April 29, 2013

When I Turn 65...

...photographing birds will definitely be a hobby. 

Who am I kidding?!  That's what I did Thursday afternoon!  It's already a hobby, 38 years too soon.

The snow geese have arrived at Potter Marsh for their yearly stopover before they continue their journey north for the summer.  They covered the ground like a snowy blanket while they ate their way through the marsh.

Ok, enough with the birds. As for the rest of my life, this is currently happening,


Here's [some of] the best of the past week,
  1. Rekindling an old relationship.
  2. Good thing she likes me, or these could really hurt.
  3. My baby Maya the musk ox (right) celebrated her 2nd bday.  Yes, at 250 lbs she is still my baby and yes, I remember and celebrate my animals' birthdays.
  4. Little white bear (who is now becoming a polar bear).
  5. Reaching out to my future 65 year old self at Potter Marsh.
  6. An attempt at a decent meal while Steve is on the road.  
  7. Cheering on my favorite hockey team.
  8. A little shuffle board action.
  9. I'll never pass up a good country cover band.

ps. In exactly 2 months, this boy will be stuck with me forever (muhahaha) :)

Have a good week friends!

Linkin' up with Sami's Shenanigans for Weekend Shenanigans.

April 23, 2013


A-las-kaaaahhhh.  Whenever I say the word Alaska, I still see Sandra Bullock from "The Proposal" saying it in my head, just like that. A-las-kahhhhhh.  

A state that most people only dream about visiting, we have had the pleasure of calling home for the past [almost] 3 years.  2 years, 6 months and 4 days to be exact. 

The view from our first apartment.
I still remember the day we found out we were moving to Alaska like it was yesterday.  (The story, and my very first blog post, can be found here.)  Like Sandra Bullock, I was a bit thrown off. And by thrown off I mean, throwing a minor temper tantrum at 24 years old in the middle of Walmart because I wouldn't get my sunny weather in the Carolinas.  Five days later, we waved goodbye to my parents at the airport and began our journey -  Detroit to Houston, Houston to Seattle, Seattle to our destination... Anchorage, Alaska.  

When landed around midnight, in complete darkness.  We grabbed our luggage and headed to the curb to wait for the team trainer, someone we only knew by name.  After a quick drive to our new home and a deep sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow, we woke up the next morning, looked out the window and were in awe.  We had the perfect view of the mountains.  For what was such an unexpected, and at first difficult to process, move, we finally felt at ease.  The mountains made us feel at ease.  They were comforting. This was our new home... Alaska was now the place we called home.

2 years, 6 months and 4 days later, it is still home.  It is our home. And an amazing one at that.  

A friend once told us we're basically stuck with Alaska.  That we'll never be able to get it out of our systems.  Her words exactly were, "Alaska will steal a piece of your heart."  Nowhere else combines the conveniences of modern living with the freedom and adventure of the vast wilderness. If you get the chance to visit, I highly recommend it.  If you have been fortunate enough to live here, or just past through, you know the above is oh so true.

Have you ever visited Alaska?  
Is it on your bucket list?


April 22, 2013

5 Ways to Celebrate Mother Nature

Although Earth Day is a great reminder for us to be environmentally conscious, don't let you environmental actions stop once April 23 hits. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother Nature all year long:

Plant a Tree
Not only do trees refresh the air by taking in the bad and breathing out the good, they have additional benefits as well - they provide wildlife habitat, improve property value and aesthetic, reduce utility bills, prevent soil erosion and provide sound buffers! 

Conserve Energy
Turn off the water when you brush your teeth, take a shorter shower, wash your laundry in cold water, carpool to work, turn off the lights when you leave the room, unplug electronics not in use.  Not only will conserving energy reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will also save you $$$!

The 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce waste - bring your own grocery bags next time you go to the store and buy a reusable water bottles.  Reuse an item - refurnish an old piece of furniture.  Reduce waste - buy products with less packaging or compost organic waste. Do your part by recycling glass, paper, plastic and other reusable materials.

Buy Locally
Visit a local farmer's market or start your own vegetable garden!  Buying local or growing your own is environmentally friendly and will save on fuel and keep money within the community. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is also a great family activity!

Get Outside!
Go for a walk, ride your bike, grab your favorite book and a lawn chair.  Get outside and appreciate this beautiful planet we call home.

How are you going to celebrate Earth Day?


On a different note, the trend continues and its been a busy past couple of weeks. 
Enjoy some pictures!

  1. Totally normally right?  Moose knuckles in the walk-in at work.  These are going to make an animal very very happy.
  2. Margarita Monday.  Why not.
  3. 10 years ago he walked into my life, 8 years ago he became the love of my life. Celebrating 8 wonderful years together, and our last anniversary as a happily unmarried couple :)
  4. Mo made a new friend.  All it takes is a little pb to win his heart.
  5. Mo sunbathing and taking in the view.  (Does that make me weird?!)
  6. Young love.  Just call me matchmaker Mar.
  7. With a name like "Camp", this eyeshadow and I were destined to be together.  Wedding makeup?  Check!
  8. Heat wave!  But, I'll take it!
  9. Wedding planning and crafts continue...

Enjoy your week friends!


April 8, 2013

Weekend Update

Oh why hello Monday.  You came far too soon.  Can we please rewind back to Saturday? And get rid of all the snow Mother Earth decided to dump on us while you're at it?

Friday night I had a Zoo Snooze (Exactly how it sounds, we sleep over at the Zoo with a bunch of Scouts. Pretty fun.)  The night was beautiful - I could still see my hand in front of my face at 10pm and it was hoodie weather.  Little did I know that was Mother Earth's cruel way of teasing us, because when we woke up Saturday morning, there was at least a foot of snow on the ground.  My how fast things change around here.

And the snow keeps coming.  Another foot anticipated today.  I know, it's my own fault for getting my hopes too high after all of that sunny weather last week, but a girl can dream can't she?

Saturday was filled with hockey playoffs.  I love the atmosphere in the rink this time of the year.

Yesterday morning I dusted off my indoor soccer shoes (literally, there was dust on them) and played for the first time in 5 years.  It was exactly what I needed, pretty sure I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  But I'm definitely paying for it this morning... hobbling around the apartment like a 90 year old and having Steve have to help me put pants on.  I'm hurting in places I didn't even know it was possible to hurt. By the time I recover it will be time to do it all over again. Worth it though :)

Yesterday was Wrestlemania.  Yes, we watch wrestling in apt 8. Go ahead, judge. I can probably name all of the wrestlers and have no shame in saying I was a little disappointed in the Rock/Cena match.  It lost me. The Rock is still pretty good looking though, so that made up for it.

Last night we went to bed before the sun had fully set.  There may be over a foot of snow on the ground, but its still spring.

How was your weekend?

Link up with Sami's Shenanigans for Weekend Shenanigans.


April 5, 2013

The Past [Some Odd] Weeks

It's April!! Contrary to back east, the saying "April showers brings May flowers" doesn't really apply up here in the north.  It's more like "pot holes, puddles, cracked windshields and slush bring longer days and 40 degree weather". Sigh.

While that doesn't sound as attractive as flowers, I think I'd take breakup over rain any day, especially if it means longer days and sunshine. And for those of you cringing at 40 degree weather, that's hoodie weather to us northerners.

The past some odd weeks (I can't even remember the last time I posted) have been busy ones.  Since pictures are always better than words, here's a photo recap...

Mother Nature decided to give us one last dose of winter...

Left: At 3 months old, Steve's littlest biggest fan made it to watch him play (yes, it counts even if she slept the whole time).

Right: This fancy smancy robot-looking thing is our new Distance Education cart.  Pretty soon we'll be able to connect with classrooms in Alaskan villages and all over the world.  I am PUMPED!

We held our 2nd Annual Earth Hour Event.  I must mention that this is only the second Earth Hour event in the state of Alaska, the first ever in Anchorage.  This year the founders, World Wildlife Fund, joined us and next year, with their help, we're hoping to make it even bigger!

These beautiful Bohemian waxwings flocked to the Zoo in 100s.  We had been waiting all year to see them and luckily I was armed with my camera on the one day they chose to visit. (Call me a nerd, but I'm pretty sure Steve and I will be birders when we retire, whether he likes it or not.)

I'm sure most have heard or seen pictures of this little guy, Kali.  He's been the talk of the town world lately.  And for good reason... what a cute face.

Left: I never buy flowers for myself.  I am against buying flowers, even being given flowers.  But, with it blizzarding outside that day, I was desperate for some spring, so I caved and bought some tulips to bring the spring to me.

Right: Oh Peabody... Words can't even describe how much I love this bird.

A girlfriend and I formed "MarStar Catering" and cooked Easter dinner for the entire hockey team. Good food, good drinks and good company, in the form of 20+ grown men crammed into our apartment... I'd say it was a pretty big success!

Met up with an old friend that drove in from the Yukon.  It was good to catch up over some local brews.

Ps. I think this salmon keg is a must have...

Took part in a beer and wine tasting, 3 floors of it to be exact...

The classic "too much wine" selfie.

Good beer, good food, a good view and FINALLY some good weather. Hello spring!

So that's my past couple weeks in a nutshell.  As of tonight our lives will be consumed with hockey playoffs.  The road to the Kelly Cup begins. Love nothing more than being a #1 fan, but I think it's safe to say, I'm ready for summer.

Have a good weekend friends!

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