Thursday, April 28, 2011

perfect peace

"You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You."
                       Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

A verse on my heart today....what an incredible promise! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vote for Matt!

Last night as I was driving into our neighborhood after work there was a sign that said "HOA Annual Meeting Tonight".  I came on home and Matt and I debated on if we should go (our HOA is a little anal up here...but I'm learning that might be the norm in Alaska and not to take it personally).  If we are going to complain about the rules (a rather fat handbook), rather than just be bitter about them, we need to at least be involved and make a presence.  And I really want to get to know our neighbors better.  So we opted to go. 

I've mentioned that our neighborhood is on the older side - built in the 60's/70's and as we were told a neighborhood that was built for the those looking to downsize...empty nesters of sorts.  Most of whom are very sweet...but of course you have your cranky, need-more-to-do ones as well.

I wish I could have taken a picture as we walked into the room last night.  We were literally the only 2 people in there that didn't have white hair.  I think I laughed out loud at the situation.  We stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was awesome.

During the course of the 2 hour meeting (yikes!), I may or may not have nominated Matt to be on the board of our HOA.  Oops.  And he may or may not have been voted in unanimously (I'd like to say because everyone loves us, but really it's because nobody else would step up).  Oops again.  And he may or may not have been chosen by the board of 10 or so people to be the neighborhood treasurer.  Hah. 

I'm not really sure how it all's all kind of a blur now...and I'm not really sure what Matt has signed up for. And I'm not exactly decided yet on if the impromptu attendance at our HOA meeting was a wise decision. 

I guess we shall find out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rainbow Peak

First hike of the season.  This trail is one of the first to be snow free coming out of winter due to the direction it faces.  Our friends, Anne and Chad, invited us along.  We love their company and I always prefer to have other hiker friends with us.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and the trail was awesome!  A portion of it involved bear crawling up steep scree, which was rather exciting...and slightly frightening.  But of course, it was worth it, as always!  We even got to see the Bore Tide coming in through the inlet!
On the way up!
Notice I'm down to a tank top! ...first time all year...

Chad and Anne. 
Gotta love that he packs.  I suprisingly feel much safer knowing he had that little guy.
The bears are out of hibernation, if you were curious.
I remember why I like Alaska now:)

Taking a breather...winter wasn't good to us
The whole gang at the top!
Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodbye Sauna

Sauna, you ask?  Yes, when we bought our house there was a full blown sauna in the upstairs of our home.  Our home was built in the 70's and those were apparently pretty popular up here.  It's in the 2nd bathroom...and didn't work (electrical had been cut at some point). 

So, remember this?  We were working on creating more space to store our stuff.  The guest bedroom just had to hold onto it for a bit during the process.
After much debate (of resale value, etc), we decided that it would be more worthwhile for us to add to our lacking storage space and turn the sauna into a full cedar closet.

Here is what is used to look like.  Perfect condition. Almost like it was never used.  Too bad we wouldn't either.
Matt working usual.
Matt was able to salvage most of the cedar and it was a rather quick turnaround project (my favorite kind).  The benches turned to shelving. The cedar plank floors were turned to carpet (left at the house when the previous owner re carpeted before we moved in).  The door was replaced with the old door from our master bedroom closet that we removed during it's remodel.  We had to buy a new light fixture and carpet pad...but that's about it.  We decided to make it our Christmas storage closet (sad we have that much Christmas decor?) to free up a spare bedroom's closet for all our gear we have accumulated since moving up here (and maybe it's sad we so much of that too?).

It looks beautiful.  It makes me happy when everything is organized. :)
Good job Matt!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Matt's Birthday Celebration

I am blessed.  Beyond anything I could have even imagined during the 25+ years that I waited. It was worth it.  My husband is an amazing man.  He loves the Lord and seeks Him above all else in His decisions - for himself and our family.  He is funny and extremely goofy.  He certainly knows how to make me laugh...especially when I'm not particularly happy.  He's honest and sincere.  He speaks truth in love.  He can make the best of friends with any stranger.  He is an incredibly hard worker.  He listens well.  I will never doubt that he will provide for our family.  He walks Mocha when it's too unbearably cold for me.  He's a giver.  He helps around the house - he supports my neat freak tendencies. :)  He is wise.  And pretty dang handsome if you ask me.

The best part is I get to call him mine.

The question can I make my man feel special on his big day?  Thankfully it was on a Saturday, so I had the whole day at my fingertips.

It started with some breakfast - french toast and strawberries...
A strawberry cupcake cake (gotta stay true to my new obsession)...
A dining room turned party room...
Some gifts from me and family...
Excitement about some gifts (I ordered them too late, so pictures had to suffice for the time being)...
And of course the feast of dessert...
In between there was some remodeling (he wanted to do it...gotta love him), bike riding (that was short lived since it ended up decievingly colder than it appeared), a fancy dinner at local Club Paris (the best steaks in Anchorage) and a camp out on the living room floor to watch a movie (I guess we are getting too old to stay out late for the actual theaters).
Happy birthday to my love!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A little more decor

I guess I'm thief, because I like to steal ideas.  So I hope people don't mind... 

I made this wreath for Sarah's soon-to-be-born baby girl, Addison.  I stole the idea from here (thanks Lauren!:)).  Her colors are creams and whites with a splash of turquoise.

After I made it, I realized how much I really liked it. So made one for myself...naturally.  Do you remember our recent guest room makeover?  Well I was still in the market for artwork above the bed.  A perfect excuse to make one.  I also had found these beautiful 2-pack frames at Pier 1 (which were on sale of course), that would hopefully tone down my bright orange wall (which I still love). 

