Monday, December 29, 2008

Wii wish you a merry Christmas...

First the best story (and kind of sad) from Christmas...

I walk into my parent's house and Garrett (my 7 year old nephew) runs up to me and is sooo excited to show me his new toys Santa got him. He was VERY proud of a plastic army tank and all the army men. But, the tank had lots of breakable parts, so all afternoon and evening his dad kept getting onto him about being careful with the tank or he'd be in trouble if it broke. They're trying to teach him that all these "things" cost money and not everything can be replaced.

The night goes on and we open gifts (Half-pint Hounsel got a Wii - yippee), enjoy dinner, etc. I notice that Craig and Garrett aren't downstairs. I walk upstairs into a bedroom and see Garrett looking down at the ground and Craig with the tank in his hands. Craig looks up at me and shows me a little door...that he broke off the tank. OH NO! I felt sooooo bad for Garrett. All night he had been careful with his toy and MY 30 YR OLD HUSBAND BREAKS IT!!! Craig said when he broke it Garrett looked at him with tears in his eyes and said "This is the WORST Christmas EVER!"
Poor Gare-bear...we told him we'd get him a new one - but he looked us right in the eye and said "Tita Rina - you can't get me a new one - SANTA brought it for me!"
Man I felt bad.

On a happier note...we had a fantabulous Christmas filled with making Rice Krispy treat houses, candy, gifts and the Wii. The freaking, amazing, Wii and Wii fit - Craig and I are addicted. We plan on having a Wii Olympics as a house warming party...oh yeah...I think we may have a house...just waiting to close...more on that later. The Wii is much more important!

The Crew
Sofia and I ...she's much more interested in the candy eating
Me and Garrett - umm - we weren't eating the candy :-)
Me and Maddie - ok - her sweet face can't lie - we WERE eating the candy
The fruits of our labor - YUM
Craig getting his Wii on (ew - that sounded kinda dirty)

Friday, December 26, 2008

How on earth will I live up to that????

Craig and I have really great parents and a really great family. I know a lot of people feel that way - but we REALLY do.
Besides the fact that I'm scared of messing up this kid somehow, I worry if we'll be able to be the parents our moms and dads have been to us.

Not only do they go above and beyond when it comes to gift giving, but they are generous with their time, their support, their love...the list goes on and on.

That's it for now - I can't wait to post pics of our great Christmas.

Lots of laughter, action shots as we played on Wii, modeling of our new Christmas sweaters (they have snowmen on them...rules all!).

And stay tuned for how Craig made my 7 year old nephew Garrett have the WORST CHRISTMAS EVER :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy CHRIST-mas!

Twas the day of Christmas, when all through the house.
All the creatures were stirring...maybe even a mouse.

Our stockings weren't hung, it wasn't our home.
But, we still anxiously waited for Santa to come.

The gifts were still many...piled under the tree.
I unwrapped our first onesie - for our new baby.

In a home that wasn't ours, we still had each other.
So humbled and amazed - this time next year - Craig as dad - me as mother.

Our lives are a whirlwind - changing day to day.
Chaos, excitement, unstable...some might even say.

But one thing holds true, our anchor - our MIGHT.
Is the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Christ.

Unsteady lives but unshakeable faith.
Make our uncertain futures - in Him - always great.

No matter the cicrumstance - one thing is for sure.
The love of Christ Jesus - so powerful and pure.

So - as we celebrate this day and get ready for a New Year.
No matter the obstacle - we must pray to not fear...

The questions, the worries, the doubts in our lives.
Use prayer - and always lift it up - to our loving Christ.

Happy birthday - sweet Jesus - the sweetest baby boy.
Who from His birth, life, resurrection - brings our lives so much JOY.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I think my doctor is going to fire me as a patient

I am THAT patient. The one that asks a million questions - and asks the same question 5 different ways because I want to make SURE he understood.

The problem with being in med school is that I am studying for the USMLE - and that means that I am learning about every genetic defect, every and anything that can go wrong in development, blah, blah, blah.

My doctor is great - he has been my doctor for over 10 years and is a colleague of my mom's. So, he treats me like a daughter and knows that my concerns are from the fact that I am getting all this information pumped in my head.

Craig has been to all my prenatal appointments and plans on going to every one until it starts to become too frequent. I've decided Craig should get a reward for just being my husband. I am SO difficult (at least I know it). He is the calm in our family while I am a whirlwind of chaos, worry, and go-go-go.

Half-pint Hounsel was moving and baby's heart beat was strong. My weight is right where it should be. My doc actually rolled his eyes at me when I asked if I was gaining too much too fast. He knows how OCD I am about my weight, but I figure if I am track I should put on about 20-25 lbs (YIKES!).

