The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: 2017
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Sunday, December 31, 2017

We (I) Needed a Little Christmas...

This year, our home hosted the last interview dinner again. We LOVE hosting anything, and it gave me huge motivation to get our Christmas decorations up earlier (i.e. a whopping three weeks before Christmas). It was no small feat as this was our biggest tree yet! Shout out to my mom the OG of "I decorate my tree with a ladder". 

After filling our home with more poinsettias and pine than should be allowed, rearranging the ornaments that the kids placed on the lower branches, and deflecting snow-globe sabotage (I'm looking at you, Natey) heart was overflowing with holiday joy. 

All of the decorations even transformed Isabelle into a Nutcracker ballerina...

I think I know what her new activity will be in 2018 ;-) 
Later that night, we headed to the home of two of my co-residents for our resident holiday party. This was actually the first one I made it to because we either didn't have a babysitter or were out of town. It was a lot of fun!

The found the desserts!

Also, 6 of the 7 members of my class were there, which NEVER happens since one of us is always on call.

Class of 2018, minus one (home sick with her little)

Fast forward to Christmas Eve....

I mentioned in my last post, on the 23rd my parents AND Grammy made the drive down (!!!).  This was a big deal because this was her first Christmas since my Grandaddy died. We knew she would be sad, but didn't want her to be alone. She can be stubborn, but she agreed this time. My little bro also flew in from Chicago - the other two had a wedding and had to work back at home so they could not make it. Missed you guys!

I was feeling under the weather and kind of like a Scrooge all week because I had been working a ton. When I got home on Christmas Eve, it was around 9PM. The cookies were already made and Nate had gotten all of the gifts ready the day prior without me - also because I was working.

I stayed up to set out the presents. I think this may be our Natey's last Christmas believing in Santa. He wrote him a letter saying he still believed even though a lot of his friends didn't. Be still my heart....

Uncle Carey wrote a letter back to Natey - because he would recognize his parents' handwriting, obviously...

No one got dressed until dinner, and then I went right to bed. I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but man, nothing beats having family around for the holidays. My heart was so full.

Tuesday, it was back to the Onc service for me. It was a bummer to work Christmas week, but being at work also put things into major perspective. Some of our sweet patients could not go home for Christmas, despite this, they were grateful to be alive, and some knew they were spending their last Christmas here on Earth.

This year was rough, but it's important that I don't let being tired push me away from seeing opportunity for gratitude in all things, choosing compassion, remembering my purpose, and seeing the good in all people.

It may be January tomorrow, but I'm going to keep the Christmas Spirit going a little while longer...


Friday, December 29, 2017

Johnson 2017 Recap: Updates & Pictures!

I think the person most in shock of the fact that it is almost 2018 is me. Remember that time I had that really cute thing called a blog? I think in my last post I said I wouldn't stay away too long...lies. Wondering what have I been doing all this time? Well friends, besides working, not much...

I am now 6 months into my final year of residency. In October, by the grace of God, I matched into Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at my number one program (UNC!!!). That is a testimony in itself. I have been dreaming about this since med school and I cannot believe I am almost there! The interview process was expensive and stressful, but it all paid off. Nate is happy, the kids are happy, and we are so excited to enter this next, and FINAL chapter of my medical training. But before I get to that, I have to graduate. I feel like I have handled the stress of being a resident quite well, but in full disclosure, this year has tested me on all levels...

First of all, I am an administrative chief resident. My role is Scheduling Chief, and sure, it sounds benign... Just scheduling things... Welp, imagine being the point person responsible for the vacations, calls, interviews, board exams, administrative meetings, maternity leaves, and any other thing that could arise FOR 28 PEOPLEI know more about where my co-residents are on any given day than my own children. 

Then, because I am a scheduling chief, when one of my classmates needed to take an emergency leave, the whole schedule had to be re-arranged. So I handled it. And as a result, front-loaded my whole year. I interviewed for fellowship, and for four months straight I was overloaded with the most administrative rotations, rotations that required 80-hour work weeks, weekend rounding, bi-weekly calls, late night M&M prep, and the least amount of sleep I had in a while. 

This fall, I missed all my kids' daytime presentations, friends' birthday parties, concerts, and it hurt. When I picked my kiddos up for the first time this school year IN LATE NOVEMBER, teachers and after school program staff said things like, "You must be Nathan/Isabelle's mom! We only ever see Dad." :crickets: and I followed it up with things like, "Yea I have been working late for 6 months..." :sigh:

I know what I signed up for. I know there are seasons of being more or less present. I know that this year was uncharacteristically more stressful. But in my four years as a resident, this has been an extreme. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. I stayed on the Struggle Bus. But we made it. 

Ya'll the devil tried it. 

But we made it. 

I'd like to think there was a lesson in this. A silver lining. I think, the biggest lesson I learned is that you cannot keep falling on the sword to try and keep everyone comfortable. You have to protect yourself too. It is not sustainable. It is NOT sustainable. 

I am looking forward to a MUCH easier second half of the year. I am looking forward to making tons of memories in 2018. I am on my first vacation since August, and I am going to soak up every. sweet. second. 

Ok, enough about me. Here is a recap of the rest of the Johnson happenings since August: 


Continues to work his tail off at work and at home. He would never tell you, but he is getting more and more leadership responsibility at work because he is great at what he does. He also does all that while keeping our home running - no matter my level of engagement - as stated previously, it's been pretty low level engagement ;-) God bless him. 

Nate says that his favorite memory of 2017 was "Racing"

For Father's Day, the kids and I gifted him a ride in a stock car! Which was pretty awesome, I have to give myself props for this one, because I was able to get that scheduled while I was on Onc...


Nate II (8 years old)...

Natey has taken on 3rd grade by storm. He continues to thrive on trying new things, reads without being told, write and illustrate his own stories, and is growing so much!! He is such a caring soul and even at eight, loves family time.

If you follow me on The Gram, you have probably noticed he has been sporting a fro this year. All his own idea, and it is so cool to see how he is using his new style as a way to express himself. Love this fearless kid!

Nate says that his favorite memory of 2017 was "having all of our family over for Christmas".

He's almost as tall as me!

Isabelle (4 years old)...

This year Izza has ventured out of the comfort of her brother's shadow to blaze her own trails. She loves to play superheroes with her big bro, but has also learned to write her name, started Spanish classes, enjoys mani-pedi sessions (thanks to her father), and is a budding artist - frequently drawing our family portraits on various mediums :-D 

Belle says her favorite 2017 memory was, "getting her new dolls".... -_-

Natey didn't want to go Trick-or-Treating, that didn't stop Izza!

Our Family by Isabelle "Nate with a haircut"

I hope you are all having an amazing holiday season. Talk to you soon!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hello Friends...

Is it just me or is the time going by faster than ever?! Last time I was here we were in March, and I was worried about finishing my resident research project. Well I finished it, and it went great! Then it was on to finishing my Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship applications...

April was filled with a busy antepartum service. I had one last go-round as the third year in charge of the service - which meant providing medical, social, and emotional support for some of the sickest women in North Carolina. The work was tiring but every day I felt blessed to do it and I can't wait to do it for the rest of my career.

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The end of April also brought HAMILTON!!! I went to Chicago for a Chief Resident conference and I did not "throw away my shot" (shameless Hamilton song lyric, sorry, NOT sorry). It was Ah-Ma-Zing and I'm so glad I got to see it with one of my besties (Hi Mom!!). Little Nate found the Playbill one morning in our room, and I had some explainin' to do...

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May came and went... June brought summer vacations and the family time I had been longing for all spring.

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June also meant tearful goodbyes to our 2017 Chief resident class. We had minimal time to get ready for our new roles as the ladies in charge. I must say, I am so proud of our class and how we have handled this new year and all of the punches it has thrown us. Being classmates is similar to being in a sorority. It is a life that no one fully understands unless they are in it. A life that leads to new bonds that, no matter where you go, will remain. I'm thankful that I have a good people beside me...

I'm currently finishing up my 7 week stretch in charge of the benign GYN service. Even though I am applying for an obstetrics-only fellowship, I still want to be a good surgeon and am grateful for everyone who has taught me this summer. I've learned a ton. Next week, I head to Onc!

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July has been the hardest month for me thus far. My Grandaddy passed away on July 9th. Alzheimer's had been slowly taking him from us for the last 10 years, but for some reason, I just never thought he would physically be gone. As a physician who has been there with families as they accepted and faced the transition of their loved ones, I can tell you that it doesn't help to know more. You still aren't ready, and it still hurts just as much. I miss him every day.

 My family and I made the trip to see him one week before he died. He looked good, and the more I think about it, the more I think he knew. He wanted us to see him OK and I'm so thankful for that time.

My sweet Isabelle also turned 4 in July. She and her brother were the little rays of sunlight in a month of cloudy days...

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Moving into August has meant starting my fellowship interviews (!!!) and most recently, turning THIRTY!

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THIRTY YEARS. What a life you guys...When I started this little blog, one of my first posts was about turning 23!!! Thanks to interviews, I was able to have a 2-part celebration with people I love around Chicago and Detroit.

I hope that you all are having an amazing summer and that you life is filled with love and all the things that make you feel whole.

Happy Sunday, friends. I promise I won't stay away too long...


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Updates and Such...

Hey there my sweet little blog and anyone who still may be reading this thing...

Man, 2017 has been non-stop {Hamilton reference, sorry, NOT sorry}. Why is it already March?! If you follow me on Instagram, I have been intermittently trying to fill you all in on what we have been up do, but it's time for a real update so here goes:

The Fam...

The kiddos are growing like weeds. Like weeds with all of the water and all of the Miracle Grow at their disposal. Sheesh!

Nate's newest phrase he uses all the time is, "Well, I'm assuming..." LOL! And Isabelle gets sassier by the day. Her new signature photo pose is a toe point, HA!

I can't with the toe point!

In January, we celebrated Nate's 8th birthday with a skate party (I'm still not used to saying I have an 8 year old o_O). He had a blast! Speaking of which, I still need to send out "Thank You" cards. #MomFail.

We tried to make the most of my weekends off on Onc with some family-centered activity planning. Besides lounging around with mommy, some cool things we did were going to see Lego Batman (so funny), Build-a-Bear making, Saturday morning breakfast biscuit runs in our PJs, and our traditional weekend trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant.

With March, came the flu for our Natey. He was out of school for two weeks, and the flu also triggered his asthma, so my normally-unstoppable kid was wiped out. It was so hard to see him like that and my doctor-mom hat had me really anxious about how long it was taking him to recover. Let me tell you, working a ton and not being able to be at home with him was thee WORST. My heart breaks for any parent with a child who is seriously ill, or in and out of the hospital. Thankfully, Natey went back to school last week and is back to his self :-D

The Job...

Last weekend I finished my seven-week GYN Oncology rotation. It was an all-consuming rotation that was hard on all parties in my household, but we made it! I feel like my surgical skills got a serious upgrade, and I learned a ton taking care of some wonderful patients.

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In January, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Annual Meeting for the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine in Las Vegas. It was amazing. So many brilliant people from all over the world coming together to share their ideas for women's health advocacy and improving pregnancy care. I also got to experience my first Cirque du Soleil show "O", and we saw Celine Dion in concert - it was a blast!

SMFM Photobooth fun with my co-residents 

My rotation now is in the outpatient clinics. It's a refreshing change of pace, including more sunlight and more family time. JOY!

This weekend, I headed to Orlando to present my first research poster at the annual meeting for the Society for Reproductive Investigation. The hubs was able to come along too, which makes it the first child-free trip we have had in maybe 6 years...Terrible I know. Hopefully, this is the first step to doing better... I had so much fun presenting my poster and walked away inspired to keep figuring out my role as a physician researcher. This girl has got some plans ;-)

Daytona Beach!

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The next top priority on my agenda is finishing my Resident Research Day Project that will be presented in May and preparing for fellowship interviews! AHHH!!

The 30x30 Mission...

I finished 12 weeks of BBG last week! I started working out around October 31st. I am 10lbs and a dress size down, lost 3 inches on my waist, and I must admit, my muscle gains are kind of the bomb! #Flexin

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Most recent pics below...


I'm planning on starting BBG1 again, and working on eating better with this next go-round. Currently shoving pizza in my mouth as I type. Prayers please...Summer body, I'm coming for you!


Hope you all are well! Now that we are almost through the first quarter of 2017, join me in taking inventory on where you are with your goals for the year. It's the perfect time to re-focus and re-strategize...

Talk to you soon!

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