Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I so like routines

This has been a hard week at work. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say my schedule has been changing in ways I would not have predicted a year ago. We added in a class to try and grab full time workers, so I now teach Tuesday mornings at 6:30 and 7:30 am, and do individual sessions starting at 6a on Thursday mornings. We also had some personnel changes, so for at least the next 2 months, I am going to be solely in charge of all the classes and individual sessions, whereas before I did about 2/3rds of the classes and half of the sessions. Both changes are good things in the long run, but they happened within two weeks of each other and in the adjustment period, I think I've been putting in about 10 hour day with 2-3 hours of work coming home each night. It is very, very dark when I get to work.

I feel whiny and tired and am drinking a lot of coffee.

It will get better. Sigh. More sleep needed, please.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Night Recap

This was one of those weekends where I had nothing (planned) to do yet ended up doing a fair amount of things anyways - mostly stuff I have wanted to do for awhile or needed to do. Nothing feels better than lots of check marks on my always present to do list.

Friday night, with our hubs out of town, Jamie and I made a big mess out of her kitchen table and both worked on scrapbooks that are about 3 years old (hers: wedding parties, 2005; mine: first year of dating, 2005.) This year I finally finished a scrapbook from my travel abroad to Spain (2002) and I'm nearly done with my wedding scrapbook (2007). I am declaring this the end of my scrapbooking career. I like the end result, but I just don't find it as rewarding and relaxing as really hardcore scrappers do. Not to mention it's absurdly expensive. I think I like the idea of this serving as my digital scrapbook going forward. I can't put adorable stickers or vellum quotes on here, but I think I'm okay with that. (Truth be told, I can't figure out how to use vellum anyways.)

Saturday morning I drove over to Greensboro to walk in the Arthritis Foundation's 5k walk. Monica and I were scoping it out to determine whether or not our participants could do it next year and it was a really easy trail. Our walkers would dominate it. And then they'd be all over the Krispy Kreme donuts, much to my chagrin. Not really - I ate one too.

In the afternoon, I went over to a house that is being converted into a house of service by a friend of Emily's. 5 of us sorted and folded donated clothing while chatting and the hours flew by. Afterwards, Jamie and I went and did a little clothes sorting of our own at Forever 21. I found an armful of clothing that I liked, but thankfully only two made it past the dressing room scrutinizing. Typical of 21. (And good for my wallet.) Saturday evening, I alternated between working on my scrapbook again, watching Celebrity Rehab and switching out my summer and winter clothes. When Matt called to check in, he found a perfectly content wife. What could be better than being crafty and super organizing projects simultaneously? Nada. Nada my friends.

Sunday I slept in sans alarm which was glorious, then scrubbed the house from top to bottom in preparation for the hubby's return on Friday. I made a quick run to Target for my sistser's birthday present (an LED flameless candle, which sounds super lame-o but is actually way neat) and came home to settle in for a dinner of pesto penne and chicken.

I loved having a weekend to be all projecty and organizing and cleany... but I am also so very ready for Matt to get home and hang out with me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mother Hubbard

I love using things up. I don't know why - I think it makes me feel like I've gotten my money's worth of an item when I use it up to the very very last drop. That being said, one of my favorite games in grad school (partially due to neccesity) was to see how long I could make it between grocery trips. This meant getting extremely creative on meal planning. With Matt out of town this month, I have been really pushing it on how long I have gone without grocery shopping. I have made a couple quick trips for milk, lettuce, carrots and apples (needs) but other than that I have been trying to use up whatever I have on hand. I am seriously Mother Hubbard-ing it over here. This is what I have left:

  • one salmon fillet
  • one chicken breast
  • one morningstar chicken patty
  • one buffalo chicken sausage
  • 1/2 bag frozen spinach
  • 1/2 bag frozen edamame
  • 1/2 box rotini
  • a little bit of pesto sauce
  • 3 english muffins
  • 1/4 carton of almond milk
  • 1/2 carton of Kefir
  • 3 wedges of laughing cow
  • oatmeal
  • 1/2 box of wild rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • dunkin donuts coffee

I know I can make it til Thursday, when I'll have to go grocery shopping before Matt gets home. In the meantime, it's going to take some creativity. I've got some ideas....

