Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Traditions

I have been wanting to do this post for a while but have been too busy fighting the masses at Target and other similar institutions for the last several days!! But now, finally, on Christmas Eve--the tree is trimmed, the presents are wrapped, the cookies are made, and there is time to sit, reflect on the meaning of tomorrow, and be with precious family. And write a blog post. :)

Disclaimer: my family is a big bunch of nutcases. And I say that with love in my heart. But we are! For example, one beloved Christmas tradition is, right after we bless the meal, my Uncle Barry does what we call the "hog call." He clasps his hands together over his mouth and starts making the most lifelike pig snorting sound I've ever heard! Like a hog coming to the trough for his slop. Apparently this is to encourage everyone to get their plates and eat up?! So strange. We love it. Don't judge.

Another one of my very favorite traditions: each time my ENTIRE family is together, which really only happens every few years, because usually someone is missing because of being at the other in-laws' house, having an out-of-town Christmas, etc--we get out the video camera and do what we call "Roll Call". Everyone in the family lines up, oldest to youngest, and takes their turn in front of the camera. Each person says their name, where they live and/or go to school, and what they want for Christmas. It's one of my very favorite traditions because we can look back over the years and see how people have grown and changed, and how our family has grown. I especially love looking back at the years before I was born and seeing my brother, sister, and cousins when they were young!

Another favorite: participating in Carols by Candlelight, my church's Christmas program. I have been involved in it in many different ways--cast in the drama as a king's attendant, a villager, and one year as Mary, children's ensembles, and now the adult choir. I love being a part of a music ministry, especially at Christmastime. I feel truly close to the Lord when I'm singing!

I didn't really grow up with a Christmas Eve tradition besides going to the Christmas Eve service, so it worked out perfectly that each year Taylor's family cooks gumbo and opens presents on Christmas Eve. They have been so kind to include my parents in it too, since my sister and brother each have Christmas Eve traditions with their in-laws.

Taylor and I discussed the other day what traditions we want to implement in our little family. First of all, we want to make sure we always read the Christmas story (maybe varying each year which of the 4 gospels we read from) on Christmas morning. Also, on Christmas morning we want to cook grits and grillades!! For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a traditional New Orleans brunch food consisting of beef or pork slow cooked with vegetables and served over grits. Mmmmm. Since most of Taylor's family is originally from Louisiana (my dad was born there too, actually), we thought this would be a fun tradition to incorporate!

Mmm yummygoodness in a bowl.

We are still thinking on the others. Of course we want to always take a night to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. (Although we haven't done that yet this year! I guess we'd better hop to it tonight!)

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that you enjoy many traditions together with your family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering....

Since I feel certain that you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats, wondering how my gingerbread men/women/Christmas trees turned out.....they were great!! Um...not so much, necessarily, gingerbread though. They kind of had more of a scone-ish taste. I call it sorta like a "coffee cookie"--which to me means a cookie that is sweet but not too sweet, that makes you crave a big cup of coffee when you eat it. It is also great for dunking into said coffee.

I decorated these, using icing and green sparkling sugar....

And Taylor decorated these!! Isn't the one with the necktie so cute? I also think the one with the striped boxers is pretty adorable. Not sure why he looks so surprised...maybe because we caught him in his boxers??

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cheer!

A few of my blog friends have been doing this Christmas tour of homes to journal their Christmas decorations and to share ideas with other people, so I decided to jump in. Disclaimer: I am not, repeat NOT, good at decorating. I welcome any and all suggestions. I am a huge HGTV fan, so I watch that in my downtime and try to learn, but I'm flailing a bit. Ah well. I do love the idea of a good "space", and I always want my home to be a welcoming and nurturing place--but that is the biggest goal. If my decorating style is a bit off,--well, life goes on.

So here are some pics I took this morning (I have the morning off!!! Rare. Appreciated. Still in my robe!)
Here's our mantle. I love all of our stockings. Taylor's great grandmother made his, when he was a baby I think. My mom had an elderly lady who was an excellent seamstress and crocheter (?? ha probably not a word) make our family's stockings when I was a baby. Mine is soft and has a Santa face on the front with a soft fuzzy beard. And then the two in the middle--for our two little darlins (a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix and a border collie mix)--are from Petsmart. :) I've got to get a picture of Teddy (the little one) to put in the little slot on the front of his stocking. This picture is not of the best quality, but I have some antler sheds that Taylor picked up in the woods intertwined with some sparkly green and gold twine with little balls on it. The keepsake box in the middle was a wedding gift, and then there are some muted red Christmas balls interspersed.

Our kitchen table. Simple but cute! The pottery piece here was also a wedding gift.

The table in our kitchen with the nativity scene.

I borrowed this idea from my sister--she always has great simple ideas for making things look festive, and she doesn't even try! It comes naturally to her I think. Anyway--just take some pretty ribbon and tie Christmas balls to your chandelier!

Our tree! Our new house has tall ceilings, so we haven't put the topper on yet--a giant gold star that is lit from the inside. We've got to borrow a ladder at some point in the next few days! I love the colored lights--I know the white ones are pretty and a little more chic, but I am a tried and true colored lights girl!

My McCarty pottery shell--also a wedding gift (sensing a pattern here?)--filled with little Christmas balls. Simple but I love it!

Poinsettia on the other end table. I just hope I can keep it alive for two more weeks. My thumb isn't green or even's more like black. I'm trying though!

Table with our two nutcrackers on it that Taylor's mom, Lisa, gave us for Christmas last year.

Ok so not sure what happened with the arrangement of these pics, but I'm just gonna go with it. I love the nutcracker on the left--he is a fisherman! He has a string of fish in his left hand and a basket for them around his waist.

This ornament is one of several that we have that I collect. I try to get one each year at Mistletoe Marketplace, a Christmas tradition in my hometown! We now have one each for Taylor and me (below), one for our first Christmas together, one for our engagement, and one for our new home!

Taylor's is the businessman above--and I'm the dentist below! I love my little female dentist! I was so surprised that the company made one. They each have our names on the back.

And last but not least--my FAVORITE Christmas thing of all (he's gonna kill me for putting this on the blog....)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So I am making my maiden voyage into gingerbreading, dear friends. Ginger, check. Sugar, check. Flour, check. Other random things you need to make gingerbread, check. Should be studying and not covering myself in flour for fun, check.

My dough is the consistency of brownie batter. This could be a problem. Stay tuned for further updates on this exciting journey into the world of baking!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She Got It Honest

So my sweet half real-life, half blog friend Sarah Denley tagged me for this Honest Scrap post, in which you basically just post 10 things about your life, or thoughts, etc, that are just plain honest.

Rules for the award:
1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it.
2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

I am desperately in need of a break from studying/scheduling patients/being stressed in general right now, so I think this short little creative outlet is exactly what I need. Ok, this first one may come as a shock to some of you, so get ready…

1. I am not a Republican. (GASP!) Wait, wait, before you run, hide, and shun me forever, hear me out. I am a moderate. I am morally conservative—ie, I detest the practice of abortion and what it entails, etc—this is a biggie. I feel deeply for the girl who may be pregnant due to rape, or who may be facing certain death if she carries her baby to term. I pray for that person, encourage them that the Lord has a plan for their life, and for that of their child, and that the Lord does not make mistakes. Her baby is NOT a mistake. HOWEVER—I think that at those encouragements, those prayers, and those acknowledgements of the Lord’s sovereignty—my role in that woman’s decision ends. It is her decision, and her life. Due to the freedoms that our country affords and stands for, I don’t think that I can tell her what she has to do. She is the only one who can make that decision. It is my job as a Christian to love her, counsel her, and do my best to help her make the right decision.

I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman only. However, I have several very dear friends who happen to be gay. They are just people, just like everyone else. While that’s not the lifestyle I choose, and I don’t think it’s what God originally intended, I think that the consequences of what happened in the Garden of Eden leave things in a state that is not exactly jet black and stark white. But I do know that the Lord is sovereign over everything. I could go into a MUCH longer discussion here, because I have some very definite opinions on the subject. (They may not be what you’d think- -please email me or comment if you’re interested, and I’ll be glad to respond.)

Also, I believe that in many instances the Democratic party can be the more compassionate one when it comes to the nitty gritty of what Christ calls us to do—help the poor, give to the needy, take in the orphans and the widows. “Oh wait”, we may say about taxes, “but that’s almost 50% of my income!! Why should I allow the government to take it from me!?” Much of this money goes to provide for those who are less fortunate than I am. I am ok with this.

Obviously the most important thing here is leadership. Thus, I vote for the candidate. In my criteria, he or she must be a Christian, and a person of integrity who “cuts the crap” as we say, and makes sure that our tax dollars are used in the most effective way. Among many other things of course.

