Saturday, September 25, 2010

Such is life... that we have experienced our first building shaking, heart pounding, life flashing before your eyes earthquake. One afternoon a 4.9 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter 10 miles from downtown Anchorage hit.  I slightly freaked out and may or may not have shouted while sitting at my desk "WHAT DO I DO??".  Yep. That was cool.  Check out the Alaska earthquake of 1964 and you'll know why I freaked.  And you know we've grown accustomed when a bigger one hits at 7am on a Saturday morning making our entire house shake and Matt just mumbles "don't's an earthquake" and rolls over and goes back to sleep.  Right. Comforting. that we have officially turned on the heat.  I noticed it was 89 today in Houston.  At least I made it towards the end of September.   We officially have tried out our fireplace and ordered a TON of wood...I'm looking forward to them nightly. :)

Like my stuffed turkey already out for Thanksgiving? that we own our own skis. Thank you last season's clearance items and $6 ski boots from Goodwill.  I won't know the difference, but I sure enjoyed saving some money! 

....and especially now that I own my own ice skates!  Again, thank you Goodwill hand-me-downs (that have never been used).  Anchorage fire department fills the outdoor basketball courts with water so they'll freeze over and make little ice skating rinks that anybody can use.  I'm excited. that we've encountered our first photograph-able moose and I have gotten my own pictures.  Yep, just chilling at the end our street on our way to work.  I rolled down the window and they posed for me.

...and now even worse, we had our first bear poop outside our backdoor! Now I'm that completely paranoid lady anytime I let Mocha outside - especially when it's dark.  But understandably so.  I feel no shame about it. that life is a little different these days...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Really Target?

I have mentioned that things are little more pricey up here.  Something about the distance and shipping costs. Anyways..

Case in point when I went to Target the other day and bought myself a new wallet. 

I noticed that there were little stickers on all their price tags.  I had a suspicion, but I wanted to think positively (because to be honest, I really liked the wallet and you can talk yourself into anything when it's necessary)... 

...but I get home to discover this...
It was marked up!...and they were not even subtle about it!  Geez.  Very disappointing.

(Obviously not too upsetting, b/c I opted to swallow the $2 for the sake of my cute new purchase.  I'll just have to keep that in mind when I continue to shop there...I don't think I can commit to a 3-5 year hiatus from Target any time soon.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Camping with the bears

So we didn't actually see any bears, but last weekend our church group hosted a camp out at Eklutna Lake.  I have been anti-tent camping since arriving due to the single nylon sheet separating me from the giant, hungry bears while sleeping.  But wanting to be social and continue to get plugged into this great state, I set my fear aside and packed up the car. 

It couldn't have been a more beautiful weekend.  We headed out Friday after work with the sun shining and the trees all fall-like and yellow in a beautiful 68 degree weather. 
We experienced our first camp fire in Alaska and made s'mores (yum!) the first night.  After we got all snuggled in our tent (including Mocha), I put on about 5 layers of clothes, feet warmers, 2 pads underneath me to keep the cold ground from encroaching on my warmth and bundled up in my 15 below sleeping bag I had from my mountain-guiding days.  When I woke up in the middle of the night sweating, I figured I had over done it just a little.  It also made me feel bad a little when the others all complained about being freezing throughout the night.  I guess it pays to be over prepared!

We enjoyed a feast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and coffee over a nice campfire in the morning which included a devotional about creation (very appropriate in our surroundings).  It was refreshing and we enjoyed getting to know some other young married couples who live in Anchorage. 

We had to cut the weekend short and head back to continue working on our bathroom remodel (more to come on that later...our bedroom is a disaster zone at the moment)...or might I say watch college football - whichever one you want to believe as the truth. 

However, while we were out there and it being so beautiful (remember sunshine has not been a frequent visitor lately) we wanted to hike Thunderbird Falls that everyone was doing later that afternoon.  So we loaded our car and headed to the trail head.  We heard it was about a 2 mile hike to this beautiful waterfall.  The time crunch allowed for a nice little jog/workout, which was much needed following a grand breakfast buffet.  We enjoyed the falls about long enough to take this picture:

 and head back - I think our "hike" took us about 30 min.  Next time we'll probably stop to smell the roses a little more. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thank you Technology

Alaska is far away.  It keeps us from attending important functions - friend's weddings, baby showers, birthday parties...and our annual fantasy football draft party.  At times it's hard, though we knew moving would force us to sacrifice being apart of many of these things...but not today.

I mean serious matters demand serious business. 

So thankfully we live in a day and age when distance does not distract from joining in on the fun times - even if they are in Oklahoma.

It wouldn't be complete without the draft spreadsheet via a 62" TV screen either.
This is what happens when you get married.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Firsts

The cool thing about a brand new place is that everything seems so exciting. You don't take for granted all the unique aspects of that location that would be easy to do if you have lived there forever.  Thankfully, we are not bored by the little things yet and this week had it's exciting moments. :)

Alaska State Fair

Now by no means does this compare to the Texas State Fair (though I sadly have to admit I've never actually been), but I'm learning when it's the best you got - make the most of it!

So we headed to Palmer, Alaska (yes, that's where Sarah Palin is from) about an hour away.  We got to eat some yummy, fried fair food...

...Matt checked out the big trackers (it brought joy to him b/c it reminded him of home - though he didn't want to take this picture because it wasn't a John Deere)...

...saw some farm animals, including the prize winning 800 pound pig...

...and don't forget about the 800 pound cabbage...

Yep, that's real.  Kinda ridiculous, if you ask me.  Due to the endless daylight up here, these vegetables grow gigantic during the summer. 

And, of course there is the 609 pound pumpkin...but it only got 2nd place.

And last but not least there are the 8 pound cucumbers.
I think they could actually feed the entire town of Palmer if they weren't such prized possessions.

Then later this week we had another first:

Our Visitor

One morning as I am getting my morning coffee together before work, Mocha starts going crazy outside.  I look out and what do I see?

We had our first moose in our backyard!  Ok - so I didn't actually get a picture of it. Nor was it laying down or sunny outside (we are losing 5 and 1/2 minutes of daylight a day at this point...tear...), but please enjoy this cool photo I found.  My first instinct was that it was a horse...but then I remembered I wasn't in Texas anymore, and I felt rather dumb. 

Of course I scream at Matt who was upstairs barely awake and he comes running down because he thinks I'm getting attacked - which might have killed the coolness of the moment - but nevertheless, I was really excited.   I'm sure there will be many more to come and maybe I'll get my own picture next time.

Plus, I'm glad it was a moose and not the bear that frequents our streets our postman and neighbor have mentioned. 

Just another day in Alaska, right? :)