Friday, December 31, 2010

last day of 2010

Another year has come and gone, I cannot believe it! It has been a great year, yet with ups and downs like any other. Today was spent laying around feeling horrible for both Steve and I. We must have gotten the stomach flu or eaten something bad, as we both had stomach aches all day yesterday and were *sick* from about 10:30 last night to 3am. Steve was the worst, but he finally fell asleep at 3:30. I slept fitfully from then until 5, when I got up to try walking around. Not such a good idea, so I laid down on the futon and fell asleep there until about 9:40. We made a trip to City Market to get some juice and white bread, then came home and rested from our big "excursion." We decided to have a LOTR marathon and I am watching Return of the King as I type this. Steve is sleeping.

I felt bored around 1 this afternoon and thought I'd try sewing. I got three of my maple leaf squares done in about as many hours. It took forever because I had to rest after each short trip to the ironing board about two feet away from my recliner. We both have been extremely weak and tired all day, and weary of any food other than cold bread. I was happy to get at least something done, but decided to save any energy I had left to take care of Steve, who now has a slight fever. But we are thankful to be entering a new year with the promise of lots of good things and times to come our way.

2011 will be an exciting year for both Steve and I as he finishes his last round of classroom time for his apprenticeship (hot school) and I graduate from UAA with my bachelors degree in History. I am sure that plenty of other exciting experiences lie in our path and I cannot wait!
Here is a quick look back at 2010:

Steve and I were snowmachining almost every weekend.

I began to blog more than once a month, and also got used to commuting to campus via walking, taking the bus, and/or riding my bike. Steve and I's 5 year anniversary of our first date.

Started to get into biking more seriously. My aunt gave me a Novara Randonee - touring bike which I've since logged many miles on.

Registered for the Gold Nugget Triathlon. Biked around a bunch and struggled to finish all the end of semester paper writing without going crazy!

Completed my first ever triathlon (the Gold Nugget). It was a blast! Also participated for the first time in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which was an amazing experience.

Logged close to 100 miles on my bike, and got a job interview at REI.

Hired on at REI. I get to work bikes in the summer and the ski wall in winter - it's been a great place to work and six months later I still love it! Also, my BFF from high school got married and I was in her wedding.

Baked my first ever loaf of homemade bread and went on to bake more bread and lots of other yummy stuff.

My first ever niece was born, and Steve and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.

I turned 24 (scary)

I struggled once again to get through the last couple of weekes of school assignments, which was especially difficult while working and trying to finish my 25 page senior seminar paper.

Got an A in Senior Seminar! Had a very merry Christmas, and also got really sick :)

How was your 2010?
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

I cannot believe that tomorrow is Christmas! It seems like last Christmas was just yesterday. I am so thankful to be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Gods precious son, and cannot help but love this holiday most of all. This holiday season was especially special and full of reminders of the power of God. The total lunar eclipse was an amazing display that brought attention to how magnificent Gods creation truly is.
Steve and I stayed up and made numerous trips outside to observe the progress of the eclipse. Looking through Stevens binoculars the breathtaking beauty of the moon was even more apparent. My picture is a cell phone pic and does not even begin to do the whole process justice.
When not at work I have been baking up a storm and spending time with family as much as possible. Last night Noah spent the night with us and it was a great time as usual.
We went and looked at lights this week which was very fun and enchanting.
I hope and pray that all my friends and family have a peaceful and joyful Christmas and remember the life that we are celebrating.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010

Outside my window.... branches and sticks are strewn across the drifts of snow. Steve is in the yard with Beau, and is about to start my car so I can head off to work.

I am thinking...about how nice it is to have no homework lingering over my head. Also about Ladies Bible Study tonight and family arriving this weekend.

I am thankful for... cozy clothes, new wool yarn to knit into something special and warm, plenty of food to eat, and the wonderful fall weather.

From the learning rooms...nothing, hurrah! Except a little anticipation for next semester, during which my course work will be different from anything I've ever done.

I am wearing...jeans, a long sleeve tshirt, a fuzzy Patagonia zip up, and wool socks, of course.

I am nice it was when I didn't work during the holidays.

I am work in about 15 minutes. Then to Ladies Bible Study. Then to work again tomorrow. THEN to the airport to pick up Beka!

I am creating...some secret knitting projects and hopefully some sewing projects. Also lots and lots of cookies and sweets for the holidays.

I am reading... The Chronicles of Narnia from start to finish. Right now I'm on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's still a little weird to have time for fiction, but I'm sure I will get used to it very quickly :)

I am hoping... for answered prayers and lots of Christmas memories to be made with all my family nearby.

I am hearing... coffee brewing and Steve eating a chocolate orange

On my mind... what to get everyone for Christmas - only a few more presents to go!

From the Kitchen... pork pot roast, pumpkin pies, sugar and gingerbread cookies, buttery walnut cookies, ect ect ect!

One of my favorite things... xc skiing

A few plans for the weekend... xc skiing, baking, spending time with family, reading fiction!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Done with this semester...

I'm finished with the fall semester at UAA and am happy to announce that I got a 4.0! I am so relieved about that since the only class I thought I might have a "B" in was Senior Seminar, which was also the one class I needed an "A" in to graduate with Honors in history through PHI ALPHA THETA, the history honor society. So I breathed one big sigh of relief and am now on my first day off from work post-school. I've been skiing a bunch this past week, and would go today except it is ridiculously windy and we need to wax our skis, which we will do this evening.
I've spent the entire day cleaning my house. Not just cleaning I guess, but also going through stuff and getting rid of stuff. I cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, our bedroom, washed all our bedding, towels and clothes, and cleaned up our living room and put everything back in its place. Then I went through our second bedroom and threw away/got rid of about three garbage bags full of stuff. Another huge sigh of relief, since we will be moving sometime next year and need to start weeding stuff out that we don't want to move. I've also been baking cookies like crazy, and can't wait to bake even more for those who are flying in to appreciate.
Here's a few pictures of everything I've been up to:

Molasses Cookie baking...

Moose family that has been hanging out in my parents neighborhood

Skiing at Russian Jack Park with Steven


Me (and Steve) at Hiltop

The little shortcut we took at Hiltop...

It's a winter wonderland here! Hope everyone else is having a fabulous winter and a happy holiday season

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's that time of year!

I am taking a break from my studying/paper writing frenzy to post on my blog.  I put the first few presents under the tree today.  I'm so excited for school to be over so I can enjoy my favorite time of year a little more.  Here are a few fun pictures of my pathetic little tree...I think when I am done with school work I will make a little tree skirt to cover the dinky plastic tree stand.
Our little tree :)
 The reason we don't have a real you see her?
 Such a silly kitty :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


So I didn't get to say what I was thankful for everyday.  But I had a great week and am thankful for so much!  My husband, my family, my little dog, and God for giving me such a beautiful life.  It snowed here over the Thanksgiving weekend and I am also extremely thankful for that.  Now it's crunch time for me in regards to school; I only have about 10 days to finish all my assignments and tests, so wish me luck!

The delicious feast my sister and law and I made, with Steve and his dad and stepmom...

The most adorable little niece ever...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

today, it's baking...

Today I am thankful for baking. There is just something about it that is so cozy. I baked and cooked all afternoon and evening with my sister-in-law and it felt so good to share the kitchen and make delicious smelling and looking foods. I can't wait to actually eat everything tomorrow! I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving and remembers to give thanks for everything, not just the obvious!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Since it is the week that we as Americans traditionally set aside one day to give thanks, I have decided to post everyday with something I am thankful for.

Today, I am thankful for the church family I grew up in and all the times throughout my life they have been there for me. I am also thankful for my close-knit family and great family lunches like the one I enjoyed today. I could keep going on and on about all I'm thankful for! One last thing I'm thankful for is the end of the semester being right around the corner. And the privilege of being able to get a good education.

Hope everyone is thinking about what you're thankful for this week too!
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November, November...

So its November already.  I can't believe it!  This "winter" has just flown by so far and I feel like it's going to be summer before I know it.  I have been a busy girl; this semesters work load is just about killing me.  Today I'm working on a paper that is due tomorrow as well as trying to finish my senior thesis presentation powerpoint presentation.  That's actually going well, it is the paper writing that's eluding me.  And by eluding me, I mean I haven't even started it!  But I'm sure I will get it done at some point today.

I got my Christmas cards in the mail today, and I need to address them and get them ready to send out.  I am so happy with how they turned out, but no spoiler on this blog.  I'll post a picture of them on Christmas Day for all my bloggy friends who don't get one.  They are magnetic photo cards and I ordered them from, an amazing site with lots of great options for photo gifts.  I hope all of you are busy getting yours done and putting my name on your list of people to send them to! :)

I have actually already been skiing more this winter than I did during the entire winter last year.  Which is really sad, since I've only been skiing three times.  But that's actually pretty good for this season, since there has only been about 6 inches of snow so far.  I am dying for more snow, but so far nothing.  Hopefully it'll dump during the month of December and I can ski everyday of my Christmas break.

Hilltop ski area about two weeks ago, before we got the snow in town...such a beautiful day!

I'm a pretty aggressive skier, hahahaha...

Couldn't get over what a beautiful morning it was...


After we got snow in town, I headed to Kincaid Park...this weekend was the best snow ever!

Sisters skiing!

Last ski before the big thaw/freeze cycle that messed up the snow...Ms. Moose didn't want me to get to the top of Elliot's Climb....

All in all it has been a great, though extremely busy, couple of weeks.  Now I have to go finish my work and figure out what projects are upcoming.  I only have three weeks of school left, but I've got at least 5 papers to finish and a few midterms to complete.  Wish me luck!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rain, rain, go away!!!!

Ok normally I love the rain. But not when it should be snowing and I should be skiing! So this rain today, which could be snow if it was only 15 degrees colder, is really making me crazy! Working everyday around beautiful skis doesn't help. boo. Plus I got some wonderful new ski boots last week for classic skiing, and I want to use them! Also, this 40 degree business makes it hard to dress properly. I'm always chilly, but not enough to need my warmest jacket. :( Just snow already! But it is Alaska, so what should I expect. Ah....back to research.

birthday fun

Saturday was my 24th birthday.  It was a great weekend of birthday fun.  Friday I went to Mamma Mia with my sister and my mom.  It was hilarious!  I wish I could have gone again with Steve...he would have died.  We got great seats - five rows from the front, thanks to house manager Bob.  I hung out with my nephews earlier that day when my sis went to get their babysitter.

Corbin - my "peanut butter jelly" 

 Me and Noah, my little snuggle worm

My gift from Kelsey, adorable! 

Watching Bugs Life with the boys... 

Saturday we got up early since we had lots to get done.  I did research all morning, until about 11am.  Then we headed out into the yard to do fall clean up.

 Me and Annabelle, enjoying the last bit of sun before winter hits

 She's a climber!

 We love raking!  not.

"Whitney" birthday party.  Me and my friend Whitney, who turned 24 Sunday (hers was golden)

What a great weekend.  Now Steve's off to work and I'm back to school, work, and research...

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010

Outside my window.... rain is drizzling from the low, gray clouds, soaking the heaps of leaves that litter the ground. There are about three leaves left per tree, and there is snow falling on the mountains.

I am thinking... about all of the homework I have to do. And about whether or not I should get a 29er (bike) or a fat bike...decisions, decisions...

I am thankful for... cozy clothes, new wool yarn to knit into something special and warm, plenty of food to eat, and the wonderful fall weather.

From the learning rooms... way too much homework. It's midterms this week, and I have a two-part test to study for, a 30 page senior thesis paper to get some serious writing done for, ect, ect, ect the list goes on way too long.

I am wearing... black yoga pants, black t-shirt, black Patagonia zip neck thermal and woolly REI socks.

I am remembering... how good it felt to just have work, without any school stuff.

I am going... to UAA later this evening. For now, I'm staying here and cleaning house, doing laundry and working on homework.

I am creating... lots and lots of historical research. The words on this blog. My dreams for the future.

I am reading... knitting patterns, Gold Rush Women, Co. Aytch, Son of the Revolution, and Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens.

I am hoping... to get through this semester gracefully, for next semester to go by quick, and to have a wonderful holiday season.

I am hearing... Beau growling quietly at something outside and Billie Holiday Radio on Pandora.

On my mind... way too much.

From the Kitchen... not enough.

One of my favorite things... winter. snow. Christmas. holidays. everything!

A few plans for the weekend... house sitting for my parents, relaxing, homework, knitting, baking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hello, October!

Hello there.  I'm supposed to be working on my take-home exam for History 478 The Era of the Civil War, 1850-1870.  But I haven't blogged in a week! So of course blogging is my priority, even though the test is due tomorrow by midnight and I have work from 6am - 1:30pm, then two classes from 2:30-5:15pm tomorrow.  I'll get that done eventually...

I love October.  It is really the start of winter in Alaska, at least in my opinion.  Also, it is my birthday month.  And I just love it.  This October I'm pretty slammed, what with work and school, but I'm going to try and spend as much time out in the crisp, cool air as I can.  I biked to work Monday, but haven't had the time since then.  Plus it's dark now at 6:00am, so I need to get my lighting rigged up on my bike and helmet.  Once that's done, I'm ready to roll.

It's been weird without Pepper around (Pepper was our 80 lbs labradoodle that we had to put down three weeks ago).  She really loved this time of year.  It's been really hard for Steve and I to adjust to life without her.  I got her the summer before my freshman year in high school, and from then on we were inseparable.  And with her and Steve, it was love at first sight.  The morning we put her down was probably the worst in both our lives yet, and we really miss her.  I thought I'd post some of my favorite pictures of her, to try and convey what a great personality and spirit she had...

This is us in Girdwood in October, 2006.  Like I said, she loved this time of year...

Her and Beau loved each other, it's been hard for him too since she's been gone.  We came home from work one day to find them snuggling like this, so cute!

This was just a few months ago, already a year into her illness. She LOVED bones and thought she was clever stealing the entire bag in addition to the other three she had already swiped...

Skiing with her this past winter.  She loved it!

Steve and his girl in Homer, 2005

We miss her dearly but know that it was for the best.  Pets influence and enhance our lives in so many ways, and I hope you all appreciate the time you get with yours.  We sure didn't do that enough during the time she was with us :(

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Holy cow it has been a long time since I blogged last. I've been pretty busy; busier, in fact, than I think I've ever been before. Ever. So that's why I haven't blogged. But I have the day off tomorrow and can do homework then, so I decided I could squeeze in some blogging tonight.

Lots has happened since I last blogged. My niece was born, which was pretty exciting. She was born at 7:31am, Tuesday, September 7th, 7lbs 6oz - Morgan Serena. She is so beautiful and perfect and I got to fly down as soon as I heard the news and spend some time with the new family, trying to help out as much as I could. She is now three weeks old today, can't believe how fast time flies.

Steve with week-old Morgan

The happy family the day after Morgan was born

Things have been super crazy at work, since we are in the process of switching over from our summer stuff to winter, which has been fun despite the craziness. The "official" day of the switch it snowed on the mountains and little baby flurries even floated around in Anchorage. I was and am so excited! I love winter, it's by far my favorite season. It's cold so I get to wear lots of cozy clothes and drink hot cocoa. Plus all the best holidays are in the winter, and it just feels like the best time of year. I love playing in the snow, skiing, biking, snow angels, whatever. And there is nothing, seriously nothing, like walking in the winter, feet crunching loudly in the snow, breath clearly visible, but other than the crunchy feet there is almost complete silence, like the world is a wonderful, peaceful place and you just smile and smile. (Can you tell I love winter?)

In other news, I've started knitting! I am very excited about it and have a page on Ravelry where you can check out my projects and other cool stuff. I've knit two hats so far and am in the process of knitting up some baby legs with stirrups which I know will be very cute.

Infant hat I just finished. It's even my own pattern!!

Me at the Zoo this past weekend with my nephew, Noah. He's wearing the hat I made him for his birthday and the sweater him mom (my sister) knit for his bday.

Schools been CRAZY and I just can't wait to be done, so that's all I'm going to say about that. I don't even want to think about it until I have to tomorrow when I work on the multitude of reading and writing I have to do.

What do you all love about winter?? This is a positive post, I don't want to hear any complaining!!!! So if you comment you have to mention something you love about winter :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Anniversary Animal Sightings

We went to Homer for the weekend to visit family and celebrate our two year wedding anniversary.  On the way home we saw a sight that I've never seen in the 24 years I've lived in Alaska.  We wondered what all the people were pulled over looking at along side the narrow highway through Cooper Landing.
 Then Steve saw what they were looking at.  It was a brown bear, catching salmon in the Kenai River.  
 I was pretty psyched to see the big guy since I've never seen one except at the zoo.  I've only ever seen black bears.
 Didn't have the best camera, just a 12.1 megapixel point and shoot.

Friday, September 3, 2010

scary statistics

I read this on another blog and felt it worth sharing here. What do you think?

What Is The Culture In Your Home Today?
Who Is Raising Your Children?
(shared from "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families"
Stephen R. Covey)

Parent's time with kids:
-5 minutes with Dad
-20 minutes with Mom
(eating or TV)
Computer games
TV larger than life

Family Rituals
Each week a school-age child spends
-1.8 hours reading
5.6 hours doing homework
-21 hours watching TV
Adults watch 15 hours/week

Children's chance of growing up with both parents: less than 50%

Parents at Work
45-50-hour work week
More than 60% of children need day care because of parental work demands
Divorce rate 1 in 2
Single parent families increase 350%

Teachers' moral voice is silenced
Assaults on teachers up 700% since 1978

Juvenile Violent Crime
Up 500% from 1950's
Up 22% from 1990
75.8 incidents per 100,00

Most Americans know well only 3 in 5 neighbors

Extended Family
Live farther apart
Less frequent contact and involvement

60% of people feel religion is losing its influence on American life
90% feel the U.S. is slipping deeper into moral decline


September 3, 2010

Outside my window.... a chilly fall breeze is rustling the yellowing leaves of the trees under a crisp, clear blue sky.

I am thinking... about being stuck in time, not wanting to wish it away but ready to move on to a new stage in life. I seem to be stuck daydreaming about the future, and can't concentrate on today. In the back of my mind I'm also thinking about the school work I need to do to stay ahead, and all that I need to pack and get ready for heading to Homer.

I am thankful for... so much. My God who gave me life and such a beautiful world to live in. My husband who works so hard day in day out to provide for me and for our future. My family who is always there for me. Costco, for having molasses cookies just when I needed them.

From the learning rooms... I am only taking 15 credits this semester, but the work loads of each class make it feel like much more. All are upper-level history classes which require an immense amount of reading, thinking, analyzing and writing.
History 477 Senior Seminar: Two small papers based on Orwells, "Politics and the English" Language and Carr's What is History? A thirty page research paper based on the topic of my choice (but limited to Early American History)
History 321 Modern China: Three papers based on contemporary Chinese literature and two exams.
History 479 History of Native Peoples of United States and Canada: 5 papers and a research project. Six required books.
History 478 The Era of the Civil War: three exams and a research paper. Seven required texts, in addition to timetables and battlefield maps.
History 341 History of Alaska: Lots of weekly projects and short papers, multiple exams including a midterm and final. 5 required texts and also multiple scholarly articles and interactive websites.

I am wearing... the dress I wear to do housework in, plus a cardigan and my favorite Birkenstock sandals.

I am remembering... how much I have loved this summer of rain, despite how strange that may sound. I have loved it. And will always love to remember how mysterious, and wonderful and romantic and cozy each and every rainy day was and how happy I felt.

I am going... to work at 1pm. But could also being up and heading to Homer, depending on the impending birth of my new niece or nephew.

I am creating... lots and lots of historical research. The words on this blog. My dreams for the future.

I am reading... right now I am reading Many Tender Ties (Van Kirk), Battle Cry of Freedom (McPherson), What is History? (Carr), and should be reading a few other school texts.

I am hoping... my sister-in-law goes into labor today. Also that this school year flies by and we are able to follow through on all of the plans we've been scheming and whispering about as we lay side-by-side in our dark room at night.

I am hearing... the song "Grandpa" by the Judds.
Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days, sometimes it feels like this worlds gone crazy. Grandpa, take me back to yesterday when the line between right and wrong didn't seem so hazy.
Did lovers really fall in love to stay, stand beside each other come what may. What a promise really something people kept, not just something they would say and then forget. Did families really bow their heads to pray, did daddy's really never go away. Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days.
Grandpa, everything is changing fast, we call it progress, but I just don't know. And Grandpa, lets wander back into the past, and paint me the picture of long ago.
Did lovers really fall in love to stay, stand beside each other come what may. What a promise really something people kept, not just something they would say and then forget. Did families really bow their heads to pray, did daddy's really never go away. Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days.

On my mind... being a Proverbs 31 woman.

From the Kitchen... lots of bread, chocolate cake, and fishwich (red salmon cooked and turned into fish salad for sandwiches).

One of my favorite things... fall. rain. sun. snow. music. singing. I can't decide!

A few plans for the weekend... heading to Homer to work on our property, hunt for moose (Steve), watch my niece/nephew be born (at least I'm hoping), make lots of memories with family.

Photo of the day - my pretty kitty enjoying the crisp fall sunshine.