Friday, February 17, 2012

Good News... And Bad News...

Okay, I have officially failed my new year’s resolution.   

 I officially am a horrible blogger. 
But I have
And bad news...
The bad news is that I have (obviously) underestimated how much time my new schooling endeavourer would occupy.  This is making me re-evaluate my goals.
The good news is…
I have finished my first class and earned 100% on every assignment!
I can’t tell you how excited I am!  I have hope that I might actually be able to get through this college thing with a degree at the end. 
I suppose this only shows that I am a bit of a perfectionist. 
But hey… I’ve got the grades that I wanted!

So, I have created a schedule that is working well for me in managing my schooling and homemaking… although the backed up laundry may beg to differ…
But now I need to tweak my schedule to make sure I save enough time to write in my blog.
 I love my blog, and I really want to get back on track with it.
Any suggestions would be welcome.  Hopefully by next week I will have a working schedule with all of my responsibilities included. 
Including my blog.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year!
Wait a second!  What the heck happened to 2011?  How on earth did this past year go by so fast?  I’m not sure if the world is spinning a little faster or what, but it seems to me that the older I get, the faster the clock ticks.  Well, I obviously can’t slow down time,
so I guess my only alternative is to organize my time better.

First thing I want to do this first day of 2012 is review my resolutions from 2011 and set new goals.
1st – Dance
Well… up until June I was doing pretty good at keeping up with my blog, but somewhere along the way I lost track of my blog.  I have no good excuse, so all I can do is to recommit myself this year.  My goal this year is post at least 3 times a week… but hopefully more.

2nd – Exercise
Okay, this one is also a part success, and partly failed.  The good news is that last year we did get a family pass to the YMCA, which is amazing!  They have a great kids care center for my Little Princess to play in while I’m working out in their gym, then after I’m done I pick up the kids, we all go swimming in their indoor swimming pool.  It’s a perfect way for me to be able to get some exercise, without feeling like I’m neglecting my kids. 

I didn’t however participate in the Triathlon in September that I was wanting too.  Again, the time just flew by and I missed the registration for it. 
So this year I’m also recommitting myself to consistently exercise, and participate in the triathlon in 2012
3 – Poop!
YEAH!  This resolution from last year is a complete success!  My Little Princess is officially totally and completely potty trained, and is no longer afraid to do her business on the toilet.
4th – Spirit
This goal is also a goal that I’m going to continue in 2012, and every year here after. 
My goal is to be consistent in saying my prayers personally and as a family, reading my scriptures personally and as a family, and encouraging my children to also have their own personal prayer and scripture study time.  My kids have been great examples to me by reminding me every night after I turn of their light, “Don’t forget to lock the doors, and say your prayers.”  I’m grateful for their faith.
Finally, I have a new resolution this year.
Get good grades.
Only a week ago I enrolled at Grand Canyon University so I can earn my bachelors degree through taking online courses!  I’m really excited, and a little nervous about this new venture.  It’s been 12 years sense I’ve been in school so I’m a little out of the habit, but I’m also really excited to start working toward my long put off goal.  Wish me luck!
So there you have it.  My new and renewed resolutions for 2012.
I hope you all have a fabulous New Year!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Devastation and Miracles

Is it possible for your heart to break, and rejoice at the same time?

A couple weeks ago we got word that there was a fire in Sierra Vista Arizona.  Doc is from Sierra Vista, and his parents still live there.

Shortly after we were married we were lucky enough to rent a beautiful little home deep in Ash Canyon from a doctor (I'll  call him Dr. H) in our church.  He had lived there while he and his family built their dream home just down the road.

I admit that moving to the seclusion of Ash Canyon was a bit of an adjustment for this Phoenix girl... but it didn't take long to fall in love with the quiet.  I used to carry my wash out to a clothes line in a little fenced in yard, and take my time as I hung our laundry out to dry.  It wasn't uncommon for deer to walk by and stare at me, as I stared back at them.

There was a large car port area stacked full of hay for Dr. H's horses, and the deer loved to come every morning and steal some breakfast. 

