Friday, July 8, 2016

Highlights from June

Well, this blog has been a big ol bit of boring lately, that’s mainly due to the fact that I just don’t have the motivation to come up with things to blog about. I’ve been quite busy this last month and a half, which also makes it hard for me to want to do anything but veg and goof around online.

June started, as it always does for me in Kenai, with Vacation Bible School. This year the theme was underwater meets Noah’s Ark. It was requested that Noah’s Ark be a central theme on our church’s stage even though everything in all of the books said that the stage needed to be an underwater cave/coral reef. So we did both. It wasn’t our favorite theme or our favorite decoration set. But we did our best. With my new job taking up a lot of my time, I wasn’t as able to be at the church as much as I normally am for VBS prep, so Kassy did the majority of it. We were very worried that we wouldn’t make it to the deadline. But we did! And by we, I really do mean Kassy because she spent a ton of hours putting the sanctuary and foyer together.

We painted surfboards for the photo booth for the kids.

For the costume contest, we ended up with a Noah! I loved it!

Kassy painted this surfboard, it was everyone's favorite.

We had a pirate searching for the Ark, too. 
This whale was a WHALE of a project, but he looked so good!

All things considered, the stage looked pretty good.

Working hard on our swimming shark.

We’re actually talking about putting a website/blog together with our VBS decoration ideas and photos and all of that. We need a catchy name, though. Any suggestions please send them our way!

After Vacation Bible School (well, rather right before and during as well as after) I was running my office by myself. Including doing basic taxes. NOT. FUN. Not a fan of being by myself when I’m working on taxes. But I survived, the office seemingly survived. It’s a job, not one that I’m seeing myself sticking with for the rest of my life, but with the economy the way it is on the peninsula at least I have a job!

June also is my busy photography month. With the long, warm, sunny days people are thinking about family photos. Plus, it is WEDDING SEASON, and the big month for sports. Needless to say, I was busy. Kassy and dad coached little league again – this year was coach pitch. The Sturmans also had a team, so I came out to a few games to catch their kids in action (I don’t shoot in any official capacity, but I don’t mind shooting for fun!), there was also the Tri-The-Kenai which was the Sunday after VBS and that is an all-day event. Saw some folks I see every year at the Tri, as well as the Berington Twins (which if they both compete I never know who is who unless I know their numbers). I LOVE the Tri. I really do. They’re a great group of people and I love seeing everyone come across the finish line.

As I said, June is WEDDING season, and I made two trips over to Seward for a wedding last month. I popped over the day after VBS ended to meet with the bride and get a sense of what she was not only wanting/expecting, but also just getting a feel for how the whole thing was going to go and where she was hoping to have photos. I was so excited to be shooting this wedding. I know the bride’s side fairly well, they’re some of my favorite people on the planet (her mom says that she is my favorite Seavey… she forgets to add “that’s taken a picture with [Toni]” haha) so I was honored she asked me to shoot her day. Seward is very wet year round, but come the day of the wedding, the clouds burned off and she got her wish of sun! Then when it was time to get the portraits done, the clouds rolled back in – but no rain came down – and I got my wish of good lighting. Halle even mentioned how we both got our wish. Haha!

The wedding was fun, Conway was in charge of the music at the reception and he put on quite a performance like we all knew he would. It was great catching up with everyone and I didn’t really want to leave and head back home that night (but I really didn’t want to camp out either!). I never like to pass up a chance to listen to Dan Seavey tell his stories (even ones I’ve heard before) and it’s nice to chat with Dallas and Mitch when it’s not right around race day. Besides, any time I can insult Dallas? Yeah, not going to pass that up. SOMEone has to help him keep his ego in check right?

The Seavey Homestead - if I don't get married in Kenai, I want to get married here.

Had to share this because this was one of the job Dallas was always giving to me at Wildride. He DOES know how to sweep a step!

Patriarch of the family with one of his great granddaughters.

Bride with most of her maids.

The Bridal Party

LOVE how much fun these girls are.

