Thursday, December 31, 2009

New York, New York

Next week we are going to New Jersey to celebrate Jeff's Grandmother's 90th birthday. I'm looking forward to seeing some of Jeff's family again - most of them we haven't seen since the wedding.

It looks like we are going to have half a day to spend in New York City. The only other time I've been to New York was once when I had a long layover in Newark and spent maybe 2 hours there. The only thing I saw then was the World Trade Center.

So I'm taking a poll....what should we do? Obviously we can't do it all, but I'd love to have some opinions about what is good to do in NYC if you only have a few hours. Maybe central park? Times square? Jeff thinks it might be fun to do lunch at Bobby Flay's restaurant - which sounds fun to me. Is there a museum worth some time?

Anyone out there with strong opinions? I want to know!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A few more photos

Christmas present round up...

I cut back on the amount of Christmas sewing I did this year. Mostly because I got a late start. But I did manage to pull together a few things.

My first project was a super hero cape for Jack. I really love how it turned out. Jeff now wants one, too. It's reversible.

My other big project was an advent calender for Melanie. I also am making one like this for myself - but couldn't finish mine because I ran out of time. I spent some time looking at calenders on flickr, and then got started. I used the number templates from Sew, Mama, Sew. I really love this - I love all the fabrics and the linen together. I'm excited about getting mine finished. Thankfully I have some time before I'll need it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some of my favorite wrong sayings.

1. I think that twice within the last week I've heard someone describe someone else as being "Smart as a whip." Which sounds like it would be a put-down, but they meant it as a compliment. I never knew whips were so smart. I'm pretty sure they meant to say "quick as a whip," which makes much more sense, and is also a way of saying that somebody is smart.

As an aside, I sometimes like to say that someone is "sharp as a whip, quick as a tack," which is funny because I am intentionally switching the adjectives for humorous effect.

2. "The proof is in the pudding." Why do people say this so often? Don't they know it makes absolutely no sense? There's no proof in the pudding. Why would the proof be in the pudding? J.I. Packer has surmised that the original saying was once "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." This makes a little bit more sense, although I admit that I'm still not sure exactly when it would be appropriate. Unless I were having a very specialized debate about the existence of pudding.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


...well, sort of.

On the way back home yesterday I had these great plans to go to the gym and then run a few errands to make a few exchanges. By the time I got home, I was feeling tired and thought, "well, I'll just lay down for a few minutes first...."

Ha! Two and a half hours later, I woke up, quite refreshed. I did run some errands, but the gym was closed by then.

Then I decided to take the dog on a walk. When I was almost back to the house, I somehow mis-stepped and twisted my ankle. I wish I could say I was doing something cool, but nope... I was just walking. Even though I wasn't far from the house, I called Jeff to get me because it hurt so bad. Today, after enjoying a nice lunch with my wonderful family that came down to visit our church, I've been laid up on the couch, my ankle elevated and iced. I think it's just a sprain, but I'll probably get another actual doctor to look at it tomorrow and see if it needs to be x-rayed.

We had a wonderful vacation, but it is definitely nice to be back home.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Round 2

December 25

Merry Christmas!

I'm enjoying experimenting with my new lens...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24

We went on a short hike with some friends today. All told we had three dogs, 2 kids, and 9 adults. We hiked to this neat waterfall only about 15 minutes from my house. I'd never been there before, but it was beautiful. It was nice to get out of the house, and really nice to enjoy the sun on my face.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23

I told you there'd be some nephew photos.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22

My Christmas vacation started today. I worked all day, then we got packed up and drove up to Seneca for the family Christmas get together.

We are looking forward to 5 days of family time, good eating, and lots of laughing and talking. And everyone should expect a few more photos of the nephews in the next few days.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21

I delivered a baby today. Not just any baby - but the baby of a dear friend, resident classmate, and my own doctor. Whenever people choose me to do their OB care, I always feel honored, but when a fellow doctor lets me be a part of that experience, I am even more honored. It's also a little more nerve-wracking because when it's a good friend I just worry more about what could go wrong. The delivery today was wonderful - smooth, uncomplicated, and the baby even had the decency to come during the day. And now I can go on Christmas vacation and not worry about when she's going to go into labor. The little girl was just beautiful. And after I finished my doctorly duties, I could get my camera and just be a friend.

The proud grandparents... we used to go to church with them. Grandma cried. It was precious.

It was a really great day.

The day...

I got a phone call from my infertility doctor the other day. Well, first I got a call from his office, wanting to know how the pregnancy was going. I chatted with the nurse for a few minutes, letting them know that everything was going well, but that I didn't know if it was a boy or girl.

The next day, the doctor himself called me. He also wanted to know how things were going. I wasn't sure if he normally calls his patients personally or if this was just some sort of professional courtesy. He asked me some of the same questions, and then asked me to send along a card or note after the baby comes to let them know if it was a v*ginal birth or c-section, the weight, etc. I guess they keep track of this kind of information as part of their research.

Anyway, it was kind of weird hearing from them since I haven't really thought about him or that office in a while. But it did get me thinking again about the day we did the IUI, and I realized that I never posted about it here. It was a crazy day, but of course I didn't post about it when it happened because this has never been that kind of blog, and then I just didn't really think about it as much. But I have often thought it would make a good post. Partially because I, like many women who struggle with infertility, got very tired of having people say things like, "If you'll just relax....." There was NOTHING relaxing about that day.

The appointment was scheduled around 9am - that is Jeff's part was scheduled then, and then the procedure was supposed to be at 10. I had the morning off, but I was scheduled for clinic starting at 1:30, which seemed like plenty of time. Jeff also was supposed to have class that afternoon. We were ready to leave before 8, since it takes about an hour to get there. We get in my car (Jeff's was in the shop) and then Jeff turns the key.... nothing. Not even a peep. Thankfully we live in a neighborhood with lots of other residents, so I start calling around to find someone to come and give us a jump or loan us a car. No one answered. I begin to worry a little more because I didn't want to be late. I try a few more people, but still no one is home. Then Jeff runs over to our next-door neighbor's house, and he is going to jump us off. Of course it feels like it take FOREVER for him to get there, but finally he does and we are on our way.

Then we realize my car has no gas. So we stop at the gas station and fill up. When we try to leave, again the battery is dead. Being at a gas station, though, means lots of people are around so we quickly get a jump and are finally, really on the way. We get to the office a little late, but we don't have too much time to wait. Jeff's appointment goes fine, then it's back to the waiting room again. I brought along a little light reading - Moby Dick. About an hour later, we go back to the room again, and the doctor comes in to do the IUI. Seriously, it takes all of 5 seconds. Of course, I'm thinking, "That's it??" The doctor gets me to stay laying down on the table for another 15 minutes. Jeff holds my hands and we pray. Then it was back to reading Moby Dick. After the appointment was over, we got lunch in the cafeteria before heading out.

We get out to the parking lot, get in the car, and yep, you guessed it....nothing. We quickly flag down another car to jump us off. This time, though, when we try, nothing happens. The car will not start. I'm trying to stay relaxed, but I know that if we don't leave soon I'll be late for clinic. I call my mom since I can't think of what to do. We don't know a lot of people who live in Greenville who can come and help us. As we are trying to figure out what to do, Jeff calls one of his professors to let him know he won't be able to make it to class, which started at 1. His class had been cancelled, and then we realize that his other classmate lives in Greenville, and since there is no class, probably is not super busy at the moment. We call him and although he's a little ways away, he can still come. I'm trying not to think about the 12 patients I had scheduled in clinic. There's a car parts store just down the road. When he gets there, he and Jeff go and pick out a new battery. They come back, put it in, and.... still nothing. At this point, it's well after 1, so I have to call some fellow residents to let them know that I'm going to be late to clinic.

Jeff has numerous talents but is not big into care repair (nor is his friend) , so he pops the hood and looks around for a few minutes. Then he thinks to check out the fuse box, and notices that one of the fuses looks like it might be blown. So it's back to the car parts store where we spend a few minutes trying find the right fuse. We are pretty sure we have it, come back, get it in the car, and .... the car finally starts!! Finally, we are on our way home. I get to my clinic at 3:30. Two hours late. Another resident had seen one of two of my patients, but then I just have to get going. I hurry through clinic as quickly as I'm able, and even manage to finish almost on time. Then I go home and THEN I can relax.

So I'm not sure if it was the added excitement of trying to get home or fix the car or maybe just reading Moby Dick - but exactly two weeks later we had our positive pregnancy test.

Actually, as I've said before, I know that for reasons I do not now understand, God chose to use IUI - even this very stressful IUI - to begin this pregnancy, and we are continuing to pray for the little one inside me - that he or she will continue to grow and move and be born a healthy baby sometime in March.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20

The Christmas party!!

We had a great time - I made two kinds of soup, and then several people brought desserts or appetizers. Lucy was her usual terrified self, though she came out of her shell a little by the end of the night and got a few people to pet her.

My best decision of the evening? Buying paper plates and bowls to use. It made the clean up very fast. And after spending several hours over the last two days cleaning, (I even did more craft room organizing) the last thing I would have wanted to do tonight was more cleaning. So now, instead of cleaning, I'm going to bed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19

Today was a long day.

It started out by me working a few hours in the local pediatrician's office. Then I came home and started cleaning and getting the house ready for company tomorrow. Our entire church (it sounds like a lot but in reality it's only about 15) is coming for a little Christmas party tomorrow. I started the two types of soup and made an appetizer, and also some granola to give to the nurses at our office. Somewhere in there I did some laundry, wrapped some presents, and did a little bit of sewing since I'm still not done with Christmas gifts.

People often ask me how I feel during this pregnancy. It's really been a fairly easy one so far - I still feel really good, have plenty of energy most of the time, and can just enjoy this time. But today I could really tell I was pregnant. After standing most of the day my feet were killing me. My back ached. I felt exhausted. I made myself stop sewing and took a nice, long, hot bath. It was great, and just what I needed at the end of this long day.

Then I ate an M&M cookie, and felt even better.

Now it's off to bed. Good night!

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18

Today was cold and gray - all day long. The perfect kind of day to sit in a hot tub and and drink hot chocolate or take a nap.

I got to go to work instead. Not that I'm complaining - I do love my job. But I didn't enjoy the 30 minute drive to Due West, SC, where I'm doing my rural medicine rotation - since the roads were all very wet, slightly flooded, and my windshield kept getting foggy.

These two photos were the best I could do. It's hard to hold an umbrella and a camera at the same time when your fingers start to freeze. Apparently the wind chill here made it feel like it was 23. Brrr.

On the positive side, at least it's sort of wintery around here. I just wish it were snow....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17

Mmm.... dinner.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16

I love having a husband who likes to bake. (And thanks, Megan, for your cookie recipe. Jeff tried to use what was on the back of the chocolate chips, but they were a total bust. We figured out they didn't call for enough flour by looking at your recipe, so he was able to remedy them delectably.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15

My husband took this one. He's really getting quite good with the camera. This is the old grocery store in Cross Hill, where our little church is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14

My first fully completed sewing project for the baby: a cute little stocking. I love it - it's simple, but the fabric on the inside is this really nice pop of color. I suppose this baby will one day want one that is larger so as to fit more loot, so maybe this will get passed down to whomever is the youngest. Or the dog. But until then, it's just right.

Fun Blog

I found this blog today from linking from another one - I can't remember whose.

It's called Letters of Note, and it's a blog that publishes interesting letters from the past. You should check it out. Especially this one.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13

I love fog. Even the hospital parking lot is pretty in the fog.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Have you seen it?

Has everyone here checked out Jeff's other blog?

He and Ken have some really good posts up over there.

December 12

We spent last night at a wonderful bed and breakfast in the town of Aiken, SC.

Last Christmas, Jeff's parents gave us this gift certificate and we finally cashed it in. We had a nice, relaxing time - sleeping in, eating delicious breakfast, and enjoying the very cute downtown Aiken.

