After what was arguably the most awesome summer to date I am back in Alakanuk gearing up for another year of awesome adventures.
The summer began with Hannah's bridal shower and mini bachelorette party at the Pioneer Saloon. Its always a good time when the 5 Carlon kids go anywhere and that night was no different. We laughed and told stories and enjoyed a few beverages. The shower came together nicely and we had PLENTY of desserts to last throughout the next week. It was great fun to catch up a little with some old friends and lots of family.
Then I was off to Washington to hang with my older sis and help with some childcare after school for Cody. As excited as that monster was to see me, we're too much alike to spend too much time together. After our first week together we were getting tired of listening to each other's instructions. But within that time I was able to have dinner with some friends and catch up a bit on life with them.
Soon I was off to St. Kitts to see my childhood friend Kirby. I met back up with Jana and Jamie and Jana's friend Nicole for a week of relaxation in the sun. It was fun to be in total vacation mode, being as lazy as I wanted--laying on the beach, by the pool or spending hours at Mr. X's Shiggity Shack.
From the Portland airport I drove straight home to Paisley--we all know how long that drive is--at 10 PM.... (For those of you NOT familiar with the best state in the Union, Portland to Paisley is approximately 6 1/2 to 7 hours depending on which highway you choose and traffic...) The following weekend was full of more family for my cousin Shane's wedding in California. It was good fun to be able to spend some time with cousins that I don't know well... It was a beautiful day for Shane and Ashley!!
The following weekend was another beautiful day to celebrate the love of one of my favorite girls ever, Miss Emily. She and Tyler had a fabulous wedding and it was great to get to spend some time with them and other friends in the Grande Ronde Valley.
From La Grande I drove about 10 hours across the state diagonally to get to Medford to prepare for Hannah's wedding... Holy cow it was a long drive and I got exhausted thinking about all that was still left to do before Hannah's big day. The week went quickly with more family showing up each day, it seemed. Again it was wonderful to be able to see Hannah and Shane so happy, to see so many family members celebrating their love and happiness and enjoy a few beverages and some good stories with some of my favorite guys ever.
The month of July seemed to fly by. I had planned another weekend trip to La Grande, but couldn't make it happen. Nor did my Dallas vacay work out as planned... Before I knew it, it was time to head to Cali for the Robison Reunion. After a weekend full of laughter, jokes, more laughter and cousin time we headed back to Paisley for me to pack and get ready for Alaska return.
My final adventure (and quite possibly the hardest one for me to see come to an end) was my almost 2 weeks I was able to spend in Twin Falls with the Porath clan. Its hard to believe how much the kids have grown up in just a year and it breaks my heart to know how much more they'll grow over the course of this year. Hallie wasn't her normal self thanks to her shunt not working right, but I still was able to get some hugs and kisses and smiles and laughter out of my girl. Connor and Mylee kept me on my toes and made me laugh often with their innocent questions and silly remarks.
With tear-filled eyes I left their house headed for the airport in Boise. After an uneventful flight to Anchorage, a few hours of shopping and very little sleep I arrived in Alakanuk on Tuesday.
Sarah and I moved houses so Tuesday was spent hauling totes and boxes from one house to another... Not something I really am very inclined to do again for a LONG time.... Holy cow we have a lot of stuff!!! The house is smaller than our old one, but quite a bit nicer.
Work started on Thursday--oh joy! I am currently at 13 students in my classroom, a few fewer than I thought I'd have last spring. I have seen around half of my old students around the school and it seems as if they're just as excited to see me as I am to see them...
It seemed as if the summer was here and gone before I even knew what was happening. With that said... I can honestly say that I have missed the sounds of the airplanes, the sweet little faces, the calm of the village life and most importantly the people I work with and call my Alaska family. It is wonderful to be home and settling in for another year of teaching AND learning.