27 August 2014

Maryland Has Been So Good To Me

So... we're moving. 

Jesse was offered a job in Montezuma Creek, Utah. While South East Utah wasn't even on our radar, a PA recruiter called and the deal was just too sweet to pass up. We'll be living in Blanding, which is where Jesse grew up. It's a long ways away from anywhere, but we'll have family in town, so hopefully we won't ever feel too lonely. Also, now visiting my family won't require a trip through airport security and five hours in an airborne tube.

I have sold almost all of our furniture. Thank you Craigslist. I dejunked and donated crap that has taken up space in our home like my life depended on it (that was so exhilarating!). Thank you Purple Heart. We are loading everything up into a small pod and shipping it to Salt Lake City. Thank you ABF. 

Though there is still so much that I wanted to see and do, I have done my best to fit in a couple of last minute adventures with friends. I saw Mt. Vernon with Kimber and the Stams. It was breathtaking. And there was this video at the end of the museum...it was supposed to be serious, but I couldn't keep it together. It was so cheesy! And there was a children's choir, and, oh man! I took a kayaking historical tour of Annapolis with Kelli. DO IT! I went to the Naval Academy with Kimber. Jesse and I went to fancy lunch at Fogo de Chao and my taste buds will never, ever be the same. 

This evening, the Stams, Hewitts, and Wrights fed us dinner. The young women came over and helped me clean our entire apartment (many hands make extremely light work, thank you ladies!) and a couple of friends stopped by with treats and "It was so nice to know you" gifts. I know it is cliche to say this, but I cried an awful lot. 

I have to admit that I am a little bit heartbroken over this. I know it is a wonderful opportunity for Jesse and our family. I am confident that we are making the right choice. However, I LOVE Maryland.

 I love that I can go to sightseeing at the drop of a hat. I love the history and culture here. I love the convenience of living in such a large city. I love the trees. I love my ward. I love, Love, LOVE my friends. 

I felt so extraordinarily loved in this place. 

21 August 2014

The Story of Jesse's Life: PA {almost} C, MMS

A few weeks ago, Jesse was getting ready for PA school graduation and showing Oliver his fancy new lab coat, with his name embroidered above the breast pocket.

"Jesse Moses PA-C, MMS"

(that means : Physician Assistant - Certified, Master of Medical Sciences)

"But I'm not a PA-C yet." Jesse explained, "Not until I pass my boards."

Then Oliver, who was clearly listening attentively, chimed in saying, 

"That's right! And you are not BAF or a MMG"

Jesse took the Physician Assistant Certifying Exam (PANCE pronounced "Pants") today. This test has given the boy nightmares for the past few months, and we are all so grateful it is over. We should know the results within the next two weeks.

20 August 2014

Kinder Farm

When a trip to the Arboretum with the Kelley's fell through because of weird business hours and calendar confusion, we took a trip to the Kinder Farm. Also, there was Taco Bell. I LOVE Chalupas.

16 August 2014

One Last Trip to Alex's Beach

Jesse's friend Alex (and his wonderful family) have access to a community beach and pool in Annapolis that they have been kind enough to invite us to. We have loved going. Gail invited us to go again one last time before the end of the summer. We had a ball.

Oliver loved the beach, but hated the water. And it took THREE WHOLE HOURS to get him into the swimming pool. Alice hated the beach but loved the pool.

It was a fantastic day with Gail! And she sent us home with cookies and home grown vegetables at the end of it. She spoils us.  

06 August 2014

Heather Came To MD and We Took a Million Pictures - Monuments at Night

Heather came for a short visit, and we made the most of her time here...or tried to anyway. We took scooters to the National Mall and saw the monuments at night. They were breathtaking. And slightly blurry...

Just so you know, almost all of the pavement on the National Mall is textured...which is an observation that never even crossed my mind until I was scootering. It was a rather jarring... Still, it was exceptionally faster than walking, and therefore, excellent!

04 August 2014

Gettysburg! A Culinary Experience

My awesome friend Sarah invited me to go to Gettysburg with her and her husband. He has all the Gettysburg smarts. He was going to take us on a tour and tell us all the best stories. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it that day, so we rescheduled for another day. Because Tom couldn't go, it turned into a walk through historic Gettysburg and an amazing culinary experience. Because I love food, I'm going to tell you where and what we ate. It was fantastic.

We started with lunch at Hunt's Battle Fries and Cafe where I ate a most delicious cheesesteak sandwich, french fries. orangeade, and lemonade. Yes. I had to try them both. If you go to Gettysburg, you NEED to eat here.

We went to a fudge shop to see fudge being made and sampled a taste.

We had Rita's, because if there is a Rita's, then I need a Cherry Gelati,

For dinner I had Baked King's Onion Soup and warm Colonial Gingerbread IN A TAVERN! It was legit. And delicious.

And now, if you go to Gettysburg and find that you are hungry, you know where to eat! You're welcome. Enjoy!

03 August 2014

The Long Blink and Other Oliverisms

The other day Oliver and I were sitting on the couch watching tv together when I realized that he had fallen asleep. I picked him up so that I could take him upstairs to lay him down. On our way up the stairs he woke up just enough to say in a tired, breathy voice, "Mom, don't worry. I'm not sleeping. I'm just having a long, long, long blink."

One morning I heard Oliver wake up, come out of his room, and start talking to Jesse. "Dad, I was just thinking I could start a collection."

Jesse asked him what sort of things he would like to collect. He didn't know, but he's made it a point to try a few things out. So far, we have a collection of rocks, and another of seashells.

Oliver was talking to me about how much fun it would be to have a boat. When I told him that we didn't have a boat he said, "That's ok. We can just ask Nephi to build one for us."

Oliver is a major fan of a game called Rayman. One day, we were at his friend's house for a play date, and I heard him in the other room saying "let's play Rayman!" At first, I imagined him running and jumping around pretending to play through the levels. When I went in to check on him, I found that when he had said he wanted to pretend to play Rayman, he literally meant that he wanted to pretend to play Rayman. He was sitting on the couch, holding an xbox controller, and staring at a blank tv screen. Since that day, he has been limited to 30 minutes of screen time each day.

His Rayman obsession has also supplied him with a new group of imaginary friends... We now take his "Rayman Friends" with us wherever we go. It is so silly to listen to him talk to them. This morning I heard him say, "Barbara! Are you a bubble again???"

Speaking of Rayman Friends, we had to have a conversation one day that went a little like this:

Me:  "Oliver, if the Rayman Friends make it too hard for you to play with your real friends, then you will have to send them out to wait in the car."

Oliver:  "They don't fit in the CAR!"

Me: "Then how did they get here"

Oliver: "They drove their own car!"

01 August 2014

Weekend Party Group

About this time last year, I was done being miserable. 

I had been sad since January, for a lot of reasons that I don't even remember anymore. Then I was happy because I was pregnant. Immediately following, I was sick...because I was pregnant. It was a million degrees outside for two months straight. I didn't feel like PA school was ever, EVER going to end, and I didn't feel like I had friends.

And I don't tell you that to be whiny, I just need you to know how lonely and sad I felt...

So I made a goal to get happy, and I decided that the best way to start was to make a few friends.

First, I had my sights set on Shelly... Her husband was about to start the program and they were moving in two buildings over. Then, I gave a sacrament meeting talk on Mother's Day and noticed that Kimber had just moved into our ward. I introduced myself very awkwardly, and then left town for my brother's wedding.

In August, I put my plans into action and went to as many Relief Society Activities, book clubs, play groups, girls nights...you name it, I went. I made a lot of awesome friends. And when I say that, I mean A LOT of EXCEPTIONAL friends.

I also harassed Kimber and Shelly into hanging out with me, and at some point, we established a comfortable friendship. In October, we started hanging out together regularly on weekdays, and having dinner parties on weekends with our husbands.

When I had Alice, they watched Ollie, brought me dinner, and let me talk about what a hard time I was having whenever I needed to. In January, we all met Missy and Jeff after Shelly invited them to dinner with us at Cafe Rio. The rest is really history.

I don't mean to be sappy, but I really can't tell you what a support these people have been to us this past year. We've spent birthdays, holidays, Sunday dinners, and so on and so forth together. We have relied on them a lot, and I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss this Maryland family of mine.

Clockwise around the table, starting with Jesse...Jesse, Oliver, Della (and Alice), Geoff, Calvin, Kimber, Jeff, Missy, and Josh. Shelly was taking the picture. Taken in Ocean City, MD July 26, 2014


We sometimes wondered if this day would ever come... 

As of July 31st 2014, Jesse is officially a graduate of the Anne Arundel Community College Physician Assistant Program as well as the St. Francis University Masters of Medical Science Program. He gets to wear a long lab coat from now on! That's a big deal.

The time, stress, headaches, anxiety, and brain power that Jesse put into this achievement blows my mind. PA school is, far and away, the hardest thing that Jesse has ever, ever done. It was a very humbling experience for him. I am so, SO proud of him.

PA school has been a very unique experience for all of us, and has required many personal sacrifices from all four members of our family. We have appreciated every single supportive word, thought, and deed from our family and friends everywhere. It sounds very melodramatic, but I can honestly say that there aren't words to describe just how equally difficult and rewarding this experience has been. Now that it is coming to end, I am proud of what our little family accomplished together.

We are looking forward to the future.