Wednesday, August 30, 2017

our save the dates!

I am so excited to finally share our Save the Dates! I am so so happy with how they turned out :)

Once we took our engagement pictures, we debated for a while about which picture to put on there. I wanted it to show us equally - there were lots of pictures where one of us was more prominent, but I really felt that it was important that we were both equally a part of the picture (rather than CR kissing me or me nuzzling his neck). I just love the picture of us that we chooose, plus the lilacs in the background are just so beautiful!

Once we choose the picture, I probably spent a good week looking at and comparing different options on the Minted website. There are just so many beautiful cards to choose from, but I eventually narrowed the options down to portrait cards with gold "save the date" with our information under it, and our favorite in the end was the Modern Script Save the Date. I love the crisp white edges and print, with the gold script across the whole card. One of the amazing things about Minted is that you can really customize the card, so if you don't like the font on the information part of the card, you can change it or move it! We ended up going with a different font than the original design had, just because I wanted a bit more juxtaposition between the gold script and the white lettering.

The next step after we finally finished designing the card was collected addresses. I love that Minted includes free recipient addressing. Instead of hand writing all the names and addresses, you collect that information in an excel spread sheet, and then your envelopes are printed...for free! It's seriously amazing. Luckily there have been several engagements/weddings in CR's family recently, so it was really easy to collect a large majority of those addresses since his cousin just sent out their Save the Dates! As far as the return address, you can pay a bit extra to either have it printed on the card or pay for stickers. Since we had just moved into our new house, I actually chose to do neither, and ordered this stamp from Etsy with our new address on it! I figured sending out 80 cards was the perfect excuse to finally get one!

My sister, in her first official duties as my maid of honor, came over to help me stuff and stamp the envelopes. For the actual stamps, I ordered these boutonniere stamps from They are pretty and fit the general theme of the Save the Dates/our wedding, but didn't cost as much as custom stamps would have. And then we just dropped them off at the post office, because it's more fun to put them in this than in your own boring mail box:

We got such great feedback from our friends, and I loved seeing all of their snaps that they sent us! I love seeing my friends' smiling faces on my own fridge, so I'm pretty honored to be on someone else's!

Overall, the process of picking out, customizing, and finishing our Save the Dates was a really fun and seamless process. I'm so thankful that we got to work with Minted on such a personal project, and that we ended up with such beautiful cards to share with our family and friends. A huge thanks to Minted for working with me on this project. I couldn't be more excited to work with one of my favorite paper brands on such a personal project!

In the next Wedding Wednesday post, we're going to discuss bridal parties, and bridesmaid dresses...something I may have been putting off for a while....

Friday, August 25, 2017

having a dog in medical school & residency

One of my biggest questions I've received is about having dogs while in medical school (and now residency). As we all know, having a dog is one of the best things in the whole world, but with the time consuming nature of medicine, sometimes it's a lot to try to handle at once.

My experience with having dogs is maybe slightly different because I've had both of mine since college - I got both Hans and Baer during my senior year, so we've been together for eight years now! When I started school, they were already four, so they weren't in that tough puppy phase. We had had several years together where I worked a full time job, so my dogs were used to not having me around all the time. But it really changed a lot when I started medical school.

Between long days at school and then long nights in the library during the first two years, the long clinical hours during the second part of medical, and now the hours of residency, there were really steps I had to take so that my dogs were taken care of. Having a dog (or two!) in medical school and residency is definitely possible. Here are some of the things that have really worked out well for me and my dogs over the past four years!

find other dog owners //

One of the best things I ever did for both myself and Hans & Baer at the beginning of medical school was reaching out to other dog owners. I posted on our class's facebook group asking if anyone had dogs and if they wanted to meet up for play dates. I met up with several classmates and their cute puppies, and it was such a great way to get out to meet people, and for my dogs to get out and play. Especially during anatomy (the first three months of first year), I was in lecture for 9 hours a day, so it was amazing to get outside, socialize with new people, and watch my dogs play.

