Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Birthday to Jeff Falco!

This guy is awesome.

He is also 25 and 1 day.

I am posting about him [and Austin, Texas] today because we were too busy yesterday. 

Here are some pictures to sum up how we spent his birthday--not featured: catching up with our friends Brett and Julie and co., and a kayaking adventure on Lady Bird Lake.

Texas Sheet Cake ice cream from Lick Honest Ice Cream  (see below)
Austin is really cool. It was full of hipster sodas and purple flowers and sweet restaurants. I like that place. I am so glad that we could spend Jeff's birthday there. Tonight we are continuing the celebration with Texas Roadhouse (Thanks, Michelle). Birthdays are just the best.

Also, can we just take a second to highlight Lick Honest Ice Cream?? I am not an affiliate or anything, but that place was crazy! They have flavors like Roasted Beets + Fresh Mint, Coconut + Avocado Curd, and Fresh Oranges + Fennel... It was really cool.  Check it out if you're ever in the area. We really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Photography Session!

Finally! It's been a while since I did pictures for somebody else. This girl is the cutest. She is a mover. Maybe it just seemed like that because I have never done a one-year-old session while being eight months pregnant. Anyway, pretty sweet, huh? Claire Falco Photography via Mrs. Med School

Claire Falco Photography via Mrs. Med School

Claire Falco Photography via Mrs. Med School

Claire Falco Photography via Mrs. Med School

Claire Falco Photography via Mrs. Med School

So that is what I have been up to. Jeff is on spring break and I am officially done working, so we are having a stay-cation in our new apartment. We are going to Austin on Thursday so I will post about that when we get back. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Just Some Thoughts

I go into this post apprehensively--not because I am about to write something taboo or profound or anything, but because I know it's about to be a thought dump. That is what's happening in my brain right now and it might as well be on the internet, amiright?

I will try to organize these into succinct, little points.

1. Exercise and Pregnancy

I LOVE exercise! I don't understand how I go through bouts of inactivity when I know how great I feel after a good work out... Seriously, the rewards of an active life are astounding, especially in pregnancy. Since I still have the go-ahead from my doctor, I can't afford not to go. So, yeah, I walked at an old-lady pace for 25 minutes and had a sub-par leg day. Lame as this may be, I still went and I still feel great so I feel like a winner. Let's hope that earns me an easy postpartum recovery, haha.

2.  My Little Brother

Mid-backflip, which Nick always seemed to be pre-mission, haha :)
Nicholas Wheatley is serving a mission in France. He is the most positive missionary I have ever met. He is all sunshine. I started reading his companion's blog and this was reaffirmed to me. What a little stud. I love my brother. He is a great example all the time. Also, he has a blog as of yesterday. Ch-check it out!

3. Preparing for Riley

How in the heck does someone prepare for a baby? I am just feeling a little baffled. On the flip side, our car is fixed and all the doors successfully lock and unlock with both our key and key remote! We are installing the car seat tonight! So excited.

Since I have some free time before baby comes, I am looking for good baby prep books. I am pretty picky due to my Family Studies degree (I want my baby to be well-adjusted in the long run, so I want books that support authoritative parenting, please), so if anyone has suggestions for non-crazy books. Please let me know in the comments.

Also, I had two very special baby showers last week. They were awesome and I am so, so grateful for the love and support from so many friends and coworkers. We are so very blessed.

4. Sort of Starting to Feel Sentimental

I have four work days left. Those kids are sure cute. They are getting cuter as I'm getting closer to leaving. I believe this is 95 percent psychological. They keep hugging my legs and even lovingly patting my baby bump and my goodness, I am going to miss them.

Most days I feel really strained at work. There is so much crazy in that classroom. There are times I would like to delegate some strenuous responsibility and I can't. There are not always enough people to help. I have said this before and people tell me, "Well, one day you'll have other children to take care of when you're pregnant and you won't have people to delegate to." This is true, however, I doubt I will ever have 10 2-year-old Falcos while pregnant. I feel entitled to delegating for now. It doesn't matter anyway, because I literally have less than a week left!

5. To Sleep or Not to Sleep

I am suppose to sleep bank right now. Hm. Last night I couldn't really sleep though. I tossed and turned sleepily for about six hours (which felt like five due to Daylight's Savings). I already feel like a zombie and we don't even have a newborn yet.

My query is should I try to intervene and make the most of the available restful nights I have left (meditate, take a bath before bed, exercise more, etc.), or should I just roll with it and have a leg up when my baby comes. Thoughts?

