Friday, December 30, 2011

One of my closest friends from Alaska drove away today. Andrew and I went to the Worrick's home last night for some last-minute hanging out and a quick game of Cranium before heading to bed around 1:30 am, only to get up today and drive back over there to squeeze in some more goodbye's. We prayed together. We cried together. Hugs were passed around. I've been thinking about this moment practically every day for the past month or more and thinking on what to do or say to make this go by easier. The only real thing I came up with that I've been thinking about over and over, a couple of phrases on an endless repeat in my head is 'Thank you for Amy' and 'Bless their journey'. 

Back when I first got here - well, even before that, I prayed earnestly for God to send me a friend. And Amy took me under her wing and has become my first real, life-changing, blessing-in-disguise friend here while in Alaska. She and Shawn have welcomed me and Andrew into their home, into their lives, and have challenged me to ask the hard questions about my life, my faith and how I should be a better wife to Andrew/live a better life (and she probably doesn't realize she's encouraged me and challenged me in so many ways!).

And now they are en route to Missouri and their new base. And I know that God is going to move BIG through them. And their journey will be blessed.

Missing you four already - Amy, Shawn, Devin, Zoey, Maddi & Kia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We went with the 'prom' theme for pictures at his squadron's Holiday Party.
Unfortunately we didn't win anything..well, our table won the scavenger hunt & trivia questionnaire.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We got a Christmas tree!

Andrew wearing the apron Grammie sent out (and I made for her back when I was probably eleven or so).

Chip was very interested in the tree stand/water.

The 'before'

Andrew christening our bare tree...

...with a Darth Vader ornament.

All pretty with the lights!

And now some presents!

Penguin ornament from Lowe's.

The ornament I got from a vendor at the local craft fair back in October...I gave it to Andrew for Christmas.

Another ornament from Lowe's

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Adventures in the Alaskan 'wilderness'

A lot has happened in the past month. I haven't been blogging much because I haven't really been feeling up to it, and I've been unsure if I should continue on - I mean, does anyone even read this?

A couple of weeks ago I left work and went into the ER for a personal issue. The next day I started not feeling well - very nauseous and had severe abdominal pains which worsened when eating. This went on for about four days before I went back to the ER for two IV Drips and a bunch of medicine. The doctors deemed it 'irritable bowel syndrome' which I know it was not - it is just their way of telling me they have no idea what it is. The pain went away after that night so it may have been a combination of the lack of nutrition from not eating for four days and dehydration.

So everything was grand until Friday of that week (Veteran's day) when we got into a three car accident (our fault) and totaled our car. Estimated damage with basic parts (which have to be new rather than used because it is a pretty unpopular car) to the front alone was $3,000.00 not including labor. It is estimated to cost about $8,000.00 to fix the Maxima. So with two weeks of rental cars and a potential loan going through, I was relatively calm and knew that everything would work out and that God would take care of us.

And He has. Our loan went through and we were able to buy a used (new to us) 2002 Subaru Impreza. It's handled pretty well so far in the snow and ice and we are pretty happy with it.
This isn't actually a picture of our car, but one I took off google.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time. Hannah and Carlo Bulanan came over as did David Smith, one of the single guys in his squadron. we had lunch at 1 pm and everyone stayed until at least eight playing board games and talking/watching movies.

I stopped working at Barnes & Nobles the Thursday before Thanksgiving and the Tuesday and Wednesday of the week of Thanksgiving I started Orientation at the Sitka Child Development Center. This past week I was placed into room 114 of the Infant wing, working with 6-12 month olds - and I LOVE it! I am filling in for the regular caregiver in this room, as her newly adopted daughter passed away the Saturday after Thanksgiving and she has not yet set a date to come back as of yet. Apparently I've done such a great job and the kids love me so Melissa (the early morning shift) requested that I be put back in the room for this next week instead of doing the flexible of 'floater' position I was hired for.  I've done some helping out in the toddler and pre-school rooms and I'm not very thrilled so I think that if a position in a room opened up I would prefer to be in the older infants like I am now. Maybe even pre-tots, but I haven't been in there yet.

Andrew and I have had a couple of movie dates recently. We went to see the Muppet's - which was a decent movie in my opinion.I didn't grow up watching the Muppet's but I was amused by most of the numbers in it - especially when Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory showed up in one of the numbers. That probably made the movie for me.

We also went on Friday evening and saw Hugo. I didn't really like it mostly because it was a very slow-moving movie - a slow-moving story. Andrew really enjoyed it though and that's all that matters. I mostly went for him. Besides, he went to the Midnight opening showing of Part 1 of Breaking Dawn, the last book of the Twilight Series. Now that's love.

