6 girls and everything that comes with them = LOUD family

4 years worth of friendship.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

or if you want to see 4 years in a flash:

http://flipagram.com/f/GIBECjGnU0

Baking with Grandma

My mom’s 52nd birthday was this weekend. My dad always puts out a lot of effort to make my mother’s birthday weekend special for her. My mom does so much all year for others and this is a good time of year for all of us to show her how much we love her. The night is usually full of food, fun, good company, games, and a little bit of alcohol.

This year I volunteered to get my mothers birthday cake. Chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting was her request.  I am sure that she and my dad probably assumed that I would purchase her a cake from a bakery in Tulsa. Well I surprised them!

Not only did I decide to make her a cake, I decided to make her a cake from scratch.  After much debate about transporting the cake from Tulsa or waiting until we got to Ponca City to make the cake I decided to call my grandmother to see if I could use her kitchen and her supervision to make my mother’s birthday cake. Let’s be real I have only made a few birthday cakes, which most of the time only one or two other people were going to see and eat the cake, so I was kind of worried about the task I had taken on and I needed all the supervision I could get. Mike had other plans for the afternoon so I needed my grandma.

I searched through cookbooks and the internet to find what recipes I would use. I really wanted to make sure that the cake was moist and fluffy. I also wanted to make sure the frosting was good. My mother is not a big fan of buttercream frosting and well as a matter of fact, I am not either. My favorite is cream cheese frosting, but my mom isn’t a fan. Learning how to make whipped frosting was anther task I took on too.

This is the cake recipe I used: http://divascancook.com/2013/06/moist-devils-food-cake-recipe-scratch-easy-chocolate-cake.html

Learning to flip the cakes out of the pan was fun and not disastrous. Making sure to line the cake pans with grease and flower made a huge difference. I will never just use Pam again to spray baking dishes with.  The description of the cake was perfect. It was light and moist. There is a good chance that it was one of the moistest cakes I have ever eaten.

Whipped frosting is delicious and easy to make. I didn’t think that it was going to be that easy, but it really was. Grandma gave me good guidance on tweeking this recipe a bit. Here is the recipe I used for the frosting: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sturdy-whipped-cream-frosting/

The only thing to make sure that you do is really whip it until the peaks start to form, but there is a fine line to whipping to just the right stage and whipping it past that stage. I ended up using an entire bag of confectioners sugar (when this recipe says white sugar that what it actually means) and a 1/4 cup of crisco, plus an extra 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.  Make sure that the house isn’t to warm when icing the cake too. Once I got the cake into a cold room the icing set up nicely. Once the icing was set up it didn’t ever start to melt again.

Once all the decorating was done, the cake ready to be presented at the birthday party my grandpa comes into the kitchen and says, “Wow! That looks great. I was worried early today. Chuckle. Chuckle.” (this man has watched many cakes hit to floor, fall out of pans sideways, cakes slide off of trays, you name it; he has probably seen it because my grandmother use to make and decorate cakes)

20140119-121516.jpg

Oreos and M&M’s gave it a fun and added some additional chocolate!

My mom was surprised when we walked in with this cake. 20140119-121528.jpg

I think everyone liked it. It was pretty delicious. 20140119-121545.jpgHappy 52nd Birthday Mom! Hope you have many more great years to celebrate with us.

Thank you grandma for your time. I loved spending the afternoon with her and I loved spending the evening with the rest of my family.

I must remember to count my blessings.

Is it more than just a book?

Long before  I moved to Tulsa I was given a book by my best friend. The Purpose Driven Life.  I picked this book up off of my shelf a few days after Christmas this year to realize that I had started to read it. I don’t know when I actually started this adventure, but I know it was at least greater than 4 years ago. To make this book even more important it was given to her family by her husbands grandma. There is a nice note written in the front of it. There was also a nice picture of Julie & Tyler being used as a book mark. I am pretty sure this picture was taken in the early 2000s. Besides this book being special to Julie, it was special enough that she gave it to me, or let me borrow it because of the impact she wanted it to have on my life.

This book is a 40 day commitment. A 40 day commitment to starting a road that should be lived the rest of my life. Just because it is called the Purpose Driven LIfe  doesn’t mean that it is telling you exactly how to live and exactly what I should do with my life, but it is a good foundation for reflecting on what I was raised to believe as a Christian and how to follow this path for the rest of my adult life. So far I have made it to day 16/40. I am trying to learn the Bible verses at the end of each day.  Great reflections to end my day with.

Verses to Remember: 

  • “Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him” Colossians 1:16
  • “I am your Creator, You were in my care even before you were born” Isaiah 44:2
  • “You, LORD, give perfect peace for those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” Isaiah 26:3
  • “This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever” I John 2:17
  • “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones” Luke 16:10
  • “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18
  • “For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power and everything is for his glory” Romans 11:36
  • “The LORD takes pleasure in his people” Psalm 149:4
  • “The LORD is pleased with those who worship him and trust his love” Psalm 147:11
  • “Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes” Romans 6:13
  • “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him” Psalm 25:14
  • “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you” James 4:8
  • “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” Mark 12:30
  • “For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you'” Hebrews 13:5
  • “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ” Ephesians 1:5

Magical place

I was told a few years ago, “4th year of medical school is a magical place.” Well finally with 10 weeks of rotations left I might actually agree with this statement.
The first half of fourth year is very stressful and little sleep happens. You work your tail of at all of your audition rotations as so that you discover how well you fit with the program and the residents. These are the people that you are going to be spending the good majority of the next 4+ years of your life with.
Well interviews have come and gone. The “interview trail” is over. I am back at home for good. I have 10 weeks left of being a medical student.
The rotation that I started on Monday is great. I have never done an anesthesia rotation, so this is a new experience, new things to learn, new people to work with, and hours that I definitely cannot complain about. I am at work before the sun comes up, but it is worth it. Spending the majority of my medical school education on the sterile side of the sheet, I am now getting a different perspective of surgery and the surgical patient. Also even though pharmacology still makes me cringe, learning about all the medications used for anesthesia and the process of anesthesia is a very interesting subject and fun. The doctor and CRNAs that I am working with are pretty amazing too. There has been good medical knowledge being gained and good life lessons being observed and learned this month.
It doesn’t matter what field of medicine I am rotating in and learning about each rotation I still ask myself, “will I ever know as much? be as good as? be a good resident? one day, a good attending?”
Knowing that the “Match” happens in 26 days is a bit stressful, but fortunately I am enjoying the rest of my fourth year.

When Will I Learn?

I have a list of things in my head of things that I need to do and things that I want to do. Unfortunately, these things do not always match up. When will I learn that when I am given an assignment I shouldn’t wait until the last minute to look information up.  I say this not because I am in a panic to get things done, but because I have a list of things I need to look up and of course the website that I need to use is not working correctly. I guess the information that I have on my iPad, which is dead, will have to suffice. Guess this task can wait a little longer, I guess.

According to Wikipedia: Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute”.

 

weather

Ice. Its a beautiful thing.  It makes everything glisten. 

 

Image

 

 

 

Image

As long as the heat is on. 

ImageImageImageImageImage ImageaImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImage ImageImage

Winter has been here for not even a month. Image

21 days to be exact. 

Image

This bird does not seem to mind. Image

Not sure how these berries feel about it, but they are still pretty. Image

Stay warm. Spring will be here soon. 

 

 

26.2

I love to run. I love to run with my people, by myself, and with new people. Running can be my time to get in the zone, push myself, and really make myself feel like I am getting a great workout. It can also be a great social hour. I have made some of the best friends in my life while spending time running down the trail.  Running is just kind of what I do. It is really nice having a running trail 2 blocks away from my front door. Recently I also decided to join a gym. Because unfortunately I have to do some strength training and build up some strength that will hopefully give me some more endurance.

Deciding and committing to a race. I had decided to commit to a full marathon this spring and took some convincing to get my dear friends to commit to it. Maybe the checkbook hasn’t committed yet, but the hotel rooms have been reserved: April 27, 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. That will be the race. Hopefully I can figure out a way to keep endurance training in my life during residency, so I am trying not to look at this race as the last long distance endurance event that I might have the chance to do in the next four years.

Choosing a training plan was next. I have used Hal Higdon training programs for my first half marathon, plus the other 9 half marathons that I have ran. I used it to become a runner and I used it to increase my speed and I used it just to be able to maintain a pace. They are great programs. I used the Novice Full Marathon App to train for my first full marathon in San Francisco last year. It served me well. The race went well, especially considering that it was in San Francisco and I trained on whatever hills I could manage to find in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The update to the Nike + running app came just in time for me to decide to use its coaching tool for this marathon.  Week 1 or 16 is almost complete.  Managing cold weather running, wind, and knowing how much running on a treadmill my outdoor running soul can take is now what I must figure out. For the next 16 weeks I will run at least 607 miles. When I put that in writing it looks like a ton of miles to put on my body, my knees, and my new running shoes.

Long run this weekend is only 8 miles. My legs are appreciating the cross training I did today. REST will come on Sunday.