Sunday, August 30, 2009

80 Years a Blessing

Can you imagine living for 80 years? Well, Justin's Mammaw has done it--and she's done it with so much grace and beauty. This weekend Justin and I took a roadtrip down to Chilhowie, Virginia to celebrate his Mammaw's (grandmother) 80th birthday. The party was a surprise to her--she thought she was just going to the Outback Steakhouse with one daughter--but instead about 50 family and friends gathered at Sharon's beautiful home to celebrate Mammaw's life. When she turned around and saw Justin standing there, her face was just priceless! It was well worth the 10-hour road trip for that moment alone.
During the trip we also got to spend some rare but quality time with Justin's wonderful dad, George. As you can see from the photos, there's no mistaking that Justin is his daddy's boy. We also spent time with lots of Justin's family that we haven't seen since our wedding--over one year ago. Also, I met Justin's half-sister, Carmen, for the first time. It was really neat just relaxing on the couch and chatting with my new sister-in-law. What a great reminder this trip was of how wonderful the country and country people are. Sometimes in our busy lives in the DC Metro area it's easy to forget our roots and to get swept up in the traffic, and noise, and chaos of the city. This weekend, however, we got the opportunity to relax on Sharon's front porch overlooking the pond and horse stables. It was so peaceful--the lull of the country nearly put both of us to sleep. In the end, however, the weekend was really all about Mammaw. So, that being said, Happy 80th Birthday, Mammaw--we love you so much!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pure Unadulterated Bliss

And just when I thought I wasn't going to have any blogworthy material--we hear, yes my friends, an ice cream truck! After having hotdogs on the grill, Justin went outside to mow the lawn while I started to clean house (ahh, domestic life). When he was finished, we look a moment to just lie down on the floor of the office just to quietly chat.

"Shh, do you hear that?" Justin asks.

"Yeah, it's really high pitched," I reply.

"What are you talking about, it sounds like a ticking," (we're obviously not talking about the same noise at this point)

"No, it's like a dinging," I persist.

* * * s i l e n c e * * * l i s t e n i n g * * * and D I T T O * * *


Quickly, we scamper to our feet. Justin runs out the front door calling beind him "Do you have any cash? Bring cash! Hurry!" I scurry over the dogs' baby gate, grab my wallet, back over the baby gate, and out the front door. There it is--first time in my 23 years of life--a real ice cream truck playing "Pop! Goes the Weasel" in front of my house! Pure unadulterated bliss. The whole day has been worth its while.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Grillin'

Today's agenda:

1. Wake up early enough to get ready for work and take care of two doggies singlehandedly.
2. Go to work, weigh babies, measure babies, make babies laugh, make babies cry (more often than not--vaccines hurt), clean up after babies.

3. Celebrate Dottie's 80th birthday with a potluck with my colleagues at Crestwood--this lady is amazing; 80 years young and still working part time in our peds office.

4. Travel 10 mins to our new location and spend the rest of the afternoon cranking out well check ups and school form like it's my job--oh wait, it is. :)

5. Come home to my wonderful husband and two doggies standing on their hind legs to greet me.

6. Have the hubby cook steak kabobs and corn on the grill--yummy! No, we did not marinate or skewer the steak and veggies onto sticks--that, my friends, is why Wegman's exists.

7. Eat dinner with Justin, duel on guitar hero with Justin, watch Hell's Kitchen with Justin, do R-rated things with Justin, settle down to blog as Justin sleeps by my side.

8. Get up tomorrow--and do it all over again! Well, most of it, that is.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life's Privileges

What a privilege it is to be in the company of a friend! Today was such a wonderful end to the weekend--thank you Lindsey for your much needed company. This morning I got up early and went to church for a much needed message about God's chosen people--and the fact that only 2 of the 600,000 followers that Christ was leading to Israel actually made it into the promise land. Lord, I pray that you will find me faithful to your commandments. Set my eyes on You and you alone! Father let me realize, in my heart of hearts, that your plans are perfectly wise--and that within your will is the very best place for my life! I want to be one of the two.

After church, Lindsey arrived for a carefree day of girl-fun. We had a quick lunch then headed to the Leesburg Outlets. Wow, I am old. I realized today that I seriously have little use for nice clothes now--all I wear is Dora the Explorer, Pooh, and Muppet Babies scrubs! Needless to say, I didn't buy a thing at the outlet mall. Lindsey, who contrary to me has a job that requires adult clothes, got some awesome deals! After shopping, Lindsey's friendly-neighborhood-GPS took us the scenic route back to Bristow. Although the ride was long, it was spectacular to take in the rolling countryside in good company. We then stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's before Lindsey left for Richmond--no longer college kids, after all, we both have to work in the morning.
The rest of my evening was spent with the dogs--and realizing how S-W-E-E-T the Top Gun theme song sounds on Guitar Hero. I am approximately 2,000 points behind my husband on this particular song, and mark my word, I will surpass him!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


While Justin is off on his daily escapes, I find myself here--on our couch--watching one of the finest pieces of cinematography ever made--in my opinion at least. Juno--if you haven't seen it, you definitely should--pronto. Just after she discovers she is pregnant, she walks up to her chemistry lab table and says to her lab partner, who also happens to be the father of her baby, "nothin' like experimenting." It's lines like that that make the film so wonderful. It's raw, and honest, and so-darn-funny without trying. The story of an awkward and edgy teenager who finds herself in a "fragile state" after a one-time romp in a living room chair with her best guy, the film focuses more on Juno's "coming of age" throughout her pregnancy than on the pregnancy itself. Themes of the film include self actuality, divorce, stereotypes, gossip, family, and innocent love. Any way you spin it, the movie is fantasic. An excellent way, I must say, to spend a lazy Saturday morning while our dogs wrestle one another around the livingroom floor over a floppy pink stuffed octopus. If you're bored, I highly suggested scheduling a viewing for yourself.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Missing My Girls

There are certainly aspects of college life that I don't miss at all: clinical prep, finals week, walking to the corner/Rugby in the rain--in heels, being long distance from Jus--just to name a few. However, there are far more that I do miss. Basically, I miss my friends--those ladies that have shaped me into the adult woman that I am today. Whenever I'm around catty women in daily life, I am reminded of the select few--Megan, Lindsey, and Serena--who are the least catty, and the most supportive, vivacious, tender-hearted, pick-me-uppers in the whole world. I would give anything to be able to pick up the phone right now, and five minutes later be meeting up over dinner, drinks, or coffee. Or better yet, for most of you, I could just knock on the wall of my bedroom and there you'd be. Today, I'd even to all the "bad" things just to do it with you. I'd prep for clinical all day if Megan had the same assignment as I did and we could just sit next to each other at the nurses' station. I'd study for finals all over eating a whole bag of dry-roasted almonds on Megan's bed. I'd walk to the corner in stilettos in the pouring rain--heck, in a blizzard--if I was walking with Lindsey. I'd even miss out on a date with Justin for a dinner date with my best friend Serena at Guadalajara. Girls, if you're reading this, I really miss ya today and always! And . . . just because it's fun . . .

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Pouring

Today was a day and a half! After sleeping in and going to the gym with Justin, I left for work at Crestwood. I must say, the stress level during my first shift today rivaled a day at hospital. We were short handed and nearly everything that could go wrong--did. As they say, when it rains it pours. Yet still, the Lord keeps reminding me of the answered prayers from this Winter for a new job that would make me actually appreciate my profession in nursing. And still, on Crestwood's worst day--it's still better than the hospital on its best day. I am so thankful for my colleages at Crestwood and the countless opportunities to hear the laughter (and, yes, hysterical cries) of children on a daily basis. :) And thus, a tribute to the wonderful ladies and gentlemen I work beside:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Down Home First Anniversary

Alas, it is here--we made it--today Justin and I celebrated our First Anniversary. I say, if this is the "toughest year of marriage," bring it on! Honestly, I feel so incredibly blessed to have spent this year with my best friend. Sure, it has had it's rough moments, but overall, it was been fantastic. I think this is a true testimony that we are right for one another--good thing, eh?

Today was what I like to call a "Down Home First Anniversary." Justin innocently awakened me this morning ready to exchange gifts. Basically, I opened my eyes and he handed me my anniversary card. The truth was, he had a surprise for me--Jus had bought me another wedding band--to turn my wedding set into a wrap! Better than than, however, was the card he found--one of those musical ones that played "Unchained Melody," our first dance. I hope he never loses that romantic touch he has! (hint)

We then went to church for children's ministry Sunday, had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, and came home to play some guitar hero. It was GREAT just kneeling on the carpet (yes, I kneel because it helps me concentrate) and strumming along to some good hard rock--a little less nerve racking than what we were doing last year at that moment. After our band session, Jus and I cut our wedding cake and enjoyed a slice of the dry, one year old, freezer kept, crumbly ved velvet mess. Although that accurately describes it, I have to admit it didn't taste that bad--especially considering it had been in my parents' freezer for one year and made a 3.5 hour road trip. Kudos Gail Wilson! After a long nap and a honeymoon night reinactment, we headed out for a Thai dinner and to the Prince William County Fair for a championship rodeo. Yeehaw!

That's what I call a "Down Home First Anniversary!" What better way to spend a night together than sitting out under a blanket of stars, hearing the cheers of the crowd, seeing the lights of the ferris wheel, and holding one another? It really was a country-girl-at-heart's perfect evening--with the perfect person, of course. Cheers to a wonderful first year of marriage and many more to come!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Year Ago Today . . .

One year ago today I was filled with nervous energy. One year ago today all of our friends and family from around the US had gathered together in little ole' Roanoke, Virginia. One year ago today, my mom was having her last pre-wedding nightmare. One year ago today, I had my bridal luncheon at 12 noon at Mac & Bob's, our wedding rehearsal at the duPont Chapel, and our rehearsal dinner at the Plantation at Sunnybrook. One year ago, I was still a bride to be counting down--to one! Today, I'm an almost-one-year-wife--I've counted up to 364!

Amazing! I'm talking about how time flies. I'm talking about being married to my best friend in the world. I'm talking about preparing to share our first anniversary together tomorrow. This year has held so many surprises--from our nightmarish honeymoon, to our two dog-babies, to buying our first home, to just learning to love, laugh, and live together as Mr. and Mrs. Heath. One thing is for certain, for every challenge there has been a moment of splendor, and it has truly been a blessing. Thank you Jesus for your countless blessings over the last year. You have guided and taught and loved of through an amazing first year of marriage, and for that we are utterly thankful.
Although August 15th, 2009 was certainly a lot less exciting than August 15th, 2008-- working 4 hours at a peds office, cleaning up puppy poo, and fighting the crouds at Tyson's Corner Mall as Justin "shopped" for his own anniversary gift--a new work wardrobe--it was, nevertheless, special. But . . . since last year was more fun, I give to you, a pictoral history:

Friday, August 14, 2009


Okay, so now I'm not so sure about the Brody bye-bye--he's just so darn cute and cuddly--humf. I guess for now he stays with us, but we're "keeping our options open." Ok, he stays.

Brody Boot Camp

This morning I woke up to a shreaded puppy pad and pee on the floor where it had been . . . so, my tactics were unsuccessful. Again, Brody got his way and found a way to pee in his favorite spot beside his crate. Sigh. So . . . I made the call.
I called my sister-in-law, Marney, this morning (whose son Logan loves the puppy) to ask her if they would be interested in taking Brody. Already having a big dog themselves, Marney agreed to give him a trial periord next time I am in Roanoke. So . . . Brody will be going to a trial weekend at Marney's house hopefully in the next few weeks. I sincerely hope that he works out well for Logan and his family. I'm sure Maggie Mae, our Griff, would really appreciate a break from his crazy energy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We're Still Here--Promise!

Hello all! As you can see, I haven't exactly been keeping to any promises I made regarding posting on this thing--IF I even did make a promise--haha, it's been that long. Life is pretty sweet right now, overall. I have been working at Crestwood Pediatrics for--gasp--almost 6 months now. Whew wee have these six months been better than my previous ones at INOVA. I love my job now so much. I really enjoy the sometimes challenge of triage (and the relaxing aspects of it aren't bad either ;) ). It gives me the satisfaction of feeling like I really helped out a mommy or daddy with my wealth of nursing knowledge ;) Also, I get a change to use those good ole' NCLEX-RN skills. Speaking of that fatefull examination...a HUGE

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S is due to my best friend, Serena Knick RN, BSN--who you can see from her copious credentials is now offically a registered nurse! Woohoo! Now, she can focus on being the "bride to be" that she is. (That picture is of us at the Rotunda Dinner at UVA when Serena was a first year I believe--so long ago!) I also love working with the babies that come in the office for check ups--they make me want my own sooo bad! Also on the job front, Justin recently accepted an operations position that will allow him to function more like a real live human husband! Can you tell I'm excited that my sweetheart is going to be home with me a lot more often? Congrats, babe.

Other than the job front, the last six months have been a blast. On St. Patrick's day, we bought a little puppy miniature schnauzer named Brody. He is the most beautiful dog I have even seen--his behavior, however, is not so beautiful. Let's just say he's lucky he's so cute! In June we took our "redemption honeymoon" to Europe. We traveled to Barcelona, Spain; Valencia, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Marseilles, France; Aix en Provence, France; Nice, France; Cannes, France; Florence, Italy; Piza, Italy; and Rome, Italy. It was nothing short of breathtaking. On our cruise we also met some of the coolest people ever. We met a young couple from NYC, two ladies from Belfast, Ireland named Janet and Norma, and an amazingly wonderful couple from England named Mick and Liz. These people truly MADE our vacation--thanks guys!

Justin celebrated his 28th birthday (old man) in July, and our first wedding anniversary is THIS SUNDAY! Wow, that is so hard to believe. Last year this time, I was so jittery with excitement that I couldn't sleep. Now, I'm just looking forward to that red velvet top tier of our wedding cake perched in our freezer!