Saturday, December 14, 2013

Spreading Christmas Cheer For All To Hear

I don't know what is wrong with me, but I find real enjoyment in horrible Christmas songs. You'd think they would drive me crazy and I'd want to stay away but I find myself coming back for more. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. Maybe residency did that to me!

So, I thought I would share my top 5 picks.

1. Worst Christmas Music Video

There is something about the age disparity in this one that just gives me the creeps. The sexy looks and dancing (is it even dancing?) from Mariah and the jaw hanging, gawking looks from Justin make this one creeptastic! I have always liked this song from Mariah, too bad she had to freshen it up in a cougar-pedophile like way.

2. Worst Christmas Cover, Ever. Period.

Lucky JB makes my list twice!

The only kind of person I can see actually liking this train wreck of a carol is a teenage Bielieber. I think it is a particularly irreverent take on what is supposed to be a sweet Christmas hymn. I'm not even talking about the rap melody and the psychedelic drums. Taking a song about baby Jesus and turning it into, "Yeah, I'm bad, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, Beiber in the house" makes me cringe.

3. Worst Original Christmas Song

Uh, really? I just heard about this one so it made a last minute appearance to the list (beating out Wham's, "Last Christmas." Talk about a song that gets stuck in your head without really saying much of anything). And actually, I don't find a lot of fantastic dis-enjoyment in this one. It's just bad.

4. Most Awkward Christmas Cover.

What were you thinking, Buble?
I think of Michael Buble as a pretty classy guy, but this was a poor song choice for him. Or any man. I just don't see this being a song any guy in his right mind would want to sing. Even changing the words to "buddy" and "pal-ey" just seems a little weird.

5. So-BAD-It's-Good Christmas Song.

Not a lot to say about this one by one of my favorite YouTube artists, Jan Terry. It certainly speaks (or sings!) for itself. And is probably my true favorite of the worst.

Merry Christmas and happy listening.

And don't be surprised to find these stuck in your head for the rest of the season...don't be (too) mad!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Amazon Woman

Have you ever had a goal or dream in life that you never had the guts to pursue? Maybe that thing you always wanted to try but never got around to doing?

Personally, there are things I wish I would have gone for but never did. Like what, you ask?

I would love to be on the radio! But unfortunately, I didn't take advantage of the radio station our high school produced. Or do a comedy show. I love to make people laugh but I never had the guts to try for a comedy troupe or stand-up shows. Or even just dye my hair blonde (too much commitment?).

I find I think I am too old or too scared or too darn busy. "Who does that!" I say.

That's maybe why admire my mom so much! She has been talking about writing a book for years. Yesterday, she did it!

And it is on

A real bookstore.

Since just yesterday.

(But she has been writing it for a long time, not just yesterday, in case you were confused.)

I'm so proud of her for doing something she's been wanting to do for a long time. Even though she is "too old" or not a "professional writer" or even an English major. And after all of her hard work she put it out there for everyone to read.

I can't wait to read MY MOM's book! I really enjoyed an early version and have high expectations.

If you are interested in checking it out, you can find it on here:

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Sometimes life is refreshingly nice. This was a wonderful weekend. What a treat to have three whole days off as a couple (and four for me!).

We had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends here in town. I feel so lucky to have Abe's family close so we can enjoy time with them even when we aren't able to travel. Abe and I enjoyed an early matinee movie before heading over for dinner. I think this may have to become a new tradition, 10 am movie on Thanksgiving. A great way to relax after some of the business of cooking--I am also very lucky to have a husband who makes great desserts so I don't have to, it can be exhausting just watching him at work.

Then we had great food and the annual Thanksgiving Walk through the forest.

And pie! I LOVE pie.

Friday we went Christmas tree hunting at the local tree farm with Abe' family. We had a lot of fun arguing over which of God's creations were the most decoration worthy. After trudging in the cold for quite awhile we settled on one of our first choices. (isn't that always the way, same tree but colder toes!) It was fun and warmer than usual (but still cold enough for funny hats that look like they were made out of Sesame Street characters...

...and pink scarves that make basketball player men look like old ladies).
As usual, Abe and I came home treeless. We like going for the company more than the tree I guess. I couldn't bear the thought of putting a tree into our chaotic, messy house.
After setting up my in-laws' tree, we decided to come back to my house for some cleaning. At first I was a little embarrassed but then decided to accept the help. My MIL very graciously helped me clean my kitchen and then we took on the ambitious task of some rearranging in the living room. We had a little extra help by that time and before I knew it, the messes and stresses of the before mentioned post were gone! I have been so unhappy with our awkwardly shaped living room that I am pretty pleased to see it looks like a new room without having to buy any more furniture.
To top it off, Abe surprised me with out very own Christmas tree (thank you Costco! and instagram for capturing all of the memories!), just as the messes were cleaned up and the house ready for some Christmas cheer.
I don't think it could have been a much better weekend! Time off together, fun and relaxing times with friends and family, and a clean and decorated house -- with still two days left to go.


Looking forward to the holidays this year. Usually I am stressed and busy enough at work I feel a lot like the GRINCH. Even though I know we will both be on call this year, I am really hoping for a wonderful season.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Grind

I have a whole list of potential blog topics that I've accumulated over the past months. And yet, I can't seem to find ANYTHING to blog about. I know I've been gone a lot lately. I've been itching to post a few musings for your reading pleasure but haven't been able to muster the time, mostly, and the creativity.

So maybe it's just time to type. Maybe something will come to me. Or maybe this will go in the recycle bin. Either way, isn't it so nice to have a holiday? And even nicer to actually be home for said holiday? And even nicer knowing I am not on call? And even better that neither is Abraham! It is a little surreal to do normal people things like be home together on a holiday instead of working crazy hours at the hospital (and home together until Sunday when Abe has to work--couldn't be a PERFECT weekend, but pretty close). In case you were wondering, other normal-people-bliss-inspiring things include going to the bank (when it is open), the grocery store during daylight hours, cleaning your bathroom more than once every 6 months, and having/following a chore chart. I know the grass is always greener but I envy you part time workers and stay at home moms who can do any one of these tasks on any particular day. Sometimes laundry is the best. Mostly because I can never seem to get it done. (Luckily Abe is the one who mostly keeps me in clean underwear and socks.)

So, you ask, what have you been up to lately to keep you away? If you must know, I am finishing my last few weeks of "Clinic Chief" for this latest two month stretch. I've been pulling a lot of late evenings fixing cleft palates and crooked faces or small chins and overbites. I've also been doing the hours of lab work that accompanies these fixes.

To clear up any confusion, I have not been doing much of the following: cleaning the bathroom (I probably have a few more months in there to go before I hit the 6 month mark), dishes, organizing or decorating for the holidays, cooking nutritious meals, exercising more than once per week, etc. I just can't seem to find the time/energy/motivation for much of that.

I try to remember there is a time and a season for everything. I think it may be a woman thing to feel frustrated and guilty about the dishes in the sink and the piles of unsorted mail on the counter. For some reason now matter how many smiles I fix, lives that I change, infections that I treat, I still feel bad about those darn dishes!

I've been craving for a day off to take care of some of that. Lucky for me, I have a few this weekend.

But am I going to do dishes and laundry and clean out my piles of clutter?

Probably not!

Because who wants to spend their day off doing that?

And so it continues!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snake Oil and Social Media

Yesterday on Facebook a friend posted an article about dentistry which basically equated a common dental procedure with cancer ("97% of cancer patients have had this procedure done"), and many other ailments, not to mention possible death. The article claimed to have information "your dentist wont tell you" or "your dentist doesn't know." Despite the fact that the article tried to lead you to use one of their own resources (a website which preys on your old fear of dentists in a whole new way to make money, no doubt) there were multiple responses to this article jumping to the conclusion that this information must be right and yes, dentist are all money grubbers trying to dupe their patients into harmful care for MONEY.

I found the article so inflammatory at first I wanted to share the link. But in doing so, unfortunately, it may lend a larger audience to patients/friends/family/unsuspecting citizens who buy into the sensational dogma of this author-less source (I couldn't seem to figure out who wrote the article! Red flag?). If you really must see it (my dental colleagues I am sure would get a good range of emotions from laughter, disbelief, and frustration out of it), let me know and I can send you the link.

With the connectedness of social media and the internet, anyone with an opinion can find a platform to share their voice on any subject. This can be great! Here I am, partaking in this phenomenon. But when it is used to spread fear, unsubstantiated claims, and quack science, I find it rather unsettling. There seems already to be a large distrust of doctors (I'm including dentists in here, or maybe especially dentists in here) and I find it very sad the number of people who are willing to discount the recommendations of their (hopefully) caring doctor with science and medical societies and years of educational training on their side, for sometimes the advice of harmful vendors selling snake oil and false hopes. I am not meaning to say that there aren't alternative remedies or solutions in health care, and yes, we as health care providers often gloss over these and don't give them the merit they perhaps deserve. But for some reason patients seem much more apt to spend money (and lots of it!) chasing the cure-all remedy that cures not only the common cold but also cancer and acne and uses "science" to prove it while dismissing research and common medical practice from real physicians, researchers, and respected journals as some kind of conspiracy.

I think we all as medical/dental providers have experienced interactions with patients where they chose to disregard sound medical advice due to misinformation. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing these patients choose to put their health at jeopardy based on faulty information often riddled with fear and sales tactics.

I know I am opening myself up to be misunderstood. I agree there are a lot of things we as health care providers don't understand. There are a lot of remedies we don't understand (accupuncture is one I'm interested in trying myself). But before you decide your metal fillings are causing your ailments or that you should stop taking your blood pressure medicine, please consult your doctor. It can be confusing as opinions vary widely among doctors as well. And I'm not naive enough to believe that all doctors really are compassionate and honest. But I hope you can find a provider you can trust to help you make decisions that are best for you. Or at least trust them enough to include them in the conversation. Ask questions. Get a second opinion. And then decide.

If you decide the alternative is right for you, at least you have the information you need to make an educated decision. Not just one based off fear or misinformation.

And maybe, just maybe, consider the peddler of the remedy may have your best interest at heart less than your doc.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November, really!

I'm still here, world.

This past month was pretty crazy. And I didn't have a lot of emotional capacity (or time) to sit down and write. Even today, after noting a whole month of not blogging, I feel a little strained on where to go from here.

The first week after the break in was pretty hard. I felt like I was in a depression: tired, lack of energy, poor appetite, stressed. While it was anxiety provoking to prepare for our upcoming trip to Florida (for a conference/vacation), especially while being cut off from all of our funds while waiting for new credit cards and debit cards to be sent, going away was a huge blessing! The conference was great and Abe and I had some much needed away/down time together.

I think that break really helped us reset and come back together a little more sane. I am ready to move on from the whole thing. Unfortunately, we've made little physical progress in this. We finally got our new doors installed (the side door was broken and we decided to upgrade the front as well to something more secure), to at least a functional manner (yay, we can go in and out the side door again) after weeks of waiting (the door company lost our order so we had to wait even longer than usual). I finally heard back a very short reply from the police a few days ago (my first communication since the first few days) saying basically they have no updates. And we are still working/battling with the insurance company on our claim. I will be so glad when I have most of my stuff back and can do simple things like turn my TV on again (they stole the remote) and return this borrowed computer.

Some longer term implications of it all, the things they took that can't be replaced (besides my sentimental jewelry) include my sense of security. I find myself more scared to do simple things like walk from my detached garage to my house at night, spending the night alone when Abe is on call, and even driving more than a few miles.You never wake up expecting today to be the day you [fill in the blank for something bad that can happen.] I certainly didn't expect ever to be robbed in our little Iowa town. Now I can't seem to help but wonder, Will today be the day I ....?

With the stress of the event and all the time it has taken to sort through everything, I got derailed from my new healthy eating goal. After weeks of cutting back on sugar and processed foods, I was enjoying more wholesome food and saying no to cookies that much easier. I certainly fell back to the high carb comfort foods since then. I gained back most of the 6 pounds I lost and am only just beginning to lose that again.

After months of budgeting and getting ready to make some more sacrificing in the name of frugal living, our computers with all of our budgeting information were taken. I am trying to get caught back up now but I worry I wont ever be able to figure out where we left off. We have had to cut back on student loan payments to cover some of the costs of the deductible and home repairs (hello compound interest!).

The good news is all of the kindess everyone has shown through this whole ordeal. I can't believe the generosity of so many who have made us food, let us borrow computers, brought replacement gifts, or just listened to me cry or vent about the whole deal.

I feel very blessed to receive a scholarship to the conference I attended. The $1500 is almost enough to cover the deductible or one of the door repairs. What a blessing in disguise.

And this has been a good reminder that things are just things. Yes, they are your things and can mean a lot, but in the end, they don't really matter.

I don't expect to ever recover any of our items. I will be surprised if the perpetrators ever get caught. But I am moving on. Even if they have set us back financially, emotionally, and in life goals such healthy living, financial discipline, studying, or even blogging. But I am coming back, even if slower than before.

And I certainly learned a thing or two about protecting against future loss. Maybe that will be my next post.

(Once I get our new computer and settled back in, I hope to include some pictures with my posts as well. Luckily they were kind enough to leave our external hard drive with our personal photos!)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Online journaling, thanks for listening

The other question everyone wants to know is, How are you holding up?

