Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Our suitcases are packed by the door with care,
with hopes that in Colorado, we'll soon be there.


Sorry for the bad poetry. We'll probably be pretty busy for the next week, so we're going to take a little vacation.

Merry Christmas!
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given. And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace."

Christmas plans.....

My wish for a white Christmas has been granted, in an extreme way. Over two feet of snow fell in Denver and other parts of Colorado this week. Hopefully it won't all be melted before Christmas. Sadly, the huge snow has caused some delays, and so Dave and Hannah can't come until the 27th. So far, Jeff and I are still on track to arrive tomorrow morning. Everyone can pray that the airlines are worked out enough for us to get there. We really don't want to get stuck in Cincinnati.

I just got back from a quick trip home to see my family. Since I was off, and Jeff had to work, I went up to Seneca for a few days. My trip back included fairly heavy rain the ENTIRE way. Actually, it stopped for a second right when I got to downtown Charleston.

Now that I'm back, it's time to pack and make a quick library run! I can't go on vacation book-less, after all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too Cute

Please go here to see some new nephew photos. I really loved this one, and couldn't resist posting it. He's really starting to look like himself.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Freedom...

Yesterday was the last day of my radiology rotation. Now, I'm free until February!!! No class, no going to the hospital. Hopefully January will include a trip to Iowa City to see baby Samuel. And it will also include a few more interviews. And in just one week, we leave to go to Colorado Springs, and to see Jackson! (And the rest of our family, too!!) We can't wait. Especially me, who is hoping for a white Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Cactus

It's finally blooming!! I was beginning to think my cactus was defective.

It used to not get watered very much, but we moved it into the kitchen (right by the sink) and now it actually gets watered. It actually bloomed. And even in December.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blogger White Elephant

This month I participated in a White Elephant hosted by Megan at Half Pint House. Yesterday I finally got my gifts!! Funny. And they actually came from Megan herself.

Here they are:

First off, anytime I get a package that looks like this I get excited. I especially love all the stamps.




I received two videos. Paul Reiser's stand up, and a Carman video.


From the back of the Carman video: Time 2, hosted by Carman, is a high-energy program that deals with the hard hitting issues that face our youth and world today. Ours is called "Drug Abuse: Breaking the Chains." Now I really want to find a tape player so I can watch this video with "live interviews and on-location reports, top Christian Artists, their music videos, and biblical answers to real questions about a real world."



Hysterical.
She also kindly included a wonderful-smelling candle that will definitely be put to use around our house this season. And she sent a camo-colored verse pack to my husband Jeff who had asked her about getting one. We really appreciate it. Thanks.




To check out the rest of the gifts, go here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Today was an exciting day for our church. We started as a church plant with the first official meeting in 1999, and have met in a few different locations, including one theater (before I started going) and more recently the James Island Senior Center, a great building but one where every week we had to set up and take down the chairs, bring all the nursery toys, and find enough rooms for all our Sunday School classes. (The senior high boys actually met in a closet. A large one, but still a closet.) For some time now, our sessions and leaders have been looking for a place to meet. Real Estate is somewhat problematic in the charleston area, at least if you are a buyer. (Sellers have it much better around here.) So we were looking for our own space. But nothing was to be found. Then, just a short time ago, an older congregation in downtown decided they were going to join with a congregation in West Ashley. The congregation had slowly dwindled down and was basically dying out. They were using this very old and historic building in downtown charleston, and wanted it to stay a church when they vacated it.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, in the end, they decided to allow us to use the building rent-free. We are paying insurance and utilities. So now we have a beautiful sanctuary, an enormous Christian Education building, and even a few graves in the church yard. It is amazing how God can quickly come in to a situation and work things out, in an even more amazing way than you had ever expected. (It really should surprise me less after all these years.)

Today was the first meeting of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. At our old building, on James Island, we were called Island Community Church. Now that we have moved off the island, we had to change our name. So now we're Redeemer. Exciting. And here are some photos:

Before church started:

During the worship service: (We were sitting at the back, and I had to use the bathroom, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos)Pastor Craig, getting to preach on the old-school, very tall pulpit:
After the service, from the balcony: (We actually have a balcony!!!)
I know it doesn't matter where you worship the Lord, that wherever 2 or more are gathered that he is there. But it was wonderful being able to worship the Lord in a building that is going to ours to use, and that really felt like a church. And also to remind myself as Jeff and I continue in the search for a church job-residency combo, that God is in control and works things out for his glory. He knows what he is doing. I needed that reminder.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The interview trail

Yesterday, I got back from my fourth residency interview. Even for an extrovert like me, these interviews get to be exhausting. First, there is dinner the night before where they try to stuff you full of food, while making sure you know what a good program this is. You have a chance to ask questions about the program. (Is there free food? What about free parking? Do I get to do C-sections? Can I go on a missions trip?) The next day starts usually with a few interviews. Usually you talk with the program director who again makes sure you know what a good program it is. Occasionally, they might ask you a question (Why do you want to go into family medicine? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you do for fun?) and my favorite: "Do you have any questions I can answer for you?" So again, I rack my brain trying to think of something since I already asked a lot of questions the night before. Note to self: ask fewer questions to the residents to make sure you still have questions to ask the attendings. Finally, I usually ask something about the curriculum, or what changes will be made for the future. Somewhere in there, someone always talks about how this hospital always operates "in the black" and so therefore, the residency program is good. (Which I'm sure is true, but I never thought I'd hear so much about money while interviewing.) Next, there is usually a tour of the hospital and clinic facilities. (See here is the cafeteria, where you can eat your free food. Here is the small bed where you may or may not sleep while on call. Here is where the babies are born. Here is where you will see patients in the clinic. Here is the ER where you will come to admit patients after being rudely awakened from sleep in your little bed.) Again, the resident taking you on the tour will again ask if you have any questions. I never do. Next is lunch, with more residents where you are again filled with food and told how good the program is. Note to self: Eat less. Yet another person will ask if you have any questions. After lunch, there may or may not be another interview. Often there is a short tour of the community, so you can drive around and see where residents live. This might be my favorite part, since no one asks me if I have any questions, and I get to see cute houses where Jeff and I could live next year.

Then, thankfully, it's time to get back into my car and go home. I always have to stop and change from my interview suit back into something more comfortable. (Yoga pants, anyone?) Especially after all the eating. My interview suit will not fit if I keep eating as much as these programs try to feed me. Then I get to sing loudly with the Christmas CD since I'm driving all by myself. Until I have to stop and pee from all the diet soda I drank at lunch.

It's good to be home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I ain't no doormat!

I don't enjoy confrontation. In fact I somewhat dread it. I'm a peaceful guy, I don't like to get into arguments. Most of the time, if I don't get my way, I just deal with it. If my donut doesn't have as much filling as I had hoped, I deal with it. I'm not the type to go confronting people. I like to lay low, not cause a scene.

But today I'd had it up to here (making hand motion). Aubrey has taken our car to Gerald's twice in the last two weeks to get a flat tire fixed, and they have not fixed it. The first time, she also asked to have the tires rotated, and they didn't do that either. Yesterday when she went in, she told them that the tire was still flat, and it had a bolt in it, and would they please fix it right this time? So this morning, when I saw that the tire was still flat, and still had a bolt in it, I was somewhat peeved.

I called Gerald's and asked to speak to the manager. I explained the problem, and told him I would be coming over right away to have the tire fixed. Aubrey had to drive to Spartanburg this afternoon, so we needed the car to work. On the drive over to Gerald's, I alternated between planning what I was going to say to this manager when I laid eyes on him, and being really nervous about the upcoming confrontation. I don't like confrontation. My heart was pounding. I knew I was going to wimp out, and tell him it was really no big deal, and that the truth is that I enjoy flat tires and any excuse to come to Gerald's is a good one! I kept telling myself, "Be Andrew, Be Andrew."

When I got there, I left the car out front, rather than around the side, as a sign of defiance. I went inside and kindly asked for the manager, there was no sense wasting preplanned lines of confrontation on someone who couldn't really help. At first I didn't have to be to nasty, the manager quickly rallied some guys to get my car into a spot, and he looked at the tire. He said I would need a brand new tire (duh, why hadn't he realized this yesterday?). The tire was under warranty, so naturally it would be free. He said I would only have to pay $6.95. And this is when I sprung into action. With my heart pounding, and my vision nearly blurring around the edges, I confronted, "I assume you'll cover that for me?" He thought I was talking about the tire, and said oh yes, reassuring me I would only have to pay $6.95. And it did sound like a good deal, I mean $6.95 isn't much, right? But no, I would not be walked upon. I girded my loins, and told him that this was my third trip to get a flat tire fixed, he had wasted a lot of my time, and I expected that he would cover my bill. He totally caved. It was awesome. I called him out on his bad service and got my way.

Then this afternoon one of our local panhandlers was hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the credit union again. So I sternly walked out the door and told him to take his show on the road. He tried to get all friendly with me, and act like we were pals. I told him if he wasn't moving in about two seconds I was calling the police. And believe me, its not hard to summon police to a bank.

Look out world, Confrontational-Jeff is on the loose!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Easy and Cute Christmas decoration

Since most of the projects I've been working on are presents, I haven't been able to post photos. Over the weekend, I started some other fun projects that are not top secret! Using the pattern found here, I made these trees, using some red felt from a very cheap christmas tree skirt I bought last year and then replaced this year. I also felted an old sweater of mine that I don't wear and used some of it for the blue trees. Even if you can't sew well, or even if you don't have a machine, you could still make these. It is only 2 seams, and then you stuff it and add some beans or rice to the very bottom for weight so they stand upright. Then you decorate to your heart's content! They are small, so it wouldn't take much cloth and you really can use anything - scraps of cloth or even old clothes--the possibilities are endless. You can also find a flickr group of these trees here, so you can see what other people did. By slightly altering the pattern, you can also make the trees taller.



To decorate mine, I used some old buttons, rickrack, and ribbon. It's an easy, quick, but cute decoration. Jeff and I think the red ones look like something that could come out of Dr. Seuss.

Check out other good tips here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Nephew Photos

So even though Andrew and Melanie posted these on their blog, I can't help but republish them here. Jeff and I have the cutest nephews around.

Here I really get to see my big brother as a daddy.
And 2 cute close-ups:


And with a very, very thrilled and happy Grandma:
And just to prove we have two adorable nephews, here is a recent and so-cute-I-could-cry photo of Jackson:

See what I mean?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

blogger tidbits.....

A few unconnected bloggable happenings.....

1. So right before Thanksgiving, it SNOWED in Charleston. In the almost 4 years I've been living here, we haven't even gotten ice before. But it snowed. Granted, it was only for 15 minutes, but still. Snow. In Charleston. And I missed it. I had just started my radiology rotation, and Jeff dropped me off at the hospital since the weather was cold and wet. After I went inside, it started snowing. Jeff tried to call, but since the radiology reading rooms are in the bowels of the hospital, I didn't get his call and never actually got to see the snow.

2. Last week on our way up to NC, Jeff and I stopped at a Taco Bell for dinner. While there, I checked my email. On my PDA. In TACO BELL. That is easily the strangest place I've ever gotten on the web.

3. This morning I ran (as a bandit, or whatever the term is for running in a race without paying) in the Reindeer Run. What a great race. Lots of dogs wearing antlers and bells. And kids in strollers. And costumes. And free doughnuts. (although running and donuts don't really mix in my mind, so I didn't partake.)

4. So here are a few photos of my Christmas decorations. I included a picture of the photo garland I made by printing a bunch of family photos and then glueing them to some Christmas card stock I got. An Easy, Cheap, but festive decoration! Plus it makes pics of our nephews more accessible! :)




5. Jeff and I got free good dinner night because one of the programs where I'm applying took us out. It's nice to be recruited. I had shrimp and grits and then chocolate cheesecake. Yummmm.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Day at Work.

Today at work, I got to go have some fun at the hospital. We went over and set up a table hawking our wares to try and drum up some new business. We were meagerly successful, people trickled by our little table, most asking questions, some actually signing up for accounts. Business-wise, doing this is always a bad way to get new business. But the best part by far of these little "on-sights" is the people watching. Particularly today. We set up our table at a busy intersection in the Children's Hospital, between the cafeteria and the gift shop, so I had a prime view of busy foot traffic. It was quite fun. Right in front of our table was a blind intersection, and I witnessed hundreds of near miss colissions. The variety of people walking by was amazing, highlights include...

- One adorable little boy with a round face and shaved head being pulled around in a wagon while connected to his IV, he got very excited every time they passed the Christmas tree. Later a little black girl was in the wagon, and she had bright pink casts on both feet.

- Several dogs walked by. Aubrey tells me they go into sick kids rooms and do tricks.

- Lots of weary looking people in scrubs.

- Lots of doctors. Some gregarious ones in groups (probably primary care), some confident, non-social ones (probably surgeons), some very detail-oriented ones (probably ENT's), and some gentle kindly looking ones (probably Ped's?).

- Several preppy looking 20-somethings wearing Northface backpacks (probably Med students).

- One man wearing a red vest, designating him as a volunteer, with a very very stern face was pacing around with a cart, stacked with a cooler, sternly offering people bottles of water. I gladly accepted.

- Many families, some with suitcases. I felt bad for them, cause they're probably in for the long haul.

- Many grungy looking people from the janitorial and maintenance staffs. I recognized several of these people from the credit union, and many of them said hi as they passed. None of the doctors said hi.

I finished my trip to the hospital with a pepperoni pizza from the cafeteria, it was excellent.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving dinner

As promised, here are some photos from our first ever attempt at hosting Thanksgiving. The meal turned out nicely, and the turkey really was excellent. We are still making some very yummy turkey sandwiches from the leftovers.





So here is our menu, with links to some of the recipes.
Roast turkey, which was first soaked in turkey brine
Pear-blue cheese salad with dijon vinaigrette dressing
(except instead of endive, I used spinach, and instead of blue cheese, I used gorgonzola)
this was probably my favorite part
sweet potato casserole
(I didn't use this exact recipe, but this one is almost identical)
rolls (I made yeast rolls)
chocolate harvest cake (I used splenda, this was OK, not the best chocolate cake)
pumpkin pie
roast squash and zucchini (I poured some olive oil, basil, oregano, and garlic salt on them and then baked them)
blue cranberry sauce
(I think this had too many spices, but it was still really good. I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh.)

All in all, it was good.
We got our tree up today, so now our house smells like Christmas. It's great.

Monday, November 27, 2006

As promised...

Baby Photos!!

I saved these photos from Andrew and Melanie's blog, so you should go check it out and leave a congratulatory note. :)




These photos make me teary.
I can't wait to meet him.

Two Words.....

GO COCKS!


And in other, even more exciting news....Jeff and I have become an Aunt and Uncle Again!!!!

We have a new nephew!!

His name is Samuel. He was born early saturday morning, and weighed in at 8lbs, 7 oz. I would post pics, but I haven't actually seen any photos of him yet. I hear he is quite adorable. I did get to hear him squawk a bit on saturday, and he made some very cute noises. So I am anxiously awaiting photos of him and will post them as soon as I can.

There is much more I could post about....but I'm actually at at interview now, and so don't have time. In the works:
thanksgiving photos
recipes
baby photos
new projects on the sewing machine

So there should be much posting as soon as we get back.

I guess that was more than 2 words.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thankful

Hopefully, everyone had a great thanksgiving. We certainly did. The food was delicious, and I was excited that my first ever thanksgiving turned out so well. There were no turkey debacles, no sweet potato incidents, and no pie fiascos. :)

And I do have lots to be thankful for.

Just to start:
having been called by God to be one of his own
my great family (both the one I was born into and the one I received when I got married)
my church family
being able to see the end to medical school
and realizing how great God has sustained me during this time
a wonderful Godly man I get to be married to
a healthy body
becoming an aunt this year (and almost have I become an aunt twice!)
the possibility of moving to a fun new city where Jeff will finally have the kind of job he actually wants and will enjoy
God's financial provision for us during these four years
a good public library where I can get great books and movies for free
Having a new skill that will enable me to make a lot of Christmas presents this year
good friends to encourage and support me and Jeff


I could go on for a while.

