Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cold Weather

It has been hard to get out and play with the cold weather and the early dark. (Seriously, dark at 5 pm. How am I supposed to do anything?)

As far as actual weather goes, November has passed fairly mildly. The days have been cold, true. But not bitterly so. There has been no snow. (No tears shed here.)

Today, we decided enough with the indoors.

We bundled the boys up for a little outdoors activity. (Which meant church parking lot.)

Wow. That kid gets cuter every day!

Roman and Keith played baseball.

Keith pitching, Roman batting

A successful hit!

Blaise rode his bike.

This is Blaise's "bike."
He does have a trike,
but he's just a little too short still.

And Blaise was perfectly content to ride his bike, until he noticed Roman playing baseball. Then he had to get in on that. He was reasonably good at taking turns for the first few times. Then he decided he was done sharing, and ran off with the ball and bat.

Blaise, done sharing

At that time, it was time to go inside. But mission accomplished: time outside!

Happy Thanksgiving

I know that is post is technically a little late, since the four day weekend surrounding Thanksgiving is almost at its end.

But I've been enjoying the time with my (big) family and my (little) family to make it to the computer and write.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Nearly my entire family made it to my parents' house for the Thanksgiving meal. (Everyone except Auralee. She and her husband spent the holiday with his family.)

Thanksgiving Dinner:
In this shot (left to right around the table)

My mom, Keith, me, Mercy, Brooks
(Blaise and Grace in the background)

Thanksgiving Dinner (Left to right, again):
Brooks, David, Christian, Trelawney, Salem
(and part of Rebekah, and part of my mom)

The kids' table: (front to back)
Galilee, Gwendolyn, Ariana, Spring, Roman, Blaise, Grace, Ansel

My contributions to the meal this year were very minimal. I made the candied yams (they are so good, I'm not sure why we eat them only once a year.) (Oh, and my dad, who while I was making yams kept reminding me that he didn't like them. Then he said that this was the first year he thought they tasted good. I think it was the cloves. Or maybe the vanilla.)

I helped make pie crusts, and brought the ice cream to go with the pies.

I also provided the idea, and some of the work for the centerpieces. I do love a beautiful table-scape. (My inner hostess/designer coming out.)

Don't you love the pumpkin "vases"?

Keith made mashed potatoes. Because he makes the best mashed potatoes, not just in the family, but ever. Truly.

So, as the holiday weekend wraps up, and the Christmas frenzy starts (oh, I love Christmas), I will share what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my beautiful boys, who have helped me become grounded, responsible, and have brought more love and joy into my life than anyone has the right to have.

I am thankful for my wonderful, amazing husband who has supported me through medical school and every other difficult moment. He probably is the only man in the world who could put up with me.

I am thankful for my parents. The older I get, the younger they seem and the better friends we are. My mom is always there when I need someone to call when things feel just a little too hard.

I'm thankful for all my brothers and sisters. Yes, every. single. one. of them. Everyone has taught me something different and I've had such unique relationships with all of them. I wish the best for them.

I'm thankful for my education, my future, my home, and my health. On a nearly daily basis, I come into contact with individuals who no longer or who never had these things.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back Home Again

After nearly six days on the road, and a horrible lay over in Chicago, I am finally home from the first league of the interview trail.

Overall, I think it was successful. I have also gotten over my travel and interview jitters, so I think things will be much smoother from here on out.

For those who don't know, this last week, I interviewed at University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, NC, and Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.

And I forgot my camera, which was a shame, since both cities were absolutely gorgeous.

Chapel Hill has a very small town feel about it. It has a lot of red brick buildings with black shutters and white trim, with brick sidewalks and low stone walls. The city also has a policy that buildings can't be taller than the trees, which makes the entire place feel even more small town. There are a LOT of trees.

I spent quite a bit of time wandering up and down Franklin Street, which is right next to the UNC campus. Franklin Street has all these great shops and restaurants.

Old Well, symbol of UNC

The department put me up in the Carolina Inn, which is a historic inn in the heart of the UNC campus. The inn is absolutely gorgeous.

Carolina Inn

Charleston, SC is a beautiful city. Unfortunately, because of the location of my hotel, I was not able to do much exploring of the town. But I walked around the marinas. There is Spanish moss hanging from all the trees, and palm trees everywhere. Gorgeous.

Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston

Historic Downtown Charleston

More views of Charleston

Spanish Moss

There is also a grocery store chain called Piggly Wiggly. Got to love a place where stores are called that.

On a side note, I love the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It has rocking chairs instead of benches, for "people watching."

But I'm glad to be home. I can't believe how homesick I became.

I'll keep you posted as I continue out of the interview trail.

(Of note: As previously mentioned, I forgot my camera. So all photos are courtesy of the wonderful internet.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the Trail

I haven't done a good job of writing anything extremely interesting in the last several weeks (which stems from a lack of doing anything interesting in the last several weeks.

For the last four days, Roman has been home with the flu. Poor kid (and he was the only one in our family who did not get their flu shot.)

Starting tomorrow, I'm leaving to start out on the interview trail.

Technically, I've already done two interviews. But since both were at Utah, I didn't need to go anywhere, and thus did not include either in my interview tally.

But tomorrow, the great adventure starts. Actually, it could be a great adventure. I'm going to go to places that I've never been, meet new people, and be wooed for a job. Should be great. But the fact that I am going be to traveling alone, away from my darling family for up to a week at a time, figuring out cabs and hotels by myself, and the stress of interviewing itself just makes me want to get it over with.

I think both my interviews last week went well.

I'll keep you posted about the programs I interview with in the future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

High School Musical

I would like to give a shout out to my younger siblings (well, they're all younger.)

I just went to see my brother, Christian, and my sister, Mercy, in their high school production of Hello Dolly. I know that many of you also went to see the play.

Christian was Barnaby Tucker.

And the play was fantastic. The singing was great, and the costumes were fantastic. It was the best high school musical I have been to. And it is not just lip service because they are my siblings. I've been humming "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" and "Hello Dolly" ever since.

I would also like to "publicly" congratulate Christian on his first place win in his division at the Utah Shakespeare Competition. I know that it was a couple of months ago, but still. Congratulations, Christian!

I have very talented siblings.

I recognize that there has been a slight post drought lately.

Between being gone...

Views near Aneth, UT

Looking back towards Montezuma Creek, UT

My dad with "his" dog

And the cold weather, and the earlier darkness, we have not been able to get out and do anything lately.
The craziness that is residency application ends in a few months. Things will be much more interesting after that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Heart Swell

Right now, I am almost 400 miles, 6 hours by car, away from home.

I am finishing up my last week on the Navajo Reservation working on my project about diabetes among the Navajo. You know, a nice, small, easily definable topic (please note the sacrasm).

I just realized that this may be my last time that I ever come here. While it is not the most beautiful place in the world, the people are amazing, the history and culture deeper than I will ever be able to comprehend.

I just got off the phone from saying good night to my darling boys. I can't believe how grown up they sound on the phone, when they are stripped away of the visual misperceptions I have, that they are still babies and it is 2 years, 6 years ago, and nothing ever changes.

Blaise chatters in his sweet voice that he painted at school. He, still requiring a little coaching from Keith, says "Love you Mama," and "Good-bye" before his two year old attention is called back to the couch cushions.

Roman tells me which state flag he is currently coloring. (Are there other six year old boys who ask for a print out of all the state flags so that he can color a few of them each night?)

Our conversation:
Roman: I'm drawing South Carolina's flag.
Me: Oh, really. Guess what? I'm going to be going to South Carolina in a couple of weeks.
Roman: Wow! Really? Pause. Do they speak a different language in South Carolina?

I ask him how his spelling test practice is going.
Roman: Hey guess what?! I can spell animal!
Me: Really! That's great. How do you spell it?
Roman: A-L, no wait, I messed up, A-N... Well, I know what it looks like. It looks like "an-I-mAle." And I'm still having trouble with "flower."

I can't believe that I can have conversations, REAL conversations with my son. How did the time ever get by me so fast? I still get the feeling I wasn't watching close enough. And suddenly, I am having conversation about how much he likes the Utes football uniforms because they are black.

And there is only one way to describe the funny ache in my chest that is a combination of overwhelming love for my children, the pride I have in them, and the pain and glory of watching them grow up:

Heart swell.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Historic Moment

I have seen something happen that I did not think would happen in my lifetime.

I wasn't born when women won the right to vote. I was not alive during the Civil Rights movement. I was too young to remember the Berlin Wall coming down. I felt that with so many historical moments in the past, that there was little I could imagine happening in my lifetime.

But I have seen that America elect the first black president.

However you voted today, whatever your opinion about Barack Obama, whatever your view on the war, the economy, healthcare, or education, you have all seen history made.

I will be able to tell my boys, although they are too young to remember it, that it happened in their lifetime.

And that is truly great.