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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Joyful Joyful...

We just returned from 2 amazing weeks with family split between Chattanooga and Dallas. Oh the joys of being a student and looking forward to the end of a full semester. We relaxed on the couch for much of the time with good books (Harry Potter) and hot chocolate by our side...The rest of our time can be summed up as follows: SNOW!, laughter, dominoes, chickens, walks, frisbee, gumdrops, good wine, dear friends, and lots of caroling.

Enjoying the spectacular snow on Christmas day.

Adam spent 30 min letting Susie Q play with his hair. I was suspicious that he was mainly in it for the free head massage, but it was adorable nonetheless:)

Dad and Adam surprised us all with 4 hens and a rooster on Christmas. They were lovingly named Chester (rooster), Betsy, Sadie, Audrie, and Petunia and have already begun to lay eggs.


We resumed our annual tradition of building delicious gingerbread houses that were dripping with gum drops and peppermint sticks.

I wish we could spend more time with these two. We laugh a lot together.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Sweet Sweet Home

Two weeks have passed and we laugh at how much we have grown in such a short time. Can we just throw it out there that purchasing a home is no easy feat...and at times (over the past 2 weeks), we thought that it might just be impossible at this point in our lives. However, after an exhausting number of phone calls (with some rather nasty words exchanged), signing our life and future children's lives away, and many moments of feeling defeated, we were handed the precious keys to our new home on Sept 30th.

Balancing the stress of two full-time grad school schedules and purchasing a new home, all while having to pack up and move out of our beloved rental, was a bit more than our 25 and 27 year old minds could tolerate. Many tears were shed and expletives shouted, but somehow it has made the joy of completion even sweeter.

I realized a lot of things about myself through the being that I have some sort of mental block towards asking for help. In spite of my insistence that Adam and I were fine and would get the packing, moving, cleaning, etc. taken care of, our friends insisted on being there for us. Last Thursday, we skipped class (a big no no in PT school) and bonded over the smell of pinesol, ammonia, and windex as we tried to make the deadline of our inspection.

We scrubbed nasty floors. We vacuumed up cobwebs. We ate cold pizza. We danced to Glee. We dodged the rain. We had a hell of a lot of fun.

I will post more pictures soon, but for is our new adventure.

Monday, September 20, 2010


It remains hard to believe that it was almost 10 years ago when I huddled at the end of my parents bed as they broke the news that Mom had been diagnosed with Chronic Meyloid Leukemia, a form of cancer that leaves you asking questions of how much longer does she have instead of how can she be cured. Leukemia is a viciously, pervasive form of cancer that reaches all corners of your body as it dominates your white blood cells...those cells that are supposed to fight for you, have somehow turned against you.

I vividly remember hearing all of the conversations about possible courses of treatment and how our family would go from here. Talk of chemo, bone marrow transplants, etc. became my world at that point in 10th grade. Right about the time that we found out that Mom did not have a bone marrow match, we heard about a new drug that was still in the testing stages but that was aimed at treating CML, the exact cancer that my mom had. Over the course of several weeks, we received word that Mom had been accepted in the study for this new "miracle drug" called Gleevec, and with no other options we went for it. We could have never imagined that this was indeed a miracle.

Praise the Lord that we can say that after almost 9 years of daily medications, unexpected side effects, and many many trips to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mom has officially been taken off of her medications and declared CANCER FREE!!! She will be monitored closely, but we could not be more thankful for the Lord's provision of the right treatment at the right time.

I am thankful every single day to be blessed with this incredible woman as my mother.

She is a beauty:)

I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.

- Wendell Berry (Life is a Miracle)

Friday, September 10, 2010

We are home from the wonderfulness of seeing family and friends during the two weeks that I had off from class and Adam had in between work and the beginning of school. I cannot tell you how precious the time was that we had to be home in Chattanooga.

Every time I go home, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be so in love with my family. I am thankful for the mornings, afternoons and evenings spent communing on the front porch or battling it out over an intense game of ping pong...the delicious meals we shared with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden....the cuddle time I had with my beautiful little sister who amazes me with her joy and enthusiasm for life and for loving others....watching my dad and Adam slave away building a fabulous chicken coop where we anticipate gathering many delicious eggs from in the coming years....

It was hard to come home to DC and to leave so many people that I love. It was hard to face the reality of a new semester with the demands of late night studies and caffeine over doses. However, despite feeling the ache of saying goodbyes, I am excited for my new classes, reunion with friends, moving into our new home, and continuing to find our place in this beautiful city where we dwell.

Quite the team at work brewing a pale ale to be enjoyed this fall!

Skyping with Anna who we missed terribly this week!

Dad and Pat at work laying beds in the garden.

A little early birthday celebration for Susie Q who will be 12 in Sept!!!

I love these two more than I can say.

This photo is a reenactment of our christmas photo about 10 years ago.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Deep Creek Lake

Spent several relaxing days at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland with the Richards family. We were so thankful for the time to relax together and have some fun with the family. It slows my heart rate to know that the only thing on the agenda is a morning on the front porch with a cup of coffee and a Kingsolver book followed by a walk or perhaps a little paddle boating on the lake. I have looked forward to these precious couple of weeks for the entire summer.

We are blessed to be a part of this family:)

A morning of boarding around the lake.

Morning on the porch...perhaps my favorite activities of all time.

Appetizers, craft brew, and card tricks

A dangerous but successful attempt at lighting the grills without matches.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Well today marks the day where I officially become a 2nd year PT student. It is genuinely hard to fathom that a year could have passed so quickly. I feel like I was just learning the basics of taking blood pressure and heart rate, and now I am actually beginning to learn how to treat people. Amazing what a few years of a very expensive education can teach you:)

The next three weeks (until semester IV begins) will be filled with everything that I absolutely love but that I never have time for: a week at the lake with the Richards, a week at the LaRochelle homestead in Chattanooga, time with dear friends, many wonderful books, pedicures, & of course the occasional margarita or two:) I look forward to cramming an entire summers worth of festivities into just 20 days.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome Back

We met up with some sweet friends last night and I was encouraged to begin blogging again:) So here I am to give a brief picture update from this summer. More to come later this week when I have finished my 3rd semester final exams...yes, I am procrastinating at this moment.

This summer has been full of school and work but we have also shared some precious moments with friends, family, and each other. Enjoy the pics!

Highlight of the summer = I have a new sister-in-law!!! Pat and Anna were married in May and we were able to meet up with them in Shenandoah Park before they headed off for San Diego. Love these two so very much.

Our favorite weekend hike at Great Falls National Park

Our dear friends Susie and Elon come to town!!

The fam comes to visit us in DC. Susanna was desperate to see Julia Child's kitchen, so we dropped by the American History Museum for a quick peak.

Dressed up 80's style to see the Legwarmers with my girls.

Picnicking outside of the Vermont house like old times...

Mom and her girls:)

Took 20 of my friends on a rafting trip to the New River in WV.

And celebrated my 25th birthday with some delicious beer and dinner with my love!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I would like to say that I have some elaborate excuse for neglecting to post over the past three months, but this is simply not the case. This spring I fell prey to the demanding graduate school schedule and found it hard to think of interesting things to write on portraitoftwo when my days were consumed with grueling dissections and painful administrations of e-stim therapy.

This evening, after two glasses of wine and 3 episodes of private practice (I have already kicked myself for this), I actually went back through the posts of 2008 and 2009 and realized what a joy it has been to share pieces of our life on this blog. So this is my official apology for a nearly 4 month sabbatical. I will try to be more consistent.

To play catch up a bit...

I have finished my second semester of school and Adam is scurrying to submit final papers and assignments before he begins his internship at the NIH for the summer. Though we will both be working hard through the duration of the summer, we have high hopes for an adventurous summer in DC. It is slightly hard to swallow that 1 year ago we were preparing to embark on our ridiculously wonderful western road trip. C'est la vie.

I returned from 6 days in Chattanooga where I spoiled myself with pedicures and mother's baked goods while helping my parents to settle into their new home. In preparation for my brother's wedding later this month, we spent hours looking through old photos in an effort to make a slideshow for the rehearsal dinner. The following are a small collection of our favorites.

Now I am back in DC with two more days to spoil myself with extra sleep and no to-do lists. Ideas for tomorrow: garage sale hunting, sunbathing, and homemade pizza baking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Snow

I guess this says something about the magnitude of the current snow storm that I am actually posting twice in one week. We are currently experiencing blizzard number 2 of the week, which has successfully made this the most intense winter in DC history. Our neighbor informed us that the only record they have of a comparable winter was from journal entries of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson!! I don't think that should count.

Partly because many of you have been asking and partly because I am starting to lose my mind, I have brainstormed up an ongoing list of our favorite things to do while barricaded at home. W are more than open to suggestions.

1. Sleep until we are no longer tired
2. Enjoy coffee and a book by the kitchen window

3. Scour redfin for dream homes
4. Begin and actually finish books just because I want to
5. Make delicious homemade Leek Pea and Sauerkraut Soup (recipe is courtesy of the Wednesday Chef)

6. Shovel the driveway multiple times in a day to feel like we are somehow making progress
7. Watch countless movies on netflix (Recommendations: Food Inc., The Visitor, 30 Rock)
9. Play in the snow until we have so much snow up our shirts and down our shoes that we can't bear the cold anymore.
8. Read through my favorite foodie blogs (Wednesday Chef, Smitten Kitchen, In Praise of Leftovers, etc.) and think of all of the delicious things i could make if only I could make it to the market.
9. Plan out our garden for this coming spring.
10. Research how to get a license for chickens in the state of maryland.
11. Bundle up and take walks around the neighborhood, enjoying the quite of a world with no cars.

All in all, we are thankful for the snow, the quite, each other, and the chance to be still.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Party Hats and Snow Boots

I am so thankful to finally have a morning to sit with my mug of coffee and give you an update on the past couple of weeks. School continues to dominate the majority of our hours, but with 3 exams out of the way and 2 ft of snow barring me indoors, I have no excuse but to chill out.
Two weekends ago we made a trip down to Charlottesville to celebrate Patrick and Anna's engagement and Anna's safe return from Haiti. Though it was last minute, the rest of my family (minus Susie Q) also made the 8 hour drive up to partake in the festivities. We spent much of the weekend sitting around Anna's kitchen table, snacking on granola, talking and pouring over pictures from Haiti. On Saturday we hopped across the street (literally) for a big engagement bash with what seemed like the rest of the C-Ville community. There are a lot of people that love those two!

Now to bring this back to the present....I think I may have mentioned that DC was hit last night with 2 ft of snow!!!! and it is still piling on. They are saying it is the biggest snow in 100 years and perhaps will be the biggest snow ever. Whoever said that moving from Montana to DC was going to be a big adjustment? So far, with three big snows this winter, I can say that my favorite part about it is the fact that it has given us a chance to meet many of our neighbors. Whenever it snows, everyone finds their way outside whether it is to sled down the oliver st. alleyway or to shovel their driveway. We even had a neighbor glide by on her cross country skis.

This morning, after downing some banana spice muffins and trader joe's coffee, Adam and I bundled up and headed out to join in the fun.