, tempers just flared big time.

Thursday was somewhat low key once we had my brother home we were all able to relax a bit, we hung around the house and tried getting stuff done. The truck was completely unloaded and picked up by the moving company. We nursed our awful mosquito bites and wondered if the folks just built up an immunity to the nasty buggers after a while. We were being massacred that is for sure, we can’t detect any bites on the natives though. WTF?

Yesterday we got a rental car to drive my mom and brother to Louisville, KY so they could catch their flight and head back home. We left Evansville at noon and arrived in Louisville at about 3pm, had a fun lunch at a quirky place called Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.

After our lunch we went around the corner to the airport, stood in line at ticketing for an hour and learned they had canceled my family’s flight! It only took us 1 1/2 hours to get out to Louisville to learn that. Turns out air traffic control in Chicago (where their plane change is) called for the cancellation of flight as a result of severe weather.

The nice airline ladies booked my mom and brother on a flight for Saturday out of Evansville instead of Louisville after we explained that we drove almost 2 hours just to get to the airport. Now we are just crossing our fingers that weather doesn’t cancel their flight again since it doesn’t appear to be improving as a result of the latest hurricane.

Too bad as of 11am yesterday morning her rescheduled flight has been canceled, again… It doesn’t look like they will be getting out of here until after the hurricane weather has come and gone. They have her resecheduled yet again this time she will change planes in Dallas as opposed to Chicago. Want to take bets on when that will be?

Day 6 – Stanton, MO to Evansville, IN

When we awoke the morning of our last day on the road we were unsure about how my mom would be feeling after her night of vomiting and passing out. I asked N if she was awake when I awoke, I was worried she had alcohol poisoning or something.

Turns out mom was just fine and didn’t remember much about the previous night. We recalled much about the nights events for her and I was a bit worried about how crazy she was as a result of the drinking and pills. I express this and we talked about how the pill she took impacted her. She was surprised by her reaction and attributed it to the pill she took.

After we talked, ate some breakfast and took our daily group photo we hit the road and were ready to visit the Merimac Caverns. We had a good time and were amazed by what we saw. Here is a video of the very end of our tour:

“Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful. These jewels of nature which took thousands of years to grow, are preserved in the spectacular sights of Meramec Caverns.” Quote from

Here are a few more photos of the Caverns:

When we finished up at the caverns we drove in to St. Louis and had an interesting time navigating the Winnebago through the town in search for a place to park so we could see the Arch.

After asking a friendly horse drawn carriage driver (<- there he is the the photo) we were informed of the best parking spot for our rig. All of the parking areas had a low clearance that would rip off the top of the RV!

The arch was huge and I am glad we got to see it but man were we ready to just get to our new home and relax!

After many hours more of driving we finally pulled in to Evansville, IN and we were excited! I was so excited I took photos of the road sign and the traffic. We also got a photo of us outside our new home before we opened the door. Gotta love the red eye huh? Whew, we were glad to have arrived in our new home all safely and without any new issues with the motor home.

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Day 5 continued – Kingdom City, MO to Stanton, MO

In the afternoon on day 5 after we left our awful experience behind at the Emporia RV park and finished up at the mechanics we hit the road and were hoping to find some fun to improve the day.

On the way out of Emporia we spotted a flea market in the parking lot of a shop. My mom and I jumped out of the RV in search of some lamps we could plug in to extension cords to provide lighting for us while we were in the RV on the last night (since our power converter thingy was now shot thanks to the Emporia RV Park). A guy at the flea market was selling stuff yard sale style and we got 3 old and abused yet working lights, we were pleased.

We drove for about an hour or so and then we saw a fun sign about Noglastia Ville, USA. It is a cute little gift shop and since my mom needed to buy herself a new bag for the airline (her current one busted out the zippers on the RV) we thought a cute souvenir duffel bag would be perfect.

We ended up stopping and spending some time at the gift shop. My mom got a cute bag, my brother got a poster and we bought 3 postcards we sent off to some people. Here is a photo of us outside the shop.

