Summer 2015

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long since last writing- summer was jam packed with travel and weddings and baby showers, oh my! I thought I would get more writing in, but I was so happy to be surrounded by all the people that I loved (…and okay, Netflix too) that I didn’t really get anything in.

Now, however, I am back on the tundra, and getting everything ready for baby’s arrival, and I thought I would add writing back into my routine. The routine that will be surely shattered with the lovely newborn cries arriving in just over six weeks, but I can try right?

Okay, so summer… let’s recap the adventures! And what better way to do that than with pictures?

Sammy’s 1st Birthday:

Happy First Birthday Sammy! Her first Ice Cream!

Happy First Birthday Sammy! Her first Ice Cream!

If you are new to the blog, you may not know the story behind how we adopted our puppy, but we don’t know exactly how old she is. We guessed based on her teeth, but she isn’t any one breed so it was still pretty subjective. We knew she was probably born sometime in the spring or summer though, so we picked her birthday to be May 25th. We celebrated with some treats and ice cream!

Great Theatre by Friends:

We saw the Comedy of Errors and later in the summer Almost Maine both produced by our awesome friends atGhostlight Productions in Clarks Summit, PA. We enjoyed both shows so much, and loved seeing live theatre again. If you are ever in the area, they put on really professional quality productions, and don’t charge admission to their outdoor shows- you can’t beat that!

The Cast of The Comedy of Errors. Circus Style!

The Cast of The Comedy of Errors. Circus Style!

The cast of Almost, Maine: all bundled up in the summer!

The cast of Almost, Maine: all bundled up in the summer!


Ballet in Roanoke:

My brother and sister in law rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty.

My brother and sister in law rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty.

The first weekend back, Nathan and I traveled down to Roanoke, VA to see my brother and his fiancée perform in Sleeping Beauty with Roanoke Ballet Theatre. The area was beautiful, and it was so special to see the two of them dance a pas de deux knowing their own personal love story- it just added so much to an already amazing performance.

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Safari!

If you ever get the chance and are driving through the middle of Virginia, check out the drive through Safari! Nathan and I got the chance to see a bunch of animals up close and even feed them. Llamas are really pushy, a highland cow drooled all over Nathan, and a camel stole our bucket! All in all it was a great time!

Getting up close and personal with a Zebra!

Getting up close and personal with a Zebra!

Childbirth Classes:


It was up in the air for a while if I was going to stay with my family in New York and deliver the baby at the end of September, or if I was going back to Alaska. It hinged on a lot of things, but primarily the fact that if I were to return, I had to spend the last month of pregnancy living apart from Nathan in Anchorage or Bethel in order to have access to proper medical care. It’s not just a matter of opinion either, I actually had to sign documents stating that I would leave the village by a specific date; after that they would not be liable for any problems with my pregnancy, and they wouldn’t be responsible to medivac me out. This was serious. So we decided to take some childbirth classes at a hospital in New York where I would be delivering if we decided that was the best course of action.
I learned a whole lot, and hopefully armed with that knowledge I will be better prepared for the craziness that is childbirth. If anything it was nice to meet other couples going through the same things, and have someone to commiserate with.

In the end, we were cleared by all doctors to come back to Alaska and for me to deliver in Anchorage. I’m really excited that this means less time away from my husband, and hopefully an easier journey back to the village after birth.

Conference in Vegas and my week in Rochester:

The school district set Nathan up to go to a professional development conference over the summer in Las Vegas, NV and at first I was super excited. I knew that Britney Spears (don’t hate!) had her show out there, and I was dying to see my favorite pop star from my youth- I had heard really great things about the show. Unfortunately, when looking up the dates, it appeared that she was on vacation from the show the entire time we would have been there. So, with a heavy heart, I decided to stay behind.

In a really great turn of events though, I was able to spend most of the week with my two best friends from high school who live together and work in Rochester NY. We had an awesome time playing mini golf, cruising on the Erie Canal, going out to eat, and just generally hanging out. I didn’t even think about missing Britney Spears once 😉

Mini-golfing, and a big chair!

Mini-golfing, and a big chair!

Erie Canal Boat tour!

Erie Canal Boat Tour!


Baby Showers!

Both my sister in law and I are expecting this year, so we had two baby showers this summer- and lots of fun! We are both expecting boys, and I couldn’t be happier- I never had cousins close in age and this is going to be great for the boys!
So, we had fun with showers and baby related goodness:

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Neighborhood Girls (friends since Elementary School!) reunited at my baby shower.

Neighborhood Girls (friends since Elementary School!) reunited at my baby shower.

