Laundry Loather

My day was filled with laundry, laundry, and oh yeah, did I mention laundry? This task has always been one of my most hated and worst enemy’s. I try to put it all the way down at the bottom of my to-do list and then I do my best to stretch my day out so long that I don’t have time for this awful disaster. But it’s just like the old prepaid flip phones. The minutes and chores just roll over to the next day.

So this is it. I’ve done everything on my to-do list by 3:00. I mowed, pulled weeds, managed to extend my time doing a touch up paint job on our bed frame even. Maybe I should have pulled out a sander and sanded the frame down and repainted it all over again. It would have at least extended my time till nightfall. The piles already gotten too big to hide in the laundry room closet. Tucked away so tight socks went missing behind the dryer and clothes peeked through the doors. A hidden mess in a clean house is what it was, just like the junk drawer we all have in our kitchens!

I can’t tell you why I just let piles of clean clothes build up instead of doing one load and folding them at a time. That’s just the way my mind works I guess! I have realized since my husband came home after being away for a month he has brought a lot more clothes to the bin. I was barley doing 2 loads of mine and Evalee’s a week and the day he got back from work was the day that changed! I do at least a load every day! Clothes that leave a trail to the bathroom, the 8 different outfits Evalee decides to wear for an hour each and somehow manages to dirty. The towels thrown on the ground in the corner of the bathroom. Hi ho, hi ho, off to do laundry I go, while the thought of more children equals more laundry swiftly passes through my mind.

Back to the load… I can sit and do dishes all day. One of the odd therapeutic things for me, just liking mowing and vacuuming. But as the title of this post is, I loathe laundry. For you who don’t know what loathe means, it’s “to hate with a passion” a word I learned my junior year of high school in Miss. Harold’s English class.

So here it goes, Ev is asleep for the short cat nap I can squeeze out of her. The only time I can manage to fold clothes without her help which ends with me refolding them again. I’ve got my strong cup of coffee on one side of me, my rerun of The Bachelorette in front of me and my mountain of clothes ready and waiting on the other side. The most prepared I will ever be!

I start with the towels which shrinks my load down by a quarter. Work my way to the jeans, and on through to the t-shirts and under garments. Left are at least 20 items ready to be hung and a pile of socks waiting to be sorted through. Does anyone find themselves folding laundry neatly and by the end of it you just start wrapping things up as quick as possible? I sure do. I managed to get through all of the clothes with the one item left to fold. The mother of all hatreds. A fitted sheet.

As silly as it sounds I have literally looked up the right way to fold this treacherous piece of cloth. Yet I have never been able to figure it out. I usually try folding it a few times to make it look appealing but end up rolling it into a ball and shoving it out of hindsight.

Last but not least with a little time to spare, I quietly pick up sections of the folded laundry making sure to not wake the sleeping child sprawled beneath them. I stop at her room to drop her tiny human clothes off, bring the towels to the bathroom and make my first stop at our dresser.

It must have been the squeaky drawers that woke her up. By the time I made my way out to the living room to grab my second load, Ev was sitting up trying to fold the recently folded pile of clothes that were left. She looked up with a smile so proud of herself while half of the clothes had been dumped on the ground. As irritable as I felt like being for the fact that I had spent an hour doing the chore I disliked the most, how can I be mad when all she was doing was trying to help mama out? That smile alone melts my heart! I made my way around to the couch and sat beside her and we refolded clothes together. This moment I will cherish.

I believe the link below will show you the correct way to fold a fitted sheet! 😜

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DEBSyhfNFwU

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For The Love Of Cake And Pastries!

Those of you who know me know that I love to bake. I’ve had a baking bone since I was young and have always enjoyed the decorating part of it the most! I went so far as to go to Oregon Coast Culinary Institute for baking and pastry and what an experience that was!

Luckily I was surrounded by some of the best bakers I know. Miss Edna who was my first boss at the age of 14, little did I know then that she would become my mother in law later on!

She transferred all of her baking skills over to me starting with scones. Easily the best baked good out there that is simple yet satisfying. Hundreds of different flavors ranging from sweet to savory with a cut of butter and heap of flour. Chai, peppermint, lavender, bacon asiago, you name it, we can make it, and I’m sure we have! Through the years and still to this day I am learning new recipes from her. But my heart can’t replace my love for that buttery pastry.

My grandpa Tom who I mentioned in my first blog may look a bit tough on the outside but on the inside he screams food magician! He makes a mean grilled salmon, his Mexican quiche is fantastic, and let me tell ya, no one can make a batch of blueberry muffins the way he does! (I’m sure he’d like me to add that last part in there!)

