Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So, It's Cold Up Here

There are a lot of "tricks" when it comes to keeping your RV up and running during the winter: skirt the RV to keep the heat in, wrap your water line so it doesn't freeze, seal the windows so no excess heat gets lost, etc. Another one is that you keep your faucet in the bathroom running all the time (FYI water and electricity are included in rent) because flowing water is harder to freeze then standing water. Well, these tricks don't work very well when it is -55 outside. Nothing can stop Mother Nature!

The water line froze today and I had to dress up in my "winter outfit" just so I could run outside for a few minutes. This wasn't enough! The only part of my body that was exposed were my eyes and my eyelashes froze together! Next time I need to remember to wear my ski goggles. 

["Winter Outfit": two pairs of sweatpants, snowboarding pants, good socks, waterproof boots, two shirts, a light jacket, a sweatshirt, a heavy jacket, gloves, a scarf, a headband, a beanie, and a facemask]

[We live in north of Minot - in the pink area]

At least we have heat!! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Change of Plans

The biggest reason why I was so okay with the move to North Dakota was the fact that we had our housing situation in order.

This state is CROWDED! All the hotels and motels are overpriced and booked up, there is no where to park RVs and trailers, people are living in their trucks, and most of the pipeliners are in man camps. Since we were told that we would be able to live in a trailer that was already set up and ready to go, I was fine with the move. Little did we know that upon arrival the heater in the trailer would break (this is a HUGE deal when it is -20 at night) and we would be left with nowhere to live, literally, there-is-no- where-to-live!

Luckily, Josh's uncle lives in Wisconsin (9 hours away) and has a nice BIG RV that he is letting us borrow. Thank God for amazing family!

[The RV when it first arrived]

Josh and his uncle spent the next two days skirting the RV while I unpacked everything on the inside.

[Skirting around the RV]

[Bedroom complete with flannel sheets, a heated blanket, and a down comforter] 

[TV in the bedroom]



[Front room - the couch on the left turns into a bed just incase any of you want to come and visit!] 

[Notice the heated blanket and space heater - electricity is free, propane is not] 

[Kitchen with Josh]

RV's usually have problems but in the winter they can be REALLY bad. The water can freeze, pipes can burst, you can lose power, the propane can go out, etc. Today our water line froze. So we spent the day in the -40 (wind chill with 60 mph winds) degree weather trying to fix the problem. Did you know that duck tape doesn't work when it's below freezing? Neither do your hands. 

[Josh taking a break from working on the RV]

The RV also has a broken TV so Josh uninstalled that one and replaced it with ours. It's nice to have a handy man around!

 So this is "home" for now! Josh is really enjoying his new job and I am trying not to freeze to death! Word on the street is that the summers up here are nice. I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

To the Land of Oil

While we were in Wisconsin over Christmas, Josh had a lot of job possibilities. The top three were: (1) Going back to Colorado to work with his old company, (2) going to New Orleans for a big job with another company, and (3) an inspection job with a huge company in North Dakota. 

All three jobs were in limbo so we were stuck in Wisconsin until we heard that one of them was a go. Josh got a call from his old boss so it looked like #1 was what we were going to do. We packed, left Wisconsin, and headed back to Colorado. We got a room at a long-term-stay hotel and Josh started work. We were informed that the New Orleans job got postponed and that the inspection job probably wasn't going to happen so I decided to get settled in: I unpacked our place, joined a local gym, and bought $150 worth of groceries. 

I think God has a funny sense of humor because less then 24 hours after we settled in we got the call to get to North Dakota ASAP! Even though I wasn't excited about moving AGAIN, I was so excited for Josh. Getting an inspection job is a HUGE deal and I know this is something that he really wants.

So, we packed up our stuff, rented a little trailer, went to our storage unit, packed up the trailer, and headed out! The road was long and flat, but we spent the night in Rapid City, SD which helped break up the drive.

[Somewhere in South Dakota]

We arrived in Kenmare, ND just before blizzard Gandalf arrived. The storm was COLD and SNOWY! Welcome to North Dakota!

Josh went to work and I set up camp in a hotel room while we wait for our trailer to be ready. Due to the storm and the cold weather work was canceled which gave us time to relax, go shopping, and get the trailer ready for us to move in to.

It's hard to move (or get anything done) when the high is -4 and the wind chill is -25 but this is what we signed up for!

This is "home" for now! Pray for snow and wish us luck!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Freezing at Lambeau Field / Christmas Vacation

I knocked another one of my goals off of my 30 Before 30 List! Yep! Seeing a Packers game, tailgating, and freezing to death at Lambeau Field was one of my goals : )

Since Josh and I were already planning on going to Wisconsin for Christmas, we figured that it would be fun to see a Packers game while we were up there. 


I really had no idea what I was getting myself into so I did some research. Turns out the seats at Lambeau are like High School bleachers and the average temperature there this time of year is in the 20s! Fun! So you may end up freezing your butt to the bleachers, but that is all part of the game. Luckily, you can rent seat backs for only $6 and there is plenty of hot chocolate to be purchased!

The Trip:

We left Rifle, CO, early (it was -10 degrees, BTW) on Friday, December 21st and headed to Omaha to stay the night with my brother and his family. The drive was LONG and the roads were icy but we made it to Omaha in one piece. 

The next morning we got up, made pigs in a blanket (Neilson Family Tradition!), Skyped with my parents, and opened presents with everyone. Even though we couldn't be in CA this year, it was a lot of fun to Skype with my parents so we could see their expressions as they opened their presents. Josh and I got my dad a "Christmas Vacation" Moose Mug complete with a Cousin Eddie Dickey! I saw them online and knew I had to get it for my dad. My mom wanted a scrap book of the year that showed what all of her kids have been up to. Missy and I made one for her using an online program. The book came out really well and I'm glad she liked it!

[Dad with the Moose Mug and the Dickey! Classic!]

 [Pictures from Chritmas in Omaha. Thanks Missy!]

[Missy taking care of the pigs]

After that Josh and I headed to Green Bay. We ate dinner at Fuddruckers (complete with Wisconsin cheese curds) and spent the night.

The next morning we were up bright and early, got dressed in a lot of layers,  and headed to Lambeau!

[All the clothes I was wearing to the game]

[On the way!]

It was so cold, SO COLD!

But that didn't stop us from tailgating.

[The tailgating SUV]

[Brats... what else?!]

[Yes, it was THAT cold]

After tailgating, we headed to Lambeau


[Josh and I at our seats] 

[Hot chocolate to keep me warm]

[Clay Matthews] 

[Enjoying the game]

[Our "seats"]

[Leaving the game]

Even though it was a little colder then I would have liked, we had a great time at the game. The Packers won and it was fun to experience a game on the "frozen tundra!"

The day after the game (Christmas Eve), we headed up to Superior to spend Christmas with Josh's family. We stayed the night with Josh's dad and stepmom, George and Julie. We opened presents with them and then headed over to see Grandma and Grandpa Carlson and Josh's sister, Jessi. We continued to open presents and celebrate being together for the holidays. 

Throughout the rest of the week we hung out with Josh's family and friends, saw a lot of movies (Les Miserables, The Hobbit, and Django), ate cheese curds, watched another Packers game, went bowling (Josh threw out his back in the second frame so he is done with that), and rested. It was a lot of fun to have a white Christmas and to spend time with Josh's family! 


I only wish I had taken more photos  :-(  
I did get a few from our crazy New Years Eve:

[Fresh venison]

[Josh setting up the PS3 so we can watch a movie]

Yep. Party people right here!

Our vacation ended quickly. Josh got a call to come back to Colorado for work so we packed and headed out.

Overall it was a great vacation! The only downfall was that we didn't get to see Josh's mom, Suzi, because she was working in North Dakota and we weren't able to spend time with Brodee. Hopefully, we will get to see both of them soon!

[Cute picture of Brodee that his mom sent us. Looks like he had a great Christmas too!]

Thanks to everyone for making it such a great Christmas Vacation!