Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adding A Little Color

We decided tonight to add a little color to our lives....it was FINALLY time to dye our Easter eggs! After dying eggs with the girls this weekend, I was super excited to have round #2 with Jason! I'm not sure how excited he was, but he was a great sport!
(ignore our tired appearances...we both had a long/busy day) We did a few solid colored eggs and a few striped ones. It's always fun to get creative with the colors. Muzzy even wanted to help dye his Easter egg! He didn't hesitate when it came time to pick the color of his egg--he went with a green and blue stripe.
We dyed 8 eggs..we made sure that we would have enough for Sunday's Easter lunch and we also wanted to make sure that we had an egg for each member of the Conways. Here's a picture of each of our eggs.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Thoughts About Me

Since not much is really going on this week, I thought I would participate in "Top 2 Tuesday" from another blog that I read. Click the link to go and check it out http://benandtay.blogspot.com/.

1. I'm addicted to Nutri-Grain waffles! Just about every night after dinner I make myself two waffles topped with peanut butter and syrup. It has become my night time treat....I've even found myself eating less throughout the day so I don't feel so guilty for eating waffles for dessert. At any given time, we have two boxes of waffles in the freezer. I almost went into a full blown panic mode when there was a shortage of waffles in the store! Waffles have become my guilty pleasure...HA!

2. I'm a clean/neat freak! When cleaning the house, I cannot clean just one area. Once I decide to clean, the whole house gets the cleaning treatment. I have a special order that I do things too...dusting is always first, then window cleaning, kitchen, bathroom and then the rest of the house. Probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to cleaning...I cannot stand to have vacuum lines that are not straight. Sometimes it takes longer than I would like to get the lines straight but it would drive me nuts to not have it done!

Dear Mr. Easter Bunny

Dear Mr. Easter Bunny,

I'm sure you're pretty busy and overworked this week leading up to Easter but I thought a letter might help you find our family a little easier. We are going to be in California for Easter this year...we are no longer on the island so maybe we can get a few more goodies? All the different kinds of goodies are much cheaper here than over there. Just in case you forgot what we like, I made you a list! If you haven't forgotten what we enjoy, then just ignore the list. I love jelly beans and Reeses peanut butter eggs--Jason loves Cadbury eggs and malt eggs--Bazzle and Muzzy love Peeps and rawhide bones.
We're planning on dying the eggs the eggs this week so you don't have to bring them. I hope that by leaving out the eggs you can fit more goodies into your basket! Maybe it's a lot to ask but maybe we can get something....ummm....not edible?! I know when I was younger you always brought me the best goodies in my baskets. I can remember being seven or eight and getting a pair of white bunny rabbits. I loved toting them around outside and letting them hop through the yard...I think we eventually had to give them away to a local farm in our town because they were getting too big to fit in their cages. Or how about the chicks that were dyed bright colors? I loved them too but once they started growing they lost their color and I lost interest. They were taken to my grandpa's farm to live with his chickens...they probably liked it better there anyway! Since you used to get me fun and exciting goodies, maybe this year you can splurge and get us something to go along with a few sweet items? I saved you the time and did a little research on the splurge you can bring....how about a Wii game system, the Super Mario Bros game and an extra controller? It's just suggestion....I'm just trying to make your job a little easier...I've been eyeing the system for a LONG time....I won't beg but it sure would be nice...It won't melt like chocolate does in the heat....Please....Pretty please....You're definitely better than the tooth fairy in my book....Organic lettuce and carrots will be in the crisper drawer waiting for you Easter morning!
I just wanted to let you know that I'm still as excited about waking up Easter morning to dig through my basket as I was when I was younger.
Love Always,
Ashley

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So Short...But So Much Fun!

