The day has finally come! Since about the end of May we have been busy busy planning for this day. We've planned for this day and the days that will follow over and over and over. I've written pages and pages of plans in my notebook (and still have more to write!). We've calculated miles, planned meals, found campgrounds, booked campgrounds, cancelled campgrounds, planned outfits and details---all of the little details that probably don't matter. We have stressed about it all.
Since we found out in May that we would be moving to Alaska this fall we have been SO.EXTREMELY.BUSY. I honestly don't even want to talk about it because it makes my brain hurt to think about all we have done since that day. We have packed up boxes galore, and then unpacked them when we realized we still needed what was in them. We've talked and questioned how we were going to make this move--what month will we go, how will we get there? Will we fly or drive? Take a ferry or the famous Alaskan Highway? Would Jason go early and then the girls and I go later? How will the weather be? How will we get our pets there? What about the Disney trip we have planned for later in the year, do we cancel it? (HECK NO WE DON'T!). Do we sell our house or rent it? What if it doesn't sale OR rent?
After lots and LOTS of discussing and deliberating we finally decided what would be best for us. We didn't want to be apart, I didn't want to fly, Jason wanted to drive cross country, we couldn't possibly find a decent hotel every night that would accept all of us PLUS our cats and bird--at least not without paying an arm and a leg. So of course the easiest thing to do (by the way, there is NO easy way to do this) was to buy a camper and pull it across the country. Do you know how many times I've regretted agreeing to that crazy idea that was all Jason's fault?
And so it began. We were all super excited to start camper shopping and quickly found the one we wanted--a 32 ft. travel trailer complete with bunk beds that the girls can't wait to put to good use! Along with a camper, we needed something to pull it--because unfortunately, Jason's Altima and my minivan weren't going to get the job done. So we said goodbye to the Altima and after lots of stressing over a vehicle, finally found something big enough to hold all of us AND big enough to pull an 8,000 lb. camper. It's not as kid-friendly as my sweet minivan, but it'll do, I reckon. So we had the getting there taken care of, next up, the house.
We decided it would be best to sell the house so we wouldn't have to worry about renting it out or taking care of it from 5,000 miles away. Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows how stressful it is. Especially when you don't have long to do it. First of all, getting a house clean and then keeping it that way with 3 young children living in it is next to impossible. Luckily, my family's beach house was less than a mile away, so we moved over there for a while and that helped a LOT. We had a few showings, and have signed a contract with two different buyers. The first buyers decided after about three weeks that they were not ready to buy a house and backed out, so back on the market it went. About a week after we put it back up, in came another offer, and we are currently under contract again--but not holding our breaths. We are hoping and praying that this one will seal the deal and we will close in mid-September.
In between selling the house and buying a camper and a truck, we've spent our spare time in doctors offices. You see, in order to go somewhere like Alaska, you have to be approved--all of you. So in we all went for physicals and dental checkups. Then we had to have the doctors fill out lots of paperwork and turn it in, and then get it fixed because the doctor signed the wrong line....this took FOREVER. Not sure why it was so hard to get us all in to the doctor and have paperwork filled out but I think it took about two months before everyone was approved! Then we were able to schedule the movers once we were all finally approved to go!
So anyways, that's just a little snippet of what we have been busy doing since May. It has been busy and frustrating. It's been time consuming and boring. My poor kids have been told so many times to be quiet or to go play or to leave us alone. My poor husband has had to reassure me more times than I can count that every thing was going to be alright. I have been a grouch, and impatient and have wondered so.many.times. HOW I was ever going to make it to the next day without completely losing it. And now, I have made it to the day that I've been planning for.
(After reading back through this post before publishing I realized that I had left out a few minor details--so without going into too much detail, there have also been trips to the E.R., minor traffic incidents, flooded laundry rooms, major appliance repairs, etc. I'll let you use your imagination there 😉).
So today, we start the first part of our big trip. Today we are going to start our two day drive down to Disney World, where we will spend a week. After Disney, we will drive back up to North Carolina and get our camper packed up, and then head on to Alaska! We are so excited for this once in a lifetime journey, but are also very nervous. We are trying to stay positive knowing that it will be a very long trip, with long days. Our kids will be tired, we will be tired and our pets will all probably be stressed out. Please say prayers for us and encourage us in the days ahead! We are looking forward to making lots of memories with our little family!
Well, it's been a while! I think the last time I blogged we were just starting our North Carolina chapter. Keely was a baby, Paislee was a toddler and life was just so darn busy! I wish I could say that now I have gotten the hang of this mom stuff and that I'm going to start blogging daily, but that would be a big fat lie! I will say that I'm going to promise to try to blog more often!
Our four years in North Carolina have flown by, and now it is time for our next chapter. We found out in May that the next place we will call home is Anchorage, Alaska! Although we are sad to leave our family and friends, we are very excited to get back up to Alaska. We are also hoping to have lots and lots of visitors over the next four years. If you are reading this, consider it an invitation to come and visit us in God's Country. He truly played favorites when he created Alaska, and we would love to show you around this beautiful place where we first called home after we were married and also where we welcomed our first baby.
We will be living on the joint Army/Air Force base in Anchorage--a first for us, as we have never lived in military housing or on a military base. I for one am VERY excited to be part of a military community. There are so many resources on base for everyone in the family and I can't wait to utilize them all. From what I've seen so far, there are playgrounds galore, fitness centers, bowling, movie theatres, ice skating, snow skiing, libraries, schools and more on base. Jason's work will also be on base, so I'm hoping we won't have to leave very often if we don't want to.
Our adventure begins on September 4, as we head down to Florida for a Disney World vacation. After a week in Florida we will begin our journey up to Anchorage, which we are anticipating will take us about three weeks. I will try and blog more about that later, but now I have two little girls snuggled up in bed with me asking why I'm texting so much :)
I'm thinking an easy way to get blogposts in is to do posts with just quick things that Paislee or Keely say during the day that crack me up. So if you see a post with the title 'That's what she said', just know that it won't be a long, drawn out post, just quick (but definitely cute!).
Yesterday, Paislee was eating something messy, I can't remember what it was. She dropped some on her nightgown, and of course she freaked. Anyone who knows Paislee knows that she is a little OCD. Jason goes over to her, pinches the nightgown material and licks whatever she dropped off. Paislee goes about her business and a few minutes later says : "Thanks for suckin' it, Daddy".
I have been reading so many blogs lately and it's making me want to start blogging again! I must be crazy. I get about 10 free minutes in my day, do I really want to spend those few minutes blogging? We will see :) I will take it one day at a time, and since there is a blogger app, that will make it a little easier.
This weekend we took a trip down to Myrtle Beach for a 'mini vacation'. It was much needed and we enjoyed ourselves so much! We stayed at my aunts condo, which is oceanfront=perfecto! I decided before we left that we would stay in the entire weekend, and just enjoy each other, and relax. Do beach days and spend good time with each other. We headed down Friday morning and arrived around lunch. We swam in the pool for a little while and then headed out to the beach just for a quick walk before going in for supper.
This is the only picture I snapped with my phone from that day, the rest are on the camera and that is too much work for now. Baby steps people, baby steps. :) Keely was not a fan of the sand or the cold water, she is also not a fan of her sister when she gets touchy feely--which is often, ha! We had enchilada casserole for dinner-yum! And too many cookies for dessert.
Paislee enjoyed the views for a while after dinner and then headed to bed.
The next day we took off to the beach pretty early. The girls enjoyed it and so did we. The condo is at the end of the beach so there is so much great beach that is perfect for kids. When the tide is low, there are 'water holes' which is great because I'm terrified to let them play in the ocean.
We went in for lunch and then my wonderful hubby stayed in with Keely while she napped and let me go back out with Paislee to get my tan on. We came in and I made spaghetti for dinner, and we enjoyed another night in.
On Sunday we enjoyed another beach day, and came in a little early to get ready and go to the outlets for just a little bit of shopping. Mama was starting to get a little cabin fever and needed to find a new outfit to go with my new red wedges....turns out I didn't find anything which is a good thing because I got home today, the UPS man greeted me in the drive way with them and unfortunately...they looked like hooker shoes :( which made me sad...so I'm going to order them in tan and hope that makes it all better because they are sooooo comfy and I heart them! Below is the picture I sent Jason who was waiting in the car with the girls. I was trying on the shirt but had to put on a pair of white pants to see how the entire outfit would look (with MY white pants that were at home). He responded "you look like a granny"....I didn't buy the shirt.
Monday was rainy and gloomy so we went to barefoot landing and walked around the little shops and had lunch at Joes Crab Shack-which was yummy :)
We came home, had leftovers for dinner and started cleaning so we could head home in the morning. Jason and I were in a cleaning frenzy when we heard the sweetest giggles ever. We ran around to the other side of the bar to these two sweet girls playing--not fighting but PLAYING. It melted my heart <3.
We had an eventful trip home today, maybe I will blog more about that tomorrow :)
Sorry for the boring post, getting back into the swing of things!
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Just wanted to let ya'll know that we have a new blog for recipes now. We are down in NC visiting and Jason's family has a family recipe book and we decided to put it all in blog form so it would be easier to update and keep up with. Hope you guys follow and enjoy :)
Ya'll, naming this second baby has been a pain in my @$$!!!!! We cannot agree on anything, and the few we can agree on, I'm not in LOVE with. Jason wants to keep the "Lee" sound in the name. I need some opinions:
1. Keely Reese
Jason doesn't like the spelling in 2 & 3 because of 'Anal'. Really? Do ya'll think people will REALLY make fun of her for that???? I don't want to spell it Annalise because I feel like people will be more inclined to shorten it to Anna, and I don't want it shortened to Anna. If WE decided to call her something shorter at home, like we call Paislee "Paise"--(Pays)--we would call her "Lise" (Lease).
Our other option is Keely--(Key-lee). I like Keely. Don't necessarily want to spell it that way, but it seems like every other spelling looks weird, or can be mispronounced. I've even seen people think it's Kelly. Weird, but whatever.
We had Brynlee on the list-but I'm not crazy about Bryn, and it's getting too popular. We also had Britlee, a name Jason chose a loooong time ago--before Paislee was born, and I HATED it, but over the last couple of years it has grown on me. Everyone seems to think it's super weird though, maybe it will take a couple of years for it to grow on them too? :)
If we have to go with another "lee" name, I don't want it to be too 'out there' and like we are just trying too hard to find another lee name. I think it could get tacky and with Analise and Keely it's not too out there and they also go well with Paislee.
Jason, Ashley, Paislee and Keely
Jason, Ashley, Paislee and Analise
What do ya'll think?? And if you think Analise--any middle name suggestions??
Lindsay got here last Saturday around noon and leaves Sunday. We only have one more day to adventure out and explore Maine. And of course, tomorrow it is supposed to be 75 degrees out and B-E-A-utiful! All week it has been cold--in the 50's, and the first 3 days she was here it rained :( Here is a summary of her trip so far in pictures :)
After we picked Lindsay up from the airport, we took her downtown for a 'Welcome to Maine' meal at 'Portland Lobster Co.'. None of us had Lobster though ;)
Sunday it rained a llllll day. We sat around for a while, then me and Lindsay went out shopping for a little while. Monday it cleared up for a little while so Lindsay, Paislee and I drove up to Freeport to the outlets. While there we shopped, ate lunch at Johnny Rocket's and had to get Whoopie Pies, the official dessert of Maine, at the famous 'Wicked Whoopies'. Lindsay meant to get the chocolate chip Whoopie, but got the vanilla bean instead, and I got the peanut butter. Yum!
Then we went to L.L. Bean--just because you have to go to L.L. Bean when you come to Maine. Lindsay made some friends while we were there....she fits right in!
Tuesday we had yet another lazy day because it rained alllllll dayyyyy. Wednesday we got a super early start but not because we wanted to :) Jason was presented an award at work so we got up to watch him get that, then his boat left--with him on it :( So we headed to Ft. Williams to see the Portland Headlight.
Love this picture that Lindsay snapped!
After the lighthouse we headed to The Lobster Shack so Lindsay could get her some Lobster. She ended up with Lobster stew...
...and then climbed down the rocky Maine coastline for some pictures.
Yesterday we were going to drive up the Maine coast to a small coastal community. Then we changed our minds and decided to drive to the mountains to do some leaf peeping. Then we changed our minds again, and decided to have yet another lazy day...do you see a pattern here? We LOVE lazy days :) This is Lindsay and her favorite member of the Mozingo family...
and the yummy dinner we cooked--Ranch House Porkchops, with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and green bean casserole--YUM-O!
Today we had lunch at the Portland Pie Co...
It was DELISH!
Then we ventured over to downtown Portland and walked around and checked out shops and food. Mostly food. We stopped here...
and had some of these. Lindsay had the vanilla with blueberry icing and I had the red velvet with cream cheese...
Less than 10 minutes later we stopped here for ice cream :)
Then we finished our walk with a stop in front of the harbor to see all of the yachts and sailboats. We headed home, had a very light supper--since we ate ALL day, ha! Now we are going to bed so we can get up early and head to the beach for our last day--this will be a Maine first for me too :):)