While we were in the shop we saw a fun flier for the Merimac Caverns so we grabbed it and headed for the car to debate our next move. After our shopping fun we agreed to take a detour from Kingdom City, MO (where Noglastia Ville was located) because we wanted to visit the Merimac Caverns. They were south of our current route (we were on the 70) and we needed to be on the 44. I was concerned that the only route to the Caverns was by a very small highway that takes you south of Noglastia Ville to Stanton where the Merimac Caverns are located.

After the family all agreed to do the caverns we headed down on our detour road. We took the 19 south to the 44 so that we could stay in Stanton, MO for the night  and visit the caverns first thing the next morning. Problem was it was such a long scenic drive and it was starting to get dark. Oh and N is still crazy charred from the tanning experience!

After the hectic morning we were all a bit on edge and I guess my mom opted to take an Ativan to calm her nerves while we were on the road. Our detour route was about 2 hours out of the way and my mom was way over being crammed in the RV with 11 other living things (5 cats, 2 birds, a bunny and 3 other people) so she popped her pill and sat back and relaxed.

Then she began getting all worked up, she was commenting that we must be lost and that the caves “better be worth it”. Tensions were rising and we were all ready to be at our destination and to have some quiet time, too bad we still had to focus on getting to our destination for the night.

The animals were very lovey despite the crazy tensions between us humans, see how they were trying to lower our stress?

By the time we parked at our KOA (the Cross Eyed Cricket) for the night I was also now stressed and ended up blowing up at my brother who in turn became stressed and upset. We went our separate ways to cool down, like I said tempers were high by this point in the trip.

We had some spaghetti for dinner with shredded chicken in it (it was the only defrosted meat we had on hand). I guess my mom had started drinking her Captain Morgan while we were on the way to the KOA and the combination of the Ativan and the alcohol was beginning to take it’s toll on her. As soon as she finished her dinner night she promptly threw it right back up up and fell asleep.

I know this is gross but my mom is the quietest throwing up person I have ever been around. I discovered this on the trip. She didn’t even make a sound folks! After she threw up she was just fine, she wiped her face and then handed us the bowl of throw up and went to bed…

My brother, N and I went and explored the campground and then also turned in for the night. Eventful huh?

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Road Trip Day 5 – Emporia, KS to Kansas City, MO

Well it is 3:49 pm Kansas time and we are JUST NOW leaving Emporia, KS. It has been a hell of a day! We made it a point to set the alarms on our phones so we could attempt to wake up at 7am local time instead of waking up at 7am Arizona time like we have been doing for the past few days.

The fact that we hadn’t adjusted to the time change in regards to sleeping and waking times was really beginning to impact our route schedule. We were pulling in to camp sites super late and having a hard time finding our assigned spots, we were having super late dinners and all in all the late nights were taking a toll on us.

On this particular day we wake up at 7am local time (which happens to be 5am Arizona time), we were groggy and it was a slow morning but getting the day off to an early start is necessary. The goal was to make it to another mystery shop in Missouri before 2pm so we had to be on the road by 9am.

Throughout the night we were all having issues charging our electronics but the small TV my mom was using seemed to be working fine so we didn’t think twice about it. After cleaning bunny’s cage and showering in much more pleasant showers at the Emporia RV Park we were ready to hit the road. If you missed reading about my nipple blasting shower experience you should check our the day 3 post!

After we got all loaded up in the RV N goes to start the RV but it just clicks. He says it sometimes has trouble starting and continues trying it. I am already feeling rushed about being behind on schedule since we haven’t left the RV park and it was now 9:30am so I am thinking about canceling the mystery shop. N was set on me keeping the appointment though.

After N tries and fails to start the RV several times I get the feeling I definitely need to cancel the mystery shop in Missouri since the day was off to a rough start. It’s no use adding more stress to an already stressful situation right? So I cancel the shop which in turn makes our time schedule more flexible and I begin feeling more relaxed, amazing concept huh?

The RV still wont start though, good thing we have nowhere to be anymore! While the guys fiddle with the RV ans brainstorm I begin writing this blog post. Turns out both our batteries on the RV were completely drained, were talking 100% dead! We weren’t too sure how the batteries got drained but we knew we needed to get a jump start or something so we headed in to the RV office to see if someone could help us.

