Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christmas Countdown

There are only 85 days left until Christmas! I realize that we haven't even had Halloween or Thanksgiving, but I can't help it! I LOVE everything that the Christmas season brings with it. Family get-togethers, kindness, generosity, cooler weather, hot cocoa, an extra blanket on the bed(if I'm lucky, an electric blanket), Christmas music, decorations(trees, lights, stockings, candles), fires in the fireplace, old and new Christmas movies, shopping days for everyone other than yourself, candy countdown calenders, candy canes, Christmas dinner, days filled with endless cooking--candy and cookies, and so so much more!
This year will be the first year that we won't be in Missouri for Christmas but I'm determined to not let that put a damper on our Christmas spirit. I'm excited to start family traditions with my own little family that will carry on with our children. Christmas is a wonderful time of year!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday With The In-Laws

Sunday morning we headed down to Ventura to hang out with Chip and Sue for the day. We left extra early (7am) so we could get there in plenty of time to go to church with them. It was about a two hour drive but it's a very nice, pretty drive. Church was really good--it was nice to get back to church after being out of it for a few weeks! We went to the contemporary service--so the music and the preaching was great! Just what we needed...a good uplifting service.
After church, we headed back to their house to hang out and visit. The boys watched football-they couldn't get enough of it! The 30 channels on a nice flat screen TV was too much for them to handle. They couldn't decide what channel was the best to watch, so I think they were fair and tried to watch each channel. The girls talked about the smaller details--family, life, work, etc. It was so good to get caught up on everything and to update them on our lives.
Hanging out and not doing much of anything was great! It was a great way to end the weekend...I hate to see weekends end because that means Jason goes back to Norwalk but that also means that another weekend is on the horizon!
I'm so glad that we are close to family, especially family that we haven't lived close to before! It was so great to spend Sunday with the in-laws!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Excitement Turns Into Frustration

The coffee table was delivered today...seeing the UPS man through my peep hole in the door brought excitement all through my body!! You have NO IDEA how excited I am to have a table, even if it is only a coffee table. Holding my plate up to my mouth and shoveling the food in is a thing of the past!! Well being that today is Friday, the day that Jason comes home, I was really excited to put together the coffee table and surprise him! The box was definitely intimidating when I opened it...everything was neatly organized, individually wrapped, and stacked perfectly so it would fit in the smallest possible box.

I started unwrapping all the pieces to our new coffee table and realized a few pieces looked a little banged up but because I was so excited to put it together, I just ignored it. I thought maybe the banged up spots would be on the inside and would never be seen. So, I continued putting the table together. I did pretty good with putting it together-the instructions were pretty explanatory and there weren't that many parts to get confused! When it came time to put on the table top and the slide in the drawers, I noticed a few problems. The table top had an area on the corner that was pretty banged up and the edges were starting peel. Still ignoring the tables problem areas, I continued putting it together. It could always have a table cloth over it, right!?

I decided to put in the drawers so I could see the finished product...and that is when I discovered the drawers were pretty messed up too! The sliders that the wheels are suppose to follow on the drawers were all bent up and the drawers wouldn't slide into the table. Along with the sliders that were bent up, one of the drawers fell apart and into three pieces. I was determined to make this table work, so I got out the gorilla glue, strong super glue, and glued the drawer back together. Well being that the slider was bent, the drawers wouldn't slide in. I wanted it to be perfect for when Jason came home, so I used a bit to much force and broke the drawer back to its original three piece state.

Ok, so the table definitely didn't arrive in the shape that one would expect so I called customer service to complain. They apologized and said another table would be sent out immediately. I get to hold onto this table until the other arrives. Once my other table gets here and I make sure it is in good condition, then I have to disassemble the broken table and UPS it back to the sender. Well until the new table comes in, I decided to put the coffee table in the living room and "pretend" it didn't have broken drawers.
Why can't anything be easy?? I guess if everything went as planned then daily life would be boring...but I can live with boring a few days a year!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid

With Jason being gone during the week, I'm really enjoying my two little guard dogs. They love sitting in front of our patio door, looking out, guarding, and protecting the apartment. Well, this morning we had a unwanted visitor--A CAT! One of the local cats in the complex loves to come and sit right in front of our patio and stare at the dogs! It's kind of funny to watch the dogs go crazy!
If you look closely, you can see the cat staring at the dogs under the wood around our patio. Bazzle and Muzzy growl, bark, and give their best intimidation face until the cat decides to run off and harass the next set of protective guard dogs. When their job is done...they go back to their daily routine.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Love Spoiling My Husband!

Knowing that Jason would be driving back to Bakersfield when he got off work on Friday, I wanted to surprise him with a yummy dinner and his favorite dessert. The menu was roast, carrots, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and coconut cream pie for dessert. I had to do a little grocery shopping before I started cooking but once I had everything my afternoon was spent in the kitchen. I started with the pie first, since it had to cool before we could eat it. I tried this coconut cream pie recipe once before on the island and it didn't turn out too good. The flavor was good, but I didn't cook it long enough and it wasn't able to get thick. I was determined that my second attempt was going to turn out better than my first attempt.
The pie was actually pretty simple--I was so proud of myself, especially since Jason had no idea. When he got home, he was so excited. He had been calling me on his drive home telling me how hungry he was. I just played it off and acted like I didn't want to cook. He was thrilled when he walked in and had a yummy home-cooked meal. I love spoiling my hubby! The homemade dinner and dessert was a SUCCESS!!
He enjoyed the pie so much, he ate it for breakfast the next morning! Who needs cereal when you have coconut cream pie??

