Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Move-cation day 2

Still trying to catch up on both "thank you" posts for donations as well as 
catching up on our adventures during the last 9 months. 
On Saturday, we received two more donations and nosed closer to the half way mark.  

Solum Family

I honestly don't remember our room at the Beaver Creek Lodge in Canada.  I think that means I was REALLY tired.  What I do remember is the awesome breakfast in the morning and then getting back on the road for some amazing scenery.  Here's a few pictures from our early morning departure.

Hard not to have fun with these two cuties in the back seat.
Katy got a special hair-do for the second day of the move-cation.
One of the beautiful river valleys we drove along.  
Surprisingly, not as many bugs as you would think when 
we pulled over to stretch our legs and enjoy the view.
Now this lake was incredible!!  This is the Kluane Lake and it gave us about an hours worth of scenic views.
Really love this shot of the lone canoer in front of the rain shower.
Just epic scenery.
As we rounded the south side of the lake and looked back across the cove to see this.  It was one of the "pinch me" moments on the trip.  Just couldn't believe how perfect it was.
I had to take a step back and get a picture of the Durango to give it some scale/perspective.
As we headed south, we had to go through a pass to enter back into the Alaska.  The weather very quickly turned from beautiful and sunny to cold and drizzle.
Welcome back to Alaska!

A short drive later and we found our home for the night, beautiful Haines.  We took a little drive around, got some dinner, and headed to our cabin for the night.

We've stayed at some amazing places in the 8 years we lived in Alaska...this is easily in the top 5!  How in the world did we not go to Haines before this trip?!!!

As you can tell, the sun had just set when we checked in.
Wait till you see the pictures from the next morning!!

Thanks again to the Solums and Cara for their donations.
We have just 2 weeks left to raise another $2700!!
Keep those donations coming!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Move-cation day 1

Back home from vacation so I can start catching up.  I didn't want to just come out and say on the blog that we were away from home but, yeah, we were on the other side of the country last week.  I had a couple of posts in the hopper but editing them on the ipad was not working out.  
Decided to just wait until I got home to catch up.  

So the last few days, we had LOTS of donations!  
Thank you 
to my good friend Tom for keeping us going last week!

The exciting part about catching up on the blog is we FINALLY get to share pictures from the move!  Some of you may know that our very close friend Sam moved to Anchorage about a month before we were set to move away.  As luck would have it, Sam was interested in buying a house and wouldn't you know our house was in his price range?!!!  In early August, we very happily handed the keys to our first home over to Sam.

Lots of incredible memories in this house making it that much harder to say goodbye.  It sure did make it easier knowing that someone we love would be living there.   

Even as I type this out and look over these pictures, the memories come rushing back.  I remember the days and weeks leading up to leaving, I didn't allow myself to get emotional about it.  I also remember all those emotions catching up to me as we started to drive away and I looked in the rear view mirror one last time.

So the move-cation was what we decided was going to be 8 days of NOT stressing about all that we had in front of us....finding a new house, starting a new job, etc.  So we managed to plan an awesome trip, staying our first night in Beaver Creek, Yukon.  The second day we drove from Beaver Creek to Haines where we stayed overnight before hopping on the Alaska Marine Highway and ferried our way down to Washington.

The first day, we didn't leave until much later than we wanted to (no surprise there) and especially after ONE MORE stop at Moose's Tooth to pick up some departing gear.  But the weather was cooperating and the scenery made this leg a lot easier to swallow.
So hard to say goodbye to scenery like this.
The girls also kept us well entertained.  I believe moments after this picture, Katy told Lisa to take a picture of Alyssa because she had her mouth open.  It became a constant joke during the vacation to try and take pictures of someone sleeping with their mouth open. 
Notice the car absolutely packed to the limit behind Alyssa. Wouldn't be a move without taking every little thing we could possibly squeeze into that car.
More scenic stops along the Glenn and Alaska Highways.

This picture is my favorite from day 1.  Be sure to click on it to get the full size.  
Because of our late departure, we arrived in Beaver Creek well after the sun had set.  I think it was actually pretty close to midnight!  But we drove the extra distance because we couldn't pass up the opportunity to make the first stop of our journey in a place that shared the same name as the high school where Lisa and I met.
Thanks again Tom for keeping us going while we were on vacation.  This was a short post but I promise they are about to get GOOOD!!  Lots of great photos to share.  Please keep those donations coming!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An unexpected family reunion

Big day today with 3 donations getting us over $2000...well on our way to our goal.  We are on day 18 out of 39 and now sitting at 37% of our goal.  We have a long way to go when I look at it that way but we are much closer thanks to these three donations today.


and Brooke

...for your contributions today.  We've told you individually how much it means to have your support but I'll say it again.  THANK YOU for being our friends and continuing to donate every year.

These pictures that I'm sharing today are of a very difficult time.  This happened last year after I had found out that I got the new job and while we were in the process of preparing the house to put it on the market....my grandmother passed away.  I need to take the moment to share a special story about my grandmother, or as all 6 of her grandchildren call her, Mammaw.  It may seem strange to tell a "special" story about her death but Mammaw's health had been declining for years.  When we took the girls to Texas back in the summer of 08, we visited Mammaw and even then she was having a hard time communicating with us, but we had a fantastic visit and made some wonderful memories.  As Mammaw got closer to death, we wondered if she would reach her 90th birthday.
 Sure enough, Mammaw stayed strong and God decided to bring her home on her birthday...
90 years to the day after she was born.
July 5, 1922 - July 5, 2012

Absolutely amazing.  Safe to say that this was a difficult time to drop what was happening in Alaska and fly home to Texas and be with the family.  Financially, we couldn't afford to bring Lisa and the girls but it was amazing to have so much of the family come together to celebrate her life.  So these pictures are of that trip...because it was the first time in a LONG time that all the cousins and great grandkids, etc...were all together.  Pretty amazing gathering.

These first few pictures are before the viewing at one of Mammaw's favorite restaurants,
the Kuntry Katfish.

Pictures from the viewing, it became quite the reunion and celebration of family, music, and life!

Athe graveside service, it was pretty amazing  As we were driving, we had to go through a pretty incredible thunderstorm. I think we were all dreading arriving at the graveside and having to deal with a July Texas thunderstorm ...but wouldn't you know the storm ended just as we arrived.  The temperature must have dropped 20 degrees thanks to the rain.

A vry powerful picture of my mom saying one last goodbye to her mom.
Mammaw's kids and kids-in-laws
The grandsons
The grandchildren!
The Brown clan minus my 3 ladies
The Smith clan

Well unfortunately I'm having to post this from my ipad so I'm having some issues with the settings....so I can't add captions to most of the pictures. Hopefully soon I'll go back and clean this post up a bit. As you can see, it was quite an incredible trip to Texas.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beginning of the end

First, I want to thank two very close friends for their donations today.  I woke up to two emails early this morning that we had received donations.  Not sure if they were working night shifts together or it was just a coincidence, but 


Dave and Mary-Beth for your donations!!

We are making great progress toward our goal thanks to some big donations in the last few days.  
Keep'em coming!

While I was writing this out, we got another donation!  Thank you Miss Stephanie!!

I love my friends and family.  You guys are all so great!

So maybe you are wondering why I named this the "beginning of the end".  When I think back to what was going on last June, I believe this is about the time we found out we were moving from Alaska!  So it is fitting that two of my work buddies donated today...cause now I get to start sharing some pictures I took from the office at the end of my tour.  I believe these pictures were all taken after a couple of night shifts in late June.

This little guy couldn't have been but a few weeks old.  I was standing at least 30 yards away but you could tell he was very curious what I was doing.  He always had one eye on me.

Notice the dandelion spores on his nose.

Finally he worked up the courage to take a few steps away from his mom and out into the grass.

He stood around for a while to make sure we were watching how brave he was...then he did a little dance

...and ran back to mommy.

The next morning brought one of the best sunrises I've seen in Alaska.  What's great about Alaska sunrises is they last a VERY long time.  

So I had a while to try different settings on the camera and get a great shot of myself in the foreground.

Hard to tell but this is a picture of Andy D taking a picture with his phone.

This was the view from my desk as the sun came up and reflected off the dome.  

This next week will be a challenging week to keep the fund raising alive.  I won't give away why exactly but I will do my best to continue blogging with every donation we get.  
Getting close to our epic journey from Anchorage to Spokane!