Thursday, December 9, 2010

tis the season

Finn and Lucy got their picture taken with Santa last weekend! Our local animal shelter (where we found Finn!) was having a fundraiser and we decided to stop by. I was so proud of my babies and how well behaved they were! The workers even remembered my little Finn. Did I ever mention how his name used to be Cloudberry? He was born from a litter of berries... Strawberry, Blueberry, you get the idea.  Thankfully, the name was changeable. 

I'm feeling so spoiled! A new down coat and warm, winter boots are always welcome! Those bad boys can keep my tootsies warm down to -40 temps. Perfect for the dog park or long walks in this wintry wonderland. The last time I was in this cold of weather, I was in Russia and wearing my host mother's thick coat (a dublyonka) as I hobbled my way to the trolleybus. Hopping onto a warm, crowded bus seemed like solace from the icy embrace of winter. When it dips into the negatives, the inside of your nose freezes, making every nose hair noticeable. It hurts to breathe too deeply and after a while, the frigid air seems to burn any exposed skin. BUT the snowflakes are beautiful. And the dark night glitters in the light of the street lamps. And it is magic.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tip of the Day

Can't find your phone? More than I'd like to admit, I use this website to call my phone, so I can wrestle it out of the seat cushions, untangle it from twisted sheets, or save it from the bed or my pockets.

I'm back!

Hello again bloggers!
I'm back on the bandwagon again. My laptop broke, but I'm remedying that and there have been a lot of happenings around here.
- Graham is back! Hurrah!
- Lucy and Finn are twice as big and into more trouble than ever.
- Fairbanks hat hit the - 30s and after the ice storm we had it's a bit of a relief.
This is what last Monday looked like. We had a bit of a mini vacation once our works shut down.
- Thanksgiving was a blast. We went to our friends' house and brought my best ginger cookies, pumpkin whoopies, and green bean casserole from scratch! Graham's sister even came up to enjoy the festivities.
- Did I mention my love is home?!!

It feels good to be back. :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reasons why I would like this week, heck month to be over.

1. Graham is gone (not being able to sleep!)
2. I'm sick- coughing, sore throat, runny nose, the works
3. Coworker accuses me of being a bad doggy parent
4. Feeling like a bad doggy parent, no matter which way I do things
5. Crying at a friend's house
6. Friend has personal issues that emotionally affect me
7. Doctor is insensitive with comments
8.Struggling with getting some military things figured out and waiting ridiculous amounts of time
9. Only receiving a two day paycheck
10. Crying at work (in the bathroom, but nonetheless, my red watery eyes were a total giveaway)
11. Having to talk to my boss about my personal life and hearing her try to praise me, because she wants to make me feel better, but knowing she's doing it out of sympathy
12. Cat breaks laptop charger (I think by licking the magnetic attachment)
13. Refrigerator light bulb goes out
14. Pink eye
15. Not being able to go to church, because of pink eye
16. Dog eats pink eye eyedrops
17. Birds tear open trash bag in back of truck
18. Figuring out winterizing the truck is going to be 3x the price I thought it would be

and the positives, because I believe in trying to find some light in my life right now.

1. Hanging out at Capt. J and Mrs. K's place and making new friends
2. Having a few friends over for some games
3. Being able to commiserate with friends (some all night) on the phone about how terrible things are going
4. Holding and cuddling babies
5. Girl talk and taking doggies to the dog park
6. Calling in sick to get stuff done :-)
7. Actually getting some stuff done

on the to do list.
1. military paperwork
2. winterize the truck
3. fix gym membership, cell phone, and internet plan
4. get healthy
5. order a new laptop charger

What a week!

I'm ready for girl's night!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the space heater is my new best friend

The kids pulling a fast one.

      It's been a lonely weekend since Graham left late Thursday for Ranger school. I never cry when I say goodbyes, maybe it's the military kid in me, but I straight up bawled driving home from the airport. Two months until we see each other just seems too long. How did we ever do this in the first place? I moved into the 'guest bedroom' with a futon that doesn't seem as empty as the king sized bed.

