Ella is ONE. A look back at the past 12 months :)

Ella is officially one year old! It has been 44 weeks since Austin and I took a trip "just to go look" at a litter of puppies one of the recent optometry graduates had. I saw Ella's black and white spots and blue & brown eyes and I was hooked.  The past year has been so much fun (mostly:). We have only had a few true puppy teeth casualties in our home (RIP Chacos), but mostly things I learned how to sow up and fix. It has been going on 13 years since Honey was a puppy, so I forget how much fun it is to watch a little dog grow up. She is literally THE MOST energetic, fun-loving, run around like a mad-dog girl I have ever met but she also gives the best snuggles and loves Austin and I so much. Here is a mash up of the past 12 months, from the first day we picked her up, until now!  She is enjoying her new toys this morning, even though I dropped the ball and her "big present" (the cutest bandana from Hoot & Co.) isn't in yet... I don't think she is too sad about that though :) Sorry for the puppy spam, but you know I am obsessed (How could you not be?). 

Have a great weekend y'all! 

Weekend Links: Happy Spring!

Happy Easter! I hope you are having a relaxing, family-filled Easter Weekend! I am sitting in my living room at my parent's house drinking coffee with Austin and the dogs before we go to church. The best kind of morning!

1. The entire store of Old Navy is 30-50% off right now, so I as put together my little Spring capsule I am snatching up a few essential pieces such as this, this and these.  

1a. Today ONLY, American Eagle has their shorts marked down 40%. 

2.  BOOKS: currently reading two polar opposite books (anyone else read multiple books at once?). First is Brene Brown's Braving the Wilderness. I have so much about it over the past year and have been waiting until now to read it.

3. Book numero dos is The Ghost in My Brain, which is actually required for one of my classes but I have been pretty excited about it, as it has to do with the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury on cognitive ability and vision, and how these people can be cognitively healed. 


4. Currently on the hunt for a new backpack. My Columbia bag has lasted three years, but after Boards it is finally on it's last leg. Any suggestions?

5. Floral embroidery is still here (yippee!). Take a look at this beauty (and this) from Roolee. FLORAL+EMBROIDERY= <3 <3 <3

6. For Valentine's Day, Austin and I took some precious pictures with the fabulous Abbye Rowan and I can't wait to share them all (sneak peeks above and below!).


7. Ella will be A YEAR OLD two weeks from today so I have been searching out a pup-cake recipe to make for her. Anyone else go overboard for their furry family member's birthday?

8. Austin and I have been watching Parks and Rec and IT IS SO FUNNY. Few shows make Austin deep-belly laugh regularly, but this one does!


And a few for my Optometry nerds...

9. For those of you who have not yet taken Boards, one of the boards-prep companies has a free daily email question subscription that lets you begin to see boards-like questions. Go to OptoPrep.com and click "Start Prepping with the Free Dose of OptoPrep Email". It doesn't cost anything and it is definitely good to start seeing questions early! I wish I would have started them earlier!

10. I am love having time to actually read medical journals now that I have some free time. I thoroughly enjoyed this article over Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease in Review of Optometry, as this is one of my favorite areas to study due to it's puzzle-like integration of signs and symptoms to get to the underlying cause. Everything from classic migraines and papilledema, to CVA, tumors and Multiple Sclerosis can have very distinct, yet also overlapping signs and symptoms - but each imperatively needs to be ruled out or confirmed for the well-being of the patient. 

Hope you are enjoying the weather! It is 72 degrees in Oklahoma today, but there is a chance of winter precip tomorrow (ugh). Happy 12th Day of Spring!

Caitlyn :)


Yo girl, where ya been?


HELLO! After a hiatus from writing over the past few months, I AM BACK. If you don't know me personally, I took a break from writing to focus on studying for Part 1 of the National Board Exam in Optometry (NBEO). Some people completely wall themselves off from all forms of social media for the months of January to March during third year, even deleting all their apps and deactivating accounts, but knowing I would go crazy without keeping up with my friends and family, I chose to keep my Instagram, delete my other social media apps (fully capable of still logging on through browser...) and put a hold on writing for three months. 

A quick background for those who aren't super familiar with the structure of Optometry School: In total Optometry School is 4 years with optional residency following. At my school the first year and a half is completely didactic, other than shadowing older students and doing school screenings. We begin seeing general eye exam patients on our own Spring of our second year. You slowly progress to more clinic and less class throughout the rest of school. While first and second year are full of endless labs, classes, and TESTS (ugh), third and fourth year are much more fun... other than Boards.  Each of the 3 Parts of NBEO is taken between March of your third year (OS3) and graduation. They each have a slightly different focus. Part 1 is the "Applied Basic Sciences" exam. It is a mix of pharmacology, pathology, A&P, neuro, optics and so much more (contact lenses, biochem, micro, immunology etc.). The test is 350 questions and takes up to 8 grueling hours. Not only are you in a pretty high-stress situation but you are also in a testing center that is set up like a prison with cameras pointed at you, a test proctor sitting in a room behind you watching like a hawk, and strict clothing rules (you can't wear any sort of clothing with zippers or hoods or jewelry larger than a pencil eraser). Regardless of how much it stunk, at least it is over for now! I will take the next two parts of Boards in September and December and then will be home free to GRADUATION. In retrospect, school has passed incredibly fast. It seems like yesterday I was a first year and saw the fourth years that were just running around in clinic seemingly like All-Stars and now we are almost there (being almost on the other side of that, I am definitely no All-Star, and still have a lot to learn between now and next May! Fake it until you make it though!). It is fun however starting to test out specialty areas I love (and definitely don't love) and picturing how I would like to practice in the future. 

As for the rest of this semester, we won't actually find out if we passed Part 1 until May, which is annoying, but it is how it is. For now it is another thing we have made it through and my classmates and I just have to finish the semester out to make our way to being FOURTH YEARS.  

Talk soon!

Caitlyn :)