Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tour of Homes!

Today I am linking up with Kelly for her Tour of Homes! For anyone reading who is not sure what that means, basically--Kelly, a girl from Arkansas I have never met but who is very popular among many women bloggers, has set up a blog link in which people can post pictures of different parts of their homes--so that we can all get ideas from each other, as well as get a little insight into what each blogger is about! I swear, the world is getting smaller, isn't it? So, with that said, here are some pics of our master bedroom!

Come on in!


Here's a general view. I eventually need to get some framed pictures hung up over the bed, since we don't have a headboard. I'm thinking I'm going to do three of four interesting pictures from some of our travels--I just haven't picked out exactly the right ones yet.

Taylor's side of the bed--and our furry children's beds! You would think that the little dog would sleep in the small bed, and the big dog in the big bed. But no. It's pretty funny to see Ruby, the border collie, snug as a bug in a rug in that little dog bed.

The seating area. One day I would love to have a neutral colored chaise lounge and chair, and a cool floor lamp. One day! Pretty much all our bedroom furniture are hand-me-downs from my parents and Taylor's great aunt. We are SO thankful for their generosity! Thanks Mom and Dad--I know you're reading this! :)
Interesting tidbit--the side table was an unused item that a family friend gave us--and as you may can tell if you look closely--it doubles as a dog crate!

My bedside table. I LOVE my lamp--I got it with credit left over from our wedding gifts. Score! Items on the table are a hodgepodge--a pic of Taylor and me one summer when we were dating, my Bible, my journals, several books, ranging from popular fiction like Same Kind of Different As Me to nonfiction like A Body of Work--a book about the history of gross anatomy and the people who make it possible for students like me to learn as much as we do about the human body, by giving theirs up after they are gone. Pretty interesting stuff.

Taylor's bedside table: our couples' Bible, LOTS of books--mostly new fiction and books like the Hunting Stories one there on the right, our iHome--gotta have music! Taylor is the DJ extraordinnaire of the household for sure.



This painting on the wall is one that Taylor's mom, Lisa, painted and gave to us the night we got engaged--isn't she talented?



Here is the actual picture of us, which was taken at Taylor's fraternity formal in New Orleans. We dressed up (obviously) in Old Southern style clothing...so fun!


This painting, over by my side of the bed, was a wedding gift from one of my best friends, Haley, and her family--painted by her Dad! He is a pretty amazing man--he's a devoted and intelligent physician, but his biggest hobby is painting! You may can see that at the very bottom of the gift, it spells out the word "Grace" in tiny letters.



One of my favorite parts about our room is that it has French doors leading out to the back patio.

Ted assuming his usual position. PS--the bench is also one of my favorite things in the room! We also got it with leftover bridal credit. Score again! Our bedding, another favorite, was a very gracious gift from Taylor's parents. The silk panels I got at Tuesday Morning--they were really inexpensive, and I love them!!





Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vocal

So I've been pretty vocal this week. In several different ways. I guess it's been the theme of the week, you could say. I will keep this section of the post short, because I don't want to complain or be negative (there's enough of that in the world, right?), but I agree with my friend Sarah Denley that a certain degree of transparency is necessary on a blog if you want it to have any value.

The last week or so has been very hard, school-wise. I've had to deal with a couple of difficult situations regarding faculty members and the dental school in general. But I have been really proud of myself for sticking to my guns and for standing up for myself and for students at the school in general, and for speaking up even when it's easier to stay quiet. There are several faculty members at the dental school whose "mama didn't raise them right" as we like to say here in the south, and sometimes they enjoy making life miserable for the students. I have to make it a constant prayer that I will look at each encounter with faculty members (and others) at school as an opportunity for God's grace in my life, and not as a burden or something to be afraid of.

Ok, done! :)

On to other, more trivial news: all of my favorite shows start back this week! I have to say, last year I got wayyy too addicted to wayyy too many shows. Usually I have only one or two that I love to watch, but last year that turned into four or five! This is NOT going to work with boards coming up in November! But--that's why someone invented Tivo, right? My favorite shows, in no particular order: Biggest Loser, Glee, Brothers and Sisters, and Desperate Housewives. Also......Secret Life of the American Teenager. I know, I know, go ahead and make fun of me. Taylor does. I just can't help it--it's so addictive! I guess the whole Tivo thing really has contributed to the problem though in a way....I am (contrary to how it sounds) not that much of a TV person, but with Tivo you can watch anytime! My routine now is to record the shows I like and instead of watching a lot of TV on weeknights, watch them early on Saturday mornings while I am cleaning the house or folding laundry and Hibernating Bear (his morningtime name) is still sleeping. I love to get up early on Saturdays and get stuff done around the house, and he loves to sleep in, gloriously late. So it actually works really well! As long as I don't pull out the (very loud) vacuum cleaner. I've never discussed it with him, but that may actually be grounds for divorce.

