Monday, December 12, 2011

Coffee Shop Etiquette

1. Do not be obnoxiously loud. This includes overly loud talking, laughing, arguing, and rearranging. Whether I am studying or not is irrelevent.

2. Don't bring in take-out from other places. Especially if it smells.

3. PDA. Enough said. No one wants to see it.

4. If you bring your baby, don't ignore it while it screams in its stroller for 20 minutes. Furthermore, don't ignore your toddler while it runs around wild making a mess. This coming from someone who loves babies and has brought babies and toddlers to coffee shops, please consider those around you.

5. This is not an office. No one around you wants to hear you make dozens of business phone calls.

6. Don't take up multiple tables with massive amounts of stuff when the place is crowded. That is just rude.

7. If it looks like I am studying, I probably am. Therefore, I probably don't want to have a 30 minute conversation with some random person.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Protecting myself

Recently, I have found myself saying things like "If I'm still in med school after Christmas...", "If I don't pass these exams the school of medicine may not let me continue..." and such more and more often, even to people who don't know my history. And I was realizing this evening that it's because I'm scared, and I'm trying to protect myself as much as I can from the pain that I know is inevitable if I don't make it. Now, unlike other years, I think that there is actually a fairly strong possibility that I will make it.

While the thought of failing is scary, I realized tonight that passing is just a little bit scary too. I have only been this far once before. And pretty soon I will be in completely uncharted territory. A little bit scary, yes, but also a little exciting. I do really really want to succeed. More than ever before.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Every day of my life is filled with choices, from the moment I wake up in the morning till the time I fall asleep at night...

Do I sleep for 10 more minutes or get up and take a shower?

Do I really want to be on time to class or can I sleep for 15 more minutes?

Do I listen actively during class and take good notes, or do I {chat with my neighbor/text/journal/facebook/email} during class?

What about lunch? The options are practically endless here...bring food (although that choice would have had to be made way earlier, like back when I was deciding how long to sleep in), buy food from the vending machine, go out (alone or with friends), go home and eat, skip lunch altogether...

The afternoon...nap, study, facebook, run errands, clean? Again, endless options.

And then, do I work out or not?

When do I start studying, where do I study, and for how long?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The most productive day in recent history

Today I:
-Slept in
-Took a shower
-Went to church
-Patched 1 1/2 pairs of jeans
-Hung out with a friend
-Studied for 5 hours
-Took out the trash
-Cleaned the cat litter boxes
-Went to the gym
And am still going to bed at a decent hour. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness, part 3

I am thankful for...

The Centennial Complex study rooms.

My physician mentor, Amy.

The older sister that God picked just for me and the wonderful example that she is to me.

The rain.

My anatomy lab group. They are so hilarious and fun.


A fun afternoon and evening with Will.

The best Thanksgiving ever, thanks to the class of 2015.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankfulness, part 2

I am thankful for…

Dr. Lewis. He is the reason that I am here and I love love love his lectures!

A fun study group and knowledgeable classmates.

Getting out of class one hour early (thank you Dr. Wilcox!).

Chris Adair, his amazing ability to explain heart sounds and murmurs, and his willingness to spend time helping me (in the midst of his very busy third year).

Getting to take a nap.

Dr. Oberg giving everyone credit for question #7 (meaning I am now passing embryo!).

A fun PDX cardio lab.

Dr. Shankel (she is so nice and encouraging!).

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thankfulness, part 1

I am thankful for…

An amazing friend who was willing to spend the night at my crazy messy house last night and help me study for exams this morning!

All the absolutely wonderful and amazingly supportive friends I have in med school this year. Best.Class.Ever. (And I seriously thought I would never say that after the Class of ___).

The fact that I am still passing cell structure and function.

Med school friends who are willing to go over stuff multiple times for me.

Being done with exams.

For sleep and good friends to hang out with.

All the babies I got to snuggle in the nursery today.

Dr. Wilcox (and the fact that he just threw out three exam questions, all of which I had gotten wrong, raising my score by 4%).

Getting to snuggle and play with Baby Joseph.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Will it be like this every single time?

I thought last time was the biggest deciding factor for my future in medical school and my career as a doctor. I passed all my exams last time, and now I feel like I am in the exact same spot I was in 5 weeks ago. Exept I haven't studied nearly as much for this set of exams. But I do have one entire set of passed exams behind me, so that's one positive thing I've got going for me. Even if I fail every single exam this round of tests, it won't be the end of the world. For me as a person (God still loves me regardless, and med school is not the most important thing in life, even if it feels like it sometimes) or for my career as a doctor (as in, my grades will technically all still be salvageable even if I fail everything). Not that I want to fail everything (or anything, for that matter), but it always helps me to put things in perspective.
This afternoon was the first time (maybe this entire school year?) that I really started feeling really anxious and kind of freaking out. But like I've realized before, anxiety and worry won't help one bit or change anything (unless it motivates me to study, and in my case it usually doesn't, it just paralyzes me with fear), so there's no reason to ruin this entire week by giving in to fear and anxiety.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Multitasking Fail

So yesterday afternoon I was babysitting and *planning* to study during the 7-month-old's long afternoon nap. When he flat out refused to nap, I improvised by studying on the day bed in his room while he played on the floor (I had tried studying on the floor with him but he was way too interested in my embryology book and notes). He was happy as long as I made eye contact and smiled at him every minute or so. All was going well until one of my regularly scheduled eye-contact-smiling moments...I went to look at him and he was gone. And seriously, this kid is barely mobile, not even crawling yet. I jumped up and started frantically looking for him (the room isn't that big!) and, after a few seconds of panic, found him under the bed - not just partway under, all the way under and back by the wall - playing with a surge protector. After I managed to drag him out from under there, I decided to forgo the studying...

The little trouble-maker

Friday, October 07, 2011


1. A time when two heads are not better than one.
2. Two tails do not help this guy swim fast.
3. Obvious problems.
4. Bigger is not better.
5. Clearly out of luck.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Somehow, I thought it would be easier

I always thought that if only I could pass my first round of exams, I could get my confidence back and the rest of med school would be easy. Well, I passed everything (!!!), and while this makes me so happy and excited and relieved and thankful to God, it certainly hasn't made studying any easier. In fact, this past week has been my worst week of studying since school started (and I always thought I had trouble studying the week after exams because I had just failed everything). While I am feeling more confident (I can do this), I am still questioning myself...maybe I can only do the first set of material. The new material is harder, I'm not nearly as familiar with it, Anna isn't here anymore, etc. And I think more than anything, I'm just getting really tired/bored of studying. But I can do this...I just have to repeat what I did for the first quarter, right? :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


1 : the plank, stone, or piece of timber that lies under a door : sill
2a : gate, door
b (1) : end, boundary; specifically : the end of a runway (2) : the place or point of entering or beginning : outset
3a : the point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced
b : a level, point, or value above which something is true or will take place and below which it is not or will not

The threshold is the potential that a cell must reach when depolarizing in order for an action potential to occur. The threshold is also the point or value that I must obtain on my exams this week in order for me to pass and for my career in medicine to continue...
I feel like I am kind of standing on a threshold, the threshold of my life, and that this week will determine a lot (but not everything, because, as Amy suggested, I'm giving myself till Christmas).
I didn't expect to like my med school class this much this year. I didn't expect to enjoy it this much. I didn't expect to make this many friends. Last year I didn't really care. This year I do, for more reasons than just my future as a doctor.
But, like my fellow student said on the way to chapel a few weeks ago, there's not really any reason to worry or be anxious, because it won't accomplish anything. It will just make me miserable and make my studying less productive. So I'm just going to do my best to not worry, trust God, and do the best that I can on exams this week.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Facebook, part 2

So I stayed off facebook completely for 6 days...I went back on because Friday the 26th was my sister's birthday and I wanted to wish her a happy birthday on fb. And the funny thing was, as I looked through all I had missed over the previous week (yes, I did indulge and let myself do more than just wish my sis a quick happy birthday) I found the whole experience to be incredibly anti-climactic. In fact, it was quite boring. No offense to any of my friends or anything, but all of the monumental things that I was imagining I must be missing all week just weren't happening. So all in all, I just confirmed that facebook is a huge time-waster filled with information that I really didn't need to know in the first place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


On the eve of classes starting (Sunday night), I decided to give up Facebook for awhile, and that is the last time I logged in. It has only been three days, but it feels like a lot longer. I feel disconnected from everyone, and throughout the day I keep thinking of things that would be great for my fb status. But at the same time, FB had become a HUGE time-waster, plus I don't really need to know every time someone I barely even know anymore gets a haircut, goes to bed, has a bad day, makes dinner, etc. I guess the degree to which I am missing it just shows me how addicted I was.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It will be okay

Yesterday I restarted school. And at my appointment with Dr. Mar in the afternoon, I realized that whatever happens, I'll be okay with it either way. I didn't exactly want to go back to MS, and while I will be a little sad if I fail exams and have to stop, at the same time it will be a huge relief and then I will just be done. So it will be okay. And if I pass exams, well then that will be what I've always wanted. So that will be okay too. So now all I have to do is do my best for the next four weeks and not let myself get too anxious or stressed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dear 21-year-old Me,

Don't go home every weekend - soak up every minute of time you can living in Santa Barbara. You will miss it terribly once you're gone.
Drinking isn't all it's cracked up to be. At its best you'll waste money, act silly, and make yourself sick, and at its worst you'll put yourself in dangerous situations, break the law, do things you'll regret later, and make yourself violently ill.
You think life sucks now...just wait a few years.
You have the best parents in the world.
It will always be harder for you than for most people, but you will eventually learn to interact and make friends with people. You won't always be alone.
Please don't starve yourself. I know it makes you feel better, but the consequences really aren't worth it.
Oh yeah, and you can skip the cutting too. It won't provide any real relief.
Even though all you want is to be accepted to medical school, it just may be the most difficult and painful thing to ever happen to you.
Jason is a total loser and he doesn't really love or care about you. Don't give him your time or heart.
You don't need to drive 90mph everywhere. Besides the fact that you WILL get a speeding ticket, it just isn't safe.
Dating really isn't all that great - you won't miss out on anything if you wait a while before trying it.
As much as it may seem to be true, your self-worth really isn't based on the grades you get.
God loves you and cares about you more than you can imagine. Even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream in a bag


2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half (whole milk works too)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag
1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.

3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.

~I used 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk and 1 tsp butter instead of the 1 cup half and half...only because I didn't have any cream or milk and didn't want to go to the grocery store. It worked just fine and turned out delicious. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 so far

Lost 20 pounds

Gave blood three times

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day twenty-six: a photo of your favorite subject in school

PDX (Physical Diagnosis) is/was my favorite class in med school, and this was the best I could come up with for a picture...this is the textbook I have for the class.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day twenty-five: a photo that inspires you

Sweet Mia Amore'. This precious little girl has been on a ventilator since birth and fights so hard every day to make improvements and learn new things. She is such a joy to her family and everyone around her. Mia's Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day twenty-four: a photo of what you want to be when you grow up

A pediatrician specifically, but I just like the way this picture looks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day twenty-three: a photo of something you want to do someday

More than anything in the world, I want to have a baby someday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day twenty-two: a photo that you associate a good memory with

Hanging out with Adie, fall 2008. I have so many good memories of babysitting Adie and spending time with her and Brandi and Andrew. I miss them so much. I could take Adie anywhere and she and I would have fun. And Brandi and I would have a blast just spending time together, running errands, eating, watching a movie, or knitting. If only they hadn't moved so far away (North Carolina).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day twenty: a photo of something you ate today

Tuscan Chicken that I technically made (from Dream Dinners).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day nineteen: a photo of your favorite thing from school

In medical school, I enjoyed ward experience the most (getting to do peds endocrinology, general surgery, plastics, and cardiothoracic surgery). And I always liked getting to wear my white coat. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day seventeen: a photo from a trip you'll never forget

July/August 2007, Machu Picchu, trip to Peru with the Loma Linda School of Public Health. Definitely an unforgettable 3 weeks.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day sixteen: a photo from your childhood

[I'll have to come back to this one too]

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day fifteen: a photo of you and a family member

May 28, 2010. My family at Anna's graduation from West Valley College.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day fourteen: a photo of your best friend(s)

Tahoe, July 18, 2010. I have a lot of really good friends, but David and Julie are some of my very best.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day thirteen: a photo of one of your favorite movies

Elf. I love this movie because no matter how many times I watch it it always makes me laugh.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day twelve: a photo of when you were happy

January 7, 2006 - the day I got Butterscotch and Caramel. One of the best days of my life. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day eleven: a photo of a night you loved

August 21, 2009. Dinner with David and Julie, the first time I went to visit them at their new house in Sacramento. I always love spending time with David and Julie, and miss them a lot!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day ten: any photo you like for any reason

Christmas 2009, making Gingerbread houses with my whole family, at home in San Jose. I love my family and I love spending time together. And I love Christmas.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Day nine: a photo of yourself when you were a baby

[I'll have to come back to this one, I don't have any baby pictures of me on the computer]

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Day eight: a photo of something you enjoy doing

What I love doing almost more than anything else...holding a baby.
8/1/2010, Will - 3 months old

Friday, May 06, 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Day five: a photo that makes you laugh

4/15/2011, Grace and Faith pointing to their sock that was stuck on the sun hanging on the wall.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Day four: a photo of a place you'd like to visit

Quebec, Canada
I've always wanted to go to Canada.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

Day one: a photo of you.
Day two: a photo of yourself at least a year ago.
Day three: a photo that makes you happy.
Day four: a photo of a place you'd like to visit.
Day five: a photo that makes you laugh.
Day six: a photo of someone you love.
Day seven: a photo of something you stand for.
Day eight: a photo of something you enjoy doing.
Day nine: a photo of yourself when you were a baby.
Day ten: any photo you like for any reason.
Day eleven: a photo of a night you loved.
Day twelve: a photo of when you were happy.
Day thirteen: a photo of one of your favorite movies.
Day fourteen: a photo of your best friend (s).
Day fifteen: a photo of you and a family member.
Day sixteen: a photo from your childhood.
Day seventeen: a photo from a trip you'll never forget.
Day eighteen: a photo of your town.
Day nineteen: a photo of your favorite thing from school.
Day twenty: a photo of something you ate today.
Day twenty-one: a photo of somebody you find attractive.
Day twenty-two: a photo that you associate a good memory with.
Day twenty-three: a photo of something you want to do someday.
Day twenty-four: a photo of what you want to be when you grow up.
Day twenty-five: a photo that inspires you.
Day twenty-six: a photo of your favorite subject in school.
Day twenty-seven: a photo of something you are looking forward to.
Day twenty-eight: a photo of something/somebody that made your day.
Day twenty-nine: a photo of your favorite person from history.
Day thirty: a photo you find beautiful.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easiest Baby Ever

I've been babysitting Alana since she was 8 months old, and she'll be 3 next month.

I always thought she was a pretty easy going baby (she was). Today I met and babysat her little brother Alan "A.J." for the first time. He is 7 weeks old.

During the almost six hours that I was there, he did not cry or even fuss once. He was perfectly content to sit in his swing or bouncer (and be moved from one to the other as his sister and I moved from one room to another as we switched from one activity to the next). I of course love holding babies so I held him for awhile too, but seriously, I think he is the easiest baby I have ever taken care of!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011

6 months

Exactly 6 months ago I was sitting through the first day of medical school orientation...And now, 6 months later, I find myself eerily in almost the exact same spot I was in at this time last year. Nannying again, waiting, planning to go back to medical school next year. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined 6 months ago where I would be today. (Well okay, to be completely honest, I did know that it was a possibility that things wouldn't work out the way I wanted them to, yet again, but I didn't really think that would happen).

So now, instead of spending my days going to lectures, dissecting cadavers, locating cells in histo lab, and studying nearly every waking minute, I find myself spending my days changing diapers, reading stories, watching Veggie Tales and Tinkerbell, playing at the park, going to the zoo, potty training, making sandwiches, preparing bottles and sippy cups, and taking a stroller and diaper bag with me everywhere I go. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE babies and want nothing more than to have one of my own...this just isn't how I imagined I'd be spending my time this year.
Still waiting and trying to figure out what your plan for my life is Lord...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giving people the benefit of the doubt

On my way home from work today, I came very close to getting into a car accident when a lady pulled out right in front of me on a busy street (hence I was going about 40 mph). As I slammed on the brakes and honked the horn simultaneously, the lady quickly realized and pulled into the other lane. And then she slowed down her car, and mouthed the words "I'm sorry" to me. I nodded and smiled and said "It's okay" and we continued on our way. And it made me realize, so often when someone cuts us off or nearly causes an accident, we are quick to think "What an idiot!" or at the very least "What a terrible driver!" When in reality most of the time those kinds of things are a mistake. I make mistakes too, I've unintentionally cut people off or pulled in front of someone before. So from now I (and I already try to do this a lot anyway) I'm just going to assume it was a mistake and not think badly of the other driver or get mad. We all make mistakes.