Friday, February 27, 2015

Life Lately

Somehow it's the end of February! We've had three snow days in the last two weeks and I am ready for spring. Ryan's got one more week of the hardest rotation of intern year. I kept telling him it can only get better! But in the midst of his crazy schedule we've managed a few new things...

We've joined a church!

After spending a few months visiting churches we joined First Presbyterian a few weeks ago and are looking forward to getting involved. 

There's {finally} a TV in our living room! 

Originally, I thought we didn't have enough room for a television in this room without hanging it above the fireplace (which I really didn't want to do). I'm very thankful Ryan was willing to spend his one day off last weekend crawling up under the house to do the wiring. Isn't it amazing how far TVs have come in the last 60 years? 

I tried a new recipe for tomato soup that's definitely a keeper. 

Here's the link (it's from the actress who played Kelly on "Saved By the Bell"). I used half-and-half instead of cream and dried herbs instead of fresh. 

More snow came on Tuesday and Thursday this week! 

Another snow day means another long walk with Scout to Falls Park. The snow is pretty, but I've had my full and am ready for spring. I'm tired of the mess of wet dog feet that seem to track slush through the house.

See the forsythia trying to bloom here? I think Mother Nature is ready for spring too!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fun in Birmingham

Last week I spent a few days with Sis and her girls in Birmingham to celebrate Elizabeth Magee's FOURTH birthday. I can't believe she is four! She is so much fun and has the sweetest spirit.

Me and the birthday girl at the party. 

On Thursday we went to Tuscaloosa to visit Mama Jean and Papa Carrel. Mary Thorne loved getting to "ride the little horsey" with Mama Jean. It was so nice getting to visit and the next time I see them they will be in a new house!

Mom and Net came and I loved getting to see them. As always, it wasn't long enough! 

No one on earth hold a candle to Siggi in Elizabeth Magee's eyes. 

It's amazing how much Poppy and Mary Thorne have grown since Christmas. They know their colors, have mastered the potty and are so talkative. Poppy still isn't sure about Aunt Sis - especially if she can't see her mama. But she did love telling me all about the colors in the crayon box. I'll take what I can get!

Mary Thorne has no such hesitations about Aunt Sis. She is full-throttle all the time until she crashes at 7:05 p.m. She loves hot sauce on her eggs and helped me eat my salad at lunch. Not the typical diet of a nearly two year old!

And she is the best cuddler!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ice Capades and Jambalaya

We woke up to the very much predicted ice storm this morning. The schools and most business are closed and it's a great day to hunker down and enjoy. Except if you work at a hospital and have to go in at 3 a.m. Fortunately, Ryan made it safely, and I'm not planning on cranking my car!

This looks like snow but it's solid ice. By mid-morning Scout and I were ready to get out of the house so we headed out for a walk to take in the sights. Poor Pepe has hurt his hip and was left behind. I don't think he minded though - cold weather is not his thing. 

Our neighborhood has some great sledding hills! I'm going to have to get a sled for next time!

There is never parking downtown but there was plenty this morning. Of course, most everything was closed!

The Starbucks by Falls Park was the destination for our walk and, fortunately, they were open for business. One thing I love about Greenville is it is so dog friendly. I had to document Scout's first time in Starbucks! 

In honor of cold weather and Fat Tuesday, I made jambalaya last night...

This is a combination of two recipes from one of my favorites cookbooks, Forestburg Watermelon Festival Cookbook Volume II (a wonderful gift from my Aunt Betty!). 

In a dutch oven, saute 1 pound sliced smoked sausage in 1/4 cup oil until browned. Remove the sausage and saute (chopped) vegetables: 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 1 cup celery, 1 cup green onion and 2 cloves garlic until tender. Add 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; and cook a few minutes. Stir in 1 cup uncooked rice, 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 cup water and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Add one (14.5 oz) can of drained diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and add back in sausage for about 30 minutes. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Skiing the Wolf

Last week Ryan had some time off so we had a staycation. It was wonderful and we did lots of necessary evils like go to the dentist and file our taxes. But we also had lots of fun! Even though the last few days have felt like spring is around the corner, last week there was snow in the North Carolina mountains. So we headed to the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort for a day of skiing. I wasn't expecting much as far as the snow amount and the size of the mountain (compared to out West) but it was fabulous on both accounts! The snow machines were going in the morning, but there was enough natural snow to not really need them. Although I did appreciate the nice layer of powder to cushion my (four? five?) falls.

It amazes me that we were one and a half hours from home! We were on the slopes before 10 a.m.!

The lodge was cute and very rustic with huge fireplaces inside and lots of picnic tables. There was a grill and a gift shop. Everything you need!

Selfie on the slopes! This was our third trip skiing together and the first where we've worn helmets. One of my Pilates classmates has a family member who suffered a traumatic brain injury on this mountain a few weeks ago. I keep telling Ryan he is my Plan A and there is no Plan B so we were getting helmets:)

This picture doesn't do the steepness of this section of the mountain justice. It was one of the few black areas (most were blue or green). I didn't attempt this but Ryan did. He'd had a terrific fall a few minutes this!

I like to go nice and slow!

The winter wonderland behind Ryan is a little misleading -- there must have been a snow machine blowing snow on these trees the day before!

And this is how I feel about skiing all day!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paris Mountain

Ryan is currently on an easier rotation and we are loving it! Weekends actually feel like weekends! On Sunday we took the dogs to Paris Mountain and hiked the Sulpher Springs trail. Most of the four mile trail followed a stream and was very scenic with several small waterfalls. I love any size waterfall! We took the dogs and had a great time. The trail went up about 600 feet and I think we could all feel the burn the next day. Pepe didn't get off his bed at all!

My view for most of the hike. Pepe did not like that Scout was in front of him!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sunshine and Friends

We had the most wonderful visit from DeeDee and John Eric this weekend. The pictures tell it best...

They got in Saturday night (after John Eric RAN the Charleston marathon...I'm beyond impressed that he was still walking and talking and fun to be around. I would be passed out some where along the way!). Can you tell how happy DeeDee and I are to be drinking wine and talking? It's been way too long! I think we talked for three straight days. 

We made s'mores for our dessert in the fireplace. 

Sunday morning we brunched at Tandem in Travelers Rest.

And then walked around Falls Park and downtown. We were blessed with glorious weather that almost felt like spring.

DeeDee impressed us with her one-handed put-put swing! But in the end, John Eric won by a large margin. 

We tried craft beer at Community Tap and watched a good football game...

and vino on the rooftop of Sip...

and dinner at Smoke. Can you tell we all like to eat and drink? It felt great!

Ryan was off on Monday (we hadn't planned that it just worked out perfectly!) and we drove up to Caesars Head to look at the mountains. 

DeeDee gave Ryan a quarter for the view thingy.

This is Bald Rock and is a massive rock overlook on the side of the mountain. It obviously is a place for teenagers to declare their love for one another in spray paint. 

We saw American Sniper in the afternoon and it was amazing. Such a moving story. We cooked in Monday night and watched our favorite show - Shark Tank. It was the perfect visit and we promised not to go so long again without "real" Facetime! And next time they are bringing sweet Jane because we all missed her!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Merry and a Bright New Year

Before I forget all that we did over the Christmas season I better document! We had three Christmas parties with GHS and they were all fun. Miraculously, Ryan's schedule worked out where we could go to all off of them!

The first - and I think my favorite - was a tacky Christmas sweater party at the director's house. You can't tell in the picture, but Ryan's sweater had shoulder pads! There was a peds party at the children's museum and an internal medicine party at Carolina Ale House downtown. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we got our tree and I think this is the prettiest one we've ever had. We took it down last weekend and I'm still missing it.

We have enjoyed our fireplace so much! And Santa even managed to squeeze down our narrow chimney! (Stockings were left up only for the picture or there wouldn't have been a house left for Santa to visit). 

We really do enjoy messing with Scout. 

A group of med-peds residents from the Tacky Sweater party. 

We celebrated our 9th anniversary with delicious meal at Larkin's on the River. 

Christmas Eve brought the best surprise of all when Ryan got home 5 hours early from his ER shift!!! He wasn't supposed to get off until 10 p.m. but because of a light load they let him go home. We made it to our church's Christmas Eve service and then came home and built a fire. 

Honestly, I was dreading Christmas Day because Ryan was working a 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. shift and I knew I would be missing my family! BUT, Jennie and I had a wonderful day. We made our favorite things for breakfast (sausage balls for me, monkey bread for her), exchanged gifts, went for a walk and talked to our families. I finally got to "meet" her parents on Facetime! In the afternoon we went to see Unbroken and that put a nice reality check for me on spending the day in a comfortable home with plenty to eat! 

On the 28th we headed to Mississippi and after a long day in the car got to see Sis and her girls. Plus Mom, Dad and Net! 

I love this picture of Poppy!

We stopped in the library for a little play time during a cold walk. 

DeeDee, John Eric and Jane stopped by on their way home to Jackson from Memphis for a short visit. It was wonderful to see them and they are coming to visit in just over a week!  

Dad and Ryan playing Dad's new iphone. He went from a 1990s-ish Nokia bar phone to an iphone 6!

Thomas and Laura came up on New Year's Day and spent the night. It was so good to see them!

We spent New Year's Eve with Ryan's family and I don't have a picture but we had a good time! 

It was hard to leave but we came home to this little surprise - crocus blooming in the yard! I think the poor thing is confused and thinks it's spring!

Maybe I will be a better blogger in the New Year!