California Dreamin' Pt. 2 | Alaska Calling | Personal | Rose Wheat Photography

It is quite easy to say that our last week in California was different from our first. Week one held large groups, who collectively planned out their journeys to Fairbanks (see you when we see you!), while week two was more focused. We got to spend quality time with individuals, and it felt like the sweetest thing in the world. Salinas, Fresno, San Francisco, Tahoe, Napa---we practically did it all---with one or two close family members or friends by our sides. It's hard to believe we were able to fit so much into such little time. Oddly, saying our goodbyes was more exhausting than one would think.

While food was yummy, and conversations enriching, it became terribly apparent to me just how much I needed time with my husband. Come the second that I had to leave him at the airport, somewhat abruptly I might add, I had basically held things together. Then he said, "I guess I have to go now," as my car sat by the curb, and immediately I forced myself to choke back tears. Goodness, it was worse than deployment. Another departure. Another final hug. Another lonely drive away.

I tell you, though, there's hope. 

In a short, short month, I'll be at my new home, and more importantly... I'll be with another part of my heart. I know this time will fade quickly, despite the way it feels. I can't wait to share our hearts with you come that day, showing you how we've been transformed by that snowy land up north. I don't expect any less from that state.

While we wait together, see what our past week has looked like, see what I've seen.

California Dreamin' Pt. 1 | Alaska Calling | Personal | Rose Wheat Photography

Today marks the first week since we’ve started traveling to California. Five states, countless cities,  and more than a couple cups of coffee later, we have managed to say hello to almost everyone that matters. More family than I can remember the names of, that’s for sure. We’ve been hugged, instructed, and encouraged and feel just a little bit more ready to greet the snowy, riverside city that is Fairbanks, Alaska. Not only are we emotionally feeling slightly more stable, but we probably have an extra layer of fat on our bodies from all of the amazing home-cooked meals we’ve been eating. As a result, we Wheatleys will be warmed both in the heart and in the body.

One of the sweetest, most encouraging moments was when we spoke with a family matriarch, Helen. Known for her East Coast upbringing and world-changing cheesecake, it was to this woman that we would be wise to listen. She spoke with me when I arrived, informing me that her church had been praying for my husband, her great nephew, while he was deployed. When they heard he had arrived home safely from Afghanistan, her fellow believers applauded in relief and thankfulness. It was through tears that she concluded her report to me.

In that moment, I realized we are considerably more than alone on our journeys, that even if we don’t have all of our family around us to remind us of God’s faithfulness, we have a stronger support system through prayer and the intervention of Heaven. Through these things, I can honestly say my heart is fuller than it was just a week ago.

Now to skip to the pretty part, we have been surrounded by no less than 73 kinds of gorgeous since leaving Kansas. Mountains, hills, snow, dead trees, palm trees, rivers, oceans, bays, fog, alleyways, and doorknobs just for starters. During walks with loved ones, I've been armed with my camera, because it's seriously way too beautiful to leave out anything. Even if I lose my marbles one day, I'm sure I'll at least enjoy looking at the pretty things I've photographed. So that makes it worth it. :) 

Wondering how I got those pictures of myself? Well, it seems Mr. Wheatley has a pretty good eye of his own! That image with the birds over the ocean is all his, and I love it. He's quite the guy, that mister of mine.

Join us in Fairbanks, Alaska this January, as we are making our way to the immaculate Last Frontier and are thrilled to share our journey with you. Rose Wheat Photography is excited to welcome a chilly but adventurous clientele on this amazing endeavor!

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