Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ten On Tuesdays

It's Christmas themed Ten On Tuesday!

I have been counting down the days for Christmas for months now, in excitement to return home to spend Christmas with my family. However...I am fighting a large KNOT OF STRESS in my stomach right now -- b/c I heard it may be storming. :(

1. When do you put up and take down your Christmas decorations?
-Basically, since we're in school and life is crazy....it's whenever we get a chance after Thanksgiving. this year we did it the Sunday after Thanksgiving with the attitude of, "If we don't do it today....it won't get done." For once finals come around, we have no life!

-We will probably take it down January 6? Or whatever it is. The Sunday when Christmas season is officially over.

2. What do you do to simplify the holiday?
This year, since I don't work at all -- it would be absolutely silly to go all out and buy each other expensive gifts! So Ryan and I decided instead of doing extravagant gifts to keep it on a budget, and get each other nice things that make each other happy!

So I got adorable slippers, pajamas, an "Aerolatte" frother (amazing!!), and a few other little things. It was great!

3. What do you do to remind yourself and family what Christmas is all about?
I don't feel like I need much of a reminder about this one, to be completely honest. I love Christmas time. I love spending time with family. And the preparation of Advent helps enhance that reminder of the Christmas season's true meaning!

4. How do you spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
Well, since most of you (all of you) that read my blog, read my sister's Blog. So you pretty much know what we do as a family!

Ryan and I have a little tradition we started last year on our Christmas in AZ to make monkey bread in the morning, and make mocha-peppermint coffees. When we celebrate Christmas Eve together (just the 2 of us) -- we make seafood pasta! This year I did a Vodka Sauce with shrimp and scallops. It was heavenly.

5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Christmas Eve!! The oyester stew, crab, and seafood. All the family. Love it.

6. Did you do the whole Santa thing growing up? What did you like/not like about the tradition?
It's funny after reading my sister's version of the Santa tradition. Over the time period between us -- it changed in our house! I always went to bed Christmas Eve, put carrots and milk under the tree for Santa (he was on a diet...). And woke in the morning with gifts under the tree!

7. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Gingerbread. I love the red hots that decorate it. I adore red hots.

8. How do you take your egg nog?
I don't "take my egg nog". I have been a good sport and tried this 2 years in a row...just for my husband. And it makes me gag. I don't like drinks that I feel compelled to chew. Ish.

9. What is your favorite Christmas Carol and why?
White Christmas. It didn't hit home until I had a Christmas away from all my family, surrounded by 60-degree desert. Whenever that song came on last year, I cried. Like a wimp.

To substitute on your Christmas's away from snow...I like Melekelikimaka, Bing Crosby. (I spelled that wrong). But...that song makes me smile.

10. When was the last time you had a white Christmas?
Well...to be exact. It has been 3 years! Last Christmas I was in AZ during the season. And the Christmas before that, Christmas Day I flew to AZ. So my Christmas was mostly spent in a hotel room in MNPLS since my flight got delayed. It was worth it though! The trip was amazing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Here we go again!

I'm done with my semester! I just have to write a reference page on a paper today--and will officially be finished!! Oh, I don't get my grades until December 27.....because our instructor is extraordinarily lazy. Don't get me started on this one.....Alright! Ten on Tuesday! Here we go! :)

1) If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?
I would probably change my face. Ha! Is that legal? Not like a face lift, or nose job, or some plasticky thing. Just...a different face.

2) Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?
Coughing lightly. Stupid wimpy little coughs. JUST CLEAR YOUR DAMN THROAT ALREADY!
Slurping. Like hot drinks? Soup? Ahhh......
Poor grammar.
Smoking. That's beyond annoying.

3) What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?
Taco soup. It's a mix of ground beef, chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, corn, and black beans...which lots of chili peppers and onions. I like it as an alternative to regular chili.

4) What was your favorite book as a kid?
BFG - The Big Friendly Giant. It took me 2 tries. My mom tried reading it to me when I was in like 1st grade and had nightmares for a month. There's nothing scary about this book. It's about a nice giant befriending a child....

Here's my reasoning:
-I was a cynic at a very young age. Kindergarten, actually. I must have thought to myself, "Sick. A creepy old man with Acromegaly (giantism) living in this kids closet. Great job, Roald Dahl. Teach us kids about creepy child molesters living in our closets. Real cute!"

But a year later, I read it again liked it? I finally must've decided, this may be an interesting book.

5) Did you work as a teenager. If so, where?
I did some babysitting. I mowed a ton. I was like Miss Mower. I taught trombone lessons to our school secretary's little kid. This was nearly equivilant to teaching the school superintendent's kid. Our secretary had a nice, close, "in" with our school's administration...if you know what I mean. (This was my theory. I'm a little off sometimes though)

Anyways. Her children were "Teacher's Kids". So of COURSE, they were angels.

This is not true. He was the farest thing from an angel. He was an 11-year-old devil child. He called me names. Emptied his spit valve in my trombone case. Called me fat. Hit me with the slide of his trombone.

I think this made me realize I didn't want to be a music teacher anymore.......I didn't have patience.

6) Did you work in college? If so, where?
Ready for the list? Ready? Here we go!: (No, I didn't get fired. Just indecisive. Didn't like some of the jobs I ran into. I'm good at quitting!)
1) Hostess at The Graystone Bar and Grill, Ottertail MN- 1.5 weeks
2) Waitress/Bartender at The Old Brick Inn, Battle Lake MN - 3 months
3) Waitress at Coach's - Bloomington, MN - 2 weeks
4) "fashion expert" (that was my title! Ha! I know nothing about fashion) Express - Maple Grove, MN - 2.5 months
5) Front Desk - Anytime Fitness, Grand Forks, ND - 2 days (the boss was getting fresh)
6) Hotel Maid - AmericInn, Grand Forks, ND - 2 weeks
7) Certified Nurses Assistant - Valley Memorial Nursing Home - 5 months (longest job ever!!)
8) Rehabiliation Tech/CNA - Devon Gables Health Care Center, Tucson, AZ - 4 months (this is named the worst nursing facility in AZ)
9) Teller - Well's Fargo Bank - Tucson, AZ - 5 months

7) When you go to sleep do you need total darkness or semi? When you go to sleep do you need total quiet or is some noise okay?
I prefer total darkness. But to be honest, I can sleep through pretty much anything. I also like to have a little white noise while I'm sleeping. A fan is preferable. No music or voices though.

8) When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?
Fabric softener is a must!!

9) Open toed or close-toed shoes?
Clost toed. My feet are scary.

10) Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Deaf. I can't imagine not being able to not see the world. I had a teacher this semester who was hearing impaired. She was absolutely incredible. She lip-read, and could even tell when people had accents! She was also probably the best teacher I have ever had.

11) Dangle or stud earing?
Studs. Unless I'm really dressed up for something. I'm bad about earings. My husband has to ask me if I will put earings in when we go out. Yep.

12) Bottled water or tap?
I prefer tap actually. Gotta get your floride! All I ask is that there's a lot of ice in it!!

13) What do you put on your pancakes?
I don't put on my pancakes. I hate pancakes. Yuck. But if I'm company in someone's house, and am gagging them down in politeness (my mom taught me well....) I don't put anything on them. I try to eat them fast and quick to get it over with....

14) On a long trip would you drive or fly?
Fly. I really don't enjoy driving. The only trip that I didn't almost jump out of the moving car in a state of insanity was our move down to Tucson. 3 days straight. In a U-Haul. Just me and Ryan. I actually had fun. I think this was due to the excitment of "moving to an unknown place".

15) Do you prefer classic old movies or new?
Classic old! I agree with my sister, Lisa -- they had less to work with in terms of effects and lighting! I have a tough time getting into old movies though. Since my generation has been trained to think fast! Thanks a lot, media.

I think older movies have so much more meaning and a great "take-home message".

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Tomorrow is a day in universities referred to as "Reading and Review Day". This is a day of no classes. Focusing. Preparing for a week of finals ahead.

However, the reality and importance of this day doesn't always set in during the first years of college (unless you're realllly focused). It's a pretty cool concept. An entire day that you would NORMALLY be in class that is TOTALLY focused on studying? How amazing.....

It never happened that way in my 1st years of college, however. This was an extended weekend of endless fun! It began Thursday at 3! -- Bust open the boxed wine! We get a long weekend! Oh.....how silly I was.

This weekend has a special place in my heart. It was the weekend, 2 years ago, that I told Ryan "I think I'm falling in love with you......"

When did I realize this? Was it a romantic date? Was it on a beautiful, magical, walk through a snowy winterhaven?

No -- We were sipping coffee and Baileys in -40 degree temps, huddled over a propane heater. Decked out head-to-toe in UND Hockey Gear.

We didn't utilize Reading and Review Day for studying that year. We spent 14 hours camping out in the sub-zero temps with our friends to get good seats at the UND/U of M hockey rivalry!

I don't even like hockey. But I stood in those temps, pretending to be THRILLLLED about hockey. Becuase I knew it'd make Ryan smile.

Would I do it again? -- In a heart beat!
Would I do it for anyone else in the world? -- Unlikely to Hell no!

