RSS Feed

Tag Archives: exam week

A Broken Computer and Our Holiday Fun

Posted on

I’m coming back to the blogging scene with the new year!

In November, my computer broke.  I wouldn’t say it completely crashed because I could (usually) turn it on, but it had a million different things wrong with it.  Whatever you would call it, my computer was definitely not usable.  In fact, I wanted it to crash, because then I could just get over it and head to the store to get a new one.  But no, my computer’s death was long and agonizing, and the Apple people were determined to see if they could make it usable for me instead of just letting me get a new one (I had a stellar warranty on the computer).  So I had to play a game of waiting around without a computer.  That’s a big problem for someone who’s entire job revolves around a computer.

Craig and I spent a few weeks trading off with his computer.  I would use it for work during the day while he was at class, and he would use it at night for whatever med-school-related activities he needed to use it for.  So for me, that took updating this blog I have come to enjoy out of the picture.  By the time the folks over at Apple decided that fixing my computer was going to cost them more than giving me a new computer (yes, there were that many different things wrong with my computer), we were in full swing holiday season mode, and there was no turning back.

So, now, here I am, back in Charleston after a whirlwind of holiday travels.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Craig and I headed to Greenville to visit his cousins and for Craig to give a talk at Furman.  Apparently they wanted him to talk about medical school to the Health Sciences Department as a part of their monthly career nights to show students different options within that major.  I know, you ALL are wondering why they didn’t ask me to talk about the coffee cup printing industry as a career option for Health Science majors.  To this day, I still do not know. 😉

We then headed on up to Rock Hill where we spent a couple days with Craig’s dad, stepmom, and their kennel’s worth of animals (three dogs and two cats) before heading over to spend a couple days with Craig’s mom and her new dog.  It was a wonderful trip (besides the frustration on not having a computer) that got to end with watching South Carolina beat Clemson during their rivalry weekend game.  So awesome!

Then began the Christmas chaos of holiday shopping while Craig studied for his last exam of the term.  To be honest, I was definitely feeling overwhelmed at this point.  Besides feeling like I was in charge of all the shopping and needing to come up with a presentation for the McKinney family Christmas, I was also dealing with some health issues in my family and trying to hold it all together.  Thank goodness we serve our wonderful God who can actually hold it all together when we can’t, because I could not handle it myself.

FINALLY, Craig finished his exam and we were free to enjoy our break!  We traveled a ton over the break: to Rock Hill, to Greenville, back to Rock Hill, to Georgia, to North Carolina, back to Georgia, and back to Charleston.  I think that even more than the driving, the constant packing and unpacking is the most exhausting part.  Of course, I shouldn’t complain, because Craig did most of the packing and unpacking.  In fact, I was feeling super appreciative after the first time he loaded our car, but then he called his dad to say they needed to clear out a closet for all my stuff.  After that comment, I just called it even.  🙂

Here are “a few” snapshots from our crazy holiday season.  Craig and I got a new “grown-up” camera for Christmas, so I’m a little picture happy right now…

Despite spending most of this holiday season traveling, I was determined to still put up my Christmas decorations.  These are just a few.

Despite spending most of this holiday season traveling, I was determined to still put up my Christmas decorations. These are just a few.

We built gingerbread houses with our friends from church, Claire and Jordan.  They built a super legit barn house with an outhouse and everything.  We built a barely-stable house that we had to piece broken graham crackers together in order to make.  It was still a lot of fun, though!  :-)

We built gingerbread houses with our friends from church, Claire and Jordan. They built a super legit barn house with an outhouse and everything. We built a barely-stable house that we had to piece broken graham crackers together in order to make. However, our house turned out better than we expected (meaning it didn’t end up falling), and we had a lot of fun!

I finished wrapping our presents with eight or so hours of enjoyment time to spare before we had to pack them all up to head out of town.

I finished wrapping our presents with eight or so hours of enjoyment time to spare before we had to pack them all up to head out of town.

We always love spending time with Craig's immediate and extended family in Rock Hill and Greenville.  His cousins, aunts, and uncles crack me up, plus we got to spend a day and a half with Craig's brother, Will, which is the first time we had seen him since our wedding.  Will and his wife, Elizabeth, are both residents at UVA, so they are quite busy.  We only saw Elizabeth for about twenty minutes before she had to catch a slight back to Charlottesville for her 30hr Christmas Eve shift, so we unfortunately didn't get a picture.

We always love spending time with Craig’s immediate and extended family in Rock Hill and Greenville. His cousins, aunts, and uncles crack me up, plus we got to spend a day and a half with Craig’s brother, Will, which is the first time we had seen him since our wedding. Will and his wife, Elizabeth, are both residents at UVA, so they are quite busy becoming awesome doctors. We only saw Elizabeth for about twenty minutes before she had to catch a flight back to Charlottesville for her 30hr Christmas Eve shift, so we unfortunately didn’t get a picture.

After going to the Christmas Eve service in Rock Hill with Craig's mom and brother, we packed our stuff up to head out early in the morning for Georgia.  My brothers were still sleeping when we got there, so we ran upstairs to wake them up and all see what Santa brought us.  As you can probably tell, they are still waking up in these pictures...

