Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easter Weekend

We had Easter with the Lopez-side this year and it was so fun! The Burton's came in town from Raleigh and it is always so good to see them. Our niece, Annie, turned 2 a few days before Easter and they had a birthday party for her. It was dinosaur-themed, and Annie had the cutest dinosaur costume ever!

I've never been to a toddler birthday party, and it was pretty awesome. The kids are loving everything about what they are doing, except every kid has to have one melt-down. But, as soon as its over, they are back in the game. Amazing.

The newest addition the the Lopez family, Lucy Lopez!!! She was born March 7 and is such a cutie! She looks a lot like Annie and it is neat to see Annie be a big sister! Can't wait to see them again!

Bryce changed so much from the last time we saw him, which was when he was only a few weeks old. He is such a little boy, and so fun to play with. Just a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.

Lydia, Bryce, and Jo. They are growing so fast and change everytime we see them!

We went to Phil's Ice House for dinner one night and took some family pictures.

J and Sally, with Annie and Lucy.

Sally's sister Molly with Annie. Molly is an AMAZING chef. Check out her site - Vanilla Orchid.

Greg and Britt with Jo, Lydia, and Bryce.

The whole gang! We love the Lopez's and Burton's!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Medical Mission Trip to El Paso

Over spring break this year, I went on a medical mission trip to El Paso with students from Southwestern. It was a really wonderful experience and I learned so much from it. It was a week-long trip, and each day our team went to a different church to set up a free clinic. It was so great to be able to put the things I've learned to practice and to get some real experience in the field of medicine. Even more than that, it was a blessing to meet and serve the people of El Paso! We stayed at a church (the picture below) that had an area of bunkbeds and a meeting room, so it was set up to host missionary groups.

This was my team on day 1 at our first clinic. I really enjoyed our team, so many great new friends!

Each team had doctors with them to help/teach/encourage/make sure we didn't hurt anybody :) We had Dr. Zee (left) and Dr. Yam (right) and everyone loved them. They were both so encouraging and loving and taught me a lot about the kind of doctor I want to be.

End of day 1 outside the church. It was a great day filled with learning how to really be a doctor. It is amazing to think about how much I learned that week, thinking back on how comfortable I felt with everything by the last day compared to the first. My last patient of the day was a man I don't think I'll ever forget. When I was running through the basic questions you ask everybody pertaining to their history like "Do you smoke/drink/do drugs?" he answered no, and that he quit 7 years ago. I told him that was a great thing, and he proceeded to tell me why he had quit. He had been living in some of the greatest darkness and sin I've ever heard about firsthand from a person, and a he told about a lady who shared about the love of God and his Son, Christ, with him. He became a believer 7 years ago, and his life changed dramatically. He couldn't help but tell me all of the details of what had happened because of how much joy it brought him. By this point, we were both in tears and he said, "If God can save me, He can do anything." It was such a testament to God's grace and I was so thankful that he felt so compelled to share it with me.

Day 2 of clinics, at our next site. We set up exam rooms in random rooms in the church, I'm pretty sure this one was the nursery.

A sweet family we treated. The little boy was so animated and cute!

Day 3, at probably the nicest facility we had seen. It was great to have a little more space.

This was a really nice mother and daughter that came in together. I think it is going to be really hard to choose what I want to do as a doctor, because I loved seeing kids, adults, and the elderly. They are all different in their own ways, but so fun to talk to and learn from.

We were right next to Juarez, Mexico. You could see the fence dividing the US from Mexico. A lot of our patients were from Juarez. I found out that El Paso is the 3rd poorest city in the US, which really surprised me. I hadn't seen poverty like that in the US before. Even so, right across the fence in Juarez was even worse. The disparity that exists in our world is unbelievable.

Our makeshift exam rooms. Most doctors offices have high-tech, thousand dollar tables. We used desks. It worked fine, but I did find myself wishing we had better things to offer our patients. They didn't seem to mind at all though.

On our last day, the church we went to was in the middle of nowhere. It was what you picture when you are thinking of desert El Paso/Mexico. There were already a bunch of people waiting for us when we arrived, and we got going fast. My "exam room" that day was a table set up in the corner of the room. Not exactly private, but again, no one seemed to mind at all. I was so humbled by how kind and thankful the people we saw were.

Finished on the last day! We worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun. It was a good reminder of why I am doing what I'm doing. I won't lie, 2nd year of medical school hasn't been my favorite. I study more than ever in my life, and it wears me out. I have had plenty of moments where I've wanted to just put everything away and go become a teacher or anything else that doesn't require me continuing this marathon. But, then I get to go on a mission trip, or we visit patients in the hospital, and I feel refreshed. I only have 3 weeks left of 2nd year, and I couldn't be happier. Life is going to change pretty dramatically in July though. I will go from studying all day to being in the hospital all day, which will carry its own challenges but will be much more exciting. Mark and I are trying to prepare for the crazy schedules and such. I'm so thankful for how supportive he is. He is a big part of the reason I'm still in this game, he is always encouraging me and having patience when I'm crazy. His personality is great for the part too- not too much shakes him up so it reminds me to chill out. I love that guy.

Snow Day!

We had the weirdest winter this year. Not only was it incredibly cold, but it snowed more than I have ever seen it before in Texas, and we had so much fun! Our first encounter with the winter weather was on Christmas Eve. We went to church in the early afternoon and it was just sort of dreary outside. Then in the middle of the service, we started to see some little flurries out of the windows at the top of the church. Then, when we left the building at the end, it was coming down in big white flakes and it was beautiful! I've never seen any kind of white Christmas, so we were pretty excited. Little did we know that we would be seeing much more of that wintry weather.

The next batch was the mother load. It was a few weeks later, the day before I had a test and we woke up to huge white flakes and it was showing signs of sticking. Mark had some fun outside before he left for work. It was early and I was still in my pj's, but he didn't hesitate to throw a few snowballs at me.

I was studying inside all day, but I left the shades drawn so I could watch the snow fall. I slowly watched our parking lot fill up.

About mid-day, I saw our upstairs neighbors outside making a snow-woman, so I joined them! They had previously lived up north, so this wasn't too out of the ordinary for them. We named our snow-woman Petunia.

That night, there was no sign of the snow stopping and they were calling it a record for DFW already. The next morning, we woke up to Narnia!!

I had to be at school pretty early to take my test, needless to say this whole snow storm was the biggest distraction ever from studying/caring at all about a test, so I was lucky I did well. After digging my car out and taking a few pictures, we started hearing some cracking noises and watched the tree next to our building basically explode and a huge chunk of it fell off. Come to find out, our whole street was full of tree limbs that couldn't take the weight of the snow, so I was lucky I could get out.

It was so beautiful and peaceful outside that morning. Nevertheless, in true Texas form, the weather warmed up the next day and the snow only lasted another day. We saw it at least twice more to lesser extents over the next few weeks. I wonder what the summer weather will be like!