Family Photos 2014

Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend if you’re here in the US.  I am pretty stoked because my alma mater, the University of Arizona beat our rivals Arizona State on Friday which means we are advancing to the Pac-12 Championship.  I endured YEARS of terrible football during my college days so we are pretty excited to be doing better this year ;)


I am back to school after a glorious 5 days off.  I feel ready to conquer these last 2 weeks of classes and finals.  8 exams stand between me and a 3-week break and a trip home.  I can’t freaking wait :)  I am also relishing in getting our family photos back from the amazingly talent Megan Myrick.  I mean check these out:


Family 2




Family photos don’t come cheap and taking them with toddlers is definitely a risk but I am so very happy with how these turned out.  Megan is seriously fantastic so if you’re local I highly recommend her!  Any-who I am off to school but I have some fun things to share with you guys this week :)  Stay tuned.


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Guilty Pleasures on Dreary Days

This post was written as part of my being a member of Netflix’s Stream Team.


Hey friends!  I sound like a broken record …. I missed you!  However, I am officially off school for five sweet days of freedom, relaxation, and rejuvenation before heading into my last 2 weeks of classes for the quarter.  This was an eventful week for me academically, I had a big statistics test AND performed my fist well-woman exam on a real patient.  EEK.  Today my house is eerily quiet as the girls are at school and Chris is at work to give me some time to prep for our Thanksgiving fesitivities tomorrow.  It is also cold, dreary, and rainy out making me want to curl up under a blanket on the couch with hot chocolate.


Dreary Fall Weather


Since I don’t get a lot of “free time” to watch TV I did take some time to check out Netflix this morning and see what options I had for some vegging time.  It got me thinking about all those “guilty pleasure” TV shows that we have.  I never got into Gossip Girl when it was on TV because by the time I new about it I felt like I was late to the game.  However, I recently discovered it again and have been hooked in and watching it whenever I have the chance.  Kind of embarrassing?  Maybe.  Other shows that I would rather not admit to loving: Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, and Real Housewives of ______.  Whoops.


Any-who …. I am off to start cooking away in the kitchen and cleaning the house for Friendsgiving 2014!  Can’t wait to hear all about your holidays :)


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Friendsgiving 2014

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Hey friends!  Long time no talk!  4th quarter is kicking my booty and to top it off I have been home sick with a GI bug the last two days.  Major bummer.  Needless to say I have missed you guys!  We have SO much coming up and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Bryn’s 1st birthday party is tomorrow and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Keeping in true Army family tradition we are doing a Friendsgiving again this year.



Since I was in labor and giving birth last year on Thanksgiving I am looking forward to a more relaxing holiday this year ;)  Here are some recipes I am eyeing for our menu.


Check out Friendsgiving

by Madeline Glasser at


I have more to catch you guys up on next week but I am heading back to my couch fort for now.


What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

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Surviving PA School With Kids

Ever since I started Physician Assistant school in January it’s been amazing having SO many women reach out to me about their concerns about starting PA school as moms.  I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now.  Since I am a mere 14 weeks away from being done with my didactic portion I thought now would be good!  We’ve survived 11 months so far so we must have it figured out right?  HA.  Anyway, my goal for this post is to show that not only can you survive PA school with kids, you can actually thrive.


PA School With Kids


A little backstory before I get into my tips.  I started PA school when Emmalyne was 2 and Bryn was 5 weeks.  Going to PA school as a parent is not for the faint of heart …. it is exceptionally challenging every step of the way, but with careful thought and some organization it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think.  I spent a lot of time worrying about starting PA school with kids and also put some thoughts into how I could make the process easier for us.  I encourage you to do the same.  Read these tips and then make them their own!


Tips for Surviving PA School With Kids

1.  Establish your support system.  As a military family we have zero family here in Georgia and Chris travels for work sometimes which was worrisome for me.  So I had to get creative.  We have a fantastic babysitter who is available if we are in a pinch.  Neither of our mothers currently work so I always try to have them schedule one of their visits for super busy times.  We also have great friends who would be there for us if we needed them.  Surround yourself with your “people” … it takes a village to get a mom through PA school ;)


2.  Know you can’t do it all.  There is going to have to be give somewhere.  I can’t do ALL the things I want to do so I have to be able to prioritize.  My family always comes first but I also know that there are times where other things have to take precedence.


3.  Get your spouse on board.  If you’re married now is the time to have some serious talks about expectations.  I know that many of us in relationships struggled at the beginning of PA school with balancing our academic life with our relationships.  What works well for us is scheduling our dates – whether they be on the couch or getting a babysitter finding that time is important.  It’s also important to have your spouse’s support 100% because PA school will be challenging not only for you but for them.  Chris has had to shoulder a much larger burden here at home than he did in the past.


