Monday, December 20, 2010

WBDN #4

Today, after I asked her about the manufacturer of my next WBDN item, my friend Jo-Seks warned me that she didn't want to see it in my WBDN series because she thought it was far too valuable. So, before I present this next WBDN item, allow me this short disclaimer:

Are Snow Hotties essential to my existence? No. Do they fulfill my basic needs of sustenance or shelter? No. Hence, I "don't need" them.

However, you all may remember that my permanent residence is in the currently frozen corn-tundra of Illinois.

Therefore, I present to you...


Snow Hotties. Boots with a built-in, battery-powered heating system.

WANT... but don't need.

Also, as a side note, my initial google image search for "snow hottie boots" turned up this fine piece of fashion:

Now if that doesn't embody the spirit of Christmas giving, I don't know what does.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Tis the season

Christmas in CA

Dr. D and I are now safe and sound in our Californian hometown for the Christmas season, although we somehow managed to bring the poor weather of the Midwest along with us. I don't really mind the rain so much, though, because I'm focusing on everything that this season and our hometown visits inevitably bring:
  1. Mom's expertly decorated Christmas tree, complete with matching wrapping paper on the presents below---someone give this woman an interior design job, stat! She'd probably also settle for hosting a show on HGTV... just throwing that one out there for all of you television industry folks who are devoted readers of my blog.
  2. Swapping music, youtube clips, and stories with my Hollywood-dwelling, drum-playing Broseph.
  3. Lovin's from my other homedog, Old Man. (shh... don't tell J-dog)
  4. Engaging in the extreme home sport that my father has coined "Power-Lounging," which consists of deftly flopping onto furniture for extensive relaxation sessions.
  5. Fretting with Dr. D's mom on the sideline of intense impromptu living room wrestling matches between the boys (Dr. D, his dad ODP, and his little bro Six). Love manifests itself in many ways, folks.
  6. Time spent with friends we've known for 15+ years, typically eating midnight donuts at our favorite 24-hour donuts shop (yes, there are multiple in town).
  7. Driving around in my parents' '68 Mustang, looking cool but secretly hoping it doesn't break down on us.
  8. Running into people from high school, which typically turns out one of three ways: (1) Awesome, (2) Pleasant, (3) Awk. Ward.
  9. Food. Massive quantities of it.
  10. Laughing. Even more of it than food.
Old Man

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WBDN #3

Wasting time on photojojo.com instead of writing the last 5 pages of the semester...

Fuji Instax cameras (Polaroid who?)

Camera *BLING*

Camera shaped magnets, a stamp, and a picture holder

We'll be in CA in three days!! Merry Christmas to us :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WBDN #2

Pizza cutter fork. Need I say more?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Snow Day


It's official! Our first significant snowfall of the season: somewhere between 5-8 inches since 7pm last night. Because this is only our 3rd winter here, it's easy to forget just how giddy I feel about winter's first snow... but last night was a fun reminder.

Somewhere around 10pm we began to hear the excited squeals and jovial war-cries of a snowball battle outside of our living room window, and decided it was time to take J-dog out for his first walk (perhaps "prance" is a better word for this occasion) of the winter season. At the time, we found a good 4 inches of snow on the ground, and an inexhaustible supply of hyper, stir crazy college students partaking in all manners of snowtime activities---making snow angels, throwing snow balls, stuffing snow down the pants of unsuspecting spectators, and streaking across open spaces in nothing but electric blue underwear briefs. Ah, the joys of living and working on a college campus.

I don't think that my excitement about snow, however, is even one tenth of the overwhelming emotion and sheer ecstasy that J-dog experienced.

Snow is definitely his drug of choice. I like to think that he make-believes as he prances, bounds, and spazzes his way through the mounds of white powder, imagining he's one of those barrel-toting Saint Bernards on an emergency mission, or that there is a covert society of creatures (squirrels, specifically) hiding under the snow and it's his mission to intermittently bury his nose in the drifts to stir up trouble.

This morning, we enjoyed a wonderfully warm breakfast of oatmeal and lattes while watching the snow continue to flurry outside of the kitchen window. With papers to write, studying to do, and nowhere we have to be, I'd say this snowfall is just what Dr. D and I needed to kick-start our Christmas season.

Happy December, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Want, but don't need.

Leave it to the holidays and online Christmas shopping to help me add to the list of things that would be awesome (in theory) to own. The trouble---well, I suppose it could also be considered a blessing---is that I've always got this nagging voice in the back of my head asking me, "yes, but do you need that?"

...Mom, is that you?

Honestly, it's always been very difficult for me to justify truly needing anything, aside from food and shelter (and the occasional camera accoutrement... my Achilles' heel).

And so, I'm allowing myself this season to keep a "want, but don't need" (WBDN) list---a list of awesome stuff that I come across while gift shopping, not as a wish-list by any means, but as a way of acknowledging the inner 10 year old in me who says "oh! I want!" before the 25 year old me rolls her eyes and says...

"Really? A toaster scanner? ...Really?!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Multi Gratias

Confession: I wouldn't know anywhere near the amount of Latin that I do if it weren't for my high school choir teacher. And thus, I wouldn't be able to even begin to guess at some of the bizarre medical maladies that my husband occasionally spouts off....

Latin aside, I've been neglecting you, my dear blog.

Remember how my last post was all about how productive I was? Well, that carried through the past couple of weeks, leaving very little time for emoting to the cyberverse.

Highlights of the past fortnight (fyi, first time to ever use that word... I feel incredibly bougie, Victorian, and as if I should be wearing a corset, but I'm leaving it) include:
  • Dr. D starting his two week rotation with an otolaryngologist (ear-nose-throat/ENT surgeon, for all of us too impatient to try to pronounce that), and discovering that he loves it. This is awesomely scary because these docs have a fantastic schedule, but it is incredibly difficult to match into the specialty, let alone match into it back in CA.
  • Me getting comfortable with my new camera and flash set up, and shooting my first ever engagement picture session (!!!). Can I just say that it is a million times harder to focus on my Masters classes after realizing that all I really want to do is take pictures for a living? Curse you, Practicality.
I know that isn't that much of an update, but the past couple of weeks have really just flown by. And now all of the sudden it's Thanksgiving! Woah.

It was with great difficulty that we decided not to fly back out west for T-day---we would have only been able to stay for a couple of days, and then we would turn right around a few weeks later and fly back again for Christmas (there's that Practicality again... boo!). So, the hubs and I will be celebrating this week's holiday with some friends here, and will simply have to tide ourselves over with happy thoughts of my mom's Christmas cooking.

Lastly, to be completely cliche, I thought I'd end this post with a few things that I'm currently thankful for...
  1. The pot of boiling chipotle chicken soup on the stove---Dr. D and I haven't had many opportunities to cook dinner together recently, so this is a special treat on a blustery evening.
  2. My droptop continues to function with a vengeance, despite the said dropping and the hundreds of pictures that I made it edit in RAM-zapping Photoshop.
  3. Snapfish, who did a pretty decent job of printing some rad Christmas gifts that I'm excited to give.
  4. A husband whose first priority remains our relationship and the family that we will one day have. That kind of selflessness is super sexy.
  5. Of course, our wonderful family and friends back in CA whom we will very dearly miss seeing this week. Special shout out to my (not so little) bro, who's turning 21 this week. Love you, brohican!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall back into productivity

So I realize that all of you got an additional hour today as we waved goodbye to Daylight Savings Time, but something tells me that I may have been sneakily gifted another few hours under the table. Very hush-hush.

