Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Done with Interviews until the New Year!

Drew officially has 12 interviews down (and 5 more scheduled for after the new year!). I am relieved that he has a break, but it is also somewhat shocking to realize that Christmas is NEXT week! We are soooo not ready for it! Every time I think things are going to settle or slow down, I am mistaken.
We have been on the road every weekend (mostly for interviews, but have been able to fit a few visits with friends and family in there too). And during the week we are trying to catch up. There is always something. When we are home it feels like all we are doing is getting ready for the next interview. Just unpacking, doing laundry, taking clothes to the dry cleaner (for interviews), picking out conservative clothes for interviews, writing Thank yous for the interviews, and baking homemade goods for the family and friends that are allowing Drew to stay with them... and then packing up again!
Our apartment is a mess, we hardly have any food in the house, the milk in our fridge is five days old, we aren't ready for Christmas, and there is absolutely no sign of the holidays in our train-wreck-of-an-apartment!
Drew and I went out to dinner tonight, because we didn't get home until 7:00 and we had a gift certificate that was going to expire this month. We literally sat at dinner and made a list of the things we need to do before next week. What a pathetic dinner out! But I must say I do feel a little better now.
Oh, and I did manage to get the Christmas cards out this week, finally! I always under estimate how long it will take to get them done!
There is so much I'd like to update about interviews, but there simply enough time! Hopefully one of these days I will get around to it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview #5

I got to go along on interview #5. Although it fell on a Monday I went with so that I could help with the driving (it was during the week Drew had four interviews). We arrived on Sunday evening and checked into our beautiful hotel. This was the second (of only two) programs that paid for the hotel. And just like the other program that paid for the hotel - they also provided a beautiful gift basket. It was filled with different popcorns and a nut mix.

The welcome note on the gift basket
After we checked in Sunday night we relaxed and went to bed. Monday morning Drew headed to the interview.
I spent the day working, relaxing and I even fit in a workout. Unfortunately it was a windy and rainy day so I didn't get time to explore the city.

The interviews ran a little late that day so they took the applicants directly to dinner. Which meant that I had to meet them there - so I wasn't able to get a picture of Drew and I together.

Dinner was at a crunchy tapas restaurant, (I was a little over dressed). When I got there I ordered a "diet" and was informed that they do not carry corporate products. I was a little embarrassed, but got an iced tea instead. I was a little relieved when on of the residents leaned over and asked "what kind of place doesn't have pepsi or coke?" The rest of the dinner went really well and was very relaxed.
The program would have paid for a second hotel night but unfortunately we had to hit the road after dinner so that we could make it back to Springfield for Drew's early morning train and my trial.

Hotel: $0
Transportation (gas): $70.00
Total: $70.00

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Cards

I just got around to ordering our's tonight. Last year I had them by this time already.
Drew had wanted to get a picture with Abe Lincoln (there are a few statutes around town), but because I am worried about time, it is not going to happen. I am thankful that Drew is being so understanding because when I wouldn't allow it last year, I promised him it would be our Christmas card this year. But unfortunately, we are going to be out of town the next several weekends and won't be able to get the picture taken. Technically, we could go during my lunch break, but the statutes are around the capitol and I am a little worried about running into other lawyers, and I would be a bit embarrassed for them to see us taking a picture with Abe - it just seems like a touristy thing to do!
Anyways here are a few photos that we chose not to use....

I look like I am flinching and it looks a little too similar to our engagement photos (shown on the top left side of the blog)

Please pretend you don't see my grey hair!

This one came in a close second; actually I am now second guessing my decision. . . .

I must note - photography by Lindsay Vickers (she gave me a hard time when I didn't give her credit when I posted one of the pics on facebook).
And one more just for laughs:

I finally realized that Drew had been sporting his "blue steel" pose for the past several photos.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Baby Fever

Nope, not me. My husband, is the one who has baby fever. With quite a few of our closest friends and family having babies, Drew and I figured we would be able to get our baby fix to hold us off for several years . . . turns out all the cuties are giving Drew baby fever.
Spending the past few weekends with our nephew Gaston have not helped much.
Below are a few videos and photos of the little chicken (his nickname is poulet, which is french for chicken - his Daddy is French so the little guy is speaking both French and English)

Wearing the hat he made with his Papa (Daddy) at playgroup.

Playing and talking in the tub

Outside on a beautiful fall/winter day

Playing "drums" on the stairs with Uncle Drew

Eating pancakes with Ta-ta (Auntie) Marissa and Ta-ta Pancakes (AuntieTiffany).

Oh, we miss the little stinker already!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last week

So here is a glimpse of how the last week and a half went (and you will understand why I was so overwhelmed).
Two Thursdays ago Drew flew out of state for an interview, on Friday he interviewed, that night while I tried to clean our apartment he flew back home and we had wonderful company arrive that night. The Vickers stayed Friday through Sunday. Fifteen minutes after they left we hit the road for another state, on the way we stopped for dinner at the Keibler's house and then got back on the road to continue the rest of the drive. We arrived Sunday night, checked into our hotel and Drew had his interview Monday. (I relaxed, worked out and worked from the hotel during the day - lucky me!) Then we had a late dinner with the residents Monday night and hit the road around 11:00 p.m. to head back to Springfield. We got back home early Monday morning, slept a few hours, woke up, I dropped Drew off at the train station and headed to court for trial. While I was busy at work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Drew was going to dinners/receptions and two interviews. Thursday night I packed up. Drew had Friday off (thank goodness). Friday morning I had to drive 3 hours for a court appearance (an hour and a half each way), then I stopped at home, loaded up the car and hit the road to pick up Drew (and have dinner with friends) and head on to another state for a weekend interview. Luckily we were able to relax Saturday with family. On Saturday night Drew and I attended dinner withe the residents and on Sunday he interviewed. After having dinner with family on Sunday night we hit the road and made it home.
And to clarify, I'm not complaining because we are blessed to have these interviews, and I am thankful that I can be so active in the process. But I did want to explain why I have been somewhat missing-in-action. (Hopefully I'll have time to update about the actual interviews over Thanksgiving weekend?)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So we got an email today, notifying us that a program had added an additional interview date and that they were pleased to offer Drew an invitation to interview. I then went to look at our list of rejections and realized that we had already received a rejection email from this program. I suppose they didn't have a wait list (because otherwise I imagine Drew would have been on it). Anyways, I thought it was totally odd. But whatever - regardless of how we get an interview, we'll take it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The first thing that is full - my schedule. I seriously am having trouble keeping up with everything. I feel like many of my cases/clients are undergoing small emergencies that need immediate attention. Thank goodness I do love my job, because I have been at the office late most nights the last several weeks. And it isn't helping that I am trying to go with on a lot of Drew's weekend interviews, and help him stay on top of things. Although I am particularly blessed that my bosses are so understanding and allow me to have such a flexible schedule so that I can have a more active part in Drew's interview process.