It's crazy looking back to that day. It seems like it was years, decades, ages ago. We were so young! We still are young. But now? 2 years later?

Our "Reading and Review" day is spent actually prepping for finals. I started our morning before heading off to class cooking Ryan a healthy breakfast. After coming home at the end of the day -- I watched the Home and Garden channel and wrote out Christmas cards. Ryan is hunkered at a coffee shop with his fellow classmates studying. (Story of his life for the whole week).

Would we re-live those moments? Do we miss it? Not at all! Some may look at our lives, and think: Wow. You're lives are boring. And yes, we do spend a great deal of our time and energy studying. Sometimes we spend our Saturday nights cooking an adventurous dinner and playing Scrabble!

We have gone from ......

To this!:

And if you ask me -- it looks like we're still pretty kickin, hip, and fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This is a double-post Tuesday!

It's time to vent. And it may get ugly.

I don't like my neighbors. We have the nosiest (not noisy...NOSEY), most irritating, 50-something old next door.

Oh, but it's not just the 50 year old, because the 50 year old has a 20 year old son. And they both live with the the 50-year-old's parents.

Can you imagine being in your 50's, and still living with mom and dad??!! Not because you're taking care of THEM....but because they still pay your bills, wash your laundry, cook your meals!!!??? So sad.

The 20 year old is the absolute image of the sin of Gluttony. He is overweight. He only wears shorts. And his shorts go down to his ankles. He doesn't shower. And he has probably not gotten a haircut since he was 12. And he wears all black with a lovely abundance of facial piercings.

Every morning, I am out stretching in the driveway prior to my run. And father and son are outside smoking. (what nice bonding...ruin your lungs and harden your arteries in unison!)

"Mornin'!! Heading out for a run???", they investigate.

I have to bite my tongue. Literally. I actually bite my tongue to refrain from, "Nah! Usually I head out for a run at this time. But today I just put on my fricking running clothes, and my fricking Garmin watch. And decided to prance down the street acting like I'm running. But no, I'm not really going for a run."

Every morning. Never fails. Instead, my sweet self just says, "Yep. You bet."

Their cigarettes butts end up in my yard. I pick them up one-by-one and throw them back at their yard.

These are also the neighbors that had a pandemonium when Ryan and I placed a pool in our back yard this summer. Within 5 minutes of taking it out of the BOX....our land lord was calling us, and the HOA was on our case. "You're neighbor gave us a call and said you're putting up a pool, huh."

And this is also the same neighbor who, when we were leaving to ND for our wedding told ME: "You're really doing it? You're really going through with this whole marriage thing, huh. I dunno, man! I did it once. Only thing I got out of it was a son. Marriage is rough, man! And women get crazy. Ya gonna have any kids soon??"

I replied, "Thanks for the wise advice. I'll be sure to pass that one to Ryan...." (Hi!! Do you realize you are talking to a woman?? No wonder you still live with your parents....)

He's always on their front step smoking. So when I get home, I actually strategize how fast I will bolt out of the car into the house -- so I don't have to talk to him.

And finallly.........

This is the neighbor who has been working on his car. His piece-of-shit '92 Honda Accord with a "fancy" blue stripe down the front. Listening to some ripped-out 80's rock music in his garage ALL DAY LONG!!

I am tempted tp offer him a bottle of Yahoo chocolate milk and some zoobaz to accompany his day of fun. But I have studying to do, and paper to write--because I would like to contribue to society some day.

This is why some people never move out of their parents home, my friends!

Now, do not take this wrong. I am not an angry person. I just like to analyze. And I LOVE TO vent. Really, we're pretty lucky for the neighbors. At least our neighbor isn't a jerk. Or a criminal. Or a sex offender. At least we don't live in some trailor park in the ghetto.

But, as stated earlier -- I love to vent.

Ten On Tuesday!

Another Tuesday! Next week at this time...I will be officially on Christmas break! How incredible...:)

1) Cost aside, if you could go back to college for anything besides what you "do", what would you study?

-I would say -- go back to get a degree in English. I've always wanted to be a journalist. But I have realized that I love the healthcare atmosphere way too much to move away from it. I'd either go back and go more towards research with microbiology. Or I would do Nutrition and be a Registered Dietician.

2) What do you do for a living? Do you love it/hate it?

-At the moment, I am a student. But this is short lived. I will be an RN in about 8 months. I think I will love it. I really enjoy nursing. I seriously become a different person when I'm doing it, in a good way.

3) What is your favorite Christmas ornament? If you don't celebrate Christmas, what is your favorite holiday tradition?

-Hm....I love glittery red Christmas balls. I'm all about red at Christmas time :)

-My favorite Christmas tradition is definitely our family's Christmas Eve extravaganza.

4) Name something you literally could do without the rest of your life.

-There is a large realm of foods I could definitely do with out, becuase I am certain I could live off salads, mustard, and cereal (I did it for my first 2 years of college)

-I also could live without tv. I hate watching tv, I get so bored with it. This is also something I lived without my 1st 2 years of college.

5) If you were going to have some kind of "cosmetic procedure", what would it be?

-Ask me in a few years..... I'm pretty youthful still. No wrinkles have appeared. I did find a gray hair on Friday, however. Scary!!!

-I am a really anti-cosmetic-procedure kind of person, to be completely honest. I would like to avoid surgery, procedures as much possible. I don't like pain.

-But I guess if I ever had spider veins--I'd get those babies zapped off!

6) Do you have any "collections"?

-I kind of have a running collection of aprons. And wine corks.

7) At what age did you first get a cell phone?

-I was 16. Yes, I know. Way too young to need a cellphone. But I was driving an hour to trombone lessons 1-2 times/week, and 30 minutes to piano lessons 1 time/week. With the winter weather of ND, it was kind of nice to have as security.

-16 is nothing compared to what we see now days though. Elementary students have phones! The other day, I saw a child on his BLACKBERRY! What does a kid need a blackberry for?

8) What is currently in your purse? (or pocket/backpack if you're a guy)

-My wallet -a bag of spearamint Life Savers

-a pack of Big Red gum -contact case with saline in it

-an assortment of lip gloss -chap stick

-Hand sanitizer -About 20 alcohol swabs to clean everything

-A jump drive....just in case I need to save a file? (I don't know why I keep it there..)

9) Are you a neat-freak of a slob? *this applies to house, office, car

-I would say neat freak. My working space needs to be clean, my house needs to be clean. I hate my cars. Passionately. But I still try to keep it clean - b/c I get crabby & stressed out in messy environments.

10) What kind of parent do you think you will be? If you're already a parent, what is your style?

-Well, after this pediatric rotation and learning about all the psychosocial development, discipline, etc......my poor child's every action will be analyzed.

-I am well aware that I will be a strict parent.

-I will also be extremely loving and concerned about their well-being and happiness. I hope to be a mother like my own. Although I am going to be strict, I hope I will still be a person they can talk to and confide in. My mom is my best friend, and I hope I can serve as that to my children.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Figured Out

I have been at a huge loss.

Didn't even want to be a nurse, anymore.

Thought to myself, Nothing really draws me in.

How can I be doing well in my classes, when I'm absolutely miserable. I was actualy getting pist off when teachers would give me positive feedback.

But today, I got to be on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). And it was amazing. Not so much the pediatric aspect of it all. But the ICU aspect, I loved. Which is perfect. Because my contracting hospital has no kids or babies. I felt like my education was finally being applied, I was thinking, I was being challenged.

It was incredible.

This is probably the shortest, most uninteresting blog I have written.

But I had to update.

I'm ecstatic.

I have had this cloud over head lately that has suppressed my past dreams. I didn't think I had the ability to reach my goals. I originally was excited about my career. And that excitement is back! So.....my game plan =
  1. Continue to network with my teachers/mentors to get a preceptorship in the ICU at my hospital this summer
  2. Do amazing in my Critical Care semester this summer.
  3. Get hired on at my hospital into the ICU.
  4. Apply and get accepted to the ASU Nurse Practitional Program
  5. Receive my DNP. Yep. Doctor of Nursing Practice.
  6. Love my life.
  7. Move back to MN .
  8. Love life even more.

So happy.

And there's only 8 days left of class before my break!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten On Tuesday!

Feels as though it as last Tuesday minutes ago! Wow the week flew!

1) What was the last concert you went to?
Dashboard Confessional back in 2006 with my sister Lisa! It was a fun sister date before I headed off to college! We went running shoe shopping, out for sushi with our brother, and to the concert! Oh...and she took me to Starbucks. It was the first time I had ever drank coffee before!

(I just realized that....)
Thanks Lisa, you officially started my coffee addiction! :) I don't know where I'd be without it!

2) Is it easy to make you cry?
That totally depends on who it is. I can be extremely talented at being very stoic with no emotion. And then there's days where I'm like a water hose of tears! But I rarely do the whole "happy cry" thing.

3) Do you ever feel like people underestimate you?
Yes--I think. I don't know if "underestimate" is the correct word for this. But being I'm young, and I'm the youngest in my family, and I'm quite fresh in the world of careers/marriage/etc.....some view me as a young-twenty-something kid without a clue.

