Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Rant

Okay, it's been a long time since I've done a "Rant". I've attempted typing up some rants actually, but end up deleting & not posting. I'm sometimes fear I may offend someone -- but please realize, this is supposed to be taken with a sense of humor.

I think 2 years ago I did a rant on Christmas shopping, and I figured I'd do a round 2 on "Christmas Rant". Now before you read this (because you'll probably think I'm a spiritless grinch after this post) -- I love the season. I wait anxiously for Black Friday so I can wear Christmas socks, listen to Frank Sinatra Christmas music on Pandora, and almost always carry a candy cane in my purse.

But there are a few things that don't bring me so much "Jolly Joy" during the holidays:

  • The crowded grocery store. I don't think I need to elaborate on this one.
  • The grocery store's holiday marketing. Keep the baking items in the baking aisle, please. When the chocolate chips & baking soda used to be in the baking ailse -- they are now in some special "Christmas Baking Display". So you learn, and go straight to the "Christmas Display" next time returning to the store...but the "Display" only has selected items. Just keep things in the aisle it's supposed to be, please.
  • Blow-up Christmas Decorations. We all love snowmen. We all love Santa. But do we really need to get a blow-up machine that is larger than a semi to truly display our love for Christmas?
  • The wife @ your husband's company Christmas party who didn't feel like putting an dress over her slip. So appears to be wearing lingerie. Christmas parties are typically a networking event - where you want to make a positive impression on others (even as the spouse). No one cares to see your cleavage, lady.
  • Jingle bells. We had a representative @ our hospital last week who had jingle bell earings & jingle bells on her name badge. Every time she moved  her bells rang. This really brought the "grinch" out in many of us. I'm all about the Christmas spirit, but really?
  • The awkwardness our media has with the word "Christmas". The crazies who proclaim they are offended by the "Christmas Tree". Really? An evergreen tree that has been around since the 1400's is suddenly offensive. It had never been such a problem until recent years.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tucson Half Marathon

I did it! (hopefully will be able to post some pictures eventually from the race website?)

Last year I completely trained for the Tucson marathon. Did 2 20 milers, did all my sprint runs, etc....and didn't get to run the race due to work schedules :-) (I was absolutely crushed. In fact I'm still bitter about it to this day)

Well, this year I decided to do a "redo". Except with buying the house and all that we've had going on, I decided I didn't care to dedicate the time into training for a full 26.2 miles. So, I just did a half.

Then Friday morning, Ryan & I both woke up with the stomach flu.I figured, "Great, now I will be cancelling yet another race".

But luckily, I ended up feeling better by Friday night - and hydrated like mad all day Saturday, and did it this morning!

I ran it in 1:49 - which according to the race website it's an 8:22/mile pace. This would make it a personal best for me. I was really wanting to run this in 1:46...but I refuse to beat myself up since I was a little "run down" to begin with!

(I'm going to be honest....as I'm writing this post, I'm running a fever, sipping tea, and thinking maybe I wasn't quite ready to run. But I took Monday off - so I'll get a day to recoop if needed)

It was a very interesting & beautiful race. They bussed us 20 miles north of Tucson into the mountains to the start line. I didn't know about how these *buses* worked. We ended up having to stand outside in the cold for 1 hour. It was 35 degrees in Catalina, AZ.

Burr. Not good temps to be wearing shorts & trying to get "warmed up". Let's just say my toes were numb for the 1st 4 miles, but I managed! Smiled the whole race! :-) I absolutely love the race atmosphere.

Hope you all have a great week! My husband is going on a hunting trip, so I'm working a whole lotta overtime....so I'm excited to have tomorrow off to just breathe & enjoy the day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Years Resolution (a little early)

I have had quite the absense from this little blog of mine lately. Let's just leave it at the fact that there's been a lot going on. I look forward to having a day where I can do what I want to do. If I'm not working, life is being heavily consumed by "to do lists". But I will say that there is a "bounce" in my step & a smile on my face while completing these "to do lists".
What have we been up to?

Between our crazy work schedules, me trainging for a marathon, and Ryan taking on a new position within the Air National Guard.....Well, I would have to say we are being such a traditional ole' American couple. Buying our 1st home, fixing it up, becoming "regulars" @ Home Depot (seriously..they know us by name), hanging Christmas lights, baking loads of White-Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti for the neighbors......

We're kind of cheesey, huh! :)

But as we are, and I'm sure all of you are -- getting caught up the shear maddness of the season. Please, take a moment and enjoy.

Remember -- If all the baking does not get done -- the world will not end. Christmas will not be ruined. Life will go on.

If you end up buying gift cards for presents, because life just simply doesn't give you time to find the perfect gift -- instead, spend some time with that special person in your life. I bet that time will mean a whole lot more to them than a gift anways. If you can't spend time with them...then give them a call.

This past week has stopped me in my tracks in complete shock on just how precious life is. Two people who I interact with on nearly a daily basis @ work have had pretty serious medical issues over the past few days.

These instances really made me stop and think about the way we live our lives. You truly don't know what will happen to you in your future, or even in the next few days.

I spend so much time planning. Looking forward. Thinking "I will spend more time doing _____ when I have more time". "I'll do ____ later. I don't have the time now."

Part of my Advent & upcoming New Years Resolution is to really try to stop, look around, and do (instead of plan). 

I hope you all are having a great Holiday season. Please, try your hardest to not get wrapped up in the stress of the season, and instead get wrapped up in the Joy of the season. :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulness

Today I am going to write a brief "thankfulness" post on my job.

I am well aware of the blessing of having a job in today's economy, and so I go to work every day feeling blessed & thankful.

The best part of my job is that no 2 days are the same. There is always something challenging and I can always learn something new. I'm also blessed to get to interact with so many interesting people. One of my favorite things to do is just spend a little time talking to my patients about where they came from, where they've been, etc.

I also have a pretty fabulous team I work with, which makes a huge difference!

However...my "dream job" would be to work in an 8-5 M-F clinic as a Homeopathic Nurse Practitioner. But with the economy and people's reservations to spend money.....that is just a dream. A very far stretched dream. So I will continue to recover patients from cardiac caths, convert people from afib to sinus rhythm, do dressing changes to foot wounds, and pass out blood pressure medications in the mean time. ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksfulness: Home Sweet Home

Today I am thankful for our house. We are so blessed to have gotten this place! Here are a few reasons why I love this the steal we got!:

1) It happens to be in a neighborhood in the part of town I've drove to to run the trails for the past year! Now I don't have to drive 10 minutes to go for a gorgeous run, as it's right outside my back yard!

2) It backs into a golf course. Some people (our realtor) would say that's not a good thing. I disagree. AZ doesn't have a lot of green grass...and that's what we look at every day, and we don't have to maintain it either! (maintaining grass in this state is a headache...) We are located in a spot where very few balls end up in our yard too, so it works out.

3) It's a very friendly neighborhood. (but not too friendly..so it's a nice balance. No annoying neighbors!) -- The weekend we closed, our neighbor came over with a plate of cookies to welcome us. It warmed my heart. And people are already working on their Christmas lights.

4) Although it's a very residential area...we are 1/2 mile from my favorite restaraunt: Noble Hops - A Pub for Foodies. It has 115 beers on tap, and their menu changes every few months and is very eclectic. Last time I went I had the  Ahi Burger with a Wasabi Mayo & Avacado. Delicious.

5) I love that it's not perfect. There are many things that need "a'fixin". And being young & ripe...Ryan & I have spent many hours on DIY.com, Home Depot, and google learning how to fix these things. And in our 3 weeks -- it has made some awesome progress. I will be doing on a post in the future on the benefits on "DIY'ing"

6) Our pool brings me serenity. Although its too cold to swim in right now...the pump runs which creates a fountain. During the evenings this week, I've been opening the windows, listening to the running water, and playing spa music & jazz on Pandora. *Ahhhhh*

There will be pictures coming probably next week. We officially move in this weekend! So wish us luck. It's supposed to rain this weekend :S. What's up with that?! It never precipitates in Arizona!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Giving Thanks: My Heros

Today I am focusing my giving of thanks to my Mom & Dad, Marlys & Paul.

(this is a photo of us @ the reheasal dinner before our wedding) 
 I never knew how much I'd miss them before we moved to Tucson. Growing up I took for granted how lucky I was to have such loving and wise parents. They taught me so much about God, family, work ethic, and so many valuable life lessons.

They demonstrate the meaning of a marriage centered on love and commitment. They run a business together and raised 5 children together.

It is sometimes easy to get sad when I realize we only see them a few times each year. But, then I must remember I am so very blessed that I get to see them. And I talk more than once/week. In fact, I text my Mom almost daily! 

I am so happy to have them in my life. AND I get to see them in just a few short months as we're making a short trip home for New Years -- which is a TOTAL surprise since I didn't think we'd get home at all this year!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankfulness Round 2

Remember last week when I said "I'm going to think about trying to do a thankful post daily" ?

Well, I thought about it!And that is as far as I got.....

Can I just say that I'm really sick of packing. Every day I've had off for the past 1 1/2 weeks, I've spent the entire day packing boxes, taking them to the house, unloading them and placing items in appropriate places, take empty boxes back to the old house, repeat.


Also, life has been a tad chaotic lately. We are living between 2 homes. So when one says "Do you know where my ______ is?"...I now just laugh.


But the official "moving day" will be here this weekend! I am SO excited!

Okay, now to thankfulness.....

Today I am blessing my thankfulness on wellness. By wellness I mean a variety of things.

1) I am thankful that we both have our health. It is sometimes easy to forget how truly blessed one is to have their health (mental & physical)

2) I am thankful that we are able to provide food to the table to live a "well life". Sometimes it's really easy to take for granted those little "neccessities" in life.

3) I am thankful for me & and my husbands shared love of camping, hiking, running, biking, you name it. I don't think it would be as easy to get out & exercise if I lived with someone who didn't enjoy these things.

4) (although I am not crazy about our summers) I am very thankful for Tucson's lack of winter. I am able to spend time outdoors 365 days out of the year. Our winter is 50-70's during the day, 30's-40's @ night from about November to mid March. Pretty awesome! Fresh air makes you well!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Greetings from the ladder....& "Thanksgiving"

I haven't been blogging lately. I have been spending my days off on a ladder painting. On my hands & knees cleaning grout. And packing boxes.

We closed 2 weeks ago - and the more time we spend in the house, the more thankful I'm feeling! (and the more time we spend in the house, the more things we find that need repairs :D)

We get the U-Haul next weekend, and make the big move -- so we will be all settled in just before Thanksgiving. :-)

This experience has brought Ryan & I closer. We haven't had much of a social life lately, so we're getting LOTS of quality bonding time working on the house. Our new idea of a date night is a trip to Home Depot or a night of painting baseboards together. Good times!

All I have to say is Thank God for unsecured wireless networks & Pandora Radio. It's keeping me working! What did people do before Pandora?

(Don't worry...I realize the answer to this question is they had these weird *tape-devices* and something call *FM Radio?!*)

I also want to do a "Thanksgiving Tribute" series of things I'm very thankful for. I don't believe myself for a second that I'm going to post every day of November. It's already November 2, so I'm already slacking!

So today...............................(some are less serious than others)

-I am thankful for coffee. I remember when I only drank coffee occasionally. Now it's a daily necessity. The other day I realized we were out of coffee...and I literally found myself ripping apart out pantry in search of something. Anything.

-Thankfully, I found a secret stash of beans. I must have hid them in case of days like this.

-Yes, I realize I sound like some sort of addict. But I've felt crazy tired lately.....

-In addition to being thankful for coffee - The holiday Coffeemate creamers rock! Peppermint Mocha is my favorite.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Now Domesticated + bonus recipe

I finally feel like a domesticated woman.

I have roasted a chicken.

We have made several chickens, but always on the grill. I cook chicken several times of a week - but in the form of breasts, wings, or thighs..

On Sunday it was 98 degrees on October 16 and we did not want to be outdoors in that crap. So I suggested pretending it was fall....

So we roasted a chicken. I didn't know what to do for a side dish...and I realized we have an over-abundance of carrots that need to be eaten before we move...

So carrot soup it was -- and it's one of my new favorite soups :)

 We used the "Beer Can Chicken" method of this one in the oven. Poured 1/2 can of beer, fresh rosemary, thyme, & basil -- stuck it in the cavity, coated the chicken with seasoning & paprika. And backed for about 1 hour @ 350 degrees.

Carrot Soup (recipe below)

Carrot Soup
-4 cups chopped carrots
-1 potato, chopped
-1/2 yellow onion
-14.5 ounces chicken broth
-2 cups milk (the recipe called for cream...I substituted. Still delicious!)
-S & P to taste
-pinch of cayenne
-1 tsp ginger
-1 tsp rosemary
-fresh basil, chopped to garnish
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp olive oil (the recipe called for butter....)

1. Sautee onion & garlic in olive oil until transparent.
2. Add carrots, potato, chicken broth, & ginger. Simmer on medium until carrots are tender.
3. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
4. Add to food processor. Blend until smooth.
5. Return to pan. Add milk, and other herbs. Heat until warm & serve.

Delicious. Also remember, the leftovers of this soup will be more spicy because of the cayenne :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Discoveries wihle packing

Now by the title of this blog, you may get this mental picture in your mind of our house all packed up and empty. Boxes neatly stacked. Bookshelves, cupboards, & pantry empty



Ha!

Not quite.In fact the only real progress that has been made was my husband taking all the pictures & curtains off the wall on Saturday morning. I just don't do well packing without someone there to keep me "on task". I'm too easily distracted. today I stopped, counted, and realized that I was attempting to do 5 things at once.

Not efficient.

But in my attempts to pack up our house today, I made a few discoveries. Some random, some meaningful.
  • I never throw away a pair of Mizunos. I have running shoes from years ago. I have running shoes with holes in them. I have a pair "camping/gardening shoes covered in burs & dirt. 
  • I have like 70+ cooking magazines. Bon Appetit, Simple & Delicious, Martha Stewart, the list goes on. I can't seem to throw them away. There could be a REAL winner of a recipe in one of those. 
  • Yes, I realize that probably all these recipes are online. 
  • I have a bag of potporri which is moving with us to the 3rd destination. Now I can't throw it away. The potporri has acclaimed a sentimental value to me now. (and I am not a hoarder)
  • Many boxes from our last move never got unpacked. They just found a place in storage. 
  • In other words...the house we currently live in never really became a "home" to me. In fact...I never felt completely at home here.
  • I own far too many winter coats to be living in a state that doesn't get a winter. 
  • We still haven't met our neighbors. We move next week. Friendly neighborhood we live in.(insert sarcastic smile here)
  • Whenever I am tasked to "wrap the fragile items" with newpapers (for packing purposes). I always find it impossible to resist the urge to itch my nose. I then notice hours later black spots on my face.......after I've made a trip to the grocery store.
Well, I should probably get back to packing. I'm so ADD about packing, that I actually allowed myself to get distracted enough to post about packing?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love that body

This post gets a little more personal and "touchy feely" than I normally like to get. So bare with me. Or you can just not continue reading ;)

Lately, I've been pretty hard on myself. I constantly hear myself making negative comments about my performance at work, my body, and my role as a wife. I strive for perfection at my job and never cut myself slack. I think I have to stay the same weight from now until I'm 70 (where at age 70 I will become that prized LOL ). I still think that although I sometimes work 60 hours/week...I must do ALL the laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, etc. While wearing an apron, smile, & grace. (Ha!)

Unrealistic.

I've finally let go on perfection at work. There is no such thing as the "totally in-control nurse". No matter how organized you are....things go array. (Or as I tell the new grads I've precepted "Shit Happens in Hospitals. Deal with it"). This new attitude (aka flexibility) has helped me immensely.

I've started to chill out on the housework. I no longer do a full cleaning of the house every week. We're barely home. There is not reason for this.

But in regards to body confidence.....I'm slacking. And last night I had a "Come to Jesus" moment....

Last night I was in a bad mood when I got home because my jeans from 2 years ago don't fit me anymore. It pissed me off to the point where I wanted to cry.

You may not know this...but I used to be quite "tiny". In fact, I was "unhealthy-tiny". And for some reason I sometimes have these expectations that "If I was once that small, I should always be that small". Especially when life gets stressful.

Then my husband said something that changed my attitude. He said, "Your jeans don't fit you because you can squat 100 pounds. You should feel proud they don't fit."

I think all women have their "moments" where they're a little hard on themselves when they have to wear a dress. Or fit into a pair of jeans. Ect.

We don't give our body credit for what it does. We all too often only give it credit for what shows in up the silly mirror.

So I leave you with a little you tube action from Dove. If you haven't, you should check out their videos and promotion on self-esteem. It's pretty cool! Good marketing, because these commercials actually make me want to buy Dove soap & deodorant. Haha!

Live well. Love yourself. Love others! Have a kickin' awesome weekend guys!



Monday, October 3, 2011

A few reasons I love fall....

Fall is my favorite season. Always has been...

