Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why I Loathe and Love My Job

Why I Loathe My Job...

About a month ago, I mentioned a patient of mine from work who wasn't doing so well.  On Tuesday morning, my little friend Carter passed away at his home, in his bed, with his Mommy and Daddy holding his hands.  He was such a special child and his family is just as amazing.  I'll be going to his funeral tomorrow night with the girls from work.  Pray for strength for the family.  If you'd like to know more about Carter's amazing little life, you can read his story on CaringBridge.

Why I Love My Job...

No words needed.  :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Living Room, Tomato Plants, and Runaway Horses

We've had a lot going on in the last two weeks and I can't believe we haven't put up any new posts!

Let's see...weekend before last we stayed home and had every intention to finish painting.  Well, the best laid plans....so obviously we didn't get any of that done!  But, we did get a few things done we'd been talking about for a while. 

We planted two tomato plants!  I'm actually pretty excited about this...I've only been saying I wanted to grow tomatoes for about 5 years now so I suppose it was about time we actually checked that off the list!  Many thanks to Cindy for all the info on the tricks of the trade.  :-)  We planted two different types...Celebrity (which apparently are the most popular) and Big Beef (becuase they are the most disease resistant, and they have a fun name).  So hopefully they will flourish and we'll have lots of big, juicy tomatoes to get us through the summer.

Celebrity on the left, Big Beef on the right.

We also rearranged the living room a bit.  I hate our couches....just really hate them.  We've had them for about 4 years or so (I bought them from a friend in college) and they're just past their best days.  The cushions are flat and they are incredibly uncomfortable.  So, because buying new couches right now isn't on the list for a variety of reasons, I thought that maybe moving them around a bit would help.  After a few different positions, I think we found the best spot for them.  We went to Target and bought some new throw pillows and an area rug, and I think that should last us until we're ready for new couches at some point.  :-)

I registered for my next two classes, so hopefully I am still on track to apply to dental hygiene school in February.  I am taking Anatomy & Physiology II online this summer (so I'll have to be really good about reading my book) and Microbiology online in the fall with an on-campus lab one night a week (I'm not so sure I even know what Micro entails)...so keep your fingers crossed I do OK in those!  I am kicking some serious Math behind this semester.  My last class is this week, and the final exam is next week.  But, I don't have to take the final because I have a 101 in the class.  Kudos to me.  :-)

Saturday was fun fun fun!  We went with some friends to the Queen's Cup Steeplechase horse race.  It's in Wesley Chapel, NC which is about half an hour or so from our house.  There were 12 of us who took a 15 passenger van out to the race.  We spent the day enjoying good food, cool beverages, and great friends.  It rained a little in the afternoon, but we didn't let that spoil our time!  One fun little highlight...one of the horses decided he'd had enough of all the running around in circles business and took a little detour.  Right off the track, out into the crowd.  Poor guy was a little spooked, and it took two ATVs and another horse to get him back to the track.  Quite the exctitement.  After the race they had a fun little party at the main tent.  A great band was playing called KingDaddy, and they played some really fun oldies and beach music.  They had free food catered and a cash bar that served....Sweetwater Blue!  Don't know if you've ever heard me talk about my favorite restaurant/bar in Atlanta, but it was the place that introduced me to my favorite beer...Sweetwater Blue.  Sweetwater is a Georgia brewing company, and Blue is a blueberry flavored beer.  Yum yum.  But...you can't find it anywhere north of Georgia!  Apparently they are branching out now so that was a fun surprise.  After the race we took the van back into town, regrouped, and then actually made it out afterwards for some dinner.  Later in the evening we all went to this bar called Jeff's Bucket Shop.  It is a tiny little hole in the wall...but they have karaoke!  Barrett and I sang "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by the Darkness (our entrance song at our wedding reception), I sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" with two other friends, and we got the whole bar in on a rendition of "Don't Stop Believing."  All in all, a successful night!  :-)  Enjoy the pictures below.

My hat.

View from our tailgate spot.

Watching a race.

All the girls.

All the boys.

And...they're off!

Rain won't stop our fun!

Ladder Golf in the Rain

The afterparty.

Sweet surprise.

Just in case you need it...The "Ladies Necessary"
Yes, that's the bathroom.

This would be the Runaway Horse.
Get back on the track Number 3.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love :-)

This week is nothing special.  Just work.  Woo Hoo.  This weekend is kind of sad too...Barrett has to work on Saturday, so that kind of eliminated too much fun,  BUT...we vow to paint this weekend.  Who's with us?  :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy Busy!

The last week has been very busy here...or at least it seems that way!

Tuesday night I had dinner and drinks with my friend Courtney.  We went to this great little place near our house called D'vine Wine Cafe.  They have a yummy little tapas menu, a huge wine list, and comfy outdoor seating.  I'd never been before, but will most definitely be back!  Apparently they have live music three nights a week (never with a cover charge) and half price wine on Thursdays.  Plus, now that the weather is so awesome, it will be a nice place to sit outside and enjoy the warmth.  Poor Barrett had to fend for himself...but I think he secretly enjoyed being able to lounge around and watch Sports Center with no complaints. :-)

Wednesday I had class...Test number 4.  It was open book and open note, so I think I did fine.  :-)  We made our Thursday new meal on Wednesday becuase we had plans for Thursday night.  I mentioned last week that I had gotten a new cookbook, so we were eager to try out something to see if it was worth buying!  I think it will definitely prove to be well worth it!  We made yummy inside out cheeseburgers that we would happily make again!


