Sunday, August 27, 2006

I love my church

I began attending Centerpoint last November with my friend from med school, David, when he and I were both searching for a church (I moved down to Loma Linda a year ago to start med school). After visiting for just a couple times, we both knew we wanted to call this church home. Several things that are important to me in a church stood out...the worship is real and Christ-centered, the messages are Bible-based and applicable, and outreach to the surrounding neighborhoods is also a major focus. The name is significant too. Centerpoint: Making Jesus the center and the point of our lives.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Balancing everything

Med school classes officially started on Monday, so I've been busy studying as much as I can all week. I'm realizing I didn't have quite as much time as I thought I had, and my decision to keep my job working with autistic kids on Tuesday/Thursday nights makes both those days very long (especially since we had anatomy lab all afternoon Tuesday). Today after lecture I came home to take a quick nap and ended up sleeping for 3 hours! I guess the new schedule (and less sleep) has caught up with me a little.
I absolutely love my job working with autistic kids though. It's one of the most rewarding things I've done. I started last March, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of the kids that we work with and helping them learn new skills and work towards adaptive independence. The little boy pictured is Alec, 5, one of my favorite kiddos to work with. He struggles with speech, and getting out the words he wants to say. So any kind of interactive play we do that gets him talking is great (this week we were "making" a chocolate cake).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My first pie

Last week while in Santa Barbara I made my very first pie! Yes, I had never made a pie before. I made the crust first, then mixed the blueberries (I was using a recipe for apple pie, but since I've never liked apple pie, decided to use blueberries instead) with a little sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the filling, placed them in the pie pan, covered them with the rolled out crust, placed a few decorative designs on the top (I couldn't be too creative, there weren't any cookie cutters or anything available), and voila...

It turned out really good...and actually tasted great (especially for someone who doesn't really like pie).
I was so proud of my little creation:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My drive to Santa Barbara

On Saturday I drove to Santa Barbara to visit a really good friend of mine from undergrad. What should have been a less than 2½-hour drive took more than 3½ hours...

And yes, traffic was at such a standstill that it was perfectly safe for me to whip out my digital camera and take a picture of how incredibly slow we were going. It turned out that there was a bad accident further up.
On my way home from SB, another photo-worthy milestone was reached:

My car reached 100,000 miles! I've had it for almost 6 years now, and it was at about 27,000 miles when my dad bought it for me (from Hertz Rental Car, it was a rental car before it was mine), so I guess I've driven about 73,000 miles in the past 6 years. That's 12,167 miles a year, 1014 miles a month, 254 miles a week, 34 miles a day! Yikes, that's a lot of driving now that I actually sit down and figure it out. I should really cut back...34 miles a day...that means I spend an average of half an hour in the car every single day!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Freshmen Welcome Picnic

My friends, Samantha and Kristina, and I at the Welcome Picnic for incoming freshmen medical students.

One of the games we played...for every question each team answered correctly, the designated person on that team could put on one piece of surgical apparel. The first team to have their player completely dressed (scrubs, gloves, booties, cap, mask, white coat) won.
The picnic was a fun time to meet other students and hang out with people I knew from last year.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Destiny and Stacy

My friend Katie and I were best friends growing up. We were constantly begging our moms to let one of us go to the other's house for the afternoon, where we went roller blading, swimming, played Barbies, and did crafts. We had sleep overs, and invited each other to every birthday party. We were in Awana Bible Club together, sang in the same choir, were on the same sports league. We played endless games of Monopoly, Yahtzee, Missionary Conquest, Uno, and our very favorite, Life. In this game, we added a new twist of our own invention: naming all the people we had in the game. For those who've never played the game, you start with yourself, then get married, and then acquire children throughout the game. For us this was serious business. We carefully selected a first and middle name for each child that was born to us.
Katie married young. She got married a few years ago and now has two absolutely beautiful baby daughters. When she was pregnant with each one I couldn't help but think of our days of playing Life and wonder what names she would choose for her precious babies. Destiny Marie is 2 years old now, and Stacy Jacqueline is 9 months. When I went home about a month ago I was so pleased to be able to hang out with Katie and the girls, they are just adorable. Thanks for being such a great friend!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

I held the camera steady as the resident grabbed the inflamed appendix with forceps in one hand and a pair of tweezer like grabbers in the other...I followed the tools with the camera as he kept feeling along the base of the appendix and onto the cecum, searching for exactly where the appendix ended and where the large intestine began..."I should probably clamp it off here...I want to make sure I get it all...but I sure don't want to end up in the bowel..." He finally decides where to cut it off, then inserts a staple cutter and stables off the appendix. Next he inserts a bag into which he inserts the appendix...neatly packaged, the offending object can now be removed without doing any more damage. Irrigate the abdomen, and we're done. Sew the fascia closed, then I get to staple closed each of the neat little cuts made in three different places in the abdomen. And just like that, I've assisted in my first surgery...

Monday, August 07, 2006


I had med school orientation on Thursday and Friday, and today we start two weeks of "Ward Experience", which is where we are assigned to a 3rd or 4th year med student or an attending physician and we get to follow them around and experience patient care. Last year I was assigned to an attending in peds endocrinology, which was really cool. This year I'm assigned to a 3rd year med student, David Skale, in general surgery at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Why am I not there you might ask??? I'm waiting for him to answer my page...

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I've never considered myself to be very creative, but after giving one of my best friends from college a bridal shower back in April, I decided I wanted to make a scrapbook for her with the pictures I'd taken from the shower. And I found out that I actually really like scrapbooking, and it's not as hard as I thought it would be! :) I just bought a small scrapbook, purchased a package of various decorated letters, assembled the pictures I'd taken at the shower, gathered some stickers I had plus a couple of plates from the shower, the confetti, napkins, invitations, etc., and two weeks later, voila! I ended up with a finished product! Of course it isn't anything professional, especially compared to what people who are pro scrapbookers produce, but I think it came out pretty nice. And of course I had plenty of help from my darling kittens, who follow me around the house and always want to be right in the middle of whatever I'm doing. :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Starbucks lovers...

Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino

Smooth and sweet, you fit in to almost any crowd. No one would suspect you of being a coffee tweaker!