In which we go to a wedding: Symon & Ashley edition

August was a busy month: two weddings in two weekends, each of which one of us was in. We couldn’t be more happy for our dear friends starting this new chapter in their lives and joining Team Married! After Bri and Ian’s nuptials we were back in Seattle for Symon and Ashley’s. Again, some of my terrible photos instead of their wedding photographer’s quality images:

Our dear friend Verlaine who was in our freshman dorm and is one of the few people that knew us before we were dating stayed with us for the weekend. After picking him up our first stop was to the Moon Temple for some celebratory drinks.

Our dear friend Verlaine who was in our freshman dorm and is one of the few people that knew us before we were dating stayed with us for the weekend. After picking him up our first stop was to the Moon Temple for some celebratory drinks. I sent this photo to Molly with the caption, “Jealous?” The answer was a resounding YES!

Verlaine wanted to go jogging the next morning so I hauled myself out of bed before work and ran around Green Lake with him. Only an 11 year friendship could make me do that.

Verlaine wanted to go jogging the next morning so I hauled myself out of bed before work and ran around Green Lake with him. Only an 11 year friendship could make me do that.

The rehearsal dinner was at the first restaurant Symon and Ashley took us to on our first night in Seattle - Barrio in Capitol Hill. It was so good! Since the food was Mexican to celebrate Ashley's heritage we had British paper crowns to celebrate Symon's.

The rehearsal dinner was at the first restaurant Symon and Ashley took us to on our first night in Seattle – Barrio in Capitol Hill. It was so good! Since the food was Mexican to celebrate Ashley’s heritage we had British paper crowns to celebrate Symon’s.

Adults turn into five year olds with British crackers

Adults turn into five year olds with British crackers

Harold, another old Duke friend, grew up in London. He told us that most of the time people wear the paper crowns for about five minutes before quietly slipping them off - this crowd though was full of good sports who wore them the majority of the night.

Harold, another old Duke friend, grew up in London. He told us that most of the time people wear the paper crowns for about five minutes before quietly slipping them off – this crowd though was full of good sports who wore them the majority of the night.

Anna, myself, Verlaine, Fernanda and Bruno

Anna, myself, Verlaine, Fernanda and Bruno at the rehearsal

Almost newly weds!

Almost newlyweds!

On the day of the wedding Jeff had to go early for pictures and my only job was getting the Steckel brothers and Verlaine to the venue on time. We got ready at my house and I had the chance to try Rent the Runway for the first time. It was awesome! I loved my dress and from now on I’m only using them for events.

On you know, just being serenaded by a Juilliard trained violinist while getting ready. Verlaine played for Symon and Ashley as they processed, and recessed down the aisle. It was fun because he also played our first dance at our wedding.

On you know, just being serenaded by a Juilliard trained violinist in our kitchen while getting ready. Verlaine played for Symon and Ashley as they processed, and recessed down the aisle. It was fun to hear him again because he also played our first dance at our wedding.

On our way to the venue with the boys (and champagne).

On our way to the venue with the boys (and champagne).

Getting ready for the ceremony - photo credit by Hannah P.

Getting ready for the ceremony – photo credit by Hannah P.

Jeff and I at the reception

Jeff and I at the reception

Verlaine and I at dinner

Verlaine and I at dinner

Brad Kelly and I at dinner - it was so much fun to catch up with so many old Duke alums!

Brad Kelly and I at dinner – it was so much fun to catch up with so many old Duke alums!

The stunning bride and groom!

The stunning bride and groom!

There were 10 Duke alumni there - some of whom I hadn't seen in years! They came from Brazil, New York, Texas, LA and of course, Seattle.

There were 10 Duke alumni there – some of whom I hadn’t seen in years! They came from Brazil, New York, Texas, LA and of course, Seattle. It was nice to know that all these years later we can still party pretty well.

Photo booth!

Photo booth!

The next morning I took Symon’s cousin Kai, Verlaine, David and Lauren – all out of towners – on a mini-tour of Seattle.

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We stopped by Pike Place Market to see the thrown fish, saw the waterfront, ate clam chowder at Ivar’s, were disgusted by聽the gum wall and enjoy the sunshine before heading up the hill to one of my favorite views of Seattle from Kerry Park:

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Since they all had planes to catch we truncated the tour聽and swung by the Fremont Troll before enjoying more sunshine at聽Gas Works Park. All too soon we dropped everyone at their hotels or packed them into Ubers on their way to the airport. It was such a fun weekend and I’m so happy we could celebrate Symon and Ashley!

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In which there’s Blue Devil Love

I got to spend a break today with Jeff on the couch, cheering on Duke men’s basketball against Boston College. As we settled in after our boys (finally) started to pull away in the second half (the first was not conducive to snuggling, the score was way too close. We had to yell), I thought how grateful I was we could appreciate this together. Our boys. Our college. Our Duke.

The lyrics of one of my favorite songs by The Hold Steady, You Can Make Him Like You,聽goes

You don’t have to go to the right kind of schools
Let your boyfriend come from the right kind of schools
You can wear his old sweatshirt
You can cover yourself like a bruise

I think I love this so much because I’m not that girl. Our schools are the same, and they’re pretty much like the right kind of schools. I am so fortunately to not have to be that girl. We’re not sweatshirt people, but I have an old Duke one shoved in the back of the closet somewhere. If Jeff owned one, his would probably look pretty much the same: dark, well-worn navy with large white block lettering.

(Does this sound pretentious? Forgive me if it does – it’s just a tie in to the rest of the post, it’s supposed to add to the story. I don’t mean it to be bragging, it’s just a thought I hold on to like a small talisman in my back pocket for when I don’t feel like I’m having a very smart week: “I was good at life once”. It doesn’t mean anything.)

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Today the University send out a request for Blue Devil Love stories and I’ve loved reading the responses. I appreciate a good origin story and so many real life fairy tales started under those Gothic arches. I couldn’t bring myself to submit ours, it seemed too much. I did however send in a picture collage of the five couples from our freshman dorm that ended up getting married (and we now count among us a set of beautiful twin girls and another girl on the way as future Blue Devils):

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Clockwise from top left: Mili and Advait, myself and Jeff, Jeff and Meredith, Matt and Megan, and Joe and Felicia

I speak for all of us when I say thank you to the Resident House and Life lottery that put us all together.

First stop - Bassett dorm on Duke's East Campus where Jeff and I met :)

First stop – Bassett dorm on Duke’s East Campus where Jeff and I met 馃檪

In which we MATCHed new residents!

MATCH day was Monday and I’m so excited to welcome a new class of excellent residents to UW! They’re the last class I’ll get to be co-residents with, so they hold a special place in my heart (though who are we kidding, I love all my co-ressies so much and they all have special places). Between the residency interview process and the Duke Alumni interviews I’ve been conducting over the past few weeks, I’m very thankful that I’m not on that end of either application cycle. So excited to meet our new co-ressies in June!

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From us: Kari, Ian, Matt, Jane, Karin, Tiara, myself, Kat, Gloria, Karen and Bri – WELCOME! We’ll try to find some sunshine before you get up here.

In which it’s beginning to feel like Thanksgiving

How is it mostly through November already? When planning things I’ve felt like Thanksgiving has been a moving target and now all of a sudden its snuck up on me and will be here next.week. Bring on the sweet potatoes, cranberry apple casserole and heaping loads of ham and tryptophan! I can tell it’s close, my heart is constantly swelling with gratitude and happiness.

A brief update:

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I’ve been on my cardiology rotation at SCH. So thankful there are heart docs out there because every time they asked me if I could hear the murmur I just kind of had to nod, smile and trust their judgement that it was there. I’ll stick with things I can see (like teeth), thank you.

We had some sunshine! And it's projected to go through the weekend!

We had some sunshine! And it’s projected to go through the weekend! But seriously, this fall hasn’t been as bad as last year and I’m very thankful for that (but it still doesn’t stop me from wanting to snap a picture of it though).

I wandered over to the main section of UW's campus for a talk by the esteemed Amy Cuddy. Her TED talk is here and it's worth a listen: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

I wandered over to the main section of UW’s campus for a talk by the esteemed Amy Cuddy. Her TED talk is here and it’s worth a listen: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Suzzallo library on main campus makes me homesick for a certain Gothic Wonderland

Suzzallo library on main campus makes me simultaneously homesick and warmed my heart for reminding me about a certain Gothic Wonderland. Also Duke football is AMAZING!

This season is one of my favorite. Good food. Gratefulness. Fall smells. It’s just delicious. My dear mother instilled a solid sense of civic mindedness in us and since I can remember I’ve loved having opportunities to volunteer. My schedule recently hasn’t allowed me the flexibility to go exotic places or take part in large scale projects, but that’s the nice thing about giving, it can be done very well in your own backyard in very small amounts. You could argue that that just may be the best kind of volunteering.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.08.23 AMI joined the Junior League of Seattle this year as a Provisional and so far the experience has an amazing outlet for me. My mom was in Junior League in Knoxville once upon a time and I have cousins in the Memphis league. Far from being the petty organization portrayed in The Help, for me, it’s the perfect combination of fellowship with wonderful women and easy packaged opportunities to do good. On Saturday I helped out with a work crew at Green Plate Special installing their new garden space in Rainier Valley Seattle. They’re an organization that specializes in curriculum based food growing and cooking skills for middle schoolers. My public health heart just swooned.

Freshly dug carrots

Freshly dug carrots

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They’ve just moved to a fantastic new facility. We helped disassemble parts of the old garden and set up the new (pictured here

Seeds ready for planting.

Seeds ready for planting.

They asked us to do a crazy picture.. and um, this is what we came up with.

They asked us to do a crazy picture.. and um, this is what we came up with.

Also, sadly without pictures because I’m a dunce and forgot; Jeff and I got to catch up with our friend Rebecca Fairchild while she was in Seattle for work. On Friday we took her to one of my favorite places in Belltown, Local 360, and got a chance to reminisce about the 10 or so odd years it’s been since we were all freshman together in Bassett. Thanks for a fun evening Rebecca! And it was nice to meet your sweet friend Jen too! So because I sucked and didn’t get pictures, here’s some throwbacks:

Rebecca, Kuppy and I senior year at Duke

Rebecca, Kuppy and I senior year at Duke

Rebecca and I top row left, freshman dorm powderpuff football

Rebecca and I top row left, freshman dorm powderpuff football

In which Molly gets married!

This weekend I’m stuck inside writing papers and taking call… but last weekend we got to go to North Carolina to celebrate Molly and Colin’s wedding and it was fantastic! It was the first time we’d been back since moving out here and while it’s nice to be reminded you can always go home again, it’s equally nice to know that new people are enjoying the things that make it so special in the first place.

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We got in late Thursday (slash early on Friday? it was 2:30am EST, but we were doing okay with the time change) and spent the night with my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Chris. Then we hit the ground running – trying to see as much of the Triangle and as many of our friends as possible.

First stop - Bassett dorm on Duke's East Campus where Jeff and I met :)

First stop – Bassett dorm on Duke’s East Campus where Jeff and I met 馃檪

Five couples out of the 120-some odd people in our freshman dorm, Bassett, got married. I mean, I know a TON of Duke couples, but to have so many people from the same freshman dorm has to be a little weird. Thanks Resident Housing and Life?

Joe and Felicia, Jeff and Meredith, Jeff and I, Advait and Mili, and Matt and Megan.

Pictures stolen from facebook: Joe and Felicia, Jeff and Meredith, Jeff and I, Advait and Mili, and Matt and Megan.

After visiting our old stomping grounds we started our food tour of the South. Seattle food is AMAZING, and I’m pumped for Restaurant Week coming up, but sometimes you just crave some familiar eats and some amazing friends:

Up the creaky stairs to a Duke institution (Aw, it's cute y'all painted them, but they still feel like some place you'd go to get an illegal abortion).

Up the creaky stairs to a Duke institution (Aw, it’s cute y’all painted them, but they still feel like some place you’d go to get an illegal abortion).
Side note: Many a rainy Seattle morning I find myself reciting in my head, “Have known the evenings, mornings and afternoons/I have measured my life out in coffee spoons..”.

Mm.. Cosmic burritos..

Mm.. Cosmic burritos..

Cookout milkshakes are the best! It was hard to choose just one, but I went with the peach cobbler.

Cookout milkshakes are the best! It was hard to choose just one, but I went with the peach cobbler.

Hibachi at Sakura with Josiah and then meeting up with him and Kevin at Milltown

Hibachi at Sakura with Josiah and then meeting up with him and Kevin at Milltown.

We compared pager sadness.

We compared pager sadness.

I don't even care that they're bigotted people, they make a delicious chicken sandwich.

I don’t even care that they’re bigotted people, they make a delicious chicken sandwich.

Brixx Pizza with Nina!

Brixx Pizza with Nina!

And delicious wedding brunch at Mad Hatters with Lauren, Sailaja, the lovely bride and her sister Ellie.

And delicious wedding brunch at Mad Hatters with Lauren, Sailaja, the lovely bride and her sister Ellie.

We also got to walk around and see how things have changed:

My old apartment in Chapel Hill for dental school (top left section) - looks like the put in air conditioning.

My old apartment in Chapel Hill for dental school (top left section) – looks like they put in air conditioning.

Dumpsters now have my initials..

Dumpsters in the newly developed Carrboro now have my initials..

Duke's Beta section got kicked off campus to make room for a formerly off campus fraternity. (also there was an extreme explosion of selective housing.. and sections on the main quad).

and Duke’s Beta section got kicked off campus to make room for a formerly off campus fraternity. (also there was an extreme explosion of selective housing.. and sections on the main quad).

To cap off an amazing two days, Molly and Colin were married in one of the sweetest ceremonies I’ve ever been to. It was beautiful and thoroughly them. Welcome to married life you two! It’s pretty great 馃檪

Love you!!

Love you!!

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I blame my crazy hair on the amazing music they picked out – we never wanted to sit out a song!

Too soon it was time to come back. Thanks to everyone who carved out some time to get together – it’s wonderful that even time and distance don’t change us and we can pick things up right where they left off. Let us know if you’re ever in Seattle! We’d love to show you around!

Good weddings often end with this scenario in the airport waiting lounge.

Good weddings often end with this scenario in the airport waiting lounge.

In which I had my last first day of school

I’ve had a few first days of school:

Kindergarten at Ball Camp Elementary School in Knoxville, TN

Kindergarten at Ball Camp Elementary School in Knoxville, TN
(thanks Mom for sending the picture and for dressing me in a appliqu茅 ticking stripped dress).

Not pictured: My first day of school in a new town, third grade at Woodland Elementary in Oak Ridge, TN.

First day of college at Duke (ugh, yes, I really was that pale)

First day of college at Duke (ugh, yes, I really was that pale)

First day of dental school (Yes, I know it's my badge, but I went to a concert the night before and didn't pull myself together the next morning enough to take a full shot and this was taken on the first day. Coincidentally I made great friends with Kevin Ricker, our future class president, because we bonded over having gone to that concert).

First day of dental school
(Yes, I know it’s my badge, but I went to The Hold Steady concert the night before and didn’t pull myself together the next morning enough to take a full shot and this photo technically was taken on the first day. Coincidentally I made great friends with Kevin Ricker, our future class president, because we bonded over not being able to hear anything since he too had gone to that same concert).

And my other last first day:

First day of residency with my awesome co-residents.

First day of residency with my awesome co-residents.

First day of classes in residency - all dressed down to go to anatomy lab.

First day of classes in residency – all dressed down to go to anatomy lab.

And now maybe, just maybe.. really, my LAST first day of school:

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Starting MPH classes at the School of Public Health

In which I made some blackberry jam

My first job ever was to track snakes for this research company in East Tennessee – the Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization. Yes – track snakes. My high school biology teacher offered me the job and I continued on with them every summer through college I was back in TN.

This is the only picture I could find from my snake tracking days. Sometime circa 2002?

This is the only picture I could find from my snake tracking days. Sometime circa 2002? I lugged about 30lbs of equipment all over the woods looking for my scaly friends.聽

Seriously, it was the Best. Job. Ever. I basically went out with an antenna and tried to locate the position of snakes that we had transmitters surgically placed into and then record their body and the ambient air temperature for 12 hour periods of time. Sometimes it would take me a few minutes to find a snake, sometimes it would takes days. Usually I would lug along two or three Nalgene bottles of water and as I drank them through the day I’d fill them with blackberries so my mom could make cobbler or my grandmother could make jam. Now, thousands of miles away and with a less National Geographic-y job I’m forced to make my own jam.

I presented some of my data in 2003 at the National Youth Science Camp in Barstow, WV where I was Tennessee's delegate. NERD ALERT TO THE MAX!

While digging through scrapbooks for the picture above I came across this gem: Here I am presenting some of my data in 2003 at the National Youth Science Camp in Barstow, WV where I was the state of Tennessee’s delegate. NERD ALERT TO THE MAX!

After nearly 6 years in the field following those slinky creatures around, I presented the rest of the data for my Graduation with Distinction thesis from Duke in 2007. There isn't really a nerd alert level high enough for this.

After nearly 6 years in the field following those slinky creatures around, I presented the rest of the data for my Graduation with Distinction thesis from Duke in 2007. There isn’t really a nerd alert level high enough for this.

A few weeks ago I suckered Jeff into coming out to pick berries with me at Magnuson Park which is right by where I work. They were at near peak plumpness and the timing couldn’t’ve been more perfect. 聽Kat, one of my co-residents, promised to teach me the secret jam making ways if I showed up with enough berries, jars, sugar and pectin at her house on a Saturday morning.

Mmmmmm!

Mmmmmm!

Jars at the ready

Jars sterilized and at the ready

First batch measured out

First batch measured out

Between the time Kat promised to teach me and our Saturday jam date, their house got broken into and their cars stolen. It was horrible and I felt terrible for them and tried to cancel our plans, but she insisted that I come to give them something else to think about that morning. I’m glad I did because I got to watch these too adorable kids while they ran some errands (update: they found the thieves! and the cars!).

Snack time!

Snack time!

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Yum!

Did you know how much sugar there is in jam? A shit ton. It's basically just fruit syrup, congealed. No wonder I love it so much!

Did you know how much sugar there is in jam? A shit ton. It’s basically just fruit syrup, congealed. No wonder I love it so much!

Delicious success!

Delicious success!

Now I have enough blackberry jam to last me a long time! Thanks Kat for the great lesson!