Actually, since we've moved to the southwest ..... winter (being the months December- March) has become my favorite season. But our "winter" in Tucson is like the "fall" in the midwest. Cool, crispy, and gorgeous!

But I have to get excited. It's not supposed to hit 100 degrees at all this week! In fact, today is a nippy 87 degrees! Time to get out my underarmour!

So here are a few favorites about my favorite season............
  • Sweaters
  • Blue jeans
  • Football (not that I'm a big football fan...but I must say I enjoy the idea of it)
  • Back-to-School shopping (I don't partake in this either, obviously...but it brings back good memories of shopping with my Mom to picking out new notebooks, pencils, and gym shoes for the school year)
  • Squash
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Leaves changing (we won't see this until November-December...and cacti don't change color really :-))
  • Coffeemate releases the Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint coffee creamers. Holy yum. This causes me to brew a 1/2 pot at 4:00 pm (which I'm currently doing this Monday afternoon)
  • Apple cider (maybe with a little Hot Damn to give it a kick)
  • Oktoberfest
  • No more shorts and tank tops. Hurray!!
  • Cool temps in the morning, so I can say goodbye to that tredmill!
Yay fall!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crock Pot Love

I've having an affair..........................................With a crock pot. Sorry stove, and grill. I'll use you more when we move to our new house. Or when life gets less crazy. :)

And here's why I love the crockpot....

1) The belt is being tightened financially. We are trying to cut unneccessary expenses as much as possible. Every time we think about going out to eat, the words out of my mouth are as follows....

"That plate of sushi and saki bombs could buy us some really nice sconces in the entry way...."

I am the fun nazi. Crock pot meals are pretty cheap and delicious.

2) We are both working more than normal in order to bank up some $. I also feel like if I work a lot right now, and make my manager & co-workers happy.....they'll be more flexible with my schedule when we're closing/moving in!

3) Less spending of money + More time @ work = Less energy to cook after a long day at work

4) I'm cleaning out our excess of "stocked up fod" in the freezer. This is "stocked up food" I would normal say "It's freezer burnt. Time to throw away"

A day in the crock pot could make a 7 months pigs-foot taste tender and yummy.....(I exaggerate)

5) Crock pot meals = leftovers! Enough said.

6) Prepping crock pot meals before work requires me to get up a little earlier than normal. Do you know what that means? More time to drink coffee!!! Yay. I can now justifiy the addiction.

So here is the line-up meals via crockpot I've done lately:

Meal #1 - I placed chicken legs, soy sauce, honey, onions, peppers, thai pepper in "480-Minute-Man" before work. Returned from work, added broccoli. Wallah! You have a meal.

Meal #2 - Beef roast (1.25 lbs), carrots, potatoes, onion, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, red wine, herb. Cook all day. You have beef stew.

Today's Meal #3 - The other half of the beef roast, taco seasoning, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, red onion, jalepenos, salt. I plan on shredding, adding tomatoes & black beans. You have tacos.

What are some other reasons why I love the Crock Pot?
7) It doesn't boil over and make a mess.
8) You can cook "winter dinners" in September in AZ when it's 95 degrees out, and the house does not get hot.
9) No matter what I'm cooking in it....it always stimulates the same reaction in my husband when he walks in the door *Holds had to stomach, takes deep whiff of the air* "Mmmm What is that?!?! Can we eat now?"


Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Monday night/Tuesday!

Good evening, all! Whenever I set up my blog to automatically post at a set time, it doens't work. So instead of writing this Monday night, setting up it up for Tuesday -- I'm just going to post it now. Sorry.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Our home inspection went considerably well. Nothing too major. Homeowning is a lot of work, as I've learned! But we're okay with that.

The termite inspector had a mullet. That was entertaining....

Here is my 10 on Tuesday this week! I have little creative things to talk about these days...

A. Age: 23


B. Bed Size: King

C. Chore that you hate: emptying the dishwasher. I'd rather just wash the dishes.

D. Dogs: Dislike. There's a place in this world for dog lovers, and then there's me ;) Sorry.
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee. I prefer a workout, too...

F. Favorite Color: Green

G. Gold or Silver: Definitely silver!

H. Height: 5'4''. Okay...it's more like 5'3'' something. I lie, and call it 5'4''.

I. Instruments you play: Trombone, Piano, xylophone, a little guitar, harmonica

J. Job Title: Registered Nurse. Starting tomorrow.....I will be Charge Nurse. Not all the time..but sometimes! Yes, I'm nervous.

K. Kids: Adorable! Make great nieces and nephews.

L. Live: from New York....it's SATURDAY NIGHT. Yep.

M. Mother’s Name: Marlys
N. Nicknames: Abs, Little Rufus

O. Overnight hospital stays: I used to do 3 overnight hospital stays/week when I worked nights! ;) -- I've never been a patient in a hospital in my life. I hope it keep it that way. Forever. Hospitals = yuck.

P. Pet peeve: Irresponsibility, Disorganization, Laziness, People who don't know when to stop talking..

Q. Quote from a movie: My brain isn't working up to par to quote a movie right now.

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: 4 - 2 brothers 2 sisters and a great multitude of fabulous in-laws who are like real siblings to me!

T. Time you wake up: 4:40 am

U. Underwear: Practical.
V. Vegetable you hate: I don't really hate any vegetables. But if I must choose one -- there are ways I HATE them to be prepared. I.e.: sweet potatoes with the marshmallows, creamed corn, anything "creamed"

W. What makes you run late: My morning workout. My hair that won't dry. Kissing my husband goodbye before running out the door.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: chest x rays

Y. Yummy food that you make: a variety of salsas, salads, burgers, soups, home-made bread

Z. Zoo Animal:  Flamingo.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mission Accomplished

36 house showings.

1 year.

Probably 1,000 different homes viewed on Zillow, Trulia, and TARMLS

3 different realtors.

4 offers.

Hours of looking through home magazines, perusing around Home Depot, touring model homes, watching HGTV to really pinpoint what we value in a home.

And we have a winner, folks!!!

As you may know, we've been in the process of a brutal house hunt for a few weeks. I kind of quit talking about it, since so much was changing.

Everyone calls this a "buyers market". And yes, it is throughout the country. But I will say in the area we are looking it is a sellers market. Every house we placed an offer on, had at LEAST 4 other offers we were competing against.

When I felt like giving up....

Our realtor called.

A house we had wanted to look at back in July we chose NOT to look at because it was under CAPA. (it's a short sale). So we said "Let's not waste our time"

Well, those buyers got antsy, and cancelled their contract. So we looked at it 3 weeks ago, and decided "this is it!".

The house has great "bones" (a great floor plan for what we want), an awesome location, and a phenomenal back yard!

Tomorrow morning we have the inspection. It will be a whirlwind of activity. Home inspector, pool inspector, termite inspector, AND roof inspector all get to meet at the site! It's kind of exciting!

I can't enter "celebratory mode" yet -- as we have to pass the Brutal VA inspection. But if you could, send good vibes my way!! May I also add that in AZ only 1 in 4 short sales actually close......So the odds are not in our favor ;)

Have a fabulous weekend, all!

(here's a sneak preview of the house's backyard!) -- yes, that's a golf course behind us....which means Ryan & Abby need to get to the range and buff up on our swing!

Once we get all settled in (which will probably be around November) -- our house is VERY open to all friends and family to come visit!! ;) ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Questions I ponder....

Some of the questions I ponder. Some of these questions have direct answers. Other's don't.

1) Why does my husband insist that in order to watch football.....it has to be accompanied by "football food". (meaning guacamole, chips, wings, beer). Is it not okay to watch a football game while having Tilapia and grilled veggies?

2) Who even invented "football food"? Next tailgating party, I'm showing up with a tofu and steamed broccoli.

3) Why does the "self check out" at the grocery store only have room 2 bags? What if I have an entire cart I'd like to "self check out". You shouldn't discriminate just because I'm anti-social and don't want to make small talk with a cashier....

4) Why do plane tickets have to be so expensive? It would be so nice to just quick make a trip to Chicago to meet my niece/nephew who will be born today! (Okay...I kind of know the answer to this since I've seen the breakdown of a plane ticket, but it still sucks!)

5) Where does one find fava beans? Do you really have to go to a middle eastern grocery store? Tried them at work the other day, and am seriously addicted! Yum!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pause

I want to take a quick pause today to remember September 11, 2001. It was a day that our lives were changed. Maybe there wasn't a grave and evident change your life saw that day  -- but from the moment those planes crashed into the World Trade Towers in NYC, NY:  our safety and freedom was compromised.

Many lifes were lost that day. People who just going to work, going about their normal lives.

