Gloves That Make Me Squeamish

The house is too quiet.

David is in Atlanta, taking the clinical skills (CS) part of the USMLE Step 2 exam.

Confusing, right?

That’s what I think.  Too many tests.  So much travel.

CS, as the name implies, tests his clinical skills.


I decided to help him prepare.  (By prepare, I mean I asked him to model for me for one of MY assignments.)

I figured if he could put on his gloves, he’d pass for sure.  What more does he need to know for this test?  How to speak English?  Medical stuff or something?

Wish him luck!

My Big Dream

On our last day in New York, we drove out to the Finger Lakes area.  We followed our noses until we hit the town of Canandaigua.  We stopped to check out some boats on the lake and this is what we found:


A car repair shop among  several boat houses.


I mean, these were literal houses for boats.


Of course, we thought they were so cute and David started formulating a plan of how and why we might need/have one of these one day.


One day, we might actually own some things.

Actually, I’m just hoping to be out of medical school one day.  It’s not asking for too much is it?

When God Closes One Door

When God closes one door . . .


He opens another.

After much fasting, prayer, and pleading with the Lord, God has provided us a way to stay together as a family through this messy rotation thing.

Really, that was all we wanted.  We just wanted to stay together as a family.

Turns out, we will be able to spend the majority of the next seven months together.  We will also be surrounded by lots of family in Utah which is a rare treat for us.

It puts a smile on my face to sit back and watch the Lord move mountains.

He really does know each of us.

He really does care about each of us and our desires.  Regardless of how silly or small they may be.

The Very Sad, Sad, Story . . .

We’re moving.


We planned to stay in Kansas for all of David’s rotations, and then move when residency starts.

That is no longer the case.

Last week, as we were driving from New York back to Kansas, we got a phone call from a good friend (and fellow student) telling us that the Veterans hospital (where David did all of his rotations and had all of his elective rotations set up) will no longer rotate Saba medical students.  Some mumbo, jumbo about not being LCME certified.  Don’t ask me what that stands for, but it’s important.

The other hospitals in the area either don’t take foreign medical students, or they are booked until March or later of next year.  That does not help us in making the 2010 residency match.  David has to do rotations solid from November through May to graduate in time for residency.

We sorted through our options and have a plan.  In a nutshell, I have to pack.

UGH, I have to pack!  Do you know how much I hate packing for major moves?  You would think I love it with all the moves we make, but NO!  It’s right up there with giving birth to a 17 pound baby.  Yep, right up there.

Our plan is to stay in KC through most of October, find someone to lease our place (we have a contract, so we aren’t exactly going anywhere until someone leases this place), and head back to Utah.  David will be setting up his own rotations in Utah (we can only do a couple of months because there are specific rules about foreign medical students rotating longer than 8 weeks per year there) and then move on to the next adventure.

Oh yeah, did I mention David is studying for Step 2 right now?  Yep.  Add that to the list of things stressing us out.

I’m tired just thinking about all this.  I think I’ll take the day off and just take a nap.

Yeah, I think I should do that.

The Loaded Question

Loaded questions.

We’ve all been asked them.

For years, the question was, “When are you going to have kids?”  Which was later followed by, “Do you want kids?”  after we’d been married about six or seven years with no visit from the stork.

Today, the question is, “Where are you from?”

This question always makes me take a deep breath as I decipher what the person is really asking.

Are they asking where I’m currently from, where do I live, or where was I raised?  Because they are all different.

It’s a straight forward question that does not merit a long and detailed explanation.


Most people haven’t been living like a gypsy for the last several years.

But . . .

Since I never can tell if someone is simply exchanging pleasantries, or asking for a more detailed description of my roots, they usually get the the long, convoluted explanation with much more information than they ever wanted to know.

Most conversations go like this:

“Where are you from?

“Do you mean right now, where am I from?  Are you referring to where my house and stuff are?  Or are you talking about my permanent mailing address, or where I was raised?”  (This is usually followed with big eyes from the questioner.)

“Are you guys in the Army?”

“Oh no, were in the other profession that makes you travel all over the world.  Medical School.”

“Medical School?”

“Yeah.  Medical school did this to us.”  (Our experience is not typical . . . only a select few get to follow their husbands out of the country, and from state to state for clinical rotations.)

The thing is, David and  I have really enjoyed living in different parts of the country, and living outside the country.  Our experiences have been rich.  We have met so many wonderful people along our way, and we love so many things about different parts of the United States.

The follow-up question to “Where are you from?” is usually “Where do you want to end up?”

Again, for most people, this answer is easy.

For us, we simply have no idea.  I mean, we do have our limits like not pursuing a residency in Alaska or any other state that has cold/cooler weather nine to 12 months out of the year, but other than that, we’re open.

The only thing we can decide on is the style of house we like.

We like this house.


A lot.

You can’t really tell in the picture, but this house takes up an entire block.  The brick fence is very majestic.

It is still up in the air as to what size of town we want to settle into, (rural, suburban, or a downtown area) and what region of the USA we’d like to put down roots, but at least we know the style of house we want, right?

We’re the Only Family I Know That Can Make an Eight Hour Trip in 12 Hours.

We left Kansas City on Saturday with high hopes of making it to Dayton Ohio (to stay with our friends Brent and Michelle)  in eight hours.

Eight hours would be plenty of time for, lets say, someone traveling alone.  Someone without  kids or a dog.

We are the only family I know that can make an eight hour trip in 12 hours.  We’re really proud of that. (Please tell me you read that last sentence with much sarcasm.)

On Saturday, we left the house three hours later than we originally planned, but no biggie.  What’s three hours on an 18 hour trip?

Two hours into our journey, somewhere in Missouri, we passed a serious car accident within seconds of it happening.

Because I’m not super nice, it never, ever, crossed my mind, in the millisecond that we passed the accident, that we should stop and help.

Not once.  (Please don’t judge. :))

There were a few people there and I was positive that someone had called 911.


But, David is WAY nicer than I am and his instincts are just a bit quicker.

He pulled over, and jumped out of the car, ran across the freeway (which was not too scary as you can see by the picture, traffic was moving very slowly.) to assist until help came.

At first I was all, “How are we going to help?  Me, you, and the dog, with our chatty three-year-old, and bashful baby?  Not to mention our tiny car towing a U-Haul?”

Plus, we were just a tad behind schedule.

Anyone else following me?

It only took me an extra few seconds after David stopped to realize that he might be the only person who stopped to help that might actually know something.


I gave Dallin the i-Phone to play with (which made him grin from ear to ear), and stepped outside to snap a few pictures of the scene while Hannah cried her eyeballs out.  She was very sad David left so abruptly with no explanation given to her.

Turns out, the chick driving the truck, blew a tire.  Not knowing how to drive her car on three wheels, she rolled.

She was not wearing a seat belt.

We’ll never know the fate of this girl, but David was almost positive she had a neck injury.  She could not feel David touching her arm which is not usually a good sign.

The jaws of life came out to retrieve her, and we were on our way.


This is our car.

This is the necessary U-Haul transporting some of our stuff.

This car/U-Haul combo is a head turner.  Especially with two adults,and two kids and a dog in the back.

For one, most people are amazed that a car so small can tow a U-Haul that size.

Second, more people than I’d like to count, have asked if we were moving ALL OF OUR STUFF for six weeks.


These are the necessities!  Yes, we are renting a furnished apartment, but I learned a LONG TIME AGO (when we moved the the Caribbean), that “furnished apartment” to someone else is does not mean “furnished apartment” to you.  That said, I brought anything and everything I thought I might need.  I didn’t want any surprises, and I certainly didn’t want my children’s only toys to be Tupperware.

I’m completely justified with this trailer.

Someone, please back me up.

Tell me you too would have rented a trailer to move a bunch of stuff for six weeks.


New York, Here We Come!

We’re going to New York for six weeks.

That’s right.

We’re not going to the BIG APPLE.

We’re going to Upstate New York.


Rochester to be exact.

David will be doing his OB/GYN rotation at a hospital there.

We’re renting an apartment on Main Street in Palmyra.  It’s about 30 minutes away from Rochester.  It’s a quiet little farm town, rich with LDS church history.

Our apartment is directly above the LDS bookstore.  This will certainly be an interesting living arrangement for us.  I’m sure there will be many pictures to come.

I’m most excited to see the the autumn leaves turn while we’re there and I can’t wait to see Niagara Falls.


This is one crazy adventure medical school has taken us on!

We leave this weekend.  Wish us luck on the two day drive!

(I’ll be back to blogging in a few days after we settle in and get internet.)

Meet Two of My Friends

Say hello to my friends Ray and Leigh.

I knew them on Saba.

Leigh is a medical student.

That’s how we met.


They now live in Kansas City.  Funny how we keep moving to the same place.


They’ve been married for awhile.


Looks like it’s working out for them.  🙂


They are planning to adopt.  Do you know of a baby for them?


They plan to use some of these pictures for their adoption profile.  This one will send a good message.


So will this one.


Leigh has great jewelry.   (Maybe she’ll  give me her great pieces when she gets bored of them.)


Leigh and Ray are such a great couple and will be wonderful parents one day.

And, they were so flexible when I called them on short notice for this shoot.

Great couple + flexible schedule = Great parents, right?

Let’s find them a baby!  🙂

Baby Inca

My friend Nicole, (she lived on Saba the same time I did and her husband is also a medical student doing rotations in Kansas City) just had a baby girl at the end of May.

I’ve never photographed an infant, so I asked to photograph her new little one.


She was a doll.


Inca is actually crying here, not yawning,. But she’s still so cute!


I shot these in my kitchen.  I put up a black sheet on a wall and used the light from the window.


I think it did the trick as a “make-shift” studio.


Look at that hair!


And her sweet little hands!


This was Nicole’s idea.  So sweet!



Aren’t babies the best?

Kind of makes me hungry. . . for lunch that is.

Sometimes, He Has Stuff to Say Too

I’m a talker.

David’s a talker.

Together, we’re a chatty couple.

Most of the time, when David calls me on his way home from work, I start to data dump.  (I rarely meet my daily word quota before he comes home, lucky for him!)

A few days ago, I was sharing the woes of my day.  (The laundry!  The dishes!  Hannah’s not listening!  Busy man Dallin is into everything!  I’m exhausted!) Really, really, big woes I tell you.

After listening to me rant for 30 minutes straight, I asked him about his day.


He was coming home from a children’s hospital.

The surgeon he works with is a transplant surgeon.  They were harvesting organs from a five year old boy.

In that moment, I realized that I had no woes.

Not one.

And for once, he needed me to listen to him more than I needed to talk.