Friday, August 31, 2007

I LOVE this commercial

I think I love this because I could totally see myself doing this. I actually know I would do this.

Trust

It can be so difficult to trust God when life is swirling around us. I hope you had the opportunity to watch the video below this post which helps provide the strength to really trust the Lord. Thanks to the great friend who sent this my way. It's words are from the 1600's but still so applicable today.

If Thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways;
He'll give thee strength whate'ere betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God's unchanging love,
Builds on the Rock that naught can move.


Only be still and wait His leisure;
In cheerful hope, with heart content
to take whate'er thy Father's pleasure
and all discerning love hath sent.
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
to Him who chose us for His own.


Sing, pray and keep His ways unswerving;
In all thy labor faithful be.
And trust His Word, though undeserving;
thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never will forsake in need
the soul that trusts in Him indeed.

As I talk to JB after work every day, sometimes life can feel so unfair. Who abuses tiny children?! Who has children they don't want?! Kids with cancer. Kids dying from routine occurrences like eating a hot dog or jumping in the pool. And of course, the thing that is most on my heart is my best friend losing her brother and our own barren home. Life is so difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain sometimes.

Sometimes all there is is trust. Honestly, how do you learn how to trust unless you really need to. We say we trust each other but would you really put your life on the line to prove that trust? It's only when that's all that there is that you really learn to lean on Him.

*I've updated Matt's page if you are interested in reading.

God loves us so much

This is a video illustrating God's love for us and his desire to save us from the difficulties we face in this life. Just keep watching it. It starts a little slow, but is well worth an entire viewing.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Granny Air Bag

Per my mom's request, a video to make you smile.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What's so hard about this residency thing?

So man, I hear all these people talk about how difficult residency is with the incredibly long hours. Geeez, c'mon. Residency isn't that bad!

Okay, so obviously I was one of these people complaining about the long hours. I guess what I am saying is that what everyone kept telling us was true. While some rotations are very, very bad ... some are only sort of bad ... and some aren't bad at all.

Don't get me wrong. JB is still working a lot of hours. He is doing 6am to 6pm which is 12 hours a day. But man oh man, twelve hours feels glorious!!

Of course most of our neighbors who are not in medicine are doing the normal military day. The normally military day begins at 7:30 with Reveille. If you don't know what Reveille is, click on the word to hear a sound bite of these trumpets. I'm sure you'll recognize it when you hear it. Tif and I hear this each morning when we start our walk. The military day ends at 4:30 with the playing of The National Anthem. If you are outside and hear this, you must stop your car and wait. JB must stand at attention.

Now here's what I think is sort of funny. All the interns got an email that if they had a day that they were done early they were required to stay at work until 4:30pm. I think this is a JOKE! Seriously. Absolutely ridiculous. First of all, John has never been done before 4:30pm, but if he was, I really think all the nights that he didn't get home until 9pm would easily make up for one early day! Don't you think?

Well that's another subject entirely. I write this post to say that I think both John and I were quite stressed during the first two months of residency. Actually we were beyond stressed. We were both looking at each other each night and thinking: How in the world will we make it through these three years? We were actually thinking: It's probably good we don't have children because how would our child ever see their father or see their parents together?

I also felt like I was the only wife who felt this way. Every other wife seemed so calm about their husband's schedules. But then I realized this week as JB switched to an easier rotation and Matt (Tiffany's husband) switched to a harder rotation, that in fact, it was the fact that JB was, as they had told him, starting with the hardest rotation and following up with Pensacola, one of the most time consuming rotations that was causing us such grief. I am not glad Tiffany is now dealing with this of course, but am glad that my husband is now, not dealing with this.

John is currently on nursery. He can call me and even email throughout the day. I had to go up to the hospital and get my TB shot and the end of my Hepatitis series post-Africa. I actually got to tour where he was working. My husband the doctor! Wow! I was so proud of him!

Off track again. Back to how frustrated I was by those hard rotations ...

These rotations caused JB to say to me, "After all this military stuff is done, I think I'll just moonlight a day a week and not get a real job." Moonlighting is working in the ER for a 24 hour period. It pays very well and requires little commitment. It isn't what John would want to do, but working like a dog isn't what he wanted to be doing either. Some interns moonlight during residency to make more money. (The military has a clause that prohibits this.)

Anyways, the schedule is better. My parents are coming in tomorrow night. (Cannot wait! This is awesome!) John actually has all weekend off and possibly, he may have short days on Friday (a family day on the base) and Monday (Labor Day). This is amazing and definitely helping us to realize that we will get through this and come out okay at the end.

This residency stuff ain't so bad!

Eating Healthy

It's not that I don't believe my husband. I think he is really smart and everything.

But yesterday, I was watching an Oprah rerun, and Dr. Oz went through a list of "foods to eat" and "foods to avoid". No big surprise that Dr. Oz's lecture sounds nearly identical to the lecture that JB gives me every time we go to the grocery store.

Learning how to read food labels is like looking at a prescription for your health and your life (In Dr Oz's words). Look for red-flag ingredients—if they're listed among the top five ingredients overall, steer clear!

The red flag ingredients are:
  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Enriched wheat flour (white flour)
  • Saturated fat
  • Hydrogenated oil
If these are in the top 5 ingredients in a food, you should try not to buy that food. Now obviously you can't do this for your entire life or you'd never eat another cookie that tasted like anything more than sawdust again. This, however, is a general rule for good health.

One of the hardest ones for me to not find in the top 5 ingredients? Cereal!!! The best bet is to look for the KASHI cereals. They are the best for avoiding these 5 trouble items. They aren't as good, let's face it, but they grow on you. This isn't to say I never buy Golden Grahams. But I try to only buy it now and then.

I recently found some granola bars that don't have these ingredients in them. I can't remember the name of them though so that isn't much help now is it? I'll try to find it. They are great!

Drinks? Stick with 100% juice or water. Of course, juice has a lot of natural sugar in it so drink sparingly.

Another item to avoid? Butter. Instead, we found "Smart Balance". This is one of the only butter type spreads that does not have these five ingredients in it.

Below, is Dr. Oz's entire lecture. This is quite interesting and educational.

FOODS TO AVOID

Sugar
When you eat or drink sugar, Dr. Oz says the sudden energy surge your body experiences is followed by an insulin surge that rapidly drops the blood sugar level—so two hours later, you feel famished and tired. To keep an even keel, Dr. Oz says to replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones so the absorption is more controlled and you experience long-term satiety. "Sugar is supposed to be eaten, of course," says Dr. Oz, "but it should come together with fat or some element like fiber—as you would find in fruit—so you can absorb it a bit more slowly."

High fructose corn syrup
Although they taste sweet, Dr. Oz says food products that contain high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Dr. Oz says the body processes the sugar in high-fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters your body's natural ability to regulate appetite. "It blocks the ability of a chemical called leptin, which is the way your fat tells your brain it's there," says Dr. Oz. "It's not so much the 150 calories in the soda pop—it's the fact at that same meal you will normally consume an extra hundred calories of food than you would have."

Enriched wheat flour (white flour)
Contrary to what its name suggests, Dr. Oz says enriched flour is actually poor in nutrition because most of the grain's nutrients are destroyed in the refining process. "The reason they enrich it is because they already stripped out anything that was worth a darn in it, and they add a little bit back so it doesn't look so bad," says Dr. Oz.Instead, he says to look for labels that say "100 percent" whole grains and whole grain flours. "It has its kernels, it has its B vitamins—all the things you want to be in there," says Dr. Oz.

Saturated fat
Found mainly in animal products, Dr. Oz says to avoid saturated fats that are solid at room temperature, like lard. "You can actually use this kind of material for furniture polish—lots of fun things—but don't put it in you," he says.

Hydrogenated oil
To increase their shelf life, Dr. Oz says certain oils are hydrogenated. This process turns the oil into a solid at room temperature, but it also makes the oil unhealthy. "This stuff is great because it doesn't go bad, but it's very bad for you," says Dr. Oz. Avoid food products that contain hydrogenated oil, often labeled as "trans fats."

