Saturday, March 31, 2012


It's been a fun and busy few days. Judah and I came down to Charleston on Thursday. Friday we got to do some shopping and hanging out with my brother and sister in law. Friday night, Jeff came down. Saturday morning I ran the cooper river bridge run and then this afternoon we celebrated the second birthday of my sweet boy with our family.

It was wonderful. I'll post more pictures soon, but here's a sneak peak at my two year old (!!) wearing his adorable birthday shirt (a design that I totally stole off pinterest but the link doesnt even work so I can't link to it from here) and playing with all his new trains that he got.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A few things.

1. I read this exhortation to married couples sometime last week. I am still thinking about what it said, and it has continued to help me think differently about my interactions with Jeff. Good stuff there.

2. I bought some new springy fingernail polish this weekend. My nails are currently this color and I'm loving it.

3. Can someone explain to me the hair color option that involves a bleach blond layer on top and a dark brown or red color underneath? I see this style rather frequently here in Greenwood. (Is it sort of a country thing?) I cannot, for the life of me, understand the appeal of this style. Why would anyone do this willingly? (And apologies in advance if any readers have this style. Maybe you can explain it to me.)

4. I need some more book recommendations. I am currently reading a biography to Ty Cobb, which, if I'm being honest, is a bit boring. Thanks to Jeff, I love baseball much more than I used to, but a dry biography of an early baseball hero is not exactly my literary cup of tea.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Women's Health

I love taking care of women. Women are probably my favorite patients - I love doing obstetric care, well woman exams, elderly women with chronic health problems - I enjoy them all. I briefly considered Ob/Gyn as a specialty during med school but all the OB residents I interacted with seemed miserable, plus the surgical aspects of it were not as appealing to me. Not to mention the landmines that believers have to tiptoe around in the field. I didn't want to spend my whole career fighting battle after battle with the entire department I worked in. I am pro-life for many reasons, but one reason is that I believe that abortion is bad for women (to say nothing of their unborn children).

I recently had the opportunity to learn a new procedure, similar to a D&C, that can be done when someone has a miscarriage but doesn't pass the baby on their own. The good part about this procedure, though, is that it can be done in the office under local anesthesia and with oral pain meds as opposed to in an operating room. A faculty physician from MUSC came and did a workshop using the aspirators on papayas to show us how to do them. I expressed interest in spending some additional time learning this procedure and was contacted by someone from her department about setting up time to see it performed on actual patients in Charleston.

What is sad to me is that this same procedure is also (apparently) very, very frequently used in elective abortions. The coordinator for this project asked me if I'd want to spend some time at Planned Parenthood in Charleston where this procedure is performed frequently to make sure I got enough exposure to it. I politely, but explicitly, informed her that I could not, under any circumstance, participate in elective abortions.

That is the trouble with women's health - there are good procedures, like this one, that have valid uses, but that are also used for bad reasons. This makes me feel uncomfortable. Reading the email, I got sad to think of all those women having this procedure electively, ending the lives of their unborn babies. Part of me sometimes just wants to quit this whole women's health thing because then I wouldn't have to worry about or think through these issues anymore. And yet... this is what I love to do, and so I persist -- Thinking about the issues, thinking about what God tells me is right and wrong, and trying to gingerly walk the right path.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I was recently asked if I had any personal goals. I have to admit that the question actually caught me totally off guard. I sputtered something about being a good mom but didn't have much else to say besides that. Jeff, being in the midst of numerous job interviews, immediately had an answer that was both clever and admirable.

I think that ever since finishing having Judah and finishing residency, I haven't really had any personal goals. For the longest time - all through high school and college - I looked forward to the day I would be a doctor. My ultimate life goal. Then I started looking forward to being a mommy. My other ultimate life goal. Then I was a mommy. And a doctor. And since then I haven't really thought about getting some new goals. I think that maybe this sort of transitional period we're currently experiencing has also sort of discouraged me from making new goals. It's hard for me to try to set goals for the future when I don't know how long we'll be living here, where we might be moving, or when any of this change could take place.

All that said, I have continued to think about what goals I'd like to have moving forward. Here are a few:
1. Lead a missions trip
2. Run another half marathon.
3. Run a (gulp) whole marathon.
4. Take Judah to California.
5. Visit Washington state or Oregon and Maine.
6. Sew a quilt in less than a year.
7. Be more hospitable.
8. Memorize more Bible verses.

I guess that is enough goals for now.

What about you? Anyone out there with any personal goals?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Judah talks

Since it's been a long week and a really long day at work, I thought I'd post some of my favorite things that Judah says.

Mel-mo = Elmo
Do-durt = yogurt
we-wo = Hello (said in an exceedingly cute way while picking up the phone and pretending to call someone)
oose = juice
amma = Gramma (yes, I actually got him to say this the other day!)
ah-er = cracker
duh-dee = cookie

Get down = get down (this gets said ALL THE TIME and means either: get down, or I want to be doing something different than what I'm doing right now. Often said while laying on the floor having his diaper changed.)
din = again

It is amazing how quickly they learn new words once they decide to start talking. I am really enjoying having a kid who actually communicates with me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


One of the coolest things I've seen at the zoo ever was the snake we saw on thursday.

There was a (presumably) indigenous snake who found his way into the hen house, and decided to help himself to some delicious fresh eggs. Whole. Of course, I've seen nature shows where the snake swallows things like eggs or other food larger than himself, but I've never seen it live.

After he finished swallowing, he just curled up there where he was. I'm guessing he had some recovery to do after that meal.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Yesterday, Melanie called me at 9am or so to invite me to the zoo. Thankfully, I wasn't working and didn't have anything on the agenda and could just get ready and go. We had a great time.

A picnic lunch in the zoo, some time on the playground,  and then I brought my exhausted boy home.
 (Judah is obviously engrossed in eating his granola bar.)
Someone is really getting to enjoy the slide. All by himself.

I love being such a short drive from family, especially being so close to Judah's cousins. As our job search continues, I am praying that we can somehow stay near family. But even if we don't, I'm thankful that Andrew and Melanie are finally here and we can enjoy the time we have with them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A quick sewing project

Speaking of satisfying things, today I completed a super fast sewing project that satisfied a need I've been having for a while.

I'm trying to prepare for running in the first 10K I've done since before Judah was born. As such, I'm doing more running than I have previously over the last 2 years or so. Since Judah doesn't enjoy being in the stroller for very long, most of my runs these days leave from our YMCA. I can leave Judah in the childcare there while I go. I always need to carry both my car keys and my phone because the workers in child watch would prefer to have a way to get in touch with me. I'm also still always running with our dog. Trying to carry the leash, phone, and keys when most of my running clothes lack pockets is nearly impossible. I debated some sort of saddle bag set up for the dog, but I really don't need that much space. What I really needed was a pouch that I could attach to Lucy's harness big enough to hold a phone and some keys.

Tonight in less than a half hour I made one with a vintage zipper and some scrap fabric. (= completely free project!)

It's not perfect, but it hopefully will work. Maybe I can give it a test run tomorrow. I think Lucy likes it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This week from the pinterest files.

1. Paula Deen's Baked Spaghetti. I feel like we don't normally eat stuff like this - carb heavy casseroles (not that there is anything wrong with them) - but last week I just sort of had this craving for it. And my next door neighbor had surgery and I wanted to make something for them. So I basically doubled this recipe, but then added a package of frozen winter squash to it to make me feel like it was healthier. It tasted exactly like I would expect baked spaghetti to taste. I don't think this will be in our regular rotation, but it is great to make ahead and also give away.

2. Coconut rice and beans. I made this tonight for dinner and it. was. fantastic. The coconut-lime-ginger rice was delightful. The actual beans I found to be a bit bland, but I bet some added lime juice and more cumin would help that. I'd also add ginger to the beans next time, as well. But you serve it with mango(!!) and cilantro on top.

3. Vegan Chocolate Mousse. I can't say that I actually found this recipe on pinterest, but I did find this blog there. She has a whole blog devoted to healthier desserts, all of which are vegan. I'm not vegan, but I do want to eat healthier. This mousse is made with tofu, melted chocolate and a little sweetener. I also swapped almond extract for vanilla and it was divine. And I didn't feel that bad about eating it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Some days in medicine are more satisfying than others.