I could write a lengthy, angry, ranting post about this. So I will just move on.

4) Name 7 completely random things you like:
-Diet Mountain Dew
-The smell of dryer sheets
-Workout clothes
-cobble stone streets/sidewalks

5) What's your favorite reality tv show and why?
-The Biggest Loser. It's the only one I ever have watched. I like seeing people change their lifestyles!! I also love watching them suffer.

6) What is your favorite hair-care product?
-I don't have a hair care product I swear by at this point in my life. I just don't feel right using my college loan money on top-of-the-line hair products. I stick to Fruictise. (sp??)

7) What's your favorite song at the moment?
-That's tough! Sadly enough, I don't listen to a lot of music anymore. Just classical, jazz, or Christmas music as background to accompany studying or make my house sound pretty!

8) What's the #1 thing on your Christmas list?
-All I want is to make it to ND safely, with no travel difficulties!! That's all I ask for!

9) Have you ever lost your phone?
-Only temporarily. I've left it at stores. I've left it on my car all day long in July in AZ and watched it almost burst into flames (only an exaggeration...). But never *really* lost it.

10) Did you attack the shoppers of Black Friday?
-Kind of. We headed out at about 6:30 Friday morning. We had intentions of waking at 3:30...but that didn't happen. I'm glad.
-The sad part is...all the shopping done was for myself! But the items purchased were practical and neccessary. Except for the black cocktail dress -- probably not all that necessary.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November!!!

So I am stealing this idea of the "monthly recap" from my sister Lisa! I think it's a cool idea to get the latest news!

It is just crazy to think that this month is gone. It was super busy and SUPER FAST! But I am ready for December to be here. I love the Christmas season. AND Ryan and I get to fly home to see the family for 10 days!!!!!!!! (*Pause...while Abby jumps up in down in cart-wheels-of-glory)

So here it is!

Current Book(s):

Nursing Care of Children & Infants by Hockenberry & Wilson. Very exciting.

But seriously, December 14 is my final. Then I get almost 3 weeks off!!!! (Allleluia!) So I am looking forward to doing some reading.

So to you "Book Worms" out there, I am open to suggestions.

Otherwise, I'm reading "Going Rogue". I dont care what you think, I think Sarah Palin is an amazing woman, and I would love to read her book! I am a proud fan!

Current Music:

Christmas, Christmas, and More Christmas!

However, I shouldn't sound so "open-loving". I am kind of picky. It needs to be "mood-setting". Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, even Manheim Steamroller. But no upbeat cheesy stuff.

Last season, whenever I listened to my fave's--I sobbed uncontrollably to songs such as "White Christmas", "I'll be Home for Christmas", and "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays". But this year I'm lovin it!

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:

CANDY CANES. I try to stay away from over-indulging on holiday treats. They just equal bad stomach aches, weight gain, and fluid retention. And to be honest:

  • Sugar cookies make me gag.

  • Fudge is rich and makes me too thirsty.

  • Most "holiday recipes" are PACKED with butter -- which makes me have stomach aches.

  • Divinity tastes like styrofoam.

But I looooove candy canes. You can't go wrong. So that is my guilty pleasure. They're awful for my teeth, I know. But I love them. I now carry them in my purse for a on-the-go treat.

Current colors:


Current obsessions:

Probably......socks. Cute Christmas socks. Or anything that is "thin" and more "stocking-like". They make me happy.

My favorite way to sport them is to wear my knee-high Xmas socks with shorts around the house. So stylish--Gotta look attractive for my husband!

Current drink:

Powerade Zero - Lime!! They finally came out with the GREEN flavor!!! I am often dehydrated from all the running I do. And AZ is the DRYEST PLACE IN THE PLANET. So it's a staple for me to get my electrolytes.

Current song:

"The Best is Yet to Come". Right now, Ryan & I are in serious "life planning mode". It's kind of scary, but exciting. Being I listen to alot of Frank--this song comes up often....and I get butterflies when I hear it. (I'm cheesy, I know).....

Current movie:

Four Christmases. I saw it last year in theaters with my sisters. And have been telling Ryan ALL year that he neeeds to see it. It's out--and we bought it. I think it may be my favorite Christmas movie!!! :)

Current TV shows:

I really don't want any tv, except for The Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights! It's almost over though! And to be honest....I'm getting kind of bored with it. After drama-queen's got kicked off -- it isn't the same.

Current Wish-List:

-Good shoes for nursing. I have $15 shoes I bought at Target. (nothing against Target)...but being on my feet for 12 hours straight...they aren't very nice. These are quite ideal. Look nerdy-but apparently feel good on the feet!

-I would also like a haircut, and color. I honestly can't find time to do it until this semester is over :( But the day will come!

Current needs:

Well, I think at LEAST the haircut could fall into this realm.

And time. I just want one more day in this week. Even 1/2 a day! After my giant test on Wednesday....I have a giant paper to write. It stresses me out.

Current Triumph:

6 miles is kind of my judging pace (it's my favorite distance to run).

In the past month, I have decreased my time from 8:40/mile to 8:18/mile for average. And I ran it 8:08/mile once last week!!! :)

Current bane of my existence:

Nursing school. Ped's. Writing papers. Congenital heart defects.

Current Goal:

To get an acceptable grade on my test this week. (I don't feel safe saying A....)

To get out my Christmas cards in the next week.

To have all wedding pictures uploaded onto my computer by the time I go home for Christmas!

Current Indulgence:

Raddishes! I don't know how much of an "indulgence" it is. But since I moved away from parent's home--I forgot they existed! Upon purchasing them for my Thanksgiving relish tray....I realized I was the ONLY person who ate them.

Which is AWESOME!!! More for me! For lunch today...I ate like 10 raddishes dipped in mustard with my salad. Mmmm...I'm buying more tomorrow.

Current blessings:

My husband. Although he is "the man" of the house--and checks on my car for me, takes out the garbage, fixes things that break, and sets up my computer for me.......

He also went Christmas shopping with me on black Friday, helped me find a new purse, did the Turkey on Thanksgiving, AND helped me decorate our Christmas tree.

Let's just not let him I know talked about this on my blog. He's not feminine, he's just really helpful. And I'm really lucky. I don't know many men who do this.

To see other blessings -- Refer to my "Thanksgiving Blessing" Post!"

Current slang or saying:

Well Merry Christmas to you too!! I say it when people are cranky.

Current favorite outfit:

Argyle sweaters, dark jeans

Current excitement:

December 23 we are flying to North Dakota!!!!!!!!!

And I'm excited about all the Christmas parties coming up. There are 2 we are going to at Raytheon for Ryan's work, and another one this Friday for some other thing for Ryan. I found a steal on an adorable little black dress on Black Friday and am way pumped to wear it!! :)

Current mood:

Mixed. I'm excited about the season and our coool weather! Finally!

But I am currently not happy, I am at school, and about to begin a 5 hour lecture. Gross.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Ryan & I celebrated our first Thanksgiving as the "Nastase family" cooking our 1st feast! And looking back, I feel safe to say it was a success!

We did take photos of some of the events, but being I purchased a new computer (thank you, Black Friday)...I don't have the energy to upload photos. I'm tired of "uploading" stuff!

But I will recap on the great day!

Let's start with the prep:

Growing up my mom hosted Thanksgiving nearly every year. She has a giant family (8 kids) -- so Thanksgiving was very, very plentiful with lots of family, tons of food, and great memories!

I remember she was always a little.....tense....the days leading to this holiday. I always thought, "Gee, Mom. What's the big deal?! It's just Thanksgiving. You're family will love you no matter what!"

Now I hosted my first thanksgiving, for a much smaller crowd. And let's just say I was also....tense. This week I officially became My Mother's Daughter!

I cleaned, and prepped, and clean more. At one point on Wednesday evening, I found myself yelling at Ryan stating "If you're going to walk on our floors in those slippers you use to walk to the mailbox, you better think AGAIN! Either TAKE. THEM. OFF. or spray them down/wipe them with Chlorox! I just scrubbed the floors!!!!!!" (yikes....Cue the morbid, scary music, please)

He didn't even argue. He just looked at me in utter amazement. I could read his mind. He was thinking, "Who is this crazy woman in my kitchen, and what did she do to my wife?"

I just wanted everything to be perfect. I was entertaining for my Ryan's Dad, step-mom, and 3 kids. They are a family who are professional entertainers/host-extraordinaire s!! I would be mortified to ruin their Thanksgiving. It only comes around once per year!