I finally got them hung...which took some leveling and a couple re-dos to make straight, but I think that room might be about done (which I'm sure Matt is happy about).
Since I don't think I've ever shown the other wall, I thought I've give you a glimpse.  It contains a beautiful inherited piano from my grandparents. One day it'll probably not sit in a guestroom - until then, it nestles quite well in this empty space.  I also found this giant clock (I love clocks) to break up the big white wall, a lamp got relocated from the living room and I found some orange twigs and blue lantern to tie in the rooms colors.
Unfortunately the room currently looks like this:

Like how my pictures above hid all the mess? We are in the midst of the next remodel project (and by "we", I mostly mean Matt).  More to come on that soon.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you see that?
Grass is peeking through out back of our house!  Hallelujah -- spring is here!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tour of Tejas

Sorry blogger friends, the blog has been neglected because I've been gone.  I left with several inches of snow pounding to the the beginning of April.  Goodness, where do I live? I'm even more snow...but I got a break to visit my beloved home state and some dear friends/family and beautiful weather.  It was quite the journey - I had 5 days to cram everyone I could in to play catch up with, most of whom I haven't seen since we moved to Alaska almost 10 months ago! I took meticulous planning (being car-less and all) and some stored up energy (since I'm naturally introverted and my necessary alone time was not in the cards for this trip), but it was completely worth it.

I love how some friendships can stay alive and deep no matter the distance or time. 

I started in Anchorage, spent the most boring 3 hours of my life in the Seattle airport, and later landed in Dallas.  The next 2 days involved much anticipated time with my nephew Wesley, sisters Amy and Kelsey,  my mom and Mimi and Gramps.
Wesley, 5 months

The whole Heine gang
(not sure why there is a frame around it)
It also involved my 10 year high school reunion!!  Oh dear, I am getting old.  I hadn't seen, nor kept up with, the vast majority of our high school graduating class of 18. Yep, 18 kiddos.  Many of whom I went to school with since the 7th grade.  Obviously we knew the ins and outs of each others lives back then, so it was fun to see how natural it was to pick it right back up 10 years later. Matt was able to join me because he was in "town" (and by that I mean within 5 hours of driving distance) for work.  It would not have been the same without him.  I loved meeting spouses and their kids (Matt and I were certainly in the minority on that one) and just seeing what people were up to.  It was certainly a blessing to attend.
Here we are (at least half of us) in all our glory 10 years later
The next day I hitchhiked my way from Keller to Waco to College Station to Houston to Galveston.  Ok, so I didn't really hitchhike, but it did involve several cars and drivers and juggling. My mom drove me to Waco to see my friend Faith. I met Faith my freshman year of college.  Faith is one of those people who is calm and peaceful and has so much depth.  She is my adventure friend.  We used to go camping all over - Bastrop to Utah to her backyard.  Just because we could. We even landed in Colorado for a whole summer together.
Faith and I camping in the back of her car during a road trip through Colorado/Utah
From there Rebecca picked me up and drove me to her home in College Station. Rebecca and I met during our student teaching year and later became roommates after we graduated.  She is hilarious.  A woman who speaks her mind. One of the best roommates because I always knew what she was thinking...especially how much she hated it when I didn't use coasters or help make the morning java every once in awhile. Hah. When we talk it's like no time has passed.
This picture was taken back in the day...
Rebecca drove me to meet my sister Caitlin, who then drove me to her home in Galveston.  Caitlin likes to welcome me back to "America"...because Alaska doesn't count as the states.  Maybe I agree?? Anyways, I successfully distracted my bro-in-law from studying medicine stuff for a bit and hung out in their spiffy loft.  It of course involved a trip to the galleria back in Houston the next day.  Shopping is a must when back south. Especially with Caitlin.
Caitlin and Karl
She then dropped me off with Amber, a friend I met in Houston when we were in the singles at the church.  We both got married and moved to marrieds class together.  We were blessed to be in each other's weddings about 2 years ago.  She is a beautiful woman who seeks the Lord.  She and her husband were graced with my presence as an unexpected house guest that evening...even with my meticulous planning flexibility was key. So I'm grateful they spared me a bed for the night!
Me and Amber on her wedding day over 2 years ago
Amber then took me to Sarah's.  I met Sarah my freshman year of college.  We lived on the same floor of the dorm.  She is probably one of the closest, longest friends I've ever had.  I don't know if I laugh more with anybody else.  We are very real with each other and have walked through a lot of life together - good and bad.  She is a gorgeous preggo lady and expecting a little baby girl, Addison, very soon.   The phone can only go so far, so talking face to face was a huge blessing.  (she is in the picture below, if curious)

I also was able to have dinner and watch the Aggie women's basketball team win the national championship (you knew I had to throw that in here somewhere) with Angela and Jenny.  Angela was my roommate in Houston before I got married.  She is awesome. and quite hilarious.  I used to be sad I wasn't married back then, but now I'm so grateful for that time with girlfriends as roommates.  I feel like I learned so much and just had fun being random together.  I met Jenny through Angela.  To me, Jenny is the definition of a gentle and quiet spirit.  We all did Bible studies together (including Sarah and Amber) and I learned so much from each of them.
Jenny, Angela, Sarah and I
I also got to see my friend Jaclyn.  Jaclyn and I had almost every single class together in college.  We also ended up later teaching at across the hall from each other for a few years in Houston.  We certainly have a bond from late night "study sessions" - aka goofing off - and tales from the classroom.  We have also walked through some tough stuff together and I am grateful for our friendship.

Jaclyn and me on her wedding day...4 years ago!
From Houston I flew back to Anchorage, landing about 2am...working the next morning. Whew, I need a vacation from my vacation. I'm glad it's the weekend.  But am thankful God has put so many amazing women in my life!  And if you've read this far...I'm impressed.  I guess I'm getting sentimental in my old age (tear).