TeamLouka 2015: Our Virtual Christmas Card

Friends & Family,

We are trying something new this year.  Maybe it will stick, maybe not.  We’re providing a virtual Christmas card, our 2015 in review.  Just a few highlights to share some of our favorite moments.

Year 2 of 3 of our Residency Training

We stayed very busy with work this year, transitioning from Interns to “Upper levels” within the Emergency Department.  We studied for and passed Step 3 of our medical boards, and even ran simultaneous “codes” (cardiac arrests) which both resulted in “conversions” (return to a regular heart rhythm).

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Love in London

In February, we had a week of vacation, but opted to do a “staycation” and throw a London-themed Valentine’s Day party.  Jackie and Chrissy made us some amazing cookies.  We were joined by old friends, family, neighbors, and even The Queen herself!

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Bought a New Car

CarMax never knew what hit ’em!  We sold Amir’s old 1999 Mercury Cougar and upgraded to a 2011 JEEP Grand Cherokee.  After all the snow last winter, we knew we needed a more reliable way to get to work in bad weather.  The Emergency Department (ED) never closes, so we go in during hurricanes, floods and blizzards.

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Phoenix & Sedona, AZ

In April we both flew to Arizona for a national emergency medicine educators conference where Amir presented a patient he saw in the ED. We rented a JEEP named Jennie and went off-road.  Amir’s write-up of the adventure was published on JPFreek.com!

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18th Annual Krebs/Louka Crab Bake

In May, we co-hosted the 18th Annual Crab Bake with The Krebs, and lots of help from Amir’s mom, Julia.  A later date meant more plentiful crabs, better weather and the return of Giant Jenga.  The highlight was when little Zee crawled out on the pool cover.  Thankfully with 20+ paramedics and doctors at the party, a rescue wasn’t far off.  Ray Jr. to the rescue!

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Cara & Sean’s Wedding

If you know me, you’ve almost certainly met Cara Reske, one of my two best friends since elementary school.  One of the highlights of the year was October 17, the wedding of Cara to Sean Monahan, a wonderful guy she met up in Baltimore.  Sean works as a real estate agent and is a diehard Orioles fan.

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FloydFiesta Block Party 

Every day we grow to love Richmond (or RVA as locals call it) even more.  Part of that is because of our amazing neighbors.  Each year we have an old-fashioned block party where we shut down the street and bring in bands, food trucks and friends.  We’ve also come to be known for our mobile bar on wheels.  Last year we made Dark N’ Stormies; this year we made friends serving Orange Crushes, a Virginia Beach classic, and now a favorite of The Fan District.

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UCI Road World Championships

Before September, I knew nothing about professional cycling, except bits and pieces of the Lance Armstrong scandal.  The Tour de France is actually part of a “triple crown” in professional cycling.  The other two events are the Tour de Vuelta, held in Spain, and the Road Worlds, which rotates locations each year.  This year it took place in our city, Richmond, VA.  We were able to participate on many levels, working the medical tent, assisting with drug testing, riding around in the “Doctor Lexus,” the chase car following all of the cyclists, and of course as spectators.  The event brought an extra 650,000 people to Richmond, and introduced us both to an amazing sport.

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“Studycation” to The Inn at Tabbs Creek

In early October, we spent5 days and 4 nights at a little B&B on the Chesapeake Bay while we studied for part 3 of our medical licensing exam. The breakfasts were delicious, the crabbing plentiful, and relaxation abundant.

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Tariq & Anna’s Wedding

Just this weekend, we were fortunately enough to spend a lovely evening celebrating the wedding of Amir’s brother, Tariq (the lawyer), to the lovely and wonderful Anna Kozicki. They’ve had a difficult year, so it was great to see them both smiling ear to ear.

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And like most years, the days in between were filled with random dinners with friends, rescue shifts, studying to be better doctors, writing blog posts, and spending time with family.  We wish we could have seen everyone this year, but even if we didn’t, know that we think of you often.

Wishing you love & joy this holiday season,

Amir, Stephanie & Winston

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