The second thing that is full - my heart. My heart is complete and content now that Drew is home. Even though he is in and out during the week (for interviews) it is so nice to have him home.

And finally, something to keep your stomach full:
Super easy pumpkin spice cupcakes/cake
  • 1 Box of cake mix (I recommend spice cake)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting

Mix the first three ingredients with a few (2-3) tablespoons of water. The batter below is a little light in color because I used white cake mix because the store was out of spice cake mix. If you use white cake mix I would add some cinnamon to the recipe as well. The mixture will be a little thick (partially because no oil is used). But the pumpkin is a healthy (and tasty) alternative.
Bake for the time recommended on the box of cake mix (it will depend on whether you are making cake or cupcakes). After cooking let cupcakes/cake cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

These cupcakes require so few ingredients and are a super easy fall treat! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview #3

(I don't have pictures for #2 - they are on Drew's Camera)
We stayed at a nice hotel. It wasn't it the most scenic area but it was one of the better priced hotels. Other hotels in the city were closer to $130+!

And not to forget the retro chair....

Below is a picture of Drew dressed for dinner with the residents.

I didn't attend the dinner, but instead met up with the a wife of a local resident that I have been in contact with.

Below is an early morning picture of Drew before the interview... I need to learn to put more lights on, because otherwise I end up with these pictures with his eyes half open!

Hotel: $110.17
Transportation (gas): $35.00
Total: 145.17

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just trying to stay above water

Work for some reason has been crazy busy the last three weeks and doesn't seem to be slowing down. I worked through my lunch today and still didn't get things wrapped up until 7:30! Thank goodness Drew was home to cook dinner.
Things are going well here, just busy! Drew had two more interviews last week and hopefully I'll get time this week to post about them.
We are also trying to gear up as he has one more this week, plus we have visitors coming for the weekend and then beginning Sunday he will have four interviews in seven days!
Well I'd love to update more but there is still some laundry to do and tidying to do before I head off to bed!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Better late than never

Okay so I am a little tardy on this - so please forgive me... but a while ago, AMS of Surviving Long Distance Love. Gave me the Kreative Blogger Award. This is my very first blog award - so thank you AMS!

Here are the rules :
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

So here goes:
1. Part (big emphasis on part) of the reason I went to law school was because I think I was afraid to go into the real world - and I thought law school would be an extension of college - boy was I wrong!
2. Although I love practicing law, I hated law school.
3. I played college tennis.
4. Someday I would like to have four children.
5. I have a terrible fashion sense.
6. I am a complete Mama's girl and my mother is one of my best friends.
7. My three favorite male celebrities (musician/athlete/actor) are: Tim McGraw, Brett Favre, and Matt Damon.

Okay and my nominations are:
1. Adriana of From Kansas to Pennsylvania
2. Jessica of Acting Adult
3. Abbie of With a Soft Tummy
4. Whitney of the Glamourous Life of a Housewife
5. Bea of Finding Equanimity
6. Cindi of Mommy Life and Me
7. Little Miss Dreamer of the Soon to be Mrs. C

Sunday, November 1, 2009

C is for Cookie......

Drew came back (for good) late Friday morning. And as of Saturday we didn't have any Halloween costumes (for a med school party) and Drew didn't have any ideas. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on costumes that we would only wear for one night - it simply isn't worth it when you are on a budget. So on Sunday afternoon we ran to Walmart and picked up a few things and made these costumes (along with things we already had around the apartment). I think we probably made both of them for under $15! (Please forgive the poor picture quality).Cookie monster and his cookie!
Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I have really been enjoying playing with my new camera. With Drew being gone I have found that photography can be a fun hobby. I've taken my camera with me on a few walks and have had a fun time.
Here are a few photos from Lake Springfield....

(Beach House)

I have learned that taking pictures of people (kids in particular) is much more difficult.

Here are a few photos from my "photo shoot" with Kaiden...

Gotta love those blue eyes!

And here are some photos of my handsome nephews .....

And last but not least, my beautiful Goddaughter, Olivia...

Chew toy?

That leaf was not as tasty as it appeared!

Anyways, I am really loving my new toy but I have a lot to learn as far as photographing people/kids. But thank goodness I have lots of beautiful kiddos in my life to capture (and hopefully help me become a better photographer)!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Often times our lives our filled with stress and blow after blow of bad news. I don't even want to reflect on it - other than to say that you can never get enough good news. And I love hearing other people's good news. Whether it be every day victories or lifetime changes like an engagement, marriage or new baby, I just can never get too much good news. Even if it is news about a complete stranger, it still brings joy to know that there are everyday miracles in life. So I just wanted to share a piece of someone else's good news, because I know it made my day. A high school friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumor (and has already endured treatment)went in for a follow-up MRI today and the doctor found no new growth! I just figure it doesn't get much better than that. So praise God!
I know there are many who keep us in their prayers (and they've been pretty powerful thus far) so please let me know if you (or anyone in your life) needs any prayers. God Bless and Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another reason to avoid Worldwide Knives or

As if the last email didn't give you an idea of Chris Glickman's (of personality and customer service skills, this one should help. This is the email my sister got today...

"can you not read I said i'm giving our check one more week, after that I will send out A check Priority Mail hope your home to sign for it. or it's your loss. I know your husband is not from this country, learn how we do things here."

Oh, you mean you really are going to send the refund this time, why it was silly of us to doubt you when you have taken his money, told him the product (and then the refund) was coming for a total of 7 weeks.

Apparently "here" in America you should believe someone the 13th time they tell you something, even though they have made false promises the first 12 times?
So just in case you were wondering whether he was rude, I think this second email makes it clear.

I know my brother-in-law is a really demanding customer - I mean who really expects to GET their product when they PAID for it?!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interview #1

Went really well. Between the two off us we only made three mistakes. Two of which were mine.

When Drew arrived at the hotel there was a welcome note and a basket of treats. He had two interviews at the hotel, before dinner. In total I think there were seven candidates. A hotel shuttle took us to dinner at a local country club. We had dinner with program coordinator and the program director (and a resident joined us for dessert). They told us that normally more attendings are at the dinner but a few of them had conflicts and I believe some of them were out of town at a conference. Dinner was good but, my favorite part was a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.
After dinner the program coordinator put on a presentation about the program that was quite informative. He spoke about their staff, facilities and specialties. The most impressive part of the presentation was a list of the number of surguries and procedures that they do in a year. They divided them up by type of procedure and compared them to other residency programs in the midwest. It essentially showed how many procedures/surgeries their residents do during the duration of their residency at the program. It is clear that their residents get a lot of operating experience over the training simply due to the volume of cases they receive.
Although I only got to meet two of the attendings, I can see why Drew feels so comfortable at the program. Both the program director and coordinator were extremely friendly and approachable. I was very surprised not to find them intimidating. After the dinner and the presentation the attendings left and a resident joined us. He spoke to us about his experiences with the program and answered any questions.

The hotel shuttle brought everyone back to the hotel. (Below is a less than flattering picture of Drew and I at the end of the night)

Then on Friday morning they had interviews with more of the staff, as well as grand rounds, a tour and lunch. Unfortunately I had to head back home to work, early Friday morning, but Drew said the day went pretty well. He even stayed after his interview to help with a surgery/procedure. Below is a picture of Drew Friday morning before his interview (apparently I was too tired to notice that his eyes were barely open in the picture!)

And for those of you wondering about our mistakes....

The first was that I failed to rise and stand when shaking other people's hands. But in my defense, I was sitting close to the door so right as people came in they would stick out their hands and I couldn't stand up fast enough to shake their hands. So for the most part I was in between standing and sitting when I shook their hand. Clearly awkward.
And I realized my second blunder as the program director ripped his roll. Suddenly Kathi's post about manners and etiquette flashed through my head and I remembered "don't cut your bread.... tear it." But at that point it was far too late as I had already cut my roll in half and buttered it. I honestly don't think these errors were deal breakers but they were definitely blunders.

Now Drew's mistake I think came from being too relaxed. The first interview was at the location he is doing his third and final away rotation at. Which if I haven't said already I think is nice because he had been working with the program for several weeks now and already feels comfortable with the staff. And this is true. He definitely felt comfortable. So comfortable that when we were talking with just one of the residents (the attendings had already left), Drew was picking his fingers. I'm not sure anyone else noticed, but as his wife, it was driving me nuts! I was so embarrassed. But I do think it was because he was so relaxed. And because it was only the other candidates and one resident I don't think it is going to effect his chances with this program. And although I really, really wanted to elbow him, I refrained from doing so because I figured the only thing that would worse than him picking his fingers would be having his wife elbow him!
I did tell Drew after dinner and the poor guy was really embarrassed, but I figure I'm glad I was there to see it to make sure he doesn't do it again in any other interviews. Especially interviews in which he is meeting people for the first time!
So like I said I don't think our mistakes will be deal breakers, but they are worth noting so that we don't make them again, and to share with others so that you can avoid making them as well!

Finally, a piece of advice for those of you who are spouses: do not assume you cannot attend part of the interview process just because spouses/significant others aren't invited. At this first interview spouses were not explicitly invited. But since Drew felt comfortable with the staff he asked if I could come because I was in town. They welcomed the idea and were happy to meet me. We also have another interview next month that I am able to join him on and Drew emailed the program coordinator to let them know that I would be in town with him and that I would like to meet the staff and asked if I could attend the dinner. Again they said that would be fine. Personally I think it shows interest if you ask if a spouse can attend, and I figure the worst that can happen is that they say "no." And if a program is going to hold it against us that I am active in the interview process then that is not a program I want to be at. A lot of it will depend on your comfort level, but I would definitely encourage you to at least inquire about attending the dinner or reception.

Cost of Interview #1
Transportation = 1 tank of gas for me (approx $35.00)
Hotel = free
Other expenses = none
TOTAL = $35.00*
*This will probably be our (by far) cheapest interview!

Stay away from Worldwide Knives (

My brother-in-law purchased a knife through this company on September 2, 2009. After giving them the run around for nearly two months my sister and her husband asked for my help. We tried to file a complaint with paypal but because the transaction was over 45 days old paypal cannot help (which I believe they intentionally kept telling my brother-in -law that 1) the knife was out of stock 2) it was in the mail 3) a refund was in the mail, to delay, delay, delay).
This was the EXACT response my brother-in-law got in his email today:

"You can see that Pay Pal has no time for your whiney little problems like I said I will give it one more week and then I will send you Priority Mail hope your home to sign for it or your loss. You may read the attached letter from Pay Pal this is between us. " (- Chris Glickman of

WHINEY - Yes he really just called my brother-in-law whiney for not receiving his product (or a refund) in which he ordered on September 2, 2009. Note that it is October 25, 2009. Do you think that is whiney?
I think it is POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE OR A SCAM! Stay away from this company and its RUDE RUDE employee or owner Chris Glickman.

