Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter Storm hits the desert?!

Happy New Years Eve to all. I hope everyone is able to celebrate with family, friends, or loved ones tonight! And -- I hope everyone has a safe evening!! Be careful out there!

We are finally experiencing some "weather" here in Tucson.

I use "quotation marks"...because this "weather" the Tucsonan's are FLIPPING OUT over is just a "chilly October Day" in North Dakota (where I came from)

Yesterday morning...I was getting off work. I could hear the wind blowing, and the rain falling throughout the night. There were moments where...I kind of want to crawl into one of the hospital beds and take a snooze.

When 7:30 am rolled around, I was very anxious to go home after 3 nights on. I was ready to BOLT out the door....

...when I was stopped by an oncoming shift coworker, who stated, "Abby, maybe you should stick around until the weather clears up. It's pretty bad out there...."

FEeling concerned, I asked, "Really? Are the roads icy?? Is it snowing? Is there black ice? Is the visibility poor?"

In a very matter of fact and honest voice she replied, "No. But it's raining. And the winds are strong."

.............................................

My smart-ass, sleep-deprived self really wanted to say, "Ohhh...so you're saying the world is ending then."

But, I figured that was inappropriate, and just smiled and responded with, "I think I can manage."

I'm still the quiet girl at my new place of work.... Hesistant to show too much wit or sarcasm.

People that live in warm climates make me chuckle. It's RAIN, people. Come to North Dakota -- where people drive in zero-visiblity, black-ice, full-blown, death-chilling snow storms.

And our weather man gets concerned about temperatures that reach below 32 (not 32 below). Although this rant comes off angry. I'm not angry. I think it's cute! It's kind of like the kids who don't know what a VCR is.

Now, I realize not ALL people "dwelling" in warm climates have this viewpoint. But it's really funny those that do.

So, to those of you in the midwest battling those snow-storms -- be safe and cuddle up tonight! And to those of you living in the southwest.....:

THIS IS A STORM WARNING. POSSIBILITY FOR SEVERELY COLD WEATHER TONIGHT. TEMPERATURES MAY REACH AS LOW AS 32. PLEASE COVER YOUR LEMON TREES. WEAR AN UMBRELLA. WIND MAY CAUSE YOUR UMBRELLA TO GET FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN. SO BE SURE YOU DON'T BUY YOUR UMBRELLA AT WALMART. WINTER COATS MAY NEED TO BE PURCHASED.

:) Goodbye, 2010....Hello 2011! :)


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pleasant

First off, I would like to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas! I hope you were all able to take some time to celebrate with the one's you love last week! I know I did! Things are very pleasant here lately! We stayed in Tucson, since I worked Christmas Eve night -- but we had a beautiful Christmas dinner and day with Ryan's Dad and Lora.

Christmas day morning I walked in the door about 8 am, and I walked in out my "Santa Baby" stuffing our stockings. It made me smile. I went to sleep for a few hours, and woke to the sweet, delectible smells of monkey bread & fresh ground Italian Roast coffee!


We opened presents by the tree. And I was spoiled with many wonderful gifts! I was very touched by how fortunate we are. We sat by the fire, and Ryan taught me how to use my new Kindle he got me. And we headed to Chris & Lora's for a fantastic day of fun with them and Ryan's younger siblings!

They've started a family tradition of doing "Seven Fishes" -- which is an Italian custom (I believe?...Correct me if I'm wrong, Lora!). We delighted ourselves with  2 types of pickled herring, shrimp cocktail, Ahi Tuna, Stuff Scallops, salmon, clam chowder, .....and I think I'm forgetting one other fish. Maybe all the wine they served some type of created a memory lapse?!?!

But it was delcious! The night was filled with great conversation and much laughter.

Speaking of memory lapses....I have been a bit of a zombie lately. I switched to night shift last Wednesday. I work Wed, Thurs, Friday -- and I pretty much only got a total of 8 hours of sleep those 3 days. I just couldn't crack sleeping during the day. I went to Christmas Eve mass seriously looking like Scrooge. I was a complete zombie cracked out on coffee.



.....However.....I have adjusted. This is my 2nd week and I'm feeling fantastic!!

..Thanks to some vitamins, I will admit.

A post is to come soon about my "Adjustment to Zombieland" -- and it's proved to me that my body can do pretty much anything I train it to do!

Happy New Years to everyone if I don't post before then. Who's ready to kick 2010 outta here?! I know I am. :) Not that it wasn't a good year...I'm just ready for new-ness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

30 Blogs: Goals

Remember how 2 months ago I was going to blog 30 days straight?! Doing this cute little segment/challenge?

Well, that was productive. (sarcasm) But I do plan on finishing it. Kind of like I plan on some day finishing the quit that I seriously started 11 years ago.

I just like to take my little breaks! And today is goals -- which is a big focus for me lately since there's been so many life changes!

First, let me tell you -- that I'm obsessed with goals. I eat, breathe, and sleep goals. Short term, intermediate, and long term. I'm like a walking calendar. Some say that's a "flaw" -- but it's how I like life. So I'll probably keep it that way!

Here are my goals that I'm thinking about right now....

Short Term:
  • Make the adjustment to night shift this week without turning into a walking zombie.  (I am SO not a night person!!!)
  • Start taking body combat classes (it's like...kick boxing kind of *I think*) at our new gym
  • Get all pictures, shelves, and art hung out on the walls by Wednesday
Intermediate Goals
  • Attend a self-defense class this year
  • Get back to Day Shift by June
  • Get a job either in the OR (operating room) or ER (emergency room) by next year (I'm locked in on my cardiac unit until November of 2011 per contract)
  • Plant Garden and start canning
  • Plant grass (sounds simple to some of you..but it's different in the Sonoran Desert!)
  • Start Rock Climbing...despite my irrational fear of heights
Long Term Goals
  • Either become a Nurse Practitioner or take a management role within a hospital/clinic/surgery center
  • Some day...I want Ryan and I do be the "Marriage Preparation Teachers" (before we got married, the Catholic church had us do several months of one-on-one classes with another couple who were very wise -- and my dream is some day we'll be that wise married couple)
  • Vacation to Germany in the next 5 years
  • To act in a musical -- even if it's just a cute little community theater
  • To have 1 or 2 "Lil Nastase's" running around

So Ryan and I joined a gym this weekend in the new neighborhood. We got complimentary personal training sessions. I already have a feeling my trainer is going to be a meat-head. So...be prepared for a "rant post" to come soon. They unfortunately didn't have any female trainers. Lord. Help. Me. It's only 1 hour. It can't be that embarassing, right?!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We're all settled in!

Currently I am sitting by the fire, next to the Christmas tree all lit up, smells of Christmas cookie-baking filling the house, and feeling extraordinarily happy & content in our new house!

I am going to be honest and say the past 2 weeks have WIPED ME OUT. Thursday night I slept-walked. Ryan found me rummaging around in our closet at 1:00 am talking to myself.

Starting new job at hospital + plus moving + dealing with a whole giant array of things + Christmas season = CRAZY!!! But good crazy, fun crazy, exciting!!

We moved Saturday last weekend (Saturday). Our truck was to be ready by 8 am. We arrived at 7:45 (being the overly-punctual couple we are...)

