Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year 2010

Lots of things are going to happen this year, and Bry and I are trying to figure out where we're headed and where we need to go.

Bry is struggling with work right now. Despite his new (polarbear-grade) boots, being on a river in December stinks, and next week they're losing the boat and are going to be WALKING on the frozen river --- with a rope tied around their waists! I think he's hoping that 2010 is a little bit more settled - he'll be returning to Watertown in April.

Tonight we're heading up to Green Bay for a NYE party with some of Bry's High School friends. They are having a white elephant gift exchange - and we've got some amazing gifts to give! We haven't seen a lot of these friends for a while now, so this should be fun.

January 2 Abi is heading to MI for a few days with Grandpa Schneider and Emily. I'll head back on Tuesday and get ready for my last interview on Friday. Friday night we're having our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (UCSP '09) so I've got to shop for an outfit for Bry since this is the first one he'll be able to make it to.

The rest of January I plan on relaxing, packing and preparing for my trip. A week in Tomah is likely going to happen, and we're going to Minnesota too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas List

Baking cookies - check. Beth and Alex came over and we made countless dozen cookies - four different kinds! Most are hidden in the freezer, but don't tell Bry or Jesse.

Wrapping presents - check. I think I have most of them wrapped and under the tree. No more should be needed....but I keep an open mind.

Tree - check. This one is easy. We have a 24" tree that is pre-lighted and about 15 sad ornaments hanging on it. That's about it.

Christmas music - mom, Bry is also a fan of Mannheim Steamroller and I am being subjected to listening to Christmas music. Every morning he changes the radio station in our room to a Christmas station and turns up the volume so that it blasts Christmas music.

Snow - a disappointing amount is on the ground, and it already looks crusty and dirty. We'll have to work on that before the 25th.

Christmas movies - Elf has been viewed in part at least twice so far. I watched some Sense and Sensibility by myself one day and think it may be time for a 6 hour Pride and Prejudice marathon soon. If only I had "Little Women" on dvd.....

House cleaning - about to happen tomorrow. Along with a Jillian workout to make up for the cookie baking/eating.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 2009

Well our Christmas cards are in the mail. No letter this year, Bry and I couldn't decide what to write. So I'll post what I was going to write on here.


6.24 Beth and Kiah Smith (friends)

7.4 Tadeo and Crystal Balderrama (friends)

10.9 Andy and Klare Mueller (cousin)

10.24 Ted and Laura Lenard (cousin)


7.24 Ralph Polzin, Grandfather of Bryant, passes away at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife, Sandy.


2.24 Addison Scholtes, daughter of friends Bryan and Kelly Scholtes of Indianapolis, IN

11.16 Andrew Nolte, son of friends Mark and Amy Nolte of Howards Grove, WI.


9.16-29 Abigail and Grandpa Schneider traveled to Sweden, Germany and Denmark. They visited with many dear friends (Gisls, Brands, Reuters and Blyhles) and had many grand adventures on the autobahn.

Upcoming: 2.1-3.1 2010 Abigail will be working in Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Philippines. She will be joined by Bryant during the last week for a tour of Manila and Seoul, South Korea.

They will be celebrating almost 2 years of marriage with a trip to the island of Boracay.


6.14 Bryant and Abigail’s first wedding anniversary. They celebrated with friends Carolyn and Aaron on a Lake Michigan sailing excursion.


Bryant began work for K. Singh & Associates on June 15, 2009. He works as an engineer in training and is currently working on a Hwy. 26 bypass around Watertown, WI. He enjoys his work and doesn’t mind the long drives.

Abigail has applied to 7 programs for a Family Medicine residency. She has been very busy with interviews, testing and decision making. In February of 2010 she will need to have her rank list ready, stating her preferences for residency. She will be matched to a program on March, 18 2010. She will complete her studies at the Medical College of Wisconsin on May 21, 2010. A ceremony will be held that day, with celebration to follow on May 22.


