Monthly Archives

January 2015


Sheep, snow, and skies

31 January 2015

Note: scroll through those images. And if you want to let me know if you like going through pictures like that, or just scrolling up and down. Anyway…..

At 7 am our alarm sounded, with some not quite delightful little music to get us out of bed, and we got ready to hit the road (Jack). Chris went for a walk with Edel, I packed some snacks, we fetched our clothes, and got on the snowy ro-ad. It was quite nice and snowy from Homer to Ninilchik, then the roads were nice and dry after that. On our drive north we didn’t listen to much musics, just a little Hobo Jim here and there. We’ve really been liking his Woodsmoke album.

When we arrived in Anchorage we headed to the doctor, and Chris got an MRI to check up on his MS. It’s been five years or so since he’s had an MRI, so it was time he get one again. Thankfully it was free with the MS society since we gots no health insurance. Other than his first episode two months ago, there’s fortunately been no issues, and we pray it stays that way.

After the doctor (where I got free hot cocoa and watched food network) and a bit of shopping, we met up with Chris’s delta pilot friend Paul, and we ate pizza at our favorite Moose’s Tooth! Yum, Moose’s Tooth is delish. Stopping there is almost as important as stopping at costco.

We spent the night in Wasilla at our dear friends Ronnie and Sharon’s. My dad and Ronnie met back in 1989, when I was born! And so it’s so fun going to their house and talking with them. They are soooo very wonderful and make us feel great and take such good care of us. It’s so happy talking with them, and we talked about aliens in New Mexico too, which was super cool. When we woke up, it was -10 degrees and there were little bunny tracks all over the snowy yard. Presh. When I walked out the door in the morning, my snot froze to my nose hairs. Cool. I haven’t been that cold in a while!IMG_8210

We unfortunately didn’t go to the temple this time while in Anchorage. We usually do, but didn’t this time. I made a deal with myself that I’d do some family history work instead, since the two services go hand in hand. We did go to costco though before heading home, and we spent the usual couple hundos just so we could save money on a few items… haha there’s always so many great deals at costco and we usually always come out with more than what was on our list, but we don’t do too bad. Oh! And we picked up a bunch of pictures from costco that I had printed. Photos look so good in your hand.

Our drive from Anchorage to Homer was one of the best yet. It was so very beautiful and we had a few spontaneous little stops that really made the trip.

When we passed Beluga Point, we saw a couple peeps with very nice cameras and lenses taking pictures of the mountain. This is a good indication of mountain goats/Dall sheep. So we turned around to check it out! Sure enough, two precious white furry creatures on the mountain side! Most fortunately Chris is working on getting in the habit of carrying our camera stuff around with us.

I got out the camera, put on the extender, and put on the 70-200 lens, so basically our pictures would turn out lovely and close up! I felt kind of amateur just wandering over there and clicking some pictures. The other people there seemed pretty professional, and this one guy we were talking with had on the hugest fur boots AND fur hat that I’ve ever seen. He was cool. He told us to watch the animals, learn from them, and they’d let us know what was happening. He also talked about patience and how good photos take work, and waiting for that shot. Cool dude.

And it was so fun watching the Dall sheep. I learned from my Pops, that they were sheep and not mountain goat that we saw. And from the furry photographer man I learned that those mama sheep have little horns, just not the big curly ones like the rams do.  IMG_8348

I want to learn and practice more photography, so I shall. It’s so nice we’ve got a lot of great equipment. Chris and I were talking about Kelby Training on the way home. It’s like $20 a month for a ton of training videos and info. Chris has done it before and I think I shall try it out.

Other eventful events on our journey home, was stopping to get water that came out of the mountain. So since I was little, I remember seeing big huge icy water fall things down the cliff fronts, like frozen water that is beautiful and cool. And on this trip I realized that water just kinda comes out of the rocks. It was super cool. I remember seeing someone ice climbing up one when I was really young, and I was so confused and wondered how that person got frozen into a waterfall.

We made another stop just by some random trail to Manitoba cabin or something. The trees and forest were so snowy and magical and untouched. It totally felt like that Olaf seen from the movie Frozen. Chris and I just walked and ran through on the trail, took pictures, ate snow… it was great.

Not long later and we found some amazing little rainbow chunks in the sky. The sky looked majestic and whimsical. And I don’t know how the rainbow-y-ness was in some of the clouds (not in this pic), but it was cool. So happy we took the time to take photos.IMG_8448

We decided we should get a better view of the sky and sunset, so we pulled of on Skilak lake road, and what did we find… We saw a truck being pulled by a big team of dog sleds!! Crazy! The dogs must’ve been iditarod training maybe. Who knows. But it was funny and cool.

And then we saw more solitary beauty of the sky and lake and trees and glorious winter. We barely made it home in time for both of us to go to mutual at 7 that night.

Mutual was funny. We ate pummels (YUM), made paper snowflakes, played musical instruments, and wrote some postcards. Good time had by all. :)


Also, our home teachers came over the other night and it was great. It’s always nice being edified by good words. It was inspiring and motivating and helped me be more grateful. And then…. I went on a snowy drive to safeway to get some ice cream. And then I ate it.

The world is a very nice place to be.



cold air, clean carpets, and cookies

26 January 2015

It is chilly outside! And beautiful. I love walks. Today on my walk with Edel, I had to turn it into a little run so I could stay warm! Brrr I haven’t been that cold in a while. It was oddly refreshing. :)IMG_7616

Edelweiss is shedding right now. We could brush this much hair out of her every couple days right now. “They don’t call them German Shedders for nothing!” And then I cleaned the carpets today too, and they look significantly better thanks to my stepmom’s rug doctor. This color and type of carpet is not ideal for us, but I LOVE CARPET. So cozy and nice.


Our friend Richard joined us for dinner tonight, which was lovely. We shared some butternut squash soup with roasted chickpeas. I LOVE making food and sharing it with people. Love it. I learned some good things today and my desire to learn all sorts of things is growing, especially after some very inspiring Humans of New York posts today. Check them out. HONY post enlighten me everyday. Today I held some home concerts with my guitar and ukulele. The animals really enjoyed it. :) It was fun playing and singing again. I haven’t been practicing much lately, though I do make sure to play piano regularly. My harmonica skills are still minimal, but shall increase soon! :) IMG_1779Also, incase you were wondering, yesterday’s fantastic cookies are mostly in my belly. I won’t tell you how many cookies I ate today, because I really have no idea how many. Probably like 20 haha. Not kidding. Boa noite!

OH! I saw Robby today! I LOVE HIM! He’s my downs syndrome foster brother that lived with us for about 7 years. It was soooo good seeing him and hugging him. He is full of light and love and it was contagious.


A Sunday of Light and Love

25 January 2015

Hello there friends. So I rarely do a post without a picture or two or twenty-two. Sometimes I feel the post incomplete without a picture, and often I tend to share many pictures with just a few words, a picture can be worth a thousand words. I think that when I “read” others’ blogs, I focus mostly on the pictures. Maybe because of the lazy bone, or maybe because a picture can be interpreted differently than words. Also, I maybe feel I can better express myself through pictures rather than words, or again, it could be the lazy bone that doesn’t feel like writing. Basically this is kind of a full journal entry today.

Anyway, today I have lots of words to share. Read if you’d like, or check back later for some new pictures. :)

Today has been a very good and simple day, full of much light and love. I am really happy today.

Let’s start with 7:30 am, when I got up. I had ward council this morning so I had to be at the church at 8:30. This morning, I didn’t change my outfit even once! Normally on sundays, I change my church clothes multiple time, usually with a last minute outfit change right before we leave. Not sure why I do that. My sister sent me a funny quote that was something like, “it’s better to arrive late than ugly” and sometimes I sort of agree with that. :) This morning I was a couple minutes late, which usually flusters me. Today it did not, and that was nice. I don’t like being late, but sometimes it happens, and you move on and try to do better next time.

What I took from ward council is that it’s about people and not numbers. And the organization of the church is built to help children of God, people like you and me. I also thought about remember and relying on spiritual experiences I’ve had. Usually after ward council, I might run back home to pick up Chris, but today I had my mother pick him up and bring him to church. I had some copies to make and things to print for Young Women today.

It was nice being at church so early. I talked with people. And that is usually a very good thing. I had a really great and simple talk with my stepmom. We shared some good open words and I’m grateful for that moment. Chris and Mom got to church and upon request, Chris brought me a some strawberries and cashews since I was hungry, a hungie lil girl.

I don’t remember the hymns we sang today. But I remember the ward members who gave of their time and talents to give us musical moments at church. Lately I’ve been singing the hymns in portuguese. The gospel in portuguese rings so true to my soul.

My step niece, Lauren, was the youth speaker today and I felt really proud of her during her talk. What a great girl. And I liked her dress. :) She shared how she has a goal to read the scriptures everyday. How wonderful. Daily scripture study is something that I struggle with and always want to do better in, and so it was really helpful for me to see her strength in one of my areas of weakness. We got a new elder in our ward, from Pennsylvania, and he taught about the atonement of Jesus Christ, using Preach My Gospel and the missionary lessons. It took my back to my mission, which is always a blessing to reflect on. I am ever so grateful I had the privilege of serving as a full time missionary in Brazil.

Then Chris and I sung hymn #71 with the choir. I don’t think I had ever sung that hymn before, and I’m still not sure what it’s called. Something about singing praises to Him maybe. Anyway, it was lovely singing with the choir, and it was especially lovely having my honey boy singing right next to me. Brother Dustin gave the last talk today, and he is funny! He said some funny things about how he and his wife almost hit a moose, and missed the moose and almost ran into a big snow berm (btw where did that word come from?), but they were blessed and didn’t. And then he said how their transmission blew up instead, but it could’ve been worse if they had hit a moose too. It was funny. Brother Dustin has a big white beard and dresses up as Santa at Christmastime.

By the way, I realized I made no notes of the actual ordinance of the sacrament. I am so grateful for those few moments to ponder on my savior and what he means to me. Christ truly is our savior and the Prince of Peace.

The second hour of church was sunday school. Brother Degraffenreid has been teaching the class this month, and I can sense that he works so hard to diligently teach us. He is open to the spirit and its direction, and he has been encouraging us to study to lesson guide on our own before class. I’d really like to do that, but I forget. Maybe I should study the class member study guide right meow since I am remembering…

So in young women, we have 13 girls total, and about 7 that regularly attend. Today we had 3 present and I was the only leader. So it was funny and low key. We will be having New Beginnings in a week and a half, so we did a few preparations for that. For our opening hymn I suggested we sing one of my favorites, #124 Be Still, My Soul, and then I changed my mind and decided we should sing #60 Battle Hymn of the Republic – you can never go wrong with that.

We sung and prayed and declared our YW theme and announced a few things, and then I went into teaching the lesson. Today’s lesson was focused on Christ and his great importance in our lives. It is a blessing to prepare for and guide lessons with the girls. The manual Come Follow Me is great and full of good questions, videos, and learning activities. I am really grateful for the gospel and the church. Today I thought it might be a good idea to play with play doh, because that is fun. So we all made some interpretive little sculptures of why/how Christ is important to us.

I rolled up a bunch of little play doh balls and put them on a flat and squished play doh square. Then I made a big smiley face with my remaining play doh, and I shared how Christ is important to me because he is central to my happiness. I can be cleansed from my sins, be purified, and live in the presence of God forever, with my beloved family.

One of the girls made praying hands and taught how she and pray and gain strength through difficult times. Another made a person and talked about how Christ is our creator. We talked about how our present and future creations a little bit too. Another girl sculpted the earth and shared how Christ created the earth in 6 days, rested on the 7th, and that is so important to us.

We also went through the gospel art book and discussed the importance of Christ in various people’s lives, especially those who knew him during his earthly ministry. It was great. I love gospel art and the stories that the pictures depict.

After church, Chris, the elders, and I went to a few families to administer the sacrament. This was such a sweet experience visiting wonderful people. It was so good. And it gave me a renewed perspective on the sacrament.

We first went to the Corey’s home, and they have so much cool stuff and stories! What a sweet couple they are. I need and want to go visit them more. Then we went to Alice Lind’s, who recently turned 90 and just moved from independent living to more of an assisted living. She said how that transition has been difficult to becoming so dependent on others, but it’s what she felt she needed to do. She is a woman full of great stories and experiences, and is so beautiful inside and out.

The missionaries then went to a teaching appointed and we headed up the hill to the Degraffenreid’s home. What a great visit we had there. They have always been an important part of my life and my family. Alan is one who always checked in with me to make sure my eyes were fixed on a temple marriage. As we talked with him and Gayle, Alan shared some really interesting stories of fishing in Alaska and experiences at some native villages. It was so great. I loved listening and talking and being there with Chris. He then showed us their house, and their incredible completed fireplace, and I saw so much potential in that home. He said how it’s a big project, one that’s been 25 years in the making, and he talked about hoping to finish it before he “croaks”. Alan is great and the Degraffenreid family has so much talent. Alan and Gayle told Chris and I to have fun and enjoy our youth. I think we’re doing a pretty good job with that. :)

We had a nice drive home down the hill, talked about one of my mentors, who I admire and appreciate so much. The Lord puts people in our lives that help us become better, and I’m especially grateful Chris is the way he is. He’s not judgmental and is open minded and kind. So grateful to share life with him.

When we finally got home about 4 pm, after not eating all day, Chris was getting a little hangry. Hanger is real. :) So he took our pup Edel on a walk and I prepared some foods for us to eat. I love creating food and am so glad I have time and desire for these creations.

I made some veggie scrambled eggs/omelet things, along with roasted potatoes and a side of avocado. It was a really tasty and flavorful little feast. For most of my 25 years, I haven’t been too into eggs, but I’d like to eat more of them. I have recently discovered when I mix an egg with a bunch of veggies and seasonings and a bit of yummy cheese, it’s delicious to me!

While we ate, we watch Star Trek: the Next Generation. We’ve been watching a lot of that lately. :) It’s not as much of an addictive TV series like Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, SHIELD, or Mr. Selfridge, but still nice to have an ongoing story to watch.

Then we took a family nap. (after some fruit snacks) and it was really nice. Since we’ve been up late partying/playing/watching star trek/eating stuff/doing picture stuff on the computer, I haven’t been sleeping a bit less. It was nice taking a little snooze on the couch together.

When I woke up and worked on the small mountain of dishes we had and [ut Beauty and the Beast. The music is fantastic and I think it’s possibly my most favorite cartoon. I remember when I first got the special edition DVD, it was one of the first dvd’s I owned myself. I bought it at safeway. My sweet mother probably got it for me actually. I was like 12 or so and I used to watch it all the time, over and over.

I started making cookies because we want to take some to our neighbors and get to know them all better. While I was making cookies, there was one of my favorite moments of the day. Chris woke up, walked on over to me, and just held me, hugging me from behind. It was such a lovely embrace, such a perfect simple moment. I love my sweet Christopher, so much. I’m so happy to share our life together.

The cookies I made are delicious. Hopefully we save some for the neighbors.  And I actually ended up watching/listening to Beauty and the Beast twice today and it has been a beautiful sunny and chilly day.

It’s now midnight. We have Star Trek back on, and Chris just had some nightly nachos that he’s been into lately. He’s got his hood on too. Pretty soon he’ll probably take of his smart wools and his sweatshirt because he’ll get too warm. I’ll probably fall asleep on the couch or floor while we watch star trek and then we’ll get our animals and go to bed. Good night friends.


It snowed!

23 January 2015

I took this great video like two months ago and it’s just so classic.

So my 1991 Subaru Loyale (Penelope is her name) has been in my family for many moons. I was maybe like 10 when we bought her, and she replaced and slightly older, slightly rustier, silver subaru loyale. So Penelope has gone through all my siblings, and I’m happy she ended up with me. As shown in this video, I’ve been able to use her as not only sweet reliable wheels, but also as an ongoing art project. How perfect. Each summer (since she’s primarily a summer car for me) I add a little more. Whether it be embroidering the seats, sticking pictures and stickers to the sealing and walls, or gluing random plastic toys to the dashboard, Penelope is a nice creative outlet for me.

Chris’s early impressions of me included my Subaru, and so I think he’s always afraid he’ll come home to a bunch of plastic toys super glued to the counters or something. :)

Anywayyyy on the day of this video, I was driving my subaru up to my dad’s house to park it in the snow for the winter. Chris and I really don’t need two cars at all right meow anyway. I figured since I was saying goodbye to Penelope for the winter, I should probably take a video of our adventure. Just to reassure you, I was driving safely and wasn’t paying too much attention to where the camera was facing. And we were fortunate to have a good song playing on K-WAVE 104.9 as I was cruising up the hill.

Oh!! And on the day of this video, it was snowing. And today (and yesterday), it was snowing!! HOORAY. We’d been hoping for snow.

Alaska, Favorites

Adventure isn’t far

21 January 2015

Chris and I wanted to go on a little outing. We packed our puppy, camera, sleeping bags, warm clothes, a couple books, PBJ supplies, an excessive amount of fruit snacks, and got on the ro-ad. We headed north and after a couple short hours we arrived at our destination, Hidden Lake. We had no reception, and Chris intentionally left his phone behind, and it got dark. So we ate and then took a nap, at like 7 pm. I tried to keep Chris from sleeping by coercing him to play alphabet car games with me. We did the ABCs of countries, US cities, maybe animals, and at some point Chris was ready to sleep. We just laid our sleeping pads (I mean sleeping pad, since we forgot one) and cuddled in the back of the car with da pooch Edelweiss.

At like 10 pm or so, we were done napping, so we got some granola bars and headed out for an icy walk under the starry skies. Edel was read for adventure and we fortunately have a great glow in the dark ball for her that we launch and chuck and throw and project, and she still has energy to fetch the ball ten hundred more times. Our walk was so nice. So lovely to disconnect and feel the world around you.

After an aokay night’s rest in the car, letting Edel out many times in the middle of the night to prance around, we got up to b-e-a-utiful surroundings. Here in Homer, the weather has been oddly warm and lacking snow. So it was so nice seeing some white around and to have a chance to wear my snowsuit! Awesome.

We went on one of the greatest hikes ever, with nature delighting us with so many wonders, and my cozy snowsuit eventually got waaaaay too warm. So I did the old snowsuit trick of unzipping and letting the top half of my suit dangle behind me. Chris and I took pictures all along the way and it was absolutely splendid.

Cooper Landing called us next, and we saw a bit more snow there, which was exciting. There were definitely some winter wonderland moments. One of our stops was Widman’s, where I got some hot cocoa and burned my tongue, and Chris got his cream soda. Edel had some water, and she was happy with that. She’s pretty much usually always happy.

This little trip made Chris and I happy too. There’s a lot of wonderful wonderment around us, sometimes it pops up right in front of you, and sometimes you have to just look for it.

Here’s a whole bunch of lovely photos.

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15 January 2015

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I love moose. Chris took these pictures a summer or two ago and I am so happy we’ve got so many excellent pictures. In my efforts to blog more, you may notice me just posting some great pictures of our past adventures. Or some semi mediocre iPhone photos of daily life details. I’m happy with my new blog and that all my old blogspot entries migrated over and that I have my own cool url and everything. All of that is thanks to husband.

PS Sometimes I get myself scared of moose, but I think they’re really wonderful and I love seeing them around all of the time. But in the past couple months I’ve only seen like two moose! Not sure where they are or what they’re up too. The weather sure is warm enough that I’m sure they’ve got plenty to eat, which is good. Yay moose.



maiden season voyage

13 January 2015

Last summer, my dear ol’ dad called up Chris and I to see if we wanted to go for a journey out across the bay to test our my dad’s new old boat. We were planning on using it for a big kayaking/boating excursion so we wanted to make sure it ran properly. I remember being reluctant to go out that morning, because I had some simple things I wanted to do at home. I love being home. Anyway, I’m so glad we went. We just cruised around to a couple beaches I’d never been to before. And of course Chris and I took some photos. My dad is really great and I’m so glad he’s given me a stellar supply of adventures. And of course, I’m so glad Chris is my adventure buddy. I need to adventure more.

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the tire swing date

11 January 2015

IMG_3645These magical photos were taking by my Christopher at the end of 2012. This tire swing place is about 15 minutes out of town. Every time I drive by I want to frolic there, but I only have a few times. With this special little frolic time, I wanted to get some lovely pictures of my nieces to surprise my sister. It was a memorable little date we had together, and these are some of my favorite pictures of me with my nieces who I love soooo very much.IMG_3596IMG_3605 IMG_3569 IMG_3625