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


my god is a lobster dog

Happy Owl-oween

How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty laid back. I celebrated by decorating the house, which included making some sweet owl banners, as you can see.

Haunted house II

I’ve also been scoping out the neighborhood for pretty and/or scary haunted houses.

Haunted house

Daniel and I wore our dino costumes again, but the newest addition to the Hershmossi family needed a costume of his own:

Mister Lobster

As you can see my his infectious doggie-smiles, Walter loved his lobster costume and all the attention it brought.

my god is a lobster dog

my god is a lobster dog

Happy fall!

The leaves of change

It’s getting darker earlier…

Now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, I’m really looking forward to the coziness of winter. How long till I can put up the Christmas decorations?

I’m collecting inspiration for new crafts I want to attempt this year:

Love these online magazines that just came out:


…and Inspired Ideas.

Also love these felt house ornaments.

And of course, inspiration from Martha:

I think I am going to try these bird ornaments if I can get my hands on some reasonably-priced glitter.

Also, I am so digging on this beautiful wood and ceramic carabou. Not at all sure where I would put him, but isn’t he gorgeous?

Halloween ’10

This year for Halloween I made dino costumes for me and Daniel. I don’t have good pictures of mine, but here it’s the same as Daniels, except blue. Here is Daniel, in character as always:

Daniel dino

They were pretty simple but a pain in the ass to make. I basically made fabric cones, filled them with polyfill, and then appliqued them to an Old Navy hoodie. Simple, but it’s kinda hard to manipulate a whole hoodie through the sewing machine.

Daniel dino

We also tried a new pumpkin carving technique this year and it is awesome! Check it out:

pumpkin carving success

We got some linocutting/caving tools (we didn’t get these specific cutters, but this set was recommended), and went to town on 2 big pumpkins.

pumpkin carving success

Don’t they look great? It’s so much easier to be precise when you’re just shaving off the top layer of pumpkin instead of using those little saws to cut all the way through. Mine is the owl and Daniel’s is the skull. We got our patterns and the idea to use lino cutters from Martha, of course.

pumpkin carving success

We also went to the opera last night with our friend Kaitlin. It was awesome. We got season tickets with Kaitlin so we’re looking forward to getting to see three more shows this season. Last night we saw Lucia di Lammermoor, which I had never heard of but is apparently a really popular production. It was amazing! Afterward, we went to get some late-night snacks at a restaurant nearby and we ran into the singer who sang Lucia, Aleksandra Kurdak. We were pumped to get to meet her.

pumpkin carving success

Halloween recap

We had a very chill Halloween last night. No trick-or-treaters, as usual, which is kinda lame. On Friday night we carved pumpkins and last night we had a few friends over to watch an appropriately Halloween-y, but not to scary movie. We saw Låt den rätte komma in, which is a Swedish movie about vampires and first loves. (Thankfully, the movie had very little else in common with Twilight.) Then we went to bed early, and enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. The end.



I’m going to try to do NaBloPoMo again this year. To try to keep myself going all month, I’m telling myself all I need to do is post a new picture every day. Hopefully with bonus words next to it. We’ll see how it goes.


NabloPoMo was an epic fail for me. Miss one day, and all of a suddenly there is no motivation to keep going. I also got busy with two final papers I had to write, but as of yesterday, I am virtually done with school for the semester. And next Thursday, I leave Lund for Stockholm, and then for home!

Today is a special day for two reasons. First of all, it’s Daniel’s and my 6th anniversary! December 13th is also the feast day of Saint Lucia, a really big deal in Sweden. We went to the free Luciakonsert at the biggest church in town. As you can see, the line to get in was pretty long – actually, it went all the way around the block. I think the whole town was there.

By the time we made it in, the place was already full. Compared to the Lund cathedral, which is right down the street, this church isn’t old at all – it was finished in 1891, but is is still a beautiful building.
Inside Allhelgonakyrkan

All throughout the concert people were taking pictures, especially when Lucia herself walked in, followed by her tärnor (handmaidens).

Every town in Sweden picks a young woman to portray Lucia every year, kind of like how towns in the US pick a local girl to be crowned the local princess during parade season. You can read more about Sankta Lucia and why she is so important to Swedes here.

This music was beautiful. I especially like the song they sang as Lucia and her tärnor processed in. I shot a pretty crappy video of it that you can see here:

playing around with Polyvore

I found Polyvore, a website that lets you create collages and share them online. It is kind of like Wists, which is also a great site. The coolest part, of course, is always seeing the items and combinations that other people put together, and getting inspiration from them.

Anyway, I just bought a beautiful dress from this online store, (not the one I’m wearing to the ball on Saturday):

So, I though now would be a good time to try to put together a Polyvore collage of an outfit I might wear that includes the dress.

Here we are, the dress, plus a pair of black boots, which I already own, gray patterned tights that are also similar to ones that I already have, and two pretty pieces of jewelry. I really like this outfit. I could have also gone with heels and no tights, and tons of different pieces of jewelry.

I love the color of the dress…BUT they were sold out of purple, so I got black instead. Here’s another set, using ALL items that I already own, of how I can accessorize differently for a black dress:

The same boots and tights, but paired with the green pearls that I bought with Mom in Vancouver and the green rose cocktail ring I got last summer at Forever 21.

Naturally, I had the dress sent to my apartment in Seattle, so thinking about it reminds me that it will probably be around Christmas when I first wear it, so let’s look at an ensemble that would be appropriate for Christmas dinner with the family:

To change from funky to classic, switch out the boots for some timeless black heels, my white pearls, and a pair of solid gray tights instead of patterned ones. Then bring in some color with a pretty scarf for a headband and a ruffled cardigan from J.Crew that I’ve been longing for for months (the same sweater in yellow is definitely on my Christmas list this year…) Finish it off with another cocktail ring, this time something in red.

One dress (ok, actually two dresses), three ways. Although the site has a few annoying quirks (like how you can’t add pictures that don’t come from the internet, or that you can only view in pop-up windows) I think I could really get hooked in Polyvore. It is a lot of fun putting together different looks. Next I’d like to try it with home furnishings.

Halloween recap

I realized after the fact that I only got one good picture of myself on Halloween, although I did get quite a few of my friend Ben, who dressed up as a lovely lovely lady. Mine wasn’t much of a costume, just a headdress that I picked up for 20 kronor at Tiger. Have I mentioned Tiger, the totally sweet Danish “dollar store”? They’ve got lots of awesome stuff for 10 or 20 kronor.

Anyway, it’s not wise to spend a lot of money on a hat in Sweden, because when the Swedes get drunk, they like to trade hats. I lost mine at one point during the night, but eventually I got it back.

I had a ton of fun on Friday, but I’ll save the stories to tell you in person, if you know me, rather than splash it all over the internet. I’m short on time, anyway; we have revived Sunday suppers and people are due over here soon. I’ll be back tomorrow, though!

21 today

Today is mt 21st birthday. I just spent a few hours at the DOL getting my new license. In Washington, your drivers license is printed sideways (portrait vs. landscape) until you turn 21, when you get a new one. Of course, I had to stop at the liquor store on my way home, too. Anyway Daniel and I are going out for a nice dinner tonight, but I promise that tomorrow I will be back, because I need to post about all the great thrifting I’ve been doing lately!

Merry Christmas

All the presents have been opened and Christmas dinner eaten, and now we’re all playing games together. Tomorrow, of course, I’ll hit the after-Christmas sales. Hope your Christmas was restful and fun!



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