Monday, May 14, 2012

on the road again!

And yet another roadtrip. By the end of the summer Stephen and I will be famous for them. 

On Thursday, Stephen and I loaded up our car and hit the road for Fairbanks. We got to take little Bella (our sister's dog) on the roadtrip, too. Though she had a nice cozy bed, she insisted on the backpacks. She made for decent company and I'm pretty sure Stephen let her on his lap a time or two... Just sayin'. The drive was, again, gorgeous. We made a stop in Talkeetna, a small little town off the main highway. It's apparently booming in the summer months, but it's not summer yet. It took all of five minutes to walk across town and back. We enjoyed the scenery and the chance to stretch our legs, though. We found our way into the clinic, too, because we could find ourselves paying off student loans in a town like this for three years someday. The clinic was impressive and I know Stephen liked hearing about all that they do. I usually stop listening after the first big word I can't pronounce. After many games of "twenty questions" and "see it" we made our way into Fairbanks, just in time for dinner. And since we've been here we've gotten to enjoy many more dinners, the company of Sam and Emmet, flying in the plane, walking, hunting (Sorta. And I say "sorta" because we didn't see anything to shoot and also because if we had I would have cried and pleaded for Stephen to not shoot it), shooting, watching movies, church, after church Taco Bell, Mother's Day...

And to our moms on Mother's Day (mine whom I miss dearly)... We love you both and are so lucky and proud to have you in our lives! You have taught us so much and molded us into the people we are today. You are both such beautiful and strong and incredibly funny and weird (let's be honest!) women and we would't have it any other way! We are who we are because of the two of you, and we hope that makes you proud! We love you, momma Ryan and momma Wall! Times forever and with all of our hearts! Thank you for everything :)

"Never judge a captain by the size of his dinghy"

Welcome to Seward.

Last Wednesday, husband and I loaded up a U-Haul we shared with Ben and Amanda and drove our way to Seward, Alaska to put our life on a barge and ship it off to Seattle. (Moving to and from Alaska is proving to be very difficult.) The drive was gorgeous. Stunning. I really am going to miss the Alaska scenery... Our first stop was a local bakery for cinnamon rolls. Go figure. We walked around the docks, spotted a Bald Eagle, wondered our way through quirky gift shops, played at the Sea Life Center and then loaded up our container. It was a bit surprising and actually kind of sad that our whole lives fit in that box with room to spare. All the easier to move around the country with, my dear. But it is off to Seattle to meet us in August! And we are left with three suitcases for the summer. (I narrowed it down from four. You should be proud.) We sad our goodbyes to Ben and Amanda back in Anchorage. I can't believe Natalie will be crawling by the time we see her again! Already looking forward to girls night :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

done, done, DONE!

When Stephen got done with his last final on Friday morning, I didn't know what to do with him! Nor did he know what to do with himself! I picked him up from school, for the last time, with a beer in hand and a giant congratulatory hug and smooch. All well deserved :) We came home and crawled back in bed to watch a movie (something he hasn't gotten to do very often this year) and simply enjoyed each other's company. And the complete and utter laziness. Cleaned house, cleaned up and picked his parents up from the airport. They made the quick flight in for Stephen's end of the year dinner. Always a treat to see them!

The dinner was held both as a congratulatory yummy feast for all the students who survived their first year and to honor one student with the Arthur Schaible Anatomy Award. Before the three courses of deliciousness, we got to enjoy an hour or so of talking with all the students, spouses, parents and staff. This year's WWAMI class is made up of some truly remarkable people, both in the classroom and out. We've been so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know each of them and their families. We've made some incredible friends along this journey and can't wait to spend more time with them in Seattle!

The dinner began and once our tummies were full, they announced the winner of this year's Arthur Schaible Anatomy Award. Arthur Schaible was a renowned surgeon in Fairbanks who began his medical work in Alaska in 1938. After his passing, his gracious wife decided to give back to the medical community through a yearly award and donation to one student in the Alaska WWAMI program. The award winner is chosen based on many criteria... Grades, class participation, leadership, quality of lab work... "The student who best demonstrates excellence in Human Gross Anatomy is chosen as the recipient of the award." And as Dr. Bailey said while announcing the award, "It is the most prestigious medical school award in the nation, both in cash value and honorable recognition." And then he said my husband's name...

Six students had addressed Dr. Bailey recommending Stephen for the award, saying he is so quiet and humble they might have overlooked him. But they hadn't. Grinning from ear to ear while I sat crying at the table, Stephen walked up to accept his award. His face was every shade of red and I'm sure he was praying he wouldn't have to give a speech :) He is so honored, and I am so proud! Truly, so very, very proud! I have watched him all year (usually from the kitchen at the back of his head as he studies diligently at his desk in the living room) work so hard in his studies. It amazes me that he was able to spend so much time with me and put forth so much effort in school. Never once has he failed at being a remarkable husband, nor failed at anything in school. From the outside, before we started this medical school adventure, it didn't seem so hard. People warned us and tried to prepare us, but I never thought it would be hard. We had it in the bag, right?! But it has been hard. Hard for Stephen in school, trying to learn more information than they give you time to learn it, trying to juggle 25 credits of 600 level classes, trying to pass twelve tests in eight weeks... Hard on our relationship, trying to spend time together, to talk to each other, to not miss the person you live with... Hard making time for friendships and family... Just hard. But he's done it. We've done it. And to see him excel through all of it just melts my heart (and really gets my tear ducts going!)

I am so lucky. So honored. So proud. And so very, very in love.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Peace out, Nordstrom. I'm outta here. 

Most people love the last day at their job. And yes, I may have done a little happy dance on the other side of the sky bridge and am so excited and ready for summer, but I truly do, did, love my job and the people I got to work with. Which is hard to find, I think. I actually liked going to work! (For the most part. Let's be real. It is till work.) But how awesome is it that I got to spend each day with great people, doing what I love and spent 3 years of college learning, meeting all sorts of strangers and new friends?! It's a bitter sweet end. And ohh that Nordstrom employee discount... You will be missed. Almost as much as my coworkers ;)

P.s. Love the hair? Hate the hair? Anna told me I looked like a grandma and Husband told me I looked like a German milkmaid. But I also received a lot of compliments and "how did you do that"s, so now I'm torn and need your help deciding if this style will ever grace us with it's presence again. Vote now or forever hold your peace.

(p.p.s. one. more. day.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

put a bow around your neck and call it christmas

2 more days of work.
3 more days of studying.
and 2 more finals to go.
then, welcome to summer.
this might be better than chirstmas.