The question of "why" cannot be explained.

It's difficult for me to write about the event -- for there is so much that saddens me about 9/11/2001.

But what I can say is that my heart aches for everyone who's lives were drastically effected by this event. My heart feels honor for the hero's who put their own lives at risk in order to save lives. And my heart feels proud for the US military who have deployed to dangerous areas of the world in order to fight and protect the freedom.


God Bless America! :)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I survived a very hellish, intense weekend. I feel like I have completed a marathon, or fought some kind of battle. We converted to a new system -- and we are almost clear and successful.

And I only pulled out HALF of my hair.

Taking a break from real world for a little T on T!

1. What temperature do you keep your thermostat on during the day?

During the day we aren't here -- so we set it to 82 degrees. It's running an avg of 105 lately (outdoors)....
2. What temperature do you keep your thermostat on at night?
73 degrees F. However, last night while my husband was sleeping...I turned it to 72. I was boiling, and I said "Screw budgeting!!!"

I know..how scandolous. 1 degree....
3. In a canister of mixed nuts, do you pick out certain varieties and leave the others?
Yes. Almonds and Brazillian nuts. I hate cashews.

4. What is your favorite kind of M&M?
Dark chocolate.
5. How do you buy books? (Amazon, bookstore, new, used, electronic, etc)
Amazon for my Kindle. I also am a big fan of the Library! Free books rock my world.
6. How do you like your eggs cooked?
Hard boiled. That's pretty much the only way I really like eggs.
7. Can you whistle?
Barely. It's pretty wimpy.
8. What common word do you always misspell?
Misspell.
9. Are you afraid of flying?
The only thing I fear about flying is infectious disease and screaming children.
10. How often do you go shopping?
Randomly. I haven't had a real shopping trip where I bought more than 1 item since February 27. I do grocery shopping on a PRN basis. (as needed).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wired!

There are various ways I could explain myself as wired.

Like my routine every day at 1500 every day: to mix up an iced black coffee to get me through the next 5 hours of my day.......I makes me a little "wired"



Or when I once leaned against an electric fence to pose for a picture once...not aware it was electric at the time! I felt very "wired"

Well, today I became "un-wired".....which almost made me come "unglued"....

Did our coffee bean grinder quit functioning??...........

No.

Did a sudden monsoon hit, causing a loss in electricity?....

I almost wish. (I'm desperate for rain, people.)

No.

My blackberry quit working.

And amazingly, life still went on. I, however, waited in a pause of suspese when this occurred...........

I thought, "is this it? Is this the early apocolypse?!?!? IS THIS THE RAPTURE?! It's not even 2012 yet! I knew that fundamentalist nutcase was wrong!"

I immediately reached for my phone, to text my husband, my parents, my siblings to tell them my goodbyes.

But I couldn't! I couldn't text anyone!




What's wrong with this picture? Yes. I am extremely dependent on my phone. I don't know addresses. I completely depend on my phone for directions to get anywhere. I don't even look up directions prior to leaving the house anymore. I also don't call people. I text. Would I text my husband to tell him the world is ending? It's possible. ;)

(I'm only joking....before you start thinking I truly am the most insensitive, stone-woman alive)

But. yes. My phone quit working. I couldn't call my husband to tell him that I'd have to go purchase a new phone today. I was annoyed. He's also out of town for the week.

I went to the Verizon store to purchase a new device. They asked for my husbands social security number. I did not know it. They wouldn't let me do anything. They said "Well, that's our policy, ma'am"

I responded, "I have a social security #, and I'm on the account....."

"Sorry ma'ma. That's our policy"

What really annoyed me, is that the customer service rep finally suggested, "Can you call him and ask?"

Feeling irritated, I responded saying "Yes. Let me call him with my phone that doesn't work real quick...."

Needless to say....I used their phone. I got ahold of him. I got a new phone.

The world goes on! I got a Droid Incredible. And let me tell you...it is incredible! I love it! I hope everyone has a fabulous Labor Day Weekend! Celebrate well!! --While I am laboring away this weekend ;)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite brand of shoes?

Mizunos. Running shoes.

Other than that, I must say I don't know of any other brands of shoes. For all my other shows I purchase at Target or Ross. And haven't bought a new "stylish" pair of shoes in over a year...
2. How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?
I don't remember exactly when I started...but I remember having to tie my shoes to pass a test in Preschool - which occured when I was about 4.
3. How do you feel about freckles?
I think they are characterizing and great! To me, they symbolize "life!". My freckles "come to life" when I start spending more time outdoors doing things I love -- hiking, running, camping, gardening. (and that's why I associate them with "life"
4. I can count to ten in ___ languages.
3 languages. English, Spanish, and French. However, I'm quite rusty with French. It's been a few years since I took that class!

5. What is your favorite store-bought ice cream flavor?
Mint. I also like Rasberry sherbert - if that counts.

6. Were you in ballet or gymnastics as a little girl?
Nope. Funny that this is a question...because I was just laughing about this with my husband. While most little girls were in gymnastics and ballet....I was sought after driving a lawn mower and playing the trombone....
7. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
Definitely Grover. I don't really know why, actually. I just like him.

8. What’s your bedtime?
Usually around 10:30. There have been nights lately where I haven't made it that late though...Yes, I am a 23 year old Grandma.

9. Do you have any jewelry that you wear every single day?
My wedding ring. Except I take it off when I sleep, and I take it off to work out.
10. Who is the bug killer in your household?
DEFINITELY my husband. It's kind of funny. There could be an colony of flies buzzing around my head, and I wouldn't be bothered. While Ryan is going absolutely nuts trying to kill them.

I always try saying "Let's just live with the nature around us." ....... Then realize how much of a hippy I sound like.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If you don't like strawberries or balsamic vinegar...you won't like this post! :)


Color me delicious. How did I not know about this incredible concoction until recently? Now....strawberries and balsalmic is "the new" broccoli & mustard in my house!

(at least while berries are in season, anyways)

Here are a few of the ways I induldged this week:

Quinoa Salad:

-2 cups quinoa
-Chopped red & orange bell peppers
-rinsed Red onion slices
-Cucumber
-Balsamic Vinegar
-Olive Oil
-Peppercini juice (I spelled that wrong, but you get the point)
-Sliced Strawberries
-Fresh Cilantro & Fresh Basil
-A tish of S & P "to taste"

I highly recommend this delicious, colorful salad. I even had my husband getting seconds and thirds on this salad! I thew it together on a whim, as an attempt to clean out my vegetable drawer! It's also a great lunch if you just throw it on top of some spinach!


Strawberries & Balsamic for dessert?!:
-Slice Strawberries
-sprinkle a little truvia sweetener
-dash of pepper
-pour vinegar on top

I got this inspiration/idea from Ina Garten. It is so good! 

Finally....


Grilled Romaine 
1. Drizzle olive oil on Romaine Hearts
2. Place on grill, and turn frequently just to get them nice and grilled
3. Marinate sliced roma tomatoes & strawberries with balsalmic vinegar, garlic, and pepper for about 2 hours
4. Sprinkle the sliced tomoatoes & strawberries on the romaine leaves
5. Drizzle any left-over dressing on top
6. Sprinkle some feta cheese on top
7. Enjoy


I made this last night as an appetizer. My husband smoked ribs - and I wanted a light appetizer. It worked perfect! 



Okay, so the ribs don't have strawberries OR balsamic vinegar in it...but I had to share a picture of the deliciousness. :-)

Hope everyone has a good week! 

This week begins a very stressful period as work. We're "going live" with this new system (on Saturday) - and I'm a "super user" on the system. Which means I will be working tons of overtime during the month of September. In fact, I wasn't really allowed to ask for a day off. (don't worry, I get a few days off here & there)

Fun times. However, I have a very positive attitude about it! Hopefully everything goes smoothly, and this will be a good & character-building experience!









Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Days like this...

Days like this make me miss San Diego. Makes me dream of snow storms. Causes me to fantasize about living in an igloo somewhere in the arctic........

It is 107 degrees Fahrenheit today. Yesterday was 106. Tomorrow is a predicted high of 108 degrees.

I feel like we live in hell right now.

2 weeks ago, we were in San Diego, where it was a lovely 72 degrees Fahrenheit. We were refreshed with a nice salty breeze off the ocean. Heaven.

However, getting through these summer months of AZ is (to me) similar to "toughing through" the miserable winter months I survived when we lived in the Midwest. However, they are 2 different breeds. As the heat doesn't hurt, turn off power, or cause car accidents.

It just makes me really sweaty, dehyrated, and sluggish.

