Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We survived a hurricane. And now I'm writing about it.

These past few days have been extremely, extremely insane. My family and I survived a hurricane. A category 1 hurricane. So it is the smallest of the hurricane's but it's a full blown @#$@(?#$ hurricane so, yeah. The eye of the hurricane went right over the lagoon -- which my house is up against the lagoon. I was smack dab in the middle of it.

So rewind to Saturday, it's block week and Taylor is studying like a mad man. I haven't seem him in days and it's normal.. whatever.. it's block week. Block week is his exams which are always on a Monday. So two days till exams and he comes home and mentions a storm coming. I'm thinking okay, whatever, little storm, no big deal. I can handle two kids, a job and an island. Bring it on.

Also on Saturday, I notice this weird sore on Halle's back. It looks like she scraped her back and I ask her about it. She can't remember falling down. Whatever, I move on.

Sunday, Halle has full blown staph infection (impetigo to be exact). So terrible sores all over her body, wide spread, extremely contagious. I'm attempting and failing to keep Halle in a small area, only touching a few things, while entertaining Dylan. No church for us, obviously. Small confined building and highly contagious rash -- not a good idea.

Sunday night around 3 pm-ish, the storm has been upgraded to tropical storm -- which basically just means they throw out a bunch of warnings and no one pays attention. I didn't think much of it. I go to the store anyways --shh don't tell--- and pick up a few necessities, (aka diet coke, milk for dylan, bananas, eggs -- stuff our family lives off of)

Taylor is gone studying on Sunday too of course. We still think he is going to have exams the next day, so crazy studying -- never hear from him -- this is normal.

The tree that almost crushed my neighbors house
All day Sunday Dylan is just being a pill. Straight up screaming, awful, mess. Not herself at all. Just angry at the world and she is letting me know. I notice some little sores on her but I just hope and pray she isn't getting the infection too. Meanwhile, the radio is talking about getting prepared for the storm that is coming Monday.

Exams are postponed, and everyone kinda starts to prepare-- somewhat. Monday around 4 p.m. the rain starts coming and all the power goes out and water. We are lucky to have a generator so our power is back out but TV is out, water is out and wifi is out.

It's officially upgraded to a category 1 hurricane and I'm thinking holy crap that came on fast. I always thought people in hurricanes probably had weeks of warning and time to prepare -- nope. not at all. I had a couple mild warnings and then all of a sudden, #$^#$^ hurricane knocking on my door. I check Dylan's mouth and she's sprouting her two huge front teeth, and they are almost peeking through. PERFECT. I message Taylor around 5 and tell him to get his #$^&@(#$* home because I'm not going to be separated from him during a @#$%& hurricane. (I used those symbols too) He runs home and the rain is pouring and winds picking up.

People around our house are running around trying to secure everything outside. The owner of our place is yelling at us trying to get us to bring Halle's bike inside and all our other shiz. Ricardo, the maintenance guy comes around and he tells me to just give it to him and he will put it under our deck, which I think is perfect. He says, "She tends to make things very small, seem extremely big. It's just a little rain. No worry." Typical island attitude. At this point I'm still agreeing with him. I still don't really think it's going to be a big deal. I figure our power and water will go out and that's about it.

So Taylor gets home, we put Hal's bike on the back porch--still outside but hidden. There really isn't a place to put it inside. We have an all-inclusive kitchen/dining/play/living/office room, with minimal walking, playing, standing space.

Anyways, our windows start rattling. Everyone loses power, except for us because of our generator so I can't communicate with anyone on the island (we use internet for everything. no phones out here) Winds pick up to 70 mph -- which is INSANE. Our lovely neighbor David comes over to tell us to move our car or buy a new one after the storm because a tree is ready to fall right on top of it. Taylor goes to move it and I run to the asian market to buy the necessities. This is when my true colors really came out. I came home -- literally with the following items:

