Monday, January 31, 2011

The Caregiver's Package

This past October, my husband and I were married at the lovely Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine.

(Photo from Harraseeket Inn website)
It was an amazing fall day made more wonderful by the fact that we got to say our vows in front of our family and friends.  The staff at the Inn was absolutely fabulous and our day was everything that we ever dreamed of and more. 

Unfortunately, this upcoming deployment means that my husband and I will not be able to celebrate our one year anniversary together. This is definitely saddens me.  You only get one first anniversary.  Well, you could theoretically get more than one if you get divorced and remarried, but hopefully that's not in the cards.  This week we got something in the mail that will help make up for the fact that we might not get to celebrate on the right date.

The Harraseeket Inn is a privately owned, family run business and it feels that way.  When you stay with them or do business with them, it feels like you are the only person that matters.  Their attention to detail is extraordinary and their generosity is enormous.

A couple of months ago they announced that they were giving away a "Caregiver's Package" for 2011. It was created for nurses, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, and those enlisted in the military.  They asked for nominations for a deserving recipient.  Given the fact that my husband is a paramedic, firefighter, nursing student, and veteran who was soon deploying overseas AND we are a "Harraseeket Couple," my mother jumped at the chance to nominate us.

Guess what?
We won! 
So what if there was only one other nomination and we ended up in a tie? We still won!

Yesterday we received a gift certificate in the mail for a free overnight stay, breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner.

I can't wait to use this whenever we choose to celebrate our first year of marriage.   It makes the circumstances feel so much brighter.

Thank you so much, Harraseeket Inn.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The End of the Interview Trail...And An Award!

I drove down the highway singing as loudly as I could.  As soon as I got home, I threw down my luggage, tossed off my heels, practically ripped off my suit, and plopped myself down on the couch.

I'm done with residency interviews.

It has been a long and tiring process and to be honest I didn't even have it that bad.    Most people spend weeks going from hotel to hotel and program to program.   They miss trains, deal with lost luggage, and end up sleeping in airports.  Because of his job at the fire department, my husband and I are geographically limited for my residency search. Therefore it only made sense for me to interview at places within driving distance.  I never paid for airfare, never got stuck in an airport, and never had to sleep on someone else's futon.  I only stayed at a hotel for a couple nights.  While some of my colleagues probably spent over $2000.00 on the interview trail, I spent a whopping $282.00.

Regardless, I'm tired. 

I'm tired of wearing a suit when I will be wearing scrubs for the rest of my life.
I'm tired of small talk.
I'm tired of smiling and faking enthusiasm for every program even if I hate it.
I'm tired of asking questions for the sake of asking questions.
I'm tired of describing myself, voicing my strengths and weaknesses, and explaining why I chose emergency medicine.
I'm tired of awkward interview silences.
I'm tired of trudging through hospitals in uncomfortable heels.
I'm tired of pre-interview social events during which I nurse my one drink the entire evening as not to appear intoxicated but also not to appear a total prude.
I'm tired of listening to program directors recite the same statistics and describe the same thing at every program I visit.
I'm tired of sitting next to other applicants who hum "hmm mmm mmm" every three seconds.
I'm tired of trying to navigate my way through new cities and strange hospitals, all the while panicking that if I get lost I might be late.

I'm just plain tired and I'm so happy it's over.  

Now comes the fun part - making a decision.  No big deal, it's just the next 3-4 years of my life.


On another note, I was given my very first blog award! Beckie over at He's Taken a Turn for the Nurse gave me the Versatile Blogger Award and I'm flattered.  Definitely stop by her amazing blog and follow along with her adventures.  Thank you, Beckie!

Now for the "rules" of this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award

2. Answer 10 questions

3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy

4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award

The 10 Questions...

1. Why did you create this blog?
I kept the knowledge of my husband's upcoming deployment a secret for several months.  We told virtually no one for a long time.  After I let people know, I realized that I was having trouble talking about it and sharing my emotions and feelings.  This blog is cathartic.  It allows me to vent, share, celebrate, and reflect.  Most importantly, it has helped me find other military spouses with whom I can relate.  

2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
At this point, mostly military spouse blogs. I'd love to follow more blogs from medically oriented folks as well.   

3. Favorite make-up brand?
To be honest, I'm not much of a make-up person. I buy whatever my friends tell me to buy and I don't really wear much of it on a daily basis.

4. Favorite clothing brand?
Banana Republic & Ann Taylor are my go-to stores right now (mostly because my day-time attire ends up being "professional clothes" if not scrubs).

