Sunday, April 29, 2012


I know I mentioned Wildtree in my last post, so let me take a few minutes to let ya know about it.

I am a big fan of trying to keep things simple when it comes to food.  I always told my patients, the closer it is to nature's form, the better.  For example, apples are better for you than applesauce and potatoes are better than potato chips.  I would encourage them to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and skip the middle where the premade/processed food lives.  Our diets are essential to our health.  I can't even tell you how much your food is helping/hurting you.  Most chronic disease can be improved, if not reversed, by changing diet alone!  I promise it!  

Knowing that this is something that I preach, I am always looking for ways to practice it.  In Shelbyville, it is hard.  The organic section of our grocery store is a few dozen products.  So when Annie had a party and said it was organic food, I was curious.  Then thrilled, when the food was good!  I talked with the rep and found out more about the company, Wildtree.  

Wildtree was developed by a pharmacist after she realized that her children had food allergies and sensitivities and could not handle preservatives, etc.  Her mixes became so popular, it eventually became a business and before too long, Wildtree was up and going.  After talking to the rep, Anna, I decided it made sense and the benefits outweighed the risk I would be taking in "starting" a business.  Plus, who doesn't love good food!  And the best part, this food is not just good tasting, it is good for ya!  No additives, no preservatives, no genetically modified foods, no MSG, and organic (certified organic this summer).  I am pumped about it!

I really can't say enough about how easy/simple the products are.  Meal planning is easy and if you are in a rut in the kitchen, Wildtree will snap you out of it.  They have everything from appetizers to desserts.   I have tried a lot of the food and dig it!  The butter grapeseed oil is fab and so is the garlic grapeseed oil.  There is a bacon oil, chili oil, hickory smoke oil and they make it so easy to add flavor to your food.  Plus grapeseed oil is higher in heart healthy fats than even olive oil and it has a higher smoking point, so it doesn't burn as easy.  Zac and I use the butter oil to grill steaks and don't think we will ever go back.  Want bacon and eggs without the guilt, add bacon oil to your eggs!  The beer breads are awesome.  The skillet meals rock.  Every dip has been great (the dill dip, guacamole mix and garlic galore just to name a few) and the dessert mixes are SO simple.  They have pizza crust mixes, spaghetti and alfredo sauce,  terikayi, orange, and asian plum sauce, dozens of soup mixes, pancake mix and even gluten free products (muffins, brownies, bread, etc.).  I'm tellin' ya, you will want to make a wishlist!

These are the products I got for FREE after my tasting.
I can't even wait to try them all!

This is my "host sample" banana bread that I just made tonight.  I added an egg, water and butter.  I also added bananas, cause I had 2 that needed to be used up.  These products are just as easy as anything you'd buy at the supermarket, but without the bad stuff!

I have a website now that I encourage you all to take a few minutes to look over.  If you would like to see a catalog (you can download one from the bottom of the page) let me know and I'll email/drop off one for you to look over. You can place orders online and it ships right to your house.  If you do have enough products you are interested in, then book a tasting with me. You get 15-20% of whatever products are sold in FREE food for you and your family.  If you buy and fall in love with the products, they have something called a "culinary club" membership that is a 1 time $25 fee and then you get 20% off of every product you buy for life.  Can you go wrong?!  Anyway, I am thrilled with the company and the products and look forward to being able to supply my future patients with affordable, healthy food options.  I really can't wait to do a "cooking" class for them.  

If you have any questions, message me or email me at  If you are local and want to come to a tasting, I'm having one on the 4th and you can bet it's gonna be delicious!  

PS check out the recipe section on my webpage.  All the Wildtree products are searchable and we figured out the hard stuff, what to do with them!  I doesn't get easier!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I'm up to

My life has been a bit random lately.  Each day is a new adventure in teaching.  As I mentioned before, I like it.  Subbing is not particularly dfficult.  I think maybe it's because I can be physically intimidating  (Thank you height and belly graudally protruding more than my boobs) and I do think I have a voice that commands attention. projects if nothing else, but that's a post for a different day.  But really, I don't catch too much sass and the problem kids don't seem too bad to/for me.

 Perhaps it's my brutual honesty which allows me to out-smartass my smartass kids. A friend once described it as "tactlessness."  Which only made me laugh and tell him his sketchers tied-so-tigh-there were-no-laces-showing-over-the-tongue of the shoe which then necessitated double knotting of the laces, was super dorky.  Especially on a 28 year old.  Rude, maybe, essential to finding an appropriate wife for my buddy, for sure.  I digress....

