Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Times Are Changing

The past week, Jason and I, decided that it was time to get healthy. No more crazy eating, junk food, and constant snacking. We did really good this week--and since once a week Jason cooks/grills, he decided on skewers for our Thursday night meal. Steak cubes, zucchini, and yellow squash all put together on a wooden skewer and grilled on the grill....YUMMY! It made a delicious dinner with some veggies and guacamole.

I was a little shocked that he chose Thursday evening for his night to cook because he had block exams on Friday--but when it came time to cook, he was definitely in need of a study break. He went back to the library after dinner for a few more hours before he called it a night!

Friday was the big day--the last set of block exams in his basic science part of school! He had exams until 2:30 and I had to service until 3:30, but after we got home and got ready, we headed down to Philipsburg. We had to leave pretty early, earlier than we would have liked, but the bridge goes up at 4:30 and 5:30 and we didn't want to get stuck in traffic. Jason had never walked on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg, right along Great Bay, so we all piled into the car and headed out. We parked at the far end of the Boardwalk--so we could walk the whole length and see everything along the way. It was so nice--we had never been on the Boardwalk together, especially in the evening when the sun was setting. There were a few cruise ships in port...we didn't realize how huge those boats are! I think a cruise should be in our near future...

The pier was our next little stop--there isn't much on the pier but it was nice to just sit on the edge and dangle our feet! Thanks to Alissa for snapping some candid shots--we had no idea she was taking pictures and this one came out pretty cute. If you look closely, the name on the boat in front of us is the "Sweety Pie".


The evening ended with us making it to the other end of the Boardwalk and eating dinner at a new restaurant called the "Greenhouse"--just trying new places and doing new things makes our nights off even more memorable. We do have our favorite spots to eat--but trying new things is something we've been doing a little more of lately. After dinner and a few games of pool--by "few games of pool" I mean MULTIPLE HOURS, we decided to call it a night. Thank heaven for nights like this...we needed this!! It feels good to act like a normal married couple--I guess as normal as we can be!

I love my husband and I love my life! I'm the luckiest girl in the world--nights like this help me realize it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Do You Call A Yard Sale, When You Don't Have A Yard??

Today, I finished up our "For Sale List" --we finally realized the importance of getting rid of all the goodies we have purchased in the past months. We only get to take 4 suitcases home with us, so we really need to filter out the necessities that we want to take home from everything else. I kept putting it off because I didn't think we had very much stuff to sell but the more I started looking--the more stuff I kept finding and the more stuff I kept finding, the higher the anxiety level rose. Back home when we want to sell stuff--we hang fliers, put listings in newspapers, and we wake up at 4am to have excited buyers standing outside the garage. Well, our previous techniques won't work on the island so we have to go about things a little differently. First, the sale list gets copied onto the spouses website. This will give members of the organization first choice over all the good deals--it feels good to help out other spouses who are new to the island. I can remember my first months on the island and I found a lot of great deals from spouses that were leaving the island...it really helped us! After the list is copied on the online website, we'll take fliers and tape them around Jason's school. Students are always looking for good deals--and many of them don't have vehicles to drive to the store to buy something so they are very appreciative for the convenience of buying from another student/spouse. With the remaining stuff that hasn't sold, the school will host a sale in their gazebo area. Locals, along with students, usually come to the sale--so I'm hoping that I won't have too big of a problem getting rid of everything.
So here we are--a month and a half from leaving the island and selling everything off. I'm just slightly OCD...ok, maybe a little more than slightly, but I'm so ready to get rid of everything that I've decided to start thinning out our stuff now. I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'm going to be asking myself why I sold toaster, skillet, or living room rug--but right now, all I can think about is selling our stuff! So....bring on the customers the Conway yard sale is now open!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is Getting Brighter

Yesterday Jason had his last lectures in basic sciences--now he just has to get through block exams on Friday and he'll be completely done with classes. I thought this would be exciting--one step closer to being finished with the school part of medical school and closer to actually acting like a doctor but Jason seems to think of this as less days that he has to study for his STEP.
Well regardless, we will shortly be finished with basic science and we are moving on to bigger and better things!
Oh, and for the record--ONLY 53 MORE DAYS UNTIL WE MOVE BACK!

Monday, February 23, 2009

How Much More Can He Handle??

This afternoon was a little crazy--trying to plan for Brian's surprise 40th birthday party, doing some laundry, and running some errands. This afternoon, I was trying to gather the trash so I could take it down to the dumpster on my way to the party supply store. Well I guess that I was in such a rush that I forgot to take the trash bag to the dumpster...when I returned a few hours later, I realized what I forgot to do. Bazzle is always exploring purses, backpacks, suitcases, and anything he can search through to find some food. Well I'm guessing the trash bag was just another thing that needed explored--the trash bag was torn open and a lot of the food was eaten, especially the chocolate chip cookies that I threw away (we're trying to be healthier)! Bazzle did not come and greet me at the door like he normally does, but instead he was laying on the ground--stick straight and eyes rolling around in his head. I immediately start freaking out so I grabbed him up and took him to the bathroom. I googled "when dogs eat chocolate" and most the websites said to have him drink hydrogen peroxide until he starts throwing up. I started forcing hydrogen peroxide down his throat--and it wasn't too much longer when he started getting sick. About an hour later, his stomach was finally empty. Pour baby! I'm not sure how many more lives he has...seriously, how many times is he going to eat until he makes himself sick?
Well a few hours later and Bazzle is doing ok--he's still laying around and sleeping a lot but he's not getting sick and his stomach does not feel like concrete anymore! I'm glad he's doing better-but I'm not sure how much more my baby boy can handle. I get so frustrated with him for constantly searching for food and getting himself into trouble, but all the frustration goes away and worry and anxiety start sitting in when I see him sick.
I'm not sure what I would do if something bad happened to him....especially if it was partly my reason that he got into trouble! I need to start being a little more aware so I can prevent things like this from happening again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update On The Future Doctor

I just realized that I've been sharing all the fun things that we do, but I haven't given an update on Jason and his school status in awhile. 5th semester has been a little more hands on for Jason--for once he is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A few weeks ago, Jason had to do genital exams on both male and female professional patients. Professional patients are hired to come and be a learning tool for the students. Some of the patients had different areas or problems that the students had to find or to recognize. He was a little nervous before his 6 HOURS of exams...it's a little bit of an awkward situation. He's never been present during a genital exam, much less be the one that is performing the exam. He found the experience to be very helpful and really enjoyed being able to be hands on and to have some sort of knowledge about what he was doing.
Along with his exams, Jason also got to sign up at school to work with the town's family practice doctor and a specialty doctor--he chose anesthesiology. This past Thursday, Jason went to work with the local family practice doctor. He saw around 15 patients--a few with the flu, pneumonia, possible skin cancer, and just some routine visits. He was hoping to see something a little more interesting, but he found it was nice to just be able to see some things first hand and try to diagnose them. He learned a lot of little tips and techniques, along with things that he doesn't want to let happen in his practice.
Today, Jason has CPR classes at the school from 8am-3pm. He read over his material last night and was trying to explain to me when it is safe to do compressions and how long the breathing should last in certain situations. He even grabbed one of the dogs because the are about the size of a small baby and showed me the different techniques that can be used to do CPR on smaller children. It was pretty funny to watch him--Muzzy just kept attacking his hands and Bazzle laid back like he was getting a massage. Today he had to sit through classes and then take a physical test as well as a written test. After that...he'll be CPR qualified!
Next month will be when he goes and follows around the specialty doctor--I'm hoping he gets to see some interesting stuff!
It's so nice for him to actually get to do some hands on stuff because it makes him feel one step closer to reaching his goal of becoming a doctor. His last lectures are on Monday and then he will be officially finished with basic science lectures. He will still have ICM (introduction to clincal medicine) lectures but that is more case studies and how to do a physical examination. He has a few important dates coming up: *February 27th-last block exams; * March 5th-comp exam; *March 13th-Behavioral Shelf; *March 20th-Pharm Shelf, *April 15th- Kaplan exam
March is a rough week for him because they have shelf exams (comprehensive exams) every week--some count for a grade and some are just practice for the STEP 1.
When we leave here in April, Jason is still undecided if he wants to do the Falcon Review. Falcon is a review course in Dallas, Texas from May 4-June 19. He will stay in a hotel and attend lectures everyday (except Sunday) from 8am-5pm. The course provides extra tutoring sessions, along with the daily lectures to provide the extra needed support. He has been trying to weigh out the good and the bad from the review course...but three months later, is still undecided.

The future doctor is doing great: very busy, sleep deprived, and stressed out--but he's hanging in there. He only has 53 more days until he'll be finished with the school here on the island. After his last test here, we're going to enjoy a few months off before he starts studying for his STEP. The end is so close--much closer than we ever thought it would be!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rough Weather!

The weather the past couple of days has been overcast, windy, and rainy. Well, I'm guessing all of these together made the ocean too rough because our shark dive today was cancelled. We got a call early this morning from the dive shop saying the swells were too big. The dive site is located a few miles off land, so the swells really build up and make the process a little more difficult. When I learned the dive was cancelled, I was a little relieved but also a little disappointed--I finally had myself talked into the dive. We're looking at our schedules and trying to find another day that we'll be able to do the dive. I'll keep everyone updated...but rest assured, the shark dive is in the future!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

29 Hours And Counting

Not that I'm counting or anything, but we have 29 hours until the BIG DAY! I'm sure most of you are wondering what that could be--well leave it to me and my mouth to get me in trouble. When we first starting diving, I made the comment that before I leave the island I will face my fears and do the shark dive. The shark dive is not just an area where sharks are known to hang out, but it is a place where the dive master will be feeding the sharks. Well considering we have less than 60 days until we move back to the states...my time has come! Everyone keeps reminding me of the memories that I'm going to be making--but honestly, I don't really care! I think I've made enough memories and I'm not really sure that I need any more! I don't think I need to remind anyone but I have a huge fear of sharks--I've watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel one too many times. I'm nervous that a huge great white (I know they only live in cold water, but what if...) is just going to rise up and bite me the second that I fall into the water. I know it sounds crazy, but anything is possible right??
I think I've been counting down the days till the dreaded shark dive since last week and now that we are the day before I can feel myself starting to get really anxious and worked up! I know that I will be fine once I get down there and see the sharks feeding on the fish chum, but falling off the boat and descending to our positions is the part that ismaking me a little nervous.
We're doing the dive with our regular dive buddies so we'll all be able to help each other out. I'll be sure to post some videos and pictures of the shark dive...WISH ME LUCK!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's What....Broken??

Thursday afternoon, I started a load of laundry and discovered that something wasn't quite right. The washing machine was filling up with water, but that was it! It wasn't running through a full cycle--I thought maybe I hit the wrong button, so I started the machine over again. The machine once again was filling up with water, but that was the extent of the cycle. I tried once more--and then I realized what was happening. The washing machine was filling up but because the cycle wasn't running through all the way, the water had no where to go! Water was EVERYWHERE--it was leaking out of the washing machine and running everywhere. It was on the rug, under the refrigerator, all over my shelves that are covered in material, and just piled up on the floor. I immediately turn off the machine but because there was water still in the washing machine, it had to run off. It is so frustrating to know that water is everywhere and it is still leaking and there is nothing that I could do to stop it.
After I got all the water cleaned up, I was determined to get the problem fixed. The repair man finally came on Monday and said the machine was broken and he had to order a brand new one. I'm not sure he really understands the importance of having a working washing machine--we have dirty clothes DAILY! The pile is starting to get pretty big-and I'm slowly starting to go crazy! I like to have everything organized and straightened and the pile of dirty clothes slowly climbing up the wall is not helping!

The repair man said it could be a week before the new washing machine is delivered! I will be going to our management office everyday and harrassing them until our machine is delivered--- I don't want them to forget about us. As I always say "the squeaky wheel gets the grease!" I just have to rememeber--we are on and island and things take a little bit of time. Patience is definitely something I've learned in the past months...but it is starting to wear out pretty thin. HURRY UP WASHING MACHINE--I NEED TO DO SOME LAUNDRY!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was great--Jason took off of studying so he could spend the last full day hanging out with Andrew and Holly and partly because it was Valentine's Day. We woke up early and headed in Marigot to grab some breakfast at Sarafina's. Sarafina's is one of the best French bakeries on the island. We ate a mixture of their yummy breakfast food and then headed to the fort. Fort Louis is a large fort that was built hundreds of years ago when there was a war between the Dutch and the French side. The view from the top of the fort is amazing--you can see Anguilla, Saba, and the surrounding towns.
The day was nice and clear so we were able to get some really good pictures and show Andrew and Holly all the different sites that can be seen.
After we left the fort, we decided to spend the rest of the day at the beach. We headed to Kim Sha beach because Jason was craving a cheeseburger from Buccaneer Beach Bar. We enjoyed some great bbq on the beach and then decided to hang out for a little bit--the boys wanted to play in the water.
After the beach, we headed home to shower and clean up because we wanted to go and watch the yachts come in and out of the harbor. We planned it just perfect by the time we arrived at the Yact Club because the bridge went up about 5 minutes after we were there. There were a few yachts that came through, but mostly large sailboats. It was just a great evening to sit on the water and talk to family.
After the yact watching, we were all getting a little bit hungry so we decided to test our luck and see if we could find an empty restaurant on Valentine's Day. We walked down a bit to Skip Jack's and because it was only about 6 o'clock--had the pick of any seat in the restaurant. We chose a table right on the water and about 10 minutes later I was wondering why I hadn't brought a jacket...it was pretty chilly with the wind blowing across the water. We settled in and looked at the menu and because it was Valentine's Day--we ordered exactly what we wanted! Ribs, steak, crab stuffed shrimp, and SURF AND TURF! Andrew was dying to get his hands on some lobster and he finally got his wish!
We went home after dinner and threw our pajamas on and just layed around watching a movie. The girls took over the air mattress and the guys stayed on the couch looking at trucks, tires, and anything else they could find on the internet. Finally around 11:00, I fought my eyelids as much as possible and they were starting to win. I didn't want to go to bed because the day had been perfect! The day was AMAZING....but better yet, our weekend was AMAZING! Not many couples can say they spent their Valentine's Day on the island of St. Maarten...we are truly blessed!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

From The Hills To The Sea

Andrew and Holly arrived to St. Maarten on Monday after a long trip from Wyoming--and we were so ready and excited for some visitors!! We spent most of our days laying on different beaches around the island and our evenings trying to show them some good St. Maarten food. We planned to do the Friday Farewell boat trip around the island on Friday so we tried to relax and take it easy on the days leading up to the boat trip. We've never done the Friday Farewell so it was going to be something new and exciting for us.
Friday morning we had to get up early so we could head over to Philipsburg and get on our sailboat, The Gold Eagle. We couldn't have asked for a better day--it was breezy, sunny, and just a great day to spend together. It was really nice that Jason was able to take off...I miss spending time with him.
Our sailboat pulled out of the dock and the boat captain needed some guys to help raise the sails-we of course threw Jason and Andrew up to help pull up the sail.
After the sail was raised, we were headed to a small island off of St. Maarten called Tintamarre. We anchored down and we all immediately start jumping in the water and swimming towards the island. We heard you could find mud pits around that you can use to enjoy a great mud bath...so we were determined to find the mud!We stayed at Tintamarre for a little while--we were jumping off the boat and floating around on little 'noodles'. About an hour later, we headed out to our next stop, Creole Rock. Creole Rock is a place right off of Grand Case, which is used for snorkeling. We saw a few fish, some conch, and a lot of sea grass! After we had enough snorkeling, we headed back to the boat. It was just about lunch time-lunch was going to be at a little restaurant on the beach in Grand Case. After spending a lot of time swimming and in the sun, we were starving! Food was yummy-bread, salad, chicken, fish, rice, and ice cream for dessert. After lunch, we continued sailing around the island. Once we got back on the boat, we realized how tired we were. Holly decided she was going to nap...so I got a few pictures of her! Our last stop was a swimming stop at La Samana--the water was very refreshing. The guys decided they would jump off the boat and swim as fast as they could to the shore--kinda crazy!
The rest of the sail home was perfect--the view was amazing because the sun was starting to set. The boat trip was so much fun! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our day...if you want to see all our pictures, feel free to look in the photo album.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Megan!


Happy Birthday to you~ Happy Birthday to you~ Happy Birthday to Megan~ Happy Birthday to you!! Birthdays are a big deal on the island because...well, because we live on an island, away from everything and everyone. Well, today is a big deal....it is MEGAN'S BIRTHDAY! She has been a great friend for the 5 semesters that we've been on the island and I truly wish her the best birthday! I can't wait to help her celebrate her big day--maybe some cake and ice cream on the beach! Happy Birthday, Megan!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My BIG Opps!

Today I learned a very valuable lesson...I'm not perfect! Andrew and Holly decided to come and visit so they bought their tickets and sent me their flight information. I looked over their itenerary and wrote the dates they were to be coming on the calender. We've been talking about when they get here on Tuesday and our plans for Tuesday afternoon well.....they didn't get in on Tuesday, they got in TODAY! I wrote down their flight arrival time on the wrong day--we never would have known except Andrew tried to call Jason's phone two times in a row while Jason was in class. Jason had an odd feeling about his brother calling two times back to back so he decided that he would just go and look around at the airport. I, of course, couldn't find the itenerary in my inbox because I'm obsessive about deleting my emails after I read them and he didn't want to wait for me to dig through my deleted mail to look for it, so he headed out. About five minutes after Jason headed out, I found the itenerary! It said "Februrary 9th at 1:45pm"--I immediately went into panic mode! They landed an hour ago....OH NO!! All I could think was Jason just driving by and missing them...but he didn't! Thank goodness Jason parked the car and went to look inside the airport because there was Andrew and Holly standing on the side waiting for their family members to pick them up! They had no idea that we weren't expecting them....oh well, we got them only an hour later and they are safe and sound. So, we now have VISITORS for the next week! I'll be sure to post pictures of our fun adventures!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Amazing!

Yesterday morning, AUC Honor Society offered a beach clean-up at Mullet Beach. We decided we would go help clean up the beach--we use it a lot and it's a nice feeling to give back to the island. We found a lot of trash--a toilet, a lot of bottles, and tons of lounger chairs that had been damaged in the hurricane. We made huge piles along the beach and then we loaded all the trash in the back of the truck. We loaded the truck with the trash, took it to the dumpsters, came back and reloaded. About three full trips and we decided we got about all the trash we could manage.
We ran home and changed...we had a scuba diving trip that was scheduled. We headed from Mullet Beach, picked up our dive partner, Alissa, and headed to the dive shop. Our dive site was called, Carib Cargo, and it was a place that we had dove before. It was a ship wreck, but it's known for having a lot of interesting things to see. We were all a little nervous before falling off the boat because the waves were pretty big. We all wanted to get to the bottom so we wouldn't see seasick. We all fell in and started descending down to the bottom. Once we got to the bottom, I remembered why I love being under the ocean. It was the brightest blue and fish were everywhere! We had a great dive-- saw so much ocean life! We saw tons of fish, eels, lobsters--but the coolest was seeing 3 different rays and a little sea turtle. We got a few pictures of the things we saw....ENJOY!
We took out our regulator and tried to smile

There is a sea turtle in the middle of the concrete balls

Diving was great--after we finished we came home and took a nap. It started out as just a short cat nap, but developed into a 3 hour nap...YES, you read that correctly! We woke up at 6:00pm-disoriented, hungry, and exhausted. We really enjoyed our day...it's nice to be able to spend some time together!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One Step Closer

Yesterday, Jason had his first exams of 5th semester. Things are a little different this semester because in previous semesters he had tests from 8-12 and this semester his exams went 12-3. Just pushing the test times back, really threw him off schedule. It is hard for him to act out his normal 'test day' routine because of the later test times. The testing schedule was slightly different, but he stayed in the zone...eating very little and wearing his duck hunting shirt, he headed to school. I went to school right at the end of his test so afterwards we could walk home and talk. He felt ok about his tests, but of course there were a few questions that had his attention for the good part of the afternoon.
We had already planned that after his exams we were going to head into Simpson Bay and watch the yachts and the sailboats come in to the harbor. At 4:30, the bridge goes up to let boats out of the harbor and then at 5:30, the bridge goes up again to let boats come into the harbor. We headed out towards the Yacht Club and were fortunate enough to make it to the bridge on time--with the crazy traffic-- and we were able to get good seats! We stayed and watched tons of boats--there were some really big yachts, sailboats, and even a fewer smaller boats.
The boats were huge--the pictures can't really capture the size of these boats. One of them had a helicopter pad on the back side with a helicopter on it...crazy! We were trying to appraise each boat that came into the harbor, but I'm sure we weren't even close to the true price.
After dinner, we headed down the road to a restaurant called the E.S.P.N Zone--it's like a sports bar/restaurant. They had 1/2 off appetizers and 25cent wings, so we decided we would try it ALL. By the time we got there, we were hungry! We wanted to try and sample a lot of their appetizers. We justified it by saying "We're getting 2 for the price of 1" but we didn't realize how much food it we'd have! We hadcoconut shrimp, mozeralla cheese sticks, cheese fries, jalapeno poppers, and TONS of wings! We weren't alone, but still--we had so much food!
After dinner, we headed over to the pool tables next door. We stayed in there for a long time--the guys just enjoy playing pool and joking around and the girls just like talking and making fun of the guys! Three hours and too many pool games to count, we decided it was time to go home.
It was really nice to enjoy some time together--the week before exams is pretty rough! The Yacht Club was one of the things on our to-do list and I'm glad we did it. It was so relaxing--sitting right on the water, watching the sun go down, and enjoying the beautiful boats!