Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

A cherished family tradition of mine is "Family Christmas" which is a dinner/Christmas celebration with people who technically aren't family, but who are friends that are as close as family.

One of the families there have two little girls, Macy and Zoey. Macy is about 5 years old and provided much of the entertainment for me this year. My mom had called Macy's dad earlier that day to ask if "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (the one with Jim Carey) would be a good movie for them to watch. Macy's dad quickly said, "NO!" My mom was surprised and asked why not, and he told her that Macy had loved the movie the first time she had seen it, and then seen a big inflatable Grinch in someone's yard. Apparently she thought that seeing that inflatable Grinch meant that he was real. Since then, she had refused to go anywhere near fireplaces (how the Grinch enters houses) or watch the movie again.

Macy and I were talking later that night, and here's how it went:

Macy: Green used to be my favorite color, but the Grinch is green, so I lost it.
Me: Oh, Macy! I'm so sorry. Do you have other favorite colors?
Macy: *Sigh* Yes...I kinda like pink. But I also lost blue.
Me: Really? What happened to blue?
Macy: (completely serious) I don't know...I just...lost it.

Funny how those little minds think, right? Her parents also said that Macy has been complaining about wanting her room to be repainted, because you guessed it--it's green.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

We hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday - Merry Christmas!!!

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Friday, December 19, 2008

Holly Jolly Holiday

On Monday, December 15th, at around 9:30 am, I officially finished my first semester of Dental School. Cue the angels singing, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" Truly, this semester of school has been a season of tremendous growth as a student, as a person, and as a Christian, but as we all know, times of growth come hand-in-hand with times of trial--for we learn best those lessons we hear when we struggle.

One of the greatest struggles for me was to realize the simple fact that I was not at Abilene Christian University anymore. On a conscious level, I knew that already, but subconsciously I think that I expected my professors to be 100% invested in my life and my future as they were at ACU. While I had some professors who impressed me, some who taught me well, some who taught me poorly, and some who taught with love, none of these could give me back the feeling of security and overwhelming compassion that I felt at ACU. It was a difficult change for me. To go from teachers at college who were friends, confidants, leaders, and spiritual giants to the teachers at dental school who were (for the most part) simply teachers.

I do not regret going to dental school, and I do not regret going to ACU even though it supplied me, perhaps, with unrealistic expectations of how the world would treat me. I write this all to say--I am overwhelmingly grateful for the instruction I received at my alma mater, and I am also somehow grateful that I must now be "ACU" (or perhaps more accurately labeled "Jesus") to others.

Anyway, back to the last final. My last final was in biochemistry, and you will all be happy to know that the ridiculously long word that I wrote about in my previous post did NOT show up on the test. (Which was very good for me, since I cannot even remember the word now, much less what it means--ah, the post-test brain purge.) Unfortunately, I did "underestimate the beast." (A little phrase one of my ACU buddies used to say when he didn't allow himself enough time to study for a big test.) Because of the underestimation, I pulled my first, and hopefully last, almost-all-nighter.

For most of my life I have had a ritual for test-taking that involves studying until 12 pm (but no later) and then getting up at 5 am to study again the morning of the test. This system had always worked in the past, mostly because I really can't stay up past 12, so it was a good stopping point. For this final biochemistry test, though, I stayed up until 3 am, then woke up at 5:30 am to finish studying the day of the test. Hope I get some more concealer for Christmas because I had to use about half a bottle trying to cover the blackened raccoon-like circles under my eyes. We left fairly soon after my test to drive to Abilene for the holidays--guess who drove?


Oh, but before we left, Jeffrey and I needed to load up my desk to take home. I brought my desk from Abilene when we moved to San Antonio, but realized shortly after that I don't like studying at a desk--I like studying on the couch. So, the desk (like all good furniture) was going to be passed down the family line to my brother.

Problem #1: I am weak.

I don't work out much. If I do work out, it's on a treadmill, walking or jogging on an incline. I do not lift weights. In fact, I try not to lift anything--I mean, what's the point of being married if you're not going to use your hubby to lift things for you? (Kidding--he's good for other stuff, too. Our marriage isn't solely based on his lifting ability.) Needless to say, it was hard for me to lift the desk.

Problem #2: We live on the 3rd floor.

That means the desk had to go down two flights of stairs and be lifted into the truck bed. Not good.

Problem #3: I'm short.

5'4" to be exact. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: When you combine problems 1, 2, and 3, you end up with Jeffrey holding the entire desk by himself (looking very much like the statue of Atlas holding the world) on the lower part of the stairs and me looking very frantic because I can't find a way to hold the desk so that I can lift it up without hurting my little fingers, then, when I finally figure out a way to hold it, I will be too short to hold it up high enough to clear the stair with the bottom of the desk.

Somehow, it got into the truck and to Abilene. And Jeffrey and I have decided that we can never move away from our current residence, as other things would have to be moved down the stairs if we were to leave.

Tonight is a Christmas dinner with friends, and tomorrow is Christmas with Jeffrey's family. And where there is family and friends, there will always be bloggable moments...more to come.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

10 Things I Think I Should Be Thinking About When I Think

1.) "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last..."

I don't think any other 14 words could attempt to accurately describe the absolute feeling of elation that has absorbed me since 1:58 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

2.) Now, I know what you're thinking: "But Jeffrey, you need to calm down. You still have 7 LONG semesters left. Pace yourself!"

3.) And to that I say this: "True, but I just finished one semester of school, which means that I now have one less semester to finish than I did 6 months ago." Plus, maybe now I'll be able to sleep in past 7:45 am. But I won't count on it...for some reason, my bladder loves to wake me up before the sun every morning.

4.) Lauren finishes up her first semester of dental school tomorrow, and I know she can't wait. She has studied to the point of sheer exhaustion - in fact, as I type this, she is lying on her back on the couch with her legs up in the air like a dead bug. Maybe I should check to make sure she's still alive...

5.) Lauren and I each received some early Christmas presents last night from some of our good friends. I would be lying to say that we expected gifts at all, so needless to say we were/are very grateful. Thank you, dear friends (you know who you are).

6.) Sam Bradford won the Heisman. As good as he was this season, giving him the Heisman is almost as bad as giving Bob Stoops Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year honors. I mean, come brother Tommy could coach/QB that team to an 11-1 record. There are much more deserving people out there.

7.) Speaking of Tommy, in his last football game this year, he racked up 2 receiving TD's and a bunch of catches. If you don't know Tommy, or if you've never seen "Tommy Romo" play flag-football, then you're missing out on a great part of life. I mean, if you want to see some Super Dorks run an 8.2 second 40-yard-dash and see some of the best cheerleaders this side of McKinney High School, just call me up...I can probably get you tickets on the 50-yard-line at midfield.

8.) We are VERY excited about going home to see our families for Christmas. Honestly, that's the best part about Christmas. It's not the presents, or the time off from school, or even the millions of candy canes. Christmas is special because of the people you get to spend it with, and it doesn't matter if you see them on December 5th or 25th. We cannot wait to recapture old memories and begin new ones this Christmas season - so Mom & Dad O., Mom and Dad E., siblings, grandparents, cousins, etc., we'll see you all soon!

9.) Now if you'll excuse me, I have studying...wait, no...I have some laying on my butt doing nothing to get to.

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


10.) P.S. If you're a guy out there and you read Peter King's "MMQB" on or DJ Gallo's "NFL Hangover" on, then you should appreciate the title of this post.

P.P.S. We want to send our wishes, thoughts, and prayers to Mason and Casey O. - congratulations on getting married! Sorry we couldn't be there, but you can blame that on my wife - if she hadn't had a stupid Biochemistry exam tomorrow, we'da been there. And yes, I know "we'da" is not a word, but it works for me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Short Stories

Today, while I was studying for my biochemistry final that is on Monday, I came across a word that I had never seen before, and hope to never see again. "Perhydrocyclopentanophenanthrene." Thirty-two letters worth of pure biochemistry torture. There should be laws against words that long.

The other day I went to get Taco Bell. I had been on the phone and so when I got up to order I wasn't quite ready, but the guy came over the intercom immediately. I remembered that there was a salad there that I liked, so I quickly scanned the salad menu, but I couldn't remember what it was called. I asked the guy, "What's that salad yall have that comes in a big taco shell?" He said, "The Taco Salad." I felt silly.

My friend Maegan lives in our apartment complex, but we just went over to her place for the first time last night. They have a cute little dog named Paisley who we met also. Today I got an email from Maegan:

Ok, so I have a really random question, and I need you to be COMPLETELY honest. I think we’re at that point in our relationship…

(I was thinking at this point that we were about to talk about something really serious.)

when you came to my house last night, did it smell like dog peepee?? Jordan and I are always here, so we don’t know if we are good judges. It won’t hurt my feelings, I just need to know if I should have our carpet cleaned… thanks.

Last but not least, my sister is known as the "rebel" of our family. She just has to break the rules every-once-in-a-while. I was texting with her tonight and she asked me what I got our dad for his birthday tomorrow. I told her, and then asked what she got him. She told me the actual present, but added that she felt like the best gift she had given him was the fact that she had "been 18 for like a month and hadn't gotten anything pierced or tatooed!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Feeling a little test-y

I took my anatomy test today. Hard. In celebration for the test being over, I'll give you a little top ten list.

How to know you've just taken a really hard test:

1. You only needed a 42 to pass, but you're concerned you didn't make it.
2. You couldn't remember the word for one of the anatomy terms on the test, so you just made up your own word.
3. You heard that someone threw up during this same test last year.
4. You hear one of your professors laughing like this: "Muah, ha, ha!" during the test.
5. Your eyebrows are sore afterward from furrowing them in consternation for 3 straight hours.
6. You change several answers (ahem...guesses) on your multiple choice test simply because, "They wouldn't put five D's in a row, would they?"
7. You look at the structure you need to identify, and the only word that rises to the top of your mind is "...what?"

But regardless of how badly the test goes, one can always simply be happy that it's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a much happier note, allow me to brag on my husband...he made a 100 on his biochemistry test AND on his histology test! Basically, what that really means is that I am married to the smartest man in medical school at San Antonio! I am so proud of him and all of his hard work. The dental tests tend to be over a little more material, but we usually have no more than two tests per week. The medical students, on the other hand, have FIVE tests per week! So Jeffrey has three more to go this week, but he's off to an AMAZING start.

Like the great philosophers Salt-N-Pepa said: "What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. (Yes, he is!)"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Barack No-Bama

I read last night on that Barack Obama smokes cigarettes. Are you kidding me? If I had known that during the election, I would have gone on the campaign trail against him. All the McCain haters talked about how old John McCain was during the election and how great the chance was for him to die while in office. While this may be true, it is also true that Barack Obama is at a HUGE risk for heart attack during his presidency! He is at a high risk because he is in his forties, he's at high risk because he's African American, and most importantly he is at a high risk because he is a smoker.

We live in 2008. We KNOW that smoking kills you. It's not considered "cool" or "suave" or even socially accepted anymore to smoke. It causes cancer. It causes heart disease. It causes your family's immune systems to be less effective. It stinks (literally). Imagine this: President Obama goes to meet with the leader of a foreign country smelling like a chimney. He will greet this leader with his burnt breath. He will shake this leader's hand with his grey-stained fingers. This is not the representative that I want for America.

I know that it's difficult to quit smoking. I heard one time that quitting smoking is like trying to write all your sentences without dotting any of the "i's" or crossing any of the "t's". I know it would be hard for him, but he OWES it to America and his family and himself to take care of his body. How can he possibly expect to run a country when he can't even take care of himself?

Here's my idea: Obama should hire someone to be on his staff to follow him around, and every time he lights up that person can slap his hand and say, "NO-bama!"

Problem solved.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Party/Meet Baby Santa Pope

Jeffrey and I decided to throw a Christmas dinner party for some of our friends this year. While thinking in my "Party Persona" I quickly made a list of our 48 closest friends that I would like to invite for dinner. Jeffrey encouraged me to use my "Common Sense Persona" (who is neither as fun nor spontaneous) to make a list of a smaller group of people that we could actually fit in our two bedroom apartment and feed for less the cost of a month's rent. Reluctantly, I agreed, but I stood firm that we should use the china and the crystal. (I mean, if you're not going to use it at Christmas, when are you going to use it? When the president comes over for tea?)

The evening was wonderful (I thought). We had fourteen guests for dinner (fifteen including little baby Tyson, who I will talk more about later) and had a lovely time. Jeffrey helped me cook a ham, green bean casserole, hot apple cider, and two rich desserts, and some of our invitees brought some other great sides. Some of my favorite comments of the night:

"Ooh--it smells like Christmas in here!" -Shannon F.
"Chili's molten chocolate cake has nothing on your chocolate lava cakes." -Steven H.
"Richie, why are you wearing clown socks?" -James F.
"Could you rub my shoulders?" -Blake J. to my husband
"So I walked into the police station and asked them to walk me to my car because there was a big scary deer out there." -Carly K.
"Bye, Buddy! Hope you find your dad!" -Sea creature on the movie "Elf"

It was a night of lots of laughter, that's for sure. One of the biggest laughs came when Alexandra gave Christian and Shannon a little Santa outfit for baby Tyson. The suit was adorable, but the hat was too small so it sat up tall on his head. He looked like a little Santa Pope!

Thanks to all our friends that came to celebrate the season with us. We love all of you, and we hope you have a lovely holiday season. You each mean something special to us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Driving us crazy

There are a lot of crazy drivers in the world. I'll never forget one day in Fort Worth when Jeffrey and I were going to the mall with his mom and we witnessed a true case of road rage. A van cut off a guy driving a big truck, and at the next stoplight, we stared with slack-jawed amazement as the driver of the truck got out, grabbed the van driver by the collar and screamed his lungs out at him. Two words for him: anger management.

Here in San Antonio, though, it's a whole new world...and not the nice kind of "Whole New World" that Aladdin and Jasmine sing about in the Disney movie. I'm talking about the ugly new world where all drivers are offensive (meaning both rude and aggressive/unaware of others), the "fender benders" require ambulances, and all roads lead to traffic jams.

Ridiculous driving example 1: A few days ago I was traveling along a five-lane road to pick Jeffrey up from school. The traffic was really bad that day--cars backed up for miles, but only in the west-bound lane adjacent to the turning lane. Like all impatient drivers, I quickly switched into the faster-moving one and went on my way. About a mile up the road I saw the cause of the traffic backup. An accident? No. There was a van waiting to turn left from the west-bound traffic lane. Not in the turning lane. Not even partially in the turning lane. Just hangin' out in the traffic lane, holding up traffic, being obnoxious.

Ridiculous driving example 2: Jeffrey and I ate at Freebird's tonight and on our way home we had to pass what I lovingly refer to as "The Alley Of Death." The Alley of Death is the stretch of road between the exit off I-10 for our apartment and the stoplight at the road to our apartment. It's less than a 1/4 of a mile, but it's trecherous. Many a good fender have been lost there. Anyway, coming off the highway at 65 mph, we were shocked when a car pulled out about 100 yards in front of us at a speed I estimate to be no faster than 20 mph. Cue honking horn.

So to all of you silly, law-breaking, frustrating, crazy San Antonio drivers, I have one thing to say to you--and it's written on the sign below...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Much Blog About Nothing

It's true--I don't really have much to blog about these days, but I feel compelled to break this blog-less silence that has settled on this webpage...

One little funny did happen last week. Just before Thanksgiving, several of my teachers got together in a meeting to brainstorm evil ideas to use to torture dental students. The product of the villainous lunch was a schedule that included two tests immediately preceding Thanksgiving break, and two tests immediately following Thanksgiving break--so as to make the students feel as if there were no break at all. During one of the first tests, however, I interrupted my professor's evil Disney character-like "Muah-ha-ha!" laughter with some of my own giggles.

The test was in dental anatomy. Dental anatomy is all about knowing every detail about how each tooth looks in detail. The tests have proven to be rather difficult for me because they involve remembering charts with lots of numbers which are largely unimportant to the casual study-er (like the lengths in millimeters of all the teeth in the mouth from every conceivable side). While these things are difficult to remember, we students do have one resource on our sides--our own teeth! They can't take those away for the test, and it's not considered cheating to use your own dentition to help you on the test.

Needless to say, my giggles erupted when I turned around to glance at the clock and saw 97 adult dental students with various combinations of their fingers, hands, and pencils in their mouths feeling for answers. What a lovely group of professionals we are!

Jeffrey and I had a great Thanksgiving break which we spent at his parents house in Fort Worth. Complete with turkey and stuffing, the meal was incredible and the company was even better. Jeffrey's cousins got a new puppy and only one of our fish died while we were gone (R. I. P. Dolly), so I'd say it was a pretty successful holiday. We have much to be thankful for this year!

Only a couple of weeks until school is out for us and our brains can go on temporary vacation. Mine will probably go into a blissful, study-free coma...