Now let's move on to the disasters that occurred in the preparation:
The bread:
  • I love to bake home-made bread. It's a great hobby of mine.
  • So I planned to make home-made buns.
  • I mixed the ingredients diligently, kneaded powerfully, let rise, and baked!
  • However, they didn't rise like i realllly wanted.
  • I didn't care. I baked anyways.
  • The buns didn't grow at all. They just looked like lumpy balls of dough after 20 minutes!
  • Ryan, my faithful food-tester, tried one to make sure.
  • Ryan almost vomited. He proclaimed, in a shocked tone, "This tastes like Playdough!!!"
  • Yep. I put 1/2 cup of salt in, instead of 1/2 sugar.
  • I cried.
  • Ryan consoled.
  • I headed up to the grocery store in the Wed-night madness to buy buns from the bakery
  • All worked out in the end!
The Stuffing:
  • The stuffing was not a disaster
  • ....but it could've been
  • I was preparing it early Thursday morning.
  • Browning the sausage, boiling the giblets, sauteeing the vegetables.
  • I had already dried out my bread
  • To be prompt and ready, I poured my bread into the crock pot while I was doing to cooking
  • I kept saying "Hm! Something smells like it's cooking! Yummy!"
  • This progressed to, "That sausage smells funny."
  • Which finally lead to "HOLY SHIT! Something's burning!"
  • We soon realized, I UNKNOWINGLY put the bread in the crock pot which was plugged in and turned on high.
  • Last time I used my crock pot, I forgot to turn it "off".
  • We QUICKLY salvaged the bread, and removed all burnt pieces.
  • After a good lecturing about "Turning off appliances when finished with"
  • All was cool and kosher.
  • This was NOT the first time Abby has received this lecture, by the way....
Now we can move past all disasters, and get talkin about some thanksgiving feast!

We served:

Hors d'oeuvres (wow that's not fun to spell)
  • Hummus & Ranch dip with fresh veggies and Pita Chips
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Deviled Eggs (generously made by Ryan's family)
  • Pickled Herring (also brought by Ryan's family)
The meal
  • Turkey (brine recipe by my Mom, cooked by my wonderful husband, Ryan!)
  • Stuffing (My mom's recipe)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Yams (with toasted pecans and marshmellows)
  • Gravy (make-shift recipe by Team Ryan-Abby...turned out alright!)
  • Green bean casserole (brought by Ryan's family)
  • Cranberries (Thank you, again, Ryan's family!)
  • And my poor, sorry store-bought rolls :(
  • Apple pie (brought by Ryan's family)
  • Pumpkin pie (my first ever! It took 2 attempts to do the crust. I tried going *healthy* the first try and found it to be very unsuccessful. My 2nd try was a success, however!)
Overall, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving! Filled with a great abundance of delicious food, a Dallas Cowboys football game, and most importantly wonderful family!!

I have many many reasons to be Thankful! I hope all had a blessed holiday!

Let the Christmas season begin!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

So it seems to be the trend this year to do a post on your choice of social networking to state what you are most thankful about. I thought that was a really night idea -- but never got around to starting to do it!

Besides, I'm more of a "list" person.

So here I am going go list, in NO particular order, my blessings in life that I am ever thankful for!

  1. My husband. He is essential. It's pretty amazing to get to call your best friend your husband, or vice versa.
  2. Coffee. It gets me through extraordinarily long periods of studying & 5 hr lectures!
  3. My health. I am reminded of this blessing every day in every aspect of nursing.
  4. Target. I would say 75% of my wardrobe is Target.
  5. My house. Since I have moved away, I learned that I was kind of sheltered (in a good way). I had never really seen a homeless person before. Now I see them every day, and have even had them has patients. I can't imagine the utter fear of not having a place to go at night.
  6. Education. Although it causes stress in my life from time to time -- it is essential!!!!
  7. My parents. I could write a book about how much of an impact that have had on my life and the person I have become.
  8. Running shoes. Because that's all ya need! Find a trail, road, path, field; lace up your shoes; and you're working your heart, lungs, body, and mind! Running brings me sanity.
  9. My siblings. I have looked up to them my entire life! When I say siblings, I don't just mean immediate family either. I am talking about my in-laws on my side and my husbands' side! I consider them family!! :)
  10. My religion. I am a strong Catholic, and religion has always been extremely important in my life! I honestly don't know who I would be without God!
  11. Music. You could take me on the most stressful day, put me in front of a piano, and I would feel 100%. I love music. I can't wait to make it a part of my life again!
  12. Sweaters. So warm, so cute, so practical. I love sweaters.
  13. My nephews! They are the first children I've ever really been around. They are incredible. Children are incredible.
  14. Mustard. It goes well on practically anything.
  15. Food processors. I don't remember how I functioned before I had one.
  16. Showers. They are so therapeutic! (I'm on a no-medication, holistic kick these days)...and I think nothing soothes the body like a warm shower.
  17. The Midwest. I'm not even going into detail. I could write paragraphs about this.
  18. My high school education. Okay--this might sound as a HUGE joke to many. I always thought I received a shitty education. However, now I see other colleagues, and their lack of math ability, writing ability, and just simple grammar--and I realize, "Wow, maybe small-town ND school wasn't so bad!"
  19. The elderly. Sometimes they drive slow, and get crabby. But really -- they deserve so much respect and honor. I challenge you to take time and really talk with an elderly person. They have so much wisdom and experience that you can learn from.
  20. My car. I hate driving. But man--life would be rough if I had to take public transit.
  21. Wine. It's delicious. And nutritious. And quite interesting to learn about!
  22. Hugs. When you're having a rough day, rough moment, etc--a REAL, honest hug makes a world of difference.
  23. Allergy medications. I wouldn't be fun to hang out with if these didn't exist *sniff*
  24. Candles. The relaxing, warm ambiance they create is perfect.
  25. The gift of LIFE! It's pretty amazing that we are alive. Considering the numerous list of possible birth complications, etc that could occur?! It's a blessing just to be in this world!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

Here's my 10 for the week! Enjoy! Or ignore, b/c you're probably sick of hearing about Abby by now ;)

Hope your week is wonderful!!

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Architect. I floated between architect and nurse. I even had this architect program on the computer where I would design houses -- but found I was more interested in the horticultural aspect of designing houses. The houses eventually had no walls -- just flowers and plants.
2. Name 3 of your irrational fears.
-Vomit. I'm going to be a nurse too. When I have a patient get sick -- I still get reallly jumpy.
-That I am forgetting to clean something in my house. Like there is a corner somewhere that I am consistently missing. And then one day, I'm going to find it and it's going to be infested with germs. However, with how crazy I am about cleaning -- I'm hoping this doesn't happen. But I check diligently every week!!!!
-Having someone break into my house when Ryan's gone. One time Ryan surprised me and came home really early. (Now, this was when we 1st moved to our new home...) Upon hearing the door open -- within seconds I managed to grab the biggest butcher knife possible. He was like "Wow....! I guess I won't surprise you like that anymore!!!"

3. If you had a $200 gift card to any store, what would you want it to be? (Nothing responsible allowed. Can’t be used for groceries or anything)
-A new hair straightener. I've had the same one for 4 years now. It's basically broken from being dropped so many times. But I am too frugal to purchase a new one.

4. What is your most (blog-friendly) embarrassing moment?
-Since it's recent....I will explain my evening last night! WARNING - this is a gross story.
Studied and drank coffee all morning (nice and dehydrating), ate lunch, studied more, and headed out for a 6 mile run and some mild wt training. (more dehydrating) Showered and headed to my 4:30-9:30 pm class -- forgetting to pack a dinner! So I texted Ryan and said "Hey, make sure you save me a plate of food tonight"
-Then on our dinner break, I remembered I hadn't taken my vitamin yet! So downed it.
-Within 40 minutes, I was feeling the utmost nausea. To the point where I finally started packing up my bag to leave class early.
-While storming out of the room, everything went BLACK.
-Yep, I fainted in front of my entire class, and got dragged out into the hall and was completely loopy.
-After class was dismissed, a few of my great classmates stayed with me and my instructor took care of me until Ryan drove into town to the rescue. (Thank god they were all nurses!)
-While waiting for Ryan, I began projectile vomiting in the lobby of my school while my teacher held my hair.
-After eating some bland foods, and rehydrating and NEVER TAKING A VITAMIN AGAIN -- I am feeling better!!
-My teacher must think I'm a complete basketcase.

5. If you were only allowed to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
-This is tough. Because I am trying to think of something that has the most nutritional value that will make my live forever. But part of me just wants to pick something I just really enjoy.
-So I'm going to just go with my favorite all time snack EVER:
Vanilla Yogurt, mixed with fresh or frozen berries, and oats sprinkled on top and mixed together. (Sometimes I get really crazy and put raw almonds on it too!)
-If you have not tried this..you should. It's amazing. And very nutritious. I could definitely eat that forever and ever and ever.

6. What was your favorite toy growing up?
I went through many phases - as al children do. But I remember reallly enjoying legos. I could play them for hours. So strange b/c now I am defintely NOT a "builder".

7. Do you have a “go to” outfit? What is it?
Oh yes. Currently (with the nice weather we are FINALLY getting). My go-to outfit is dark jeans, a nice pair of heals, and a black cardigan with a white cami underneath. I will "go-to" any cardigan to be honest. I love sweaters.

8. Who was the best teacher you ever had?
My Pharmacology, Med-Surg, AND Research teacher that I have had in nursing school. In the accelerated program, I spent about 10-11 hours with her weekly for three 8 week semesters. Since my class has only about 23 girls, we got to know her quite well! On top of that -- she's an incredible teacher and has SO MUCH experience. She is definitely one of those nurses I hope to be like some day!

