Monday, May 31, 2010

Three Day Weekend

Because of Memorial Day, both myself and Jason were able to enjoy a three day weekend and it was wonderful!! The weather this weekend couldn't have been better and we couldn't have enjoyed it anymore than we did. On Saturday, we packed in a full day of rest and relaxation. We were able to sleep in past 4:30am, spend the day at the pool, grill for lunch, take a much needed nap and laugh uncontrollably at our Mario Bros playing skills on the Wii. It was a great start to our weekend!
On Sunday we made reservations to head up the the mountains and go white water rafting. We left the house mid-morning and arrived excited and nervous to get in a river that was made by melted snow off the mountain tops.
Once we got to the rafting company and saw all the other rafters, we were pumped and ready to hit the rapids. We decided to do a moderate ride down the river called the Double Blitz. It had class I-IV rapids and it was for beginner/intermediate riders. Class I rapids are easy and Class V
rapids are the most extreme. We wanted to enjoy ourselves but not get ourselves in a scary situation on our first trip down the river. We got fitted for our helmets and our life jackets and loaded into bus to take us up the river. On the way up, the guide starts giving us tidbits of information for the trip. The river right now is about 40-45 degrees. Did I mention that we were the only ones out of 30 people to not rent the wetsuits?
We are suppose to be getting the pictures emailed to us from the other couples in our group so as soon as I get them then I will make a separate post with the pictures. I found a picture on their website...imagine that is us sitting in the front!
It was so much fun...I can't wait to go again! Next time, we'll try a little harder course!

Monday came WAY too fast so we decided to just hang out and rest again before the work week started up again. We started out the morning with a nice bike ride...Jason thought it was necessary to wash them before we started our ride.

We talked about our hopes and dreams for our family and as we passed houses and cars, we dreamed about our future home and cars. As Jason says, "If you don't have dreams, you'll have nothing to work for." So...we dreamed a lot during that two hour bike ride.
Once we got back, we headed to the pool to cool off. We hung out by the pool all afternoon until we felt it was time for a much needed nap. We loved hanging out all weekend + Monday...it's just what we needed! It was so much fun to hang out, talk and laugh constantly these past few days. I didn't realize how much I miss days/weekends like this! I'm so thankful that we got to have a wonderful weekend....no work, no stress and no worries!

Memorial Day

Today is a special day for our country. It's a day where we get to show our thanks and appreciation for our service men and women. I love driving through town and seeing all the businesses with flags flying high....some big oil companies even have gigantic flags hanging off of their big work cranes. Thank you to all the men and women that have helped fight for our freedom. Our country would not be where we are today if it wasn't for our military standing up for our country's rights.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perks

There must be some perks to being the wife of a soon-to-be doctor, right?
I know there must be some perks but I'm not sure we've seen too many of them during our journey.
Lets take a look at June's call schedule. The last four weeks of call during his surgery rotation!
Lets focus in on his first day call for the month of June...Sunday, June 6, also known as MY BIRTHDAY! I know my birthday isn't quite a big deal now that I'm going to be 26 and not 6 but I'm still a little bummed. He's going to try and persuade another student to trade days with him but we'll see how that goes.
In all seriousness, there will be some amazing perks once we reach the light at the end of the tunnel. One year from now we will be back on the island watching Jason graduate and moving to a new city to start residency....and then we'll start seeing the perks. Until then, it looks like I'm going to have a lot of cake and ice cream to eat on June 6th!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where Are You Summer?

