Wednesday, June 13, 2012

delightfully engaged to happily ever after

Stephen and I are honored and excited to have our wedding day featured in an engagement blog! Delightfully Engaged is acknowledging our photographer for his talent, and we're so happy that it is our day representing him! Aaron Courter became a friend of ours through our engagement and wedding photo shoots and we would recommend him to anyone! Friendly, talented, easy-going, thoughtful, creative... He truly is the perfect photographer! We're so happy we chose him to represent us on our day and I'm so happy he's being recognized for his talent!

Can't lie, I feel kiiinda cool having my wedding featured on a blog...other than my own. Check it out! ---> HERE! It was such a perfect day for us, I'm so happy we have photos that represent the fun and love! Can't believe it's been almost year! (One more month!) I feel like we've been married for years! We've been through so much in the last year, so many crazy adventures! I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to have Stephen by my side... So, from delightfully engaged to our happily ever after, happy almost one year anniversary to us!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Delta Junction

Ohh Delta Junction... Stephen and I are living in Delta Junction for the month of June (we've been here for one week, now!) Why, you ask? Stephen and his classmates are required to do one of three projects over the summer. One of them called R/uop. Hence, the rural town of Delta Junction.
We are given an apartment and a stipend to live here for one month so Stephen can get some hands on experience in the local clinic. Throughout the month Stephen is supposed to get to know the community, find a missing health related need, and then implement a solution! Harder than it seems...
The town of Delta Junction has a population of 900 people and the closest hospital is an hour and a half away, so the clinic sees a little bit of everything from sniffy noses to babies being born! (There's usually about two births a year that can't make the drive to Fairbanks and come to the clinic, and last week happened to bring in one very pregnant gal and Stephen got to see his first live birth!) He's seen a few car crash patients, lots of little kids, sewn up ripped ear lobes... The town of Delta Junction keeps it interesting!
There isn't much to Delta Junction, though it is surrounded by woods and rivers and lakes (plenty of hiking and outside activities!). There's a grocery store, a couple restaurants/coffee shops, a library (that's surprisingly impressive), and a pretty awesome park with a frisbee golf course in it. Annd that's about it ;) The town is mostly a drive through town, as it's on the way to Valdez and the starting point of the Alaskan Highway that goes all the way through Canada and down to the lower 48.
The apartment we were given is a small studio with a rock hard bed, card table and folding chairs, itty bitty oven, and one sexy brown and tan velour couch. Niiiiice. It even smells like Great Grandma. Yum. But it is free. And free is good. Very good.
I've been passing the day away by cooking, working out, cleaning, lots of talking to my momma, and getting eaten by mosquitoes! I'm up to 18 bites right now, two the size of nickles! Alaskan summers are beautiful and full of sunshine, but they are also full of bugs...

It isn't easy to move here and there and feel like the extra person. At least, not as easy as I thought. Though I chose to ride this roller coaster and would never want to be anywhere else, it's hard not to get bitter and selfish. (You mean it's not all about me all the time?! ...Get over it, Allison!) I'm slowly learning that my happiness can't come from Stephen, or my family, or my friends, or the place that I live, or the job that I have... Those things do make me happy, very happy, but they will fail. They will let me down. They aren't responsible for my happiness so I shouldn't hold them accountable for it. That's why we act out at the people we love when things aren't going our way. It's not fair. And it's not ok. My happiness cannot come from earthly things because they are just that, things! We're certainly allowed and expected to have bad days. We're allowed and expected to get down and get selfish. But it's not healthy to make those around you feel guilty for your unhappiness. Nor is it healthy to wallow in that bad day. Who knew I'd be learning just as much in life as Stephen is in the clinic ;) So, to my husband... I'm sorry for my bad day. I'm sorry I held you responsible for my happiness, though you do bring me endless smiles and joys. I'm sorry that in my unhappiness I ruined dinner and a game of fisbee golf. I cannot promise that my mistakes will not repeat themselves, but I can promise that I will try my hardest to find my happiness in Jesus and share the joy that He gives me with you. Thank you for loving me in spite of my bad days, and thank you for loving me through my bad days. Thank you for loving me :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Stephen and I have always wanted to go to Disneyland. I went at that age of 6, and again my freshman year of high school for one day during our California spring break, but Stephen hadn’t been since he was a baby. He probably can’t remember what we ate for dinner last night, so he really can’t remember this. We thought it would be fun to go one time before we have kids so we could do all the “big kid” stuff and be on our own schedule. Selfish? Maybe a little. We didn’t think we’d have the time or money to go anytime soon, though, so Disneyland was put on the “someday” list.
You know back when the Superbowl was hosted in part by Disneyland? And at the end of the game when they handed the Quarterback the trophy they’d always ask, “So and so, you just won the Superbowl! Now what are you going to do?” And they’d always say, “I’m going to Disneyland!” Well, way back when I didn’t understand that they were promoting a sponsor and that they actually had to say that. I just thought they were really going to Disneyland! Either way, the saying became a part of my usual vocabulary. And when Stephen won the Arthur Schiable Human Anatomy Award, I asked him that same question later that evening. When he replied with, “We’re going to Disneyland!” I smiled and laughed because he knew that’s what I wanted him to say, but he kept smiling! With his hundreds of laugh lines and his red cheeks… He was serious! The award came with a hefty check, so we could afford to go… And we were already planning on being in California for two weeks so we had the time to go… And just like that, “someday” became next month!

