Sassy in the Capital

So, a lot has happened since my last post and all of it had to do with Match Day (the day John found out where he would be placed for residency). As you can imagine, the event can bring on a lot of stress and anxiety seeing as the next 3 years of our life were held in the contents of an envelope last Friday. However, our family and friends helped us make it through the week and have a little fun along the way.

On Monday, we kicked off the week by joining John's medical school class at Avondale Brewing Company. They have some of the tastiest beer in town. So, I was very excited about the social chair's choice for location. We enjoyed half priced beers for the event and went next door to indulge ourselves with Saw's Soul Kitchen for dinner. Since the two businesses are located right next door to one another, Avondale allows it's customers to bring over Saw's to enjoy alongside a cold glass of brew.Oh, and don't be fooled, even though Saw's got on the map thanks to their BBQ, their other menu items are top knotch. We went 50/50 on two mains, the Carolina Dog (a good old fashioned hot dog right off the grill with chili, slaw and mustard) and their famous Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (think high class, homemade Chik-Fil-A).

On Tuesday, our friends Lauren and Lee came over for a Mexican fiesta. We set up a taco bar and made Prosecco Piña. That's right, think traditional piña colada but with the bubbly taste of prosecco. I snagged the recipe from Anthropologie's site a few weeks back, and thought what better night to pull it out of the recipe box, than taco night? I will admit, the preparation was a little involved, but I feel that if I make it again I can cut back on the time and work more to perfect the taste.

Prosecco Piña

For the simple syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 ¾ cups water
 For the cocktail
4 oz. of prosecco
Juice of ½ a lime 
1 tablespoon coconut simple syrup 
Pineapple wedge
To make the syrup: combine water and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Strain liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced — about 5 minutes. Let cool.
To make the cocktail: combine simple syrup, lime juice and prosecco in a flute or wine glass and garnish with pineapple wedge.
Yields one perfect prosecco piña.
Wednesday night I was very excited about our evening plans because they didn't cost us a dime. Last week I received an email from B-Metro magazine advertising the week's local events. In the email I saw a link that said "The Tony Award winning musical, WarHorse, is coming to Birmingham. Be one of the first to click the link below to claim free tickets." I will admit, at first I brushed it off as spam. However, after a few hours my curiosity got to me and I found myself clicking the link. I wasn't completely shocked when a page popped up that said error because I thought it was a scam after all. However, for whatever reason, I was still curious and called their office. I was delighted to find that it wasn't an error and was the real deal. No one had called about the broken link. So, I ended up scoring 2 tickets (a $180 value). So Wednesday night, John and I got all dressed up and headed to the BJCC to catch the show. It was phenomenal. I laughed, I cried, and I was truly moved. If you ever get the chance to see it, don't pass it by!

Thursday night was another dressy affair in the Lyles household because my smart husband was accepted into the very prestigious AOA medical honors society. John had told me that he was accepted a few months ago and had been excited about it, but still been very humble. So, I had no idea until I went to the ceremony just how BIG of a deal it was! The speaker said only the top 25% percent of the class are considered for the society and only 6% from that percentage are accepted based on their character, work ethic, etc. So, I couldn't have been more proud to see my humble husband receive such an honor. He never ceases to amaze me and I am so blessed to spend each day with such a loving, caring, and smart man. Talk about lucky!

Friday was the big day, Match Day. If any of you have ever gone through sorority recruitment- match day is pretty darn close to the recruitment process. Last Fall John and I traveled all over the country so he could interview at a number of pediatric residency programs. After the interviews wrapped up, John ranked his top programs and the programs he interviewed at ranked their top applicants. Both of the rank lists (John's and the various programs) were then plugged into a computer and the best match was chosen. Then, the result was placed into a sealed envelope which we opened and read aloud on stage last Friday. If you can't tell, there's a lot of unknowns and therefore a lot of nervous energy centered around the event. I know that I looked like a loon on Friday with my hands shaking, face sweating and constant fidgeting, but I was a mess until our name was called. Oh yes, that's another thing- names are called at random and the whole medical school class has to be called. So, there was a lot of waiting involved. 

However, after all of the waiting, hair loss, hand wringing, and nail biting, I am so happy to say that John matched at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC!! We are overjoyed because both the program and the city are a perfect fit for us. John starts his residency duties in June, but we may move as early as May if I get a job. So, let the praying, licensure transferring, and job hunting begin!

After Match Day, we ate at Dave's Pizza in Homewood. We had been for dinner on countless occasions but never for lunch. Funny enough, our friend Lauren had just told us about discovering their awesome lunch pizza bar when she was at our house earlier in the week. So, we got to enjoy trying it for ourselves Friday afternoon and let me tell you, it was so good. There was a good crowd for Friday lunch and the hot gourmet pizzas never ran out on the buffet line. Delish!

After we had more than our share of pizza, we said our goodbyes and got in the car to go to Villa Rica, GA. My dad has had a timeshare on the lake there for a number of years and invited us down for a weekend celebration. His birthday is today. So, between match day celebrating and birthday celebrating, we had quite a time! He even cooked some of my favorite Egyptian food for Friday's dinner- Egyptian Macaroni with Bechamel (here's a good recipe for it) and Egyptian Kofta (here's a pretty good recipe-think Egyptian meatballs).

On Saturday, we packed ourselves in the car and went closer to downtown Atlanta to visit the Dekalb International Farmer's Market. The place is huge and has foods from all over the world and tons of unique fresh produce. The employees that work there wear name badges that not only say their name, but also the language(s) they speak since the clientele is so diverse. The market is packed, no matter when you go. So, you have to push your buggy just as aggressively as you would drive your car in Atlanta traffic, but the stuff you find is worth the buggy shuffling. John and I came home with Egyptian teas (peppermint and Hibiscus), dried exotic fruits, and fresh produce among other things. There was no photography aloud inside the store. So, you will have to just go and see it for yourself.

Even though we had a car full of groceries by the time we left the market, we still had to make one more grocery run to pick up some two buck chuck wine and cookie butter from Trader Joe's. I so wish that Alabama had the grocery store chain, but I am thankful that our future residence does! So, we won't have to fret about running out of cookie butter ever again.

This week was jam packed and full of all kinds of emotion, but we couldn't have ended it on a happier note. We are headed to a city that we love in just a few short weeks to start a new chapter in our lives. However, after giving it some thought- Sassy in the South may just be Sassy in the Capital before too long!


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