As many of you know, our family relocated from Wisconsin to Norther Minnesota a little over two months ago (it’s so Northern that people joke we live in Southern Canada, which isn’t too far from the truth!) and we’ve been busy settling into our new digs.

After being homeless for seven weeks, we now find ourselves in a tiny, tiny little house (as in, 1,290 square feet) and the rugrats and I are busy trying to find space for everything and everyone while a couple awesome contractors get to work building us a garage. Because in case you didn’t know, it’s cold here. And the house didn’t come with a garage (which several neighbors pointed out to us the day we were moving in and I felt like exclaiming, “WHAT? Get out! Are you serious? We got cheated!” I mean, because, really, as if we didn’t make a note of that fact before buying.the.house.)

The truth is, not only are we surviving, but we are really thriving here. Our small abode is less than a block from the school which is rad. And lest you think that’s just too good to be true, I guess I should alert you that our town is so small (less than 2,500 people) that really, everything is about a block away. It takes me less than 25 minutes to do all of our grocery shopping. I’m not 100% sure, but that could mostly be due to the lack of options rather than the close proximity to the store. Of course, I do have to factor a monthly trip into the big city two hours away to stock up on the stuff that costs an arm and a leg here. The whole mantra of buying local and sustainable food has a different meaning when you live where I do and access to things is really, really limited, but even still, things are close and comfy here and I think small town life could really grow on me.

While it has been a bit of an adjustment to buy parsley packaged like this (and about quadruple the price of what I was paying before):

I definitely didn’t have this sweet decor above the butter and sour cream in Wisconsin (don’t even pretend like you are not jealous):

It’s a quaint, close-knit community. Everyone knows everyone (which can be good and bad as you can probably imagine), but overall, we are settling in and really enjoying our time here so far.

I guess what I’d really like to point out is that although my grocery shopping situation and overall access to “things” is severely limited here, I’ve still been able to make wholesome meals from scratch for my family which makes me want to shout from the rooftops, “If I can do it, you can do it!” You’ll probably be seeing a lot more simplified meals with easy-to-find ingredients coming up but that doesn’t mean I’m going to budge on my food philosophy. Just in the last week, I’ve made our own Greek yogurt and a new whole wheat pancake recipe that will knock your socks off. In the meantime, if you find any great ways to score deals online for food items, send the info my way! Amazon Prime and I are BFF’s already but I’m open to any new options for online shopping.

Thanks for all of your support over these last few weeks during this huge adjustment for me and my family! Love your guts as always.

I couldn’t resist throwing this last picture in here – the local movie theater shows one movie at a time and only Friday through Monday. One showing a day at 7 p.m. So don’t be late or you could miss the blockbuster hit everyone’s been talking about!

79 Responses to Snapshot Saturday: Where I Live

  1. Jackie Gonzales says:

    It’s a whole new world, isn’t it? I grew up around here so I think nothing of it, but when I moved to AZ for a teaching job, people couldn’t believe it when I told them about it. Small town living AND freezing cold winters? Why would anyone do it? We moved BACK to small town living and those cold winters because it is a lifestyle that we wouldn’t trade for anything :) And my hubby is from Los Angeles!!!!! Azure Standard does have a drop off in TRF, and Amazon is my great friend for hard to locate items!

    Stay warm!!!!!

  2. Julia Marks says:

    That’s the way I was raised. One Elvis Presley movie a weekend, while the rest of the world was watching Star Wars. And the driving, to find even the most mundane of “health” foods. Of course, in the county in which I was raised there were no stop lights. So the first time I drove, as a student driver with my mother clutching her heart, through a “big” city (meaning, it had stop lights) I just cruised right through them, never seeing them. And once a friend of mine decided to go on holiday. Only she booked it all herself (did not go through the town’s travel agency). She told, I think, at most three people. That noon, when she popped into the bookstore to pick up something, she was greeted with, “So, Katie! Looking forward to your trip to Acapulco?” She was, to say the least, gobsmacked. And, no, she never found out how the entire town knew.

  3. So glad you guys are finally getting settled! Your new town seems so nice – I love the idea of small town life. Can’t wait to see the meals you come up with, as always. :)

  4. Lindsey says:

    If the “big city” is a large eastern ND town, that would be my neck of the woods. I moved here from Utah/Idaho and it is a whole other world up here. At least we just got a Costco when you need good pizza or bulk produce…or bulk hand warmers.

