Monday, January 26, 2015

US National Figure Skating Championships

Last week I was so excited to find out the US National Figure Skating Championships were being held over the weekend in Greensboro.  My friend Sarah agreed to go with me and I was ecstatic!  I was also a little surprised to see how many people didn't share in my enthusiasm - I invited so many others!  Growing up, I loved watching figure skating competitions on television.  Angelic figures, jaw dropping turns, the suspense.  I had hold myself back from donning a figure skating dress to the competitions. :-)  Not that I ever skated, but I have dreams!!

Sarah and I met at Sticks & Stones in Greensboro for pizza.  So tasty!  

Then we headed over to Greensboro Coliseum to watch the ladies long program.  All of the events were being held in Greensboro over 5 days, including mens and pairs.  If I would have had more time, I would have stayed for more and made a weekend out of it.

Here are some pictures I took.

15 year old Karen Chen, a new star on the scene.
She placed third.

Olympic gold medalist Gracie Gold

Gracie placed second.

Olympian and cutie Polina Edmunds.
She placed fourth.

Olympic silver medalist Ashley Wagner.

Ashley was the star of the night, winning first place.

I took these photos with my Sony DSC-HX50V camera, which is automatic.  Shooting against the ice required some editing on my computer for color correction - the ice is so gray.  I love my camera for the ease of things!  However I am looking forward to learning to shoot in manual in the near future.  Maybe this will be my goal #13. ;-)


Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Doctor Is In

It's been a long week.  Friday morning I completed 3 weeks of working 7pm-7am in the ER, Sunday - Thursday.  Overall it was testing and frustrating.  Based on my personal experiences, I think 50% of the patients I saw were substance abusers.  That's fine, but only 10% of them were looking for help in achieving sobriety!  Also frustrating is the practice of psychiatric boarding.  North Carolina, like many states, does not have enough beds for psychiatric patients.  This causes our patients to often wait in the ER, waiting for a bed to open up.  To make matters worse, hospitals are allowed to cherry pick patients - screening out those with substance abuse, aggression, and definitely screening out those without insurance.  Inpatient psychiatry does not make a lot of money - our patients are often poor with Medicaid or no insurance and the stays are long.  However, it's all about the investment - unstabilized patients are high utlizers of the ER and health care systems.  Also, many don't have proper housing, food or outpatient follow-up.  The USA is all about capitalism, make your own money, if you don't have it it's your fault.  Unfortunately no matter who's fault it is, not supporting those in need up front is just going to cost you money in the back end and I would argue it's a lot more!  It can be frustrating working in the ER smacking band-aids on my patient's problems when really they need so much more.

In Washington state, it's been declared unlawful to board patient's in the ER.  The explanation being if a patient needs inpatient help then they should be admitted asap.  Not sitting in the ER for days.  It is a very interesting ruling and I'm looking forward to seeing the effects on mental health care in Washington and across the nation.

On a brighter note, I went to the US Figure Skating National Champtionships in Greensboro yesterday!  Uploading pictures today and I will post them here tomorrow! :-) 

Sunday, January 18, 2015


One week ago, my best friend lost her best friends.   Her two sisters. Her niece and nephew.  Her friend/sister's boyfriend.  An unborn child.  They were all lost in a horrific car crash.  I don't know how to blog about this,  because it's hard to express how sweet and amazing these people were.  Yet I couldn't just go on in the blog and pretend it never happened.   I will never understand God and his actions.  Yesterday we laid them to rest on the little girl's 8th birthday.  I can only reason that these wonderful people were maybe a little too heavenly, too beautiful, too kind.  Angels that provided us love and laughter but only for a short time.  I am happy they were loved, happy, vibrant.  I will miss them forever.

Sisters are special.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New year, new you

This is message smacked me in the face.  I do want to be a better person, right?  But ehh...things aren't so bad now.  In fact, if things never changed, my life would be a-okay.  So I am the definition of ambivalent. 

I spent last month of my psychiatry residency in the substance abuse clinic, where ambivalence rules all.  I started reading a really great book, Motivational Interviewing by Miller & Rollnick.  It talks about ambivalence and how to help people change.  Often when you badger and tell people they need to change, they dig in their feet, back further into their corner and tell you how hard it is to change and why they can't change.  Which is fine, it's human nature - when your mom tells you to clean your room, you don't say "oh thanks!!"  No.  You tell her how you're too busy, this isn't a priority and basically remind her you're not a horrible person.  The book stresses that people learn much better when they think of reasons to change themselves and then share the reasons why change would be beneficial.  People learn a lot by hearing themselves talk.  So you want to them to talk about why they should change, not why they shouldn't.

So anyways, I'm wondering how this can work on myself.  Can I self-motivate myself to change?  Stop making excuses and start telling myself more reasons why?  We'll see.  Anyways here are some goals for myself.  I feel like last year all the bloggers were doing 101 in 1001.  Like completing 101 tasks or goals in 1001 days.  That just seems like too much and too obscure to me.  So I decided to come up with 12 goals for 12 months, working on all and hopefully completing 1 a month.  Some are serious, some are fun.  

1  Clean the office in my apartment and dispose of  unneeded items.

2  Arrive at places 10 minutes early.

3  Focus on being a considerate and caring wife.

4  Focus on one cookbook a month and cook at least 2 recipes from this book a week - starting in February when I'm off of night float.  I have some awesome cookbooks I would like to use over just googling what's for dinner.

5  If Aaron and I do not go or stream church on Sunday, watch the sermon by Tuesday that week.

6  Finish my South Africa photobook.

7  Regularly limit my sugar intake to 25g a day, at least 4 out of 7 days a week - I already took big steps towards achieving this in 2013.  I read all labels, stopped eating a lot of foods.

8  Work out twice a week and weigh myself weekly.  I've also taken big steps towards this in 2013, usually only not working out due to work obligations.  I also think if I weight myself while at the gym I'll be better at maintaining my weight and not letting weight gain creep up on me.  

9  Instead of feeling like getting ready for bed is a burden, make it more of spa and pampering experience.  I have a Pandora spa music station-maybe I should buy incense too?  Relaxation!

10  Work on building a nest egg with Aaron.  We have been saving for retirement, but we need to do a better job of keeping a bank account for unexpected expenses and future large purchases.

11  Make my mother a wedding album.

12  Redecorate the bedroom Already working like crazy on this one.  I told Aaron when we move into our "dream house" I just need to hire a designer because honestly I've wasted so much money in the bedroom I could have just funneled that into buying the rights things first.  

Wish me luck!!! What are your resolutions?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas & New Years

Happy New Year!  I cannot tell you how ready I was for Christmas break.  Even though I had Christmas Eve and Christmas off, I still ended up clocking 52 hours that week.  Blech, I'm ready for residency to be over.

Headed to my friend's amazing Christmas party.  Top Forever 21, midi skirt Express.

Christmas day was spent at my parents.  For the first time, I helped with the Christmas dinner.  I made mashed potatoes  and broccoli casserole.  In the past I've struggled to get my potatoes creamy and adding the cream cheese was the key.  I forgot half and half so I just added milk and it was still delicious.  I like my potatoes with skin so I only peeled half and next time plan to peel less.

 My dishes in the center


Christmas selfie 

Everybody's Christmas tree is different, but my mom and I love collecting ornaments over time.  She has a lot of Hallmark ornaments as well as school-made ornaments from my siblings and myself.   My tree is a little sparse now but I know the collection will grow in the years to come.

A past instagram of some of my ornaments

Remembering Grandma T & Papa :-)

The following week I had completely off, so we visited Aaron's side of the family in Gastonia for a few days, then met some friends in Asheville.  Aaron and I love Asheville.  We honeymooned there and visit at least once a year.  6 of us met there on New Year's Eve to bring in the new year.  On a whim, we chose to eat tapas at Curate, only to be told by locals later that it's their favorite restaurant in town.  It was amazing - pork skirt steak!  Sorry I don't have photos.

We went to a party on NYE at Asheville Music Hall which had different bands and DJs in each room.  By far the best room had The Empire Strikes Brass performing, they were amazing.

chopppy cell phone video

We spent the rest of Asheville checking out the Grove Park Inn, taking the Christmas Candelight tour of Biltmore, some light hiking and enjoying good food downtown.  It was 2 of our friend's first time in Asheville so we had to take them to Tupelo Honey!  We also did a LaZoom tour (mixed reviews - I liked it though).

Our crew

Gingerbread houses don't look like gingerbread houses anymore, apparently.

My favorite


Dogs like Asheville too!

 Rahsaan & Kristina in front of the Biltmore

We had to continue our tradition of staying at bed & breakfasts, especially in Asheville.

Sweet Biscuit Inn 


Poached egg on savory toast, roast beef with tomato compote

And crepes for desssert!!! :-D

Now I'm back at home and already back to work.  I'm working night float for the next 3 weeks 7pm-7am, so it'll definitely be rough.  For dinner, I'm exploring different crockpot recipes and I can't wait to share them with you.  Happy new year!!!