April 26, 2015

soul | 36 hours of my life

finally I have arrived in the light.  After far too long, I finally feel back to myself, however briefly.
it reminds me of a book we received for a wedding gift, "36 hours: a collection of all the NYTimes 36 hours columns".  For those of you not familiar, the NYT runs a weekly (?) column where they tell you how to spend the BEST 36 hours in any city in the US.  Whenever I read them, I always think, "This is fantastic, but what a lot to pack in to such a short period of time!"

Well friends, I have revised my opinion of 36 hours and think the NYT is on to something:  if you pack it in, 36 hours can feel like a week long vacation.  

Here is my 36 hours of light, in Washington, DC

Friday:  I signed out to my co-resident around 7:15pm.  

7:30pm:  commute home, listening to a This American Life podcast called Call for Help (you should listen, it's amazing!) about a couple who take their 1 and 3 year old on a cross-pacific sailing trip and have to make difficult - and much judged - decisions when their 1 year old gets sick.  I find that listening to podcasts makes my commute seem more like an activity and less like a chore.  
Other podcast suggestions here, but my favorites include Death Sex + Money, The Moth, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

8:15pm:  arrive at home to the open, loving arms of my husband (who has been hungrily awaiting my arrival), change quickly and walk up the street to our new favorite bar/pub called The Boundary Stone.  We meet up with my sister and her soon-to-be-husband, who have somehow already become friends with everyone in the bar, including the bartenders, who immediately take our orders (and give us free shots of whiskey).  Recommended for this 36hours: find yourself a social sister who everyone loves.

10:30pm: head home and curl up in our cosy living room to watch only one episode of Empire, our new TV obsession.  Have you seen it?  It chronicles a music mogul as he prepares to pass down the company to one of his 3 sons.  The plot is a bit contrived, but the music is awesome.

11:30 to BED!  a glorious part of the evening because we know we can sleep in the next morning - together, which hasn't happened since, I don't know, 2014?


10:00am: yup, that's right, 10.  We wake up and my husband makes us breakfast (ok, ok, but I make us us coffee, using my new French Press obsession.)

10:45am: C and my soon-to-be-brother-in-law head to the National Arboretum for a plant show with the goal of picking up new plants for our backyard.    They end up getting a banana leaf fern, more cucumbers, dill and an artichoke plant.  Our backyard is starting to become the jungle oasis we want it to be thanks to their green thumbs.

Meanwhile, I cleaned the house, put together my new desk and set up my little space in our room.
I can't tell you how important it has been for me to have my own little space to just organize my life a bit (photos coming soon)

11:30am: BARRE class led by my sister, G.  let me tell you, it's serious stuff.  Her studio is XtendBarre DC in the Shaw neighborhood.  It's tucked away in this adorable little alley space called Blagden Alley - which kind of reminds me of Diagon Alley (except the magic is a Barre class, a coffee shop and some pretty adorable looking restaurants).  You should check it out here.

1pm:  coffee at La Columbe, this adorable coffee shop in the same alley way where  the baristas are sweet and compliment you on your fanny packs.  Also, very good coffee.

2:30pm:  meet up with a bunch of friends to bike to a bluegrass festival on Kingman Island, on the Anacostia Riverway.   C played music and we all road along a bikepath out to the Island.  It was super overcast, which just made biking out to an island feel all the more like we were going to a secret party.  Except for the hundreds of other people there.

3:00pm: Wander through the woods, dance in the rain to bluegrass, eat some delicious pulled chicken BBQ from DC food trucks, drink beer out of clean kanteen cups and create general merriment.

7:00pm:  Attempt to bike home in the rain.  Actually use DC Metro (which is pretty amazing).  I recommend getting the Metro App if you're in the DC area for pretty much any period of time.  You can see when the next train is, reference the map on your phone, and map your trip to find the most direct distance.

7:30pm:  Shower and change, get warm and toasty.

8:30pm: Head over to friends house for southern-style cooked dinner and relaxed hanging. The kind that can only come when you're finally warm after being out in the elements all day.  Cosy.

11:00pm: Decide that you probably should be in bed, bid farewell and return home.  Crawl happily into bed (I recommend our sheets and duvet cover from West Elm, one of our most favorite stores in DC - on 14th street NW)

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SLEEP.  Try to not to think about the fact that your husband works for 24 hours tomorrow and you work tomorrow night.  Try to stay in the light.


People need beauty as well as bread
places to play in and pray in
where nature may heal
and give strength to body and soul
- j muir

April 12, 2015

medicine | in the dark

For the past now 3 weeks, despite the days getting longer and more beautiful, my work day has me up and at the hospital before sunrise and leaving after the sun sets.   I feel like I live my life now in a timeless, dayless always-night.

Whenever this happens, I always worry it will never end because it's so soul-sucking.  But in a mere 5 days I'll have a day off and get to run around in the sunshine. 

I thought I might share some strategies I'm trying to develop for coping - for when this happens to me again or if you find yourself at a time like this.

First, remembering why I'm doing this. I love being an OB-Gyn and when I'm at work, actively helping women, I feel good.  

Second, carve out time to move. One of the hardest things about getting home in the dark is that I don't have a great, safe, dark running route from my house. Running is and has been for a long time, the way I de-stress and cope with feeling trapped inside a hospital all day.  I may just buy some pepper spray and run laps on the main road.  I'm getting a bit desperate.  But I've also started doing some yoga podcasts in my call room, which helps.  

Third, feel the breeze, look at the outside, even if you can't be there. I try to find windows and open them whenever possible. It reduces the feeling that there is no changing of time. Especially these days when everything is so pretty! 

Fourth, eat well. Nothing like feeling trapped and I'll. I'm not always the best at this, but I try even harder when I'm in one of these long stretches of work to make sure I'm getting enough fruit, veggies, protein, and water.  Water is huge.  

Fifth and finally, remember that it won't last forever. The body (and mind) are pretty resilient and can recover from a short hard stint like this.  I'm dreaming of my long run next Saturday followed by a spa day to celebrate my sister's upcoming wedding.  

In the meantime. I'm hanging out in darkness.  

April 2, 2015

Tribe | family style

 It's been a month since I've blogged. Okay, more than a month.  I keep thinking about it and then about a million things come up and I never get to it.  Part of it is that so much has happened, so much has changed, that it's hard to know where to begin.  

But that's the beauty of writing, right? You just start writing - 

For the past month, my new husband (!!) and I have been living in a shared three bedroom apartment with my sister and her husband-to-be (so soon!).  As sister who are super close but have not lived within 300 miles of each other since we were teenagers, it was definitely a leap of faith in many ways to not only move in together but move our husbands in together and start this new chapter of our lives... Together.  

The experience so far can be summed up as "surprisingly awesome".  G (my sister) and I have talked about why it's so great and as an obvious next step, why everyone isn't doing this.  I think the answer to a that we, as a society, used to live with family longer, but have emphasized independence and following of career paths and lost this important role of rooting.  

There are so many things that are just easier about living with family.  For one, there's no passive aggressive anything.  My sister and I have already fought about buying one could fight about, so at this pint l, we just say what we feel and get to the solution.  For two, we like to feed each other.  While this is true also of my (friends who have become family) #tribe, it just feels different when it's my sister.  

We take care of each other really well.  And even though with my  #tribe, I feel like there's no going back, the four of us (G, our husbands, and me) really are in it for the long haul in every possible way.  This makes little things become not suchc a big deal and big deal things become more important to actually work out.  

Plus I get to be around for all sorts of her life events (see below, picking up her wedding dress), and vice versa.    

More thoughts on co-habitating with family soon.  Sooner than last time, at least.  <3epc

February 14, 2015

soul | love like rain

let your love by like
misty rains
coming gently

let it embrace the mountains 
seep beneath your skin
soak your soul

and forever flood
the river of your lives

- a blessing my mom created for our wedding

happy valentine's day!

February 13, 2015

soul | winter 2015 playlist WINNING

a little bit of old, a little bit of new
because right now I almost always need a reminder of how lucky I am, 
this mix is entitled,


ALL I DO IS WIN | dj khalef
HEADS WILL ROLL | yeah yeah yeahs
THE EDGE OF GLORY | lady gaga
SUPER BASS | nikki minaj
JAI HO | ar rahman
ONE MORE NIGHT | maroon 5
FANCY | iggy azalea
SELL OUT | real big fish
FLAWLESS REMIX | beyonce and nikki minaj
UPTOWN FUNK | mark ronson and bruno mars
LIPS ARE MOVING | meghan trainor
GERONIMO | sheppard
WHAT WOULD YOU DO | bastille

February 11, 2015

citizen | big life tasks without a lot of time

for many years  this past year, I have needed to do a lot of real life things without a lot of time.  here's my cheat sheet on how to still accomplish life tasks, while not having a lot of free time to browse/wait at a store/travel to outlets.

1. changing your name after marriage (or for whatever reason, I suppose)
there are actually a bunch of websites that make this really easy for you.  the one we used was mstomrs.com (don't love the website name, but it's straightforward).  you basically plug in the info you're interested in plugging in, print the forms, fill in the information you didn't want to type online (SSN, parents SSN, etc) and mail to the address they tell you to.

the order you need to change documents in goes like this:
social security card --> passport --> drivers license --> everything else (credit cards, bank statements, leases, health insurance, etc).  

we are still in in the initial steps, but it's going.
also good to know, there's no time limit on when  you can change your name after you get married, so no rush - enjoy that honeymoon!

funny story: my husband is taking my last name as his middle name, so we will both have my current last name as our middle names and his (now our) last name as our last name.  more on how we decided this soon.  Anyways, he went to go change his middle name at the social security office, and he brought with him proof of his identity, but also proof that we are married, proof that I'm his wife and that's where the name is coming from.  But they needed basically none of that.  They made him show them his drivers license but basically told him that he could change his middle name whenever he wanted and for whatever reason, no marriage required.  maybe in a few years, we'll both change our middle name to something epic like tornado  (ERICA TORNADO sounds pretty awesome, huh?)

2. updating your glasses prescription
one word: warbyparker
through their website, you can upload your prescription (you still need an actual prescription from an optometrist), you can upload a photo and virtually try on frames, you can have frames (for free!) sent to your house to try them on, and you can order prescription frames for $95, as long as your prescription isn't too complicated.

3. taking care of your teeth
you actually still have to see a dentist, but I think this should be more of a priority than it is of us.  but the hack is to get an electric toothbrush.  this is better than flossing and will mean when you do see your dental hygienist less frequently than recommended, you're getting a good clean in the meantime (that's what I tell myself anyways).  I actually hinted hard that I wanted this for christmas, so my parents bought us (oh yeah, Bonus - two toothbrushes in a pack!) from costco.  

4. working out in your house without a home gym
it may not be for everyone, but I just bought a bike trainer to set up my actual road bike as a stationary bike for the winter.  these days, I get home way after dark and it's not inviting nor safe for me to be out biking/running at those hours, but I also didn't want to buy expensive gym equipment that will take up more space.  I looked at some reviews of trainers and ended up getting this one for about $120 and am very pleased with it.  Bonus, it folds up and fits in the closet for spring time.  

5. anything else: remember, the internet is here for you (this may be one of my mantras now)  some other problems that got solved remotely included:

our coffee pot shattered --> replacement of just the pot, from amazon
needed a new ski bag --> REI has a super sale right now
my friends all turn 30 this year --> etsy's handmade and unique jewelry
Origami crane pendant necklace, crane, folded-paper craneHeart Earring Studs | Wood Earring Studs | Maroon Earrings | Hypoallergenic Earring Studs | Titanium Earring Studs | Fall Earrings2mm Personalized Ring - Mother's Ring, Best Friend Ring, Graduation Ring, Pinkie Ring, Love Ring, Promise Ring, Tiny Ring
*click photos to link to source*

some things you should have to do in person but should squeeze in, no  matter how little time you have:
- go to the doctors and get a yearly check up (especially women!)
- go to the dentist for at least an annual teeth exam
- drop off things that you should really dry clean
- go see an optometrist to get your eyes checked
- go to the post office to mail birthday presents and letters to your grandma!

I'm off to do the last one right now.  Have a wonderful day!