Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer in Iowa

Iowa in the summer is beautiful!  Well, I suppose anywhere in the summer is beautiful!  Andee and I are really starting to settle in to our new environment!  We absolutely love our 2, yes, count em, 2 bedroom apartment, I am loving volunteering at the church, and Andee is very much enjoying his current ER rotation over at Allen Hospital.  It seems that we have adapted quite easily into our new roles, which really is saying something (for me anyways!)  All in all, life is pretty good!  However, I did come across a few photos from Canada back in June when we were home for vacation, and although I am quite content here, I still always feel a little homesick when I remember Canada and all my family and friends.  Here are some fun cottage pictures of the start of a Canadian summer!

Something that has also brought us a ton of joy is the fact that we are now proud owners of A NEW CAR!!!  Okay, it is just leased while we are in the US, but I cannot even explain how much easier this has made daily life for us!  We no longer spend a large percentage of or conversations trying to figure out a "car schedule," and with Andee between the 2 hospitals and the clinic throughout each week with irregular hours, this car has truly been a huge blessing for us!  I can now fully commit to church volunteer hours, Worship team scheduling, hangouts with friends, and even grocery shopping trips!  I can even make last minute plans!!  It has been amazing!!  We ended up with another Corolla, since we have had such a good experience with our Canadian car!  Hallelujah, we are now a 2 car family!!

Although overall it has been a little cooler than usual for summer, the benefit of being in the Midwest is that there have still been quite a few pool/beach days!  Andee and I have recently found a great State Park that offers fishing, nature trails, and even a public beach!  Since the pools have just closed this week (American students go back to school in August, I know, weird), it is great to have found a new hangout spot for the remainder of this beautiful summer weather!

This past Thursday, Andee and I celebrated our Four year Wedding Anniversary!  Four years of marriage, four years of medical school, and almost 9 years together!  Sometimes I feel like we are an old married couple...except that we still look like teenagers and Andee continually gets mistaken for one at work.  Oh well!  I suppose we just have old souls!  We started the celebration with a lesiurely stroll at Downtown Cedar Falls, where we enjoyed some scratch cupcakes and a beautiful view of the Cedar River!  We finished up with a delicious trip to Red Lobster!  Andee ordered the crab trio, and I ordered a 4 course dinner with soup, salad, shrimp and scallop Alfredo, and an ice cream brownie!  YUM!  Unfortunately, we were so excited to dig in that I forgot to ask our waitress to take a photo!  So we got one of the ice cream!  Enjoy!

As the summer draws to a close (noooooooooooooooooo), we are thinking and praying for our friends that will soon be applying for Residencies!  What an intense process that we will never forget!  But we are so happy to be where we are right now, getting to partake in our new church's mission in reaching Iowa for Christ!  Happy Summer Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Blog Link, Same Blog!! Keep Reading!!

Hello Readers,

Blogger is telling me that I have reached photo capacity on their website (how on earth did that happen??) and so I have created a new blog link as a continuation of the old blog!

The new link is....

There will be no more posts on this blog, so please refer to this link to continue on our journey with us!!

Keep reading!!

~Diana and Andee~

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cassie and Trevor in Illinois!!

Yayyy!! Our second set of visitors!!  We are so thankful that Cassie and Trevor opted to drive through the night after working long shifts just to come visit us for a few days!!  We were so excited for them to visit!!!!!!  FAMILY!!!

After finally getting to bed at 4AM after a long day of work and a long night of driving, Andee and Trevor decided to wake up before 6AM to go fishing before Andee's shift at the hospital!  What crazies!!  Much to my enjoyment and surprise, I was awoken with a text from Andee with a great picture of Trevor holding another Monster Bass!!  Worth it!!   

After the fishing expedition, a good sleep-in for the guests, and Andee arriving back from work, we made another trip to Bass City in the afternoon!  The unusually high temperature for an early November afternoon should have made for some good fishing, but the wind was so intense that both Andee's favorite lure and his fishing rod were destroyed in the process.  There was some climbing of trees and intense efforts to retrieve the lure, but alas, to no avail.  So what were we to do?  Take a trip to Bass Pro Shop of course!! 

Upon arriving at Bass Pro Shop, the boys made a beeline to the fishing section, but Cassie and I noticed some Christmas shenanigans going on in the store.  Turns out, they had a full North Pole set-up complete with a carousel, games, crafts, and even Santa!!  We were so excited and had been left alone, and so we obviously participated in making the cutest little owl craft, playing some games, and even sitting on Santa's knee!!  SO FUN!!  CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

After our North Pole Adventure, we had an amazing dinner at the Bass Pro Shop Restaurant, complete with a massive salt water aquarium filled with so many beautiful kinds of tropical fish!  It made me miss snorkeling in St. Kitts!!  We were feeling adventurous and started off the meal with an appetizer of alligator bites, which were actually amazing and really tasty!  Cassie ordered a yummy burger, Trevor had a Cajun chicken burger, I had halibut and shrimp with a lobster sauce, and Andee ordered the special, fried Walleye!  He was so excited to try something that is very rarely on any menu we have ever seen!  All of our meals were so delicious and amazing, and we even had leftovers to spare!  A wonderful first day with our guests!!

The next day the temperature completely dropped off with temperatures below freezing, but we still managed to get a little fishing in!   Although it was much colder, it was a lot less windy as well, making it a lot easier to fish!

We then made a trip to one of the malls in the area to check out some American stores, find some deals, and enjoy all of the Christmas decorations and displays.  And guess what??  Santa was there too!  I think he was following us around!!

After our mall adventure, we made our way to Lou Malnati's, the infamous deep dish pizza restaurant we discovered when my Parents came to visit!  It was amazing as always, and even Cassie enjoyed it!  She even ate a whole fried zucchini piece!   It's a holiday miracle! 

Another excellent day was completed by a late night fishing trip by Andee and Trevor, in which they wore pretty much all the clothes they owned!  Andee literally had on 3 sweaters, 2 jackets, 2 pairs of sweatpants, jeans, 2 hats, a scarf, and 2 pairs of socks!  Hardcore!!

The next day we had a leisurely afternoon with a little fishing, and feeding the hundreds of ducks and geese that roam our property!  Some of them were even brave enough to eat out of our hands!  Very cute!

We also made another trip to Bass Pro Shop where I finally convinced Andee to pose for a photo with Santa!  It ended up being one of the best photos of us ever, complete with a big smile from both Andee and the reindeer in the background!  I love Christmas!  We also ordered some more alligator bites and fries as a appetizer!  Delish!

We ended the day with some tacos at our place, and Cassie and Trevor prepared to drive through the night to arrive home for work the next day!  What troopers!

We had such a wonderful time with our wonderful guests, and we were so glad to have Cassie and Trevor see what Illinois is like, our apartment, and our American Adventure!  We will be arriving home in about a month for the Holidays, and we are super excited to see everyone!!  YYYAAAAAYYYY!!!  See you soon!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cold Hands, Warm Heart!

Happy November!  Recently, Andee and I have had to make the switch from light, unbuttoned jackets or sweaters and running shoes to something a little more cozy and warm.  I've made a scarf and mittens a permanent addition to the contents of my purse, but have maintained a much less bitter attitude towards the cold than in the years past.  Why is this?  Our apartment is so warm and amazing!!  I can comfortably sit around in nothing more than regular pants with no long johns, a regular shirt without 15 layers, and WITHOUT the addition of a heating pad, blanket, or hot water bottle following me around!  And we often times do not even need the heat on, or put it on low for a few hours and call it a night!  So since I am not permanently freezing for the entirety of the Fall, Winter, and Spring season, I am quite the happy Diana!  A little bit of Winter can't hurt, right??

Last week, we celebrated all the women at our study by having a Women's Bible Study Brunch!  Because nothing brings a bunch of ladies together like good food and good company!  The food was absolutely delicious, and it was great getting to know the ladies better in my small group!  

Andee and I are also trying to extend the regular fishing season by fishing in the cold October and November waters!  We had unseasonably warm weather near the end of October, and then it dropped off quickly and has been cold ever since.  We have still managed to make it out to the lake a few times to catch more massive bass at Bass City, USA!! 

Great news!  I was able to sing on the Worship Team at Harvest Bible Chapel last week!  It was amazing to sing with such talented musicians while worshiping our God!!  I always forget how much I miss singing until I get involved with something that I love!  It was really great, and I really look forward to singing with the team again!!  I will get Andee to snap a picture or two next time so you can see the team!

I have also been babysitting a little bit for one of the ladies at our Bible Study who requested prayer for a daytime babysitter for one day a week for her three youngest kids!  I thought, "I can do that!", and so now I get to work on my kid skills, and she gets a little time off to get stuff done!  And with 5 kids, it is a much needed break!  So glad to be helping out!

For Halloween this year, Andee and I visited our friends Maria and James for a delicious Mexican meal, and great company!  We have so much in common with this wonderful couple, as they have also just recently gotten married and moved away from their family and home!  It was so amazing to get to know them more, and we hope to spend lots more time with them in the future!

As soon as November 1st hit, I knew it was time to get into the Christmas spirit!  Many Christmas songs, movies, and decorations are to come soon, and in fact, the shopping malls have already taken the cue to Christmas-afy everything!  And as I am typing this, I am happily listening to and singing along to popular Christmas youtube songs!  Perfect!! 

Great news again!!  It has just been confirmed that Cassie and Trevor are for sure coming to visit us in a week!!  YAY!!  We are so excited to show them Chicagoland, our apartment, and everything else we love so much about living here!  And of course, all the boys want to do is fish, fish, fish, so we are hoping the fishies are not too cold to chomp down on our lures!  So excited to see them!!  And after they arrive, it will be only a month left before we head home for the holidays!  YAY!!!!!!!  "It's the most wonderful time of the year...!"