Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas time is here.

Christmas hit us like a tornado, leaving a path of destruction filled with wrapping paper and new gifts, and then covered us with a blanket of snow. 
We woke up Christmas morning and headed to my parent's house. We made biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and my sister and her husband made chocolate oatmeal cookies and cinnamon rolls while Andrea Bocelli sang Christmas carols. (Man I love that CD.) Dad finally opened a present that he didn't roll his eyes at, although there were plenty eye-rolling moments. (Seriously mom..... a karaoke machine?!?) Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures. We hung out most of the morning and then headed back to Korey's parent's house to have Christmas with them. Korey's sister had these shirts made and gave us all pajama pants to go with them. We pulled out the tripod and the remote and made some Griswold family portraits.

Clover actually sat still for a picture and kind of looked at the camera.
Christmas. Miracle. 

It started snowing in the afternoon and kept going strong the rest of the evening. We set out a bowl and let it fill up and then Kim made some "snow icecream." I had never had it before. You just mix milk, vanilla flavoring, and sugar, and then add snow until it's the right consistency. Just adjust the sugar and vanilla flavoring until it tastes like vanilla icecream.

Doesn't it look awesome!

I attached one of my hair clips from my morning stocking to Clover's hair.
Isn't she beautiful?

This picture cracks me up. What a sweet picture buddy!

This was Clover's very first encounter with snow and my first White Christmas in GA. 

A beautiful, sweet end to a beautiful day.

 Well....Clover wasn't always peaceful about the snow. She went back and forth between impersonating Santa Claus and a grey hound. 

Am I the only one that calls out "Here comes the bunny!" whenever my dog decides to do laps in the yard?

I sure hope not.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Spirit

Everybody who thinks it doesn't really feel like Christmas say yeah!

I need some Christmas spirit. It all seems so far away. Maybe I'm just a little down after a grueling week of finals that finished up a few grueling months of school. Maybe I'm getting older. I don't know what it is. All I know is that I've gotten myself into a serious Christmas funk and I can't seem to get out of it. I don't know what I need, but I know I need something. I can feel it. 

I've been brainstorming and this is what I've come up with so far to drum up some Christmas spirit. 

Make a Gingerbread house
Make Sugar Cookies
Make candy apple cider
Watch Christmas movies (Elf, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th street, Christmas Vacation)
Make salt dough ornaments
Read for fun!
Knit or crochet something
Take photographs of Christmas lights
Make a pencil drawing
Learn to play some Christmas songs on guitar
Run consistently
Watch the meteor shower
Ride the zip line at Lake Lanier Islands
Go see the magical nights of lights
Go see that house that has their lights set to music
Go see a Christmas play or performance

I've already knocked some things off my list.

First, we went to my parents house to help decorate for Christmas. Mom made chili and I made candy apple cider which is really just a fancy way of saying "I heated up red hot cinnamon candy with some store bought apple cider." I love it!

 Monday night we snuck out all bundled up with my tripod and camera in one hand and a sleeping bag in the other. We went to a field and watched the meteor shower and took pictures of the stars. The meteors were too quick to be caught by my camera, but an airplane showed up nicely. It was very cold but so romantic and fun. I just love a good adventure.

We did a few long exposures too. The lines are created by the stars and the turning of the earth. It reminds me of Revelation when John says he saw the stars fall from the heavens. 

Of course, I've already started watching Christmas movies. Although I slipped and watched Little Miss Sunshine this morning. (One of my very favorite movies) 

Today I think I'll try and make some sugar cookies with my mom, or read a book, or maybe draw. Perhaps I'll do all three. In any case, I fully intend to do every single thing on my Christmas list by the end of the year. 

Go big or go home right? 
This time I'm just lucky enough to do both.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The last mile

Finals are finally over. I already felt like I really needed a few days of rest when they began, a few days to do what the 1950's housewife side of me wants to do: clean my house, bake something, craft something, attempt to make Sunday morning biscuits. Instead I studied and felt pretty much like these two ladies for the past week.

Now finals are over. It seems strange. I used to feel a release after my last final in undergrad, like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. Dental school is different. Perhaps it's the seemingly insurmountable work load, especially during finals that always seems to leave me feeling like it's just another day at the office. I honestly felt as if I would wake up this morning and go to school and study. Instead, I choose to make Sunday morning biscuits, even though it isn't Sunday, which is when I usually make them. (Hence the nickname "Sunday morning biscuits.") They're really just buttermilk biscuits made from scratch.
I haven't always been able to make them either. I started making biscuits when Korey and I got married. Korey told me that no one could make biscuits like granny. It made me think that some day I want my grandchildren to say something like that about me. So, I took her recipe and kept trying to make it work. "Sift some flour into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the sifted flour. Pour in some buttermilk and add a handful of crisco. Mix it all together until it looks right, but don't over mix it. Then make them into biscuits and bake them." Simple enough. So I made the decision to make biscuits once a week when possible until I got it right. There were times that they were edible but not good and other times that they went straight into the trash. Then suddenly, one fateful Sunday morning, with my last bit of crisco and emptying my last bit of self rising flour into the sifter, it all came together. Korey ate three of them. Success! It only took me an entire tub of crisco, a few bags of self rising flour, countless little containers of buttermilk, and two years of Sunday morning biscuit making. Not too shabby I would say, not too shabby at all. 
So biscuits are baking. Finals are over and we're decking the halls....well not literally. We don't really have any to deck here, but I did manage to sneak in a few Christmas items. I needed something to pick me up during finals week.

First I took the leaves off my wreath and added some bling that used to encircle the candles on my mantle. 

Some hot chocolate in my favorite mug and my little plug in mosaic snowman that Korey bought me at Cracker Barrel last year.

