Sunday, May 31, 2009

Relaxing, productive weekend

This weekend was totally unusual in the fact that I had nothing scheduled. Nothing. Drew was out of town for a bachelor party (which he planned), and although I missed him I must say it was a quiet and relaxing weekend. I was able to get a lot of stuff done. A lot of stuff that I have simply neglected the past several months due to the busyness of our travel schedule.
I am embarrassed to admit but my desk has become one enormous pile. It is a rather big desk but you can not see the surface of it at all. It is at least six inches high filled with mail, papers, envelopes, bills, cards, coupons, gift certificates, notes, and anything else you can think of. While I was not able to accomplish the task of cleaning of my desk I was able to put a dent in it by starting to sort through some of the papers. I still have to sort through the rest and file all the important stuff, but at least I have the task started. I also got laundry done, dishes, read magazines, clipped coupons, took two long bike rides, laid out in the sun and did lots of bargain shopping.
Speaking of bargain shopping it has recently become kind of a game or challenge to me. I like to see how cheap I can get my grocery bill to be. I like to see how much I can get for as little as possible. I clip coupons from local mailers, and allyou magazine, follow Consumer Queen, read the local online ads and try to match up all the deals. Personally when I shop at Meijer or County Market I only buy the sale items or items that I cannot find at Wal-mart (and milk and salad because oddly enough they are cheaper there). But for all my odds and ends (or things that aren't on sale at the other two stores) I shop at Wal-Mart. I also tend to stock up on our favorite non-parishable items when they are on sale. This weekend I was particularly proud of my coupon use... I got a $35.00 item at Bed Bath and Beyond for $1.49. Then at Old Navy I got dress pants, a sweater, a yoga top, a tank top, a t-shirt, shorts for Drew, two baby onsies, and a baby sweater all for under $40.00! Even though I work, we still take out loans for Drew's school so I work very hard to pinch pennies.
Although I wouldn't want to spend all of my weekends like this (alone and without plans) it was a nice treat to be able to relax, and catch-up on things around here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well last week (Wed) I called opposing counsel and requested that they send me an electronic copy of their discovery requests. I wanted the document in electronic format so that I could type the answers in the document rather than having to retype the entire document. First of all when I called to make this request the attorney was out so I left a message with his support staff asking for someone to email it to me. Ya know, email, figuring that would be the easiest way to send me the document. So after I didn't get a call back for two days (Fri) I called again. So the assistant answering the phone sounded annoyed and was like "well I gave him the message." I was extremely nice and explained that we were closing in on a deadline and asked her if she could tell him I called again. Twenty minutes later I get a call back, same assistant. This time she tells me that the attorney is dictating (transcribing) a letter to me. Confused I try to explain that I was requesting an electronic version of the request but before I could get it out the woman interrupted me saying "I know what you requested! And I am telling you that he is dictating a letter." Surprised at this response I didn't know what to say so I just said, okay and thanked her for the message and hung up. A few minutes later I realized that if the attorney had to send me a letter to respond to my request I at least needed the letter faxed to me because if it was put in the mail I wouldn't get it till next week (today). So I decided to call back, knowing that I was going to further annoy the less than patient assistant. When I called back before I could even make my request she told me that the letter the attorney was dictating was just stating that he would be making me a disk with the document on it. Although I knew I'd have to wait for the disk to come in the mail I didn't feel like pushing it and just gave up on the idea of getting it emailed to me. So today in the mail came my disk. . . .

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
A three inch floppy disk! I was shocked. The attorney seriously sent me a document on a three inch hard floppy disk. Seriously? I mean computers don't even come with floppy disk drives anymore! I have to use a special attachment in order to read the freakin' thing because none of our office computers have a floppy disk drives! I've heard of attorneys not being in this century as far technology but seriously don't drag me into your timewarp!

Also today we found out that Drew got accepted to do a Sub-Internship for the program he applied to for October! We got the medical information to the the August program I talked about last week but still haven't heard anything from them or from the September program.
Last week Drew finished up Pediatrics and this week has marked the start of Family Medicine. It is his FINAL clerkship/rotation of third year! Only six more weeks and he will officially be a fourth year medical student!