I guess having a regular car jump an RV is not good business cause nobody would give us a jump start. My mom joked that she needed to put on a sexy dress and walk up and down the RV park trying to find a guy to help us… Good news is we did manage to get an electric charger thingy from the RV park office without any sexy dress or other questionable actions so that was good!

We tried to charge the batteries  by plugging the electric charges in to the power port at our RV site. The charger needed to be plugged in to a power source in order for it to begin charging the battery. Problem was the charger would not power on to even behind the battery charging process.

Again the boys and mom did some troubleshooting while I blogged. Turns out the power port for our assigned spot was not working since the charger would not power on from that particular power port but it did work from another sites power port..

We informed the RV park manager that the power port at our site was not working, she argued with us about it and was a bit confrontational. Thing is that with our RV the plugs inside will not work unless 1) the RV is plugged in to a power source or 2) the generator is running. We tried explaining this to the RV park lady but she continued to be defensive and argumentative about it all.

Like I said earlier my mom had the TV going all night on the outlet inside the RV and our generator was not running. We were all trying to charge our phones and computers and nothing seemed to be working all night. Later we figured the power port at the RV park was providing some power to our RV but that it was not enough because by morning both our batteries were drained.

I even told the RV park owner I wanted our park fee refunded since we were without power all night and also were not provided with the wireless internet, she refused so I disputed the charge through VISA.

My brother discovered that he could charge our RV batteries with the charger thingy from the camp host by running an extension cord from another RV site since our power port was not working. While we were waiting for our RV’s batteries to charge we enjoyed the sights at the RV park and took our traditional group photo for the day.

After our batteries on the RV were charged we tried to start it again. It just made a clicking noise but would not turn over.  At this point the lady running the RV park tried to call a mobile RV repair service to come out and take a look at our motor home.  After talking with him for several minutes he informed her he was out of town and offered some troubleshooting tips that we went through over the telephone.  Nothing worked.  N was convinced the starter died and now we had the dilemma of finding someone to come work on it since we were stuck at the RV park.  A tow to a shop was expected to cost $100+ so we were trying to avoid that punch in the gut.  Another mobile mechanic showed up just a few minutes after we placed a call.  N explained the problems to him and he agreed it might be the starter.  The mechanic climbed underneath the Winnebago, banged on the starter a few times and she turned right over.  That was a feeling of relief…or at least somewhat of relief.

We now knew what the problem was but how much and how long was it going to take to fix it?  The mechanic from Williams Automotive in Emporia led us over to their auto shop where we disconnected the rolling greenhouse and pulled the motor home into one of their service bays.  After about two hours worth of work and $300, Williams Automotive had us back on the road with a brand new starter.  We also had them look at our power inverter since that didn’t seem to be working either.  They did a simple test and figured it wasn’t working right and therefore not charging our batteries when we were plugged into the power port at the RV park the night before.  So not only did our starter go out, but it would also seem the Emporia RV Park power system fried our power inverter.  Another problem to figure out later!

It was great to be back on the highway again, cruising to another destination and getting at least a little bit closer to our new home!  We finally reached the border of Kansas and Missouri and continued pulling through to the Oak Grove KOA east of East Kansas City.  We did have to deal with about an hour of heavy, rush-hour traffic on Friday evening in Kansas City so that was a little stressful for N to pilot our big rig through that traffic after the already stressful day.  Just 2.5 hours later we were in another state and ready to pull in for the night.  We made a short stop at Walmart to pick up some items for dinner and headed to the Oak Grove KOA before dark!  We at least got one goal accomplished today.

Since our inverter wasn’t working right, we couldn’t plug in for the night knowing that it would probably drain the batteries again.  So we rigged up an extension cord and power strips and ran that through the window into the RV so we could run the laptop and charge all our phones.  My mom had to attempt cooking stew in the dark with a flashlight and she sure did make the most of it.  Okay, maybe a Captain and Coke I poured her helped out the process since she was so stressed.  It did turn out really good.  It was by far probably the worst day we’ve experience on our trip so far and hopefully the last one until we pull into our driveway in Evansville, Indiana on Sunday!

