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

Happy birthday little buddy!

Our Walter turns 4 today!

Happy birthday Walter!

Technically, we don’t know when his exact birthday is, but today is the second anniversary of the day we brought him home. It may seem silly, but he is the light of our lives. What a funny, snuggly, sweet little dog.

Wally celebrated with some stew beef and brown rice. And he even let me put the hat on him!

When we adopted him, the shelter said Walter was two years old. Which means that as of today(ish), he has spent more of his life with us in his “forever home” than he ever spent in his past life. And while we don’t know any details of his past, I will say that whoever gave him up must have had to be some sort of monster, because he is just the best dog in the world.

Wally would like to remind you that if you want to honor him for his birthday, the greatest gift you can give is to consider adopting a shelter dog when you get your next pet. I think this little sweetheart is more than enough evidence that shelter dogs are as good as, nay better than, dogs that have been bred or sold for profit.

Just look at him, proud member of the Clean Plate Club!

Clean plate club

Happy birthday Walter!

We love you so much Walter!

Birthday snuggles

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!

always more Walter

Well, since everybody likes the new couch, how about a video of Walter being hilarious on it?

new couch

Recently, we were forced to get a new couch. We bought an Ikea Karlstad sofa 4 years ago when we moved into our last apartment. I really liked that couch – it has nice clean modern lines, and it looked great with the metal legs we bought for it. But it was getting lumpy and saggy and not fun to sit on anymore, and then the whole frame started sagging really bad:

saggy old couch

The wood is completely broken, and since it is broken in a place where we already made some repairs with gorilla glue a few years ago, it was going to be really hard to get in there and repair it again.

So we went to Macy’s, opened the obligatory Macy’s account to get 10% off, and two weeks later:

new couch

Classy new couch! We even sprung for the 7 year all-inclusive warranty so that this doesn’t happen to us again.

Of course, Wally had to test the thing and give his seal of approval.

Walter is SO EXCITED about the new couch!

In case you can’t tell, he is running back and forth and rubbing himself all over the couch. I highly recommend clicking through and viewing at full resolution.

Of course, we haven’t gotten around to getting rid of the old couch yet, so it is just sitting in our living room blocking the closet. Does anyone want a cute but saggy sofa?

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

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.

20111015-213253.jpg

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

You’re welcome!

Walter facts

I am not done showing off our new apartment yet, but clearly it is time for another Walter update. It has only been a little over 3 weeks since we brought Walt home, but it feels like he has been in our lives forever. It would be impossible for me to overstate how much I love this little guy:

crate time

Here are all the stats on Walter:

Weight: 7.8 lbs
Age: 2 years
Likes: snuggles, belly rubs, squeaky toys, crabapples, chewy toys

Walt and me

Walt and me

And here are some of the things Walter has done in the past 3 weeks:

1 trip to the vet
1 trip to the groomer
10 walks to the pet store
3 ice cream cones
3 trips to the farmers market
2 trips to a bar
3 splashes in the fountain
1 trip to the book store
1 lunch with Sarah at work
…and lots and lots of long walks and treats.

snuggles with Daniel

Walter is pretty much the perfect dog. He is loving and snuggly. He is pretty great with other dogs, and he has already found a best friend in our neighbor’s dog Marzipan. He rarely barks. He does have a few house training issues, but they are getting so much better, thanks to this sticker chart:

Sticker chart

As of today, he has 7 stickers in a row, so I would say the motivational stickers are definitely working for him. Won’t be long before prize time…

Walt and me

I love you, Walter!

meet Walter!

So first of all, I have to say I am bummed that I haven’t gotten any new pictures of our apartment, but I have a good excuse. The charger for our camera battery got lost somehow in the move. I really planned to take and post lots of pictures this weekend of the apartment almost finished, but the camera is dead.

Instead, Daniel and drove down to Tacoma on Saturday to check out Woofstock – and we found a dog!

He is a sweet little 2 year old terrier mix. We only ave a few pictures from Daniel’s cell phone because, duh, the stupid camera is broken:

New Dog

He came from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, but they had just gotten him from another shelter only the day before so we don’t know anything about his life before the shelter. He is fearless and sweet and quiet and loving. He is terrible on the leash because he stops every five seconds to smell stuff. I don’t know what was in his past or why he was abandoned, but considering that he was once betrayed badly by his humans, he is so generous with giving us his love and trust. He is perfect for us.

We do know that the shelter said his name used to be Prince, but he prefers to be known as:

The Artists Formerly Known As Prince

Just kidding – the vet won’t let us put an unpronounceable symbol on the forms! His new name, after much input from family and friends, is Walter Francis Hershman-Rossi. Walt.

Walter and Hedgie

More pictures to come very soon! The apartment has definitely taken a back seat to this little guy!

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