With Flowers in Your Hair

Hayden_Portra 160_AA021A-58

A day in the life captured on Porta 160.


Reading List

I got a few new books (four!) a couple of weeks ago. It has been a while since I have felt the inclination to read for pleasure, as my day from 7:50AM to 11PM is filled with reading pages upon pages of information for medical school. However, I have started 2 of the books and am absolutely loving them. I finish up with school work sometime around 10:30-11PM and then read a few pages in bed to wind down. Hayden has usually fallen asleep (long before) and crawls into bed and (again) falls asleep, sometimes while I read aloud. The peace and quiet and ability to slow down is a nice respite from my day.

I first book I am currently reading is Paul Kalanithi’s memoir ‘When Breath Becomes Air’. He was a young Stanford neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with a terminal lung cancer, and this was the book that came from that experience. He had written a few essay [here and here, and an op-ed by his wife, here] that I had read, so I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book. It does not disappoint. More on that when I finish it.

The other I am reading is much more light hearted. ‘This Won’t Hurt a Bit (And Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood’. Highly recommended for any female physicians (or physicians-in-training like me). I find myself laughing at the stories she tells because I feel like I have been in those exact same shoes.

The other two books I have in my arsenal are Complications by Atul Gawande (again, medicine-related) and For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.

What have you been reading lately that you just can’t put down?

Steps in the Right Direction

The title is a little play-on for something that is consuming my life now and for the next six months. At the end of the second year of medical school, students take their first board exam, the USMLE Step 1 exam, to be graded on their competencies in the basic sciences before beginning clinical rotations. This is the most important test I will probably ever take because it truly dictates my future. What specialty I can go into, the places I can do residency, my competitiveness as a med student– all determined by this little 3-number score. Needless to say, I am studying like a fiend in preparation for June. However, I feel like I have started the semester with a little momentum and I am thankful to already be at this point in my medical education. Time flies.

For anyone who stumbles on the blog in search for medical school advice, the resources I am using while studying for Step:

  1. First Aid, 2016 Edition
  2. Pathoma
  3. Cram Fighter
  4. Picmonic
  5. Kaplan Q Bank
  6. USMLE Rx Questions
  7. UWorld Questions
  8. Goljan Audio

The items in italics are my most heavily used, and in my mind, most important resources.

A dry post, but the goal of this blog is to document my life. The glamorous and the not-so-glamorous. I will leave it up to you to decide where this post belongs! Be expecting more real-life in the next few days, but in the meantime, I will leave you with our Christmas card picture!christmas card final

Home for the Holidays


Finals are finally over, so I got a chance to photograph a few parts of our little home decorated for the holidays. We don’t have a ton of Christmas decor (yet) but we made the most of our little Christmas treasures and a bit of fresh greenery. I look forward to collecting many antique bottle brush trees, Shiny Brite ornaments, and Putz cardboard houses in the years to come. The ornaments in the tray on the coffee table are Christopher Radio remakes of Shiny Brite ornaments that I absolutely love! I hope you enjoy a look into our home with a few guest appearances by our friend #watpott!



We spent the Thanksgiving holiday back in our hometown, Tyler, with both our wonderful families. We ate entirely too much, watched a lot of football, and played many rounds of hide-and-seek with my nephews. Unfortunately, it was the most dreary weather all but one day, but we still made the best of it.


It was also our basset hound Watson’s (instafamous: #watpott) 3rd birthday. Can’t forget those important celebrations! He even had a birthday cake hat to wear.


We did not end up having a Friendsgiving like I had hoped. Too much going on with too little time! To compromise, we have started decorating for Christmas, including getting our Christmas tree (a week before Thanksgiving). I hope to take some pictures after medical school finals are over of the house decorated for the holidays this year. December 18th, I am coming for you!

Welcome, Fall!

I made a little autumn vignette for my front porch last week. The colors and the textures are so happy to me! The best part about it was going on a little hunt around the neighborhood for the foliage I placed in the watering can and as the garland. Sometimes my left-brained, med-school self needs to let a little creativity! Special thanks to Southern Weddings for selecting me as the weekly winner of the #cozyfallyall giveaway. What a sweet surprise!


I am exceptionally excited about Thanksgiving this year and the chance to decorate our little home. I am hoping to have some of our friends over for a Friendsgiving which gives me the excuse to bring the decorations out in full force. Expect a fall home house tour in the next couple of weeks!

Seaside Travels

Hayden and I saved up this year to go back to Seaside, Florida for a trip close to our one-year anniversary. With my clinical schedule and Hayden’s trips with Young Life, this past summer might have been our last summer vacation together for a few years, so we decided to go back to where we spent our honeymoon. Watercolor holds a special place in our heart and we were so happy to be back! Hayden is dabbling in shooting film photography, so the collection of photos shown here are shot with film. We were so excited to get the images back… it’s like Christmas seeing all those memories… and a real lesson in delayed gratification.

We stay in Watercolor in a carriage house that has access to the Beach Club. We LOVE this because it allows us to have towel service and the ability to walk from the beach to the pool and back. It’s especially nice when you need a little reprieve from the sun and salt. Shoot me an email if you are interested in the studio carriage house we stay in. It’s a great price and the owners are great!


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