Yesterday we explored the farm “The Wild Pumpkin” in Beaverton, MI. I heard about it from a woman who I met at a children’s event at the Chippewa Nature Center a couple weeks ago. It’s a blessing she mentioned it because this place turned out to be a real gem.
We walked into a nice shop where they sold pumpkins, gifts, and surprise grab bags for the kids (only $1.00!) We got Ellie one on the way out. She walked it up to the cashier and paid for it herself. It was so cute!
Anyways, after the shop you walk to the donut hut where they offer a variety of donuts. Not just your typical cinnamon sugar, they had all sorts of flavors. They even sold food such as hot dogs and nachos as well so we had lunch there. We bought our tickets to get in which were only $5.00 a person. You can also buy feed to feed the animals which I would highly reccomend because feeding them is an awesome experience!
They have a walk in chicken coop with a roped off path where you can feed and walk with the birds. They had so many neat looking birds that were very friendly! One even climbed up on John’s arm.
There was a great play area for the kids, as well as an awesome tunnel slide and tubes to roll in.
They had many unique and friendly animals at the farm. Everything was well kept, clean, and affordable. I can imagine the owners of this place are great people. Their business is surely a success and we had a wonderful time.
Also, I’m not sure if many people know about this place because there wasn’t many people there.. So if you’re in the area, make sure you stop by & show your support to the local farm. I promise you and your family will have a great time. It’s open from 12-6 until October 25th.
Hello! I wanted to reintroduce ourselves and share our story.
I’m Shelby. I’m the one behind the Instagram & blog posts. I’m from a small town in Michigan. I was a bartender and waitress before I met John. We met at the bar that I worked at for almost 5 years. It was like a second home to me and everyone there was family. It’s where we had our baby shower & it’s where he proposed.
John is from a small town in Louisiana. Where he was installing pools before he was offered a job in the oil field, which brought him up north to Minnesota and eventually to Michigan where we met.
Soon after dating we discovered we were pregnant with Ellie. Truthfully we hadn’t thought much through in regards to where we’d live or what we would do but we were excited to be parents. We rented places in the area while John had work that was local but eventually we knew he’d have to travel and that nothing was certain in his field. We looked at buying houses but were still unsure of what his job may bring, so we didn’t feel comfortable tying ourselves down with a mortgage.
I remember feeling torn because I felt this pressure to buy a house and settle down now that we had a baby. I believed that was what we were “supposed” to do. But in my heart I knew I wasn’t ready. I felt we still had so much more to discover before settling.
It was November and Ellie had just turned one. Our lease was coming to an end and we didn’t want to continue paying a ridiculous amount of money to rent. Soooo…
We took a leap of faith!
We packed up our belongings, stored most of our stuff at my dad’s (Thank you Dad!), packed what we thought we needed in a 4×8 cargo trailer, and hit the road.
We drove down to Louisiana where we met his parents and stayed at an air b & b for a week. During that time, we went to camper outlets everyday, looking for our future home. We eventually found a 2020 Jayco Eagle fifth wheel. It had a mid bunk, full size fridge, good storage, and outdoor kitchen.(John insisted on the kitchen and I needed the refrigerator. ) Anyways, we fell in love and still love it to this day.
It feels like it was so long ago but this November it will be one year.
Looking back, everything had happened so fast and we had no idea what we were doing, but we trusted in God and kept going. I’m glad we did. I can say that it was one of the scariest, yet, best decisions of our life.
Full time RVing has brought us freedom and opportunity. It has given us time and memories together that could never be replaced. It has brought us a new found joy for travel and adventure.
Personally, it has pushed me to redirect my focus on what is truly important which is my relationship with God, my family, and my health.
I used to think I wouldn’t be happy until I had a beautiful home on a big piece of land (good goal to have) but that’s not really what matters. RV living has taught me that there is so much more to life then material objects or status and it has taught me to trust God and know that everything will work out no matter what.
Yes it brings its own challenges, but like they say, “nothing good in life comes easy.”
Anyways, I wanted to thank all of you for following along on our journey. It has been wonderful to connect with all of you and with people who are curious about this lifestyle or have similar stories.
I appreciate your love & support so thank you very much!
If you’re a fellow RVer I would love to hear your stories. What is your WHY for this lifestyle?
Yesterday we took a mini roadtrip. We set out on a quest to conquer the Dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau, MI. It was a 5 hour drive all together but that didn’t stop us, we were determined. I had been wanting to do this all summer and with the colder months approaching, I decided we better go for it now while we had the time.
So we woke up early, left and were on our way. The sights we saw on our drive there were unbelievable. The trees were in peak for their fall colors. We found some trails off the road and took the truck up them to explore. Of course I made Josh, our buddy who was with us take photos of John and I while we were there. (This was actually a reoccurring event all day.) Thanks Josh!
After our quick pit stop, we got back on the road and made our way to the dunes. We arrived around noon & were excited to begin our climb.
We pulled up and saw the dune immediately. I hurried out of the truck ready to go. It didn’t look like an easy climb but it looked like a fun challenge. John commented, “it’s not that big.” I disagreed. But I’ll let you guys decide, here’s a picture of the 1st dune on the beginning of our 3.5 mile hike.
Yes! You heard me right. I said 3.5 mile hike to do the total climb. That’s through the sand and up and down dunes that were almost as big as this one. Our brave 2 year old climbed the top of this without hesitation and complaint. We held her hand to help her balance. She did good throughout the whole 1.75 mile down to the water. We took turns carrying her or holding her hand but she enjoyed running around and chasing her daddy down the dunes.
There were a couple smaller climbs after this that led you to a higher point where you could see the bay that was near the parking lot. It was a beautiful spot. Trees of different shades of yellow and red circled the body of water below. We were far away enough from the water that we couldn’t see it moving, therefore it looked like ice. Teal ice. The red, yellow, and teal together made for a picturesque moment. Trying to capture it with my phone camera didn’t do it justice, but here’s a couple pictures of the guys and Ellie with it in the background anyways.
Off to the right were some additional dunes that we chose not to climb because we were determined to get down to the beach of Lake Michigan. This is what they looked like though.
Josh commented that he was surprised with how much vegetarian there was and I agreed. It made for beautiful scenery though.
Here’s a picture of Ellie on a part of the dune that looked like waves. I thought it was pretty cool. When I first looked at this photo I thought something had happened to my phone because there were lines on my screen, but really they were just the well defined ripples in the sand.
So after a few mini dunes that followed the first dune, we reached a point where we could see the water. It seemed close but we could tell there were at least a couple more dunes to climb to get there.
The next photo I show you will be of us at the point that we could have turned back around and headed to the parking lot. Because we had gotten a decent climb in and also had good view of Lake Michigan but, John knew in my heart I wanted to accomplish the full hike down to the water and back even if it meant a little suffering along the way. So he convinced me to keep going and we sent it full force.
I will admit, it got harder after this. I finally took my shoes off, that helped but my toes and ankles were feeling it. Oh and of course my calves were on fire. We pushed through and finished it out to reach the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. It felt amazing. The water looked like we were in the Caribbean. Honestly, I imagined myself in one of those survivor shows at one point during our hike and when we finally made it to the water I was relieved.
Here is a picture of me jumping for joy for finishing something that truly challenged me.
The water was REMARKABLE!
But also VERY VERY COLD..
Here’s some more pictures to share it’s beauty………..
We enjoyed the beach. Sat and rested, took a tons of pictures, found some cool rocks, and returned to our daunting climb back.
Truthfully, it was hard. Harder than I was expecting but doable. I have no idea how John did it with a 2 year old on his back. Oh wait, yes I do. He used his super strength powers that they gave him when they made him in the test tube. (This is a joke he always makes when someone comments on his physique.)
But anyways, here’s a picture of one of the most challenging climbs on our way back. Josh said it looked at least 100 feet, I agree. It was definitely tall and a major calf burner!
We ended up making it back, no one passed out, or was injured. We actually had a ton of fun doing it. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day to make this hike. The sun shined the entire time and it was cool enough to not break a sweat.
I eventually took off my jacket to let the sun soak into my skin and possibly get my last tan in for the year. I know winter will be approaching fast here in Michigan. I was also very proud taking this photo because we had almost completed our 3.5 mile hike though the sand, which we did in about 3 hours!
I’ll finish by saying The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is a must for the bucket list. It was a great challenge, had beautiful scenery, and was a rewarding experience. I would highly reccomend going in the fall when you can see the colored trees and feel the cool breeze as you hike.
We plan to make this a goal for our family to do once a year. Let us know if you take the challenge of the Dune climb and what you think of it. Or if you want to go with us next year let us know, we would love additional hiking buddies!
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I woke up this morning from one of the most profound dreams.
