Friday, August 23, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 34

Linking up with Jen and the rest for 7 Quick Takes.

1. One of the things I'm really, really enjoying about Denver is the chance to spend time with Charles' family. We see his brother and nephew a couple of times a year, but we/I see the others pretty sporadically. It has been nice to see all of them more regularly. And seeing teenage boys dote on a baby(ish) girl is muy heartwaring.

2. Speaking of his stellar siblings, Charles' brother decided he needs some bonding time with Clare before he starts back at school on Monday, so he's Bear-sitting while Charles and I go to dinner and a movie tonight. An out-of-the-house date night is long overdue, so I'm mega excited.

3. And my sister sent Clare a new puppy book that we opened this morning. Needless to say, I think we've already read it 10ish times.

4. Ahh!!! I don't know why I keep forgetting to blog mention that we "called it" and declared that Clare took her first independent steps on Sunday evening. She walked from UncleGodfather's coffee table to the waiting cup of milk he was holding with no prompting, stabilizing, or forcing! I saw it, but Charles was outside and only got to hear. After I ran out and told him, of course. She's getting a bit more confident with a few daily steps, and I think we'll have a walker before we know it.

5. Of course, she's already a climber. Yesterday, I stepped out of the room for a minute and a came back to find her on top of allllllll her puppies and babies. 'Cause a girl can never have too many puppies, I guess?!? Crazy dog lady in the making.

6. The plan for tomorrow is to spend the day up in the mountains and I can't wait. A little getaway. Lunch in a cute cafe. Cool mountain air. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered!!

7. Tomorrow is my father in law's 75th birthday! Happy Birthday, Don!! We're sorry we're here and not there to celebrate with you, but we'll see you next week!! Love, love, love you!

Have a lovely weekend, all!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5 Favorites, Volume 16 (Carbalicious)

So there is a draft of this post, started yesterday, in which my whine escalates to (at least) level 11/10. And while I don't mind whining about Clare's crack of dawn antics or musing on her decision to throw strawberries across the kitchen, I don't really want to feed my own bad mood with that level of complainery. I'm going with this, instead, and plan to turn the other post into something at least a tad bit more thoughtful.

Even though today is looking brighter (thanks, ironically, to cloud cover), my Five Favorites were still inspired by my homesickness. Yes, friends, today's favorites are all about the carbs, 'cause nothing says comfort like carbs. And my palette knows no seasons (even when I force it to eat semi-seasonally).

1. French baguettes -- there is nothing, nothing better that a warm, crusty French baguette. With butter, bien sur. It takes my heart and palette on a direct flight to the land of bread, cheese and guiltless bread consumption. La vie belle. 

2. Mac & Cheese -- any kind, any time, any where. Ol' fashioned Kraft dinner? Sure. Scrumptious homemade gooey cheeseyness?

3. Sweet potatoes -- while my Southern girl is buried a couple of generations back on my dad's side (hey, my grandpa was born in North Carolina! It counts!), the sweet potato in all its delicious forms is the "better" carb of adulthood, but is still yummy and delicious. And amazing as fries.


4. French Fries -- speaking of fries, French is clearly the pinnacle of potato preparations. I mean, I enjoy a good baked potato, soup, or mash with the rest of 'em, but there is something irresistible about a crispy, salty fry. I take 'em with ketchup, but I won't fault you your condiment of choice.


5.Corn on the cob -- bonus points if you see the stalk where it grew. Super duper bonus points if you go from stalk to pot without using transportation. It has been too long since I've had really good corn on the cob, but oh, the sweet, buttery, silk-in-your-teeth goodness!!


As always, visit Hallie for more!

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Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 33

1. Yesterday was one of those days where nothing seems to go quite according to plan. Since I'm a person who likes my day to go at least a little, teeny, tiny bit according to plan, it turned frustrating. I think everything worked out okay in the end, just the getting there was, ummmm, unplanned.

2. The biggest headache of my week has been this plumbing problem at the house. Very long story short, the basement apartment's bathroom sink is not draining/overflowing. It is, thankfully, only affected by the two bathroom sinks -- theirs and ours -- so the bathroom sinks are out of commission. I've spoken to actual plumbers/the plumbing contractors hired by our landlord (who, have I mentioned, is in China?!?). First it was a bigger job than anticipated and will require pipe cutting and refitting. Then another job got behind. Then only one particular plumber is allowed to do the job and he, oh, just happens to be on vacation this week. We're scheduled for Monday morning, but, at this point, I'm not holding my breath. I'm extra frustrated because I'm the only person home during the day (besides Clare), so it's become my problem/my headache. Plus, I'm letting a stranger into someone else's living space, which is never exactly comfortable, ya know?!?

3. Thanks to #1 and things not going according to plan, we ended up at a Russian Byzantine Divine Liturgy last night. Charles' brother and his son frequently attend Ruthenian Byzantine Divine Liturgy, so we weren't concerned. Big Mistake. There were like 10 people there, including us, so we stuck out like a sore gangrenous thumb. We didn't know what to do, had trouble following along, even with our books. And Charles and I were both anxious, because situations like that are not our cups of tea. At least I got to use the baby-holding shield a good portion of the time. Obligation completed? Check. New experience? Check. Super spiritual, fulfilling Mass? Not so much.

4. For anyone who didn't know, in addition to the "normal" Latin Rite or Roman Catholic Church that most of us Westerners are familiar with, there are numerous Rites who are loyal to the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), but who use their own, historical, liturgical practices, their own disciplines, etc. Wikipedia, if you're interested.

5. Clare is turning into a monkey. I am not surprised, and she came by it naturally, since I always enjoyed a good climb/daredevil balance beam walk when I was younger, but I'm pretty sure that the furniture climbing/side-peering-over is going to give me a heart attack.

6. We have two weeks left in Denver, and I'm promising to make the most of it and enjoy it, instead of focusing on what I have at home and not here. Those things include but are not limited to: bakeware, a stove with multiple working burners, a bed that is one mattress (not two twins pushed together), and no (known) plumbing issues.

7. Andi's little boy is getting baptized tomorrow, and I'm so insanely excited for him. I'm also extremely sad that I won't get to be there, but I'll be praying my heart out for them all this weekend! So much love. Welcome to the Church, lil S!!!

Have a lovely, lovely weekend! Visit Jennifer Fulwiler for more.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 32

It's Friday, bien sur.

1. So, I'm finally, finally, finally feeling settled in Denver. The kitchen is a disaster that I need to clean -- which means I got my cooking on for lunch (soup that I've inhaled too much of, but yum!). You know you're settled when I destroy the kitchen . . . at lunch! *happy dance*

2. I hate being the cheeze-tastic girl who talks about the weather, but the awesome thing about Colorado in the summer is that everyone is all "Blah, blah, blah, it's so hot." (With all my love, CO peeps <3) Meanwhile, I'm grabbing a sweater every morning and evening. Gorgeous, glorious, cool air. Even some rain.

3. Clare and I even made it to the park to do a little swinging. . . and we did it, wait for it . . . after lunch!! Yep, gloriously perfect outdoor weather at 1pm. The. Life.

She was so 'appy that she pouted when I took her home.

4. Don't talk to me about winters in places that aren't Phoenix. I'm in lala land denial. *fingers in ears*

5. Then again, I was reflecting during my park glory that, August in Phoenix is like February everywhere that it snows. It all just gets to be too much and too oppressive and leaves everyone begging for mercy. "Isn't it over yeeeeeeeeet????!?!?" Then, when there is a nice day, people post all over Facebook and Instagram that they managed to go outside, and looking at it from the outside, you don't really get it, but oh my gosh, it is a joyful little miracle.

6. All this sunny disposition requires the full disclosure that Clare decided to wake up at 5ish today and be a total crab monster alllllllll morning. She has now taken two nice, long naps. I appreciate the long afternoon nap for more soup eating/a cat nap while I was watching Project Runway/tapping out this super-high quality blog post wherein I talk too much about the weather. I appreciate the morning naps for showering in peace and stuff, but on days like today, the mature part of me is all, "Told you you needed to sleep longer this morning!!!" Complete with the desire to stick out my tongue. Meaning? I dunno.

7. I just gotta say it. Blog Wars 2013? Whatevs. Read what you enjoy. Ignore the rest. Easy peasy. I love blogs that are well-written and that I find I can relate to in one way or another. Some paint rosy pictures of life. Some are "real" or "honest." The thing is, I don't think anyone is being dishonest. Since I live in the real world, I know that there are two sides to every coin. People are writing what they want to write, for whom they want to write it, for their own purposes. *shoulder shrug* As my dad always pointed out, variety is the spice of life.

And with that, I'm off! Have a lovely weekend, and visit Jen for more!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What We're Reading Wednesday

I am in a crabby mood. Books make me happy. Thus, I'm going to blather about books for a couple of paragraphs and call it a post. And link up for What We're Reading Wednesday.

Technically, I'm between books. I haven't started anything new, though Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is on my reader, but I haven't been able to get more than a couple of pages into it. Last week though, I finished breaking a promise I made to myself.

I promised myself that I wouldn't read the Divergent books until October when Allegiant comes out. Then, long story short, I checked out Divergent. I loved it. I was so intrigued by the premise and the factions and figuring out the world Veronica Roth created with all of Tris' initiation stuff happening on the side (in my head). Aside from the too-obvious love story, I really enjoyed it. In a way, I even appreciated the obvious-ness of the love story.


So, of course that meant I needed to read Insurgent. While I know that this opinion would illicit flames from a million fangirls, I didn't love it as much. Sure, I tore through it. Sure, there was good character development. Sure, there was more stuff built up about Roth's universe. But I wasn't real surprised by the big reveal at the end -- I didn't predict it exactly, but, eh. And there was an awful lot of action sequences, which just never do it for me. So I skim. I guess that helps with the tearing through the book thing.


At this point, I can patiently wait for Allegiant, the 3rd book in the trilogy, until October whenever I am able to get the book from my library.
And yes, I'll definitely drag Charles to see the movie. Great date, right?!? That will be the plan. Inevitably, we will never get around to it and will be renting it from RedBox in a year.

Clare, meanwhile, has been loving her Bible for Little Ones. She like to look at the pictures, and yesterday, she even snuggled up and let me read her the whole thing. It is a very sweet, condensed version of Salvation History. It is light on the Gospel, but there is a companion Gospel for Little Ones that we also have to fill that gap. I think it says ages 18 months plus on it, so you can do your parent math for age-appropriateness.  It also has something of a touchey-feely bend to it, but I don't know that at age 1, my kid needs to be exposed to the theology of redemptive suffering or some of the other, more hard-hitting realities of our faith. That will all come soon enough. Charles will be mad at me for sharing that he had some kind of allergic reaction by way of eye-watering the first few times we read it. Overall, I call it a big fat win.


Charles? He reads medical articles. I have nothing.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rocky Mountain Hi!

(I just couldn't resist.)

So, I sorta fell off the blogging wagon long about 10 days ago. I had this awesome (in my head) post to write (still planning on it), but decided that a lovely evening with extended family >>>>> working on a blog post. Sometimes, my priorities actually are in order!

Anyway, blogging got put off and off and off through the madness:

That week, I laundered and sorted, and packed and loaded up alllll our stuff in St. Louis. And cleaned and scrubbed and wiped and polished and obsessed over the house. Successfully got our full deposit returned to us (woo to the hoo!), and got outta Dodge. (Read: rant about our former landlord lady is forthcoming.)

Then, we made the long, loong, loooooooooong drive through Kansas, to Denver, Colorado. No sooner did we cross the border than we hit a monster thunderstorm that rocked through CO on Saturday. Thunder and lightning? Check. Pounding rain? Check. Tornado warning (waited out at a truckstop)? Check. More pounding rain? Check. Driving 45 on the interstate with limited visibility? Check. Baby who is sick of the carseat and letting us know it? Check? No fewer than three ugly car accidents (and associated rubbernecking)? Check.

After exhausted screaming comes a nap with your puppy.

By the time we got to our place-for-the-month in Denver, we were beat. No. Beat is a drastic understatement. At least Clare fell asleep in the car outside of Denver and stayed asleep through a transfer to her pack-n-play.

Thank you God for getting us here safely and for that little Clare-transferring miracle.

Sunday was mass and lunch with Charles' siblings and their families. His sister has 3 dogs and is dog-sitting 2 more. Clare was in hog puppy heaven. And trying to get ready to send Charles off to his new rotation on Monday. You know, minor detail.

Our first pager. Presumably not our last. Royal our.

Yesterday, Charles started up his new rotation (so far, rotation = love) and I got us somewhat organized at the house, so it feels more livable (instead of crap scattered everywhere Ashley insane driving).

[Instagrammified] My little bookworm undoing all of my organizing.

After allllllllllllllll of that, I finally feel human and my typing fingers are feeling itchy. :) In other words, I'm baaaaack.

{Also, linking up with Medical Mondays (From a Doctor's Wife and Your Doctor's Wife), since this whole thing is, you know, the result of the Med School journey!}

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