Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas at our house...

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It is seriously my favorite time of year. It is so festive and there are always fun things to do and see, not to mention I do love to shop! We put our decorations up the day after Thanksgiving so we could enjoy them all through December!

Kitchen table place settings

Our nativity. It was made in the Holy Land!

Christmas Village. Jordan started this collection for me a few years ago! I love the lights!

Our mantle. Macy and Ali have stockings of course!

Close up of the tree. See the Christmas butterfly on the right? I just found those this weekend and love them!

Trees never photograph well, but here is ours! This was my first year to use the colored mesh in our tree, I really like how it turned out!!!

A view with all the lights. I keep our lights on as much as I can! I wish we could have Christmas lights year round, but then I guess it wouldn't be as special!
I hope you are having a great Christmas season. The lights and shopping are fun but I am also thankful that we have this time to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and to spend time with family and friends!

Have a great week! Jordan and I are off to Louisville!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Interview Trail Part I...

Wow. 4 states in 3 days! We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Oklahoma City and Kansas City for my first two pediatric residency interviews. We left Monday morning for Oklahoma c
City. Lucky for us, most pediatric programs pay for our lodging which is awesome! So we got to OKC and found our hotel, the Sheraton downtown, right near Bricktown. We had some time so we walked around Bricktown. It is really neat! There is even a little riverwalk area! Very cool. Here are some pics from Bricktown:

Later that night we were invited to dinner with some of the residents at an OU physician's house. It was an interesting evening. There are many stories to tell, but it would take forever, so I will move on to my favorite part of Monday night...we got to see Meredith and Nathan!!! Yea!!! So exciting! It was great to visit with both of them! They drove us around Nichols Hills where they live, and also took us to see Chesapeake, where Nathan works. What an amazing place! It was all decorated for Christmas, and the entire campus looked like THIS:

Yea for friends! So glad to see you Meredith! Miss you!
I interviewed Tuesday in OKC, then we hopped in the car and drove to Kansas City! On the way into town, we stopped to eat some authentic KC BBQ at Oklahoma Joes, a famous BBQ joint in a gas station! It was awesome. Then we headed downtown to find our hotel, the Westin Crown Center. AMAZING. We had a corner room with a balcony (too bad it was 29 degrees). This is the Christmas tree at the hotel!
While I interviewed on Wednesday, Jordan took a little trip to Lawrence, KS, home of the Jayhawks, his favorite college BB team! Here a few pics from his trip!

The campus. He said it reminded him a lot of Fayetteville.

When we left Kansas City, we headed home but took a short detour through Tulsa to eat dinner with our friends Stephen and Mary. So good to see them! Sad I don't have a picture to share, but my camera battery died early!

Now the low-down on the actual interviews...
OU Children's (OKC): The dinner the evening before the interview really set the tone of weirdness for the interview. The program seems to be on the way up, but not nearly as good as ACH. They had an awesome new 10-story clinic building connected to the hospital, which was great. I didn't feel like I would fit in very well with the residents there.

Children's Mercy (KC): We missed the dinner the night before. Breakfast the morning of the interview was in the cafeteria at the hospital, and I have to say that it was the coolest cafeteria ever! It was set up like a diner with all the bright neon lights and red retro chairs! Very fun! The facilities seemed very nice. I think the program itself is very similar to ACH. They do less Heme/Onc in the first year, which is a bit of a negative to me because I like Heme/Onc. They just finished expanding their ER to 75 beds, which is huge. (Could be positive or negative, depending on how you look at it! More patients for great exposure to various problems, but more work and craziness when you are working in the ER!)

Overall I have to say that I thought Children's Mercy in Kansas City is very similar to ACH. It was great to have something to compare it to!

We are off to Louisville next!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Exciting November...

We have an exciting November ahead of us! Here are some of the things I'm looking forward to this month...

Black Friday!!! A few years ago we started participating in the early morning shopping madness that takes place the day after Thanksgiving, and I think it is soooo fun and soooo entertaining! I'm usually not looking for any particular deals, but we find some good things, and it's so fun to watch people running through the stores for what they want! P.S.--We are the ones waiting in the car, watching all of the people run inside once they open the doors. It's too cold to wait in those lines!

Thanksgiving! YUMMY!!!

Elton John/Billy Joel Concert!

Zac Brown Band Concert!!!

Another shopping event that I look forward to all year! Holiday House is a huge gathering of local vendors showing of all of the cutest stuff! A great place for Christmas shopping!

