15 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Missouri chicks!

Well, we decided that since we were both going to be sending out Christmas letters this year to practically all the same people, saying practically the exact same things, we would go ahead and just send one. We knew with all the excitement our lives contained, most people could probably handle only one of those letters. :D


Well my year started off with round two of American Cruise Lines. It was quite uneventful compared to the previous time I was employed by them in 2007. When I finished my contract with them, I made a quick stop in Arkansas before flying up to Alaska for my third year of fishing. This year was quite a bit different and much more enjoyable. Not that I didn’t love fishing before, but this year I was working on a drift boat apposed to working on a beach site and having to run in the sand. (Not a big fan of running in the sand in my rubber boots). The only downside to drifting, I didn’t get to fish with my best friend Amanda; but I did get to meet a lot of really amazing people this summer and see more of beautiful Alaska.

I know the last Christmas letter I sent out said I would probably be going to Australia to a Discipleship Training School in September. I did get accepted, got my visa and had everything in line, but at the last minute kind of decided to go a completely different direction. I guess the biggest thing was how the US Dollar continued to drop and school (in AUD) continued to get more expensive every time I checked… So, I guess there’s no need to say it, but I didn’t go to Australia. Instead of traveling all the way to the southern hemisphere, I decided to stay a little closer to home and move a couple hours north to Missouri.

One may ask “why Missouri?” (because of her fabulous sister… duh - SB) And that is a good question. Basically it was another one of my “dart at the dart board” decisions. But I decided to go to cosmetology school. It’s something I had wanted to do since I was 17 but had always kind of thought it was a vain thing to get into. You know, mission work verses beautifying the outward appearance. But, the more I thought about it the more I realized I could use it overseas with missions as well. Hard to believe at 24 I’m still in search of my talent, but I’m so hoping it is hair cutting! I’ve been in school now for a month and a half and I am really loving it!

Sarah (I’m the shorter one. :D)

My life is definitely not as exciting as Danette’s, (not true - DB) but I’ll go ahead and fill you in on what I’ve been up to. I’m sure most of you already know, but as of February, Joseph became an official Bjornstad. I’m very excited to have him as a brother, although I would have liked to adopt him myself. He is such a sweetheart, and I feel very blessed that God chose him for our family. Mom and Dad sure have their work cut out for them!

In June I turned twenty-one, which means I can now legally have my pistol in Missouri, although I still have no place to shoot it… very sad I know. I still haven’t been able to find a place for Liberty (my horse), and I’m thinking of selling her, which makes me pretty sad. Along with the fact that Tiffany (my puppy) died several months ago, I got her when I was eleven. I still have Squeaker (my flying squirrel) though, and he is a lot of fun.

Okay enough on the pets. I’ve been living in Missouri for three years in April; it just amazes me how the time flies. I’m still working at the church full time and going to bible school. I’m very excited to have Danette as a roommate, I try to keep her in line but it’s not an easy task, believe me.:D I’m sure some of you are wondering... so NO I do not have a boyfriend. :D (I just thought I would throw that in there.) I have the most wonderful friends and family anyone could ask for I feel very blessed.

We’re both glad you guys made it to the end. Well assuming you did, if you’re reading this and didn’t just skip right to the bottom. :D We wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have a fantabulous new year!

Love always,

Danette & Sarah

22 November 2009


I get so consumed with the day to day grind of things throughout the year that I, most of the time, forget about all the amazing blessing I have in my life.

It really is a shame that I take the time only once a year to write down some of the things I'm thankful for. Maybe I'll remember to do it more often this next year.

First of all, I have the most amazing family in the world! I wanted to say how much I love and am thankful that Joey came into our lives. Then I also wanted to mention how much I love my brother Luke and am so thankful that he's one of my very best friends. Well, then there's Sarah, and Lynn and my nieces and my parents... And then extended family, so it starts to get extremely long. I think I better just leave it as, I'm so thankful and so blessed to have the family that I have. Love them all!

Also, I don't know how a girl can come across as many amazing people as I have.. But I'm pretty sure I have some of the coolest friends EVER. Yeah, totally amazing friends that I absolutely love and am so thankful for! I have so many amazingly wonderful friends it's actually some times hard to keep track. So thank you friends for always being there for me and just being who you are.

I'm thankful for the organization Friend Ships Unlimited. I learned so much while I served with them! So many amazing experiences. Yes it was difficult, but such a growing opportunity.

I'm so thankful for all the traveling I've gotten to do. The places I've been so blessed to see and the different cultures I've gotten to experience.

For the different seasons of the year. Just the beauty that comes with each one.

Flowers. I love flowers! And snowflakes! If only I could keep them in a jar for decoration!

I'm thankful that I'm an American. I'm thankful for a job. And I'm thankful that I really look forward to going to cosmetology classes in the morning.

Smiles. How smiles can truly brighten a day! And laughs. My favorite.

I'm really thankful for Alaska. I love Alaska! It's so flawlessly beautiful!

The ocean, the beach and the stars! Rain on a tin roof!

Scarves. Randomly enough. I'm thankful for scarves. :D And jeans.

I'm thankful for the ability to learn different things. I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity to "learn" how to surf.

I'm thankful for art. And diversity. Uniqueness. Being different.

I'm thankful that Missouri is starting to feel like "home" and that I'm getting settled in and making new friends.

But mostly I'm thankful for Jesus. For the salvation I have in Him and for His continual forgiveness. For His unending love and mercies. And for NEVER leaving me. I'm so thankful for second chances.

Oh and also... I'm so thankful for stuffing and green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Which I will be eating in three days. :D

Turns out the list could actually go on. I keep thinking about more things that I'm thankful for.

I wonder if it would actually ever end? If I just continued to write things down. Even little things like my colored sharpy markers I use to highlight my notes and such with. Turns out there is SOO much a person can be thankful for... I think I'm just a happier person after writing this. I would suggest everyone make a list... It's amazing how many things a person has to be thankful about.

Can a person be thankful for Facebook? I think that I am. Did I just say that? ...Yep. I like that I'm able to stay connected with old and new friends.

04 November 2009

Cosmetology School

So it turns out you actually have to be smart to get through cosmetology school. What was I thinking? Anatomy and Physiology? Jeez, I don't want to be a nurse, I just want to cut and color some hair. I mean I can hardly even spell those words.

Today was only my second day at school, and already we have a test on Monday. It's like I don't even feel I've had time to learn anything yet. Weird.

Before class had actually started this morning, I was sitting in my tiny little desk making myself sick just worrying about all the stuff that I don't know and I actually thought about dropping out right then and there. Just calling it quits. But... that would be dumb. Giving up? Not really my thing. They'll have to fail me. But I'm not quitting.

We only have one hour in the morning of theory, then the rest is practical. And I love the all the practical stuff, I can actually do that. It's just the book work. Oh man. This is not going to be an easy 9/10 months. But I guess all I can do is give it my best shot.

29 October 2009

Trip #4 to Alaska

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Alaska? I have never seen anything more beautiful! I swear, as I fly through the Alaskan sky there's a song that's on repeat up in the clouds. It goes, "take my breath aaawaaaaaaay".

I just returned from there a couple days ago. The 3 previous times I had been up in Alaska was always in July/August. It was kind of strange to be there in October. I thought maybe it would be fall. But nope. It was winter. Not a leaf on a tree. But it was still beautiful.

This is Homer.My beautiful friend Amanda and I in Homer!

The Kenai River. Looks so bare without all the boats and bouys.

My friend Abe and I.

Well, I think most everyone has heard that I'm moving up to Missouri and will be starting Cosmetology school soon. But let me just make it official by saying that that is definitely true. :D

My little sister Sarah lives 20 minutes from the school so I'm moving right in with her and starting on the 3rd of November. The school is only a year long. And I know that sounds like a short time, but I spend an average of three months in one place. I always get antsy and just have to go somewhere. But I'm determined to get rid of the travel bug if only for nine months.

I'm so excited! I've wanted to do this since I was 17. But I'm also really nervous because I have never cut a persons hair in my life. I think "God help me" is about all I can say.

Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog! Hugs!


I've gotten pretty bad about updating my blog these days. Seems I just do the picture thing here lately.
So... Here are some pictures. :D

The siblings! First time we've been together since last Thanksgiving I believe. (Love my family!)

My Grandparents! They came to Arkansas to visit on their way to Arizona.

I love my grandpa!

My little niece Rebekah

My brother Luke and my youngest niece Emma.

05 October 2009

Gone, But Not Forgotten

In remembrance of my uncle Carl Bjornstad who departed us one year ago tomorrow. October 6th 2008.

You will always be loved and greatly missed.

12 September 2009


I can't believe it's been over a month since I last wrote. They say time fly's when you're having fun and that is the truth!

Fishing ended about a month ago, so I (sadly) returned to Arkansas and am now plotting my new adventures. I sure do miss Alaska, because it truly does feel like home. Maybe someday I'll even get to live there. I guess one can only hope.

I took a trip out to Virginia a couple weeks ago to see my dear friend Janna marry the man of her dreams. I had such a great time seeing a bunch of my Friend Ships friends and hanging out with my best friend Debi! Such good times!

Most have probably heard that I canceled my trip to Australia. The dollar is still dropping even as I type, so school was starting to cost way more than I was willing to pay. Who knows, maybe when I'm old and gray I'll be able to take a little trip Down Under for a vacation. But for now I think I'll probably stay in the states for a while.

I have a couple different directions I'm heading in at the moment. All I know right now is that I need to make a definite decision on what that is before I go completely insane.

Hopefully in the next week or two I will have a solid plan. Who really knows though? I like to reserve the right to change my mind about anything, at any time, whenever I feel like it. :D

So for now, here are some picture from over the past month.

Canoeing with my baby!

Taking a rid on the carousel. 2009 Fair.

Joey Loved this fire truck! He must have ridden on it 20 times!

My beautiful sister Sarah and my cute little brother Joseph

Janna and David
Sweet Debi! If only she didn't live so far away!

11 September 2009

Just Some Pictures in Alaska

I thought I would share a few more pictures with you of my time in Alaska.
So, this is picking fish on the Early Dawn. Or watching Abe pick fish anyways. :D

Abe is a phenomenal Captain/fisherman. There is no way in the world that I could ever even hope to be as educated about "things of the sea" as he is. Generally people scare me on boats. Like we're going to run into something or just flip right over in rough weather. But I don't think I was ever frightened even the slightest while working for/with Abe. I think it runs in his family because his dad is probably the saltest person I've ever met.

Chad and my best friend Amanda halibut fishing!

MY FIRST HALIBUT! I was so excited! (And to think, all those clothes in JULY!)

Abe and Chris or Brandon (they're twins and I had the HARDEST time telling them apart!) filleting halibut in Seldovia.

Snagging for Salmon! Oh my gosh! This was so fun! Everyone was just pulling salmon out of the water right and left! It was crazy! I only caught a humpy, but I was still happy!

26 July 2009


Oh surprise! I am actually working while I'm in Alaska! Ha ha, but it hardly seems like it! I'm just loving life up here!

On the Early Dawn. Looking over the port quarter.

The net

Kiss a fish!A couple fish in the hold. I believe the hold is about 5 foot deep.

After ice down.

A Little Bit of Alaska

On the beach at Snug Harbor

Cuddly little bear I wanted to take home with me.

And a moose up close and personal.

Caribou! Gosh I love Alaska!

26 June 2009

Beautiful Alaska

I had a three hour layover in Fairbanks that I was super excited about. It created the perfect opportunity to see my cousin and his family. They came to the airport to pick me up and then took me out to dinner and ice cream. It was so great to see them again!

Thanks so much Adam and Kimberly!

This is on the drive from Anchorage to Kenai. At around 12:30 at night. I love how the sun just stays around. :D

Some of Abe's beautiful flowers!

Dandelions LupineOne of the nets we've been working on.

23 June 2009

picture music playing

and singing "Take My Breath Awaaaay" (as I'm flying over the Alaskan mountains)

(not my photo. What I was seeing was WAY more beautiful!)

I cannot even believe how beautiful Alaska is! Yes I've been here twice before, but it has been three years. And I must have forgotten what I had seen, because there aren't even any words that can describe the site my eyes are seeing! This has got to be what heaven looks like! ...Just has to be!

I've been traveling now for, I guess you could say, five years. And I've found that generally the average amount of time I spend in one place is three months. Not really long enough to make it my official home, but long enough to be away from my last "home" to make it, well, not so homey anymore.

I call Arkansas home for obvious reasons. Because it's where I grew up, that's where my parents are and also where I have an address and a drivers license from. But Arkansas doesn't just feel like home. I feel out of place kind of, or maybe just out of my element. It's almost like I feel 16 again, like everything I've learned and experienced in the past years was just merely a dream. And this is not a good feeling.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone knows what it's like to move around so much that you always feel lost... Yes, I generally feel lost, like I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just weird.

Well, Alaska let me tell you. It's like I found myself! Like I came home! Who knew you could be so far away from what you call home and yet feel so content and joyful.

I think everyone should move to Alaska! Or at least come up and experience it! Though probably by the time winter rolled around, my bags would be packed and my ticket booked for the south.

But for now I'm going to soak up every moment of pure flawless extraordinary beauty! Gorgeous!


Pictures of my baby before I head off to Alaska.

16 June 2009

My Little Fisherman!

I missed Joey SO much when I was away! And just when I thought he couldn't get any cuter... He did...

He LOVES to go fishing!

I was out fishing with Joseph for about 30 minutes when my parents decided to come join us. I hadn't even gotten one nibble in the whole time I was there. Then they both cast their lines in the pond and BOTH caught a fish! Within like a minute! I couldn't believe it. They gave me quite a bit of grief since I'm supposed to be the fisherman of the family.

15 June 2009

A Good Friend

My friend Gabe was in Arkansas for a week again for the track and field competitions... Or something along those lines. It's all pretty confusing to me. I don't know if it makes sense to say he coaches heptathletes and pole vaulters... But it's definitely somewhere along those lines.

I was pretty glad I was able to catch an earlier flight when I departed Baltimore. There were 14 of us on stand-by. Myself being number 9. And there were exactly 9 seats available. That was the first time I had been overjoyed to have a middle seat.

Anyways, I flew in and then about 45 minutes later Gabe had to fly out. It was a short visit, but I'm glad I made it home in time to at least see him.

13 June 2009

Homeward Bound!

Three months at ACL (American Cruise Lines)... Finished! It seems almost to good to be true

Once again they managed to drain me of all my energy and I feel almost to tired to be excited... But not quite! I have way too many exciting things in the near future not to be totally thrilled.

Though I wouldn’t use the word “enjoy” to describe my time onboard the M/V American Spirit, I will say that it was much better than my first experience in 2007.

The deck crew this season was pretty great.

Actually ACL was still talking about the deck crew I was on two years ago as the “A team”. They were always saying how it was the best crew the company’s had. I just figured it was a motivational speech they gave to everyone that came through. But I guess they weren’t joking, because when I came back this year they were still talking about that crew.

Well, our crew this year blew the other one out of the water. Or gave them the place of second anyways. I’m pretty excited that I had the privilege of making it to both of them. The crew this year, for the most part, really was amazing.

I don’t want to sound as though I think it was me that was “so great”. Because I do know that it was a team effort. I was just super blessed to have been able to work with the people I did.