Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November

 November 2009...what a month! Let's review please.

Week 1:  
November 2nd. I surprisingly found out that I had PASSED my board exam!! The one I had prepared for from January-September (while working full time)!  That's a long time, and a lot of flashcards. It wasn't really a surprise that I passed, but more of a surprise when the letter arrived in the mail...I wasn't expecting results until December 18th.  I didn't know I was on edge until I read "YOU PASSED" and I just sort of melted with relief. Sweet relief. Flashcards....see you never. No more studying for this girl. 

November 7th.  I attended Stacy's baby shower for baby #2. She was my college roommate ALL 4 years. This was big because I got to spend quality time with my girl friends :) ALL of them.

Stacy and the soon to be big sister
Week 2:  
November 9th. After passing my exam I actually got a RAISE at work. Awesomeness. And a little holiday bonus for my hard work. Goodness all around.

November 12th. I got a call in the afternoon that at 35 weeks Stacy was 6cm sounds like baby time! For the rest of the day all of my friends excitedly followed the updates on twitter (I just love technology) until 10:04 pm when little Brody was born at 6lbs 4oz and 20 1/4 inches long.  All of those numbers ending in 4...I've already decided his # is 4. I'm so HAPPY for Stacy, Jeremy, and Kate. Can't wait to go visit the little fellow!!

Week 3:
November 15th. Ryan and I both agree to become members and join the church we've been attending for the past 5 weeks. This is BIG. With all the moving we haven't been members of a church we've regularly attended since 2006. I'm pretty excited to become an official member and have a new church home and new church family. I love my church family in Bowie dearly, but cannot do the 1.5 drive on the beltway after work just to sing in the choir. We're looking forward to jumping in to RPC! 

November 20th. For the first time in almost 4 years I actually hosted my friends over for a dinner! The last time Kelly, Eric, Erin, and Mike all came over to our place was for my 23rd birthday, September 2005! We've since moved around and it's been hard for people to travel to us---and since being back in MD we've had one or two people over, but I loved having the group over for food and games. And to tell you how long it's the last gathering neither couple was married...let alone engaged!

                                                                 Loaded Questions

Week 4 :
November 25th. An actual outing with my parents, my husband, my sister, and her husband. It was a splendid evening of adults discussing adult-like things and of course making fun of each other and playing a lot of board games. Plus, any night I get to go to Olive Garden is always a huge plus in my book!

November 28th. The TURKEY BOWL. The 4th annual event where I attempt to play football (read: run around in the cold with people twice my size and try not to get the ball....if I get the ball, the chances of me getting injured increases exponentially). Every year we have different teams, team colors, and team names. Everyone is in charge of making their own" jersey." Ours turned out really well this year!

                                      House of Blues vs Roman Centurions...of course my team won.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This year, give presence

I am enthusiastically supporting a new event during the Advent  Season, the Advent Conspiracy.
This is really not an “event”, but, rather, it is a choice of how to be during the Advent Season.

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again

What would it look like if we redistributed our money this Holiday Season to help those who have no clean water or are homeless? Americans spend more than 450 billion dollars during the Christmas Season and can you believe that it would only take 10 billion to solve the WORLD’s water crisis? And what if instead of spending time less time in a shopping frenzy, we actually redistributed our time too, so that we spent TIME with each other rather than the mall or online. Advent Conspiracy doesn't mean that you give up giving gifts. I'm not going all "Scrooge" in this wonderful season where the ultimate gift of Jesus was given to us. I LOVE Christmas, and I love gifts....both giving and receiving..but...

It's about considering to spend less this Christmas (maybe even buying one less gift—that gift you have to give out of obligation—or hand-making a gift instead) and redistributing your money for gifts that change the world. It's about 4 themes: 
                        Worship Fully
                                              Spend Less
                                                                Give More
                                                                                  Love All

Christmas can still change the world. This year, Give Presence.

So family and friends---As you go forth into this holiday season, 
I encourage you to try to make your Christmas about: 

- Worshiping Christ more meaningfully
- Refusing our culture's hunger for consumerism
- Giving relationally to our friends and family
 -Loving all by giving to those most in need

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Why Walking to Work is Awesome

10. I can tell myself that walking down 3 flights of stairs, walking for 5 minutes through parking lots, and then walking up 3 flights of stairs—in heels—resembles some sort of exercise.

9. I get to experience the fresh air and enjoy time outside on lovely days.

8. I get a huge kick that 15 minutes until I have to see patients, I’m still not dressed and I’m not running late.

7. Since I don’t drive, I can’t “stop by” a store on my way home, therefore my husband does most of the weekday errand running ;) Thanks honey!!

6. I never have to waste time in the mornings finding a parking space at work.

5. I can go home during lunch and switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, and throw a new load into the washer.

4. I’m home by 4:45pm every day. I can make it to the leasing office before they close! I can actually get my packages the same day they’re delivered. This is HUGE.