All I can say is I am feeling a wide range of emotions right now. Most of the time I don't feel like I am feeling anything. I'm still kind of numb or in shock. It doesn't seem real, but when I realize it is I still feel sad.

Mostly, I am in mourning for my rings. Unless they somehow recover our property (I am less than hopeful), I know I will never find one like it again. And because of our lack of supplemental insurance, we wont get enough money to go out and find a comparable one. I'm not too excited to get a replacement one as it is (I want MY ring) but having to cough up the thousands of dollars to get a second place one doesn't make me feel any better about it. It will probably be a long time before we can even justify replacing it. The missing watches and even costume jewelry that wont be replaced because they fall in this "jewelry category" just makes it that much more unpalatable.

I am also feeling frustrated and stressed. There is a lot of stuff to sort through. Messes that they made. Canceling credit cards. Re-issuing my drivers license (another hour of my life spent at the DMV!), making a comprehensive and very thorough list of missing items including documentation like receipts, pictures. Trying to plan a trip we take soon without credit cards. Not having a computer (borrowing one for a few more days, luckily). Having to get the door secured (it's screwed shut now) and eventually fixed.

And annoyed. The little things are getting to me. I think this is a glimpse to my psyche and how much it really is effecting me. I feel super annoyed they took my pillowcase. Now that sheet set will never be complete. What will I do with one unmatching pillowcase? Dealing with the insurance company so far has not been as easy or pleasant as I had hoped.

I also feel a little guilty. I feel bad for feeling bad. Afterall, it's just stuff, right? I keep telling myself that and I give myself a hard time for letting it get to me. But if someone else tells me the same line I feel annoyed, "What an insensitive thing to say!"

I feel sick. I have been nauseated most of this week. Not sure if it is related. I've had a poor appetite and slipped out of my healthy eating kick.

I feel angry. We have been trying so hard to budget and keep track of our money. We have been trying to maximize our student loan payments and to be frugal. I should be grateful we have been shielded from a financial crises because of how careful we have been, but I am angry this is going to set us back. Instead of paying extra each month on our loans, I have cancelled these payments and we will be setting that money towards our deductible and replacing items and fixing our house to make it more secure.

I don't feel scared and vulnerable. Right now. I have too many other things going on to have felt this much. But I notice I jump when people knock or I hear loud noises. I think the anxiety will come. And I find myself wondering if they will come back.

And I am feeling grateful. I think it is normal to have times in life when you feel kind of alone. I know I have had a lot of friends move away. I often feel like I don't know many people any more. I can't believe how kind and supportive everyone has been. I was able to take an afternoon off work to get settled because the people at work were really helpful and understanding. We have had friends drop by to see how we are doing, cupcakes and homemade pies dropped off, offers for places to stay, a cleaning crew that picked up not only the messes made by the burglars but the messes made by me, meals brought, and two separate friends who brought over jewelry they picked out for me.

And that makes this so much better!


So, everyone wants to know, what did they get?

I am currently working on the insurance claim where we have to list out each item. The list so far is over 50 items. It is hard to believe they took that many things but somehow it lists out that way.

The biggest loss by far was our wedding rings. Since we both worked in the OR that day we left our rings home for "safe keeping." Not only were these the most expensive items taken, but they were obviously of the most sentimental value. Unfortunately due to an oversight in our insurance, we did not have the extra jewelry coverage and so we will not even receive enough compensation back to cover the engagement ring let alone the other two wedding bands, watches, and necklaces, earrings, etc. I have accumulate over time. Things like my high school class ring and an antique necklace from grandma, a set of pearls, and gold stud earrings. They also stole every piece of costume jewelry that I own(ed) which would cost a lot to replace now.

They also took mostly electronics. Things like our blue ray player and ipods. And computers. And Abe's pillowcase (I am sure to carry my jewelry in). Which makes me mad because now my bedding set doesn't match! They took my wallet including my ID and my credit cards. They looked through the bathroom (for drugs?) but didn't seem to find anything there.

They took almost everything that was worth anything.

But luckily, they missed some big things. Our TV as I said had been moved. I am sure they had every intention of taking it but got spooked. There were a few things in plain site they didn't grab and a few things that were in the next drawer over they didn't dump out, etc. I don't really want to make a list of everything that was taken or that is left to advertise for round two but I can say someone coming back for more wouldn't do very well.

I am grateful they didn't get everything. And I am grateful despite the messes they made, they didn't do any other vandalism or trashing of our place beyond the door. They could have been much more mean spirited than they were.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


When I arrived home on Tuesday September 24 I was in a rush. I parked my bike in the garage and ran up to the side door (the one facing a busy street). It was about 5:15pm and I was supposed to meet my mother-in-law at 5:30 to run a few errands. I opened the screen to notice the door was partially open.

I was surprised.

I remember closing the door tight when I left about 6:30 that morning for work. The door is old and sometimes the latch doesn't catch so I am usually pretty careful about making sure it really is locked when I leave. I remember vividly checking that morning.

But, maybe something happened? I contemplated not going in and calling the police but figured my husband probably just came home early.

I was leery enough to call inside, "Anyone there?" before I made my entrance. I didn't hear my husband's response but I figured maybe he just didn't hear me.

I walked in and tried to close the door. It didn't want to shut. This got me nervous and wondering...but again, its an old house. I felt a little leery and could hear a beeping nose as I went up the stairs into the kitchen area. I could see both doors on our fridge cracked open.

"I really don't think I left the fridge open, too!"

I closed the fridge and turned around. I noticed our flat screen TV was on the floor of our study instead of on the dresser in our bedroom like it should be. I turned to see our flashlight on and sitting on our coffee table. I called to Abe, and could see in the distance our bedroom with things not quite looking right. I was thinking, "Is he home early, spring cleaning or something?"(Which would not be characteristic of him on either point).

I turned behind me and suddenly noticed the drawers and cupboards to the kitchen and our entertainment system were open/dumped and things were strewn around. I felt a sinking feeling as I started realizing and SEEING the signs of my initial thought before I walked in that cracked door.

I ran into my room as I knew then and there that the wedding band I had removed that day before work and my engagement ring would be gone. This was confirmed when I saw dresser empty of every jewelry box, earring, and necklace and the emptied drawers, clothes, papers strewn around the floor and bed.

At that moment, I turned toward the living room to notice more drawers open, clothes thrown around the room, and the front door and screen swinging wide open. Just then, a young woman walked up to the door and knocked.

Still in shock, I remember thinking...maybe she is here to tell me that there were some people doing work at my house today, or maybe she saw someone running away?

