waiting for labor and starting my residency

That’s exactly what’s been going on in my life this week. My sister is literally on the verge of popping out my next nephew and I am dying to meet the little dude. Being in another state makes me all the more impatient because I’m sitting on the edge of my seat wondering when to book a flight or grab the Jer and hop in the car. I literally call or text my sister every day: “How are you feeling??? Any contractions??? WHEN IS THIS BABY COMING?!?!?!” Anytime she calls I answer the phone, “ARE YOU IN LABOR?” (although I’ve tried to stop this. It has to be annoying.) Every day I practically wake up with my fingers crossed that today will be the day. And then I pray that it would be, or that at least tomorrow would be. I’ve been thinking about and anticipating this so much that I think I’ll be in a state of disbelief when it happens for real. Wait, I’m sorry. My big sister is about to have a SON out in the world?! Jigga what? That’s actually happening?? Unbelievable. Can’t wait. Cannot wait.

Thank goodness I’ve had a busy week through all of this waiting. I started my residency this week instead of being on break like most of my classmates, due to the uncertainty of when I’ll travel to Minnesota + the Hong Kong trip we scheduled for the second week of the upcoming term. I spent Monday and Tuesday at a Cardiology clinic, and Wednesday Thursday at an urgent care. Mostly its odd to be in clinic for four full workdays in a row. It’s also kind of awesome. I love my life as a student–and I’ll be very sad to give it up come August–but its exciting to practice a bit of what life as a working NP really feels like. I am pleasantly surprised at what a great fit FNP work in primary care continues to be for me. I sort of laugh-cringe when I think back on my 22-year-old self who was convinced I had no interest in ever touching primary care with a ten foot pole. This is not the first time in my life I can say that if you had told me five years ago this is where I’d be now, I would have said YEAH RIGHT. I like when life is like that.

Well I don’t have much else to say. Just had to get some of my OH-MY-GOSH-WHEN-IS-THIS-BABY-COMING-PLEASE-HOW-ABOUT-RIGHT-NOW energy out, and figured I’d share a little bit of my week with you. Hope you are well! Xoxo.


what a humbling reminder of our humanity does for my soul

I’m feeling a little melancholy this morning, which is a bit unusual since lately my emotions have generally had a direct correlation with the amount of sun in the forecast (today there is lots of sun). I have a meeting at a clinical site in the burbs this morning, so I spent about an hour in the car listening to NPR, which meant about one hour of coverage of the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings.

It’s hearing the details of an event like this that really shakes me. Or, rather, brings me back down to reality. Reminds me of the very true fact that we are guaranteed nothing. That we are human, and really anything that goes right in our lives is the direct result of a gracious God who moves among us when we are least mindful of him.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our little lives, isn’t it? I find myself feeling genuine gratitude for the ways God has blessed me, and the gifts he has given me. And yet, when tragedy occurs close by and I am reminded of the brevity of this life, I want to hold on tight to these things. I suppose this is a pretty natural response. Someone tragically loses their 8-year-old with no warning, and you want to run to your own 8-year-old, squeeze him tight, and keep him close by. But the thing is that we really don’t have control over anything in this life. Absolutely the only hope and confidence we can have is in the Creator of the universe. And how can we have this hope unless we know this God? I mean really Know know him.

I arrived at my destination a couple hours before my meeting after driving Jeremy to the train this morning, so I’ve been sitting in a Starbucks sipping, thinking, reading. I recently started reading through the book of Mark and this morning I found myself in chapter 4, which is where Jesus tells and explains the parable of the sower. You know, the one where the sower sows his seed, some falls on the path (and gets eaten), some falls among the rocks (sprouts up, and gets scorched), some falls among thorns (grows up but gets choked and doesn’t yield any grain), and some falls on good soil (grows, and turns into a whoooole lotta grain).

It’s a famous parable, and if you’ve grown up in the church you’ve probably heard it hundreds of times. Directly following the parable, Jesus explains what it means (which he doesn’t normally do right after telling a parable). What struck me most this morning was this:

“And others are the ones sown among the thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

How easily do the cares of this world, even the deceitfulness of riches, and especially desires for other things enter in? I am so easily pulled into my own universe to be concerned with the details of my own circumstances, accompanied by a casual forgetfulness of Christ. It’s no wonder, then, that what happened in Boston reminds me of the shakiness of the life I’m constantly temped to think I’ve built.

Let us be reminded today of the mighty rule and reign of Christ, and what a humbling reality it is that he would enter into relationship with us. And let us also be reminded that while it’s a humbling reality, it isreality. It is good news that he deeply loves us, intimately knows our hearts, and is working to make all things new.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39.

classin up the walls

Hello friends! A few weeks ago I mentioned our latest house project that we were “almost” done with, promising thorough photo documentation. Well truth be told, we’ve still got a little more paint to throw on the walls, but it’s pretty much done, and I’ve been eager to show you what we’ve been working on, so there you have it. This project has been on our list since we moved in, but it’s one of those updates that–while really exciting to Jeremy and me–is probably not going to be super noticeable to peeps who visit our place. Here is a picture of our hallway about a month ago:

IMG_2176Not a bad hallway. But we were hoping to tear down the white paneling in order to install our own real wainscoting. A couple reasons: a) we thought real wainscoting would look sharper, b) we thought [even fake] wainscoting shouldn’t go quite so far up the walls (and so we wanted to lower the height of what ran along the walls), and c) there were some awkward/unfinished elements to the current paneling. Case in point:

IMG_2175The random stop to the paneling about a foot shy of the edge of the wall. Also, the horrid vinyl “baseboard” (which was not a board at all) left a nasty gap between the floor and the paneling:

IMG_2180Yikes. So anyways, we were excited to tackle this project, and figured it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. We planned on following the example of Young House Love’s Board & Batten project, which made planning relatively simple. But we’d need to demo our current paneling before really getting started, so we set up. And I protected my pregnant self from possibly hazardous dust particles (this one’s for you, ma).


IMG_2212As we started tearing down the paneling, we ran into a little snag. Plaster. Lots of plaster underneath all that paneling.


So we decided we’d have to knock out some of this plaster in order to install a bit of drywalling, which would allow us to make the wainscoting shorter than the paneling had been. In the end, it required a lot more time and energy (and mess), but it actually turned out to be a fun learning experience for me. I had never installed drywall, and had no idea how simple it would be. Here’s what was under the plaster:

IMG_2203After taking out all the plaster we thought should be removed, we got to drywalling. Jer was in charge of cutting and installing the drywall pieces, and I was on taping, mudding, and sanding to make it look like these sections of wall had been here all along.


IMG_2218After all the drywalling, the Jer assembled and installed all the pieces of the wainscoting while I continued sanding and sweeping along the way. Here are some shots of the process:




IMG_2241After lots of caulking and lots of painting, we’re pretty much done. We have one more coat of wall paint including a few touch ups along the border of the wainscoting, and of course we need to re-hang everything that was initially on these walls. But other than those details, we’re good to go. For dramatic effect, here’s the before shot again:


And voila! The finished-ish product:


And here’s from standing up in the kitchen, for a bit of a different perspective.

IMG_2347This was probably my favorite project we’ve done so far. It felt really great to do so much straight up manual labor for a decent amount of hours. All the hard work made the finished product even more satisfying, and we’re happy with how it turned out. Hope you enjoyed the little update!

ten on ten : april 2013

Last month I was drifting along in the haze of early pregnancy, so when March 11 rolled around and I realized I had completely missed ten on ten, I was bummed. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to jump back in this month, so I’m glad to be joining Rebecca today for another installment of ten on ten. I spent the entire day painting trim, so grabbing my camera and finding photo-worthy shots around the [very messy] house was a real challenge! I had fun though. Hope you enjoy the shots.