      Friday night I settled in with a movie (The Greatest- wonderful movie about grief) and let Lucy and Finn in the room as well. In the time it took for me to make popcorn (3 min and 20 sec) Lucy had urinated on the duvet, comforter, and futon. She hasn't had an accident in weeks, why did it have to be on the bed?! She's been crazy lately... I can't wait till her immunizations are complete and I can take her to the dog park!

      Saturday, I decided to be proactive, drove to Walmart, popped the hood open on the truck, took out the manual and changed the headlight. I am so very proud of myself, considering Graham and I have both been avoiding the issue like the bubonic plague. I have a sneaking suspicion the man I have a kitty and puppy with, is not very handy with trucks or general fix- know- how. My dad is a great guy and although he is a bit of a pack rat and sometimes forgetful, he always knew how to fix whatever needed fixing. Light bulbs, doors, vacuum cleaners, ceiling fans, and of course- our vehicles. I will admit to calling him on various occasions for help (that's what dads are for) and groaning when he insisted I change my own oil. Today, I'll gladly fork twenty bucks over to not change my oil, but I'll always appreciate my dad's do-it-yourself attitude (even if he did check a book out from the library about karate, when I asked for lessons).

      I have also been making cookies, and over indulging in hot cocoa, split pea soup (much more appetizing than it sounds, I discovered), ice cream, and blogs. Like I said, it's been a lonely week! And a cold one at that. The space heater is firmly situated at the foot of the futon and a freshly cleaned duvet has been put to full use. It's been snowing off and on and I don't think I'll have to dream too hard for a white Christmas.

Lucy's first snow :-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

three years ago

I met and fell in love with my best friend. Here's our (short and sweet!) story:
My junior year and his senior year (first semester) we studied abroad in Russia. He was the tall, cute boy who sat next to me on the long flight from our orientation in DC. The next couple weeks we were fast friends who shared a lot in common. Our like turned to love, and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. Writing thoughtful letters helped the time pass and that summer we met in NY and flew to Ireland. A few weeks later I went back to school and he was deployed. Now, after a couple trips back and forth, I am in Alaska and I feel so lucky, to be with such an amazing and sweet individual. 
Graham, I love you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Milkmaid Braids, fashion do or don't?

When I was younger, I used to wake up early before my mom went to work and wait until she had time to french braid my hair. I loved the way my hair looked plaited, but lacked the ability to french braid my own, or anyone else's hair. Fast forward to college years, I'd ask all my friends who could french braid and safely file away that useful information. I never practiced on anyone else, my dolls didn't have enough hair, my mother didn't have time, yada yada. About a month ago, I had the genius idea to learn via youtube. One try, and I know how to french braid! yipee! It seemed so much more difficult? Suddenly the world of braids is at my fingertips. Thank you youtube. 
Which leads me to my current hairstyle obsession: milkmaid braids. What say you, fellow bloggers? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

early weekend

and this is how I celebrate:

Seriously, Sarah? Color coding your bookshelf?
I know, I need to get a life.

In other news, Lucy has become much more vocal/ playful at night and it's tripping me out! Finn isn't too bad when he plays, because of his bell. I have this insane fear of someone sneaking in the house. Last night I was paralyzed in my bed thinking of escape routes after I heard some rustlings. Gah! Nothing worse than tiptoe-ing around a dark bedroom wondering if you should confront the intruder and hope you scare him with your green belt tae kwon do skills from 10 years ago OR try to hide in the closet (that's totally the first place they'd look though, right?!). 

During the day, it's been the perfect weather. Love the crisp fall air and crunchy leaves!
This is the backyard view- I feel so lucky to live here.

Mt. Mckinley, my friends. Also known as Denali to all the locals around here- I've been loving these clear days, where we can see far away from the valleys of Fairbanks. I'm just praying winter doesn't come too quickly!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crazy pet owner

That's me! I take way too many pictures of my pets. My camera is constantly in need of fresh batteries. I even take webcam pics of them! I can't help it! They're so cute! 

My name is Sarah and I have a problem taking too many pictures of my cat and dog.