Hope you are having a great week! I'm off to study!

PS: Good, healthy dinner tonight: I took every leftover veggie I had in the fridge, chopped them up and roasted them! I ended up with a huge plateful--it was so filling, and I felt so good about eating such a healthy dinner!
And a new snack recipe, fyi: Kale Chips! Chop up a bunch of kale, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Yum! Really good and good for you!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Early Christmas

Well, it was another successful weekend in the Grove! Though the game might not have been so successful. But we won't discuss such things. What really matters is that we show up and have a great time, right?? Because it was a morning game this time (11:30) we got to the Grove around 9 am. I decided to go with the flow of things and focus on breakfast-y foods this game. I made some yummy cheese grits, using the recipe straight off the Quaker 5-minute Grits box, with a few additions....such as almost DOUBLE the cheese! I mean, I believe that if you're gonna eat cheese grits, there should be no doubt about the strength of their cheesiness! They turned out great, minus the fact that by the time we got back from the game, they were a cheese brick! Note to self: next time bring a chafing dish and some sterno.

My next dish was a Paula Deen. Nuff said, right? At several wedding receptions in Memphis in recent months, I've had this INCREDIBLE, make you slap yo mama Brown Sugar Bacon. When I found out this weekend's game was in the am, I thought about that bacon and what a great Grove food it would make! So I googled it, and of course it was a Paula Deen recipe. Shoulda known. It's really simple though. You mix 1 tbs of dijon mustard with 1/2 cup brown sugar in a ziplock bag, and then put in 1/4 lb of bacon, tossing to coat. (Of course, you can multiply this depending on how much bacon you want to make). Then bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and voila! In the oven I used this weekend (at our dear friends' Angela and Davidson Forester's house in Oxford--they were so kind to open their doors to us for the second time this season!) the 20 minutes didn't quite do it, so I turned the oven on broil for about an additional five minutes, and that got them to just the right level of crispiness. Of course, I guess I'm leaving out the part about when I forgot that I had it on broil, and smoke poured out of the oven, and I set off the smoke alarm, waking up the hibernating bear (aka my husband) upstairs, not to mention half the neighborhood. Oopsies.

Speaking of, I will foray into a little anecdote: growing up, we lived right down the road from some good family friends. The mom of the family (a close friend of my mom's) attempted several times to bake bread, or something like that, and seriously, 4 or 5 times, the fire truck would show up, sirens and all. It got to be that every time we heard a fire truck from our house, somebody would yell, "Dea Dea's baking again!" With the track I'm on, that's probably going to be me. Sigh.
Today was our first bonus choir rehearsal for Carols by Candlelight, my church's Christmas program. (Yep, we've already started singing Christmas music--in fact, we started at the end of July!! Which is fine by me-I usually start listening to it in early October! My friends always make fun of me, so this provides the perfect outlet to listen and sing it freely sans ridicule--ha!). In the hustle and bustle of leaving for church this morning, I totally forgot about the lunch and extra rehearsal after the service today, and so when we got there I realized that I would need to get my sister, Angie, or my mom to give me a ride home. When we sat down to rehearse, Mom leaned over and said, "Hey, I will need to get Angie or you to give me a ride home because I don't have my car." I explained to her my situation, and so we figured we could both just ride with Angie. When Angie sat down a couple of minutes later, she leaned over to us and said, "Hey, will one of y'all take me home after rehearsal, because I don't have my car." Haha! We were cracking up when we realized what had happened. Thankfully, our sweet family friends Allyn and S.T. Ray live right around the corner from where we needed to go, so all five of us piled into Allyn's small SUV (with Angie's on the Ray's grandson's booster seat!) for a ride home. Pretty comical.
I am SO excited about our Christmas program this year--if you live in the Jackson area and have never attended Carols and you're interested in coming--please let me know!! You do have to have a ticket, but they are free. They only require them to ensure that everyone who comes has a seat, and for fire code purposes. Although, there usually do end up being people who have to stand! About 50,000 people attend every year over the course of the four performances. I'm not sure of the exact dates this year--it's a Saturday and Sunday in mid-December though. I'll check on that and let y'all know. It's a great Christmastime tradition to start if you've never been!

I will leave you with a few pics from last weekend's adventure--the Ole Miss vs. Tulane game in New Orleans. It was like a giant college reunion on the streets of New Orleans...so fun!

The Sledges and the Finchers after lunch at the Bourbon House:

Clay and Christina. They are getting married in March, and we are so excited for them!

Yuuuuuummmm. Better even than I remembered it.


Me and one of my BFF's from college, Audrey:



I love this guy!


Hope you are having a great Sunday night and maybe even watching the "Manning Bowl"! I am blogging and watching the game simultaneously...but about to replace both with studying! Gotta come back to real life at some point, I guess. Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grovin' It

Last weekend was the season opener for the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, and I've gotta tell ya...there's nothing like the Grove! This year, Taylor and I have officially become adults. In Mississippi, this means that you start paying for and bringing all the food for your own tent. Ha! Both my parents and Taylors' parents, since they did not go to Ole Miss, with the exception of my mom, had a tent while we were in college, but after our graduation and Taylor's brother's graduation, they disbanded their tents. I guess, since they didn't graduate from Ole Miss, we won't hold it against them. ;)
(Also, I mean nothing against Mississippi College or Mississippi State by my enthusiasm for the Grove and Ole Miss football. My brother and his wife graduated from MC (go Choctaws!) and I have plenty of dear friends who are bulldogs.)

Here's a Grove-worthy pic of Taylor, me, Travis and Caroline:

A framer for sure!

And here's one of Whitney, one of my dearest friends since, well, birth. She was fielding calls all day because SHE GOT ENGAGED THE NIGHT BEFORE!!! We are SO excited for Whitney and Graves and for what the Lord has in store for them.



And just for fun....here's a pic of my "fur baby", as I affectionately call him:


Love that little guy. We were so excited to see him and Ruby when we got home!

All of this football and groving makes my heart happy...but I must say that the biggest downside of it is that it adds to our out of town time. I feel like we are hardly ever home on the weekends this time of year! I sing in the choir at our church, and we love love love our Sunday School class, so I hate to miss it. If any of you are reading, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth! In actuality, we've only missed one Sunday so far due to football. I guess we've just been out of town a lot. Although, they do say it's like a religion in the South...maybe this is why! :)

Hope you (and your team!) are doing well! Go Rebels...beat Tulane!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finishing Up DC

On Tuesday of the trip, Taylor and I headed out to the Holocaust Museum after his morning meetings. If you have never been , try to make it a point to visit this museum. It is a hard thing to see, but, I believe, a necessary one if you have the means. The museum does an amazing job of chronicling Hiter’s rise to power, and essentially answering perhaps the biggest question that is begged of the events of and those leading up to the Holocaust: “HOW could this have happened?!” Next we walked over to the National Museum of American History, where we saw the actual Star Spangled Banner, the one that inspired the penning of our national anthem. It was tattered and torn from the battle, but beautiful still.

On Wednesday we spent the ENTIRE morning at the Newseum, and I still could have stayed longer. Highlights included the 9/11 exhibit, the Katrina exhibit, the Spy exhibit (all about the FBI, J Edgar Hoover, and how they solve cases such as that of the Mississippi Burning, the Unibomber, and the DC Sniper), and most of all, the Pulitzer Prize winning photos from the last 50 years. Then on to the National Archives where we viewed the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It blows my mind that we still have these original documents, and in such good condition. Then we jetted over to the National Museum of Natrual History, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. Whew! It was a loooong day, but SO worth it! Here are a few final pics. If anyone is still reading, I know you are probably tired of all the details, but I just want to chronicle all this so I can look back on it one day and remember the trip!


The Washington Monument, taken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:





Taylor and me on the roof of the Newseum, with Pennsylvania Avenue in the background. They call it "America's Main Street":




Thought this was a really cool pic. Thinking about including it in a wall of framed photos that I'm planning for my dining room. Thoughts or opinions, anyone? Maybe I like it too much. Be honest! This was taken at the WW II memorial, and that's the Lincoln Memorial in the background:






At the WWII memorial:

Julia Child's kitchen!!!:









Taylor's name has been temporarily changed to "Goofy", for reasons depicted here:






He said the walrus made him feel small.



I love my funny honey! :) Anyway--this post won't go up until Friday if I can figure out how to do a timed post...but as of right now, I am watching the Saints/Vikings game....so WHO DAT!! Tomorrow we are headed to the Big Easy for the Ole Miss vs. Tulane game this weekend. Can't wait to eat some beignets and feel the beat of the city! Hope your weekend is a great one!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A More Perfect Union

Can you name the five freedoms we are afforded by the first amendment? After our trip to DC, I have been thinking a lot about how great our country really is. It is not perfect by any means, but if you sit down and give some real thought to the freedoms we have been afforded, as a gift of our founding fathers' wisdom and the sweat and bloodshed of many Americans before us, it is pretty incredible to behold. You and I can go out and make anything of ourselves. We can start our own business and contribute to the economy. We can work in and contribute to the industry of our choosing. We can get as much education as our little hearts desire. We can push ourselves athletically or intellectually to the very top of our game. Our possibilities, as Americans, are endless!

Can you imagine if our voices were squelched? Can you imagine if you didn't have the right to speak your mind, to any and every person, no matter their status? If you were punished for doing so? You can write a letter to or call your local representatives and senators, your state representatives and senators, even the President of the United States! The system is not perfect, and it may take awhile, but our voices, especially when they are collective, are heard! Can you imagine if someone told you when, where, and on what topic or from what viewpoint you were allowed to speak?

Can you imagine if you were not allowed to drive each Sunday morning or Wednesday night, or on whichever day you meet, to your chosen place of worship, and you were not allowed to freely worship as you choose? There are so many countries in which Christians are persecuted and forced to meet in secret to worship Christ. I so often take for granted my freedom to praise. I should sing and worship all the louder because I can do it in full freedom! As a Christian in the US, I should be singing from the rooftops, simply because I can!



Can you imagine if we did not have access to real and real-time information about the world around us? Can you imagine if our government kept all important information behind closed doors and never granted access to the public? What an environment of secrecy, power-hunger, and ill-fated decisions that would create. I am so thankful that I can wake up every morning, turn on my local news channel and then see Meredith Viera's smiling face on The Today Show briefing me with all the news of the day.


What if our country outlawed large gatherings of people? What if churches couldn't meet, or people couldn't gather together for causes, be they political, service-oriented, or protest. I can't imagine.



And what if those in charge of our nation informed us that we had no right to speak our minds as a people, as a citizenry, to change our home for the better and the greater good? What if picket lines were outlawed and you were disallowed from voicing your beliefs about abortion, or gay rights, or political candidates you support?
OH...wait. Ultimately, WE are the ones in charge. This is the beauty of the United States of America. Our officials are elected, our freedoms are many, and our futures are wide open for our own choosing.
We should be very thankful, and I believe, we should be active in the political process so that these freedoms and others stay intact. Of course, you are free to abstain, as well. :)

*photos are some of the ones I took at the Newseum in DC

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We the People


Last week Taylor and I had the privilege of spending several days in our nation's capitol while we were on a business trip with his company. He got lots of work/continuing education done, but we had THE best time seeing as much as we could possibly pack in to 4 days!

Our first fun stop after the flight in was a restaurant called the Old Ebbitt Grille, which is actually the oldest restaurant in DC. Here's a pic of us with our friends Charles and Katy. Charles and Taylor work together, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know these two. *Fun fact*: the walrus and antelope mounts behind us on the wall were animals taken by Teddy Roosevelt!



Then we headed to the DC Nationals baseball game. I love professional baseball! I decided that we pretty much couldn't get any more American than watching a professional baseball game in Washington, D.C.! Between two of the innings at the Nationals' games, they do what they like the call the "Presidential race": basically these giant mascot-like bobble-headed Presidents, including George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson all raced around the perimeter of the field. Pretty funny. Taylor, me, and good ole Teddy:



On Monday after Taylor's morning meetings, we headed to the Library of Congress and saw Thomas Jefferson's personal library. I thought this pic was pretty cool with the quote near the top and the books shelved behind it:




Then we moved on to the Capitol and the Washington Monument, followed by the National Air and Space Museum. One of the highlights for me was seeing the Wright Brothers' exhibit, complete with their original planes and extensive biographies of each brother as well as their family. I wish I could bring them back to life for a day and take them to an airport and let them look around. They'd be so proud! Good ole' Wilbur and Orville:


That night, after the welcome dinner with the company, we headed to a nearby restaurant with some friends to hang out. The setup was pretty impressive--it was right on the river, and there were steps leading down to a common area, with restaurants on the level above on either side, all with balconies. Apparently on Sunday nights the tradition in that area is to set up a giant projector screen and play an outdoor movie! Spiderman was playing when we got out on the balcony. It's sort of hard to visualize, so here's a pic:

We were hanging out on the balcony you can see on the left. Here's a pic of our sweet new friends, Katy and Charles:

And one of us:

If I put everything from the whole trip into this one post, it would be a mile long, so I am going to break it up and hopefully post the rest tomorrow! We got back from this trip last Thursday, and then turned right back around on Friday and headed up to Oxford for opening football weekend! We just got back home a couple of hours ago, so I am pretty beat. If you pay any attention at all to college football, you know how horrible things turned out for us yesterday in our game against Jacksonville State. But, as we Rebels like to say--we may not win every game, but we ain't never lost a party!! Better luck next time, Rebels!