Monday, September 1, 2014

"Possessing The Land" Part 1

 *Disclaimer: This story is filled with drama, hope and tears. As you know, I try to draw humor from my stories, so let's see what we can do with this...

       Really this tale started over a year ago...when God mysteriously called us and our friends to move to one of the most random places on earth: Alaska. None of us has a reason, just a direction. An order. So we obeyed (because, in our experience, God had never left us-He called us all out to Colorado and He hasn't given us a reason to doubt him since). And because of our obedience, we ended up living with our friends (read as "Eleven people, one bathroom") for a year. No one died. And we're still friends.
      A few months ago, our friends bought a house. Yay! We started the process of buying and somehow ended up gaining "early occupany" (where homeowners let you move in prior to closing and you pay them rent). This was going well. Paperwork was going well. The mortgager assured us that we were 95% in the clear. 95%.
      Turns out that five percent was actually higher than we thought. The company who the loan was through took a few weeks to decide that they didn't like the fact that the house shared a septic tank with a neighbor. Bad juju and all that. Hoo. Ray. Um.....so we were 1. devastated and 2. stuck with "where do we go from here?".
       We were heartbroken. Shattered. See, we didn't choose this house. It was more like the house chose us...or God chose the house for us...We knew from the beginning that it was too good to be true-it was one of our favorite layouts. A house we've wanted, with just about everything we were looking for....a wood stove...oval tub...garage....fenced in yard...raspberry bushes....space for the kiddos...space for us...
       So we held our breath while renting...knowing that things could change in an instant... and we'd pack up and go...well....we weren't sure where...but we were sure that this house was too fantastic. It was a dream for us...and the dream finally ended. Apparently we had misread God's path for us. Somewhere along the way we lost it....
       So we mentally prepared for a weekend of packing...and then there was a thread of hope...

Monday, August 25, 2014

BlondieChell and Family Go Blueberry Picking In Alaska For Real

   That's right, folks! This time we piled into the vehicle and went looking for REAL blueberries, not the crow berries we had picked (and lost) the prior weekend! So here's how we did it *right* this time:
   1. Leave a little earlier than you think you should.
   2. Remember how to get there from last time. Get there.
   3. Allow Hubs to follow a whim and park at a different spot. Get out and discover there are no blueberries. WHATSOEVER. Take cute pics of the kids instead.





   4. Fire Hubs from decision making process.
   5. Park at same location you parked last week. Hike up "trail less travelled".
   6. Rejoice in finding mass quantities of blueberries. Rub it in Hub's face. Take more pics. Actually pic bueberries. Throw in some crow berries just because you can.




   7. Make it down the hill with the blueberries still intact.


        I'd say we completely rocked this "Picking blueberries in Alaska" thing!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Loves Me... Loves Me Not...

   I think I'm falling in love with you...My breath quickens and my pulse races whenever we spend time together... I love the feelings of euphoria and pleasure I experience when I'm in your presence...
   And even though our love is still fresh...and new, I am starting to realize that things just may not be working out for us...
     Lately, I've been leaving you with feelings of regret...Disappointed in a way...Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the time we spend together, but I'm beginning to wonder if blisters and callouses are really my thing...
     I didn't think they were part of the deal...So even though I love you and I want to work things out...I think you need to get your act together...Or I will not be visiting you anymore...So, sweet Rowing Machine, although you've got a good thing going, it just may not be with me....



Monday, August 11, 2014

BlondieChell and Family Go Blueberry Picking In Alaska

                Our family decided to go on our first berry-picking adventure! And like all things #BlondieChell, there's a story.....so here is how the BlondieChell family picks blueberries in Alaska:

      1. Leave really late. Way later than you anticipated. (This is always Step 1.)
      2. Get vague directions from a friend. Realize how vague they are while enroute to your destination and out of cell-tower range. Remind self to ask better questions next time.
      3. Keep driving, because nothing's going to stop you from having your adventure! Stop and take scenic pics, because at this point, you're sure that's all you're getting out of this adventure!

       4. See a crowd of people stopped, and apparently picking berries. Jerk car around into parking lot so you can join in on the hunt too.
      5. Run/fast walk on a random trail, screaming like Guster when attacked by branches and mud.
      6. Lose part of the crew when they're too weak/slow to make the trek.
      7. Spend five frantic minutes picking berries, knowing you have to leave soon so Hubs can go to work. That's right. Frantic berry picking with the kiddos.





      8. Run down muddy 90 degree-angle trails back to the vehicle. Of course, the responsible adult is holding the berry basket.
      9. Slip. And fall. Hard. Wonder what in the world happened. Wonder where the berries went.
     10. Sadly explaining to the children that the berries vaporized.
     11. Continue running to the vehicle with empty basket and mud-plastered clothes. Discover that the 5yo somehow managed to salvage two berries. Toss those in the basket.
     12. Later discover that those may not have actually been bluerries that you had actually picked, but crow berries. Good times.



So...who wants to join us on our next adventure??

Monday, August 4, 2014

We Were Table of 11 For a Year

        A little over a year ago, we moved from Colorado to Alaska. Because God told us to. We spent the past year living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with our friends. Eleven people. One bathroom. Do the math. Living together for a year was never in anyone's plans-it just happened.
       See, my friend & I each took a kiddo (I have 3, she has 4) and spent almost four weeks living in hotels, trying to find suitable places for our families to live...and then this place popped up for us, and we saw it as a temporary fix...then winter set in, and apparently no one moves in the winter in Alaska....and then spring came...and finally, we found our own places to live...
       Living like that for a year creates attachments and detachments of things...so here's what I miss, and what I don't.

        What I miss: 
            The socialization. People to talk to. All the time.
            Seeing our friends when I get home.
            Sharing cooking responsibilities (Okay. so Mike cooked a lot. That was nice... but I'm also sure it's because my "blackened vegetables" are an aquired taste.)
            Shared childcare responsibilies. We raised 'em like siblings.
            Having a medic in the house. Now who's going to glue my kid's heads when they rip them open??
            Some of the furniture that belonged to the house. ::sigh::
            The plush carpet.
             Easy access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
             Walking the kiddos to/from school.

        What I don't miss:
              Lack of space.
              One toilet.
              Not being able to feel like it was "home".
              Not having to call "dibs" on the washer.
              The small, non-fenced yard.
              The recurring windowsill mold.
 
   Amazingly, we all survived without any seemingly permanent damage. Because God knew we were strong enough. I'd love to hear your questions about our experience! Comment below!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Funny Fitness Pic Dump 7.28.14

    It's late, but I'm getting a post up this week! A post of inspiring (okay, humorous) photos!

These. These photos are most of my running moods. I'm a foodie who loves to run!!!













Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Freeman Beauty's BAREFoot Spa Professionals Love It or Leave It #Review

          Influenster & Freeman Beauty sent  me Freeman Beauty’s *New* BAREFoot Spa Professional Line.  So far they have a Moisturizing Massage Cream and an Exfoliating Polish. These luxurious products include ingredients from the sea! (Which sea? I don’t know….but some sea….somewhere….)


Love It: The Exfoliating Polish includes Mica which gives your feet a slight glowy shimmer! It also includes Apricot Oil & Vitamin E!  It feels good and is easy to use! The polish is made of non-abrasive micro-granule which means it’s gentle on your skin!
               The Moisturizing Massage Cream contains Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Soybean Oil, Aloe Vera & Algae for some deep hydration.  It goes on like a dream!
               This line (and more of Freeman Beauty’s BAREFoot line) is available at Walmart, which means great product for low prices! You can also order these products off of Freeman Beauty’s website.

Leave It: You get a lot of product with a small squeeze, so go easy! I’ve got some rough calluses, so I could use a more intense  exfoliating polish.

Verdict:  If you’re looking for a quality foot product line that has a little something extra, this may be for you! You can check out my Youtube Review here if you're undecided! 

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster & Freeman Beauty for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.