I've been teaching, and Wildtree-ing (which I'll post about soon) and working on paintings and tryin to get ready for Ford.  He gets irritated each time I sit down and then starts mini-punching my lady business, but that's life for now.  I have big plans for my little man, but for now I'm working on his room.

This may come as a shock to you...but fabric is a little bit like crack to me.  I have been on the lookout since I found out we are having a boy.  I can't wait to start his quilt.  I am trying to decide just how big of one he needs and if I'll be keeping it a simple square quilt or if I will try to whip out a pattern.  Probably just squares cause my favorite part is laying it out.  I do it randomly.  I'm not one for uniformity.  Eyeballin it.  That's how I roll.  

These are what I have picked out for now.  
This and this and this and this and this and this and this and this.

That's about $80 so far and I can't stop!  Those are just what I picked out on Fabricworm.  There's more just kickin' it in my Etsy favorites list.  I am a woman on fire here!  I know that I want Ford's room to be orange and green and grey and turquoise, but like a dark turquoise.  It's gonna be dope!  Yep, dope.   
We have a crib now and I love it!  It's dark and big and manly.  Like my husband...except for the dark thing.  Zac is decidedly light.  I'll post pictures of it soon.  The crib I mean, not my husband.  Well, probably both.   

Zac and I just made it up to Wisconsin.  What in the world is in Wisconsin you ask....a weekend of continuing education for me and an excuse and opportunity for Zac to sleep in.  I use a company called Standard Process as my primary provider of supplements.  They are truly great products.  One hallmark of a great supplement company is that they educate their providers AND that they are an open book when it comes to the processing of their products.  Standard Process does both.  In fact, this entire weekend I'm attending is put on by them.  Tomorrw Zac and I tour their organic farms and take a tour of their manufacturing facilities.  The next day is all lectures for me and Zac will be at the driving range until it's time for food.  We have been looking forward to a weekend away.  I think our last stay away from home other than for holidays was when Ollie had open heart surgery last June.  Regardless, it's been too long.

So this is what I've been up to.  I have a lot of posts coming up soon.  Get excited folks! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I don't know if you know this but....

And that folks, is what I like to call, the truth. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012


In the interim between practice and, well, practice, I've begun a new short term adventure, Substitute Teaching.  It is bizarre to say the least.  So far I have been a 6th grade teacher, a high school resource teacher, high school math and now 8th grade science teacher.  I honestly like it.  Plus, it turns out that I am smarter than kids and therefore my sarcasm puts them in their place with ease.  In addition, I feel like I can pretty much be as rude as I wanna be in order to get them to sit down, shut it, and learn their work.  Case in point, I asked a Junior the other day if she actually knew how to do her work, or just how to copy it from her friend's paper.  She looked at me like I had slapped her....which I may have done verbally.  In all fairness, her cheating came directly after my announcement that I knew how to do their math and that I was happy to help them if they had any problems.  

Just a few minutes ago I handed out the 8th grade science reading assignment.  I told them to come to me with any problems but I expected they were all capable of reading and filling out a worksheet.  He said "some of them aren't."  I said that I would "venture that is not accurate."  He said "venture...accurate....that's new vocabulary in here."  I told him I would get him a dictionary.  He told me he didn't appreciate that.  I told him "that makes 2 of us." 

I am a good sub.  I really am.  I want these kids to leave with their homework done, with a full grasp of whatever we covered for the day.  Most of the time I really like the kids too.  They crack me up with the things they say and do.  I laughed til I cried the other day when a high schooler named Jude told me he hurt his ankle over the weekend.  When I asked him how, he said "playin hackey sack."  Then I couldn't get myself together.  Playing hackey sack is a legit injury NEVER....especially not since the 90's.  

Anyway, I've been lovin life and substitute teaching.  I hope I run across your kiddo, maybe you don't :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Birthday Gifting

My dear husband used to be bad at giving gifts.  He has really upped his game.  Last year he bought me a beautiful anniversary band.  This year I was expecting a flip video camera.  It's all I asked for.  Zac didn't want me to have one.  He told me it was stupid since my actual camera can record video.  I was irritated that he shot down my birthday idea.  

