We haven’t learned how to spray Bear Mace, but we have seen our first moose on the road! We haven’t hiked up a mountain nor seen the Aurora Borealis, but we have driven up part of a mountain and looked out and down on the world above! We haven’t found our new home in Anchorage, but we are learning to be grateful for the three-bedroom two-bathroom duplex complete with neighborhood friend, while we House-Hunt!

The first two weeks in Alaska have taught us the difficult kind of adventures that come with relocating, but it’s also shown us the beauty of God’s Amazing Grace through the kindness of new friends.

It wasn’t chance, it was a miracle to meet my only Alaskan Facebook friend the first day we were here at an Olive Garden! She and her husband knew it was us when they counted our kids! At first, they thought it couldn’t be us because they only counted four, but when they saw me carrying the baby, my friend turned and asked, “Melody, is that you?!” Yes, yes it is me! She treated me to a coffee date that weekend and gave me the Eagle River rundown!

No car? No problem! Three families, during the first weekend we were here, after a homemade meal of chicken cordon-bleu, made arrangements so we could drive a vehicle large enough to carry our whole family. They didn’t pool together for a rental, they sacrificed one of their own vehicles to make sure we could get around without paying a week and a half of rental fees! Who does that for near-strangers????? Alaskans who love Jesus, that’s who!

Dinner date: ✅ Babysitter: ✅

Yes, we went out to dinner with friends and our kids were in the care of amazing sitters. All in one week of being here!

And this last week, we’ve been dealing with a nasty stomach bug and our youngest three have paid an awful price. I threw a pity-party for my sleep-deprived self and learned how much mercy my husband has for his wife. After angry words of frustration were exchanged, instead of holding on to outrage, he encouraged me to sleep. About five minutes later, we were working as a team to fight the battle of vomit and diarrhea, apologies exchanged and relief that we could, indeed, count on each other in the sh!+storm of life!

When it felt, in the moment, like it was all too much to deal with, especially without our washer and dryer, I reached out to a friend who’d moved to China with her family. She reassured me my feelings were all normal, that things would look up soon, and that this adventure business is hard work.

We have our own vehicles now, but instead of driving to nature trails, they take us to the laundromat and Wal-Mart for more cleaning supplies. It’s only frustrating until we realize that we could be living in a world without these two places and then where would we be?!?!

It was too cloudy last weekend to star gaze and see the amazing Northern Lights, but today we have 13 hours and five minutes of sunlight. The snow is melting, the weather is unusually warm for this time of year, and we are all still here, together.

And yes, it’s been an Adventure!

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