Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today starts my holiday vacation! We're driving to Charlotte tonight so we can leave bright and early tomorrow morning to fly to Colorado! I'm currently frantically trying to get all our stuff packed in as few bags as possible and leave the house in a neat-ish state. Hopefully we'll have a few posts while we're gone, but if not, you'll hear from us later.

Here's the first glimpse of homemade Christmas, a bag I made for my mom, using a pattern from this book.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Photo.

One of the more exciting Christmas presents I got this year was a new camera. I think this is the first and probably last time that both my seven-years-younger brother and I wanted and got the same thing for Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 24

Isaiah 9:2 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.:

John 1:4-5, 14 "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22

The first of the Christmas craft updates:
business card holders for the other women residents - these made their way to their new owners today, so now I can post the photo!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 20 and 21: The Nana Edition

Sorry we didn't get these posted yesterday, but we went up to Seneca and didn't get back until very, very late. Today, everyone packed up and came to Greenwood to go to church with us and hang out here for the afternoon.

Here are some nice shots of my mom, in her favorite role: Grandmother. (and I couldn't pick just two, so I posted four.)

Her grandbabies love her.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19

We have a weird dog. She likes to lie under the desk. Or behind the chair. Any guesses what Jeff is preaching on right now?

This is what we really did today - at least after I took my post call nap. Delicious takeout dinner, Kung Fu Panda, and getting our Christmas cards ready to mail!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18

The view during my clinic today.
I'm on call tonight and don't have a camera, so the camera phone will have to do.

December 17

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16

I went to a cookie exchange tonight. Since I definitely needed an extra 4 dozen cookies around to munch on.

Sadly, I forgot to bring my camera to the actual party, where I might could have taken a photo of a person or something else more interesting. Instead, you'll have to settle for a drool-inducing photo of some molasses cookies, date balls, chocolate nut bark, and other frosted goodies.

Excuse me....now I need to find some bigger pants.

December 15

I got home from a long day of work yesterday and the table was set and my husband had made some chicken tetrazzini. Yum.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14

From the table decorations at our church Christmas meal.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13

In Greenwood, the oldest part of town is not called downtown. It is called Uptown. I'm not sure where this got started, but we do not go downtown. We go Uptown, which is also home to the widest Main Street in the United States. I am not making that up. At least I don't think I am - that little factoid was told to me when I interviewed here.

Even though it's small, with only a few shops, it does have several things going for it.

1. A really excellent sushi restaurant.
2. Cool old brick buildings that are currently being restored.
3. Beautifully decorated windows at Christmas, which we enjoyed tonight, after taking in the children's theater production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12

Here is what our little creek is supposed to look like:

Here is what is looked like yesterday:

What was really amazing to me was how quickly it rose, even though it didn't really seem like it was raining all that hard, and then how quickly it fell back again.

I realize these are not the most beautiful photos I've posted so far, but the contrast was striking to me. And just to make sure I have a cute photo for today, here is the cutest baby I know that I'm not related to, sleeping next to the ballerina bunny I made for her first birthday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11

It is still raining here in SC. I don't think it's rained this much here for a long time. The tiny trickle of a creek that runs by our neighborhood became a raging river this morning - so noticeable, in fact, that I stopped the car on my way to work to take a picture.

Although that's not my favorite picture I took today. Sadly, though, I can't post that picture, because it's a photo of a beautiful little boy born on Thanksgiving day, one of my patients. (Darn that HIPPA). He was born to a sweet, young couple whose first baby was prenatally diagnosed with a fatal anomaly, but chose to continue their pregnancy because they don't believe in abortion. That baby was born just over a year ago, lived only 9 hours, then died. And on Thanksgiving day, I got to deliver their second child - a beautiful, perfect, healthy looking boy they named after his daddy, who has happily weeping as his son made his loud squawking entrance into this world.

Some days I really love my job.

That said, here is today's photo - the best burger and sweet tea joint in town.

Daily specials only $4.45 - come on over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10

It rained all day today. Which was nice, since we are in a serious drought down here, but it still made for a dreary day. I came home from work and took a nice nap on the couch.

In other news, I'm happy to announce that I actually got my act together enough this year to order Christmas cards! I made them on this website, which was easy to use, had some very cute card options, but was about half as expensive the other good card sites out there. They will be here in another day or two, so let's hope I manage to get them in the mail before the New Year!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

December 9

Enjoying my newest nativity (direct from Honduras)

and listening to my sweet husband practice guitar.