Occasionally we would have the surprise of havalina.  One of the havalina actually popped the tire of the '57 Chevy that Doc and his brother built (which unfortunately we no longer have). 

We woke up one morning to find our garbage strewn all over the front yard, and the sliding glass door screen completely ripped up, and balled up like a discarded piece of paper.  Upon further inspection we found a large bear paw print about face high on the glass of our door!  I was totally paranoid going out the next morning to clean up the trash... I fully expected to be attacked by a bear!

Sierra Vista holds so many memories for us.  Droid was born there and spent the first couple of years of his life in that little house. 

One winter we couldn't afford to buy any propane to heat the house, so Doc and I make a fire in the fireplace, brought in a couple of space heaters, and hung up blankets to keep the warmth in living room.  We dragged in our mattress, and camped out there for a while.  It's true that not having much money is hard, and it's a struggle... but it definitely does bring you closer.

There was one really cold week that we knew we needed to get little baby Droid to a warmer place, so we stayed a couple nights at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  When we came home we found a piece of glass broken out of our front door... and muddy footprints on the carpet!  The room had been gone through, and the Nintendo '64 (which was pretty awesome at the time) was missing, and so was a big jar of pennies... but hey... they set the VCR for us!

Beyond the house we had to live in, we had family. 

Every Sunday we would go and have dinner with Doc's parents... no one can cook a better roast!  We would stay up late at their house to hear Doc's little sister's report on a church dance she just came home from.  "It was just ... magical!"

And then there was our friends. 

Doc and his friends Ryan and Nathan grew up together in Ryan's garage working on old hot rods.  They built several Mustangs, a '57 Chevy Bell Air ( I got to put in the #3 piston in the '57's 327!)  a '67 Chevelle (that they sold to Phil Mickelson), and of course our favorite was Doc's '64 Chevy II Nova.  While I was pregnant with Droid I used to sit on a stack of tires in the garage and read with the smell of wet sanding and bondo while the boys worked. 

Cherie and Liz moved in and lived with Dr. H's family for a time.  Cherie was going through a divorce.  She was a new convert to the church and didn't really know many people.  Liz was an exchange student from Mexico, and she didn't speak much English at first, but she was a blast to be around. 

Nathan served a two year mission in South America so he could speak Spanish was became Liz's translator.  We all became the best of friends... and we got to watch as love bloomed between Liz and Nathan, and Cherie and Ryan.

Before Doc and I had to move we all met up at a favorite restaurant Ricardo's for a farewell dinner.  It was full of inside jokes and laughter.  Before we all drove away that night we all stood in a circle in a big group hug.  It was a beautiful warm summer night.  I will never forget that moment.

I will never forget the day we had to pack up to move to Mesa so Doc could continue his education at ASU.  Once the Uhaul was loaded and the house was empty I sat on the floor by the fireplace and took a final look around remembering all the great times we had there.

And I cried.

The memory of that little house, and the lesson's we learned from Dr. H got us through the hard times of medical school. 

When Doc decided that he wanted to pursue a medical degree we went over to visit Dr. H and his wife in their gorgeous home.  It was around 8000 square feet, with huge wooden front doors that Dr. H carved beautiful designs into.  Dr. H is a great wood worker and he literally built most of his house himself.  It was a work of art, but what was even more inspiring about his home was his family. 

They have three of the sweetest, hard working kids I've ever met.  His oldest daughter drove the old truck to school... which broke down in front of our little house a couple of times.  She never complained and thought that her dad should buy her a new car... she knew that if she wanted something in life she needed to work for it.  Every morning and evening one of their kids would come over and feed the horses, and then hike up the mountain to feed the parrots that they breeded.  These kids are hard working, humble and just plain good kids.

Anyway, while we were talking to the H's, they gave us a few words of wisdom that doc and I continually remind each other of.

Ten years is going to come and go one way or another... the question is... where do you want to be at the end of those ten years?

Doc and I have been married for over 11 years now, and by the time we are done with residency it will be 14 years.  There are times that we think that our struggle will never end, and then we remember the H's promise that if we can just get through the schooling it will be worth it in the end.

We've often talked about the possibility of maybe buying land and building a home in Ash Canyon when we are done with residency.

A couple of weeks ago we heard about the fire in Sierra Vista. 

And I watched and cried all through a news clip of Dr. H describing how he and his wife watched as the fire got closer and closer to their home, and they finally looked at each other and knew it was time to go.  He said he made it to the bottom of Ash Canyon road when he heard his house blow up.  I'm thinking it was the propane.  Their son said on facebook, "Well... at least the house went out with a bang."

Ash Canyon is gone now.

The little house full of memories is gone.

My heart is mourning for the change... and breaking for Dr. H's loss. 

I can't begin to comprehend what they have lost.  I'm devastated for them.

A week ago we heard that the winds grew to over 50 miles per hour and blew the fire way out of control.  And it headed toward Doc's parents home.

And by the grace of God their home was spared.

Doc's parents live on the left side of the little hill on the left side of this picture.  The fire actually did come around the hill, but stoped at a little dirt road near their property line.  Thankfully the winds died down before it traveled any further.  The little hill served as a great barrier and seamed to have hindered the fire just long enough to save their home.

Ash Canyon is burned.  Ricardo's is burned.  But the firefighters did a miraculous job saving all the homes in Miller Canyon, which the fire burned through... how they did it... I don't know. 

I'm devastated for the loss of so many... but rejoice that much was still spared.

My prayers are still with Dr. H and his family.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finding the Time

I have to admit that I'm struggling. 

Not in the physical or mental way (though I'm sure there are those who would love to make a joke or two about that)... but I'm struggling finding the time to write. 

I love writing.

I love sitting in a quiet room and reading my thoughts as they pour through my fingers.  Sometimes I feel like every time I sit behind my laptop I get to know myself a little better.  Writing somehow helps me channel my thoughts so they aren't flying in a million directions.  It helps me focus.  I guess it's my way to just focus on myself.

My problem right now is that summer vacation has started for my boys, and we are having way too much fun staying up late watching shows like, "America's Got Talent", "Wipe-out", and "Minute to Win it" so by the time they go to bed it's about 10:00... or 11:00... and I've got to get to bed so I'm awake for little baby Owen's drop off at 6:00am.

I suppose my priorities are right.  I'm focusing on spending time with my family and we are definitely enjoying our time together, but I'm missing my "me" time with my blog. 

I'm not sure if there is a perfect answer to my problem.  I seam to be burning the candle at both ends with going to be so late and waking up so early I'm barely getting enough sleep, so as much as I scratch my brain I just can't find the time in my day to commit to just me and my blog. 

So reader, If you have any suggestions on where in the day I might find time to write, please give me some ideas.  I want to keep up my blog... but just don't know how I can do it all.

Tomorrow I'm taking all 5 of my kids strawberry picking.  Wish me luck, and hopefully I'll have some pictures to share with you soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fairy Princess' and the Best of Friends

The hardest part about leaving medical school was being separated from all our friends that we became so close too.  There were 4 other couples that we can easily say became an extended family to us.  We were really lucky that the Carter’s matched into residency in Columbus, only 2 hours away from us, and the Branscomb’s just moved to Detroit to finish the last 2 years of their program… which is about 3 hours from us.
So, when the Carter’s threw their little girl Grace a Fairy Princess 3rd Birthday Party we all took it as an opportunity for a 2 year reunion… and for our little girls to get together for some Princess time.

This is Carie and Janie.  I know… they are both gorgeous.  They are also amazing friends and mothers.  Seeing them again was awesome.  It was like no time had gone by.  We just talked and laughed… and laughed some more.

The Princess party was adorable!  It started with Carie reading the kids a story about a little girl who became a fairy princess for the day.  Then all the girls received their fairy wings, and magic wands, and a bag of pixy dust. 

We all headed outside and they girls “flew” around the yard spreading their pixy dust, helping the flowers grow.  Adorable!    

