Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. - Mary Jean Iron

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in action...

Well, after a very very long hiatus from the blog world, I was browsing through old posts and realized that I miss having a sort of journal covering where we have been over the past few years. So, since I am feeling semi-inspired and I am desperate for distractions from studying for my boards, I am making another attempt to continue posting.

This summer has been quite eventful and began when I graduated from physical therapy school (woohoo!!) in May. I was so thankful that both of my families could come up to celebrate the occasion and truly made it such a special time for me. Post-graduation we headed down to Wytheville, VA to celebrate two friends getting married. We rented a big house in the mountains with some dear friends and the weekend was full of music (courtesy of the Sometimes Favorites), dancing, good food, and some mighty fine Old Fashions.

It's official. We did it!

Next on the agenda was making our way down to my hometown of Chattanooga, TN where we spend a few days with my family before leaving Cooper and flying out for two weeks in Europe!!! And to top it all off, about 20 hours before the big departure, I became and aunt to sweet little Luke Joseph.

Meet Luke. 

Adam with Cooper in the blue hole. 
A bit high on baby fever:), we boarded a plane and spent two incredible weeks relaxing in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. It seemed like a perfect way to celebrate 5 years of marriage and the completion of graduation school (for me and almost for Adam).

Hiking in Cinque of the most beautiful places I have ever experienced. 
After returning from our trip, we barely had time to wash our clothes and love on our Cooper (dog) before boarding another flight out to the great state of CO for a week-long family reunion split between Estes Park and Casper, WY. I am so blessed to have a huge, crazy-fun family that LOVEs to get together. We spent the mornings reading with coffee along the river, the days hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the evenings eating and drinking together outside of our condos. And on top of this, we all got to meet Luke (Anna and Pat were such troopers for bringing him from CA at only 17 days old so we could all meet him!).

Susanna and Dad meeting Luke
Having a quick picnic in Boulder (where I was born) on our way to Estes Park.
This is a park where my parents grew up hiking with Pat and me. 
Brewery tour at New Belgium in Fort Collins
Morning fly fishing trip in the park.
Hiking up Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.
And now, after over a month of hopping all over the world with the people I love, I have to pretend to be responsible and get down to studying for my boards...the final step in becoming an official PT.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cheese Making

I am currently snuggled up on the fouton with a cup of tea, my laptop, a david sedaris book, and my favorite little sister asleep next to me. Life is sweet.

Regardless of the grueling week of finals that I just finished (and that Adam is about to begin), being a student is pretty darn amazing. We work our tails off during the semester, passing tests, completing lab practicals, proving that we are worthy to be doctoral students, but then at the end of each semester we look forward to a summer break of sorts where we can put all of the old notes on the shelf and just do whatever:) It is quite liberating.

My 2 weeks of freedom (unfortunately Adam and I don't have the same break this semester) has brought me to my home sweet home in the mountains of TN where we have been planting potatoes, visiting with old friends, taking siestas, baking delicious dinners, playing soccer in the yard, etc.

Taking a nap at Joseph's regatta.

At the completion of our family soccer game (boys won:) Mom played too but she also played photographer.

In fact, I have even checked off one of the items on my to do list...tonight we made Mozzarella Cheese!!


Slicing the curd

Monitoring the temperature.

Straining the whey.

Molding the finished product.

I am crazy about these guys. (but we sure miss Adam, Pat, and Anna!)

The chickens are now free ranging around the yard, and for some reason I find them to be incredibly entertaining. Here they are just snooping around the front porch.

Sweet dreams from the mountains!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Looking Ahead

Just a quick post before I hole myself away to continue studying for finals this coming week. Who knew that the human brain could tolerate so many facts, lists, concepts, images, etc. without exploding....yet.

Although I have 6 finals this coming week (4.5 of which are cumulative) all I can think about is how fabulous my dear friend's wedding will be tomorrow and all of the things we plan to do over my upcoming two week break. Here is the big list:

  • SLEEP! (boring i know, so let's move on)
  • Paint my dining room and bedroom - I have a dear friend from PT school who has offered to help with this because since we have bought our own house I seem to have gone colorblind. Literally, I feel like I have lost all creative inspiration...maybe it's just school.
moving on...

  • Make goat cheese. If only we had the fresh goats....someday:)
  • Brew a new batch of beer for the summer
  • Finish the Fountainhead and perhaps begin Tina Fey's new book. I have only read the back cover but it had me crying, so that's a good start.
  • Spend hours out in the garden with my love. Our lettuce and peas have begun to sprout but we have much more to do.
  • There are others but I think we'll just fly by the seat of our pants.

In the meantime, here are few of the distractions that are helping to get me through the week.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies...No wonder the pounds accrue during exam week:)

Trace Bundy on repeat - best study music. period.

Etsy - endless distraction

p.s. Happy Birthday to my favorite "little" (6'4") brother who turns 16 tomorrow! I feel old but mostly just so thankful.
p.s.s. Happy Birthday to the best mom in the world in 2 days! I am blessed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm on a new kick. And it literally tastes fabulous.

After lots of reflection and recent conversations with dear friends, I have realized how much crap I put inside of myself everyday. Now, I'm not fessing up to eating fast food everday or anything quite so American, but I have my fair share of indulgences that aren't exactly doing much for my brain, heart, muscles, etc.

Some of the things I am not so proud of:
  • Diet Coke (I don't need the caffeine after my two delicious cups of coffee every morning and it is loaded with artificial sweetener)
  • Ice Cream (in moderation fine, but I'm talking milkshakes that take up half gallons at a time)
  • Salt! (sad but true that this is one of my staples)
  • Peanut Butter (I have a weakness for peanuts and peanut butter, I don't know if it's the saltiness or what, but I can go through a jar faster than I will admit)
  • Frozen Lasagna (sad but true, it's so easy and so delicious)
So my new diet is not one centered on losing or gaining pounds. I'm just trying to be more conscientious of what I put inside of my body. I want to be energized. I want to live abundantly. I want the two of us to be out hiking in the mountains when we are 80 years old. (too much to ask??)

So Adam and I have made an unofficial commitment to eating more "Real Food" (thanks Dr. Axe) and eating less of the processed, hormone enriched, artificial junk that is so easy to grab off the shelf of Giant. Part of this starts with a comittment to taking time to actually make dinner even when I am tired after class. Part of it starts a mile down the street at Glut, our local food co-op, which provides local produce, grains, etc. for us to enjoy. And part of it starts in the soil outside of the backdoor where we are growing lettuce, peas, herbs, patatoes, etc.

Here's to an invigorating adventure!

To end on a delicious note... here are some of the yummy things that will be filling our bellies with on a more regular basis:)

Are you drooling yet?...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Headed Home

Just sitting in the Nashville airport reflecting on the past week I have had to spend with family and dear friends on my spring break. I thought I would make a quick post but will admit that I am mildly distracted/alarmed by the mouse that I just spotted in the airport lounge...lovely. I think I will put away my trader joe's muffin and pick my feet up off the floor:)

Moving on.

The first half of the break was spent with my sweet mama in Sarasota where we enjoyed some much needed time together. All of the sunshine, good food, delicious wine, etc. was wonderful but it was mainly just the time together that was so meaningful.

After catching my fair share of FL rays (though I am still a pasty white:), I headed up to Chattanooga to spend 24 packed hours with my dad, brother, and sister. It was quick, but so fun to get some time with these three.

And lastly, I headed up to Nasvhille for the annual reunion with my dear dear high school friends. I can't imagine what life would be without these precious friends. Fun new addition this year is Baby Reecelyn that will be born to Tay and Joel sometime in early June. It is amazing to think of how long we have all known each other and all that we have been through over the years. I am thankful for the steadfastness of these friendships and I cherish every moment I have with these girls.

And now I am headed home. Looking forward to reuniting with Adam and enjoying a week at home together while he enjoys his spring break. I am so thankful for the people in my life that make it so sweet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free time

This is slightly embarassing but for the past day and a half I have been pasted to the couch, eating nachos and brownies and letting my mind wander as far from the classroom as possible. I finished my last midterm yesterday and I feel on top of the world. At the moment, I am reveling in these precious moments when I don't have a single assignment or obligation. I will enjoy it by sitting on the front porch in the rain with a really delicious pint of IPA or perhaps taking a walk with my best friend.

One of the best parts of knowing that my spring break starts in a mere two days is that on Saturday morning I shall fly to meet my mama for a week in Sarasota, FL. On the agenda: mornings of fresh coffee while enjoying the bay view, pedicures, farmers markets, seafood, siesta key, and I could go on...but I don't want to make you jealous. Following this, I will fly for a long weekend in Nashville with some of my dearest friends and sisters...the GPS crew. It will be rejuvinating.

For now, just a few things that have brought me joy over the past two weeks....

This beautiful quote by the profound Annie Dillard:

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them..." Annie Dillard

My cousin Emily got married in Sarasota, which meant a weekend reunion of the five girls. I am so blessed to have four of the most beautiful cousins and closest friends, and I'll take any excuse I can get to spend time with these four.

Rachel, Becca, Emily, Ryan, and Me:)

Emily's wedding day was also my Grandparent's anniversary. I love these two and I hope that we look this in love when we reach our 6th decade of marriage.

And with the wedding comes the dancing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Though there were plenty of moments where I felt like I was drowning in lecture notes and index cards, there are several reasons why this weekend has been fabulous so far. First of all, it is perfect outside. The kind of whether where you can't help but spend to much time out digging in the dirt and preparing seeds to go in the ground. I actually really love the winter, but partly because of these weekends where you realize how incredible 60 degrees feels and how great it is to go for a brisk walk with just a t-shirt on with the mild possibility of actually getting some sun. Mmmm, bring on the vitamin D.

Anyways, a few highlights from this weekend...

Getting some good study time out on the front porch.

I LOVE fried eggs on english muffins!

Even managed to get a little pleasure reading in.

Now it's Sunday and I have successfully saved a large portion of my studying for these next 24 hours. So it's back to this...