Half way through first year, my best friend got a puppy. So it's definitely possible to get a puppy in school, it just takes work! For us, it was awesome because we had puppy play dates most days of the week, either at each other's houses, or at the dog park. Our dogs had such a great time playing, and we were thankful to spend a bit of time together that didn't revolve around studying. We would also go on hikes with our other girlfriends early weekend mornings, so we were being active, the dogs were getting to stretch their legs, and then we had all day to study! It really was a win for everyone.

have roommates that love dogs as much as you do //

When I found out I was moving to Pennsylvania, my first thought was ....but who do I live with? Again I got on our facebook page, asked if anyone was looking for a roommate and also loved dogs. I got the best roommate out of that - my roommate Sarah loved my dogs as much as if they were her own. She would take them out on hikes when she wanted to spend a few hours in nature,  she would cuddle them on the couch during her lunch break, would take them on potty breaks if I was at the library, and would put them to bed if I was spending the night at CR's. Having a roommate is great for lots of reasons, but if you have a pet, it's especially nice to have an extra set of hands for when you are in a crunch.

During my third and fourth year, CR and I moved in together. It's a bit different having dogs during the clinical years because you have less control over your schedule. Some rotations are more time consuming than others - on rotations like surgery, where I would leave my house at 3:45 AM and not get home until 6 PM, there was no way I could have done it without CR being there. We got really lucky that our schedules were kind of opposites - when I was on difficult rotations, he was on easier ones, and vice versa. This worked out for us, even without having any other help nearby. We only had each other, but we made it work!

My friends who have dogs all have roommates or live with their significant others. I got extremely lucky with having the people I lived with, and while it's definitely possible to have a dog without a roommate, it definitely helps having someone nearby who can help!

take them to doggy day care // 

When I was working full time and Hans & Baer were younger, my dogs went to a dog day care about once a week. It was such a great way for them to socialize and for me to not feel guilty about them being locked up in the house. Since my dogs were a bit older when I started school, and I had found great alternatives for their play times, I didn't re-enroll them in a doggy day care. But I wanted to mention this as a great option, especially for younger dogs, because my best friend took her puppy to doggy day care several times every week, and it was a wonderful way to get that puppy energy out, get the puppy the socialization it needs, and to not feel guilty if you were stuck in the library preparing for a big exam. Having a dog is definitely an expense, and while doggy day care is definitely not cheap, it's one of the best things you can do for a young playful dog!

get a dog walker // 

Now that we are in residency, our hours are even more inflexible and longer than they were in medical school. We, for the first time in the eight years I've had my dogs, had to hire real outside help. I spent a lot of time researching dog walkers in the area, and finally found a great woman to come help us with the dogs. She comes to our house every day around noon to take care of the dogs. She was walking them initially, but now that our back yard is completely fenced in, she lets them out and plays with them. She sends us texts daily of what the dogs are up to, and I just have no guilt now about being at work all day long. I love knowing that they get to play outside, that someone is giving them attention, and when I get stuck at work later than I thought, I know it's only been about 6 hours since they last went outside, not 14 hours. Again, hiring help is not cheap. But when you get a dog, you're committing to taking care of them, and that means more than just feeding them every day.

find good toys & pet supplies

This is somewhat of a no brainer, but we have found several items over the years that have made our pet owning days a bit easier. Since we have two dogs and a cat, there's a lot of water that they drink, so instead of always worrying about their one small bowl not having water in it, especially when we are running out the door at 4:30 AM, we have one of these water stations for them, and it's been such a life saver. That means they have fresh water available to them at all times, and we don't have to worry about filling it up daily. I like to keep the boys entertained, so Hans will sometimes get his breakfast in one of the dispensing toys, or they will get a Kong with peanut butter before we leave. None of this is rocket science, but just little things that have helped over the years!

Overall, my dogs are one of the best things in my life. They are such good dogs (even when they are being a bit naughty), and I just couldn't imagine my life without them.

Monday, August 21, 2017

i'm back! (a quick life update)

hi y'all!!

long time no talk...really, it's been three weeks. on one hand, it's been weird having not blogged in that long - it's the longest i've gone in five years! on the other hand, it was really freeing to step away for a bit. i felt this annoying pressure to post all the time, and when i was working as much as i was, it just didn't happen, and then i felt bad, and then i continued to not post, and it was just a cycle of feeling bad about not posting.

so i need to find a different method to blogging. i won't be as consistent as i once was, i just don't have the time. i have two more weeks of being on the ultrasound service, and then i start a really busy five months, so we will see what happens. i am not ready to give up this space, it just has to come after all the other important things in my life.

so what's been going on in my life? here are some updates!

work // 

so step three is officially done (yay!), i finished my month of gyn surgery, and am currently on ultrasound. on this rotation, i spend most of my time with our obstetric sonographers, watching and learning how to do ultrasounds. i also learn a lot from our genetic counselor, and spend one day a week with the breast center. it's definitely different than being on service, as you have a lot less responsibility, but it's a different type of learning, and it's nice having a pretty regular schedule! since i was spending most of my free time before this week studying, i am excited to get a bit more ob reading done now that i have a bit more time. coming up in two weeks is my month of gyn/onc, so i'm excited to back to being on a team and being in the OR! it also looks like i am scheduling my first surgery, which i am really excited about (when we schedule our clinic patients for a surgery they need, you become the surgeon on the case. it's one of the things that really attracted me to my program, the fact that you get so much surgical experience so early on).

i'm also really loving my co-residents, especially my co-interns. the people i work with are some of the funniest, and hard working people, i've ever been around, and i have learned so much from them. my co-interns are amazing, and i am so thankful for them - i know that they have my back, and you know you found a good group of people when you spend all weekend together after seeing each other all week.

family update // 

well. this is actually really hard to write, and something i have been thinking about writing for the past eight months. but i'm sad to say that my parents have decided to separate, and will being divorcing in a few months. this was a big shock to many people, and it's been a very difficult time for my family. i will not discuss details, obviously, that's not really something that belongs on the internet. the blessing is that my mom is moving to ohio at the end of the week - she found a beautiful home 11 minutes from mine, and me, my sister, and CR are so excited to have her here. we are looking forward to moving forward as this new version of our family, and while this is not how we saw it all working out at this point in our lives, we are all trying to see the positive. i really wanted to mention it now because i am so excited to have my mom close by and i'm sure it'll be something i mention a ton in the future, and felt it's best to just address it head on.

coffee stand // coffee machine // nespresso pod holder // the nespresso machine we got!
house // 

you guys! we have done so much around the house since we last posted on the house. our backyard now has a fence, and is growing grass! we have a dining room table, and chairs to sit on! our kitchen now has a coffee cart, and an amazing pinboard over it.  our couch arrived, and are anxiously waiting on our rug and coffee table to show up. i finally ordered frames for our bedroom (6 are going above the bed), and need to figure out which pictures i want in them. so lots of things have happened, and once we get a few more things on the walls, i'll write a more detailed post about updates. every day i am so happy when i walk through my house, and am so happy with how it's turning out. it's been a slooooowwwww process, and it'll be a work in progress for a few more years, but for now, it's been nice to be in a liveable house!

closet updates // 
when i'm on service, scrubs are all i wear, so i have been doing very little shopping. i ordered a ton of things during the nordstrom sale a month ago, and the only thing i ended up keeping was a cashmere cardigan (it really needs to cool down so i can finally wear it!). i ended up ordering the black pair of my favorite michael kors shoes - they are my favorite shoes to wear, so getting them in black just made sense. last item is this amazing karen kane top - it was on sale for $40 a few weeks ago (it's currently back to full price?), that is just a little different enough to be special.

alright, so that's what's been going on here for the past three weeks! i'm excited to spend a bit more time with you guys on here, while also using the next two weeks to get more done around the house, and getting some things checked off on the wedding list (like hair dressers and florists and i should probably start thinking about a baker, huh?).