2013 – The Year in Review

Every year I love to take the time to go back and look at what took place in the past 365 days.


It all started with an Alaskan New Year’s party. And what was that? A massive bonfire on top of a frozen lake, 4-wheeler rides and of course real fireworks! In Alaska, they don’t do fireworks on Independence Day – it doesn’t get dark. So New Year’s is the real time for having fireworks up there, and boy do they ever! Oh, it was about –10 degrees, but the heat coming off this massive fire – on a frozen lake – was so hot, you didn’t hardly need a jacket!

What else happened right off in January? I officially launched this website, and retired “MrsMamaHen!” Since then, I have written…470 blog posts! Many of those were posts that I manually moved, re-wrote and updated from my old website, but 226 of the posts have been this year! I’ve been busier than I thought, and that doesn’t even take into account content that I write for other websites.LOGO In January, we also went Ice Fishing. I made some bacon mooseburger calzones the night before. We wrapped them in foil and simply warmed them on the wood burning stove in the hut. It was such a beautiful view out on the lake.


My baby boy turned 18, and we went out to do a photo shoot for some of his senior photos. Who lets these kids grow so big, so quickly?


In March, Aurora came out to dance, and boy did she ever!

We had moosey visitors in the back yard. A mama moose and her young bull baby came several times to munch on the crab apple trees out there.

We headed to the 2013 World Ice Art Championship for the last time.

And we found out we were moving to Alabama! Now I didn’t want to leave Alaska, but we were happy that if we had to leave, that we got the assignment that we had wanted – an assignment we had been told was impossible to get.


April was a busy, busy month. I ended my job at the Fort Wainwright PX, and began preparing for a move. I received a couple wonderful awards, like the Fairbanks-Fort Wainwright Civilian of the Year presented by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Colonel Ronald M. Johnson, the Garrison Commander of Fort Wainwright.

Constance Smith

(Photo by Allen Shaw, Fort Wainwright PAO)


And then I received the totally unexpected “Fort Wainwright Volunteer of the Year.” I wasn’t even dressed for it, and was in the middle of moving when I ran over for the ceremony!


I enjoyed my last snow fall in Alaska.

And I had my last dance with the Aurora Borealis. And I cried.


May was an epic month. We loaded up the truck, hitched up the camper and travelled all the way across the continent, again. We spent 20+ days on the road, traveling through Canada again, and taking a different route through the US, to see new things. But…we left Alaska. I cried.  Again.

We did a “then and now” photo at the Signpost Forest in Fort Nelson.

Made a stop at Whirlpool Canyon with icebergs the size of cars slamming through the water of the Liard River.

We saw lots of wildlife, like Bison, wild horses, caribou, moose, black bears, rams, and even…


In the US, we went to the amazing Redwood Forest

Saw my parents for the first time in 3 years.

Went to the Arch in St. Louis.

And after 3 weeks, 12 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and over 6,000 miles covered we arrived in Tennessee to see more of the family.


In June, we celebrated our older son’s homeschool graduation. We let Mamaw & Papaw do the honors.

And we arrived at our new home – Huntsville, Alabama.


In July, we got settled at our new installation – Redstone Arsenal, and suffered a little culture shock. It is unlike any installation I have ever been to.


We headed down towards Montgomery and went to a Wild Game Cook-off! All I have to say, is Yum!


I enjoyed another great “bloggle” with the Rocket City Bloggers.


I attended a heavenly Fabulous Food event here in Huntsville.

And I really started exploring the many hiking trails around the area.

Then I attended another great foodie event – the Southern Reinvention event for the grand opening of Belle Chevre in Elkmont, Alabama.


In November, our RCB group met for another “bloggle” – but in this one we began brainstorming for a big event in January 2014. What a tease is that!? More to come later….

I also conducted my first “Pie Week.”



December has been all about food and family. As it should be.



Happy New Year everyone!
I hope that 2014 brings you many blessings, good health, and great family meals!


{Other Years: 2012, 2011, 2010}

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  1. says

    Connie, you had a wonderful year with great pictures to prove it. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

  2. Barbara Hamilton says

    What a wonderful and exciting year!! Thanks for sharing it with us.
    (you must miss the beauty of Alaska!)
    Happy New Year, Connie

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