Mr. and Mrs. Scott!

August 27, 2014

Happy Wednesday! Just wanted to swing by and update those of you who don't follow along on Instagram - but we're now newlyweds! Our wedding was absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to get back all of the photos from the amazing Greg at Brightwood Photography and relive all of the wonderful memories we made with our loved ones. Here are just a couple of shots - make sure to check on Insta for more!

Sling Diaries: On Surprise

August 15, 2014

Holy cow guys, eight days until our wedding! Insanity! Today I'm posting another entry in my Sakura Bloom Sling Diary, this month's topic is surprise. Check out previous entries here!

Dearest Liv,

I hope you will love surprises. I think you will, you already light up in the most adorable way when I pop my head from around the corner, or when daddy throws you up into the air. Growing up surprises were my favorite - an unexpected stop at the ice cream shop on the way home from Abuela’s house, a free eraser from the school store, a slice of cheese from the deli while grocery shopping (as you can see, mommy was a pretty simple kid).

Somewhere along the way, though, my idea of what surprises were changed quite a bit. The murders of multiple family members, or the stroke in Abuela that took all of her memories of me, or a beloved teacher almost shamefully telling me she had cancer. At some point in life surprises stopped being about free food and extra sprinkles and rays of sunshine that I didn’t expect; at some point surprises were horrible things I could never have imagined or ever have prepared for. I hated surprises, they scared me with how quickly they could change everything, how swiftly they could make the life I knew a distant memory.

I wish I could tell you when, or how, I decided to not live in fear of those kinds of surprises. The truth is I really don’t know when I put it together, but at some point I realized although I could never anticipate those tragic surprises, what I could do is never ever ever take any of it for granted. I’d try my hardest to not complain about the little things, or ever go to sleep angry at someone I love, or not take the chance to dance when music was playing. I’d love as deeply as I could and find the beauty wherever it was hidden and God forbid anything else get taken from me by surprise, well I’d at least have the best memories to look back fondly on.

And although mommy still gets hit now and then with scary surprises and there are undoubtedly more to face, they haven’t been as difficult to cope with, and a lot more beautiful things have come by surprise instead. Getting accepted to Harvard to become a doctor, falling in love with your silly daddy, seeing your heartbeat for the first time, all surprises I would live over and over again if I could. The first time you rolled over, the first time you crawled, the first steps you took, the way you said “mum!” for the first time - it all blew me away. I can’t wait for all the amazing surprises we’ve got in store watching you grow up, beautiful girl.

I’ll end by saying this - the thing about surprises is that they’re unexpected. We can’t plan for them. Attempting to plan for the bad ones is no way to live, and planning for the good ones only leads to disappointment. Just love as hard as you can and trust the timing of your life.

Love always,
Mommy


I'm wearing Liv in in my Sakura Bloom essential silk sling in Raspberry-Starbust, thrifted striped tank (similar here), Vigoss jeans (similar here), Old Navy cardigan and flip flops (similar here and here). Liv is in a chambray top and moccasins both by baby Gap (shirt here and similar moccs here). 

Summer Work Look

August 11, 2014

Happy Monday!! Today I wanted to share a simple work look for clinic. The summertime in New England is always a tough time to dress for work. But hot and humid temps still don't make it ok to wear spaghetti straps or short dresses. An easy top like this one from Old Navy is a summer staple of mine. Lots of you ask where I get my work clothes and honestly on my tight budget most of it is from stores like Old Navy and Forever 21 (or the thrift shop)! I've had these pants from Forever 21 for over 3 years now and purchased them for $20! (Please forgive my un-ironed shirt haha. Liv was asleep when I got dressed so I pretty much got ready in the dark)!


Old Navy top (here), Forever 21 pants (similar here), thrifted belt (similar here), Bobbles and Lace two tone flats (identical on sale here)

Med School Random Topics

August 7, 2014

Hello everyone!! I get asked tons of questions from you all about med school, many of which inspire my posts, but sometimes there are questions I just feel like I don’t know enough about (or have experience with) to address properly.

Today I thought I’d do a post addressing 5 of those questions, in a much shorter format that hopefully may help some of you. Again, these aren’t things I’m any type of expert on (not in the nearest), but if my experience can help even one of you then it was worth it!

Before we start- here’s a quick list of some of the medical school-related topics I’ve addressed already in full posts:

PRE-MED

MED SCHOOL

GENERAL SUCCESS

So now let’s jump into some of the topics!

1. financing medical school - financing childcare - financing a wedding
I get questions related to this so SO often and have never addressed it because I probably have the worst advice ever. So I’m warning you, if you want to be financially responsible you should probably scroll past this topic to the next one and listen to your financial aid advisor. Still reading? Alriiggghtt...

I’ll start by saying I went to undergrad on a full ride (full scholarship) so have absolutely no debt from college. But for medical school, the truth is that you cannot work while in school (some people do during first year), so loans are where all of my money comes from. I was lucky in that I was awarded large scholarships from my undergrad and from Harvard, but everything else is allll loans. I’m looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay back when I’m done. Paying for a nanny? Loan money. Paying for our low-budget wedding? Loan money and my parents. Just keeping it real.

At the end of the day though, none of us are going to be struggling once we’re doctors. One of my mentors gave me some of the best advice for those of us already in medical school - right now you might not have the money but you have the time, later when you have the money you might not have the time - so don’t put things off because of the money. Maybe not the best advice for everyone (and my financial aid advisor would not approve) but I liked it.

2. mcat
The MCAT was actually the weakest part of my medical school application so I’ve never felt like I should be giving advice on it - I scored a 30 (not bad, but by no means fantastic either) and wasn’t sure how much better I’d do re-taking it - so I didn’t. I would say take the test once you’ve completed all of your pre-reqs (I took it with only one semester of physics and that was definitely my weak area). The best time to take the MCAT is the early spring of your junior year so you can have your score back before the summer and apply right when applications open (if you're going straight through from undergrad). I used ExamKrackers and really liked the format - if I did it again I’d consider the review courses that a lot of my classmates used, but honestly I didn’t have the time while being a full-time student and working in lab, a medical office, etc. An important thing not to forget in your mcat prep is practice questions and tests!! This will apply to all of the standardized tests you take throughout your medical career - practice questions like it's your job. I discuss some more pointers in my post on applying to med school.

3. reapplying after getting rejected
I was blessed in that I only had to apply once, but for lots of this stuff it’s such a crapshoot that great applicants are having to re-apply after taking some time off all the time. I can’t really give too much advice on the subject, but I would say that if you want to reapply, make sure you spend your time off improving your application - if you need to re-take your mcat, re-take it and kill it. If you can, find a position in a research lab and try to get something published. If you have free time shadow some physicians and really confirm that you want to pursue medicine - it will help reassure you and can provide experiences to write about in your new and improved personal statement.

4. volunteer abroad trips
I never did any of these for a few reasons - the biggest one though, was that growing up in an incredibly underserved area I always knew that I wanted to do outreach work, but I wanted to do it here. I volunteered as a medical assistant and counselor in a family planning clinic and worked with spanish-speaking women who received free care. I also just didn’t have parents who could pay for me to fly to some country and work for free (or pay to volunteer). I’d say if you can and want to participate in one of these programs, though, make sure it’s through a well-established program that actually has a constant presence in whatever country it is. A lot of the people interested in global health here at HMS do work with Partners in Health.

5. couples match
We’re just getting to know this baby and we actually are going to have an, uhhhh,  interesting time applying for residency. There is such thing as a couples match so that a couple applying to residency at the same time can rank their lists the way they want to to stay together. Unfortunately for us N has decided he wants to go into ophthalmology (which is a really cool specialty), a specialty that for some reason has an early match, which means we can’t couples match - n will have to rank his list before I’ve even interviewed at places. We’ll figure it out but we definitely have a bit of a unique situation.

I hope this was a little bit helpful to some of you! As always leave questions or comments in the comments below - even though I no longer have the time to reply to every comment I promise I read each and every one and still get excited about each one. So keep them coming! 

A Little Bit of Wedding!

August 5, 2014

Happy Tuesday everyone!! Life has reached a peak of happy madness with wedding planning (18 days left!), med school rotations, applying to residency with all the essays and letters and application filling out that it requires, and just the everyday taking care of one's self, partner, and a walking-everywhere-eating-everything-including-cigarrette-butts-on-the-sidewalk-10-month-old!

A few wedding updates - well for one, we're married! We had decided before getting into all the planning that we would have a civil ceremony at city hall and then the larger ceremony and reception with friends and family a couple of weeks after. Some people aren't fans of doing it that way, but for us, a wedding is really a public declaration of our love and commitment to each other in front of the people who love us most. So although we're legally married now (as of yesterday), we've still got the wedding and are so so SO excited for it to come together!

Below are a few shots - our invitation, some of my bridesmaids and me at my bachelorette party, and N and I right after becoming Mr. and Mrs. Scott! Thank you all for your sweet comments on IG!



Stay tuned this Thursday as I'll be posting answers about the some of the med school questions I get and don't feel well-versed enough in to do entire posts on! 

Sling Diaries: On Understanding

July 17, 2014

I apologize for being a little MIA lately - for those of you that don't know, I'm back on clinical rotations, applying to residency programs, aaaannnnd getting married next month. I honestly wanted to spend as little time as possible wedding planning but there's still a minimum time commitment required for a decent end product, ya know? Make sure to follow along on Instagram for updates when I have so little time to officially blog! But today I made sure to make time for my Sling Diaries post. This month's entry for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries is on understanding. Read my previous entries here!


Dearest Liv,

Mommy and daddy do a lot of thinking about how we will raise you to be an amazing little person and an overall awesome human being. Daddy wants to turn you into some type of sports phenom, and that'd be pretty cool if that's what you wanted, but I think one of my most important duties is to show you how to be a caring woman, which starts as being a caring girl. 

You see, for some reason girls have it tough when it comes to making and keeping true friends. Whether it's because of insecurities they have because of what society tells them is beautiful or things they witness other women doing to one another, girls start being catty and downright mean to each other at younger and younger ages. I don't think there's anyway I can keep girls from being mean to you, but I hope I can keep you from being mean to other girls. How do I hope to do this? By teaching you the concept of understanding.

Understanding is a wonderful power to have. Having the ability to understand what someone else is going through and share (or at least understand) the feelings that person may have, well my darling that is called empathy, and empathy is what will make you a good person. Empathy is what will allow you to put yourself in another person's shoes and see where they're coming from and how it feels to be them. Empathy is what will allow you to understand that that person who says something mean to you probably had something mean said or done to them, and instead of being mean back to them you'll let it roll right off your shoulder, knowing that person is a hurt a little inside and a snap back will do nothing but make it ok for them to keep going.

Those who have the greatest empathy for others have usually actually been in that persons shoes so to speak. Doctors are more empathetic towards their patients when they have actually experienced what it's like to be patients. The rich are more empathetic towards the poor when they have actually known what it's like living paycheck to paycheck and dodging bill collectors phone calls. Do I want you to have to go through these hardships to become a more empathetic person? Of course not, although you may.

For now, the lessons in empathy begin with developing your imagination. What will in a few years give you the ability to come up with fantastic stories and amazing make believe fairies and distant planets, will soon give you the ability to imagine the hardships another human being is going through and understand their realities, and why they may be acting the way they are. Your imagination will be a powerful tool that can help you understand those around you without actually having to know firsthand what it is they're dealing with. I hope you will develop a wonderful imagination that will lead to many fancy tea parties and fantastic plays, an imagination that will soon let you develop a wonderful sense of empathy, and allow you to blossom into a wonderful person. You're already amazing, little girl of mine, let's keep you that way. 

Love always,
Mommy


I'm wearing Liv in in my Sakura Bloom pure linen sling in Maple, striped tee from Forever 21 (similar here), thrifted jean cut offs (similar here), Panama hat from Old Navy (similar here) and sandals from Target.

Returning to Clinical Life

June 23, 2014

Happy Monday all! I hope you all had great weekends! 

As many of you know, June marked the beginning of me heading back into clinical life - no more jeans in the research lab (at least for now), back to professional wear in the clinics and hospital at all times. Over on IG, the lovely Franziska asked what's it been like heading back to clinics, so I thought I'd do a quick post on that!

The first day back I naively expected some kind of orientation or refresher as to what we'd be doing during the rotation  (I'm doing my dermatology elective rotation). Instead it was more like - this is your hospital assignment, now go report for duty! I definitely felt out of it when I first got there - the hours and pace of clinical life, the jargon, the behavior - it's all different from the year of lab work. But just like riding a bike, it comes back to you quickly. 

I was a little nervous and took on more of a shadowing role at first, worried I wouldn't know what to do if I had to do it, but thankfully by the next day I remembered if you want to learn anything  you just have to dive in and do it! And as soon as I started seeing patients on my own, I felt better - "I got this," I thought to myself. I most definitely still keep a little notebook for things I learn or need to learn throughout the day and it's definitely getting filled up! 

I thought the hardest part would be getting used to the schedule, with the day starting much earlier than the normal 9am and ending whenever rounds are finished. Our new nanny started in June (our old nanny and friend moved to Chicago this month, which we knew was happening when we hired her), and she has been a lifesaver! She gets to our place around 6:45 everyday so we can get out of the house on time and can stay as late as we need her, which thankfully hasn't been past 6:30 or so. 

And then the dressing. This is a little tricky right now as I still don't have as much time in the morning as I used to to get ready, and most of my pre-baby professional clothes I can't find or I can't fit! (Weirdly enough I'm smaller now than I was pre-baby and working on gaining back some weight)! I'll do a post soon about building a professional wardrobe as that's essentially what I'm doing all over again! Here's a look from last week:


Forever 21 popover blouse (similar on sale 50% off here), Rainbow skirt (similar here), Marshall's flats (similar here), LITboutique initial necklace (exact here), Kate Spade patent tote (similar here)

{I'm also thinking about doing a post addressing some of the med school related questions I get that I don't feel knowledgeable enough to do entire posts on (ie, financing med school, MCAT, etc.) Leave your questions in the comments below and I'll quickly address my experience with them!}
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