Monday, December 13, 2010

Let's Try This Whole Blogging Thing Again

Well, it's been a busy couple of months around here considering my last blog post was at the beginning of October. Once you stop blogging, it's incredibly hard to get started again. I just felt like nothing going on was very earth-shattering blog worthy:-) And this post will be nothing exceptional- Just a catch-up:-)

Obviously, it's Christmas time and this has been the hardest year for me EVER to try and get in the Christmas spirit. I think after losing my grandmother in February, I was dreading this holiday because I knew it was going to be emotional and sad. We are going to try our best to make it fun and enjoyable while still honoring Bam, and Adam and I will be heading to TN to share a few days with my parents. Unfortunately I don't get off work until 12/23 and so it will be a very quick weekend visit.

Here are some Reuss Christmas tidbits:
-We decorated our first REAL Christmas tree last weekend and I must say, it's quite beautiful:-) This has been Adam's plea since we got married and since I'm sometimes ridiculously frugal, this was our first one. I'm now not so sure that we will ever go back to a fake one!
-All my Christmas cards (except for a few) are out in the mail today! I absolutely LOVE Christmas cards- giving and receiving!! I seriously think that I start thinking of them in June.
-I managed to start my Christmas shopping this past weekend. (Very late, I know). We had a mini family reunion of my mom's side in Northern VA this weekend and it was so fun! My uncle and his family recently moved from California to this side of the country and we were never able to spend alot of time with them growing up. Now that we're all grown up, it's a blast to hang out together. We spent Friday in D.C. touring the Capitol (thanks to my friend, Jess!), Saturday visiting the Air and Space Museum and shopping, and then Sunday at my uncle's fun church followed by a "Posh Christmas" vendor show where my aunt Jody had a table selling handmade aprons and yummy baked goodies. My goal is to finish my Christmas shopping this week and be able to enjoy Christmas week.
-I had to take my first sick day from work today. I hadn't missed a day in almost 2 years but I felt a throat/fatigue thing coming on yesterday and when I woke up today, I knew that my patients would not want me coming near them. So I called in, slept until 11, and decided to start my Christmas baking tonight. I know everybody gets overloaded with sweets during this time of the year, and I feel like contributing to their weight gain:-) We also received our first snowfall of the year today! I think we maybe got about a 1/2 inch or so but it's stuck and it looks beautiful! Not a bad day to be off work.

So anyways, that's my Christmas update! I will try to do a better job blogging even though nobody probably reads this thing anymore except for my mom and Aunt Barb:-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why October Is The Best Month EVER!

1. Birthdays! These are just a few of the wonderful people that I share a birthday with in October:

2. Cake Decorating Class! I'm in a small group at church and we're s.l.o.w.l.y learning how to decorate cakes:

3. Anniversary! Adam and I will be celebrating our 3rd Anniversary on October 6th. We will be celebrating for a couple of days at this fabulous place:

4. Fall Decor! I actually don't have any fall decor up yet in my house but that is getting done today! Envision a fall wreath, pumpkins on the front step, pumpkin candles burning, new placemats....

5. Halloween! I think I just like the kid's concept of Halloween with the dressing up and the trick-or-treating but as adult, I love all the candy!

6. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Cookies... you name it. If it's got pumpkin, I'm there.

7. Tennessee Football! It's on almost every weekend and nothing screams Fall more than TN Football! Oh, to be back in TN.... Go Vols!

8. Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Obviously, this is a great cause that takes over the entire month of October... but the best part of my month is that I get to wear jeans and my breast cancer t-shirt once a week to work! Jeans at work is always a good thing! (Sorry for the ghastly picture)

9. Fall clothes! Who doesn't love big chunky sweaters, leggings, layers, flats, and orange? Sigh.. It makes me want to go shopping right now. It's a shame that it's always more expensive to shop in the winter!

10. The Time Change! (Well, at least I think it's in October) Who doesn't love an extra hour of sleep? Especially sleeping with the windows open... And since my watch is currently broke and unable to change time, I got a new watch this weekend! (Note to anyways that cares: This is not actual said watch:-))

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life on the Daniel Fast

Ok, I know you are not supposed to let people know you are fasting of any kind (so sayth the Bible), but this Daniel Fast is really rocking my world! Adam and I chose to do a Daniel Fast after our Greece trip for two reasons: 1. We are specifically praying for some important future decisions and 2. Because we ate like glutenous pigs on our vacation. In a nutshell, you are not allowed to eat meat, breads, sugar, caffeine, preservatives, anything that tastes good, etc. We are 8 days into (out of 21) and
I miss meat.
I miss bread.
I miss sugar.
I really miss caffeine.
I even think I miss preservatives:-0