I was too productive today to have only been given one extra hour. It had to have been at least three... maybe four.

One measly additional hour wouldn't have allowed me to do all of this:
  • Hit snooze. Twice.
  • Crawl back into bed after breakfast for a post-cereal nap with the hubster.
  • Brush J-dog's hair---believe me, this is a long and arduous process consisting of equal parts push, play, and perspiration. I really can't tell if homedog loves it or hates it, all I know is he always comes out on the other end of it looking like he belongs on top of Diana Ross' head.
  • Go grocery shopping. On a Sunday. When EVERYONE AND ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDPARENTS are also shopping.
  • Bake cookies.
Want a recipe? This is to go-to favorite in our house, and the one that Dr. D asks me to make whenever he needs to bring cookies into work (which apparently, on a side note, is fairly frequently when you work with nurses). Here you go:

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter (or margarine), softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (or 2/3 cup applesauce)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time (or substitute with unsweetened applesauce like I do), then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate bowl, then stir into creamed mixture until blended. Mix in oats, then chocolate chips and cherries. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 13 minutes in preheated oven. Yields approximately 42 cookies.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beep.

Yes, it's a Friday evening. And yes, I'm blogging. It's all thanks to that silly little device Dr. D has clipped to his hip.

Dr. D is on surgery call this weekend. When he first explained it to me---something along the lines of "yeah, I'll get called in if someone's appendix explodes"---I was like, okay... there aren't that many appendixes in this town that are ripe for the rupturin'. Right?

Unfortunately, there was at least one. We were all set to go get frozen yogurt for a mini Friday night date when his pager started to chirp at him, in far too chipper of a manner for a date-ruiner, if you ask me.

I know I should probably prepare myself to have a lot more Friday nights end up this way, but I'll allow myself to be indignant at least this once.

Pagers. Seriously. Who uses pagers any more?

For any of you 30 Rock fans out there, I'm reminded of the following exchange between Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy:
Liz- "Okay, very funny. You bought a pager from Dennis. Will you take it off now, please?"

Jack- "Oh, I can't. I'm expecting a call from 1983."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Overworked. And?

This evening over dinner, Dr. D and I noticed that when we shared our days with each other, there was a similar theme: we are feeling overworked. A little ragged, if you will. Frazzled.

We concluded that I'm overworked and underpaid, and Dr. D is overworked and overpaying. Gotta love that mounting med school debt.

Still, as I sit here with a napping husband on the couch to my left, and a napping poodle at my feet below, I really don't know that I would change anything. These are just growing pains, really. We've come so far, grown so much, and taken on a multitude of responsibilities over the past couple of years. Honestly, it's a blessing that we have jobs and school to complain about. It means we're on our way to becoming the people we set out to be, and we're doing it together. How cool is that?

Dr. D is now in his surgery rotation, which will be a lot more hours spent at the hospital and a lot more on-call time for the next four weeks. Once that's over, he'll spend the last two weeks of the rotation shadowing an ENT surgeon (ear, nose, throat). I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for some nights spent alone while Dr. D sleeps at the hospital in the on-call room. I couldn't even type that sentence without my brow furrowing and my lip pouting. Not looking forward to it.

What I am looking forward to, however, is the new camera I'll be getting in the mail tomorrow. Yes, I bought a new camera. My old one is malfunctioning (or "playing hurt" as I prefer to call it, because I refuse to get rid of it), and I need something that's fully functional because...

This weekend I was asked by some friends to be their official wedding photographer! So stoked. And nervous. But mostly stoked.

Can't wait to test this new baby out on some fall leaves before I shoot their engagement session :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vacation's Over

I'm coming off of a fantastic extended weekend vacation filled with so many of my favorite things: my wonderfully witty husband, my giggly and loving parents, the city, and far too many indulgently delicious meals.

It's really no surprise to me that the resulting post-vacay weekdays have been extra blah. As wonderful as it is to see our family and friends from home during our precious times of vacation, it feels like such a tease when the visit ends and the reality hits that so many of them live so far away from us. Saying "see you later" is really just no fun at all.

Still, what a blessing to have those moments together when we can. I love being able to show off our home and our Midwest stomping-grounds. The laughs (and calories... yikes!) will certainly sustain us until the holidays.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Water, water everywhere?


Photo from charity: water

As Dr. D and I grow together and begin to have those grown-up conversations about what we want to do with the rest of our lives, it seems like "helping people" comes up as a major theme. But my goodness, sometimes it can be so difficult to nail down exactly how we want to go about doing that, especially when there is so much to be done.

Obviously, Dr. D is well on his way to learning some incredibly valuable skills that will inevitably help people in the future. When the goal is to help people, the medical profession is a great place to start. But he and I have known for quite some time now that we want to do something more, beyond a profession, beyond work-hours. We feel called to help under-served populations in some capacity, mostly in relation to health. For Dr. D, this will most likely take the form of free clinic work, both domestically and abroad. But what can I, the non-medical partner, contribute?

I suppose a good start would be to support him in those endeavors, and to volunteer and do some legwork where I can be used. But I think I'm coming to realize that beyond that support and the limited help I can provide as a volunteer, I can also offer my words. I can attempt to make others in my life aware of great need by writing about our experiences, and the causes that we are passionate about.

Today, Blog Action Day 2010 is giving me that opportunity. Dr. D and I have been following the efforts of an organization called charity: water for a while now, whose goal is to bring clean water sources to people around the world who have none. And it just so happens that this year, clean water is the topic of Blog Action Day, which is an effort to unite bloggers all over the world in the dedication of one day each year to talk about one particular issue affecting humanity. So I'd like to take a quick moment to join that conversation.

Almost a billion people in this world don't have access to clean water, and 42,000 people worldwide die
weekly from using and/or consuming unsafe water---a vast majority of them are children. Organizations like charity: water or water.org, or even general ones like UNICEF or World Vision are doing great work to bring clean water to these people.

Clean water is truly something that I take for granted daily. I hope that by the time Dr. D and I are finished with this world, we have helped not only to cure people of illness, but prevent them from illness by helping them get the clean water they deserve.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good Fortune

Dr. D is now officially 1/3 of the way through with his core rotations. That's two rotations down, ladies and gents!

He was really fortunate with this rotation. First off, he loved it (who knew?). I think it had something to do with the fact that he got to---

Now don't read this next part if you're squeamish, y'all.

---staple a woman closed after an emergency c-section on his first day. Yes, in the strange and twisted world of medical matrimony, this is something that the medically-inclined partner celebrates and the non-medical partner simply tries to smile and nod without setting off a gag reflex. The other great thing about this rotation was that Dr. D pretty much never had to serve on overnight call. That's a total anomaly for the Ob/Gyn rotation because, I'm not sure if you're aware, but babies come into this world whenever the heck they feel like it, completely ignoring business hours/common decency. Rude babies.

Ah, but I did just say Dr. D was "pretty much" never on call, because unfortunately the doc he was shadowing decided to cash-in yesterday, of course, on Dr. D's very. last. day. So anyway, he helped bring 5 babies into the world yesterday. They finally started wrapping up the baby-catchin' around 4:30 this morning, so needless to say, today was a day of naps for my darling husband. Tomorrow, he takes his Ob/Gyn shelf exam, and then it's on to surgery rotation next week. He's basically chomping at the bit for this next rotation...

