Friday, August 30, 2013

This weekend
Peter and I are going to Captiva.

Captiva circa 2004

Captiva is a sleepy little island off the West Coast of Florida.
My family-
Papou and Yiayia, cousins, and all-
Have vacationed here since the 1970s.
When I was 9,
I wrote a journal entry about why Captiva was my favorite place.
It still is 
{yep, even beats Crete!}
But this weekend is extra special, as I get to bring THIS GUY along!!

{in case you did not realize who 'this guy' was. You silly goose, you.} 

I'm so excited to share this little piece of my childhood paradise with him.
Captiva is not the most glamorous of places,
It hasn't got the most exciting night life,
or the most luxuriant rooms,
But it's quiet.
and laid back,
and oh-so-very relaxing.
Basically, it's exactly what I need this weekend. 

Hope you all {or whoever reads this} have a wonderful weekend!
Here's some fun links to read on your extra day off:

1. An Orthodox Women's monastery based outside of Pittsburgh. Hopefully Peter and I can visit some time
2. Loved this reddit Q&A with the president of MSF, one of the reasons I went into medicine.
3. Would love to peruse through this book at some point! I love Middle Earth artwork, and it's SO COOL that Tolkien did some of his own sketches for The Hobbit. 
4. I really love ρεβύθια, a Greek chickpea soup the served at the cafeteria at University of Crete. It's not exactly easy to find in the U.S., but this recipe really satisfies my cravings! 
{Just sub the rosemary for dill. pounds and pounds of dill. And extra oil and lemon!
5. Thought this was pretty funny. Peter did too!

P.S. Many years to all the Johns who celebrated Thursday!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

I did it.
I passed my boards exams.

It took two tries,
three months,
sleepless nights of feeling discouraged and downtrodden. 
But I made it. 
And I still get to be a doctor
and take care of kids, 
Maybe here in Florida,
or in New Zealand,
or London. 

It doesn't matter. It's happening!
And you know what?

All it took 
{besides hours of studying}
was a little bit of confidence.

cue photo of reflective girl gazing reflectively into reflective water. 

it's always been something I've lacked.
I've never been the coolest girl,
the smartest, 
or the prettiest. 

I've always doubted my choices
my decisions,
and my capabilities.
Well, guess what, guys?

I'm done with that.

This year, 
I'm going to work harder than I ever have.
I'm going to do my best.
And I'm not going to worry any more as much. 
 Wherever I match for residency,
I'm going to be just fine. 

Because I am enough.

Thank You from the bottom of my heart,
to all of the people,
My parents, 
my boyfriend,
my girls, 
those who I've grown up with,
and those who I've never met,
You helped me get here.
So Thank You.

Music Monday

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey Peter! 
{and random others *waves*}

I hope you all had a good weekend.
Mine was nice
I just wish I had been a bit more productive.
Oh well!
I'll use it as motivation to work even harder this week
especially in anticipation of our upcoming trip to
My personal happy place.

Here's a little song to get some pep in your step
Hope you all have a wonderful week <3

(p.s.- did you guys know this was a cover of a Joni Mitchell song?
I had no clue! 
Here is her version, in case you are curious.
I prefer the more rockin' version
but I do enjoy her voice and the piano.
I also like that both versions are unique, rather than just rehashed material
they almost sound like completely different songs!)

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We must choose either to live in order to die, or to die in order to live

 interpretation of St Basil the great
by Father Zacharias of Saint John the Baptist Monastery in Essex.

The Weekend, and some LINKS!

Friday, August 23, 2013

This morning, 
I left my phone in the car,
left the gas tank OPEN after filling up,
and walked into an empty exam room to check out a non-existent patient.

It's definitely time for the weekend, guys.

I've got nothing exciting planned.
Anyone else out there?
Can I please live vicariously through you??

