Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We have a visitor tonight...

Isn't he cute? I think he looks like a cabbage patch kid. He is staying the night tonight while his Mommy gets some rest. She is a single mother for another month until her husband gets home from Afghanistan. Okay, I have to get back to snuggling this cutie!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Being apart

As I mentioned yesterday, Drew and I had been living apart for the past four weeks. Now it wasn't something that I particularly enjoyed, I realize that it was a good experience for us. It made me realize a few things, and also reminded me very much of before we were married when we would live for the weekends, to be together.
The first week apart I must admit I had a hard time adjusting. First of all he was gone and I missed him. Second of all, almost every time I called he was busy and he needed to call me back. I took this personally and would get really annoyed and almost angry. (I don't think he realized this). It took me a few days to realize that it was not his fault that he was in the middle of something when I called, and that it wasn't going to always work out that we were available to talk at the same time. Once I got over that I was able to enjoy our short phone calls rather than be resentful that he didn't pick up the phone the first time I called.
It was also an adjustment because I had expected we would talk on the phone for longer periods when we did. But I think we are both out of the habit of long phone conversations. For the most part we had quick conversations that were short and sweet, exchanging casualties,the "I love yous," and that was it. (I also think that my train of thought is so random and sporadic that when I actually spoke to him I forgot if there was anything important to say.) It sounds terrible, but we really hardly connected during the week. But then on the weekends when we saw each other we found ourselves talking non-stop filling each other in about our everyday details and the mundane stuff that just seemed silly to talk about over the phone. We also found ourselves really appreciating each other's company on the weekends. The time apart made me really focus on giving him all my attention when we were actually together. (For example I tried not to blog or facebook on the weekends).
I'm going to try and take these things and put them in my memory bank for when he has his away rotations later this year, and for when he starts residency next year. Realistically I know these four weeks were nothing (we saw each other every weekend), and that there will be times next year when I will be lucky to see him (awake) a few days a month (even though we will be living under the same roof). So, I think it is important to remember these feelings I have now and realize that I can either be resentful about the time apart or the inconvenience of it, or I can choose to consciously make an effort to appreciate and make the most of the time we do have together.
I do realize I will likely still have hard weeks and months (or even years) during residency, but for now I am going to remember how much I missed my husband the past four weeks. I seriously am treasuring every moment I have with him, and it has reminded me just how much I love him and spending every moment with him (and its also nice to have him back because he is quite the grill master and irons all my clothes) ;)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Perfect weekend

Drew came home Friday. He's been gone the past few weeks on his family medicine rotation. At his school they like you to return to your home town to do family medicine. Surprisingly the four weeks went by fast, it also helped that we were able to see each other every weekend. I had been looking forward to staying home this weekend, and was not disappointed. I think this is only the second weekend we've been home since March, and we really needed it. As much as I love seeing family and friends, the constant travel can be exhausting.
Saturday morning we woke up, had breakfast, and headed to the pool (our first time this summer). We relaxed, Drew studied for his family medicine exams (which will be the next three days) and I got caught up on my magazines. After a few hours of baking in the sun we had lunch and headed out for errands. I know this sounds silly, but it felt so good, to have nothing to do, and no where to be. We got our library cards, and walked downtown and grabbed some ice cream at Del's. After running our errands we came back and parked ourselves on the couch. I napped while Drew watched the Cubs game. This is something we used to do all the time, when we first started dating, but we are often too busy to do now. I know it is lazy but I seriously loved those Saturday when he would watch the game and I would take a nap with my head in his lap. We had a relaxing dinner and just hung out for the rest of the night. Today was similar but I did get a few things done (cleaned, grocery shopped and went to church) and ended the evening with nice stroll outside. We walked through a relatively new subdivision and "oohed" and "ahhed" at the beautiful homes (and talked about how someday we would have a home of our own).
This weekend was so simple, yet so wonderful. I can honestly say I feel refreshed and (as ready as I will ever be) to return to work tomorrow. It is also fabulous to have my husband home. Oh, how I missed him!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Three for three

Drew got accepted to his third Sub-I rotation! We are very excited! Although I know it is going to be ridiculously time consuming and labor intense for Drew to do three straight months (well technically 12 out of 13 straight weeks) of away rotations, it will be a great opportunity for him. He will get some great experience and hopefully get a taste of what his next 6-8 years will be like. It will also give him the opportunity to make a good impression at these institutions and possibly make a name/reputation for himself.
I am a bit worried about the crazy long hours that he will be subjected to, but I also know that it is silly to worry because this is only for twelve weeks... and realistically he will have long and intense hours for many years to come. So he might as well get used to it now because he will have to adjust sooner or later! After all he wants to be a surgeon, and along with that comes a rigorous work schedule and long hours.
So tonight I am praising God for another piece of good news - and also praying that the next 10 months are filled with more answered prayers!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Since I am still a relatively new attorney and am still learning I still submit everything (big/important) to a partner for their review/feedback before I file it in court. Recently I have realized just how far I have come in the last year because most of my pleadings/briefs come back with only a few (if any) modifications and suggestions.
So last week I was working on one of my favorite cases and after the partner reviewed it he told me that I needed to omit the word "absurd." I had said something along the lines of "Respondent's argument is absurd." (And it is). Earl told me that I couldn't leave that in because it was a personal attack, and that I shouldn't stoop to the level of the other lawyer (he had earlier written something about my "in artful pleading." He did say that I could use illogical and contradictory - but absurd, was crossing the line. I omitted that adjective and didn't think about it again... until the next day, when I got opposing counsel's brief. After skimming through his brief I quickly noticed that he stated that my argument was "patently absurd." I had to laugh - and tell Earl - he insists that I am the better lawyer for being above it all. I have to agree that it is not my argument, but his argument that is absurd...but we'll let the Judge decide.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


So I was checking my email this morning when I found a very random email in my inbox. It was not my work email account but the email account I use associated with this blog - and this blog alone. And for those of you who use gmail you know that you get very little spam... so I can only assume that this person found my email through my blog. So I open this email from an unfamiliar person and the contents of the email were as follows:

Hi Marissa,
My name is Jane Doe. I am contacting you because it is likely you may need the services that my new personal assistant firm offers. Company Name is a local venture and we're launching this month! We can provide almost anything you can imagine, including:

  • Errand Running
  • Personal Shopping
  • Appointment Setting
  • Travel Arrangements
  • Booking Reservations
  • Event Planning
  • Household Management
  • Bookkeeping

Please visit our website for more information. www.somewebsite.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this email, I am certain you are very busy. We hope to hear from you and thank you for supporting our local business.
Jane Doe*

Sure I am busy. Sure I'd love a personal assistant. But come on. Ha ha! Seriously? I can barely afford to pay my rent, do you really think I'd be able to pay for someone to do my grocery shopping. Ha ha! I'm sorry but I find this particularly laughable. I checked out the business website for the heck of it and the business is certainly not local to me. So I could be wrong but I assume that the person who sent it did so because a) I am a lawyer and/or b) because I am married to a medical student. It so aggravates me when people assume we have money because of these things. The only thing we have are loans, and more loans. Lots of them. And although I am an attorney, I make an extremely modest salary which is enough to pay the rent, insurance, grocery bills and medical bills, and therefore it is enough (especially in this economy). Anyways, the email made me laugh...anyone else get a similar email?
*Names and information omitted because I refuse to promote a business that randomly emailed me

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Being an adult

There are certain things about being an adult that are uncomfortable, awkward or just not fun. For example wakes and funerals. Tonight I went to a wake (visitation) for one of my bosses' father-in-law. Death is always a hard thing but when your an adult you are forced to deal with it more often. As a child you don't have to really go to wakes or funerals unless it is someone your related to. When your an adult you are expected to go to these things for people you never knew. I totally understand that it is for the people that are left behind more than anything else, but it still doesn't make it an easy thing to do. Tonight I went solo and it was not something I was looking forward to - but it was something that I knew was "appropriate," and I wanted to do it to show support for my boss and his wonderful wife.

Going alone I had no one one to talk to or to ask what the proper thing to do was. For example I didn't know if I was supposed to go through the whole line or skip straight to my boss? And I had no idea what to say? I tried not to show my awkwardness and act normal as I introduced myself to about 10 family members before I finally got to my boss. And it's so hard, I am so new to "adult" things like this - I didn't know what to say other than "I'm Marissa, I work for Ed, I am so sorry for your family's loss..." It would have been nice to have Drew along, as it always is easier to do difficult or new things when he is by my side, but he wasn't able to join me. I guess I need to start getting used to doing some difficult things by myself as he isn't going to always be around (particularly in residency). And I know that doing things alone will only make me a stronger and better woman.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Residency Match

So my main experience with being married to a medical spouse is that for the most part, I had no idea what I was in for. Year by year it seems like I don't know whats going on until we get there. And as a planner, I hate not knowing what is going on. I spend much of my time trying to find out what happens next. For that reason I want to explain the whole "Match Process" for any of you MS1 or MS2 spouses out there who are curious as to how it works. I know I was always curious as to the process and my husbands answer was always, "just wait" or "we'll know when we have to do anything." I have also found that most people (who aren't married or related to a medical student) have no idea about the whole process that is involved in "matching" to your residency program. Therefore I am going to take this opportunity to describe the process (based on my understanding).*
The match process begins in July of a medical student's fourth and final year of school. This is when a fourth year gets a password to log-in to the match website. At this time medical students can start entering information into their application. Then in August (the 15th) a students applications can officially be sent to schools. The match website (www.NRMP.org is the main site but some programs use www.sfmatch.org, or www.auanet.org) sends or submits the applications out to the different programs (selected by the applicant). Then usually in October and November the programs send out invitations for interviews. Programs are selective in granting interviews and therefore if an applicant doesn't get an interview they are out of the running for a spot. Medical students can choose to accept or deny these interviews but if they deny an interview, it takes them out of the running. Interviews usually take place in November, December and early January. Interviews usually last at least one day. Often times they are two days; the first evening is a reception and the second day will include a tour and the actual interview. (Some programs invite spouses to the reception - which is a nice opportunity for them to visit the city and learn more about the program). The next step in the process is the rank list.
Starting in January every student will rank the programs they interviewed with. This is another step where an applicant can eliminate a program by not ranking them. At the end of February (the 24th at midnight next year) the rank lists are officially due and must be submitted. All programs will also submit a list ranking their candidates by order of preference. The match process is weighed in favor of the applicants in the sense that the match system will look at a student's list and look to their first pick, if their first pick has them ranked number one they match (or if their program takes six and they are ranked in the top six then they will match there). If a program has a student ranked number one but that student has them ranked five, the match process will first see if that student matches with their top four. This is why it is necessary for all applicants to make sure they rank their programs in order of their preference. All of the matching is done electronically or by computer and it tries to match students to their highest (or lowest if you are referring to numbers) ranked program. Hypothetically the more places a student ranks should increase their chances of matching. Many students will apply to programs across the country. Between the cost of applications, travel and hotels, many students will spend several thousands of dollars on this process. Usually your financial aid office can help you take out special loans to cover the additional expenses.
Then the third Monday in March (the 15th of 2010) students will receive an email informing them of whether or not that matched. Then that afternoon the match program will release what programs still have openings so that the students who did not initially match can "scramble match." This scrambling process happens in a matter of days and results in people matching at programs that they didn't apply to, interview with, or rank. Then later that week, on the third Thursday in March (the 18th of 2010) most schools will host a match day reception where all the students will gather with friends and family. At the reception all students will be handed an envelope which contains their future. They have no idea what it is going to say, it could include any of the umteen (however many) programs they rank. And that's it... nine months of applying, interviewing and worrying and you find out where you are going in an instant.

Residency Match Resources
For those of you who want to know more about residency programs, here is a great website: Freida Online Search . Here is another link of deadlines and dates for this years upcoming match.
*This is just my basic, informal, and lay-person's understanding of the process - do not rely on my statements or representations. Also the process will vary for medical students in the military and those applying for certain specialties such a urology.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fun weekend

This weekend was a lot of play and very little productiveness. On Friday I went out on the town to celebrate my friend Shannon’s thirtieth birthday. Although we’ve lived in Springfield for over a year and a half and I had yet to go out downtown. I found out that Springfield actually has quite the nightlife. We went to several bars each of which were unique and entertaining. I had more than my share of shots and martinis and definitely had a good time! Shannon is also the mother to a one-month-old incredibly adorable baby boy and her husband is currently serving in Afghanistan. Drew spent the night babysitting and hanging out with Shannon's little guy. This was the sight we came home to…
Drew and I stayed the night so that we (and I mean Drew) could get up with the baby during the night so that Shannon could actually sleep after a night of drinking. How great is my husband?
Saturday morning we headed to Peoria for a wedding of Drew’s college friend. It was another beautiful and fun wedding, and we spent another evening dancing the night away.
Then today we got to go to my favorite place ever… the Ice Cream Shack! It is a little place, kind of in the ghetto of Peoria, but it the best soft serve ice cream and blizzard combinations (smores, banana cookie, strawberry shortcake and more). I absolutely LOVE soft serve ice cream! When I went to school in Peoria I seriously went there multiple times a week even though it was at the complete opposite side of town as campus. And although I am a bit embarrassed to admit it, I often bought two treats... one for now and one to freeze for later!Today I was able to enjoy one of my favorites – a strawberry shortcake wizard! Mmmm!
Also, I know I haven't posted much on medical school lately I just haven't gotten around to it - I want to post about loans during residency and about the residency match process. So hopefully I can get to those this week.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Acceptance #2

Drew got his second acceptance to do a sub-I rotation! We are really excited because this is the one he applied to way back in March and we have been nervously waiting on a response! He will now have 2 differen four week sub-I/away rotations this fall. We are still waiting on a third program but they just started reviewing applications last week so we aren't getting nervous quite yet... and now that he has gotten accepted into two programs there is a little less pressure. I've been doing a little dance in my head all day because at work I don't think anyone really cares about these things...who thought I would get so excited to be apart from my husband?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It feels like yesterday

But its been two years of married bliss... I love being married to Drew. And my wedding was probably the happiest day of my life (so far) and being that I love pictures I am going to take this opportunity to share a few from our special day - June 2, 2007.
My handsome groom getting ready

My wonderful parents, I couldn't be more blessed!

A few of my favorite girls

And a few more of my best girls

Seeing each other for the first time

Outside the church (it was a beautiful day with just a single rain storm in the morning)

Julia and Jillian

The ceremony

Bridal party exiting
Leaving the church as a married couple

Happily Ever After