Thursday, September 27, 2007


Well, if you haven't heard the news already...Ella is happy to announce that she's expecting a new brother or sister! Mystery Baby #2 is on its way in Mid-December, and we have chosen not to find out the baby's gender, as we did with our first pregnancy. We are excited, and I have been soaring through the pregnancy well (although feeling very large and uncomfortable earlier than I remember the first time around)! I guess that is one gift mothers are blessed with...the ability to forget all of the aches and pains (and the delivery!) that you have to go through to get one of those amazing little kiddos!

I flew down to Juneau (Alaska' capital city...about an hour flight South from Skagway) today for an ultrasound. Juneau has no roads leading in or out, and therefore is only accessible by plane or ferry. I took a little puddle jumper that seated 8 passengers (actually the largest I've ever flown in between here and Juneau), and had a beautiful flight over the snow-capped mountains, and down through the misty Fjord that leads up the "Inside Passage." I can't help but stop and think of the words "Be still and know that I am God." This land takes my breath away year after is such a magnificent witness of the creation! Anyways...the ultrasound went well, and we have a healthy, growing baby in my tummy! I discovered that I have a borderline case of gestational diabetes, which means I need to watch my sugar intake, so as not to create an over-sized baby in my tummy (Yikes!). It's probably a result of my poor diet in the summers, as well as my lack of exercise lately. We just don't get much fresh, healthy food in the summers, and exercise is almost slim to none. I am looking forward to getting back into a healthy groove...I had such healthy habits with my first pregnancy, and went walking each and every day! Soon!!

One funny choice we made with this pregnancy was not to tell Jared's family, since Jared wanted to tell them in person when they arrived here on their cruise in late August. That meant when they arrived I was already 5.5 months pregnant...and showing! They couldn't believe we had kept it a secret for so long...but hey...they hadn't asked! Pretty funny...

Since the baby is due just before Christmas, we won't be traveling much this year. Since it is a Saville-Family Christmas (every other year the Saville family gets together for a joint holiday), the Saville family has elected to come spend their Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington! Yay! We have rented a cabin for the whole family (11 adults and 5 children), and are looking forward to snuggling up for some good quality time! Some of the family may be enjoying skiing, and shopping around town, but having JUST delivered a baby...I'm not quite sure how many of the outdoor activities I'll be participating in!


Is OVER!!! YAY!!! We had 5 intense months this year with cruise ship tourists arriving in Skagway every day (about 1 million total visitors this year...with only 7 short blocks of shopping district, and endless tour options). By the end of the season, our business hours shrink significantly, and you will see (below) our adjusted hours for the last few weeks. Here are some photos of our store in action...
We are exhausted, and are thrilled to close our store at the close of this season. Now is the time of year that we do inventory in our store, pack up all of our personal belongings in our travel trailer, and move them to the store for safe-keeping.

We have attached the notorious car-top carrier on our Saturn Wagon, and will pack it full of business files, clothes, and whatever else we claim we can't live without. This is the "mother of all car-top carriers"'s what the Saville family used on their van for family vacations growing up...and let us tell still gets double-takes on the freeways! After all, it is probably upwards of 15 years old, and they simply don't make them this attractive or aerodynamic (ha!) anymore! Alisa's parents claim that they tried to sell it at a garage sale one year in Kansas, but no one would buy it. Thank goodness for that...because you can fit about twice the amount of baggage in this old carrier than new ones on the market! Therefore, it has been a huge blessing with our bi-annual move to and from Alaska!

So, with all that being is time to head South. We are leaving for the long drive to Washington State this weekend. It is about a 2,000 mile (3-day) drive to Washington...and we're hoping that Ella will be well-behaved! Ella's always been pretty sweet about bearing this drive to and from Alaska each year (not to mention the other drives we've taken...such as driving all the way to Kansas, Atlanta, North Carolina, and Utah) we'll see how well this fiesty 2.5 year old will take it this time! She loves her new "Cool Chair" (big-kid carseat) that we got her a few months ago (as pictured below) hopefully she'll enjoy the greater freedom this seat allows, as opposed to the more confining types for infants.