9. If you could buy any car right now (something at least SORT OF within the realm of reality…so, you know, a Rolls Royce may not qualify), what would it be?
-I understand that these cars are stupid. I understand they have poor gas milage for the size. And I understand they are ugly. But I want a Smart Car. I know, I know. I love the petite-ness.

10. How do you reckon that Chelsea comes up with 10 of these questions every week? It was hard! What’s your theory on how she’s so creative? Are you going to help her?
-I always wonder how Chelsea comes up with these questions! In fact, I was just thinking about that the other day. I love these "Ten on Tuesdays". She is incredibly creative! I would be glad to help come up with new questions!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Here is my Ten on Tuesday. Yet another list of random questions. They are fun for me to do -- don't feel obliged to read!

1. What are some of your family traditions?
Dotzenrod family - I must agree with my sister -- Christmas Eve is so full of amazingness in my family! Oyster stew (even though I don't eat it), tons of crab/shrimp/seafood, sardines (probably my favorite), lots of family, and just an all around amazing time! Words cannot explain how happy I am to be able to get Christmas with my family this year!

My new family (with Ryan) tradition -- Valentines Day. We celebrate it a day early! It's b/c we are just so excited to celebrate our love.

Okay, so really it began 2 years ago when we both had a test that week and needed to be spending V-Day buried at the library. So we had our day of love on the 13th. It was great! Restaurants aren't packed, and it's just ... different! :)

2. Do you know how to change a flat tire?
Why, yes I do! I cry, get on my phone and call Ryan, cry some more in dramatic burst of tears, and then call AAA if the husband is unable to assist.

Then I get lectured by the husband on how to change a tire. I assure understanding. And then forget within a week.

Yeah, I don't know how.

3. Do you subscribe to any magazines? What are your favorites?
Women's Health & Fitness -- I subscribe to them and they're always my favorites (along with Runner's world).

I have to laugh at my love for mag's, however. They're all kind of the same: "How to get a great butt!, How to lose ten pounds in 3 weeks! How to go organic on a budget! 10 great moves for great abs" But I still enjoy.

4. What are your top three favorite office supply items? (If you don’t share the love of office supplies with me or if you are male, you may skip this question.)
1. My Triple-hole punch. (normally, when I talk about this -- I use a nice lisp to exaggerate my nerdy love for this little tool)
2. My white board calendar. I have 2 white boards on our fridge. One is a calendar of a monthly overview, the other is a plain white board that breaks down each daily schedule for Ryan & I. I love it. Can't live without it.
3. The little post-it tabs that mark pages!

5. Are you a good public speaker?
I used to be! I was a huge speech geek in high school. It was seriously my favorite activity from high school, and I got so much out of it. Now it's been so long since I have done public speaking, and it makes me sad. I truly believe that "If you don't use it, You lose it!"

6. How do you feel about acronyms?
Depends on my state of knowledge. When I know acronyms -- I love jargon. However, I think it goes too far. If you have a sentence that the only real words are conjunctions -- you have a problem.

7. What’s the most creative things you’ve ever done? (Bloggers, feel free to include pictures!)
Hahaha -- I am not a creative person.

Wrote a song on the trombone? That's about the extent.

8. I’d rather jam a pen in my eye than…

-Eat a "Sonora Dog".
Have you heard of these? I hadn't until I moved to Tucson. A description to familiarize you:
-A hot dog/beef dog/cat dog (whatever), wrapped in fried bacon, and then further dipped in butter/lard/and fat garnished with taco-toppings.
.........pause, as Abby runs to the nearest trashcan and vomits in disgust.......

-Do the people serving these at their cheapo stands on the street even wash their hands? Keep the "meat" sanitary? Clean the grills??

Ew! Why don't you just manually clog my arteries and give me a Myocardial Infarction.

9. What company has the best advertising?
Starbucks impresses me.
Any pharmaceutical company too. They actually make society self-diagnose themselves with illnesses/ailments.

10. When is your birthday?
February 27

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Beloved Ingredient

Today I am blogging a tribute to probably my favorite ingredient. This is not just an ingredient for the kitchen, but for your whole household!

Often, this ingredient is looked down upon. People smell it, and say"ick!"

Not I. I feel such an inexpensive staple is underestimated.....


Here are some of the things I use Vinegar in my daily life!:

Food uses:
  • I always soak my meat in a variation of Vinegar & Herbs to make it it's tenderest. Balsalmic? Red wine? Rice? Apple Cider Even plain ole' White Vinegar.
  • It is the best topping to a delicious & nutritious salad! Can't do just plain white? Try Red-Wine vinegar. Still too strong for your tastes? Dilute a dressing such as "French/Catalina" with some vinegar!
  • Mix some Balsamic with your asparagus and throw it on the grill!!
Laundry uses:
  • Every month, I run an empty load in my washer on the HOTTEST temp, and a few tbsp's of White Vinegar & some bleach! It keeps my clothes smelling fresh--especially the towels!
  • Cleaning Ryan's black, dirty, military boots! I take a little vinegar on a rag and use it to buff up and remove stains!
  • It removes mustard stains! Since I eat mustard with almost every meal - stains occur. Vinegar breaks them down!
Cleaning uses:
  • After my garbage disposal nightmare with the lime/lemon rinds. I researched new methods of freshening up your sink. Pouring some vinegar and just a small amount of baking soda down with hot water for about a minute freshens it right up!
  • Removes all charred/greasiness from microwaves, stove tops, or oven doors!! Soak these items for a minute, and clean away!!
  • Scorched pots/pans! After washing as much out possible with soap/H2O -- Pour white vinegar in the pan, and let soak for a few hours. It should come right out!
  • Wine glasses getting water stops/cloudy? Rinse out with some vinegar!
  • Run 1/2 cup of vinegar with water through your coffee pot, to clean the inner workings!
A few facts: (thought I'd research little on it!)
  • The use of vinegar dates back to the Egyptian era of 3000 B.C.
  • Don't use this magical ingredient to clean you pearls! They will melt away in vinegar!
  • There is a National Vinegar Museum in South Dakota(?!) (I don't think I'd visit a museum)
  • Jesus was offered vinegar before he was crucified.
  • Caesar's army drank vinegar as a beverage. (What men!)
  • It was used during the Bubonic Plague to prevent skin from germs!
Now, most of these tips are probably common sense to most of you. But I thought they were kind of neat! It's great to see such an inexpensive, easy-access household item has so many uses! Yay for vinegar!

And the best thing of all?? -- It used in pickling!!! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sedatives, anyone?

Today was November 11.

It's already bad out there, people. Dangerous. Scary.

I wish I could've had some Ativan today. Not the pill. I wanted it from a syringe. I would have liked to inject it straight into my body as I had to make my way through the food court in the mall to get to the other side without bursting into tears of frustration. (Oh, I am so dramatic)

Sneezing/hacking old men, emotional-eating women shoving Cinna-bons into their mouth 3-at-a-time, childen running around in a complete chaos, rude/snotty high-school-kids sucking down their $8 Jamba juices with an indiscriminable face from their abundance of facial piercings (Ow!!!). I suddenly felt like I was no longer in the mall, but in a zoo surrounded by screaming hyenas. I regress -- it was worse than a zoo. At least zoos contain the animals. This was not contained. The mall today was a truely a glimpse of hell.

What a bad decision.

I told Ryan, "I am going to quick run into a store" I set up a meeting place. By the time he found me, I was literally pushed up against a wall, narotically rubbing Purell all over my hands, arms....even up to my shoulders.

I love Christmas. It is definitely my favorite holiday. Here are things I love:

  • Christmas music: Preferably the creations of Nat King Cole, Frank Sintra, even Manheim Streamroller if I'm really in the mood (especially if I'm cleaning)
  • The smell of cinnamon everywhere you go.
  • The coffees at Starbucks. Even though I never buy them, because I fear the caloric content -- I make Ryan get one, and then I take sips of his.
  • The baking. Especially the process of baking
  • Most of all -- the family. I love Christmas Eve with my family. It is amazing. Family everywhere, tons of laughs, Oyester stew, Crab legs, a wide variety of sea food snacks, wine, and Christmas eve mass. So much happiness.
  • Candy canes. Screw the cookies, fudge, etc--give me Candy canes and lots of them. I love peppermint.
  • Sweaters. Especially Christmas sweaters. Ryan & I are purchasing cheesiest holiday apparell we can find this year, and wearing them with a hat on our flight to North Dakota. Cannot wait.
  • Advent Wreathes. I love lighting advent wreathes, flourshing the week with prayers, and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.
  • The excitement Children get about the season, the adorable letters they write, and when they realize Santa Claus has come. It's just way too cute. I can't wait to see my nephews this year!!!

However, today I learned there are a few things I don't like about Christmas. And those are (though few, so don't call my a scrooge):

  • Crowds at the mall
  • Any nativity scene where Santa Clause is placed hovering over Jesus. Come on, people. Saint Nicholas was not present at the birth of Jesus Christ. Enough said. I could say more--but I will stop there.
  • The post office. I feel like during the holiday season the postal workers become sinister, Christmas-gift-ruining pricks. It's almost as though they want to make you cry. (I had a bad experience last year)

Before y'all think I have turned into an angry Christmas-hating grump. Please, do unsterstand this is purely a "vent". Maybe humor? I really do enjoy this season like none other, and cannot wait to fill my house with the smells of cinnamon, sounds of Sinatra, and decorations of Christmas. But there are some things that I just don't enjoy about the holidays!

