Monday, July 26, 2010

"If I Have to See This One More Time..." by Jill Hasselbring

Warning: The pictures you are about to see are not for the weak stomached. There is potential for gagging to occur. Viewer discretion is advised.

I seriously could write a book with a "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" feel. It might go something like this...

DISCLAIMER: To Stephen’s defense, we have a friend staying with us. He is occupying Stephen’s study room/PA material storage space. Therefore, it has all been moved to our kitchen table.

If I have to see picture A one more time, I might stick my tongue back out at him!

Yes, this picture among many others sit on our kitchen table ALL THE TIME. Every time I go to the kitchen I bypass the rude man who can’t keep his oversized tongue in his mouth. Yes, people that is a real condition. He literally cannot put his tongue in his mouth. It is absolutely appetizing!

If I have to see picture B again, I might make a billboard that says “SAY NO to lip augmentations!” with this guy’s picture smack dab in the middle.

Stephen told me that what this guy has is what I had on our honeymoon. AWESOME!

Can you see the resemblence?

Every time I pile more papers and books on our kitchen chairs, I think “I can’t wait until I have my own custom built in bookshelves in a house one day – Stephen will love paying for that lovely upgrade! Revenge is sweet!

Kitchen Chair #1

Kitchen Chair #2

Here is an added bonus of our kitchen table - this is on a good day!

If I have to keep piling things up, I might just go mad. End of discussion.

These are some decorations that were on our kitchen table that got kicked to the curb.

And when you are free from the pressures of studying, we will spend quality time together organizing all this stuff.

I forgot to take a picture of the cabinet/bookshelf next to this pile, which is also filled with all sorts of goodies.

You will probably complain and say that you just want to play golf with the guys, but I will sweetly reply, "You are the one who created this monster!"

But when you finish these next nine days and pass all your classes, we will be flying out to the beautiful Malibu, California to see our niece, Katie Grace, and NEW nephew, Caleb, just a few short hours after your last final!

In 9 days, YES, NINE days, Stephen will be done with the academic portion of PA school. Then, 10 days from now, it will be one year until he is officially finished with PA school altogether (August 5, 2011). Can you believe it? There is an end in sight.

In his last year, he will complete eight clinical rotations. We found out this past week where he is going. Good News: He will only be out of town for one rotation – Cookeville. It is an ER rotation, so it will probably be 3 x 12 hour shifts. Only three days out of the week he will be gone – not bad.

Even though next year will be a little more relaxed, it will not be a walk in the park. He will still have studying to do to prepare for clinicals. He will have to log in patients he sees, complete hours online, work on a big research project, and study for his PA exam. I'm sure I'm missing things. But hopefully, he will be able to enjoy the football season a little more this year.

FUNNY STORY (to me at least): Stephen found out about two weeks ago when he would be going to Elite. He is going to get to go twice for his elective and surgical rotations. When I found out, I called my sister to tell her, but told her not to say anything to anyone (it wasn’t official enough yet). She works at Elite as a nurse practitioner. Stephen called Dr. Elrod last week to ask him about ideas for his research project. He did not mention his rotations because the official schedule had yet to come out. The next day Dr. Elrod mentioned to Joce in conversation that he talked to Stephen. Joce responds by saying, “Oh, did he tell you…” She immediately stops, remembering she wasn’t supposed to say anything. Of course, she quickly says “never mind.” Dr. Elrod asks what she was about to say. When Joce wouldn’t say anything, he says: “Oh, I know, Jill is pregnant.” He thought Joce was hiding some HUGE secret. When Joce was over at our house yesterday, she nonchalantly says to Stephen: “So, Dr. Elrod might ask you if you and Jill are pregnant!” Exactly how rumors begin… But I will be the first to stop this rumor dead in its track – WE ARE NOT PREGNANT.

So here's to nine more days of perseverance - you can do it Stephen (and Stacy, Maci, and Greg - and the PA Class of 2011)!