But instead she said, "Hi, I am ..... and I am running for city council."

I told her I was very sorry, I didn't think this was a good time as I thought I had (turn on the sobs) been robbed. I clearly was unintelligible at this point so after another explanation she told me, "I think you should come out of the house."

"I think I should, too."

So we spent the next few minutes trying to call the local township police department. Should we call 911? Was this an emergency? I had a really hard time finding the numbers in my phone which I had programmed before under "city" police but searching for police didn't take me there.

And then I waited, crying on the grass. I called my MIL who was there within minutes. I didn't call Abe because I didn't want him to stress while at work (and I honestly wasn't really trusting myself to tell him because it just didn't seem real) but he called me within minutes and got the whole sob story. He was able to rush home from work.

And we continued to wait for the police. I called a second time and was told they were not "on-duty" but were only "on-call" that day. So much for living in our neighborhood with it's own police station (we live in a very small "town" inside of the larger area with our own police station which is notorious for horrible speed traps and tickets for speeds of 26 mph) that felt "so safe."

What a way to start the week!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Up to date

Sometimes I blog to be social. Sometimes I blog to share my (usually strong) opinions. Sometimes I blog to dispute something. Sometimes I brag, self deprecate, or tell a funny story.

And sometimes I just blog.
For the sake of blogging.

Today is one of those days. I feel I haven't had a lot to share over the past few weeks (hence my "silence") but I feel it is time. Time to check in even though I don't have anything particularly interesting or life shattering to share.

I think sometimes I shouldn't do posts like this. Why do I think I am so important that you want to hear my random chatterings? But, I find I tend to like similar posts from others. Even just the "saying hi" posts. So, for the sake of "doing unto others" we will see where this goes.

Life sure passes by quickly! Abe is about to finish his first (and most challenging) rotation of his second year, the Head and Neck cancer team. He remains very busy. I have pretty much stopped complaining about my schedule. He usually leaves about 5:00-5:30 am and is gone until at least 6:30 pm or much later. He works at least a partial day almost every weekend. He studies a lot and does "homework" type study questions every week. He comes home and writes notes for hours on patients. We often stay up too late just to have a little more time together.

My life has been great so far as a fourth year resident. I am continuing on for one more month come October of not being on-call. I usually work from about 6:30 am -5:30 pm and have had weekends off. Perhaps it is the "free time" I have because I have really been digging in on some personal development.

I have been making some good progress in budgeting, exercise, and healthy eating. I am also striving to be a better housekeeper, but with less success. I know as I have months of a crazier schedule I will fall short on these areas again, but I am hoping to set a good foundation for myself now when I feel I have a little more leeway. As always, studying is something I need to be doing much much more of as well.

So what's next?

Abe will be joining me for an upcoming Oral Surgery conference. Not only will my department cover some of our travel costs, but I won a scholarship to help pay for the trip as well. I am really looking forward to some vacation time together as well as the conference itself.

Planning for next year. Real life kind of scares me. I'm not super anxious to be done with residency and "out there" in the "real world." When I am there I will be glad but I'm just trying to soak it all in in the meantime. But it is kind of weird and exciting to be seeing my hard work will literally be paying off in a few short months...9. Before we know it, I will be birthing my career as a real Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon!

And of course, the ever struggle of studying, housekeeping, exercising, and husband-tending (my turn now that he is the busy one). And getting used to be on-call again.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Shiny happy people"

At church we talked about trying not to compare ourselves or compete with others. This got me thinking about my blog and my use of social media.
I'm so popular I have my own fan club

I'm not surprised to see studies in the news lately about things like Facebook use leading to lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. I find that while I gain increased feelings of connection, friendship, and even self discovery through my blog, facebook, instagram, and pinterest, it does sometimes stir up feelings of jealousy, discouragement, or discontent.

Us at our shiniest and happiest, holding hands probably, too
It can be hard to see all of the "shiny happy people holding hands" (to quote R.E.M.) and not feel a bit like my life can be kind of bleak. And yet, before logging in I often feel happy and content.

We go on amazing vacations ALL the time!
Luckily most of my friends don't take pictures of the poopy diapers they have to change (yuck). And most of us aren't documenting every late night up without sleep with a crying baby, long hours at work, moments of loneliness or frustration, poor test scores, or family fights. We want to remember (or be remembered by) the happy moments--the vacations, the good hair days, the parties with friends, the life successes like a job well done on a test or even in cleaning out a closet.

But that is easy to forget when perusing online. I've tried to make my blog a pretty honest place. A place where I can remind myself to worry less about the image I portray to others and more about what really matters (a lesson in overcoming pride, really). A place where hopefully you can relate as other non-perfect but happy beings.
I'm so crafty I sew ALL the time (except when I'm on vacation, of course!)

I'm so successful and sometimes wear a suit
I was told that a lot of my recent posts seem sad or like I am lacking in confidence. That is not the message or image I am trying to share. My hope is that you will see a strong and confident woman who like most of the women I know continues to have struggles, doubts, and insecurities that she is facing just like you. Someone who despite successful days at work doing important things still feels bad sometimes when there are dishes in the sink, feels lonely at times, or has moments of body image insecurities. I am hoping I'm not the only one -- not that I want you to feel insecure or guilty or uncertain at times, too, but that you realize we are all in this together.

And we are awesome.

And just in case you think I'm kind of a Debbie Downer, I included some carefully selected Good Picture Monday pictures to hopefully make you feel a little insecure yourself as a way of over compensating for the past. Happy comparing! (Now, if only I had photoshop for maximum efficiency.)

I'm in such great shape! 

This picture was taken just the other day. Every day is like Christmas at our house! 

Thanks for indulging me (in letting me air my insecurities and my exaggerated captions today)!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lessons from the high school popularity quest II

(This video was the inspiration for this post. WARNING: it does contain some pretty rough language which you may not appreciate. If you don't choose to watch, the idea is that women aren't good at accepting compliments.)

These same girls, despite doling out compliments left and right, couldn't seem to accept one themselves. "Oh no way! YOU, you are the best (insert compliment). I'm just the worst (insert previous compliment)."

Maybe growing up as an identical twin where comparisons were commonplace and yet the common reassurance from our parents that we were both great made it incredibly frustrating later in life to have compliments deflected back to me. I knew that my sister and I could BOTH be good students, piano players, friends. We could BOTH be pretty, smart, funny, kind. Especially the part about being pretty. Duh, if I could be pretty, so could she (as we looked "exactly alike."). 

Maybe that is why it seemed so dumb that every compliment I gave was sent back. "Oh no! You are the pretty one/smart one/nice one/funny one/etc one. I'm the ugly one/dumb one/mean one/boring/one/etc on." 

