May 20, 2014

Our Year in Newtok

I can't believe our time in Newtok is over.
I'm in Seward, with Josh, and everything is perfect. 
I have most of our boxes unpacked and we I have even started decorating!
Love being on the road system where I can actually get material to decorate!
This does not mean I don't think about Newtok. It has taken me a bit to adjust. I'm even embarrassed to say that I may have cried a little bit feeling so overwhelmed. After living 9 months of no schedule, no place to go, no outside frenzy, going and coming can be a lot. But slowly, I'm starting to feel normal again.

 I have moments in my life where I will look back and reminisce about my past memories.
When looking back, I always have specific moments that I focus on. These moments have always impacted my life and have changed it - for the good and bad.
I have a feeling that Newtok will be the big event I'll look back on from this day forward and think, "This was all because of Newtok." And that is a spectacular thing.
Newtok has changed me, completely.
It has changed my attitude towards life, my mindset on things, how I interact/think about other people, how I think about myself, and what is important to me in my life.
I hope everyone can have an experience like this in their lifetime.
To celebrate my time in Newtok, I thought I would reminisce with you guys by taking you back and remembering the most important year of my life thus far. 

>> Packing up and heading up north!
We still aren't out of those tubs yet... I don't know if we ever will be!

>> Our first look at the mountains of Alaska!

>> Our first time in Seward - who would have thought we would move here!

>> Our first home - That first time walking in and being so incredibly unsure of our decision to move to Newtok. Look how it all worked out!

>> Our first time berry picking!

>> My first classroom

>> That time we got pranked into thinking their was a moose in Newtok and instead got ambushed with water balloons!

And to top it off, got locked out of our house from being too excited we were going to see a moose!

>> Our first hike out towards the shore.

Seeing and feeling the permafrost melting. The craziest thing to see it firsthand.

>> That one time my husband had an unruly beard. I sure do miss it!

>> What we looked forward to on weekends - playing UNO and making pancakes.

>> Joshua's first time seal hunting.

The best picture of Joshua - showing how unbelievably big this seal was.

>> Holding Walrus Tusks for the first time

>> Eating akutaq for the first time - Eskimo ice cream

>> Getting care packages. Thank you to everyone you thought of us and sent us boxes this past year. You have no idea how much it meant to us!

>> My mom, Kenny, and Grandma's gift of fruit to us - lifesaver in the bush!

>> Preparing stink fish for the first time.

>> Joshua's dream week - the week he went moose hunting!

>> The best part of his hunting - the meat he brought back. The memories of staying up well past 1am to prepare it all!
This moose lasted me the entire year. We were so blessed not to have to worry about meat!

>> Christmas in September Party. Realizing just how serious they take game night in Newtok.

>> Pumpkin activities for Halloween.
Looking back on these pictures and realizing my students do NOT look the same when school ended. How did they grow up so fast in one school year??

>> Our first married Halloween! PB&J!
>> Joshua's first muskrat.

>> The Ice Pack moving in. Breathtaking. 

>> Taco's Sanchos in Newtok - Best. Supper. Ever.

>> Realizing we got pranked. again. TP'd our front steps... incinolet included.

>> Made the decision that Joshua would move to Seward to start his career.
Again, packing up totes.

>> Our first Christmas in Seward!

>> Finally received our wedding gifts and finally were able to use them after seven months!

>> First driving experience. Could have gone better...

>> First Alaskan blizzard - January 17, 2014 - My Birthday!

>> Starting our pen-pal relationship to IL.

>> That one time I figured out sugar can freeze together.

>> First qaspeq's!

>> Featured in our college magazine!

>> Adventure time! Visited the old site and Newtok's new site!

>> Cama-i Festival

>> My third qaspeq... maybe a little obsessed.

With my new muskox, tusk earrings.
>> Class pictures.

>> Loved the athleticism we saw this past year that NYO offers. You wont see anything else like it.

>> Trip to Seward in April.
Finally got to see a moose!

>> Our new Subaru!

>> My sister had her baby. Our second nephew born this past year in our families!

>> Glad we figured out how to haul this water the easiest way possible. Daily chores in Newtok.

>> Newtok's Prom

>> Newtok's Graduation

>> Last week of school activities.

>> And officially driving home to Seward - will never get over this view!

Can't believe my time in Newtok is over, but it will always hold a special place in my heart!
Thanks for everyone's support this past year -- can't wait to make new memories in Seward!

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