Monday, May 28, 2007

Graduation Weekend

About this time every year, Loma Linda University becomes a campus bustling with activity. The Class of 2007 from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry were awarded their diplomas yesterday. The whole weekend, in fact, was a whirlwind of activity.

On Saturday morning, after hearing an inspiring sermon by Jason Shives, Paul and I attended the School of Medicine’s Baccalaureate service, where Amy Lee and Evelyn Law played a cello duet.

I have known Amy since our teenage years, and she has always been an outstanding musician. What a blessing that she agreed to share her music with us on our wedding day!

For lunch we went over to Eli and Susie’s house again for our weekly Sabbath potluck. This week the entire Shives clan as well as Eli’s family joined our group of friends.

Ken Lim’s parents even made their appearance. Dr. Lim showed us the “right” way to cut a pineapple.

Saturday night we headed down to San Diego for a huge birthday party for my niece, Taylin, who had just graduated from the eight grade. I didn't realize this would be more than just a family event. More than a hundred people showed up! My old church members from San Diego Korean SDA Church were all gathered there, and I was especially pleased to see Grace So, currently studying law at Georgetown University, and Andreia Kim, an aspiring physician’s assistant, doing her undergraduate studies at my alma mater – UCSD.

Of course, no event is complete without a doggie reunion.

Early Sunday morning, we rushed to attend the School of Medicine graduation.

Congratulations to A.G. (going into Psychiatry)...

and Sunik Oppa (Neurosurgery)...

Andy and Michelle Park (the newlyweds going into Family Practice and FP/Psychiatry, respectively)...

and Eli Kim (FP)...

can't forget to mention Miso Kim (advanced potty training -- upper division)...

and Jason Shives (FP)...

Sally and Aaron Sartin (FP/Preventive Medicine)...

and Ralph Clark (Preventive Medicine)...

and Marshall Ford (Ophthalmology)...

Afterwards, we had a feast at Eli’s house before rushing off to the School of Pharmacy graduation to celebrate with Annie Curnow.

We hung out for a few hours at Tim and Adrian’s house before finally heading to the School of Dentistry graduation in the evening, where my cousin DongWook earned his doctor of dental surgery. Here is a family photo with some of our cousins, uncles, and aunts.

I searched long and hard for my other "cousin," Erina, but could not find her amidst the multitude of people. Congratulations to her, too!!! =)

Other Dental graduates include Brian Chan...

Sarah Kim...

Melissa Lee...

Joe Chang...

Angela Kim...

and the extended Korean clan...

By the time we got to Bernard’s graduation dinner party, I was still stuffed from a whole weekend of eating. Nonetheless, I must say that my aunt had prepared quite a grand setup of fantastic food.

What a weekend. Once again, congratulations to all the graduates!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Update on Life

Wedding planning has been incredibly busy, so I admit I have not been blogging on a regular basis. Eric visited the Southern California area a few weeks ago and promptly noted my lack of consistency in the blogosphere recently. So with this entry I hope to appease my few but faithful readers. Sometimes I wonder who actually reads these entries...if you are not shy please identify yourself! =)

On with snippets of my life:

1. Advent HOPE. At the turn of this new year, Paul and I started to attend a new church – Advent HOPE (AH). We have been so blessed by the environment, fellowship, and community we experience weekly, and we really feel God has really led us there. The great thing about this church is that amazing speakers are invited to come and share the Bread of Life every week, and all the sermons are posted on Audioverse. Since I attended a different church for the past few years, I made it a habit of downloading almost every sermon and listening to them on my nano ipod when I went to the gym; this helped encourage my spiritual growth. One new change is that Paul and I were recently elected to serve on the Executive Committee at AH – Paul in the position of Bible Committee and I as Secretary. I look forward to a powerful year as we have the privilege to serve on leadership.

In April, AH had an event called Mountain Church. Instead of attending a formal church service in a building, we drove up to the local mountains, hiked up to a pretty shaded area, and worshiped our Creator in the beauty of His nature. It was a good time. Everyone brought their dogs – even Lucy came!

Last weekend on Saturday evening before their end-of-the-year slideshow, we formed a prayer circle around those individuals who are making transitions in life (graduating, moving away for residency or additional schooling, etc.).

It struck me at that moment that Jason and Janelle and Eli & Susie (& Miso) will really be moving to Florida. Ana Gomez will be going to Kentucky. What a sad moment. I have appreciated their friendship, their leadership, and their enthusiasm for God. May they continue to be a light to those around them wherever they may be.

2. Aunt’s Birthday. Back in March 2007, my aunt had her 60th birthday party. In the Korean culture the 60th birthday marks a huge milestone, as many older generation Koreans lived at a time when the average life expectancy was quite low and they considered it almost a miracle to be alive at that age.

3. Joe and Grace’s Wedding. They tied the knot on April 23, 2007. Congratulations!

4. Forest Lawn. A few weeks ago, a group of us took an outing to a cemetery.

Yes, it was a cemetery. In fact, it is a beautiful cemetery in Glendale which houses two of the world’s largest paintings (The Crucifixion and The Resurrection by Jan Styka). It also houses Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper recreated in brilliant stained glass.

Exact replicas of Michelangelo’s greatest works (David, Moses, and La Pieta) are also found there. Here's David - I made some modest clothing for him.

This also happens to be where my grandparents were laid to rest.

5. Radiology. I have absolutely loved these last four weeks on Radiology. It is a very relaxing rotation, which has allowed me the leisure to plan this wedding as well as enjoy life. One of my attendings, Dr. Dang, is really an amazing person to work with. He is a heavy-set, good-natured, Vietnamese Neuroradiologist from Arkansas. I have picked his brain and requested that he teach me everything there is to know about CTs and MRIs of the head. It has been a very educational experience (when I actually show up to work, that is). =)

6. Facebook. Last month after receiving a friend request from my co-worker, Lanny, I joined Facebook, which seems to be an increasingly popular online network of acquaintances and friends – well, popular with the younger generation. Nonetheless, it has been interesting to be back in touch with people from my not-so-distant past. High school friends and college friends that I have not communicated with for 5 – 10 years have been “found.” These types of internet reunions are always interesting and somewhat amusing. Speaking of reunions, I believe I have a 10 year high school reunion coming up soon. I must be getting old.

7. Isabella. This past weekend, Peter Gregory and his family came out from New Mexico to visit. Isabella had a blast playing with Miso, perhaps to the mini maltese's dismay.

8. DongWook’s Wedding. Congratulations to my cousin on his marriage to Minju!

I had the opportunity to participate in their Pae Baek (traditional Korean ceremony), which was an entertaining experience.

9. Adrian’s Birthday. Finally, I had the privilege of celebrating Adrian’s 26th birthday with him.

I discovered that he has had a very interesting life up until now (he fled Pakistan at the age of 17 and has not seen his mother for the past 9 years). Happy birthday, Adrian!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


What a strange feeling it is to be virtually finished with my internship year. Granted, I still have one more month remaining…but I only have these last, lovely rotations to complete – Radiology and Anesthesiology. It was strategic planning…I must admit, but I am grateful my program has allowed me such leisure. I feel very fortunate to be able to take two weeks of vacation right before my wedding. Another week after the wedding for a honeymoon is an added blessing.

According to my wedding website which has a built-in countdown system, I have 39 days remaining until the big day! As this day approaches, feelings of anticipation, excitement, and joy begin to well up within me. Paul and I have dated for over four years now (4 years, 3 months, and 21 days, to be exact). We have been engaged for 1 year and 3 months. We truly have been through thick and thin together, and it has been a crazy but wonderful ride. We have worked through our differences, reasoned with our parents, learned how to speak lovingly to one another at all times, understood what it means to care deeply for someone other than oneself, and grown together emotionally and spiritually. Never would I have imagined that someone so compatible with me could exist in this world. Never could I have conjured up in my dreams a more perfect companion.

The Lord answered my prayers for a godly life partner – someone who is like-minded and mission-minded. I feel overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude for this miraculous friendship. Perhaps I am a sentimentalist. Perhaps I am idealistic. Perhaps I am blinded by love. But whatever the case, I am grateful for the precious gift of Paul – my future husband.