Thursday, December 17, 2009

No, I haven't been living in a cave, I'm just a grad school student...

Wait, who am I kidding?! As if there is a difference!! Be back soon with an update of my not so glamourous first semester. There are so many things on my "finally finished and can have a life again" list, I don't even know where to begin.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I knew it had been awhile...

But I didn't realize it'd been THIS long. School has started and has been keeping me VERY busy! I forgot what it was like to be a full-time student. And running a household on top it, is sometimes overwhelming. Playing around on the internet is practically nonexistant, but hopefully I'll get back to updating here more regularly. I keep waiting for a "routine" to appear in my life, but who am I kidding. I'm learing there is no such thing as routine in this program. Lots of people have been asking about what kinds of classes I'm taking and what else I'm up to, so here's a quick run down for the semester.

1. Developmental Anatomy, aka Devo, is a 1st year med school class where we learn about how all the systems of the body develop. We don't take Gross Anatomy (whereas the med students do), so it's a lot of memorization and very little application.
2. Medical Genetics, aka Topics, is a 2nd year med school class, which is basically an introductory genetics course for the med students. Fortunately, it's a lot of review for me and should be a fairly easy course.
3. Genetics and Human Disease, aka GHD, is through the school of Public Health, and is the most challenging course by far. The content is a bit hard to describe, but is combination of genetics and statistics.
4. Ethics in Research, is the most boring class by far. I can appreciate the need for an ethics class, but I'm afraid there is very little course content that is applicable to my program. This is required by the grad school and is tailored to PhD students who will be doing research and working in a lab.
5. Approaches to Research, is a class taught only to the 6 of us, and is preparing us for our thesis projects. Lots of research methodology, statistics, etc.
6. Intro to Genetic Counseling, aka Intro, is exactly what you'd think. We've only had a few sessions so far, but this should be an interesting and helpful class.
7. Psychosocial Practicum is also specific for our program (my class and the 2nd year class take this together, both years). It's basically a discussion and role play based course to help teach and strengthen our counseling skills. It should be fun and interesting, but I'm not looking forward to being videotaped and critiqued!
8. Journal Club, which is not really a club and not technically a class, but is a required component to the program. It's basically a weekly seminar where we will read and present journal articles to the group. Occasionaly this is replaced with Case Conference where an interesting patient/case is presented to the group.
9. Sign-Out Conference is also a weekly activity where the pediatric doctors, residents, etc, and the Genetic Counseling students who are on the pediatric rotation present the cases for the week and discuss any issues or ideas and possible diagnosis.

And in between all this, we're apparently supposed to find time to study and maybe even catch a meal or a few hours of sleep! LOL! I really am enjoying it, but I'm pretty worn out. I've got to start getting more sleep...waking up at 5:30am to make it to class by 8am is killing me!!!! And I don't typically get home until 6pm-ish. Chance tends to work late, so dinner is usually around 9 or 10pm, which means we don't get to bed until midnight or so.

I'm hoping to catch up on a lot of studying and homework this weekend. I've got my first presentation on Monday (all about ethnic carrier screening for B-thalassemia!)and my first Devo exam in less than 2 weeks. Chance's dad stayed with us a few days and my grandparents came to visit from out of town, so it was great to have our first visitors. And Chance's dad is coming back next weekend, and his brother and sister-in-law are coming the weekend after that. I know I won't be getting much done with they are here, so fingers crossed for a productive next few days!

So, on that note, I'm off to sleepy-town! Next post soon....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family Weekend

First, just a layout share...I'm pretty proud of this one. My beautiful Aussie friend, Mistra, sent me a kit full of fun stuff and this is what I made out of my version of her style!

The apartment is still not finished, so I don't have those pics to post yet, but here are a few from this weekend. We all went to Palestine for Toni and Jonathan's Handyman Shower. It's not often we get the WHOLE family together, but it's always so much fun!!!

There's never a lack of laughs with these guys...3 of the 5 brothers.

And here's 4 of the 5...Chance, Ted, Brandon, Brian...missing the Guest of Honor...don't think I ever got one of all 5 of them.

The whole family...Bib and Terry, all 5 boys, the sisters-in-law and little one, and even an aunt, uncle, and some cousins!!!

There were belly-flops a-plenty, or as they're called down here, belly busters!

And chicken fights too!

