10 January 2010

Mermaid in Marshall

Amy the Mermaid in Marshall

Since Thanksgiving we’ve had a house guest. Well really, it’s more like we’ve extended our pack because Amy is not a guest, she’s family. Amy is my high school friend who is always on one adventure or another.
Her latest adventure has brought her, and her dog Che, back to the lower 48 from Kodiak, Alaska. She stayed with us for a month, but is currently renting a room in Marshall, NC in one of the oldest (if not oldest) homes in Madison County. I’ll try to get some pictures posted so you can truly appreciate the house…it’s amazing. So is Marshall, so much so that Amber and I now want to move there. Our happiest of happy outcomes would be to rent the house Amy is currently living in with Amy. We’re trying not to get our hopes up, but there is an actual possibility of that happening. Keep your fingers crossed for all of us as we try to figure out where we're supposed to be and what the hell we're supposed to be doing!

I know the posts are short, but I warned you in the beginning...I hate to write.

House in Downtown Marshall, NC

Che and RJ

09 January 2010

Catching Up

Even though it’s only been five months since my last post, it seems like an eternity. Let’s just say there’s been a lot of school, a lot of moving, and a lot of snow. Amber and I have successfully relocated to Asheville. I have spent the past three months in SW Virginia, coming home on the weekends when possible. Being away from home 80% of the time is challenging, but I feel very fortunate to have found my way to such a great place for my education and development as a family practice physician.

I’m over half way through my 3rd year in medical school. Sometimes it feel as if I will be in school forever, other times I can’t believe I’m already in the hospitals learning and practicing medicine. It seems like yesterday I was taking my first biology class at the University of Louisville, but it’s been five years!

Amber starts at UNCA on Monday. She is anxious to finish her undergraduate education. Her plan is to continue with a Master’s Degree at Western North Carolina in History with a focus on Cherokee History and Public History. She’s so freakin’ smart it wears me out. I know she is bound for great things.

I’ll be back tonight or tomorrow with the five month update - part two.

09 August 2009

Too much to tell

Too much has happened recently to fit neatly into one blog. The short and dirty is that we are moving to Asheville next month. No worries, I'm still in school...I will be doing my cores in Big Stone Gap, VA instead of SkyRidge. Which is just fine with me. SkyRidge decided that they would not live up to their end of the agreement and left 24 of us without rotations one month out....they suck.

On the positive side....Asheville rocks and so do the people I will be working with in Big Stone Gap. Also on the positive side, Amber will be close to her family again.

Other news will have to wait because I need to study, but I am posting a link of my personal page on the Mountain Area Memory Walk website...share it with your friends!

This is my grandmother, Dorothy Nell Newman. I'm walking in the Memory Walk in her memory.

19 March 2009

New House II

We could only get an outside shot because there is still a tenant living in the house. I'll upload more when we start moving in April.

17 March 2009

New House

We found a house in Cleveland, TN! We don't have photos to post yet, but will get some soon-ish. We looked at shit-hole after shit-hole and finally found a jewel. It's located in the historic district in Cleveland on 8th Street, NW. It is super cute from the road and even better inside. It has wood floors and natural woodwork throughout. The colors are great, it's almost like we picked them ourselves they're so great. And best of all....it has a HHHHUUUUGGGGEEE fenced in backyard for the babies and a great deck for the daddy. I can't tell you how relieved I am to have found something. After the first two days of looking I was convinced we’d be living in a shit-hole. The landlords are great too. I think we lucked out. We’ll post pictures later.
Kisses to all.

10 January 2009

Amber's New Toy

We started our new year off finding a replacement for Amber's POS car. This is Amber's first new car and honestly, I've never seen her so excited. For those of you who really know Amber, you know she's pretty evenly tempered, no huge ups, no huge downs. I'll have you know, she almost did a happy dance.

Our Holiday Break

Amber and I spent our Christmas break with her family in Leicester, North Carolina just outside of Asheville. It was a very relaxing visit. Her parents have a wonderful home with an unbelievable view. On Christmas day her father’s family came over for a feast…turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, dressing, potato casserole, rolls…

After Christmas I made a trip to Louisville to see family and friends. I wasn't able to see as many people as I would have liked, but it was a good visit. My first outing was to the Vietnam Kitchen…I know…big surprise. One of the highlights of the visit was finally being able to meet Baby Bella.

Sam & Bella

Sam, Nic, & Bella

22 December 2008

This is why Amber is afraid to have children. If I'm like this with the dogs try to imagine the outfits I'll have our kids wearing.

Here's to a great holiday and an incredible new year!

19 December 2008


We finally received my 3rd & 4th year rotation assignments on 12 December. My core training will be at SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland, TN. We picked Cleveland because Amber works at Red Clay State Park during the summer. Last summer Amber would drive three hours each way to spend two days a week at home. We also picked Cleveland because it is right outside of Chattanooga where my sister Valerie lives.

Our rotations are handed out via a lottery system. You pick your top twenty choices and then a computer decides where you will be…at least that’s the theory. I’m not convinced there wasn’t a little creative orchestrating done in order to make it an even spread of students (i.e. spreading out the really smart ones and the really obnoxious ones). Regardless, I feel very fortunate to have received the location we selected because some of my classmates didn’t get any of their top twenty selections.

I’ve now started the quest for elective and selective sites. Most of my selective spots for 4th year will be dedicated to visiting the residency programs I am hoping to match with. Here’s a list of my potential sites, many of which are on my top ten list for residency programs.

MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center)
Hendersonville, NC

Kingsport Family Medicine Residency
Johnson City, TN

Lyon-Martin Health Services
San Francisco, CA

Kodiak Area Native Association
Kodiak, AK

Central Maine Medical Center
Portland, ME

College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University
Kalamazoo, MI

University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program
Cheyenne, WY

29 November 2008

Amber's Update

So, this whole blogging thing is new to me; as Lawson stated before I do think it's a little lame. However, I have been proven wrong before and so, in the spirit of past lessons learned, I will give this a try.

For those of you who haven't heard from us in a while... everything is fine. We are both so crazy that we have little time to interact with anyone, even each other! There are days when we just grunt as we pass in the hallway. But you know what? We may miss each other, or wish we had more time to spend together, but if we can make it through school together, with no problems, we can be OK through anything!

Oh, while I'm on the subject, Thanksgiving is actually the anniversary of our first date. Thanks to a sneaky mutual friend we ended up having our first date over turkey dinner.

Soon you will have the opportunity to hear all about our struggles to find a suitable location for L's residency and my grad school, and I'm sure you'll get to know all about the exciting home hunt that will take place later this winter after we find out where we will be placed for L's rotations. So brace yourselves, I'm sure it will be a riveting tale!

Daddy's Girls II

Cohiba is actually getting better about sharing space with RJ

This is how RJ stayed for about 30 minutes after coming home from having her "lady" surgery

Cohiba & her princess pillow

Cohiba watching one of the presidential debates...she's not a McCain fan.

RJ loves laps

Where We Live Now

Cumberland Gap, TN…it’s hard to describe the area. It is rural Appalachia at it's finest...small, but not too small. The mountains are beautiful, the people are pleasant, but there ain’t too much to do. With that said, I feel blessed to have been given the time to get to know my Nana and learn more about my roots. I’ll post some pictures of the town.

This is a picture taken out of our kitchen window

This is me, Hydia and Linda in front of the Cumberland Gap Post Office.
At one point in time this was Hunley’s Diner which was ran by my Nana and Papaw

This is the overlook at Clinch Mountain

This is one of the barns at school. It’s pretty awesome to be standing on the 2nd floor balcony at school taking a break and seeing the beautiful surroundings….cows and all.

This is my school…Lincoln Memorial Univeristy – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM)

This is the Kitts Cemetery in Grainger County. It is one of my family’s cemeteries. I'm not related to everyone buried here, but quite a few (20+) are my ancestors. The tools in the picture have been at the cemetery since my father was a young boy.

Peter Hunley is my….I think…Great, Great Grandfather

I’m a direct descendant of Willis Akin also, I need to check with my dad to remember how

28 November 2008

Daddy's Girls

This is RJ, can you see why we now have two dogs?

We call this one "Plotting RJ's demise"

Where to start?

I'm not sure if you all know this about me or not, but I hate to write. So be patient with my grammar, spelling, and general flow of words. My initial instict with this blog is to catch people up with us, but we've been in Cumberland Gap for 16 months now and that adds up to a whole lot of catching up. I'll do my best.

I will be finished with my pre-clinical sciences in May of 2009. It's been a crazy road up to this point. The pace is unbelievable. The saying I've heard over and over is "Medical school is like drinking water from a firehose". That about sums it up. There have only been a few concepts that have stumped me, it's just a matter of the volume of material you're expected to absorb in a very short amount of time.

I start rotations on 29 June 2009. I have picked Cleveland, TN as my core site, but we will find out on 12 December if we've be given our pick or assigned another core site. Amber has been great about this whole process, she is so laid back and open for adventure. I, on the other hand, get a bit uptight when I think about the fact that I have no idea where I will be living in 6 months.

Other than actually making it through, the two things I am most proud of thus far are the student organization I founded and being named male student of the year for our first year. The student organization is called the Health Equity Club. I'll put a link to our website.

Me & Jessica (female student of the year)

Amber's schooling is going great. She constantly amazes me with what she can accomplish. She has made the Dean's list every semester. This while taking a full load of course work, working two jobs, and putting up with me and our menagerie. I'll wait and let her catch you up on the specifics of her experiences thus far, I just wanted to tell you what she wouldn't and how proud I am of her accomplishments.