Thursday, October 6, 2011

100 & 11

Before we get started, I just want to say that this is my 100th post.  Whaaaaat?  Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming:

Out of the past five months, Dr. D has only been able to spend about two of them here at home with me, so you better believe I had to do something cute for him when he came home from his last away rotation.

I baked his favorite cookies, which was a given.  But I wanted to do more.  You see, Dr. D has always been the more creative partner when it comes to romance.  I honestly have no idea where this man gets all of his ideas, but I've told him on multiple occasions that he could start a romance consulting business and people would pay good money to buy his ideas.  He is THAT good.  His momma raised him right.

But it kinda puts the pressure on when I try to come up with romantic gestures of my own, know what I mean?  So I decided to look for inspiration in things that have been meaningful to us both since the beginning of our relationship---you know, back when we were 15 and sickeningly adorable and awkward.*  And then it hit me: love notes.

That's how this whole thing started, 11 years ago.  That day set the tone, and from then on we were always writing love notes and poems and drawings of stick figures on napkins to each other.  But then at some point life got busy, text messaging happened, and the notes dwindled in frequency.  So I decided it was time to bring them back.

For Dr. D's homecoming, I put a bunch of little notes for him all over the house---some punny, some with quotes from our favorite movies, some with inside jokes.  He didn't notice most of them when he first got back, which I'd like to attribute to my dazzling presence being an obvious distraction, but with a little prodding he finally began to see them all over the house.  I'd have to say the best part was hearing him laugh randomly each time he would find one.

*I'd like to think we're still as adorable now, just less awkward.  Maybe.  Thank goodness our 15-year-old awkwardness is forever immortalized in pictures, like this one which is framed and sitting in our living room.  It was taken exactly 11 years ago from today, the day after we started dating.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

 {Loved this little framed poem we found in a local art shop this weekend}

Some observations from the weekend:
  1. If you ever thought that bacon and gouda cheese might be a worthwhile culinary pairing, allow me to assure you: it is stellar.
  2. I am normally a very empathetic person.  But sometimes my job makes me want to drop-kick underage drunk kids.  Does that make me a bad person?
  3. Sure, we really don't do great at our Sunday night trivia games.  But if I'm ever that person who actually knows off the top of my head who the Times Person of the Year was in 1952, please host a "get a life" intervention for me.  K, thanks.
  4. I love my husband.  (And now that that disclaimer is out there...) When he decides to play dubstep music on his laptop for hours on end, it makes me want break things.  Namely his laptop.
  5. There are still way too many local restaurants and shops around this little town that we need to make it to before we leave.  If I don't get back into a regular exercise routine soon, this spells disaster for my badonk.  Just sayin'.  BACON and GOUDA, people.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Love is.

I know you haven't heard from me in a little bit, but it's because I'm on that that cloud up there.  Yep, that ninth one from the bottom.  I'm just sittin' pretty up here, enjoying the view.

Ladies and gents, there is a Dr. D in the house.  And he's done with away rotations.  Donezo.  Even better yet, he's a fourth year medical student and---today?  Well, today he got to come home from the hospital at 3:30pm.  It was still light outside.

That's what's up.

We are currently cozied-up in a booth at my favorite coffee shop, and as I bask in the glow of our rediscovered togetherness, I decided to compose a list of what love is to me, based on the past few days.

That's my two cents, anyway.  It evolves daily.  How about you?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's Good

It has been an emotional couple of weeks for me and mine; it feels like we have been living the epitome of "when it rains, it pours" lately.  When times get tough, I find that it helps to remember the things that are good, and the things that are still making me smile.  Call me a hopeless optimist, but I'd like to think it keeps me sane and grounded.

So as I greet this weekend with open arms and heart, I hope to usher out the bad, the sad, and the stressful by appreciating some of the things that are just plain right.

Starting this afternoon, I will no longer be living the bachelorette life.  My partner in holey-jeans-wearing crime comes home to me today.  Hallelujah!

Speaking of that guy, I have him to thank for bringing me out of my baking slump.  Dr. D's favorite cookies (recipe here) are fresh and ready for the nom-age.

My coping mechanisms are typically either chocolate or new nail polish colors.  Have a guess at which one won out this week.

And of course, J-dog continues to be an endless source of entertainment.  Last night, Silence of the Lambs happened to be on television.  I chewed my nails through the whole thing and J-dog slept---until Precious the dog got yanked down into the pit in the ground by that conniving kidnappee.  After that, J-dog was glued to the television, no doubt to see to it that Precious got the proper veterinary attention after the whole ordeal.

...and: The Lion King is coming back to theaters in 3D.  I mean really.  That's just great.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Dr. D

Dear Dr. D,

Remember a week ago when I was super giddy because you were almost in my 10 day forecast?  Well now you're in my 5 day forecast.  It says right here: "Saturday: a high of 75 degrees, low of 50, and 100% chance of soggy kisses."

I apologize in advance for crying tears of happiness all over your sweet face.  And for looking a hot mess when I do it.

Let's never do this again, deal?

Your Mrs.

P.S.  It's a good thing you'll be back soon, because this guy is obviously getting WAY too comfortable in the alpha male role:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Junk Food for the Soul

Two days ago, I found myself sitting alone in my car in the nearly empty parking lot of a movie theater on the outskirts of town.  It had been too long to remember since I had eaten anything from a fast food drive-through, and yet at this moment in time, I held a small mango pineapple smoothie in one hand and a McDonald's three-piece Chicken Selects in the other.  The radio played at a deafening decibel, and as a song by Darwin Deez sounded over the airwaves, I started to cry.  And then I started to laugh at myself, at the ridiculousness of it all.  I also distinctly remember snorting, which made me laugh-cry harder.

Two observations: (1) Grief is a crazily convoluted emotion, and (2) eating while laugh-crying feels awkward.  But in that moment, it was what I needed to do---I'm sure of it.  We all have that tipping point, where the surface tension of bottled up emotions finally spills over, and apparently that moment was mine.

My reactions to grief have ranged in my lifetime from convincing myself that the benevolent spirit of a loved-one resided in my family's spare bedroom, to a full-blown anxiety of flying in airplanes, and even to a habit of changing the radio station whenever a Modest Mouse song is on.  And I guess this time around, I needed some junk food and an upbeat, goofy love song.*

Do yourself a favor.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that there's one way to grieve that's better than others, because my life experiences so far have taught me that not only is that not the case, but you can never predict how you'll react to grief.  Don't limit yourself.

Life is so beautiful, so precious.  Gosh, I hope you're enjoying it.

*Thank goodness Dr. D will be home in a week to remind me how nutritionally gross McDonald's is, because so help me, I didn't think the chicken was half bad...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Favorites

Today, I feel the need to celebrate one of life's greatest mysteries, and one of my favorite things in the whole world: a puppy's ability to make nearly anything downright adorable.

{Found on Pinterest, source unfortunately not provided... 
let me know if you know where he's from!}

See?  SEE?  This little dude is pissed, and yet you probably don't even care because he's fantastically furry and cute beyond comprehension.

I had the chance to puppy-sit for a friend a couple of weekends ago, and was reminded of how much I love every move puppies make---but also how much work they are.  The dying-of-cuteness moment of the weekend was probably when the little guy stopped in his tracks in the midst of a wrestling match with J-dog, sat down right in front of me, and proceeded to do this:

Is there anything better than puppy hiccups?  Few things, I'd venture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stink-face States

Dr. D and I on the phone, going over which programs he should send his residency application to:


Him: "Why don't we just start at the top of the list and work our way down alphabetically?"

Me: "---NYeahhhh, that's a great idea.  Makes complete sense."

Him: "Okay.  Alabama."

Me: "........"

Him: "You're making a stink-face, aren't you?"

Me: "...yes.  You're not?"

Him: "What about Arkansas?"

Me: "........"

Him: "This does not bode well."

I have this problem where I can't control my face.  Or at least, I can't control my face in reaction to something I don't like or am anticipating not liking.  My loving husband knows this about me---he's had about sixteen years of experience dealing with how my face looks in these situations, and has dubbed it my "stink-face."

I'm pretty sure we all have a version of this face, am I right?  And in our case, mine was a useful tool for determining residency prospects.  Much to Dr. D's chagrin.

Don't get me wrong---to my knowledge, there is nothing innately horrible about Alabama, Arkansas, or any other stink-face state.  I'm sure we could find redeeming qualities about each of them.

I just can't control the face, people.

All told, we still ended up applying to a whopping 70 ENT programs (out of 105 total in the nation, some of which are military only).  We've got to cast a wide net, because this is a tough specialty to match in to.  There are people who literally do not match anywhere, and that scares the daylights out of us.

Luckily I know that Dr. D is brilliant, has great scores and experiences, and can pretty much charm the heck out of even the most demure docs.  At the risk of sounding boastful, I'm confident enough for the both of us that we'll match.  And we are determined to make the most out of next year's adventure in our new, non-stink-face home.

Anybody else have stink-face states?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Successful Submission

“Have you submitted?”

This question has been buzzing in the air among the medically-inclined crowd since the clock rolled over to 12:01am on September 1st.  While I wish so much that this referred to submitting to an inclination towards regular exercise, or even submitting to the urge to eat loads of chocolate cake, what this is actually in reference to is the submission of ERAS—an online application for residency programs across the nation.
We submitted on Saturday.  We submitted so hard that it cost us like $10,000. 
Okay, not really... it actually only cost a fraction of that, but still.  Beaucoup bucks, guys.  We had to shell out just so these hot-shot programs will even consider looking at Dr. D’s application.  Honestly, his app is so pristine that they should probably be thanking and paying us.  I mean really.
Here’s the way residency applications work, as far as I can tell:
  • You update your CV, complete with hobbies, and then realize that you can’t remember what your hobbies are because you’ve been in MED SCHOOL for the past three years.  So you ask your wife to remind you what your hobbies are, and she tries to slip “loving your wife” in as a hobby and you’re like “Lol, cute.  But not appropes.” 
  • You write a personal statement, and agonize over each word and its synonyms, only stopping yourself when you realize there is no synonym for “the,” so you might as well be done with it.
  • You chew off all of your fingernails as you wait for the rock-star docs who agreed to write your letters of rec to actually submit the letters, and pray about ten times a day that they (a) remember to do it, and (b) put the correct name on the letter. 
  • You choose which residency programs to send your application to, and pay based on the number of places you send it.  Some people research every detail of the residency program and its surrounding areas, and selectively and systematically identify which programs they want to work for.  Others utilize their wife’s stink-face method (more on that later). 
  • You click submit and wait for the interview offers to come.   And according to your loving wife, they will come. 

Prayers and crossed appendages (fingers, toes, whatever you got) welcome.  And for those of you who have submitted or are about to, congratulations!  We’re so close!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Big Unknown


GUYS.  We are 193 days away from residency match day.  That's like 6 months and some change.  Chump change, y'all.  This is happening whether we're ready or not.

I'd like to think that we're ready, but we're probably ready for some things more than others.  For instance, we are so ready to not have the Big Unknown (aka our mailing address for the next 5-ish years) hanging over our heads.  If I have ONE more person ask me where Dr. D is going to residency, one of two things will happen:
  1. I will launch into a tirade about how nothing in this life is certain and there can be no way of really knowing where you'll be tomorrow---or even an hour from now---so we can't be expected to answer such a question and perhaps we should instead focus on living every moment to its fullest potential and maybe the real question should be what are YOU doing with YOUR life and shouldn't you be asking yourself why you haven't done something epically selfless like joining the Peace Corps or Teach For America and why haven't you solved the world's hunger problems yet?  ...What do you mean, I have "deflection issues"? 
  2. I will revert back to a ten-year-old mentality and say something like, "Where is YOUR MOM going to residency?!  Huh?  Huhhhhh??  Can you tell me THAT?!"*
All of that is to say: we're ready to know what the next chapter is.  Otolaryngology is such a competitive specialty that we really can't afford to be too choosy about residency programs, so we might end up virtually anywhere (except a few select places, but more on that later).

What we may not be ready for, however, is everything the next chapter entails.  And what it will most certainly entail is this: long hours at the hospital for Dr. D, a new job for me, and working on getting a family started.


Anybody out there fairly confident that you know what this next year holds for you or your med student?  I'd love to hear some stories about certainty so I can live vicariously through you.

*I'm sorry you had to find out this way, Mom, but yes.  I have been known to use a "Your Mom" come-back every now and again.  This doesn't mean I love you any less.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Dr. D

Dear Dr. D,

We have officially made it through half of this two-month-long away rotation, and I think we can both agree that some days move quickly and others drag on longer than the lame opening act for Girl Talk.  You and I both know that's incredibly painful.

These days, I don't think there's ever a 10 minute stretch that passes without me missing you terribly, but I think you would be pretty proud of the things I've managed to accomplish while you've been away.  I thought you might enjoy a recap of some of those things, so here they are in no particular order:
  1. I watched The Tudors.  The entire series.  40 hours worth.  And I cried every time someone was beheaded (which was like every 30 minutes, so I'd say I spent a legit 7 hours total crying over King Henry VIII's shenanigans).
  2. I've managed to allow three different half-gallons of milk to expire.  I guess I thought I was a bigger milk drinker than that, but you must have been picking up my slack.
  3. I've taken out the trash at least, like... two times.
  4. I have begun saying the phrase "Momma don't like that" in reference to myself, when I'm not particularly fond of something.  I have no clue where I picked this one up, but I'm counting on you to break me of the habit.
  5. I started two different twitter accounts for work, thus furthering my identity crisis.  You've probably noticed, since I see you are now following 2 out of my 3.  Welcome to the twitterverse, btdubs.
  6. I went through our box of notes/letters/knick-knacks for each other and got all misty.  Sigh.
I know you're working on research that mostly deals with otolaryngology stuff, but if you've got some spare time on your hands, see if you can draft up a protocol to speed up time, mmkay?

Your Mrs.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poodle Praise

When Dr. D is away, J-dog is promoted to man of the house.

I can't imagine the roller coaster of emotions this must create in his poor little poodle noggin.  On the one hand, I am certain that he misses Dr. D.  Usually around 6pm each night, J-dog will mosey over to the front door, gaze at it wistfully, and soon thereafter deflate into a puddle of pup on the floor... waiting for the customary "he's HOME!" ritual which, these days, doesn't come.  When Dr. D calls and I answer, J-dog can immediately tell that I'm talking to that tall and lanky guy he loves to play with, and he goes bonkers---running around the house, jumping on the couch to look out the window, and doing his darndest to vocally communicate to me that he'd really love nothing more than to jump on Dr. D and get his muzzle vigorously scratched.

However, J-dog has it extra good when Dr. D is away.  For starters, I tend to talk to him a lot more, and I'd like to think he appreciates the intellectual stimulation (for example, "do you think it's too warm to wear these pants?" and "Melanie really deserves to win So You Think You Can Dance---she's the best contemporary dancer we've seen in a while, don't you agree?").  Additionally, I try to come home during the lunch hour to give J-dog some extra attention and exercise, although he's used to this being his prime nap time and so usually I just end up eating on the couch next to a sleeping poodle.  Lastly, when Dr. D is gone I allow J-dog to do something he is normally not permitted to do: sleep in our bed.

Granted, this is a poor substitute for my husband.  But it's also ridiculously comforting.  Judge me all you want, but J-dog is a super cuddler.

During Dr. D's first away rotation, I was a little apprehensive to find out whether J-dog would be disgruntled to discover that all of these perks would come to a screeching halt when the tall/lanky/fun man returned.

It turns out he really didn't mind.  J-dog relinquished "man of the house" duties and resumed a posture of utmost adoration as soon as Dr. D walked through the door.  I know this current away rotation is twice as long, but I've got a theory that when Dr. D returns in a month, it'll be the same story.

Wish that day was today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Are you wearing a hat?

Well you better hold on to it.  I finally have a day off of work, so now this is happening: I the only weirdo you know who puts a beverage sleeve on her iced drinks?  Sweaty glasses skeeve me out.  I also have the tendency to drop them (slippery little devils), so this is my solution.

But I digress.  Catch you on the flip side.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blogging, FTL.

Fail blog.

Seriously, sorry guys.  I wish I had some epic excuse for my absence, like I won the lottery and we paid off all of Dr. D's loans and then flew to Africa and opened a health clinic.  Or I decided to surprise him and move out to CA with him for two months during his research rotation and we've been having such an amazing time that I haven't had a moment to spare for e-emoting.  Or I'm writing a book and am now contractually obligated not to utter another cyber word until my first draft is completed.

Alas, it is none of those things.  It's something much less sexy: work.

July and August are probably the two busiest months for my job, and next week it will all culminate in a fantastical, stressful whirlygig of chaos as 30,000+ students descend upon our currently serene campus.  I am simultaneously excited for and resistant to this time of year---mostly because I find that my summer to-do list is only a third of the way finished, and the beginning of this school year marks what will likely be my last year at this university.

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm EXHAUSTED?

So there you have it.  My pseudo-apologetic excuse for the prolonged blog silence, sprinkled with justifications and a dash of pity-party.

And here comes the ambiguous reassurance of a return to semi-regular posting: I've got a few posts in the works, so when things settle down at work after next week, you'll have some of those coming your way.

I'll leave you with this picture of J-dog as "Hairy Potter," because it's my blog and I do what I want.

Mmkay... brb. (ish).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Too Hot to Handle (baking)

We have recently had some bouts of positively stifling heat combined with humidity, which make for sticky air, frizzy hair, and not a whole lot of motivation to fire up the oven.

Unfortunately baking has become something of a stress/boredom relief tactic for yours truly, and since work has become busier and Dr. D has been away, I find myself in no short supply of either stress or boredom.  So I found myself faced with the following conundrum: do I suffer more sweltering temperatures by turning on the oven, or do I get off my lazy duff and learn a new recipe that doesn't require baking?

The latter won out, my friends.  And I am so very glad it did.

I modified a version of this recipe which I found on Pinterest, and I must warn you that 30+ bite-sized balls of heavenly peanut buttery chocolate goodness is dangerous to have just hanging around, so make plans to give some away or freeze half of the batch for later.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Bites

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Dipping chocolate (make your own or buy at the store---I prefer dark chocolate varieties)

Combine powdered sugar, butter, and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. {I eventually broke down and used my hands---worked like a charm!} Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.  Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on wax paper-lined baking sheets.  Chill the balls again for another 20 minutes or so.  Create and/or melt the dipping chocolate and drop the balls one at a time into it.  Using a fork, remove the ball from the dipping chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip off briefly, and place on the wax paper to dry.  Makes approxiamately 35.  Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Perfect Date

We all have our own ideas about romance---some like it simple and low-key, others like it outlandishly extravagant with all the bells and whistles.

I'd like to think that I'm somewhere in the middle.  I do so enjoy the occasional fancy French restaurant outing, bottle of red wine, and an accompanying long-stemmed red rose.  On the other hand, my ideal romantic evening tends to be one in which I can dress in cute and comfortable clothes (there is no true comfort in a French restaurant, as far as I've witnessed), laugh loudly, obnoxiously, and uninhibitedly at my husband's jokes, and not have to worry about embarrassing myself by using the dessert fork for my salad.

How horribly gauche...

Dr. D and I have found many local establishments over these past few years that fit the bill for a perfect date night.  For me, a perfect date night is a night in which we can share lots of unique and delicious food without breaking the bank (tapas fit the bill nicely), indulge in adult beverages at an environment that is conducive to conversation (no loud club music or belligerent undergrads!), and have the option of doing something fun or competitive to pass the moments in between our brilliantly witty banter.  (Yes, we do think rather highly of each others' hilarity... it's one of the most healthy aspects of our marriage.)

Before Dr. D set out for his most recent away rotation, we made it a point to have one of our "ideal" date nights, and I'm happy to say it was exactly that.  Good food, plenty of laughs, and some playful competition at the dart board.

I'm also happy to report that the evening went so well that we didn't have to call Elvis for a good time.

What are some of your favorite ways to spend date night?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thoughts from the weekend

I'm pleased to say that Dr. D was given the weekend off from his away rotation so he could spend the holiday with his two biggest fans (J-dog is doing his utmost to oust me from the #1 position, but until he learns to better control his crotch-kicking during wrestling matches with Dr. D, I think I'm sitting pretty).

Instead of providing the play-by-play of our weekend, I thought I'd just record some of my thoughts and observations over the past few days:
  • I hope I never ever lose that butterflies feeling I get when my husband tells me I'm beautiful.
  • Bacon tastes better after 1am, particularly when consumed al fresco.
  • Although I did enjoy the movie we went to see, nothing beats the goosebumps I inevitably get whenever the Harry Potter trailer starts. 
  • In a cruel twist of plastic surgery and coincidence, Kevin Bacon now has a piggy nose.  In related news, an android could probably emote better than January Jones (the movie we saw was X-Men: First Class, if you haven't gathered).
  • I am incredibly regretful that it took us three whole years to get around to trying the breakfast burritos at our local diner.  On the other hand, my thighs are decidedly the benefactors of this oversight.
  • When it comes to most restaurants that have gone out of business since we moved here, we (1) never stepped foot in them while they were open, and (2) predicted their demise.  We're thinking of offering up our services as restaurant consultants.
  • Fireflies---no matter how much I beg them---will not glow upon command for photographic purposes.
  • Chocolate and peanut butter continue to reign supreme in the contest of best flavor combination ever in the history of everdom (recipe coming soon).
  • Parades are kind of boring.  And a little too loud.
I hope you all have had a lovely holiday weekend!  Cheers to a shorter work week.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Well, here we are in Texas, and it shurr is a hot one.  Muy cal-i-en-tay.

Thankfully the flights were uneventful.  Whereas flying for me used to elicit panic attacks, I find myself having fewer and fewer white-knuckle moments the more I fly with Dr. D.  It's to the point now where I can just sit down, buckle up, link my fingers in his, and drift off to sleep.  And by the time I wake up, he's already ordered me a Diet Coke and peanuts.  Good man.

We're visiting my parents for the first time since they moved here to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's strange to see all the furniture I grew up with in a new setting, but somehow their new house still feels like home.  It might have something to do with the fact that there are pictures like this around:

{Our wedding day - Mom being thoroughly entertained by Dr. D}

Of course we started missing J-dog the minute we got in the car on the way to the airport, so it was great to get the customary grunt-filled, tail-chasing greeting from Old Man when we arrived at my parents' house.  It didn't take him long to get back to the sock-stealing hijinx for which he is infamous.  Luckily Dr. D's socks were a little too big for him to down whole---in high school, my footie socks were never as lucky.

{Old Man with Dr. D's socks}

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

M4: Annum Ultimum

As of today's pediatrics shelf exam, Dr. D is officially a fourth year medical student.

I remember standing in the muggy summer weather on Navy Pier three years ago, taking in Chicago and the prospect of life in the Midwest, and thinking that it felt like his MD was such a distant goal---a slip of paper so far in the future that it was nearly impossible to imagine what life would be like once he'd obtained it.

Today, I can't believe that it's less than a year away.

Third year was probably my favorite year of medical school yet, and I'm sure it was Dr. D's also.  I liked it because it never felt stagnant.  There always seemed to be something for Dr. D to be excited about, and while there was a significant amount of studying that went on, it was nothing like the cramming that devoured our social life during 2nd year.  And for someone who didn't come into medical school with any true expectation of what his specialty would be, Dr. D relished in the opportunity to sample the wide range of medicine throughout his core rotations.

Personally, I just loved seeing how jazzed he was to have true, constructive contact with real patients.  This was the year when I really got to see it: my husband treating people.  My husband, as a doctor.

Gosh, he's gonna be good at this.

I anticipate that the biorhythm of fourth year will go something like this:
  1. Total relaxation (we leave tomorrow on a vacation to visit my parents in Texas)
  2. Emotional angst (once we get back from vacation, Dr. D will be gone on away rotations for three months solid)
  3. Jubilation (Dr. D's return in mid-September coupled with a low-key 4th year school schedule)
  4. Extreme stress (residency interviews)
  5. Carefree, hedonistic abandon (attempting to complete our bucket-list after realizing we don't have much more time left here)
  6. Nail-biting anxiety (leading up to Match Day)
  7. Cathartic release (Match Day)
  8. Excitement with a twinge of sadness (finding a new place to live, a new job for me, and preparing to leave behind our first home and friends we've made as a married couple)
  9. Sweat (moving)
  10. Peace (new beginnings)
Ready or not...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Guest Blogging & Random Trivia

Howdy y'all! (I'm practicing for our upcoming trip to Texas later this week... how did I do?)

I'm over here today, guest blogging and doing crazy stuff like revealing my real first name and talking briefly about something that I haven't devoted a whole lot of time to here: my job. I'd just like to give a quick shout-out to Daci, who I was lucky enough to connect with thanks to some key commonalities---namely our love of med school husbands and precocious canine companions. Her blog is a daily visit of mine, and probably should be for you as well.  Go check it out!
Dr. D and I had another lovely weekend filled with good eats, good friends, and really horrible trivia scores.

Did you know that terminal velocity when skydiving is 122 mph?  Yeah, us neither.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bye-bye Bananas, Hello Muffins.

As a teen, my Dad insisted that I eat a banana every morning with my breakfast.  I completely resented it at the time, although I'm sure the potassium kept me from being a walking bruise during my rigorous year-round basketball playing days.

Needless to say, once I was in charge of my own breakfast planning, I avoided bananas completely.

It took me a long time to be able to eat anything banana-related after that, but I've finally come around and have discovered that in moderation, they're actually pretty great.  By far the best part about them is when they get too ripe, and I'm absolutely forced to turn them into something sweet and delicious.

Have a recipe!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white -or- brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg -or- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt -or- milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx. 2 bananas)
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, combine the egg/applesauce, oil, yogurt/milk, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.  Fill greased or paper-lined cups two-thirds full.  Bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Serves approximately 18 muffins.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Wanderings

Here's a little glimpse at our weekend according to (you guessed it!) instagram.  Hope your weekend was equally tasty & lazy!

We took trips to our favorite French pastry shop to play with our food (specifically a brioche monster)
and chillax with our buddy Monsieur Baguette.

Had some poodle cuddle time on the couch and didn't have to wait long for J-dog to fall asleep in one of his signature awkward positions.

As native Californians we have been on a constant quest in the Midwest for some authentic, cheap, greasy Mexican food.  After three years of "close, but not quite," we may have finally found it in a little taco truck on a random corner.  The mural of a burrito fighting a torta painted on the side of the truck was far too intriguing to pass up, and I'm glad we gave it a go because my chicken torta was muy bueno.

Went out with some friends for Sunday night trivia and got our butts handed to us (an entire round on Civil War historical trivia?! Come on!), but the black bean dip, bottomless chips, and fantastic company made it all worth while.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mason Jar Munchies

There are two things you should know about me before we dive in to this post:
  1. I am becoming increasingly addicted to Pinterest.
  2. Growing up in my mother's household, I've developed a lifelong affinity for mason jars.  They were a constant presence around the house, often filled to their frosty brims with ice water.  Nothing can make hydrating more appealing, in my opinion.
Needless to say, when I found this recipe while investing (not wasting!) my time perusing Pinterest boards, I knew I had to give it a try.  Monkey bread is one of Dr. D's favorite childhood sweets and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these adorable single-serve desserts are sinfully simple to make.

Here's the recipe and some pictures, if you'd like to give it a try---and believe me, you should.

You'll need:
  • four 8-oz. mason jars
  • 10 refrigerated biscuts {typically one package}
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • a quarter stick of butter, melted {optional}

First, separate the biscuits and cut each one into fourths.  Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl.  {Side note: While buzzing about the kitchen in giddy anticipation, Dr. D discovered that scooping a bit of this sugary mix with a tortilla chip resulted in a tasty snack akin to Taco Bell cinnamon twists.  Go figure.}

Each piece of biscuit will then be tossed into the sugary mix for coating.  I decided to melt a little bit of butter, dip my fingers in, and lightly coat each piece before putting them into the bowl.  The original recipe doesn't call for this, but Dr. D recounted to me the awesome butteryness of the monkey bread he used to eat as a kid, so I decided to go for broke.

Once all pieces are in the bowl, toss to your heart's content!  After the pieces are sufficiently coated, prep the four mason jars with cooking spray and place ten of the biscuit pieces in each, periodically sprinkling some of the extra sugary mixture between layers.

Place the mason jars in a high-edged pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, until the dough has risen and you can see the sugar bubbling.  {I let mine cook for 17 minutes, because the dough hadn't risen as much as I wanted---I imagine the timing changes based on the brand and type of biscuits you're using.}

Remove from the oven and let the jars cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Dr. D and I each had one fresh out of the oven---highly recommended!---and I've lidded the other two and am refrigerating them for later.  We also discovered that chopsticks proved to be a fantastic implement for fishing the delicious bread bites out of the jar.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PB&Js and Peds

Something about Dr. D being on his pediatrics rotation has caused our culinary tastes to regress.  I'm not sure I can count how many meals have been made up of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and/or cereal this month... all I know is that my hands are perpetually sticky and our Jiff is running low.

Our friend Dr. S helped us step it up a notch more recently by providing us with some delicious home-baked sourdough bread.  There truly is nothing better in my opinion than pb&j on toasted sourdough.  It's my desert island food---you know, if you were stranded on a desert island and could only eat one thing for the rest of your life and miraculously there was an infinite supply of pb&j trees.  My other choice would be bean and cheese burritos.  Don't hate.

Our gastroregression (yeah, I just made that up, so what?) reached new infancy recently when Dr. D got the urge to forgo the customary Kashi in the cereal isle and opt for Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch...

...which he proceeded to methodically add to his pb&j later that day.

Guys, I can vouch for this: it was awesome.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

At War with Stuff

Pardon the blog silence, but we've just survived an apartment move.

There’s nothing like moving that can make you feel instantaneously at war with your prized and superfluous personal belongings---your "stuff."  There are times even, in the midst of exhaustion after hauling boxes hither and yon, that it becomes your "crap."

Thankfully this move allowed us to purge quite a bit of it via donations, but Dr. D and I have agreed to go on a stuff-buying diet regardless.  I've also vowed to myself that I'm only allowed to buy a new item if I'm willing to donate one of my other possessions.  I don't want to end up like the creepy garbage lady from the Labyrinth.

I guess we don't even really have that much stuff compared to other people our age, since we own virtually no furniture (a perk of my profession, which provides us with free furnished living).  But something about having to schlep all of our combined stuff without a moving company really it put it into perspective: no one should own this many band t-shirts.

You'll all be happy to know that we managed to remember to pack J-dog, although I think there were times when he was truly concerned he may not make the cut.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blog Birthday

Well, here we are.  Today marks the one year anniversary of my first post and the beginning of a written representation of Dr. D and me, a story that's roughly 15 years old.

Where on earth has the time gone?

Somewhere amidst the long hours, the core rotations (both here and away), the tragedies, the ridiculous dog tricks, the papers, the disturbing medical knowledge, the laughter, the loving... somehow another year is behind us, and another year is in front of us.

Boy, what a blockbuster year it's shaping up to be.  And we're so glad to have you be a part of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MM 101, Lesson 6: On the Defensive

It's about time for another lesson in medical matrimony, don't you think?

Picture this: You are the partner of a medical student, and you are completely mad about this person.  They are pretty much the greatest thing since Mickey Mouse key chains (or some other really awesome thing---I just say the key chain thing because at the time I met Dr. D when I was 10, there was really nothing greater than any sort of Disney kitsch that I could affix to my backpack).  You are supportive of their career choice 100% and think they are seriously going to change the world, one patient at a time.  It so happens that you are also fairly confident that you will make your own equally important, unique mark in the world.  You just won't be doing it with a ", MD" behind your name.

You're meeting someone at work for the first time.  Or maybe you're at dinner with a new group of people.  Or at a bar.  Or making small-talk in line at the grocery store.

{small talk ensues}

You: "Blah blah blah [insert partner's name off-handedly here] blah blah."

Fairly uninterested, but socially polite person you've just met: "Hmm, really?  That's great.  What does [partner's name] do?"

You: "Oh, he's in medical school.  But anyway, blah blah bl---"

Now surprisingly interested, kind of judgey person you've still only just met: "---Oooh, a doctor, huh?  Well that must be nice..."

So here's our next lesson in medical matrimony: prepare to periodically go on the defensive when it comes to your partner's chosen career and your presumed motives for loving them.

Unfortunately I've had some variation of the above conversation on multiple occasions.  I'm never really sure at first what makes me more indignant: the insinuation that Dr. D is only studying to be a doctor because he wants to line his pockets and use Benjamins as toilet paper, or that I've only chosen to be with him because I'm some kind of talentless, motivation-less gold digger who's hoping to rake in some cash so I can buy myself butt-loads of diamonds/cucumber facials/catty friends.

Pardon me, is my bitterness showing?

Truth is, I loved Dr. D even back when he thought he'd probably go to film school.  Truth is, the only butt-load of anything we're going to have for a while is debt, but we're both completely okay with that because we can live modestly.  Truth is, I happen to be in love with a fantastic man, but I am a strong and independent woman and there isn't much that can piss me off more than implying that I'd be lost without his financial support.  Truth is, it's the Mrs. who is currently bringing home the bacon, and glad to be doing it.  And I think he's glad, too.

Can I get an Amen?

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'll take it!

A little over a month ago, I was very kindly given a blogging award.  This was awesome for two reasons: (1) It is my very first award ever for writing, and I truly had no idea this sort of thing existed so I was quite surprised, and (2) It came from a reader who I don't know personally, which was exhilarating because it means that I have a bigger audience than I ever thought I would.  How lovely!

So first, I would just like to thank the gracious Medical Student's Wife for reading and liking what she saw enough to award it.  You should check out her blog, particularly if you are one of my readers who is a partner of the medically-inclined.  She's a teacher, her husband has just graduated from med school (congratulations!), and they are currently in the process of moving so he can begin his intern year.  I am both jealous of and anxious for them!

Here's the award:

How flattering is that?

And here's what I've been asked to do:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.  Donezo.
  • Tell seven things about yourself.  Fixin' to.
  • Contact and award 15 recently discovered new bloggers.  Working on it.
So without further delay, here are my seven things, which took an embarrassing amount of time to actually come up with, mostly due to thing #1:
  1. I’m not all that good at talking about myself (which you’ll find hard to believe by the end of this post, I’d imagine).
  2. For anyone who was incredibly concerned that I may have gone through life so far being a “waste of height” (a phrase that really gets my goat, by the way... like I consciously chose my stature and am being incredibly stingy with it), you might be interested to know that I played basketball for many years, and was a scholarship athlete in college until I realized I’d be much happier if I wasn't. {Side note: where does the saying “gets my goat” even come from?  Was goat thievery at one point a rampant issue?}
  3. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m what I like to consider a “situational extrovert,” meaning I am inclined to introversion but can be coaxed into social situations in which I somehow manage spurts of outgoingness.  I’m good for some witty banter, I can easily speak in front of large groups of people, and I even put myself into performance situations (singing, acting, lecturing, etc.), but believe me, I need recharging afterward.  This is not to say that if I had my way I’d be a complete shut-in; I’m just an internal processor who can sometimes be overwhelmed by too much social activity and not enough time to reflect.
  4. If people-watching were a career, I’d be a professional.  When we go out to eat, Dr. D has to purposely sit in the seat that has the best view of people and their comings and goings, otherwise I get terribly distracted.   I get sucked into strangers’ conversations, albeit discreetly.  I make up life stories about them in my head.  If I can’t hear them, I imagine what their conversations are about.  I concoct plot lines and imagine what they’re going to do once they leave.  It’s awful(ly entertaining).
  5. I’m 25 and have finally reached the point where I have to actually stop and think when someone asks me, “How old are you?”  When I was a kid and my mom used to struggle to recall her age, I remember thinking it was the silliest thing ever.  How could anyone not know their own age?  But for some reason now I perpetually want to answer that I’m 22.  It must have been a defining year for me.  I suppose getting engaged, married, moving across the country, and beginning a new career all in the same year is pretty significant...
  6. I can recite and sing the entire musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as quote anything James Marsters’ character (Spike) said throughout the entirety of its 7 seasons.
  7. My biggest artistic outlets are writing and photography.  I truly hope to one day have my own photography business and spend my days capturing beautiful things through pictures and words.
Well there you have it.  Chew on that for a while, and I'll go recharge.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To: Tree, From: Apple

 {Mom's fruit and veggie collection of salt & pepper shakers}

I can't think of a better way to un-ground myself after the successful completion of my marathon paper than with a post about the incredible woman who brought me in to this world.

Seriously, incredible.  She gave birth to me, the first child, naturally and free from pain medications while meditating on a picture of the Grand Teton Mountains.

I mean... wow.  Good find, Dad.

To celebrate you on this day, Mom, I'd like to highlight some of my favorite things about you:
  • Your giggle, be it absentmindedly when you're not sure what else to do, or uncontrollable (which is often the case when Dr. D is around and in typical witty form).
  • Your artistic skill, from setting a decadently decorated dinner table to drawing construction plans for a room revolving entirely around an antique pane of stained glass.
  • The way you've always fostered my artistic side, and that I'm able to credit my confidence in those abilities mostly to the fact that I know it runs in my genes.
  • Your occasional absent-mindedness, which has led to many laughing fits in their aftermath.
  • How you're such a good sport when Dad, Broseph, and I tease you.
  • The way you pinch your bottom lip with your thumb and index finger when you're thinking hard about what to do.
  • The way you manage to make any place where you are feel like a home.
  • How you've modeling for me the delicate balance between independence and loving devotion to a spouse.
I'm not particularly fond of saying "I could go on forever..." mostly because that's usually a cop-out and in every way a gross exaggeration of time.  Suffice it to say there's plenty more I could list, but I'll save it for a less public forum.  Just know that you're a huge part (at least half, I'd say) of the person I am today, and I am so thankful for you.  I love you.

Happy Mothers Day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm grounded.

I've never been grounded in my life (thanks, Mom & Dad!), mostly due to the fact that I was a pretty good kid.  I mean, my biggest act of rebellion in my teen years was the first (and last) day that I ditched school with Dr. D when we were 16... to go see the second Harry Potter movie in theaters.

Look out, Lindsay Lohan.

But today, I'm grounding myself from my blog until Monday, when hopefully this:
...will magically become a 20 page paper.  Wish me luck.

Accio motivation!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Wisdom

Things I learned this weekend:

  • Illinois weather likes to play me for a fool.  It's mocking me with its stupid, non-corporeal face.  Two days ago, I tucked away most of my sweaters and relished the 70 degree weather in my holey jeans, and now?  It's pouring.  And freezing.
  • One of Dr. D's fellow classmates is the next Bob Ross.  For serious.  And he's giving us this painting!
  • I think maybe Dr. D doesn't think billiard chalk to the nipple is as entertaining as the rest of us do. 
  • My name could have been so much more awesome.
I also learned that my friends like to read my blog in secret, avoiding the comment form at all costs, only to reference it off-handedly over weekend pizza.  Creepers.

Hope you all had an equally enlightening weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Favorites

Hmm... I'm beginning to realize that posting favorites every Friday may be a bit ambitious.  Live and learn, right bloggers?  I set a goal for myself, though, and I'm going to hold true.  This week, allow me to present:

Favorite photographers!  ...Mostly of the wedding variety.

{Okaaaaaay... I took this one.  Shameless plug.}

I love photography.  I've loved it ever since I can remember---even as a kid, I remember trying to catch the best light coming in from the living room window as I attempted to capture my snoring Boston Terrier, Otis, in the foggy lens of a disposable camera.  I got my first digital camera before I left home for college in 2003, and since then I've been a collector of digital moments, filling my computer's hard drive to the brim with memories.  In 2007, I discovered the magical world of photography blogs, and I haven't turned back.

{the mister and me, by Anika London}

We were one of those crazy lucky couples who were able to find photographers for our wedding who were very up-and-coming, and they have since become incredibly successful.  Josh and Ariel at Anika London are not only fantastically cool people, they take rad pictures.  Their talent has always been superb, but it's also been so fun to see their style morph and grow over the years.

{I love photographers like Amelia Lyon who think outside the box!}

Always original, and always a stunning use of light (both natural and camera flash): that's what I've come to expect from Amelia Lyon every time I visit her blog.  It's my dream to someday attend one of the Lyons' famous Lyon Shops... I know I would learn so much, and she and her husband seem like such interesting people!

{Caroline's ability to catch the baby's tongue AND the motionless dog at once amazes me}

Caroline Tran has some of the cleanest looking photos I've ever seen.  The colors are always so crisp, the white balance perfection.  Her way of really capturing the emotion behind a moment is so skillful, and I absolutely love her newborn photography.  She does it all---weddings, engagements, family portraits---but her work with fresh little 'uns is my favorite.

Anyway, that should get your started on exploring eye-candy for the next couple hours at least.  I'd just like to put this disclaimer out there: none of these photographers asked me to feature them, I just figure I owe it to them after drooling over their pictures for years.  Enjoy!