Anyways. Some links for your Weekend reads
{if you want them.}
1. Loving this Tom Petty cover by the Wild Feathers. I'm definitely a fan girl. 
2. Ever wonder what exactly the One Ring is supposed to do? Then this reddit thread is for you.
3. A documentary about Siberian tigers, {the very best kind of tigers, obviously,} available on Netflix. I can't wait to watch it!
4. My kind of Inspiration. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us
5. How to not be an arsehole when traveling. Especially useful for those who wander.

Have a great weekend, errbody! xx 

Weekend Wanders

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This weekend was pretty uneventful
But in a good way. 
One of my roommates' friends came to visit
from out of town. 
And guys....

She brought a puppy.

A teeny-tiny
nine-week old slice of preciousness.
Who clearly has no idea how to control her teeny tiny body

It was a good weekend. 
The girls asked me to watch her while they were at church
Such a HUGE inconvenience...

Promise I am not usually this crabby in the AM. {oh wait, yes I am.}

Tiana's boy, Noah was clearly obsessed and thought that he had somehow fathered a child in spite of his pretty obvious lack of cajones 
I didn't have the heart to break it to him.

If you're not dying right now, then you clearly have no soul  are not normal, my friend.

Oh yea, and then this happened
Yep. This is totally cool with me.

After the pup and her Momma hit the road,
I decided to actually get some work done
{rather than sleep 23 hours of the day away}

So I did a 5 pm run.
Big. Mistake.

Someone should have kindly reminded me 
that 5 pm in Florida 
might as well be 12 noon. 
By the end of it I was dying.
I need to get back into shape, guys!

Oh well. 
This rainbow over the ocean kinda made it worth it.

Please don't mind the red dirt left on my sneakers from the roadtrip through the Grand Canyon/Arches one whole year ago. Yea. I know. Pretty gross.
I then found this fellow clinging to the side of the pool.
Don't worry, 
I let him out well away from the pups
But not before snapping a couple photos to look up what species he was later

How was your weekend, folks?
Peter is making Pizza with roasted veggies from his garden for dinner tonight.
Needless to say, 
I am jealous. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Music Monday

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hello, guys!
One of the very first things that Peter and I bonded over in Greece
was our love of Westerns.
In high school I devoured every Spaghetti Western I could find
and then moved on to pretty much any western/horse-related movie on Netflix. 
I can't remember how I found out about Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.


But seeing as it combined two of my favorite things-
Bob Dylan and Horses-
I was definitely game.
As a film, it's not my favorite of it's genre,
but man, is the soundtrack good.
We had it on record, and I listened to it ad nauseum. 
I bet you didn't know that knocking on heaven's door came from this album-
and trust me, it's not even close to the best track.
This is definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. 
and this
is my favorite song from that album. 

Happy Monday!

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In your anger,
Do not sin.
Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.

source: unknown

Ephesians 4:26

This is one I really ought to remind myself of often :)

Orthodox Apps

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I've been meaning to post this for ages
When I first got my iPhone, 
my Dad showed me these three apps for Orthodox Christians
They're all very useful 
and I wanted to share, 
in case there are other Orthodox folks out there
who might get some use out of them:

The first one is the Daily Readings App
It's great because if you're ever wondering if it's a fast or feast day,
the first page of the app tells you!

In addition it has the daily readings
and Saints and Feast days that you might not know about.
{drumroll, please}
it's free
For a dollar, 
you can get a more comprehensive version of the app.
But the free version works just fine as well.

Then there's the Pray Always App
You might remember the little red Orthodox Prayer books

if you're an old geezer like me.
This app is similar to that book, 
albeit less comprehensive.

I find it good for saying prayers before Holy Communion
Although it kinda looks shady
being on your phone in church...
oh well. 
I still like it. 

You read that right.
for only $2.99 you get the. whole. bible. 
on your phone. 
Or at least the new testament. 
still impressive, if you ask me. 

not to mention, super useful. 
Hopefully one day they'll get the old testament on there as well.

So that's that. 
Needless to say,
No one paid me to write this.
Just thought some other Orthodox Christians 
{such as the newly illumined Peter ;)
might get some good use out of these apps. 

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Last Weekend

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So the last post described what went on last weekend
in regards to the Orthodox Chrismation service
Here's a few leftover photos
of my wonderful family 
and the friends who came 
to support the newly illumined Peter
(don't you love how that sounds? I do!)

Enjoy (:

Before the chrismation, we spent the morning walking around New Castle, Delaware

the guys

doesn't my Mom have the loveliest smile?

the brothers. can you tell they're related (it's the beards) {<--extra points if you knew that was an LOTR quote}

Peter's koumbara with our family, Father James and his daughter

my brother and I used to say we were going to get married when we were really little. Fortunately for Peter {and pretty much everyone involved,} we have since grown out of this phase
My cousin Katia. People say we look like sisters; I don't see it but I take it as a complement since she's utterly gorgeous and all ;)
my favorite photo of the entire weekend. It was heart-melting to see how this little guy and his brothers, who Peter stayed with for a time, looked up to Peter. They were constantly all over him asking to be flipped,
tossed, raced and played games with. sigh.

After my cousins and brother headed back North, Peter took us to this state park near his home 
to show us where he runs

more sighs.
That last one's from Peter's brand new fish eye camera! 
It's teeny tiny and SUPER cool. 
Here's a photo of me NOT figuring out how to take a photo with it: 

And that's all, folks.
Hope everyone has a good week! 
And Happy Panagias (or whatever we say on the dormition of the Theotokos)

What on Earth is a Chrismation?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chrismation (n): 
a rite of initiation 
involving anointing with chrism 
and taking place at the same time of baptism*

Well, that's the dictionary.com definition.
It's sort of correct
and a little unclear as well
{what is chrism?
someone kindly inform me.}

Perhaps at some point
I'll ask Peter to write about his personal experience with this
as I was a puny 6 week old at the time of my chrismation
and hardly capable of lifting my head
or tracking with my eyeballs
{I did a mean post-breastfeeding spit-up though}

if you are entering the Orthodox faith from another one
you must be baptized and chrismated.
and it looks like this: 


If you are entering the Orthodox faith from another one,
in which you've been baptized under the TRINITY
you must be chrismated
It is slightly less embarrassing than the above photo indicates.
and it is really, really, really, beautiful.

You can read in detail about it in the link above

Here's just a few photographs from the service itself.
Prior to this,
Peter was attending catechism classes for about 3 months
and had been attending churches in Greece, the U.K., and America,
both with me and on his own,
for a year and a half,
if not more. 
He's been reading the works of Schmemman, Gilquist, Ware 
(who we were fortunate enough to meet!)
and many other Orthodox writers
for even longer.
The time line for conversion to Orthodox Christianity varies
and is typically longer than that.

waiting for the service to begin

my mother chanted, which just made the day extra-special (she looks very serious because she was a bit nervous, poor thing!)

before entering the church, the convert and his sponsors must say the Nicean creed. Here, Father James is reciting the prayer of chrismation over Peter.

the catechumen is anointed with chrism (holy oil) on the forehead, cheeks, chin, hands, chest and feet

the catechumen is tonsured, offering as sacrifice locks of hair cut in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

One of the final moments- unfortunately Peter's head did not quite fit the cross

the churching, in which Peter was brought into the church from the Narthex for the first time as an Orthodox Christian

can you tell I was excited? That smile is definitely a 10 on the scale of 0 to goofball happy (also, I need a tan.)

My Uncle and the lovely Greek parishioner who served as Peters' Godparents

a couple of family friends who love using Peter as a jungle gym :)

If you are interested in reading the service itself, 
you can find it here.
This is just a small peek 
at what Orthodox "chrismation" entails
I just thought I'd share what I learned this weekend
to the best of my knowledge.
I thought it was interesting,
and thought you might find it interesting too :)

Peter and I were both so touched by how many people-
from both my family and his parish-
who came out to celebrate with him on Saturday. 
Saint Michael's Orthodox Church 
is clearly a special place 
and I am so grateful that Peter found his way there.