Monthly Archives: October 2014

Another Whirlwind Weekend {Weekend Recap}

Whew! It was another whirlwind weekend.

I stayed late at work on Friday to facilitate a family meeting about goals of care and potentially transitioning to hospice. It went quite well considering the circumstances. It’s bizarre that I can have literal life-and-death conversations and then be laughing about something silly with Derek an hour later. I care deeply about my patients and stay in the moment with them, but I’m glad that I can leave some of those thoughts and emotions behind when I finish the workday. I’m definitely developing that fine balance between caring about my patients without letting it interfere too much with my life outside of work.

After work I went home and changed to go out to dinner. Rather than our typical takeout or casual Friday dinner out, Derek and I got dressed up and went out on a real date. (Hooray for married people dates!) One of my sweet coworkers gave us a Groupon for dinner at Maximillian’s Grill in Cary a few months ago, and we decided it was a good time to use it. We’ve been so busy with work, med school, and family events that it seemed like the perfect time to have a date night and spend uninterrupted time together.

Dinner was absolutely delicious! I wanted to take some pictures, but the lighting was too dim in the restaurant. Derek got the braised short rib, and I got phyllo-wrapped salmon. Both of the dishes were great, but the salmon was AMAZING. The service and atmosphere of the restaurant were also excellent. Maximillian’s is definitely out of our normal price range, but the prices were reasonable considering the quality and portions of the food. With the Groupon, it was affordable for us. Groupon for the win!

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to head to Wilkesboro, NC (Derek’s hometown). Wilkesboro is in the foothills of the mountains, located about 30 minutes from Boone.

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On the road again.

On our way to Wilkesboro we stopped in Kernersville for my youngest sister-in-law’s cross-country meet. I’m glad we got to see her run! She did great, and it was fun to reminisce about my high school cross-country days.

After the race, we got some lunch and then continued on to Wilkesboro. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Derek’s family.  I only have an older brother, so I love that I inherited two younger sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law (who lives out in California). It’s been really cool to see them all growing up over the past 3 years that I’ve been with Derek.

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The view from the house’s front porch.

We headed to church on Sunday morning with the whole family, including Derek’s grandfather. After church we ate lunch and then rested up for the main event of the weekend: Derek’s cousin’s wedding.

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Pre-ceremony selfies.

The wedding was at Rendezvous Mountain, which is only a 30 minute drive away. The foliage was gorgeous, and you couldn’t ask for better weather.

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The leaves were seriously stunning.

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We are no longer the newest newlyweds in the family!

It was a sweet, intimate ceremony, and Derek’s grandpa even served as the officiant.

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Gotta love the “Pastor Grandpa” sign.

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The Mr. & Mrs.!

After the ceremony we headed back into town for the reception, which was held at a local restaurant. I stupidly forgot to take a picture, but Derek’s aunt did a great job decorating. There were candles in mason jars that had been wrapped in burlap and lace and beautiful fall flower arrangements. I’m a big sunflower fan, so it was right up my alley.

We ate, we toasted, and most importantly we celebrated the bride and groom. It was a beautiful beginning to what I’m sure will be a wonderful marriage. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Derek and I unfortunately had to leave the reception right after the cake cutting so that we could head back home.  Just like last week we didn’t make it home until after 9pm. By the time we got settled in and changed, it was already time to go to bed. Yet another crazy weekend that ended too soon.

Now we’re trying to get all of our normal weekend chores done and then some. My parents are coming into town this weekend for another wedding we’re attending, so we really need to get the house in working order again. Onto another exciting week and weekend in the Pinkerton household!

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Brick Walls

It’s been a while since I posted a quote, and I’ve had this one on my mind this week. Have you read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch? If you haven’t yet, I recommend it. It’s a short and easy read, but it’s also remarkably moving. Prior to his death, Pausch provided a great synopsis of the book/lecture on Oprah as well.

One of the most memorable parts of the The Last Lecture is when Pausch writes about brick walls. Rather than viewing setbacks or rejection as the end of the road, he chose to see them as opportunities to prove how much he wanted something. What a powerful way to reframe perceived failure. The brick wall isn’t the end; it’s an obstacle.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” —Randy Pausch

18 Hours in Chattanooga {Weekend Recap}

Hello! Hope your week is going swimmingly! I wanted to pop in and tell you about my weekend. It was an absolute whirlwind.

After grabbing a quick dinner on Friday after work, Derek and I headed to Raleigh to celebrate my best friend Jenna’s birthday.

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Happy birthday Jenna!

We had ice cream cake and a couple of drinks before heading downtown to begin our Trolley Pub Raleigh adventure.

If you don’t already know, Trolley Pub is essentially a roving bar. You bring your own wine and beer and drink while you ride around the city. Trolley Pub is powered by pedaling, so instead of sitting on traditional bar stools you’re on a bike seat (with a lap seatbelt connected to the trolley).

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The whole crew on the Trolley Pub.

We had blast! I highly recommend it if you’re in the Raleigh area. According to the website, Trolley Pub is also located in Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, and St. Thomas.

Derek and I didn’t get back from Raleigh until 2am. The next morning we woke up around 10am, got ready, packed, and headed out the door to meet my family in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Jared’s big race. My brother Jared and I signed up for the 7 Bridges and 4 Bridges Marathon and Half-Marathon, respectively. However, due to injuries I wasn’t able to run the half. Instead I decided to walk the 2 Bridges 5K with Derek, my mom, and my dad while Jared raced.

We arrived in Chattanooga around 7pm after a 7.5 hour drive. We immediately dropped our stuff off at the Downtown Chattanooga Residence Inn (which was a great place to stay, by the way) and walked across the street to meet my family at Big River Grille for dinner. The food and beer were delicious, and it was so great to see my family! By the time we finished eating/catching up and walked back to the hotel it was time to hit the sack.

Jared’s race started at 7am, so we were all up around 5:30am to get ready. We walked over to the start since it was less than 1 mile away. I was impressed with Jared’s calm demeanor; I would probably be freaking out. Before we knew it, he was off. My parents, Derek, and I waited around at the start for another half hour before our 5K started at 7:30am.

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We took some sweet pre-dawn photos on the winner’s podium.

We were treated to a beautiful sunrise while we waited.

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Our 5K only went across 2 bridges, but the course was gorgeous!

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I stopped to get a photo of this sculpture while we were walking. Chattanooga has cool and interesting art all over the city.

We finished the 5K a little after 8am.

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With about 3 hours to kill before we expected Jared to finish, we walked back to the hotel to eat breakfast, change clothes, and hang out for a bit.

On the walk back to the finish we noticed gold shoe prints on the sidewalk ever few hundred feet. It turns out that they were showing different dance steps. I took a picture of the waltz.

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Isn’t that cool? Downtown Chattanooga is awesome! I wish we had more time to explore. We all decided we should go back sometime to check it out.

My parents, Derek, and I waited at the finish, anxiously looking out for Jared. We were all so pumped when we saw him come around the corner looking strong!

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The classic victory stance of a marathon-finisher. Go Jared!

I think finishing a marathon is a huge accomplishment in itself, but he finished in his goal time of 4 hours exactly. How awesome is that?!? I’m so glad that Derek and I could be there with my parents to see Jared complete his first marathon.

After we found Jared, it was time to refuel. We headed to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer. NOM.

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Around 1pm, after just 18 hours in Chattanooga, Derek and I hopped in the car to start the 7.5 hour journey back to Durham.

It was a crazy, hectic weekend, but we had fun. I’m proud of my brother for finishing his first marathon. It was inspiring to see him finish the race after all of his training. Congratulations Jared!

A Tale of Two Love Stories {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a hot minute since I made a Fun Friday post, and I think it’s time for some pictures, videos, and stories that made me smile or laugh lately. I hope they bring a smile to your face, too!

Let’s kick things off with the case of the cat and the “empty” food bowl.

It’s funny how peculiar animals are about certain things. My parents’ dog Scooter will not turn around on the hardwood floors (likely because he’s scared of slipping). It’s hilarious to watch him slowly back away when he wants to leave the kitchen. What a goober.

Next up is a video of an English bulldog riding a motorcycle who waves to a passing biker ON HER OWN. The dog waves first without prompting from her owner. I had to watch it twice to make sure.

You totally thought I was making that one up, didn’t you? 🙂

On to another video. I am a big fan of Key & Peele, and they recently released a new sketch about text messaging. (**Warning: harsh language is used in the video.)

That’s definitely one of those “I’m-laughing-because-it’s-true” videos. Making people laugh is a talent in itself, but it’s even more impressive that Key and Peele are able to mix humor and social commentary so well.

To wrap things up, I’ll share two love stories. The first is a post from Humans of New York. The couple in the photo share the story of the beginning of their 50+ year relationship. It’s a sweet and funny story.

The second is a video of the first marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple in North Carolina.

Last Friday, October 10th, a federal judge ruled that North Carolina’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. I watched the marriage in the video happen live on TV. It was a beautiful, and I felt blessed to witness such a significant moment in history.

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Derek and I saw these flags on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill when were on our way to church. The town put them up to commemorate the momentous ruling.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

These Are My Confessions . . . Part II

Back when I first started Brown is the New Pink, I made a post about my confessions and goals. I figured that after 6 months it’s time for an update and some new goals.

The first time I wrote about my confessions, I set three goals for myself:

  1. Eat more whole foods.
  2. Exercise more.
  3. Identify my all-or-nothing thinking and come up with alternative thoughts.

Overall, I’ve been eating more whole foods and definitely exercising more. Up until 2.5 weeks ago I was running 4 days/week training for a half-marathon. Sadly, the half marathon didn’t pan out due to injuries, but I’m still happy with all of my exercising. I also think I did a good job of sharing my training plans and meal plans on the blog. Finally, I’m still working on my all-or-nothing thinking. While I mentally noted thoughts when they occurred, I never actually wrote them down. Something to keep working on!

Now that I’m keeping up with eating whole foods and exercising (most of the time), I want to make some more specific goals. With that said, these are my confessions . . . part II.

(Yes, it is necessary for me to post the corresponding Usher music video every time I write that.)

I let myself get way too hungry.

This is a big issue for me. I tend not to snack between meals, and I’m starving by the time I eat the next meal. I think that if I eat healthy snacks I will be less likely to overeat during meals or to get hangry.

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I always choose cardio over strength training or yoga.

I’m pretty good at keeping up with cardio, but I am not nearly as consistent with strength training. Though I actually love the way I feel when I strength train regularly, I don’t enjoy it as much as cardio. I honestly just find it boring, but I probably just need to find something that works for me. I also enjoy yoga, but practicing it puts me out of my comfort zone. It’s a totally different kind of exercise for me, but I think I would definitely benefit from practicing it consistently, especially given my recent overuse injuries.

I often reward myself with food.

Survived a rough week of work? Celebrate with Mexican food. Finished everything on my to-do list? Wind down with a piece of chocolate. I love food, and I tend to associate it with joy, success, and love. While I will continue to enjoy food and cooking, especially as part of special celebrations like holidays, I need to find other ways to reward myself on a day-to-day basis that don’t involve empty calories.

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So what am I going to do about these confessions?

  1. Eat 2 healthy snacks (with fiber and protein) everyday. I’ll post snack ideas on Brown is the New Pink and include snacks in my weekly meal plan posts.
  2. Strength train at least 2 times per week and do yoga 1 time per week. Instead of a half marathon training plan, I’ll post weekly workout recaps to keep myself accountable with this goal.
  3. Find new ways to reward myself that don’t involve food. I’ll post ideas on the blog and incorporate personal examples of new rewards in my future posts.

Why I Love Blogging {100th Post}

I was going to write about something else, but then I noticed that this is my 100th post! I started Brown is the New Pink back at the end of April, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve been blogging for almost 6 months already. It’s been a fun, insightful experience thus far, and I’m excited to continue my blogging journey.

Since it is my 100th post, I want to share a few reasons why I love blogging.

  • Blogging is my creative outlet. After I stopped writing papers and developing projects for grad school I realized that I needed to find new ways to be creative. Cooking is definitely my art, but I also missed writing. What better way to combine my love of cooking and writing than through blogging?
  • Brown is the New Pink serves as a journal for me. Like most people in their mid-20s, my life is changing all the time. I think it will be really neat to look back on this blog and see snapshots of my life.
  • Blogging creates another opportunity to connect with people. I’ve corresponded with a few different readers about living in Chapel Hill, social work, wedding planning, and what it’s like to be married to a med student. It’s fun to connect with people who have common interests, especially because it’s unlikely that I would meet them otherwise.
  • Blogging helps me leave work at work. As I’ve mentioned in a few of my Fun Friday posts, I use Brown is the New Pink to separate myself from work. Burnout is common in social work, but finding ways to leave the stress at work makes it less likely to happen to me. My hope is that some of those posts help other people, too.
  • It encourages me to continue learning and sharing what I learn. Researching for social justice posts keeps me updated on issues as well as new, innovative solutions. I’m in a direct practice role at work, so it’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget about the big picture. Brown is the New Pink keeps my macro skills sharp.

Whether you’re a regular reader or you’re stopping by Brown is the New Pink for the first time, thank you for reading! I blog because I enjoy it, but the fact that other people enjoy Brown is the New Pink or learn something from it definitely makes it even better. 🙂

Fall Bucket List

I’m still a bit bummed about my running situation, but I thought of something fun to do that will cheer me up. I LOVE fall. I love watching the leaves change color, the crisp weather, and pumpkin-flavored everything.

To celebrate my love of fall, I’m going to make a fall bucket list. Here we go:

1. Watch Hocus Pocus

2. Carve pumpkins

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How do people do this??? Mine always end up looking deformed haha. Source.

3. Drink pumpkin beer (I welcome suggestions)

4. Conquer a corn maze (preferably a haunted one)

5. Go hiking

6. Bake an apple and/or pumpkin pie from scratch

7. Roast s’mores

8. Step on some extra crunchy leaves

9. Host Friendsgiving

10. Make Halloween costumes and go to Franklin Street

11. Bake pumpkin bread

12. Run in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving

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Last year’s very cold Turkey Trot with the whole Brown-Pinkerton gang.

13. Decorate for fall

14. Tailgate for a football game

15. Go to a pumpkin patch

Ok so I cheated a little because we’ve already done a few things on the list, but they are definitely fall bucket list material. Do you have anything different on your fall bucket list?

Happy fall y’all!

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