Thursday, April 29, 2010


One thing that Matt and I are having to prepare to move is our precious, lovable, nervous, only child/dog, Mocha. I adopted Mocha as a rescued 9-week old puppy from a local pound. She is now over 4 years old, and as previously mentioned, like a child to me. She has been through quite a her four short years. And I've probably spent more money than I care to admit on her, but it's all for the sake of love. For example:
  • Due to her extremely skittish demeanor, I believe she was abused as a puppy before I got her. The vets have had to make special notation in their files about her nervous behavior.
  • She has moved with me several times and had to readjust to such living conditions.
  • She has been hit by a car and broke her leg...which a few weeks later re-broke due to a fluke in the metal bar inserted in her leg.
  • She is scared to death of most men (except Matt who she quickly fell in love with).
  • She goes into depression and stops eating whenever we have to leave her for more than a day.
  • She has endured heart worms and the harsh treatment for it less than a year ago.
I love my dog. I cried when I had to drop her off at a kennel for 5 days when we went on vacation a couple months ago. And I admit that I am slightly freaking out about the fact that she is going to have to be flown on a 8 hour flight or more to Anchorage in about 6 weeks.

We purchased her an "airplane friendly" kennel in preparation for our upcoming departure. We are trying to train her that this is a "safe" she won't cry, bark or go into cardiac arrest during the flight. I remember one time I was on a flight and a dog below was crying the whole time...made me so sad!! I have a feeling I'm going to be a basket case the day of that flight. Not so much that I'm moving 4,000 miles away, but that my poor dog is going to be scared! How ridiculous am I?!

Here she is all snuggled in her new crate. At this point I think she likes it! But I'm thinking - when we lock her up and wheel her away to the cargo part of the airplane - she may have different sentiments.
I'm also doing everything I can not to get scared about her getting trampled by moose, eaten by wolves or attacked by a bear once we arrive in Alaska. I've read my share of horror stories from locals up there to justify my I'm thinking I might need to take a break from the internet for a bit... :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh the chores...

Moving is exciting, but it can also be quite exhausting. Especially when you have like a 72 hour notice to get your house on the market. Let me just enlighten you on the last 4 days of my life.

This past weekend Matt had a previously planned trip to Oklahoma for recruiting within his company. Obviously, he wouldn't pass up a chance to visit his family while on a company-paid trip, so he decided to stay through the weekend. He left Thursday night. Friday we find out he got the job in Alaska - while I'm subbing for a junior high orchestra class. Let's just say that it was thrilling to be hundreds of miles from my husband and with 13 year old strangers on a Friday afternoon as I get informed of such exciting, life-altering news...but that's beside the point. What did this mean (other than the obvious?)? Well, we need to get our house on the market. So...busy to work I went to complete the long list of 'never getting around to doing until you go to sell your house so you don't actually get to enjoy it' chores.

First, curb appeal is everything. So, I fought the crowds on a beautiful weekend morning to purchase flowers for our yard. One thing I do not enjoy is yard work and sunburns (both of which happened). So going to a plant store and trying to figure out which of the millions of flowers to buy all by myself was not exactly my cup of tea. But I sucked it up and purchased them and planted these...

...and these...

...and these...
(...and many others...) Let's just say that I'm quite proud of myself - for this and the other hours of bush trimming, weed pulling, rose pruning I've put in. Unfortunately, I still can't say that I enjoy yard work.

I also painted the trim on the outside of the house in areas such as this:
Then I re-stained the front door. The people before us (as mentioned previously) were not the most brilliant and I think actually used just regular old paint for the front door and it was all peeling off. So I sanded it down to this....
And restained it to this...
Again, never done it before, so I'm quite proud of myself. I'm just thankful for the workers at Lowe's and the hour I spent on the 'wood stain' aisle trying to figure out the best way to do it. I just wish someone would have warned me that I maybe should have worn gloves, covered up my recently painted door trim, or that it took like 18 hours to dry...but you know, live and learn.

I also got the carpets cleaned. Maybe the better of $130 we've spent to sell this house. They look wonderful! Much easier than replacing it!

I also touched up the paint around the house on the baseboards and doors and walls. This my wonderful husband painting the ceiling, because my 5'3" frame couldn't reach.
I'm currently in the middle of doing a deep cleaning of the house...and needed a break. But back to work I must go...I only have about 3 hours before the realtor arrives.

If anyone thinks that just because I do not have a full-time job right now I'm not working...please have them call me.

Moving to where?!?

A new adventure to an exotic location. A commitment to a new way of life for an extended period of time. That's where Matt and I are headed. It's official. We are moving... ALASKA!

Why you ask? Well, why not? Is my response. Just kidding...kind of. It does help that Matt's job is relocating us. All the way up to Anchorage, Alaska. Have either of us been there? No. But we've done quite a bit of internet research to help educate ourselves. However, I am excited to see what it's actually like in person soon. The pictures of it do look beautiful! Thankfully I've always had a deep love for mountains - of which Alaska has abundance of. And I've always found joy in adventures and new experiences - of which I'm sure we will encounter.

This will be our future new home. Beautiful.

Matt and I have been discussing this idea for a little while now. Not sure if it would or could actually happen, but we were open to it. And recently we found out that it is a reality. And that is happening very quickly. But that's how it usually works, doesn't it? And that's why God invented airplanes so we wouldn't drop of the face of the earth for the next 3-5 years. We can come back to our home states of Texas and Oklahoma when we'd like. Or friends and family can come visit us too (hint, hint).

But as I have educated myself on Alaskan ways, I shall too inform you of such wonderful features, and often misconceptions, of such a beautiful state:
  • Anchorage is actually pretty big. It has a population of 280,000 people - larger than Plano, Texas if you need a comparison. It has all the major conveniences of a typical larger city - a mall, Khol's, Costco, but more importantly Barnes & Nobles and Starbucks. I think I'll be able to survive.
  • No, it isn't pitch black for half of the year. Apparently (of which I'll soon be learning) it's like dusk for majority of the day for about 3 months during the winter, but you still get sunlight for about 6-8 hours. And then during the summer it's daylight for like 23 hours. Can we say black out curtains?
  • It's not technically on the other side of the world, as one might imagine. It's actually only 3 hours behind us here in Houston. It's just really far north. Ok....really far north!
  • There is no sales tax. Ever. Maybe that will help with the increased cost of living up there.
  • The state pays each citizen to live in Alaska. In 2009 it was around $1,300. Apparently it has something to do with the oil being drilled out of there. I'm not going to argue with them. But I'm sure you could google it if you really wanted to know why.
  • Weather. It's actually considered "mild" due to being so far from the Arctic Circle (in relation to whose map, I'm not sure). The summer has lovely weather in the 60's and 70's and the winter brings temperatures in the 20's - like Colorado, my favorite state so far.:) It also has low humidity, praise Jesus! And I'm guessing - lots of snow.
  • And of course there are the northern lights. I cannot wait to experience the beauty of that part of creation!
Anyways, this is just a small light into the world of which Matt and I will soon be apart of. I intend to continue to write about our adventures as we continue on this journey. In just a couple short weeks we should be heading up there to introduce ourselves to Anchorage and hopefully find a home. Then we shall come back, sell our home, renovate a recently purchased Oklahoma investment property (again, God has a funny way of timing things, doesn't He? and there will probably be updates on that later), hopefully spend some good time with family and friends and will permanently arrive at some point in June. (Unsure of the exact timeline as it takes about 6 weeks to ship all of our belongings over 4,000 miles. Who knew?)

So, if you are interested, please check back. I hope to have some wonderful, eventful stories ahead that I would love to share.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." - Isaiah 39:8

"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever." - 1 Peter 1:24-25