Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Quiet Christmas

This was my first Christmas away from home, family and my dearest friends.  It was different.  I've never had a quiet Christmas before.  Mav has but I've always been the "off to grandmother's house we go" kind of girl.  Yeah, I was totally singing that song...

About 75% of me was excited to stay home.  I didn't have to worry about outrageous plane fares.  I didn't have to weigh my luggage a million times to make sure it was under 50 pounds.  No plane rides with a two year old!!  We didn't have to ask someone to drive us to the airport or to grab our mail.  I didn't have to try to fit everyone and everything into the short two week stay.  We didn't have to drag our two-year-old from one grandma's house to another in addition to two great grandmothers' houses.  Can you see why I was kind of excited to stay put this holiday season?  Stress free! 

Now.  What about the other 25% of me?  It misses home.  It misses our families.  It missed going to my grandma's house.  It missed feeding my horses their extra special treats on Christmas morning.  It missed the eggs and cheese casserole my dad makes every year.  It misses playing cards with my brothers.  It misses our friends.  It missed the snow.

I'm very appreciative of our quiet Christmas though.  I learned something from it.  During the quiet day, Mav and I both commented on how much we missed our families.  Oh.  How we missed them.  Christmas isn't about the gifts under the tree but rather it's about those who are around the tree with you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Christmas Treat to You

Hello friends! 

If you were my neighbor, this is what I would give you for a Christmas treat: Peppermint Popcorn. 
I assure you it is a yummy treat.  If you're not a fan of peppermint, don't let the name throw you off.  It really is a good treat and it's just the right combination peppermint, popcorn and white chocolate. 

Since I'm not your neighbor, I'm sharing my recipe treat with you.  Give it a try.

2 bags of popcorn, popped.  Try not to use a buttered up popcorn, it doesn't look as pretty with the bright yellow.  Slightly buttered is okay.  But whatever you have will work fine too. 
1 lbs Vanilla Almond Bark, melted.  Follow the directions on the package to melt it. 
6 oz package of candy canes, crushed.  Bob's are the best!! 

Pop the popcorn and put it in a big bowl.  Melt the chocolate and pour it over the popcorn.  Dump the candy canes on the chocolate and popcorn.  Mix it up.  When it's mixed good, put it on a cookie sheet to cool.  You can melt some chocolate and drizzle it over it to make it look real pretty.  Tadah!  Wonderful, beautiful, tasty and festive treat. 

Merry Christmas, y'all!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Good Break

I'm done!  Insert a huge sigh of relief here.  Awww....

Another semester of school is under my belt. 

Wait!  Didn't you know I was enrolled in classes?  Probably not.  But it's true.  Not only am I a busy wife and mamma, I'm a student too.  We do a lot of homework around our house.  Squeaks included.  While Mav and I are reading, Squeaks will find her own book to study.  Education is pretty darn important in our home.

I'm a sophomore.  I'm working on my generals.  This time next year I'll have my associates.  Finally!!  While Mav was working on his undergrad work, I worked.  Someone had to pay the bills.  I took classes here and there.  Once I had Squeaks, I decided it was time to go back to school.  My goal is to get my associates for now.  One day, I want to get my degree in agricultural communications.  I might have to settle on just a communications degree depending on where we settle down though. 

So, what my plans for the next four weeks?  I'm going to do whatever I want!!  Squeaks and I are going to play, a lot.  I hate to admit it but she's been watching an average of two movies a day for the past couple weeks.  But we're going to play!  I'm going to plan a girls night and watch White Christmas, maybe do some fondu.  I'm going to get my hair cut.  Mav is going to take me on a date, sometime.  I'm going to go shopping.  My house will be spotless picked up. 

I'll tell you one thing I will do, savor this special time off over the most wonderful time of the year.  It's going to be a good break.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Good Crowd

We had an awesome Thanksgiving.  I hosted.  I'm amazed at how good my turkey tasted.  I'd never done a turkey until this year.  We had a total of 10 adults, 6 kids and 3 newborns at our house for dinner.  For dessert, we had two more adults, three more kids and another newborn join us.  Our house was full!  I love a good crowd. 

To me, that's what holidays are all about; having a good crowd around me.  It doesn't matter if it's family, friends or strangers.  My dad taught me this, everyone should have somewhere to go for the holidays.  Everyone.  He told me the story of my Uncle Byron.  He came to Thanksgiving dinner with a friend named John.  No one had met John before.  Someone asked Uncle Byron where John was from and how he knew him.  Uncle Byron looked up from his plate, "I don't know him from Adam.  I picked him up from the side of the road.  I just thought he'd like a good meal."

I've heard this saying time and time again, "Strangers are just friends waiting to happen."  I'm not sure if Uncle Byron and John are friends today.  But for a moment John's belly was full and I'm sure Uncle Byron made an impact on John's life. 

I'm at the perfect stage in my life to meet some strangers and turn them into great friends.  And this Thanksgiving season, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to do so.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Those Who Feel They're "Entitled"


A-frickin-men! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crockpot + Me = LOVE

I have a love-hate relationship with evenings.  I hate it because it's the end of the day.  My house is a trashed.  Squeaks gets cranky.  I'm worn out.  Dinner.  Bath time.  Bed time.  I love it because Mav gets home.  But like I said, I'm worn out by this time and I try to muster up any possible left over energy to be the peppy, happy wife he deserves.  

But dinner usually gets in the way of my chipperness.  I'm not a great cook.  I'm not what you would call handy in the kitchen.  Cooking stresses me out.  Remember my last rave about dinner.  If you don't you can read all about it here.  Now I have a toddler that needs to eat her veggies.  Sure.  I can make spaghetti, tacos, top ramen, and mac-n-cheese.  Who can't?  

But I'm not about to spend my last drop of energy trying new meals.  So, bring on the hot dogs!!

And then, I discovered my old friend.  My crockpot.  My crockpot just might have changed my life. 

It's almost three in the afternoon and my dinner is cooking itself.  How awesome is that?!?  And my dinner is loaded with vegetables!  I can now enjoy my evening a little more.  

So what's for dinner, you ask.  Taco soup.  I made plenty to either feed an army or have left overs for a couple days. 

Wipe the dust off your crockpot and give it a try.  I'm willing to bet it might change your life too.  

Wanna try my recipe for taco soup?  Read on...

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Chose This?

I ain't gonna lie.  Medical school is hard.  Wanna know what's harder?  Marriage.  Wanna know what's harder than marriage?  Probably marriage in med school.  

From day one, I knew Mav wanted to be a doctor.

I married Mav knowing exactly how brilliant he was.  I knew we had two and a half year left of his undergrad work.  I knew, one day, we would be in medical school.  I knew medical school was four years and then we'd have to survive residency, probably another three years.  I knew someday, he'd finally have MD following his name.  

But sometimes, I'm surprised I chose THIS. 

And then, I look back at this.


Yup.  I chose this.  I chose to marry a brilliant man.  I chose to support him in everything he does.  Through thick and thin.  Good times and bad. No matter what. 

I'm pretty darn happy I chose this.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Lifeline

Lifeline: support that enables people to survive or to continue doing something

My lifeline, my phone.

Lately, I have been wearing the battery dead.  I didn't use to.  I didn't have to charge my phone for days.  That changed about two weeks ago.  I realized I need to talk to people.

Before third year, I could talk to just Mav and be fine.  Occasionally, I needed to engage in girl talk.  But for the most part, I was fine with just Mav.  But now he's not home as often.  And I still need to talk.

I'm so happy we live in the age of technology.  I'm even more happy that I don't get charged for long distance (or at least, I don't think I do.)  And I'm sooo happy to have such goods friends and family that I can call and chat with whenever.

I would have gone absolutely crazy without my phone these past couple weeks.  

What's your lifeline?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

OB Talk

Mav is on the OB rotation.  They have lunch conferences.  Last week, they were talking about yearly pelvic exams for women.

TEACHER:  How many of you are married?
Hands raised including Mav.
TEACHER:  How many of you go to your wives' yearly appointments?
A couple hands raised including Mav.
TEACHER:  How many of stay in the room while your wife is being examined?
MAV:  Last time, I did the exam...

The students and teacher laugh.

STUDENT:  He's joking, right?
STUDENT WHO KNOWS MAV:  No.  He's serious. 

Seriously.  Mav did do my pelvic exam last year.  One of my doctors suggested he learn on me first compared to some random standardized patient.  Whatever.  It's not the first time I've been his guinea pig. 

And more seriously, Mav will never pass up a chance like that to make everyone laugh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jump on the Bandwagon

When we were thinking of where to apply for medical school, I came home from work to find Mav on the computer.  He had two internet pages up.  One was a list of medical schools and the other was Major League Baseball teams.  I laughed and told Mav, "We are not making our selection based on where teams are."  We ended up in St Louis, home of the Cardinals. 

We first hated everything about St Louis.  It is the exact opposite of our hometowns.  But St Louis has grown on me, or at least the Cardinals have made St Louis bearable for the two of us.

Mav is Mariners fan.  I am a Red Sox fan.  But we are alarmingly close to becoming official Cardinal fans.  We went to Game Four of the National League Wild Card Series.  We paid 100 bucks to go.  It was worth every penny.  We were on our feet with the rest of the stadium, nearly the whole game.  Now, they're in the Division Series.  We have tickets to Game Five on Friday night.  I didn't even blink at the $220 price tag.  We are totally stoked.  And I have completely jumped on the bandwagon.

GO CARDS!!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Embrace What's Good

It's been beautiful here.  It's 80 degrees.  Perfect!

Our old home is beautiful too.  However, it's snowing there. Right now.

Yeah.  Whenever I start to miss our old home, I realize that I would be wearing my winter coat.  Ick.  I would be shoveling my own driveway because Mav isn't around to do that.

So, today, I am embracing the good life of living somewhere away from home.  A somewhere that is warm and beautiful.  A place where I have zero thoughts of packing away my shorts and flip-flops for the season.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

YO-YO

I love breakfast.  It doesn't matter the time of day.  Breakfast is, by far, my favorite meal.  Waffles are my favorite food.  They have been since, well, forever.  My favorite breakfast memories are getting home way late from a rodeo with my dad.  While I was putting my horse away, my dad always made the two of us a fried egg sandwich.  We would then sit up and talk about ways for me to improve for the next rodeo.  Breakfast is simply awesome!

Mav doesn't think so.  To him, breakfast is only a morning meal.  10:29 AM is breakfast time.  10:30, lunch!  In five years of marriage, I have only made him eat breakfast for dinner, maybe five times. 

However, third year stopped all that.  I never knew when Mav would get home.  Some days it was four.  Others it was seven.  This crazy third year schedule wasn't working well but I tried to make it work.  I would hold off dinner as long as possible.  Squeak would eat a million fruit snacks while waiting for Mav.  I remember one night, Squeak was about to eat the million and one fruit snack and it was almost 6:30.  I broke.  I busted out breakfast.  Mav showed up at 6:40, just as dinner was being served.  He was weary of it and looked at me, "Breakfast?"  YES!  Breakfast!

My rule now: if Mav isn't home at five, he's YO-YO.  You're on your own!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Three Words

THIRD...  YEAR...  BITES!!!

I know my neighbors (who are now first year residents) told me to enjoy the first two years.  But I don't believe they really warned me.  They told me, but they didn't send me a statement that indicates a possible or impending danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation.  They should have stood with a bright, flashing sign jumping and screaming at me, "Third year bites."  Now that's a warning.  

Mav is on OB.  He got home around 5:30 last night.  Studied.  Ate some dinner.  Helped put Squeaks to bed.  Studied some more before getting ready for bed himself.  

Today, was the first time in weeks that I woke up with Mav next to me.  But he left at 11:45 to get to work.  He'll be gone until about 11:30 tonight.  

Aside from naps, I won't be getting my me-time.  I'm pretty sure Squeaker will be watching a movie or two during the days, so I can study for my own schoolwork.