2013 in review

Given that this will only be my fourth blog post for the whole year, it is probably obvious that 2013 has been a busy year for me!

Professionally, this year has definitely been the best of my life. In the past 12 months, I have more than found my footing at med school. With the help and dedication of some amazing friends, we have successfully opened and operated a student-run free clinic since September. This project was conceived a little over a year ago, and the clinic has now been open and thriving for over three months!

Two med students practicing sutures on pigs' feet

Practicing before we treat any real patients!

This free clinic has opened so many doors for me – I have the amazing opportunity to work with so many students and faculty on this project. I really feel like I am doing important, meaningful work, and that I am respected by my peers and mentors for it. It is a wonderful feeling.

The second year of med school has also been so much more fun and interesting than first year. My classes are so much cooler and there is so much less “busywork”! My grades are much better this year than last year as well, which doesn’t hurt.

2014 is going to be another big year for me. The whole first half will be spend studying for “the boards”, the big USMLE Step 1 exam that I will take in June. Then, Daniel and I plan to move down to Chicago where I will start the clinical part of med school, my third year clerkships. I’m also working on a big project this spring with the goal of expanding the types of services we’re able to offer at the clinic.

But it hasn’t all been work, work, work! I have had a wonderful time with friends, family, and of course my two guys Daniel and Walter! Here is a little recap of 2013 in pictures:

In March, our friends Kaitlin and Chris came to visit, and we met up with Pamela and Javier in Chicago for a bite.

Grabbing pizza in Chicago, March 2013

Grabbing pizza in Chicago, March 2013

Then, in June, we traveled back home to Washington for a couple of weeks. We stayed at Kaitlin and Chris’s apartment in Seattle and explored our favorite city like we were tourists:

Me and Daniel on the Bainbridge ferry

Gotta wear that lifejacket!

Chris and Kaitlin at Tilth

Then we drove to Spokane for my sister’s wedding, which was lovely:

Megan and Shaun

Me and Daniel at my sister's wedding

Couples selfie

Then we settled down for a chill, relaxing summer at home in Waukegan:

We hosted a big 4th of July barbecue with with pulled pork and all the trimmings:
Backyard BBQ

We daytripped down to Chicago:

At Intelligentsia

Pamela visited for a few days later in July and we just hung out and bought matching “friend” watches (the brown one on the left):

Me and Pamela

Clocks on clocks on clocks

In August, we bought bikes and started commuting on them! I did the 13-mile round trip commute on my bike quite a few times until the weather got too cold, and I plan to start again in the spring.

New bike

In September, my mom visited, and she even went to school with Daniel and me each for a day! This is us at a school picnic where she was a big hit with all my friends:

Mom and me

Before we knew it, the holidays rolled around! We had a big Thanksgiving this year, with 14 people at our house, including Pam and Javier, plus a bunch of people from med school. Daniel outdid himself again (well, I helped a little,) and Pamela generously provided flowers for me to arrange and play with (one of my favorite things to do, but I always feel guilty about how much flowers cost). Everyone had a great time and left with full bellies.

Thanksgiving with friends

Cranberry-blueberry pie

Thanksgiving flowers

Thanksgiving with friends

Which brings us to Christmas. This was our very first Christmas away from our families. Daniel and I kept it very homey and cozy and just focused on being with each other.

Christmas cookies

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas Day dessert

Enjoying snow and sunshine

Wearing my Christmas scarf and pin

Modeling his new Christmas gifts

We still have a few more days until we go back to school, so we’re getting ready to tackle 2014 with our usual energy. As you might have heard on Facebook already, Daniel and I will be eating vegetarian for the month of January, as an experiment more than anything.

Here’s hoping that you had a great 2013 and that your 2014 is looking even better!

First visit to the Bean

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8 months in one post

I have not blogged in forever! Why have I not blogged for 8 months? Because I am a fuck. Thankfully, I have been taking pictures. So quickly, here are some of the things that have happened in the past year that I never wrote about:

Exactly one year ago in late July 2012 Daniel, Walter and I road-tripped across the country from Seattle, Washington to Waukegan, Illinois. These photos were taken at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming:

Daniel and Walter at Devil's Tower, WY

Me and Walter at Devil's Tower, WY

Once we arrived in Illinois, we had a ton of free time until our stuff arrived, so we painted our bedroom black. Benjamin Moore Onyx, to be precise. It is a lovely, sooty black and I will definitely be using it again in future apartments. Our landlord just about had a heart attack when he saw it.

Paint is Black Onyx by Benjamin Moore

On August 6th, 2012, we celebrated Walter’s 3rd birthday with a cute hat, some poached chicken, and homemade froyo. Our stuff still hadn’t come yet.

Happy 3rd birthday, Walter!

A few days later, I had my white coat ceremony. If you’ve never heard of it, the white coat ceremony is a med school rite of passage where you receive the short white coat of a medical student and then you take the Hippocratic Oath. It was pretty cute, but Daniel couldn’t come, so I felt very alone. You can see from this awkward picture that I didn’t know anyone yet and was feeling very shy. A year later though, I’m friends with almost everyone in that photo!

White coat ceremony

(Fun fact: when we got our coats, we each had to stand up and say one thing that we are “bringing to medicine”. 10 points if you can guess what I promised to bring!)

We finally got settled into our new apartment and I took a few crappy photos:

Living room

Living room

Office

Looks pretty much the same as our last apartment, doesn’t it? Even the gray paint in the main room is almost the same shade – Benjamin Moore Stone Harbor.

And then school started and it was all about the studying (which is also ostensibly my excuse for not blogging).

Studying hard

It wasn’t all work and no play, though – my bestie Pamela and her boyfriend Javier visited in September for a few days and we toured the Few Distillery in Evanston. If you’ve never toured a bourbon distillery before, you have to try it! Everything smalls like warm toasty vanilla.

Me and Pamela at Few Spirits distillery

In October, we visited a pumpkin patch with new friends Svetlana and Jenny (med students like me).

Svetlana takes the lead!

Jenny racing

For Halloween, Wally was a lobster again, (but this year I think he wants to be a bumblebee):

Walter the lobster Walter the lobster

Walter the lobster

One big thing that happened this past year was us hosting our very first Thanksgiving. 2012 was the first year of our whole lives where we didn’t have the time or the money to travel back to Spokane for Thanksgiving. We hosted 8 people (also med students who couldn’t travel home) and everything went great. I’ll save the photos of that for now, because I want to do a whole separate post on that.

2012 was our second year with a real Christmas tree, and this time we decided to go all the way out to the farm and cut it ourselves. We all got bundled up:

All bundled up

And chose our tree.

Christmas tree hunting

Christmas tree acquired!

It looked beautiful up and decorated, but it didn’t smell as fragrant as 2011’s tree. I don’t remember for sure, but I think this was a Canaan fir. I think this year we will try for a better-smelling variety, even if the needles aren’t as soft.

O Tannenbaum

In December 2012 Daniel and I also celebrated our 10th dating anniversary! We celebrated on the 13th with flowers and champagne:

Anniversary champagne

December 13th, 2012

Followed by a romantic dinner and a night at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Anniversary

Later in January, we got dressed up and went into the city again for Dance for Diabetes, a charity event put on by the podiatry program at my university. Everyone looked fabulous and had a great time:

Dance 4 Diabetes

After the new year, I held a very special Galentine’s Day luncheon for all my favorite med school ladies. I want to do a separate post on that, but it involved pretty decorations:

Working on a fun tassel garland!

After February, school stuff really started to take over and apparently I didn’t take any pictures. Our amazing friends Chris and Kaitlin flew all the way out from Seattle to visit in March, but I can’t find a single photo! (To be fair, we did spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, drinking wine and playing Settlers of Catan, so I’m not sure how great those photos would have been).

But this summer has been great and I have plenty of stuff from the past few months to share with you soon!

Goodbye 2012!

Well, despite the fact that 2012 was the worst year ever for this blog, it was a pretty good year for me in real life!

I started off 2012 with my best friends Kaitlin and Pam at a raging party at Miss K’s house (no photos of that, thankfully). Daniel and I also rescued a stray dog last New Year’s Eve, and reunited him with his owners on New Year’s Day.

Here is a picture of me and my bestie Kaitlin at our last dinner party in Seattle:

Kaitlin and me

In Spring 2012, I traveled to several medical school interviews, and on May 1, I was accepted to Rosalind Franklin University! Just three months later, Daniel, Walter and I packed up all our belongings and road-tripped to our new home in Waukegan, Illinois. We were incredibly sad to leave our adopted hometown of Seattle, and our best friends Kaitlin and Chris. But after spending 3 years in a dead-end job, I was so happy to finally be going to medical school.

Me and my bestie Pamela when I was in Illinois to find and apartment:

Pamela and me

For the past 4 months, I have been pretty much living the dream, being a full-time med student, while Daniel has also been living his dream of being an elementary school general music teacher. We have a lovely home (which I know I owe everyone pictures of, sorry!) and lots of great new friends. Our neighbors are wonderful and they adore Walter.

Daniel and I hosted our first-ever Thanksgiving in our home this year. We had 10 people over for a fantastic feast. And 2 weeks ago, Daniel and I went down to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate 10 years together as a couple:

Anniversary

2012 has been a great year. A year with lots of change, some difficult, but most happy. Honestly, I don’t know if 2013 can top it, but I am looking forward to the future. Yes, even the surprises!

Walter

Love,
Sarah

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