One year ago on May 5th, we drove the last 286 miles of our cross country move, leaving Tok, Alaska and arriving in our final destination of Wasilla. In the evening of that Sunday, after one final flat tire on the trailer, we pulled into our new home town. It was surreal to be coming to the end of our journey. We had spent the past three weeks visiting family and friends, seeing for the first time parts of our country (and our continent) and living inside of a car. We had traveled through 16 states, two countries, had two (or three – I forget) flat tires and driven over 5,000 miles to reach this new place we would now call home.
I sit here now, a year later, reflecting on our first year here. To be honest, it’s hard to put into words. Probably most people thought we were crazy and well, they might not be wrong. I sometimes wonder myself about our sanity! (Though I wondered long before we moved to the coldest corner of the United States.) What I do know is I am grateful; I am grateful to call this our home, I am grateful for the community we are so honored to be a part of, I am grateful for the relationships we are building. Relationships I think our hearts have longed for for quite some time.
The past year hasn’t been without difficult times, many of them personal struggles I walked through within a new community. My heart was broken after our adoption was turned down, and I later struggled through a season of loneliness (just to share two). However, this is not about what I went through. This is about how more and more I find myself in a place of being overwhelmed with gratefulness. Who am I that I get to live this amazing life, with an awe inspiring husband, with a crazy, wild daughter in a beautiful land that when I look upon the mountains, I feel as though He created them Just. For. Me! I feel as though He has brought me to a place that fills my heart, mind and soul with His beauty. It comes in the form of freshly fallen snow or the glorious mountaintops. It comes in the form of little girls bonding and building friendships. It comes in the form of someone taking the time to pour into my husband. It comes in the form of Him teaching me about Himself through relationships, healing, vulnerability, and trust. It comes in many forms, all which are treasures that I store up within my heart.
In the end, this year has gone quickly. It doesn’t feel as though a whole year has passed. And the exciting part is it is only just the beginning. To be honest, we have barely scratched the surface.
So thank you. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Thank you for loving my little family as we stumble, fall, stretch and grow. Thank you for encouraging us, whether it was many years ago as we learned A LOT at our little church in Hicksville, Long Island to yesterday when you took a moment to check on us or thought I would be a good person to share your struggle with. Thank you for supporting us all the times in between, as you witnessed us becoming one to braving the decision to move away from all we know. Thank you for taking a chance on us when you thought we would be a good fit for a group of crazy runners. Thank you for loving us in seasons that you didn’t know we desperately needed your love! Thank you because my heart is overflowing with gratefulness for YOU!
just a few pictures of our first year in Alaska
I am now officially a coffee drinker and oh is it glorious
top of Lazy Mountain (it is NOT a lazy mountain)
who is this hardcore little mountain girl?
just a couple baby moose hanging out in our yard
perhaps I get very excited about petite homemade pumpkin pies
my first broken bone (this picture is completely set up)
for most Alaskans it’s not a big deal, but our first time walking & driving on a frozen lake
I can’t get mail brought to my house but mail will be brought to a box in the middle of a frozen lake!