Howdy folks

Realized we haven’t posted in a LONG time.  Sorry about that but really not that much to blog about.  Same ole same ole.  Kevin has been busy getting ready for his tri season which starts this weekend with a Half Ironman.  I have no triathlons on my schedule this year since I’ve been so busy with school. But I just finished up my last class yesterday and am now free until dental school starts in August.  We have some fun things planned for the summer so hopefully we will have more exciting post to keep you entertained.

Below are a few pictures of what we have been up to since our last post.

Kevin made honey wheat bread from scratch and it was super yummy.  He started the year off working on his cooking skills but that has taken a backseat to his training schedule.  So we are back to our normal chicken or beef, veggie, and rice menu.

Kevin and I volunteering at MedShare.

The “money pit” I almost convinced Kevin to buy me.  I fell in love with this house.  But I came back to reality and realized it probably is not a good idea to restore a 1920’s home when we only own a hammer and a screwdriver.  That means we are still looking for a place to call our new home.

Volunteering in Nicaragua.

Me and all the other volunteers taking a day off from clinic to spend the day at Laguna de Apoyo (lagoon of volcanic origin).

Makya taking a poop in the park…LOL. And Kevin annoyed that I’m taking pictures. 🙂

Jennifer and I at the Georgia State University Relay for Life.  Our team was the top fundraising team!!  It was a great event and we had a blast raising money for a wonderful cause. Thank you to all those who donated.

Well, after going through our camera I guess we have been up to more then I thought.

Blizzard 2011….Whiteout 2011….

Or some other fancy name the local news channels like to come up with for what we have seen the last few days which is snow, and lots of it.  When it snows like this there is only one thing to do; find a cardboard box, wrap your feet with plastic wrap and head outside with the wife and dog to find the biggest hill to sled down.  We are lucky in this regard because there is this hill in our neighborhood that has caught our eye since we first saw it.  It is the kind of hill you see and immediately picture it covered in powdered snow and ready for sledding.  Well, 5 years later that vision became reality….now if we could just get these pesky kids out of the way so that us adults can enjoy ourselves…and enjoy ourselves we did.  Those kids had nothing on us, except for the ones smart enough to bring the inflatable tube.  That sucker took them clear across the road at the bottom but I think we beat them on top end speed.  For those interested, a shiny Keurig coffee box works much better then a plastic rubbermaid top but not as good as an inflated tube.

It is also during times like this that the 150 pounds of beef in our freezer comes in handy.  Watching people seek out any remaining meat at Costco leading up to the storm was rather comical.  Maybe next time they will buy the whole cow in early Fall and be done with it.

Other then our sledding adventures, we have been couped up inside the house like most everyone else in Georgia.  Hopefully this breaks soon before we reach reenactments from the “Shining”.  This down time has allowed me to catch up on some New Years resolutions.  Since I generally do not finish them I decided I would just work to finish past ones, starting with reading a book a week.  I am happy to say 1 week in I am still successful and since it was a food ‘topic’ book (Kitchen Confidential) it helped me work towards my other resolutions which was to become a better cook.  We’ll see if I am still on track come February.

Last but not least I want to give an honorable mention to Keurig.  Our much loved coffee maker started giving us trouble 2 weeks ago and slowly got to the point where it wouldn’t even spit water out of it.  After some back and forth with service they graciously decided to honor our expired warranty and send us a brand new unit at no charge.  I understand the many reason they would do such a thing, mainly because I am sure much of their profit comes from the K-Cups rather then the actual machines.  However, regardless of the reason, I was really impressed with their resolution and will continue to recommend the machine to anyone that wants to listen.

Up on the Rooftop….Click, Click, Click

Well, that is not entirely accurate.  Santa skipped over our house this year, presumable due to the difficult economy and 2011 expense predictions.  However, that did not stop us from enjoying the holiday festivities with some fancy home cooked French cuisine and a free Redbox DVD rental Friday evening.

We started our five course menu with a pre-run of the appetizer we planned to take to the Venza Christmas dinner – Pears wrapped in Prosciutto.  Courses two and three consisted of a Butternut Squash bisque and a Couscous salad topped with Fresh Vegetables.

The main course was inspired by Avec Eric’s Cod Basquaise.  We then finished that off with some non-homemade treats (I blame Songkhla for this addition).

I apologize for the poor picture quality.  Our only camera endured a disastrous fate with a pool of water and the water won.  Surprising the camera can still take pictures but the view finder is not so functional, making picture taking an unpredictable adventure thats results are only revealed once the shots are uploaded to the computer.

Our Christmas day plans changed late Friday when we learned dinner with Songkhla’s family was canceled due to a variety of circumstances.  Upon hearing this news we did what any self respecting American would do for Christmas, we went and ate Asian food.  We knew we could count on Asian restaurants to be open on Christmas….the only thing missing was a nice rendition of “Deck the hars with bawrs of horry”. We started our meal at a Vietnamese restaurant for some Pho to warm up from the now falling snow.  On the way home we decided we still had some room in our bellies and made a quick detour to the Canton House for Dim Sum.  By this time the snow was coming down pretty good and the roads were starting to ice over so we thought it would be best to get back home and enjoy some time on the couch…..well, only after a detour to Redbox for a fresh installment of DVDs.

Sunday was dinner with my parents in their newly renovated kitchen.  Though it is still under development, everything is coming together nicely and looking really great.  The most important items were in place, the appliances, and we all put them to good use to make some great food (though later then planned but that has come to be expected).

Overall it was a nice holiday weekend and a nice way to close out 2010.  Lots of things have happened this year and 2011 has even more in store.

Paging Dr. Venza…….Dr. Venza

Well not yet but one step closer.  For those that do not know, Songkhla started taking a few science classes each semester a couple of years ago while continuing to work full-time.  Call it testing the waters or finding new ways to spend money, she came to realize that science was not only enjoyable but a great first step to her new career: Dentistry.   Realizing the current plan of full-time work with a class or two each semester would push her career change out to 2040, the family took a leap of faith and made the decision to have her quit her banking career and pursue Dentistry.  Being the loving, compassionate and supportive husband I am, she enrolled as a full-time student in January 2010 and began taking 15+ hours a semester of Science courses.  You know it’s a demanding load when advisors call you crazy but that is what was needed to throw her name into the 2010 application hat.

Since I know Songkhla is too embarrassed to toot her own horn, I will toot it for her.  She continually smacked the science classes in the face and showed them who was boss, bringing home 100+ grades and exceeding a 4.0 GPA each semester (apparently that is possible now in college).  I will say that this required her to hone her already well developed nerdiness (not sure that is a word) as she was the student who sat in the front row of class, recorded each class and then studied at night.   On top of her class work, she simultaneously studied for the Dental Admissions Test so that she could take it during the summer and apply for the Fall 2011 class in August.  Like her course work she smacked the test in the face as well.

At the end of August her applications were submitted and it became a waiting game.  The application process for Dental school is fairly cut throat and extremely nerve racking.  It is done in the fall of each year with that year’s applicants seeking acceptance for the fall of the following year.  There are approximately 50 are so Dental programs in the United States (only 1 in Georgia).  Of those only 5% of applicants get an interview with a school and of those only about 1 or 2% get accepted.  Of the 60 of so students a Dental school accepts for their program, only about 10% are from out of state.  Needless to say, there were lots of nervous nights.

All of this brings me to the news that prompted this post….Songkhla was accepted to Dental School!!!! I will talk about specifics in a later post but a major huddle was crossed when she received her first call from a school stating that they would love her to join their program and offered her acceptance to their program for 2011.

We still have a lot of decisions to make but I could not be happier for her.  I know how badly she wanted this and I know how much she worked for this moment.  I mean anything that required her to all but ignore house cleaning must be very time consuming.

Running

Kevin has been rocking it at his races placing 2nd overall at the Mayor’s Run, 1st overall at the Oakland Run Like Hell 5K, and 3rd overall at the Serenbe 15K!! I even placed 2nd in my age group at the Mayor’s Run (we won’t mention how many runners were in my age group).

Of course we do take a break from running to do other stuff too.  The girls got together this year in the North Georgia Mountains for our annual girls weekend, Kevin went to FL with the boys to volunteer at Ironman FL and we just returned from Savannah where Jennifer and Robert finally tied the knot.

Hanging out in the barrel room after a wine tasting at one of the wineries in North Georgia.

Enjoying the great outdoors and working off some of that wine and cheese.

Kevin with his 1st place medal, Jennifer R. with her 3rd and me with my 2nd after finishing the Mayor’s 5K.

Lunching with the girls in Savannah.

Kevin and I checking out the sights in Savannah.

Some pictures from the wedding.

 

Ironman Kentucky

Day before the race.  Kevin and all his fans take in all Louisville has to offer.

Race morning.  Kevin in line with all the other athletes waiting to jump in the water.

Kevin zooming by us on his bike.

Leaving transition to finish up the last 26.2 mile run.

Photo Finish!!!

One Year Down

Kevin wrote in my anniversary card “They say the first year is the most difficult.  If that holds true, we have a truly amazing life ahead of us. ”  Cheers to that!!  We have been blessed with a great first year and are looking forward to what the next 70 has in store for us. (being optimistic that we will live until 100)

BTW – Kevin’s new hair do.  Kevin has been talking about shaving off all his hair FOREVER and as we all know he doesn’t make any decision hesitantly.  While on family vacation he finally took the plunge and we drove to the store purchased clippers and cut it all off.  My hubby is so handsome!