the future Dr. Zeidan

I can’t believe it has been so long since I updated. It seems so much has happened and I am sure I will forget something. I came to Detroit for commencement. It was fun, and also very wonderful to see my family and Jason. While I was there I also had a job interview that went well. It was really hard to go back to internship after that. I was basically just counting the days till I graduated. A few weeks after I was back I had some bad news. My dad was needing emergency triple bypass surgery. He madit through it, and is recovering well. He isn’t allowed to drive still, but he is able to go back to work. He rides with his friend who lives close. I was also offered the job at blue water counseling. I have accepted it, but I am waiting on my temporary limited license to come through before I can start.

Anyway, both Jason and my mom made it to Alaska to help me move out and to be there for my internship graduation. While I was very very very excited to be done with internship it was very hard to leave Alaska and also say goodbye to my internship cohort. Many of them are like siblings to me now. We got a chance to take my mom up to Hatchers Pass after graduation, and we explored the mine. On the way down there was this beautiful rainbow. It seemed like a movie set. That weekend we also got to go to Mt. McKinley. We did a flight tour with a glacier landing. It was amazing. I highly suspected Jason was going to propose, but he didn’t. He had always promised it would be before I moved in with him, but the next day he left. This left me feeling confused.

I flew back to Michigan 2 days later, and my cat and aly have been introduced. It hasn’t gone so well. Aly is terrified of Sonata, but Sonata doesn’t realize it. They can occasionally be in the same room. I have also seen a few friends, but for the most part I have been lazy or studying for the EPPP since getting your PhD isn’t enough. Yes that’s right I need another 2000 hours of supervised practice and to pass the EPPP before I will be fully licensed.

Last week I was really tired, and Jason came home and was like lets go for a hike. I refused and he looked kind of upset. He then suggested the mall. I eventually agreed to get dressed and go. He kept trying to get me to look at pictures of Alaska we had taken, but I kept saying I’d look in the car. He texted one to me and was being pushy about me looking. I kept saying in the car. He finally was like can I show you then. It was a picture we had taken at Mt McKinely and he had put Shannon will you marry me on a sign in the picture. Apparently he was having someone write it out on the hike we were going to take, but I screwed things up. Anyway, I am so excited and happy. We are planning an October 2015 wedding here in Michigan. In August our families are supposed to meet. There will be a blessing of the ring. This is something that I traditional for Jordanian weddings, and it is important to his father. Anyway, that’s it for now. Lots going on. I’ll try to update more frequently.

 

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psych intern is tired

So I haven’t really been updating this recently. To be honest I have been just trying to count down the weeks. I think the lack of daylight was getting to me. We now have the sun up about 8 and it goes down after six, and I seem to be in much better spirits.

 

Jason and I were able to make it to Seattle for a weekend and that was helpful, but now is our longest stretch of not seeing each other. It will be Easter before I see him again.  It was nice being with him. We did our gym thing, went to a comedy show, made dinner, got me a new phone (this has to be done in the lower 48 since there isn’t a Verizon tower here, and if I try to transfer it can’t connect).

 

I also made a really bad mistake that kind of threw things off for me. We completed a survey of our internship experience. I marked things as I saw them and gave my feedback honestly. I then had to have a meeting with the supervisors at my site to explain myself. It turned out okay, and they understood my comments and I have gotten a much better experience since then, so I guess it turned out better than okay.

 

I am now working part time on the inpatient unit as needed which is kind of exciting. I also have more adolescent patients and pregnant women. I am really enjoying these new challenges.

 

Fur rondy was the past week and a half. I was going to spend some time there the first weekend, but I had a fall on ice and was very sore. It still hurts, but one of the faculty members is doing osteopathtic manipulations to help. I am upset though because running was going really really well. I went ahead and ran running of the reindeer this weekend, and it killed, but it was fun and a chance of a life time. My friend Jenna was going to run it with me but she ended up catching strep throat so she just took pictures for me.

 

So basically I am counting down the weeks 17 left total, but a week and a half will be traveling and spent in Detroit for commencement and that still leaves me with one vaca day and 5 sick days. My hope is to see the aurora within the next month since daylight will be much longer come april.

