Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Actually got some work done today...finished with the pulmonary section of internal medicine studying. 50 pages down, 450 pages and about 1000 UWorld questions to go!...Think I'll try and start on those question bank quizzes tomorrow. I'm pleased at how much I actually recall from second year/Step 1 studying. A quick refresher and it all comes back to me. I'm slowly learning what I need to know to be a great physician... ;)

I spent some time today thinking of New Year's Resolutions. It seems like every year I have "exercise more", "eat healthier", and "be happier" on my list - I think there's always room for improvement in those areas, no matter how good you have become.

As I look ahead to 2012, I realize that many of my "future plans" will be decided within the next 12 months... I will decide on my specialty, I will apply for residency, I will choose where to spend my residency, I will finally do some work in England, I'll have most of our wedding planned... It will be a big year of uncertainty, so a main focus for me is to just "Let Go & Let God"; in other words, whatever will be, will be. Que sera, sera. Less Stress and more comfort in knowing that my life will work out just as it should.

I hope your lists include some ways to improve who you are, and how to live a happier and healthier life!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another day off, still loving it.

Mike sliced his finger today while trying to change guitar strings...and I nearly got some serious practice suturing. I put pressure on his cut for about an hour before the bleeding finally started to slow. I even got to use some extra steri strips I had laying around! This guy is so clumsy...! Hopefully the finger heals well, it wasn't a wide cut just fairly deep. Don't think it needed stitches, thankfully because of course he hasn't got insurance and I don't have any lidocaine in the house! ;) (Seriously though, I would never be that irresponsible...he would have been checked into an ER where I'd ask to put in the sutures!haha)

Spending the rest of the evening playing some Wii games, watching "Bronx Tale" with Robert Deniro, having some spaghetti bolognese, then finishing with a competition against one another over "Big Fat Quiz of the Year: 2011"! Last year we played against Mike's friends at Adam's house where we just barely lost (quite an accomplishment considering it involves BBC/English news, not american); its a shame we couldn't have a rematch this year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hockey Game

Having the week off of work is amazing. I haven't had any time off since June, so I'm enjoying every minute. The house is slowly getting properly cleaned, I haven't had time to do it properly in ages so it has taken quite a while. Need to study but can't be arsed. I'll have a start with the studies tomorrow.

Mike & I went with Gina & Ben to watch a hockey game last night. We ended up winning in overtime, and it was a really good game. The team is much better than last year. It's nice to actually have some time free to do things that everyone else has the time to do. (Roll on, fourth year)

Christmas 2011

This Christmas was spent in the US with my side of the family. Seeing as the third year of medical school is pretty busy, and because Mike's Green Card hasn't been processed yet, we spent this year in the US. We would like to try and keep things even between our families, one Christmas in the UK, the next in the US, and we've been able to continue that for the past 4 Christmas Holidays.

On Christmas Eve, we got together for a meal and to open the presents - which has always been our tradition. We go to church, have a meal, and then find that presents are under the tree when we finish. For us, Santa always comes on Christmas Eve - a Catholic (and Christian) tradition based on the story of creation in Genesis where "there was night, and then day followed", which allows for 1 day to start at night (which is the opposite to how we think of 1 day). So, since Jesus was born at night, in biblical terms his birthday is December 25th, which means his birth-night was the 24th. Or maybe this tradition just popped up somewhere in the ancestry, whatever the case, we have carried it on.

It is so much fun to watch the kids open presents! We always take our time, open 1 present at a time, and the gift opening usually takes a few hours. This year we had Sangria, but traditionally we drink Whiskey Slush (something I have had since I was quite young!). We were spoiled again this year, so many presents under the tree! But the best part was spending the night with our whole family together. It certainly doesn't happen often enough.

A Gift from the Kids - a preloaded virtual photo frame

"ONE BOOT!?" - Alex

Princess Kate's new Hat & Gloves

Matching Gifts for Andrea & Joe

Luke & Alex:

Max's Gift Opening

A New Stethoscope for Mom

Luke loves Max's new bed!

...Marley is a happy dog!

Andrea & Joe:

Grandpaw's for Christmas Day

Mom & Dad's Outdoor Crib


A Few of my North Pole Series Houses & Characters

Some of My Christmas Gifts:
Sparktacular Nail Polish, a dress from Jane Norman, clothes for work, Perfume, Mary Kay makeup, Urban Decay Eye Shadow, work-out tank top, leave-in hair conditioner, wine glasses, a new spa shower head, a head scarf, fingerless gloves, wine bottle stoppers, mint chocolate candle, a classy makeup brush set, a drawer for my Tassimo coffee + more coffee, and a lamp with a virtual picture frame that I "can put on my desk in England and fill it with pictures of my family and home". How Thoughtful!
 **Not pictured includes another North Pole House and characters for my collection, 2011's Precious Moment ornament for my collection, a gift card to my salon, and others...!

Some of Mike's Christmas Gifts:
 And I bought Mike new skis and ski boots, plus gifts from others included a shirt from Zara, new shoes, cologne, scarf, hat, and more...!

Tasty Tuesday: Christmas Dinner

For Christmas, Mike & I were in charge of making a few desserts...

Mike chose to make Mince Pie, which we made entirely from scratch. The dough was a shortbread sort of crust, which was so delicious but so crumbly, it was hard to put the top of the pie on but we made it work! It turned out perfectly, looked pretty and tasted just like a Mince Pie you'd eat in England. Since we don't have double cream here, we made-do with some heavy whipping cream that we whipped up and put on top before devouring the pie - and that worked quite well actually. Every Christmas that we spend in the US we make an English classic, which helps it feel a little bit more like "Christmas at home" for Mike (two years ago we made Cherry Bakewell Tarts!). It's no Christmas Dinner, but it's a little something to remind us of England!

I have been dying for some chocolate/peppermint dessert, and finally decided on making a Triple Chocolate Cupcake with touches of Peppermint. I made chocolate cupcakes, poured them into their molds and placed one peppermint kiss into the center and baked until done. Then I made a standard icing (powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, and cream cheese), spread the icing and sprinkled crushed peppermint candy canes over the top. Tasted like a Chocolate Christmas Candy Cane, yummm! :)

 For Christmas Eve, as tradition has it, our family got together for dinner and to open presents. This year, we decided to make it as homemade as possible - and the meal was delicious. Mike made a comment about how we should have that meal as our wedding meal because "it's nicer than any wedding meal I've ever had"!haha It was so nice to have a delicious meal with our family all sat around Mom & Dad's table. Being with family - that's what Christmas is all about!!!! ;)

Andrea made rolls with a cream cheese/sour cream plus vegetable topping.
She even shaped it into a Christmas wreath!

Salad with fruit, Christmas Cookies, Cranberry Salad, Puppy Chow

Ham with pineapples, pears, peaches, raisins, and brown sugar - absolutely delicious!!!

The Dinner Table's Centerpiece, one of Dad's Christmas Gifts to Mom

The Family gathered around the Table for Christmas Dinner: