I've been on a search for about six months now. One hard lesson I've learned (among others) while moving into our house was that it is better to wait until you settle a bit before diving into decorating. Sure, everyone tells you that, but listening proved to be a bit more difficult. Since I'm a victim of the immediate gratification era, there is a huge temptation in me to decorate every room right away. Thankfully it didn't take long for me to realize that that mentality results in a lot of store returns, wasted money, and a corner in the basement full of decor that I may or may not ever use.
Now that we've been in our home almost a year, I've been able to see how we use different spaces, what would brighten things up on the walls or bring texture to a space, etc, etc. Is it just me, or does everyone like this sort of stuff?! Roaming through home stores is way more fun to me than it probably should be.

So, back to my hunt: a mirror.
Department stores, antique shops, boutique stores, pretty much the only thing left unturned has been the neighbors garbage. I suppose it is garbage day today though...

There's a large wall that you see as soon as you walk into either the entrance of our home. It's above the stairs, so your eye is drawn to it. From the garage door, it's immediately in front of you:



These pictures are old as dirt. They were taken the day we signed on the house. Notice the old floors, the strange light fixture and lack of paint. Just fix your eyes on the arrow and large black square.

In the overwhelming sea of white below, you could hardly tell one room from the other at that point! Here's the wall I have my eye on for one beautiful mirror to make its home. This picture was taken while standing in the entryway, with the front door to the immediate left of the camera. (Wow, it feels so strange to look at a house that bare!)




Now for the fun stuff!
Although I've had trouble finding a mirror I love at a reasonable price (I can't justify dropping 700 bucks for a mirror), I've been a bit too successful finding pictures that I love. I want something that is a statement piece, something fun but classic at the same time. I'd continue with my descriptive words but you may begin to realize that I'll list pretty much every description except for gothic, bamboo, or ugly. Pretty simple, eh? I do know that the mirror needs to be large but also lighter in weight, so we can actually hang it up without destroying the wall itself.

Here's what I have in mind:













If anyone sees any of these lurking in a neighbor's garbage, please report promptly!

What about you? Has there been something that you've been trying to find for sometime and just.can't.seem to pinpoint?!



A while ago, I shared about this group of girls that have made my life, let's be honest, pretty awesome! Connected by all of our significant others being residents, we've formed this bond full of comfort, laughter, commiseration and as of late, lots celebrating!!
I can't help but share everyone's great news :)

You see, last year, there was only one baby between all of us. Little Jackson, the most adorable little man you've ever laid eyes on. We joke that at his first soccer game, he'll have ten women standing on the sidelines cheering him on!

Months went by as we all settled in. We started jobs, purchased homes, and life continued. 
Then, something happened.
Four girls drank the same water last winter, and all ended up pregnant. I know, avoid Ann Arbor water people. One was born 3 months ago, and, as of today, we have three newborn babies!!
(Like how say "we" as if it were a group effort!) Respectively, 12 weeks old, 6 days old, 24 hours old and 8 hours old.

Our emails, phones and texts have been going off nonstop with the updates over the past six days. I won't share those details, as I'm convinced no one here wants to hear about a crowning head and  encouragements to "just keep pushing!!" The 9th floor was busy yesterday, we even thought that the two little ladies would share a birthday, but one day apart isn't too bad either ;)

I'm so so so happy to share that every momma is doing wonderfully and each baby is healthy as can be. Four babies = future best friends. Of course, we already have two of them married but I suppose we'll have to wait that one out a few years.
I'm overjoyed and so proud of these women!
As of this morning: 2 boys, 2 girls, and (now) big brother, Jackson. Five precious little miracles to celebrate, and three new seats for our dinner reservations.
I see many extra large birthday parties in our future.


Welcome to the world,
Henry Davis, Alexander Joseph, 
Aurora Violet & Noelle Sophia!




There's just something that I can't pinpoint about this time of year that makes my heart warm. Maybe driving down the road while the wind is blowing colorful leaves in a pattern that only God could create. Or that crisp air that invites you to enjoy it on a relaxing run. Or the chilly evenings that make you want to cuddle up beside a fire with a sweatshirt while sipping hot cider. Perfection.

