Christmas 2014 in Pictures

I have so many drafts of posts in process (including Emmy’s 11 months and 12 months posts) but I wanted to get this special post up. We have enjoyed Christmas 2014 so very much, and we are SO thankful for everything that has transpired this season and every day in 2014. It has been an incredibly challenging, but also very rewarding and wonderful year. So I wanted to do a quick “post in pictures” of all our happenings from December 9 through to the New Year!

December 9, 2014 – I completed and passed my final summative piece of PA school, confirming my ability to walk with my class during graduation and long white coat ceremonies, despite having one rotation left. THIS was a very big deal to me – I started with my class in August 2012, and I was determined to walk with them at graduation, even though I had to take some time off for maternity leave. And it worked out that way, Praise God! Before the official ceremonies, we celebrated as a class at Raleigh Brewing Co. complete with pizza and a slideshow!
1December 12-13, 2014 – Long White Coat Ceremony & PA Program Graduation
The long awaited day had finally arrived when I would receive my Long white coat.  I’ve come a long way since getting my Short white coat in August 2012!  I had no idea I would be graduating with a 14-month-old when I started this program but I am so thankful for HIS plans for me! :)

2December 14, 2014 – We played at Carter’s Playce for my nephew Dane’s 5th birthday party! Emmy insisted on sitting at the table with the big kids. She is so growny! The next day, we picked out a tree from the Country fruit stand and then had major toddler meltdowns with the strands of lights during the decorating process.  We also had some fun with them, too. :)

3December 18. 2014 – We had a family fun day! We started out the day in Bass Pro Shops to get our picture taken with Santa.  This was our third attempt at meeting/sitting with Santa, and it was the third time Emmy hated it!  Bless her heart. She loved the shopping though, and tried to pick up a little electric four wheeler all by herself. Tough Girl!

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After Bass Pro shops, we headed to Marbles Kids Museum!  It was Emmy’s first trip to Marbles, and she loved it!  She especially loved the little mini corvette, the bassinets with the babies and blankets (she kept taking wrapping them up) and the painting area!

5Since this was my first time to marbles, I had no idea that Keith Norval painted the stools in the creative arts area! I LOVE him and even own one of his pieces!

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The following days were filled with more shopping, taking home our sweet crafts from daycare, our first Christmas celebration at the Pearson Open House and mommy practicing some of her clinical skills on Emmy.

6December 21, 2014 – Emmy was an angel in the church Christmas play.  Last year she was Baby Jesus.  We were even more proud of this year’s performance!

IMG_0656December 24, 2014 – We celebrated Christmas Eve with Gigi, Aunt Lindsey, Scott, cousins Karis and Brannon, Aunt Joanna and Uncle Drake and then Christmas Eve night we celebrated with the Sullivan clan!  It was such a fun day/night and Emmy loved all the attention, food, and time with family.  I loved seeing Dustin’s face as he opened a new lens from his mom!  He got so excited and was completely surprised.  The best :)

7December 25, 2014 – Merry Christmas!  We celebrated with our little family by opening gifts and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, then we went to my parent’s for lunch and dinner.  Emmy had so much fun playing with her cousin Dane!

8December 26-28, 2014 – We went to the Valley Creek Lights show in Clayton and Emmy was mesmerized! We also spent the days after Christmas lounging, spending time with family, and celebrating cousin North’s baby dedication! We even got a chance to cook some of the ribeye steaks we won in Dirty Santa :)

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We have loved these last few days together before going back to my FINAL rotation and back to work for Dustin.  I’ve had two additional job interviews during my time off so I’m praying for that situation as well!  We spent New Years Eve riding around on our new golf cart (so fun) and went to dinner at Kobe where Emmy devoured her hibachi chicken and shrimp.  She is a good little eater!  I also cherish the time we spent with friends over the holidays, including my dear friends Matt and Amy who live in Baltimore but were in town for the holidays, and my sweet friend Averi and her almost one-year-old Georgia Mac!

1011In many ways I am sad to see this year go.  I loved watching Emmy grow up from a baby to a little toddler over the last few months and I am going to miss these milestones, for sure.  But we also look forward to what 2015 will bring and pray for health, happiness and a peace that can only come from Jesus!

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gurleygirls

 

Nine Months

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Fotor0901225522I can’t believe it.  Emmy has officially been outside of my belly longer than she was inside!  And, much like my pregnancy did, these months have flown by.  Here’s what’s happened during Emmy’s ninth month!

Our precious girl is becoming more and more independent each day, and I am blessed to watch her grow.  She is crawling so well, and has started pulling up and standing up on her own or by balancing with someone (or something).  I can’t believe how much she changed from a “young baby” to an “older baby” over night. She lost those extremely chubby cheeks and now has only “somewhat” chubby cheeks. ;) She has learned how to wave and say ByeBye like a pro!

Emmy thoroughly enjoyed her nine month photo session with the amazing Amanda of Millie Holloman Photography.  Millie was there to help and make funny faces/silly noises, too.  It was AWESOME to finally meet them!  We traveled all the way to Wilmington for the shoot, which was the PERFECT excuse to enjoy one of our favorite cities!  We stayed with Dustin’s sweet brother and sister-in-law, which is always a treat.  After the shoot, we headed to Elijah’s on the water, where Dustin and I had our wedding reception three years ago.  It was wonderful to take our beautiful little girl to the place where we enjoyed our first few hours as husband and wife, now as a family of three. :)

The majority of Emmy’s ninth month, I was on rotation in the emergency department.  I was working crazy hours (2pm-12am, five days a week) and I missed my girl so much. We managed to get through it, though.  She had her first awful cold just a few days into my rotation, and two nights in a row she was still up with her daddy when I got home around 12:30am. So I stayed up with her those nights and walked the halls until she drifted to sleep, several hours later.  It reminded me of her days as a newborn, when I would stare at the clock and think “I HATE YOU, 4AM.”  It seems to me, no one should be awake at 4am. And I was awake every morning at 4am until Emmy was about 10 weeks old.  Then, like a light switch, she started sleeping through the night and I was able to sleep through the 4:00am hour once more. :)

I was off one full week this month and so Emmy and I got to spend a lot of time making up our moments apart during my ER rotation. We even went to Wilmington again, this time with Gigi and cousin Karis to have a girl’s trip with Aunt Joanna.  It was such a great time and I loved seeing my little girl interacting with her big cousin and Aunt and Gigi.  She loves them all so much!

Emmy also went with me to Campbell University on the last day of my week off for my very last Convocation, EVER!!!  ALL of my classmates and faculty members gushed over how precious little Emmy was and she lovvvveeed the attention.  She waved ByeBye to everyone, and it was so sweet! I was so proud of my darling little girl, and loved showing her off to everyone.  She is such a blessing to me, and I can’t imagine my life without this girl!  She is everything I could ever hope for and more.  I had no idea I could love someone so much… :)

 

EM @ 9 Months

Weight: 22.5 lbs

Firsts: Emmy saw Elijah’s for the first time, and she enjoyed their famous crab dip. She loved it!  She also got to see Uncle Drake and Aunt Joanna’s house for the first time.  She loved eating yogurt for the first time, and we discovered she is quite the fun little shopping buddy. Emmy MOVED UP to the N2 nursery room (6months-1year), which was a BIG deal in our house! It was definitely a harder transition on mommy than Emmy… She is the youngest in her class now, but she is doing very well and keeping up with the big kids according to her teachers! This month we also organized her closet, which is a huge first for us!  We have officially packed away all of her under 12months clothes!! :(  But, it was necessary to finally get her room organized. Now she loves opening and closing her closet door and pulling her shoes out of their cubby.  She is a SHOE GIRL for sure!

Sizes: Still in 12-18 months clothes. Diapers: Size 5

Likes: Shopping, trying new foods, and spending time in her bob strolling around outside. She could stroll and be content for HOURS.  Emmy also really liked visiting Campbell. She was friendly, content, and enjoyed seeing everyone while mommy was in convocation. She was the best behaved 9 month old around!

Dislikes: Again, she is learning what she can and cannot do/have.  She doesn’t like hearing NO!

gurleygirls

Happy Halloween

I remember the morning of my interview for PA school very well.  The Tar Heel was there and when we walked in we were given a packet of information including our agenda and the breakdown of our interview groups and the names of our interviewers.  My name was listed under “Christopher Stewart, MD – PA Program Medical Director.”

My first thought was “Oh God, an interview with the Medical Director!?” My next thought was interrupted by Dustin saying “It’s OK, he graduated from Brody!!” My husband was clearly better at making decisions at that moment than myself as he was already googling my interviewer to help me prepare for my upcoming interview. I was instantly relieved to find out he went to the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, which is where I had just completed my first clinical position as a Research Assistant to one of the most successful and most celebrated Bariatric surgeons in the field. Of course, I hoped my time at Dr. Stewart’s Alma Mater would bode well with him and give me a slight advantage even if only by association.

About an hour later I walked into Dr. Stewart’s office, introduced myself and took a seat. His first question to me?

“So, Dr. Pories is still working at Brody? You know, he was my Attending….”

Cue internal “YAY!”

We went on to have a great discussion about one of the best physicians we know and we have had quite a few great conversations since.  As a student of the program, I love Dr. Stewart’s compassionate and realistic approach to medicine and his exceptional teaching style.

In fact, we ALL love Dr. Stewart and are grateful to have him as our Medical Director and a member of the teaching faculty.  To show our appreciation, we decided to dress up like him for Halloween.  The look on his face when he walked in and saw all of the “Dr. Stewart”s in the classroom was PRICELESS. He said we made his year.  I guess it really is true that imitation is the highest form of flattery!

Christopher Stewart, MD(s)

I love my fun little PA family!

11 down, 15 to go

Our IM team shirt designed by a classmate and loved by all. FYI: Our certification exam is called the PANCE. How great is this?

11 Down, and 15 to go…

15 Exams left to go this semester, that is.  I cannot believe I have suffered through successfully completed 11 exams so far in P A school.  It seems like every time we get a chance to breathe we are gearing up for the next.  This morning we had our 2nd Pharmacotherapeutics exam, a subject where my background in Pharm really comes in handy.  Friday we will have our third Clinical Medicine test covering a good chunk of Cardio material (second Cardio Clin Med test so far) and it seems like it will be a beast. Not looking forward to it very much but the best part of getting it over with is….getting it over with. So no anxiety yet over Friday’s fast approaching date. :)

The end of Fall Break marked the half-way point for this semester.  I cannot believe it. As soon as I decided to go to Campbell last fall, I just knew it would be what seemed like an eternity to wait for our first day of class.  Now we are already “downward sloping” this half of the semester and, fittingly, we are gaining momentum in our decline – covering much more ground in much less time. Just when we go to hit the breaks (weekends) we miss and hit the accelerator (new version of weekends that resemble more of a busy week day than a relaxing day “off.”)

But, I am so excited to be where I am and can feel a happiness about fulfilling this need that reaches deep into my core. There is absolutely no where else that I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather be doing (Disclaimer: OK, maybe it would be nice to be a few years into my practice and already standing on a firm foundation of knowledge but before I know it I’m sure I’ll be there. I hope, anyway.)

I picked my sweet Tar Heel’s number to don the back of my team shirt. Also, coincidentally, the number of my locker at school.

I plan to write a quick post later this week with pictures from Fall Break. It really was a great time to relax and enjoy some much needed time with my sweet husby.  He has been so wonderful and supportive to me and so it was good to surprise him with a clean house, clean clothes and home-cooked meal for a change.

7 Weeks

Truth!

It is hard to believe we just finished up week 7 of PA school.  I cannot even begin to explain how much I am enjoying this experience so far.   Every single day I find another reason to love the PA profession and get more and more excited for the future.  One of the biggest reasons I am enjoying my time in PA school has been the 39 new “family” members I’ve added to my life. It would be a total lie if I said I didn’t feel like the kid sister to each of them — not due to my age, but due to having the feeling that I have SOOOOO much to learn from each of my classmates.

Waiting for the white coat ceremony to start. Pic taken by one of our classmates and our resident photog. :)

Seriously, they are all so impressive. Everyone has such varied backgrounds and extensive healthcare experience. Aside from being brilliant, they are all incredibly friendly and helpful as well.  Campbell has done a phenomenal job of fostering a collaborative environment and removing the cut-throat competitive nature notorious of medical training. Our administrators are often heard saying “leave your grades at the door.” The idea of “getting ahead,” especially at the expense of your fellow classmates, does not exist in this program.  We all work VERY hard at helping ourselves AND each other be successful. I keep hearing the words of one of our faculty members over and over in my mind who told us during orientation that we simply don’t have time to dwell on our grades anyway.  If we barely pass a test, we get over it and move on to the next. If we get an A on a test, we get over it and move on to the next.  We can’t maintain the energy it takes to obsess over every single grade when we have so many “educational opportunities” (aka exams) coming our way each week.

One of my faves, Alex! We carpool together and live less than a mile from each other :)

I know my biggest fear before starting PA school was that I might not be able to do it.  And while the volume of information is more than I ever could have imagined, the concepts are very straightforward and I am humbled and really surprised at how well I have done thus far. I just keep praying it lasts!  But, as our medical director says all the time, grades are not sole indicators of how successful one will be as a provider.  That is tough to wrap your mind around when everything leading up to PA school has been so focused on grades. Funny how that works, right?

One of many sticky notes the Tar Heel has left for me. This was on our 1.5 year anniversary day. Love him :)

Things at home are going great. My Tar Heel is busy being awesome at work, and he has been my rock for the past 7 weeks.  I just did a few loads of laundry today for the first time in at least two weeks. He has kept this house going for me, bless his heart. On test days (1-2x a week), I just wake up, get ready and walk out the door. He has my car loaded with my stuff, breakfast shake made and sitting in the cupholder and seat-warmers turned on high. Oh, and typically there are a few love notes to be found throughout the day (inside my bookbag, notebooks, somewhere in the car, etc.) He is AMAZING.  I do not deserve his love but I am so grateful to have it. He is and always will be the best part of my life, no matter what I do for a living!