September 27, 2010

Football and Food

Like many other families across the country we have enjoyed the start of the football season. With Kyle and I being home, and him not studying for all hours of the day, he has been able to really enjoy both college and pro football games. It basically consumes the majority of our weekends and a few week nights here and there. Now, I enjoy watching a game or two, but I have my limits. I still don't understand why we have to watch the highlights of all the games we just watched live? Isn't that like watching a preview for a movie after you've seen the whole thing? Anyway, that's a whole other issue which I believe comes with the territory of being married. Now, to the point of this post...
We have started a new tradition with my mom and dad and I am very excited about it. In fact, it's something I hope we continue for many years to come. Starting last week, when the 49ers (Kyle's team) played the Saints, Kyle made the comment that clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl sounded incredible for dinner. He thought it would be a nice way to honor his team too. I made the dinner and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. Well, his idea stuck and my dad and I have now planned for the whole season of Monday Night Football. Here's the bottom line: we cook a dinner on Monday nights that relate to one or both of the teams playing. I had so much fun putting the menus together. Tonight, as the Bears took on the Packers, I made Beer/Cheese soup (Russ's recipe) and Chicago Dogs. Yuuummmmmy!

If you were wondering, that's popcorn sprinkled on top. It adds a nice crunch.

September 24, 2010

You, Me, and a...Cactus?

We've been in AZ for over 2 weeks now and strangely it feels so normal. Of course, this is home to both Kyle and I, but you would think it would take a little more adjusting after living on a Caribbean island for the past 9 months. I really should temporarily change the name of the blog to You Me and a Cactus considering there are no banana plants to be found around these parts, but for everyone's sanity we'll keep things as is. One change that has hit me is the change in climate. My beautiful, golden tan is flaking off faster than you can say "it's a dry heat".
Kyle is feeling better, but still not 100%. I wish I had more news and updates, but things are moving slowly when it comes to his recovery.
As I mentioned before I will start subbing next week. I am extremely excited about the thought of getting up for a purpose, other than to cook and deliver Kyle's meals, and I also look forward to actually getting ready. This includes doing my hair, makeup, and putting something on my body other than sunscreen, bug repellent, a bathing suit, or athletic wear. The whole slicked back ponytail is not really my thing and neither is no makeup, but when it's 90 degrees outside with humidity at about 1,000%, there's really no point. Any stitch of effort put into my appearance has melted right off my face and pooled onto the floor, along with my sweat, within seconds of leaving our apartment. No wonder Kyle has this frightened look on his face when I enter the study area to bring him his lunch. Can you blame him? Anyway, my other thoughts about starting subbing again involve the hours...I have to be at most schools around 7:30am! This does not coincide my Dominican schedule. Remember, I've been on "island time". I'm more of a wake up at 9am kind of person. I'm sure I will adjust, but I warned Kyle that I might be a bit of a grouch.
As I think about the changes over the last 2 weeks, it seems as though the roles have reversed. He will be at home trying to get better and maybe study a little or even play domestic diva, while I work and try to make some money. I don't mind this at all, in fact as I mentioned before I am really looking forward to it. I did have to chuckle when I received a call from Kyle, after being out with my mom for most of the day, that went a little something like this:
Kyle: Hey honey, how's your day going?
Me: Fine.
Kyle: Any idea when you'll be home? I've been sooooo bored and lonely all day and daytime television really stinks.
(There was a long pause of silence and then my jaw fell to the floor)
Me: Really? I never knew this.
(Another long pause of silence)
Kyle: Oh.....I guess this is how you feel when I'm away studying for 15 hours a day.
Me: Yes it is. I'll be home shortly. Love you.

It seems as though this bump in the road, period of change, whatever you want to call it, will be good for us. If nothing else, it looks likes we might gain a greater appreciation for each other.

September 21, 2010

Our New Normal

We are home, in AZ. I must start this post by saying thank you to all of you for the kind words of encouragement and prayers...we certainly need them. This has been a challenging time in our lives as we ask ourselves daily "what is going on and where are we going?" We both feel so discouraged and lost at times, but continue to push forward to create a "new normal". Here's the scoop, the abridged version:
Well, we've been home for almost 2 weeks and in that time we've been to the ER, spent a night in the hospital, and have learned about all the things Kyle doesn't have. He's had an MRI, CT scan, x-rays, lumbar puncture, angiogram, eye exam, and what seems like everything else in between. Poor fella'. You know, for someone who wants to be a doctor, he sure puts up quite a fight when it comes to dealing with them. First we were told it was migraines, now it seems like all the symptoms are unrelated. We're trying new medications and forms of therapy and we'll see how that goes.
In other news, my days of lounging around at the pool and being a Dominican housewife are over for now and I will be starting substitute teaching next week. It allows me the flexibility to take care of my sick boy and make some money to cover all the extra expenses we've been incurring. You don't even want to know (but if you want to make a donation to the "Kyle and Heidi Poor Fund"...let me know, haha). Kyle also hopes to pick up a few days of work once he's feeling a little better and that too will help us out.
We're back at my grandma's house, the one only a few houses down from my parents, and it feels like deja vu. We've, and I mean me, have been unpacking all of our stuff from storage that we'll be needing through December. It seems like we just did this 9 months ago. I'm sure my grandma thought she finally got rid of us, but we're baaaaaack! We really appreciate her taking us in.
That's all the news I have for now. You know, things could be a lot worse than spending time with friends and family for the next few months. The break from humidity isn't so bad either.

