Tag Archives: Marriage

Residency Tour 2014 (Hunger Games Pre-Show)

December 8, 2014

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We are leaving today for seven days which means everything we own has been crammed into Target bags and placed in the back of the van where I will not find it. Some things remain up front; snacks to be crumbled, toys to be thrown, a stray phone charger, and a book I will never, ever read.

The trip is part of what I’m calling Residency Tour 2014!, like a Leslie Knope wannabe. Unfortunately there are no binders or Rob Lowes. The tour schedule consists of places like Baltimore (MD), Allentown (PA), Danville (PA), Harrisburg (PA), Hershey (PA), Boston (MA), Portland (ME), Wilmington (DE), Albany (NY), Monmouth (NJ), and a hundred trips to the city of cheesesteaks–Philadelphia.

If you are new here, Austin is in his fourth year of med school interviewing for residency programs. I have conveniently put our timeline into an easy to read list in The End Of Medical School following an equally gripping post on Marrying A Student.

Today he interviews at Hershey, tonight we leave for cheesesteaks, and Thursday morning we head north to Boston and Portland to pretend we aren’t freezing.

For a long time I convinced myself that this trip would be a vacation and we would really enjoy ourselves as a family. But I’ve since lowered my expectations and am just hoping no one puts their hand through a wall. I love to travel, but as we all know, traveling with kids is simply parenting in a different location. Thank you Jesus for borrowed iPads.

After we return home next week, the interviews continue through January. Then we submit a list of programs ranked by preference while the residency programs do the same about those they’ve interviewed. Then a computer takes this information and spits out where we will live for six years to be read in front of peers and the local news. Kind of like the hunger games, but boring and nobody dies (except our spirits). #drama

This is all a big, long post to say: we’ll be gone for a bit and I’ll be blogging via Instagram with a few pre-scheduled posts here around Evie’s first birthday.

Pray for our fragile, delicate nerves as we embark on a weeklong trip up the coast with a three and almost one-year-old who is going through a “car seat stage.” If anyone knows a place in Boston or Portland to day drink, let me know because 18+ hours in the car with two toddlers is not for the faint of heart (I am faint of heart).

Here we go.

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Help

November 10, 2014

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No one in this room knows I’m a mother. Or a wife. I was so much smaller when we got married that my wedding ring doesn’t fit anymore. So I sit here in this coffee shop with my enormous 99-cent headphones like the nerd of the year and am anyone.

Just a girl, standing in front of a laptop, asking it to love her.

A few weeks ago I wrote an essay about wanting more out of life, which was really just me using seven paragraphs to say I need help with childcare.

Why is it so hard to ask for help? The words get stuck in my throat like a dinner roll I’ve inhaled without a glass of water and I’m left dry and weary. Mom pro tip: Ask for help and you will no longer need to slam cupboard doors to get your (secret) “point” across. The speeches I’ve rehearsed during angry cleaning are such a waste. I could have been listening to a podcast.

Before I had my first baby, a wise woman told me that “if this is going to work” I was going to need to ask for the exact help I need. Nothing more, nothing less. If the help is there, be thankful. If it falls though, at least you said it out loud. She said, “You will never get the support you didn’t ask for.”

It is so easy to give that advice. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “If you want the cake, ask for the cake.” But encouraging someone else to be assertive, brave, and strong is a lot easier than living those adjectives out yourself. How quickly we play the victim.

Lucky for me, I didn’t marry a misogynistic narcissist. Austin is great (a feminist narcissist). It is my own issue; my own self-doubt and self-loathing and tendency to under commit. We live in a world with so much creative work at our fingertips that it is easy to be lazy. It is easy to leave our imaginations and originality behind with our Pinterest pins and the excuse that it’s already been done.

It is easy to feel insignificant.

The good news is that humans have been feeling like boring shmucks since Eve got tired of hanging out with Adam. There is always something to be said, to be created, to do. Asking for help to do it is simply one step in a series of a million steps. We are our greatest obstacle. Our greatest asset. If there’s one thing we can learn from Beyonce, it’s that hard work pays off– but also nannies. So many nannies.

I am writing this to you after two full hours in a cold coffee shop working on a memoir titled, “Carbs And Bon Iver: Thank You For Helping Me Write This Book” because I asked for help.

A small step, but also a giant leap.

We are always so close.

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