Thursday, November 18, 2010

Greetings from us here in Santa Land!

On Angel's birthday in September

So we’ve decided that after several months of being in Alaska now and being somewhat settled in, it was probably about time we did some checking in. We arrived toward the end of July and after over 2 months of living out of a dingy apartment style hotel room, called TLF (temporary lodging facility), we finally were offered a house! Originally told we only qualified for a 2 bedroom, last minute we got word that there were some issues moving the current people from that home and we were told we get a 3 bedroom just down the street from the first one. Talk about being overly exited! It’s a 3 bedroom quad-plex type home with 3 stories, including the basement we have downstairs. Downsides are that now we have A LOT of stairs to take to get laundry from a bedroom to the laundry in the basement, the layout of the main floor is borderline insanity and the basement is unfinished so feels dark and dungeony with it’s exposed drywall and concrete floors. However I will say the upsides are that we now have a fenced in area for June to go outside, we have a guest bedroom set up (take that as a hint family!) while still having a nice separate room for the baby, 3 bathrooms instead of 1, huge kitchen… See what I mean? Few cons to this house and believe me, we have complained more than once about them and probably still will, but at the end of the day we have a home and it’s more than big enough for us and our growing family. Guess you can’t complain too hard when looked at from that perspective, I suppose? Note to self on that one… J
Front View of Our house!
Well moving on, we’ve entered into our very first winter here and everyone tells us that this is actually very mild compared to what it usually is by this time of year. Scary thought let me tell you! We’ve had lots of snow already and while it’s not staying there yet, we have experienced our first nights in the negative temperatures. Two nights ago it got down to -15 and the high for the following day was something like -4. To explain, this is COLD…. Bone chillingly cold.. But, not quite the same as we sort of anticipated. There isn’t any wind to make it feel more intense and there isn’t really any moisture in the air either, that would tend to make a chill feel worse. It’s something you have to prepare for. No grabbing a coat to run out the door or forgetting to get the car running to defrost, you must have a zipped up coat with gloves and a hat and that car better had been running before you get in it to go anywhere. The air stings your skin and burns breathing it in, so going into it for more than a minute or two while not bundled and ready, is not so fun. We got an auto start put into Ryan’s truck since his truck sits outside but decided to hold off on Angel’s car since it stays in the garage, we now decided after one experience that getting one on Angel’s car is now in the budget as well. Coming out of a doctor’s appointment that took a few hours when it was about zero degrees outside, coat not zipped and gloves or any other cover on, was all it took. It felt too cold to hardly move and then waiting in that parking lot for the car to warm up enough for my joints to grip the steering wheel, was an eternity, and made us second guess not having it. For how hard that was on an adult, we can’t imagine bringing a baby out of a building after that period of time to get into a car that cold to head home.
Bear Lake, just down the street from our neighborhood and where we take June to run. The lake was just beginning to freeze over.
But anyway, do keep in mind again that the cold is actually bearable if you just prepare yourself. (So not an excuse to not come and visit if you were thinking it. Another hint!) Plus the upside is, it’s not gotten to our darkest point yet and the snow outside covering everything is amazing. It looks like a winter wonderland! We actually had snow before Halloween, so it was pretty comical that all the Halloween decorations that people had out were covered in a pretty white blanket and didn’t seem so scary or spooky anymore. Actually what is even more interesting is that, being here were it’s already white and being a few miles from the North Pole, people are already putting up their Christmas décor. It sounds so tacky to those of us that are very used to having set seasons and knowing when was appropriate to decorate to each. But you can’t help it here, the Autumn is so short that you have what seems like a couple of weeks of the falling leaves and then boom just cold and then the snow begins. We put Fall décor around the house and outside but didn’t put up Halloween and even our décor looks kind of silly. So many houses already have big blow-up Santa’s and snowmen and their Christmas lights up that we think that if the weather allows, maybe this weekend we’ll decorate for it too. In my humble opinion, the darkness approaching and the cold outside gives us leave to have some décor up for a little bit longer, which will brighten things up and bring us some extra cheer that we sometimes feel like we need. Very exited to see all of that stuff on and around our house now, the only worry is that our living room is a laughable sized cubicle that hardly fits us and any furniture in here so not sure where we’d have a Christmas tree. We’ll figure something out though because no house of ours will be truly complete without some sort of tree. Too many special ornaments that mean the holidays to not have anywhere to display them!
The new stockings we ordered for our little family! Look we're going to be a mom & dad!!
Oh and the Aurora Borealis has already come out to greet us since we’ve been here! Two nights we have gotten photos. Interestingly, the night it was most visible to the naked eye, we didn’t get as great photos but the following time we got word that there may be some lights in the sky, we couldn’t see them very well but drove out in the hills and the camera caught some absolutely amazing shots. The vivid greens that literally dance in the sky and even some purple just seem surreal. This is one of those things that are a reminder from God that there are some truly beautiful things in the world and no matter how we may feel about being here; we are blessed to experience some of that greatness.
The Aurora and it's reflection over the lake near our house.
 Taken here on base, in person it looks like holes just opened up from heaven and shines through!

Also taken here on base, look at those pinkish purple hues!
Well as you know, we are finally taking our turn and preparing to invite a new member of the Hall and Tompkins family and she will arrive here at the end of next month. As you can obviously tell, it is a going to be a little girl and we have decided to name her Grace Elisabeth. She is our amazing grace and if it weren’t for some of this pain and discomfort in feeling her grow, it almost couldn’t begin to seem real for us still. Talk about another one of God’s blessings and he’s bestowing it upon us. As I’ve made pretty clear I imagine, being in Alaska is not out ideal, but she will be born here and that some how makes it seem a little more beautiful to me. She’s currently a little over 5 pounds and we’re at 33 and half weeks as of now. Her nursery is coming together beautifully, complete with her daddy painting it just for her. To be honest, it’s by far the nicest room is the house! We’ll definitely share pictures after the final touches. And all in all, we just can’t wait to meet her and love her and to have the chance to let the rest of the family do the same. It’s a time like this that we miss everyone all the more and hate not having everyone we love to share all of this with, that is by far the most difficult part of being stationed so far away. But in the grand scheme of things, just another couple of years and we will be able to move closer again, making it all that much easier to see everyone and let our Gracie know her family.
Taken about 5 weeks ago, looks like we've got a few in there doesn't it! Please disregard that lovely swelling..  J
28 week 3D ultrasound, couldn't get her whole face because she's a snuggler

 I suppose it’s time to close this out for now, we apologize for not updating it regularly to keep you all abreast and as promised before, we’ll try our hardest to keep posting more often. Hope you enjoy these few photos and just for the sake of protecting Ryan's amazing work, all of the photos on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Ryan Hall. So much love from us up here near the North Pole and remember to be good this year, we have a special “in” with Santa you know, we’re practically neighbors! J
Welcome to where it's Christmas all year round!

Momma and baby moose wandering here on base

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trip To Alaska

Click this picture to view the photo album! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Things are finally rolling for the Hall's!

Well here we are after yet another lull in posting, big promises still, that we will maintain this better once we get to Alaska when it will be even more difficult to stay in contact with loved ones and give them updates as to what is going on in our lives. It is now toward the end of May, as crazy as that sounds, and we have been in -somewhat of a stand-still until things could get figured out. When we were coming home on leave, when we were moving, etcetera, etcetera... But I think things may finally be rolling now.