I am the grouchiest, meanest person in the world. I'm so bitter about the things that I CAN'T have that I'm not even focusing on all the things I CAN have. I have decided that after a fantastic vacation, going on a fast is like torture. Adam is hanging in there as well. He's allowed to have coffee, black, so I think he's a little happier in the mornings, but we're still both a mess. As with most fasts, you spend the time you would be eating/drinking in prayer or a more focused quiet time. Instead, I feel like I am at the grocery store trying to buy something to eat. Not to mention the fact that all that fresh food is expensive! I know alot of people that have done this before and I am certainly open to any and all suggestions! I'm praying also that my attitude turns around...quickly. I know this will benefit us if we stick with it but I don't want to be a jerk for the whole three weeks either.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Phil 4:11-13

Today is just one of THOSE days. The good ones that is. The ones where you feel just so utterly content with God and your surroundings that you just feel c.o.n.t.e.n.t. There is really no other word to describe it. These days are definitely too rare and when they occur, I just feel so blessed. We returned from our amazing Grecian vacation (pictures to come) last night and due to the jet lag/time difference, we were both up at 4:30am. We are usually sleepers-til-the-very-last-moment when it comes to mornings but it felt good to get up early this morning. It allowed for a blogging/email check up, laundry, coffee, and a much needed lengthy quiet time. Rita Springer is playing throughout the house, rain is falling outside, and I am so content. Denali is still vacationing with his grandparents in Tennessee and the house is empty right now. This past vacation was really amazing and much-needed. We promised not to discuss the future, our jobs, or anything that required a calendar. My relationship with my husband feels like it is in the strongest phase ever. We are content. For the past 2-3 months, whenever I got stressed about the future, I would just say, "I'll take care of it after Greece" or "Let's think about that after Greece". Now that we are back, it's that time. But today, when I woke up, I didn't feel stressed at all. I just felt content that God is soo with us and everything is going to be good and we are called to be content.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cornerstone Changes

The winds of change have definitely been blowing around Cornerstone lately. In mid-July, Pastor Wayne announced that he and Mrs. Diane would be moving to San Jose, California where he will be a missions pastor/church planter at one of his best friend's churches. At the time of the announcement, it felt like we still had a million years to spend with them before they left, and now, BLINK, it's their final week here at Cornerstone. You can't help but feel excited for this next chapter in their lives, but it is so bittersweet. Pastor Wayne is not only Adam's boss (and the best boss he will probably ever have:-)), but him and Diane, whether they wanted it or not, have become unbelievable mentors to us. They are our imaginary "Chester parents" and a large reason that Adam accepted the job up here in the first place. It's also a big loss to the Richmond community, as they have been very strong leaders here for over 22 years. That's considered a very long time to pastor ONE church. My heart also goes out to our friends, Timothy and Jessica, since they are their "real parents" :-). I can't imagine my parents moving across the country and I know that would be hard. These past couple of weeks have been filled with goodbye meals and tearful sermons. It's been meaningful opportunities to show the Mancaris just how much we love them.
But with change, always comes excitement of what's to come. It's very clear that the Lord's hand is upon our church. Last night our church unanimously voted for Pastor Shawn, our associate pastor, to take the job as head pastor. Adam's role won't change, but he'll probably gain some additional responsibilities. And with all this change, I've accepted the job as head lyrical dance pastor. HAHA yeah right! I only WISH there was that position :-)
We leave for our Mediterranean cruise on the Mancari's last Sunday. It'll be weird to come back in a few weeks and everything will be different. But in the famous words of P.Wayne, "How fun!" :-)

The "How Fun" gang at the Dauber Dash

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Greatest In-Laws

I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish a "Happy 30th Anniversary" to the greatest in-laws ever! I always knew growing up that I had wonderful parents/role models to look up to, but when I met Adam's parents, I really understood that God gave me a double blessing. From the moment I met the Reusses, they loved me and took me in. I consider myself so truly blessed to be able to have loving, Christian in-laws to share my life with. And of course they produced my amazing husband!

To Teri: Thank you for loving both Adam and I unconditionally. I love your enthusiasm for life and your Godly character. I admire your prayer life and I appreciate that you will travel to the ends of the earth for your family. I also thank you for loving me and accepting me wholeheartedly into your family:-)

To Brent: Thank you for being such a Godly example to Adam growing up. I can rest assured that he won't stray from the ways of his upbringing because of the example you gave him. I appreciate you for your organization:-) and also for your hard work. Because of working so hard, you are able to take us to all the cool places that we traveled to as a family.

I love you both so much and of course Adam does too:-) Can't wait to celebrate in Greece in less than 2 weeks!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

What We've Been Up To

I've decided that summer time is the worst for trying to keep up with a blog. I just want to be outside all the time! I'll take 100 degree weather ANYDAY over winter. I also realized that I hadn't blogged in so long that my wallpaper had expired. How sad! Anyways, here's some pictures of what we've been up to lately along with a smancy background (just for you, mom!)

A trip to the Outer Banks with this wonderful family

You have no idea how hard this was to do for our family!

Day One at the beach=needed a little bit more of a tan before I hopped in a picture

Relaxing with my favorite sibling and cousins

Denali celebrated his first birthday! Too bad we forgot about it:-)

My latest project around the house: I hung pictures up our naked stairwell and I love it!

I even crashed the Brose family vacation for a little while at VA Beach

King Family Vineyards in Charlottesville with the Reusses

LOVE my in-laws!

A little rock-climbing for the boys

Running around Maymont Park

A visit from my FAVORITE little man, Rader

And of course his mom and dad-- Life long BFF's:-)

Today is consisting of a run (as soon as my husband wakes up), a trip to the river, and a wonderful dinner at Cous Cous. is good:-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guatemalan Recap

Well, I have been avoiding writing my Guatemalan recap for quite some time and the fact that I just finished it and then blogger deleted 2/3 of it does NOT make me a happy blogger:-) It's just always so hard to recap a trip that had so much stuff going on! Or one where every day of your 8-day trip held a different experience. So here is my best attempt (the 2nd time around) at a recap:

The Medicine: Every day we would wake up around 6 or 7 and drive about an hour to some remote city/village. We would set up our clinic in a church or community center and would usually see about 150-200 patients a day for basic primary care medicine. They were really long days, considering we had about 3-4 stations set up with a provider, a translator, and usually about 2 or 3 Lee students. We even had a station with Dr. Veenstra pulling teeth. We saw tons of upper respiratory infections, GI parasites, skin infections, and even some pregnancy checkups (my favorite!) just to name a few. On a sad note, we saw many, many things that we could not cure. There were people that traveled far to have us check out tumors and other life threatening diseases when sadly, the most we could usually do was to give them some ibuprofen and pray with them. I wish we could order bloodwork, imagine studies, and other tests, but we just didn't have the means. That was probably the most frustrating thing about the whole experience. The fact that we couldn't do more for these precious people. That just becasue they lived in a 3rd world country, they didn't have access to the healthcare that our country gives. But that leads me well into my next subject:-)

The Faith: The people of Guatemala had such great faith! I think most of them practiced Catholicism, but everytime we asked a person if he/she knew Christ or believed in Christ they would say yes. If you asked them if they drank alcohol or had sex before marriage, they would look at you like you were crazy! We would always pray with them after we finished giving them medicine and depending on the village that we were in, they would usually cry just at the idea of you wanting to pray with them. That was probably my most favorite part:-) We even had the opportunity to go to a Spanish-speaking church one night. It was so cool to experience Christ in another language!

The People (Lee): The group consisted of about 2 physicans (over the course of 2 weeks), 2 NP's, 2 RN's, a pharm tech, Dr. Veenstra (the Lee teacher/dentist), and about 20 students. Most of the students were pre-med or pre- medical profession. I loved answering all the questions they had about "real life" and NP school and all the stuff that I have done to get where I am now. These kids were so bright and I'm excited to see where they end up in the future. And of course that is possible, since we are all facebook friends now:-)

The Travel: This might have been potentially the worst part of my trip. I really love traveling but I was super scared about traveling to a 3rd world Spanish-speaking country. And rightfully so.... My plane landed Friday night around 9pm. The Lee group was supposed to have landed around 8pm and were to have been waiting for me at the airport. Well they kind of usher you straight out of the airport and into a gated area with about 300 people all waiting to pick up their loved ones from the airport. It was chaos. And there was no Lee group. And I waited and waited and waited. I even had someone come up to me and ask me who I was waiting for and then proceed to tell me that they SAW someone holding a Lee sign up but those people were gone. Then I freaked out. I called Adam from a stranger's cell phone and started crying. Thanks to Teri (who is a travel agent), they let me know that the group had NOT let me but their plane hadn't landed yet! I ended up meeting up with them around 11pm and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. I traveled out of Guatemala with another lady and her daughter that had to come back early and we thankfully did not have any problems. Next time, I'm learning Spanish.

The Sickness: Of course everyone must get sick when they travel oversees. Hannah Baldwin begs to differ with me:-) Around Tuesday night, it began. The diarrhea/vomiting/grossness of everything. I was up a complete night partaking in all of these glorious things and when I woke up in the morning, I didn't feel much better. Thankfully, we had an off day from clinic so I was able to sleep alot on the bus and walk around doing a little bit of shopping. The worst part might have been the Phenergan shot that I received in the wrong location. I say "in the wrong location", because it hurt sooooo bad going in and here we are 3 weeks later and I still am having pain/numbness in my left hip. I think over the course of the trip, everyone I knew got sick just a little bit. It goes to show that you what kind of conditions these people are living in.

All my pictures are on uploaded on here, so if you want to take a look, check them out:-) When asked if I would go on the trip again, the answer would have to be yes (if I got to take my friends and husband along!) It was an awesome opportunity to get to serve these people with the skills/knowledge that I already had. I would encourage all my medical friends to do something like this at some point!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Huehuetango, WHAT?

So in 36 hours (ish), I am going to be boarding the plane headed for Guatemala!! Me and students/faculty from Lee University will be heading to Huehuetango, Guatemala for 2 weeks (I'll only be gone 8 days) for a medical mission trip. We'll be roughing it and spreading the love of Jesus through antibiotics:-) What could be better?? Obviously I am super excited. I have so many mixed emotions about this upcoming trip. I love traveling and I love going to new places. I also love the fact that we will be blessing people through the gift of medicine. I have been praying for an opportunity like this for a while and I really believe the Lord laid it right in my lap. I know He wants me going. Buuuuttttttt.... on the other hand, I'm EXTREMELY nervous. 1. I will be traveling by my self to a third world country to meet the rest of the group down there. 2. I don't really know anyone else going (sans the 2 teachers I know). 3.. I'm very nervous that I'm not going to be able to properly treat the people down there. My specialty at work is Women's Health and we're going to be doing alot of primary care. 4.. There is always the risk of volcanoes/hurricanes. And I think those are all pretty legitimate fears. But I know God is going to do some great things while we're down there. I'm praying and trusting that He is going to take care of us the entire time. I can't wait to come back and share!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Glimpses of Bam

Today would have been my grandmother's 82nd birthday. Thankfully, I'm surrounded by glimpses of her everyday.

This was a chair in her living room. We had it recovered and picked it up in Cleveland last weekend. It fits perfectly in our corner and reminds me of her everytime I sit in it.

This is one of the random pieces of jewelry I picked out of Bam's jewelry box. It was probably a gift from a child or grandchild in the family, but whenever I wear it, I think of her.

This was a 50th Anniversary Party that we celebrated for Bam and Doda's best friends, Uncle Tony & Aunt Yvonne. Aunt Yvonne and Bam literally saw/talked to each other every single day. Seeing her last weekend really reminded me of Bam and how much she cherished her friendships. I hope that I can be that way too at 81:-)

I think about calling Bam often. I wanted to go see her the last time we were in Cleveland. I see cards in the store that I want to send to her. I hate that I'm going to have to wait until heaven to see her smiling face or hold her hands again. Happy 82nd Birthday, Bam! I miss you every single day. We all do...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Life with a Nosering

This blog is in honor of the fact that I can finally change my nosering out. As with any piercings, you have to leave the large stud that they pierce you with in for at least 2 months before you can switch it out. It's been 3 months since I've gotten it done, but I'm a slacker and haven't had a chance to get to the store. Anyways, life with a nosering (or a "nosestud" as my mother likes to remind me) has been interesting to say the least. Most people are receptive to it, but a large chunk of my beloved hate it. I personally am still enjoying it. Here are the most common questions/responses I've gotten:

Why would you do this to your beautiful face? Oh this is definitely my favorite question. Why did I do it? Well to be honest, I don't know. I think I just needed a little spontaneity in my life when everyone around me was having children. I think I just regressed a little bit. I had always thought they were cute on other people and I had been thinking about it for a couple of months. Plus, people don't think twice about it here in Virginia... not so in TN:-)

What did your husband say? He loves it and he went with me to get it. He says that he has a "cool" wife. I wouldn't go that far, but it goes with the whole youth pastor role I guess. Obviously he's the one that has to look at it the most so if he wasn't a fan, I wouldn't haven't gotten it done.

Did it hurt? I used to say "no" confidently. The actual process of getting it done really didn't. I got it done at a super-sketch tatoo shop (probably would have picked a different place if I got it done again:-)) and the guy with 18 piercings in his face told me it would feel like I got kicked in the face with a dodgeball. Luckily, that has happened twice to me and the dodgeball hurt waaaay worse than this. And it was over in like 2 seconds. However, the first time I changed it out, I wanted to cry because it hurt so bad. So I guess it's a yes and a no answer.

People have even been so rude as to say, "What's on your face"? My response is to look closely and you'll figure it out.

What did your pastor say? Seriously? My pastor could care less. And I'm pretty sure he's going to love me with or without a nosering. The kids in the youthgroup tend to like it so that's gotta be good for the numbers, right? (just kidding about the numbers!)

What did your boss say? She didn't even notice for the first week. Then she asked me if it was new and she said it was "pretty". Her daughter stopped in the office to say hi and then the following week told her mom (my boss) how much she loved my nosering and how she wanted to get one. She is in college, but I'm thinking Dr. Hines probably wasn't too keen on that happening. Some of my patients even noticed too. Most of the older ladies probably are thinking I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to taking care of them. I did have an instance when a patient was being seen for a miscarriage and all her insensitive/redneck mother could talk about was how much she loved my nosering.

Don't they make smaller ones? Yes, they do, and I now have a smaller one in. I got the smallest one you could get when they pierced it. Thank you, Shauna:-)

Overall,one thing that I've learned is that you really have to love what you do to your body. I'm happy with it for now. It's not permanent and it's not a tatoo. It'll probably come out in a year or so. Comments are hurtful so it's best to just not say anything if you can't stand it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Happy Apple Family

This week was a good week in the Reuss household. Our new MacBook arrived! This had been a battle of sorts in our household due to my old computer's EXTREME inadequacy and Adam now might be the happiest guy in the world because he can simply open 4 windows at a time on a computer if he wants to and not have to keep the power cord plugged in all at times. When you get married, you obviously have to merge all sorts of fun things. The computer is one of those things. Adam brought to the table a lovely Dell while I brought in the coveted 2005 iBook. But sadly, it's 2010 now. And if you do the math, 5 years in computer world is a very. long. time. Now what made us wait until we were at the point of this frusteration? Apple pride. With the recent popularity of iPhones and iPads and everything else that Apple is creating, I wanted to be a trendsetter in the Apple world with my 2005 computer (keep in mind, I was totally just a follower 5 years ago). I didn't want people to think I was just hopping on the trend train with this latest purchase. But I totally am and it's fantastic:-) Adam and I are perfectly satisfied with our phones and computers and now I might actually be able to blog in a reasonable fashion without cursing 50% of the time:-) Not to mention Macs are very pretty to look at:-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is it Lee Day?

For the past 2 weekends, Adam and I have been slaves to yardwork. Thankfully, when we moved in to our 15 year-old home, it didn't need any immediate massive renovations, just some cosmetic changes. Well almost 2 years later, we are getting around to the outside! I am not what you call, "A Green Thumb" :-). I tend to kill every living flower/plant within a couple of months, through no fault of my own:-) If you remember, our garden crashed so badly last year that we never ate any of our produce. So Adam and I headed to Lowes and stocked up on flowers, weed killer, grass seed, tools and 4 truckfuls of mulch (not from Lowes). Remember how at Lee they would always put down fresh mulch on Lee Day and Homecoming? That's how it smells around here and I love it! We planted lots of things that I really can't remember the name of....except hydrangeas! I have a vision of a huge hydrangea bush where I can go outside and pick fresh bouquets for my table:-) We didn't do anything dramatic, but we were proud of ourselves. Trust me, if I had a lot more money, this place would be looking freakin awesome. Now here's the problem: The daisy-looking-flowers have only officially been in the ground less than 2 weeks and some of them are already dying! They've been watered, topsoiled, weeded, everything! Any suggestions?

Adam has also said that neighbors just aren't as friendly in Virginia as they are anywhere else he's lived. We actually hang out with our immediate neighbors, but in 2 weekends that we spent in our front yard, we have had every single neighbor within a 2 house radius stopped by to say hi. We also have awesome neighbors across the street that have loaned us any tool we ever needed (including their mildly autistic son who has joined us for hours upon end!). It's great!

Before and After Pictures of Everything:

This is after we painted/replaced siding on our house last summer

The 18 bags of leaves I bagged


Afters: (I realize it doesn't look like a whole lot on pictures but I promise it is!!)

Adam's buddy, Matthew, just helping out

How our neighbor decided to increase the resale value of the neighborhood: