a whole year at a glance

Wow, what is this thing here.  It seems vaguely familiar, as if I’ve been here before.  I see these words and pictures, as if they were friends, close companions, but alas, we have not been together in a very long time.  Wait, did I use to come here often?  Did I spend time in the halls of this blog, sharing bits of my family life?

Alright, that’s just a dramatic way of saying, “holy moly, it has been a long while!”  Therefore, what better way to jump back in than to start a new year off looking back at all the snippets of the prior year (especially one I never blogged in)!  So here we go….


Velda holding newborn EsperanzaV holding her brand new baby sister

I’ll be quite honest, I do not remember a whole lot from this month!  No, I am not getting old.  Well, I am but that is not the reason why.  About sixteen days prior to the start of this new year, I gave birth to a baby giant (a story for another time, but yes, she really was a giant, an 11 lb giant!).  All that to say is what I do remember from this month is sleepless nights, sore breasts (breastfeeding), sleepless nights, life with three kiddos, more sleepless nights, lots of diaper changes, and just an overall zombie feeling from lack of sleep.  Oh and did I mention sleepless night?!  In all fairness, my mom did come to help for about two weeks and I so enjoyed having her with me, making delicious dinners, snuggling Esperanza so I can shower, sleep, eat, etc and dote on my other two girls as they were also adjusting to a new human in the house.

Besides bringing a human into the world, well technically that was December 2016; so besides adjusting to life with another addition to the tribe, two other noteworthy things happening in our life was a) we were building a home here in the last frontier and b) I said yes to joining four other women in leading the women’s ministry at one of the campuses at our church.  In case the new baby wasn’t enough, I went completely loco!snowy january


sun through the trees

If I didn’t remember much of January, well February is even worse!  Cause I don’t remember jack!  Let’s blame it on baby brain, lots of home building decisions and old age!  But, I have plenty of pictures to prove life did happen!

Wait, I do remember something huge that happened!!  The huzband’s younger sister, who lives in Colombia, not only took her first trip to the United States, visiting family, but she also came to visit us in Alaska!

Ani and VeldaAni (the huzband’s younger sister) and V

life with threelife with three

new kitchen in boxesour brand new kitchen all wrapped up in boxes

snow baby esperanzaour little snow baby


feed me empanadas

The huzband’s younger sister was still visiting with us (her whole stay was about three months).  I loved getting to spend time with her, getting to know her better and hopefully she got to know us better.  (And fingers crossed, we didn’t show our crazy side too much!)

This month, I also got to help co-lead the second team sent out from our church to serve with New York City Relief!  I am thankful for my partner in crime, Jessica, who took the reigns, as I realized I wouldn’t be able to lead like I did the year before with a three month old baby!  (And by co-lead, I mean she did all the work while I spouted off ideas!)  Jessica is one amazing woman, who loves God dearly and loves people deeply!  I am so grateful for her as a leader and as a friend!  (She is taking another team this February to serve with New York City Relief again!  She’s a pure rock star!)

I also want to mention two really good friends of mine that helped me keep my sanity on this trip.  Have you ever flown with little, wee children on an airplane?  If you have, I don’t even have to explain anything; you just automatically feel my pain.  If you have not, allow me to paint you a picture.  When flying out of AK, more times than not, your flight is a red eye.  Imagine transferring planes in the middle of god forsaken hours with a three month old and a dead to the world sleeping two year old (who majority of the flight was bouncing off the seats)!  Or imagine the moment when both children decide to start crying uncontrollably because they are exhausted, hungry, cranky, tired of their small, confined space, aren’t getting their way and are a stubborn, strong headed two year old therefore makes the decision to start kicking the man sitting next to them!  There’s more, there is always more, but just know it is a test of patience and good attitude; need I say more.  Therefore, I am so beyond grateful for my friend Joelle who planned her trip so she could fly from AK to NJ with my two littles and myself; as well, my friend Renee flew home with us!  I am still so grateful I could cry!  I have amazing friends!

grandma holding esperanza                  Grandma Velda and baby Esperanza

MARCH joelle relief bus front doormy good friend Joelle

MARCH nycr teamthe team

MARCH rose laying at doodads  my little Rose gets cozy in random spots (here, the hallway at Doodad & Gram’s)


APRIL women retreatfrom women’s retreat, leaving at the “door” what holds us back from encountering God

