Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hiatus Is Over

After a long hiatus and a little soul searching with regard to whether or not I should continue with this blog, I am back in action. I had a severe case of writer's block over the summer and quite frankly, my life just isn't all that exciting on a daily basis. Friends and family have asked about the blog from time to time and have wanted me to continue posting, but it started to feel more like work than like fun. I suppose I just needed a little time to reflect, refresh and regroup.

So, here I am, the kids are back in school (Logan is in 7th grade and Kaiden is in 5th) and so am I. Yep, you read that correctly! After many years of talking about it, I have finally decided to go back to school to finish my degree. After doing a ton of research on universities, I decided to take the non-traditional approach. I am attending the only accredited, fully-online university in the country. It is based out of Utah and is called Western Governors University. Not only is the learning structure non-traditional, but the tuition structure is as well. By attending WGU, I should have my degree faster than I would in a traditional program and I will save thousands of dollars. I started school on September 1 and someday, when I'm done, I'll have a Bachelors Degree in Inter-Disciplinary Studies. In a nutshell, I'll be able to teach if I want to. I am excited to be back in school, but overwhelmed as well. I know I'll be fine, I just have to figure things out and get into the groove.

I can't believe we have been in Alaska almost two years! The time hasn't always flown by, but I still can't believe it will be two years in December. I also can't believe that I am already stressing out about Christmas! I have spent many evenings recently on the computer, pouring over the Alaska Airlines website, stressing out about how I can please everyone during the holidays without going broke in the process (and I'm not even referring to gift giving). There are some amazing advantages to living in Alaska, but air travel is not one of them. I am finding it incredibly difficult to justify using thousands of frequent flyer miles and still paying $1000+ to get the four of us to Southern California for the holidays. On one hand, it wouldn't be bad staying here for a White Christmas, but I don't know if I could deal with the guilt. The family isn't pressuring us (they don't have to, the pressure is inherently there), but I'm still overwhelmed by the whole notion. We have the only two grandkids on Eric's side of the family and the only other grandchild on my side of the family is just over a year old. Since the boys have been old enough to "get" Christmas, the family aspect of the holiday has always been an awful lot about them. I feel like if we aren't with the family for the holidays I have single-handedly robbed both sets of parents of that joy. Let me tell you, that's A LOT of pressure for one girl to take!!!!!

As I'm sure you've gathered from reading this, unless you have a ton of money, you've lived here your whole life and/or your family is here, life in Alaska doesn't really get easier. Aspects of life certainly get easier (I now have a great support system, some wonderful friends, a Kohls, and the third Target in the state, opening near us soon), but there are constantly new and different challenges. I know Eric, the boys and I are better for our experiences here, but it certainly isn't always a day on the river fishing!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Steph!!
The story of part of your life is very interesting.
All will work out just fine for you. I know sometimes we dont have the answers to everything.The road isnt always easy..
Follow your dreams and the rest will happen.
We are so proud that you decided to handle college courses again.
Love and good luck.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. I get the pressure thing about family. We have chosen to go to CA for Christmas too. We will see my dad, my inlaws and our friends. I am afraid to tell my mom because she will feel left out. But she is in MA and we can only be one place at a time, plus we see her every summer. We were lucky to get free tickets thanks to my husbands constant travel. Of course his parents offered to pay for them after we booked them. Oh well at least it will be warmer than being in Illinois. Good luck in school. It sounds like fun. I'll be checking back every once in a while to see what's new.

Laurie D.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,
My husband attends WGU and loves it. If you want the inside scoop, email me @ and I'll get you two connected.
Jen Miller (Formerly Jennifer Mayer)