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Road Trip Day 4 – Dodge City, KS to Emporia, KS

In Dodge City, KS we stayed at the Watersports Campground and were pleased with the lake view from our site. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that they had free WIFI on site for guests. I spent a leisurely morning waking up at about 9 am local time and then I did some business on the internet in bed before getting dressed and venturing out of the RV.

When I did venture outside I was loving the view of the lake so I went down to take some photos of the view and to enjoy the morning a bit. My mom and Dixie were already down enjoying the water.

We have taken Dixie to a creek before (it was oak creek canyon north of Sedona, AZ) and she was so scared of the water. No matter what we did we could not get her in it so when I saw her wading through the water at the RV site I was amazed. I took photos, of course. We threw stick for her to fetch and she had a great time.

We got the whole group together for a traditional group photo at the campsite, I was feeling a bit artsy- see how I got some pretty flowers in the shot? I thought it was cool!

All the animals have behaved remarkably well on this trip. We have had 2 cats escape the RV through the screen door but we noticed and retrieved them before they got too far. Gabby and Hailey will sit with us while we are driving down the road, all my boys (my male cats) hide under the bed while the RV is moving.

Here is a funny video of Dixie, we stopped to take photo with a few giant fake farm animals in a park. Dixie was not comfortable with the huge cow.

We visited the Dodge City Museum before heading towards Emporia, KS and had a great time. We learned about the historic buffalo slaughter that occurred. Apparently the government felt that killing all the buffalo was a good way to drive the native Americans out of the area and to end the conflict between the cowboys and “Indians”.

While we were browsing the shops I was looking at the rag doll kits. With them you can make your own rag doll like they did back in the day on the wagons. This reminded my mom of one of our relatives who was orphaned during that era.

Apparently her parents feared for her safety while they were traveling by wagon (since the native Americans were attacking the “white man” who were attempting to take over the land). This relative was left on the side of the trail for someone fleeing the land to adopt and take to safety. The only thing this relative had when she was left on the side of the trail was one of those rag dolls.

Here are some the photos taken at The Dodge Museum, some are a bit funky because of the lighting in the place.

After we finished up at the Dodge City Museum we headed out on the 400 towards Wichita, KS to do our mystery shop. Along the side of the road we spotted some fun “whirly-gigs” in Mullinville, KS  (zip code 67109). We pulled off to admire them and take photos. Basically the owner of the land shares political opinions via a slew of entertaining and eye catching yard decor. It is sure a sight to see!

Next we drove through Greensburg, KS, This town is significant because about a year ago it was hit very hard by a tornado and now it is being rebuilt all Green (as in environmentally friendly and energy efficient). We pulled off to take photos and take the sights in. You can still see the devastation left behind by the tornado but they sure are rebuilding! As you exit the town you get to see a fun little sign.

Once we arrived in Wichita, KS we did a mystery shop at a tanning salon, N was the one tanning since he is he whitest one out of the two of us. He tanned for 10 minutes and was told he wouldn’t see results with such a short tanning time. The gal tried to suggest the most expensive tanning session to him and wasn’t educated about the process or eager to help him through his first time tanning experience. As a result he had an awful experience!

2 hours after his tanning he was looking like a lobster and was feeling like crap. They didn’t have him use a tanning cream or any kind of skin protectant and he was even talked out of getting protective eyewear. We are tanning salon people so we had no idea about whether or not you are supposed to burn to a crisp, he did…

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Road Trip Day 3 – Logan, NM to Dodge City, KS

First off I want to let you all know that yesterdays blog post did have photo issues, it was not your computer. I am using Qumana to write my blog posts offline and then when we get to a WIFI spot I upload the post to the server. Yesterday it appears the post uploaded but the photos did not.

When we got to our overnight destination last night I attempted to upload the photos and found out that my September image folder on WordPress is not writeable or something, so I had to upload them to my photobucket account instead. If you click back to yesterdays post you’ll now be able to view the photos. Sorry about that.

