Friday, December 24, 2010

My Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is canine agility! Abby and I went to classes for 1.5yrs while I lived in Indianapolis. Since I moved to Chicago we aren't doing it anymore- lack of time and money. :( I miss it sooooo much and I know she does too!

I've been spending my holiday break in Indianapolis and last night there was an open agility night! So, Abby and I went! :) We saw our friends Margaret and Molly, and we were able to run a few courses. It was a blast!! I'm sharing a video from Abby's very first competition. I am a PROUD mother! She did awesome!! :)

The Story of CHRISTmas

I found a nice summary story of Jesus' birth and thought I would share it. :) Let this story be in everyone's hearts tomorrow!

The Conception of Jesus Foretold:

Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.

At first Mary was afraid and troubled by the angel's words. Being a virgin, Mary questioned the angel, "How will this be?" The angel explained that the child would be God's own Son and, therefore, "nothing is impossible with God." Humbled and in awe, Mary believed the angel of the Lord and rejoiced in God her Savior.

Surely Mary reflected with wonder on the words found in Isaiah 7:14 foretelling this event, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

The Birth of Jesus:

While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.

Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.

When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly father.

Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

The Shepherd's Worship the Savior:

Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God. As the angelic beings departed, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.

There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby, in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. They went on their way still praising and glorifying God. But Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the tender child she had just borne—was the Savior of the world.

The Magi Bring Gifts:

After Jesus' birth, Herod was king of Judea. At this time wise men (Magi) from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, "In Bethlehem in Judea," referring to Micah 5:2. Herod secretly met with the Magi and asked them to report back after they had found the child. Herod told the Magi that he too wanted to go and worship the babe. But secretly Herod was plotting to kill the child.

So the wise men continued to follow the star in search of the new born king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. (Most likely Jesus was already two years of age by this time.) They bowed and worshipped him, offering treasures of gold, incense and myrrh. When they left, they did not return to Herod. They had been warned in a dream of his plot to destroy the child.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


For those of you who don't know, my best friend, Stephanie, is a photographer and she is really talented! I love photography and I love learning from her and using her as a model. :) So, often times when we get to see each other we end up taking photos of one another.

This time, she forgot her camera and my camera battery was dead. So, we had to resort to the good 'ol iPhone! Luckily, she had heard of an application called Hipstamatic through a friend. I reluctantly bought it for $1.99... but I have to say it may have been the best money ever spent! We had a lot of fun playing with the settings and taking photos. Check some of them out!

What do you think of them? :) Doesn't Steph look like the beautiful Keira Knightley in these photos?

Merry Christmas! (early)

Wishing everyone a very special day filled with lots of love and family!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home for the Holidays

It's Christmas break and I am back home again in good 'ole Indiana! I have to admit, there is something so comforting about being here and something so magical about the holiday season. I've been baking, seeing friends and family, going to church, and I even got to see the Colts beat Jacksonville in Lucas Oil Stadium today. Life is good. I am so blessed. :) Aren't we all tho? Praise the Lord for sending Jesus Christ to love us, teach us, and die for us so that we may be forgiven for our sins and know Him in an intimate way!

As far as baking goes, I made more snickerdoodle cookies, apple pie, and peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses! Again, I really surprised myself by how well they all turned out. I'm really looking forward to sharing the goodies with my loved ones. I'll share the recipes with you!

Apple Pie
6 cups thinly sliced apples
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
1. Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples; measure to 6 cups.
2. Combine sugar and cinnamon. The amount of sugar used depends on how tart your apples are.
3. Arrange apples in layers in pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter or margarine. Cover with top crust.
4. Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Additional granulated sugar
About 36 Hershey's® Kisses® Brand milk chocolates, unwrapped
1.Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A cure for HIV?

Cool! Check it out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Love and Other Drugs

Have you seen it?

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are fantastic! The movie is romantic, funny, incredibly entertaining, and has amazzziing eye candy! (Jake, YES! And Anne too!) Plus it even has some ties into medicine, which of course I appreciate. :)

I fell in love with this movie while Maggie (Anne) and Jamie (Jake) fell in love with each other. Go see it. It's totally worth it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Professor's Sense of Humor

I love when my professors have a sense of humor. It helps me remember information and keeps the material entertaining. :) While studying for my upcoming Pharmacology exam I came across this practice question:

"A middle-aged sedentary male returning home from work one evening is greeted at the door by his children. They ask if he would quickly bring in their pet dogs, running free in the yard, because the entire family has just received a late invitation to go out for dinner. After a few minutes he stumbles into the house clutching his chest in pain. After blurting out "Who....Who..Who let the dogs out!" he collapses in a chair. His wife immediately calls the local paramedics who after arriving and examining the patient ask him whether he has taken the drug Viagra within the last 24 hours. Looking somewhat puzzled by this question, he answers "Yes, but that's not why I was chasing the dogs". What is the condition this patient is suffering from and what drug should the paramedics not give him to avoid a possible fatal adverse interaction with Viagra?

Haha, I've been laughing so hard at this question. :) The answer by the way is classic angina pectoris- don't give nitroglycerin!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speak Now!

I have to admit, I am a huge Taylor Swift fan! Her new album, Speak Now, is catchy, fun, and relatable. I love this quote from the inside of her cover booklet:
"What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you’ll stutter and you’ll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest." -Taylor Swift

Isn't it the truth? I've never regretted saying how I feel, though I always seem to say it the wrong way! :) Truly the only things I regret are the things I didn't say or do in my life. Likewise, I really respect and appreciate people telling me honestly what's on their mind. Don't you? If not spoken about, feelings fester and make problems worse. If not spoken, how is someone supposed to know you love them? Compliment people! Tell them you care! And if there's some kind of problem and you value the relationship, talk about it.

Speak now people! It will make you feel good and the other people in your life will feel good too!

When I was looking for pictures for this post, I came across this one. I think it is absolutely the most stunning picture of Taylor I have ever seen! Steph, can we take photos of each other like this? :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Forrest: Thank God for Colorado

I just wanted to share my best friend's blog, Forrest. In this post she writes about her Thanksgiving in Colorado. I was lucky enough to be able to join her for a short vacation there for a while! It was beautiful, and her family was even more beautiful. I'm really grateful I was able to meet them all.

Continue to follow her blog! She is a singer/songwriter in the band, Ranger, and she documents her adventures in the music world. It's good stuff. :)

Forrest: Thank God for Colorado: "Today is Thanksgiving. There is so much that I'm thankful for. I have a wonderful family, faith, best friends, and I have music, Ranger. L..."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yummy Snickerdoodles!

I baked snickerdoodle cookies for the first time ever today, and they turned out amazing! I thought I would shared the recipe. Enjoy!


1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
3. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
4. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
5. Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
6. Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
7. Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
8. Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
9. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
10. Remove from pan immediately.

Oh, and GO COLTS!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What brings me joy...

It's the first day of snow in Chicago! I'm cuddled up on the couch with my two little girls, Abby and Elle, writing the first post of this blog instead of studying for Microbiology like a good medical student would. Shame on me! :) They are keeping me warm and reminding me of how good it feels to take care of others. I love them. Nothing else has ever brought me as much joy as they do. Please allow a proud mother to share some photos:

Hoping that all of you reading this has had the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a pet! Happy snowing Chicago!