The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: 2015
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year!

Along with our Christmas cards,  I would help my mom write "The Ransones :Insert Year Here:" to share our year in review with our loved ones. At that time, I thought it was ridiculous, but now that I have a family (and blog, albiet neglected) of my own, I could see myself starting this tradition. So without further adieu...

The Johnsons: 2015

2015 was a milestone year for Nate. In April he turned 30!!! This year he also grew a sexy beard ;-) He continues to inspire me daily as he is always working to make himself a better person - whether it's with clean eating and exercise, putting his needs last to make sure me and the kids are happy, or just constantly reading and learning new things. Some of those "new things" include: building an electric smoker so he can slow-cook meat and control the temperature away from home - yes, this happens, discovering new places around town, and french braiding Isabelle's hair.

This week Nate lost his Grandmother - an amazing woman who was blessed to see 101 years. Please pray for him and his extended family's strength during this time.

Rest in heaven, MoDear

Shortly after my last blog post in October, I lost my grandmother. Since then, the pangs of homesickness are more present than not. It is my first time losing a grandparent and even though we knew time was fleeting, I just wasn't ready. Can you ever be? Before she died I told myself that we would finally make it back to Michigan to see her by January. Little did I know, I did not have that kind of time.

The rest of 2015 was a blur. I took out my first uterus. I started exercising...for a bit (haha). I became an "upper level/chief" on one of the busiest services of our program. I started talking to mentors regarding big decisions in my professional life. But I also decided that "I have to work" would no longer be an acceptable excuse for not calling, writing, or visiting those I love when I can. 2016 I am going to do so much better. 

Rounding out the first half of second year has been incredibly better from a family-work balance perspective in comparison to where I was this time last year.  I tried to be as present as I could in all the moments at home.

My angel Grandma Wilhelmina 

Nathan II: 
2015 meant the end of Kindergarten and the start of first grade at a new school for our Deuce. And in January he turns SEVEN. I will just let that marinate for a minute... He continues to show an aptitude for building - just like Dad. And this year, Nate (what he wants everyone at school to call him now) became a writer. His class did a unit on telling their narratives, and at parent-teacher conferences his teachers showed me his growing collection of short stories. I was already so proud, but seeing him love something that brings me joy was awesome. His dad bought him a leather bound journal this year, and he hasn't looked back.

He has also discovered sarcasm. Stating "that was sarcasm if you didn't know" when he tries it out. This kid.

Nate continues to be an amazing big brother - even though Isabelle's main goal these days is to test all the little sister limits.  And we can't forget his dancing. He can pop, lock, whip, and 'nae-'nae with the best of them.

Miss Isabelle is such a little lady these days. Sure, she enjoys picking out her hair accessories and taking care of her baby dolls - which she has lovingly named "Baby Wow" and "Baby Mommy" - but she also adores her older brother who has her puddle jumping and karate-kicking regularly.

She loves reading, singing, and dancing as much as Nate. Her vocabulary has grown exponentially and she never runs out of kisses and hugs. Even at two, she understands the importance of family - asking to call her grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins frequently. I don't know what we ever did without her. She is such beautiful girl, inside and out.

Thank you to all of our loved ones and friends who have shown more unwavering love and support in the form of prayers, encouraging words, and deeds than we could ever repay. You don't know how thankful we are for each and every one of you. 2016, we're ready!

My surprise Valentine's 
Feb 2015

March 2015; Isabelle was afraid of the snow...
Wilmington (April)
My brother Josh graduated from Loyola in May!

Kindergarten Graduation in June

Cousins in July!

No more intern year!

J's Bday in August


Making Thanksgiving Pies with Maimeo

Christmas with my parents (Lita & Grampy) and "little" brothers - Carey, Josh, and Jordan!

My Grandma Wilhelmina 
Nate's Grandma MoDear

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hey Saturday...

Saturdays off are thee Seriously, it never gets old...Tomorrow I have a 24hour call, but I'm just going to continue to enjoy the rest of my sweet Saturday - like the darling toddler sleeping in my lap as I write.

We just started a new block on Monday, so I've moved on from an all gynecology service to being a semi-"chief" at our busiest hospital. Last year, I started my obstetrics journey out here. As the first Gyn Oncology intern, that meant I only delivered babies on weekends, and I only had about 6 deliveries under my belt by August. Astoundingly, by the time I was finished rotating at the hospital I am at now (about 6 weeks), I had over 100 deliveries under my belt.

Now, as a second year, I hold title of a chief. Our team consists of one third year resident (the real chief), two second year residents (the mini chiefs), two OB interns, two Family Medicine Interns, one Emergency Medicine intern, and five medical students.

Every three days (and sometimes every two days) I am on call for 24 hours, which means overnight I am the most senior resident on service... :gasp: I'm so excited to be able to do more obstetrics. But, my primary role is helping to teach and supervise the interns on our service. As a chief I also get to handle the gynecologic consults from the ED and floor, GYN procedures, and helping to run the antepartum service (high risk obstetrics patients).

It was a busy first week, but I made it through my first 24 hour call still standing!

The hours on this block are a lot less forgiving on the home front, but the fam is well :-)

Natey showing off his waves LOL
I always feel like this is the time when I try and over-compensate for my absence by doing things like exhaustedly trying to make it to "carline" post-call (that's the new guilt-inducing term referring to 3PM pick up - i.e. 6 year old shade thrown like, "I wish you could pick me up from car line like so-and-so's mom..."), buying all the fall clothes The Children's Place has to offer, and prepping pot roasts to be ready to feed the munchkins and man in my absence.

This effort usually dies fast and hard. Because as much as I love trying to be a superwoman, I am only human. And a girl has got to sleep. I love my sleep.

Ask me how many meals I've cooked in the last three months...No, don't ask me.

Thank God for a husband who handles my constantly changing schedule (and presence at home) like a pro. I don't know what I would do without him! #TrueStory

In other news, so sad to be missing Homecoming at our Alma Mater. A lot of my loves are back in Ann Arbor having a blast. I will just have to live vicariously through their social media pages as we watch the game from NC. My goal is to get our family back to The Big House by next year!

Throwback of our Baby Girl Wolverine
Go Blue!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


These last seven weeks have been filled with all kinds of surgical awesomeness!

It's been great to explore all the different types of surgery: open, vaginal, and laparoscopic. But, I've spent the majority of my rotation learning all things laparoscopy with the Minimally Invasive Gyn Surgery Division.

Laparoscopy is cool, but it is not something you just jump into. You make tiny incisions and use a camera while you to view your instruments working on the inside. So much hand coordination is involved that I was not born with. Let me just tell you, I was initially feeling like a hot mess on all accounts. But, luckily, I have some great, patient teachers and during this block I was able to get through my first hysterectomy EVER. And amazingly, it was laparoscopic.  And then I did another one.  And another one, and another one... 

There is nothing like residency. This daily process of being so intimidated and nervous about doing so many things that you have never done before. And then, you just do them. And once you do them, not only do you feel like a boss, but you have learned so much and want to jump right back in learning and doing again. 

Of course, not every day is filled with huge career defining milestones, but each one definitely has little steps moving me towards the goal and you can't ask for anything better than that. 

Last Thursday, the gynecology team got together to celebrate the end of the rotation. Usually it's a cozy dinner, but our team decided to spice it up a bit - i.e. dinner and then going to the Ariana Grande concert in Raleigh. Aside from the hilarity of being mistaken for parents picking up their children of the concert, it was pretty amazing!!! And then the next day, I was back in the OR and then clinic because it was a school night. Oh, adulting...

Not my typical Thursday night...
And in other diva news...this happened...

Big girl bed! And a new interest in coffee apparently. Now, only if we could get her to use the potty...

And my baby boy is requesting collared shirts and ties for picture day...I cannot with this six year old swag...
Picture Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Framing Like a BAWSE...

Yeah, I said it.

On my vacation week I accomplished a goal that has been years in the making. Printing and framing all of the pictures we have amassed digitally to my little heart's content.

I wanted to share with you lovely peeps in case this is one of your goals too. And hopefully, it will save you some time {and money}!

First, you're going to need pictures... LOTS of them... YEARS of them... in my case.

If you are able to do a bit of long term planning and have at least one week or so to get your photos by mail,   you can stalk Shutterfly and Snapfish for their deals. Usually, both sites will do FREE or even penny 4x6 print promotions, so you are basically just paying shipping for decent quality photos. Larger size prints usually don't go on sale, but joining their email lists will get your 30-50% coupons periodically...

I also really love the concept behind GrooveBook. They allow you to upload your pictures straight from your phone and print them into a photo book with perforated edges for easy removal.

Cute books for safe keeping or tear out for framing...

You subscribe to the service for only $2.99 per month, and get a photo book each month. Sadly, I wasn't very impressed with the quality of my prints. They are not high glossy photos and the clarity isn't too great. I'm kind of a picture snob

But I think it is a great option for someone who has a ton of pictures that they don't necessarily want to frame. Or for someone who doesn't want to risk losing their digital pictures if phones, photo sites, etc ever crashed on us one day :GASP: Of note, your photos print out on paper that is a little bit larger than standard 4x6 photos, so you may have to do some trimming if you choose to frame.

If instant gratification is your thing, you can send your prints straight to your neighborhood CVS, Walmart, or Walgreens. These spots will usually have prints done within an hour. The frugalista in me has gotten into a habit of googling and searching my email for coupons anywhere I buy. I was able to score some great deals on larger one hour-photo prints too!

In addition to photos, I discovered now a lot of people are using printables online to add flair to walls as well. I found the cutest FREE printable for Isabelle's room, sent it to Walgreens for printing, and it turned out great!

Next, you're going to need frames. I have pretty decent-sized empty walls all over so I wanted lots of pictures in each display. 
  • I used a lot of frames we already had, of course, but also found some cheap frames I could buy in bulk on Amazon. 
And finally, you obviously need a strategy and some time... 
  • I looked to Pinterest to get collage wall inspiration, but ultimately, I played around with my frames taking pictures of different layouts for some displays. 
  • For our stairs, I have to give the hubs all the credit. His engineer mind went to town photo-grid style and I was in loooove. 
  • Over my vacation week, I was able to dedicate intermittent time over a couple of days to get things set up and ready for Nate to hang when he got home from work...haha
He was a great sport...This was one of many moments that shows he is my soulmate...Picture hanging vision achieved. 

Front Hall

Kitchen-Breakfast Nook Wall
Upstairs Hall
And that's it! I'm even more in love with the house now because I can see all the people I love when I walk around every day.

Look out for more decorating posts...because I'm totally inspired!

I want you all to get in on the fun too, so try Groovebook and Snapfish for yourself! Here is a coupon for a free GrooveBook and for 40% off your order at Snapfish. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

And We're School!

I'm sure your timelines these last few weeks have been similar to mine - flooded with pictures of smiling little ones donning backpacks.

My sweet Natey is now a first grader!

He is at a new school, and I was really concerned about him starting over, but it went great. His teachers are very sweet and the other parents were so welcoming, I think it is going to be a fun year!

This mommy may have cried...just a little...

Isabelle and I got some one on one time for a few days when her big brother went back. She was really missing him by the second day - which was fully expressed in her crying "Nateyyyy!" all the way home from morning drop off. As much as they bug each other, their love for one another is so special to see.

I know it is such a cliche, but I feel like time is flying faster than ever. I was so blessed to have my vacation this week so we were able to soak in the last remnant of summer and the the big events of the week together.

Classroom visit with baby sis
Below is the annual first day of school picture over the last few years:


I had a great recharge this week. Back to the grind tomorrow! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

That's Right, TWO Posts in ONE Month!

Photo Credit
This week is my last week of nights!!! least until my nights rotation in May. As much as I have learned over the last four weeks, I am so looking forward to returning to the light of day and scheduled surgeries.

I have walked away from this rotation with invaluable experience taking care of some of the most critically ill patients. It is both nerve-wrecking and fascinating at the same time. The GynOnc services reignites my love for the hardcore electrolyte-trending, acid-base calculating, pharmacokinetic, and critical care-type medicine that you don't get on a routine laboring patient - granted we have our fair share of complicated obstetrics patients too...

My next rotation is benign gynecology. I'm really excited to do my first hysterectomy and get regular experience with laparoscopy. Stay tuned ;-)

On the home front...

My almost first grader!
Naters starts 1st grade at his new school soon! I have a vacation week planned for the week he goes back to school. My goal is to be really visible and involved out the gate, so that his teachers know I exist. And then the hubby will carry on the rest of the year in his usual basically-a-single-dad fashion. Joking...but also serious. Granted, second year has already been a wonderful change in pace, I am still a resident, and have to defer to my better-half for most of the day-to-day parenting duties like drop offs, field trips, and weekday playdates. I think my my guilt has really lessened because I've accepted these limitations as only temporary. One day I will be able to regularly be a part of the everyday stuff, and I am thankful for such a supportive hubs who feels this way too.

Little Miss IzzyBee got her two year old pictures taken this past weekend. I'm so excited with how they turned out, but by the way she acted in the studio, I thought it was going to be a big waste of everyone's time. I literally was standing barely an arm's length away from her IN.EVERY.PICTURE.


In the un-cropped version of this photo, you can see me
lying on the floor beside her. trying to not be in the frame..
In other semi-related news, I've been obsessed with getting family pictures on our walls. My first roadblock to achieving this goal was the fact that most-if-not-all of our pictures are in a cloud online....and we had like one empty frame. So in between my weeks on nights, I have launched this massive effort to print pictures and buy frames... Ya'll, these are the joys of adulting.

My usual go to is Snapfish, but I tried out Groove Book this month too. I'm all about not re-inventing the wheel so please share any of your great ideas for picture-hanging, printing, etc.

What sites do you guys use for photo printing? Where do you like to shop for frames? 
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