Okay, so on to the updates on day 3! We went from New Mexico, through the top west corner of Texas and Oklahoma then entered the southwest part of Kansas.

We awoke after staying the night at Ute State park in Logan, NM. When the sun came up we were happy to see that our site was right by the lake. We headed out to get a group photo with the lake in the background.

The morning started out with us visiting the campground bathrooms for shower time. It was sure eye opening! The showers were button operated and there was no temperate control so that was the first odd thing. Once we got undressed and in the shower we were unpleasant sprayed with what felt like a power washer. I couldn’t believe how painful the water pressure spray was and it was not warm either.

My mother and I were cursing and going on about the painful experience. My nipples practically sprayed off and to top it all off the water would turn off every 10 seconds so you had to press the on button repeatedly while trying to rinse your hair and body. It was the most unpleasant shower experience ever!

If you are staying at Ute State Park in Logan, MN I would not recommend using the site showers. It think a sponge bath would suffice or you can just stay dirty. The pain is not worth it, trust me.

The entire day we were quite chilly and bundled up, it started with the cold showers and continued with the overcast weather. We did not encounter any real weather but we sure had to use blankets to keep warm while in the RV. We also didn’t have too much planned for sightseeing but we enjoyed visiting things we spotted along the way like the “Back At The Ranch” Antique shop out near Dumas, TX where my brother got his girlfriend some cute earrings.

We were planning on stopping in at a starbucks to get our WIFI fix along the way but as fate would have it actually finding the hidden starbucks locations was not happening. We ended up driving down a residential street and “WIFI jacking” some persons unsecured wireless internet. We needed to map out a gas station and we were also on the hint for a Walmart so we could buy sweatshirts to keep us warm.

We were planning to hit the Dorothy House in Liberal, KS but failed to consider the time change between states therefore we arrived in Liberal about an hour and a half after they closed so we sadly missed that attraction.

Our evening destination was the Watersports Campground in Dodge City, KS which was also on a very pretty lake that we were able to enjoy. We treated ourselves to a dinner out at Casey’s Cowtown Club where we enjoyed some fabulous Kansas steaks.

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Road trip day 2 – New Mexico to New Mexico

Monday nights sleep was tons better in the Winnebago than it was the previous night when we slept on the floor, so that was nice… N can’t straighten his legs in the bed though, it is literally jammed with stuff so we have little space to stretch out. Sleeping on a cushioned surface always beats the hard floor even if you can’ extend your legs!

When the sun rose it woke us up then my mom informed me that our only door to the RV was broken and she could not get out of the Winnebago. Turns out the door handle mechanism slipped from the door and made the door handle useless. I had to climb out the passenger side window to open the door from the outside so we could all escape the Winnebago. We were temporarily trapped, good times!

In the first photo below you can see my butt inside the window as I hang my upper body out the window to reach the door handle.


N took the door handle plate thingy off and then we were able to manually open the door and exit the Winnebago. Having major motor home mechanical drama before your first cup of coffee first thing in the morning is never a good thing! You can see how put off we were by the incident in these photos:

In the above photo my brother and I inspect the damages and try to understand the mechanics behind the door issue. He is not jazzed about being up so early like the rest of us. Even more so when my mom begins snapping photos of it all.

Photobucket Photobucket

After we got through the door dilemma things were pretty incident free for our second day of travels. We departed Albuquerque, NM at about noon and went through New Mexico’s smaller cities & towns as we headed towards Logan, NM to stay the night.

We did stop in Santa Rosa, NM to visit the Route 66 Auto Museum, we also visited Tucumcari, NM where we saw the Blue Swallow motel and ate at Ken’s Ice Cream and had an interesting experience. Right next to Ken’s Ice Cream there was a diner that had a sign in the window about their grits that got N going.

We were quite delusional at that point and N looked over at the grits sign and thought it said “nasty grits” he promptly busted his IPhone out to snap photos of the nasty grits advertising while he was cracking up.

At Ken’s Ice Cream we had a less than pleasant experience. It took the order taker like 5 minutes to take my mom’s order after N and I ordered our stuff. I know in smaller towns a slower life pace is to be expected but I just didn’t expect it to carry over in to customer service that much.

I ordered a hot fudge Sunday and it was awful, my mom also got a hot fudge Sunday but she opted for sherbet ice cream instead of the standard vanilla ice cream. On the way out the door my mom also asked some random cowboy if there was a Starbucks in the town that he knew of. We needed some liquid crack and some internet access. Unfortunately, there was no Starbucks to be found so we didn’t get to publish our blog entries.

After our ice cream run we headed to our overnight destination, Ute State Park. This site boasted lake views and swimming. We had our hearts set on staying in spot # 11 because all the RV camping books said it was the best lake view site. Problem was that it was pitch black and we could not see any site numbers as we were searching fro our spot. A site map was not provided so we were kind of on our own to find an appropriate spot.

Eventually we pulled in at spot Y18 and ate our chicken and dumpling dinner before turning in for the night. Of course, we did get to snap our traditional campsite group photo and many other photos of the day that I have spread through this post.

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Road trip day 1 – Arizona to New Mexico

Well, it is 3:02pm and we have finally left Flagstaff, AZ are en route. We had a major delay in departing today thanks to our property manager. We were all set for an 11am inspection appointment and we woke up all early to finish the last minute tasks. We got all our cleaning done in time and were waiting around the rental house for the property manager to do the inspection and give us written conformation stating the amount we would be refunded.

After about 30 minutes of waiting we began calling to find out what the deal was. We did have a schedule we had to keep and waiting around all afternoon wasn’t really an option for us. I was aiming to make my appointment in Gallup, NM before 5pm to do my first mystery shop.

The people who bought our rental also pulled up and were also waiting for our property manager to show up. After awhile N went over to their car and introduced himself. The new owners were also quite upset about the property manager not showing up. N and the new home owners decided they would do the walk through together despite the absence of said property manager. This was well after 12:30 pm but we were glad to get the inspection over with and get on the road.

The property manager conveniently called N while we were doing the walk though. Apparently he was having a family emergency that kept him from making our appointment and from picking up the phone to inform us of his situation. We turned the keys over to the new owners after getting approval from the property manager and also got a signed paper from them stating they took possession of the home and inspected it.

All I am worried about is getting our full $1,100 security deposit back. We cleaned the house from top to bottom and even paid to have the carpets cleaned…

Right now it is 5:13 and we are still in Arizona as a result of the afternoon delays. It doesn’t look like I’ll be making my mystery shop and I am kind of ticked, what can you do though? These sorts of delays are bound to happen during our trip and while they are irritating they aren’t going to ruin the day.

Our winnebago is driving great, we have all the animals loaded up. All my special plants are in the Amigo we are towing behind the Winnebago. N calls it the rolling greenshouse, hopefully we aren’t breaking any agricultural rules bringing all the plants across 6 states! We strapped some stuff to the top of the Winnebago also… All in all the trip is going well and we are excited to be on the way!

Our destination for the evening is the Albuquerque Central KOA where we’ll hook up the RV and enjoy free Wifi (that is how I’ll add photos to this post). It is about another 2 1/2 hours away.

We have passed through Winslow, AZ, Holbrook, AZ, Gallup, NM, Threau, NM and Grants, NM on our way to Albuquerque. That adds up to about 330 miles for the day. Fun, fun!

Here are the photos I was able to upload, enjoy!

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We pull out tomorrow…

The truck is pretty much loaded and we are just trying to get through the night of sleeping on the floor with practically nothing in the house. We pull out tomorrow at about 11:30am -12 pm, directly after our landlord inspects the house.

We have had a hay day packing the truck and installing the tow bar on our vehicle. We also had some drama with the propane tanks on the RV today.

We have reworked and reloaded the moving truck at least 20 times just trying to find the absolute best fit for everything we have. It’s been lots of lifting but I am happy to say we have successfully loaded all our stuff in 13 feet of trailer space. We had to go up to 13 feet instead of the 12 feet we booked because the load bar tracks were not spaced 1 foot apart, they were spaced every 2 feet.

That meant we could load the truck up to the 11 foot mark or the 13 foot mark. We surely could not come in under 12 feet so we just loaded it to 13 feet. We’ll see if they charge us the extra $130 for filling the trailer an extra foot. We put a call in to the company to discuss this.

The trailer hitch thing was also interesting. We actually had grown men standing on the pipe wrench trying to loosen the ball nut thingy and it would not budge. We tried using WD-40 and a whole slew of other things but nothing moved the nut. We had to take it back to home depot and get a new one, it works fine.

The last drama was our propane tanks. Our mechanic initially told us that they had outdated valves and would need to be replaced. Then we took it in for the work and he informed us they were actually not outdated and did not need to be replaced after all.

Today when we tried to fill them we were informed that filling those was against the law and were refused a refill. We ended up buying a new tank and dropping $50.00 on that.

All the little issues weren’t really all that bad, they were the source of some heated moments but those are behind us now and we are ready to get the show on the road tomorrow afternoon!

Here are some photos of the progress:


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Loading the truck madness day 2

N looked at me and told me I was talking to him so condescendingly yesterday morning. My response was well you are acting all dumb and confused so I have to. One minute later we were laughing it off. Even during hella insane times we manage to not stay pissed at each other. Moving makes my temper flair but it is all good!

So we successfully got our carpet rooms cleared by 5pm like we had planned. The Kevin, the carpet cleaning company owner, came by and did an awesome job on our carpets so now we can check that off our to do list!

We got the majority of our stuff in the moving truck and now have 2 days to make it all fin within the 12 feet of allotted space we have… I also feel like I might have a hernia but N says I surely do not. All in all the loading is going well and we a beginning to comprehend just how big of a life change this move is for us.

We did it we actually got ahead in life and are moving forward like we have wanted… It is kind of unreal.

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The loading madness begins bright and early!

We awoke to the sounds of our moving truck being dropped off this morning. The truck driver came a knocking on our door at about 7:30am to drop off our trailer so we can begin loading it. N stumbled out the front door in his underwear to greet the moving truck and advise them of where to drop it off.

After we got the moving truck parked and left in our driveway N crawled back in to bed and we were chatting about how the morning was beginning quite early. Then the home phone rings, he runs to answer it and it’s Qwest (or phone company) asking about how our shut off date is 9/2 but the new residents of this home want to turn on their service today…

After explaining to Qwest that we arent actually leaving this house till 9/1 they understood why our scheduled shut off date was 9/2 and they bumped back the new residents turn on date. N crawled back in to bed again and we snoozed some more.

After having the firts cup of coffee we ventured out to check out our moving trailer, it is a UPS fright truck. Strange huh? It is also freaking huge!

Since we were without a ramp and the truck was a good 4 feet off the ground we opted to tag team the loading. I stayed in the truck and arranged the boxes while N brought boxes out to the truck for me to pack. It worked well and we got quite a bit done!

We got all the boxes loaded that we could then we started loading the furniture. We’re at least half way done with the loading process and we are stoked to have gotten so much done in a day.

Tomorrow we are planning to continue the loading process and to take care of some other errands like visiting the post office, withdrawing cash at the bank and buying last minute grocery’s.

Yesterday N sucessfully drained the sewage tanks for the first time without spraying poo everywhere. He has nicknamed himself the “Sewage King” now, no poop spray is always a good thing right?

Ha! So that is the update for us in a nutshell! Only 3 days till we hit the road.

Only a few days left!

Just finished dividing my lily and iris in the garden in preparation for the move this weekend. They are all dug up, washed and are drying so I can box them up and move them. I just need to box up my pots now!

We spent the day taking furniture apart to conserve space and money. We are being charged for the length of truck we use not the weight so we are working hard to pack efficiently and disassemble everything we can.It’s amazing how little space furniture takes up when it is broken down, ha!

N is filling the water tanks on the RV, dumping the sewage, topping off fluids and checking tire inflation. He is also installing a Y-bar towing thingy on our Izusu Amigo so we can tow it behind our RV for the trip.

We started moving stuff in to the RV for the trip, I guess you can call it RV nesting. It is feeling more and more cozy and perfect for the trip. We are glad we bought it, it is going to make the trip fun.

The moving truck should arrive tomorrow and we’ll begin loading it ourselves *sigh*. Once we get stuff out of the house and in to the moving truck we’ll be able to see and begin working on cleaning this place in preparation for the inspection on Monday. Cleaning is my least favorite part of moving, wanna clean for us?

Our carpet cleaning is scheduled for friday. We booked SOS Carpet Cleaning because we know and like Kevin the owner.

Countdown, 6 days till we leave Arizona.

Two days later we are still on cloud 9 about the engagement, despite those who are insistent on ruining it for us. N is my fiance, woot! Now I am not just the crazy girl following her boyfriend across the country. Yeah, I know people did think I was crazy for moving away with him without a commitment but I didn’t care, besides now it is all gravy cause I am going with my fiance!

We are also getting pretty excited about the move. Also, today is N’s last day of work, finally! My mother (who is having some chicken drama right now) and brother will arrive on Saturday to make the trip across country with us and to help out with the pets. It is all coming together so fast and it is seeming more and more exiting as the days pass.

I have been packing, taking furniture apart and getting the plants/pets ready for the move. In the garden I am taking cuttings of my larger plants and then getting rid of them so that I can preserve the plants for our enjoyment without having to take entire potted plants with us.

Some of the plants I have taken cuttings of are: Coleus- ‘Kong rose’, Pothos-‘devil’s ivy’ and Basil- ‘sweet basil’. Other plants that I have grown from cuttings are mint and tomato.

We got the Winnebago back from the mechanic and are beginning to move stuff in to it and I am finally feeling like we are on track to make this move happen. I am also way exited to see all the sights along the way. Fun, fun!

Yes the proposal was perfect and he did set it all up wonderfully. He has always been good at that sort of thing. Now we are going to ahve to come back to Flagstaff for the wedding huh? Oh and we are not even thinking about planning a wedding right now, don’t worry we are not compleatly delusional! We are waiting till we get settled in for all that.

Contrary to popular belief I am not one of those girls who planned out her whole dream wedding in advance. Someone asked me at our going away party if I had my wedding file all ready and if we set a date. We had just gotten engaged that morning, give me a break!

I was never a “girly-girl” that way… I am also pretty chill so as long as we do what makes us happy for the wedding i’ll be fine. We are thinking of getting married on our dating anniversary 7/11 but we’ll see. I am pretty sure we will want to marry up on the san francisco peaks if that is possible but we’ll see.

Here is the ring photo for those of you who asked about it:

7 days to go and we have news!

Our going away party was yesterday as most of you know. Our crazy week of working the week before pretty much left us unprepared for the going away party. Our house was just trashed. So we spent much of yesterday morning straightening and cleaning in preparation for the party.

N insisted that we go for a nice drive before the party started, you know one last calm time together before the chaos of it all. So we head up the San Francisco peaks, N said it was his favorite drive and it is very pretty. So we are driving along and enjoying the scenery. When we get to the lodge we see that the ski lift is running. We have never skied or been on the ski lift so we get tickets and embark on the ride up to the top of the mountain for  one last look at flagstaff before we move away.

He brought the camera and tripod so we could get some photos of the amazing view from the top of the mountain. We posed for a few photos with the view behind the two of us then he says “lets take on last photo”. He sets the camera timer, comes around to pose for the photo and gets down on one knee…

Engagement photos

He proposed right there on the mountain and said

“I’ve viewed this mountain, the highest peak in Arizona, as a symbol of our relationship together.  Over the last six years together, we’ve climbed the highest and achieved the most here in our home state together.  There’s many more peaks out there for us to explore and I want to continue doing it together.  Talina, will you marry me?”

Now it is time for us to really to move on to the next phase in life with an engagement and a new beginning. The ring is beautiful and the moment was so thoughtful and special. I got to proudly wear my ring at our going away party and share the news with our pals. It was a very special day for us.

Now we are getting a handle on the fact that we are moving in 7 days. We need to get busy now but we just wanted to share the news with everyone. We are engaged!