I dreamt I was standing on a beach next to the ocean. The water was rough and choppy and I saw an enormous wave in the distance. It was coming near and there was a voice that said loud and clear, “you can stop it.” I tried to concentrate and visualize the water being still, but the fear of the wave approaching was holding me back. The wave came crashing onto shore, taking me and others along with it.
But then it passed, and I had yet another chance to calm the water down. I refocused, tried visualizing again, and put all my thought into stilling the water. But the waves were still choppy and scary to be near. Nothing was happening. I cried to God for help.
Then, I let go of everything & stopped trying to control the waves. I went within myself to find peace. I took a deep grateful breath & then miraculously, peace washed over me. I opened my eyes and the water was still.
There is so much relevance and power that is held by the symbolism in my dream. I know God sent me this message to get me through the season I’m in. I wanted to share it because I thought it might also be a message someone else needs to hear.
I want to share the struggles I face with being a traveling stay at home mom. Now if you don’t already know this, John is a pipeline worker. Which means the location of his job changes and the time it takes for a job to get done can be unpredictable.
Thankfully by the grace of God he was able to land a steady job here in Michigan that keeps him out of the refineries and narrows down the amount of traveling we have to do. But traveling this way is still much different than traveling for pleasure. It means long hours of work where John is not home and it is just Ellie and I at the camper.
Now lately I’ve been sharing a lot about the highlights of our time in each town, but I haven’t been completely honest because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Don’t get me wrong, I love the life we live & I’m thankful for all that we have, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with this lifestyle. We all have struggles and being out on the road while raising a tiny human happens to be one of mine.
I know, crazy right? Why would I do it then? Well let me tell you, I do it because I love the adventure and because it keeps my family together. Yes, I struggle with it. Yes, I might be fine one day and crying the next but that’s okay. I’m fine with it because it’s normal to have hard days and because I’m doing something I love.
But to be honest, there are times when I feel completely isolated & lonely from always moving around. I desire to grow in the relationships I form on the road or the ones I’ve already built, but that’s difficult when distance keeps you apart. Sometimes I ache for a hug from a friend when I’m having a rough day or I long for a community around me. It’s true what they say, “it takes a village to raise a child” but they forgot to mention that sometimes it takes one to keep a mother sane.
You might be thinking I’m being dramatic. Aren’t there always people in the campground? There are. But a friendly hello or small talk is not the same as a deep conversation with a good friend or a long walk in the neighborhood while you vent about how your kids or husband are driving you crazy.
& now you might say, why don’t you just call your friends? I do. But I’m telling you, it’s not the same. I need physical interaction with people (especially other moms) but with covid hanging over everyone’s head it’s making that difficult.
I have been trying to ignore the loneliness by keeping myself busy. By staying distracted with my busyness. But I’m tired and the distractions aren’t working. I need some time to get back to myself. To step away, take a break, and to refresh. I need to return to my state of gratefulness for the beautiful life God has given me.
Now I don’t know what season you’re in but if yours is similar to mine, my advice to you would be to also take a step back & accept that it’s okay to struggle. Name what it is that is bothering you and do what you need to do to fix it.
For me that is my belief that I am lonely, which I’m not because I have an all loving and powerful God who is always there for me. I can fix what I’m struggling with by deepening my relationship with him. To focus on keeping my mind on God & what I’m thankful for. To practice staying present in each moment because this life is too precious to miss out on.
I just want to remind you that it’s okay to struggle, you’re human. No one is perfect or has it all figured out. Hang in there, because there are better days to come and God has a plan for you.
I believe our struggles are included in God’s plan. All we have to do is trust him.
As it says in proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
It’s October 1st, yay! Tis the season of treats & spooky things. I couldn’t be more excited. To be honest, I’ve had my decorations up since mid- September. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people! In honor of Halloween and the month of October, I’m going to share with you some great deals on Halloween Decorations.
How cool is this zombie decoration? It’s spooky and fun for the kids as they’re walking up the front door & right now it’s 43% off! You can $17.04 when you purchase it now. Don’t miss out on this great deal.
Scary 3D bats that are easy to apply to walls, glass, doors, or any hard surfaces! I just ordered ours today and can’t wait to put them above our door. Don’t forget to order now to save $10 on your purchase!
Here is a great deal on a 5 pack of hanging skeletons. These are similar to the skeleton we have hanging from our streamers. Perfect to hang in a tree outside your house as something for the trick or treaters to enjoy.
Bloody decals, my sister-in-law let her boys set these up on their kitchen floor and she said everytime she walks by them she even freaks out a little bit. Now that’s true Halloween spirit! Join her by making things spooky at your house with these bloody window clings.
Spider decals, an alternative to the bloody decals if those may be too freaky for you. These spider decals add Halloween spirit but aren’t too spooky for the young ones to see. Save 8% when you order them today.
Now let’s make this year great for the kids. Take advantage of these deals while you can and enjoy the spooky shopping. Happy October!
I’ve been getting asked where I got some of the stuff in my daughter’s bedroom so I’d like to share with you the answers to that.
The truth is most of everything I buy comes from Amazon. It’s my favorite place to shop. It’s convenient and I can always find unique products that are useful for our family. In this article I’ll show you what I find to be helpful for toddlers when it comes to learning & keeping things fun. So let’s get to it!
I hope you had an awesome weekend. For us, Sunday’s are our day spent together. That is when John is on a job like he is right now. This Sunday we spent our day Exploring The Whiting Forest of Dow Garden in Midland, MI and we had quite the adventure.
Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens is on 54 acres of beautiful land. The forest has the nation’s longest canopy walk which is 1,400 ft long and 40 ft high. The canopy walk was made with 2,720 tons of steel. It’s big! It also offers fun spots to sit or even lay down and look at the trees. Our favorite spot was the canopy area. I’ll admit, the first climb down and onto the net was terrifying. I have no idea how a 2 year old managed to climb all over it fearless, but she did.
Another cool spot on the walk was the “nut” spot as we called it. First it was the egg, then the acorn, and eventually the nut and that’s what stuck.
There was also an overlook of a really pretty pond surrounded by different colored trees. It was gorgeous. John and I both thought it would be a perfect place to exchange vows. (Hint hint for anyone looking for a remote place to have an intimate wedding.)
The last spot on the canopy walk was the glass overlook. It was scary at first because you could feel the glass moving with the wind and then there’s John a 200 lb guy jumping up and down on it which didn’t help but still, it was a cool experience.
We really enjoyed the canopy walk. The views were gorgeous, the walk was nice, and we even got an adrenaline rush in.
The canopy walk was not all there was to do either. There was plenty of activities in the garden for the kids and there was a playground next to the Cafe. The playground was one of the coolest ones I’ve ever seen. Ellie could have spent hours there. John and I even had fun playing on it with her. There was another “nut” house and canopy but kid size and then there was a birds nest with eggs for climbing, a rock wall, hills, slides, plenty of climbing activities which Ellie loved. There was even a knome house with a tunnel underneath! I got excited seeing it.
The garden was just as cool too. It had a house similar to a tree house right in the middle of it. It had a learning station for the kids on vegetables. There was beautiful flowers and also edible plants. There was vegetables that you could pick. I saw a Brussel sprout plant for the first time. I actually picked one and tried it raw & fresh. It was good. Then there was the sensitive plant which shriveled when you touched it. It’s too bad Ellie missed this experience because she was sleeping but the canopy walk and playground really wore her out.
Overall, we had an awesome experience at Whiting Forest of Dow Garden. It was a lot of fun. We definitely recommend checking it out.
If you happen to be in Northville, Michigan I recomend stopping to see Three Cedars Farm. Our family has been going for years & it holds a special place in my heart. Not just because it’s one of the best places to go with the family or because they have the most delicious doughnuts, but because at one point in time we were neighbors with the owners, Jerry and Sherry. Now this was before they bought the farm and built Three Cedars. I was about Ellies age or a little older and I remember going over to their house and taking pictures by their huge pumpkins and Halloween decorations. They had the best decorated yard in the neighborhood. I remember how sweet and welcoming they were. To this day I think of them as very loving people and that surely shows in everything that they do at Three Cedars Farm.
From the well thought out displays around the farm (shared for enjoyment and entertainment for all ages & free of charge.)
To the barn that provides Halloween scenes that you can’t help but love.
(Ellie wasn’t a fan of Dracula but I was. I thought each display seemed carefully put together to make for the perfect spooky scene and walking through the shop was a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. )
To the well crafted scarecrow display.
To the perfect picture taking spot at the you pick pumpkin site.
To the old English telephone booth.
To the play train.
To the doughnut shop where you can find the best tasting doughnuts, cider, and treats.
To the interactive cow milking display, where kids can feel as though they’re really on the farm.
To country jamboree where the farmer and his animals come to life to sing you songs like “Old Macdonald Had a Farm.” (Ellie danced & clapped the entire time. She really enjoyed this one. We watched it 3 times.)
