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.