Meal #1: salmon, spinach, wild rice

Meal #2: penne + pesto w/ chicken

Meal #3: more penne + a little olive oil + edamame

Meal #4: black beans + buffalo chicken sausage + rice

3 breakfasts: english muffins + laughing cow, coffee w/ almond milk; kefir later on

And when in doubt, there's always oatmeal.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Big Trip to Greenville

Yesterday I made the trip down to Greenville, NC - home of the famous B's Barbeque, the ECU Pirates, Lee Norris (of One Tree Hill and Boy Meets Fame and a fellow WFU '04 alum) and oh yes, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where my husband is currently doing a rotation. ECU is on the list of possible residency locations so I thought it might behoove me to check out one of our potential areas of relocation... not to mention it'd been 7 days since I'd seen my husband and I was more than happy to pay him a visit too. I was truly pleasantly surprised by Greenville. I had a great tour guide, as one of our best friends and Matt's host, is a Greenville native and humored me with a driving tour complete with a stop to the local Wal-mart. I also saw a Harris Teeter and not one but two Starbucks so... I'm set! What I truly did see that I loved was that Greenville is one of those cities that is on that brink of revitalization. Mike drove me down what was the old Main St downtown area in it's tobacco hey-day and then over to the current "downtown" area, and every other building he pointed out was recently rehabbed, in the process of being rehabbed or just about to be rehabbed. It reminded me of one of my other favorite "work in progress" cities... B'more! (And maybe even Winston?) I just love picturing what potential lies beneath a dilapidated run-down warehouse. The places Mike took us out on Saturday night was a great example of the amazing rebirth of old architecture. After dinner at a yummy and obviously popular restaraunt called Starlight Cafe, we walked over to a recently renovated building that now houses a spa and a restaraunt called, appropriately, LA Lounge & Spa. Can't fault them for being ambigious. I'm always a little hesitant about places in the South that christen themselves with NY or LA references, generally finding the result to be an exaggerated stereotype. I haven't been to LA so I don't truly know what a LA bar looks like, but I didn't have any trouble imaging I was there once we walked inside. It was a very hushed decor, with palm and moss greenery everywhere, low light candles on deep dark tables and very, very pretty people. The martini list was extensive, creative and quite expensive. I had the Wall Street Red (Stoli Strawberi, cranberry juice & champagne). Kim and Matt both had something with pomegrante seeds floating in it, Mike had the Italian Kiss (of which I promptly stole his sugared strawberries, ingracious guest that I am!) and I believe Jason, inspired by our afternoon movie watching on Mike's new blu-ray, had the no fooling around 007. What more could you ask for in a city: a martini bar with bubble chairs and pomegrante garnished beverages in the same metropolils as a barbeque joint so old school they shut the doors when they run out of food? (We did not have any B's because they had run out. Of course.)

So, while I pledge to remain absolutely unbiased and open minded about our potential future cities of residences, I am pleased to say that I can now at least imagine carving out a life in one new place. Between martinis, starbucks, barbeque, and let's be honest - walmart - I could be all set. One site visited, a mere 29 to go.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bragging On My Sharebear

There are few people I love to talk to more than my mom. So while I only got about 10 hours of hanging out time with my mom, it was a restorative 10 hours after an emotionally turbulent (work-related) week. She landed at Greensboro at 2 pm, I had her in the car by 2:25 and by the time we hit I-40 I was already up to Wednesday's happening in the play by play of my drama-filled work week. Poor Mom. Did she get a word in edgewise until I was out the door Saturday morning? Probably not. We had a whirlwind day together, but it was great. I am so lucky to not only have my mom as a terrific mom - nuturing, compassionate, selfless but boundary-setting - but also to have her as a great friend. Friday after I picked her up we "popped in" to Ann Taylor (her idea! I swear!) and I popped out 2 pairs of pants, one sweater and one blouse happier. I suggested we go to Coldwater Creek afterwards, but she declined. Selfless, check. Then we stopped into Teeter to get some pita chips and hummus to tide us over until Katie got here and she ended up buying me a few things to fill my empty fridge. Nuturting, check. We went home and chatted over pita chips and wine, and she listened to my share all my thoughts, worries and concerns without judgement or unsolicited advice. Compassionate, check. When my sis got here, the three of us went to Riverburch where we dined on shared appetizers and salads and laughed so hard even the waiter wanted to know what was funny. (Ice cream cones on craiglists and naughty Shakespeare references. I'll tell you later.) Then we came home and talked some more, until I couldn't prop my eyelids open. Best friend, check. I am so lucky.