I returned from my trip east and that weekend was our Women’s Retreat!  It was the first retreat since our little crew (we need some sort of nick name, Women Posse, Chic Crew, Ladies in Power, just kidding!) started serving in Women’s Ministry.  I did not have much in planning this retreat (newborn baby, missions trip) but what an amazing group of women that came together, sought God’s heart, and purposely loved our community of women so very well!!  It was the bomb diggity of retreats!  (That is until this years retreat, April 6-8, just saying…

On a completely BIGGER note, the building of our home was complete!  Hooray!  We closed and moved into our first Alaskan home!  As well, we bid farewell to the husband’s sister, only to welcome his mom the following week!  Her first time to the states as well.  (Technically, we said goodbye, then moved, May started, and amidst our moving, mom arrived…but who is keeping track!)

APRIL ani esperanzaAni and Esperanza

APRIL rose in windowRose in our new and empty home

APRIL smiley esperanzawhat a dreamy, squishy, delicious baby

april-butte-joelle-ani.jpghiking the Butte

APRIL velda rose carpet playingthese girls were excited for their new house


MAY sleeping esperanzamy sleeping baby

We got to enjoy the huzband’s mom visiting us all month long, spending time with her granddaughters, two of whom she met for the very first time!  This was a special time for me, having the huzband’s mom be a part of our daily life, getting a glimpse into her granddaughters world, experiencing Alaska, being able to attend end of the school year performances, mother/daughter teas, field trips, sitting together for dinner and more!  Many times we take these small, mundane moments for granted.  I can’t even adequately express how much it meant to my heart to have Amparo with us!  In the twelve years of marriage, this is the third time we have been able to spend time together (first two were in Colombia).  My heart is so very grateful for our time together.  I cherish it deeply and I so look forward to the next time!  (Plus, the woman is a baby whisperer!)

With May brought the huzband’s and I twelfth year of marriage.  We also saw the end of fourth grade and the end of V having the same teacher she has had the past three years.  A very bitter sweet moment.

MAY amparo with girlsend of the year school field trip with Amparo

may-pirate-velda-with-mom.jpgV was a pirate in her class play

MAY velda rose playingofficially all moved in and in process of breaking the house, breaking in the house


JUNE foggy hatchersGold Mint Trail

As we bid farewell to the huzband’s mom after her month long visit, we also welcomed my grandmother for two weeks, whom V is named after.  We actually had one day where the two visits crossed; meaning the huzband’s mom met someone in my family (in person) for the very first time!

This month also held the huzband’s BIG 40 (Viejo) and our V competed in her first kids triathlon!  Mixed in were hikes, keys locked in cars (thankfully not mine), all women’s training at the shooting range, enjoying our new backyard (or deck when we couldn’t go on the freshly planted grass), lots of house projects, unpacking, saying goodbye to our faithful jeep (it died on us), fun with the neighbor kids and just regular ol’ life.

MAY amparo grandma velda with girls and dogsour girls (and dogs) with Abuelita (Amparo) and great Grandma Velda

JUNE kids hikinggroup hikes with friends

JUNE velda triour mini triathlete

JUNE juan walking with girlsReflection Lake

JUNE kids in kiddie poolthe closest thing to fun in the water (okay, a bit dramatic)

JUNE rae with bullet

And the rest of the year was just okay.  The end.

Just kidding.

More like ‘to be continued’.  I like to include way too many pictures so I’ll spare you a ridiculously long post.  Too late?  Oh well, I think you can handle it!  =)

9 thoughts on “a whole year at a glance

  1. So fun to read! You are a captivating writer. I felt like you left it on a cliff ha ha. I was ready for more…. cause I know there is lots more. Love ya! ❤

    Ps. Not too long.

  2. How wonderful was this…. You put your thoughts into words very well. You and your family are a blessing and we love you all.

    1. Thank you Jody!! Love you and your family too! Maybe I’ll be reading about your adventures in the future!!! =)

  3. Love peeking into your life! Amazing to see and hear how full your life has been. Must be what keeps you so young. So happy that you have picked up the blog again.

  4. Awe Rachel, you are such a gifted writer! You need to do it more. I really love the last picture! Girls with guns…how fun was that. What a full and blessed life you have!!

    1. Girls with Guns!! I was so honored to have such wonderful instructions taking time to instruct. 😜 I really appreciate it!!

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