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here i am, sitting on the familiar maroon couches of the resident lounge at children’s medical center, eight forty-one on christmas eve.  back in the fall, when i looked ahead to this night, i was sure i would be sitting here, teary-eyed, in disbelief at my first ever christmas away from home.  believe it or not, my eyes are welling up a bit, but not with sadness — with gratefulness.

without detailing every event and conversation that has brought me to this moment, it is worth mentioning a few.

at the risk of getting mushy, i have to start by singing the sincere praises of my incredible husband.  as the years have passed in our marriage, my work/education has demanded more and more of my time.  my schedule over the past year and a half has been especially grueling, and there are months in which i barely have time to eat dinner with him before i head out the door to work.  not only has he encouraged me through those hard days and abstained from making guilt-laden comments about my working so much… he has also cared for me abundantly and selflessly.  even with his busy work schedule, he makes dinner for me, builds fires when i’m chilly, keeps our house tidy (thus keeping me sane), and much more.  i am so blessed to have a husband who leads, nurtures, and serves me so well.

tonight, before i left for my night shift, i savored christmas dinner with our “third family”.  when i moved to dallas, i had no plans to find deep, life-changing friendships while in medical school — and i was fine with that.  but, of course, God had plans that i could not fathom.  five years down the road, we’re surrounded by incredible friends who bring us joy and shape us (proverb 27.17).  included in those are the families of our friends, who have embraced us as their own — and we LOVE them.  nothing can replace our own families, but having a little family here in dallas, who invite me in to their holiday festivities as if i were a daughter/sister, is priceless.

and as i drove up to children’s medical center tonight, i felt an unexpected wave of joy to be caring for these children who, instead of sitting at home opening presents, are here feeling pain and sickness.  no, i don’t usually feel that way as i drive in — i’m usually tired, wishing i didn’t have to go work, wishing my schedule wasn’t so crazy.  but somehow, tonight, i felt privileged to be serving these families in a time that is so difficult for them.  it reminded me of the passion that i felt when caring for the children in ghana this summer.  despite the fact that this vocation makes me miss family events and holidays, i feel glad to have the opportunity to love others through my time and skills.

working on christmas will never be easy, i’m sure of that.  and yet, i am reminded of the deep, wide love of God, that takes a broken, desperate world and makes it a place of redemption and grace.  and i am thankful.

– courtney

p.s. right in the middle of writing this blog, i cried just a few tears — of sadness — when i realized that i accidentally booked my flight to san diego (on wednesday) for eleven pm instead of eleven am!  oops.  well, i don’t know why i thought i could make it through christmas away from home without a few tears when pregnant.  : )  silly me.  still thankful.

my night float team at children’s.


sorry we missed last friday’s phone dump! i have a few pictures, but we were busy enjoying a weekend away in houston, so i didn’t make it to the blog!

when i was in med school, the october of our first year was known as “black-tober” — because the calendar is black with tons of exams.  everyone dreaded it, including me!  but we all got through it (obviously)… and here i am, five years later, having enjoyed a month of pure joy this october of two thousand eleven.  my four-week development rotation was a great chance to enjoy our family and friends, as i had every single weekend off. what a luxury!!! i am so thankful for all the people that surround us, near and far. our family and friends bring so much joy and depth to our lives!

here are some of the fun things that filled our october:

  • veggie burgers and thai steak noodle salad at houston’s
  • trip to the pumpkin patch at the dallas arboretum
  • sweet conversations about the future and where God might be leading us and our friends
  • a few chilly days — finally!
  • coconut cream pie at capital grille
  • a harry potter themed birthday party with fun friends
  • leisurely shopping with my mom and sis
  • re-vamping our bible reading at the baldridge home
  • decorating sugar cookies cut in the shape of pumpkins
  • movies at the theater  (a rarity for the baldridges) — 50/50 and footloose
  • guacamole at mi cocina
  • surprising a friend with our visit to houston
  • girls vs boys game of “cranium”  with mom, dad, and sis
  • a reunion of dear friends
  • african ground nut soup and moroccan vegetable stew
  • praying over a friend as we send her off to lesotho for a year
  • staying up late chatting with my sis
i didn’t name everything, but as you can see, it was a good month.  i started my rotation in the pediatric i.c.u. (fondly known as the “picu”) this past monday, and it’s going well so far.  it was sad to say goodbye to my days of relaxation and fun, but i’m also happy to say that i’m enjoying the hard work, too.  i’m pretty sure i was made for pediatric medicine… i just love it.
i promise some photos on friday…  ciao till then!


my mom, dad, and sis are here for the weekend… and it is amazing.  i love them so much.  and i love my husband so much.  which makes for one awesome weekend.

enjoy the pics…

i heart fridays

this month, my weekly day off has been friday.  today was the best friday yet.  i slept in, went for a run at the lake in 59-degree sunshiny weather, then went to my favorite coffee shop (haven’t been there in months) to enjoy a toasted marshmallow latte while reading a book and spending some time with God.  a-ma-zing.  then, tonight, aaron and i enjoyed dinner with my childhood friend, jawny, and her boyfriend, lloyd.  so much fun.

well, i need to be getting to sleep, so here are some pics from the week…

happy friday!

we’ve moved!

no, not our home. [though you should know that we are now getting ALL mail at our apartment — the d.t.s. mailbox is out of commission — so send all mail to glen america drive!]

we’ve moved our blog!  we are now located at

we hope to transfer all our old posts to the new site soon, too.  but until then, you’ll find all new posts on the wordpress site.  see you there!


if you haven’t done so already, check over on the africa in july website. we have had several updates.

africa in july

If you haven’t been following our little adventure you can start now or just follow the links from this blog. We will try to put reminders up on this site or you can simply go on over to:

Here is a link to the first post:

winter in dallas

winter has now given me five days off from school. last week ice coated the ground and then about four or five inches of snow fell. i didn’t leave the apartment complex for five days straight with four of those days being ‘inclement weather’ days from my school. now, today, another winter storm moved in and gave me one more day off mid-week! here are a couple of pictures from our apartment complex from last week.
view from the front door
view from the balcony

home (new-ish)

i know it’s been quite a while, but we won’t fill you in on all that’s happened, since it can briefly summed up with just a few words: work, work, work, play a little, work work work.

there’s much more to be said about the wonders of caring for little ones and their illnesses, the trials of waking up early, the triumphs of teaching students that are eager to learn… but for now, we’ll just share with you some pictures of the place we return to every night. it took a little while to reach completion, but after the arrival of our couches this weekend, it’s ready for a little show-and-tell. 🙂

our bedroom:

and bathroom:
the guest room (hint, hint):
the guest bathroom:
the kitchen:
the living/dining room:

the balcony:

lake travis: part III

may of this year marked our third trip to the austin area and spending time with jenny’s family on lake travis. i don’t think we gave you a look at last year’s trip but we will spare you all of the crazy pictures of aaron and jump straight to this years trip.

time at lake travis has taken on a pretty constant rhythm. the rhythm goes a little something like this: food, lake, relax, food, lake, relax, food, sleep… repeat. the food is all home cooked meals ranging from fajitas to sticky buns. the lake time is all spent on a dock, literally on the lake, with some time spent behind jet skis and floating in tubes on the lake. the relaxation time is divided between the dock and jenny’s parents home that has some stellar views of the lake and an exceptional view of sunsets every evening. the sleep… well the sleep is sleep and is much needed after long hard days at the lake.

 just enjoying the lake

 sunset on lake travis
 all the doctors and denise
adam starting p90x
and one just for fun…