Monday, September 27, 2010


"Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.  It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them." 
~John Grogan

Dogs mean a lot to my family.  They make our family whole in some strange way.  We have a love for them that we only understand, so I am not even going to try to begin to explain.  My dog is Macy.

To say that I love my dog Macy is an understatement to those that know me well.  I love that dog more than is humanly normal, if you think about it, it's probably borderline psychotic.  My brother Mud bought her for me when I was a senior in high school, ten and a half years ago!  We instantly formed a bond and I became inseparable from this little tiny long haired chihuahua.

"It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal."~John Grogan

I don't have kids yet, so she is my baby.  I can remember carrying her in the mall when I first got her, like I said, we were inseparable.  I had her wrapped up in my old baby blanket so no one would see her.  As I am shopping in Dillard's a worker lady comes up to me and asks to see my baby.  I was 17 at the time, and I probably looked like I was 12, "Did she really think I had a baby?" I open up the blanket and low and behold there is my little princess.  The worker lady was a little shocked at first, it was so funny to see her puzzled look.

Macy has always been there for me.  She loves me unconditionally.  Really, in a strange way, over the years, Macy has taught me how to show my love and affection, you see I have really never been very good at it, at all!  She seemed to bring me out of my shell that I had remained in, and still do at times, for so long for reasons unbeknown to me.  I can't really explain the relationship that I have with my dog.  I just absolutely love her to pieces.  My husband once bought me a sign for my house that said, "The highlight of my day is that moment when I get home to be with my dog." 

Of course, seeing my husband is the highlight of my day now, (love you hunny) with my dogs being number two, but you get the drift.  I already know I love Macy way too much.  However, I have also really come to love and appreciate the fact that my husband understands my love for her.  He gets it.  He gets me, thank God.  And even better, he loves her too.    


A couple of years ago I found out that Macy had a heart murmur, a LOUD one.  I was crushed, totally and utterly heartbroken.  What did this mean?  Was she not going to live the 17 years that chihuahuas are supposed to live?  What was I going to do without her?  This couldn't be happening to my dog.

The vet put Macy on digoxin.  She immediately became weak and was not herself.  Knowing more than I should about digoxin, the levels of the drug you are supposed to check, and heart failure in people, I knew Macy probably had too much of the drug in her system and needed to be on a smaller dose.  Crushed, I called the vet and asked some questions.  Not getting the information or help that I wanted and without going into a lot of detail and info that I probably shouldn't say, and lets not forget the mini breakdowns, I ended up switching veterinarians.  All I have to say is thank goodness for my husband who insisted this at the time.  I am pretty sure I was going borderline crazy by then.  We ended up taking Macy to a vet closer to my home for a second opinion.  My new vet and I immediately connected.  She got me.  She understood my weird love for this dog and was willing to do anything and everything to help me.

It's been 2 years since Macy was diagnosed with valvular degeneration that will eventually lead into heart failure.  Since that time, I have done a complete 360 on her diet.  She went from eating filet mignon to an actual dog food called royal canine for chihuahuas.  Thank God she loves that dog food almost as much as the human food she was used to eating.  She goes to her new vet 1-2 times per year for blood work and check-ups.  Macy also has been to the doggie cardiologist (yes those really do exist) three times in the past two years.  She goes annually for a check-up to get EKG's, chest x-rays, and echocardiograms to ensure that her tiny heart isn't enlarging too fast and going into failure.  At that time she will need to be started on medication.  Keep your fingers crossed, but besides a little cough, so far so good for my little dog!  Oh, she's a princess by the way.

And now, I know what you must be thinking...a dog cardiologist?  echos?  EKGs?  really nicole, really???

And all I have to say about that is this, John Grogan said it best talking about his dog Marley....  

"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty." ~John Grogan

So to answer your question, "yes, really."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday

Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
Your birthday as my own to me is dear...
But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend.

Happy Birthday Hunny!  I heart you!

I am so blessed that God put us together.  You definitely complete me.  
"May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine." ~Frank Sinatra 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I want to be a doctor when I grow up...

Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.  ~Confucius
When I was in high school, my high school counselor and I were going through my file of papers from my 13 years of grade school.  We came across one paper that I had filled out in the very beginning of grade school, probably first grade or so.  It was a list of what I wanted to be when I grow up.  Number 1 on that list was pediatrician and number 2 was veterinarian.   It's funny how the two are so related anyway and it sure is funny how life works out, don't you think??

