Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Kind

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to be in more photos (especially with Philip). When he looks back on photos of when he was little, I'd like to not be the one always behind the camera. So, tonight Brian snapped a few shots of Philip and I reading our (okay, my) favorite kid story "How Kind"- a story of barnyard benevolence. Animals all over the barnyard doing kind things for each other. Adorable.

 Ready for bed. All smiles all around.
Good night.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Upside Down

Some days are upside down days.
Today was one of those days.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Story time with Dad

Philip received some new story books for Christmas called "Llama Llama" (from friends of ours here in Alaska). They're fantastic reads. Even Brian has enjoyed going through the stories with Philip. There's one about going to bed without fussing (Brian's favorite) and another about being scared on the first day of school. The later is my favorite because Philip starts daycare later this week and I'm anticipating the first few days being kinda rough. Thankfully I'm only working half days this week, so it will be an easier transition.
Wish us luck!

My favorite photos of the year

As I reflect back tonight (New Year's Eve) of the year past, I found so much joy capturing moments with my camera. Adding Philip to the family allowed many new opportunities to experiment (and gave the dogs a much appreciated break from a lens in their faces all the time). So, here are some of my favorite photos of 2011. Not all photos have the best light, focus, or coloring, but they're still my favorites because...well, you'll see. And forgive me, these are not in chronological order.

Love the blue in Philip's eyes in this photo taken in the snow of Valdez.
Somehow the stripes and plaid just really worked in this picture of Don and Philip (Philip is just about a month old). So little, right?
This is a perfect "Philip" expression- showing off his cute little personality, along with the kind face of Uncle Chuck. This was taken in Kalona, IA.
Philip having a nap on Grandma Platt. He looks so comfy and I had a wonderful time when my mom came to visit. I was so sad when it ended, but I cherish the memories we made.
 I love hoods on babies! Don't you?
One of Philip's first attempts eating puffs. "Mom, they're really sticky. Help!"
'Major Cutie', right?
Philip with Great-Grandpa Ouillette on our road trip to CT this summer.  Grandpa was singing softly when I snapped this shot. Philip was so content and happy. It made me happy.
Caleb at the Fort Dodge Fort Museum this summer during the Bickmeier Roadtrip of 2011. His mom was taking a picture outside, but I loved the lightening from the inside. 
I don't have many pictures of Brian that show off the color of his eyes. This is one of them.  And he has a fresh haircut. I have even fewer photos of that, so this I cherish.
And finally, my dog Dawson. He's a beautiful chocolate lab and I love him! This picture makes him look stoic, when really he's a big goofball, but I love him just the way he is. And isn't that what we all want- to be ourselves and be loved for it?
What do you think 2012 has in store? I'll be seeking out more joy.


We have so much to be thankful for as we look back on 2011, but one of the most important is that my twin brother Seth made it home from Afghanistan safe and sound this past summer. After spending the holidays last year deployed, having him back in the States was wonderful (even if we weren't together). Thank you Seth for your service!
At the same time we send prayers out for those soilders who are still serving overseas during this holiday season and for our military families in 2011 who suffered ultimate losses. Let's all hope and pray that 2012 holds far less grief and far more joy.


I think we will forever remember 2011 as the "Year of Change" for us. Not necessarily tons of changes, just some major ones. For starters, I might have called you crazy if last New Years you told me I would be posting a year later back in Alaska. Or at least that we would make the move in November. Now THAT was crazy (and not by choice).

Anyway, Brian and I made a list of the biggest changes that occurred in 2011.

In no particular order (except #1):

1. Welcome Philip! This handsome little guy has made 2011 extra special. And look how much he's changed in just 8 months! Lots of growing and learning. I think he's going to make 2012 extra special too.

Philip Scott: Day 1
Philip Scott: (almost) 8 months
2. I become a stay-at-home mom. The opportunity was a blessing, though I have missed my work and not having a daily routine. I wouldn't trade my time with little Philip for anything, but I am excited about returning to work the first week in January. Philip's at an age where I think he'll thrive spending a few days a week in daycare and spending more 1-on-1 time with his dad. Good luck Brian!
3. Brian completed his B.A. degree in Business Management from Buena Vista University. Congrats, Brian! I still don't know how he managed to fit in all of his school work and hundreds and hundreds of over time hours. I guess what we can say is "Phew, glad that's over." We're so proud of him!
4. We sold our house in Iowa (THANK GOODNESS) and moved back to Alaska- in November. We were sad to leave this house (after all, it was Philip's first home), but were excited to be heading North. We enjoyed our time in Iowa for the most part, except for the wind, blizzards, horrible work schedules, intense humidity, and dog injuries. On a positive note we met lots of interesting people, made a few close friends, got to know Brian's Midwestern family, did plenty of gardening, attempted to raise bees, antiqued, picked lots of apples, the dogs ate lots of apples, and Brian found a few old jeeps in need of a loving home. So the good certainly outweighed the bad, but I think Brian and I both agree that Alaska was beckoning for our return.
And now that we're back we are NEVER MOVING again! (Well, except into a house we plan to buy next summer...)

5. We ditched Chevy SUVs and became believes in Subaru. So now we look like everyone else in Fairbanks (especially since we replaced our Iowa plates with yellow Alaska ones). I don't understand, however, why with so many Subarus in the arctic, the temperature gauge only goes to -22F. So, in my mind, the temperature when I'm driving around is never below that mark. Ha! Take THAT Fairbanks winter!
6. We arrived in Iowa with 2 perfectly healthy, young labs and unfortunately returned to Alaska with only one in good health, Dawson. Mattie tore her ACL last spring and had to have surgery. She hasn't been quite the same since and as I write this post she's walking around on 3 legs, having injured her other back leg. She's going back in for a second surgery in a few weeks. Poor pup. We're hoping 2012 is her year to return to good health. Fingers crossed (and wallet opened).
Alright, 2012, let's see what you've got! In the meantime, we wish our blog readers a happy and healthy New Year!