Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy( 2nd Annual) Sister Day!

Here's the formula:
My birthday (June 5) + Mal's birthday (March 24) = Sister Day (September 29)

I posted this quote last year and love it so much that I am declaring it "our quote" for this day. Jane Austen says, "the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply..."
I love her and I miss her so much. And am so glad some of our clothes are the same size finally! And that she is so much fun to watch play volleyball. So many good memories, lots of laughing, and hopefully (fingers crossed) lots more dancing to come. I love you Mal! So much!

 Here are some photos of us this past year together...

We now navigate the boat (that you can't tell we're on here) ourselves!

In Charlevoix (also an example of how we can share clothes! she's wearing my shirt...)

Successfully pitching a tent, and loving every minute of it!

The day I got to watch her team almost win a tournament...I was probably more emotionally invested than I should've been
But, I can't help it.

I'm still a tad bit's official.
Mal's the only family member who really trusts me with her neck!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Marathon Training Update

I vowed that I would never run a marathon.

Apparently I lied.

This morning Team ABE (Amy-Bre-Erin) ran 22 miles. I have never felt so exhausted in my whole life.

Luckily, Playmakers (the most awesome running store in the world) puts a 20 mile course together for people who are training for a fall marathon. They have aid stations set up and Great Harvest bread at the finish.

Unfortunately, I was too nauseous to eat the wonderful pumpkin/chocolate chip bread and doughnuts that Bre brought until I'd showered and settled down a bit. Apple cider, however, is a great post run drink, you should try it! But, it was so hard. Harder than I thought it'd be. A lot harder than 18. Not until about mile 16 would I say I really struggled. Since the course was only 20 miles and we wanted to do 22, we had to back track a mile to get two more was so mentally painful to have to turn around! But, I'm glad we did. Those last 2 miles were good to get in, I feel like they were crucial to the mental and physical exhaustion preparation for the big 26.2 miles we'll have to run in just 3 weeks!!! Crazy! I can't believe how fast it came! The run took us about 3 hours and 15 minutes. We're aiming for a sub 4 hour run on October 16.

No pics of us...although an after picture would've been a good idea. I'm sure we looked terrible! But, the course was so pretty, all along the Lansing River Trail and in Hawk Island Park. I never knew there were so many nice running/biking paths in Lansing. I'm gonna miss them. The weather was perfect as well--cool and sunny. Ahhh....crossing my fingers it'll be like that for the marathon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
Mostly, because it's not today.
Do you ever have those days?
Today was that day for me.

I'm documenting it so someday I can look back on med school and think, "I'm glad those days are behind me." In case I forget or something. What's funny, well sort of funny, is that just yesterday I told Erin that it was the "best day ever" and that if given 100 million dollars I would still choose to be a doctor. And I wasn't lying! I don't really ever have days like this, for which I'm incredibly thankful. But, sometimes I do. It's the truth. And a bummer.

I may or may not have searched "Bad day" on youtube. Not surprisingly, youtube delivered...

I need to get some bubble wrap :)

I can hear what you're thinking. But sometimes, I think it's actually healthy to just say how you feel and right now, I feel like I am going to be a terrible doctor. (Please refrain from trying to persuade me me, it'll make it worse) I think I'd just like to leave it to the gunners (an affectionate name we use in med school for the top 10% of the class aka the people who never do anything except study...I think I'm a little jealous, truth be told). It's hard not to think, ''I'm not gonna be able to actually help a single person. I'm totally incompetent. I'm not gonna remember anything I'm learning. I'm not as smart as anyone else here....and well, it's a downward spiral from there.

On a positive, it's really, really humbling. When I'm weak, then He is strong.
Thank you little ballerina for making me wish I was 4 years old again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Love Peds Lectures

Why not to leave your kid unattended...I hope this makes you laugh as hard as it did me.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I am so addicted to recipes. Looking at them, cutting them out of magazines, buying cookbooks, and of course, making them. It's my prime go-to productive procrastination activity.

So, last night, Erin and I made some delicious pizza.
You've got to try it.

 Gruyere and Veggie Pizza
- 2 pre-made personal pizza crusts
- marinated artichokes (a 7-8oz jar would be plenty)
- asparagus
- cherry tomatos
- Le Gruyere Cheese (you'll have to splurge on this, BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT!)

That's it! Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Then, brush some of the marinade mixture on the crust then load it up with the ingredients, throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes or so and voila! Delicious pizza in no time at all.
[Pairs well with your favorite Pinot Grigio...just in case you were wondering]

Also, in case you've been drooling over the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I posted about's the recipe so you can drool over the real thing. They're bite size and irresistable, so when you get addicted, don't say I didn't warn you...

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 1/3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 T. pumpkin pie spice
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 large eggs
1 15oz. can of pumpkin!
1 C. butter, melted
1 bag of mini chocolate chips

- Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Add pumpkin and melted butter and whisk until blended.
- Pour over dry ingredients and fold until moistened. (Get ready for an upper body workout...)
- Stir in mini chocolate chips
- I baked mine for 8-10 minutes, but check often, as always, they're better underdone than over done.

It'll make about 80 mini muffins (depending on how much batter you eat...) Perfect for sharing and therefore making friends or freezing so you can eat them ALL FALL LONG! bon appetit!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Perfect Morning

So, my pumpkin bread may have failed. But, that just means more room for improvement!

