Let’s Try This Again…

Since it has been six months since I’ve written anything on this page, I feel I’m way overdue for some blog sessions to start back up again. So much has happened in six months that it’s hard to comprehend how one person can handle it, truthfully. In a nutshell, Matt completed his three months away for audition rotations in Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania; interviewed for seven residency programs; MATCHED at his top choice in Dayton, Ohio, for Neurology (from the state of the Nittany Lion to the Mountaineers to the Buckeyes, here we go!); and have been traveling back and forth to PA to be with my mom who has been in and out of the hospital with Lupus complications. Oh, and in the midst of everything, I’m wrapping up my job of the past three years where my coworkers have become my family and leaving the state that I’ve called home for the past four years. And last but not least, WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!!! Our loan was approved and now we wait to close in six weeks 🙂 In the midst of this mess, it’s amazing how God truly has provided for our needs.

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A whirlwind 48 hour Brooklyn adventure.

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Laughter heals the soul.

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View of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

I’m determined to not let time get the best of me and avoid writing for so long. I need to write because it beats punching pillows or letting it all out at Matt. As we were packing today, I came across journals and quote books I’ve kept since I was 13 years old. They’re the kind of books that I read and cringe, but also want my future children to have to reflect and learn from. Reading some of the entries in there was what made me actually decide to sit down at 10pm on a Saturday night and write again. I will continue with this later, but for now, I leave with the human beings and small adventures that have gotten me through the past six months.

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Thankful for these goons who are with me every step of the way.

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Spent some time with one of my best friends and her baby girl 🙂

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Nephew time at Thanksgiving.

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Clearly trainings are taken seriously in vocational rehabilitation 

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Friends who do brunch do it right.

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29th birthday shenanigans in a snowstorm.

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My faithful companions.

 

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A Few Of My Favorite Things #1

I order from Vitacost at least every other month to ensure we are well-stocked on products we love. I’ve made quite a few purchases there recently, and thanks to $40 in coupon codes, I couldn’t pass up getting some of our favorite goodies. Below are five items that my husband and I simply cannot live without:

  1. The perfect base to a delicious smoothie. friday fave 1I still very much love the Garden of Life Raw Meal protein powder, but this whole meal shake is the bomb dot com. We mix it with some unsweetened chocolate almond milk, hemp and chia seeds, PB Fit powder, a banana or two, and a handful of greens for a morning meal that really does hold us over for a few hours. The ingredients are so simple, and yet the taste makes you wonder what it is in it that makes you want more.
  2. A healthier Oreo. friday fave 1 I know I know. Why buy a fake Oreo when the real ones are so good? Don’t get me wrong; Oreos are delicious, but I also know how terrible they are for my body. Palm oil, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup are not things I need to ingest when I want a treat. These Newman’s Own cookies have replaced Oreos in this household, and the best part is my husband actually prefers them! #wifewin
  3. The perfect dry shampoo. friday fave 1Truthfully, I have lost count of all the dry shampoos I have tried. Batiste, Psst, and Not Your Mother’s are just a few, but I have also tried plain cornstarch and baby powder as well. Nothing works as well as this one by Acure Organics. My hair is chemically treated, blonde, fine, and oily all at the same time, which makes finding products that work a challenge. I bought this on a whim a few months ago and love it. It actually gives my hair a bit of volume, and although it falls flat by lunch, I’ll take a few hours of successful second day hair than none at all. Depending on your hair type, you will either love this product or hate it, but for my thin hair, it works better than all the others I have tried.
  4. A clarifying shampoo that works in hard water. friday fave 1My husband and I moved to West Virginia three years ago, and my hair has never fully adjusted to the horrible hard water we have in our area. I have invested in expensive Malibu clarifying shampoo, a chlorine removing one by Paul Mitchell, and tried simple baking soda and apple cider vinegar, but nothing worked. In fact, the Malibu shampoo destroyed my hair to the point I went through two deep conditioners before it felt like hair again. This one by Avalon Organics cleans my hair without stripping it of its natural oils, and if I follow up with a deep conditioner, it actually looks good air dried. When that happens, a product is automatically a win-win in my book.
  5. A perfect price point body lotion. friday fave 1When it comes to body lotion, I don’t want anything sticky, heavy, or too fragrant, yet it has to work. I have went through three bottles of this lotion and will continually repurchase it. Not only does 32 ounces last six months easily, but the hydration lasts all day. The ingredients are trustworthy too, which makes me feel more confident in the product since the skin, the largest organ in the body, is what’s absorbing it.

There you have it: Five products my husband and I cannot live without. What are some of your favorites?

*Vitacost referral link: http://goo.gl/ykAyVW

 

Control: Who Has It?

It’s the middle of the week, and I am at home hacking my lungs out with a box of tissues on my right and a dog on my left. Oh, and obviously a computer at my front 😉 My arthritic foot has been acting up from the irregular weather patterns and nothing, not even the $40 cream prescribed by the doctor, is working to alleviate the pain. My husband is leaving in two weeks for a month long rotation in Virginia, so I’m trying to mentally prepare myself to hold down the fort alone until the beginning of April. Now that’s what is just going in my immediate household. At work, clients come to me looking for answers. “What can I do with my life?” “I need some direction.” “Can you pay for this or that or the other thing?” In the world around me, I’m nervous for our education system and what may become of it; I’m scared for our Earth if things don’t change; I’m worried about the lives affected as we go backwards towards segregation; and lastly, I fear for the well-being of animals since reporting of cruelty and neglect can no longer be seen on reputable sites like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All these things are in my mind at all times, and it wears me down. But guess what?

I CANNOT CONTROL IT.

I do not have all the answers to life’s questions. I do not know why I had to end up with arthritic foot at 26 (maybe God’s telling me to slow down….) or get sick in the middle of important stuff at work. By the time my (future) children will be going to school, our education system could be better than it ever has been; a (future) mother can dream, right? I can be a part of the movement toward change and show integration to those around me. I can continue to recycle and minimize my waste output as steps towards a cleaner Earth. I can also continue to advocate for animal rights and be a voice for those who don’t have one. Giving up control is hard. As a woman with a Type A personality who would much rather lead than follow, I’m all about control. However, I worry myself sick when I don’t have any, and I shouldn’t. Deep down, I know who truly is in control and thankfully, it’s not me.

WHO IS IN CONTROL?

So often, we forget to count our blessings when things are rough and we felt we have lost control of our lives. That is totally normal, and the One who is in control knows it. He knows our desire to be in charge. After all, we know what’s best for ourselves, right? Ehh, not always. More often then not, things happen to make us slow down so we realize how little we are compared to how big He is. That alone is a blessing when you truly think about it. Did we create our immune systems to fight off the infections we occasionally may get? Did we design our bodies to have arms to hold things and legs to get where we need to go? Did we give ourselves a voice to speak up and be heard? We have so much to be thankful for, and I’m going to try and remember that as I go through my day eating soup, drinking tea, snuggling my pups, and binge watching YouTube videos. I encourage you to do the same, no matter what is going on in your life right now 🙂

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From the book, “Contagious Joy” by the Women of Faith series

A Lesson Learned From a Dog’s View

With all that is going on in our country right now, here is a picture of two creatures who could care less who you voted for, the color of your skin, where you are from, or what your beliefs are. They simply want to be accepted and trust they’ll be led in the right direction, even during periods of unrest. We can learn so much from dogs….<3

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Miner and Leia, two dogs who once unwanted, found their happy place in this world. I couldn’t be more grateful for all they teach me everyday. 

*This is not a political post designed to spark controversy or arguments. Enjoy it for the cute pups in all their glory who absolutely love hamming it up for photos.

It only took two years to write a second entry…..

As I should have known, it took me two years to 1) remember I started this blog and 2) felt any desire to write something when I rediscovered it. My husband has been harping on me to “find a hobby” (doesn’t he know saving the world one rescue pet at a time is a hobby?!) and “stay busy” while he’s off on rotations. Yes dear, because running a house, caring for five pets, working 40+ hours a week, and trying to stay sane isn’t enough to stay busy. Oh to be a man and have a one track mind. Anyway, I’m promising him (and myself) that this blog will get up and running again. Even if no one reads it, it’s an outlet to express my feelings on this med school journey because, for those who are curious, it sucks in about as many ways as it is awesome. It’s a known fact women like to talk. Here is my talking for those who have a desire to listen. Stay tuned! DSC_0710