Sunday, August 17, 2014

BoOk CLuB ReDuX.

I love BoOk CLuB. There's nothing like reading a book, getting together to chat, and enjoying food and drinks and friends.

But the busy-ness of life can easily distract from even the fun things. So earlier this year, I felt like our BoOk CLuB needed a little bit of sprucing up, an overhaul of sorts to ensure that it worked for everybody who wanted it to remain a part of their lives. It's such a fun thing for me, and I didn't want it to get lost in the madness.

We have friends who have moved over the past few years, and while we've missed them in BoOk CLuB, it's been really cool to have them stay in touch virtually. And of course, over time, we've met new friends who have interest in being involved with a group of reading friends. So the time seemed right to have new friends join us. This has expanded our group, of course, and it's also deepened our conversations. I love this. Don't look now, but we actually sometimes even talk about…the book.

And speaking of talking about the book, we came up with something else that's been really helpful. It's true that any given month can get crazy, leaving little time to read the book we've chosen. So we decided to have a session at the beginning of our time together where we do nothing but talk about the book. And if somebody hasn't been able to finish the book that month, they simply join us a half-hour later for food, drinks, and catching up. It's worked really well so far!

We've read some amazing books during this revamp, too. Books that have made me think and laugh. Books that I haven't been able to put down, no matter how tired I've been from all the busy-ness. And books that have even made me shed a tear, possibly two. Really good books.

We've spent the summer months sitting outside at Silo, sipping wine or fruity champagne cocktails. I feel so fortunate when my boys carve out time for themselves to have 'Boys Night' while I catch my breath with my friends. It's a luxury, to be sure, but it's become a necessity, too.

And looking ahead, maybe BoOk CLuB looks like a pot of homemade soup on a chilly fall night. Or a night at the movies to watch one of our books come alive on the screen.

Whatever it looks like, it's very much alive and well. And I'm all the better for it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

This life.

It's busier than ever, this wonderful life. I'm teaching and practicing and reading and playing and loving. Occasionally traveling, always growing. Surely eating and drinking. Not so often sleeping. But it's worth it. It definitely has a purpose. And it feels good.

It's fueled by this:

And inspired by this:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lured to the Lake.

So it kind of happened like this.

A bunch of guys and a bunch of girls became great friends a long time ago. As far as anyone can tell, they started reshaping each other's lives no later than their high school days. And I think they have plenty of stories they could tell you to back me up on that one. Then away from home they went - to Athens and Blacksburg, to Chapel Hill and Charlottesville, and lots of places in between. The guys soon decided to take a turn as rockstars, and the band called Argus was born.

Now, just so you know, you're in one of two categories: you've either been to an Argus show already, or you just haven't been to an Argus show yet.

College days and road trips thickened the bonds that were, from all accounts, pretty strong to begin with.

Then flash forward a few years. Graduations, new jobs, and a serious relationship or two. Pretty soon, this same bunch of guys and girls expanded to include more girls and more guys. And the hits kept coming. Let me be clear - by "hits" I'm referring less to the Billboard charts and more to things like pleather pants. Sigh.

So it just so happens that I was lucky enough to merge into this wild and crazy bunch when I married the lead guitarist of Argus. It's true that People Magazine and E! Entertainment did not cover the wedding. But it was awesome just the same.

It took no time at all for me to realize that these friends were now my friends, too. And these are some really cool people. They're the kind of people you're genuinely happy to have your husband call his best friends. I think they helped mold him into the guy he is today, so I usually give them plenty of credit (read: occasional blame). Truth be told, I'm so happy my son gets to grow up with people like this in his life.

Speaking of that, what about the adorable Argus kids? First, a beautiful baby girl...then three more mini-rockstars came along in July, August, and September of 2011. If I didn't know better, I'd think the band had a plan. Another sweet girl joined the mix just this past summer with another little one scheduled to arrive next spring...and there are surely more to come.

So maybe now you can understand how it is that I found myself on the shoreline of Lake Lure, North Carolina, this past weekend. After months of planning, this super group of friends migrated from Colorado, Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina to convene at a big house on the lake.

What does a weekend like that look like, you ask? Well, it's hard to say exactly. But if I had to put it into actual words, I would say it looks like road trips in overstuffed Honda Pilots. And chaotic breakfasts with sippy cups and five pots of coffee. Like pumpkin beers in the sunshine overlooking the lake and distant mountains. It looks like paddleboats and open-water rescues. (Don't ask). And hikes and snacks with little kids and big kids. Like board games and puzzles and football. Like burgers on the grill and chili on the stove. It looks like late-night talks by the fire. Like guitars playing and babies singing along (wearing onesies instead of pleather). It looks like the good life. Like lifelong friendships. Like love. And like something you hope you get to do year after year after year. For a really long time.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Run = Cupcake.

Early run this morning before heading into a rainy (second cup of coffee) kind of day.

And I got to cap off an enjoyable Thursday by visiting with my buddies at BoOk CLuB tonight. This is how we roll:

A little bit of book, a little more wine, and a whole lot of yummy.

Sure makes that early morning run a little more worthwhile...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

rare treats!

Date morning. Warm drinks and delicious pastries from Camino Bakery. Just with my best (big) guy.

Rare treat indeed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living. And Telling About It.

So...what if 'Shots & Stitches' were to morph into something more like 'Shorter Shots & Sweeter Stitches?'

And the reason I ask is because I realize I haven't blogged since, you know, last April. Which was one of three times I blogged all. year. long. Is it that blogging is less important to me now? No. Well, I mean, yes. But no, not exactly. Not completely.

If you go back to when I first started these writings, I was a PA practicing in orthopedics, reading books, drinking coffee, running races, loving my friends, and hanging out with the coolest guy I know. Flash forward a few blog posts (and years!) later, and I'm a PA practicing in anesthesia while trying to teach other people how cool it is to be a PA, too; still reading books and drinking (more) coffee; running (fewer) races; forever loving my friends (in spite of our crazybusy lives); and now hanging out with the coolest two guys I know. See what I did there? Did you see that?

I got older. No, wait! That's not it.

I'm But without telling about it. And even that's probably not exactly true, if you decide that Facebook and Twitter constitute 'telling about it.' Me personally? I do think that counts for something. But I was thinking that maybe if I let myself 'live and tell about it' in shorter spurts, maybe (just maybe) I'll be able to add a little blogging back into the balance, too.

So you should consider yourself warned because it's probably gonna look kind of crazy.

Like mochas meet Legos. Like BoOk CLuB meets New Balance. Like 'Real Simple' magazine meets takeout-Thai. Like Sesame Street meets Downton Abbey.

Oh, it could so happen. And I hope it does. Because I really want to live and tell about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Back in 2010, I took an epic journey. And it was pure magic - all 13.1 miles of it. I'd never before experienced anything quite like it, nor can I say I've done anything like it since. After all, how often does it actually snow in Orlando, Florida, on the day of your first half-marathon?! And ever since I crossed the Finish Line at Epcot on that freezing cold January morning, I've been longing to do another Disney race.

So a couple of 10Ks, a few 5Ks, a half-marathon (for two!), and one sweet baby boy later, I'm going back. As of today, I'm signed up for the 2013 Disney World Half-Marathon...and listen up, Orlando - it's not just one but two Payne sisters toeing the line!

So bring on the miles and the magic, Mickey Mouse...we're coming back for MORE.