{escape chicken} {asian pears} {paint} {kitchen curtain} {please play with me} {pot rack} {painting in high places} {bristles} {the jer at work} {not the only one with paint in my hair}

big life things lately

It’s nearly unbelievable all that’s happened since I last really sat down here and wrote. We’ve settled into a new church home. We became parents-to-be and I flew through one whole trimester of pregnancy. I traveled to Minnesota. We made the decision to fly to Hong Kong this May. Jeremy got accepted to a program that’s going to pay for him to visit Poland and Germany this summer.  And THIS happened (and is still happening, actually) over Easter weekend:

IMG_2214I apologize for being mostly absent over the past few months. Let me see if I can successfully hit on a few major areas without completely failing to do them justice.

The new church. Yes, it’s been sad to be absent from Covenant at times. But Calvary has been such a delightful blessing, and our short time there has continued to confirm that this was the right move for us. I feel incredibly invested in the leadership, and already have deep affections for the church. The pastors and their families are the kinds of people you just want to spend hours with, mostly to take notes on how they do life. It’s been humbling, and such a blessing, to share life with them in small ways. Many of the people we’ve met (pastors, elders, attenders) have struck me as people I have lots to learn from. That’s been really neat. And more generally, I’ve been struck by the warmth of the people I’ve met. We’ve definitely felt welcomed into the community.

The pregnancy. We found out pretty early, sort of by accident. After Christmas we had decided we were entering a sort of safe zone in regards to pregnancy. In other words, less than nine months stood between me and the end of my NP program. So around mid January, when I’d had a stressful day, wasn’t in the greatest mood, and wanted to have a glass of red wine while I made dinner for some friends coming over later, I knew there was a chance I could be pregs. I didn’t think it was a very good chance; I didn’t feel pregnant, it was the first month it was even possible that I could be pregnant, and I knew that these things usually take some time. But I sort of felt like I could use some confirmation, in order to enjoy my wine guilt-free and in peace. Jeremy, on an earlier date upon discovering the cost of pregnancy tests, had made me swear I would never again take one without telling him first. So when I asked if I could pleeeeaaaase take a pregnancy test so I can have a glass of wine come onnnn it’s been a long dayyyy  he was hesitant to agree. I promised I wouldn’t do this next month, and that next time I used a test I would only do so if I had good reason to suspect I was pregnant. He caved, I took the test, and was surprised to find two pink lines staring up at me. “Jeremy. There’s two lines on this thing.” “What does that mean?” “It’s positive.” He walked over from the other room. “Are these things usually pretty accurate?” “I mean yeah, I think so. I’m pretty sure it can’t be positive if you’re not pregnant.” We were both calm. Surprised (oddly, now that I look back), excited, calm. I remember saying, “I mean… should we like… call our parents?” And we did. Also our siblings. And then we had a really wonderful evening with some sweet friends. So this baby’s due September 26th, about a month after I complete my program. Just in time [fingers crossed] for me to take my boards before I deliver. Yes, we will find out the gender of the little bean, around mid May. We’re pumped. My sister is having a baby at the end of April, and my sis in law is pregnant as well, due two days after me (which in the world of having babies is essentially the exact same day). CRAZY TIMES. The fams are expanding and the infamous Mann Family Dynasty is officially on its way to becoming a reality.

Demolition. We spent Easter weekend taking down the paneling-made-to-look-like-wainscoting in our hallway and kitchen. Everything under the paneling was cracked plaster, so our project wound up involving drywalling as well, which we had to do in order to put up our own wainscoting a little lower than the paneling had been. It’s taken four full days of work so far; Jeremy is hoping to finish the actual installation this evening, so that we can clean up all the construction dust we’ve made. After all of that, we’ll prime, paint, and call it good. I’ve been doing a decent job documenting the process, so I’ll show you some befores and afters at some point. It’s been a fun project. Manual labor is surprisingly enjoyable when you don’t do it on a very regular basis.

Well, I really hope you are well. Looking forward to the months ahead!