Last night I had the opportunity to spend some time and fun Fellowship with some awesome ladies from MCHH at The Crow's Nest which is located on the 20th floor of the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage.  It is a super fancy restaurant and not something I would go to on just some random day - it is more of an anniversary dinner or to celebrate a new promotion or something big like that. We all had a wonderful time and the view (even in the dark) was spectacular. Andrew and I might go there for our 1 year anniversary dinner.
Lamb Loin I had for dinner.

Myself and Amy showing off our muscles!

All the MCHH Ladies in the Lobby of the Captain Cook Hotel

A couple things I've been thinking about lately is making a 'mini-series' on my blog - sort of like the homemaker blogs that I follow - except these would document neat hole-in-the-wall places we've been such as restaurants with review & maybe some pictures, or maybe a small series on good items to invest in if considering a trip or a move up here - things that will come in handy such as a pair of sturdy hiking boots or a pair of studded snow tires. I guess I want to document our lives in such a way that if someone wanted some honest opinions of things see and do from someone who is currently living here. What do you think?

Friday, November 18, 2011

February 27th 2011

White Cliffs Mansion, Northborough MA

The reception

Andrew helping me off the bar after pictures.

The Bridal Party. Left-Right: Nathanial Sager, Timo Nivala, Jaadin Anderson, Matthew Skinner, Bridget McManaman, Andrew, Me, Krystal Blodgett, Joseph Burley, Erin Loftus, Jonathon Skinner, Kelly Eisbacher.

Probably one of my favorite pictures.

I really enjoy this one too.

Our wedding cake, done by Krystal Blodgett. The rubber ducks were added at the very last minute. Notice the 'man' duck is in his blues!

Dancing with my dad.

For those who read and follow up on our very sporadic posts about our lives, we had some trouble with the photographer and the quality of photos given to us. It is pretty much all taken care of now, but these are some of the better re-done photos we have received. I may post more later. 

We do ask that everyone does not copy and paste these files onto your own personal computers. Andrew and I will be giving out photos to those who want them. Thank you very much. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hello from Massachusetts! Let's start back from the beginning. We left for the Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport around 10 pm and waited for Julian to get off his airplane. Once Julian came back to collect his car, we took our bags out of his car and checked in with our airline. We got through security and I was 'randomly' selected for a pat down but there wasn't a female around to do it so the guy just swiped my shoes instead. Our plane from Anchorage to Seattle left at 12:43 am and we grabbed some coffee cake and a yogurt parfait that we shared before boarding.

Our flight from Anchorage to Seattle was approx. four hours and I was lucky enough to have a crying, kicking kid behind me. He did better than I was expecting though and I did manage to get some sleep. We landed in Seattle around 5:30 am and then left about an hour later. I got coffee, a fruit cup and bagel (for the plane) along with some animal crackers and a couple of Cliff bars. So we got on the plane going to our next stop, Newark NJ. This flight was so freaking long. Almost five and a half hours. I didn't really sleep at all. I ate the bagel and cream cheese and the animal crackers on the flight and had some of the juice the beverage cart brought but that's it. We started our descent into Newark and it was so bumpy and jarring that I sort of got sick into the vomit bag that's located in the seat in front of me.

So we asked the stewards if we could be let off first since we had a really tight connection and we were all the way in the back of the plane but they said they wouldn't/couldn't do anything. So our flight from Seattle landed in Newark at 3:07 pm and we thought we would be alright because the next gate to fly to Boston was near where we were coming two gates down.

Wrong. The gate originally told us was now going to Phoenix. So we looked at the board and our flight had been changed to C125 instead of C86. So we ran. RAN. SPRINTED. Through the airport. We heard the five minute final warning boarding call for the connecting flight and I had Andrew sprint along ahead of me and let them know that I was coming. I got there just in time. Literally. The doors were closing. It was crazy. And horrible to sprint through the airport after just having gagged into the barf bag!

Regardless, we made it. But we had to wait for our bags once in Boston because they didn't make it to the flight we barely made it on. But Continental gave us food vouchers so we spent all $24 at Dunkin' Donuts getting bagels and muffins for the week.  We finally got to my mom's new house in Auburn around seven and had gotten pizza for dinner. Then we went to bed at like 10 pm.

Saturday we picked up his dad's car at the hotel because we are using his car all week. And we went to Walmart on the way to Grammie's to pick up some things to do maintenance on some of Andrew's caches. Grammie wasn't home so I just saw Dad and Sam instead. After we went to do the caches and then we headed to his parent's house for Victoria's birthday. Mom came too.

