Friday, December 23, 2011

PSA: Travel to other countries

If you are planning on traveling abroad, you may want to check the CDC Traveler's Health website in addition to talking to your doctor.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas times a comin', Christmas times a comin',,,

Despite it looking more like spring outside -- Christmas will be here in a few short days. I can not believe how quickly it has come. And how utterly unprepared I am. Although I have my tree up, there are still many things on my to-do list. We are sticking around the area this year (which makes it so fewer things have to get done in a timely fashion) and looking forward to celebrating with the K and L families!

Outside of Christmas preparations, I have been thinking about going on vacation these last couple days! Pete surprised me with a trip to the Dominican Republic (for Christmas)~ he gave me the tickets yesterday! I was shocked/surprised/happy! This is the 3rd Christmas gift he's given me since we have been married so I really was not expecting it!* I am looking forward to having time together, sand, sun, and relaxing for a week before starting the craziness that is med school! :)

I am also starting to get anxious about going ~ quite a bit of things to arrange before going: digging the warm weather clothes/shoes out of storage, getting anti-malarials (according to the CDC, the resort areas of the DR have high number of mosquitos that carry malaria), sunblock/aloe, bug spray, among other things... It should be a good escape for a few days! For those that have been ~ any advice?

*We don't usually exchange gifts. It works out just fine for the two of us...  Things we buy for each other do not make it to Christmas, we are not experts in each other's interests/hobbies, and we buy things as we need them rather than for a specific day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1 year later....

A year ago, I was in a bad car accident (click on it and it should link you to pictures, etc.). So much has changed in this last year, but I have so many things to be thankful for today.

1) I am thankful for having so many wonderful people in my life that showed a lot of love and support in the weeks following the car accident.
2) I am thankful that one of the bigger challenges on my horizon is Step 1 boards -- I just scheduled them yesterday for June 18th, 2012 at 11 AM. It's an 8 hour test that determines if I am able to continue onto my 3rd year and do rotations in the hospitals next year. It is also a test where the score matters for application to residency programs. To think a year ago, I was not certain that I would be able to continue on with school or if I would need to re-evaluate my future goals/aspirations. I'm sure I could have been happy doing something else, but I am thankful to be given the opportunity to continue with school and one day be able to help people as a physician.
3) I am thankful that Pete and I had the opportunity to really reflect on our life and make changes conducive to accomplishing these goals. We have since settled into a much more manageable routine between school, work and life. Pete was able to get his pilot's license -- a goal he has had for many years, but never had time to pursue. Life is what we make it.
4) I am also happy to have the chance to realize that I was spread to thin, and be able to make changes to make life more manageable. This accident made me realize that I don't need to attend every social function, or do everything along with being in school. It also made me realize that I did have the option to move out of the house that I loved, and did not need to make a homemade meal at least weekly. School is a big commitment, and it's much more enjoyable to attend when life is made simple. I think this probably applies to most situations.
5) I am thankful that I was put in the opportunity to accept help. This is something that I struggle with from time-to-time often finding things easier to do by myself (as I know the finished outcome once I am done), and stubborn enough to attempt. It's a humbling thing, but also makes you realize how much support you do have.

If you see a car in a ditch or an accident scene without EMS present, please report it to 911/the authorities. There is a good chance that they have not been notified, and the person(s) involved may not be capable of calling.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Catch-up with my life

So, as the semester is winding to a close... I figured I would post what we've been doing these last couple of weeks -- which have been a whirlwind.

Monday, November 21st -- I finished my heme-onc domain. This is one of the hardest domains (classes) that we have this year, so it felt like a minor victory to complete it well.

After packing and readying the car, we left for Minnesota on Wednesday -- with the driver (Pete) muttering as we were stuck in traffic in Chicago -- "look, there's no traffic back-up 1000 feet above us" or "if we would have flown, we would have been there by now". It certainly did not help that the weather that day was beautiful blue skies and well above freezing. Other than the usual Chicago delay, the ride there was nice and we made good time. It was fun to be able to visit family for a few hours before heading North Thursday morning for Thanksgiving at the Town Hall with the S**** family.

Thanksgiving at the Town Hall was very nice! Most of my cousins, all of my aunts/uncles and Grandma were there, with total attendance >100. It was so much fun to catch up with many people I have not seen in years, and meet my cousins little kids! I was really glad we were able to be there for this event, as this side of my family does not get together like this often and has only rented out the Town Hall a handful of times in the past (each time I remember quite fondly). I will have to post pictures once I figure out how to get them off of my phone.

After enjoying Thanksgiving, we went back to my parents home. My mom, sisters and I went Black Friday shopping early Friday morning -- making it to the Mall of America, and a few other stores. I was surprised that the MOA was not packed with people, but it was fun to visit this old stomping ground and get a few of the Friday deals (as well as a few things that we actually needed). Such a fun day! :)

Saturday was spent visiting a myriad of people -- my husbands family in the morning, and my aunt's and a few others at a wedding that evening. Sunday we left in the morning thinking that the weekend was fun and enjoyable, but passed by too quickly.

That brings us to this week... catching up with studies, laundry, house-work, decorating for Christmas, and the many other chores that come with spending time away.

We also were able to take a short flight this evening -- this was Pete's 1st time up with a passenger since getting his license. And I thought it was fun to sit in the front seat of the plane, and play a bit with the wheel. The setting sun is certainly beautiful at 3000 feet up, as are the street lamps reflecting off the brilliant white snow appearing like strands of pearls.

So what have you been doing? How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you were able to share the holiday with ones that you love, and had much laughter and good food. Merry Christmas!