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 8

The view from my craft room. Yep...I'm still sewing - hopefully I'll get finished by Christmas.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

December 7

Mom and I (mostly Mom) made these great wreaths to hang inside the church. They were a hit. I think everyone loved seeing the church so beautifully decorated, although I didn't get a great picture of what the inside wreaths looked like. I get the feeling it had been a long time since it had looked so nice.
We also put candles in the windows, and greenery, and had these huge poinsettias on the stage. It really felt like Christmas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

December 6

Playing frisbee with friends today, and enjoying the cuteness of their kid.

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5 and a recipe

Ha! Caught up at last.
A fun residency gathering with about 25 people in our living room. I had three types of soup and made delicious cornbread pudding, using this recipe:

1 box jiffy cornbread mix
1/2 c. butter, soft
1 c. nonfat yogurt
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole corn (I actually used frozen.)

Mix together, put in casserole dish, and bake at 350 for about an hour. Easy and delicious!

December 4

Only one day late this time....but I was on call last night. Here's what my sewing room floor looked like until I cleaned yesterday. Hmm... I wonder what I'm making?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 1,2, and 3

So I'm a little late getting to this December photo project, but I do like the idea of just trying to post photos, since that requires a little less thought than actually writing something. So here are three photos for your viewing pleasure, taken in Iowa, which did technically happen in November, but I've been wanting to post them anyway.

My new, very sweet nephew Caleb. He loves to smile and is super ticklish.

Notice Sam moving? He is hard to capture without a flash. Notice all of the balls stacked inside the jar? That was also his doing.

We are bad bloggers.

Wow. It's been a whole week since our last post. That is just too long. But in that time, we've been on call, gone to Iowa and back, had several clinics, put up a Christmas tree, and with the help of my amazing mom, made 6 wreaths to hang up in our church. Things still left to do this week include: decorate our church for Christmas tonight, be on call, and host a couple who is interested in coming to our program for a few days this weekend. Of course that means I have to get our house a little cleaner. And clean the sewing room. Which right now looks like some sort of fabric hurricane blew through the room and then exploded.


Yesterday I got to come home early, which was a great blessing. And instead of rushing off to Bible study, I rested, took the dog running, and then Jeff and I had fun listening to our favorite Christmas CD and decorating the tree. We ate blueberry banana pancakes for dinner before I went to two different stores to search (unsuccessfully) for some ribbon to put on the wreath for my front door. It was just the evening I needed.

Jeff and I also wanted to say that we appreciate all the sweet comments and prayers for us. It really means a lot to know that there are so many people out there who care for us.

That was a rather scattered post, but we'll get some photos up later - from this weekend, maybe a few from the craft projects I've been working on, and hopefully even a few shots of our decorations. Hopefully things will slow down eventually and we'll have a more focused post in the near future.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeff is happy and sad.

I am happy that tomorrow is thanksgiving.
I am sad that Aubrey has to work.
I am happy that Aubrey has a good job that she likes.
I am sad that Aubrey is on call for Thanksgiving AND Christmas Eve. Lame!
I am happy for the impending Christmas season!
I am sad for disagreements about how to celebrate Christmas.
I am happy for Christmas carols that celebrate Jesus!
I am sad that my nephews and niece live so far away.
I am happy that we get to go meet baby Caleb on Friday.
I am sad about this whole Presbytery debacle.
I am happy when studying the Bible.
I am amazed at its complexity.
I am distraught by theological factions formed on partial understandings.
I am hopeful because Jesus is the Lord of his church.
I am sad about the stuff in the post below.
I am happy that my wife is brave, wise, spiritual, godly, well-spoken and honest enough to write it.
I am praying for a little olive shoot to go around my table.
I am happy about our new (used) car.
I am happy about cheap gas.
I am happy about our Y membership.
I am sad that I don't know the future several years in advance as a planning tool.
I might also be happy about that.
I am definitely happy that God knows the future. And plans it.
I am happy that Lucy is getting better at using her bed, not mine.
I am happy that I figured out what was driving Lucy crazy last night. (apparently she can't relax when the washing machine is running.)
I am thankful for the gift of righteousness.
I am going to post this list now, even though I'll probably think of good additions later on.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A story.

I've had this post tumbling around inside my head for a while, but just haven't been able to write it. Or write much of anything, for that matter. The last several months have been some of the hardest I've had.

I was convicted recently, reading some Buechner, about how we should tell our stories, stories that can call us like a beacon to the safe harbor that is life in Christ. And reminded that our stories are reminiscent of his story - the one great story of redemption. But I haven't wanted to tell my story. I guess I feel a little ashamed, and sad, and just can't bring myself to write words that I wish were not true. But I've been feeling a little dishonest here, and realize more and more that I need all the prayers I can get. Burdens become harder and harder to carry, the more alone you feel.

Over the last 15 months, we have been trying to get pregnant. Unsuccessfully. At first it didn't seem like a big deal. The average time it takes a couple to get pregnant is 6-8 months, or so my doctor told me, and so I tried to remind myself. But as the months have worn on, it just has gotten harder. I've decided struggling with fertility is a week of sadness and disappointment, followed by 3 weeks of anxiety, then maybe two days of hope, only to have the sadness and disappointment start all over again. I wish I could somehow make myself not care as much, not hope as much every single month. Even though every month I try to convince myself that I'm certain I am not pregnant this time, my cycle begins, and again I'm heartbroken. I hate what it does to me. While I'm excited for all my friends who are expecting, at the same time part of me just aches every time I hear someone else's exciting news. How do you tell a friend, "Congratulations! When is the baby due? So...Did you know I can't seem to get pregnant?" Every pregnant 15 or 17 or unmarried 21 year old I see at work just makes me question why God does things the way he does.

Of course I realize that 15 months is not a long time. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Sarah waited until she was 90 to have her son. Jeff even waited almost 5 years to find the church job he wanted. And many, many women struggle for years and years to get pregnant, or have miscarriage after miscarriage, or even have to bury their own children. If we were playing a game of sorrows, I know that mine do not even come close to winning. And I can look around and know just how many blessings he has poured over me: a wonderful husband, great jobs for both me and Jeff, a beautiful home, a family that loves me and loves the Lord, a sweet church family, my health, and the biggest wonder of all - that he made me alive in him when when I was dead in the dark prison of my sin.

I think part of why going to Honduras was so good for me was that it gave me a whole week free from all the worry and stress of temperatures and ovulation and LH surge and all those medical terms that often consume me these days. I needed to be reminded that Christ is enough.
Enough to fill the emptiness I sometimes feel.
Enough to soothe the hurts and aches that threaten to overcome me.
Enough to quiet the questions and jealousy that come against my bidding.

So that is my story. An unfinished one, but one that is daily being written by Christ, as he moves in me and makes all things new.

Psalm 27:13-14 "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wedding Crashers

So Aubrey and I crashed a wedding today. We got there late, so mostly we just crashed the reception, which is the better part to crash anyways. The son of one of the elders at our church in Charleston was getting married up in Clemson, and so a bunch of our friends from Charleston were going to be there. I've only met the groom once, and I had never met the bride (still haven't), so it was normal that we weren't invited. But Aubrey's parents were. They were the grooms landlord, so go figure.

It was a great wedding to crash. It was in an old, unheated, stone church, and it was about 40 degrees today, so it was a little cool. But otherwise great! The food at the reception was excellent, barbeque, and shrimp, and venison. Just the kind of party you would expect the McClellans to throw.

But mostly it was great to see a bunch of old friends. Pastor Craig was very passionate in his righteous indignation on my behalf on a certain issue, and that was encouraging. I don't know that I've ever made so many good friends at one church as when we were in Charleston.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This post is hand written

One of my pet peeves is restaurants that advertise "homemade" items on their menu. Such as "homemade biscuits" or "homemade apple pie." I object! If something is made in a restaurant then it is by definition NOT homemade. It is restaurant made. Unless the cooks are baking at home and then bringing their wares in to the restaurant to sell, which, for the record, I highly doubt. Or perhaps the cook actually lives in the restaurant, so it is his home, but again, I don't think so.

I noticed a variation on this fallacy tonight at the grocery store. Aubrey and I were perusing the cake mix aisle, and one of the boxes advertised with the slogan, "Scratch baking made easy." Again, I must object, if you are using cake mix from a box, you are by definition not baking from scratch. Scratch baking has not been made easier, it has been replaced. Which is fine, its not that I object to baking from mixes, but lets not kid ourselves.

Well, I must go. We bought homemade pillsbury "break-n-bake" cookies, which Aubrey just baked from scratch, and they are ready.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I realized today that after eating fresh, delicious tomatoes grown a mere 20 feet from where they were consumed all summer, there is just no going back.

Eating a tomato grown who knows where that was picked before it was ripe?? Eww.

I guess I'm done eating tomatoes until the spring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A Sesquipedalian, appropriately enough, is a person who likes big words. While I have sesquipedalic tendencies (new band name?) I don't use big words as much as some people I know. Lately I've found myself learning lots of new words, which I will share for your edification.

Excorcitation - apparently a blend of "exhortation" and "excercise." Which fits, because this particular excorcitation was a real mental workout to get through.

Hebdomadal - occuring once every seven days. "I go to a church which meets hebdomadally."

Limn - to portray using words. "I am attempting to limn my thoughts in this post."

Agglomeration - a jumbled cluster. "I am limning an agglomeration of words."

Trope - a rhetorical device of using words in a non-literal sense.

Aporias - expression of doubt. "My aporias over correct word usage is troubling."

Somnolent - sleepy. "Is this post making you somnolent?"

Obdurate - stubborn. "I am obdurately somnolent."

Florilegium - a collection of literary pieces.

Almost all of these new words were from one book I was assigned to read for class, which was clearly above my reading level.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Christmas crafting has begun....

I came home from call yesterday determined to get at least one present done and scratched off my Christmas list. Mission accomplished, in spite of the frustration that is using bias tape to cover curved edges. Oh well. Next time we'll just leave the edge square and try to make mitered corners. A good tutorial for how to sew it on is found here. I did finally, though, figure out how to make bias tape using a rectangle of fabric and cutting it in one long piece, mostly with the help of this little diagram. And a ruler. I really do have yards of the stuff leftover, so expect to see some cute green, purple, and teal polka-dotted bias tape on projects in the future.

I actually got two little projects one, though the second one is not actually for Christmas, but for a birthday that might be upcoming.

Now I just need to actually decide what else I need to make so I can finish some more things. Christmas feels awfully close all of a sudden.

ps - Photos will come, eventually, but likely not for a while as I'm not one to ruin a good surprise.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Honduras, Part 4.

I didn't even know I had this much to say about the trip. But apparently I do. As far as medicine goes, one thing I do that I feel is probably the most beneficial is to do joint injections for those with arthritis. The great thing about joint injections is that they can benefit someone sometimes as long as 6 months. So someone who could barely walk or work because they were in such pain can suddenly move nearly pain free. I was able to do probably at least 100 injections, mostly shoulders and knees, but also in fingers, wrists, elbows, ankles, thumbs and just about anywhere two joints come together. I was also able to inject a few carpal tunnels. It was great practice for me, since I don't get to do nearly this many in my own clinic. But now I feel much more practiced with some of the joints I don't do as often.

To round up the photos, here are some other photos of the people - who are just beautiful.
We saw lots of horses. And kids riding horses.
He might have been the cutest old man I saw last week.

There are lots of good big sisters in Honduras.
This guy cracked me up. Like some kind of secret service agent, he was all business.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Honduras, Part 3.

If I had to pick a single favorite part about the trip, it would be getting to meet and spend time with a wonderful Honduran doctor named Janela. She and I both graduated about the same time from medical school, and she is a believer who has been working in a small clinic since she finished. We had some good discussions about how we do things in the US, local patterns of antibiotic resistance, cultural beliefs about medicine, and lots of other things. My academic medicine spanish vocab is a little limited, so I had to work harder to understand, but I was very impressed by her knowledge. She was even reading Nelson's pediatrics. But I was able to teach her how to do joint injections, and she taught me how to fix someone's ingrown toenail by removing part of the toenail. (Sounds fun, right?)

My other favorite thing? As always, the kids!
Some were serious.
I made some cry. (Nothing new there, unfortunately.)
Some were even red-headed.

And some were just cute.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Honduras, Part 2.

As I've said, each day we drove out from the village we stayed in to different smaller villages to set up clinic. The first 4 days we set up clinics in churches, and the last day we used a school. Here is what the outside of a typical clinic looked like for us.
And here is the inside of a different building, but fairly typical of the churches we saw. (Although this one was one of the larger churches we used.)

And from my seat inside, here is what I could see out the window, very different from my usual view in clinic.
If you couldn't already tell from seeing these buildings, the poverty was often almost overwhelming. This is what two different "towns" looked liked where we worked.

They waited very patiently in long lines, often in the rain, to see us.

I certainly wish we could have done more for these people. The small amount of vitamins and medicines we gave will probably not make a lasting change. But every person who came through heard the gospel, and hopefully by us being there, and taking time to care for them, they were able to see maybe a small glimpse of the father's love for them, which is something that can make an eternal difference.