Saturday, June 12, 2010

In the Home Stretch (Pun Intended)

Our "Big Move" is only 2 days away!

Packing has been interesting. We seem to have (again) collected more stuff that we need  (specifically clothes, fabric, and shoes - all mine of course). I'm sure the trips to Home Depot for more boxes will continue throughout the weekend. The biggest challenge is trying to get all our laundry clean before we move because I hate moving several hampers of dirty laundry from one place to the other. However, since my tiny apartment washer and dryer can only wash 3 towels at a time and we have let a few too many baskets pile up, we may be waiting on washing some until we get home.

I'm looking forward to having one of my best friends, Lynae, coming up from Fresno tonight and staying through Monday. Her company and motivation will make packing much easier - packing seems to go faster with good conversation :) She has two little kiddo's (and just found out there's one more on the way), so this is like a mini vacation for her and much needed girl time for us both.

Needless to say, I hope this is our last move for a long, long time...

(picture courtesy of

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Perfect Ending

This week Alex has been busy getting ready for the ever stressful USMLE Step 1. This test is a big one, and his score will effect his choices of residency in the future. And the USMLE tests everything he has learned over the last two years. Just a little stressful!!!

Today was exam day, and I had agreed to take him to the testing center in Alameda, a town about 30 minutes away from us. We woke up early, make a quick stop at McDonald's for some coffee and McMuffins and we make it there with time to spare. Good thing too, because Alex, with all his nerves shot, had forgotten to bring a print out that he needed to get into the exam. A quick call to my parents fixed that (thanks for saving the day, mom and dad!) as they were able to print out the paper for him and then fax it into the testing center. It made for a very eventful morning to say the least!

I drove back to Martinez to get some packing done while he faced the grueling 8 hour test. I'm glad to say that at 4pm when I picked him up, my exhausted hubbs was feeling confident that he did well. Praise the Lord! Now we just have to wait two months to get the score.....

As we started heading back to Martinez, a thought occured to me: since we were really close to San Francisco (literally 3 miles away from the Bay Bridge), it was a beautiful day, and neither of us was in a hurry to face the traffic going home, why not stop for some clam chowder and ice cream on the Pier? It sounded great to us both!

So we had a nice dinner at the Boudin Restaurant overlooking the bay, and walked along the pier hand in hand eating Ben & Jerry's for dessert. It was the perfect ending to a stressful day. It was the perfect ending to the last two years that we've been here in the bay area. It was just perfect.

Exhausted but Happy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Almost Home... (updated with pictures)

Things have been busy here with preparation for moving home! After over two months of not blogging I figured I would try to give an update for those who have been emailing me and asking "is everything OK? Why aren't you blogging?" I didn't realize that people actually still read my blog!

Alex finished his second year of Med school at the end of May and has been preparing for the first tests for the Medical Board Exams (called Step 1). He took the COMLEX (the Osteopathic Board Exam) last week and is taking the USMLE (Allelopathic Board Exam) this Friday. He feels confident that he did well on the COMLEX  and is ready for what the USMLE has to dish out! Please keep him in your prayers! We are moving just three days after the USMLE and he starts his 3rd year rotations on June 21st, so he will really only get one week off! His first rotation is 8 weeks of Family Medicine, so at least he will have normal hours for the next 8 weeks.

I have been working with our missions team at church to prepare for our mission trip to Albania this summer. I leave for Albania on June 26th and we will be returning to the States on my birthday, July 11th. We will be hosting a summer camp for street kids and teenagers and I'm excited to see how God is going to use me there. (More on that to come in a future post..)

 I forgot how much I miss being home and have really enjoyed my trips back to Fresno the last few months to get the house ready. With the help of my Dad, my brother and my sis-in-"love", we have replaced all the carpet in the living room and hallway with dark laminate wood floors and also repainted all the main rooms of the house. We also had the backyard done (which was previously all dirt) so now we actually have a patio and sidewalk and soon will have grass and sprinklers (which I know Audrey will appreciate!).

Pictures of my our house "in progress"

(My brother and sis-in-"love")

The floors are all in now, but there is still a lot to do: painting all the trim white, installing the baseboards, painting the doors, etc. I'm in Fresno now and am praying I can get it all done tomorrow so it will all be done before we move in.

Oh and the cement in my back yard which I'm so very happy about!!!

The grass will come next week but my flowerbeds and trees will have to wait for fall since Fresno's 110 degree summers aren't conducive to planting.
I'd better get packing.... only 8 days left...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Albania here I come...

A few months ago our church asked for sign-ups for people who are interested in going on a mission trip this summer. And I signed up! I knew that with the 6 or so baby shower I would have to go to this summer and one that I’m hosting, that I really want something else to focus on.

I was so excited when one of the pastors called me today and asked if I want to be a part of the Albania team! The really cool part is that my pastor at Grace Place in Fresno, the one who married Alex and I, is leading the team and bringing two Life students. Our church up here, East Bay, is going to send 6 people - so I get to be a part of both of my church’s mission teams! What a great way to transition back home. I'm so excited!

As of now, I know that I will need ot raise $2400 and we are going June 26-July 10. We will be working with the full time missionaries that are working in that community. More details will come later.

Praise the Lord! I'm so excited about what God has in store for me!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bad blogger

I've been a horrible blogger lately. I think because I feel like I have nothing to write about. Well, actually I have a few things I want to write about, but I'm waiting to see if they pan out... does that leave you in suspense?

Mainly I've been really busy with school and work. My current class, Old Testament Foundations, is definitely the hardest thing I've ever done, but so worth the work. I'm learning so much and loving every (ok, maybe not every) minute of it. I think its good that the classes are hard - no one wants a pastor teaching on something that they don't understand. This is giving me a wonderful foundation for wherever God decides to lead us in ministry.

Work has been going pretty good. I end up spending the entire day I have to work trying to prep for my classes, so that’s been frustrating. Still, it’s been a good way to keep up with my skills. I’m a better decorator than I was 3 months ago. When I’m actually teaching, I love it. It’s the paperwork and prep that is starting to wear me out!

10 more weeks until we move back to Fresno, and I'm so ready to be home. It’s hard to believe that just 2 years ago Alex was finding out he got into Med School and we were going to be leaving. Time went by much faster than I thought it would.

Well, that’s a short update for now. I have a sermon outline due tonight (actually it was due Sunday!) that I need to get back to work on.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm growing

School is changing me.

For one, its kicking my butt. I'm taking Old Testament Foundations right now and having to do a 3-5 page position paper and working on my exegetical class project each week (don't you just love the word exegetical? It just sounds hard!) I've gotten straight A's so far (that has never happened in my LIFE!) but this class may be the one that breaks that streak - I'm about a week behind trying to play catch up.

But I love it. I've never loved anything so much that has been so hard to do. I'm reading the Word and understanding it. I'm leading bible studies. I'm preparing sermon outlines. I'm going to be a pastor.

Yep, thats right. I'm going to be a pastor. Its finally sinking in. Its strange for me to realise that this is my call. I always thought Alex was going to be a pastor. Nope. God had a different plan for him. And for me.

I still don't know where it's going to lead. I don't think I'm supose to know right now. But I'm excited about what God has in store for me.

When everything is uncertain around me I know that Christ is the rock I can stand on. I feel at peace. He shows me grace and mercy. I am His beloved. And its finally sinking in...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Award!

I haven't been online much the last few weeks because school has kept me very busy. But today I turned in the last assignment for my Christian Counseling class and I thought I'd spend a little time today catching up on my faviorate blogs.

I was so excited to find out that my friend Sammy, who was one of the first blogs I started following, sent me this award! Thank you so much, dear friend!

The rules:

1.Say thank you and link pass to the blogger(s) who awarded this to you.

2.Pass it on to other bloggers that you've recently discovered.