EDITED TO ADD September 2010 - please do not mistake with I have no reason to believe is anything but reputable. So just stay away from .NET!

Costs of Applying to Residency/Interviews

I plan on keeping track of the costs associated with applying to residency. I will keep an accumulating total of costs over in the right hand column of my blog.

The first cost associated with applying is the cost of submitting applications through ERAS.
We submitted applications to 42 programs at a total cost of $655.00.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wish Us Luck!

Tonight/tomorrow is Drew's FIRST residency interview! I'm heading there this afternoon so that I can join for this evenings dinner. I'm hoping I don't say anything silly/stupid!
If your wondering how Drew is doing an interview while he is still on his Third Away Rotation it is because it is at that program. It makes it particularly convenient because 1) it saves him an extra trip there and 2) I think it will be "easier"/less nerve wracking for Drew to have his first interview at a program with which he rotated (since he is already comfortable with the staff).
I'm both nervous and excited! Say or prayer or send us good luck!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prayer Requests update

If you have a moment please check out my prayer requests in the right hand column. A few of the new requests are for my best friend's mother Linda who recently suffered a stroke last night. A family friend, Lana is undergoing treatment for cancer. And Joe is young man who was recently diagnosed with leukemia and will be undergoing some very serious treatment. Thank you and God Bless.

We are going to be fine.

Just fine. I realized this today as I was driving home from my weekend visit to see Drew. As we are currently five months out from Match day - the day that we will find out what and where we will be going/staying for the next 6-9 years. And six to nine years is a serious amount of time. This whole process is a big one, because I will have to live with whatever it brings. But after spending this weekend with Drew at Away Rotation #3, it made me realize that home, will be home because I am with Drew. And although I may have a hard time with the future, and I may have adjustment issues and I may have meltdowns in the process; I will adjust. And we will be okay. Spending this weekend in the new town with Drew, there were moments when I could see myself living in that town, and being happy. And I know that it is not the only place I will be able to be happy. Each town and city will have things that make it feel like home. And most importantly, wherever I go, will be with Drew, and that alone will make everything okay. It made me realize that I just have to continue to have faith in God. And he will take care of us. And we will be just fine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crazy busy

Work is keeping me quite busy this week. I have two new clients who have rather pressing matters as well as a number of other deadlines. So unfortunately I don't have time to update on my amazing weekend and show you some of the great pictures I took of my wonderful nephews. But I suppose it is good to be busy.
Right now we have 9 and a half weeks down and 2 and a half weeks left to go (as far as Drew being gone on away rotations.) I am also looking forward to visiting Drew this weekend. He went in on both Saturday and Sunday last weekend and is planning on at least one day off this weekend off. Believe it or not, last week they told Drew "You know you don't have to come in on the weekends." I almost fell over at this comment. But then again it isn't that surprising considering how laid back this program seems to be.
And that's all I've got time for right now. I'm trying to get to bed early because almost everyone at my office has been sick this week and the last so I am trying to remain one of the few healthy ones!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Odds and Ends

This week has gone pretty well, we've had a few more interview invitations come in, putting us in the double digits. So far it looks like 40 of the 99 Neurosurgery programs are offering interviews. Based on looking at the list of programs that have offered interviews so far (not the most reliable source - a chat board) more than half the programs we applied to still haven't extended invitations. Although we think that this week is the start of things picking up. Most programs have interviews in November (if not earlier) so they need to start extending invitations so that people can plan to attend. As for right now we aren't getting our hopes up but we aren't worried either. The one thing we are realizing is that this is going to be a very expensive process. We knew it before but I guess it is finally becoming a realization. I'm thinking we may have to borrow some additionally money because the scheduling is not going as well as planned. For example Drew may have to take more than one trip to some states like Texas that have several programs. But at least that means we are getting interviews, I suppose we'll keep accepting them and figure out how we are going to pay for them later.

So far Drew seems to be enjoying his second away rotation, although I really haven't spoken with him much since he got off early on Tuesday. He worked yesterday until a little after eight, and by the time he got home he ate and went to bed. At this rotation Drew is staying with one of his friends from college. His friends house is about 20 minutes from the hospital so he does have a short commute. Although it is no longer than his commute at his first two away rotations, he does not have public transportation here. This worries me a bit because I know how sleep deprived he was the past two months. But Drew has assured me he will just stay at the hospital or take a cab if he every feels too tired to drive.

This weekend I am heading home to my parents house. I will have a weekend packed: of seeing an old friend I haven't seen in a while and meeting her new baby, seeing my Goddaughter (and her parents), possibly seeing a law school friend, and going apple picking with my sisters and nephews. My Martha-Stewart-sister has plans to make all kinds of candied applies and apple desserts! And I am also looking forward to taking lots of pictures with my new camera, so you'll get to see those next week. Wishing you all a wonderful fall weekend!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dr. McDreamy

