My Favorite "YES"

December 29, 2015

My favorite time I've ever said "YES" was on December 18, 2015 when Michael asked me to be his wife. 

I had a really awful day (I'll spare you the details), but I was in tears in Michael's arms when I was home that afternoon. I was feeling really lousy and beaten down by medical school. As usual, Michael reminded me of how far I've already come and cheered me up on the spot. Despite my bad mood, he convinced me that dinner and a night out with our friends would put a smile on my face. 

We went to Old Chicago's for dinner (a fave) with our roommates and a few good friends and then we went to the Denver Zoo Lights. My bad mood was wearing off as the night went on. I ogled over the Christmas lights. Held Michael's hand. Laughed with my friends. And kept looking for a spot where I wanted to take a photo with Michael. 

Near the end of the evening, I finally asked our friends if they could take our picture. Michael gave Todd his phone. Heather asked if I wanted one on mine too... I said sure. Then we walked over to where I wanted the picture, and all five of our friends had their phones out. 

"Guys, why are you all taking our photo?" Still hadn't clicked. 

Then Michael dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife. 

With a bright red nose from the cold and my earmuffs on... I said yes to forever with my favorite human. 

After kissing Michael a bajillion times, admiring my ring, and hugging my friends, we ended the evening at Voodoo Doughnuts. Michael and I loveeeeeeee doughnuts. 

Our friends made my ring for us and I'm absolutely in love with it. Michael worked with them to create a custom design. I truly love it and I think it's pretty rad that no one else in the world has the same ring. Check out his work - I would recommend him (Matt Tuggle) to anyone! Thank you thank you thank you for creating a ring I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

Michael and I recently celebrated our 4 year anniversary and I am looking forward to a lifetime with this guy by my side. 


Around Here

November 5, 2015

Waiting for ski season! and winter break. and egg nog. and christmas lights. and all the holiday things.

Participating in a secret sister gift exchange. It's so much fun. And who doesn't love fun mail and presents? Spreading joy is the best.

Snacking on dark chocolate and chile spiced mango from trader joe's.

Drinking excessive amounts of coffee out of my new favorite mug.

Laughing at this video we saw at school during a lecture today. Because it's hilarious. And oh-so-true. And really, I don't know.

Pretending to go to never-never land with Michael for Halloween.

Trying to keep my head above water in medical school. 

Saying goodbye to my best friend as she prepares for her next life adventure in Dallas, TX. I'm going to miss you so much, Lizzy!

Cheering for Michael at his recent Crossfit Competition in Boulder, CO. I'm so proud of him! 

Learning how difficult it is to say "NO" to seeing friends and be selfish with my time during medical school. (P.S. I'd much rather hang out with friends - but studying has to take priority sometimes)

Celebrating Bear's birthday with a steak dinner, pup-cakes, and some good friends. We all had a great time. Can you tell? 

Snuggling with sweet baby Luca any chance I can! (separate days. One stolen photo by Christina while I studied my EKG book)

and while we're talking about it...
Obsessing over the simplicity of my book, Rapid Interpretation of EKG's. It's incredible.

Appreciating where I'm at in life. Things are CRAZY, but things are good.

Happy November to you and yours! 

Medical School Interviews

October 2, 2015

It's that time of year.

There are groups of nervous looking young men and women, dressed in their black suits, wandering in and out of our classrooms observing what life looks like as a medical student. The anxious looks on their faces are all too familiar... that was me just one year ago. One year ago, I was interviewing at medical schools and crossing my fingers for the chance to become a doctor.

As I watch the students come and go from the admissions office at school, I can't help but feel grateful for where I am today. I got into medical school! I get to be a doctor! And guess what? They will be too. The people interviewing at my school will become my colleagues and perhaps my good friends. And if there is one thing I've learned, it's that we're all here to help each other. My success in medical school is very dependent on the help of others, so I figured I'd write a few words of advice to help others in their journey to medical school.