1. Four cans of diet coke
2. Popcorn kernels
3. Butter
4. Sugar
5. One bottle of water

Now I know who would die first in a major storm -- this girl. I wanted to make popcorn balls okay?!?! Plus I wanted to distract the kids. So now, Taylor is home, it's officially quite scary, Dylan is getting her teeth, crap is flying all over and trees breaking and branches flying and Halle is in so much pain from her sores on the back of her thighs and her back that she can't sit or lay down or do anything.
A family in my ward's house where the roof collapsed

I put on Lego movie for Hal (thank you Haley for the movie -- she LOVES it) and I pop popcorn and make a carmel for it. Taylor and I watch the palm trees and the lagoon and it is @#(*$# insane. I've never EVER seen a storm like that. Boats were stuck on the lagoon, the casino down the street had it's roof collapse on it, next thing I know our neighbor says a giant tree fell about three feet from her house. It could have easily fell right in the middle of her house and seriously injured her and her two little girls and husband. REALLY scary. Luckily they are fine. We're still panicking and our roof starts to leak right above our bed, then there starts to be some leaking right above Hal's bed too. I put towels down and by now it's about 8 p.m.

Movie's over and I've shoveled so much popcorn into my mouth I can hardly stand it. We throw on the frozen soundtrack and dance around the room -- because-- Why not? Hal LOVES dance parties, so that's what we do. DANCE PARTY. in the middle of a hurricane. We hardly notice what is going on outside. It was great. Hal washes up and I put the heavily medicated kids to bed.

Shortly after all the leaking started, the eye of the storm passes over us and then we notice all the palm trees are being blown in the opposite direction. That's when we know it's on it's way out. Thank goodness. Our windows are rattling, I'm worried about coconuts or branches flying and breaking our windows. We somehow manage to get through everything with no flooding and no damage.

Lots of our friends weren't so lucky. A family in our ward had part of their roof collapse, about half of my friends had major flooding in their apartment with quite a bit of damage to their belongings. One of my friends had their windows broken.

Anyways, when the winds shift it somehow shifts the water on the roof and the leaking stops. I start reading and Taylor is back to studying, but by now we're thinking there is no way he has exams tomorrow.

The next morning I wake up around 6 a.m. with Dyl-- again, normal -- and the wreckage outside is
Our parking lot which is usually spotless.
They sweep it every day
insane. It's like a complete, other place. Everything is COVERED with branches and trees and you can hardly walk around. The outside was completely unrecognizable.

Everything was closed. The asian market was still open but all the water was gone and a good majority of everything else. No power still so if you were looking for something, you had to do it in the dark-- good luck with that --- . It was kind of like Jumanji when they were at the grocery store, minus all the shooting and stuff. I kind of felt like I was in a movie. it was weird. Exams cancelled, schools cancelled, island is in rebuilding trying to get roads drivable and everything put back and assess damage.

Dylan gets the infection, yey, and her two front teeth push through. Halle then wakes up with a fever and pukes her guts out.. Then later I hear domino's is opening at 4 pm so I'm thinking there is no way in @#($*# I'm cooking, I'm too freaking tired and exhausted from sick kids, I'll just go pick up a pizza. Put the kids in the car -- and my car won't start. PERFECT. We walk to the pizza shop by our house --- I can't take the stroller because it's under our deck and I probably couldn't push is with all the branches anyways, so carrying Dylan, walk to the pizza shop, everyone else wants pizza too. They guy ran out of supplies and its about an hour wait. Screw that. We come home, I'm very defeated, and I make mac and cheese.

It's been insane. Luckily everyone is safe. My kids are on the rebound. Taylor is currently taking his exams, and I'm living to write about this insane, insane, few days of mine. I did a little bit of damage in the online shopping department because I was attempting to feel something like I was still in the states and in the comforts of shopping, whatever, it made me feel better.

I also lived off of popcorn, carrots and diet coke. who knew? I really like caramel popcorn.