5. Indispensable makeup product?
Mascara is the only thing I wear on a somewhat regular daily basis. 

6. Favorite color?

7. Favorite perfume?
It bothers patients so I don't really wear it.

8. Favorite film?
I really like Juno

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
Greece because it seems like such an amazing and beautiful place.  

10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?
 I suppose blush on one side of my face.  I don't wear blush so it's not really much of an issue!

Wait, I thought interviews were over!

Ok, here are my 7 Versatile Blogger Choices (no particular order):
1. Tangerine Monday
2. Stethoscopes and Dog Tags
3. My Goal Is Simple
4. Stackett
5. Oh! Apostrophe
6. Consider the Lilies
7. FallonElla's Almost Fairytale

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Bloghop 2011

Hi there everyone, this is Dr. Army Wife and I'm participating in the Blizzard Bloghop 2011 hosted by Household 6 Diva. To join, go link up & write an introduction post and then grab some tea (or wine) and blog-hop the weekend away!

While I'm just starting out with this whole blogging business, it's been an incredible experience for me.  It allows me an outlet for my feelings, a way to meet new people (especially other military spouses), and it makes me stop and think about the good, bad, and crazy things happening in my busy life.

A little about Dr. Army Wife:  I have chosen to keep this blog semi-anonymous given the fact that I'd rather not be recognized by patients or residency programs right now.  So, I apologize ahead of time that you won't be seeing pictures of my face.  But doesn't it make me seem way cooler and more mysterious?

I'm a late twenty-something fourth year medical student just cruising through until graduation in a couple months.  I live somewhere in the United States and hope to start a residency in Emergency Medicine...somewhere in the United States.  I met my husband 6 years ago and we were married just this past October on the most amazing fall day that I can ever remember (minus the cold blue-lipped photo session).

My husband is a firefighter/paramedic/nursing student/Army reservist.  Needless to say, he's just as busy as me!  We are now facing an upcoming deployment overseas (his second, my first) and it's a pretty crazy time right now in our household.  I'm using this blog as a way to cope as I stumble my way through the next year or so.  I write about my life, the military & deployment, medicine, family, food, and whatever random other things come to mind.

Thanks for stopping by - can't wait to read your blogs!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Letting It All Hang Out

You would think that an almost physician would not find anatomical body parts funny anymore and this is generally true.  But I still can't stop laughing at this picture that we took in Costa Rica.   

Please, Mr. Howler Monkey. Put those things away!  Have some decency!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Random Act of Kindness

During the first night of our honeymoon, we experienced a wonderful act of unprovoked kindness.

It was nearly 4 pm when we got to the hotel.  We enjoyed our delicious complimentary drinks (fresh fruit blended with vodka) and quickly changed into our bathing suits to hit the pool.  Now if you've ever seen my husband with his shirt off, you would know that not only is he a outstanding male specimen, but he also has several tattoos that reflect his military career.  This, combined with his short haircut, make it pretty obvious that he's a veteran.  Even though we didn't really socialize with any of the fellow guests at the pool that night, some of them took notice of this fact.

We enjoyed our short pool adventure and left to get ready for dinner.  When we returned for our first surprise 4 course meal, we were told by the staff that the gentleman in Villa 4 was paying for our dinner.

Wait, what?

This was quite unexpected since the only words exchanged with this man had been "The pool is chilly but you get used to it."  In fact, the staff had to describe him to us because we weren't even clear who he was in the first place.  He apparently had realized that my husband was in the military and wanted to thank him for his service.

We were definitely taken aback by this wonderful gesture and weren't even sure how to respond to it.  A simple thank you was all that we could do, but I think I'll have to figure out a way to pay it forward.

Another random honeymoon picture. Just because. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hey Hey We're The Monkeys!

Please excuse my short period of absence.  Hubby and I were out hob-nobbing with the jungle creatures.

After 3 months of marriage, we got to take our belated honeymoon to Costa Rica and it was amaaaazing.  We flew into San Jose, stayed a night, and then rented our 4x4 for the 4 hour trek to Uvita.  We passed through beautiful mountainsides, traveled over crocodile laden rivers, and finally approached our destination.

We were warned by our hotel that the road was bad and we needed to rent a 4x4 or we wouldn't make it.  Well, they certainly weren't kidding.  As we drove up the bumpy and rocky road I questioned whether we were going to survive the climb up the mountain.  Just when the nausea started to set in, the white walls of Oxygen Jungle Villas were before us and all of my hesitation melted away.

This small boutique hotel consists of 12 glass-walled villas for a total of 24 maximum guests.  The owners, Edwin and Floortje, live right there so they are always available for help, advice, or just a friendly conversation.  The service was wonderful, food was delicious, and the hotel was beautiful.  One of the best parts was the surprise 4 course dinner every night - there were many times that I watched my husband physically use his fingers to lick the plate clean.