We woke up early and drove the hour and twenty minutes from Bonsall to Anaheim, just in time for the gates to open. I was giddy like a little girl on Christmas, or like a little girl going to Disneyland! For those of you who know me, you might understand my excitement. For those of you who don’t, well… I love Disneyland. I love Disney anything. Minnie Mouse, Princesses, happy music, little kids, ice cream, sunshine, Nemo, castles, rides, laughter… All my favorite things in one place. It truly is the happiest place on Earth. (Stephen miiiight have felt like he was babysitting a five year old most of the day)
Our first ride was Indiana Jones and on our way there Stephen and his long legs kept passing all the families with young kids and he says to me (in a louder than conversation volume) “This is awesome! We’re faster than all the little kids!” If we got stares I didn’t see any, but I knew from that comment and his excitement that it was going to be a long, fun day.
Splash Mountain was our second stop. We walked right through the twists and turns and right onto a boat. First two in the seats and the only ones on the ride. (It was still morning and not quite hot out) In the words of my mother, “It was SO fun!” We got done and came back around and with still no one in line, the worker asked if we wanted to go again! I could have stayed on that ride all day long.
So on and so forth for the rest of the day. We enjoyed some yummy food, people watching, Minnie Mouse, ride after ride after ride and many laughs. By the time the parade started we’d gone on every ride but Space Mountain. The line was always so long… We’d been lucky to never wait more than 45 minutes so we kept questioning if the hour and a half wait would be worth it. I could tell Stephen really wanted to go, long wait or not, so after all my favorite characters came through the parade (lucky us they were the first four floats!) I grabbed Stephen’s arm and we ran to Space Mountain! The wait was down to 45 minutes (good timing!) though it seemed like longer… Well worth the wait, though! We finally got on the ride and went through laughing and screaming and crying because it was going so fast it whipped tears out of my eyes! We pulled back in and noticed the workers looked confused and were staring at us. After some button pushing on the machines they asked if we wanted to go again! Um, duh! Our cart had gone too far forward for our lap bars to pull up so we had no choice! Longest line of the day and we got to go around twice… Not too shabby!
We made it one more time down Splash Mountain with a little line, grabbed some coffee and a cinnamon roll for the drive home and headed back out the gates.
We had so much fun together, acting like little kids all day. I’m happy we were able to experience Disneyland pre babies, but am looking forward to bringing back the future kiddos and watching them become excited at all the little (and big!) things, just as we did!
I want to thank my husband for taking me and making me the happiest and luckiest girl! I love you, Stephen Wall!

Friday, June 1, 2012


Too many pictures? Sorry, I just couldn't choose. (I left out all the Disneyland ones. It deserves a post all its own. Yes, we went to Disneyland. Mickey Mouse pancakes and all. I'll explain later.) Pool, sun, horses, campfires, beach, surfing, card games, family, rope swing, slack line, the world's cutest little boy... All my favorite things in one place. Bonsall, California. Two weeks in paradise. Seriously, could it get any better?!

Stephanie and Triston picked us up from the airport on Wednesday morning. (Their black lab flew all the way from Alaska with us!) And it was hot, hot, hot! We made the 45 minute drive into Bonsall catching up with Steph, playing with Triston, and admiring all the greenery from the windows. It worked out that Jon didn't have to work the whole two weeks we were there! (A blessing in disguise!) So we got to spend our evening with them eating at the famous Z Cafe (If you're ever in Bonsall, it's a must), playing outside on the slack line and tire swing, and talk, talk, talking!

On Thursday we ventured out to Cardiff beach for some football, frisbee, tanning, and playing in the water for the boys (It may not be as cold as the Oregon Coast, but it's still cold!). It was so fun to watch Triston explore the sand, which he hated at first and then couldn't get enough of it! ...Sand everywhere. Back in Bonsall we spent our evening around the pool under the sun. (Us Alaskan's hadn't seen the sun in awhile! Now we're back and it's up for 24 hours!) Steph made us the yummiest Cuban dish that left me dying for the recipe, and spent the rest of the evening playing card games. Aka, teaching Allison how to play hearts and then whopping her butt in it.

Stephanie's parents own a couple horses and board them not too far from their home. (Jon and Steph live just down the way from her parents and the Barney's were gracious enough to let us stay in their home!) So we got to go riding on Friday! I hadn't been riding since I owned my horse, so I was a little more than excited! And Stephen had only been riding once many years ago. I was just as anxious to see him on a horse as I was to get on one myself! Stephanie grew up around horses, been riding and training for years. She's basically a pro. And now that they live down there, Jon's staring to pick it up! So Stephen and I were definitely the newbees. But we had a blast! Back in the saddle again! And I didn't want to get out! They have two beautiful paint horses, Scout and Sterling, and their friend let us ride his beast of a gray quarter horse, Gunner. (Big, but oh so very slow) Triston, to my surprise was not afraid of the horses at all! He was squealing with excitement the whole time and it was so fun to watch him watch the horses with such big and interested eyes!

On Saturday morning we got geared up for a hike, of sorts. Just down the road from Jon and Steph's house is 24 acres for sale that them and the Barney's are hoping to take over. The property is beautiful! Covered in  olive trees with the perfect layout for avocado and orange trees to grow... Two old buildings that could be converted into a green house and a barn... The perfect space for horses and corrals... An old mansion of a house overlooking all of Bonsall... Jon had this vision to start a camp for trouble youth, with a Christian emphasis. Teaching them to work on the self sustaining farm, ride and care for the horses... Implementing workouts, yoga, reading, prayer and guest speakers like Sherri, my mother-in-law, the economic guru, and Stephen, teaching them about basic health and first aid. It's an incredible vision and Jon's gotten the whole family on board. Everyone would have a role to make this vision a success. Right now they're asking for prayers, for God to open or close this door for them. Stephen and I love this idea and support it 100% and we truly hope that this is something that comes to fruition. Jon has an incredible vision and the determination to make it happen and succeed and we are wishing them all the best in this possible endeavor!

On Sunday we got to accompany Jon and Steph to their local church! Stephen and I haven't attended many different churches, so we always love the opportunity to learn from others and their pastor was great! Reminded me of Jeff with all his corny jokes ;) As we did every day, we spent the rest of our time together around the pool, cooking, playing games, and staring at Triston. I know he's my nephew so I'm a little biased, but he truly has got to be the cutest little boy...ever!

Monday brought waves to Oceanside where the boys went surfing! Stephanie and I stayed on the shore to watch (though she would get out there in a heartbeat, I'm terrified of large bodies of water... and surfing in them). Triston, again, was so fun to watch explore the new place! It's so awesome to see the world through a child's eyes! Everything is new and fun and exciting! And who wouldn't want that?! The boys were awesome! Never having surfed much, I was truly impressed!

After a day touring the town of Temecula and Z Cafe's famous Taco Tuesday, Jeff and Sherri got in! It was so cute to see them with Triston! They love him so much! And it's a love I can't yet understand, but the smiles they get on their faces when he looks at them tells me it's worth the wait :)

With Jeff and Sherri with us, we headed off to a local park on Wednesday (we'd already been there for a week!). The park was awesome! Just sayin'. It had fields perfect for football and frisbee, a road perfect for long boarding, swings perfect for Triston, a play ground perfect for tag, and a trail leading to a lake (baby duckies and logs for log wars included). We spent all day under the sun enjoying each other's company. So many activities!

Thursday was Disneyland! A post soon to come...

On Friday the boys showed off their surfing skills some more. Though this day wasn't as sunny... Stephanie and I sat in the cold and wind all bundled up together watching the boys from the beach, while Jeff and Sherri played with Triston in the van. Yes, we're that dedicated. It wasn't all bad. I do love the opportunities I get to talk with Stephanie whom I've grown to love and admire so much. She's a pretty inspiration gal who makes for a pretty good friend, and I'm so thankful to have her in my life! And despite the cold, the boys were able to get up quite a few times on the boards! We may have been the only crazies on the beach (minus some middle schoolers running around in the swimsuits for who knows what reason), but it was totally worth it to be there to support our hubbies!

Saturday we were able to go riding again. Got Jeff up on the saddle and everything! And he actually wasn't too bad! Not that I sound surprised or anything... It was still just as fun and it still made me miss it. I think I've almost got Stephen convinced that we need horses someday... Almost.

Sunday was fun day! And not in that way, fun day. We spent all day outside at the slack line and on the tire swing, playing corn hole, laying out by the pool, swimming in the pool, snacking on some homemade salsa... Stephanie's sister and brother-in-law live nearby with their three adorable kids, one, Brody, who must remember Stephen from Alaska and took to him right away! Lizard hunting, stick finding, scrape counting... Stephen had himself a little buddy all day :) We enjoyed a yummy hamburger dinner with smores to follow, all the while being so thankful for all those who have served our country to defend our freedom. We truly are so grateful...

Monday, Memorial Day, was a busy day in Old Town Temecula, but that's where we were! Walking the streets, eating yummy pizza, playing with parrots... Enjoying our last full day with Jon and Steph in California.

We cleaned up and packed up and sad our incredibly hard goodbyes on Tuesday evening. We are so happy we got to spend the time with Jon and Steph and Triston... So happy we got to experience their new life in California and see how happy they are! We are so proud of them to have made the decision to move, and are so happy that they're so happy! (Smiles all around!) We miss them like crazy already and it doesn't help that we don't know when we'll see them next... But for now, we are thankful for our two weeks in paradise and thankful that they are in are lives no matter how far apart we are. We love you Jon and Steph and Triston!