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."