Month: March 2014

Direct Access to Physical Therapy | Take Ownership of Your Health

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The profession of physical therapy has come a long way in recent years. I am so excited about the fact that we can now treat patients without the referral from a physician. Here are some facts about direct access to physical therapy. I encourage you take ownership of your health and click the link on the bottom of this post to learn more about direct access in your state.

What is direct access to physical therapy?

Direct access, or “self referral”, to physical therapy services allows a person to seek physical therapy without having an order from a physician first.

What are the advantages of direct access?

Direct access saves time. For a person with a musculoskeletal injury, they can go directly to a physical therapist without having to first schedule an appointment with a physician, get a script from a physician, and then schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.

Direct access may also save money by eliminating unnecessary tests, diagnostic procedures, or other specialist referrals. There are many conditions that can be treated effectively from physical therapy without requiring expensive diagnostic testing.

Are there risks to direct access?

Opponents argue that persons who directly seek help from a physical therapist before a physician may be put at risk due to lack of diagnostic tests prior to treatment. However, there is currently no data to verify that people who use direct access spend more money or are put at increased risk.

To become a physical therapist, one must graduate with a doctorate of physical therapy degree. Doctors of physical therapy are educated to recognize signs and symptoms that require referral to a physician and/or specialist.

Click here to find out more about Direct Access and inform yourself on your state’s legislation regarding your access to physical therapy without referral from a physician.

Davey’s Famous Pretzels

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Sometimes my friends from the South use the phrase “y’all” as a complete sentence. It means, “Oh my goodness, you guys, can you believe it?” For example, we may go to the mall and see an awesome deal. Someone will simply say, “Y’all” to get our attention and hold up the price tag.

When I first tasted these pretzels, I wanted to look around to anyone who will listen and just say, “Y’all.” THESE ARE AMAZING. And no words can really describe them. If Davey didn’t like his job so much, I think I could convince him to quit and open up his own pretzel stand in the mall. He could give Auntie Anne a run for her money, that’s for sure.

Davey typically looks for extremely easy recipes (less than 5 ingredients), so I was surprised when he told me yesterday he was going to make pretzels. (side note: This may or may not have been after he took me to the mall because I told him I was craving mall pretzels — after which we left the mall empty handed because the pretzels looked ‘too hard and dry’ to satisfy my craving…err…). Not to say I don’t have confidence in my husband’s skills, but it seemed like a far-fetched idea for Davey—whose first home cooked meal two years ago consisted of a hot dog on a piece of white bread with shredded cheese on top—to make something that required active dry yeast. Doesn’t yeast make things difficult?

Well, apparently not. This recipe turned out surprisingly easy and surprisingly scrumptious.

I’m willing to share Davey’s recipe with you, but ladies, you’re on your own for finding a man who will make homemade pretzels for you when your 23 weeks pregnant and having strange cravings.

If you don’t want to just say, “Y’all!” after your first bite, then you must be missing some taste buds.

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda

Sweet Flavoring:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

Directions
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s hot enough to stick your finger in the milk for 5 seconds, (think just above hot tub temperature). Pour into a medium bowl and stir in one packet of yeast. Let sit about 2 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour. Soften 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and salt. At this point, the dough should be sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. Dough should be softer, but still slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for one hour. Dough will double in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Punch the dough to deflate it, then place on a lightly floured surface. Use a pizza cutter to slice dough into 12-15 pieces. Roll each piece into the thickness of your finger. Each piece of dough should be about 6-12 inches long.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Dip each pretzel stick in the soda solution, and lay on greased baking sheet (or pizza brick) leaving room between each pretzel stick.

Bake 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Melt butter. Brush over each stick. Dip pretzel sticks into sugar and brown sugar mixture.

Enjoy!

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Milwaukee, WI

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Davey and I went on an adventure this weekend to visit my brother, Rex, in Milwaukee! My sister drove up from Indianapolis for the adventure as well. Living in Minneapolis without any family makes us feel a little stranded at times, so spending a whole weekend with two of my siblings was great. We explored the city, watched some basketball, went to mass, and shared a lot of laughs! Siblings are the greatest —

Enjoy our short video recap of the trip!

Lenten Reflection

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Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alteration of sound and silence there would be no rhythm. If we strive to be happy by filling the silences of life with sound, productive by turning all life’s leisure into work, and real by turning all our being into doing, we will only succeed in producing a hell on earth. Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island.

Chocolate chip cheesecake

chocolate chip cheesecake

At this point in pregnancy, I can’t really say I have cravings. I think it’s just my natural disposition to turn our pantry inside out looking for chocolate after every meal. The only difference is that for nine months I can blame my genetically ingrained sweet tooth on the fact that I am growing another human being inside me right now.

Davey is what you may call an enabler. He gives into my requests for homemade chocolate chip cookies on an all too-often basis. He is always agreeable to trying a new recipe– (maybe because I have learned that to get a man to bake, you have to make it a competition. So, I say things like, “I bet my batch of cookies will turn out better than yours.” Before you know it, I have two batches of cookies to devour. 75% of the time I tell him he wins, hands down. Best baker in the house. The other 25% of the time I say vague statements like “something’s missing…” It’s a form of classical conditioning that keeps the competition alive for a man. Whatever gets me more cookies. Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones that makes me manipulate my way to more sweets)

Here is a new recipe we tried the other day from our Nestle Cookbook.

chocolate chip cheesecake

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE

Crust
1.5 c crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
2 T butter, melted
2 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided

Combine cookies and butter in bowl until moistened, then press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup morsels.

Filling
2 8-oz packages cream cheese
0.5 c granulated sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 T all-puropse flour
0.75 c evaporated milk
0.5 c sour cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs and flour. Gradually beat in evaporated milk and sour cream. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with remaining morsels.

Bake 25 minutes at 300 degrees F. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, then bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Refrigerate immediately for 2 hours or until firm.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Enjoy!

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Our second home

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Leaving our first home in Carmel, IN was one of the toughest things about moving. We had just moved all my stuff in the apartment after getting married and were making it ours when we got the call that we were moving to Minneapolis. So, just after unpacking in Carmel, we packed everything back up and loaded the Uhual, making our trek up north on Christmas Day.

Until yesterday we still had a few boxes that had yet to be unpacked, but there is nothing like having people over that gives you a swift kick in the rear to get yourself together and unpack those last boxes….and hang those pictures on the wall…and figure our why that closet door won’t shut… So thank goodness we invited a couple friends over for lasanga last night. It gave us the motivation we needed!

We spent yesterday finalizing our move and making our house a home. Here are some pictures!

home, house, minneapolis

house, home, minneapolis

house, home, minneapolis

house, home, minneapolis

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house, home, minneapolis

Feeling loved

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Living so far away from family and friends makes any type of contact with them extra meaningful. We had two fun surprises this week that reminded us how grateful we are for our loved ones.

The first surprise was coming home on Thursday night to find a package from our sweet friend, Megan, with a picture frame for our ultrasound picture. So sweet of her to think of us during this time. Since this is the first addition to the nursery, it spurred in me the desire to start looking for a crib and rocking chair! Send me any pins of cribs and rocking chairs you like on Pinterest!

The second surprise was coming home on Friday night to the news that our wedding video was uploaded on Northernlight Filmworks Blog. It was so neat to watch the video on Friday night and relive our wedding day. We will show the video to Baby Hiatt one day. :)

Our adventure to Minnehaha Falls

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This weekend was monumental for a few reasons–the greatest reason being that I finally caved and purchased maternity pants. I entered a new dimension of comfort that I have never known before and I love it. The pants make me feel better about my changing body since I no longer have to pull my pants closed with a hair-tie extending from the button to the buttonhole (see here). Once I put the pants on, I magically felt like my body is supposed to be this way, and I no longer have to compensate for it.

Another reason this weekend was monumental is that we finally had an opportunity to play with one of my birthday presents–a camcorder! Here’s a short video of our adventure to Minnehaha Falls:

Minnehaha (hahaahahaha….) Falls was so beautiful! Melting snow isn’t the most photogenic thing in the world, but I couldn’t love it more. We soaked up the 40 degree weather, which is about 50-60 degrees warmer than the past few months. Maaaaaaybe spring will come?!

Stop and smell the coffee

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coffee

Coffee.

It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.

And it’s the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night as I prepare the pot for the next day’s dose.

Like anything else in life that is amazingly good, one can consume too much, not enough, or just the right amount. (I guess Goldilocks had it right the whole time)

This is how I use the amount of coffee I drink as an indicator of the priorities in my life:

1. Too much coffee: Can there be such a thing as too much coffee??!! Yes, there can. When I think of someone who drank too much coffee, I think of my creepy middle school band teacher who always had a cup o’ joe in his hand and the smell of burnt coffee on his dry breath. I would practice my clarinet so much so I wouldn’t mess up in class for fear Mr. Woodworth would walk up to me in class, lean in real close, and tell me with his smelly breath that I messed up. I’m not kidding. He had quite the pot belly, too. When bored, I would imagine that if I stuck a needle in his belly, coffee would sprout out.

I do not want to become that person.

More than 2 cups is too much for me, and that’s when I stop myself and think of Mr. Woodworth. I think Mr. Woodworth drank too much coffee because he was bored with his job. But for me, too much coffee usually means I am overworking myself, and I need to get more sleep. The time in my life when I drank too much coffee was during grad school. I drank coffee for the energy to study. I would drink it morning, noon, and night. I didn’t even stop and enjoy it really; I just drank it as a drug to stay awake and alert. So if I am tempted to reach for that third cup, I remind myself to slow down.

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Studying over coffee

2. Not enough coffee: Aside from the times when I used coffee as a drug to stay awake and alert, I love the experience of sipping coffee. My earliest memory of coffee is watching my mom sip it in the morning when I would get ready for school. She would wake us up, help us get our breakfast and lunches ready, then sit in her robe and sip coffee. She would hold her mug with two hands, keeping it close to her mouth. I asked her once why she held her coffee to her mouth when she wasn’t drinking it, and she said, “Because I love the smell of it.” I would board the bus, turn around and wave to mom, and she would smile over her coffee mug. At an early age, I couldn’t wait to be an adult and enjoy coffee. I recognized that sipping coffee was an experience to be savored and appreciated. Now, as an adult, I often find myself running out the door in the morning without my morning coffee because there are thingsineedtodo and peopleineedtosee. That’s when I think of my mom on our early school mornings and remind myself to slow down.

3. Just the right amount of coffee: If I am drinking just the right amount of coffee, I am able to sit, sip, and simmer. The experience of 1-2 cups of coffee provides time for a good conversation with a friend, the formation of a new idea, or the necessary closure to an ongoing thought. When I am drinking 1-2 cups a day, I am spending the right amount of time in purposely purposeless thought.

After all, it’s the subtle nuances of everyday life that should be appreciated over a cup of coffee. So when I am so busy that I need coffee as a drug to stay awake, or so busy that I don’t have time to enjoy the experience of coffee, I remind myself to stop and smell the coffee to fully appreciate life.

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Coffee on Folly Beach