12.28.2011

A (belated) Merry Christmas to you!

I love the internet and my computer as much as the next girl, but I think I love taking a break from it even more!  It seems that every time we get away somewhere, my computer is rarely turned on, except for work-related purposes.  The blog isn't updated, Facebook isn't logged onto, I don't Pin hundreds of crafts that I will never make, and my email becomes a horrendous black pit of despair.  

Regardless of all of that - after 540-ish miles of driving (two shorter trips to my parents house, one longer trip to his), we're back!  And I'm back to blogging!  I can finally tell you about all of the crafty things I've been creating for Christmas gifts (which I couldn't mentioned before, as the blog is read by some of the folks on the receiving end of those gifts!).  I can share some homemade experiments!  I can update my recipe page!  And, most importantly, I can catch up on all of your blogs!

The Hubby is in full vacation mode...a good thing, but I require a bit more of a routine than he does - and every day is his Saturday right now (but better than a Saturday, as there is ZERO studying occurring!).  He did get a little toy from me to keep him occupied over his break though.  (The Hubby and I exchange gifts - which is apparently strange?  I don't know...many of our couple friends don't buy their spouse anything.  It makes sense, in a way, as it is just spending our own money on us...we never do anything outlandish by any means, but I think because we spend so little throughout the year on anything remotely fun that we get joy out of exchanging at Christmas).  Here's the Hubby's fun gift:

source

Yes, this awesome wife bought her husband a home brew kit.  He's always mentioned how neat it would be to brew his own beer (I don't think that the fact that my father makes his own wine helps!), so I went for it when it was on an awesome sale from Sears.

Curious as to my fun gift?  Santa did well with this gold peacoat ;)

source

Are you completely sick of seeing people's Christmas decorations?  I'm sorry if you are - navigate away from this page.  I took pictures, so you get to see them!

Here is our tree, pre-present and post-present wrapping (when you buy/make gifts for 23 people, this is how many presents you end up with!  I would tell you how much we spent total for Christmas, but I wouldn't want to offend any of our gift receivers.  We'll leave it at the fact that we saved over 50% on every gift/all supplies purchased):


A few pretty close-ups of some ornaments:


 Our mantle.  I love LOVE decorating a mantle ;)


And finally - with a fire in the fireplace:


I truly hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and were somehow able, amidst all the chaos and hoopla that comes with Christmas, to take time to reflect and remember.



12.17.2011

Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Need a super quick and easy appetizer (one that you make the night before) for an upcoming Christmas party?  I give you Cowboy Caviar (or you can call it Santa Fe Salad, if you prefer a slightly nicer name!) - a bean and corn salad with onion, tomato and bell pepper, topped off with a sweet and tangy sauce.  This is based off of my mother's recipe....modified slightly for my taste buds and to reduce the amount of oil and sugar.  Hope you don't mind, Mom!



Cowboy Caviar
Ingredients
1 can black (or pinto) beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Combine beans, peas, corn, tomatoes (with tomato liquid), red onion & bell pepper in large bowl.  In small sauce pan, bring the vinegar, sugar and olive oil to a boil; boil for two minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring over the bean/veggie mixture.  Mix and refrigerate overnight.  Stir before serving.

This salad is great served with tortilla chips or frito-style corn chips, or even just by itself.  And there are lots of pretty colors.  The ability to make this the night before results in it being my go-to dish to bring for minimal holiday headaches.

I'll be sharing this yummy recipe with these fun parties this week!

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Christmas POSTcards & Display

There's no hiding the fact that I'm cheap fiscally responsible.  So I am very pumped to tell you - especially after my Christmas card dilemma - that our Christmas cards cost 33 cents each...including postage!  

How?  What?  (I know).  For starters, we mailed out postcards instead of cards in envelopes, immediately bringing the cost of postage down to $0.29 per card.  I didn't have to pay for envelopes (which you know are built in to the price of cards on websites).  And instead of ordering them online or printing them on glossy paper for $1 each, I printed them on regular cardstock at Office Max for $0.17 per sheet (for the printing and the cardstock).  With four postcards on a page.  Do the math - that's $0.0425 per card for printing, bringing the grand total for paper, printing and postage to $0.33 each!  

I did a simple design myself - no, the Hubby's face was not blurred out in the ones we mailed ;)


We looked like absolute fools in our parking lot with our lights and props and camera on the tripod...but we finally got a photo after about a hundred tries ;)

Slowly but surely, we have started to receive Christmas cards.  We've gotten about a quarter as many as we've mailed out...needless to say, next year, our "send to" list will be dwindling. 

In an itty-bitty apartment, there is no good way to display Christmas cards, so here is our solution: 

crappy iPhone photo in a dark kitchen with no natural light. you're welcome.

This is the door between our kitchen and laundry room/pantry.  We have an over-the-door shelf hanging on the back of the door, facing into the laundry room, so we just looped some ribbons underneath the hooks and let the ends hang down over the kitchen side of the door.  Add some clothespins and voila!  An instant card hanger (albeit a slightly sloppy one).

How do you display your cards???
 

12.16.2011

Swag Bucks Registration Code!


Great news!  There is a bonus code for new users who register for Swag Bucks!  Normally, you receive 30 Swag Bucks upon registering, but now through December 31st, you can earn an additional 100 Swag Bucks when you sign up using this link and enter the code HOLIDAYSWAG, starting you out over a quarter of the way to a $5 Amazon gift card (which "costs" 450 Swag Bucks to redeem)! 

If you aren't familiar with Swag Bucks, it is basically the easiest way in the world to earn free gift cards from searching the web.  You can read all of the details here.  I've earned $110 in Amazon gift cards in just over a year of using Swag Bucks, with minimal effort.  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask away!

12.13.2011

Fabulous Fonts: Simple

Have you all downloaded your favorite fancy fonts?  You have??  Great!  

Then you are ready for your next installment.  I give you:   


I love my fancy fonts as much as the next girl, but sometimes you need to have some simple in the mix to break it up.  Here are thirteen of my current favorites (to download each individual font, click on the link below the pretty text): 

Download Apple Garamond

Download Bird Cherry

Download Geronto Bis

Download Lemon Chicken

Download Matilde

Download Megalopolis Extra

Use all capitals for this font to work.  Download Metro Retro
Download Riesling

Recognize this?  ;)  Download Rock Salt

Download Romance Fatal Serif

Download Urban Jungle

Download Veteran Typewriter

Download Worstveld Sling

Which one is your favorite??

I'll be sharing these fabulous & simple fonts at these fun parties this week!

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Step 1 Exam: $535. Soapbox: $0.

Exams exams exams...they are never-ending in medicine.  It is currently exam week for Hubby...he is taking his second final  exam as we speak/write/read.  He had one final last week, this one today, and he has his final final of the semester on Friday.

Speaking of exams:  It's official - June 16 is the Day of Doom...also known as the day that the Hubby will take the Step 1 Board Exam.  That's number 5.1, in case you're curious...or if you really want to know all of the details about the agonizing eight hour long, 322 question exam, the gory bits can be found here

Ready for my soapbox?  (I'm not going to lie - I got much more fired up writing this out than I was just thinking about it.  You'll probably be able to tell.  Anytime I try to make a point with validity, I include lots of links.  This is a link-filled post).  All medical students have to take the Step 1 test to continue their medical education.  They are already paying up and out the waazoo (yes, the waazoo) for tuition, books, supplies and equipment.  By the time the Step 1 rolls around, the average med student is in upwards of $70,000 in debt (continually thanking Jesus for the combination of employment and in-state tuition resulting in our red number being below that average).   No one is ever going to opt out of taking the Step 1 because of the cost.  It's not like they have a higher price tag on the Step 1 to weed people out - these folks taking the exam are already in it for the long haul.  I can completely understand that the MCAT should cost a bit more, so that not every Joe Schmoe tries to take it.  But everyone in medical school is going to take the Step 1 regardless of what they charge for it.  And I'm fairly certain that the people running the USMLE have realized this and are taking advantage of it.

The Step 1 Exam costs $535 to take.  When the Hubby told me this, I nearly had a conniption.  He actually tried to rationalize it to me (leading me to believe that school is *potentially* brainwashing him), saying first that another $535 doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and second that they have to pay for all of these questions to be written, people to administer the tests and process the results, etc etc.  

We should pause for a moment.  In 2009, there were 40,298 students who took the Step 1 Exam.  At $535 a pop, that equals out to a cool $21,559,430.  Oh. My. Hockey Stick.  Seriously?  Seriously.  Over $21.5 million dollars. Where in the world does all of that money go?? 

[Warning: the following section contains math.  Secondary warning - I'm not very good at "the maths."  If you find an error, I will blame my calculator.  But please don't double check for me (Father), just pretend with me that I did it all right].