    Good luck! I’m so glad you found a house and a good contractor!

  5. Bruce says:

    It wonderful that you and your family are finding joy in your new home. Has anybody asked you to join their hockey team?

  6. Cotton says:

    Wow, definitely busy. Hooray for the new home and the coming garage! I had never lived in a small town until we moved last year. I really like it, very small and it doesn’t take forever to go to the store and home. As you mentioned the downside is the lack of variety and products. The internet has become my real friend for some items otherwise it is almost a 180 mile roundtrip to the larger city with more selection.

    Best to all of you on your new living arrangements.

  7. Every kind of lifestyle has it´s good and it´s bad moments. I´m so glad you´re all happy there! We have a saying here `small town, big hell´ which refers to things like Julia´s comment before. I do love small towns. They have a nice simplicity to them. Have a great weekend Mel!

  8. Charlotte Moore says:

    So good to hear you are in a house now. Hope all goes well.

    BLESSINGS!!!

  9. Bex says:

    At least you HAVE a movie theater. The one where I grew up was sold and demolished to put up a shopping plaza in a small New England fishing town. I’d much rather see an old style movie house that shows some old B movies once a night only 3 days a week. But that’s an economics problem I guess.

    It will be interesting to see how your recipes change now that the shopping situation is so different. No more running out for those exotic mushrooms anytime soon?

    It must be quote adventurous and even romantic to be living in the town that time forgot, on the edge of the country, away from all the seething crowds of humanity. Are you identifying more now with Garrison Keilor’s show? “It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegone…”

  10. Stacy P says:

    I live in a medium-sized town now…the same one I grew up in. And even though we have way more than 2500 people, I still see everyone I know when I run to the store! :) So happy ya’ll are out of the hotel and in a real house. Best of luck getting the garage built and can’t wait to see the greek yogurt recipe. I’m still struggling with bread making (I’ve been trying once a week for almost a year), so I’m always impressed with what you can do/make. Have a great weekend!

  11. Tanya Phillips says:

    I miss living in a tiny town. We lived in the mountains in north GA for a couple of years, (moved because of hubby’s job). We all loved it and miss it. We are trying to get back up there, or somewhere near. I know some people just can’t handle the small town life, but now I know I can’t stand the big city, lol. Enjoy your new home!

  12. Congrats, Melissa, on settling in. Your little new town sounds awesome. And what a wonderful place to raise children.

    I just accidentally discovered vine.com last night. I was searching for some gluten free crackers that were stupendous (Mary’s Gone Crackers, btw) (you’ll love them) and The Google served me up some options, one of which included Vine. And when I saw the prices at Vine were cheaper than at Walmart (which I’m not a fan of), I went to check it out. And got totally sucked in. There’s a “sisterhood” of sites there, of which the Vine is only one. And there are coupons there for first time customers (I found an offer for 30% off of one item that was awesome).

    Check it out when you can – you might find some goodies there.

    Enjoy your new “adventure” …. your new home sounds delightful!!

  13. gail says:

    Don’t you love it. I moved to a small town 12 year ago. Was always mailing items to my granchildren. I take a bag full of toys and clothes to the post office, dump them on the counter and the wonderful lady behind the desk finds just the rght box, cheapest way to ship, helps pack and tape it up, all the time asking about these children shes never met. That is a small town for you….you cant beat it!

  14. Bliss says:

    Yay Melanie! Glad to hear that ya’ll are settling in. We live in a smaller town too, with a grocery store less than a mile from us. I can still make the trip to Kroger, which is almost 45 minutes away, about once a month to grab a few things that I can’t nab at our little store.

    I know just about everyone that works in the store now, and they don’t seem to mind if my 2 year old throws a temper tantrum in the store because I won’t let her get candy, but instead, they ask us if she can have some fruit. (They have fresh fruit bowls they make, and they are really well priced!)

    Sometimes, simple is better!

  15. Nancy says:

    Sounds like an adventure to me! And a movie theatre to boot? That’s a real treat in a town that size. Living the good life, eh? Yes, indeed.