Razorback games! The South Carolina game this weekend was so fun! Can't wait for the rest! Go Hogs!

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


This year for Halloween we decided to have a little get together. Our original theme was dress as your favorite You Tube sensation! As you can see, we have several You Tube sensations represented, as well as infomercials, TV shows, and favorite movies! It was a lot of fun and thanks to everyone who came!

If you have not seen these You Tube videos, I recommend that you stop reading this blog and watch them ASAP!
"West Virginia Ninga" Stephen and Jenn
And a few that I just love, that weren't at the party...

Have a great night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Such a slacker...

I know, I have really been slacking on blogging lately! I will try to be better! The problem is that really last month was kinda boring! Here's the short version:

I finished Allergy/Immunology near the end of September. I loved it. Then for the past four weeks I had to take a required rotation in surgical subspecialties (Orthopedic Surgery, Anesthesia, Urology, and ENT). Here are the highs and lows...

Orthopedic Surgery
Best: ACL repair surgery. I always thought this was a very simple surgery and was surprised at how complex the repair is!
Worst: The sound of the drills and saws they use. It gave me chills! Blah!

Urology (this was the worst week)
Best: I have to say it. If you watch Grey's Anatomy, a few weeks ago they had an episode where a man got, you guessed it, a penis implant! OMG! I guess this was the best just because I happened to see one get put in the very same week this showed up on Grey's. And really, how many people can say they've seen an implant quite like this?!?!
Worst: Prostate biopsy. Do I have to say much more?

Anesthesia (I actually really enjoyed this because I learned how to intubate better and also got to start IV's, plus I was back at ACH!)
Best: Putting in IV's!!! I got every one of mine on the first try! Haha I guess it helps when the patient is asleep and paralyzed on the OR table!!!
Worst: Waiting around during the surgeries. A little boring if you ask me!

ENT (Also did this at ACH, so it was very beneficial)
Best: Clinic. I have mentioned before that I really like clinic, and this was no exception. I got to look in lots of little ears!!!
Worst: The 10 million tonsillectomy and ear tube surgeries I saw! This is a very beneficial surgery for kiddos, but once you've seen one, you've seen them all!

For the next 4 weeks I will be doing an Infectious Disease rotation at ACH. It has proven to be interesting so far, and I think I will learn a lot. I hope I learn a lot, because so far I've had some VERY long days!!! I'm still enjoying it though, because I get to see the kids every day and I really am learning more about common (and uncommon!) pediatric illnesses and how to treat them best!

More soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Allergy and Immunology Was SO FUN!...

The past 4 weeks have been so wonderful! I have been doing a rotation with the Allergy/Immunology (A/I) service at ACH. We had clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and on Tues/Fri we would meet for short lecture and also do consults (see patients in the hospital). This was a great rotation for many reasons:

1. Sleep. I got a lot of it. I usually had to be at work by 8:30 or a little earlier. This was wonderful. I got to eat my cereal, drink coffee, and watch Fox and Friends before going to work!!!

2. Learning. Food allergies and asthma are important things to know about as a pediatrician. I feel more confident about those topics now. Also, immunology is really confusing and most immune deficiencies are really rare, so it was great to get some exposure to these rare diseases and to learn more about them.

3. People. I LOVED the people I worked with this month. The resident I worked with was so fun and very nice! The nurses were wonderful and so helpful to us. And the attendings were the best I could ever ask for! One of them even called me on my last day to thank me for working with them! What?!

4. Clinic. I really like it. You get to see tons of people throughout the day and it is fast paced.

5. Days off. This relates to #1 but it was really nice to have time to do things and not be rushing around after getting off really late everyday!

Sadly, this 4 weeks has come to an end, but it will probably be my favorite rotation of this year. For the next 4 weeks I will be doing a required rotation in surgical subspecialities: Orthopedic surgery, ENT, Anesthesia, and Urology. I start Ortho tomorrow.

Quick update on Residency applications: So far I have six interviews. ACH, Oklahoma City, Augusta, Birmingham, Charleston, and Louisville. :) It is very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing all of these places when we interview in December and January, and also looking forward to seeing friends nearby!!!

Here is a pic from the AR v. GA game two weekends ago. We had a blast!!! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Application "in the mail"...

Today I was very lucky and got one more day off of work! To make the day somewhat productive and not a total waste, I finished everything I could for my application and went ahead and submitted it! I think I almost had a heart attack when I was pressing "submit"...It is very nerve-wracking! There are some parts of the application that you can go back and modify, but some that you cannot change after you submit. I am still waiting on some LOR (letters of recommendation) so will have to add those later. Here is the list of places I have applied to so far. I can still add some if I want.

UAMS (AR Children's Hospital)
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Emory University (Atlanta)
Medical College of Georgia (Augusta)
University of Louisville
University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Program (OK City)
Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston)
Vanderbilt (Nashville)
UT Southwester (Dallas)
University of Missouri at Kansas City

We will have to wait and see where I get interviews from now!

Monday, September 7, 2009

What We Did Saturday...

School Update...

I PASSED STEP 2!!! At least the first part! I got my score for Step 2 CK back in mid August, and I was very happy with it. We traveled to HotLanta last weekend for the second part of Step 2, the clinical skills part. It was interesting, and I am glad it is over! This is the test that is taken in a "clinical setting" where we have 12 patients to see, and we have to "diagnose" them and tell them what we want to do next. The "patients" are really actors. The best part about going to take this test was that I got to the Flannagans! It was so good to see Terri and Chuck and so WONDERFUL to finally get to meet Knox! Here are some photos:

Currently I am working on my application for residency. I just finished writing my personal statement, and I'll probably submit my application by the end of this week. The nice thing about the application is that even after you submit, you can continue to add things to it such as letters of recommendation, which can take a while to come in. Once I submit it, I'll be sure to post the list of places where I've applied.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I know, I am a slacker...

So sorry! I know it is time for an update! There are so many things to blog about, so I'll try to give you a rundown and then post some pics later!

I started my Peds AI (acting internship) on August 2nd. It is really fun, and very helpful in letting me know a little bit what intern year will be like next year. I'm working with the Hematology Oncology (Team 5) team at ACH. There is one upper level resident (a 2nd year) and there are two interns plus me. Right now we have twelve patients on our service, and each of us "interns" have 4 patients. I go in each morning at 6:30 and get report on my 4 patients from the person who was on call overnight. Then I go to the floor and examine my patients, check their vitals, talk to their nurses, and write a progress note on them. We round with the attending at 9 AM each day. When we round we talk about things going on with the patients and work on our plans for them. Right now I have two sickle cell patients in for pain crisis, and two kids in for chemotherapy. After rounds we go write orders on the patients and then work on getting people discharged that need to go home. If there is an admission, one of the interns is asked to go do the history and physical on the new patient (usually in the ER or from Heme/Onc clinic).

Also during this month I am taking call "q4" (every 4th night) just like an intern. Luckily at ACH (and many children's hospitals) they have a night float system. This means that Sunday night-Thursday night, if you are on call, it is only until 8:00 PM, and then the person who is on nights that month takes over. If your call falls on Friday or Saturday night, you take overnight call. I had my first overnight call on Saturday night. It was an experience. What a strange feeling to be sleeping (yes I got a little) and then have a pager wake you up and have to run down to the ER to do an admission. I talked to some of the residents about it and they said it is not something you really get used to. The call went well. I did one admission for a skin infection (cellulitis) and one for sickle cell pain crisis.

That's the rundown on school. Craziness!

In other news...
-The first weekend of August we headed to the "Party on the Pottawattamie" with several friends. It was a blast, and my good friend Huck is now engaged! Congrats you guys!
-On Sunday after morning rounds we headed up to Greers Ferry for some fun at the lake, since I was off on Monday too. Nana and G rented a lake house and we got some good skiing in and had a great time. (Thanks Nana and G for getting the house and skiing us around the lake...loved it!).
-Jordan and I got our Razorback season tickets today! I am so pumped!!! Also, it looks like my next couple of rotations do not require me to work on the weekends, so we should make it to all the games! I can't wait!
-My good friend Terri's son Knox turned one month old on Monday. He is so precious and I love seeing all the great pics of him!
-Step 2 CS is August 27th.
-I've started working on my residency application. I hate that kind of stuff, but it's a necessary evil!

Sorry for the long update but it's been awhile. I'll post some pics of these recent happenings soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Husband has a blog, and Hilary gives things away...

I think Jordan got a little envious that I was getting to be a little creative and do some fun writing on our blog here, so guess what?! He made his own blog...more of a commentary on life and such! It is appropriately titled "Through My Mind's Ear". Visit his blog here!

My good friend Hilary did a really fun giveaway last week on her blog. I am super jealous of the person who won that cute headband!!! This week she is giving away some precious stationary. Visit her blog here to check out her awesome giveaway! You should also have a look at her very own lovely frames that she hand paints!

This week has gone by way too quickly. We are heading to Kansas City this weekend for a fun time with lots our friends. I am also very excited because we are stopping in Fayetteville on the way to do a little shopping! Have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finished...for now!

3 years of medical school...
4 weeks of dedicated study time...
Review book 3 times through...
2000 review questions...
One brand new notebook...
One new package of fine-point sharpies...
Countless diet cokes...
And a little chocolate too...

All for one eight hour, 368 question test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so glad to be done with my Step 2 exam!

This week I really get to relax! Heading to the lake tomorrow, and who knows what else I'll do this week. One thing I won't be doing is studying! And then we are off to Kansas City this weekend. Yea!!! So excited!!!

Have a great week! And if you know any recent law school grads, wish them luck...many are taking the bar this week! Good luck Mere and Nathan!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Great Outdoors...On Our Back Porch...

The weather has been so amazing this weekend! On Saturday I was able to sit outside and study on our back porch for a few hours--unheard of in July! Usually I'd have to been in a pool to make it outside mid-day in July! Being on the porch reminded me, I wanted to post about my furniture. Nana gave me this white wicker furniture this spring when she upgraded. It needed a new coat of paint and some new cushions. Here is the before:

And the after! I used espresso paint (about 12 cans!) and got the cushions at Garden Ridge. I have really enjoyed them!
Here are some pics of the flowers on the porch. With this cooler weather they have really been blooming!

And my prized (haha) tomatoes! I have three growing in my topsy turvy planter!!!

I just put some Miracle Grow on them tonight so hopefully they'll grow!!!

So, that's the tour of our back porch! On another earthly note...on Saturday I was innocently pulling weeds in the front flower bed, when I suddenly noticed a worm. Or what I HOPED was a worm. Then I noticed the triangular head and how the worm coiled up--a SNAKE! In the flowerbed! I quickly yelled for Jordan, who, well, terminated the snake. At that point I was thinking, it's ok, it was one (admittedly small) snake. I can keep going. Keep on pulling those weeds. Within 2 minutes I look down and see ANOTHER (also small, but still creepy and slithery) SNAKE! AHHHHH! So I quit. Went inside. No more weed pulling for me! Don't worry, today we went to Home Depot and got some "Snake-Away". I will not put up with these intruders! I know some snakes are good and all, but I'm totally freaked out! I hope they go away soon!

One week from today I take the big test! I am so ready for it to be over!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What a Weekend...

This weekend we packed up the car (with three sets of golf clubs!) and headed down to Texarkana for the wedding weekend of Drew Smith and Amanda Pruett. It was a fun weekend! The wedding was at First Baptist Church and the rehearsal dinner and reception were both held at the Texarkana Country Club. On Saturday all the guys headed out for golf, and I stayed at the hotel to study. Here are a few pics from the weekend!

Jordan and I at the reception.

And taking silly pictures as always!

Jordan with the groom.

On Friday night someone let us know that there is a new restaurant in Arkadelphia: Chicken Express! Jordan was so excited! So, on Sunday we made the stop in the delph to try it out! I have to admit, it was really good! Especially the sweet tea! Here is Jordan really excited he got some of that tea!

Of course while we were in Arkadoo we had to go by campus and check out the new construction. It is incredible! This first pic is of the new drive into campus "Ben and Betty Elrod Drive". It goes right by the softball field and comes up behind SPEC.

And these are the amazing new dorms! They are built in a huge circle that opens up towards the bridge over the ravine. Kinda makes you want to go back! Daniel is torn down now. I guess these will be finished before school starts in August. Aren't they awesome? We were so impressed!
And that was our weekend! Congratulations to the newly married couple!

Update on Step 2 Studying: It's going well. I've gone through my review book once now, my goal is to get through it 3 times before the test. I've done about 600 practice questions and still have 1800 left to go.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

They measured my head...

for my graduation cap yesterday! We had registration yesterday for the last year of medical school, and in addition to the financial aid station, tuberculosis skin test station, and CPR certification station, there was a graduation station! They measured our heads for cap sizes and took down our names exactly as we want them on our diplomas! How exciting! I've known my schedule for next year for awhile, but here is a quick is glorious!

July: Step 2 CK (clinical knowledge) study time. I'm taking an online class for credit while I study for my test, which is July 26th. Right now I am studying every day as much as I can! (although I will admit that today I was mildly distracted by the MJ memorial--I thought it was great, he really was a legend, and many of my favorite artists performed!)
August: Acting Internship in Pediatrics. I will work with an inpatient team at ACH as more of a "team member" than "student". I'll have a little more responsibility than when I rotated through Children's as an M3. Also on August 27th I'll take the second part of Step 2 (CS-clinical skills) in Atlanta.
September: Allergy and Immunology at Children's. This was recommended to me by my advisor, apparently the Allergy and Immunology folks are good people to know if you want to be a resident at ACH!
October: required rotation in Orthopedics, Urology, Anesthesia, and ENT. One week of each.
November: Infectious Disease at ACH. Very useful rotation, will cover all kinds of good topics on an inpatient team. Infectious Disease docs are consulted for weird and hard to manage infections.
December and January: OFF!!! That's right, many glorious days of sleeping in and being lazy with no tests to study for! Also during this time we'll be traveling a lot as I go to different hospitals for interviews. I'm really excited about being off the whole month before Christmas too!
February: Primary care month at ACH. I think it is one week of general peds clinic, one week of ER, and two weeks of subspecialty clinics (like asthma, cardiology, etc.)
March: OFF again!!! And again nothing to study for. Also, Match Day is March 18th--this is the day when all M4's find out where they are heading for residency!
April: 10th block course. Our whole class comes back together for a wrap-up course of med school, and a crash course on actually being doctors.

In order to have so many months off, I am taking two longitudinal courses (they meet once or twice a month) that I am very excited about. One is a Pediatric Pharmacology/Toxicology course that will be very helpful in deciding what medicines to use for common conditions. The other I am SO PUMPED about: I'm teaming up with two other friends to be leaders of a small group for an M1 course called Introduction to Clinical Medicine, where we'll be teaching the new med students how to do history and physicals! It should be really fun!

And graduation is May 16th I think! It's that weekend anyway! Another great thing about fourth year besides getting to pick your own schedule and having lots of time off is that every course is Pass/Fail! Hallelujah!!!

Our floors are officially finished in the kitchen! Jordan finished the trim last night. They are wonderful and every time I look at them I smile! Made all the difference!

Looking forward to the end of this week, for the much anticipated arrival of BABY FLANNAGAN!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Home Improvements...

Last year on Thanksgiving weekend, we started a kitchen remodeling project. At that time we tore out a section of cabinets to open up the room, repainted all the cabinets white, and also repainted the walls. Since then, we have been looking for flooring for the kitchen. As you can see in this before photo, our old floor were linoleum and were in rough condition. A couple of weekends ago, we found new laminate flooring (at a very good price)!!! We were so excited! So, this week, Jordan, his brother Chad, and his friend Luke installed our new kitchen floors. Take a look...

This is the before photo...

Installing the first couple of rows! That blue stuff is the pad you put underneath the floor.
Looking good! Almost halfway finished!
And the finished product!!! I am amazed at the difference it makes. It really opened up our kitchen. They also installed these in the laundry room and it brightened things up in there too!
That was Jordan's exciting project of the week! I am soooo happy to finally have new floors! Now, on to the countertops next!!!

Have a great Monday! Tomorrow I register for my LAST YEAR OF MEDICAL SCHOOL! YEAH!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

24 hours in Memphis...

Last Friday Jordan and I took a quick trip to Memphis to see Wicked!!! I was so excited and had very high expectations. Let me just say that my expectations were exceeded! It was so amazing...the music, the costumes, the story, the performers. They were all incredible! It was really a beautiful show and also very funny! We both laughed and I of course cried. I can't stop listening to the soundtrack. If you get the opportunity to see this wonderful show, do not pass it up!!! You will never look at the Wizard of Oz in the same way again!

Here is a pic from inside the Orpheum, right before I got in trouble for using my camera inside! That big dragon was scary!
On Saturday morning we got up and headed out for breakfast, then walked around for awhile. We went down Beale and then sat at the Peabody watching all the people. While we were eating breakfast we saw a really tall guy and his entire family all decked out in Grizzlies gear. Jordan got on his phone and looked up who the new players were and he was one of them! Then, later at the Peabody, we saw two more super tall guys in Grizzlies gear. We saw all 3 of the new players that weekend! Jordan was excited!
Here's Jordan trying on a silly hot dog hat in a weird store on Beale.
On the rooftop of the Peabody...
Right before we left town on Saturday, we headed down the alley to my favorite BBQ restaurant, Rendezvous. If you have never been there, you have to go, just for the experience. The restaurant has been there for years and years! This was Jordan's first time. We were stuffed when we left!!!
So, that was our 24 hours in Memphis. We had a blast! It was a great way to celebrate me being done with my third year of medical school!!!

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!!!