The weather the past few weeks has been so nice...high 80s, no clouds and a light breeze. Well this week has been quite a change. The weather has been decent but definitely not the normal weather for Bakersfield during this time of year. Actually last week, Bakersfield had a record low...crazy! Where are you summer? We keep watching for you but still no sure sign that you are coming to stay!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wife Of The Day Award

Anyone who knows my husband, knows that he can eat ALL the time. It's almost like he never gets full. We can literally have just eaten dinner and ten minutes later he is digging through the refrigerator. On Sunday, after being on call all weekend, he wasn't feeling quite himself. He had slept most of the day so his routine was really thrown off.
Well about 9:45pm, we decided to head to bed so we could start the week off well rested. Just as I'm about to close my eyes and fall into a deep sleep, Jason starts whining about how hungry he is. The conversation went something like this....
Jason (in his most sad voice ever)--I really hate going to bed on an empty stomach
Me(really trying to act like I'm asleep)--Uh huh
Jason--I'm so hungry I could eat everything in the kitchen
Me--Babe, if you are so hungry you should go grab something
Jason--I would love to go get some food but I don't want to disrupt the boys
Me(rolling over to see both the boys laying all over their daddy)--Argh! What would you like? I'll get you something
Jason(smiling his cute little smile)--I'll take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich-more peanut butter than jelly with guacamole and my favorite chips
I know how hard Jason works for our family and how this past weekend kicked his butt so I had a little sympathy and made him dinner/midnight snack in bed at 10pm. I couldn't let my baby go to bed hungry, regardless how tired I was. He has had about half the sleep I've been able to enjoy the past few weeks, so I had a little sympathy for my favorite man!
So with all that said, I think I definitely deserve the Wife of the Day award!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

River Rocks

I've always loved crafts...being creative and free to design has always interested me. This weekend the weather was cool and rainy so I planned a trip to Michaels, the local craft store. I've always wanted something out by our front door that personalized our little apartment so instead of finding the perfect decoration, I decided to make it. I went searching for a flat river rock that I could paint, personalize and put on display!
Once the rock was washed, then I could start adding some of my ideas and color! I wasn't really sure what I wanted to paint on the rock but once I started painting, then ideas just started coming to mind. I wanted to paint something that represented each member of our family.
The cross is for our relationship with God, the stethescope is for Jason, the book is for me and the puppy paws are for the boys. I feel like I was able to capture our little family. It might not be the greatest but I had so much fun making it. I couldn't wait to get it outside by our front door...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Remember When...

Today was an odd/weird sort of day. I usually don't mind a little 'me' time but this weekend I wasn't quite feeling it. I miss my husband! I know how it will all be worth it and I know how these hurdles must be conquered so we can get to the next phase but right now I'm so over it. Jason has been on call all weekend and won't be home until tomorrow afternoon so that left me with plenty of time on my hands. After I did the necessary shopping and cleaning, I couldn't help but to reminisce.

I remember when..... I was maybe 6 or 7 and I had a custom made cheerleading outfit that I wore to every home football game in my hometown. I sat the bleachers and dreamed of the day when I would be out there on the track cheering on the Trojan team. Once the time came around for me to cheer, I decided to play sports instead of going out for the cheer team.

I remember when..... I was 13 years old and getting ready to finish out my last year in middle school. High school was so close and I could taste it. I prayed for summer to fly by so I could go school shopping for the perfect outfit for my big first day in the big school. Things didn't change much once school started...I was too shy to venture out with the 'big dogs'.

I remember when..... I was 15 and the youngest in my grade. Everyone else was getting their driving permits and driving licenses and I was feeling a little left out. I remember getting rides with friends to school, sporting games and practices. I guess riding with a friend was better than having the parents drop me off and pick me up, but still it wasn't good enough. I was so ready to drive.

I remember when..... I was 16 and a sophomore in high school and crushing on an upper classman. Prom season was rapidly approaching and I was dying to experience it a year before I 'technically' was invited. Prom was only for juniors and seniors but if a junior or senior invited an underclassman, then they were allowed. The upper classman decided to go with someone else(I never talked to him so I don't know why I thought he would ask me?) and I wished my sophomore year away because I was so exciting for junior year and prom!

I remember when.... I was a senior and graduation was only a few months away. It couldn't come soon enough. Once you walk across that stage, then automatically you're an adult, right?! I was so excited to move out of the small town I grew up my whole life in, go to college and see what life had in store. I was ready to grow up and time couldn't fly by fast enough.