When it comes to baking pastries, she may not have gotten her dads baking skills, but my word, my mama can make the best sweet and sour halibut in all of Southeast Alaska! Throw in her scrumptious fried rice that I can binge eat everyday and my belly will be full for life!

Now I must say, my dad on the other hand has some serious cooking skills! I don’t know where they came from but by golly he knows how to use what he has on hand and make something extravagant!

*I’m thinking I might have to put a family cookbook together!

I can’t forget to mention my aunt Autumn! I can tell you now, if it were possible, we would be twins! I don’t know someone more alike to me than her! We both have a love for photography, baking, and diy projects/refurbishing! We have always joked about starting a business together, and maybe one day those thoughts will become reality! Autumn works at “Sophia’s Cafe” in Palmer, Alaska. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing her orange scones and cinnamon rolls are, but they are out of this world!

“Baking happens with ingredients that last for months and come to life inside a warm oven. Baking is slow and leisurely” ~Regina Brett

I saw this quote last week and it made me think, how have I not recognized this before? It really is amazing how you can throw a few things from your pantry together and make something out of it! Whether it taste good or not just depends on the ingredients used!

I remember when I was about 13-14 years old I wanted to make a dinner and dessert all by myself for my stepdads birthday! I don’t remember the main course but I do remember making homemade onion rings and a chocolate cake with pudding in the middle! I would not recommend putting those two foods together. At least not when a newly aged teenager makes it. I was so proud of myself! I’m sure my parents were thinking they didn’t want to touch the sunk in chocolate pudding cake that was too sweet and the heavy onion rings soaked in oil. But they ate them anyways! It was like a bad case of carnival food! That night I threw up due to the grease and sugar mixed. It was not my greatest moment.

As I got older I started to realize that I enjoyed baking pastries more than dealing with poultry foods. I loved the idea of decorating and making something look appealing with sprinkles and buttercream than plucking a chicken and chopping its head off! (I did that once in school)

While at OCCI we learned a years worth of different types of ways to make baked goods, learned nutrition and bakers math etc.. Starting with breads, working our way through to sugar sculpture art! We learned about tempering chocolate and how to do pastillage and piping. We were taught how to make homemade ice cream, the ways to decorate wedding cakes and a hundred other different things while in school!

Let me tell you, I managed to choose the one program in community college that takes up the most of your time! Most of our friends had different classes a few times a week and had long breaks in between. Not us! We were in school Monday-Friday. Our culinary class was from 8:00 – 1:00 and once that class was done we had about an hour break then went to our associates classes right after! As crazy and hectic as the schooling was it was also the most fun I had in college. I made life long friends, we had the best Chef teaching us, we learned life lessons and we took away skills that will stick with us forever!

Here’s a link to a list of things you should know before going into pastry school! It is so funny and true!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/11-things-to-know-before-going-to-pastry-school/amp

A few of my classmates
Chef Darrell Folk and my wonderful friend Jess!

A part of completing Culinary school was to do an externship at a place of our choice. In my opinion I made the best decision possible! I started working for Cranberry Sweets and More! It is the real life version of Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory to me! located in Coos Bay, Oregon with a flagship store in Bandon, Oregon! They make a few hundred different types of yummy treats with samples to devour and it’s also a gift shop with beautiful gifts and more! You get to watch through the windows as the workers run the machines, dip the chocolates, decorate the candies, package the treats and share laughs around the tables! I’ve cherished the memories made with those goofy guys and wonderful women who shared their wisdom and stories with me! Jackie, if you are reading this, I want you to know I can’t thank you enough for the love you showed me and continue to show my Cranberry Sweets family! I miss you all so very much!

Below is a link to Cranberry Sweets website where you can purchase chocolates, candies and more!

http://cranberrysweets.com

2 pound caramel apples! Made around Christmas time!

11 pound chocolate Santa raffled off!

Willy Wonka Chocolate 😜

After moving to Montana back in 2014, I joined the team at a local bakery/cafe called Morning Light Coffee Roasters. We roast our own coffee beans from all around the world and I am lucky enough to make pastries and cakes there! I love getting the freedom to bake whatever sounds appealing that day! I get to drink and make coffee, socialize with our regular consumers and do what I love! Bake! How can it get any better?!

I figured a blog about baking can’t be finished without a few recipes attached so here they are!

