Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the spookiest 4-eyed alien and the cutest football...don't they look so excited to be dressed up! Don't worry, they got plenty of treats for the few minutes of torture that I made them endure.
Happy Halloween from the cutest football and the spookiest 4-eyed alien around! I'm excited to light our jack-o-lanterns, turn on the Halloween music and pass out candy to all the trick-or-treaters that knock on our door tonight. Not sure how the boys will react to all the attention our front door will be getting...they tend to bark A LOT when the doorbell rings. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fill In the Blank Friday

This is my first time participating in The Little Things We Do Fill in the Blank Friday! I tried to answer these questions with the first thing that popped in my head but you can see how well that worked!

1. I AM madly in love with my husband, super excited for the holidays, excited for March 14th to get here, a mamas girl, obsessed with candles and a crazy clean freak.
2. I WISH I was skinnier, had more patience, enjoyed exercising and had super powers
3. I LIKE to sleep in on Saturdays, spend hours in a craft store, jump on the bed and laugh
4. I CAN be very stubborn, go days without watching TV and be very encouraging
5. I HOPE I am a good example and witness of God's love to people I encounter, I am a good mom and I'm able to see the 7 wonders of the world
6. I THINK my pups are so sweet, my husband is such a hottie and I am so fortunate
7. I WAS praying all morning for Jason's interview, planning on getting a mani/pedi this weekend and getting everything ready for Halloween this morning.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Missing Him

I'm just sitting around, watching all my favorite shows and REALLY missing my hubby tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview Season Has Arrived

The interview step in the matching process for residency will be in full swing mode this weekend. On September 1st, we submitted a completed application to an online service and then chose the programs throughout the country that Jason considered to be great teaching facilities. Since September we've received emails that have invited him back for an interview or emails that have declined to invite him back for an interview. The interview 'season' is late October through January so we have a busy/stresssful next couple of months.
We are expecting to hear positive feedback from a few more places but here are the places that Jason will be visiting in the next few months.
--Wyoming
--Ohio
--Missouri
--Kansas City
--Illinois
--Tennessee
--Pennsylvania

It's so nice to know that we have our future home narrowed down to a handful of states. Even though the next few months will be stressful, it's nice to know that we are coming to the end of this chapter. The next chapter will be full of exciting and new adventures! If you happen to think of the Conway family as you are saying your prayers, we would be extremely grateful!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carving Time

Since we just got back from the pumpkin patch on Saturday, I couldn't hardly stand to wait too much longer without carving our pumpkins. Sunday afternoon we started the carving process. We both enjoy being festive for the holidays so we were both excited to pick out a pattern and start carving our pumpkins. Ok, ok...maybe I was slightly more excited to start carving our pumpkins. Jason picked a witch pattern and I picked a spooky scarecrow. We both start out so pumped, excited and determined to make everything perfect but then after a good amount of time passed, the enthusiasm fizzled out and we sped up the carving process so we could get done. My impatience resulted in one fat and one skinny scarecrow arm...ugh!
Jason's favorite pose of pumpkin carving....I seriously think I have one like this from every year!
Is he really about to be a doctor?? Oh, if his patients only knew of his craziness! I can't help but love that silly man!
After a few hours, our pumpkins were finally finished! Jason oiled them all up, put a candle inside them and sat them on the back porch for all to see.
I'm hoping our pumpkin masterpieces make it till Halloween...it's still kind of warm here in Bakersfield. Happy Halloween from the Conway gang!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkins, Parties And Princess Peach

Yesterday was jammed packed with fun fall festivities. We headed out to Murray Family Farms, a local farm that grows a lot of fresh fruits, veggies and of couse, PUMPKINS!
Right when we got to the farm, the pig races were beginning. We ran over to the racing pen and put our "free" bet on our favorite color. Once the two races were over, Jason and Laura's pigs(yellow and red) were the winners. They won a blue ribbon, self-adhesive ribbon that said, "My pig won"...haha!
Along with the pig races, we decided to try our sense of direction in the corn maze. We took the 'scenic' route a few times but we eventually found our way to the exit. Along the maze, they had tons of spooky spiders and webs...it helped really set the mood for Halloween.
After we explored the farm and stocked up on some fresh fruit, we loaded up and headed out to the pumpkin patch.
A small pumpkin was included in the admission price. It was so much fun searching through all the pumpkins trying to find the best ones. We got two small pumpkins for the boys...they need a pumpkin of their own too! The larger pumpkins were back at the barn so we were able to get our carving pumpkins once we got back from the pumpkin patch. We had such a fun time at the pumpkin patch...it made it feel more like fall!

