Sunday, June 29, 2014

Graduation Day

Whew! It is good to be back.  I did not realize how much I enjoyed blogging until I took this hiatus.  I couldn't help but wonder what I should start back with, and I kept getting overwhelmed thinking of everything that has happened in my life since I last posted.  I decided to start from the beginning, which I hear is a very good place to start.

A little over a month ago (hard to believe it), I completed one of my biggest life endeavors: to graduate from dental school.  On that morning, I woke up with a knot in my stomach.  It didn't feel quite as I expected it to feel.  Yes, I was "excited" I guess you could say, but it was more a feeling of relief that I actually made it to the end.  Even to this day, it seems surreal to write Dr. Emilee Milling D.M.D.  But the real reason for the pit in my stomach was a feeling of loss.  I knew from this day forward, I would not see the amazing people that were in my class every day.  I would not know what was going on in their lives, laugh at their jokes, or lean over my desk to ask for advice.  I am not very good with change, but I was about to be bombarded with it.

I wanted to dedicate this blog post to the UMMC School of Dentistry Class of 2014.  It was a long journey, but I could not have done it without you.  I am so proud of us for working together as a team and not becoming cutthroat towards each other.  We are one big dysfunctional family, but I wouldn't change a thing about us.  Thank you for the encouragement over the years and for all of the fun memories.

Our first Halloween party and probably my favorite

 This was our first year of dental school with almost all of the ladies in my class.  When I look back at pictures of us, I am blown away by how beautiful everyone is.

The Dr. Cope crew: me (Lindsey Lohan), Brian (the flower), and Kristen (the bird)

One of our many crawfish boils.  I have learned not to take these for granted, because down here in Florida, people cannot fathom eating crawfish (or crayfish as I have seen...crazy!)

The ladies at one of our many weddings over the years.  

Tacky Christmas party 2011

Night on the town

At the end of our second year of dental school, we have our white coat ceremony to symbolize our transition as students to working in the clinic.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment to be leaving all of that testing behind us and finally be able to interact with patients.  Dr. Young is a fantastic pediatric dentist in Mississippi and long time family friend.  I am so grateful he was able to "coat" me.  

The Annual Softball tournament.  This is one of the events I will miss the most.  Although I do not claim to be an athlete, the guys always seem excited that a few of us girls will play with them.  Hmm... now that I think about it, I believe there is a rule that you have to have at least three girls on your team.  But nonetheless, we have won the last three years, and I actually made the game winning hit our senior year.  I like to think they could not have done it without us.

Perio barbecue:  the squeamish may not want to hear this story.  During our third year, we start out doing periodontal surgery (gum surgeries) on pig jaws.  This of course is required prior to doing surgeries on actual patients.  At the end of the class, the Periodontal department throws us a barbecue, and I am assuming it is not with the pigs we did surgery on...I think.

Spring Break 2013: every year, a group from our class will take a spring break trip, and this year I was able to go.  I was lucky enough to travel with several ladies who were also married, and we had the best Wives Gone Wild week.  This pretty much consisted of reading on the beach, meeting up with the rest of our friends during the day, with a little harmless flirting at night.  I can't tell you how many Mark's were in Destin that week.

Mississippi Dental Association day at the Capitol

Tacky Christmas party 3013

You may remember a few blog posts ago about my trip to Haiti.  I was so blessed by the experience and loved being able to go with some amazing people.

We clean up good!  We were invited to the Family and Friends Alumni dinner as seniors.  It was a very classy evening with some of the best food I had had in a long time.

All of the beautiful ladies in my class.  We have come so far in our friendships and each of you will have a special place in my heart.  I love you!

In all of my pictures, I was staring at my feet.  I had this horrific fear of face planting in front of thousands of strangers.  Thankfully, I made it without a disaster.

This is a little snapshot of me receiving my Doctoral hood.  Whoop whoop!

My dear friends Sara and Rachel who I went to college with.  Rachel and I have been through so much together with being in the same classes and going through our programs at the same time.  Sara is a precious friend who came and sat through our two hour graduation just to see us walk across the stage.  If that is not selfless, I don't know what is.

Look at that fine class!

My parents and my brother, James, came to watch me walk.  Jonathan and Jeff were unable to make it, but I felt them in spirit.  I could not have done it without all of your support over the years.  And, yes, ladies, James is single!

Dr. Young and his wife, Mrs. Beth, came by to congratulate me.  

My sweet study friend, Kayla.  I can't believe after all of our Starbucks days and smelling like coffee for a year, that we both got to where we wanted to go.  She is starting a pediatric dental residency at UMMC.  

And of course, my sweetie, Matt.  Thank you for always letting me pursue my goals.  Not every man would make the sacrifices you make for me to fulfill my dreams.  You are my best friend, and I love you dearly.

I hope you enjoyed a few pieces of my journey through dental school.  I had a great time while I was there, but God opens doors and directs us in the way we are supposed to go.  I had taken a brief break from blogging while we were in the process of moving.  Matt and I are now in Naples, FL where I am starting a pediatric dental residency, and he will begin nurse anesthesia school.  I promise many pictures and updates to come!