You know, there should really be a better saying for that in this context. Itchin' at the scalpel finger? Scrubbed to the elbows? Cinched at the scrubs bottoms? I dunno. He's ready. That's all.

In other news, we just had a wonderful dinner from one of our favorite take-out places (I'd like to think of it as brain food for the shelf exam tomorrow morning), and I found this during our traditional post-meal fortune reporting:



"All decisions you make today will be most fortunate."

Yep. That's the same fortune Dr. D found in his fortune cookie on the day he proposed! How strange, I feel like I was talking about that only last week...

Oh, Life. You amuse me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Cure

Ten years ago today, at 3:12pm, the 15 year old version of myself stood completely still amidst the chaotic chatting and crowded, frantic changing of the girls' locker room at the end of a 7th period gym class. I stared quietly at the slip of paper in my hands, frozen on the outside and pulsing with electric energy on the inside, as I read the last line again: Will you be my girlfriend?

Little did I know then that my answer could have been, "Someday, I'll do you one better."

* * *

Flash forward seven years later, three years ago from today (only
three years? It's amazing how time has the capacity to feel simultaneously fast and slow). Dr. D and I had been planning our trip to the bay area for quite some time, to visit friends and to celebrate seven years of togetherness. We explicitly agreed: no presents.

There were many times over the course of that weekend trip that I should have caught on to what was happening, but I remained blissfully unaware until the very moment that it happened. I suppose my first indication that things were not what they seemed should have been when, on the day that we were supposed to leave to drive upstate, Dr. D surprised me with two plane tickets. I hated flying. As in deathly afraid, need to be medicated kind of hate. Also, I was perturbed because we had said
no presents.

He assured me that he didn't care about the gifts, he just wanted to get as much time out of our trip as possible and not waste it on driving. It was the first flight we ever took together, and as I sat in my window seat, hand-in-hand and forehead-to-forehead with Dr. D, I remember realizing that it was the first take-off in years that I wasn't thinking about dying---I was thinking about life. With him.

To an outside observer, the next clue that this weekend was more than it appeared could have been discerned by the gourmet dinner that was served to us that evening in our friends' home. Mr. and Mrs. S (who at the time were still Mr. S and Miss B) provided us with a decadent feast of orzo, Cornish game hens, and wine. I'd like to defend my continuing obliviousness by pointing out that the two of them have always been gourmands in the kitchen. Still, how could I not notice the twinkle of a secret in Mr. S's eye?

The next day was our anniversary, so we set out to explore San Francisco. First we stopped to get sourdough sandwiches (a must, of course), then we went to Golden Gate park and had a picnic on a park bench and laughed at the antics of the ducks in the pond---I believe the polite word for it is "twitterpated". Next, we went to the Japanese Tea Garden to explore, take silly self-takes with my camera, and of course have a little bit of tea. As we read the fortunes from our fortune cookies, Dr. D had a good laugh over his and shared it with me: All decisions you make today will be most fortunate. I didn't really get the joke, but he seemed absolutely tickled.

One might think that all of this sounds a little over the top and dripping with romance, but as you've probably learned by now, Dr. D is the king of romance. In fact, he's more like the doctor to the lawyer to the king of romance. That's how good he is.

Oh, and you ain't seen nothing yet.

Later that afternoon, we found ourselves driving the dangerously hilly landscape of the city, and as we reached a red light, Dr. D turned to me and said: "I'm gonna need you to get out of the car."

I abruptly stopped singing along to the mix CD that Dr. D had made for the trip (a standard practice... are you even surprised at this point?), and just stared back at him, not sure if I heard him correctly. Turns out, I did.

"Really. You need to get out of the car, go into that hotel on the corner--" Oh look, sure enough, that's a hotel-- "and ask them for their day spa. I made you an appointment."

I really don't recall what I said at that point. I may have sputtered something along the lines of "Whaaa....?", but that was all I had time for because the light turned green, and with the further instruction of "Just go!", I did exactly that.

But not without managing to call out to Dr. D through the open car window as he drove off: "We said NO PRESENTS!"

Incredibly disoriented and in a bit of a daze, I walked through the hotel lobby, inquired about the whereabouts of said day spa, and took the elevator to the penthouse level, which opened up into what I could only assume was, well, a day spa---I'd never actually been to one. Approaching the frighteningly smiley and friendly hostesses, I attempted to explain myself.

"I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing here but my boyfriend was driving and then we were in the middle of the street and he said get out of the car and he told me that I should come here and tell you that he sent me here for something but I really have no idea what and I... it's our anniversary." I figured the last statement could somehow clarify all of the verbal diarrhea that came before it.

Still smiling, one of them nodded and said, "Of course, we're expecting you. Please have a seat in our waiting area."

I sighed with relief, and looked in the direction of the waiting area---directly into the eyes of my best friend since childhood, Dot. She waved sheepishly.

OKAY. This is when I figured it all out, right? I mean, Dot lived back down south near us, so the fact that she just miraculously appeared in this day spa in SF made it all too completely obvious that Dr. D was up to something huge, correct?

Nope. I still didn't figure it out, because I remembered that Dot had told me a week earlier that she would be in the bay area at the same time that we were, for a family member's birthday. "Dr. D told me he wanted to do something special for your anniversary, and since he knew I'd be here, he asked me to come to the spa with you!" That's how Dot explained it, and I took it for face value, no questions asked. Ah, naivety.

We had a wonderful time getting pampered, and as the session came to a close, I noticed Dot was periodically texting someone. At this point, I knew there were probably more surprises coming, but the biggest one I could come up with was this: Dr. D had secretly planned a nice dinner for us with some of our friends in the area. I mean, our friends are a big part of our lives---our extended family---so why not include them in our celebration?

I wasn't even all that shocked when Dot and I were picked up from the hotel not by Dr. D, but by Mr. S instead. We must be going to meet Dr. D at the restaurant, I thought to myself. Still, my friends were remaining suspiciously tight-lipped, so I decided to ask them where we were headed.

"I don't ask questions, I just do what I'm told," said Mr. S, cryptically. He and Dot managed to spend most of the car ride talking about anything and everything that didn't have to do with where we were going, so I had very few chances to interject with periodic questions about what was happening. It was useless anyway, because my questions were ignored. I was equal parts annoyed and thrilled.

Finally, Mr. S parked the car near the bay coast line, and I could see the Golden Gate bridge standing impressively in the near distance, gilded in the light of the sun that was beginning to set. I followed Mr. S and Dot as they began to walk towards a grassy meadow next to the water (a place I would later learn is called Crissy Field), and I remember thinking to myself that this was a very strange place for a restaurant.

I eventually noticed that we were walking towards someone, who appeared to to be holding a bouquet of white roses. As we got closer, I realized the person was... not Dr. D. It was one of his roommates, Palex. In a recurring theme of the day, I realized that Palex was strangely in SF when he was supposed to be back at home. He handed me the bouquet and pointed to a single long stemmed white rose on the ground a little farther away from us. "You should start following those," he said, grinning.

In that moment, I don't know what I thought was going on. All I know is that for some reason, I was still under the impression that this was all a very extravagant anniversary gift. And again, I found myself horribly under-prepared in the reciprocating gift department. How embarrassing.

I started to walk towards the first rose, but then remembered about dinner, and turned back to the three friends who were with me. "Aren't you guys coming?"

Maybe I'm remembering this part a little more dramatically than it actually happened, but Mr. S could have just as easily have been playing the role of a dewy-eyed karate guru or sage wizard sending off his protege to face the wonders of the world for the very first time. He said to me meaningfully and with great weight to his words, "This next part... is for you."

I began to walk and collect the roses. Each one of them had a slip of paper attached to it, and similar to the manner in which Dr. D asked me to be his girlfriend seven years earlier, each slip of paper had part of a poem written on it. This poem incorporated small pieces of lyrics from some of our favorite songs into a retelling of our story as a couple. It was beautiful, and my heart was beating faster with each rose I collected. Between the first and second rose, I noticed another one of Dr. D's roommates, JZ, in the far distance with a camera. At this point, I wasn't even surprised to see new friends cropping up. I was just grateful.

As I moved from the fourth to the fifth rose, a man who I didn't recognize and who was walking (of all ridiculous breeds) a wiener dog, called out to me.

"Are you looking for the cure?"

Having no real idea what he was talking about---or what I was actually looking for, for that matter---I found myself thinking, Is this part of the plan? I mean, am I? Am I looking for the cure? Is this a metaphor?

Turns out that the look of confusion on my face was enough for him to clarify: "The Cure. As in, the band."

"Ohhh! Um, no thank you. I'm just looking for my boyfriend." So it turns out he wasn't some cosmic metaphorical messenger. He was just a stranger with an affinity for 80s music, interrupting a girl's proposal (yes, in case you hadn't figured it out by now---like I still hadn't at that point---this was a proposal).

I made my way towards the last rose, and beyond it I could see Dr. D standing on the beach. As I began to walk across a pedestrian crosswalk to collect the rose and read the last stanza, I was very nearly run into by... well, another one of Dr. D's roommates, Lui. He looked absolutely shocked to see me (it turns out he didn't realize that he was going to be walking right through the action, he thought he would simply catch up with us after it was all over), and realizing he was probably infringing on a "moment," he didn't respond when I said hi and instead ducked his head and doubled his pace, power walking right by me. For those of you who don't know him, allow me to assure you that this was a perfectly fitting, Lui-esque contribution to the experience.

After I read the final stanza, I approached Dr. D on the waterfront and could see that he had set up two stools. Next to one of them was an acoustic guitar. My immediate thought was, That's weird, Dr. D doesn't play the guitar.

All I could think to do was smile and say, rather lamely and unromantically, "Hello." Dr. D took me by my hand and guided me to sit down. He then sat down as well, picked up the guitar, and began to play a song---the words to which I had just collected, attached to the roses.

Oh my gosh, he learned to play the guitar for me. He even wrote me a song. This is the most perfect anniversary present ever! I was surprised, joyful, and completely and totally in love as the sun set over the Golden Gate to the tune of our song.
When the song ended, Dr. D took my left hand and looked into my eyes. And it finally clicked. (Better late than never, I suppose.)

He's proposing.

He pulled a small blue box from his pocket, and in it was a promise. A lifetime. And I said yes.

* * *

It later occurred to me that maybe that man with the wiener dog was there for a reason. Not as if to say that it was part of the plan for him to be there to interrupt me---I checked with Dr. D, and the gentleman was certainly not listed in the approved cast of characters. No, what I mean is that he was meant to be there on that day, at that specific time, to ask me that specific question because Dr. D was (and still is) my cure.

Happy anniversary to the man who, quite simply, has been making my life better for the past decade. I'm so glad to have found you so early in life, and my life is healthier for it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It has fruit, so it's good for you.

Remember how a couple of weeks ago we had a ton of apples? Well, Dr. D and I managed to crunch our way through most of the bushel (peck? I still don't know) and this weekend we found ourselves with only a few left. Honest to goodness, I had every intention of doing wonderful and extravagant things with those apples. Really I did. Yet most of them were simply consumed in their natural, raw form.

But today something got into me. I remembered seeing this website my friend Heidi linked to on her blog called Ming Makes Cupcakes and, despite my complete lack of any sort of cupcake making experience, I decided to give the apple cupcakes a whirl.

Boy, am I glad I did. Dr. D was glad, too, and even gave it a health stamp of approval: "Well it's got fruit in it, so it has to be good for you." My thoughts exactly.

Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as Ming's, but they are a perfect compliment to the crisp fall air that rolled in this weekend.


Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try. It was very easy, even for a cupcake novice like myself. Enjoy! (click on the recipe image for a larger version)


Friday, October 1, 2010

TWIA #5

My week has become progressively more awesome since I started this whole TWIA thing. It seems like each day I have more and more trouble narrowing down exactly which "little thing" to feature.

For instance, today I took the afternoon off from work because it was the first day in a long time that my schedule wasn't completely packed. Awesome. And today is Friday, so that's innately awesome. Also, our friend Dr. S defended is dissertation this afternoon and we got to celebrate with him and eat delicious free food. All of these things are enveloped in awesomeness.

But the thing that made all those parts of my day awesome to the nth degree? The distinctly autumn feeling in the air, the fresh crunch of leaves on the ground, and the first day of my favorite month here in the Midwest: October.

Mmm... I love me some October. I think it's a perfect way to end my awesome week.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

TWIA #4

The little thing that I'm appreciating today isn't really so little when you think about all it encompasses. And truth be told, it's really always been a big part of our lives---for Dr. D and me---both individually and as a couple. We both grew up with parents who were passionate about it, and it was probably one of the biggest catalysts of our friendship as kids and eventual budding relationship as teens.

Today, I find myself thankful for the awesomeness that is music.

I'm not going to go all indie and music-elitist on you by dropping names of obscure bands and critiquing artists or arguing my points for "greatest band of all time ever in the history of any sounds ever made and--oh, you've never heard of them? that's because they're TOO GOOD FOR YOUUUUUuuuuuu
uuuu..."

Gosh, that's just annoying.

No, instead I decided tonight to take a memory lane stroll through my CDs (what?! who still has those?) and mp3s (some from way back when Napster was free---a story I'll one day share with my grandchildren, no doubt) and remember to appreciate all of the memories and emotions that come along with them. Here are some musical memories that I found myself reliving tonight:
  • Taping songs off of the radio in the '90s, like Selena's "Dreaming of You" and that "I've Got the POWAHH!" song, then blasting them from my boombox repeatedly as I shot baskets on my driveway.
  • Buying a used CD of Salt-N-Pepa's Very Necessary at the age of 13 and spending an entire afternoon memorizing the lyrics to "Shoop"... and having no real idea what any of it meant.
  • Going through an entire phase in high school where I would only listen to Me First And the Gimme Gimme's punk rock covers. I can't imagine what my father must have thought the first time he heard their version of Paul Simon's "Me and Julio." Sorry, Dad.
  • The mixture of elation and fear-of-suffocation I felt, finding myself pinned between the stage barrier and a 17 year old Dr. D (who, bless him, was doing his very best to shield me from the bone-crushing mosh pit) as I rocked out at my first Foo Fighters concert. Dave Grohl sweated on me during a particularly violent head-banging sesh as he played "Stacked Actors." No big deal.
  • Walking through the desert dark amidst a glittering sea of plastic water bottles littering the ground in Indio, CA, after Spoon wrapped up the first day of my first festival concert experience. I can still remember the beautiful buzzing in my ears.
  • During my senior year of college: watching Jenny Lewis jump around stage in sequined gold hotpants, banging on a cowbell, and thinking, "I want to be her right now."
  • Waiting arm-in-arm with my father on a breezy summer day, listening to Sufjan Steven's "Chicago" on the garden air and watching some of the most important people in my life file into places, waiting for my turn to finally walk down that aisle. Thinking contentedly and joyfully, "Finally, this is where I am meant to be."
Really, music has shaped my experiences and memories innumerably over the years. And that's why revisiting some of those times has made this week especially awesome.

