Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Season!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. We got to spend it with my dad's side of the extended family in NC. It's been a good while since I'd been around for Thanksgiving, and Burke hadn't yet been to my awesome aunt's awesome  house in Charlotte. We got to see some of my cousins I hadn't seen in a while and meet their babies; count on the little ones to make a holiday gathering extra fun! It was a fantastic day surrounded by many of the blessings we have to be so thankful for.

The next couple of days were lots of fun hanging out with Mom, Dad, and Dillon. The weather was amazingly warm so we took advantage of it and got the Christmas lights up. Earliest ever for Mom and Dad! :) Christmas music came on, and I even got to play a little bit of Christmas music on the piano. What a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

They had a nice little birthday party for me on Saturday before we headed back home to Norfolk, cause yep, it's that day again! It was super sweet. Today my brother asked me if I was feeling old, and I told him not really. Well, actually it depends. But I'm one of the youngest people in my class at school so usually I feel like a young'un. I wonder how long that'll last.

Anyway, here's hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you're ready to bring in the exciting Christmas season!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I'm grateful for this place.

And this guy.

I'm grateful for what I learn in the House of the Lord. I'm grateful for my covenants. I have much to learn, but I'm grateful that the Lord will teach me if I ask and seek. I'm grateful that Burke and I are going to be together forever. What beautiful promises.

We have holiday plans figured out finally! We're exhausted just thinking about it. We'll be spending most of Thanksgiving weekend in North Carolina. Then we will be going to both Wisconsin and Utah, so please pray for perfect weather over practically the whole country for the whole 2 1/2 weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years. Thanks in advance. 

Happy week of Thanksgiving! I know we have so, so much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I love this stuff.

I thought maybe I should write about it because yesterday was a breakthrough day.

Burke and I were talking after a long day for both of us, and I said, "Today was such a good day! Sometimes my classes are just so good!"

Burke's jaw just about hit the floor. He kind of freaked out. "What? I have NEVER heard you say that before!"

I'm not really sure what makes one day better than the next. Sometimes the lectures are really engaging and the subject matter really fascinating. My reflection on yesterday was something to the effect of, I don't feel like I have a specific interest in ENT or Gastroenterology, but I loved my classes yesterday so much for a reason.

It's because I really do love this stuff. Even though I complain lots, even though I get awfully tired of taking tests, and even though I get super frustrated at some of the poorly written test questions I've seen....I really love this stuff. Burke mostly gets to hear all of the negative things I say, but that's unfortunate. Sometimes while I'm sitting in class I feel really inspired. I feel that my Heavenly Father is near. And yesterday was just one of those days.

I love that more than once a week I can sit down with some of my friends at lunch and have a conversation about ourselves or someone who's close to us as it relates to something we've been learning. I love discussing real life case presentations in the form of "her sister" or "her husband" or "my mom" or myself (all of whom came up this week). And it's not that we're that excited about studying, because usually our lunch conversations are an effort not to study. It's because we are learning some of the most commonly applicable information that there is.

Health is every day. For everyone. Right now I kind of feel like I just know little snippets of information all over the place. Every time I talk to someone about some symptoms or health conditions they have it seems like they know more about it than I do. But it's coming along. Before you know it I'll be your friendly neighborhood PA, diagnosing your illnesses and prescribing you treatment.

I need days like this sometimes to remind myself why we're here, in this stage of life, when every day I think about how easy it would have been not to. This is something that I needed to do, and yeah, it's something that I want to do too. I'm definitely excited to be done, and wishing it would be tomorrow, but it sure does get exciting to learn such amazing things every day. Our bodies are phenomenal. And I feel really blessed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blue Ridge Mountains and the AT

 Burke and I had the great pleasure of spending a little time in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I'd been wanting to go camping for a long time but we just couldn't fit it in. I had Thursday and Friday off school by some miracle, so west we went. After several mishaps and delays and changes of plans we made it to a campground in Lexington, VA. Our campfire was roaring in no time, foil dinners cooking, and tent set up and ready. It rained a little just in time for us to go to bed. We slept pretty well considering the cold November night. It was fantastic. Much needed.

The next day we drove a little section on the Blue Ridge Parkway, parked, and hiked a few miles on the Appalachian Trail. It was a little late for the peak fall leaves, but we didn't care. It was gorgeous anyway.

It was cloudy so when we got to the top of Bluff Mountain it was a pretty dreary view.

Regardless, it felt amazing to be hiking a mountain again. I loved that we were able to do this and I think a fall camping/hiking trip will have to be an annual tradition.

Oh and, we also happened across a unique site...

It's called FoamHenge. I think some crazy man just had too much money. Whatever, it makes for some fun pictures.

It's Merlin. ?? Don't ask me.

We must be getting old

Friday night was the much anticipated Gavin DeGraw concert with my dear cousin Aimee. (Meanwhile, my dad entertained Burke with a basketball game at Wake Forest.) Anyway, love this girl. And loved this show. So fun. I loved that it was at such a small venue that we could be super close. Unfortunately when we picked our seats we didn't notice where the speakers were. As soon as the opening band started playing we looked at each other and simultaneously put our hands to our ears. Aimee said, "Oh dang. We're right by the speakers. And we must be getting old." The first two bands, Carolina Liar and David Cook, were really guitar heavy. It was still great but I was starting to worry about my hearing. Like she said, old. I didn't seem to notice my ears by the time Gavin came on, but I think it helped that he only had 2 guitars instead of 4. I tried to take a few pictures for proof but they all mostly turned out blurry. It's just because he's such a dynamic performer!

We had entirely too much trouble getting a decent picture. Even so I hope you can appreciate the amazing cuteness of Aimee's haircut... which haircut I've decided is to be my next haircut.

Aimee and Gavin just helped me kick off a fantastic weekend at home, busy with basketball, movies, playing the wii, church, and delicious Mom-made Sunday dinner.