Dana, my best friend from college, (and the godmother!) just having a chat with baby Emmett.

Dana, my best friend from college, (and the godmother!) just having a chat with baby Emmett.

Duckie Themed Baby Shower for my SIL <3

Duckie Themed Baby Shower for my SIL ❤

Amanda, my sister-in-law; My Mother-in-Law, and Me at Amanda's Shower

Amanda, my sister-in-law; My Mother-in-Law, and Me at Amanda’s Shower



Boating!

Nathan and I had always talked about how we wanted to get a boat before we had a baby. It was one of those fanciful dreams you have, that doesn’t always work according to plan. So we found ourselves expecting and alas- no boat. Then by random happenchance we were at the mall and walked by a display with a blow up style dingy boat that said it would hold 4 adults. You could even put a motor on it! And it was less than $100- so we jumped at it and are the proud owners of a boat- BEFORE baby 

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Wedding!

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My brother and his amazing (and beautiful) fiancée got married this summer at the picturesque Potomac Point Winery. I was super bummed that I had to abstain from the wine tastings, but I did get a bottle that we are going to celebrate with as soon as Baby is born!

It was a beautiful day for the ceremony, and both William and Caitlin were so full of love and happiness- you couldn’t ask for more.

Beautiful Centerpieces!

Beautiful Centerpieces!

The 'naked' cake- so tasty! I couldn't drink, but I sure had a whole bunch of cake!

The ‘naked’ cake- so tasty! I couldn’t drink, but I sure had a whole bunch of cake!

An exciting sparkler send-off for the newlyweds!

An exciting sparkler send-off for the newlyweds!



3 year wedding anniversary:

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Only two days after my brother got married was my three year wedding anniversary with Nathan! I can’t believe that time has gone by this quickly. Leather is the traditional gift for year three, so in our yearly picture we made our sign out of some craft leather from Michaels.

Here is a collage of the other years, and the photo that inspired this tradition!

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Shortly after our anniversary we headed back to the Tundra, stopping in Anchorage for shopping and doctors appointments before returning to the bush. It was an amazing summer for us, with lots of travel, smiles and family, but it is sure good to be home.

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Safari Nursery

My favorite space in the room- books!

My favorite space in the room- books!

Despite the fact that we live on the chilly Tundra, Nathan and I decided that we wanted to decorate a Safari-themed nursery. Neither of us have ever really gone all out on decorating with planning and paint and such before, so this was an adventure for sure. I’m really happy with how things have turned out, and the obstacles we had to overcome to make this happen when we live in the middle of nowhere.

BEFORE: what the room looked like when we moved in last year, and pretty much how it stayed for a long time.

BEFORE: what the room looked like when we moved in last year, and pretty much how it stayed for a long time.

Because we can’t just run to the store and pick up anything we want, we started planning pretty early in the pregnancy. We got a swing from a family selling one second hand in the village, and painted the room before we left for vacation so that it would be free of any smells after airing out for the summer.

Starting to paint the room! We went with a neutral green for the Safari theme, before we knew if it was going to be a boy or girl.

Starting to paint the room! We went with a neutral green for the Safari theme, before we knew if it was going to be a boy or girl.

We were also able to get the big furniture provided by the school district (rocking recliner, bookshelf, nightstand and dresser). We found that no one really uses tradition cribs out here, as it would cost an arm and a leg to get it flown out, so we opted for a pack and play that has a bassinette, and can later have a mattress added for when baby gets bigger.

The pack and play currently in our bedroom. I know I'll have to take out the toys and blankets when baby arrives, but they looked so cute for now!

The pack and play currently in our bedroom. I know I’ll have to take out the toys and blankets when baby arrives, but they looked so cute for now!

Our changing area is in the hall between our two rooms due to limited space. During our baby shower, friends and family wrote little notes to the baby on safari animals, so I hung them above to add some whimsy to the space.

The changing area with love notes on the wall!

The changing area with love notes on the wall!

We finished the room just in time for me to leave for Anchorage where I will be spending the last month of my pregnancy, which is pretty standard out here. I’m glad it all came together so well, and it gives me one less thing to worry about while I’m away. Can’t wait to bring home our little bundle of joy!

One side of the room, with the gate up so our puppy can see us, but not eat all of baby's toys!

One side of the room, with the gate up so our puppy can see us, but not eat all of baby’s toys!

The other side of the room, including the great safari wall stickers my sister got for us! The pack and play will be moved into this space when he gets older.

The other side of the room, including the great safari wall stickers my sister got for us! The pack and play will be moved into this space when he gets older.

A little wonky, but a panoramic view of the entire room.

A little wonky, but a panoramic view of the entire room.