Cabin Fever (and Our Toddler Playing on the Ice)

Winter time means cold weather and with that brings cabin fever. So far, we have been blessed with a very mild winter up here in the Alaskan arctic. One day we even had the temperature go above freezing! Whenever I chat with one of the local Inupiat natives, they say the weather feels like springtime.

Kotzebue Alaska apartment
Our apartment is on the right side, top two stories in this photo.

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An Arctic New Year

Arctic fireworksI have never had any big New Year’s Eve Bashes or parties. I usually just celebrate the New Year with family and close friends after watching the Crystal Ball drop in Times Square. In the past we have shot a few fireworks at my parents’ house since they live outside city limits. This year, we celebrated the New Year in the Alaskan Northwest Arctic and, thankfully it was a very mild one. The temperature was around 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was calm.

Eskimo New Year

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Springtime in the Arctic

adorable toddler picturesSorry to have neglected everyone, but I am still trying to find a good routine to get everything done without losing sleep. I have been planning to show you what springtime in the arctic looks like. These pictures are a few weeks old (taken at the end of May/beginning of June) so the ice and snow has melted by now, but this is how Kotzebue looks during spring melt. Water from from melting ice and snow can cause flooding, but this year has been a slow spring thaw. There are trucks that drive around sucking up the puddles of water to keep the roads and walkways passable.

arctic spring melt
Melting snow in our backyard.

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Playing in the Arctic

frozen arctic ocean
Hello From Kotzebue! Yes, this is the sea frozen solid.

Before the Kotzbeu Sound (which is connected to the Chuchki Sea) began to thaw and breakup, we were able to go out and play on it. Anneliese had fun “running” around on the frozen sound, which was difficult with the deep snow. Jonathan and I got into a snowball fight right after taking this picture.
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Welcome to the Arctic!

toddler in arctic
Anneliese at 20 months.

I know it has been a while since I updated everybody on our move to the arctic, but we have been very busy settling into our new home. Although we are still in America, this is also tribal land and a whole different culture. Kotzebue is the supply city for the entire Northwest Arctic Borough and is an important culture center for the Inupiat people. Moving from the southeastern U.S. to an eskimo village in the arctic is a major culture shock! It has been a drastic change for our family, but we are soaking it all in.

When we touched down at the airport, all I saw was white snow and ice. It was a beautiful, picturesque landscape with the Kotzebue Sound frozen solid and snowy mountains in the distance. I was thrilled to see all of the snow. I had never seen so much snow my entire life.
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