Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two Weeks 'Til M-Day

Two weeks until we leave!!! Ok, we actually have sixteen days left.  But, that means we only have two work weeks.  Cody will actually be finished the fifth of October and I will be finished the eleventh of October.  October twelfth we will be on the road and heading into our new lives! Here are some pictures of our condo that we will be renting. **Pardon the poor quality-all pictures were either sent to us or taken via screenshots from the rental video.

We have had a few changes over the last week.  First, we have decided to drive and take the ferry out of Bellingham, WA instead of Prince Rupert, BC.  This new development came after talking to a friend who lived in Calgary.  He advised us against driving the Canadian route that late in October and also warned us about some pretty horrendous gas prices.  So, we will be heading across the country instead of across the continent for our trip!  Secondly, we have officially moved into Cody's parents house.  To save some cash we decided to stay with them for our last two weeks.  After a year of living alone we are now living with three extra people (and sharing a room with his seventeen year old brother!)  Thankfully, Cody has a wonderful family and his brother doesn't completely hate us for taking over his room.

Enjoy the rest of your week/weekend!  I know we will :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Miss List

Things I Will Miss About Illinois:

1.     My totally and completely amazing family
2.     My beautiful friends
3.     Fall (there is nothing more magical than autumn in Southern Illinois)
4.     Longbrach CafĂ© (the best vegetarian-friendly restaurant/coffee house)
5.     Competitive frozen yogurt shops
6.     Hiking in Giant City State Park
7.     Farmer’s Market (yummmmm!)
8.     Great local music scene
9.     Southern Illinois University and the beautiful campus
10. My school and classes of kiddos!

This list could definitely be expanded.  But, these are ten of the things that my mind has been having a hard time imagining parting with.  I know it will all work out for Cody and I in Alaska.  I will still miss all of the wonderful things about Illinois though! 

                                                                   Giant City State Park

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekly Reader: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ok, so this blog post would be better in about four weeks when the Halloween festivities are really in full swing.  But, I am a sucker for all things fall/Halloween/spooky.  I get way ahead of myself this time of the year.  I have already ordered a new copy of Hocus Pocus, done extensive costume research, and eaten myself into a sugar coma on candy corn (my weakness).  It only seems natural that I give you all a spooky book recommendation for this week.

My book recommendation this week is Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.  It is a story about two young boys and their interactions with a traveling circus.  This quote describes it best, “A dark fantasy set in a small town, its people are brought to life so expertly readers feel very much like citizens ... even when their adopted hometown is menaced by outside forces against which it is helpless. Bradbury's prose is musical and hypnotic, fully engaging the senses and emotions. This is a book, once opened, that truly makes the real world disappear.”  I must say this book is magical and lives up to the praise.  If you like a little bit of spook in your life I highly recommend it.  Just be prepared with a cozy blanket and some hot tea because you’ll be sucked into it immediately. 

So, here is my recommendation. Do any of you have good book suggestions?

**By the way, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with moving.  I just loved the book! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mickey Loves Minnie

Mickey looooooves Minnie!!

 My time has been spent going through knick-knacks, do-dads, and various mountains of various crap. About 99% of it can head to the donation pile. But, I have found a few truly amazing gems in all of my sorting.  I was reunited with this amazing shirt from my childhood.  This adorkable shirt began as my aunt’s and gradually was passed through cousins and siblings until it made it into my possession.  I had totally lost track of it and now I am happily reunited.  Best pajamas EVER :)  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One Month

Well, our bed is gone, our couch is gone, and our chairs are gone.  Essentially, it looks like we have been robbed.  We sleep on an air mattress on the floor and are eating the last cans of food that were forgotten in the backs of the cupboards.  But, we don’t mind because we only have one month left!

Exactly one month from now, Cody and I will be driving the first (shortest) leg of our trip from Southern Illinois to my parent’s house.  My parents live about five hours north of our current home.  So, we are staying there our first night and celebrating the move with my family before setting off on the real adventure. 

The nearness of the moving date is really starting to sink in.  Today and tomorrow we are boxing up everything that we will not be taking with us.  We are doing this because my parents will be in town and they have delightfully agreed to be our temporary pack mules.  Well, maybe not delightfully, but they agreed nonetheless.  So, our dishes, extra linens, spare furniture that remains unsold, and various odds and ends are leaving us forever (or until we rent a place big enough to hold all of our stuff). 

 I leave you all today with this beautiful picture of Cody.  He is enjoying the book The Road from our air mattress on the floor.  

Monday, September 10, 2012


This weekend brought about some very big changes.  Cody and I got engaged! Saturday morning Cody came and woke me up at 7:30am.  He was so excited he couldn't sleep any later so we took off super early for a trip.  He took me out on a hiking adventure in Shawnee National Forest.  We reached a lookout known as Inspiration Point and I stopped to take some pictures.  When I turned around, Cody was down on one knee!  I was so surprised! So, this weekend was completely amazing.  I am marrying my best friend and I couldn’t be happier.  Life is wonderful. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thirty Years of Fun

I just want to start today by saying, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA! My lovely sister/best friend turns thirty years old today.  Thirty is a big, milestone birthday so I figured that I should celebrate in a big way.  Sadly (well sad for us at least), Sara, her husband, and their three children just relocated to Hawaii with the Marines.  Until they get housing orders they are stuck living in a tiny hotel room.  So, sending birthday gifts and cards has been pretty difficult.  This blog post will serve as my unofficial card until I can find a way to mail things from here to a random hotel in Kaneohe Bay. Here is a collection of wonderful photos of her over the years.  

Sisters in Texas


                                                                 Sara and Ross

                                                            Sara in the Pacific Northwest

                                                                 Kayaking in Washington

                                                                 Megan, Lila, and Olive

The whole family :) 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cooking Cookies

Monday night turned into a cooking frenzy in my house.  I baked flourless peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and then I moved onto making a concoction using farmer’s cheese.  Both turned out wonderfully!  Here are both of the recipes. 

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
   1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
   1 cup sugar
   1 large eggs
   1/2 teaspoon vanilla
   1 teaspoon baking soda
   Pinch of salt
   1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life chips are dairy free)

Farmer’s Cheese Concoction
       1 package farmers cheese
       2 tbsp. of unflavored Greek yogurt
       3 chopped radishes
       Green onions to taste
       Pinch of salt
       Pinch of pepper

**If you haven’t tried farmer’s cheese before, please do! It is somewhat like cottage cheese (I take it for lunch typically).  It is probiotic and very tasty! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Weekend Without Labor

Well, Labor Day weekend is drawing to a close.  I have to say, while I love the kindergarteners, it was nice to have some quiet time this weekend!  Friday, I stayed home and watched movies, which was amazing!  Saturday, I spent the day hiking around the beach (the picture below shows the beach). I also got to hike down some really amazing trails out in Giant City.  Sunday, Cody and I tucked in to some Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.  Pumpkin Ale is officially my new favorite beer!  I have always been a summer beer fan but I may be changing my tune for some of these great fall ales. Today, we rounded out the weekend with a nice dinner at the in-laws and some relaxation at their house.  Perfect weekend. 


As far as moving goes, some progress has been made.  We have officially sold about half of our furniture.  Their new owners picked up the dresser and extra mattress today.  However, rainy weather kept the couches and bed from traveling to their new homes.  So, Cody and I have another couple days of enjoying actual furniture.  We did pack up the big dresser today, which is mostly my clothes.  I am now living out of boxes for the next six weeks!

So, I leave you all today with a picture that our future landlord emailed me.  This is the view from our balcony and the new condo. Gorgeous, right?  Happy Labor Day!