sunny FL.

beach bound in T minus 4 hours!
Our kind friends, Carly & Adam, are having us crash at their place tonight before our flight out of DFW in the morning. In a very chandler-esque voice, could we be any more excited?
Soaking up the sun...poolside...beachside... reading books ( and magazines with celebrity gossip that I'd never be caught with undless I was at the beach or at a hair salon...) ... sipping drinks, visiting the little shops, riding bikes, eating delicious food...oh, and going out at night in cute girly sundresses and for the men, adorable white linen shirts, with that fresh glow and tanned skin. This year, I think we're also going to join in on a small charter trip & and try our hand at deep sea fishing! what a happy celebration of finishing up school and ringing in one year of marriage with my very best friend. Bon Voyage & we'll see you in June!


something fishy.

the OK aquarium is more than 'ok'.

dangit, I've bought into oklahoma's citchy slogans of mediocrity.
The license plates here actually read 'oklahoma is OK.' I seem to remember Jerry Seinfeld commenting on that underwhelming sentiment when we saw him perform here in the city. I mean it could say 'oklahoma is more than OK'...but, no, we're comfortable with the honest truth around here.

So, Fact: the oklahoma aquarium has the largest tank of bull sharks found in captivity. The coolest feature of this aquarium is the 'touch tank' where aaron & I got to pet baby sharks and slimy little sting rays.
We had a great time, just browsing through the exhibits with the fascination of little four-year-olds. I think we need to freelance for the aquarium and sell them our awesome pictures!
I'd never been to Tulsa before...it's actually a really neat place, who knew? It has a lot of character, and even has a little artsy side. Aaron's last final was friday morning, so we had a blast enjoying our first guilt-free weekend together... this guy can make anything, and I do mean about anything, just that much more fun. We just grabbed some lunch on their new riverwalk, and spent the rest of our time at Utica Square. We found a great restaurant with outdoor seating (jae's must-have of the season), the Wild Fork, and continue to fine tune our art of dining 'fancy' but still at a Chili's price.

I'm really trying to take full advantage of this little sabbatical. I'm starting to catch up on all the things I've put aside... I've put my pinkie toe in the water of cooking - I made this the other night, if you're looking for a new recipe, it's yummy and really easy. I've begun to make 'plans' for all my lovely friends to come visit or to go visit them over the summer months... Hannah & Jonathan are coming over the fourth-of-july, and we're still working on the calendar for Angela and Logan's visits. I'm looking to go visit my dear friend Candice in San Diego, and Carly & Adam in Dallas over the next month as well. ...and look out - I even started a little crafty project [of which I would tell you about... but, most likely, you'll all start receiving my little homemade gifts for upcoming occasions.] I know, 'homemade gifts' makes me wince a little too, I'm not going to lie. just trust me.


do or do not. there is no try.

Well, I did it! whoa baby. high five. You may now address me as 'Master J'. I'm now educated and qualified to be YOUR genetic counselor. (or hip-hop artist, as the name would suggest - per Dad) Degrees were officially conferred on Friday night at the big ceremony in Norman at the OU stadium...something like 8,000 graduates...a huge 'to-do', much like Baylor's commencement. Having done the 'big' event for undergrad, I opted for the more intimate ceremony on Saturday - just masters and PhD students from the college of medicine. It was really well done, and I think my family thanks me for not having to sit through thousands of other students waiting for me to cross the stage. For a masters/PhD, you are to walk on stage with your mentor/director of your department, and they 'hood' you. It's this really strange elf-hat looking thing that drapes around your neck and hangs down behind you. But, hey, I felt pretty proud. Melissa and I also wore red and silver tassels for graduating with honors. After the ceremony, they had a nice wine & hors d’oeuvres reception in the library foyer for graduates and their guests. My whole family flew in, and Aaron's family (his grandparents too!) were there to celebrate - minus, of course, new daddy Trae (who I can't wait to see with new baby Emma!). As challenging as this road has been, the reward and feeling of accomplishment is of course even sweeter because of the sacrifice. Instead of closing a chapter, I really feel like I'm opening so much more! Recently someone had commented 'wow, it must be great to still be in college'...um, I beg your pardon. 'college' was amazing - that unbelievable adventured filled with such change and activity and excitement and wonderful friends. But, I don't ever remember getting up at 6 am every day, school-patients-work for 8 to 9 hours in the day, returning home at 6 pm, then studying for the rest of the night before getting up to do it all over again. Not quite the exciting-active-adventure picture of college that may have been implied... just as a disclaimer, clearly baylor took a lot of hard work too, it just came with a few more positives I guess, and a lot more balance. happily, I will now be able to come home to just 'come home' in the evenings. What's that like? ...now I want to hear...' wow, it must be great to be married and have a real job!' Now, I know that the future will a still hold the stresses of daily life... but, i've always had that in addition to the school + work load. I want to make myself 'busy' with spending all my time time with Aaron, family, and friends instead of being 'busy' staring at my thesis. sounds like cloud nine to me. In pure 1950s fashion, I'm thrilled to just hone in on my wife-y skills. As much as Aaron sweetly reminds me that he couldn't possibly want anything more, I'm just pumped to be able to just serve and encourage him with MORE of my time (and hopefully cooking!) as he continues through school, working for our future.

Well, my mom planned a few extra days for her time here in OKC... I could write for days on all the fun we had. It has been such a great experience to spend quality time with my parents - first, with my dad in Phoenix, and now with my mom on her visit here. In her 5 days we managed to squeeze in:

  • manicures/pedicures/haircuts
  • cafe 501
  • shopping [hitting up all the favorites - penn square, western ave., and spring creek]
  • dining al fresco wherever possible
  • graduation reception @ school the day before - put on by the wonderful staff in the Genetics section. it was so sweet!
  • the happy graduates - thank you melissa, for all the laughs, the venting, & for sharing this experience together. I wouldn't have wanted to walk this road with anyone else! thank you, Aaron, for your constant patience, understanding, and amazing sense of humor. I am, of course, crazy in love with you. I thank you for helping me through these last few years, you have made everything I do seem so incredibly worthwhile. You make me feel so incredibly blessed and loved each and every day. I look forward to returning your oh-so-generous favor.
    • of course, graduation ceremony itself with celebratory dinner @ 1492
    • lake hefner
    • sunning by the pool [...I need a 'base tan' before Florida. I made a promise to Aaron after last year's pre-wedding tanning and subsequent dermatology biopsy scare that I would never hit the tanning beds again. Let that be a word of warning to you ladies. seriously.]
    • movie: do not see forgetting sarah marshall unless, I guess, you want to see full male nudity and the most vulgar jokes and innuendos I've witnessed on the big screen.
    • Mother's day brunch at cafe nova complete with unlimited mimosas!
    • Mother's day afternoon spent hanging out and playing at the chaloner's house
    • trip to the casinos. I only spent $10 for 3 hours of fun! I almost won $21,000... no really, almost won. I hit the 'diamond jackpot' across all three lines, and then was given a bonus spin - there were only 7 options, 4 of them being cash awards from ~$100 to $21,000. I hit the other one, multiplying my bet by 12x. It was my first spin on that machine, people had crowded around after the lights went off before I did the 'bonus' round. I didn't even realize what I'd almost done until it was all over.
    • ...and last but not least, a lot of food and a lot of conversation. I put up a slew of pictures on our online photo album. Thanks mom, I had a great time!


    it's a girl!

    Welcome to the world, Emma Cadence Dedmon! Proud mommy & daddy, trae and coi, welcomed their first born yesterday afternoon. 10 fingers, 10 toes... 7 lbs 5. oz (I think). What an amazing blessing to the whole family. Little Emma, Uncle A & Aunt J are already crazy about you. Aaron's already written you a song. Mom, or should I say 'Grandma', is here in OKC visiting - so, I'd better get going. This is the only photo I have so far, from a camera phone, I'll be sure to give you a better preview of this precious face when I have more!


    monopoly...oh, you mean that McDonald's game?

    I feel like we've drawn one of the 'fortunate' Community Chest cards. We received a letter on our door today that said we've been paying $8 too much in rent every month since last May when we moved in. Therefore, please deduct $80 from next month's rent to balance out our account. What a nice little budget boost? Monopoly comes with those little Chance and Community Chest cards...half the time you want to draw them, half the time you don't. Life (actual, not monopoly's Milton Bradley rival) doesn't hand out rewards/regrets in the same 50/50 ratio. It seems as if the only financial cards we're dealt in reality are the 'bad ones'... the physician's co-pay, the cracked windsheild, the water damage, the late fees, the blown tire...

    It's nice every once in a while to draw the 'bank error in your favor' card, win 'second prize in the beauty contest', have your 'christmas fund mature', and collect your coin$.

    I know without a doubt you won't be seeing much of me in the near future. but, why? My big "oral defense" is on Monday at 2:30 [so you can time those prayers...]. I wish I had the time and the words to describe what this is like, but I guess I should spend any available time studying right now. So, maybe later. I have finals too, but they pale in comparison to the anxiety that comes with Monday's presentation. My 8 hour final is over with at least - they have us take our comprehensive exam a week before our defense, so that they can quiz us over any areas of 'deficiency' shown on our written exam. how sweet.
    ...but, Just hours from my last final, my Mom flies in to town! And soon to follow, the rest of my lovely family - all to celebrate graduation with me! Unbelievably Excited. Exhilarated. Ecstatic. Overjoyed. Thrilled. PUMPED. ...and, clearly understated.