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Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Hundred Days!

Can you believe it? I've been in cold Alaska for a hundred days already. Seriously time really has flown by. Over on my family blog I've been doing something called A Thousand Days in Alaska, trying to record our journey here and came up with a hundred reasons why we like it here. And I'll admit, some of them are a stretch...But you get to see them too!

And if you get to the bottom, there's a surprise waiting:

100 Days!

Okay, that wasn't near as big as I wanted it... :)

1. Trees. Specifically, snow on trees. It's beautiful.
2. Walking with friends. I've made some awesome friends up here already and we walk on Thursdays and Fridays on an indoor track. Walking + Socializing = Fun Exercise
3. New friends that are so fun and wonderful. (I'm planning a whole post on how making new friends is like dating. It will be great.)
4. No wind.
5. No wind chill! :D (I know, I'm so cheating, but 100 is a lot of things to come up with. Cut me slack.) It may get to -40*, but it feels a lot different than -30* windchill.
6. Living less than five minutes from the boys' school.
7. Organized drop-off and pick-up at their school. (I'm such a nerd. I know.)
8. A babysitter who happens to be one of my best friend's daughters. (Holli, if I still lived by you, I know it would be Kyeli!)
9. Tons of good date night restaurants within ten minutes.
10. Walmart in the same town as me!
11. The amazingness of Fred Meyers
12. A drive through pharmacy.
13. A fantastic ward. (This has been something I have found I love no matter where we are.)
14. New houses with family rooms.
15. Making offers on houses down the street from friends.
16. Making offers on houses within walking distance of Adam's work. (Coming home for lunch, yay!)
17. The Alaska Airlines card. (Yeah, had to throw that out there. We love Alaska, but we love home too.)
18. FaceTiming every week with Grandma and Grandpa Savage. (Sara, you really need to figure out how to make yours work.) We should have done this so much more in Wyoming.
19. Boots. There is never not a reason to wear my boots. Cute boots. Snow boots. (And also, I wore leg warmers that I bought forever ago for the first time to church a while back. It is cold. I need warm legs if I'm expected to wear a skirt.)
20. I now have a much better understanding of the women who want to wear pants to church. Dude. It's cold. Me too.
21. Still getting to teach young women. I learn so much with every lesson.
22. A connected, heated garage. It's so no big deal to hop in the car to take kids to school because it's still pretty warm inside it.
23. Fantastic teachers who made transition a breeze for my boys.
24. A basketball season that's nearly two months. SO worth the money we paid and the boys love it. It makes for busy weeks for us, but I love that they're doing something they like.
25. This surprises me, but having Jax home for an extra hour and a half, even though it means I have to go to the school three times a day.
26. Girls' lunches!
27. Girl's night fun.
28. Ten minute story times at Barnes & Noble. It's perfect for Tre. He doesn't need a craft, but we like to go down and meet up with friends anyway.
29. There's a Coldstone in the same town as me. (I haven't managed to get there yet, but it's still so awesome.)
30. Old Navy in town. (Adam might disagree that this is a good thing.)
31. Sam's Club in town.
32. Just having a variety of places available to go find something.
33. Ward message board on Facebook. SO helpful.
34. Ward neighbors.
35. Having people down the street who can pick up my kids in a pinch.
36. Having people down the street to share carpooling with, even if they spend almost two weeks in Hawaii and leave you at home. ;)
37. Tickets to Hawaii are the same price as flying home, so...just sayin', one Christmas we might do that instead. (It only makes sense.)
38. I love my twisty, cute street that I live on. Even though we've only been here a few months and I love the house we're hoping to buy, I'll miss this pretty little street.
39. Denali (or Mt. McKinley :) )
40. A bunch of jackets. I have reasons to buy fun, cute cold-weather gear.
41. Mittens and hats! It should probably go with the one above, but again...100 is a lot.
42. Right now, it's warmer here in good ole AK than in Wyoming! (Ha!)
43. Thick, white snow that doesn't melt into grossness and dirtiness most of the winter. (At least not yet. I'm told it will look really yucky when it all really starts melting.)
44. Big, fat flakes of snow that come down so peacefully. (This is happening now, in case you didn't know.)
45. We may not have snow days, but we have freezing rain days!
46. Cute, bright blue snow pants. (I love them.)
47. You can plug your car in when you go to Walmart! That's just downright fun.
48. Moose in your front yard.
49. I'm only 15 miles from North Pole! So novel. (Okay, I know, I'm really stretching it...)
50. So many choices on those night when I just don't want to make dinner.
51. When I get a hankering for organization, I just go to Freds and it's done. No more having to plan a trip to Sheridan.
52. Late evenings for the boys hanging out, and taking them to friends house just because.
53. All the pine trees everywhere and feeling like I live in a forest.
54. Spectacular sunrise-sunsets all in one! (No really, they're cool.)
55. Being able to just set things outside when there's no room in your freezer. And knowing that it's not going to freakily be 40* the next day, so you don't need to worry. (Usually...)
56. You get to have fun rules about church being optional attendance at -50*
57. All your friends from the States say they'll come and visit because you live in a cool place.
58. The way you get to call the lower-48 the States, like you live in a foreign country. Like Canada. (Eh, Bridgette and Jordan...?)
59. Making fun of everyone who thinks they're cold when it's 20*
60. Laughing about how they say it's so dry here in Fairbanks and yet if we don't use the fan in the bathroom, things start to grow...
61. My fridge stays pretty clean since leftovers start growing stuff way quicker than in Wyoming.
62. Milk comes in really fun jugs.
63. All the McDonald's have Play Places! (I seriously love that.)
64. And even though we now have access to all these fast food restaurants, higher prices than the lower 48 keep me from getting it too often.
65. I'm not sure what it is about Alaska, but since being up here I've been way better about making a lot more things from scratch, which is funny since I have access to a lot more things in a bigger town.
66. I love the way people in Alaska talk about Fairbanks being this small town compared to Anchorage. And it's got 50,000 people. And Anchorage has a whoppingg 200,000. And to me, they're both huge. :)
67. How I have not met even one person up here who doesn't think it's cool that I'm a writer. I'm also fairly certain at least half the RS ladies bought "Goodnight Kiss" when I released it. :)
68. Homemade yogurt and my friend Sarah telling me how easy it was to make in a crock pot. Now I'm hooked. (Homemade ricotta is next, kids.)
69. The chance to blog about an adventure in an exciting new place.
70. All the amazing ways to stay connected with friends and family--sometimes I may feel left out and these new ways are hard (like watching your sister pick out wedding dresses via FaceTime), but I'm still *there*!
71. Hot chocolate whenever!
72. Since I'm from Wyoming, I already drive in snow like a boss. (Thanks, Meri!) So I feel right at home in the piles and piles of it.
73. There's always a reason to make soup. Mmmmm. Soup.
74. Best reason of all: It's now eligible for voting to make marijuana legal in Alaska.
75. Adam caught a pine marten.
76. There are many different critters for Adam to trap. (Can you tell who's helping me think now?)
77. They have electricity and water in most houses. (No, seriously. The ones that don't are called dry cabins.)
78. There's so many fun things for Adam to hunt that he can't hunt in Wyoming.
79. The temple is only six hours away. (It could be way worse.)
80. We have powdery snow.
81. We have a lot of powdery snow.
82. Adam can find caribou and moose sheds
83. Adam likes that he can drive 60 on a snow covered roads and people pass him.
84. Because there's a lot of Mormons here.
85. You only have to know one vowel to spell Alaska! (Thanks, Sarah Eden for that one. She's so clever. Love her.)
86. Adam has basketball friends here! They play every Tuesday night and he's very happy about it.
87. I'm going to run the color run because of Brittany. Which we all know I never would have done on my own. (I'm still not sure this should be on a things I like list.)
88. The summer! They're supposed to be beautiful and I can't wait.
89. Awesome relief society activities. (We had a service auction that was so amazing.)
90. The way the snow sticks on the trees.
91. The hugeness of Alaska. Vastness, as a friend put it. There are so many places you can only reach by boat or plane.
92. No sunburns for most the year!
93. Vastness in the sky! The way the moon is huge and the big dipper is huge.
94. The beautiful Chena River. It looks so pretty in the winter, and the houses along it are so picturesque.
95. I love the way some days are just so so pretty and everything looks like it's from a coffee table picture book with the pine trees and the blue sky and the pretty clouds.
96. A.J. says we can mine in Alaska!
97. It's weird, but I love the expressways here and figuring out how to use them to get all over Fairbanks.
98. I love the way the hills covered in trees surround Fairbanks and the windy, pretty roads that lead to *secluded* houses that are really just a few miles out of town.
99. The views from those houses are simply amazing.
And, drum roll . . .
100. I love that we're on this awesome, crazy, wonderful adventure.

(A big thanks to all my family and friends who helped me brainstorm all these great reasons!)

You made it! (I made it...holy smokes.)

So, in honor of our hundred days, I'm giving away 10 copies of my ebooks: 3 of A CONTEMPTIBLE AFFECTION, 3 of A LADY AND A SPY, and 4 of GOODNIGHT KISS.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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