  16. Amanda says:

    It sounds just like my hometown in Southern MN, population 500. The movie theater is the bomb with it’s one movie a week ;)

  17. Mary Jane says:

    Your adventure sounds awesome! We, too, have just moved to a small town (not as small as your’s though). We love, love it here. May I ask if your husband’s new job is actually in this new town or is he commuting somewhere? Wishing you many happy memories of this exciting time for your family.

  18. Ummi says:

    Hi Mel, I’ve been following your blog for a while now. And to say I’m in awe of you would be an understatement. But I guess you get that a lot :). So happy for you and your family, hope you all enjoy your new life and settle in well. Sending you love and light from Nigeria.Ummi. xo

  19. Orghlaith says:

    I use Alice.com sometimes. If you find other online distributors I would love to hear about them. I have yet to find a bulk order company that delivers to my area.

  20. Amanda E says:

    Mel, Good for you! This is a change I know and went through the same 5 years ago. Huge blessing for us! One book that has helped me lately with the whole $$ saving and shopping limits we have is: America’s Cheapest Family cuts your grocery bill in half by Steve and Annette Economides (yes that is their real name!)…. I have always been a made from scratch person. It is very possible to have a gourmet kitchen, even far away from the amenities that produce such a kitchen. Our nearest grocers is 15 minutes (with some good sales sometimes with high prices as a norm), the next stop is 30 minutes away, with a few more choices… and the big city is and hour+ away with a Costco! (Yea Costco!) With a suburban and gas prices, we make as few trips as possible… still maintaining a yummy kitchen and a beautiful budget of about $350 (a little more some months) a month for a family of 6! (We live in the mountains of CO, where prices are some of the highest in the nation) Love your website, meals, etc. It’s been a wonderful journey following you and you are very recommended by me to many! Blessings dear one…. Have fun living the small town life. It’s amazing how pleasant it can be :) (find a dairy farm if you can and get your own milk to make butter and sour cream and yogurt and you will really be saving $$)

  21. Nicole H. says:

    Sounds like a great adventure. As I’m reading about your new town it feels cozy, simple and pleasant. I hope you continue to enjoy it and that things go well there for the whole family.

  22. Heather says:

    That’s how I grew up, and what we went back to. Well, actually, I don’t even live in a town – we’re a few miles out from a ~200 person village. We are lucky, though, that our big city is about half an hour away. It’s great that you’re adjusting so well. May you make many happy memories :)

  23. Jen T says:

    Your town sounds just like the one I live in (or live outside of–we live in the country 2 miles from a small town). One grocery store, and that is it :) We make the 2 hour trip to the city once a month to hit Costco, and that saves us. I love small towns. They are the best. We have been in ours for over 12 years and never want to leave. There are positives and negatives about everywhere you live, but we love small towns! Hope all goes well as you continue to settle in!

  24. Teresa R. says:

    I love small town life. Our one grocery store is limited, so I drive about an hour to a larger store. I hope you will be happy in your new home. Your pictures are great!

  25. heather bell says:

    so glad you found a place! we are renting a 1600 sf house which is fine, but only one bathroom! surprising what you can live without. and what you are happy to live without!=)http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com

  26. Camille says:

    Yay! I want to come visit! In the summer! I will stay in a hotel! :)

  27. Ashley says:

    Have you posted the new pancake recipe? I was just about to make a new batch of your old one (the oatmeal one)!

  28. Karen Durfee says:

    We live in a little town 180. It is an hour to go the grocery. When we moved here there was no gas station or cafe. So you couldn’t even get milk or gas without a plan. You have it good. Blessings this week.

  29. Cookies4kids says:

    I must have missed it, but I was wondering if you gave the name of the town you moved to. I am from central MN but we spent half of our lives camping and biking in Northern MN and just love it up there. I have to say, though, that the area in Wisc. just below Sparta is just about as close to heaven as you can get. We are so fortunate to have access to two really wonderful states. Enjoy!!!!!

  30. Chrissy says:

    You are a blessing!!! I just stumbled upon one of your recipe’s on Pinterest and decided to check out your website. I am a mom of 3 in “HotLanta”, GA finding it EXTREMELY challenging to plan meals, work, and take care of 2 toddlers while dad is coaching and big sis is a cheerleader…SERENITY NOW!! Your meal ideas are so easy and my “ordinary” picky eaters would eat a good majority of’em. THANK YOU, THANK YOU…your website will be in my regular weekly meal planning reference.

