Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anderson!

We have been blessed with many new friends since Richard moved to DC four years ago, and Max and Ashley have become two of our closest friends here. I remember very clearly our first dinner with Max and Ashley at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle on one of my early DC visits, when they showed up almost an hour late. We had a wonderful time regardless and laughed most of the night, and I don't think we've both been on time to a dinner ever since.

They shared the exciting news that they were expecting late last winter, and we have watched Ashley's belly grow over the past several months. Sweet Anderson Joseph Pusz was born last Thursday morning, on September 22nd, and we got to meet him last Thursday evening. He is adorable and looks just like his daddy. Welcome to the world, Anderson!
Max and Richard with Anderson

the five of us- doesn't Ashley look great?

We threw Max and Ashley a baby shower back in August, and I realized I never shared those pictures on the blog. Alana and Bryan also helped host, and we had fun putting everything together.
it's hard to see, but the ribbon had colorful animals on it to coordinate with Ashley's nursery theme

monkeys and zebras

playing the "what candy bar is in the diaper?" game

Walter Reed friends

loved these lanterns and poms we found at Party City

hosts and hostesses

And in other news, since this seems to be the year of the baby (and 2nd baby!), how absolutely precious is this video? Jess was my roommate at Clemson, and her daughter, Ella, is one of my most favorite redheads. I love her, her mom Jess and dad Paul and am so excited for this awesome family. Their love of Christ emanates in everything they do!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

where the blue ridge yawns its greatness

Richard and I had the distinct privilege of being in my favorite place on earth last weekend. And it was glorious- a Clemson win over a ranked Auburn team that had a 17 game winning streak, including last year's National Championship game. Death Valley absolutely rocking with cheering fans who stayed the whole game through and a team that didn't get discouraged, even down 14. Seeing family and friends who we love being around. Sitting next to the same people my parents have sat next to at games for 30+ years and hearing how my dad used to bring my mom to games while they were dating. Having fan after fan in Section UE ask how my dad was doing post hip-replacement and assuring them he'd be back this season. Feeling like I'd come home and not wanting to the day to end. Going to bed with an exhausted smile on my face and praying for the day to come soon when we can spend all of our Saturdays in God's Country. And for a win on Saturday over Florida State!

Hard to believe that my brother who was NINE when I started Clemson is now a senior!

most exciting 25 seconds of college football

stadium full- Auburn fans came out in full force

Can barely see the score, but that's Clemson 38- Auburn 24

students rushing the field

happy, happy fans

loved seeing Hannah, who filled me on the Racquettes journey to the tennis combos state championship- wish I could cheer them on in Charleston in a few weeks!

how precious was Miss Darcy's debut of the Clemson cheerleading uniform?! Thanks for having us, Amanda!

Darcy's photography skills- I see a bright future in photography!

Friday, September 16, 2011

i'm only a bill

Do you remember this video? From School House Rock? My sweet husband, whose knowledge of the legislative process is somewhat limited, likes to sing this song to me whenever I talk about bills we're working on in the office. In the current political world we live in, where few things these days are bi-partisan, it excited me to see a piece of legislation that I spent a great deal of time considering and talking about in meeting after meeting with lobbyist actually become law. President Obama signed the "America Invents Act" into law today, a patent reform bill that has been ten years in the making.

The bill came through the Judiciary Committee, a committee that my boss is on, so we were there for the debate and mark-up. The House version was slightly different than the one the Senate initially passed, so after it passed in the House, it had to go through conference committee and then back over to the Senate. It passed there (for a second time), and President Obama signed it today at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Schoolhouse Rock version is remarkably accurate and incredibly catchy. Enjoy a few minutes back in the 1980's!

Friday, September 9, 2011

never forget

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

George Bush, September 11, 2001

As I have watched the 9/11 footage over the past few days, I remembered just how devastating those images were. Remembered the staggering number of people killed or hurt in the attacks. And remembered the feeling of solidarity that the nation had in the days following 9/11.