So I did finally hear from Drew a little after ten last night. Turns out he was taking call. He seemed okay with it even though he wasn't exactly prepared for it. And although he didn't have his toothbrush he did have some of those new Colgate wisps on him. He said that he did get some time in the O.R. both yesterday and today.
Drew said everyone seems friendly and he feels comfortable there already. So far from just from my perceptions of yesterday and today this program is a little different from his last two away rotations. It seems a little more laid back and less intense. For example he usually stayed until at least 6 or 7 p.m. when he was post call at the first two programs. Today when he was post call people kept asking him "What are you still doing here?" Since they were encouraging him to leave Drew decided to leave at little before 2 p.m! He figured he would take advantage of the free time to work out and get some rest since there wasn't anything exciting going on in the O.R.
Another thing is that he actually got four and a half hours of sleep last night which is more than he is used to from the other two rotations.
Oh and get this... they gave him food vouchers for the cafeteria! How awesome is that! I'm very excited about this since a large chunk of our most recent credit card statement can be attributed to chicken caesar wraps from away rotation #2. I've already told Drew that I expect him to at least try and not spend much more than the food vouchers he was given. After all he still has quite a bit of food, snacks and granola bars that I bought for him.
And in case you are wondering about the title of this post... I have a little story. Early this morning while Drew was going to get some coffee he passed a few young women standing in the hall (what they were doing there at such early hours he doesn't know) but after he passed them he overheard them say "ooooh, Dr. McDreamy....." Drew told me this story to remind me how lucky I am. So just so you all know, apparently I am married to (sigh/swoon) "Dr. McDreamy" Oh man as if I don't have a hard enough time humbling him already!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Away Rotation #3

It's 10:00 p.m. and I still haven't heard from Drew (other than 1 text message) today. At his last two away rotations he may have had long nights, but his first day was usually a short one. So I am a bit surprised that he is still working!
I'm sure he doesn't mind though - he is actually probably happy about it. Drew doesn't have much tolerance for administrative tasks and usually that is what the majority of the first day involves. So being that he isn't off yet I imagine he is in the O.R. and glad to already be getting his hands dirty.
I'm not going to stay up because who knows how late he'll be, so I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about his first day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'm back!

(to blogging that is).... but my husband is gone.

We had a wonderful week at home together. Drew hadn't been back to Springfield in two months, so he was happy to be at home (and I was happy to have him home!) He said that although he felt comfortable at his sister's place it wasn't "home." So this week he finally got to relax and feel at home. He got plenty of rest and also was a great help around the apartment. In the last few weeks I had allowed our apartment to become a complete mess, so it was in need of a thorough cleaning. And even though he didn't help create the mess he was a doll and helped me clean it up.
While he was home for the week I wanted more than anything to stay home and relax with him all day, but unfortunately I had to be a grown-up and do that "working" thing. In order to spend as much time together as possible Drew came to work everyday and picked me up and took me out to lunch. Although it wasn't in the budget, we were able to use gift certificates most of the days, and we considered it a worth while splurge.
It was simply wonderful to come home to my sweetheart everyday, and to roll over and see his precious face every morning when my alarm went off.
But this afternoon he left again for Away Rotation #3. Although I am going to miss him over the next four weeks, I will be able to visit him and this time there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When he left for his first away rotation, the thought of him being gone for three months seemed so long, and so daunting. Right now with eight weeks apart under our belt, four weeks seems like nothing. I'm hoping it will fly by.
As far as the residency application process, things are moving along. We have heard from 9 programs so far and have 8 interview offers and 1 rejection. Although eight seems like a large number, for neurosurgery it isn't. With a 60% match rate we are hoping for at least 18 interviews in order to better increase Drew's chances of matching.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two. More. Days.

Until I get seven, yes seven, consecutive days under the same roof as my husband! I can't wait!

Thursday morning I have my ultrasound. No. I'm not pregnant. But with all my stomach troubles lately my doctor just wants to make sure its not my gall bladder. I just have to remember not to eat in the morning. I have been so flightly lately that I have been forgetting everything. For example I actually had the ultra sound scheduled for Tuesday and I completely forgot. Ooops! So hopefully tomorrow morning I won't eat without thinking... that could be problematic. I am hoping by writing about it now it will help me remember.
Then Thursday night I am picking up Kaiden from his Grandparent's (out of town) and watching him for the night so that his Mommy and Daddy can see him as soon as they get home from their vacation Friday (rather than driving to pick him up.) His mommy doesn't know it but Kaiden will be subject to my very first photo shoot. That is if he cooperates! He is usually such a happy baby, so as long as he doesn't mind I hope to play around with my new camera and take some pictures of the cutie!
Nothing planned for Friday (other than working out and packing). And Saturday. Saturday, I am heading up to see my love! I am meeting him, his sister, and my parents at his parents house and we are all going out to dinner. And then Sunday I am bringing my darling back home to Springfield. He hasn't been back here in 8 weeks. So I may be MIA next week so that I can spend every free moment with my sweet heart. I. Can't. Wait!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My weekend

Friday night I drove up to my parents house and got to spend some time with my parents, my sister and sweet little Gaston.

He kept sneaking into "Papa Lou's office" to try and play with the computer and Papa Lou!

Saturday afternoon I headed to my (college) friend Jessie's house. I got to spend the afternoon and evening with Abbie, Jessie, their husbands and little Campbell Grace. Isn't she beautiful?
Abbie and Jessie are two of my best college friends and we only get to see each other a few times a year so it was great to catch up.

Saturday afternoon Drew was post call and he decided to take Sunday off since he has not taken a single day off at this second away rotation. Drew took the train out to my parents so we were able to spend Sunday with my parents, sisters and my neighbors.

I have been researching SLRs (digital cameras) for about six months now and while I was hanging out with Abbie she informed me that Nikon D40s were on clearance at Target. I had been originally looking at Canons but they are significantly more expensive and after talking to Conrad (Abbie's husband) I realized that as an amateur photographer I wouldn't be able to notice/appreciate the additional features (of the Canon I was looking at).

Sunday morning I started calling around to all the local Targets. They had one Nikon D40 several towns over. So Drew and I hopped in the car to go buy it. When I got there I saw that they also had a package deal in which an extra (55-200mm) lens was only $80 more - this lens is $200 when sold separately. Unfortunately the Target we were at did not have the package deal in stock. The Target we were at told us that another store 15 miles away had it in stock. We drove there only to find out they didn't. Luckily they called a third store and had them confirm that they did in fact have the package deal in stock. Finally after driving around 30 miles we found the package deal and purchased it. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to me! Although the camera wasn't exactly in the budget it was such a good deal we couldn't pass it up. The package deal was $499 (for the Nikon D40; 5-55mm lens; 55-200mm lens; camera case and 2GB memory card). It would have cost me nearly a thousand dollars to get the canon camera and two lenses.

