Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Skiing 101

Matt has been waiting for the day that there was enough snow on the ground to truly enjoy one of his favorite things - downhill skiing.  Thankfully we got a ton of fresh snow on Thanksgiving Day and we each had a 4 day weekend - so there was a perfect outlet to get out in it all. 

There is the world-class ski resort about 30 min away that is a challenging mountain for the experienced skier.  Then there is this in town ski "hill" that consists of mostly greens and a few blues.  Being that I haven't been in over 10 years, you can guess which one I opted for.  They also have a deal that if you only go for part of the day, it's a discounted price.  Very nice if you wanted to hit the slopes after work one day.  The trails (as you can see in the first picture) have lights, so even though it's dark at 4pm - those hardcore people can go until 9. 

We had previously purchased Matt his very own pair of skis and boots (on sale, naturally) since he knew he enjoyed the activity and would use them for years to come (even post Alaska).  For me however, we opted to rent the first go around and maybe save us an unnecessary purchase if all had not gone well.  Matt is a great teacher and very patient, thankfully.  I wouldn't say I'm a natural...but I might go again, because I love my husband and live in Alaska. :)

I (or shall I say my legs) finished a little before Matt was done, so he was able to go back out again and enjoy the slopes a little faster without me.  Plus, it was a toasty 13 degrees outside, so the fire inside the lodge was very appealing to me.
I liked the look of this hill...very gradual decline :)
warming up by the fire in preparation of round 2

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tis the most wonderful time of the year...

I come to determine that God blessed us with Christmas and all that it encompasses to help us look forward to and endure the harsh cold weather and 6 hour days (we are just over 6 hours of sunlight at this point and still getting shorter).  I've also determined that all the darkness just means that the festive lights are on for at least 16 hours.

Yes, our tree is up (put up before Thanksgiving! gasp!) and Christmas music has been played since early November despite the harrassment.
We've already gotten to enjoy the Nutcracker ballet - compliments of Matt's work. 
Thanksgiving morning we awoke to huge snowflakes (going 3 weeks without any snow) and ended up with some deep snow by the end of the day. It lasted throughout the Thanksgiving feast we enjoyed with some friends, which made for some beautiful scenery at our first Thanksgiving away from "home".

Doesn't is just look like a giant Christmas tree?

And well, little Wesley, sums it up rather nicely...
I could never get enough of this time of the year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Surprise Visit

We (my family and myself) had been planning this trip for a few months.  My sister, Amy, found out she was pregnant early this year and then in the summer we moved to Alaska.  It was bittersweet, as I was excited to be moving but sad to be missing my first aunt experiences.  The initial plan was to wait until Christmas when Matt and I would make our trek back down south for a non-white Christmas with the family and meet the little guy...but after about a month into living in the last frontier...I decided I couldn't wait that long.  So, we searched for a good flight deal (which sadly involved a red eye and several layovers) and I planned my trip home for 3 weeks after the baby was due...just in case he was late.

Amy had no idea, but I figured having a newborn, she wouldn't have that many plans on the calendar.

Alas, after spending 33 hours on a plane and visiting Seattle, LA and Houston on my voyage from Anchorage to Dallas, I got to spend almost 3.5 days with my precious nephew, Welsey, the 70 degree weather, and the local shopping malls. 

 It also worked out that we could celebrate my grandparents 55th wedding anniversary with the whole family (almost...the husbands couldn't join us) while I was home. 
Celebrating 55 years of my Gramps & Mimi being married
4 generations...and finally another boy

Caitlin and me hogging the baby.  I was really good at that.
A long trip for a short weekend.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely. But I'm glad I don't have to get on another plane for at least a month.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our first real snow fall

It was like Christmas morning when I awoke to a pink sky peaking through the curtains and the ground being covered in snow.  It makes the short days seem brighter (literally - the snow reflects the little light we have) and the cold more bearable. 

Though I'm accustomed to getting a free "snow day" off work when there is just a hint of ice on the ground.  I think those days are long gone, sadly.  But I do not remember Houston looking like this outside my window either, so I'll compromise.

I think everything looks more beautiful dusted with white flakes and the mountains look more majestic covered in snow.
View from our back door

Driving down the neighboring street

I get only about five more months of this...:) 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Alaska Aces.

We attended our first hockey game, ever.  Neither of us had any idea what was really going on, but the seats were good and free (my work gets season tickets) so we thoughts we'd give it a try.  We went with a couple friends (Adam & Kelly) and had a good time. 

We figure this is the only professional sport that Alaska offers, so we better get acquainted with it.  I still have a lot to learn...