4.  Get organized.  I would be lost in the sauce if I wasn’t well organized.  I meal plan every week which helps us on my late nights.  I take some time on the weekend to prep for the week which makes lunches and dinners throughout the week a lot easier.  I have a Google calendar with all my classes (since they change based on instructor availability) that I can send to Chris.  Staying organized helps keep us all eating mostly healthy, relatively sane, and predominately happy.


5.  Enlist some help.  If you’re able to get some help around the house.  I have an amazing neighbor who cleans houses and comes to my house once a week.  This is a luxury but it helps Chris and I tremendously.  I only have her clean my kitchen and the bathrooms – it costs less money but hits the areas that need it the most and take the most time.


6.  Get enough sleep.  If you prioritize your time well you don’t have to stay up late.  I got to bed every night by 10PM and get up by 5:30AM.  I have found that I do not function on little to no sleep and it’s more important that I feel rested.  I use my time wisely during the day and have literally never pulled an all-nighter.


7.  Find a place to study.  Studying at home is really hard so you have to find a place to make it work.  For awhile I was studying at a local coffee shop every Sunday which was great.  Now I have found I can hide upstairs in our bonus room when I have to.  That way I am still available for Chris but I get the (relatively) uninterrupted time I need.


8.  It goes fast.  Like so so so fast.  So just embrace the suck and know it will be over before you know it ;)


9.  Remember your WHY.  Your WHY is so very important to keep you going.  When time gets tough remember WHY you’re doing this and hold on to that like a lifeline.  There are very few things more gratifying than living your passion.


10.  When all else fails have a glass of wine.  It works every time.


I reached out to a couple of my classmates with kids and this is what they said:


PA school with kids is definitely hectic. You have to realize that you cannot do everything alone, so get help from your family and/or friends. To help older kids (7 yrs +) feel engaged with PA school, talk to them about your school and compare with their school, practice your physical exam skills on them and let them practice on you, and teach them what you are learning, as appropriate. One child likes to sit beside me and read my slides or book with me as I study. You never stop being a parent while you are in PA school, but you do have to manage your time and energy daily so that you do not burn out.”

- Peju (mom of 2)


PA school amplifies the normal difficulties of family life by adding a very large and extended stress. I have found that I have prioritize my time on a weekly, and even daily, basis. Most weeks I am more willing to give up sleep than family time, so I have some weeks with much less sleep than I would prefer, but it is definitely worth it. Also, having an awesome wife definitely helps (more than I can describe in a few sentences).”

-Drew (Father of 4)

As always, I am available by email and would love to hear from you!  I have met some incredible moms through Instagam and this blog who are inspiring every day as Physician Assistants and students alike!  Got to support the #MomsInMedicine and #StudentMoms :)

If you have gone to grad school or work outside the home what is your #1 biggest tips for other moms?

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Volunteering at a Marathon

Happy Monday friends!  I am feeling refreshed after taking last week off from social media and blogging.  This quarter is exceptionally challenging and I was feeling really overwhelmed so something had to give.  Forgive me?  I am super excited to be back today sharing my experience at the Rock’N’Roll Savannah this weekend!  No I didn’t run … I volunteered!




I had the opportunity on Saturday to be a medical volunteer at the race and I was SUPER excited.  I signed up with two of my classmates through our school and we went into the experience not really knowing what to expect.  We were stationed at the finish line medical tent so we pretty much had to be ready for anything.  I figured we would get SOME hands-on experience but I had no idea what was in store for us.




Basically how it ended up working out was that we took patients on our own, came up with a plan, confirmed the plan with the site coordinator, and treated them.  It was amazing.  There were points that I had 4+ patients all dealing with slightly different things.  We mainly treated muscle cramps, nausea, some hypothermic type issues, etc.  I also had my first emergent patient which was unreal.  You never quite know how you’re going to react to those situations until you’re put in them.  While there were some definite nerves I also felt so alive.


I learned so much this weekend.  Academically I learned a lot about how important teamwork is in a “triage” type situation.  I learned how to manage multiple patients and how to treat several different situations.  While these lessons were incredible they weren’t nearly as valuable as what I learned about myself.  I gained so much confidence this weekend.  It was an amazing feeling realizing how much I have learned in the last 11 months and how capable I (and my classmates) were at applying that knowledge to living breathing patients.  I learned to trust my instincts because they’re pretty good.  I also learned then when things go south I don’t back down … I am right there in the thick of it.  It was such a gratifying feeling watching my patients walk out of the tent in a substantially better condition than when they came in.


This experience was precisely what I needed at this time.  I remembered my WHY this weekend.  The why I am doing this whole crazy adventure.  It’s truly extraordinary realizing you’re doing precisely what you were born to do.  This weekend also reaffirmed my love of emergency medicine.


SO I am heading into this week feeling exhilarated and ready for the remainder of this quarter.  Only 15 weeks left in the classroom and then I will be with patients full-time.  I can’t flipping wait.

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