Even though our hotel was awesome, we spent the majority of our time exploring the area.  We took day trips to Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovado National Park (described by National Geographic as "the most biologically intense place on Earth").  Our goal was to see wildlife and boy did we ever:

Humpback Whales
Howler Monkeys like to wake you up at 5 AM screaming
White-Faced Monkeys
White-Nosed Coatie
A sloth napping.  My kinda people.
Macaws mate for life. How romantic :)
Brazilian Wandering Spider: After I was told this was the deadliest spider in the world, I got a little nervous getting up to go to the bathroom at night.
We also went on a canopy zip line adventure and an ATV ride through the countryside.  These were both incredibly fun and certainly helped prove my case to Hubby that I'm a true badass. I even went first on the zip line and I only screamed slightly like a baby on the Tarzan swing.  I drove the ATV straight into a rocky river with water up to my calves and I managed to dislodge myself from quite the precarious position (nevermind that I may have permanent nerve damage in my hand). 

It was a honeymoon to remember forever and I'm pretty sad to be back.  As I sit here now surrounded by snow and ice, the memory of this will keep me going:

 *All images are personal photographs taken on our brand new Nikon 3100 :)*

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One hundred and ninety million dollars. 

That's what each of the two winners of the most recent Mega Millions will receive.

This got me thinking about what I would do if I won this much money.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else, but I'm actually afraid of buying lottery tickets and I tend to shy away from it. This is not because I have some horrible, all-consuming gambling problem and am scared I will end up spending my entire life's worth on the lottery.  It's not as if I sit all night at some sketchy party boat/casino with a cigarette in one hand, scotch in the other, and pull the lever until I get tendinitis in my elbow.   The closest I have ever come to gambling is the old nickel slot machine that my grandparents used to have in their condo. I would stand on a stool on the green shag rug, pull nickels out of a plastic cup on the table, and feed the coins in one after another. Sometimes I would have a horrible run of luck and would go completely and utterly bankrupt.  Thank goodness there was a key to the back of the machine and I could instantly refill my account.  Once in a while I would jump for joy - "JACKPOT!!" as a handful of nickels dumped on to the floor.

   (This is the current extreme makeover slot machine. In another life it was green and yellow with cracked glass and didn't have quite the same magical sheen.)

I don't buy lottery tickets because I don't want that much money.  Perhaps I'm crazy.  That much money changes people.  It changes your life outlook, it changes your relationships with your friends and just changes everything.

Don't get me wrong here - I like money.  It is important to me have a nice house, enjoy some traveling, and pay for the educations of my future children.  I consider myself extremely fortunate that even with the nauseating sum of student loans that loom over my head, I will one day be able to live in a very comfortable manner.

$190,000,000? No thank you. 

Plus, those numbers were too darn close to the numbers on Lost and just think of the bad luck that came from that.

If for some weird, inexplicable reason a winning Mega Millions ticket just happened to fall out of the sky on to my lap, this is what I would do:

1. Get a lawyer.  There is absolutely no way I would show my face on national television accepting that check.  I'd send my lawyer to do it for me and attempt to stay as anonymous as possible.

2. Hire the best financial planner around.

3. Pay off my student loans & pay back my parents for all the financial support they have given me over the years.

4. Put away enough of it so that my future children, grandchildren, and nieces/nephews can get whatever education their little hearts desire.

5.  Buy a nice house, but nothing that would be so big that I would have to use an airport walking escalator to get across it.

6.  Invest a couple million for the future.

7.  Give the rest of it away. Anonymously.

What would you do if you won $190,000,000?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Year Ahead

I don't usually do New Year's Resolutions.  I've never truly understood the purpose of promising that I will exercise more (which I won't), eat better (I can't help it if I love all things pastry), or get more sleep (let's face it, I'm starting medical residency - not going to happen).

But, 2011 brings big changes.

This year I will:
  • Honeymoon in Costa Rica
  • Watch my big brother marry my fantastic new sister-in-law
  • Match into a residency program in Emergency Medicine - fingers crossed!
  • Graduate from medical school.
  • Work my first day as a doctor.
This year I will also hug my husband goodbye as he leaves for an overseas deployment.

2011 is certainly a bittersweet year and it's full of uncharted territory.    

My 2011 New Year's Resolutions:  Get out of bed.  Take things day by day. Spend time with my friends and family. Support my husband, tell him that I love him, and show him I am proud of him. Work hard and learn something new every single day. Look on the positive side of things. Use my experiences to make me a stronger woman.

Just breathe.