I can't wait for November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Questions

1. What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?

Good at........organizing, listening, geting a lot done in a short period of time, teaching (a new discovering..since my role at work for the past few weeks has been teaching!)
Bad at........taking negative criticism, being nice to people who irritate me, playing team sports

2. Have you ever been in a car accident? What happened?
They day I got my driver's permit, I totalled a vehicle by hitting a deer. It really sucked.

I also lost control of my car on an icy night in North Dakota while going on a sharp curve. My car turned many times, and I ended up in the ditch. Amazingly...the car didn't roll!

3. Why did you attend your college?
I moved to Tucson, where I was considered out of state. The waiting lists for nursing school at the U of A was about 2 years.....and that was just not an option for me. Ryan ended up finding out about Grand Canyon University, which had a nursing program that had a hospital pay for your school.

It was the perfect situation. Free school. Great university. Guarenteed job. Happy student.

4. Describe your morning routine today.
Today I'm on my own schedule for work (yay! I'm in dire need of a break) -- so my "routine" is a little off!

So I got up with Ryan at 5:40, made his coffee/breakfast/lunch, did some laundry, going to the gym to weight train & spin..... and then I will go to work around 11 to work on some computer training "stuff"

5. Have you ever snooped through someone else’s things? Did you find anything interesting?
I used to snoop through my sister's room when she went off to college. I would try on her old prom dresses and graduation gown - and envision myself graduating.
PS -- Sorry, Lisa! ;) Although, I know you knew I did this all the time. It was the major source of our arguments back then ;)

6. What do you think happens when you die?
I'm am working towards going to heaven. I think that heaven will be very peaceful and I will join all my loved ones.

7. Are you superstitious?
Not really....I'm all about walking under ladders, planning big events on Friday the 13th, ect....

8. Do people think you are younger or older than you actually are?
Definitely older. I am 23 years old, but I feel like I'm in my 30's. All our friends are well into their 30-40's.

9. How did your parents’ relationship influence you?
Enourmously. I grew up very fortunate to have parents who lived in a very commited marriage. They taught me the values of a supportive marriage which works as a team.

Also, because they ran a business together -- their relationship strongly effected my work ethic. I have a great deal of respect for my parents....

10. What were the three happiest moments of your life?
- I'm going to have to list my 1st happiest day as the day I graduated from highschool. Although this is such a miniscule accomplishment (if you even want to consider it an accomplishment....which I don't. My High school is painfully unchallenging and easy.) -- It marks the day I was freed from the drab and awful hometown I grew up in.

-August 8, 2008 -- our wedding day!

-Probably the day I passed my NCLEX. Not that the test was that difficult...but it marked the fact that I was finally an RN -- which was a huge weight off my shoulders. I was also the 1st person in my graduating class to test.  And I took the test while recovering a brutal case of the stomach flu!

Unfortunately, I was made aware of the news via facebook by a person I wasn't too fond of. The test results are posted online -- and one of my former classmates had been checking this website freakishly. She posted the news all over my wall before I even got the chance to see for myself.... Nice.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Home sweet home

We've returned from our blissful anniversary trip!

We're going from this.............

To this...........





Okay, so our normal daily life does not consist of running on a hamster wheel....

But sometimes it feels like it........ ;) especially when you compare it to the essence-filled life in San Diego!

I will say, I'm laying my head on my pillow tonight feeling extremely blessed, happy, and pleased with life.



Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

2 Years ago today..........

I was the hungriest I had ever been (I didnt eat anything but a Mimosa & a bran muffin until 7pm)

I was in a dress w/ undergarments so tight that I had a difficult time sitting.

I smiled so hard that my face hurt all day long.

I had to graceful & elegant for an entire 24 hours (which is a huge feat for me)

I was surrounded by the most important people in the whole wide world for an entire day.

My heart raced and my stomach had butterflies when I saw Ryan for the 1st time that day.

I married my best friend.




Ohhhh that is such a cliche statement. It's in every wedding card, Anniversary card, and love song pertaining to weddings. "Today I married my best friend"

But I mean this is all seriousness! He truly is my best friend -- and every day I get to spend with him makes me feel extremely blessed. He keeps me motivated, driven, balanced, and happy!

He reminds me to slow down and just enjoy life sometimes.

He makes me say goodbye to my "scaredy-cat" ways and climb big mountains when hiking. He gets me to defeat my fear of heights, and lets me climb the ladder every once inawhile to change light bulbs - just so I can know how to do it if he ever is deployed or out of town.

He taught me how to scramble eggs.

We taught each other how to fall in love and be a life-long team!

I am so glad I spilled pomegranate juice on his white polo 4 years ago. That was the night we *hit it off*. So for those who live for excellent 1st impressions....just remember - the right person for you will see beyond your faults and shortcomings. (i.e. "Abby's Painful Clumsiness).

Although these past 2 years have gone really fast.........it feels like that wedding day was a long time ago! So much has happened since then!

Tonight we are celebrating with an evening in. I'm making Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Lemon-Basil Risotto!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Times are a'changin

There I was last night, at my favorite casual restaraunt, sipping a orange brewery beer on the patio, gazing at the Santa Catalina Mountains, with my husband, analyzing the market of the area we're putting an offer on a great home, deciding together what we're going to offer...

...and I had one of those moments.....

One of those moments, where you almost "step outside of yourself" and say "Who am I?"

3-4 years ago, I didn't understand how a credit card worked.....

 I didn't understand what interest rates were. I had never heard the word "PMI Insurance", "Active Contingent", or "CAPA". I had no idea about the time frame of polybutelene pipes and lead based paint.

I was concerned about...my hair and making sure my class schedule was good.

I always hear people say "Hang on and look around often, because the years go quick". I've never quite "bought into that" until last night -- when it all kind of dawned on me!

Do I regret it? Do I feel like it's all going too fast?

Not at all. I feel in the "right place" in life at this time. I love my job (even though it is the bane of my existence sometimes, and makes me crazy)..I value all my experiences I've gained. I have a husband who is incredibly perfect for me. I feel like I'm in the right place @ at the right time in all aspects of my life.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I will be working, but am okay with that -- since I weaseled out and didn't work a single weekend in July! :)

On Monday, we will have been married for 2 years! Man, time flies when you're having fun!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shopping

In the next few weeks we're heading on a mini-vacation. Because of that - I decided it was time to treat myself to a little retail therapy.

I used to love shopping. I could've done it for an entire day.

Yesterday, it was overwhelming & almost stressful. For the following reasons:

  1. I am so out-of-touch with the "fashion world". I don't even know what is "hip" or "in" these days. My time is most spent with a 24 year old male (my husband). When I'm not with him, my time is spent with predominantly geriatric clients on a cardiac floor.
  2. I wear "Galaxy Blue" scrubs to work every day.
  3. My method of "spicing" up my outfit is to wear fun styles of socks with my scrubs. (My favorite is my orange argyle plaid socks)
  4. Malls are irritating. Period. That's a blog in itself.
  5. My favorite outfit to wear is running shorts and a race-back tank paired with a nice pair of Mizunos.
  6. While some people refer to media such as magazines to keep "up on the times" with fashion. Martha Stuart Living does not provide me with a knowledge on "What Not to Wear". However....it did give great instructions on how to "create a potted forest" or "How to cut up a watermelon so it doesn't wobble"
Every time I go shopping, I find myself saying "I can't wait for this phase to grow out. These clothes are so lame."

And yesterday it dawned on me....

Maybe it's not the clothes that are lame. Maybe it's ME that's lame.

So I left the Mall yesterday feeling rather irritated. Returned home. And decided house-shopping (which we've been doing frequently lately) is far more fulfilling than clothes shopping. You don't have to worry about the granite counter tops making your ass look big. It's a simple like or dislike.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things are "clicking"

We are on the house hunt....again.

We have been in this "limbo" for about 1.5 years now searching for the right home. We get aggressive for a while..... Then we get frustrated & take a few months off.

We even started building a house a year ago.

But the builders screwed that one up.

(PS...that house is still on the market! In fact...every house in that development is on the market. Yep. I sure am glad we went with our guts and got out of that money trap!)

May I also say that I feel like I know every home for sale in the Oro Valley area? Which there's a lot. Like...hundreds.

I also feel like I can know within the first 5 seconds of standing in a home whether it's a foreclosure or not. The indicator? Weird paint colors.

Seriously! It seems all the foreclosures we look at have "multi-colored walls". It's like people turn their home into a rainbow when they get that letter from the bank......

In 2 weeks, we have looked at 26 homes. The 2nd home we saw is the one that has stuck with us the most. I'm leaving it at that. I will say that this time around (with house hunting) -- things just seem to be clicking. We have found the most incredible and approachable realtor who I absolutely love. We also know exactly what we're looking for, and when the right time to walk away is.

Other than searching for the home of our dreams.....life is crazy! On top of work, I feel like I keep taking on additional projects - which turn my 36 hour weeks into 56 hour weeks.

Sooner or later, I will need to learn to say "no". But, I figure -- I'm quite young, not getting my masters degree (yet), and should take advantage of all the learning/experiences I possibly can while I can.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't even ask how my week went.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I remember my sister Lisa doing this post, and I thought it was fun! And I have nothing exciting to talk about since for the past 60 hours all I've done (seriously) is run, work long days, and sleep!

The Good......

I am finally free until Monday!! Ryan comes home from California today! I'm making home-made pizza tonight with a pesto sauce (with basil from the garden). I'm having a glass of wine while I'm cooking dinner tonight! Tomorrow we look at more houses (we're house hunting.....again...........I know...)!!

The Bad........
It's friggin humid & hot all over the country.

For 4 days this week, I found myself explaing about 40 times/day to a patient that they are in the hospital, in Arizona, and their daughter would be coming to visit in a few hours.

I also had my confused patient who was a former engineer completely disassemble the "chair alarm" (an alarm that goes off when the patient stands up, alarming all staff to run in the room to prevent him from falling & breaking a hip.

How he managed to dismember the alarm is beyond me. Those engineers are sneaky! I fear the days my husband grows old & confused......(hopefully he doesn't....)

The Ugly......

I walked in on one of my younger patients (younger, meaning in his 40's) and his  "significant other" on top of him. And they were not just cuddling.

Needless to say, I turned around in attempt to quietly exit. But by the time I was exiting the room, they realized I was in the room too. They laughed & thought it was cute. I didn't.

What else is ugly? My hair. It's very afro-like with the humidity + I have not had a hair cut since September.



I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!! Stay cool :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

1st I need to relish in the joy that it was 80 DEGREES on our thermometer this morning at 6:30. Burrrr! My run was amazing. (Usually it's well into the 90's)

So Happy Tuesday.

1. When you are on a plane and the kid behind you is kicking your seat, what do you do?

I have to admit, that I'm not very considerate or sympathetic when this occurs. It's not my kid. So why should I care if I'm rude?

I typically will clear my throat in a very "matter-of-fact" manner. "Mm MMMMM". Then I'll turn around and just look. Not a dirty look. Just look. It's my way of saying "Yes. I see that someone is kicking my chair, and now I've made eye contact with you. You should feel uncomfortably & embarassed now"

2. What food that you KNOW is bad for you and you shouldn’t have, but you love/eat it anyway?
I'm really not too bad about foods...but I know beer is bad for me. And I shouldn't drink it. But it's good, and I drink it regardless.
3. What is your favorite book of all time?

So far, "The American Wife"
4. If I came to visit you in your town, where would we eat?

I don't know the answer to this question yet. I suppose since it's the Southwest, I'd have to say some Mexican restaraunt. But to be honest, I have yet to find a good mexican restaraunt in Tucson. Maybe I don't like them because I don't trust Mexican cooking with all their lard.....

My favorite restaraunt EVER is Ra Sushi. It's great sushi, and the views are amazing!
5. You have 500 dollars and 40 minutes to spend it at any store you want. Where do you go?
Macy's. I like their clothes and it also has a good home section.

Or REI for camping/sprorting gear

6. What blog do you read every day/the most often?

My sister Lisa's blog. It's excellent. :)
7. What’s the longest you’ve ever been stuck at an airport?
Denver for 14 hours. On New Years Day. I loathe the Denver airport now.
8. What’s your daily makeup/face/cleansing routine?
I wash my face with Clean & Clear "Morning splash" in the shower. I put some blush and eye shadow on...maybe mascara. And thats about it.

9. Where is your farthest away friend?
North Dakota
10. Where is your favorite place to go hiking (or to enjoy nature)?
Hiking - White Mountains OR Mount Lemmon here in Tucson. Amazing trails!
 
General place to enjoy nature? -- Battle Lake, MN. Nothing beats a calm lake and loons singing :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thank You Notes

 Thank you....

Monsoon. Monsoon means "seasonal reversing winds accompanied by corresponding rainfall".

In other words, it means "heavy winds and raining buckets on southern Arizona". I. Love. It!!

My garden is finally getting the nutrients it deserves.

Thank you....

Cliffbars. Especially the mint chocolate flavored ones.

Thank you.....

Husband. You're my favorite person to spend time with always. I consider myself pretty lucky to be married to someone I enjoy so much!

Thank you........


Sunday. If I didn't have you off, I would probably have seriously freaked out! 50 hour work week got the best of me. My sleeps have been highly consumed by nightmares.

Thank you.....

Mom & Dad. For being amazing role models in my life. I hope you both realize how much I adore you.

Thank you......

Kindle. You've rekindled my love for reading again! I quit reading while I was in school, because I was reading text books. Then I continued to not read because I don't like buying books or carrying books around with me.

Thank you....

Gold's Gym. For being open at 4am, so I can hit you up in the morning before I work. You give me my release & sanity.

Thank you.....

Stomach issues. Since you have seriously consumed me, you've made me more mindful of taking care of myself. Even though the gluten free trial didn't work, and I still haven't found a complete solution....I am feeling better than I was! (but I will say going mostly organic and doing 6 small meals/day has helped)

Thank you.....

Garden. You provide us with TONS of tomatoes & basil & and baby summer squashes. This week I've made yummy salads with those.

I also pureed tomatoes to make a delicious enchilada sauce! Healthy enchiladas made an appearance on our table this week with grilled chicken, whole-wheat tortillas, greek yogurt, and spinach. Muy Bueno ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thomas Edison, Thank you!

As we go about our lives, and we got used to the common little luxuries that come from technology...we get used to. You even find yourself saying, "How did I survive before I had......_________ (cell phones, blackberries, ipods, DVR).

You find yourself saying things like, "How did I ever cook rice before I had my rice cooker????"

"How did my washing machine stay fresh before it had the self cleaning mode"

"How could I STAND watching any tv show before it was dvr'd and I could just fast-forward through any commercials?"

Well, this week, I'm focusing on the simpler things in life.

Such as light.

Fan.

Yep.

As I've explained, it gets HOT in Arizona during the summer. So on Monday it was a hot afternoon for the 4th of July. As we were driving home from a BBQ/pool party, I was complaining about the heat. And I said to Ryan, "I hope it rains SO hard and SO intensely that our backyard absolutely floods."

I wish I could take back those words. Because come 4:30, the winds started whipping, rain started pouring from the sky, hail began to fall, and "ZONK" (*that's my onomatopoeia for the sound that occurs when power goes out*)

We were without power from 5 pm until about 10 pm.

It was hot and dark. Right away it was funny.

Then we got home from work Tuesday night around 8:30, and we both came to discover the power was out AGAIN! Let's just say my reaction was not pleasant when I discovered this. It was no longer funny, exciting, or cute.

So last night, we had power finally and it was amazing. We could cook dinner on the stove in light.

We didn't have to walk around carrying our camping lanterns & flashlights.

We weren't drenched in sweat because it was 90 degrees in the house.

Did we spend our evening wired in watching tv, spending time on our laptops, etc??

Nope. We went in our room, with the lights on (:D), and read. In a cool, air conditioned house. It was pleasant.

Thank you, Thomas Edison, for inventing electricity. I don't know how people lived without electricity. Seriously

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Family Time!

Well, let me start by saying my trip home to Minnesota for our exteneded weekend at the lakes was everything I imagined & dreamed for it to be! The weather was great! People kept saying "Too bad it's not warmer for you guys"....but we LOVED it. It's been seirously 112 EVERY SINGLE DAY here in Arizona. In MN it was in the 70's every day. Amazing!!

We did tons of fishing.

I wakeboarded.

Went tubing with my nephews.

Ryan did some water skiing. And wakeboarding. (I cannot water ski)

Many hours were spent visiting & laughing with our family out on the deck.

Ate many delicious meals including the best rotisserie grilled turkey ever. It put Thanksgiving to shame.

I lounged on our raft in the sun. I actually turned a little pink, which is surprising with my AZ-bronze skin! (Apparently I'm not used to that *hot Minnesoooota sun*)

My nephews took quite a liking to Ryan - and he spent many hours out on the dock fishing with the boys (and helping untangle fishing line) -- it was adorable

I got to hold my newborn newphew, Charlie. Who is cute and precious beyond words!

After the family left, Ryan and I had a day together at the cabin. It rained most of the day - but we spent the morning out fishing. In the evening we went out for dinner and hit up the bar/restaraunt I used to work at for old time's sake.

We went for a long, relaxing evening boat ride around the lake gawking at our dream-cabins.

We visited my Grandma, who is incredible. At her age of 88 -- she walks 2 miles almost every morning, does her house work, works outside on her flowers, cares for her home, does all her grocery shopping, and is probably one of the most gracefully beautiful 88 year olds I've ever seen!

As we were saying our goodbyes, she really impressed her wisdom that Family is the most important thing one will ever have in life. She talked about how all the successes she's ever experienced, nothing amounts to the joy her family brings her.

When Ryan and I got in the car to leave, we both looked at each other and realized that it is important to listen to those who have been around longer than we have. 88 years vs 23 years = a great deal of wisdom.

She is so right! No success related to money, career, or status equals up to the joy that one gets from spending time with their loved ones!

Pictures to come soon of the trip! It's been a crazy week. We got home at 10 pm Monday night, and then I had 3 brutal days at work. The kind of days that make me have horrid nightmares! But now....I get Saturday-Monday off, so I'm a happy lady!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hello. Goodbye. Ten on Tuesday

Hello! I has been awhile since I've graced you with my blogging presence.

72 hour work week makes me seriously crazy.
I'm ready for a vacation.

And we leave tomorrow!! Hurray!

So....therefore, Goodbye for a few days. We're off to Minnesota for 6 days to be at the lakes with my family! It is currently 110 degrees F in Tucson today. And most of this state is seriously burning to the ground because of wild fires. I am beyond ready for an escape.

But...before I go...Here's my 10 on Tuesday!!!!

1. What’s the perfect meal?

Oyester shooters, Blue Moon beer (newly tapped), Ahi tuna with wasabi (lots of it too...I'm freaky about how much wasabi I can eat), and grilled peppers. Yes, I realize this doesn't all "mend" together. But yum!!

For desert I would like dark chocolate gelato with a cup of espresso.
2. What are the perfect pair of shoes?
Mizuno Wave Runners. I would like them in green.

I also love my pastel pink, ballet-flat gardening crocs! They are perfect to slip on, and I don't have to worry about them getting dirty because I spray them off!


(aren't they cute?!?!)

3. What is the perfect afternoon?
I'm going to give 2 scenarios of perfect afternoons:

1) At the lakes, beautiful weather, starting day out with a nice 5 mile run, time out on the dock reading with my sister, a lazy ride on the pontoon, maybe a little wakeboarding, margaritas, my Moms cooking, my brother's barbeque, and a fire.

2) Day at the beach with Ryan-- start morning off with a run, then all you have to worry about is staying hydrated and finding a good restaraunt for seafood that evening. The whole day is spent lounging, wading, & finding seashells
4. What’s the perfect house?

A house with a massive amount of property so we can have a pool, wet bar, and a garden.

A big open "greatroom" (where the kitchen & living room are one) - lots of windows & natural light. Granite counter tops, wood floors, not an inch of carpet in the whole house.

5. What is the perfect outfit?
Depends. I like jeans and a nice sweater. Or a light, springy, summer sundress.
6. What’s the perfect wedding song?
I love traditional classical music. I wouldn't change a thing about the music I had at our wedding! Loved it!
7. What is the perfect job?
Right now, I'm at the point where my perfect job would be perfect hours. And right now "perfect hours" consists of NO WEEKENDS or HOLIDAYS. How I loathe working weekends & holidays.

Good coworkers is very important. Especially if you work in a career that requires having to work with others.
8. What’s the perfect hairstyle?

One where you get out of the shower, and it's done!

I don't have one of those. Unless I let my hair be wavy and childish looking.

9. What’s the perfect music festival?
Regina Spektor, Adelle, Michael Buble, why not throw in a little Neil Diamond, & Dave Matthews Band.

Yep...that's kind of a random crew!
10. What’s the perfect day to yourself?
A good run, time @ the gym weight training, a cup of coffee, a clean house, working outside in the garden/yard, a grocery trip to a nearly empty grocery store :D, and then it starts raining at about 5:30 pm so I can cook dinner and curl up to read a book with a glass of vino.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I just had to join in on the fun this week, since my sister wrote this round of questions!

1. How do you pronounce the word aunt? Does your pronunciation rhyme with ‘haunt’ or ‘can’t'?

Aunt. Rhyming with haunt. I know that people's pronounciation of the word is typically based of tradition, but I find it cute...because if you actually read the word....the "u" would make it so it rhymes with.....

I'm ranting and rambling. (Not raunting and raumbling, either) ;)
2. Do most of the people in your life know you blog? Or are you partially or totally anonymous?
The people in my family know that I blog. But other than that, no, I don't tell people that I blog.
So if it weren't for my family, I would probably be an anonymous blogger.

3. When you grocery shop, do you prefer to bag your own groceries or do you like it when the store bags them for you? Paper, plastic, or reusable bags?
I use plastic, because it's easier to carry. Paper is great and happy for the environment, but plastic is easier. Plus, I reuse my plastic bags for a variety of things.

And I like to bag my groceries. In fact, I rarely even go to a "checkout clerk". I prefer the "self-check out". The small talk in a grocery line makes me crazy..."Beans, tortillas, and salsa..hmmm I bet someone's making mexican food tonight.".

No kidding.
4. Do you have a green thumb?
I would like to say I'm opening up to the thought that I do. However, I'm still not confident. My tomatoes & yellow sqaush are sprouting like madness despite the >100 degree temps we've been getting. Nothing has died except for my snap dragons (that I forgot to put a sprinkler on for 1 week).

I would say at this point, I'm a pastel-green thumb....working her way up to a vibrant green.
5. If you watch the Food Network, which chef/show host is your favorite?
I love Bobby Flay, because his choices of recipes are cool. I also like watching Guy Feiri. He's entertaining

6. Do you like to take baths? Do you take them very often?
I like the idea of taking a bath. But I find it to be a waste of water due to my inability to sit still and relax. I get in the bath, and within 2 minutes I find myself saying "This is really boring....." Maybe we need jets or something?
7. What color are the walls in your kitchen?
They are white in this house, since we're renting. If we owned this home, I would do a tan.

8. Do you prefer to dine outdoors or indoors?
Definitely outdoors. It's relaxing, refreshing, and fun.
9. Describe your ideal weather.
From 5 am-10am the temperature would be a nice 55 degrees (for running), then from 10-12pm it would be in the 70's. From 12-5 it would be 82 degrees. Then it will gradually cool back down to 55. One day/week it would just steadily rain all day.

You said "ideal"...not realistic ;)
10. If you could learn any foreign language, which would you choose to learn?
I have to say Spanish. Living in Arizona, where sometimes I feel like more people speak Spanish than English.

I will learn spanish, hopefully with in the next year (it's a little goal of mine). At least once/week I have a patient who does not speak English, and it makes life very challenging. Using the "translator phone" is a great service, but its still not personal.

Second to spanish, I want speak French. I took 1 semester in college, and loved the language.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Taking a little time

Lately, I've been a little "tense". I'm not sure why, it's just been my mood. The whole "Gluten Free" change isn't really working. Yes, I have noticed my legs aren't covered in rashes -- but my stomach continues to be super angry. I'm tired of being afraid to eat.

So I have today & tomorrow off - after that I pretty much work every single day until our vacation to Minnesota. So I'm taking advantage of the "chill"!

My day consisted of:
  • Going for a 6 mile run. It was really hot, like miserably hot -- but it still felt amazing to run instead of be at the gym for once!
  • Going to the gym, not to work out -- but to sit in the steam room after my run. It feels incredible to this girl trapped in this dry desert climate!!
  • Taking a trip to TJ Max, and buying some fun things to decorate our new office. (I love that store....by the way)
  • Brewing myself some iced tea with lemon & mint, and enjoying it while setting up the office
  • Cleaning house (yes, I realize this doesn't go along with the whole "relaxation mojo" -- but it needed cleaning)
  • Setting up...yet another...doctor's appointment for tomorrow to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. I hate this -- I feel like one of those "frequent flyers" with my Doctor's office lately, but I don't care anymore!
  • Buying ingredients to make a Broccoli & Beef Stir Fry. Recipe to come later!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A few things Friday

  • Why are they constantly talking about Weiners on the news lately? At least class it up a little and speak of good things like Andouille.
  • On that note.....Ew. What is with all these politicians sleezing around on their wives. Yuck, politicians...never trust them!