8.24 Thomas Schneider was recognized for his 25th year in the ministry. He continues to serve as a teacher at Michigan Lutheran High School. A surprise party commemorated the occasion in St. Joseph, MI.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Google Boracay. It is an island in the Philippines known for having the #7 top beach in the world. It's small, only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide. AND WE'RE GOING THERE!!!!

Bry will be joining me in Manila on Feb 22. We'll leave for Boracay on the 25/26. We'll stay there until the 28th.

We're thinking about staying at Dave's Straw Hat Inn, enjoying the beaches and going snorkeling.

This is a popular tourist destination and should be a lot of fun!

Other news in our lives is not as exciting. Bry is still working long hours, Abi is enjoying 4th year immensely. She is done with her December rotation on the 23rd - she'll be off of "real work" until she gets back from the Philippines on March 1!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This is Bry's truck - or WAS his truck. I promised to post pictures and am just getting around to it.

I should be napping before my overnight shift in the ED, but sadly I'm watching Oprah's Karaoke Challenge and am hooked.

Bry has been working longer hours again, which is good for our wallets. We went to some open houses in Waukesha on Sunday which was kinda fun - but I can see how it will be a challenge to find a home we BOTH like, and can afford.

I'm done with 5 out of 8 interviews for residency. I think I'm getting a better idea of what I'm really looking for in a program, but will need to evaluate the rest of the programs before we make a final decision.

Dad - just for you, dinner will be chicken tacos for me and beef for Bry, I know how much you love to know what we're eating.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview # 1

Interviewing season officially begins tonight.

Bry will meet me in Janesville, WI (south of Madison) and we're having dinner with a resident and scoping out the town. Tomorrow (Friday) Bry will head to Watertown for work and I'll have a day of interviews/tours of the hospital and clinics. Looking forward to seeing the first non-Milwaukee program on my schedule.

Friday night we head to Tomah before going to the Cities for another Swenson cousin wedding on Saturday. We finally get to see Kristin and Andy Mettke for the first time in a looooong time (we have, however, stayed at their house without them there!) and hope to catch up with them on Saturday and Sunday.

Next week is filled with more interviews, all in Milwaukee. I also have to prepare for the big Oktoberfest party on Saturday.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Bry is still alive.

Normally, this is taken for granted. However, on Friday morning he decided to make me realize how much I like having him around.

He was merging onto I-94 when his back tires slid out. He was unable to correct the truck, and he rolled his company truck 2-3 times. He finally landed in a ditch, tire side down, and walked away without a scratch. Literally. Abi went to pick him up from the side of the road, and Singh 8 was driven away to the body shop, likely totaled. We had Bry checked out at Froedtert ED (where Abi had to work the next morning!) and he had a minor neck strain.

Pictures will follow.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Again

Well I am home again. I finally have some time to catch up on things with the blog.

Roy was safely delivered to Sheboygan on Wednesday afternoon, and is now in Tomah, WI.

But, of course, getting home was another thing all together!

We left Munich Tuesday morning (up at 5:30 am). We landed in Copenhagen, Denmark around 11 and explored the city on a bus tour for about an hour. Then we got out and walked around a little bit, made our way to the airport and arrived at the gate only to find out that our plan was delayed due to mechanical problems. We were supposed to leave at 15:30, but were told we would have to wait for another plane. I scrambled to find a pay-per-use computer to alert the folks at home (where it was only 9 am). We finally boarded the plane and had a very long 10 hours total on it, although Scandinavian Airlines was very nice and I highly recommend them.
We finally landed in Chicago at 8:00pm there (2 am for us). So, essentially, we had a 31 hour day that day! I was so tired but very glad to see Bry.

The Little Mermaid
By Hans Christian Anderson
Copenhagen, Denmark

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ein Feste Berg is Unser Gott

Here is a view of Schlosskirche in the morning mist. On top of the türm it has a line from Luther's famous hymn : Ein Feste Berg ist Unser Gott. It is a gorgeous church, and most of the castle and the walls of the city are still intact, and the rest of the buildings have been meticuously constructed to appear that all came from the same time. This is truly a gorgeous city that is being reborn as a tourist destination for Lutherans - and we all know how much Lutheran's don't like change.

The Altes Kirche in Wittenberg. Luther also preached here. It survived dozens of wars and communist occupation. It was built in the 1400's. Didn't get to go inside, but there is a famous altar piece by Lucas Cranach the Elder - a tri panal altar with Luther, a contemporary 'Lord's Supper' and a depiction of calvary.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Details

We drove from the Brand home near Osnabrück in Niedersachsen to Wittenberg in Sachsen-Anhalt. It took a little over 4 hours because of a 'stau' on the freeway. We wound our way through tiny German towns that were so quaint. It was gorgeous. We arrived in Wittenberg at about 4 o'clock, time enough to tour the Schlosskirche and the home of Luther. It was very nicely done, and hard to believe that 25 years ago this was a communist country. Although, when we crossed from West to East, there were gates and towers and barbed wire that bore remembrance to the way it used to be.
Anyways, Wittenberg was a terrific time. We stayed in the city at the Brauhaus, a brewery, hotel and a wonderful restaurant. Our dinner was FANTASTIC. I had the salmon and grandpa had the beef - truly a terrific German dinner. Then he and I went on a walking tour of the city. Led by our guide, Wittenberg native Marriane Hoy, we toured the most famous landmarks in the old stadt.
- Schlosskirche - where Luther preached and hung the 95 theses
- Home of Lucas Cranach - famous painter and artist for many of Luther's works
- Home of Philip Melancthon, a contemporary, friend and helper of Luther's, and our guide's favorite. She had lots of fun facts about him.
- Cranach Apotheke, where Katherina von Bora worked before she married Luther
- Luther's House, you can still walk IN HIS LIVING ROOM, which is pretty cool.
- Altes Kirche, a church older than Schlosskirche, where Luther also preached. This church also has a 'Judensau', Jewish swine, perched atop it to warn Jews to stay away. This feeling of bigotry, however, does not carry through because almost directly below the pig ornament is a lovely and interesting memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. (Grandpa and I were talking about how it's easy to focus only on the 1500's in Wittenberg, but the city also has thousands of years of European and German history in it too!)
- Many shops and other points of interest, including beautiful gardens and surrounding buildings. I could easily spend another 2-3 days there just enjoying the sites.

We left the city at 9:15 am, because the shops opened at 9 and I needed to buy some things quickly (Watch out Bry!). Then we drove the 2 hours to Dresden, with a quick stop in a historical German town calld Bad Durringen. In that city there is the largest salt water bath in Europe - I'll put up pictures soon. It was interesting to see, and yes, the water tasted nasty.

Check out tomorrow's post about Dresden. Now I'm going to watch Project Runway and enjoy actually understanding everything that is said!

Gute Nacht! Bis Morgen!

Wittenburg and Dresden

We just returned from our trip up north.

More to follow tomorrow.....with pictures, hopefully. I've already filled one memory card!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friday through Sunday

So we took it easy on Friday after we had arrived in Bayern. We stayed at Edi and Anita's home and just had a nice day. In the afternoon, Franz Herman Brand came up from Paßau. He is a gynecologist there. He came around 3pm and stayed until 11. We had a nice talk with him, he also spoke English, and that helped a bit. We had a typical German dinner of noodles and beef in a thin gravy, along with some cucumber salad. Of course, no meal is complete without a beer as well.

