I can't believe that Christmas will be here in a week. This month has gone by so fast. It started out with our Stake's Nativity. They had over 500 nativity scenes set up so beautifully around the church with different choirs singing. Mike was in the Stake choir and which sounded beautiful.
We also have enjoyed the advent day calendar my mom sent us, the mint truffle Hershey kisses from Dusty and Janecce's candy dishes, searching out for the best egg nog, decorated the house, seeing the lights at Ransom Canyon, and putting together our ward's Christmas party. It has been such a great month, but now it is even better with Mike being done with his finals (we didn't really see each other all week).
Here is a picture of our apartment. I love having a fireplace, especially this time of the year. Mike's parents wooden rocking chair fits right in with the Christmas atmosphere.
I would first like to say that I dedicate this blog to my friend Nicole Barber, who has felt these same exact feelings during her student teaching as I did today.
My life as a substitute has taken me to all sides of the education spectrum. Here is a few of the assignments that I have had: kindergarten, fourth grade, second grade, music teacher, art teacher, boys PE coach, jr high social studies and math, high school special ed, auto shop, AP history, senior English, alternative school, social behavior adjustment classroom, reading specialist, and cafeteria supervisor. Today was the cherry on top.
I knew that I might not get a lot of jobs this week, being the last week before Christmas. What teacher can afford to miss their final or class Christmas party? So when I saw a job open last night, I took it. I didn't recognize the school: Project Intercept. I looked it up on the website and it talked about a place where they discipline with dignity. I figured it was an alternative school on the wrong side...I mean east side of town. I had a great experience with the alternative school in Frenship district, mainly because they have drill sergeants roaming the halls. I told myself that if nothing popped up in the morning, I would go.
The first red flag that this might not be the best experience should have been the metal detector that I walked through as I entered the school. It turned out that Project Intercept was the school for the Juvenile Delinquents. I'm not talking about the place they go before they get thrown in jail or a last-chance sort of place. These kids were real law-breaking criminals, many having been in and out of jail for a while for drugs, guns, or thief. The class size may have been small in numbers, but oh, I have never had such a disrespectful group of students. It felt like a movie with nonstop talking, projectile of objects, middle fingers and curse words, and jiggling of inappropriate body parts. I stayed level-headed for most of the day, being patient but firm with the students. . .well I did snap once. I was sick and tired of the up and down and blaming of others that after I told a student for the fifth time to sit on his bum and his reply that he wasn't comfortable in his desk, I gave it to him. "Uncomfortable, you want to know about uncomfortable. I have a human being growing in my uterus, which dislodges all my intestines into improper places. My stomach is up in my chest and my hips are expanding, all the while I am on my feet all day to teach you math. Don't talk to me about being uncomfortable." I might have exaggerated my situation a bit (I've had a easy pregnancy), but the point is still the same. Sadly, that was not the worst of the day and at one point, I almost cried in front of a bunch of 8th grade boys. Instead, I pulled up my big-girl panties and asked the muscular man outside to give a pep talk on respect to the whole class. Needless to say, I didn't leave my phone number on the sub notes.
So the lesson that I learn today was that I have a new priority as a parent: teaching my children to always respect adults, especially substitutes.
This Thanksgiving, we stayed in Lubbock and had dinner with a few couples from the ward. Mike was able to go golfing in the morning while I got our part of the dinner together. One couple was from Korea and this was their first Thanksgiving with an American family. I don't think that they quite understood the concept of Thanksgiving. We asked her to bring a pie, and she was confused to see that we had also made pies. There was a several times throughout the evening that the husband asked us if we just keep eating for the rest of the day. Yes, yes we do.
Allison and I showing off our wondering Martha Stewart dinner.
I took a picture of all the goodness that I made. Here is the cranberry, sausage and apples stuffing.
Deviled Eggs: a must for left overs.
Cheese Celery: I am pretty sure that I am the only one that truly enjoyed these.
Turkey, and oh was there plenty.
Mashed Potatoes: made with a 1/2 cup of butter and a pint of cream-not the most figure friendly, but man were they delicious.
Apple Pie: not too bad for being a baked good (I wish I had my friend Elizabeth's baking instinct, but instead I struggle).
As my family knows, I have not been known to finish my projects. I love thinking up ideas and planning new projects, but then I get distracted or lose interest. Not this time. It all started with Rachel and Jared giving us this table. It had a light oak finish on top and white painted legs. We spent all of Spring Break last March refinishing the table. I have to give Mike a lot of credit because he put in a lot of work to finish it. I didn't like the chairs that came with the table, and they were too big to move. I found a picture in Better Homes and Garden that suggested colored mismatched chairs and a runner. It took a while to get the chairs done, but I did them all by myself. To finish it off, we used Annie's idea about the empty frames. Overall, I think it turned out great. Next on the project list is getting my fireplace mantle in order.
