Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018: The year of TRUST

OK first of all- what do you all say? Twenty-Eighteen? or Two thousand-eighteen? I have found myself saying both lately and can't decide which I prefer.  Fortunately this isn't a podcast so I don't really have to decide. :)

I've been asked by a few people how I come up with the word that I choose for each year. In general, I take a look at what my year is going to look like and decide what word will benefit me the most to get me through whatever it may be that happens.  For example, in 2016, my word was embrace because I knew that we were going to be moving and I would be in a new place with new people and basically new everything.  I knew that I would need to embrace the large amount of changes that were coming up to survive the year with any kind of happiness.  And it worked! In 2017, I chose the word faith for a few reasons.  First, I felt that my faith had been broken due to not matching in the year 2016 and that I wanted it to be restored.  And second, I knew I would need a deeper understanding of faith to face what happened with the match in 2017.  You can read my post from March of last year to catch you up on that situation.  I also liked the idea of picking a gospel centered word to help guide my study and prayer throughout the year.

So that brings me to 2018. I wasn't quite ready to give up focusing on the word faith, so wanted a word similar.  Especially since we are heading into yet another match season with a lot of unknown ahead of us.  As I read my patriarchal blessing, general conference talks, and the scriptures, I noticed a strong link between the words faith and trust.  So I started down the trust path, but not fully committing to it yet.  Two seemingly small and insignificant things happened to me at the end of the year that solidified my choice, however.

Ben was working the overnight shifts over Christmas, which left Flint and I by ourselves for Christmas Day while Ben slept.  I decided that I would take Flint to his first movie theater movie as a special treat and so we could get out of the house.  We went and saw Coco- highly recommend by the way! One of the previews before the movie began was for "A Wrinkle in Time." And there is this scene where two of the characters are in the midst of a crazy storm, unsure of what to do.  And the girl yells to the boy, "Do you trust me?!" And she is obviously about to do something crazy to survive this storm (not sure what- I will have to go see this movie I suppose...) and the boy says "I trust you!" And I immediately got teary (I was also 39 weeks pregnant) and thought about how this little scene could so easily represent God and myself.  The fear of the unknown and the stress of not knowing what is going to happen next can easily feel like a storm.  And we can often feel like we are going to get swallowed up in the waves of worry.  But God always has His hand reached out to us.  And He is always there, ready to ask, "Do you trust me?" And it's up to me to decide how to answer that question.  I've had times in my life where I've lost my focus and convince myself that I'm alone out there, drowning.  But when I've taken the time to recenter my life on Christ, I always find Him, and His hand is always there.  I just need to say "Yes! I trust you!" And I want 2018 to be the year where I am fully centered on Christ, ready to do whatever He has planned for me, as crazy as it may seem beforehand.

The second experience, which actually happened before the one I just described, happened on Christmas Eve.  Not sure why I'm going out of order here.  But hey- my blog, my rules! We had our Christmas Day celebration on Christmas Eve, due to Ben's work schedule.  And my mother in law wrote both Ben and I letters to read on Christmas Day.  In her letter, she described her experience with praying for Ben before he got into medical school.  She wanted him to get accepted into the University of Utah so that he could be close to home and have more options to find a wife.  And she really really wanted that and continued to pray for it fervently.  One day, however, she had the thought "If he doesn't get into the U, will you still trust me?" And she said out loud, "Yes! I will!" (This is me paraphrasing). And as many of you know, he didn't get into the U, but went to St. Louis instead.  Where he met his lovely wife (me) :) , started a family, etc.  So things worked out just the way they were supposed to. And it made me ask myself- will I still trust God if Ben doesn't match into a surgery spot? And the answer is yes! I will.  God has never led me astray and I have to trust and have faith that He never will. For God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So Trust.  That is the word that will guide me through this year.  All things will work together for my good.  God has promised that. And I am going to trust Him.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Introducing Dorothy Grace Fisher

New year, new blog post! For one of my 2018 resolutions, I decided that I want to blog once a week.  I like getting my thoughts out there and sharing with all of you so hopefully you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.  One of my goals with my blog is to find God more in my life and gain a richer, more personal understanding of my relationship with Him in my every day life. So this will be a very spiritual and religious blogging year - not that that's any different from what I normally post :)