I was a junior at Clemson ten years ago today. I watched the footage of the first tower being hit in my Lightsey Bridge apartment with my roommate Susan and couldn't understand how a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I had been to the WTC just a few months earlier during my first trip to New York City and knew how densely populated the financial district was. But I thought it was a terrible accident and didn't realize that we were under attack until the second plane hit.

I went to my 9:10 class in Sikes Hall, where footage played on all the mounted TVs in the building. My professor spoke for a few minutes then dismissed class, and classes were canceled for the rest of the day. I remember walking across the library bridge with my dear friend Hannah and finally getting ahold of mom. We both cried as I assured her I was fine. Hannah and I went up to our sorority hall and continued to watch the sad, sad images from New York and later DC and Pennsylvania.

I was fairly involved in campus life at that point and had several extracurricular meetings scheduled for that Tuesday evening, and every one of them was canceled, except for a Rho Lambda meeting. We ate Zaxby's, put together new members ribbons and tried to figure out just what we could do to help from Clemson, SC.

I vaguely remember campus blood drives and a prayer vigil at my church then, DCF, but I remember more clearly the candlelight vigil we held on Bowman Field one year after the attack, in the shadow of Military Plaza. By that point, we were deeply entrenched in war, and it was especially poignant with the statues of cadets close-by.

It's odd to be in DC ten years later, with the threat of more attacks. I have never seen security tighter around the Capitol and in transit stations, and Richard and I are staying away from downtown today.

The only thing that gave me comfort that day and still gives me comfort today is knowing that God is in control. In the midst of the world's worst trouble, He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Today I praying for comfort in that promise, for the victims and their families, for men and women in the armed services today who are away from their homes fighting the war on terror and serving domestically, and praying that we never again face an attack like that again.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Since yesterday's post was slightly depressing, I wanted to post pictures of our happy morning. We had heard of the elaborate Labor Day celebration in our Kensington neighborhood, but we were out of town last year and missed it. I heard the drums this morning at about 10 am and rushed outside to see a very impressive parade winding right down the street behind ours! I wasn't expecting much- there are only about 2000 people inside the town limits- but it was quite a patriotic show, full of music, fire trucks, cheerleaders and politicians. The parade lasted almost an hour, then the street festival began. Richard and I wandered downtown and took in all the vendor booths and a wonderful art show in our town hall. So fun!

Gaithersburg High School Marching Band

US Rep Chris Van Hollen, our neighbor and the Ranking Member on the Budget Committee- it's been entertaining to watch he and Paul Ryan go back and forth this Congress

local community band

I wish I'd gotten a better picture of this lady- she had her bare feet propped up and was smoking a cigarette

fire trucks

Montgomery County Republicans- so they DO exist!

Montgomery Blair cheerleaders


It was a day filled with community celebration, a little work around the house, a lunch of maple bbq chicken and tortellini and tomato pasta and some shopping too (I got Marc Jacobs sunglasses, some Spanx tights, a Juicy Couture top for my cousin, and a pair of Hanky Panky's to use a lingerie shower gift for less than $90!), capped off with pizza and movie with Richard. If only we could extend the weekend one day longer!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

sunday night thoughts

It's a strange thing to wash another woman's blood out of your husband's tennis shoes. To take him dinner at the hospital because he's on trauma call and hear about a sweet elderly couple who made a Sunday afternoon trip to Target and wound up in the Emergency Department after an ill-fated left turn. To know the blood came as he and the trauma team worked frantically, unsuccessfully, to save the wife's life after realizing the husband had lost his. And then to see him clearly emotionally affected as he described her last minutes while he ate his turkey sandwich and pasta salad.

It's what makes living with a doctor in training a little different than living with a lawyer or a banker. It's why our marriage often has an extra element of stress that's hard to describe to friends outside of this residency world- a world full of nights alone, little vacation, long work hours, including weekends, and extra laundry. But it also makes us value the time we DO have together and the success stories of patients who are saved. And it frequently reminds us that life on this earth is fleeting.

I have loved listening to Laura Story's song "Blessings" as of late, and I couldn't help but think of these lines from the song as I drove home tonight.

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And so I washed the tennis shoes, prayed for the couple's family and my husband, and thanked God for my safety and that of my family, grateful for another day here.