We did not do the NT scan and decided that we'll wait until the routine AFP test at 17 weeks. In about 6-7 weeks we'll find out if it's a boy or a girl but we just want healthy.

Continued prayers for Half-pint and our family would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy birthday to me - a few days late

I turned 29 on December 19th...on the downhill slope to 30!!!

I have really great friends and a wonderful family.

This is a few days late in posting - but I really wanted to post something thanking my family and friends who called, emailed, sent cards, sent gifts, sang songs, etc, etc on my special day.

I have been blessed tremendously and love those that are so giving of their love.

Thanks to all of you who made my first day as a 29 year old super duper special!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GET IN MY BELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a pretty rough 11 weeks of pregnancy in the beginning. I officially enter my 2nd trimester tomorrow and my appetite is back...and back with a vengeance.

I felt much like my friend Ashley does now (she's 6 weeks pregnant). I was so sick - vomiting, nausea - so tired - it was really bad. But, now, watch out...if you are a potato, fried, chocolate, resemble a pizza or plate of spaghetti - you may as well walk in my mouth...cuz I'm gonna eat you.

All my friends who have been pregnant say you get more fat in you maternal fat stores where you typically gain weight. Now here's the deal... I gain weight in stomach, my back, FACE.

Seriously - I look like I'm having an anaphylactic reaction and someone may need to intubate (I"m just throwing in medical terms so that I don't lose too much knowledge while I'm on hiatus).

I went to Dominica for 16 months and lost 20 lbs. I've been pregnant for 12 weeks and have gain 5 to say it's all baby...wellllll....

Unless this baby NEEDS:
1. French fries
2. Chick-Fil-A chicken minis
3. Milkshakes
4. Pizza twice a week
5. Kettle chips - barbecue flavored
6. Fudge
7. Spaghetti - or any italian food
8. Filipino food - eggrolls anyone (Shauna - I'm talking to you)
9. Cheeseburgers with onion rings
10. Anything that rhymes with - ocolate....

Then - I think I can only blame myself and my insatiable need to EAT, EAT, EAT!!!

Here's proof of my binges:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bet you're confused - and you may have more questions but for now - just check this out (man that was a long title)

I made this big deal about you reading a post before I wrote about this summary of the post that wasn't an Elf Yourself Hounsel talked about how three trees had big dreams for themselves. But, as time passed, each tree had different outcomes than what they had originally thought of. As you read the story, they each realize that their dreams were so little compared to what God had in store for them. Sometimes our future and our plans may not be the ones God has for us now but He'll reveal the great plans He has for you when the time is right.

So...what does this all mean???

Have you noticed anything new on my blog...ok...I guess I'm asking the three people that read this...but anyways...what's different?

Before you start to stress out - I've changed the title. It no longer states "Czarina's Journey to Dr. Hounsel."

I haven't been kicked out of school nor did I fail out but God threw a curve ball at me a couple of months ago. I am a planner and I had this life planned for Craig and I all set - we'd move for clinicals til 2011, I would finish residency, and then I'd come back to Dallas and start practicing medicine. Isn't it funny - how when we think WE have control over our lives - God reminds us in a BIG way that it's really HIS plan that we should be praying for and not our own.

God's timing is perfect - although I may fight it daily - His will for me is perfect. So - I've just been asked - for right now - to go on a different journey and I know that once I am at the point to where He wants me - medical school will pick right up where it needs to be.

I am on a different Journey now - not one I thought I would be on for a long time - but one I have prayed about since I could remember. I am humbled that I've been blessed with this responsibility and know that as long as I (I should have been saying 'we' for Craig and I") - we - put God first always - we'll have all that we need on this exciting journey we're now on.

Baby Hounsel
Due June 28, 2009

Down Home with the Hounsels

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prologue to my next read :-)

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
They were discussing their hopes and dreams when
the first tree said, 'Someday I hope to be a great
treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver
and precious gems. I could be decorated with an
intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty.'
Then the second tree said, 'Someday I will be a
mighty ship. I will take Kings and Queens across the
waters and sail to the corners of the world. People
will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
Finally the third tree said, 'I want to grow to be
the tallest and straightest Tree in the forest. People
will see me on top of the hill, look up to my branches,
and think of the heavens and God and how close to
them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all
time and people will always remember me.'
After a few years of praying that their dreams would
come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees.
When one came to the first tree he said, 'This looks
like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the
wood to a carpenter, and he began cutting it down. The
tree was happy, because he knew the carpenter would
make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree the woodsman said, 'This looks like
a strong tree. I will be able to sell it to the shipyard.'
The second tree was happy because he knew he was on
his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree
was frightened because he knew that if they cut him
down his dreams would not come true. One of the men
said,'I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll
take this one,' and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was
made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in
a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he
had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing
boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying
Kings had come to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces, and left alone
in the dark.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave
birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box
that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he
could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would
have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event
and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep.
While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and
the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men
safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said
'Peace' and the storm stopped. A t this time,the tree knew
that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree.
It was carried through the streets as the
people mocked the man who was carrying it.
When they came to a stop, the man was nailed
to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top
of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to
realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top
of the hill and be as close to God as was possible,
because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem
to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for
you. If you place your trust in Him, God will give you great
Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they
had imagined.