2018 truly started with a bang! (warning birth story ahead) I woke up around 7am on New Year's Day with some contractions and immediately figured they were once again a false alarm that I wasn't going into labor.  Sigh.  I had been having contractions on other days and then nothing so figured this was the same, even though my due date was on the 3rd of January.  So I took a bath, walked around, stayed in bed, etc.  But the pain was becoming worse and I decided to start timing them. They were 10 minutes apart for an hour and then quickly changed to 5 minutes apart.  At that point, my mom was driving to our house from Ohio so I told Ben to call a friend and go drop Flint off.  (Thanks Melissa!!) In the time it took to drop Flint off, the contractions became SUPER painful and I was officially convinced that I was in labor.  We went into the hospital around 10:30am and I got admitted.  

Since I was induced with Flint, this whole labor thing was new to me and I was NOT a fan. I got an epidural as soon as they got me to my room and that relieved the pain for a bit.  Unfortunately, the epidural wore off in a couple of hours and the contractions were back.  This same thing happened with Flint- and I originally thought it was due to incompetence of the guy that put my epidural in, but now am thinking I have a resistance to epidurals? Who knows. Fortunately my anesthesiologist was super awesome and nice and put stronger medication in which helped.  For about an hour.  Sigh.  The medicine wore off a few more times and he finally gave me the strongest stuff they have (the stuff they use for c sections according to him) and that finally worked.  Such relief! Side note- shout out to all of you moms who choose to go natural. I don't know how you do it! But I salute you. At this point it was around 7:30 or 8pm and the doctor came in to break my water.  He warned me that I would probably go pretty fast once my water broke.  He broke it at 8:30 officially and said it would take about 2 hours.  Well about half an hour later, it was apparently time to push! And I was not mentally prepared. Her birth just felt so different from my birth with Flint that I thought I had more time.  But I didn't! With Flint, I was very calm and serene as I pushed and he came.  With this little lady.... not so much. Fortunately I only had to push for about 20 minutes and then she was here! I will say though- during that 20 minutes I may have screamed "GET HER OUT OF ME!!!" a few times.  Ben and the doctors laughed at me.  And looking back, I laugh too.  Mainly because it's so out of character.  haha. 

The moment she came out though, it was instant relief and everything felt right. Which also differed from my first birth.  With your first child, I feel like you are still unsure about it all and even like "wait is this thing mine now?" but with your second (at least for me) there was an instant feeling of overwhelming love and a severe attachment.  I wish I could explain that better but that's all I've got.  My recovery with this birth has been much much better too.  I was up and walking around immediately and haven't been as sore, which has been nice.  I'm not the best at posting pictures on here- but I figured with the birth of a baby- you'd want to see some :) 

So her name is Dorothy Grace Fisher. Yes, I do feel a little weird about naming her after myself.  Just know that Ben chose her middle name since I chose her first name and didn't give him much of a choice in the matter. :) But her name suits her and she is beautiful.  No, Dorothy is not a family name.  I have loved that name since I was a little girl (huge Wizard of Oz fan here) and named all of my dolls and stuffed animals "Dorothy Beautiful" growing up.  Hence the name Dorothy.  And yes, I do love the nicknames Dottie and Dot for those who have asked.  I don't know if they will stick, but I am definitely open to them.  I'm just going to see what happens organically. Also stats! 8 lbs 11 oz 21 inches long.  A whole pound heavier than Flint! And it's all in her cheeks I'm pretty sure :)

Everything just seemed to work out perfectly for the welcoming of our little Dorothy.  Ben had Dec 27-Jan 1 off for his holiday break.  And then Geisinger allows for 3 days of paternity leave.  So I begged and pleaded with the Lord that she would come while he was off so that he would basically get an extra week off with his paternity leave and already having this weekend off.  I was so convinced that she was going to come in December.  Or at least I really wanted her to because I wanted Ben to have those extra 3 days off.  As each day in December passed, I became more and more weepy and sad, thinking that things once again were not going to work out.  As New Year's Eve came, I told myself I had to accept that I couldn't control when she was going to come, and for all I knew, she would come a week late and be born on January 10!

