Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To be missed...

Knowing I'll be missed makes me feel loved, needed, befriended, essential, and a part of other people's lives.

It reminds me that the last five years have been spent buliding relationships and are years I will never forget. Even though I am confident God is leading us on this new journey, I am glad I can take my memories and friendships with me.



It also makes me realize how much I'll miss everyone here, too!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All-nighters

I loved college life, but one of the things I don't miss is "pulling an all-nighter." Maybe I have become wimpy in my old age, but I hit a wall at around 11pm and just can't concentrate on anything, not even a conversation with Hubs.

Last night, I woke up from a nightmare involving me 50 pounds heavier battling talking wolves and bears (weird), to find the hall light still on and Hubs not there. He had left at 9pm to get some work done in the lab and so I assumed it was probably about 1:30am and he would be home shortly. To my amazement, the clock said 3:20am!

Five minutes later I heard Hubs pull into the parking lot and after a few questions on what he had accomplished, I fell right back asleep. Then, four short hours later, I woke Hubs up so he could get off to school.

I do believe this was his last all-nighter. And who knows, maybe we will be in a reversed situation when I start taking classes again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Which first? and then your advice.

In general, when putting together an outfit for an occasion, do you:

A. Search for the shoes & accessories, then find the outfit.

B. Search for the outfit, then find the shoes and accessories?


I found the dress. That's done. It's pretty plain, though, so I need some fantastic accessories to jazz it up.

I also found the jewelry. I just need the shoes and am having no luck. Plus, I only have 8 days to find them. I have exhausted the local stores and have frantically searched the Internet, only to find one pair that is completely out of my price range.

I found a really cute pair of shoes in town that would go with the dress. But, I would have to completely change the jewelry (which I love). This is my back-up plan.

So, should I just give up on finding the perfect colored shoes to go with my jewelry and settle on the shoes I have already found so that I can remain sane? Or, should I keep looking and stressing for the perfect shoes until the very last minute and then, if I don't find them, run around and try to find jewelry to go with the back up shoes?

Maybe I'll just wear a potato sack to graduation.

Chocolatiers

This weekend, we used 5lbs of this:

and this:


Then we did this:


so we could put it into these:


and make these:


Then, we packaged them like this:

And that's not even the cutest part!

Friday, April 24, 2009

On our wedding day...

In response to the poll, I thought I would give you a snippet of what actually did happen on my wedding day.

I was ticketted by a police officer.
I was in an unfamiliar city, taking my bridesmaid to her hotel after midnight. I had made a wrong turn and was lost in some neighborhood. I saw the sign for the hotel and completely missed the stop sign. Not one, but two police cars had the right of way at that two-way stop and pulled me over.

They had no sympathy for me, even thought it was my first ticket and it was my wedding day. Of course, any regard to one's feelings leaves when you are almost killed by the driver and I can understand that. After assuring him I had not been drinking and attempting to explain why I did not have my most current verification of insurance, he issued me a citation for $175, which I had to pay the next morning before we left the country on our honeymoon.

I did not trip up the stairs and bump my nose, although that would be very believable.

I did not take a shower.
Due to the delay in getting home because of the police officer incident and then getting up at 5:30am to get other things done, I did not have time to take a shower. Instead, I shaved my legs in the sink and made sure I didn't stink too badly.

I did run down 11 flights of stairs and I did run into a glass door.
I called Hubs after I got the ticket. I was delirious because in a right state of mind I would have thought through calling my fiance at 1:30am the morning of his wedding to tell him his future wife almost killed herself and 2 of her friends which resulted in a ticket that would be sure to affect our insurance rate. But I wasn't thinking clearly, so I called him.

