Friday, February 22, 2013

You Are So Grounded!

Consider this official notice: I have been grounded. I earned it. I am getting what I deserve. I should have done it a long time ago.

I can't seem to get my act together. My house is a mess. The taxes are still not done. I am daydreaming instead of working. My checkbook hasn't been balanced in over a month. My desk is a mess. Things are not in order.

So I have decided to exercise extreme disciple and ground myself. There will be no more blogging, no more social networking, no more words with friends, no texting (unless it is with the hubby), no more mindless YouTube videos, no more TV (I finally watched Downton and I am so mad), no more reading books snuggled up in bed during the middle of the day, no more eating girl scout cookies (curse them), no more pajamas in the afternoon!

Time to get serious. I have a lot of important things to do and posses absolutely no sense of self-control or moderation. It is all or nothing with me. I have tried the all, and nothing is getting done. Now to try the nothing, and see if I can't get something done. And by nothing, I mean nothing fun: grounded.

The terms of my grounding will be revisited at such time as I am able to demonstrate that I am able to take care of the most pressing matters of life first. I always tell my kids "first things first" but have been a poor example. Time to practice some of my own advice.

Goodbye. I will miss you. Hopefully I won't be gone long. Have a great weekend, and the next one after that, and maybe the next one, too. Just in case.

Don't forget another fabulous installment of Medical Mondays is just around the corner on Monday March 4th! That should give me some incentive to get my act together - because I'm not missing that :-)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Is Now A Good Time?

The answer is of course not!

I am knee deep in the tax information gathering/researching phase before we turn everything over to a still unnamed professional. After two hours today I have called it quits and will start again tomorrow. For hopefully, the final and last day.

My house is in shambles. Dishes are piling up in the sink. So much so that my kids can tell how long it has been since dad (dishwasher) has been home. By the looks of the sink, it has been two days.

And what do I start thinking of? New projects. That's right. I am thinking about starting a family blog. Or rather re-starting and re-doing a stale old family blog. That should be the last thing on my mind right now.

But that is what my mind does when it has a list of things that have to get done. It starts looking for all the things that would be fun to get done if there were no such thing as a list to remind me that I am a grown-up with real world problems to solve and address.

And then I started thinking about all the things that I wanted to accomplish while living in our holding pattern, also known as fellowship. I was going to do such wonderful, productive, things this year. I was going to get all the scrapbooks updated. I was going to read books I didn't get to over the last 6 years. I was going to research my family history. I was going to sew and be crafty. I haven't done a single one of  these things. They are so far on the back burner I can't even see them anymore. I should just pack up my "supplies" now.

In fact, that is actually on the list. Packing.

I know you say it is still early, but I like to start early. Right now I am preparing to enter the de-clutter phase of my moving plan. What you say? I have clutter? I have only been in this house for 7.5 months and de-cluttered then. I shouldn't have to do it again.

To that I would say: you are right! But holy cow, we have more stuff than I thought we did. I have been steadily purging things as I see them so the job shouldn't be too large. The big job is actually is the disposing of it. I have 8 totes of stuff that I need to itemize, photograph, and drop off at the local Goodwill.

And of course since I just went through the glorious task of looking at my pictures and lists from last years purge and packaged them up all nice and neat for taxes - it reminded me that it is yet time to do it again. I am not paying to move stuff I don't want. We may be traveling even lighter this time around.

The work never ends. Some days I am so tired of being an adult. Can't I just move back in with my parents and let them pay the bills and feed me? And while they are at it, could they just watch my kids so I could finally watch the last episode of Downton Abbey? Would that be too much to ask?


Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Tiny Things That Bring Me Joy

You know how it is nearly impossible to keep up with everything? It just is. It is a cruel reality of life that there is just too much of everything and you can't always do everything. And you don't need to. You pick and choose. Sometimes your choices are good, other times better, and other times you would rather not think about.

I completely forgot about Monday Listicles. Not that I was ever a regular participator, but I always enjoyed reading the topics. Since I remembered, and the topic is something that inspires me, I am playing along. Now if I remember to link up (since I am writing this on the weekend) is yet to be seen.

If this sounds like something your would like to do, head on over to northwestmommy and link up. They have a new list every week. It's pure, clean fun.

10 tiny (or secret) things that bring you joy.
  • watching my 20 month old little girl run - a pure delight
  • the feeling you get when getting into a car that has been sitting in direct sunlight - feels like warm blankets out of the dryer (I like that too)
  • the smell of anything sweet being baked
  • the sound of silence
  • reading in bed (my husband says it is bad sleep hygiene but I don't care)
  • new office supplies
  • my children giggling in the backyard
  • an organized pantry
  • peeling off my nail polish (which is why my nails are rarely painted - one chip/lift and I can't stop myself)
  • the smell of my husband - not his cologne, just him
The exercise of thinking and writing about the little things that bring me joy has lifted my mood immensely and makes me feel good all over. Not a bad way to start a new week and celebrate another month half over. I think taking a cue from Monday Listicles was a good choice today. Happy Mondays!


Friday, February 15, 2013

How I Met My Surgeon

Let the love fest continue!

Today I am linking up with DJ at Medicine: A Love Story, to share with the world how I became the luckiest woman:-)

Now, when I say I am the luckiest woman in the world I really do mean it. However, I don't necessarily mean that it was pure luck. I don't think it was a coincidence. I happen to believe that God has a plan for each of us. Part of my plan included intersecting plans with a certain man.

He was thirty-something. I was holding on to dear life to my twenties.

He had dated, but nothing serious in a long time. I had a very serious relationship that crashed and burned and then took a much needed break.

He was a third year medical student, I was a working woman and thought I'd head back to school and why not try to settle down and do it right this time.

He was at dinner with family and friends. I was on the phone breaking up with my boyfriend of 3 weeks.

He wasn't sure he was going. If I didn't finish my break up call I was going to be late.

He was running late. I was on time and took a seat.

He came in after the start, and found the nearest available seat. It happened to be next to me.

He says he was going to introduce himself. I take credit for making the first introduction.

He says we talked for 10 minutes. I say it was more like 15, but I knew after 10.

He was ready. I was ready. Why wait?

Right person. Right time. Right place.

My personal fairy tale!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is Today National Teddy Bear Day?

Yes, I know it is Valentine's Day.

Everywhere I go I am reminded that it is here. Love is in the air. I am an awful romantic. I make fun of cheesy cards. I laugh at the pre-packaged bears and chocolates as I drive by corner tents with all their cellophane gifts. How many stuffed animals do grown women need? I curse the people who have purchased all the strawberries from the grocery store. All I wanted was a few strawberries for my breakfast and for the past three days there have been none to be found. I am sure they are all sitting somewhere draped in white or milk chocolate.

And then all the festivities for school! Please no. Last night we were up past bedtime addressing Valentines day cards for 54 students. But you can't get away with just a paper valentine unless it is homemade, so for the sake of not looking too cheap we taped dum-dum suckers to our store bought cards.

As if that wasn't enough, I learned yet another truth about myself that I am ashamed of. I have two different standards of Valentine's day cards/treats. For my children who attend public school they get the cheap drug store cards with a taped dum-dum. See, I don't know most of the kids in my children's classroom. I know two of the parents. But I really don't care what anyone thinks of me there. And my kids are happy with the cheap paper cards that they so lovingly wrote their messages on.

But, then there were the preschool valentine's day cards. And I know those parents. I see some of them at church. All of a sudden I feel some kind of expectation. I convince myself that because the class is smaller I can do more. But that's not really why. Is it?

Soon, I am combing Pinterest looking for cute cards that are 1) easy to put together 2) no too expensive but 3) exudes creativity and awesomeness like I was born with it. And you can't just have a card, there has to be something else: candy, pencil, erasers, stickers, etc. What am I doing?

I succeeded. The cards are pretty great if I do say so myself. But I wonder why in the world did I do it? Because I cared what someone might think of me. I want them to look at my daughters card and think I am awesome. That is so messed up! I know my 4 year old doesn't care what her cards look like. But I did it anyway. I know full well that that card is going to be thrown in the garbage. If not today, then most likely tomorrow.

I don't fault Pinterest. I love Pinterest. I just don't like what it has done to me. I should have stayed true to myself and just used the cheap grocery store cards. It is who I am. Why should I be ashamed?

Ok, but back to Valentine's Day - the part that I really care about. We are exchanging our gifts tonight and I am so excited. You know you are really an adult when you are most excited about the gift you made/purchased for someone else than you are about what you are getting. I won't dare write what I have for my husband (he might come snooping here), but it is good.

I must say that thanks to the lovely DJ from Medicine: A Love Story (remember she co-hosted Medical Monday's with us this month) for giving me a great idea for a Valentine's Day card. Check out her medical themed images here.  I like making my husband made-with-love cards, and she had the perfect image. I wish I hadn't sealed it up already I would have included a picture. (Because even as an adult it is obvious that I need everyone to know how awesome I am.)

I hope you have a very wonderful Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

T is for Taxes and Trouble

By this time I would have completed my taxes and had my refund in the bank. I might even had spent the refund already. I am on top of things like that. This year is a different story.

It is February 12th and I have just begun to assemble the documents and comb through my records looking for stray items that could be deducted. The same records which I make a vow to do better at keeping the next year so I don't have to spend days looking. Usually a promise I make as soon as the previous years taxes are filed and forgotten about just as quickly.

I am genuinely scared of my taxes this year. I knew the task would be daunting, I just didn't expect it to be so overwhelming. This is what I am facing:

  • state filings in two states
  • sale of a home
  • moving/relocation expenses
  • job finding expenses
  • work related expenses that we've never had before
  • 3 W2's
  • 4 1099's
  • 3 1098's
  • cash charitable donations
  • non-cash charitable donations
  • and something I probably haven't even thought of, or found, yet.

This year I am going to have to call in the big guns and hire a professional. I don't think me and my computer are up to the task. There are too many things that can go wrong and I am terrified. Almost to the point where I am paralyzed! 

Yesterday I spent most of the day with a highlighter in hand combing bank statements and asking questions like "what did you go to Atlanta for again?" And on the phone with our mortgage company tracking down tax forms that were mailed to our old address even though I know we gave them a forwarding address.

I think we have come to the end of an era: when our taxes were easy to prepare and refunds certain. This year I have no idea how the numbers are going to shake out. I am praying for a break-even scenario, but bracing myself for the worst. I hope I am wrong.

How are your tax preparations going for the year? Still have about 62 days left to figure it all out. In the meantime I had better find someone fast! If for no other reason so I can be put out of my misery and know already.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Blah's

I shouldn't have been expecting much from this Monday. Let's face it, after the amazing Medical Monday of last week, every Monday until the next one is just going to be blah, blah.

Thank you so much for your support of the Medical Mondays blog hop! Your regular hosts, Emma @ Your Doctors Wife and me @ From A Doctors Wife were blown away by the response the month. We had 50 blogs link up. It is a new record!

Much of that success is owed to our co-hosts this past month Newlymeds and Medicine: A Love Story. Thank you for helping us spread the word and give new life to this event. If you haven't had a chance to visit their blogs, no need to wait until next month. Head on over there now!

If you linked up with us, thank you. If you missed it this month, don't worry we host Medical Mondays the first Monday of every month. You can always get information about the next hop on this blog or Your Doctors Wife.

The next event is scheduled for Monday March 4th.

Do you have a particular idea of a post that you'd like to share? Maybe a past post that would be intriguing? Or maybe you would just like to introduce yourself and your blog? Whatever you have in mind, you are always welcome.

Interested in co-hosting with us in the future? Send Emma an email:

Just thinking about last Monday might be enough to get me through this one. Have a great week!


Friday, February 8, 2013

My Old Eyes

My eyes have been bothering me for years. But in order to get an accurate assessment of your vision a woman must be a) not pregnant and b) not breast feeding. Apparently your eyes change during those events. With that in mind it has been 9 years since I had my vision checked.

I noticed at night that things were a little blurry. Not everything, it was just difficult to read signs.  And when I spent too long on the computer (shame) my eyes would hurt.

I figured now was the time to get them checked because reasons a and b were no longer an issue.

She suggested that at the computer, or reading on the iPad, I stop every so often and stretch my eyes by looking at something in the distance to help the muscles relax. Apparently close-up work causes the lens to tense. It's the tensing that produces headaches.

How disappointing to take all that time and spend the money (a whole $35 co-pay + babysitting) to discover that my eyes are just fine. In a way I was hoping she would find something. Anything. She gave me the warning that in a few years (40) I could expect my eyes to under go some changes - but for now I can get away without wearing glasses. But if I wanted them I could and she gave me a teeny tiny prescription.

I walked over to the case of glasses and couldn't see a thing, they had just dilated my eyes. How am I supposed to pick out frames when my vision is blurry? So I left without glasses, and drove myself home. When I made the appointment I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to see clearly when I left. You forget a lot of things when you haven't been to the eye doctors in 9 years.

Luckily the office was in our neighborhood so I didn't have to get on a major street. I wore my sunglasses, the cheap ones I picked up at Ross, and carefully made my way home. Looking a little strange, but no worse for the wear, I made it home.

The point of that whole story is that as I have been making comments on other blogs that have word verification on and I feel like an old blind woman. My eyes are no longer dilated, that appointment happened weeks ago. Please tell me those little numbers and letters are blurry for everyone.

Today it took me 3 attempts to get the characters right. I am feeling old and having second thoughts about those glasses. But I am slightly near-sighted so they won't help much on the computer.

Maybe I should take a vision break and just sleep. Or listen to books on tape. Or put the iPad down. Or go outside. So many options.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and in the Bank

This is supposed to be THE post. The one where I tell you that I have officially received notice that my time as a struggling medical spouse is over. But somehow, I don't seem like celebrating. Truth be told, I hardly know what to do.

I posted a couple of months ago about my husbands interview, and how it is perfect, and everything is just right. And it still is. When I think about it, is seems like a fairy tale. This whole experience seems like one amazing, too-good-to-be-true, fairy tale.

Today, instead of speculating about the future we have received the offer, had the attorney review it, had our financial advisor go over it, signed it, and now they are sending us big fat paychecks twice a month. Our monthly stipend is larger than our hospital paycheck. It really puts your husband's value as a professional in perspective. (They really should be paid more in training.)

Financial incentives are structured in any number of ways and differ wildly depending on your specialty and the location. Ours is set up as a monthly stipend to be paid from the date our contract was signed until the day we start. It is a lovely amount. We don't pay taxes on it today, they will take the taxes out as it forgiven over three years. So in a sense their financial incentive is a forgivable loan not a signing bonus.

Sounds like something to get excited about, right! And we are.

I can't tell you what a relief it is to be sitting here at the beginning of the month knowing all our bills have been paid, and there is money left. I don't check our accounts every morning. I don't get anxious when the bills come in the mail. I don't worry about buying too much at the grocery store. And the fact that Sallie Mae started taking a bigger chunk (without asking) doesn't bother me. Our accounts are growing - reversing a trend that I was afraid was going to land us in trouble soon. It's a miracle.

Worrying about money has been my "thing" and trying to keep our family from debt has been my "mission".  When was the last time you had a stream of income that exceeded your bills and left you with something sizable to do whatever you wished with?  The closest thing was our tax refund one year, but it got turned into a new roof and was gone, never to be seen again. Not the same thing.

Overnight we have gone from making ends meet and saving a little, to a monthly income that has doubled. Doubled! I could happily live like this forever. It's not bad.

Now, when I say our income doubled, let me remind you that we are still in fellowship training - it's not the real deal yet. What am I  going to do in 6 months when he/we finally get paid commiserate with his training and education investment. Sixteen years, 80 hour work weeks, and $315,000 in debt to be correct.

There are the people who say they are going to live like residents until they pay off their student loans. And I belonged to that camp in the beginning, but I am not going to lie to you. We have no intention of living like we did during residency. That was pure insanity, and completely unrealistic unless you were a resident who was receiving help from parents, or moonlighting. Then maybe it would be possible to continue that life style on your own.

I consider myself to have an above average degree of self-control. I don't know many people who possess enough discipline to live exactly like they did in residency when there is another way. I think what they really mean to say is that they aren't going to go on a spending spree and buy a big house, a fancy car, and diamonds. Very different things. We aren't going to go that route either.

At this point we have decided to live like fellows who have received a monthly stipend for now and into the future. There is no reason we can't be happy with this amount for the next several years. Payoff loans and save for a house and live comfortably ever after. I am ready to start worrying less and enjoying more. And I feel at this point we can confidently say we have earned the respite.

I feel a little strange admitting that we have a job, and some extra money. Why? I am still trying to process that.

I think its because this is a completely new experience. And frankly, one I wasn't expecting to come with so many emotions. You know how long training is and we aren't spring chickens! Our past experiences have been our only experiences. We have lived in the mentality of scarcity and getting by for a long time. Those are hard to let go of.

But I suppose if that is my new trial, I am willing to endure it as best I can.

P.S. I wish you were all done! But this path has no short-cuts. I can't wait to read about your experiences when they happen to you:-)


Monday, February 4, 2013

Medical Monday's - I Love it!

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Make yourself comfortable, look around, say hi to a few people and come back often. It's time for Medical Monday's. Let's get started!

Medical Monday is an opportunity for any and all medical/med life blogs to link up and meet others. So join us!

Are you confused if you qualify for the party?

Do you work in healthcare?
Doctor? Nurse? EMT? Chiropractor? Vet? Dentist? Therapist?
Are you the spouse or SO of a healthcare worker/student?
Are you a nursing student? Medical student?
Intern? Resident? Fellow?

You get the picture, right? 


Our once a month bloghop for bloggers like yourself, where we can build a community of support and friendship, learn from one another and share our stories and what's going on in our lives.

Here are the rules:

  1. Follow your co-hosts via GFC or email.
  2. Link up you medical/med life blog. If your blog name does not clearly state how you fit in to the med/med life world, please write a little intro or link up a specific post which clearly demonstrates your connection.
  3. Visit at least 3 other link ups, comment, introduce yourself, and tell the your stopping by or following from MM!
  4. Help spread the word by using our button on your post or sidebar, tweet about Medical Monday, or spread the word on Facebook! The more the merrier for all of us!
And here's a helpful tip. . .

If you haven't turned of word verification, it's ON. Please turn it off. We'll all LOVE you!!
Not sure how? Click here for instructions.

Complete step one by following your co-hosts:

Want to be awesome?
Post our button on you post or sidebar and help spread the word:

Want to co-host next month? Shoot Emma an email at and be sure to write "Medical Monday Co-host Request" in the subject field.

Now, link up below and have fun! The link up is open through Friday, so be sure to come back during the week to check some great reads!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Passed On - Will They Know?

Changing subjects, because I need a change, and thinking of more uplifting topics on the horizon. Like Medical Mondays. It's is coming again this Monday, February 4, 2013. That's only a few days away. Will you be there?

This month your lovely co-hosts are Emma @ Your Doctors Wife, Your's Truly @ From A Doctors Wife, Kelly @ Newlymeds, and DJ @ Medicine: A Love Story. If you can't wait for the blog hop to begin you have my permission to check them out now. But come back on Monday! You can link up just about anything and met other like minded individuals. You never know what you might find.

Case in point: Doctor's Wives Living, a regular at Medical Mondays. If you haven't already checked out their online magazine I highly recommend it. I read it nearly every day.  See, it's over there in my Places I Go In My PJ's - that's nearly every day:-)

I love it for the articles they do like this one about Passed On. It is a free service that allows you to upload an "emotional will" for the ones you love. You can record a message, pictures, anything really and save it just in case the unthinkable happens.

You really need to head over there and read the full article and watch the video. It is touching.

Recently, and they all seem to be too recently, I have become acquainted with stories of women (many married to doctors with young families like myself) who have lost their spouse. My heart aches for these families as I feel a small pang of the loss, and then imagine what would happen if I were to lose my spouse, or if I were to be taken from my young family and husband prematurely.

What would I want to tell them?

What kind of person would I want them to remember me as?

Would they remember my voice or my unique expressions?

Would they know what I valued and what I felt?

Would they know how much I loved them, and some of the special memories I have of them?

Sure they could read my journal (if I remember to leave the password), or they could read this blog, or they could flip through scrapbooks. They could probably get a good sense of who I am and what I felt and cared about. But there would still be something missing.

I didn't realize it would be missing until I read the article and watched the video.

You can create separate entries for different people, so each person has their own personal and intimate collection of information that you assembled just for them in the form of music, video, documents, photographs.

It isn't a one time thing either. You can add to it as you make more memories.

Do you remember the movie My Life, starring Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman? It was a long time ago, I know. Early 90's. Anyway it was about a father who was dying as he was expecting his first child. He sat down and made video tape (VHS - old school) recordings for his child so that he/she would know their father. Don't watch this movie unless you are prepared to cry - ugly, sobbing, crying. It's that good.

Anyway, that is the general idea of Passed On, only brought into the modern century with the latest technology. Easier to create. Easier to store. Secure. Beautiful.

For more information about this organization or to make a donation so they can continue offering this service free of charge, please visit their website:

Don't forget we have a date Monday:-)