Bottom line, you can argue politics all day, and I have no desire to do that. I just felt the need to get that off my chest to the blog world for some reason, and also to say that it is not about tolerance for me, but rather, respect. Also--I am always open to discussion!

2. I am seriously obsessed with my dog. Possibly unhealthily so. He is the cutest little guy you will ever see. He was my wedding gift from Taylor, and he is so snuggly! Taylor said he gave him to me to ward off my “mommy instinct” for a while, and that if I have a little dog to take care of, maybe it will help keep the baby blues away! Ha! Lord willing, we’d like for me to be out of school and work for at least a year before we have kids. (I think Taylor’s plan is working.)

3. Speaking of being a mom—I have to admit, I have felt a little tiny twinge of jealousy of my friends and blog friends who have little babies, and who are stay-at-home moms. (To those of you who are doing this—I think that is wonderful! What an amazing, difficult, and wonderful job to have!). I know myself though—and I know that if I did not do something outside the home as well as inside, I would go crazy. I am too high strung and high powered not to. I am super-excited about being a dentist, because (besides the fact that I love what I do) I feel like I will be able to work anywhere from 2-4 days a week and provide a healthy supplement to our income, while still being able to spend a large amount of time home with our kids.

4. I LOVE treating my patients. I love how happy a sweet patient was a couple of weeks ago when I gave him the dentures I had made for him. He didn’t have any teeth…and then all of a sudden he did! I am so thankful that the Lord has given me this opportunity to be a dentist, so that I can help people in this way and others, as well as develop lasting relationships with my patients.

5. I am really nervous about the business aspect of running a dental practice. I know that this is completely normal, but it’s still scary! I am so excited that, Lord willing, I will be going into practice with my dad and he can show me the ropes of business ownership as well as maintaining a thriving practice.

6. I think my husband is the funniest person in the world. Better put, just the best person in general! He is so selfless, so much fun to be around, and he makes me laugh every single day. I can say without a doubt that he is the strong Christ-like leader of our home that I always prayed for!

7. If I could make any food be calorie-free, it would be ice cream. Any kind of ice cream. Every kind of ice cream. It’s like Bubba from Forrest Gump, but with ice cream. Ice cream in a cone, ice cream in a cup, ice cream cake, ice cream soda, ice cream sandwich…

8. When I was in the 5th grade, I was in a reading contest with one of my best friends to get the most points for the year in our reading program at my elementary school. I had this old armchair that was wedged between my closet door and the end of my bed that had a reading lamp clipped to it. I was so hardcore that I would stay up til midnight reading, and then I would set my alarm for 3 am to get up and read. I did this for MONTHS. How crazy is that!! I was in the FIFTH grade! I’m really not that competitive of a person…maybe all my competitiveness was spent after that!

9. Honestly, I am running out of honest things to say…I may have to start making stuff up here in a minute. I think my brain just hit a wall. Too…much…studying…

10. I am SO excited that it is Christmastime! I love my family so very much—I am blessed with a big extended family (as is Taylor), and we are all pretty close, so I love spending time with everyone, just hanging out, watching Christmas movies, etc. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Christmas Vacation? I think I watch it a minimum of 5 times over the holiday season. I’ve already chalked up one viewing, a couple of weeks ago. And ok, maybe it is playing right now too...

I am going to tag only five people for this award: Lane , Marley, Audrey, Emily, and my brother, Neil. I’m not sure if any of them will do it, simply because their blogs aren’t necessarily the kind that accommodate these types of surveys/awards. Speaking of—I am trying to find my place in this big blog world. Some blogs are written at minimum, simply as an update for close family and friends. Some are much more active, and are a creative outlet. Some are to reach out to others and meet new people, “blog friends”. I’m not sure where I fit. Somewhere in the middle, I guess! Who says there has to be a label on everything, anyway?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

So--this Thanksgiving came with a big first for me--the first time to host my entire family for a holiday! It was so much fun! There are around 30+ of us, so I thought it might be stressful, but it really wasn't. In fact, it was a great impetus to get those last few boxes unpacked that have been nagging at the back of my mind. (Ok, so maybe the very last few we just shoved into a closet at the last minute, but hey, we're almost done! Really!).

