Saturday, March 23, 2013

San Diego Zoo!

Last weekend we were sent on a "forced vacation" to San Diego for Hubb's intern retreat for work (They told him if he didn't go he would have to work). So we decided to make a little family trip out of it. We stayed in a cheap motel and spent the weekend at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Camp.

 Chillin with daddy at the intern house.
 Running!
 So serious...
Daddy and Sammy watching the lions at the "Lion Camp".

I would upload more photos but I can't seem to find them on my computer. And the only photo of me is not post-able (lets just say its a great "before" picture)!

The Safari Camp was our favorite  The animals were spread out more so it was much less crowded. And seeing the lions was the highlight of our trip.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Match Day

"For I know the plans I have for you" says The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Every year, in mid march, there is the National Residency Match. That's where all the graduating medical students from all over the country find out where they will be doing their residency. It's a little complicated but basically the 4th year students list the residency programs they interviewed with in order of preference and the residency programs list the students they interviewed in order of preference. Then it all is sent to a program that matches everyone based on both rank lists. (For a better explanation go to nrmp.org)

I tell you this because this years match day is just a few days away now. And so last years match is so clear in my mind.

On the morning of Friday, March 16 2012 we were in Fresno and heading over to our friends house to drop off Sam so we could run a few errands. Alex had a small break in his rotations because he was leaving for Bolivia the next week for a month long international rotation. I was driving while Alex was on his phone in the passenger seat, checking for the results. It seemed like forever before he was able to finally log into the web site - it was quite as he was looking.

Than he said softly "It's Loma Linda"

"Haha, very funny" I said, than looked at him. He was dead serious. So I asked again "your joking right?"

"No." He replied.

And it all suddenly came like a flood. A huge lump formed in my throat. We would have to move. For at least 3 years we would leave all our friends, family, and church... again. Sam wouldn't grow up next to his cousins. We would have to sell the house. And it was all going to happen in only 3 months.

I turned and looked at Alex again. He looked like his spirit was crushed. He had been told by Fresno that he was definitely "in". That he was one of there top picks. And he had ranked Fresno #1. So why did he get #2? It didn't make sense.

I asked God for the right words to speak, to reassure my best friend hat this was going to be ok.

"This has to be where God wants us. There is no other explanation. You said yourself after the interview that if it wasn't for the location that Loma Linda would be your #1." I said while still driving, choking back tears and looking straight ahead at the stop light in front of me. He nodded, obviously still shocked but looked a little reassured.

The hours that followed was a mass of texts, emails and Facebook comments where I was the super positive one- telling everyone that this was apparently where God wanted us and that it was an incredible program and we were blessed that Alex had matched there. All this was true. I also told everyone how incredibly sad I was that we would be leaving the community and our hometown that we loved so much. It all seemed surreal. But eventually along with the disappointment came excitement for our little family's new adventure.

It's now been a year and I can absolutely see why we are here. This program is far superior to the one in Fresno- much bigger with more opportunities and has an incredible clinic. He gets to pray for his patients an can be open about his faith, and has seen God's hand at work in his patients recoveries. I have an amazing group of friends- women who are medical spouses like me whose husbands are in various places in the journey ( student doctors, residents, and attendings). We have kids around the same age and understand each others struggles with our spouses 80 hour work weeks and call schedules. I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Alex and I have learned (once again) to rely completely on one another. Even though he works more hours now, we actually see each other more than we did in Fresno since I am not involved in a million things. Since we are not on the go constantly, we have a more peaceful home and we are enjoying that as well. We've also gotten serious about our finances and are finally on the same page. Being away from family is hard, but has also been nice that during times of family drama we are far enough away not to get to wrapped up in it.

So good and bad, we have learned to take what we are given and make the best of it, and trust that The Lord is completing the work he began in us. And he has always been faithful! His plans for us have always turned out better for us than the plans we've made for ourselves.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fast forward two years...

Since my last post we have...

Gone though domestic adoption and adopted a beautiful baby boy in July 2011. We have an amazing open adoption with his birthfamily and as I start to blog more I will talk about the awesomeness of our adoption. Samuel is 19 months now and the center of our whole world.

I am 5 classes away from my BA but have no desire to go back. I know I will finish (at some point) but right now I am loving being a stay at home mom!

Alex graduated from medical school!!! He's officially a doctor in his first year of residency in pediatrics. He is anticipating doing a 3 year fellowship in hematology/oncology after his 3 years of residency.

We moved to Loma Linda for residency. Alex did not match to his first choice of Fresno for pediatrics but apparently God had a better plan for us. Loma Linda is an INCREDIBLE program, much better than what Alex experienced in Fresno. We are involved at an amazing church and I have been so blessed to have a wonderful group of medical spouses who are learning, just as I am, the ins and outs of being married to a doctor.

Our cocker spaniel Audrey pAssed away this summer. We lived dog free for 4 months before we adopted our new little pup- a tiny brown and white Shih Tzu we've named Frodo. He is adorable- but I'm remembering that puppies are a lot of work!

We had to short sell our house. Our first home, that we invested so much sweat, money and heart into. But we had to go where Alex matched- and that is 290 miles away. We learned that home is wherever we are together- not the 4 walls that shelter us.

We are now a one car, one income family, learning to live on cash and live on less. It's been a rewarding change for us and challenging at times. But because of our living on less we are saving and are getting ready for adoption #2!

I hope I can be better about keeping the blog up to date more now as I have so many blog entries running though my mind every day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A (school) update for the New Year

Well, I haven't posted here for awhile... oops! Guess its time for an update?

We've been "home" (Fresno) now for 6 months and it has been wonderful. I love being back in our house, having friends to hang out with, being involved in our little church and being close to family again. I'm currently working part time for my parents company (my old job, kinda) doing accounts payable. Overall, I'm just really thrilled to be back home:)

Alex is doing great in his core rotations. He is half way through the year and has finished 8 weeks of family medicine, 8 weeks of internal medicine and 6 weeks of pediatrics. He's currently finishing up Ob/Gyn (his least fave, but its almost over). By far his favorite has been pediatrics which has cemented his plan to pursue pediatric oncology as his speciality. That means after he graduates next year he will do a 3 year residency in pediatrics then apply for a 3 year fellowship in pediatric oncology. Lots of training ahead but it will be worth it in the long run, as we continue to pursue where God is leading us.

So the rest of this (school) year is going to look something like this: he finished his Ob/Gyn rotation in two weeks, then he gets two weeks of vacation (woo hoo!) followed by 4 weeks of pediatric oncology elective here in Fresno at Children's Hospital. Then he will do 8 weeks of surgery in Hanford, followed by 4 weeks of psych in Benicia, and 4 weeks of Adult Oncology in Sacramento. I feel so blessed that the Lord has opened up so many rotations here that he only has to leave for 8 weeks. We are still trying to work out the details of living arrangements when he's up north again, but we have a little while to figure it all out still.

That's enough news for one post. I'll post more later:)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In the Home Stretch (Pun Intended)

Our "Big Move" is only 2 days away!


Packing has been interesting. We seem to have (again) collected more stuff that we need  (specifically clothes, fabric, and shoes - all mine of course). I'm sure the trips to Home Depot for more boxes will continue throughout the weekend. The biggest challenge is trying to get all our laundry clean before we move because I hate moving several hampers of dirty laundry from one place to the other. However, since my tiny apartment washer and dryer can only wash 3 towels at a time and we have let a few too many baskets pile up, we may be waiting on washing some until we get home.

I'm looking forward to having one of my best friends, Lynae, coming up from Fresno tonight and staying through Monday. Her company and motivation will make packing much easier - packing seems to go faster with good conversation :) She has two little kiddo's (and just found out there's one more on the way), so this is like a mini vacation for her and much needed girl time for us both.

Needless to say, I hope this is our last move for a long, long time...

(picture courtesy of www.bigappleboxes.com)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Perfect Ending

This week Alex has been busy getting ready for the ever stressful USMLE Step 1. This test is a big one, and his score will effect his choices of residency in the future. And the USMLE tests everything he has learned over the last two years. Just a little stressful!!!

Today was exam day, and I had agreed to take him to the testing center in Alameda, a town about 30 minutes away from us. We woke up early, make a quick stop at McDonald's for some coffee and McMuffins and we make it there with time to spare. Good thing too, because Alex, with all his nerves shot, had forgotten to bring a print out that he needed to get into the exam. A quick call to my parents fixed that (thanks for saving the day, mom and dad!) as they were able to print out the paper for him and then fax it into the testing center. It made for a very eventful morning to say the least!

I drove back to Martinez to get some packing done while he faced the grueling 8 hour test. I'm glad to say that at 4pm when I picked him up, my exhausted hubbs was feeling confident that he did well. Praise the Lord! Now we just have to wait two months to get the score.....

As we started heading back to Martinez, a thought occured to me: since we were really close to San Francisco (literally 3 miles away from the Bay Bridge), it was a beautiful day, and neither of us was in a hurry to face the traffic going home, why not stop for some clam chowder and ice cream on the Pier? It sounded great to us both!

So we had a nice dinner at the Boudin Restaurant overlooking the bay, and walked along the pier hand in hand eating Ben & Jerry's for dessert. It was the perfect ending to a stressful day. It was the perfect ending to the last two years that we've been here in the bay area. It was just perfect.

Exhausted but Happy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Almost Home... (updated with pictures)

Things have been busy here with preparation for moving home! After over two months of not blogging I figured I would try to give an update for those who have been emailing me and asking "is everything OK? Why aren't you blogging?" I didn't realize that people actually still read my blog!

Alex finished his second year of Med school at the end of May and has been preparing for the first tests for the Medical Board Exams (called Step 1). He took the COMLEX (the Osteopathic Board Exam) last week and is taking the USMLE (Allelopathic Board Exam) this Friday. He feels confident that he did well on the COMLEX  and is ready for what the USMLE has to dish out! Please keep him in your prayers! We are moving just three days after the USMLE and he starts his 3rd year rotations on June 21st, so he will really only get one week off! His first rotation is 8 weeks of Family Medicine, so at least he will have normal hours for the next 8 weeks.

I have been working with our missions team at church to prepare for our mission trip to Albania this summer. I leave for Albania on June 26th and we will be returning to the States on my birthday, July 11th. We will be hosting a summer camp for street kids and teenagers and I'm excited to see how God is going to use me there. (More on that to come in a future post..)

 I forgot how much I miss being home and have really enjoyed my trips back to Fresno the last few months to get the house ready. With the help of my Dad, my brother and my sis-in-"love", we have replaced all the carpet in the living room and hallway with dark laminate wood floors and also repainted all the main rooms of the house. We also had the backyard done (which was previously all dirt) so now we actually have a patio and sidewalk and soon will have grass and sprinklers (which I know Audrey will appreciate!).

Pictures of my our house "in progress"

(My brother and sis-in-"love")



The floors are all in now, but there is still a lot to do: painting all the trim white, installing the baseboards, painting the doors, etc. I'm in Fresno now and am praying I can get it all done tomorrow so it will all be done before we move in.

Oh and the cement in my back yard which I'm so very happy about!!!



The grass will come next week but my flowerbeds and trees will have to wait for fall since Fresno's 110 degree summers aren't conducive to planting.
I'd better get packing.... only 8 days left...