A Big Thanks to My Family

Greetings from Fairbanks International Airport!  I have a couple of hours before I take my final flight to my ultimate destination.  Apparently it is snowing quite heavy in Barrow-hopefully the plane can land this evening.  Landing jets in Barrow can be quite challenging!

I just wanted to share with the readers information about my wonderful husband and 3 incredible sons who have made great sacrifices that permit me to go to veterinary school and work in the Arctic.

My husband David is pictured above with our 3 sons, Joseph (12 years), and twins (Benjamin and Joshua (10 years).  They are standing in front of a photo of David  in the hall of fame at the University of Tennessee.  David was an All American in track and cross country and the 1986 SEC champion in the 10,000 meters.  Even though David grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, he has always considered Tennessee to be “home”.  Our 3 sons were born in Knoxville, TN.  I was fortunate enough to get to be a stay-home mom to my 3 sons until they started school.  David made the ultimate sacrifice and moved our family to Colorado so that I could ultimately attend veterinary school at CSU once our boys were in school!  He spends nearly 2 hours a day getting our sons to and from school so that I can attend classes.

Our oldest son Joseph has been flying airplanes at Fort Collins-Loveland Airport since he was 8 years old (with an instructor of course).  He has known since he was 4 years old that he wanted to fly airplanes and has set his mind to obtaining his private pilot’s license when he is 16.  I am very proud of his incredible work ethic and discipline as a student.

Joseph after his first interstate flight and landing at Cheyenne Airport, November 2009

Benjamin is technically 19 minutes older that Joshua.  Benjamin tends to be more quiet and self-absorbed with taking things apart and putting them together.  He has an incredible gift for understanding how things work-he inherited this most useful gift from his dad, who used to be an aerospace engineer.  He also likes to leave his mom “little surprises”-like the time I found 2 strips of cooked turkey bacon in the bottom of the washing machine that he had cooked in the microwave and stuffed in his pockets for eating later-only he forgot to eat the bacon and I was the lucky one to find it when I removed a load of his jeans from the washing machine!

Benjamin, Summer 2009

Joshua is the fiery little redhead with the lightning speed of his father.  He is very forward and has never been afraid to speak his mind, although sometimes he is a little too honest.  He once told his preschool teacher that his “father yapped on the phone all day so he could earn money to pay the bills”!  He has told me of his aspirations to become a heart surgeon and practice in Barrow someday.  He really is a kind, caring, passionate young man.

Joshua and Nanuk, June 2008

I am very grateful for my wonderful family and appreciate all of the sacrifices that they have made to allow me to fulfill my dreams of attending veterinary school and working in the Arctic with the wonderful people of the North Slope!

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