Another Year Over – A New One Just Begun

After a Very Merry Christmas and Very Happy Birthday I look back on 2015. Along with many amazing opportunities and adventures came some great life lessons of 2015.  The 27 things I learned in 2015:

  1. BUYING A HOUSE IS STRESSFUL, kinda sucky, and one of the most awful processes EVER.
  2. Coming home to your first house that you spent all your savings on and now own is priceless.  The water pump may break and cost $1200, the refrigerator may not close, and the house may shake when people sneeze upstairs, but there is nothing like sitting at home in your pajamas with your family in your own house.
  3. It can be sunny in Kennicott!  When I first went two summers ago we had a torrential downpour the entire time we were there, including the full day glacier hike.  It even went into a nice sleet while we were having lunch.  This past summer my dad came up to Alaska and we spent some of the most sunny days of the year hiking that same glacier.  I got pretty sun burned. 22
  4. You will never win if you never submit!  I learned to put myself out there!  No one can better advocate for yourself than YOU!  Excited to be a part of the Alaska Railroad Calendar!  Thank you all for voting!image
  5. You never can predict what could be just around the corner!
  6. If you don’t succeed – TRY TRY AGAIN!  It only took 9 ocean wildlife tours to catch breaching whales!  We saw breaching whales on 2 of the 9, but the camera gets a little shaky in 4-6ft swells out of Seward! image
  7. Mudflats really are dangerous.  Contrary to my smile in this photo I am stuck and it only got worse from there.  At one point my mom and I were both stuck, I lost my boot, and I fell on my butt in the mud.
  8. Mud flat mud is probably one of the worse smelling muds ever.  The pants I wore will never be the same. mom pic 2
  9. Most things spectacular are worth waiting for.  Whether it is waiting for a house offer to be accepted, waiting to hear back from a photo competition, or waiting for a salmon to leap up the waterfall.  Brown Bear Katmai National Park July 2 2015 41 Crop LOW Watermark Blog
  10. I would rather be pocket poor and rich in experience.  Josh always complains we have no money, yet he never complains that we don’t get to experience Alaska!  From Denali to Chicken, Wrangell to Katmai we have been able to go to many places this year.
  11. Josh – Don’t read this (even though you are probably 1 of only 5 people who will ha!) but the best cookies ever made or that ever existed are the peanut butter cookies from Fire Island in Anchorage.  SO delicious – these cookies and Alaska micro brew can make any day and adventure that much better! image
  12. Friends and Family who CRAFT together – STAY together!  🙂
  13. If you never go out and photograph in the rain you might as well not come to Alaska in the summer – especially when my mom is in the state!  She doesn’t necessarily love rain but has gotten a lot of opportunities to be in it!  We had thought that 2015 was going to be the year that she didn’t have almost constant rain in Seward… there is always 2016!
  14. Hole-y Bread is not that good?image
  15. Google your boat, tour company, pilot BEFORE you book!  Although some of the stories afterward can be entertaining (if you survive), it is always a good idea to check up on people before you put your life in your hands.
  16. When we pack for trips we pretty much bring it all!image
  17.   I learned that there should be an air release valve at the ends of each floor for baseboard heating. Thank you rental house for teaching me more about plumbing than I ever wanted to know in my life.  Which leads me to number 18 image
  18. When the heat goes out in winter, or September for that matter – it gets cold
  19. I am NOT coordinated on ice.  At least I had a cute, sweet, fluffy company! image
  20. I learned about the capital of Alaska!  Juneau has really great beer, abundant eagles, and really expensive hotels!
  21. I learned some great news and celebrated some great events!  I got to meet some new little humans this year!  I love getting to know them and getting to spend time with them!  My BFFFL said YES to her man and got engaged!  Happy Happy times!
  22. Squirrels enjoy Lynx creek pizza crumbs – he was NOT invited to do so.  He also got into Jillian Jeep!  How rude! image
  23. You can eat STEAK with your bare HANDS!  Yum? 2015-09-04 21.56.41
  24. No picture for this one BUT spanx or shapewear is NOT suitable and does NOT pass for a bathing suit.
  25. I am not good at catching large halibut and josh isn’t that great either! image
  26. Although art shows and bazaars are hard work, expensive, and very time consuming, it is always so much fun to get to meet members of the community and to get to share my art and stories with others.  I am so appreciative of all the opportunities photography has given me and all the amazing things the Lord has allowed me to see!

     

  27. How important family is.  I miss my Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado families!  I am so blessed to get to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and get to spend my time here with Josh and my furkids!  I wish the rest of our families would just move on up already but I appreciate our trips we take and the times we get to share together.  I learned I also take way too many photos of my pets and that my mom and I have trouble taking selfies!  🙂

    Now you ask what is in store for 2016?  I definitely can’t predict the future but I know we will be up for more trips, more wildlife, more sunsets, more sunrises, more AK beers, and more ADVENTURES!  So far we are looking forward to visiting LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK & KAKTOVIK ALASKA!  More to come as these trips get closer!

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