Seriously, though it made me count my blessings. I have everything I need. I have my beautiful kids and Taylor, who is INCREDIBLE. I'm really, really lucky to have him. If you are still reading, I'm super impressed. This is a NOVEL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things that are easier than living in the Caribbean

  1. Running a marathon
  2. Navigating Ikea
  3. Cleaning your oven while it's on
  4. Trying to get a diaper on a squirming, pooping baby
  5. Going to jail

Sunday, August 17, 2014

One semester down, Only four to go!

So Taylor takes his last final exam tomorrow and his whole semester is OVER. Really, really weird to think we are already 20 percent of the way done. Last week he was a little upset and said, "I'm so mad. I only have a 91 percent in anatomy." ONLY a 91 percent. We backed it up a bit and I told him a 91 percent is freaking awesome. He's doing great and really working harder than he ever has in his life.
Dylan is crawling. Barely and very, very slowly but she is crawling. She knows how to do it, just doesn't really choose to do it often. I don't blame her either. We don't have a shred of carpet. All tile in the caribbean. She is eating tons of food and growing like crazy. I'm attempting to ween her off of breastfeeding to like three times a day, as opposed to the current seven times a day.:) Love her though. Taylor says he is known as the guy with the cute baby. It's fun. I take the kids to school to see there daddy a lot and all the female students just die over Dylan. She does not lack attention that's for sure.

Halle is having a blast with all her friends. She is definitely my little social butterfly. Her two best friends have gone to school so it's a little hard for her because I can't afford to put her in the school so she is homeschooled but we are making it work. I'm going to hopefully put her in gymnastics which I know she will just love. She loves climbing trees, swimming, surfing and riding her scooter in Maho and on the bridge.

As for me, I'm just living the dream over here. I've been doing some reporting/editing/freelance work for the St. George News which is great to supplement a bit of the beans and rice/med school budget. 

The challenge has been issued. Second counselor in the young womens org. I have never been in young womens -- since I was a young woman myself, so it'll for sure be interesting but I'm excited. 

So, on our whole island we have a branch. Today at church I would say we had around 40 people. There were two girls in young womens, plus one visitor who was on vacation on a cruise.

The social dynamic is interesting because there are not a lot of marriages out here in general, and it is not uncommon for a woman to become pregnant in her teen years, and also not uncommon for women to have multiple children all with different fathers.

Anyways, I love these girls and we will see what the future brings.

We are doing awesome but miss our family terribly! Face time us when you get a minute!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dylan - My short attempt at a birth story - thank you ashton

Talking to my sister-in-law Ashton last night and seeing her birth story was so amazing and fun and made me smile from ear to ear, laugh and cry all at the same time.

So here goes nothing... Dylan. To preface this you kind of need to know a little about Halle's birth. She was nine days late, and Taylor, Halle and I were treated like we had swine flu. Taylor really did have it, so he couldn't be with me at all during labor and Halle was completely quarantined after birth just in case she had swine flu. No one could see, hold or touch Hal for about 12 or so hours after she was born other than doctors. Plus Taylor had to go home too. That's the complete short story on that one. Halle was beautiful and healthy, but a little traumatizing doing most of it without Taylor and then having them both taken away from me immediately afterwards.

Dylan now, the pregnancy was .. meh... I hate with a freaking passion being pregnant. The most awkward, terrible,  sick, blah, disgusting thing in the world. If I didn't get a baby out of it, no freaking way would I volunteer even for a million bucks. Well, maybe a million. Anyways, by about month three I want to get the bloody thing out of me. Once I hit 37 weeks I started the trampoline, exercise ball, yoga stretches, everything I could to attempt to bring on labor. Never, ever even remotely helped.

Dyl was measuring big according to their ultrasounds so I was hoping to get her out early and I sure as he*& wasn't letting her stay in an extra week and a half like Halle. When the doctor offered to deliver her one week early, I'm pretty sure I gave him a high five.

(Funny story: I coached Halle's soccer team last summer and turns out my OB's son was on the team. Talk about awkward and funny. The best part was our first realization I was his patient. He brought his son Spencer wearing sunglasses and introduced himself by his first name of course. He said, "Wait do I know you?" He took off his sunglasses and I realized he was my OB and almost said, "Yes, last week you were looking at my Woah.. hahah" Yep, awkward but very funny.) So I had his cell and email the entire pregnancy - thank you provo rec team list and info.

