Thankful...

Saturday, November 30, 2013



Leggings: J. Crew 
Scarf: H&M (old)
Headband: Francesca's
Boots: Frye

You know that outfit that makes you feel good every time you wear it? This is mine. Lately it's been on repeat as many times as I can get away with it. Leggings + a loose tunic = the perfect Thanksgiving dinner attire, and I added a sparkly headband to make it a little more holiday-appropriate.

This year I really feel like my heart is full: there is so much to be thankful for, and putting aside some of my recent worries and stressors in the spirit of Thanksgiving helped me to see it even more clearly. 

A few of the things I'm most thankful for:

1. My kind, hard-working, multi-talented husband who loves me unconditionally, takes care of me, and (almost) never complains about my poor house-keeping/cooking skills.



2. This little guy/gal who's heartbeat sounds stronger every day.



3. My fun, crazy, wonderful family complete with my 7 siblings...

 
4. ...and our amazing Thanksgiving dinner, which Stephen and I were lucky to be a part of (I really can't imagine us cooking our own Thanksgiving dinner although I'm [almost] sure it will happen someday). 

5. My wonderful mother who is the best example I know of a mom, gives the best advice, and spontaneously hopped on two planes last week so that she could be there for my med school induction into AOA.



6. For the opportunity to become a physician: even though I still don't know exactly where I'm called in medicine, it is such a privilege to be entrusted with people's health and lives.



7. For my Catholic faith, that continually guides and inspires me.

Linking up with Jen and Fine Linen and Purple. Happy Thanksgiving!

Santa Fe!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No, I've never been there. Although I'd love to be there right now while the snow is piling up and the temp is barely hitting the teens (not counting wind chill). Potential baby-moon perhaps? Anyways, Santa Fe is the name of the new collection by Dansko which they so graciously sent me and my sister to try.

Vest: Gap
Top: Lulu Lemon
Leggings: J. Crew
Scarf: Gift from my brother from Afghanistan
Shoes: Dansko


 Jacket: AK Burton via T.J. Maxx
Hoodie: American Eagle
Leggings: Calvin Klein activewear
Scarf: Street vendor in Vienna
Shoes: Dansko

This is my little (but much taller) sister Ingrid. She's a dietician and we both currently work at the same hospital and (very) occasionally are mistaken for each other (although I don't think we look alike). She was my maid of honor and gave the most beautiful toast that I have ever heard at a wedding. She also always finds the cutest workout clothes at T. J. Maxx. And she loves her new Santa Fe's and based on the picture above is clearly much more expressive about it than me.


So here they are, the Shaylas. Perfect shoes for running errands, going walking, wearing with scrubs, exercise class...and they come in lots of fun colors. I tested them out last weekend at Zumba and I couldn't believe how great the arch support is (both Ingrid and I have flat feet). Disclaimer that they are probably not meant for the snow but we have to improvise up north, ha (and they held up just fine).



Check out the collection here; I love the blue and silver because it's so versatile (and it's the brightest, prettiest shade of blue) but I almost wish that I would have gotten the fun blue/teal/lime green ones. You can enter to win your own pair here!


Linking up with the Pleated Poppy.

On pregnancy brain and denim...

Monday, November 25, 2013


Sweater: J. Crew (old)/Vest: Gap/Boots: Hunter/Scarf: J. Crew Factory

It's a winter wonderland outside, and it's been nearly impossible for me to study for my boards (which are in a little over a week) with thoughts of Christmas and babies and life choices running through my head. I firmly believe that I do not have the pregnancy brain that everyone has told me about (they keep asserting that I will experience it if I haven't already) but maybe I can partly blame my distracted-ness on that?

I was sort of ecstatic that this sweater still fits, albeit different than before, despite all the bodily changes I've been experiencing. And this denim skirt probably deserves an entire separate post it's so wonderful. It's maternity and has an adjustable waistband! I have it pulled tight right now but it has plenty of room to grow for the entire pregnancy. The brand is Noppies and I think I found it on Amazon (sorry I can't find it anymore to link to...) Also thanks everyone for the maternity jeans suggestions! Old Navy seems to be the winner, so I'm going to have to try them. Their regular jeans never seem to fit me right but maternity clothes are a whole new ballgame so we shall see.

I went to Zumba again yesterday on a much-needed study break, and then Stephen and I hit up night mass after he got off work. Happy feast of Christ the King! Linking up with what I wore Sunday.

15 weeks + Quick Takes

Saturday, November 23, 2013

 Dress: J. Crew clearance/Cardi: Gap (4 yrs old)/Shoes: J. Crew Factory

1. Here's 15 weeks! There's definitely something there, although I still think it's hard for the random passerby to tell that I'm pregnant. A shift dress is not a good choice if you're trying to not look pregnant, but I didn't have another option (that still fit) for my honor society dinner on Thursday so this J. Crew origami sheath dress was it, pregnant or not.

2. You never know how people will react to a pregnancy, especially those in the medical profession. At the awards dinner Thursday, I overheard my mother-in-law mention that I was expecting to the older female physician sitting at our table, who responded with (a sarcastic-sounding) "Well, that's one way to start off her career." This physician had a very successful career but never had any children, which seems to be a fairly common trend with women in medicine. Reflecting on this later made me hope that family will always come first to me over my career.

3. Some pictures from my brother-in-law's wedding last weekend. Neither Stephen's tux nor my dress fit particularly well.  Empire waists never worked well for me pre-pregnancy, but with the added pregnancy chest expansion it was almost unbearable ha. On the drive to the wedding I read Stephen part of the men's chapter in What to Expect When You're Expecting, which ascertains that men can experience pregnancy symptoms with their wives including weight gain. This prompted Stephen to blame his tight tux on the pregnancy (I'm still skeptical).






4. My sister subscribed me to this for my birthday and I just got the first issue:

5. This past week, I craved sushi with a passion, and poor Stephen had to deal with sushi twice during our travels. This sushi is from my absolute favorite place in Lansing, although I have to admit that the non-raw variety is just not the same (also I did not eat all of this myself).

6. I haven't worn jeans for weeks and after several non-successful maternity jean orders, I'm starting to wonder if I'm resigned to leggings the rest of this pregnancy. I did order these and these when H&M had a 30% off sale last week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will work. Any suggestions?

7. I'm now 6 residency interviews down with at least 7 more to go (I have more than that scheduled but am planning on canceling my January ones). They've gone well so far I think, and my suit pants still fit so I'm counting myself lucky (crossing my fingers that they last one more month). My favorite places so far were Chicago, Mayo, and St. Louis Mercy (of course). I'll be heading to the east coast soon for a couple and am excited to check out Hopkins. More updates to come...

Happy weekend! Linking up with Jen.

Guest post: A Minimalist Walks Into Target

Thursday, November 14, 2013

 I'm thrilled to have a guest post today by Laura while I'm traveling the Midwest for residency interviews. Laura is a Catholic mom and lawyer who blogs over at This Felicitious Life. I just love her style posts (and witty commentary) and find myself reading many of them more than once.


A Minimalist Walks Into A Target

My husband and I had a hot date a few Fridays ago.  The night’s excitement included a stop at Tropical Smoothie CafĂ© and a visit to Lowe’s to pick up a new bathroom door.  We topped off the evening with a jaunt to Target.  “It’s just to make a return,” I explained.  Once we arrived, though, I broke down and asked to browse.  My husband, Pat, acquiesced.  Romantics that we are, we went our separate ways, agreeing to meet up when Pat got bored. 

This trip to Target was different than any I had ever experienced before.  Over the past year, I’ve worked at streamlining my wardrobe.  I have an outfit for every day of the week, plus a just few extras for nicer occasions.

Everything mixes and matches.  I have everything I need, no more no less.  This Target trip was a first test, a maiden voyage, to prove my minimalist mettle.   

First, I browsed the accessories and admired some necklaces, but I already had one for each of my outfits.  My kids were sure to break one of my existing ones soon, I thought, and then I would have a real excuse to buy a new one.  So I moved on.

Next, the clothing: I already had a shirt for each day of the week.  I briefly considered buying a shirt I already had, in a second color, to replace another shirt that I like less.  But I realized that, being from Target, they both would need replacing next year, anyway.  Again, I moved on, this time to the cosmetics.

A trip to Target usually reveals previously unrealized wants and needs and desired. 

This was different.  This time, I didn’t need anything.

I didn’t even want anything.

I felt light, free, unburdened by materialistic excess.

And then . . .

I found a new lipstick.



Well played, Target.  Well played.  


What I Wore Sunday

Sunday, November 10, 2013



Sweater: Gap
Chambray and pearls: J. Crew Factory
Skirt: J. Crew
Boots: Steve Madden via Amazon Warehouse

So I was planning to wear this lovely mustard skirt today for one last hurrah before it's retirement until next year post-baby. It zipped happily, but I unfortunately could barely sit down in it. The striped pencil still fits fine, although I'm guessing not for long...