Banana cake with brown sugar buttercream!

http://www.countrycleaver.com/2017/05/banana-cake-cinnamon-brown-sugar-buttercream.html

The best carrot cake with cream cheese icing!

https://www.browneyedbaker.com/best-carrot-cake-recipe/

Chocolate raspberry cake with chocolate buttercream!

https://www.marthastewart.com/1140966/chocolate-raspberry-cake?socsrc=soc_pin_2016_1_25_Food_Scale_CustomImage_I_Galleries&crlt.pid=camp.MHWXPkDXrxRf

Tower of cupcakes I made for a wedding this passed weekend! 💕

Summer Memories

As I’m sitting on my patio, sipping on my coffee, and listening to the laughter of my little one, I can’t help but reminisce on my summers as a care free spirit myself. I’ve got to say, Alaskan summers might be hard to beat. People travel from all around the world to visit the State, but me? I was lucky enough to spend my life there.

My childhood summers consisted of picnics, dandelion headbands, fishing, VBS, swimming at the Canary, softball, bike riding, and let’s not forget trying to conquer balancing on that old rickety red fence that once surrounded the park.

One of my favorite stories that my husband brings up now and again is the time he, his brother and friends walked passed me as i was writing “I LOVE JESUS” with my pastel colored chalk on the sidewalk. One friend went on to say “I love juicy? What’s that supposed to mean?” I still get a kick out of it every time it comes up!

At this age no cell phones blocked our vision, and if we wanted to play outside with our pals we knocked on their doors. At dinner time mom yelled for us from the front porch and curfew was when the street lights turned on.

Good Ol’ Luke Bryan said “kids oughta stay kids as long as they can” If I knew then what I know now I would have taken that advice and ran with it!

“Turn off the screen, go climb a tree, get dirt on their hands” IT’S SO TRUE! This is exactly what we grew up doing. Puddle jumping on the rainy days, or in mine and my not-so bright friends case dunking our heads in the mud puddles! Don’t ask. Going on adventures with the help of our imagination. Playing gypsies in an old rundown car as if we were exploring the world. Making the memories where at that age I never knew would fade.

At some age in my prime middle school days I went through a strong “tom boy” phase. My uncles had left home and one of them left his skateboard for my brother to use. Well of course I was the one to take it away and think I was Johnny hot shot acting as if I can ride. I hadn’t even made it 20 yards from my house when a dandelion somehow got wrapped into one of the wheels and I flew off that thing faster than I got on. I managed to fracture my wrist and wore a sling half the summer!

Every summer my brother and I would spend time in Haines, Alaska with our dad and grandparents! My grandpa would have the fridge stocked with toaster strudels and king crab just for me. Odd combination but to this day they’re still two of my favorites!

We would spend our days playing squirt guns with the neighborhood boys, enjoying the thrill of the the slip and slide and thinking we were hot shots at age 8 and 9 that we got to walk down the street to Grizzly Greg’s for a scoop of ice cream by ourselves! I always thought I was a rebel getting the coffee flavor as if I would get in trouble. Little did I know then that it would run through my veins now!

As I talked to my brother on the phone today he brought up a few stories that I couldn’t resist putting into this post. They may not be my fondest moments, but hey! They created memories worth sharing!

Almost every summer we would take a trip to Canada in the RV with Grandma L and Grandpa L. On one trip my grandma packed our backpacks with snacks and water and told us to venture out among the “wilderness”. Let’s be honest, it was the camp ground. We were probably in their view the whole time. But in our young eyes we saw an adventure awaiting.

I don’t remember much but the thought that 1. We were lost at some point. 2. the rain started to come down on us as if we had never seen anything like it, though we grew up in the rainforest! 3. I had found the most fascinating rock I had ever seen! As if it was a dinosaur egg and I had discovered it all by my 8 year old self! It was smooth, fragile and oh so round. I held onto that rock with the upmost care, excited to bring it back to camp to show off my treasures.

Once we got back after what felt like hours of exploring the great outdoors, I went up to my grandma with my incredible find, head held high and nose in the air as if I was better than my brother with his hands empty. As I showed her my rock that I was sure was going to be saved in some sort of collection, she looked at me and simple said “Honey, that’s moose poop!”

I COULDN’T BELIVE IT! I cradled that piece of poo as if my life depended on it! At that point my grandpa was laughing his big man roar with his goofy facial expression that I love so much, my brothers young high pitch giggle sounded our camp site and my grandma cackled and told me to go wash my hands. I guess that’s what I get for thinking I was better than my brother!

On another trip, while our grandparents were packing up the Rv, my brother and I went and played at the campsite playground. There we found ourselves a tire swing! Every child’s favorite park toy! We took turns pushing each other until it was time to leave. Grandma called out for us to load up into the Rv and begin our trip back to Haines. But of course, not without one last spin from my brother on that darn swing. I remember it like it was yesterday! I kept telling him to stop pushing it in circles. Being the big brother he is, he didn’t listen and kept pushing it, then ran off and hopped into the Motorhome leaving me to wait till it stopped spinning.

I remember trying to make my way back while the world was spinning around me and stars were twinkling above me. Once I made it on the Motorhome I then went on to rat my brother out for the torture he put me through. They didn’t seem to pay no mind to my complaining but instead my grandpa asked me to plug in an extension cord behind his seat before I buckled my seatbelt for the long ride home. As I bent down to do so, I threw up everywhere!! Needless to say, Kristian had to clean up my vomit and I got to take a nap! To this day I will not go on a tire swing.

I can think of at least 10 more stories that I would love to share and if it didn’t take a novel to write them I would. But for now, I will leave you with these memories. They may not be award winners but they definitely left me with a smile, and maybe they will for you too.

Cousins in Haines, Alaska (That’s me in the overalls, probably chunky from all that Ice cream!)
My friend Katie and I in our gypsy outfits!
Haines, Alaska (Photo by Judi Rice Photography)

Appreciation

It is 1:52 in the morning. I have no idea why I can’t sleep so I figured I’d write my thoughts. Because that’s a normal thing to do at this hour.

As much as I love sappy, “make you cry” stories, I’m not much for being one to write like that. I like to keep things light and funny, but there are times when things turn mushy…

Tonight was one of those nights where I cuddled with my sleeping husband on the couch while the sound of Fox News drowned the background. I just stared at him. I realized in the 9 years we have been together, 3 which we have been married, things have moved so fast in our lives and we haven’t just stopped for a break to hold each other. I mean, of course we do. We love each other and we show our affection, but it’s not always that I just take him in. His smell, his hands, his lips. Nothing in the room matters for that short time but him. There are those few moments where you are just laying there, listening to their heartbeat and tracing your hand on theirs.

All of the things my husband does, all of the hard work, sweat, overtime, side jobs busting his ass to provide for us and to better our lives, I don’t appreciate as much as I know I should. I’ve gotten so use to him being there to take care of me that I’ve completely taken him for granted! How has it been that I don’t show him how much I value everything he’s done, accomplished, worked for? Because I just assume he knows? It doesn’t work that way. He deserves to hear the gratitude and care I have for him. I know that this is something I need to work on myself, but it’s also a good reminder for other partners in life as well to truly show each other kindness, thankfulness and compassion towards one another. In these moments where I am curled up next to him watching him like a creep, my heart is filled with even more love for the man and father he has turned into.

He is our provider, our protector and shield, and my best friend. God gave me him and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Fast forward to now. I have moved into our bedroom where Evalee is sprawled out in the middle of the bed with our two dogs on either side of her. (yes she is sleeping in our bed) I made room to squeeze in to cuddle with her before what I thought would be falling asleep myself. That turned into writing a post for the next half hour. As I looked at her and observed her face that is a perfect blend of her daddy and I, tears weld up in my eyes! I have no clue why! I am still so mesmerized at the fact that she is mine! How did I get so lucky! This long legged, blonde haired beauty with the most cheesy grin and ears that stick out further when she smiles, she is mine! It just feels so amazing! I am in awe at how fast time has gone and how much she has changed. I just looked back at photos of her as a gummy, bald headed, perfectly round face with chunky cheeks little thing, and now it’s like she’s grown 2 feet over night and lost her baby fat! (As her long giraffe leg just kicked me in the face) why does time have to go so fast! Maybe someone can invent a watch like the movie Clockstoppers and the world around me will just slow down 🧐 The things that go through my head when I am tired!

It is now 2:23, goodnight ♥️

… Shoot now I’m hungry

Oh Me, Oh My Messy Life!

Isn’t it funny how your mindset changes when you have your own home compared to when you lived with your parents? Or how about when you become a parent yourself? I always remembered my poor mom coming home from a long day of work. She was a teacher, who finally retired! 🎉 But that job, as rewarding as it is, she never had a break. She would come home at 5:00, hopefully squeeze in a walk to the store, make dinner, spend time with us, and once we went to bed she sat on the couch grading papers till 1:00 in the morning, then wake up and do it all again! So weekends, on her free time she spent hours cleaning the house just to see it a mess later due to us kids! She always told me, “Ashia, just wait until it’s your own house! You will appreciate it more!” Is it cliché to say mothers are always right? At least in this situation she is!

Since having a place of our own along with a child, my days are spent cleaning house, shopping, going to the park, making dinner, cleaning again, and working on projects around the house. You know, the usually stay at home mommy gig.

Growing up I would struggle to keep my room clean for longer than 3 days. Clothes covered my floor when I was trying to decide what to wear. I complained when I was asked to make my bed as if it would take hours out of my day to do so, and don’t get me started on the little chores I was given every week! But now, since living on my own I have become darn near OCD. I don’t know if the so called “nesting” stage of my pregnancy just never subsided or what! If the dishes aren’t done or the floor isn’t swept, I get a bit of a jitter bone in my body and have to do so as soon as possible. The other night as we were enjoying a movie with some friends, I made a semi snide, yet jokingly remark about having my husband help clean the house and he said “Whether I help or not I still wouldn’t do it right!” IT’S SO TRUE! Poor guy works his butt off all week, then comes home and helps around the house, yet I’m on his tail making sure he is cleaning the counters right!

In the past two months I’ve finally gotten into the show “Friends” I know, most people have watched all episode two times over by now! I love the gang and I’ve always wondered who I am most like! I always thought Phoebe, in her fun, carefree ditzy blonde self, and though I have quite a few qualities as her, just the other day it hit me! I am a Monica! I can walk into my house and right away spot out the little thing that might have been moved. I will obsess over something so small and feel the need to be right, and I will bring out the mop and broom in the middle of our crowded room to clean up a mess without caring how crazy I look!

During my pregnancy, and I admit still sometimes to this day, I went extremely overboard! I’m pretty sure our buddy Casey’s favorite story of me is when him and Kole had walked into our house and I immediately told them to shut the door quick! I would be so frustrated with them walking in and out of the house at night due to the fact that the bugs would swarm to the kitchen light when it was dark outside! I would grab out my vacuum and instantly suck up those pesky misquotes every time they opened the door, and would make the guys shut the kitchen lights off before they left the house so the bugs didn’t come back in! I was crazy!

As much as I clean my house it looks like a tornado hit by the time I sit down for a break! Building blocks spread everywhere, cracker crumbs and popcorn spilt over on the carpet, hand marks on the freshly wiped windows, etc. my crazy little love keeps me busy with cleaning no doubt! Just the other day as I had finished spot cleaning the carpet due to an unforeseen spill of a popsicle, I went into our room to make the bed. Once I went back out into the living room Ev managed to find less than 5 minutes to throw handfuls of dirt from outside into her play kitchen refrigerator! Back to the utility closet to grab the vacuum I went! I can hear my mom’s laugh and her saying “just wait!” in my head just thinking about it! It’s a constant loop from one generation to another!

Weekends are the only days I don’t bust my butt cleaning due to the fact that those are the two days I work at Morning Light! One night I was too tired to clean up all of Ev’s toys she dumped and scattered around the living room, so I decided to leave them till the next day to clean! Well, I hadn’t realized one of daddy’s permanent markers he uses for work was on the ground when we woke up the next morning! As I laid in bed scrolling through Facebook, Evalee got up and went out to the living room as she usually does ushering the dogs to the door to go potty. I was soon to follow behind to let them out. Things got quiet. That “a little too quiet” feeling set in and I called Ev into the room only to find permanent marker on her cheeks! I jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen. To my surprise, (not) she had marked the kitchen cabinets and shared with me her artistic abilities! DON’T FREAK OUT JUST YET! I immediately looked up ways to get it out! Tip of the day- a wet wash cloth and toothpaste got that sucker right out! Thank goodness!

If I would have known having a child would be this loony! Well, I still would have had her! All of these trials, messes, tantrums, limit testings, and more, they don’t compare to the love and joy she brings me everyday! She is my blessing ♥️

Welcome to my crazy, messy, sometimes insane life!

Motherhood. My beautiful, crazy version.

Never would I have imagined that at 22, I would be a Mommy. Okay let’s rephrase that. Never would I have imagined that now at age 24, I would have a toddler controlling my every move.

Yes, the love I have for this tiny human is 100% completely indescribable. The biggest adrenaline rush of my life was the moment they placed her on my chest. I had never felt so alive! She has my heart forever and has changed mine and my husbands world in the best way possible.

Let me gloat for a second before the shenanigans step in! This is every mamas favorite thing to do right?

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I truly do believe God’s plans for me were known before I was born.

We found out we were pregnant with little Miss Evalee on January 14, 2016. Not in a planned way that most people hope for either! I’m sure that’s not uncommon! I had been at work all week during flu season. As many of my coworkers were sick I started to think I was coming down with the flu myself. My boss and good friend Joy had other thoughts and kept joking saying that I should take a pregnancy test! I in no way was going to do that. The next day as I was going about doing my business, I received a text from my dad that said “So when’s the baby due? Your stepmom had a dream last night that you were pregnant!” I was completely baffled as I laughed to myself a bit nervously and went to show Joy the message. She gave me the look and said “It wouldn’t hurt to take a test!” Stubborn me proceeded to say no. That night I had realized that my not so nice monthly friend was late for her visit. I immediately told Kole that we needed to pick up a pregnancy test.

He went and picked up a pack of 3 tests and I sat there debating on whether we should use them or not. Once I worked up the courage and looked numerous times online to see how the real way to use them was, as if peeing on a stick wasn’t simple enough, I did. I expected to have to wait the longest three minutes of my life before it showed a positive or negative sign. It took 10 seconds before the two lines appeared proving that we were indeed pregnant! I was shocked and scared out of my mind! I walked over to Kole and immediately started crying.

Of course I was excited but I knew we weren’t financially set, we were still so young, the question of “were we ready?” was placed in my mind. He sat there and coddled me assuring that we will be alright. After a few minutes of calming down I went back and took the second test. While doing so Kole was checking online at the reviews of the type of test we had purchased. Out of the 400 great reviews he pointed out the 30 bad ones on the site, saying that it could be a false positive. Once the second showed up positive he seemed to think that they might just show up that way for everyone! So yes, he took that last test and peed on it himself.

Needless to say it turned up negative. We went the next day to the doctors and sure enough we were 5 weeks along with our little coffee bean! Hearing the sound of her heartbeat was absolutely incredible. There’s a heartbeat in that little bean?

Once we were far enough along we told our family and friends the great news! My in laws along with our dear friend Nelson had come to visit us in GreatFalls and it was a perfect time to tell them that there was going to be a new Skaflestad in the family! We set up balloons, Jesse Bear (my husbands teddy from when he was a child) and an ultrasound of our little peanut. The love that filled the room was indescribable!

Here’s why I believe God shows himself through dreams. The first thing my mother in-love told me was “Oh my gosh, I had a dream that Kole picked me up at the airport and I asked where you were and he said “she’s at home with the baby!” Once we made our calls to family and friends I proceeded to call my aunt Autumn to tell her the news! She simply said “Ashia, I had a feeling you were going to call. I had a dream that I was visiting Hoonah and I commented on how I liked your blouse and you said “You can have it! It won’t fit me much longer cause I’m pregnant!”

WHAT! WHAT! How can this be possible!? Three people in our family dreamt that we were with child! There are no words! Still to this day I am in ah!

My pregnancy was for the most part smooth sailing. On April 30, we found out we were having a girl! A girl brought into the Skaflestad house of boys was going to be interesting to say the least! We went home to Alaska for the summer and prepared to bring our little love into the world. As she was growing our love for her was growing as well.

One day as I was at church with my mom, there was a guest speaker talking about her life as a child, the difficulties she faced, and how she turned to God for help and protection. In the middle of her speech she turned to me and without hesitation said “You know, when God speaks to me I listen and right now he is telling me that that baby inside of you is going to light up the room when she is born. She is going to give everyone around her joy and love and she will be a follower of Christ and will do wonderful things.”

Wow. I had never felt goosebumps like I did when she said those words.

Miss Evalee Marie Skaflestad was born on September 14, 2016 in GreatFalls, Montana! Our world changed right then and let me tell you, the room lit up!

Fast forward through the “firsts”. Rolling over, crawling, first words, walking, first birthday, etc… Now almost 2 years later this little girl is the definition of hardheaded, stubborn, persistent, independent, charismatic, smart, and loving all rolled up into 25 pounds. It baffles me that a little human can have all of these characteristics and more at such a young age!

As much as I would love to say our life is peachy keen with this little gal, every parent knows there are hassles we endure as well. To be honest at least once a week I have my little break down. Days where things seem much harder as a parent. They are frustrated easier, their fits seem longer, they say no to everything, they act out more than usual. Trust me, I have gone through it all in these short 2 years, and it’s only gonna get crazier!