Yesterday, I worked in the little ER where I sometimes moonlight. Although I still got my fair share of the "I don't have a big health problem, but didn't feel like going to my actual doctor" type stuff, I also had several very satisfying experiences.

1. A dude came in who had gotten into some sort of altercation with his "baby momma momma." (That's a relationship equivalent to a mother in law, if you didn't know.) Apparently a broom was involved. And he couldn't move his finger well. It did look swollen, but not that weird otherwise. I did X-ray it, and lo and behold, it was dislocated! After a quick bit of reading, I successfully performed my first finger reduction. It popped right back into place, and It was fixed! Highly satisfying.

2. A tiny, emaciated man came in who had a history of pancreatic cancer. He hadn't had a BM in several days and was really uncomfortable. A few enemas later, he was as good as new. Although I can't really cure his underlying condition, he was smiling on his way out the door. Also satisfying.

I think that is part of why I enjoy when I work in the ER. I'm glad it's not all I do, but the chance to actually fix someone (as opposed to sort of patching them up until they come in again which is what it feels like I do in my "real" job) is very rewarding.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Quilt, finally.

After getting inspired to finish the quilt top the other week, I could finally see the light at the end of the quilt-shaped tunnel, which gave me the will power to actually push through and get it finished.

A good friend and her large dining room table were very helpful in getting the thing pinned, and although I initially had visions of individually quilting around every triangle, I quickly realized that that just isn't prudent when you are working with a normal sewing machine.

I used this tutorial for the binding and love how it looks. Every other quilt I've done I have really struggled with the binding, but this one actually came out nicely. So...without further ado... here is the quilt!

(Even though I originally was planning something smaller, it ended up as a twin-sized one. That's Jeff holding it up!)
I loved the backing fabric - from the metro living line by Robert Kaufman.

So now it's done. Whew. Just in time for the b-day. Maybe I should start planning my next quilt.....

What I'm enjoying these days...

1. Judah has finally gotten over his recent aversion to baths. I'm not sure what triggered it, but a few months ago, he started hating to take baths. Every bath (which I gave him no more than once/week because of the tears) consisted of him screaming the entire time he was in the bath and me trying to finish up as quickly as I could. No amount of enticing him with bath toys would help. While he still hates getting his head wet (maybe the shampoo was hurting his eyes??) we had a very fun time splashing in the water last night.

2. A few of my favorite things that Judah says: "bi-per" (diaper), "bup-pee" (puppy), "mi-mi" (hold me), "olev" (olive), "pease" (please), "off" (off).

3. Smoothies! I got an immersion blender for Christmas and have been putting it to good use. My current favorite combo is grapefruit, strawberry, spinach, a little yogurt and honey.

4. Music. I've been on this big music-listening kick on my iPhone after some time not listening to much except in the car. My current favorites are : NeedToBreathe, Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars, and JJ Heller.

5. I just finished The Borrower series by Mary Norton. Although I read these in middle school, I think I had never read the last one. It did seem to end abruptly, but these were very fun books, and will be added to my "read aloud to my children" pile that is rapidly growing. I've started another Mary Norton book called Bedknobs and Broomsticks which is turning out to be much better than the movie I remember watching.

6. Having a running buddy again. In Charleston I started running with two girls from church who ended up becoming great friends. We ran together all the time. Then I moved here and no one could be found to run with on a consistent basis. So I got used to running alone again, but never enjoyed it as much as when I had someone to run with. Now my friend Sally and I are running together a lot and training for a 10K, and I'm reminded again why I prefer to run with someone else.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Best Lima Beans.

My dear mother can attest that I despised Lima Beans growing up.  Not only would I refuse to eat them, but the mere sight of them made me want to toss my cookies. (Seriously). Same with peas. I vividly remembering having to move the bowl of peas across the table so they wouldn't offend my very sensitive gag reflex. (Sorry about that, Mom.)

Thankfully, I've (mostly) outgrown the hair-trigger gag reflex and have come to love, LOVE lima beans. And peas. Judah is currently on somewhat of a veggie-eating strike, but will still gobble up lima beans, so we're making lots of them around here. Thanks to Mark Bittman, I've found my absolute favorite way to make them. It's a super easy recipe but so good I have a hard time stopping eating them. So here it is:

Super Tasty lima beans

As this is more of a guideline than an actual recipe, all quantities have been guesstimated.

1.5 c. frozen lima beans or butter beans
1/2 c. water
1 T. butter.
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the above ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minute, until the beans are still a bit firm. Then add:

2-3 T. half and half (can also use heavy cream and I bet whole milk would be fine, too)
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste. (I LOVE nutmeg in savory dishes that involve milk or cheese such as mac and cheese or quiche. I probably add 1/2 t. or so.)

Continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the beans are at your desired softness.

Gobble up!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Did you know that President John F. Kennedy had a rare hormonal disease called Addison's disease?  In his case, it was an auto-immune disease that slowly destroyed his adrenal glands. In fact, in 1947, he almost died from it. Most people have never heard this since he vehemently denied it during his presidential election and his family did what they could to keep it under wraps. Although I'm sure part of the reason for their denials were just because he was running for president and wanted to seem strong (until the late forties there were not good treatments for it), there was actually another very, very big reason why they wanted it hidden. At that time, the major cause for addison's disease was actually tuberculosis. TB is fairly rare today thanks to modern antibiotics, but even then there was a lot of stigma associated with it. People like JFK didn't get TB. Drug addicts got TB. Poor, homeless people got TB. But not him. Because of the strong and negative association that people had with Addison's disease, he feared the stigma.

Lately, I've felt a little the same way with our ectopic. The overwhelmingly largest risk factors for ectopic pregnancy (apart from a prior ectopic) have to do with prior pelvic infection. As in STDs. Now, I know I have nothing to be ashamed of. The only risk factor I do have for ectopic pregnancy is actually my infertility. (Darn you again infertility!) But when I talk about the ectopic, especially mentioning it to other doctors or those in the medical fields, there is a little voice I hear that wants to defend myself. Actually, I haven't told very many of my colleagues about it at all. Mostly because I haven't necessarily wanted to talk about it all the time, but also (if I'm honest) because I don't want anyone to think that I spent my teenage years in wanton rebellion.

Ectopic pregnancy is not something I ever expected to deal with. I used to think that if I did all the right things - married a Godly person, waited until after marriage to have children, avoided drugs, debt, and divorce, that life would be easy and I'd never have to deal with _______ (insert struggle here that only sinful people should have to deal with). Which I know isn't true. There are numerous examples in the Bible which soundly disprove this line of thought: Job, Hannah, Mary, Jesus. To name a few. But knowing that reality and trusting that reality are two different things.

The root of the problem, of course, is that not only am I seeking to find my identity in having others think well of me, and know that I am a "good girl," but that I am also seeing these "good" actions as part of what makes me acceptable to God. The same voice that wants to defend myself to others when I talk about our ectopic pregnancy also wants to defend myself to God, instead of trusting only in the finished work of Christ.

The reality is that my heart is ugly, hard, and full of sin. And in desperate need of a Savior. I need to spend less time worrying about what other people think of me and more time remembering that.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New Bag!

I've really been on a sewing kick lately. Yesterday, I saw a tutorial for a super cute new clutch on one of my regularly enjoyed craft blogs. It looked so adorable (and easy!) that I had to make one right away. And then I decided to make four of them. Because, you know, when you're making one, making four really isn't that much harder. I'm only posting the photograph of one since the others may be making appearances as gifts in the next few months, but this one is mine, all mine. I was totally digging the chevron fabric and bright spring colors. I bought this fabric at a quilt shop a while ago but had been hoarding it to use on something really cute and then it got hidden underneath some less cute fabric. I was happy that I found it while digging through my stash to find fabric for this project.It makes me want to buy a light colored flowy dress for spring and some cute new flats as well. I guess a new bag can have that effect sometimes.

I guess it's my new favorite bag pattern. I didn't follow her directions exactly, but also relied on this fantastic tutorial that I've used numerous times before. Hooray for new bags!