Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Joy in the Journey

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays. -The Music Man

Living the patient life of a spouse waiting and waiting and waiting while Dr.H spends years pursuing his career aspirations can cause us to dream away our present in hope for the joy we will have in the future.

That day when we will have the lovely home. Our children will be well dressed and take lots of instrument lessons. We will finally give our clothes from high school to Goodwill and go on a shopping spree at Dillards (not Target).

When Present Thomas S. Monson, the present of my church, said, "I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now." I felt like I was being spoken to directly.

His talk "Finding Joy in the Journey" has given me a lot of comfort over these last few years.

I thought to post this when I read Melisa's comment on Colleen's post,"I have known this girl since med school. Her hubby just finished residency this summer. She was thrilled to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He left her (and her 2 young kids) this summer. Where is her light at the end of this crappy tunnel?!"

We all have seen this happen. It could just as easily happen to one of us. If we haven't found joy in our journey it would kind of make the best years of our lives a waste.

Life happens when we are busy making other plans. - John Lennon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Found this on Sooners Illustrated.

Chad and I loved this:

Truths For Mature Humans

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing ***** more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important. (Ladies.....Quit Laughing.)

How long would you go it alone?

One business week. That's about my limit.

This weekend I was talking to a Dr. who's getting ready to head off to fellowship. This Dr.'s husband is not going with this person and has no plans of visiting throughout the year. The hubby has told Dr. that if she wants to see him during her fellowship year, she is welcome to come back and visit. Is this normal?! I sure hope not.

This situation has been weighing on my mind for 3 days now, and it still makes me sad.

Even when it's cost us tons of money (pregnant me and the kids tagging along to his rotation in France) (Or before our house sold -still hasn't btw- when he changed specialties.) I have gladly followed Chad around for our entire marriage.

A good friend and I were discussing this scenario and she was saying that if her Dr. H took off for a year fellowship without them, she'd be chasing him in her car calling out, "Hey! Wait! You forgot US!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

What do you do on call night?

How do you spend your husband's call night???

I usually make the kids Mac and Cheese, cause they love it and he HATES it.

Then we make daddy cookies and drive up to the hospital with his cookies, his fan, a toothbrush and an extra pair of socks.

-A nurse sent home a homemade cookie cake with him the other day. I said "Hot-Nurse-did-what?!" He said, no it's -FOR YOU-. "Huh?" It was because I always brought cookies up on call night and he shares them with everyone. One nurse thought it was time someone made me cookies : )-

Now its time for fun! Put the kids to bed. Get out computer and watch my shows on Hulu all night OR watch a chick flick he would never watch with me that I picked up at RedBox. He usually gets more sleep than I do on a call night.

When the cat's away the mice will play!

PS. If you have interest in contributing on this blog please contact me @

Thursday, December 9, 2010


So Ben (my MSIV hubby - in case you forgot from my last post) got his letter in the mail from his #1 Match pick. He did an audition rotation there, his interview went very well, and he feels really good about it. He is specializing in Emergency Medicine so although it is competitive, it is not as competitive as say, Surgery, and he had great Board scores, so he feels somewhat confident that we will match there.

Anyway, my question is - Did any of your husbands recieve encouraging letters from programs where they interviewed? Is this a common practice?

The highlights of Ben's letter said, "We have reviewed your application and interview along with comments from the residents who met you. Your application and interview were impressive and we hope you will rank us favorably on your list. Should you have any further questions about our Emergency Medicine Residency Program, the opportunities available here, the city of ____ and surrounding areas, or feel you need a second look, please do not hesitate to contact us."

So what do you all think of this? Should we feel encouraged that we received such a positive letter months after his interview, or is this just part of the politics of the craziness that is the Match process?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not Enough of Me to Give

Lately I have been so cranky with Ben, my MSIV hubby. I know rotations take their toll on our med students/resident husbands with the ever-changing schedules and essentially starting a new job every 4-6 weeks with all new co-workers and the likes, but it is hard on us wives, too! I want to support him and make his day better, but by the end of MY day, I often feel like I have nothing left to give!

For the last 3 years, I have been running an in-home preschool in Fort Worth, TX with 10 kids, average age of 3 years, (2 are mine) so that I can stay home with our own kiddos, thus saving on child care and bringing home an income of around $4,000 a month. I like being home with my kids, and I like teaching, but so many days I am so worn out and pulled in so many directions that by the end of the day I want someone to listen to ME whine and vent about how so-and-so did this and how Sam (my 18 monther) threw up on me twice because of his drainage-and-bad-gag-reflex combo. I work hard! I want someone to feel sorry for ME and rub MY feet and pamper ME. The last time I tried to vent to Ben, he told me about how 2 kids passed away during his shift at the children's hospital he was rotating in at the time. That sure made me feel crappy about my trivial gripes.

When Ben was MSI, I had just had my first child, and I had quit teaching public school to stay home with Jackson and to get my business set up. I worked out every morning for 2+ hours, made awesome dinners from scratch, made his lunch every day, spent all day playing and teaching solely Jackson, and my house was always clean. I was eager for Ben to get home and listen about his experiences at school, and share things about my day. We actually interacted and supported each other, whereas now I feel like we are both so exhausted that we live in divide and conquer mode. When home, he's working on the little honey do's like unclogging a sink that hasn't been draining properly for a month, or taking the 7 year old Dodge Neon in to replace an oil pump. I'm doing the everyday stuff on my own, like cooking meals, bathing the boys, picking up the house. We rarely interact anymore and certainly don't have money for a babysitter AND the cost of a night out. We always say, "Just wait until ___ time, then we'll be really living it up. It'll all be worth it then!" But does anyone ever worry that they won't make it to that time!?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Expectations

At this point nearly all our combined siblings are in "real" jobs and are ready to spread the Christmas Cheer. Here we are in year 11. Year 11 of "I'm sorry this year we can only afford to give kids gifts." I feel like a broken record.

Resident salaries do not pay enough to buy round trip tickets for 5. In a way I am happy to be away in our Residency home for the holidays. Our siblings can't go buy us a surprise gift the night before Christmas and make me feel like a jerk for only getting kid gifts.

Another nice thing is that we get to have Christmas morning at our own home. Chad's family is like Peter Pan's Neverland. The adults continue to be kids and their kids are just more to add to the bunch.

I was always sad that we would have Christmas Morning and then the kids were ready to head over to the Grandparents house to have "real" Christmas morning and get their "real" gifts, which were nicer than anything we could afford to give them.

Being away from home means that all the presents are stationed at our house so we get to have the "real" Christmas morning. I guess I'm just eager to build my childrens' Christmas memories rather than keep reliving my husband's.

I DREAM of the day I can buy lovely gifts for all my siblings and the kids all long to open the gift from Aunt Stacie and Uncle Chad because they know it's going to be something really good!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flowers for Algernon Phenomenon (Taboo Subject Warning)

In the story “Flowers for Algernon” Charlie falls in love with his former teacher, Miss Kinnian, but as his intelligence increases, he surpasses her intellectually and they become unable to relate to each other.

Story Summary

Once med school was over and I began being invited to the “real” doctors wives group in town I noticed something. These long-time wives seemed to have a common thread. It seemed like every Dr. Wife I met was a doctor herself, a pharmacist, a lawyer, an optometrist or a dentist. (I’m sure there were exceptions to this rule; I just didn’t meet any.)

I had thought myself sufficiently educated. I had worked a while after college and gone back for my masters and finished that up the May before medical school started.

I won’t lie. I felt SERIOUSLY undereducated around this crowd. So undereducated that I studied for and took the LSAT thinking I would at least get a Juris Doctorate. But with 3 small children at home this was a pipe dream, and I gave it up.

I mention “Flowers for Algernon” because I thought of this story frequently while Chad was in Medical School. He seemed so young and at times VERY immature his first year of medical school. I was by far the mature adult in the relationship.

The process was gradual. As medical school went on and he started residency he became quite different. Not only did he gain knowledge and wisdom, he gained maturity. Family and friends call him for advice now frequently and I turn to him for advice as well. I literally felt him passing me by intellectually.

Let me just say many of the smartest people I know personally never went or finished college. However, I am curious if anyone else has felt insecure about our husband surpassing us in education?

Will he get bored with my childish blabbering and go marry someone else he can have a real conversation with?

On the other hand, I did notice that he named his fantasy football team “Huge Hairy Ball Sack.” Perhaps I don’t have anything to worry about.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where NOT to live

Lately, like since residency started, Dr.H and I have gone round and round about where we want to settle. The only thing I know for sure is anywhere we look is either:

Too Hot
Too Cold
Too Expensive

So I would love any feedback you could give me on anywhere I should definitely take OFF our list of future hometowns.

I'll start. The worst place medicine has taken us is Oklahoma City. It's windy, it's ugly, the people were... uggh... Okay, so the ladies I met in Junior League were super, but the people I met a church were bizarre. My biggest fear for match day was seeing Oklahoma City anywhere on that piece of paper.

Where is the worst place medicine, or life, has taken you?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The New Girl ... again

In a perfect world our Dr.H would go to med school close to home, stay there for residency and go into practice in our hometown and we move into the house across the street from our parents.

I was talking to a good friend, resident wife, who we’ll call Jane Fairfax today. This woman is one most elegant women I have come across in my life: kind, beautiful, down to Earth and smart.

She was sharing with me her struggle being the new girl in her new community. It dawned on me that if Jane Fairfax, whom I imagine some women might give their right arm to call a friend, was having trouble being the new girl, she can’t be the only one.

As the wife of the resident we are too often the new girl. We were the new girl at med school. Now we are the new girl in the location of the residency. We’ll be the new girl yet again in 4-8 years.

Has anyone found anything that helps with this “new” experience. Is there any way to make the “new” thing less painful?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Free Trips to Conferences

Lately it seems like all the residents around here are scoring free trips to really cool places. My friend Lori just got back from San Diego with her Dr.H for a conference where he was a "delegate." Now they are turning around and heading to NYC on another trip courtesy of the Mayo Clinic for him to present a case report.

So far we haven't gotten to benefit from the whole conference thing, but we are planning to go to Vancouver in May for Dr.H to present a case report.

Has anyone else gotten to go to a conference in a cool place, courtesy of the residency program? Was it fun or a bore?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One Cool Thing about Residency

So, here's the thing - I LOVE the free recruitment dinners!!!! Going on "date night" is nearly impossible during this season considering walking out the door is about $20-$40 in babysitting off the bat. Then add the cost of a date (at least $30 for dinner + any activity) and you're better off picking something up from RedBox and putting the kids to bed early.

I love the recruitment dinners because all I have to pay for is the babysitter. Yea, you've got to shoot the breeze with strangers and be on your best behavior, but HEY, I'm at home and never have anyone to talk to anyways, so it's cool.

It's one little perk I appreciate.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wrong Mailing List

Dr.H did his first year of residency in surgery. Boy was that a doosey! Since then he has been constantly recruited for surgery positions via mail.

This is not what we want. We want him to be recruited in Anesthesiology! Any ideas for how to get on the right mailing list for his specialty?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Hardest Time of the Week

I am so grateful to have a husband who works hard at work and works hard at church. In fact, he works so hard at church that he leaves for church 2 hours before the rest of us.
The most difficult time of the week is the hour before church begins. There is no other time of the week that everyone in the family has to be ready to go, looking their best ... simultaneously ...

Made breakfast. Doing good. Time to walk out door for church.

Get church bag together, gather crayons, pencils and activity books.

I get Brock dressed, uh oh, where are his shoes? Search house. Cougar knew all along.

I get Juliet dressed, uh oh, she sneezed ... a big messy sneeze.

Brock found a sucker somewhere and it is now all over him. Clean that up.

Cougar says he's ready, but has failed to remember, socks and shoes, or brushing his teeth or hair.

I pull my clothes on. We head out door. I go for my church bag, but it's gone! While I was pulling my clothes on Juliet took by bag and dumped the whole thing out on the floor of her room. Pick it all up.

Brock won't leave. Pretend to leave him. He screams. I go back in to get... huh, can't remember.

Oh yea, my purse.

Shoot, I forgot snacks. Church starts in 1 minute. Crap. Should I even bother? Well, we are all dressed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's not all roses.

I was just telling a good friend:

"So many of the writers on the DoctorWives blog seem have an 'all roses' experience and that just hasn't been my experience. It's been a hard, lonely, expensive, humbling, and trying experience. I also have a VERY hard time seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Some people can ride on knowing its all going to be worth it one day, but I live in the now and have a hard time imagining the fruitful future.

I think that there are others whom have not had the "all roses" experience as well, so I post my frustrations along with my victories. It's no fun to struggle alone! That's why I've tried to be real and share my real thoughts and feelings candidly. I will think twice before doing it again."