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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

think before you speak...

It is hard to believe, but tomorrow morning will mark the end of my first semester as a PT student. The semester has been very challenging, but it has absolutely flown by. Last week held the much anticipated Standard Patient Interaction (SPI) that serves as a cumulative practical for all that we have learned this semester. I had the chance to perform an initial evaluation on a very sweet man who was quite patient with me as I fumbled through the encounter. The highlight of the interview, was when I asked what he did for a living.

Patient replied, "I manage an Apple store in Georgetown."
I enthusiastically responded, "That's fantastic! I love apples. They are so delicious!"
His response was to give me a look of bewilderment.
In that brief awkward moment, I relieved that this was not the manager of the quaint, country orchard I had somehow been picturing. This was the manager of the world's most popular brand of electronics.
"Oh, you work for the Apple computer store. I love those too!"
Then he just chuckled and we went on with the exam.

It is the simple joys that keep me going.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Turkey Day 2009

We had yet another wonderful Thanksgiving in Salt Lake City this year. In addition to spending time with dear family, we were thankful to have some precious time in the west again. We love our new home in DC, but the beauty of the snow peaked mountains is hard not to miss.

One of the highlights of the trip was our Turkey Day hike up to the radio towers, two giant sheets of metal that sit atop a neighboring mountain/large hillside, providing a good destination for motivated hikers. A highlight of the hike, was seeing our ironwoman friend who is probably in her mid 60's and finds it enjoyable to run up the mountainside, leaving us in her dust every year. Who knows how often she takes this route, but for us, she is someone we look forward to seeing each year.

Making our way back down to a delicious feast.

The yummy place settings we had, compliments of Annie! Needless-to-say they did not last very long.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I can't believe I get to walk by this every day. We live in a very beautiful country.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Harvest Reunion

I love October! This past weekend we drove 2.5 hours south to spend a couple of days with the LaRochelle family in Charlottesville, VA. My dad and little siblings were on fall break, so we opted to spend time together picking apples, ice skating, bottling cider, etc. in celebration of the harvest season.

I have been sick with some kind of chest cold, which was disappointing for the much anticipated weekend, but there is something so healing about things like my mom making me tea and rubbing my shoulders. Being babied is the best medicine sometimes.

I am amazed every time my family reunites because my little brother is always not-so-little anymore and my sister is like a little version of me. Our precious time together is always a little bit chaotic, but it is what makes every minute so damn fun.

We headed up to Carter's Mountain on Saturday for a little apple picking. We probably spent more time napping and enjoying the view than we did actually picking but we left with 4 hefty bags of crisp, delicious apples.

Joseph and Susanna made two fabulous batches of applesauce, both very different, but both very good. All of us seem to have a thing for being creative with food.

We spent Sunday afternoon tearing up the ice skating rink. We may be chaotic but we sure know how to have a good time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Man, I have been so consumed by new classes, new friends, and new places, I have neglected to write an update.

We are fully in the swing of things here with the average day proceeding as follows:

5:45 am Wake up
6:45 am Bike to Metro
7:30 am Get a little exercise in before class
9:00 am Class
5:00 pm Finish class and hop on the Metro
Study back to back in our office for several hours with an occasional break for an episode of "the office".
11:00 pm Sleep

That might sound over the top or you might be rolling your eyes and thinking "get over it," but we are actually having a lot of fun as we stumble through our new routine. We could not be more thankful to be able to spend our time studying what we love, regardless of the stress it may bring.

Having bragged about how busy we are, its probably time to move on to more exciting updates... The wonderful Peggy La (aka Mom or Pegster) came to town this past week for my White Coat Ceremony at GWU. I have officially taken the oath of a life of service in the health arena:)

Mom, Adam and I spent a lot of time roaming the Capitol, visiting monuments, eating yummy food and doing just about everything but cracking the books. It was great to have a distraction for a few days and have time to show her around our new home. We are so blessed to be a quick plane flight away from family and we fully intend on taking advantage of this.

In search of some peanut m&ms on the Mall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

City Folk

It is no exaggeration to say that the pace of our lives just stepped up about 10 notches. After two months of fun, we are buckled down for 4 years of rigorous studya.

This past week we have been busy with orientation, registration, and completing our small office where we will spend a majority of our time in the coming months. I am still getting used to the metro that I will be riding every morning for about 30 minutes. I have already found that there is something therapeutic about riding on a noisy train full of strangers where I can drink my coffee and read a book/after class. It is funny how we have adjusted so quickly to a lifestyle that is far different from what we have come from. Though we miss the natural beauty and slower pace of Missoula (and of course our friends there:), DC is overflowing with museums, music, culture, good food, and interesting people. I think it will keep us quite busy.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures to document our life in DC so far. A couple of these are from our time up in New England with the LaRochelle clan.

Enjoying some delicious Ethiopian food off of Logan Circle.

One of the many incredible fossil exhibits at the Natural History Museum. Pat and I were there for hours

Picking a pail full of apples for our rhubarb/apple crisp fresh from the backyard of 88 Bellevue (home to the marvelous Grandma LaRochelle)

The masterpiece.

Hanging out on the porch with our beautiful grandmother.

Saying goodbye

Brewing his first batch of beer...a yummy cream ale.

Bottling the near finished product. Now we just have to wait 10 days to try it!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Full Disclosure

I have just come to the end of two amazing weeks spent with family and dear friends. I do feel the need to pay tribute to my dear husband who has spent the last week moving all of our things across the country and into our new home in D.C. while i have been lounging on the beach and dissolving my hideous tan lines. I still feel periodic pangs of guilt when I think about the endless hours he spent driving the U-Haul through the Midwest. 

Now, I am anxiously sitting in the Tampa airport, eager to get back to my best friend and my new home. It is still hard to believe that tomorrow I will wake up in the heart of a very big city with very cool things to explore. 

p.s. We do have an extra bedroom, so if you are in the area, please come and stay with us!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Encounters with the Wild

Well, the end of our trip has taken a slight turn. We set up our tent and hammock in a campground outside of Trinidad, CA. Spending the evening reading among the redwoods was just what we had planned until we heard a screeching sound coming from the campsite adjacent to ours. The best description I can give is of a cat being run over or chased by a dog. As soon as I heard the eery noise, I recalled that while checking in, the manager of the campground had been conversing with a state trooper about a rabid fox that was roaming the surrounding area. This may sound negligent but it did not really register as a concern. 

Sure enough, our tent neighbors came bounding out of their tent waving a machete and claiming that a fox had been trying to scramble through the ventilation flap into their tent.  We jumped into our car to find the manager and as we drove past the bathroom there were three screaming girls running from the showers with a limping fox following in hot pursuit. 

The fox somehow made its escape but the manager assured all of us that he was handling the situation and we were not to worry. I will admit that it took quite some time for Adam to calm me down and convince me that we would be safe in our tent (time was 9:45 pm). 

From this point on, all I remember is that at about 10:15 there was a slight thump outside followed by the same scrambling and squealing that we had heard earlier, except that this time the creature was inside of OUR rain flap. I would like to say that I jumped into action with my adrenaline pumping to battle the rabid animal, but for some reason my mind and body thought it more appropriate to lay prostrate yelling profanities while Adam administered the real beating. 

The twist in the story actually comes in here. Within seconds of the creature retreating from our tent, we realized that instead of a fox, we had been attacked (and sprayed) by a rabid skunk!! 

Needless to say, we packed our bags and spent the next 24 hours trying to find a way to deodorize ourselves and our gear. 

With only three nights remaining in our trip, we have decided to bag our reeking gear and spend the next few evenings in quaint hotels on the coast of Oregon. Why punish ourselves with the painful task of deodorization when we can always take care of it some other day?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Experiencing City Life

I am a bit behind on my updates so I thought I would go ahead and jump to more recent events. The past week and  half we have been relaxing on the coast and camping in some of the beautiful coastal state parks of CA. Touring the magnificent Hearst Castle, observing the curious habits of the elephant seals, wandering through redwood and sequoia forests, and dipping our toes in the pacific eventually led us into the heart of San Francisco where we spent the past four days. 

I had a small pit in my stomach as we navigated our way through the maze of downtown, trying to locate our hotel. We are about to move to a city of comparable size/population (at least in the opinion of a mountain girl) and I have been nervous that a visit to San Fran might turn me into an anti-urbanite indefinitely. 

However, the pit was gone after a little less than 2 hours and I realized and I kept saying over and over again that "I can't wait to live in D.C." I agree that living amongst millions is busy, hectic, somewhat anonymous, etc. but there is something attractive about it, nonetheless. 

First night we entered into the lottery for last minute tickets to Wicked, and we were the first names called!!! I think it now rivals Les Miserables in my ranking of Broadways. The evening was a blast!

We spent Saturday morning sharing coffee and a loaf of sourdough at the Farmer's Market on the Pier. Even in a city that spans miles and miles, the turnout to support local farmers was impressive.

We strolled through the Castro district and saw the famous theater and Harvey Milk Park. If you haven't yet seen "Milk", you definitely should.

We watched the San Francisco Mime Troup at the Mission Delores Park.

We shared a delicious ice cream sundae in Ghirardelli Square.

Best of all, we had a picnic on the grass at Fisherman's Wharf and watched the Independence Day celebration and fireworks. Best fireworks we have ever seen!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Celebrating in Style

We tried to plan out where we would end up on our anniversary, but for some reason the itinerary always put us at a different location: Zion, Bryce, Las Vegas, etc. We were pleasantly surprised when we found ourselves driving into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on June 22nd. We were fully aware that the Lodge would be booked, probably with a 12 month waiting list, but we thought just being there on the edge of something so vast and awesome was celebratory. It only got better when we found out that they had one Frontier Cabin available due to a last minute cancellation! 

So we celebrated in style with a bottle of Grand Canyon Champaign, dried mangos, and turkey sandwiches, all enjoyed with a spectacular view. 

The following morning we hiked to the bottom of the canyon and back on the North Kaibab Trail. Ten grueling miles (5 straight down and 5 straight up), but incredible nonetheless.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yesterday we felt like we just drove and drove and drove but it was absolutely wonderful. Our route took us along several of the scenic byways of southern Utah, which meant we had the roads all to ourselves while marveling at some of the most breathtaking views in the nation. 

After a very fun night with cousins in the southwestern corner of Colorado we spent the first half of our day at Mesa Verde. We had a terrible tour guide who talked at a snails pace and prefaced every speech with something like "Now I am going to tell you two important pieces of information...". It was hilarious. 

From Mesa Verde we drove back into Utah and up the Moki Dugway and Hwy 95 to Capitol Reef National Park. I also forgot to mention that we are almost finished with Steinbeck's East of Eden and we are completely hooked. If you haven't read it, please please do, and we would both recommend popping it in your cassette player while driving the backroads of the great west.
Enjoying a peaceful evening at the wind whistler campground. 

Our hike in the Needles portion of Canyonlands National Park
A brief stop at Natural Bridges National Monument. 



Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Couple of Days

Just a couple of pics from the start of the trip. Aside from a broken tent (that adam rigged with a hefty stick), everything has gone smoothly so far.