In high school I decided I wanted to do school to work or whatever you call it.  You know, that thing where you volunteer for a couple of hours a day at a place that you would like to work when you grow up, know what I am talking about?  Anyway, in a round about way, I got placed at an orthopedic doctors office with one of the finest doctors to ever live.  It was there, at this office, with this doctor, that I got "my calling" so to speak.  Dr. Kupcha, now an angel up above, had many duties during his time on Earth, one of them being to give me "my calling."   He was amazing and deserves another post in and of itself.  Anyway, one day he and I were having a conversation about my life goals.  He said a few kind words, believed in what he said, made me believe in what he said and also believe in myself, and I left that office just knowing that I was going to be a doctor when I grew up.  I just knew it!  It was a feeling I will never forget and cannot explain.  One of the greatest feelings ever and from that day on I never looked back! 

After 5 years of undergrad at the University of Oklahoma (boomer sooner) and then 4 years of medical school at OSU-COM (boomer sooner) and now one year and three months of pediatric residency under my belt, I can't believe how fast the time has passed.  As I was graduating from medical school last year, I came across a picture of me from when I was 2 or 3.  I was carrying around a doctor bag.  Like I said earlier, it sure is funny how things work out!?!?

p.s. my mom dressed me and my dad cut my hair...

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.  ~Confucius

All of us have life goals and all of us have things we love.  It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you live a life of purpose, you will bring meaning to your life, whether you see it or not.      

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer 2010

Summer 2010 is over, tomorrow.  It sure was fun while it lasted...
This summer was full of wonderful memories.  I can't believe it's already over.  
Now, lets recap.  
This summer...

My sister graduated with her masters degree.  Makes me so stinkin' proud of her and the job she does touching hearts and changing lives.

 My sister-in-law graduated from high school and began college.  She's growing up so fast, I tell ya!  Brings tears to my eyes. ;)


The dyerettes reunited!  So much fun.  I love these girls!  More on that at a later date...


I got to see my dear friend LeighAnn!  I sure do miss her!! 


I had my 10 year class reunion, crazy how fast time flies! 

Went to the lake a few times with some good friends.  You can't have a summer without a trip to the lake! 

My other sister-in-law got married.

The 2nd Annual Run to Breathe 5K for Cystic Fibrosis was held.


I celebrated my second anniversary to my awesome husband!

I photographed my dogs for the thousandth time, i know, i know, whats new?

And we hung out at the pool a couple of times at our dear friend Dyers house!  

Oh, and I became a second year resident and have still been working with some of my most favorite people!  And I still love what I do!

Time sure flies when you are having fun!

What did you do this summer?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why I do what I do...

courtesy of

Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” ~unknown

I am in the pediatric intensive care unit this month.  It's a rough and awesome month all-in-one, with lots and lots of hours, eight 30 hour call shifts, really sick kids, genius attending physicians, and my ginormous black cloud.  Needless to say I have learned tons and have lots of stories about this month.  I am going to start by telling you my favorite.

I came in to work one morning to a little patient who was on the ventilator due to a pretty bad pneumonia.  This little guy also has known cerebral palsy, infantile spasms, and intractable seizures.  Without giving too much away, I will tell you he was adopted by an amazing family, who not only had 4 kids of their own at the time, they already knew that he would have some medical challenges.  "So what?" They will tell you.  They didn't care, they had more love to give and wanted to give it to him.  They deserve some angel wings in my book, you can read more about angel wings here.

Day after day, I would go in to check on this little guy and I would always find his parents at his bedside.  It was evident by walking into the room how much this child is loved.  Someone would always be next to him holding his hand or stroking his hair.  After a few days on the ventilator, he started getting better.  It was time!  He was finally ready for extubation, ie remove the breathing tube from his lungs, so we all gather round for support and to cheer this little guy on, I think it was because deep down we all felt connected to this little guy and his family.

The respiratory therapist is getting ready to pull the tube, the nurse and I are in there to make sure all goes well, and mom and dad are at the bedside ready to hear their sweet boys voice.  The respiratory therapist tells him to cough real big and then she pulls the tube.  Yay!  We all cheer.  The little boy takes a few breaths and looks up to his mom and with his sweet angelic voice he says, "hiii, love u."  Awww talk about pulling at my heart strings.  Words can't describe how I felt at that moment. All I can say was that it was one of those magical peds moments that will make an impression for years to come.  As I leave the room to give this boy and his parents time to love on him, with tears in my eyes, I can't help but think, "this is why I do what I do."

