The Search Continues

It has been a hectic couple of months. We were waiting for more RVs to become available so we could really begin our search. In the meantime, my husband ended up sick in the hospital for several days. Things like this really throw a wrench in your plans, but we keep moving. We already knew prior to this that he would not continue working in his current profession due to stress levels and being on call all the time, and our little vacation at the hospital proved to us we were right. We also knew that if we ever did want to travel while living in an RV he would need a job that can go on the road.

As a nurse I have options for careers on the road, but as a case manager, my husbands options were more limited. Unfortunately for us, we are not wealthy, nor do we have trust funds, and we must continue to work if we were to travel. Another concern was both of us working full-time outside of the home, when we have three dogs and our home is an RV. These had been things we had talked about for some time, but the hospital stay gave us the push we needed to actually make a change. We took a big chance and my husband is in the process of starting a business. This is something that he can do from anywhere and allows him to work from home a majority of the time.

Now that he is healthy and home again we have started to more seriously look at RVs, but so far nothing had popped up until recently. As we get further into the fall season there are more and more available. We are heading out to look at one tomorrow and are very excited about it. We have also emailed several other prospects.

 

Long Overdue Update

This is the post where I apologize for being absent and not posting in so long and where I update you on random useless information. A lot has happened over the past year and we have made some big decisions, but I will save all of that for a future post. This is where you get the little day to day details on how life has been and more apologies for not posting in over a year, as well as my hopes that you’re still out there.

Of course a lot has happened, it’s been an entire year, and I must say it went by pretty fast. About thirteen months ago we made our cross country drive to start a new life in a warmer climate. I had just finished school, we had just gotten engaged, and we had been planning this move for two years. Our plans changed many times over that two year period and have continued to change as time goes on.

We started out a few years ago by just simply deciding we wanted to move and after watching a silly TV show that turned into a dream of full-time RV living. After a lot of thought, consideration, and planning, we decided it was best to hold off on that dream for the moment. It wasn’t realistic at the time. Our move date was coming up quickly and finding an RV was difficult where we were. We didn’t want to spend a lot and defeat the whole purpose of the lifestyle, but we also didn’t want a water damaged piece of junk that wouldn’t make it across country. We had no time to renovate an RV and little time to learn the ropes even though we had been researching all along.  We decided establishing residency and getting settled would be a good idea. At that time the smart thing to do was wait.

We arrived to our new home a few days after leaving Wisconsin and we loved it, our home was nice and we had a beautiful fenced in backyard for the dogs. We got settled in our new home and learned our way around the area. Exactly a week after arriving we got married. We had planned to elope before we left Wisconsin. I found the place after much online searching and scheduled the date! It was short, sweet, and perfectly us. Shortly after the wedding we started our jobs and so began the usual daily grind.

We have had an eventful year of friends and family visiting, me starting back to school…again, and adventures exploring our new home state. A lot of things have changed, but some things have remained the same, we love our new home state, we love each other, and we haven’t let go of our dream to break free of the cookie cutter life.

We Got Engaged!

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I can certainly say that May 2016 was quite eventful for me. All in less than a week I had my birthday, graduated college, and got engaged.

It started that Wednesday with my birthday…. I had the day off, no class and no work, so I stayed home relaxing with the dogs and cleaning. The plan was my boyfriend would pick up Red Robin on his way home for dinner (free birthday burger, heck yea!). He called when he was done with work and asked me to call in our order. I was so excited for my Red Robin that I hadn’t eaten much all day and I was starving! After a while I started to wonder where the heck he was, I knew it was rush hour, but it shouldn’t take this long and dang it I’m hungry! I reached for my phone to call him and ask what was taking so long, but I decided not to be a jerk. He’s a very thoughtful guy and probably stopped to get me flowers or something, he usually does, he’s probably doing something nice. Finally, He walked through the door struggling to carry everything, and not only does he have Red Robin, but he has a vegan ice cream cake!

After about five years of knowing each other and dating four of those years I knew he loved me, but this was the day I knew he really and I mean really loved me. How? This year he came home with food instead of flowers, and not just any food, vegan food, and cake at that, ice cream cake! He knows me well!

The next day got even better with my mom and nephew arriving in town, well after I almost burnt our apartment down, but that’s a whole other story. Friday morning I was off to my last day of school. It was very surreal. This was something I didn’t think I’d be able to finish and yet there I was at the very end. It was such a different experience from when I obtained my LPN degree. This school was very different, every instructor was so kind and helpful and truly wanted everyone to succeed. I went in assuming everyone would be much younger than me and cliquey. I had the mind set that I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, I was there to get a degree and get out. Much to my surprise it was a very diverse group with quite a range of ages and some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. This past year hasn’t been easy, but these instructors, classmates, and this school made the experience so much easier than it could have been and helped me to forget the horrible experience I had the first time around.

After class I was met by my mom and nephew and it was off to lunch, it’s what we do best! We spent the day together eating and shopping and preparing for my graduation party Saturday.

Saturday rolled around and was pretty hectic. I got up early and ran to the store, then the cake arrived, and we were packing the coolers. My friend and her daughter arrived. My friend and I had appointments to get a couple piercings before the party. My boyfriend was so helpful, he could tell I was stressed out, he was cleaning the kitchen and all sorts of stuff. Then out of nowhere my brother, his wife, and two of their other kids show up (4 hours before the party). I wasn’t expecting them to come since they live so far away, so it was a very nice surprise, but a very crowded little apartment! My friend and I went to our appointments and when we got back it was time to head to the party location. We got down their and set up. We kept things simple, a couple coolers, a cake, some plates/napkins, and we ordered pizza.

Then….

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Things were going well, most of our closest friends and family were there and it was very nice. Then it was time to cut the cake, but first everyone wanted a million pictures. Then I was finally going to cut this beautiful cake when my boyfriend starts making a speech. I stopped him telling him no one was really listening, that’s when he yelled “Can I have everyone’s attention?!”. I was shocked, he never raises his voice. Then he proceeded to say how proud he was of me for finishing school and how hard I worked and how happy he has been to call me his girlfriend. At this point, I’m thinking “how sweet, he’s saying nice things about me. Now about that damn cake!”.

Then all of a sudden I hear “and I’d be even happier to call you my wife”, that’s when I about shit myself. I turned and looked at him to see him struggling to pull something from his back pocket. He finally got out this tiny white box and dropped to his knee. I was in total shock, I was 162% sure he’d never propose. I reacted like a bone head due to shock and not knowing if it was actually happening. Of course I said yes, but I was still in shock. He just looked at me, so I snatched the box from his hands, it was sparkly! Later he told me he thought I was suppose to say yes and then he was suppose to put the ring on me, but I snatched it too fast! We are both laughing in that picture, because after he proposed, as soon as he stood up, his mom yelled “Do it again, I missed it!” We thought she wanted a picture of him on this knee. He got back on his knee and we stood really still and after a minute we started laughing, because we didn’t know what was taking so long. Then she said “Well are you going to say yes?”. Here she was videoing and wanted him to do the WHOLE thing again. HAHA.

I definitely will never forget this week of events! Two things I NEVER thought would happen, I went back for my RN (and finished) and I got engaged.

How Veganism Changed My Life

I grew up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin. There wasn’t much diversity up there or much going on at all. We lived rather simply out in the country on twenty acres of land with a huge garden, chickens, and rabbits. My dad was old fashioned and my mom a strong independent woman, hence why they are divorced. I was a shy and quiet child in the beginning and never really spoke up for myself. One evening, when I was six years old, Dateline came on (we didn’t have cable), they were airing a special on slaughterhouses and my mom let me watch. She stood in the kitchen making dinner and doing dishes and finding a small amount of sick humor in how grossed out I was. She never hid the truth about things from my brother and I, and she always encouraged education and free thinking. What she didn’t know was, that evening would change my life and who I was.

Absolutely horrified by what I had seen, I got up the next morning and announced I was not going to eat meat for a week. That week flew by and I was still couldn’t get those images out of my head and announced that it would now be two weeks that I wouldn’t be eating meat. After two weeks passed I was still traumatized and announced I was extending it to a month. Shortly after that we were visiting my grandparents and I overheard someone tell my mom it was just a phase and I’d get over it any time now. As soon as I heard that I proudly walked into the room and announced I was never going to eat meat again.

I spent my childhood as the weird kid who ate weird things. I made strange requests in the lunch line at school and I would often order cheeseburgers without the burger. I learned at a very young age how to read ingredients labels and then how to speed read them three more times just to be safe. I found my voice and was soon no longer the shy and quiet one. I wrote letters to companies about their products or the prices, I started arguments with hunters, I would debate with anyone, and I researched statistics and placed information in mailboxes. I even volunteered at the animal shelter.  I advocated greatly against the consumption of meat and harming animals. As I grew into my teens I continued to advocate, but despite my great compassion, I was naive. I consumed dairy products, I told myself no one dies for cheese so who cares, I wore leather, and even though I spoke out against animal testing I wasn’t buying cruelty free products.

I was vegetarian for twenty-one years. I was often tired and sluggish. I gained nearly one hundred pounds over a six year period due to my degenerative disc disease. Discs in my lumbar spine crumbled into my spinal column and were crushing my sciatic nerve causing constant excruciating pain. My lack of movement due to extreme pain and my diet filled with animal products caused the large amount of weight gain. In 2012 I had a spinal fusion, which removed my crumbled discs relieving the pressure from my sciatic nerve and then fused the lower third of my spine. The spinal fusion was a life saver, it allowed me to function fairly normally again. Being able to move normally again helped me to lose around forty-five pounds, but then the weight loss stopped. I was still almost sixty pounds heavier than before.

In September 2014, I began thinking about my lifestyle choices and it prompted me to do some research. While online I came across a video documenting abuse on a dairy farm and I was absolutely disgusted. I continued my research and what I found was very upsetting. I had been lying to myself all along, there most certainly is death involved with the dairy industry. The more I thought about it the more I realized I was a hypocrite, I eat dairy products, I wear leather, and my shampoo was probably tested on animals. I was horrified, I was an ethical hypocrite. I kept thinking and researching…what about health? I was even more disgusted by what I found. What about the environment?  I knew at that moment that I was a vegan starting that very second.

What was I supposed to eat? I had a hard enough time being meat free as a kid in a small town, I lived off grilled cheese. If I can’t have cheese what now? I assumed being in a larger city now that it wouldn’t be as difficult, but honestly what do I eat? So I turned to trusty old Google, and what did I find? I found that there was a whole world out there that I was unaware of. I found that I was sheltered and living in a bubble. I found that there is an insane amount of vegan food options and so much amazing food out there that I would never run out of ideas. What about personal products and household products? It’s going to be so expensive and hippie deodorant won’t work. WRONG. There are so many brands out there ranging from cheap to expensive, from scented to unscented, from hippie to chic, there is something for everyone.

So how exactly did veganism change my life?

  • I began losing weight again immediately after going vegan. I lost 40+ pounds.
  • My skin cleared up.
  • I have ten times more energy.
  • No stomach issues anymore!
  • Less pain and inflammation.
  • I eat twice as much as I use to and don’t gain weight.
  • All my personal care products are cruelty free and my hair still smells amazing.
  • I sleep better.
  • I’m happier.
  • I feel better and healthier overall.
  • I am more informed and no longer turn a blind.
  • I advocate against all forms of oppression.
  • My mom switched to a vegan lifestyle and has lost 96 pounds and lowered her cholesterol 65 points!

I could go on and on about the positive impact this has had on my life. It has been a journey of self discovery and it has been a learning experience. It has changed my life and I will never look back. How has it changed yours? Share in the comments.