Is it really almost 2011?!

It is crazy to believe 2010 is almost over! This year has flown by, filling my life with so many wonderful memories and experiences.  I am so grateful for the blessings of this year...

Finishing my year-and-a-half-long research project in May
Celebrating our 2nd anniversary in June
Being accepted into med school in September
Finishing my last semester at College of Charleston a week ago
Graduation yesterday!

I am anticipating (and mildly dreading) my upcoming semester off.  I am trying to fill it up enough with work and volunteering that I don't get restless, but I want to take the time to rest and recharge, as well, in preparation for the very busy years ahead of me.  I am exceedingly blessed to have the experiences I have had, to have my amazingly supportive, sweet, and hilarious husband, to have loving and encouraging family and friends...it is truly humbling to realize all that these people have done to help me get to where I am today...a graduate of CofC and an upcoming medical student.  Thank you. I love you guys, and I hope you know how much I appreciate you daily.  I look forward to seeing what the year ahead holds for all of us!


unashamed tour

Last night, Mikey and I went with a couple of our friends...Jacoby and Kyle, two interns with our church's youth ministry...to a concert in Florence.  The show was a part of the unashamed tour put on by Reach Records.  It was so amazing!  All of the artists were so talented, and not only were they excellent performers, they were also very sincere and eloquent in sharing their faith.  It was awesome to see the huge diversity of people at the show...all ages, races, and backgrounds.  And it was great to hear some of what these artists had to say.  One illustration I particularly loved was shared by Tedashi:

A little girl in the fourth grade got a little snake for her birthday.  She always wanted a snake, and her parents finally agree to let her have one.  She loved it so much that she took really good care of it, always feeding it and cleaning its cage.  It even slept curled up next to her at night.  Cute, right? ;)  Well, after she had the snake for a while, it stopped eating the food she normally gave it, so she tried a new kind of food.  He wouldn't eat that either.  Not only did his eating habits change; he also stopped curling up at night.  He started stretching out long-ways next to her.  After a while of this, the little girl got worried, so she took it to the vet and explained the situation.  The vet listened carefully and then looked worried by the time she was finished.  He told her she needed to come home and kill that snake immediately.  The little girl was stricken. She really loved her snake, and she wouldn't agree to this until the doctor explained why.  The vet explained that the snake was not eating because it was starving itself.  And it wasn't curling up, and was instead stretching out next to her, because it wanted to measure itself against her...you see, the snake was preparing himself to eat the little girl whole.  He wanted to starve himself so he would be able to, and he was waiting until he was big enough to do it. 

That snake is like sin.  At first, it may seem harmless.  We find ourselves defending it, feeding it, caring for it as it grows in our lives...still seeming tame.  But it's important to not forget that it is still a snake.  And that snake can grow and can devour us.  It is not enough to think about changing our lives...we need to go home and kill our snakes.  Whatever they may be.  Because those snakes can kill us, can steal our life.

And THAT is just one little piece of the night! It was amazing!!!

Here are a few pics and videos from the concert:

 Trip Lee
Mikey and I after the concert :)

All of the artists CDs are on itunes, and you can go to reachrecords.com to check out more!


Medical Mission Trip

"Missions is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there" -The Velvet Elvis

In the past week, I have heard about, prayed about, talked about, and decided to attend (God-willing) a medical mission trip to India.   The medical clinic that I have been volunteering at for the past (almost) year is taking a team to Durgapur, India to help in a clinic that was established there in the past year.  Dr. Sabback, a retired surgeon who is one of the medical directors of the Dream Center Clinic and who has been on many medical mission trips, went there a couple of years ago and has been a part of getting the clinic started, funded, and now, occupied.  A local team of doctors and nurses staff the clinic most of the year, but extra help is always appreciated!

Those of you who know me well or have been reading my blog know that I have a passion for medicine and for reaching out to people in need, especially physical need!  There are so many people in the world suffering from diseases that are curable and injuries that are fixable.  I have been wanting to go on a medical mission trip ever since I decided I wanted to go into medicine in high school.  Now that I have some training, my EMT certification, and a smidgeon of experience under my belt, I think I actually might be able to be of some service to the people in need in this area of India.  Dr. Sabback assured me (after a timid email asking if I'd just be in the way, as I am not yet IN medical school, nor am I a nurse) that medical mission trips are the perfect place to learn more and do more!  And so...I'm now attempting to get together the necessary funds and paperwork to make this long dreamed-of trip a reality.  