This was supposed to be a study weekend for me. I'm taking my boards in less than a month and I've been less than focused. Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm actually feeling well (other than a little fatigue) so my only excuse is that I've been distracted lately. Very distracted. Thinking about the baby and what he or she will look like, what his or her name will be...worrying about potential things that could go wrong with the pregnancy...and pondering my decisions for next year as I get ready for another slew of residency interviews this week and face starting residency with a newborn.

So I did what any sensible medical student would do: put down the books and headed to Ulta to take advantage of their $20 gel manicure special. I can count on one hand the number of manicures that I've gotten in my lifetime, but I figured that I had a good excuse with my interviews this week and Stephen's brother's wedding (which I'm in) on Saturday. It was my first experience getting a gel manicure and I'm sold.



I also picked up some fun travel-size toiletries for my carry-on. 



Pregnancy randomness: The belly is growing. Unfortunately I'm at that awkward stage where I look like I've put on some weight in le belly instead of looking preggo. It still amazes me that my weight hasn't changed one bit but none of my clothes fit right. Baby's heart is going strong per my morning Doppler time. Cravings include grapefruit, any type of herbal tea, and baked Ruffles. I started this prenatal workout and really like it; I also went to Zumba today for the first time in ages (it felt great...and I kept picturing the little babe inside me dancing with my crazy Zumba moves).

Stephen and I just got back from mass and now I need to pack so I can leave on a jet plane tomorrow. The next three days = three flights and three interviews so I'll be praying that I make all my connections, and that my bridesmaid dress still fits on Saturday despite my growing bump and various pre-interview residency dinners (ha). 

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Quick Takes: Tanzania and some pregnancy thoughts

Friday, November 8, 2013

Joining Jen for the usual.


1. This old J. Crew sweater has worked fortuitously well as a 1st-2nd trimester maternity sweater, but these skinny jeans are another story. Actually none of my jeans have felt comfortable since I was about six weeks, despite the fact that I actually lost weight during the first trimester (not a surprise considering my nausea but definitely a surprise considering my chest expansion and uncomfortable pants). Anyways, I picked up one of these at Target recently (Target's version of the infamous Bella Band). It stays put surprisingly well and is allowing me to wear the jeans I have on in this picture (although I still feel weird walking around with my pants undone).

2. I've replaced my morning cup of coffee with Tazo green tea and my nightly glass of Cupcake with Tazo mint tea. Surprisingly I don't really miss either one, but I have discovered a new love for Tazo.


3. Stephen and I received our first gift for the new babe this week, some adorable little tees from Tanzania from the physician who just got back. I had planned on still going to Tanzania even after I found out that I was pregnant (I figured that I'd be so early it would be fine) but after thinking/praying about it and talking to a couple OB/GYN friends (including the physician that I was going to go with) I just couldn't go. I felt like I was taking to many risks for the baby by taking malaria prophylaxis (which hasn't been well-studied in pregnancy) and the many infectious diseases that I would invariably encounter working in the Tanzanian hospital. Fortunately our plane tickets were fully refunded and the money went back to the church who sponsored us. I can't say that I'm not a little sad that I didn't go (it's been a dream of mine to work in Africa for a long time) but I know in my heart that I made the right decision.



4. Here's the little babe himself (Stephen is convinced that 'he' is a boy, to the point where I'm even saying 'he'). We had a repeat ultrasound yesterday to reassess the ovarian cysts that they saw in early pregnancy, which are now completely resolved. The baby looked perfect, he's measuring appropriately and was wriggling around everywhere while we watched the ultrasound. I still can't get over this little person that's growing inside of me.

5. I went through a little blog re-design this week. I wanted a theme that was more minimalist and less cutesy and I'm pretty happy with this template that I found on Etsy. I would love to change the header and the blog navigator, but with my minimal coding skills and minimal time it will probably be awhile. I also finally created a facebook page here.

6. I'll be off traveling the Midwest for interviews this next week and then standing in my brother-in-law's wedding next weekend (I'm trying on my altered dress today and could write a whole post on the travails of wearing a bridesmaid dress in pregnancy). Laura is guest-posting, so be sure to check back for that (her blog is one my favorites).

7. And I'm off to have my hair colored after 10 long weeks of waiting (I didn't want to color it during the first trimester). I can't wait to have my summer highlights finally covered, which definitely look un-classy after 10 weeks of growth and my dark dark roots. Happy almost-weekend!

An outfit + Five Favorites

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jacket: J. Crew
Scarf: Etsy (old)
Shirt: H&M (gift)
Leggings: J. Crew

5 Favorites this week:

1. These shoes. Could they be any more gorgeous? They are also impractical for me for a multitude of reasons, the two most important being that they are  too expensive and happen to have an almost 4 inch heel. But they are oh so pretty to look at. 


 






2. Not Your Mother's hair products. I first saw the Beach Babe sea salt spray on Grace's blog and now I can't live without it. I've since tried four other products from this line (Target now carries most of them and Ulta has them all) and my favorites are:

3. The Clean Freak dry shampoo, which happens to be $4.25 at Target and works just about as well as the $20 stuff I've used in the past (it also doesn't leave that awful white film in your hair that some dry shampoos do)...

4. And the Beat the Heat thermal shield spray, which smells so wonderful and doesn't make my hair crunchy.

Has anyone tried the Girl Power hair powder? I'm wondering if it works as well as this one.

5. Some links that I'm loving around the web this week:

This post on travel essentials (old, but I found it on Pinterest this week)...I own something similar to most of the essentials and am keeping this list for my many travels over the next two months.

This article on marriage which is so very true.

This adorable announcement (I might be a little over-excited about our May babies-on-the-way).

Linking up with Hallie and the Pleated Poppy.

What I Wore Sunday + 12 weeks

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tee: J. Crew
Black suede wedges: Target 
I haven't really been shopping recently, first because I don't need any new clothes and second because it really doesn't make sense since I won't be wearing 'normal' clothes until next year. I did break down though and purchase this top (on sale) after I saw it on Franish. I got a size bigger than normal to accommodate the soon-to-be bump and am hoping I can wear it for the next couple of months.

I'm not exactly to the point where I need maternity clothes yet, but for the last few weeks I can't stand anything tight against my stomach. It's also starting to pooch out a little more and so certain tops just don't look right. I've been sticking mostly to leggings and loose shirts and two pairs of demi-panel maternity pants from Gap (these and these, both 40% off when I got them) because they're sooo much more comfy than my other pants. The black ones are the maternity version of my favorite Gap pants.


Dress (on sale!): Gap
Boots: Steve Madden via Amazon Warehouse

 And here it is, 12 weeks! The bump is probably more bloat (and the effect of not running since I found out I was pregnant) than baby at this point, ha. I'm feeling SO much better now, other than a sore throat that I've been fighting all week. But I guess that I could have picked up worse working in the E.R.

Happy Sunday! Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for the first time in ages. Also, I started a facebook page here, feel free to 'like' it if that's your thing :) 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your sweet messages about our announcement Friday.

An announcement...

Friday, November 1, 2013

(Linking up with Jen for my favorite Quick Takes ever)

1. 

2.
3. 
4.
5.

I really don't even know what to say, I'm just so excited! We can still hardly believe that we're going to be parents. Each day that goes by I feel more in awe of the fact that there is a little human person growing inside of me...

A few things:

- I've worried since the day we found out about something going wrong. I'm really trying harder to trust. Now that we are ending the first trimester I feel more at peace (but prayers are still much appreciated!)
- Pregnancy is way harder than I realized. The overwhelming fatigue and nausea at all times of the day (definitely wasn't just morning sickness) made it so hard to get through my hospital shifts the last couple of months. Now that we are just about in the second trimester, things are much, much better.
- Yes, we planned it. I think this is the question that everyone wants to ask (and some actually do) of couples that practice natural family planning. Especially couples who happen to be in medical school and starting residency mere weeks after said baby is due. Ha. But we 100% hoped and prayed and planned for this baby (although we would have loved him/her just as much if we hadn't planned it). And I credit NFP for opening my heart to having kids in med school/just before residency, which was one of my number one fears when we got married. But more on that another time...

6. Baby's first picture!

This ultrasound was done almost 6 weeks ago now because I was having sharp, one-sided pain at the beginning of the pregnancy. Of course my medically-oriented mind went straight to an ectopic pregnancy (despite the more common things I knew were on the differential, i.e. ovarian cyst and constipation). I was doing one of my away rotations at the time and this kind, old, OB/GYN got me on his schedule right away and put my fears to rest (it was an ovarian cyst...a completely normal corpus luteal cyst in medical terms). The best part was that at the follow-up ultrasound at 6 weeks and 4 days, Stephen and I got to see the heart beating for the first time. We also found out that I was exactly as far along as I thought (I credit NFP charting for that one). 

7. The heartbeat:


My sister-in-law sent me her home doppler and on the day that I got it in the mail, we found the heartbeat for the first time (just before 11 weeks). This is one of the most recent recordings and for you medical people, I'm pretty sure that I can distinguish S1 and S2 (incredible). Every morning I spend a few minutes listening (it's easiest to hear first thing in the morning) and it's so reassuring and beautiful.

Happy All Saint's Day!