Today, Sunday, we went to HBC for church. Erin came too. Then we went out to Leominster (spell?) to go for lunch at Friendly's before Erin and I headed back to Auburn to get stuff ready for Bridget's Bachlorette party....of which I will continue to right about tomorrow...because I'm exhausted and need to take a shower and go to bed before tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So while reading another friend's blog today, I was reminded that being outside, out in nature -despite how cold, warm, snowy or rainy it is - is very therapeutic to me. These past few days I have been able to get outside with Andrew - we played disc golf downtown a couple of times, we've gone to Far North Centennial Park/Campbell Tract (took a wrong turn and had to walk 2 miles back to our car, on the road) and today we went down to Alyeska Ski Resort to do the disc course but it was a flounce. So we decided to check out the hotel instead and  then found a lot of caches in and around Girdwood.  I found most of them - and most of them were nanos! We stopped at Beluga Point on the way back home, snuggling under my sleeping bag to watch the sunset.

It has been a good long weekend.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's definitely been a while since my last post - almost a month and yet things (like time) seem to slip away. I read a post from a friend from college and even though she didn't quite say it, her post was/is a good reminder to stay connected and even write just a little bit here and there will help me, and those who want to be kept in the loop.

These past few weeks have been stressful. Really stressful. To pinpoint the stress, to put my index finger on it and jam it into the ground so it no longer becomes a problem is hard to do because I feel as though it is a little of this and a little of that until it all builds up and WHAM! out comes most things...but it still doesn't feel any better.

I've been applying for and looking for jobs since April of this year. It's been about six months since I've started and I've only had one interview and a lot of dead ends. This is so frustrating. I have a second interview possibly on Tuesday, or maybe Thursday (I'll find out tomorrow) for a job within the education department of the Alaska Zoo.

I'm really burned out working at Barnes & Noble. I would really like to a. be paid much more than I am making (Auntie Annie's in the Mall has a starting hiring pay of more than what I am making and I've been with the company for a year) and b. a more stable schedule, preferably days with weekends off or just occasionally - say one a month. This job is not my career and it won't become one.

Bridget is getting married at the end of October. I would have really liked to keep it a surprise, but Andrew needed to know if he needed to wear his dress blues and I can't ask Bridget or Matt or Matt's Mom without one of them finding out and ruining the surprise. So I told her today (and Erin too) and they were both pretty happy. Now I have to figure out what to wear.

Andrew and I booked a cabin overnight for tomorrow evening and I thought I had a shift switch with another employee but it wasn't approved because mine says 'institutional' on the schedule and the coworker isn't trained in that so I either a. call Renee in the morning and ask her to switch me to Tuesday evening instead or b. call out even though it's lying and I'd have to give some excuse and possibly lose my job over it or c. go to work anyways, lose the money we paid for this cabin (and a lot of the fun I've been looking forward to for the past week or so). I don't know what to do.

I've been getting upset about a lot of little things and blowing a lot of things out of proportion/taking them too seriously when I don't think normally I would be. So tomorrow morning at like 6:30 I'll be calling up my PCM for an appt..hopefully in the afternoon. I need to talk to her and let her know what's going on. Plus, if I need to see someone else, she needs to give out a referral.

My spiritual life sucks. Major. I haven't been reading the Bible, talking to God, praying etc. I feel no motivation to, I don't want to. Yes I am going to church - which is wonderful - except today we didn't make it because of other important things we had to take care of. I really like this church we are going to and I am somewhat growing but it is painfully slow. Reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllyyyyyyyyyy slow.  I think I feel discouraged too because I am not getting spiritual 'checkups and encouragement' from the one person in my life who matters the most: Andrew. And he's still trying to figure himself out too. It's hard to encourage someone to be better when you yourself are not where you should be. We've stopped doing devotions together at night (it takes five minutes) and that is bothering me. I sometimes read them by myself but I would really like for him to be present for it - not snoozing on the other side of the bed - and willing to discuss parts of it like the book suggests with the questions at the bottom of the page. Any advice?

I didn't think that my mom moving out of the house I grew up in would bother me so much. Yes, I think it is wonderful and great that she is finally getting her own place, away from memories we might not want to remember and be able to get a fresh start...but when Andrew and I go to MA this October, I'm not going to be staying in the house I grew up in. The way I know to get home is not going to be the same. What it comes down to, really, is that I didn't think seriously that the few days before I got married of this year would be the last time I saw/slept/lived in the house. I figured that when I came back for a visit, my room would still be there (after all, mom promised that my room would always be there) and Andrew and I would just stay in it. But I guess that's not happening.

Another thing that is frustrating me is that everyone back home is hammering for us to come and see them (Andrew has already flown home four times within the past year) and blah blah blah but why is it that they can't come and see us? 'oh, well we have full time jobs and we have this and that and plane tickets are expensive...' what do they think we are? Made of money? Not working? Plane tickets from Anchorage AK to Boston MA are pretty expensive (although we did get a good deal on these ones) and certainly add up over time. Plus, we still had to get time off approved from our managers/bosses and put everything on hold so we can fly back. Stop whining about us not coming to see you/make it out to your function/making excuses because we (meaning me mostly) are sick of hearing your excuses. Want to see us so badly? Buy a flippin' plane ticket and fly your silly bottom out here.

The end.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Autumn is upon us. Early morning and late evenings have that crisp-air feel to them. Days are all-around cooler. The nights are darker, earlier. The trees have yet to turn here on base, but I am sure that by the middle to end of September, all the leaves will have turned and fallen. It seems weird to me, that it is only the very end of August, beginning of September, and it is already fall-like. Back on the East Coast it is still relatively warm - these last few weeks it has been pretty rainy - and a 60-degree day is considered warm (still wearing those t-shirts and sandals).

Anyways, some new-ish stuff in my life... after just over twenty four years of a wonderful dentist record, I have obtained three cavities - all of which will be filled at 7 am Friday September 9th Pacific Standard if you want to remember me on that day, please do...and pray for me now as the left side (both top and bottom) of my mouth has been bothering me (think: lots of ibuprofen) and I still have to wait two weeks to have this done! I hope the ache-y and uncomfortable-ness doesn't get any worse!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two things I've learned in my short married life so far

There are two things I have begun to learn since I have been married (these short almost six! months). First, Andrew and I have realllly different tastes when it comes to decorating. For example, my mom just shipped up all my wall art, including a wonderful oil painting that was made by my friend Lisa York while she was in her senior year at Hougton - it depicts Massai women in their traditional garb in their village over in Tanzania. This painting holds meaning to me because I've experienced this picture, a semester earlier than Lisa. I also have a few professionally framed batiks I brought back with me and a digitally mastered art piece done by a Houghtonite I bought during my senior year. This Little Red Riding Hood piece was displayed in Java 101, the Houghton coffee shop, during an art show and I kept going back to it over the course of the show. I like it. A lot.

The question comes down to: where are we going to display these? My first guess would be the guest bedroom, but then again, we keep the door closed to keep the room as hypoallergenic as possible for those who visit us with allergies...and so by putting them up there in the room, they would never be seen and enjoyed. We could put them in our bedroom and it would go well with the particular bedroom set we picked up....but I'm afraid that because the frames and pictures are dark and may make our bedroom seem even darker than it already does...

Put them in the living room? Or maybe on that wall at the end of the kitchen that is such a blank white and we use the floor between the bathroom and the door to the basement as a catchall for the file cabinet and backpacks etc..... it would put more color in this house, maybe make it more home-y. What do you think?

Secondly, I went to another medical clinic today because I couldn't get in for an appt in the Hospital with my PCM (it seems I NEVER can!) So let me back up a little bit - and to warn you, the following information may be too personal for you so if you are uncomfortable - suck it up and keep reading or x-out of this blog. A couple of months ago I piggy-backed my birth control and the past couple months my cycle has been off... like a week. So basically, my body says 'I am ready to expel NOW!' a week early - while I'm still on the pill. So this past week has been pretty much the same except two days ago I had a really sore back and last night I woke up several times with debilitating cramps - worse than I've ever had in my entire life of cramping (which is very little to speak of). So I went to the clinic today.

One thing I have learned in these five and a half months of marriage is that nobody cares and I shouldn't either. And if I am caring, I better get over it quick. The first time I saw a guest doctor volunteering at the Hospital a few months ago for this same issue (infection!) I had to get over the fact that the doctor was a male... and today there was a student intern in the clinic and I said it was okay for her to be in there. In fact, what the heck!? If there is a student there to learn, and I have a problem (no matter what area of my body it is) then come on in - even during the exam. Students have to learn somehow. Oh, and I've also begun to not care-so-much about how 'groomed' I am when I visit the doctor. I mean, who cares?

Monday, August 15, 2011

A few highlights from this weekend's camping trip in Willow AK

At the top of the mountain, and near Summit Lake.

Summit Lake

The View from the top

A really cool waterfall

I was so excited to capture the water spraying!

At the base of the mountain.

Ally, the cutest little girl ever.

Her sister Emily.

Dinner Saturday Evening.


After eating fresh wild blueberry cobbler.

Salmon eggs, used for bait.

Dan Evans, with his first catch of the night.

Andrew's first catch!

Gorgeous sunset.