Wrapping up last fall!

Hey all! How are youuu?! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin- quite the contrast from the snowpocolypse just a month ago.

I sit here with one month left in my masters program. How wild is that? I think I mentioned in my last post I am doing a specialty certificate over the summer in endocrinology- so I have a clinical rotation with that… but as long as I pass my boards in a couple months I will officially be a family nurse practitioner 🙂 

I needed a little break from the books today, so I decided to hop on here. I have had this post sitting in drafts for about a month, so figured about time to publish it. It’s the second part to our Fall of last year. Hope you enjoy! 

Continuing from last post.. 

On most Saturdays while I was staying there for my clinical rotation, my mom would whip up either protein pancakes or protein waffles, and gosh they were good! Such a treat to start off the weekend.

We also spent some time chatting away out on their serene patio on weekends with the outdoor heater and candle votives. It was nice to sit in total quietness too. When living in the city, you get so used to the white noise of cars driving by, doors slamming, planes overhead, etc… so just being able to sit in the quiet evenings with only crickets out was really refreshing. 

By the end of my time there, I had established a go-to five mile running/walking trail. I would often mindlessly put on my running shoes and clear my head out there after long clinical days. 

The weekend of October 23rd, my mom and Pete had to go out of town, but DJ was able to make it out for the weekend that Saturday! I was so ecstatic we could spend time together. That evening we shared a margherita pizza, some wine and watched Married at First Sight. I corrupt him with my horrible reality TV shows, but I’m really not sorry for it.

October 24th we spent the day working on our respective assignments, went for a walk together in the afternoon, then in the evening went to downtown Roanoke for dinner. DJ ordered one of their burgers, and I thought the little stamped logo was a cool touch!

I ordered their salmon, are you surprised? Hah- it was tasty tasty. We also split their hummus & pita which was pretttty spectacular.

We chose this spot since it was an outdoor venue & it was a nice brisk evening! About an hour after arriving, some live music started. They played all 80s classics. We enjoyed it for a while, but when it started getting a little crowded, we bounced.

We did make a pit stop on our way home to our favorite custard spot- Andy’s!!

At the end of the rotation, I got together the final docs for clinical. I was SO sad to leave this clinical- My preceptor and the whole staff was just awesome, and I loved spending time learning in that clinic.

The day before I left, I had one last wonderful run in Keller for this stay. We also ordered from FnG for dinner- you guys, such a hidden gem in TX! A MUST if you are ever in Keller.

The morning before heading back to Austin, I packed up my bags, had some Kashi cereal and, of course, said a (midwest) goodbye to my mom. (Pete had left earlier that morning). 

Ooh! And she sent me home with some yummy candy corn cocoa. She knows me well. I know candy corn gets a bad rap, but I am always going to defend it!

Deej and I were on a walk around Ladybird Lake that week when we spotted these birds. I am pretty sure they are cormorants, which struck me as quite ironic considering I had just finished up The Guest List, which mentioned them– Or perhaps this was just a case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon!

I was craving a burger and shake that weekend. So, naturally, we ordered Hopdoddy’s with one of the best vegan burgers in town and a shake. I say *one* of the best… because we discovered an even better one a couple months later. Stay tuned. Oh, the suspense!

I also arrived home to this box from the Boston Athletic Association!

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Even better though…later that day my brother sent me this sweet picture of our nephew with the blanket we sent him <3 I am obsessed. Counting down the days until we can meet him.

More colorful Austin in the fall!

I was feelin’ extra anxious around this time (combo of school, the world, etc.), and I remember there was one day that was particularly beautiful lending a sense of calm. I texted Tammy, one of my friends from the Bay Area with the video below, and said it felt like a “Bay Day”.  Gosh, I really miss California sometimes. I love love Austin, but sometimes it feels like I left part of my heart in those mountains and that chaotically beautiful city. I also know, when we leave Austin, I’ll say I left a part of me at Lady Bird Lake and in this dazzlingly, eclectically vibrant city. We really are going to try to make the most of our time here before we move. Sorry to be so sappy (I can’t help it) & when big life transitions are about to happen I get super reflective and in all the feeeels.

November 6th, DJ and I ordered takeout from Grizzelda’s!

This food. I don’t have the worddds. Probably my favorite Tex Mex we’ve had yet. 

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It was all just too darn good. And the margarita’s we ordered were really fun! 

More Austin in the fall..

All through November I worked on the rest of my peds/perinatal courses and began studying for boards. Ohh. And get this. I went 11 days without coffee. Yes, 11! I stopped cold turkey because I was at about 4 cups a day which was about on par with my undergrad days & I needed to stop the madness. So I replaced my coffee with about 2 cups of matcha and honey per day. It was a tealightful alternative. The first day was awful though- seriously one of the worst days of my life, not even being dramatic this time. I had a horrendous headache and a feeling of serious impending doom. It resolved the next day though, thankfully. 

As much as I loved the matcha, it was kindaaa the sleepiest, most unproductive 11 days ever, so I added back in my one cup of coffee a day which made all the difference. I don’t think I was ever more productive than that 12th day with that single cup of jo’. I planned on sticking to one cup of coffee and one cup of matcha indefinitely….. but fast forward to present day and I’m at about 3 cups a day of coffee again. Whoops! I’m going to try to cut back again this month, but no promises. 

November 25th, I tried my hand at homemade cranberry sauce for the first time. It actually turned out great!  This is the recipe I used- I don’t recommend adding any extra orange zest- does not need it!

We went to my mom and Pete’s for a wonderful thanksgiving meal <3 It was simpler than other years, just the four of us, and we broke tradition without the bird. But our alternative was awesome! The guys had filets, my mom made us a delicious salmon and we had some asparagus, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and bread. It was perfect! 

We ended Thanksgiving by chatting the evening away out on the porch. 

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And of course, we enjoyed delish waffles in the AM! We added leftover cranberry sauce to our waffles, and it was an excellent decision.

It was a day of mostly working on school work for me and DJ, but there is such a warmth and coziness in the living room that made working on our respective assignments more relaxing than usual. 

I think this says it all!

Also I was not able to let a few days go by there without hitting the trail.

And-house rules- Gotta order sushi at least once when we’re all together too!

The last day, my mom made this tasty potato poblano soup. She sent us home with some, so we were spoiled by her cooking even a few days after returning to Austin!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Question for you:

  • Which cities do you have an emotional attachment to?

15 thoughts on “Wrapping up last fall!

  1. As usual I love love reading your blog!! I am so hungry now after seeing all that amazing food!! I love the photo of your mom resting by her cozy fireplace! Very relieved you are back to coffee, it’s a must in life! I try to limit myself to 3 good cups a morning but after doing this almost my whole life, can’t imagine not so sip, sip away! Thanks for this fun interlude from doing actual work!!! Love you two, your Ohio Mom

  2. Wait, you ordered salmon???? Could that be the craziest thing of 2020? Ha, ha! No judgement from me… Girl, I’ve actually been on the biggest salmon kick lately. It’s so expensive out here, but I buy it once a week. It’s just so good. Ha, ha!
    And ALSO… I am OBSESSED with candy corn! Where does this cocoa exist?!? I think it might be on my food bucket list now, for sure. 🙂 I’m pretty sure I’d love it.
    My mouth is just watering, imagining the shake and sweet potato fries from Hopdoddy’s. They look SO good!!!
    Your nephew is just the cutest. 🙂 My brother’s wife had a little boy last year (my first nephew), and I’ve only met him once because of COVID. He turns one already in May! But they’re saying we should be able to get together soon, and I just can’t wait.
    Ugh, cutting out coffee is just SO hard!!! I cut down to one cup a day, because I was up to 3 cups. And we’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m trying. Ha, ha.
    Your Thanksgiving spread just looks so pretty and delish. Now I’m kind of craving salmon though. It’s a good thing I go shopping tomorrow. 🙂
    I definitely have an emotional attachment to Boston, having grown up an hour and a half away. Although it’s not like around the corner from me by any means, we used to go there a LOT before kids (and also growing up). It’s so full of history, charm, and memories.

    1. Hi Nicole!! Lol, yess there is something about salmon- we do the same thing! Once a week we get it and we now have our favorite places to buy from. I was horrible at making it for a while, but my Aunt and Mom taught me a great way to make it, and we could probably eat it every night- sooo good!

      I’ll have to ask my mom where she got the candy corn hot cocoa!! I need to stock up this fall 🙂

      Oh my goooodness! Congrats on your nephew! Isn’t it just wild how quickly a year has gone by? I really think time was warped this year.

      Ahhh you feel my pain!! Kudos to one cup a day! That is my goal!! This inspires me more. I am ok at two right now, going to try to add more matcha back in instead of that second cup. The one major benefit I always see when I cut back is sleeping so much better and deeper- it *almost* makes it worth it.

      Boston is incredible <3 I have only been once, but I can see how it's magical and how growing up around there would create that attachment!!

      Thank you for stopping in Nicole 🙂 Always LOVEEE your comments.

  3. First off, only a month more and done with school and this Summer’s add-on is the gravy to that degree. Congratulations! You sure have worked hard Mackenzie and throughout your grad school program you had a lot going on in your life – the move was just one of them. As usual all the food that I saw as I scrolled through the post looked delicious… each meal (except the sushi as I’ve never had it before) called to me. I can’t say I long or am nostalgic for any city or town. I am still Canadian and have lived here in this house since 1966.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! You have seen us through this whole program- all your encouragement has meant so much!

      I think that is so special you have lived in that same home for that span of time! You live in a really beautiful place too with all the parks and wildlife.

      1. You’re welcome Mackenzie. You and DJ have so much going for you and are on the brink of second careers. You both had careers and strived to do better. I know it is not easy to go back to school after you’ve graduated, gone into the workplace, but both of you got through school and will soon start new careers, a new state … now it will be time to enjoy your lives without the rigor of school.

        It is hard for me to believe that soon I will have lived here 55 years. Where have the years gone?

      2. Thank you so much! <3

        Wow!! 55 years!! You live in such a beautiful area, I see why you'd never leave!

  4. So sorry I’ve been MIA for a while! The fall colors are beautiful, & it’s so wonderful you were able to spend time with your mom & Pete! I’m awful & somehow missed that you have a brother (I thought you just had a sister, silly me!). Congrats on your nephew!! Babies are the best. I had my little one on January 28th, & time is going way too fast already. I’d say I’m emotionally connected to my hometown Knoxville, TN. Pretty boring. haha

    1. Okay, I have been the one totally MIA, and I’m sorry!!! One of the worst parts of being off IG are not seeing all the updates and posts of fam and friends- so in case I haven’t already said- HUGE Congratulations on sweet C (not sure you want the name out on the internet)- Kori kept me in the loop, and I am just SO so happy for you!! I am really glad to hear all is well 🙂 And ahem, I think you mean Knox Vegas!! AKA not boring at all- I have seen all the places that city holds, and it has some gems!! Thank you sooo much for stopping in- can’t tell ya how good it is to hear from you!

      1. Thank you!!! He’s perfection. 😍 I pretty much kiss him all day everyday. I dread returning to work cause I will definitely miss him! Haha yes Knox Vegas! You get all four seasons & it’s surrounded by mountains so it’s pretty much the perfect spot.

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