....no one there.

So we waited...and waited.

And we called.

...I could hear the phone ringing inside of the building.

..by 8:15, we realized that maybe the people running this trucking company weren't going to show up to work that day. So we called corporate. They informed us "Well, we're sorry, but there is nothing we can do at this time. You'll just have to be patient."

WHO THE HELL IS *PATIENT* ON MOVING DAY?!

May I also add, the "pick-up location' was in the most ghetto-y of ghetto HOODS of our city EVER. Our truck had graffiti on it. Cute.

Needless to say....we changed companies VERY FAST, and found the perfect U-haul. All worked out. By Saturday night, we had everything in the house and the kitchen totally put together.

And...let's just say I called the Budget trucking place until the lady finally showed up for work. And I made her cry. I was pissed off. I feel no remorse.

I had to work Sunday. I took part in my first Code Blue. During the 1st 10 minutes of my shift. Talk about adrenaline. 

By Monday evening, we were totally unpacked. I worked Tuesday. (I love this 3 13 hour day schedule. And...I love my job! I know I've made the right decision now)

By Wednesday evening, our house was decorated, Christmas decorations up, Christmas baking done.

Now that we are all settled in and the house is coming together just right -- I know that when we WERE building a house...that was NOT meant to be. Because this house is just right for us!

 I love our quiet little neighborhood, the hilly running trails around us, the mountain views in our backyard, our gas fireplace, the 3 organic grocery stores/farmers markets in my neighborhood, and the character of this home.

Pictures to come soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Taking a moment

It's a little crazy around our house right now. Okay, so it's really crazy. Thinking about these next 2 weeks gives me a little bit of an ulcer. But, it's exciting too! But, I will have to say these past few days I've been feeling a little "down-in-the-dumps". Not that I have anything to be sad about - I'm just a little overwhelmed!

Today Ryan has guard drill, and then flight lessons. (he's getting his private pilot lessons...so I'm counting down the days until he can take me up in the sky!)

So, I'm packing boxes whilst listening to Christmas jazz music today! And making my mom's Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Mmmm (soul-warming)

I got up with him this morning at 4:30 am ready to get things done!! I was prepared to tackle the world! It was while I was building boxes at about 5:30 that I asked myself, "What are you doing, you crazy woman". It just hit me that ...

Maybe I'm feeling frazzled, "down in the dumps", and *a little off* because I am EXHAUSTED. 

So, I crawled back into bed. And slept extremely hard until 8. I don't remember the last time I slept in that late! I rolled back out of  bed (feeling much more refreshed), brewed myself a pot of coffee, turned on some music, and got back to packing.

In this time...I have found the following:

-$500 from wedding (that I never removed from the card)
-$50 worth of Target gift cards (from wedding & showers)
-$30 Bed, Bath, & Beyond gift card (from wedding....) ....are we seeing a pattern here?getting married in the middle of the semester during Nursing School = not a very organized bride
-A hand-written letter from my Mom that she gave me the day our moving truck left for Tucson. This brought me to tears :) (happy tears, of course)
-The 12 Thank-You Notes my husband wrote when he proposed to me back in July 2008. (more happy tears)


So, in these discoveries of:
-restful Saturday mornings
-"misplaced" gifts
-cherished letters

...I'm remembering that no matter how hectic things can be - It is essential to "take a moment".

It lifted my spirits!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Still alive

Greeting, bloggers!

Yes, I am still alive. I'm not feeling wordy or creative at this moment.

My heart wanted to write a post last week on what I'm Thankful about.

...but I didn't get to that.

But, I'm thankful for lots of stuff :)

I also wanted to do a post on our trip home to spend time with family.

...but I didn't get to that either.

But it was an amazing, wonderful, fantastic time. I left feeling such gratefulness and happiness for my family. I enjoyed every second of time I got to spend with my adorable nephews. I was so overjoyed to spend time in the kitchen with my Mom as she cooked the most fabulous Thanksgiving dinner.

It was a great weekend. :-)

I will not be blogging much for the next couple weeks or so, most likely? Started my new job this week! It's going....overwhelming & crazy well. :) I feel like my head is going to explode so happy to be learning so much and using my nursing skills! Finally!!!!

This leaving the house at 6am and not returning until 9:30pm is getting to me, however. But, we are moving next weekend. And I will only have a 10 minute drive to work...instead of 50-60 minutes! Which will cut out 2 hours of driving each day!

The other morning on my drive to work, I missed my turn. I didn't realize this until I was 5 miles out of town on a random highway. I hope I wasn't sleeping?! I'm not sure. I probably just zoned out ;)

When I'm not at work -- I'm packing boxes, scrubbing walls, wrapping up frames/vases/plates/ect. So.....it's kind of crazy.

FYI -- I'm also not doing the marathon anymore...b/c I have to work that day and cannot get out of it. Oh well! Life goes on! The marathon would be next weekend -- *sigh* I am totally trained and able to do one. I've ran 2 20-mile runs, and trained for 5 months for it. Now, I can just say "all that training was just for kicks & giggles"

Well, I hope all is well with everyone! Happy Holidays! Love this time of the year :D

Just thought I'd let you know...I'm still alive :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Blogs: What you believe

Oh, Lord. Get ready for a novel, folks. I'm going to turn this post into a complete political rant. ARE YOU READY to have me talk your ears off on my beliefs on health care, the housing crisis, GM, abortion,  illegal immigration and sb 1070, and the unemployment extension?

......I didn't think so. I had you going for a second, maybe? I will save those thoughts for the book I write some day titled "Staying Put" (kind of an antonym to Sarah Palin's *Going Rogue*.....)

Anyways, so here are a few of things that I BELIEVE: (some more serious than others)

I came up with this list while I was on my boring 12 mile run this morning. Yes, I said boring. It was.

  • I believe in God. And I believe in the power of prayer.
  • I believe family and husband (who is my family) bring me more joy than anything.
  • I believe Pinot Noir is better than Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • I believe you can take the cheapest, shittiest cut of beef and make it taste delectable with a few hours of red wine vinegar or lime-marinating.
  • I believe we all have a plan, a journey, a destination, and a purpose. It may come early that we discover this - it may come very late in life we discover this. But if we all live with this belief we can find peace.
  • I believe that scales are stupid, idiotic, numerical devices that should only be used in hospitals for monitoring fluid balance ect. Beautiful women with great minds and souls shouldn't waste their time on those silly things.
  • On that note.....I believe eat well, exercise, choose to be happy, work hard, play hard, & live joyfully - don't let numbers decide how you feel about your life! (that's including scales, salaries, $$$ etc)
  • I believe that a little wit and a lot of knowledge can take you almost anywhere you want to go.
  • I believe music has the ability to bring out every emotion a human is capable of feeling!
  • I believe we can learn a lot from children - and their positive take on life.
  • I believe hiking, going for a run, taking a bike ride, or long brisk walk outdoors can uplift anyone's spirits!
  • I'm starting to believe (or realize) that life goes really fast! And that I need to take in and savor every day...and not spend too much time stressing & worrying.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Blogs: Something I'm Afraid of

This isn't a very difficult post for me to write about. I am such a "scaredy cat" about so many things. I could quite possibly turn this into a book.

I was also the kid that wouldn't go on the monkey bars at school, out of fear that my arms may be ripped out of their sockets. I was the kid who got to the end of the diving board, and then shriveled into a ball at the end shaking in tears. I got to the top-climax spot on a roller coaster, and start saying "Oh my God, get me off this thing. I don't want to do it anymore! Get me off this thing!!"

Then I went college, and majored in nursing. I leanred all the horrible ways one can reach multi-system organ failure. If I have too much coffee, and feel maybe the slightest heart palpitation - I am listening to my heart sounds with my stethoscope.........

So here's my list of irrational some fears. ;) (some of these may be comical & pathetic to you):\
  • Heights
  • Vomit (I've gotten better about this one as a nurse. I feel like God purposely puts the "pukers" as my patients. )
  • Childbirth (Every time I assisted w/ this during nursing school, I would go COMPLETELY white and have a "near-fainting-episode". I don't understand why, because I really think childbirth is incredible!!!)
  • Scorpions
  • Escalators (I have been on the world's largest one in Washington D.C., however)
  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis making me debilitated in my old age. (I'm already taking glucosamine)
  • Parking lots at night
  • Our house at night when Ryan is gone
  • Semi trucks
  • Antique dolls - the ones with those long eye-lashes and big creepy eyes staring you down

  • Injuring my foot, knees, or hips (after my marathon 12/12, my lower body can have all the injuries it wants)
  • Losing touch with my family
Have a great Thursday everyone! Be careful out there! Lots of escalators, semi-trucks, vomit, and dark parking lots out there! ;) (hehe)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Blogs: A Place You Have Visited

This day of the challenge comes at a convenient time, as we visited a new place this previous weekend!

Bisbee, AZ


A little history....

Bisbee, AZ is an old mining town founded in 1880. It has been named one of the most lucrative mining towns (The Copper Queen Mine) in the WORLD, once producing more than 3 million oz of gold, and 8 billion pounds of copper. In addition, they also mined silver, zinc, & lead.

In the 1900's, Bisbee was one of the MOST "hopping" cities from San Francisco to El Paso -- filled with beautiful women and numerous Saloons.

The mine closed in the 1970's, and many of the employees moved elsewhere. However, the town remained his rich history and buildings have stayed strong. It is now a tourist town, populated with artsy "hippies".

Why did we chosse Bisbee.....
It's been kind of a crazy few months for us with lots of new life events going on. We wanted to just take a get-away together. However, with how erratic our schedules are -- and I am hesitant to plan anything ahead of time with my PRN job and OVH job starting...........

.....our trip had to be very list minute. So last Thursday evening at 8:30 pm, we booked our hotels for Friday & Saturday and decided to go somewhere different!

Where we stayed....

This was a trip unique to any trip we've ever been on! We stayed at very unique hotels. Friday night we stayed at "The Grand Hotel" -- which is a western-themed hotel. When we arrived, we checked in at the saloon with the bartender. She took us to our room and showed us how to work the showers, sinks, and hot-tub. Our room was decorated with John Wayne portraits.

We tried soaking in the hot-tub at the end of the evening, but we ran out of hot water. Hot water did not return by 7 am when I tried taking a shower.

Bur. Normally, I'd probably get frustrated with this. But, we laughed. It was kind of entertaining and the true labor of love. While I was in the shower, Ryan was warming up my towel with a blow dryer -- and I did the same for him. So we could get out of our ICE-COLD shower with a warm towel.

I was amused with the copper-statue staring over us while we slept....

The 2nd night we stayed at the "Jonquil Inn". This was more of a cottage-style destination. Also, very quaint & cute. Outside our room was a sweet little garden.

Things we did.....

-Went to the "Stock Exchage Bar" -- where they actually used to trade stocks back in the 1900's.
-Saw many cowboys.
-Saw some people walking through the stree barefoot
-Listened to a man & woman play Led Zeppelin on the flute & acoustic guitar....
-Toured the Queen Mine Tour (pictures below)
-Toured the "Bisbee Restoration Society" which artifacts & antiques from the 1800's, INCREDIBLE! (and I'm NOT an "antique person"
-Searched EVERY knick-knack/antique shop for a Foley Food fork....we were unsuccessful, sorry, Mom!
-Had a home cooked breakfast from the hotel owner on the patio
-Walked through the endless stairs and secret walkways embedded throughout the city
-Enjoyed each other's company
-Ate some good, hearty, delicious food!

Here are a few photos.....


The view of the city. Notice the "B" on the mountain. So, far since we've lived in AZ we have found A, B, & C mountain. Tucson has "A-Mountain" that is painted. C-Mountain is somewhere between here & California.

These walkways are ALL over the city. It's sometimes referred to as the "City of 10,000 stairs" - they even have a race!

I didn't like the metal, creaky stairs from 1920. Especially in my high-heeled boots...

The Saloon (or lobby, I guess).

One of the trains at the mine tour


Warming up by the fire after our mine tour! It was in the 40's down there!

Getting ready to go into the mine with our flashlights, coats, & hard hats!


This is the toilet they used. It even went on the track that ran throughout the mine. Can you imagine if 2 men had to go at the same time?.......Ish

One of the mine "chutes"

One of the random homes we walked by. I took this photo QUICKLY, for I fear the home-owner was hiding in the bushes dressed in flannel with his shot gun! (those are deer antler's surrounding the house...)

Anoter completely random place....

Bisbee was a cute, fun, enchanting little town! If you ever want to get away from civilization -- I recommend this place! You seriously feel like you're re-entering historic times. You walk through the town, and everyone greets you and strikes up conversation. It was a fun, sweet, and refreshing weekend! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?

To be honest...I'm not a big pastry fan. Especially if it has any filling in it -yyyyuck! I freak out if I bite into something and some mound of "goo" comes squirting out of it.

But if I'm going to have something, it would be monkey bread.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
Oh jeez. PTSD here. When I was in ?1st? grade (something like that) - our church did the annyual Christmas Nativity play for the Children's mass.

ALL the little girls in my class got to be angels. Pretty white dresses. Wings. Their mom's probably curled their hair.

They had me dress as....I don't even KNOW what I was??!! I wore an all-black cloak. With a hood. Maybe I was a sheppard? I felt like the fricking grim-reaper. On Christmas. Me and one other girl had to do this. It was purely devastating. My teacher must not have liked me very much. :-(
3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Definitely scarves! I also like belts - but not for the "fashion" reason...I like those for their neccessity in keeping my pants on my waist....I cannot wear jeans without one.
4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
Sweaters! I wish we could wear them year-round! And work-out shorts.

5. What is your favorite color and why?
Green - and I guess I've never thought of a profound reason as to why I enjoy this color. I think because it reminds me of "life" (grass, trees)
6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Gingerbread. They have to be soft, though! There is a belief on molasses/gingerbread cookies that they should be crispy. Not in my kitchen.

Gingerbread cookies must be soft, with lots of cinnamon-red-hots on them, and the cookie NEEDS to be personified with a face, buttons, and clothing.
7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)
Cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, fresh-brewed coffee, Chlorox, a freshly-bloomed lilac tree, fresh-baked bread.

