In which it was Junior-League-apalooza week

These past two weeks have begun rounding out my Provisional year in the Junior League of Seattle. It’s been so much fun connecting with new friends, volunteering in the community and learning more about the area’s needs; I’m excited to continue on as an Active member next year. To make it extra special, this year was the Seattle League’s 90th anniversary and we celebrated at the Museum of Flight:

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We had the entire place to ourselves and it was packed with planes and exhibits. I do love a non-crowded museum.

This was the first time many of our small group's significant others got to meet.

This was the first time many of our small group’s significant others got to meet.

Six out of the nine members of my dear Bumblebees. Each JLS Provisional is part of a neighborhood based small group for the year which serves to help introduce you to the activities and processes of Junior League. This year's provisional groups were all named after cities, mostly the large ones like Paris, Milan, NYC, etc. Our group was named for Bumblebee, AZ, a tiny town where horses outnumber people. Having such a unique name totally fit our special little group.

Six out of the nine members of my dear Bumblebees. Each JLS Provisional is part of a neighborhood based small group for the year which serves to help introduce you to the activities and processes of Junior League. This year’s Provisional groups were all named after cities, mostly the large ones like Paris, Milan, NYC, etc. Our group was named for Bumblebee, AZ, a tiny town where horses outnumber people. Having such a unique name totally fit our special little group which is made up of women who work on developing apps and in tech start ups, a former teacher, a medical examiner, a (fancy) hotel manager, a dental resident, a YMCA manager/non-profit consultant, an international volunteer coordinator and a law firm event planner.

The museum was really cool and reminded me of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space one.

The museum was really cool and reminded me of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space one.

You could even go into several of the planes.

You could even go into several of the planes.

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It was the perfect occasion to wear my paper airplane earrings from ohhellofriend.com that I found at Seattle's Urban Craft Uprising in December!

It was the perfect occasion to wear my paper airplane earrings from ohhellofriend.com that I found at Seattle’s Urban Craft Uprising in December! For the longest time Jeff thought these were mouse icon (the image for the computer mouse clicker) earrings.. oh hun.

And since JLS was founded in 1924, I thought a Great Gatsby-esque headband was called for.

And since JLS was founded in 1924, I thought a Great Gatsby-esque headband was called for.

The party was so much fun, but we didn’t go all night because the next day Tavia, one of our small group members taught a Barre class at the Y. If you’ve never done Barre it’s like an evil mix between Pilates and ballet that leaves you feeling pretty sore at the end:

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But it was well worth the calorie burning because we met up with the rest of the Bumblebees (and some extra guests) at Coastal Kitchen in Capital Hill:

Well earned, delicious Bloody Mary

Well earned, delicious Bloody Mary

Love these women!

Love these women!

Part of the Provisional year requires you complete a project with another committee to learn more about different aspects of the League. I was lucky enough to be on the Kids in the Kitchen committee which focuses on preventing childhood obesity by teaching kids how to cook healthy foods. I’d been to several of the events in the past where we taught 30-35 first through fifth graders at the Boys & Girls Club and now it was our turn as a Provisional Group to plan and execute the night.

We had plenty of fruits and veggies for the kids!

We had plenty of fruits and veggies for the kids!

Our main course was chicken, tortellini and veggie skewers.

Our main course was chicken, tortellini and veggie skewers.

All in all the kids seemed to learn something about making healthy food choices, tried a few new veggies and left full and happy.

All in all the kids seemed to learn something about making healthy food choices, tried a few new veggies and left full and happy.

Thanks to such an awesome team for helping this event come together!

Thanks to such an awesome team for helping this event come together!

I ended last week with my last official small group meeting. We’ve already decided that we’re going to keep getting together at least once (but probably more like twice) a month, even though it’s not required. These women have become a dear part of my Seattle family and I’m so lucky to call them friends, and soon, fellow Actives when we’re voted in next week. They’re truly something special, and I love them, even when they coerce me into 5:30am runs around Greenlake:

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In which March has been busy

The quarter system, in addition to being an arduous sprint, also means that finals happen the week in March of our anniversary/my birthday. No fun! That week used to be called Spring Break and it was an awesome oasis in the middle of a long, rambling semester. Now it’s a week where I have finals and then take a break in which I do residency and not just classes-plus-residency. This all is just really an excuse for why I haven’t updated in any substantial amount lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Kindergarten Class Visit

Kindergarten Class Visit

February was National Children’s Dental Health Month and I got to go speak to our dear friend Andrea’s Kindergarten class on choosing healthy snacks for teeth and the important of oral health. Along with the requisite toothbrushes and toothpaste I packed up some healthy kid snacks and some animal models to practice brushing.

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This picture of my animal models is either adorable or terrifying depending on who you ask.

The kids were amazingly sweet and knew a lot of answers to my questions from having completed the Weekly Reader in the morning (I was so excited that they still have those!! but they don’t smell funny like like I remember. They’re also not on the old recycled paper with the smudgy ink).

I handed out carrots, popcorn, grapes and cheese to demonstrate healthy snacks for teeth

I handed out carrots, popcorn, grapes and cheese to demonstrate healthy snacks for teeth

I got the sweetest thank you note from the class - definitely going to go on the fridge at home.

I got the sweetest thank you note from the class – definitely going to go on the fridge at home.

My visit made me very thankful that there are kindergarten teachers in the world - I can handle one child for a few minutes, but they are seriously miraculous on teaching 25 kids for a whole day!

My visit made me very thankful that there are kindergarten teachers in the world – I can handle one child for a few minutes, but they are seriously miraculous on teaching 25 kids for a whole day!

This is shaping up to be one of the wettest Marches on record in Seattle. As of today we’ve have 8.02″, almost at the 8.40″ record set in 1950. Every now and then we get some sun breaks:

A rare sunny afternoon between classes.

A rare sunny afternoon between classes.

The key to surviving the winter here is to soak up any sun where you can find it. This is me shedding my heavy coat for some vitamin D.

The key to surviving the winter here is to soak up any sun where you can find it. This is me shedding my heavy coat and cardigan for some vitamin D.

Anytime there is some sun I try to stand for a little bit outside in it. This day found me near the Montlake Cut between Lake Union and Lake Washington

Anytime there is some sun I try to stand for a little bit outside in it. This day found me near the Montlake Cut between Lake Union and Lake Washington

March has also been the month of finishing up my provisional year requirements with the Junior League of Seattle. I can’t say enough good things about the women in my small group and I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about the community. My main project with the League this year has been with the Kids in the Kitchen committee where we teach elementary school kids at the Boys & Girls Club about cooking healthy meals. Our March event was a success and I’m excited to tackle the April one with the rest of the provisionals on the committee:

My greatest challenge each time is not the actual cooking, it's setting boundaries so we can all take turns helping prep.

My greatest challenge each time is not the actual cooking, it’s setting boundaries so we can all take turns helping prep.

March in the Sarvas household is full of celebrations: We celebrated the Cotton Anniversary on the 10th and my 29th birthday on the 14th.

I know having a themed anniversary is probably some commercialized gimmick, but it sure makes giving gifts easier. Fancy wrapped paper and sparkler from Flourish in Greenwood.

I know having a themed anniversary is probably some commercialized gimmick, but it sure makes giving gifts easier. Fancy wrapped paper and #2 sparkler from Flourish in Greenwood.

In keeping with theme I got Jeff (and I) a hammock and I made him some pocket squares. He gave me a luxurious set of cardigans.

In keeping with theme I got Jeff (and I) a hammock and I made him some cotton pocket squares. He gave me a luxurious set of cardigans.

We had the traditional celebratory cupcakes from Trophy: Red velvet, PB&J, Salted caramel and Guinness stout chocolate.

We had the traditional celebratory cupcakes from Trophy: Red velvet, PB&J, Salted caramel and Guinness stout chocolate.

For my birthday Jeff gave me truffles as we had already had too much sugar from the cupcakes. Also, we forgot to put the sparkler in the cupcakes, so it only looks like I'm celebrating my second birthday.

For my birthday Jeff gave me truffles as we had already had too much sugar from the cupcakes. Also, we forgot to put the sparkler in the cupcakes, so it only looks like I’m celebrating my second birthday.

I’m not sure why I have such an obsession with maps or with National Parks, but Jeff found the perfect present to meld these two: a map where we can check off the National Parks as we visit them! It speaks to my love of geography, of traveling and of checking things off lists – it’s perfect.

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I’ve already started planning how we’re going to fill it it: Next time we’re in Nashville, Mammoth Caves is only 2 hours away and we could check off Cuyahoga when we’re in Pittsburgh. Else wise I think a major road trip should be in the works!

That about rounds out where I’ve been instead of writing on this blog. Hopefully this next quarter will allow for some more time to explore and report back. Especially now that I’m officially done with call and won’t have to park here anymore (though I always kind of felt like a badass when I pulled in):

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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