This morning I didn't sent a second alarm, ipso facto, I slept through it. Thanks to Bre's text, I didn't sleep away that entire morning!
Which was clearly meant to happen, because I stayed home and did a load of laundry, made smoothies for lunch the next couple of days, enjoying Smart Start cereal (thanks to Anna for helping me fall in love with this!) with vanilla almond milk (and a second thanks to Kate for introducing me to this wonderful invention!). Oh yeah, and made mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (Lastly, thank you mom for a love of baking and this wonderful "Fall Luke Favorite"). And I sang along to Ingrid Michaelson. Far Away. On repeat.

I feel like I can take on anything! Which is good, since I have lots and lots of work to do.

[I'm refering to studying for school as work from now on...
it sounds more sophisticated?..
or at least more important and more urgent I suppose]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Pumpkin Bread

Just an update on the bread machine pumpkin bread. It didn't turn out. Huge bummer.

Tomorrow after my exam I will make some that I know will!

At least it served one purpose last night in motivating me to stay out of bed and in the books...

Monday, September 12, 2011


Fall is wonderful. It is most definitely my favorite. A few words of advice: Never get a Bigby's Pumpkin Spice Latte. There is nothing pumpkin about it. Find yourself a Starbucks. Trust me.

Anyways, at about 9:15 and I threw some pumpkin bread ingredients into the bread machine. I'm still building my bread machine confidence the last loaf didn't rise quite right...but tonight this pumpkin bread is providing more than a delicious snack. That is if it turns out.

Cross your fingers!
It's sweet, sweet motivation. Now that I have completed the procrastination by being here, I am forcing more information to go into my head for at least 2 and a half more hours...

More good things that happened today:
- I had another breakthrough where doctors, even though it was a resident and intern, felt more like collegues than superiors! Love when that happens...
- Got to listen to a real live neurosurgeon talk about head injuries this's crazy to think that that guy cuts into people skulls when he's not talking to us.
- Just found out I'm on a first name basis with April in the student services office. I never planned on being involved to the point where they'd know me by name. Oh well...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Lottery

There are hospitals all over MI that the 300+ members of our class can choose from to do their 3rd and 4th years of medcial school for clinical rotations. Unfortunately, there are only so many spots at each one, so for the more competitive locations and programs, the spots "go to lottery."

It was a weird night, a night of pulling names out of a silver bowl...a night of crying and cheering and anticipation. I'm not kidding. My first choice was Munson Medical Center. There were 5 spots and 6 people. I was the one person not picked. Bummer.

But, not too much of a bummer. My second choice, which I got!, was Bay Regional Medical Center in Bay City, MI.

It's essentially the same program just not up north. There may even be a little more rural, underserved kind of medicine I'll get to experience there, which is great! It's also closer to home, where a handful of my friends will be, including Erin!, and even has the potential to provide free housing! ...I'm thinking with all the $$ I'd save, I could go on some awesome vacation before residency starts! Erin and I were thinking Alaska...or maybe Hawaii...or maybe New Zealand. But, we'll see :) It's fun finally having a place to associate with the rest of med school.

Here it is in picture form:
And here is some fun facts about it:
Emergency Visits Annually 40056
Inpatient Discharges 17254
Licensed Beds 415
OB Deliveries Annually 1008
Outpatient Visits 292170
Surgeries Annually 11483
Teaching Attendings 189


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Bear with me. I got 4 hours of sleep last night. And it's almost 1 o'clock in the morning.

But, right now, I really feel like I could do anything. I just got back from seeing "The Help" and that's exactly how that movie made me feel.

What does it feel like to believe in something? To know a plan will succeed. To know that someday I will become a doctor. To know that I will be heaven someday. To have a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed. It's exhilherating. And peaceful. Maybe scary.

The women in the history behind that book and movie were set free by sharing the truth. It made them believe and it gave their lives purpose. I love watching people with purpose. I could watch anyone do something if they could convince me that it was what they were made to do. It's contagious and I love it.

Now, you, go see The Help!!

Monday, September 5, 2011


For my intents and purposes, a mantra is a group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." I realize there are a lot of hindu or other religious auras that surround the word, but I don't care.
In college, my cross country coach suggested creating a personal mantra. Something that defined my goals in a simple, straightforward way. Something I could repeat to myself when I needed some encouragement.
This is Coach Sarah...the single most intrinsicly motivated person I know
A couple weeks ago in church, the pastor made a statement upon the examination of the life of Gideon. (I highly recommend reading Judges 6-8 which outlines his story)
"Those who follow God's mission WILL face the constant temptation to exchange God's agenda for personal ambition." - Steve Sommerlot
After a month off, school is a challege and getting motivated is a chore. Everyday I am tempted by the thought of doing something else that is seemingly easier and more fun. Thankfully, reciting this simple sentence is enough to bring me back to reality. Although it is fun to dream...maybe it's because I just got back from Lake Charlevoix, where I still daydream of the day I'll buy a house on the lake, waterski every morning and make dinner every night -- see picture below. I could make it all work somehow, I'm sure...

My mantra is also a reminder that following God's mission doesn't have to be anything extravagent either. Or an intricantly planned future. I can do it now as a med student, the barista at Starbucks can do it as he hands me "a perfect skinny vanilla latte," and my sister can do it when she makes my day with a random text message. It's being so present and in tune with where we are right now, that God can expand our territories into something we can only dream about down the road. It's easy to trust God 5 years from now. It's much harder in the present.

So, I'm adopting this statement as my mantra. I am convinced a sacrifice of personal ambition (for me that's a life of nice, material things, where I get to cook a nice dinner every night) and comfort (...8 hours of sleep each night) will be worth it. So much so I can hardly call it a sacrifice. It is more blessed to give than receive, God promised.