Thursday, December 24, 2009

Third time's a charm....

This is the third and final time I am going to try to post about this. The first two times they disappeared before I could publish it. Blogger has cursed me, I swear.

Anyhow, the topic was the winter blues, or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I have prepped myself for suffering from SAD as we prepared to move to Alaska. Given the dark winters and my genetic predisposition I thought I was a sure case of weeping and sobbing come winter. I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am doing fine. I have a twofold theory as to why this is true.

First, the winters are not nearly as dark as what I had been prepared for. Alaskans do not live in 6 months of total darkness (at least not this part of Alaska, it is a pretty big state), as many (and by many I mean everyone in the lower 48) seem to think we do. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of light we have in winter. It was winter solstice a few days ago and the sunrise was about 10:15 and the sunset was around 3:30. It is light for a while before sunrise and after sunset, the sun is just behind the mountains. I have come to really appreciate the sun here. In NC the sun was simply oppressive. It was too hot to go out in the summer and you break into a sweat simply going from a building to your car. The kids couldn't go outside unless they were swimming or playing in the slip and slide. I used to pine for cloudy, rainy days to escape from the sun. Here, I welcome the feel of the sun on my face and don't fear the cancerous death rays that it was constantly shooting at me in NC. I love sunny days and appreciate them now.

My second theory as to why SAD has eluded me so far is that I am constantly in awe of how beautiful it is here. I'd been in the south for so long that I had forgotten how beautiful winter can be. Winter is anything but dull and dreary here. Plus add the backdrop of mountains everywhere you turn, and it is simply amazing. The fog here does something I have never seen before. In the winter it creates frost/ice crystals on every thing that is outside. The signs, trees, cars... everything. The trees look like lace and when the frost really builds up it reminds me of coral. It's like giant white coral have left their salty home and opted live on dry land for a while. It really feels like a movie set, it is just so perfect and pristine.

So there you have it, my twofold theory. Perhaps I have just jinxed myself, but I figure if I have made it past winter solstice, I should be good to go. I'm sure some day I'll get used to the beauty of this place, but I sure hope not. Sometimes I'll walk out of Target and see the mountains in the distance, and they take me by surprise, like I had forgotten they were there. I hope they always surprise me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The first snow came last week and we have been in the full winter mode since. In fact, it has barely breached the positive digits lately. Today I walked the kids to the bus stop instead of taking the truck because it was only -5. That's quite a bit warmer than the -17 it has been though! Funny that in a week's time I have come to think of -5 as not that bad. Apparently this is not normal weather for here. In fact, ever since I have moved here the weather has not been normal according to everyone here. The summer was too sunny and really warm, well at least it was really warm before I got here. Then the fall was not normal because it was sunny and mild and gorgeous. It never snowed once in October, which is definitely not normal and now once it finally did snow more than a week into November, it is been well below zero, something that usually holds off until January or so.

So even though I've been here for a while now, apparently I have no idea what it's really like to live here because the weather has been abnormal the whole time!

Sonny Boy has been loving the snow. He gets off the bus and doesn't even come in for a snack. He just goes and plays in the snow. He hauls his sled around and fills up his truck with snow and plays with his little backhoe. It's like the whole world has turned into his sandbox. Princess Blondie hasn't been quite as adventurous. She will go out and play with Sonny Boy for a while, but snow in the face will send her in crying. I'm just impressed that she will go out at all. When we went to Michigan for Christmas last year she flat refused to wear snow pants and never went out to play once. She hasn't made a peep about wearing snow pants this year. Strange, the phases kids go through.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Settling in...

So we have finally closed on our house. The whole process was... interesting, but at least we had a wonderful realtor! The kids and I flew up the end of July and we were all staying at my sister's while we looked for a house. DH looked at probably thirty houses before I came up. The day after my arrival we went and looked at two houses. The first was a definite no and then we pulled up in the driveway of the second house and it was perfect! Poor DH looked at thirty houses and it's the second one that I saw? Crazy.

The location was perfect, the house had great space and a good layout so we put a bid on it right away. Everything progressed along smoothly until just before closing. Suddenly the sellers find out that they are missing a deed of reconveyance. I had never heard of it before but when I found out what it was I started to worry. It is the deed that shows that the mortgage was paid off when they bought it. Without a deed of reconveyance this house was not going to be sold to anybody. Then, we find out that the sellers had bought the house from some guy who claimed bankruptcy because he got caught after he embezzled 52 million dollars! This screwed up a bunch of stuff because because now this whole legal matter was wrapped up in it. We were supposed to close on the house on the 15th of September and we ended up closing on the 1st of October. When we went to the closing, the people at the title company couldn't believe that the issue got resolved as quickly as it did. It truly was God's hand in this getting the right people and the right papers done at the right time.

So here we are in are new house. Unpacked but not necessarily put away yet. Still trying to find a home for all the odds and ends type of stuff and the right place to hang each picture. We have mostly finished the master bedroom. The only thing missing is a chair for the reading nook. Once we get that I think that is going to be my new favorite spot in the house.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Well, here we are, waiting in Michigan until we can go to Alaska. DH is driving through Canada now and he has no cell pone coverage so I don't have much contact with him. He told me that they dug through the truck for two hours at the border. I just hope that they got everything back in because it was pretty tight in there!

The kids and I spent last week at DH's parents and had a great time. We went to the Air Zoo, the beach, a family reunion and got to see lots of aunts and uncles. Grandpa C took Sonny Boy fishing twice and he LOVED it. He even caught a few fish! We had a few campfires and the kids roasted marshmallows and poked sticks in the fire. Sonny Boy declared himself the King of Fire King. Apparently king of fire or fire king was not good enough so he had to be the King of Fire King.

Now we are at my parents' house and the kids are having a great time on the farm and playing with all of their cousins. I'm getting my baby fix. My sister and our cousin had their babies four hours apart so I have two 3 month old babies to cuddle. Sonny Boy is getting excited to go ride some tractors with Grandpa B and Grandma is in heaven because Princess Blondie loves having grandma read to her. Right now the kids are outside watching the road crew tar and chip my parents road. I remember watching them come by and pave our road twenty years ago when I was a little girl.

I have some pictures, but I don't believe I have the cable to my camera so I won't be able to post them but I will try.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No more pencils, no more books...

The kids have finished the school year. Princess Blondie went to Wee Wings preschool this year and she loved her teachers and all the kids in her class. She talks about her friends there all the time and has learned some really cute songs that she sings at home. She still has another year before she can start kindergarten but I think she could do the work now. It's probably best for her to wait a year anyway.

Sonny Boy graduated from kindergarten last week. They even had little caps and gowns that his teacher borrowed from her church. They had a cute little graduation ceremony and Sonny Boy had to hand out programs. They sang some songs and then they went up and received their diplomas. Sonny Boy is super excited about going into first grade. I just saw the school schedule for Alaska and he has to start on August 17! At least they get out early. His last day of school is May 20. He will have a short summer this year!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trip to D.C.

So DHand I went to D.C. two weeks ago to spend some time with my brother and see some of the sights that we had missed that last time we were there. We went last year and camped and it was miserably hot. We decided to go sans children this time and I'm sure it was much more enjoyable for everyone that way. Four and six year olds have zero interest in monuments anyway and they had a blast at Ty and Ava's house. Thank God I have a fantastic friend who will keep my kids for three days while we go on vacation. Thanks Lindsay!

We had a great time. We stopped at IKEA on the way up and bought a few nightstands for our bedroom. DH and I were still using the nightstands that we had as children. Now they can be relegated back to children's rooms. I was amazed at how big IKEA really was. First I was surprised that there was two floors and then I found out there were actually three. I love all of the stuff in there but I wish a little more of it was actually made out of wood.

We then went drove up to Eric and Nicoles place and parked our car for the weekend. There isn't much need for a car in D.C. We later realized that we parked under a tree where birds promptly pooped all over it. We went out to eat more that weekend then we normally do in a month. It was great. We had some great authentic pizza, some Mexican thing that I can't remember the name of, and even Ethiopian food. Yum, is all I can say!

Saturday we went to Arlington. Just the scope of it is awe inducing. My favorite part was watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. It was really much more emotional than I anticipated. They asked for silence right before the changing of the guard. It was neat to see that many people (including kids on field trips) be quiet for that and quickly shush the people who just walked up not knowing they were supposed to be quiet. It was just nice to see so many people be so respectful when respect for anything seems to be on the downward slide in America.

Later that night we went and saw the monuments. It was really great to see how beautiful they are at night. We took some great pictures and soon discovered that we need a better camera. Eric got some fantastic pictures. I think most of the night shots on the slide show are his, at least the ones that are in focus!

Sunday we went to the Eastern Market and wandered around looking at all the things people had for sale. There was produce, jewelry, furniture, vintage posters, handmade clothes, anything you can think of. We headed home after lunch and picked the kids up right before bedtime. It makes me wonder why we never did this before!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Way up north!

So we finally did it. We are moving to Alaska! We have been wanting to move there ever since DH joined the Air Force over 6 years ago but we never made it there with the Air Force. Funny thing is, now thatDH is out of the Air Force he will be working on an Air Force base doing exactly what he did when he was in! PMEL is contracted out to civilians at Elmendorf. Now that he is a civilian (except for one weekend a month and two weeks a year when he has Reserve duty) he can finally get the Air Force job he always dreamed of.

Funny, isn't it?

The best part of this whole move is that we will finally get to live by family again. My sister lives in Alaska as well and we plan on living close to her family. She's trying to convince us to buy a house right down the street! She may change her mind about that. It will be so wonderful to have someone to spend holidays with and have Sunday dinners with. I know we are both excited to have babysitters!

Now the biggest challenge is getting all of us and our stuff all the way up north into a house that we have yet to buy. I have been having a great time looking at all of the houses for sale on-line but I know pictures can be deceiving. My sister put me in contact with her realtor and she will show us some of the houses I've picked out once we get up there. She asked me for some of the houses that I liked so she would know what to look for for us. I told her I had about 20 on my list and she said I was a lot like my sister! I know this is going to be a hard decision. I have a hard time picking out anything, much less something big like a house! I'm still excited about it though and I need to work on whittling down my list for my poor realtor.

So that is the plan so far. The kids and I will visit family in Michigan for a while this summer while DH drives all of our stuff up and gets things settled. I hope to see some of you while we are in Michigan this summer because it will probably be a while before we make it back again. It is quite a trip!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Finally Finished!

Well, I have finally finished all of the courses for my bachelor's degree. I will technically not graduate until August, but I have completed all of the classes and now just have to wait. Unfortunately I will not be walking because we are moving to Alaska (I'll post more about that later)! Even though I will not be walking I still have to pay the graduation fee which bugs me. $70 for a cap and gown that they are going to mail to me. I really don't want the cap and gown, just send me my diploma and the nice little tassel. It will be good to hang from the rear view mirror.

Although I will finally have my bachelor's degree I am not finished with school. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education but do not have a teaching certificate so I need to find a school up there that will let me take few courses and do student teaching so I can get a teaching certificate. I have heard that student teaching is a year long in Alaska, so we will see what happens. I would like to work in a preschool setting and many of those do not require teaching certificates so we will see what happens once we move. Some day I plan on getting my masters degree but for now I am just glad to be done with school. I had my last class last Tuesday and all week I have felt like I was forgetting some homework that I really should be working on!

I made some really great friends at school and it will be strange not to see them every Tuesday night. I will miss talking to them, but that is what facebook is for!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boys will be boys, but what about those girls!?!

Here is my most embarrassing moment as a parent thus far. I'm sure there are many more moments to come in the future.

Apparently sometime in the past few days, DH had a conversation with Sonny Boy about peeing outside. I guess he told him that it was ok for boys to pee outside SOMETIMES, and to always go where no one could see you. Well, apparently Sonny Boy passed this information on to Princess Blondie and it got a little misconstrued. Princess Blondie decided to pee outside. She then also decided to poop outside, all the while apparently squatting on the little bridge they had made over a ditch in our backyard so she could poop in the ditch. Then lo and behold Stinky Beagle discovered the poop... and ate it.

Princess Blondie still won't fess up to it but Sonny Boy has filled me in on all the details.

Now you have it; my proudest moment as a parent.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


In case you haven't already heard (and you may very well not have because it happened so fast that I didn't realize that I never even told my mother until three days after the fact), we have moved into a new house off base. We live roughly three miles from where we were before except that now we are on the other side of the fence. The reason behind the move is that DH's enlistment is up in March and we are staying here until I am done with school. We decided to do it now as opposed to March because I will be working on my senior research project in March and I figure I don't really need any more on my plate at that time. I really, really, did not want to move, but I have to say that the new place is growing on me. We actually have a play room now for the kids. I have been dreaming of that for a loooong time. Now they actually have some space for their stuff. Adam loves the fact that he has a garage. He also seems to like fixing things around the house, even though we have a landlord for that.

Moving was quite the adventure. We put the application in on Wednesday. I picked up the key on Friday and soon discovered that the place was not cleaned as they had told us. It had been empty for a few months and there was evidence of some critters in the cupboards, moldy bathrooms, moldy refrigerators, and just general yuckiness everywhere. Luckily, I have two incredible friends who helped me. Krissa watched about a hundred kids that day so Lindsay and I could scour the place. We kept calling each other into the other room so we could show the other the new icky thing that we had found while cleaning. It was a science experiment that I don't really want to repeat. I have however learned some very interesting techniques for getting the stink out of a refrigerator.

Once we cleaned the new house we moved most of our stuff with the help of two of DH's friends from work, God bless them. We then truly discovered how much junk we have. I like to blame DH for that but I'm sure a fair share of it was mine. We will definitely be getting rid of a bunch of stuff before we try this whole moving thing again. So once we got our stuff to the new house we had to clean our old house for inspection. This was done in the midst of an incredibly rare North Carolina snow storm. We had about two or three inches of snow that actually stuck around for a few days. It felt a little anticlimactic since we had just seen several feet of snow in Michigan over Christmas. It did bring out the crazy drivers. I saw probably five to ten people in the ditch in the three miles from our old house to our new house. Well, I believe that I have cleaned more in the past two weeks than I have in the past several years. I think that I am ready to hang up my rubber gloves. In fact, my goal in life is to someday pay someone to come clean MY house FOR me. I guess I had better get a job and get to paying off those student loans!

I finally caved

So I finally gave in and started a blog. I have been thinking about starting one for a long time so that our family can know what we are up to but figured I'd put it off until I was done with school. I couldn't wait that long. So now I have one more thing to distract me from the doing the dishes and writing papers. Hope you enjoy. I'm not sure how often I'll actually get on here to update it. It will probably go in spurts. As soon as I can figure out how to get some pictures up I will. Have patience, I am just beginning.