Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Wolf vs. Bad Wolf

Mary (my mom's friend who functioned as my second mother when my mom was pregnant with my sister and too sick to feed me. I used to call her MarMa basically fusing her name with mom!) was over last night and told me a great story that she read on SuzeBlogz's blog that I had to share...


One evening an old Apache told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is The Spirit - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,"Which wolf wins?"

The old Apache simply replied, "The one you feed.."

Which one will you feed today?

Popsicles in a shot glass

Derek is sick and we're pretty sure it's strep throat. Seeing as he's now a doctor, he self diagnosed and started himself on antibiotics, but is still in a lot of throat pain. Striving to be a good and creative wife, last night I made popsicles for him with what I had to work with. Shot glasses, juice, and mini popsicle sticks from my waxing kit. I mixed different kinds of juice, poured it into shot glasses, and after it started to harden a little - stuck the waxing sticks in the middle! He loved them and they really helped his throat!

New Design!

I played around all morning to find a new background I liked and I think I found it! I even learned how to make a banner as a picture with writing in the middle of it in place of a header and it was quite challenging for me. I know many people know how to do this in a split second but this was pretty monumental for me! Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Portland - looking for a place to live

This past week we stayed at Kristen and Terrance's house looking for a place to live for when we move to Portland in June. We originally planned on renting a place and really had no intention of buying. However, when we got there and realized that Portland is really a renter's market we were shocked. Rent rates are very high there and talking with Kristen and Terrance (who both used to be in the mortgage business) we realized there was a very good chance that if we bought a place our mortgage payment would be less than a rental payment.

So we got together with Mike Howe, a Realtor who is friends with Terrance and Kristen to start looking at houses. He was awesome and super helpful. He explained all about this $8000 tax credit coming up and also put up with us sending him hundreds of listings to view. After looking for a few days, however, we realized that what we were looking for was just a touch out of our price range and we didn't LOVE anything in our price range. We felt like we would be settling if we did buy and that we should be patient and wait until we move up to Portland and be able to have more time to look. We also realized that this will be Derek's last significant vacation for quite a few years and that we were spending it stressing over houses and scrambling to find the perfect one instead of relaxing and enjoying it. So we decided to go back to the rentals, and take one that is smaller (and an apartment) than we would have normally gone for (and therefore cheaper) and begin the search again once we are back in Portland. We also only signed a 10 month lease so that if we do find something to buy that we love we won't be committed for too long to a rental. I will be sending out change of address cards / graduation announcements shortly. I'm just SO thrilled to have an address to call home...even if only for 10 months! :)

Throughout our stay in Portland, Kristen and Terrance really wined and dined us. They were amazing and so helpful with our hunt for houses to buy as well as places to rent. They also brought us out to one of their favorite bars for trivia night which was a blast. We went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant (can't remember the name but it was SUPER yummy!) and also got to experience lots more of Terrance's professional cooking! Their two and a half year old, Jack, as well as their two dogs made the living situation exciting and also constantly full of entertainment! Thanks again for an awesome time in Portland! We can't wait to move there!

We flew down to San Diego late last night and will be here for just about a month. We have quite a few little trips planned throughout so our free time is actually very limited here, but we are hoping to catch up with and see as much family and friends as we can before we head up to our new home in Portland!

Drive to Portland from West Virginia - Day 4

We didn't leave until 9:25am our last day so that we could get a little extra sleep and make sure we were both feeling a bit better (which we both were). We drove 497 miles and it was a BEAUTIFUL drive! We passed Lake Umatilla which then turns into a bunch of different rivers that end up going right through Portland.

There was a lot of beach camping that we will have to look into more once we move there and go try out! There was some waterfall we passed that was beautiful and also a big attraction (there was actually traffic to get's been awhile since we've seen traffic)! We also saw a stern wheeler boat which reminded us of when we went on one in Charleston and will definitely have to look that up to go on. We also passed a huge Outlet Mall which I got very excited about seeing as it wasn't very far outside or Portland! Yay for good shopping again!! :)

Before heading to Kristen and Terrance Baxter's house (my girlfriend who I've known since elementary school that we were staying with during our time in Portland), we stopped by one housing appointment to look at a rental. It was pretty much horrible and was quite disheartening considering I had it pegged as my favorite from what I had seen online.

We then went to the Baxter's house and hung out with them. Terrance made us a gourmet meal (seriously - he should be a chef) and we had a great time just hanging out. They made us feel so welcome and got us very excited to be moving to such a great place as Portland. Thank you so much to them for being such gracious hosts!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Drive to Portland from West Virginia - Day 3

Highlights Day 3:

* Left at 7:35am

* Derek feeling a bit better but my throat starting to feel super dry and scratchy. I didn't sleep very well.

* Had a yummy breakfast of cheerios, hard boiled egg whites, little bit of OJ, and a little bit of decaf tea for my throat

* SUPER dense fog on the 80 when we left Cheyenne and we had to drive really slow. It was actually a little scary. Looked like a complete white out.

* Saw lots of snow in WY and ID. It was beautiful!

* I got to nap lots today and Derek drove the whole way.

* Arrived in Boise, Idaho at 6pm. Drove 716 miles today.

* Checked into a Comfort Suites which is our new favorite hotel. WAY better than the Comfort Inn. This hotel is the nicest we stayed in and the cheapest by $10! Huge room and huge comfy king size bed.

* Ate at Ono Hawaiian Cafe for dinner which was DELICIOUS!! Ginger and Cilantro Chicken, and Ahi Tuna Salad. YUM! Made us excited for our Hawaii trip which is just about a month away!!

* We're very excited that we will be in Portland tomorrow! Can't believe it's really here!!! We only have about 500 miles to drive tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Drive to Portland from West Virginia - Day 2

Highlights of today's drive...

*Left this morning at 7:15am

*Derek was feeling MUCH better (thank you for all the prayers!!!)

*Arrived here in Cheyenne, WY at 7:15pm. Drove for 13 hours (gained another hour today) and a total of 864 miles. (Derek drove 555 of those miles too)

*Ate grilled KFC chicken, mashed potatoes, & green beans for dinner on the road - which is a very big challenge while driving! (Although not as much of a challenge as yesterday eating a grilled chicken salad from McDonalds while driving!) Derek tried to order corn as one of his sides and the lady told him (direct quote) "we have a hold on corn." Then just stared at us. Ummm...not exactly sure what that meant but we took it as "order something different so he got green beans too.

*We are staying at the Comfort Inn tonight which is smaller than the Comfort Suites of last night yet more expensive...interesting.

*We were a big fan of the speed limit being 75 most of our drive today which really means we got to drive 80 most of the way!

*McDonalds medium Iced Coffee with 2 pumps of sugar free vanilla and no cream is very delicious and gives you a good boost for driving while your husband sleeps!

*We saw tons of baby cows. It must be spring!!

*Took our aspirin this morning so we don't get DVT.

*I started reading this book I got called "Drink This" by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl and it's AWESOME. It explains all about wine. Really great book.

*We also started a new devotional and really like it. So far it's gone over Perseverance in James and Job. It had some very good thought provoking questions for us to discuss during our drive.

*Total driven so far = 1364 miles

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drive to Portland from West Virginia - Day 1

As we started our drive today a little before 1pm we couldn't help reflecting on how crazy it is that we did this drive almost four years ago in the opposite direction. I remember wondering what West Virginia would be like and how our lives would be changed there. Here we are now, four years later, wondering the same thing about Oregon. It's so surreal that the time is actually here. We met so many amazing people here in West Virginia and made such wonderful friendships here. The drive today is bittersweet because we are excited to start the next chapter in our lives, yet sad to leave the people we love so dearly in West Virginia. We are so thankful for each and every friendship God placed in our lives here and know that they are all for a reason. We know many of them will be life long friends and we look forward to experiencing the future with them, even if it will be from across the country now.

Switching to some of the highlights of the drive today because I am getting super tired and need to hit the hay before getting up super early tomorrow and starting all over again!

1) Left at 12:57pm and arrived at 8:30pm in Peoria, IL. Total of 8 and a half hours of driving (we gained an hour). We drove just under 500 miles.

2) Derek is super sick with some sort of cold and hacked his lungs out the entire drive and napped. Yes you read correctly....Derek SLEPT in the car which means..... YES I DROVE!! The entire drive. All 500 miles. Pretty crazy considering I didn't do any of the drive on our way out here 4 years ago!!

3) Derek had to pee before me! Granted I dehydrated myself for the drive and Derek had a whole water bottle since he was coughing so much plus had 3 cups of coffee at the community service project since it was the only warm drink they had and his throat was hurting. But still - this is for the record books that we had to pull over for Derek to pee...and not me!

4) We are staying at the Comfort Suites and they are really not that bad. Especially for $70 a night. King size bed, non smoking, breakfast in the morning, and the bed is actually pretty comfy.

5) I know I'm forgetting some stuff but I am exhausted and will have to add more tomorrow!

Sweet parking at Wendys

Lesley and I went out to lunch at Wendy's for our last hang out on Monday and got to see another awesome parker. Even better is that this guy ate his lunch inside while his car was parked outside like this!! We had a great lunch and a good laugh at this guy's parking skills.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Parking at AAA...and many other places in WV

I just had to include this because it is something Derek and I have been flabbergasted over ever since we moved to West Virginia and I have always thought it funny but today took the cake.

We have noticed that apparently in WV parking spaces are totally overrated. Why park in a parking spot...even a handicapped parking spot (only if you are of course)...when you can just park smack in front of the doors. Make the least amount of walking space between you and your car. Having said that I will say that almost every single large store or shopping center we have gone to there will be at least 2 cars parked along the front doors. Sam's Club, Grocery Stores, Dollar Store, Walmart, Target, etc. We have seen this constantly at almost every location we've ever gone to.

Now usually we think this is because no one wants to walk very far since most of the time the first few spots are all taken (which is still pretty comical)....and of course walking more than 2 or 3 parking spots worth might just take West Virginia out of being one of the top contenders for Least Healthy State in the US or #1 in diabetes and heart disease. we went to AAA to pick up our Trip Tik to drive to Portland and saw not one but TWO cars parked in front of the front doors and all the parking spots OPEN. Literally couldn't manage to park in a parking spot and walk the extra 10 yards across the very small parking lot into the front door. You can see our gray Corolla on the right and there are about 6 open spots to the left of our car and more even on the other side.
So this I had to share....

West Virginia Nomads (The entire past 2 months)

Of all our travels over the past year these past two months have involved the most traveling by far. We have been in a different city almost every week. We originally started in Charleston, WV at the end of February and here's how the rest panned (and will pan) out...

Feb. 27 - March 5 : Charleston, WV (ICU Rotation)
March 5 - 7 : Morgantown, WV (To Visit)
March 7 - 17 : Charleston, WV (ICU / Anesthesia Rotation)
March 17 - 21 : Morgantown, WV (Match Week)
March 21 - 28 : Charleston, WV (Anesthesia Rotation)
March 28 - April 1 : Evans, WV (Rural Rotation)
April 1 - 5 : Morgantown, WV (Dogsit for the Mizener's)
April 5 - 7 : Charleston, WV (Derek commuted to Rural Rotation)
April 7 - 8 : Evans, WV (Rural Rotation)
April 8 - 10 : Charleston, WV (To finish up Derek's paperwork for graduation)
April 10 - 12 : Evans, WV (Rural Rotation)
April 12 - 13 : Charleston, WV (To turn in stuff to Charleston office & complete file)
April 13 - 15 : Evans, WV (Rural Community Service Project)

Here are some detailed pictures of some of the highlights that I didn't write about in the previous posts....

Our visit to Morgantown (Mar. 5 - 7) we got to see the Walsh's and Ruffolo's along with many other people from Derek's class at a wine tasting party at Sarah and Kevin's house (the Walsh's). We had a great time with them as always! It was a blind wine tasting and I can't remember the winning wine's name but it was organic and only $13 and was DELICIOUS! (I will have to remember to get that name from Sarah!)

We also got to see the Mizener's and walk along the partly frozen Cheat Lake which was BEAUTIFUL!! There was still so much snow everywhere and I had a blast taking tons of pictures.

When we went back to Morgantown for Match week I forgot to post the picture of the yummy pink Champagne Derek bought me to celebrate. Then we filled out NCAA basketball brackets together. I'd never done that so I thought I'd give it a try. Neither of us knew much about any of the teams so it was basically a guessing game. We bet a back massage for the winner (who got the most points). Derek was winning up until the 3rd round when I pulled ahead. We both had WVU as the winning team so we were out before it was over...but main point of the story is - I won! Although I have yet to claim my back massage! :)

That same weekend after Match Day we had a wonderful dinner at Dragon Fly (SUCH delicious sushi!) and went bowling with the Mizener's afterwards. I have never bowled so great in my entire life! I had to take a picture to remember that I did that well! (I'm L in the pictures)

That weekend we also played with the boys BB gun and shot at balloons. I am out of shooting practice. I think Alan had the most fun!

Throughout out time in Evans, WV we stayed with Matt and Heather Vanhoose and their two adorable kids (Jackson and Lilly).

I also got into running during our stay in West Virginia and had a beautiful route to run in Evans. This was my view. (When I would be in Charleston I also had a beautiful view of the river and the capitol)

On April 6th I had the privilege of spending the day with my very good friend Lesley. It was the one year anniversary of delivering her stillborn first child, William. We weren't sure what to do when I arrived at her house but decided to visit the WV Museum and tour the capitol grounds with all the tulips. The tulips were outstanding and the weather was perfect. It was beautiful, sunny, and hot. It made for a very nice and comforting afternoon and we actually enjoyed ourselves very much. (Sidenote: Lesley is currently 19 weeks pregnant with her second son)

After the capitol Lesley and I went to the Blenko Glass Factory. This was and will be one of my favorite all time memories in West Virginia. They let us into the back area to give us a close up tour behind the scenes. Then some of the glass makers recognized Lesley because she made a very cool WV glass piece in a class they had a year ago! Since she was so famous they let me roll the hot glass into a ball!!! It was one of the most exciting things ever!! Here is the play by play!

Professional Glass Maker rolling glass into a ball

ME rolling glass into a ball!!!! (p.s. It was EXTREMELY windy and hot in there! Notice the crazy hair flying everywhere!)

I had such an amazing time and got lots of souvenirs to show for it! The day turned out to be quite a lovely day.

We have less than one week left here in West Virginia. I can't believe it has gone by so quickly. It is absolutely amazing to me that it was almost 4 years ago that we made the drive out here across the country having no idea what to expect. Even crazier still is the fact that in less than a week we will be making the drive to our new home of Portland, Oregon and really have no idea what to expect there as well. God has taught and grown us so much out here and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us there.