There are 322 questions.  Of these questions, 20% are not graded - they are the newly written "test questions" for the following year's exam (I am using this information based off of what the Hubby has been told).  The other 80% of the questions that are actually being graded were previous years' test questions, meaning that only 64 questions out of the 322 have to be written any given year.  We'll guess that they have 50 different versions of the Step 1 - I am completely making that up, but 50 versions sounds good to me.  If you paid each question writer a thousand dollars for writing their one question (64 questions for 50 versions at $1000 per question) that is a total of $3,200,000 for writing the test questions (which is pretty generous considering that the people writing these questions will be the brightest of the bright and should know the subject like nobody's business).  If we divided that out by the number of students taking the test (40,298), the question writing portion of the exam comes out to $80 per student.  

Okay - so the test has all of the questions written.  Somebody has to update the computer program from last year.   We'll let each test-taking student pay that programmer $10, or a total of $402,980 for creating the test.

Now we need a location to take the test.  I have no idea what a reasonable sitting fee should be for a computerized exam, but we'll just ballpark $40 (or for the Hubby's class of 200, a $8,000 income for the testing center).  If 25 students take the exam in a sitting and it requires 2 people to proctor the exam - one per 12.5 students - each making $20 an hour for 8 hours, their wages would total $320.  Multiply that by the 8 sittings it would take for the entire class to take the exam, and we reach a total of $2,560 in proctor wages.  I would assume that the students would not do more that $5,440 worth of wear and tear on the computers/chairs/building??

We're up to $130.  Now the students have taken their test.  It's computerized.  That means as SOON as they take it, the computer knows the results.  No one has to do anything to grade them...that's the beauty of a computerized test!  We'll need a couple of statisticians to figure out all of the worthless percentages.  How's $10 per test sound?   ($402,980 for the statisticians).

I guess someone does have to notify the schools of their students' scores.  I would bet an intern could click the mouse and do that.  We'll pay her/him a generous salary of $1 per test-taking student ($40,298).

Now, here we are: questions written, computer program updated, test proctored and graded, percentages/stats figured and scores sent to schools ...all for $141 per student.  We've come to just over a quarter of the initial cost.  A total of $5,658,178 as opposed to the $21,559,430 currently being grossed from the test taking fees. 

Will someone please explain to me into whose pockets that extra $15,877,412 appears?  Couldn't we practically bring clean drinking water to the world for that amount of money?

What are your thoughts on this?   Am I missing something, or is the USMLE just a complete money-maker?  I know nothing will change, and that the prices will just continue to increase, but still.  It truly is the principle of the matter.  Let's rob these kids who are already up to their eyeballs in debt out of an extra $394, just because we can.

Soapbox complete,

12.05.2011

Fabulous Fonts: Fancy

As a follow up to my post on how to download fonts, here are some of my current favorite "fancy" fonts!  Maybe you can feature one on your Christmas cards this year??


Mmm.....love.  Have I convinced you yet that the fonts that come pre-loaded on your computer are not necessarily the best fonts available??  To download each individual font, click on the link below the pretty text!

da Font: Before the Rain

Font Squirel: Brock Script

da Font: Chopin Script

da Font: Freebooter Script

da Font: Marcelle Script

da Font: Respective

da Font: Scriptina Pro

(This "pro" version of Scriptina would have made creating everything for our wedding a thousand times easier!  The spacing was so wacky on the original version that I basically had to put every letter into its own text box so I could control the spacing!  Hallelujah: a clean version!)

da Font: Windsong

Ahh... ;)  Enjoy!

Sharing with these parties this week!

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12.03.2011

Your German lesson for the day

In case you're unaware, the blogging world is mighty fabulous.  If you've ever considered starting a blog, I would seriously recommend it.  My blog friends literally all rock.  The Hubby might make fun of me, because sometimes I talk about them in real life, telling him who is pregnant and where someone's husband had a residency interview, etc. But I don't mind.  Because even though I don't technically KNOW them, I feel like I do.  They are all dear to me, in a completely non-creepy way.

Ready to learn German?  The word "dearest" in English is translated to "liebster" in German.  Why in the world am I telling you this?  Because the super sweet Lauren, who blogs over at The Army Doctor's Wife, was so kind as to give me and the MD School Mrs. blog the Liebster Blog Award!


This award is specifically for blogs with less than 200 followers (a category into which this blog easily falls).   If you'd never visited Lauren, I would *highly* recommend you head over there now.  Her hubs is an army doc (which you may have correctly guessed from the title of her blog), they recently moved across the country AND they are expecting their first baby!  I am so pumped for all of the excitement in her life...there is way more life action on her blog than on mine ;)  Thanks again Lauren!

So, in the spirit of good blogging etiquette and to keep the Liebster Award going to other deserving blogs... 

Here are the rules to pass this baby on:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

I'm passing the Liebster Award on to these dear ladies (why yes, I only read medical spouse blogs and craft blogs.  So be it!):
  • Selena, teacher and wife of a 2nd year med student, currently enduring a "weekend marriage."  Find her at Scott & Selena
  • Marisa, fiance of a 4th year med student who is currently applying for residency (and relaying all of the interview questions to us!).  Find her at Count on me for Life
  • Erika, wife of a resident in the process of applying for fellowships AND they are expecting their first babe, Gilroy (womb name only, don't worry).  Find her at Always Better Together
  • Cynthia, a crafting queen!  Get ready to swoon when you see her ruffled tree skirt!  Find her at Simply Chic Treasures
  • Katherine Anne, brand (BRAND) new mama to a beautiful baby boy and wife of a fourth year med student.  Find her at Medical School Mrs.
 Thanks for writing ladies; I love being a part of your lives ;)  Be sure to pass the award onto some of your favorites!

11.28.2011

Whirlwind.

The past week has been an absolute whirlwind.  Out of the last seven days, we have slept at home for a total of two nights. 

Hubs had a major test last week Monday, which he completely rocked.  Then, after class was over on Wednesday, we did a quick version of putting up our Christmas decorations (not that it could take us more than two hours if we took our time anyway), and then headed up to his parents' house Wednesday night through Friday afternoon.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with his side of the family and thoroughly enjoyed some rest and relaxation.  

On Friday as we were heading out of town, we experienced some car troubles and had to turn around and coast (literally) into a repair shop.  [side note - our cars are 10 and 11 years old.  We were just saying that they have have have to last us through medical school...and then cough-sputter-stall...a trip to the repair shop.  Silly Murphy and his law).  Luckily it wasn't too hard of a fix and we were on our way to my folks' house without too much delay.  We had a Mexican fiesta Thanksgiving dinner with them on Friday night, and Saturday morning was the annual craft show in my hometown...always chaotic and a mini-high school reunion, but great nevertheless!  I toured around the booths with part of the Square, which was lovely.

Saturday afternoon, we headed back home to have dinner with some fellow medical students/residents and their wives (hi girls!).  Homemade pizza + games + great company...what could be better?

The next morning on the way to church, we got a phone call that we were expecting but not looking forward to...the news that Hubby's grandma passed away early that morning.  She had been declining quickly over the past month due to a series of micro-strokes that gave way to rapid onset dementia.  She basically went from being completely aware to non-responsive in a matter of two months.  While we are so sad to have her gone, we are relieved for her sake that she is no longer trapped inside a body she couldn't control.  We were able to visit her over Thanksgiving, which was good, even though we aren't sure if she knew we were there.  She had lived a full life and knew and loved the Lord, so we are resting in that fact with peace.  

The Hubby and I headed back up to his parents' house on Monday afternoon.  We went over to Grandma's apartment at the assisted living center to pack up everything - they had informed us that they had someone new moving in on Thursday and we had to have her apartment cleaned out by then...giving us a total of three days from when she passed to reduce an entire life to bags and boxes.  Not impressed.  It was a late night of sorting and packing to say the least.

We were up early on Tuesday morning to make picture boards for the services.  There was lots of support at the visitation and funeral from my in-laws' church and community, along with lots of folks from my father-in-law's side of the family, which was nice.  Grandma had out-lived most of her friends, but the room was filled with much love.

After dinner at the church, we headed back to the house to say our goodbyes to family.  We were all worried about the weather - some areas got upwards of 10" of snow yesterday.

I don't really have an end to this post.  And I'm mildly wondering if it had a point.  It was messy and whirly, just as the last few days have been.  But now that it's written, I might as well post it, right?

Hope all of you are well - I have a lot of catching up to do.

11.17.2011

How to Download Fonts (with screenshots!)

If you're anything like me, you don't get super excited about the standard fonts on your computer.  In fact, certain fonts might make you cringe (don't even get me started on Parchment. Or Times New Roman!).  

