Saturday, January 29, 2011

Turning Off that Homing Signal

  There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  ~Jane Austen
You know that strange feeling you get when away on vacation? You can't quite put a finger on it, and it often gets buried underneath all the vacationing excitement. But when you finally return home and lay down in your bed, you realize that vague discomfort was a yearning for home. Because the truth is, we all have a homing instinct, don't we?

We are going on four nights sleeping at our temporary lodging unit on base.  One-two-three-four.  And still, some part of me is anticipating laying down in my my that house we spent nearly eight years building our memories. As much as I crave the adventures of new travels, I also yearn for the comfort I can only find at home. I have a feeling turning that homing signal off, pulling me into that lovely neighborhood filled with equally lovely neighbors, will be a struggle.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Elephant's Memory

Sophia:  Mom, Maddy gave me a necklace and she has the same one so we'll never forget each other.

Me: You know why else you'll never forget each other? You two are family.  Family never forgets.

Mister Och: Elephants never forget, either!

Wow, I totally walked into that one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Product Review: Nook Color

Yeah, I know, I already had the original Nook. But how could I pass this one up? Initially, the iPad seemed like a great new gadget to set my hopes and savings on.  After some research, I trashed the idea for two reasons:  1)  I already had an iPhone. Did I really want to fork over at least six Benjamins just so I can do the same things I can do on my phone just so I can see it bigger? Uhhhhh, no.  2) It didn't have a word processing program.  So basically, it's a glorified iPod Touch.  Not impressed. 

Then this beauty came out.  Here's what I love about it:
1. No booklight needed.  The backlit design can lead to eye strain. But, I'm used to staring at a computer all day.  Besides, screen brightness is adjustable.
2. No buttons.  I hate buttons. I'm a touch screen brat all the way.  I simply tap the screen to turn the page.
3.  Oh, and turning the page? Instant! One thing that irked me with the original Nook was the lag time in between pages.  I can whip through a page fairly quickly and nothing is more infuriating than waiting for the next page to load up. 
4. Magazines! In color! This clearly placates the guilt I harbor when I dump my old magazines into the recycling bin.  Yeah, I know, it's a recycling bin.  But still, isn't it much more green if it was digital all the way? Publications are cheaper than hard copies, and I automatically get the new issues once I subscribe. 
5. Shopping online for new reads through the Nook Color is...well..colorful.  Who wants to shop in b & w? I am guilty of judging covers.  I always will be. With that said, good thing I have this gadget.
6. Kids books.  Yes! Picture books for my youngest! So much lighter to pack on the plane. Simply plug in the headphones to the jack, select "Read to Me" and you don't even have to narrate to your munchkin.  (The iPad and iPhones have this app feature available, but book selection is severely limited.)

Love it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

101 Overhauled

Last New Year, I came up with this list of 101 things to accomplish in 1000 days (or was it 1001). I've made progress, but considering this new move coming up, I figured to overhaul the list to reflect the new life changes. The permanent list will be posted under the page link under my header titled "My 101," as well as the updates underneath each goal.

1. Visit 20 places listed on 1001 Places to See Before You Die

2. Earn Bachelor's Degree

3. Write ONE thing to be thankful for every day in a journal for 1 year.

3. Do not eat out for ONE month.

4. Finish Dylan's scrapbook.
--You gotta give it to Shutterfly for the irresistable discount that had me finishing up Mister D's scrapbook! Yay. Completed 6/15/2011.

Looking Forward

It's coming fast. The Utah farewells are happening as you read. Dinner engagements, parties, handshakes, hugs, and thank you's. Vehicle prep is scheduled, moving trucks and packing folks appointed, trash dumped, others donated. So what's on the agenda?

First, we will head here:
The designated port is in Tacoma, and we need to deliver the car there to ship to Anchorage. We will take advantage (when do we NOT take advantage of being in a cool place?) of the trip and stay some days downtown to show the kiddies around. Soph can't wait to ride the elevator up to the very top of the Space Needle and Dylan wants to see the Jimi Hendrix guitar in the Experience Music Project. We'll do the whole tourist thing and purchase the CityPass and maybe take the kids on the ferry to Bainbridge Island.

Then, we are flying here:
The most anticipated vacation by far. We booked a villa that sleeps 12 with a private heated pool (separate post) ten minutes from the kingdoms. The best part of the trip? My favorite Brits are coming down to vacay with us. I am bursting with excitement to see my cousin (whom I haven't seen in ten years) and her family (whom I've never met before). Disneyworld & Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure touring, here we come!

After a week in the sun, we will fly here:
The three years of Yukon living start upon landing. We anticipate at least a 30 day stint in the base's temporary lodging facility until a housing unit vacates for us.

At which point, we will be unpacking into one of these townhomes on base:
Definitely a change from my beloved rambler with finished basement. BUT, I can't wait to make it mine, which will be a challenge I'll meet head-on, especially if I have to survive another six months without the hubby.
The fam sure has a lot in store in the next couple months. Hope you all check in periodically to see!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Organization Amidst the Chaos

Is it possible to not lose your mind during the moving process?


I wanted to tackle this like I do any of my other projects: with a detailed game plan. Two weeks out from M-day, we are right on track in a clean house (no doubt!) and most importantly, relaxed. I can't quite share the deets of the game plan itself for fear of being long-posted. There are certain rules to follow:
1. Start ASAP -- More time equals more peace of mind. I received many an odd look when I mentioned I had moving issues to take care of five months out. Time invested immediately after orders notification is time invested wisely.
2. Baby baby baby steps -- moving is a great excuse to minimize and truly pare down the junk that has accumulated in our lives. The big picture is daunting as every square millimeter seems to be busting out with unnecessaries. Everyday, conquer one nook here and maybe another cranny there. Start way in advance and by the time M-day comes, you have successfully weeded out the entire household without breaking a sweat!
3. Keep a calendar and check back everyday, twice a day -- Plan out what you need to do and break it up (rule number 2). It is NEVER a good idea to wait until the week before to make sure you have everything you need. Tying up loose ends shouldn't be your whole task list! Check in the morning to confirm your daily tasks, then check back in the evening to re-assess the game plan.
4. Semper Gumbi- -- Maintain flexibility! As organized and scheduled as I am, I keep it balanced by not freaking out if something does not go exactly as planned. If you followed Rule 1, then you have plenty of time. Simply reschedule.
5. Stay positive -- It is often heartbreaking to dig up roots and transplant elsewhere. When little chickitties are involved, even more so. The attitude you present can set the whole mood. Positive feelings foster positive events. Look forward to what lies in store instead of dwelling at what is being left behind.
6. Relax!!!
That's it, plain and simple. Moving is hectic, involved, and emotionally draining. But if you keep these points in mind, it'll run smooth as butter.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new Fam Och blog!

I figured these new and upcoming adventures deserved a new look slash venue, and so here it is! I will be posting under this blog from now on, although I will provide a button link at the right for my readers of Team Och who may want to refer to something there. I want to thank you folks for following my ramblings throughout the past couple years...I am deeply flattered you find any of it even remotely interesting. Please "follow" this one to keep abreast of our life away from Utah *sniffle sob sniff* and in the frozen tundra of the Yukon. Much love to you all and hope to read comments/feedback!