A Friday Afternoon Outing

Today marks one week since Ly's rather eventful left shoulder surgery...and it seems that things are finally starting to improve - a bit. Her pain has decreased (at least she has good meds) and Ly is able to sleep more than a few hours a night. Ly is very appreciative that her husband is so patient and understanding and that he stayed home the entire week with her -- he is going to be an awesome doctor one day.

Alan's work at the NIH announced that this week is restaurant week in Bethesda. Bethesda is well known for its dining out scene and has tons of restaurants that both Ly and Alan have wanted to try for awhile now. What better time then restaurant week during which all the restaurants offer special price fix menus for lunch/dinner.

In order to help Ly get rid of her blues of being stuck inside and celebrate her feeling better-ness, Alan and Ly decided to take advantage of restaurant week. So after perusing the list of dining destinations, Ly and Alan settled on McCormik and Schmick's. Ly got all dolled up (yay for clothes that are not pajamas for once!) and off they went. They had a tasty two course lunch special. Ly had lobster ravioli in a cream sauce with some asparagus and carrots on the side with a chocolate torte topped with raspberry sauce. Alan on the other hand, ordered swordfish with a lemon sauce and a cup of crab soup. Both enjoyed their meals thoroughly and highly recommend either dish to anyone.

Ly certainly enjoyed her afternoon out and about!


AWOL Part 2

Despite Ly's efforts to go AWOL the other day from her hospital extravaganzas, certain people (read: Alan) swooped in and ruined her plan. So off she went to the hospital where Ly and Alan spent a few days basting in the glory of overnight hospitalization. Rather than dwelling on the unpleasantness of the situation (lack of privacy, "gourmet" food, slight medical emergencies and lots and lots of needles) the Lees are proud to report the surgery was an apparent success.

Ly was finally discharged a few days ago and is now resting (un)comfortably at home and hoping she will be back on the tennis courts in no time.



idiom: go AWOL
a. Absent Without Leave
b. to absent oneself without explanation as in:

Instead of going to the hospital, Ly plans on going AWOL tomorrow afternoon.


A Labor of Love

As mentioned in an earlier post Ly spent a significant amount of 2008 working on a "secret project." It is now safe to reveal that it was a queen sized quilt for her parents bed in honor of their 25th (I mean 30th) wedding anniversary. This is the first quilt Ly has ever made and the hardest part of the whole ordeal was keeping it a secret from her family -- which she amazingly enough managed to do.

The final product:

Close up of the quilt - it is machine quilted "stitch in the ditch" style:

Ly insisted on testing out the quilt for "quality control" purposes before wrapping:

The quilt was a huge hit - Ly's parents were shocked! Here are the Bolig girls relaxing/sleeping under it after opening all the presents Christmas morning:



"This is the meaning of [America's] liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father, less than 60 years ago, might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath..."

-- Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America


Introducing Nina

One day, about a year or so ago, Ly was sitting at the kitchen table with Alan when she informed him of her secret desire for a sewing machine. She was a bit nervous to admit her desire for such an object in fear of suddenly being seen as a "stay-at-home wife who sews and cooks and cleans"...but Alan reminded her that she doesn't actually do any of those things, so one out of four wouldn't be so bad.*

With this comforting thought in mind, Ly and Alan trekked out to the local Bernina store the next afternoon to do some research - or so Ly thought. Yet, Alan being the tricky husband that he is, had already done his research and a few hours later the Lee family came home accompanied by none other than Nina the Bernina.

As you can see, Nina is quite a lovely machine. She is small enough for Ly to carry around the house, comes with a cute red case, is very heavy duty, and has all sorts of special features and stitches. Nina even came with a 9 week sewing class. So to sum it all up, Nina is basically the best sewing machine ever.

For the next 3 months or so, on Saturday afternoons Ly would spend a couple of hours at the Bernina store learning how to use her new sewing machine. She found it slightly awkward to be the youngest person in the class by a good 2 or 3 decades and even more awkward when she didn't even know how to hem a pair of pants. While Alan is still waiting to actually see Ly hem a pair of jeans, Ly maintains that she at least now knows how. Sort of.

Anway, the purchase of Nina was kept a secret for as long as possible because Ly was working on a secret project...but that's a story for another time.

*Let the record state that Ly is actually an excellent cook, and does help clean the house except for the toilets which she thinks is "disgusting"


To the heart of the matter

Today was Alan's best day. Okay maybe not as good as his wedding, day but a close second. Today Alan saw a real live beating heart. In person. And it was amazing.

It all started because Alan's lab at the NIH began working with Georgetown University Hospital. GUH provides Alan with some cancer samples (AKA tumor just taken out of a person) that he analyzes and does all sorts of scientific things to in so he can help discover the cure for cancer. Anyway, this morning Alan had to go to the hospital to pick up a sample. Apparently the surgery was taking a little longer (shocking) than usual and Alan was escorted to the waiting room. After waiting for awhile, a nurse emerged and instead of a sample in her hand she had a stack of disposable operating room attire. She handed the clothes to Alan and told him that the doctor wanted to talk to him.

Alan quickly changed and followed the nurse into the OR. There lying on the table was a patient, chest open, heart exposed and beating. The doctor kicked over a stool, indicated that Alan should stand on the stool, then proceeded to give him a 5 minute anatomy lesson of the chest cavity and heart. And it was while Alan was watching a heart rhythmically roll and tirelessly pumping less than 2 feet away that he discovered Heaven on Earth.

When Alan got home, Ly was forced to listen as he recounted every single detail of the operating room/beating heart. And while she attempted to share in his enthusiasm, she couldn't help but wonder if a guy had ever run home to his wife as excited as Alan was after witnessing one of her many operations. Maybe just once.


As you are all well aware, Ly has a slight obsession with Wall-E and has been dreaming of owning a dancing wall-e toy for months. He dances. He talks. He is a source of endless laughs. Who in their right mind wouldn't want to own one? Apparently most people felt this way, because back in December Target on both coasts sold out and Ly's hopes of owning one for herself were washed down the drain. As Christmas came and went without a dancing wall-e, she felt that she might have to learn to live without one. What a sad life.

However, the universe felt otherwise.

Last night, Alan and Ly went on a late night excursion to Target and while aimlessly walking down every aisle, Ly discovered the last dancing wall-e toy for a mere 9 dollars!!! What a fantastic deal! She begged, pleaded and gave puppy dog eyes until Alan bought it for her (not really, he put it in the cart without having to be asked) and a few minutes later she was a proud owner of a dancing Wall-E.

Ly discovered this video to show you how cool Wall-E is...and also because it brings back some crazy memories - right Lil?

Someday she'll actually post pictures of her bonding with Wall-E. He has yet to leave her side since he was purchased last night, and, is, in fact sitting next to the keyboard as we speak (type?)

Holiday 2008 Recap (a bit late!!)

Ly + Alan spent 2 glorious weeks in San Diego for the holidays. The weather was not as sunny as Ly had hoped - it rained on Christmas but let's face it, anything above freezing is a welcome change. Highlights of the trip, in no particular order, include:

Finding and decorating our 8 ft Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve. Lily managed to convince Alan to help her with her yearly duty of putting on the lights:
The Bolig girls got a little sidetracked with putting on the lights and decided to put on a variety show instead:
Christmas morning started bright and early (6:30 am) and was full of tons of gifts, Christmas cookies/sticky buns, and Jesus Christ Superstar:
Opening presents for a few hours is very tiring so Lily and Ly took a nap on the couch:
Hotel Del...where there was ice skating on the beach and a huge vintage themed Christmas tree...and a yummy fudge shop:
The whole fam spent a day at the beach where Ly learned more about her awesome cannon camera and how to use all the functions and Lily educated everyone about the ocean and the animals that live there:
Alan and Ly on the beach at sunset the day after Christmas...the beach is Ly's happy place:

Some other non-photographed memories include: spending hours adding new music to Ly's ipod, playing mahjong on New Years Eve, Mother-Daughter shopping trips, Going to the movies with the family (7 Pounds, Frost/Nixon, Slumdog Millionaire) and starting a family book club.

Hope your holidays were as family filled and relaxing.