Sunday, March 29, 2009

Girl Night (And Day)

An amazing thing happened over the weekend.

I had my mom and my two oldest sisters over. To my house!!

It was wonderful. Nearly 24 hours of girl-ness. Something that I have obviously been in dire need of.

Even my 18 year old sister, Mercy, noticed this. "Wow," she said. "I bet this is nice. With you being the only girl living here." Yeah, it is.

We watched movies on the air mattress in my living room, while eating popcorn and chocolate. We giggled over silly parts in the movies (something definitely girly. Men don't giggle.)

The next morning, after a beautiful breakfast of fresh strawberries and crepes, we headed to Park City. For some pure, unadulterated shopping.

I love Keith. Very much. But, like I'm sure pretty much all men, he's just not that big into shopping. Even if we are looking at flat screens or laptops or such. It's a "well that's cool. Next!" type of thing.

Shopping with my mom and my sisters, I realized how much I miss just hanging out with girls. There was this particular moment, when we walked into the Coach outlet store, when I had that "we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling.

We were all nearly breathless over the beautiful displays of purses. My mom and sister were sifting through silk scarves. And I almost mentally allowed myself to buy this fantastic lilac trench coat. (Note: I hunted the internet to find a picture of this coat, to share it's fabulousness with you. But there was none to be found.)

I also think that I was able to share my love of Ann Taylor with my family.

Although, shopping with my super-skinny-should-have-been-models sisters was not exactly easy on my self image.

Finally we headed home with two jackets and a fabulous pair of jeans (and no purple trench coat).

I'm so thankful for the time I had with them. I try hard not to think about how long I'll be in Iowa, and how much with change while I'm gone.

Thanks, my girls, for the wonderful time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Between Here and There

I keep wondering why I'm feeling stressed.

I'm not in school. I'm not working. I technically have plenty of time to sleep and relax and get caught up on all my project.

But I'm stressed!!

I could figure it out until last night, amid a minor tearful episode, Keith pointed out that we had only matched 6 days ago.

That right. Only 6 days ago!

Since then, I've finished my research, taken the boys out of daycare, found a real estate agent, gotten us pre-approved for a mortgage, created a list a houses to look at, booked a trip to Iowa to buy one of said houses, gotten a TB test, and nearly completed my physician licensing paperwork.

It's been a busy 6 days.

I can't believe we are going to buy a house! Our first home.

Keith and I have been renting for nearly 8 years. I rented for a year before that. Keith rented for 6+ years before that. So I have been living in apartments for 9 years. Keith for well, nearly 15 years.

And everywhere we have lived as felt temporary. That's what apartments can do to you.

But we have been pre-approved for our first mortgage and head out of Iowa next week to start the house hunt!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitchen Table

It's no secret we don't like our apartment.

In fact, we are Done with apartment living.

We are actually in the process of looking for our very first house!! (In Iowa, of course.) There are no words about how wonderful this is.

Our apartment is bursting at the seams. It's really hard to fit a family of four into a two bedroom, one bath, ~750 square foot space.

Even so, I do have my favorite place. A place with the best light and the least clutter.

And the place where my color scheme is best seen...

Don't you love the colors?
Aqua, apple green, yellow!

So come on over and pull up a chair.

Just please call first, so I can hide the rest of the mess.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time to Party!!!

I'm 27 years old today.

And what better way to celebrate than with everyone I love.

Happy Birthday!
Roman, me, Keith, and Blaise

We had a party at my parents' house. A combined Match and birthday party.

There were a couple shocked faces when we announced that we would be moving 1200 miles away. For at least 5 years.

But, I would like to think that in the conversation and celebration throughout the afternoon, most of the shock and even a little sadness was forgotten in just the enjoyment of being together.

My dad, me, and my mom
Thanks for all the love that
has gotten me to this point in my life

Sisters, Cousins, and Friends!

My sisters!
I love being part of this group of girls

I can't believe how many people came.

The whole party!
Wow, thanks for all the love and support!!

I want to thank everyone who came. It was unbelievably wonderful to see you. People I haven't seen for years. A chance to reconnect one more time.

Auralee, me, Mercy
I love my sisters!


Thursday, March 19, 2009


I feel like I want to keep my match a secret. Not because it went badly, or we are disappointed. But because I would rather be able to tell all of you in person, and watch your face change when you hear the news. I like giving news in person.

Yep, Match Day is that exciting

But Match Day is over.

My hands were shaking pretty hard when I was opening my envelope. Imagine, holding an envelope that contains information about your future. That doesn't happen very often.

Opening our envelope

It's good news!!

One happy family
(well, minus a Roman who is hiding under the table)

I guess there's no way to keep this news for getting out.

Can you guess where we are going?

Placing my pin in the school map

Roman pointing to our new home

Yep, that's right. Iowa. My first choice. Wow. It feels really good to say that I got my first choice. Like all the block exams and board study and suffering through terrible surgery rotations paid off. I got as much say where I go as any one could have.

So we are headed to the Midwest. Wow, that's strange. I've been saying for over four years that if we were going to leave Utah, it was going to be for somewhere warm. Where it didn't snow for 6-9 months out of the year. And I tried. But the "warm programs" just didn't fit our family as well. Iowa. Well, it felt right. The program is phenomenal. The housing market is very affordable. The schools are fantastic. There is a great dental school for Keith. And it is safe. I know that I will have to live through infamous Midwestern winters, but it seems like a small price to pay for all the benefits.

And like one resident I talked to in Iowa said, "It pretty much never gets any colder than, say, negative 30." Yeah, he said it like it was a good thing.

It was great to have my boys with me. Because, this isn't just me.

Happy Match Day
(And now you can see where Roman was
during the picture taking.
We at least got him IN this one)

This is for all of us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost time

The countdown on the side bar of my blog is making me sick.

Suddenly there isn't enough time to get ready for this.

Here's to hoping for the best at 10 am tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hope you're wearing your green.

We are.

Blaise and me at St. Patrick's Party

Blaise, getting his green on

A huge pile of shamrock cookies

Now playing: Dropkick Murphys - For Boston
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a little info

Well, I matched!!

Now I just have to wait until Thursday.

Then we find out where we are going.

I think I'm more nervous now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just a little nervous (the real nerves come later this week)

Tomorrow I get an e-mail to tell me if I matched or not. Not where. Just yes or no.

If yes, my nerves will settle down just a little. If no...well, if no, I plan on just crawling back into bed and crying and maybe or maybe not plan on rejoining the world in the future.

Actually, I won't get to. Because I will be very busy being involved with the infamous "Scramble."

Where poor fourth year medical students who didn't get a residency position fight it out for any remaining open slots across the country. A two day process involving a lot of phone calls, waiting, and further hits on your self esteem.

I really hope that doesn't happen. How terrible to work this hard for this many years and not get a residency position. And possibly end up somewhere you've never heard of and don't know anything about.

Or worse, end up in a different specialty all together. To not be an anesthesiologist, but a family medicine doc or an internist.

Here's to hoping for the best.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One Week Left

I'm sure that some of you may have noticed the countdown on the side bar of my blog. The one that has "The Match" above it.

I guess I should explain what "The Match" is. (And yes, it is always said like that. You can hear the capitals when people say it.) Since I have been promising to explain it, and now it is only one week away.

The Match is the process that determines where fourth year medical students will go to for residency. Basically, it is a complicated computer process that determines the rest of our lives.

It's not quite as random as that. We do have a little say. After a fourth year decides what specialty they want to go into, they then apply to interview at programs they think will suit them. I applied to programs that I felt were in livable cities, had dental schools in the same area, and I felt has some reputation of being a good program. Then, you interview. Which is long and costly.

After interviewing, you decide where you would like to go. So you make a list. Ranking your first choice at number one, all the way down.

The programs also make lists. Ranking their top candidate number one, and all the way down.

Then the computer goes to work.

We'll use me as an example to show how this might work. Say that I am candidate number 1358 that the computer looks at. The computer looks at my first choice (Iowa). The system pulls up Iowa's list to see if Iowa ranked me at all. If they did, and there is still room at the program, the computer "matches" me there. But say that all the positions at Iowa are full. The computer looks at the positions those people have on Iowa's list. If one of those people is ranked below me (Say I'm number 8 on Iowa's list, and one of the positions is filled by someone ranked 15.) The person ranked lower is removed and I'm placed in Iowa. If all the positions at Iowa are filled by people ranked higher than myself, the system looks at my second choice (Oregon). And this process continues and continues until, theoretically, all the medical students are "matched" into residencies.

(Of course, this doesn't always happen and then something terrible happens - "The Scramble.")

So yeah, it's just that simple. Ha.

Supposedly this system gives the applicants the most control, but does it really sound like we have any control. Take an entire population of type A personalities and take all their control away and then say, "Now, go and be happy."

With The Match being only one week away, I have so many emotions and so many thoughts.

But I think that's enough for now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Go Utes!

It is very possible that the Utah vs TCU men's basketball game that we went to on Saturday may be the last Utah sports event that we ever go to.

Which is very sad. But no matter where we end up at, we will always be Ute fans at heart.