September 9, 2010

Barbados...Post 3 of 3


We found the famous green monkey. They were everywhere! We had so much fun with these cute little animals and the whole time I couldn't help but think about how much my mom would love this. She is crazy about monkeys and all other animals for that matter. She really is Mrs. Doolittle.

We stopped for a roadside lunch at a small rum factory where they make the famous Malibu coconut rum. As we sat eating our lunch, this perfectly white beach was our view. It was hard to leave.

This was a small restaurant called the Surfers Cafe and we stopped here for a cocktail. We couldn't resist the views at sunset. The bench we're sitting on actually extended over the ocean and occasionally a big wave would tickle your ankles.

We left early Sunday morning for St. Lucia and we were both very sad to leave this beautiful island. I must say, we would both jump at the opportunity to go back. In fact, I think I hear those white sand beaches calling my name right now.

September 8, 2010

Heading Home

To those of you who are diligent followers of our blog and journey, you know that Kyle had been feeling sick shortly before finals week last semester. He started feeling better about a week into break and started feeling bad again shortly into our visit to St. Lucia and has not felt any relief since then. His biggest issue is his constant headache and cloudy vision. We feel that while medical help is possible here in Dominica, it may take an eternity and we're better off to go home, to Phoenix, and get things checked out. We leave this afternoon in will arrive Thursday morning. Obviously we wish we had gone home during the break, when he had the time off, but as they say "hindsight is 20/20".

This was a very difficult decision for Kyle and I to make, for school reasons, but we are confident that getting medical help is the best thing in the long run. He can be stubborn and thought about pushing through, but the voice of reason (me) knocked some sense into him. We don't know how long we'll be in the valley, obviously the shorter the visit the better and at some point, if we are there for more than a week or so, we'll have to make the decision to take the semester off and start back up in January. Yes, it would be a small set back, but we both believe that everything happens for a reason and God is with us. Please keep us in your prayers through this chaotic and stressful time.

September 7, 2010

Barbados...Post 2 of 3

While in Barbados, we decided to rent a car. Yikes!!! They drive on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right. That's also how they drive in Dominica, but neither of us have driven here. Kyle took it slow at first and glued himself to the left edge of the road. He also did what my dad always did on vacations with left side driving and turned on the windshield wipers nearly every time he meant to hit the turn signal. That made us laugh quite a few times and brought back some fond memories of family vacations in Europe.

On our road trip we visited the Banks brewery, the beer of Barbados.

It typically comes in a plastic bottle, like Pepsi. We thought this was kind of strange. The only time I've seen beer in a plastic bottle is at sporting events.

We also stumbled upon a cigar factory. It was comprised of several cubicles with women working away at very specific steps in the cigar making process.

Drying tobacco leaves.

Every Friday night, in the town of Oistins, they have a large fish fry. We were told by many people that it was a must while in Barbados. We went, had a great time, and enjoyed some yummy seafood.

We even ran in to some friends from Dominica.

It was a great day and we were so glad we rented a car. It gave us a whole new perspective of Barbados outside the walls of our resort and beach.

September 5, 2010

Barbados...Post 1 of 3

What can I say about our trip to Barbados? Well, it was almost perfect. Although, we thought we wouldn't make it due to some bad weather here in Dominica.

Here I am, at our apartment, more than ready to "get out of Dodge".

We went to Pagua Bay, only about 15 minutes from the airport to start our vacation early with some great food and beautiful views. Then...the weather turned. Lots of rain and heavy clouds. Our fear was that the storm would not pass until after dark and since the airport in Dominica has no lights on the runway, we wouldn't be able to leave until the next day.

Thankfully it cleared up just in time and we made it to Barbados just as the sun went down.

Welcome to Barbados! We stayed at the Crane which I would highly recommend to anyone.

They upgraded our room, Kyle told them it was out honeymoon, and this picture was taken on our balcony. Pretty amazing, right?

So was this photo. Ahhh, relaxing in the sun.

Another picture taken from our balcony. I can't believe we woke up to this view.

The sitting area in our room,

The Crane hotel is situated on a cliff over looking the world famous Crane Beach. We actually took an elevator down to the beach. Pretty spectacular.

I hope you enjoyed the white sandy beaches and clear blue waters of Barbados. This is just the beginning. There will be more to come.

September 4, 2010

The Journey Continues

Kyle and I are back from our vacation to Barbados and St. Lucia. We had such an amazing time and are so blessed to be able to visit so many unique places while we're on this journey. I'm sure we'll look back years from now and think about what an experience this was. We loved Barbados for the pure white sand and clear waters and thought St. Lucia was beautiful too, but it looks so much like Dominica that I don't know if we appreciated it as much as one normally would. We did rent a car for a day in each place to explore and I am so proud of Kyle for driving on left side of the road. We certainly had a lot of laughs together. I will post pictures and stories over the next few weeks once school starts and things settle down for both of us. On Monday, Kyle starts his 2nd year of med school and I am proud to announce that his fabulous grades have awarded him a position as a Neuroscience Teacher's Assistant. His hard work is certainly paying off. I will be busy over the next week or so with all the orientations and meetings for new spouses and all the activities that go along with that. We try to have a few events for everyone to meet and for the newbies to ask as many questions as possible. We have all been there and know exactly what they're feeling. It's quite overwhelming and scary when you first arrive on the rock. Then, I will continue to tutor at the day school for a couple of hours each day. I love my time with the kiddos. our break ends we looks back with lots of smiles and special moments, but are excited to get things started. The sooner we start this semester, the sooner my mom comes in October, and the sooner we'll be home for Christmas. Trust me, we're counting down the days.