The next morning (Saturday) we had breakfast and then got in the car. There are 16 states in Germany (Staaten), and by the end of this trip I will have been in over half of them. We drove north east from Regensburg, through Bavaria, into Hessen and then into Niedersachsen. This state is known for its agriculture and looks very much like Wisconsin. However, at times it was hard to see anything since Edi got the Mercedes-Benz up to 220 km\hr!! The autobahn is either really fast or really slow, and there is plenty of roadwork going on. Along the way we had lunch at a roadside restaurant\gas station called Serway. They are all over. I had forgotten that one has to pay to use the toilets here in Europe, but since we also bought lunch we got a reimbusement for the toilet usage. We got back in the car and arrived at the Brand home around 3pm. Edi and Anita kept on going north to meet another friend for the night, so it was just Grandpa and I.

This is the Heinrich Brand family, brother of Franz Herman. He has a lovely wife, Eva, and 4 kids. Only 2 kids were home as the oldest daughter is in New Zealand and the youngest is in Hungary. The middle daughter, Josefine, speaks a little English as well as her Boyfriend, Michael. The son doesn't speak as much English but will speak slowly so I can understand him. There is a small festival going on in their small town (Wörfen) so we went there for dinner. Grandpa and I each had about 5 or 6 beers, they just kept putting them in front of us. We also had a fish sandwich for dinner because fish is typical for this part of Germany. We had a lot of fun at the festival and no one let us pay for anything.

This morning we woke up and had another typical German breakfast. I like the bread and cheese and cold cuts, but raw pork and 'ham salad' before noon just doesn't float my boat. Then we went with Heinrich to a political event. We didn't know it before, but this was going to be an all day meeting with the who's who of this small village. We met Franz Josef Holzenkamp, a congressman who is likely to become the minister of agriculture next week in their elections. I have a picture of us with him that I'll post later. Then Heinrich wanted to show me the back roads so we biked from the restaurant back to the village. I thought we might go hom, but no, we went to the festival again. I counted, and these people, all middle aged, had drunk 5 or 6 beers before 1 in the afternoon! We walked around the festival for a while, and then went to a local Biergarten. No, no more beer this time. We had coffee and some of the most delicious looking cakes I've ever seen. There was a raspberry torte, a mandarin orange torte and then I had a marzipan torte with something called Stocklebeern, not quite sure what that is in English, or if we even have it in the States.

Finally, I convinced them that I needed to head home to check my e-mail and get a Tylenol since I've got a pretty big headache going. I thing (fear) that we're going BACK to the festival for dinner tonight. Edi and Anita came back this afternoon and we leave tomorrow for Wittenburg.

Friday, September 18, 2009


So Stockholm is a very busy place during rush hour. We arrived at the city center around 8:45 am and were greeted with masses of Swedes heading to work. The car traffic wasn't very heavy, but the pedestrians and bikes were just as dangerous. We bought a Metro pass (which we really didn't need) and headed for the Old Town, Gamla Stan. There the buildings are from the 1200's, and are now all shops, cafes and hotels. Our first goal was to get to the palace, which is the official residence of the Royal Family. It was guarded by uniformed guards and was quite impressive. Unfortunately, the tours, shops and museums didn't open until noon. We debated about heading over to the Vasa, a sunken ship from 1628 which had been dagged up and polished, but the Metro didn't run over there, and we were worried about being short on time to make our flight to München. So instead we just walked around the town, which is very pedestrian friendly, and got a feel for the city. Now I wished I would have taken a picture of the 100's (thousands??) of bicycles that were parked everywhere.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wir sind wieder hier

We have arrived. We are at the Gisl home and are soon going to eat dinner here. We had a terrific stopover in Stockholm, although it was about midnight (our time) when we landed. I'll write more about it later....and post photos.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

So we take off from O'Hare at 4:30 today. We're flying Scandinavian airlines and we get in to Stockholm at 7 am. The plan is to see the Vasamuseet (a big sunken ship from 1628) and the old-town Stockholm. Then we get back to the airport and head to Munich where we'll get picked up by the Gisls.

I got us all checked in all the way through to Munich so we should be able to spend a little more time in Stockholm.