3. I hardly ever put gas in my car. It was nearly on “E” a week and half ago, and I still haven’t filled it up. (Relax Dad, there’s a gas station nearby.)

2. I can come home during lunch and catch up on an entire episode of Private Practice.

1. I never have to scrape my car. The entire time it use to take me to scrape all the snow/ice off—I am now at work already!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Pretty Pretty Peacocks

As you may have noticed from my previous post, I like peacocks. At first it was just ornaments...I was attracted to the wonderful feathers...the colors, the pattern, the air of royalty.  About 3 and half years ago I bought a pair of peacock feather earrings from ebay for 99 cents. At this time peacocks weren't that didn't really find peacock feathers at every turn. For a while I didn't collect many items, I knew I liked them but I wasn't obsessed....yet.
Then one Christmas my friend Katie and I were at one of those Christmas know the kind that was just a Halloween store 3 weeks before.  And low and behold we stumbled across a PEACOCK was the most glorious thing I had ever seen. Something clicked in my brain and my obsession started. But I was a graduate I bought one ornament and refrained from purchasing anything else.

The peacock that REALLY started it all. He was the topper of a small white Christmas tree on my night stand.

The next spring when I finished my thesis presentation my same friend bought me a wonderful gift: 

A hand painted wine glass-worthy of a finished thesis!

Now with the peacock obsession in full swing I decided to use the theme for some decoration in my home:

In my guest bathroom. On my nightstand.

 My friends and family quickly caught on. That summer I received peacock book ends and a specially made peacock card from my sister for my birthday.

At Christmas I collected many more peacock ornaments from the Secret Santa gift exchange at work. That ornament above is clipped to one of my office plants.
My husband may have even gotten me a peacock stuffed animal. Are we ever really too old for those? I think not!

Folkmanis hand puppet

Lately, I've seen those same earrings I bought years ago sell for $10. Today peacocks are MUCH more popular. Just in the past two months I bought a peacock feather brooch at Charlotte Russe, peacock candle accents at Home Goods, a peacock wreath at Michaels, and a small throw pillow at Target.

The truth is I love peacock themed items…obviously.  But I do have some exceptions. I don't like abstract items or things that are not peacock colored (blue, green, purple). I'm not particularly into collecting knick knacks or things that just take up I am trying to keep it classy. I know it seems overwhelming because I just shared pictures of every peacock thing I own, but I think they are spread out around my home and it's not like have this ugly decal on my wall! 

Do you have something you're totally into and enjoy collecting? Something you used to like that everyone now gives you at every birthday and Christmas and that you're sort of over now? Let me know below! I love to hear for you :) 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The History of the Hash Tree...not what you think.

        I love Christmas. I mean who doesn't? The family traditions...the lights...the shopping...the gifts...celebrating the birth of our Savior. All wonderful!  Another special thing about Christmas is that is the day...long ago in another millennium...1997 to be exact...that Ryan and I became an official couple.  But more about that later, if you're good :)

        One really cool thing about family traditions is that you can add to them! When Ryan and I got married we were so excited to celebrate our first Christmas. His brother was born December 19th, and they had a strict rule in their family that no decorating for Christmas could take place until after his brothers birthday was over. So that only left 5 day of tree enjoyment before the big day! Eek! Ever since I've been around his family his mother has been less than enthused to decorate....and they have this one tree with it's matchy matchy bows and ornaments. Pretty, but where was reindeer ornament made from clothes pins and fuzz balls? Where were the fun ornaments that spun and moved? that might have been a spaceship from Star Trek on my own families tree...but get the point.  And don't get me wrong, I love perfect Christmas Trees that match...I look at them in the store and aspire to have one one day when I'm older...but maybe if you have more than one tree. Perhaps it was Ryan's mother's way of dealing with a house of all boys.

       Now my family. My family usually decorated around two weeks before Christmas...whatever day we didn't have a swim meet. We lugged all of the boxes out of the basement, and then gleefully added all of our colorful, aged, meaningful, hodge podge ornaments to the tree. I loved it. For a few years my mom did have a "fancy tree" in our bay window of our living room with very beautiful, very breakable ornaments. I'm pretty sure I broke at least one a year. We all did. But it was so pretty. Needless to say there aren't enough of those glass ornaments left to make a entire now they're added to the regular big tree.

        Ryan and I pretty much knew we were going to get married from the start, so when we were 19  I implemented a tradition that each year at Christmas we would give each other an ornament that could go on our future tree. So now it's November 05 and Ryan and I are getting so excited for our first Christmas and we start talking about how other families decorate the tree Thanksgiving weekend and how neither of our families EVER let us do that. So that's exactly what we did, we went out Black Friday and got a great deal on a artificial tree. (Apartments typically don't let you have live trees due to the fire hazard).

