Stu is on his final interview in Chattanooga. Yay! He's been gone most of this month criss-crossing the country with interviews for his residency program. It's so hard to believe we're this close to a new phase in his career! He had 9 interviews total, and once he finishes all of them he will rank the programs and then, we wait. March 1st (maybe 2nd this year, since March 1st is a Sunday; we're not sure) is Match Day, where every med student is (ideally) placed in a residency program based on their preferences and the programs' desire to accept them. (It's some really complicated computer-type matching system that I'm completely ignorant about.)
Anyway, here's my list of programs, based mainly on location, size, and proximity to Atlanta. Stu's ranking may be slightly different. Unforunately, Atlanta did not ask Stu for an interview :-(, but as you can see we have other great options:
Chattanooga: This would be the MOST IDEAL PLACE EVER. Stu and I both love the city, after having lived there for 4 years during college. It has a small-town feel, but enough stuff to do that you won't get bored. Plus, it's only 2 hours from Atlanta. Stu hasn't finished his interview yet, so I don't have much to say about the program. UPDATED TO ADD: Well, Stu just finished the interview, and said that the program in Chattanooga is a bit sketchy, since it's brand new. That means that it may be lower on the list. Don't know yet.
Nashville: While Nashville is 4 hours from Atlanta, it has one of Stu's favorite programs, and it's also only 4 hours from my grandparents in Indy. I would love to live here with its cold(er) winters and changing of seasons. Of course, any location we've looked at has a winter that is colder than Houston's!
Columbia, SC: Another city where Stu loved the program, so it's very close in rank to Nashville. It's also 4 hours from Atlanta, but I rank it lower than Nashville since it's further south and farther from my grandparents. It seems like a beautiful city, though, and a great place to live.
Augusta, GA: Only 2 1/2 hours from Atlanta, but the program isn't quite as good as the ones listed above. It's almost in a dead tie with Birmingham, in my opinion.
Birmingham: Pretty much the same as Augusta. See above.
Dallas: Stu felt the program was solid, and it would be great to be close to his family. So this is a great fall-back city. I think it's a bit too big of a city for me, though, and we both would prefer to be in the Southeast.
Houston: I only rank it above the others below because we're familiar with this place. The program is only so-so, and the salary is one of the lowest out there.
St. Louis: Stu interviewed here only because his best friend currently lives here. While we'd be happy where ever we go, this is a bit too far from all family and friends.
Charlottesville, VA: Stu only interviewed here because they asked and we thought Virginia, it's in the South, right? It can't be that far from Atlanta. Well, we were wrong. It's at least 12 hours from anyone we know. But the program is great and the city is beautiful, so if we end up here it's not the end of the world.
Once Stu finishes all the interviews, we'll talk and pray about our final ranking decisions.
I miss blogging. It feels like forever since I've had a substantial post. Now that I've returned back to work the time seems to vanish before I even realize it.
I started back on December 2nd, and that was probably one of the hardest days of my life. Stu was away on another residency interview (a topic in which I hope to discuss sometime soon) that morning, so it was just me and Maddie curled up in bed and that was the hardest thing to get up with her sweet sleeping self next to me knowing that I had to leave her with a relative stranger for 9-plus hours.
Plus, my darling little one was still refusing to take a bottle. It makes me happy to know that she prefers nursing that much, but it was still rather stressful to be called in the middle of the day to go over to the daycare to nurse her. Especially when I had to walk home, then drive over there. As I mentioned, Hubby Dear was having a residency interview (in Birmingham, I think), so he wasn't quite able to come and pick me up.
The day went well enough, and it was wonderful to see everyone I've missed for the past 8 weeks. But I still can't wait for the day 5 and a half months from now when I can stay home and just be Maddie's mom full time.
Things are getting better on the bottle front now, since Maddie found a nipple she likes and she was able to drink four ounces yesterday. Yay! That was pretty comforting to me.
Anyway, I'm hoping to soon create a routine in which I'll be able to blog more frequently. We'll see. :-)