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank a Vet today!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! (Who says that?!...Hm) Anyways, here are my Ten On Tuesday.

1. What gift are you most proud of giving?
I can't think of a good one at the moment--only one that sticks out is the scrapbook I made for my Mom at Christmas a few years ago.

It probably looks like shit, to be honest? I don't do extraordinarily well with creativity -- seriously. But, it was one of those gifts that I put time and love into.

2. What’s the best gift you ever received?
-My birthday this year -- I walked into the restaurant and there was my mom & dad! They flew to AZ to surprise me. I still get a giant smile on my face thinking about that!!

3. In honor of my husband: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
-As klumsy as I am on a daily basis, I haven't had any major injuries! But:

-About 2.5 years ago, I lived with my sister Lisa. I headed out for a nice morning run with my new Saucony shoes (Saucony's are BAD! Don't buy them!). Coming down a big hill, I tripped over my own feet and went down face first!! Eyes and lip were completely bloody, knees totally lacerated (still have scars on the knees). I just remember walking down this busy street crying and bleeding -- and people just stared. (Scheel's refunded me on my shoes, b/c I feel twice in them!)

4. They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Who’s 15 minutes has gone on far too long? (The Gosselins are not acceptable answers, be more creative.)
-It is a tight running race. Michelle Obama coming in 1st. What has she done. Seriously. Ugh.
-2nd place? The Kardashian (sp?) girls? Who are they? And why are they talked about? I do realize I kind of live under a rock, so maybe I need to be informed of these girls? But nothing stands out to me.

5. You have 20 minutes and $1000. What do you buy?
-$500 would go towards buying a new laptop. Seriously -- right now as I am typing the screen is falling off. I can't even close my laptop anymore. It's so sad.
-The remaining $500 would be split between clothes, a dress for a Christmas party coming up in December, and a new vacuum cleaner!!!! (Our vacuum makes me want to cry)

6. Tell me three blogs that I need to read.
Lisas Yarns
Adventures With B and B

7. Would you rather go without pizza or ice cream for the rest of your life?
-I could probably go without both. I feel sick after either either of them. But only because ice cream has the healthy option of "yogurt", and "mint" also falls under the category. I will say that I could go without pizza. Every time I eat it, I feel sick for the next 48 hours, so I tend to avoid it.

8. Would you rather go to a beach or a snowy mountain?
-A beach! I love water. Plus, I don't know how to ski/snowboard. And I have mountains practically in my back yard (lacking snow, however)

9. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
-Oh goodness, definitely a morning person!! I love feeling as though I'm up before the world gets going. It is rare that I even stay up until midnight.

10. What word do you always misspell?
- Apologies. I always want to add 2 p's. Just looking at it now looks strange to me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A little update :)

It has been busy lately! It has been awhile since I have purely blogged for enjoyment.

It seems this blog has become a list of disasters and adventures I run into during daily life. But life has been seemingly calm.

So here is a list of completely random new things that are consuming life lately!

1) I started the gas grill the other day for the 1st time since the "Pre-Wedding Hair-Burning Incident" (if you remember). Let's jsut say, upon pushing the ignition I just back about 20 ft to avoid any possible flame up.

It was less eventful this time.

2) I started my Pediatric rotation. I have been at the hospital in training/clinicals too much this week.

3) Kids are really cute, and they sure know how to melt my heart! But I really don't like seeing them sick hooked up to ventilators, going through chemo, IV's, and in pain. It hurts my heart, and is really hard for me to "leave at the office", as they say.

4) Ryan did some mad networking at his Telemetry conference in Las Vegas -- and has had these companies calling him left & right all week wanting to set up interviews. Very exciting!

5) We got our wedding pictures finally! If you have not yet seen them. Check them out www.photographybyjoelson.com, Click on Celebrations - To View an Event, click here - View Photos - Then enter the code: 40633PNastase

6) Ryan & I are hosting our 1st Thanksgiving this month. I am quite nervous. We have the potential of ruining someone else's holiday. Scary. We love to cook and do it quite often--so hopefully this will have trained us??

7) Really random Abby-fact: I am no longer eating cheese. I always have stomach aches. And most of my meals have cheese b/c I eat a large quantity of salads. I decided to start eliminating different foods out of my diet to isolate the problem. Since I quit eating cheese -- I have felt G.R.E.A.T.! Kinda weird. (it's probably all in my head? -- but it's been effective, so I'll take it!)

8) I have spent way too much time in meeting and lectures lately. I would say about 65% of my nursing class make me want to pull my hair out (one hair at a time with a tweezers, preferably).

9) Last night Ry & I made Chicken-Spinach Tortelli. It was the first time I have ever made a white sauce. I hated the sauce--loved the tortellinis! I am wondering how Italian restuarants do it. We only made like 14 tortellini's and it took like an hour!!??

10) The newest question that boggles my mind: How do they make Cheerio's?

-how do they make this little oat morsel, with a hole in the middle? Do they roll out individual little strips, and shape them into circles? Are they circles with holes punched in the middle? This truly boggles my mind. I need to email "How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel.

Well, I hope you all have a fabulous week!! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ten on Tuesday!

I have been studying for the past 6 hours?? - And am losing my sanity. What better way to relieve myself than fill one of these out? It definitely is a fun way to distract myself from reading any more about Pediatric physical/psychosocial development!!

1. What animal should cease to exist? (Not including bugs. That’s too obvious.)
-Pitbulls! Some people may hate me for this. But I have a thing against Pitbulls. As we all know--I don't really like dogs. Last week, I was on a nice run in my gorgeous, family-friendly neighborhood. I was approached by TWO, unleashed, angry, dogs (1 a pitbull, 1 a pincher ....i think that's the breed...).

I was absolutely furious. People shouldn't own dogs like this. And if they do: lock them up, tie them up, keep them where they are safe!!!

2. What was your favorite thing about the beach?
-The smells, the freshness of the air, the fun of the sun, and the sound of seagulls. Everything. I love the beach.

3. If scientists found a way to allow dogs to talk, do you think we should implement it? Or should we just keep them quiet?
-I don't want to hear what they have to say.

4. How do you order your Starbucks?
-Venti. Iced. Splenda. Skim milk.

5. What’s worse? People who don’t know the difference between your and you’re OR people who don’t use smack their food?
Ahhh! I hate all of this. The whole Your/You're thing drives me up the wall. As does its/it's.

6. What CD can you listen to over and over?
The Brandi Carlile cds my sister, Lisa, burned for me! :)

7. What was the most surprising thing about college?
Hm....I was really surprised how much of a joke my 1st year of college was,academically. Maybe it was the classes I took?--but it was so easy. Kind of a joke!

I was also really surprised by how wonderful it is to be able to freely chose your friends! From Preschool-Senior year I was with the same 24 people day in and day out. I basically couldn't stand the existence of about 70% of the those people by the time I graduated. So I loved when I got to college--I could freely choose my friends. And there was such less drama.

8. What’s the best deal you ever got? (Biggest sale item.)
-I don't do well with sale items. But I just have to boast all my clearance Target items. I live for Target. I love the end of summer when swimming suits are like $4. (I have a love for swimming suits and winter coats)

9. Who is your role model? Why?
I have multiple! But I will have to say My Mom. She is a woman I really try to strive to be like --and make our home like she did ours. She is such a hard worker, loving mother, amazing cook/house-keeper, VERY smart woman, and one healthy lady!!! I'm proud to have her genes. I also look to my father in many ways as a role model. His hard work amazes me. I'm pretty lucky to have the parents I have!

10. What movie would you like to see that is in theaters right now? Why?
I have no idea what is even in theaters! But, as childish as this may sound--I really want to see the Scrooge movie coming out. "A Christmas Carol" is my favorite Christmas movie....so kind of want to see that!

However, going to the movies disappoints me these days. It's like $20/ticket. So not worth it. If I'm going to pay that much for a movie...I better get a reclining chair, personal waiter, and a glass of fine wine to go with that movie! ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ten On Thursday!

Here we go again! Another post filled with information about myself--that may bore you? However, I am lacking creativity to write--and these are fun!

1. What are you going to be for Halloween?
A wife.
I, like my sister Lisa ( ), not big on the Halloween costume thing. Oh man--I could write a whole blog about Halloween costumes.

2. Have you ever been on television?
Yes. Senior year in high school. I was on this Academic team and we had a "face-off" with another school. It's really embarrassing.

3. Do you have a toilet paper preference?
I don't. Which is interesting. Because I am really anal-retentive, so one would think I care about this. However, I really don't.

My husband does, though--and the toilet paper must come OVER. So sometimes I mess with him and switch it--and he changes it back. It's a war in our house.

4. When you’re pregnant, will you find out the sex of the baby? (Or if you’ve already had babies, did you find out the sex?) Why or why not?
Nope! It must be a family thing. No one in my family found out. Growing up, I thought everyone did it that way! After my L & D rotation, I found that almost ALL the family's found out and was very surprised!

5. What are three items that every kitchen must have?
A Good knife, a cutting board, a wooden spoon

6. Do you enjoy Christmas shopping?
Hm...tough question. I used to. Then I moved to the Southwest. I am not going to elaborate--for I would probably come across very racist. I think you get the gist about the large population of illegal aliens--who still crowd and over-populate the malls/stores with their loud, non-English ranting and 700 screaming children.

Wow! So much for not elaborating, huh??

But really. I love love love Christmas. If I have Ryan with me to keep me calm and happy--I have a really good time picking out gifts for those whom I love!

7. What is your go-to recipe? (The thing you cook more than anything else because it’s easy and mindless.) Please share the recipe.
Chicken tacos.

I don't know the exact measurements--b/c this is definitely one of those things where I just throw things in the pot eying it? But here is my quasi-recipe.

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-black beans
-stewed tomatoes
-Red bell pepper
-A few slices of jalepeno
-1/2 habenero pepper
-a little cayenne
-Sea salt to taste

1) Marinate chicken breast in vinegar, a little salsa (type of your choice), cayenne, and cumin for as many hours as you want! (I often do it overnight for best results)
2) Cook the chicken breast slowly on the stove, pull it off and shred it.
3) While chicken is cooking - pour all other ingredients (veggies chopped up, of course) into a crock pot
4) Add shredded chicken to crock pot.
5) Simmer on low for as many hours as desired.
6) Serve with tortillas!

8. Do you sleep on your back, belly, or side?
I sleep on my back with a pillow under my knees to prevent lower back pain. I do not suffer from chronic back pain--I am just paranoid I will some day.

9. How do you feel about Tom Cruise?
I like to pretend that he is still in his Top Gun days, or even his Jerry McGuire days.

He now has some interesting psych issues going on. I'm not impressed.

10. What books are in your “books to read” stack?
Currently: "Nursing Care of Infants and Children"

My desire: I just want to read for pleasure again. I really enjoy it. When I get to read for pleasure, I will consult my sister for recommendations :)

Have a great Thursday, everyone! I am looking forward to the day. Going on a run in the nice cool temps, I then have a 3 hour lab, and after my lab I am picking Ryan up for he comes home from Las Vegas today!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

She spoke, and I listened...

This evening....Grandma Valeria entered my home and spoke to me I believe. Now, I don't do the whole "ghosts/resurrection from the dead/visiting from the spirts" kick. I think it's kind of lame, to be honest. But I do believe that people whom we have lost speak to us in various methods. And this occurred in my home this evening.

Now let me give a little background info before proceeding with this story!

There is a term in our family we use called "The Val Curse" or "Woah...Val alert!" This alert is the fact that my Grandmother cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned some more. She was the queen of Chlorox and a beautiful, spotless, clean home. She also cooked food of Godliness. She was basically Super-Woman.

My dear mother, Marlys, definitely received these traits. In fact, nearly everyone in our family received a little Val. A trait to be proud of. I unfortunately was very young when my Grandmother Valeria passed--so just live out memories from stories I Have heard, and her similarities in my Mom!

I remember growing up, my Mom did not sit down. I have acquired this trait. I drive my poor husband, Ryan, crazy with this characteristic. I hate to sit down and relax--it just doesn't feel right! Often when I have a day at home alone--I clean, cook, and strive to make everything in the house picturesque and perfect! When I feel like I run out of things to clean, I ask myself "W.W.M.D" (What...what...Marlys do?) And I often come up with a new cleaning project! (Mom, you are truly an outstanding influece! :D)

Today...I returned from my 12 mile run and got straight to cleaning: organizing book shelves, boxing up summer clothes, cleaning cupboards, and of course vaccuming--it's been 2 days since I've vacuumed the house!

After completion of all this--I decided, "I am on break between semesters. Starting Monday, the next 8 weeks are going to suck. I deserve to sit down and read a book."

The entire time I was sitting and reading, thoughts ran through my mind of "Gee, I should really be doing something around the house. Maybe I should bake some cookies or bread." Then I finally thought, "I know! I should be cleaning the refridgerator. It's been a couple weeks....." But I talked myself out of it, and decided I deserved to sit down for a few minutes and read.

When all of a sudden I hear this interesting noise in the distance. I couldn't put my finger on it. Then I realized it was a "drip-drop" noise.

I started checking all the sinks and tubs--thinking maybe a sink wasn't turned off. But no...that wasn't it.

And then I looked at the kitchen floor--and I see a LARGE puddle seeping across my kitchen.

I opened the fridge door and there was the culprit! I had a GALLON pitcher of iced tea with a spigot. Well, my box of wine (yes, I know...classy) was leaning against the spiggot. The ENTIRE GALLON managed to pour out into my fridge, even into my vegetable drawer.

Guess what I got to do? Get a bucket of pinesol, sponges, and rags--and clean the refridgerator!

I am truly convinced this was Grandma Val speaking to me. As I was on my hands and knees emptying the fridge and cleaning, I could actually hear her saying, "You're going to sit on the couch and read instead of clean the fridge? Fine then--I'll give you a reason to clean the fridge."

So now my house is thoroughly cleaned and I am satisfied. Thank you Grandma! I should know better than to be gluttonous and sit on the couch and read apparently!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ten on Thursday

Once again, I am stealing another survey from my sister Lisa's blog!

My week has not been the greatest. School has me wanting to pull every hair out of my head. In fact, it's Thursday and the fact that I'm not bald yet is amazing.

Things are starting to perk up, however. I am pretty much done with this 8 week session. So am on "vacation" until Monday. So am reallly looking forward to destressing by doing so extensive deep cleaning around the house.

SO excited!!

So here we go:

1. What's your favorite late night talk show?
I like Jay Leno now. I used to not, because seriously (as conceited as this may sound)--the shape of his head and appearance kind of annoyed me. I like watching it because it's on at like 9:00 now. So I am actually awake for it! (I got to bed at like...10:00-10:30 often).

However, I love Conan. His weird quirks make me smile.

2. If you got an all expense paid week-long trip for two, where would you go and who would you take?
I would take my husband, Ryan. We would get SCUBA certified prior to our trip to......Whitsunday Island, Australia (White Haven Beach). Absolutely gorgeous beaches with rain forest surrounding.

3. What's your stance on Botox?
It's horribly risky and not worth it. People have died. What's wrong with aging? It's part of the natural process of life. It's our skin--inevitable. I have no problem with dying your hair, staying fit and in shape to look good...but do we really need to inject botulism into our faces to freeze a smile on?? Just 2 cents...

4. I have to read a few classics for my 101 in 1001. Do you have any recommendations?
Unfortunately...not. I have read very few classics in my life. I plan on tackling this when I finish nursing school, and my masters (which I decided last night that I will be doing ASAP after I graduate next September!)

5. Have you ever broken any bones?
Upon my entrance into this world the doctor broke my collar bone. I was a big baby--needless to say. I think this just proves that fact that I was destined to be accident-prone and clumsy.
I've had a few stress fractures of my toes/feet in my days too.

6. What are your top five favorite television shows?
1) America's Next Top Model (I know, pathetic...but I love it)
2) The Today's Show
3) The Biggest Loser
4) Iron Chef
5) Fox News

7. What is something you are embarassed to admit?
I failed a test yesterday. It is the first thing I have ever failed in my entire life. It probably ranked up there with one of the most defeating moments of my life. Then I found out the teacher curved the test, and no one in the class passed the test. So I feel a little better.

8. Best movie line ever?
That is way difficult for me to pull at random out of the air. But my favorite movie moment to this day is probably the big, dramatic Jerry McGuire speech by Tom Cruise and Renee Zel. of "Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello. *tear* You had me at Hello!" I'm not letting you get rid of me. You. Complete. Me. *more tears*"

Oh..I cry everytime.

9. Cupcakes, cakes, or brownies?
To be honest. Neither really. But I guess I'll say brownies. I'm not a big fan of *cake* stuff. To be honest--I don't really like desert

10. Can someone PUH-LEASE help me find a dress to wear to a few weddings this winter?
Well..I don't have an answer to this. To be honest--I have the biggest fashion-deficit ever. I am a train-wreck. I would say 75-80% of my wardrobe comes from Target or Express. But ONLY Express because I used to work there--so everyhting is out-dated. If I lived in a cooler climate..I would definitely wear jeans and a cardigan sweater every single day of the week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Daily Rant

Okay..I really wish I didn't have an exam and presentation today. Because if I would've had time to blog about this around 10:00 this morning upon my return from the gym--this would have be far more angry and vent-ful.

Do you guys have membership at a gym? Have you ever seen pure, disgusting, sweaty meatheads at a gym? Have you ever wanted to drop a 100 lb weight on someone's toe at the gym?

In high school...I really didn't like jocks. The jocks in my high school were idiots. A-holes. Gross. Annoying. Going no where. Stuck in little North Dakota for life. But "Oh, how the girl's loved them."

Not me.

They made me sick to my stomach.

Now, one would think men would out-grow that jock-ish, gross, testosterone-hyped phase of life.

No. They just hang out at their local gym/fitness club all day. ALLLL DAY.

Thankfully, it has been cooling off lately--and I have been getting more serious about running. And Ryan and I have set up an "at home gym" with weight bench, jumpropes, and all in our garage. So going to the club-house fitness center is no longer a daily event.

However, this morning--I headed to the gym for a "nice de-stressing-work out" before my test.

What a horrible idea!

During my work out, I really wanted to drop weights on people's toes. However, I would be written up by the HOA of our neighborhood. So just gritted my teeth, and wished I had my I-Pod with me.

1) Do not grunt and moan after you have finished your lift. There is nothing hard about standing in the middle of the gym flexing your muscles.
2) Do no walk by me, and drip sweat in my area.
3) Do no cut your tshirt into a halter top, Males. I know you love to show off your pecs, and are jealous of women's sports bras. But it's not necessary.
4) Don't talk about your "weekend habits" on your cell phone while on the tredmill. I really don't care how many shots of tequila you took.
5) Don't talk to strangers at the gym. Normal people don't come to the gym to make friends.
6) If you can't lift 300 lbs, please don't try.
7) No matter how fit, and how good you look. It is NOT OKAY for you to wear spandex and a bra and do yoga in the middle of the gym.

These are all things I witnessed at our gym. Granted, it didn't all occur today. But it is likely to be seen during a given week.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

These are addictive

I absolutely love surveys. They're so fun! Here's another one!

1. If you won the lottery, what would be your one random, off-the-wall purchase?
Same answer as my sister, Lisa. A Steinway Baby Grand Piano.

2. What is popular now that you just don’t get?
Strange sunglasses, and girls in Arizona that wear Ugg boots...in October...when it's in the 90's (I have seen this 2 times in the past week on the U of A campus. I don't get it...)

3. What would your last meal, you know, if you were ever about to be executed and you got to choose that sort of thing?
I would start with a bowl of shrimp cocktail. With a yummy, spicy cocktail sauce.
I would also have edamame
Dinner would be sushi roll after sushi roll after sushi roll. With TONS of wasabi.
I would drink a glass of Cabernet with dinner. Probably 2.
Desert would be a giant slice of my Mom's chocolate pie.

Pretty simple, but so delicious.

4. When is it okay to start listening to Christmas music?
Well, to the public: Thanksgiving.

However, deep down inside--Christmas music will be heard from our house well before. Probably after Halloween. Ryan and I love Christmas.

5. How do you feel about facial hair on men?
Absolutely not. You should ask Ryan sometime about my adversity to facial hair. Let's just say the threat lays STRONG that if he ever tries growing facial hair--it will be not be present in the morning when he wakes up.

6. McDonald’s or Burger King?
Neither. I am actually kind of a pain in the ass about this. I refuse to eat at McDonalds OR Burger King. Even if it's "convenient" on a long road trip--I will go without food, and buy trailmix and hopefully an apple at a gas station down the road. Those restaurants serve Cat food, fried in fat and grease.

7. What kind of soap do you use?

8. What movie can you watch over and over and never get tired of?
Jerry McGuire (I know, weird)
Waiting for Guffman
The Sound of Music

9. Favorite beverage?
Water with lime (non-alcoholic)
Cabernet Savignon

10. What do you want for Christmas?
A new hair straightener
A sweet heart rate monitor/GPS

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Race

Sunday I did the "Tucson Get Moving 10 Miler". It was the first long distance race I have done in awhile. Definitely the longest since the 26.2 marathon I did 2 years ago in October! I signed up for this race about 3 weeks ago!--so was a little nervous I wouldn't be ready...but I trained hard.

It has been nice and cool (in the 80's) here in the desert lately. However, it decided to be miserable and hot that morning. Race start was 8:00am--and it was definitely 80 by that point. Yuck--I hate running in the heat.

Overall, the race was a really fun time! My average pace was 8:38/mile. 8 seconds slower than my top goal--but...I'm okay with it!

Ryan was the sweetest husband in the world--and came to the race with me, supported me, cheered me on, hugged my nasty/sweaty-self at the end of the race, and even snapped some pictures!

This sure made me want to do another marathon :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It is quite clear.....

As we all know and are reminded of daily, is that the average American is in horrendous debt. According to some references, "The average American owes $9000 of credit card debt." Hearing this horrible statics seems quite shocking that a country that is considered so secure and well-off would have such serious issues in money management.


It is quite clear and obvious this would occur. I am currently working on a research project that is about "Educating parents on how to teach money management and responsibility to their children". I chose this subject thinking, "Wow! This will be a really neat subject to teach parents! It will be so interesting and fun. There will be endless resources I am sure!"

Now that I have come to "research time"....this is such pathetic, seriously, limited results of research!! There is ENDLESS research on nearly every aspect of child-rearing: Drugs, alcohol, teen-pregnancy, childhood obesity, nutrition, bullying....all important aspects of raising a child. But--NOTHING on how to teach that child how to manage money, save money, understand money!

For how "money-driven" American is.....one would THINK we would be instilling this in our youth?!

I think it is really sad that we educate out children about reading, writing, literature, science, math, music--all VERY important aspects of education. However, we expect to send them blindly out into the real world without the slightest understanding of a mortgage, credit card, retirement account, savings account, taxes, loans--all things that will at some point put serious strain in their life!!!

Are these supposed to be natural skills that we humans just acquire over time??? Absolutely not.

I may have bored people with my little rant. But...this has consumed a good portion of my weeks frustrations. I was able to scrape 5 scholarly journals on this subject--and they were pretty meager!

Very sad!!

Well, there's my rant for the morning!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Little Quirky....

I got this idea from my sister Lisa to do a little blog of honesty--to list 10 things that most people probably don't know about me! I love reading these about other people..so figured I would give it a whirl!!

1) I am a huge morning person. 6:00 am is my perfect hour if I am just getting up naturally on a free day. I like 5:30. 4:45 is when it gets a little difficult. This weekend, I slept until 7:40--and woke in an irate burst of anger at myself for being so lazy!! I felt terrible and wasteful!!

2) I love scrubbing floors. It is my favorite job around the house. Ryan always insists that I go buy a nice mop, and that it would be so easy. But I refuse--I love scrubbing the floor!

3) I enjoy running in the rain. It gets old after awhile. But running during an occasional rain is refreshing, and is just a new and fresh intensity.

4) I have always had the dream of being a personal trainer. I wish they got paid better. I would do it in a heart beat.

5) I'm really antisocial in public. Walking into a store--I will do everything in my will to avoid eye contact with the "greeter". I feel like friendliness to strangers is wasted energy.

6) I had a job for about 2 weeks as a housekeeper at AmericInn. What I was thinking when I applied for this job is beyond me!! It was awful. I love to clean--don't get me wrong. It was the "co-workers". I never realized white-trash could get THAT trashy.

7) I was a loser in high school. I had ask guys to be my prom date both years. Practically had to pay them! The lunch breaks where the normal kids spent time in the hallways enjoying themselves, I would lock myself up in the band practice rooms and practice piano or trombone!

8) I drink too much coffee.

9) I really, really don't do dogs. I remember when I was like 16, and telling my mom and dad "When I get married, if my husband gets a dog I will THROW MY RING at him! My husband WILL NOT have a dog!" ...... Well, many years later, I am married. And let's just say this is one of the things we won't be compromising. He is well-aware that I will not tolerate a dog in the house!! I just don't do animals.

10) I eat lemons and limes like you would eat an orange. I peel them, and eat it section my section. I swear by them and feel like they the cure to everything!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Immune System?

I don't think I should be a nurse.

I am feeling sick today. It seems that when I get sick, I bypass all the preceding, gradual symptoms. I go straight to the big-bang. I woke up feeling feverish today, and as though I had been hit by a truck. Just felt funny.

However, my husband with his bad allergies was up all night last night sneezing--so I just assumed "Oh, it's just a combo of being tired and allergies".

I am still hoping it's allergies. But when I cough and hack--I sound like a Old Hag with COPD, who has smoked for 70 years.

The best part of all this; I have been NAGGING my poor husband all week --
-You need to get rest!
-You need to drink 60 more ounces of water before you can go to bed.
-Come over to the stove and breath in this steam!
-Come into the bathroom and snort saline.
-You need to eat a more well-balanced lunch!!"
-- all these great "health-promoting behaviors" to alleviate his discomfort.

However......I have not stopped, sat down, or breathed in the past week. I drank about 15 ounces of water today despite feeling like shit. I ate a bag of "Welch's" fruit snacks, an apple, and a Diet mountain Dew for lunch. My only method of allergy relief I have used is popping TYLENOL and ADVIL (the devil drugs) to take away the pain..

I am such a naughty patient!

As a result, I came home from clinicals tonight and am forcing fluids, eating a high protein and veggie-packed supper....

.....and working on my giant, long, massive, clinical paperwork........

No more Advil and Tylenol for this non-compliant, kidney-failure-driven girl.
I WILL BE illness free by noon tomorrow!!