8 ounces raw, extra lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
dash of salt
dash black pepper
2 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese

-Combine all ingredients except cheese in a bowl.
-Add as much salt and pepper as you like.
-Knead mixture by hand until integrated.
-Form into a ball, and using your thumb, make a large, hollow indentation in the ball. (past the center but not all the way through)
-Fill the hole with cheese and squeeze the meat to seal, making sure no cheese is exposed.
-Flatten slightly into a thick patty.
-Can be grilled or cooked in a skillet/griddle pan. 
-Don't flatten with a spatula or your cheese may ooze out!

**This recipe yields two burgers.**

Best part - one burger is only 179 calories!  :-) 

Thursday night we had a long over due dinner with Jeff and Cindy (Barrett's dad and stepmom) out at their place.  They have this really great, big yard with lots of plants, flowers, and birds.  We even saw four deer out in the backyard before dinner!  Cindy made a great dinner and we were able to catch up on each others lives.  Everytime we get together we have a really nice time and are looking forward to doing it again soon.

Friday night we went to a housewarming party for my friend Angela.  She just moved into a cute little condo uptown.  We had a ton of fun!  I just love hanging out with the girls from work!  :-) 

Saturday brought beautiful weather back to town and Barrett and I spent some time out on the back deck reading with Buddy.  Well, Buddy slept mostly, but you get the picture.  :-)  Saturday night Barrett went to the Bobcats game and the accompanying bar crawl.  The Bobcats have made it to the NBA playoffs this year, so it was a big game.  They won and a good time was had by all.

Sunday we were completely lazy and got zero done around the house.  Oh well...sometimes you just need days like that!  We made a second yummy new meal (I know...two in one week....impressed, huh?) that we will definitely be having again and recommend highly!


1 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp brown sugar (not packed)
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
Optional: Crushed red pepper

-Place all ingredients except chicken in crock pot.
-Stir until combined.
-Add chicken and coat well with sauce.
-Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours, until chicken is fully cooked.
-Remove all chicken and place in bowl.
-Shred each piece using two forks.
-Return shredded chicken to crock pot and cix well with suace.

**Makes about 6 1/2 cup servings.**

So, we're getting this week started out on a good foot and are eagerly looking forward to a nice weekend.  This weekend, we vow to get more painting done.  We've got a long way to go!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Last Week

Wow...what a week it's been!  Work for me has been very crazy and a little sad...One of our kiddos is not doing great.  He is three years old and was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (a nasty little cancer) about two years ago.  He's had lots of different treatments (radiation, chemo, a bone marrow transplant...) and the cancer just keeps coming back.  This week the doctors made him a DNR.  It's been really sad....one of those weeks where I think I really need to get out of this line of work...  Anywho - because of that new status, I felt weird about leaving town this weekend in case I got the phone call to come into work for the family.  So - Barrett went to Greenville to visit with Matt, Jenna, Landon, and Susan and I stayed home with Buddy.  I was sad to be here by myself for Easter weekend, but felt good about the decision to stay.  So far, no news from the hospital.  And in this case, no news is good news.  Pray for my little friend.

Barrett had a great time in Greenville with the family.  He got to play with Landon a lot and really enjoy the weather.  They went to a baseball game, played in the kiddie pool, and had a nice Easter lunch.  Wish I could have been there!! 

Landon and Uncle BB

Landon in his Easter best

Pirate Baseball

On an up note - it's been a really beautiful week in Charlotte!  We're talking 80 degrees (at least) and blue skies.  I think everone in NC has had the same weather.  It really makes you want to head to the beach!!  I sat out on the porch for a while with Buddy yesterday and today.  At one point it was so warm that Buddy actually got up, left me out there, and went inside!  I went to get a new book on Saturday and came home with two, plus a new cookbook.  I got The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.  I love Nicholas Sparks books...easy reads, sappy love stories, life lessons.  And - the movie is in theaters now, so I know I'll see it and I like to read books before I watch the movie.  I also got The Last Lecture and finished it!  If you haven't heard of it or haven't seen the TV specials...you should really You Tube it.  Or better yet - read it!  It's the story of a professor from Carnegie Mellon who is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  He's given about 6 months to live and in that time, he is asked to give a "Last Lecture" at the university.  Great story...

And - the new cookbook I got was a Hungry Girl cookbook.  I just love Hungry Girl.  I subscribe to her weekly emails.  She comes up with great tips and recipes - all Weight Watchers friendly!  So, we can make anything out of this cookbook, and I don't have to worry about it being 1000 calories!  :-)

Speaking of recipes, this week's Tasty Thursday Treat was VERY tasty!  I got the recipe from my sister.  Barrett gave it a 4.5 out of 5.  :-)

South of the Border Casserole

-Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a large pot.
-Add 1 lb 93% lean ground beef. Cook and drain.
-Add 3/4 cup chopped onions. Stir until onions are soft (bout 7-8 minutes).
-Turn up heat. Add a can of whole tomatoes (chop them up a little), 2 jalepenos chopped (I used pickled but fresh would be good. They are much hotter though so be careful) and 1/2 a green pepper
-Add 2 cups of fat free sour cream, 1 Tbs of chili powder and a little salt. Stir it all together.
-Once it starts to boil, add 8oz of pasta.
-Lower heat and cover. Stir every five minutes for 25 minutes or until noodles are soft.

Um...yum.  Really tasty, a little spicy, and very filling.

Another fun factoid - my mom and stepdad are moving back to NC!  They've been in Mississippi for about 3 1/2 years...and they are coming back!  My stepdad actually came back this weekend because he's starting work tomorrow.  My mom will probably be down in about 4 weeks or so.  We are excited that they'll be so much closer to us now....back in Burlington!  :-)

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Happy Easter!