Monday, November 23, 2015

My Own Pre vs Post Wife Expectations

What I thought being a wife would be like:

Poetic Strength

With medical residency interviews in progress, I thought I would take time to reflect on the quotes that have resonated with me following my husband though the first years of orthopedic surgery residency. I wish I could say I have been 100% supportive through his medical journey. We, after all, started dating at age 15, went to undergrad together and, were long distance through medical school by 3 and a half hours. The reality is that being a significant other in the medical community put mildly is tough. If you are in the significant others club, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve spent my fair share of his call nights on Pinterest, panning through the motivational quotes section in our queen size bed with an English Bulldog warming my feet, German Shepard fit snuggly under the bed, without a husband beside me. My eyes look harshly at the warm glare of my phone screen against the dark background of the bedroom searching for poetic strength not to take my annoyance at our situation out on him after he has been at work for 24 hours plus. These sayings have kept me grounded and often shake my negative attitude into a positive one.

1.)    We don’t meet people by accident, they cross our paths for a reason.

I cannot believe how fortunate we are to have landed in residency in a program that feels like a family. I would have never thought that my social life would have been comparable to what it was after leaving all of our friends.  Landing residency here was a blessing.

2.)    How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. –Winnie the Pooh

Distance from family and friends makes you realize how many wonderful people are in your life. I am so happy when I have friends drive so far to see me. The effort alone speaks volumes about our friendship.

3.)    “I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” –Jane Austen

 I have everything I need.


4.)    “Success is not convenient… it leads to a life of convenience.”

 We live our 20's to work, 30's for family, and 40's to enjoy the fruit of the tree we planted 20 years prior. Intelligence is not just getting an A on a test but realizing that gratification does not have to be instantaneous. Waiting is often against social norms but is in fact acceptable. Long hours = bigger checks someday. Be patient.


5.)    Most women want a man that’s already established. A strong woman will be a part of his struggle, survive it, succeed together, and build an empire.

 Having a common goal  in our marriage makes us stronger.


6.)    The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.

It’s easy to get caught in the cycle of only noticing how much your significant other is not home and how much time they might spend studying. It takes a special strength to not see your husband for the “80 hour work week rule” (cough cough… 100 hour work week) to then have him come home and retreat to the basement to read for lecture the next morning. It hard to take care of the house alone, prep all the food, and keep 2 dogs and a cat from killing each other while working 50 hours per week. It’s nuts; and I’m pretty impressed at myself honestly! In the midst of all the crazy, it’s so easy to look around and forget how nice our first house actually turned out to be, that we have food in the refrigerator, have money left over at the end of the month, and have a husband who is working his ass off every day for our family’s future betterment.


7.)    Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.


8.)    Growth happens at the end of your comfort zone.

The most fun I've ever had was because of a situation that made me uncomfortable. Just jump. It all works out in the end.

9.)    Life does not owe you anything. Not happiness, wealth, power, success, or love. It is your job to create that for yourself.

The more work you put in to anyone of those areas, the more satisfaction you get out. Staying in does not help any of it. Push yourself to get out and make new friends. Try new things. If you are lucky enough to be placed area with people of different backgrounds, use it as a learning experience.







Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Fur-Baby Scarlet!

During the first weeks of my new teaching job, Charlie and I decided to adopt Scarlet the German Shepard pup!

She has been a wonderfully chaotic addition to our family. 

Scarlet enjoys:
·         Tearing the stuffing out of her chew toys
·         Our neighbors pugs (she plays with them through the chain link fence)
·         Taking our socks outside to play with
·         Chasing the cat
·         Sleeping under our bed

At 8 months Scarlet is working toward:
·         Not nipping at hands
·         Coming when called
·         Running on a leash
·         Not chasing the cat
·         Following the first command we give her, not the 3rd.

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Months of PGY1

Guys, I’m going to get real with you for a second. It wasn’t easy. My first (half) year of marriage wasn’t what I expected; but, a year after match day with reflective eyes and fresh perspective, I can truly say we matched where we are supposed to be.

If you follow my blog, you know my June 2014 was pretty exciting. I finished my last day teaching at a school that I poured my heart, sole, and tears into, walked down the aisle 3 days later, closed on our house 3 days later, and moved out of my apartment 2 days after that. Charlie started his new job a week later. No honeymoon. I remember laying on a mattress on the floor of my new “master bedroom” 2 days after we were married WITHOUT my new husband thinking, “this is not how I pictured things”. He was back in our hometown retrieving the rest of his furniture from his parent’s house and coming up the next morning.

 I also never thought leaving my first teaching job was so rough. I was blessed to find a new job right away. Nothing will ever compare to LCS- fact. I miss the sense of community and pride in knowing I was going above and beyond for my students when their OAA scores came in. My job now is just very different. That’s all I’ll say. The up side though is that I have a lot less stress! I know feel how much stress my body was under at my old job. It’s great to be freed from that. Instead of coaching, I know tutor at $20/hr through Marshall University 4 hours a week. I can and hope to up my hours during the summer. I’m setting all the money aside in a savings account. My school also allows me to do parent workshops for a few hours on a given night of my choosing for $25/hr. It works out to $100 each time I do one since they also pay for prep time. Not bad at all! It definitely helps to make up for my pay cut coming from Ohio to West Virginia. I think my pay cut was something around $8k. 

A few months into PGY1 I was having crying fits multiple times a week. It got to be crippling. Charlie and I were fighting – over nothing. I was simply furious, constantly. Around Christmas I was introduced to the anti-depressant called Lexapro by of all doctors, my gyno. Let me tell you, EVERYTHING changed. I have not had a single crying spell or fought with Charlie since. I surely thought being so angry all the time was a result of PGY1 and being so resentful about having to move and quit my respected teaching job. I was in total denial. When you think of depression, you think more of the sadness and not the anger. Since I went to my gyno and told him my symptoms, he never gave me a diagnosis per say. When you google depression, to my surprise anger is one of the top symptoms along with weight changes, trouble sleeping, sadness, and low self-esteem. 

My last post was about how “fit” I was during my bachelor party. Well kids, I’m not fit anymore. Post wedding, I quit eating paleo and did the “whatever sounds good” diet. I also quit working out altogether. Why? I’m not really sure. Here I am writing this at 124lbs. 10 pounds heavier than in the picture below and embarrassed. Call it marriage. Call it lazy. Call it depressed. The craziest part of it all I still pay for a crossfit membership and don’t go. Whaaatttt???  I’ve been stuck in a rut of “tomorrow I’ll go.” Ridiculous. The upside is that I feel my energy levels coming back after completing the Whole30 (same diet I did before the super in shape pic before my bachelorette) and have lost 5 lbs! 

It’s now March and I finally feel like I have a hold of my new live in the residency phase. I’m going to church regularly, now eating how I used to pre-move and pre-wedding, feel secure in my new job, and ready to make a change to start lifting again. Life is good. My marriage is great. I am happy J!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Diet and Fitness Routine

Simply put: I'm a sprinter when in comes to my diet and fitness routine. Short intense spurts of motivation and obsession are followed by long rest periods. About 4 months before our wedding I did crossfit 3x weekly coupled with the strictest form of Paleo diet known: the Whole30 program. 

No legumes. 
No dairy. 
No grains aka no rice or bread.
No added or artificial sugar or chemicals. 
No alcohol. 
Basically No fun...

Hello chicken, roast beef, tuna, green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, avocado, salsa, mashed cauliflower, eggs, sausage, bacon, black coffee, tea, water, pineapple, apples... repeat...repeat...repeat.

