Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life Lately.

Hi all.  I haven't blogged in awhile ... I have big plans to gear back up for more medical/parenting topics,  but for now I just want to capture a few memories...  So on a personal note:

Summer is fading into autumn over here and it all has such a different feel with Matthew having started preschool (and swimming and t-ball!).  And I just have to say ... I love it.  As much as I will always cherish the four years we spent of sweet, schedule-free, together-all-the-time baby days, we are definitely both ready move on a little, and to grow and change.  Matthew is having a blast at school - he loves his teachers and his friends and he especially loves the days he gets to stay for "lunch bunch."  Oh my gosh it is so cute hearing him excitedly tell Mark what I packed for him that day!!  Not a single tear has been shed at drop-off (from either of us!), not even on the first day.  It's probably partially a benefit of a September birthday... he turned four the very first week of school, meaning he's a little more mature than he otherwise might be and I really did have four years at home with him already - a long time(!).  I've been loving a thrice weekly break, and it's been so special to finally have some one-on-one time with Claire.  Tellingly, Matthew decided on his own that he wanted to be called "Matt" at school.  "Matt Murakami" was always the plan... we'll still call him Matthew at home but I love thinking about my sweet, not-so-little Matt.

Meanwhile Mark is finally up and running in the lab, which has been an incredible change for our family.  To explain:  He finished residency two years ago and is now about two years into his oncology fellowship.  The first 1.5 years of fellowship were just like residency (read: outrageously grueling hours) except that he was able to practice his speciality (oncology) rather than general medicine.  So at this point we are SO GLAD to finally be DONE DONE DONE with all the *truly* crazy (as opposed to just sort of crazy) hours.  I can't even begin to describe the relief and the impact this has had on our family... that'll have to be another blog entry.  Mark is also clearly very happy to finally be able to focus more on what he really wants to do - the research.  Things are going well for him so far; we probably have another 3(+) years until he can get enough grants and publications to start his own lab, but that's fine with us - we love it here, for now (could use some drawers and counterspace in the bathroom, but otherwise, it's really pretty perfect!).  Blood cancers (leukemias, lymphomas, etc) are his area and his research is pretty exciting if you ask me!

We had a fabulous but crazy-busy summer, I barely had time to blink.  A few highlights:

Florida with Nana.  Nautical Janie & Jack romper off Ebay.
(1) We kicked it off right with a trip to visit my uncle in Florida (me, the kids, and my mom), and some time in Madison with my parents.  We managed to work in a few Chicago days with my in-laws and I even escaped sans kiddos to a girls' weekend in Minnesota, visiting two of my oldest and dearest friends!
Three times a lady.
Back home in Madison:  Papa's yardwork helper.
Museum of Science and Industry with Mo - watching the moon landing video.
Same trip:  We also made it to Geneva, WI for my SIL's baby shower.  I got to spend time with my beloved Aunt Nancy who, I should note, has the same gray streak but with more strategic parting.  We both got it from my grandmother :)  Pretty sure Claire will have it one day too, check it out:

Hard to capture on film but she has one streak of much lighter hair, right in that same spot.
She'd colored it here.
I still miss her all the time.
(2) We loved having our "third college wheel" (my BFF Hillary) and her family nearby for the summer.  Getting our kids together is nothing short of trippy - if someone could have shown us these pics back in college, all three of us would have just about died.  How did this happen?!
Our Mini-Me's.  Stay tuned for "Ellingson Hall: The Sequel."  In theaters September of 2030.  If we can afford it.
Hillary/Annabelle:  "No, I didn't find the results surprising.  I'd long since suspected I was right-handed in a MAJOR way."
Lisa/Claire:  "I might even stop saying 'dude.'"
Mark/Matthew:  "Y'all want to to go to Hardees after this?"
Their destiny:  Megadorks!
Currently:  Dressed to impress.

(3)  We rocked some seriously great outfits, I can't wait to resell these next spring.

"Could Mine" brand patchwork/rainbow tunic and leggings, off Zulily
LOVED this outfit.  Already resold!
Matilda Jane.
Matilda Jane.
Adorable Hartstrings go-go style dress bought on flash sale at RueLaLa.
"Baby Whale" nautical searsucker bubble/romper with long ribbon ties by Classy Couture, from Zulily.
Gymboree on the boy.
Janie & Jack.
Someday she really will be "sophisticated."  Crazy!
(4) After so many years of not being able to go, we finally made it to Mark's family's "family camp" (Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp) in Michigan.  WHAT A BLAST!  There was no end of fun stuff to do both at camp and in the general area, and certainly no end of family members to hang out and catch up with.  This kind of trip is right up my alley in terms of family, tradition (my kids are 4th generation at this camp!), and fun, and between camp and the epic Murakami Christmases I am really pretty excited to have married into the big family experience.    

Allllllllll the Murakami cousins.  So far, anyway!  (NO plans to add to this... but would be thrilled if someone else did).
Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

(5) My parents also came out here for their annual visit; we can't host them in our two-bedroom apartment so - oh darn - they always rent a place in Cape Cod.  Cape Cod is such a fairytale and I feel so lucky to experience it every summer.  It's New England at its absolute finest:  picturesque natural beauty, quaint little cafes and creameries, and a fabulous historic feel.

Babes on the Cape.
Hanging with dad.
Our local BFFs came up for a night... cutest crew ever!
Add a visit with some dearly missed friends who moved away a year(+) ago = a perfect week.

(6) Annual blueberry picking at Parlee Farms - can't miss loot this good!


Dressed the part.  Of course!

(7) We barely used our trusty bike trailer this summer, we were just THAT busy!  But we did make it downtown.  Once.  !!!

Boston Commons.  Fave new outfit for Claire by Persnickety.

(8)  I discovered Persnickety.  My current favorite brand EVER.  (yes, I know... but that's exactly what I mean).


(9) Overnight trip to scenic Connecticut to visit the Whites ... late-night chatting and breakfast at "The Coffee Farm," yes please!

I only contributed two of these kids.  Ever in awe of the amazing parents that Jen and Topher are.

(10) Matthew turned four.  Four!!!  He wanted a yellow cake and an excavator for his birthday.  This is about as creative as I get, and I don't think I'll ever pull it off again.

Saying prayers that night with Matthew I prayed for him "... and thank you for my yellow birthday cake with the excavator on top..." before I could go on I saw this sweet little smile creep across his face and he said, in a gosh-you're-so-silly tone, "It was a backhoe."  And... He was RIGHT.  lol.

And two bonus snippets as we move into fall...

(1) Our first-ever after school snack of home made chocolate chip cookies and milk.  Been dreaming of this day for how long????

Seriously, if you haven't tried this cookie recipe I IMPLORE YOU!!!!!!

(2) Shots from some mommy-and-me time with Claire.  And ... more Persnickety :)

Pink "Knickers."  LOVE.  This has become a hobby and an artistic outlet for me.
Love her.
My sweet, goofy, outrageously brave, fun-loving girl.

So that's that, I just wanted to capture a few moments before they got away from me.  I can't believe how the last several months have flown by.  Here's to hoping for a fun-filled, productive fall, with lots of happy autumn memories and maybe a little more blogging!