First of all Ryan finally got word today after more than 2 months of waiting for some very fine folks to stop twiddling their thumbs, that lo and behold we finally have official orders! Confusion began when they originally told him that the paperwork from his end was all completed but sprung on him some weeks later than there was a whole other section that pertained to Angel's medical that wasn't completed. It turns out the Molar Pregnancy was considered an ongoing condition because of the monthly blood tests so a form had to be filled out by the doctor. Beyond that there was a sit down interview type meeting where they had to talk with her about her medical history, any sort of mental health history and of course to make sure she wasn't being abused in the home... Oh dear, have to laugh at how absurd the whole thing is but needless to say we jumped through our many hoops and finally had everything done. Unfortunately because of the time this took up, we had to request an extension on the orders so we'd still have time to come home to see loved ones before we really had to go.   Anyway, shortening the already long story, everything is cleared up and settled and we can now set up our household goods to be packed up and shipped to Alaska. Next item on the agenda is knowing the actual dates we're coming to Oregon for leave and then leaving but we expect our time frame to actually head to AK will be the same as it was previously except pushed up by exactly one month. We had figured to leave sometime during the first week of June so now it seems reasonable to make it the first week of July. Upside to this is that there was a huge base-wide exercise going on in Alaska in June I think that will be over by then and also that we should get to go on the annual camping trip with the Tompkins family while we're down in Oregon. Thank heavens for small favors but that may help ease a little of the homesickness a bit knowing we got to go on something that has been a tradition in Angel's whole life, one more time, for at least few years anyway... We'll be back though, so no worries! :)

Next item on the agenda to share is quite a shocker because no words can quite describe the level of shock we experienced ourselves when we found out!

Well, without further ado... Drum Roll Pleeeaaaase!

Yep you guessed it, coming soon in 2011, we are expecting our very first son or daughter! Believe me, it's unbelievable to fathom because after how long it took to finally conceive with the Molar, it seemed like our next shot at a baby would be down the line when the doctors cleared us and we were to start trying for that again. But this little miracle, took us by quite a surprise and came about when we didn't think it was possible. Keep in mind we were still maintaining the regular blood work from the Molar so the doctors strongly cautioned against being pregnant too soon so we weren't planning this time. We were going along on or merry (well sort of) way, planning for the move and we had started a new diet and exercise program, deciding that we'd at least take this time to get healthy and into better shape. So the day Angel went in for her usual test at the clinic before her usual trip to the gym, she just wasn't feeling quite right. Had no idea of course why, but Ryan inquired if pregnancy could be the cause and that idea seemed almost like an unfunny joke at the time, but after looking at some dates and thinking, we decided taking a test to be sure was in order. Well you know the rest, the test came back positive pretty much instantly. After going to the doctors and them checking to confirm this wasn't the "mole" regrowing, they turned the ultrasound machine around with a smile and pointed out the baby's heartbeat. Let me just say that at that moment the world could have just stopped, it seemed so unreal, such a dreamt of and fragile moment that seemed like it could be pulled out from under us and we'd be left knowing it was just another fantasy. But for proof that it wasn't, morning (or all day, every day) sickness was in full swing. Just to put this out there, no good thing can come so easily and we know this, so will vomiting and constant nausea be a price worth paying for this little one, MOST DEFINITELY, but it doesn't mean that we have to enjoy it right now! It's been a doozy adjusting to what a successful pregnancy can feel like but knowing a little person is growing and coming into our lives sooner than later, makes this an unforgettable ride. Back to the main points, we were tying to decide when to tell family about for a couple of reasons, I'm sure you could guess. One was with out past history, it feels scary to reveal something like this because of the usual fear and memories that come along with it. Two was considering that we were leaving soon, we wanted to be caution but not wait too long to tell everyone because we wanted to be able to share in the happiness of it with them as long as we could before we would have to leave. So our compromise was to wait until we'd had a second ultrasound done to confirm that things were truly progressing as they should be and that things looked good. Well yesterday morning we did just that, we went in and and as soon as she set that wand thingy down on my belly, we heard our baby's heart beating! She showed up again where the baby was implanted and confirmed that he or she looked good and she said the heart beat sounded good also. So while we know there is always risk and we'll most definitely be worried clear until the day we have this little one with us in our arms, for now the risk factor is low and we are letting ourselves just be thrilled with that and that our family is finally growing (literally) as we speak! Our expected due date is January 4th and now we laugh because people say it's a toss up if this will get to be a tax baby or not... Quite frankly this little one can just come when they're ready but the soonest possible is great to me :)

