Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clean Slate

There's something extremely refreshing about a brand new year. We've all indulged--at least I have--in around six weeks of cookies and casseroles and comfort. We've stayed inside, around fires and family, drinking hot beverages and watching movies. It's so interesting how the second that new year hits the calendar, I start to crave routine. And vegetables ("Thank goodness," sayeth my pants).

I certainly was not excited about getting into the swing of things back at school, after that lovely Christmas break, but, somehow--it's just good, ya know? It wouldn't be right to stay in holiday mode all the time. In fact, that's one of the reasons the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are so beautiful--they are a very special time of year that only comes around every 12 months! Something to look forward to, to re-center and ground us.

I find myself gravitating towards "resolutions", of sorts, even though I didn't really intend to make any this year. I find myself inherently and subconsciously laying out ways I can make my life better, richer, more selfless, perhaps. I'm really looking forward to a lot of things this year.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." The freshness and renewing of our lives is a Biblical concept as well. His mercies are new every morning!

This year, Lord willing, will bring many changes--one of which will be my graduation and entrance into the working world! I can't believe it has been almost four years since I started dental school--in some ways, it seems to have been an eternity; in others, the time has flown by. I also have a lot to look forward to this year. In the short term--this weekend, I'll actually be headed up to D.C. again, this time for Whitney's bachelorette party. Soon after that, I'll be taking a week from school to do my private practice practicum--I'm going to use that time to get to know the ins and outs of my dad's dental practice. And later--a big trip that I don't think I've announced on the blog yet (forgive me if I have)--Taylor and I will be going to Israel this summer!!! It is a mission trip with our church choir. We'll be visiting many of the important sites of Biblical times--Nazareth, the Mount of Olives, the Church of the Nativity (Jesus' birthplace), Bethlehem, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Jordan River. We are BEYOND excited about this opportunity to serve and to see this part of the world.

Of course, there are miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before then. I will be taking my clinical national boards the first week in March, and doing my best to finish up all my dental school requirements between now and May. It seems like May is a ways away, but I know the time will fly by. I'm thankful though, that right now I feel like I've been scrubbed fresh and I'm ready to take on the new year!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surprise!

Friday night at my house, several girls and I threw a surprise wedding shower for our friend Whitney!! We decided to do something a little different...besides it being a surprise, which is different in itself, we made it a pajama party! Everyone came in their pajamas, prepared to watch bride movies, eat popcorn and candy, and drink wine. A true girls' night in!! And I must say, it was a total success. Here's the candy and popcorn setup:

Everyone piled into the man-cave to wait for her to arrive:


Sweet girls! Sarah, Jocelyn, Ashley, and Laura:

She was so surprised!!


Yummy food table. Chicken salad bagels from Beagle Bagel (YUM!), crunchy romaine, and antioxidant fruit salad! (So easy--clementines, grapefruit sections, and pomegranate seeds, combine in a bowl--done!)
The bride and her sweet mama:

The kitchen really is the heart of the home...it's so funny! Compared to the rest of my house, there's not a lot of seating in my kitchen, and yet that's where everyone always ends up.


Opening her presents. It was an entertainment shower, which I think is one of the best kinds to have, because really anything can work as a gift--there are lots of options.

Lauren, me, and Josie. These girls are both getting married in the next few months! Lauren just got engaged over Christmas--her sweet fiance surprised her with a trip to New York and proposed. He gets a double thumbs up in my book.


Aaaand.....the best part of the night. Lauren discovered some apparently irrestible music on my ipod, set up the strobe light app on her iphone (nice), and we had an impromptu dance party. It was absolutely excellent. Check it out:


Couldnt' let Ted feel left out!



Carolyn Grace, snug as a bug in a rug in my bed! Seven girls ended up spending the night, which was so wonderful--nothing better than a spend the night party! I haven't done that in a really long time. We all got up the next morning, and with the exception of a couple who had to leave early, sat around and drank coffee and looked at old pictures til almost lunchtime.
We love you Whit--hope you had a great time!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Updates

So I have been busy on my break from school making a few little updates to our house, and I want to show y'all! We recently brought into our kitchen a church pew that was originally from Taylor's grandparents' church when they lived in Louisiana. So cool! Taylor's mom, Lisa, showed me how to sew on her sewing machine (that she got as a gift from her parents her senior year in high school!), and my Mom helped me pick out some really cute black and white damask fabric for a cushion for it! Here's the before picture:
And the after:
I really love how it turned out!! The cusion is easily removable, so if I want to take it back off for a more rustic look, it's no big deal. The pillows I made out of a couple of canvas bags that I found lying in the bottom of our pantry. Obviously they weren't getting much use, so I decided to repurpose them. I feel so green! :) Thanks Mom and Lisa for all your help!!
Here is a pic of the table that was already in the breakfast area, just rearranged a bit and moved to the other wall. I added the framed photo that I got for Taylor for Christmas, courtesy of Joe Dunn Photography in New Orleans. It's actually an alligator--look close and you'll see!

And here is a pic of the whole breakfast area! I really love how the pew added a lot more seating! It's already been used a lot--we had Taylor's family over for dinner and everyone was sitting on it/around the table, and then I had a surprise shower two nights ago (post to come very soon about it!) for sweet Whitney! We had SO much fun. Seven of the girls ended up spending the night, and we had a great time the next morning lounging around drinking coffee around the table and looking at old pictures.

Also, we finally (FINALLY!!!) cleaned up our "junk room"! The extra bedroom right next to our room has been basically our "let's just throw stuff in there and shut the door" room. We still had several boxes we had not unpacked from when we moved in a year and a half ago (shameful, I know). Mark and Lisa had two old twin beds that they no longer use (they were Taylor and Trav's in high school), and my parents had some extra twin linens, so we are taking them off their hands for a while! This is soooo much better than a pile of junk and boxes:


And Lisa also helped me recover the dining chairs that were a well-loved hand-me-down from Taylor's great aunt Eris--I love the way they turned out too! They are a green damask that is a little brighter in real life than it appears in the picture:


Hope you like the changes!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Here's to Ya, 2010

Several of my friends have done a Year in Review post, so I think I will jump on the bandwagon! I love how blogging really helps me keep track of our life, and where all this time that flies is going!

In January, Taylor and I spent a lot of time hanging with the fam and close friends at Fairview. We started planning and anticipating our wonderful Paris trip! I experimented with cooking, and we found out the Saints were going to the Super Bowl!

February brought a big snow in Jackson, a big win for the Saints, and a fun Valentine's trip to Nashville for Taylor and me.

In March, I sang in our church's Easter program, had some car troubles, and did some sprucing up to our house.

April came and we celebrated Easter, followed by the beautiful wedding of two of our dearest friends, William and Carolyn Grace. Taylor's grandmother had a succesful knee replacement surgery, and we were so thankful! I experimented a little more with baking and made my first decorative Easter coconut cake--yum! Taylor and I traveled to Belzoni, Mississippi, the catfish capital of the world, for the Catfish Festival. Taylor was a judge for the Catfish Queen pageant--he helped pick a great representative for the catfish industry!

And in May--a short break from school, and summertime! My sweet, sweet husband gave me my favorite anniversary gift so far--my AWESOME camera--and we set off in a plane with Mark and Lisa for beautiful Paris, France!

In June, we returned from Paris, and Taylor and I both hunkered down for a summer of hard work, for him in business and for me in school. We both wanted a jump start!

July brought an Independence Day celebration in several different towns--we spent time with Taylor's grandparents in Louisiana, my uncle and cousin in Wiggins, my family at Fairview, and Taylor's family on the rez. Whew! Taylor and I recorded a fun song together in a studio, and I left for an externship in New York City, one of my favorite places on earth!

In August I returned from the Big Apple and settled back into real life and lots and lots and lots of school. Amidst all that though, we were able to make it up to Nashville one more time for a wedding and to hang out with my bff, Emily. We made it to Nashville's famous Tomato Festival, and it was a blast! I caught up on some reading, and we celebrated CG's birthday with a surprise fiesta!

In September, Taylor received an honor within his company, and we were able to take a business trip to Washington, D.C. We had SUCH a good time! We went to lots of museums--our favorites were the Newseum, the Holocaust Museum, and the Museum of Natural Science--and ate some great food! Not long after we came home, it was time for football season! Groving began, and with it came some exciting news--our friends Whitney and Graves got engaged! We traveled to New Orleans for the Ole Miss vs. Tulane game, and we started practice for Carols by Candlelight in choir.

October brought a little bit of cool weather after that intense summer heat, and with it came the beginning of deer season--always a bittersweet time for "hunting widows" like me! I linked up with Kelly for her home tour, and Taylor and I went on a fun date to the Mississippi State Fair!

In November, we made our last trek to Oxford of the football season, and Taylor and I had another fun date to the Mistletoe preview gala, thanks to the generosity of his sweet Mom and Dad! Mom, Angie, April, and I were able to go back for a fun girls' shopping trip the next day--one of my favorite traditions! I spent countless hours (which I had been doing since August) studying for my National Board exam, which I took...and passed!!! I felt like my brain didn't quite work right after that for a few weeks! Thanksgiving came and went, and we spent a wonderful time in Negreet, Louisiana, for a Carter Family Thanksgiving Reunion.

And finally, in December, there was Carols by Candlelight and lots of Christmas fun! There was the 2nd annual Grizwold Family Supper Club Christmas Party, and our 3rd annual Cookies and Cocktails party--always a good time! We celebrated the beautiful gift of God on Christmas and throughout the season--the gift of his son, and the sacrifice that he made for us.

I love that the year ends with Christmastime--a time of hope and family and celebration of the Lord's amazing gift to us. 2010, it was nice knowing ya!