Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Final Countdown-9 Weeks to Go!

Wow...that week went fast!  Single digit weeks left...I can't believe it.  Jonathan just received his scores back on his last ever mini on this island and he got the highest grade he's ever gotten on a mini.  I mean literally almost aced the darn thing.  I'm so proud!  He only has 2 more tests between him and the end of this semester...then he'll be considered a 3rd year med student!  The COMP is basically just to qualify him to take the USMLE Step 1 and we know he's going to do really well on that.  After his Semester 4 final on the 31st he will just be in a 4 week long review session to prep him for COMP as well as Step 1.  Home stretch man!  I'm so proud of him and what he's accomplished.  I seem to be a magnet for drama (and probably the catalyst to it lots of times too) sometimes, but he is so clear headed and even keeled.  He's got his eye on the prize, yes, but he has also been so great about making time for me and making an effort in our marriage even though he's stressed and pressed.  I sure do love that boy.  I'm a lucky, lucky woman to have him.  These past few weeks, and in the weeks to come, I am trying to make a point to focus more on Jonathan and why we came here to Dominica in the first place.  It was for him to waltz through med school and lay the foundation for the rest of our lives.  And he has done that, praise God!  Almost exactly 2 years of our lives have been spent on this season, and if we had to do it all over again we most definitely would.  Can't believe we've been at this that long (and longer if you count the year and a half of prerequisites!), but that makes me optimistic that the 3 more years we have before he starts a residency will fly by as well.

But I digress...here's #9 in our countdown!

#9 Thing I Will Miss About Dominica

The Treehouse.  Oh how I will miss the Treehouse.  We are hoping and praying that the new tenants will be good stewards of the space.  This apartment has so much history!  For a while it was just a sanctuary for me and Jonathan, then it morphed into the community gathering house where we had anywhere from 10-30 people in it every Friday night for grill night, then it became the holding place for all things charitable, and now it's a Kindergarten school space.  I've done girls nights here, our giant Friendsgiving Thanksgiving celebration was held here, Lincoln's 3rd birthday was held here.  So many memories.  Such a great place to live.  I won't miss the hike to get here, but I'll miss the beautiful flamenco trees, the bananaquits, the goats, the cozy cabin-y feel.  I would argue that the Treehouse is one of the best apartments in Picard and we were so lucky to have snagged it...

#9 Thing That Will Be Awesome About Living in the States Again

Running.  Running is something that I started in the Bahamas and then have let go by the wayside here in Dominica.  I don't enjoy running here.  It's super hot and humid and SUPER hilly.  It feels like punishment to me, and since my relationship with running is a love/hate one, it's a bit of a delicate balance.  I've gone running just a handful of times and each time I came home feeling worse than when I left.  Soooo...no.  However I am REALLY excited about being back in the dry Oklahoma air with flat places all over to run.  This girl is gonna wear down some running shoe treads in no time!

By the end of this week we will have less than 60 days left on this island.  It's SO crazy to be able to say that!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Final Countdown-10 Weeks to Go!

Ok folks...so Jonathan and I are winding down our experience here in Dominica.  Exactly 10 weeks from today we will be boarding an airplane that is USA bound.  We are so excited about what this new chapter of our lives is going to bring, but part of us is also a little sad about leaving this island.  When we left the Bahamas after MERP, I did a "Top 10 Countdown" for our final 10 days.  I've decided to do something similar for Dominica, but I'll do it one week at a time (cuz ain't nobody got time for a new blog post every day for 10 days!).  These last few posts will be the last posts of this blog too.  We will no longer be "Caribbean Daydreaming".  We will be moving on to what promises to be a great adventure beyond this little island.  You can follow along with "the next chapter" at our new blog Thinking Positive.  So I hope you enjoy these last little tidbits from an Island Housewife!  Without further ado...

The #10 Thing I Will Miss About Dominica:

Community.  One thing that is so great about living here in Dominica and specifically in the Ross community is that you have a built in bank of people who are going through exactly what you're going through.  You don't have to look far to find someone whose husband is getting ready to take a really stressful exam, or someone who hasn't showered in 2 days because the water has been out, or someone who misses their family in the states exactly when you are dealing with those same "lemons" in your own life.  It's a bit like a 0-60 in under a second kind of situation when it comes to making friends because of that.  There have been positives and negatives to this...though the positives so far outweigh the negatives.  There are people here in Dominica which I only met in December of 2012 or later who I *know* will be our friends for life.  People we have only known less than a year of our lives!  So I will miss the intensity of new found friendships here.  There's no time to try and "feel someone out" in this community.  You just latch on and hang on for dear life and hope they're who you thought they were.  And praise God when you find out they are!  I will miss the close-knit-ness of our friend base.  How you can call someone at 5:00 and say "Hey wanna come over for dinner at 6:00?".  Wether your house is filthy...even if you haven't even figured out what the heck you're  cooking...and they come over anyway and you sit and talk for hours.  I will miss the casualness of our friendships here.  Nothing frilly...outings that are usually not planned more than a few hours (at *most* a day) in advance...no makeup, workout clothes and messy hair, dirty feet, and MacGyver-ed dinners.  That is our life here in Dominica!  And I'm not sure how we will transition back into the daily routine of *not* being able to live like that back in the states.  I mean...I'm sure we will manage...but man we will miss this community and the impactful people we have met.  We can only pray that we would cross paths with them again along this crazy journey, and make a concerted effort to keep these special people as close to us as we can in the coming years we will likely spend apart.  After all...we've all become experts at maintaining long distance friendships haven't we??

The #10 Thing That Will Be Awesome About Living in the USA Again:

PATRICK and MATILDA!!  Man we are SO excited about setting up shop somewhere and getting to have our precious fur babies with us!  We have missed having them in our house SO much and we can't wait to get back into the routine of them living with us again.  I was really skeptical about my ability to live an entire year plus without my girl by my side...it has been TOUGH, let me tell ya.  So tough, in fact, that the 2 times I've gone home in the last 14 1/2 months I cried a few times just snuggling with her in bed because I missed her so much.  I miss that puppy smell behind her shammy ears, I miss scooping up my little chunky kitty and giving him neck sugars.  I miss Sunday afternoon family nap time with the 4 of us all snuggled up in our big cozy bed.  Our little family just hasn't been the same without them.  Just writing about that makes me even more anxious to bring ourselves and a little bit of Dominica home to them for good...

So there ya have it.  Our 2 number tens on the list.  Stay tuned for next week's number nines!

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