Our bed and breakfast even came with its own horses.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10

Two nights ago the overnight forecast was "90% chance of rain throughout the night." Apparently, what they meant to say was, "Tornadoes and damaging winds will tear through your neighborhood, knocking down trees and taking out your power for the rest of the day."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

December 9

Even though Sam's finger is conspicuously close to his nose, I love this photo. And I have a confession. I didn't take it. My brother did. But I love that my dad is playing the piano and singing with the boys. And I love that Caleb is in motion. So I'm posting it anyway.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

December 8

Here's my husband's shot - he's been doing some experimenting with shutter speed.

Monday, December 07, 2009

December 7

My favorite thing at the hospital christmas party? The dessert table.

Though honestly, after I tried a solid chocolate truffle, I threw everything else away and just a few more of those.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

December 6

I love this kid.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

My grandma.

I wanted to post here what I said today at the funeral:

I’ve always felt blessed by the wonderful family God has given to me. The faithful example of those who were older, in whose footsteps I could try to walk. My grandmother, Flora Rampey, was no exception. I’m going to miss my grandmother. I was looking forward to a day a few months from now when I might have been able to introduce her to what would have been her 6th great grandchild. I do hate that my child will never have to chance to know Grandma – mostly because she was a wonderful lady who was a blessing to those who knew her. I’ve been thinking a lot these past few days about what I’m going to tell my child about my grandmother – because more than anything I want him or her to understand the legacy of faith that they have been given.

I want to tell about her hospitality. How she opened her home every year to dozens of Rampeys for a fun, food-filled Christmas celebration. More than once at family reunions I was amazed by how many people talked about living with her and Major - How it seems to me that at some point, many brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends ended up living with her and Granddad. I never heard her once complain about the cleaning up she had to do, the food she had to cook, or the stress of hosting the 50 or 60 people who came to her house every year for a meal. She just put her housecoat on over her dress, and starting washing the dishes.

I want to tell about her sense of humor. It took me a long time to realize how much she loved jokes, and how funny she could be. Even when her memory began to fail, she could still laugh. When we were going through some of her things a few years ago, in one of her chests she had kept this enormous pair of women’s underpants – pants that were so big that my granddad (big man that he was) could actually fit in them with someone else. Apparently, these were something she liked to keep and give to all the newlyweds in the family.

I want to tell about her deep love for her husband and the institution of marriage. I always loved the story of their elopement – Granddad sneaking out of the house on Christmas Eve to come and get her, interrupting the Methodist minister in the midst of his Christmas celebration with his own family, the hunt for them the next day when my Great grandma found out what happened. She managed to stay sane through 67 years of marriage to a stubborn Rampey. And those who knew her say her care for my granddad in good times and in bad times. She understand what it meant to be married in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health.

Then, of course, there is the food. I’m certain everyone has a favorite – pound cake, chocolate pound cake, german chocolate cake, peanut butter cookies, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cornmeal pancakes, chicken and dumplings, and her delicious biscuits. I do wish my child could one day eat her biscuits. I will say, though, that my dad learned from the best, and his are delicious, too.

Lastly, I want to tell about her faith. How week in and week out, Wednesdays, Sundays, camp meetings, special services, she went to church. She prayed. She read the Bible. And not only did she read it, she obeyed it. What I most want to tell my child is what I think she also would have most wanted them to know: It wasn’t her hospitality, her good deeds, her delicious cooking, or even her faithful church attendance that could save her. What saved her was her deep abiding faith in Jesus, who died for her sins, and whose righteousness she was given. Her life was a triumph – and her death is not a tragedy. Although we miss her, we have hope because, like it says in Ephesians:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

December 5

We buried my grandma today.

Friday, December 04, 2009

December 4

My grandmother died earlier this week. She was 93, and loved the Lord, and so although I'm going to miss her, I'm thankful she is with Jesus now - and reunited with my grandfather, her husband of 67 years.

We came up to my parent's house last night to prepare for the funeral. This morning my dad flew me back to Greenwood so I could scrub in to the c-section of one of my patients who is also a good friend.

Making the turn before landing into Greenwood.

A picture of our church from the air.