I found this incredibly frustrating. Why couldn't we both be awesome? How come I found myself arguing about this on an almost daily basis?

I think we live in a world where we are so used to scarcity that it is hard to remember it doesn't apply in everything we possess. Yes, if I have this dress, you clearly do not. If I eat this pizza, you don't get to eat it later. But some things we can both have like kindness, fulfilling careers, loving families, even the same friends, compassion, talent. And even if we have you have more kindness or I have more friends it shouldn't take away from what you have.

And secondly, I found it insulting. It doesn't make a lot of sense that in an attempt to flatter me I have actually been insulted in my good taste and judgement. When I sincerely say, "I really like your outfit. You have such a great fashion sense!" and you respond, "Whatever, this is the grossest thing ever. I have horrible taste in clothes," then it automatically means I must like gross things, too. There have been times I have been surprised to receive a compliment, don't get me wrong. In these instances, I find it tempting to argue. Instead, I may acknowledge this, "Wow, you really think I did an okay job on that talk? I was feeling pretty frazzled so thank you, that makes me feel a lot better!"I'm not perfect at this but I think it is important to give ourselves a break and our friends one too when they make an attempt to be nice.

Instead, let's give sincere compliments and acknowledge them by simply accepting them with two small words:

Thank you.

Even if you don't believe it, it's nice to trust that maybe someone else does.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lessons from the high school quest for popularity

I was clearly one of the COOL kids in high school, braces and all

We certainly had that group of POPULAR kids who dressed the part and looked pretty cool from afar at my school.

They sat in a particular lounge between classes and at lunch where access was limited to group members and occasional daring souls willing to commit social suicide if it didn't go so well. However, when I think back on them there wasn't anything particularly likable about them. They looked the part perhaps but mostly kept to themselves. There were certainly more talented, dynamic, friendly, and interesting people to associate with at school.

And then there was that subgroup of people who really were POPULAR. The people who everyone actually liked. The ones who were able to cross groups and be friends with the "most popular" to the "nerdiest nerds." The ones who didn't shop exclusively at Abercrombie & Fitch (oh the ultimate high school clique promoting store!) but were still somehow worth knowing.

It is from this subgroup that I gained my inspiration for today's post. There are two girls in particular that stick out in my mind. We will call them Charlotte and Sarah.

Although I would hope they would still consider me a friend, I doubt they think much about me over 10 years later. But I learned a few lessons from them that I still try my best to follow.

* * *
I found I particularly liked Charlotte and Sarah. In fact, I think everyone felt that way about them. They were so fun and interesting. It was as if we were instant best friends whenever we were together, even if we hadn't talked for awhile. Mostly, they seemed to really like me, too. They always had something nice to say, about how I was "Like the nicest person" they knew, or "I was, like, the prettiest girl ever." I felt the same about them.

You are probably smarter than I was as a 16 year old and figured out they were this way with anyone they encountered. It seemed everyone was, "Like the best." At first I was a little puzzled, maybe even hurt. "I thought I was the best, but you just told Bridget and Carly and Joanne that they were the best." While I continued to like them, it left the proverbial "bad taste in my mouth" and I sought their attention less and less frequently.

No wonder I received so many compliments!

Knowing that they were actually nice girls, I don't think they used flattery as a calculated tactic to gain social standing (although I am sure it did help them become some of the most popular girls a school). I think they honestly gave compliments to be kind and friendly. But the technique of over-complimenting wasn't very sincere and left me wondering if they even liked me or how much I actually liked them. I figured out pretty quickly that although empty praises may gain easy social standing, it doesn't result in real relationship boosts.

So lesson #1: Give sincere compliments and avoid flattery. 

My personal definition of flattery is any kind of inflated compliment that couldn't possibly be true. It usually includes statements that end in "-est." Unless I am talking about my husband, I can't honestly promise that someone is "The BEST!" That goes for other compliments like the prettiest, smartest, fastest, nicest, funniest. I can't guarantee that in fact anyone is, truly, the epitomy of any of these traits (--I don't know any Guinness Book World Record holders or maybe I could). But, I can genuinely and honestly say something like, "You are GREAT!" Or, "You are so pretty, smart, fast, or nice!" I can feel like I gave a genuine compliment and you don't have to wonder if I say it to everyone. Even if I did, it shouldn't take away the legitimacy of your compliment. You can both be smart but you can't both be the smartest.

I also tend to avoid returning compliments. I don't want the pressure of trying to match (or maybe even deflect) a compliment to trick me into saying something I don't really mean. For example, "Erin, I love your dress." I find myself scrambling for something else to say back like, "Well, Carol, I love your your shoes." Maybe I like the shoes but didn't love them enough to say something until I felt pressured to respond.

It also feels more sincere if I give a compliment first so you don't wonder if I said something just to be nice back.

Now, I usually just answer with a simple thank you. I don't feel off guard trying to find a compliment to spit back and you don't have to wonder if I was just being nice in return. If I do send a compliment back, it is usually one I had been saving up and hadn't had a chance to share yet.

That leads me to my second lesson: Just say thank you!

We'll talk about that more next time.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bumpity bump

Bikers are awesome.

When can you roam around public for hours in only spandex without thinking anything about it?
Only amongst bikers.

Abe and I had that discussion yesterday during our 35 mile bike ride as part of the annual Courage Ride, a fundraiser for cancer in the scenic Amish countryside in our area. I didn't have a second thought about any of the other bikers or even myself, regardless of the size and shape of their bodies (and my own). We were having fun riding bikes, listening to music, and eating treats, all while raising money for cancer.

I momentarily left this cheery lane of thought and went down a dark back alley of my mind that I unfortunately frequent more often than I'd like, to glance at how I looked in spandex. I noticed just how far my belly was poking out. This time, I took a quick peak and ran back out into the sunshine and shrugged it off.

Maybe that's why when it happened I actually took very little offense. I felt bad for the perpetrator more than anything but I couldn't blame him. I think it is a common advice to avoid even asking the question, but somehow it seems to continue to happen. And in this case, even to intelligent people with whom I feel great esteem (in this instance one of my old dental school mentors).

And so it happened:

"Looks like you are expecting!"

Yes, it does!

Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with expecting anything except a few more workouts and an increased commitment to healthy living.

It has more to do with the shape of my belly (which seems to stick out regardless of my size). The few extra pounds I'd like to shed. And hopefully, the spandex I was squished into.

So, in case you've been wondering, that's no bun in the's just my muffin top!

*And for those of you who are confused, the picture above is my proof that I CAN look more pregnant than most pregnant girls I know. I WAS hoping that it was just when I was trying, though.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We're number one!

Kind of old news (but I'm a little behind in a lot of things in life)...