  31. Liz says:

    Hi Mel! I love these snapshots of your life. Your little gal is too precious! We moved to our small town about a year ago and I love, love it. We have one little grocery store and although it’s overpriced, they still sack and load your groceries into your car which is so nice. I have the best of both worlds because we are only 15 minutes from the big towns with options galore. Thanks for sharing your life and providing us with awesome recipes!

  32. Veronica says:

    I love these Saturday snapshots, thank you for sharing about your little town! It sure does sound cozy! And loooove that pic of hubby and daughter with her tongue poking out. So sweet. :) Glad you are doing so well now!

  33. Terri says:

    I love it, Mel! Small town life, soooo envious! Glad you’re getting settled in before the holidays! Saturday snapshots is a great idea…love to see how your little fam is settlng in!

  34. Tanya H. says:

    Maybe look into getting a farm produce delivery. I order an organic basket every two weeks from an area grower to supplement what I buy in store or at the market in the summer, and it has such great variety that sometimes I don’t even know what I’m eating! Available all year round, even in the north (I’m in Canada).

  35. Mary says:

    Sounds like the town I grew up in! My Mom was a transplat to our little town and she laughs about how she had to go to the big city to buy tortillas–they were a foreign food I guess. I think you are amazing to keep up all you do Mel!! You rock!!

  36. Susan Porter says:

    Just happened to stumble open this blog today and wanted to say I love your postings. It will be neat in the future to see how you’re progressing, and if Minnesota is treating you well. I’m a Floridan that is a transplant to Great Falls, Montana and I understand what cold is-had over a foot of snow in the last 2 days-hince holed up and enjoying the peace and quiet, drinking hot cocoa and reading my favorite blogs. I have the luxury to do that now that I’m an empty-nester. Enjoy your sweet young family. the years pass by much too quickly.

  37. That picture of your daughter and husband is absolutely precious!! And wow! What a big change! So happy to hear though that y’all are settling in and adjusting to your new home and town! My Uncle has a ranch and several good family friends live in a small town 30 minutes from where I grew up. The town was similar, small; everyone knew each other, expensive grocery store with limited goods and a movie theatre just like yours. But I have some great memories of that small town, like going to the local farmer’s market to buy produce that was grown right there on the farms and ranches surrounding that town, carefree playing on the acres and acres of my Uncle’s ranch and getting root beer at the local drive in. Small town life defiantly has an extra special charm and place in my heart! (The cold on the other hand is something I don’t think I could handle!!)

  38. Elise Y says:

    Funny story…I stumbled across your blog a couple years ago when i was searching for christmas recipes and have been following you since : ) I am from a small town in Canada and actually don’t follow a lot of food blogs. We have no connection, until I noticed that your pictures look very familiar! I am pretty sure my sister lives in your town and I was just there last weekend. Small world! I thought I just had to share : )

  39. Elise Y says:

    I must add, the people located there are very friendly and I was at that movie theatre last saturday! Ha!

  40. Danielle H. says:

    We moved to a small town about 10 years ago. It was quite a lifestyle change, and a HUGE adjustment. Now, thanks to Amazon, I absolutely love it. I guess our town is a bit bigger though, because we have two movie theaters that look just like yours. Enjoy!

  41. Jamy says:

    I feel your pain about grocery shopping in a small town. I have always been within 10 minutes of a Walmart or Target and now I have to shop locally. Yes, it’s good for the community, but HOLY MOLY!!!! It kills me to go grocery shopping now! Glad to hear you are liking your new town. That is super awesome!

  42. Lisa says:

    Love reading your blog and always enjoy the updates! We also live in a small suburban town just west of Philly and we love it as well. It sounds like your town is a great place to raise your growing adorable family. Keep blogging and I will keep reading! I actually found your blog quite a few years ago when I googled “tried and true recipes….” and so glad I did! Blessings to you and your family!

  43. Mame M says:

    You are amazing. My husband is in the middle of an interviewing process that would take us to a little town like this, 2 hours from the biggest city, and I am TERRIFIED. PETRIFIED. It’s as far north as well. You have given me some hope, so thank you for sharing your personal life!