I have to admit, I was a bit of a jerk about my birthday prospects this year.  I talked to mom about it.  Told her I couldn't imagine what he was going to get me if not a camcorder.  She told me "maybe he already has a plan."  I was adamant that she was wrong.  He would wait until the last minute.  There was no way he had anything planned.  Adamant.  I was wrong.  

I walked in to this beauty sitting in my living room.  

I bought it at an estate auction last summer.  I had sanded it a bit to avoid major splinters, but otherwise it had been sitting in my dad's woodroom in the shop since.  I had forgotten that it needed TLC to be honest.  I hadn't mentioned anything about it to Zac in months.  He really, really shocked me by sanding and sealing it.  It looks AWESOME!

Check out it's amazing wheels and hardware.

Not to mention, it looks fab in my living room.  

I love my mix of primitives, mid-century modern and industrial stuff.  It's so me.  
I also love having a husband that will put a little thought into a gift for me.  I still can't get over how good it looks.  And I, in no way, regret bawling over it.  

Thank you Zac, for a great birthday present.  And the Ball jar of sweet williams you picked for me.  You are the best!

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's Kramer Time

Well folks, it's that time of year again.  Aside from the slew of birthdays actually on the 10th, I have a lot of important ladies born around me.  My sister-in-law Sara had a birthday yesterday and today, on good ol' Friday the 13th, is my best friend Courtney's day.   I wrote about her last year to celebrate our 26th birthday.  This year we have reached the ripe old age of 27.   

She and I have both had a lot of changes over the last year.  The most important probably being the new additions to our families.  Courtney has been married for 5 years I think...yes 5.  This is a picture of Court and her husband Matt.

Aren't they cute?  I know, they totally are.  Imagine my excitement when she shows up to tell me she was having a baby.  SO PUMPED!

Then I got more excited as she got bigger.

And she got great maternity pictures that made me kinda stop hating maternity shots.  

Plus, how could you not love a girl that is so happy she can't stop her happy-squinty-eye when she holds your nieces. 

And truly loves and appreciates the handmade things you work on for her baby.

I'm so glad she has a fantastic babe of her own now.  Hazel Jane is beautiful.  She even trusts me enough that she let me adjust baby Hazel to help her go to the bathroom.  She says I can adjust her everytime I see her...and I love being able to take care of Hazel in a way most others can't.  It makes me feel special....which makes me feel dweeby to write, but it's true.  

When Courtney called me yesterday, I was so thrilled to be able to tell her to "Get excited, I am carrying Hazel's future husband, Cliff.  She responded, "OF COURSE you are.  Of course you are having a boy and of course he will be Clifford Stuart."  We both agree, the marriage of Cliff and Hazel will be epic :)

So happy birthday to my best friend.  I love you dearly.  I am lucky to have you and can't wait for you to be the mother of my daughter-in-law.  It's happening.  For sure. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're having a.....


It is official.  Zac and I got to see him, man bits and all today.  We are super excited about it.  Super excited.  I've even been to my sister's house already and have washed my first load of baby clothes handed down from Everett.  I had a feeling that baby was gonna be a boy and turns out my mama's intuition was correct. 

Now for some additional great news, we have a name too!  

World meet Clifford Stuart Ballard!  

Zac's middle name is Clifford after his grandpa.  Clifford was actually called Kip and Zac is called Kip by his whole family.  We feel very fortunate to have a family tradition.  Not only did I get a family engagement ring, but we also have a namesake and we dig it.  He is named Stuart after my own Dad who is one of our biggest blessings. 

He will probably be called Cliff, or Ford, depending on what he looks like.  For now I get a kick out of calling him Cliff Stu.  Say it out loud, it is amusing.  Now feast your eyes on our darling boy.

This is his profile.  I can't believe how much we can see now.  He is so big.  

This is his face.  He is head down right now, so it was hard to get a clear image.  I think the 3D ultrasound is amazing.  

His face again.

The funny spot on his nose is actually his hand.  He kept putting his hand in his mouth which made it harder to really see him but just look at those full lips.  He's handsome already!

Oh gosh.....I'm crying again.  I am a lucky girl that will soon have two Ballard men to live with and love on daily.  I am still trying to wrap my mind around all of it,  but am so grateful for baby Cliff.  He is awesome already!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Suzy Homemaker

I am a busy body.  I know it's easy for everyone to call it nesting, but trust me, it's been a long term condition for me.  I am lucky to make it through a movie without starting a project and being up and down 16 times.  Easter was no exception.  I have a list a mile long I'd still like to get done before baby and while I still feel like doing anything.  My big project this weekend was cleaning cabinets.  

