Thursday, September 30, 2010


“Children get to say ta-da! And I guess magicians, but other than that, it’s an underutilized expression.  I’m trying to think – an adult might say it as she waltzes in with the turkey, or a homemade cake.  But a self-congratulatory ta-da! Would certainly be warranted for any number of daily accomplishments.  I cleaned out the trunk of my car – ta-da!  I finished filling out the insurance application – ta-da!  I made the bed – ta-da!”  -- Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Ta-Da!  It’s what I felt like shouting when I woke up this morning and realized that all of the little boxes on my oh-so-long to-do list were checked off.  This week has been crazy to say the least and there were a few moments when I considered throwing the to-do list out the window and running off to London, or Fox Point, or maybe even the circus.  It just didn’t seem like it was possible to get everything done, (not to mention get it done well), and it seemed easier to just say to hell with it all.  But I didn’t.  I stuck it out and am currently experiencing a curiously delicious mix of caffeine withdrawal, delirium, and that oh-so-satisfying feeling that comes with accomplishing something that once felt so daunting.  So since it’s not all that socially acceptable for a 23 year old to shout Ta-Da! in real life, I am shouting it here in blog-land.  TA-DA!  Take that, to-do list.

TO-DO Ta-Da! List:
  • Case conference presentation
  • Dysphagia exam
  • Amplification exam
  • Disorders take home exam question
  • Aphasia group plan and presentation
  • Disorders coding assignment
  • Plan activities for artic/reading therapy sessions

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Getting My Grandma On

On this blog I frequently refer to myself as a grad school grandma.  It is often used in reference to the fact that, in the past year and a half, I have morphed from a wild child sorority girl into someone who has a 10pm bedtime, needs two cups of coffee to function in the morning, and has been known to pass up a trip to the honky tonk in exchange for my pj’s and a movie.  Now don’t get me wrong…that party girl is still in there somewhere and I am fairly certain I can still hold my own at a frat party (and I plan to prove it when I head back to WFU homecoming in two weeks), BUT, I can get my grandma on with the best of them.

            Which is exactly what I did this morning when some friends and I made a little trip to the Nashville Flea Market.  It comes to town once a month and I had heard rave reviews about the treasures that can be found there so I was very excited to see it for myself.  And it did not disappoint.  Though I wanted to walk away with a truckload of antique furniture to furnish my “someday” house, I resisted the urge and just took some pictures of my favorite things instead.  Enjoy!

Ball Jars...I had to.

This picture is really awkward but I found this hall tree made out of an old door 
and just had to test it out.

And just for kicks...I show you some of the really weird crap that people were trying to sell...

Annnnnd I'm officially creeped out.  Happy Weekend!

Trying to Make a Little Difference

One of the beauties of my chosen profession is that we get to see change.  Nothing is stagnant and though our role may be small in the grand scheme of things, we can make an impact.  One small way in which we can make that impact is by advocating for our patients, bringing attention to the challenges they face, and working to change the way in which they are treated.  A group of communication disorders that is especially in need of this advocacy is Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders are increasing at a staggering rate and to date there is no effective medical cure.  

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are often misunderstood and stigmatized due to their struggles with communication, social interaction, and behavior.  It a challenging population to work with because there is no quick fix, every child is so very different, and there is so much more that still needs to be learned about the disorder. 

In an effort to raise money and awareness for Autism research and treatment, Nashville hosted the Walk Now for Autism and the Bill Will sponsored a team.  The event was a huge success with over $130,000 raised.  Though the walk was inspiring and it was powerful to see all how many families in the Nashville area are impacted by ASD, so much more work needs to be done to help these children.  So if you feel so inclined, please visit the website.  Though the walk is over, you can still donate.  If you’re broke like this girl, you should still check it out if, for no other reason, than to spur a little extra compassion the next time you meet one of these unique children.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Restaurant Week

Last week was restaurant week in Nashville!  All throughout the week, Nashville restaurants opened their doors to patrons with the promise of deliciousness at a reasonable price.  Sounds pretty much perfect to me!  So the ladies of the hotel decided a family dinner was in order and booked a reservation at the Germantown Café.  Germantown Café is tucked away in a little, up-in-coming pocket of town known as Germantown…shocking, I know.  But despite its all too predictable name, the Germantown Café is a pretty stellar place.  It has an incredible view of the Nashville skyline and the food is pretty yummy too.

Because the price was already set as a result of it being restaurant week, we figured we should go all out so I ordered myself a steak.  Now this is quite the indulgence considering I tend stick to what my sister calls “bird food” on a daily basis.  (Translation:  Bird food = granola bars, pretzels, cereal, and couscous if I’m feeling fancy etc.).  So I figured that if there was ever a time to gorge on some red meat, this was it.  And it did not disappoint.  But I have to say that my favorite part of the entire meal was the complimentary bread.  Now this is not surprising since I would choose carbs over protein any day of the week (so healthy, I know) but this was not just your regular old bread basket.  In place of regular dinner rolls, Germantown Café substitutes what look like Dunkin Donuts munchkins.  They are slightly sweet, soft and gooey, and to die for.  Though we all rolled out of the restaurant in a food coma and had to spend a few minutes lying on the floor when we got home, it was SO worth it.

Sorry for the poor quality but I wanted to include a picture of the whole house!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Sun-Soaked Early Fall Morning

One of the things I have come to appreciate as a grad school grandma is the lack of hangover.  Don’t get me wrong, this girl still loves to party and can likely be convinced to go out any night of the week if the convincer (is that a word?) tries hard enough.  But I have realized how nice it is to wake up to the sun streaming through my curtains and soak it in instead of cursing it and burying my aching head under a pillow.  Today was one of those mornings.  I woke up to bright September sun on my face and when I walked out onto the porch in my jammies I felt it.  That small hint of fall air.  I have said it before and I will say it again…there is something about that fall air.  Something about the way the light looks on leaves that are on the verge of change and catching the first sight of pumpkins at the grocery store.  Now I’m not going to get ahead of myself here because I am fairly certain that Nashville temps will be back in the 90s this week but in the meantime, I am drinking it up.  And though I am tempted to hop in the car and head for the mountains (where fall is pretty much unrivaled), I am instead working on my Case Conference presentation at my favorite coffee shop in East Nashville, enjoying some much needed caffeine, and reveling in the sunshine of this almost-fall day.

Here’s hoping your Saturday is a beauty!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My State Fair is a Great State Fair

            I’ll admit it.  I’m a people watcher.  Not a judger, per say, but more an observer.  I get it from my mom who is famous for watching other people at restaurants and concocting what she is certain is “their story.”  And though a restaurant can provide you with some good material, there is no better place to do some people watching than a fair.  And it was just my luck that the Tennessee State Fair came to town this past weekend.  Oh yes, the carneys rolled into town on Friday night and have set up quite the spectacle.  I am pretty partial to Winston-Salem’s Dixie Classic Fair, and how could I not be with the pig racing and goats in leotards, but I think that the Tennessee State Fair is a close second.  Unfortunately, the world’s tiniest woman and the woman with no bones couldn’t make it this year but the Kenyan Safari Acrobats, delicious funnel cake, and locals averaging around ten teeth for a family of four certainly made up for it!


Lost kids kiosk.

So excited to see the carney's!

Yeah, that's pretty much my worst nightmare.  But hilarious to watch!

Okay so I love the fair and everything but this is kind of sick.

The culprit responsible for my sleepless night and raging stomach worth it.

What's the matter, Marie?  Too much funnel cake for you?

That is a large pumpkin.

I'm a fall baby, remember?

Loving my state fair!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Focus...or lack thereof

            One of my least favorite feelings in the world is looking up from the computer screen (you know, the one you've been staring at like a zombie for the past 30 minutes without coming up for air?) and realizing not only that I am in class, but that I also have absolutely no idea what sweet Dr. Ohde is talking about.  Yeah, that just happened.  So I'm thinking about chalking my apparent ADD up to the fact that it is a rainy Friday morning and instead of trying to make sense of the acronyms, diagrams, and numbers that are flying in my face at the moment, I will share with you some of the goodness that I have come across during my past 40 minutes of studious blog-stalking note-taking.

Loving the new sock trend for Fall.  Not completely sure if I can pull them off but I might give them a try the next time I head into East Nashville.

Obsessed with this post-Nashville flood makeover story.  Though I don't envy their situation at all, the house looks absolutely amazing now that local designer Rachel Halvorson has gotten her hands on it.

Think I might have to try out these cupcakes for the hotel-hosted tailgate this weekend.  Who should I root for?  Vandy?  LSU?

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Not Just Me!

            As it turns out, I'm not the only one around these parts who is feeling stressed.  In fact, it looks like the entire city of Nashville needs to join me in the adoption of my new mantra.  When perusing the local news this afternoon, (because let's face it, the Middle Tennessee local news can be pretty hilarious), I stumbled upon an article which proudly proclaims that Nashville is ranked as number 28 in the Top 50 Most Stressed Out Cities in the United States.  Well, at least I'm not alone!

But come on people...when you live in a city that is this beautiful, what is there to be stressed about?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why am I doing this again?

So this whole externship thing hasn’t exactly gone according to my carefully laid out plan.  In my perfect world, I would have received three offers from my three requested locations and would have had my pick.  But instead, nothing is a sure thing and I am wondering if I will end up with an externship at all.  Okay, that’s the inner drama queen talking.  I know I will end up somewhere and it will be great but all this uncertainty is really taking a toll on that whole 8 hours of sleep thing.

Living life the way I am at this moment, at warp-speed and consumed with school work and worry for what the future may bring, I sometimes have trouble remembering what the whole premise of this blog was in the first place.  Sure, it is a place where I can vent to anyone (or no one) about the stresses that come with my life as grad school grandma and where I can tell funny stories of the everyday adventures of life in clinic.  But this blog was also supposed to be my daily reminder to live in the moment.  To take advantage of the here and now rather than fretting about the future.  Because really, there is so much life happening all around me right now and it would be a shame if my obsession with making plans for the future caused me to miss even one second of it.  So with that in mind…I’ll leave you with a little quote that I read the other day and found oh-so-appropriate.  I plan on reading it every morning and adopting it as my new mantra.  In addition to “worry less, smile more, and eat more froyo.”  Came up with that one all on my own J 

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." - Dawna Markova

Hoping you had a Labor-Free weekend

             Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend.  I also hope that you did your fair share of boozing and BBQ’ing for me.  Though I had a great weekend complete with a Vandy tailgate, dinner at Lime (a favorite of Keith and Nicole), and a night out in the honky-tonk...

Chi O loves our 'dores?!  I'm officially a convert. roommates and I commemorated the holiday staked out on the porch up to our eyeballs in research articles.  We may not have marked the day with burgers and beers but we took it easy and enjoyed the scent of (the neighbor’s) Labor Day BBQ.  But hey, I’ll take this spot over the Eskind Biomed Library any day.