When I am creating something special (wedding invitations and Christmas cards!), I like to use unique fonts to give things a bit more pizazz.  Thank goodness there are awesome websites where you can download wonderful fonts for free!  My favorite one is da Font (unfortunately not making money from endorsing them...just really do love the site!). 

Never downloaded a font before?  It is super simple.  Let me walk you through the steps (I even got fancy and included screenshots.  Oohhh, yes!).  I'm using Firefox as my browser, but the steps are the same for Internet Explorer.   

First, find a font you love, then simply click the gray "Download" box.  Choose to "Save File" when prompted.  

 
From your Downloads screen, right click and open the downloaded font file.   


[At this point, I make sure that I've closed any program that uses fonts (Word/Publisher/PSE) and open up my "Fonts" folder (found in your Control Panel).]

After the downloaded file is opened, click on the "Extract all Files" button.   


When you extract the files, this will pop up.  I just use the default destination, and make sure the "Show extracted files when complete" box is checked.  Then click "Extract".


After you extract the files, you need to copy the font file into your Fonts Folder.  The font file will either be an OpenType or TrueType file.  Sometimes there will be more than one file in your extracted items (a read-me file, a .jpg file, etc).  Don't copy any of those into your font file.  Also, sometimes there will be multiple Type files for any given font (for special characters/italic/bold/etc).  Rule of thumb: any file that is an OpenType or TrueType file should be copied, anything that is not an OpenType or TrueType file should not be copied. To copy the files, I simply highlight, drag, and drop them into my Font Folder.


My computer always prompts me to make sure I really want to copy the file into the folder.  Just click yes through that, and the font will copy into your folder and be ready for use!  Open up Word and try it out.

Simple, right?  Now you have no reason to use Lucinda Calligraphy on your Christmas cards ;)  I'll be sharing with these great places this week...Enjoy the wonderful world of fabulous fonts!

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11.16.2011

Christmas Card Etiquette

Okay, blogging world.  I need some advice.  What is proper Christmas card etiquette?  I mean, last year, we mailed out quite a few Christmas cards.  We received...not very many Christmas cards.  So what do we do this year?  Am I allowed to only mail Christmas cards to the people from whom we received cards last year, unless we strongly want/desire to send a card to a particular person (for example - our grandparents don't send out cards, but obviously we'll still mail one to them).  

What about for family?  For instance, we have a l.o.t. of cousins - if we mail a card to one cousin, do we mail them to all?  What if we mail a card to one cousin, and not to another, but then the non-card-receiving cousin goes to a card-receiving cousin's house and sees our card, and are then hurt?  My hubby's has 30+ first cousins.  I haven't even met them all, and we talk to/see about two of them regularly (by regularly, I mean once a summer).  Can we just mail a card to them?  Or should we NOT mail them a card so as to not hurt other family members' feelings?

Or, in an attempt to rationalize our slim receiving of Christmas cards last year, maybe people precisely plan out how many Christmas cards to buy/order (as I do), and they weren't expecting to get a card from us last year, so they didn't have a card to send to us, but added us to their list for this year.  So should we just send out Christmas cards to everyone that we did last year, and then if they again don't send us a card, they get a big black line drawn through their name for Christmas 2012??

I'm not positive, but I don't think this is supposed to be quite this complicated.  What are your thoughts and suggestions?  How do you decide where to send your Christmas cards (particularly if you have a ginormous family)?  Do you keep track of who enjoys reciprocating the Christmas card tradition, or do you send regardless of receiving status?  If people don't take joy in sending and receiving Christmas cards, I think that I would rather prefer to save my stamp, but at the same time, I'm not a Scrooge!  Maybe people still enjoy receiving Christmas cards, even if they don't send them?  

Side question: When do you mail out your Christmas cards?  Right after Thanksgiving?  The week after?  

Help! 

11.15.2011

Happy November 15th!

If you get queasy easily, and/or are the very pro-animal/vegetarian type, come back for a later post. 

(Note: there's nothing wrong with the animal lovers of the world.  But this simply isn't a post for you).

I'll even give you lots of space to think about this.

Because I'm from a small town.  

And where I'm from,

November 15th 

means one thing.  

And one thing only.

Pictured: Frank the Truck, me, the Deer, and the Coug (cougar.  My old car, in the corner there.  That was my grandmother's car.  It was a beast).