Then, of course, it's football season. Where friends reunite on the golf course to tailgate the day away, our voices aren't present on Sunday's from an intense game 24 hours prior, and it's the one time of year that I find myself craving beer and hotdogs.

Let us not forget pumpkin picking, aisles already full of Christmas decorations, a plethora of apple desserts and an excuse to bust out the boot collection (my favorite!). I think if the other person in our household read this post, he'd be mighty disappointed if I also didn't mention that it's hunting season. Consider if mentioned.




There's something about feeling rejuvenated at the change of seasons. Don't you agree?

Ironically, that doesn't seem to be as true in life. With weather, we know what is ahead of us and we can prepare for it. Life doesn't seem to unfold quite so nicely sometimes (at least not at our viewpoint).

Change can be trying, challenging and for the most part, we may only appreciated in hindsight. I made a scrapbook my senior year in high school, documenting the previous years of sports, dances, vacations and all of the in-between. At the time, going to college was the biggest change I was about to encounter and standing in the scrapbook store, I saw this verse printed on colorful paper:


"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:


a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I put it in on the front page of my scrapbook, thinking I was quite clever.  You know, one of those verses that is quoted over and over because it's catchy and makes us feel better, but maybe the point never really gets across. I just glued it to the front page of that book with little knowledge of how powerful those verses were (are).
Now that I'm older and mature (or at least feel like an old woman at heart and the maturity may be questionable), I have context of life that makes this verse resonate with resounding gongs. Perhaps times so loud it's painful. I read an article that put it perfectly; these verses are telling us to expect change, accept limitations, enjoy life, and fear God.
In hindsight, it seems obvious that Solomon would write these sentences, only to be followed by the reminder that,


"...God makes everything beautiful in its time."


Ah, Ha. Many things are easier in hindsight.  There's been plenty of times I've said, "okay, God, I get it now," and just as many that leave me with more questions than answers, even now. What causes us to say the former is that we get to see a bigger picture, see how things played out and then, only then, trust the Lord and his timing. I'm completely humbled by this, because as Solomon (and many other authors of the Bible) have reminded us time and time again, we can trust God right out of the gate. No inhibitions. None of this hindsight nonsense, not when he has proven himself for the umptenth time, not when I get to understand. Because truly, that's not faith at all. Yet I'd be lying if I said I didn't get caught in that messy web of trying to control a situation myself, thinking my abilities are greater than the one who gave them to me.

Just as with the seasons, change is inevitable. Life, it happens. It just seems so tangible to me right now. For us, for our friends, in our families. Many are celebrating, many equally mourning. As much as I need to be nudged, reminded and encouraged of how simply good and faithful the Lord is, no matter the circumstance, I think others may need to be too. Our situations may change. God doesn't. Our plans may fail. God won't.
For the good or the bad, there will never be a time when change isn't occurring, and there will never be a time when we are walking through it alone.


Sometimes during a long workday, I plug in the earphones, turn on Pandora and just listen to music while I work away. While I was about to publish this post, this song came on. Hopefully you'll find it as refreshing as I have.




Have you ever stopped doing something and then tried to pick it back up again? Only to realize it's much harder than you anticipated to just jump in. Welcome to my life the past few weeks...or months.

Back in May, I wrote about how I had decided to take a break from running. 5 months went by a lot faster than I had anticipated and I find myself still wavering. Argh, running, you play games with my heart.

I waver because I hate feeling defeated, not because I don't enjoy a good run.

I started running again back in June, maybe once a week when the weather wasn't too hot. (So saying we completely separated would be a lie, I still tinkered around on the trails a bit.) It wasn't a regular schedule, pretty hit and miss actually. Completely depended on the day, and let's be honest, my mood. Feeling lazy? No run that day.
I had decided that I wanted to keep my mileage around 6 on any given day, so I would run 6 miles and feel good for a while. Never overdoing it, never pushing the limits. Sometimes it would be slow, sometimes fast, but just getting it in made me feel like I didn't have to start from scratch when I returned to running regularly. I remember those days all too well, and this girl is way too prideful to go through that again (or so I thought.)

It feels like I'm turning by back on my first love by saying this, but my body responded the way I had anticipated - it felt better. Way better.
I suppose that it is easy to overlook the effects that constant pounding can have on your knees, hips, shins, feet, and all of those other body parts and muscles that we like to ignore when the runner's high is triggered. The difference was noticeable (and not just in my butt!). My knees felt incredible, no more having to stretch them daily or constant tightness from sitting too long. No more aching at random times. Although it took me a while to come to grips with the fact that just maybe my body was telling me it needed a break, I can't say it was a bad decision that I finally surrendered to the obvious.

It's now 5 months later, and although I just finished telling you that my body has felt better, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel the urge to hit the pavement again. For a while, I didn't miss it at all. It was almost freeing to not run. I enjoyed discovering new workouts!
Alas, the itch returned.
That itch has led to more consistency in running over the past few weeks. However, I quickly found that even though I had attempted to 'maintain,' it hasn't guaranteed an easy return. Having not run on a regular basis in months, I've had many runs that have left me feeling defeated and frustrated. Then, others that I never wanted to end because it felt so refreshing and energizing (more the former than the later). Thus, my love/hate relationship with running. If you've ever ran, this strange dichotomy may be all too familiar to you.

But I continue.

When you mix race season with beautiful and perfect Fall weather, it's a recipe for temptation.
However, for the first time in a long time, I'm attempting to put all pride aside and just play it by ear. Listen to my body, if you will. No set training schedule, no plans to run a certain amount per week. If I've learned anything from this little separation, it's that I need to care for my body, if that means running or if it doesn't.
Of course, I'm *hoping* that I can find a happy medium since I so, so miss those runs on a perfectly chilly Fall morning. (and I need a fast way to burn some calories from all of the cider and donuts in my future!!)


Have you given up running for a short time? How was it for you to 'get back in the saddle'?





When we bought our home, we were really excited about the single apple tree that sits in the backyard. Last year, it didn't produce anything due to the late frosts, so our hopes weren't too high that we would get anything this year either. But, lo and behold, this year it fought off the late frosts and now, this baby is growing apples like a pro.



Maizy is obsessed with these apples, they are her new favorite fetching toy and treat. Kyle and I have been taste testing them for the past few weeks, and this week it seemed like they were sweet enough to be thrown into a recipe!


Right before the storm came last night, my friend, Anna, and I rushed outside and gathered a few apples to see what we could concoct. (By the way, that baby is due any day now!)






Prior to this week, I had no idea what "French Apple Cobbler" was. But, in my tired but excited state, somehow I looked up recipes for Apple Cobbler instead of Apple Crumble (which is what I was picturing we'd be making!). Here's the recipe we used: French Apple Cobbler.
Essentially it's more of a cake batter topping (aka, not crumbles.)

We ended up doubling the recipe since we got overzealous with our apple picking, but our coworkers are thanking us for that today.





The recipe was super simple! Nothing crazy, just the basic baking ingredients:

For the apples:
  • 5 cups tart apples, peeled, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Mix together in a bowl, set aside.

For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
Combine all topping ingredients and whip until it resembles a thick cake-like batter.




Then, spray the pan and spread out the apples. Using a large spoon, drop the batter over the apples, equally separated. Then use the back of the spoon (or fork) to spread it around to cover the apples.




Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.




It's not the prettiest of all desserts, but taste trumped appearance.




The topping is similiar to a sweet sponge cake, which goes perfectly with a dollop of vanilla ice cream :)  I'll admit that crumble still has my heart though.

This weekend I'm venturing into my families homemade apple pie recipe, crust in all. Looks like there will be an ever-presence of apple desserts at our home for a while! Thanks tree :)






Ever since returning from Europe, I'm feeling unusually motivated to finish the loose ends around our home. Two weekends ago, we installed recessed lighting throughout the dining room (finally!), cleaned out and organized both garages (finally!) and installed baseboards in the laundry room (finally!!). We may have overdone it, since we were both exhausted come Monday. But, last weekend I decided that while Kyle was on call, I'd finish our cabinets.

I can't pinpoint where all of this motivation is coming from, but I think just the feeling of knowing things are finally done (as opposed to lingering) is encouragement enough to keep up the pace. It's also nice to just take advantage of calm weekends when they come around (but I suppose one could argue it isn't so calm if you do work the whole time. I digress.)

Now that I'm feeling all productive and accomplished, the two projects that have been sitting in the back of my mind have resurfaced with full vengeance. Do you ever look at do-it-yourself websites and feel invincible? Pinterest as a funny way of doing that to you. I have fallen prey to the DIY approach. We'll see how this turns out....

Here's my two pet projects for your Friday musings that I have my eyes on:


DIY Headboard. It just seems too easy to not build it yourself (says the woman who has never built a thing besides a coat hanger). I planned to do this in the summer, and got as far as making a list to go to the store.
I'd love to stick with cream colors, since our bedroom paint color is a deep steel blue and the contrast would be amazinballs. I keep going back and forth on making it tufted, but I'm leaning towards this top picture.

via
via


Another big project that I'm overly enthused about is redoing a dresser that has been downstairs since we moved in. It's a gorgeous dresser that my grandmother had given me years ago, but the wood color never fit well. I want to use it in our guest bedroom or office, so I've been exploring ways to restore/redo it.

This navy and gold always catches my eye, so crisp and classy! I also have an obsession with all things blue. My only reservation being that we have black furniture in our bedroom, and I can't handle how it shows every dust mite. Maybe the navy will treat my ocd a bit better than black.

via

Then there is this grey color that I keep returning to...but that may also mean we'd need to repaint a room to fit the dresser. Sort of like buying an entirely new outfit to fit the shoes. Not opposed.


via


Those two should keep me busy for a while. Let's hope they go just as smoothly as other bloggers make it seem.

For all of you DIYers out there, any projects you have up your sleeves as Fall approaches?!



I shared months ago that the next Residency Forum would be a discussion of careers, specifically confronting the question, "Can a doctor's wife have a career?"


Needless to say, this post could go on for days. I can already feel the blood racing through my veins in anticipation for the conversations to follow. Not because I'm super passionate or opinionated about it, but because it's personal and this blog hasn't canvased this topic before. (I'll be honest, my stomach is churning a bit.) Careers, marriage, children, life styles, schooling  - these are all very personal choices. Some are based on timing, finances, life changes, personal preference, beliefs or unexpected circumstances. No right or wrong, not one better than another. The ever-present rebuttal of, "what about..." keeps the topic an ongoing conversation, which leads me to this forum.
I think it deserves to be spoken about in an open way.
 
So, can a doctor's wife have a career?
Obviously, the answer is YES, of course!!
And here comes the counterclaim: I'd confidently say that what career and the cost involved is the what this question quickly leads to.

I'll just throw this out there -I have no idea how to start this discussion. There's just too much to discuss, and the fear of leaving something or someone out makes me cautious to continue. That being said, consider the following paragraphs a continuum of babbling thoughts as I consider the weight of my career choices and how that relates to our marriage and future goals.

To give you a bit of perspective of where I am coming from and the struggles I have with this topic, let me peel back the onion a bit. For those who are new around here, here's a quick snapshot:
We've been married for three and half years and Kyle is a second year resident in ENT. I work full-time as a program manager and run a photography business. We don't have any children, except if you consider our pup Maizy (which, let's be honest, she's pretty much human.) My take on the subject is solely from what I've experienced and observed from where we are now. (i.e. 10 years down the line my take on this may be vastly different.)

I will be straightforward: the strain of working outside the home and having a husband in residency is palpable. Very palpable. (I would imagine working in the home is no different)

I grew up with hardworking parents, so the idea of not working (outside of the home) never crossed my mind. In the last year, my thoughts have begun to change on this subject. Thank the medical world for that one. Simply put, the reason it works for us right now is 1)I have a relatively flexible job. I can leave to meet the cable guy or pick up the car from the shop or go in late because we lost power. All of those examples may seem silly, but they are all inconvenient and time consuming, and let's face it - someone has to take care of business.  2) I enjoy working. 3) My career keeps me challenged and relevant. 4) We only have us two to take care of. My work is fully aware that my job needs to be flexible, and although I don't think that my work should suffer as a result of my spouse's job, sometimes that is unavoidable. It's no one's direct fault, just a product of the system.

I really love both of my careers and take pride in the work I get to do. I also take pride in the work that Kyle gets to do. But, if my day job required me to work 60+ hours a week, our lives would look much different. We would most likely be hiring everything out (including simple things like mowing the lawn), our friendships would be scarce, time with our family limited and our relationship would show the cracks of two strained individuals. Our "making a life," would be different than being able to live it. It's not hard to see glimpses of that now as there are many times that juggling it all seems impossible.

My mind has been mulling over all of these "what about..." thoughts for quite some time. What am I willing to sacrifice to have a career outside of the home? At what cost? What gives?
Truth is, it would look different if my husband had a 8-5 job. He doesn't. It would be ignorant of me to think that I can do it all. I can't.
At the end of the day, our priorities in life shouldn't be a successful career, but successful careers (however one would define that) should be the byproduct of having the right priorities. 

When we said "I Do," I was accepting everything of him and he of me. Including our career aspirations. We made a decision to live our lives together, fully knowing that there would be many compromises along the way. I want to be clear that this discussion isn't to come down on husbands for working hard and often. Kyle is providing for our family and for that, I'm thankful and humbled by his incredible work ethic. Yes, my career may currently be in the back seat relative to his, but when I look at the things that matter in life, I can hardly complain about that temporary compromise.



Hearing other people's perspectives, life experiences and decisions certainly makes this conversation, ah, a conversation. Especially when it comes to a topic so personal and sensitive. If you're interested in writing about your perspective on the issue, please let me know.

In the mean time,
What are your thoughts?
Do you find that your husband's career has affected yours?
Have you found that your career has taken a backseat to your husband's medical aspirations?

Looking forward to the conversations to come :)



Hi Friends!

I'm finally sitting down at the computer simply because I missed Medical Mondays last month, and wanted to stop by and say Hello! before it disappears on me again. I love this week of the month, mostly because I get to discover blogs that dabble in the medical world (and selfishly, it makes me feel somewhat normal.)



If you're new around here, welcome! I write about everything from our home renovations to my life married to a medical resident, and all of the good, bad and ugly that that entails. I try to be pretty honest about the struggles and celebrations that we encounter as we navigate this place called the medical world, which lead to the series "The Residency Forum."

This week, I'm going to start a new part which I talked about ohh..humm.. a few months ago. But, life takes over faster than I can type or record it, so thank you for your gracious patience as I catch up.
I would be lying if there also hasn't been a bit of hesitancy in my prolonged follow-up, but you'll understand more later this week. We'll be discussing a wife's career when your husband or SO is a resident (or medical student or practicing physician..). It's a robust, hot topic, full of opinions and insight. Hopefully we can all gain from the conversation :)


Until then, How was your Labor Day Weekend?


I'll be honest, mine was a bit exhausting. I hit my pillow last night and was out like a light bulb, and may have whined when I heard the alarm this morning. Kyle was on call most of the three days, so I put my big girl pants on and decided to get A LOT of house work done. I'm talking painting, organizing the garage, mowing the lawn, caulking baseboards. Yeah, the really fun stuff. Oh, and we hosted a cookout and had a photo shoot and I got to hang out with my favorite almost-2 year old.

But, lest not forget- Saturday was GAMEDAY in Ann Arbor!! (A holiday in our home.)
That's right, football season started and I promise I could even smell Fall in the air on Saturday morning. Kyle got home from a 30 hour shift, slept for one hour, and was ready to go. "Sleep can wait, it's Michigan Football." (PS. I don't condone this behavior.)

















Random side note: Ironically, we have a similiar picture with both of these couples from last year, and it was taken after both girls mentioned they were hoping to get pregnant soon. Welp, they are due three weeks apart! (Very soon, too!) I think this can be counted as both of their babies first Michigan Football game. #futurewolverine.


Okay, I'm done babbling. Hope you have a great 4 day work week and I'll be back in the next 48 hours to start the next Residency Forum! Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!




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