I remember when.... I met the man of my dreams when I was 18. We were both in college and head over heels for each other. We were pretty much inseparable from the second we met! I dreamed of our wedding day--the dress, the flowers, the cake, the honeymoon and anything else that I could dream up. I couldn't wait to experience life with him for the rest of my life. It took a few years, 5 years to be exact, for him to work up the courage.

I remember when.... I was 22 and I took that last, extremely difficult genetics class so I could graduate a semester early. I had a pretty severe case of 'senioritis' and was ready to have a degree under my belt. I was looking forward to the resume building, the job searching and the wearing of business suits and high heels everyday.

I remember when.... We moved to the island of St. Maarten at the young age of 23 to pursue Jason's dreams of becoming a doctor. We were scared but we learned to depend on eachother more than ever. Every morning when we would wake up we would mark off the day on the calendar and count down the days until we were done with the island.

I remember when.... We found out that Jason would be doing his clinicals in California. We were so glad to be back in the states and we couldn't believe that at the age of 25 we would have gotten to see so much! We thought clinicals would move by so slowly and here we are a year away from Jason graduating and starting residency.


With all that said, I have come to realize that I have pretty much wished and rushed the majority of my life. I've always been looking forward to the future that I forget to enjoy the present. Things happen when God wants them to happen...not when Ashley wants them to!

I can't go back and change the past but I can promise from this day on to enjoy what I have now. God has been so good to us....that's especially obvious when I look back at the past years and realize how much we've gotten to experience. Thank you Lord for teaching me patience, even though I'm pretty sure I'm one of the worst students ever. From here on out, I'm going to appreciate the NOW!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Amgen Tour of California Stage 5

Today was a pretty good day for our neck of the woods. The Amgen Tour of California was coming to Bakersfield. Bakersfield marked the finish line for the 5th stage of the tour and the town was beyond excited. The tour is the largest tour in America covering a large part of California. The tour is divided into 8 stages throughout 8 days and each stage is roughly 100 miles. The elite of the bicylcing world participate in this tour to prepare for the Tour de France. Each stage showcases something different....the mountains, the dessert, the coastline and pretty much anything in between.
Being new to California, we want to do anything and everything that we can possibly do while we are here. We're on an adventure and we definitely want to make the most out of it. Unfortunately for me, the race took place on a Thursday and was estimated to finish to be anywhere between 3-4 pm....right in the middle of my work day! I've been watching the news every evening to keep track of the tour and was pretty bummed when I knew that I wouldn't get to be part of such a historic event, especitally when it was so close to home. Oh, and did I mention that Lance Armstrong was competing in this tour?!
Well....today when I got to work my Executive Director told me to take off and enjoy the festivities that the Amgen Tour had to offer. Woo hoo--no complaining from my end! I headed to the finish line of the race, which is right on the bluffs overlooking the oil rigs, and locked down my position. I wanted to be sure that I was able to see the race and all the riders, especially Lance! Well after overhearing a few people talking about the cyclist, I pulled out my iPhone and searched and what I overheard was true. Lance had crashed early on in the race and did pretty good damage to his face and his chest. He wouldn't be crossing the finish line of the 5th stage and I wouldn't get to see him or take his picture!! I'm not going to lie...I was a little upset! It didn't take long to get distracted on other things especially when the whole area was full of vendors and booths that were passing out free goodies and/or selling their products.
Once the cyclists were close, then we all squished in as close as we could to the road. We knew they were getting close when we saw the huge helicopter fly by and saw the police escorts. The anticipation was pretty amazing...everyone was waving signs and shaking their cow bells. The path had the riders go around the 'circuit' twice before they crossed the finish line, which was good for us because we could see them go by a few times, snap multiple pictures and then see winner cross the finish line. Seeing the first cyclists past by at such fast pases was pretty amazing. These men had looks of exhaustion, pain and serious determination on their faces. They were putting in so much effort...passing one person could mean a big difference in the ranking for future stages. Each racing team had a racing car that was filled with a support staff and that held all their supplies. Each car followed closely behind their team members...not at the back of the pack like I would have guessed.
At the finish, the pack had broken up and the top 6 had pulled out ahead and were giving it their all for the victory. It was pretty amazing seeing them battle it out to the end. The race was not over until they crossed that line.
The difference between first place and last place was only a few minutes...this stage of the race couldn't have been closer! Peter Sagan of Slovakia was the winner of stage 5...it was an amazing finish--he sped past two other competitors just in time to claim the victory!I'm so glad that I was able to experience the 5th stage of the 2010 Tour of California. I was part of Bakersfield history!! After watching something so awesome, I decided to go home and ride my bike. Hey, if these men could ride 112 miles in the crazy heat, then surely I could work up the energy to ride a mile or two!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekend Highlights