I was so excited because my mom's sweet friends, Jen and Pam, came over the day before Thanksgiving, while I was gone to school, and basically rearranged my house--mostly the den/living room. Jen has a home staging business with her sister-in-law and is really great at what she does, and Pam is just plain talented--I told her she should start a business too! I love arranging things in my house, but I just don't have a knack for it like these ladies do. So they sweetly volunteered to come help me, since they knew I was having all these people over for the first time. It made me feel so proud of our home!

But now...on the the Christmas decorations!! And I'm all on my own for this one. Minus the tree of course--Taylor will have to help me on that one. But I think this weekend while he's gone I am going to put out all the other Christmas things. Speaking of this, I will go ahead and tell you the reason why Taylor is gone this weekend. Ok--so I knew when I married into this family that the "menfolk" have a DEEP-rooted hunting tradition. Which I love, really I do. I think it's wonderful that they are so close to each other, and much of it is because of the time they spend together, man-to-man, down at the deer camp. I love that Taylor knows so much about the outdoors, and about wildlife, and that he respects it. I love that he will one day teach our children, Lord willing, about these things as well. But there are downsides. Like, for example, the weekend after Thanksgiving. At about 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day, all the Sledge guys load up in their trucks and head down to the deercamp, taking all the leftovers with them. Leaving us poor women to cry into our pumpkin pie. "Hunting widows", we call ourselves. And yes, I know we are not alone. Women all over the south (and other places, I'm sure) find themselves in the same predicament. But--even though I really miss him on the holiday weekend (and the other weekends he is up at the camp), I do my best to be positive about it--because he loves it so much! And because it is really a wonderful thing--I just have to get past my bit of selfishness over wanting him to be around all the time! The poor guy deserves a break. And he is so wonderful about making sure everything is taken care of at the house before he heads out of town. When all of the other guys in his family left, he came back to the house with me to help clean up and make sure everything was in order.

I will leave you with a few pics of our families. I was so excited that all my cousins were here so we could have a pic that included almost everyone!

Here are all the first cousins!

my bro and sis

taylor and me

Since Taylor's parents live right around the corner from our new house, we were able to head to his house for an hour or two while my sister held down the fort at our house. Here are a couple of pics from his house:

Taylor and his grandfather, C.B.

Taylor's parents

I LOVE the Christmas/Thanksgiving season...I hope that Christmas break will hurry up and get here! I have 2 or 3 weeks of school until then. And speaking of that, I need to start studying. We have a huge test Monday. Bummer, huh? Who gives a test the Monday after Thanksgiving?! Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Obituaries are funny things. How do you sum up a person's life in 200 words or less? (At $1.10 per word, no less). How do you sum up their joys, trials, tribulations, jokes, sayings, hugs, secret thoughts? And those not-so secret. It seems wrong to reduce a life fully lived to 200 words. I guess you just have to understand that those words you write are simply the tip of the iceburg, and that a LOT of digging must be done if you want to begin to see the whole.

My grandmother passed away Friday afternoon. She was a wonderful lady, who left a widespread legacy of love, laughter and stories for her family to remember her by. She was a Christian, and I know that right now she is whole and happy and healthy and with the Lord right now, enjoying the splendors of the heaven that he has created for us. If we can recognize our loved ones in heaven, and I think that we will, at least in some sense, then she is head-over-heels in happiness right now because she is with the husband that she lost some 40 years ago, the sister she lost 20 years ago, and the son she lost a few short months ago. Her mind is sharp and clear, and she is no longer plagued by the cloudiness that had filled it over the last few years. She is probably singing in that rich practically baritone voice of hers, making some harmonies that our ears can't even conceive of here on this broken earth.

I will miss my Mimi very much. It hasn't even really hit me yet that she isn't here anymore. But I am so thankful for the resurrected body that she is living in now.

If you need any good reading on heaven, I would recommend Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven. (Creative title, huh?) I have been (providentially) reading that over the last several weeks, and it has helped me to be more joyful about this situation than I might have been otherwise. Alcorn's book is very scripturally based but appeals somewhat to the imagination too--which is what I think we have to do a little bit as humans whose minds are so small compared to that of God's. We do know for sure is that he has something planned for us that is much greater than what we can imagine.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of my sweet Mimi.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Digs

So---our old house is SOLD, and we are IN the new house!!! I am so thankful for the Lord's providence in this, and so relieved to finally be moving on with all this stuff. Our house is a disaster area right now with furniture and boxes all over the place, and the painter is there today getting started on several interior rooms--but I don't even care because I am just so happy to be there!! We are just taking it slow, trying to unpack several boxes every day. Last night was our second night there, and this morning was my first time to drive in to school from our new home. The drive is going to be an adjustment for sure! I used to leave at 7:35 or even 7:40 and get to school by 8. Now if I leave past 7:15, it's all downhill from there. Leaving 20 mins earlier is not my favorite part of the change, but it's not so bad! I will be updating more later with some pics!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Blogger!

So--I know I have been MIA--my house is a wreck from packing (who knew we had this much stuff?), and the amount of places to sit in our home has diminished from plenty to Taylor and I fighting over who gets to sit on the one cushion left. Ok, so maybe that last part is a lie--we do have one couch and one chair left. Everything has been put in storage, where it is anxiously awaiting being moved to its new home next Tuesday!! I cannot WAIT. Again, I'm not going to talk about it much now for fear of jinxing it. Ridiculous, I know. The Lord is in control of every detail of our lives, and I know that his sovereign plan will prevail in this situation as in any other. (And yet I still don't want to talk about it too much....perhaps an indication that I need to keep praying for peace and the ability to trust!)

Now for the real reason for my post: my best friend in the whole world, Emily, has started a blog! SO exciting. I'm so glad she jumped on the blog train. Her blog though, is something a little different. She has come up with a really interesting and truly different idea, I think--you should check it out. Her blog is called Grace By the Gallon. I'll let you read about it for yourself--she explains it much better than I could.

Hope all is well with you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Day in the Life

So here is a little snippet of life at the dental school.

The date for our house closing on the new house (yes, CLOSING! We're not completely home free yet, because you never know what could happen--but so far, so good--more updates later) is September 15th. I am assigned to patient screening that day, which means that I am supposed to see the patients who come to the dental school for the first time and explain to them how the dental school patient program works--that procedures cost about half of what you would pay anywhere else, but that you have to pay up front, that procedures will take longer, and that you will have to come in for multiple appointments.

So anyway--since we are closing on the house that day, I have to be there to put my John Hancock on everything alongside Taylor--which is so exciting! Our first house (the one we are in now) was only in Taylor's name because he bought it just as we were getting engaged. So it's exciting to have both our names on everything! So, all that to say--I needed to switch screening days. My friend Jason (one of Taylor's pledge brothers in KA, and a good friend of mine from college and now dental school) kindly offered to switch with me. So we went down to the 2nd floor of the dental school, where we thought you were supposed to go to switch rotation schedules. Here's how it went:

"Hey, B (really sweet lady who works at the front desk), we need to switch screening days--is this the right place to do that?"
"Oh, no, that's up on the fourth floor with Miss Jackie and Miss Yvonne."
"Oh, ok, thanks!"
Run up the two flights of stairs to the fourth floor.
"Hey, Miss Jackie! We need to switch screening days."
"Oh, no we don't do that here honey, you have to go to the 2nd floor for that."
"Ummm....we just did that, and they told us to come to you."
"Oh, ok, well you will have to go talk to Deb then."
Walk out the door, run into Deb by the elevators.
"Hey, Miss Deborah--we need to switch screening days, and we were told to come see you."
"Oh, no I don't know anything about that--you will have to go up to the 5th floor to see Anita or Natalie."
Pound up the flight of stairs to the 5th floor.
"Hey, Ms. Anita--Jason and I need to switch screening days, and we were told to come see you."
"Oh gosh, I don't really know about that, let me see if Natalie knows."
Natalie walks out of her office when she hears her name They advise us to talk to the Dean of Academic affairs. (SERIOUSLY, people.....seriously. All this "switching" would take is for someone to take 30 seconds to punch it into their keyboard on the computer schedule. NO NEED. No need.)
We walk in to Dr. Buchanan's office. The Dean. And explain our situation.
"Oh, well, you need to go see Amy on the 2nd floor, she's the only one who can take care of that."
To which I respond that Amy is out on bed rest for the next two months before she has a baby.


Finally, later yesterday afternoon, we got it worked out because the dean sent an email to a couple of professors and had one of them do it. Seriously though--unbelievable.

This is basically the daily routine of my life at this point, for some reason or another. A lesson in efficiency, friends. Take note.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kitchen Question

I am really loving these kitchen barstools from Pottery Barn--does anybody know where to get something similar to these that might be a little less expensive? I love the colors, especially of the darker ones, and I love the natural look of them.

