Sunday, December 30, 2007


Not sure I am such a great matchmaker afterall...I'll let you know if that changes.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Matchmaker, matchmaker!

I wanted to set up my sister with a friend we know from Iowa who is in Utah visiting family. They are going out tonight. Yay! I think they will have a lot of fun together. I keep hyping it up. I feel bad because everyone did that with Abe and I before we even hardly knew each other and it was awkward. But somehow, I just can't help myself. I hope it goes well! I keep having dreams about them. I need to be less involved I suppose.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finals are finally almost final

Come tomorrow about 10am I will have finished my 5th semester of dental school! Crazy.

I have a radiology final tomorrow morning. It will be answering case based questions from projected slides as well as MC from the past 2 years of radiology. I wish I would have started studying earlier, but I've had so many tests the minutes I have had have been spent mostly recovering! I feel like after 2.5 years I am finally beginning to get some of bad it is 10pm the night before, eh?

I did have some luck today...I got "pimped" (as the med students would say) by our tough Radiology guru this morning. Basically, you get a laser pointer and get to be humiliated in front of your peers until you can think of the answer to the case in front of you. It could be some pathologic problem or something like a toe that got lodged into someone's face after an explosion (slight exaggeration). This morning I was nervous as I got the pointer but I actually stayed confident and composed and eventually came up with the answer. I think he was secretly impressed. Wahoo!

As well, I finished the reports I had to write on patients so I am done DONE tomorrow after the test. Phew. I again had great luck and had to review the reports with him. He is much more meticulous than the other instructors, but it paid off in the end when he gave me a 3 instead of a 2 on the report. He is very strict about giving out 3's and allows others to give them something like 2 times a year. So, I was very surprised! I even chanced upon another 3 later this afternoon with another instructor.

So, it was a successful day in many ways. I am just disappointed I don't quite have the grip on this material that I should!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I just got done looking at my friend Tisha's blog. She and her husband Rick write mostly about their cute fam that consists of the cutest little twin boys ever. By themselves they would be adorable, but having two makes them just so fun! I guess everyone loves twins. No wonder I am so popular!

But seriously, being a twin is kind of interesting as these young ones will soon learn. For example, everyone thinks your twin is dumb enough to want to take extra math tests (forget about cheating?) or do extra chores for you--yeah right! And in elementary school I was always having older children talk to me, "Are you Erin or Amber?" At least when you forget your line as one of the twins in the King and I at Provo High School you can blame your twin!

Funny, though, how my whole identity was being a multiple, I rarely think about it. Sometimes it is a little sad. People seem disappointed we don't look much alike anymore...and sometimes, I am too. But regardless of how little we resemble each other or even how little we see each other, it is still fun and I have a great identical friend!

Just a quick note.

I am in the middle of finals. I completed my first of 2 for the day. I also have 2 more. Most of my classmates will be done with their finals today but I have 2 associated with the end of my rotation. I feel a little bummed about this.

I am excited to have time to be excited for Christmas. I still need to do some major Christmas shopping before I go home.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


5 Things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Planning Christmas dance for Student Council 9th grade
2. Worrying about meeting boys
3. Practicing for band
4. Soccer
5. Wearing short skirts with combat boots (how cool, eh?)

5 Things on my to-do list today
1. Study for Dental Therapeutics
2. Study for Oral Pathology
3. Study for Oral Radiology
4. Christmas shopping! I haven't even stepped into a store yet!
5. Make a red/green food for Thursday potluck
(exciting times)

5 Snacks I enjoy-- I'm more of real foods type of girl but i do enjoy a few snack things
1. Popcorn, esp from an airpopper and made by Liz Dastrup
2. Pie
3. chips/salsa or spinach dip
4. Homemade cookies
5. There are too many things I like you'd think I could think of another!

5 Things I would do if I were a Billionaire
1. Live abroad, work part time as a free dentist, part time as a dive instructor
2. Have my own plane and crew to help me travel easily
3. Get the college of dentistry named after me (I always wondered what that would be like, I doubt I'll ever be able to afford a bench!)
4. Own many houses all over
5. Buy my own tropical island

3 of my bad habits:
1. I get annoyed when people cannot read my mind
2. I can't keep up on my eyebrows anymore. I am so tired of my tweezers!
3. Inadvertantly 1-upping people when they tell stories (i promise, that is not my intention, i'm trying to relate to you!) I stole this from Brenna but it is a family trait, what can I say!

5 places I have lived
1. Orem, Utah
2. Monterey, CA
3. Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras, C.A.
4. Kata Beach, Thailand
5. Iowa City, IA

5 Jobs I’ve had
1. Utah Lacross Referee
2. Short order cook
3. Dive Master
4. Student Dentist
5. Loan officer

5 Things people probably don’t know about me
1. I am a new biker girl. I am going to be just like Lance soon as I get my bike, it stops snowing and icing, and I can get over my fear of my clip-in pedals.
2. I am a very conservative person. I try to use as little in paper products, water, etc as possible. I feel guilty throughing these away if I can't recycle.
3. I only make beautiful pies when no one is around to enjoy them. Any time I make a pie for a party or social event it turns out wrong.
4. I can't talk when I am tired. I have always been a mumbler, but when I am tired, I cannot get out understandable words.
5. I probably have a sleep disorder. I always wake up in a confused panic, have very vivid dreams I almost always remember, and have nightmares practically every night. I don't think I'm really a sleepwalker, at least.

I don't know anyone to tag!

Pie Pie Pie!

Just wanted to give the update on the party. It went very well and we had about 20 people come! It was almost a bit much for our little apartment but I think it went well. We had some great pies...Chocolate chess, pecan cheesecake, carmel apple, french silk, 2 pumpkin, and oreo bon bons. My only regret was that people don't know the right way to eat pie. Instead of having a sliver of a bunch, they took a big slice of only one. So, only two people tried my chess pie and one friend made a pumpkin that only I cut into. You feel bad going to all the trouble to have no one partake. Alas, I guess only the Jacksons understand how to really appreciate pie!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pie party

Abe and I are hosting our first party at our place. We've had some other get togethers in the past, but this is our first at our home. I am excited to have people over and use some of the fun things we've received for our wedding. Abe's aunt has pie parties and since I love pie, I thought it was a great idea. I have a lot to do between when I get home and when the guests hopefully arrive. I made a pecan cheesecake pie (see Abe's iron sheff blog for the recipe) last night and am making a chocolate chess pie this evening. I hope it goes well.

My last party only 1/25 of my friends came--I couldn't even bribe them good enough with Abe's amazing carmel apples (again, see his blog). Luckily, Abe always gets a good turn out. I joke that it was a good thing I married him so I don't have to feel like a total dud after my invitations seem to consistenly fail. I hope I break the streak tonight--at least I've had a couple of positive RSVPs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I recently met an interesting patient in my dental chair. He had been very neglectful of his teeth (see previous entry)and most had decayed to the root. Needless to say, he was in desperate need of some help. I asked why he had come to the college and he told me, "A woman." I found out that after 30 years he was being reunited with his first love next spring. He wanted to make the best impression because he felt this was the most important thing that had ever happened to him. My instructor and I felt awful because the timeline he gave us did not seem reasonable due to scheduling here. We ended up finding a way for it to be done, bending over was too touching a story to not help him out. We helped him schedule and smiled, knowing we had done some good in the world. Karma, right...?

Well, after we dismissed him we realized we had a message to give him. My instructor tried to call him using the contact info he had given. His information sheet yielded a very fishy bit of information. His emergency contact was none other than his WIFE!

We were pretty appalled at what we may have done though, facilitating a man in an affair? I am just hoping I'm not a homewrecker by association!

We are hoping that somehow it isn't how it looks. My classmates reminded me, "At least you addressed his chief complaint!" --something you are never supposed to leave undone.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Floss is your friend!

People don't think flossing is important...but folks, I hate to tell you, that silly little minty string could save your life...or at least your ability to eat yummy foods and smile without feeling embarassed.

I've been working in the Oral Diagnosis clinic at school. This is the first real appt a patient makes at the College of Dentistry. Usually this means that the patient has not seen a dentist in years. And when I say years, I mean YEARS, like maybe 10. Sadly, these are people who should be very best friends with their dentists.

Anyway, after you see patient after patient who has less than 10 teeth, you realize that oral hygiene may not be a hoax after all. And sadly, the few they have left are often so loose I wonder why I am scheduling an oral surgery appt to get them out when they could save some money eating an apple.

On a more serious note, it is very sad to see someone come in after years of neglect only to find out they have to have all of their teeth pulled, anyway. One patient sadly told me yesterday, "It's pretty uncommon for people to have any molars these days, isn't it? I feel pretty lucky I have even the one." What a sad mentality but when you work at the dental school I may even start thinking that.

And dentures are no quick fix. You have to suffer through surgery to remove any remaining teeth as well as bony recontouring. Then, you need 6 weeks of healing and then you go through about six four hour appointments and lab time for the dentures to be fabricated. If everything goes well and you keep your appointments, about 4 months later you finally get your teeth. Remember, this is 4 months without case scenario. This is eating soup and yogurt and trying to go about your business and social arrangments...without teeth! Once you get your denture, you have appointments to reline and remake them, they are often floppy and you can say goodbye to many foods like apples or corn on the cob and replace them with new friends like fungal infections! Wahoo. You will also have to see your dentist every 6 mo to a year, just like before and will need it replaced about every 5 years. So much for forgetting the dentist forever!

So, this long post is really to say, "Please take care of your teeth." They may not seem important now, but there are a lot of people who are wishing they could go back and spend some time with a toothbrush and some floss now!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Immune system for sell...

I am one of the newest participants in a vaccine trial here at the University of Iowa. Yes, my soon to be six figure debt has somehow convinced me that using my body as a mechanism for monetary compensation is a great idea. To think, just seconds of an injection and "cha-ching!" 75 buck-a-roos!

I was a bit nervous about going through with it but the temptation was too much for me. A potential of $900! And all I have to do is get a shot and a few exams, take my temp for the next few days, etc. But I find I keep thinking I can just back out if I want, any time. All human subject experiments are optional, right? Well, the catch is, I already got the injection which will be the potential harm so no going back now.

But I am beginning to wonder about the cleverness of my easy money. Why would anyone think causing potential and long-lasting health problems would be a good idea? Then again, this is while my arm is sore and burning. HAHA. I am praying I'll come out alive, healthy, immune, and $900 richer.... I wonder if my headache is a side effect? Or am I making it up?

I guess only time will tell.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Iowa winters are cold. We had our first ice storm and winter advisory of the year. Here is a sheet of ice we harvested from my car!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fit for a King? Or maybe a knight...

So I was just reminded that it is the one week anniversary of a very memorable night (or should I say knight?) in Lexington, Kentucky.

It had been a long day of driving. We were about 8 hours away from Chapel Hill, NC on our way back home to the grind in Iowa after a nice Thanksgiving. Finally, we were to our target destination for the night...Lexington. On our way out we had stayed at a very nice, reasonable hotel. We had hoped to have a similar experience for the night before resuming the second half of our trip. However, there were no non-smoking rooms available and we decided to trek onward. After stopping for gas and another bathroom break, I decided to take the initiative and check out a few rates for some hotels on the same block. A "Knight's Inn" was just next door to the waffle house where we had parked our car. I figured why not see what it was like while we waited.

So, we ran over and they had a few non-smoking rooms left for $49.99. I wasn't too impressed and gave the news to the crew, expecting to leave. But I guess the tired eyes had gotten the best of husband's parents decided to check it out and decided to just go for it. We were surprised how many cars were parked there so were relieved to get a couple of rooms.

As soon as we pulled up we realized what we were in for. The numbers were falling off the doors, first off. After we got settled I couldn't stop laughing. I noticed in the bed Abe's brother was in the box spring was splitting almost in half. I half expected some "special friends" to emerge and greet us. The chairs were very dirty and torn, the remote to the TV did not work, and the heater was very poor. The bedding did not match, the beds were small, and the bathroom was just icky. I felt like I was back in Honduras or Thailand, but at least there you feel like your $10 was worth it.

I cringed as I climbed into bed and saw a very tiny, dead bug...a cockroach? and a hair. I made sure to sleep in my socks and prayed the sheets were otherwise clean. Abe's dad and brother watched the BYU vs. UNC game in a tiny bed which was very humorous. I wondered why our non-smoking room had an ash tray. In the morning I decided that I would feel cleaner to not shower.

I wonder why they chose to call it the knight's inn? I initially thought it alluded to royalty in some way. Now I know it meant you were in for a medieval adventure. Who knew we could have such a rugged treat, right in good ole' Lexington?

I was just glad there was a waffle house next door.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A trip well worth it

Well, my trip to NC ended up being quite fun. Everyone got along really well, at least on the way there. Coming back was a little more of a struggle but it was worth it. We hung out with Abe's family, played family kick ball, saw the movie Enchanted, and ate lots of pie. We even played with his aunt's goats and went on a forest hike on Thanksgiving day.

But, the best part was that I finally got a roadbike! I am so excited. We found this great bike shop in Chapel Hill that had the bike perfect for me. It was like it was built for me and on sale for about 1/3 the price! I was surprised at how excited I was and I wanted to buy everything to go with it. We got a good start with a helmet, gloves, a carbon water bottle holder, water bottle, lock, etc. The bike is amazing that even Abe's avid biker dad is jealous (I feel a bit bad about that). It seemed to survive the snow and the long ride home. We thought the car seemed a little bit faster with it riding on top.
So...I feel like a biker. I hope I can cut it! I can't wait to put on some spandex and hit the hills with my husband.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I am having a really hard time believing that Thanksgiving is just days away! I swear I just started school again weeks ago, not months. Funny, too, I'm really not looking forward to it. It more just means that I have 2 tests to take within the next 3 hour period and that SuperBlock (the 20 week rotation every junior student at Iowa dreads) is getting closer and closer upon me.

I'm not sure why I am not excited for the holiday. Probably mostly because I haven't had time to even think about it except for what needs to be done beforehand. Or, maybe I am dreading the 32 hours of driving ahead of me to go to NC with my husband's family. Or maybe I just miss my own family.

So, I am hoping once I walk out of my test I'll jump into the car to quiet kids, good movies (thank goodness for built-in DVD players now!), and a break. And sunny southern skies definately wouldn't hurt!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Grading woes (yet again!)

It happened again! I shouldn't be surprised, really, it happens all of the time. Yet, every time it does, I feel like I've been wacked with a huge fist of injustice. It isn't really anyone's fault (if any one's, it is mine) but I still feel picked on when it happens.

So, now you are wondering what I am talking about. It's silly really...I missed another "A" by mere points. Practically every "B" (except in Prosthodontics!) I have received in dental school has been an 88.5% or a 99% "B". This isn't a rare event, either, it happens multiple times a semester. It is so frustrating to think that despite all of the hardwork you put in over the period, a few points on a test categorized you with the 80.4% "B" or even sometimes the 75% "B." I don't need to be put on a pedestal with the "A" crowd, but whatever happened to the "B+"!? I'm not even asking for the 4.0, I probably don't deserve a 4.0, but a 3.5 would sure be nice!

Now, no one will ever know I missed only one or two more questions on our one test than anyone else. In the past I have missed the last key points because I forgot to bubble in the last circle on the test, or because I misread a question. I always think, "If I would have known that I would have gotten a B anyway, I would have had a lot more fun instead of worrying so much!" I could have had more time socializing or cleaning or running or buying groceries or anything else I run out of time for and still yield the same results. And maybe I would have clean clothes or food to eat, too. Yeah, yeah, there is always learning...

And now you are just thinking I am a gunner. To my defense, I am fine with a "B" if I feel it represents what I learned. But when you just had a hard time meshing with a new professors testing style or misread a question or misunderstood one concept, it feels so wrong. Even the medical school gets "near honors" marks... Then again, I've always thought that was somewhat degrading. "Sorry, buddy, you were almost smart!" And, at least I don't have to redo my whole second year because I missed one point on one question in my only class for the year like Abe's friend.

I guess it boils down to one thing: I just hope I don't hear anyone say to me, "Sorry, Erin, you were almost an oral surgeon!"