In All This Crazy Madness…

In all this crazy madness of medical school, I have managed to stay (relatively) sane. 🙂 I owe most of that to an amazing group of ladies! Yes, I am finally getting around to talking about the Student Advocate Association – which, for the rest of this post, will be referred to as SAA.

When Kyle first heard that he got into school we were extremely happy!  We spent the next few months in a pre-married/newlywed happy bubble. Well, let me tell you… our bubble was quickly burst when we went to Kyle’s school’s “preview day”. This is a day where student who have been accepted can go to the school and hear from professors, administrators and students just what to expect medical school to be like. They also address the spouses in this little get-together, so I went along. Also, Kyle and I had not yet decided if we wanted to buy a house or just rent, so we thought this would be a great time to talk to some of the students about what they suggested. We also thought we should start looking for an area where we would like to live. So, we did.

Well, from the time we sat in our seats at something like 8:30 am (it may have been later than that, but it felt freaking early!) til we were let out around 12:00 all I heard about advice for the spouse was that this time was going to be hell! They basically said that we would NEVER get to see our med student and to just leave him alone and not bother him with petty things, such as how I am feeling. They told us that we could never understand what he was going through that basically our job was to clean up after him, cook for him, do his laundry and never ask to see him. I. Was. Terrified! Seriously, y’all I was almost in tears!

Once the horrible panel was over we were released to wonder around the booths of school clubs and realtors. Since we still needed to figure out where we were going to live, we asked some current students for advice… Most people we talked to were very negative about buying – which is really what I wanted to do… Until we got to the last booth in the room, the SAA booth. (My saving grace!) These women are spouse of current students and many of them have children! So, we asked our usual question, buy or rent, when a lady came up to us and asked if we were Aggies (Aggies rings… you see one on someone and you are immediately friends… its amazing!) to which we replied yes. She was also an Aggie, a stay-at-home mom, and she happened to be a loan officer on the side! We got her number and she told us to contact her on Monday and she would help us get started! Yay! She also happened to be the president of SAA!!! (Which is how I got involved in the group!)

So, SAA is a group of spouses – mostly wives. We get together once a month to have our monthly meeting. We talk about how school is going and how life outside of school is. We also plan super fun events to keep ourselves busy! There are many different committees within SAA – for example, we have a hobby committee – which puts on hobby events; so far we have learned things like bread making, silk flower making, candle making… (you get the idea) – social committee – which plans social events. These events can include members only, members with children, or members and med students. We do tons of fun stuff and this group is really great for when Kyle has a test coming up! Another group we have is service committee – this committee plans one service event a month. We switch back and forth between community service events and student service events. For example, for a community event we went to a local children’s hospital and put on a Valentine’s party for all the kids. For the students we generally bake things for them and pass them out between classes.

I have made so many valuable friends through this group and I really don’t think I would have survived this first year of medical school without them. My other friends who aren’t in medical school are great, but they can’t really understand what it is like to have a spouse in medical school! One of the best parts about spending time with my SAA friends is when we talk about how we are feeling and how stressful/strained things can feel between us and our student we all end up saying “You feel that was too? Oh good, so I’m NOT crazy!” It is wonderful to know that I am not the only person in my situation! It’s also great to know that I’m not crazy! 🙂 I feel completely blessed to have met these fabulous ladies! I look forward to spending the next few years with them!

Because of what SAA means to me, when it was time to elect new officers for the group, I wanted to serve. We held nominations in April and voted in May and guess what… I was elected for treasurer! This job comes with many responsibilities, but is going to be super fun! The other officers that were elected are amazing women and I look forward to serving with them over the next year!

Have you had a group of friends that completely understood where you were coming from and how you were feeling like SAA?


Bad Blogger: Part 2.