Busy Memorial Day Weekend

So surprise, it was another very busy weekend of traveling! Friday we made the trip back to my parents place in Crystal Lake. With the holiday traffic and cops running radar everywhere we went the speed limit and made it back in four hours. Thank goodness we left in the afternoon because the ride was long. We got there in time to take a bike ride around the lake and then have dinner with my parents.
Saturday we had an early lunch with my J-Pops, it was great to see them. The kids were pretty quiet but it was still good to see their smiling faces. It was also particularly wonderful to see Jilly-bean (see prayer requests) doing so well. The little angel suffers from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. And while she is a little fighter and does her best to keep up with the other kids, sometimes the disease still drags her down. One of the most noticeable symptoms are her swollen knees and joints. Due to a modification in her meds little Jilly's joints were noticeably smaller - it was wonderful to see such a visible difference; just a little miracle in her progress. I can only hope that continued to prayers will allow her to one day grow out of her JRA.
Saturday evening we headed to Lake Zurich for my law school friend's wedding. It was beautiful, Pam was a stunning bride, I got to see Celia and Joe, and Drew and I did quite a bit of drinking and dancing. It was a pretty fun group considering we crammed twenty people in hotel's van by piling in and sitting on laps. (The newlyweds below).
Sunday morning Drew and I headed back to CL so that I could head to St. Charles for my cousin's baby shower. She is expecting little Connor Jacob in July. I had lots of fun holding and playing with my all of my cousin's little babies. (Below is Jacob)
Then once again Sunday morning Drew and I got in car to take my Mom to airport and then headed to Marseilles to spend the day with Drew's parents. After lunch we took his Grandma home by driving through Streator and also stopping at his Grandpa's grave (he was a WWII veteran) on the way. Then finally, we made it home to Springfield last night.
Although busy it was definitely a great weekend. And even though I don't enjoy all the traveling and driving I am still very thankful that we have so many wonderful people in our lives.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've posted a thankful Thursday, but I am particularly grumpy tonight so I figure it will be a good (hopefully mood changing) exercise. I could write a lengthy post of my frustrations, irritations, hurt feelings and whatever else, but that wouldn't be very constructive. Instead...
  • I am thankful that with the use of a budget we are able to make ends meet;
  • I am thankful that I have so many wonderful family and friends that keep us so busy traveling to see them;
  • I am thankful for the health of my family and friends;
  • I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day, a Friday, and will have three days filled with family and friends that love and support us.

Safe travels to everyone this Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Hotmail,

I really do not like your advertisements pertaining to losing weight in your belly or anywhere else for that matter. I am sick of seeing them every time I check my email. Is it really necessary to show fake "before" and "after" pictures of women in thongs? Seriously, it is quite disgusting and disturbing. And do you really think that consumers think that the two bodies ("before" and "after") are really the same people? I know you need advertising, but come on, these ads are quite absurd and repulsive!

Very truly yours,
Marissa Nicole

Poster Print Givaway!

From the narrows is hosting a 16x12 poster give-away between now and Sunday. Two lucky people will win a poster print from Check out her blog for entry details!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The weekend and other updates

Drew and I had a great weekend - it was fantastic to finally be in town, we were traveling the last three weekends and will be doing so again this weekend for a wedding and a baby shower! We got quite a bit done around the apartment - it needed a lot of cleaning, and we had lots of laundry to do since we have been too busy to get around to these things. I also had a chance to get some errands done. Saturday we even had time to take a bike ride on a local bike path down the the next little town (it was only three miles each way) and although it was quite chilly, we still had a nice ride. Sunday night Drew got a call from one of his med school buddies that they were one man short for their softball league and asked if he could sub. Although I was disappointed that I couldn't spend the evening with him I encouraged him to go because I know he won't have many opportunities to play softball this summer. His friend ended up pulling his shoulder out of his socket and Drew ended up getting hit not once, not twice but three times ... once in the arm and twice in the exact same spot on the side of his knee. Below is a picture of his knee when he came home last night - if you look closely you can see the marks from the stitching on the softball(s).
And here you can see how swollen it is here . . .
And here is a picture of his knee tonight... the swelling has gone down but now he has quite a bit of discoloration!
(Now that I have thoroughly grossed you out)
Drew is in his last week of peds, which means that he has a tests on Thursday and Friday. Next week he will start family medicine (his last clerkship/rotation of third year!) He also has three applications in to three different hospitals hoping to get away rotations or Sub-I's there. One of them emailed him last week to say that they were missing medical information but NOT to call them. He has emailed them twice with no response - this is extremely frustrating because the program is competitive so we want to get them the necessary information so that they can review his application as soon as possible! We're trying to be patient, but that is not particularly my strongsuit.
Also tonight Drew and I got to attend a reception honoring contributors to the innocence project at the governor's mansion. To briefly sum it up the mansion was amazing and the event was truly inspiring - they had two men there who had been wrongly convicted and had spent years incarcerated (and on death row) but were eventually exonerated by the work done by the various innocence project volunteers. I am quite proud to work for a firm that is so concerned with helping such noble causes (and is not just focused on making a dollar but also contributing to society).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Cub's fan quirks...

So recently I was in the car and listening to the radio when Journey's Don't Stop Believing came on. I turned it up and realized that I hadn't listened to this song in a long time. And then it occurred to me that it was because Drew refuses to listen to this song - so much so that it was on the "do not play list" at our wedding. For those of you who aren't from Chicago, that song is the "theme song" for Chicago White Sox and their 2005 World Series win (they came back from behind hence the "don't stop believing." So because my husband is a ridiculously bitter Cubs fan who hasn't seen his team win the World Series we cannot listen to the song of another Chicago team which has.
I've also mentioned Drew's insistence on purchasing Old Style beer during baseball season (since it is served at Wrigley) . . . well a few weeks ago we were listening to a game on the radio when Drew realized that he hadn't yet purchased his Old Style Beer. And since the Cubs were losing the game he had to go out and purchase some Old Style . . .

(The green on the can is supposed to be Wrigley's ivy).
And speaking of baseball does anyone else find it odd that baseball is the only sport in which the coaches (managers) wear the team uniform? And does anyone else find it odd? I just think it is totally weird to see a 60 year oldman in a baseball jersey with the pants, socks and all... In every other sport the coaches wear different outfits (basketball, hockey, football). And think of how silly it would look if those coaches wore the uniforms!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The first three weeks (of six total) of Peds were outpatient, which started at roughly eight or nine in the morning and ended as early as one or as late as five. Needless to say it was a pretty easy schedule and overall Drew enjoyed it. Right now Drew is in inpatient peds. Inpatient starts a 6:30 a.m. and usually goes to five p.m. The hours aren't bad but so far Drew has severely disliked this part of the rotation. This is because it has been very quiet so he spends the majority of his day in the student lounge. And since there are multiple medical students on this rotation they all have to alternate when a patient comes in. This means during the day he only gets every fourth patient or so. It also doesn't help that sometimes the residents forget to page them when a patient comes in. Drew has tried to still be somewhat productive by studying or doing something else during this time but it still provides for very long days since they go by so slowly.

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Attorney Training

Thanks to a relatively new Illinois Supreme Court Rule, all new attorneys are required to take a 16 hour course in "basic skills" within 12 months of becoming licensed. So being that I was sworn in last May this last weekend was my last opportunity to attend this mandatory class. Thursday night I traveled to Chicago so that I could attend Friday and Saturday's day long classes. The highlights of my two days in Chicago were the great restaurants and the nice hotel.
We stayed at hotel Monaco, and I had a beautiful view from my room.
Thursday night we went to Catch 35 for fish and Friday we went to Gene and Georgetti's for pasta and steak.
Friday and Saturday were painfully long. Eight hours of various subjects most which of were redundant of each other or of law school classes. People texted, emailed and flat out slept through the program. And then there were others that took word for word notes. Personally I think the ones that took elaborate notes were the ones that have opened up solo practice due to the terrible economy. Also at the class I ran into about ten of my law school classmates. Only about five or six of them had employment the the legal field. So while the program was painfully long and boring it did make me realize that I am so lucky to a) have a job and b) have a job I enjoy and c) have a job where I am learning a lot. The fact that I have learned a lot and the fact that I have good mentors in my firm was another reason I found the lectures so boring.... I knew most of the material and the stuff that was new to me wasn't particularly interesting or useful (it was in areas I am not practicing in right now). I think that the program was probably more useful to new lawyers that are the solo practice (that I already mentioned) or to those that don't have other attorneys they can go to with questions. I also figure that the information that I knew from law school, for those who didn't already know this stuff (from not learning it in law school) they aren't going to learn/understand it now from a two hour lecture on the subject.
This "New Attorney Training Program" is a perfect example of something that sounds good in theory or on paper (like much legislation). I mean it sounds like a good idea to give new attorneys classes in basic skills to help them as they start their careers. But in all practicality there are other elements that come into play that make it less than ideal. For example the ISBA that was putting on this program is trying to cut down on costs, and in order to do so the majority of the program was on video - which takes away some of the usefulness of the program. I mean lets be honest, it is easier to pay attention to live speakers for eight hours in one day then it is to watch eight hours of video tape. And then there are also those other elements that I already spoke about, like if people didn't learn it in law school they aren't going to learn it now.... Needless to say I want those sixteen hours of my life back. And seriously I think that if the members of the Supreme Court had to sit through 16 hours of lectures I think they might change their mind on this mandatory program...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Northwestern Residency Showcase

(Written by Marissa; edited by the medical student)
This past Saturday Northwestern hosted a "Residency Showcase" or informational about their residency program. I found the information online several weeks ago and had Drew RSVP because we figured it would be a good experience. Drew took the train into Chicago and then walked 1.7 miles along the lake to Northwestern's campus. The invitation said the dress code was "business casual" so Drew decided to wear a dress shirt and bring a tie. When he arrived he noticed most people were in ties so he ducked into a bathroom before he was spotted and put on his tie. Most of the other male students erred on the side of caution and had ties on and some even wore suits. The faculty however was a little closer to the dress code, Drew described an attending as wearing jeans with a sport coat.
The first forty-five minutes they broke up into two groups (of about 75) with two different panels. One was a panel of faculty and the other was a panel of residents. It was a question and answer session. Then the two groups switched and attended the other panel. After this there was a lunch or refreshments and all the programs were set up by table. Rather that getting something to eat right away Drew went straight to talk to staff. He met the chief resident and an attending. Drew said he found both of them to be very down to earth and easy to relate to. The attending even mentioned that he was looking forward to getting something to eat because he had been running around chasing his kids all day. They also talked about their hobbies and interests. I think Drew found this encouraging because it meant that while their jobs were a huge part of their lives it wasn't all of their lives - something that is important to us because while we know medicine is going to be a priority we still want to have a family. One of the two even mentioned that they have "no divorces," while I am sure he meant it somewhat jokingly it is actually somewhat comforting. One of them even spoke about how the road is tough and that there will even come a day where you want to flush your pager and throw in the towel, but he said that everyone goes through this and you get through it. I liked hearing this because I thought it was nice that they weren't negative but they also didn't sugar coat anything. Drew also observed that none of the residents or staff looked ragged or miserable. Although I am sure they work ridiculously long hours he said that they still seemed genuinely happy. This is something important because I think it can be an indication of the program. Residency is going to be hard anywhere but I think that some programs are going to make it more bearable.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baby fever

This weekend was another baby shower, this time for one of my best friends from elementary school (who also happens to be married to one of my best friends from college - I introduced them). Me and one of her other best friends and her mother hosted the shower, but living so far away I felt like I wasn't able to help much with the planning... so I demanded that I be in charge of making desserts. With the help of my Mom we were able to make quite the dessert spread. I think my favorite were the chocolate covered strawberries...
The decor was beautiful (but I can take no credit for it)

I made the usual baby shower pacifier candies....

And I had a lot of fun making this diaper cake (it was the first one I've made but I may make a how-to post next time I make one)

And my friend got lots of presents - she is all ready - all she needs now is little Olivia!
While I was at the shower Drew was at an informational meeting about Northwestern's residency program - I'll try and about that post tomorrow.