  44. Barbara in MD says:

    What an adventure! I wish you and your family happiness and good luck there. I sure hope you can grow parsley up there – maybe even indoors when it’s cold. Thank you for all the great recipes. Barbara in Maryland

  45. liza says:

    congrats on your move and glad you are settling in :-)

    when you get around to it, would love to see what the best deals you’ve found on amazon grocery are! :-)

  46. Welcome to small town living! I grew up that way and loved it in many ways….except for the gossip!

  47. Melanie says:

    I’m excited for the simplified recipes. We too moved to Northern Minnesota this summer (probably not as far north) and I am still struggling to find decent produce at a reasonable cost. Hard to pay $3 a lb for apples when I used to pay $.69 !

  48. Ada says:

    I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that you’re in a town known for windows and a really good Class A hockey team. I grew up in small town northern Minnesota (but on the other side of the state, I think) and I still call northern MN home. I hope your family will be very happy in your new town.

    Grocery shopping certainly can be a drag in a small town and the prices are often astronomical. I use Amazon for hard to find items (like vanilla beans) and pinch grocery pennies by gardening, foraging (mmm, wild blueberries!) and hunting.

  49. Cheri says:

    I’m thinking Ada is right, and if so I live less than an hour away! I grew up here, spent some time nursing in Rochester, MN, then moved back after marrying my high school sweetheart– the neighboring farm boy. There are challenges, but the blessings and the benefits of raising our kids in cozy, small-town communities where we all look out for one another just can’t be beat. Started following your blog a year ago and love Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps (supper last night), Crockpot Beef Stroganoff, Sw/Sour Chicken, Choc. Chip Toffee Bars, and the list goes on, and on! Thanks much for your yummy recipes, and the best to all of you as you survive our Northern MN winters. PS–We’re sugarbeet farmers and still are not done with harvest with snow on the ground and ice glazing our beets. Yes, the weather outside is frightful!!

  50. Hilary says:

    I can completely relate – I too live in small town in Minnesota – we live across the street from our children’s primary school (isn’t the close proximity such a blessing?!) and can walk to everything – our grocery store (which is carpeted!), library, preschool, primary, middle and high school, pharmacy, post office, parks, the two restaurants our small town has to offer and coffee shop (and with gas so expensive these days, its such a perk!! ) My one regret is no movie theater – :( . So glad to hear y’all are settling in and try to keep warm!

  51. Annie says:

    You know we moved to our town 6 years ago, sure that we would only be here for 2! It definitely grows on you! Good luck!

  52. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel.
    My sister shared your blog with me. Its kind of funny because yesterday when I was at the grocery store, in walks this guy with 4 boys…how cute!! (your boys did great by the way) How fun to meet you :) I hope living this far north hasn’t been to hard on you. I love it.
    The library in town has Storytime @10:30am , we usually go to this, its an open invitation if you are ever interested :)

  53. Melissa says:

    Storytime ..Tuesday’s at 10:30am :)

  54. FarmGirl says:

    We live in a SMALL town of 230 people (when I told my parents where my husband and I were moving our family of 6 they joked that we were going to double the population!) In our town we have a farmers co-op, one resturant, a library that is only open 4 hours a week and a post office, and a mortuary. That’s IT! I’ve lived in a big city all my life and boy howdy it took some getting used to :) We’ve lived here for a little over a year and we wouldn’t change it for anything!! Oh and btw I LOVED the theater picture. The closest theater to us is 20 miles a way and they play ONE movie a WEEK! It’s on Saturday at 7pm isn’t that a hoot :)

  55. engquist says:

    I can wholly relate to this, but for much different reasons. My husband and I are living on a little island in the Mediterranean where foods we are accustomed to are a) hard to find, and b) unbelievably expensive. I’ve learned a lot in the last year about how to make things from scratch and make a dollar stretch. I’m envious of your small town abode though, it looks idyllic and like a fun adventure!

  56. Melanie S. says:

    Melanie, thanks for sharing. I have wondered just how your MN adventure would unfold. I grew up 6 miles from our small town, population 2200. I thought it was small until my dad took a job at a mine in MT. The mining town (population 50) actually had a store/post office the size of my living room, a jail, a phone booth, and a one-room school house, to boot! And the nearest small town 60 miles away. I remember as a kid running down to the “store” for frozen vegetables. I told the “store” clerk what I needed. He opened the lone freezer next to the cash register and gave me the choice of lima beans or broccoli with a commentary of the pro/cons of both vegetables. Your post reminded me of the quirks and charms of small town life. Thank you! I know your family will be blessed.

