Tuesday, December 10, 2013


When you reach the finish line of a race, the course doesn't seem as long or as difficult as it did while you were in the midst of it. That's how I feel this week, and it wasn't even my race.

On Saturday, Hubs graduates for the second time in our marriage. It's a lot different this time. When he graduated from dental school [2009] I threw a big party [click here to review], we left for Hawai'i two days later, we moved for the first time two weeks later, I had just quit one of my favorite jobs and life was a bit crazy. There was a ceremony and a cap & gown and he was officially pronounced as a doctor for the first time. It was exhausting and stressful and the very next day I accidentally locked myself outside our apartment and sat outside for hours with a migraine headache.

When he graduates from orthodontic residency in a few days, there will be no party or vacation, we have no moving plans yet, and I'm still working at my job. Life is normal (depending on your definition of that word) and we are celebrating in a much calmer way. There is no ceremony and no cap or gown, just a nice dinner and a program with awards and congratulations. Although it is different, the excitement is just as high.

The first part of the race was hard. We struggled to find our stride. There weren't a lot of people nearby to help keep us going and it really felt like the end was forever away. The work was long and strenuous, but Hubs kept pushing through. We kept trying to find the new normal for our life.

About halfway through, we found our pace. People came alongside of us to cheer us on, to support and to encourage. We were enjoying it, and although we hit a few bumps and found times of fatigue, we knew we would make it to the end.

For the last few weeks, we have been sprinting to the finish line. We have been thinking about what happens after we finish and trying to prepare for it. We still aren't sure what will happen, but that will come in a different post.

It's kind of nice that this time is much calmer. We get to enjoy the finish much more. Hubs has raced extremely well and he is finishing with excellence. I couldn't be more excited for him and am so thankful to have shared every moment by his side. And I'll keep on cheering for him even after he runs through the tape at the end.

And, just like finishing a race, I'm so glad that we did this, but I'm not interested in doing it again for a really long time.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great resources

There are some really great resources that I have found over the past few months. I really want you to know about them.

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. If you've never heard about this book, then I'd be surprised. I feel like it is a must read for everyone. God is trustworthy in everything and I have been so comforted by studying God's sovereignty, wisdom and love.

"Sorrow, Suffering, and the Sovereignty of God" by Rick Holland from Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.  A short article, again on God's sovereignty, but focusing on how we handle our trials and asking ourselves: What do I know? What do I think? What do I believe?

"The Believer's Right Response to Difficulty" sermon on Lamentations 3 by Rick Holland.  He says at one point, "Complaining is the most serious of all spiritual threats because complaining puts yourself on the throne of God and says, 'I expect and deserve better than what you have dealt me in my life, God.'"

"Trusting God with Infertility and Miscarriage" lesson by Lisa Martin. I listened to this after my first miscarriage, and then again after my second. It is a great perspective for you if you know of someone dealing with this or are that person dealing with it.

"Heart of Hospitality" radio series by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I'm still listening through these, but they are great on learning what hospitality is and is not.

"Unmet Expectations" series by Lisa Hughes.  This is a great series on unmet expectations, which we all have! I really love that you can print off the notes, which have a section for you to do extra study in your own personal time in the Word. I've been incredibly thankful for this.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What I will miss about St. Louis

There are a lot of things, but for sure this:

Not sure if you can tell, but this tree is keeping up with the times and has decided to go ombre this year, starting with a light yellow at the bottom and turning to you a flame red at the top. It stands strong and tall at the entrance of our neighborhood, and I had to snap a photo from my car before those leaves dump to the ground.

Where we are [most likely] going has trees, but not like this. I'm so thankful for such a beautiful Fall this year!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Big 3-0

It was inevitably going to happen. Turning 30, that is. I think the reason this was somewhat dreaded is that I understand how fast time goes by. Now that I know how fast the past ten years went, I know I am going to blink and be turning 40. So, I guess I'll just keep my eyes wide open for the next decade.

I figured today would be pretty normal. For everyone else it is Halloween, or a beautiful fall day, or Reformation Day. So, I thought I would quietly pass through my 30th birthday, working through being a year older and having unmet expectations in life on my own. But it wasn't like that at all. Instead, my day was so great that I hardly noticed that I entered a new decade!

You know what made this birthday so great (besides the incredible fall color and our waitress thinking I was only 22)? People. I'm so glad to have people in my life. From a 6am coffee surprise, to lots of texts and messages, to an overflowing mailbox of cards, to unexpected gifts - people showed me their love and their care. And it meant A. LOT. I'm so thankful we don't have to go through life alone.

So here I go into a new decade of life. I can't imagine what the next ten years will bring, but I'm sure it will fly by faster than the last ten!

And now all of the sudden I'm really sad Ransom won't be around when I turn 40...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

I noticed this week that stores are decorated in orange and black. Usually this would make me super excited and I would buy some candy corn and peanuts to have around the house. And some orange & black m'n'ms. 

This year, I would be okay with them holding off on decorating for Halloween. Because this year, it means we are getting closer to a major milestone. THIRTY!!!!

Okay, I'm not really dreading it as much as it may seem. But, it does seem unreal that I should be turning 30. I don't feel like I am that old. And yet, 30 seems a lot younger now that I am almost there.

So, my ideal 30th birthday is a trip to New York City to shop, eat at really awesome restaurants and see shows on Broadway. It just isn't really the right time for that, so I'd settle for a trip to the beach. But, it isn't really the right time for that either. I think I'll celebrate my normal way - with a good cup of coffee and a book. As long as I don't have to go to a costume party, I'll be fine. [I can't stand costume parties.]

Well, ready or not, it is coming. In 55 days!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Orthodontic Residency - In Review

Two days ago it really struck me: there are only 3 months left of Orthodontic Residency. That is only 16 weeks. Where did the last 2 years go?

Moving to St. Louis wasn't the easiest transition. It was hot and humid that summer and I had to look for a job. Two things I don't love. Though thankful for the job I found, I didn't enjoy it and we had gone "backwards" in life. We were in school again, working within a tight budget. We didn't know our way around this giant city and had met very few people. Hubs was adjusting to being a student again, and jumping through all the hoops and doing all the tedious work that comes along with that. We tried not to think about the large sums of money we were paying for him to be doing paperwork and thought about the end investment. We often wondered why we moved, but deep down knew it had been the right things to do.

A year into residency, and things were getting better. It was still hot and humid, and I still don't love that. But, my job was much better - a new position was created just for me with more responsibility, we had adjusted to the new lifestyle and we weren't pulling out the Garmin every time we needed to go somewhere. Hubs was enjoying resident-life more, and although it still took up a big chunk of his time, we still found the time to have fun. We had met some great friends and a were starting in a new small group. We had found our place here.

Two years into residency, and major hurdles have passed. Hubs passed his board exam with a great score. His thesis is halfway done with experimentation dates planned. I have a new job and we have made even deeper friendships. Driving 30 minutes to get somewhere doesn't seem as crazy as it once did. We have come to love the many conveniences of a large city and Hubs even received a huge scholarship to help us out financially. The past months have consisted of conversation after conversation about our future, each conversation getting more specific and closer to the end. We are to the point of making major, most likely permanent decisions. I take more trips to Forest Park, soaking in my favorite part in St. Louis. I plan more time with friends, treasuring the friendships we have.

There is no more school after this. We have neared the end and it is a little scary for me. The theme of our marriage has always been trusting in the Lord and leaning on each other, and this is no different. In one more year, our life will look completely different and that brings with it a mixture of excitement and trepidation. So, I rest in the Lord during these days. I constantly pray and read His word about His sovereignty, wisdom and love. And the goal of our life hasn't changed. No matter what the future holds and where we go, our desire is to love God more, love others more and love each other more.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm more attached than I thought

When Hubs and I leave town, we take Ransom to a dog boarding facility. It was a shocker at first that we would pay over double what we were used to, but we love Bauserhaus and found they are actually on the cheaper end of other places and I prefer their style of boarding than others. Ransom is playing with dogs for 10-12 hours each day and comes home exhausted. Before, he would try (and succeed) to escape his enclosure, and would give me such sad eyes and throw a fit when I left him. Now, we drop him off and he doesn't even look back to see if we left.

This time, I dropped Ransom off a day before we left town. I thought about how lovely it would be to clean the house and it not immediately get covered in hair and drool. However, I didn't realize how accustomed I had become to having him in the house.

When I came home from shopping, I subconsciously expected him to be standing at the door, tail wagging. It doesn't matter that I usually don't pet him or give Hume any attention as I walk inside; he still greets me like I've been gone for days. And I kind of missed it.

As I was working in the basement, I lost track of time and realized it was almost 6:00 pm. Then I realized why the time had crept up on me. Ransom wasn't there to annoy me at 5:00 sharp for his food. His incessant nagging can drive me crazy, but when it was gone, I missed it.

Our house is not noisy for the most part, but with Ransom gone, it was eerie quiet. There was not clinging of the collar tags, now shaking of the head, no loud yawns or dream barks, and no "click click click" of the paws against the hardwood floor. I found I like a little noise.

I woke up in the morning and shifted in bed and waited for Ransom to hop off his bed, anxiously hoping that I was finally awake and ready to start the day. Nothing happened. It was strange to not have that normal morning routine, and I even missed that.

So, it turns out I may be more attached to our big black monster than I thought.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Brazilian Barbeque

When Hubs told me we needed to go to a graduation party, I was reluctnant. Parties where I don't know anyone aren't my fave, but we headed there, planning to do the American thing and stay for a little bit, then leave.

What I didn't realize until we pulled up to the house was that this family was Brazilian. We were right on time, and as we walked to the door, obviously the first people there, I mentioned that in Brazilian time we were probably really early. Sure enough, it was obvious they were not expecting anyone to arrive on time and the next guests did not arrive for another 30 minutes. Clearly, this was not going to be a come and go party.

We sat and chatted for a while and the guests started to arrive. Immediately, we were submerged into a different culture. The language of this house was Portegeuse and the culture was Brazilian. We felt very out of place.

The food? It was delicious and not for the vegetarian. Meat just kept coming and coming. The most flavorful steak I've had in a long time. It is a cut of meat that isn't very common in the U.S. and was only seasoned with salt. It was delicious. Then, there were these things call "cheese balls." I ate so much food because it just kept coming, and it was so good, I had no complaints. I'm determine to find somewhere to find this cut of meat.

Two very nice men (one of them Richard's professor) were kind enough to sit with us and speak in English. It was fun to talk with them, and we knew they were being super nice to make us feel welcome in an awkward situation.

After 90 minutes, we decided we should get going. But, dessert hadn't been served and we were told we must try the dessert. So a little later, out comes a giant apricot and dulce de leche cake with these layers: cake, apricots, cake, dulce de leche, cake, frosting and a mound of strawberries. Not only was it very good, it was beautiful. Along with the cake came these amazing little homemade chocolate caramels. I loved them. And then, after the cake, was passion fruit mousse. And of course, it was delicious.

Two and a half hours after we arrived, we left, completely stuffed with food. We also left with an invitation to another Brazilian party in a month. And we left ready to plan a vacation to Brazil in 2015!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Hubs is Away

When Hubs is away, I explore and do things I normally don't do. I'll take long walks without telling anyone where I'm at, or go walking at 10:30 pm past shady apartment complexes. I drive myself to places I haven't been before. I have not seen everything in St. Louis yet, and having extra time where I know I don't have to make dinner or be home at a certain time is fun. Plus, I have to find something to fill all the lonely time up. Usually I take Ransom with me for protection.

Hubs hates it that I do this.

This time, I decided to check out two nature parks I had heard about. The first one was a bit run down. It didn't look super nice and there were very few cars in the lot. But, I still got out and covered myself with bug spray (because bugs seem to attack me) and set off on the trail.

It was pretty, but the paved portion was really short. So, I took off on what looked to be a dirt trail off-shoot. I hiked for quite a ways up onto a bluff over the river. It seemed like the trail would go forever, but then I started thinking about the fact that I was all alone and nobody knew where I was. I then started going over scenarios in my mind about what I should do if someone were to take me. I had at least taken my phone with me, but realized a bad man would take it from me in an instance. I needed to hide it; so I put it an unmentionable spot and decided that I would text Hubs from the trunk of this unknown assailant's car. Then I would push out his tail light and someone would see me and call 9-1-1. Then I'd be safe. No big deal, but I wouldn't do any TV interviews because if the man got out on bail, he might try to find me.

Once I figured that out, I decided to return back to the paved part of the trail. I was really pleased with myself that I found my way back with no problems. I made sure I had exhausted all the options of the paved trail and then decided to try another park on my way home.

This second park is Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. It is very nice with three paved trails. I choose one of the short ones, thinking I would try them all. What I didn't expect was the steep hills. It was a constant up and down trail for 2/3 of a mile - super steep hills, with switchbacks. I loved jogging this trail because it was completely in the woods and I love to be enclosed by a forest. They have a staffed information center and the parking lot was much fuller and I saw other women walking around by themselves.

While I did not feel scared at either of these places, I felt safer at the second and I plan to go there again on my way home from work. It was really nice and enjoyable.

I really feel like I should tell you that when Hubs is away I don't do anything that I feel is unsafe. But I may go jogging at Forest Park or go try out a new park that I haven't yet visited or try out a new area of town if I know there is a store or coffee shop I have been wanting to see. (The walk at 10:30 pm past the shady apartments was a necessary task when Hubs was away due to getting home late. I walked really fast and had Ransom for protection.) I always do my exploring during the day and if I ever felt scared, I would stop.

Hubs knows I am an explorer. When we went to Seattle a few years ago, Hubs had an interview and I took off to explore downtown Seattle by myself. That included walking 2 miles to a bus stop, navigating the bus system to downtown, spending the day downtown, taking the bus back and walking 2 miles back to the hotel.

I think Hubs just wishes I would explore when he was in town...

Monday, July 22, 2013


We were married long enough ago that we didn't get digital copies of our photos.

Now we are all married, and we all look a lot different older.

It's been seven years of Hubs and Feath. Seven seems monumental. It feels like it hasn't been that long, but it also feels like it has been just that long when I think of all we have done in that time. I think that Seven moves us out of the "young marrieds" category. Although we are not yet in the "old marrieds," we definitely have moved past those things that we struggled with in the earlier years. Life would not be the same without Hubs, and I would not trade him for anything.

For our anniversary this year, we celebrated 3 days early. Hubs took me to Rasoi, an Indian restaurant, and then to an outdoor movie at my favorite spot in St. Louis, Forest Park. During dinner, we went through all of our anniversaries, remembering what we did for each one. We've had some great ones:

One year: Took a "staycation" at a nice hotel in Lincoln, painted pottery, went to a movie, had a picnic.
Two years: It was the last day of our 2 week vacation in Hawai'i. A trip to remember.
Three years: Low-key dinner at a local restaurant. But, we had been in Hawai'i 2 months earlier and just moved to Kansas.
Four years: Spent two days in Chicago and had pizza with great friends.
Five years: Went to the City Museum in St. Louis, but took an anniversary trip to Israel in March.
Six years: Had breakfast out together before church. And then, a month later, we hiked Long's Peak.

This year has been a busy one with the end of school and making plans for the next stage. So, there are no vacations, but it was so nice for the two of us to get out for a nice dinner. And to add to it, our waiter's reaction to our years of marriage made us laugh.


Towards the end of our meal, the waiter came by and took my hand, admiring my wedding ring. He said it was beautiful, to which I responded, "I know," because it still is one of the most beautiful rings I have ever seen. Hubs mentioned that we were celebrating our 7th anniversary. The waiter was surprised because we look younger than we are, and then he said, "Any kids?"

"No, no kids," we replied.

"Too long. You need to start," he told us. "Tonight."

"Haha. Okay, we'll keep that in mind," as we think this is the strangest conversation we have ever had with a waiter.

As we were leaving, he tells us, "Good luck tonight."


We laughed over such a forward conversation from our waiter and then headed out to the park to watch "The Princess Bride." Keeping with my norm when we start a movie after 9:00 pm, I fell asleep during the movie. Hubs enjoyed it though, with his lame, can't-stay-awake wife of Seven years. In another seven, he will be putting me to bed at 7 pm.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Saddest thing I read today

Today I read an article entitled, "Vatican offers 'time off' purgatory to followers of Pope Francis' tweets." As much as this article sickened me due to the deception offered in making people believe they can do a simple act to earn favor with God, the grief was that the Savior's death on the cross means so little to those claiming His name.

It reminded me of what one of my favorite teachers said this weekend regarding Christ's death: "When we contemplate this scene [the cross] and that statement, 'It is finished,' I always think, what could break the heart of a loving, giving, holy God more than for you or for me to think we could add something to it. That there is something I have to do to supplement that. It. Is. Finished."

God can fix physical death easily. He said, "Lazarus, come out," and he did. But to fix spiritual death, it required Him pouring out His wrath on his perfect son. So that I could be made right before Him. Surely nothing could be done or need be done. It was finished on the cross.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The past two months

Blogging has been the least of my concerns as of late, however, if you still like to know what goes on in our life, here is the update.

In May, Hubs and I only had one weekend where we were in the same town together. So, life was a bit crazy. He traveled for school and presented at the AAO convention. Then I traveled for fun and went to my youngest brother's graduation. Then he traveled for fun to the Grand Canyon. And also, HE PASSED HIS BOARDS!

In June, Hubs and I visited two orthodontic practices, celebrated my brother's wedding to my fantastic new sister-in-law and were able to see lots of family, including my adorable niece, who I just can't get enough of. All, of this going on while Hubs works on his thesis, I helped get a summer camp organized and we both try to determine what we should do when graduation comes in December. And of course, other little things pop up throughout all of this to keep life exciting.

One small, fun thing Hubs and I have been doing is going outside for 10 minutes or so and throwing the frisbee. It is a fun after-work/school activity to take a break before dinner and have some fun together.

Now it is July. My parents came to visit [for a whole 4 days!!!], and we had so much fun. Our SEVENTH anniversary is in two weeks, Hubs is still working on his thesis in every spare moment and in the extra moments we are deciding our future plans, and Hubs' family is coming for a visit, too!

Since our time in St. Louis may be coming to an end, we have been taking opportunities to do and see everything that we I had on my list when we first moved here:

We went to the Whitaker Music Festival at the Botanical Gardens. This was fun because we went with friends and had a picnic with a live band. We, and what seemed to be at least half of the population of St. Louis [note: get there early]! We enjoyed it more for the experience, the time with our friends, and the free admittance to the Botanical Gardens.

We toured the Anheuser-Busch brewery, which is their largest brewery. It was a very interesting tour and FREE!

And in a few weeks, we are going to the St. Louis Art Museum's Film Series. They are showing classic movies outside with live music and food trucks beforehand. I am really excited about this event!

We went to some fun restaurants, too.  Fitz's is a fun experience. Tropical Moose is our favorite shave ice and the closest to the shave ice in Hawai'i that we can find. The Cup is a fun cupcake place in the Central West End [if only I liked cupcakes more]. Crushed Red might be my favorite place to eat right now, and Ted Drewes is a St. Louis icon for custard. And I finally went to Union Station to see what that was all about.

So, we are still around and we are doing lots of things.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Some recent faves

Every once in a while, you run across some things that you just can't help but share. Today is one of those days.

Hospitality Series:
I enjoyed these quick reads about hospitality. Includes tips for people with children, with small houses, with a budget and for those who hate to cook. I was pleasantly surprised to find that already I implement a few of her ideas, and was also encouraged by her list of ideas for hospitality.

The Socially Acceptable Sin:
This article is amazingly well written and I really want to boast about the fact that I kind of know the author. But I won't. "What we need is a relentless appetite for the divine. We need a holy ravenousness. Our craving souls can turn and become enthralled by a goodness that is found in the presence of an all-glorious God. There is only one infinite source of satisfaction that can satisfy our bottomless cravings." It was a convicting read that caused me to stop and think on what I am finding satisfaction in, and it is never enough. I have been pondering these thoughts for the last week. "If only we would feast on an infinite God who offers fullness of life, rather than these lesser tables with the far milder flavors of money, sex, food and power."

Busyness is not a Virtue
Months ago, Hubs and I began making a conscious effort when asked how our week went, etc, to not reply with "We've been so busy." We came to the conclusion that we are always busy, so actually, busy was just the norm. And everyone is busy, so why do I need to point that out to others? And why am I actually pointing out how busy I am? Anyway, I came across this article that reiterated our thoughts. "Going on about how busy you are isn't conversation and doesn't lead anywhere - except making your conversation partner bored, or worse, peeved. People who act super busy send the same message, making time spent with them never feel quite whole."

A Musing Maralee
I really enjoy this blog. Which may be surprising because I don't have children and she blogs about motherhood, adoption, raising children and even some of those make-your-insides-boil issues like vaccinations and nursing. [I actually originally linked and talked about her recent series on vaccinations because I loved it, but then I chickened out. I have observed from the outside how some of these issues can, if allowed, define friendships, burn bridges and hurt feelings. So, it was a great series of facts and personal choice that I would recommend anyone reading, no matter what stance you take. Here is the link.] Maralee is humorous, honest and down to earth and I really enjoy her biblical perspective when she writes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Screaming or Whispering

I was sound asleep when I had the feeling that someone was very close to my face. Then I started realizing there was a noise that was getting louder and louder. It was a voice. And that voice was shouting at me. It kept going and I knew I should pay attention to it. It was someone trying to get me to answer.

Who's voice is that? Hubs. Hubs is trying to talk to me. But, why is he yelling so loud? I started focusing on the words. Closet. Where. Stuff. Feather. I was finally able to put together that he wanted to know where I had put the stuff that was in the closet when I cleaned it out. Table. Book. Anywhere else? He needs to find a textbook, Feather. Answer him.

But why does he need it in the middle of the night? What is happening right now? The shouting continues. Where did you put the stuff that was in the closet? Did you put it anywhere else beside the table in the storage room? I am missing a textbook. Answer him and maybe he will stop yelling at you.

I know my answer in my head, but my mouth isn't working right. Only one small portion of my brain woke up to handle this situation. My head said, "I put everything on that table and some other stuff in the pantry." But what came out was, "Yes table. Or furnace." What? "The furnace room. P-pan-pan-what is it-try. Pantry. Or on the table. Probably on the table." I should get up and help him look. Why does he need a book right now. "I'll get up." No. I'll go look.

The voice was quiet and the body that was very near me, moved away. My mind was telling me that I should get up and explain myself better, but my body was still asleep. I hadn't moved and my eyes never opened.

I hear noise again. Found it. It was right where I had already looked and missed it. I turned over and it was quiet again.

***I asked Hubs this morning why he was yelling at me for a textbook in the middle of the night. He said he was whispering and it was only 11:00 pm.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's come to this

Well folks, when you begin blogging on you adventures in cleaning, your life is officially...well...uneventful. And that is what it has come to.

Actually, I could tell you about our fun trip to St. Charles this weekend, but I didn't take photos and it just isn't worthwhile to tell you about a place without photos.

What I did photograph, was my cleaning escapades. Strange.

I am not one of those people who enjoys cleaning, nor do I feel like I am very good at it. I never have and a I have high hopes of hiring a person in the future to help me in this area, because although I don't enjoy cleaning, I do LOVE having a clean house. If I could pay someone to do it for me and concentrate my efforts on areas that I do enjoy, while having a clean house in the process, that would be a dream come true.

Living with a dog makes your house dirtier. It is just a fact. But I love my dog enough that I deal with the drool marks, the endless fur on the floor, and the fact that he thinks licking the entire kitchen floor keeps it clean when in actuality, it just makes it dirtier.

For weeks months, I have wanted to clean the grout in our kitchen floor. I could tell it was dirty and it was just getting dirtier. Yesterday I reached my limit and decided that it was going to be cleaned, especially since it was a nice day and the dog could spend time outside while I did it.

Side note - don't you love it when you find something on Pinterest that you actually use and love or use and it works?

I needed something strong to clean our grout because it was black and super dirty. I am against any cleaning product that requires I step outside to breath in between scrubs. A few weeks ago, I had tried Mrs. Meyers version of comet and it didn't do much. So this time, I found a recipe for a cleaning solution using baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and water. One person said to put it in a spray bottle, the other person said to put it in a bucket. A spray bottle sounded easier, so that was my plan. I also bought a heavy duty scrub brush with the stiffest bristles I could find and a grout cleaning sponge.

The science person inside of me loved mixing the ingredients together because it caused a great reaction with bubbles and fizz. Of course my mind started to try and put together the chemical equation and failed. It's been about 10 years since I've taken an inorganic chemistry class people. At least I remember the formula for baking soda.

The spray bottle was a bad idea. It didn't work, probably because the baking soda didn't dissolve into the liquid and clogger the sprayer. So, I just poured the solution onto the tile and let it sit for about 1 minute before scrubbing. The dirt came out immediately and I would wipe it up right away so that it didn't soak back into the grout.

This was some of the grout before:

And this was the same grout after one scrub:

I was pretty happy with the ease of the results. I had expected a long day of cleaning since our kitchen floor is large, but this was a relatively easy process. 

You can definitely see the difference that the cleaning was doing to the floor. I don't know that we had ever seen the grout as white as it became.

The one downside was that, even with wiping up the excess liquid and dirt after each section, a film stayed on the floor. I did a quick wet swiffer run over the floor, but that didn't help. I should have gone ahead and re-washed the floor with my normal floor cleaner, but by that time I had lost interest in the project and I will do it another night. Plus, Ransom probably enjoys the taste of lemon juice and vinegar and I know it won't hurt him.

Overall, I am very happy to have an easy cleaning solution for my grout. Unfortunately, as with all cleaning jobs, this won't last for very long. I can only hope that I will stay on top of it before it gets as bad as it was.

Hubs noticed the clean floor, which made my day. And that, was my adventure in house cleaning!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Great plans gone wrong....or not

Hubs and I had great plans this weekend. His parents were coming to town and we were going to finally build a shelf in our basement closet. The shelf that was there, broke the week we moved into the house and since then, the closet has been a wasted space. I've been looking forward to utilizing this closet since closets are pretty non-existent in our 1955 house.

On Thursday, however, we found out that our niece was going to be born early and so his parents were staying home to welcome the arrival of their first grandchild. When I got home from work, Hubs said, "What do you think about going to Nebraska instead." I quickly thought about our plans for the weekend - we were planning to hang out with his parents on Friday & Saturday and then had responsibilities and plans for Sunday. Going to Nebraska would accomplish our original plans - hanging out with his parents, plus we would get to see our niece and be back to St. Louis for Sunday. It  seemed clear to me that this was God's providence at work. We had two free days in our schedule which never happens and we would get to see our niece, and we had no idea when we would be able to make a trip to see her otherwise.

Within an hour, we were out the door, which is great time for us. We were on track to get to KC before midnight! We had a few stops to make before we left town and at one of those spots I realized I was missing my wallet. I had used it at work that day, so I thought I must have put it back into my work bag instead of my purse. We went home. It wasn't there. I hoped it was sitting on my desk at work, but we didn't want to leave town not knowing where it was. So, we drove all the way out to church [35 minutes away, not necessarily in the right direction]. It was a silent trip because I was quite put out with myself that I did this. I walked into my office and my wallet wasn't on my desk. Before I freaked, I looked under my desk where I keep my purse and my wallet was there. This annoying side trip was not in our plans and it made us late. We got into KC right at midnight, Pups in tow.

The next day, we set off for the rest of our trip and met our newest niece when she was only 7 hours old. Hubs and I both held her and marveled over her tiny fingernails. We hung out with Richard's dad and went to a worship-filled Good Friday service. Then, we live-streamed my brother's baptism while eating dinner from our favorite Chinese place.

It was a great day. These plans were going just as expected.

Then, we woke up this morning [Saturday} and Hubs is sick. Not just sick, really sick. Food poisoning perhaps? He is still not doing well. My selfish mind immediately goes to our plans - are they ruined? Will we still get home in time to fulfill my responsibilities on Sunday? Will we still get to have Easter lunch with our bestest friends? Yesterday, God's providence seemed so perfect. Today, I struggle to understand why my plans are being ruined.

I'm like that in so many areas - the big and the small. I love God's providence when it works out how I planned, but I fail to see it when my plans gets changed. It just so happens that I have been reading through "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges. As I was reading this morning, I was reminding myself that even when my plans get thwarted, God's are not. Even in the seemingly smallest decisions, God is working out all things to His glory and the good of His people. So, even though I might not get home today, I can trust in God and his sovereign rule.

So, instead of bugging my sick husband about what is going to happen to our plans, I am going to work on taking care of him and making him comfortable. And instead of constantly fretting over what is going to happen, I am going to rest in my Sovereign Lord's plan.


Hubs is feeling much better, but not 100% yet. We stayed another night in Nebraska, but we got up early and drove to Kansas City to go to Easter service at Mission Road Bible Church. It was a great morning filled with praise and worship for our RISEN Savior. We left right after church to get home at a decent time. There is much to do at my house to get ready for another week of living, but while I am thinking about cleaning, I am thinking on our sermon this morning and praising God that Jesus is alive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Residency Life - Part 2

So, what I have I done in the last 21 months while Hubs has been a resident?

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I spent the first 9-12 months pouting. I was not satisfied in my job or our church or our life. I was lonely because I spent all week working and we didn't know that many people and the people we did know were much busier than we were, so we didn't see them very often. After some attitude adjustments and other changes, I stopped pouting and realized how blessed we are.

We had decided that I needed to find a job while Hubs was in school. We have a mortgage and cell phones and we need to eat - all of that requires money. [Remember, we shell out the money each semester so that Hubs can work hard to be an Orthodontist.]

Job searching is not my favorite thing to do, but I spent my first weeks in St. Louis applying to lots of jobs. I am so thankful that most jobs allow you to apply online. There seemed to be a good number of job openings, however, there are also a lot of people looking for jobs. So, I applied for anything. By July 11, I started a job as a Receptionist at a large CPA firm. I knew I was going to be bored at the job and it didn't make what we were hoping to bring in, but I needed something. After I was hired, I got offered another position I had interview for and got calls for interviews at other places I had applied. Even though I wanted to, I didn't take those opportunities and stayed where I was. Although I was thankful for the job, it was a lonely job and I was so incredibly bored that I didn't like it at all. I won't lie - I cried often and even kept applying for a different job. I also worked from home in the evenings and on the weekends and it kept me very busy. I was stressing over the work, and the house was not the welcoming environment that Hubs needed.

After six months, my boss noticed I was bored and started giving me more ownership of projects. I didn't necessarily love what I was doing, but it was getting better. After a year, I was offered a new position in the company and I really enjoyed it. I had a fantastic boss and I was able to work closely with her and learn from her excellent project management skills. I was very happy with my work situation and I found that I didn't dread going to work on Mondays quite as much as I had.

I realized that, in a way, I was getting to live one my dreams. I was working in the tallest building in downtown St. Louis, riding the train to work and getting to read for an hour a day, and although I didn't have a corner office with a view, I was able to see a parking garage and a tiny bit of sky if I looked through the office closest to my cube. The days were long, but I was able to quit working from home as much and I enjoyed that extra time.

Then, another opportunity came to me. It was doing what I love to do - serve the church. And so, that is where I am at now and I have a great schedule and enjoy the work. I am able to keep our house cleaner and happier. It was a hard transition, since I had come to enjoy my corporate job in the big city, but I'm glad I made the switch.

Being a resident's wife is the same as being a regular wife. You adjust to the situation you are in and you learn how to serve your husband in the way he needs. For me, it is occupying myself in the evenings and on the weekends, but Hubs spends so much time with me, I could never complain about him needing to study. He has definitely made that a change from when we were in Dental School. Unfortunately, I think I have completely failed in serving him during this stage of life. I have been super selfish and thought mainly about my needs, dreams and desires. I still have 9 months to do a better job.

The final edition of Residency Life will cover our life together and how we have tried to view this 30 months in our life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Residency Life - Part 1

I haven't written about our day to day life in Orthodontic Residency at all. Mainly because I don't think it is that much different than anyone else's life. You get up and do what you need to do, then you try to get enough sleep to do it again the next day. But, let me see if I can give you a glimpse of the different things we face.

Hubs' school is 8-5, just like a regular job. He sees patients the majority of the week. When he is not seeing patients, he is in class or presenting a case or studying. His time is dictated by a schedule and his professors. Unlike a regular job, he doesn't get paid a dime. Actually he pays millions of dimes just to be there each day and work.

Currently, Hubs is in a cleft palette fellowship. Not everyone has this opportunity, so it is super cool that he does. Also, Hubs will take the written part of his board exam in April. Those of you who know my Hubs at all, know that he is diligently preparing. The clinical part of his board exam will be close to or following graduation.

Hubs is also preparing for his thesis. There is lots of research that he needs to do, then he will conduct the testing this summer, then write the paper and then defend his thesis in front of the faculty this fall. So, Hubs has a lot on his plate, not even mentioning the part where he figures out where we should go after this is all over.

When Hubs decided to go back to school, we knew we wanted it to be different than Dental School. He wanted to be less consumed with school life, make more time for us, for friends and for our spiritual growth. During the weeknights and Saturdays, Hubs studies and uses his time to get school stuff done. We try to do something fun with friends or just us on the weekend. We enjoy our small group each week and are pretty involved in the life of our church.

Hubs and I have stopped telling people we are busy. Don't you sometimes get annoyed with people that, every time you ask how they are, they say, "Busy." I feel like they want you to feel bad for them or something. We have come to realize that life is busy, and we like it busy. So, busy = normal in our life and we aren't going to use that as our excuse for anything. If we need to be less busy, we are the ones to make it that way.

One of the biggest adjustments for Hubs was going from "Doctor" to student. We didn't expect this, but  while practicing dentistry, Hubs was the decision maker, the person with the answers, the person whom the staff helped. In residency, Hubs is the student, the one who does what he is told, the one who asks the questions, the one who has to do every aspect of the job without help. Quite the dynamic change.

So, that is a review of what Hubs's life in residency is like, from my perspective. In my next post, I will describe residency life for me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Less than 9 months to go

Here it is, a whole month has passed by without a post. Doesn't surprise anyone I am sure.

Two years ago [which seems like a lifetime ago], Hubs and I were on a vacation of a lifetime. I still have not completed that photo book.

The other day, I asked Hubs if he thought I might graduate college in a shorter time period than my mother did. Because of moving and having to take care of us [my brothers and I], she graduated with her degree 18 years after she began. But she did it. He said, "Well, it's already been 10 years. You only have 8 to go." My age shocks me at those moments. But, I still have plenty of time.

My ideal qualifications for our future hometown: within 1 hour of an airport so that traveling to Hawai'i is always a reasonable option. And that we open a Trader Joe's.

This is the time of the year when I seriously regret spending all of my Christmas money. The spring clothes are so tempting and my allotted $20 a month usually gets spent at Starbucks.

Hubs has less than 9 months left of residency. I told him, "I think I am ready for you to be done and for the next stage." He says, "Is that a new thing? I've been ready for the past 20 months."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Realization dawns

It just dawned on me as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed.

It's 2013!

Wasn't it just a few moths ago that Hubs and I were sitting on the floor of the office pulling together information to apply for residency? I know we just moved here a few weeks ago and are just getting used to city life and new routines, right? Surely I haven't been here long enough to have worked at a job for over a year and then changed jobs; or long enough for my closest friend to have had a baby and halfway to having another.

But, sure enough, it is the year that was at one time a distant dream. Here we are at another crossroads of our life with another set of big changes on the horizon. Before we knew it, we made a history in this place. Without even noticing it, we got used to our favorite shopping areas, driving to places without the gps and getting so used to normal life here that I didn't even comprehend that this highly anticipated year had arrived.

So, what changes now that I realize 2013 is here? Not much. I keep working hard. I support Hubs more. I pray more often. And I love and cherish our friends deeper. Because, right now I don't know what happens when 2013 is over and I know how fast this year will go by.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Photo: Christ's love for us

"As the conviction of our lost and undone condition deepens, as sin's 'exceeding sinfulness' unveils, as the purity and extent of God's Law opens, as the utter helplessness and impotence of self is forced upon the mind, the glory, the worth, the suitableness, and the preciousness of Jesus will, through the teaching of the Spirit, present itself vividly to the mind and heart, as constituting the one and only foundation and hope of the soul!"

Octavius Winslow
"The Preciousness of Christ"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Keep or Not To Keep

Obviously, this is not a photography blog.

Last week I was in Whole Foods and saw that they carried Tom's. I've wanted a pair of Tom's for a while now, but had never bought them. So I purchased these and they've been sitting in my closet ever since.

I really do want a pair, but I'm just not sure this is the pair I want. I got black because they are practical and versatile and I liked that they weren't super plain, but then again, they are pretty plain.

It's been a while since I've agonized over a shoe purchase, but it has also been a while since I've paid this much for a pair of shoes that are flat and uneventful.

Any thoughts? Should I keep them? Should I take them back and get the burlap ones or the sparkly ones? Should I keep this style and go for red instead of black? Or navy?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

St. Louis Site - Upper Limits

Anyone else find some great deals through Groupon? I have and this one was another winner.

Hubs turns 29 tomorrow and so I bought a groupon to Upper Limits Indoor Rock Climbing Gym. I had  wanted to go there with Hubs for over a year now, but I knew it needed to be a special occasion because it wasn't the cheapest activity. With the groupon, however, we paid $15/person for a 2-hour Rock Climbing 101 class, rentals (harnesses, belay system, chalk, and shoes), and a full day of climbing (regularly $30/person).

You know me. Always ready for a new adventure and this sounded like one for sure.

In the class, we learned all the basics to climbing and belaying - tying knots, important gear, technique, etc. Then, we practiced climbing and belaying while being supervised by our instructor. Once he passed us, we were able to climb on our own.

I think Hubs was slightly nervous about me being between him and falling hundreds of feet to the crushed rubber ground, however, I didn't let him drop. Talk about a trusting sport. I found it to be pretty hard and only made it to the top one time before my arms feeling like jello and not being able to go further. Hubs, however, made it to the top 3 times on more difficult routes before feeling the jello.

We both enjoyed it so much. Not only was it a fun thing to do, but the staff and instructors were great and I'd recommend anyone to try it.

After you take the class, they give great coupons to come back and climb again. Coupons that we will definitely be taking advantage of in the next month. Also, tomorrow (1/20) they are having a sale with 50% off their yearly membership. That's a great deal if you are interested in making climbing a full-time hobby.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Photo - Smoothies & Milk

New thing. Friday Photo. I'm going to try to take a random photo each Friday and post. Maybe I'll be more committed that way.

This week's photo is of my favorite breakfast these days :: protein smoothie. I am working out with P90X again and their nutrition schedule as well. I really liked my results last time (2009) and I needed to get back into a good routine. I will admit, that without Hubs doing it along side of me, I am not nearly as strict, but I still get in a solid workout about 4-5 days a week. And I've allowed myself 1 cheat day per week on the nutrition plan. I am once again surprised at how satisfied I feel following their guidelines. 

Usually, I just make my own smoothies without a recipe, but since I was using their nutrition plan, I followed their recipe (with my minor adjustments) and it is so, so good.

1 cup skim milk*
1/2 banana
1/2 c frozen raspberries** (any berry will work, but raspberries are my fave)
1 scoop protein powder***

*I started out only using coconut milk. Dairy gives me some stomach issues, so I try to cut back on it. It was very good. Then, I decided to use 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 Kalona super natural organic whole milk (grass-fed cows, pasteurized at a low temp, non-homogenized). The Kalona milk is so, so good and easier for my body to digest (still not 100% comfortable). I use 1/2 of both milks because the whole milk is $3.99/half-gallon and it is super fattening, so I limit my consumption.

** They actually call for non-frozen berries and then add ice to the smoothy. Using frozen berries makes the smoothie smoother and doesn't water the flavor down but still makes it cold. 

***I ran out of vanilla protein powder but have a TON of chocolate. So, I've been putting a scoop of chocolate in and can't even taste much of a difference.

I'm also super happy with how fast this protein shake is to make, the consistency is very drinkable, and the amount it makes is perfect. Unfortunately, it uses up my allotted amount of fruit each day, so I don't drink one every morning.