Right before my Bachelorette in May, I was a solid 114 pounds. (5'3")

For me this was a gain of 2lbs from appetite-drainning Match Day, yet down a total of 10lbs from New Years.  To be honest although the diet was hell, by week 3 of the Whole30 program I had more energy than ever before. My body felt clarified. Rings were loose. My brain was able to distinguish that a cheat meal would absolutely wreak my mood, skin, nails, and stomach. The diet became easier since my brain now "knew" better than to eat certain foods, however; it all change at the first bite of our wedding cake. All I could think of was sugar for 8 weeks after.

....People when I fall off the wagon, it's like being sucked into a black whole coming out 5lbs heavier and 2 inches thicker on each thigh. Further stress  of moving to a new city, closing on a house, and getting a new job pushed working out down on my priority list. It was on the flat out "I-don't-care" list AKA the section of my to-do list where I embarrassingly write things down only to feel more productive even though I NEVER do them.

I eat paleo about 60% of the time but I finally signed up for the local Crossfit gym and have been attending the classes. Yes, the classic "turtle who cant roll over" style of getting out of bed and off the couch was back the first week. My abs were tender to even touch. Note to self- DON'T STOP WORKING OUT. It hurts to start over.

Crossfit really is an addiction once you get going.

If you ever want to meet people, go to a class. People bombard you with kindness and encouragement... while getting your ass handed to you of course. Truth: everyone is high off their own endorphins. Everyone is proud of themselves and each other when the hour is up. You'll never receive so many high fives in your life. If you are looking to feel a part of a community, try crossfit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Residency Home

About a month and a half after Match Day we contacted a program recommended realtor. It turned out that our residency location has an extremely low cost of living. It would (to my surprise) be cheaper to buy than rent for 5 years. The ladies on the LDW facebok group have told horror story after horror story about buying during residency. After our realtor showed us around to 20 places in 2 days, it seemed we really had no other option only coupled with the fact that literally all the residents in the program have houses or condos. We took the leap and put an offer in!

When we set the date for our wedding prior to our possible residency move, I had no idea how crazy our timeline would actually be!

May 1st, 2014: He turns in keys to his medical school apartment in Toledo, Ohio. All of his stuff was transferred to the garage of my apartment in Lancaster, Ohio but he stayed at his parents place in Saint Clairsville, Ohio. (RED)
June 4th 2014: Last day of school in Lancaster, Ohio. (Purple)
June 6th, 2014: Rehearsal Dinner (Yellow)
June 7th, 2014: Our Wedding Day! (Yellow)
June 12th, 2014: Close on our first house in Huntington, West Virginia (Blue)
June 14th, 2014: Turn in keys to my Lancaster, Ohio apartment. (Purple)

I am SOOO happy to finally be settled. Our honeymoon was our move and I'm quite content with it.

In Huntington we were able to get a ton for our money! We got a medical housing loan through Huntington Bank where the PMI is dropped which was amazing.

Without telling you our address, listed our house with the following:

  • Lot: 6,599 sqft
  • Single Family
  • Built in 1942
  • Cooling: Central
  • Heating: Other
  • Attic
  • 2 Firepaces
    Flooring: Carpet, Hardwood
  • Parking: 1 Car Garage - Attached, Off street
  • Partial basement
  • Patio
  • Side Porch
  • Security System
  • View: City
    2 blocks to Ritter Park/Tennis Courts/ Bike Trail
Room Types
  • Breakfast nook/pantry
  • Dining room
  • Family room
  • Laundry room
  • Master bath
  • Exterior material: Brick
  • Roof type: Shake Shingle
  • Room count: 9
  • # Stories: 2.0
  • Structure type: Colonial
  • Unit count: 1
  • Floor size: 2,821 sqft <<<This includes the half finished basement.

95% of the windows are brand spanking new. Not to mention a new roof in 2012 and new furnace negotiated at closing. We got all this for $160k with closing paid by the seller. Humm... can you say Yess??! Our mortgage is about $950 a month and property taxes are a low low low $1400 per year! Soon after we learned his program also gives him a $2000 bonus for matching there, free loops, pgy1 book mailed free, a $500 a year suit find, all dry cleaning reimbursed, and $500 step 3 reimbursement. Can you see now why after putting in an offer, my freaking out about not matching in Columbus, Ohio ended! Score!

We've been living together for about 6 weeks now and our long distance relationship is thankfully in hindsight. This medical journey is one heck of a roller coaster.

We will need to update the kitchen a bit and one of the bathrooms before selling in 2019. More posted to come with before and afters!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Wedding!

My definition of love:

Love is a blind connection, often unspoken, yet noticeable to everyone around. True love is rare, unmistakable, and restful. It unintentionally defines the person who I am today. Love has made me entirely change my outlook of the world since, without hesitation and without conscious calculation; my every decision is naturally made in care of Charlie. It is the recognition of my own flaws and honest attempt to become a better person for him. In time and after every new experience we overcome together, my loves grows deeper, with more maturity, and clarity. It is an unbroken trust that no matter what is thrown our way, how many miles are between us, or how long it’s been since we have seen each other that we will be OK, and even better, on the other side. Time is not our enemy but a friend. It’s an excitement for the future. Love an intense feeling of satisfaction I can make him, my best friend, happy. It’s celebrating with him through his and my accomplishments, and being immeasurably proud to stand by his side through it all. True love is timeless.

The day was a whirlwind of joy and excitement. The only time I cried-cried was the night of the rehearsal dinner around midnight when my brother and parents were in bed. I just finished editing the ridiculous soundtrack for our epic dad-daughter dance when I thought to check my email. I opened a thank you note from one of my former students, whom also was my classroom aid for a period of time. In the email she thanked me for a great year, helping her to love math, remembered my wedding date, and wrote that she was thinking of me. Quiet tears ran down my face past my smile sitting Indian style and hands in my lap. It was a moment I needed to myself- at peace with life.

I remember getting maybe 4-5 hours of sleep. When I heard dad's alarm go off I shuffled down the hall past my parents bedroom. Mom immediately cried when she saw me. Laughing I said "Oh Mom...Already??!" and hugged her. Dad fixed his usual big breakfast with plenty of time for Mom and I to get to the Studio East Hair Salon. 

I loved the venue choice for our 180ish guests! The Wheeling Artisan Center's first floor is a restaurant/bar area followed by a glass/art gallery on the second floor. The third floor was our party. The dancing and tables where on one side, food and restrooms on the other separated by a sky light lit balcony connected by an elevator bridge, walking bridge, and bar bridge.

Our hotel was in walking distance which proved to be very convenient for those of us who shut down the downstairs bar with live music. People told me before the wedding that the actual night goes incredibly fast, but I didn't believe them until waking up to a pretty solid hangover the following morning. ;) So caught in the moment, Charlie and I left my flowers at the venue and cake topper in the hotel refrigerator. In hindsight a very telling clue into our relationship. Flowers whither. Cake spoils. Our company will not.

Thank you to everyone who made June 7th, 2014 unforgettable.  

Hair: Studio East Hair Salon
Make Up: Adriene Pace
Photographer: Alisha Thomas Photography
Second Shooter: Rebecca K Swingle for LifeLens Photography
Videography: Luke Nelson 
Pastor/Officiant: Mark Zelewizc

Dress: La Jeune Marie of Columbus, Ohio 
Dress Designer: Jim Hjelm 8011
Bridesmaid's Dress Designer: Jenny Yoo Fiona Turkish Blue
Bridesmaid's Shoes: Nine West for Bridesmaids
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Jewelry: Kirk Kara and Haute Bride 
Tux: Mens Wearhouse
Flowers: Boadners Florist
Venue: River City Artisan Center
Church: Calvary Presbyterian
Bride's Workouts: True Fit Athletics Crossfit