We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know
that His Ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Je ne parle pas Francais..."

TRANSLATION: I do not speak French.
This phrase was a MUST for Craig when we were in Paris. Although he only used in twice, both times were crucial :-)

I took French for 4 years in high school and 3 years in college...and I know just about as much as Craig. Well...I know a little more and was able to communicate ok while we were there.

Paris was dirty. Dirtier than I had remembered. There was a lot of graffiti and trash everywhere. But, it didn't outshine the absolutely stunning architecture of the buildings.
We hit the hot spots - Arc de Triomphe, Champs de Elysee, Musee D'orsay, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and the palace of Versailles.

I feel bad for didn't get our full attention. It's not her fault we were homesick and tired. It's not her fault the people didn't speak English. It's not her fault that the time we aren't cultured and got bored at the museums....who gets bored at the Louvre looking at the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo? WE DID!!

But, we loved our late night strolls (does 7:30pm count as late night????) down the Champs where street vendors were peddling yummy street food, handmade gifts, snake necklaces...oh Paris! We loved you and we are sorry we did not take advantage of our time with you...but...we'll always have Paris (wah, wah, wah).

***I tried to make the slide show all romantic-y but there is a random honking of a horn during the song***

Click to play Paris!
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

London rules....

this is the COOLEST city I have ever been to. We ended our night early since we go to Paris tomorrow. I can't wait to share all the sights and experiences we have had.
Craig and I with "Ed" aka Queen's serious

Craig and I at the Arsenal game :-)

Craig and I at Trafalgar Square

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Top o' the mornin' to ya!"

No...that's not right.

"G'day mate."

No...that's not it either.


Hmmm...that isn't it.



Home of Fergie's "London Bridge," stomping grounds of the entertainment elite such as Gwyneth and Madonna, memorable place where the quote "I, Ross take you Rachel..." will always be in our hearts...

Craig and I are going to London and Paris December 4 - you guys are wondering why? Why are you guys going when you have med school tests to worry about? Why are you guys going when you are about to make life changing moves?

Well...that's WHY! We thought if we don't go now...on this vacay we have dreamed about...we don't know when there would be a "good time." We have used school and work to make excuses for why we weren't living our the help of frequent flyer miles...Craig and I are headed to the UK!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I do not heart NY

I don't know what it is. I have been to to New York so many times...this past time was my 7th time to visit. I normally have lots of XOXO for the Big Apple...but this time around...the lurrvve just wasn't there....
...probably because Craig and I were looking at places to live...for clinicals.

One thing I realized and was very clear - NYC is not for us. We talked about it and decided that we would pray for other options for clinicals. We're thinking Atlanta but just letting God lead us.

Lots of things to decide...hmmmm...probably means I should get really studying for this test I have coming up in a month.

Things I do heart about NY:
1. The Little Mermaid on Broadway - FREAKING awesome!!
2. Subways - loved going all over the place and not having to drive
3. FOOD - everywhere you look - there's a restaurant, a food stall, a pizza place (sigh!)
4. Diversity - the people may be pushy and rude at times - but the conglomeration of peeps in NYC is great. Living in the Lone Star State...there is little diversity and it was nice to see America's melting pot.
5. Shopping - who says the Louis Vuitton purse on the corner of 7th and Broadway coming out of the trunk of the car ISN'T real?
6. The Rockettes - I had never been to this show and it is mainly for kids...but I am a big kid at heart. Craig looked at me and said I looked just as awestruck as the 7 year olds behind me :-)
7. Late night meals - this is the town where late night meals is OK - so what if I put on 3 lbs because I ate chocolate cake at 10 PM?
8. Celebrities - I saw but did not have the courage to approach for an autograph or pic - Mike Meyers, the guy from American Pie who wanted to do Stifflers mom, the blonde lady from Third Rock from the Sun
9. Immigrant history - Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, and The Tenenment Museum really allow you to see how so many people came to America to give a better life to their kids
10. Know I get to leave NYC and get back to TEXAS!!

