Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Letters And Envelopes

Now that we've finally gotten into July, I'll have a different routine until the first of August. The office closes down each July because the number of students and tutors drastically decreases. They stop tutoring because of vacations and other things that come up during the summer. It costs quite a bit for electricity in the extreme weather of Bakersfield so we just decided to work from home in July. Since my job description is to coordinate programs and organize sites with students/tutors and there aren't any students and tutors around, I've been given another job.
We organize two bulk mailings each year, each with about 3,000 letters or invitations, and I'm responsible for getting each of the mailings together. The mailings require a lot of space, multiple boxes and a lot of time. My poor apartment!

I can't stand my apartment with boxes and envelopes thrown all over it but right now we don't have any other option. I have to have everything spread out so I can get it all organized. I guess the mailing mess thrown all over the house is great motivation for me to get these bulk mailings done and processed.

I have a feeling that I will work extra long hours to ensure this mess gets cleaned up sooner than later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Armpit Of California

Bakersfield is often referred to as the 'armpit' of California and after today I'm pretty sure I know why. I'm sure their can be several reasons for the nickname but I've generated some ideas of my own. The weather is officially summer weather, no question about it. It's been pretty mild but this week Mother Nature decided Bakersfield really needed to warm up. The sun is so intense that when you walk outside, the heat almost sucks your breath away from you. Just in the time I parked and walked inside, I had sweat all over my body, including my armpits. Armpits aren't all that exciting, some people even consider armpits to be discusting and dirty, hence Bakersfield's nickname. But after today I've decided that armpits are nothing more than a place that needs an extra round of deoderant to keep down the massive amount of sweat that forms throughout the day. Bakersfield in the summer equals a sweaty mess....the armpit of California.
Today the high was 111 degrees, after work around 6:00 it was 103 and tonight at 11:00 it's suppose to get down to 90. I can't believe how warm it can get in just a short amount of time. Just this weekend the weather was pretty perfect...hot and sunny but not unbearable, but today is a different story.
I'm determined to make the most out of our first summer in Bakersfield--air conditioning and swimming in the pool are MUSTS for this summer!! Bring it on...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bringing The Heat

Last night went went to a Bakersfield Blaze baseball game with a few friends. The Blaze is a 'single A' baseball team for the Texas Rangers. Doesn't make sense to me to have a Texas league playing in California, but whatever. We got there, bought our tickets and when we walked in to find our seats we were taken back a little. The stadium was pretty small, I guess the $9 tickets should have been a pretty good indication, and there weren't that many people. I'm not really sure what we were expecting but it was a definite eye opener for the first little bit. Don't you just love the party patio? Regardless of the stadium size and lack of people, we were determined to have a good time. The game was actually pretty entertaining. It was fun to watch the different fans from Bakersfield and from Visalia, the opposing team, yell back and forth across the stadium cheering for their favorite players. In between innings, the stadium tried to keep the crowd involved and interested with fun games and pictures with the mascot. I even got a special picture with Heater, the Blaze's mascot. It was a pretty warm evening so whoever was inside that outfit was definitely earning their money! Shortly after our picture, Heater started throwing out t-shirts. I may or may not asked my furry friend to toss a shirt in my direction...either way, I caught a t-shirt! Of course I had to model it the exact instant that I caught it! I was pretty excited, as if you can't tell by my face!The Bakersfield Blaze ended up beating the Visalia Rawhide 4-3. The game was a great Bakersfield experience. It was different than any other baseball game than we've been to but we enjoyed ourselves! I'm so glad that we got to enjoy our first Blaze game with some great friends.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another One Down....

Today was Jason's last day of surgery! Wait...what's that I hear? It's angels singing their Hallelujah song....H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H! The past three months have been rough, I'm not going to lie. He's been working such long hours, coming home exhausted, waking up super early and going to bed pretty much immediately after dinner. Despite the rough schedule, Jason has really enjoyed surgery. Because he has enjoyed it, I think for him the past few months went by faster than they did for me!
He likes doing hands on procedures and knowing that he helped someone that had major internal issues. After this rotation, he finally figured out what type of doctor he wants to be. He's decided that he'll be applying for anesthesia positions for his residency. He doesn't necessarily want to be the main surgeon but he enjoys the operating room and all the craziness that it contains.
So what's next for the doctor-to-be?? OB/GYN starts bright and early on Monday morning. No more green scrubs in the laundry...the new scrub color is purple.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Concerts