Here’s a quick clip in the link below of one of my favorite scenes from the movie “The Back Up Plan” if you don’t have days where you feel this way then you are a saint! Most days are magical!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx2A5j2NjMw

While we are on the topic of poop after that scene… Since moving back to Montana and being a stay at home Mommy. (God bless all of you) One of my “prize jobs” is cleaning up the dog crap in the the back yard. What a real character building activity!

Ev spends most of her days out in the sun running around the back yard with the dogs. She is pretty easily entertained by them, so I’m usually doing my house cleaning while she’s outside.

On one particular day as I was vacuuming our bedroom that faces the backyard, I looked up just in time to see my child bent down at a pile of poop that I had missed while cleaning. I ran over to the window right at the moment she stuck her index finger down into it. As I scram in horror at what I had just seen I knocked on the window in full panic knowing what she was going to do next. It was like a standoff in an old western movie as we were staring into each others souls. I opened the window slowly as if she was some sort of animal not to make any sudden movement. I slowly said to her, in my high pitched phone voice (you know, the one you use at work talking to customers) “Evalee, come inside please so we can wash your hands!” Trying to make it sound as exciting as possible!

Her mischievous bone kicked in right there and the smirk that came across her face said different than listening to me. She slowly put her finger to her mouth and plopped it right on in. I was mortified! I ran out to grab her and of course she went running away from me laughing hysterically. I chased her around our fairly good sized yard looking like an idiot in full panic. In my shortly lived life of “luck” the dog crap she touched had dried out and she had none that stuck on her finger! I gave her a nice hand wash and brush of the teeth and thanked God it didn’t turn out worse!

There are so many stories built up in less than two years with my little love that I am so excited to share with everyone! But for now I’ll leave you with stories of dog poop and laughter! This crazy, beautiful life that God has planted for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Our Great America 🇺🇸

Short post ahead!*** Will have another tomorrow!

This year we celebrated our first Fourth of July here in Montana! What a wonderful day it turned out to be! The sun shined, the parade roared, and our little love spent the day outside lighting sparklers with daddy, finished off with a BBQ and fireworks! This holiday has always been one of my favorites! I love seeing so many people come together to celebrate this beautiful nation!

Growing up it was the holiday that everyone couldn’t wait to spend together! Spent downtown between the liquor store and MarysInn, we decorated our floats to parade through town, had our watermelon eating, egg tossing, gunnysack racing contests! Listened to Jack name off the next activities while balancing on the roof of the sugarshack. Of course you can’t forget the $5.00 mom gave us each that we spent putting our friends in “jail” and buying overpriced soda pop. But on that day we were winners! At that age $5.00 in our young eyes could buy us the world! Walking around, acting cool, sharing our fortune with friends. What a great day it always turned out to be!

This years festivities were a bit different for my husband and I! We had our Independence Day well spent with our daughter and saved our energy for today! July 5th! Today we attended a Trump Rally here in GreatFalls, Montana! What a crazy, amazing day to experience! We stood in line for a good 3 hours sharing stories, many interested in hearing about our lives in Alaska. We had walked a good two miles in a square with thousands of others waiting to hear the President’s speech! Due to the heat and lack of belief that we would make it into the areana, a few hundred people started turning back and heading home, but we had come too far to give up now! Let me tell you, there were a few thousand people still ahead of us once we finally made it to see the arena building! Talk about hectic!

Well the time had come, the doors had shut and people shuttled out of the lines faster than you can say Arnold Schwarzenegger. I stuck with the positivity and kept telling myself that the experience alone was worth the 85° heat and line we took on! It was! We made it up to stand and talk with a few of the policemen who were guarding the entrance and we saw some well dressed Secret Service men. They had told us that the fire marshals were the ones to shut the doors. They couldn’t take anymore people after 7,000 made it in, and to think, there were at least 3,000 people still outside who didn’t make it in! Thankfully for technology we were able to hear what our Great President had to say! After about an hour of hoping and praying that they might let the last hundred of us who stuck around squeeze by the gates, (they stood their ground) we went on our way back to our truck with big grins on our faces, happy that we made it so close! Past the protestors, past the guards and out the gates with pictures that we are happy to have had the chance to take! But it didn’t end there! They cleared the streets and we got to see President Trump drive past us and wave to the line of us heading home! A day I will never forget!

To conclude…

We will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again, and we will make America great again!

Evalee and her Forth of July outfit

President Trump Waving to us!