Click to play NYC
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Picture Post....turning back time

Have lots to blog about but not much here's some pics until I can sit and actually put my thoughts down. So - here's some pics I meant to post a LONG pics of my friend Stacy's baby shower...and Stacy already had her baby.

Stacy's Baby shower

Stacy, Joe and Charleigh

Jonah's bday


Enjoy! I had a great weekend in Lubbock and I can't wait to show you pics!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


That's it...I love my Red Raiders :-D

Pics to come soon of Jonah's bday, friends from med school, doggie bdays, naked photo shoot...

OK - just checking to see if you were really paying attention.

****NO naked pics here...I can post a pic of histone free DNA...only if you're a DORK did you get that joke****

ALSO - if you've been reading my blog but never commented because you had to set up an account - I've changed my settings so anyone can add a comment without messing with new accounts, etc....SO if you read my blog, say hello...I'd love to meet my my faithful readers....maybe there's at least 10 people reading this thing :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Egypt is in Ohio...Geography vs Czarina

Thought I'd get your attention...Seeing if anyone really read this thing...Just curious....

Even if you don't - I'm still going to blog because it's therapeutic for me.

I thought I could give up blogging because I am always studying but then I realized I am giving up so much of what I love because I am studying. So, I am going to blog for 15 minutes a night - if I remember to do so.

Adeline is a faithful reader and she just started a visit her! Just thought I'd give a shout out to my Belgian friend..belgian waffles rock!

I think geography is kind of silly. Seriously, maps are invented for the purpose of telling us where to go and Mapquest would be out of a job if everyone knew where everything was.

I am rambling because I am tired...I think I hate geography because I am really bad at it.

My husband loves to give me a city and I have to guess the state it belongs to. He loves it because I am 90% WRONG....geography just isn't my forte. ask me about illegal substances that help burn fat and how it affects your mitochondria...I'm your girl...

Conversation between me and husband:
Craig: "Where's Boston?"
Me: It's in a state that starts with and "M" right?
Craig: is it?
Me: That's easy...Maine! Boston's in Maine!
Craig: [looking really sad and laughing at the same time] nope...Masachusettes...ok...what about London...where is London...
Me: [looking at him like he's RIDICULOUS and I have the look of victory on my face] ...." can't trick me...London is a country!"
Craig: [an expression of utter disappointment] is in ENGLAND!
Me: Oh yeah....

Geography 1 : Czarina 0

Friday, September 26, 2008

"My nipple looks like ham..."

That quote is straight from our new momma Keough....

Ok - so I told you November....but if you have been checking my blog in case I was going to update lucked out!

I know only 3 people read it - so spread the word that I am back..sorta...

I just wanted to share with you guys that one of my best friends gave birth to her baby girl!
Charleigh Ray Keough was born this morning, September 26th. She weighed 6 lbs 11oz and is 19 inches long!

Her mommy is Stacy - one of my best friends. God placed Stacy in my life later than most of my closest friends. We met about 3 years ago but have formed a lifelong friendship. Even though we have been apart because of school - our friendship always picks up right where it left off - now that's a great friendship!

Here's the sweet jelly bean!
CONGRATS Stacy and Joe! I love ya'll!


When I come back full time to blogging, here's a list of things I want to blog about.

1. My ultimatum with God
2. How David Blaine and I are a lot alike.
3. Why medical school is the Devil
4. The sexiest time between husband and wife
5. Diet and exercise philosophy 101

Jut a little taste to keep you interested. Check back every now and then and hopefully I'll have blogged a little more!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good bye for now...

If you are still checking this blog - you probably noticed I have not posted in a while.

I am studying for a couple of really big tests and I need to focus on that - for now.

But, I didn't want you guys to stop checking my blog and forget about me once I am done with these tests. THEN - I will be able to devote my time to blogging...

For now - I am only checking email for a few minutes at bedtime. The temptation to surf the net, look up recipes, read blogs is too much for me - so I am going to abstain from the 'net until after my tests.

Friends - you know who you are - call me if you need ANYTHING...but please remember that I am easily influenced, fall to peer pressure, and can easily be swayed to stop studying, grab a coffee, go out to guys know what to do (or NOT to do!)

Just in case you think I've forgotten - here's a list of things to do once I am back in the real world:

1) Register for White Rock Lake Marathon and help raise money for Scottish Rite (for my niece Sofia)
2) become friends with Kristen again :-)
3) FINALLy go see Chappy's house, Raider and salvage my friendship with her.
4) Feed Shauna's kids
5) Attend to my friends who are prego - Stacy (due on 9/29) and Adeline (due on 11/17 or earlier!)
6) Watch Gare-bear play pee-wee football! Take Maddie on a girl's day.
7) See my Duncanville friends - and actually make it to a dinner.
8) Be a better wife to my neglected husband.
9) Be a better momma to my puppies.
10) Be a better...just be a better person overall...doing all this stuff for med school makes me miss my life.

Peace out - for now - but check back around November....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sometimes we just don't understand

I know I keep promising the 4 of my dedicated blog readers pictures and updates but so much is going on in OTHER peoples lives that are so much more important than mine.

I asked you to pray for a friend of mine's baby cousin, Joseph, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor about 8 months ago.

Today, Joseph's battle with the tumor ended. He passed away peacefully and in very little pain in his home today. He was surrounded by his family, friends, and in prayer by all of you who have been praying for him.

I am studying for the STEP I exam right now and haven't been blogging because of it. But, I really feel like this post needed to be written. In circumstances like these, no one understands why God does what He does sometimes. Why did He take a 4 year old (yesterday, Joseph turned 4 years old) from his family? Why? Why? Why?

These questions come up and we (even the most devout Christians) begin to question why the One is supposed to heal - chooses not to do so. It's so difficult to even process it. But, one thing I have learned from Joseph's story, is that God was working through Joseph his entire battle. It is much easier for me to say all of this because it's not my child, my brother, my cousin, etc....but if you take a few moments and read through his blog - you will see how his parents stood firm that THIS was God's plan for him. How amazing is it that this little boy's story reached so many countries, reached thousands - maybe millions of readers, and touched the lives of so many!

His story and his battle - even his death - is God at work. Sometimes we don't understand why - and maybe we'll never really know - but trusting in Him in ALL times - is faith. Thank you to Joseph and to his family for showing me what REAL faith truly is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Important post!

Hey ya'll,
I am back home in Dallas! Craig and I had a smooth trip back to the greatest state EVER - TEXAS!

I have so many pictures to upload and so much to share with you - which I plan on doing this afternoon after I have my spa day :-)

But, I want to share with all of you an important blog. I've been asking for your prayers for my best friend Shauna's family.

They have been going through quite a lot lately. Randi has been held tightly by Satan the past few years and has been caught in a world of drugs. But, praise God, once again, our Savior has rescued another one of His sheep. She is currently in prison and is dealing with the consequences of her actions, but right now, this is the PERFECT place - because this is where God wants her.

Please put her on your prayer list. Read the blog, read the stories, and if your heart compells you to do so, link up her blog to yours. Open your heart and your mind, free yourself from judgement, and take a look at how God works miracles in even the darkest of places.

"Oh Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgement for no one living is righteous before you." Psalm 143: 1-2

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I have this final tomorrow... school final...NEVER a fun thing.

I am WAY unprepared but can only do so much. Seriously - it's 7PM and I still have not covered all the material.

Roommate and I loaded up on Starbucks Frapuccino's, lattes, pastries...and fresh donuts :-)

We figured this was the last time we'd be able to eat like crap together since we're going home (me to Dallas and her to Wisconsin) - tomorrow. So - we're celebrating - by eating junk food, studying all night, and praying like crazy for God to get us out of this mess we've created...again.

Regardless of the outcome, I am thankful. Thankful of this opportunity I've been given, thankful for His constant faithfulness even when I'm so undeserving, thankful for my health, my family, my friends, thankful for Jamie (I'll miss you roommate - no tears though - happy times are ahead...ok so studying for the USMLE in a hotel room isn't THAT fun), thankful for today, and thankful for His grace.

But still - PRAY for me tomorrow for the test and for a safe trip home.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
-I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love you friends!

We have lots of catching up to do friends - and once I am done with the semester - only 4 days left - I will post tons of pics and give ya'll updates.

Prayers please for: my final exams (one on Wednesday and the other Friday of this week), safe flight for Craig on Thursday to Miami, safe road trip back to Dallas (YIPPEEE!), my best friend Shauna's family.

Until then - watch this video - it makes me so happy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Please PRAY...

I became very good friends with a spouse of student from my school while in Dominica. Ashley has become a sister in Christ who I am thankful for everyday. She has a knack for story telling, bakes a mean loaf of bread, but more importantly, has a heart that longs to know and serve the Lord.

Her baby cousin Joseph is 3 year old. There is a link to his blog on my page. If you haven't read it - please visit his site.

Joseph was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. His diagnosis came when I was in my 3rd semester in Dominica. We prayed for Joseph and his family then...and we are still praying for him.

