Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just Hangin' Out

Hope everyone has had a great weekend so far!  This as been our fist weekend in quite a while that we have spent in the tri-cities and it has been GREAT.  Brian was on call Friday and Sunday this weekend... which is fine with us since he is off for the next three in a row!  I'm pretty sure in the history of his four years here that has never happened... so we'll take it!

Saturday was my favorite kind of day.  The morning started off with a phone call from Brian who was already on his way home and had gotten four straight hours of sleep... again something that is very rare!  I had a 5k race in Kingsport starting at 10AM so we loaded Whit in the car and headed off.  Emma stayed home for nap time.  Brian and Whitley socialized at the race and were there to cheer me on!  It makes such a difference to come around a corner and see the two of them.  Whitley was already worked up from watching everyone run past her.  When I went by and yelled her name I thought she was going to tear Brian's rotator cuff.  She thought she was just going to join in and run the race too!  She was such a happy puppy because she was the center of attention- of course!  It brings a completely different feeling knowing that you have someone there to support you and for that I am so thankful!
"Dad, I'm pooped"
After the race we headed out for lunch.
The crew.
My big baby.
The afternoon was filled with "everyday stuff"... Wal-Mart, Petsmart, Food City.  You know those days!  The girls of course came out ahead with new toys and blankets.
A big bone for a big girl.

My new rubber stick.

We finally headed home for an evening with the grill and the pups.  Whitley and Emma have certainly grown to love each other!
Who decided to get another puppy?
She may be small... but she is the instigator!
The pups are growing like weeds.  Brian describes them best... Emma is the sweetheart and Whit is the personality diva.
Always ready to strike a pose.
You may get a good pic if you time it perfectly but there will be no posing from this girl.
The pups explored the backyard while Brian grilled.
Watching the greyhound.
Come with me little one.

Posing while Emma ran wild.
Distracted when Emma ran by.

Then Emma ran back by.

That baby wears me out.

I thought we were going to have to break out the life jacket again.  Very interested in the hot tub.

Brian grilled amazing potatoes and steak.

Check recipe section!  These are the best potatoes I have ever had!

The evening, food, temperature, and company was perfect.  There is something to be said for a day that starts with a good run and ends at home with the things that mean the most to you.  

So far today has been filled with puppy time.  We have been outside.  We have been inside.  We have eaten sticks.  We have taken naps.  It's pretty nice around here to be a dog!  I think it's fair to say that they are officially part of the family!
Sunning themselves.
Nap #1.

Love those danes.

Nap #2.


Time to start another week of work and routine.  Hope everyone has a great week!  The three day weekend, fireworks, four mile race, and time with friends cannot come soon enough.  Say a prayer for Whit and Em this week... they both have their surgeries on Thursday and will no longer be able to have baby Danes.  We are going to have our hands full with two danes in giant plastic collars who will, I'm sure, be terrified of fireworks... should be quite a sight!

Don't forget to check the recipe section for a few new things we've tried lately...
Skillet potatoes on the grill and pasta with pancetta and leeks!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Post With a "Table of Contents"

So for starters I need to admit that I have been the world's worst "blogger" lately and for that I apologize. There have been so many HUGE things going on around here that I have neglected to blog about... which defeats the purpose since it was meant to keep people updated.   Most of the late events warrant their own blog post, however, I am going to give you the abridged version since I'm sure you have other things to do with your catching up on The Bachelorette (my guilty pleasure).  If I had to give you a quick synopsis of the past month or so I would tell you that every day when I wake up in the morning I feel more and more blessed.  God certainly has a plan...

Table of Contents
1.  Match Day!!
2.  Pat Comes To Visit
3. Running Like Crazy
4.  Meet Emma
5. Wedding Shower
6.  Ladies Weekend
7. Jeremy and Sondra's Wedding
8. Father's Day

As I said earlier most of these topics would normally get a blog post completely devoted to them... however, sometimes real life just gets in the way :)

1.  MATCH DAY-  As most of you know Brian is a 4th year surgery resident at ETSU.  He has been going through months of traveling and interviewing. Sleeping in airports.  Going straight from the airport to work.  And the end has finally come!

Brian matched!!  This is a combination of hard work and lots of answered prayers.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the process "the match" is where candidates for (in his case) vascular fellowship positions apply and are offered interviews at different programs.  They then rank the programs in the order of preference and the programs rank candidates in their order of preference.  All of these numbers go into a computer and it spits out which fellow will be going to which program.  

What a crazy feeling!  Match day was on a Wednesday and I had a half day of work.  I rushed out of clinic to make it home by the 12:00 noon time Brian was given to find out if he matched and where.  I made it home at 11:57 and it was the longest three minutes I have experienced in a very long time!  We sat at the computer together hitting the refresh button every two seconds to see if the website had been updated.  Finally, a screen came up giving statistics about this years match process.   We quickly learned that there were many more applicants this year and a much smaller percentage of applicants had received spots compared to the previous year.  The screen then flashed and said, "Congratulation, you have matched".  It took us a good five minutes to figure out where on the website it actually told us where he matched.  After what felt like hours of searching we found out...
In one year from now we will be moving to Danville, PA!  Brian matched at an awesome program where he will receive some of the best training in the country.  We couldn't be happier.  The town is a small town in the middle of the state.  It's an easy three hour drive to New York City, Philly, Pittsburg, Baltimore, DC, and Boston.  It is going to be an amazing two years filled with visits to parts of the country that we would most likely have never seen if he had matched elsewhere.  People ask how I feel about the move and my response is that "home is where the heart is"!

Brian has been in school/training for 12 years since he graduated from high school.  I have never admired someone so very much.  He challenges me to push myself and work harder every day.  He is a person who knows what he wants and just does it... and he makes it look easy!  Though living with the man I know that this is not the case.  He works so hard every day and will make an exceptional vascular surgeon!  Only one year of residency and two years of fellowship to go and he will be done forever...  This man deserves the very best that life has to offer.  CONGRATS BABE!!

2.  PAT COMES TO VISIT-  The weekend of May 28th Brian's mom and her two friends and sister were passing through on their way to Myrtle Beach.  They stopped off to spend the weekend with us!!  It was so great to see them.
It was pretty amazing to see four women with very different lives yet such similar values.  It was so nice to be able to sit with them and listen to stories and experiences they have shared.  They value each other so much as friends and as women and have been through so many things together.  They have pulled each other through some of the toughest times in life and have been there to witness some of the greatest.  I cherish my friends so very much but after seeing the relationship these women have it has made me appreciate them even more.  I look forward to sharing some of those moments with my girlfriends and I hope that in twenty years I am sitting at my son or daughters house with some of my  best girlfriends that have been around for the long haul.   We're already looking forward to next years visit from the ladies!

3. RUNNING LIKE CRAZY-  I have been trying very hard to keep up with my half-marathon training.  We are almost down to three months until race day.  The race is October 1st at Disney.  In the past month of so I have been able to do four 5k's with another coming up this weekend.  I have never been a runner and it is such a great feeling to be making progress.  I am up to about five miles which is pretty crazy!  I never thought I would see the day that I ran five miles... unless I was being chased by a snake or clown or motivated by cheese fries.  This may be the first time that I have actually set a workout/fitness goal and stuck to it!  It feels good that it is finally starting to get easier... and so rewarding!


Puppy eyes.

Some more pretty exciting news... our household has grown by four legs!  When we found out Brian matched in Danville it pretty much sealed the deal.  We had debated getting Whit a sister but we were waiting to see where we would be moving.  Unfortunately, Danville does not have a doggie daycare so we figured we would bring daycare to Whit... and get her a buddy. 
Hi guys.

Striking a pose.

Emma is our new Great Dane puppy.  She was born April 4 and is a blue harlequin.  Her personality is completely different from Whit's but she is such a sweetheart.  Her tail wags 24/7. We now spend our evening just watching the dogs play together.

Yes... it is a bikini.

The first few weeks were sort of tough and it took a while for Whitley to get adjusted but now she is a great big sister.  Actually, Emma pretty much rules things and Whit is just a big baby, five times Emma's size, getting her feelings hurt because the puppy keeps stealing her toys!


5.  WEDDING SHOWER-  We threw a wedding shower for one of our co-workers from the office.  Between Jodie, Stacey, and myself we put on a pretty good party.  We hosted the shower at one of the local wineries and had  a wine tasting and appetizers.  I feel so blessed to work with such wonderful women every day!

6. LADIES WEEKEND-  What a blast!  A few weekends ago I flew to Chicago to visit a few of my girlfriends from college.  It was so great to see Nance and her new little one.  Just for some background these are all girls that I met in college and we were all in the same sorority.  Nance, Miranda, and Jen are three women that amaze me every day.

Nance has two beautiful children (which are a full time job) and an amazing husband.  She has been a great role model for me over the years.
Me and Mir.

Miranda lives in downtown Chicago and spends quite a bit of time on the road.  We are both from small towns and she has a heart of gold!
And Jen.

Jen is in her last year of vet school and is so passionate about her career...  she knows what she wants and she goes after it.
Mir and Nance.

We spent Saturday night in the city reliving college life... with a little more class :)  We went to a great sushi restaurant for dinner and then headed out to dance the night away to 80's music.  It better not be another three years before I see them again!  

7.  JEREMY AND SONDRA'S WEDDING-  I can't believe they are finally married!!  Last weekend Brian and I headed to Philly to celebrate.  We weren't able to make it in until midnight on Friday night... but better late than never.  Saturday the boys did "boy" things and I went downtown Philly with Pat, Andrea, and Courtney to do some shopping.  It was so great to be able to spend some time with the girls.  It is so hard living so far away from everyone. I feel like we never get a chance to just do the normal things SHOP!  Later that evening we headed to a BEAUTIFUL wedding.  It was outside at a local country club and it was perfect.

Sondra looked absolutely stunning.

Brian and I surprised everyone with out stellar ballroom dance skills... actually Brian surprised me that he got on the dance floor at all!  After two and a half years we finally had our first dance.  Let's just say it was a memorable one complete with spinning and dipping.  Oh my.

Shades compliments of Andrea.
A classic.
Beautiful family.

Brian caught the garter... hmmm.
Kicking for it.
Cheering for Pate.

She loved it!
Doing the honors.

It was so nice to be able to just cut loose and have a good time.  And boy did we!  Brian was able to have a good time without thinking about work and he was able to finally catch up with some of his best friends.  It's pretty rare these days that we get to do that... and we had so much to celebrate!  
The Boys.

All Smiles...Yes, I'm the short one!

Brian playing photographer!

It was back to reality on Sunday after a great weekend with family and friends!

Cheers to the happy, newlywed couple!  We absolutely could not be happier for the two of you and wish you all the best.  Thank you so much for inviting us to share your special day with you.

8. FATHER'S DAY-  It makes me so sad when there is a year that I have to spend Father's Day away from my Dad!  He is the most amazing man I have ever known.  He has taught me some of the biggest and toughest lessons in life.  He is a listening ear for me day or night and has stood by me through everything.  I am my Dad's biggest fan and I cherish our relationship so very much.  I truly feel that I could tell him anything and everything... and I do!  I am and always will be his little girl!

There was something strangely comforting about returning to work on Monday, taking the dogs to daycare, going for my five mile fun, cooking dinner at home, and sitting on the couch together...all four of us.  As you can tell "life" has been happening around here!  There have been so many huge things happen and some major life changes. I promise to be better at updates from now on.  To be honest over the past month or so I have felt like I just couldn't get caught up.  I felt like I couldn't get both of my feet on the ground at one time.  I finally feel like things are starting to slow down.  We have several weekends planned that involve spending time at home with the pups, local races, and a couple scuba diving classes.

If I don't tell you all enough I really hope you know how much you mean to us!  It is truly the relationships we have with family, friends, and God that make our life rich.   I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such good, genuine people!