Anyway, I tossed a few of the aforementioned songs/artists in my handy little sidebar o' music. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TWIA #3

This is yet another little thing that makes this week awesome, and needs no explanation.



Aspergillus fumigatus!

TWIA #2

Today, I sliced my hand on my droptop's protruding, jagged battle wound AND there was an active shooter on a campus in Texas, which is one of my all-time worst fears ever since I work at a university. The latter has a way of putting the former into perspective.

Even so, I am still bound and determined to enjoy the little things this week, so here's your daily dose of awesome:

Who doesn't love a baby pygmy marmoset? Sometimes when I'm stressed out, I need to focus on something cute and fuzzy (as evidenced by my pressure/puppy paradox), and this little guy definitely does the trick. I mean really, how freaking fantastic are these little creatures?

In related news, J-dog's latest haircut has him looking like a howler monkey/poodle hybrid. Hmm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Week is Awesome

Actually, it's kind of not. At all. Coming off of a nice, relaxing weekend, it's hard to look at the week ahead and realize my plate is fuller than a hungry college student at an all-you-can eat sushi buffet.

And, I dropped my laptop. Droptop, yo.

It's still functional, just aesthetically marred. I think it's lost a bit of self-esteem... and there's a jagged bit that cuts into my wrist when I type now.

Needless to say, I'm in need of a bit of a pick-me-up, so I've decided: This week is awesome.

This week, I plan to pay attention to the little things that put a smile on my face. As I get older, I'm finding it so easy to look past the little things in life and focus on my proverbial "plate" (which--much to my chagrin--is not full of sushi, but responsibilities). So this week, I'm going to be extra intentional about enjoying the gosh-darn heck out of the little things. My hope is that they will indeed make this week awesome.

Therefore, I present you with the first "little thing" that is making this week awesome:


Why, Mrs. Dr. D, are those... California socks?! Yes. Yes they are.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An apple a day...

Thank goodness that's a cliché and not a fact of life, because I'd rather not keep Dr. D away, but I am currently in possession of a LOT of apples.


There are two indicators that fall is upon us here in the Midwest. The first: my allergies are going berserk because they're digging up all the gosh darn fields without any consideration of my personal well being or sanity. Height of rudeness.

Ah, but the second is much more pleasant. The apple harvest is ready, which means it was go-time this weekend for what has become one of our favorite fall pastimes---apple picking!

Even I'll admit, I wasn't sold on this whole idea when we first moved here. The fact that I was supposed to pay to pick my own apples, which were probably kind of dented and not nearly as nice looking as the ones I could just go pick up at the store... well, it just didn't sit well with me at first. But after my first trip, I was a convert.

Not only were there tons of different kinds of apples to pick (who knew they had names other than "red" and "green"?), but it was my first introduction to the world of apple products. [allow me to apologize for the lack of iPod, Phone, or Pad jokes here... those creative apple juices just aren't flowing. Heh.]

I won't run the risk of sounding too much like Bubba the shrimp fisher from Forrest Gump by naming them all here, but do you all have ANY IDEA just how many delicious things can be made with apples? I thought I had a pretty good grasp on it, but I was sorely mistaken upon setting foot in the market at the orchard. Among the standouts are apple butter and balsamic apple reduction, but the thing that's been bringing us back every fall has got to be the apple donuts. Yum.

So now I've got a bushel---or is it a peck?---of apples in the kitchen and a world of recipe possibilities. However shall I choose?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dweebs & Weird Smells

These are completely unrelated topics, despite what you may think. One medical, one less so. Can you guess which is which?

First up: I am still coughing. After hacking for a couple weeks, I finally dragged my stubborn self to the non-husband, actual MD-having doctor, who proceeded to tell me that I have exactly what my actual-husband, not yet MD-having Dr. D told me I have. I am equal parts annoyed and impressed.

Mr. RealMD did, however, offer up the hypothesis that perhaps the aggravated coughing symptoms I encounter frequently when I get colds may have to do with me being asthmatic, to which my reply was "Aw, maaaaaaan... I thought I grew out of that geeky inhaler crapola!"

Turns out, probably not. I am now the proud owner of two new inhalers, which I plan to bedazzle with rhinestones in defiance of their innate dweeby-kid connotation. It'll catch on, just you wait... dweeb/diva chic. Dweeva.

It took all of my willpower not to make some quip to Mr. RealMD about how I obviously didn't drink enough urine as an embryo. (Confused? Read this.)

In other news, allow me to share with you a snippet from my evening at home with Dr. D:

Cuddling in front of the kitchen sink after dinner dishes, as we are often prone to do, I noticed a faint but distinctly smoky smell on my husband's clothes.

"Were you hanging out with a smoker today?" I said accusingly, appalled by the notion that the physician Dr. D is assigned to for his current rotation might actually be crazy enough to puff on the ol' cancer stick.

Dr. D leaned back from me slightly, looking confused. "No...," he said, trailing off and obviously thinking back on his day.

And then his face fell into a half smile, half grimace. "Oh. Gross."

It took me a few seconds longer, but finally the part of our dinner conversation when we shared what we did that day came rushing back to me. More notably, the part where Dr. D told me all about the procedures he got to assist today... mainly, the one where they cauterized flesh repeatedly.

Yeah, gross.

Monday, September 6, 2010

MM 101, Lesson 4: The Danger of Differentials

Over the past two years, I've heard some pretty freaky medical stuff. I'm talking weeping pustular wounds, anus-dwelling worms who lay eggs at night, African sleeping sickness... the stuff nightmares are made of, for the medically overly-informed.

Is it really any wonder at all that I've become a bit of a hypochondriac?

I'm not quite sure that hypochondriac is the right work for it, actually. It's not like I'm constantly telling myself that I'm sick---in fact, I do my best to tell myself I'm
not sick until it's absolutely apparent that I am. So I guess I'm not really sure if there's a word for it...

Let's just put it this way, in terms of medical matrimony: Marrying a med student means you'll often assume the very worst of your ailments, thanks to a handy thing called a "list of differential diagnoses."

Differential diagnosis is just fancy doctor-talk for "shtuff that might be going wrong." It's something that doctors use to move from a patient's chief complaint or symptoms to an actual diagnosis. Every symptom you can think of---runny nose, blurred vision, swollen fingers, you name it---has a differential diagnosis, a list of things that
could be wrong with the patient. All of my medically inclined readers will probably balk at this statement but, yes, it's kind of like the list of illnesses you get when you fill out WebMD.

So, I'm sick. Last weekend, I started to get a sore throat and a runny nose---signs of my first cold of the year. However, in true married-to-a-med-student fashion, my first thought was that I might have strep throat. But THEN... I remembered I had been fatigued lately. Fatigue has a huuuuuuuuge differential diagnosis, and one of the only things I can really remember being on that list is mononucleosis. So then I start thinking, oh man... I have mono. And then after a couple days I start coughing, so I'm like, this is definitely bronchitis. Or maybe whooping cough. Tuberculosis?

Thank goodness I'm not a doctor, or I'd have everybody thinking that their runny noses mean they've got TB. Dr. D tells me that I've probably just got some viral upper-respiratory infection, which should clear up in the next week (
phew!).

That's the danger of being only
slightly informed about differential diagnoses, though. I know just enough to scare myself, but not enough to really know what I'm talking about. Thankfully I've got Dr. D here to tell me I'm not dying.

I think I'm gonna go back to sleep.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Proud Puppy Parents

We refuse to be one of those couples who refers to their dog as their "baby." We also try to limit the number of times we mention J-dog in casual conversation to two [relatable to the topic] stories---a rule that we sometimes bend when in the company of other dog lovers and/or veterinary students. We understand that not everyone is going to think our precocious little fur-ball is as amazing as we do. (I wouldn't say their opinion is wrong, per say, but...)

All that being said, and with the disclaimer that if you could care less about our dog then you're more than welcome to sit this one out with no hard feelings, I feel compelled to share:

J-dog is weirdly smart.

I'll admit, when he was younger we weren't so sure he would be. Mostly because he was (and continues to be) incredibly awkward and clumsy. He's like the geeky band kid with allergies, who people find endearing
and entertaining to make fun of. And yes, our hypoallergenic poodle has allergies---the irony is not lost on us.

However, despite tripping over his own feet and unsuccessfully attempting to impress the other dogs at the dog park with his strange boxing/goose-stepping playful maneuvers, he continues to surprise us with his brains.

For example, I have this special ring tone for when the hubster calls my cell ("No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses, if you're curious), and Dr. D will frequently call me when he's on his way home. J-dog eventually learned Dr. D's ring tone, so whenever he heard it, he would do a couple laps around the living room, look out the window for a few seconds, and then go wait by the door for Dr. D to get home. That is itself was pretty cool, but then recently when I was playing some music on my laptop and "No One's Gonna Love You" came on, J-dog---who had been sound asleep---startled awake and ran over to the couch where Dr. D was sitting. Confused, he looked from Dr. D, to my laptop, and then back to Dr. D as if to say "But you're already HERE!"

The thing that prompted me to write this post, though, is that J-dog has recently mastered a very delicate, very environmentally-friendly trick...


That's right. Homedog can turn off a light switch.

Note that I say "off" and not "off and on." I'm mean, let's be real... It just wouldn't be environmentally responsible to give the dog the ability to waste energy. This isn't some cheap parlor trick. I'd like to be able call him up at home when Dr. D and I are on vacation and be like, "J-dog, I forgot to turn off the bathroom light. Can you take care of that for me?"

We all need to do our part, people.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lithe of the Thung

"Mah thung huths."

Choosing to break the studious quiet surrounding our collective couch + textbook lounging this evening, I decide I just can't take it any more. I must be quite a sight to the startled Dr. D, with my tongue extended to its fullest length, looking down at it accusingly (while simultaneously cross-eyed).

"I'm sorry?"

I'm not really able to tell whether his response is out of empathy or misunderstanding, so I trudge on with my chief complaint.

"Ih huths. Iss gah uh bump." Thinking it might help illustrate my point, I dance the tip of my tongue around a bit and then point to the small swollen bump on the end. "Wha iss ih?"

Let's pause a moment to remember that Dr. D has only just started his second rotation in his third year of med school, and ob-gyn probably hasn't taught him a whole lot about tongue maladies at this point. And then let's remember that non-medical types tend to ignore the reality that future doctors have to actually go to many years of school before they are experts, and therefore we expect med students to know everything. Thus, the wife confronting her med student husband with a irritated, wagging tongue and growing ever-expectant of an explanation.

"Oooh... I don't know. But I hate those things."

Slightly disappointed, but appreciative of the honesty (since he very easily could have said "Oh no! Tonguitis!" and I would have freaked), I put my tongue back in my mouth and try to focus on not running the irritated bump along the back of my teeth as I have been for the past hour. Resolved to get to the bottom of this, and fresh out of my Dr. D lifeline, I turn to the next best thing: Google.

This is one of those searches that you kind of have to agonize over the proper phrasing before hitting the search button, lest you find yourself facing horrific pictures of bumpy, diseased tongues.

I decided on "what is it called when a bump on your tongue gets swollen?" and managed to avoid seeing any STD-laden mouths, thank you very much.

So, friends, I present you with what I learned today:

When one of those little bumps on your tongue (called fungiform papillae--they are NOT "taste buds") gets swollen and irritated, it's called "Transient Lingual Papillitis." But of course it's abbreviated to TLP because who in their right mind has the time to say anything in its entirety any more?

TLP is usually caused by some sort of accidental trauma to the area, like biting, scraping, or rubbing---or in my case, probably when I stabbed my tongue with a crispy samosa at lunch today---and they last a day or two. (In my best "fast disclaimer at the end of a drug commercial" voice: Ifsymptomspersistlongerthanoneweekpleaseconsultyourdoctor.) Also, TLP tends to get further irritated when people end up mindlessly messing around with the bump in their mouths, which I just realized I'm doing right now. Dangit.

And get this: apparently TLP is more commonly known as "lie bumps." I've never heard of this before, have you? I guess it's a wives' tale that a person gets one of these bumps after they've been telling lies. Subsequently, I'm kind of annoyed by the phrase "wives' tale," which seems to imply that wives are frequently giving misguided and false information--how am I only just now thinking about this? Now my tongue is irritated and I'm annoyed by patriarchy.

What a night.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's got antioxidants, right?

The way I see it, I deserve it. I've earned it.

It has been a long couple of weeks--I can't tell you how much restraint I just had to apply to avoid cramming about a hundred more o's into the word "long." I'm talking twelve-hour work days for many, many days in a row. Yes, I'm aware of the apparent insensitivity of that statement, coming from a person married to an almost-doctor... but holy shmokes, y'all, I'm just not cut out for that much action. Especially not when 85% of those hours are spent meeting, organizing, and entertaining new people and partaking in an endless amount of ice-breakers and team-builders. My inner introvert weeps from exhaustion.

Aside from running myself ragged, however, it's been quite a successful August thus far, and I'm tickled pink with the way things are going at work. That's why I felt completely justified in treating myself to what I had coming to me this weekend.

What's that, you might ask? Why, copious amounts of chocolate. That's what.

How can I possibly explain my love for chocolate? Let's just say, if my love for Dr. D is infinite (which, duh, it is), and my love for chocolate is a mere fraction of that infinity... it's still infinite, right? I mean, I'm no mathematician. But yeah. Chocolate is pretty great.

I found this cookie recipe at allrecipes.com, and I have a feeling it'll make it into the regular rotation. I made them with an egg substitute per usual, and they are exactly what I wanted (and earned!) after these past weeks. The hubster is also fond of them, so that's an added bonus. Let me know if you try this one out, and enjoy.


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies






1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips





Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Makes approximately 48 cookies.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This is only a test.


Tonight marks my triumphant return to the blogoverse, as my past two weeks of hard work and long hours have finally culminated into the busiest day of the year for my job. Let's just say this day was to me as Black Friday is to retailers. The day is now over---so sayeth the cool beverage in my hand and the warm company of my husband, both of which I'm enjoying on my couch, J-dog at my feet.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adenosine Blockage Bliss

Well, it's happened. I've become one of those people I used to look at with with a blend of pity and superiority, biting my lip in an "Oooh you poor, pitiful thing" manner while inwardly counting my blessings that I wasn't in their boat.

No, I'm not talking about about people with neck acne ("neckne," as I like to call it), or people who drive PT Cruisers.

I'm talking about the people I would see every morning with a death-grip around their coffee mugs, clutching it with white knuckles and the faintest hint of a snarl, as if the world or--
gasp--"The MAN" were out to pry it from their sleep-deprived fingers.

Caffeine junkies. Caf-heads. I am one of them now, and I'm afraid my dear Dr. D is only enabling.

It started, as these things so often do, with my gateway poison: Diet Coke. Truthfully, I wasn't even out for the caffeine fix; it was much more recreational than that--I just liked the way it tasted with pizza. And then I really liked the way it tasted with sandwiches... and then with salads... and pretzels... and then with my morning bagel. Uh oh, we might have a problem. Nahhhh, what's a few Diet Cokes a day among friends? There's not
that much caffeine in them. I could totally quit cold-turkey at any time. I mean it's not like I'm a coffee drinker, right?

Right. Essentially. Well... I mean I wasn't. Not until my coffee-drinking, med student of a husband brought this into our home:


THAT, my friends, is an Aerolatte milk frother. THAT is a contributing factor to the reality that I am now so dependent on caffeine that I get headaches if I somehow manage to avoid it during my day. I must have caffeine--that magical, adenosine-blocking chemical (so Dr. D tells me)--or my head starts pounding and I begin grunting like a caveman. Dag
freakinnabbit!

This little hand-held whirlygig makes the most delightful lattes--a heavenly cloud of frothy goodness atop a perfectly sweetened, deliciously caffeinated pool of liquid warmth.* I love it. It's horrible.

You should get one... or save me from myself. I think I'd be happy with either outcome.



*Nope, I'm not sponsored by them or anything... I'm just that smitten.

Monday, August 2, 2010

M3: Commence!

I would start this entry by apologizing for the week-long update hiatus, but that's a pretty dangerous path to head down considering that life has a pesky habit of happening and this very well may not be the last time I am absent for so long. So I guess I'm sorry for not being sorry. Can we still be friends?

Anyway, two big things have happened for us in the past week (more specifically pertaining to Dr. D, but you know how it goes... married to a med student, his struggles/triumphs/business are my struggles/triumphs/business, blah blah blah, love love love).

The first big thing is that Dr. D got his Step 1 board scores back (!!!). Waiting for his scores was kind of like waiting for Christmas, except that this Christmas we weren't sure if Santa was bringing us peace of mind or something truly horrible, like a clown a la
It. Thankfully, Dr. D's scores are very good; no hellish harlequins around these parts. Honestly, it is taking all of my willpower not to brag my hubs up one side and down the other--he gets very embarrassed when I do. Med students tend to be fairly tight-lipped about actual score numbers unless they are are posting on anonymous forums, so I'll respect Dr. D's privacy, put down the personal cheerleader pom-poms, and just vague it up by saying: I'm so proud of him.

The second big thing that's happened is the beginning of Dr. D's third year of medical school (or "M3" as they call it, because obviously even pre-doctors are too busy to verbalize superfluous syllables). Holy schmo, how quickly the first two years have passed! This year marks the beginning of Dr. D's core medical rotations--in other words, goodbye classroom and hello sick people. Each rotation is between 4 and 12 weeks (most are 8), and they're basically crash-courses in how to be a "(fill in the blank)" doctor. The idea is that each med student will get a little taste of each of the specialties which will, in theory, help them solidify their future specialization plans. For some, it will just confuse them more. Only time will tell...

Dr. D's first rotation is in family medicine. It happens to be only 4 weeks long but also has one of the more notoriously difficult shelf exams, which are standardized tests that med students have to pass after every rotation in order to prove that they learned everything they were supposed to. I don't think family medicine was ever a specialty that Dr. D was seriously considering, but I think he's really enjoying himself. The doctor he's assigned to is great, and the hours are very reasonable--probably about 40 hours per week compared to the 60ish that some of the med students in internal medicine are doing right now. It isn't exactly the flashiest or sexiest specialty ("sexy" in the doctor sense, meaning blood, projectile bodily fluids, infectious diseases and rare cases) but Dr. D managed to get a scalpel in his hands in the first week to conduct a minor procedure, so I'm thinking he just may have a little crush on family med... call it woman's intuition. I'll allow it.

So that's a little update on the med student in my life. In other news, I have a gigantic itchy bug bite on my wrist (a consequence of our rediscovered social life, which we gladly reclaimed by grilling outdoors with friends last night--totally worth it!) and typing is tickling the heck out of it, so I'm gonna splitsville. Happy August!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Avalanche



Before Dr. D and I were married two years ago, I had only been to one other wedding that I can remember, and that was when I was 13. I think I attended some others as a child, but I have difficulty recalling them; only the vaguest memories of learning to dance the Macarena.

However, since our wedding, we have been to four weddings and have been invited to at least four others. Unfortunately our thinning wallets have kept us from being able to fly out for all of them, but seeing so many of our friends get married over the past couple of years has confirmed two suspicions I had after our own wedding: (1) The excitement I feel about anything wedding-related has not faded in the afterglow of my own planning and I am, in fact, in love with weddings & (2) Dr. D and I started an avalanche. An avalanche of love and marriage. If you are unmarried and hope to remain so, you may not want to befriend us because I think we may be giving off some sort of "get married now!" vapors. Breathe at your own risk.

Last weekend was particularly awesome for me because I got to harness all of my spastic wedding love and adoration and put it to good use. Two of our good friends (one of whom we have known since we were 12) got married back in our home state, and we spent the whole week prior helping them put together the final touches of their very personal, do-it-yourself style wedding. I had so much fun! I toted around my camera the whole time, snapping pictures, taking in the ocean air, and marveling at how stressful but totally worth it weddings are. The bride even trusted me enough to let me help with coordination on the day of the wedding. Man, what a blast. And what a party... but some stories are not for telling in such a public forum ;)

Here are a few photos I took of some of the details:



Congratulations, N&E. Thanks for letting us be a part of your amazing day, and thanks for giving me a creative outlet again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Prepare to encounter real life!"

That's what the sign says on the back of the door of my childhood bedroom, written with one of those battery-operated squiggly pens from the '90s (remember those?). It's a constant reminder from my 12 year old self that life gets much more complicated beyond that wooden door, so it would be best to prepare oneself.

And that's what I've tried to do over the past 24 hours, as our 10 day vacation came to a close and we flew back to our newest home, across the country and far away from the family and friends with whom we filled those short but seemingly infinite days.

Real life, indeed: 200+ emails in my work inbox and tornado warnings. Thank you, Midwest.

Still, there's plenty of reasons that make being back home a reason to celebrate. Among the more notable are: a reunion with J-dog, our own bed, an upcoming gathering of our local friends, and being back in the land of $4 (or less) malty beverages.

Our vacation kept us
very busy--one of those vacations that makes you want another vacation to recover--but we packed it all in. The main events were a wedding of our dear friends (in which Dr. D was a groomsman and I was an impromptu day-of coordinator, but more on that later) and my birthday, which I happen to share in common with my mother. It was great to be able to spend our birthdays together and indulge; mother-daughter mimosas and chocolate fondue were definitely a must. I love how in-tune our tastes are.



