Monday, October 6, 2014

A Little Life Update - The Sunshine State

Admittedly, the transition to life here in the Sunshine State wasn't just sunshine and happiness. Andrew started school right away, and once Steven left, I was left to my lonesome. It's taken some adjusting, but I've started to really love life here. Though we are about as far away from home as we could get, it's definitely an adventure.

First day of school!

Andrew has class from 8-12 Monday through Friday. On Mondays, he shadows a family practice doctor from 1-6. Tuesdays is Anatomy day, and his morning is spent dissecting a cadaver. The real deal. Thursday afternoons he has a class where he learns "How to be a Doctor". He's typically on campus until 5 most days, just studying. 

When tests come around, he definitely studies more, but for the most part it's a lot like an 8-5 job. He could be studying more, but right now, it's nice to have a chance to do some fun things together. Andrew passed both of his first big tests and is loving school. I'm glad he loves it because he worked so hard to get here!

One of the highlights thus far was definitely Andrew's White Coat Ceremony. It was SO fun to see him receive his White Coat and to finally feel like all of our hard work and stress over the past year had paid off! The White Coat Ceremony is a lot like a graduation... except before school instead of after. There were speeches, processions, lots of parents taking pictures.... You get the idea.

Andrew is one of 64 students in the fourth class of the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. It's a new school, but there are lots of really cool opportunities that he wouldn't have had other places. Like getting to shadow a doctor right away!

I was just so proud to see him in his white coat. I love this doc of mine!

When Andrew isn't studying, you can usually find us eating or at the beach. It is seriously SO fun getting to experience the place where Andrew served his mission. He has shared so many fun memories and lots of tasty food! I finally got to have my first real baleada. Holy cow. So delish. If you ever find yourself in South Florida, please please please have a baleada. 

Going to the beach sometimes involves avoiding monstrous spiders. The insects and wildlife here definitely take some getting used to. I typically find at least one lizard in my apartment every day. There are three that just like to chill right outside our door. 

Speaking of apartments, we live in this sweet 55+ community. Technically we aren't supposed to be living here, and everyone is surprised that they let us. We just got lucky I guess. A typical day involves running into our perma-shirtless neighbor, getting asked to the pool by my favorite gate guard Stan, and avoiding dirty looks from grumpy old lady drivers.

All in all, Tuscany D has been good to us.

 Just another day in the life.

A lowlight (??) of our time here was when Andrew's doctor told him he had to cut his hair. Yeah, it was getting pretty long... and he probably does look a little more professional now, but I was pretty bummed to cut off all of the blonde. We had lots of fun before the fateful day though!

Since living here, I have become an aunt, twice. Okay, technically once. My sister-in-law Avery had a beautiful baby girl, Emmaline (on the left). But, my BFF cousin Mallory ALSO had a beautiful baby girl, Kennedy (on the right), so I'm pretty much considering myself an aunt to her too. Hope that is alright. Unfortunately Google Hangouts and FaceTime just aren't as good as real life. One of the not so great things about living in the bottom corner of the country. 

In between pool days, temple nights, football games, and getting super cute packages from friends (thanks Kayla!), I'm actually pretty busy working two jobs! Yep. Two. It took me a while to find a job, so I ended up just going to the mall and applying at a bunch of places. Gotta work retail at some point right? That's how I ended up at Bath and Body Works.

Yep, I rock the gingham apron.

A few days ago at BBW a 16 year old boy came up and handed me this. I've still got it, folks.

When I'm not at BBW, which is most of the time, I'm working at a start up SEO company here in Florida called LoSoMo. It's kind of crazy how it came to be. Andrew worked with someone in Utah who randomly moved down here to FL and started an SEO Company. We ran into him at Stake Conference right when they were looking for another person to help them get their business going. 

I'm really loving it because I get to do a little bit of everything! I'm learning lots about web design, adobe illustrator, account management, and what it takes to start your own business. The balloons were for an community event we had a few weeks ago.

I'm also serving in the Nursery at church (for a whopping 3-5 kiddos) and I'm in charge of the primary program (for a whopping 11 kiddos). We're in a really new ward that has TONS of new members, so it's an exciting place to be.

As you leave the Boca Raton ward building....

 Welp, that's the latest and greatest!

It's hotter than heck. It rains every day. It's far from family and friends. But it's home, and I love it.

A Little Life Update - Getting There

Hola mis amigos!

I figured it's about time I start posting about our life here in Florida and how we ended up here.

In case you didn't know, less than a month before school started ANJ GOT INTO MED SCHOOL! Long story short, after playing some phone tag with the dean of admissions, Andrew got the official call and was accepted to FAU. We celebrated with a beautiful day on the lake and a delectable steak dinner at the Bar N. Yummm!

After quitting my awesome job at Boostability (a big leap of faith) and dreading going through secondary applications for a second time (we had already sent out another round of primary applications), getting accepted was a MAJOR relief, and we truly felt blessed. Even though Florida was where we both wanted to go (Anj served his mission here in Fort Lauderdale), the fact that we would be moving across the country FOR REALS was pretty mind-blowing.

(here's the official letter. how bout that beard?)

With very little time to plan a move across the country and wanting to max out on as much cabin time as possible, we decided to take about 3 days to pack all of our stuff into this pod and sent it off on its way to Florida. It was a pretty crazy, frantic, and stressful move, but with lots and lots of help, we did it! I got to have a fun birthday dinner with the Barretts and then we headed back to the cabin for a few more days on the lake.

I wish we would have had more time to say good-bye to all our fab provo friends! We basically packed and cleaned the entire time we were in p-town.

We did get to have a fun little good-bye shindig! Thanks Zylstras!

 The Spragues were life savers! Pro fan cleaners and masterful packers. 
 Goodbye apartment 41!

We celebrated my birthday at the lake and the next morning we took off on our cross country road trip. It was a long drive. Like 44 hours long. We drove from Montana to Miami, and hit 12 states in 3 days! We put pedal to the metal because Andrew started school August 4th and we left July 30th.

We made up for the 12+ hours of driving each day by eating really, really delicious food. Hattie B's Hot Chicken in Nashville, BBQ in Kansas City, Biscuits and Gravy in Atlanta, Fresh Georgia Peaches, etc. etc. We also made sure to check out a few sites here and there.

We finally made it to good old Florida, but we still had another 8+ hours to drive. Getting to the hotel and knowing that the drive was over was maybe a better feeling than actually getting into med school. For reals. At this point, it was Saturday morning, school started on Monday, and we still had nowhere to live. What do you do in this situation? Head to the beach of course!

 So glad my momma and bro Steveo joined us for the drive! We drove two cars, so they kept us company.

Sunday morning we miraculously found a nice, not-too-expensive, month-to-month apartment to rent. (In a 55+ community no less.) We headed back down to Fort Lauderdale for church and met some of the people Andrew taught and served with. I also had a serious "I'm not in Provo anymore" moment when my car was broken into and my purse was stolen in a matter of two minutes. We had way more important/expensive things in our car, but that was just the last thing anyone would want to happen their first time in a new city!

Andrew shaved his beard and started school. Luckily Steve and I were still able to have some fun, even with a garbage bag for a window. He went home a few days later, and Anj and I were left on our own in this whole new world!

And that is how we got to Boca Raton, Florida.