Fastest parental visit ever, considering she's 700 miles away! She's off to Charlotte to spend the rest of the weekend with the sis, and I'm off to the Y to give a talk on eating habits and then to Greenville to see the displaced hubby. What a weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Night Football

Matt came home from Greenville today for a little Thursday night football against Clemson! It is just amazing to me how much the atmosphere of Wake Forest football games have changed in the four shorts years since we've graduated. It doesn't seem like that long ago that WFU football season was much more about what dress one would wear to the tailgate (since we usually left after tailgating) rather than what ranking we were or whether ABC or ESPN was going to be showing our games. These days the student section is packed to the brim and the glistening Deacon Tower are just two of the biggest changes in Wake football.... oh yea, and the fact that we actually win. On a regular basis. Not just against teams like Duke and Liberty. It's been tremendously fun being local alums and getting to experience our dear ol' alma mater becoming known as a football school.

This game, however, was not the best example of the new Wake football. We won but it was a teeth clenching game. Let's hope that the Navy game and this near miss are all we need to keep our humble, scrappy climb to the top attitude. GO DEACS!

I also got to see Krissy and her fiancee, Mastin, at the tailgate. I loved seeing her reaction to the tailgate apparel of the undergrads. Just one of the many "welcome to the South" experiences I had 8 years ago, and I love seeing my fellow Yankees reactions to these types of things.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My best friend from 7th grade just had a baby on Friday.

Normally this would not be headline making news except for well, this is my blog and so I decide what makes the headlines. She's not my first friend to have a baby and not even the first of my peers to have a baby. But, when I look at pictures of my friend looking with down at her little one with the purest love and peace in her face, I have this sudden flashback to all the years I spent learning who this woman is and I am so struck by the idea that she has, in an instant, become suddenly and wholy redefined. In her glance, I see the same eyes that would light up with mischief as she would try and get me in trouble in social studies class in 7th grade by starting every question with "Mr. Finn, Meghan wants to know..." I see the same smile that registered joy and surprise at the simplicity of a swim in the cold Atlantic surf our family vacations in early April and the same determined brow that would furrow down as she rose to defend me against our priggish JV softball coach. I sense the same gentle manner that would turn a antisocial cat into a purring mushball and the same prideful tilt of her head that I saw the day she walked down the aisle. In one forever captured glance of the camera shutter eye, I saw the woman who I have known over 14 years become a mother. If I knew even one ounce of the love, compassion, loyalty and insatiable curiousity that this woman embodies, then that little boy is in store for an amazing life as her child.

Welcome to the world, JCS. You are in for a great ride.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cereal for Dinner

Matt packed up and left for Greenville today. It was a bit of an anticlimatic good-bye as he'll return for a 4-day weekend on Thursday. So really, his absence this week will be no more different than the 4-day night shift he pulled on his OB rotation or the 3-in-a-row nights he'll work on a regular basis in the ED. Only difference is rather than being 9 miles away, he's about 200 miles away. So, here I am watching Red Sox and eating cereal for dinner and waiting for my goodnight call- flashback to 2005, anyone?

Well, since we fell in love with 345 miles separating us, so what's another month of making the heart grow fonder?

Dishing It Out

One thing Winston-Salem is well known for is it's tremendous variety of places to get some good grub. However, we keep finding ourselves repeating the same places over and over again - because they're close (Kimonos/El Dorado), they're a good price (Kimonos/any mexican place/east coast wings), or we know they're tasty (Village Tavern, Village Tavern, Village... you get the point.) So the other day, we got a coupon for $10 off at Texas Land and Cattle. I have to say, generally I am not a huuuuge fan of steakhouses. My dad is a whiz on the grill and Matt has deftly picked up where he left off, and it's hard to justify going out and paying for steak when the men in your life can serve it up at home just as good, if not better. But, I'm a coupon-lovin' gal, so we thought we'd give it a try last night. My expectations were low. I was anticipating the environment of Texas Roadhouse (which Jamie loving refers to as the Wal-mart of steakhouses) with the cheesy "meals with alcohol flavors" theme a la Chili's based on their online menu.

