Category Archives: Happiness

Time with Family

We finally made it to Mountain Grove and got to see the family! We had a really great time! We got to see our beautiful new nephew Taten who is absolutely precious.

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And of course his older, more energetic brother Jaron.

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Being out on the road all the time you miss doing everyday “settled” people stuff. Like cooking. So one night we made homemade pizzas, With homemade dough.

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Lucky for me they had a classy apron for me to borrow.

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We played Catch Phrase and this Lego game called Creationary. It’s like Pictionary but instead of drawing, you build with Legos. It was awesome.

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Then, because this is the first time we’ve been back in months, we did Christmas. 🙂 We got a fridge for our truck that we’d been desperately needing…the old one was a glorified lunch box that didn’t keep anything very cold and made our lunch meat slimy. :/ The new one is like the Cadillac of trucker fridges.

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It holds a TON of stuff and, most importantly, keeps all of that stuff super cold! Then, our brother Isaac who’s crazy talented with leather, made us homemade journals. They’re legendary. I love them!
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Jaron enjoyed all the hats.
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The trip went by way too fast and before we knew it we were saying goodbye…but not before seeing how many Smith’s we could fit into our truck.

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We had a great time, and already miss everybody!
Now we’re back on the road and headed down to Florida.

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Filed under Food, Friends, Happiness, Life, On The Road, Pictures, Trucking

And then awesome happened

So as you know we’ve been waiting for the last few days (since 11am Thursday morning to be exact) to get a load to Mountain Grove, MO to see Jacob’s family.
Today they sent us up to Edwardsville, KS (a suburb of Kansas City, KS) to get our batteries replaced, but when asked about getting a load home-ward we were told “be patient, don’t push it”. (Jacob just smiled and graciously responded…we’re lucky he was the one that was told this because I may not have been quite as…mature with my response).
Anywho, we got them to let us bobtail (drive the tractor without pulling a trailer) to the “store” and promptly headed for Raytown, MO to get some wonderful coffee from my favorite coffee shop, Benetti’s.
Ben, Michael, and Kiersten were working and greeted us with the warm welcome we had so desperately been missing. My good friend Chloie stopped by to see us and then later the wonderful, and adorably pregnant, Amy stopped in to see us as well. It was the social interaction I had been needing for weeks.
On top of all of that, as we were pulling into the coffee shop, and Jacob was narrowly missing the sign, we got a pre-plan for a load headed to Florida that doesn’t have to be delivered until Friday…which means, since Mountain Grove is on the way, we get to hang out there for a few days and leave in time to get the load delivered on time. Yay!
So now we’ve picked up the load and we’re headed to Mountain Grove to spend some time with his wonderful family. Finally!

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Filed under Friends, Happiness, Life, On The Road, Trucking

Procrastinators suck at blogging

So we know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. We’re still here, or there…driving around the country together. Over the last month or two we’ve done quite a few things so I think I’ll just leave you with some pictures.

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Maple bacon ale doughnut

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The job is interesting for sure but so far we’re having fun.

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Filed under Happiness, Life, On The Road, Pictures, Trucking

Love

I was thinking the other morning about all the people that I truly love and care for, and how often I them them that. Some people I tell all the time, like my amazing wife. For others, it’s been a really long time. So I went through my phone contacts and sent a text to everybody I loved in it. You can’t tell anyone you love them often enough. There are a lot of people that I don’t see often enough to tell them that I love them. One or the other of us has moved or something. There are a lot of people that I moved away from in this last year that I love a whole lot and don’t get a chance to tell them. I also moved closer to others. Anyway, don’t be afraid to tell people you love them. They like to hear it, probably. It’s also nice to be told that you are loved back. So if you get a random call or message from me telling you that I love you, don’t be surprised.

Love, Jacob

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Filed under Friends, Happiness

10-4 Good Buddy

So as you may know, we’ve been living in Mountain Grove, MO for the last few months. Jacob found a job working for Ready Transport, I haven’t had any luck.

As excited as we are that he has a job, we really miss spending all of our time together. So…we started brainstorming possible job opportunities in which we could work together. The other factor we were considering was finances. Jacob and I are trying to pay off all of our debt as soon as possible, which is made more difficult when only one of us is working.

So, Jacob had an idea one day…what if we were truck drivers? They have team drivers, where two people drive so that the truck can go longer distances in a shorter amount of time (a truck driver is only allowed to drive 11 hours in a 24 hour period), and very often married couples will drive as a team. Most of the negatives associated with trucking have to do with time spent away from home and family – but what about when your family is on the road with you? Well, then your family is just getting paid to travel. We liked the sound of that! So I started doing some research.

In order to drive for a truck company, you have to go to truck driving school. Cost for truck driving school ranges from $1,900 – $3,900, a person. BUT, we saw on some forums that some truck companies will pay for the schooling up front and then you have to agree to work for them for a specified amount of time (13 months). We found one such company and after applying were accepted to their academy 🙂 So off to truck driving school we go…

Speaking of which – our school is located in Phoenix, AZ. We’re excited! We’ll be doing training in Phoenix and then that will become our home base. Our current plan is to buy a camper and live in it the 3 days a month we’ll be home. 🙂 We’re equally excited about this fact. In regards to debt pay off, we’ll have ALL of our debt paid off in less than a year! So far it’s been impossible for me to say that without smiling.

So if anyone has any trucking advice for us, please feel free to give it!

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Filed under Faith, Happiness, Life, Moving, Trucking

Camp Courage

A few weeks ago Jacob and I were fortunate enough to spend the weekend as camp counselors at Camp Courage – a camp for developmentally disabled adults. This year was Jacob’s 12th consecutive year going, and my first – but definitely not last! It was wonderful.

I’ve been a camp counselor at youth camps many times before, and it’s always a very rewarding experience – but this was different. This was by far the most fulfilling experience of my life. I have never been somewhere so free of judgement. Even more than that, shamefully i must admit that i don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time not thinking of myself at all. At camp, everything revolves around the campers and their happiness. They’re normal and we’re there to support them, and mostly to just have fun. We went camping, swimming, played bingo, went on nature walks, and made crafts, but the most fun I had was in our cabin. I was teamed up with another girl named Loralyn and we had 4 girls in our cabin – and they were incredible. I have never laughed so much in my life. We joked around and teased each other non-stop. Loralyn even ended up with a surprise in her bed one night (stuffed animal, nothing crazy) from a particularly mischievous camper. In short, it was everything camp should be, and more.

A post about Camp Courage wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the woman in charge of it all, Janet Woodward. As I said before, I’ve been to many camps (at least 1 every summer since 3rd grade), and I’ve never seen anyone as organized as she is. She had a plan for everything and even when mistakes happened on the part of others (like the camp site double booking us on the first day), she took charge and everything was taken care of. The communication between the campers, nurses, and staff was made effortless by her simple and efficient systems. when events like this are administered well, it makes it easy for people to take part and want to volunteer year after year, because all we had to do was have fun with the campers. No pressure.

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Loralyn

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I loved it and can’t wait to go back.

-Rachel

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Filed under camping, Friends, Happiness, Life

More Bread. Yum.

Addiction:

–noun: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

I think I have an addiction. Not to any narcotics, don’t you fret, but to bread. I crave it! I want it and need it so dearly that when torn from its tasty delight for too long, I find myself inadvertently baking copious amounts of it. Alas, my incredible husband has the same addiction and so it seems that I am now an enabler as well as an addict. sigh.

Yesterday I made bagels. Jacob’s family came home from the store the other day with these garlic and rosemary bagels that they were all raving about and I thought, I should make some bagels! If I can make cheesecake, I can make bagels. (There is absolutely no connection between bagels and cheesecake, that last bit was for self-motivation and therefore will make sense to no one but me. I apologize). So I set about making bagels. Now, as of late, I’ve decided to use only whole wheat flour in the things I bake. Reason #1: Health. If I can substituted a few ingredients here and there to make the everyday foods I eat even the slightest bit healthier, I’m going to! Reason #2: Experimentation. I haven’t used whole wheat flour nearly as much as All-Purpose Flour so in my quest for a healthier lifestyle, I’m trying out all sorts of new ingredients and figuring out which ones I like, and which ones are just not worth it. So far, whole wheat flour is totally worth it. Delicious and nutritious!

I cut up fresh rosemary from our herb box and fresh garlic scapes from Laura’s (Jacob’s mom) garden.

I after much kneading and rising of dough, it mas time to shape the bagels. This part kind of threw me and I must say it’s not my most artistic work.

This next step is where bagels differ from everything else I’ve ever baked.

First, bring a big pot of water (about 2 quarts) to a boil. Toss a few (3) of these in, flip them over and let boil for 2 minutes. Pull them out of the water with a slotted spoon and place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with an egg wash and THEN bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. They came out quite nice actually.

They didn’t end up looking too bad after all, and they taste pretty good too.

-Rachel

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Filed under Dove Mountain, Food, Happiness

Yard Work

I’ve come to find that there’s something intensely gratifying about accomplishing yard work. This may be, in large part, due to the fact that I’ve never really done much yard work in my life. Now wait a minute – before you start thinking that I’m a spoiled little princess – I grew up in the desert so there was never really much yard work to do. Most yards were decorated in “rockscaping” (it’s a real thing, Google it).

So, to get back on track, Jacob taught me how to operate the riding mower today. At first I was a little scared (it’s loud and equipped with sharp blades), but once I got the hang of it I found it a kind of fun. As it was my first time out, my poor husband had to come behind me with the weed eater and get all the spots I missed around trees, rocks, stumps, and anywhere else I just didn’t get. (Marry well girls, marry well).

While mowing was exciting, the best part of the yard work so far has been the planting and growing. As I mentioned before, we planted a few things, most of which were starters so there was already a bit of plant there to look at. However, the green beans I started (all by myself!!!) were just seeds and over the last few days I’ve been amazed to watch them sprout and push themselves up through the dirt. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch something you put in the ground, as a little ol’ seed, grow and flourish!

look at it! So cute!

When they get a bit taller we’ll help them attach to the trellis so they can grow up the whole thing…it’s gonna be awesome!!!

We also made an herb box and filled it with Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Sweet Leaf (Stevia).

At present I’m trying to track down some Cilantro to plant in that last empty spot…so far I haven’t had any luck. 😦

Last night some animal, probably a hedge hog, tried to take out my Stevia plant. This morning Jacob found it completely pulled out and on it’s side. So we’re gonna have to find out how to prevent that from happening again.

This is our lovely porch…I love it.

So…speaking of things I love. Today is Jacob and I’s 6 month wedding anniversary. To celebrate Jacob made me banana pancakes for breakfast with a delicious homemade Rosemary syrup. I am not even exaggerating when I tell you that it was outstanding!

Yum!

and to top it all off he picked some fresh flowers from the yard for the table.

Like I said ladies, marry well!

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Filed under Happiness, Life

Experience

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” – C.S. Lewis

This morning marks our last shift at the Weaver Inn. As our final hours dwindle down we consider our time here Mansfield, MO. Though short and riddled with obstacles, the time here was incredibly profitable. As newlyweds we were able to spend a full 2 months with each other, day in and day out. While this amount of time with your spouse brings its own challenges, the things that we’ve learned with and about each other as a result of this time have strengthened our relationship and brought us even closer together.

Upon accepting the position in Mansfield, Jacob and I began to wonder about small town life. Would we like it? Would it be quaint and cute? Maybe we’ll love it and resign to live is small towns forever. Will the people be more real, and down-to-earth? Will it encourage us to lead a more healthy lifestyle, in diet and activity?

The resounding answer to all of those questions, for us at least, was “no”.

Quaint: “Attractively unusual or old-fashioned” – Was Mansfield unusual and old-fashioned? Yes! Attractively so? … not so much. I don’t want you to think that we hate this town or that we didn’t like anyone we met here – that is not the case – we just found that, for the things we want in life, small town life just won’t work for us. We’ve met some great people and enjoyed much of our time. It’s just time for us to move on.

We’re excited to see what our next adventure will be and where it will lead us. For now, we’ll be spending the summer with his family, after that? We’ll see…

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

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Filed under Faith, Happiness, Life, Moving, Uncategorized, Weaver Inn

Cyclocamping

So in a couple of days Rachel and I will both be moving on from the Bed and Breakfast and will have a lot more time on our hands so we are both celebrating. Rachel by going to see people that she loves. And I am going to bicycle into the middle of a 15000 acre conservation area and camp.

I have not done the cyclocamping thing before, but why not combine two of my favorite things?

I finished up, for now, my latest bike project. A Viscount 10 speed road bike. probably from the 80’s? New tubes and some cyclocross Kenda tires, a rack is on the way, as is a new tent.

Santiago is not a bad looking bike. I kinda like him!

I am trying to convert a couple of back packs into panniers. I really need to figure out how to get equipment given to me to review.

Anyway. There should be lots of pictures from this weekends ride coming soon!

-Jacob

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Filed under bikes, camping, Happiness, Life, Pictures