After the wedding, it was just a few days later that I was headed the other direction to Wasilla to attend the Iditarod Volunteer Appreciation BBQ and Musher Sign Up. Can I just say I LOVE my Kia?! It’s so nice to be able to just road trip and not worry that the car is going to die on me! Dad decided not to go – he didn’t want to leave mom with Gpa all that time (it’s an all day trip) and be four hours away at that. He also had to go to the closing ceremonies for the Kenai Little League, and he wanted to go fishing. Iditarod was low on the priorities list (the traitor). I almost didn’t go myself! The weather was supposed to be yucky, and the introvert in me was coming on strong. I have hit burn out this summer as I just haven’t had much time to myself. Plus, I just get major social anxiety with all of these people that I know but that I see once or twice a year at most. I just get extremely nervous and worry that I come off like a major creeper.

But my friend (and mushing super star) Jodi Bailey would hear none of it. I whined for months that I wanted her to sign up and be at the BBQ, so I couldn’t very well not go if she was going. I’m glad I went as the weather was gorgeous in Wasilla. I tweeted during the day with different observations (which mushers were there, some thinks I overheard while eavesdropping, etc), and I basically hung out with Jodi and her crew. When I first got there, though, I ran into Team Seavey (okay it was Jen and Annie) and so we chatted for a bit. Annie had seen me not even a week before and didn’t know who I was. I LOVE that kid, she is so IN THE MOMENT and a total social butterfly. She doesn’t know a stranger and is just such a light.

When I spotted Jodi I did what she said I had to do – I walked up and said hello. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be, but knowing that she was expecting to see me really helped. She was doing her musher paperwork, but we chatted a bit and then she said that she had something for me but that she left it and her camera in her truck. So she disappeared for a while and I went and took a few photos. She caught up with me and handed me her musher’s hat from 2015. She assumed that I would be able to use it to go up and have people sign it. That’s not really my style haha and my dad already did that with his 2015 volunteer hat anyway (okay well… he had Gebhardt, Mitch, Dallas, and Jeff King sign it). But it’s just the coolest gift ever. I DID make her sign it though. I mean, she gave it to me, I need to have proof she was the one that did, right?

We sat and chatted, and I finally got to meet a couple of facebook friends that I’ve known for over a year now. Fellow photogs who love these people and their dogs. We also sat with Lance Mackey and his girlfriend so I got to hear a lot of good stuff that way. I kept a low profile as far as what team I am normally all about (TEAM SEAVEY!) but I don’t hate Lance so it’s not like it was bad. It was just a little awkward. Haha.

All too soon the BBQ was coming to a close. I went into the gift shop to use the facilities one last time before making the trip and saw Jodi again so I went to say goodbye. Just about that time I got a message saying my dad wanted me to get a picture with her (as that was one of the requirements I was given last year) and so we snapped a few there in the gift shop (thank you gift shop lady!) and then we parted ways. I had a four-hour drive ahead of me, so I stopped by Burger King for some chicken fries and a dr pepper (which I didn’t feel bad having one since Tracie said I could have one to stay awake when I left Seward after the wedding, figured it also applied for a long drive back from the BBQ).

How many Iditarod mushers can you spot in this shot?

Jim Lanier signs up for Iditarod 45

Smaller turn out crowd wise, most likely due to the rain (though it was very nice for the BBQ).

So much girl power in this photo. Jodi Bailey, Aliy Zirkle, and Karin Hendrickson.

Lance Mackey was all smiles at musher sign ups.

DeeDee Jonrowe looked great.

Jeff King pays the entry fee, Jim Lanier stares me down haha

Love this sign.

Someone put flowers in Joe Sr's hand.
This is Reddington's Race, after all.
Nicolas Petit hanging out with one of his dogs.

Scott Janssen talks shop.
Annie Seavey, daughter of 4 time Iditarod Champion Dallas, has great fashion sense.
Martin Buser was in attendance and signed up.
"Ellen, have you signed up?" - Cindy Abbott
"Yup." - Ellen Halverson
"Girl, what is WRONG with us?!" - Cindy
True story, this conversation actually took place.

Dallas Seavey doing what he does best - talking - with Ramie Smyth
Iditarod Veterinarian chats with Iditarod Finisher Nic Petit
Jodi Bailey is awesome, just so you k now.

And that brought me to the end of the month. My boss is back so now it’s trying to get everything in order and bring in some revenue. I also got to house sit for one of my favorite homes at the end of June/beginning of July. Hopefully the next month is going to be a little less full so that I can breathe. We’ll see. Here in Alaska we like to say WINTER is the time of rest and sleep and Summer has no room for that sort of thing.

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