Last night after the pumpkin patch was the Halloween party. A group of medical students/spouses from the island are now living in Bakersfield for their clinical rotations. It was nice to see everyone again...it's been awhile since we've seen a few of the couples. We had a costume party...it was so much fun seeing everyone and their creative outfits. We decided to be Princess Peach and Mario. Here are a few pictures of us and our family of four before we headed out to the party.

Each couple brought a snack for everyone to enjoy. The party was filled with tons of yummy treats...here are a few of the 'spooky' dessertsThe costumes were so creative...each couple posed for a picture!!

We had such a fun night with everyone...Princess Peach was swept off her feet by Mario. Pretty successful night if I must say so myself!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

EEK!

I've been checking the status of my Halloween costume every day. Ok, who am I kidding...every 6 hours I've been checking the status. I've been so nervous that my costume wouldn't make it here before the Halloween party this weekend. I waited a little too long to order it but I paid the extra to make sure that it got here on time.
Well, the good news is that my costume came in the mail today. I ripped the box open and tried it on the second I got home and I'm a little bit bummed. The costume is HUGE...I easily could have gotten a smaller size. I'm on a mission tomorrow to buy some thread so I can try and fix my outfit.
Needless to say, I'm a little stressed! The party is in two days and I had all these expectations for our super cute outfits! Wish me luck on my search to find thread and to be able to successfully alter the outfit without making a mess of the costume. If I'm not as "sew savy" as I think, then I'm off to Goodwill to find and build a homemade version of my outfit.
We'll see how everything goes...wish me luck!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Anesthesiology 2010

Early Saturday morning we headed down to San Diego for the yearly Anesthesiology conference. I wasn't planning on going along but when our other plan fell through, I wasn't about to let him drive 4 hours alone. We arrived in San Diego and the Convention Center was filled with TONS of anesthesiologists...it was a little intimidating. It literally looked like ants with name tags filling the sidewalks, the crosswalks and the nearby restaurants.We knew we needed to check in at the registration desk and get a name tag ASAP so we didn't stick out like a sore thumb among the crowd. They even gave each attendee a bag--gotta love the freebies! After we checked in, we had a little bit of time to explore the conference before the actual meeting began. There were 100s, if not 1000s, of vendors that were showing new medicines, new techniques and giving away tons of free goodies. I loved watching Jason interact with the vendors and trying a few of the new products out.
After we grabbed a few goodies from some of the vendors, then we headed over to medical student component of the conference. Of course we were early, so we grabbed some tea and took advangtage of the comfy couches on the roof!! The presentations that filled our afternoon were surprisingly interesting. They were packed with information about the upcoming residency match, how to dress, what sort of things different programs look for in a candidate and this list goes on and on. I snuck a picture of where my booty was planted for 5 hours listening to all the speakers.
All in all, our weekend was successful. We found out so many tips and suggestions that will definitely benefit Jason in the interview/match process.
Something must have worked in our favor from attending the conference because this morning Jason got an anesthesiology interview at Ohio!! We are so excited!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Lot To Look Forward To

We have some fun and exciting things coming up in the next few months. Having things to look forward to make working, paying bills, and organizing interviews/medical school crap a little easier. We have started marking the days off the calendar...

October:
--We are having a Halloween/costume party with a group of our friends on Halloween weekend. We've been debating what we should go as and we've finally decided on the perfect costumes! I'm not going to ruin the surprise but trust me, it's going to be great!

November:
--Our besties, Andy and Alissa, are making a trip from Michigan to California to visit us. When she sent us their itinerary for 5 WHOLE DAYS in California we were estatic. We are so excited to reconnect with our friends. I got to see them in March (I snuck away to see them) but Jason hasn't seen them for over a year...a definite fun time is in store!!
--Thanksgiving with 'California' family. We won't be living in California for too many more months so spending the holidays with the family out here is something we are both really looking forward to. It's so easy to take the convenience of having them close for granted so we are ready to spend another holiday with them!!

December:
--Jason scheduled a few interviews close to home so we will get to enjoy 10 WHOLE DAYS in Missouri. We will be back in Missouri for Christmas and New Years...woo hoo!! I've been fortunate enough to have gotten to visit since we moved to California but Jason hasn't been so fortunate. He's looking forward to a good time, after his interviews, of course!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When I Was Young...

