Tuesday, September 29, 2009

26 Weeks

Not too much has been happening around here the past week, so there hasn't been much to post about! However, Shannon got a job offer on Friday and starts training on Wednesday. I got a part-time job today and start on Wednesday, and I'm also going to fill in at a place I used to work if they ever need someone. So, that's the good news from our end!

We went to Fred Meyer today to find me some work clothes, because I need a white or black shirt and black pants for my new job. However, come to find out, Fred Meyer does not sell maternity clothes. That means that there is nowhere nearby that sells maternity clothes. "Nearby" meaning "within 180 miles." We'll have to drive to Anchorage if I need anything else!

So, to tide my two remaining readers over until I get something more interesting to post about, here is the best 26-week belly picture we could conjure up. I'm starting to feel fat.

26 weeks. I can still wear regular clothes, although maternity pants are much more comfortable if I'm sitting.

Now, in my defense, I know I'm not fat, just pregnant. However, when you've never struggled with your weight, never had problems with outgrowing your clothes or needing "fat clothes" for times when you weigh 5-10 pounds more than is your ideal weight, and are used to your hips being bigger than your waist, it's difficult to watch your figure go out the window. Especially when I don't even look that pregnant yet...I just look thick. I know that our baby needs the fat/blood/uterus/amniotic fluid/etc. that is making up the 17 pounds I've gained so far, but still, it's hard. I think that after being pregnant I will be able to sympathize much better with people who struggle with their weight. Even if I have a valid reason to gain this weight, I still think I'll understand how it feels emotionally to be larger than you'd like better than I ever have before. My brother called me "fatty" jokingly last night and I burst into tears. Sigh. Maybe some of the hormones will leave in 14 weeks too?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Skyline '09

We did it. We survived Skyline.

I hiked Skyline back in May '06, and I must say, I remember that it was hard. But I don't remember it taking 2 1/2 hours to get up. And I certainly don't remember it taking 1 1/2 hours to get down. I think it was more like 45 minutes to get down. But, then again, I was three years younger and not 5 1/2 months pregnant back then either. At any rate, we made it, and it was worth the four hours it took us and the aching, throbbing legs that we are now experiencing. I'll be surprised if either of us are able to really walk tomorrow.

We started at the base of the mountain, at mile 61 on the Sterling Highway. We parked, finished packing the backpack, and set out.

This doesn't look that bad, does it? 1800 feet to the top!

The sign lies. It's at least 1 1/2 miles to the top. No way does it take anyone 1 1/2 hours to walk down one mile.

We huffed and puffed our way up the mountain, slowly, but surely. Going up is tiring, for sure, your heart pounding as fast as it does when you're running as fast as you can. A lot of the trail looked like this:

And this is an easy part.

But we were rewarded with views like this on the way up:

About 1/4 of the way up.

Another bit further up...you can start to see the second lake in the distance.

Taking a break for a photo.

We found some snacks:

Wild raspberries

And much further up, wild blueberries.

And finally, we reached the top:

When there's no one else around, you have to do the best you can!

Shannon at the summit, with the Sterling Highway headed west in the background.

Shannon's favorite picture of the day: an almost-25-week belly pic at the summit of Skyline, with the Kenai mountains in the background.

So after dawdling at the top for about ten minutes, resting, signing the guest book, and donning our gloves (it was chilly!) for the way back down, we headed back down the trail. Going up was hard on our quads and butts; going down was hard on our knees. We both were feeling pretty old by the time we reached the bottom, with our legs and knees aching.

Heading down.

But it was worth it. I mean, how many times in your life do you get the chance to do something like this? Not enough. And besides, when else would Shannon have gotten to see a ptarmigan in the wild?

A ptarmigan, the Alaska state bird, waiting for us behind the sign introducing the trail.

Overall, it was a great day, and a great hike. Shannon says that knowing what he knows now, he'll never hike it again. But he's glad he did it once. And he thinks I'm crazy for doing it twice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Moose for Kristel

After nine days in Alaska, we have seen eight moose. This isn't a big deal to me, since I grew up seeing them, but Shannon is way excited. So, we've decided to keep count of how many moose we see in five months. Kristel has been wanting to see a picture of Shannon with a moose, but I doubt that will happen (since they scare easily and are dangerous if you get too close), so hopefully these will do!

This guy was waiting for Shannon when he got back from his run yesterday.

And these two came waltzing by our dining room windows while we were eating dinner last night. The one on the right is the momma moose, and the one on the left is the baby boy moose. He was born this summer and is 3-4 months old.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where We've Been

Alright, so it's been awhile since I posted a real post. Hopefully now that things are settled down I'll be better about posting more regularly, but until then, I'll update everyone on what's been going on with us over the last month or so.

The first big news is that we've moved. About 3 weeks ago we had our last days at work, and then we had a huge yard sale in which we sold almost everything we owned. We sold all of our furniture and lamps and decorative things, and packed up our clothes and sentimental things, said goodbye to our friends, and drove to Asheville to see my dad and stepmom for a couple of days. After visiting with them and dropping some boxes off to let them store for us for 9 months, we drove to Alabama to spend 8 or 9 days with Shannon's family. We went to the Auburn vs. LA Tech football game and my record held: if I'm at an Auburn game, Auburn wins. We just spent our time in Birmingham seeing family and Shannon's friends, playing games, and relaxing. It was a great time.

Last Wednesday we flew up to Alaska, where we will be until February. We're living with my mom and brother, and looking for jobs. Our plan is to work, spend some time with my family, and get some serious relaxing and recouping from 4 years of school done before the baby is born. About 6 weeks after the baby is born, we plan on moving to Alabama for a couple of months to spend some time with Shannon's family. Then it will be off to training for a couple of months, and then finally we'll head overseas.

Speaking of the baby, about three weeks ago we found out that it's a GIRL! The ultrasound doctor was not 100% sure about this, but she said she was pretty sure. At any rate, we're very excited, and if it turns out to be a boy, the only part that we'll be disappointed about is having to return the cute girl clothes that we've bought.

Well, I think that should give everyone an update on what we're up to and why I haven't posted. Now that we're kind of settled, I hope to post regularly. The past month has been insane, as I think you can all see now, but we are going to have a pretty chill 16 weeks until Lane is born, so I will be posting about Shannon's first winter in Alaska and all the adventures we're sure to have here. Oh once-loyal-readers, please come back!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

22 and 24 weeks

24 weeks (yesterday). The bump is growing!

22 weeks

So...sorry I've been a bit behind on the posting! We have been traveling and on the road, and I haven't been able to use my own computer to access the internet and upload photos. Now I am at the mercy of the public library if I want to use my computer, so if there is a shortage of pictures, that's why.