The trip is January 13-22, 2011, which is just two months away.  There is a lot ahead of me between now and then...finishing up finals, graduating from undergrad, raising money for this trip, and getting a visa for India.  If you have any fund-raising tips, please let me know!  I would really appreciate your prayers and any advice from those of you who have travelled to India before.  Pray that our team would be effective in caring for these people's physical needs, as well as their spiritual ones.  Pray that we will have the tools, medicines, and knowledge available to us to make a true impact.  Pray that the planning and pre-work all gets done in time for take-off on January 13!  And most of all, pray that God's will will be done, one way or another, regarding this trip!


shutterfly me to the moon

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have already begun my search for this year's Christmas Cards! Since Mikey and I got married, I have loved searching online for cute cards to send out to close friends and family.  Every year I have a hard time deciding, but especially this year because I found so many cute ones at Shutterfly!  These are a few of my favorites:

I really love the colors of this one!  
I think it's so interesting and fresh looking, but still festive with green, red, and white :)

Damask is always pretty, and this cranberry color is especially perfect for Christmas time!
I also like how elegant "Merry Christmas" looks on this one.

Brown and green are a great color combo, and I really like the "love, joy, peace" on this card!

Go check out shutterfly to browse through all of the great cards yourself! They're even doing an awesome promotion where you get 50 free cards for sharing shutterfly with your friends on your blog! :) 
Go to this site to sign up:  http://bit.ly/sfly2010


Fall To Date

October has been so fun for Mikey and I!  It has been packed full of fall-y events, and everyone knows that fall is the best season :) Here are a few snap shots of what we have been up to:
At Waterfront Park downtown after a lovely brunch at Toast :)

 At the corn maze :) We were victorious TWICE!

 At the Northwood Student Ministries Costume Ball :)
We dropped by to get a DELICIOUS caramel chocolate apple!!

 Mikey and me with our beautiful pumpkins...we are so proud :)

At the firepit in our backyard with my sis-in-law :)
We had fun chatting and drinking coffee and hot chocolate with some great friends!

The girls packed in the back of Chad's truck on our way to the fair!

At the Fair...we enjoyed our Gyros and listened to Easton Corban perform!

Can't wait to see what else this season holds! :)
Happy Halloween, everyone!


outside these walls

"So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make His people holy by means of his own blood.  So let us go out to Him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore"
(Hebrews 13:12-13)

Our Savior.
Our King.
Our sacrificial Lamb.
Jesus gave it all, not counting the cost.
He gave His very life...
Both in coming into this dirty and God-starved world
And in dying a sinner's death on the cross.

He got his hands dirty.
His eyes saw the filth we live in daily.
His hands wiped away our tears.
His ears heard our laughter, our joy and our cynicism.
His shoulders bore our burden.

When he died, he seemed a liar.
A failure.
A lunatic.
But when he rose, he overcame everything in this world.
The fear.
The death.
The hopelessness.
And now He reigns.

So for our moment of life in this world,
let's live as He did.
Whether it seems too crazy, too painful, or too radical.
Let's go outside the safe walls of the church.
Let's move beyond the borders of what is comfortable.
And let's get a little dirty.
Cry with those in need.
Laugh with them.
Bear their burdens
Without counting the cost.

Let us risk being labelled
Risk giving up "success" for what really matters
Risk dying to ourselves
To live a life outside these walls.

"'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!'"
(Matthew 25:40)


A Weekend to Remember

It is so crazy to think of all that has happened this weekend!

{1} I had my medical school interview on Friday.  I was pleased with how I handled myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  Now I'm just relieved to have that major step behind me! All that's left to do is wait for the outcome....and pray! :)

{2} A friend of ours from Mexico was in town this week, so we got to spend some time with her.  Danbi was our guide in Oaxaca, Mexico the past two summers, and it was great getting to catch up!  Friday night we went out for sushi with some friends, and she headed to visit her family on Saturday.  Hopefully we'll be seeing her in Mexico next summer!
Crab Crunch with eel sauce...yum!!!
(Danbi is the awesome Asian in the middle :D)

{3} I actually finished all of my homework that had been piling up as I focused on other things for a few days.  Now, I get to blog and enjoy the rest of my Sunday in peace :)

{4}  Mikey and I cheered the Steelers on into their first victory in their first game of the season! Go Steelers!!


designing bug

I am no interior designer, but I do love finding something fun that just seems perfect for our home! Whenever I find something in a store that seems "just right," I have to snap it up (if the funds allow)!  Here is the newest addition to our home :)  I am loving it.  And as usual, it is giving me the designing bug to go out and find pillows and candles and what-not to go with my new purchase!!

Any pointers from other knick-knack loving ladies out there?
I'd love to hear what you do to spruce up or personalize your space!


a wee bit of me Wednesday

{one} what’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Thursdays, because I get to volunteer at the Dream Center Clinic, which I LOVE,
and then I have lunch with my awesome hubs.
And then I REST and get some work done for the remainder of the day :)

{two} if you could have a glimpse of your future, would you choose to see it and what time would you want to see?
Normally I would say no, for sure.  But right now, I wouldn't mind flashing forward to October 1st when I find out whether or not I get into my first choice med school!

{three} if you could be any animal, which animal would you be?
I would be my dog Oliver...he's got the life.

{four} do you have a lucky number?
not really. but I have always been oddly fond of the number 18.

{five} if you could bring one famous person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
Mother Teresa...I would love to talk to her about her work and ideas!

{six} fill in the blank: peanut butter and ____________.
jelly fish.
My dad used to always say that when you see a jelly fish...
you know there's a peanut butter fish nearby!

{seven} would you rather live by the mountains or by the beach?
BOTH! but the beach if I had to choose.
I'd much rather swim in the ocean!

{eight} do you have any tattoos?
nope.  I don't think I ever will.

{nine} if you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?
keep working!
I'm not sure I'll ever retire...at least not until I'm really, really old.
If I do, I'd travel and volunteer at clinics!

{ten} what is your favorite all time movie?
Mulan.  I just can't help that this old favorite is still near and dear to my heart :)


the good, the bad, and the ugly

This week has been CRAZY!
Luckily, I have been blessed with not only some bad and ugly moments,
but also some very good ones...

1. I find out that I have contact lens keratitis...aka, my cornea cells have been dying, and I am banned from contacts until they heal.  Unfortunately, there is NO prescription to correct my vision so I have been half-blind for the start of #2.

2.  School is back in session! This is a beautiful and a stressful thing.  Not being able to see the board adds to the stress factor, but I am also excited because I know that once I get back into the swing of things, I will feel more capable and more on top of current issues and knowledge...and THAT is a wonderful feeling!  I did my first reading assignment last night and actually really enjoyed the refresher!

3.  I just got some really great news that means I'm one step closer to finding a medical school, getting experience, and becoming, one blissful day, a doctor! This new news, however, means that...

4.  I have to start really cracking down on re-learning/learning current healthcare news.  I am more into the philosophy and practice of medicine...not so much the politics and guidelines.  Luckily, I have a very smart and very politically-conscious friend who I'm hoping will share some wisdom!

5.  Last but certainly not least, my wonderful and astoundingly talented husband is turning 24 tomorrow! This means lots of celebrating...including the eating of mucho sushi.  Yum.  After church tonight, I'm focusing on fun and friends with the hubby!  Then, come Monday, it's back to the books.  But for now, I just get to enjoy some good times with the most amazing man I have ever met or been blessed to spend time with!  Love you, Mikey! Happy birthday!!!


Holy Hodgepodge, Batman!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sonic has the best sodas...ever.
They are my saving grace on days when I need an extra dose of caffeine.
And the ice is SO GOOD...a soda connoisseur such as myself would know.
Thank you, Route 44 coke, for being you.

Who knew you could develop deformed corneas in such a short time period?
My trip to the eye doctor revealed that I have...
severe corneal decompensation.
My cornea cells have been dying, so I have giant cells trying to cover the area of 4-6 normal cells.
Apparently, this is not good.
I have an appointment with a corneal specialist this afternoon.
I am a little nervous, but trying to stay calm and just wait for a more definitive analysis.
Prayers would be most welcome!!

Toyota has wifi.  Thank goodness.
Otherwise, I would not be able to post this lovely miscellany as I wait for my car
to get it's oil changed.
That also means I can be productive while I wait,
so it does not seem so bad.  This is awesome!

I have to thank Carissa, who hosts Miscellany Monday,
for my awesome necklace that I won in her giveaway!!
The results were announced in her miscellany today,
along with some other lovely tidbits.  Take a look!

what's new with you?


Getting to Know You Sunday

Getting to know YOU

1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be?  Probably What Not to Wear! I'm not a huge reality TV person, but I really like seeing the transformations on that show.  And I love how they encourage people to be themselves, but to dress for success! :)

2. Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car?  Almost always before.  I am always getting on Mikey about putting the car in drive or reverse before he's buckled up...safety first, everyone!

3. Shave or hair removal cream?  I've used both, but usually shaving...it is cheaper and requires less effort to prepare.

4. What's your favorite feature in a house?  Windows! I love having the windows open...watching the sun start streaming in, seeing my pup Oliver snuggled up in the sun, and watching storms from the safety of my living room!

5. What is your favorite "Fall" scent?  I really like cinnamon and vanilla...yum.

6. What tv show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall??  I'm excited for the return of Bones and Criminal Minds, but I never keep up with seasons...I just wait for them to show up on my tivo! haha

7. Personal Shopper or Personal Chef?  chef....DEFINITELY.  Clothes are lovely, but not nearly as important as good food!

8. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of "Fall"?  chilly...but in a good way.  like a "we get to snuggle up on the couch under a blanket with hot chocolate" kind of chilly.


why I love august

I am so excited for the rest of August because:

1.  School starts back, which means

     a) A more structured schedule! hallelujah!  I am a very orderly person, and this fluctuating schedule 
     over the summer has left me feeling a bit aimless.

     b) Something more productive to do with my time!  I have really enjoyed Chick-Fil-A and 
     will continue to work there (for fewer hours) when school starts back, but I love me some mental 
     stimulation...and chicken doesn't quite cut it.

     c) It's my LAST semester of undergrad, so starting this campaign to conquer this last bit of my degree
     feels like it will be so rewarding.  Plus, I only have cool classes left for this semester :)

2.  I finally made an eye appointment to have a doctor check out my blurry left eye.  About a month and
a half ago, I woke up only to find my left eye totally blurry.  Changing contacts hasn't helped.  Wearing
glasses hasn't helped.  A doctor I'm shadowing says my left retina is cloudy and suggested I go to an
opthamologist, which I am now finally doing! wooho!  Let's hope he has the cure.  Being half-blind is
the pits.

3.  Mikey and I start our married small group/class together! I love doing any sort of Bible Study with
my awesome hubs.  The fact that this class is taught by some great people and I've heard it's absolutely,
fabulously helpful and encouraging only adds to my excitement.

4.  I get to start volunteering at the Dream Center Medical Clinic again! My schedule has been too rocky to volunteer
 for the past month or so, and this Thursday evening will be my first time back in far, far too
long.  Plus, I have the beautiful stethoscope my Dad got me for my bday to brandish for the first time.

5.  The end of August means that September is right around the corner, and everybody knows, Fall is 
the best season!  I love the weather and the clothes.  Everything feels so clean and fresh.  And SC is not
as blisteringly hot. Aaaaaaah....I can feel myself relaxing already!

Happy August, everyone!


New York state of mind

New York was so great! Although our flight was delayed until Friday morning (EARLY!) due to inclement weather in NYC, Mom and I packed so much into this weekend trip!  Not only was the sight-seeing wonderful, but it was also some great mother-daughter time.

Day 1:
Fly out of Charleston at 5:30 am.  Arrive in NYC at 10:00 am.
Check into hotel. Corner room right on Times Square!
Walk about two miles to Central Park, exploring various awesome places (like the Rockefeller center and Saks Fifth Ave) along the way.
Wander through the Met seeing tons of amazing and old art!
Get discount tickets for the broadway musical "A Little Night Music"
Eat dinner at a great Italian restaurant, Carmine's.
Head to the show.