Our Visit To Norwalk

Last week, the boys and myself were missing Jason so much we decided to drive to Norwalk and pay him a visit. It was so good to wrap my arms around him, talk with him about his day, and just lay around with him and watch TV. The boys missed their daddy too...they were so excited to see him!
Donna, the lady who Jason is staying with the next few weeks, is great! She was all excited when she heard we would be visiting Jason. She has been great...she has gone above and beyond hospitality. We appreciate her being so great and allowing me and the dogs to come down and visit Jason. It really helped break up the long, lonely week! The dogs really enjoyed visiting Jason...they couldn't get enough attention, but more importantly they loved exploring the new house and the backyard. The backyard was their favorite..they explored every piece of grass in the backyard. Having our family together again felt so good! Jason had to work early the next morning- seeing him put on his work clothes, his name tag, and head off to work made the journey to Norwalk ALL worth it! After he left for work, we headed back home to Bakersfield. Being separated during the week is hard but it will all be worth it in the end. One week down...seven weeks to go!
There will be many more visits in the weeks to come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The New ARRIVAL In The Conway House

Our FURNITURE arrived today...woo hoo! Since we moved in last Sunday, we've been searching for furniture to add to our bare apartment. We've been living the past week with minimal furniture...lawn chairs in the living room (our couch) and air mattress in the bedroom (our bed). Last week we found some things that we liked, but because it was Labor Day things were a little crazy in the area and they couldn't deliver the furniture until today. Here is what our apartment looked like before our WONDERFUL furniture....
I was so excited when the doorbell rang and the furniture delivery crew was outside my door with our furniture. Here are a few pictures of the apartment after the WONDERFUL furniture was added...

All the other furniture (kitchen table, TV stand, dresser, night stand, etc) and decorations to make the house a little more "homey" will come later, but for now I'm going to enjoy watching TV on the couch and sleeping in a comfortable bed! Welcome to the Conway house, furniture! You've been away for too long :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank Goodness for Technology!

Here's a picture of Jason and his first day of his psychiatry rotation. I wasn't there when he got ready but he called me on Skype and I was able to get a picture of him on his first day! He looked so handsome and professional in his shirt and tie. He was so excited and nervous for his first day and I'm glad there is technology available that allowed me to be part of his big day. The technology is so nice and clear that it allows me to see and talk to him like he is sitting right beside me. Thank goodness for technology!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Missing My Hubby... And It's Just The Beginning Of This Crazy Journey!

Jason will start his psychiatry rotation tomorrow morning...bright and early! His rotation is in Norwalk, California(at a state psychiatric hospital) which is about 2 hours away from Bakersfield and our apartment. Driving back and forth isn't something that he thought that was possible after working all day so he looked into his options. He contacted a lady that was interested in renting out a room in her house and decided that staying in Norwalk during the week and driving back to Bakersfield on the weekend was the best.
Today, we ironed all his work clothes for the week, packed his bags of everything he'll need this week, and loaded him into his car. It's going to be weird not having him around but I know that sacrifices must be made during our med-school journey. I'll probably load the dogs up once a week and pay him a visit. He's going to love the hands on part of clinicals...and I can't wait to hear all his stories!
I'm so proud of my husband...he's always working so hard for his family!
Please keep the Conway family in your prayers these next 8 weeks...next 8 months....or heck, even the next 8 years!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Road Trip....Day 4 (Arizona to California)

Day 4 was the last and final day in our "cross-country" roadtrip. The Grand Canyon was the ONLY thing we scheduled ourselves to see and after that we would head to California. We heard that we could spend days, if not weeks in the Grand Canyon, so we wanted to make sure that we allowed ourselves ample enough time to take in the sights. We parked in an overflow lot because admission was charged by car--it was nice to be able to ride through together as a family. The first lookout point was breathtaking, seriously! The way the rocks were carved out in extreme depths with multiple different shades of the same color splashed across and through the canyon was amazing...simply amazing!
We chose the Southern rim of the Grand Canyone to explore--it had more forests surrounding the area than the Northern rim. We were constantly looking for wildlife in all the trees.
Then out of nowhere, Jason said "Hey, look over there!" and there was a group of elk that were bedded down. There was a big bull elk and a few cows...the pictures were hard to get but we tried our best!
We could have spent so much time exploring all the different paths and lookout points that make up the Grand Canyon. It was amazing...the Grand Canyon is a very visible sign that there is a God. It would be hard for someone to look at any section of the Grand Canyon and not believe there is a higher power that is responsible for making such a wonderful view. Here are a few more pictures of the fingerprints of God....
After spending a few hours in the Grand Canyon, we kept up our stamina and headed towards California. We made it a few hours from Bakersfield before calling it quits for the day. We were scheduled to check into our apartment early the next morning so we wanted to be relatively close before we turned it in for the night. This was a great day to end our road trip! Day 4 was awesome....2200 miles and 44 hours of driving.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Road Trip....Day 3 (Colorado to Arizona)

Day 3 of our trip started off a little slower than the first two days, but we had a lot on the agenda so we had to get motivated and quick! We planned on seeing the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, and the Meteor Crater. We had about a three hour drive before we would make it to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert but once we got close we knew we had arrived. The rocks looked like they almost changed colors instantly...they were so vibrant!

The Painted Desert was beautiful...you could see the different lines that made up the rock formations. Years of aging went into making this place a national park...it's pretty amazing to see the different age lines.

Throughout areas of the Painted Desert you could see pieces of petrified wood, but at the end of the park is where the Petrified Forest is considered to be. The petrified wood looked like normal pieces of wood--have a bark appearance--but when you got close to the wood you could tell it was definitely stone.

The whole National Park was pretty amazing...God has definitely blessed the West with some amazing views! The next stop after we left the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert was the Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona. Out in the middle of a small town in Arizona is a huge hole where a meteor hit Earth a long time ago. The crater floor is about 700 feet deep, the circumference is about 2.4 miles, and it is over 4,000 feet across.

It is amazing that something so small could fly through the atmosphere at high speeds and hit the Earth to make such a lasting impression. I'm just glad that nothing was in Arizona when the meteor hit! After Winslow, we decided to call it a night. We headed towards the direction of the Grand Canyon (next on our to-do-list) and stayed in Williams, Arizona. Day 3 was a success...1800 miles and 34 hours!

Road Trip...Day 2 (Texas to Colorado)

After we left Texas, we had about 6 hours until we would make it to the 4 Corners. The further we drove into the desert, the more the landscaping changed. The dirt fields looked like they went on forever and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a huge rock mound would appear. We kept telling each other that it looked like we were on another planet or something....weird!
Once we got into the town where 4 Corners was located, we knew we were in a whole new world. The national monument is located on a Navajo Indian reservation. The way these people lived surprised me, especially during this day and time. I know they live off the land and live only in their means--nothing extreme or in excess--but the fact that they still do this with all the extras provided in this country is very interesting.
The 4 Corners monument was built up on top of a mountain where all four states neighbor each other. Being that we just drove 20 hours to be in 4 states at once, we had to capture the moment! We each posed in the 4 states and then we were in the 4 states together as a family!

A lot of local Indian vendors had shops set up around the monument so we decided to walk around and find some authentic Navajo goodies! After we finished up at the 4 corners, it was getting late and we were getting tired so we decided to drive to the closest town (Cortez, Colorado) and call it a night.

So...24 hours of driving and 1400 miles later we finished up day 2 of our roadtrip. We had a great time seeing the sights along the first two days of the drive and we were looking forward to the next two days.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Trip....Day 1 (Missouri to Texas)

And so the next chapter of our lives begins....clinicals! We left for the much anticipated road trip on September 2, 2009. Because the drive was so long, we decided to make the trip a bit of a sight-seeing adventure! We mapped out our course...4 corners(Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico), Petrified Forest/Painted Desert(Arizona), Meteor Crater(Arizona), and the Grand Canyon(Arizona). MapQuest said our adventure would be 36 hours and 2,500 miles....PURE JOY! We loaded our cars to the ceilings with our necessities and squished into the drivers seats for our road trip. Our trip started off great! We were so excited to be moving that the drive didn't seem all that bad. The Oklahoma state line snuck up on us...we stopped to enjoy some lunch with the boys! We needed to stretch our legs and the boys needed a bathroom break!
Oklahoma was really nice--big open fields with huge windmills. The only thing that made Oklahoma different than Missouri was the toll-roads. We aren't used to throwing money in a machine so we can drive on certain roads but by the end of the state we got pretty good at handing over the money.
14 hours later...We made it to Amarillo, Texas! We were exhausted! Driving straight through with only a few stops is so much harder than we anticipated!
Texas was so different than anything we'd seen on our trip. The land was long and flat...there was a storm blowing in from the distance. It was pretty neat to see a storm roll in from miles away! We figured that we made it pretty good time so it was a good first day on our roadtrip.
The next morning as we headed off for the 4 Corners, we see a group of cars along the side of the road that are stuck in the ground. We walkie-talkie each other and decide that we should stop and see what they were. When we pulled in, a tour bus driver told us that the attraction is called "Cadillac Ranch"
The cool thing about "Cadillac Ranch" was you could bring your own spray paint and draw on the cars. We didn't have any spray paint since the stop was unplanned, but we found some and decided to put our own Conway touch on one of the cars.
The first day we didn't get to see much but that's why we wanted to really push it the first day-we wanted to be able to spend as much time as possible at the other attractions we wanted to visit. Day 1 was a SUCCESS....810 miles and 14 hours. Only 1600 more miles and 22 hours left!!