Saturday, November 24, 2012

Figured out the problem! TURKEY

I had made these pretty collages of things I'm thankful for.  I realized they took up a lot of space, so I'm not sharing them :(. I also realized that my blog was storing pictures I had downloaded for possible use in my blog that I didn't end up using.  That was so much wasted space.  Anyway, I should have room now to show you my turkey!!

My FIRST turkey roasting!!!!!! So proud! 

Thanksgiving 2012

This time of year is so wonderful because everyone is in such a great mood as they remember all the things they're thankful for.  I'm very thankful for my old friends, new friends, family, health, husband, traveling, crafting, and fitness!  This year, we kept things pretty low key as Tyler had surgery on Wednesday, but don't worry, the holiday was still celebrated with the standard fare.

On Thursday I ventured into roasting my first turkey.  I tackled a 14-lb bird and was actually quite successful! I made some yummy turkey chili soup with the left over meat, but we still have about 1/2 a gallon-sized ziplock bag full of turkey meat!!  So many left overs.  We had green bean casserole, turkey, rolls, cheese-stuff celery, stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake.  I ran out of time to do anything with the sweet potatoes that we bought, so I'll have to do something with those goodies later.  I might save them to go with the giant ham we have in our freezer thanks to my friend, Amy. 

Apparently, I cannot upload a picture of my turkey :( I will try to figure that out and get back to y'all!

On Friday, I tackled the crowds starting off at 5:00 in the morning for Black Friday specials!!  I got some amazing deals and shopped until I dropped.  It was a great time for sure!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Schenanigans

Last weekend, I got to travel to Asheville, NC with many other friends at school to the NCSOS Fall Conference (North Carolina State Optometric Society).  Students are allowed to attend for free, and we got to sit in on Continuing Education (CE) lectures, and look at booths set up by various venders at the Vision Expo.  It was a great time filled with meeting lots of doctors and reps from the NC area.  I even met an Alcon rep who had her wedding reception at the same place Tyler and I did.  Some of our teachers from SCO were teaching some of the CE courses, so we got to listen to them!

The meeting was held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  What a beautiful place!  The scenery was gorgeous and so was the weather.  Only the first morning there was cold.  Within the Grove Park Inn is a Dueling Piano Bar called Elaine's.  We met some of our teachers there on Saturday night and had a ton of fun!  There were also some neat gifts shops with local handmade crafts where I was able to get some Christmas shopping done!

In the giant fireplace with Dr. Scott Ensor, Dr. Pam Schnell, and my friend Jeanne

Hotel and travel Buddies :)

Lovely backdrop

The beautiful construction of the Grove Park Inn

Jeanne won a cheese basket the first night of the Vision Expo

At the dueling piano bar

They'll write something on the window if you pay them money.  Yeah for optometry jokes!

Me and Jeanne

Don't know why we allowed Dr. Ensor's request to come to fruition.   He doesn't even give us pharm grades anymore.  But hey, we at least made him laugh.

Apparently, we let Dr. Walker rule, too.

I had forgotten something, and had to come back.  Love that some staff doctors paid $22 to have them write this on the window after we had left!  Oh dear.

Last night, Tyler and I went to see his school's production of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.  We found it quite ironic that all the actors were female (because St. Mary's is an all-girl school) when in Shakespeare's day, all the actors were male.  They did a very, very good job.  Pictured below is Tyler with on of his former students, Dakota.  I got to see her perform in their production of The Wizard of Oz last year.  I love attending high school plays because you get to see so much young talent!

Tyler and Dakota, who played Olivia in Twelfth Night

Now it's time to finish cleaning the apartment to prepare for Thanksgiving.  I bought all the necessities at the very crowded grocery store today.  But I would say that I did quite well!  I managed to save $23 with coupons and deals.  The big purchase was obviously the full turkey that I'm going to tackle roasting for the first time this year!  I also got items needed to make a white turkey chili with all the left over bird!  Please pray for me in this endeavor.  :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

to get it off my chest

I just want to say that I wish we could vote on issues, not individuals, and I wish the electoral college didn't exist.

I had a really difficult time picking a candidate this year.  I am conservative, but slightly more left on the scale - moderate-ish if you will.  I agreed with each candidate on certain issues, making it very challenging to have a solid opinion regarding my vote.  I considered writing in my top choice, but I didn't want to waste my vote, so I voted for the individual that agreed with my stance on the issues closest to my heart.  This time of the year is just so challenging because I feel like I'm voting for the lesser of two evils.  I also never feel like my efforts to be fully informed work out to my benefit because so many political ads, and arguments in debates, are lies.  At least my core values are my core values, and no man (or woman) in office can change that.   

On a more important note, I don't understand why we have electoral votes.  The election should not be over yet.  Votes are still coming in.  It should be over when everyONE's individual vote is counted towards to vote of the American people.  It disgusts me to know it's possible to win the popular vote and not the presidency.

At least I voted, so I have the right to complain... ;)  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Halloween!

In honor of Halloween, I must say that it's quite "spooky" to realize that Tyler and I will be in North Carolina this time next year!!  It's kind of bitter sweet knowing that we will get to celebrate Halloween with different friends than the SCO crowd.  However, to be able to say that this was a GREAT Halloween is quite refreshing!! 

The weekend all started out with SVOSH's annual Eye 5K, which raises money for their mission trips in May.  As I've decided to start a new hobby of running, I had to sign up.  And not only did I sign up, I ran with a team.  Every year, the faculty and staff put together a team, and if the student team's combined time beats the combined faculty time, the students get taken out to dinner.  So I decided to run, and I ran with a crew of students who won last year, so I was kind of nervous.  But we won!  We'll be going out for pizza some time soon.  Because the Eye 5K fell over Halloween weekend, it was a "come in costume" event.  Our 5K team was the "Runaway Convicts from the SCO Prison."  I came in 3rd for my age group - technically 4th, but they separate the overall winners from the age categories, and the girl who placed 1st in our age group got the best female time - so it opened up the 3rd place slot for me!  I'm going to keep running and training, so that someday, I can actually win a 5K... maybe.  :)

My medal for proof :)
Our Team in our jail bird orange

That night, after the 5K, we had our Halloween parties!  I dressed up as a beanie baby with my friend Jeanne.  There were lots of creative costumes!
El Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls [Day of the Dead]

Steve Urkel

2 blind mice - RIP mouse #3 - I guess he couldn't see death coming

check out those perfectly accurate tags made by Jeanne

she did such a good job

Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games

Crazy cat lady with her cats + Mario ;)

To prove accuracy of my costume! :)
Valentino and Zip - beanie babies

Another tradition of SCO is decorating the Eye Center for Halloween.  Basically the thought is that everyone celebrates Halloween, but not everyone celebrates Christmas.  Therefore, to do something fun for the kids that isn't discriminatory, we go all out for Halloween - crafts, candy, decorations - the WORKS.  Student clubs/organizations (like FCO, SVOSH, OPP, etc.) are assigned various suites to decorate (if they choose to participate) in The Eye Center.  The people who schedule appointments, try to schedule as many children as they can, and we make it a fun time for the kids.  FCO (the club for which I'm president) decorated a suite with the theme, "Monster's Inc."  We had a lot of fun decorating.  Unfortunately, we didn't place in the suite-decorating competition, but maybe next year ;).  On Monday the 29th when SCO held it's annual Halloween at the Eye Center, my friend Keri and I got to help with the crafts in the waiting room - Halloween felt masks and pipe cleaner glasses.  Keri and I got to recycle our costumes from Saturday night's shenanigans.  Here are some pictures from the fun at the Eye Center.

Family after making masks.  The little boy on the left has one, but he wouldn't wear it for the picture.

This woman had a ton of fun with me and Keri in the waiting room.  She wanted to make everything - and look, she made stuff to match her festive Halloween attire!

funky pipe cleaner glasses :)

He was so excited about his yellow and black frames

Under the See

A jelly fish!

SVOSH's monopoly suite.  Too bad Dr. Harris got stuck at the air port.  He was going to be the perfect Mr. Monopoly!

The winning suite - The Masquerade!!

FCO's Monster's Inc.

I painted those logos on the windows :) So proud

Pin the Eye on Mike game!

Boo's door
Dr. Dorkowski was in the "Under the See" suite!  He had the best Captain Hook costume ever!!

The whole Monster's Inc. Gang

Despicable Me

Despicable Me

I loved this addition!  So cute!

Despicable Me

Characters from Despicable Me

Dr. Seuss

 All in all, it was a fabulous Halloween!  It's so fun to see how creative everyone at school can be!  It will be sad to not be in the Eye Center on Halloween next year, because it's so magical to see everything decorated.  Now, I just have to figure out what to be next year! :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!!  And just because I love her so, here is a picture of my beautiful niece in her adorable elephant costume!!