New! Nuevo! Nouveau!

Here I am, sitting in our yurt on the first day of 2014–fire roaring in the wood stove, the dog happily squeak-squeak-squeaking one of her Christmas presents, Evan reading a trashy Steven King novel on the couch, and me wearing new slippers. We just got back from watching the newest Hobbit movie in 3D. It might be our last chance to go to a movie at the theater without making babysitting arrangements for a LONG time. All in all, I’d say this is a great first day of 2014, and I’m sure it’s the first of many more to come (and I’m sure it will be miles better than a few of them are apt to be!).

While 2013 proved to be a year of numerable life changes (attaining my graduate degree, building and moving to a new home, getting pregnant), obstacles successfully hurdled (writing a thesis, struggling to accept that a “dream” job I had taken wasn’t the right fit), and experiences learned from (more farming and teaching!); I have to admit that I’m glad it is over. It was stressful yet empowering, it was fast-paced yet fulfilling, and it was mutable yet grounding. The good came with the bad and vice versa…so yes, I’m totally okay with saying, “Sayonara 2013, hello 2014!! Out with the old and in with the new!”

Hello Beauty Full. The baby’s crib. Don’t worry, baby won’t be sleeping with any of this stuff.

The baby? You may be wondering about it, but you’ve probably figured it out by now… the baby is kicking away securely in utero, waiting for the perfect moment to come earthside and say, “Hello World!” I am happy with this, Evan is happy with this, and I assume baby is happy with this, too. Baby hasn’t dropped yet and I’m not showing any signs of imminent labor. I want this baby to gestate for at least two more weeks!

For now, this singing dog is all that is getting swaddled. Good Job, Evan!

Soooooo, since I’m just kind of sitting around, resting, eating, reading parenting and postpartum wellness books, and watching too many shows about midwives and babies, We’re just going to have to do a run through of updates…fun stuff.

The yurt is FINISHED (well, for all practical purposes anyhow)! and it is wonderful. It is better than I imagined it would be months ago. We feel at home and secure in its tent-like walls. Check out the following photos of the interior for a mini-tour of sorts. My dad visited recently (for my graduation a few weeks ago) and said, “I wouldn’t want to live here now, but I could have seen myself doing this at your age.” He’s not the most sentimental guy, so these words meant a lot to me. We also hosted a solstice party/yurt warming party before Christmas. Filling the yurt with laughing friends on the longest night of the year seemed to bring it all together. So far, the yurt is proving to be a perfect home. We love it, and we owe huge thanks to so many Alaskan friends for helping us to make it happen. There is no way it would have come together without them.

Here is a small picture tour of the yurt. I have captured it in its natural state (minus a few dirty dishes that undoubtedly accumulate). Sorry, no Parade of Homes type perfectness here!

The yurt kitchen. We don’t have a sink, rather we use three washtubs that we can stack under the counter to save space.

More yurt kitchen. That ugly hutch thing has proved to be incredibly useful! I think I’ll paint it a fun color come spring!

The yurt “office.” This is where piles of mail happen. Mokie’s bed is also under the table–making her a little cave.

Evan lounging on the couch, reading something that has nothing to do with building yurts, raising babies or tech news. It’s good to take a break from life while you have the chance!

The nursery area. We don’t have a mobile, so I used leftover decorations from my baby shower to make fun ceiling decorations. Do you see the cute lamb on the wall? It is made from wool from one of the sheep that Evan’s Grandmother had as a girl.

The stair bookshelf and door to the entryway. It’s probably abut time to take down those stockings…

Everyone is lounging around. Moki likes to fry her brain by resting her head ON the hearth when the fire is HOT…crazy pooch.

One of the railings of the loft is sprouting leaves! Wonder if we can keep it growing…

How do you like our “nursery”? It isn’t anything like what has become the traditional American nursery (well, either is our house, is it?). We’re all in one big room together, and the baby is going to co-sleep with us in the loft for awhile. I feel like I’m in this amazing little bubble here in Alaska where everyone just assumes that we are breast feeding, co-sleeping, cloth diapering and attachment parenting. It’s great! I have read a lot of pregnancy and parenting blogs and forums, and this is not the case for so many women. It seems like these decisions have been taken away from many mothers and fathers and decided by society or the medical field through judgment, advertisements and fear mongering.

Hang drying baby clothes on a line in the yurt. I LOVE the baby socks… let’s see how long they stay on baby’s little feet.

I am pleasantly surprised by the openness of Alaskans to accept any parenting style. I even had a Sears delivery guy have a totally open and free conversation with me about breast feeding! He started the conversation while he was installing our refrigerator, and it wasn’t awkward at all. The other delivery guy even participated in the conversation, too. There was no judgment or anything, just a normal every day conversation. It was very reassuring and very interesting.

We have also experienced so much support from friends in Alaska in preparing for this baby’s arrival. It is very hard to be away from family during this time, but the community here has been amazing. We constantly have offers to bring food after the birth, to watch our dog the first week back from the hospital and offers of incredibly useful and needed baby items (like the gliding rocker that I haven’t been able to remove myself from for a few days!).

A lovely picture of me sleeping in my new favorite chair. It feels SO good to sleep on my back…

Sometimes it can feel scary to think about bringing a new person into a world that seems so messed up (when looking at the big picture). However, bringing a baby in to the world of love, warmth and support we’ve been feeling recently feels nothing but right! We are excited for this to happen! And it will be happening soon…maybe before my next post?

Until then, sisterly Farmgirls, sending you peace and love from Alaska,

Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

  1. Catherine says:

    Hi. I live in Palmer, Alaska, and was delighted to find you contributing to Mary Janes’s Farm journal. I actually was reared on a farm in Alabama. My family moved to Alaska from outside of Nashville six years ago. We love Palmer and to say that it is beautiful is just the start. God makes stunningly beautiful creations of all kinds here in Alaska.

  2. Nancy says:

    Oh, Alex, blessings upon you and your growing family! It sounds like you have a wonderful support system. Best wishes!


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