Still more craziness? Yes, this weekend I am going to visit my friends and family back home! One of my sisters just got engaged Sunday night (yay!) and is moving to Tennessee next weekend. My other sister’s birthday is next week, so I am going home to celebrate a birthday and a going-away/engagement. Going home is always kind of an ordeal, only because of med school. Most of the time Kyle can’t go with me because of school. So, that leaves me either traveling alone with Max (our dog) or just plain old traveling alone. Also, when Kyle stays home I have to make sure he has stuff to eat and that the house is clean or he will spend all weekend cleaning instead of studying. But the worst part of leaving is that I don’t get to be with him! Our time together is so few and far between that it has really become precious to me and I hate being out-of-town. But, I miss my family and I get to see my best friend again, so maybe it’s kinda worth it. 🙂

Also, I have started babysitting during meetings for parents with kids with autism. There is a program in Texas called F.E.A.T. which stands for Families for Early Autism Treatment. They meet twice a month, every other week for about 2 hours and offer support for parents. It’s a great resource for parents, but I am lucky enough to get to babysit the kids with autism and their siblings which the parents meet. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to make some connections – and make a little extra cash. But, it also means I’m away from the house two more nights a month; which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can add up! A great thing that is coming out of this opportunity is that a lot of the parents want me to help them out over the summer and possibly be a caregiver to some of their children!!! That would be amazing!!!

I have some good news to leave you with… The other day I was talking to Kyle about how much I don’t want to sub next year, but I also heard that it’s really hard to get a teaching job if you’ve worked out of the district. (I had thought about getting another job, just for now, until I find a teaching job.) So, I was sharing my concerns with Kyle when he mentioned me just going back to school. I wanted to go back anyways for physical or occupational therapy, but was going to wait until Kyle got into residency. But, his thinking is, we lived off of student loans last semester while I was finishing up undergrad and we had more money (even if it wasn’t really ours) than we do now that I am subbing. (It’s not the best paying job) So, why wait? Sooooo, I am going to start looking into schools for physical therapy and will hopefully be working my way into one of them in the next year. I will probably have a year of pre-reqs before I can get into a PT school (I was an education major) but I will be able to work toward my graduate degree and will have WAY more opportunities opened up to me with a PT degree! I am super excited about this opportunity and I will be figuring out more about it soon!

have you ever had weeks like mine, when you realize that you’ve been so busy that your haven’t really seen your significant other? That’s the hardest part about being busy for me is not getting to spend real quality time with Kyle. Maybe I’m just really ready for med school to be out for the summer!!!  Thanks for hanging in there with me and I will hopefully be better about filling y’all in faster! 🙂 Also, any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated right now 🙂

Bad Blogger.

So, I know I have been M.I.A. for a while now, but things around our house have been a little busy. I am realizing that the school year is (quickly) coming to a close and I still have no idea what I will be doing next year – not subbing, please God, not subbing. Also, Kyle gets finished with his first year of medical school in about 3 and 1/2 weeks! (YAY! YAY! YAY! *happy dance*!)

Besides the major things in our life, our everyday lives have been a little crazier. For example, last Thursday during dinner I looked at Kyle and said “I feel like I haven’t really seen you this week.” To which he replies, “Well, I’ll get to see you tomorrow after my test.” Then I say, “You have a test tomorrow?!?!?”  He says, “Yes, it’s the end of M.O.D.” Normally I know when his tests are; I also normally know things like when quizzes are, when he has written and clinical competencies, ya know, semi-important school things that would cause him to study more than other times. I have no idea how this slipped by me! That’s how crazy things have been for me. And, when I stop to think about what is keeping me so busy? Subbing. It’s keeping me busy and wearing me out every day. This is why I don’t want to sub next year.

Other things that have been stealing all my precious down time? Well, the normal stuff: cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. But also SAA – I have kinda talked about this group a little bit at the beginning of my blog and have been meaning to expand on it but haven’t had time yet. SAA stands for Student Advocacy Association. It is basically a group of med school spouses – mostly wives. We do things together while the students are busy. It keeps us (semi) sane during these crazy med school years. -Really I don’t know what I would do without this group! I definitely would not be handling our first year of marriage very well at all! – This group has become very important to me and I will tell you more about it in another blog. Well, I have become SAA’s new treasurer! Which comes with a lot of responsibilities, but I am super excited about serving! Part of these new responsibilities was helping out with a huge end of the semester formal to honor the fourth year spouses. Which was the first weekend in May. This event was so much fun! It was Red Carpet themed and we got to dress up and be glamorous for a few hours! It was amazing to hear the husbands brag on how great their wives have been through the whole journey through med school. I am so glad to see that there really is a light at the end of this really long tunnel.  Also, last weekend was our new board retreat, so we can get to know each other before jumping right into the craziness of planning the beginning of the “year” (read: the beginning of med school which starts in July). That was a blast! I got in some much-needed girl time, as well as, I got to get to know some really wonderful ladies! I can’t wait to start serving with them this next year! We are going to have a ton of fun!

Well, that’s only about half of the things that have been taking up my time… But I think this post is long (boring) enough, so I will fill you in on the rest of it in my next post. I guess these things are terrible –I really am excited for SAA stuff – but I am ready for Kyle to have a break. I think that will help with the feeling of craziness. If you have read this far then THANK YOU! I hope you enjoyed learning about why I was away for so long! 🙂 Until next time…

What have you been doing since I’ve been away? 🙂

Going Green: My Flower Garden.

When I think of gardens I always think of the beautiful flowers and how good they smell! I love flowers and was super excited about starting my own flower garden. We have 3 flower beds that were here when we moved in so Kyle didn’t have to dig out anymore dirt. 🙂 Most of these flower beds had horribly ugly, prehistoric looking, twig-like things that I hated when we first moved in! They reached out and grabbed you as you walked by and they weren’t even green – they were kind of a sickly looking gray! So, those were one of the first things to go when we moved in.

Do you see the ugly, tall things reaching out to grab my leg?!?

I decided to use one of the flower beds in the back yard to plant my flowers. It is under the window in our dining room, so I would get to see the flowers all the time! Now, it’s really expensive to plant pre-grown flowers, so I had to start mine from seeds – which was fine my me. All I had to do was decide what kind of flowers I wanted to have.

Well, as some of you may know, I am addicted to the dollar section at Target! I can’t walk into that store without walking through and seeing all the awesome stuff you can get for just a dollar! So, on one of my many Target trips I was searching the dollar section to see what kind of treasures I could find when all of a sudden I found flower seed mixes!!! For a dollar!!! There were two different kinds: wild flowers and butterfly. I love butterflies and would be in heaven if I could eat dinner and watch the butterflies fly around my flowers! So, guess which one I picked…

Hummingbird and Butterfly mix!

They were so easy to plant too! All I had to do was loosen up the first 3 inch of soil, sprinkle out the mix, then water it everyday until they sprouted. Once they sprouted, I only had to water them every few days. But, y’all, they took For. Ever. to sprout! They took so long to start growing that I thought they wouldn’t grow at all… It was very sad. Then one day I walked out to water my little non-growing flowers and guess what I saw… SPROUTS!!!

They are little, but you can see some green coming out of the ground!
My little flowers!

Once they finally sprouted, my flowers started growing like crazy!!! They are so tall!

Now, I just need them to bloom soon so I can start watching the hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy the beautiful flowers!

What are your favorite kinds of gardens? Do you like flower gardens as much as I do?

Coming up: Fresh Fruit!!!!

Miss a post?
Compost Pile.
Building the Compost.
Veggie Garden.
Herb Garden.

Going Green: The Herb Garden.

The first green things we started to grow was our herbs. I was super excited about growing herbs because they smell amazing. Also, I use them a lot when I cook and I heard that fresh herbs are taste much better! We started the herbs while it was still a little cold outside, so we started them in a Jiffy growing tray. Now, I’m a bad blogger and forgot to get pictures of the planting and growing process while the plants where still in the tray. Also, I didn’t get pictures of me planting the herbs because Kyle was busy trying to transplant a tree from the front yard to the back. But, I did get a picture of the tray after some plants had been re-planted!

We still need to plant a few of the cayenne peppers, but as you can see, a lot of the herbs didn’t make it…

We wanted to try to grow a bunch of different herbs, so we got Oregano, Thyme, Basil, and Rosemary seeds along with Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper seeds. I was so excited to fill the garden area by our walkway to our door with wonderful smelling herbs. 

This is our little herb garden!

Well, I followed the directions on the Jiffy tray and when they started sprouting I planted them in the garden. A lot of the plants looked really small and fragile out of the tray. I wasn’t sure they would make it… Sure enough, not many did. But, we will have some peppers…

Just two of our many jalapeno plants!

We also have some actual herbs growing, but because I wasn’t paying attention when I planted them I’m not sure what is growing. 😀 Oops! I guess it will be a surprise!

Mystery plant #1

Mystery plant #2

As you can probably tell, these plants still aren’t doing great, but hopefully they will survive and we will have some herbs. I am very sad that so few of our herbs didn’t make it, but we will have a lot of peppers. Hopefully next year we will have better luck with the herbs…

Have you had any luck growing herbs? If so, what’s your trick?

Coming up next: My flower garden!

Miss something?
Compost Pile.
Building the Compost.
Veggie Garden.

Going Green: Our Veggie Garden.

Once we had our seeds planted we needed to decide where to put our garden and how big it should be. I started looking on the back of the seed packets and quickly learned that tomatoes and cucumbers need LOTS of space! If we planted everything in the same garden it would have to be over 20 feet long!!! So, we decided to plant the tomatoes separately. Once that decision was made our garden ended up only being 9′ by 3′, which was much more manageable for us!

Now that we knew how big our garden was going to be we just marked out the area with spray paint and Kyle got to digging! Now y’all, this was a task! It took him a few hours every afternoon for three days! Now, we didn’t have the right shovel, to begin with. All we have is a flat head shovel that you use for transferring dirt and such. What we needed was a pointed shovel that would go into the ground better. But, with a little watering of the ground, we finally had a place to put our little green babies!

Poor Kyle, had to dig up that much dirt!!!

It’s starting to look like a garden!

Once Kyle had the garden dug out it was time to start planting! But, only the mixed greens were ready to plant. So, they went in first. The others were ready shortly after. Now, the mixed greens are thriving and everything is finally looking like its going to grow! Wanna see?

Our cucumbers are in the ground and
the tomatoes are waiting to be planted!

This is our spinach! It’s finally growing spinach – like leaves!

Our mixed greens! This is the one I’m most excited about!

These little guys in the middle are cayenne peppers!

Kyle wanted to try some of these in the backyard, but his buddies are in the front and are another post all their own!

So, our little garden is thriving and we think we could start eating the mixed greens soon! Which is totally exciting for me!!!! Now, we need to work on getting our tomatoes in the ground!

Missed a post?
Compost pile.

Building the compost.

Coming up: Our herb garden is made! 🙂 

Tuesday Randomness.

I promise I will get back to my Going Green series soon, but until then I have a little bit of randomness for you. I was substitute teaching today (like always) and heard a lot of the same random comments that I get almost every day. So, I thought I would share my top 10 most heard comments with you…

Top 10 Most Heard Comments While Subbing:

10. Are you trying to be a teacher?
My thought is “No, I just really enjoy subbing…” My real answer is “Yes. I am trying to get a real job teaching.”

9. Mrs. Sub… Mrs. Sub…
“Student… Student…” Take the time to at least learn my name please!!! But I guess that’s a step up from “Miss, hey Miss…”

8. Mrs. Shoe…. What’s your name again?!?
“It’s not that difficult of a last name! ‘Su’ pronounced just like the ‘su’ in sugar.

7. Can I just call you Mrs. S?
“Sure I guess… Even thought you are in 6th grade and should be able to say my last name.”

6. Are you really married?
“Yes, I really am married. Yes, I really am old enough to be married.”

5.  Are you still in high school?
“I know, I look very young. At least I don’t look old!”

4. You look like you’re 18!
Same thought as above. This is an improvement though! At least I’m not getting mistaken for a 6th grader anymore!

3. Are you going to be a cool sub?
I always want to answer this questions with “NO!”, but I don’t have the heart… My real answer “If you get all of your work done and don’t distract others, then yes.”

2. Can we do whatever we want?
“As long as you get your work done, don’t distract other people, stay quiet, and are still following all the school rules, sure!”

1. You look like Rachel Berry from Glee!!!
My usual reply… “Yes, I know. I get that a lot!

So, there is a glimpse into my life as a sub. Now, there are not the best comments I have happened to over hear… those are another story… these are just the ones I hear on almost a daily basis. Welcome to my life…