Monday, July 19, 2010

What Really Happened…

Nothing says “happy 2nd anniversary” like waking up at 6:30 am to work on grad school for two hours, locking myself out of my house, cutting coupons, going grocery shopping, doing laundry, paying bills, updating our finance spreadsheet, straightening up the house, reading more for grad school, and then running at 3:30 in the sweltering afternoon heat with your beloved and feeling absolutely miserable.

P.S. Blake and Julie, thanks for letting us borrow your hose mid-run! You probably are completely confused because you are just learning this as you read. Yup, we definitely stopped and borrowed your hose without asking when no one was home today. We were dying and desperate!

AND nothing says wedded bliss like your husband rushing out the door and saying “see ya!” instead of the normal “I love you” and kiss goodbye because his hands were loaded down. My reply: “Happy Anniversary to you too!” His stunned looking face with his mouth opened as if he was going to speak but then couldn’t had “oh-man-I-can’t-believe-I-forgot PLUS I-am-going-to-have-to-walk-over-there-now-because-it-is-our-anniversary-and-give-her-a-kiss-goodbye-with-all-this-stuff-in-my-hands-and-I-am-running-late” written all over it. It was priceless. What is the score now? 2 to 1 – ME!

Ok Ok…enough is enough. Now that you have heard Jill’s version of our anniversary, let me tell you the truth. Ask yourself this… “Do I really think that Stephen forgot his anniversary?” If you said yes, you have evidently lost your mind as well. Let’s look at this logically. I am in school right now and my life revolves around remembering things. Jill walked out of the door this morning to get in her car, locked the door, and then realized she didn’t have her keys. This morning when I “appeared” to forget our anniversary I was merely testing Jill. When I got home, Jill wrongly accused me of forgetting how important today was… Here is that conversation:

Jill: You completely forgot our anniversary! Ha, I’m so much sweeter than you.
Me: No I didn’t, I was just testing you. You almost failed too. I was almost out the door.
Jill: I didn’t forget. I was testing you.
Me: No you weren’t. I was proctoring the exam. And you almost failed. I give you a 76% (that’s 1% above passing in PA school).
Jill: (crickets, tough to find a comeback for that one)

So you see, I didn’t forget. I was merely testing my dear wife in hopes to stimulate growth… You are welcome, Jill.

So from now on as you read this blog think to yourself… “I wonder what really happened...”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today is RACE DAY...OR More Like Two Months Ago...

Still playing catch up...

If you notice on the screen, it says "TODAY IS RACE DAY."
It took a long time to get this picture because I would never have my camera ready and the screen would change before I could get the picture snapped.
I think Stephen ended up getting this shot because I failed for so long.
There is too much to watch that it is nearly impossible to just sit and wait for the screen to scroll back around.

For the Memorial Day weekend, we went to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 with Stephen's parents. I think this is my favorite thing we do every year. I know what you are thinking... All you watch are cars going around a track, whoop-di-doo! That is exactly what I used to think! But I have become a HUGE fan. When I go, it is like sensory overload. I always think, if only I taught a grade level that learned about their senses. I feel like I could use my Indy 500 experiences to give them explicit instruction.

Let me try to convert you...

First, you SEE the most interesting people/things EVER. It is a wonder I don't run into people more often walking to the track because I will sometimes walk by people and think "did I just really see that?" And then, turn my head to confirm that my eyes weren't failing me. Nope, don't need glasses. It works as my annual vision test. I mean the most red-neck-ness you will ever see in your life. You will be walking and see a 300 lb. man with his shirt off, but you have to give him a second look because his farmer's tan is so prevalent. His purple back from such a severe burn confirms that he really does have his shirt off. Oh did I mention he is wearing shorts with tall white socks with sandals? Okay, I sound so critical. But I think I am justified, I proudly admit I come from a red-neck father. I think I finally just convinced him a few years ago that the socks/sandals look was not so hot. I mean my dad doesn't have hair on his legs because he got a chain-saw too close to his leg - not once but TWICE. He screams redneck! But I love him for it! I can also be critical because we look just about as bad. Sleeves rolled up awkwardly. Sweat marks all over our shirts.

Here is a picture taken while we were walking to the track..

Still walking...