All together, too much fun...can't wait for the wedding!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overdue Update from the 713

That's right...we made it safely to Houston, and are getting settled in nicely. Packing up, we quickly realized the abundance of crap we've collected over the years...way more than any two person household could ever possibly need. We left a truck load full of stuff with my parents (a couch, computer desk, book shelf, grill, and even dear Juba (the snake)), had 2 bookshelves 'accidentally' fall apart and trashed, stored a washer, dryer, and microwave at my father-in-law's house, filled a Uhaul, Chance's truck and my car to overflowing, and still had to leave behind 2 plants and a drying rack! We made the drive in 2 days, stopping in Palestine for the night. Altogether driving time was about 17 hours. A few pics to document the trip:

Sorting thru mountains of junk
So hard to say goodbye to Dereck and the new little one
And to my brother who is already stationed and ready to ship out
Probably the half way point of loading
Exhausted on our last night in KC
We REALLY needed a bigger truck!

Lots of questions about Chance's job, and for good reason. It has been quite the mess getting it all figured out, so here's the full story:
Chance was hired as the Fitness Director for Bally Total Fitness is Sugar Land, which is a suburb just near where we're living. So he would be in charge of all the personal trainers at that club. Unfortunately, a week before our move, Bally decided to start closing clubs all over the country. We get a call from his boss who says that the Sugar Land club is not closing, but the club at the med center was closed, so the fitness manager from that club would be moved to Sugar Land, bumping Chance out of the job. He was pretty devastated at that point, and I put packing aside and helped him send out his resume and start working on some back-up plans. Worst case scenario, he could still transfer in to the Sugar Land club as a trainer and try to rebuild his clientele. A few days later, he gets another call from the boss-man who offers his a part-time director position at the Galleria club, so Chance takes him up on it. This position would be quite challenging, just to balance booking his trainers and keeping himself booked too. Soooo...we get packed up and moved down and Chance starts this job. He was really enjoying it and all the trainers really liked him. A few days into the job, you-know-who calls again. He says, the original job in Sugar Land has opened back up and it's his if he wants it. So we had to weigh the options of sticking with the people he started with or switching to better hours and pay. So finally, he is now the full-time fitness director at Sugar Land. He seems to be enjoying it, but he has his work cut out for him learning all the paperwork and computer systems. His hours will typically be 9am-8pm, but the past few nights he hasn't come home till 11pm! One thing for sure, he puts his all into everything he does!

Now, what about me, you ask? I have a preliminary schedule of orientation dates, etc, but I'm still unsure when my first classes will begin. Program Orientation will start on August 14, and the Grad School Orientation will be August 24-28th. However, some of my classes will be taken through the Medical School which will begin before that Orientation. Registration is set to start on Monday, so I'm sure I will be getting more details in the coming days. Meanwhile, I've ordered most of my textbooks and have had 3 arrive so far. I'm getting very excited and starting! I'm also still waiting (impatiently) for my financial aid letter. I'm thankful for the scholarship they have offered, but not sure it will be enough. Our last taxes were based on both of us working full-time, so we're worried we won't qualify for much. I'm in desperate need of some new clothes. We have to dress professionally every day, and I'm afraid my work wardrobe consists mainly of jeans and T-shirts. Ah, the joys of working in a lab!

I have received my first assignment that I was actually pretty happy about. We must read and watch (new movie out in theaters) "My Sister's Keeper." I read the book a couple years ago and loved it, so I was excited to see the movie. I told Chance is was his homework assignment to go with me :) So, we saw it last week (there's a movie theatre right down the street from our apartment) and it was great. Not as good as the book of course, but had us both leaking from the eyes a bit. Made me miss my little sis a bit too. Speaking of sisters, we have a new nephew on the way! Fortunately, from Chance's side of the family this time...his older brother Brandon and his wife, Daisy, are expecting in November (I think...correct me if I'm wrong)

Let's see, what else? Yesterday was our 3rd Anniversary. We've survived each other so far! Lots of ups and downs, some way ups, and some way downs, so I'd say we're a pretty normal, healthy couple! LOL!! We've had a lot of fun choosing anniversary gifts...we've gone the "traditional" route so far, so this year was leather. On a budget too. So we had a good time, being a bit creative with it. I ended up finding him a business card holder and a pen cup for his new office and he got me a cute, summery purse. And the best part, he didn't work till 10:30pm!!! He got home around 8pm, so we had time to go out for a nice dinner and bottle of wine before ending the night with our favorite, "So You Think You Can Dance"!!!!

I'm still working on getting the apartment finished up, but I'm almost there. I'll be sure to post pictures when it's complete! In the meantime, I've been working on all the little joys that come with relocating, like finding new doctors, insurance, bank, hairdresser (!!!), grocery stores, etc. And if you haven't moved in awhile, you forget the little things, like that the water tastes different, or which way to turn the shower knob for hot water vs. cold. And finding new radio stations that don't suck. Let me tell you, there's certainly no Johnny Dare or Church of Lazlo down here. I may just give my old cd's a good workout for awhile. But seriously, the neighborhood is really nice and we have anything and everything we need within a few minutes drive....5 choices of grocery stores, a ton of pharmacies, plenty of restaurants (some new favorites, and some old), plus an odd abundance of donut shops and preschools, and we can be downtown in about 20 minutes. We have a guest bedroom....and we love having company!!! Hint, hint!!

Hope you've enjoyed my novel!!! More pics soon...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Had a few free minutes last night to whip up this quick layout, from one of Jen Hall's classes last year. Was fun to use pink for once!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comings and Goings

Life has been crazy lately, with plenty of ups and downs. Here's a quick update:

My beautiful niece, Marlee Lynn Frie was born on Monday, May 18!
Hmmmm...bummer, I can't seem to flip this photo the correct way...

Since the baby came early, we were able to fly to Texas for Karli (Chance's step-sister)and John's wedding, which was gorgeous!

The next weekend was Rockfest, aka the biggest one-day rock festival in the country.

This past weekend, we took a last-minute trip to Houston to meet Chance's new boss and find our new apartment. Looks like Chance's first day of work will be July 1st, which means we need to be down there by the weekend of the 26th. Sooooo, that leaves 2 1/2 weeks to get completely organized and packed. So much work to do, so little time. This coming weekend is our only free weekend left in KC, so if you want to hang out, let us know. And hey, anyone want to buy our sleeper sofa?!?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nothing New

Not much news happening here lately. Still looking for a place to live in Houston. Still looking for job possibilities for Chance. Still waiting for my niece to be born. Still spending most of my time with volunteer jobs.

Let's see, besides that, we had a going-away party (see the new photo above) for my lovely friend Emily. She is now all settled in Minnesota, and even though we never saw each other as often as we'd like, I miss her so much already!!

We made a trip to Texas for the annual Family Weekend at Elkhart lake, which was nice as always. Our friends, Terry and Tracie, finally welcomed their little girl Liberty and are finally home! What an angel face...I can't wait to see her again. Chance played in the Annual Alumni Football game, and they actually scored this year!! Dereck turned two and had a Spiderman party and got tons of fun new toys. Mother's Day was low-key this year. Sent a scrapbook to my mother-in-law and organized all my moms old photos in a book for her. Both seemed quite pleased, so I'm happy.

That's about it folks. I'll leave you with a few scrap pages I've managed to do in my "free" time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Here I come....


I officially accepted a postion at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. I really believe either program would be a good fit for me, but I just couldn't pass up the amazing scholarship they offered or the year-round warm weather! I loved all the people in Houston and can't wait to get started. The dates have not been finalized, but I will be starting in mid-August. Not sure when we will actually move...just as soon as we can find a place to live and a job for Chance! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Verdict

The moment we've all been waiting for...

I won't bore you with all the details of what I liked or didn't like about each place. Let's just get down to what you really came here for:

University of Texas-Houston--ACCEPTED plus a scholarship which qualifies me for in-state tuition
Brandeis University--ACCEPTED plus $7000 scholarship per year
University of Arkansas--ACCEPTED
University of Cincinnati--ACCEPTED with an approximate 25% tuition remission
University of Utah--wait-list
Northwestern University--high on wait-list
University of California--has yet to call, strange...scratch that...wait-listed

SOOOOO.....I've made some calls and have declined all positions, except my top two (and California...when they call, I will let them know as well). Ugh, how awful did I feel making THOSE calls!! All the schools were really so wonderful, it's such a hard decision!

In a matter of days I will decide whether to become a student in Houston or Cincinnati. Wish me luck deciding!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Home Stretch...

Wednesday, April 8
Drive to Chicago with dear hubby and stay with my friend and sorority sister Beth! We think it will be about a 10 hour drive, so I'll likely be too late and/or too tired to attend the student social at 7pm at a local bar and grill.

Thursday, April 9
9:30am Program and Clinical Overview at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
10:45-11:05am Interview #1
11:10-11:30am Break #1
11:35-11:55am Interview #2
12:00-12:20pm Interview #3
12:25-12:45pm Interview #4
12:50-1:00pm Group Activity...rumor has it, this is a 2-on-2 interview, where we discuss a recent science article
1:05-1:55pm Lunch with students
2:00-2:20pm Interview #5
2:25-2:45pm Break #2
2:50-3:10pm Interview #6
3:15-3:35pm Break #3
3:40-4:00pm Interview #7
4:05pm Q&A with Graduates
5:00pm Wine and Cheese Reception with Students and Faculty

Friday, April 10- Drive home

Wednesday, April 15
Leave KC 4:45pm, arrive Little Rock 7:15pm
Staying in University Residence Hall

Thurday, April 16
12:00pm Check-in and lunch at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
12:30-1:45pm Welcome and Intro to Program
1:45pm Film and Lecture Series
4:30pm Dinner with students

Friday, April 17
8:30am Check-in and breakfast
8:30-8:55am Q&A
9:00-11:25am series of 25 minute interviews
11:30-12:15 Campus Tour
12:15-1:20pm Lunch
12:45-4:55pm Series of 25-min interviews
Leave Little Rock 6:10pm, arrive KC 8:45pm

Monday, April 20
Leave KC 1:15pm, Arrive Orange County, CA 4:50pm
Staying at Ayres Inn

Tuesday, April 21
8:30am Arrive at University of California-Irvine Medical Center
8:30-10:00am Prenatal and Clinical Case Conference
10:00am- 1 or 2 30-45 minute interviews
Lunch with students, followed by 1 or 2 more interviews

Wednesday, April 22
Leave Orange County 12:45pm, arrive KC 8:58pm

Friday, April 24, D-Day
Wait patiently for all program directors to call with decisions!

Wednesday, April 29, Decision Deadline
By this time will have made my final decision and contacted all the programs to accept or not accept their offers. Then....time to start packing!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Up Next...

The University of Texas- Houston

Thursday, April 2 (Happy Birthday to Me!)
10:55am leave KC
2:00pm arrive in Houston
Staying at Best Western Plaza Hotel & Suites
6:15 meet a few fellow applicants at nearby hotel to be picked up by a current student and ride to dinner at the home of another current student

Friday, April 3
8:00-8:40am Breakfast and Intro to Program
8:40am-12:00 Series of 25 minute interviews with 7 different interviewers
12:00-12:45 Lunch with students and faculty
12:45-1:15pm Presentation of Clinical Rotations
1:15-1:45pm Disucssion of interesting cases and thesis topics
1:45-2pm Break
2:00-2:30pm Tour facilities
2:30-3:00pm Meeting with a Dean from Grad School
3:00-3:30 Financial Aid Presentation
3:45 Conclude visit
6:30pm Leave Houston
9:15pm Arrive in KC

University of Utah

Sunday, April 5
8:45am Leave KC
1:40pm Arrive in Salt Lake City
Staying in Guest House on Campus
5:45 picked up by current student
6:00-7:00pm dinner with students

Monday, April 6
7:30am Breakfast
8:00am Welcome and Orientation
9:00-11:00am Series of three 30 minute interviews
12-1pm Lunch with Faculty
1:00-2:15 Remaining 2 interviews, 30min each
2:30-2:45 Questions and Wrap-up
2:45-3:30 Tour Facilities
7:00pm Leave SLC
12:00am Arrive in KC

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Low Down

Finally, all the details (more than you would ever need to know!) for my upcoming travels:

Tuesday, March 24 Leave KC at 9:20am, arrive in Boston 3:30pm
I will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express-Waltham
Wednesday, March 25 Interviews at Brandeis University
9am-10:30am- audit a course "Genetic Counseling Internship"
10:30am- meet with Financial Aid
12:15pm- lunch and journal club with current students
1:00-1:30- Orientation, University Overview
1:30-3:00- Three 30 minute interviews with Program Directors/Faculty
3:00-4:30- Audit course "Clinical Genetics"
Thursday, March 26 Leave Boston 4:00pm, arrive in KC 8:40pm

Sunday, March 29 Leave KC 12:40pm, arrive in Cincinnati 3:30pm (with fellow KC applicant)
5pm- pick up at airport by current student
6pm-9pm- dinner at current student's home
9pm- sleeping arrangements with current student
Monday, March 30
8am- breakfast, tour and interviews at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital
9:30am- first interview
12:00- second interview
12:30- lunch
1:30- third interview
3pm- fourth interview
8:00pm- leave Cincinnati, arrive in KC 9pm

I have also been invited to interview at the University of California-Irvine, but we are trying to work out the date. And I've just discovered that Mount Sinai never recieved my full appliaction, so I will likely be denied, by default (Long story!). But 7 out of 9, or more realistically, 7 out of 8 ain't bad!! More details to come....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ScrapWitch Challenges

Here are some recent LO's I completed for a few challenges at ScrapWitch.

This one was for "Get Challenged Now," where my dear friends requested I use vintage, doodling, and 5 different types of flowers in the layout:

This one is not a great LO, but has some fun pictures from Kelli's birthday party, "Thrift Store Fashion Show." Thanks to Penny for the sketch:

This design is thanks to one of Mistra's SBS (Step-by-Step) Challenges at the Witch:

And finally, the last LO was done from Penny's March Sketch:

Friday, February 27, 2009

My New Best Friend, Expedia

Those of you who have been asking more details about my interviews, today is your lucky day. I've been giving Expedia quite the workout and here's why:

Wednesday March 25 Brandeis University (Boston)
Friday April 3 University of Texas Medical School (Houston)
Monday April 6 University of Utah Health Sciences Center (Salt Lake City)
Thursday April 9 Northwestern University Medical School (Chicago)
Thursday April 16-Friday April 17 University of Arkansas (Little Rock)
Monday April 20 University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Only waiting to hear back from two more!

And for family or anyone else who's just curious, I'll post more details about flights and such later. For now, I'm late for a lunch date with Expedia. Many more plans to finalize!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interviews, Layouts and Mohawks

I have a 4th interview set up in mid-April. This one is for an online program, but I'll travel to Little Rock, AR for the interview. Waiting to hear from 4 more schools....

Here is another Jen Hall "The Write Stuff" LO of 2008 in Review:

And one I did using the Mosaic technique from the Feb/March issue of Scrapbooks Etc:

And finally, Hubby's new hair-do:

Yes, I realize the lighting is HORRIBLE!! Seems like everyone is getting in touch with their manual mode lately, which definitely makes me want to revisit my notes from high school photography class! Ah, if only there were more hours in a day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Schoolin' & Scrappin'

It's about time for some updates, so here's the latest grad school news: So far I've received three invitations to interview at Brandeis University March 25, Northwestern University Med School April 9, and University of Utah April 6. Boston University is not extending an invitation...I had a sort of "pop-quiz" interview on the phone, and was totally unprepared, and apparently unimpressive. Harumph! I'm still waiting to hear back from five others (now that the missing-documents-mystery has been solved), hopefully in the next week or so.

All my time has been devoted to these applications lately, so no time for any new LO's. I did these months ago, and I'm just now getting around to uploading them. These three are from Jen Hall's Octoberfest.

And these are from her "The Write Stuff" Class:

Monday, February 9, 2009

I've Been Tagged

I've been photo tagged by Melissa.

The assignment is:
Go to the 6th album of your photos and find the 6th photo.
Share that photo and tell a little bit about it.
Tag six people and ask them to do the same.

I have many "sub-albums" so, I kept going to the 6th folder in each, until I reached:

This is a picture of my nephew, last February. He is such a little rock star! He loves singing, dancing, and playing instruments, especially the drums!!

Instead of tagging 6 more people, I'm interested to see who actually reads this blog. I've just recently started it, so I'm curious who my visitors are...if you're reading this, leave me a comment and say hi!

And...I have another pretty new background...what do you think? So glad I stumbled on that site! It's provided plenty of wasted time for me!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lover of all things X

For those who don't know, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the X-Games! So I've got Winter X 13 on the DVR and have been watching a few events here and there. Of what I've seen so far, this was probably the coolest trick...since he fell off at the end, it didn't count, but at least he's alive!!! Those things weigh about 450 pounds! Pretty awesome if you ask me!

And of course, I got a little ahead of myself and saw the results of the Men's Superpipe before I actually watched it. Turns out Shaun White takes gold...the frist person ever to take back to back gold in the event! I guess I'll have to watch for myself later tonight.

So sad the X-Games only last a few days out of the year....just another reason to look forward to summer!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Write Stuff

The first 5 lessons from another online scrap class I'm taking from Jen Hall:

#5-this one is actually on a to find a wall for it!

#4- my hubby

#3- my mom

#2- Future

#1- My Goals

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Octoberfest in December

I've been slowly working through Jen Hall's Octoberfest online class, so here are the first few I've finished.

I've been slowly working through Jen Hall's Octoberfest online class, so here are the first few I've finished.

Where in the World?

Seems like the million dollar question lately has been "Where are you applying?!" So, here you go. There are just over 25 schools that offer Genetic Counseling in the country, and I'm applying to 9. Hopefully, we'll be living in one of these places in a few months time:

Brandeis University- Waltham, MA- basically Boston
Boston U School of Med- Boston
Mt. Sinai School of Med- New York City
Northwestern U Med School- Chicago
U of Arkansas-this is an online program and is the only chance we would NOT be moving
U of California-Irvine- Orange, CA
U of Cincinnati College of Med- Cincinnati, OH
U of Texas Med School- Houston
U of Utah- Salt Lake City

So, there you have it. Fingers crossed.