As I reflect on her birth, and the fact that she was born on January 1, the last day that she needed to be born in order for Ben to get the time off that I felt I needed, I realize that sometimes everything really does work out the way I want it to.  Sometimes the Lord allows for tender mercies and gives you exactly what you want.  And I needed that reminder. I will admit that I am normally wrong when it comes to knowing what is best for me.  And that is totally ok.  But I truly felt the Lord's love as I realized that he sent me exactly what I wanted when I wanted it because that doesn't always happen.  And I'm ok with that.  If she had decided to come on January 10, we would have figured things out and it would have all been ok.  But boy was it nice that she didn't decide to wait that long! And I definitely felt his presence as she came into the world.  What a special baby he has sent me.  And all of the sorrow and sadness as described in my last post completely dissipated.  This baby really did come to heal my heart, and what a blessing and joy she has been in her short 5 days of life.  I know she will only continue to heal me and bring joy into my life. Birth is a beautiful, beautiful experience.  Even though it's painful, I consider myself lucky to get to be able to go through it. 

So that's how my year started.  The best way possible :) And having a January 1 baby is pretty fun too- and will be fun to celebrate in the years to come.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Slightly early end of year wrap up

Honestly, 2017 has been one of my harder years.  And yet, I can genuinely say that I am a better person for having gone through it. As many of you know, my word for the year was faith. And although I don't feel like I understand as fully as I would like to, the lessons I have learned regarding the topic have been invaluable to me.

As I sit here, waiting for baby #2 to arrive (thus the reason for the early posting), I can't help but be grateful for the change that God has created in me.  And it's my faith that allowed that to happen.  I had to let him in and allow him to change my heart and to create a new attitude that I didn't think I was capable of having.  I have found myself in bitterness and despair during this pregnancy and then feeling guilty for having those thoughts in the first place.  And the cycle continues.  I have not shared this with everyone, but feel bound to do so as I write this post.  When I first found out I was pregnant and I went in for my first ultrasound, we received the most surprising (but not that surprising? ask me later...) and exciting news that I was having twins! As I watched Ben's jaw hit the floor, I felt nervous/excited/all the things.  How was I going to do this? How am I going to go from 1 baby to 3 when I was already scared out of my mind to bump it up to 2? Does God know that my husband works as much as he does? That I spend a majority of my time alone as a single parent?

For the next 12 weeks, I prayed and prayed and prayed for the safety of my twins, and with each ultrasound felt more at peace that God knew what he was doing and that twins really were in the plan for me, despite my fear.  I submitted my will to God, even though I was terrified of miscarrying.  At my 12 week appointment, however, I received the news that one of the babies didn't make it.  I could not believe it, and sometimes I still can't.  After hours of verifying, and reverifying with different doctors, I went home to deal with my new reality.  I had spent so much time getting myself to accept that two babies were coming and now had to do the opposite.  Was this really God's plan for me? Couldn't he have given me a heads up or something? Why did I feel peace prior to this new knowledge and then have this happen?

I will admit to you that I don't have the answers to those questions, and maybe I never will.  I can't describe to you what it feels like to simultaneously miscarry and still be pregnant at the same time.  I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around it.  As much as I would tell myself that I need to be grateful for the baby I have, thoughts of "but there are supposed to be two of them" creeped into my mind daily.  And honestly, those thoughts have not fully left, even though I am due any day now.

But back to faith.  I let myself be sad for a while.  What else could I do? But I quickly (quickly may be an exaggeration) realized that I needed to reach out to my Savior.  I needed to exercise faith in him, once again.  I needed to cast my burdens on the Lord.  As I slowly started doing this, the little seed of faith that I put forth slowly started growing, and my heart was able to change, just as the Lord promises.  Although I have been bitter about having a baby around Christmas time, somehow with the Christmas season, I have felt more peace than I thought possible as I have considered my connection with Mary, the mother of Christ, who was also pregnant during Christmas. I have spoken with amazing friends about the many wonderful things about being pregnant during this crazy season. I've learned to just say no to all of the craziness and that has allowed me to really focus on the savior this season in a way that I never have been able to before.  And once again, I have realized that the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when he decided to send me a baby girl at this exact time of year.  As I've prayed, I have kept thinking "this baby is coming to heal your heart." And although I have not met her yet, I feel that this is true.