Friday morning bright and early, 4:00 am to be exact, I started my drive to LAX airport for my girls weekend in Michigan. The drive started off great--I think it was still a little early for crazy LA traffic and then the closer I got to the airport, things started going down hill. I rely solely on my GPS to get me to destinations around LA and other major cities and when accidents happen and THREE main interstates close down, then I'm at a loss. Signs were flashing like crazy that the I-5 was closed due to a crazy accident and panic set in. I immediately call Jason and ask him to re-route me but he was unsure of my exact location.....as you can imagine I was freaking out that I was going to get lost on all the detour/side streets and miss my flight! Anyway, to make a long story short, I made it to the airport, parked in a parking garage and found my way to the terminal. Smooth sailing from there! Security wasn't as bad as I was expecting, the flight was on time and the flight seemed to 'fly' by...HA!
*On a side note....when did I get so scared to fly?! I used to look forward to trips that required a few plane rides-the whole process of getting a huge plane 30,000 plus feet above the ground for hours and then landing it on an asphalt strip amazed me. I always wanted to sit by the window so I could look out and try to guess what state we were in based on the mountains or water locations. When we lived on the island we flew back and forth (from St. Maarten to Missouri) every 4 months...I started developing a pretty big fear of flying. I get real nervous on takeoff, landing and any bump or noise that develops over the duration of the flight. I'm hoping that since we don't fly as much as we did that I will start losing my fear...planes mean vacations and fun trips!! *
Andy and Alissa picked me up from baggage claim! It was so good to see our besties from the island again. It's been close to 8 months since our fun trip to Cedar Point with them this summer...so a visit was LONG overdue! Melinda's flight didn't come in for another hour and a half so we decided to go have a few snacks at a nearby restaurant/sports bar. Once Melinda arrived, we headed to the airport to grab her and headed to the apartment. We updated each other on what we've been up to for the last few months. We enjoyed a yummy dinner and then we went downtown to a fun little place called "Mr. Bs". The night couldn't have been any better. (I wish I would have taken more pictures! )
Saturday morning we decided that we would spend our time at the mall and then enjoy lunch at The Melting Pot! None of us were in a serious shopping mood...sometimes window shopping is just as much fun as the real thing! After two hours the only thing purchased was a cell phone cover for my phone! Jason would be so proud!! The Melting Pot was delicious! I've never eaten at one before so I was a little unsure of the whole process but after my first piece of bread dipped in the warm pot of cheese, I was addicted. I will definitely be revisiting every chance I get. After lunch we just wanted to go home and rest up...all the food was making us feel lazy. We couldn't just sit around and do nothing so we broke out JENGA. I've become quite the game player--I'm always up for a little competition!
The game lasted longer than I thought it would! We did pretty good but unfortunately it was on my turn that the whole tower came crashing down! Who knew that a tower built of wooden blocks could be so much fun and entertaining?

Later that night we enjoyed Benihana's for dinner and then watched a few movies at the apartment. Nothing too crazy...we were still worn out from Friday night. Sunday morning we planned on cooking a big brunch for everyone....eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and pancakes. Our flights left later in the day so we wanted to stay home and enjoy each other before it was time to say goodbye.

With Easter being so close, we decided that we would spend the rest of our day together making Easter eggs.

The weekend was wonderful! I didn't realize how much I missed those girls! It was so nice to talk and laugh with them...a girls weekend was just what I needed. We've already started planning our next get together, we just don't know when we can all get off. From now until April things get a little crazy with our schedules.
I love those girls...we will always be Best Friends Forever (BFFs)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

I'm officially on spring break...woo! I left work today with a hop in my step because I'm off work for a full 10 days AND tomorrow I'm flying off to see some of my best girl friends!! I can't believe it's already time for me to visit...it seems like just yesterday we were skyping about a spring break trip!
Tomorrow morning is going to come so fast that I must, must, must be productive tonight! House needs cleaned, laundry needs done, snacks need to be purchased so hubby can survive for a few days without me and I need to pack. I'm extremely OCD about things, a lot of things, and I'm surprised that I waited till the evening before my flight to get everything in order! Yikes, what's the world coming to!?
Ready or not, here I come....more to come after I get back from my trip!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today's A New Day

After a bit of a stressful day yesterday, I went home and did what any stressed out woman would do...I pigged out! I've always been a stress eater and last night was no different. I've been working so hard on trying to get healthy and lose a little weight and last night I jumped off the 'weight loss' wagon face first!! Panda Express and a homemade batch of chocolate chip cookie dough were what I indulged on for dinner, dessert and a good part of the evening that followed dinner. After pigging out on the food that I thought would calm down my nerves, I felt worse than when I started eating. I literally ate until I made myself sick. The mixture of the orange chicken, fried rice and the crazy amount of sugar in the cookie dough definitely did not set well on my stomach! I just kept rolling around on the couch trying to get comfortable because my stomach was so full and was working overtime!
I've been doing Weight Watchers for the past few months and these types 'splurge' foods are not something that we eat a lot of. After the crazy pig out session last night, I was so mad at myself. I can't believe I let my emotions get the best of me again....
The great news is....TODAY IS A NEW DAY! I'm starting fresh with a new positive outlook on the day and the diet. What happened yesterday is over and I can't go back and change it so I need to look at how I can learn from my mistakes and ensure that I don't send myself into a food induced coma in the future! I'm back on the wagon....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Summoned To Court

