Monday, March 30, 2015

April is Coming

Remember how I got off early last week and basked in the sunshine? Well Saturday, I walked out of the gym and it was snowing. Nothing major, but there were snowflakes falling from the sky. Don't worry, it was back up in the 60s on Sunday. Memphis weather is crazy like that!

But Spring is officially here and April is right around the corner and I'm so excited! I was looking at my calendar this weekend and there are so many things going on this month.

The Redbirds season starts. I am not a huge fan of baseball, but nothing says "Summer is coming!" like Baseball season. And there is something about the atmosphere of Autozone Park and the smell of barbecue nachos that I can't resist.

Peabody Rooftop parties start this month too. Listening to music on the rooftop of the Peabody overlooking the Mighty Mississippi and the downtown skyline. Yes please!

There is an Eco Eggstravaganza at Shelby Farms to kick off Earth Day. There is nothing like Shelby Farms in the Spring! And where else would you celebrate Earth Day? There will be egg hunts, hiking, fishing, live music, and food trucks. The Go Ape TreeTop Course is now officially open. Holly, at, wrote all about her experience on the course if you want to check it out.

There is a Crawfish Fest on The Square the same day as a Healthy Food Fest on Broad. Interesting idea. I think I'll try to catch them both...

The YoungLife Taste of Memphis event is coming up. It is a fundraiser for Memphis Urban YoungLife and features food from local restaurants around the city. I went 2 years ago and it was a lot of fun. I missed it last year because of the Grizzlies playoffs, but this year- I'm there!

Speaking of... NBA playoff season is here! All heart. Grit and Grind. Go Grizz!

East Buntyn is such a cute neighborhood and, in April, the residents are showing it off with an art walk. Local artists are showcase their work and there is an auction for some original pieces.

The Tennessee Brewery is an old, historic brewery. It is no longer open and has been sitting vacant for years. Last year, some developers decided to host an event to showcase all the potential of the brewery so that someone would buy it. Thus, Tennessee Brewery Untapped was born. It is a fun outdoor venue with craft beer and food trucks and music. And it worked, kind of. People saw how great it was and someone bought it. Unfortunately, they are going to turn it into some lame loft apartments. They are destroying my idea of a picture perfect wedding venue. But, Untapped is back this Spring to send the brewery out with a bang and I. Can't. Wait!

The first annual Food Truck Fest is in April. It's gonna be great! Have I mentioned that I love food trucks?!

Another thing I love... the zoo! The zoo hosts an event called the Wild World of Wine and Beer. There are different stations. Each station represents a country of region and features 3 or 4 wines from that region. There is also a silent auction to benefit the zoo, including artwork that was done by the animals!

Spring is here! And April is going to be a busy month- in all the best ways!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Smiles

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
-Psalm 16:8

Friday, March 27, 2015


Happy Friday! This will catch you up on the last few weeks...

My roommate got the T25 workouts. We were going to do them together and get in shape and all that. I do them with her sometimes. Sometimes I sit on the couch and drink hot chocolate and watch her do them. Same thing, right?

This was the 2nd snow day. This picture was obviously taken from the front door, because I didn't go outside that day. It looked pretty though.

This picture is from when I went to Nashville. We were in the playroom having a dance party and Ansley wanted to put on a costume and cook something for us. Marlee is kind of a tomboy. Athletic and naturally good at most physical things. Ansley, on the other hand, is the sweetest child you will ever meet. She is a cuddle-r and a nurturer by nature. But gracefulness is not her strong point. My mom, sister, and I just sat on the floor and laughed at her trying to walk around in high heels! Don't worry, I will practice with her before she starts wearing real heels!

Kroger apparently sells this as a single serving milk. I'm just hoping to drink it all before it goes bad... I don't like milk. I rarely drink it. But every once in a while I want a bowl of cereal or need it for something I'm cooking. And I feel like milk is one of those staples that you should have in your house. So I buy it. I usually buy a quart (because that's the smallest size they have) and end up wasting it because I can never finish it in time. I was super excited when I saw the pint sized bottle. Apparently it is supposed to be a single serving. I've used it twice and it's still about half full...

I already talked on Monday about what I did on pi day. Here is the photographic evidence.

Monday was a glorious day. 75 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. And I got off work early so I took that opportunity to soak up some vitamin D! I may have dozed off for a little while too. I only felt slightly bad when my roommate came out to pull weeds and work in the garden while I relaxed and took naps in the sun...

I have been doing random acts of kindness. I've decided that it's going to be a regular thing. There will be a whole blog post about it, but until then, this is one of pictures that I posted after I dropped out a basket.

Amy Farrah Fowler is my spirit animal! Do I even need to say anything else? I love her! And kind of want to be here. I went to college as a neuroscience major then when I transferred neuroscience wasn't an option so I changed to psychology. Watching Big Bang Theory and seeing Amy makes me want to go back and stick with neuroscience. And Mayim Bialik really is a neuroscientist! Girl crush!

That's it! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I picked up a pallet recently months ago. It was sitting at the park where I run and I watched it for about 2 weeks. It never went anywhere so one day after a run, I loaded it my car.

I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with it so naturally I turned to Pinterest and there were So. Many. Ideas. I also absentmindedly googled ideas and came across 1001Pallets. It's an entire website of pallet ideas. It is basically Pinterest for pallets! There were so many ideas that I wanted to try, but since a prayer board was one of my New Year's resolutions, I thought I would start there. (Luckily, multiple people have offered me pallets for future projects).

This was my inspiration picture...

And this is where I started.

Yes, I was a little worried about the paint, but I also thought that it added some character. So I just went with it. 

The first step to this whole thing is demolition. I am a single girl. I have a basic toolbox, but that's about it. But I am also fiercely independent. When I was 8, I put together a trampoline because my parents told me they would do it later but I wanted to jump on it. Right then. So, while I was ill-equipped for this project, I was not going to ask someone for help. Lucky for me, I follow a lot of home renovation blogs and knew what to do... Enter Home Depot.

You can rent tools. It's great! And it was so easy! I would totally recommend it. The tools can be rented for 4-hour increments so for the first round, I rented a reciprocal saw. Everything I researched said that the reciprocal saw was the way to go.

They also recommended a 12" demolition blade. This is the way to go, because it cuts through wood and nails. 

Then I just started breaking everything down.

I recommend gloves. And goggles. And maybe some earplugs. I did wear gloves for this part but took them off for the picture. You can see how easy it was to just saw straight down. After everything was broken down, I ended up with this...

I like the shelf, but if I were going to actually use it I would redo it with a neater pallet. This one had a little wear and tear that made the shelf not very usable. After that, I sorted through the pieces and decided which ones to use for the board. 

On Day #2 (although, it wasn't really the next day...) I went back to Home Depot. This time I rented a circular hand sander and bought some sandpaper to go with it. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten sandpaper with 2 different grits. 

I went with a 150 which is a good finish grit, but next time I would probably go with a rougher grit to start and then finer grit for the finish. Oh well, c'est la vie.

So now that I had taken everything apart and figured out which pieces I wanted to use, I sanded each piece individually. I thought about sanding all the paint off, but I kind of like the look of it.

Ignore the fact that it looks like I have alien hands! I thought I had a picture of the layout once everything was sanded, but I couldn't find it. Sorry!

I watched the wood for a while and then decided that it was too big. On Day #3, I thought about going back to Home Depot to rent another saw but I was lazy/impatient and just wanted to keep it going so I measured the length I wanted, marked it on each piece and then used my regular hand saw to cut each piece down. Maybe not ideal, but I decided that I'm going for a natural, raw, rustic look so I went with it.

Then I lined everything up again and connected them with some spare pieces of wood. Well first I used some wood glue to help reinforce everything and then I used spare pieces of wood.

After that, the next stage was staining. I got a gray-tinted stain at Home Depot (Weathered Oak) and stained everything on a particularly gorgeous, sunny day!

I did 2 coats of stain- sanding in between with a regular sander. 

Then I went to Michael's for the finishing touches. I bought some adhesive letters and some clothes pins. The clothes pins were cute and green with patterns. I thought they went well with the wood. Then I took no pictures. Sorry!

I cut out the letters and lined them up along the top so I could look at spacing. Then I just eyeballed the placement. There was no measuring. I did the Y in the middle first and then worked my way out on both sides. 

I did the same thing with the clothes pin. No measurements here! The green was a little too bright and lime for the wood so I used a couple coats of stain to get it a little more rustic. Then I glued them on to wood in a random pattern.

The one on the bottom right will be used for answered prayers. I'm excited about how it turned out and have lots of ideas for my next pallet project!

* I am far from a photographer, so just pretend like all these pictures are staged and beautiful and the lighting is perfect...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lettuce Ketchup

Sorry that I missed the last few weeks. Things were crazy! Here is a quick catch up post to get back on track.

* The craziness started right after my last post. I talked about the week of death. Well my brother-in-law's Granddad's funeral service was planned for Thursday night. I had planned to take off work Friday and drive up to Nashville for the services. Then the weather... Wednesday night everyone was talking about the weather and freaking out. I tend to ignore all that stuff, so I just went on with life. I get a call that evening from the doctor I'm working with telling me to go ahead and take off work Thursday too so I can go be with family. Have I mentioned that I love the docs I work with? I woke up Thursday morning and looked out the window and there was actually some snow. I was thankful for the day off. I curled up on the couch and drank coffee and caught up on some DVR. I don't think I went outside all day.

*  Here is my small rant, because I hate when my friends from the North make fun of our "snow days," yes I know that this isn't a big deal compared to whatever icecap you came from. Yes I know that when you were growing up they never cancelled school for a little snow. I get it. I'm over it. Memphis isn't equipped to handle snow. We don't need to be. I've been up North when it snows. The next morning the plows have come, the streets are clear, and there are nice snow banks along the side of the road. Memphis doesn't have that. Also, many schools are walking schools. There are a lot of precious little children that walk to school that may have a light jacket, but most likely don't have a warm coat, and hat, and gloves and any other snow gear. So yes, I know that Memphis occasionally closes schools when it's cold and there is a threat of snow and people laugh about it. But snow or no snow, weather in the teens and 20s is cold. You try walking or standing at a bus stop in just a jacket and see how the kids feels. This wasn't meant to be quite this long, but oh well. We don't get a lot of snow. We freak out about it. Tornado and earthquake drills as a kid, though, were just another day...

*  Because of the weather (it was worse in Nashville than Memphis), the funeral services were moved to Saturday. The weather was supposed to warm up on Friday afternoon so I packed up my car and got on the road once it warmed up some. Actually, I caravanned with my parents because they were worried. Ha! I met them at an exit and followed my dad all the way to Nashville. The service Saturday was great. Granddad was an extraordinary man: physician, artist, author, mentor, etc.

*  I go back to work the next week and everything is back to normal. Busy, but normal. Wednesday I walk into the craziness. All 5 of our lists are at max capacity and they are thinking about calling in the back up physician (which we never have to do). I mentally prepare for a busy day and start seeing patients and trying to discharge the few people that are ready to go home. Then at about noon, the internet goes down. Slightly inconvenient. I see a few more patients and then decide to give up and go to lunch thinking that surely it will be back up after that. Nope. No such luck! I can't write notes. I can't put in orders. I can't see lab results. I can't discharge people. It is a mess. I finally give up. I had seen all the patients on the list, but couldn't do any more work so I left. And I went for a nice long run. Then I went home and started notes from home. I didn't finish things until after 8 that night. Blah!
Apparently there was a manhole downtown that caught fire and burned some fiber so there were lots of places in midtown and downtown without internet. It didn't come back up at the hospital until around midnight that night!

* Last Saturday was Pi Day. Like the nerdiest of pi days. 3/14/15. If you are as cool as me you celebrated on 3/14/15 at 9:26.53 That's a lot of digits guys! I ran 3.14 miles and then went and bought an apple pie. Because, of course!

*  Later that night, my roommate had some people over for game night for her 30th birthday. Such a fun night. I really like games. And hanging out with people. I need those nights.

*  Last week, I spoke at a career panel. It was for my sorority at Rhodes. They asked some alumnae to come talk. We were split up into classrooms with someone else in a similar field and the girls could chose which class to go to. I was with a research nurse at St Jude. We had about 20 girls in our class. We each spoke a little and then gave them time to ask questions about jobs in the healthcare field and just some general interview questions. They were all really sweet. I gave one girl my email address and she asked if she could shadow me sometime. I really should get more involved with the chapter...

So I think that's it. I think that should get you caught up on my life. It is now officially Spring and we have had some glorious days that are sunny and 70! Praise God!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Smiles

Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name: you are mine.... You are precious and honored in My sight because I love you.
- Isaiah 43:1b; 4

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Smiles

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
- 1 Peter 4:10

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Natural Habitat

Wow! It's March and I am still going strong! Okay, maybe not strong, but I'm still going. And March is one of my favorite months. March means that Spring and warm weather are not far behind! I figured it was about time to give an update on my resolutions. I'm not going to do this every month, but I'll update every once in a while.

First of all, let me just say that I am a creature of habit. Down to the core. I joke with my friends that I do better in my natural habitat. Every morning, I wake up, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, make my bed, go downstairs and turn on the Keurig. I start cooking breakfast while making my coffee is brewing. Then I go back upstairs, read, drink coffee, and eat breakfast before I go out and conquer the world (or at least the day).

I am so much a creature of habit, that sometimes vacations stress me out because I don't like being off schedule. The last time I went to my sister's house to visit, I considered staying in a hotel so I could keep my routine better. That's a different story for another time. I didn't do it. But I did bring my own k-cups and creamer so I could have my coffee and I packed food for breakfast to help keep things as normal as possible. Natural habitat, people!

All that to say that I am usually pretty good at resolutions if I can somehow incorporate them into my routine and keep doing them consistently. So let's see how I'm doing:

I have put exactly zero dollars in savings, but I did pay off a little more than usual one of my student loans to try and get that number down some. I didn't break these up into bite-sized monthly chunks so it is hard to tell exactly how I am progressing on them. I think it's going to be a balance between putting money in savings and paying off loans so this month's focus was on loans. I've decided to make some adjustments and try something a little different. Every month, I am going to leave $200 in my account. Anything over that amount will go towards loans or into savings. We'll see how it works out.

And the monthly cash budget went well. Except for one day after work when I didn't have my wallet with me and I had no cash so I had to use my card. And I bought a few things online (like my MRTC membership and registering for a 5k) so I am going to have to regroup and figure out how to budget for that...

I've read 6 books so far, although I have been told that 1 of them does not count because I started it in December. I guess if you want to be technical, I have read 5 books in their entireties this year. Off to a good start!

I have not been to a conference yet, but I have picked one out. I need to go ahead and register. It's in June so I have a little time. I also haven't chosen a research topic. But it's coming. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head. Need to get them onto paper so I can start crossing some off and narrowing them down.

Travel plans are in the works. The conference I'm planning on going to is in New Orleans and I'm also planning a trip for my golden birthday. Napa in July! I can't wait! I'm also planning to travel for the half but I'm still not set on where. And I'm starting a list of other ideas for travel in the future...

I still don't know how to describe it so these still sound odd, but I think I am getting better at being selfish AND being a better friend. I am learning how to say yes and how to say no. It's an art, people!

So far, so good. I have been more consistently working out. January I worked out at least 4 times a week, every week. I slacked a little in February. I blame it on being sick a little and the weather. But I think I still made it 3 days each week. Because I have now built it into my routine so it's just what I do. It has become part of my day. The problem with the routine is that it makes spontaneity difficult and it's easy for me to get frustrated when I have to break it to, say, hang out with other people. See above.

Running has actually been going well. 53 miles so far, including a run in 23 degree weather and a few cold mud runs! 247 to go. Which means that I am ahead of pace right now. If I really keep this up, and train for a half, then I underestimated my mileage. Oh well!

I am still trying to figure out which half to do, but I think I have narrowed it down to the Chicago Half in September or the Wine and Dine Disney Half in November. I need to go ahead and decide so I can register as soon as it opens. I also need to come up with my training schedule and figure out when I actually need to start getting some long runs in.

Prayer board. Is complete. I'll do an entire post on it on next week...
Memorize scripture. Better. I subscribed to the She Reads Truth email and they send out a "weekly truth" with scripture memory, so that is helping.

Finding a church is hard. And not something that I expected to do in a month or 2. But I have been visiting. I decided that I would give each church at least 3 weeks unless something was glaringly wrong. (Kind of like my 3 date rule) I am on my second church of the year, so I feel as if I am making progress...

How are you doing on your resolutions? Has anyone run either of these half marathons? Recommendations?

Monday, March 2, 2015


I am so glad that last week is over! It was one of the roughest weeks that I've had in a long time! I mentioned that I was kinda sick last week which is no fun. Even if that's the only thing that's going on. Monday morning, I found out that a friend's father had died. He had been sick for a while and it was expected. It is sad, but not a shock. But still hard.

I had a patient die on Tuesday. I deal with death a lot at work. I don't want to say I'm used to it. Death is never really something you get used to, but it does get... easier. That's not the right word either, but I'll assume that you know what I mean. This was hard though. Harder than usual. When I saw him on Monday he was up walking around his room talking. It all happened fast. But Tuesday afternoon, when I heard a code called over the loud speaker, I knew that it was him. It was just that gut feeling. And I can say with 100% certainty that coding a patient never gets easier. Never, ever, ever! We got him stable enough to transfer, updated his family, and the doctor that I was working with prayed with them. It was hard.

Wednesday I had another patient that wasn't doing well. I had that same gut feeling. I hate that feeling! But I talked to the patient. I put my stethoscope away in my pocket, pulled up a chair, and sat down and talked. We talked about how he was doing and what his wishes were. And then I called his wife and had a similar conversation with her. She asked questions and cried. She told me stories about their marriage and his life. I answered her questions as best I could and listened to all her stories. Then she asked me the hardest question of all and I tried not to cry myself. I was thinking that the plan was to try and get him home with hospice. When I got to work on Thursday, I found out that he had died overnight. Ugh! I might have yelled some choice words when I logged into the computer. Life is hard.

I also got a text from my sister on Thursday that my brother-in-law's grandfather had died. My brother-in-law was raised by his Granddad. And it was totally out of the blue. Unexpected.

I was wound up pretty tight at this point. I was emotionally drained and physically worn out from being sick. I got home and took a bath and relaxed. About halfway through the bath, I realized that I didn't feel nearly as bad as I had so I took full advantage of it and went to the gym. A quick treadmill workout and some sweating was great! I kept running until they announced that the gym was closed. During my run, my roommate had texted asking if I was okay so when I got home, I gave her the rundown of the week. She suggested that we go get a drink so we went to a restaurant around the corner and got drinks. Bad coping mechanisms, for the win!

Friday was filled with more hard conversations. More conversations about pathology reports and prognoses and options. Life is hard! And I am so grateful that last week is over!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Smiles

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13