Many of you are parents or want to be parents. And many of you know how I have nothing but babies on the brain! So, when I think about Joseph - I can't help but think of his Momma and Daddy - that want nothing but to have their little boy be healthy.

I ask today - that you take a moment - and pray for Joseph and his family. Pray for healing for his brain tumor. Pray for comfort for his family. Pray. Pray. Pray.

If you don't believe it does - there are miracles all around you. It brought you to this site didn't it - and you are one more person who will know Joseph - know his story - and be touched by his life.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


This is how they practice medicine in Miami...bikini's, stethoscopes, and lab coats..SERIOUSLY.

Ridiculous. Great word. It sums up the past couple of weeks. Why, you ask?

1. I am just now getting used to being in Miami. And I move back to Dallas in 19 days ( 19 days, 458 hours, 27527 minutes) of 10:12 PM Eastern time on July 19th...but I'm not counting.

2. I have 3 tests, a power point presentation, and a paper due...all in the next 19 days.
3. Refer to of today... still have not been given the due dates for the presentation or paper...RIDIC...

4. I spent $65 on dinner...again...Miami is EXPENSIVE! But, time with my friends is PRICELESS (awww).

Jamers and I at a $65 dinner. That drink was $15.
I am going to miss her!
I love my friends!

5. Jamie and I are LOSING IT!! We have a 45 minute physical exam test - where we have to do an entire physical on one another in 45 minutes - head to toe...and we are having WAY too much fun practicing!!!

Umm yeah...she's trying to look super serious...but she's in a bikini top..and lab coat...

6. I am more excited about surfing the 'net for cupcake recipes for a baby shower I'm hosting than I am about finishing the semester.

7. I rehearse what I'm going to say for the physical exam test while I'm working out. Imagine being next to somewhile while they're running or on the elliptical and the person saying, "Ok, now I'm going to listen to your heart. Can you please lift your breast?" That person is ME!

8. I come home in 19 days (refer back to #1) but I am going to be living in a Dallas...8 miles from my study for the USMLE.

9. HOLY CRAP! I'm studying for the USMLE (United States Medical Liscensing Exam).

10. I am blogging rather than studying!!!

Keep it FLAT (that's for you, Craig, Joe and Pete)! Love ya'll!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wow - another post in less than 24 hours..

Hey ya'll! Can you believe it - another post.
Normally I ramble about what's going on in my life and just about random happenings in the Hounsel fam - but today I wanted to share with you something a little more personal.

If you know me - like REALLY know me - I am a worrier. It's caused me great anxiety in the past and I hate not controlling things, not knowing where I'm headed, never fully sure of God's will for me. After a lot of prayer, I realized that I've been kind of hypocritical in my life. Maybe I'm being tough on myself, but I realized that if I am going to pray to be a reflection of God's grace for others and tell others about the ultimate Trust I have in Him - I better start living and breathing those words of trust.

Trusting. Really trusting God with today, tomorrow, this second, this moment - is difficult to do. But, if you really believe that God has control of everything - and NOT just the things you pray about and choose to give to Him - tomorrow and today is already taken care of. And aren't we so blessed that we have a God that doesn't just do things half way - but He brings things to completion better than we could ever imagine.

In discovering and really praying on Trusting God, I found a sense of contenment and joy I haven't experienced in a long time. Now -I'm not saying that I have become this amazing spiritual being - but I now understand that if I really believe that God has control over ALL things in my life - tomorrow (and the many tomorrow's there after) is already taken care - and I really just need to focus on today and giving my all to the moments and breaths God blessed me with in the present. I have a lot of work to do and I know that praying for joy and contentment is going to be a daily, hourly, minute by minute prayer in my heart.

My quiet times in the morning is usually spent journaling and reading the bible but I began reading this awesome devotional book called "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow. It's led me to this realization and I am thankful God placed that book in front of me when He did.
The book also talks about how we CHOOSE to perceive things. How our sense of peace and joy can be changed by a shift in attitude and not necessarily by a change in our circumstance.

There was a story about a woman who was not happy in her new marriage. She thought it would be romantic, fun and exciting - but as many of us kn0w - marriage can be all those things - but it's also a lot of work. The young woman complained to her mother about her marriage and how unhappy she was in her circumstance. Her mother said nothing to her but later sent her note that contained these two lines:

"Two women looked through prison bars
One saw mud, the other saw stars."

How do you look at your life? What do you see?

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
- Philippians 4:11-13

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I lost my first patient....

*** Read below to see continuation of the title on this post***
These past couple of weeks have been busy! I am so happy I was able to go home over the 4th of July. It was filled with friends and family - the two most important things EVER!

Congrats, Mom!

My mom became a citizen on the 4th of July - how cool is that!
My niece Sofia turned 2 on the 3rd (and I missed her bday last year since I was in Dominica), my good friend Kristen got married...all this in 3 days! Although I had to cut my time short at most of the things we went to because there is just so much I can do with as little time I had - I was so thankful I was able to be invovled in these momentous events in the people's lives I love the most. What a great time!
Craig hanging with his buds - Pablo and Uniqua!
So Happy! I love you Sofia!
I don't know who was happier in wearing those birthday hats....
I love birthday parties!
Being silly with my parents! I LOVE YA'LL!!
Kristen and Kent! Kent-sten! She was a BEAUTIFUL bride!

This past week has been...interesting. I had another rotation. This time it was family medicine which is a doctor who does a hodge podge of everything - from pediatrics to older adults. Jamie and I got sent to this clinical site with very little information. Hmmm - probably because no one spoke any English. The docs and medical assistants spoke English but the patients did not. So we were warned when we came to Miami to brush up on our Spanish - so we both have our trusty Spanish-English medical dictionary handy. BUT - the patients spoke CREOLE AND FRENCH!
Now Shauna can be my witness - I learned NOTHING the 4 years in highschool French class (except that I have visions of cows and animals walking in the hallways....that's a long story for another post).

Anyhoo - the doctor had a philosophy that the best way for us to learn is for us to do things hands on. I absolutely agree - BUT - we had no way of communicating with our patients! So - the nurses or doc would stick a patient in our room and they had NO CLUE we were medical students, NO CLUE we were about to ask them to do a full physical on them while many of them were just there for follow up visits, and NONE of them were told what we'd be doing.
So - we had to communicate as best we could. Praise God the majority of patients we saw were understanding and my TERRIBLE French got me through the physicals.

Our first patient - VERY interesting - but - we lost him. Literally LOST him. It was our job to walk the patients up to the front after we saw him/her, make sure they had all their paperwork/prescriptions, schedule their next appt, etc. I walked the patient to the front counter - Jamie was behind me - the patient asked the nurse where the bathroom was - he went to the bathroom and NEVER came back. We walked around the urgent care center and couldn't find him. Oops...

My large group lecture this week was interesting as well. We had a 2.5 hour lecture by a SEXOLOGIST!! Yup - Dr. of Sex - we learned about boy and girl parts, boy and girl brains, what happens if the parts don't match the brains, talked about where we liked to be rubbed, and was handed water-based lube, female condoms, Magnums, OH YEAH! Med school is fun :-)

Learning how to put in an IV...yikes

Intubated my first "patient"...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What I've learned this semester in Miami..

this is my 5th semester in medical school and I'm on the path to start clinicals. This semester has been such an integral part of my past two years and I'd like to share with you some important things I've learned during my time in Miami.

1. You're never too old and it doesn't matter if you're single or married - The Bachelorette/Bachelor is still an awesome show! TEAM JASON!

2. House - the show on Fox - is KEY to my success in diagnosing patients.

3. Just because Express sends you coupons does NOT mean you have to use them.

4. Grocery shopping is never a quick trip - somehow - picking up a "few items" always results in a shoppping cart full of "essentials."

5. Forever 21 is NOT just for 21 year olds.

6. You don't count Chipotle or Qdoba as fast food.

7. Dwight Shrute is my real soul mate - sorry Craig ;-)

8. Waiting until the day before a test to study isn't the end of the world.

9. Sweating through your top is a law in Miami.

10. Being back in the US is a way more expensive than being in Dominica...BUT much better!!

Happy 4th of July - in two days!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life is good..

I feel like I pray everyday for God to do something amazing in my get me out of a tough situation, to show me His face and to hear His voice. Sometimes I forget to see the things He is doing in my life and the things He has ALREADY done... Here's some small blessings (or BIG depending on who you ask) I'd love to share with you.

1. My niece Sophia being born healthy. We thought she wasn't going to make it, but she came into our lives as a happy, healthy girl.

2. My friend Stacy who had a sub-chorionic bleed and was given a 50/50 chance of carrying the baby past her first trimester....she's now moving into her 3rd...

3. Praying for my husband to be a man of God...Craig being baptized in 2004 after over 20 years of not knowing Christ.

4. Waking up everyday...

5. Hearing my niece and nephew belly laugh!

6. My friend Adeline who has struggled for over a year to get pregnant...she's due in November!

7. My friend Christi showing the world's God's grace by being baptized this Saturday.

8. Having healthy, loving parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, in-laws,cousins...

9. Never going to bed hungry.

10. Laughing!

I could go on and on and on but you get the point. I am so blessed. BLESSED. I continue to pray everyday for direction because without God I am lost. But, when I feel like He's not listening or doesn't care about what I need or want, all I have to do is take a look back, take a look at the present, and know that the future is already taken care of.

