Monday, August 23, 2010

carries baby shower

so i threw a baby shower for daves sister, carrie, a couple weeks ago. it was held at her parents house in old hickory. these are some of the photos from carrie's camera (i was too busy to take any). im bummed we didnt get any good shots of the decorations- there were about 20 chinese lanterns that we strung across the ceiling and it looked really cool.

heres the invitation- the layout was free (probably would have designed something myself but dont have photoshop), and i used pale pink paper i had leftover from wedding invitations.

the favors were little bags of flower bulbs:

and instead of traditional baby shower games, i decided to set up a "photo booth" for people to write messages to the baby, which i am working on putting into a book as a keepsake. here are a couple of the good ones:

here is the
menu for the food:

Watermelon Lemonade

Mint Limeade

Blueberry scones

Ham & Cheese Sliders (substituted smoked gruyere, omg so good)

Ham, Leek, and Three-Cheese Quiche
(substituted pancetta for ham)

Mango, Jicama, and Corn Salad (substituted peaches for jicama- couldnt find any)


Danielle's Lemon Curd Cake danielle is a dear friend of mine from high school who does cakes as a hobby. she did an incredible job on this cake, which was based off of this cake (she matched the colors to the invitation perfectly and even made those lollypops), and it tasted freaking delicious. everyone was going nuts over this cake at the shower. i highly recommend her if anyone needs an incredibly affordable cake for a special occasion (

Peggy's Strawberry Cheesecake Dip
peggy had made this stuff for us before and i requested that she make it for the shower. it is so good and so easy. you use fresh strawberries, dip them in the cheesecake dip, and then into crushed graham crackers.

i highly recommend the ham & cheese sliders, mint limeade, mango salad, and the cheesecake dip recipes.

i really liked planning this party, but oh my god, it was so much work! even though i did a ton of prep it was still down to the wire at the end of whether everything was going to be done. everyone complimented everything very highly, and carrie liked the shower so it was definitely worth it. im already trying to figure out what party i can do next, hmm... anyone pregnant?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


so, i rec'd an awesome diana camera from my inlaws for christmas last year, embarassingly, i VERY rarely took any photos or got any film developed. i finally got around to getting some done and they came back yesterday. here are some of the better prints:

Thursday, March 4, 2010


i think i just need to talk a little. is that ok?
sometimes when i feel like torturing myself, i read all the reviews of new restaurants in philly. i know philly doesnt seem like anything special, but it is. or it was, to me. for starters, this was across the street from my house: i mean, really.
i was in CVS today and it made me nostalgic for the CVS a few blocks from my house where i used to walk the dog to, run in, get some milk, and run home. people would stop, want to pet baci, the leaves were turning and covering the sidewalks, there was a crispness in the air that we dont get in the south but maybe once or twice a year. or maybe it was just me, breathing differently. how lame is it that CVS triggers this for me?
i wrote this the sunday night in a fit of egocentric emotion (oh shit, are there any other kinds of emotions?) >>
it has been an emotional week, and i needed to get all this out somewhere, so here it is.
tuesday, i was at candice and jeremy's cooking dinner (like we do every week for LOST or mad men) when my best friend from grad school, amy (who lives in boston), called. i immediately picked up, because i had asked her to call me whenever she got a minute- she just had her first baby last friday. i was excited to hear all about natalie, and her birth, but was devastated when i actually heard the story. although both natalie and amy are both fine now, there was a little time there when amy didnt think they would be.
amy's blood pressure was a little high at her 39wk appt, so her doctor admitted her to monitor the baby and draw some labs. things didnt look too bad, but the doctor recommended an induction, so they started pitocin and after her cervix had dilated a little, they broke her water. the water had meconium staining (common complication, where baby actually poops a little before they are born- not that big of a deal, but it can be if baby aspirates it during their delivery) and after the bag was broken, the baby switched out of its good position to OP (sunny-side-up position, which can be very difficult to deliver vaginally). around this same time, amy started to spike a fever, which she assumed was related to a stomach bug her husband had a few days prior. these 3 things together prompted the doc to recommend a cesarean. keep in mind, amy is a labor and delivery nurse at this hospital, as well as a women's health nurse practitioner, so she was very aware of all of these things and was understandably disappointed about the need for the cesarean, but knowingly obliged. they took her in for her cesarean and had given her some pain meds (i forget, maybe percocet?) which caused her to be very nauseous and vomit throughout the cesarean. when natalie was delivered, amy barely got a peek at her before they took her to the NICU for monitoring (because of the meconium and fever). when amy was telling me all of this, i was thinking that this was the climax of the story, that all of this sounded so terrible and the story was over- it wasnt. after the delivery and surgery was complete, the doctors expected amy to stop bleeding and her uterus to start contracting back into shape. it didnt. this is called uterine atony and it is a very dangerous complication which can lead to hemorrhage, shock, and death. the doctors caught on that amys bleeding was not decreasing and started pushing medications through her IV to help her uterus contract. this was not working. at some point, they had to kick amy's husband and sister out of the room as things were becoming desperate. amy was freaking out, very sick and weak, and knew exactly what was happening to her. on top of all of this, she had been working the week before when one of her patients died on the table from atony and hemorrhage. the doctors started looking in her neck to place a central line (an IV into one of her carotid artery) and that's about all amy remembers. she woke up a few hours later, got to meet her daughter for the first time, but was still pretty out of it for a while. she got a blood transfusion, which gave her a lot more energy. Four days later she and natalie were released from the hospital and they are doing well.
i cant tell you how much amys story affected me. i was sobbing on the phone with her, imagining her on that table, when they had to kick her husband and sister out of the room, and how scared she must have been- especially because she knew exactly what was going on. she could have easily died on that table, women die like that every day, and i know that, as a clinician, but when its your friend, its the scariest thought in the world. you never think it will be your sweet friend, who has been waiting for this baby for years, who has done everything right in her life to get her to this point, and she could have died. its not fair that shit like this happens to the sweetest, most undeserving people in the world.
so that sucked. yeah. all i wanted to do was scoop her and natalie up and hold them forever, but she is hundreds of miles away. that was really hard for me.
i was feeling a bit better on wednesday and looking forward to wednesday night because we were invited to the "don't let me down" wrap party for dave to DJ and for me to "assist." i had pulled some strings with a friend and got to work as an extra on this movie a few weeks ago because i really wanted to see gwenyth paltrow. yes, i know how dorky and lame that is, but listen: i saw great expectations in the theater when i was 13 and it kinda changed my life. i saw everything, especially art, in a completely new light. i have (embarrassingly) loved her every since. the opportunity to see her in person was too much for me to pass up, so i was really excited to be an extra- but the bad part was, she wasnt even working that day so i didnt get to see her. so yeah, i was really excited about this wrap party. we went, she showed up, she danced all night and sang karaoke. i danced with her to journey. it was really really fun, and i loved getting to see her in a casual atmosphere with her guard down. i didnt expect her to stay for hours, but she did.
however, the next day i was pretty hungover and slept in too late to call in sick to work! friday, i did call into work because my allergies were really bothering me and i needed a day off. i had a lovely lunch with my friend tracy who is about to have a baby in the next couple of weeks. then shelby and i had a marathon shopping trip to tj maxx with baby michael (i got to carry him in her sling, which i loved).
when i finally checked my phone friday night, i got terrible news, though.
i had a few texts from jeremy that candice's pathology from her lumpectomy last week was back, and that it was positive for breast cancer. we had every expectation that it was a benign lump, considering her age, and that she had a normal biopsy a few years back. but when she had shown it to me, before she had it removed, i had a terrible feeling in my gut. it was strange, because everything in my head was saying the logical stuff about it- its firm, but mobile, its tender, it fluctuates through her cycle, shes only 31, etc. but yeah, my gut was saying something different, and i know she saw it in my face. my heart skipped a beat when i got the news, i immediately burst into tears and called jeremy for the full story. my crying wasnt about the fear that this will kill her, because even my gut is telling me it wont, it was more just sadness about how much shit i know her and jeremy are going to have to go through to get rid of this. i couldnt stop thinking about how scared jeremy was when she just got the lumpectomy, and how scared they both must be now that there are so many unknowns. this is forcing them to think really concretely about their future, whether they are expressing that or not. i went over to visit her last night for a bit, just to check on her and hug her and tell her that i know she is going to be okay. they seem to be doing as well as anyone would expect, and they are trying to stay really positive, especially until they know more about her diagnosis and plan.
all this really brought me to my knees friday night. all of this mortality. all of this bullshit. and on top of that, i felt like shit because my entire head seems to be filled with snot. all i could do was crawl into the fetal position and cry and say nonsensical things about mortality, and how this only ever happens to the really good people, and how im afraid for all of the people who i care about, and how sorry i felt for myself because i feel like im gonna be the last one left to mourn all of the people i love. i know how ridiculous all of that is, but i couldnt/cant help it. >>

its clear im overdue for my therapy session this week. crystal clear. guhhhh

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

day seventeen

snow day! snowed in. what else is there to do besides cook and bake?
banana bread chocolate chip muffins, challah, sweet potato sage gratin (not pictured), and lemon rosemary sorbet (not pictured). everything turned out really well, and i only had to run the dishwasher 3 times! the challah was fun, but took forrreeeevvvveeeerrrr just with all of the rising and such.

dave made a makeshift sled out of cardboard and duct tape. hilarious video follows:

and i finally got out the diana+ and wasted a few rolls. we'll see how that turns out.

will we get out of the driveway tomorrow? wait and see!

Friday, January 29, 2010

day fourteen fifteen sixteen

i know i know, only 2 weeks in and im already slacking. johnny had salmonella poisoning and that had us a bit predisposed for a few days. he is doing much better now, look!

and now for the great nashville snow "storm" of 2010:

p.s. kim, i already know you are going to try to use your "dong" credit on this post, but since i already acknowledge that, you have to wait for a more subtle "dong" opportunity. sorry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

day thirteen

you see what i mean? dreamboat.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

day twelve

ok, so i didnt actually take this picture myself, but its the most important picture of the day.
michael is a total dreamboat- has a good baker-mischke nose and the mischke cleft chin. dreamboat, heartbreaker, sweetheart, etc. love him. love all three of them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

day eleven

ok there might be a few days of these. hes just so damn cute.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

day ten

happy new birthday, johnny. we love you already.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

day nine

fun with the girls.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, January 21, 2010

day nine

I know, i skipped eight. johnny was supposed to come visit but his foster dad couldnt bring him. I was so sad i fell asleep on the couch at eight oclock. As an homage to his continued absence, another picture of the empty crate... :(

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

day seven

we have a visitor coming tomorrow, and if he likes it here, he may be a permanent guest... we'll see!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Monday, January 18, 2010

day seven

check out all of this produce i bought yesterday! i am working on getting a little healthier, following the lead a bit by alton brown (that weird scientist-chef on food network). he lost a lot of weight on his own, made-up diet and reading about it made a lot of sense to me. the basic premise is to fill up on really healthy, nutrient-rich foods so that you don't have much room for anything else. he had 4 lists: one that listed foods he had to eat every day, one with foods he eats 3 times a week, one with foods he eats once a week, and foods he never eats:

whole grains
leafy greens
green tea
oily fish
sweet potato
red meat
fast food
processed meals
canned soups
“diet” anything

all of this just seems really reasonable and logical to me, so im gonna try to loosely follow it. he also has a few recipes, such as this sardine-avocado tartine (or the sardicado sandwich) which i tried tonight:


- makes 4 open-faced sandwiches -

Adapted from Good Eats


2 (3.75-ounce) tins sardines in olive oil (mine were in tomato sauce; that works too)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon vinegar (he suggests sherry vinegar; I used apple cider vinegar)
Zest from one lemon, and the leftover (naked) lemon cut into 4 wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices good bread (I used wheat, he did sourdough)
1 ripe avocado
Sea salt


1. Drain the oil from 1 tin of sardines into a small bowl and set aside.

2. Drain the oil from the second tin into another small bowl and mix it with 1 tablespoon of parsley, vinegar, lemon zest, and black pepper. Add the sardines and stir. Let sit for a bit so the flavors marry.

3. Toast your bread in a normal toaster or, if you want to be all Alton-style fancy, heat the oven to the broiler setting on high and place oiled-swiped bread (using the remaining sardine oil) on the rack. Only keep them in there for 2 to 3 minutes, otherwise they will go from golden brown and crisp to charred and sad.

4. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Smoosh the flesh in each half with a fork. Spread this green goodness evenly onto the toasted bread, then top with a nice scoop of the sardine mixture.

5. Pour any remaining sardine oil dressing on top and garnish with the remaining parsley. Season with sea salt and a nice big squeeze from the lemon wedges.

i made it with tarragon instead of parsley, because i had it fresh and dont really like parsley. it was actually pretty good, and i halved the recipe, which made 2 pieces of toast, and i could only finish one and a half before i was full. i thought the sardines would be really strong but they were milder than even tuna. tip: if you halve the recipe, you only need half an avocado, half of a lemon's zest, and a little of it's juice- save the other half of the avocado (with the pit in) in a ziplock bag and squeeze a little of lemon juice over the fruit it to save it for a couple days.

i also made his spiced almonds and a fruit smoothie for breakfast tomorrow. we will see how it goes. i just like the idea of focusing on what to eat instead of what to avoid.

i am also working on de-cluttering the house. i have been watching a lot of hoarders and it has made me wonder if i am a bit of a hoarder- clutter doesn't bother me (dirtiness does, though), i leave my clean clothes on the floor most of the time, i love to shop and acquire things, there are piles of mail and things without a home on all my tables, and my guest bedroom is full of crap that i don't know where to put. its not that i want to hang onto anything, its just that i dont know where to put anything. anyway, i want to try to nip this in the bud before i end up like one of the crazy people on that show with dead cats and (needed) dentures underneath decades worth of trash. wish me luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

day four

RIP (in my belly) seafood chowder from marche. i hardly knew thee. but we will meet again soon. oh yes, we will meet again.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, January 14, 2010

day three

i need to share this publicly. i need to just come out with it. the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?
i am a freaking slob.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

day two

yeah, um, this is how i roll. meatball parm, yall. this is about all you need to know about me.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

day one

ok so i am totally copying katie with this idea, but i have been wanting to start journaling (and taking more pictures) for a while now. this is a good inspiration. i used to journal every day, well, in high school and some of college. those were the diaryland days. i cant find my batter charger for my nice camera (since the move), so cell phone pics will have to do for now.
so here goes:

that is probably the worst photo i have ever taken, but it is exactly what i am looking at right now, and a good glimpse at my favorite part of the day: husband + foot rub + computer + tv + couch = happy. the only thing that could make this photo better is a baked good.
i promise i will do better. promise.