Monday, June 28, 2010

An eventful (picture-less) week

I know pictures make reading more enjoyable, but alas, I have none for this time. But for those of you who are curious how the Moore's are doing up in the great state of you go. :)

Last week proved to be quite busy, unexpectedly. I actually had to go buy a planner because I couldn't keep up with everything going on...between sharing a vehicle, job hunting, keeping up two homes (on opposite sides of town), running errands to stores that I don't know where they are and hanging out with very welcoming know, things gets busy.

I contacted a couple employment agencies to get the ball rolling with a job for myself. I cannot sit still, and especially come winter I think I'll want something to get me out and about. Plus, the extra income never hurt anyone, right? I had some luck as they hooked me up with a couple job interviews. Friday I had an interview with a local company for a trust assistant position and today I went in for a second interview. Unfortunately, I only packed one business appropriate outfit - which meant a new shirt for me! So, a new shirt and a job offer later - I start in a couple weeks!! Wahoo! God provided - really fast!

Thursday we closed on our house! We absolutely love it! (Pictures will be posted soon.) Every single wall was obviously that had to be changed. About 4 trips to Home Depot and several changed colors later...I think we are done with a whopping 2 rooms :) with several to go. I hope it looks good with our decor...or more trips to the hardware store might be in store!

The weather here has been quite rainy and cold the last few days...which sadly fell over the weekend when we had great hopes of exploring the trails - but the rain welcomed time to paint the new house. :) The rain here is a little different as it's just a constant drizzle and never rains hard - I don't really mind since you never get soaked which is rather nice.

Some of the best news (yes, I currently rank this over all of the above): our cargo ship arrived!! Which means that in the next couple days they will be delivering our stuff! (It only took about 3 1/2 weeks compared to the 4-6 week estimated delivery) I am so excited to set up our new home! We've been blessed to house-sit, but there is nothing like having your own bed and kitchen.

All in all, life is good! Thanks for checking in. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a new hobby

Biking is very popular up here. The city is set up with these trails running through and around it which makes it convenient for runners and bikers (and apparently cross country skiers during the winter). So over the weekend Matt and I decided we wanted to try it out...and discovered it would not be much more to purchase some cheap, used bikes on craigslist than it would be to fall into the tourist trap and rent them for 3 hours. So we did some research, drove around town, and picked up a couple used - just needing a little air in the tires - bikes to give the hobby a try. We hated to invest in nice bikes (geez, there are expensive!) just in case we weren't big fans.

However, it turned out to be great!

We headed out after Matt got of work and hit the trail I'd been running on during the day that follows along the bay. This time we got a little bit further in our exploration. There were so many people out, which made me feel safe to be out and about (last week there was a man attacked by a bear out riding his bike. yikes!). I have gone from being scared of violence to being scared of wildlife...

But it was a beautiful, sunny day. It actually got up to 68 degrees! :)

Here I am with downtown behind me. I'm kinda surprised we got a shot without anybody else on the trail. And yes, I'm not wearing my jacket. I think I'm adjusting...
And Matt with his new bike (really, it was new - the previous owner bought it, never rode it, and now was moving and having to get rid of it. Worked well for us!).

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Anniversary...Alaskan Style

It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since our wedding day. In some ways it feels like it was yesterday, but it's also hard to remember what my life was like before Matt entered it.

We spent our anniversary a little different than we had originally expected - such as moving to Alaska just a few days before - but it may have been my favorite date yet. Matt made surprise reservations for us at the most beautiful place ever. Alyeska Resort - world renowned for it's double black ski slopes. I think I'll personally enjoy it only for the restaurant and the views. :) It's about 45 minutes south of Anchorage - and the views during the drive alone is worth the trip.
They have this fabulous restaurant on the top of the mountain that can only be arrived at by a 2,000ft lift up on this tram.

It was an eventful ride up as we saw our first black bear (thankfully we were a couple hundred feet above it!) and a couple on the tram (of only about 8 people) got engaged! He had planned it all out and had them stop the tram half way up (which due to the height and steep terrain, I was ready to get going again) and got down on one knee. Very romantic.

The restaurant is full of windows with views of the mountains and 7 glaciers (creatively, that's exactly what the restaurant is called, Seven Glaciers) and has best atmosphere and music. That coupled with my handsome husband, great conversation, clear sky, good food, and feeling so isolated in the beauty made the evening perfect. Here is the restaurant behind us.

