Monday, December 29, 2008

4 CHRISTMASES


We had 4 Christmases this year.  It was fantastic!

Christmas #1:  Me, David, and Ethan had our family Christmas at home in St. Louis on the evening of Dec. 20 (my last final was over at noon). We had meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans for our Christmas dinner.  After dinner we exchanged gifts.  I found out that none of us sticked to the Christmas budget like we'd planned, but it all worked out.  We had a wonderful time.



Christmas #2:  We had Christmas at my parents house on Christmas Day at noon.  We exchanged gifts as soon as everyone was present.  All I asked for was a new pair of shoes and some socks, but my parents always give me so much more than I could ever imagine.  My brother and his girlfriend gave us a nice gift card that was very much appreciated.  The dogs all received gifts and had a great time with their new treats and toys.
I made Jambalaya for our Christmas lunch since we'd be having our big meal on Saturday when more family was in town. My dad loves jambalaya and has only had it a few times in his life.  He was super happy that I made this dish for him.  He went on and on about how good it was.  I wish I was able to cook for him more often.  



Christmas #3:  We went to David's parents house on Christmas at 5pm.  We had a traditional turkey dinner that was phenomenal.  My mother in-law cooked a turkey since my brother in-law, Chris, was in Saudi Arabia during Thanksgiving.  He came back to the States just a couple of weeks ago.  I also made his favorite rolls just for the occasion.  After dinner and dessert, we had a fun gift exchange. David's parents gave us a ticket package for the Cardinals Baseball games.  We're so excited!


Christmas #4:  My Grandma came to Edmond to see me and the rest of the family.  I haven't seen her since my graduate recital in July 2007.  It has been way too long.  If you know me, you know that I love my grandma very much.  She was even my maid of honor at my wedding.  I have learned so much from her over the years and treasure every moment I have with her.  My Aunt Mellodie and Aunt Linda also came with her.  I haven't seen them in ages!  All of us ate, visited, and enjoyed each other's company.  It was excellent!



HOPE ALL OF YOU HAD A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

HOPE YOU HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Remembering...


This is David on the blog machine today...

This same week, two years ago, I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and no plans for the future.  Yes, I had applied to several medical schools but the rejection letters were piling up.  I had all but given up on attending medical school in the fall.  If not medical school, what could I possibly due with myself?  I walked away from a career in finance to chase this crazy dream, committed two-and-a-half years to the obsession, while I watched the debt stockpile grow and the stable career slip away.  Was it possible that I had failed?  I graduated summa cum laude from college and scored in the top two-percentile on the Medical College Admissions Test.  I was destined for a top medical school, right? RIGHT?  Wrong.  My own state school with its lax admissions wouldn't even take me.  I watched and cried as classmates I tutored and mentored received their acceptance letters.

I was devastated.  How could I have sacrificed so much, worked so hard, invested so much of myself and failed so completely.  I don't think my days have ever been so dark and my nights so long as they were then.  My purpose, meaning and entire world view had been rocked to the very core.  I had nowhere to go from here.  I was stranded.

Well, this story has a happy ending, obviously.  I'm now in my second year at SLU School of Medicine.  It is abundantly clear now, that my "pre-med advisor" had written an unsavory "letter of recommendation."  Why?  I do not know.  She didn't even know me.  SLU accepted me because I carefully crafted my application to be free of the aforementioned letter.

Let me tell you the moral to the story  Yes, I worked very hard while I was a pre-med.  Very hard.  I made sure I had perfect grades and a covetous MCAT score, but it wasn't enough.  I'm not being cynical when I say that sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you work in life. Sometimes you have to play the game.  You have to use your head.  Know the right people and work the right angles.  Work smarter, not harder.  It makes me feel all dirty inside saying these things because it is completely contrary to my independent, diligent, self-help philosophy, but I'm afraid it's absolutely true.

Sometimes, you just have to play the game

David



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!




Our little boy is 2 years old today. 
 This makes him an adult in the dog world.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ETHAN!









Sunday, December 14, 2008

St. Louis Christmas





We've been in St. Louis for over a year and a half now.  It's awesome here and we really love the city. I took this picture of us in downtown St. Louis the other day. I would have loved to hire a professional photographer, but that wouldn't have been a very smart financial decision for a couple of students. Thank goodness for tripods and self timers on cameras.  They sure do come in handy!
The white building you see is an old Courthouse.  In the background is the famous arch.  They call it the Gateway to the West.

We wore our Cardinals apparel because David's parents gave us a large ticket package to their games.  So, we'll be going to a lot of Cardinals baseball games between April and September. We are so excited and very thankful.  Thanks Tim and Donna!

I've been reflecting a bit today.  It was one year ago this weekend that I graduated with my Master of Music degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.  I remember getting my hair done the day before I was supposed to walk, then my brother called me and told me that my graduation had just been cancelled due to the weather forecast.  There was already snow and ice and it was only supposed to get worse.  I was extremely saddened and decided that since I wasn't going to have any good graduation pics, I may as well go crazy.  I had my hair stylist, Tina, make my hair a dark red.  It was so fun!  
I didn't walk at graduation for my bachelors degree. I had no desire to then, but I really wanted to for my Masters.  I thought it would give me some closure and I wouldn't ever go back to school. Little did I know that I'd be back in school within a few months.  The funny thing is, I'm not even pursuing music or education this time.  I'm just working on some prereq's and trying to get a lot of science classes completed.  Maybe third time's the charm?!



Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANKSGIVING


I'm really much too tired to blog about my Thanksgiving at the moment.  I did bake an apple pie and thought I should at least post some pics.  It turned out prettier than the last one I made.  Take a look.......




HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Then, and Now

It was just two years ago that I was preparing for my last Holiday Concert at MMS.  At the time, I didn't even know it was going to be my last.  The Holiday Concerts were always my favorite!  We would prepare festive pieces and little numbers.  Some of my students would even have a little solo.  
I was wonderful friends with the choir teacher, Sherri.  She's absolutely amazing Christian woman (I still keep in touch with her)!  We combined our groups for a couple of years and had one big Holiday Concert! Our audience was much larger and many of the students were in both groups, so it was nice for them to not have to commit to 2 evenings of performances.  
Music is art.  It's a performing art.   Being the crazy person I am, I liked to make sure and show off all the art programs in my school.  I worked with the art teacher and she had her after school art club design something to be featured along with our concerts.  It's so great to work with others in the art family.  We were each others biggest supporters and number one fans!
Another thing I remember about the Holidays at MMS is that I sorta agreed to grant the principal one special request.  He actually asked me if I could grant his request in my teaching interview.  Of course, it was a simple and fun request.  He wanted me to  play at the annual Christmas Teachers Luncheon.  I would always put on a Santa Hat and lug 3 instruments down to the Library and play for all the other teachers while they ate their annual BBQ Christmas lunch prepared by the principals.  I'm sure I looked like a huge nerd, but I had a blast!  BBQ and live entertainment..... does it get any better than that?  Well, the last year I was there I wanted to show off my students, so I had several of them play solos for the teachers luncheon.  It was a hit!!!  It was a real ego booster for my band kids too!

Today, instead of preparing a band for a Holiday Concert, I went to UMSL and met with a nursing advisor.  I am currently enrolled in 3 classes, but will be adding another when I figure out what I'd like it to be.  Two years ago I never would have guessed that I'd be where I am today.  We didn't even know we were going to be in St. Louis, much less that I'd be applying to nursing school.  It's funny how life turns out and always throws us some surprises.  I can't help but wonder what's next.

Here are some more ME FACTS:

1.  A very large amount of my friends are band directors, professional musicians, worship leaders, and some even have their own CDs.  I'm so proud of each and every one of them!

2.  Here are some of my favorite Christian artists (no specific order):
David Crowder (my absolute fav), Darlene Zschech, Marci Priest Jackson (sang at my wedding), Benjamin Gate, Delirious, and Maple Street.

3.  I LOVE dark chocolate, but don't like milk chocolate at all.  

4.  I drink my coffee black.

5.  I met David while I was playing in the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."  I got a nice check from it and my husband!




PASSION

If you're someone who is easily offended, please don't read this.....


Last night I had biology class and sociology class as usual.  During my sociology class I was told by the professor (African-American man) that I have every opportunity in the world and special privileges because I'm white.  I told him that I didn't believe his statement was completely true.  I then explained how I had applied to several teaching positions here in St. Louis this year, but didn't get hired because I'm white.  Yes, I applied to schools that were composed of 99% African-American students.  I was optimistic and eager to teach at those schools, but believe I was not given the opportunity to because I'm white.  This is the reason I am even in his class.  I did not land a teaching job this year.  
Either my prayers of finding a teaching job were not answered or God just has a different plan for my life.  This is what ultimately confirmed my thoughts of going back to school.