  57. Em says:

    We lived in MN and WI for a few years – so I can relate to the way of life there. At least you will be warm and “cozy” in your new home!! Best of luck to you – your baby sure looks happy!!

  58. Liz says:

    I’m a little sad we never got to meet up while you were here in NE Wisconsin … but small towns rock! I grew up on the outskirts of a town with a population of about 2,000. We made monthly trips to the big city (Provo) and definitely had “simpler” homestyle meals. You are going to love it though! Glad you finally found a place, and yes get that garage up quick! There are flakes dropping in Oshkosh as I type this!

  59. Deb says:

    Love it all!! Love you, love the town and I love the pics!! Miss YOUR guts!!

  60. So glad you’re enjoying life in northern MN :) If you make it down a little further south, I’d love to meet up. Meanwhile, stay warm!

  61. Sheila H. says:

    I see someone mentioned Azure Standard, but I love Vitacost and its referall program (https://www.vitacostrewards.com/3H1pSJ) for a lot of food and cleaning supplies. Iherb.com is another good option. Sometimes Amazon’s prices are out of control and these sights provide great options.

    I moved back to a small town to raise children and I am so jealous of your movie theater!
    Hope your building goes well.

  62. Erin says:

    Welcome to the frozen north! I found your blog through Pinterest and check it out a couple of times a month. I was surprised to recognize the town in your photos! I work at the hospital there! I’m a transplant from central Florida, and the lack of shopping and brutal cold definitely took some adjustment! On the plus side, it is a friendly area, and there is no traffic!

  63. Mentor Mom says:

    LOVE the snapshot into your new life . . . so glad I recently found your blog. :)

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, your recipes. I’ve tried several already and they were a HIT with the family.

    LOVE small town living. We moved to our small town 10 years ago, and with our family of 12 pushed the population over the 10,000 mark. (to 10,010). You have a movie theater? We don’t; but we have a Roller Rink.

    LOVE that you don’t have to live in a mansion to be happy. When we had 7 kids, we lived in 1440 sq. ft. A few years later, with 10 kids, we lived in about 1800 sq. ft. (with a portion of that unheated, so not too useful in the cold winters).

    LOVE living right up next to Canada. We are about 5 miles from the border . . . and an hour’s drive from Vancouver, BC.

    Biggest TIP for you and your grocery shopping: Plan Monthly Menus and Shop Once-A-Month. I’ve done that for many years, even though we only have to drive 30 minutes to a bigger city (and better prices). Just buy the milk, bread, and produce weekly at your local store . . . everything else monthly on a trip to the City. It will save you time and money. Yes.It.Will.

    Hope your week is BLESSED!

    Laurel
    mama of 12 (ages 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 22, 23, 23, 25, 27, 28)

  64. Hannah says:

    I can totally relate! We live in a small town 3,100 people in Idaho and it is 2 1/2 hours from anything and there is 1 grocery store! It does simplify life when you aren’t running to winco, costco, fred meyer and walmart all in 1 day! Eating good healthy foods can be done without all the big box stores though! I look forward to your upcoming recipes. I also began making our own yogurt to save money too!

  65. Teresa says:

    What a nice little write-up of your town. I enjoyed reading it and the pictures. I live in a town of about 30,000, so I find it so interesting to read about small towns. Very charming. Love your recipes.

  66. Stacie D. says:

    I love your positive attitude, and I love these posts! Stay warm up there!

  67. Sally says:

    My jaw dropped at “in a tiny, tiny little house (as in, 1,290 square feet)” and I kept coming back to it. It was the idea that 1,290 square feet is “tiny, tiny.” I’m just about retirement age and only once have lived in something larger than that.

    I was born, raised and raised my own family in a small town. I remember being thrilled when my local grocery started carrying chickpeas. Seems strange now….

  68. Shannon says:

    I admire you for squeezing into a 1290 sq ft home with a family your size in a cold place! People used to live in tiny houses and be quite happy. Thanks for showing us that it’s still possible! So with the move, do you still have your cheese source or did the move take your husband to a non-food job?

  69. Kim in MD says:

    First of all, that photo of Camryn and Brian is so cute! Mel, thank you for sharing this post. You have such a positive attitude, and it sounds like you always make the best of the situation. I have been a little worried about you since you moved, and I’m so glad that you are thriving (and not just surviving!). I’m not sure I could deal with the severe cold winter, but I’m sure your children will love the snow!

  70. Kate Lundquist says:

    I just realized I still owe you your welcome bag!!!
    So glad you’re here and enjoying it…most of it. :)
    I should introduce you to the lady I bought produce from this past year. It was wonderful, inexpensive, organic, and delicious. There is another lady that does shares.
    See you soon!
    Kate :)

  71. Diana says:

    Small town living is a totally different world. I come from/live in a town of about 100,000 people. My mom has been trying to find family over the last few years and last year, my mom and I visited some cousins who live in a small town in Alabama (well, to me. They have just over 9,000 people). While everything is quaint, quiet, and everybody knows everybody, I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t deal with the lack of options for food, my only grocery store being a Walmart, and a town completely shutting down at 5pm on weekdays.

    I really love seeing the snapshots of your family! They are all so precious.

  72. April says:

    After hearing about this famous blog I had to blog stock you on google. Found it and will be reading more!!

  73. Melissa M says:

    I’m giggling reading your blog (shared by Kate!). I just moved from there April 2011. I was there for 8 years as a Texan transplant. I was shaking my head in agreement reading this…overpriced grocery store*yes*, lack of options *yes*, but I’m here to tell you…you will figure it out!! Amazon prime has been my BFF for the past 5-6 years. You will learn to grow your own garden during the summer (ask around for the right seed b/c there are some that grow fast and turn out really well!)..herbs included. You will want to see if anyone wants to go in halves when you buy meat in bulk (Napper’s) or you will become a hunter if you aren’t already!

    Living up there will teach you a life lesson that you can’t learn really anywhere else. You learn survival skills. I’m not talking about Bear Gryllis skills (well, unless you get lost in Beltrami then you’ll be thankful for shows like that), but I’m talking about going back to your roots of canning, jarring, taking pride in land and growing things. I dearly miss my beautiful friends up there (and I even miss my awesome house that was off Park Rd) and I’m SO SO SO thankful that I was apart of that town to have learned the things I did! I’m in the PacNW now and those skills are now being taught from my kitchen to my kids and my neighbors!

    Oh…and enjoy the winter *cough cough*… Off to try some of your recipes ;)

  74. Becky H says:

    Welcome to this little town up north. I found your blog from Kate. :) I grew up here and couldn’t wait for the opportunity for my little family to move back here. Last summer we did! Believe it or not, my husband grew up in an even smaller community then this. It will grow on you and you will love it!

  75. nicole says:

    ironically i moved from wisconsin to canada about 3 months ago. i moved to a city right outside of toronto so it’s the exact opposite for me but im still adjusting as well. good luck with everything :)

  76. Hanananah says:

    How funny! I found your site yesterday while searching for a wild rice casserole (I still call it that, though growing up it was always hot dish) and I immediately loved the blog and subscribed. Looking around today I find out you’ve relocated to a town 20 miles from where I work (that what it looks like to me, anyway). Small world. Good luck. I was born and raised here and still felt a major culture shock when I moved back after 6 years in Minneapolis. Groceries are the hardest thing to find around here, even the bigger cities are lacking, in my opinion. We make a list for our monthly or bimonthly trips to the twin cities. If you haven’t heard of it yet you must must must make a trip to the local organic mill. They have extremely high quality products at really reasonable prices. Hope you’ve got a warm hat (and mittens and scarves and jacket and boots and long johns), you’ll need ‘em! =]

  77. I am so glad to hear you are settled! You are one brave and strong woman. I am not sure I could live more than a few blocks from a Walmart and a Costco. However, the slow paced life seems a really nice change. You and your family deserve all the best things in life! I’m so glad to hear things are going well and you are getting settled before the holiday’s hit ;) Have a good one!

  78. Melynda @ Our Sunday Cafe says:

    life is good in small town America, I am happy for you and yours!

  79. Could I ask if you’re cool with fee-based blogs? All I’d
    want is for you to create content and articles for me and just a website link or reference to my web-site.
    Let me compensate you.

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