This is the view from our table. Amazing.
We goofed around after dinner and took some pictures to document the beauty.
Matt says I look like a weight loss advertisement...I was just trying to not freeze while in the snow with sandals on.
Similar to the bear that we saw...only this one is thankfully very fake and inside a store.
The resort is waay down there. Only two ways the double black slope down or take the tram. I'll give you one guess which one I'd prefer.
Thank you for making the first year incredible, Matt...I love you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

brute strength and my poor arm

I'm not really sure how I'm going to pass my time the next two weeks while we await our new home. My plan initially during this waiting period was to be painting and preparing the new place for our furniture...but alas, instead I am sitting here trying to think what to do next. Good news is that we have checked into a very lovely, clean hotel that is within walking distance of Matt's work downtown. It's like 1000% better. Thank you sweet hubby for taking care of me.

As I sit here I hear all the tourists outside my door and I think - they have paid A LOT of money to come vacation here! And technically we are getting paid to live I've got it pretty good. I should probably take advantage of it. But it's not as much fun exploring by myself with a dog that is way too strong pulling me every which way. Like this afternoon...

Today turned into a beautiful, warm (I actually had to take my jacket off I got so hot! shocking, I know), sunny day. Couldn't be prettier outside. So obviously I decided to take advantage of it and stroll down the Coastal Trail...
...yep, that's really what it looks like. pretty awesome, huh?...even with Mocha dragging me along. I guess I started near the end of the 11-mile trail because before I knew it it shot me out just on the touristy side of downtown. Cool area. Amazing, bright flowers. Lots of people. Loud, small planes overhead. Screaming seagulls (they literally sound like screaming little girls). Fast cars. VERY freaked out and VERY strong puppy dog. I'm not sure when she got so strong...or when I got so weak...but I could not hold on to that dog! I was literally getting my arm pulled off while trying to not fall over. It was especially exciting when we passed another large dog (which I'll add was not on a leash with like a million people around) and Mocha completely flips out. Literally. I guess it just added to the mayhem. I do everything I can not to let go of the leash...and the other dog just sits and stays as requested. Huh. That's not embarrassing. Needless to say -it was a fun, fast walk back. And my arm kinda hurts.

Thankfully I did survive...but I think my next exploration with Mocha will also involve Matt.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We made it!

After about 15 hours of traveling - including a drive from DFW to Houston, dropping of my beloved car for it's shipping departure, and a flight from Houston to Anchorage with a 70 pound dog and 7 suitcases in tow - we finally arrived late last night.

For those of you wondering (which I know most of you are on the edge of your seat about this), Mocha made it safely! I choked back the tears as we left her at the cargo shipment area with the help of my husband - and I'm choosing to believe that she was chilling in her cage as pictured below for the entire flight (even though she won't go near the kennel at all right now)...
She doesn't seem too traumatized at this point...I might be more than her. But thankfully I think I walked away ulcer free from this experience. :)

On another note, at one point on the 7.5 hour flight we passed over some mountains (I think in Canada somewhere). They were magnificent. I tried to capture it...but the picture does not do it justice. If you can tell, those are giant mountain tops coming up over the cloud line. It reminded me how big and beautiful God is. I think I starred at them until my eyes couldn't take the bright sun anymore.
So, here I am. Matt is at his first day of work. I'm sitting in our smoky, don't-walk-around-barefoot, only-hotel-that-would-take-our-dog room. Due to a few uncontrollable issues, we are not able to close on our house when we thought we would. This means we are hotel-ing it for a week until this gracious family is letting us house sit for them while they return to the south. Then we pray we will be able to move in to our new home...maybe just in time for our household goods to arrive!

And as I took Mocha for a walk this morning fully bundled up and on constant watch for charging moose, I realized that this is good. This move and change and lack of comfort is going to challenge me. I'm going to be able to see God in a deeper way. I'm excited for that.

I have just got to figure out how to prevent my nose and ears from freezing on a morning walk in mid-June.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm currently sitting in Coffee Station...or so called MugWalls now. I'm here to see a couple dear old college friends, Faith and Rebecca, before I leave. And also to visit my beloved alma mater to get some paperwork needed to attempt to get teaching certified up in AK (I'm learning how ridiculous of a process it is).

But oh how so much has changed in the last several years in this great city of College Station. Though it looks completely different now, this building still brings back so many memories. I love this coffee shop. I loved that I would run into everyone I knew back in the day if I came in here to "study". Makes me excited because I'm pretty sure that Anchorage offers so many quaint places such as this.

Anyways, goodbyes have started. They are sad...I'm not one who likes goodbyes much. But there is no denying it this time around.

Saturday Matt and I headed down to Galveston to spend the day with my sister, Caitin and her husband, Karl.
We got to see their really trendy, new loft on the Strand (the happening place to be) - which is so fun since they can both walk to work/med school and they live next door to a great coffee shop.

Then we went to this sandcastle making contest they have each year. Technically they weren't sandcastles as I had thought they'd, but there were some pretty cool structures such as...
...and lots of others. Thank goodness for the ocean breeze, because it was hot! (have I mentioned I'm ready for the cool Anchorage climate? At least right now...I might have different sentiments in about 6 months...)

And lucky me - I get to go back this weekend for the Heine girls annual trip - which Caitlin is hosting this year in Galveston. Maybe next year I can convince them to come to Alaska. :)

We also had dinner this week at our friends, Matt & Amber Donelson. Matt and I met them in the singles ministry and have both migrated to the young married over the last couple years. I was also blessed to be apart of their wedding as pictured here:
They made us a home-cooked meal (which we haven't had in weeks and was delicious!) and played some games that I decided we needed to get - bananagrams, anyone? I'm also going to brag on her because she made us this amazing plate!
It's of our wedding colors and looks just like our wedding cake! I love it and am still way impressed! Matt made me hold it with two hands all the way home to make sure I wouldn't break it. :) It will definitely be used on our first anniversary in about 10 days! I can't believe that's already here....

Monday, June 7, 2010

the end is near

Matt and I can now count on one hand the amount of days that we have left in Houston. Friday marks the final day. Our flight officially leaves next Tuesday, but we are both getting to spend a few days with are families before the big departure. And I think we are ready.

Physically - 95% of our belongings are either in Alaska or on their way.

Mentally - we are both so excited about starting over in a new, beautiful place. I think it will be a great fit for us. Houston brought us together and I anticipate that Anchorage will continue to deepen our marriage.

Spiritually - I know we look forward to getting plugged into a church and building community again...knowing that we'll be around for awhile.

Houston has been great, but I think we've learned we are smaller city type people. We look forward to the benefits that a small place like Anchorage has to offer (like you can get from one end of the city to the other in 20 min - I wonder what that's like?!) :).

We are spending our final few days saying goodbye to dear friends we have made. God has blessed us both as singles and as a married couple here. God brought us both here in His unique ways - and now we are leaving together on an exciting adventure I don't think either one of us would have done without the other. I anticipate that the next few days will be bittersweet.

Though I'm not going to lie...our escape from this heat and humidity couldn't have more perfect timing...:) My remaining suitcase is an eclectic assortment of tank tops, flip flops, scarves and jackets.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Did I mention that God sold our house in less than 10 days on the market? We put it on the market within a few days of finding out we were moving and it was sold within about a week! The reason I say God sold it is because of the cool story behind it, the fact that there are several houses on our very block that have been on the market for several months, and that we didn't really have a lot of time to be working with. We even came out on top during this terrible housing situation in the economy today. Nothing short of a miracle.

So let me tell you the little story...

About a month before we found out we were even moving, the neighbors next door put their home on the market. One afternoon an older lady came over and rang the door bell to ask me about the area and the neighborhood because she really liked the house and said they'd probably be putting in an offer on it. I told her how much I love the neighborhood (I really do - very family friendly) and have really enjoyed living here. Plus I was pretty excited about an older retired couple living next door...she had already invited us over for dinner once she moved in! But much to my dismay, another couple had already put in an offer and ended up purchasing the house and moving in (they also ended up being very friendly).

So here we are about a month later - after a whirlwind of events - and we get a call saying that we have a buyer. Guess who it is? That sweet older couple! I guess I convinced her enough that the cul-de-sac we live on is the best place to be and worth waiting for! Though I'll try to not take the credit on that one...

I just think it's really cool how God works. It's again another way He has been paving the path for this adventure. He has blessed us beyond measure.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

the process

The movers are here again today. Since we have to be home while they are here (for good reason) and everything I own is in a box or a suitcase, I have nothing better to do than update you via my blog. :)

This whole experience has been new to me - you know, the moving to Alaska part. Being the slightly OCD person that I am and with everything is in disarray by having no idea what each packed box kinda stresses me out. Plus, I have to think through what do I need for the next week in Houston and the future 5 weeks in Alaska? What can I smash into my suitcase? I kept my coffee maker...but forgot to keep any mugs. A plastic cup with hot coffee isn't the best compliment to each other.

Anyways, Matt and I just finished up the inventory (spoken of previously here) last night (thankfully we convinced the movers to pack the rooms we had done first). It is kinda depressing to realize how much stuff you own and the value of it. So much for my simplistic lifestyle...

Then the movers turned my precious living room into this (notice how we also convinced the movers to also leave the TV until last:) Thank you for letting me catch up on my season finales we have missed the last couple weeks).
Then the boxes get moved to crates...
...which then get transported to the West coast in a rather large moving truck like this...
...which then get transferred to a ship such as this which will arrive in the port of Anchorage hopefully sooner than later.
Meanwhile I hope I can fit my coffee maker into my suitcase next week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My New Chair

Amidst the last several very crazy weeks, I have acquired a new chair. My grandparents gave us their piano (which we had to pick up before our big move to Alaska and get it from Dallas to Houston) and while we were there (and conveniently had a uhaul) we were blessed with being given a few other pieces.

This piece in particular I am very excited about. I had been wanting a new chair for quite awhile (since all our chairs are "man" chairs Matt owned prior marriage - you know the large overstuffed recliner types) this was a great gift.

Here it is before with the lovely blue velvet covering.
Here it is after with a new re-upholstery job (which ended cheaper than if we had to buy a brand new chair - which made Matt happy). Now it will match our decor a little better. :)
Just got to find a place in the new house for it...when it arrives in about 6 weeks. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You've been good to us...

As excited as I am to be moving to Anchorage and adventuring into a new way of life, I am going to miss our Houston home. Matt and I share a lot of memories here. Though Matt and I didn't even know each other when he purchased this home, it was not hard for it to feel like it was "ours" after we got married (something I was a little concerned about at first). Let me give you a little tour of the place we've called home for the last year...

Goodbye gigantic backyard - Mocha will miss you dearly - but I will not miss all the hours of mowing you consumed! But I'm not in denial, I'm sure all that grass mowing will soon be turned into snow shoveling. Give and take is what life is all about, isn't it? :)
The living room was my first project at the house when we got married...I was nervous about the golden colored walls at first, but I have to say I was pleased with the outcome! (Which was crucial, because it eased Matt's anxiousness about my decorating and let me continue on with the rest of the house...)

This is a great kitchen with tons of cabinets! Matt and I actually first got to really know each other while sitting at that bar in the kitchen talking for hours after a he hosted a party one night. I later learned how to cook here and expand upon my black bean and cool whip diet. :) (Who am I kidding...I just incorporated that into real meals so I wouldn't have to give it up...)
This dining room set was the first big purchase Matt and I made together. Unfortunately, Alaska homes rarely come with an actual dining room like most Texas homes, so it will be interesting to see how it works as our daily table...I guess it will finally be more than just something pretty to look at.
Oh the office...this was once the home of a big red flannel couch and large TV - aka a 2nd "man-den" pre-wedding days. We bought some bookshelves from Costco, pulled in furniture from other parts of the house, painted the walls this pretty gray color and ta-da...our home office.
Matt picked out this bedroom furniture before we ever met. I'm quite proud of him, because for being a boy he has great taste! A new bedspread via wedding gifts, a little paint and a bed for Mocha in the corner made a little haven for our family.
And oh how I am going to miss you very large bathroom with 2 sinks...
There ya go, that's our first home (minus a couple other bedrooms and such). I loved it. But I know wherever we end up can be turned into another home for us. The movers come tomorrow to officially start packing us up. I think it's going to be a bittersweet day. On to bigger (well, technically smaller) and better things...