Love them!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mmmm the taste of fall.

Today was relaxing. I checked out a new pet store location and scored some free samples and coupons. Lucy loves meeting new people and having them coo over her! Then I headed over to Barnes and Noble. We have the best Barnes & Noble ever! There is a round fireplace with cozy chairs surrounding it. I was hoping to get my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, but they were all out of pumpkin, so I settled on my 'go to' Chai. A couple magazines later and I headed to Old Navy. Hey peeps- there aren't a lot of stores around here, so don't judge! :-P I picked up some cords and am so happy! I just love fall and everything associated with it. Then headed home for a quick bubble bath. I'm freezing here, but am trying not to turn up the heat yet. I start the new job tomorrow and am excited and a little nervous. Wish me luck!

Catching up.

First and foremost, this day will never be the same. Nine years ago, I was living in Germany and I remember seeing the attacks on the news. Smoke filling the sky, people crying, and frantic questions. I remember thinking it was a movie and turned it off. I was so desensitized. Everything seemed so far away. The military base was put on lock down, so our parents came home late that night. The next day at school, my classmate, Ross, was missing. Rumors circled school that his dad was in the Pentagon that day. I couldn't imagine losing a parent and my heart hurt so bad for him. Thankfully, his father was fine, but that moment made it so real to me. Never forget.

The most difficult part about blogging is that I reserve things to talk about, never get around to posting, then when I finally do, it's a good week later.

Last weekend, Graham and I took off to Valdez to meet some friends, Zach and Sarah. They always remind me of that Ben Folds song! The drive alone was worth it! Alaska is so amazing when the leaves have changed colors. When I visited last october the leaves had already fallen and I thought Fairbanks was so gray and brown, and not at all beautiful. Well, my mind has certainly changed! Reds, oranges, and yellows lit up the forests and made me oh so happy. Add in some tents and toasted marshmallows that made for an excellent weekend. Valdez contains some of the most breathtaking glaciers and waterfalls I have ever seen. We took Finn and Lucy with us, which was great. They were so cute- snuggling and playing. Finn slept in my sleeping bag (my own personal heater) and Lucy slept in a crate in the truck. Finn has got to be the best kitten ever- he used the litter box while the truck was moving! He's definitely a keeper. We did get a bit rained out, but we checked out a small museum and a yummy place to eat. On Sunday we continued to Anchorage, did some quick, unsuccessful shopping, then headed back home. Poor Graham did all the driving and we collapsed when we got home!
that's a mountain up there!
Finn cautiously exploring
loveable Lucy

Tuesday he left. I feel like I'm always saying that. I thought I'd update this more, but I can get so lonely and I don't want to focus on the fact that he's gone. This time it'll be about 2 1/2 weeks. Hopefully, I can set up some date nights with a girlfriend. I want to surprise Graham with some tasty new dishes when he comes home.

Until then, I'm mainly bundled up on the couch watching bad tv on my laptop, calling family, taking Lucy for mini walks. Monday I start a job working at a children's daycare. I'm excited because I love kids, but disappointed because the job I really wanted, is no longer available. Another way to pass the time- check. And ranger school? Have no idea how I'm going to handle that one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My pets are a little confused.

        Finn and Lucy are a constant source of amusement. Lucy is slowly working on her commands and it's funny how much my heart swells when she does something right. I finally got her to lay down and was so excited! Then I told her to sit, and she laid down.... back to square one :-D One things for sure, she's super fun to train, because she loves food so much!
       A lot of people I know are not "cat people"- I know people who like cats and dogs, but rarely do you meet a cat person who hates dogs. It's funny to me how one-sided this can be! Well after having both for a couple of weeks now, I still love both!
      Finn thinks he's a puppy anyway. Never in my life have I seen a cat chase his tail as much as he does (I think he might have a slightly longer tail than average).When Lucy goes on potty breaks he sits at the door mewing to go out too. He even wakes me up in the morning by licking my face! Finn is a sweet cat, going 100% energy or 100% nap time. He flies at Lucy when they're playing- often the instigator, but he's the first to snuggle with her. He's a tough little kitty with a jingle bell that makes it hard to take him seriously.
      Lucy. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. I love this little pup, and she is a handful. She's so funny to just watch. She gets into anything and everything she's not supposed to, and then looks up innocently with these big, beautiful, brown puppy eyes. Whenever I go out and people say, "What a cute puppy!" she completely betrays me by running into their arms and giving them sweet kisses. I guess I should be glad she isn't unsocial... I love that her favorite toys are socks. preferably the just-worn-variety. Lucy just makes my heart melt when she falls asleep in my lap. I just wish she would stay this size forever. Our next doggy addition will be lap size! Lucy thinks she's a kitten anyway, and we have appropriately dubbed her, Kitty.
      Just the other day a friend was talking about going to a meeting for army spouses and when I mentioned I'm not technically an army spouse, she replied,"Yeah, but you guys have kids together!"

Yes, we do. Love our little family with our illegitimate babies!
Sweet Finn wanting to go outside.
Snuggle buddies!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last trip to Denali

The week before last, Graham's friend came up from the lower 48* and we decided to sneak one last trip to  Denali. The first time we went to Wonderlake campsite, which was ahmaazing! We saw tons of bears, caribou, and wolves (thankfully far, far away from where we were sleeping). The mosquitos had me wishing for this stylish number. But seriously.

This time we took a backcountry pass, which involved randomly stopping the bus, hiking a few miles off the road, and setting up camp where your tent was not visible to others. We chose an area about halfway into the park, next to a red zone. After we watched a safety video and paid for the pass, the kind lady told us the red zone is actually a bear zone (AHH!).

Beautiful Grizzlies**

Well, it was definitely an adventure. We forded an icy river and saw plenty of wildlife again. It was however, our second failed attempt to see Mt. McKinley, but that's okay. It's pretty cloudy lately. My favorite part of camping is the clear, starry sky that humbles me every time.

Alaska, you get a thumbs up from me during the summer! Fall, on the other hand...

*I still feel weird saying this moniker for the continental states- sometimes I forget and say "the states", which clearly is just as bad
**also known as brown bears! yes, they are the same

6.7 lb love bug

Someone has immunizations and obedience classes today- uh oh! Hope it all goes well tonight...
Meet my sweet, little puppy, Lucy Reynolds. Love her with all my heart!
She came home a few days sooner than expected, but has been a total doll! We are crate training her and she hasn't had a single accident in her crate! Such a proud mama :-) I have had a few surprises along the way. ie; Lucy likes Finn's toys more than her own, Lucy likes Finn's food more than her own, and surprisingly enough
Lucy likes Finn's poop more than her own

Coprophagy= eating feces. Nuff ' said.

*update: my little chunkster actually weighed in at 8.3 lbs today, almost 2 lbs heavier since last week!*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

hello world. nice to meet you.

current location: Fairbanks, AK

A few of my favorite things: rainy days with good books, colorful skies, interior design, other people's smiles, list making, online shopping and browsing

A few of my least favorite: Seinfeld, too quiet houses, the end (of the toilet paper, a great story, a trip), fish tacos

I can't sleep, nothing too new. Graham is out in the field and the only thing breaking the silence is Finn's bell jingling as he darts around the room. Finnegan McGillikitty Jamal is one of the best ideas Graham has ever had. He's been a constant comfort; "talking" to me, playing with my feet, making me laugh, and snuggling up with me all night. I'm only worried about when his new sister, Lucy, joins the clan in a few days...

Love this little man!
Today I helped my friend, Jenna, paint her baby girl's bedroom. It's going from a mauve to a cheery yellow. My bedroom back home at my parents is the same yellow. A bright yellow that makes it hard to feel anything but happy. Colors can have such an emotional response. The soothing blue in the spare bedroom seems like the perfect nap room. Graham's work room is a khaki green that softens the utilitarian space,while the master bedroom is a warm orange that will keep any room during an Alaskan winter bright and toasty. Painting a room is such an inexpensive and dramatic way to change a room. What are your favorite room colors?