To the petting farm where each animal display is set up as a fairy tale such as this one, Billy Goats Gruff where you can press a button that plays either a song or story. There was the Three Little Pigs, Peter Cotton Tail, and Little Bo Peep.
To the multiple playgrounds where kids can burn off all the sugar from their cider and doughnuts.
To the real “chu chu train” as the kids would say.
Funny story: Ellie was so excited for this part that she sprinted there before I could even get the tickets, she actually made it to one of the carts before I could catch her.
I think she’d say she was not disappointed once she actually got to go on since she’s still saying, “chu chu train” and it’s 9pm.
To the big pumpkin.
Which brings me to my last story. As you can see in the picture above the big pumpkin is very high up making it easy to spot from anywhere on the farm. It has great big eyes that move making it seem as though it’s real. Anyways, Ellie must have befriended this pumpkin because throughout our time there she would randomly stop what she was doing to turn to the pumpkin and say, “HI PUMPKIN!” and wave. Pretty funny, huh? It was super cute. Now that was just another fun thing on the farm.
But like I said, this place is built on love and it shows. It’s perfect for all ages and a great way to welcome in Fall. We can’t wait to go back for a hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick our pumpkins. We might even do the cornmaze if we have time. There is so much to do at Three Cedars Farm and truly something for everyone. I hope that if you’re reading this and you’re able to, you go and check it out. I promise you will have a heart warming experience.
Disclosure: The links below are affilated with amazon, meaning, at no cost to you, if you click on them and decide to make a purchase you will be helping support Trusting Travelers.
I’d like to share with you some of my families favorite RV accessories. A couple of these products can be used in the every day home as well, so don’t worry if you’re not an RVer just yet, this article is still for you.
Lets start off with one of my favorite’s, the Levoit Air Purifier.
I truly love this product. I’m happy that my father-in law recomended it to us. The unit eliminates odors and provides higher quality air. Along with being easy to assemble the unit is also durable and quiet. The air filter can be replaced easily and only needs to be changed every six months. Our family has noticed a difference since using this product; from breathing easier to waking up well rested, and overall feeling better. Would you also like to improve your quality of life by breathing cleaner air? If the answer is yes, then CLICK HERE.
With winter months approaching we decided to invest our money into a Vornado Space Heater. We purchased this unit for our camper to help with propane usage on these winter nights. We love this space heater because it heats up quickly, has climate control, a convenient timer and a cool touch guard to prevent you from getting burned if you accidentally touch it. The guard on the heater alone is nice to have with a toddler and a puppy in the camper.
The heater has a sturdy base making it hard to knock over but if it does, it has a built in tip over protection which turns it off to prevent any overheating. This one’s huge you guys because like I said, toddlers & puppies. The heater is small enough to be out of the way, yet puts off enough heat to make a huge difference.
Again, we love this product. If you’re looking to save money on your bills or propane tanks this winter and want to feel safe using a space heater then this is your one. CLICK HERE to get yours.
I was so excited to try this product out and I am here to say I am not disappointed. The sunshade comes with everything you need to set it up (stakes, bungee cords, and a zipper storage bag). The shade is inserted in to a slot in your awning roll bar and hangs from there. The install could be done alone but I would highly recommend having another person help. Although it is not difficult to install and doesn’t take much time, the shade is large and it would be beneficial to have someone help slide it into place FYI. The screen provides both shade and privacy. It is great for those hot sunny days and creates a private area for you Ladies to do your workouts. GET EM GIRLS! Want to check it out? CLICK HERE
An outdoor mat is a must when you’re camping. The mat helps keep dirt outside and it provides a comfortable place to sit, stand, or lay down. This mat in particular is affordable, easy to clean, nice to walk on with bare feet, and even comes with it’s own carrying bag. Also it looks nice outside the camper and has a reversible side for the people like me who just need to change things up every once and a while. Don’t worry about the colors fading from the sun, it is made with UV protection. I highly reccomend this mat to fit your camping and patio needs. CLICK HERE to check it out.
I saw this on our neighbor’s picnic table and had to have one like it. I loved that it turned an old battered up table into a nice space. It’s great for gatherings and every day activities as well. It’s easy to clean, it’s liquid proof, and it’s secured in place. You don’t have to worry about taking it off every night because of how durable it is. It can withstand the changing weather. It fits any standard size picnic table. A definite must-have for any camping trip. Make sure to pick yours up today, you won’t be disappointed. CLICK HERE
I want to add, these are all products that we use daily. We have found them to be well worth the money and enjoy the comfort they provide for our family. If you have any additional questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful to you.