Backyard Makeover

Even though I may not have posted in several months that does not mean we have not been busy with our new home (aka our GIGANTIC team building, couple strengthening, buy lots of tools, no end in site project).

One of the biggest projects has been turning out backyard jungle into well a backyard.

As you can see when we first moved in things were slightly overgrown.   We could not even find our deck or open the windows (only very slight exaggeration…literally there was a vine keeping us from opening the window).

With our even bigger new tool (may be my favorite tool yet).  We played in the dirt…


Very slowly… section by section…

All we need now is some cooler weather so we can plant some grass 🙂

We even made some gardens.

And we couldn’t totally neglect the front yard…

Side note…. love is when someone spoils you rotten by letting you fill your cart at the garden store… twice.






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Making The Bed

You know the expression making your bed makes the room look 80% or whatever % cleaner?

This post is not about making the bed.  I swear I am not that lame although I do like a made bed.  For some reason a neatly made bed just says “this room has energy” and “I am ready to start my day” and also “don’t I like soft and comfortable?”

Right… so not about a made bed about how our yard looks 80% more betterer… with a driveway.

In case you needed a reference starting point…

Which with the help of many implements of destruction and many people (thank you thank you mom, dad, Lauren, and John) turned into this…

and then

after more hours

countless more hours

involving some cursing…


 You get this.

And then one…



loads of gravel.

And we have a made driveway.

For the record… while I did help with the destroying of many bushes the actually driveway component was completed by my other half.

And I did get caught googling “what percent does making the bed make the room cleaner” which is just a little embarrassing.

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Some small projects complete

So I decided that as we have a million big projects… I needed to find some small projects so that I feel like the satisfaction of crossing something off a list (any type A person understands this longing though I swear I am type B+).

I have to give credit to our real estate agent for this idea.

We shall call it Light Fixture ReVamp…

Its amazing what a little spray paint can do…

Insert some help from a friend and you have…

Brand newish outdoor lights! AND a check off my to do list.

Other small projects have including… brightening up otherwise ugly bathroom cabinets.

If you look hard you can see my turquoise contact paper of amazingness (ever realize something is not a real word only when you type it and spell check is angry with you).  One day… in like 10-15 years I hope to not have a bathroom that is ceiling to floor tile and has more cabinets than the kitchen but until then… contact paper band-aid works nicely.

Dan has also been super busy with some bigger room projects and some appliance installation projects… but spoilers…

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Some “small” home purchases

So news flash (although not news to people who already own a home) once you purchase a home… you have to buy a whole bunch of other things.  And as two former home renters… who now own 20 acres and a house that is a little bit of a project we had to make some small purchases.

Gotta start with the basics right?

Yes that is a machete… and no it is not as awesome as it was in our minds.

So we decided to go for a little bit bigger…



With our new (aka used) garden tractor… that we use totally appropriately…

But even that was not big enough… so we made another small purchase.

I have to say this purchase is a lot of fun to drive but we have also been really productive.

For example we found our barn which is another project for a whole different blog.  And hopefully while I am writing that blog I will know something about barns… like at all.


And underneath all this….




We found this. Which was particularly funny as I had been saying that on one of our many giant boulders I was going to paint our house number.   Guess somebody had the same idea 30 years ago but hey, saves us time?

I have to admit with the help of purchases we are starting to get some where… our yard looks less like an over grown jungle in which the deck stairs were unreachable and more like… actually I don’t know there are words to describe it.  Imagine a lot of jungle and bush carnage with a lot of holes in the ground and rocks… like A LOT of rocks.  See I am leaving you hanging because hopefully one day in some near or not so near future I will have mind blowing, super extreme make over before and after photos.

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Life After Residency

So I originally started this blog to help me focus on all the positive things that happened outside the stress of residency… life beyond medicine.

And then this happened…

We adopted a super cute incredibly naughty kitten.  Take a moment to absorb the cuteness…BUT WAIT… that is not what this post is about.

This is…

I graduated residency!  7 years that included a whole lot of studying, tears, long hours in the library, long hours in the hospital, what seemed like never ending calls of and missing out on family events is now complete.  And I am officially an independent licensed doctor and I truly do love what I do.

Someone… we shall not name names here was worried that I would not know what to do with myself.

And then we bought this…

Which when we closed look like…

Let us just say NEVER underestimate the amount of growth than can occur in just a few weeks.

I absolutely love our new home which includes 20 acres of forest but I know EXACTLY what will be keeping us busy for the next few months or years (project house=understatement).  We closed almost four weeks ago now and I still can not believe we own something but I guess that is what grown-ups do.  We have done tons of hard tedious labor (mice= evilest beings on earth, brown well water=yucky, hot water =good thing, rhododendron that have over grown for +25 years and are taking over the house= monsters, did I mention mice= evil?) however with the help of friends and family (future posts to come)  our house is slowly starting to feel like our new home.

And even though residency is complete… a life in medicine can sometimes be all consuming and therefore my blog beyond medicine will continue.

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I wanna be a rock star

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Last weekend I went to the beach with my sister and my nieces.  It was a wonderful girls day.  I have known my sister for more than half my life and to say the least she knows me pretty well.  … Continue reading

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Going to get better.

So I am lagging on my new years resolution and have definitely been doing every other day photos. I will get better though and will blog them in 3 day increments… need a bit more structure.

Saturday, Jan 16th


We went to our place… its a park close to the house. And while the front as seen in this picture does not look like much, to the side there are two mountains with a larger lake. Its amazing. I love the fact that its close and more importantly its full of wonderful memories.

Monday, January 18th


Randomly had MLK day off and spent it with my amazing mother. While not the best picture… the day was a blast. Coffee, shopping, sushi- amazing. I am a super lucky woman in that my mom
is one of my heros – she is smart, strong, and so caring.

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Past few days…

January 1st 2016


We went an saw star wars in swanky new stadium theater with recliners. It was amazing! Aka I am such a nerd. We slept a ton that day but they way I look as we were priming ourself for the new year.

Jan 2nd 2016


Busy day… Dan tried out his saw for the first time. We planted our seedlings and we ate an amazing fancy dinner with two good friends. And of course there were video games

January 3rd 2016


Today… we started the day right with grams famous french toast. Love my grams and am so blessed to have learned so much cooking from her. Lets see what the rest of the day brings.

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New Years Resolution

So it has been an interesting end to 2015. On Christmas Day my uncle passed away. Five days later the love of his life passed. Today my family came together to say our goodbyes. And while my brain is flooded with thoughts the main thought that reoccurs is grateful. I know I have written about this before but it is so easy to just let the days pass and not pause and think about how lucky we are. It being NYE well now a new year as is tradition I make a few resolutions. And this year not the same “loose weight, eat better, work out more” more simple meaningful ones.
1) take a picture everyday to remind myself to slow down and find some meaning (does not have to be beautiful)
2) reach out and spend time with friends and family
3) be a little more patient, kind, caring, smile more; try to remember that life can be too short.


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At the end of a five day trip with 10 people and multiple hours of driving in a 12 person van, learning about a different place in a different language has offeref lots of material for reflection.

1. Be grateful: This is a lesson I seem to learn again and again. Many places people do not have enough. It seems that every where I go some people have entirely too much while others have entirely too little. And sadly that too much does not always equate to happiness. Too often we become stressed and down right miserable by our “first world problems.” Is the desire for a iced coffee really worth being cranky? Whose happiness am I affecting when I fail to enjoy simply what I  have.


As a second part to above – be grateful for people’s kindness. Sometimes it involves a dinner with an amazing view at a resteraunt you can not afford. Other times it involes being given a bottle of water when you are drenched in sweat just from standing cause your North American butt has never had to deal with 90 degree days and a humidity that is simply unmeasurable. For the homecooked meals during my travels provided by the many people who truly could not afford cooking for me…. thank you. I am also grateful for the unexpected friendships and bonds that can grow while being stuck, I mean traveling with 10 people.

2. You never know what decision may change your life. Being near 10 people in a small van (see above) you naturally hear about their journey. There are all these little twists in our life that lead to getting paid to go to Peurto Rico to learn about the culture and education. Some of these “little twists” in our lives are not so little. For the last 2 weeks I have been focusing a lot of time on education and have realized how large of an impact mine has had on me. My parents made a simple decision, a decision I HATED, to send me to an all girls catholic school. Well now I can not thank them enough. I would like to think that at a public school I would have been as pushed, engaged, and had inspiring teachers and maybe at some schools that would have been possible but I know now that it is unlikely. But i also realize it was not the education as much as the environmemt. I went to a school where friendships formed were lifelong, there were no distractions aka boys, and I was shown that a woman could grow up to be anything. And that kind of education I know is rare.


Catholic School in Puerto Rico

3. Everyone has trouble accepting themselves some just hide it better than others. Being “confined” with ten people you learn a lot about them. I have rediscovered that everyone hates they way the look in a photo. I have learned that even some super beautiful seeing this. I have also learned that apparently I am good at hiding my insecurities well at least to acquaintances. And while acceptance is the ultimate goal its a little relieving to know it is a shared goal.

4. There is no place like home! As with all trips it is exciting to leave but also exciting to go home. Can not wait to take an indoor shower (though now I am addicted to outdoor showers), see the leaves of fall, and most importantly get snuggles from these two 😉


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