This year, we had only a few hours to put together our Halloween costumes and car for our ward trunk or treat. So three minutes before going to bed, we decided to be pirates. I guess we had such a great time last year at our Murder Mystery Dinner, that we wanted to do it again.
This is the med student group that we love hanging out with. It just ended up that our cars were next to each other.
Well, most of you know that Mike and I had quite an eventful weekend. It started on Friday night when I thought I had ate something bad for dinner. It left me with a stomach ache and a dreadful relationship with the bathroom. I tried to go to work the next day, but I only lasted two hours. After a long nap, I complained to Mike about some pain I was having. I normally have aches and pains because of pregnancy, but this one was different. When I pointed to where it was, Mike immediately told me it had to be the appendix and that they had just learned about it in class. Yeah right Mike. I thought he was being dramatic and just fitting my symptoms to the latest disease he has learned in class. We called his dad and sure enough he told us to head to the ER.
The ER was such a long wait. Mike brought his school work with him because he had his big anatomy final on Monday (one reason why I didn't want to go to the ER, I knew he had a lot to study). Since I had the time, I went onto WebMD to look up the effects of appendicitis on pregnancy. Bad idea. It dropped all these fetus death statistics that just made me cry. After 2 hours, we finally got to see the doctor. The problem was that in most cases, the doctor will run a CAT scan to confirm an appendicitis, but being pregnant, I couldn't do that. They had to bring in the ER doctor, the surgery department, the OB department, the radiology department, and the family medicine team to decide what they were going to do. They tried an ultrasound, but the appendix is too far in there to see.
So, the decision of whether to operate came down to my story. It was so hard because I am trying to be as truthful as possible but when they ask me questions like rank your pain from 1-10, I don't know what to say. It was such a hard decision because the live of our baby depended on it, and Mike and I didn't feel inspire on which decision would be best. We were given a blessing, but nothing was said about the baby, so in my mind, I thought for sure the baby wasn't going to make it.
After a lot of tears and prayers, we decided to go for the surgery. Mike couldn't be in the operating room (though I tried to pull the med student card). When they rolled me into the room, it totally felt like a movie with the huge light overhead, people strapping wires all over my body, and finally ending with the mask that was shoved over my mouth. Just like that, I was out.
The surgery went well, and the baby was fine. The nurses monitored the heart rate throughout the night, meaning I didn't get much sleep. We were able to leave Sunday afternoon, and I have been resting since. Mike and I feel so blessed during this whole experience. We really felt loved by our family and friends, and especially by the Lord. Though it might have felt like he was not there when we needed to make that decision, this experience has really increased our faith that the Lord is watching over us. It was also a humbling experience. Before, all I cared about was finding the perfect girl crafts on pinterest because all I wanted was a girl. Now, I am so blessed that we are still having a baby. I just pray that it stays healthy. Boy or girl, this child is loved.
**Sorry there are no pictures for this post. Mike keep asking me if I wanted him to take pictures at the hospital. That would be embarrassing. I asked to see my pussy appendix, but they said they couldn't. Josh wanted to to take pictures of my scars, but I will save everyone of the nightmares.
This post is for my mom. I don't want to be "one of those" girls who constantly takes photos of themselves and only talk about pregnancy. However, one of my friends shared with me that she took a picture each week and wrote a little note to her baby about her experiences. Right now, it may seem that I won't ever forget this sweet moments, but three years from now, I hate to have lost them. I know my mom wishes she could be here with me, so I thought I would share a few with her.
Weekly Update: Week 16
I am officially poking out. As much as I try to suck in, I no longer have a flat belly anymore. I bought a tummy sleeve for some of my tighter pants, and I love it. Sometimes I think I can feel creature, but in reality, it is probably just my stomach churning or my pulse beating.I have gain only 1 pound, so I am thoroughly enjoying lots of chocolate milk and trail mix to boast me up. I feel great all the time and am having the time of me life.
This Saturday for our date, we adventured out to the Texas Tech tail gating scene. This was a whole new experience for us because BYU has nothing close to this.
Most of the spots were fraternities and sororities hosting parties, though there were plenty of people from the community. They come either Friday night or Monday morning and are there all day long. We determined that this would not work in the LDS culture because of our commitments on Saturday mornings to our family, calling, and service. This rig below was incredible. It was not a grill, but a furnace. They invited us to come back and eat with them, but when we came back, there were tons of people drinking, and I felt like a party crasher.
Texas Tech's mascot is a red raider, which is pretty much a Mask of Zorro type figure. When we got closer to the stadium, they had a live band, concession stands, dancers, and a lot of people. Photos just don't do it justice to show how big this event was.
The school has a tradition to wrap the statue before each game. We talked to some girls who told us that the legend is if the trail begins to unwrap before the game starts, the team will lose. It looked good, and the team won.
While I went back to watch the General Relief Society Broadcast, Mike stayed on campus to watch the game with some buddies. He told me that is was nice to simply enjoy the game and not stress out if they are going to win.
Last weekend, the medical school spouse club was having a play date at the Apple Festival in Idalou. I remember reading about this in the "Welcome to Lubbock" brochure that city hall gives out, so I was excited to go. I went with my friend Brooke since neither of us had kids. This was truly a West Texas experience. (*note how flat the land is in the background. It goes on like that for miles)
The actually festival was really small, about half the size of Fir Point Farms, however, we still had a lot of fun. Brooke and I painted our faces with the BYU logo in preparation for the game that night. We wanted to make our husbands proud.
You could get a "Texas BBQ with all the Fixin's". Sadly to say, it was not worth bragging about.
We ate with the other wives while being entertained by a blue grass band. I am not a big fan of blue grass, but it went with the atmosphere.
We also went on a hay ray through the apple orchid, picked and ate apples from the tress, pet the three goats that were in the petting zoo, had delicious apple turnover with Blue Bell ice cream, and came home with a big bag of yummy apples. It was so fun to get out of town and spend the day with the girls.
By now, we have told most people that we are expecting. One common question I got from family members was, "Are you showing?" I feel like I am showing, but Mike thinks otherwise. I will let you the judge of it.
For the last week and a half, we were house sitting for our bishop. They have two dogs and some fish, but overall, it was so easy and relaxing staying at their home.
The other day, Mike made a comment about how he was craving meat loaf. So one night, I went all out making this gourmet meat loaf. I went to the garden, picked vine-rip tomatoes, and roasted them in the oven along with garlic to make my own tomato sauce. I found some great seasonings and actually measured out the bread crumbs so it would be perfect. Last, I found this Pamper Chief stoneware bread loaf. This would definitely make it the best. I stuck it in the top oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. When the timer went off and I walked up to the oven, it smelt a little brunt. Oh great. When I open the oven door, all the smoke billowed into the kitchen. I had cremated the meat loaf. I carried the pan out to the garage. Just in that short distance, the pan had burned the hot pads. We tried cleaning the pan a few days later, but I guess the pan got so hot it cracked. It wasn't until afterwards that Mike reminded me that the top oven was broken (doesn't stop heating), and they told us not to use it. Here are pictures of before and after. The bishop's wife had two other bread pans, so she wasn't worried. Thank goodness.
So, I'm writing this post at 11:39 PM. I'm finally getting done with all the studying that I needed to do today. As I sit here and eat my Blue Bell Ice Cream before I go to bed, I decided that I had enough energy in me to do a little write up explaining how medical school is going.
I can't believe we've been in Lubbock for over a month now. The first 1 1/2 weeks, before we started school, went by ridiculously slow. Now, my days fly by and I can't find enough time to study.
Med school is busy, but great. You really get thrown into it from day 1. The first day of class we had to go down to the cadaver lab, meet our cadaver group, dissect the whole back and memorize all the muscles, nerves, arteries and veins that had to do with the back. Then it happened the next day with the neck, then the next day with the shoulder and so forth, and there is no sign of a stop or slowdown of the information coming my way.
Today a I was talking with a friend who used a good analogy to describe what med school is like. Med school is like eating 500 pancakes. After the first 3 or 4, you're like, "I got this, no problem. I like pancakes." But then they just keep coming and coming. Soon you're so full that you don't feel like you can eat any more, but you have to, there's no other way around it. The worst thing about it is that I know that I have to know this. This is not just something that I can memorize to get by, spit it up on the test, then forget about it. Anyways, needless to say, my cadavers has been seeing way more of me lately than Katie.
Overall, I really like it. We're starting to discover the ins and outs of Lubbock. Great people, great food, and enough fun things to keep us entertained with the small amount of time we have.
(The pictures above were taken from my white coat ceremony)
The second week here, the bishop called me to be the ward chorister. He stressed the importance of smiling. I guess there was one chorister in the past who didn't smile, and it affected the quality of the singing. This Sunday was my big debut. When I got there, the songs had already been picked out (I had emailed some songs earlier to the program maker but hadn't heard back) and the old chorister was sitting in the front row to the side (the unwritten but well known of designated spot for the chorister). We talked for a bit and ended with the conversation with, "Okay, I'll start next week." When the first song started, neither of us went up. I guess she thought that I would start leading the music and she liked sitting in that spot. In my mind, who would want to sit right there if they didn't have to. Strike one. Well, I learned my lesson and went up to lead the sacrament hymn. Josh told me that I needed to be like Brother Annas but the whole time I was up there, I was trying to figure out where to look. There were people who were actually looking at me, which made me feel awkward. I was too caught up on not staring back that I messed up during the second verse. Strike two. During the last song, I focused my energy on smiling. I finished the song beautifully with no mistakes. When I hurried back to my seat, Mike gave me a funny look. He asked me if I didn't like the fourth verse. I didn't know what he was talking about. I guess I was so focused on smiling that we skipped the fourth verse. Strike three. Who knew that such a simple calling could be so dramatic?
FYI-For those who aren't on facebook or talk to my mom (thanks for spilling the beans. . .but then again I never said it was a secret), I got a job teaching preschool for Head Start. It will be different from a normal Head Start because it is through the YWCA and actually has a curriculum that the teachers follow. I am excited to teach. It will be a completely different experience than 5th grade, but it is better than working at Dick's Sporting Goods (the job Josh wanted me to get so I could get him good Christmas gifts). Training starts tomorrow, so we will see how it goes. Dusty is warning me about all the poopy bums I will probably have to wipe. Oh joy.
Since we are moving to Lubbock, I have joined the "South Plain Sisters" google group to get the insider of West Texas. One of the ladies emailed us informing that last Friday was "Cow Appreciation Day". This group has been helpful, but they went above and beyond the call of duty with this email. Rumors have told me about this day, but I didn't know how it worked or when it was. All we had to do was dress like a cow "head to hoof", and we would get a free Chic Filet-A meal. I immediately told Mike when he got home, and he loved the idea. I was so excited to dress like a cow that I was prancing around our apartment in my costume. My favorite part was the long johns that I wore. I just couldn't believe they gave us a $16 meal for free. Life is good.
I let my wife go shopping on her own, and she comes back with this. Good thing I'm moving away from my Talahassee friends. I don't know if I could show my face in front of them again. Supposedly it was about the colors or something.
So Katie has been out of town since Wednesday and will be until Friday, and I've reverted back to my bachelor ways. I figure that its my duty to remind all you married guys what it takes to live the single life again. Here is my very important list of things needed and things not needed for living without a woman.
1. A Man Place. This is a place where you can sit down all day long and do nothing. It's a place where your body melts in its sheer laziness into an inanimate object. It serves as your table, chair, study, clothes bin, and even your bed sometimes. Mine is my couch.
Now you may be asking yourself, "Is that all Sunday's dishes sitting by his Man Place?" The answer is yes. I never said that a dishwasher was needed, did I?
2. Basketball shorts. I believe this is self explanatory. It didn't take me long to remember that no other form of leg ware is needed for enjoying life.
Nobody is stopping me from going outside in basketball shorts and a polo.
3. 2% Milk. Because its so much better than 1%.
4. Pepsi. This is always a need--woman or not.
5. Food. This mostly consists of cereal.
Notice the bag on the left. That bad of Golden Puffs was full 3 days before this picture was taken.
6. Unlimited supply of popsicles. Because nothing screams, "I'm a man living alone," like dried popsicle sticks stuck on the counter.
THINGS NOT NEEDED:
2. Toothbrush. No, no, no, I'm just joking...but seriously.
3. A made bed. Why make it when its just going to be messed up again?
Anyways, there you have it. How to be a bachelor. Its not easy work my friends.
PS. I'd like to thank all those who have kept me company during this last week. Robert and Megan Potter have done more than enough to make sure I've kept myself busy. Mark for being kinda cool. My mom for inviting me to my sister's house for dinner.
So here are so more pictures of our trip, specifically the Road to Hana. There were so many waterfalls and pools to swim in. We drove the through the jungle in an open top Jeep (I called it my Barbie Jeep). We couldn't bring our camera to a lot of the really cool places. For example, there was there hike where we hiked up to the first two waterfalls, swim through a pool to get to the third, and scale up the third waterfall to get to the fourth. It was so incredible.
If any of you have seen Lost, they boys were reinacting the scene where Michael has to hide from the smoke monster and was calling for Walt. We were pretty disappointed when the smoke monster didn't show up.
Typical Garrett to have a bag of something in his hands. He was pretty attach to those Chex Mix.
This is one of the many black sand beaches on the island. We actually camped at one of them overnight because there was too much to do on the Road to Hana to make it back to our hotel.
This is a bayan tree. They are crazy. Their branches grow out and drop shoots down to add more roots to the tree. They can get enormous. I will show you another picture of a bayan tree in another post that took up a whole city block.
I just thought that our family and friends should see the reason why I married Mike. I know your jealous because not everyone can have a husband with such a nice behind.
This was the entrance to the bamboo forrest at the Seven Scared Pools. I never have seen the tops of bamboo before. This picture doesn't get the whole effect, but these trees look like they could have come straight from a Dr. Suess book.
The bamboo reminded me of a prision cell with all the bars on the door. This is my "I can't believe I'm in jail" face. Good thing I didn't go into modeling.
Hiking through the jungle. Sorry I couldn't get the picture to stand up straight.