You may or may not remember this post.  What I didn't know at the time was that this was just the beginning of my bug problem.  My neighbor gave my husband and I roaches and it was disgusting.  I have NO tolerance for such things.  I had my house professionally sprayed.  I bug bombed.  I cussed.  And eventually we saw no more bugs.  That didn't stop me from spreading poison and traps in my cabinets to prevent ANY insect from stepping foot on my counter.  

The more I thought about it, the more I knew I had to get rid of it.  The last thing I want is insecticide anywhere near a baby bottle and I didn't want little hands on poison.  De-bug bombing my place has been pain, but I am making progress.  I started with windows, curtains and blinds and that was a success.  I have cleaned out closets, reorganized under sinks in all the bathrooms and kitchen and then started on the cabinets.  

I had to sweep out the powdered poison and wipe them all out with soapy water.  After they were dry I ran some Raid around the edges and then contact papered the shelves (Which was going surprisingly well until I was pulling the sticky paper from it's backing and managed to paper cut my lip.  That's right.  My lip.  These things only happen to me).
All that was left was washing EVERYTHING and putting it back in all neat and tidy.  It wouldn't have been so bad except I have no dishwasher and washing every dish you own is a slow, slow process.  

But, doesn't everything look so tidy now?

The fridge even got in on the action!  Full cleaned out, drawers washed and condiments organized.  

Aren't you proud of me?!  I was too...until I remembered that my baby's room looks like this...

*Sob.  I will get it all done.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  I definitely have big plans for getting it all done.  I have been letting the baby's room be a disaster because we go THURSDAY for our ULTRASOUND to find out if we are having a boy or girl!  After that I have a feeling I will want to kick it into high gear and I have decor in mind for either a little miss or a little mister so I just need the go ahead to get my color scheme in order.  

I gotta get my walls wiped down and baseboards cleaned and repainted and touch up paint on my walls.  The projects abound!  Let me know if you wanna help :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Sunny Day

Today is a special day.  Very special indeed you see!  For today is the day of my birth, 27 years ago. 
 Can you even freakin believe that!  I am 27.  It is bizarre.  What is maybe more bizarre is that it is also my Mom's birthday, my Aunt Jackie's birthday, and my Aunt Jennifer's birthday.  Mom and Aunt Jackie are twins and two of the youngest 53 year-olds you'll find.  Aunt Jennifer doesn't disclose her age.  I figure I will get to that point.  I hope to be more mysterious with age.  I predict it won't be that I'm more mysterious....I actually think I'll have less memory and therefore answer your questions with questions which may have the same effect.  I think I can sell it as "mystery" based on the tone of my voice and subtle narrowing of my eyes.  I believe you will agree....eventually.

Anywho, as I get a little older, and a little wiser, I find that I frequently have no response to the question "What do you want for your birthday?"  This year was not much different really.  I tried to "prep" with some things I definitely would like.  I tried to get Maggie to help me scrapbook my honeymoon.  When that failed, she bought me some pillows from TJMaxx. Since Annie wasn't with us, I told her that she could donate to Sunny, my girl on Reece's Rainbow.  

I know I've written about Reece's Rainbow before, but you should definitely look into them if you have some money to throw around or need a charitable donation for your taxes.  Sunny is a little girl that needed a good home.  I'm happy to say that as Reece's Rainbow did their Angel Tree promotion this Christmas, Sunny's family found her.  I can't wait to see pictures as she gets older.  I just think she is amazing and so cute! 

So, if you find yourself sitting behind your computer today thinking, "I need to celebrate Abbie today." Please hop on over to Sunny and add a little to her adoption fund or visit their family's fundraising site and buy a t-shirt to support them.  There is nothing I'd like to see more than that sweet baby (and her sister) making it home and knowing that I helped a little.  