3.Link them and notify them.

4.Say 7 things about yourself.

So here are the ladies I'm awarding this too:
Now for the 7 things about myself
1. I'm not a big fan of make-up. If I could go out in public without any on I would go for it in a heartbeat, but my skin just isn't that good.
2. I love changing my hair color. Last year alone I went from dark brown, to red, to burgandy, to light brown with highlights.
3. I'm obsessed with DIY, low cost home improvement and decorating ideas. I buy decorators magagzines and research paint colors online.  Its a sickness, I know....
4. I went on a mission trip to China when I was 19 and smuggled bibles accross the border. It was awesome and I'll have to blog about that someday.
5. My faviorate potato chip is salt and vinegar
6. I have to keep my hair cut short because it is so sparse. And no, that has nothing to do with how much I dye it - I went 3 years without any color change and still my hair falls out fast. I love long hair but it doesn't work with my genetic makeup
7. I love zebra print. Not a big fan of other animal prints but my obsession with zebras will have to carry over to another post another day...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This little guy has stolen the hearts of my whole family! If you followed my posts this summer, you know that my sister, Kristi, and her husband, Doug, had been waiting 3 years to adopt a child from China when they received the referal for this special little 2.5 year old boy! He came into their home and hearts in July and we've been capitivated ever since.
Its amazing how much energy he has! He just turned three on New Years day and his English is catching up quickly with his age group. He is SOOOO attached to Mama and Daddy! And I'm delighted that everytime I call Kristi he asks to talk to "Auntie Janna"!
Adoption is awesome. I love being an Aunt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Back on the upswing...

Last week was emotionally hard, but I think writing the last blog was cathartic for me. Writing usually is.
I feel better now. The really hard class I was taking is over (and I got an A!), and now I'm taking one that isn't as intense. I've been enjoying my classes so much that I am seriously considering going to seminary after I graduate. I LOVE teaching the cake decorating classes and feel much more confident now that I have my first full class under my belt. And I'm counting down 'til I move back home. Only 4 months and 1 week to go!

Thanks for the comments on my last blog! It helps to know that I'm not alone in my pain and that I'm supported even when I'm feeling crappy :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Acceptance?!? Maybe more like denial (Warning - Infertility Rant)

So I posted a blog last week that was all about how I felt like I had finally reach that acceptance phase with my infertility, blah, blah, blah...

And then this last week I found out about three other friends who are pregnant and one is planning to start trying this spring.

And then I've watched all those friends put posts on facebook saying "Oh, I'm so happy I get to be a mommy in a few months" and " I LOVE being pregnant" and "woo hoo! just bought my first maternity clothes!"

Several have called to give me the good news themselves, than explain that they vomited on themselves or that they are scared of childbirth. I'm trying to be there for them. I want to be that person that they can talk to about this stuff. Is that too much to expect? yes, I know your answer

I'm excited for them and thrill for the little blessings they will have. But I can't help but have that feeling. You know, when you ask yourself "when is it going to be my turn?"

I feel that same feeling of being so ready to be a mom. To hold my baby and chase my three year old through the house. To work on a quilt for my child. For someone to plan a shower for me.

I know I sound incredibly selfish. That's more lovely guilt I'm carrying.

And its not helping when well meaning friends say "its only a few more years - enjoy them!" (I've been waiting a few years already) or "you'll forget how bad infertility hurts as soon as you hold your first little one" (how is that suppose to make me feel good right now when holding my baby seems so far away?) Its not helping that I haven't been able to sleep and my emotions are all over the place.

One of the crappiest things about infertility is that I have never been able to fully enjoy my friends being pregnant around me. How awful is that? I feel excited and depressed, guilty and frustrated, all in the same breath.