Wow, what a day! The day started off great...I woke up on time, emptied the dishwasher, did a few chores and arrived to work early! I went to a meeting at 10:00am and when I got back to the office I had a special delivery. I was SERVED....yep, you read that correctly! I was given a subpoena to appear in court for one of the families that uses our organization. The man walked in said "You've been summoned to court", handed me papers, and then turned and walked out the door. My eyes were huge, my heart skipped a FEW HUNDRED beats and I had a huge crook in my throat. Court!? Why am I the one that gets served papers to appear in court before a judge, attornies and criminals? All I did was provide a few smiles and encouragement to a family that needed some support and this is how they repay me!? I was speechless, shocked and a little ticked off! Well whatever...I'll go and testify and get the heck out of dodge!!

I started looking over the subpoena and I notice that the court date is Friday at 8:30am and then it hits me! I'm flying to Detroit on Friday morning for my girls weekend with Alissa and Melinda...there's no way I can be in court and on a plane to Detroit at the same time! I immediately called the attorney and explained my situation. I explained the whole situation and he cleared me for court this Friday. He said he would notify the court and clear my name (I made sure that I wouldn't get fined or arrested for missing the court date) and that when I got back from my trip I would be getting another subpoena for another date. Dang attornies sure are persistent!!

Well today was a definite first for me, and hopefully a last! I'm definitely not feeling the whole court/subpoena ordeal. I'm not sure how many more times my stomach can take "being served"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Great News!!

After a week of waiting patiently on Muzzy's test results, we have finally gotten them. The vet said there was quite a bit of bacteria growing in his bladder and she prescribed him a pretty powerful antibiotic. He'll be on the antibiotic for 3 weeks and then hopefully his bladder will be back to normal.
As far as his liver disease, his diet had to drastically change. He's no longer a meat eater....he's a vegetarian. He can only have dog food that is animal protein free, which just so happens to be few and far between and pretty expensive. No more raw hides or yummy steak flavored treats--only steamed or fresh veggies! He didn't seem to mind the food at first (something new is always exciting) but since then he hasn't been too excited to get his food bowl in the morning.
I have a feeling I'm going to have to start getting creative...blending some veggies in with his food so we can make sure that he's getting the nutrients that he needs! Bazzle could be losing a little weight with all these changes too...not necessarily such a bad thing!
I just have to remember that when he looks at me with those big sad eyes that I'm doing the right thing! We need to have our little boy healthy so we will do whatever it takes to keep him that way! I'm so thankful that the results were better than anticipated! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Yesterday was the first day of Spring...Spring has sprung!! We couldn't have asked for a better day to welcome Spring into the neighborhood. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the pollen is piling on thicker than ever. I tried to get some pictures so you can see just how much pollen we are experiencing!! Yellow pollen is everywhere...all along the sidewalks, floating in the pool, all over the cars, and pretty much anywhere else it can blow and make a mess.
I saw the neighbor boy walk up and hit the tree to shake down all the "dust" so I tried to do the same thing. Thank goodness I don't have allergies or it could have gotten pretty bad! It was crazy to see how much pollen came off of one branch...
The weather was picture perfect for the first day of Spring...I think the high got to about 82 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Jason needed to study for a good part of the morning (his IM shelf is in two weeks) and then we took advantage of the nice weather and spent the majority of our time outside.
Not only do we like to spend our time outside, but so do the pups! They love running through the grass acting like crazy fools and I love watching their excitement!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Today was full of things that made me feel good...sometimes it's nice to have a day where everything makes you smile! Well since I rolled over and turned off the alarm clock, I've been having a FEEL GOOD FRIDAY! Here's a list of the few things that have made my day!

1. Staying in Bed---After packing Jason's lunch, walking the dogs and climbing back in bed, I watched the Today show. I know...not that exciting but it was on a lot of the topics that I'm interested in right now. Spring cleaning, spring wardrobes, traveling hot spots and a lot of other interesting topics. I normally don't get to watch those daily morning shows because I'm usually hustling around the house trying to get things done so I can get to work on time. I actually stayed in bed until the show went over the topics I wanted to watch...there's definitely something about staying in bed and being lazy on a Friday morning.

2. Spring Cleaning---After seeing all the filth that accumulates in your home during the colder season, I immediately started spring cleaning. The sheets got thrown into the washer, the carpets got shampooed, the comforter got dropped off at the dry cleaners, the tiled areas got mopped, the house got dusted, the front and back porch got swept and the window/door jams got cleaned out. Having a clean house really makes my day...I love walking on fresh carpet, sleeping on clean sheets and smelling the fresh scent of Pine-Sol.

3. Shopping---I'm a girl so I love getting in some retail therapy. Today wasn't a shopping trip for me but for a friend's little girl back home. Daryl and April's youngest girl, Megan, is turning 1 next week and I wanted to make sure that she had a gift to open from the Conways! It was so fun to roam the toy aisles at the store looking for fun girlie gifts that she would enjoy.

4. Suprises---I got a call from Jason around 12:30 letting me know that he got off super early and he was bringing home lunch! I love getting surprises from my hubby but the surprise that tops them all is when he gets off earlier than expected and has extra time to spend with his family.

5. Sunshine---The weather has been so nice this week and today was no exception. The temperature got to about 85 degrees...perfect weather for hanging out by the pool! We both put on our swimsuits and enjoyed some Vitamin D from Mr. Sun!!

6. Neighbors--We haven't had the nicest neighbors since we moved here. People are definitely not as outgoing and friendly out here in California as they are back in Missouri. Well we have gotten a great set of neighbors right beside us. They are an Indian couple that just moved here from India. They have a young boy, Saj, who is full of life and curious about our way of life. He's always outside playing and he's always asking questions so he can better understand. As we were out by the pool today, Saj walks out of his door and walks by and just says "Hey Doctor!"
I couldn't help but smile...Jason said "I told him I was just a student but he insists that I'm a doctor"

Today was a great start to the weekend! It was definitely a Feel Good Friday! Do you have anything that just makes you smile??

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day

I'm such a sucker for holidays...even the smaller ones like St. Patrick's Day! I can't resist putting out a few decorations and letting myself act like a kid again. So of course....I couldn't resist getting into the green spirit today. I made sure that I had my outfit picked out last night so I could ensure that I had enough green on my body (I didn't want to get pinched by accident) and then I ran to the store to buy stuff to make green sugar cookies. I realized late last night that I didn't have any food coloring so I ran to Von's to grab some of the essential items needed for St. Patty's Day. Jason was on call so I had tons of time to bake last night. I usually make green eggs and ham for breakfast on St. Patty's Day but here lately neither one of us is crazy about eating a big breakfast. We decided this morning that the extra five minutes of laying in bed tossing and turning after the alarm goes off was more important! Why do we torture ourselves like that!? It's not like we are falling back to sleep...we just dread the inevitable!!
Ok...back to the original post! I packed a few green cookies in our lunches and then the rest were wrapped up and taken to work. I wanted our students and tutors to have a little green today! They were so appreciative (they always are) of the cookies and they loved the fact that they were festive.
There's nothing better than starting off your day with green sugar cookies...the breakfast of leprechauns!! Happy St. Patty's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pine Trees

Pine trees know when Easter is getting close...it's true!! As Spring begins, pine trees will start to shoot three yellow shoots on the end of each individual branch and as Easter gets closer, there is a small but very noticeable change. The third and middle shoot will grow a little taller and form a cross. I've never noticed this before but since receiving an email on this, I've become more aware! Jason and myself are constantly searching out the pine trees in our complex when we are outside! The shoots are forming now so it won't be too much longer (three more weeks) until we can see the crosses first hand. God is ALWAYS around, whether we think he is or not! I'm so thankful for something as simple as a shoot on a pine tree to remind me of the wonderful story of Easter!

Grow Old With Me...

At work, we are preparing for our annual fundraiser that is held in April. We have a silent auction/reception with items that we get donated from companies, organizations, and/or individuals that want to support the Council and stomp out illiteracy! Today an artist brought in the cutest hanging boards with painted river rocks! I couldn't get a great picture of the whole board so I took multiple pictures of it....



They are the cutest banners! Who would have thought that painting flat river rocks, hot gluing them to a spray painted board and hanging them on your wall?? I'm excited to go to the river this summer....I need to find some rocks so I can make my own!!

That Thing Goes Where!?

Muzzy has had a rough few weeks and this week was no different. My poor baby had to have one more test run before the doctor can prescribe a medication to fix some of his issues. Unfortuntely, his last test was a urine culture. I knew my job (the collection part) would not be an easy task so the vet gave me some pointers/tools to use.
The vet gave me a plastic bag that is used at most hospitals when a sterile urine sample is needed. The plastic bag has tape around an opening that goes around....around....well, the pee area. I would have gotten a picture of the plastic bag but it needed to be placed on Muzzy as soon as it was taken out of the bag so we could keep things as sterile as possible.
I know I'm a horrible mom, but I couldn't resist this picture. The bag was almost as big as he was! He did really well with the plastic bag. At first he didn't know what to think, but the second we let him outside he was fine. I'm guessing the bag made him a little shy because he didn't want to mark his territory as much as he normally does. Well with all that said--we collected enough needed for the test. We should hopefully hear something from the vet by the end of this week! Hopefully we are on the right path to getting my baby healthy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Be Shy

I've become sucked into the blogging world these past few months. I've found some great, exciting and encouraging blogs that I love to catch up on when I'm relaxing at home after work. I love seeing all the comments that everyone leaves on the blogs and the support from other bloggers. So with that said....I'm here to open the invitation-please, don't be shy!! If you read my blog and enjoy it, then I would love to know so I could follow your blog! I would love to have any and all of my readers become a follower of "Catching Up With The Conways"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

Having to set the clocks forward last night wasn't easy. I did not like the fact that I would be losing an hour of sleep....we all love sleep! I have to keep in mind that the time change isn't all bad. I do like the fact that I have so much more daylight when I get home from work in the evenings! After day light savings in the spring, summer is right around the corner. I love summer, warm weather and sun so I guess I can get used to the time change. I will just have to use the rest of today to store up my hours of sleep....off to nap!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunshine And Seals

Today we woke up, looked up the weather and planned a trip up the coast to do a little sightseeing. I've been wanting to go to Piedras Blancas, a beach on the coast, since we moved here. Piedras Blancas is known for being a beach where elephant seals rest on their long journey from Alaska. Esentially, they sun bathe for two months straight!! The drive to the beach was a little longer than we expected but once we started the drive, we were suprised at how fast the time went. The scenary kept us busy...it was a beautiful drive! Spring has definitely arrived...apple trees, wild flowers and all the new green growth is spreading across the California coast.
The pictures don't do the wildflowers justice. They were some of the brightest colors I've ever seen and they covered hillside after hillside. After a 2 1/2 hour drive, we finally got to where we could see the coast. The first lookout was to Morro Bay and Morro Rock. If you look closely, you can see the rock off the coast in the picture below. After a little bit more driving along the coast, we had arrived! I didn't really know what to expect because the website didn't share too much information. The first thing we noticed when we opened our doors was how cold it was. The weather looked so warm and sunny from the inside of a car but it was really windy and pretty cold, especially right alond the beach! Enough about the weather...didn't we drive to see the elephant seals?! The elephant seals were spread all over the beach. They almost looked dead...

The elephant seals arrive to Piedras Blancas after their feeding trip to Alaska. The come to mate, deliver their babies and molt (shed their hair) before they make the journey again. They don't eat the whole 4 months they are in California so they lose a lot of weight. After the females deliver, they nurse their young for one month and then they leave. The babies have to learn to do for themselves...they have to teach themselves to swim and to catch food. The females are 10-12 feet long and there were still a few of them on the beach. They looked like fat sausages...really big fat sausages.

The males are the main attraction because of their size and the noises that they make. The males have a huge trunk looking nose, hence the name elephant seal. The males weigh 5,000 pounds when they get to Piedras Blancas but after not eating for 4 months, the lose about 1,000 pounds. The male seals are 12-16 feet long, have huge teeth and sound like a Harley at a stop sign. Luckily, there were a few males for us to see...they were huge! The babies were by far the cutest things I've ever seen...you couldn't help but smile! They were more active than the adults. They were flipping sand on themselves with their flippers to warm up and when some of the sand hit another seal, they would let out a sneezing noise. They were so much fun to watch! I still can't believe that there are still so many of them left on the beach. Most of them have already started making their journey up North. **All the seal information was from a really sweet volunteer who ensured that we knew EVERYTHING about the amazing animals! After we finished seeing the seals, it was lunchtime. I had read some reviews online and there were multiple positive reviews about a little restaurant in Ragged Point. We kept driving up the coast until we came to the cutest little restaurant out in the middle of the nowhere on the top of the tallest cliff. It was the best location for a yummy restaurant! The food at the Ragged Point Restaurant was really good but the view made it so much better! We couldn't have asked for a better day. Since we had a long drive home, we headed back down the coast after lunch. One last stop before we could set the cruise control...a wildflower bouquet! I have the best husband...he was pretty insistant that we get some fresh, beautiful flowers!

We had so much fun today! I couldn't have asked for a better day with my husband...it was so nice to get out of town and explore a little.