Anyways, Sept. 29, this beautiful, gorgeous Sunday morning in Provo they set me up in this gorgeous corner room with a view and a TV (I was the commissioner of my fantasy league and the patriots were playing someone at 11:00 a.m. that day so I had to have a TV to watch my game).

We got there at 8 a.m. and they hooked me all up, I ate right before and was rested and felt amazing. Scared out of my brains but still feeling good. Two kids scared that crap out of me. At 9 a.m. they gave me the epidural and broke my water. Then shiz started to get real.

My mom was teaching a lesson in church - Sunday school I think and I kept thinking there is no way she is going to make it because everything went so fast. But she did. My mom and sisters got there and waited outside with only like 20 minutes to spare. At 10:40ish it was pushing time.

Dylan LaVieve arrived around 11:15 at 8 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches. She made record time of only a three - isn hour labor and Taylor was there the WHOLE time.

My players stunk during the patriots game, if anyone was wondering. Complete flop. I don't even remember who they played or who it was but all I knew was Dylan was here and healthy and it was over and Halle was thrilled and I couldn't believe how amazingly fast it all was. My mother-in-law had Halle and they came shortly after and it was amazing having everyone to see me so quickly. My sister-in-laws came really soon too and I just love them to death.

It's been ten months now, which is INSANE, but I love pickles like nuts.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Welp, Taylor studied all during the fourth... yep. Welcome to my life. Ha. Me and the kiddos though, we had a killer fourth! First my friend had this amazing party in her backyard with treats and an inflatable pool and this beach ball, sprinkler combo thing. A blast. Then we went and bought pastries at La Sucrerie in Simpson Bay and it was breathtaking! We got these macaroons that -- I really didn't know I even liked macaroons, they were INCREDIBLE THOUGH! Amazing and we got these pastries and a sandwich for Taylor and this mile high meringue and an almond croissant, and to top it off we ate while watching the yachts and the boats on the bay. Ate right at the dock. It was so beautiful. Halle loved her pink raspberry macaroon and Dyl is digging the sweets already too. (She's screwed, especially with a sweet digging mama like me).

After that we went home, Dyl napped and I got to watch the French play, which is freaking awesome because I literally live about two minutes away from a French territory. This is why it is so STINKING awesome to be living where I'm living for the World Cup. I live in the netherlands and then two minutes away from france! CRAZY. I love it. I see flags and psycho hooligans in red, blue and white or this florescent orange for the netherlands. Crazy. Not a single american flag except on hotels. HA. Anyways, After the french-- cough -- lost -- cough -- we did a little swimming at our pool, then off to another party!

The Spouses Org at the med school did this pot luck with sparklers and snappers and hamburgers and hot dogs, and beer.. naturally.. haha. It's kind of odd being really the only ones that don't get absolutely wasted on the island. It's a very popular past time out here. And the nudity. hahaha

Okay, well Taylor got to come home around 8 ish so we hung out a bit and watched a show.  Taylor is working so hard. He studies like crazy and actually helps a lot of his peers with anatomy and his stronger subjects. Always been a great teacher that one. The bishopric figured this one out and last week we get to church and see Taylor's name on the program. No one even called or did anything. Just, oh hey, welcome to church, you're speaking first! He did awesome though of course. It bugs me sometimes how good he is at teaching and speaking.

Missing the family but boy are we keeping busy out here. Love YOU ALL! COME VISIT! John and Bonnie I CANNOT WAIT CANNOT WAIT! 6 days!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Updates on the littles

Welp, just trucking along here. Nothing has really happened. Another mugging in broad daylight, but it's all a day in the life. Haha, nothing really new. I thought I should kind of update a bit on my kiddos, since they are my absolute life now.

So Halle is obsessed with climbing trees right now. We go searching for trees with good branches daily. There is one that we climb in the parking lot of our complex but the security guards always tell us to stop. Good thing they are our friends so they usually let us play for a good 20 minutes before they have to tell us. Then there is one by our pool and one by this little green pad where Hal rides her scooter. The other day she was climbing on one without me outside and she fell off and got a bloody nose. I think the best part of it was our bar tender Denise who Halle is really good friends with was the first to get to Halle, even before me. She immediately ran over and wiped her off and held her. It's so great. Haha sometimes I find Halle up at the bar talking to Denise. :) I guess that's how we roll out here :) haha. No joke there is not a SINGLE playground on the island. They just don't have any out here. The kids group for the school took the kids to this mall playground indoor thing (kind of like a jump on it/chuck e cheeses). Halle loved it. She has tons of friends and super happy!

Dylan, holy crap is already 9 months,  is still the center of attention out here. I can't even stroll down the street with people asking about her. She smiles at everyone, including the stray dogs and cats. I swear she smiles at the rocks. Dork, haha. She is hilarious. She is sitting really well but not crawling. It's a little difficult out here because there is no carpet so she will always bang her head or whine with her knees on the tile. Basically I never really put her down. She is glued to my hip. No wonder she doesn't really want to crawl or walk. She is nursing really well still. She doesn't like baby food really. She eats puffs, tons of ritz, tons of bananas, yogurt, fruits, fish, and that's about it.

They are both pretty great. Taylor is awesome. He studies like crazy and has an awesome study group. I'm so so proud of him. He works so hard.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

'Bout Friggin Time

I am so terrible at remembering to blog. Actually, I remember, I'm terrible at the actual doing part. Let's get right into it. I LOVE it here. It's beautiful, it's fun, it's warm, the people are friendly, happy, relaxed. Yes, there are lots of drawbacks. First one is there is no Target, haha just kidding family, of course you are the biggest drawback. I would really love nothing more than to have a classic Barrett barbecue here or go waterskiing out here with the Sudweeks. I miss you all dearly.

There are so many differences with life out here. I'm going to try to name a few:

  1. You literally CANNOT get ready. No matter how hard you try. You can't wear pants because it's too hot. When you put make up on, it melts right off. You can't wear heels because of all the pot holes, sand, uneven gravel. You can't blow dry your hair because if you did, right after you'd need to take another shower from sweating so stinking much. This is completely serious! I haven't blow dried my hair since April!
  2. Everyone says good morning, good afternoon, good evening. You ALWAYS do this. If it is a bum on a street, you tell him good morning. If you are passing in the grocery store, you say good morning. That's just how it is :). I love it.
  3. No one is out here messing on their phones... except the americans really that are jacking up their data bills. Out here you use two different phones and you put minutes on them like pay as you go phones.
  4. Speed limits are in kilometers but it's not really enforced because there are pot holes and speed bumps all over. If you want to blow a tire, sure, go ahead and go fast.
  5. Tops are optional on the dutch side. Clothing is optional on the french side. I've seen my share of boobies. Ha. It's getting pretty normal now. I'm not as shocked anymore.
  6. There is NO WHERE to get a fountain drink. Not a gas station, not a convenience store. No where.
  7. Within minutes of putting ice in a glass it is melted. I never has to wait for the eggs or butter to be at room temperature when making cookies. I can get everything out and by the time I'm creaming the butter and sugar, it's already soft. It's insane.
  8. The World Cup is HUGE out here. I'm SO pumped it is crazy. This island is a huge melting pot so I have seen brazil flags, france, netherlands, spain, ghana ... ha everything except usa actually :) I'm going to be rooting for my country, in another country. There is this amazing german bar that I'm going to go watch germany play at and eat a bratwurst. Then when France plays I'm going to the French side and I will be eating pastries and watching. I'm so excited just thinking about it. 
  9. Church is the same, but a TON different. No nursing room, no comfortable chairs, no huge nursery with tons of toys for the kids. I think the whole building has seven rooms and one air conditioning window unit.
  10. My life is simple. I clean, do laundry, drive Halle and Dylan to swim and hang with friends, cook and put the kids to bed. I wait for Taylor a lot, and cheer him on and bring him goodies at school. All in all, I'm very proud of him. He aced his first exams and I couldn't be prouder. I'm actually not really all that proud that he aced the tests, I'm more proud of him at his work ethic and how he is working so so hard and how he is just making such good friends out here and being just the loving, handsome, hard-working man that he is.
I haven't been able to convince anyone to come visit me yet, but we are still hoping we get a visitor! Tickets are around $600 round trip. You can do it! Think of all the memories! Come visit me! PLEASE! :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Not normal...

shelf milk
Everything is different. That's for sure. The billboards of adult entertainment, lots of drinking, drinking "shelf" milk from a box, paying $10 for an itsy, crappy pint of ice cream, carrying my laundry in a backpack onto campus once a week dripping in sweat..

Yeah. All true. Shelf milk is weird. You get it in bulk and it lasts forever on the shelf. The hauling of the laundry is weird too. I'm going to get used to it though :) All I have is time out here :)

All this drives me crazy, but then I go to the beach and swim across Mullet Bay which, I'm telling you is the most exhilarating, beautiful, clear, warm water you've ever seen in your life and everything is right again. I've swam the bay almost every week and I am still in awe at how incredible it is. There are fish and it is always warm and clear and beautifully turqoise and it is stunning. I am a lucky woman !

My laundry backpack :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

White Coat Ceremony

Last night was the white coat ceremony. Gotta run off to a princess party put on by the spouses org (awesome right?!) Here's some pictures though! 

Lovely ladies :)

Out here is absolutely nuts. It's crazy. It really is. But let me break it down for you how stinking amazing the people are out here.

I think I talked about how meeting us at the airport were 3 families! THREE FAMILIES! They took their
I don't have a picture of all the kids but here are only some of Halle's buddies :)
whole day to come to meet us! They didn't even know who we were! They knew we were coming, knew we were LDS and had kids and wanted to help us feel welcome. Six kids were there to greet Halle.

Three different wonderful ladies have taken me grocery shopping already since I've been here. Since I don't have a car they have been absolute lifesavers! They come and pick me up and drive me to the store and bring me home. Holy cow it's amazing.

I have been non-stop showered with necessary items since I've been here. Just a few of the things that I have been GIVEN:

Baby seat for eating
baby clothes
crib mattress
crib sheet
baby toys
canned food
tons of books for Halle
coloring pages
swimming suits for Dylan

I could go on... These wonderful women are so selfless and helpful and just amazingly Christlike and I just couldn't do it without them. They are constantly asking me how I'm adjusting and how my kids are doing and when our roof was leaking they were so concerned and helpful. It's really amazing how these women serve. I can only hope to help others like they have helped me. You all know who you are. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I seriously love them so so much. :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Leaky roof

Yesterday my fridge, freezer and microwave all turned off twice. The first time I had no idea so everything in my freezer melted including a giant bag of chicken that I had just stocked up on so the chicken juice is all over everything.

After the freezer, microwave fiasco I went grocery shopping, attempted the library but it wasn't open on a thursday, and then I went to Mcdonalds :) I have never been so excited to go to Mcdonalds! It was divine. I thought it would at least have similar things, which it did. A couple major things is the big mac, it's a chicken patty, not a beef patty which is odd, but doesn't affect me much. In the states you can get a 32 oz drink for $1 and you get to refill it as many times as you want. In the carribean, biggest one is 20 oz, costs $1.85 and if you want to refill it you have to pay $1.85. LAME, but how could I be mad at McDonalds? You just can't. So I was happy. Plus Halle and her buddies were happy with their chicken nuggets :)

Around 5 pm the rain started. It started pouring! I was doing the dishes around 6:30 when I hear drip... drip... drip... I went in my room and we have a leak in our ceiling. I go to the front desk and they want me to move to another room for the night. Which sounds fine, but hauling two kids, not to mention hauling a crib in the pouring torrential rain does not work. So we decided to tough it out. Around 9 pm we brought out four more bowls because it went from one leak to five. An hour later the yellow, weird rain water started dripping on our bed. It fell right at my feet so I had to keep my knees close to my head to avoid touching this yellow rain water on my bed. LOVELY :)

