Sunday, June 17, 2018


Alternate title: The Doctor is OUT.
Alternate alternate title: Solid Work Doctor. 
Alternate alternate alternate title: You are finally done. 

Today was a good day to celebrate Joe. Not just because it was Father’s Day. He is a really great dad and deserves all the celebrating for that. But TODAY was his last day of residency. 

And thanks to the help of my good friend and his colleague inside the hospital, the kids and I (plus friends!) were able to surprise him as he left the hospital for the last time. 

Balloons. Signs. Blowers. And silly string. 

We made quite the scene. 

But he deserves all the celebrating!!! And so much more. It’s been a long seven years. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

1 week of residency.

Today in church it hit me that Joe has only 1 week of residency left. 6 shifts and he is done. We are done.  The thought instantly brought tears to my eyes. Real tears. Streaming down my face tears. The pastor was preaching about spiritual warfare and people facing trials. Real and heavy stuff. So I felt silly crying over finishing residency. Thankfully I was in the second row and alone so no one saw my tears. But these past three years have been hard. Not spiritual warfare hard. But challenging. And seemingly never ending. And yet here we are almost at the end.

Admittedly, in the beginning church was hard for me. For the first 6 or 8 weeks we lived here Joe worked every single Sunday. So it was me and my four kids "church shopping" alone every week. At the time I had an infant, a two year old, a five year old, and an eight year old. Physically it was hard. Emotionally it was even harder. Choosing a church without my husband was a huge and overwhelming responsibility. And most Sundays I cried sitting alone in the pew holding my baby. I often used the baby as a cover. Going to the cry room to nurse him and cry in private. Those were long hard days. Thankfully those hard Sunday mornings are a distant memory. Our church has become like family over these past three years. And even though it is just me and the kids most Sunday mornings it isn't so hard. And I don't usually cry anymore. Except today.

Today I cried tears of relief and joy and a little bit of disbelief. We did it. We made it.

Joe survived some really long, brutal ICU months. Months of nights. Lots of missed holidays and birthdays and family events. And even more missed sleep. So much hospital time. So little family time. Learning to be the best ER doctor he can be. Oh and a hurricane. He survived that too.

And the kids and I survived so many hours just us. In our new city in our new house in a new state where we didn't know a soul. We made a life for ourselves. Filled with school and church and sports. Book club and beach days. We created a pseudo-extended family with our residency and church people. I survived countless meals and bedtimes as a solo parent. So many hours and days without Joe.

And now its almost done. 6 more shifts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

ROLL(ersk8)ING into 35!

Last night my friends and family made a childhood dream of mine come true...

By joining me at Skateland for a rollerskating birthday party!!! It was awesome. Very nostalgic for this 90s kid. Tuesday night cheapskate has never been so fun.

I will admit that I felt pretty lame planning my own party and buying all the party supplies. But I guess that's just life as a middle age-ish adult. I sent Joe a picture of the cookie cake from the grocery store as I was buying it. His response was "You are buying your own cake and you put those numbers on it?" For a second I panicked thinking I had the wrong age. Maybe I wasn't really turning 35?? But nope I am indeed 35. Joe just thought I would be embarrassed to admit to my age.

Not embarrassed at all. 35 is looking pretty good right now. I've got 4 amazing kids. Great friends. A loving and supportive extended family. And a rockstar husband who is *almost* done with residency and a very exciting move in the near future. Nothing to hide. Just lots to celebrate!

I was quite impressed with Grandma Donna's roller-skating skills! As were her granddaughters. They loved skating with her.

This girl made sure to tell the DJ that it was my birthday so I got a shout out from him. She's a good friend like that! I did NOT get to ride in the giant roller skate like the birthday children but I sill had fun:)

My birthday gifts were VERY state themed. A Minnesota cutting board and a "Howdy Y'all" inside of Texas cup. And I love them both!

Monday, May 28, 2018

15 Years

Last week Joe and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by taking a kid-free trip to Mexico! We returned to Playa del Carmen where we honeymooned. Well not the same resort but the same town. The original resort closed...we think. But WE are still going strong:) Our honeymoon was 10 days and this trip was 5 days. I’m thinking it should have been the other way around. We couldn’t have possibly needed 10 days of rest after our wedding, right? But we certainly could use that much rest a decade and a half and four kids later! Regardless we are SUPER grateful for any amount of time away together.

This entire trip was made possible by a) my parents’ willingness to watch our crew and b) moonlighting. 

My one and only requirement for our resort was that it had poolside cabanas. Because if you know anything about me it’s this: I like to sleep. And I wanted to be able to go from my bed in our room to a bed next to the pool. I love sleep THAT much. 

Turns out THIS guy was a really good sleeper on this trip. For the first two days every time I turned around he was “resting his eyes”. Years of sleep deprivation will do that to a person I guess. Because normally he does NOT nap. But in Mexico he was a pro napper:)

Poolside or beachside. He didn’t discriminate. Naps all around!

Naps and lots of pictures together. Thank goodness for the selfie mode and self timer on phones. Fifteen years ago our Mexico pictures looked like this...



But not Joe & Bear. 

Ok. That’s not completely true. And here is the proof. We re-created a rare Joe & Bear together picture from our honeymoon on this trip. Here’s the result:

Yes. That’s the same dress. Still fits thanks to lots and lots of stretch. I felt silly bringing it and wearing it again but in the end I’m glad I did. The results make me smile. I love seeing us then and now. So much has changed in the last 15 years. But so much has stayed the same as well. Plus the re-creation process was funny. I wore the dress on the night we had hibachi reservations. Which means we ate at a hibachi counter/table. Not a real table. Meaning the picture would be totally different. Oops. We persevered. After hibachi we went to the buffet and insisted on a 4 person table despite the hostess’ insistence that we needed a 2 person table. In the end we got the table, the picture and a second serving of dessert! Win. Win. Win!

This next picture is also a honeymoon picture re-creation. Except I don’t currently have the original. It’s packed and ready for our move THIS weekend! 

Joe gave me that skirt as a gift for our honeymoon:)

Admittedly I napped a bit too. Mostly poolside and on the beach. But our last night there I did fall asleep during the Mexican fiesta/market. Oops!

I know I already said this. But the time away was so good. Just to be us. Together. Alone. No responsibilities. No distractions. We got to talk uninterrupted. Multiple times each day. Every day all day if we wanted. I feel like it’s the first time we’ve sat down and really talked in a long long time. Lots of verbally processing the last seven years (medical school + residency). The good. The bad. The ugly. All of it. Plus talking and dreaming about the future. Because we are finally on the brink of being done with training. So much to talk and think about. 

Admittedly there was a little bit of guilt involved with leaving the kids for a (school) week. It was a busy week. And we missed some important events with them. Isaiah’s 5th grade award ceremony and party. Charlotte’s award ceremony and dance dress rehearsal and pictures. Hannah’s kindergarten graduation (we FaceTimed for that one!) But my parents did great and the kids loved having their grandparents at the special events. I think overall it was good for everyone. 

I’m hoping we don’t wait another 15 years before we get away just the two of us again.