December 29, 2010

Maryland, My Maryland

We drove to Maryland December 18th. For the record, rather than go across Tennessee and up Virginia we went through Kentucky and West Virginia. If ever you find yourself driving from Memphis to Baltimore, I highly recommend the Kentucky to West Virginia route. The highways were not packed with truckers and the scenery is beautiful. 

Most of the trip, as is typical, was spent visiting family. My sister was in town from California and my brothers were up from South Carolina and Florida. We hung around, did some shopping, attended our traditional holiday parties, and enjoyed our time in Maryland. This was actually the first time Peter had seen some of my family members in two years since we stayed in Memphis last Christmas

My sister turned 23 while at home so a few of her friends organized a surprise party.  They had dinner then suggested that they go downtown. When she arrived at the bar, she was shocked to see 20+ friends and family members! The surprise was enough to be fodder for conversation for the rest of the trip.

 The morning after Kelsey's birthday we went to New York. I love, love, love being able to visit New York for a day. Or Philadelphia. Or the beach. Or DC.  Growing up in the Mid-Atlantic certainly spoiled  me in terms of accessibility to other places. 


Back in Maryland, TJ took care of a varmint problem that mom was having. TJ figured that a few bb pops would scare the squirrels away. I'll go on record saying that I do not know if any squirrels were hit. What I do know, is everyone took their turn. Except for me. I just took pictures. 


Every year, a day or so before Christmas, my dad's folks drive in from Delaware. We celebrate Christmas with Grotto pizza and Cathy's oatmeal cookies. My mom's dad also comes to visit since my grandfathers have been friends for a long, long time. 


Christmas Eve we went to an annual not-quite-family party. You know those people that you call uncle because they're your parent's good friends? Well that would make them not-quite-family. Either way, I've known the hosts my entire life. We had a nice time catching up with friends we do not see very often. 

After the party, Peter and I took my brother Ryan and his amiga to 34th Street. For 62 years, on 34th Street between Keswick and Chestnut, the neighbors have lit up the block with holiday decor. It is certainly a sight to be seen!


On Christmas we followed our traditions just the same as always. We went from my mom's house to my dad's where we ate a breakfast that was way too big and way too good.  After lounging, we headed to my aunts for dinner where all of my mom's immediate family gathered. I know my grandfather loved seeing all of his grandchildren in one city, under one roof no less. I'm not sure of the last time that occurred! We took a bunch of pictures of the cousins and each family. 


We loaded up the car and headed back on the 26th. I'll say it was perfect timing because snow was headed East. We drove back the way we came and were in snow until Nashville. Peter had to get back to work and I needed to warm up. I think spending the last eight winters in the South has decreased my tolerance for cold weather. 

December 28, 2010

Build Me Up Butternut

The holidays make healthy eating a challenge. At least for me. For the last week my body has been pleading with me, begging for healthy food. But, I ignored all demands and enjoyed homemade Championship cookies, mini-pickles, Cinnabon, multi-meat meals, and, while on the road, fast-food. I'm disgusting. Help me!

Last night, I obliged. Finally. And it tasted pretty good.
I made butternut squash soup and a spinach, beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese. Both were crowd pleasers in our crowd of two. The soup was my variation of a Real Simple recipe. I omitted the cheese and croutons, cooked the butternut squash whole, doubled the amount of butter {please don't judge} and used significantly more pepper than recommended. For the salad I tossed walnuts, goat cheese, and a roasted beet onto a bed of 50/50! Peter whipped up a dressing using red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and a pinch of sugar.

Everything turned out well and fortunately there was enough for leftovers.

December 25, 2010

December 24, 2010

NYC

Every year around Christmas we load up the car and day trip to New York with my dad.  Each year we come up with different things to do- sometimes ice skating, sometimes shopping. This year we ate pizza and saw the Statue of Liberty. Back in 1993, my dad and I went to Liberty Island and climbed to the crown. This trip we opted just to go to the Pedestal which saved us a pretty good hike.   
For those of you who may not know, this is my sister, Kelsey. She's a cutie. She lived in New York during her college summers so she always makes a great tour guide. 
Dad laid on the ground to make sure we were all in this picture-  if it ends up on a late Christmas card I won't be the least bit surprised. 
Well, I wanted to get a picture of the tree and the Rock- I suppose I sort of succeeded. One day I'll take photography lessons, one day. 

December 14, 2010

I Blog.

The reason I blog is pretty simple: many of our friends and all of our family do not live in Tennessee I'm looking at you West Coast and Germany. My hope is that through this blog I can chronicle events in our lives and keep everyone up to date. Of course, when there are lots of events sometimes I don't have time to blog about them. I just get busy living. Fortunately, because this is a hobby and not a job I'm sure you understand.

That said, since I last posted a few things have occurred. Rather than complete the draft posts I started {which I have, and generally always do} I'll just do a quick run through: 

  • I turned 25. Because it was a Tuesday, I celebrated with my friends in Nashville which was loads of fun. It was basically a day long celebration which made me appreciate, more than I realized at the time, how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends in Nashville, my home away from home.  
  • I completed my first semester of graduate school. Thats right, as of 1:30 yesterday all of my finals are in. I am now officially 25% finished. I feel like the first semester was all about transition and adjustment. 
  •  I came home despite a snow storm that tried to keep me away! I do not have to go back to Nashville until January 6 and, frankly, I don't plan to.  I get the next few weeks off to enjoy my time with Peter and the pups. It's awesome. 
  •  I completed my Christmas shopping. I would like nothing more than to share the awesome gifts I picked out for my family; however, posting them on the blog would do nothing but spoil the surprise. But know this, they are good! There is always such satisfaction in finding a perfect gift and this year, I think we've found a number of winners. 

December 6, 2010

December 5, 2010

A Very Nashville Christmas

Saturday a group of us ventured to Opryland to check out A Very Country Christmas. We were all surprised by the crowd and Opryland in general. Our initial shock came when we had to pay $18 plus tax to park. After overcoming the shock of parking, we enjoyed the lights outside of the hotel. The trees were covered in thousand of white lights making for a very classic Christmas look.  
Photo from themeetingmagazines.com 
Once we ventured inside, we decided that the place was basically a casino (without the gambling) trying to be Disney World meets Rainforest Cafe.  We wandered through the labyrinth of floors and atriums taking in the sites and sounds- which included not one, but two, weddings and receptions. 
 
We were looking forward to the Brightest Star Fountain Show which is set to Christmas music; sadly, due to the weddings the show was cancelled. Still, we enjoyed the interior decorations while we meandered through.  
  
Perhaps it goes without saying that there was no shortage of opportunities to spend money at Opryland. We made our way into the Very Country Christmas Official Store where I spotted a potential gift for Peter, unfortunately it cost $100, you know, give or take, so I opted out of the purchase.  
 
I'm glad I went to Opryland if only to say that I've been there- I don't suppose I could live in Nashville and not visit Opryland at least one time. It made for a lovely Saturday afternoon writing break and helped put us all in the holiday spirit. 

November 30, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Folks, I took a vacation. For 10 days I did not worry about school - or do any work for that matter- and I didn't take many pictures. I went home. It was great. I was able to visit with friends (and their beautiful babies) and spend time with Peter.

For Thanksgiving we went to Atlanta. On Thursday morning we ran the Atlanta half marathon. You did not misread that, we actually ran the half. When I registered, I had lofty hopes of training- which did not pan out. I like the adrenaline of race day but I do not like the time that is required to train. Either way, we finished.
We enjoyed two full days with our family in Georgia and the out-of-towners that came for Thanksgiving. Peter's uncle is quite the shutterbug. He was snapping photos all weekend. When I get them, I'll put them up. Unless I forget. Now I'm back at school, watching the semester wind down. Just 4  classes and 2 assignments before I go home for Christmas break.

Party on Garth.

November 14, 2010

November 7, 2010

Over the Weekend

This weekend was a blur. Friday night Leslie and I, sans camera, headed to East Nashville to dine at the Family Wash. We devoured kettle chips covered in Gorgonzola cheese and bacon then shared a vegetarian Shepard's pie. Somehow we managed to save room for the homemade desserts- yes, that is plural. On Tuesdays the Family Wash has a $10 Pint & Pie night. After our fabulous comfort food experience, the plan is to get a group together for a Tuesday trip.

Peter came into town late Friday night. Early Saturday we made our way to the Vanderbilt tailgate where Peter was able to confirm his existence to some of my classmates. After the tailgate, in true Vandy style, we left. Don't judge; we had errands to run. For lunch we made our way to Hot Diggity Dog. Of course, it was awesome.

We got a New York, a Nashville, and a Texas. The homemade coleslaw at HDD is hard to beat and even Peter, a professed coleslaw hater, really like it.

Originally, I was supposed to go home this weekend but plans changed when it was decided that there would be a surprise birthday for Peter's sister L. in Nashville on Saturday night. You see, L. decided she would celebrate her birthday with a girl's weekend in Nashville. But- being a milestone birthday, we all wanted it to be special. My MIL, L.'s best friend, and I planned a party in Nashville. After L. drove up from Atlanta Friday night, the family, Baby Quinn and all, packed and drove up Saturday morning.

The look on L.'s face when she saw everyone was priceless. After all of the fretting, we really pulled off the surprise. I love, love, love this picture from the party!

Side note: I struggle with low-light indoor pictures. One day, when I'm not in graduate school, I fully intend on (1) learning more about our camera and (2) purchasing another lens.

November 6, 2010

Café Coco

Having heard good things about Cafe Coca from various friends, I recommended it as a lunch spot. J. and I try to meet up once a week for lunch, emphasis on try. When you walk into Cafe Coco you are immediately greeted with an instructional board. Of course, neither of us noticed it and had to be directed by a member of the wait staff.

After deciding that we'd take table service rather than order at the bar, we examined the menu. J. was really into it {that's her behind the menu}. We decided on sandwiches.

J. got a chicken wrap, which was a bit bland, and fries, which were great. I got an avocado garden grill sandwich which was fantastic. I don't think Coco will become our regular spot but with 24 hr. service, I'm sure I'll be back.

November 3, 2010

Madness

For the next few months the Scott kids are: 20, 21, 22, 24. The older we get the closer it seems. I know its nuts, but it's pretty cool being so close in age.

November 1, 2010

Just Call Me Four Eyes

Apart from when I read, I am now a full-time glasses wearer. Blast. I've had glasses for years now, but have managed only to wear them as needed. A few months ago I realized that I couldn't read street signs and decided it was time for new specs. After going to the optometrist I learned that my vision is now 20/40 {which, in the lovely state Tennessee, is still legal to drive without corrective eye-wear}.

My new glasses are modern with a hint of retro. I like them. I am also getting a back up pair in case something happens to these and, lets be real, because I love variety.

October 31, 2010

Saturday

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a free Ra Ra Riot show at Grimey's with Leslie. She knew about the show and invited me to tag along. In the last few months, I've been impressed with Nashville's capacity to live up to it's nickname, Music City.

October 29, 2010

His and Hers

My view this morning: 440.

Peter's view this morning: the Swiss Alps.

October 27, 2010

Apartment Tour Pt. 2

My first apartment tour was not exactly complete. In the apartment I also have a room. In the interest of my grad school budget, everything in my room was done on the cheap. Most items I borrowed from our house or my dad. The items that I purchased are from IKEA or the Red Circle Boutique {thanks Nancy}.

I found some bedding at IKEA which has neat button details.

My desk, where I spend a great deal of time, was rescued from my attic at home. Another IKEA find, I used this desk all through college.

I miss our dogs and decided I needed something to care for so I bought a plant from Publix. I call her Petunia even though she is an orchid. Petunia is extremely low maintenance and still flourishing; right now she is sporting four blossoms and three buds.

October 19, 2010

Right Now

My desk is buried. I suppose this is what graduate school looks like, at least in Nashville.

{For those of you who spotted the Sprite, there is no need to be concerned about my caffeine habit. It is doing just fine. I've been attempting to reduce my intake of dark drinks because I'm using a whitening toothpaste.}

Yesterday I registered for my Spring classes. It's pretty hard to believe. But then again, it is the middle of October!

October 11, 2010

Baby Quinn

Peter and I made the trip down to Lilburn last weekend to meet the newest member of our family, Baby Quinn. Baby Quinn is Nancy and Will's daughter who we all eagerly awaited for 9 months and 1 day. It was so rewarding to see Nancy as a mom. Her new, forever role suites her beautifully.

Quinn was squirmy in the womb and is proving to be squirmy outside. When they are open, her big, currently blue eyes are always on the move investigating the world.
Aunt Lisa and I kept checking out Quinn's toes {or tingers as Aunt Lisa calls them since the long baby toes strongly resemble fingers}. Gunther and Lily kept checking out Quinn's everything; both pups made sure to give their own types of kisses to the newby.
As my friend and fellow blogger, Hawley of Team Scheider 1+1=3, pointed out, Quinn is already fully herself. We are all constantly changing and growing. I'm excited to be part of Quinn's life and can't wait to see how she's grown when we visit for Thanksgiving.