Saturday, January 11, 2014

While we were home...

We were lucky to get out of Pilot for break, many people were stuck all over western Alaska with freezing rain for the week leading up to when we were supposed to leave. Our first flight got cancelled, but we ended up making it out on the following day, at the last moment possible. We heard a plane land, so we called Era to see if it was ours, they told us it wasn't, but if we could get to the runway in 5 minutes that plane (which was headed to Bethel) could drop us off in St. Mary's on their way... What service!

Anyway, long story short, we made it to Anchorage without much trouble, and luckily, in time for our flight back to Oregon! We did all of our Christmas shopping in one store in the airport, in about 10 minutes. It was quite the show, and we had a great time doing it. When we finally made it home, it was so wonderful to get to share our stories with my family on the way home, and when we got to Max's parents house we were greeted by Beau who was SO excited to see us, which made me really happy (I was worried he may have forgotten about us!)

We had just a couple days before Christmas to relax, but we didn't do much relaxing the whole time we were back. We made some trips to the beach, I went for a beach ride on my horse with my mom, we went to Eugene to do some shopping, and we spent Christmas Eve with Max's family opening presents and eating wonderful food, then we spent Christmas with my family opening more presents and eating more wonderful food, and then Christmas evening with Max's family, eating even more wonderful food. I can't complain.

I also can't complain about the day after Christmas. I was planning on hanging out with Jenna all day, and I was so excited, because I hadn't seen her since spring break of last year! However, before I met up with Jenna, Max and I got an early start and jetted up the coast to Devils Elbow, and the Light House. I was super suspicious, because Max was talking my ear off in a very nervous fashion, and kept accidentally alluding to marriage, and he also had a very square small box in his pocket, but I didn't want to spoil any surprises for myself, so I went with the flow and figured that if I had waited 7 and a half years for him to ask me to marry him, I could wait a few more minutes for the sun to hit the special place he wanted to take me. So, we twiddled our thumbs, and Max kept on chattering on about this, that and the other thing, and eventually we walked down to our favorite spot to watch the waves crash. Then Max popped the question. It went like this... "So ah, How about it?" (opening the ring box) and then I said something along the lines of... "Oooh, put it on my finger!" And that's how it went, in classic Max and McKenzie fashion, we're engaged, and awkward as ever!

For the rest of break, we caught up with more old friends, got lots of congratulations (by the way, thank you all for so many congratulations, we feel so incredibly loved!)

Ty took some awesome engagement photos for us:

So, now on my free time I will continue to wedding plan (I can do it outside the closet now) and eventually we will get things figured out, hopefully in time for a late summer wedding in the Florence area! 

The break came to a close more quickly than we ever hoped, and it was so hard to say bye to everyone, but luckily, we're in the homestretch now, and we'll be home again before we know it! Our flights back to Alaska went flawlessly, but go figure, things got a little crazy once we got up north. We made our flight from Anchorage to Bethel with only a small delay, although we contemplated skipping the flight because we were quite sure we'd end up stuck in Bethel.

My last beer for the next 5 months. 

 Sure enough, we got there and met up with about a hundred other people, some of which had been stuck there since new years eve! We were told our flight was cancelled after we hung out for about 30 minutes, and we rushed to find a hotel as quickly as we could. We paid almost $20 for a 2 minute cab ride to the Allanivik Hotel, and they gave us their nicest suite (with it's own bathroom!) because that's all they had left, and we only had to pay a measly $220 for our room, and luckily we didn't even get bedbugs! 

We caught a break, and after spending the day in the airport hoping to get on a flight standby, we got on the last flight out for the day, and made it into Pilot right before the FAA closed the runway, and we were home at 6:30, the day before the kids came back to school. I was working in my classroom until 11, and got just prepared enough to teach the next day. 

Waiting for our ride on the Pilot airstrip

Our caravan! 

This week went much more smoothly than I ever imagined. It seems like the kids were eager to get back to the structured classroom environment, and they have been very agreeable and motivated. 

I hope that continues for the rest of the year! Happy 2014 :) 

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