Whether or not it was the waking him up or the fact I got a ticket that made the conversation unpleasant, I am not sure, but I fretted about it all night and had to see him the next morning before anything else happened. Once I was at his hotel, I couldn't remember the room number, just which floor he was on. So after knocking on the one I thought was his and nobody answering, I realized I had to get back so we could leave for the church. I pushed the elevator button and waited. And waited. And waited. Then, I called the front desk and told them the elevator wasn't working. I waited some more. Finally, when I could not wait any longer, I found the stairs and ran down 11 flights to the ground floor. In my frustration at a very rough start to my day, I walked right into the glass door and bumped my nose.

The tears took over from there.

I did not back into my brother's car or laugh so hard that water came up my nose.

This recap was only of the first few hours of my wedding day. I did not tell you how my mother-in-law got chigger bites from her knees to her toes. I also did not tell you about the call Hubs received from the courthouse informing him that our marriage license was not valid. We'll save those for another time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Dental School Years - Part 1.

I can tell dental school is almost over. Not only are we overwhelmed with future planning, but Hubs hasn't had homework in weeks. There haven't been tests, or studying, or labwork, or research. It is truly and officially winding down.

And so, finally I think I can honestly blog about what it is like, being a dental school wife.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

As dental school approached, we were a newly engaged couple. We had a carefree, fun and exciting summer where every moment of our spare time was spent together. So, as the first day of school drew closer, I despaired. The inevitable hours of studying were coming closer and closer and all I had heard were horror stories about the pressure, the tests, the time commitment, and the lab work.

I lived about 20 minutes away on campus with two great roommates. I worked a part-time job, went to school full-time, was planning a wedding, and was pretty involved at church. This was good, because I couldn’t see Hubs every night, but I was busy with studying and stuff so I was lonely. My roommates were great fun, too, and kept me company on the free nights. Hubs and I would talk to each day and sometimes study together. It was fun to surprise him by stopping by and it was even more fun when he surprised me! On days that he had big tests, I would drive over early in the morning with muffins. We cherished the times we spent together.

We had determined early on that Friday nights would remain our date-nights. These were times when Hubs put aside his studies no matter what so that we could be together. It was a good break for him and it was what we both looked forward to each week.

By the end of spring semester and right on into summer semester, I could tell Hubs needed a break from dental school. Yet, he still had 8 weeks left and his Part 1 Board exam at the end. We both felt the pressure and I began to blame dental school, hating it for dividing Hubs attention from me at the time when I most wanted to be assured of his love and commitment towards me. Our wedding was weeks away….I wanted him to be as enthralled in the planning as I was. As I realized my selfish thoughts, I took my head from my rear and started encouraging Hubs in his studies and in his work. He had enough pressure on him without me adding to it. For the next three years of my life I would be sharing Hubs with dental school commitments and he needed me to be right there beside him, cheering him on. So, we pressed on, looking forward to our break.

Hubs had a 5 week break between summer and fall semester. We planned our wedding 5 days after his Part 1 Board exam – the test that determines whether or not you can continue your dental education. No big deal or anything… So, as I was stressing over wedding plans, traveling to and from Kansas, attending bridal showers, moving into our apartment, and working full-time, Hubs was deep into the books, preparing for his exam. He jokes about not having a clue about our wedding plans, but it was true. He heard the music, saw the d├ęcor, and learned the order of service the night before, at rehearsal.

The moment I saw him after his board exam was over, I knew my Hubs was back. He looked like a boulder had been lifted off his shoulder and he was ready to be my Hubs. We celebrated that night and the next morning I took off for Kansas to prepare for our wedding. We both looked forward to year 2, knowing that we would at least be together through it all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Hy-Vee Man

My Hy-Vee is right across the street which is extremely convenient on nights when the planned dinner meal doesn't sound very good. To say we frequent the grocery store during the week is an understatement. I went there 3 times this past Sunday alone.

But, I love my Hy-Vee. It's the largest one around, but I know the layout and where everything is located. They have a good selection and, of course, there is a "helpful smile in every aisle." But more than a helpful smile, there is my helpful Hy-Vee man.

Months ago, back when the store was relatively new, I was shopping and an older gentleman who was handing out samples asked if I wanted to try his roast. I did and started to walk away, but he called me back and asked how it was. It was good. Before I understood what was happening I had a pot roast in my hands, instructions on how to cook it, and was off to buy potatoes, carrots, and onions to cook with it. My trip to "just pick up some milk" turned into Saturday's meal.

The next time I went in, he taught me how to cook a cornish hen. This time I carried it around with me, but put it back when he wasn't looking. I didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't interested.

For a while, I tried to sneak by him on my trips to the grocery store. Sometimes it would work, other times he would call me over, Well hello young lady! How are you doing today?, to teach me a new recipe. Just this past Sunday, I cooked the pork roast he showed me how to make. After each lesson, he tells me, And remember, if I can cook it, you can cook it.

I don't avoid my Hy-Vee man anymore, but I have also learned to say, maybe next time, when he places random meat in my hands. I enjoy tasting his food and chatting when I go in.

I will miss my Hy-Vee man when we move. I will also miss the Caribou Coffee shop located inside my Hy-Vee. And, the cracked pepper linguine that I can't find anywhere else. And the redbox that gives out free movies. And the $.15 I earn each time I bring my reusable bags in.

Can I take Hy-Vee with me?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spontaneity

Friday night, 7pm.

Hubs says: What do you want to do tonight?
Me: Go to Kansas City.
Hubs: Are you serious?
Me. Well, yes.
Hubs: Okay, let's get packed then.

Ten minutes later, we were on to Kansas City. I needed a visit to see my fam and to hug my the dog. With the busyness of moving, I knew it would be a while until we would be able to go again.

In 20 hours, we drove for 6 hours, played and cuddled with my the dog, hung out with family, slept, looked at Israel pictures, went out to breakfast, and witnessed the murder of many toads.

In a time where so many decisions loom over our heads, this one seemed so simple and easy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Awards Ceremony- take two.


A few weeks ago, Hubs and I drove to Omaha for an awards ceremony.

Let me back up, though. For each award that Hubs has received, we really have no idea what it is about or for until we get there. We get a letter in the mail that says he is winning an award and where to be at what time. That's about all we know.

So, we headed to the Omaha Hilton for a luncheon and Hubs received a plaque from the American College of Dentists for being an outstanding leader and for his tendency to do great things in the field of dentistry. The luncheon was actually part of the entire weekend of the Nebraska Dental Association's annual meeting. It reminded me of my Phi Theta Kappa days and made me hope we join something like this in Kansas.

I told Hubs that this has been one of the coolest awards so far. Why? Because he actually got a plaque. It's make from wood and it has writing on it and that goes a long way in my book. Wood and writing....now you all know what makes me happy.

And because the last awards ceremony was so eventful, I know you must be wondering how I fared at this one. Besides a throbbing headache, I was fine and remained on 2 feet the entire time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Old Wall

I must be super predictible. Out of all the votes, only 2 different answers were given: Israel and Oahu, Hawaii. Wow.

This wall is located in...



Tel Dan, Israel. It was built sometime during the 9th century BC, most likely by King Ahab, and is part of the second gatehouse area. You can read more about Tel Dan here.

The person with the first correct answer was Sarah. She has won a gift certificate to shutterfly.com, one of my favorite sites. And, personally, I think it is a perfect gift for her since she has an adorable little boy and a mom who takes amazing pictures.

Thanks to those of you who played, and to those of you who didn't, you missed out on a ton of fun. Well, maybe you just missed out on the prize.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just For Fun

I've decided to have a contest. There are 2 reasons for the contest:

1. I really like this picture, however I have nothing to say about the photo. A contest removes the need for a boring post about a pretty photo.

2. Hopefully, some of you who read the feather files, but do not comment, will want to comment because you will actually win something! Let me repeat: There is a prize for guessing correctly and all you have to do is leave a comment with your guess.

Below is a photo of a stone wall. I think it is a rather calming picture and the wall has a lot of character. But, none of that matters to the contest. Here is the question you need to answer:

Where is this wall?


Be as general or as specific as you want. Only one guess per person, please. I will determine the winner and my decision is final. Contest ends at 12:00pm CST on Thursday.

Proof I was not adopted.


This is me, setting up the camera to take a picture of myself. I am obviously thrilled that it is 7:50am on Wednesday morning as implied from the frown and the droopy eyelids. This has nothing to do with the post, but I thought it was hilarious how extremely unhappy I look.

Actually, it is a good day and I am very happy.


This was the picture I was trying to take. Please direct your attention to the pinky fingers. They are crooked. Here's a closer look.


The right is more crooked than the left; but the left does this zig-zag thing that you can't really see in the picture. It's always been that way.

If I ever had doubts of whether I was related to my father, which I haven't, this proves my paternity. My dad has these same exact pinkies. My Gram also has these same exact pinkies. My brother's don't have them, though. It's just the three of us. I have always thought some special power must come from pinky fingers that look like this...like super pinky strenth. I just haven't learned how to hone in on the power yet. I am pretty sure I will use the powers for good instead of evil, though.

It's neat to see these weird special physical traits that get passed down from our family. I can't imagine hands without crooked pinkies, and that will probably be one of the first things I check on our future children when they are born. Which one will get my pinkies?

What physical trait did you have passed down to you? Are you glad you have it?


After further review of these hands, I am very convinced I could never be a hand model. Besides the crooked pinkies, what is up with my thumb joints? Eeek.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Countdowns

11 days until Ruth comes to visit!
A long-awaited, much need girl visit. The whole day it will be Ruth and me hanging out together and most certainly laughing a lot.

23 more days of work!
Have any of you ever left a job that you love? I'm doing that in just over 2 short weeks. It's a job that God brought to me at just the right time and fit me perfectly. And, I think (and have been told) that I am pretty good at it, too. It is hard to leave, especially the friends that I have made there, but I also know that I am ready. I have resolved that it is time to stretch my boundaries and try something new, to get out of my comfort zone and take the next step. Doubts can flood your mind: What if I'm not cut out to be a student anymore? What if I am not any good at my new job? What will I do without anyone to talk to during the day? But, without stretching your wings, you will never grow and I am excited for a new challenge.

24 days and Hubs will be a dentist!
This has been a much-anticipated day. There will be celebrating, for sure. I have watched Hubs do his very best for the past 4 years and I can't wait to celebrate with him.

27 days until we are in Hawaii!
Need I say more?

46 days left as Nebraska residents!
That's right. We are moving down south....okay, well to Kansas. And, although we don't know the address of our new home yet, we do know we are going to the state whose claim to fame is The Wizard of Oz. It is an exciting time for us because we are starting so many new things - a new home, a new career, a new life, and making new friends. And, as much as I have loved these carefree dental school-years, part of me is finally ready for this next step.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Morning Panic

How do you like to wake up? To music? To the smell of breakfast cooking? To a warm shower? Or, how about to excrutiating pain that you inflict upon yourself?

It started last night. I had something in my eye and ended up taking my contact out. After that problem was solved, I just took the other contact out and wore my glasses for the evening.

This morning, I put a contact in my right eye first. When I put my left contact in, pain beyond belief ensued. It felt as though acid was burning the cornea right off my eyeball. Frantically, I start grabbing at my contact to pull it out of my burning eye. But, water is flowing from my tear ducts trying to cleanse my eye of the posionous substance attacking by body which makes grabbing the contact difficult. Finally, I pull the contact out. The burning continues. I cup my hands and fill them with cold water as I immerse my eyeball into the water and frantically blink to combat the stinging.

Slowly, it gets better. As I lean into the mirror to check out my eye, fearing that I have gone blind, I am happy that I can indeed see that my eye is beet-red. I realize that it will be a glasses-wearing day and then wonder what happened to the contact that I frantically pulled out of my eye. I search for it and find it hanging on the edge of the counter.

We have two types of contact solution: Clear Care and OptiFree. The Clear Care is what we use on an everyday basis. It comes with a special case that has a piece of metal inside. The metal reacts with the solution (which is almost purely Hydrogen Perioxide) to create bubbles that clean your contacts during the night. Warning labels are all over the bottle in bright red. "DO NOT PUT CLEAR CARE DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EYE!" You must leave the Clear Care solution in the special case with your contacts for at least 6 hours so that the Perioxide neutralizes into water after reacting with the metal. So, we have the OptiFree in those cases when we don't have 6 hours to wait, or we need to clean a contact and put it right back in.

Last night, when I was dealing with the fuzz in my eye, Hubs put the OptiFree into the plain, everday case along with my contact. After I decided to just take out the other contact and wear my glasses, I grapped the Clear Care (not thinking at all) and put it in the other side of the regular, everyday case. Therefore, this morning I put a contact drenched in pure Hydrogen Perioxide directly in my eye. Thus, the burning of my eyeball. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

I don't recommend trying this at home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunshine!

Our bodies need vitamin D and it is absorbed through our skin from the sun's rays. In order to absorb the amount of vitamin D that an average individual (such as myself) needs per week, we need to be outside 2 times a week for 20 minutes, without sunscreen.

So, get outside and absorb some vitamin D today!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Calm in the storm


I do. And rightly so. We are preparing for a career change, a location change, a home change, a life change - the first one in our three years as Hubs and Feath.

I have resigned myself to the fact that my apartment will never be spotlessly clean until May 31st when it is empty. I know this because my car is loaded with numerous flattened boxes that are just waiting for me to find space in the crowded apartment. Once they make their way up the three flights of stairs, the apartment will never look the same.

It's a weird feeling. Life is still normal because we aren't moving for another 7 weeks, yet life is not normal because we are moving in a short 7 weeks. Decisions hang in the air. Plans are yet to be made. Yet, regular life is still going on. Leaving the life you know and love is so exciting, yet so draining.

That's why, in the midst of all the pressure, all the stress, and all the overwhelmingness, we are going to a place where we don't have to do anything.

We can lay by the beach. We can lay by the pool. We can sit and read. We can go for a walk. We can hike. But, we don't have to do anything. And we won't feel like we need to see or do something, because we've been there before. It is the perfect, relaxing vacation in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Until then, I'll be thinking of boxes and graduation; tape guns and moving details. I'll be leaving my job to start a new adventure. Leaving our comfort zones, to stretch our wings.

I'm excited - for the move, and the vacation.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thank you!

I started this blog 1 year ago today. Can you believe it?

Throughout the past year, I have blogged so much (260+ posts), yet about so little. So, thank you for sticking with me, reading my posts, and even more, for commenting.

Now, let's take a journey through the past year...


...or not. Life has become busy and overwhelming and, sadly, I have not had much time for blogging. Nor have I had any sequential, logical thoughts to conform into a blog post.

I will be back; sooner, rather than later.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our News.

It is official...




We've been talking about it secretly for a week now...





I'm so excited. So is Hubs...





It came as a surprise...





A passing thought...





It turned into reality...





When, today, we booked two tickets to...


HAWAII!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Foreign Foods

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Hydrogenated Oils.

These two substances are absolutely foreign to our bodies. They have no nutritional value. They were invented for the sole purpose of allowing normal, perishible foods to sit on the shelf for up to 12 years.

Yummy.

Think of the foods we need to stay healthy and live. Water: God provided us with plenty of that. Vegetables: God made those. Fruits: God made those. Animals: God made those. Everything He provided has nutritional value and necessity.

Think of the foods we eat a lot of. Pop: man made that. Packaged cookies: man made that. Potato chips in a sack: man made that. Hardly any (if any) nutritional value.

I haven't wiped out those un-nutritious foods from our home (do you really think I could stay away from ice cream?). But, I have tried to buy more wholesome options.

For example, I've switched to this:


And, I love it. There are 5 ingredients, all real things. The consistency is more liquid than normal peanut butter because the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is absent. The taste, however, is delicious and I have been eating it almost everyday. I haven't baked with it yet, but considering this is what they used to use in the olden days, I am not too concerned.

So, try to eat less foreign foods and more real foods. That is what you body needs and wants.

I don't think it is about losing weight or being thin, anymore. It's about eating and living healthy lifestyles.
Information taken from "Eat Well! Live Well!" by Pamela Smith, RD.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oils & Fats

You should have 2 main oils in your home for cooking: Olive Oil & Organic Canola Oil.

Olive Oil should be the oil used most often and in low-heat cooking; the best to use is extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). EVOO is derived from the first pressing of the olives and has the most delicate flavor and most antioxidant benefits. It is one of the most healthy foods, protecting against degenerative diseases and heart disease. The mediterranean diet is very high in olive oil (it is their primary fat intake), and interestingly enough, these people are the most healthy and live the longest. But, do remember, it is a fat and should not be consumed in great quantities.

Organic Canola Oil should be used when cooking at high heat and, of course, when baking. Even thinking about brownies with olive oil makes me cringe! Canola Oil does not have all the health benefits of olive oil

Both of those oils are monounsaturated fats and should make up no more than 20% of your total fat intake.

Examples of polyunsaturated fats are liquid vegetable oils and should make up no more than 10% of your total fat intake.

Saturated fats include animal foods and coconut and palm oils and should make up no more than 7% of your total fat intake.

And, trans fats are things such as shortening, margarine, crackers, and cookies and should make up not more than 3% of your total fat intake.

Information taken from Dr. Low Dog.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Organic or not?

I'll admit that I've always thought the whole "organic food" thing was a little ridiculous. I mean, I buy smart chicken because I like it better, but other than that, my cart steers clear of the organic section.

Then, I heard about a study that took blood from 10 newborns' umbilical cords . You would think newborn babies' blood should be pure and clean, right? An average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found; a total of 287 different chemicals between the 10 babies. Of those 287 chemicals, 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects and abnormal development.

Now, I am not naive enough to believe that all those toxins came from food. Nor am I putting myself on a rigid organic diet. There is some produce, however, that we should just buy organic because we can't get rid of the pesticides by simply washing.

By the way, until 2 weeks ago I never, ever washed my non-organic produce before eating it!
There is a more complete list, but I think this one simplifies it pretty well. Keep in mind that pesticides cling to the fuzziness of peaches. Fruit with a rind or peel (cantaloupe and bananas)aren't a big deal because you eat the inside. Berries are hard to rid of pesticides, too.

I checked out our organic produce area this past weekend. Sadly, they had only 2 cartons of organic strawberries and no organic grapes or berries. The organic apples are delicious, though. I know I can't keep out all the toxins, and I know I can't buy everything organic; but I am going to check out our organic section more often and even purchase more organic items in the future.

Let me know if you are interested in the larger list of produce you should buy organic.

Information taken from Dr. Low Dog.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

This morning I turned on the wii fit and my balance board (on the screen) was wearing a funny hat. Odd. THen it told me, "Balance...board...not...responding...no...signal..." Hm.

Seconds later, it popped up and said, "Just kidding. April fools!"

It scares me how smart that thing is sometimes.

-------------------------------------------------------

Hubs and I are headed out of town, again. Which means no access to a computer and therefore no blog posts for 4 days. Gasp.

Wait, it's okay. I have good news!

For those two of you who will miss reading the Feather Files, I am still going to post. But, instead of it being all about Hubs and Feath, you will get little health and nutrition tidbits that I picked up at the dental conference.

I hope you enjoy them, but if you don't, I'll be back on Monday.