"These are tiny humans, these are children, they believe in magic, they play pretend, there is fairy dust in their IV bag, they hope and they cross their fingers and they make wishes, and that makes them more resilient than adults. They recover faster, survive worse, and they believe. In peds we have miracles and magic, in peds anything is possible!" 
~Greys Anatomy

Why do you do what you do?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let the fun begin...Week One

Well week one of marathon training went as without a hitch as possible.  The shifts I am working right now are not really running friendly, well who am I kidding, they are not really having a life at all friendly, but somehow in between the eating and sleeping and snuggling with my hubby, and reading and learning more about medicine than I ever imagined, I managed to complete 4 days of running.  Thank you God my shin splits are of minimal pain thus far!!!

Week one consisted of three 3 mile runs and a 6 mile run.  I ran all of these runs post-call after having working almost 30 hours each time (which is another story in itself) and I have to say, its a little bit of a that a word??  I also got to run a couple of them with my hubby and spend time with my parents, which after working almost 100 hours last week, that gets me an A+ in my book! 

My hubby said he did his long run, but I wasnt there to witness it.  I do believe him though, because I gave him the "don't be a wuss and wimp out on me" chat before hand.  He has no choice but to obey, right?

And how else do I know?  cause Roxy was pooped on Sunday, that's how!
Now...onto week 2.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Almost everybody that's well-known gets tagged with a nickname. ~Alan Alda

I bought my mom a necklace for her birthday.  I am in love with it.  I find it to be just so cute.  Don't you? 

And now you must be wondering why the weird names on the necklace?   For those of you that don't know my superman of a father, he loves to call people by everything except their real name.  So, needless to say, growing up we all had nicknames.  Being the first born, I feel pretty lucky that my nickname was fairly normal, comparitively speaking.  My mom always called me Cole and my dad would too along with adding to it Cole Coco Cocopuffs Colie Rolly Polly.

My siblings however, they weren't so fortunate.  My sister, who was skinny minny growing up, received the nickname Bones.  My dad even went so far as telling her teacher at school to call her that.  You know those teachers in grade school that would put their kids names outside the door for decoration?  Well my father would go up to the school when he was dropping us off and mark Shannon's name out and so nicely write BONES underneath it.  All the kids at school would notice and call her Bones too.  I know my sister just loved this! 

My next sibling, who is named after my dad, got blessed with the name MUD.  My mom always wanted to call him Bud and of course my dad couldn't call him that because its just "too normal," so after a day of my brother, who was a holy terror growing up, playing in the mud and getting absolutely filthy, the nickname MUD was born and stuck.  I don't think I, along with anyone else in my family, have ever called him by his real name.  The name Mud is stuck with him forever, so much so, that his email address is "theycallmemud." 

Cody, the baby of the family, was also the smallest baby out of us all.  Ironically, my dad wanted to nickname him horsefly.  I know what you are thinking, horseflies are probably the largest of the fly group, but that is what my dad wanted and when my little brother was growing up he told people that his name was "horsepie."  

What was your nickname growing up?

Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.  ~Thomas C. Haliburton

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am obsessed with a lot of things....
my husband - he's my love
my dog - she's my baby
my family - they are my rock
my friends - they are awesome
dishes in the sink - hate dirty dishes
vacuuming the rug - cant stand dirty rugs
laundry - doing it, not folding it
running - my stress reliever
my iphone - its changed my life
coffee - its makes my morning
God - gets me through my day

My husband...He is obsessed with a lot of things too...but today he is mostly obsessed with one thing...


Our lawn has become my husbands new obsession, well apart from his regular obsession with me that is.  He babys our lawn.  He waters it daily, and sometimes for 12 hrs at a time, he seeds it, cuts it, trims it, and gets on his hands and knees and kisses it.  Well, I wouldn't go that far, but you get the point.

Me...I dont like grass, never have, it miserably reminds me of my horrible allergies I had living at home.  But since I know how much my husband loves grass now, and since I know that every time we pull up into our driveway, he is going to ask me how good the grass looks, I have come to appreciate his hard work making our grass look more green.  "Yes hunny, the grass looks amazing, incredibly green, how DO you do it !?!!"

I can not tell you much about his grass obsession or what he does or the hours of research he has done on it, but I can tell you this....Bermuda is GOOD and crab grass is BAD!  (See hunny, I do listen!)

crab grass = bad
bermuda = good
I love my husband and I love my husbands obsessions, especially his one with me. 

What are you obsessed with?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's that time again!!!

The time has come.... 
It's that time of year again....
The weather is changing...
The leaves are turning...

Its marathon season!!! 

This week marks the first week of our marathon training program.   I have yet to determine how I am going to do this, along with work and keep up with my studies, and spend time with my family and friends, all of which come before this, so I will keep you posted on that, but I have every effort to do so.  I find it to be all about priorities and time management, both of which I need to get better at, and I think this will help me.  Why not add one more thing to my plate?  It's what I do best :)  So glad I have talked my husband into doing this with me.  There is something just so awesome about doing what you love with the one you love.

So here it goes...

From Start...
And, just in case you were wondering, our training plan is as follows..

Week 1 (Sept 6-12) - three 3 mile runs and a 6 mile run
Week 2 (Sept 13-19) -  three 3 mile runs and a 7 mile run
Week 3 (Sept 20-26) - two 3 mile runs, one 4 mile run, and one 5 mile run

Week 4 (Sept 27- Oct3) - two 3 mile runs, one 4 mile run, and one 9 mile run
Week 5 (Oct 4-10) - two 3 mile runs, one 5 mile run, and one 10 mile run
Week 6 (Oct 11-17) - two 3 mile runs, one 5 mile run, and one 7 mile run

Week 7 (Oct 18-25) - two 3 mile runs, one 6 mile run, and one 12 mile run
Week 8 (Oct 26-Nov 2) - two 3 mile runs, one 6 mile run, and one 13 mile run
Week 9 (Nov 3-9) - one 3 mile run, one 7 mile run, one 4 mile run, and one 13 mile run

Week 10 (Nov 10-16) -  one 3 mile run, one 7 mile run, one 4 mile run, and one 15 mile run
Week 11 (Nov 17-23) - two 4 mile runs, one 8 mile run, and one 16 mile run
Week 12 (Nov 24-30) - one 4 mile run, one 8 mile run, one 5 mile run, and one 12 mile run

Week 13 (Dec 1-7) - one 4 mile run, one 9 mile run, one 5 mile run, and one 18 mile run
Week 14 (Dec 8-14) - two 5 mile runs, one 9 mile run, and one 15 mile run
Week 15 (Dec 15-21) -  two 5 mile runs, one 10 mile run, and one 20 mile run

Week 16 (Dec 22-28) - one 5 mile run, one 8 mile run, one 4 mile run, and one 12 mile run
Week 17 (Dec 29-Jan 4) - one 4 mile run, one 6 mile run, one 3 mile run, and one 8 mile run
Week 18 (Jan 5-9) - one 3 mile run, one 4 mile run, one 2 mile run, and MARATHON!!!

To Finish!
My shin splints have subsided at the moment, thank you God!  I bought new training shoes and am trying to be a good patient and be patient, hehe.  And I actually think it is paying off.  I couldn't be any happier!
Let the fun begin!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Boomer Sooner!!!

The time has come.  Football season is in full swing around here.   My husband takes game days very seriously around here.  He wakes up, changes into his Sooner shirt, watches ESPN game day, and doesn't leave his seat until the Sooners are done playing.   Sooner football is a big deal around our house.  Even the dogs have their game gear on. 

Personally, I like to watch the last five minutes of the game.  My husband, he likes to record the game and watch it down to the last second, rewind it and play it in slow motion during specific plays, and then watch the game again.  He gets nervous, occasionally shouts at the television, and gets up and paces the hallway from time to time.  Every season my husband must remind me, "It's football season.  OU plays on Saturdays.  I am not missing any games."  Yes dear, I remember last season.  Secretly though, I love his love for my Sooners:)     

Boomer Sooner!

Friday, September 3, 2010

joggers leash

For you runners out there, who love to run with your four-legged friend, I highly recommend the joggers leash.  I have taken my four-legged insane lovable dog running for 3 years now.  The site of running shoes, shorts, my headphones, or my ipod sends her into a psychotic spell.  She loves running.  Probably more than me.  It is her happy place no doubt.  Over the years, I have just used a regular retractable leash.  She pulls me pushes me to run faster and by doing so has pulled on my shoulder time after time, and I wonder why my shoulder has hurt so bad over the years?!?!

attached to my waist and to her collar
When Andrew and I went to Austin, which is by far one of the coolest cities out there, we ran into a dog store called dogadillo.  This is where my life changed!  The leash goes around my waist and then clips onto Roxy's collar.  Its AMAZING!  Not only does it give my shoulder a break, it pushes me to run faster and with better form.  Its one of the most awesome things ever invented for those who love running with their four-legged friends and keeping their shoulder healthy.  You can find the joggers leash here.

 Note to self: Not made for humans!

Happy Jogging!