Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yin and Yang

So I came up with this blog idea after having a conversation with Matthew's boss. He was talking about how in relationships it's important that you have just enough similarities mixed in with the right amount of differences for balance. So it got me thinking about all the similarities and differences that Matthew and I share. Since I am slightly OCD and could write a book about Type A personalities, I thought making a list was perfect!


1. We are both extroverts, although since high school I have become more and more of an introvert. The last Myers Briggs Test I took I was 52% extrovert, 48% introvert. Matthew probably blew that scale off the charts.

2. We are both EXTREMELY stubborn. Matthew said he never thought he would meet someone more stubborn than him... Enter me.

3. Neither of us are very patient...but Matthew definitely has more than me. This is starting to sound like I'm bashing myself!

4. We both have loud laughs. And the first thing we notice about people is whether they have a sense of humor or not.

5. We love sports. Watching them on TV, going to games in person, etc... Of course, UK sports is a gift from God.

6. We both love to cook. I'd say equally, especially if it's something new!

7. We are both photogenic. I'm not saying that we look beautiful in every picture we take, but we both know how to smile :)

8. We both love anything that has to do with the health care related field. Including every TV show (Grey's Anatomy, House, Hopkins, etc...)

9. We are both planners. Matthew likes to plan meals weeks in advance and the very last detail of every trip we are taking. I would rather die than lose my planner.

10. We're both night owlsand definitely not morning people

11. We both love to read

12. We're both very goal-oriented.

13. My dad would say (actually not "would say" it should be "did say" at our wedding) that we both like to be the center of attention... I disagree :)

14. We both love animals... if they are an angel in the form of a dog named Lexi

15. We both appreciate a fine dining experience. To us...we'd rather pay the extra money to eat at a nice restaurant and skip the movie than to just do an ok restaurant and a movie.

16. We both love to travel, which he has done a lot more than me. BUT, I have been to Europe and he has not!

17. We both like the same music, although some of his can get a little too punk rockerish (I know that's not a word) for me.

18. We both love school... apparently cause neither of us can seem to get out of it.

19. We are both extremely family oriented and came from very close-knit families.

20. People either live to eat or eat to live. We are both most definitely live to eat. I mean... You're only here so long, might as well enjoy it while you can.

21. Traditions are a must, and they should never be broken.


1. I am Type A...Matthew is not, but he is not completely Type B either, a mix I would say.

2. I do everything way before a deadline... Matthew is a procrastinator

3. I am naturally neat... Matthew only does it cause he loves me... a lot

4. I am the BIGGEST worry wort. I think I have seen Matthew stressed maybe twice since we have been together. The day before his Qualifier and when we got a bunch of medical bills :)

5. Matthew loves a challenge... I call challenges cruddy situations

6. Matthew loves puzzles (like a crossword puzzle, figuring out a riddle, doing Math in his head, etc... I would rather someone just tell me the answer.

7. Matthew loves Seinfeld...I love Friends. You either love one or the other.

8. Matthew could meet a stranger and in five minutes be their best friend....me, I am much more reserved around new people... Just ask the following people- Geoff, Barak, J, K, etc...

9. I am indecisive...Matthew can make a decision and just roll with it

10. Matthew is naturally frugal....I'm only frugal cause I have to be :)

11. Matthew has much more self-confidence than me... maybe I'm just humble?!

12. I am fairly athletic.... Matthew is not.

13. I get car sick thinking about reading in the car... Matthew could do it all day long

14. Matthew is a pie person... I like cake, although I hate to discriminate here, all things made of sugar are a good thing.

15. I tend to be a little more sympathetic than Matthew, not to say that he isn't.

16. If we had the money, I would buy clothes, Matthew would buy electronics.

17. Matthew's vocabulary is out of this world... He would use a word like chagrin or umbrage... While I'd just say I'm annoyed. I guess we know why he scored so high on the ACT and SAT.

18. I love to nap... Matthew says it's wasting time.

19. Matthew would love to live other places for a while and travel around before we settle somewhere and decide to have kids... Me? I would be happy as a clam in Nashville :)

20. Matthew thinks we shouldn't tell our kids that Santa Clause is real... I think this is blasphemous. I may get in trouble for putting this, it's sort of a sore subject ;)

21. He wants three kids... For me it's a toss up. Today is a four day, tomorrow it will be three.

That is all I can think of for now! I would love to hear if you can think of any good ones, I'm sure our parents could come up with some. My brain is friend. Exams have taken a toll on me. 5 more days and I will have freedom for 2 whole weeks! Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Home Stretch

I am 1 week and 1 day away from finishing my second semester and 1 week, 1 day, and 4 hours away from Smith Family Vaca 2K9. Cannot wait. Matthew and I have been super busy the last couple of weeks and desperately need the vacation, so thanks mom and dad for letting us bum off of you for four days!

I don't think lazy is an appropriate enough word to describe our weekend. Lethargic or comatose better describes how we spent our Saturday. We had grand plans of catching up on some studying, cleaning the apartment, going to look at houses/apartments (for fun mostly), laundry, etc... How much of these chores/tasks were done by 12:00 pm Saturday.... None. Clearly if you know me, you understand that these tasks are not chores to me... they are my stress reliever, so why I felt like I'd rather gouge my eyeballs out as opposed to check them off my ever growing "To Do" List...I am at a loss for words.

Lexi and Daddy resting

Our family of 3! Yes our dog is a poser... she loves having pics taken.

My only excuse is that we were super tired from working late the week beforehand for the UAB medical school. Matthew and I have been pretend patients for the 4th year med students this past week for their Senior Organized Standardized Clinical Exam. We get paid $10 an hour for 6 hours a night, 3 nights a week to be a fake patient... plus free dinner! Not a bad set-up if you ask me. We have great ideas on how to use the money...for you know school loans, tuition and such. Anyway, we don't get out each night until after 10, which is really late if you ask me, and we just lost out on some great sleep.

Friday night Matthew and I took our good friend Barak out to dinner since he is moving this coming week. We are incredibly sad that he is leaving, and we are going to miss him a lot! Barak was Matthew's first friend here in Birmingham and was one of two people who actually drove up from Bham to come to our wedding. Barak wanted to go to Dreamland, the famous barbeque place in downtown Bham, so we gladly obliged since we hadn't been there in a while. We took him around to a few of our (the three of us) favorite places in downtown Bham, went to hear some live music, and wished Barak well as he is heading to Jackson, MS for a job interview that we are praying he gets!

Leaving for Dreamland

We will miss you Barak!

Saturday...well you know what happened there, but Saturday night Matthew and I went to the Barons game (The minor league team here). Amit, one of the MD PhD's in Matthew's lab had bought up a bunch of tickets since it was Cystic Fibrosis night (Matthew's lab works on lung transplantation research for those who don't know) and invited us to come along with him and his wife Shilpa and their adorable two year old Akash. Geoff and Tricia came as well. We absolutely love going to Baron's games, especially on the nights when they have the fireworks show... which was immensely superior to the disaster on July 4th.

Geoff and Tricia

Geoff stole the camera.

Sunday after church we came home and I immediately went to study, since I had procrastinated the day before.... There are many reasons that I love my husband, but I was reminded just how much when he offered to clean the apartment while I studied. BEST HUSBAND EVER. It was a great joy for me to open up the bedroom door and see those beautiful vacuum lines across the carpet and to not see even a hint of dust on the furniture. Not only did he offer to clean...but he did it well! I know that I have high standards when it comes to cleanliness and I even get slightly nervous when I don't do the job myself...but Molly Maid couldn't have impressed me this much.

We had to go back up to church around 3:00, because our class was hosting a baby shower for a couple in our community group...First baby in our Sunday school crew! Daniel and Magen are expecting a boy on September 1st named Elijah Luke. They are also planning on moving to France to be missionaries and they currently have arrangements to move to Chicago in January to finish raising support. We are going to miss them! The shower was a lot of fun, we played some fun games and of course ate a lot. Matthew and our good friend Stephen (his wife is named Ally) are extremely competitive and really got into the games... Ally and I were very entertained by them to say the least.

This was the cake that the hostess LeAnn made... she just started taking cake decorating classes this summer!! I'm so jealous!

Now this isn't as gross as it looks... This was the dirty diaper game, you had to guess what kind of chocolate candy had been melted onto the diaper...this is Stephen.

Matthew smelling the diaper... :)

We are headed to Cinci this weekend for my cousin Katherine's wedding. Unfortunately, nursing school faculty is not that understanding when it comes to missing school. Their protocol for missing class says that the only reason you can miss is if you have a death in the immediate family and your name is listed in the obituary. A little ridiculous. So...I am missing the rehearsal dinner and bridesmaid's luncheon and will be arriving in Cinci about 12 hours before the wedding. Thank you UAB School of Nursing, I will remember this when you come calling me for money in 5 years.

Hope everyone has a great week! Prayers would be appreciated while I am finishing up this semester. 4 tests left....

P.S. I have to put these pictures up from last weekend while we were up in Nashville.... Lexi and Macy are two peas in a pod!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


10 years ago today, I made the decision to follow Christ's example and be baptized in the Caney Fork River at Hy-Lake Christian Camp ( or as Harpeth Hills calls it Camp Koinonia). So today is my spiritual birthday as my Mimi likes to call it.

The beautiful Caney Fork River

I can remember parts of the occasion just like it is yesterday, but of course over time things grow fuzzy and you just forget. I remember thinking that I knew that this small little camp in the middle of Quebeck, TN was where I wanted to dedicate my life to Jesus. Not that the place itself matters at all, but to me it meant something. That camp was where I came to know Jesus in a way I never had before. It was the place that I had formed long lasting Christ-centered friendships, it was where I had grown to love my church family, and it was where I saw God work in the most mysterious of ways.

Camp was the HIGHLIGHT of my summers, especially in middle school before trips to Honduras would compete. In middle school I used to have a countdown on the ceiling in my bedroom so that every morning I woke up knowing just how many days were left. It was all you could talk about in the weeks before camp.... and camp shopping had to be done no earlier than a week beforehand, cause waiting... well, that was just unacceptable.

One of my best friends Whitney and I at camp in middle school...

As a youth group, we were blessed with the most amazing youth ministers. Jason and Jennifer were a God-send to our church...anyone would tell you that. Jason has the most creative mind and was able to tangibly show us just how awesome God is. We were blessed with incredible coaches who guided us and showed us how to live the way God called us to live. And we were blessed with an amazing church family that was supportive and caring.

So for 10 years of being a follower of Christ, I am still so blessed to be called one of His.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Things to Do Before I Kick It

I guess you could call this my bucket list. These are a list of things I want to do before I go to see Jesus....

1. Visit Italy, Austria, Greece, Hawaii, London, and I'm sure a couple of other places.

2. Have season tickets to Rupp

3. Own a horse...miniature that is

4. Take Matthew snow skiing

5. Spend lots of time doing missions in Honduras...possibly open a clinic there.

6. Play the piano part to Billy Joel's "River of Dreams" To ambitious? I think not.

7. Go to a World Cup game

8. FINALLY see Garth Brooks in concert... this is a BIG one

9. See Billy Joel and Elton John in concert... I'm still kicking myself for not seeing them while they were in Bham.

10. Get my nurse practitioners license. If life permits...

11. See UK win a National Championship... obviously in basketball, but I wouldn't mind it in football (This may be a little too ambitious)

12. Go to a Super Bowl... preferably if the Titans are playing

13. See an Alabama Football Game... hopefully I can cross this one off this fall

14. Drive all the way from the east coast to the west.

15. Take a Mediterranean Cruise

16. Have children

17. Have grandchildren

18. Meet Julie Andrews... tho I may wanna hurry it up a little on this one.

19. Learn how to play the violin

20. Relearn Spanish...and speak it fluently

21. Build and design our own house

22. Possibly live outside of the South for a while... And by while I mean longer than 6 months but shorter than 2 years. :)

23. Have a brand new Mercedes

24. Run a 1/2 marathon, if my knees can take it

25. Make a wedding cake

26. Learn to sew

27. Have my own garden and not kill everything I plant

28. See a taping of the David Letterman show

29. Do a triathlon

30. Celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary :)

That's all I can think of for now. Post about our weekend activities later on! Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Let's Play Catch... Up

I feel as if has been a while since I last posted. I'll be honest, the last couple of days I have not really felt like it, in fact I probably would have compared blogging to going to the dentist, like when you know in the back of your mind you need to do it...but you just can't (no offense David). I'll have you know that I am up to date on my teeth cleanings, something I cannot say for the XY member of my household.

Regardless, I will bite the bullet and fill in all you avid readers (the 5 or so of you :). The Saturday night we got back from Atlanta, Matthew and I headed over to his boss' house for his annual 4th of July bash. For those of you who don't remember, this house was our first home, while Matthew's boss was out of the country in Holland we lived there taking care of the house (estate is what is should be referred to) and their two dogs. There are not a lot of married couples who can say that their first home was an 8,000 square foot MANSION.

I had made three desserts for the party. There was no way I was showing up empty-handed, so I probably outdid myself slightly. I took cupcakes, chess squares, and my blackberry cobbler. I knew Ed (Matthew's boss) is a huge cobbler fan... a little sucking up never hurts, right? The party was fantastic, except the massively disappointing fireworks that Birmingham embarrassingly displayed this year. I mean Go Big or Go Home.... Otherwise, let's spend the money elsewhere, like maybe to keep Birmingham city from going bankrupt or on the planet sized potholes that Cindy (my car) always seems to find on 19th Street.

On the way to the party

I know. The red ones look more like hot pink, but I just couldn't bring myself to use the whole container of red food dye.

Our friend Barak.. who is about to move from Bham :(

Some of you may be wondering, "Why does your dog look like a sheep who has just been sheared?" Lexi was a very bad girl and got into some of Mommy's lip gloss.... this was the result of the groomer's attempts to try and remove all the sticky fur.

Getting geared up for the huge disappointment.

This past weekend my parents came down for a short one night visit. They arrived Friday and we met Matthew for lunch at NEWKS. Friday afternoon we were pretty much lazy and stayed in at the apartment. Friday evening we took my parents to Chez Fon Fon which is one of our favorite restaurants in Bham. It is the cafe version of an even nicer restaurant called Highlands. Highlands is rated the #4 fine dining restaurant in the country (by whom...i'm not sure, but someone who knows what they're talking about). Matthew and I have been wanting to go to Highlands since we moved here... and we are planning on going to our anniversary... and his birthday... and my birthday. Friday night we played little Matthew's favorite game Apples to Apples. Mom stayed up past nine!

Saturday morning, Matthew and I made breakfast for everyone, and then Mom and I headed out to do some shopping, while Matthew took buddy and Dad to the pool. We met back up for lunch at Acapulcos (our favorite little hole in the wall Mexican place) before they hit the road. Little Matthew and dad had to get back because they were headed up for Harpeth Hills Junior Camp on Sunday. If I had known that my week this week was gonna be so slow I would have begged to go... It's just not summer without church camp! Anyway, thanks so much for coming! It was a great 24 hours! We love having guests!

This is what we did in our spare time. Remember what I said in a earlier post about Lexi?... Just watch.

That pretty much catches you up on our latest happenings. No tests for me this week... hooray! Granddaddy Wayne and Grandma Eva... we shall see you soon!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Welcome to Atlanta where the players play"

Team Hardison was Atlanta bound this past Thursday to join Matthew's parents, J and K, and Benjamin and Meredith for a mini-vaca. My schedule being the main reason we couldn't have a full week-long vacation this summer... Sorry guys!

Thursday night we went to Turner Field to see the Braves take on the reigning World Champs the Phillies. The weather was perfect and we had excellent seats with food vouchers...thanks David! The vouchers only allowed for hot dogs, since most of our party didn't want them...Matthew, David and I had 8 hot dogs to ourselves! I'll have you know that I only ate two...not for lack of wanting more. Who goes to a baseball game and doesn't get hot dogs?! It was a great game, we saw two home runs and the Braves clinched the win in the bottom of the 8th inning. I could definitely go for some season tickets!

We may or may not have planned this...

Apparently Meredith and I are really into this game

B and M

J and K... J this is not a UK game!

D and S

Friday morning we headed over to Peachtree Park for a double dose of the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium! Matthew and I on our trip to Atlanta last October went to the Coke Museum, but were more than happy to oblige the others and visit again...cause well it's just that fun. Fun Fact... John Pemberton (the inventor of the original recipe of Coca Cola Classic) sold the recipe in 1888 to Asa Candler for $2500. That's probably how much profit Coke makes in a second!! Hate to have the last name Pemberton now huh? Matthew and I accidently deleted our pictures from the Coke Museum from last fall..so we spent most of our time reenacting our pictures.

Who doesn't love some 3D glasses?

An old Coke Delivery Truck

Reenacted picture

After the Coke Museum we headed over to the Aquarium. I was very excited about this. I have been asking Matthew since we came back from Atlanta last time to take me there. They did an excellent job with the place. Other than it being overcrowded, it was a great experience and I am so glad we finally got to go!

The Tropical Fish

After the Aquarium we headed back to the hotel for some nap time! Kristen and I are masters of napping, although our husbands struggle in this area. I would venture to say that Kristen is better at it than me! It took me no time to fall asleep and I still woke up in time to study some before we got ready for dinner. I got a recommendation from my good friend Jordan for a great restaurant in downtown Atlanta, Mary Macs Tea Room! Jordan went to Georgia Tech for undergrad and lived there for 5 years, so I knew she was an expert on Atlanta dining. And my goodness, was she ever right about this place...it was amazing! Southern cooking at its finest. J and I got the baked chicken with dressing (Great minds think a like don't they J :) and it was awesome! Of course I had to get their famous mac n cheese and squash casserole while Matthew got fried chicken with fried green tomatoes and okra. We strategically picked our vegetables so we could share :) I am definitely coming back to this place next time we are here! If it weren't for the traffic I could live in the ATL! Any jobs for science nerds at the CDC, Matthew?

Friday after dinner we headed back to play games at the hotel. Taboo (one of my favs) and Trivial Pursuit. Now...I don't think it is any secret to anyone in the Hardison clan that Trivial Pursuit is not my favorite game. I'm just not any good at it, frankly I am a disappointment to my team, a dead body if you will. However, the highlight of my trip.... Getting a question right.

I ask you... What popular 80's CBS emmy awarded sitcom came on Sunday nights? The correct answer..... Murder She Wrote.

Yes...that's right, I knew it and no one else on my team did... including James David Hardison. I would now like to acknowledge my sister Ashley, for if it were not for her making me watch that show growing up, I would not have known the answer. Also to Angela Lansbury in her role of Jessica Fletcher... you gotta love her.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. We hated that we had to leave a day early and get back (1. for Matthew's bosses 4th of July party, 2. For our dog, 3. so I could study!) Whose ready for Hardison Family Vaca 2K10?