I was wrong and I'm happy for it. The atmosphere was way nicer than I thought - just a small step below Riverburch caliber - and the food was delicious. No nutrition information posted online, which is about the only thing that disappointed me. Definitely a new one to add to our rotation.

Better yet, I am thinking of dishing up a new challenge for me and the hubby. Rather than rotate through our standard four (maybe now five), I am thinking that as our time may end here in Winston, we need to step up our dining experiences. I found this list on the WFU student homepage. From my best guess, it looks like there are close to 300 restaurants on there. Think we could knock them all off? We better get hungry...

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Only Constant is Change

The interview invitations have started rolling in - four, so far. It is hard to believe just a mere 2 1/2 years ago I was summoning up my "here we go" courage to move back down to Winston... and now I'm sad at the possibility of leaving! But, the possibilities are extremely open right now and the prospect of being somewhere else for a few years holds taps into my adventure-y side. After all, July marked one year in the same residence. That's a record I hadn't tapped since 2002. Woohoo, stability.

Speaking of staying home... for the first time months (it feels like), we are staying home this weekend. Sigh, glorious sigh. There's lemon square baking in the oven, our neighbors are coming up in 20 minutes for bbq chicken and Matt's taking a nap while I blog. THIS is what a relaxing weekend is all about.

A proper blogging of all summer events would have been ideal (since I do imagine this to be my one day digital scrapbook*), but a quick list/recap will suffice. In backwards order until I tire out:
  • 9/26-9/28: Rochester, NY for Fred & Michelle's Wedding
  • 9/19-9/20: Home but ran Salem Lake 10k & did a YMCA talk, Matt on call Saturday
  • 9/12-9/14: Matt on call Friday, dinner party with med school gang and a baby shower for Wake co-worker
  • 9/6-9/8: DC for Jen & Ryan's Wedding
  • 8/29-9/1: 3rd Year Party
  • 8/22-8/23: Cinema Under the Stars
  • 8/15-8/17: (Ok I lied. We took a breather this weekend.)
  • 8/8-8/10: Out in Charlotte with sis, sis-in-law and boyfriend of sis; home to Lincolnton the next day for an anniversary dinner (ours!)
  • 8/1-8/3: Erie, PA for Shelby & Brad's wedding
  • 7/25-7/27: Toronto, ON via Rochester, NY (where we stayed all week)
  • 7/18-7/20: Matt on "mancation" at the beach, Jamie and I ran Beat the Heat 5k
  • 7/11-7/13: Down to Lake Hickory to hang out with the Wards' and fancypants 4th Year Dinner at Old Towne Country Club
  • 7/4-7/6: 4th of July @ Warthogs Game
  • 6/27-6/29: Another breather weekend. Probably reloading groceries!
  • 6/20-6/22: up to mountain house with Zac & Jamie
  • 6/13-6/15: NYC for Shelby's Bachlorette Party
  • 6/6-6/8: Cookout party @ our house
  • 5/30-6/1: Raleigh, NC: Emily & Tim's Wedding
  • 5/23-5/25: Cherokee Lake, TN with Zac & Jamie
  • 5/15-5/17: Mom visiting for Katie's Masters' graduation and my birthday
  • 5/9-5/11: Saunders cookout
  • 5/2-5/4: Race for the Cure and Forseys host Cuatro de Mayo party
  • 4/25-4/27: Tampa, FL for Emily's bachlorette party
  • 4/17-4/19: Myrtle Beach, SC with fam and back to Lincolnton on Saturday for Adria's wedding
  • 4/11-4/13: Myrtle Beach, SC with fam
  • 4/4-4/6: Washington, DC for ipec graduation weekend

Wow. And I wonder sometimes why it seems like it's been weeks since I've done any laundry....