Did you see the new rankings by the Princeton Review? Evidently, both of my schools were ranked number one!

And BYU was ranked the #1 stone cold sober school for the 16th year in a row.

I think BYU is embracing the title a little more than the U of I! 

...unless you ask the students! I think they've been celebrating in anticipation since I arrived in Iowa City (8 years ago).

I think Jimmy Kimmel has a good recommendation. I'm all about making your weaknesses into your strengths.

Here's to another year of chocolate milk shots in a crazy world of beer pong and bar hopping!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I wrote this post last week. It didn’t seem quite right but I think I’ll post it anyway. It’s kind of long but I hope you’ll hang in there.
“Bodies are bodies.”

--A lesson learned not from dental school, but from working in a hospital. Maybe there isn’t anything overtly profound in that statement but it has been a real epiphany for me. There is something inspirational about seeing the body at work, even at times of illness or injury in young, old, ugly, or pretty.

I used to think that parts of the body (especially my own) were ugly, weird, abnormal, or even gross.

I’ve since learned:

People have fat rolls, blemishes, wrinkles (or one day will). Most people don’t look like super models or celebrities (and the ones who do are so weird they often get paid millions) and many people aren’t even overly attractive. And yet, all bodies are beautiful. Beautiful how they heal themselves. In how they regulate a multitude of hormones to keep things like growth, fertility, water balance, and blood sugar under control despite a barrage of environmental change. The simple way the body is able to rid itself of waste and toxins. Even an old and frail body failing after a life of living. All of these things are so normal we don’t usually even think about them; and yet are quite extraordinary if you take a moment to appreciate -- when they don’t work, life is hard. We are so lucky to have our bodies that allow us to be here even living this life and especially for the times our bodies work just as they should, despite how they look.

So, I got angry, or at least quite annoyed, when I learned yesterday that my body doesn’t measure up in yet again one more way. I’ve known about thunder thighs and muffin tops, among other body flaws to lament, but who knew, all this time, I’ve been missing a thigh gap?


I actually noticed I didn’t have a thigh gap in high school. But I didn’t know then that this was another failing of my imperfect body, along with my double chin tendency and a few aberrant hairs. Evidently, even though the thigh gap is something that anatomically cannot be “achieved” by most women, this is the new goal of skinny perfection. I was fascinated by this new body fashion and did some research, only to learn other things that were wrong with me of which I was ignorant, like “hip dip” and my lack of pointy hip bones or collarbones. Forget that I have a strong mind, a healthy heart, reliable kidneys, 20/20 vision. I’m not bow-legged and I have the “wrong” hip angle.

Luckily, I am a strong and enlightened woman who knows better than to buy into that kind of junk.

Or am I?


I’ve been bothered by the “thinspo" trend online for awhile. There are hundreds of posts and images online with photo-shopped pictures of body builders with sayings like, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” (you must not have tried Abe’s cakes!) and collages of celebrities, “Her arms, Her legs, Her abs. If I am strong enough, I will get there!” It is disturbing to me that we (we being women in general) are so often striving for something that is so unattainable. It is easy to say that I can look but not touch, smoke but not inhale, and think I am above falling prey to these images and philosophies: I’m 30 years old, not some 13 year old girl trying to obtain a ridiculous trend like a thigh gap; yet I know I am susceptible to these messages just like any teenage girl.

I keep telling myself if I weighed only 5 pounds less I would be that much more happy. I realized only recently that even when I was “skinny,” I didn’t like my abs then, either –my belly always seemed to stick out too much, at least since it was pointed out to me my freshman year of college by a roommate and a boyfriend.

Of course being healthy and fit and making your body the best it can be is great. But I think it is damaging to think you can copy and paste celebrity body parts to obtain after a few sessions of P90X or think that if you only had enough will power you could look like Kate Moss. Most people can’t look like Kate Moss—that’s why SHE’s famous. And I promise, no matter how much I work out, I will never have abs like Jessica Alba or arms like Jennifer Aniston. I will always have Erin arms, toned or otherwise.

Now, back to the thigh gap.

I am used to comparing myself to photo-shopped images. Years of unrealistically thin magazine photos and ads have taught me that I will never measure up to my own warped standard of beauty. But telling me that my thighs need to be strangers and that I can’t have a little concavity in my hip line when we all know very well that is probably not possible for most women past puberty makes me mad. Not only does it seem we are trying to look like teenage boys with six packs and large breasts, now it feels like we are being told that one of the very things that make women womanly are no longer okay-- hips. That wonderful pelvic tilt that makes life possible for everyone on earth through the miracle of childbirth is no longer an acceptable fashion accessory.

(As if it is something that can be changed with the seasons.)

Leave my hips alone!

That was my mantra today at dinner.

I somehow forgot all about how good skinny tastes or looking like a celebrity when I ate my own weight in crab rangoons today at the Chinese Buffett. And I certainly didn’t care about my thigh gap.
I feel sad that so many young girls do. If only they could see and remember, “Bodies are bodies, too.”

Now, if only I can remember, as well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Progress: My Journey As An LDS Female Dentist

I've come along way in the past 8+ years. And so have LDS women in dentistry (and maybe other careers?). At least in my little corner of the Midwest.

I was thinking about this today after receiving a message from Thalia, another female LDS dental colleague. She mentioned she has had a hard time finding other LDS women in the field. I remember similar searches in my past.

When I was at BYU I became the president of the very exclusive and prestigious club, Women in Dentistry. It was a very exclusive club including about 3 members, including myself. Unfortunately, the exclusivity had less to do with the criteria and much much more to do with lack of interest.

I felt pretty alone. I happened to have another girl in my ward who was also applying for dental school, Ashley Sheffield (who strangely enough just happens to be Abe's cousin...small world), Tara Huntsman, and another girl I unfortunately cannot remember her name. I don't think Ashley was in the club and there was another girl who came to lunch with us once from NY. But that was it. Pretty slim pickings considering I applied with about 200 other BYU students (male).

Part of my lonely experience at BYU had to do with disparaging comments from dates and even a religion teacher who told me I was listening to Satan by going to dental school. I became somewhat defensive and was pretty ready to leave BYU by the time I was done (partly, maybe due to the fact I was also living at home for my last semester due to the high cost of dental school applications, a long distance boyfriend, and limited social life -- working, lacrosse, applications, interviews, married friends, home singles ward all made that hard).

So, I was very pleased when I was contacted by Laura. She was a dental student at the University of Iowa. She was also LDS (and a mom!), looking for other women like her. We started corresponding and after some encouragement I decided to apply to the University of Iowa. She let me stay with her for my interview (including driving all around Eastern Iowa to catch my flights), gave me advice, put in a good word for me, and next thing you know, I was committed to attending the U of I when I had previously never even considered it as an option. I feel very strongly she was led to find me and I still consider her one of the big influential people in my life (dental school choice, husband, residency, etc all happened after coming to Iowa).

