Monday, November 12, 2012


Meet our new dog...Bailey. She is a full bred German Shepherd, born September 4th,2012,  so that makes her 10 weeks old right now. Having a puppy is so much work! But she is so fun to have around. Watching her attempt going down the stairs is so funny! Just yesterday we went to go see the parents and I have never seen her so excited. The mom was so gentle with her, and the dad could care less. Go figure. They live just around the corner from us, so we will see them often so they can play together. We are training her every day, hoping she will outshine all other dogs. And since she takes up all of our free time, we will have more fun pictures to come. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Graduation Present

To celebrate my graduation, Luis and I took a vacation that was much needed for the both of us. We have been so tight with our money, that it really was difficult to spend money on something that could have been put off for another year or two. Now I am so grateful that we stuck to our guns and kept our promise to ourselves that we were going to go on a vacation. I got to choose where we went, and I chose Disneyland, California Adventure, Universal Studios, and Sea World. I had never been to Sea World and so I was most excited about that. 

 My most favorite ride at Disneyland...standing in line to go on Space Mountain. THis was Luis' first time on the ride, and he loved it too.

Can you see that genuine smile? I think this was our 3rd time on it. Of course we were too cheap (or smart) to buy this picture, so it is a bit blurry from our camera taking a picture of another picture. 

 Day 2...on to California Adventure. We visited the new Radiator Springs Car Land. Lots of photo ops. Gas used to be 0.63 cents a gallon?!

 Mater's Petting Zoo. This one is for my nephew Cash.

 The infamous picture of us in front of the Ferris Wheel, that we didn't even ride on.

 Day 3...on to Universal Studios! We were standing in line to get a picture with Marge, Homer, and Bart, but halfway through the line, Homer and Bart left! What a rip! I couldn't beleive how tall Marge was!

As we were walking quickly to get out of the park to beat the crowd, Luis looked over and saw Jamar Rogers putting on a concert! He was on the 2nd season of The Voice (a show I watch). It was soooo cool! So we stayed a bit longer and enjoyed the show.

 Day 4...Then onto Sea World!! We went to the big Shamu Rocks show pretty early into the day in an effort to get a good seat for their best known show. I happended to get lucky that Luis didn't figure out that we were in the "soak zone". He laughed so hard when we got drenched (Phew!). Can you see how wet we are? It was a good way to cool off. Only annoying thing was that it was salt water. ulgh!
 Us on a ride at Sea World. I believe this was on Journey to Atlantis. That ride was AWESOME! Any ride that starts with a big drop is suuuweeet!
 We also got a meal card when we were there. Every time we went through the line, we got watermelon. It was the best watermelon I have ever had! I had no self control, and I didn't care. It was delicious!

Day 5...time to relax at a San Diego beach. This was the first warm beach I had ever been to. Spent growing up going to the Oregon Coast, which is freezing water and really windy. Here was a lot different. Filled with people under those cute beach umbrellas, tons of people in the water surfing and body boarding, and people with instruments singing on the boardwalk. We only had a few hours before we had to return the car and get to the airport, so we only soaked our feet. It was really cool to see so many people fishing in the ocean!
 I just had to take a picture of this. A lifeguard, at the beach?! I thought this was only on the movies and Baywatch! They even had one of those boards that they have on Baywatch. I was impressed.
 Us on the middle of the ocean. This is where everybody was fishing. There was even a really cute ice cream shack on this dock.
Thank you Luis for the great memories we were able to create. Can hardly wait to see where you choose to go on our next big vacation when you graduate!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guess what?!!!!!


I passed my national board exam, and now can say I am a Certified PA. Woooo stinkin hoooooo! It took 6 years to get here, but I am here! I am finally here!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cheers to Change- Journal entry for the past 2 years

Okay, so where do I start? First off....I am GRADUATED and am now a PA!!! I cannot even begin to talk about all of those times when I was just so stressed that no matter how much good happened, I was still bitter, or the number of times I cried to Luis saying I wanted to quit, or how many times I felt I deserved a better grade on a test, or how many times I felt my hard work actually paid off, or how many times I looked forward to Friday's date nights with Luis which was the only time we really had together with neither of us studying. 
My first semester was by far the most difficult. I believe it was 20 credits (and that's graduate level credits). There was one professor I had that hated when students asked questions, which made it even harder on me, because that's how I learn! I remember one week we had 7 big tests. It was hard deciding how to divide up the small amount of time I had outside of class between all of those tests that were weighted heavily on my grade. How can I say this? PA school makes you have good time management skills. ISU's PA program has a policy where if you fail 2 tests, you have to go before a board and basically defend your case, that you are not slacking off, and simply don't have enough time to devote. Thankfully, I did not ever fall into that trap. But that just added to the pressure of performing with each and every test (which was a lot).

Second and third semesters weren't as bad, as we had modules of each body system and so all of our classes that were M-F 8-5, were all about the same system, instead of switching from pathology, to anatomy, to physiology, to Pharmacology, etc. And we had quizzes each morning, but then only one big test every week or 2. Much more organized. But of course, the test score was pretty much your grade for the class. 
Something that I am grateful for is that PA school helped lower my competitive side of my personality. In undergrad, I was often at the top of my class (because I had 0 social life- trust me!). And my grades were not from natural intelligence that many others are blessed with. My grades were a reflection of my hard work. I would often have to tell my roommates that I couldn't go to a movie, or I couldn't go shopping, or whatever. I was always at the library. I knew what I wanted to become and I was determined to get there. Thankfully when I married Luis, I married a man that was as devoted to my goals as much as I was. Luis had his own goals and ambitions, but he was always sure to remind me of my own. He supported me in every way that he could. He encouraged me to not work and make school my work so that my grades could continue getting me scholarships, and hopefully into PA school. He did this as well and so even though we didn't technically have an income, we were able to live off of a minimal amount of money from our loans. And because we shared a common purpose, it was easier to tell each other we needed to spend the night (well, until 11pm when the it closed) at the library, or spend all day Saturday studying instead of going on outings with the school- which I sincerely wanted to go on. 
I knew more schooling would put Luis and I into much greater debt. We were poor, and knew we would be for a while. We shopped the food sales like an extreme couponist without coupons. We very rarely went shopping for clothes, and we never got new furniture or went on extravagant dates. Our dates consisted of the simple things, such as going grocery shopping, or riding our bikes to the cheap theater, or going to the gym together. Honestly, these things have become some of my very favorite things to do with Luis. 

I still remember going through the interview process, and being so stressed for my first one. I knew my first interview didn't go very well, and I was losing hope. Then I interviewed at ISU and I felt so confident that it couldn't have gone better. That evening we were in a computer lab at the Ricks building (at BYUI), BIG surprise. I was trying to finish my math homework, but was so focused on my interview from earlier that day that I couldn't help but look on my profile that gave me updates on my acceptance or not. IT was just a few hours ago, it would have to be at least a few weeks before I would get an answer. And slowly but surely, I scrolled down that page and in black ink it read, you have been ACCEPTED. I just started to cry. All of this sacrifice would pay off and I would be able to be what I have worked so hard already to become. I remember telling Luis, "I didn't think I would actually get in!". He was happy too.  

Luis was still waiting to hear back from all of the graduate programs he applied to and so we weren't sure of where we were going to live. Then he got his acceptance to University of Utah for a Masters in Political Science. He really liked what he saw about this program and so he wanted to go there. How were we going to do this? Our programs were 2 1/2 hours away from each other. There was talk of one of us doing school, while the other put it off for another year or two, applying to other programs. But after praying about it, we knew the right thing to do would be to both go to school, both fulfill our dreams. We had no idea how it would all work out. But it did. We found a place in Pocatello, that was 3 miles from my building. Luis would drive to SLC every week for his classes and stay with a really great family friend Rob and his new wife Beth. And because we only had one car, that meant I would be without a car during the week. I rode my bike to school, and to the grocery store (one time I bought milk. That was interesting).  This set up helped Luis and I to really focus on our studies and do nothing but that. On the weekends we were able to be together. We made sure every Friday night was set aside for each other. A number of times we were both so stressed that neither of us wanted to spend that time together, and just fought about dumb things. But then we would always make up and go out Saturday night if Friday didn't work. I had a lot of anxiety at night time being alone, and so thankfully this was only for a year that we would have to do this. 
Then came year 2. As I promised Luis, if we lived in Pocatello the first year, we would move to SLC for the next year, so he wouldn't have to commute that much! So then we looked for housing in SLC and we were lucky enough to find an affordable place to live downtown. We were a few blocks from Temple Square, and to the capitol, and to running trails, and to anything we wanted, pretty much. I was so grateful to be able to actually LIVE with my husband again. But wait. This is my clinical year! Now I am the one that has to travel! I had to go to Ogden, UT, SLC, then back to Ogden, then Vancouver, WA, West Valley City, UT, Logan, UT, Portland, OR, and ending it in the place it started, Pocatello, ID. The most interesting I would have to say would be Pocatello because I had to move into student housing again. Kind of weird.  Thank you to my brother Chad and his family for letting me stay with them, and to my parents for letting me stay with them. It saved us a lot of money for me not to have to stay in a hotel! And it was nice to be able to visit with family. Chad's wife, Angela, was actually the one who introduced me to the PA profession. She is a PA herself  and a darn good one. Thank you Angela for helping me find my passion! 
After Luis' first year into his program, he was feeling a bit discouraged. He was getting the grades he had wanted, but just wasn't sure if he loved Political Science as much as he thought. He really wasn't enjoying any of his classes and was so stressed from all of the requirements. As he always does, he shined in all of his classes, and all of the professors loved his comments in class. He did so well that for the second year, he was offered a grader position. This meant he would grade for a professor while getting a huge chunk off of his (out-of-state) tuition, and a bi-monthly stipend to live off of. This was great experience for him and he was able to build his resume'. He graduated with his Masters degree in International Relations. But as planned from the beginning, once he got this degree, he would apply for the PhD program. He was pretty unsure of himself, but I knew he had everything they were looking for and more (his great looks!!). He then got a letter saying he had been accepted to the program and on top of that was offered a teacher's assistant position. He will now hopefully get to teach a few classes and see what it's like to be a professor (his dream job!!). Again, resume building, and a great stipend and tuition help. Couldn't have gotten any better. But wait! 

After clinical year in the PA program, comes....GRADUATION!!!!! I can now say that I am a PA!! 

And here is Ryan and I, my favorite person to sit next to. Always making me laugh at myself, and helping me stay sane. Oh, and by the way, he has 4 kids (one that was born during the program). He is a great guy and I am happy he is looking to stay in Idaho instead of Texas so we can see each other again!

And...I have a job! I am working in West Valley City, UT, about 20 minutes SW of downtown. We have already found a town-home in West Valley that is about twice the size we live in now. But that is it's own post...Luis will commute about 20 minutes to class, and I will have to commute 6 minutes to work. Wait, is that considered a commute? I am so excited about this job. It is in Urgent Care, and so I will see a little bit of everything. A great place to learn as much as possible. And my supervising Doctor, Dr. Oliver, is so kind and flexible. I am so fortunate to be able to work at Granger Medical. There are so many things about this job that I will love! And of course, with time, there will be things I hate, but the good should overcome it, right? I still think I need to hurry up and finish what I am doing so I can study, but no more! Now I can study whatever topics interest me, and that's okay! No test to worry about, just learning what I want to. ahhhhhhh. I am so ready for this next stage of our lives!!! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


When Luis' parents were here for his graduation, we both had the weekend off and so we had nothing to do but play! Luis' mom was kind enough to book a condo for the weekend just 20 minutes away from the Vegas strip so we could celebrate Luis' (and my future) gradution. I was very surprised at just how many attractions came up when we were looking into what there was to do there besides gambling! I was hoping we could get it all done in the day and a half that we had. But it turns out, that was probably the best amount of time. We did feel a bit rushed trying to get to everything, but I think we got to do it all. Isabel treated us to everything...including tickets to see the Blue Man Group. I was pretty impressed with the music they made and the cool colors they used. Oh, and in every single building there is a casino, a hotel, a restaurant, and a bar. And the casinos had no exit signs (tricky, tricky)...

The first sign...

 When we first got there, we went to the stratosphere which is the tallest building in Vegas. It was so cool to be so high and see the entire city before we did anything else.

We went to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. It was a big aquarium we got to walk through and see sharks, jelly fish, turtles, and other cool sea creatures. One my my best pictures...a stingray that was smiling at us!!

 And the weather was just about as good as it could get...80s with well conditioned buildings in between...
 They have EVERYTHING in an M&M world.
 And really cool shows...
 And the eifle tower...
 And the Statue of Liberty...
 And bathroom signs that say "Dolls" instead of "Womens"

I am so glad we had the opportunity to be splurged on (haha). It was so fun to do all the touristy things that Luis and I would not have done had we gone, just the two of us. Lots of memories were made that will not be forgotten. Thank you Isabel and Dorbi fora great vacation!!

Luis gradutes, again!

Luis is officially gruaduated from his masters program!!!!!

He has a Masters of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations. Sounds smart, huh?! I am so proud of him in all that he has accomplished. He has such a strong work ethic and I am so fortunate that I married a man who wants to do everything he can to provide for his family. What's next? Well...stay tuned...we should have everything figured out in the next week or so...
Here we are...

 My parents, his mom and step dad were all able to come and support Luis and I in this ending of a chapter. We were able to show his parents around Temple Square for the first time. I knew his mom would love the flowers there, and she did! She kept commenting on how they were arranged so beautifully. I am so happy we live so close to such a beautiful place that even non-members can enjoy.

This picture for some reason really brings out how small my parents are...just look at them! So cute!
 I loved how proud his mom was of him. Someday I hope to know just how amazing it feels to go through so much sacrifice for your children and then be able to see them accomplish such a great thing.

Through all of the long days (and nights...) of studying, the many headaches, the pages and pages of typing, the canceled fun things planned, the joyful moments of getting an A, the sacrifice of giving up "the finer things in life", the monotanous "quick and easy" "dinners", the no-fun allowed weekends, the joy of finishing another semester, the inflexibility of being able to get away, the difficulty it is to see family, the missed workouts together, the canceled sunday evening walks, the sunny days spent inside with no windows, and the mirage of a light at the end of a tunnel...makes me so proud of US for getting though this together.

 And we still like each other (I think).

Sunday, February 19, 2012