Saturday, June 26, 2010


I finally finished painting the exterior doors and base of the house! It was a much bigger job than I anticipated but I am so happy to be done. I decided to be bold and go for the orange door. I love it! It is so warm and sunny and inviting and much better than the pink that was there before. We also painted over the barney-pink/purple rock base of the house. I replaced "Barney pink" with "Hulk green," no joke. Although Hulk is kind of a pukey color, it looks fantastic on the house. The base is no longer a focal point but blends into the background just as you would hope for a rock base.

I will try to get some before and after pictures up. I am very pleased with my new curb appeal! Also, I have to mention my MIL is awesome and helped me do all the dirty work. Thanks Kristin!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home Alone

And I wonder if my house is haunted. I keep hearing funny noises but I am pretty sure I am the only one home…old houses just make noises, right?

a splash of color and some music

Things are coming along (slowly) on the house. I wish I had a few more full days to get things settled but tomorrow I have orientation. I guess I will have to squeeze in a few more things here and there.

Yesterday we had our new washer and dryer delivered. We were very worried they wouldn’t fit down our scary, steep, narrow, treacherous basement stairs. They did! However, we didn’t know that we had a gas dryer hookup instead of an electrical. Oops.

…good thing we had the electrician come today for an estimate. We have a few small things to be addressed anyway so hopefully we can get that changed soon.

We also had our piano tuned. We bought a piano from a friend who was moving. It was difficult to move but I have loved having it already. It has a great sound and is so fun to play.


The kitchen and living room are almost completely unpacked. I will need to get some pictures soon. I still have a ways to go, especially on clothes. I haven’t figured out the best way to address our minimal closet space.

I also painted our front door. I have been toying with the idea of an orange door. People seem to turn their nose up at the idea but I decided to go for it. I only have one coat so far but I am pleased with the result. It is definitely an improvement from the pink that was the original. I want to post pictures but need to white out my address first. Any way to do that without photoshop?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Moving Day

Abe and I close on our first house today! We had our walk through yesterday and seeing it empty and ready for us made me only that much more excited to get all moved. It is going to be a lot of work but definitely worth it. We spoke to our realtor about some of our ideas for updates and she had some wonderful input. Even though I know we will be carrying heavy boxes and furniture, unpacking a big mess, and sorting through repair work, I can't wait for tonight when we get the keys.

Warning: the rest of this post is potentially very boring and not worth reading unless you are into HGTV!

I am also excited to get some bids on some work. We have a list of things in our allowance from the seller including windows and radon mitigation. Here are a few things I am now really hoping/planning to do if at all possible.

Our front yard is on a slope. I REALLY want to put a retaining wall out front (less uphill mowing!) with possibly some flower beds. I feel this is a bit urgent as stone is on-sale for the next week (can you believe it really costs upwards of a dollar or two for each stone?!) and my brother is here to help. Also, pour concrete stairs on side and front to replace original (and very hazardous) ones.

Island in the kitchen. We have a ton of empty space and this could be a great and pretty easy update to the kitchen. May be a good time for new countertops (granite? Wishing again). Maybe add a large oven for Abe? With some good bar seating. Maybe a cooktop? Who knows?

Attic renovation, including popping out some dormers. Closet space is our biggest weakness in this house. A master bedroom with a large closet would be a dream. What about a walkout deck on the second level? Ah, dreaming again.

Maybe more doable in the next few months: I AM installing a new sink. Maybe this week. And I want a gas insert for our fireplace.

I bet Abe is happy I have plans for all of our money!

Let me know if you want to put your decorating/rennovating/landscaping ideas to use

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Open Wide

I've been thinking a lot lately about being a dentist. It is hard to believe that I have been "Dr. Sheffield" for just over a year. In some ways it has gone so fast, others it seems like ages ago since I was in dental school.

When I was growing up I never thought I would be a dentist. All of the dentists I knew were old men. All of the dentists on TV or in the media are huge nerds (think Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer), jerks (think Seinfeld), or pyschopaths (Little Shop of Horrors and the list goes on and on). Needless to say, I had no aspirations to be an old man dentist.

As a dentist now I have somehow decided that I am not any of these above stereotypes, including nerd. Dentists may be nerdy, but female dentists are defying stereotypes and must be cool, right? I hope so. But, I recently came to the realization that I think there is probably an internal reaction others have when I respond to the, "What do you do" question. Maybe being a dentist isn't as cool as I hope.

For example, ever notice that you can't log on to Facebook without reading some horror story about dentists. Something like, "The illegal percocet I took from my friend is the only thing getting me through the night. Tomorrow I must bite the bullet and see the dreaded dentist," only to have 25 replies like, "Oh you poor thing!" and "I HATE the dentist," and my personal fave, "I'd rather have a leg amputated than go to the dentist." No one thinks to say, "Wow, you're lucky they could get you in, I think you'll feel much better!"

Another thought...everyone HATES the dentist, and people aren't shy to say so. I can't go more than a few hours each day before hearing "I hate dentists" from one of my patients. It makes me laugh to myself. Would you tell a barber you hate all people who cut hair before your cut and expect a good job? Do you really think your waiter wont spit in your food if you tell him how much you loathe all food service workers? People have no qualms about telling you as a dentist they HATE you, right before you put sharp instruments in their mouths. I also have friends, neighbors, acquaintances tell me they hate dentists quite frequently before they ask for my expert opinion.

Finally, my interactions with physicians lead me to think that dentistry isn't the most highly revered profession. I can't think of how many times I have heard, "Oh, I don't know how you could look (or put your hands) in other people's mouths all day!" from someone who does digital rectal exams, or even from gynecologists or GI surgeons.

So what do you think? Am I wrong? Think back, honestly, when you first met me or found out I was a dentist, what was your first thought? I'm curious.

And I wont feel bad, it comes with the territory!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We’ve only just begun….

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Last night was our yearly resident’s banquet. As the intern, I was honored for completing my year of service. I felt a little silly being an “honoree” as I still have 4 more years to go, but it was nice to be thanked for the hardwork I did this year. I am excited to think of the next year when I will be officially a resident!

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It was nice to have Colton there to support me. I think he appreciated the free food including the prime rib.

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I really couldn’t do it without Abraham. He does so much physically and emotionally to help me through. I am so lucky to have such a helpful and supportive husband who isn’t threatened by all of the time I spend at the hospital.

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These are some of the assistants from the VA hospital. They are such a fun, friendly, and supportive crew! I got to work with them quite a bit this past year as the intern. I will miss seeing them every week.

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These are two of my dental school classmates who are completing their general dentistry residencies. I will really miss them! I don’t know what I will do without Kyra to do all of my girl talking with and Joe always makes me laugh. I wish them luck in the real world of dentistry. I wish they were staying!

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I was presented with a few tokens of appreciation, a UIHC medallion and a University of Iowa clock.

I was also required to give a short speech. Abe recorded it but I can’t get it to load. I think it was well received although I was more nervous than usual speaking in front of my work peers and bosses!

It is hard to believe this is my last week as THE INTERN. Only two more days on-call, we close on our house on Friday, and I get a week off. Hooray!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wish List

We close on our house in just 10 days. I am getting very excited. I am also making a mental list of projects I would like to tackle, some realistic, others maybe in the future or my dreams.

Near future:

-new windows (included in our allowance at closing)

-painting the shutters/door/base

-new pedestal sink in kitchen

-installation of water heater, new washer/dryer

-landscaping—I would really like some evergreen bushes. Currently the landscaping is all deciduous and during the 6 drab months of winter, there is NO color outside. Some bushes could really help.

-paint the pergola on the side of the house, dress up with possibly climbing flowering vines, hanging baskets, patio furniture

Hopefully in the somewhat near future:

-somehow dress up the unfinished basement to make it more homey (ideas?)

-choose colors and paint interior rooms

-alter my curtains to work in the new house (possible?)

-replace or upgrade stone steps in front and on side of house

Dream on (or not?)

-kitchen island, perhaps with new oven (the current one is a little small for my baker husband), and granite countertops

-extend our porch along the front of the house

-finish the attic (master bedroom/bath? upstairs balcony?)

Does anyone know about renovations? What is the best bang for your buck, especially in something like an attic renovation? Any ideas on costs, feasibility, money saving tips? Also I still could use some tips on shutter/door colors, landscaping ideas, etc, if you have any.

Friday, June 4, 2010


June is here! Can’t hardly believe it!

Last week my brother moved to Iowa City to work in my father-in-law’s lab. It is fun to have some Jackson influence here in Iowa and to see my dad who dropped him off last week.

Next week is our oral surgery graduation banquet. As the intern, I am “graduating” and have to give a speech/talk. No idea what to say yet…

In two weeks, I am finished officially with my internship and close on our house. I am so excited. I am trying to choose some colors for the outside. I can’t seem to make a decision. The house is cream. Any ideas for shutter/door colors? I want to post pictures of the house but am a little paranoid about all of my stalkers recognizing it. Again, a reason to go private I suppose…

I also found out my grandpa has leukemia and doesn’t have very long left, maybe just a few weeks. I am sad I didn’t take the opportunity to see him when I was home in April.

Call has been extra busy lately. I think it is going to be a long summer with long nights at the hospital!

And lastly, I realize I really don’t have much to say of interest. Sorry it took me so long to figure that out! :)