In which there’s an announcement (and we’re not pregnant)

I have been traveling a lot lately. See this map for places I’ve been since January of this year:

Where in the US is Elise??

Where in the US is Elise??

About half聽of it has been for conferences, but the other half was for job interviews. I graduate from my program in two short months and after completing the 23rd grade, most people expect that you’ll be employable. Well, I am!

MovingAnnouncement

This is us, standing on a frozen lake in our new city.

In July, Jeff and I will be moving to Minnesota so that I can join the faculty as an Assistant Professor in their pediatric dental division. It is literally my dream job – I’ll be teaching pre-doctoral students and residents and working in their Children’s Hospital and pediatric dental clinic. Our only sadness is that we will have to leave Seattle, a city we’ve come to know and love and the many dear, sweet friends we’ve made here. I am so thankful for their friendships, for the chance to live in the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest, for the training I’ve received from the University of Washington and for the opportunity to fulfill the mission聽of one of my favorite quotes:

Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.聽

{Minor Myers, Jr.}

More to come.

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In which there’s Blue Devil Love

I got to spend a break today with Jeff on the couch, cheering on Duke men’s basketball against Boston College. As we settled in after our boys (finally) started to pull away in the second half (the first was not conducive to snuggling, the score was way too close. We had to yell), I thought how grateful I was we could appreciate this together. Our boys. Our college. Our Duke.

The lyrics of one of my favorite songs by The Hold Steady, You Can Make Him Like You,聽goes

You don’t have to go to the right kind of schools
Let your boyfriend come from the right kind of schools
You can wear his old sweatshirt
You can cover yourself like a bruise

I think I love this so much because I’m not that girl. Our schools are the same, and they’re pretty much like the right kind of schools. I am so fortunately to not have to be that girl. We’re not sweatshirt people, but I have an old Duke one shoved in the back of the closet somewhere. If Jeff owned one, his would probably look pretty much the same: dark, well-worn navy with large white block lettering.

(Does this sound pretentious? Forgive me if it does – it’s just a tie in to the rest of the post, it’s supposed to add to the story. I don’t mean it to be bragging, it’s just a thought I hold on to like a small talisman in my back pocket for when I don’t feel like I’m having a very smart week: “I was good at life once”. It doesn’t mean anything.)

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Today the University send out a request for Blue Devil Love stories and I’ve loved reading the responses. I appreciate a good origin story and so many real life fairy tales started under those Gothic arches. I couldn’t bring myself to submit ours, it seemed too much. I did however send in a picture collage of the five couples from our freshman dorm that ended up getting married (and we now count among us a set of beautiful twin girls and another girl on the way as future Blue Devils):

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Clockwise from top left: Mili and Advait, myself and Jeff, Jeff and Meredith, Matt and Megan, and Joe and Felicia

I speak for all of us when I say thank you to the Resident House and Life lottery that put us all together.

First stop - Bassett dorm on Duke's East Campus where Jeff and I met :)

First stop – Bassett dorm on Duke’s East Campus where Jeff and I met 馃檪

In which we’ll remember

Sometimes when I log into a website, the one that runs this blog included, there is a small button to check: “Remember Me”. Small words, but powerful ones that can resonate so quickly beyond the need for a URL to recognize you. Remember Me, that I was here. That I’ll be here again. Remember Me, when I’m gone. Some people don’t need a box.

Nelson Mandela, who came into his age of greatness as I was coming of age in grade school, died today. He was our generation’s own tangible racial civil rights hero when so much of our own trouble history had passed before we were born. Madiba was a visible evidence of how far we’ve come and how far we’ve yet to go.聽He’s one that will never need a box checked to Remember:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 9.18.55 PMAnd just in time for finals (if this isn’t motivation to study, I don’t know what is)

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May we all live lives worth Remembering.

In which Molly gets married!

This weekend I’m stuck inside writing papers and taking call… but last weekend we got to go to North Carolina to celebrate Molly and Colin’s wedding and it was fantastic! It was the first time we’d been back since moving out here and while it’s nice to be reminded you can always go home again, it’s equally nice to know that new people are enjoying the things that make it so special in the first place.

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We got in late Thursday (slash early on Friday? it was 2:30am EST, but we were doing okay with the time change) and spent the night with my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Chris. Then we hit the ground running – trying to see as much of the Triangle and as many of our friends as possible.

First stop - Bassett dorm on Duke's East Campus where Jeff and I met :)

First stop – Bassett dorm on Duke’s East Campus where Jeff and I met 馃檪

Five couples out of the 120-some odd people in our freshman dorm, Bassett, got married. I mean, I know a TON of Duke couples, but to have so many people from the same freshman dorm has to be a little weird. Thanks Resident Housing and Life?

Joe and Felicia, Jeff and Meredith, Jeff and I, Advait and Mili, and Matt and Megan.

Pictures stolen from facebook: Joe and Felicia, Jeff and Meredith, Jeff and I, Advait and Mili, and Matt and Megan.

After visiting our old stomping grounds we started our food tour of the South. Seattle food is AMAZING, and I’m pumped for Restaurant Week coming up, but sometimes you just crave some familiar eats and some amazing friends:

Up the creaky stairs to a Duke institution (Aw, it's cute y'all painted them, but they still feel like some place you'd go to get an illegal abortion).

Up the creaky stairs to a Duke institution (Aw, it’s cute y’all painted them, but they still feel like some place you’d go to get an illegal abortion).
Side note: Many a rainy Seattle morning I find myself reciting in my head, “Have known the evenings, mornings and afternoons/I have measured my life out in coffee spoons..”.

Mm.. Cosmic burritos..

Mm.. Cosmic burritos..

Cookout milkshakes are the best! It was hard to choose just one, but I went with the peach cobbler.

Cookout milkshakes are the best! It was hard to choose just one, but I went with the peach cobbler.

Hibachi at Sakura with Josiah and then meeting up with him and Kevin at Milltown

Hibachi at Sakura with Josiah and then meeting up with him and Kevin at Milltown.

We compared pager sadness.

We compared pager sadness.

I don't even care that they're bigotted people, they make a delicious chicken sandwich.

I don’t even care that they’re bigotted people, they make a delicious chicken sandwich.

Brixx Pizza with Nina!

Brixx Pizza with Nina!

And delicious wedding brunch at Mad Hatters with Lauren, Sailaja, the lovely bride and her sister Ellie.

And delicious wedding brunch at Mad Hatters with Lauren, Sailaja, the lovely bride and her sister Ellie.

We also got to walk around and see how things have changed:

My old apartment in Chapel Hill for dental school (top left section) - looks like the put in air conditioning.

My old apartment in Chapel Hill for dental school (top left section) – looks like they put in air conditioning.

Dumpsters now have my initials..

Dumpsters in the newly developed Carrboro now have my initials..

Duke's Beta section got kicked off campus to make room for a formerly off campus fraternity. (also there was an extreme explosion of selective housing.. and sections on the main quad).

and Duke’s Beta section got kicked off campus to make room for a formerly off campus fraternity. (also there was an extreme explosion of selective housing.. and sections on the main quad).

To cap off an amazing two days, Molly and Colin were married in one of the sweetest ceremonies I’ve ever been to. It was beautiful and thoroughly them. Welcome to married life you two! It’s pretty great 馃檪

Love you!!

Love you!!

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I blame my crazy hair on the amazing music they picked out – we never wanted to sit out a song!

Too soon it was time to come back. Thanks to everyone who carved out some time to get together – it’s wonderful that even time and distance don’t change us and we can pick things up right where they left off. Let us know if you’re ever in Seattle! We’d love to show you around!

Good weddings often end with this scenario in the airport waiting lounge.

Good weddings often end with this scenario in the airport waiting lounge.

In which my heart goes out

Three summers ago, in 2011, I sat in an air-conditioned mall enjoying a strawberry milkshake after a long day of shopping. I was exhausted from price haggling at the nearby souvenir market and it was nice after a month of culture shock to sit in a clean, quiet space that seemed more like home than anywhere else I’d been in Kenya. Chris Vo, whom I was on this dental rotation with, snapped this picture of me sitting in Westgate’s Artcaffe, which today is the scene of unspeakable horror.

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My thoughts and prayers, which are too little to do any real good, are with those there today. My heart goes out to you all.聽

In which there’s a phone call

My little brother Graham is the only immediate family in my time zone. Granted he lives 1,223 miles away on a Marine base in southern California, but at least I can pick up the phone at 9pm PST and he’ll be awake to chat.

The last time the four of us were together - at grandmom's 90th birthday in Nashville.

The last time the four of us were together – at grandmom’s 90th birthday in Nashville.

If you’ve met my brother, you’ll know he’s a total goofball. I’m a better pediatric dentist because through him I know all about the Power Rangers, Transformers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and the rest of the Justice League, Batman, Spiderman and his ultimate favorite, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (seriously, he has a tattoo of them). He likes to call me when he passes the Navy Dental unit to tell me how he’s not getting his teeth cleaned. And for some reason I always end up calling him during his weekly Taco Tuesday dinners on accident. We discuss Shark Week at length. On our calls he is constantly giving me grief by pretending I’m a dental assistant, not a dentist (“oh stop, you just hand people things, right?”). I tell him he’s an idiot; he tells me he hates my bangs. I love all our talks.

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The hardest call to make though every time is right before he deploys for Afghanistan, like the one we had this morning.

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Graham with his service dog Chopper

Love you little brother. I know you don’t read this blog, because your hate for blogs is on par with your hatred for bangs. You and Chopper take care of each other and stay safe. I’ll miss getting to call you whenever I want.