Peace out homies!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not sure what just happened...

...I just took what I think was a test. But I'm actually thinking it was a new, age torture method created by The Evil One himself??

It was one HECK of a test. It has been 4-evah (quoting Mark Wahlberg from "Fear") since I've had a test that included essays. But, this test had 3 essays and 70 multiple choice. SERIOUSLY!!! I think I got the diagnosis right on them but my logic was illogical. Hmm - not sure my patients will like that...Oh well - I'm giving the Glory to God regardless of the outcome

I am almost done watching season 3 of "House." If you don't watch it - you are missing out! I got a lot of my questions today on my test because of that show. It's so good and such a great way for me to study :-) It's kind of like my version of "Baby Einstein" but for med school students.

Which brings me to the poll...since I am almost done with House - I need another show to occupy my time. I have quite the ecclectic taste for T.V - from Little House on the Prairie (Half Pint is my homegirl), to Sex and the City (LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT), to Gilmore Girls, to LOST (which is the best show on TV)...ya'll get to help me pick my next show to watch. Blockbuster video made a mistake by making the new rule of not having to return the DVD's within 7 days...which I do...sometimes...
If you don't like the choices I've put up - leave me a comment on which show YOU think I should invest my time watching.

Ok - vote - to the three people that read my blog (that's for you Addie!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I missed my 10 year looked so fun...I better finish med school after all that I missed....

Ok - that's it - just thought I'd invite the blog world to my pity party...

This is my 2nd post in 2 must mean...

...I have a test coming up!!!

YIKES! I have a midterm tomorrow - June 23rd. Hmm - now - you'd think I'd be more concerned that I haven't studied all that hard...but I am eerily calm. OR - I'm just avoiding studying - God will eventually get tired of bailing me out of these messes I get myself into - I'm really glad I have a loving Father that is SO forgiving of my lazy, lazy behavior.

When I say lazy - I mean I've only studied 6.5 hours today. In normal people terms -that's a lot of studying - in med school student terms - that is down right disgraceful!

Here are some pics from a happy hour my roommate and I went to. It was fun but OH SO VERY expensive!! The half price drinks were still $8...luckily we only had a couple...must have been all the food we ate...I'm much happier eating anyways :-)

To the two people that read my blog....enjoy!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


***Turn up the volume on your computer***
Thanks Ashley for posting this video!

If you have a minute - no - TAKE a few minutes from your day to watch this video. How often do we ask from God the things of our heart but fail to spread the news of the glorious things He does in our lives?

I am struggling with His plan for me. I struggle in not knowing, get angry at the things that don't go my way, find myself impatient for His answers...but He is ALWAYS working in my life.

God loves us....OH how HE loves us!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

True friends

As I'm sitting here in Miami, I am really sad that I wasn't able to go back home to Texas for my high school reunion. Lots of you don't know much about me but I really had a great high school experience.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that I had an amazing group of friends. My best friend since Jr. High is Shauna and to this day she is my best best friend ever. We both have made really awesome friends throughout the years but no matter who I meet, she'll always be THE friend... you know the ones....

True friends are hard to find these days. My true friends are those I don't feel like I have to edit myself with, watch what I say, or be cautious around. We can laugh for hours on end, cry to one another, be REAL with one another.

I guess I'm getting sentimental since I'm missing out on a fun weekend with my girls. My high school friends are girls (and guy...Brad is one of us...) that I still keep in touch with. We meet once a month (or they do...but when I'm in town they make the effort to see me) for dinners to catch up, laugh, have drinks, talk and talk and talk. We pretend we're still young sometimes and try to do cheers in Target, make up dances, drink lots of cocktails...but by 10pm....we're all TIRED!!

I love these women and know that I am blessed that God put them in my life. I love who I am when I'm with them, love that I know that when I'm not there they still think of me, love that they'll support whatever decisions I make in life, love that we have all evolved to be amazing women...but we still have a connection that I know will last through a lifetime.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Clinical rotation

Jamie and I are in our first clinical rotation....orthopedic surgery. I know - sounds exciting - but for someone who wants to go into Pediatrics - I wasn't sure what to think about the rotation.

It's been pretty cool! We got to watch a surgery that happens maybe once every 4 months. A PCL reconstruction and posterior lateral corner reconstruction. ...for us med school's pretty cool.

Here are some pics from our day! I look super duper Asian - we were laughing so hard because we were so excited and giggly all morning!

What a blessing!

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker