Friday, February 25, 2011

so stinkin cute

Earlier this week Jake and I had dinner with one of our favorite friends, Scott, and his girlfriend, Hannah (who is becoming a favorite the more we get to know her).  They invited us to their neck of the woods in Norfolk and cooked us dinner at Hannah's house.

Now one thing Norfolk has going for it (and always has) are the adorable older homes.  Each house has so much character inside and out, I absolutely love it... and Hannah's house was no exception.  We walked up to her cute little porch with a red front door and the minute I got inside I fell in love.  Her style is simple and understated.  She has one of those houses that looks like it should be in a magazine except for the fact that its much more personal than the ones you see featured- so much so, that you are almost glad that it isn't because its better.  Part of what makes her house so adorable are the great colors she chose for the walls and the art.  Not to mention, shes got the cutest darn kitchen.  The house isn't huge, which makes it feel intimate as well.

I'm not trying to sound like a design know it all (I'm far from it), but its like she makes  her personality transparent through the style of her home.  Perfect example, she loves to read and had tons of books throughout the house.  And these weren't just books to fill shelves (by color, mind you) she had actually read all of them.

Then there's the art!  Shes got funky art all over her home, a lot of which she did herself or at least has a story about it that shes happy to share.

Lastly, she is very resourceful.  She found an old door in the attic that she painted with chalkboard paint and leaned against the wall leading to her kitchen.  Can you say adorable?  Then she had these fun recycled glasses she admitted were from some other drink that she'd just held onto afterward.  I don't think to do stuff like that; I'm terrible about imagining how I could repurpose something down the road in a creative way.  She's a natural.

I could go on, but I don't want overdo it.  Its too bad I don't have pictures; then you could just see for yourself.  Actually now that I think about it, it would have been way creepy if I did. Can you imagine?  I let myself in for the first time and start snapping away while she cooks!!!  Yikes!  That would never happen... not on my first visit at least.  However, I can't make any promises from here on out!

This is just a random photo to give you a visual (hers door looks better).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

back in the states

I won’t even both apologizing for the lapse since my last post, because I’m sure by now you’re tired of reading my excuses.  That said, I’m going to dive right into the subject of this post and will keep my fingers crossed that you haven’t given up on me yet.

I mentioned before that Jake was in Haiti and I’m happy to report that he has arrived back home safe and sound.  He got back Saturday evening and it’s been a whirlwind since.  I would have been happy just to sit in a room with him and hear him talk about his trip for hours… but that isn’t realistic.  There is so much to do now that he is home and so many people who want to talk to him about his experience.

Last night his trip finally caught up with him and he was exhausted.  I used this as an opportunity to seize my one on one time with him and just hang out, plain and simple.  We walked over to redbox, rented a horror movie (crazy, right?), and relaxed- it was A W E S O M E.  But enough about that, I want to share with you guys about Haiti!

For starters, Jake said it was a great trip.  It took some adjusting in the beginning, but once he had patients, he found a groove.  He talked about how quickly they responded to treatment and how they made certain accomplishments look like nothing.  One of his videos has a woman not only walking with her new leg, but balancing a bucket on her head at the same time!  Nuts.  But that’s how it is there.   Not only do they need to regain function in their legs, but they need to be able to move without any hindrances because their families depend on them to contribute.  It’s really amazing and humbling at the same time.  He made some great relationships with locals at the clinic he worked at and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back next year.

If I had to guess what his biggest struggles have been since coming home, I'd say two things.  First, the excess in our culture; just all the stuff we have and "need" as Americans.  I imagine its really hard to see, let alone rationalize, after being surrounded by poverty and in a country so behind America in so many ways.  Second, I'd say the difference in patients.  He went from having patients travel from who knows how far and then wait hours just to be seen, to being one of hundreds of therapists in VB that a patient could choose from and then decide at any time whether the appointment was worth keeping.  His first two days back were filled with last minute cancellations and I could tell he was struggling to believe being in that clinic was a good use of his time.  I think he is slowly getting settled and adjusting to his old routine.  I find his response to the transition encouraging- I would hope that an experience like that would have a long lasting impact.

Here are some pictures from the trip, the whole album can be seen here.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Hopefully most of you know that Jake is currently in Haiti with a group called Physicians for Peace and has been since the beginning of February.  He went there to work with recent amputees as a result of the earthquake.  I saw myself posting more about his trip, but since our communication is limited I don't have much to share.

What I can tell you is that he arrived there safely and said its worse than he had imagined.  As in, the pain and devastation there is really bad, but he doesn't feel like he is in grave danger.  From his emails, I've come to the conclusion that there are just a ton of people there hoping to be seen by these physicians and they most likely won't be.  In the beginning I could tell Jake was frustrated by this.  He of course is helping as many people as he can with the time and resources hes been given, but its hard not to notice the people waiting in line for hours.  I know Jake, and if he could he would work all day and all night just to make a dent in the line, but that isn't realistic.  I've encouraged him to make most the most of the time he has with the patients he sees and to stay focused on them.  I'm not a physician, but you don't have to be to understand how difficult working in that could be day in and day out.  What hes got to keep in mind is that he is helping some, and that matters, it makes a difference.

I'm really proud of him for going on this trip.  He took the initiative to go and I know its going to have an impact on him long after he returns.  I'll be sure to report back once I hear more.

previous Physician for Peace volunteer in Haiti, hope to update with pics of Jake soon

Monday, February 7, 2011

it's what's on the outside that counts

I don't claim to be a wine connoisseur at all, but I will own up to loving a good glass or two... or three.  That being said, I want to confess how I decide which new wine to try and the newest selection criteria I'll be following for the next few purchases.

I'm the type of person that chooses a bottle based on the label (don't pretend that you haven't done this) and have to confess I do the same when it comes to books, but thats beside the point.  What matters is that my system has yet to really steer me in the wrong direction.  Sure, I've had bottles I like better than others, but I haven't come across a wine with a good label and a bad taste.  Now, "good" is in the eye of the beholder.  I have an appreciation for different types of art so sometimes the bottle with the simplest design sticks out to me, while other times I can't stay away from the one crazy color and who-knows-what on it.   This definitely allows me to view a greater number of bottles as having the potential to be picked.

Recently, I've been advised to take this a step further.  My sister-in-law, Alison, stayed over the other night with plans to hang out and drink lots of wine.  As we made our plans, I offered to pick up the wine and she suggested that I grab a bottle with an animal on the label.  Apparently, her selection technique has proven to be quite successful.  I admit, I was a little surprised by her criteria, but sure enough I did just what she said.  I never really noticed how many bottles have animals on them before then.  Honestly, I had a bigger selection than I anticipated and was quite happy with the chardonnay I walked out with.

I know its random, but I just thought I'd share this recent "challenge" in hopes that it may inspire you to try it yourself.  If you do, be sure and tell me how it turned out... I'll take all the animal-on-the-label wine suggestions I can get!

For example, I would try this...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

weekend trip to charleston

I just got back from Charleston, SC and L O V E D it (it was my first time visiting)!  I went down with my Mom for my cousin Anthony's wedding and had so much fun with my family.  We stayed at the Mill House Hotel right downtown and tried out as many things as we could before it was time to head back.  I ate at a couple cute restaurants, my favorites being Toast and the famous Poogan's Porch, and walked every square inch of their market.  The wedding was beautiful and despite all the rain it was a great weekend!

I wish I had pictures to share but Jake took our camera to Haiti... more on that soon!  Well, here is one of the happy couple that I stole from Facebook!


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