  • If you've heard about the wild fires here in Arizona, it's so sad. One of the areas that is burning to the ground is the White Mountains area where we went camping a few months ago. It is seriously one of the most beautiful areas I've ever experienced. It saddens me thinking of all the beautiful landscape and animals that are dying right now!
(wildfiretoday.com)

  • Brownie points to anyone who gives me a good way to cook eggplant! Eggplant parmisan doesn't count. Not interested. It was on sale, I bought some. I did make some babagonoush (mmmmmm) - and want to use the others maybe on the grill?


  • The summer heat is drying out my daisies & petunias. I refer to Ms. Joan Baez singing "Where are all the flowers gone?".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD4iQs3rym4&feature=related

  • I am excited to have a happy Friday today. I'm back to work tomorrow.....but today I will be going to spin class, meeting up with my Ryan in the afternoon to run some errands & do some shopping for decorating our office, and then having a little date night!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wine & Love v2

I'm joining in the on fun again! The things that drive me reach for a glass of wine, and the things that I love in life right now...................

Wine
  • The heat. But really, I'm reaching for a cool, refreshing vodka tonic. It's >100 degrees F every day. I don't have to deal with it much, since I'm gone all day. However, we come home from work at 8:30 pm and find ourselves outside watering our drying-out grass and garden.
  • On Tuesday, I had a patient that referred to me by only these 3 "names": "Little Nursey", "Little Girl", and he also called me a "F***ing B****" when I was placing an NG tube in him. Now, I would probably say a curse word during that procedure. But, I really don't appreciate that. My name is on the whiteboard in his room. And I continued throughout the day to correct him saying, "My name is Abby."
  • Too. Much. Emotion. I just don't have the energy to deal with over-the-top-emotions. Life will go on.
Love
  • Weight training. I think this is becoming my new "niche". The other day in a body pump class, I was bicep-curling with more weight than a male classmate. It gave me a tish of a confidence boost ;)
  • My new FJ cruiser. Well, it's "ours", technically. But I'm the one who drives it since I have a shorter work commute. It's fits me - fun, sporty, & and it makes me feel powerful because it's very tall (which I am not)


  • The fact that we are Minnesota bound in like 2 weeks! Sooo ready for some lake time, some family time, and to meet my beautiful nephew Charlie for the 1st time!
  • My excitement to hop on the wakeboard when we arrive at the lakes. MARK MY WORDS - I don't care how cold it is outside...I'm wakeboarding.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rekindling an old "flame"

Back when I was about 17-18 years old, I thought my life as an adult would be consumed by playing music. I assumed my Sunday mornings would be spent accompanying the church choir.

Music was something I identified myself with. When I thought of "me"..music was something that came to mind.

Then I went to college, moved to Tucson, got married, became a nurse, started working........and now when I mention to someone I play a variety of instruments...they are very surprised. "You?!!?" 

It's really sad that it's become such a distant part of my life,  as prior to choosing to be a nurse - my 1st "major" in college was to be a music teacher.

I miss it. Whenever we go to a play, talk about going to a Tucson Symphony Orchestra concert, or when I listen to classical music..I almost always get a little teary/weepy eyed.

We happen to have an electric keyboard at home, which is something generously borrowed to me by a good friend of ours. But lately, its taken up space & collected dust.

The other day, I said to Ryan, "Let's just give that keyboard back to him. There's no sense in having it here." But Ryan objected stating he won't let me get rid of something I enjoy so much.

So....today I had the day off. I had plans of cleaning, organizing our new office, and other task-y things. Instead, I sat down and played!

It started out rocky (I haven't played since about October or November). All focus leaned on utter frustration that I just don't play like I once did....

And then I looked at the clock & realized an hour had gone by. My old songs were coming back to me.

I feel very relaxed and peaceful this evening. This may need to become more of a frequent ritual for me!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hot sun, Bison, Weeping wounds, Luna bars, & trails

I thought my title would maybe be enticing. Okay, maybe minus the weeping wounds. I couldn't think of a catchy title. That's all I've got today. Those 5 items have consumed my life this week.

Hot sun
  • This morning when I was working in the garden at 7 am...it was already 87 degrees.
  • My car thermometer also read 91 degrees F @ 8 pm while I was leaving work last night.(sun was down, too)
  • My flowers are really angry. They are currently revolting.
  • Tomatoes like the hot sun. As do my very voluptuous summer squash plants.
  • My grass is pist off.
  • Abby is also not happy with this heat. 100+ degrees is only okay if you're in a lake...or perhaps a pool.
Bison
  • I came home to quite a treat last night. Our grocery store had a sale on Bison meat.
  • He looked up a recipe for "Gluten Free Bison Burgers". Which warmed my heart in more ways than one
  • They had: gouda cheese, wild rice, bison meat, garlic, spices....served with a garnish of this special BBQ mayo - on a bed of spinach.
  • Yum. I would share a more detailed recipe..but I didn't make it ;)
Weeping wounds
  • I realized that I have spent more time this week wrapping this yucky, cellulitis, weeping, leg wound this week than I spent with my husband.
  • I had the same 4 patients for four 13 hour shifts in a row.
  • You know how you sometimes get really sick of spending too much time with the same person? Yeahhhh..............
  • I'm excited to be hanging out with my husband at 6 pm tonight...and NOT wrapping a leg with kerlix
  • Speaking of wounds...since I've gone gluten free..............My leg rashes are gone! (Now I just have white scars..which will heal I hope)
Luna Bars
  • Luna GF protein bars have been my God-sent this week to give me energy. I am surprisingly impressed with them. Or maybe I just get so hungry that anything would taste good at that point.
  • I have become a total protein junky in the past few weeks. Hard boiled eggs & protein shakes have been my F.O.C. (food of choice)
Trails
  • I've been doing a lot of running around my house/neighborhood lately, and because of that - I have to run on the "non-existent-shoulder" of the road. Which means I've been running in rocks & sand.
  • This causes one's calves to burn like a scorched marshmallow on a stick.
  • I use marshmallow, b/c that's how my legs feel afterwards.
Well, I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend.

I would like to make a loud shout-out to my sister Lisa, who took her CFA exam yesterday. She has studied extremely diligently and has had to work with a CRAZY schedule for the past 5 months. And now she's done with a big stepping-stone mountain in her carreer!! I am so proud of you, Lisa! You are awesome!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Summertime themed!

Happy Tueday, everyone! Although I have about a million things I should be doing, I'm choosing to be not-so-productive and participate in the 10 on Tuesday this week. I love all things summer. So here we go!

1. From your childhood, what do you miss most about summer vacation?

Very easy to answer this one -- family!! Don't get me wrong, I cannot complain about the fun-filled summer we're having so far...but I really miss the luxury of seeing family pretty much every weekend.

I also miss lakes, water, rain, and wakeboarding -- which are other commodities that I do not get in Arizona.

2. Are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?
Yes! In a few weeks we are going to my favorite place in the world to get some much-needed family time!! We will be heading to Minnesota and staying at my family's lake cabin for a long weekend. I am SO excited!!

We're also going to San Diego in August to celebrate our 2 year wedding Anniversary. :)

3. What foods do you like to barbecue?
Pretty much everything and anything. I especially love grilled vegetables. Last night we made chicken-basil bratwursts (organic one's from Sprouts) on the grill served with grilled corn-on-the-cob. And then we threw some anaheim peppers & bell peppers into our grill basket for a yummy side dish!

(And eating bunless brats....because now you get to fill up on more delicious protein & vegetables, & sauerkraut instead of bread)
4. How do you celebrate the fourth of July?
It used to be spent at the lakes....

But now, we usually find ourselves at a party somewhere. This 4th of July I will most likely be working that weekend since I got this Memorial Day off.

5. What’s your favorite beverage to drink in the summertime?
Water with cucucumber and lemon
Lime Zero Powerade
Greyhounds (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice with vodka)
6. What movie are you looking forward to seeing this summer?
I'm not too big into movies. But I would like to see "Bridesmaid" and the new Pirates of the Carribean.
7. In the car: windows down or AC?
I would die of heat stroke & dehydration driving with the windows down in the summer. Okay, so I'm exaggerating...but....

I also don't really like the feeling of the windows down. It makes my hair got all wacky.
8. Have you ever had a summer fling?
When I was 14 I always had a crush on some silly boy from the lakes.
9. Do you wear sunscreen?
Yes! Have to here in Arizona. And you must reapply, reapply, and reapply.
10. Do you have any favorite summertime activities?
Yes. Camping. Boating. Swimming. Wakeboarding. Fishing. Running (when it's not 100 degrees out, of course). Gardening. Grilling. Playing tennis. I just love everything involving being outdoors when it's nice outside!