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.


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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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?  



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!


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!


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!  ;)


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??)


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!  :)   


New page!


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!


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  ;) 


Reason #91828 that I {heart} blogging:

The amazing people you "meet"!  I swear, bloggers are the stinking sweetest, nicest people you'll ever know.  Or um, email.  

Deals to share

This isn't a couponing website, but y'all know I like to share a good deal when I see it.  Here are two for you...maybe you can get some Christmas shopping done early!  ;)  Enjoy!

Good Cook: Black November Sale! 40% off everything; extra 15% off with code: W67NZG1  Things are starting to sell out, so I'd head over there soon if you need any kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, mixing bowls, etc.  It would be a perfect time for bridal shower shopping if you've got one coming up!  Also - if you spend over $50, you'll get free shipping and a free cake pan - but I noticed when I went to check out, the cake pan had a price next to it!  It was probably just a fluke, but something to be aware of.   

Snapfish2 FREE photo books when you buy one!  Use coupon MYFALLBKS through November 8.   

300 Prints for $3!  Get 300 4" x 6" prints for just $3 with coupon code SPOOKY300 or get 100 for $1 with coupon code SPOOKY100.  Now through November 6.