As I sit here attempting to write a blog post that somehow can sum up the adventure, challenges, stress, beauty and support that Jordan and I have experienced over the last month, it is overwhelming how faithful our God is. His providence has been unfolding day after day in our lives, and hopefully I’ll be able to capture at least a glimpse of the blessings, and evidence of God.
Part 1 – Yelm, WA
Rewind all the way to January or so, when I was in the midst of a job application whirlwind: I had applied for what seemed like a billion government jobs and a few others as well. With the help of my uncle I ended up landing a job at Zones, Inc. – a business-business technology sales organization. I was SO thankful to finally have an income, and yes, there were some good things about the job (a couple super-great coworkers, and a great manager) but I HATED the telemarketing and the commute. Yes, I was thankful for the job, but it was NOT a good fit for many reasons.
Just about the time that I was ready to be done, burned out and dissatisfied with grown-up life, I received an interview for one of the government jobs I had applied for back in January! And not only was it an interview for another job, it was a job working with youth AND it was in Alaska. Sidenote: my yearning for Alaska can be attributed to my Dad who always wanted to go, and to Iditablog.com – the blog I write for during the Iditarod. Jordan had also wanted to go to Alaska before we met because of some conversations and plans with friends, and from the very beginning of our relationship the understanding had been that if I got a job in Alaska we’d get married and move as soon as possible! (funny how those little things come true…) The interview went splendidly and a tendril of hope held me (and Jordan, who had grown a bit frustrated with Zones and its effects on my happiness) through the next month or so.
Government jobs take FOREVER to get back to you, so we were at the edge of that hope, and, as if God knew we needed a little nugget to tide us over, I got a call-back from my now-boss asking me for references! Hallelujah! So, as I was driving to lunch at my old job I was giving references to my new boss, all the while reinvigorated with hope that God had something good in store! Within a couple weeks of that call, I was offered the job! I had to take some time to “think about it” – but I would have hopped a plane and started that day if that’s how it all worked!
Part 2 - Yelm, Minnesota…
So… we got married! And in a hurry. But not because we’re preggers. We just realized early on that moving the wedding up would make our lives the least stressful in the long run, even though it might have been a little more stressful up front. In all reality, we’re really thankful that we moved the wedding up – it became the simple, family-centered affair we had originally imagined, instead of the more embellished (more expensive) event planned for August. We were so blessed to have family and friends with a great deal of understanding for our circumstances and our desires, and were ultimately able to pull of an effortless and sincere ceremony surrounded by the people who love us most, followed by a carefree reception full of friends and tasty pies!
Shortly after the Washington affair, we headed to Minnesota for what I like to call a “mini-moon,” or short honeymoon in Minneapolis that Jordan’s parents gifted us. We very much appreciated the opportunity to have some one-on-one time in Minneapolis and not have to worry about the expenses of hotels and activities (we went to the aquarium and into downtown). After that we headed to Fergus Falls for the rest of the week, where again Jordan’s parents generously put us up in a hotel so we could be newlyweds. At the end of the week they treated us to an outdoor reception at their cabin that was full of character and flair (Jordan’s family is FULL of creativity, and I was delighted to see what a fun and thoughtful event they had set up for us)!
Part 3 - Canada, Alaska, Ft. Wainwright…
After what seemed like a whirlwind of wedding, and preparing, and celebrating, we embarked on our journey up the Alcan (Alaskan-Canadian highway) toward Fairbanks! The drive was PHENOMENAL. I am not kidding you. We saw the beautiful, deep-green, forested hills and gulches of southern British Columbia the first afternoon of our drive. Though the second day was less notable, it was an easy drive. The third day brought with it longer daylight, and the breathtaking teal-colored, mountain-entrenched Muncho Lake. This was by far my favorite day of sites! The Northern Canadian Rockies were stunning, and seemingly never-ending.
Muncho Lake (and all the other rivers, lakes and bays) were first mirrors of the surrounding snowy peaks, and still beautiful in their own existence. It was on this day that we witnessed the most wildlife – bears, wood bison, stone sheep, moose, swans and deer. By the end of day 3 we made it into Yukon Territory (the territory north of B.C. and one step closer to Alaska) and stayed in Whitehorse. Day 4 was beautiful as well – more mountains, more bears and finally – ALASKA! Check out our Flickr for more shots from the trips!
So, we’re here! And we found a fantastic duplex in North Pole (a small suburb of Fairbanks about 10 miles out of town).
We spent almost 3 weeks doing all our in-processing and training for our new positions at Ft. Wainwright. Did I mention that Jordan got a job too? The day before our wedding he was offered a position as a Child and Youth Program Assistant at one of the Child Development Centers on Ft. Wainwright. This week we both officially started our specific positions. For Jordan this meant reading up about his center and helping them tidy-up to pass the CAEYC inspection, and for me it meant beginning the long and tedious process of purging and reorganizing the tech lab at the Youth Center that hasn’t been cared for in a few years.
That’s the short (or not so short… I just realized how long of a blog this is) recap of our last couple months. Stay tuned for more sights, speculations, musings and more during our stay up here in Alaska Arcadia!