(Below is a picture with the new camera - compare the lighting and clarity to the photos above).
After playing with it, I must say I am very happy with my big purchase. Below are some of the photos I took on my walk tonight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My precious nephew Gaston is now 18 months old and isn't walking. He was a little slow with the whole crawling thing but is otherwise developmentally normal (actually advanced for his speech) so we weren't worried. Although my sister has been wondering when he was going to start walking. For the past month or two the little cutie has been pulling himself up and moving from one piece of furniture to another and would walk with the help of holding someone's hand. He hasn't been able to walk on his own though... or so we thought.
On Friday we let him play with my mom's little vacuum (it was a shark or dust buster) and he seemed to be able to walk while pushing it. We also noticed that he could stand still and lift it up (without holding on to anything).
So Saturday morning my Dad tried a little experiment with Gaston. Here it is documented on tape.....

Turns out the little stinker can walk (he just has been too stubborn to try/learn). Also notice how he realizes that we are tricking him into walking!
I hope to post more about my wonderful weekend tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So these last few days/weeks have been rough. So tonight I thought I would bring back Thankful Thursday... because I do have a lot to be thankful for:
  • My family and friends are in good health
  • Tomorrow night I get to see my precious frenchy nephew who I haven't seen in several months, and he is now talking up a storm (both french and english) and I cannot wait to hear him babble!
  • This weekend I get to see two of my best friends from college and their hubbies (and one very precious little baby girl!)
  • So far Drew has gotten 5 interviews and only 1 rejection
  • Only 8 more days then I will get A FULL WEEK with Drew (before he heads to his third and final away rotation)
  • My wonderful Mom - she took a list of all 42 programs and the potential interview dates and is trying to make a calendar so that we can maximize the number of interviews we are offered (if we are given a choice of dates).
  • My great job
  • 8 more days.... that seriously needs to be mentioned twice

Thank you all for all your support, encouragement and prayers, it means so much!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My shelf

Do you have a shelf, box, case, or bookshelf where you put things that are important to you? I do. I have a shelf that I put my most precious items on. In fact they go in a box, and I tie that box with a bow, and then I put them on the shelf. This shelf is very important in my life and it is necessary for my sanity. I know that my most precious items are safe when they are on that shelf. But I have some what of a problem. I take my stuff off the shelf and take them out of the box and I lose them (and my head).
This has been a big issue lately. Our future is one of those precious things that belongs in the box. With all of this applying to residency programs my mind has been consumed with the match process. Its something that I have no control over. But I cannot control myself, my mind is constantly drifting to the what-ifs of our future. And all this worrying has led to no good. I have had stomach problems in the past but they seem to have resurfaced. But part of me believes they are somewhat self-inflicted (or worsened) by the fact that I have become consumed by this whole process. But as I've already said, it is all out of my control. And it is no use worrying over things that may never happen. So tonight I am again putting all my worries, and thoughts about our future back in that precious box. I am tying it with a bow. And then I am placing it up on that high shelf. On that shelf it is in God's hands. I will let go, and trust in Him. All things are safe in His hands.
It is only a matter of time before I take it off the shelf again, but I suppose that is only part of being human. Thank goodness I have family and friends to constantly remind me to refocus, reevaluate, re-anchor and put the box where it belongs. On my shelf. Because I don't have control. And worrying won't help me gain any control.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two more!

Drew was offered another interview invitation today. For family and friends who would like to know where, please email me and I will send you an invitation to view our Private Match Blog.

So far we have three interviews scheduled, but I've heard that there are a total of 7 programs offering interviews right now (6 of which we applied to) ... hopefully this is only the beginning of the interview offers because based on statistics we need to interview at at least 15 programs to have a change at matching!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Days 8 and 9

As Monday was Labor Day, the hospital did rounds later at 7 a.m. like they do on Saturdays (and possibly Sundays?) - this meant Drew got to "sleep in." He got there a little after six, and being that there were no surgeries there wasn't much to do. Much to my surprise he was done by 1:30 p.m. allowing for an afternoon off for Drew. He took some time to go running - something he hasn't had much time to do - and get to bed early.
Day 8 = 7 hours

On Tuesday the hospital resumed their 6 a.m. rounds. As far as I know Drew got to see a few surgeries and was off by 6:30 p.m.
Day 9 = 13 hours

Unfortunately I haven't had much time to ask Drew what he is doing or what types of surgeries he has seen. Most of the time we talk our conversations are brief and have been limited to "how is your day going" and talking about bills and or his ERAS application. Hopefully I can find out more about this program and give you slightly more interesting posts next week. For an update on yesterday's vent see below.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My "S" List

Is short. And right now, Drew's school is on it.

Last week Drew submitted his portion of his residency application through ERAS. There are various parts of this application. These parts include:
  • Photo of applicant
  • Profile
  • CAF (which I think stands for "Candidate Application Form")
  • Personal statement
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript (test scores)
  • MSPE ("Medical Student's Performance Evaluation" aka Dean's letter)
  • School transcript

As the student Drew is responsible for the profile, the CAF, and personal statement. The USMLE transcript is uploaded by the USMLE and the remaining parts of the application must be uploaded by the applicant's school. So far Drew's school has only uploaded one of his four letters of recommendation... nothing else. Granted they cannot upload the letters they don't have (and they may not have all four yet) and none of the schools can upload the MSPE until October, but they still should be able to upload his transcript, his photo and his school transcript! Neurosurgery used to be part of early match (meaning match occurred in January rather March and therefore everything happened much earlier), and many of the schools are still on an early schedule. Four programs have already started offering interviews (we applied to three of those, but have only heard from one). And, I know I am being a little neurotic, considering it is only September 8th, but I know part of me is a little justified considering that I have spoken to people at other programs where their schools have submitted all the the parts to their application. Drew emailed the school last week to see if there is anything we could do to get them to upload the necessary parts and we still haven't heard back.

Okay, and that is only the half of it.

Today, I got home from work and went to check the mail. What do I find? A letter from a collection agency. Saying that we owe over $300 dollars for Drew's medical bills. I find this pretty interesting considering that we haven't even gotten a single bill, prior to this collection agency notice. Back in June when Drew was on his away rotation we did get a notice saying that he needed to fill out a claim form for insurance coverage and while he did not do it on time initially (because he was gone) he did call the school, filled out the form and got it cleared up. Or so we thought. When he had spoken to the person from student insurance they said that we would receive a bill for whatever wasn't covered by insurance. But, no bill ever came. Just a notice from collections today. And from what I understand, I don't think medical companies are allowed to even submit a bill to collections if insurance is still pending. So needless to say the collection agency is going to get a nice response "disputing the debt in writing" as the letter requests. And Drew's school and/or the hospital where the medical bill came from may also be getting an earful tomorrow!

Update as of September 9, 2009 - a friend of Drew's told us that student transcripts are not scheduled to be uploaded until mid-October so that the school can add elective grades but that if he wanted we could request to have it uploaded sooner. Drew emailed the appropriate person and his school transcript was uploaded by this afternoon!

In reference to the medical bill I drafted a letter to the collection agency (and cc'd the medical center and student insurance) letting them know that we never received a bill or a notice of coverage or denial of coverage.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sub-Internship II - Week 1

So last Monday Drew started his second sub-Internship. He has a much longer commute for this one, and has already expressed the importance of living close to the hospital once we are in residency. His current commute is about 45 minutes (even at 4:30 a.m.) which means he wakes up at 3:30 every morning!
On his first day he didn't start until 8:00 a.m. and was done by 5:00 p.m.
Day 1 = 9 hours
A big difference between this sub-Internship and his sub-Internship last month is that he does not see patients prior to rounds in the morning. As I explained in a post last month, at the last program he was assigned to several patients and went to see them each morning (by himself) and then went with the residents and chiefs to see the patients and he would explain the status of the patients he saw. Well at this program he doesn't see any of his patients on his own. He simply does rounds with the residents. Since he doesn't have to see patients prior to rounds his day technically starts a little later with rounds at 6:00 a.m. (At the last program he tried to arrive by at least 5:00 a.m. so that he was done seeing his patients prior to rounds at 5:45 a.m.). Although Drew doesn't have to be there prior to rounds, he said that he has still been arriving closer to 5:00 or 5:15 a.m. so that he can see if the residents need any help with anything. On Tuesday Drew was done by 8:30 p.m.
Day 2 = 15.5 hours
On Wednesday, Drew took call so he was at the hospital until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night.
Days 3 and 4 = 39.5 hours
On Friday Drew was done by 7:30 p.m.
Day 5 = 14.5 hours
On Saturday, rounds are later (7:00 a.m.) and that night Drew took call. Fortunately, it was a very quiet night and Drew had time to work on a case report that he is putting together for a doctor from his last sub-Intership and he even had time to get plenty of sleep. He was done by 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Days 6 and 7 = 28.5
The pace is a little different at this second program, and it is a little more laid back. Drew seems to really like the residents at this second program as well. He is also working with two other medical students on this rotation. Both of them are women - which are fairly rare among neurosurgery (I want to say that more than 90% of neurosurgeons are male). One of the women was on her fourth week last week, but the other woman started at the same time as Drew and will be there for the same four weeks. He seems to get along with both of them pretty well. Thank goodness these women (like the student he worked with at the last program) seem to be serious, but not so competitive that they would throw Drew under the bus. Some medical students (and even residents) are trying to make such a good impression that they are willing (or even hoping) to burn the competition in the process.
This first week Drew didn't get to do too much (mostly observed) but we'll see if that changes at all being that he didn't do much his first week last month either.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Interview Invitation!

I could hardly believe it when my phone started buzzing and ringing today. I looked to Drew's email and it said that he had an email from ERAS. My hands were shaking as I went to check the email and try to reply and accept the invitation!
Although we were hoping for an interview from this program (because Drew is doing a sub-I there next month) we were not expecting an invitation already. I replied to the program coordinator and asked if it would be possible to interview during his sub-Internship - and if not his first choice would be to interview in November. I got a prompt response letting me know that he could interview in October while he was there. Although Drew has housing while he is there they still offered to book him a hotel - this program is one of the few that actually arranges and pays for your hotel accommodations!
I should also explain that I have Drew's school email forwarded to my phone so that I can respond to any interview invitations. This is because with his sub-Is this month and next month he will most likely be in surgery when the invitations come in via email. Some programs send out (for example) 15 invites when they really only have 10 time slots. This means that only the first ten to respond will actually get the interview.
Luckily neurosurgery is one of the more organized programs and 95% of the programs have actually posted their interview dates (this is not the case with all specialties). With this information I used Google Calendar to enter all of the potential interview dates... then we will use the calendar to try and schedule the interviews as they come in. Right now many of the interviews conflict with each other but I imagine things will manage to work out as we would be lucky to be invited to half the programs we applied to; therefore I imagine by process of elimination it will be pretty easy to schedule interviews.
I hope this is just the first of many more interview invitations... but we'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Brief Update

Okay this will have to be brief because I am tired and would like to get some rest but its been a while so I thought I would try and update.

Last week Drew finished up the last week of his first sub-Inter ship. It was pretty similar to his third week other than the fact that he was done on Friday at 4:00p.m.

