Tuesday, September 28, 2010

School update

Life's mysteries explained.

These last few weeks I have been filled most days to the brim with new information. Most of this information would have been very useful the last few years in my last job. It makes it so much more fascinating to learn about the hows? and whys? of body systems in anatomy, biochem and physiology. I can immediately fill in the blanks of my wikipedia based prior anatomy lessons. Every time I learn one of these things... I think, why didn't somebody just explain it that way before?

I am enjoying school. I am consistently amazed at the amount of time and energy it takes to go to class, do the reading, and keep up in lab. I often am so engrossed in the material that I loose track of time -- and hours pass by very quickly. I often feel that there is not enough time in each day to do everything that I used to do. The things that have been sidelined are: house projects, many cleaning activities, social activities, and laundry (especially folding and putting away clothes). I am lucky to have wonderful classmates that I enjoy learning from and with.

On that note, my scrubs (which I wear to anatomy lab) are finished washing. Now to transfer them to the dryer, so that I have clean scrubs to wear again to anatomy tomorrow.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

One Week In... Many to go

I have now completed my first week of medical school.

The material is fascinating. The speed at which it comes is intense.

During orientation it was likened to two analogies, both of which I believe to be true:
Medical school is like, trying to take a drink out of a fire hydrant.
Medical school is like, trying to eat an elephant. You have to eat it one bite at a time.

So far, we have went through about 75-100 pages of course pack material (i.e. lecture notes) in each class. This does not count the many pages of reading required outside of class, just to keep up in class. Additionally, for each of my three main science courses (currently), there have been at least 1 (if not more) additional lecture supplements that need to be watched online.

Med School is not like undergrad. The instructors do not get behind in the course material. If they are not able to cover 1o min. course material in lecture, it becomes an online lecture supplement. It is not covered at the start of the next class period, before moving onto the next planned lesson.

I have my first quiz on Tuesday. Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

White Coat Ceremony

Tonight marked the end of orientation... My classes white coat ceremony was held tonight in Grand Rapids. School begins bright and early tomorrow.

The white coat ceremony is a ceremony to mark the beginning of the pre-clinical years (i.e. the first 2 years of medical school, before a medical student starts to regularly see patients) and to remind students of their obligation to care for patients (and not just to treat them). The dean and others in the college spoke, our class walked across the stage and were coated individually by members of the faculty and alumni of the college, we recited the matriculating student oath, sat through a few parting words... and then off to be hugged and congratulated by our family and friends.

This is a picture of Pete and myself immediately following the ceremony. As you can see, this is a happy occasion. I was honored to have not only my husband, but my parents, in laws, both sets of Pete's grandparents, and Kate and Kent at the ceremony. All in all, about 1800 people were present to support the 200 people starting medical school this fall.

Well, now off to sleep... school starts bright and early tomorrow morning.

Eta... It was fun to see my folks this weekend. We spent yesterday and this morning with them. A quick weekend. Spent playing rook, chatting, and making sure I had the necessary things for my ceremony today. The weekend went by so quick!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Home Projects Pictures

In the last few weeks, we have been able to get a few projects done... It feels good to have been able to get a few projects completed in the space between medical school acceptance and the start of orientation. It somehow makes my home feel more in order, and settled.

Trim has been stripped, primed and repainted.

Curtains have been hung in the living room.

The curtains that I made for the bedroom have been hung up. This is the shade all the way up (looks like a valence... but don't look too closely).

And the curtain down for the night. (Again, do not look closely... my sewing technique leaves much to be desired.)

And Hondo now has a new hiding spot (thanks to my new desk). Hondo follows me around when I am home, and likes to be within a few feet of me (quite literally). Especially when Pete is gone, I find this little quirk quite comforting.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Med School (orientation) has started

Saturday marked the beginning of my medical school career. It was the first day of orientation, and a very busy day at that... The day was fun, and I met many wonderful and unique people. There is certainly much diversity in my class -- I am looking forward to getting to know my classmates (in addition to the course material).

But anyways, would you have expected the first day of orientation to be tag, a few puzzles, and a game called four-feet (get 4 people from point A-> B using only 4 feet, then 3 feet, then 2 feet... etc.)? Well, it was. I can not remember the last time I have done any of the aforementioned activities (with exception of making a puzzle last winter) in the last decade or so. Evidently, the first day of med school is a lot like an grade school birthday party (without the cake and ice cream)! :)

Tomorrow, starts the first full week of orientation -- many lectures on professionalism, debt management, etc. Wednesday afternoon is devoted to a community service activity, and Thursday afternoon I have my first test (CPR skills test). Friday afternoon, I get my remaining school supplies and meet the second year students. And then, Saturday... my mom and dad come into town... For Sunday's white coat ceremony.

And then... school starts promptly at 8:00 AM on Monday, August 30th. Should be a fun adventure.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Misc. Ramblings (Aren't they all?)

Pete and I returned home on Tuesday after a lovely, long weekend in the U.P. -- our 1st time returning to the shores of Lake Superior as a couple to vacation since Pete graduated from Tech. We had a wonderful time -- enjoying the sand, waves, sun, and visiting with friends & family. When you don't return to an area for a few years, it is easy to see the passing of time. Since we left, everybody is doing something or is located somewhere else. It's amazing. But, it was so fun to catch up with everyone! We will have to make it back more often than once every 4 years going forward! :)

Tomorrow, I start my last week of work. I think this is the first time I have ever written about work on this blog. Although I am excited to start this next phase (school and new career), and in many ways I wish the second week of school were here already; it feels odd to be saying good-bye to my current job. I will miss the people, and many aspects of my current job. I have enjoyed working in clinical research for the last 6 or so years; perhaps, I will have the opportunity to work with clinical trials again in the future.

Pete returns to Ohio tomorrow. We were spoiled this week -- following our mini-vacation to the U.P., Pete was able to be home. It felt nice to have him around in the evenings. I have been told to expect his weekday absence through October.

Well, wish you all the best in your day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Books, books, and more books

Yesterday, I was able to sign up for classes, and received my books/supplies list. It feels good to move toward my next adventure, and know a bit more about how the fall semester will be. And busy, it will be. Next semester, I have exams every week but 2. I have a 1.5 page book list in small font. I have a 3 page equipment list, most to be used starting the second semester. I have 4 chapters of assigned reading due the third day of school for 1 of my 6 or 7 courses this semester. I have enrolled in 19 credit hours. It will be busy. But, many people go through medical school each year, so it is not an unbearable load for majority of those who make it through the intense application process.

I am still excited to be starting school. Becoming both more and less nervous with each passing day. Knowing my courses/books/supplies/etc. is helpful. Having met one of my younger future classmates also was helpful. However, until I actually start... I will not know what school is actually like, and will not know the majority of my future classmates. Orientation begins in 33 days... and counting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It is crazy how quickly the summer is going... Already about 1/2 over, and soon Pete & I will begin our next adventure. Getting me to finish medical school -- 40 days until I begin orientation to be exact. 24 days left of work. (Not that I am counting or anything)

Since my last post, Pete & I had the pleasure of camping at Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan for 4th of July weekend with my family & our friends. We had a great time -- lots of time in the water and visiting. Highly suggest this park, although perhaps on a less busy weekend (the park was packed).

On July 5th, Pete packed his bags... he will be gone during the week for about the next 10 weeks, and home on the weekends. We decided that this arrangement is really not that bad. During the week, we both keep busy anyway... however, I do miss him by Friday and it is still nice to see him.

As our free weekends are numbered (we do not know what to expect once school starts), we have been chipping away at house projects.
*I am trying to find/make the remaining curtains needed for the main level & upstairs bathroom. I have a bit more confidence in my sewing skills since I finished our bedroom curtains (which if you see them, do not look close - the sewing is obviously not straight) which work to block out the early AM sunshine.
*Pete is getting the trim painted.
*We are going to be cleaning up some dead trees in the front lawn.

Hopefully, we can accomplish these projects during the next 6 weekends. Take care & enjoy the sun!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free kittens?

About 9 weeks ago, our cat had two kittens. 1 male, 1 female. Both tiger stripped, with a solid color stomach. Very cute, playful, and affectionate. If you know of anybody who needs a
kitten, please let me know.

New Office - Check

In preparation for my return to school, Pete and I decided a few weeks ago that I needed a larger study area. We have been looking for a desk/office furniture. Yesterday, we located the perfect desk set at Habitat for Humanity-- a 4 piece office furniture set. It is in wonderful condition, and certainly large enough for any of my needs.

After we brought the desk set home, we cleaned up the house a bit, and moved Hondo out of his room on the main floor (relocated him to the end of the second floor hallway, next to window and third floor stairs), and moved the furniture into the space. I also went and purchased a few office supplies and drawer organizers -- I am certainly looking forward to starting school!

Here is a look at Hondo's room before:

And my new office after! I still need to get a few decor type items, a laptop/printer/etc., and a desk lamp. I believe Pete may also be making another book shelf or two.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Starting our next adventure

Pete & I have been working on starting our next adventure... one of us being a student again. It should be an interesting journey! :)

After finding out I will be attending school this upcoming fall, the following things have been done:
-Party to celebrate being accepted to medical school
-Meeting with the financial aid office
-Deciding to stay in our house (instead of moving toward selling our home)
-Notifying my work of my impending departure (last day is August 13th).

Additionally, our summer project list has been updated.
It now consists of:
1) Converting Hondo's room to my office
2) Cutting up a few more dead trees for firewood this winter
3) Re-painting the outside trim, and repairing any loose siding.

Hopefully, we are able to accomplish the above items in the few weeks remaining before school starts. This blog will now chronicle both things -- school adventures & home renovations as both will be projects the next few years.

Monday, May 17, 2010


This morning I found out some news that will undoubtedly change both Pete & my life... I have been accepted to medical school. I was trembly, I was shakey, and I had a smile on my face all day. It is good, but scary, news. And I could concentrate on little else.

I will start school again in August. It has been 7 years since I last loaded up a backpack with notebooks and pens/pencils with the sole goal of mastering a subject and passing a class. I have been told that returning to school is "like riding a bike". Is this really true? Is it really that simple? I hope so, with one caveat... I hope to take school more seriously the second time around. This time, people will one day be counting on me to know the subject matter.

Despite my nervous thoughts, I have been absolutely gleeful all day long; feeling like I did the day I got engaged... like I could not stop smiling! It is a powerful thing to see your dreams start to come to fruition. I am fortunate to have a husband who is very supportive of my dreams and has encouraged me to follow them. We are very excited to begin the next phase of our journey, knowing that in a few short years I will be what I wanted since I was young... a physician.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy, busy days

Our lives are full of fun! :)

Last week was spent enjoying time in Minnesota; Pete with his buddies and me with my family.

We traveled to the land of 10,000 lakes for a wedding -- Pete was best man in his friend Jeff's wedding. It was a very beautiful wedding -- lots of tulips and spring-time colors. True to past weddings (in his group of friends), the bachelor party lasted longer than a single night... Pete got to spend time with Jeff (and others) starting Tuesday through the night of the wedding. It sounds like they really had fun times together!

I spent the week with family, and it was fantastic.
* On Tuesday, for instance, I got to spend the day with my dad. I probably have not spent a day with my father since I moved out of the house. We had a great time talking as we traveled north to visit Grandma S., some aunts and uncles, and stopping at my sister's apartment on the way home.
* Thursday was my sister Kristen's baby shower. I was so happy to be home for this event. When I live so far away, I miss out on so much. It is simply not possible to be home for everything. I have made my peace with this fact, but certainly enjoy it when I can make it to these celebrations!
* Friday, I spent the day at Como Zoo with my mom and Grandma D. They have this crazy toad that looks like a dead leaf... there are so many interesting animals out there!
*After the wedding, on Saturday... my family had a surprise early 26th birthday party for me. It was fun ~ best 26th birthday party I've ever been too! :)
Aside from these things, I was able to get to each of my sister's homes, and spend a bit of time with my sister-in-law!

Other than the above trip... We have been on the road quite a bit lately. Pete has been traveling for work, Texas for the two weeks following his trip to Vancouver/the Olympics, and myself to Marquette for a girl's weekend with the L. family.

In between these trips, we have managed to stay busy with house projects... I have now completed my curtains for our bedroom (which are still waiting to be hung), and Pete has removed the big rocks from the flower gardens (in preparation for mowing them over). Our house project is coming along nicely, and I am looking forward to a few weekends at home this spring!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


February certainly flew by...

This month we have made progress on our home -- Pete finished wiring the second floor. With more outlets on the second floor, I have been able to set up a sewing area. And, I have started to make curtains for our bedroom. I have completed 1.75 curtains for our bedroom & am fairly pleased with the way the curtains have turned out -- especially with how they block out sunlight in the morning! I will post pictures when I get all 3 curtains finished.

Pete just returned today from Washington state. He had been there this past week for work. Fortunately, he and his co-worker finished up their project a day earlier, and were able to head up to Vancouver for a day to enjoy the Winter Olympics.
Pete in front of the Olympic flame.

Waiting in line to get into the curling arena -- notice that its through a residential area of town...

Next picture -- China wins the bronze in Women's curling!
Pete with the Finnish bobsled team.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day

It's absolutely beautiful today...

There's about 10" of fresh snow on the ground, and as I am stuck at my house (until I get plowed out)... today feels like time has stopped. Granted I have been working on things from home. And granted I have been getting other things done (unpacking from recent trip to Scottsdale, laundry, etc.). It feels cozy -- like the world has been wrapped in a white fleecy blanket. How lovely.
I went to Scottsdale over the weekend for work. It felt completely amazing to see bright sunshine and feel 70 degree weather (remember short sleeves anyone?). I also had an opportunity while I was there to see an old friend, Emily. It was wonderful to catch up with her -- I have not seen her since college. Funny how time can pass so quickly by!

I used to dread going out of town for these meetings -- I think I have rather come to enjoy it. Perhaps, its because Pete's not travelling as much that these short trips are enjoyable. Or perhaps, I have become more comfortable with venturing out on my own. Maybe, its both. Whatever it is... sometimes spending a few days away can be refreshing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hectic to less harried

I made the decision to quit the play. There is a fine line between busy and crazy, so I quit.

Although I miss acting, really enjoyed being on stage again (first time in a decade!), and met some wonderful people... I am glad that I made the decision to quit. The schedule for rehearsals was becoming increasingly demanding. Late last week, I found out that I am going to Scottsdale, AZ this weekend for a work meeting (with accompanying increase in work due to being out of the office). Additional hockey games were added into my hockey schedule on Sunday. And Pete & I are trying to finish up a few house projects (Pete: wiring, me: getting up the enthusiasm to set up a sewing area to make curtains). It was simply becoming too much. So, I quit. I needed sleep more than something to do in the evenings.

Happy winter!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Productive Day

Last night, Pete and I returned from Jay Peak, Vermont.
Above: Picture is supposed to be rotated -- trees covered in snow
We went out there for a long weekend to go skiing/snowboarding in the Green Mountains --leaving on Friday, and coming home yesterday.
Today, I managed to...
*Do our 2009 taxes.
*Do all the laundry that accompanies a vacation.
*Unload the car (and all of our associated winter gear).
*Play with Hondo, our dog.
Above: Everybody who went skiing

We had a great time out East. We met up with Pete's family out there, and were able to get in 2 beautiful days of skiing (me)/snowboarding (Pete) before we headed home. The days were sunny, the snow was very white, and the trees were somewhat sparkly from ice/snow build-up on the branches. The weather did not cooperate on Monday (50 degrees and rainy)-- but you can't expect beautiful weather the whole time, right? It felt great to get away, and spend sometime outside.

On a side note, this is the first time I remember being in Canada (there are a few pictures of me at the border when I was real small). Seems strange that I've never visited this near neighbor to the North. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fighting Winter Blahs...

This winter, I decided to be pro-active about the winter blahs... The winter blahs are the feeling that sets in around Mid-February or March just before the snow recedes, whispers of spring are seen, and winter begins to feel endless. I decided that I needed to get a hobby, outside of the house (outside of hockey) --just to keep busy, and challenge myself.

I saw an ad in the paper for auditions for a local theater company. I auditioned. And I got a part. I will be playing a hospital worker in the Hartland Players production of W;T (http://www.hartlandplayers.org/index.php?view=details&id=12:wit&option=com_redevent&Itemid=5). The play's content is a little close to my real job, but should be enjoyable nonetheless.I am looking forward to the challenge, as I have not acted in a play in a little over a decade. I have my first rehersal tonight, and am really looking forward to it. It should be fun memorizing lines again; helping put together the set, and re-learning how to take stage directions. But, it should not be such a challenge as to be overwhelming... just a fun experience!

On a side note: the auditions allowed me to meet more of my neighbors. Who knew that so many people living within a few house radius would be auditioning for the same play!?!?!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Highlights

Taking a nod from Julie's blog... Here is our 2009 highlight reel:

Best Times: 1) Kristen & Todd's wedding -- such a happy time! 2) Having my family out here a few times. 3) My mini, solo vacation to Boston: having dinner with Maria, touring the Freedom trail, and taking long bubble baths. 4) Going fishing Labor Day weekend with Pete's family. 5) Coffee Wednesday nights with the girls. 6) Watching Walter catch his first fish 4th of July time. 7) Having Beth for a few weekends this past October -- it was fun to have some action at our house on the weekends. 8) Trips to the coast this past summer.

Hardest Times: A camping trip in the early summer with our friends. It was a cold, wet, rainy weekend and we were near lake Michigan. Everything was damp, and chilled. I was happy when the weekend was over and I could enjoy the warmth of my own bed. For future years... we will plan the trip later in the year!

Best Restaurant: Any little local place, that's not a big chain.

Favorite Music: In no particular order...
1) "Dance Little Jean" by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCvWdBuJxP0
2) "Very Busy People" by The Limousines (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuXOao6jBoM ) **Words are not appropriate for all ages
3) "Guitar Town" by Steve Earle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AINUPFbFpqg)
4) "Fireflies" by Owl City ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr9EKJatJvA )
5) "Runaway Train" by Roseanne Cash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aApAFwZRxuU)
6) "Beautiful Day" preformed by World Idol winnder, Kurt Nilsen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKg7SB-tcdA )
Among much other music!

Awesome TV Show: The Big Bang Theory (Of course!) and True Blood.

Best Books: The Twilight Saga. Quick, easy reading. Recommended for those who have not yet read the series! :)

New Favorite Way to Ingest Chocolate: Hot Cocoa made from scratch (combine 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. cocoa in a glass. Add about 1/3 cup milk. Heat in the microwave to boiling. Stir until cocoa and milk combine. Fill remaining cup with milk. Heat to hot enough in the microwave. Add a small glug of vanilla extract. Enjoy. -- Have with a piece of buttered toast... mmm mmm good.)

Or peanut butter M & Ms.

Favorite Drink: Chai lattes. Or spiced apple cider. Water's good too.

Funniest Memories: 1) Pete & Ed went golfing... long story short, Pete ended up with a mouse in his shirt! Many funny recounts of this story. 2) Kristen & Todd's wedding weekend! Many funny memories from that weekend... Their wedding was beautiful and both parties were relaxed the whole time! :) 3) Learning how to tan my legs for Kristen's wedding from Pete's aunt Karen... (First step, change out of jeans and into shorts)! :)

Favorite Websites: http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ -Found from Jan's website! This site kept me laughing from time to time! :) **May contain content inappropriate for small children.
http://www.pandora.com/ -- Music to listen to -- learns to play music that you like.
http://www.youtube.com/ -- You can find almost anything on this site.

Funnest Surprise: A few weekend trips to the coast -- nothing better to do on a Saturday or Sunday, so we spent time on the beach!

Goals Accomplished: 1) House projects: Fixing the holes in the living room walls (thank you dad!). Having new windows installed on the first and second floors. Painting Hondo's room. Spending Saturday's cutting up trees in the front yard. Installing a rod to organize items in my closet. 2) Taking the MCAT, and applying to medical school. Regardless of if I get into school for next fall, it is still a big step to apply and I am proud of myself for even doing that.

Favorite Purchase: The eee PC computers Pete bought us last spring. These things have been really nifty -- portable, internet compatible, and able to be used to watch movies/tv shows online.

Guilty Pleasure: Reading. Ask Pete -- when I read, I have very good concentration (for the book and can tune out almost everything else).

Plans for 2010? Learning to play the guitar. Maybe, finally making curtains for my windows. Hunting squirrels out the window. Re-siding and repairing the trim on our house. Perhaps finishing a denim blanket I started the fall Pete & I were first married. Celebrating our 5th anniversary.