Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tour of Homes (ND Edition)

As I mentioned in my SD house tour, we are currently maintaining two households. This is our other one:


It is a 1985 Royals International fifth wheel camper that is currently parked in a guy’s driveway in a very northern (you can see Canada!), very western (only 40 miles from Montana!), small town in North Dakota. We found the driveway through my brother, who lives in the actual house.


This is our bedroom, which is located at the front of the camper. The ceiling is really low, but at least we have a separate room. There are also his/her closets and plenty more storage space over the bed.

Also, when you have to accessorize a new house, sometimes you just have to deal with what you have/what you are given. Hence a purple/red bed. 



This is the view of our bathroom hallway from our bedroom, and looking towards our bedroom. Shower on one side, bathroom on the other and a sink. However, we don’t have sewer hook-ups and our toilet runs continually (except in a camper toilets don’t run like in a house. they run water out, like on the floor), so we go in the house to shower and use the bathroom.

That’s why our bathroom is our storage closet.

And yeah, Drew was not impressed with me.


And this is the view into our kitchen/living room from the top of the steps going into the bathroom. While the pictures may look identical, those who look closely will notice a difference.


And this is our living room. Including extra blankets that my brother-in-laws were using that weekend while they stayed with us and the Mt Dews they were downing (this was early on. the stack was much more impressive by the time they left).

And that’s our alternate house! Which actually is our main house, because we are up north more than we are south. It’s cozy. And brown. Very very brown. Apparently in 1985 decorators thought that the color brown went really well with the color brown.

Some of you may be wondering where Drew sleeps. Well, let’s just say we have been a fan of co-sleeping from the beginning and that is a good thing, because there is nowhere else for him to sleep. And I thought a full bed was a bit tight when it was just me and Luke!

Once again, not a forever home, but we don’t mind. It allows us to be together while Luke is working, and that’s what matters!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tour of Homes (SD Edition)

Someone (cough BETHANY cough) has been begging and pleading and nagging (or, she just asked nicely) for pictures of our house. And since I aim to please, here they are!

Except, we currently have 2 homes. You see, it all started when a couple of years ago my brother heeded the call of the West and hit the oilfields. Well, soon enough he started a trucking empire and my husband heeded the call of the North. So, we travel back and forth between the Dakotas. At this point we are in the Northern one more often than the Southern one, but we still consider South Dakota home. So, I decided to start with that home.

But stay tuned for our northern home, because that tour is coming soon!


Ok, first up is the outside. Now, as you can see, I took this way too late at night. And this was actually three trips ago, so I’ve been home in the daylight since. But, every time I forget. And this is only one side. The other side looks similar, but with a falling off deck. So that’s cool. And we live in the country, so there is scenery to see. Next time I’m home so I’ll try to take some pics of the surroundings!


The door that you see up on the outside picture leads into our entryway. As you can see, it is kind of our dumping ground. These pictures were taken in July, before Luke cleaned it up. Now it looks much prettier! But it’s still the same general idea. Lots of stuff, including our dryer and our chest freezer. It also has the shelves that Luke built for me. Aren’t they pretty?


This is the “master” bedroom. AKA our room. As you can tell, I’ve spent hours and hours decorating it perfectly.


Actually, the last time we were home, we started to decorate. And now there are some pictures hanging in our room (my kissing pictures for those who have been in my previous homes). However, there is still plenty of work to be done. Including curtains. We are currently using a sheet. Klassy.

But, please note our bed. Our beautiful, comfy, cozy, QUEEN size bed. Since we were married we’ve had a full size bed, including through the duration of my pregnancy. We ordered this bed the week before I was due, and the day that I was stuck in the hospital was the day we were supposed to go get it. But our lovely friends went and picked it up for us. So when we came home from the hospital with Drew the first thing we did as a family was take a nap. And it was quite possibly the best nap I’ve ever had. I love this bed. I miss this bed.


Right next to our bedroom is our bathroom. That was actually why I chose this bedroom, because when we moved in I was pregnant. Those of my readers who have been pregnant or known a pregnant woman know that they pee a lot. Especially in the middle of the night.

When we got married, we chose brown/autumn colors for our bathroom. It worked at that time, but this bathroom already had black accessories. Oh well. It works for us!