Our weekend wasn't too exciting but it was exactly what we needed! The weather was beautiful, 90 and not a cloud in the sky, so we spent a lot of time outside soaking up the sun.
Saturday morning started off with a trip to Costco to get a few things. We got a little distracted at these massage chairs...we just had to try them out!Jason obviously didn't want his picture taken sitting in a huge leather massage chair in the middle of Costco...doesn't he know that I blog regularly and I need pictures??
Once we were both settled in the massage chairs, his chair reclined all the way back so he was laying down and getting a massage. The foot rest squeezed and massaged our feet and legs while the chair took care of our booty, back, shoulders and head. I never figured out how to lay my chair all the way down, so I took a few more pictures of him! Ha--if he only knew! He put on his sunglasses so the lights weren't so bright...he actually dozed off for a little bit. Surgery must really be exhausting....falling asleep in a massage chair in the middle of Costco on a Saturday is not an easy task!
Saturday evening we headed to the car wash. The weather has been so unpredictable that we've put off cleaning our cars because we didn't want the rain to ruin our clean cars. Wouldn't you know that since we cleaned our cars on Saturday, the rain decided to make its presence on Monday. At least they were clean for a day! Well at the car wash, as we were vacuuming and cleaning my car out, I locked the keys in the car. Keys that look something like this were locked in the car at the car wash vacuum area on one of the most busiest days!Yes, I said it! Locking the keys in the car was partly my fault. Jason handed them to me as he parked the car and got out to dry it. I put them in the front seat because I didn't want to lose them in the shuffle of cleaning everything out of the car. I guess as I was cleaning the door, I accidentally hit the lock button. If you hit the lock button on the driver side door, then all the other doors lock and that's what I did. As soon as it happened, panic set in. Everything was inside the car...cellphones, wallet, keys and anything else that would be useful in getting our keys out. I walked across the street to a pharmacy to borrow their phone to call a locksmith. I couldn't find a locksmith that would answer their phone, so after about 15 different companies I gave up and called a tow truck. The tow truck said they could unlock our door and get the keys out. When I got back to the car wash, we couldn't help ourselves...we had to laugh. We really wanted to scream and get upset but the damage was done and all we could do is laugh. It was probably the highlight of the weekend. About 30 minutes later, the tow truck arrives, fiddles with the door for about 15 minutes and finally frees our keys.
Sunday we spent the day with Chip, Sue and Timothy. They came up late Saturday evening and we had a fun day of rest and relaxation planned for Sunday. After breakfast, croissant sandwiches (Jason's favorite), we put on our swimsuits, grabbed a book and made ourselves comfortable beside the pool. The only time we moved was to jump in the pool or to flip a page in our book....it was perfect!!
Our weekend couldn't have been better...well maybe without the part where I got a little frantic when the keys got locked in the car, but other than that the weekend was wonderful!
I do know one thing for sure--I'd lock my keys in my car and wait on a tow truck for 30 minutes every day if it meant that Jason and I could spend time together. I really dislike call schedules!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Doctor-To-Be....In Action

When I got off of work, I had a special surprise in my email inbox. Laura is working in the same surgery group as Jason for the next few weeks and she snapped a few pictures of Jason in action! I love seeing him in all his surgery gear....such a cutie! Thanks for the pictures Laura!
Clinicals are flying by--only 6 more weeks in his surgery rotation and then he'll start a 6 week OB/GYN rotation. He is loving the fact that he is getting to be hands on with patients instead of sitting in a library studying all day. He's definitely soaking all of this experience in!
He's going to make the best doctor around!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Spending an itty bitty bit of time with my mom driving to the airport on Mother's Day wasn't enough! I wanted Sunday to be full of things that focused on no one else but her. Well unfortunately, I had a plane seat reserved for me, a husband that was missing his wife and an office that needed their program coordinator back. Yes, I did get to spend a few wonderful days with mom but Sunday is the day designated for special recognition of moms and I hated that I couldn't spend more of the day with her.
My mom is so special that I don't know what I would do without her. I know I always say how big of a mama's girl I am but when it came to writing something special blog for Mother's Day, my words fell short. I decided that a letter to mom would be the best way to let her know how special she is to me......

Dear Mom,

Thank you. Thank you for being the best mom I could ask for. It's so hard to start with all the thank yous because I'm not sure which ones are the most important. Are the big or small memories the best? All our memories, from the time I can remember, hold a special place in my heart. They have made me the person that I am today!

Thank you for singing me to sleep. Thanks for teaching me about Jesus and his unconditional love. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made just to do the small things-like staying up all night to make my Jasmine costume for my Halloween party, helping me build a life size Valentine's Day box or making 100s of cupcakes for school parties.

Thanks for knowing the right words to say when I've had a rough day or knowing when to just sit and listen when I feel like rambling on like a crazy woman! Our daily phone conversations mean more to me than you'll ever know!

Thank you for sending special packages. Packages that have no significance at all. 'Just because' packages. You always find the best cards and put the most thought into the smallest things. All that thought is definitely appreciated!

Thanks for teaching me to cook your signature meals...they will never be as good as yours but they are getting pretty close.

Thank you for setting such a positive, uplifting and Godly example of a mother. I pray that when I become a mom, I can be half the mom that you are. If I am, then I know that I have done a pretty good darn job of being a mom.

I couldn't have asked for a better mom! You know me inside and out...yet, you don't judge. I love you and I'm forever grateful to you and your love! On a scale of 1-10, you are off the charts!!

Love,

Ms. Aster

Up, Up, Up and Away

On Thursday, I hopped on a jet plane and flew across the country to surprise my mom for Mother's Day. I hid the surprise from everyone...I mean EVERYONE until 24 hours before I arrived in Missouri. The plane ride was longer than I wanted it to be but the second I looked out the plane window and saw farming squares, I knew I was close to home. Landing in good 'ole Missouri, running through the airport to baggage claim and hugging my mom never felt so good. It was so nice to be home--I just wish Jason could have gotten to experience the trip with me! I wanted to squeeze in as much fun stuff as possible because it was just a short trip (fly in on Thursday, flight out on Sunday). It was hard to get everything planned and outlined for the weekend when no one knew I was coming home. Once we grabbed lunch, we started our drive home. I talk to my mom everyday, some days three and four times, but once we got together it was like we hadn't talked in years. I'm not sure either of us took a breath the whole two hour drive home. When we got about ten minutes from the house, we started getting excited because we were so close to surprising the kids. They had no idea that I was home to spend the weekend with them--Saturday was their birthday party! I hid behind the house and waited for them to walk around the corner...they were literally speechless!I spent the rest of the evening playing with the kids and enjoying every second of it! We did everything from playing on the playground, to playing a fun treasure hunt board game and reading books at bedtime. I didn't want the night to end because I knew that it meant only two more days with the family. I couldn't let Brock and Ana spend all day Friday in school, so we kept Brock home from daycare and picked Ana up around lunch time so we could spend the day together. I think Brock was a little excited to play with his Aunt Ashley because around 6:30am, I woke up to the sound of little feet running into the bedroom to wake me up. He couldn't wait for me to wake up on my own, so he had to help out a little. He wanted to show me how he can ride his bike...I actually got a cute little smile out of him!
Here is a picture of Ana and her pup, Bean. It was a little difficult to get Bean to sit still for a picture...he's so hyper!