#donaldtrump #makeamericagreatagain #maga #keepamericagreat

Livin’ la vida Alaska

My life began in Alaska in 1994. I like to think I am old and wise but obviously that’s not true! It just sounds endearing. I’m neither one nor the other, though my nearly 2 year old daughter makes me feel otherwise!

I was raised in a small village called Hoonah, Alaska. Less than 800 people in our little slice of Paradise. Home of an Alaska Native community called “Tlingits” Raised on Chichagof Island, there are more brown bear per square mile than there are people! “Does a bear sh*t in the woods?” statement has been heard hundreds of times throughout my life; and well, yes, yes they do, but I have seen skat in some odd places no doubt! So who really knows? Haha!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoonah,_Alaska

#alaska #photography #southeastalaska #home #beauty

Livin’ the life in a tiny town, everyone knows everyone, including their business, everyone’s either related or have dated, and let’s not forget the wise words of Miranda Lambert “Everybody dies famous in a small town”

Small town USA is exactly where I was raised.

Subsistence life is the life for me, we grew up eating deer and catching fish. It wasn’t until I was out of Alaska that I realized a gallon of milk isn’t $8.00 anywhere else and a pound of meat doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in any old grocery store. I guess that comes with the luxury of living in small town Alaska!

So subsistence is exactly what we did. I’m sure there are people reading this thinking how “inhumane” our choice of life is but that is the way we were raised. To provide for our families and the elders of our town. We ate what we killed and killed what we caught. That is the way of our lives.

My grandfather, along with the mass majority of men in our town are fishermen. Summer is the “go get ’em” season for work and by fall they pull their boats out to get them ready for next season.

Pictured above is my grandfather Tom and his boat the “Bonnie J”

Halibut, salmon, crab, deer. Those are the 4 main foods that I grew up eating. Salmon Sunday’s with my grandparents were some of my fondest memories. It amazes me all the different recipes you can make with such a small food group! I am not saying we didn’t grow up eating chicken and cow, but when the meats there and the price was well, free, we ate what was available.

By 2004 our tiny town opened our doors to the first season of cruise lines. Icy Strait Point was established by Huna Totem Corperation and nearly 14 years later it has grown bigger and brought in more jobs for our community! We are known for one of the longest zip lines in the world! It has six 5,330 ft zip lines that drop 1330 ft and can reach the speed of 60 mph! The bus drive takes approximately 45 minutes on a beautiful scenic drive up the mountain and takes about 90 seconds to get down to the bottom on the ride!

http://icystraitpoint.com/tour/worlds-largest-ziprider-and-scenic-mountain-ascent/

Along with jobs provided at Icy Strait Point, the cruise line has brought other tourists to town for the wildlife, beauty and to experience the taste of Alaskan seafood! This is where my name “Italian Coffee Date” comes in. No I am not Italian and I’m sure people are thinking this makes no since. You are right!

My first “real job” other than the generic babysitting and lawn mowing gigs, was working at Grandma Nina’s Coffee shop and restaurant! (Aka the purple house) Little did I know then that I would fall head over heels for the boss’s son!

I was 14 years old when I started working there along with my best friend Brandi! Of course the shop had some of the best drinks in town ranging from cotton candy smoothies to espresso milkshakes, Torsten tornados and the “seal diver” named after my sweet friend Kelli and her love for root beer floats! Named “the seal diver” after she jumped into the ocean to fetch a seal that was sinking under water after a hunt! Like I’ve mentioned, I’m a rambler. So let’s get to the point!

Grandma Nina’s coffee shop, named after my mother in-laws mother, a woman I unfortunately never got to meet before she made her way to Jesus. Humble and kind is the definition of this beautiful woman and her husband Papa Chops. Grandma Nina’s coffee shop was full of stories, laughter and love that intertwined the young and elders in our community. Many days we would sit and sip on good ol’ Folgers coffee just to hear the love behind Papa Chop’s voice when he told us stories of his childhood and life. We spent most of our time there even when we weren’t working having our “Italian Coffee Dates” depending on if we exceeded our Coffee buzz or not for the day we would switch it up with Italian Sodas! Thus giving it the name “Italian Coffee Date”

Since then Grandma Nina’s coffee shop has shut down but the memories will forever be there! I married my bosses son making them my In-Laws and we have a beautiful daughter together! We still sit around the coffee table enjoying our Folgers with Papa Chops and reminiscing of the good times ♥️

Grandma Nina’s Shop (Aka the purple house)

My daughter Evalee and her great grandpa Papa Chops ♥️

Grandma Nina and three of her grandsons