Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our first trip to Alaska

I love Anchorage. It is a great city. Really nice people. Little traffic. Lots of coffee shops. And views of the mountains in every direction. Amazing. I took the picture above on the major highway heading out of Anchorage. Yep, every day for the next several years of my life. I can't wait.

Of course there are the not so awesome the cost of living. The housing market is at least double what it is in the south. But with the help of a great realtor we found an great little townhouse that's a perfect fit for us really close to downtown (like 5 min from Matt's work - wahoo!). Plus, all exterior maintenance is included, which means no snow shoveling for the 8 months of the year that is snows. It also was recently gutted, completely redone, and currently vacant, which means that it's move in ready for us! God has provided for us over and over and over again in regards to this move. It's really quite unbelievable.

Then there is the whole sun/no sun thing. We were so exhausted after every jam packed day while we were up there that is didn't really effect us that much...until our flight home. It left at 1:20am - so rather than getting a hotel room for a few hours, we headed to the airport at 9pm. This is Matt sleeping on a bench at the airport at...10:45 at night! Yes, those are windows brightly illuminating the evening sun. I can't imagine why I wasn't able to catch some shut eye that evening...

We had a few hours the last afternoon to sightsee, so here we are breathing in the beauty Alaska has to offer. A view of the bay and the awe-inspiring mountains (which we have views of from our new home!). We even saw a couple moose on our way to the hotel...just chilling downtown about 2 feet off the major road. Nothing out of the ordinary for the locals...:)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lotion, anyone?

Moving out of the lower 48 is a bit more of an ordeal than from, let's say, College Station to Houston - my most recent city to city move. :) They cannot pack any liquids, opened foods or fire hazards - understandably so. This means no cleaning supplies, no bathroom products, very few food items, and no candles. I spent a good day this week going through all the above products and figuring out what do I really want to keep? What's still good enough to give away? What will sadly just be thrown in the trash?

I came to the conclusion that I plan on donating all cleaning supplies and just refreshing my goods after arriving in Anchorage. As for the food, we are just trying to eat what we can. As for the candles (I'm slightly obsessed with burning candles in the house) and bathroom products (of which I have way too much of), well...we are checking two very large suitcases on our upcoming house hunting trip with items that a) they won't move and b) that we'll need while waiting for 3-4 weeks for our stuff to arrive. Unfortunately, 50 lbs is the max allowed on a checked bag...and with our air mattress, sheets, towels, tools, and kitchen spices...there was only so much room for my beloved candles and bathroom products. :(

Please note the below assortment of mostly unused lotions, body washes, sprays, etc that I have attained. My years of teaching has allowed me to not buy a lotion or body wash in the last 2 1/2 years...and this is what I still have left!! Kinda pathetic.

Thankfully, I have gotten it down to 3 ziplock bags that I am keeping and actually fit in our suitcase without overdoing the weight limit. The rest will find a new home.

And you can pray for Matt as his soon to be carry-on is a 45 pound bag full of candles that I could not part with...isn't he a great husband? :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Apparently moving to Alaska is considered like an "international" move. Which is awesome - but it also means there is slightly more involved to get this process going.

Last week the mover appraiser came by the house to get an idea of the damage ahead of him and his movers. They sent the VP since we are the first family they are moving to Alaska that works at Matt's company. Rolling out the red carpet...thank you very much! Anyways, he said the four moving days (yes, I said four! Really? I didn't think we had that much stuff!) wouldn't be too big a deal since I'm such a "neat freak". Yep, he called me a neat freak. Is it bad that I took that as a compliment? :)

Another interesting thing they are making us do is....inventory.

We are having to write down and figure out how much every little itty bitty possession in our house is worth. Everything. It makes me tired thinking about it. Last night Matt and I spent awhile doing the back bedrooms.

5 sets of sheets.
6 pillows.
16 picture frames.
5 stuffed animals.
and so forth.

Matt called it out and I typed it in. We did make a great team. Though the hard part was coming up with a number that it would cost to replace each item...sounds a lot easier than it actually is! When we were throwing out numbers like $200 to replace the small bedside lamp...we decided we needed to go back and rethink a few.

We have about 1/4 of the house done...but most of the really hard rooms (like the kitchen!) left. :( In the end, I guess it'll be nice to have so if the train derails or the boat sinks before it arrives in Alaska we can replace all our belongings.

Back at it again tonight...wahoo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

House for sale

Having our house on the market...maybe not what we expected, but nothing to complain about. Now I've moved about a bazillion times, but this is the first time as an adult that I've been apart of the house selling process. Let's just say it's a little different.

First, our realtor recommended we have sweets and drinks available for our visitors to hopefully keep them in the house longer and give them time to fall even more in love with it. :) So, I made about 60 mini cupcakes (high hopes, huh?) and I think Matt and I ate 59 off them. Oh well...

The keeping the house clean hasn't been that difficult. I mean, we have a dog, so I feel like I vacuum about every 5 minutes. Dishes aren't a huge problem as cooking isn't happening too much. We are trying to eat up all the food that the movers will not move (aka - all of it!). So we've had some interesting assortment of meals. I think Matt's dinner last night consisted of nachos and cereal. I think it reminded him of his bachelor days. Yum.

We didn't have any lookers the first week, then, man, things picked up the past 5 days! Having strangers come into your house (sometimes with very short announcement) is kinda weird. There was once when we had freshly vacuumed and you could (so we did) trace their footsteps through the house. A little creepy, I admit. Then there's the time when our "guests" notified me about 5 minutes before arriving...and I had literally just gotten out of the shower. Dishes in the sink. Computer on the table. Dog in the backyard. Towel on my head. I think I burned some extra calories that morning as I got Mocha in my car and was pulling out just in time for them to arrive...only to get a call about 5 minutes later to go back and unlatch the lock on the front door because they couldn't get into the house...grr! Or the time that I sat out at our neighborhood park with Mocha in the scorching heat at 3 in the afternoon for the hour they were scheduled to be coming to the house, arrive back home drenched in sweat, only to have them show up 15 minutes after I returned...

But I will say that there are no complaints - we are thankful that we have lookers! It only takes one person to call this their new home. I hope it goes to someone who will take good care of it! Part of me is really going to miss our first house...