Right next to the bathroom is Drew’s room. It’s actually pretty small, but it works. As you can see we make our poor child sleep in a pack-n-play. But he really does truly love it. And this way, whenever we go somewhere he’ll always be sleeping in his bed. So it’s a win-win. This is actually the 2nd pack-n-play we bought. The first one made my teeth set on edge with annoyance because of the pattern. I am much happier with this one. And I am in love with the changing table.

Before this was Drew’s room, it was a catch-all for a lot of junk we never unpacked. It was also next to the washer/dryer, and so Luke decided to hang a “clothesline” in there for wintertime. As you can see, I kept it. It makes me happy to hang stuff. And it works really well as a storage space.

What you can’t see is that to the left of the bookshelf is his closet. It doesn’t have doors, which is fine, because we just stuck his dresser in there.


This is the hallway where we just toured. The door to the entryway is on the right, Drew’s room is there on the left, and our room is at the end of the hall.

And that is our washing machine. You might be wondering why our washing machine and dryer are separated … well, let me tell you Smile The entryway was added on after the house was moved in. So, if the dryer is inside, it vents into the entryway, unless we run a REALLY long hose to the outside. And the washing machine hookups are in the house, so we can’t find hose long enough to go between them. Ergo, a split up washer and dryer. There are worse things in life.


This is the only (really junky) picture I have of our kitchen. Apparently I forgot to document its wonderfulness. So, here ya go! This picture was taken at night, when I was packing up to leave the next morning. Therefore, it’s messy. To the right, on the edge of the picture, is the hallway we were just down. As is our table.


Our living room is connected to our kitchen, as you can see on the right corner of this picture. It’s basically all one big room.

So, anyways, this is our couch. It came with the house. Which is amazing by the way, because when we lived in Alaska we didn’t have a couch and it was sad. That is also our front door that you see.


This is the other side of our living room as seen from our kitchen. Bethy should recognize the entertainment center, since we built it with our own hands. You’ll also notice some decorating (aka picture frames with the stock photos in them) and a baby who is not impressed with his swing.


This is a close-up of Luke’s duck. It’s a hybrid of breeds, and so it’s a special anomaly. His friend Kyle mounted it for him, and did a spectacular job.


View of the living room from the front door.


This is the corner by our front door. The sign was made by Luke’s friend Josh. This is our “serious” bookshelf, so we can impress those who stop by with our wisdom.


The last room on the tour is the guest room/office/workout room/craft room. Luke’s grandma made him that quilt (which is buried by my current sewing project), and his mom gave him the lamp. And that is our frivolous bookshelf, which means it holds my novels.


And this is the other side of the room. It includes my elliptical, which doesn’t see a lot of use these days, and my desk (which Bethy should also recognize as she owns her twin), which is holding my amazingly beautiful sewing machine that I got for my birthday.

Well, there you go. A tour of our home from end to end. It’s not our forever home, but it’s treated us great this past year!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Drew Solon :: A Birth Story {part 2}

My induction process started Thursday May 26 at around 8:30. That gave Luke time to go home to shower, and grab some supper. I believe he brought me some supper too ... but I don't really remember :-)

Now, remember that going into this whole process, my body was basically at zero. I wasn't contracting, I wasn't dilated. Basically, I wasn't ready.

But, my health situation was precarious enough that my doctor felt it was worth going into the induction process. Since we had had a long talk just a couple days before about how I didn't want to be induced, and he was very understanding of that, I trusted that his opinion was valid.

That first night (Thursday) he used Cytotec, which is a pill (ahem. not taken orally) that is supposed to help my body start the process of labor. It took a couple of hours for it to kick in, so we spent the time getting Luke settled for the night. Since we were in the Labor and Delivery room (there is only one at our teeny tiny hospital), they only had a very not sleep friendly chair for him to sit in. After pointing this out to the nurses, they switched the chair out for the one that is in the Recovery room, which was supposedly good for sleeping in. According to my husband, it was not. So, he opted to sleep on the floor.

(waiting for the meds to kick in. and my only bare belly shot of the pregnancy b/c i forgot to take one before i got hooked up to the monitors. )

He fell asleep and I dozed in and out, before the medicine kicked in. And when it kicked in? Well, it felt like I was having my period, which is something I had not missed over the past 9 months. Basically it just gave me terrible, terrible cramps. After trying to make it better by trying different positions, and telling myself to get over it, I finally rang for the nurse and requested to use the whirlpool tub that was next door in the Recovery room. I hobbled next door, and sank into the warm water and enjoyed myself for about 1/2 hr. Then? The nurse made me get out and get hooked back up to the monitor. It was about 2:00 in the morning at this time, so I just sucked it up and tried to get some sleep, which was mostly a failure.

My doctor came around the next morning to check me and found that the medicine had done nothing. Besides keep me up of course.

So, the next medicine of choice was Cervidil. This is a string that has medicine in it, somehow. This one actually started some contractions, so I was hopeful we were getting somewhere. And while yes, I was contracting, it was not as awful as having a little urchin take a pliers and continually squeeze the heck out of my uterus, so there was that.

Guys, I'm not gonna lie. This whole day was a bit of a haze. I didn't get much sleep the night before, and I wasn't feeling the greatest. So I really can't give you a play by play. I do know that I spent most of the day in bed, because I was continually being monitored. And people would come in, look at my sheet, and then leave. Except, they weren't worried about me. They were worried about the babe.

And that? Made me a bit worried as well.

Basically every time I had a contraction, his heart rate would go way way way down. Now, it's normal for them to dip. But I don't think this was quite normal as my doctor was taking my sheets and sending them to Sioux Falls for the perinatologist to consult on (my wee little hospital is part of a bigger hospital system, so you get lots of perks without having to travel! for example, my 20(ish) week ultrasound was sat in via webcam by a perinatologist).  The answer was always to wait and continue to monitor the situation, but it added some stress.

Then we hit the 24 hour mark of beginning the induction process. And my body? Wasn't really having none of it. Basically I was at a 2. Maybe a 3?

It was time to take the next step ....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cynicism, Free Tickets and A Conference

My husband and I are fluent in cynicism. It’s one of our strengths. And one of our downfalls. It overflows into almost every area of our life. A notable exception would be our son, but that’s because he is perfect.

But a big part is our faith. We don’t doubt God. We just choose to be cynical about a lot of situations regarding His people.

Now, I’m not saying this is a good thing. In fact, it is something we regularly talk about in an effort to change. As we react to something, we point out our bad attitude and try to amend it. It doesn’t always work, but we try.

Anyways, all that to say, there are times that I look upon Christian events with a little gleam of mistrust in my eye.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Beth Moore. And, once I get involved, ladies retreats. But there are certain parts of it I could do without. For example, I rarely turn to my neighbor and tell them that God loves them and I’m trying. Because I just don’t see the point. Chances are I don’t love them, nor am I trying to, because I have never met this person before in my life. And it’s awkward. And I try to avoid the awkward. It creeps me out. Unless I’m the one bringing it, then I love it (yes, that’s a double standard. yes, I realize this. yes, I will continue to do this).

In general, Christian conferences are a ground ripe for cynical responses. And I provide. I sit up in my chair, acting all judgy mcjudgerson. I don’t turn to my neighbor and give them a hug, unless I know them REALLY well (not that I’m against touching. but again, people, with the awkward!). I tend not to talk back to the speaker. And, a lot of times, I chose not clap. I know, I know. I’m a terrible person.

But, deep down in my frozen soul, I love them. I love the quality of the speakers, and I love how they BRING. THE. WORD. I love worshiping in music alongside 2000 of my closest girlfriends. I love how God is present. Everywhere. In the speakers. In the music. In the audience. EVERYWHERE. I walk away touched. And rejuvenated. And EXCITED.

Which is why I was really excited when I got an offer in my inbox one day from Booksneeze (Ya’ll know who they are right? Basically, they give you free books to read. In other words, they’re awesome.). They had partnered with Women of Faith to give their bloggers free tickets in exchange for blogging about Women of Faith.


So, I signed up, crossed my fingers and then forgot about it. Until I got the email a couple of weeks later that I was one of the chosen ones. They wanted ME to go. And I certainly wasn’t going to turn them down!

So, now I’m making plans. My mama and hopefully my mama-in-law will be joining me Oct 21-22 in the Twin Cities for Women of Faith Imagine. And I am stoked! 2 days of great music and great speakers? Check. 2 days of hanging out with 2 of my most favorite women? Check.

If you kinda sorta wanna go, but you don’t know who you would hang out, then by all means, sign up! We can totally hang out. We’re cool, fun people. If you’re already signed up, let me know cause I would love to see you!