Well now that I think we've shared the main points with anyone reading, I'd like to say thanks for taking the time to visit our somewhat infrequently updated blog and checking in on us. Lots of love and to our family and friends, we'll see you guys soon!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just the latest In our little world :)

Well here we are, roughly 75 days or so away from when we expect to depart the lower 48 and it still feels like there are a million and one things to do! Slowly making lists and sorting things out. Lots of trips to the drop-off center at Goodwill and posting and selling odds and ends on good ol' Craigslist. Ryan has been through this before, having the military pack him up and move him so he knows a bit more of what to expect but over all, it's such a feeling of limbo being unsure of what to do or where to start when you look around and see a house full of stuff. But as we draw closer and things start to get settled a little at a time, it all will surely start to feel a bit more under control.. within reason anyway, such a huge move to such a new place is just generally a bit unsettling to say the least and probably will continue to feel that way until well after we even arrive there!

We have so many exiting plans though, that include such a big adventure, and we are very much looking forward to being in the position of having nothing hold us back from experiencing them, but us. Being in Washington hasn't been the most fun for us, there are so many things to see and it is within a few hours of family, which is priceless, but it's so busy and crowded here that we find ourselves dreading going out and about. Admittedly, we enjoy being homebodies, making dinner at home and watching movies is a favorite pass time for us, but we also love getting out and feel that we've lost the drive to do that very much since being in such a big city. Being forced to move somewhere new like this will give us the chance to start fresh and relearn how much we love getting out and doing things that we miss like doing  much camping, hiking, fishing, and pretty much just being outside. Our new goal is to make up our own sort of "bucket list" for our time in Alaska, we're going to come up with those things we want to see or do while we are there and we'll even laminate it and frame it and hang it up where we will always be able to see it. That way if we start to get into a slump and can't think of much to do, we know there is always that list to check something off of. If any family or friends have ideas for us to put on our list comment or write us and let us know. We know we're blessed enough to get to see some things that some people reading this may not get the chance to see, so add to our list and we'll do it for you, that way you can live it vicariously through us! :)

So on to life in the present, I suppose! It feels like we're so busy thinking and planning for the coming months that it's hard to maintain focus on the here and now. There aren't many exiting things going on for the most part currently, but we are doing our best to see people we care about and actually that includes getting to have RJ and his girlfriend Auna come up to visit us over this last weekend. It was so nice to get to see them and show them around here a bit. We took them down to Cabela's so that RJ could look at all the fishing "stuff" his heart could desire and we just browsed around all the misc things they have there. It's such a neat store and a lot of fun things to see, though very touristy. Beyond that we all went to find the Fremont Troll in Seattle and then off to the Space Needle. Both of us had been there before but they hadn't so we wanted them to get to see it, too. Unfortunately it's the prettiest to see when it's a bit darker out and the lights of the city are all on but we were all a bit tired and we didn't want to wait around that long. So we hopped back in the car and drove around Seattle a bit longer looking for one last good view point then headed back south to get dinner. And for dinner? We had Famous Dave's BBQ, which by the way, RJ and Auna decided they figured out why Dave was so famous.. because it is SO good!! Barbecue lovers at heart can't say no to that goodness, we were all "fat and happy" when we left there. We headed home exhausted and satisfied and all pretty much hit the hay when we got back to the house. So all in all, great weekend and we so appreciated them taking the time to visit and spend a couple of days with us.

Well it's looking like a good day today, the sun in shining as it will be the rest of the week and have some good things coming up that we are looking forward to. We're planning on catching a movie with some friends this weekend before one of them heads off to Texas where he's going to be getting cross trained into a new career field. We don't know how much more we'll see them after that and are really sad about that so are looking forward to. Beyond that we are thinking we'll go back into Seattle to see the Pike Place Market this weekend since we haven't seen it yet. Next up we hope to visit with family a few more times in the next couple of months but the big visit is still being planned for May. After looking at a few things, Ryan is thinking he may be able to swing coming down for 3 whole weeks! So people better have some time open to see us because we have the better part of a month to spend and very exited about that! So as we've mentioned before, we want to have a big family get together at least once so please stay tuned and hopefully everyone would be able to come. Any ideas on where and when to do that would also be appreciated so be sure and let us know.

Lots of love and we'll most definitely be in touch soon! Happy Wednesday to everyone, hope it's a sunny day where ever you may be when your reading this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finally At Negative!

Well we thought it might be nice to post a quick update on the status of our Molar Pregnancy since we had our second follow up appt after the procedure done today. Good news, we're officially considered negative! My hCG level is not exactly zero yet, it's 4, but anything below 5 is considered negative so they said we'll do a couple more weeks of weekly blood draws and then we'll go to testing monthly. This is a good thing and we're definitely relieved to have gotten this news after only 4 weeks. After doing a lot of research we knew that it could very well take several weeks to get to that point so having only taken a month is great and the doctors are very happy. It's a bittersweet fact though, negative is what we want and needed to see but it also symbolizes that this short lived journey that we were originally so exited to embark on, is officially over. It's of course not completely over until we're through with being monitored but the big stuff if passed now and we're not likely to have to worry about needing any follow up treatment or care from it. We can just look toward the future and when the time is right hopefully we get the chance at starting our family again. But hey, maybe this PCS will be a fresh start and our 3rd try will be the charm.. We can have little Alaskan babies! ;)

So moving along, on the subject of Alaska, we're still just moving along and chipping away at little to-do's even though I must admit that we have a whole gamut of things to do that we could probably be allotting time to a bit more efficiently. We'll get there one way or another though, so there is only so much to bother stressing over I guess. That meaning that pretty much we have no choice but to get there so we'll do what we "gotta" do! One positive is that we got a room reserved there at the new base to stay in while we wait for a house to come available and it's pet friendly so miss Juniper can stay with us. This was a big concern because they only have a couple of pet friendly rooms and from there you have no choice but to kennel your pet off base somewhere and that could have been for a month or easily more. I know people do this everyday because sometimes there just isn't any other choice but as most already know, this dog is pretty much our spoiled child and we were flat our not even having the idea that she couldn't stay with us. So very needless to say, we got extremely lucky that a room came available when it did and crisis averted!

Secondly, because getting and keeping these orders were contingent upon Ryan reenlisting, he will be doing so on Monday. Just shy of 8 years in service and we're signing on for another 4. Looks like we'll be making this a career and will make the best of the journey the military takes us on. We can only hope that it's merciful and takes us to new and wonderful things. Maybe Alaska will be just our first stop in seeing what they have in store for us!

So it looks like we'll close this for now and we will definitely update more later on as things start rolling with our move. We'll be home this weekend for just a couple of days for our nephew Parker's first birthday so hopefully we'll get to see everyone, at least briefly for some hello's and some hugs! We are going to be taking the entire second half of May off to come home also, so that we will have plenty of time to say our goodbyes to everyone at that time. We will be planning on having a get together at that time so that we can have everyone together at least once more before we head out and are looking forward to getting to do that . It surely won't be the last time we see you all but it will just be the last time that we're only a few hours away from the family, at least for a while, and want to take advantage of every second we have.

Ok well lots of love and we'll be seeing you! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Change is Headed Our Way!

Well we decided that it was time to finally attempt blog number 3. It's been a couple of months since we've updated but it certainly hasn't been an uneventful time to say the least. I will begin by admitting something that we wanted to keep private until just the right time. We found out 2 days after Christmas that we were pregnant and were absolutely over the moon. This was our second pregnancy as our first one ended quickly in miscarriage a year and half prior. We were very proud and exited but wanted to wait to share the news with everyone once we'd had our first successful ultrasound and could be a bit more confident when we told the news. It tends to make you a bit nervous to say it out loud after a loss, in fear that it could happen again. But things seemed to be going well, I was feeling all of those crazy hormones and other blessed things that meant we were really expecting. Unfortunately at an ultrasound the doctor found that things did not look normal and he was suspected something called a Hydatidiform Mole (Molar Pregnancy) which can be dangerous and required us to do a D&C right away since that means that it is not a viable pregnancy. Well a week after the procedure we did get the results that it was a Complete Molar and I would need to be monitored for up to a year and that it would be dangerous to become pregnant again for a year. They need to watch my hCG levels weekly to make sure they they go down properly and once they do they will monitor them monthly to make sure they do not rise again. If they do not go down or they go back up it could be a sign that the tissue is regrowing and I would need treatment, which would be Chemotherapy. Googling the diagnosis would be easier than my trying to explain it but basically the mole is considered a tumor so if if comes back it could be cancerous. The good news it that my hCG did not get near as high as other much worse cases out there. I topped out at 38,000 but they can often times get up into the high hundred thousands, so see I was not as severe as I could have. If there is a silver lining in every situation than that would be ours, I was diagnosed so quickly. Now, my levels went down to 428 one week after surgery and two weeks after they are at 59. This is wonderful, they have dropped great but we have to keep checking weekly until they are at zero. My doctor said that since this did not appear to be a severe case and my levels are looking so good, we may be cleared to try for a baby after 6 months of zero results. Ok, so that is the gist of the situation and I know that I didn't explain in much detail what a Complete Molar is but there is endless info online so please look it up if you want to understand a bit more. But at the end of the day, my levels are looking good and we just have to hope that they keep dropping and things will be just fine.

So to close that topic I want to apologize for keeping it quiet. Some I'm sure had an idea that there was something wrong but it's been very very hard to come to terms with it and we've been doing our best with it. Yes, we experienced a second pregnancy loss and it turned out to be something that a bit more serious than that so it kind of feels like we relive it each week but time will heal and we know God has something great in store for us and our family. So while some days are harder to accept than others, the lowering levels are what keeps us feeling ok with all of it.. It's the very best we can do for now so we'll take it and keeping moving!

Ok well our next bombshell is a bit of a doozy as well so brace yourself.. We sure did have to! We just got orders and will be moving to Fairbanks, Alaska by June!! Yep, it's true but doesn't really seem possible. We're sure working on wrapping our heads around the fact and have been scrambling to let it sink in and just plan and prepare. When Ryan first shared the news all Angel could do was literally laugh. Things had just started to settle in here with the promotion and taking over down at Packing & Crating and we were waiting to move into the great 3 bedrooms here on base so hearing, "Hey babe, are you sitting down?" seemed like some kind a funny joke. But it really isn't so now it's wow, -60 degree weather and moose and caribou, here we come! Now let the fear, shock and excitement begin.

We found this photo taken in Fairbanks online and had to share it, not sure when it was taken but the point it, we are going to be living there!! That's incredible, isn't it? We've been researching like crazy and are finding that while it is going to be such a huge adjustment, that kind of cold feels so much different than what our cold feels like here if that makes any sense. They describe it as a "dry" cold and that the "wet" kind of cold is much more bone chilling. Now this is not to say it won't be cold, but I know we'll adjust. But beyond the cold, how about the fact that it will be light for 6 months of the year and pretty much dark the other half. When we are headed there in June is will be light all the time and looking on the bright side of things, it'll be helpful on our drive to squeeze a few more hours into the day. It's definitely great that we get to go when we are to take advantage of this and the fact that the weather will be warmer or more mild. This will also help with the drive so we won't have to worry about the roads along the way or that we'll freeze to death if we broke down and were stranded on some long stretch along the Alacan Highway. See what I mean, these are definite bright sides!

