A Little Astounded and Amazed

I use WordPress to write my blog.  One of its features is you can look at a section called Your Stats.  This allows you to see how many people have looked at your blog (though not who they are) and how they found it – Facebook, email, Google search, etc.  You can also see in which countries people have looked at your blog.

I started writing a few months ago to keep our friends and family updated on how our family is doing here in Alaska.  I don’t have very many overseas friends, so I didn’t expect to see any other countries.  I was a little shocked to see I’ve had two views in both Canada and England and 16 (!!) in Norway.  I don’t know anyone in Norway.  Amazing!

If you’re family or Texas friends, I hope you’ll keep following our family.  And if you’re someone who has somehow found my little blog on a Texas family’s adventure in Alaska, I’d like to say, “Hello, Hi, Howdy and Welcome!”  Please keep checking in on us.  And if I knew how to say that in Norwegian, I would. 🙂

Appropriate Footwear for a Break-up

Your shoe selection during a break-up can be dreadfully important.  No worries – Todd and I are doing well.  The snow and ice in Anchorage has finally decided it might be spring and it might need to start disappearing.  Thus we have entered the season known as… Break-up.  To be honest, it’s not one of Alaska’s prettier seasons.  It’s pretty gross in fact.  Slushy snow, ice and trash that’s been hidden under the snow is everywhere.  The ice on roads and in parking lots melts during the day and refreezes at night.  It makes for a sloshy mess during the day and some very slippery conditions during the early morning or late night hours.  Appropriate foot wear is a must (even if every inch of your high heel loving self screams that these are, in fact, the most ridiculous shoes you have ever worn!)

Family of break-up boots

The somewhat cute, girl boots in the middle are Bogs.  Those are the girls’ and mine.  Those lovely brown boots on the ends are known as XtraTufs.  Those belong to Todd and Jack.  I hear they’re standard issue in Juneau and that it is not unusual to see men wearing their suits with their pants tucked into a pair of XtraTufs.  In the 3 months we’ve been here, I’ve maybe worn 5 different pairs of shoes.  Snowboots and now Bogs have pretty much been my go to footwear.  Even if we’re going somewhere nice and I need to wear a pair of heels, I wear the Bogs, carry my heels, check the Bogs with my coat at the coat check and then put on my cute shoes.

Nordstrom had some adorable wedges for spring and summer…maybe I’ll get to wear them in June.

My “Famous” Boys

This weekend we drove out to Wasilla – yes, that Wasilla.  No, we didn’t see Sarah or any of the Palin bunch.  We drove out to attend the Mat-Su Valley Outdoorsman Show.  We wanted to get some ideas for fun things to do with the kids this summer.  Todd also wanted to get more information on the hunting and fishing available in the area.  We let the kids climb in a bunch of campers.  We sampled cupcakes from a woman that has a mobile bakery – delish!  Todd subscribed to the Alaska Fishing magazine.  Just generally looked around.

Near the end of our wanderings up and down the aisles, Todd and Jack were looking at a Dall sheep mount.  Turns out a photographer from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman newspaper had taken their picture.  The photographer was super nice and let Jack see the picture of himself.  Sure enough it ended up in the Sunday paper.  I don’t have a hardcopy, but found the photo in their online version.  Here it is:

Todd and Jack check out the Dall sheep mount at the Mat Su Outdoorsman show.

On another note, I’d appreciate it if you kept my little guy, in your thoughts and prayers. We found out on Sunday that Jack has pneumonia.  He’s currently on antibiotics and doing breathing treatments and seems to be on the mend.  It hasn’t been a fun few days though.

Iditarod 2012 Update

I didn’t plan on it taking this long for me to post again.  Life with 3 young children has kept me busy the past couple of weeks.  I have a couple of ideas for my next posts.  They should be up more quickly.  I know all of you are waiting with baited breath….

My last post was about the ceremonial start to the Iditarod race.  Todd and I were able to help lead Anjanette Steer’s team to the start line and it was a blast!  The race is now over and I wanted to share the results with you.

Dallas Seavey (the musher Todd and I were able to take the super fun and cheesy picture with) won the 2012 Iditarod in nine days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.  At 25, he became the youngest musher to win the race.  Aliy Zirkle came in one hour behind Seavey for a second place finish.  Anjanette Steer, the rookie Todd and I were following, came in 26th place.  Only one other rookie, Brent Sass, finished before her.  Finally, capturing the Red Lantern award for the last musher in to Nome, was rookie Jan Steves.

It was fun to watch how the entire city of Anchorage was engrossed with following the Iditarod.  Very different from Texas and football, but tons of fun anyway.

Iditarod 2012

As I get older, I value honesty and transparency more and more.  So to be honest, nothing about a cross-country move is easy.  There are days that have been quite difficult.  I don’t write about it too much because I don’t want this to be a Debbie Downer, woe-is-me journal of how I’m finding it hard to adjust to my new surroundings.  I try to keep it light and focus on all the incredible things our family is getting to experience.  I’ll be having a hard day, then I have to go pick one of the girls up from school and the view is astounding.  I’m surrounded by mountains.  I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains, so I remember to say a prayer of gratitude for this opportunity.

Today was one of those days where I just had to say, “Wow! What an amazing thing I just got to experience!”  It was a cross it off your bucket list kind of day.  Our family attended the ceremonial start of the 40th Iditarod Race.  Beyond attending the start, Todd and I got to be “musher handlers” this morning.  That means we helped lead a dog team to the start line.  I admit the name sounds odd.  Seems to me the title should be “dog handlers”.  We didn’t have to handle the musher at all. 🙂

We assisted Anjanette Steer with her team.  Anjanette is a rookie to the Iditarod.  Her husband, Zack, has run the race several times.  Now it’s her turn.

Anjanette, Zack and their support team hooked the dogs up to their lines.  The handlers then hooked onto the lines as well.  I think the handlers are really just there to keep the dogs from completely taking off.  The dogs are strong, fast and ready to race. It was all I could do to run in ankle deep snow and keep up with them.  All the meanwhile thinking, “whatever I do, don’t step on the dogs feet!”  We were very clearly told not to step on the dogs.  You can imagine why – we don’t want to injure a dog’s foot before the race even begins.

With Anjanette up front, we led the team down 4th Avenue to the start line.  After reaching the line, Anjanette boarded her sled, we unhooked our lines and waited for the count down.  3 – 2 – 1 – They were off!  It’s absolutely amazing to watch these dogs run.  They are incredible athletes.

Today’s portion of the race through Anchorage was ceremonial.  The official start is tomorrow afternoon, March 4th, in the town of Willow.  We’ll be following and cheering Anjanette on her nearly 1,000 mile journey.  You can follow Anjanette and all the other mushers at iditarod.com

Weekend Update

So I’ve mentioned that Todd and I have been taking the kids to enjoy the different Fur Rondy activities.  What is Fur Rondy you may ask?  It’s actually short for Fur Rendezvous and it’s the winter festival here in Anchorage.  This is the 77th year for the Rondy and it, “is built around the celebration when miners and trappers would come to town to resupply and sell their goods and do a little celebrating.”

The first activity we did with the kids was dog sledding.  One of the kennels in the area gives rides in one of the local parks.  I’m a dog lover and have always admired sled dogs and their athleticism and endurance.  This was a huge treat to actually ride on a sled!

Later that weekend we took the kids to see the snow sculptures, the model trains at the Alaska Railroad and finally we capped the weekend off with a carriage ride through downtown.

The 40th Iditarod race begins next weekend and Todd and I did get out by ourselves and attended a reception for some of the mushers.  We met and had our picture taken with Dallas Seavey.  He’s a third generation musher.  His grandfather, Dan, helped organize the first Iditarod.  Dallas’ father, Mitch Seavey, has raced the Iditarod 18 times and won once.  This will be Dallas’ 6th time to race the Iditarod and he was last year’s winner of the Yukon Quest, another 1,000 mile dog sled race held in February.  All three generations of Seaveys will be racing this year in celebration of the 40th running of the Iditarod.

Anyway, the picture is complete cornball cheesy, but Dallas was a really good sport about taking his picture with everyone, and it’s just a great picture, cheesy or not.  And no, the fur coats are not ours – they’re props donated by a furrier here in town.

Till next time!

Just a Tad Scary

So, I had a moose chase me up my driveway this morning.

Ok, I’m exaggerating slightly.  I went out to get the paper this morning and as I reached the end of my drive, I noticed the moose about 25 yards down the street.  I picked up my paper and quickly headed back up my drive.  About halfway up the drive, I turned around to watch the moose continue down the street.  She didn’t continue down the street.  She was turning into my drive.  Ackk!!  I quickly turned back around and kept heading for our garage door.  I’m walking, trying not to run.  Are you not supposed to run from moose, or is that just bears and mountain lions?  I couldn’t remember.  I just knew I did not want to start my day with a moose confrontation.  I managed to get in our small (people size, not car size) garage door and got it shut.  As soon as I had shut the door, there she was continuing by the door and window and headed up the hill in our back yard.  It was just a tad scary.  I’m sure my across the street neighbor, who was out snow blowing his driveway, got a good chuckle at the sight of me trying to walk, not run, away from the moose.

Weekend update – I did not harm myself or anyone else during my ski lesson.  I’ll post pictures of all our weekend Fur Rondy activities (and explain what in the world Fur Rondy is) later this week.

Exciting Weekend Ahead

We have an exciting weekend ahead of us. Fur Rondy, the winter festival here in Anchorage, has begun. There will be two weeks of activities. We’re headed downtown now to check everything out.

The girls have ski lessons this afternoon. They’re getting quite good. I, somewhat against my better judgement, also have a lesson this afternoon. I have horrible knees and shouldn’t be attempting to ski at all; however I don’t want to be the only one in my family not skiing. I just want to travel down the green runs with my kids. Lindsey Vonn has nothing to fear from me.

Tonight, Todd and I are attending a reception for some of the Iditarod mushers. I’m super excited about it. I’ve always been intrigued by the mushers and their sled dog teams. I think it’s the same reason I love the Tour de France – I’m amazed by the stamina and their will to compete under extraordinary circumstances.

Tomorrow we’ll find some more Fur Rondy activities for the whole family to enjoy. I hope you have a great weekend as well, whether you’re in the Lone Star State or the Last Frontier.

The Doctor Will See You Now

This was the picture on the front page of yesterday’s Anchorage Daily News.  That’s a moose.  She’s trying to enter the doors of Providence Hospital.  Yep, front page story.  You can see some wacky things around here.  She was eventually corralled into the parking garage and then back outdoors.  And hey, I’ve learned how to capture a screenshot and post it on my blog!  Yeah!  I’m telling you, I’m sooo not a technical, computer person.

Another bizarre occurrence, yesterday… Snow while the sun was shining.  I took a picture, however the snow doesn’t show up.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.  It’s an odd thing to observe.