Summer of Maggie

(because we just can't help ourselves from taking more pictures)

I have been loving my summer so far. Here I am advertising "summer fun" in one of my new sundresses. Note the fact that I am sitting up on the couch. With just a little assistance.

But as much fun as wearing all my new summer clothes is, it's still more fun to be naked! Especially when it gets warm. I've been liking my baths more and more, too, and hope to try swimming later this summer.

Also very exciting, I got to see my Aunt Mariah again, who's my very own godmother, and meet Uncle Eric for the first time, my godfather! He made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

And then, I get to spend every day with my grandma, who came to town just to see me. I like it when she reads me books. The rest of the time, as you can see, I just sit around looking cute. My mommy and daddy are going to drive me around the country this summer so that people can meet me before I move to Africa. Hope to see you soon! Love, Maggie

Civic, I salute you.

This year has been the end of an era in so many ways. One way I didn't even think of until yesterday was the sale of my car. I bought my Honda Civic as a first year med student in Loma Linda. My previous vehicle had been a piece of junk Mercury Topaz that I left in Minneapolis, so at the time of the Civic's purchase, I was relying on a bike for transportation. I actually biked in to the car dealership (they must have known I would be good for a sale). What I wanted was a nice, dependable auto that I could drive through residency and not break down at all. And bless you, Honda Civic, that's what I got.

It drove around southern California with me for a few years, and then faithfully transported me to Michigan, and back, and back to Michigan again. The A/C broke, and I think I bought 9-10 tires for that car (in 7 years, a bit much) but that really didn't reflect poorly on the car itself. And when I sold it, half the back bumper was missing, and the front was scraped and dented, but again, not the car's fault (I take full responsibility). 75,000 miles later, the only time it ever died on me was when I discovered that the low fuel light no longer worked. A quick fix to get it running again (gas, a novel concept).

So it seems a bit sudden that my car in all its dependable glory, is no longer in my ownership. I listed it on craigslist yesterday, and literally within 15 minutes of my posting someone called and was interested. He bought it less than 3 hours later. Civic, I barely had time to say goodbye. You were a good friend. Thanks for the memories. (and PS, Thank you God, for letting it sell so quickly. Now how 'bout the house?)


The Maggies Two

We never could figure out where Maggie got her knack for the furrowed brow. Mom's side? Dad's side? It wasn't until the advent of the new Simpson's stamps that we realized the truth.


The End of Residency

After 12 (or 11 for Eric) years of post-secondary education, the end has come. This is a momentous reminder that time does, in fact, pass, and things come to an end, despite good reason for feeling like it never will.

Last Friday, the paper chain that Rachel made to countdown the days she was separated from Maggie for work purposes was torn at its final link. God willing, her next patients will be in Kenya.

The week prior was Eric's gradution, and though he doesn't finish working until June 30th, the honors and certificates have been bestowed, and great thanks to Tim, Sami, and Jonathan for coming up and sharing the evening with us.

Last Friday night, the OBGYN gala was on, and Jean, Sharon, and Tim all got to come, in addition to Karen Selle, Eunice, Jason and Heather Fader, and Charlie and Maryann Leland. Rachel won her classes' Academic Achievement Award, and her class kept up the tradition of spoofing their senior residents with a video of Rachel built around the themes of bikeriding, working up to one's due date, and The Lion King.


Missing A2 #2: The Intelligentsia

Everyone knows that the predominant feature of Ann Arbor is, in fact, not the dollar theater, or the free birthday deals, but rather the University of Michigan. Living in Ann Arbor without the aura of living in a college town is impossible. This feature has lots of advantages, including the public transport system, free school of music performances, and a town spirit around football season that really is a lot of fun.

However, the biggest advantage of the University is the type of people drawn to the city. When one lives in a place, you hear all sorts of rumors, but I do know that, in 2003, Ann Arbor was voted the 6th least stressful city in the US, partly because of the large percentage of people working at jobs that they actually enjoy. I think I remember that the percentage of residents with doctoral degrees was over 25%.

"Nice to meet you. That's a wonderful opinion about the most recent politics in Palau, by the way."

"Really? You're studying ethnomusicology? That's awesome!"

"So you came here for more grad school after your Ph.D. from Duke? What's that like?"

"Oh... well, I was just making a nerdy joke about a mitochondrion... What? You thought it was hilarious, and have one to tell me about a ribosomal subunit? I'd love to hear it."


I Wear People Clothes!


Missing A2 #3: In Walking Distance

Here we resurrect our Top Ten Things We Will Miss About Ann Arbor. We had started this list last fall (click here for the others), and then it had fallen by the wayside, and we had actually forgotten what the last 3 things were. But after much hard thought, we have remembered.

Having grown up in Tennessee, there was no place to walk or even bike to. Everything was just too spread out. In fact, in early high school, my friend and I would bike over 2 miles down a shoulder-less road packed with semis, diving into the irrigation ditches whenever one came barrelling down. Why? Because we wanted to visit the Texaco station and buy a Dr. Pepper.

So the contrast couldn't be sharper, now that we have been in Ann Arbor, where the longest distances across town are comparable to the shortest distances in Metro Nashville. And from our house, we can walk to dozens of restaurants (as witnessed by our successful resolution to walk to a new restaurant every month), multiple parks, the Chinese and Mexican groceries, and numerous geocaches. Ann Arbor, like many older northern towns was built according to pre-automobile plans, and the proximity of everything has been a lot of fun.

Where will be able to walk to in Kenya? Time will tell.


Celebrating the "Mousey"

I'm not sure how many of my (Eric's) cousins have a "mousey", but I know it's most of them. Made with love by my Grammy (Maggie's Great Grammy), this elephantine/mouse hybrid stuffed creature has been an object of affection for all of us. Thus, an amazing gift when, a couple days ago, we got a small package from Minnesota, containing Maggie's very own Mousey, complete with her name embroided in the classic ear location.

Thanks so much, Grammy, for such a wonderful treasure!

Maggie Mania

Back by popular demand: less about us, and more Maggie, all the time! Starting out with a trick she will grow out of soon, and never be able to recover.

Lucky me, I'm getting to hang out with my Grammy.

And I've already gotten to hang out with my Grandma Jean!

And even Aunt Mariah came, but I was distracted by something on the ceiling... Other than that, life is just going on. By the way, did I mention that I'm up over 10 pounds. I didn't mention it? Well, it's true. I'm huge. Oh, and I did go out on a date. It was casual, but Calvin Rocke is pretty cute. Maybe we'll see him again before he moves to North Carolina.


Our Baby, the Hobbit

In the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien describes hobbits as having 7 recognized mealtimes: Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, and Supper. And presumably these voracious appetites were in want of a midnight snack as well.

Ergo, Maggie is a hobbit. Her meal schedule is quite regular, and corresponds with the above meals perfectly, to the point that we have started referring to them by Tolkien names. E.g., today Eric's mom was able to bring Maggie over to see Rachel at the hospital for Elevenses, though the day prior it was for afternoon tea.

And one day, we'll get to space her meals out, and she'll think "I don't think he knows about Second Breakfast..."

Man, we are nerds.

Ode to Our Map

Almost anyone who has even entered our home since we were married is aware of our map. This foam-backed world map has been the travel log for all visitors to our home. People have pinned all the places that they have visited and lived, and it has been the source of many interesting conversations. However, we are soon leaving these shores, and though we plan to repeat the map in Kenya (which we're super excited about), the time has come for dismantling the current map. We would like to recognize a few superlatives, though:

Lived the northernmost: Craig Ross in Reykjavik, Iceland
Lived the southernmost: Corey Mantel (I think) in Sydney
Visited the northernmost: Adam Possner in Barrow, Alaska
Visited the southernmost: Aaron Abarbanell at the South Pole

Notable Super Pinners (not an exhaustive list, and in no particular order): Jess Watters, Adam Rogers, Adam Possner, Caleb Fader, Eric Selle, Tim McLaughlin, John Cropsey, and Craig and Holly Ross.

Thanks for all who shared in the geeky excitement of our map.

Pascal's Pensees

This was a read a few months ago, and I like to think that I'm not afraid of a challenging tome, but this was a tough one. Largely because it's really just fragments collected posthumously. However, there were some amazing pearls, picked up every once in a while. Someone once described New Mexico as a desert with a hidden diamond ever so often, and that's about how I feel about Pensees. I hope you consider it a favor that I'm posting here the 'best parts':

“We know that we do not dream, and, however impossible it is for us to prove it by reason, this inability demonstrates only the weakness of our reason, but not, as they affirm, the uncertainty of all our knowledge.”

“Without this divine knowledge what could men do but either become elated by the inner feeling of their past greatness which still remains to them, or become despondent at the sight of their present weakness? For, not seeing the whole truth, they could not attain to perfect virtue… The Christian religion alone has been able to cure these two vices… For it teaches the righteous that it raises them even to a participation in divinity itself; that in this lofty state they still carry the source of all corruption, which renders them during all their life subject to error, misery, death, and sin; and it proclaims to the most ungodly that they are capable of the grace of their Redeemer. So making those tremble whom it justifies, and consoling those whom it condemns… Who, then can refuse to believe and adore this heavenly light? For is it not clearer than day that we perceive within ourselves ineffaceable marks of excellence? And is it not equally true that we experience every hour the results of our deplorable condition?”

“The prophecies, the very miracles and proofs of our religion, are not of such a nature that they can be said to be absolutely convincing. But they are also of such a kind that it cannot be said that it is unreasonable to believe them. Thus there is both evidence and obscurity to enlighten some and confuse others. But the evidence is such that it surpasses, or at least equals, the evidence to the contrary, so that it is not reason which can determine men not to follow it, and thus it can only be lust or malice of heart. And by this means there is sufficient evidence to condemn, and insufficient to convince; so that it appears in those who follow it that it is grace, and not reason, which makes them follow it; and in those who shun it, that it is lust, not reason, which makes them shun it.”