Clearly, this post is very, very overdue, for which Brian and I both apologize. Life (with a capital L) has been a wild ride for these past few years, but wild doesn't even describe our past few months. And it should be noted that Brian and I like living a little bit on the wild side of things, so wild does not mean bad so much as it does fast, busy, and beautiful.
To begin: in July, Brian and I were already planning a cross-country move to Alaska where we were needed by family, and so we were busily packing, selling furniture, buying a car, finding sublettors for our apartment, and really just sweeping up as we prepared to drive from New York to Alaska. And then: after having a conversation with a friend about how crazy it is that so many of our friends were having babies lately, it hit me: I think I'm pregnant. Several over-the-counter pregnancy tests and a doctor's visit confirmed it: Brian and I would be parents in early March 2012.
Needless to say, we were overwhelmed--happy, excited, in love as ever--but overwhelmed. The first-trimester morning sickness, nausea, and crazy emotional swings hit a few days before we hit the road, but we were off and we were together. And no matter how many Subway veggie delights we had to find (for some reason, pickle and mustard sandwiches from Subway were all I could keep down for a solid month) or how many hours we spent cuddling the nausea away, we were together and driving through some of the most beautiful places in the country.
After Ohio, we headed on to Madison, Wisconsin, where we visited with our dear friends Ryan and Lauren Walker for an evening before heading onwards to the Badlands in South Dakota. Ryan needed a lift to Colorado to pick up a car he'd left with family, so he came along for the ride to the breath-taking Badlands where we spent some time hiking, itching (never have I seen such mosquitos!), and talking in the dark in our tiny tent about everything--skateboarding, family, babies, love, and life. After an amazing breakfast at a lodge near our campsite, the three of us (after a brief pause in Rapid City where we purchased a new tire after one of ours blew out on the highway) headed through Wyoming and down to Fort Collins, where we stayed the night, skated Fossil Creek skatepark, and said farewell before Brian and I drove northward towards Montana. Ryan Walker has been such a good friend to us--he even married us--and we talked about how much we love him for at least an hour after we left him in Colorado.
Brian and I arrived at our campsite in Glacier National Park, Montana sometime around 4 am the next morning. We didn't even bother setting up a tent at that point, but just spooned in the car and slept for 4 or 5 hours before waking in one of the most majestic places either of us has ever seen. The next two days were the most magical of our trip; we swam in cold, clear lakes (in the deep areas, it was so cold that I couldn't breathe!), hiked through tall trees, and even skated some of the paved roads. We spent our evenings by our campfire in the woods, making s'mores with vanilla wafers and just enjoying one another. Somehow, we are together all day long, everyday, but we never run out of conversation and we never want to be away from each other. As we packed up to head into Canada, we knew that this trip was exactly what we'd wanted it to be. Even with the morning sickness and the limited menu, we were building something awesome and loving each other beneath the stars.
Canada was a breeze; after camping outside of Banff, everything seemed to just fly by. We saw 11 bears, a mountain lion, a group of wild horses, and cliffs and forests and rivers and cold, towering mountains. We drove long--usually about 16 hours a day--but we enjoyed the long expanses of wilderness, our music, and stopping to take photos along the way. When we finally crossed over the border into Alaska, we were just so excited to be beneath the northern sky we'd missed while surrounded by skyscrapers, that we pushed on and drove into the early morning hours until making it to our new home with Roland, Brian's brother. What a drive!
Since our road trip, we've been busily working, hosting dinner parties with friends we hadn't seen in a year, kayaking in Homer and Eklutna, hiking, biking, and just loving Alaska. Our baby is continuing to grow--we're now at the half-way point in our pregnancy--and we're growing into the idea, too. The second trimester has been much better than the first--no more sickness, no more nausea, no more mood swings--and feeling my baby kick and turn makes me laugh every time. What a crazy thing, that we are made this way!
There will be many more updates to come; Brian is the still photographer on a film starring John Cusack and Nicholas Cage, we'll be in Mexico for a week at the end of the month and then spending Thanksgiving with Brian's family and Christmas in Florida with mine, and then, before any of us knows it, we'll meet our child for the very first time.
What a wild, beautiful, ride. More soon!