Since he was in between sub-Is, I went to visit him this weekend and we finalized his personal statement and worked on the application. (I will update about the weekend later). Overall I feel really good about his personal statement. I owe that mostly to the help of another surgeon's wife who has been an absolute angel - she has given us so much advice! I cannot even imagine how much more difficult this process would have been without her words of experience and help.

The way residency applications work is that you submit all your information (personal info, experience, letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores, personal statement etc.) through ERAS and they submit your application to the programs you wish to apply to. Yesterday was September 1st; the first day to submit your application (you have ERAS send it to the programs). Although most program applications are not due until October 1 or November 1, but with more competitive programs (ENT, radiology, derm, plastics, neurosurgery) it is very important to submit your application as soon as possible. So yesterday we did It. We submitted over 40 applications to programs in the following states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Florida, Texas, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, District of Columbia, and Kentucky. The number of programs is so high because 1) most programs only accept 1-2 residents a year and 2) neurosurgery has a 60% match rate. For now I am just going to sit back and wait to see if interview invitations start rolling in, in the next few weeks/months.

I'll try to update on Drew's second sub-Internship later this week!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crazy Mess

Tomorrow is the first day you can submit residency applications... and for competitive purposes it is kind of important that we get our application in. Unfortunately it is 10:00 p.m. and now I am beginning to question every word and phrase on his application. Gosh this is nervewracking! I am a giant ball of nerves... lets hope I can get some sleep tonight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I've Been Up To

It is hard to believe that we are already in the fourth (and final week) of sub-internship #1. Although it has been difficult it has already gone by pretty quickly. I think that part of that can be attributed to the fact that I have been keeping myself quite busy. I've been taking more time for work, and working out and have also been baking and doing a bit of organizing. These things seem to keep me busy every week night and surprisingly, I have been so busy that I've even been up past my usual bedtime most nights! Two weeks ago I made this delicious and healthy Zucchini Spice Cake but I must admit mine didn't look as pretty as Gina's!

And I think maybe I added too much vanilla because my frosting was a little runny.

Although it didn't look picture perfect I still think it was a DELICIOUS spice cake! Last week I made a nectarine and blueberry crisp. I will try and post the recipe in the future.

Some less fun things I've done are: killed a few bugs (gross I know!); taken out the trash; and I tried my hand at ironing (all ordinarily "husband jobs."). Although I am managing while Drew is gone he will definitely resume these duties upon his return. I am absolutely horrible at ironing. I often make more wrinkles than I iron out! Unfortunately, pant suits look funny without that pleat in the front, but for now I am just trying my best until my master iron-er returns! (Seriously, he unusually, fabulous at ironing!)

I still haven't mastered the whole sleeping alone thing though. I am still falling asleep on the couch and then moving to the bed when I wake up in the middle of the night. This is something I really need to get past. But it won't be tonight. Maybe next week?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 3, Days 18-21

Thursday night Drew was on call, and I am not sure how much sleep he got, but he did get off by 5:00 p.m on Friday.
Days 18-19 = 36 hours
With getting out early Friday and having Saturday off, Drew was able to go out with his sister and some friends Friday night. I think this was a well deserved break for him. Saturday he went running, and did some research for his presentation.
Day 20 = Off
Then today (Sunday) Drew returned to the hospital for a relatively light day. He started at 5:00 a.m. and was done by 3:30 p.m. This allowed him plenty of time to finish up the finishing touches on his presentation tomorrow.
Day 21 = 10.5 hours
Overall - a pretty light week!
Unfortunately I don't have much to report - other than that Drew said there was someone famous at the hospital this week. Drew didn't see the person but he saw the patient's name some where.
This upcoming week is Drew's final week at this hospital. Then it is on to rotation #2!
It is also hard to believe that August is coming to a close! September 1, marks the first day of submitting residency application!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Week 3, Days 15-17

Drew is officially half way through his third week. On Monday he got to go to clinic with the head of the neurosurgery department. This was the first time he got to spend an extensive period of time with the chair. Drew really likes him. He described him as hard on his residents but also their biggest advocate. There tends to be somewhat of a stereotype with neurosurgeons that they are odd, antisocial, arrogant and difficult to talk to, but the chair at this program is none of these things. He is both brilliant but down to earth and easy to talk to. Drew got along with him really well and learned a lot while working with him.
Drew was on call Monday night and got about an hour of sleep. On Tuesday he got to scrub in with the chair on a surgery with a patient that he had seen in clinic on Monday. Again I don't know what the surgery was, but it was supposedly a "really cool case" and Drew really enjoyed it. Drew was done on Tuesday by 7:00 p.m.. We tried to talk when he was done for the day but as soon as he got home he wanted to eat, and as soon as he ate, he wanted to head to bed.
Days 15-16 = 38 hours
Today (Wednesday) Drew was in clinic again. He was done by 7:00 p.m. again tonight but because he wasn't on call last night he had quite a bit more energy. We were actually able to talk for a little while and he seems to finally be really enjoying himself. He enjoyed it before, but was a little too disoriented to be excited about the surgeries he was seeing. We both think that his next two away rotations are going to be much easier because he won't have an adjustment period and will be able to jump right in tot he crazy hours! Its hard to believe he only has a week and a half left at this program!
Day 17 = 14 hours

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My weekend in Pictures

Saturday morning my Mom and I headed over to my Aunts house where I got to see my cousins and their two little cuties. (Here is Sophie).
And I got to meet baby Connor for the first time!
Then we picked Drew up from the train. And headed to my hometown favorite, "The Freeze" so that Drew could get a well deserved cotton candy blizzard
Drew and I then took a nap (he was on call the night before). And we headed out to a late dinner with my wonderful parents. I also figured out how to use the timer on my camera, which allowed for this picture to be taken....
On Sunday our friends (Elizabeth and the Craigens) came over. Here is a picture of my beautiful Goddaughter (just after she had fallen asleep in my arms!)

It was a wonderful weekend filled with just a few of my favorite people!

Life is good!