Grandpa should be here in about an hour.

Bry- I'm taking some house keys along with me, just so you know that if you use my keys there won't be house keys on them. I'll miss you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


In celebration of being DONE with Step 2 CK, I went out for sushi with "the Katies". Goossen and Cook picked me up and we hit up Fujiyama in West Allis before the 1/2 price sushi rush hour. I got some old stand by rolls: Spicy Tuna, Sweet Potato (Kampyo) and, as a special treat, Shrimp Tempura. Along with some Edamame and good old catching up with my friends, dinner was terrific. Of course, the necessary stop of Krispy Kreme Donuts topped it all off. Man, those hot off the roller donuts are really something else.

Tomorrow Grandpa will get here around 10 am and we'll head to O'Hare, hopefully traffic won't be an issue. So I'm afraid my next post won't be for a while, until we've landed in Munich at least.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Well I'm getting packed. I bought some gifts yesterday and checked in with Grandpa to make sure we were on track with our plans. We'll be leaving Milwaukee at noon on Wednesday, plane leaves O'Hare at 4:30. We get into Stockholm at 7:00 am on Thursday, spend the day there, then on to Munich.

24 hours until I'm done with my test. Only 100 more questions to go.

Bry drove me out to his job-site last night in Watertown - it's pretty impressive.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


So hubby pulled through with dinner plans and we met up with Beth and Kiah on Brady Street. I had been wanting to go to this Mexican place for a while - and this was a great evening. Beth and I ordered the house Margaritas which were SUPER strong - an important selling point in my book. Kiah and Bry both had Mexican beers. We enjoyed the chips and two types of salsa - one was really sweet tasting and I think had a touch of cinnamon - delicious.
What we ordered:
Bry: sopa de limo, steak tostados - "Soup was good - a nice spice", the tostados were not to his taste - but when Abi tried them she found them fresh and delicious. Next time he'll stick with his typical order of enchiladas, but Abi was proud of him for trying something new.

Beth: Trout Tacos - a San Diego spin with trout dredged in blue corn flour and deep fried. It's served with a slaw on top that was not supposed to contain any cilantro, but, alas, it did, much to Beth's disdain. The rice was good.

Kiah: Duck Tacos - because that's what was on "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives". A nice change from chicken.

Abi: The shrimp tacos which were on special. They were nice and fresh, especially with some lime juice on top. The shrimp was good. I also enjoyed the black beans and rice that were served with them. The rice was nice and light, not tomato based, and not super sticky. I still enjoy my good ole plate of refried beans and rice, but this was a nice change.

So Cempazuchi - 1205 Brady Street, Milwaukee, WI - a nice place that I'm glad we tried. Will take some visitors back there too, I think, just to get the Brady Street flavor.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


So studying has really been getting to me. I've been studying non-stop since August 31 - all day, everyday. And my kidneys are sick of all the coffee and Diet Coke that I've been sending their way. My back and neck are sore from sitting in my less than comfortable chair. I've got 2 more 44 question tests left for today and am dreading them.

Hopefully, Bry will recognize this and see that I need a trip to a new restuarant - maybe a new Mexican one down on National.... it will help in our quest to try all the Mexican restaurants here in Milwaukee.

Starting Up

So I've decided to start a BLOG just before my trip to Europe in 4 days. I figured that since I'll be gone so much this year it might be nice to have a way to stay in touch. Plus, since everyone is obviously very interested in my life, this will let you have a little glimpse!

Also, I think my mom will be happy to be able to read that I'm still alive. Emily - can you tell her what BLOGGING is?

For the next few days the blog will consist of "I AM STUDYING", then on Tuesday I take my LAST test of medical school - the Step 2 CK. Clinical Knowledge. Then on Wednesday Grandpa and I take off for Stockholm. I'll give more details about that later.

So welcome to the blog. I'm interested to see how this all works. And it will give me a site to check on besides Facebook!