Getting My First Tattoo…

I’ve always been certain that I wanted a tattoo, probably since around 15 – 16 years old! As a matter of fact, I can’t remember not wanting one! Of course, it’s never been the same thing. Oh, If you would have asked when I first wanted one I would have shown you a picture of this rose with a barbed wire stem. (I still have the picture, but I can’t remember where It came from). A few years later I would have told you all about the wings I wanted on my back. (My dilemma is that while I wanted wings on my back I didn’t want the big ones because they are always there no matter what you wear and to me, the small ones just weren’t right) so I waited. Well then there was the double pistoles faze, but I just couldn’t figure out where on earth I wanted to put it. Years later I’ve tried to talk my sisters into having cute little tattoos done together or even my Bestie (but we can’t agree on anything)
You see I come from a pretty conservative family. My dad especially has always had something to say about tattoos & piercing (he lost it when he found out I got my belly button pierced at 18) he also hated the fact that I have my ear lobes pierced 2x. But he was raised in a time where that didn’t happen and ladies didn’t do that kinda thing! (They also don’t curse like sailors either, so I’ve been fun for him)
So I’ve always felt that I’d like to be able to hide my tattoos if I wanted. Ya know from my dad, work, or whatever. But, also just to uphold this image I have of what I’m supposed to be. And as much as I’ve always wanted a tattoo I have a very opinionated view of where and where I do not want one on my body. So it’s always been a struggle to me. Also, I’m kinda sentimental so I want any tattoo to mean something to me. (But my first had to be very special) I wanted it to be special and to be able to look back on it and say yea that was a great time in my life. I’m very aware that tattoos are forever and I want to never regret it.
So I managed to make it to 29 years old before I got my first ink. The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster. I had been slightly pestering Dillon about how I wanted a tattoo. I had finally settled on this cute little stitched heart I picked out because I love to sew and always have. Nothing is going to change that.
Well then as the days wore on Dillon asked about the cute buck and doe we had talked about both getting once and I kinda fell in love with that idea again. So I kept asking and apparently it wasn’t subtle or sparingly because our friends decided they were going to take me & Dillon (more or less against his will) they said they were tired of hearing about it, so they were taking action. Walking through the doors I instantly felt nervous, not for the tatt or for the pain but for how permanent it was and how it would change me.
Now I have always been one to say I’d never get a name tattooed on my body (with the exception of my children) Dillon is the only person I have ever even considered of doing. After much thought, I’m scared that might jinx us so I stuck with just first initials.
The lady handed me the paperwork to fill out and I got down to it. One of the questions is what was the last time you ate. Well, I had had lunch, but no dinner yet, but D and I had both ate some brownies (I got at Great American Cookies in the outlet mall in OKC) right before we left. Well as I’m trying to explain this to the girl it dawns on me she might think I had “special brownies” so I tried explaining that it wasn’t but got my self into a fit of giggles. (I’m pretty sure that chick thought I was high as a kite) Anyways, as the lady is drawing it out trying to get it perfect for me as I watch and ask for certain things. I’m growing more nervous but at the same time there is this excitement growing and I can’t believe I’ve finally taken the steps to do something that I’ve wanted for so long. When she takes me back and sits me down and transfers the image to my arm I kinda want to make a run for the camper. My hands are sweating like crazy and I have a huge knot in my stomach. But I want it so much!
OMG people lie to you about how bad it hurts! “A little worse than a misquote bite” -Dillon. “Just a little, but then it goes numb. Heck, I fell asleep” -Sparky. Liars! I mean I didn’t cry or anything, I didn’t pass out, and I didn’t ask her to stop. I actually watched as much as I could it’s cool as sh*t! But I could definitely fell it!
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After it was all done I couldn’t hardly believe it. It was kinda like a dream. I have wanted it for so long that I couldn’t believe it was real. The fact that it was on fire made me know it wasn’t a dream, but walking out of there I was totally shocked and the permanence was definitely settling in on me!
So it has been a few days and I’m still stoked about it. I love it absolutely! I catch my self-feeling more like a bad a**, I can’t explain why and I laugh at myself normally after. Also, I forget about it when I’m busy doing something and I catch a glimpse of it and I think I have something on my arm. I know I’m a mystery even to myself. As for now, I’m not planning to get another one for awhile. One day I would still like to have one for Logan. I’d also like to go with my sisters still but we have some debating to do.
Oh Yea, I’m 29 and kinda freaking out about what my Dad will say when he sees it.