Saturday was a little more hectic...the birthday party started at 1:00pm so the morning was filled with errands that had to be done before the party. I didn't get too many pictures of the party because I forgot about my camera for most of the day. I did get a few pictures of everyone singing 'Happy Birthday' to the birthday girl and boy. As you can tell, Brock was not a fan of all the attention and the singing!

The birthday party was so much fun! I loved watching the kids open their gifts and play with all their toys. I'm so glad I was able to celebrate with them...I wouldn't have it any other way! Sunday morning came way too fast!

We had to leave for the airport bright and early--my flight took off around 9:00am. I hate that I couldn't spend more of Mother's Day with mom and more time in Missouri so I could visit my other family but I ran out of time. My visit home was WAY TOO short but I'm so glad that I was able to successfully surprise everyone and enjoy a fun filled weeekend with mom.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ana!

My favorite girl in the world is celebrating a birthday today! Miss Ana is turning the big 1-2 ...she's officially a 'tween'. She is the most kind hearted, sweet young lady and I hate that we are not in Missouri to help her celebrate her special day! I can still remember when I held her for the first time...she was so tiny and perfect! I couldn't have been more proud and am still bursting at the seams when I talk about her.
Happy Birthday, Anastasia! You'll always be my special girl!

I've Caught the Bug

These past weeks have been pretty rough...I think I've caught a bug or something. I've been feeling the need to be maternal. I've officially caught the 'baby fever' bug...AGAIN. It seems like this bug hides in our couch cushions or something because it never fully goes away. It hits me a little harder on some days versus others and the past few weeks it has hit full force. We have both talked about adding to our family and we've decided that now is definitely not the right time. Clinicals are pretty rough and his first year of residency will be even worse, so waiting another year or so is top priority. Of course, if God decides to bless us with a little one then you won't hear any complaining!!
Well, the good news is that even though I won't be holding a little one of my own for awhile, I still have a little one to hold. Brooke was born three weeks ago and I think I've been to visit each week! She is the sweetest little girl...Jason was on call this past weekend so I volunteered my babysitting services to the new parents and they agreed! They were in the need for a night on the town and I was in need for some baby time! She was on her best behavior while Thane and Desiree were out...she didn't make a peep the whole evening. The 'baby fever' is slowing getting better! My weekly visits to Brooke are proving to be the perfect medication for this reoccurring fever.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Incredible Machine

About two months ago, we heard that Sugarland was going to be playing at a venue here in Bakersfield on their 'Incredible Machine' tour. We did a little research, loved the ticket prices and marked off our calendars for May 1. Well little did we know that a few weeks after we bought the tickets that we would get an updated call schedule and Jason would be on call May 2....going to a concert until 11pm and starting an on-call rotation at 5am the next morning don't really mix.
We were both pretty bummed but I couldn't imagine selling the tickets-Sugarland is one of my favorite bands-so I called up Desiree and asked if she wanted to go to the concert with. She just had baby Brooke a few weeks ago so she was definitely interested in a girls night out! We got there right on time...Vonda Shepard and Julainne Hough were the opening acts. They weren't the greatest but they were just there to occupy...we were there to see SUGARLAND! Once they got the stage cleaned up from the first acts, the lights went off and we got to hear Sugarland but only see their shadows....very cool!

The curtain dropped after a few lines into the song and we got to see the set. It was pretty awesome!

The concert was awesome! It was so much fun singing all the songs that I knew at the top of my lungs and dancing around like a crazy person, as if no one was around. They definitely put on a good show! After the concert, Sugarland is still one of my favorite bands!!