Guess its time for more therapy. Maybe I'm not as far along as I thought.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The dreaded 40lbs

I have struggled with my weight off and on over the last 10 years. I am a typical stress eater. When I am under a lot of stress, I eat and eat and eat. I know that keeping my weight in check will be a lifelong discipline that I really need to develop. So I thought maybe putting my weight loss/gain in pictures it might help motivated me even more to get it off and keep it off FOR GOOD! (Seriously, I have no idea what has inspired me to put the worst pictures of me online - maybe because sugar is no longer flowing through my veins..... at least I can't be accused of not "keeping it real")

I gained about 30lbs my first year of marriage.
This is me at my wedding in April 2002:

And this is me in December 2002 with the Hubbs and my bro (he's in uniform):

I lost that 30lbs in a month by doing Atkins that spring, and managed to keep it off for about a year.
December 2003

But before long the weight started creeping back until I was caring the 40lbs yet again.
January 2005

That summer I got really serious. I did Weight Watchers, started exercising and for the first time, took really good care of myself. It took 8 months, but I got all 40lbs off in time for our vacation to Hawaii.

March 2006

I actually keep the weight off that time for several years. I stuck to weight watchers (occasionally throwing in slim fast) and bought a treadmill which I used several times a week.

November 2006

July 2007

Christmas 2007

I was doing really good until we found out Alex got into med school. Than the stress eating began again and it has continued without end.
This is me right before we left for med school
April 2008

And this is me now:

I have gained 30 lbs since Alex started med school. Seems only fitting to go back home weight what I was when I left:)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I recently found out that my sis-in-law is 8 weeks pregant. She and her husband had been trying, but it caught her off-guard that it happened so fast. I'm thrilled for her and so excited that I will have a new little niece or nephew this August.

I have been dreading this phone call for a long time. I know other infertiles understand. Sometimes it hard to be happy for someone when you have been trying so hard for the very thing they've received so easily.

But this was different. I refuse to let my infertility cause me to miss this important part of my sis-in-law's life. I read the phrase once that said "I am infertile, but my infertility doesn't define me." I'm trying harder to live that out.

I talked to my sister (who is a fellow infertile) about this and she said that I've reached the "acceptence" stage. I felt for a long time that my life wouldn't start until I have children. I've learned that my life is moving around me and I can't just sit and wait until that dream comes true. It's time for me to moving forward and set other dreams.

My dream of having a house full of babies will come true - someday. Acceptance is giving my dreams to God and trusting that He knows the best time for our dreams to happen.

Its such a release to finally feel truly happy watching my friends and families dreams of parenthood come true.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Like Christmas in January...

I'm really enjoying my new job. It's a great way of keeping my skills up, and cake decorating is just so much fun to teach. As a teacher, I choose what classes I teach - and I just love the project classes. Most of the cake decorating classes are two hours, one day a week, for four weeks. The project classes are just one day, two hour classes that teach you how to do spicific Wilton projects. For example, last month I taught a cookie bouquet class, this month I'm teaching a candy making class, ect.

One of the things I absolutely LOVE about my new job is the fantastic deals I am able to get on my cake decorating and candy making supplies. One of the reasons why I love to sign up for the "project classes" (candy making, Brownies, cookies) is because the company gives me a killer discount on the supplies we need for the classes.

I was thrilled today when my first package from Wilton arrived - with everything I need for my candy class at the end of this month! It's like Christmas all over again!!!

The hubb's has been harassing me a bit, saying that I'm probably spending as much as I make. I'm figure I'm just working to afford my hobby!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Exciting things to come...

We found out today that Alex will be doing his 3rd year rotations in Fresno, and I've been ecstatic every since I found out (I was literally jumping up and down in my kitchen after he called with the news). That means we are moving home!!! I've missed my family and friends so much! It will be wonderful to have family and friends around when Alex is putting in so many hours at the hospital.

This also means that we are moving back into our house! We have a beautiful 1700 sq ft house in Fresno that I have missed so much. No more trying to squeeze all our stuff in a tiny apartment :)

Here's a picture of the beautiful home I get to move back to....

Such a good way to start the new year. Moving home is something wonderful that I get to look forward to :)