Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christmas in Somerville

My thoughful family celebrated Christmas a few days early so that David and I would be there with them. On Saturday we celebrated with my dad's family with a big, yummy meal, lots of desserts, family time, and presents.

Christmas always begins with Pawpaw's famous sausage and cheese balls - This year they were gone in record time...

Two of my most favorite people...

After the sausage balls were gone, Cindy broke into the dessert a little early...

Maggie was very proud of the cookies that she and her mommy made
While waiting to eat, she beat the majority of us at Wii bowling...
Annie and Daniel -- soon to be married!
The present passer-outers...

On Sunday we went to church then to celebrate with my mom's family. Once again we had lots of delicious food.  Everyone was able to be there and we had a great time visiting, eating and opening presents.

Scott, Maria, and Will

My brother, grandfather, and cousin...

All the ladies on my mom's side of the family
My family

David and my dad

That afternoon we exchanged presents with my immediate family.  Maggie felt the need to model all of her new clothes.  She especially loved the ballerina PJ's from me and David.
And her UT Cheerleader Outfit
David can now practice operating at home...

Maggie got a trampoline from my parents.  The question of the day was... how many people does it take to put it together...

After a lot of work, she finally enjoyed jumping for a while before we headed to the airport...

David and I flew back to SLC Sunday night to celebrate Christmas in our new home.  David worked that Monday through Wednesday then we enjoyed a nice, relaxing four days with each other.

We were sad that we weren't able to spend time with David's sisters and their families, but are trying to plan a rendezvous in Birmingham for Meri's first birthday in May.  Hopefully we'll get in some quality time with our other sweet little niece then.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Ol' Rocky Top

After my graduation, David and I spent a week in good ol' Rocky Top. We had a super busy week in trying to see as many friends and family members as possible. I picked him up from the airport on Saturday and we headed downtown to meet a group of friends from medical school for dinner.  We ate at Sauces on Main Street in downtown Memphis - a fun mojito bar with a great atmosphere and delicious food.
At dinner

David with the Radiologists, Ben and Will

Leaving dinner

Me and Sara-who is expecting a little girl soon!

Sunday we had a delicious lunch at my grandparent's house with family and then we hoped into the car headed east towards Oak Ridge to spend a few days with David's parents.  On our way we stopped in Nashville to have dinner with Morgan and Jennifer - friends from medical school.  We ate at an adorable local taco shop and visited with them for a while in their awesome new house.

David moved to Oak Ridge in east Tennessee when he was 11 years old and lived there through high school.  It is a beautiful, scenic town not far from the Smokey Mountains.  We had a great time with his parents going to a movie, shopping, eating at Big Ed's, attending a Tennessee Vol's basketball game, and opening Christmas presents.

At the Tennessee game...

After 3 days in Oak Ridge, we headed back to Somerville and went with my mom and niece to Starry Nights at Shelby Farms- a drive-thru holiday light show.
Waiting in line Maggie was so excited to see the lights...

The entrance...

In the holiday spirit, we also made a gingerbread house with Maggie and christmas candy with my grandmother -- well, I made Christmas candy while David watched sports with my grandfather...

Some of the homemade candy including peanut butter balls, fudge, fruit cake cookies, white chocolate pretzels, and most importantly - divinity, my absolute favorite...

Until recently, it has been a tradition for the women in my family to make homemade candy before Christmas. We start early on Saturday morning and listen to Christmas music while we scurry around the kitchen. Catherine typically tries to get out of dirty-dishes duty,but we always have fun. After ingesting a few pounds of sugar you never know how the peanut butter balls will turn out. One year Catherine and I experimented with a "splatter" themed batch after difficulty dipping the peanut butter mixture in chocolate.

On Friday night we went to Zach and Brooke's Wedding in Somerville. I have known Brooke since I was born and Zach since about pre-school. They are such a precious couple and after watching them date for years, it was great to see them tie the knot.

Catherine, Brooke, and I spent many hours together growing up. 
Here we are one Halloween - Me, Catherine, Brooke, and Abby...

I love Cat's outfit in this pic...
She was always a die-hard Ninja Turtles fan...

Back to the wedding...
The happy couple leaving the church

Me, Catherine, Stephanie, and Bailie at the reception

Us leaving the wedding

Monday, January 25, 2010


Graduate school officially ended for me on December 11, 2009. I finally graduated with my masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I feel like I've been in school forever and am relishing in the relief of no tests, projects, case studies, or papers due. Unfortunately David was unable to make it to the ceremony, but he flew in to town the following day and toke me out to celebrate.

Look out world, here we come...
Jennifer, me, & Alison

My parents and grandparents came to see me graduate.

With my mom's parents...

With my dad's parents...

After the ceremony my family toke me out to eat at a Memphis favorite, Boscos.  It was a wonderful celebration and great to spend time with them. I am blessed with an amazing family and miss them so much now that I live so far away.

Now I have to study for the board exam in order to become certified as a FNP, get a DEA provider registration, a controlled substance license, and a state APRN license.  After all of this, the job hunt will begin again... wish me luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Holiday Celebrations in Utah

For Thanksgiving we were unable to travel back to Tennessee to spend the day with family because David had to work the day before and a few hours the following Saturday.  A few other residents remained in town, so some sweet friends invited us over to celebrate. We are lucky to have met such great people here in SLC.  In Tennessee, I'm accustom to 3 large family meals on Thanksgiving. We start around 11:00 at my dad's parents, head to Brownsville about 30 minutes away for mid-afternoon dinner with extended family, then finish up the day back in Somerville for a meal with my mom's family.  In trying to keep with tradition we actually had two Thanksgiving meals this year. For lunch, Erin made a delicious turkey and between us all we had lots of yummy food with some of the other ortho residents.  We spent dinner at pediatric orthopedic surgeon attending's house up in the canyons with another group of residents where we had another full meal.  It was a great day with good company all around. My grandmother makes the most amazing lemon meringue pie that I attempted to recreate for everyone.  The filling was delicious, but my meringue was flat.  This I blame on the altitude.  The altitude has become what I blame for all things wrong in SLC, just as the humidity is what I blame for all things wrong in Tennessee.

The whole day I only toke one pic - here is Haley, Lon, and David at our first dinner...

The day after Thanksgiving, David, Mike, and I went skiing.  I started the morning with a little black Friday shopping in Park City (they have a fabulous outlet mall) then met the boys on the slopes.

Our First Time Skiing Together This Year...

During the first part of December, Emily and I, feeling the holiday spirit, decided to cook the interns a Christmas dinner.  We had caesar salad, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, cookies, carrot cake, and brownies.

Ready for dinner

Tim demonstrating how they had to display the cake before serving at West Point

Sorry Frank, Laura, and David -- for some reason I have no pics of you in them.

Although I love the snow, I spent a week or so a little upset with it.  While heading to a Christmas luncheon one Saturday, it began to snow.  I, being from the south, am not a great driver on slippery surfaces - or so I've learned.  Unfortunately, I had a small fender bender with another Nissan Murano just like my own.  No one was hurt, only a little frazzled.  I think I love the snow again.  I went to Tennessee for 11 days the week after the accident. I believe that absence does make the heart grow fonder because I was definitely ready for a white Christmas by the time we came back home.
I'm constantly learning new tips on driving in the stuff. In the moment of the accident I simply slammed on the brakes and kept sliding. Although some believe that you are to pump your brakes, I've learned that if your car has an anti-lock braking system you are to slowly, firmly press them.  The system rapidly, automatically pumps the brakes so that you don't lose the ability to steer. Apparently its bad for the car to pump the breaks if you have this system in place. Also, I learned to keep a very large distance between yourself and the cars in front of you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snowy Firsts

November 23rd brought my first experience skiing as a local.  Unfortunately David was working, so Emily and I hit the slopes at Solitude - one of the first resorts to open.  We were excited to try out the "Greatest Snow On Earth" for which Utah is known.
Because I had to un-package my new skis and boots and set the bindings, it toke us a while to get started. Finally, we enjoyed a gorgeous, blue sky day getting our "ski legs" back.

Because it was a weekday and before tourist season, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

As the sun started going behind the mountains, we decided to quit.  It was a successful first day on the slopes with many more to come.

Around this time I also experienced the first big snow of the year in the city.  In Tennessee, .25 inches of snow shut everything down.  I mean everything - schools, churches, colleges.  Because of this, I have never driven a car in snow.  Moving to Utah, I'm going to have to learn.  It takes at least 2 feet to make anyone blink twice here. Even though this was a small amount for most Utahans, it was enough excitement for me to get out of bed at 7:30 am, put on my snow boots, and walk around our neighborhood with the camera.
Here are a few pics around our home...

The park across the street

We are one block from the University of Utah -- this is on their campus...

View from our breakfast nook...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Visit Back to Tennessee

In November I traveled back to Tennessee for a friend's wedding in Nashville.  I flew into Memphis on a Thursday without David - he had to work.  We had a nice family dinner Thursday night at my parents house, my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and niece were all able to come.  Friday I spent some time with my mom, then went to dinner that night with some friends.  Alison and Heather met me at J. Alexander's where we talked for hours and enjoyed some good food - especially their delicious key lime pie.  We were even able to visit with Bailie who was working as a hostess that night.

I miss these girls!

Saturday morning I went to a bridal brunch for a girl I've known my whole life, Brooke.  With a short trip back, I was grateful to be able to see so many people.

Some of the girls at the shower...

Bailie, the beautiful Bride-to-Be, and Me

After the shower, my mom and I headed to Nashville for the wedding of Kristin and Clayton.  Kristin and I met at Ole Miss and have been friends ever since.  She and Clayton have dated off and on since they were in high school so it was great to finally see them tie the knot.  The wedding was beautiful.

The bride and groom's first dance

Me and the beautiful Bride...

Kristin lived in San Diego for a while and now lives in Virginia Beach so we don't see each other as often as we'd like.  Luckily in 2009 we were able to see each other a few times.  I always love hearing of her adventures -- her husband is a Navy Seal which gives them an exciting life.

After the reception, we drove back to Somerville.  On Sunday we went to my Grandparent's house for lunch where my entire family gets together every Sunday.  We ate lots of yummy food and I was able to see aunts, uncles, and cousins to catch up on what was going on with everyone.  Sadly, Catherine was still in New York City shaping young minds through a program called Teach for America. Catherine and I are cousins, but we've grown up more like sisters.  We were born 9 months apart and have been inseparable most of our lives -- but thats for another post.
I'll give you a little sneak peak of one of my favorite people...

Us at my Bridesmaids Luncheon

My niece at my grandparents for Sunday lunch - Isn't she adorable?

Sunday night I met a few more friends from back home for dinner...

Jordan, Me, Keith, and Bailie

I love these people.  We've been friends since we were young -- some of us since Kindergarten.  I miss them and am ready for them to come visit us in Utah (hint-hint)

David spent his weekend in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training, a requirement for his residency. It is a 2 day course for doctors who treat victims of major trauma.  In class he learned some cool procedures like putting in chest tubes, placing central lines, and intubating.