December 26, 2008

Amy's Christmas Crafts

So for the past four years I have made the presents I give out for Christmas. My items are “bath” in nature. Each year I try different recipes. It is a lot of work but also a lot of fun. Plus I like getting handmade gifts and hopefully so do those who receive my gifts. I thought this year I would “share” a picture of my items with you. On the left side are my tubes and pots of lip balm (honey, beeswax and almond oil). The jars next to the lip balm contain a eucalyptus and lavender Epsom salt soak. The Ziploc containers are a sugar scrub with a citrus spice fragrance oil. The soap is a purple/bluish color and contains canola oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, olive oil. Some of the bars have interesting shapes and some dents due to difficulty getting them out of the molds (That’s the fun of homemade gifts right?). Behind the soap are some heart shaped lotion bars (olive oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter). To the right of the soap in the Ziploc containers are lotion made with (cocoa butter, almond oil, avocado oil, apricot oil, palm kernel oil, jojoba). Behind those is a batch of milk and honey bath mix. I was a little late getting my stuff made this year and so I didn’t get pretty containers (hence the Ziploc containers).

December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Azevedo's

Well I guess it goes without saying what I am doing on Christmas Day (updating my blog). Esteban and I decided to get a family picture last night before going over to our friends Susan and Kathy’s for Christmas Eve dinner. It will go on our Christmas letter when I finally get around to writing it, but I thought it would be great to post it today and send out some happy holiday wishes to you all.

Esteban, Bellini, and I would like to wish you all Happy Holidays! May the love, peace, and joy of this holiday season fill your hearts now and during the coming year.

December 21, 2008

Midwest Spinal Pain Christmas Party

So Modern PT does not have a Christmas party. Instead we do employee appreciation parties quarterly. However, the business next to us had a Christmas party this year and they invited our staff. They had a local jazz singer, Mama Ray, and her band come and play in our gym. This band is their nurse practioner's, Gretchen, favorite so it was a special treat for her. It was a great evening filled with food, music, and great friends.

Everyone listening to Mama Ray
Gretchen and Mama Ray drinking coffee

Elva and Jerry

Courtney, Gretchen, Kelly

Me and Kathy

Lisa and Wayne

Ben and Ashlee

Happy Anniversary

Today, December 21st, is the winter solstice. More importantly however it is my parent's anniversary. I can't remember how many years exactly. Which is bad for me as a daughter. I should keep closer track of these things. However, maybe it they would appreciate me not putting it on here as it may give a clue to their ages. :-) Anyway I would like to take this opportunity and wish them a very Happy Anniversary. I am sorry I can't be there in Arizona to celebrate with you. However, I am and will be thinking of the two of you all day!

In these stressful and troubled times it is difficult to find longevity with marriage. I want to thank you both for setting a great example for me with your marriage as well as your approach to life. You two are both a shining example of what it takes to make a marriage work in both good and bad times. I love you both so very much!

December 7, 2008


I will always remember my interviews for physical therapy school and the numerous questions I had about how I dealt with change. At the time it was a mystery to me why this question was so important. However, to be fair, at this time in my life I had not experienced many changes. Since then I have moved from Alaska to Missouri, opened a business, and have expereinced so many changes that it is making my head spin thinking about them. Change truly is a constant in life. However, that does not make it any easier when it occurs. Which brings us around to today. This week we said goodbye to one of our therapists, Tara. She has only been with us a short time but will be missed by everyone in the clinic. I know that with this change Tara and Modern Physical Therapy both have wonderful futures in front of them full of new experiences, friends, and opportunities. However, today I am still coming to terms in dealing with this change and tomorrow a new adventure begins. I have attached a picture from the lunch we had for Tara on her last day of work.