Now it's back to the grind. Work will start getting very busy for me starting in August, and Dr. D starts his 3rd year of med school and first rotation (family medicine) on Monday. Should make for some interesting stories!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why today is awesome.

It's only just started, but I can already tell today is going to be a good day. Here's why:
  1. I woke up in my childhood home, to the sound of my mom humming to herself and "June-ing" (a term coined by my father--as in June Cleaver from Leave It To Beaver--meaning she's flitting around the house doing various tasks in the most pleasant way possible).

  2. Upon waking up, I promptly rolled over and opened a special drawer in my old nightstand where I've kept all of the notes, love letters, and trinkets Dr. D and I exchanged in our high school years, and took a little trip down memory lane. It's nearly impossible to pick favorite items out of that drawer, but I'd have to say I'm most partial to the little slips of paper that hold each stanza from the poem he used to ask me out when we were 15. I also love the creepy purple stuffed cat that Dr. D won for me in a claw machine on a choir trip--he must have spent $15 on it, all in the name of saving his pride and making me smile.

  3. After I finish this post, I get to eat a homemade breakfast and bask in the marital bliss glow of a couple madly in love after nearly 29 years of marriage. My parents are pretty cute.

  4. This afternoon I'll be reunited with my hubster. He's been on a two-day bachelor party/manly beach-camping extravaganza, so I'm sure he'll return to me curly-headed and bearded. Can't wait!

  5. And finally, the last reason I am confident this morning that today will be a good day is... The Gap just sent me an email advertising jean leggings, available in tall. HOT DANG!

I hope you all have an awesome day, too!

Friday, July 9, 2010

He's done!!!

Time to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MM 101, Lesson 3: Canis Fidelis

You may have gathered that there have been many quiet evenings spent at home for us over the past couple months; Dr. D at the kitchen table with his books, and me on the living room couch with my laptop. By no means have we been complete shut-ins--we've still managed to do a little traveling, had some meals out on the town, some drinks with friends--but we're nowhere near the social butterflies we were before this boards business started.

As someone who identifies as a bit of a home-body and who has taken multiple personality assessments that label me an "introvert" (although I prefer to think of myself as a
situational extrovert), I really haven't minded the social down time. I've managed to adjust to sharing my husband with textbooks and Dr. Edward Goljan, and I've avoided going completely stir-crazy thanks to a certain fuzzy creature in our home who provides endless amounts of entertainment.

This brings me to my next lesson in Medical Matrimony: Get a dog. Preferably a dog that thinks you're fan-freaking-tastic.

For those of you who may be thinking, Who has the time for a dog?, I'll have you know that while Dr. D is a busy med student and I have a full time job, we share equal responsibility for this little fur ball and we've had an absolute blast with him over the past 2 years. (Disclaimer: the puppy/potty training stage was a bit of a struggle so if you're a full time student and you don't have a partner living with you to help split puppy duty, I'd suggest adopting an older dog). Don't let the time commitment scare you off! Dr. D and I have learned that the benefits of loyal dog companionship (canis fidelis, if you will) far outweigh the disadvantages.

I'd like to share a few reasons why having J-dog around has been such a hoot in our household:
  • Witnessing a dog's range of emotions helps you appreciate and experience those same feelings more deeply in your own life, especially when you find yourself jaded after a long and arduous day. For example, I don't think any of us truly understand just how FREAKING AWESOME it is when we come home from work/school every day. According to J-dog's perky ears, tongue-lolling smile, and frenzied propeller-like tail motion, coming home is an event worthy of pure joy, and thanks to him I now feel that joy every time I walk in the door. Also, if I could bottle up and give away the unquenchable hope that J-dog displays every time I open the peanut butter jar, I think antidepressants would be rendered useless.
  • Dogs can learn to do things about 5 million times faster than babies. This is great not only because they can do a lot more than just lay there, eat, and poop for the first months of their lives, but because you can teach them to do silly and fantastically entertaining things without getting CPS called on you. If I were to teach my baby to fall over and play dead when I yelled "BANG!" at it, I'd be deemed an unfit mother. But when my dog does it, it elicits applause. Booyah.
  • I typically plug in my headphones and mess around on my computer while I wait for my baking to finish, which could easily spell crispy, burnt disaster since I can't hear the oven timer. However, J-dog always lets me know when the oven beeps at the one-minute mark with an earnest nose to the arm followed by a "rally the troops" lap trotted around the couch where I'm sitting. I have no idea how he learned to do this, but batch after batch, he never fails me.
  • J-dog is the best remedy to a stressed out/studied out/burned out day. Whether it's cuddles or wrasslin' you're after, this dog's got both in spades. Dr. D is now in the habit of taking what he calls "Poodle Breaks" during high-stress study sessions, which usually involves a little bit of chasing, some tug of war, a dash of capoeira style sparring, and typically ends with J-dog hitting Dr. D in the crotch. And yet, miraculously, the Poodle Breaks continue. I'm a bit more partial to the cuddling.
It's quite possible for me to go on forever about this awkward, fluffy, mess-of-a-dog we share our home with, but I'll spare you for now. Just know that I would highly suggest canine companionship for any young couple that is faced with a lifestyle-changing situation like medical school, grad school, or the professional world. I've found that it's helped us stay grounded in our home life, and we've grown closer by learning to love someone/something besides each other--it's also an affordable alternative to parenthood. It's giving us some time to warm up to the idea...

...in the future, Mom. The waaaaaaaaay future.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

To a Safe & Healthy 4th!

Just a quick one to wish you all a happy 4th of July weekend!


We don't have anything big planned since Dr. D is now less than a week away from taking the boards, but I'm quite content to laze around and enjoy my three day weekend free of commitments. For me, the fruits of today's labor were some shockingly sassy metallic-silver fingernails and sun on my cheeks, both of which I'm pretty pleased with.

What I am not pleased with, however (and prepare yourselves because this may come off as totally un-American), are these booming fireworks that have been going off all around us all night. I'm not the biggest fan of fireworks. Sure, they're pretty to look at, but that's about the only redeeming quality that I can identify about them. They're so abrupt and loud, like angry loud. They just make me kind of indignant. A strange reaction, I'll give you that, but I can't really help it.


J-dog must have been picking up on my anti-fireworks vibes tonight... to his credit, he wasn't scared of the noises, per say, but he did give a little huff-like bark (similar to a scoff) every time one went off. I believe what he was trying to say was, "How dare you disturb my evening ritual of bone gnawing and napping at Dr. D's feet?"

I guess the other thing about fireworks that I don't like is that they've always seemed very dangerous to me. And for good reason, as this poor schmo from New York had to find out the hard way today. Here's the gist of the AP article:

Suffolk County police say 36-year-old Eric Smith was using a 3-foot long metal tube to shoot mortars from the street near his home around 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

Police believe he leaned over the device to ignite it and didn't get out of the way before an explosive shot out of the launcher. His left arm was severed at the shoulder.


Total bummer. But get this: they're going to try to reattach his arm at the hospital! Man, doctors can be so darn useful sometimes. I also happen to know that it is possible for him to regain full use of his arm... because they did it on a Grey's Anatomy episode once. I told you, Grey's will keep you up to speed on the medical world.

Anyway, have a SAFE holiday everyone, and enjoy!