P.S. Happy birthday to my mama.  You are so very loved!
Happy birthday to my aunties.  You are kinda loved too.... but mom stole your thunder.
(hahaha "kinda" cracked me up)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Random facts, Volume 6

I am the family driver.  Doesn't matter where Zac and I are going, how far or how near, you can bet I'm chauffeur.  Zac says he shouldn't have to drive because he drives all day long for work.  I sort of feel like the time between 8 and 5 is a black hole and I shouldn't have to credit my husband with work driving.....but the control freak in me hates the way he is on the gas, off the gas, on the gas, so it's easier just to be the driver.  Sometimes this is detrimental as Zac is happy to sit and play games on his cellphone the entire ride and all I want is someone to praddle on endlessly with.  It is a conundrum, but it is how it goes every time we leave the house.

On Tuesday night I was expecting a call.  Zac had demanded that I drive him to fill up our water bottles (another quirk for another random fact volume) and then drive us to Dairy Queen.  Any pregnant girl in her right mind doesn't turn down a DQ treat.  Really, ANYONE in their right mind wouldn't say no.  Especially considering how delicious it is and how much I love ice cream.   

So away we go and immediately, I get the call I am expecting, which turns into a conference call.  Luckily the car was stopped and Zac was filling bottles, so I wasn't as distracted.  This is about the time I realize, I just walked out of the house.  No purse, no I.D., no driver's license, but more importantly, no cash to buy treats.  I wrote Zac a little note.  He read my note, then signaled that he needed a pen.  This is what I got back from him. 

That definitely says HOME AND SHIT!  With shit underlined for emphasis.  He is a man of few words, but gets his point across.  It cracked me up!  I did take him home, he did run inside and I did take him to DQ and I did mute my phone so I wouldn't have to explain that I was as concerned about my ice cream situation as I was about the call.  What can I say? I am an efficient multitasker.   

Now I just have two questions...where can I drive ya?  And will you be buying me a twist cone? 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pinteresting meals

Zac and I both like to cook.  Genuinely like it, but find it to be pretty time consuming and I find myself wanting to be increasingly lazy.  I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Mexican Stuffed Shells and figured I could pretty easily whip that up.  I always read through recipes and then follow them generally.  

I had leftover taco meat, but I needed to expand it a bit, so I added in a can of diced tomatoes and a little bit of the Philidelphia Cooking Cremes (which are delicious) Santa Fe Blend and thought it looked and tasted pretty good.  

I boiled up some shells and added my simple filling.

Covered in cheese and baked until it had melted down.

Zac and I topped them with sour cream and cilantro and I must say, they were delicious.  Zac even ventured to call them excellent.  Quick and easy meal success here folks.  That's what it's about!

This is another of Zac and my favorite quick meals.  We take store bought pierogis (you can get them at Wal-Mart in the freezer section by the bread.  they are potato and cheese filled really can't go wrong here people) and throw them on a baking sheet with chopped onions and peppers and some type of sausage/brat.  We toss in olive oil, salt and pepper it up and bake in the oven.  

Just take it out and toss it around halfway through and then be thrilled that dinners done and it took you 5 minute to prep.  Hope these couple ideas become a couple meals at your house.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My last day

You all know that I've had big changes happening lately.  One of the biggest is that I left practice in Pana.  It was a little sooner than I'd have liked, but it seems that time moves faster everyday.  From the beginning of the year to the end of my contract happened in the blink of an eye.  I was unprepared.  I've been at the office for nearly 3 years.  You would think in that time I'd have recorded testimonials and gotten pictures and that sort of thing, but no.  I waited until the last 3 days.  Here are just a few of my darling patients.  

This is Ross.  I try to tell myself not to get too attached to patients.  But that's just not in my nature.  Instead, I get really attached.  I love them.  And I love Ross.  Can't help it, and you couldn't either, trust me.  I know Ross, really know him.  I can tell you about his life and he could tell you about mine.  That's the relationships I have with my patients.  I don't walk out of the room unsure of their names. I walk out knowing their kids' names and where they live and what they do.  I know their hobbies and how their families annoy them.  

Ross told me about his shop and his wife and about church.  He and I talked about being landlords and our mutual love of junk.  He was a weekly patient and on days he really hurt, he let me button the cuffs on his shirt for him.  That's why I love Ross.  

This is Linda.  She is a doll.  She wrote this testimonial for me...