All of this really got me thinking.....

I've really formed a completely different identity here in St. Louis.  David is the only one here who really knows me, what I've done, my accomplishments, my interests, and my passions.  This is not good or bad, it really doesn't matter if all my friends know everything about me.....that's not my point.  
I do know that I really haven't offered to share much of my past with my new STL friends.  I guess I'm just a go-with-the-flow kind of gal.  When I'm with my Med friends, I can listen to them talk for hours about things I don't have the slightest clue about.  I actually really enjoy it!  The Med Wives I am friends with talk about their children, their churches, and all about being a mom.  I'm alright with that too, and I enjoy it!  As much as I enjoy all of this, I am still different.  I don't know anything about biology (I'm trying though) or medicine, mommyhood or playdates.  I do not share the same socioeconomic status, geographic background, family situation, or religion with many of my friends.  


I'm going to share more of my identity in this blog 
and who I really am.  
I think this is actually more for me than for those who read it. 
 I guess I just don't want to forget the person I am or was.  


A Few Facts About Me:

1.   I have now had 1 1/2 years off from teaching.  Teaching is a tough job, but I loved it!  There are days that I'm 100% happy with doing what I'm doing now, and there are days where I want to quit everything, grab a baton or pick up my clarinet, and go MAKE MUSIC!  

In case you didn't know.....   

Yes, I was a teacher!
I taught MUSIC!  
I was a BAND DIRECTOR!  
And I was GOOD at it!!!   



I made this Sponge Bob to go along with the Sponge Bob theme song we played at a concert.  
The concert theme was "At the Movies"
We even gave away door prizes!  This encouraged people to come to our concerts.


The students loved Sponge Bob, so he was given a permanent home in our band room.


2.  CLASSICAL MUSIC IS MY FAVORITE!

3.  I want Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Mvmt. II  played at my funeral.  

4.  The only books I really enjoy reading are about music history, composers, printing and publishing, etc.




I can't deny it or run from it any longer......  
I am PASSIONATE and head-over-heels in LOVE with MUSIC!  
What are you passionate about?

Monday, November 10, 2008

BEAUTY


Audrey and her Yorkie, Famous

My friend, Amanda, posted this on her blog.  Her mom sent this to her recently.  It's Beauty Tips by Audrey Hepburn.  I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with all of my blog readers too.  Thanks Amanda!


For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. 
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. 
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. 
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. 
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. 
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. 
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. 
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Week @ A Glance...... and then some


Here's what has been going on in my world since I last posted.........

Monday:  Toured my new school, UMSL!  Had biology and sociology class, took exam in Sociology

Tuesday:  Girls Night Out at Bailey's Chocolate Bar - it was Awesome!



Wednesday:  Biology class and lab 

Thursday: Did several loads of laundry and had Ethics class.  Late night Walmart run after David took his Ambian ---- this made for a very interesting experience.

Friday: Ran some errands, had dinner at a friends house, went to a crazy Halloween Party down by the river at Big Daddy's
- We don't really celebrate Halloween, but decided to dress up this year.  David was a cowboy and I was a cowgirl.  




Saturday: Algebra class, took algebra exam, studied biology, and wrote a paper

Sunday:  Studied biology, had Ethics study group

Monday:  Wrote 4 papers, studied biology, took biology class and made a 94/A!!!!!

Tuesday: Went to lunch with a friend to celebrate her birthday (a day late), VOTED, and watched election stuff on TV, OBAMA became the President-elect

TODAY:  Biology class and Lab, my instructor congratulated me on my A (I've come a long way!), took Ethan on a long walk and ran through the beautifully colored leaves, made a birthday gift for a friend

Tomorrow:  Study for Ethics exam, take Ethics exam


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Doggie Days


We took ETHAN to the Dog Costume Parade in Central West End on Saturday.  I couldn't find any costumes that fit him correctly this year, so we just worked with what we had.  Ethan wore his blue polo shirt, David wore his  S L U  M E D  hoodie, and I wore my new  U M S L  hoodie.  We were all dressed up as "students."  I know, I know..... we're pretty extreme.  ha ha!
The parade sounded like so much fun and I thought it would be good for Ethan to be social with other dogs.  It was a B L A S T !  

E t h a n  was one of the tiniest dogs at the parade.  So many people complimented him on his cuteness.  I should also mention that he was a REAL LADIES MAN.  All the little girl Yorkies thought he was HOT stuff!  It was absolutely priceless watching them interact.  After all the excitement, the poor guy was all tuckered out and slept the rest of the day.

Here are some pics we took throughout the event.

Ethan made some new friends




David and I were invited to a friends birthday party on Saturday night.  It was so much fun to hang out with our friends and talk about anything and everything.  I think our friend had a pretty good birthday.  = )

Today has been pretty low key.  We all just lounged around the apartment.  I did get out for a bit to buy a couple more ingredients for Gumbo.  I made a double batch and it is  SO GOOD
Unfortunately I ended up getting some burns this time.  I was stirring the roux while multitasking.  Not a smart idea!  I accidently splattered some of it out of the pot right onto my hand.  It still stings.  I have several blisters on my hand now.  = (    In case you're wondering, the roux is butter and flour that you stir continually until it reaches it's proper color.  It felt like I stuck my hand in a fryer!  O U C H !  No more multitasking in the kitchen for me...... well, at least for the night.  


Friday, October 24, 2008

Family Fun!

Davids parents came to Missouri for a vacation and were able to stop by and see us for a bit.  They traveled to Missouri to ride their bikes along the well-known Katy Trail.  I think they biked about 30 miles a day for 2 days.

They met us at our place after I picked David up from the train on Wednesday late afternoon.  David and his parents went to Barnes and Noble while I took my Biology exam.  After I got home we went to Zia's, which is an Italian Restaurant in "The Hill."  I think they have THE BEST toasted ravioli ever!  My meal was phenomenal.  It was our servers favorite dish there.  Let me tell ya... That boy knows how to eat!

Even though we were all painfully full, we remembered that there's always room for ice cream.  Donna has taught us that ice cream melts on the way down and just fills in the cracks.  So, we took them to get ice cream at Serendipity in Webster Groves.




We all planned on taking David to school on Thursday morning and then going to the Botanical Gardens.  It ended up being rainy and gross out, so we just slept in a bit instead.  We all needed that extra sleep.  The weather was such a downer that David even skipped class that day.  

Donna, my mother-in-law, got me started on Penzey's Spices a few years ago.  We have one just up the road and I go there often.  I thought she'd like to go, so we went there and loaded up on the best spices around.  

After Penzey's we went to Schlafly's.  It's a local brewing company that also has a restaurant attached.  They have some of the best food ever.   David and I don't get to go there often, so we really appreciated going there with his folks.  We enjoyed their Farmers Platter, Hummus, and their Beer Bread.  It was incredible!  I can't wait to go back.  

Donna really wanted to see the St. Louis Art Museum and boy was I glad.  It's free to all, but I didn't think it would be all that great.  I was wrong!  It was wonderful.  They had original works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, and many more.  It was a real treat...... and it was FREE!  

David really wanted to show his parents the fabulous penguin exhibit at the STL ZOO.  We took them there, which was also FREE!  Those penguins sure know how to put on a show.   They are pretty cute!



We came back to our place after the zoo because Davids dad had to get on the road back to OKC.  Donna and I had to do what us girls do best- SHOP!  I took her to the Galleria because she wanted to get tea to take home.  I know that sounds silly because you can buy tea anywhere.  Well, I gave Donna some tea from Teavana when we went to visit her this last summer.  It was LOVE at first sip.  So, it was time to refill her tea canister and try more flavors.  We also went to Crab Tree & Evelyn and spent too much money.  I absolutely LOVE their hand therapy and also got Donna started on it.  My likings sure are contagious!  

After the mall we came back to pick up David and went to Maggiano's for dinner.  All I can say is YUM!  It's one of our favorite places to eat.  I ordered the Chicken Pesto Pasta and will probably be eating it for the next 3 days.  Their portions are HUGE!  We were so full after dinner that we had to call it a night.

I think we all had a pretty good time.  We dropped off Donna at the airport this morning so she could fly back to Santa Fe.  Thanks for coming!  



TODAY I reactivated my application at UMSL.  I talked to an advisor and I'm pretty much good to go.  The advisor said that I'll be hearing from a nursing advisor soon so they can help me plan my schedule for the spring.  I should be able to enroll in November.
I'M SO EXCITED!

Check out My NEW School  .......   www.umsl.edu

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keepin' It Real!

WOW!  It's been too long.  I've been a  studying maniac lately. I don't know how I ever completed an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree while working.  I guess that's the difference in pursuing something that comes natural versus something that isn't so natural.  I seriously feel like I'm learning a whole new language!  It's tough for me, but I'm enjoying it very much.


Here's what has been going on with us:
  • David  H O N O R E D his Neurology course!!!  He really loved it and is now considering going into neurology.
  • David is now studying C a r d i o l o g y and is off to a great start!
  • I did great on my Biology Exam #3 that I took tonight...... So great that I'm going to treat myself to a pedicure this weekend!
  • My other classes are going very well
  • I have an initial/new patient appointment with an Endocrinologist on Nov. 19


Here's some fun things that we've recently enjoyed:
  • Wishing my best friends son, Marshall, a Happy First Birthday!  I LOVE that kid!
  • I went shopping with my friend, Tammy, while her hubby watched their kids.  It was a super treat, but I did miss those kiddos.
  • Going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner with one of David's classmates while his wife and kids were out of town.  We love that family so much!
  • Having some friends over to drink wine, eat cheese, and watch movies.
  • I had dinner at Cheesecake Factory and really splurged with some of my best friends......There were 9 of us!  = )
  • Made caramel apples with the most LOVING and amazing Med Wives ever!  Thanks, ladies!!!


X O X O !

Sunday, October 12, 2008

AUTUMN IS AMAZING!


It's my favorite time of year!  
The leaves are turning and the air is crisp.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, David and I went to the Soulard Oktoberfest.  It was INCREDIBLE! 



We indulged in German beer and food.  
We started off by both ordering a stein of Warsteiner Oktoberfest beer.  The stein held an entire liter!  It was delicious.  
After getting our beer we headed toward the giant food tent.  We both ordered the bratwurst platter.  It had 2 brats, a roll, and your choice of 2 other sides.  Of course, I know how I like my German food, so I ordered the potatoes and sauerkraut.  Eating it brought back so many memories.  Poor David had to sit and listen to me go on and on about how much I miss having German food for the Holidays.  In case you didn't know, my dad's mom was German.  She cooked the best pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes on the face of the planet.  We had it for the major Holidays and I sure do miss it.  I haven't met anyone else who could cook German food like that woman.  I make that dish every now and then, but it's just not the same.  I guess I'll have to keep trying.  




David and I went apple picking on Friday, Oct. 10.   We picked over 10 lbs. of apples!
We used some of them to make an apple pie from scratch!  This was a first time for both of us.  Yes, we have made pie before, but it was always with pre-made crust.  So, I even had to go out and buy a pie pan.
It was a blast to do it the old fashioned way.  Now I have to decide what we're going to do with the rest of the apples.  = )




HERE ARE THE RECIPES WE USED:

Pie Crust IV

Submitted by: Jan Bittner
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 114 members
Yields: 16 servings



"The proportions are nice in this pastry dough, with just the right ratio of flour to shortening to water. Everything incorporates perfectly and the dough is easy to roll out. This recipe for flaky, tender crust doubles well and freezes nicely."
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
DIRECTIONS:
1.Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork. To double this recipe, use 1 cup shortening, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup cold water.
2.Roll gently, one crust at a time, on a floured pastry cloth, to about an inch larger than pie plate. Fold carefully in half. Lift to pie plate, and unfold. Fit into pan. For a single-crust pie, trim with a small knife to about 1/2 inch beyond rim. Fold up, and pinch so edge of pie is raised from rim. For a two-crust pie, trim bottom crust to edge of rim, fill, and top with crust about 1/2 inch larger than rim. Tuck top crust under bottom along rim. Seal with floured fork.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Allrecipes.comPrinted from Allrecipes.com 10/12/2008




Apple Pie by Grandma Ople
Submitted by: MOSHASMAMA
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 1972 members
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings



"Grandmas from all around can be proud of this unique recipe that brings fabulous results. Sliced apples are mounded in a prepared pie shell, covered with a latticed crust, and just before slipping into the oven, doused with a sugary butter syrup."
INGREDIENTS:
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch
double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples -
peeled, cored and sliced
(We used SunCrisp)
DIRECTIONS:
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2.Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3.Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Allrecipes.comPrinted from Allrecipes.com 10/12/2008
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