FOODS TO RUN TOWARD

Healthy oils
Dr. Oz says there are many healthy oils, such as olive oil, sesame seed oil, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil and canola oil. To maximize their health benefits, Dr. Oz says good oils need to be used properly. "Keep it in a dark bottle or in your refrigerator—that's how to keep it healthy so it doesn't go rancid," says Dr. Oz. "Healthy oils are delicate, you have to treat them delicately." Dr. Oz also says overheating good oils during cooking can damage them. "Don't cook the oil, cook the food," says Dr. Oz, "which means put a tiny bit of oil in the pan, put the food in the oil and then put the food with the oil on it in the pan—that way the oil is preserved. It doesn't heat up and it doesn't get damaged by the heat."

Garlic
Dr. Oz says garlic is great for our bodies. "It actually helps the bacteria in your intestines and it also relaxes the arteries and it has a benefit with cancer," says Dr. Oz. "It's a great thing to add to your diet. It's present in a lot of cultures—we've forgotten it in America." Salad dressing made with fresh garlic, lemon and olive oil is one of Oprah's favorites. "It's a perfect dressing," says Dr. Oz. "It's the best way to have olive oil because you haven't heated it and you haven't damaged it."

Tomato sauce
Dr. Oz recommends eating 10 tablespoons of tomato sauce per week. "Inside the tomato is a chemical called lycopene," says Dr. Oz. "This chemical has a wonderful effect—it's an antioxidant." Dr. Oz says there are added benefits from eating tomato sauce or paste as opposed to plain tomatoes. "A raw tomato is fine, too, but if you get a little fat with it—either with some nuts or a little olive oil and dressing—then it's perfect," says Dr. Oz. "It helps you absorb it better into your intestinal system."

Spinach
Jam-packed with nutrients, Dr. Oz says spinach is out-of-sight. "This is the best thing for your eyes," he says. "It's better than carrots, and a lot of macular degeneration—which is a tragic ailment that affects vision—can actually be avoided by eating these kinds of foods that are rich in carotenoids and also have folic acids and a lot of other benefits." Sauté spinach with a little garlic and olive oil for a perfect side dish.

Raw nuts
To maximize the benefits of the healthy oils found in nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts, Dr. Oz says they should be eaten raw and stored in the refrigerator. "When you roast a nut, the healthy oils that are in there become damaged," Dr. Oz says. "The oils aren't supposed to be heated and damaged—they're supposed to be taken in their natural form."

Pomegranates
Dr. Oz says research on the health benefits of pomegranates has shown promising results. "We've done studies on them showing how they actually can change the way your arteries age—it's a very potent antioxidant," says Dr. Oz. "It also probably affects cancer rates, especially prostate cancer, but those studies haven't been finished yet."Not only do pomegranates have extraordinary health benefits—they taste good, too. "It's a little sweet for me so I mix it with water, but pomegranates or their juice are worth trying out," Dr. Oz says.

Things i learned before lunchtime



1. Scrubs can somehow (I have no idea how) get things off our kitchen counters.
2. Ingesting a whole months worth of "Frontline" for fleas and ticks will not hurt a dog. (Thanks to the Vet who comforted me with this knowledge.)
3. I can yell very loud when I am very scared and overwhelmed.
4. Scrubs can sulk very well when he is being yelled at very loudly.

My niece Gracie

Last night the phone rang around 6:30pm and JB answered it. It was our soon to be 5-year-old niece Grace asking if she could talk to her "Aunt Wendi" because she missed her! How sweet is that? Unfortunately, for some reason, the phone then cut out and Grace was left holding a screeching handset. We did, however, quickly call her back. She wasn't too happy about being "hung up on!"

Grace is the daughter of John's younger brother Ray and his wife Gabbi. They have a son Nathan (aka "Nate Dog") too. As he starts talking more, I am sure I will get to know him more and talk about him just as much as we talk about Grace.


Here were some things I learned during my conversation with Gracie.
  • She is not sure when she is going to get up to Tallahassee (I think she thinks this is where we live now because her friend Faith lives there, and her parents have told her we live close to Faith.)

  • She would like to get a dog. More specifically a chiwawa. Her other choices include a hamster or fish I think. She said the list of other choices pretty fast.

  • She would like to name the dog "Mommy" because Mommy would like to have the chiwawa.

  • She is now in pre-school at a new school (her Aunt Elizabeth and my dad and brother work at this school.)

  • She gets to see her "Aunt Ewisabeth" every now and then around school especially at chapel.

  • She forgot her P.E. teacher's name, but she has P.E. tomorrow.

  • She has to wear a uniform. It's a "jumper".

  • Her brother Nate is doing "fine."

  • She would like a yo-yo for her birthday. She isn't sure what else she would like.

  • It is "Almost September" which means she is almost five!

  • She misses her "Uncle JB and Aunt Wendi.

Here are some fairly recent pictures of Grace. Enjoy!












David Letterman's top 10 on why the Air Force is great

Monday, August 27, 2007

New friends

Last night we invited all of JB's fellow interns over for dinner. A few couldn't make it, but we had a great time nonetheless. Here are some photos so all of my "old" friends can continue to get to know my "new" ones.



Cliff and Jodi from North Carolina




Matt and Tiffany from Texas. You hear about them a lot because Tif lives right around the corner for me. They have a young son, William, and we go for a walk every morning together.



This is Shannon. I don't know Shannon very well yet. I'll update you more as I know more. :)

Matt and Tif's son William. He is a DOLL!



The theme was Italian. JB has just finished cooking, and Cliff is getting ready to enjoy.


New friends




Here's William and Matt. On the right is Rob. He and his wife Sarah and new baby Della live right around the corner as well.



Food!

Birthdays

As I have admitted before, remembering birthdays is not my gift.

I am doing my best to improve this behavior. I am trying to compile a great list of all the dates so I can remember who was born when.

If you have a second, could you click on the link below and enter your birthdate and/or anniversary? (Or that of your kids or spouse if you think I should know those). Don't worry if you don't think you are "worthy" enough to include your date. Everyone who reads my blog is worthy enough in my opinion.

Some of you may have done this via email, but if not please participate!

http://www.birthdayalarm.com/RequestBirthday.jsp?a:06&MemberId=80810864&ChecksumNbr=790179291&t=1188210697343

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grossness

After witnessing a certain, unmentionable occurrence this morning, JB reminded me of a Proverb.

Proverbs 26:11 –"Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly."

Let me just say that I now know this proverb to be true and of complete accuracy.

Disgusting.

Let's skip ahead to happier and more pleasant images. We invited some of JB's fellow interns over for dinner tonight. While JB was cooking he allowed Scrubs to participate in the festivities with a carrot. You can tell by the picture below that Scrubs enjoyed himself immensely.

I know that my blog has included a lot of dog recently. But you know, this pup is really bringing me joy. Actually he's bringing me extreme frustration coupled with extreme joy. And so since this blog has always been about my life, I wouldn't be accurately presenting what's going on in my life if I didn't share our fun with Scrubs. Dogs are great! I can't believe I went through four years of infertility without one.

I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend being as JB was home. I realized that if he is home on the weekends and home at 6pm in the evenings, we are sort of like a real family! It's been a great week because I have had my partner here with me. John starts his "nursery" rotation tomorrow. It's a month. The hours are supposed to be pretty long, but we will be here on base and his weekends will only include a limited amount of time. So it should be nice.

Okay, off to clean up the carrot before our company gets here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Our pup loves Frisbee!

Tonight we took Scrubs to the bay. This bay is only one block from our house! How awesome is that?! We LOVE coming here. Not only is there water but a huge grassy area where he can run. I have been trying, without success, to find some exercise activities for Scrubs that do not require me to exercise with him. Walks, tug-o-war, chase, everything requires me to participate. I like exercise, but c'mon! I need a break. Anyways, tonight we figured out what we can do with Scrubs to get him good and worn out. Now we can't do this all the time because after a dip in the ocean, he needs a bath. However, we are trying to time a good swim with the need for a bath!