It was a long night to say the least but it's over and hopefully they will fix it today. Tonight is the white coat ceremony and I am so excited!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Measuring cups, high chair, milk

One thing that is IMMEDIATELY apparent when you get there is how things aren't all that important. Which is absolutely beautiful. Things like a baby bouncer and a bumbo and a high chair and a walker. Dylan will never use them... until we get back home :). We don't have measuring cups, measuring spoons, or a toaster. They use powdered milk widely out here because regular is so expensive. We don't have storage for any of these things anyways. The complete storage in our place is two very, very small closets. This holds our clothes and toys for the kids. In the kitchen I have four cupboards and three drawers. I have a total of four plates, three bowls and three cups (and wine glasses, shot glasses etc.) The beautiful thing is I don't have room to go buy and store things, but it's not really necessary! You don't just go buy things immediately out here. You just learn to do without. There are places to buy lots of things but they are not handy at all, you have to run to each store. People don't use phones like crazy out here. And because we don't have phones, there is no data except over wifi so in the car to find my way I use... wait for it.. a map. Weird huh. We don't have a car either. So I'm hopping on the bus or renting a car once a week (it's cheaper than buying and maintaining an "island car". Oh and no car seats really. That one is a little weird for me but I'm getting used to it.

Today Halle realized her bike wasn't here. That was rough. I told her we couldn't bring it on the plane and she actually took it extremely well. We have been to the pool or beach every day and she has so many friends out here it is such a blessing.

Another day I will write about the ward out here and the other wives, just let me tell you they are absolutely incredible. Out here, you not only learn to do without but you learn to lean on each other. I have received bags from four different families of clothes, books, toys and food. Even though I am surrounded by drinking and nudity :) I feel God looking down on me and smiling. His hand has truly been in everything.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chocolate chip alcohol cookies

Rum and alcohol are widely, widely acceptable here as you may know, but I had no idea that it was even acceptable for kids! Whole other world out here. One of the other moms was shocked when a local asked her if she wanted rum in her kids punch. The kids are one and two years old! When she said no, the local said, "Why not?! It's Carnivaal!" or however you spell carnivaal. Craziness!

I went to the store with my friend Jessica the other day and was going to buy vanilla. She stopped me and told me the alcohol content of it was 35 percent! 35 percent! Rum in the vanilla, rum in the punch. No worries out here! :) Dylan and Halle will not be tipping back the bottle haha. Craziness, craziness.

Oh happy day, I'm off to the pool!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

LDS student robbed and beaten

So note to self, robbers will beat you if you don't have enough money... at least that's what happened to one of the LDS students. Poor guy is doing okay now, but what a welcome to the island :).

There is a lot of drinking and drugs and stuff like that out here, but surprisingly I'm not all that worried.

 Everywhere I go.. and I mean EVERYWHERE, I am always stopped because of Dylan. I mean easily five times when I'm at the grocery store. It is CRAZY! They love babies and kids. And they are very blunt and tell you how to raise your kids too. I was told to be careful because I was opening the freezer at the grocery store while holding Dylan. Another lady told me that I shouldn't be nursing, I should be feeding Dylan food now even though she has no teeth. It's great. They do it with huge smiles though and I don't take offense. Anyways, the point is that my kids are actually protecting me more than I'm protecting them. Kids are very, very protected out here which I had no clue about. They keep their children very close and are so happy to see happy, smiling babies (which Dylan smiles at just about everyone ).

Dylan didn't sleep hardly at all last night. I realized the AC was in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit last night, so instead of bumping up my kids AC a little it was 85 degrees in there. Dylan was sweaty and miserable, then I took her clothes off and fixed it, and I froze the poor things! I swear I will figure this out :) So I haven't slept, Dylan is sleeping now, and this amazing girl is taking Halle to visit some other friends -- oh I haven't even mentioned my friends out here --- they the beez knees. yep. Love them.

White coat ceremony is coming up! I'll post pictures!

Handsome hard-workin man!

I caught a good one, and I mean a REALLY good one. Taylor is absolutely crazy and I love it. Medical school is so insanely difficult and we are doing it in a foreign country and we have two kids and zero money and life is absolutely beautiful.

I am so crazy in love with my man. There is something to be said about determination, drive and hard work that just is so sexy :). Top it off with a great father with a great head on his shoulders and strong in his beliefs and boy do I have one heck of a catch. And I didn't even mention good looking :)

Island life... well it's pretty crazy. Very, VERY different from the U.S. It's a lot slower. Everything is on island time. Church always starts 10-15 minutes late (perfect for us).

Anyways, what I wouldn't give for a fountain drink right now... No such thing here. Little puny cans, oh well. It's probably a really good thing.

Monday, May 5, 2014

First days

I have no idea how we did it, but somehow we made it. Two 4.5 hour flights with two kids and zero sleep. Dylan slept the entire first flight, as did Halle, thanks to some benadryl, judge me all you want :) haha. Second flight, we did alright. It was rougher because it was 9 am - 2 pm, well our time 7 am to 12 pm and on little to no sleep, anyways. we made it. When we got into St. Martin there was THREE families looking for us and there to greet us. Each family has two kids so Halle instantly had SIX friends there to welcome her. Talk about amazing! They were so wonderful. Then they drove us and all of our luggage to our new place, helped us move it in and had fans and a crib and food waiting for us too! Our apartment has this beautiful, beautiful patio that overlooks the bay and the ocean and it is absolutely to die for. The place is small but we didn't bring much stuff so it is working. How small? In Halle and Dylan's room there is a tiny closet, no dresser and there is barely room to walk with the twin bed and the crib. Nothing else. No closet organizers, nothing. Tiniest closet. For two kids clothes and toys. :) We put socks and underwear and Dylans onesies in a shoe organizer that hangs haha.

Okay, and let's just say its a huge, huge, huge culture shock. One thing that is way, way different is alcohol is cheaper than water out here... yeah. Lots of drinking. There are casinos and "adult" places all over, oh and those nude beaches I was talking about? Basically every beach is a nude beach :), haha taking some getting used to. It's just very common out here to not use clothing haha.

Another thing is food is super expensive and there isn't a gas station or a mcdonalds you can just go to to eat or grab a drink. You have to plan your meals and if you don't, you're eating drop biscuits and eggs... again...

Something that has been my motto the past couple days is thanks to the beautiful vinyl my sister kim made me before we left. She made hearts for dylan and halle's room and it is absolutely DARLING!

Anyways, so yesterday was Taylor's first day at orientation (on a Sunday... lame) and I had showered, gotten ready for church as he was looking back to tell me goodbye, Dylan projectile vomit ALL OVER ME. Orange, nasty and puked about three times. Poor guy felt bad but he had to go because he was going to be so late. All he could say was "Well, SEE YA! " hahahaha Welcome to being a medical school wife :) Lovely! Then as I'm cleaning up the puke, Halle peed through her underwear. Lovely. That was my wonderful welcome.

With all of that over, it is absolutely, absolutely, the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. The beach is beautiful and clear and warm and blue and the sand is so amazing and the weather is beautiful and hot and humid but not so bad. The nights are warm and breezy and perfect for sitting out on the patio and reading a book.

The friends and ward are amazing. I've never been such a minority but I love it. No one treats me different because I'm white. They are friendly and laugh all the time which I love. We are slowly making friends with everyone who works here. Miss Minnere or something like that brought us a comforter to put on the tile so Dylan can play and teresa and all these other people are just so fun and love love our kids. At first they asked, oh are you the family that lives in 15. They know us and they always ask us if we are comfortable. So wonderful.

Anyways, We are loving it Taylor is at school and I'm heading to the "grocery store" and I will post more later!

"Collect moments, not things"
"Talk about your blessings, more than your burdens."