After going to the Christmas Eve service in Rock Hill with Craig’s mom and brother, we packed our stuff up to head out early in the morning for Georgia. My brothers were still sleeping when we got there, so we ran upstairs to wake them up and all see what Santa brought us. As you can probably tell, they are still waking up in these pictures…

While Christmas morning was wonderful, Christmas did not feel complete until my brother's girlfriend and her daughter came over that evening.  We also got to see my dad's parents that evening.  What a wonderful end to a wonderful day!

While Christmas morning was wonderful, Christmas did not feel complete until my brother’s girlfriend and her daughter came over that evening. We also got to see my dad’s parents that evening. What a wonderful end to a wonderful day!

Then my family packed all of our stuff up to head to the North Carolina mountains for a few days.  It was so cold, but so fun!

Then my family packed all of our stuff up to head to the North Carolina mountains for a few days. It was so cold, but so fun!

These are just a few of the "nature" picture Craig and I took while we were up there.

These are just a few of the “nature” pictures Craig and I took while we were up there.

What fun is a family vacation without an adorably corny family picture?!  I actually love this picture.  :-)

What fun is a family vacation without an adorably corny family picture?! I actually love this picture. 🙂

Advertisements

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pound Cake With Peanut Butter Glaze

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pound Cake With Peanut Butter Glaze

It’s study week!  Party time!…except not.

Study week is certainly not party time in the McCondo.  It’s boring slash stressful study-almost-nonstop time.  Nevertheless, I like to “celebrate” as many McKinney occasions as possible.  If it’s a happy occasion, celebrating with delicious food makes it even happier.  If it is a sad occasion, the celebration food makes it not quite as sad.  If it is a stressful occasion, celebrating makes it not quite as stressful…I am basically willing to use any occasion to justify making tasty food.

So Saturday night, to “celebrate” Craig’s first study week of the school year, I made a Study Week Cake, also known as chocolate chip peanut butter pound cake with peanut butter glaze.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any decent amount of time, you know that Craig and I are obsessed with anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate, so this obviously sounded AMAZING to us.  It was.  🙂

I do have to warn you though, this is a heavy, rich cake.  You will need a glass of milk or soy milk or water or a cup of coffee with this for sure.  Also, if you are a peanut butter chocolate person, like me, this is a dangerous cake to have sitting in your kitchen.  I now know from experience that this cake has absolutely no qualms about taunting you with its heavenly glaze and the chocolate chips dancing on top.

You have been warned.

Adapted From: Pixelated Crumb

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    • Don’t use natural peanut butter unless it is the no-stir kind.
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    • I used Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine
  • 3 cups granulated white sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
    • I used vanilla soy milk.
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mini or regular-sized chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together peanut butter and butter.  Add sugar, and beat for an additional 5 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla, and continue mixing until well combined.  Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating just until it is well incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Scrape batter into a well-greased bundt pan, and bake at 325 for 1hr 20 – 1hr 35min, or until knife or skewer comes out clean.*
  4. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before flipping onto a platter or rack to let it cool completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.  Drizzle the glaze over the top of a cooled cake.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

*Check the cake at 1hr.  If it is browning too quickly, gently lay foil over the top for the remainder of the cooking time.  Also, when you are trying to see if it is cooked all the way through, don’t just try sticking a toothpick or fork into the cake.  You want to use something that will really be able to reach all the way to the center (I just stuck my knife all the way to the bottom and then pulled it out) to check if the cake is done.  If it’s not done, let it bake longer!

This cake is fabulous!  I really loved the glaze…Yum Yum Yum!  I definitely plan to be making this cake again around the holidays…when I have more friends and family around to help me eat it!  It’s just too dangerous to be here alone with me!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

Happy National Play Doh Day!

Happy National Play Doh Day!

Did you know that today is National Play Doh Day?

I am so relieved that this anxiously awaited holiday fell on a third Sunday this year, because that is the day that Craig and I volunteer with the 2-year-olds at our church.  You better believed that we were definitely playing with play doh this morning!

Lets see, some of the things we made included:

  • Puppies
    • mommy puppies
    • baby puppies
    • Sunday school teacher puppies
  • Lots and lots of snakes
    • That’s what the kids are best at making without our assistance.  😉  They all made “snakes” and then chased the volunteers around the room with them.  So adorable!
  • Ducks
  • Cookies
  • Gingerbread men
  • Hearts with “xoxo” in them
  • “I ♥ U”

We also played with trains, played tag, and danced today during the playtime.  Then we sang songs and learned about how God made everything.  The lesson of course ended with a craft and some rainbow Goldfish.  It was a fabulous morning.

This is Craig’s study week, so I was kind of worried that the amount of time away from studying might be stressful to him since his first test of the year is this Friday.  On the contrary, when we left church this morning, Craig looked at me and said, “Wow, that was the exact break I needed.  I really love volunteering with those kids.”

Well, I hope everyone is having a fabulous Sunday!

Happy National Play Doh Day!

%d bloggers like this: