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Moved Post (4th of July)

As I mentioned in the last post I am going to be manually moving some posts from my old site so I don’t loose the wrtting. This post was written on July 7, 2014 from our trip to Glacier National Park:

4th of July

July 7, 2014

Hello again from Glacier National Park!

 

We are having a great time! This place is a nature lover’s Heaven! Today is day 5 for us in Glacier and we are enjoying having a “non planned” vacation. We didn’t plan anything ahead of time so everything has been decided upon the night before or that morning. We have seen some really cool sights.

 

For the 4th we spent the day traveling the “going to the sun road”. This is a very popular scenic drive that cuts through the heart of Glacier and provides access to various scenery and many hikes and trails. We also stopped off at Logan Pass which had just reopened the day before. It was closed due to snow on the roads which had just been cleared. Our neighbor at the RV park we are staying at here told us he had been to Logan Pass the day before and it was a “don’t miss” kind of sight. I am so glad we followed his advice because he was completely correct. The trail we went on was called Hidden Lake. The lake was definitely hidden! Hidden by lots of snow covered peaks! The whole hike was in the snow! I was so glad I had good hiking boots! It was a really cool hike and we even got to see some mountain goats. Up to this point we were a little unsure that mountain goats even existed! We kept seeing pictures and hearing of places we might see them but had not seen a single mountain goat in all the mountains. As we were walking and talking about dinner for the night I look up and sure enough there was a mountain goat less than 10 feet in front of us! So of course we had a mini photo shoot with the goat! (Check out our photos below!)

 

When we finally got to the lake it was mostly still covered in snow, but we sat and enjoyed the view for a while before we made the trek back down the snowy mountain! I am pretty sure this was the coldest Fourth of July I have ever spent! It was also the most snow I have ever seen! I loved it!

 

These first pictures were taking as we were driving the “Going To The Sun Road”. This was a really long curvy road built into the side of a mountain!

 

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I decided to buy one of those really cool and very touristy camera tri-pods while at wal-mart one day. It has come in really handy and eliminates the need to awkardly ask people to take our picture! These are some of the first pictures I took with my new tri-pod!

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To use my new tri-pod I make Jon stand in the shot while I get it aimed right. Then I press the timer button and run over the where he is standing! I have 10 seconds to get in the picture! I love it! And Jon is such a good sport!

 

The scenery was pretty, and we couldn’t avoid the unsightly sign in our backround.

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My first snowman! (side note: I built this whole snowman while being pelted with snowballs from Jon because he thought I was gathering snowballs to throw at him!! HA)

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After playing in the snow we drove up to Logan Pass and hiked the Hidden Lake Trail. All the little black dots you see to the left of me at the base of the mountain are people. We hiked in the snow to where they were and past that to the lake. Let’s just say that was a interesting hike so a southerners first time in the snow!

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Zoomed in close up of the Lake

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Cute little Mountain Goat with a tracker for some research project Glacier is conducting.

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Precious little baby mountain goat!

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I did have my zoom on in this picture, but we were still really close to them!

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A few more photo’s from the hike

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Thanks for following along!

 

Until next time!

 

-The Nomads

Moved Post (A little bit about my job)

I am going to attempt to manually move some of my old blog posts so I don’t loose my blogging history. This is an incredibly frustrating and confusing process and this appears to be the best way to avoid loosing my history. This whole process of transferring my blog to WordPress has made me want to pull out my hair, and made me want to learn computer programming all at the same time! But I am stubborn and headstrong so I vow to figure out this new process! While I truly appreciate the new aspects WordPress has to offer, it is not without its difficulties. Most of which I am attributing to user error. So for now, here is a copy and paste of the last post I had on Wix.

Transferred from my Wix site:

I wanted to take a little time out from all of our vacation posts to write about the part that’s making this whole adventure possible, my new job!

I started at a local hospital in Helena, Mt on June 23. I have been here for almost a month and have nothing but great things to say about this hospital, the people I am working with and the patients I am caring for! This hospital gave me a 2 day hospital orientation and a 2 day unit orientation before I started on my own. Their orientation was organized and allowed just the right amount of time for me to get acquainted to my new surroundings before I began working solo.

I was told that I would probably encounter a lot of progressive western medical practice when I moved north since historically the south is late at adopting the latest evidenced based medical practice. I have to say, I don’t think we are too far off (at least not in comparison to this first hospital). There are some differences though. They do a lot more Skin-to-Skin care with the babies and the new moms immediately after birth citing a more positive transitional phase for the neonate. It is common practice for the doctor to lay the baby on mom’s chest to be dried and assessed immediately after delivery. While I am used to a short bonding time with mom before I wisk the baby to the warmer to do a thorough assesment (administer my medications and weigh the baby among other things), their practice is to allow skin-to-skin bonding for as long as possible following birth. They believe(and appear to be correct) that most of your routine newborn care can either be preformed while the baby is on the mothers’ chest or can wait until the mother is ready for separation. This truly does seem to reduce the amount of respiratory distress that can be possible following birth. It is also an effective form of bonding and a great way to promote breastfeeding.

The International Breastfeeding Centre has a great article about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and continuing on that you can view here:

logoClick here for article 

They even encourage the fathers to have skin-to-skin bonding time with their newborns which is very heartwarming in my opinion.

Another difference and probably the biggest difference I have seen is the culture in relation to breastfeeding. On my first day on the unit I quickly learned that it is common practice in the North to exclusively breastfeed. I would have to estimate they have about a 90% exclusive breastfeeding rate. I can barley even find formula in the supply room; it is always hidden on the bottom shelf! This is a great practice and I think it is something that is just not the cultural norm down south where it is completely acceptable and easier to formula feed your child. The benefits and the education are there, but to break a culture of acceptance will take a tremendous effort and a lot of time. (I will have to write another post to expand on this concept and include their thoughts on supplementation and newborn weight loss. It is fascinating to me!)

So, nice little education for my nursing friends, but back to our life! I am working night shift here and (holding my breath while I type this) am really enjoying it! Anyone who really knows me knows I loathe night shift. I’ve complained and sworn that I would never work night shift again (funny how things change!) When I was approached with this position the only downside was the fact that I would work nights. Jon and I talked it over and without much discussion we knew that we could not pass us the opportunity because I didn’t like working nights. I think this was the part of our adventure that I was most nervous about. I don’t do well without sleep and was truly afraid I would turn into the night-shift-monster! So in preparation for this new challenge we had some good open communication and decided on some helpful ideas to make our transition smooth. It has definitely paid off because things are going well. Actually we were talking just this afternoon about how we were surprised just how well working nights is working for us between my sleeping and his working. We are really thankful for that!

Now, we may be adjusting well, but one small member of our family is not! Poor Cooper just can’t get the hang of the fact that his mommy has to sleep during the day. He does well sleeping in his bed right next to me at night but for some reason he cannot leave me to sleep during the day. No matter how many distractions Jon uses to tire him out or redirect his attention, if he is inside, he is right next to the bed whining for me to pick him up and put him in bed with me. My sweet and usually well behaved dog is relentless. I’ve tried telling him no and ignoring him countless times but he will whine without fail until he can sleep curled up next to me in bed. So of course, after I frustratingly wake up hour after hour to his whining I throw him in the bed with me and fall back to sleep until my alarm goes off. I hate that I have had to succumb to his bad behavior but I need to rest. So all my puppy loving friends, we need help! Any tips or advice, please?!

Well, lastly I would like to leave you with this beautiful picture that was taken at work the other morning while my co-workers introduced me to a, “real Montana sunrise”. Even they mentioned that pictures can’t do this pretty sight justice! While we were watching the sun rise the other morning they all said, “Are you sure you don’t want to live here?” To which I nicely responded, “It snows here ya’ll!” They then proceeded to attempt to talk up Montana in the winter, which I admit, sounds quite tempting and enjoyable. Who knows, maybe we will say and become snowbirds this year! (But let’s be real, our poor southern skin would freeze! Where is the nearest beach?)

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Until Next time!

-The Nomads

Our RV remodel- from old to ours!

Welcome to our home! I have been wanting to write a post to show off our RV since I started blogging! I intended to write posts about each project we undertook while renovating the RV but let’s face it, we barely had time to eat and sleep we were so busy! There are some projects (like the cabinets and the couch) that I still plan on writing about a little in depth because they were total learning experiences but for now I want to show you the transformation of our house!

We bought our fifth wheel in March and completed the renovation process in June right before we hit the road. It was truly a labor of love. We put hours of  our spare time and the last days in our hometown perfecting the fifth wheel. The good news is that Jon and I are both headstrong and committed to finish what we start. So all of our projects got finished. The bad news is that I am a total dreamer and added on a new project almost daily. Which thankfully, Jon took in strides, supported my dreams and pitched in when possible (I am pretty sure he’s starting to not like the phrase, “look what I found on pinterest!”)

We took lots of pictures along the way and can’t wait to share them! If you see any pictures and want to know more about how we did the project just ask and I’ll be sure to write about it!

I’ll take a moment to mention that you might want to grab a cup and get comfortable because this post is a little long! I can’t help it, I’m proud of our work!

These pictures were taken on our way to pick up our new home and outside of Jon’s parents home. They were gracious enough to allow us to park the fifth wheel in their driveway and allowed us to use their house and their tools as our home base for our RV remodel! I don’t know how we could have completed this project without them and we are so thankful for all their help!

 

 

DSCN0889DSCN0896DSCN0906These pictures are our before pictures! We took these pictures then almost immediately removed those hideous curtains and valances.

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These pictures were taken a few days later when we tackled our first project, painting the cabinets. We had to removed all of the cabinet doors and hardware then “lightly” sand, as the instructions explained. I challenge you to lightly sand something, it’s like a vicious cycle! Nothing ever seemed rough enough until it was too rough! It took me days to sand everything! Sanding quickly became my least favorite part of remodeling. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Jon pulled out the electric sander AFTER I finished the sanding project!

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As you can imagine this was a monster project. The instructions said it would take 48 hours and it took us almost 3 weeks and 3 times the paint recommended. It looks great and I would do the project again if necessary, with modifications of course!

These are the cabinets on their way to completion.

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If you were looking carefully above you will notice that we also ripped out the carpet flooring in order to put down faux wood flooring. Jon was so excited about this project. That is, until he stumbled upon our biggest headache of the whole remodel:

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This is essentially our fault. We bought the fifth wheel from an individual and failed to take it to an RV mechanic to get it looked at. Although it was pretty well hidden and there’s no telling whether they would have found it or not. To make a long story short, we fell in love with the RV and were so impressed with the nice old man and his wife’s upkeep of the RV that we decided we did not need to get it checked out. Big mistake, lesson learned: Do it right the first time. We ended up with a leaking slide out and a rotted floor. The circular object you see in the first picture is a saw blade that the prior owner used to prevent the couch from going through the floor. When it was all said and done this cost us almost $2000 to fix and took the repair company over a month total to fix the floor (there were many complications involved, stay tuned and i’ll write about the floor disaster!)

The picture to the left is a door we removed that separated the bedroom and the living room. It was awkward because there was about a foot gap between the bottom of the door and the stairs. I don’t think we ever took a picture of this, but I had  the brilliant idea to put a curtain instead of the door. It looks great and it really brought the decorating look together.

The picture on the right was the beginning of our decorating scheme. I fluctuated between what I called boho chic and shabby country chic depending on what decorations Jon vetoed in the process. (I still have a sore spot from my bedroom curtains that were non-negotiable vetoed!) You will see we used the blue and the yellow on the kitchen and bedroom walls (we ended up painting all the walls in the fifth wheel). The fabric was what we wanted to use to cover the kitchen chairs. We ended up with this pattern in a grey color since this was all that was in stock at Hobby Lobby at the time. In my opinion the grey came out better and mixes well with the rest of the decorations.

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This next project was our couch re-upholster, or really Jon’s couch re-upholster. I am incredibly proud and still in awe that he did this project almost all on his own. Total dedication! He was dead-set on having a leather couch. I could take it or leave it and after buying a leather couch proved to be financially unfeasible we looked into re-upholstering the couch we had. I will go into detail in another blog later on the specifics of this project but for now just know that it is possible!

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This next pictures are part of my favorite RV remodel story. One night after I got off work I came home to the whole house in remodel mode. Jon’s mom was sewing our chair cushion covers (which she happily gave up to me so she could take a break!) and Jon was out in the garage matching stain colors for the trim on the flooring. I was pleasantly sewing away when I hear footsteps running into the house. Jon opens the door and exclaims, “Andrea, come quick…and grab a paintbrush”. Jon’s mom and I shared a questionable glance before we went outside to see what was going on. We found Jon in the garage dipping his paintbrush into stain that was now ALL OVER the garage floor and using it to paint our kitchen table. He had been using the table to hold the stain he was using and accidentally spilled the container. Luckily we were planning on staining the table anyways and it was just a matter of time before we got around to that project. That was probably one of the quickest projects we ended up completing! It ended up looking great even though we were covered in stain, which if you are wondering does in fact stain skin as well! (our chair covers look great too I should add!)

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The outcome of our stained and re-upholstered chairs and table! Absolutely love them! They made a huge difference!

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These next pictures were taken during the painting process. We were nervous at first when we decided it looked very similar to a baby nursery. Once we got some furniture back in and the decorations up that thought flew out the window. (And in flew my bird curtains! My pride and Joy!)

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The curtains turned into a DIY project. They were literally made completely from scratch, pattern and all. I COULD NOT have done this without the help of Jon’s mom. She did all the tedious math and measuring for the patterns and worked for countless hours to make sure they were all finished before we left (many times alone, while I was working)! I am in love with these curtains, they are probably my favorite part of our home and they make our place very cozy!

You can also see above Jon working on the floors. We choose to use Allure Traffic Master Flooring based on many recommendations from other blogs and RV remodel websites. These floors are essentially “floating” which is important when moving slides for travel. They really look great and their only downfall is that they scratch very easily. We were expecting this thanks to the realistic scratch demo Jon’s sister gave us on a sample piece of flooring while we were chatting over breakfast one Sunday. (I think of you every time I see a scratch on Emily!)

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The day before our going away party Jon caught a really bad cold and couldn’t finish the floors, I was at work so our lifesavers came to the rescue! We really wanted to have the RV presentable for the most part before our party so we could share our new home with our family and friends before we left. By some miracle and a ton of hard work the floors came together perfectly!

 

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We get a lot of comments on the amount of space we have, this is a comparison to what it looks like while we travel when the slides are closed!

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Finally, the finished pictures of our home!

We have limited space everywhere so things like our shower caddy are lifesavers!

We had a nice quilt that matched the pillows on the bed but we decided it wasn’t comfortable and have resorted to an old comforter we brought as a last minute add on to our packing!

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I up-cycled the old lampshades with some fabric decorations I found at hobby lobby! Jon said they were too girly, but they were already glued on, oops!! 🙂

 

 

 

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The only shelf we have in that is suitable for pictures! To the left you can see the curtain we used to replace the door I mentioned earlier. And of course, to the right, my little dog model!

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Jon’s desk and work area!

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This was another DIY on the whim project. Somehow I was sent to home depot by myself and came back with a new project of course. It was super easy to install (although we currently have a piece missing that fell during our travels). We think it looks great and really adds dimension to our home!

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If you notice we have the no slip shelf liner lining our drawers. This is so things don’t slide and break while we drive. The entire RV is decked out in this stuff, but it has served its purpose well!

You can also see our sink and make-shift dishwasher. Yes, we have to wash everything by hand (do you hear the excitement in my voice). I picked up this nifty utensil washer you see in the left hand corner. It is basically just a brush but it works really well.

 

 

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Yes, that my friends is a fireplace! Electric with real heat output! And Jon’s hand carved paddle for a rustic man’s touch to balance out my female decor!

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My bird door knob which was a gem of a find a world market! And our washer and dryer which we could not live without! We read many controversies before ensuring this was a feature we needed/wanted. We wouldn’t trade the convince of this for anything.

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And that’s it my friends! Our house and remodel process in a nutshell! This was a huge and so rewarding project! We have so many people to thank who lent us their time, hard work, ideas tools, and support during the process. We are so happy with the way it turned out. We will can’t believe it looks so wonderful!

 

Whew! That turned out to be a lot longer than I expected! Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to give you a tour!

 

Until next time!

-The Nomads

Why does the blog look different?

I wanted to answer some questions you all may have before I confuse anyone. Yes, my blog looks different. Yes, It’s still me writing!

I dealt with a lot of frustrating issues while using Wix as my website builder and decided to give WordPress a try. From what I understand WordPress is the Mac-Daddy of blogging. I hesitated to use d in the beginning because it was aesthetically pleasing enough for me! After working with Wix I’ll take some sub par graphics any day! Just to give you an example, I couldn’t even use spell check to check my writing with Wix. I’m a nurse not an english teacher, spell check is my saving grace! It was also just really hard to upload and use pictures in my blog.

So I gave in and decided to use the foolproof method of following the crowd! That being said, I’m afraid I may have lost the ability to have my previous blogs on this site. I am trying to work this issue out but right now it appears it will cost me almost $100 for an outside source to move them to my new site. I can’t figure out how to do it else-wise and I really can’t justify that cost. So, my two options are: A.copy and paste the old blogs, most likely without pictures because that may be a cumbersome process. and B. do some more research/ask around and see if anyone knows an easier way to move my old blog post to this site! I think this site is going to work a lot better for me, I already like the fact that the bottom right hand corner is telling me it autosaved this draft 1 minute ago (let’s not even talk about the last blog that had to be rewritten after it got erased in the process of publishing).

(Can’t we just take a moment and thank the inventor of spell-check…I really don’t know how I made it through spelling in school. I obviously didn’t win any spelling bee’s! I sure am glad you can’t see all the red squiggly lines I had to correct before I published this post!)

Also, I apologize but it appears that you will all need to re-enter your information in order to be updated via e-mail for new blog posts. I tried to find a way to manually enter e-mail addresses to follow me but it doesn’t appear to be an option. There should be a button or entry field to the right of the screen that says “follow me”. You should be able to enter your e-mail address and subscribe. I hope I don’t loose any followers in this process.

Thanks for following (especially during this new transition)!

 

Until Next time!

-The Nomads

 

 

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