I met Dr. Ballard the early part of 2010 when she spoke at a cancer support group meeting.  After listening to her I came to believe that she could help me take control of health issues.  She was able to make suggestions regarding prescription drugs that could be reduced and encouraged me to take supplements that would eventually help cut back on even more prescription drugs.  My medical doctor was willing to accept her suggestions and work with us.  There has been much success in following her advice.  My health has improved greatly.
In February 2012 I started chiropractic treatment with Dr. Ballard for Restless Leg Syndrome.  My symptoms had worsened to the extent that my feet jerked when I tried to sleep.  There was also tingling and numbness in my feet and a sensation that something was stuck on the bottom of my feet.  After starting chiropractic treatment the symptoms gradually diminished and by the 7th treatment I was experiencing no symptoms. 
I found Dr. Ballard to be very knowledgeable about the human body and how it works and able to communicate in a way that I could understand.  My experience with Dr. Ballard has been life changing.

How could I not feel lucky to have an opportunity to help her?  

This is Dora.  She is the grandma of Gina, the massage therapist that rented space in the office.  She is just the sweetest thing going.  She bought me a hallmark flower that blooms when you push a button.  She dropped it off and had to leave because she couldn't compose herself.  I was glad she left, or I'd have been in the same boat too and I still had hours left in the day.  Crying my friends, is a slippery slope. 

This is Shannon.  Years ago he dated my cousin.  For the last few, I got to whip him into shape every so often.  I was thrilled to get to take a picture with someone that was bigger than me.  He got a kick out of me saying so.

These are Gina's girls.  Emily, Elly, Claire, and Kaylee.  They are all fantastic and beautiful.  Kids are my favorite to work on.  They respond to care quickly.  Plus, it is adorable and makes ya feel good when a mom brings in a little one that's been asking for you because they know they you can help them feel better.  Kaylee (the littlelest) was especially good about demanding to see "Docta Bowowd" when her ears hurt or she had a headache.  I will take those demands any day of the week.   

This is Geri.  She is just a wonderful person.  She was always so positive and caring.  She is one of the patients who's names you hope to see on the book because she brightens the day.  She gives off good energy and she really understood what we had to offer.  She appreciated me and I sure appreciated her.  

This is Don.  I only got to treat him for about a week before I left.  Apparently I made quite the impression because I got a hug and a kiss when I left.  He is so good natured you can't help but be happy around him. 

This is Sharon.  She made me cry.  Her video says it all.  

This is Doug.  Another of my big guys.  He works a tough job now and is out of town a lot but the office was one of his first stops.  We tried our best to keep him healthy.  He is a happy guy and I'll miss him.  I was a big fan of his deep voice and his love of motorcycles...and that he's the first person to make me look remotely small in these pictures :)

 This is Angie.  she's gonna write a testimonial for me too.  I'll post it up for ya sometime.

 This is Barb.  I just love her.  In fact, I just love her, her husband, her son-in-law, and her daughter.  They are all wonderful, but Barb takes the cake.  She is sassy and funny and I was always glad to see her.  There was more than one occassion when she was glad to see me.  She saw Dr. Beyers for a bit, but said it was awkward since he is on the school board and she teaches.  She said it was like having your boss work on you.  I told her "who do you think works on me Barb?"  She was not convinced.  I will miss her sense of humor and occassional cuss word that she always semi-whispered.  You're a peach Barb.

This is Rodney.  Just look at the grin and tell me you don't like him.  You do.  I do.  He cracked me up and I hope I'll get to work on him in the future.  If not, I'll appreciate that smile and his super freckled face in pictures. 

This is Donna.  She's Geri's mom.  She is soft spoken and, if Dora's not the sweetest thing goin, Donna is.  Even if I wasn't treating her, she'd stop and ask how I was.  She'd ask about Ollie.  Donna is just the epitome of nice.    

This is Rhonda.  Excuse her red eyes, she cried.  She was out the door before I got to the point where  I couldn't handle myself, but it took a lot to keep it together.  Rhonda is just a dear woman.  She genuinely liked me and I'll never forget the look she gave me when I told her I was having a baby.  She was pumped.  Rhonda is one of my cheerleaders.  She was happy to listen if I was having a rough time with something.  She was enthusiastic for all of my triumphs.  Rhonda you dear lady...I will miss you. 

This is Missy.  Missy works for the hospital.  I will always appreciate the support and opportunities she gave me.  She helped me get set up to give public talks at our local hospital  It afforded me what I like to call mad street cred.  People I may not have ever reached where there and saw me speak about all of the things I know well.  I think Missy came to every one of them.  

This is Mary.  Her eyes are closed and she said she wasn't dressed well, so she would hide behind me.  Mary is a riot.  Frequently she'd get laughing so hard I'd have to wait for her to compose herself before we could move on with the adjustment.  She was a patient I was happy to sit in the room and chitchat with while she was on therapy.  Mary also has a family member with Down Syndrome and she was a source of comfort for me when I really didn't know what to expect.  For that, I will always be grateful.  The imperfection of this picture makes me so happy.  Thanks Mary for being my patient, and for the hugs, and for the cards.  Next time I see you, you'll be getting a big squeeze from me.  

This is Bill.  He's the boss.  I am sure inquiring minds want to know just who this mystery man is that I've been working for and with the last (almost) 3 years.  This is "Doc."  Doc is not a man of many words and the words he says are always thought through.  In the 3 years I worked there, I never heard him talk bad about another person or raise his voice.  Not once.  Even when I knew someone was driving him crazy or I'd really pissed him off.  He is as even-keeled as a person can get.  Bill is a family man and a champion for the local community.  I understand Bill, I am much like him.  Between the two of us, their are a whole lotta irons in the fire.  When I started with Bill, I planned to buy his practice. I really did.  If Bill were older/closer to retirement, this would have been much more realistic for the both of us.  Darn him and his youthful vitality!  With any luck, I'll take all that I learned in my years working for Doc and I'll hit the ground running this fall.  The experience I gained in Pana has really been priceless.

Now where to start with these ladies....from the left are Patsy, Gina, and Connie.

Patsy is the newest to the team.  She started almost a year ago.  I picked her, then birddogged Doc until he decided to hire her.  I knew she'd be great and she is.  Patsy is one of the hardest working people I've ever met.  And if you've met my family, that's saying a lot.  Patsy is very handy.  She can cook, she can clean, she can take care of animals and she does it well.  I frequently would have to tell her to take a break.  And for a girl that is 100 miles an hour with her hair on fire most days, I found Patsy to be a kindred spirit.  Plus, how do you not love a lady that comes in on her day off because she made too many homemade cinnamon rolls.  You'd be crazy not to!

Gina is the massage therapist who's beautiful little girls were posted earlier.  You can see where they get their looks right!?  Gina is a woman with a lot on her plate.  Four little girls can wear a person out, but Gina always seems to keep up.  She is a great mom and is a leader for her church youth group.  Gina is one of the people I really loved because she always made sure to let me know that she also appreciated me.  When someone takes the time to say thank you, I don't let it go unnoticed.  Plus, Gina and I had a sweet deal.  I'd adjust her and the girlies, she'd massage me.  I will miss Gina and her huggable babies.  I will also miss her quirkiness and her quickness to laugh.  Luckily, massages never go out of style and I'll see her sooner than later.    

And now for Connie.  The piece de resistance (make sure you read that with a frenchy accent) of our office.  I am not sure where to start really.  Connie and I click.  I love her dearly!  I remember she told me that someone had asked her how she would feel about taking orders from someone younger than her.  She told me "you don't seem younger than me."  I know exactly what she means.  I think we balance each other out....we are both mid-thirties in personality.  My patients confirm it....I am an old soul, I like to take this as "slightly older".  But Connie is my friend and companion.  We chitchat and gossip and cackle at each other.  She was always appropriately shocked or outraged or thrilled with the things going on in my life and the reverse is true.  The difference really...Connie is older and does have a 19 year old daughter.  Luckily this works in her favor as I am a whiz with FAFSA and college financial aid paperwork.  And it works in mine as she gave me advice like "never let your kid eat at their kid-sized table while simultaneously playing because they will take forever to eat and be easily distracted from food the rest of their lives."  

Connie also believes in the importance of family and is as dedicated to her nephews as she is her own daughter.  This I appreciate deeply and hope rubs off on me more.  My sisters' kids are amazing.  I see them all the time.  I am more lax about my sisters-in-law's kids which I hope to remedy.   

The end of the day Friday Gina gave me a going away massage and helped me carry all my stuff out to my car.  I told her it was a fast 3 years, then I had a mini break down and had to drive away quickly.

This was my last day.  A day of highs and lows, but all-in-all a good day.  How could it not be with so many people coming to wish me well and so many hugs.  I will miss my job and look forward to starting my own clinic.  I can only hope it is as successful and the people are a fraction as wonderful.

P.S.  I told my patient's I was gonna use their pictures at my next office and online.  They are cool with it. 
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