Saying Goodbye to Summer 2018

Travel & Friends

At the start of August, we traveled to another wedding, this time in New York! It was the third wedding this summer where at least one of us was a member of the bridal party, and Kyle enjoyed hanging out with some college buddies again to celebrate with his good friend Will.

Olivia flew out a couple days after Kyle, which unfortunately coincided with bad weather in the New York/New Jersey area. After multiple delays, a canceled flight, an arrival in a different airport, and a two hour drive from Philadelphia to the venue, she made it to the wedding less than an hour before it started!

Thankfully, it all worked out and she was able make it just in time. We had a blast catching up with tons of friends from Cornell, some that we have not seen since graduation. Now that we live in the Midwest, weddings are the best time to spend time with friends that are spread out across the country.

Family Time

A couple weeks later, we went up to Kyle's family cottage in northern Michigan to spend a long weekend on the lake. Olivia's parents and both of her sisters joined us and Kyle's parents, and we enjoyed perfect weather all weekend!

We spent most of our time on the beach, in Lake Michigan, going kayaking, picking blueberries, playing golf, going on walks, and playing card games at night. It was a relaxing trip that we both needed and a fun time with both of our families, which doesn't happen too often given how spread out we all are.

Looking Back but Looking Ahead

We are so so thankful for all of the prayers and support that you all have offered us over the past month and a half. The initial shock of Olivia's re-emergence of lupus was scary, but thankfully she is healing well and able to be back in the swing of residency. She is still on a hefty amount of medications and is getting frequent labs done, but all of the results show that her flare-up is subsiding. It's a new normal for the both of us, and it's been humbling to take it a day/week/month at a time and to slow down in some ways, but we are reassured that God is in control and His plans and pathways are better than our own. 

This fall, our small group from church that we have been a part of over the last year is multiplying into two groups due to having 20+ people for many weeks last spring. We will be helping to lead our new group and are excited to be a part of our church that continues to grow! Though we are not quite ready for summer to end, we are looking forward to another fun fall in Michigan! (#goblue!)

ACS_0018.JPG

Life with Lupus (again)

Well, Kyle did say we needed to post more - and it just so happened that within the last 3 weeks, everything has completely changed in our lives! As we celebrated our fourth anniversary, the phrase "in sickness" has definitely been a new theme. 

We have shared with some of you already that my lupus reactivated drastically so for the first time in really ~12-13 years. (See this post if you want to read some thoughts from me about lupus at age 14 or thoughts on finishing medical school and being a doctor.)  I thought I was sick with a viral illness for 3+weeks, which was true, but it turned out to be the perfect storm of finishing intern year, working nights for the first half of July and being sick altogether. Little symptoms were missed (read: rationalized, yes I'm a bad patient) while I was working and when I went to the rheumatologist hoping for some reassurance and a routine check up, it ended up being the worst and finding out that my lupus not only out of control but affecting my kidneys again. 

It's definitely been an unexpected hiccup and definitely unsettling in the sense that I've always wondered when this could happen again, but God's sovereignty, timing, and the thankfulness we have for how this has panned out thus far has left me feeling overwhelmingly grateful and thankful despite the new struggles ahead. I am so thankful for our new community here in Ann Arbor through work and church, and the friends/family that extend across the country, that are back in Upstate New York, and friends that were there when I was even first diagnosed in high school and how they once again have encouraged me and prayed for me. 

I ended up having a kidney biopsy one week after my birthday and was hospitalized (definitely another dose of empathy for what it's like to be a patient...), Kyle got to experience the hospital life (yes, there are random people yelling "ow!" or "help!" at all hours of the night and it might not mean anything serious) - and we watched a lot of golf and HGTV and wheel of fortune. My doctors have been so great and I couldn't ask for a better team of people to help me get better. 

I still continue to process what life will be like now with a more active chronic disease than it has been over the last years and I know there will be ups and downs along the way. There are a lot of new medicines to take, I haven't slept well in 2+ weeks due to one of them, my face is going to be as round as it was freshman year of high-school. At some point I worry I might go crazy with lack of sleep and juggling work and health,  but I am reminded of one of my favorite lines of a hymn that says "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives".  There is so much more to hope for and rest in eternally and this is just an earthly body. 

And now for some fun pictures, because it wouldn't be a blog post without them:

Photos range from thinking that it was going to be an outpatient procedure, getting hospitalized and waiting for a bed, Kyle experiencing the joys of my residency $$$ in the cafeteria/Jamba Juice, Kyle's bed/vacation in the hospital, waiting for my procedure, one of my many visitors (so many resident friends came to visit that I did not subject to a photo!!! thank you friends!!!), the blanket Jonathan got me from Child Life (the children's hospital) and flowers from other friends, busting out of the hospital, and an outpatient infusion when it was all said and done. 

Thank you for reading! If you ever have any questions about lupus or want to talk more, send me a message, I'm always open for conversation. 

- Olivia 

 

A summer of weddings

This week we entered into our fifth year of marriage! The first four years have been filled with tons of great memories and experiences, and our blog has been a fun place for us to look back at everything we've done together.

 Celebrating our anniversary with a fancy dinner. 

Celebrating our anniversary with a fancy dinner. 

Coincidentally, our blog actually began as our wedding website -- you know, the kind with directions, registries, and pictures of the bridal party. We thought it would be cool to convert it into a family blog after the wedding, and even though we haven't posted as much as we had planned, maybe now is a good time to get back into it!

Speaking of weddings, this summer is a packed one for us, with a handful of close friends and family all getting married this year. We started our voyage with a quick trip to Maryland to celebrate with Olivia's friend from med school. Though we only spent a few days in the area for the wedding, it was nice to catch up with friends from Syracuse that we hadn't seen since moving.

The next week we traveled down to Chicago for Olivia's sister Marissa's wedding. It was a lot of fun celebrating with friends from college and tons of family, and it was the perfect weekend (minus the heat)! We really enjoyed spending time with everyone and getting to finally welcome Marissa's husband Alan into the family!

A month later, Kyle returned to Chicagoland for his good friend Mike's wedding. Kyle doesn't get to hang out with his close college buddies too often anymore, so it was a great time catching up and celebrating with them. It was somehow even hotter than Marissa's wedding but totally worth it!

While wedding trips are a lot of fun, the rest of the summer has felt pretty busy. Olivia is now officially a second-year resident (!) which supposedly means a slightly better schedule compared to intern year. However, July has started with two weeks of the night shift and also two weeks of illness, making for a pretty rough start to the year :(

Kyle has been at his new job for six months now and we're both happy to be done with consulting travel. Nothing too exciting to report about the work itself, although he did get to make a trip down to Cleveland for an NBA Finals game before his ex-coworker LeBron decided to move to California. It's always hard to say goodbye!

We'll try to be better with blogging going forward. Tune in next time to hear about some trips Up North, yet another wedding, and more!

Made it Monday #5: THE QUILT IS DONE

I wrote about the hand stitched Haptic Lab Chicago Quilt back in January 2017 when I was still stitching away....well fast forward to the real deadline of Marissa and Alan's wedding in May, and I knew I wanted to try and finish it for her bridal shower! It did take a long time to make - but then again, I was new to hand quilting/embroidery, and the last step of the project, the quilt binding. I also worked in spurts and was more motivated to finish it at various times - It definitely was a great fourth year of medical school project ;) not the best one to have looming overhead though in residency! 

...but all that to say, it's done! and it's been given away! Kyle and I visited Chicago this past weekend for Marissa's shower - It was a fun tea party at The Allis with many of her friends from Chicago and family, and I got to give away the quilt, finally! 

IMG_8980.jpeg

Here are some photos of it, in all its glory :P Close up photos to see the details as well!

2018-03-25 09.57.45.jpg
2018-03-25 10.02.29.jpg

Thanks everyone who's been on this quilt journey with me from Syracuse to Michigan :) It's been many a TV episode or Michigan/Tigers/Lions/Redwings/Pistons game on the couch with Kyle, but now this quilt lives in Marissa and Alans' new home! 

Onto the next one... :) 

- Olivia 

Off the Road!

After almost three years at EY, I (Kyle) finally said goodbye to the consulting world this holdiay season. Thinking back to when I first started the job back in Syracuse, I knew that there would be an end at some point after we moved for residency, but we weren't exactly sure when that would be. I thought that a job change would be a little farther down the road, but sometimes everything just lines up and it becomes the right time.

It was definitely not an easy decision to leave the firm, especially with all of the friends and good experiences I had to EY. All of the travel started to add up though, and from almost my first day I had wanted to get off the road. So when the opportunity arose to take a new position that would let me work locally, it felt like the perfect situation.

 My new office is literally overlooking my former employers.

My new office is literally overlooking my former employers.

Starting last week I am now working for Rock Ventures, the holding company for Dan Gilbert's family of companies, which includes Quicken Loans, the Cavaliers, and a bunch of startups and buildings. I think that means LeBron and I are coworkers and future best friends.

My official role is as data scientist, which I guess means doing a lot of stuff in Excel. Commuting to downtown Detroit has been an interesting change, but it does beat 7 am flights and constant delays. I like the people I work with and the job so far, and it's really nice to be at home every night, so I think I made the right decision!


Skating.jpg

We spent Christmas in Grand Rapids with Kyle's family and enjoyed our time relaxing, going skating, and hanging out around the house. New Year's was a little busier with Olivia in the hospital, but she did make it home by 11:45pm on New Year's Eve!

We also celebrated three and a half years of marriage recently! Olivia is thrilled to no longer be a consulting wife and to have me home every night and be able to spend time together :) However, I will still be a residency husband, meaning our schedules are still a little unpredictable.

Intern year is already halfway over though and we continue to make the most of the time we have outside of work. Hopefully we will write about these things on the blog!