 

so the photos in order are my intern class, the iditarod start sign in anchorage, the beautiful view from my condo, a reindeer that chased me this weekend, me running in run with the reindeer, and a beautiful sunset on my way down from hillside

 

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4 time zones in a week and a half and 24 weeks left of internship!

4 different time zones in a week and a half and 24 weeks of internship left

So I’m back in Alaska, and all I have to say to you lower 48ers is ahahahahahahaha. Yes we are at a balmy 36 and while we may get a lot of snow here this week, this city is built to deal with it unlike the lower 48. Anyway, coming back was hard despite the warm spell we are having.

I took off for Seattle the Friday before Christmas and was terrified and pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to make it to Detroit the next day due to the ice storm Chicago and Detroit were supposed to get. Jason kept checking for me, and while there were some delays I finally arrived in Detroit 28 hours after taking off from Anchorage. Traveling is the one thing that sucks about being in Alaska.

The first day in Detroit I got to bond with our ‘daughter” alyeska (the dog I bought Jason for Christmas) and I got to go to Lex. It was amazing to see everyone there. I miss them soooooo much! It still feels like home to me. Jason and I hit up whole foods (another sucky thing about Alaska no whole foods) and we made dinner. I always love making dinner with him. On Monday Jason had to work. He also overslept. It was fun driving him around though and making sure he got fed. That night we went to the mall! A real mall!!!!!!!! Not one of the two shopping centers anchorage tries to pass off for a mall. I was good though and didn’t spend much at all.

Tuesday we began our journey to Dayton Ohio to spend Christmas with his family at his sister’s house. We brought Aly along. The only way to get that dog to sleep is long car rides. We listened to Christmas music and really the drive wasn’t that bad. We stayed at a hotel so when we got there we checked in and then it was off to meet the family. His sister made some amazing food, and really the entire family was so sweet and welcoming. His little niece is adorable too. She crawled into Aly’s carrying case. Jason was a little standoffish which tends to b his pattern when we are around people for the first time. I called him out on it and so did his family apparently lol. Christmas started with our workout and then he gave me one gift. It was a beautiful white gold necklace with diamonds in the shape of a snowflake. It’s gorgeous. Then we headed to his sister’s house. His dad and sister got me gifts, which was absolutely sweet of them. I didn’t expect them to do anything. Jason also gave me the rest of my gifts, a Datsyuk jersey, Freudian finger puppets, and gift certificates to Victoria Secret and LuLu Lemon. He did way too much!

The rest of the day we spent time talking with his family and playing with his niece. We also got a chance to facetime with my family too. It was really nice to just be with Jason. It felt like we were a family. His sister asked us a bunch of questions about our intentions and Jason got giggly like a schoolgirl. That mad me mad for a bit, but his dad ended up having a conversation with us and Jason voiced his thoughts on where we were headed. The next day we drove back to Detroit and got packed for our trip to Portland.

Portland was amazing. We both really liked it there, which is good since we will be spending July there when Jason does his away rotation in palliative care. We also got to finally see the hunger games and Jason participated in my tradition of bringing food to the theater. I started getting a little sick while I was there but we still managed a hike at Pitock mansion and explored downtown and the sky tram that runs from the hospital he will be at to the waterfront. It looks like a space station. Jason again amazed me by taking care of me when I woke up feeling terrible at 5 am. He got up made sure I was warm and asleep and then went to hunt down some meds. It was a relaxing time despite being sick. It made it extremely hard to come back. We also kind of decided we might want a Portland wedding.

Having that much time with him made me realize I can’t go through with my plan to stay in Alaska next year. I need to be with him. He is certain he can handle the 10months of me being there if I can’t find work. Then we will know where we are going for his fellowship and I can start looking for a postdoc there. I’ll just use the time to take care of him, study for the EPPP, maybe find part time work and plan the wedding. This is a different mind set for me. I’ve always been so OCD about making sure I am performing at my best school wise and moving through things quickly. I just realize we deserve the chance to be together.

The other good news is I may be back to running. Jason massaged my foot everyday and I started running last week. Nothing major just up to 1.3 miles the first week and this weekend I did 1.6 and 2.0, and I am still only sticking to speeds around 8.0 mph to 8.6, but it still feels great to run at all. I’m hoping the pain stays away. I just have to make myself ease back into it.

So this week is transcultural medicine for all the interns. No patients just learning a lot about healthcare in Alaska. It’ll be nice to have all the interns from Nome and Fairbanks in town. Only 24 weeks left of internship!!!!!!!

up by the hospital jason will be at with portland in background

up by the hospital jason will be at with portland in background

jason up near the hospital

jason up near the hospital

us and pavel at christmas

us and pavel at christmas

my necklace

my necklace

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

jason and his niece in her new car

aly in the back of the car

aly in the back of the car

us with amelia

us with amelia

me opening presents

me opening presents

us in portland

us in portland

the sky tram

the sky tram

our fake engagement photo

our fake engagement photo

me in portland

me in portland

jason in front of a tree by the courthouse in portland

jason in front of a tree by the courthouse in portland

I is growing up!!!!!!!!

Okay so my life is boring lately. Actually I’m sick and staying in plus it’s a negative 10 outside so who wants to be out doing anything? I have been thinking a lot about who I was last year at this time and who I am today. This all started because we had to review applicants for internship. It’s crazy to think that this time next year someone else will be in my spot and I will be off trying to get those post doc hours for licensure. Anyway, this time last year I was dating someone else, just finding out my tendon was torn, was a crazy mess defending my dissertation, and anxiously hoping to get interviews for internship. I’d say I’ve learned quite a bit, some funny and some not so funny but for those who care to read I thought I would post.

1.     Relationships don’t have to be hard, if you find yourself beating your head over and over again maybe take a step back and realize you’re not compatible.

2.     Some friends you can fight with for years, but then when its over you’re like sisters again. These are the friends that really matter.

3.     It isn’t cold until its in the negatives, the rest of the time all that’s required is a jacket as soon as it hits 0 better start putting on the hat and gloves

4.     Sometimes its true, when you let someone go if they come back to you then they’re yours (okay not okay with the owning language of this but you get the gist)

5.     Any and every unhealthy food can be modified to include cauliflower or almost

6.     Empathy can be hard when you’ve never been in that person’s situation and having empathy for someone who can’t have empathy for another is even harder (does anyone even follow that)

7.     This too shall pass, for heaven’s sake I thought my life was horrible flying from place to place and interviewing and then sitting around anxiously awaiting where I would be going for internship. It passed I’m halfway through my internship

8.     Sunsets and sunrise is pretty anywhere, but nothing compares to Alaska

9.     If you see something in the road it could be a moose (haha doesn’t apply to non Alaskans)

10.If you tell an Alaskan you’ve never had something or never tried an activity be prepared to be gifted whatever you’ve never had or to have them suggest y’all go do whatever it is you haven’t done (and probably right away)

11.Take a risk, go beyond whats comfortable, you’ll never know what you’re missing out and you just might find what you were afraid of trying fits you perfectly

12.Bears are not that common to see in anchorage

13.Men in anchorage hunt women like they hunt animals “ you you’re a woman, you’re mine”

14.Most people in anchorage are trying to escape something if they weren’t born here, but sometimes this also means they just want connections with others

15.Malls aren’t necessary (omg I did not just say this!!!!! Online shopping is wonderful)

16.It is sometimes safer to pull out those figure skates and skate your way to work rather than drive

17.4 wheel drive is awesome

18.plowing is a luxury that the lower 48 rely on

19.I enjoy saying “they’re from the lower 48 and other such things”

That’s it for now. I’m too tried to think of more although I am sure there are plenty more. I’m posting some pictures I’ve taken so far since I got up here. Can’t believe it’s almost been half a year

sunrise 10:15 am

sunrise 10:15 am

sunset 3;15 pm

sunset 3;15 pm

sunset 3;15 pm

sunset 3;15 pm

sunset 315 pm

sunset 315 pm

sunset 330 pm

sunset 330 pm

sunset 3;30 pm

sunset 3;30 pm

sunset 3;30

sunset 3;30

anchorage airport it's like a museum

anchorage airport it’s like a museum

beach with jason at kincaid

beach with jason at kincaid

jason at the beach kincaid

jason at the beach kincaid

a moose jason found

a moose jason found

a moose jason found

a moose jason found

moose

moose

winter has arrived in alaska and a trip to the north pole, okay maybe just north pole, ak

