Thursday, June 23, 2016

i'm getting my life back

today i woke up exhausted. more so then normal. i could hear my baby girl crying out for me. but i struggled to pry my eyes open. when i finally got her up my arms hurt carrying her. i turned on a show for her to watch while she ate breakfast because its the only sure way i know how to get her to eat a good meal. if she is distracted she'll eat. so she watched some daniel tiger and i stuffed her face with eggs that my dad had made earlier. 

my sweet boy woke up and again i was exhausted. i let him play in his crib for a bit and finally got him up. his big smiles helped me get a little more excited about the fact that both of my kids were awake at the same time (something that usually makes me i allowed to admit that?). after baths for both kids i got wells down for his first nap. 

i quickly jumped in the shower myself only to have gwen pop in every few seconds to say hi or want to touch the running water. after i heard her yelling "help you" (her way of saying she needs me) i got out. took a few minutes to check instagram on my phone and then i quickly got ready. mostly just got dressed and did my hair. gwen decided i shouldn't do make up today. most days lately i've skipped the make-up. 

i got gwen settled playing in the play room and i sat down to my computer. i started reading a random blog about moms and their unique experiences. one had cancer. one has suffered through a horrible experience. all the while gwen kept calling me to "sit" or "help you". at one point she crawled up on my lap and walked to draw. i got her a pen and paper but that wasn't enough. she wanted me to draw with her. i quickly drew a sun and a rainbow...about the extent of my drawing abilities and then let her finish on her own. she grew tired of that fast and wanted down. 

while i was sitting there reading about these other moms the distinct thought  came to my mind "get off your computer and go play with your daughter". i justified it a bit and thought i'd go play with her in a minute. so i kept looking...she kept calling for me. finally i got that thought again "just shut down the computer and go play with your daughter". so i did.

i turned my computer off and went to play with her. but she didn't really want me to play with her. she just wanted me to sit. i kept thinking "i wish i had my phone", "what time is it", "when is it nap time". i was just sitting there. not playing, just watching gwen play. but for some reason that is what she wanted. she just wanted me there. to watch her, to help her every once in awhile, to just be there with her. 

somewhere in the past few years, between babies and busy schedules i've lost a little bit of myself. i've lost myself to things that don't matter. like instagram, facebook and just technology in general. i find myself checking social media all the time. checking the time every few minutes and checking for updates even more often. i spend countless minutes looking at and reading about other peoples lives. sometimes people i don't even know. the minute i think i want something i jump online and add it to my amazon cart. if i have a question i'll jump online and look it up. there is no waiting anymore. i've stopped exercising, stopped reading, stopped sewing and crafting. 

a few weeks ago i came across a friends blog and inspired me to be better. she and her husband had decided to let go of things that were holding them back. i haven't been able to let that go. i want to do the same thing. but i find myself saying "i'll start on monday, or in july, or when we move into our place". 

but today i realized i can't wait. i can't wake up this exhausted again. i can't waste more time with my babies. 

so starting right now i'm getting my life back. my self back. 

i'm setting strict rules for myself. no phone in my pocket when i'm at home. no checking social media while the kids are awake or when i'm with spence. no sweets/dessert on weekdays. exercising every day...even if it's just 5 minutes. going to bed at a decent hour. reading my scriptures first thing in the morning. only two amazon orders a month (if that). read one book a month. these are just a few. 

i've also decided to go off all social media for july. to be honest i'm terrified to do this. i'm terrified because i've been using social media to make friends in our new neighborhood and through the peds program. terrified that i won't be able to do it. but i want to prove to myself that i can do it. i want to show the lord and my family that social media isn't my world. that there are more important things than staying "connected" to the virtual world. i want to connect to the real world. to my world! 

so wish me luck. i'm excited to see change. i need to see change. 

this picture was taken in front of the chicago temple a few weeks before we moved. spencer was trying to teach gwen to jump, all while holding wells! i love it because this is my world, the gospel and these 3. i want to give my world my all. this picture serves as my reminder of what i want and what i'm working towards! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

goodbye chicago

i never wanted to move to chicago. just ask spencer...he'll tell you the truth. the truth that i waited until two weeks before we moved to finally decide on a place to live. mostly because i was holding out for something else. but chicago happened...and i am so beyond glad it did.

the other night the mr and i were driving downtown to see our last show while living in the city. we crossed over the river and looked out onto my favorite view of the city. it was a beautiful foggy evening. i started to cry. how am i supposed to leave this city. chicago isn't just a big city. it isn't just fun. it isn't all the good food, shows, cupcakes, parks, sites, museums and shopping (though those are nice perks).  no chicago is more than than.

chicago is our home.

chicago became more of a home to me than any other place i've lived. i think it's because so much of my life has happened here in this big city. i've learned more about myself here than i ever have before. i've lost myself and found myself again and again and again. spencer and i have grown closer together here. we've had to rely on each other more than we ever have before. we've had to push forward in faith even when things seem dark and scary. we've held on to each other as we've figured out ourselves, our lives, and our future. 

we moved to a new place. made new friends. became part of a new ward. had new challenging callings. we served in the chicago temple. every friday for a couple of years. we left our car. took countless bus rides and train rides. changed our minds. drove our car out to chicago. i worked from home. then i worked from a new office. and worked from home again. we moved apartments. we got pregnant. four times. had one baby. our little miracle baby. survived two of the coldest winters chicago has seen. got pregnant again. had another babe. our little miracle baby 2.0. decided a future for spencer. and then reexamined that future. again and again and again. friends moved away. and more friends moved away. but others moved in. we ate out way too much. have our regulars at multiple places. explored neighborhoods. enjoyed the culture. seen shows. walked out of shows. and wanted to see more. we've visited wisconsin in the fall. detroit in the winter. and various parts of illinois throughout the years. 

i didn't expect to love chicago as much as i have. from the first few months here i decided that we should stay. and we considered that. we very much considered staying. we both wanted to stay. we both had high hopes that staying would be the right thing for us. but quietly we were directed by the spirit that staying in chicago wasn't the right thing for us. it took some adjustment to the idea. a lot of adjustment! a few tears, many prayers and lots and lots of faith later we decided it was time for us to leave. to leave chicago. to leave our home.

neither of us is convinced that this is the last we'll see of chicago. deep down i still feel very much connected to this city and i believe it may still play a big part in our lives. we hope that maybe one day, a few years down the road, we'll be able to move back. at least for a time! 

of course i will miss chicago. the city lights, the food, the shows, the donuts, the parks, the museums, the shopping, the streets, the sounds, the river, the rain and maybe even the smells. but mostly i will miss home. 

the people. they have become our home. 

i didn't expect to make so many incredible friends. friends that have become family. i've made girlfriends who have laughed with me, cried with me, held me and lifted me up. i have had my eyes opened to new ideas, opinions and thoughts. i've made friends with people i didn't think would be a friend. these friends that are now my family. 

how can i leave these people? my people. my family?

i can leave chicago. but only because i know that leaving is what the lord needs of us right now. i can leave chicago but only because i know that i will be able to take my beautiful experiences and memories with me. i can leave chicago. but it won't be easy.

thank you chicago for giving me the hardest and most beautiful four years of my life. thank you for being my home. for taking care of me and my little family. for bringing me my little family. 

goodbye chicago. you will always have a big place in my heart.

i never wanted to move back to utah. just ask spencer....let's hope it turns out as great as chicago...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a med school update....end of m3 year

on friday the mr officially finishes his m3 year of medical school. this past year has been the most intense, longest, hardest, and most exciting year yet. it is a big deal that we survived this year so i figured it was time for an update! you can read about our last couple of years here, here and here (and even before we started med school here)

this past year the mr has been doing rotation after rotation. a rotation is 4-8 weeks of working in some specialty. he did a little time in pediatrics, neuro, surgery, medicine and a few others thrown in there. there were some very long months where he was working at least 6 days a week, 15 hours a day, for 8 weeks straight! but luckily we survived all of that. i really only had a couple of weeks where i called home crying. 

we had heard a lot about 3rd year and honestly it was better than i expected. spence always put gwen and i first which really helped. he has done fantastic in all of his rotations so far! he has learned so much and has really enjoyed being in the clinical setting. i think this year, despite being super busy, was a nice change from day to day book work and classes. 

so whats next? spence will start his m4 year which is full of more rotations (but this year he gets to choose fun ones and ones related to his specialty choice), another round of boards, more research, residency applications, residency interview and the long awaited MATCH DAY!!!! 

what does he want to do? we're still not 100% sure on this one but...he does have a good idea. we've ruled out a few specialities like neuro, general surgery, ob/gyn, derm etc. but still have a few on the table. it has been such a fun process working through what the mr wants to do and what he would enjoy, excel at etc. no matter what he chooses i know we have an exciting future in front of us. personally i have a speciality i think he should go into but i'll save that until he decides for sure ;-) but at this point we can still be bought so if you want to choose his specialty you can for the price of our med school loans (they aren't that high....wink wink).

where will we be after this next year? this is one question i get asked a lot and one question i so wished i had the answer for. unfortunately we won't know until match day next march. at times it kills me not knowing and then other times it's exciting. we have a list of our top locations. honestly most of them are back west. we want to be closer to family. but we are being open minded. he'll apply to a lot of residency programs (probably around 50) and with that many we'll have to apply all around the country. so i guess we'll just wait and see.

do we still like chicago? oh baby we do! at least i do. i always knew i was a city girl and that i would like living in a big city but just recently i've discovered really how much i LOVE living in the city. with thinking about residency and moving out of chicago my heart breaks just a little bit. yes i want to be closer to family, yes i want to pay less in rent, and yes i do want a bigger place/parking spot. but i love city living. i would be very content living in the city forever (as long as we had the funds for a bigger place and a yard...which won't happen for some but most likely that won't happen. so for the next year we're living up our time here. we've got a good list of things to do and see and places to eat. oh the food! i am going to miss all the fun places to eat out. this will most likely be our last summer in the city so we have big plans to take advantage of all there is here to do in the summer!

our day to day life is pretty much the same. the mr wakes up early to go to work. i spend my days with gwen, working a few hours for my same company, and we both stay busy with our callings (spence is still in the bishopric and i'm in the relief society presidency still). on the weekends that spence has off we like to go out and do fun things, adventures to new sites, date nights with friends or just the two of us, and show gwennie girl our little world. 

so here's to our last year of medical school!!! the past 3 years have gone by so incredibly fast. i am so excited for residency and for our future but i know i will miss our medical school days. we've made the most amazing friends, had some incredible experiences and have learned so much about life. i am so grateful to be on this road with my mr. it's a fun adventure and it just keeps getting better. 

m4 year...bring it on! you'll be full of fun surprises, planning, applications and adventures. and i can't even wait! 

just a few pictures that we send each other during the day | the mr. rocking his white coat at the hospital during a night shift // my life now....dress shirts for days // gwen likes to take selfies to send to her dad // a dr. selfie of the mr. on a private jet on his way to pick up an organ (poor picked on med student right???)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

i'm still here

lately blogging has fallen on the back burner for me. it's been interesting the past few months as i've thought about why i blog, why i started my blog and really if i should keep it up. it started as a journal and a way for me to share pictures with my family. through the years (almost 8 so it's changed a bit but mostly stayed a way for me to share my thoughts and experiences with family and friends. 

but now i have other ways to share those things with family and friends. and to be honest, since having gwen, i've become less public. i do a family scrapbook each year, a write in a personal journal, a journal for gwen and share photos constantly with family (not sure if they like that though haha). so why have a blog? why have one more place to double up on information? 

to be honest i'm not sure the answer. 

but i'm not ready to shut down the good ol' blog just yet. (maybe i should be people still read blogs?)

this has been a wonderful place for me to share my thoughts, feelings and emotions. i have found healing through writing. i have also seen myself grow through this little blog. i feel a sort of connection to it. 

i've never thought of myself as a writer or one who is good with words. heaven knows my spelling and grammar need a ton of work (sorry mom and dad...never did quite catch on). but for some reason i am still drawn to writing down my thoughts here. 

so for now i'm going to continue to write. i hope that is okay with you blogging world. 

i'm not sure what this will really become. i'm too lazy right now to edit and upload a ton of photos so you may not see a lot of those. but i'll work on that. so for now i'll leave you with a little update on where we have been the past few months....


life lately has been interesting. good and a little bit of bad thrown in there...but whose life isn't that way? 

spence just finished the 4 craziest months of med school so far. he has one more rotation and then he is done with his 3rd year. i'll do a med school update post soon. 

gwen is our little busy body. we have had a blast watching her grow and learn. she LOVES life. i know that may sound funny but i can just tell. she loves to see and explore. she loves people and will just people watch for hours. she loves to eat and try new foods. she is so happy and loud. she grunts which can get annoying in public but is also pretty hilarious. she is moving around like crazy. luckily it's just in wide circles for now but this past weekend she has been inching forward. she is even getting her first tooth this week (pray for us haha). 

i'm doing great as well. still trying to figure out life as a wife, mother and employee. but i'm slowly working though it all. i love being home with gwen and i am beyond grateful for that opportunity. i also love that i am working a few hours a week. it is a win win for me. 

life has thrown a few curve balls our direction lately. but i've learned to trust in the lord and his power. there are days i want to control everything and solve all the problems but i'm understanding my limitations and learning to turn things over to the lord. 

lots of more updates coming but for now here is a picture of my drooly baby laughing because she can see herself. photo booth for the win!!!