I live 3 hours from a temple, so am not able to go often.  By some miracle, however, I was able to go two weeks in a row in November and I remembered once again something that my mother in law always tells me.  The temple is a place of healing.  I took my broken heart to the temple and felt healing and the purifying changing power of the atonement of God.  While I was at the Philadelphia temple, one of the sweet workers approached me to tell me that she just knew that the baby inside of me was a special baby.  And although she might say that to every pregnant lady she sees, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  God sends us what we need.  And having the faith to know that now is what has brought me peace, despite not having the answers to so many of my questions.  And that is what I have learned about faith.  Faith is what brings me peace during turbulent times.  Faith is what gets me through to the next day, the next hour, the next minute sometimes.

Now that 2017 is coming to a close, I have realized that I need to pick a new word for 2018.  I have actually been very tempted to reuse the word faith because I feel like it guided me perfectly through this last year.  I have decided, however, to go with a different word, but still related.  I have decided to go with TRUST.  Trust in God, trust that all things will work together for my good, trust that everything is going to work out like it should.

My goal for 2018 is also to be more diligent with blogging.  I made a goal to write more posts back in October, but as you see, I posted once and then it's been 2 months since then.  Merry Christmas everyone- and happy new year! I think I'm in the clear to not have a Christmas Day baby- wahoo! So now we wait....

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lessons from Hamilton

I will admit that in order for you to fully understand my post today, you need to be somewhat familiar with Hamilton.  And I don't mean Alexander Hamilton, the historical figure.  I mean Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton from that crazy popular musical you have probably been listening to on repeat or have been saying that you should.  Or maybe you live under a rock? :)

Regardless, I think you can still get where I'm coming from if you aren't familiar with it.  I will strongly recommend at least listening to the song "It's Quiet Uptown," however, because that is where my thoughts have been for a long while now.  Especially this last week.  Mainly because I finally got around to listening to some of the remixes and Kelly Clarkson's version of this song is simply beautiful.  See the lyrics here.

I have yet to hear this song without getting teary.  Ok you caught me- without sobbing. For a little background- Alexander and Eliza (his wife) have just lost their oldest son in the aftermath of a very public scandalous affair between Hamilton and another woman.  Due to circumstances surrounding the scandal, Philip's death could be blamed on Hamilton, and I'm sure those feelings of resentment and loss are strong in Eliza's mind.  To get away from it all, they decide to move uptown- a very different change from their life in the limelight of politics and scandal.

Hamilton quickly realizes that uptown, it's much quieter.  And although his life up until this point has been incredibly fast paced, he gains an appreciation and even liking for the quiet he is able to experience as he reflects on his life.  He even starts going to church and finds himself praying, something he had never done before.  It is under these circumstances that we see a change in Hamilton- a change that I submit could not have happened without the quietness that uptown allows.  Sometimes I need to remember this.  I need to remove myself from my busy schedule, my addiction to my smart phone, my own thoughts even.  And I need to let myself be still.  Be still, pray, and be at peace.  Allow myself to reflect, refocus, and come to terms with changes that I need to make to be a happier and healthier me.  I need to recognize to look at where I am and where I started.  And embrace the heart break, joy, and everything in between that I've encountered along the way and appreciate that it has made me who I am today.

As Hamilton approaches Eliza to offer a sincere apology filled with incredible sorrow, he states that he's not afraid.  He has faith in his wife and that they as a couple have the tools to overcome and heal.  And I think his genuine remorse and willingness to apologize and face his wife- an unimaginable fete- gives him the strength and courage he needs to know that whatever Eliza chooses, everything is going to work out.

The true miracle comes when Eliza does the unimaginable and forgives him.  After all he has done, she takes his hand and forgives.  And that is what brings me to tears every. single. time.  How does she do it? I think Lin Manuel-Miranda is a genius and offers an explanation as to how she does it with his mind blowing lyrics.  The beginning of the song starts by saying that there is "suffering too horrible to name," which is what the Hamiltons have experienced.  But in the moment that Eliza reaches out to forgive, the song states that there is "grace too powerful to name." Although the suffering is too horrible, the grace is even more powerful and allows the miracle of forgiveness to occur.  What a beautiful lesson on allowing the grace of God to work within us and to do what we consider to be "unimaginable" and forgive.  How many times have I held onto a grudge? Have I resented a person for something insignificant? Or even significant? And how many of those times have I thought of accessing the grace of God to help me to forgive.  Not enough.  That's for sure.

The beginning of the song refers to the "unimaginable" being the horrible suffering they are both going through.  But it ends with the "unimaginable" being the miracle of the healing and forgiveness that they are both able to experience together as a couple.  And they have to live with both of these unimaginable circumstances.  And I'm sure living with the miracle of forgiveness is a much easier task, even though it does mean learning to live with a different dynamic in their relationship.

I hope that I can set fear aside whenever I mess up, whether big or small, and apologize and have faith that God (and whoever I have wronged) will have the grace to forgive me.  And to have the faith that healing and forgiveness are a much more significant power than the hurt and sorrow experienced by so many in this world.  And I hope that when I am wronged, I can have the grace to forgive because I too need that healing and the power of the miracles of God in my life.  We all do.

Friday, March 17, 2017

I can do hard things

I'm a freshman in high school- 14 or 15 years old, riding the school bus to school in the morning.  I'm looking out the window, deep in thought.  I'm thinking about life and God and my own spirituality.  And I think about trials and how we are promised that we will have great trials in life to the brink of breaking us and causing us to doubt our faith.  And I (naively) think to myself "Bring it on Satan, my faith is strong enough to withstand anything."

For some reason, I have held on to this seemingly insignificant memory for about 15 years now.  I had no idea what my life held in store for me at that moment, and yet I had the (audacity?) boldness to claim that my faith was strong enough to never break- no matter the circumstance.  I have often reflected on that moment and wondered to myself if I am as strong as I thought I was back then.  Would I still have said that knowing what I know now?

We just received the news this week that Ben did not match into a residency spot for the second year in a row.  Therefore- this week has been one of the hardest in my life to date.  We tried to scramble/soap into a spot and that also did not work out.  There were a lot of emotions between finding out the news and now- as you can imagine.  But I don't feel the need to talk about that. What I want to talk about is faith.  My word of the year- if you remember.

Last year when we didn't match, I felt my faith was shaken for the first time in my life.  I felt so sure that God was going to pull off a miracle and that we would match into a program and life would be great.  I was so convinced that it would happen that way and then when it didn't, I wasn't able to cope with that.  I questioned my faith and whether or not having faith even made a difference.  Do prayers really work? Does reading my scriptures even make a difference? Would anything have been different if I had been more or less faithful?

I have struggled with these questions for a year now and have continued to seek out what faith really means and does it really matter? Did I truly lose my faith? Where do I stand with God now? How do I move forward? And I think I did a pretty good job of convincing myself that my faith was gone and useless.

As the match this year grew closer I suddenly wanted to start earnestly praying again and reading my scriptures and seeking out the spirit.  It's funny how we do that when something hard is about to happen and we realize we need the Lord's help.  I was reading my scriptures every day, praying, seeking for inspiration at church, etc. And once again I convinced myself that everything was going to be ok and that we would match.

And yet, we didn't.  So I once again fell back into that trap of thinking that faith doesn't matter.  All of the prayers said on our behalf and by us didn't matter.  Reading my scriptures didn't matter.  Because it didn't get me the outcome that I thought we should get.  Fortunately that was a short lived thought and I prayed that night that God would help me to see his hand in this circumstance.  That I would realize that my faith does matter and that everything really is going to be ok.