So as for actually being in Alaska, just think about all of the new things we'll get to see and do. Just the fact alone that we will be literally 8 miles from the North Pole. Literally, there is a town called North Pole and if we don't live on base we will probably be living there. Living in the town dedicated to Christmas all year long. How can you beat that when I love Christmas! Beyond North Pole and Fairbanks there is not much to see for a very long ways, the Arctic Circle is roughly 125 miles away. Haha, that will sure put the cold into perspective. Anyway the next super cool thing about being there will be the Northern Lights. We will be right in the middle of the best area to view the Aurora Borealis. How exiting to see something like that, it looks like something unimaginable that just happened naturally. One of those many wonders our earth really offers that we get to see first hand.

Well I think it's time to close this for now even though there really is so much more we could talk about on this subject but as we prepare and time gets closer we will definitely be updating and sharing more. Thanks for reading and we will hopefully be seeing all of you again soon!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Reality

So here we are, blog number 2. We're really hoping that this can be a way to keep our friends and family abreast on what we have going on in our life. It's not our proudest fact but we don't stay in contact as well as we should. Life here in Washington gets going and it's easy to lose track and lose touch but then we get to come home to Oregon for a couple of days and it feels like there is so much catching up to do with parents and such that there is never enough time to see all those people we wish so much, that we could or we just don't see them as long as we'd like. So while this blog won't fix this and certainly doesn't feel the same as being there first hand, here's hoping it's a start! We do feel very blessed to have gotten to spend time with the family that we did and had a really great time with them. So many little ones running around nowadays, it really reminds you who Christmas is for, the kids. Seeing the excitement and all those smiles was truly wonderful. Two of those little ones were our new nephew Parker and our niece Cambrie that Angel got to meet last Christmas but Ryan was still deployed so it was nice for him to get to see her for the holiday too.Those little ones are so beautiful and just grip your heart. The day before the holidays we got a chance to see Parker for a few minutes since Peter & Anne needed to stop by and my goodness, seeing how big he is really reminds us how long it had been since we'd been home. Hopefully we can try and fix that this coming year. We were able to get a quick snapshot of Ryan with Parker, isn't it precious! We have many more photos to add later but those were with Ryan's fancy camera that Angel can't work so these one's off of her point & shoot will do for now! ;)

It was also great to get to Angel's family's house to visit and to introduce Juniper to her parent's new dog, Goldie. They were just two peas in a pod right away. June is a quite a bit more rambuncious than Goldie but it was a good pair with her more mellow demeanor. They play fought and ran and then would sit and chewed bones together. It was hard come time to separate them and we sure hope we can get them together again soon.

So to continue on, we just got home from our festivities down in OR late on Saturday evening. We had towed a trailer down to pick up a bed set, dining table and also a hutch. Towing that thing was quite the adventure and then unloading it was an even bigger one. Not only did we get the expected items but of course came back with other things as well. Ryan's dad gave him some of his fishing gear as well as all of our Christmas "loot", which is always fun but finding room to store it tends to be another story. After getting it all unloaded it looked like a cyclone hit this house! But the next morning we got the table set up and our other one broken down and then came into our spare room, which up to now has been the office/catch all room. We decided to move the desk and scrap booking table over, just remove all of the misc junk we had in there and then set up the new bed.. And we love it! Now admittedly, this room is still a work in progress and our "misc" stuff is now out in the living room and needs to sorted but it feels a little more like a home in here now. The bed, the linens for it and everything else came from Ryan's brother Michael and his wife so we were very appreciative of them giving them to us. We now wait for the day that we get word that we can move into a 3 bedroom when one comes open here on base. Since Ryan's much deserved promotion we qualify for them and are so ecstatic but are pretty impatient about it getting here. But until then we have to make the best of what we do have and remember that we are blessed that we have today and all the rest is just icing on the cake.

Well we'll close this up for now and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come when one of us is more talkative so stay tuned!