Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Iditarod Re-start

Beautiful Mt McKinley as the back drop for this years race.


Look at how excited the dogs are to start.

And Jazzie is only dressed to look like a fool, poor puppy.

Wolf man...only in Alaska.

Mr. Alaska in his donated Dave Green fur of the year.

Jeff King posing for the camera.

Deedee Jonrowe off to a great start.

Lance Mackey's a tough lookin' dude.

Martin Buser getting his race on.

Linwood Fiedler, a local Willow favorite.

We went out to the Iditarod re-start in Willow this last weekend. What a blast! I don't remember EVER going to a start or re-start growing up. We have friends who own a cabin on Willow Lake, the very place they hold the re-start so we were able to just walk over with our VIP passes and roam freely about the place. There were vendors selling paraphernalia like fur hats and yummy alaskan treats like reindeer sausage at the community center. There were dogs and sleds and mushers everywhere getting ready for the big start. I went around with a friend of Jonie Thackers from Montana that had never been to Alaska or the Iditarod before where we wandered aimlessly enjoying all the festivities, food and fun like kids in a candy store. It was good to get reacquainted with an exclusive Alaskan tradition like the Iditarod.

Winter Fun

Pictured here is our new snowmachine! We figured if we're going to live in the frozen north we've got to have a way to get outside and have some fun. We purchased it from craigslist for a great deal and have been enjoying it ever since. Gerry says it's my machine but he's riden it more than I have. : )

It's a funny thing. I grew up in Willow my whole life until I turned 18. We didn't have a snowmachine but I rode on many a friends machine during those years and yet had NO IDEA how many trails there were in Willow. It is a meca for snowmachining! Trails everywhere! Who knew....many people, except me I guess. It sure has been fun discovering another side of the place I grew up. I love discovering new things/places. I thought by moving back to Alaska I wouldn't have many more of these discoveries but once again I am pleasantly surprised.

Friday, February 27, 2009

End of the 1st Trimester

We're on to week 14 which means I'm done with the first trimester. Funny thing too, just like the text books say I'm feeling great now and have energy again. I'm back to my old self. The blah days are gone (hopefully for good), Yeah! I ballooned out almost immediately and havn't gained a pound in the last two months. I'm sure that will change here quickly though as baby is already the size of a lemon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where to register?

Calling all women...

I need some help from any gal who's had a baby and registered for baby stuff before. Where do I register that is most convenient for people in Alaska and out of state? Are there specific items that you wished you would have registered for and used/use all of the time? Now's the time ladies. I need you help!

On that note...

A nice bonus of being pregnant and having a "sugar daddy" to take care of me is that I have the option to work or not to work after baby is born. Now don't get me wrong, two paychecks is REALLY nice but with my demanding work schedule I've decided to take the summer off by quitting my job May 29th. We'll decide what to do after baby is born and we get used to the idea/schedule of being parents. Likely I'll be looking for part-time work come next January. In the meantime I'll be enjoying this summer with my baby-bulge. I can hardly wait.

Activities that I can't wait to endulge in this summer are: blueberry picking, fishing, hiking, kayaking, camping, running (albiet slowly), picking farm fresh veggies at the Palmer You-Pick Farm, saturday markets, having a reindeer sausage-dog downtown Anchorage on a sunny day and the list goes on.

Yeah for summer! You can't come quickly enough. :)

Excited about summer!

Alaska is a hard place to live for most people. It's not the crazy moose that walk through your yard causing all the dogs in a mile radius to start howling, It's not even the ruralness or isolation of being up here by our onesies (without the rest of the Lower 48). No I'd say it's the cold temperatures and most of all the darkness that gets to you after awhile. I never noticed it before I moved away and was exposed to normal light from 6am to 9pm or so everyday and LOTS of sunshine. Now I am acutely aware of it and find myself giddy with more light everyday and sunshine to boot. It doesn't matter if it's still 20 degrees out. It doesn't matter if there's no green on the trees yet. No, what matters is I have sunshine shining in my face at 8:30 in the morning now. Life is coming back into my veins and I can't help but be VERY EXCITED about this upcoming summer. Bring on the fishing folks!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Introducing Poe Baby #1

Although the picture quality is not up-to-par, you can tell where the head and belly are. It even has little arms and legs that were dancing all over for us during the ultrasound. The hand is up by it's mouth and the legs were crossed at the time of the picture. We will find out in about two months what "it" is and then off to the store to shop, shop, shop! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bumped up to 12 weeks!

We had our first prenatal appointment on wednesday and found out that we are ACTUALLY 12 weeks along based on baby development. Because we weren't able to hear the heart beat with the normal probe, we had the pleasure of doing our first ultrasound. What did we find? A perfect, healthy little "it" dancing around in my belly. The little poenut is about two inches long and was already as active as a two year old. Wow, do we have our work cut out for us! J/K :) It was truely amazing to see our little one for the first time and really hit home that we are going to be parents the beginning of September. This is definitely the most WILD ride I've ever been on despite my many previous life adventures. When I get a chance to scan in the picture, you'll to be able to see our cutie patootie as well. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What to do!!?!?

Since finding out that there's a little poe-nut on the way, it has stirred up all kinds of chaos in our house. So many question, too few answers. Should we buy a house? (cause I'd really like to nest) Do we stay in Anchorage or move to the Valley? (cause housing in Anchorage is VERY expensive) Do we stay in Alaska or move back to warm, sunny Colorado Springs? (cause I'm going nuts in all this darkness) How long do I work before I quit my job? (cause it really helps having two incomes to save for a down payment on a house) When do I go back to work after baby comes? (cause I'm not eligible for the FML Act to receive 12 weeks paid vacation) Do I still try to do the Mayors Marathon in June, not run it of course but walk a 1/2. There's all these things scrambling around in my brain causing choas with my delicate emotional state (besides my raging hormones). PLEASE PRAY with us as we face so many HUGE life decisions in such a short amount of time. I am convinced God has it all figured out but we need to be attentive to his voice and get a clue too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

8 weeks along

As of yesterday I am 8 weeks pregnant and counting down until the BIG DAY (September 10th ish). Here's what are little poe-nut looks like.

I've got lots of reading to do!

Now that I am embarking on this new adventure of pregnancy and motherhood, I thought it approriate to start reading up on things I honestly have NO CLUE about. You know you learn these things in a textbook and learn the anatomy of strange parts of the body but the actual experience of it is completely different. It seems all kinds of things are up for grabs with what to expect with pregnancy and you just need to know how to deal with them. Anyway, here is a list of books that have been recommended to me for reading:

1) What to expect when you're expecting
2) Baby Whisperer
3) Baby Wise
4) Girlfriends guide to pregnancy
5) Children's Vaccinations
6) Another box of books sent from Jean Clemens that I just received! Yeah!

Any recommendations as to which one(s) you felt were the most helpful? Least helpful?

Sincerely, Need Help :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I don't know how else to say this but...We're Pregnant!!! This is a surprise to many a people (including us :) ) but are happy all the same. We kept waiting for that perfect time to start having children but come to find out humans don't seem to think there's a perfect time so God plans it for them. Am I right everyone? Tell me how many of your kids were ACTUALLY planned? :) Well we've joined many a couple and are now going to be parents. I am officially due September 10. Funny thing too, that's my brother Aarons birthday! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Running in Alaska

Winter running isn't for everyone, even me from time to time when it is 20 below outside!!! Jasper was driving me nuts so I knew I had to brave the cold weather and get on the trails with him. This is how to dress when it's super cold.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Wonderland!

Falling snow, cold crisp days and beautiful sunsets inspired me to doodle in the outdoors taking pictues of God wonderful nature.

My parents stone wall they finished this summer. As you can see it has disappeared under the blanket of snow that fell all Christmas day long.

The trees were heavy laden with snow and the cold crisp days to follow solidified its presence until warmer weather to come.

Jimmy, Alex and I ventured off to Talkeetna to find this beautiful view near the Talkeetna Lodge. The only catcher in this was the lodge was closed and we had to find our way around the building...through feet upon feet of snow. Yep we were drenched and cold after 10 minutes of this and hurriedly headed for the car once capturing these beautiful photos.

Christmas events

I was fortunate enough to have christmas day off, took paid time off for the 26th and then had the next three days off this year....totaling 5 days off for christmas!!! Yeah!

Gerry wasn't as fortunate as he missed christmas and will miss new years as well. Looks like he'll have it off next year though because he's switching to a 2-on-2-off schedule. Woohoo!

I spent several days in Willow with my parents, sister Jen, bro-n-law Jimmy, friend Alex. We had a nice meal in the early afternoon Christmas day, talked, sang christmas carols, thanked Jesus for this year, sang Happy Birthday to Jesus with the kiddos, and finally opened up gifts at around 9pm.

Mom & Dad, Jen & Jimmy, Alex, Me, Darren, Chris & Ethan, Jeremy & Amanda

Niece & nephews, Chris & Ethan kiddos

Jimmy playing with Jasper. Jasper won over the hearts of this family with his quarky behavior-isms and silly disposition. Even my mom bonded with him after he shed his coat all over the house, scooted his rear end on the carpet (eewww!), and threw up wood chips at 4 in the morning.

Jasper taking turns opening gifts, ha ha!

Playing with awesome camera equipment Alex brought with him provided hours inspiration and creativity.

Belated Christmas "Card"

Merry Belated Christmas to Everyone!

Again this year flew by and I hardly had enough time to breathe. Thus the christmas cards I had hoped to send to everyone once again did not get to the mail, much less created. So, here's our christmas card via blog yet again.

2008 Events
1-Promoted to Coordinator/Planner on the slope in July
2-As we moved to Alaska, he is enjoying not commuting via airport/airplane anylonger
3-Went to Dallas, TX to experience another NASCAR race in November
4-Turned the big 31 this year in May

1-Graduated from internship/residency in May
2-Passed National RD Boards August 1st! YEAH!
3-As we moved to Alaska, she accepted a clinical acute care RD position at ANMC
4-Longs for warm sunshine as Alaska is VERY COLD (or she's become a light weight)

Gerry & Heather Highlights:
1-Went to the Boise Humane Society and picked up Jasper in January
2-Went to Utah to visit numerous National Parks in May
3-Decided to move back to Alaska, moved in September
4-Went to Haakonson Reunion in June
5-God provided housesitting job for winter in Alaska
6-Finally got out of debt!!! Big victory!
7-Bought a new car...we're now a 2 car family for the first time ever!

What will 2009 bring???
A house? A baby? A new job? A vacation to someplace warm? Who knows but our Lord and Savior. I thank him daily for this journey called life he continues to lead us in. We are grateful for the many blessings of 2008 and are excited about what is to come in 2009!

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy 2009!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Heavy laden with snow

I really do love wintertime. All of the snow, the change of seasons, a reason to start a fire and snuggle up on the couch with some hot chocolate. Hmmm, all good reasons to love a little cold weather. This year we've been blessed with quite a bit of early snow as you can see by the tree in our front yard. There is so much snow that it hangs into our driveway and blocks where we need to park the car. The other day I tried to shake some of it off but it's frozen in place, probably until next spring. Guess I'll have to continue to run through it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Total Money Makeover By Dave Ramsey

In our family it just makes sense that I would be in charge of the finances. Gerry being gone half of the time sort of forces me to be BUT I also am the one who really digs reading up on budgeting, where to invest, comparing interest rates, etc. I'm kind of a numbers dork and I like this math stuff. So when I stumbled across The Total Money Makeover By Dave Ramsey I was thinking "Yeah, it's probably got some of the same stuff I've read in other books but I'll check it out just to see if there's anything new and exciting to consider." WEEELLLLLL...this funny white guy BLEW my mind with how simple he makes things. Now first you have to be a goal oriented person to love this book because it's all about completing 7 different step, one right after the other. It's not easy either. He talks about living a debt free life...even your mortgage. He tells you exactly how to invest, how to purchase a home, what percentage you need for an emergency fund, etc. And he does this by comparing all the other options out there and exposing why they don't work. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!! It's a must read for those who feel stressed about their finances or simply want to live like no one else now so they can later live like no one else(quote from book). Check it out for yourself and get on board. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy (belated) Thanks Day!

We'll I know this is a tad late, but HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone!!! Thanks to my mom, Amanda and MarlaKay, I only had to show up with some sparkling apple cider in hand. We had a full feast of Turkey (of course), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, greenbeans with almonds, spinach-cranberry salad, artichoke-mushroom stuffing, gravy, whole wheat rolls, pumpkin soup and many a dessert. WOW...what a day of eating. Here are a few memories for you to enjoy...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hiking in Alaska...It doesn't get much better

I went hiking a few weeks ago with some friends of mine and captured yet another beautiful Alaskan sunset. This is the backside of flat top mountain-peak one. As you can also see, the dogs had a blast too.

Here we (new friends Carissa, Kevin & Steven) are about two weeks ago on Wolverine Pass. It was all socked in but the snow was flyin' and it made for some pretty good glysading (sliding on your butt or feet without skis, etc).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tag...your it!

This new version of tag can be fun but I promise you I will only be tagged once. So here goes...

4 Outdoor Activities I absolutely LUV:
-Trail running through the trees on a nice fall day with music in my ears and my dog running with his tongue hanging out. Nothing more relaxing than that.

-Catching fish. Not just the act or sport of fishing but actually CATCHING large Alaskan salmon. I love seeing a freezer full of fish. Yum, yum!

-Hiking up a rather large mountain. One that you are proud to "conquer", one that takes hours and hours to get to the top of.

-Mountain biking in Colorado or in Moab, Utah. There's no mountain biking like it in the world.

4 Movies I can't seem to get enough of:
-You've got mail. Came out in 1994 and I still like to watch it.

-Little Women. Everytime I feel like a cozy fire and hot chocolate are in order, I think about putting this movie on.

-Anne of Green Gables series. Classic!!!

-Gladiator or the mummy series. I love the adventure and great architecture of the civilization of old.

4 Guilty pleasures:
-Lindtt milk chocolate truffles. So very creamy in the middle.

-Hour long massages with hot stone therapy. Aahhhhh....

-Shopping at the Gap, Nordstrom, Potterybarn, William Sonoma or Eddie Bauer.

-Land O Lakes variety hot chocolates. You can get a variety pack at Costco right now that has 9 different kinds. Yep, I purchased them.

4 Jobs I've always wanted to do:
-Be a waitress at a cafe/bistro.

-Work at a National Park as a guide. Maybe a place like Zion or Glacier.

-Work as a camp counselor for a summer.

-Work as an RD in a hospital...oh wait I've FINALLY ARRIVED and am doing that right now!!!

4 Places I've always wanted to travel to:
-Manchu Pichu in Peru to see Incan ruins.

-Caribbean Islands, perferably on a cruise of some sort.

-Belize and the Yuchitan Peninsula to see the Mayan ruins.

-Afica: to see the Egyptian ruins along the Nile River and go on a Safari.

4 Challenges I face weekly:
-Work. I love what I do but it is exhausting. I just got done with working 6 days in a row to get one day off and work another 4. I need a break.

-Loving those who don't show or love me back.

-The economy and the fear of Americas future, when should we buy a house, etc.

-Getting used to Alaska's dark and cold weather. I find myself being a little grumpy these days and longing for the trails in Boise or Colorado Springs.

4 People I am going to "Tag":
-Jen Costello

-Christina Ingram

-Julie Preston

-Leslie Black

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've been tagged!

I am writing this to remind myself that I've been tagged to reveal the inner most parts of my being. To come...4 outdoor activites I absolutely LUV, 4 movies that I can't seem to get enough of, 4 guilty pleasures, 4 jobs I've always wanted to do, 4 places I've always wanted to travel to, 4 challenges I face weekly, and 4 people I plan on tagging when I complete this list myself. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Gerry recently flew to Dallas, TX to watch the ever so popular NASCAR races at the Texas Motor Speedway. There were truck races, car races, t-shirts for sale and lots of cheap beer. This is how its done folks (apparantely).

Cycling class

I have never been one to want to pay for a gym membership. Even in dark, cold Alaska you'll find me running down a trail with a big fluffy coat, hat & gloves and my dog Jasper. I think I might have been convinced otherwise though as I experienced a cycling class for the very first time. Amanda (sis-n-law) invited me to go before Drew's birthday party at a local gym in Wasilla. What a butt kicker, quite literally. So much fun though. Image bringing your stationary bike to a night club and that is the fun we experienced. Strobe lights, loud music and sweat were the venue of the hour (or 45 minutes to be exact). I think I just might need to get a punch card somewheres to get my fix of cycling, night club style.