Let me know if you can think of anything! If we get the house we are looking at, we will need a couple of these for the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

House Stuff

So--I don't want to say too much right now, because I don't want to jinx anything (not that I'm superstitious, but I still just don't want to talk about everything too much yet)--basically, we have had an offer on our house and are waiting for the home inspection to make sure that everything is a go. Since then, we have also found a house and made an offer on it--but we are still in the negotiation process, so nothing is concrete. We shall see! Just wanted to give a little update! For the few of you who read this--I haven't fallen off the face of the earth--I've just RIDICULOUSLY busy! If you have a minute, please say a prayer for us for the Lord's will to be done with all of our house stuff. Hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Bounty

The day before yesterday, I had a life changing experience. No, really. I ate one of the most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth. Had it been slaved over for hours and hours by some obscure elderly lady who had spent years honing her craft? No. Had it been masterfully and meticulously created by a highly trained chef who had studied for years at the CIA? (Culinary Institute of America, not Central Intelligence Agency). No. It was a simple, beautiful, mostly round, slightly fuzzy--peach.

Taylor's grandparents, C.B. and Evelyn, had specially ordered some from some obviously heavenly place in Alabama and had shared them with Taylor's parents. Lisa offered one to me when I was at their house on Monday, and seriously--it was the sweetest, juciest, most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth.

So--I say this to encourage everyone to enjoy the Lord's plenteous and creative providence, especially now as summer comes to a close. (Ok, so it won't come to a close in Mississippi 'til Halloween or so, but for most of the country..). Blueberries are also a summer favorite of mine. They are SO good, on pretty much everything or just all by their lonesome--and SO good for you! Enjoy!

Blueberries and Aging – “In a USDA Human Nutrition Research Center laboratory, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans. In one study, Jim Joseph, director of the neuroscience laboratory in the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (HNRC), fed blueberry extractions-the equivalent of a human eating one cup of blueberries a day-to mice and then ran them through a series of motor skills tests. He found that the blueberry-fed mice performed better than their control group counterparts in motor behavioral learning and memory, and he noticed an increase in exploratory behavior. When he examined their brains, he found a marked decrease in oxidative stress in two regions of the brain and better retention of signal-transmitting neurons compared with the control mice.“

Who doesn't need better stress management and better memory skills? Eat up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Show Us Your Life Friday--Wedding Party and Flowers

And so...I'm late again with this post! But better late than never, right? It has been a busy weekend! My sweet friends Alison and Andrew got married this weekend in a beautiful wedding in a sweet little church here in Jackson. I really am not sure if I know of two people more perfect for each other than they are. They are both going to be dentists, most likely in Oxford--so if anybody goes to the dentist in Oxford, you are going to have two wonderful additions up there to chose from!

The pic below is of me and my sweet friend Mary Catherine, just before my wedding. I included this pic because you can see a little bit of her bouquet. The bridesmaids' bouquets were one of my favorite things about my wedding. (Nope....still haven't gotten those pictures ordered yet. But the proof books are in my car and I am headed over to my parents' house as soon as I finish this post to work on it! The ones I've included here are just ones that some of my friends snapped with their cameras.) I wanted to go with more of a color scheme for the bridesmaids' bouqets than just one particular flower, so my WONDERFUL florist, Wendy Putt, and I came up with the idea of using several different types of flowers, all in the gold/orange/yellow color family and tying it all together by putting grasses over each bouquet...sounds weird but if you notice below it looks really cool. Each bouquet was a different flower--yellow/orange roses, sunflowers (my favorite flower, hands down), gerbera daisies, calla lilies...and I'm forgetting one. Oh well. My best friend, Emily, was my maid of honor, and since her favorite flowers are gerbera daisies, she had a really big bouquet of them. My sister, Angie, was my matron of honor, and to honor the fact that she's my sister (and such a wonderful one, at that), her bouquet was a mixture of all the flowers together, again with the grasses across the top. (Sorry--prob more details than you care about, but I'm rambling, might as well just go with it.)

In the pic above you can see another one of the bridesmaids' bouquets--this one was sunflowers.

And here (above) you have all the boys! Taylor had 11 groomsmen and 6 ushers, and I had 11 bridesmaids and 6 honoraries. A lot, I know! We just have so many friends who mean so much to us...honestly I would have had several more if I could have!

The pic above is really dark, but you can sort of get an idea of the bridesmaids dresses, and of my sweet flower girls' (all my nieces!) bouquets and dresses. The bridesmaids' dresses were from The Bridal Path in Jackson. I'll talk more about the flower girls' dresses in a minute. I loved their little bouquets though--they are actually little balls of flowers held by ribbon...and they have a special name which escapes me at the moment. I'm sure I'll remember as soon as I hit the "post" button! Also, another little fun fact--my nieces all went barefoot during the ceremony! I thought that would be fun for them, and cute to see their little bare feet with the trailing ribbon from the flower balls.

The pic above shows my bouquet--a mix of white roses...and some other stuff that I can't remember the name of! Terrible, I know. I'm really bad with flowers. Below is my sweet daddy holding them! The boys' boutennieres were calla lilies wrapped in the same little long grasses as the bridesmaids' bouquets.

Here are a couple of pics of some of the flowers in the sanctuary--I told you I am a sunflower girl!:

And lastly, here is a closeup of my sweet nieces, Catie, Beth, Anna, and Olivia. I have five nieces, but Dorothy was just a baby and wasn't quite ready to walk down the aisle! Of course though, she got a dress to match the big girls! A very dear friend of mine--my physics teacher from high school, actaully, who became a close friend--hand sewed these dresses as my wedding gift. Aren't they beautiful?? This picture doesn't even do them justice. I was so thankful for her kindness and the many, many hours of work she put in to create something so beautiful for these sweet girls to wear. The ribbon around the waist of each one matches the color of the bridesmaids' dresses.

And that's about all I've got for today! I've given myself a little end of summer reading challenge--I'm trying to go back and read at least a couple of the books that I read in high school and enjoyed--currently reading Shoeless Joe Jackson by W.P. Kinsella. Next is Good Ole Boy by Willie Morris. Yay for summer reading!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yummy Salad, Sweet Husband, and a Recap

I used a new salad recipe for our supper club last week, and it was delish! I will share the recipe at the bottom. But first--just want to give a shout out to my sweet husband. He cooked a REALLY tasty dinner tonight--homemade 3 cheese veggie pizzas on whole wheat flatbread with homemade tomato sauce (fresh roma tomatoes, onions, cilantro), red onion slices, bell pepper, mozz, cheddar, and feta. Are you drooling yet? Soooo good. I should have taken a picture of it because it was really pretty, and colorful too.

For the salad--don't be scared away by the coconut! You can barely taste it in this recipe--it has a really mild flavor when it's toasted. Also--a recommendation/caveat: Taylor and I both ended up with little burned spots on the end of our fingers from "candying" the almonds. I would buy already candied or spiced almonds, and it would work just as well.

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad

20 Min
10 Min
45 Min

1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar

1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried
2 pints sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup toasted flaked coconut
1/2 red onion, sliced

Combine the lime juice, honey, poppy seeds, and mustard in a small bowl; slowly whisk in the oil. Combine the almonds, salt, and sugar in a large skillet. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until almonds are light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove nuts from the skillet to cool.
Toss the spinach, strawberries, coconut, onions, and cooled almonds in a large bowl. Top with prepared dressing, and toss to coat.

And as for the recap: this summer has FLOWN by! Seriously, where has it gone? August is upon us. I feel like I have gotten a lot accomplished this summer though! Learned lots, grown lots. I did my first restorations (fillings, for you non dental people) and crowns, admitted several patients, and really began my life as a dentist (well, I'm at least on my way! Two more years of school, technically--but I really do think they're going to fly by).

Ok, so that was a very brief recap--but my computer is about to go into hibernation mode, and I am too tired to plug 'er in. So goodnight!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Show Us Your Life Friday--Show Us Your Wedding Dress

Ok, so I know I am hopping on this train a little late, and it's Sunday, not Friday--but I really like this little "button"--(is that what you call these types of things? I am still such a novice blogger)--and I loved my wedding dress, so I want to post about it!

FYI, all of these pics (minus the first one--my friend CG took it) were taken by Karla Pound. She is WONDERFUL! I highly recommend her. :)

As you can see, it was strapless, fitted through the waist, and had lace pretty much all over. It was simple and very elegantly classic (in my biased opinion!). It came from The Bridal Path in Jackson, and was the second dress I tried on. I feel like almost everyone says that the style of gown they wanted originally wasn't what they ended up getting. The same was true for me. I thought I would end up with a giant ballgown type dress, but I ended up loving this simplistic style instead. It was really comfy, for a wedding dress!
Also, I absolutely loved my veil. I loved that it didn't stick too far above my head, but just kind of streamed out from right above my hair where it was pulled up. It was cathedral length--ie REALLY long. That was my favorite thing about it. It was pretty funny though--about an hour before the wedding, I was freaking out because every time I walked more than five feet, it would pull on my hair and almost come out. I was so scatterbrained and all over the place that I didn't realize until just before the ceremony that we had forgotten to attach the middle part of the veil to the back of my dress! (That's how veils that length are supported, in case you aren't familiar--because there's no way in heck your head can support that weight!) My sweet friend Bonnie from the Bridal Path luckily was around and fixed it quickly.
Another thing I loved about my veil is that it had a blusher (the piece that goes in front, over your face). Taylor and I both loved the symbolism of being veiled from him until my dad raised the veil and presented me to him. You don't see the blusher in any of these pictures, because it's behind with the rest of the veil. I didn't have any pics with the blusher in front at my fingertips. Which leads me to...
Ok--confession. Taylor and I have been married for a year and 2 months.....and I have yet to order my wedding photos. I know, I know!'s terrible. That is my goal for this week. I have a big test on Friday, but thankfully, a smart and persuasive person in our class convinced the professor to give us a take-home.....pretty much unheard of in dental school, but sorely needed for this class/professor (it would take me a whole 'nother post to explain this guy)...anyway, I am vowing the get the pics ordered this week!! Somebody hold me to that!
And lastly, my sweet friend Carlin had her baby this last week!! Sam is doing great, but because he came a little early and is a "wimpy white boy" as the nurses called him (white males' lungs develop the most slowly of any demographic), he had to stay a few days in the hospital. I think he got to go home today--either today or tomorrow. So please say a prayer for him if you think about it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

love me some photo books

Thought this was a really cute idea from Snapfish! Wish I had time to make, all photo books from snapfish are 20% off right now! (No, they're not paying me to advertise--I just adore photo books and wanted to spread the love!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Patients. Otherwise Known as Patience.

So I pretty much have the sweetest patients in the world. One of them, an older gentleman, asked the other day if he could take Taylor and me out to lunch or dinner that day, and when I thanked him profusely but told him that we actually had plans, he forced me to take $20 dollars and put it towards our dinner!!

Another sweet patient brought me a Ole Miss fight-song-singing bottle opener at our second appointment. She is an artist who works in a lot of different media, and at our third appointment, she brought me a melted down wine glass, much like this bottle:

They can be used as cheese plates, like the one above, or spoon rests, depending on how big the bottle or glass is. My good friend Ann used these as bridesmaids gifts. I thought that was such a great and personal idea! My patient can put your name or wedding date on them too. I'm not sure of her prices, but I'm sure they're very reasonable. If you're interested, let me know, and I will give you her name and number! I think they'd be great for any occasion--birthdays, anniversaries (the couple's favorite type of wine, for example), etc.

Speaking of patients--in the last few days I have done my first fillings! The first semi-difficult one I did was on my Dad, which was kind of cool because he is a dentist, and things have sort of come full circle at this point. It was nice being able to ask his advice at different points during the procedure.

The reason for the title of this blog post: I think that dental school is the biggest teacher of patience I have ever had in my life. It's a hurry-up-and-wait atmosphere every day. The Lord is teaching me patience in a couple of different situations in my life right now: school (which will go on for the next 2 years!), as well as selling our house. It's easy in our culture to be accustomed to everything happening right when you want it, but the Lord teaches that we must depend on his timing and his sovereignty. So I am praying that I will look at all this patience-learning as an opportunity and not a frustration.

Randomly: Recipe of the Day

Blueberry Crunch

Also known as deliciousness. It is my friend Kerri's recipe--she and her husband Jonathan entertained us this weekend at their house in Brandon, and she made this for dessert. It's easy as pie. Easier, actually. Take a carton of blueberries and mix it with one can of crushed pineapple. Place into a cake pan or pyrex. Sprinkle the top liberally with yellow cake mix, until just covered. Melt a little butter and drizzle it over the top. Bake at 350 until top starts to brown, and serve with ice cream! Mmmmm delish.