It was 2 AM on a Wednesday morning. Like many are at that time, I was sound asleep in my toasty bed. Out of nowhere, a camera was thrust in my face, waking me from my restful slumber. My sleepy eyes could just make out a very excited boy and dog asking me to look at the pictures in front of me. I was confused. Last I knew everyone was sleeping soundly nearby. While trying to figure out just what was going on, my eyes attempted to bring into focus the images on the camera screen. As soon as I realized what I was looking at, I was out of bed and pulling clothes on. Within minutes I was standing on the nearby beach. I was, inevitably, thinking about the countless times I had been in similar situations since moving to Alaska. Fortunately this time it was just really cold, not nearing absolute zero. The auroras had once again worked their magic, magic capable of rooting a person to the ground to stare into the sky despite temperature or time. A tiny part of me wished for cloud cover as an excuse to go home to my warm bed. However, there would be no clouds on this particular night. What did that mean for us? It meant we stayed right where we were watching the beautiful colors dance above our heads. Their patterns were, as always, unpredictable and exciting. I found myself comparing their unexpected displays to my own life. I will spare everyone the minute details of all that entails saying only this, there are times I find myself surprised by somewhere I am, something I am doing, someone I’ve become, the very life I am living. My once unimaginative, well laid plan seemed now to resemble the surprising show above me.
Allow me to rewind just a bit in order to relate an event that occurred a few weeks before the aforementioned story. Nicholas, Atticus, and I spent two delightful weeks in Utah over the Christmas holiday. While recounting specific details of the trip could be entertaining, in the interest of this blog post it suffices me to say it was a vacation well spent and enjoyed. However, having said that, I can’t help but recap some of the highlights which include: family, café rio, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, family, cabin adventures, In-N-Out, friends, snowboarding, hiking, family, temple square, shopping (yes this makes the list…WE LIVE IN ALASKA), and more FAMILY!
While all of this was fun, our favorite event was definitely the name and blessing of Atticus James on Sunday December 21st. A baby blessing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is an ordinance performed during a Sacrament meeting with the purpose of giving a baby an official name along with a blessing for their present and future welfare. It was a very special day for us made sweeter by being able to share it with many of the people we love most. Both my parents and Nick’s along with our siblings (excluding my youngest sis who was serving a mission in California) and their spouses (for those who have spouses) as well as all our nieces and nephews were there. Atticus is one loved little boy!
Unfortunately, like all vacations, the two weeks had to come to an end. Leaving Utah, more specifically those we were visiting, always tends to be a bit hard (mostly for Nicholas…he is the one who always cries, not me.) I found myself wondering if returning to our life in Kenai would feel like a bit of a let down after such a wonderful trip ‘home.’ It was amongst these dismal thoughts something unexpected happened. As our plane made the descent into Anchorage a feeling of belonging overwhelmed me. That satisfying sensation of “ahhhh, I’m home” hit me. It was in that unanticipated moment it became clear as day (even though it was definitely Alaska winter dark), wherever Nick, Atticus, and Ansel are is home and exactly where I want to be. I struggle with what would be the most appropriate word choice to describe my sentiments so will simply say, I am glad life has landed me right where I am. I feel like it is better than anything I could have planned for myself. Ringing in a new year with my little family in my little home was more enjoyable than I ever expected. I cannot wait to see what we make of 2015!