Then they all came inside and made some “fairy princess houses” out of cupcakes, and tons of candy toppings.
This was about the time that the sugar rush set in for my Little Princess.  J

There were so many picture perfect moments with the sunlight glowing off the winds of little angels wings, but my favorite moment wasn’t the what I saw, it was what I heard.  3 residents laughing… really hard… for the first time in 2 years I heard Doc really laughing.  I really wish that these guys could get together more often… they need each other.
The Birthday party was definitely the best I’ve ever been too.  Everything was so much fun, for the kids… and the parents.  And I have to point out that Carie made the amazing cake all by herself!

Oz’s favorite part of the party was pigging out on the “Pixy” sticks.... and getting to see Grace... Carie and I have them both betrothed... it's decided.  J 

After the party my Little Princess ran upstairs with Grace and Sophee to play dress up.  They all came downstairs and did a few little fashion shows for us, and then we heard them upstairs laughing so hard.  Carie, Janie and I snuck up, camera in hand, and peaked into see what they were up too.  We found them all laying on the bed throwing the blankets over their heads, and laughing as they kicked the blankets off them.  This went on and on for some time, and us mom’s just stood by the door laughing with them as these little girls bonded.  It’s neat to see these little girls developing friendship that will continue to grow and develop more and more, year after year as the med school gang gets together throughout the years.

When the time came it was hard to say “good-bye” and go our separate ways again.  The only thing that could have made it any better was if the Baugh’s and Davis’ could have been there with us to make it a true med school reunion.

Thank you Gracie for giving us an amazing gift for your Birthday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tile by Tile

Oh my gosh, I'm so frustrated!  Blogger isn't letting me upload any pictures!  I've tried everything I can think of, but NOTHING is working.  grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!
Okay... here is my post... minus the pictures.  Sorry...

One of the many projects that Doc and I knocked out over the past week was tiling the kitchen and the hall bathroom. 
We had some linoleum in there that looked okay, but it had some scratches and even a small burn mark on it left from a refrigerator repair man.
Doc thought tile would really make the house look much nicer… and hopefully up the value of it when it comes time to sell in a couple of years.

We got really lucky because when we ripped up the linoleum we found that the previous owner was smart and laid it on backboard, so we didn’t have to buy or screw in backboard.  There were a few spots that we screwed in a little tighter, but we really didn’t have to do much beyond that to prep for tiling.
It took a little while to find tiles that we liked, but finally we agreed on some that we liked, and that would  We were really excited to lay those first tiles!
It took some time to cut all the tiles, lay them and grout it all, but it was worth it.  The kitchen looks amazing!  I love the way the tile turned out!

Cleaning up all the dust from the grout took several cleanings.

And I’m brilliant and didn’t take a picture of the kitchen and bathroom all cleaned up!  I’ll try to remember to do that tomorrow.

Feeling that clean, smooth, cool tile on my feet in the morning is wonderful.  I love how nice it all looks, but more than that I’m so proud that we did it together.  I think that for Doc and I, a house isn’t really a home until we have added our own touch to it. 

We are building our home together … in every way.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Holding onto Dandelions

It wasn't very long ago, not in my eyes at least,
you used to bring me dandelions and blow them in the breeze.

Your smile would come alive as you gave handfuls to me,
and whisper "Mom, I love you!” it was my favorite sight to see.

It’s been a while sense you’ve done that, but today you gave a surprise,
a precious yellow flower, a youthful gleam behind your eyes.

As the clock hands change positions, somehow the movement changed you too.
Now you bring me Lego creations and drawings made by you.

Someday you will be dating girls, and playing sports for fun,
Maybe you will be like me and find your feet and run.

The day will come when you will leave, your mission to discover,
And as you go I will know I’ve done my job as ‘Mother’.

Just as a dandelion peddles start out yellow firm, secure,
the time slowly changes them to white and fluffy fur.

And as the wind starts blowing, they feel the urge to go,
and explore the world around them away from the stem of home.

So you are slowly changing, and one day I'll set you free.
But for now I'm holding tightly to the dandelions you bring me.

-Rebecca Evans