But I do have lots to be thankful for.

1 Chronicles 16:8
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving is coming!!

Actually, it's almost here. Today and yesterday, I've been baking and cooking all afternoon to get ready for the big day. So far I've made:
pumpkin pie
chocolate cake
cranberry sauce
bread (both cornbread and white) for stuffing
wheat bread to eat
dressing for the salad
toasted pecans for the salad
sweet potato casserole
rolls
turkey brine
a birthday cake (somehow at Jeff's work he was responsible for bringing birthday cake in today for a coworker, so I made it for him.) :)

All this work really makes me appreciate my mom, who always seems to pull together these beautiful, elaborate and tasty meals quite easily. With at least 2 kinds of meat. But as for me, I'm tired. I still need to make baked oatmeal for tomorrow morning. Yum. With pears on top. Even yummer.

So it's back to the kitchen for me!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Phase 2

After exterminating the dust bunnies in our bedroom, I decided next to move on to the bathroom. We have one small bathroom in our apartment. It used to be part of the porch, since this house was built before indoor plumbing. Like all traditional Charleston homes, the porch on our house is slanted to prevent it from flooding during heavy rains that we get here, much like the storm outside right now. When our house was redone, whoever enclosed the bathroom decided to leave the bathroom floor slanted. I think we could consider our bathroom to have been grimthorped. It is definitely my least favorite room. Plus the tub is old and never looks clean, the toilet is jammed into the corner and wobbles, and we have no counter space.

But the bathroom was due for a really good cleaning and organizing. And it looks so much better now! I again forgot to take a before photo, but here are some good "during" photos.




Here I am distracted by some cute nail polish I found and then promptly used to paint my toenails.



Here is the finished product:



Here is a curtain I sewed to cover up some ugly shelves that have been bothering me for a while. And just so you know, behind the curtain are three very organized and clean shelves.



There's so little space in the bathroom I couldn't get a very good shot of it. And lastly, here is the little cabinet unitwe got to replace the other one we had which didn't have a drawer, and so our stuff was out all the time.


And now we have a nicer bathroom!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fall Cleaning

Since my parents are coming down for Thanksgiving, I took the opportunity to do some cleaning before they get here. And I mean serious cleaning. Today we worked mostly on the kitchen and bedroom. And we really cleaned the bedroom. We actually mopped UNDER the bed. We went through our dressers and purged a few items. I basically dusted the room from top to bottom.

I sneezed all day. It was bad.

So now we are going to reward ourselves and use some gift certificates for Outback. Yum.

Here are some "after" shots. Sadly, I didn't have any "before" or even better, the "during" shots when it was vaguely reminiscent of a hurricane or tornado.

Look, all the drawers are closed, with nothing hanging out or stacked on top!


Jeff is ready to clean!


No clutter or books in sight!


Not a single dust bunny to be found.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flashback

So here is the first picture ever taken of Jeff and I together, right when we first started dating. A lot has happened since then. I mean, we actually got married!! I think we both look a good bit younger, or at least different. It's been a good three and a half years, though. And it's strange to think that I'm already (almost) graduating from medical school. Back then med school was a huge mountain looming before me, but now I can almost taste the end. I'm definitely glad that I had such a great person to be with during these years. Who knew medical school would be as fun as it has been?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stem Cell Research

I just wanted to pass along a great link. Dr. David Jones, my ethics professor from seminary, gave a talk to a Missouri church concerning the recent stem cell initiative which was on the ballot. This talk became an essay which is on the Covenant Seminary website. I found it to be well-reasoned and biblical. Please check it out here.

What we've been up to....

Here is a visual tour of some of the things we've seen recently:
SC Wildflowers


The Washington Monument



The waterfall we hiked to a few weeks ago.



A very, very steep metro escalator


A sweet nephew

Big aquarium fish


I think that's all the photos I can fit into one post!