So where to begin. Again it has been some time since my last update, and its winter here and Anchorage. Jason came in on the 2nd, and we had a fabulous time. My TV was possessed by a ghost so he helped me get a new one set up, and we fixed dinner and had frozen yogurt that night. I had to work Monday-Thursday, but we had fun making protein waffles (with my new waffle maker he brought me) and we did go down to the beach by Kincaid. Of course it wasn’t as great now that it is too cold to really enjoy it. Monday I had to lecture at UAA to PA students on difficult doctor-patient relationships. I had done the exact same topic a few days earlier for the residents, so it wasn’t too much prep, but I hate talking in front of people. Jason came and sat through it to give me support.

Luckily I had the opportunity to work the Saturday right before he came in, so I got an extra comp day. I was already off Monday and Tuesday but I was able to add Friday to that. Thursday night we did all the grocery shopping, and Friday we flew to Fairbanks. It’s amazing how he has adopted my habits. We got a later flight out so we could workout that morning without waking up too early. Then we packed some food, and we immediately went to the grocery store to get the rest once we arrived in Fairbanks. We had a pretty sweet hotel too. It was more like an apartment less like a hotel. We had a full kitchen and everything. Friday night we just ended up relaxing in the hotel since it was dark and cold and snowy.

Saturday we woke up semi early, got ourselves to the gym, and then we headed out towards Chena. It was snowy and cold, but it wasn’t too bad since I have learned to dress properly for the weather. We went on a dogsled tour. The woman who does it had tried to convince us to stay in a yurt at her place. How do I describe what a yurt is? Its this round one room thing, its kind of like a tent. No running water an you light a fire for heat. Yeah we were not staying there. I may be enjoying AK but I have standards and a flushing toilet is one (already had the pleasure of not having one in the village, don’t need a repeat). The dogs were amazing though. There was one particular one that wouldn’t let me walk away from him named Patch. Jason and I have decided we are going to have a dogsled team. Actually we are thinking with what this woman charges we could use that as a way to make all our money. Of course we are very much tied to our careers so maybe it will be more supplemental.

After the dogsled tour we headed to Chena hotsprings. It was dark by the time we got there since the sun started to set around 330 pm. We looked at the hotspring outdoor pool, but there were some creepy looking people there and no lights. Not to mention the fact Japanese fly there to try to conceive under the northern lights since they say that brings good luck to the family. We did go ahead and do the ice museum there though, and it was spectacular. They had a working xylophone made of ice, chairs, tables, glasses you could drink out of, and so much art. On the way back to Fairbanks the weather got really bad though. Jason took it slow and we finally got back though.

Sunday we were supposed to meet up with my intern friends, but they got snowed in. We went to North Pole though, and sat on Santa’s lap J I also got presents for my entire family for Christmas. Jason and I of course got matching shirts, and we also got to see reindeer. It was like Christmas on steroids. After that we were driving back and saw the oddest shop called the screaming weasel. Of course we had to stop. The woman who owns the shop was quite the talker, and the store just mainly had handmade things. We were going to try to go to the Fairbanks ice museum, but everything was closed due to bad weather. We ended up walking around pioneer park and then going back to the hotel to make our healthy Mexican food and plan future trips on facebook.

Monday we had to fly back to Anchorage, but we did workout and then we stopped by Hope counseling center to see one of my cohort and my supervisor there. It was awesome to see them since I hadn’t seen them in person since our camping trip in July. We have video conferencing every Friday, but it isn’t the same.

Finally we got back to the airport, but our flight was delayed. Somehow while we drank our coffee and tea in the airport we got on the discussion of when we will get married. Surprisingly this topic didn’t freak either of us out. We ended up spending the flight discussing details of our wedding and the wedding date. Now don’t get me wrong people we are not engaged yet, just have a plan. We got back to Anchorage and went and got frozen yogurt and made a cauliflower pizza crust pizza. Unfortunately he had to leave Tuesday night, and I am back at work. He is trying to figure out a plan to come up later this month or early December. Then I’ll be heading to Detroit December 20th, spending Christmas at his sister’s in Dayton Ohio and then we will fly to Portland to spend New Years.

In other news I have been invited to learn to skate ski with some of the attending physicians and I am really excited about this. I need to get my gear though. I guess that means this weekend I’ll be heading to REI. Anyway, I’m attaching photos. I hope all is well with everyone!

jason in the yurt

jason in the yurt

my new friend patch

my new friend patch

pavel on the sleigh

pavel on the sleigh

jason and me with the dog team

jason and me with the dog team

pavel and i at the ice museum

pavel and i at the ice museum

jason and i at santa's house

jason and i at santa’s house

pavel in the yurt

pavel in the yurt

pavel with another puppy

pavel with another puppy

patch and i dancing

patch and i dancing

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pavel and ice pumpkins

pavel and ice pumpkins

jason and me with santa

jason and me with santa

pavel and a reindeer

pavel and a reindeer

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Rural village reflection

So I’m back and have been back for a while. Of course I had difficulty actually sitting down to write about my experience right afterward because I was not only exhausted, but overwhelmed with work almost immediately.  So the night before I left Jordan had texted me because there was a bad storm heading to Anchorage and possibly to Nome. There was a question of us ever getting out of Nome to go to Stebbins to begin with. Of course things went smoothly though. The flight to Nome was pretty awesome. I could see Mount McKinley from my window. Nome was different. It was smaller than I had imagined and because of the rain it was grey and much like a Michigan winter. Ray (our supervisor) picked us up from the airport and let me tell you smallest airport ever. There is one terminal and one gate. There isn’t a rotating thing for luggage, it’s just pushed through a flap. We got a chance to see Nome including the behavioral health clinic and gold drudges. Then it was time for our flight to Stebbins. I seriously thought I would have problems on the small plane, but it wasn’t bad. It hurt my ears horribly though, and Jordan had the same issue.

Now Stebbins. It’s on St. Michael’s island and made of volcanic rock. The runway is gravel, and there isn’t an airport. People met our flight, and someone took our luggage on a four wheeler to the health clinic for us. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. For some reason I wasn’t expecting houses. Now don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t expecting igloos, but I guess I was expecting a more communal way of living versus families set up just like mine. Anyway, the houses all looked the same, and were small. The village is basically one or two roads made of volcanic rocks. Nobody really drives cars, there maybe are two in the village. Everyone has a four wheeler though. People were friendly probably because we were with Ray and he is like a celebrity there. I felt really conspicuous though being the only white person there besides the teachers. Not to mention I felt a little overdressed and let me remind you I travel in sweats. Of course they were lululemon and I had my new coat and boots.

Anyway, Ray forgot to arrange a place for us to sleep, so the first few hours were spent hunting people down to find a place for us. We ended up at the teen center with a woman who also was just getting in. She was there for headstart and comes to the village about once a year. Can we say obnoxious!?!?!! She had no social skills at all. She immediately offended me and Jordan and wouldn’t leave us alone to unpack. Jordan was awesome though, I was missing Jason and he let me use his phone to call him (yeah no Verizon cell service there). It really helped having Jordan there because he has been in a long distance relationship and was very supportive and understood the feelings. Anyway, the first night we slept on cots. The teens and kids were banging on the windows and screaming open up it’s the government. Of course Sarah had warned us about this, so I was expecting it. Plus earlier and the day we had heard stories of how the teens had blown up the supplies used to build sewers and equipment to get the town running water. It’s funny that they destroyed the things that would have gotten them running water and a flushing toilet. Oh yes they use honey buckets still. Anyway, the first night was miserably cold, so Jordan and I packed up our stuff and decided to opt for the floor of the health clinic rather than sleep in the cold teen building with the obnoxious know it all.

The first full day was spent kind of just hanging out in the morning. The village seems to go on their own time, and nobody seems to get out of their house before 10 or 11. Later that day we helped Ray with a mental competency assessment. This meant visiting a home. I can’t say much about that because of client confidentiality. I can say that seeing what some people are living in was eye opening. I would feel trapped if that was my daily life. The smell was so strong, and I am surprised I didn’t get nauseous. The person we assessed was so sweet though, and Ray was amazing with her. My heart broke hearing her story, and the abuse she is suffering from family members and possible abuse from people in her family who are in authority in the village. Nobody will go against that person. Basically in the village they have very little of what we use in modern day cities for entertainment. No malls, movies, gyms, etc. They have bingo every night, and a small store with junk food. I bought frozen veggies there and it cost me 10 bucks for the bag. When I heated them up they were a muted grey green. No wonder everyone fills up on sugar and frozen pizza.

Jordan and I spent a lot of time hiking. We climbed a volcano twice, walked along the beach, through the village. Basically we saw what we could. The jail is so small, and often when someone is psychotic they have to be locked in one of these sparse cells because there is no other place to hold them and they have to wait till someone can bring a plane in and get them to Nome, and from there they have to be transported to anchorage. We did get a chance to see the native dancers and drummers. They were very welcoming, and that was amazing to see. Its sad more children aren’t getting into their customs anymore.  It was also heartbreaking to hear how children are often taken away from their homes and sent away because of the abuse they are experiencing at home. The woman at headstart was also rude and demonstrated why these people are totally against white people. She wanted to diagnose all the children with ADHD um no. They’re kids. They have energy they want to play.

We left the village and flew back to Nome on Monday. I left saying I’m glad they make us do this as part of the internship, but I definitely don’t see myself practicing in a village. It’s so isolating. It wouldn’t work well for me at all. Ray enjoys being by himself and it would drive me nuts. We got Thursday to catch up with Sarah and Jason who are the intern stationed in Nome, and then we were supposed to catch a flight back to anchorage. I was so ready for my own bed and to have my phone back even though Jordan let me talk to Jason every night. We got through security and then they announced our flight was canceled. I almost broke down right there. They really scared me by saying the next day’s flight was booked, but they ended up bringing a full flight up for us the next day instead of half cargo. Since Ray turns his cell phone off Sarah had to go check out a company car and pick us up at the airport. We dropped our stuff at her house and then drove the car back and walked back. I definitely cried. I just was so tired, but honestly it was awesome being able to talk with Sarah and learn more about her. It’s been a while since our camping trip. It was amazing of her to let us stay at her place too.

Finally Friday we got home, and I went straight to the gym and then had a phone date with Jason. Seriously though I was exhausted for a week after that. I had my MOVE groups starting this week and so much to do given I am the one leading and supervising the master’s students. Plus of course millions of normal clinical activities. The sun doesn’t come up now to almost 9 am and is down around 6 pm. That’s making me tired too.

I did go to my first Alaska Aces hockey game and had a lot of fun. Met some new people too who seem awesome. My MOVE group went well yesterday, and now I’m starting to feel a little less busy although I still am booked all week in the clinic. I just have this weekend and then the next weekend Jason will be here, so something to look forward to! I hope everyone is well!

pavel and i boarding the small plane

pavel and i boarding the small plane

coming into stebbins

coming into stebbins

the "airport"

the “airport”

pavel with a volcanic rock

pavel with a volcanic rock

me and pavel exploring the island

me and pavel exploring the island

pavel with some weird fungus

pavel with some weird fungus

pavel and i on top of the volcano

pavel and i on top of the volcano

pavel and i on the volcano

pavel and i on the volcano

me hiking with jordan and stebbins in the background

me hiking with jordan and stebbins in the background

beach in a parka?

beach in a parka?

pavel and i on the beach

pavel and i on the beach

the dancers

the dancers

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

leaving stebbins, the lake is the volcano and nobody has found the bottom

leaving stebbins, the lake is the volcano and nobody has found the bottom

leaving stebbins

leaving stebbins

Nome the end of the iditarod!

Nome the end of the iditarod!

Jason was here!!!!!!!!!

Pavel and Jason infront of Portage glacier

Pavel and Jason infront of Portage glacier

me and Pavel on the Portage glacier tour

me and Pavel on the Portage glacier tour

me and Jason on the Portage glacier cruise

me and Jason on the Portage glacier cruise

me and pavel and snoqualme in front of the river from the glaciers

me and pavel and snoqualme in front of the river from the glaciers

jason Pavel and Snoqualme

jason Pavel and Snoqualme

Jason Pavel and Snoqualme on our hike through Kincaid

Jason Pavel and Snoqualme on our hike through Kincaid

me and Pavel in Kincaid

me and Pavel in Kincaid

Pavel and I in front of the beach at Kincaid

Pavel and I in front of the beach at Kincaid

the sunset from Flat Top

the sunset from Flat Top

sun set at Flat Top

sun set at Flat Top

Pavel and I in a house we found on our hike in Hatcher's Pass

Pavel and I in a house we found on our hike in Hatcher’s Pass

Pavel and Snoqualme at the end of our hike up to the lake at Hatcher's Pass

Pavel and Snoqualme at the end of our hike up to the lake at Hatcher’s Pass

me Pavel and Snoqualme at Summit Lake

me Pavel and Snoqualme at Summit Lake

the bull moose I saw on a hike with Jenn

the bull moose I saw on a hike with Jenn

the baby moose who had been abandoned by its mamma for mating season

the baby moose who had been abandoned by its mamma for mating season

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

sunset at the beach at Kincaid

It’s been so long since I posted but honestly I wasn’t going to sit down and write anything when Jason was here. His visit was fabulous. I’ve never been able to be in a relationship where I don’t need some space, but having him here for 11 days I never once needed a break. Maybe it’s because we are long distance, but even back in Michigan I never once felt like that.  He honestly goes above and beyond for me. His first night here he got in too late for us to do anything besides just be in awe that we were together. The following day we took it easy and went to the gym, but that night we went up to Hatcher’s Pass to try and hunt down the northern lights. Unfortunately the clouds had other plans. We ate dinner in the car, but we figured we would see nothing. Stupid us for giving up, the next day we heard the clouds opened up and people could see them for a bit. The day after that we went to Portage Glacier and took the cruise. It was so beautiful and Pavel was happy because Jason brought his transitional love object Snoqualme with him, so pavel had a play date. The water round there is soooooo blue from the glaciers. It’s breathtaking. We went to Alyeska from there and road the tram to the very top. It’s amazing to be up there. Then we came home and watched the hunger games together. Monday we went downtown and did the tourist stuff. Jason got me stuff to make my Kobuk’s tea (this locally made tea that’s fabulous!). Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I had to work, but Jason got up at 5 am and did the gym with me everyday and then dropped me up at work. He picked me up at lunchbreak and at the end of the day. Having him there was so amazing! Thursday he got the chance to Dr. Rust at the hospital about the Palliative Care fellowship here, and it sounds promising. Dr. Rust gave him multiple hours of his time and is looking forward to seeing his application. Then that night we had planned to climb Flat Top, but we accidentally did a hike instead. The city looked so pretty with all the lights though from that high up. Friday was supposed to be our trip to Denali, but the plane couldn’t take off because of weather. We ended up hiking at Kincaid, and then we went to actual Flat Top and watched the sunset. Perfect as always. Saturday we went back to Hatcher’s Pass and did a hike that was fun. We also found our way to summit lake at the very top, so that is going to be our next hike. We made our Cauliflower crust pizza together that night and watched Harry Potter. It was so hard to say goodbye on Sunday. I definitely cried. He is just so sweet to me. My condo was cleaned when I came home from work, he is always tuned into my emotions, and more than anything we always have fun doing whatever. I love him so much!

Since his visit we have plans for Seattle in two weeks for a weekend and then I go to Nome and the rural village Stebbins. I am very nervous, and I am trying to get all my winter gear together. We leave October 7th, and Jordan will be with me, which should make it a little more fun. I still need to come up with gifts for the elders and the children though. Any input would be helpful. Besides that work has been busy. My MOVE groups will start the week after I am back from Nome.

November will mean another visit from Jason, and we will try Denali again and then the thought is either North Pole or Juneau. It kind of depends on flight prices though. I am really kind of starting to build my life here. I have been going to argentine tango lessons and this week I am going to be trying a church group that sounds similar to my old one. I am kind of nervous and excited for that. I mean some church groups can be so judgmental. Also, Jenn and I get together often and she is a good person to hike with for sure. Other than that not much is happening. It’s cold here, there is snow on the mountaintops and I am trying to get good winter gear together. I hope all of you are enjoying fall!