Every Thursday night in the summer months, there is a concert in the marketplace by our house. Each night has a theme...80s, Disco, Blues, Jazz, etc. The location is perfect for a concert because there is a semi-circle of grass surrounding a nice big fountain. The main road through the marketplace gets blocked off for the stage, so there is plenty of room for everyone to watch the show. The performance tonight was by The Beagles and they performed hits from The Beatles.
It was so fun to walk around the marketplace and people watch. Once the music started, the kids started dancing all around. I don't know what it is about music but once it started the smiles on everyone's face got bigger, people got up to dance and everyone seemed to be enjoying their summer night a little bit more. As we walked around, hand in hand, I couldn't help but look around at the older couples that were laughing and enjoying their spouse. They had such love in their eyes when they looked at their significant other and I instantly became in awe. I want to have that feeling forever! Holding hands. Sharing icecream cones. Dancing. Laughing with the man I love. Yep, I definitely want to be like that when we are 40, 60 and even 80 years old. Some of these couples were 70+ years old and they were googling over each other like they were 18. I had to take a picture of the sweetest couple that got up to dance...so sweet. They are in the center and towards the back of the pictures. The Beagles sang songs that ranged from Love Me Do and I Want To Hold Your Hand and they did a pretty good job of it! We had such a fun evening out...singing and dancing around aren't usually on our schedules for a Thursday afternoon. We laughed, danced and talked like we hadn't seen each other in weeks! It was so good to act 'normal' again! Itwas a perfect night out on the town!
**Just curious, but when we get older...I wonder what cover bands will try and mimic? N'Sync, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga...hmmmm?? Something doesn't seem right with that picture!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Loans Shmoans

We have A LOT of student loans. We've both gone to graduate school-Jason will have a few more loans for medical school-andall we can think about right now are the repayment schedules. Yikes! I've been done with my Master's degree for a year now and we've been paying on them for 7 months now and the dang interest is ridiculous. I do most of our bill paying online and have been noticing that some things weren't lining up. Today we sat down to evaluate why our prinicipal was not decreasing as much as we thought it should--we double each of our loan payments and sometimes even triple so it definitely should be decreasing!
After two and a half hours on the phone with the loan company, we finally figured everything out. We were looking at the initial balance without the interest that accrued while I was at school and the balance online didn't reflect that. What's up with these loan companies? Shouldn't they update loan information online, especially when so much bill paying and loan viewing is done online? Oh well, we have it figured out and from now on when we pay the dreaded loan payments we'll be applying all the extra towards the principal.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to attend graduate school but I have to admit....loans stink and loan payments stink ever more!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yummy Memories

I. Love. My. Husband. He is like a surprise bag of goodies...you never know what you're going to get with him sometimes. He isn't the type of person that talks my ear off about his childhood and all the memories that went along with it, but he does throw out little memories here and there. He likes when we go and visit the family in Ventura...not only does he want to visit his family but it gives him an excuse to enjoy things that he remembers enjoying as a kid. Jason hasn't lived in California since he was 4 or 5 years old but he has some yummy memories! I love to drive with him through the city and have him start sharing his memories....riding his bike through orchards, which are now large subdivisions; not being able to unzip his wetsuit after a long day of surfing in the 50 degree ocean waves; eating at Croney's, a sports bar, where the hot wings and the waitresses were the hottest thing ever; Spudnuts with the best doughnuts around. Since it was Father's Day weekend, I wanted to make him feel super special. What better way to make him feel special than his favorite large super chocolately doughnut?

These doughnuts are unlike any doughnut I've ever seen....they are HUGE and filled with chocolate filling and chocolate chips and topped with a chocolate frosting and chocolate chips. I loved seeing his excitement when he woke up and saw his breakfast waiting for him. What you don't know is that I actually bought them the night before and when we were gone at the fashion show, he found them and decided he just couldn't wait. Unfortunately, we had to made two visits to Spudnuts this past weekend so he could have them for breakfast. For some odd reason, I don't think Jason minded that we made two visits to his all time favorite doughnut shop. I love being so close to Jason's old 'stomping grounds'--I love hearing stories that he remembers from his childhood. Bike riding, surfing, hot wings and doughnuts are just a few things that have made my hubby who is today! Memories can be so much fun...especially when they are filled with chocolate doughnuts!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Jason and myself are so fortunate to wonderful fathers and father-in-laws. We try to spend Father's Day with either my dad or Jason's dad, depending on where we are living and this year we were able to spend Father's Day with Chip. I made sure to call my dad and let him know that I was thinking of him on his special day--Missouri is too far of a drive away so a phone call had to suffice this year. Being in California has allowed us to hang out and spend important holidays with Jason's family and we are enjoying all of these experiences. I'm not sure how many years it has been since Jason was around to help Chip celebrate Father's Day(20+ years), but we are excited that we live close enough this year and were able to make the drive down this weekend.
We are so thankful for the great men in our lives! They have had so much influence and given us direction when we needed it most. I hate that we have family spread throughout the country and we can't spend these important holidays with everyone. I guess that's just part of life and getting older. Kind of stinks...
Jason also got some special recognition for Father's Day, afterall he does have two of the cutest little boys I've every seen! The boys wanted their daddy to feel super special today so they made him a Father's Day present. Bazzle wanted to watch Jason open his special gift.
At camp last week our class made special drawings for their dads and the class thought that Miss Ashley needed to make a drawing for Father's Day too so I decided that the 'boys' should make Jason a special drawing. I know, I know...corny but that's ok he needed to feel special today because he's a great daddy to the boys. I know when the time is right and we decide to have a little Conway that he'll be a wonderful daddy. Until then, the boys will have to do!

Happy Father's Day to all the great men in our lives....each one of you (dads and grandpas) deserve the best on your special day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strut Your Stuff

Yesterday afternoon, the boys and me packed up and drove to the coast to spend Father's Day weekend with the in-laws. We wanted to spend the weekend with the family and we had a few things planned. Friday night was ladies night out...we went to "The First Annual Runway for Life Fashion Show." The Fashion Show was a fundraiser that was put on by a local cancer center along with a bariatric doctor/surgeon. The models were patients from either one or both of these offices. They were obesity and cancer survivors and they were definitely confident and strutting their stuff. They had all lost over 100 pounds and a some had fought off breast cancer and been in remission for years. Their stories were so encouraging and uplifting. It was fun to cheer them on as they proudly walked out on the runway.
The models modeled three different looks---active wear, casual wear and evening wear. They were able to go and find outfits to model during the fashion show, regardless of the price tags. It was fun to see each of the outfits that were chosen from the different stores.
Here are a few pictures from each of the different looks....
By the end of the fashion show, I was so motivated to make my health a priority. Healthy eating, exercise will definitely be introduced back into our lives. It's easy to get relaxed, especially when schedules are so crazy but I now have a new source of motivation. I hope each of the models continue living healthy and continue to be cancer free. The Fashion for Life fashion show was a huge success in my book....and so was our girls night out! Life is too short to not strut your stuff....so ladies, get to strutting!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Perfect Proposal

At Kelly's Korner, a blog I read, she is having each of her readers tell their proposal story.
Here is ours....
Jason and I started dating during my first year of college and it didn't take long before we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. After about two years, we went to a jewelry store to try on hundreds of beautiful rings and to find out my ring size. I assumed that since we went and looked at rings that he would be proposing soon. We had a trip to Paris planned and I just knew that he was going to propose...afterall isn't Paris the city of love? Each day I made sure that I looked my best but on the day we climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, I really got beautified. I did my hair, makeup and made sure my outfit was just perfect...we got to the top and NOTHING! Not going to lie...I was a little disappointed. I wanted to have a perfect proposal with all the glamour attached to it, or so I thought.
Well fast forward two years...I had kind of given up on trying to guess when he was going to propose. It was exhausting to always be thinking 'today is the day' so I pushed it to the back of my mind. On October 8, 2007 our family was getting together at a fun place called "Elephant Rocks" for my grandpa's birthday. We loaded up coolers of food for the BBQ pit, lawn chairs, blankets and headed out to the birthday party. Elephant Rocks is an area with tons of granite rocks that are huge so hiking/comfortable clothes are a must. Once we got settled and ate some lunch, Jason wanted to take the boys for a walk. I wasn't feeling a walk with just him and the boys...I wanted to wait for the family so we could all go together. He was pretty persistant so I gave in and we started up a huge rock. We eventually made it to the tallest rock and all of a sudden he gets on both knees. At first I didn't believe him...he was always giving me quarter machine rings for each of our anniversaries so I just brushed him off thinking that he was just playing around. Nope...he was dead serious. I was completely speechless and surprised. I had no idea that he had even went and got the ring, carried it in his pocket all day and planned on proposing with just our 'little family around'. IT WAS PERFECT! No makeup, no cute clothes and no cute hair but I didn't care.
I had the man of my dreams down on his knees asking to spend the rest of his life with me and it doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

STEP 2

Jason takes STEP 2 CS tomorrow morning. The CS exam is an interviewing exam where he will have 8 hours to interview 12-15 patients, take their history and to come up with a diagnosis.
He left for Los Angeles today so he could be close to the testing center. A two hour drive combined with LA traffic isn't something he wanted to deal with before his exam at 8:00am in the morning, so a hotel stay was a definite. I'm nervous for him...I know he's going to do great but it's still a major exam in his journey to becoming a doctor. Once both of the STEP 2 exams are taken (CS and CK) then he'll be allowed to apply for residency positions. It's crazy to think that we are almost to the point where we'll be paying on his loans instead of applying for them...YIKES!
Please say a prayer for my sweet husband that he makes good decisions and is able to decipher all the information that he will be given tomorrow. He works so hard and he deserves the best!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interesting Conversations

Monday was the first day of reading camp and I've been enjoying every second of it. It's been a nice change of pace from the office and my daily routine of calling sites and interacting with the students and tutors.
A lot of assessing went on this first week so we could ensure that each student was learning at the best level. I spent most of this week with the kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade classes because they had the most kids that needed one-on-one attention. While in the kindergarten class, we were reviewing the alphabet and the sounds that each letter makes. The Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom tree was the first thing that our class got to make...they did so good!I've enjoyed working with the kids but just in this short week have learned that kids will say and do just about anything. They have definitely kept me on my toes the past few days....
Each student got to pick their favorite letter and build a book on everything that started with their special letter. One student wanted to do a book on the letter "C" and I started reviewing with her all the things that started with the letter "C"...cat, castle, candy, cupcakes. I asked her with tons of excitement in my voice, "What's your all time favorite flavor of cupcake...vanilla, chocolate, strawberry?" and without even hesitating she says, "Gluten free!" I couldn't help but smile...she knows what she likes!
While working with the 2nd grade class, a little boy proudly walks up to me and wants to show me something that he brought from home. It's a folded up $1,000 bill from Zimbabwe...I assume it's fake so I act totally interested in his large bill. He told me his dad got it for him at one of his 'repo' homes. His dad is a 'repo' man and he goes and changes the locks on people's homes when they stop paying their bills. When he changed one of the locks, he found the money and gave it to him and no one could tell him NO." Glad to know all that information...I'm sure he would have told me soooo much more if I would have pried a little more.
Today while we were outside for break, one of the smaller boys come and brings me a dandelion and said it was a pretty flower for me because I have a pretty face. Does he know that he just said my face looked like a weed? A weed that is almost impossible to get rid of and just about everyone considers it a nusiance. It was such a sweet gesture and a huge compliment.....but he'll definitely need to reevaluate his thought process when he gets older and gets in the dating field.
I looking forward to next week and all the interesting conversations...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Minty Fresh

Last week when I took the boys to the vet, she informed me that their teeth were pretty rough. Bazzle had two broken teeth and Muzzy had a lot of plaque build-up on a few of his main teeth. I've been putting off any sort of dental cleaning because it's expensive, it seems crazy to have dental work done on a dog and because all the procedures have to be done while they are knocked out. Well after hearing all the crazy issues that can occur due to lack of dental hygiene, I made the appointment. I dropped both my sweet boys off early this morning before work and was thinking about my boys all day at work. When I got off of work this afternoon, I rushed to pick up my babies.
The doctor came and talked to me about each of their procedures...
Bazzle's two broken teeth were worse than we thought. One had a serious infection and the other one had an exposed nerve. Definitely not enjoyable for him so she pulled both of them. He did great during the procedure but he's on pain medicine and antibiotics for the next week. He was pretty sore and tired when he got home...he just wanted to sleep! Muzzy's teeth weren't as dirty as she had predicted. He needed them cleaned but they didn't take as long to clean as she anticipated. Because Muzzy has a few health issues (seizures, liver disease) they left him on his IV right up until I got there to pick them up. Once they heard me talk, they started their whining. They were ready to go home...they were tired of being locked up in a cage with needles in their little legs. He still had his little bandage on his leg and I had to snap a few pictures...he looked so pitiful! I'm so glad today went smoothly and with no complications. I missed my sweet boys! I even let them give me a few kisses, especially since their breath was minty fresh! We will definitely be trying to get into a routine where we brush their teeth on a weekly basis...I don't want to go through all this again!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just A Swingin'

Last night we got some visitors from the coast. Jason's dad and little brothercame up to spend the weekend with us. Wish Sue could have come but she was having some back pain and didn't know if her back could handle the two hour drive! We haven't gotten to see them as much as we would like the last few weekends because of Jason's call schedule but he doesn't have call the next few weekends so we've planned on spending some time with them! The boys planned a fun filled day at the golf course. They usually just go to the driving range but they found a cheap golf course in a nearby town that they all wanted to try out. The golf course was in Arvin, which was pretty much in the middle of the desert. The website said the town was the flower capital of Kern county but the only thing we saw was brown dirt...hmmmm.
After a little warm up putts, the boys felt ready to take on the next 18 holes. I didn't do any playing, I just played chauffer and drove the golf cart. I have to admit...it was pretty fun!

The 18 holes started off pretty good. Each of the boys hit the ball fairly straight and far--Jason hasn't played that much golf so I was excited to see him do so well.

He did have a few minor detours, but I won't go into too much detail. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!

We had such a fun time! We don't go golfing all the time so it was a nice change of pace. The golf course was nice--the mountains surrounding the course made for a beautiful view.




I'm so glad that I got to be included in the boys trip to the golf course. It was fun playing paparazzi and chauffer to the boys! A day at the golf course was just what we needed on a Sunday morning!