6. The Easiest Move of my Life

I feel so lucky to move before the baby comes. I walked past our new apartment today and noticed that management has been cleaning things up. I even poked my head in the window and I am feeling pretty good about what lies ahead. I do not feel motivated to pack. I realize this is not so good, but, you guys, We are just walking down the stairs and around the corner. I can just carry my clothes on the hanger and put them away in probably 40 seconds. That is phenomenal. I will pack most things for real though, so no worries.

That's all. Just a nice, chill day and taking time to document it.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Real Experiences of Medical-School Wives

Disclaimer: the experiences laid out in this blog post are written by wives of medical-school students. This blog was initially created to aid such individuals. Critical and/or irrelevant comments will be deleted to maintain a positive and supportive environment. 

Thank you!

Hey everybody,

So this year is wrapping up pretty quickly. Jeff just has about three months until finals! I guess that isn't super soon, but I woke up feeling inspired to write this post.

So basically, I wanted to write something to sum up our medical school/medical-student's wife experience this year. I realized quickly though I might lead people on and they might have a horrible experience of their own, and so forth. Thus, I Facebook messaged a bunch of med school wives I know and asked for their experience so far. Most of them are wives of M1 students (first-year med students) attending a school in the south and all of them are Mormon. I just thought I would lay that out because it's good to know the bias, haha :)

I would first like to share my own experience as the wife of a medical-school student:

This is one of the crazy weeks. Specifically, this is one of the crazy days. Jeff just left to do some last-minute studying before an exam. This is a block where the teachers do not lecture efficiently and the material doesn't really interest Jeff (microbiology, etc.). This seems to be stressful to him. When Jeff is stressed out, I make extra strides to take care of things and stay out of his hair.

Since I am waiting for my baby to come and working part-time (for the last week!), I wake up early and make him breakfast and lunch. I clean the house and do laundry and call auto-repair shops to fix our car and go grocery shopping and make dinner. I also spend a lot of time pursuing my own interests. I sew a lot. I take a lot of pictures. I watch videos of newborn babies (haha). I exercise. I make gifts for people. I go to the library. I talk to my relatives. I hang out with friends. I blog occasionally. :)

It hasn't really been too bad so far. I can most likely attribute that perspective to my medical-school preparation; when Jeff and I were in our undergraduate programs, everyone prepared me for the worst. So many people dish out their med-school-wife horror stories. Ugh. They talk about their husbands studying while they were in labor (which I think Jeff will probably do and I support him in that). They told me that I would never see him. Not to mention, a few loved ones told me that I would make or break Jeff as a med student. Are you kidding me?! Staaaahp! 

Here's the thing, we are very happy. I see Jeff more now than when we were undergrads. I enjoy being supportive, encouraging him, and making sure he just has to focus on medical school. We are truly closer now than we were before he started school and we were already close.

I imagine I will look back and think, "if only you knew," when our baby comes or when Jeff is getting ready to take Step 1 or when he is flying everywhere interviewing for residency programs. Currently though, I like Jeff being in medical school. I have plenty of fun. I am growing in my own way and finding my niches in life.

Don't take my word for it though. Here are a few friends that have something to say:

Hello! My name is Hailey Mabey. My husband is in his first year at University of Central Florida and we are loving it. Are there hard days? YES. Hard WEEKS. Definitely. But there are also awesome days and easy peasy weeks. For us, some days he is home by noon and we get to go play at Disney World for the rest of the day. And other times (test weeks) he is gone before our baby wakes up in the morning and gets home far past her bed time and then continues to study once he gets home. The laundry piles up, the dishes pile up and I am still in my pajamas from the night before and they are covered in baby food. But despite this I can absolutely say that I have never in my life been happier. The first few months away from family were really difficult for me and I would sleep with my baby blanket at night and cry into it because the smell of it reminded me of home. But as time went on I eventually MADE the decision to be happy. I read ten happiness tips from Gordon B. Hinkley, wrote them down on a piece of paper with a sparkly crayon and stuck it on my fridge. I eventually blossomed into a happier person and began to love the stage of life that were are at. I laugh more, I stress less and cry far less. Before coming out here many people gave me the advice that I needed to make friends with other med school wives and get out of the house. While I agree with this, I believe the most important thing is to choose happiness. I still have hard days, but I don’t cry into my baby blanket at night anymore! Here is a little summary of the steps.

1.The purpose of life is to be HAPPY!
3.God is in charge, stay POSITIVE.
4.Set realistic GOALS.
7.Improve ATTITUDE. Positive>Negative.
8.Happiness requires WORK.
9.Study things that matter.
READ more.

And remember… Your husband is doing this not just for himself but for YOU! Of course he would rather watch a movie with you than study. But he is studying and working hard so that he can provide a wonderful living for you someday. Love him, encourage him and be easy to forgive.

My last tip is to do something everyday for yourself. Somethings I do that help bring some happiness to my soul… Read or watch a show while the baby sleeps (Gilmore Girls anyone??), make some caramel and eat a TON of it, buy something online, go to a play date with YOUR friends, start up or continue doing a hobby… the list goes on. Yes, money is tight, but don’t get so caught up in not spending any money that you have no fun. Make a budget and allow there to be money for some fun things. You don’t want to spend ten years anxious for when you will be making money so that you can finally have fun. You don’t want to wish your life away. Go out on a date, buy that dress you have wanted for weeks, and make sure your pantry is always stocked with chocolate! Regardless of what people think or say, they do provide enough loans for you to live like a human being. Like I said, BUDGET it!

You can do this! You are not alone. There are thousands of people out there who know just what you’re going through and I am praying for you med school wives EVERY morning. Give your selves a pat on the back! Sending love to all of you! 



My husband Mike started Medical School here at A&M fall 2013. We've been living here in College Station for 1.5 years and have grown to love it! When we first came to Med School we had a 6 month old baby girl. I was nervous to move so far away from our families in Utah, but luckily Mike's parents live in Austin. So we've been able to make the 2 hr drive and visit them on weekends after tests. 

At first it was hard for me to break out of my shell and be more outgoing to get to know people in our church ward. But I was able to get involved with a bunch of mother groups (Storytime at the library, Playgroup, Music Makers, etc.) That saved me! I've made some of the best friends I've ever had and that has made life so fun. Mike has also made an effort to spend quality time with us. He's great at balancing his school work with family time. We made a rule that he had to be home for dinner at 6pm then hang out with Bailey until her bedtime. Then on Sundays he doesn't study so it's a family focused day. 

Basically med school life is pretty good since we've made efforts to create our own life and meet each others' needs. 

Sure there are hard times (like when Mike has a test at the end of the week and he needs to stay late at school and we don't really see him.) We now have a Baby girl #2 and so now we're working on figuring out this new stage in our life. Med School life if quite an adventure! Life's what you make it. Be positive, work hard, and make the most of the family time you do have.


I was completely terrified of medical school. I had never lived more than 10 minutes from home and totally expected a non-existent husband, a friendless lonely life (I was leaving all my friends behind in Utah too), and a stressfully tight budget. So far, Tyler has been in school for about 7 months and not a single fear as come to pass. 

In fact, I feel like I see my husband more now than I did in undergrad when we were both going to school and working. I have a larger circle of friends and am more social than I have ever been since Tyler and I got married, and I live in a nicer house with more than enough money to meet my family's needs, without even taking all the loans that are offered!  

That doesn't mean med school is all roses, it's hard. For both spouses. But it is more than doable. It is, in fact, (can't believe I'm about to say this) enjoyable. I love being on my own and independent. I love the friends I have already made. And I'm learning that I can love any place, even hot humid Texas. I strongly believe though, that there a few key factors to having a successful med school experience. 

1. Give yourself time. Know that it won't be wonderful from day one. I was completely homesick for about 3 months. But once I didn't have to use my GPS 4 times a day, and I had at least one or two people I knew here in Bryan, I didn't feel so lonesome anymore and life has just gotten better and better since.

2. Set a schedule. Discuss your needs with your spouse and set a schedule you both can agree on. As the wife of a med school student, you are expected to provide a whole lot of support. That doesn't mean you don't need to be supported in your endeavors too though! I learned that it's important to speak up if you feel neglected. If you don't, it's going to be a long 4 years. For example, Tyler and I soon figured out that we need some "us" time, so every night at9:00 he puts the books away (no matter what!) and we get to spend time together without our baby and without med school. This time is vital to our marriage, (as is weekend time).

3. Do what you have to do to make yourself happy. Surround yourself with people that you like, don't be afraid to spend a little money on hobbies you love, exercise, and learn to love the city you live in. Don't forget to improve yourself. Your husband will be constantly pushed along at school. If you're at home, you've got to push yourself to become better, otherwise you're going to end up feeling left behind. 

I've learned that med school is NOT something to be feared. It can become a wonderful time of life. 



My name is Ally Larson and my husband Mike currently attends the University of Oklahoma, and we are the parents of our 5 month old boy Henry. We were so excited when Mike got accepted to OU because it is only about 1.5 hours away from my family! It has been really nice being close to family and I would definitely recommend it if someone is choosing between two schools. It will be really nice when we live in the same town as my family for 3rd year when Mike will be gone 24/7. We see my family 2-3 times a month and having that support system has been everything to me. Mike’s cousin (who thankfully is a girl with two kids of her own!) lives in our actual town about 5 minutes away from us and that has been nice to have someone to lean on for support right away we moved here. She invited me to a lot of events and I was able to meet some of her friends and get to know people in the area. 

We had Henry about a month into school which was when Mike was in Anatomy (the most intense 7 week class of first year). That was HARD. We had Henry on a Sunday, came home from the hospital on Tuesday evening, and Mike went back to school full time on Wednesday. That class was required attendance so he had to be there every day from 8am - 8 or 9 pm depending on how much material was given that day. Thankfully my mom was able to stay for awhile with me, but it was hard trying to figure out how to be a mom without him there all the time. 

Being a stay at home mom can definitely be lonely. For a while we only had one car so I was stuck at home all day long and got mildly depressed. Henry was (is) still young so he doesn’t play alone with toys so I have to ya know either hold him, entertain him, etc which usually consists of laying on his playmat or reading books. Not terribly exciting! :) I missed adult interaction! I have always gone to school full time and worked part time so it is a drastic change to chill in your pjs all day. If you are able to swing it, I would definitely recommend having a second car. It has given Henry and I so much freedom - even if we just want to run to Hobby Lobby around the corner to walk around for a bit. It is nice. 

OU is nice because (besides required days/classes) it is very flexible. All lectures are video recorded and available online so you technically could stay home every day and work from there. That just doesn’t work for Mike, but if I am sick or having a bad day he is able to stay home and help with Henry. We really like that about OU! Every day is different so some days he is done at ten, or noon, or four so it isn’t terrible. His school is very family friendly so they were definitely accommodating when we had Henry (professors gave Mike extra help/time) and all his classmates LOVE Henry and were very generous to us when he was born. 

As far as money goes, our situation is different because Mike received a full scholarship for the 4 years which doesn’t require payback. It is SUCH a blessing. We took out loans for living which has allowed me to stay home with Henry. With rent plus utilities, groceries, car insurance, etc it adds up so we also do some programs that help with groceries. We try to be frugal! My advice would be to take out as much as you need, but no more than that. Interest starts accruing when you take it out so try to budget to see how much you will need. We took out a little more to buy a second car but we felt good about it. Live like a poor person now so you can live like a doctor later! 

The biggest change for me was expectations. Hands down. Because I was staying home, I had so much free time so I was always wanting Mike to be home so we could hang out, do something, go somewhere, etc. Sometimes I felt like a single mom! And it is hard with a newborn even though they sleep all the time - you still don’t know what the heck you are doing! haha. There is just SO much more material in med school which requires a lot more studying than you did in undergrad and it just is not feasible to be home a lot. Mike wants to get into one of the top 5 specialities which means it is crazy competitive and he has to work extra hard. You have to be in the top of your class, get honors, shadow doctors, volunteer at clinics, do research, publish and present, get an amazeball board score, etc so he has a lot on his plate. Sometimes (or more often that not) it is long hours, studying on fridayand saturday AND sunday night before a monday exam which leaves no time for us. Sometimes we eat dinner together, watch a 30 minute episode of our show, then Mike goes back to studying for the rest of the night. You have to learn to be independent which I really suck at :) My personality just needs interaction and attention so we are definitely learning how to balance it all. There have been many tears shed and feelings of loneliness and we definitely don’t have it all figured out. 

Being a med school wife will challenge you and make you grow in ways you didn’t think you would. I am having to learn how to be more independent and not need Mike 24/7 for my happiness. Find friends! There are a few other ladies that I have met (not in my ward) whose husbands are residents so it is nice to get their perspective because they are towards the end of the med school journey. So find girls either in your same stage of life or a little bit older ones who can give you advice because they have been there done that. If you are LDS, reach out to people in your ward and become friends with other girls/moms/couples. It is lonely feeling like you don’t know anyone in your area. Develop or get back into your hobbies! If you are super creative, maybe start a side business on Etsy or something where you can make a little extra cash. Find things that make YOU happy so that you can feel fulfilled. Support your husband in his successes and failures and try to be positive about the roller coaster ride that is med school - there is light at the end of the tunnel! 


Just to give you an idea of our situation, My husband is a first year medical student at A&M and I'm a stay at home mom of a 10 months old. My husband's goal for medical school has been to be above average and do well but he doesn't feel the pressure to be the best or get honors. This perspective has been great for our family because I love and need him in mine and our daughter's lives. It seems like with medical school you could always be studying more and do a little better but you have to decide what balance is right for your family.

Expectations are a big thing for us as well. I've learned to expect going to bed alone on test weeks because Brett stays out late at school studying and I expect Brett to need to study a lot of Saturdays as well as weekdays. Having lower expectations makes the times he gets home early a great surprise and extra special.

Lastly, make friends. It's nice to find people around you that are living what your future will be (residency, 3rd year, etc.). You need people in your life to talk to when the Med student isn't there whether it's family close by or other med student spouses or whoever.