Thursday, November 26, 2015

my little brother's birthday

Today my little and favorite brother has a birthday. It would have been so much fun to be with him in person, but I am SO thankful that he will be with family -- at least part of his family for his special day!

Andrew, Joel and I decided to celebrate your birthday, as if you were here. Less than a month before you're actually here with us!!! We can't wait!

So to celebrate you, we bought 2 yummy French pastries from our favorite boulangerie, lit a couple of candles, and used our special plate that Aunt Donna gave me for "very special occasions for very special people!"

They were VERY good! :)

As I was thinking of what to write about you, Andrew, there were a lot of things that came to mind... should I write about your funny voice impressions you do so well, or how much you have had to put up with, with having 3 sisters all these years -- you've done remarkably well! Or, should I write about how you and I played together hour after hour growing up -- we had so much fun together and have a lot of wonderful memories!

But then I got to thinking, that there are a lot of people besides me, who appreciate you so very much, and I I thought it would be fun to hear from them what 3 words they would use to describe you. I hope you'll be encouraged by how much you have (and still are!) been a great friend, and overall wonderful person to be around!

So here are some words that have been specifically selected to describe you...

reflective, unhurried, unworried
awesome, funny, quality man
big teddy bear! 

amazing French, good listener, fun, caring
compassionate, loyal, perseveres
genuine, hilarious, loyal

"posax" (posé et relax!), encouraging, engaging
thoughtful, hilarious, insightful
"temple of doom" (haha, from Pierre)

intentional, generous, courageous
easy-going, laughter, brojects
funny, thoughtful, generous

fun, caring, sweet
servant-hearted, observant, joyful 

We blew out your French candles for you! We love you so much and hope you have a really terrific day! I am so thankful you are a part of our family! I wouldn't trade you for anything! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

a day in the life of my hubby

My husband and I have been married for a little over 2 months, and we are having the best of times living together, laughing at each other's funny mannerisms, making a whole slew of memories as a Mr. and Mrs, and learning what our new routine and life is like. Joel is currently on a rotation where he works 2 weeks in the hospital, and then has one at home. The person in charge of him this week has been really great, and has allowed him to get off at noon every day of the week, to be able to come home and study.

He goes to work by bike, as the hospital is really close to where we live -- our latest big investment was getting mud tire guards, so he doesn't arrive to work with muddy water splashes on his back due to all the rain. Good, worthwhile investment.

After a nice break for lunch -- giving him a break between work at the hospital and studying all afternoon and evening, he gets himself a cup of coffee and diligently studies the rest of the afternoon and evening. Here is proof from one day this week. :)

The studying begins. Going chapter by chapter, taking notes on what is most important to remember. "The stuff underlined in red is the really important stuff" he informed me. Yellow highlight means it's REALLY important, "way more than the red underlined stuff". The orange highlight is the treatments... all the drugs. Green means bacteria or viruses.

Can you understand much in what he wrote...? 

Studying continues.

Still interesting stuff, and he enjoys what he's learning! He'll be such a great doctor!

Time for a little break... we started a puzzle a year ago, then rolled it up because we didn't have time to finish it, and got it out on our date night last week-end. I was working on the sky, and was very proud of the 3 pieces I managed to put in. Meanwhile, he had finished his whole section. And as you can see, came to my sky and pretty much finished it too. :)

Back to work, and motivated after completing Melissa's sky section! :)

Still studying, but getting a bit weary... 

Dinner is finally ready! After a nice little break, and some yummy food, it's back to studying again for several more hours. Repeat pictures 1-8! 

I am so proud of my husband and all of the hard hard work he does to becoming a doctor! This is on top of everything else he does to take such good care of me, and daily show me love! I am sure he'd appreciate your prayers as his exams are coming up mid-December! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

becoming Heidi in the Swiss Alps

We kept our French honeymoon destination a surprise from everyone before the wedding, minus about 3 people, just for the fun of it and having a secret adventure to go on after our big day! There are sooooo many places to visit here in Europe, and relatively speaking, quite easy to travel to. We chose a small, rustic cabin, nestled away in the Swiss Alps for our few days between our French wedding and starting back at work. It was wonderful, and so picturesque!

Our family grew up with a Mom who read chapter books out loud to us, which we loved, and left us most always begging for her to read "one more chapter, pleaaaasee!" One of those books was Heidi. The story of a girl who goes to live with her Grandfather in the Swiss Alps, in his little cabin.

** Sidenote, if you haven't ever read Heidi, it's a must read!! So good!

Anyway, I felt like I had stepped into the novel when we were there. The cabin belonged to some friends of Joel's parents, and it was tucked away, far off from the main roads, the closest village being about 20 minutes by car. We had to buy a special permit to drive on a "locals only" road to get to our humble abode.

The road, however, though it brought us closer, still left us with a 10 minute steep climb up to our cabin (pictured in the photo below).

A climb up a meadow, without a path, and carrying all of our supplies (food which we had bought in the last village), and anything else we needed for our time there.

The kitchen, living room/bedroom and cool room were in the little cabin with the Swiss flag. The bathroom was an outhouse, in the middle building, and the shower, well... there was a fresh mountain spring that had constant running water, at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. SO COLD!! 

But the scenery was incredible! We had a great time hiking around and breathing in the fresh, crisp mountain air. 

My husband's ears were quite cold on the way back down from the top of the mountain. He's so stylish!

Our trail...

Switzerland is absolutely beautiful. We really want to go back sometime -- and living in a rustic little cabin where our heat came from a wood burning stove that we had to make and maintain, as well as our cooking, made for some great, memories. Can you believe it's only 12 hours away from Rennes?