My very favorite Utes fan

It was the first Utah game of any type that Blaise has been to. He spent less time being interested in the game and more time worrying about the location of the Utes mascot, Swoop. Or as Blaise called him, "the big man bird."

Roman, like always, was darling, and quickly caught onto the chants, songs, and cheers, throwing up his "U" with each free-throw.

Proud to be a Ute!

Teach them while they're young!

A whole family of Utes!

(And, of course, the Utes won. 68-49. Go Utes!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tea Party

Friday was another combined birthday party. This time, for Grace and Spring.

Grace, who is now 6

Spring, now 4 years old

Grace and Spring, ages 6 and 4, are my youngest siblings. They are the babies of the family. And the princesses. So what better than a fairy princess tea party?

Two cute little girls with their two cute little cakes

Along with some very rowdy little kid party games.

Happy Birthday, little girls!

Spring, Mom, and Grace

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well, Almost

I'm glad that the boys and I took advantage of the beautiful day we had earlier this week.

Overnight, the beautiful spring rain turned to snow.

Well, I guess a Utah March wouldn't be complete without it. I just hope I'm not saying the same thing in April.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's Go Fly a Kite

And that's exactly what we did.

The air is warmer, moister. The boys only need sweaters in the morning instead of coats. The birds are singing as we leave for school.

You can feel spring everywhere.

And the perfect way to celebrate March, blustery days, and the coming of spring...

Kite flying.

Roman mastered flying the kite on his own quickly. He even had the string pulling down to keep the kite aloft. When I was flying it, he would run down to where ever the kite touched down at and would gleefully and confidently toss it back in the air.

Roman, experiencing the thrill of letting all the string out...
just to see how high it can really go

Blaise really wanted to do just what his big brother was. He wanted to fly the kite alone. He would holler at me every time I would help hold on. And when I complied, he instantly let go and sent us running across the park, through lacrosse practice to retrieve the kite.

I know, it's another one of the pictures my mom says I shouldn't post.
And I wouldn't have taken one, except after I took a picture of Roman,
Blaise said, "Take of picture of me, Mommy!!" So I did.
He's just having a little bit of a hard time sharing at this particular moment.

Today felt like spring. Kites, no coats, and the promise of more sunny days.

Yes, it's a Transformer kite.
What else did you expect from a family of boys?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Saturday was spent at museums. Yes, with an "s."

First thing in the morning, my mom, her four girls still at home, my sister and her two children, and my boys and myself started out for a full day of looking, whispering, and "not touching."

First stop: Springville Art Museum. I have always wanted to go to this one, but haven't ever made it down there, until now. Currently, they are exhibiting high school art. A lot of it is what you expect from high schoolers. Some amateur technique and themes of discontent and self-identity. But some of it was really quite spectacular. I'm impressed that there are so many young people out there thinking about art in such mature and new ways.

And I loved seeing my boys stand in front of paintings and stare up at them in amazement. Roman picked an abstract sculpture with made of wood, wire, and broken glass as his favorite. He said it made him "feel special."

The art museum also has a good permanent collection. Definitely recommend this one.

Next stop: the Bean Museum at BYU. And no, no beans. Just lots, and lots, and lots of stuffed animals. There are African animals, insects, a huge seashell collection, ducks, and lots of deer and antelope. I think it is a great way for the boys to get an idea of the vast diversity of animals. But at the same time, I feel sad seeing the heads of magnificent giraffes and rhinos mounted to the wall. It feels just a little too much like some one's trophy lodge, and just a little less like a museum.

Roman and Galilee at the Bean Museum
(They are in front of a bongo. Roman wants me to be sure
to say that it's a bongo. In case some one doesn't know.)

Last stop (see, I told you it was a full day of museums): the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, where we rendezvoused with my dad and Keith.

Left to right: Spring, Galilee, Laurelei, Roman, Blaise, Grace

This place is definitely my favorite museum in all of Utah. The exhibits are fantastic and great for both kids and adults. There is lots to learn and plenty of hands-on opportunities to make it more pleasant for the boys.

Roman, Blaise, and Keith
in a cave

Swim away!!!

Roman by a dinosaur
with a very happy look on his face

We spent hours there.

I love seeing my boys faces light up as they learn. Roman, especially (probably because he's older) spent the whole day with a grin on his face and a light in his eyes.

And I have to say that, as a biology major, museums like this are right up my ally. Every time I see the Carboniferous forest exhibit, I have a small wish that I had gone to grad school and continued my comparative morphology studies.

You know, because I haven't been in school long enough.

As evening approached, we all went our separate ways. We headed home, with sore feet and content children.