Monday, June 20, 2016

DESSA is home, camping, Father's Day


At 2:45am on Tuesday morning, we received a large bang on the door. What crazy drunk is trying to get into our house? Not that we've ever had that problem before.  Ignore the bang. A few moments later the bang again only louder this time.  Thankful for a security system, I could look at my phone to see who was at the door.  Why is Anchorage Police Department at my door.  Shake Hubby awake.  Confused and wondering what in the world - Hubby comes in and says, you better come out.  What in the world could be going on...  There's my DESSA girl!!  

Oh the smile on the sweet dog's face when she heard my voice!  We were in complete shock.  A man found her back at the trailhead where I had lost her.  After a week of checking the trail both morning and night, we were in a place of thinking she wasn't going to make it home, so we stopped checking.  Well, thanks to a facebook post on the Lost & Found Pets page, a stranger finding Dessa and posting pictures at the exact time a friend of his saw his post and knew of my post and connected us with each other.  The man who found her contacted APD.  Officer picked her up and brought her to the house! Say what?!?! That rarely happens, but they saw that we had lost her 2 weeks ago and wanted to see if she was our dog.  What an answer to prayers!

Other than being hungry and dehydrated, she did have a cut on her leg that required stitches to heal. Otherwise - she's back to herself and ready to go out hiking again!  What an adventure she must have had - if only she could tell us!

We had plans to go camping in Whittier and do some shrimping this weekend  - so Dessa has already had a new adventure with us!  She wanted so badly to go hiking around, but doctor orders were to limit her activity.  Can you see her sweet head behind to two goofy kiddos?

Always a great time shrimping in Whittier

and become more fun as the kids are able to do more in the process. They have so much fun throwing the heads overboard.

We were blessed with some very nice sized shrimp and a catch of 300 after only two sets!  YUMMY!

The view of Turnagain Arm never gets old and 

memories like this fill my heart!

Of course the summer hiking season is upon us too! Yes - I said summer even though we are wear gloves and winter hats.  The wind was howling on our annual birthday hike - but we enjoyed every moment of it.  I originally planned this hike as away to make my favorite trail a positive trail again - as this is the same trail I lost Dessa on.  How wonderful that we were able to hike it the very evening she made it home.  (Trust me - she heard me getting my gear ready and was wagging her tail ready to join me - not this time sweet Dessa - you got to heal up first!)

Happy Father's Day!  Spent the day 'working' by handing out tattoos and Root Beer - I love my new job!  

We hope your summer adventures are in full swing! 
Happy Summer Solstice

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Oh be still my heart...

this crazy, energetic, stubborn as his parents - yet will make you laugh when you are trying to discipline him - still sleeps the same - four years later. I couldn't help but stare into his sweet little face and think back to the day we brought him home.  Goodness, even though the days may seem long, the years are flying by!

You'll recall last week was our anniversary on Friday, well this week was my birthday! Yes, by design - make it easy on the hubby to celebrate everything at once- ha, ha, ha...

I loved how perfect this dandelion looked on the golf course.  Did I say golf?  YES!!

Its been far to long since I swung my clubs and it felt great to get out and golf around! 

Otherwise - our world has been busy with me starting the new job and Papa finding creative ways to wear the kids out!

Bike riding is definitely a favorite - and it's great during the work week because our cul-de-sac is empty and we are at the end of the road - so kids can ride up and down traffic free!

Sister and I are also having some fun going for walks and picking the wild daisies!

Using some decor from and old bouquet we created this one today!  Love that she shares her joy of wild flowers like the other women in her heritage. 

Next weekend we are finally getting a camping trip in and some shrimping done in Whittier.  I'm hoping Papa and I can take a few hours and go hike the Portage Trail.  

Until next time...

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sad week but ended amazing!

Tuesday, May 31st, Dessa and I headed out for a morning hike to one of my favorite places - Tucker Peak.

I absolutely love the view of the Eagle River valley from this hike.

We made it to the summit and as you can see, Dessa clearly has her mind on something other than taking a picture with me.  And this is where our sad news begins... on the way back down, I was adjusting my grip on my hiking pole and Dessa's leash slipped out of my hand.  Off she went - on the sent of some kind of mountain animal critters she took off running.  I watched her cruise around the other side of the valley for a good 10 minutes before she was out of sight.

With rescue dogs, you never quite know the full story.  As I have wrestled with the emotions of blaming myself that Dessa ran off, I have come to peace.  I believe something was changing in Dessa's temperament and her running off is a blessing in disguise.   We miss her greatly and still hold some hope that she'll come back to us.  The kids are handling it well and I hear them saying, silly Dessa is up in the mountains still chasing those critters.

The very next day was my first day at my new job. I'm now the office manager for the church I attend (ACF Church).  I was greeted with these amazing tulips on my desk.

Then I received a flower delivery sent from my mom and dad.  So beautiful!!

Flowers everywhere!  We finally did some landscaping and put in some flowers this spring. So excited to see our rose bush blooming and the Dalina's opening up!

We ended the week with Papa and I celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary on Friday!

A little cloudy with some rain showers during our hike - but still a beautiful day together.

We got married in the "mountains" of South Dakota, so fitting today that we would celebrate 10 years out hiking in the mountains.  I've been wanting to do this hike ever since we moved to Eagle River. It's a pretty flat trail, South Fork, that takes you back to two lakes.  Eagle Lake (picture above) is glacier fed and has an amazing turquoise color to it.  Just to the right (pictured below) is Symphony Lake, which is fed with mountain runoff.  So beautiful to see contrasting lake water with in feet of each other. 

After an emotional week with Dessa taking off on her own adventure, it was great to celebrate adventuring with this amazing man!

Even the rocks were sending us blessings of love for many more years to come!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Homer, Alaska - what a beautiful place!

With a few short days before I start my new job, the kids and I packed in a few adventures this past week.  First, we enjoyed being outside as much as we could- the weather has been amazing!

The kids participated in a yoga/fitness camp this past week.  Sister was so eager to teach us - now you try momma - ya right - going to have to call 911 for me to try this pose. 

After yoga was over on Thursday, the kids, my dear friend Heidi and I loaded up the car and headed to Homer for a few days!  Here we are stopping in Girdwood for an early dinner before the long drive down the Seward Highway.

The kids traveled great and the view from our room at the Lands End Resort - was breath taking!

We filled our time with walks along the beach - Bishops Beach was our favorite...

Flying kites on shore of the Homer Spit

and of course enjoying some ice cream!

Brother was tired of being in the hot sun and was looking for some shade! 

With unique finds on the shores and 

a playground with a view like this - Homer has quickly become one of our favorite places in Alaska.  

We missed having Papa with us as he had to finish up his coaching season with state track. However, we can't wait to have him come with us and visit Homer again soon!

Kachemak Bay is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen!
What a fun way to kick off summer!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Whew...we made it

First, my dear family and friends, I'm sorry for my lack of writing this past month or so.  Life has been emotional and busy to say the least.  I'm looking forward to returning to my weekly updates and summaries of our future adventures.  For now - what in the world have we been up to?

The picture above is a picture of the group of students I took on my last field trip.  Our school organized an Exploration Day - students were given the opportunity to sign up for their top five choices of activities.  We had everything from making organic finger nail polish to archery to savory strolls to hiking.  Naturally, I partnered up with one of my favorite co-workers and we took a group hiking. We talked about survival skills along the way and "what if" situations.  It was an amazing day up to the first false summit of Rainbow Peak and I so appreciate my principal for supporting social-emotional learning days.

The warm weather continued and well - it felt "hot" out at 72 degrees - but straight glacier water out of the sprinkler is a bit chilly. "Momma - can we run through the sprinkler with our towels?"  Why not? Ha,ha...

And - here we are - my last week of school as a classroom teacher.  Hmmm... such an emotional week.  Excited for a new adventure to come, exhausted from all the end of the year stuff to do and then overwhelmed with the love from my students and colleagues. 

All the while - Sister is wrapping up her Kindergarten year!  She had an amazing year and we were blessed with her two teachers.  So grateful for the work these ladies put in!

The next 12 years are going to go by in a blink of an eye and look forward to enjoying each and every moment!

It will be so fun to recreate this image!

And here we are again - 19 different teachers were asked to switch rooms for the upcoming year.  So on top of moving my stuff out - seeing another pereson's stuff moved in was a bit hard to take. 

And just like that - this chapter of my journey was closed. My classroom may not have four walls in the future, but I feel deep in my heart that I will continue to have opportunities to make a difference in another person's life. 

These are some of my favorites from Romig - they took me to lunch after we were all checked out.  Such an amazing group of professionals - that I know I will continue to keep in touch over the years.

And of course - it wouldn't be a kick off to summer without...

Getting a hike in!  This isn't the first of the seasons - as a group of ladies and I have done several hikes already.  But this was my first with just me and the dog up Mt. Baldy.  Teary eyed from a very emotional day - but in awe as I sat at the top and thought back on the past 14 years of teaching.  Many fond memories - many challenges that impacted the person I am today.  

What's next - clean the house!  Good Lord - May is always crazy and with Leif busy coaching track on top of the end of the school year - our house looks like a frat house ... dirty laundry everywhere, dishes not done for a least three days...  After the house is put back together, hoping to relax - a short trip with the kiddos and a good friend to explore Homer, some hiking and then I'll be off starting the new job on June 1st. 

I loved seeing this during this past month.  So much truth - more than I could ever write down...