I spent the weekend at a lovely ladies get away. It was so beautiful, and the company was even better. I am amazed by the wonderful Relief Society sisters I have. They inspire me and are wonderful examples of womanhood in all its varieties. I feel so blessed to be a part of that organization. As all holidays they have to come to an end, and I returned home to my boys, who had cleaned the house and done the shopping while I was away, yes My Mr. is superman! Leaving me time to spend with our little man, there is nothing quite like snuggling with my little Mr.
A special thanks to all who have kept us in there minds during the last few years and helped get our name out there to adopt. We are hugely blessed to have our beautiful little boy.
Adoption doesn’t end here! Our little Mr. is going to need a sibling in the future and so we are still in need of your thoughts and support. It took 4 years to find this special addition to our family. Adoptions are at an all time low, it is getting increasingly hard to expand a family through adoption. So your lovely references and thoughts can be a huge help to us. Little Mr.’s incredible birthmother was referred to us by a family friend. You may think that the agencies find adoption opportunities to create our family, but it just isn’t so anymore. Adoptions are more often done just as ours was through referrals. Which I really believe to be the most divine way of helping adoptive families expand. It increases the love and helps reassure families and birth mothers that this is God’s plan for them, and your assistance can help increase that testimony. So please don’t forget about us! We love and appreciate all you have done, your prayers have been felt and we have shed many tears in realizing how much we are loved. Thank you!
It’s official and final. With the finalization decree from the state it was official the our adoption of our little Mr. was official. Which meant we got to go to the temple and participate in the sealing of our family. We believe that families are forever and that they extend into the eternities. And since little Mr. came to us in a different way other they by my giving birth to him we have the opportunity to go to our temple and be sealed as if he were born to us. This was the final portion of this adoption and the poignant part for me that it was all complete.
Not many get this amazing opportunity to go to the Temple and be sealed again, it made the first time even more meaningful as we have continued to live in a way that allows us to have this sacred blessing with our son. An experience that is beyond my scope of emotion to describe. The long wait has been worth it in so many ways, someday I will share it in detail but for now I will be grateful enough to have this day forever in my memory.
He has felt like my son from the moment he was born, and now everything is official in Heaven and on Earth. I’m so blessed.
8 years ago I made a birthday wish to have by my big 30ths birthday, and secretly since with each candle blown out I wished again and again. So with my birthday looming this weekend I reflect on how this wish has finally come true. My little Mr. arrived a few months early and just in time to make this birthday my most indescribable. Now I begin my 30th year with the greatest gift and the greatest joy.
(I share a few images of me and our little love. I treasure these special images)
So you might remember My Mr.s “pre Man-cation” earlier this year (here). That is the typical man-cation with the occasional elongated backpacking trip at the beginning or end. My Mr’s Man-cantion compadre Ben has had a massive crush on Alaska for a year, My Mr. said it escalated to a full blown obsession after he and his fantastic wife took a trip there last year. So it was pretty much a given that Ben was going to do whatever it took to get back there. My Mr. coyly asked what would I think if He and Ben did a trip there together this summer and without hesitation I told him; “Go it’s an experience of a life time!” So they planned, and planned, and planned and . . . well to get the idea, these guys like to plan. Now I turn it over to My Mr, an abridged version as the original write up was way too long to post.
I purposefully got a window seat on the flight up so I could see what this place was all about. Majestic is the best word I can think of. Seattle has rivers, ocean, and forests. Utah and Colorado have mountains. Alaska has it all but in Texas-sized portions. Giant mountains that reach ritght to the edge of the sea, giant glaciers that look like massive rivers frozen in time, the place is just amazing. Jack London had good reason for staying as long as he did. It truly is the last frontier even still!
Day 2 – Jim’s Creek and Montana Creek
After off-roading a bit we found the spot on the beach at Jim’s creek where all the other cars were. We fished there for a few hours, but didn’t have any bites. The closest I got was I actually felt a salmon smack into my leg as it was swimming upstream! We saw a huge eagle and the vistas were just unbelievable. Not a bad place to be even if the fish aren’t biting.
In one very large hole I hooked into a pretty nice rainbow trout, it was a beauty and gave a really good fight pulling it in. While we couldn’t target the kings, and didn’t see a lot of rainbow action, just watching those huge salmon swim in the river was an awesome sight to see.
Pretty soon most of the river was empty except for us and a few diehards. We fished until 8PMand finally decided we’d better head back.
We drove down the Turnagain arm towards the Kenai peninsula. Some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen. Huge mountains pushing straight into the sea, and the giant deadly glacial delta. All of these glacial rivers drain out to the sea in the turn again arm. When the tide is out, the sand stretches for miles, but you’re not supposed to walk on it. The glacial silt goes thousands of miles down, if you walk out you’ll sink, get stuck, and the tide will come back in.
Day 4 – Kenai & Trout Fishing
We got up early and got down to the dock just in time to meet our guide. He was a bit of a character, and once we started joking he joked right along with us, giving Ben the nickname “Benni-san” and Dwanye that of “Johnny High Stick”. The trout fishing was poor. We each hooked a few, but nothing to write home about. We got done with the float and decided to head to the cabin we’d be staying at.
We headed to the confluence of the Russian with the Kenai and I got my first taste of combat fishing! The fish were definitely in more up there, and I hooked in and landed my first sockeye! I hooked another one right after, I probably should have kept it but I decided to release it. We finally headed home well after dark (which means about 2AM in Alaska).
We were so exhausted that we didn’t wake up until 10:30! We decided to try another hole on the Kenai. It wasn’t as busy, and we hooked into quite a few, but only Dwayne was able to land one. We headed back to the cabin and fished from the cabin in the late afternoon. Ben and I both finally pulled in another sockeye each, and we tried our hands at fileting.
