Monday, December 26, 2005

'Tis the Season

Merry Christmas to everyone!! We hope your Christmas was as happy as ours. I'm happy to report that according to Joe we got all the "shiz" we wanted for Christmas. In addition to the "shiz" we had several exciting Christmas parties. We always enjoy our Spilker Family Christmas Eve party. This year Katie, Callie & I dressed up as punk rock queens and danced to a punk version of "O Come All Ye Faithful". We were a hit!

Just last week Joe and I went snowboarding with my brother, his girlfriend Jessica and my sisters. It was a really fun day. The snow was good, the back pain was increadible. So, I thought I was a pro-snowboarder for 30 seconds and have been paying for it ever since. It's been a good excuse to get lots of massages out of Joe!

Joe is finally done with school. He's spent a lot of time helping my dad put pergo in the apartment downstairs and paint. They're almost done now and the apartment looks fabulous!

It's been almost a month now since Joe has heard anything from any medical schools. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the anticipation is a killer. He did, however, have a fabulous interview at UCLA. The doctor who interviewed him said that he would put him in the "highly recruitable" category which means that he still has a chance. For a California resident that means your for sure going to get it, but for an out of state resident it's still up in the air. The earliest we expect to hear anything from UCLA is mid-February.

A very merry Christmas to you all! Thanks for your love and support.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Onward and Upward

October was an exciting and busy month for us. Joe went to three medical school interviews, I turned a whopping 24 years old and we spent a lot of time with friends and family.

I spent a lot of time working on a paper that I have submitted to Newsweek's My Turn column. Certainly they would trim it down if they were going to print it, which I don't anticipate they will, but it's important to me. (Newsweek receives 600 papers for every 4 that they print.) The paper is about stem cell research and how I think it will benefit me and society.

Joe, on the other hand, has just had a paper accepted for publication in Pediatrics which he describes as the BEST pediatric medical journal. This is very exciting news because a published scientist (aka Joe) is much more respected than a non-published scientist (aka Joe yesterday). Not to mention the whole world will now have the opportunity to learn about their ground breaking research on non-chemical treatments for head lice.

So far, Joe has interviewed at Tulane, Drexel and Dartmouth. Of the three schools he seems most excited about Dartmouth. Dartmouth is a top 15 medical school in a semi-rural area right next to some of the nations most exciting cities (aka: Boston, New York, etc.) One interesting fact about the medical school: it's founder was the surgeon who performed Joseph Smith's famous leg surgery. We're also excited about Joe's upcoming UCLA interview. The likeliood of getting accepted after an interviewis about 8-15% (depending on the school). At the same time though, Joe is an amazing person and everyone who meets him can usually tell right away - - so we try not to think about the dismal statistics.

Joe's brothers and sisters have had very exciting month's as well. Peter got baptised on Saturday, November 5 (the same day I got baptised many years ago). And Aliza recently got engaged to a young man named Tobi! We're glad all of these exciting things have taken place!

I've got a plethora of new books to read thanks to my recent birthday and the library's bi-annual book sale. I've recently read all 6 Harry Potter books and Amy Tan's new book called Saving Fish from Drowning. This was a very interesting book which followed 11 travelers who are "kidnapped" in Myanmar/Burma. If you like traditional Amy Tan this probably isn't the book for you, however if you're interested in human rights and/or politics you would probably like the book a lot.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


The events of the past month were quite exciting. We went to Denver to see Wicked, which is an awesome show. The story, which follows the lives of the wicked witch from the west and glinda the good witch, develops the characters from the Wizard of Oz ten fold. The special effects were awesome and of course the music was the best of all. I've been listening to the soundtrack for about a year, so it was fun to see how different the show was from how I had imagined it ~ even with all of the information from the various songs. Anyway, if you have a chance, you should definately see Wicked. The picture at the left is all of my family at the Buell Theater in Denver, where Wicked played.

Just before going to Denver our house was broken into. What a mess! They didn't take anything - likely because we don't have anything good to take - but they definately went through a bunch of stuff. I had the police come and do a report and they took finger prints, foot prints, all kinds of pictures, if the person who did it ever gets caught they have no doubt that it was him becuase he left his tracable prints EVERYWHERE!! The same week, unfortunately, two of our neighbors houses got broken into, our neighbors car was broken into and another neighbors bike was stolen. And, besides the bike and the mess, nothing was missing from any of the homes/car.

Joe got his tonsils out on Monday. The recovery is supposed to be 10 days but today is only the 3rd day and he's already back in class. We've been told he went to the best ear, nose and throat doctor in the state, so maybe that's why. Either that or the constant popping of percocet. Yumm!

I also had my bi-annual endocrinologyst check up . My A1C was 4.8 which is very good. The American Diabetes Association recommends below 6.5 or 7 so 4.8 is looking pretty good. Now my doctor is concerned that I'm having a hard time realizing my "lows" which in the long term is not a big deal but short term, it could cause me to go into a comma or have minor troubles. I think I'm fine, besides unless I let up on my control of my highs, I will always be a little unaware of the lows. I'd rather risk having a few short term troubles than face the consequences brough on by having high blood sugar levels (you know: blindness, neuropathy, loss of limb, kidney failure, etc.).

Work is boring as usual. I have another article that will print in the Salt Lake Tribune in the next 2 weeks or so. You can look for it online, it will be in the Suagrhouse edition either this friday or next, I think.

Until next time... Pray for Joe to heal and do well at his medical school interviews (and to get more).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Same Old

The comic is here, only because it made me laugh outloud!

I think I have officially published my first article ever. When I was younger, all I wanted to be when I was grown is a reporter. Now I'm grown up and I have a boring office job - seems we knew so much more when we were younger. At any rate, several months ago I signed on as a freelance reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune community pages and then did nothing. Finally, an opportunity presented itself and I took hold. The article I wrote should be published in the Holladay edition of the Salt Lake Tribune (maybe even the City and Avenues pages as well) on Friday, September 16. You can read it by going to and clicking communities on the top row on the right hand side. If I can get motivated I'll probably even write some more!

Joe hasn't heard any more from any of the medical schools he applied to. It's still a little early in the admissions process but not hearing anything at all is making us both a little anxious. We've assumed that his interview with Tulane is cancelled; everything we have read has indicated that Tulane has lost all of their admissions files so they'll be starting from scratch in January. Fortunately, Joe was convincing enough to the Delta agents that they gave him a full refund on his flight.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Puerto Rico

This is not the best picture in the world, but one of the neatest things I have ever done is visit a bioluminescent bay in Vieques, a small island off the North East coast of Puerto Rico. There are little organisms which live in the bay (called dinoflagulites) which, when touched emit a blue/green light, like you see in the picture. We hopped on sea kayaks in the evening and went to the middle of the lagoon and then swam with light emitting everywhere we touched. When you picked up water your hands glowed, Justin & Joe's chest hair glowed. It was really neat.

Puerto Rico is one of the neatest places that I have traveled. The island is small, yet there are tons of different activities. We went to the rain forest (the second picture is Joe, Justin & Nate in standing in a waterfall at the rainforest), saw the largest radio telescope (satellite) in the world, went snorkelling - Joe & Justin saw an octopus, went to the smalled branch (of church) ever, and generally had a really good time.

One of the more interesting parts of our trip was figuring out where we were going to stay each night while there. After reading about all the fun things to do in various parts of the island Camille, Justin, Nate, Allie, Joe & I decided that we wanted to travel around and stay in various parts of the island. The second night was an adventure because we had just arrived in Vieques and all we cared about was making sure that we could see the bioluminescent bay. By the time we figured out what we were doing for the night, all the hotel offices (they were small ma & pap's shops) were closed for the night. We were sure we would be sleeping on the beach, which didn't sound good since I already had 100+ mosquito bites and the sand was chaffing our legs. So, we ended up staying in an empty house owned by a friend of the guy who took us to the bay. We were all certain that we were going to die. It was kind of an adventure trusting someone you don't know... he had keys to the house (and therefore, access to us & our stuff), was our only form of transportation (not to mention the only one who knew where we were) and took us on a rather scary excursion through the unkept woody area behind his house. Fortunately, we made it out alive and no one had their stuff stolen! The next night, still not knowing where we going to stay, but attempting to get across the island, we stopped at the first hotel we saw when we got tired. After asking for three rooms, we became inquisitive of the strange set up of the hotel. Turns out, it was a hotel that caters to PROSTITUTES! Every wall in the room was covered in mirrors. It was quite an experience. After that we stayed in a few nice resorts to make up for our other sad, yet fun, experiences.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


This is beginning to feel a lot like a vacation blog. Las week we spent several days in Wyoming. We had a great time!! Our friends, Kevin & Tori, the youngest retired couple you'll ever meet, showed us what a wonderful time early retirement can be. We ran the Snake River, rode wave runners and 4 wheelers, lit amazing fireworks over the river and RELAXED!! Both Joe & I finished the books we were reading and we watched a lot of movies. It was nice to get away for a little while. School starts up again, for Joe, at the end of this month and life will begin to be busy with not so exciting things. We have at least one more vacation planned before then, Puerto Rico, which should be great fun. In the mean time I will continue to update the information we get from medical school's as soon as we receive them. Hopefully, Joe will start going to interviews within the next couple months.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And then...

We've just returned from West Palm Beach, FL. We worked most of the time we were there, however, we were able to take time to enjoy ourselves as well. Probably the most exciting thing we did while in West Palm Beach was watch the Leatherback Sea Turtles lay their eggs on the beach. After dark turtles begin to emerge from the beach... we were lucky enough to see three in various stages. They would crawl out of the ocean, find a nice spot, dig a hole, lay approx. 100 eggs, fill the hole and then crawl back into the ocean. It's really an amazing thing to watch.

Joe has now applied to medical school. There are 16 schools that he has applied to so far. He applied to several in California, several on the east coast and a few in between. He should receive his MCAT score tomorrow, finally, and we'll know at that point (we hope) if he's a good candidate for any of the schools he applied to. He may apply to a few additional schools, depending, of course, on his MCAT score. For those who are wondering, this is a long process, Joe probably won't even hear back from most of these schools for several months and he probably won't receive any acceptences or rejections until around Christmas.

Life is good for us. We're excited to spend a lot of time outdoors this summer - camping, waterskiing, hiking, and what not. We've got a few small camping trips planned and hopefully we'll find our way to Lagoon sometime soon (they have several new rides neither of us have been on).

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Universal Studios, Hollywood, California
February, 2005

I've decided to join the rest of the world and start "blogging". It's been kind of fun to create a mini-website devoted soley to ME (and joe)! I figured now is the best time to figure out how to maintain a blog, because in a year (hopefully) we'll be moving far, far away. Right now, however, Joe and I are excited to enjoy our first school free summer since we got married. We're even thinking about another fun trip (since it'll be the last of it's kind for about 10 years).

Joe has already began the long arduous process of applying to medical school even though he won't begin submitting applications until June 1. We should receive the scores from his MCAT (medical school entrance test) on or around June 15 at which time we will have a better idea of which schools he is well suited for admissions to. Some of the schools we have considered are UCLA, UCSF, Dartmouth, Tulane, Duke, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State and many, many others. We will keep you updated as aplications are turned in, requests for more information are received and hopefully (in about 9 months) acceptances received!

Unfortunately, my life is no where near as fun to talk about as Joe's right now. I work 30-40 hours a week, read books, work out at the Field House and do whatever else come's up. Which, for those of you who wonder regularly, does not currently include getting pregnant. I can, however, refer you to several cute babies if you need something to ogle (consider: Madison Spilker, McKenzie Atkin, and many, many Johnstun/Barrett/Jack babies). And, if that doesn't satisfy you ask Joe - he'll descibe the physiology of babies, pregnancy and the like and probably bore you to death while he's at it!

So, for anyone out there interested in what's going on in our lives, check back periodically for more news and information from Heidi & Joe Atkin.