When I was young, very young, I can remember wanting to be a taxi cab driver. Taxi drivers were always being needed by pedestrians that needed to get somewhere that was too far to drive and they were always given money for their services. Everyday the drivers were given money by every person that sat in the car...amazing! I was too young to understand that the drivers had to give money to give to the company manager or pay for the upkeep and the gasoline to keep the car in working shape if they were self-employed.
I didn't consider the lifestyle or the expenses, I just knew that they were given money all day long. Isn't it funny how we think when we are young?
I didn't consider life and all the small, yet HUGE, details. I just dreamed up a life for me that I felt would be perfect in every way. Oh to be 5 years old again, without a care in the world and dreaming of becoming a taxi cab driver.
Well all I can say is thank goodness that I grew up and considered all the other different opportunities. I still have the desire to help others, just not help them with their transportation. Life as an adult isn't quite how I imagined it when I was a young tike. The responsibilities are an area that I seemed to skip over completely when I would think about getting older. Even though it seems that the responsibilities double with each passing year, I love the fact that I have responsibilities(as crazy as that sounds). Part of me wishes that a few of those "younger" characteristics would have stuck with me a little longer.....day dreaming huge dreams without scaring me half to death and causing me to break out in hives and living life to the fullest everyday without freaking out about the future. I feel like I'm constantly working to live life out to the best of my ability, while trying to be as mature as possible. I feel like, in a lot of ways, I'm still a kid at heart. I still get excited when I hear the ice cream truck come down the street, still fret over what to be for Halloween and still love getting tickled and laughing until I'm about to pee my pants. Life is great right now. I couldn't ask for anything better...we've been extremely blessed. I'm just thankful that I grew out of the young stage and on to the adult stage.
When I was young life was good, but with each passing day it gets a little better and better!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Walking From Obesity And Poker

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to show support for such a good cause. The Walk from Obesity was being hosted along the Ventura marina. We put on our walking clothes and headed out to show support. This particular walk was put on by a local office that performs LapBand and Gastric Bypass surgeries...it was great to see so many people working to gain control of their weight and their life. Obesity is a huge problem in this country and I'm glad we were able to participate. The office staff dressed up as super heroes! It was a lot of fun seeing all the office staff with their successful patients. sidenote: The green girl in the front was Nutri-girl. She had cucumber glasses, a carrot sword, grapes in her hair and an apple necklace. She was my favorite!! So creative!
After we gathered everyone together and did some stretching, we were on our way. The 5K walk went by so fast. We just chatted, took in the view and before we knew it we were back at the starting line. We had a little bit of down time as we were waiting for the whole crew to finish their walk and then the festivities started. Raffle drawings, yummy tacos and a dunk tank were a few of the things that were offered to the walkers.
Jason had to try out his throwing arm at the dunk tank when Nutri-girl climbed in...We had such a fun day at the marina with the family. I'm so glad that we were able to support such a good cause and to support such an important person in our lives.
We didn't stay very long in Ventura after the walk because that evening we had a surprise birthday party to go to. Thane turned another year older and we all helped him celebrate with a BBQ and a night of poker. We aren't the greatest poker players but it was just nice getting everyone together!! I didn't have my camera out for any of the night but I did manage to take a picture of the two different poker tables.
It definitely was an action-packed Saturday but we wouldn't have had it any other way.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting Real

After reading some blog topics, I decided I would participate in "Getting Real." Who is Ashley Conway? I'm a wife to an amazing man, mom to two amazing fur babies and child of a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father. I feel like I do a sufficient job of expressing myself through my posts...the good, the bad and the ugly. I tend to focus on more of the good than the bad and the ugly, because lets face it, no one likes to read depressing posts. It doesn't mean that we don't have bad and ugly moments, it's just not something I want focus on a lot.
So for right now...I guess it's time to get a little more real.
The medical school journey that we've been on during the last few years has been exactly that...a journey. Who wouldn't love to live on an island in the middle of the Caribbean for two years? Who wouldn't love to live in a new and exciting state (California vs. Missouri)? Who wouldn't want to receive loan checks multiple times a year?
We've LOVED all the opportunities, every single one of them! God has truly blessed us with an exciting life. It's been such an experience for the two of us but part of me feels like we aren't like other couples our age. Sometimes I just throw myself a big 'ole pity party because I feel like we should have accomplished more or be more developed. Here are a few real thoughts that can be going through my mind these days...
We are 26 years old and still not able to settle down in a house of our own.
Because of the constant moving with school, we've been living in apartments and probably will be living in apartments for awhile longer. We'll probably be in apartments until we get to an area where we could see ourselves living long-term.
I'm so ready to be settled in one place and have something that we worked so hard for. I'm ready to...buy a house of our very own; paint the walls any color I like and then if I absolutely hate it, then prime and start over again; mow our grass; plant flowers in the flowerbeds; decorate like crazy during the holidays.
We are 26 years old and still not ready for a Conway baby. Right now with our schedules and income, we don't feel like we can provide for a baby to the best of our ability. We know that we will probably never be fully ready for such a huge responsibility but that's not the point. The point is I'm ready to be a mother and our lives are still so unstable, it's not the best time to start trying for a baby. That's hard to accept, especially when the baby fever is always hitting the Conway household. Hopefully once residency comes around, we'll both have a sense of stability and we'll feel more comfortable with the idea of a baby.
We are 26 years old and have more debt than most people TWICE our age. I'm might have exaggerated a little on the "TWICE our age" part but the large amount of debt is no exaggeration. It's so difficult to save up for the house and the baby when the interest rates are barely 1% and the interest rates on our loans are 8.6%. We can't see trying to really save when we have so much debt. We are both grateful for our educations but goodness were they expensive to get!! I'm so grateful for a wonderful job...it's helped decrease our loans significantly in the past year.

I've debated back and forth...should I submit this post or delete it? I don't want this post to feel like I'm ungrateful for everything we've been given. It's so hard for me to really allow myself to share my true feelings and be so vulnerable. There are so many people that have such difficult struggles that they deal with on a daily basis that my real thoughts seem so minute. So, there you have it...Ashley Conway being real!

Bakersfield Business Conference

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Bakersfield Business Conference. Borton Petrini, a local law firm, organizes a huge business/financial conference for all of Southern California. I had no idea the business conference was such a big deal, but when I saw the HUGE tents being set up on the college's campus the other day on a bike ride I decided to do a little research. There are over 34 big named individuals that will be speaking at the event this weekend. Names like Dick and Lynne Cheney, Laura Bush, Sarah Palin, Goldie Hawn, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Jane Seymour, and Herb Cohen. These are some big names in the business industry right now....big names all within a few miles of our house. Bakersfield is going to be one busy place this weekend. Not only are their going to be some interesting speakers but the decorations and atmosphere of the location is really taken to the next level. Huge water fountains and ponds are brought in, trees and flowers are flown from all around the country, 100s of flags are flown and the food being catered is beyond belief. When the conference rolls into town, the college campus gets a head-to-toe makeover. They are speculating that there will be about 12,000 in attendance this weekend! This number seems a little crazy considering it's $500 a ticket. I'm hoping I can get a sneak peak of the madness but I'm thinking the security will be pretty insane. If nothing else, then I'm certain I'll be able to see the fireworks display!! People from all over the country fly into Bakersfield for the much anticipated Business Conference.
Looks like Bakersfield will be one happening place this weekend!!
Source for all the pictures.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mishappenings And Big Mistakes

**As I was pouring my mug with warm water for my morning tea this morning, the lid fell off and the steam got the best of my hand. My fingers got burned pretty bad...who knew steam burns were so painful?! Can you guess which fingers got burned?I soaked my fingers in a glass of cool water for most of the day...needless to say, I wasn't as productive as I normally am today at work!

**I got to work determined to not let my burnt hand get the best of me and I had not one, not two but three students that didn't show for their sessions with their tutors. They didn't even feel the need to call in to let us know...GRRR! Their tutors didn't seem to mind as much as I dreaded telling them that their dedicated students decided not to show.

**Then to put the icing on the cake, I got this text from Jason. I blacked out the location..don't need to broadcast every little detail to the blog world. HA! I know that we applied to over 100 positions and he isn't going to be able to interview at all of them BUT it still breaks my heart when we hear back from a hospital and they don't want to invite him for an interview. Jason handles these "turndown" situations so much better than I do. He's a little more classy and professional. I want to send them an anonymous email about the HUGE mistake that they made when they turned the best dang student doctor down for an interview. As Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman would say..."Big Mistake. Big. Huge."
In all seriousness--I know Jason will be a perfect fit in whatever hospital he ends up at. God has a plan for our future and it just so happened that ________ wasn't the hospital in God's plan.
Sortof glad today is almost over...excited to see what tomorrow brings!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Time For Fall

Today when we woke up, it was so gloomy and chilly outside. We are under a thunderstorm watch today...30% chance. Even though the percentage isn't that great, the weather is cooperating with the weatherman's forecast. The clouds are dark and the wind is blowing all the fallen, dried leaves all around. For the first time this year, today feels like fall.
I've had my fall decorations up for about a week but it's hard to get into the fall mood when it's still so dang hot outside. This week's high is only 79 degrees so hopefully with the cooler temperatures we'll be able to officially put summer behind us.
Once I got to work this morning, I lit my spiced pumpkin candle and blared the Halloween station with Halloween's Greatest Hits on Pandora.The Addams Family, Monster Mash, Love Potion #9, The Purple People Eater, Munster's Theme and all the other songs that Pandora felt had spooky, Halloween lyrics could be heard coming from my office.I'm so excited to go buy pumpkins, set our carved pumpkins out on our porch, shop for TONS of Halloween candy to pass out to the neighborhood kids and find the perfect costumes for a Halloween party.
It's crazy to think that it's already October...not too much longer and we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas.