Tuesday, January 31, 2012


While I continue to mourn the loss of our little tiny friend, I'm not trying to make sense of it anymore. There are some things that just don't make sense. There are some things that just aren't fair...that just aren't right. And while I am not a religious person, I feel relief knowing that Blake and Libby are finding strength in their own faith. I am thankful that they have such an amazingly supportive community helping them celebrate the life of their daughter. I hope they know how much we truly love them, and I hope our love and friendship provides additional strength and healing. They have been so strong and courageous, and they are an inspiration to many. Whatever happens after this life that we know, wherever we may go after we have no use for our physical bodies, I am comforted to know that Pax is free of pain and no longer fighting. I wish that I had gotten to see her more, to know her better, to watch her grow up. But I am grateful that she was a part of my life, even if for such a short time. I hope that her family is comforted by knowing that she will never be forgotten.

I read the following at my grandfather's funeral, and I am reminded of it again now. I am unsure of the original source, but I love the story that it tells. May all who knew Paxten find peace in their hearts and carry their love for her and her family forever.

Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


My heart is aching and every tear weighs heavy on my soul. Yet the pain and sadness I feel could never compare to that of those who created the miracle she was. I have not had the privilege of motherhood and I cannot imagine the emptiness that must be filling every ounce of their bodies. I feel joy for having met her as she created a special place for herself within my heart. I feel love for her parents, our dear friends, for whom no words can express my deepest condolences. I wish that we could all bear the burden and sorrow for them, but as it is, we must only bear it along with them. I feel angry and confused for the loss of this precious little life that had so much strength and courage and love and so
much left to do on this earth. It doesn't seem right. The reality of how fragile and short life may be makes me fearful. The beauty and love of this family makes me value my own and want to hold them so much closer. I feel relief that this precious baby is no longer in pain and can no longer suffer the grips of the terrible monster that took her from all of us. I know healing will be a long and challenging process. I hope their love remains strong and that they find inner strength in each other as they begin the process of healing. I hope they will treasure the memories and never forget the beautiful smile and perfect little voice of their baby girl. I know I will carry a memory of her with me always. Rest in peace, Paxten. You are so very loved and will be missed by all who knew you!

P365: Week 4

Saturday 1/21/12: Our great friends, Dr. and Mrs. Staples

Sunday 1/22/12: We seriously need some rain here! Lake Travis, Austin, TX

Monday 1/23/12: My favorite websites that fill my brain and to-do lists with ideas and suck away all the time to actually DO any of the ideas

Tuesday 1/24/12: Mini cupcakes for the Dr. Blazo and Deb birthday celebration tomorrow

Wednesday 1/25/12: Finally got the last few photos printed and hung. Now to just work on hanging them evenly!

Thursday 1/26/12: First scrapbook page of the year

Friday 1/27/12: I really need a workbench

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

52 Lists/52 Weeks: #34

SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH: (aka what is typically filling the DVR to near capacity)

Gray's Anatomy
Hell's Kitchen
Iron Chef America
Kitchen Nightmares
New Girl
Next Iron Chef/Next Food Network Star/Masterchef/etc
Sons of Anarchy
So You Think You Can Dance
The Biggest Loser
The Pioneer Woman
Top Chef
What Not to Wear

We clearly watch too much t.v. Our brains are probably rotten by this point.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dominican Coconut Rice

Let me start by saying that I make no claims to be a food blogger, nor am I a food photographer. Clearly. But I do love food and pulling out old recipes that had been more or less forgotten. And of course my inner child still likes to pretend I'm a celebrity chef with my own cooking show. That's totally normal (I'm telling you, not asking). The cats seem to enjoy it anyway. Maybe they are just hoping for a free sample, but that's neither here nor there.

I got a craving for this rice and whipped up and huge batch last night. I took it for lunch today, and fortunately my coworkers loved it too. There's no way I could eat it all, and my dear husband won't go near it since it has "fruit" in it. Let me clarify that. Coconut milk. It has coconut milk in it. In any case, he wants nothing to do with it. Which is fine. More for me. And my work friends. Yay for us.

I've had this recipe for many years now, thanks to my beautiful friend Kelli (who I miss very, very much!). Her step-dad is from the Dominican Republic and this is apparently one of his family recipes. I love it so much and thought it would be fun to share with the few of you who actually read the nonsense I post here. The "recipe" is more like a list of ingredients, so a bit of improvisation is typically in order. If you want to give it a try, here's what you'll need:

Bacon (a few pieces depending on how thick they are)
Garlic (fresh or jarred, whatever you have on hand)
Jalapeno pepper
Coconut milk (2 cans or so)
Canned diced tomatoes
Kidney beans (canned or rehydrated, whatever floats your boat)
Regular white rice

Step 1. Chop up the bacon and fry with the jalapeno and garlic (I only used 1/2 the pepper cut into pieces so small they were almost invisible. I am a spicy super-wuss and can't even bear the spice level in a Chipotle burrito without dousing it in sour cream and guac) In retrospect, the cast iron was probably not the best choice of pot--unless you like when the bottom of your pan burns and you have to take your soggy bacon/pepper/garlic mixture out of the pot to clean it and then replace for the rest of the recipe and are too fearful of burning again and just move on to the next step with soggy bacon. Or turn the heat down. Your choice. I'll probably use a non-stick next time.

Step 2. Add about 1/2 cup of coconut milk, tomatoes (WITH the juice!) and a handful of cilantro, and let it cook down for a few minutes. I wish I had used more cilantro. You can never have too much. Pile it in there.

Step 3. Add the rest of the coconut milk, beans, 2 cups of rice (or maybe less) and a bunch of salt. If you think you added enough salt, add some more. Trust me. I don't like to use a lot of salt, but you will thank me later. It's easier to incorporate into this liquid stage than it is the finished product.

Step 4. Now the tricky part. Cook until the rice is done. You think I'm kidding, but this is harder than it sounds. It takes longer than the 20ish minutes the rice package tells you. I can't tell you how long because I forgot to look at the clock. I told you I'm no professional food blogger. And my cooking show would probably fail miserably. Just keep a lid on it and check it every now and then. Adjust the heat as necessary so it's not boiling, but we need to see some action there. And don't let it get too dried out. I had to add water a couple times to keep it "liquidy" enough for the rice to cook through. I think using more milk and/or tomato juice and/or less rice may have helped, but give it a try and just see what works. No magical measurements happening in my kitchen. When it's finished it might look something like this. Or it might look different. Who cares. It will be delicious!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

P365: Week 3

Saturday 1/14/12: Pretty excited The Pioneer Woman is back. I love starting my Saturdays with her show.

Sunday 1/15/12: Chance made pancakes for the first time!

Monday 1/16/12: The necessary evil that is grocery shopping.

Tuesday 1/17/12: 5 minute project. Finished.

Wednesday 1/18/12: Internet blackouts protesting censorship bills were major news of the day.

Thursday 1/19/12: NOW I'm ready for the wedding this weekend!

Friday 1/20/12: I always love a wedding weekend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012


I waited around for this weeks installation of 52 lists, but still no sign. I figured I'd just steal another blog post idea from my lovely friend, Wendy, just to play around until the new list is posted.


Loving: my job, my house, my hubby

Excited for: Grant and Sarah's wedding this weekend, and our new couch we ordered yesterday!

Worried about: passing my boards (even though I'm just now starting to study)

Creating: a refinished, more colorful bookshelf

Hating: that my joints are hurting so bad and that chiropractic care is not a covered benefit on my new health plan :(

Wondering: if we will find a new geneticist to join our group

Craving: anything. So hungry right now.

Hoping: tomorrow is not too crazy and I can catch up on paperwork and patient letters.

Watching: way too many shows on the DVR. Last night was Kitchen Nightmares. Tonight is probably going to be Chopped or Iron Chef. Or Hoarders. Hmmm...decisions.

Listening to: Bruno Mars. (My current music addiction)

Looking forward to: getting the house all organized and prettified, and this weeks "52 Lists"

Friday, January 13, 2012

P365: Week 2

1/9/12: Such a dreary day. And an awesome view.

1/10/12: Book club night. My first turn to host.

1/11/12: How awesome is my sister?! She made all of this for me!

1/12/12: House next door finally sold, which apparently means the workers are having a major construction/fiesta!

1/13/12: I should probably find a better storage solution for these.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Club

When we first moved to Temple, I was invited to join a book club. I wasn't quite sure what to think of the idea, but since we only know a couple people here, I thought it would be a great way to make friends. So far I'm loving it. We only meet once a month, and it's a pretty small group, so it works well. January was my turn to host. This means that I chose the book in December for all of us to read. Then we got together and I covered dinner and (of course!) wine for everyone will we chit-chat and talk about the book. Rarely does everyone make it through the entire book, and there is one lady who never reads the book but comes for the social hour...so the discussion is usually a team story-telling. And often laughing and pointing out the things we disliked...the unrealistic storyline, or the overly detailed descriptions.

For my turn, I chose Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Have you read it? What did you think? Haven't read it? Well, here's what the back cover has to say: "We don't want to tell you what happens in this book. It is truly a special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again-the story starts there...Once you've read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds."

So, there you have it. I bet you want to read it now, huh? Read it. And tell me what you think.

For next month, my friend Sarah has chosen: Room by Emma Donoghue. I've been wanting to read it for a while, so I'm looking forward to cracking the Nook back open and getting started!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

52 Lists/52 Weeks: #32

I was so excited when I stumbled on this fun little activity on my friend's blog(thanks Wendy!), so I wasted no time tracking down the mastermind and have been eagerly awaiting her Sunday post with the newest list. I don't know how to live without making lists. My dear husband associates list making with things that must be done before fun can be had, but I see them in a much different light! List making can be fun!

I considered starting with #1 and working through the lists that have already been posted, but some of them are seasonal so I figured I would just jump right in and see where it takes me.

If you want to join in the list making fun, visit Kellie's blog here.

#32 Fun Things To Do By Yourself:
* Blogging and Blog-hopping
* Scrapbooking
* Making crafty projects
* Baking
* Reading
* Painting my toenails
* Shoe shopping
* Shopping for other people
* Watching silly tv shows
* Driving around with no destination in mind
* Organizing things

What do you like to do for fun whey you are by yourself???


Saturday, January 7: Just call me Tia the Toolma'am.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Project 365: Week One

Wednesday, January 4:
Not quite ready to start studying for boards, but starting to get organized

Thursday, January 5:
Let's see if this thing helps us feel better! We are tired of dry, scratchy throats and noses.

Friday, Jaunary 6:
Just a few projects to work on :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I {heart} my job

January 3, 2012: Craniofacial day, which means borrowing an exam room from cardiology and explaining to kids that this is what a heart looks like. I'm just thankful we don't see patients in Urology!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Life365 Take 2

Perhaps if I post my daily photo here, I will keep up with it??

January 1, 2012 Corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, black eyed peas. Lots of good luck and fortune for this coming year!

January 2, 2012 Another "take 2". I love this book and its interesting little tid bits. Let's see how far we get this year.

Here's to a Healthy 2012

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948