Back row: Me, Esteban, Jerry, Dio, Lisa, Ashlee, Cheri

Front Row: Courtney, Tara, Mellannie

Brain Coral

As promised earlier here are some pics of my beloved brain coral in our display case (along with some of our other items). I also took a close up picture of the conch shell we brought back from Grand Turk. It is covered with all sorts of wonderful stuff from the ocean however it is hard to see and appreciate the detail in the picture (could be due to the photographer) but anyone wanting to see it in person is welcome to come for a visit. :-)

December 6, 2008

Day 8

Today we were at Nassau Bahamas for the entire day. Esteban and I spent most of the day relaxing on the ship to prepare for our trip home the next day. We did go ashore and do some shopping. Esteban bought some more art and I got another piece of luggage so we could carry all our treasures home. :-) It was another relaxing day and a great way to end our trip. FYI - I did get my brain coral through customs as well as a cool conch shell. I will have to upload pictures of them later when we get them situated in our display case. I will also have to attach a picture of the art we bought when we get it framed and hung.

Day 7

So I have been remiss in posting about the last two days of the cruise. My return to "normal" life has been a little hectic (no surprise there). :-) Our Day 7 was at sea and as it turned out it was Thanksgiving. Esteban and I did not do much this day. We spent most of the time in the spa and then went and ate with our fabulous dinner buddies. The ship did serve a Turkey dinner (which I heard was good). We all did have pumpkin pie for desert (a Thanksgiving Day must). After dinner, we all went to a comedy show. Laughter is great for the digestion. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. It was this day that I decided that I like the days at sea as much as the days we are at a port.

November 27, 2008

Day 6

We stopped at Grand Turk today. We have visited many beautiful islands, however Grand Turk is by far the most beautiful. I have never seen water as turquoise blue as it was around this island. The water was so clear you really could see to the bottom of the ocean. We went on a snorkeling excursion today. We snorkeled in about 30 feet of water and there was a shelf that dropped off to 7000 feet. It was amazing how the turquoise blue water turned to a deep blue color when you swam past where the shelf ended. The fish were more plentiful in St Thomas but there were many different types of coral in Grand Turk. After snorkeling we were taken to a beautiful white sand beach. It was here that I found my most prized possession, a piece of brain coral. I have been told that I won’t be able to get it through customs. However, I hope I can. I included a picture of it in the blog in case I never get to see it again.

The island of Grand Turk is surprisingly small 7 miles by 1 mile. Despite its natural beauty most of the island still is devastated from Hurricane Ike. According to our ship mates, in the residential area houses are still in ruin and cars and ships are still flipped over and misplaced.

There was some good shopping in Grand Turk and we enjoyed looking at things however, maybe we had too much fun. We had to be back on the ship at 5:30. According to Esteban’s watch it was 5:25 when we were walking down the dock. However they started pulling the planks in. We quickly ran and got onto the boat and when we had our cards scanned they said, “Everyone is back on the boat now”. The time on the boat was 5:38. So long story short we sped up the time on Esteban’s watch. Grand Turk was a beautiful island but I am very thankful that we were not stranded there.

View of our boat from Grand Turk

If I only had a brain (coral) . . .

View of Grand Turk when leaving on our snorkeling excursion

Day 5

Today we went to La Romana in the Dominican Republic. Esteban and I spent most of the day at the Altos de Chavon Artists Village. It was a very picturesque site. The design of the village is based on medieval Mediterranean architecture. It is located on a plateau overlooking the Chavron River. The village is dedicated to cultural exchange and enrichment. We took A LOT of cool pics here. I included some of them in my blog (note I took all of them except for the one of myself and the sunset one). The ride to and from the artists village went through Casa de Campo which was beautiful. This region has many multimillion dollar homes that were absolutely gorgeous however we were riding in a bus and were unable to take any pictures. (One cool tidbit about the artists village is that many of the walls are built from coral. I took many closeup pics of this as I found it fascinating).

Sunset leaving Dominican Republic

Artists village

Artists village

Esteban the photographer

Amphitheater at the artists village

Arriving at the Dominican Republic

Giving Thanks

Sorry to interrupt my recap of the trip, however, today is Thanksgiving and I am feeling a little sentimental and homesick. This truly is one of my favorite holidays. In a world where there is too much to do and too little time, I don’t think we stop and pause and give thanks often enough to those who help us on our journey. Also with Christmas on the horizon we often think of all that we want and don’t spend the time to marvel at what we have and how lucky we are. Finally with the state of the economy and other world issues I think that it is easier to think of what is wrong with the world as compared to all those things that are right. I do not wear rose colored glasses, things could be much better for many individuals, but what visiting other countries reminds me that those of us who live in the United States are very lucky. I am thankful for the liberty I have always known. The rights I have known as a female to attend school, vote, work, etc. The safety I have experienced with daily life (ie walking to and from school, traveling, etc). I am thankful to work in a field I truly enjoy. Furthermore I appreciate how Esteban and I have been fortunate enough to own a clinic and work with some extraordinary individuals. I am thankful for Jerry, who we have worked with in Arizona, Alaska and now Missouri, he is an extremely talented healer and a loyal friend and employee. I am thankful for Cheri who has 30 years of experience and talent as a physical therapist and a bundle of positive energy. I am thankful for Courtney who is quickly learning and developing her treatment skills and is blessed with compassion and a drive to know more. I am thankful for our newest therapist Tara who is very motivated and developing into a great therapist. I am thankful for Laura for everything she does to keep our lives as organized as they can be. I am thankful for Mellannie for her creativity at work, her attention to detail, and for preparing us for our cruise. I am thankful for Dio for her good interpersonal skills, her efficient work, and her great sense of humor. I am thankful for Ashlee for amazing ability to multitask, efficient work, and for keeping me on my toes with her sarcasm. I am thankful for Lisa who carries the weight of the clinic on her shoulders especially when I am not there. She wears many hats, puts out fires more than anyone else in the clinic, and is invaluable for me. Finally, I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my mother Jean who has gifted me with my drive for knowledge, my compassion for those in need, my organization, and my love for nature. I am thankful for my father Bruce who has gifted me with his sense of humor, love of life, and love of exercise. I am thankful for my father in law Bill who raised a wonderful son, who has been supportive of all our ventures, and who helps us to strive for balance in our lives. I am thankful for my brother Steve who has always been my best friend, my sounding board, and my twin in many ways. I am thankful for my sister in law Jessica for her thoughtfulness, her green ideals, and being a great partner for my brother. I am thankful for my husband wonderful Esteban who knows me better than anyone, loves me, and accepts me for who I am, I could not ask for anyone better. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

November 26, 2008

Day 4

Today we spent the whole day on St. Thomas. According to the shopping expert on our ship this is one of the best shopping islands and there are GREAT deals on diamonds and tanzanite. So naturally we didn’t buy anything. Sorry no diamonds for Christmas (man what a scrooge I am). We did shop though, and that is when I realized I am really not a bling individual. The rest of the day we went snorkeling. It was beautiful. The waters were crystal clear and there were lots of fish and different kinds of coral. Our favorite type is brain coral which shockingly looks like a brain (not just a clever name). We were not able to go to our second snorkeling spot as the weather was too bad and the waves were too big. So we went to Water Island and walked around the beach and swam in the water for about 45 min. Esteban then went to Butterfly's Galore and took pics naturally.

Black and Red Butterfly

Ships at Water Island

Water Island

Shipwreck cove

Day 3

We spent most of today at sea, so more time for E and I in the spa. We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 5 pm. It took about 1 hour to get off the ship. E and I did not sign up for an excursion today as it was going to be dark the entire time we were in port. So we walked around and explored San Juan with our new friends. We went to a street fair, a street party and walked around the ocean and looked at the fort lit up at night. Funny story when we were taking pics we noted a bat in a tree. I was trying to zoom in with my camera and take a picture. Before I snapped the pic the bat quickly flew at us all and dropped some pellet like things on our heads (seeds, not guano come on now). We all screamed and laughed hysterically. We finished the night eating at a tapas restaurant. It was a beautiful town, but difficult to get pics as it was so late at night.

Day 2

We spent all day at sea this day. It was a wonderful and very relaxing day. There were several things that I discovered this day. The first of which is that I don’t think I can get sea sick. For those of you that have not sailed to the Caribbean in November, the winds can be very high and the seas can be very rough. So needless to say we had a bumpy ride today. I thought it was very humorous trying to walk around. It was also tons of fun trying to exercise on the bike and on the elliptical machine today. When the boat would really go to the side it would feel like you were going to fall off or flip the machine on its side. Anyway I think that I must have burned twice the calories and strengthened my core at the same time because I didn’t fall! So this was the second thing I discovered, my balance is better than I thought. Esteban and I purchased the spa package our first day on the ship which we used this a lot today. With this package we went to the mineral baths, sauna and steam rooms. The mineral baths had these bars underwater that served like lounge chairs. So it was very comfortable to lie on the chairs and relax. The steam room and sauna had these large lounge chairs that heated up. We spent most of the day lounging and relaxing which was much needed after our frantic day of travel. This was our first formal night at dinner and the pictures below are of this. Attached are pics of Esteban and myself, Frannie and Keith, and Jeremy and Rachel (the people that sit at our table). I also attached a pic Esteban was taking of me when these inebriated guys jumped into the picture. Esteban thought this was hilarious and refers to them as my boyfriends when we see them around the ship.

November 25, 2008

Cruise Day 1

So the first day of our cruise was a long one. This is primarily due to the fact that we attended the midnight showing of Twilight, returned home at 2:30 am, finished packing, and then left for the airport at 4 am. The plane trip to Fort Lauderdale went smoothly. Getting from our plane to the dock to board our ship took awhile due to the fact that 5 cruise ships were loading up. (I guess Thanksgiving is a popular cruise time, who knew?) It took about 1 ½ hours to board the ship. This is when I discovered the sheer magnitude of the number of people that would be on our boat. Our first activity on the ship was to get something to eat, of course (one of the primary cruise activities I have discovered). The food was very good and thankfully there were vegetarian dishes. Then we had to do our life vest drill, and I would have to agree with our comedian from day 3 that no one looks cool in a life vest (hence no pics of this in the blog or anywhere). When we returned to our room our luggage had arrived and we had a wonderful wine and fruit basket waiting for us from Mellannie and Mike. We continue to eat the fruit from this basket which has come in handy with our early excursions and our late dinner time, the wine however went very quickly (must have evaporated or something). This evening we met two of the couples that sit at our table. They are all about our age and have been a lot of fun to hang around with (of course you will hear and see more of them later). The only pics I have from today are the sunset as we leave Fort Lauderdale and me taking a pic of the sunset. Surprisingly enough I didn’t take any of these.

Twilight Movie Pic

Success at last. Due to reasons with my pride and temper I will not disclose how long this took for me to figure out. The internet signal on the boat is very slow. Therefore, the pic needs to be very small. :-)

November 24, 2008

Twilight Movie

I have been busy cruising around the Caribbean so I have not been able to update my blog and give the juicy details of the movie Twilight. I know that you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting for this. I have to start this first with a little plug for the books. For those of you that have not read the books, I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend the movie. No movie can ever be as good as the book since the book has so much more detail. However I thought the movie was very good and I am excited to see it again when we get back to Missouri. I thought the casting for the characters was great and that the acting was very good. There are two scenes that Lisa and I have decided we would reshoot for the movie. However, we somehow were not selected to be screeners for the movie. A situation we will look to remedy before the next movie. :-) Below is a picture of Carrie, Lisa, and myself prior to viewing the movie (Mom please note we are all proudly wearing the shirts you made us). It was wonderful going at midnight the day the movie came out. I will always remember how the audience sighed and squealed when Edward first came on the screen. Ok currently I can't upload the picture which is frustrating me immensely. I have to go to dinner I know rough cruise life. I will post the pic separately later.

November 19, 2008


So in two days I have two very exciting activities approaching (I am a very lucky girl aren't I). The first of which is the premiere of Twilight. A group of us will be going to the movie Thursday at midnight (I will have to take a nap first though :-)). At least three of us will be wearing our Twilight t-shirts (thanks Mom) and I am sure others at the theater will be dressed in fabulous Twilight attire as well. I will take my camera this time and get pictures so stay posted. The Twilight books are written for young adults and I am often asked why I like them so much. It is hard to describe. But I think Stephenie Meyer really gets inside the mind of a teenage girl and captures the insecurities, the drama, and most importantly the awe inspiring overwhelming effect of a first and true love. Of course there are vampires involved, but I think that the characters are all very unique and well developed. I think it is a wonderful world she has created. As for the movie, there are many changes from the book but I hope that it will be good. I know I will have a great time going to see it none the less.

Then early the next morning Esteban and I fly off to Florida for an 8 day Caribbean cruise (I hope there aren't any pirates). I can't express how excited and how ready I am for this trip. I have been very bad with learning the details of the trip (ie where we are going) but I am very ready to relax. :-) I am also very excited to be able to spend some time alone with Esteban. This is the first vacation the two of us have taken alone since our honeymoon. Even though we work together or maybe because we work together we don't often get the opportunity to take the time, get away, relax and just have fun. I think this trip is just what the physical therapist ordered. We have internet on the ship and I will try to update my blog with pics and daily activities.

November 16, 2008

6th Grade

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. The hate part is due to the lack of personal interaction email, texting, and phone menus allows. The love part is how technology can make the world a smaller place. So in the past year I have become acquainted/addicted to Facebook. It is a social networking program that lets you reconnect with classmates and other people that you have met over the years. I have really enjoyed catching up with my college roommates as well as some of my PT school classmates. However about 2 weeks ago Kristin Putman (one of my friends from grade school and high school) posted our sixth grade class photo on her page and something extraordinary happened. Almost our entire class has reconnected and started talking. Currently one of my classmates is working on getting our teacher, Mrs. Shassetz, on Facebook so she can chat with us as well. I am going to post the photo below. I will not label myself in the picture however. You can guess for yourself if you like. : -) So if any of you out there who aren't on Facebook (Adam Martin, Keith Boquot, JT Crawley, Hillary Campbell, James Bowden, Chris Mayhoffer, Chad Hedzick (sorry if I misspelled names it has been a while)) see this please sign up and join our conversation. :-)

November 9, 2008


Esteban and I have steadily been working on our Doctorate of Science at Texas Tech since Fall 2002. Last week we travelled to Lubbock for our last contact session which was for our class Updates in Orthopedic Surgical Management. As always it was great to catch up with our colleagues that live in Lubbock and those colleagues that we get to see only a couple of times a year that come from all over the world. It was kind of a bittersweet journey for me however. As much as I have belaboured the work involved with my doctorate, I will miss these trips to Lubbock and getting together with my doctoral colleagues. However, our therapist community is relatively small and well travelled so I hope to continue seeing them in the future. It was great to meet with our committee chairs and start working on our project. Over the next year Esteban and I have to make our proposal, teach our course and then defend. Currently we are slated to graduate in Spring of 2010 so keep the date open for one heck of a graduation party. Despite my nostalgia during this trip to Lubbock, I did not employ my camera as frequently as I had planned. Below I have pictures of Andres Domingo Sizer the newest addition to Phil and Irma's family. My pictures of colleagues on our last night in Lubbock did not turn out well due to poor lighting and an inexperienced photographer. However, Esteban and I were delayed in the Lubbock airport and played around the the giant chess set there. For those of you that don't know Esteban was a championship chess player and he always jokes about all the injuries that he incurred with this competitive and full contact sport. So we had a lot of fun with these pictures and I am sure we entertained many indiviudals in the Lubbock airport. :-)