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Good Things

This is a monthly series on the blog where I catalogue all the good things that have happened lately. Mostly, they’re happy and positive. Sometimes, the best things in life are challenges that push us to grow and stretch. It’s so important to me to take note of all the emotions I experience, to validate every feeling and process them individually. Part of processing my life in a healthy, productive way is to practice gratitude on a regular basis.

Good Things: Special Edition

It’s finally here!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I couldn’t help myself this year– the house is already decorated for Christmas– but I’m thinking it will only add a more jolly vibe to today’s festivities. Which aren’t technically happening in our house. Tyler will be busy making the most delicious and extravagant ham while I’m working in the bakery all morning, but then we will be headed to our friends’ house to celebrate with a larger crowd.

It’s been awhile since we posted about the Good Things happening in our lives, but of course we couldn’t let today go by without recording our thankful thoughts. A few biggies, and some randoms.

– Our jobs are so fun and enjoyable. We are thankful to be in places where we are truly appreciated, our individual talents are recognized and developed, and the overall attitude is “work hard, play hard”. We are thankful for the fact that we can pay our bills doing activities we love, and that we have the flexibility to take time off whenever we need/want.

– We booked our flights to visit our families! We are so very thankful for our wonderful parents who have loved and supported us even from afar as we’ve chosen to live nomadically for awhile. We are sad to be missing Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons with them, but we are so stoked to be flying down in January to spend a few weeks at home. Warmth and sunshine!

– We’re thankful for the community that we’re building here in Anchorage. It’s been fun to get to know so many new people, and we’re feeling more at home all the time. It’s been a great first stop on our travels and has given us confidence that there are good people out there and we can find them. Thankful especially that we’ve found different groups of people that we can connect with spiritually, based on life stage, and/or recreationally.

–  We are thankful for the fact that we don’t have to stress about our finances. We’ve been helping a few different friends with their own budgets, and whether they have more or less than us, it’s always a reminder to thank God for the blessing of financial security. It makes traveling more fun when we know we can afford the luxury of “experiences”.

– We are thankful daily that we get to live in this beautiful state. The mountains are breathtaking every. single. time. We can’t wait to do even more exploring during the second half (!!) of our stay here. It just needs to dump some snow now so we can ski!

And… we’re thankful that:

– my plant is surviving winter!! (thanks to Dad Murphy)
– we have our Hobbesy baby
– Tyler’s sous vide machine is awesome (and used multiple times a week)
– we have almost reached the low point of winter darkness and it doesn’t even seem that bad!
– our car Watson is still running strong
– Tyler and I could fix our brake problem ourselves (three cheers for basic mechanics!)
– our new hobby of ice skating, which works even without snow

And lastly, thanks to YOU! Thanks for following along with our life, travels, experiences, and thoughts. Thanks for the occasional comment that reminds us that people are interested. Thanks for liking our photos on facebook 🙂 Thanks for being our friends.


5 Good Things Lately

And the weeks just fly on by…. Where is the time going?! It’s already October! I am excited about Halloween this month because I love costume events, and let’s be honest, Halloween is really the only time our current culture approves of adults wearing costumes. Wish I could time travel back a bit and attend a masquerade ball! (That is actually on my bucket list. The masquerade. Not the time travel.) Anyway, Tyler and I won’t be trick-or-treating this year, but my bakery does go all out for every holiday so I’ll be able to break out my worn-once-a-year full body green embroidered jumpsuit. Hippie for life!

The past two weeks, we’ve enjoyed many a good thing. Here’s our top five:

1. We worked the same hours! It is so nice not to have to plan totally different calendars for the week. We got to see plenty of each other, and we were able to go out with lots of friends as a couple.

2. It’s been beautiful weather. After a couple rainy weeks in September, we ended the month (and began this one) with many sunshine-soaked days. While the hours of daylight are noticeably diminishing here, we still enjoy a few good hours thanks to our earlier work hours.

3. We took advantage of this weather and went for a hike/trail run last week! The woods were brilliant gold with all the leaves turning yellow, and we enjoyed gorgeous views off the cliffs and over the water. Anchorage is such an amazing city to work and play in.

4. Uber has been such a success! Tyler is an official driver, and he has found it to be both fun and lucrative. We’ve met the most interesting people both as passengers and drivers. I plan to sign up to drive one day a week soon too. We’ll be sure to share some more stories soon!

5. The friends that stayed with us shortly after we moved here came over for dinner recently, and it was such a soul-satisfying time. The meal was delicious– obviously, since Tyler cooked it– but the conversation was even better. I so strongly desire to have people in my life who want to have deep conversations about difficult and controversial topics. I like to think. And I like to let my feelings get in the way too, every once in awhile. It’s good to have friends who want to go to the farthest places with you. Those are the best, most cherished kind.

All in all, we have much for which to be thankful. Here’s to family, friends, sunshine, adventure.. and most of all, grateful spirits!

photos: trail running Turnagain Arm trails

Good Things Lately

We didn’t get around to blogging our highlights from last week, so I’m going to double up and include those today! Thankfully, we recently started keeping a running list of “good things” on our fridge so that we would take note and think about our gratitude throughout the week. This list also comes in super handy when we’re doing a wrap-up on the blog.

Last week:

1. I decided on a job! Although the thought of [finally] having a full-time, official teaching job certainly held its allure, I elected to stay at the bakery. In the end, it lined up better with our current goals and priorities. As hard as it was to pick,  I am relieved that decision is made, and I’m excited for the year ahead at Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop 🙂

2. We had a full week packed with social engagements. It was tiring but fulfilling to see our community start to grow here. We had dinner with an older gentleman from church, which was chock full of nuggets of wisdom and random stories. I had a girls night with friends where we broke out the homemade cider, a huge pot of stew, and a classic rom-com. Another night we drove around with my best friend looking for craigslist bookshelves and stumbled across the swankiest little retirement community. And of course I googled it as soon as we left to see if they take volunteers. Love me some oldies! 🙂 And the highlight was probably Friday night when we joined a friend at both a football and flag football game . Yes, flag football is a legit high school sport here. Many schools here have an absurd variety of offered sports.

3. Tyler had the chance to have a little one-on-one meeting with our pastor at Starbucks. We really love this pastor and his family– they were so hospitable and allowed us to stay with them our first week in Anchorage– so it’s nice to continue to deepen that relationship. It’s also great when you have support from spiritual elders in your life. Also, Starbucks just sweetens the deal every time.

4. We had a weekend away in Girdwood! It was so relaxing, and it gave us a lot of time just to talk and share what was going on not in our outward lives, but in our hearts and minds. We’ll share more about this fun weekend next week.

This week:

1. We attempted hasselback potatoes again, and I much preferred them over our last go at it. They were so soft and buttery on the inside, but crispy on the edges. Yum. We took them to some friends’ house for a small group dinner, and I left feeling so wonderfully stuffed from all the delicious things people brought. Something about food and community together…

2. We have officially become Uber drivers! Uber in Anchorage has just launched, and Tyler has been eagerly watching the lead-up since before we even arrived here. While we have no idea what this side job will look like in current schedule, we’re excited for the funny stories we’re sure to have.

3. I am thankful for the first dry day yesterday after a string of weeks of rain. I walked to work and really enjoyed the crisp fall air and semi-clear skies. As cozy as it is to be holed up in a bakery during a rain shower, I much prefer sunny days.

4. Later today, we’ll have a guest over for dinner. It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve had someone come to our home– we’ve been doing lots of pot lucks and dinners elsewhere– so it will be fun to get back to our usual hosting. I am truly grateful that we finally got a kitchen table so we can do things like this!

What good things have come your way lately?



Good Things & Great Weekend

I can’t believe September is here, and summer is over! I am just consoling myself with the fact that fall is my favorite season. Unfortunately there isn’t too much of a fall here, but I’m determined to enjoy what little I have. Despite the constant rain the last 48 hours, I have high hopes for a colorful leaves/crisp air/hot drinks/warm sweater transition into the wintery six months that come next.

This first week of September has been a good one though. We’ve been enjoying good things in several areas of life:

Work: Tyler got a raise this month. Cheers to him and his hard work ethic! And, I had an interview today at an elementary school in Anchorage! We’ll see what comes of it, but it’s encouraging nonetheless to know I have the option of using my degree. I have really loved working at the bakery and was actually planning to commit there full-time today, but then that interview was scheduled last minute. Keeping me on my toes, I guess! I should know next week what work will look like for me this year!

Food: Tyler made me homemade ice cream last week, and we enjoyed it with brownies and strawberries. True comfort foods. But this week I have just been craving milkshakes like nobody’s business, and we can’t seem to find a good one in this city!! (When we do, we’ll be sure to dedicate a whole post to a proper review.) So last night I thought, why not just use up that delicious, rich vanilla ice cream in my own milkshake concoction? And that’s just what I did. And I enjoyed every last sip. Also, we received a gift of wild caught Alaskan salmon today, and Tyler is already planning how he’d like to cook it. It will be our first taste of fresh fish since we’ve been here, and we’re super pumped! Since we just missed salmon fishing season here, and will have to wait til next year to catch our own, this fish is a real treat.

Mail: I received a really sweet package in the mail this week from a new friend. It had delicious goodies from Reading, PA.. and you better believe I immediately broke into those pretzels made fresh in her hometown! I just love mail so much. It makes my day every time. Also, we’re expecting a package from my family this weekend, including a DSLR camera handed down from my sister! So very blessed by her generosity. All around a stellar mail week for me.

This weekend we anticipate the rain is going to keep at it, so we’re finally going to head to the museum we’ve been eyeing all month. And who knows… maybe finally land on that perfect Anchorage milkshake 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend with fun plans too!

^^^ photo at top of a small peak at our living room.. we’ll be doing the final house tour reveal next week!

check out other people’s good things here

Good Things Lately

The past week has been good. We are finally getting into a schedule, although if I’m being honest I have to admit I fight my alarm Tyler at least every three days. But he’s gotten to work on time every day so I think so far he’s been winning the fight 🙂

So, things that have been good lately:

– Tyler has been doing a stellar job at work, and has already been recognized for going above and beyond! I’m of course not at all surprised. He’s got the best work ethic.

– I was able to hang out with a couple girls this week, and it’s been fun getting to better know some of the people that we were familiar with when we moved up, but we either hadn’t met in person or hadn’t seen in years.

– We have taken a few more evening walks, and it’s always so good for the soul. We have found our favorite neighborhood cat, but unfortunately only one time have we seen it outside and available for petting. Usually he reigns high up in the windowsill of a big picture window.

– I had the most amazing hot chocolate ever at a local shop here called Steamdot Coffee. Can’t wait to try it again, but as it’s also one of the most expensive hot chocolates I’ve had, I’ll have to wait a week or two 🙂

– We had the first of many pho experiences here, and Tyler declared it “not the best we’ve had, but not the worst we’ve had”. Descriptive. I devoured the springs rolls, even though I felt the same way about them, and definitely slurped my fair share of the soup too.
^^^ those spring rolls and pho toppings pictured above

– I got a couple texts from my friends that arrived in Indy as refugees from Burma just this past February. It was so nice to hear from them! I hope to be able to stay in touch, even after moving away, so it was encouraging to see they are making an effort to remain in contact as well.

What’s been up in your life lately?

You can check out other people’s good things at the grateful heart link-up .