My mom bought me this photo snow globe and it is my absolute favorite Christmas decoration. I only wish it played music.

Once my last final was over and I had taken a little nap, Korey took me out to dinner. I was content to be out on a date after not being able to spend much time together, but he had a surprise for me afterward. He took me to look at Christmas lights, one house in particular a schoolmate had told him about. They had a ton of Christmas lights that blinked and shimmered to the rhythm of songs on their very own radio station. It was magical. What a sweet man. I am so blessed to call him my family.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stream of consciousness

Forgive me. I'm feeling poetic tonight.

My mind is coursing over veins and arteries as if they were a road map. I'm tracing where I know they should be on my legs, on my arms, gliding through my organs. I imagine the muscles flexing and lengthening as they move beneath my skin. Suddenly the body seems so simplified, a map on my dashboard full of familiar road names and landmarks. With each road name a flash of its beginning and end and all the in between. Then suddenly, there is an unnamed road, an unfamiliar pathway, a name with no connection to where it belongs. Where does it fit into this puzzle? I’m lost again. Surely these terms were made up by a child. Endless words, and each one stranger than the next. But in this class it’s impossible to discard answer choices based on unfamiliarity.  “There is no way that is the correct answer. I’ve studied for hours and I’ve never come across that word.” Famous. Last. Words. Anatomy is not for the faint of heart. Tonight I will sleep and dream in latin and dissected body parts with blurry unreadable labels, my gloved hands tugging at nerves and separating muscles when they’d rather be plucking the strings of my guitar or chiming knitting needles together in steady rhythm. My eyes are as tired as my aching mind. When will I be able to sleep again without guilt weighing down my blankets at night? There is much to beckon into my mind and little time to convince it to stay. I’m trying hard to keep on keeping on, to fight the good fight. Robert Frost keeps wandering into the forefront of my mind. In the midst of the fray, the whisper of a melody I used to know, his poem set to melancholy notes, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” True, Robert. So very true.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
                  by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What am I thankful for?

All of this

And so much more.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving is a verb.

Ok so I know it's not really a verb. It's a noun, but its an action noun, and this weekend my house has been filled up with it. It's a good sweet life we're living and we should enjoy it and be thankful for it.

I used to be such a careful person. I never wanted to step on toes or upset anyone. I even went so far as to feel a little guilty when people were upset as if, in some way, I had done something wrong. (Please tell me I'm not the only one to ever do that....) I spent so much time trying to make everyone happy that I never was happy myself. Actually most of the time, the people I was trying to make happy didn't end up happy either, so we both lost. A little while ago, someone very near and dear to my heart had a cancer scare and it led me to think, as the thought of death often does, about what I am doing with my life. The answer I came up with was worrying. In many ways I'm still this way and I've been fighting it. Why is it such a struggle to be carefree, to lay down burdens but keep the work we've been given? Why is it so much easier to lay down everything and be lazy or take up everything and be miserable?

So much of my life has been wasted focusing on negativity and other people's opinions of me and what I'm doing and why they may or may not think I'm doing it. Trying to control everything only led me to focusing on all the things that were not within my control. Enough. No more. There is so much intrinsic stress in life. There is no need for any additions. Each day has enough worry of its own. This is not to say that it is ok to be careless with others feelings or only serve yourself, but it does mean that when you do something fun with the intention of being nice that the nay sayers can just go say nay to someone that cares. That someone is not going to be me.

I know my own heart and it is not to hurt anyone. If that is good enough for me, then it is good enough. As I said before, it's a good sweet life we've been given and I intend to enjoy it and be thankful for it. I may march to the beat of a different drum, but the rhythm is so upbeat. Who could keep their feet still? There are so many reasons to march on.

Waking up naturally with no alarm
Really cleaning the house
Cuddling with my husband and my sweet puppy
Hot chocolate with added marshmallows.
Fried turkey and all the fixins
Making things from scratch like doughnut holes. (epic fail) and no bake cookies (only a partial fail as I still ate 4 of them)
Hanging out with friends
Decorating a Thanksgiving table
Having two Thanksgivings with more on the horizon
Packing to go home
Listening to "One Day" by Matisyahu on repeat
and being reminded that there are so many things I have to be thankful for

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Someone else's giveaway and a boat ride.

Ok so if you know me, you know I love blogging, writing on my blog and reading the blogs of friends and strangers alike. Well today when I went to i am baker's website I thought I would click over and see what she was writing on i am mommy as well since she is a multiple blogger. It was there that I discovered she is starting another awesome blog and on this new blog she is hosting a giveaway for $500.00! Seriously, anyone could use $500.00. That would totally buy Christmas presents and buy me some awesome new pay our rent for the month. So go leave a comment here and you will also be entered to win!

Ok now back to a more normal blog entry.  So for our anniversary we bought tickets to go for a boat ride on the Augusta Canal. Unfortunately, it rained so we postponed our ride and honestly, I completely forgot about it until the other day. I had a huge exam wednesday morning for microbiology, so as a reward, we went for our boat ride wednesday afternoon. It was so beautiful. We shared the ride with a lovely older couple. It was narrated by a wonderful knowledgeable guide and I learned a lot about Augusta history as well as some of the local wildlife.

The sky was amazing. I think I prefer cloudy skies to clear ones. They are so much more interesting.

The fall colors were so beautiful.
This photo was not edited at all. Doesn't it look like a watercolor painting?

And check out my awesomely cool husband. What a stud.

So much fun! And we had bought our tickets using the Augusta Chronicle daily deal so we only paid $12.00 total and got admission to the history museum.

Please try to ignore how tired I look.