We will be moving into our previous apartment building in Kennewick, Washington (Tri-Cities) by the end of the first week of October, and head out on a short trip to Utah (and perhaps beyond?), before locking ourselves up inside our apartment in anticipation of our "Estimated Date of Confinement." Speaking of that...did you know that "EDC" is the medical term for a baby's due date? It sounds like such a wonderful date to anticipate...the date of CONFINEMENT. Oh well, I guess that's parenthood in many ways...

Best wishes to all as Autumn heads your way. Skagway's Fall has already begun, and is soon to disappear entirely to winter. We now have permanent "Termination Dust" feathering the mountain tops (see the snow on right!)...sending the tourists and seasonal locals scattering in all directions...hoping for a taste of summer down South before Fall takes over the Northern Hemisphere! We will join the crowds scrambling south from Alaska, and will hopefully see many of you soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hello, and welcome to the "Alaska Nuts" blog! In an attempt to not inundate friends and family with photos and emails, we've decided to attempt a blog, and see how it goes. Truth be known, it's rare that we inundate people with emails, because it typically takes us about a month to respond to any emails we receive! So, here's a brief update of the Lybbert Family's lives in the Summer of 2007!

We returned to Skagway, Alaska, in mid-April, managed to do a mini makeover in the retail store that we own and operate in this busy tourist town (In the photo above, our store is the right half of the building)! Ella was helpful as we painted, built new displays, and completely rearranged our new and old merchandise.

Owning and Operating the store keeps us working each and every day, rain or shine. In the summer months, we are at the store every single day for 5 months straight! This year we cheated, and managed to squeeze in 3 days off! We had planned to drive up to Whitehorse after work for just an evening (Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon...about 2 hours away), but what was supposed to be just an evening, turned into 2 full relaxing days. The next weekend we had another breakdown when the weather got extremely warm (80 degrees for us is HOT!!!). We bought a little baby pool for Ella to "swim" in, washed the cars (which is an effort that seems a bit futile in Alaska), and then pulled out the canopy on our lovely summer home (yes, a beautiful travel trailer)! Other than those 3 days, we have been pricing, displaying, packaging, selling, and smiling at tourists since May! (Well, we haven't always been smiling...but that's another story!)

We've had only a few memorable visitors this summer (Wow! Does that sound bad, or what? Particularly because we see almost 1 million visitors enter this town each summer...hahaha)! One surprise visitor in our store included Merrill Osmond, one of the original Osmond brothers, who was performing on one of the cruise ships, and stopped in to make a purchase with his daughter in our store. I wish I could say we recognized him right off the bat, but it was only when we were asking him about where he was from that he leaked "Utah"...and one thing led to another. Jared asked for a photo, and he was happy to oblige.

Of course, our favorite visitors this summer were FAMILY! We love to share this portion of our lives with friends and family, and we were excited to have 9 of Jared's family members visit this summer. The Saville's have always taken the trophy in the past (Mom, Dad, Ben, Jenny, and Lara have all visited in past years), so we were excited to have Jared's parents visit again, and bring more family with them! When we first set up our store in 2005 (just 4 weeks after having Ella), Jared's parents drove up with Jared's uncle Terry (who hauled up our travel trailer we purchased in Washington), and while Terry immediately made a U-Turn to return to work in Quincy, Jared's parents were able to stay for several days and help us set up shop!

Anyhow, Jared's parents, grandparents, Aunt & Uncle Terry & Melissa, Aunt Jeanne, and 2 other relatives arrived on our busiest day of the week! Since they were on a cruise ship, they only had one day to see and experience this beautiful town! We picked them up early, showed them some viewpoints, and took everyone on a short hike to the Yakutania Point, overlooking our Fjord, the cruise ships at port, and the beautiful Chilkat Mountain Range! Here's Ella getting the best hiking view on top of Grandpa's shoulders!