[Disclaimer: I realize not a single thing I have said thus far is making you jump up and buy tickets to the race - but give me some time!]

You also SEE some of the nicest cars in one spot. All the brand new trucks, Tahoes, sports cars, and the race cars! This year Michael Andretti and Mark Wahlberg rode in an Indy 500 car for the parade laps. Pretty cool!

You will also never SEE so many people in on place at one time. It is unbelieveable. If I am not mistaken, it is still the largest single-day sporting event in the world with 300,000 spectators! The next few pictures will give you some idea...

This is inside the gate of the stadium...
We are almost at our seats...

We are at our seats! This is the mass of people from our seats...

I walked down to the bottom row to take these next few shots...

This is probably only like one-fourth of the stadium...

Is this not incredible? People, it's the place to be...

This is looking in the opposite direction into the first turn of the track...

Where's Waldo?

So who's jealous?
This is Stephen in about 40 years...
We bought Stephen's dad some racing headphones for Father's Day/his Birthday.
He is testing them out.

You HEAR the loudest sounds you will ever hear. You have to basically yell at each other or wait for the car to be on the opposite side of the track. The yellow things around Stephen's dad's neck (in the picture above) are ear plugs, which are a necessity. But you can't put them in for the first 10 laps because you are soaking it all in! Stephen taught me that... And the best words you will ever hear are...Drivers, START YOUR ENGINES! A.K.A. Let the noise begin!

You also get this huge FEELING of pride to be an American. They do a great job of recognizing our military. It gives me chills everytime I watch the men and women serving in the military spread the flag during the Star Spangled Banner. Then, they have people from the military stand in the back of a ton of Chevy trucks and ride around the track like a parade, while the fans give them a standing ovation. It's cool...

Jewel singing the National Anthem

Then, there are excited/adrenaline like FEELINGS you get all throughout the race.
First, you get it when they say "Start Your Engines!" I can hardly control myself when the cars start to move let alone when they wave the green flag. They have the drivers warm up their tires for quite a few laps before they wave the green flag. The anticipation kills you!
The Race is about to start...

Last warm-up lap until the green flag...


Another adrenaline/exciting FEELING is when the cars pit. We sit right at the end of pit row. It is so awesome watching the cars exit pit row... It was in pit row plus his incredible driving that helped Tony Kanaan move from practically last place to become a contender in the race. It was so fun to watch.

The white line is the end of pit row - so literally right in front of us...

This is terrible to say, but the crashes generate a pretty exciting FEELING too (as long as they are not serious).

Here they are carrying a crashed car in a yellow tarp to the garage.

So I have to mention the food! There is nothing like an awesome ball-park hot dog, hot pretzel, and nachos! Yum! It TASTES so good! For some reason when you have sweat running down every inch of your body, hot race food tastes so good. Makes total sense, NOT!

And the SMELL is...well, I am trying to convince you, so I'll just stop there. =)

Oh, I can't forget to mention that we leave for Indianapolis for the race on my first day of summer break. That probably has a lot to do with the love I have for the race and the whole weekend as a whole. Plus, the catch-up time we get to have with Stephen's parents, the incredible meals they treat us to, Ritter's Custard (delicious ice cream) EVERY night, learning/hearing stories about Stephen's grandparents and parents growing up (Stephen's parents grew up in Indianapolis and his grandparents lived there until they passed away), and visiting their old houses.

Here is a picture of Stephen's grandparents (mom-side) house...
[These are not the greatest pictures - they were taken with Stephen's phone at dusk.]

The back of their house that backs up to a creek that goes through the neighborhood with a sidewalk around the whole thing... Very peaceful.

Here's the creek...
So, here's the question...any changes in heart? I'm not asking for you to repent for your negative thoughts - that's between you and the Indy 500, but I want you to know that you can come forward and admit you would love to go sometime. [That's for you Church of Christers out there!]

P.S. I tried to put videos on here, but it didn't work. I'll get pointers from other, more experienced bloggers, and then post them later. Hopefully! One of them is kind of funny because you can hear me yelling, "This is so exciting!" Funny!