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
Pinesol. It's kind of ridiculous how much of this stuff I go through in a month.
9. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
I went through a long "architect" phase. Very random.

Then it was music teacher, nurse, music teacher, Occupational therapist, nurse (in that order).

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
It has been years since I've bought an album or song!! I honestly can't remember the last one I bought!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Blogs: Favorite Movies

Happy Monday, everyone! I was going to skip the "30 Blogs" today to talk about our weekend getaway. However, tomorrow's subject is "A Place You've Traveled" -- so tune in tomorrow to hear about Bisbee, AZ! :)

Today I'm supposed to talk about my favorite movies. I'm going to have to be honest and say I'm not a huge movie "buff". I do enjoy watching movies....but....

I'm "That Girl" who gets distracted in the 1st 20 minutes of the movie, so I miss the ENTIRE plot set-up. Therefore, the rest of the movie I'm asking Ryan, "Now who's that character?" "What does she do?" "Where is this movie located??"

It's really annoying....

But here are a few of the movies that are favorites of mine...

-Waiting for Guffman
-The Sound of Music
-The Pianist
-My Best Friend's Wedding
-Cool Hand Luke

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Blogs: Picture of Something that Makes Me Happy

After I finish uploading this photo-o-happiness...I will be packing our suitcase for a very unique get-away! We are headed to Bisbee, AZ! It is a historic mining town about 2 hours from Tucson. This town is notorious for being highly populated with some serious "hippy love". In the summer, apparently people are barefoot in the streets selling their home-made goods and singing.

Being there is a part of me that is a bit of a flower child-wanna-be....(due to my love for Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the harmonica) -- I'm kind of excited to see this.

After our weekend I will post pictures of the neat places we'll be staying! (since I don't want any creepy stalkers out there reading my blog showing up at our hotel room tonight....)

Now onto some happiness pictures..I can't settle with one!


This was the 1st time Ryan & I "locked eyes" on our wedding day. I still remember it and how nervous I was! This pictures gives me butterflies....

The Great Outdoors. This was taken in June when camping in the White Mountains. Probably one of the most breathtaking sunsets I've seen. This photo makes me feel peaceful....

My nephews. It was tough to find a picture with ALL of them on ONE couch. This was last Christmas when my sister Lisa was reading to all 4 at once. This picture makes me smile...

This was taken by the 17-foot U-Haul that we drove from Grand Forks, ND to Tucson, AZ 2.5 years ago. This is one of those pictures that we'll show grandkids some day and say "Look how young and crazy your Grandma was to take off across the country with your Grandpa! It all worked out absolutely perfect though!"

Running makes me feel happy....

My family! It's so incredible to see how much my family has grown over the years!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Blogs: Siblings

Before I start my "30-blog-challenge-sibling-post" -- I need to give a shout out to all the Veterans who do such a great service to our country! Ryan and I had our traditional (3rd year now) Veteran's day lunch at Applebee's -- where he got a free meal.

I also ran 20 miles prior to this lunch date - so let me tell you I was ravenous!!!!!!

Now onto siblings....

I started writing a post 2 days ago on this. But it turned into a book. I started writing about each sibling I have, and the unique traits they have that has impacted my life. But it would've gotten long -- for my siblings are as follows:
Chad, Emily, Kevin, Julie, Emily, Jason, Lisa, Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, and Jack!!!

That's a long list! I consider my sister/brother-in-laws siblings too. When you marry someone, you truly marry into their family I believe. So instead of writing a 700 page book on sibling love, I'll break it down into 2 sections

1) My Immediate Siblings: (Chad, Kevin, Emily, & Lisa)

-I feel great comfort knowing that these are 4 people who will always be close to me throughout my life. No matter what changes happen in life, or where our jouney takes us -- there will always be get-togethers at the lake cabin and holidays that will bring us together.

-Their unconditional love brings incredible joy. As I've grown, I've gotten much closer to my siblings.

-Growing up, I wanted to be just like my siblings. Maybe a litte too much. In other words...I annoyed the crap out of my sisters & brothers!! They put up with one annoying little sister!! ;)

-I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for my siblings! I always strived to be "like" them -- so I think it matured me faster. I look up to my brothers and sister whenever I make a big life decision, for they always have and always will be role models to me!!


2) In sibling-in-laws (Emily, Julie, Jason, Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, & Jack)

-It is hard for me to separate Emily, Julie, and Jason as "in-laws" first of all...b/c they've been a part of my life since I was like 7 years old! They are definitely family to me. And besides being incredible people - they make my own brothers & sister VERY happy. Our family would NOT be what it is without my sister & brother in laws!

-Erin, Nick, Michael, Alexa, Sophia, & Jack are Ryan's siblings -- who I am very blessed to have such awesome in-laws! I always worried I'd marry into a family where the siblings were disapproving and cold to me. But that is definitely not the case with Ryan's family. They are all like family to me and I am so lucky to have them!
-Alexa, Sophia, & Jack are younger than me -- which fulfills one of my dreams of being an "older sister".... Growing up, I always wanted a younger brother or sister. But, being my Mom & Dad were 40 when they had me, I learned pretty quick that this was NOT going to happen! It's so fun to see them grow up -- and we live 1.62 miles from them -- so get to see them often!

(....Just to explain why I know that I live 1.62 miles from my in-laws...(which comes across odd and creepy, I am sure) -- I run my neighborhood every day with my GPS. And I run by their street every time almost every time. I know the mileage down to the tenth of a mile everywhere in my community. )

My siblings are on the top of my list of "favorite people in the world"! I wouldn't be the person I am without them!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

I'm taking a break from the 30 Blogs challenge today to partake in the 10 on Tuesday!

Before I go on, let me tell you -- last night was not fun!!!! I had my "New Employee Health Screening" yesterday. I received a multitude of vaccines and blood draws. I was a little off to start with - I had a low grade fever and a blood pressure of 78/50. Eeek.

Once I laid down for bed - I started feeling horrible and it only escalated. I had a fever of 102.4, and my heart was racing like mad! Not a fun night. Feeling better today! But wow! Never will I get that many shots in one "shot" again!

Alright, 10 on Tuesday!

1. Who makes your Thanksgiving dinner?

When we go home, my Mom does! And she does a darn good job at it, too! Last year Ryan & I did our 1st Thanksgiving dinner -- and it was a team effort.

2. What is your favorite recipe the includes pumpkin? (bonus points for including the recipe)
Hmmm...I always love good ole, traditional pumpkin pie! Or the home-made Pumpkin Latte I posted about back in September.
3. What are 5 things you want for Christmas?
I haven't even thought about this..but here are a few things:
1. A Mortar and Pestle
2. Pastry Frame Set
3. Salad Spinner (for those family members who know the infamous story of "wedding registry argument heard around the world" -- I still haven't gotten my salad spinner. I have faith Ryan will come through this Xmas)
4. Dr. Scholls Heat & Massage Foot-spa
5. Probably a gift card to Target -- (due to my inability to think of anything else I want)
4. Does your family draw names or do you buy for everyone?
We always drew names - but now only a few do it since the family is getting so big!
5. How do you feel about motorcycles?
I dislike them! During my ICU/Trauma rotation..I saw WAY too many young people lose their life because of motorcycles.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?
Slow cook a stew or a roast, sip coffee or tea, and bake bread while watching a chick-flick.
7. What is the coolest thing to do in your city?
Enjoy all the beautiful hiking trails. Tucson has many to chose from! And visiting Mount Lemmon which is a 20-degree difference (cooler, of course). It has a cute little town/village on the top called "SummerHaven". They hold Oktoberfest every fall. It's adorable.
8. Do you paint your fingernails?
No. Whenever I try to paint them, I will be peeling it off (yes, peeling it off) within 10 minutes!
9. Who is your favorite actor over the age of 50?
Mel Gibson. I love me an angry, verbally abusive, psychopath.

Just kidding....

Definitely Harrison Ford. He is dreamy.
10. Do you have a high school letter jacket?

Hell to the no. Yuck!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Blogs: My Parents

As you all know, from the Mother's & Father's Day tribute-posts, and the uncontrollable excitement I get about trips home......I have an very close relationship with my parents.

There isn't a day where I don't thank God for the parents who raised me. The parents who were a little more "strict" than the "16-year-old know-it-all Abby" wanted them to be. And now, I am SOOO glad they were strict!!! I am SO glad I was the only kid in my class with an 11 o'clock curfew (when all my other friends would stay out until 2).

I am SO grateful of how tough of critics they were of any boy I tried to date. They never approved any boyfriend of mine -- until they met Ryan. I think there's a darn good reason for that ;)

I am glad to know I grew up in a home where dinner was had at the table as a family every evening. Prayers were said before dinner. We had dinners as a family whenever it was possible -- although sometimes it was impossible with crazy busy schedules!!

My parents taught me about work ethic. They own a business where at the end of the day, they don't get to "leave" work at the office. They come home and deal with receiving phone calls 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. I can remember many Christmas Day's -- where my dad would give his employees the day off and head out to work on services calls. He never complained, he did what had to be done! Although they worked hard, they always put God and family as #1.

When I moved away from home, sometimes I feared that I wouldn't be close to them anymore -- since we only had phone & email to communicate. But I still talk to them several times a week.  Thank God for Blackberry Messenger, too! :)

Every day I jump out of bed in the morning --hoping I can carry out the values and roots that I came from!The values that my Mom & Dad taught me every day made me the woman I am today!

Thanks Mom & Dad! You guys rock!! :)



This photo was taken back in August, when they traveled to Tucson to be there for my Pinning Ceremony. (May I add that August is the WORST month of the year to come to Tucson...it's like consistently 110 every day)

Not only did they come out in August for my graduation, but they (and my sister Lisa) -- ALSO flew down to Tucson for the weekend of Ryan's Gradation. We were very blessed with visits from family this summer!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Blogs: My First Love

So today's post is to talk about your 1st love.

But before I get into that, I have news to share!.....

My hospital called me Thursday evening at about 6:30 pm with the offer. And I got my 1st pick - Telemetry! At my hopsital their telemetry unit is a cardiac step-down unit from the ICU. So I will get to see some pretty sick patients, but no ventilators! I am very excited to get my skills expanded! :)

Now on my 1st love....

I am proud to announce that my 1st real love was my husband. Prior to Ryan, I had never been in love. Nor did I even know what the meaning of love was. Never in my life had I committed or dedicated myself to anyone! It makes me happy to know that he is the 1st person and the only person I will ever share that bond with!

But I will share the story of the 1st boy that had me "smitten". It was the summer before 8th grade....at the International Music Camp in Canada at the Peace Gardens. He was 1st chair in the band, I was 2nd chair. He had a really nice trombone -- the fancy kind with the extension tubing. He even had this fancy polish for his instrument.

The band students in little wyndmere, ND did not have this kind of gear. Nor, did they even care about music. So this was exciting for me!

We were warming up before our 1st rehearsal.

....and I had never heard a B flat major scale sung so beautifully from a trombone.

He finally turned to me and said, "Hi. I'm Billy. Is that a yamaha?"

*sighhhh*

Throughout high school, and my intense activity in music -- I had several "love-at-first-sight" moments like this at various band trips. I remember deciding at one point that I would not marry a man in my future unless he played a lower brass instrument.

When I met Ryan my freshmen year of college, one of the 1st questions I asked was "Do you play any instruments." Although he was a drummer in high school...I later came to learn that he did, indeed play the Baritone before he was allowed to switch to the drums.

And that's when I knew I had met my Low-Brass-Playing-Love.



Oh my goodness....so I was googling a picture to insert into the blog. I typed "Low Brass Male"

And this picture came up on GOOGLE. Which happens to be my high school trombone instructor whom I took lessons from for 4 years every Wednesday at MSUM!! (who for 6 months of lessons thought my name was Marlys..my mom's name. I was too intimidated and shy to correct him. So I just answered to it!)

Crazy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Blogs: Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

"The Adventures of Abby and Ryan"

Very compelling blog title. Such depth.

I choose this name due to lack of ideas. I've toiled with things such as the following:

"Running with Scissors" (this would be because I'm an avid runner, and I'm a nurse...so always have a pair of scissors in my pocket)....but that's kind of cheesy.

I've also thought of doing "Recipes, Running, & Rants". -- since that nearly sums up what I talk about on here!

This whole blog started back in the summer of 2008, when I was planning my wedding. My Step-Mother-in-Law started this up for me (since I didn't even know what a blog was at this point) -- and dubbed me author.

Our original idea of this blog was to talk wedding plans. But I'm going to be honest with you guys, I wasn't that "in" to the whole wedding planning thing. I just couldn't find inspiration to blog about flowers and center-pieces. I am not a creative person, and half of the wedding stuff -- I didn't have a CLUE what was "appropriate" or "in style"

Once I realized that I wasn't going to be writing about flowers, shoes, and centerpieces, I decided to blog about life, our adventures, our travels, recipes, and rants.

And that's how I'm here today! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Blogs

So I am joininging Kelly in her 30 days, 30 blogs challenge. I often have a tough time finding the creativity to write on something - so here it goes!

However, I know I won't be blogging 30 days straight.... so my goal is to just get all 30 in at some point in time! Here is how it works:

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts



Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name


Day 3-Your first love


Day 4-Your parents


Day 5-Your siblings


Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy


Day 7-Favorite movies


Day 8-A place you've traveled to


Day 9-A picture of your friends


Day 10-Something you're afraid of


Day 11-Favorite tv shows


Day 12-What you believe


Day 13-Goals


Day 14-A picture you love


Day 15-Bible verse


Day 16-Dream house


Day 17-Something you're looking forward to


Day 18-Something you regret


Day 19-Something you miss


Day 20-Nicknames


Day 21-Picture of yourself


Day 22-Favorite city


Day 23-Favorite vacation


Day 24-Something you've learned


Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs


Day 26-Picture of your family


Day 27-Pets


Day 28-Something that stresses you out


Day 29-3 Wishes


Day 30-a picture
 
So I begin with today - introducing myself and 15 "interesting" facts.
 
Hi, I'm Abby.
 
Okay, you've now been introduced. Here comes the facts. (there will be redundant and repetitive, as I don't think I can come up with 15 interesting things about me that y'all don't know already...)
 
1. I play the trombone. I was going to major in Music Education in college. But my 2nd day of college I switched to Nursing.
 
2. My favorite sport to watch is the Kentucky Derby. Why? The dresses, the hats, the drinks, and the fact that it is the only sporting event that doesn't take HOURS.
 
3. I pretend to be interested in NFL football to be a nice wife. But, really, it makes me yawn.
 
4. I'm running my 2nd full-marathon on December 12.
 
5. If I don't like a food - I will put mustard on it, and I will most like it enjoy it.
 
6. My little side-dream is to be a personal trainer, or a kickboxing instructor.
 
7. I talk, laugh, and talk some more in my sleep. I also kick the covers, throw the covers, and am probably the most annoying person to sleep with EVER.
 
8. One of my favorite hobbies to baking bread. Anything in that realm -- baking bread, home-made-pizza crusts, variations of pasta...
 
9. I was supposed to get an A in my Sophomore year Statistics class, but instead got a C b/c I only showed up to class on test days. I didn't know the teacher took "attendance points". Ouch.
 
10. I worked as a hotel-cleaning lady for 2 weeks during college at the Americ-Inn.
 
11. While my husband was out of town a few weeks ago, I was backing his car out of our garage and scraped the side of it on our wall. He discovered this a week later. Good times.
 
12. I am the worlds worst driver. I am confident in this statement.
 
13. I really want to be a Nurse Practitioner.
 
14. I enjoy cleaning in the shower and scrubbing floors. There is something that gives me butterflies about seeing it sparkle white with cleanliness.
 
15. My husband is most definitely my best friend in the world. Whenever we get to really spend time together - my face hurts from laughter/smiles. I always tell him "My face is going to be very wrinkly some day..." -- but that's okay with me :-)
 
And here's a recent picture......it was taken about 2 weeks ago when we went to the pumpkin patch with Ryan's family!
 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday!

1. Do you color? If you do, is it with markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.?
No, not since I was about 7. I could never color in the lines either. If I had to - I would choose markers for it takes less time to fill in the spots. (patience is not my thing...as we all know)
2. What’s the most organized part (or system) in your house?
It's a tie between our refridgerator, pantry, bookshelf, and baker's rack. Lol....I like to organize.

3. What’s the most unorganized part (or system) in your house?
Our spare bedroom closet. It is our storage closet - that is stacked with many college text books, unwanted clothes, and randomness. I even have a banjo in that closet!

And the spare bedroom bed which has all my piano music stacked on it and the keyboard and acoustic guitar. I think I need a music room some day....

Let's just say I keep that door closed at all times...

4. If you had unlimited amounts of time and money, what museum would you want to see and why?

I would like to return to some of the museums that I saw in DC - The Smithsonian, The Holocaust Museum, etc. I felt super rushed, being I visited these in high school on a trip.

I also would like to see Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

5. What is your favorite part of the fall season?
Sweaters and jeans. I pine for that in Arizona. I'm really tired of wearing shorts.
6. Did you dress up for Halloween?
H-No, I did not. I haven't dressed up in years!
I really thought about joining my peers and going out to the clubs in bra and panties. But realized I had some self-respect, so stayed home and carved pumpkins and ate candy corns instead ;)

(Sense my rich, rich sarcasm there?! And my point of view??? ;) )

7. Have you started Christmas shopping?
I love to wait until the last minute to do my Christmas shopping. Gives me something to look forward to. In fact, I really enjoy putting it off until it becomes a stressful event.

8. Do you crack your knuckles?
No. Owwww! It's not good for you! And I cringe when I hear people pop their knuckles too.

Some day every joint and bone will make neat little popping noises -- we don't need to force it at a young age!

9. If you had to live in another city for a year (all expenses paid), which city would you choose?
San Diego - maybe Coronado Island. I would have a beach house, too. And every morning take long runs on the beach.

10. Do you have any reoccurring dreams?

Do I ever! My reoccurring dreams haunt my life!!!!! I have a constant reoccurring dream of me being out in public, and suddenly realizing I forgot to put my pants on that day. Then I try to find things to hide behind out or pure embarassment.

I looked up the meaning (yes, I know...I'm pathetic). The interpretation stated it has something to do with insecurity or a sense of discomfort in new surroundings. Which, I have been throwing myself into a lot lately! (new job, entering the "real world", the house debackle, training for a marathon, dealing with an injury)...... So it makes sense!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday

Well -- I sprung out of bed at 4:30 am today ready to fight and take on the world. A new week, a new month! Hurray!!

I'm not even going to indelve in the story. It's not worth your time. But, let's just say my Monday morning wasn't the greatest one in history....

I'm sick of coming home saying "Well that was a crappy day!" -- so I'm going to pretend that it was  FABULOUS day! :) Wahoo!!!

But on a happy note -- our weekend was very pleasant, fun, and relaxing! We cooked some delectable meals! Ryan smoked ribs all day Saturday. Ryan did the cooking and I was his assistant chef.

Sunday we carved pumpkins, watched football, and I made pumpkin turkey chili. Recipe to come -- it was incredible!

So here is the final display of our carvings! I have to say I'm quite proud!!


This is Ryan's pumpkin.

And this is mine :)




Election Day tomorrow! I dont know about you guys...but I am so ready for all this negative "campaigning" to be behind us!

I also have a dentist appointment tomorrow. Yikes. I'm so scared of the dentist! -- I do NOT have an ounce of pain tolerance!! Does anyone else get freaked out about the dentist?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

News of the Week

So beyond on the stresses of the interview and stillll getting adjusted to the new job this week ..............I've been one tense little lady. Exceptionally tense.

And now, I am revealing why...

No. We are not pregnant. So, don't even try getting excited for a second.

We are no longer building a house.

This is not bad news. It's good news -- TRUST ME. :) Here's how it went down......

Sunday afternoon, Ryan got home from his hunting trip. We decided we were overdue for a day together. So we thought, "Let's go check out the progress of the house! And then go out for dinner!"

Welll, what started out as a fun, exciting, house visit. Turned into a very angry one......

First -- we noticed the french doors leading to the patio were not there. They just *slapped* a window there.

Then, I noticed that our POST-TENSION CONCRETE had been cut and crushed and ruined - b/c the plumbers put pipes in the wrong spot.

I don't know if you know much about construction. But, once post-tension concrete is layed - you are NEVER NEVER NEVER supposed to disrupt the integrity of it. If you disrupt the integrity it opens doors to structural problems with the home, opens the doors to termites, etc...

We found missed nails. It felt like the closer we looked, the more problems we noticed.

Now -- I know ryan and I are kind of picky at times. And set high standards. But, WHY NOT. Building a home is a HUGE investment!!!! And we are not going to live in a home that is structurally shitty. End of story.

So, we called up our realtor immediately and attacked.

All week we spent our evenings weighing the positives with the negatives, meeting with the builder, meeting with the realtor, etc, ect, ect.
(This is a very abbreviated synopsis, too. We went through a lot of sh*t this week! UFF-DA!)

Luckily, Ryan & I were on the same side of the issue. Which made no "personal attachments" involved. In fact, I feel like it brought us even closer.

We feel no regrets. Just relief. :-)

And that's our story! :)

Hope everyone's having a great weekend! I know we are. Sushi and drinks to celebrate the end of this craziness last night. (We also signed the cancellation papers prior to our celebration)

Today, I had a 10 mile run which went fantastic. Now we are sitting on our deck, smoking some ribs, and plan on carving pumpkins this evening.

:)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm training for a marathon? What?

I've been training for a marathon since August 9. But, lately it really doesn't feel like it. Being I've been out-of-comission for the past 2 WEEKS.

Half of my mind is stressed out. Freaking out. Worried. How in the hell will I run 26.2 miles on December 12? That is in 7 WEEKS!!!!!!!

However - the "reality Abby" hasn't lost an OUNCE of sleep over this. Seriously! I have too many important things in my life going on -- to be concerned about a silly race!

But, (in all honestly) I was nervous. Today was my 1st REAL run. I did 5 miles.

I ran it while it was like 90 degrees out.

I was livid. With each step, I cussed the state of AZ. I was so freaking over-heated.

At one point, I found a water fountain - and started splashing water on my body like some sort of psychotic, manic, mad-woman.

However, I felt "natural" running - and somehow managed to cut 15 seconds/mile off! Meaning I averaged 8:03 min/mile. Which is quite speedy for me.

And my hip doesn't hurt!!! Hurray! So there's my excitement of the day..

My other RANDOM excitement of the day is "Halloween episode" of The Office. For many years, I thought "The Office" was kind of over-rated. Then suddenly something happened. Something clicked. I am now obsessed. If you don't watch the office? You need to. Any bad day is cured by watching this show. It kills me with laughter. Makes me laugh so hard I cannot breath.

:)

Happy Friday!!! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News for Today

I am jumping for joy right now!


Let's start by saying today was stressful. Although I'm supposed to work 6-2:30 daily. I never get out of there at 2:30. However, today.....it was crucial.

For I had the biggest interview I've EVER had - with my sponsoring hospital after work today!

I worked so hard to get everything completed so I wouldn't have to stay late.

Therefore, I didn't pee, eat, or think from the hours of 6am - 1 pm.

And as a result, I was out the door by 2:30!

Wahoo!

I detoured home, donned my business suit, grabbed my printed out resumes, and drove the 50 minutes to my interview!!

And it went beyond amazing.

If I couldn't dreamed up the "perfect interview"....

....this interview surpassed that.

And they blessed me with the amazing news that I will be starting as an RN at the hospital starting November 22.

You have no idea who much stress, turmoil, tears, sleepless nights, etc has been involved with this.

I have spent long, hard, days driving from facility-to-facility job hunting. In worry that this wouldn't work out

And finally my prayer is answered! 

I am happy! :)

Hope everyone is having a great week! I promise I won't bore you with "work stuff" anymore. This has been consuming my life.

I find out next week which unit will take me!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday!

1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?
My Christmas Tree.

No, I do not have a Christmas tree up outside of the season. I'm quite strict about this. Advent only.

But, when my Christmas tree is up - I love it!

I also like our baker's rack and kitcen table. I realize this isn't "decor"...but, I like it!


2. What is your favorite hair product?
I like my Tresseme Hairspray. Nothing too exciting. But, it gets the job done. I don't invest much is hair products.

I also like my Loreal hair dye. Yes, I dye my hair. I'm that cool.

3. Are you a good dancer?
Hold on one second, let me think about that one.....

Ahhhahahahha.

Hahahahhaha..

No. I am as sqaure as a wooden box. I enjoy dancing. But, I shouldn't enjoy it - for I'm terrible at it. I did do ballroom in college- but...that's the extent.

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?
My Mom. And Ryan - but Ryan is usually immediately involved in my good news.

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?
Taking pictures. I often don't enjoy being in pictures either. ESPECIALLY the "random shots".. You know...when you're around those "picture people" who LOVE taking pictures of the "action". Iy-yi-yi.

Ryan used to work with this guy, who's wife does this whenever they're in public. I always try avoiding the room she's in -- so I don't get random shots of me itching my nose. Or taking a bite of food. That's not candid.

Awkward city.
6. What is your shoe style?
Either very neat shoes. No open toes. I like my toe to be rounded. With a heel.

Or Mizuno running shoes :)
7. How often do you eat out?
Our rule is once every 2 weeks. (Unless we're traveling or something).
8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?
Yes, but I'm awkward about it. Even with my own husband - I will like pull him in a separate room and whisper it to him. And appologize.
9. Do you fold your underwear?
Absolutely. I might as well iron my fricking underwear.
10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
Dark. Yum.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween

As I've discussed previously, I'm not a big "Halloween Celebrater". I can never think of a creative costume. And all the costumes in the stores are so unGodly slutty that it sickens me.

They sell "Sexy Eskimo" costumes these days. Since when do Eskimo Indians hike around the arctic braless, with a hoochie top, booty skirt, and hooker boots?!


Dear Eskimo Lady, Your costume does not appear "sexy". It appears stupid. And unrealistic. Put some pants on. Sincerely.

There are a few things I do to partake in the festivities. We pass out candy to the numerous trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. I put a dish of candy-corns in our home that disappears way too fast. (My weakness!)And we carve pumpkins.

I never was that into pumpkin carving growing up. I always had my Mom do the carving - I just gutted the pumpkins. But since Ryan and I have been together it's been a competitive thing.

He almost always wins.

I am not skilled with a knife. And I don't have the patience to try. I often get bored after 10 minutes of carving so just do a smiley face on the pumpkin. And call it quits....while Ryan sits at the table for hours meticulously carving out this artistic masterpiece.

But this year, I've decided to actually put effort into it. I've already began researching. I picked my pumpkin at the patch last week with wit and great-thought - making sure it had a good "curvature" to carve into.

I. Will. Defeat.

So.....here are a few of the templates I'm looking at. Which lucky template will be the winner?

(Disclaimer...these are still pretty "simple" -- but just know...I am no artist, carv-onista)

A.



B.

C.

I think I'm leaning towards doing the witch? We shall see. I know these are still not that detailed - and many creative ladies out there could "carve me under the table".

But, like I said - I'm typically the standard jack-o-lantern kind of gal!

IF all else fails, ......and things get really rough...........

I can always do this sad little jack-o-lantern!:.......



OR should I say "drunk o lantern"

Heh...heh...heh........

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Flood or Famine

My life has been a serious case of flood or famine lately.

Since I graduated from nursing school it's been a SERIOUS freaking famine. No job, boring NCLEX, blah, blah. blah. Because of that....I got reallly used to having absolutley spotless house. Because I cleaned multiple times/week.

I started work full time this week. I started having Sports Therapy every day this week. When I Get home, I still want to keep up my "perfect, spotless-ness" - so I find myself cooking, vacuuming, scrubbing floors. And of course - make a trip to the gym!

Last night, I realized that I honestly did not sit down from the hours of 5:30 AM until 9:30PM. Now, I had a 10 minute drive to and from work. But, you get the point.

So it's been a "flood". And I'm loving it.

My job is incredible. People often say, "Ick. A nursing home?!?! Rehabilitation center?! How awful."

But now, I can completely disagree with that statement or stereotype. (although, I'd still like to get some adrenaline in and work on an ICU at some point in my career....)

How many jobs in this world do you get hugs from 30 patients. Many of these people don't have any family left. So they have come to a point where their caregivers are their "family".

I have become an adopted "Granddaughter" to 3 women I take care of. I get to hear their life stories, their wisdom and concerns, and offer a hand to hold when they are feeling lonely or depressed.

I realized not all nursing homes are like this -- and not every facility offers such a "close-knit" environment.

But this experience is definitely making me grow as a nurse and especially as a person.

Already, I feel like I've become a more patient person. And (if you know me at all)...patience is usually not one of my virtures/traits.

So things are going excellent! Yay! I look forward to 6 am every day.

Other exciting news.....

My hip is healing great and I Get to resume training on Tuesday! Wahoo!! I miss running- especially just the aspect of getting to be outdoors!!

Also, I performed the heimlich maneuver today. It was frightening. I may have been more frightened than the patient. (Not really...choking is horrific.)

Well, I am looking forward to enjoying one last evening with the husband before he heads out for a manly hunting trip this weekend with his Dad! I am praying he comes back with a deer! I would love me some venison. (Any vegetarians out there are probably on their knees right now praying....)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fantastic News!

Prayers have been answered!

Tonight I can rest well! This weekend I can finally exhale. My "laughter" will no longer be forced, and my "smiles" won't be faked.

I got a call today from my PRN job, and they want to bring me on full time until my hospital decides what they're going to do. They said they want to bring me on full-time for good...but understand my situation with the contract.

?!?!?!

How is this even possible?! It's like, too good to be true. I'm seriously pinching myself here.

And even better?!?!....

My position is 6am-2:30 pm M-F.

WHAT?!?!?!!!! This kind of schedule does NOT exist in healthcare, my friends.

I got offered a job on Wednesday that was going to be 16 hr night shifts on the weekends plus 1 hr night shift during the week. And I was going to accept that crappy schedule....because I want to be a nurse, already!

But starting Monday morning it's real!!!

(Meanwhile..I'm still waiting for my hospital to snap-to-it and set up an interview so we can get that show on the road). But this is a HUGE peace of mind!

I seriously have NOT been myself since....graduation?! I've been worried, stressed out, scared, and melancholy. It's probably good Ryan has been traveling so much -- b/c my attitude has been almost "life-sucking".

I know this isn't that big of a deal. It's just a full time job. But this has been a battle!! So I'm counting my blessings right now!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'm waiting for Ryan to fly in tonight at 10 pm and then I'm ready to kick off a fun weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pain

Let's talk "pain"....

Often pain is viewed as negative thing. It can be very bad. As a nurse, I've seen some pretty extreme cases of pain. It can totally have a psychological take-over on one. My heart hurts for people who deal with chronic pain. Chronic pain is just not nice.

But, today, I am dedicating a blog post to pain. Thanking it.

(Now, I realize that pain can be a huge burden in life. So PLEASE, if you suffer chronic pain -- don't think I'm referring to you and take offense.)

Pain is your body's way of communicating.

It tells you, "Please stop." It tells you, "You're doing something wrong."

I'm 10 weeks into training for my marathon on December 12. Things have been going amazing the whole time. Until last weekend....

After my 9 miler, my hip started feeling really sore. It's been slightly ongoing.

But it was getting exponentially worse this week.

3 years ago, I would've been stubborn and pigheaded and kept running on it. I would have said, "Eh, I'm young! I'll just run it off."

But this time...I stopped and immediately set up an appointment with a Sports Medicine MD.

Best idea ever! She happens to be an Ultra-Marathon runner. Has a history of being the Dr for the Philidelphia Eagles (that's an NFL team), and was once an Athletic Trainer for an Olympic marathon runner.

So she understood my fears.

She told me I came in at the perfect time. I just have inflammation in my hip. My legs are uneven lengths. Possibly due to the fact I was born in Hip Dysplasia (hips weren't in the sockets at birth)

So for the next 12 days, I will be doing electric stimulation, ultrasounds, myofacial release, and actual athletic training with her.

No running allowed. Biking only. Icing my hip 4-6 times/day.

Boo.

But, this will be good!

Not only will it let me heal, but it will teach me how to build and take care of my body in the future.

So..... lesson of that day for me and for ALL of you out there--

Listen to your body!!!!! It's one smart cookie ;)

(That is a smart cookie. Not a smily face with measles....) ;)

One Confused Lady

Yesterday morning was packed with a session of cross training.....rushed home to shower and get professional-looking....headed across town for an interview.....kicked butt at my interview...."bopped" over to our house to see the progress of the build......headed to the "design center" to sign more paperwork....

(Side note: I cannot get over just how much paperwork is involved in building a house. Holy Hannah. And we haven't even closed!!! Iy-yi-yi....Those lovely people in history who got law-suit-happy.....God bless 'em.)

Yesterday was a good day! So here's a little humor for your Thursday. A little thought. A little depth.....(A little cynical rant)

Afterwards, I decided to head to one of my favorite places to peruse....

Target.

But my experience at Target was far from fun, relaxing, or pleasant.

Just confusing. Loud. Crazy.

Despite many screaming children-temper tantrums.... Which is common and un-escapable.



Although screaming children aren't the most pleasant thing in the world....it's kinda cute in Arizona.

For, most screaming children in the stores happen to speak espanol. It's Arizona.

And there's something almost cute hearing a 3 year old screaming "Hay! Mamá, quiero dulces! Mamá tengo hambre. Mami, me orinaba."

That's espanol for "Mommy, I want candy. I'm hungry. Mommy, I peed"

But back to the confusion I experienced while shopping.

After perusing through the shoes, clothes, and work-out-clothes...I even headed to the Halloween section to think about decorating.

However, I don't get too psyched about Halloween. And after yesterday's experience, I'm definitely not psyched.

For I went from walking calmly through the aisel to...

Having a Giant pumpkin head pop open, a ghost pop out of the head, and scream.


Good Lord, I despise blow-up Halloween decor. Could we be anymore obnoxious?

After my heart rate finally began to stabilize and at least return to 150 bpm.....

A song started blaring in my ears. This is not an exaggeration. Swear. To. God.

Christmas music.

Some Christmas decoration that sings. (of course, why wouldn't it sing)

Across from the Halloween decor is the Christmas decor.



Wow, Target.

Make up your freaking minds.

One holiday at a time, please. Nobody has Halloween AND Christmas decorations up at the same time. So you don't need to seem them simultaneously.

Poor pilgrims. They sure got the short end of the stick on this one.

 
Maybe some annoying company needs to create blow-up turkey's, horns of plenty's, and Mayflowers. The Macy's Parade isn't enough to get your place in the major department stores. You're peace-making with the Native American's didn't cut it either.

Come up with a singing or screaming blow-up Pilgrim, and then maybe you'll get a chance



Just my thought for the day.....;)