Opening day!  That little 7-point was my first buck ever, bagged five opening mornings ago on a crisp morning.  

And my, oh my, nothing beats fresh venison ;)  

Happy Opening Day, everyone!

11.12.2011

Conversations with the future doc, part 5: Too much studying?

Upon arriving home this afternoon from a leaf raking party at our friends' house, the Hubby greeted me with a hug.  

"Mmmmmmm," he inhaled deeply, "you smell like outside!!"

Could this be a sign that the Hubby may potentially be studying too much?  ;)  I think it's time to go for a walk and escape Hem/Onc for a while!

11.11.2011

Swag Bucks pays for Christmas!

I'm fairly certain that you all know of my love of Swag Bucks by this point (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this post for the low down.  Long story short, it's a search engine that rewards you with "bucks" which you can redeem for loot, like Amazon gift cards.  450 Swag Bucks = a $5 Amazon gift card).  

While we use Amazon for some not-so-fun shopping (like the Hubby's textbooks), we also use it for some VERY fun shopping...like Christmas shopping!   I've come to the conclusion that some things can only be found on Amazon (such as the obscure CD that your father always seems to request), and that most everything else should only be purchased from Amazon - their prices always seem to be the lowest!  

That being said - there are people in this world who use Swag Bucks to completely pay for Christmas.  I, sadly, am not one of them.  HOWEVER.  I am able to save some serious cash via Swag Bucks.  iPhone arm band?  Normal price $24.99, on sale half off for $12.50, less a $5 Amazon Gift Card via Swagbucks = a $7.50 gift (way to go Hubby, one of my birthday gifts!).  We basically save at least $5 every time we order from Amazon - I'm just $5 shy of having redeemed $100 in Amazon Gift Cards in one year (exactly one year - I redeemed my first gift card on 11.11.10!), with minimal effort.   

I've got an early Christmas gift for you: a bonus code if you sign up for Swag Bucks through this link.  Normally, you receive 30 Swag Bucks to start out your account, but from now until
9:00am PT on Friday, November 18th, your account will be padded with a bonus 80 Swag Bucks - a total of 110 Swag Bucks instead of the customary 30!  When you sign up, just enter the code: SBPAYSFORME on the registration page to start account with 110 Swag Bucks!  (That's practically a quarter of a $5 Amazon Gift Card!). 

Any questions, feel free to ask away.  It's a great program!  

Happy Friday!  ;)

11.10.2011

And so it begins.

Suppose it's time to pitch the pumpkins....


MJ: Oh. My. Gosh.  It is so nasty outside!  Can you believe how gross it is?? 

Hubby: Seriously?  It looks like a snow globe!  I love the first snow of the year.

MJ: Well, I think it's ugly.

Hubby: Come on, you're looking at God's creation!  How can you say it's ugly?

MJ: (pointing at self) THIS part of God's creation doesn't like (pointing at swirly white snow) THAT part of God's creation. 

Hubby: MJ, come on.  We've been blessed with coats and gloves and a house and heat and a fire place.  

MJ: We've ALSO been blessed with a vehicle that can drive us south

Only five months until spring, folks (reality-wise, not calendar-wise).  Let the countdown begin.  

(Can I just go into hibernation until then??)

11.07.2011

I challenge you to not become teary-eyed watching this.

I might have sobbed into my sandwich gotten a little teary-eyed while watching this and eating lunch.  It's an old story, so maybe you've seen it already (plus it's jumping around Facebook like nobody's business), but it so touched my heart that I had to share it!  :)   

11.06.2011

New page!

Source

Have a look up top!  Notice anything?  There's a new page up there - third from the right.  Recipes!  In there, you'll find all of the recipes featured on MD School Mrs., divided into categories: breakfast, appetizers, breads, main dishes and desserts.  Makes me hungry just compiling them ;)  Enjoy!

11.04.2011

A Taste of Residency...

I believe I have had a fairly accurate preview of what a little thing called "residency" will be like for the past several days.  I know, I know, several days is nothing compared to the reality of residency.  Regardless of that, I have sufficiently been able to say "Hubby, who?" lately.  

Granted, it's just been the combination of school/studying/shadowing that have lead to multiple nights in a row of going to bed without the Hubby home, being vaguely aware that he comes in at some wee hour of the morning, having the alarm go off a short time later, and then actually waking up for the day, with the Hubby gone again (memo to the creepers of the world who know that medical wives often spend nights alone at home: there's a security door to our apartment building that you'd have to get through.  Or you'd have to put a ladder on top of a tree to get in our windows.  By the way, our neighbor was a Detroit cop.  Oh, and my father calls me Annie Oakley.  Still interested??).  Where was I?  Oh, yes. Regardless of the short time frame, it has been a taste of what residency might be like.

I've mentioned before that the Hubby is part of his school's Emergency Medicine Interest Group (is that what he's thinking he'd like to specialize in?  Meh...your guess is as good as ours!).  The EMIG leadership team has been working with the local medical helicopter transport to set up a shadowing experience for the students in the group.  The four students on leadership have been doing a "trial run" of the shadowing program, each scheduling two or three shifts over a three week span at the helicopter hangar.

My poor, dear, sweet Hubby...after his initial shifts, all he had seen was the inside of the hangar, so he scheduled another time to shadow.  Then he got rained out (who knew medical helicopters don't fly during inclement weather?).  He rescheduled, and again, just studied at the hangar.  After all, there is no rhyme or reason to when air transport will be needed.  It came down to the last few days that the students had to get their experience in, so he quickly scheduled two crazy days: a day with both a morning and a night shift, and then the following day was a night and morning shift. This is where my residency preview came into play.

First crazy day:  Hubby wakes up at 5.45am to leave at 6.15am to shadow again.  He gets home around 3pm.  Having not seen any action, he ate a quick meal and returned to shadow at 6pm, and then returns home in the 1am range (I don't really know what time - I was long asleep).  Out of 24 hours, the Hubby spends 15 at the hangar.  Frustration is mounting at this point, with only two more possible times to shadow.

Second crazy day: (Hubby 'schools' all day which is not included in this 24 hours).  The Hubby boogies home between classes and a meeting and grabs his necessary garb before heading to the hangar for the night shift.  Upon arriving, the flight crew that was at the hangar told him that they'd decided he was bad luck.  They told him not to put on his flight suit when he got there - perhaps then they'd get a flight.  When that didn't work, they had him call me down to the hangar - surely if I drove out there to see him, they would get a call.  Alas...no.  But I did get to see the Hubby, meet the flight crew, and see the helicopters.  They were much bigger than I was anticipating! 

They let me sit in one...I was scared to touch anything!  It was strange to wonder how many lives had slipped away in that very cabin (one of a thousand reasons I could never be a doctor).

Here's one of their two helicopters...Doesn't it look massive in the hangar?  Compare it to the back end of that truck on the right.  It boggled my mind that these things lift off the ground!

After I left, the Hubby studied more in the hangar...no flight.  He got home around late o'clock again - I'm super grateful that I'm a champion sleeper and don't have problems falling asleep without him here.

He left again Tuesday morning by 6.15am after about four hours of sleep for his last possible shift and last chance for a flight.  And glory be - around 8.30am, the Hubby texts me to say they were confirmed for a transfer!   Wahooooooo!!  Long at last, a FLIGHT!  As soon as they were wheels down again, they got called for another flight...followed by another...AND another!  FOUR flights in ONE day (thank goodness he spent those other five shifts and 40-ish hours waiting patiently in the hangar, right?).  Hubby comes home, ecstatic, elated, exhausted and starving (I didn't realize I needed to pack three square meals for his supposed eight hour shift!) around 7.30pm.  This crazy day equals 20 hours "on the job" out of 24 hours, but since the time was spent both in the hangar and in the air, it was well worth it!

I made him promise left and right that he would take photos during his flights (with their permission of course), and he came through nicely.  

Out the window of the chopper.  I'm not entirely sure where this is.  The Hubby literally traveled the entire state via helicopter!

The closest you've ever come to seeing the Hubby on the blog ;)  You'll just have to trust me that he's a stud. 


This is the campus of Ferris State University from above...for you, Kate! (both of you, actually, ha!)

Sunset when landing at a hospital.

One for a postcard ;)

So what are my thoughts, after my little preview of residency?  It's a little more daunting now.  I won't kid around and say that the fear of the unknown doesn't get to me every now and then - residency can be a very scary thought.  Having little-to-no time with the Hubby is not appealing, but I just know we'll have to take it one day at a time, and seize any opportunity we get for quality time together.  This is all striving towards that one big goal, and seeing how unbelievably excited the Hubby gets every time he has an experience like this reminds me that some day (many, many moons from now), it will all be worth it.  Just don't remind me how many days away that is exactly  ;)