Day 6 – Halibut!
Monday morning (is it really Monday? The days were all a blur by now) we headed down to Ninilchik to go halibut fishing. We met up at the beach and got in the boat. At both of the beaches they don’t have a dock. You pull up your trailer and drop it off with the boat still on it. A big tractor comes up, hooks up to you, and drags your boat out into the water! We got into the water and headed out in some pretty choppy seas.
As soon as we stopped, however, Kevin started “chumming the water”. Our captain got three lines baited and into the water, and before he could start on a fourth we had a fish on! We never got more than five poles into the water, even though there were six of us fishing, because it was so fast! I pulled in the biggest halibut at 69lbs! It was fast, FUN fishing, and we filled the hold and each of us limited out. We got back to shore and had the fish processed at the guide shop. The kid doing the fileting was a bit redneck, but definitely good at what he did. I videoed (watch it here) it because it was amazing to watch how fast he could filet a huge halibut! We got back to the cabin and spent the rest of the night processing the ~400lbs of halibut meat that we brought back off the boat. Awesome haul!!!
Day 7 – Kenai & Anchorage
Tuesday we packed up and cleaned up around the cabin, and stopped at the confluence on our way back to Anchorage. I got another nice sized sockeye. I had at least four more on, but they all got off before we could net them. We finally packed up at the last possible minute and drove back to Anchorage.
Wednesday Ben and I headed out to get some last minute finishing in before our flights that night. We headed down again and tried our hands at California creek. We got the creek and the fish were shoulder to shoulder in the water. It was hard to pull the lure across the stream and not hook into a humpy. Fun, fast fishing. There was a grizzly higher up on the stream from where we were that kept moving down towards us. Finally some crazy Russian fisherman chased it off and started fishing above us. We moved upstream and fished for a while. I decided to cross to the other side, got halfway across the river and heard Ben yelling at me. I turned around to see him pointing at the grizzly that was now standing right where I was before I started crossing! It was close quarters with a juvenile bear, awesome! (watch it here) Finally we had to head back to pack and head home. We boxed up all our fish with dry ice, packed our bags, headed to the airport, and said goodbye to an awesome adventure in America’s last frontier!
Our crabbing trip was a total success and so fulfilling in pretty much every way. I just love living near water, the access to the Puget sound and the coast is so fantastic there is something so fresh about it, I can’t seem to get enough. Anyway we have a growing list of equipment we want to buy to better enjoy the outdoors in our new home and a canoe came to the top of the list as my love of sea food can be satiated by a couple of crab pots! So we took to investigating and saving a up a little money. Then came the pouring over craigslist postings until we found a great deal and great canoe. Settling on our lovely vintage orange canoe, which came with everything we needed to hit the water right away, which is just what we did. We bought our canoe from a really nice guy and then hit lake Washington for a quick test run. We loaded the boat with our gear and the pup of course and launched. The pup was so nervous, quickly grabbing on to my legs and hoisting himself onto a side position on my seat and lap. We headed out to the calm lily filled bay, the early morning sun to so beautiful on the lily pads and flowers. Ducks swam right up to the boat making Pax crazy. We paddled out a bit further and with each stroke Pax got more and more comfortable. Eventually he was patrolling the boat with ease front to back by himself, spending most of his time positioned at the front like the look out in the crows nest. We glided around under the 520 bridge and arboretum area bridges paddling through some small waterways leading out to the great expanse of the lake. It was amazing, and a upper body workout as my arms and shoulders ached the next day. It was so worth it though! We had a quick picnic out on the water and headed back to load up the boat. My Mr.’s engineering skills were put to use again to create hanging storage for it in our carport, by the evening it was carefully stored away, he’s kind of amazing like that! We can’t wait to use it in the coming weeks!
I received the nicest thank you gift for a sweet friend in our ward. I can’t tell you how incredibly nice this was of her to think of me. She didn’t need to go to that trouble but how nice is that, I was so touched! I made Pax take a seat next to it to show how big and lovely these yellow mums are. Won’t they look great with orange pumpkins below? I can’t wait! Until then I love coming home to this fun flowery surprise sitting at my door step.
We returned to the dock with a full heavy bucket of crab and I watched as the sun continued to create the most amazing colors in the sky, wanting to capture every last second. I was again reminded that unless we wanted to spend the night on the dock we needed to head back to camp. Back at camp a fun group waited for some yummy cobbler and conversation. Sam gently played his violin and the music echoed through trees. We star gazed on the dock of the Cranberry lake, and then headed back to camp for bed. I was sad to go to sleep realizing that this quick day trip would be over in a few short hours. It was an amazing trip and one that we have to repeat again and again!
Yep, I’m a grown woman and I still love to get a visit from my Mom! She came up to stay with me while Mr Mr. took off for the whiles of Alaska for a fishing trip. We dined out at some favorite places I had to have her try, her first sushi bar was a really fun experience; she was fearless and was willing to try anything! The a play in the park, Mom has always been a fan of Shakespeare, introducing me to it at a young age and often quoting lines from his plays to me. She really wanted to see this place, that we journeyed to a few weeks ago. She loved the photos from the ridge and wanted to see it for herself. So we took Pax and headed for the lookout. I worried I totally exhausted her with all the hiking but she did it with no problem and took in the amazing view from both the bottom and the top! And of course she and Pax had to have some snuggle time. She helped me with some sewing projects and just weeding the yard while I toiled away at work. What can I say my Mother is amazing and on top of that an incredible friend. It was a wonderful week with her round! I was sad to drop her at the airport, with only the comfort that it wouldn’t be long before I get to see her again!