Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drumroll Please..

And the winner is CLEVELAND!!

Okay let me explain.. and to do so I'm going to have to rewind.

Duke's 4 years of medical school look like this- 2 years classroom. 2 years rotations. 
For the first two years- Erie Pa is home. The next two years we have a hand in our destination. 

Possible future destinations included- New York, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Michigan, San Diego, and a few more. 
  Perfect choice- Arizona- but that obviously wasn't an option-
Our narrowed down wish list: S.D, Cleveland, and lastly- to stay in Erie. 

S.D was exciting to us because it was familiar- we love the beach- we have friends there- it was 5 hours from family- its a place we wouldn't mind permanently calling home. 
Cons: Moving our lives across America (again) would not be financially wise, and the cost of living would be a huge shock just coming from Erie, Pa. 

Cleveland-  We were also weirdly excited about Cleveland- its a bigger city than Erie- a great hospital system- and only an hour and a half away from our Toledo family.
Cons: There were only 13 available spots for Cleveland and there were roughly 70 people applying- therefore Cleveland was a lottery pick- which means everyone's name was thrown together and 13 people were chosen! So this became our first choice- based on odds alone. 

Erie- This was our last option- only because it was familiar and we are comfortable here. but I don't think our hearts truly wanted to stay.

Well after 2 weeks of submitting our choices and patiently waiting- we got the results back and we are headed to CLEVELAND next year! We always knew God had a plan for us, but it was nice to see that He made Cleve possible- we trust this is where we should be. 

Ultimately, I am going to miss everything that we have started building in Erie, our home and our friends.. but I am so excited to head closer to family and toward the finish line of this long journey! 

Well here's to Cleveland!

Weekends I live for-

So this weekend our friends, Shannon & Craig Mossing, came to visit us here in Erie. This was such a nice weekend for us because we were able to relax and enjoy honest friendship. We really did not have much planned- but decided to explore what Erie had to offer..

We did some sight seeing before we stopped at a random petting zoo/dog day at a local park! This was so fun because the weather was perfect and we got to see so many different kinds of dogs (which I love). It was so surprising how many pets resembled their owners..not in a mean way but in cute kinda way.. so we ended up spending the day meeting new dogs, learning about dog organizations (and trees thanks to Craig), and trying to find dog/owner twins:)

Off to Presque Isle..

  I really love Presque Isle because it's probably the best thing Erie has to offer. It reminds me so much of California- that one little piece of beach is so relaxing, and just feels familiar. We had fun here. The boys skipped rocks (Craig collected them)- and shan and i got tans over our sweatshirts- it was just a relaxing day.  

Its so hard to say bye to good friends- especially when it snaps you back to reality. Not that I don't love our reality- but I do love the feeling of community, a lot. It just made me miss Arizona so much and everyone there- I think thats why I love/live for weekends like these. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've wanted a job in Erie for over two months. Why has this been so hard? I'll try to explain from reasons I've learned: 
-It's a manufacturing town. 
-It's a small town who thinks 9$ an hour is the cats meow
-I'm prideful and don't think I should settle for the cats meow

I've been struggling over the last few months. I kept declaring to anyone who would listen that I just graduated college and deserved a "real" job, not these Erie jobs. And you know what? That has really come back to haunt me. And I'm actually thankful for it.
It's been 2 months now that I have been searching for a job- that means absolutely no money coming in- and a lot of money going out (bills, groceries, etc)

During the long wait, I asked God repeatedly what was I supposed to be learning through this? I waited, prayed, and waited some more (2 months to be exact). This wasn't easy- i started getting anxious and feeling that I wasn't good enough- I put my worth in my ability to perform.

One day I asked the question out loud to Duke- I asked, "Babe what do you think I'm supposed to be learning through all of this?" And in that moment, I know the Lord spoke to me through Duke (although I did get offended :/)  -he said he thought the Lord was teaching me to be humble- and to put my pride to the side. WOW. That felt like a ton of bricks coming from two men that I love the most. But I'm thankful- not even sure if Duke knows that- but I am so thankful. 

The reality is that I kept waiting for bigger and better opportunities to come along, to just knock on my door. Well that was enough. I finally applied, and was accepted for a position, one that I wasn't sure I wanted (see the pride?) - but to tell you the truth- it was the best thing I have done. I haven't started, so this blog is still premature, but I am so thankful that God took time to reveal to me some of my ugly colors. 

I need to work hard-without shortcuts. I am not an exception.

I wanted to share this with you because I don't think I had ever been honest when I was asked what I was doing for work.. and if this is supposed to be a lesson- then I believe it's worth sharing. 

Plus it's not like I made a good housewife either- I mean I actually burned pasta today- WHO BURNS PASTA!?!?

Last side note: We are also so excited to have our friends Shannon + Craig Mossing come visit this weekend- they always make us laugh, and are a great example of genuine happiness.  They are our first (non-familyguests:)

Shan + Craig mimicking one of our pictures at the wedding! haha dorks:)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Living this far East has been great for 2 reasons:

First Reason:  Change! It's not like me to explore different areas! This move has helped me see what I've been missing..

DISCLAIMER: Duke rarely gets a free weekend. He usually has tests on Mondays, which means the weekends are dedicated to studying (not like a normal job). There are a few times though when I luck out, and he either does not have a test, or its on Friday which leaves his whole weekend for me:)

With that said- a couple of weeks ago Duke and I got the chance to go to Niagara Falls! The drive was under 2 hours- which means it did not have to be a whole day thing- and it was great way for me to do some exploring in New York and Canada! There are two entrances to the falls- we chose to enter the Canadian side because the views are head-on and more visible rather than the NY side:
This one you can see BOTH falls! The famous one is on the right!
(OH and of course Duke had to have ice cream)
Here she blows! Can you believe people attempt to go down the falls in barrels?
Terrible picture-but thats okay! I love this one because of the permanent rainbow over the falls- so pretty
Second Reason: We are close to Duke's side of the family.. only three hours away from Toledo, which makes family trips available and easy!

Last week for Labor Day, we got to go home to Toledo! Duke has been wanting me to go an apple orchid there called Macqueens! Although we weren't allowed to pick apples from the trees this early in September, we got to have fresh apple donuts and sliced apples with caramel (we like to call ourselves healthy eaters). 
It was a cute, small-town store.. something you just don't see everyday:

We also got to go up to Duke's aunts lake house in Michigan:) Not sure why, but we both had really tough weeks beforehand, so the relaxing break was much needed.  We packed bathing suits and shorts in thought of a nice, sun kissed weekend- but of course Hurricane Earl hit somewhere in the Carolinas (not trying to be insensitive to them) but really? So we had 60 degree highs all weekend! You really just have to laugh:) 
The view from the deck
So that's it. Life until now- updated. 
Happy Reading.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Once upon a summer..

As we are wrapping up summer, and heading into fall, I thought I would share the craziest/hardest most perfect summer Duke and I have experienced! Not only did we get married (duh), I graduated ASU, packed my life  in my car, and traveled across the country to set up shop in Erie!

To jump start the summer- I graduated ASU in May! Looking back, college was filled with life changing moments, some that have completely shaped who I am today! Not saying I had a perfect 4 years- but I definitely wouldn't change a thing!
                                      My Mommy and I after graduation:)

June: Packed my car- which is NOT big- with everything I love and left Arizona in the rear view mirror. Traveling through each state was something I never thought I would do- ever- but am so thankful that I can tell you what the middle of Nebraska looks like, or what a real Chicago pizza tastes like. We hit a few stumbling blocks along the way- but we made it to Erie in 4 days exactly! Here's some of the best memories:

This is my FAVORITE! Duke was trying to pass a car when he got clocked going 20+ over the speed limit..We got the ticket. And Duke's argument till this day is that the speed limit should have been 75 not 65. Sorry babe.. it doesn't always work like that!! Ps: look at that packed car:)

How beautiful is this!? Definitely one of our favorite places- if not the favorite! we wouldn't mind ending up there one of these days!


This was by the far the funnest place we stopped! We got to spend almost two days here- and the city was absolutely beautiful- not like Phoenix's downtown at all. We had amazing Chicago pizza- couldn't even get through one full slice (and I can usually chow down 3) that's what I call deep dish! I randomly ran into an old friend in the city- which just reminds me of how small the world really is- and lastly Duke and I got hustled by a shoe shiner- all in all not a bad stop! 

After the road trip we returned back to Arizona to say our vows and say goodbye one last time to the friends and family we love:


After the wedding we got the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in Fort Myers beach, Florida- the perfect get a way after a non-stop summer! 

Bound by Christ, forever in love, D+R <- That's whats engraved in his ring!
Apparently I decided to match the sky that night!

(I might further explain the wedding and the honeymoon in a future blog, but I think for now you get the point)

In conclusion (about time right?)- Summer 2010 has been a blessing like no other. Life has proven to be full of unexpected twist and turns- leaving home has not been easy- but learning to enjoy the life we're dealt is a new priority!