We saw so much beauty and variety on our trip from Seattle to Alaska, but the predominant color was most definitely green.


Yes, I know I should label all the pictures with the specific locations where they were taken. Maybe next time I take a trip, I’ll take better notes to accompany the photos.  Or, even better, I’ll have a camera that records GPS coordinates in the photo’s metadata. I’m all for technology that allows me to be even more lazy.

First flight

First flight

Here we are somewhere between Alaska and Seattle, most likely over Canada. This was baby girl’s first flight, and she spent most of the flight in this posture, watching Curious George on my computer.

first flight

She did peek out the window a few times to make sure we were still up in the air, and then she would announce to me that we were “flying in an airplane.”

Wish I could sit that comfortably in an airplane seat. There are benefits to being that short.

Dear Gem – Month 27

Last month you spent more than 3000 miles in the back seat of grandma’s overpacked car.  It took us 10 days to drive from Seattle, Washington, to Soldotna, Alaska. But then we took the long way through the Canadian Rockies, and did a little sight seeing as well.

View Larger Map

I was a little worried about how you would handle all that change, and all that time in the car, but you were a little champ. It turns out that you are a great traveler.

You tolerated the tight quarters

You slept in a different hotel every night

You picked too many dandelions to count

You explored a “castle

And after that, anytime you had a chance to get your hands on a couple rocks, you stacked them together and told me you were “building a castle”

You saw rock sheep

and buffalo

and bears
oh, my…

And spent a lot of time walking around on trails


and running around

You played in some of the coolest playgrounds anywhere

but it didn’t matter how cool the playground was

you were mostly interested in playing in the sand, and building a sand castle

And through it all, you kept a smile on your face (well, most of the time) and made the trip fun for me, and grandma, too.

Since we got back from that trip, just a couple weeks ago, we moved to a new home. Now there’s a big adjustment for you, too. But as usual, you roll with the punches, and find all the fun new things to enjoy about your new home.

Thank you for reminding me to look for the joy in everything.

I’m so lucky that I get to be your mommy.

I love you.

The most fascinating animal at the zoo

Camels, tigers, polar bears… what animal at the zoo would most capture a toddler’s attention?

Could it be a squirrel?


Dee took us to the Alaska Zoo during our recent visit, and Gem was captivated by this little red squirrel.


He didn’t move a lot at first


But I promise he was real




They played peek-a-boo and hide and seek for a while


Then one last peek as we said good bye.


The days are already getting shorter

The days are already getting shorter

I took this photo at my friend Dee’s house in Chugiak, Alaska, on Friday night. It was midnight.

midnight sun

You’d think after all those years growing up in the land of the midnight sun, I’d be used to this. But no, I had to stop and take a picture. I can’t believe the days are already getting shorter.

In the few short days since I returned home from Alaska, the summer solstice passed and the days are already getting shorter again.

A few minutes at a time.