Saturday, January 30, 2016

Something To Talk About

It's been almost 3 years since the last time I posted. I've sat down to post at least a dozen times. I'll start typing but it just has never felt right. I've never been able to quite gather my thoughts enough to post them. And the longer I went without blogging the more difficult it's been to pick it up and start again. So much has changed; we've been through our share of ups and downs, multiple moves, loss, many new adventures, way too much to name in one little blog post. Some of my highest highs and lowest lows I've experienced over the last three years.

The last time I blogged my husband was just over a month away from coming home from a year long deployment. For the very few possible followers that I may have that are not also Facebook friends, I'd like to report that he did make it home safely. I'm fairly certain I've never been quite so happy as I was seeing his face for the first time in months at that Homecoming Ceremony. It was torture to have him so close but have to wait to just touch him, to hug and kiss him, while they did all the ceremonial procedures. Having him home was amazing; reintegration was a bit of a beast but we worked through. I am not a woman of few words so we'll save that story for another day. For now let's suffice it to say that those struggles and our "fight for our family" attitude made us stronger as a family.

When my husband came home we were stationed in Washington State. From there we went to Ft. Campbell, KY...a much desired duty station as his family lives just a few hours away. While there we began our homeschool journey which I have loved far more than I thought I would! And we bought a house and began renovations. Nothing super major (unless you consider completely gutting and refinishing a bathroom major) but we had lots of goals. Again, more stories for another day. We loved our little house and it's location.

And then we got the news...a good two years before we expected to PCS (Permanent Change of Station, which basically means a really big move, for those not savvy in military lingo) we found out that we were going to PCS. To Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Near the "large" thriving metropolis of Fairbanks. I didn't even know Ft. Wainwright or Fairbanks existed before we got those orders. I'm gonna be honest here and admit that I cried. As a matter of fact, I spent the rest of the day crying. I had lots of places I wanted to be stationed, Alaska was not on that list. Fairbanks, 6+ hours north of Anchorage and 6ish hours south of the Arctic Circle (SAY WHAT??????), did not come anywhere close to being on my list of desired places to live. I'm pretty sure, had I known of it's existence, it would have been on my "where I never want to live" list. Within 24 hours I made the decision that I was going to look at this as an extended vacation opportunity; the adventure of a life time. We were going to be living in North Pole! Not the actual North Pole, of course, but still, North Pole!!! How cool is that? There were a lot of really supportive people and a lot of negative Nelly's about our move and there were a few times where my "this'll be fun" attitude deserted me for a "I cannot move that far away from my family and everyone I love" attitude. But this Army Life with all it's moves is the life we chose and that means sometimes making the best of a hard situation...as the unofficial Army motto goes "Embrace the Suck." So I did.

The journey up was an adventure in itself - so many stories, so little time - but we finally made it all together and in one piece. Alaska was not particularly kind to us our first month here but it has more than made up for it in the convening months. By November my father jokingly accused me of being a living advertisement for Alaska. The shopping leaves a little to be desired but the other perks of the locale more than make up for it. A mama moose and her two babies in our backyard...way cool. The food - moose, elk, caribou, Alaskan king salmon, halibut - all absolutely delicious. And for a gal that has always hated winter, these winters have made me fall in love with this place. The winters here can be frigid but the winter landscape often makes me feel like I'm living in a postcard and the view of the sunrises and sunsets with the mountains from our back window is beyond gorgeous. The winter nights are long (and really mess with sleep patterns) but getting to see the Aurora Borealis for the very first time? Spectacular! Words could never describe the beauty and absolute awe I felt seeing them dance across the sky. Better yet, we welcomed the New Year in with Fireworks set to the backdrop of the Aurora Borealis making for the best light show ever. In all the history of New Years celebrations that I have been a part of, I have never, ever experienced a better one. I was literally in awe.

We are less than three weeks away from being in Alaska for 6 months. For the first time we've got a duty station that is actually making us want to stay and plant roots. I don't know that we will (it's way too soon to be making those decisions) but the fact that we are even considering it is kind of crazy. All I know is this place has stolen my heart and I want to share it. After nearly three years of not blogging I've finally found something that has motivated me to write again. Something to break through that writer's block barrier. Something that I have to share.

So, welcome to Alaska, dear readers. I hope you enjoy the journey as we endeavor to share our adventures with you.
Welcome to Alaska!

Meeting Santa at his "workshop" in North Pole


Neighborhood Moose Family


First Snow!!!!
Baby, It's Cold Outside!!!!

The Aurora Borealis as seen from our street

3 comments:

  1. Wonderful writing! So enjoy your stories and photos. Blessings.

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  2. Great post! I'm SO happy, and so amazed at how well you like it there! God bless :)

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  3. I love reading your posts! Keep it up! Love You all. Alaska is wonderful in its own way!

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