My Best Advice
  • Be confident! You've made it this far. Hold your head up high and be confident that you are a great candidate for medical school!! 
  • Your interviews should be fun! Make it a two way conversation and view this as a chance to interview them as well. You will have to spend four years of your life in medical school so you better be sure you choose a school that's a good fit for you. They are trying to get to know you every bit as much as you're trying to get to know them. Yes, it's kind of like a first date. It might be awkward at first, but just have fun with it (while maintaining your professionalism!) :) 
  • Read a thing or two (maybe even a book)
    • While I was preparing for medical school interviews, I read The American Healthcare Paradox by Elizabeth Bradley & Lauren Taylor. It was a really interesting read and gave me a good insight health care in America and around the world. It's never a bad idea to read up about health care policy, insurance, etc. The more you know, the more you'll have to talk about if you're asked your opinions.
    • Look up some laws about physician assisted suicide, abortion, marijuana, etc. It can be helpful be aware of.
  • Be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses you'd like to work on 
    • Be confident in your strengths and incorporate them into your interview (even if they don't ask). Sell yourself! Be prepared to talk about things you'd like to work on as well (but please, don't choose a really awful weakness! I hope that's obvious ) 
  • Why do you want to be a doctor?
    • Surprisingly, this is tough to answer. Know what you'd say and be able to genuinely support your answer. 
      • IMPORTANT: If you're applying to D.O. schools (like I did), you NEED to be able to explain why you want to be an osteopathic physician. D.O. schools want to know why you're drawn to their school/philosophy. 
  • Keep it short and sweet
    • Don't ramble! It's easy to keep talking when you're nervous, but try to focus on a succinct answer to each question. Think about it in an ABC format if you need to.... I learned A, B, and C while I did XYZ.
  • Look for "buy" signals
    • Be aware of body language! Buy signals include: smiling, nodding, leaning forward. If you catch your interviewer doing those things, then hurray for you! Don't be upset if they are cold and closed off... some interviewers are just like that. Be aware of their body language (and equally as importantly, be aware of yours!) to gauge how they are feeling. 
  • A CLOSING is very important
    • Wrapping things up at the end of your interview can be helpful. It might seem silly, but they are trying to figure out if you're genuinely interested in the school. Make it very obvious that you are!
    • An example of a closing statement..."Thank you for your time. [Name of school] is a really great fit for me and I can see myself attending here!"
To-Do Before Interviews
  • Look through your essays
    • Highlight anything an interviewer might want to know more about. If a statement seems vague, be ready to support it or expand upon it. 
    • For example, if you said something like, "I developed resilience while working as a volunteer", be able to support the statement. How did you learn resilience? How do you display resilience in your daily life now? 
      • If you can't support your statements, they are irrelevant! 
  • Current Issues in Medicine
    • Look up a few current issues in medicine before your interview. It's helpful for you to be aware of current events in case they are brought up 
A Sampling of Questions I Encountered 
(I can't remember all of them!)
  • The vast majority of the questions I was asked during my interviews were about my volunteer/extracurricular experiences. A lot of the time, it was phrased as, " I see that you've had XYZ experience, could you tell me about what you learned during that time?" or maybe "How did that experience impact your decision to become a doctor?" 
    • REMEMBER: Absolutely everything that you write about on your application and your personal statement is fair game for you to talk about at your interview. 
    • Reverse the roles: If you were on an admissions committee, and all you received about an applicant was the information on the application itself, what would you want to know more about? 
      • Read your application again and ask yourself what someone else might pick out to talk about! 
  • Easier Questions
    • What is a book you have recently read/What is your favorite book?
    • Do you have any doctors in the family? 
    • How do you deal with anxiety? 
    • Who do you go to for support? 
    • List three ethical issues in medicine you've read about recently. 
  • More Difficult Questions
    • Why do you want to be a doctor? Why a D.O.? Why this school? 
    • How has what you've learned about yoga apply to medical school? 
    • Why did you want to be abroad for so long? What did you learn? 
      • (I'm a non-traditional student who served in the Peace Corps for 2.5 years)
    • How have you been preparing yourself for medical school? 
    • What was your role in the MCATSA and how is the program doing? 
      • (Another leadership experience I listed on my application)
    • Down the road at graduation, what do you want us to think about you? 
    • What do you think is the biggest issue facing healthcare in our country today?
Questions I Asked 
  • "How has your time at [name of institution] contributed to your success?"
  • "From your perspective, what does a successful applicant look like?"
  • "Do you have any questions or concerns about my background or abilities that I can address for you now?"
    • Follow up with, "That's a valid concern and I'm grateful you shared that with me. Do we have time to discuss?"
      • You might be surprised by the responses... most of mine were not very big concerns, but it gave me a chance to address anything they might be uneasy about concerning me as an applicant. Regardless of their response, every single interviewer commented by saying that asking that question showed maturity and confidence. If you ask this question, be sure you're willing to explain ANYTHING that they bring up. 
What I Brought
  • Practical
    • Small notebook with prepared questions for interviewers/admissions
    • Pens
    • File with printed application and any relevant information
    • Cell phone - switched off! 
    • Water bottle 
    • Umbrella
    • Coat (if cold)
    • Breath mints (don't chew gum!)
  • Toiletries
    • Chapstick/Lipgloss
    • Tampons
    • Q-tips (for smeared make-up)
    • Touch up make up (if you want)
  • Just in case! 
    • Shout wipes
    • Ibuprofen/Sudafed
    • Bandaids ( I even ended up needing one! Not too many people are capable of cutting their finger while closing their umbrella... but this girl can!)
    • Floss
    • Safety pins
    • Blister bandaids/pads (in case the tour of campus left me with blisters)
    • Extra panty hose
    • Static guard to help panty hose/skirt 

And best of luck to everyone else on their medical school interviews... I'm rooting for you! :) 
Email me with any questions at tatedoesthings (at) gmail (dot) com

Photo Series [September]

September 30, 2015

Bear was ready for bed

Sushi date with this handsome fellow

the little things that make me so happy
Target, A+ marketing
A taste of what life looks like most days
My beautiful home 
Playing with the bone box on a Saturday night.
I know how to have a good time. 
NO mom. Look at me
Can you spy my favorite book?
Enjoying some late summer produce.
I'll be posting an update on my meal-planning soon!
Hint: If you chose the Netter's coloring book as my fave,
you were correct. 
My first "patient"... listening to baby Luca's heart! 
Kibi's (least) favorite mode of transportation
We've had quite a few long nights
studying for anatomy together...
It turns out they think I can be a doctor... :) 
Don't forget to follow along @tatedoesthings!

A Taste of Freedom (from Medical School)

September 27, 2015


I had no new material to study over the weekend since my exams were on Friday. It was a weekend free from studying, and oh-how-sweet it was! I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with my loved ones. It was such a nice change from my weekends full of studying...

Friday evening I got to spend time with two of my closest girlfriends from growing up. Sweet Christina had baby Luca several weeks ago and Friday marked our first girl's night with the three of us... plus baby Luca. We gave him his first "big boy" bath since his umbilical cord fell off and he was a champ. No tears or anything... and guys, there is just nothing better than a clean, snuggly baby. We had dinner together, watched some chick flicks and TV episodes, chatted over some glasses of wine, and passed baby Luca back and forth. We just can't get enough!

Mommy & Son post-bath time
The norm + baby 
Stealing some snuggles  
I just can't handle the little man's face. He wasn't having it. 
Michael came to meet Luca for the first time
On Saturday, we all had breakfast together and then I headed home to get some stuff done. I did laundry, cleaned the house, had a chance to FaceTime with the sweet family I used to nanny for, and got ready to go to Oktoberfest with some friends. We had a lovely time stuffing our faces with food, enjoying a few adult beverages, and remembering that there's a life outside of medical school :)

We enjoyed ourselves. Please note that a year ago at
Oktoberfest, I never would have eaten a turkey leg.
On Sunday, I got to sleep in (YES!), go to the grocery store, and go on a hike with my momma. A perfectly laid back Sunday. The hike was delightful. Just my mom & I... and we had the chance to talk about life and death, all of the unfolding mysteries in life, and what we both want to do when we grow up. We've both decided we'd like to do something rewarding, help others, and most importantly, rejoice in every moment we have to be alive. 

Bear enjoyed himself on the hike as well 

Spending time with Mommy 
Oh so lucky to live in a place like this

I'm so very lucky to live close to my family and friends. This weekend was so good for my soul. Tomorrow, I'll be back at it!

Photo Series [August]

September 1, 2015

In all the madness, there is still so much beauty. In a lazy attempt to keep you updated... this post will be mostly photos. I think this will be something I do more often. 

We went to our friend Matt & Lauren's wedding - it was beautiful and so much fun! We're talking Beau Jo's pizza, photo booth, bouncy castle, poi fire spinning, techno dancing kind of fun.... 
MAC & I at Matt & Lauren's Wedding 
Test messages that sum up the story of my life most days
my rock - he keeps me smiling 
one of the many paintings my grandpa left behind for us
Celebrating the life of my grandfather  

photos from our family gathering to celebrate my grandfathers life 
med school life
my fabulous friends who help me through med school 
Fabulous friends - 1 (we can clean up alright)
Happy birthday to Luca William! 

TLLC - such a beautiful moment with two of my best friends 
A sweet miracle
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