Anyways, I read online that Dalmatians love Frisbee. He's a pretty good fetcher so I thought this might be accurate information. The videos below are about 30 seconds each and they show Scrubs learning how to play Frisbee in the water. He catches on quick as you will see. (As a side note, we are working on learning how to play on land, but right now, the return on land is not as good as in water requiring Wendi to get exercise and go and fetch the Frisbee herself.)

Anyways, enjoy!









Comment regarding Ryan

If you get the chance, take some time to read the comment left by Ryan Hartley's aunt Carolyn. I remember her very well from Kristi's wedding. She is a dear, wonderful lady. She gave some additional information on what exactly happened last Wednesday. If you'd like to read it, you can click on the link above and scroll down to the comments.

I know I have asked many times, but I continue to ask you to please pray for the Hartley family. Carolyn has included their address in her comment. Also, if you feel led to do something for this family, in lieu of flowers, a scholarship memorial fund for his son, Pacen Hartley has been set up in his name at First National Bank of New Mexico in Clayton or any of its branches. You may contact the bank at (505) 374-8317, Post Office Box 548, 201 Main St. Clayton, NM 88415-0548.

Quickly ...

3:30am Scrubs needs to pee
4:30am Scrubs need to do the other thing
5:30am Scrubs wants to eat
6:30am Scrubs wants to play (This is obvious because as you go to open his cage you can hear his tail flicking the sides a few hundred times a second)
7:30am Scrubs wants a walk (JB did this one)

Need I explain that I am a tad bit tired? Actually at 5:30am I became tempted to cry, but then I thought: Wendi, are you telling me that you are going to cry over one night of not-so-good sleep? Those of you who have followed my infertility saga know that this is nothing in comparison to the weeks I previously went with little to no sleep.

Other random thoughts:

You want a great laugh this morning? Read my friend Rachel's blog: All I ever needed to learn I learned on my Peds rotation. This post was so funny. Seriously, it will go down in blog humor history. (Sorry Hans, you have big shoes to ever write a post that competes.)

There is apparently a picture floating around with John and his tiara. I am trying desperately to get it. The thing is, I might need JB to facilitate this, and I am not sure how willing he will be.

John has the whole weekend off. THE WHOLE WEEKEND!

This morning we actually met the grandson of the main character killed in End of the Spear. Actually JB had met him earlier in the hospital which is hwo we got talking in the bagel shop this morning. His grandfather was Chad Allen in the movie! No joke! How cool is that? We plan to walk over to their house later with Scrubs. They live on base, and he is getting ready to be deployed. He said his kids would love to play with the dog for a bit, and his wife could use a break from four girls.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Purple Tiara

I just received an email from JB. It read:

"Seven admits. I am now wearing a purple tiara until noon!"

Apparently there was some sort of gamble going on. JB doesn't believe you can "jinx" a good day. His chief disagreed. John bet him that they wouldn't have a certain number of admits overnight. If John lost, he had to wear a purple tiara.

Apparently John lost. I have asked that he send a photo if possible. We'll see if he does.

My husband in a tiara. That is HILARIOUS!

Last drive to Pensacola

Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola

Today marks the end of rotation two!!!! Today is the last day JB has to make the three hour round trip commute to Pensacola.

We've decided that at the end of each rotation, we will celebrate. So tonight, we will go out for dinner. I have no idea where we are going to go, but we are going to go out and celebrate! John is done with Pensacola.

The rotation on the whole was not bad, and John said he will do a blog on it so I'll let him fill you in. He had a much more enjoyable experience then he did on OB. However, there was some really sad stuff here as well. When you are dealing with young children, you can imagine how difficult a bad report might be. Again, he can fill you in much better than I can since he was there and everything.
Here are a few other items of note:
  • I noticed there is now a little "film strip" icon on my blogger screen. I think I can load video straight to the blog! Wow! Blogger continues to evolve.
  • My two stories for The Wedding Magazine are coming along pretty nicely. My writing approach always goes the same way. The first two weeks are spent interviewing and compiling. Then I have a few days in the middle where I freak out, looking at all this information and figuring out how I will bring it together into a cohesive story. I complain to JB and he tells me not to worry, that he knows I can do it. Then somehow, during the last week, it takes shape and actually reads like a piece. I then spend the last week reading through each piece 2-3 times a day and trying to shave words off. I am about 200 words up on each piece. Cutting words is hard because at this point you feel every word is important, but you just keep shaving (or asking your husband his opinion) until you have it where you want it. I think I'll make the deadline! (I haven't ever missed one but I always freak out.)
  • I found out this week that my great friend at RLS Foundation, Beth, is leaving. I had a feeling this was going to happen as her husband was just relocated to Iowa and the drive is now three hours for her. She doesn't like working solo like I do and wants to be around people. So she found a new job. This, however, ultimately, means some changes for me. This includes heading up the Foundation's publications instead of just writing the text for them. The biggest task is the Foundation's quarterly publication NightWalkers. I have been writing the majority of articles for this publication for three years, however, I have not been heading it up. When a publication goes out four times a year (every three months), you are constantly working on it -- writing articles for the next issue while the current issue is at press. I currently head up The RLS Scientific Bulletin. However, that is only published two times a year. Two and four times is a big difference. In addition, we have other brochures and smaller pieces that I'll be taking on more of a leadership role for. I am excited about this and overwhelmed at the same time.
  • My parents are coming in next weekend! I cannot wait to see them and have them meet our new puppy. I love visitors and our B&B has had quite a few vacancies the last few weeks. It will be great to have them here.

Okay, off to wear my pup into the ground on our morning walk.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My zoo

True story.

I finally decide I need to take our bird Twain out of her cage for a bit and let her hang out in the office with me. After all, she lost her mate (okay, she killed him, but still, he's dead) and now she's been replaced by this puppy that gets all the attention.

Not five minutes after this bird perches herself on the back of my chair, the phone rings. Seeing that it is the RLS Foundation, I quickly try to get Twain to "step up" so that I can get her back in her cage. There's no way I can talk to anyone on the phone with this bird behind me.

Bird takes longer than expected to step up.

Phone is going on third ring.

Finally get bird to step up but I'm about to lose the call to my machine.

Instead of putting Twain in her cage, I opt for on top of her cage. The call shouldn't last too long.

Run back in the office and realize this is one of the members of the Board of Directors. Not someone that you just wrap up a conversation with quickly. She has some details to go over with me regarding one of our publications. I don't know this now but it will be forty minutes until this call concludes.

Bird starts chirping louder and louder but then chirping gets farther and farther away. I realize that she has flow her way into the kitchen.

Actually, more specifically, she is outside of the dog's den in the laundry room, chirping excessively.

At this I hear Scrubs begin to bark without coming up for air.

The door is shut so I don't think the caller could hear, but I knew, at some point, either the bird was going to wander somewhere she shouldn't be (I pictured between a cabinet where I couldn't reach her or next to an electrical cord she wanted to chew on) or the dog was going to have an embolism. Or even worse! The dog would get so frustrated with this antagonizing chirping bird that he'd pee from fright. We already know the vacuum causes him to pee.

I decided to go for it. I had no choice. I covered the speaker while the board member was talking and made a run for it: down the hall, around the dining room table, into the kitchen, over the gate, and then commenced a mad scrambling to catch the bird. She finally steps up, Scrubs finally settles down, and I choose to put her into her cage instead of on top of her cage.

The joys of working from home! All this work chasing down animals while conducting a very important phone conversation in my work out clothes. Not too bad.

The Easy Way and the Hard Way

I read the following passage in my devotional time this morning from one of Joyce Meyer's books:
Battlefield of the Mind. I thought it would be an encouragement to others. Many of us are going through some sort of trial. They aren't the same trial. Our journeys may be different but the trial is still the same. Hopefully this encourages you this morning that the journey is making us stronger and we must keep pressing on.

When Pharoh let the people go, God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God said, Lest the people change their purpose when they see war and return to Egypt. Exodus 13:17

You can be sure that anywhere God leads you, He is able to keep you. He never allows more to come on us that we can bear (I Cor. 10:13). Whatever He orders, He pays for. We do not have to live in a constant struggle if we learn to lean on Him continually for the strength we need.

If you know God has asked you to do something, don't back down just because it gets hard. When things get hard, spend more time with Him, lean more on Him and receive more grace from Him. (Heb 4:16)

Grace is the power of God coming to you at no cost to you, to do through you what you cannot do by yourself. Beware of thoughts that say, "I can't do this; it's just too hard."

Sometimes God leads us the hard way instead of the easy way, because He is doing a work in us. How will we ever learn to lean on Him, if everything in our lives is so easy that we can handle it by ourselves?

God led the Children of Israel the long, hard way because they were still cowards, and He had to do a work in them to prepare them for the battles thye would face in the Promised Land.
Most people think that entering the Promised Land means no more battles, but that is incorrect. If you read the accounts of what took place after Israelites crossed the Jordan River and went in to possess the land of promise, you will see that they fought one battle after another. But they won all those battles fought in God's strength and under His direction.

God led them the longer, harder route even though there was a shorter, easier one because He knew they were not ready for the battles they would face in possessing the land. He was concerned that when they saw the enemy, they might run back to Egypt, so He took them the harder way to teach them Who He was and that they could not depend on themselves.

When a person is going through a hard time, his mind wants to give up. Satan knows that if he can defeat us in our mind, he can defeat us in our experience. That's why it is so important that we not lose heart, grow weary and faint.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

6pm vs. 8pm

So I have decided. If JB can get home by 6pm, then I can survive this whole residency thing.

After nearly 7 weeks of extremely long days and tons of call nights, this entire week JB is supposed to be home by 6pm. It is amazing to me how much different the world looks when John rolls in at 6:00 vs. rolling in at 8:00. We can eat together, do some necessary things around the house, and sit down on the sofa together and relax. Last night we were even able to have Matt and Tiffany and little William over for dinner. However, when you get home at 8pm and have to leave at 5am, there isn't much time for anything. You eat a quick dinner and by then, John is ready for bed since there are only 8 hours before he has to leave again. Those two hours are glorious! John is on his way home right now, and I am so excited to have some time together this evening.

My days are pretty consistent and pretty busy. I have been trying to get up with JB at 5am. Somedays I am better at this then other days. Yesterday I meant to get up but fell back to sleep. I was woken up about 15 minutes later by pounding on the bedroom window. Apparently JB had gone to take the dog out in boxers and t-shirt and gotten himself locked out. The air conditioning drowns out the doorbell so he was left to wade around to our bedroom and wake me up that way.

I try to do my devotions between 5 and 6 and then I usually try to start working about 6am. At 7:30am I take a break and go on a 3 mile walk with Tiffany and Joia. I then continue working off and on throughout the day while taking the dog out for periodic breaks and short walks around the block. I then work until JB gets home and then do some sort of exercise with Scrubs in the evening -- either a long walk or a trip to the bay where there is lots of grass for Scrubs to run and play and wear himself out. If you watched the broccoli video I posted yesterday you can see how much energy that pup has.

I am enjoying working from home. It is very different not being around people all day, but I have instant messenger, email, and the phone to keep me busy not to mention weekly visits with the other wives and long talks with Scrubs. He and I have some great conversations. I remember my Grama telling me that when my dad was a little boy he would lay on the kitchen floor and tell their dog all his problems. I think her name was Mitsy? My dad swears that dog is in heaven waiting for him. Anyways, I am so busy that I do not have time to be lonely during the day. I also do not have time to be bored. I miss JB and miss some of the work interactions I had in Minnesota, but overall, I am very happy and blessed with this arrangement.

Anyways, JB should be home any minute. How nice is that!?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Scrubs vs. Broccoli

Video of my puppy

For some frustrating reason, I cannot get this dumb video to load on youtube. So, instead, here it is via link:

http://download.yousendit.com/5BA310977A388C31

It's a new video of Scrubs. So, if you are sick of dog videos and pictures, you can skip viewing it. However, if you'd like to see it, you'll just have to download it yourself. It will only be available for the next 7 days so don't wait too long! Get 'em while they're hot!

Yesterday JB came home around 5:45pm. Actually, Scrubs and I went to pick him up as I had the car. Scrubs is enjoying riding in the car and loves to see John. I cannot tell you how much better our evening was with John coming home at 6:00 instead of 8:00. I was sort of like, "Man! What do we do with all this time together!?" I even took Scrubs for a walk myself while John was home working on his autobiography for our adoption -- something I don't usually do because I don't want to sacrifice any time together. We ended up playing basketball with the Nipper boys (all four of them) around the block. Scrubs really loved playing basketball. He would chase the balls wherever they rolled and guard them until one of the boys could retrieve them. He also attempted to walk home with a complete stranger. I think he smelled the guy's dog! Geeesh. I guess my wish for a friendly dog has come true.

On a more sad note, we are becoming very doubtful that we are going to get to spend Christmas with our families in Fort Lauderdale. It just doesn't look like JB can get the schedule to work out for it. We'll see what ends up happening, but it may be me, JB and our pup on Christmas morning -- a first for us!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ryan Hartley

The funeral for Kristi's brother was today. PLEASE keep this family in your prayers. My heart is so heavy with this ... I don't want to put the family's address on the blog, but if you would like it, please send me an email, and I will send it to you. Also, there is a scholarship fund for Ryan's young son for those of you who would like to do something.

Patrick Ryan Harltey

Patrick Ryan Harltey, of Roy, New Mexico died Wednesday, Aug. 15th in a small plane crash near Mosquero, New Mexico. Thirty-two year old Ryan Harltey was born in Raton, New Mexico on Nov. 9, 1974.

Ryan was a loving husband, father, son, and brother. He devoted his life to his entire family. His heart and soul thrived on the family's ranch near Roy. Ryan's dedication to his family, his work, his friends and his way of life were surpassed by none. He was a cowboy through and through and a consummate construction worker starting at a very early age. He was fun loving and hardworking. Ryan will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Enrico and Gemma (Noni) Volpato, and his grandfather Patrick Hartley. He is survived by his wife of ten years, Melissa and his son, Pacen, his parents, Ray and Doris Hartley, and his grandmother, Ruth Hartley, all of the family's ranch near Roy.

He is also survived by his four sisters and their families, Kristi Hunt (Lee) of El Dorado, Lenni Trujillo (Tanner) of Abiquiu, Tandra Fudge (Chris) of Roswell, and Amy Hartley of Lubbock. He had one niece, Logan and two nephews, Raylee Hunt and Jackson Ryan Fudge. He is also survived by countless other relatives and friends. His wife is granddaughter of Jack and AnnaBí Lane, of Muleshoe.

Services for Patrick Ryan Hartley will be held on the family ranch on Maddox Rd. on the ranchís top country near Roy on Monday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. Interment will be on the family ranch immediately following. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship memorial fund for his son, Pacen Hartley has been set up in his name at First National Bank of New Mexico in Clayton or any of its branches. You may contact the bank at (505) 374-8317, Post Office Box 548, 201 Main St. Clayton, NM 88415-0548.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Yaksich Long Funeral Home of Raton, New Mexico.

Not bitter ... not broken

Today JB and I had our physicals for the adoption. The appointment was with another fellow resident who was extremely sweet. She has an adopted sister from Taiwan and couldn't help but say repeatedly how honored she was to take part in this process. John was seeing other patients, however, he stopped in for a few minutes and will get some of his other tests done later. We also went in early this morning for blood work and a urine sample. The good news is that it looks like we are healthy enough to be parents!

During the course of my appointment this afternoon, I found myself getting pretty emotional. In fact, during the drive on the way home, I burst out into tears. I am not exactly sure where those tears came from. I think part of the emotions is the fact that, as most of you know I don't ovulate. And if I do ovulate it usually 1-2 times a year. Well I did ovulate last month, I knew I was ovulating, and yet again, we are not pregnant. Now I know that this is likely. Even if I do successfully ovulate, we have a secondary "speed bump" in that there is some sort of sperm binding issue working against us. I know that. I also know that a pregnancy would completely halt our adoption in its tracks. And yet, it is difficult not to get hopeful.

The other thing that got to me was just being in a doctor's office in general. I kept thinking that the last time I was in a doctor's office, I was doing my fourth round of IVF. As this physician spoke with me and she asked me about my infertility history, she seemed flabbergasted as I listed the procedures: 2 rounds of clomid, 5 rounds of artificial insemination, 2 harvests for IVF, 4 IVF transfers ... Did we really do all that? I told her we still had 7 embryos to go back for and as I said it I thought, "How can I do that again?" I don't want to do that again. Will I ever, emotionally, be able to handle the process of IVF again nevertheless a minimum of two times more? More shots, more pills, more appointments. Of course my ever rationale husband would tell me, "Now Wendi, that is many years away. Is there any point in worrying now about that?" No dear JB. There isn't.

I realized that during the last four years, I was going to the doctor at least five times a month for infertility related issues. This is my best estimate. Some months were more. Some months were less. Some months I went five times in a week! Anyways, with that modest estimate, that equals 60 times a year. Multiply that by four years and you have 240 appointments. Now think about the fact that most of these required needles and exams most people don't enjoy and discussions of an extremely personal part of our lives, and, you know, I just can't believe I actually made it through that. Nor can I imagine going through it again.

The subject of "bitterness" has come up in recent weeks in numerous conversations I have had regarding infertility and grief. Even today, bitterness is my constant enemy. I am very careful not to allow myself to make calloused comments or hateful statements. Phrases like, "I'll never get pregnant. What am I doing wrong? Why can't it be my turn? That's so unfair etc. etc." These phrases just have to be eliminated from my vocabularly. John helps me in this. Early on in my infertility journey I had an image of myself at my own funeral. I realized that the eulogy could go two ways. Either everyone would say, "You know, from the moment she found out she was barren, that woman became the most bitter, biting old hag I ever met ..." Or, people could say, "You know, even though she fought that infertility crud, she never let it get the best of her." I wanted the latter! I wanted to be happy.

But this is hard when you feel like you are the only woman in the world who can't get pregnant. For awhile, every pregnant woman I saw was just a stab in the gut -- a reminder of what I couldn't have. To combat this, I made myself PRAY for the woman and her baby every time a pregnant person passed me. Well that did the trick. You can't be silently cursing someone when you are praying for them now can you? I also started the blog to help share my thoughts and feelings with friends and family and open up the conversation on the topic. I told people how they could help. I asked friends to be sensitive with pregnancy announcements. I made it a personal goal to help educate the public about infertility. I discovered Target.com and realized I could send a baby gift without ever having to walk back into the baby section again! I decided I would not attend any baby showers for the sake of my own sanity. I helped start the support group at my church in Minnesota. I found "Hannah's Prayer" online. I started going to counseling. I turned to my best bud Kristi and a few other close friends who had experienced the pain of infertility. I did everything that I could to stay healthy. I did not want to turn into a bitter woman. I did not want to get depressed. There were many nights JB would go down his "depression checklist" and then tell me that I was doing okay. "You aren't depressed. You are just very, very sad," he would say. He learned how to help me. We learned how to help each other.

I am not glad we had to deal with infertility. What I am glad about is that I have learned how to grieve. I have learned how to comfort others who are grieving. I have understood what it feels like to question God, your faith, your stability, your marriage, your future, eternity. And I have come out on the other side. Today in the doctor's office I think I realized that I am no longer "the infertile woman". I am the "woman who will soon be a mom." I was so relieved to have all that behind me, at least for awhile. It felt good!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Scrubs and his purple blanket

I love my husband

I love my husband. I just really, really love him. I just love when he is home. I love just hanging out with him. I love falling asleep next to him. I sleep soooo much better when he is there. I think when he isn't there I sleep a bit more guarded, and as a result, just do not sleep well. I also love that last night was my husband's last call night for like three weeks. YES!

John has only been home for about 24 hours, but seriously, it feels like a week! Yesterday while he was taking a long nap trying to recover from call, I went to the grocery store and finally restocked our kitchen.

Did you know that grocery shopping is one of my least favorite activities? Maybe that should have been one of my eight random facts the other day. This is why I miss Super Target so much. That place was great! JB could grocery shop while I wandered around the fun side of the store. Oh well.

Honestly though ... grocery shopping probably parallels with going to the dentist (sorry Rachel.) But going on payday weekend! That's like a root canal or something even worse! Yikes! I was having trouble navigating successfully due to the sheer number of carts present. Unfortunately, I have no idea when payday weekend is to prevent this from occurring in the future. John's pay is still not regulated and normal so payday weekend means very little to me. (How hard is it to get someone's pay correct?!)

However, my jaunt to the Commissary wasn't as painful for one very good reason. I took some recipes from Lesley's blog (Go Les!) This made it much less intimidating to find some meals to make. We'll see how they turn out. Keep these coming Lesley! If you don't know what I am talking about, check out the easy recipe link on the side of Lesley's blog.

John cooked some bratz on the grill (we miss Minnesota and the Sviggum farm!) while I put together some fruit salad. Folks, if you don't know the secret to great fruit salad let me tell you -- it is one raspberry yogurt. Put any fruit you want in with one raspberry yogurt and you've got a fantastic fruit salad. We had blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and grapes. It was great! While we ate our dinner we watched the movie Nowhere in Africa. Has anyone seen this movie? I think I liked it, but definitely cannot recommend it. It was beautiful and interesting but quite strange. Anyone agree (or disagree?)

We took a break midway through the movie to take Scrubs on a hike near the Commissary. If you didn't know it my dear local blog readers, there's a great hiking, walking trail just before you get to the Commissary area. Scrubs loved it! JB and I also enjoyed it. John would come back anytime with the dog. I don't think I would come unless JB was with me. The woods freak me out a bit. Maybe I'll go without JB when my dog is a bit bigger.

We returned and finished our movie while Scrubs fell asleep on the couch and JB and I ate some milk and cookies. Well, JB drank the milk. Those of you who know me well know that milk is not something I enjoy drinking straight. I can do it in cereal but not just in a glass.

Anyways, what a fun night!!! I love my husband and love when my husband is home.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A bit of this and a bit of that

Pensacola
It's Saturday morning, and I am anxiously awaiting JB's arrival. He did his last call night in Pensacola last night. He now has one more week -- just four more round trip drives before he is off of that rotation. I cannot wait! My Tante Jan wrote on a comment recently that she "hopes I never get used to him being gone 80 hours a week." I never thought about it like that, but I agree! I really try to have a good attitude but folks, I really don't like it. I know that JB supposedly started with two of the more time intensive rotations, and I keep trying to remind myself of that. However, getting used to being by yourself is not something that is coming easily to me. I am so excited that he will be back on base and not doing any call for awhile.

Scrubs
Scrubs and I just got home for a walk. We walk a lot. We walk close to six miles a day. We are also starting to jog a little bit together. He's turning into a mighty fine dog if I do say so myself. He loves ice cubes and the dishwasher and peanut butter. We still feed him out of his chew toys and not out of his bowl, and if I put peanut butter on a chew toy, he will march right into his kennel and wait for me to arrive with the prize. He loves to chase his tail and chew on his back foot. He follows me around for every chore I do -- patiently waiting for me to throw every piece of clothes into the dryer and pull every pot out of the cabinet. He seems to be coming closer and closer to being house broken which is always encouraging. He sleeps through the night or only gets up one time and goes absolutely bonkers when JB walks into the house each evening -- his tail flickering back and forth a mile a minute. Each evening he sits on the couch with us until he falls asleep and then willingly goes to his crate for the night. What a fun friend! Of course, there is a lot of work involved as well that I don't take lightly, but the benefits are definitely worth it.

Hartleys
In other news, I spoke with Kristi last night. She and her family are doing as well as could be expected. I ask that you please just continue to pray for her family. Primarily pray for comfort during this very difficult time. Ryan and Jeff were scouting out land for Ryan and Dad to build some trails. They have been running a construction business. Dad was waiting up ahead with the horses for the plane to arrive and land, and it never arrived. They are planning a funeral on Monday and then Jeff's funeral will be on Tuesday. Jeff's family is very close to the Hartley's. His daughter was in Kristi's wedding. Like I said, when your town is 200 people, you know everyone. Kristi will stay at the ranch for awhile to help, but it is a very difficult situation. I was planning to go and see Kristi for a long weekend in early October. Now I am not sure when I will go. I have left it up to Kristi to tell me when she needs me. Right now there are so many people there I would just be in the way but as things settle down, I hope to spend some time with my best bud. I love their family so much and am so blessed by them. For those of you who don't Kristi, she and I were college roommates and have been bosom buddies ever since.

Writing
My stories for The Wedding Magazine are coming along pretty nicely. I plan to post them online as soon as they go to press so you can read them although I am not sure how many of you are interested in catering and outdoor weddings. I have another interview with one of the caterers via phone at 3pm today.

Parents
I am also anxiously counting the days until my parents come up to Eglin for Labor Day! I am so excited to see them and introduce them to our new home. The last time my mom was here was when we moved in so the place was in shambles. It will be nice to have her here without having to put her to work.

Adoption
Oh, I also meant to tell everyone that Thursday night, JB had dinner with some new local friends who have a two year old daughter they adopted from China. It was wonderful to meet them. Hannah is just precious! They have put us in touch with a whole "northern Florida" network of support that we look forward to connecting with over the next few years. This is a great answer to prayer. Speaking of the adoption, JB and I have our physicals on Monday. These are the last things we need before sending all of the required paperwork to the adoption agency. At that point, we should be able to proceed with our home study! Things are moving slowly, but they are moving.

All right, off to get a bit of work done before JB gets home. Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My first tag - awww......

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
(**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I played the clarinet for four years. JB played the clarinet as well. We played in the band together. We were also on the same basketball team for a year.

2. When asked the other day what I wish I could do without penalty, I decided it was eat anything. I don't like to eat a lot, but I do love to eat foods that aren't good for me. If I could eat all the choclate, french fries, hushpuppies, Long John Silvers, ice cream, and oreos that I wanted with them registering like I was eating green beans, I'd be very pleased.

3. If I could change one thing about myself, I wish I could wear funky shoes with great big pumps.

4. I have loved to write since I was a very, very small. My mom has old stories of mine from when I was in the first and second grade that were pages and pages long. I used to fill up notebooks with stories.

5. I used to beat up my brother and then clean his room so he wouldn't tell on me. If he still told, my parents would agree that I had already served my punishment and would not repunish me.

6. I used to think that the crust on the bread really was better for you. I actually only discovered this was a lie my parents told me so that I would eat the crust when I was 21 and married and I repeated this to John. He immediately informed me that my parents had successfully "duped" for 21 years.

7. I vividly remember my first rollercoaster ride with my Dad. It was Thunder Mountain at Disney World. My Dad tried to explain to me that I could yell and scream as much as I wanted, but I really didn't want to do that. It's funny that my father, who hates roller coasters, tried to convince me that they were fun. I don't think he really believed it.

8. My very first memory of childhood is bringing my brother home from the hospital. I was two, but I have very clear memories of going to the hospital to get him and hoping that they would let us take the wheelchair home because that would be a great toy to play on.

Okay, so who am I going to tag:
  • Lesley
  • Tara
  • Rachel
  • FunkyMonkey
  • Gabbi
  • Joia
  • Kristen
  • Steg family

(I'll let the Rays off the hook because they are just moving into a new house and Plan B Tara because she just had a new baby and Justin because I can't ever figure out how to get into myspace without getting mad!)

(I've never done this tagging thing before, so now I have to go to each of their blogs and tell them they are "tagged" and that they have to come here and follow the directions.)

(Oh, by the way, I was tagged by Amy.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gracie's first day at FLCS

My niece grace became yet another Fort Lauderdale Christian School student this week. She started five day a week pre-school. Isn't this picture just the cutest? That little uniform is so cute. I totally stole this picture from her mother Gabbi's blog. How can you get mad at me for telling the world how cute your kid is? Of course, Grace would probably be fine starting kindergarten this year, but she's just a tad too young.

Hard to believe that there actually won't be an absence of a Kits. at FLCS since the Kits first inundated the place in the early 80's.

Very sad news

Last night the phone rang at 10:15. This obviously caused me to jump as people know we are not night owls and never really call us after 9pm. I got a call from my best friend Kristi. Her older brother Ryan was killed in a small plane crash. Ryan was 34. I really don't know many more details at this point except that the man who he was flying with (who I know only by name) was also killed.

I really didn't sleep much at all last night after this call. This is a town of 200 so not only does this impact the family but everyone that lives there. If you think of it please pray for Ryan's wife -- Melissa, and her young son Payson (who is about 6). Please pray for his parents Ray and Doris. And for his four sisters: Kristi, Linnie, Tandra and Amy. Kristi was on the way to the ranch when she called which was infamous for bad service, and needless to say, Kristi wasn't speaking very clearly either.

I really don't know what else to say. This has been a tough few years for the Hartley's with a variety of frustrations and illnesses and they just need the arms of the Lord right now. He's the only one that can possibly bring comfort to this situation.

I love you Hartleys.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's time for some trivia

It's been too long since we did any trivia. So here we go:

Nearly a third of all Americans did this today - most of us did it before we had breakfast

Here's the past winners list:
Cindy V.
Doormark x2
Ebby
Gabbi x 4
Jason
Joanna x2
Justin
Kristen x3
Patrick
Tara (in Cali)
Ray
Suebaby x2
Randy
Funkmonkey
Nicole

I'm not a lefty!

I've prided myself most of my life on being fairly ambidextrous. I don't often discuss my former athletic days, but I could play both volleyball and basketball pretty well left-handed. My left handed layup was just as good as my right, and when needed, I could hit in volleyball with my left as well.

But today I realized, I'm really not ambidextrous at all.

Today, I am trying, fairly pitifully, to use a mouse with my left hand.

For about two weeks now, my right arm has been really bothering me. My shoulder, the front side of my elbow, and my wrist. I'm not sure if it was all the push-ups I have been doing (I'm up to 35 straight!) or if it the fact that I am at a desk all day and a chair all day -- both of which I have never sat at all day before moving here.

At Mayo, I had a chair that had a moving arm rest. That way I could always have support for my elbow. This chair doesn't have that. So, I decided to switch sides. Make my left arm do the major mouse work. See if my right arm starts feeling better.

The thing is, have you ever tried this?

I knew it would be hard. My boss at Mayo uses a left handed mouse for similar reasons. Occasionally he would ask me to do something on this computer, and I'd get so mad at his clicker being on the wrong side of the mouse. It would drive me crazy.

I just don't think any of us think about how much we do without even thinking about it. I zip around on my computer using function keys and shortcuts all day long. I make my screen bigger and larger constantly with a touch of my house and holding down the control key. But try to do that with my left hand. Yeah right!

Want to drive your spouse or family member crazy! Switch the mouse to a left handed mouse. (You have to go into the control panel to do this.) They'll be yelling at you in now time! It's incredibly frustrating. So much that I do is engrained in my memory like walking or riding a bike. Change one little thing and see what you can accomplish.

I'll let you know how long I can put up with this madness!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weekly Lunch


Not sure how well you can read this but the myself and five other wives have been getting together once a week for lunch. You can click on the picture and it will open in a bigger window. This is our third week in a row! Bravo girls! I took them back to that awesome New Orleans restaurant that Jenny took me to. Andrea had spent the last four years in New Orleans so she enjoyed the return to familiarity. This place is a whole in the wall from the outside but awesome inside and not a place I'd ever have gone without someone to take me there. I got that same awesome banana and chicken salad. With the four youngsters, we had taken every highchair in the restaurant (and Della didn't even use one!) I really enjoy these lunches and the reminder that I am not the only wife with a husband who is an intern.

It is currently 6:56pm. I just got off the phone with JB. He is just leaving Pensacola. I think he's going to pick some dinner up on the way home. I miss him!

Don't take my photo




The above was our attempt at getting a picture of Scrubs -- primarily Scrubs with his new "dog tag" in case he gets lost. Picture number two is probably the closest we came to accomplishing this task. Me sitting across from him and having the camera just provoking him is asking a lot. You can also spot the now clean, purple blanket in the background -- a blanket that, gulp, was actually a gift to me, from my mom. Sorry mom! But he really, really likes it, and if I tried to take it back, things would not go well. I need to get a video of him with that blanket. If I bring it back into the laundry room, he follows me, waits for me to drop it, then politely picks it up and prances into the kitchen where he drops it in the same spot every time. This is his blanket to chew his ice cubes (he LOVES ice cubes).

Yesterday was, a much better day for the little pup. It was also an encouraging day for me. I went to the dentist to have him look at my left crown which has been sore. Rachel, I think you were right. He thinks it was too high and filed the tooth down for me. Hopefully, the pain when I eat goes away -- if not, then it might be indicative that something else is wrong. He was a really great dentist which I am glad about so I can just use him for the next three years. There are dentists on base, but they only see active personnel. They also require these airmen to go. JB started getting some pretty heated emails about him being "undeployable" because his teeth were dirty. Quite funny. I chose this dentist strictly on the Internet as I didn't have a recommendation to go on when I needed to make the appointment.

I am now walking two times a day with the dog. In the morning I am walking with Tiffany (and hopefully Joia) a 3+ mile loop. In the evening, I am trying to do another 2+. The morning walk really helps wear the dog down. The evening route isn't always as successful. I think we may need to double it. Our evening walk to the water park and back is often broken up by tons of little kids asking me if they can "pet the puppy." Scrubs does very well (mainly because he is too tired to do otherwise) just sitting there and letting the kids pet him. We also ran into a couple yesterday with two Great Danes. These are apparently very docile dogs but absolutely HUGE. Here's a sample pic below. Scrubs does great though despite the fact that he is half their size!

Monday, August 13, 2007

One time is acceptable, but TWO

Hi Marilyn,

Beth is out of the office until September 1st. I'm trying to handle her issues. Can you provide me with a little more direction on what it is you need? I'm sorry to be an incontinence but I am doing my best to not ask Beth any questions while she is taking some time off.


Wendi

The email above is one I actually wrote today. Did you catch my error? Look again. Incontinence should be, inconvenience.

Unfortunately, this is the SECOND time in my life that this exact same thing happened to me. If you type this word: inconvience into an email and you have spellchecker on, the first suggestion the spellchecker makes is incontinence. I clicked too fast and before I knew it, for the second time in my life, the email was gone. "Noooo! Stop!!!! I didn't want that word." But it's too late. The email is gone, lost somewhere in cyberspace just waiting to thoroughly embarrass me.

And then the apology email that has to follow. How do you explain THAT one?

What's even worse is that this email actually says: "I'm trying to handle her issues."

Oh bother. What a dumb mistake.

A moment

I had a moment last night that I tried to remember why we got a dog.

Actually the moment came in three parts.

Part one of the moment was when we discovered that while I was vacuuming, Scrubs had peed on our white down comforter! We very rarely let him out of the kitchen. He was only out for a few minutes. I think the vacuum may have scared him into peeing. So, that'll have to go to the dry cleaner.

Part two of the moment was when he peed on his favorite purple blanket in the kitchen. I still don't know why he did that! He loves his blanket. I think he was wrestling with it and got excited and peed on it.

Part three of the moment was when he went on a walk with JB and came back MORE excited than when he left. I told John I think they actually went around the block and took naps on the lawn instead of walking to the park and back. The dog was more wired upon returning then he was when leaving. He was so wired that when I let him out to go to the bathroom, he took off with one of my flip-flops and left it in the yard somewhere. It took me almost five minutes to find it in the dark!

But then, the cute little pup fell asleep on the couch -- obviously whippd from such an exhausting evening of peeing and hiding flip flops. He was so cute and soft just lying there that I decided to forgive him and give another chance to be a better puppy. We'll see how today goes!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Finally a white cloud

Now that it is 7:17am, I don't think it is possible for me to "jinx" the white cloud that finally seemed to follow JB to work in Pensacola this weekend.

You physicians know what I am talking about. Doctors often call someone a black or a white cloud depending on how much work is generated when they are in the hospital. So far this year, JB's white cloud status from medical school had been whisped away by some pretty hefty black clouds. Example: his first night on call at Eglin and his first night on call at Pensacola were considered abnormally busy evenings. The one in Pensacola they claimed was near record-breaking.

I talked to JB at 8:30pm last night and there were only 9 people in the hospital and only 1 admission. This in comparison to his previous night call: 33 people in the hospital and 11 admissions. Needless to say my JB sounded like a whole new man! He had taken a nap (since it's Saturday there aren't any normal weekday things to accomplish) and was actually planning on going to bed with the hope of a fairly normal night's sleep.

I haven't heard from him yet but a normal night's sleep would mean a normal Sunday for us -- instead of a Sunday that he has to sleep through. I am praying for a white cloud!

Last night I hung out with Joia. Her husband Phil was on call here on base. Each intern does this approximately once a month, and it was Phil's first night. He sounded quite white as well which was wonderful. Joia brought dinner here to cook so that when Phil called she could run it over. It was a fantastic meal idea and one I will actually steal. (Joia says that Kraft's website is a great one for meal ideas.) She put chicken, broccoli, cheese, some ranch dressing, rice, and spices in tinfoil and cooked at 400 for 30 minutes! What a great meal to cook for our husbands when they are on call as we need something easy to transport. Of course she made one for the two of us too.

While she brought dinner to Phil, I attempted to exhaust my pup. Going on a walk every morning at 7:30 helps incredibly. A midday walk would help but Scrubs usually isn't interested. (Maybe that's because the heat index was 115 yesterday?) But by 6:30 he is raring to go again. Last night we met our new neighbors. We now have 3 families (including ours) living on our street! Right across from us is Chip and April (who have the twin daughters). And now, joining them on that side of the street is Tiffany and Doug and their two dogs. Scrubs loved playing with them, and I barely had to walk him because he just went wild with them for about 20 minutes while I chatted with Tiffany. No big surprise that Tiffany is due to have a baby in November. (Sorry, I guess that's a tad bit bitter and sarcastic but seriously, every woman in our neighborhood has five kids or a huge belly.) But it was still nice to meet some more people close by. It's amazing how different the base is. We really go out of our way to meet neighbors here. I love it!

Joia returned and took Keenan (her awesome five month old) and myself to see Turkey Run (is that what it's called Joia? I think I might have messed it up again?) John and I have to go here. It's a boardwalk with water all around it that you can just put a raft in and float down. It's the neatest place. We are definitely going to go and try this.

She also took me to Dairy Queen. Oh sweet heaven a chocolate oreo cookie blizzard. Is there any surprise what I would order? It was delightful and the first one I have had since leaving Minnesota. Okay, so I did have a sonic blast the night of our failed IVF, but quite honestly, I'm more of a fan of DQ because they serve chocolate ice cream. At Sonic, JB has to get them to put chocolate syrup in to fake the chocolate! :) Very fun.

Scrubs and I fell asleep on the couch together last night. I thought about staying there but just wasn't sure if I'd wake up to find him gnawing on the arm of the sofa. So I finally lugged him to his little den. He is still sleeping in his little crate and then hanging out in the bigger crate during the day. I need to switch his sleep to the bigger crate, but he isn't that crazy about it and really likes the tiny one for sleeping. So we'll see.

Scrubs is doing really well. He sits, lies down, and even leaves pretty well. He really doesn't have any accidents as long as I watch him very closely. Even my slippers. For awhile, anytime we left him out in the living room, he'd go on a mission to find my slippers and chew on one until I found it. But now, he will sniff it, think about it, and walk by. This is good. He's doing pretty good meeting new people as well.

The thing that is probably driving me the most crazy is his strong will in deciding when and if he will "come". If he feels like it, he trots right in. If I tell him John is inside (a big fat lie), he will come. If I have a good treat, he will come. But if not, he will look right at me and continue eating the rocks or the daisies or whatever else tastes good at that moment. We start puppy kindergarten next month. Hopefully she can help with that!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Yes!

Scrubs told me had to go potty today. Well not told me, told me, but successfully whined and walked to the door and sat down. Yes! Success! I am really pushing him. After I wake him up from a nap I don't take him out right away even though I know he has to go like crazy. Trying to get him to tell me he has to go. YAY SCRUBS!

Apples and Oranges

I don't know if it is really fair to compare Florida and Minnesota. They are such different states after all. Florida has the beach and sunshine and oranges. Minnesota has snow and skiing and apple orchards! Florida has one season: summer. Minnesota has two: summer and winter.

But I've now been a Floridian again for over two months. I feel it fair to accurately present what I think of returning to life in the Sunshine state. So here, are my current opinions.

Weather
So this section should be pretty obvious. The weather here is, glorious. Okay, so I should be fair. I have hesitated in saying this lest God come down and smite me (or as Bruce Almighty says: "Smite me thy mighty smiter") and send me back to Minnesota on a bolt of lightning. (That's a joke folks!) But, in all seriousness, I hesitated in admitting that, well, it IS hot. It's quite warm. Baking actually. However, I really do love it and would take the warm temperatures over the freezing ones everyday and any day. I will be able to go for a walk or a run 12 months a year. I don't know if everyone here will do that. They'll probably huddle in doors with hot chocolate when it drops to 60. But 60 is nothing in Minnesota. So John and I will make everyone think we are crazy jogging the neighborhood in the "dead of winter!"

People
I am aware, every single day, that while we have returned to Florida, we haven't returned to Fort Lauderdale. People in south Florida are just plain rude, mean, and cranky. Now not all people mind you, but the majority really are. I really don't know why this is true, but it is. I know New York has a bad rap for rude people, but I think Fort Lauderdale ties it nicely. Maybe this is because Fort Lauderdale is filled with folks who have retired from New York City. Now again, this is a generalization.

We have returned to the Bible belt -- the south. Southern hospitality is alive and well. I was praying that this would not be a part of the country that I had to be informed I was tall everywhere I went. Thankfully, it isn't! I very rarely here tall jokes or wise cracks and for that I am thankful. Drivers will wave you in in traffic. (In Fort Lauderdale, if they wave, they are waving only one finger!) It's a different part of the country. I can most compare it to Kentucky. It's most like the life I lived there. Good ol' southern folks.

It wouldn't be fair to compare without throwing Minnesota in. The people in Minnesota are ... nice. "Minnesota nice" as JB and I affectionately named it. Everyone is very pleasant, smiling, saying hello. However, they are really just doing that to be polite, because they are "Minnesota nice." Now please don't be offended if you are from Minnesota reading this. Not everyone is like this of course. Many Minnesotans are quite hospitable and not in the "Minnesota nice" category. But the majority of people just want to get to know you on a polite, surface level. They don't want to go deeper like the southerners. Does that make sense?

Convenience
One of the things that I miss most about Minnesota is the convenience of where we lived. I loved living downtown. I loved walking everywhere. I loved filling up our car with gas every other month. I loved the underground subway. I loved our Super Target and how close it was. I loved that I had figured out a way to get almost everywhere downtown through that underground subway. I had memorized every nook and cranny of that place. I loved that I walked three minutes to work. I loved that we lived in a condo requiring no upkeep. I loved being across the street from the gym. I loved all of our friends living so close, especially Dave and Les, just two floors up. (Awww man, that makes me sad just thinking about it.)

I do like living on base. I like having friends like Matt and Tiffany right around the block that I can borrow milk from. (Okay, so I haven't borrowed milk yet, but I would if I needed it.) I like that I am learning most of my neighbors' names and that kids play outside without a second thought. No one is really afraid for the safety of children on base and everyone truly seems to trust each other. People wave at passing cars. I like that there is a grocery store and BX (Kmart type store) right down the street from us. However, after that, the convenience ends. We are filling up our car a lot. Any restaurant, other than the few fast food places on base, require quite a hike. Nothing is very close. This is a bit inconvenient and Minnesota definitely wins in this category.

Friends
This is a tough section for me to write. Man do we miss our friends. I would say that we miss our families too, and we do. However, we have both been away from our families for over a decade so that has became pretty "usual" to us.

I remember when we left Kentucky. Leaving the Wilsons and Josh and Sarah was VERY hard. (It wasn't hard leaving Ron and Ebby because they came WITH us!) We LOVED living across the street from Josh and Sarah. It was awesome. We were at each other's homes all the time.

Leaving Minnesota was equally as hard. So many good friends left behind. It does comfort me slightly that many of them have dispersed (or will) as well. The Rays have relocated to North Carolina. Tara is in California. Ajit went to Arizona. The Yuans probably won't stay too long past their four year commitment if Kristen has anything to do with it. The Philips, likewise, will probably relocate. But then there are those people that have remained. Hans and Rachel! The Jones! The women in my support group! Coworkers and friends at church. The list goes on and on. Saying good bye to these people is so hard. We have already made some great friends here, and I am so blessed by that. But leaving behind friends in Minnesota is really tough on me to think about still.

Schedule
So I will try to keep this brief. Complaining doesn't help anyone. But JB's schedule has been very difficult for both of us. We are used to being around each other a lot. When we lived in Kentucky, I was a work-a-holic, but JB worked from home, and we saw each other all the time. When we were in Minnesota, he was in medical school, but we were always right downtown together, able to connect for a quick lunch or conversation. He was also home at more reasonable hours.

And then, there's Florida. Now granted, I've been told that JB started with two of the more time consuming rotations. But man oh man the guy is gone A LOT. It's a lot of hours, and a lot of hours away from each other. It isn't that I am bored (not at all) or even lonely (I have friends I feel like I could connect with at anytime.) It's more that I just miss my best friend. I miss having him around and seeing him and hanging out with him.

Last night we had a nice evening. John got home at 6:30 but brought food for dinner. We ate hummus and pitas and fruit and crackers and cheese by the bay -- our dinner only interrupted when Scrubs saw a family playing in the bay and decided to join them, diving straight into the water. We also had an interesting diversion when a man came by with his two labs who were so excited to see Scrubs that they pulled the man down the hill. Like, he fell on his but down the embankment! That meant JB had to give the pup a bath after his swim. We are wondering if this is going to bring an end to letting him off the leash at the bay. We can't bathe him every evening!

But I digress ...

I say all that to say that sometimes, we do get some nice, quality time together. But the moments aren't as frequent as either of us would like. John left at 5am this morning for Pensacola. He will be home on Sunday morning. If he didn't get an sleep, he'll sleep until mid-day Sunday leaving only a few hours before the start of another week rolls around. That's a bit frustrating. When your loved one is working twice as much as a "normal work week", you lose 40 hours a week of quality time together. I'm not quite used to that yet.

Conclusion
In conclusion, I have decided, that in all fairness, I can't say that Florida is hands down, the winner in the comparison between past and present homes. I also can't call Minnesota a loser just because it has the worst weather in America. It's apples and oranges I suppose. The secret is learning to be content, in all things, wherever you are, right now. That's all I know for sure.