Hello there, it has certainly been a while! I have really struggled with the decision about whether I should, or shouldn’t, continue on with our family blog. It felt easy and necessarily when we lived in Europe and were exploring amazing countries and places all of the time. It truly felt like an adventure. While Alaska has proven itself to be insanely beautiful and full of adventure, too, the adventures available are of a much different kind. Initially we felt like, okay, we are here we have to dive in and embrace this life. However, I think we very quickly came to the honest truth about what life is like in a house full of women who don’t like bugs, getting dirty, or being physically uncomfortable. We just aren’t hikers, fishers, hunters, or wilderness campers. We prefer adventures that include walking around ancient castle ruins or admiring the beauty of a centuries old piece of stained glass in a cathedral. So I haven’t written and I haven’t posted because I felt like there wasn’t really anything worth sharing about our lives here in Alaska so far, nor did I think I would have much worth sharing.
Until…… I came to the realization this week that adventures are simply exciting tidbits of life waiting for us to claim them. Our adventures may look a lot different now — they may not be checking wonders of the world off our bucket list — but they are still adventures. We may not be traveling much anymore, but we are still growing and exploring what it means to be a family in this new, beautiful place we are calling home-for-now. And I think it is worth sharing — even if my sweet Grandma Lunchbox is the only one who cares about reading it. So, Grandma, if only for your sake, may the blog live on!
(Warning: This will probably be a LONG one.)
In February the girls and I bid Deutschland and all our many friends there farewell! It was so tough and full of lots of tears. It was a long day of traveling many, many miles with three little ones on my own. But we survived — and no one puked! So I consider that a success. And, really, moments like this where we are reunited with family make all the stress of moving and traveling completely worth it! :
We had many, many sweet moments with family. The girls and I were lucky enough to get to spend just shy of two months in the PNW!
We were able to be there for lots of birthdays while we visited which was a real treat since we normally miss out on celebrating those (and most holidays) with our families. I think one of my favorites was being there for my Grandpa’s birthday. This has to be one of my favorite pictures of all time:
I got to go on a Ladies’ Retreat with my Mom and what we consider our home church in WA. It was located in the beautiful Leavenworth which I had never visited before! It was a beautiful and super fun weekend.
We got to attend a fun round-up that our home church put on! The girls loved dressing up… Baby insisted on going as gangster Sassy Kitty, naturally.
We also took the girls to see the musical ‘Hairspray’ put on by the high school I graduated from that has an absolutely incredible drama department. Baby slept through it, but the older two loved it to pieces. They even got to get autographs afterwards — which I think may have excited the actors and actresses more than my girls!
Naturally Grammy & Papa spoiled them and loved on them with every ounce they possibly could. Papa, knowing Bug is super into dinosaurs, buried some mini-dino skeletons in their garden and let her play archeologist. Consider her life-made at this point.
My Christmas present from Mister had been his blessing for me and the girls heading out of Germany ahead of him so I could be apart of so many special birthdays, ladies retreat, and other happenings. As well, it made the move slightly less stressful for me since he took care of cleaning and handing back over our home as well. After three long weeks, though, we were beyond ready to have him with us to enjoy a month of family-time!
We enjoyed so many fun things while we were in WA. We took the girls to the Great Wolf Lodge for a mini-vacation. We visited the Children’s Museum in Olympia which was incredible. Mister and I got to go on our first ever sibling-date with my siblings to see Ben Rector in concert in Seattle:
We also got to visit with a lot of Mister’s family on the eastern side of the state, most of whom we hadn’t seen in 3+ years. Many who hadn’t even had the pleasure of meeting Baby yet.
Another bonus of our trip was that it fell over Easter Sunday and we were able to spent an actual holiday with extended family!
Easter Sunday was an especially special time with family because we were also able to help my Grandparents celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary! SIXTY! I am so thankful to have grown up with such an amazing example of marriage!
Our time home was simply incredible. It was refreshing, full of love, and joy. It was so hard to leave. I know I cannot wait until the day when we fly into Seattle and just get to stay. Until then, though, it was time for our Alaskan adventure to begin!
We spent almost exactly a month living in a hotel before we got our home here. I will be honest, it has taken me some time to love our home. Our days still occasionally are filled with little ones asking when we are going back to Germany. Moving is never easy. BUT! We have been so blessed in so many ways. We have great neighbors. God led us to an incredible church that simply feels like home to us while we are here. We have started making amazing friends. It hasn’t all been butterflies and roses, but slowly and surely the positive and the good that awaits us here in Alaska has outshone the tough stuff.
One perk of our new home is a giant basement that provides us sweet relief on the rare-hot Alaskan summer days. Family camp-outs in the basement have become a fun tradition!
In June we needed to head down to Anchorage for a medical procedure mister needed done. We got to spend the whole weekend there despite only actually needing to be there about about 2-3 hours total. It was a nice mini-vacation getaway for us. A break from the unpacking and settling in. And it sure was a beautiful drive and beautiful weekend!
A couple weeks ago my parents and sister came up for their first visit. What a huge blessing that we are only a short, 3 hour flight away now. We are thrilled to be getting to see family more often these days! We did a bit of local sight-seeing with them. We visited the pipeline for the first time, the Alaska bowl company, the Farmer’s market, and a few other places around town. We mostly just enjoyed their company, though.
Lots of snuggles were had during their week with us. We also visited North Pole, Alaska and got to see Santa which was a fun little trip. My sister is a Christmas-crazed woman and so it was a little slice of heaven for her, I think.
So fun. And another perk of their visit was that it fell over Bug’s birthday! She turned SEVEN! We had so much fun celebrating her! She got her ears pierced and had an insanely cool Jurassic Park themed cake.
I simply cannot believe our Bug is already 7! She even started 2nd grade last week! How do these things happen so quickly? I seriously blinked.
And! Mister and I celebrated our 6th anniversary this past month, too!
So thankful for this sweet guy. Even though our adventures are changing, I am so thankful that I get to share them with HIM. Life is never dull with him by my side!
We are looking forward to more family visiting this upcoming week! And I will do my best to continue to share our new and different types of adventures these days in a more timely manner. Like how crazy light summers are in Alaska! We had 22 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year — I will definitely have to share about that phenomenon next summer! In the nearer future, though, we are about to enter into our first winter here. That will surely be a new and mostly likely comical adventure for our family! So stay tuned!
If you would like to see more of what we have been up to, you can visit our Photo Share Site HERE.