Max and the MCAT

July 23, 2015

I would never, ever wish the MCAT/applying to medical school on anyone. Which sounds really dramatic, (and yes I know this is just the prologue to ten million chapters to follow called: Actually Going to Medical School) but this whole thing is not for the faint of heart.

Max took the MCAT in La Grande, Oregon of all places, in this teeny tiny building on Main Street with three other students. It just so happened that this was the same weekend leading up to our grand family reunion in Wallowa Lake, Oregon so we left a few days early so Max could take his test the Saturday before.

I will never forget that weekend. The night before we went out to eat at Hought's 24 Flavors, "the best diner in Union County!" Mind you, this diner has been open since the 1940's and I am pretty sure we were transported back in time that night, just living the fifties dream on our date night at the soda shop. I was in heaven. After dinner, we got our ice cream to go, and walked around the old neighborhoods nearby. As I admired the bungalows and old rocking chairs on old porches, I am pretty sure Max was just stressing about his test the whole time. I, on the other hand, felt like that night was straight out of a movie. It will always be one of my favorite memories.


The next morning, we woke up at six AM. I remember kissing Max on his way out the door of the hotel room, and I nearly threw up I was so nervous for him. Month and months of studying and here we were. The day of the MCAT. And of course, he did phenomenally well.

Every night I count my lucky stars for Max. For all the lovey-dovey reasons of course, but especially because of the amount of hard work and time and devotion he puts into becoming a doctor. It's honestly amazing, and my heart bursts with pride when I get to talk about him with others. He's going places I'm telling you, and I get to tag along for the ride. At the rate we're going, or at least considering the few school's he's been hearing from, we'll end up on the East coast by this time next year. Which I'm more than okay with. Fifteen-year-old Kelsie is actually screaming inside.

26th birthday eve

July 20, 2015

My feelings regarding my 26th birthday tomorrow are best explained by Joey Tribbiani:

Just kidding (kind of). I can't wrap my mind around being closer to 30 than I am to 20, but 26 is here and I have a whole lot to thank 25 for. So maybe I'm more of a mix between Joey Tribbiani and Robert Browning who once wrote, "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be..." -- maybe just a titch more Joey though.

wallowa lake

July 19, 2015

1. Horseback riding up and down the trail of DEATH. I think I muttered unmentionable words fifty times under my breath - I honestly thought that I was going to die. Didn't help that the very next day someone was life-flighted off the mountain from being bucked off a horse.
2. No A/C. Which usually isn't a problem unless you come home sunburned every day from the lake.
3. No dole whips. I'm tempted to go open up a restaurant selling dole whips and churros and turkey sandwiches.

1. Being with family at one of the prettiest places on earth.
2. Spending time with Max for the first time in what feels like months.
3. Our friendly outdoor neighbor Elvis, the deer.
4. BBQ's and days on the lake.
5. Our "secret-last-night-ritual" (which keeps the Wallowa Lake monster at bay until next year).

Nothing in this world can beat traditions and families and summertime.

God Bless America

July 2, 2015

We spent our last week in Wallowa Lake, as we do every summer, but something caught my eye this time as we drove through the small towns leading up to our family cabins. There were American flags waving on most street corners, homemade banners announcing Fourth of July parades, and signs supporting and thanking the troops who had served from those communities. Max told me as I stopped to take pictures that I had found my people. If they like turkey and cheese sandwiches as much as I do, then I really have.

I love our country, I am proud of our country and I am so grateful to live in this country. I've spent the last month reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, and am amazed with every story of those who only 60 years ago, many younger than me, were willing to give up their lives and their jobs and leave their families here at home to protect the safety and freedoms of our country and those abroad.

I've always loved what John F. Kennedy declared in his Inaugural Address in January of 1961,

"We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans... Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty...

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe...

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. 

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. 

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

-You can read (and listen!) to the rest of it online here. It gives me chills every time.
Happy Independence Day!

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