Saturday, September 20, 2014

summer endings

Summer flew by - I suppose it always kind of does, but each year, I'm surprised by it. It's still hot & humid outside, but a few of the trees are dropping leaves, the weather man is predicting cooler temperatures, and the zucchinis are slowing down.

Tim & I both had class all summer, but sandwiched it in 2 great trips. In May, we went to the Philippines to visit Tim's cousin Mike and his family there. We enjoyed touring their missionary camp and learning more about what they do, as well as relaxing on the beach for a few days! Last Wednesday, we returned from Peru. We visited Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Puno/Lake Titicaca with 8 other friends (from dental school). We had a great group of people and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite a few illnesses, climbing lots of stairs, and not really acclimating to the altitude.

Now we're back into the swing of things with school back in the swing of things with school in full force. My replanted tomatoes are almost ripe, and the leeks keep getting fatter. We're trying to wrap up a couple more home-improvement projects (a fire-pit and some deck deconstruction/reconstruction). There's a lot of landscaping that still needs to be done, but we've realized that there's no need to overly busy ourselves to meet an arbitrary time-line that we've made. Projects will continue in a never-ending fashion, and we'll continue to do them. We're both so good at being busy that we've had to remember to take time to just spend together as well as with friends and family. We have a couple of weddings left this year, but the main rush of them is over (9 down, 2 to go), so hopefully there will be more weekends available the rest of the year!

Even though I'm sad that summer is drawing to a close, my nose seems to be searching out pumpkin-y smells, and the idea of boots and sweaters ins't revolting, so I suppose I'll be ready for those chilly days soon enough.

Monday, March 31, 2014

spring fever

It's supposed to be 60 degrees here today. I'm so excited! I told myself I have to do all of my lectures/case studies this morning, so I can spend the afternoon outside. So here I am, procrastinating a bit on doing my lectures & case studies.

Winter has been long, and lately, I feel like I've been actively willing myself to be warm and refreshed every day - some days go better than others. School has kept me busy, and the last 3 months have gone by very quickly, but winter still has a very strong presence here, and I think it's time for it to go. I'm excited to get my garden ready, do some landscaping, run outside in shorts, and drive with my windows down.

Besides school, we haven't been doing too much. Tim took his boards (after 3 miserable weeks of studying) and passed, so we went for a long weekend in LA visiting a good friend and some family. It was warm, and relaxing, and there was a lot of wonderful food involved, so we had a blast. Tim also tried his hand at surfing, and realized that it's much harder than it looks.

Looking ahead, we have lots of weddings to go to this summer! Most of them are in Chicago, so that's nice! I went out and bought all of the presents for all of the showers & weddings we needed, and then 3 more people got engaged...people just keep falling in love ;) We're very happy for all of these family members and friends, and we can't wait to celebrate with them all!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

wrapping it up

Christmas is around the corner, and after a couple of years out of academia, that means Christmas break again for me. I have one more exam on Thursday until I'm free for a couple of weeks. I'm quite excited for a break, and I've mostly run out of energy for studying. It's been a busy, but good semester. I took Health Assessment and Pharmacology. Pharmacology at Trinity wasn't anything to write home about, so I've really enjoyed this class this semester. Health Assessment was also very interesting. I now know how to do a full, very detailed head-to-toe assessment. Unfortunately, I don't know what to do with most of the information I gather from the assessment :) I have common problems next semester, so after that I should be feeling a bit better about actually seeing real patients!

I feel like this holiday season is flying by. Maybe it's because school was so busy; maybe it's because Thanksgiving was so late. I have so much to be thankful for, and I haven't done a very good job of actually sitting down and dwelling on that statement. We have a warm house; we have plenty of food to eat; we have a Christmas tree with presents under it for each other as well as for other family and friends. The bathroom remodel is almost complete, and subsequently, the dusty atmosphere we currently call home will clear up for good soon. I have a great job that gives me a good amount of flexibility, and both of us have passed all of our grad school classes so far!

I could go on and on, but I do need to study for my exam...last one before I can bake up a storm :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This summer has been one of immense learning. We've learned about our house (immense rain + downward sloping driveway + clogged drain = flooded garage); we've learned about animals (groundhogs can run back into their burrow faster than you can get the gun loaded); and we've learned about gardening (3 zucchini plants produce far more zucchinis than 2 people can eat). Gardening has been my favorite. Our neighbors love the fact that we have more garden produce than caloric need and freezer space, and judging by the nibbles in my tomatoes, the neighborhood creatures are thankful for our garden too.

I feel like I've learned so much related to gardening and plants this summer, and I'm looking forward to another garden next summer. Our dirt will be better, and we won't plant a bunch of pumpkins. But now that the produce is rolling in, I'm enjoying learning how to do stuff with it. I'm freezing some things, but I'm pretty much out of freezer space now, so I've entered the world of canning. Batch #1 of salsa was a success. Aside from Tim's comment of "Huh, for the amount of time you spent on that, I thought there'd be a lot more salsa," it was a pleasant experience. I love being in the kitchen, and spending a couple of hours blanching, chopping, and stirring was therapeutic. Stay tuned for more afternoon projects that are more interesting than watching on-line lectures.


Friday, July 5, 2013


Tim says we're officially no longer in the honeymoon phase...pssh :) It's odd, because part of can't believe it's already been 2 years, and the other part of me says, "Really, only 2 years?" so I guess it's all good!

Writing my research paper has been on my to-do list for quite a long time. I finally read through all of the supportive research, and decided that I should start writing before the 3 days before it was due, and then I got distracted. Granted, my distractions were quite productive (as they usually are), but my paper was due today, and I started writing on Tuesday. It got done - I suppose that's the big plus side.

 Last week when I kept telling myself I should work on it, though, I took a little trip up to Wisconsin and picked 55 lbs of strawberries. They were perfect - just as good as Gettings, and much cheaper. Then I picked the cherries off our trees. I worked the 2 days they were just finishing up their ripening and we got 1.5" of rain, so most of them burst and molded, but we got enough for a pie, some scones, and few more in the freezer to add to smoothies.

Side note on cherries: the internet will tell you that a paper-clip is the answer to all your pitting problems and you won't have to spend a dime. I tried. I tried hard. I kept trying, and I made a huge mess and mutilated hundreds of cherries. Maybe I'm just more uncoordinated than most, but after picking the 2nd round of cherries, I went to Target, spent 100 dimes, and happily finished pitting cherries.

I hope everyone's anniversaries and birthdays are enjoyable and being happily celebrated!

                                                   best purchase of the week - hands down
                                                                   2 years! Yikes!

Monday, June 17, 2013


     Remodeling inside the house has been virtually non-existent aside from a much needed new front door. Outdoors, however, we've been relatively busy. Tim & his dad tiled the backyard in mid-May, and then we tilled up the garden area. Tilling was an interesting experience. We unearthed more garden hose, hundreds of feet of Christmas lights, trellis pieces, a creature skull, dozens of very large rocks, cinder-block pieces, and lots and lots of edging. Despite my convictions that what we were tilling was not truly dirt and that nothing could ever possibly grow in it, our garden is flourishing. I give credit to the generous amounts of plant food we put in the bottom of each hole we dug.
     We kind of forgot about our ground-hog until we realized that between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, all of the leaves disappeared off of the muskmelon and cucumber plants. There was a nice burrow under the fence, so I'm blaming the ground-hog. Unfortunately, there seems to be a conspiracy against all suburbanites wishing to kill critters by keeping all farm-grade pesticides out in farm land. We've got the Root we just need the fly bait. 
     Tim's back in school now too, so when we're not keeping ourselves sane outside, we're studying. I've never had school in the summer before, and I must say, it's pretty awful. If I had to imagine what ADD was like, I'd say it's like this - it's ridiculously difficult to focus when I really just want to be outside! 
     Hope you're all doing well!
                                                               one of my little flower pots                                                          

  one of our cherry trees - we'll get some, but not too many - there's a lot of little black pits just hanging there

our garden!

Friday, May 3, 2013


It's been hard to study or do anything inside lately as the warmth and sunshine in Chicago has increased. We're almost done getting rid of our giant pile of junk in the yard, and Tim built me a composter! We bought our first lawn-mower (one of Tim's friends from dental school actually asked if he could come over and mow our lawn for us b/c he wanted to do something outside...), and pruned the fruit trees. I'm also excited because my tulips do have flowers, and they just started blooming this week! 

So why on earth would I leave the sunshiny warmth of Chicago for snow, clouds, and cold? 1) I love my family. 2) Derek, John, & I are doing the Siouxperman triathlon on Saturday. I was feeling pretty good about this a few weeks ago considering spring was in the air, and I was expecting sunshine and weather no colder than 55 deg. Well, IA pulled a fast one on me. The forecast is now for rain, wind, a high of 38 - feeling like 30 with the wind. I'm just trying not to think about it - it makes me nervous. 

I'm not sure what we've gotten ourselves into, but it should be interesting. At any rate, Tim is having fun reminding me that it's still sun-shiny in Chicago.