Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lesson Learned

Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. - Mark Twain

special thanks to my dear friend for giving loaning me her icepacks
I am a runner.  I took up running in medical school to help alleviate the stress that comes with it.  And as most people who start running, I became obsessed.  Running is MY time.  It is the time that I can think about whatever I want, listen to whatever I want, go wherever I want, and be gone for how ever long I want to, oh who are we kidding, I do that anyway.  Seriously though, running is my mindless time.  It is during running that I am able to slow this ADD brain down of mine and think about whatever I want to.  It is my time to try to let the days struggles/emotional ties leave me and let me replenish so I can try to leave work at work and spend quality time with those I love most.  Therefore, when the extremely dreaded pain in my front part of my lower leg began to slowly creep its way into my life, I got very upset. 

Shin splints stink!!!  They are awful!  They are at the top of most runners list as things YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET!!!  On top of my lovely pain in the butt shin splints that so graciously rudely decided to make thier appearance in my left leg over the past month or so, I think I have also endured a wonderful tear to my anterior tibialis muscle, because I am so not stubborn and refused to rest.  Awesome, just awesome!  Sounds lovely doesnt it?  

As I was doing some research on how to prevent shin splints I came across this...

blah blah blah overpronation blah blah blah orthotics blah blah  distances should not increase by more than 10% per week blah blah muscles are not overworked blah blah avoid always running on hard pavements blah overly tight muscles in the lower leg, blah blah Stretching on a daily basis blah sports massage blah.

*Special thanks to the shin splints website I found by searching google for teaching me that I need to quit being so stubborn, correct my over pronation, wear my orthotics, not increase my distances by too much, give my muscles a break, stop running on the concrete, stretch, stretch, and stretch, and get a sports massage.  No thank you on the later, massages are wonderful creep me out!

Now please excuse me why I get more depressed and ice my sorrows away.

Dear shin splints,
Please go away, I have given you a break for almost two weeks now.  I have a busy few months ahead of me and you are not part of my plan!  Lesson learned!
I love hate you, Nicole

Life's Lesson:
Life doesn't always go as planned.  Things get in the way.  People change.  Things change, like it or not.  If we dwell in the negativity, we will get no where.  If we find the positive, however difficult that may be, learn from it, we will undoubtedly become a better person.  Remember that everything happens for a reason and someone else is always worse off than you.  Count your blessings dear friends!   

Remember, life is a precious gift, love is a wonderful gift, and laughter is glorious gift. So live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and laugh as much as you breathe.  -unknown

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dock Dogs - Roxy's Debut

 Over the past few weeks, Andrew has been training our crazy, water-loving lab Roxy for the Dock Dog competition that was held this weekend.  If you don't already know, our psychotic free-spirited dog loves the water more than any dog I have ever seen.  Therefore, when we mix her duck with the water we get one crazy happy lab!  At the lake, where she was training, she did very well.  She was jumping far and retrieving her beloved duck, along with trying to retrieve real live ducks, that Andrew most certainly did not sick her after.  She was having a ball and seemed right at home.

A little stage fright struck on the day of the competition though.  From what I have heard, this is not uncommon.  Most dogs train in the lake, where the water looks dirty.  They say that since the water looks blue in the actual competition pool, it looks almost as if it is not water at all and almost looks like a flat surface to most of the first-time dogs that are competing.  On the first practice round, Roxy was a little hesitant to jump.  After the second time, she did a little better.  During the actual jumps for the competition she was entered in, she did much better.  I know if she would have had more practice into the dock dog pool, she would have done very well.  But none-the-less, she got 4th in her division and is very proud of her ribbon, as are we!

Here she is posing with her ribbon...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letters to God

Over the past weekend, Andrew and I watched the movie Letters to God.  It is about a little boy who has cancer.  He writes letters to God on daily basis as his way of praying.  Its a very good, yet sad, movie.  And it does make you think.  


The movie is made by possibility pictures.  You can read about them on the movie website.  Part of their mission is to spread God's word through film.  The stories they put on the big screen and on DVD, are "stories that have the potential to stir our emotions, provoke our thinking and influence the course of our lives." They "believe in their mission and recognize their responsibility to bring stories that will lift people’s spirits and spread God’s word of hope, love and redemption."   I encourage you to take a moment and browse the website and rent the movie.  FYI: have tissues handy. 

We all have daily issues that we face, stories that we hear, things that we do or that others do that make us think.  We all have things like I mentioned that, without a doubt, help shape us into the person we become.  We have these life-changing experiences and we must take these experiences, good or bad, and let them change our life or use them to help better the lives of those around us.  Why should we do this?  Why to make a difference, of course!  Making a difference, well that is just awesome, talk about an endorphin rush, it's one of the greatest!  I once again challenge you to make a difference.  To take your life experiences and run with them.  Take time to help out those around you.  Take time to write your letter to God. 

What would happen if we all took the time to write letters to God?  The world would be a more beautiful place, no doubt! 

*info obtained from http://www.letterstogodthemovie.com/the-movement-of-hope

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Switch

I had a great weekend, it was perfect!  Friday night my husband and I at sushi at the best sushi place that is here in Owasso.  It's called Simply Sushi and I find it just delicious! 

Then we went and saw the movie The Switch over the weekend.  It was too cute!  We both really enjoyed it.  Jennifer Aniston is one of my favorites of course, but the little boy in it was just adorable and very funny.  Definitely a feel-good movie worth seeing.


Saturday we had the perfect day being lazy and hanging out together.  It was great!  

I worked Sunday, got to attempt to intubate a baby, and had the best call shift ever!
My husband...he worked on his grass, more to come on that later.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chihuahua Facts

  • Chihuahuas are recognized as the smallest breed of dog in the world
  • Chihuahua’s brains are the largest of any breed, when compared to the size of their bodies
  • The Chihuahua was considered sacred to the Aztec and Toltec tribes of Mexico.
  • The remains of Chihuahuas have been found buried with humans in Mexico and the United States
  • According to the AKC the Chihuahua is the 10th most popular breed in the United States with 24,930 purebred Chihuahuas registered in 2003
  • A Chihuahua once adopted and nursed an entire litter of kittens!
  • The “Taco Bell dog” is actually a female. An 8 lb Chi named Gidget
  • There is a state in México named Chihuahua
  • Chihuahuas love to sunbathe.
  • The largest litter a female Chihuahua has ever given birth to is 6, or 7….wait no it’s 10!
  • Most Chihuahuas are born with floppy ears that stand up as they get older
  • Chihuahuas have been mistaken for pit-bulls.
  • The first Chihuahua was registered by the AKC in 1904
  • Chihuahuas were used as hot packs in ancient times for aches and pains
  • Chihuahuas snore!!
  • Chihuahuas come with both long and smooth coats

Debatable "Facts"

  • Chihuahuas can cure asthma – We’re not to sure where this one came from, but if you don’t believe that some actually believe this to be true visit your local search engine and search "Chihuahuas and Asthma"
  • Chihuahuas may have been introduced to Mexico by the Chinese.
  • Chihuahuas were brought to Mexico by the Spaniards
  • The Chihuahua is considered to be the only breed of domesticated dog truly indigenous to the American continent. There is no doubt they have been here the longest of all the domesticated breeds.
  • Chihuahuas are the cutest dogs on the planet!! While we think this should go above as "Fact", we realize not everyone may agree.

Courtesy of http://www.dexdog.com/fun-chihuahua-facts-and-myths.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fresh Breath

Dogs need to be taken care of just like us, well at least I think so, and thankfully, so does my husband!  That's why whenever we realized Macy's breath smelled like garbage, no joke, we decided it was time to have both our little dogs get their teeth cleaned.  The dogs handled the procedure quite well at our vet, who we think its pretty awesome by the way!  She takes such great care of our babies, another story for a different day.  When they got home though, Macy was still a little groggy from the anesthesia.  Jaxon, as you will see, he was just fine :)

I'm so sleepy mom...
eyes are going to close real soon
such a sleepy girl.

Jaxon on the other hand...

He is as happy as a clam to have shiny fresh breath!  I know he was thinking, "I love having fresh breath, too bad the ladies don't appeal to me anymore, grrr!" You see, Jaxon also underwent another procedure, but we wont talk about that just yet...it's a sensitive subject around here...poor guy lost his manhood...

And now it is time for me to be a good mommy to my four legged creatures and start taking better care of their teeth!  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My dogs


being lazy,


being outside,

 and sunbathing....




as much

as I do!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Riviera Maya

 My husband and I recently went to the Riviera Maya for my, "I have to get away now," trip I told you about in an earlier post.  I was in the middle of a rough month, working nights, having a few breakdowns here are there, and in the midst of one of them, I told my hubby that I needed to get away.  Poor guy!  Looking back, I feel so bad for him.  He had to put up with my moods and at the time I am sure he was desperate to see me happy.  He told me to just book anything, think he probably would have done just about any thing at that point, thats the kind of guy he is.  I am so lucky!

You only have to tell me once to book a vacation and I am on it!  I got on a website that I found through searching google called www.bookit.com and searched for cheap all-inclusive resorts.  It's a great website!  I found some great deals, the best one being at a brand new five star resort in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.

The resort that we stayed at is called Ocean Coral & Turquesa by H10.  It is a five star resort and only a year or so old.  It is also all-inclusive and very nice.  I was so impressed with the resort and the beach.  The food was pretty good too, the Japanese place being by far the best, oh and dont forget the lobster, it was to die for!!!  

Every morning we would get up and go jog along the white sand beach.  One day we jogged 2.5 miles to the town of Puerto Morales and 2.5 miles back.  The next day we walked the same distance to go shopping in the city.  We had a great time stopping along the way to take pictures and shopping in the typical mexican shops.  

During the day, I would lay out and my husband would do just about everything he could think of to entertain himself.  Laying out is not really his idea of fun.  The water was very chilly, so we didnt get in it much.  But it was very pretty to look at!  The nights were also cool, and we had an enjoyable time going to dinner and enjoying each others company without the usual chaos our life entails here at home.


I love vacations so much!  I love being able to spend time with my husband without the constant phone ringing, pager going off, or nightly plans we seem to have.  It is so nice to be able to spend all day and all night with him and not have to worry so much about the daily stresses of life sometimes. 

My husband always asks me why I love to go on vacations so much, well its simple...I love having him all to myself, not selfish at all, is it?  :)

Vacation used to be a luxury, but in today's world it has become a necessity.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life's Lemons

photo courtesy of momlogic.com
  You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy

Sometimes life just stinks!  Sometimes certain things around you just stink!  And sometimes trying to be positive just plain stinks!  You know they old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?"  What happens when the lemons are too sour?  You put a lot of sugar on them, duh!

No one ever said life was going to be easy.  And no one ever said that the path you chose in life will be easy, but everyone always says it will be worth it.  There are times in life that I find myself struggling to be positive, struggling to find the good in the situation, and struggling to do the right thing.

"Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys." Madeleine L'Engle

I have been through a few difficult times in my life, and it is in these difficult times, no matter how big or how small they are, that I find myself thinking that I need to sit back and re-examine the situation.  I need to quit being so stubborn and quit trying to be in control of everything and just do my part and give the rest to God.  Its as simple and as difficult as that.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, that you just have to have faith and trust in God, and one day you will see why it is you were put through this trial.  Growing up I've always heard stories about people who read their bibles religiously, like we all should, and find scriptures that call out to them in times of need.  Once upon a time ago, I was going through a pretty rough time.  I was really struggling and just could not figure out why it was that God thought I needed to endure what I was having to go through.  Day after day, I could not quit figure out what I was supposed to do.  I tried taking control of the situation by dealing with it myself, that sure didn't work.  Finally, after days of awfulness, I decided to open my bible.  I open it, and no joke, this scripture pops out at me:

No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Wow!  That was all I could say, wow, wow, wow!  It's funny how things work.  Over the years, I have come to treasure this scripture, I pass it on to many people who I feel need a little encouragement at times.  It spoke mountains to me and I am so thankful that I was able to give up my power struggle with control and trust and have faith that God will take care of me.  

"It's these turnaround or these pivotal moments that introduce you to yourself these small or these huge catastrophic events in your life--I do think that that's where you really meet yourself." Sheryl Crow

God works in mysterious ways and brings people, ie our angel on earth, into our life for a reason.  He provides us with trial after trial to help shape us into the person that we become.  Throughout medical school, I faced so many obstacles and felt like I was jumping over hurdle after hurdle at times.  Looking back, I see reason for why I had to endure the things I did at the time I did.  I have come out of all of the trials I have faced as a better person and a better physician to my patients as well.  I have become more understanding of the importance of taking care of the WHOLE body and I have a lot more respect for certain issues that people face.  I have also become more appreciative of the relationships that I do have.  And I am working on letting people know more often how much they mean to me and how much I love them.  I have lots of work to do though, don't we all?

"Life's about who you love and who you hurt...it's about trust, happiness and compassion. It's about sticking up for your friends. Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance, and building confidence. It's about what you say and what you mean. It's about seeing people for who they are and not for what they have. Most of all its about choosing your life to touch someone elses in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise." unknown

I feel as if I have been so blessed in this life of mine.  I have such an incredible family, a husband who adores me more than I could ever ask for, 3 pretty cool dogs, and awesome friends who I love to Paris and back.  I also have an incredible job, where I am able to help children and set an example for them as they grow up and face this crazy world.  It's really as simple as this, I am blessed! 

Now, back to life's lemons...Life is full of them, but it is when times are tough, we must sit back and really think about the people and things in life that we are so fortunate to have.  We must re-examine the positives.  What are the positives in your life?

A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
Patricia Neal 

Now, does anyone have any good lemonade recipes?  I am really thirsty! 

photo courtesy of teenchennai.com


Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Mom

All that I am my mother made me.  John Quincy Adams

My mother is the most incredible woman I have ever known.  I come from a family of 4 children, myself being the oldest.  Growing up, my mom pretty much ran the house.  Don't get me wrong, my dad is pretty much superman minus the cape, but if he is superman, that makes her superwoman.  And we all know it is a mother who is really the boss and "head" of the household.  

My mom always....
  • cooked us dinner, chicken is her specialty and boy is it delicious!  
  • had, and still does, a stocked fridge and snacks for us to eat, because as we all know kids are impatient and can never wait for dinner to be ready 
  • has a spotless house
  • mops the floor on her hands and knees
  • vacuums the house 50 times a day, and then tells us we cant walk on the rug because she likes the vacuum marks
  • got us to sports practice on-time 
  • was at our sporting events to cheer us on
  • made sure us kids had our homework done
  • loved us unconditionally
  • wanted nothing but the best for us
My mom also always took all four of us to church every Sunday, despite the constant bickering that she had to endure between all of us kids, cause kids get along so well at church, right?   

Traveling with all 4 of us was no feat too large for her.  We went to NY every year to visit my mom's side of the family and have been to Walt Disney World more times than I should have been so lucky to experience.  

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. Jewish Proverb

You see, if you can't tell, my mom is pretty awesome!  She is from NY, went through a ton of life experiences no one should have to endure, and then moved down to Okie land, met my father, and got stuck here.  She has raised 4 children and not that I am one to brag, but she did a pretty good job, we all turned out pretty normal, if I do say so myself.  She is the most selfless person I know, always putting her children before herself.  My mom is also the most christian person I know.  She lives life as a christian example of what all others should be like.  She instilled good christian morals in all of us and set an example for my sister and I to live up to.  She has 4 children who love her more than she will ever know and appreciate her more than we can tell her.  If I can be half the woman that my mother is, I will consider myself lucky. 

Mirror, mirror
on the wall…I am
my Mother after all!

It's been funny to grow up and get married and have my husband tell me, "You are just like your mother."  Never would I have thought as a little child, that I would be like my mother.  And never would I have thought that I would be an adult and be so happy to be just like my mother. I never, in a million years, thought that I would vacuum my rug and not want to walk on it for sake of saving the vacuum marks, NEVER!  Nor did I ever think I would want my house spotless when we have guests over.  I have to say that after all that, I cannot deny the fact that I am my mother's child, and I wouldn't change a thing about it! 
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Dog and her Duck

Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky. John Grogan

My husband and I have a love for dogs that only few people share. Like I have said before, we love our dogs more than is probably normal.  They get the royal treatment around this house, that's for sure! 

I had never thought of Marley as any kind of model, but sitting there sipping my beer, I was aware that maybe he held the secret for a good life. Never slow down, never look back, live each day w/ adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness.  John Grogan

Our third born is an ADHD black lab that we refer to as "the beast" around here.  Her real name is Roxy and she is a crazy water-loving dog!  She loves any body of water that she can get into, be it a puddle in the street, a bathtub full of water meant for her owner, or a swimming pool or lake.  She is a freak when it comes to water, it makes her unable to think about anything else, all she can think about is how quickly she can get wet.

One of our good friends lets us take our crazy dog to her pool a few times every summer.  It is there that she has a ball with her duck.  The last time we went to play in the pool with her, we let her in the backyard and went in the house to get a drink.  When we finally venture out to the pool area, our precious dog has already been in and out of the pool, wasting no time and refusing to wait for us.

The pool is Roxy's happy place and I love seeing her so happy!  She has so much fun splashing and laying out in the water and as her mom, it's so fun to watch.  And as you can see, we love our crazy, psychotic, water-loving dog, she has a special place in our heart and regardless of how crazy she is, we wouldn't have it any other way around here!

A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.  John Grogan

The Quotes from this post are from John Grogan's book Marley and Me.  If you have never read this book, I challenge you to do so, it is excellent.  Please have tissues handy!