        As soon as we got home we put it up and decorated!  We added all of our ornaments that we had collected over time. But of course it was still sparse. At that time we lived in walking distance to a Target...and this is before we lived a very budgeted life....and oh we had so much fun picking out new ornaments!  Except we only got a few at a time, and every time I was at Target I would find more I just HAD to have. It was great. Our tree was no where close to matching!
         Enter in the kittens....oh did I forget to mention at the time we had two 7 month old kittens? Adorable. But guess what they liked to do? Climb the tree. Sit in the tree. Bite the tree. Bat ornaments off the tree. Bat said ornaments under furniture for us to find months later when we moved. That first year we tried so hard to keep them out of the tree...we even moved the tree to our bedroom so we could shut the door when we left for school and work. By the second week of December we were so over protecting the tree from the cats...they seemed to have more fun that we had ever seen them have! And so I gave in and took precious pictures:

               I know what you're thinking. "Sarah, why would you put feathers in your tree if you had baby kitties?" Well...I love birds. I don't have pet birds because of the cats, so instead I get bird ornaments and put them in my tree. I'm sure they would be in the tree with out the birds!  Besides the entire cat in tree thing, Ryan and I went into full speed ahead Christmas mode...but by 3 weeks in we were over it, and started to think our parents may have had the right idea with waiting to decorate and drink all the eggnog. I know, I know...I said parents were right.

        So by 2006 we were in SC and decorated in between final exams. I wouldn't have had the time to celebrate Christmas for 5 weeks even if I had wanted to. One day we actually had time to decorate
and I start opening the Christmas boxes...except it was only village pieces and around the house ornaments! WHAT!? We remembered to pack everything in our move except the ornaments?? Surely it couldn't be. So I called my mother who with phone in hand ventured into her basement to open random boxes. And she found them. All of them. I was upset...I mean earlier in the year our Christmas tree that we had bought the previous year had met it's demise. A flood. See, my sister and I store many things in our parents basements...but it floods. So the tree was in its cardboard box and it got wet, and moldy-- it died.

          So Ryan and I had already bought a brand new artificial tree (they aren't cheap) and now we had to go buy new ornaments too! I wasn't going to not have a Christmas tree. So we ventured out to..where else...Target! My husband asked me if we could do a theme, because it might be the only year we could have a matching tree. Ha. Who knew he actually liked the matchy matchy? So we picked something simple---silver. We bought silver balls with different textures,snowflakes, some tinsel, and a silver star. And come on, we all knew the little balls were going to be cat toys in less than 60 seconds.

             In 2007 we actually got a lot a time off from school and work and headed back up North for the holiday. to save money we got a classmate to feed and play with the cats instead of boarding them. We couldn't take them with us because um..have you met cats after an 8 hour drive? I rather not. We actually decided to decorate our place with everything except the tree.  We couldn't leave the cats unattended with the tree for 14 days. Nope. No can do. So another year went by with out seeing our original ornaments.

                Now in 2008 we were in VA and we had our tree! and our ornaments! after 3 years! Ryan and I were reunited....and it felt so good...but you should have seen the cats! Jumping in the box and chewing on the branches right away. Rolling around like we had given them cat nip...I swear they had smiles on their faces. So here we were, our little fur family all so excited. Samus literally dove right in...

                     By then I had totally given up on fighting them off or reprimanding them and I just took pictures. Maybe I'm a bad cat Momma. I don't know. But I learned and throughout the year when I came across a stray ornament I had a special bag to put them in that actually got put back in the Christmas box while we were packing and moving.

                   And that brings us to Christmas 2009. We're in yet another new home and a new state. We have our tree, our ornaments, our fur babies with tails, and we live near family again--should be another great year!

Big black horse and a cherry tree

Well my heart knows me better than I know myself, so I'm gonna let it do all the talking.
I read a lot of blogs, it’s one of my favorite ways to spend time on the internet. But I always feel kind of like I’m cheating when I comment on the blogs of ladies who are giving me a glimpse into their lives, and I have nothing to share back. The first blog I ever read was one of my college roommates: Law Life. She was chronicling her pregnancy and then life of her first child. Pretty good stuff---and there in 2006 I was thrust into the blog world.
So what’s the purpose of this blog? Like most blogs I’m sure it will evolve over time, but my goal isn’t to keep up with family and friends….I feel like I do a pretty good job of that with phone calls, facebook, and twitter. My goal is just to share my life views and experiences that are interesting, amusing, and meaningful to me-- and hopefully meet some cool readers along the way who may share things in common with me or teach me a thing or two.
I am 27, married to my high school sweet heart, just moved back to the state we grew up in, and for the first time in my life—I have nothing to study! No homework, clinical rotations, or board exams to study for. So when you’ve accomplished so many goals that you and maybe even society had set for you….then what? Something tells me the next decade is not going to be nearly as scripted as the last decade was….and at first I thought that was really scary, but I’m learning to enjoy the slower pace and the unexpected. Come follow me on our journey!