And believe it or not, my prayers were answered.  I have seen God's hand in our lives through this week of hell.  And I know I wouldn't have been able to see it if I hadn't asked God for that.  (omg my prayers matter!) I was overwhelmed with peace and calmness yesterday and I realized that my faith wasn't broken after all.  And us not matching has taught me something about me.  I can do hard things. My faith can help me withstand anything.  And I needed this to happen so that I could learn this lesson for myself.  And God knew that I needed that.  After all of this, his hand is stretched out still.  Faith makes all of the difference because it changes me.

I am reminded of the story of Abraham, when he was asked to sacrifice his son.  God knew that Abraham would obey him and that he had the faith to choose God.  But Abraham didn't know that.  He needed to be tested to the brink of his strength to learn just how strong he really was.  He needed to learn just how faithful he truly was.  And God blessed him for it.  And he will bless me too.  It's important that we are aware of our own strength and there's really no other way to become aware of it than to put it to the test.

I listened to a song called "Blessings" on repeat yesterday.  I first heard this song about 2.5-3 years ago at Time Out For Women.  Here are some of the words:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
And all the while, you hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe


What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a great thirst this world can't satisfy?
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

I have faith that all things will together for my good.  And that His plan will be better than the one I have planned out for myself.  This has always been true in my life, so I know that it will continue to be true in the future.  

To answer some FAQ's- as of now we will be staying in Danville, doing another year of prelim general surgery at Geisinger and will apply for the match again next year.  That is at least the plan- you never know what God has in store for us.  Thank you to everyone who has prayed, fasted, gone to the temple, etc on our behalf.  We greatly appreciate it and have felt nothing but love and support during this hard time.  So many of our friends in Danville have been nothing short of Angels and I know that we are in the right place for now.  It's truly been a blessing to be here for the last year, so I can only imagine what blessings lie in store for us in the upcoming year.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Well it's 2017 and my last blog post is from June of last year.  I'm sure you are all really surprised by this.  Based on my facebook feed, 2016 seemed to be a rough year for everyone involved in society.  However, it was a really good year for me and my family.  I hope to make 2017 a great year as well.

So of course I've been thinking about resolutions and goals.  Who doesn't this time of year? Although I typically consider myself a cynical person, for some reason I still make resolutions every year and foresee that I will remain doing so for the years to come.  The key to goals is setting realistic goals, right? So I try and pick things that I know I will actually work on- even if I don't succeed 100%.  Last year was the first year that I chose to do a keyword for the year- which was "Embrace" and I really enjoyed using that word.

This year I want to do something similar and I have decided to go with the word "Faith." I want to explore the concept of faith and in particular how my faith can empower my life and enrich the life of my family.  We often hear the phrase (in the LDS world at least) that our "faith can move mountains." And I want to feel that power- that ability to move mountains.  As a way to focus on my faith, I have committed to reading the Book of Mormon every day this year (follow along +Bofm365 on Instagram).  Reading at a slower pace I think will be beneficial in truly devoting myself to God by pondering his words and finding themes of faith throughout.  I have already been pondering a verse in 1 Nephi- chapter 1 verse 20 which says "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." The Lord will choose me because of my faith.  So my faith matters.  Which is what is motivating me to choose this word for the year.  I'm looking forward to furthering my understanding of Faith and hopefully using my blog discuss and analyze further.

All thoughts on faith are truly welcome- I hope you will join me through the comments section or through my social media.  Let's make 2017 a great year!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Major Catch Up Sesh

Sigh.  Alas, it has been almost 5 months since I last posted.  Bad news.  Good news though is I have a LOT to catch you all up on.  As if you don't already know most of this- thanks to social media and such.  I will only give a few highlights so as to not have this post take you at least a year to read.  Med School.  Woof.  The most stressful day/week of our lives came and went in March with the match looming over our heads.  So here's the deal- we did not match into an Orthopedic residency, as hoped for.  We did, however, match into a pre-lim year in general surgery.  Our hope for matching into ortho was in a small town residency program in Bethlehem, PA.  We did an away rotation there in the fall, as you might recall from previous blog posts.  The general surgery year we matched into is also in PA- a small town called Danville- but is not the same city or program as the one we were hoping for.  It is about an hour north of Bethlehem.  Although we were of course disappointed with not matching into what we wanted, we ARE however, very grateful that we matched and have a place to go after graduation.  Matching is always better than not matching.  To answer the ultimate FAQ, the plan as of now is to reapply to the match this upcoming fall after Ben works his butt off and shows them he's an amazing resident.  We will apply to multiple programs, but will mainly be focusing on the program in Danville or the program in Bethlehem, that we originally hoped for.  If things go according to plan (and they don't always), it looks like we will be in PA for a while.  The good news is that I love PA- it is gorgeous here, I'm close to a lot of amazing cities without having to actually live in them, and the people here are ridiculously friendly and welcoming.  

So let's back track a little.  Flint turned a year old in April! I thought maybe I would feel a little more sad and think "Oh no where has my baby gone?!" But it really hasn't been like that.  To me, Flint just keeps getting more and more fun and I am thoroughly enjoying this new stage in his life.  His little personality continues to shine through and he is becoming more independent and assertive.  We had a great day at the park with friends for his party.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  

Ben graduated from medical school! Time really did fly.  I met Ben right when he came out here for Medical school and just like that 4 years are behind us.  I'm so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.  Being a Doctor is a BIG deal!!

We soaked up the last little bits of St. Louis before it was moving time.  We went up the arch with my in-laws.  And ate at all the yummy places I could think of- or at least had time for.  Of course I couldn't get to them all.  

I also chopped my hair off.  

And then it was time to leave.  This whole moving thing has been so different than I imagined.  I felt like we were in limbo between match day and actually leaving because we knew we were leaving and the anxiety and stress that precedes moving was killing me inside.  But once I actually got in the car and we started driving away, I somehow felt this huge relief.  (After many tears and puffy eyes of course) And this move was different than any other move I have gone though before.  It hasn't been as hard because I have my two favorite people with me to take on this new adventure with.  And I always have the comfort of knowing that I have plenty of reasons to go and visit St. Louis.  I'll be back for sure.  

Danville is a very small town. Population 5000 and the hospital literally takes up half of the town's size.  It is HUGE.  It's quaint and quiet.  It's a huge change from St. Louis, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have liked it.  We have been doing our best to get out and explore.  We've done farmers markets, splash pads, etc.  The town is small enough that you can literally walk to anywhere you want to go.  It blew my mind that on memorial day they did a parade and the entire town walked to the bridge (Danville is located on the Susquehanna river) to watch a flower drop, then walked to "downtown" Danville to watch the parade, and then walked to the memorial park to watch the little program that they put on.  We walked the majority of the city and it didn't even take any time.  haha! I love our house that we are renting.  It's 2 stories with 2 and a half bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs with a dining room, living room, kitchen and sunroom (with a hot tub!! holllaaaaa) downstairs.  There is also a great deck and fire pit in the back yard.  It definitely has it's quirks- hey it was built in 1875- but it already feels like home.  

We also planted a garden in the back yard- I'm pumped for some tomatoes and cucumbers soon!

We also live 3.5 hours away from DC so decided to get away for our 3rd anniversary.  And we beat all of the DC traffic by biking everywhere.  It was great!

We also live 3 hours from Philly and went down there for a couple days.  Saw some art, 

ate some donuts, 

and of course played in the splash pad in front of city hall.  Flint is a huge splash pad fan.  And if you haven't noticed- he is walking now! He literally started walking (as in using it for his main way of moving) when we got to PA.  Something in the air here I guess.  

Our last hoorah before Ben starts on Monday was spent on the New Jersey beach yesterday.  These pictures are a little deceiving though.  Flint hated the sand.  We convinced him to sit in it for a few minutes here and there, but overall he hated it.  And he HATED the ocean.  I think it was because the water was kind of cold.  Who knows.  Babies amiright? It was still a very fun day and Flint was perfectly content to sit on his towel and just dig in the sand with his hands.  (Just no feet!) And it was only 70 degrees and overcast so we basically had the entire beach to ourselves.  It was awesome.  Definitely happy about living so close to a beach.  

So life is good so far.  I might feel differently in a month or so once the reality of being married to a medical resident sets in, but that's yet to be seen.  I guess with Ben being gone all of the time, I will have lots more time to blog! haha... we will see ;)