It was a great fresh start in Iowa. I didn't get hassled much at all about being a woman but I was certainly "famous." Upon my arrival it seemed everyone knew who I was, "Oh, the Mormon girl dentist." People seemed overall quite supportive minus a few comments here and there. I would admittedly get super annoyed when I would have this almost universal conversation with new acquaintances:

Jane Doe: So, what brings you to Iowa?
Erin: Oh, I'm here for dental school.
Jane Doe: Oh, so are you becoming a dental assistant or a hygienist?
Erin: I'm becoming a dentist.
Jane: Oh, like a hygienist dentist?
Erin: No, like a dentist dentist.

Abe teases me about these conversations and warned me to be patient and not too annoyed with the questions. After we got married I would have similar conversations but with a new twist:

Jane: So, where are you from?
Erin: Utah
Jane: What is your husband doing here?
Erin: He's a medical student. What do you do?
Jane: Oh, we're in law school.
Erin: Wow, that's great! You both are in school together? That's so cool.
Jane: What! No! My husband is in school. (Implied duh.)
Erin: Oh...sorry. So what do you do?
(Notice it usually wouldn't result in asking what I do)

But, that was 8+ years ago. And 6+ years ago. And now I'm wondering when it stopped. Because somewhere along the way it has. I don't remember the last time someone asked me about being a hygienist or an assistant (except for patients who very often confuse me with the nurse or assistant). They usually don't ask me why I am in Iowa and questions about my husband's profession seem more as a clarification for how it fits in with my busy schedule. I'm guessing that people get clued in by others now so they don't have to ask. I remember over hearing one such conversation, "Oh, and this is Erin. She's our Relief Society (LDS women's group) dentist. She's like way smarter than any of us."

So, I guess with some understanding of who and what I am, comes the trade-off of the scary old girl at church. Or the couple who is too busy to want to socialize (we still like to do fun things when we are available...and have enough energy).

And now we come full circle. I was contacted by another female LDS dental student, who happens to be interested in Oral Surgery. And seems to feel a little alone.

And I think about then and now. Then: Erin, the female LDS dental student.
Now: Erin, one of two female dentists, one of two dental residents at church. Now, with two female dental students at church. And at least two other LDS female dental students (maybe more, I can't keep track anymore) that I know.

I'm not sure if this is a trend elsewhere or just at the University of Iowa but it's pretty cool. I'm willing to give up my notoriety to be the old scary girl.

Especially when it means suddenly I'm not alone anymore.

And maybe Thalia, you aren't either.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bachelorette Recap: Where's My Happy Ending?

ABC promotional image - "The Bachelorette" Season 9

I've seen one too many chick flicks.

I realized this while watching the Bachelorette Finale this week (I know, it's a horrible show and I still don't quite like acknowledging I watch!). While I actually found the finale somewhat boring and unsatisfying, I did find one aspect of the ending interesting...

I WAS expecting Brooks to come back.

If you aren't a Bachelor fan, he was one of the top 3 contenders and evidently the front runner to "win" the chance to propose to the Bachelorette Desiree. Last week he stirred up all kinds of controversy, "with the most dramatic bachelorette season in history," when he chose to go home early. Like most realistic people, he felt he probably shouldn't propose to the Bachelorette after only a few weeks of dating (while being filmed and on exotic dates across the world) a girl who has multiple boyfriends (with whom she spent overnight dates with two other guys just days before) and still hasn't been able to express her real feelings. I admired him for being honest and leaving before milking the show for additional fame, exposure, free vacation time, or even physical affection or to avoid fear of feeling awkward or looking bad when dumping a beautiful woman on national television.

Evidently I wasn't the only one waiting for his return. They polled the studio audience and a huge number of women also made their vote clear by cheering loudly that they were expecting a comeback. Those of us on Team Brooks expected our fairy tale/chick flick ending with the long drawn out scenes of an unspecified man in a suit walking up as she waited nervously, only to see his face and crazy hair at the last minute with the huge diamond and a big apology for not only the Bachelorette but all of America (at least the women sending him death threats). Instead, we got to watch Des cry and figure out plan B. (Somehow I have a hard time feeling too bad for her when she just dumped 20+ guys in a similar fashion over the past few weeks, including Zak, the guy who bought her an engagement ring after their first or second date.)

I realized when he didn't come back that because I was watching something on TV, I assumed the happy and dramatic ending I was expecting would come to be. But in real life (if you can call "reality TV" real), you don't always get the man running through the airport to stop you. Or coming back with a Neal Lane diamond and proposing on TV. 

Instead, sometimes he is too smart for that and you end up getting engaged to your second choice guy. 

And you know what, you probably be pretty happy in the end, even without the sigh worthy ending. (--and that's taking into account the fact that you likely wont marry him anyway, just like almost every other couple from the show's history.)

Because that's real life.

*And P.S. Am I the only woman in America not gaga for Juan Pablo?*

Monday, August 5, 2013

On wedding planning

My future SIL sent us a link to an interesting article about the stress of getting married. Reading the article brought back some of the memories from my own engagement. I felt some relief realizing that was all behind me and some tinges of sentimental feelings as well.

I've been thinking a lot about my own wedding as I have been watching two weddings come together this year in Abe's family. It's interesting to reminisce in the perfect window of hindsight and the poor memory of the past. I remember the engagement period being pretty stressful but overall a fun (but busy time). Since blogging is often about giving away unsolicited advice, here are some of the details of my engagement and some things I learned along the way.

Shortly before our wedding 2007

Abe and I were engaged on Valentine's Day in 2007. We had a relatively short engagement with our wedding set for the infamous 07-07-07. I wasn't the type of girl who had been planning my wedding since childhood. In some ways this made it harder as I had to start completely from scratch with only a few months to plan. So, I started by cutting out a lot of the fluff. I didn't tan, have a make-up artist, fancy jewelry, or shoes. I didn't even have my dress fitted (it was slightly big if anything) and I certainly didn't have time for any sort of exercise regimen. I said no to Bridesmaids. Groomsmen. Flower girl. Ring bearer. In an LDS wedding these people aren't even involved in the ceremony. I didn't feel I needed people in matching dresses just because of tradition or to decide who was important enough to play those roles. Too much stress! And I certainly didn't need a party bus to take them all around with me. This made life a lot easier on me, and I think the potential bridespeople.

I am also under the opinion that just like the commercialization of Christmas, much of the wedding planning hooplah is designed for money! Do you really need to try every kind of cake to choose vanilla or chocolate? Do you have to see every florist shop to decide you want pink roses? If you have the money and sanity to do those things (and most importantly, that is FUN for you), great, but I found I was behind on every engagement checklist before I was even engaged.

Engagement photo

I focused on a few details I really cared about and delegated the rest. This was mostly a necessity as I was in Iowa and the wedding would be in Utah (and luckily so was my mom). For some reason the invitations were really important to me to be completely custom. That was a lot of work to get them designed and put together but I was very happy with the result thanks to my friend Heidi who was amazing and designed it perfectly! Funny enough, I mentioned to my mother-in-law the other day that the only stamps available at the time of our mailing were the liberty bell and an ugly ram head. There were no pretty flower or wedding or love stamps. Just liberty bells and a ram with horns. This was a detail I wasn't pleased about but I think even though my mom and I were disappointed about this choice, not even my MIL remembered that detail.

I also got super lucky by finding an amazing cake lady who let me design my cake exactly how I wanted. I don't know what made me latch on to these two things but these were important and I was able to approve each detail. Knowing I had these details worked out made me more flexible on other details like the flowers (which were beautiful even though I couldn't get the exact Hawaiian flower I wanted) and the menu.

As for the rest, I told my mom and my mother-in-law my color scheme (orange and lime green), theme (luau), and that I wanted to have food (many LDS weddings are more open house type events with mint cups and dessert instead of dinner). And the wedding seemed to plan itself (Right Mom? Kristin?).

Some of the major stressors were:

-Timing. I was excited and anxious to get planning but my sister had gotten engaged just a few months prior and her wedding was in March, mine was in July. I had to delay some of my planning until my mom was done with that wedding. What a trooper!

-Guest list. This was the hardest thing to coordinate. Deciding on who should and shouldn't be invited when there are financial and physical constraints on numbers can be fundamentally different between families. In my family we haven't stayed in touch much with distant relatives so it was a little hard to understand why third cousin Sally needed to be invited to our cozy ceremony.  Luckily we were able to sort this through after understanding the goals for both the ceremony and the reception.

-Dress shopping. Finding a LDS temple appropriate dress can be challenging, especially outside of Utah! I tried so hard to find one that wasn't too ornate, was whitest white, and modest -- only to be told in the temple I would have to wear one of theirs during the ceremony anyway. I almost cried, told myself it didn't matter, and enjoyed wearing my dress the rest of the day. I got so lucky to have found mine on sale for only $100. I did feel some disappointment that my mom was not able to be present with me to find my dress but I felt lucky that I was close enough with Abe's mom to enjoy the experience with her.

-Venue selection. I know some brides want their fiances to be super involved in the wedding planning. I found when mine got too involved it just made my life harder. My mom found a great outdoor park for our reception in the canyon which was beautiful but originally my fiance had a hard time visualizing it and was worried we were having our reception by the jungle gym. Luckily I think he was pleased with the end result and this was one example of the "It's your day" thing working out for the best.

If I have any advice looking back, I'd say take a deep breathe, enjoy this time together, and remember that the important part is that you are marrying the person you love. That matters more than the flowers, the guest list, or even the food!

Then you'll be prepared when something goes wrong. Because at least ONE thing will!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Doctors in training

During dental school I adopted a personal mantra of not wishing my life away, waiting for it to begin. I have made great efforts to avoid the, "When I get married..." or "After graduation I will..." mentality. But I think it is still a trap that is so easy to fall into. I have been thinking about this a lot with a slew of family changes: Babies, graduations, engagements and marriages, job hunts, new jobs, moves, etc. Sometimes it feels like everyone is growing up, and I'm still in limbo.

In some ways I feel ever much like the adult that I hope I am (by now). I make serious medical decisions at work that I'm sure my patients would hope an adult is making. I cut on people-- they trust me to change them forever while in a coma-like state unable to stop me. I pay bills and taxes (which would make anyone feel old). And I am 30. Which sounds very adult.

But I find I still feel like I am waiting. I look around to see not only old friends but now even siblings having families of their own. My peers are parents, not just of babies, but of children who are getting taller and smarter by it seems the minute. Their age shows much more on them than it has on me physically and is a shocking reminder of how far I have come in the time since they were in diapers and are now reading chapter books at school or doing long division. 

I am still waiting as classmates are working real jobs have been working real jobs. They do things like go on family vacations and business trips. They have a real salary and a retirement plan. And now this is increasingly true of not just college friends, but dental school classmates who have their own practices and employees and patients.

Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be a "real adult." I think Abe and I do a pretty good job living our life and not waiting to "arrive." But I find we still wonder, what is it like to be "out there," out there in "the real world?" It seems like we have a long way to go before we both transition into the next stage.

And then again, sometimes I'm glad. It sounds a little scary out there. I guess life is life, no matter how you are living it. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Not-So-Sleeping Beauty

I got lost!

Where have I been, you wonder? 

I've been tired...

and on call. As busy as that can be, I've been enjoying the new year as a senior resident. I've been studying and improving my diet. I've been a little better around the house. I've been fixing broken jaws and draining infections. I've been doing some exercising and even budgeting. I have not been blogging! --or sleeping as much as I would like, for that matter. (Something's gotta give, right?)

As I have mentioned before, as senior residents we take call for a one month period of time (which I guess just actually switched to a 4-week schedule). July is notoriously busy with more trauma than usual and a new crop of interns. I imagined things would be much crazier from a numbers standpoint and I've been lucky to have some good new residents to work with has been much more manageable than I expected. But I'm still tired (emotional wear and tear maybe?). 

Luckily, only two more nights on-call and then I hope to find my way back (to the blog) and a little more time in bed. I hope you will find your way back, too!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Sorry, Lois Lane, but I married Superman!

I always thought Superman was a fictional character.
When I first met Abraham I thought people were merely alluding to his physical resemblance when they compared him to Superman. I am told a lot how much he looks like him. As we got to know each other I noticed some other similar qualities in him, like his kind and quiet nature and willingness to help others around him. But just like Lois, I failed to recognize the real Superman in my midst and wrote them off as coincidence.

But since marrying him I have started to recognize he has more in common with the Man of Steel than I originally thought and I am starting get suspicious he is the real deal.

He does have some of the obvious super powers, like saving lives (even using xray vision at times!--with the proper tools),

 and super human strength.

He is always willing to help friends, family, or strangers (including--or rather, especially babies!).

And he has shown other less well known traits like cooking and baking, 

A love of learning,

And enthusiasm for life.

I know he is trying to keep his identity secret, even from me. But I'm no Lois Lane. I'm on to him!

Thanks for being so Super! So glad I married such a super hero on 07/07/07.

Then again, maybe I'm just making too much of this.

Maybe he's really Batman.