Hashbrown Casserol

This is my Hubby’s absolute favorite, he always requests it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So this year I made a double batch and froze them so they were ready to go. We actually traveled Thanksgiving Day, this year and these bad boys were perfect to pop in the oven once we got there! Everyone loves Hashbrown Casserole on both sides of our family so I always get stuck making them (I can’t complain they are super easy and perfect for me because were are never in one place for very long so they are great to make ahead of time) Can you guess what I’m bringing for Christmas Dinner?
I’ve done them separate so I can just show you one! I’m also doing them in cheap disposable aluminum pans because there will be too many dishes to do already. My Mother-In-Law and I don’t just love doing the dishes while everyone else is in their food comas!
The onions are optional because… well let’s face it, I forgot to chop them up and put them in for the Thanksgiving ones. (I’m not perfect) Dillon informed me he likes it better without the onions. So ha! We will just say I did it on purpose, Okay? Just keep it between us! I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to put them in for Christmas or not yet.
(Anyway your gonna need)
Ingredients:
 
  • 1 bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 can of cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom)
  • 2 Tbs of butter softened
  • 1 Small thing of sour cream (8 oz)*
  • 2 cup of cheese (halved)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • Small onion (optional)
 (This recipe is not doubled)
Stir salt, pepper, garlic powder, sour cream, cream of whatever soup, butter, onion (if your using), and 1 cup of the cheese together until blended. Next, add the hash browns in and mix well. Spread into pan and sprinkle leftover cheese on top. Cover with foil and freeze or bake.
When you’re ready to bake preheat your oven to 350. Bake for 25 minutes with foil on. Then remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes. If you froze them first like me just thaw out before baking.

 

*I have the bigger tub because I made two batches and just used half in each.

My must-have list for our camper…

Living full time in a camper is rough, here is my list of must haves to make it a little easier.

1. Good surge protectors outside & inside I can’t tell you how much we spent on replacing our microwave, TVs and my Keurig because our inverter blew up (not just once) so we definitely learned this one the hard way! Use a Surge protector as much as you can and make sure it can handle the load! Here is one similar to the one we use outside.

2. Folding step stool Right now I have a cheap one from TJ Maxx but I don’t know how many times a day I use it. (FYI don’t stand directly in the center of those!)
3. Electric weed eater So many places just mow. The easiest way to keep critters away is to keep the grass short around and under your camper. We got weed eater at Lowe’s, and I love using it!
4. Rug for outside I swear by an outdoor rug, carpet, or whatever you want to throw down! I’m so tired of sweeping 3-4 times a day! Also, it helps to keep from tracking in those painful grass stickers! Here is a good one they have a Walmart, just make sure you stake it down!
5. Command hooks and strips in various sizes I should buy stock in Command Strips! I have them everywhere. I have lots of pictures hung with them, and our baseball caps! My Swiffer & broom are hung by these fancy things we picked up at Office Depot.
6. Moth balls We throw them under our camper to help keep mice away! We normally throw some under the camper every 2-3 months. Mostly it depends on the precipitation.
7. Slow cooker I have probably cooked at least 1/3 of our meals in a slow cooker. It’s amazing in the summer it doesn’t heat up your camper.
8. Organizational totes or bins The key for me to keeping our camper clean is making sure everything has a place. and everything goes in its place. (Logan is currently grounded from numerous things because he can’t remember to put the stuff up when he is done.
If I think of anything else I’ll be sure to add.

Hamburger soup

Ok, I’m like 90% sure you’ve heard of this and or you call it something different. 

I grew up on Hamburger soup although, Mom isn’t too fond of it. My Dad, sister, and I loved it. I now make it in my crockpot, for my family. It’s cheap it’s easy and it just reminds me of my childhood. (Am I the only one that associates memories with food?!?)

Ingredients 

  • 1 lbs hamburger meat (get the one with the lowest fat ratio)
  • 1/2 diced onion 
  • 1/2 tablespoons of seasoned salt
  • 1 can corn 
  • 1 can green beans 
  • 1 can diced potatoes 
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can carrots
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 stick of butter (sorry y’all but that makes it better)
  • Medium squirt of ketchup 

Cook hamburger meat, onions, seasoned salt on low in crock pot for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Then add your can goods juices and all. Add the ketchup. Stir. Add all that butter (try not to cringe too much) Stir frequently until butter is melted and all vegetables are warm. Enjoy! 

I normally make cornbread with it. But we also eat it with crackers occasionally. 

Tortellini Lasagna-ish

Y’all this was one of my first concoctions. 

In the middle of summer using the stove or oven (or both) really heats up your camper. Dillon works in the heat all day so he hates coming home to a hot camper. So I had to get creative! The crockpot is my favorite. It’s so easy and stress-free to just throw crap in the crockpot and let it cook all day with little to no work, and the best part Dillon has a  cool camper and a hot dinner when he gets home. 

So I was really craving lasagna. But dang I’ve never tried the lasagna noodles in the crockpot. (Still, haven’t) I had some Buitoni three cheese tortellini noodle hanging out in my fridge (I can’t even remember what I was gonna make with them) So I drug out all the fixings for my Lasagna and my tortellini noodles and went to throwing stuff together. Dillon and Logan loved it. Well, Logan picks out the mushrooms but he’s a strange kid.

I don’t even know what to call it because it’s not lasagna. I have started making it with turkey meat and I’ve tweaked the process since but the end result is delicious. Easy comfort food. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of ground turkey (you can use beef* if you want) 
  • 1 jar of your favorite Spaghetti sauce 
  • 1 tbs minced garlic (I cheat I buy the squeeze jar) 
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning 
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash garlic & herb
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 
  • Small tub of cottage cheese
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Half package of Buitoni 3 cheese tortellini noodles
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1 can of tomato paste ( if needed)

Stir ground turkey, Italian seasoning, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms together in the crockpot. Add sauce and stir again. Cook on low for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Add cottage cheese and noodles. If it looks really dry add half a can of tomato sauce. Cook on low for another hour stirring occasionally. Again if it looks dry or you like it a little saucier, add more tomato sauce.

*if you are using beef make sure you get the lowest fat content or that you drain it before adding anything else

In the picture, I have Walmart tortellini noodles because I couldnt find Buitoni ones! (I didn’t like the walmart ones)

Please let me know if you try this. Also, questions and name ideas are always welcome!

Winter Is Coming…

Ohh Y’all I sound like a Stark! [sorry avid Game of Thrones fan right here and I’m totally team Stark! Or whatever John Snow is nowadays] 

Anywho… I’m not here to talk about GOT but getting our fifth wheel ready for winter. What we have tried, what we have, and what we do.

Ok, so in case you didn’t know we’re full-timers. I’ve had a few people ask how we manage the winter. Now we’re mostly in the south central US but the weather here is crazy!  [Like one day I’m wearing my Uggs and a hoodie, the next I’m ready to throw on a bathing suit and swim, only for the next day to be looking for my gloves and scarves!] or that can happen all in one day! Ya just never know in Oklahoma. 

Anyways I’m rambling… I was trying to say the weather is unpredictable around us and we’re kinda prepared for all of it! 

So without further rambling (well I hope anyway) what we do. 

  • We have a heated water hose. A Very fancy deal, not gonna lie it’s pricey. Pretty sure ours came from Walmart 
  • PVC pipes for our sewer (we use the stretchy hoses on the summer and when we’re moving frequently) but Dillon says they freeze easy 
  • Reflective insulation [or as I call it Shiny bubble wrap stuff] on all of our windows and skylights. [This stuff drives me crazy because it’s basically blackout and I love the sunlight ] but it so helps keep the heat in 
  • Electric heater just small ones with thermostat [our favorite is this little Sunbeam] be smart unplug them when your not home and don’t cover them up with anything. [We have these at the cabin too]
  • We leave our faucets dripping slowly when we think the temperatures may drop
  • We don’t use the propane heater unless we have to. That stuff isn’t cheap. We pay for electricity at our sites already!  
  • We Insulate our water source. If it’s in the ground cover it. If it’s a water spicket put heat cord around it. Most places will do it or require you to do it.
  • We open our cabinet doors at night when the temperatures get sketchy.
  • We also love our electric blankets. [Well I love it, Dillon actually hates it]
  • We also make sure our fresh water bulk tank isn’t completely full. 

That’s pretty much it, I know that seems extreme and I guess it is but I didn’t want to miss a single helpful thing. 

Ok, so I also get a lot of questions about the underpinning or skirting. We had one for the Seria [because Dillon’s parents got it] I put it on two years and said screw it after that! The main reason it was such a hassle and little to no effect inside. Y’all it’s practically just a tarp. The second reason was ours was all tore to hell because there were no tie downs (poor design) and it just flapped In the wind constantly. Also, they are on the pricey side. We have looked at other places and options and seen one we really liked on a neighbors camper. He said he got it here. We just can’t pack up and go anytime soon.

Co-parenting…

As you all have probably put two and two together. Dillon is Logan’s Step Dad. Logan’s Father is very much in the picture. He and I have known each other for around 15 years. We met through a cousin of mine (they are still good friends). We were young and dumb and “dated” on and off long distance forever. I won’t go into the whole story because I’d be here all day and it’s all water under the bridge now. When we found out we were pregnant, I wasn’t near old enough at 18 and he only 19! We were scared yet excited. We ended up breaking up for a while then married when Logan was around 1.

We tried our hardest to make it work for Logan. In the end, I decided I wanted to raise Logan in a loving relationship (not that it was just ugly and awful between us) We just both agreed that separation was best for Logan. We had the easiest divorce (ugh, Y’all I hate that word) we split everything, we each paid half, we didn’t fight over who was getting Logan when we didn’t fight over child support. We both knew we are doing what is best for Logan.

I do not say mean, or awful things about Logan’s father to or around Logan. I’m NOT going to say that we get along 100% and agree on everything (because we don’t, who does?) But in the end our arguments die pretty quickly because we start to realize what is best for Logan.

We co-parent Logan, and he also understands that Dillon is also a big part of Logan’s life. He knows Logan has to respect Dillon, as I know Logan will have to respect anyone he has in his life because of his father. [too many times I’ve heard of parents trying to teach their kids to disrespect the step parents. That makes me so angry]

Also, Dillon is under the same understanding, Logan’s father is a part of his life. We both support any conversation that Logan wants to have about his father and half-brother. We all work with each other on dates, schedules, and holidays. Y’all our schedule is crazy and he works with us a lot. Meeting times and spots change regularly because of us moving around.

When logan played baseball this past summer. We didn’t have to tell him. Dillon and I paid for everything. We were the ones taking him to practices and games. BUT, Y’all should have seen Logan’s face when most of his family was there to cheer him on for his final game. I know it sucked to drive 3 hours away on Tuesdays or Thursday to come watch him play, yet he did it regularly. Because it was best for Logan! [if you cant tell we are a goofy bunch]

Logan has a half-brother, from his father’s side. One day he’s going to want to spend the night with Logan (with us) or go with us where ever Logan is going. It wouldn’t bother us one bit to have him with us (his Mom probably wouldn’t allow it but, that I can’t change) it’s what is best for Logan. He is his brother after all.

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Logan had a big birthday party this year and we worked together to make sure Logan’s Dad and his brother could come. Again It made the whole day better for Logan! (Look at Logan help him with the pinata)

I have one friend that is also able to have this relationship with her kid’s dads. (We met after both of her ex-husbands, yet I know both of them and they know me)

So my question is why? Why can so many parents not see this? Why do most step-parents want to cause friction? Why do so many parents spend thousands of dollars in court to fight? Why can’t they choose what’s best for their child?