Day 2:
Take the subway (first time!) to SOHO, then walk to Little Italy and China Town.
So cool.
Eat brunch at a small hole-in-the-wall cafe.
Go to Ground Zero and Wall Street.
Go to the Empire State building and see all the Macy's windows.
Visit Grand Central Station...gorgeous!
Eat some delicious sweets at Magnolia Bakery.
Get discount tickets to the broadway show "Love Loss and What I Wore"
Eat dinner at this adorable Cuban restaurant, Victor's.
Blush from embarrassment when the waiters sing Happy Birthday to me :)
See the show.

Day 3:
Go see the Waldorf Astoria...a beautiful and historic hotel.
Eat brunch.
Go to NYC Church, and then leave during announcements because the music was an hour! :) but so good.
Catch a cab to the airport, and fly HOME!
Snuggle up with the hubs on the sofa watching movies and eating ravioli at home :)


long time, no blog.

Sorry about the long absence.  I have been so insanely busy at the end of this summer...starting a new job, traveling a bit, working my old jobs, volunteering, church, getting ready for the semester that's about to begin. Whew.  I've been exhausted.  Sadly, far too exhausted for blogging.  

BUT every so often I have gotten on to check out some of your posts!  And even if I didn't get a chance to comment, I really enjoyed keeping up with blog-world a bit.

Anyway, all of that to say, my absence will likely be extended a bit longer because I'm GOING TO NEW YORK CITY! My mom and I are flying out tonight, and we will be having a girls' weekend in NYC for my birthday and hers.  I will be taking TONS of pictures, so I'll definitely be sharing some of them with you on my return...and probably some of my favorite places to visit and things to do. We are planning on a full weekend of exploration and fun!  See you then!


accent confession!

Windy Poplars

It's my first time joining in with Windy Poplar's "Confessions Week!"
Just click the button above and you can join in, too!

Todays confessions are about accents and quirks in how we speak.
Here goes nothin'!

I tend to speak very formally in my normal life.  Apart from making up words to describe my feelings to Mikey on overwhelming days, I basically live by grammatical rules.  In fact, it often gets me in trouble with friends who think I've gone mad based on my vocabulary or too-formal wording in very non-formal settings, like game nights and hangouts.

I think I've unconsciously adapted to this realization (that the way I speak can come across as overwhelmingly correct to others), because I definitely slip into a southern, laid-back speech pattern when I'm trying to sound friendly.  I don't mean to do this.  Honestly.  But my "yall" count flares up to unseen heights when I am talking to someone I don't know very well.  I also tend to say less formal words and abbreviations for real words.  It is as if I suddenly revert back to second grade in upstate South Carolina, without realizing it until some unfamiliar sounding things come out of my mouth!

So what about you? Any accent confessions you'd like to chime in?


monday miscellany

Does anyone else ALWAYS forget to give their dog medicine?
I hope this isn't an accurate prediction of how I'll be with my future kids meds.
Every month, I struggle to remember to give Oliver his flea and heartworm prevention.
But today, I was victorious! (and only one day late)

I don't know what's been in the water at our house, but I like it!
Even with all of the craziness going on in our home lately, 
Mikey and I have been able to steal away a little bit of time every day to spend together,
just the two of us.
If anyone is familiar with the five love languages, I'll share now that mine is
So my husband's sweet concern lately for our time together
is making me dig him even more :)

If you, like me, are in great need of some shorts,
check out Target!
I am not a target groupy like many people, but I like to take a look-see there every now and then.
To my great delight, my last visit yielded a great pair of shorts!
Mid-thigh--not too short or two long for this 5'2" girl.
And not too tight or too loose.
As a goldilocks in 2010, I must say, "they are juuust right!"

If you haven't read David Platt's book Radical, do so!
I officially finished it yesterday, and it was amazing!
It was great because, not only was it well written,
but what it was written ABOUT was so convicting and motivating:
*giving your whole life over to honoring God, not just basking in the grace of Jesus
*taking charge in changing the world for God's glory!
*being willing to sacrifice in order to give, not just giving out of leftovers
There is so much I am praying about and changing in my life right now.
I highly, highly recommend this great read!

Rabun is back from Uganda!
One of my best friends is back from working in a medical clinic in Uganda this summer.
She has pictures on her facebook, and I stole two to share with you.
Her stories from her blog are so touching and inspiring!
Check it out!

Blogging is far too addictive, and might just make me a little late to work today!
Sianara, Sisters!
Hope everyone else enjoys even more miscellany this Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters