Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

April 22, while driving in Michigan at 11pm (about to call it a night), we came to an intersection with a blinking yellow light. We had the right of way. A car on the intersecting road decided to go. I slammed on the SUV brakes, Caleb slammed on the truck brakes, and the RV brakes didn’t work right (and they worked fine up until this point). The RV kept going, ripped the hitch in the truck bed almost completely out, slammed into the cab and back tail light area, and the truck slammed into our SUV.

We were able to coast into a local grocery store in White Lake, about an hour east of Lansing. Everyone was fine. The truck and RV were totalled by the insurance companies. The SUV probably would have been but we only had liability on it. It is still drivable. We also ended up getting another truck already (although now it needs an EGR delete). We couldn’t finance another RV until the insurance paid for the other one. They wouldn’t pay until we moved out. I had took pictures and videos on my smart phone but then the screen broke and I am back to a flip phone.

We visited the local Baptist Church the day after the wreck and have fell in love with the people. Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming. A loving family has welcomed us into their home while we wait on the bank to finance us. All our stuff was in a 5×10 ft storage unit until a few days ago when we moved it to the pastor’s garage. We have enjoyed helping out at the church when we can and now call it home.

Caleb has had a job since April 25th but got injured on the job after two weeks of working​ there. While cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, the tree fell quicker than planned (his boss didn’t have the trunk held tight), branches hit the chainsaw which swung back and hit Caleb’s knee. He got 12 stitches. He was still working but was overdoing it a lot so missed about 10 days of work (spread out, not all in a row). It was at a bad spot and kept splitting open. It looks way better now.

When he first got the stitches

Also at the end of May, my family had another gut wrenching blow. My younger brother overdosed (not Herion) and was in the hospital for four days before he passed. He was my step dad’s only child. My stepdad had passed in January from esophagal cancer. My family is all deeply grieved and will never​ be the same. We are still very much in shock because no one expected my always-smiling, 22 year old brother to die. The day before he spent making future plans with his girlfriend. It still just feels like a dream that we wish we could wake up from!

We miss you two so much!

As far as my family (the four of us) goes, we plan to get a new RV soon, Lord willing. Also my husband is probably switching jobs soon to something more permanent. I will update more as the Lord reveals His plans for our lives. He has done tons of pruning on us and we keep our faith and hope on His future plans for us. We are loving where He is leading us and just need to give things time to fall into place!
Rest in Peace 

Dakota (Cody)

December 30, 1994 -May 30, 2017

Always smiling!
My little brother will be missed so much!
I could always depend on him to be a great Uncle “Cookie” to m boys. Lucas gave him the nick name when he was younger.

Grief, My Current Companion

Grief, My Current Companion
My boys and I went to the beach in memory of my stepdad who passed on January 21st.

Grief is so hard to understand. One day, everything seems fine. The next you are depressed and do things in memory of the one passed. The next you are too busy to cry. The following you are walking in a fog. The next day you are angry at God for letting them die so young and crying your eyes out! 

My stepdad was an amazing Pap-Pap!

My stepdad lost his year and a half long fight against Esophageal Cancer. I underestimated how hard his passing would hit me. It doesn’t help when sick kids, depression, financial struggle, and a strained marriage are thrown into the mix. But since he passed, my emotions are everywhere! I really don’t know what kind of support I need during this season of my life. If you are trying to comfort those grieving, be ready for the many different “days”. They may want to cry, scream, reminisce, laugh, talk, or ignore people altogether. Meals, hugs, and offering help with kids, housework, or errands is appreciated!

The words slipped away into the ocean. Such symbolism of his life’s passing.

So in this grieving time, I am not sure how often I will write. My life feels on hold. My weight loss journey is currently non-existent. My minimalism has came to a halt. I want to celebrate life but I don’t know how through all this pain. I want life to make sense. I want to be surrounded by family and I feel lost in the wilderness, states away. The loss of a loved one while on the road is hard. You can’t always move back home while you grieve. Life just keeps going even though you feel like you are sitting still.

Minimalism in an RV: Mending Clothes to Stretch Your Budget

Minimalism in an RV: Mending Clothes to Stretch Your Budget

Today was a sewing day for me. Even in my RV, I have room for my sewing machine, tools, and material. I store my sewing machine on top of the kitchen cabinets and the rest fits under the dinette benches. Whenever I need to sew, I just clear and clean the dinette table and get to work.

This table gets used for so many things-eating, writing, crafts, and sewing!

Since I have lost 15 lbs, I needed to trim up some of my clothes instead of going out and buying more. In the last couple days, I have trimmed up 3 shirts, pleated my jean skirt, and shortened the straps on one of my dresses. Here is how I trim up my bigger shirts:

This is the shirt before I did anything. 

I start out by putting the shirt inside out on the table. I lay a shirt, that fits me, on top of it and mark where I plan to sew. Then I sew on the line. 

I did not sew across this line because I have to cut, and hem all the way around the bottom of the shirt.
Same with the sleeves, I have to cut and hem them. Then I trim the excess off about a quarter inch from the sewn part.
Here is the after of the shirt. It is not perfect, by any means, but it is just a shirt I wear to work around the house in.

My a-line skirt works a little different. I lay it inside out and pleat right down the middle of panels in the skirt.  I did two pleats in the front. When I lose more weight, I can put two more pleats in the back.

This picture is the skirt inside out and showing the pleats in the skirt. I did not trim the extra off due to the fact that nice, used skirts are hard to find. If I ever get pregnant again, I want to be able to take out the pleats as I gain weight. Jean skirts last for many years. I wear out my shirts a lot quicker!

The smaller panels just look like part of the design of the skirt. 

I also worked on some pants of my 8 year old. He had a pair of shorts that were too big. I pleated them in but they did not turn out as nice as the skirt. I am new to pleating for boys. He had three pants with a hole in the left knee. One nicer pair, I turned inside out, sewn the hole shut, and trimmed off the excess. They will work as play pants just fine. The other two I cut into shorts and hemmed the bottoms up.

I can’t believe these used to be rough looking pants. Now they look great!

Hopefully you got some good hemming and trimming tips today. What clothes have you worked on? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with my journey!

Life: Raw and Unfiltered

Lately, I have been at a loss of words for my blog writing. This has been a season of waiting on God, on reflection, of sorting through emotions, and of trying to figure out life. The longer I live, the more confused about life I get.

Some days, life feels so short. That life is “but a vapor”. You’re born, you live, you die. What are we doing with that dash that will be on our tombstone some day? Are we living a meaningful life? Do our short lives matter? Even as a Christian, I have my days of doubts. Why am I here on earth? What is my purpose?

This past year I have spent minimizing my physical possessions. I have even changed my eating habits, lost some weight, and dealt with some skeletons in my closet. But despite all that, I am searching for more in life. The  WHY? I don’t know when I will find that answer. I will just keep trying my best to worship and serve God, and love others the best I can. 

This is all part of my journey. Although lately, my GPS just keeps saying “rerouting” without a clear path or destination. I am trying to navigate through financial hardships, a dying step-dad, and emotionally needy children. I keep looking to the Lord. I keep searching for a glimmer of light in this dark valley. Is it just around this next bend? Oh, Lord I hope so!

When Life Throws You Curves…

When Life Throws You Curves…

I have been putting off writing this post for a long time now. You see, I am a dreamer. I try to look for the good in everything. When life gets tough, I hold on thinking it will get easier soon. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gets really dark before the dawn. It’s in those moments that reality smacks me in the face over and over until I admit my dreams are shattered!

This is one of those moments. My husband left his Walmart job in September to pursue a life on the road with a workcamping job based on commission. First, our original RV’s engine blew on day one. We were able to coast into a rest area and were stuck there for 10 days while we searched for a new “home”. We settled on a fifth wheel and truck.

Then, our workamping job was a big flop! I’ll spare the details but the man we were working for was basically a big liar and not who he said he was. (Yes Mama, heeding your advice would have been wise.) Along the way, we did visit some great churches and meet some wonderful people though!

So with our finances shot and not much else we could do, our family traveled to Dothan, Alabama for my husband to take a 3 1/2 week course in Heavy Equipment Operations to get certified on the Backhoe and Excavator. This would lead us to job openings in Texas or Florida that we could pursue. There is just one major problem-there is not enough money left to travel there!

So here we are stick in Dothan, Alabama. My husband has found a job at a steel company working to get us caught up on bills. Praise the Lord for this job! But I feel like reality has smacked me in the face with a stinky fish! I know I am still blessed beyond measure but I am still overwhelmed with our current financial state. We have been hard off before but this seems like one of the darkest finacial valleys we have been through. 

During our struggle, I am trying to stretch everything we have. I am trying to make food last and still fill us up. Lots of beans are in our diet. I am scrubbing our laundry by hand and hanging it out to dry. We have one big problem with that today-another rain storm has came in. I just want to cry and pray that life starts looking up! I’m starting to really hate life in Alabama. No offense to those that call it home.

Our “clothes line” is an extension cord that my husband tied around our awning.

Have you had seasons in life that just kept getting worse? I’d love to hear your stories. It is encouraging to know in these dark moments that we are not alone in this.