Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Something about this place gives me peace. I feel more relaxed than I have in a while. I love that I rarely drive and when I do, it's usually with Matt. I love that after work I can walk over to work out - even in the misty rain - and not have to sit in traffic. I love that 99% of the people we've met just want to talk and open up. I love that there is more to do than we can imagine at our fingertips, but that I can curl up with a cup of hot tea on our couch at the end of the night. I love that I feel safe in bed at night. I love that my new job tries to create a warm, enjoyable office environment. I love that everybody lives no more than 10 minutes away. I love that I can wear scarves year round. I love that after dinner Matt and I can bike along the coast for hours. I love that there is a coffee shop on every corner. I could go on as lots of things add up to the goodness of this new place. But above it all I love that whatever it is - it gives me a quiet spirit. Sure, I have my moments...but I believe God has blessed this move and coupled with that comes a peaceful heart.
I'm glad that God know what He is doing.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Work has been going great. It helps that when I get up at 5:30am the sun is still up. The pace of life up here is completely different than I'm used to - like having a 3 hour break during the day on the clock is normal. No arguement coming out of me! And having an hour lunch break again seems like eternity compared to my previous 20 min teacher "lunch".
Plus, since Matt and I both work downtown, he drops me off in the morning and then I walk the 8 blocks or so back over to his office to utilize the free gym inside til he gets off work. It's great in theory, but we will see how it goes once winter hits full force. I've never considered myself a cold-weather type gal. Should be interesting.
Anyways, Saturday we called up a couple friends to go with us and give our new mountain bikes a real trial on the mountain side. About a 40 minute drive up to Eklutna Lake. A tourquiose lake surrounded by mountains and a 26 mile roundtrip bike trail.
I learned a few things on this trip:
1) How to change a flat tire...and to make sure to have all the necessary supplies when you are 8 miles away from civilization. Thankfully with several of us combined we were able to come up with everything we needed to patch a flat.
2) A bike with no shocks does not work well on a rocky path. It actually creates blurry vision if you were curious. Let's just say craigslist got another visit from us afterwards.
3) Thank you Jesus for protecting our ill-prepared heads with no helmets this trip. That won't happen again.
4) Bring buy spray. My legs are paying for that today.
5) First gear means everything. That might have helped when Matt and I climbed the massive hill in town a couple weeks ago and we almost passed out upon reaching the top.
And last but not least...pictures for your enjoyment.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Even our home has been great, which I talked about here. The only downside is we went from this yard...
We spent the first 5 days playing catch with her in the vast space, taking her to the old tennis courts (that we have yet to see anyone play on), and even playing with a cute 10 week old puppy a few doors down. It's been a great way to meet the neighbors...until...
Not even a week after moving in we get this wonderful letter from the association. Now, our neighborhood is considered a prestigious community (we learned this after moving in) that was built in the 70's - and most of the original owners still live here. So, it tends to be an older community. Most are very friendly, which is awesome. But apparently one, in particular, needs more to do.
The letter informed us that our dog was barking until 1am (which, quite frankly, if you know us - we go to sleep around 10 with Mocha at the end of our bed...so I'm pretty sure we'd know if she was barking), a dog off the leash (ok - that was true, but we had seen lots of that, so we thought no big deal), and a dog on the people-only tennis court.
Kinda disheartening. Kinda frustrating. Matt called that day and apparently this one neighbor (who we are still trying to figure out who it is, so we can introduce ourselves:) ) had been sitting around just looking for rule breakers - including the president of the association. haha.
Welcome to the neighborhood, right?
I understand the barking. Not much we can do about it (I've done the bark collar thing before, but would rather not again). We will just leaver her inside while we are gone, I guess. I mean we'll have to do that for 9 months of the year anyways, so that was anticipated.
The tennis court can be avoided (though I thought it provided a great fenced in area for Mocha).
And well, the off the leash problem...well that kinda stinks because where is she going to run around and play fetch? It freaked me out thinking we'd have to take her for daily walks in the dead of winter after work. Makes me cold thinking about it!
But due to my brilliant husband, the problem is solved...
Take that HOA.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We headed out with our newly purchased bear spray and one of Matt's co-workers, Kim. It was beautiful.
The area we hiked is a rain forest, so it was all very green and lovely.
We crossed some logs (there is actually a bridge for those not as daring as us:) )...
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
So, while in the midst of packing up and moving to Anchorage, our other adventure was in the works. A rental house. Prior to discovering that we were moving half way around the world, Matt and his childhood friend, Aaron, decided (while on a trip to the Houston zoo), to purchase, renovate and rent out a home in Oklahoma City (yes, I am fully aware that this is an 8-hour drive from our previous home in Houston). Matt has always dreamed of branching out and being his own boss - and while only having a dog to worry about, now was the ample time to try it out. So we did.
There wasn't an inch in the house that we didn't touch. Every wall. Baseboard. Door. Counter. Trim. Floor. Window Treatment. Light. And so forth. I learned a ton during the process. And it was fun to have a huge hand in color/decor aspect. The pictures fail to document the new roof, fresh paint outside and all the electrical work completed...so it was no 'just throw some paint up and go' type of remodel. It was a complete renovation. And now looking back - I think well worth it! (However, I can't say that came out of my mouth during the process...)
We put new paint on walls/baseboards/trim/front door, refurbished the original wood floors throughout the house, replaced ceiling fan, new door handle, vent covers...basically everything.
This is the best picture I have, sadly. We added a chair rail, fresh paint everywhere, light fixture you can't see:(, mudding and re-texturing over wood paneling on the back wall - a ridiculous, multiple day process, new vent covers, and replacing some baseboards. I think the two-toned makes such a huge difference!
This somehow became my project. But after much debate, we decided to rip out all the old brown, ugly tile (put up with 2" concrete back in the 50's, so that was fun to try to do with my 5'3" frame) and drywall and texture the new walls. We also riped up the old tile floor (which caused a few holes to the ground) and laid new tile. With a new toilet, vanity, light fixture, paint, blinds...everything...I love the outcome! The tile in the shower I "painted" white. All I got to say is don't believe the hardware store men or HGTV when they say that's an easy, cheap process. It almost destroyed my sanity in matter of hours!
All new paint (again) - notice the dark grey that is in the dining room now shadows the back wall in the shelving. Pretty, huh?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Our family photo (almost) at the top overlooking the city of Anchorage. The last peak was really steep and I didn't think Mocha could make it up. We'll have to go back (which I'm sure we will!) and finish it without the dog.
Mocha pulled Matt all the way down the mountain, but every 100 yards or so, she'd turn around to make sure I was coming and wait til I caught up...then she'd take off again full force.
The next day we headed to Eagle River to hike a 6 mile loop in the valley with a sweet couple we met at church. The skies cleared and the sun came out - and we were blessed with a beautiful day! I sadly forgot my camera...so here are some lovely pics from the phone...
The water is gray because it's all glacier water running off the mountain. It was beautiful!
Then we headed back to our new place to break in the new dining room and grilled out some burgers. It turned out to be a great weekend!