Let’s resurrect this blog!

Two and a half years is a long time to let this blog fall by the wayside. It’s too bad, because even though I sometimes find it difficult to create posts, I always, without exception, enjoy reading back at what I’ve written about. I need to remember that when it feels too hard or embarrassing to try to write.

In any case, although I can’t properly recap the last 30 months, I can quickly catch you up to where I am now. In May 2016, I am:

… a doctor (almost). I finished my last medical school requirement last Friday and I will graduate on June 3!

… Matched and employed! I matched into the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at the Cleveland Clinic.IMG_9334

And…

… a homeowner! Daniel and I are buying a beautiful old house in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. We close on June 2.

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We’re so excited to move to Cleveland and get started with the next phase of our lives. Hopefully, I will stick around here to document some of it. I’m especially looking forward to doing a little bit of renovating in our new house. It feels so different to know you can make changes to your home – I have so many ideas!

Until next time!

new blog theme

So I decided to change the look and theme of the blog a little – hope you like it!

I also had to change the blog title, obviously, since we’re moving away from Seattle. This is like when I was 13 and I signed up for a Yahoo! email address as folara13. I guess I thought I would never age? Or maybe I wanted to memorialize myself at age 13 or something. Either way, I apparently didn’t learn my lesson, because when I started this blog six years ago (!) I never imagined living anywhere but Seattle.

pictures of the new apartment

Here are some pictures of our new place. Of course I realized the second we drove away that these photos are terrible and make no sense. Plus I forgot to take pictures of some really important things, like the entire balcony/porch.

Here is a little floor plan drawing of the unit. First thing as soon as we move in, I am going to measure every room and draw up an actual scale floor plan. Then I’m going to cut out tiny little couches and tables and beds and go to town arranging them on my little paper grid. Because I am cool like that.

Floor plan

Anyway, you can see the apartment has kind of an interesting layout – the third bedroom is tucked in the back without direct access to the hallway. You have to either walk through the second bedroom or the bathroom to get out. I’m not sure why it was laid out that way, but I can tell you that every single apartment we looked at had some kind of weird layout quirk…

The apartment is very clean and freshly renovated with new paint and refinished floors, which is nice. The ceilings and baseboards are painted an OK white semi-gloss, but the walls are just a gross yellowish off-off-white. We’re planning to repaint just about everything.

Ok, here is the living room. The window faces east. I think we’ll put the couch on the right against the wall and the shelving unit on the left wall. The whole room, along with the dining room, is going to be painted a nice soft gray, just a touch warmer than the color in our current apartment. I hate vertical blinds, so we will probably pull them permanently off to the side and cover the whole apparatus with curtains. I’m thinking floor-to-ceiling curtains on a hospital track.

Living room

And here is the dining room – it is open to the living room and the window faces west onto the balcony. We’ll obviously put our dining table here, as well as the china hutch. The air conditioner will live here in the summer too. I also want to get rugs for the dining and/or living rooms. And the ceiling fan is hideous. The part of me that has lived in Seattle for the past 7 years wants to chuck it, but I know we’ll rely on it to cool the apartment down. Maybe we can replace it with an inexpensive but more attractive model. Ceiling fans aren’t that expensive, right?

Dining room

This is the kitchen (with a gas stove for Daniel!) We are going to get a stainless steel kitchen work table from the restaurant supply store to go against the opposite wall.

Kitchen

Daniel is so excited to have a bigger kitchen with lots of counter space and cabinets. The upper cupboards are are original 1960s aluminum cabinets. The whole kitchen is that ugly yellowish color but we will probably just live with it for now. What should we put in that weird little corner area (besides the weird grass-filled cornucopia, which is staying, obvs)?

Kitchen

The master bedroom has windows facing east and south and a big double closet. I like that all of the floors, woodwork, and doors are original to the unit. You can’t see them, but the sliding closet doors are the original wood color, which I like so much more than if they had been painted or (horrors) replaced with cheap mirrored closet doors. This place is definitely mid-century.

Master bedroom

We plan to paint the bedroom something really dark – either black or deep deep blue. Both the room and Waukegan get so much light that we’re not worried about it seeming like a cave in there. It’s going to look great.

Here is the second bedroom, which will become my office. It also faces south and has the smallest closet.

Second bedroom - my office

I’m planning to paint it some shade of gray and then fill it with white bookshelves and a huge white lacquered desk. The closet will become my craft supply storage area. Daniel can have, like, a laptop charging area and a bookshelf. But the rest of the room is all mine.

Second bedroom - my office

Second bedroom/office into hallway

I’m really excited to have a space all to myself that’s big enough for me to craft and do school work in. I figure, the reason we’re in Waukegan is for me to go to school, so let’s really go all out here and dedicate a room to my studies. In the past, our shared office spaces have just gotten too cramped and cluttered for either of us to work. Plus, Daniel will get a desk at work.

Ok, so next is the bathroom. Compared to our last two apartments, this bathroom is huge. There’s, like, 2 feet of space in between the tub and the sink, and the sink and the toilet. And they didn’t have to cut out a piece of the door to fit around the toilet bowl! I’ve always been proud of Daniel’s and my ability to successfully share tiny bathrooms, but needless to say, this is going to be a nice upgrade.

Bathroom

So the tub is blue and the walls are tiled to half-height in white with a brown border:

Bathroom

In order to pull it all together I bought this shower curtain, which is gorgeous in person.

Shower curtain

We’re also going to paint the upper portion of the walls a bright jewel tone green – like a kelly or emerald.

And finally, here is the third bedroom, destined to be the guest room. I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do in here yet – it will probably make a pretty good landing pad for random crap for a little while. But we are buying my friend Kaitlin’s bed and hauling it all the way to Chicago, so this room will definitely become a guest room eventually. It just might take a little time.

Third bedroom - guest room

back from hiatus

Well, I stopped blogging for a good long while, and right in the middle of NaBloPoMo. I kind of got overwhelmed with med school applications, plus feeling like I was bad at blogging. I was not in a super-awesome place last November. I mean, I was fine, but I felt like I was in such a rut.

Well, just about everything has changed in the last six months. Most importantly, I got into medical school and we’re moving to Chicago in August!

Daniel and I are so excited, even though it means we’ll be moving away from Seattle and our beloved Northwest. And after reading back over the blog archives, I realize there are still so many things I wanted to share about our apartment that I never wrote about, and even a bunch of pictures I never even uploaded to Flickr. I have some blog drafts that I wrote and never posted. So if you’ll excuse things being a little out of date, I think I’ll try to get some of those up soon. Maybe I can ease back into blogging that way.

I feel so much more confident now than I did 6 months ago. By Christmas 2011 I knew I needed to start making some changes in my life, because I was certain I was going to be rejected from med schools again. Daniel and I even bought season tickets for the Seattle Opera 2012-2012 season. I got a few interviews, but after being rejected from almost everywhere, I felt completely demoralized. In February I enrolled in an EMT training program because I was sure I wouldn’t get into med school and I hated my current job so much. I found a mentor doctor to shadow and really started to feel like I was finally making some positive changes in my life. Then on May 1, 2012, I found out I had been accepted to the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. Bam – everything changed.

Now, a month later, after all the the congratulations and booking a mover and putting in my notice at work, I think I’m ready to blog again.

The thing is, I love going back and reading through the blog archive. But at the time I am trying to write for the blog, everything feels so clumsy and stupid and boring. It can be so hard – with everything I’ve ever written, really – just to get it out in the first place. It’s the main reason I end up taking such long unproductive breaks from blogging. So I am going to try to be more confident in my writing.

Here’s to the next 8 weeks in Seattle, and after that, the next 4 years in Chicago!

Valentines ranunculus

Sunday Walt

I love it when he delicately drapes his paws over the edge of something:

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What does he think about in that little brain of his? Cheeky lil’ bastard.

Can you believe that cheeky smirk?

Sunday Walt

new purple coat

Walter models his purple coat. The days and nights are getting chillier!

new purple coat

What’s next – booties?

Bring your dog-ter to work day

Last week my boss let me bring Walter to work with me for a day. Walt was a big hit at the office and he was such a sweet boy all day. The only thing that doesn’t really work is that there is NO grass within a 5 block radius of my office, so Walt had a hard time finding a suitable place to pee.

hard day at work

Basically, that is what his day looked like: sit around, roll around with his mouse rat, lie around and nap. I wish I could do that at work!

Here is a little video I made of him:

Are you sick of all the Walter posts yet? Too bad!

Contrast

Today when I was bored at work I decided to take some pictures of my hair. The way I had my hair pinned up made my wild white blonde streak lay right next to the dark hair by the nape of my neck, so I wanted to capture the color contrast. Sometimes I think my ashy, dark blonde hair is pretty boring, but I do have some pretty cool natural color variations:

My hair

Check out those highlights – it’s like it’s 2002 again!

My hair

(By the way, this is how you know I am having a hard time coming with stuff to write about every day: I start taking pictures of random crap.)

Sunday Walt

Can anyone tell me why my dog lays like this? Why does he splay his little legs out like that?

this is how he lays

Happy little guy doesn’t even know how weird he is.

this is how he lays

Picture a day

So Daniel and I just got iPhones and they are amazing. I feel like jerk getting this excited over a gadget, but seriously, it is the best thing ever. I’m writing this blog post from my phone!!!

One of the coolest things (other than being able to read a book and listen to music at the same time on the same device!) is how easy it is to integrate all my shit. I can take a great picture, edit it a little, and add it to a blog post in, like, five minutes. You see where this is going… this is going to be awesome for you, my dear readers. All three of you.

Especially with NaBloPoMo coming up, I am going to try really hard to post regularly. Like hopefully at least a picture and a little bit of text every day.

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(I told you it was a damn fine camera!)

You’re welcome!

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New curtains for the dining room.

New curtains for the dining room.

...and after the haircut

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