Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mad. I'm just Mad.

Dear Coach Anderson:

Congratulations. I sincerely wish you and your family nothing but the best. I'm a sports fan. I'm not a "girly" sports fan, I'm pretty hard-core. That being said, I am a girl, and the reason a lot of girls don't get too involved in sports is that there's a huge emotional commitment involved for us. And it hurts to be betrayed. I feel betrayed. I get that it's a business, and that this was clearly the best financial decision. And I wouldn't have felt betrayed --sad,but not betrayed-- had you not just done an entire interview about how you were NOT under ANY circumstances leaving Logan. Wisconsin has been in the hunt for a head coach for weeks. You can't tell me that this happened overnight. This one will sting for a while. Aggie Nation has been spurned by you. We do not forgive or forget easily.  How do you look the team that you made, the young men that you brought in the eyes and tell them that they aren't good enough?

Dear SeaHAWKS:

Go baby go!! I believe that we will win!!!!!

Also... if the world really is ending on Friday and we're all going to hell, I'm glad I'm going to work. Can you imagine the part we'll be having?! ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



I want to go to Greece. Sigh.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


There was a day. A day in college when, after watching The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, my roommates and I made a pact. We were going to Greece when we turned 30. Fast-forward ten years. One is married with baby number two on the way. One had plans to spend the summer in Southeast Asia with YouthClinic on a mission trip. And the other was slaving away working all summer for the University.  And there I was. Slaving away in Seattle... there's just one thing. I still had a dream. And I was committed. Fast-forward 13-months of planning and me and three dear friends from work are in an airport in Philadelphia. We were in the jet-way waiting in line to get on the massive airliner and it hit me. I was going to Greece. This was it, I'd really done it. We snapped a photo, roller bags in hand and settled into our seats.

I had never been on such a large plane! We had come prepared for the 12 hour flight with plenty of anti-anxiety and sleeping medications. After doling them out for the just-in-case-we-woke-up scenario, we settled in. When we got up in the air we cheers-ed with our waters and downed the lunesta. I reached up above me to turn off my overhead light... it did NOT turn off when you pushed it. It did however give me a good second-degree burn to my finger.  Never fear. I added a vicodin to my sleepy-cocktail, stuck the finger in my bottle of water and went to sleep. My finger felt better, but the blister stayed with me for the majority of the trip :(

We landed safely in Athens twelve hours later and I woke up just as we were descending. It was perfect.  Of course I had been woken up a few times on flight when the flight attendants brought us food. Apparently it's not like on domestic flights when if you're sleeping they assume you don't want your complimentary beverage and peanuts. I forgave them. Probably because of the narcotics.  Anywho... So we landed in Athens and made it through my first customs line. And we got our first stamps in our passports!!! Well, all of us but Krista.

It was a pretty big deal. So was the driver I had arranged for to pick us up and take us to our hotel. He had my name on a card and everything!! We followed him out to the car and he offered us each a bottled water for the drive. We accepted and got in the car, giddy with excitement. It was 9am when we landed in Athens and we were excited for a day of fun.  We each took a sip of our bottled water, and I don't know about everyone else, but I was instantly dismayed. I did not like the water in Greece. It had this TERRIBLE metallic taste to it. And I am a water drinker. Seriously. I kept at it though, thinking that I'd have to get used to it, or it was going to be a long week. After a few sips I said something to the other girls. They thought the same thing. It was at that moment that Siobhan remembered that the one time she'd taken lunesta before, she'd had the same problem. Boy was I relieved!!! It wasn't the water, it was a side-effect of the medicine. I was going to be ok after all.  Our driver was great, and even stopped on a ridge as we first came into Athens so we could take photos of the amazing ancient landscape.

We checked into our hotel at the Athens Cypria and settled in... Got connected to the wifi so we could check out Greek Google, then we headed out to explore. By far the pinnacle of our time in Athens was the amazing history we saw while there. There are no words to express how it felt to walk through the birthplace of democracy --literally. How crazy is that?!  And the ruins built by a civillization thousands of years ago that are still standing today. It was beyond words.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Circa June 10, 2012.  Prepare yourselves for a small blog dump over the next few days... All the things I've been meaning to but putting off over the past six months. Today's round: My graduation from the University of Washington with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing.

June 10, 2012 marked the completion of my on year full-time student-ship at the University of Washington on the Bothell campus. It was easy to say that it was just a piece of paper, and it felt like a giant waste of time at times. I'll tell you this, however. I've learned to be a more complete nurse. I've become a more well-rounded person. There was a large emphasis on leadership, diversity, and community nursing. And the bottom line is that an education is never wasted. So while I feel as though my technical writing skills and student-studying and learning new information skills may have lessened over the course of a year, I did learn these things. And I became good friends with a coworker Jen Raymond while I was at it. Driving once a week to and from class in the wee hours will do that to you.  Before I share the pictures though, I'll tell you my favorite part about graduation.  The week before I graduated, my parents and I met in Washington DC and I showed them around the city and around Gettysburg. Then they flew out with me to see me graduate. No matter how much I told my mother that it really didn't mean that much, and that I wasn't even sure if I wanted to go, she insisted that I was going and that my parents were coming to see me. And I'm glad she made me go. It was a big deal.

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Second Dance Party

This is graphic. Parts will be hard to read. I write it because it's real, and I need to get it out. There are many of you who will understand all too well. Read if you like, I understand if you can't or don't want to. It's okay. Remember a while ago when I talked about the "reset button" after a grueling code in the ER?  This is another of those moments.

There is a patient I had a while back that continues to visit my thoughts on a frequent basis. She was 15 years old. She had been found by a dumpster minimally responsive. She had been left there by a man who had paid for her services and had no further use for her. She was intoxicated and high on several illicit drugs. In the brief time the police officers were on scene they answered three different phone calls from her John inquiring as to when she'd be ready to go out again. She came to the ER alone, unconscious, and cold. Among other life saving treatment, a catheter was used to get a urine sample in order to quickly tell what drugs were in her system. There were over-use injuries noted that are unspeakable. And she was fifteen. And she was drunk and high and homeless and a prostitute and fifteen. Our social worker was put on the task of locating a family member, guardian, or someone responsible for the child. A friend was eventually located who shed some light to the fact that the child had been living this lifestyle for two years, had run away from home, and that her mother was in the same line of employment.  She eventually sobered and warmed up. When she was awake, she wasn't scared. She wasn't upset that she was in the ER alone and hooked up to all sorts of cords and wires. It wasn't her first rodeo. When she was ready to be discharged she was belligerent. And she was fifteen. And there-in lies the true tragedy.

I see hard things. I see people die that shouldn't. I see people be kept alive in ways that I consider tortuous, treated by family members in ways worse than you'd treat a dog. I've saved people that have been stabbed, shot, raped; and I've taken care of people who have not survived these occurrences. I work every day as part of an amazing team, and we've all seen tough things. This one case, more than any I've been a part of stuck with me. It made it really hard for me to go to work for a long time. I kept telling people that I needed to live in a world where 15 year-olds weren't homeless alcoholic strung-out prostitutes. I needed to live in a world where that doesn't exist, where I can blind myself with rose-colored glasses to life's harsh reality.  I thought seriously about finding a new field of nursing to work in. I first thought babies. But I realized when you work in the NICU you sometimes have to deal with parents who don't deserve to be parents, with babies who suffer and will die through no fault of their own. I thought about doing pediatrics, but I know I couldn't handle seeing child abuse cases any more than I already do. I thought about every single avenue of nursing out there, and they all have their downfalls. It was a really bleak way to look at life. But I'm still at it. Still in the emergency department. Do you know why?

Tonight there was a moment on Grey's Anatomy where Meredith was finally able to locate the source of bleeding in a critical patient in surgery. She clamped the blood vessel and asked the interns in the room if anyone knew what to do next. The answer she gave them was "30 second dance party" and there, in the OR, they took 30 seconds to have a little dance party.  That's why I'm still where I am. That's why there's nurses that are still where I am after fifty years. That's why there's nurses that go back to work even after having to carry premature neonates down nine flights of stairs while bagging them during a hurricane-induced power outage and generator failure.  I saw three of those nurses a few days later being interviewed on TV a few days later, and they were asked how they were able to appear so calm in the face of so much chaos. They all three smiled and gave some form of the answer, you do what you have to do. The truth is, that's what we're trained for. That. Is. What. We. Do.

That is why I'm still here. Because of the 30 second dance parties after your septic patient finally has a blood pressure in the 70's. After the pulmonary fibrosis patient is finally able to be intubated on the seventh try because of scarring. After the gun shot wound to the chest and the eviscerated stab wound to the abdomen make it successfully to surgery. After the patient on every medication drip known to pharmacy stabilizes enough to be moved to the ICU. After the patient moves a hand after being given clot-busting medication following a paralyzing stroke. I'm here because of the baby who smiles and blows bubbles at you when they feel better. I'm here for the veteran's thanks for a job well done, when it is I that owe him more thanks than can be expressed. I'm here because sometimes, things go right. And when they do, there is ALWAYS a 30 second happy-dance party. Sometimes physically, but at the very least in my head. I'm here because I'm a member of a team that makes miracles happen. Yes, there are hard days. And there will be many more days, many more patients that will make me question if I have the stamina to do it again. Those patients really do take everything out of you. Everything. But I come back every day, because every day there are victories no matter how small. And no victory is too small for a 30 second dance party.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Requested Recipes

At the request of a dear friend of mine, I've decided to share a few of my new healthy-me eating plans. Quite honestly I hesitate to do so, becuase what has been healthy and helpful for me and my food issues certainly wouldn't work for everyone. And the most important part of being healthy and whole is to know yourself, and abide by what you know.   Few basic rules.  No dairy, no added sugar, no added salt, no cooking with oils, nothing processed.  Next up was the schedule. One of my issues was that I would get too busy or bored or just flat out forget to eat. It was not uncommon for me to not eat anything the entire day then get home from a grueling 12 hour shift at the ER and gorge on whatever comfort or processed food I could round up in my food depleted house. So the first thing I had to do was start grocery shopping, and then eating. For me, the strictly regimented schedule of eating something at least every two hours, and never going longer than three was great. It's a pretty basic pattern, a serving of protein, carb, and vegetable for breakfast and lunch with snacks of fruit and fat in between, then a protein and vegetable for dinner. I'm just not a morning person, so the thought of cooking --say an egg white and spinich onlette with a whole grain english muffin is just not going to happen in the morning, so I substituted a low-glycemic meal replacement shake.  But it's that simple. A serving of protein, vegetable, and carb for breakfast. two to three hours later I have a serving of fruit and healthy fat.  My favorite so far is a peach cut up and warmed in a small frying pan with cinammon and crunched up pecans. Any combination of fruit and nuts, or avacado will work.  Two hours later is lunch, another carb vegetable and protein. Two hours later, more fruit and fat, and then for dinner a vegetable and a protein. 

The portions are also key. The amount of calories your body needs in a day is dependant on your currant weight. And it took me at least the first two weeks to get used to actually eating so much food. But I could definitely feel a difference when my body got used to being fueled properly, and my natural metabolism kicked back in.  To find the portion guidelines and eating schedule I used go to the Advocare website and look up the 24-day challenge.  The meal plan and even a recipe book can be downloaded for free. I did the whole shebang with the herbal cleanse and all the vitamins and everything for the 24 days, but I've continued it to be my lifestyle. I just felt too good not to. The difference is I only take my regular multivitamin and fish oil supplements now. Back on track... so check out the serving size of each food category for your weight class. Follow it. It's amazing.  The thing I've found so great and sustainable about this way of living is that it's reasonable. You still eat carbs. You still eat fats, you still eat everything! Check out the website to get the list of healthy carbs...there's plenty of them. Just remember no instant rice and nothing processed. Take the time to do it the right way for yourself. You're worth the time.  Another important tool to remember is season!!! Just because it's healthy doesn't mean it has to be bland! Do you know how many spices there are besides salt?! And they're all better. Use every spice you like and as much of it as you like, you DON'T need salt, I promise you won't even miss it!!

Here's a couple of the recipes I've tried and loved so far. I have one day a week where I make all my food for the week, that way all I have to do is portion out what I need and I'm set. It takes no more than 15 minutes to throw my healthy food together for the day. Perfect!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Burritos:
4 Boeless-skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat
8oz no-sugar added tomato sauce
1/2 c salsa
1pkg low sodium taco seasoning
1t chili pwd
1t cumin
2 cloves minced garlic

Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. I like to shred the chicken then put it on a fresh salad with a cut up fresh tomato and low sodium rinsed black beans. No salad dressing needed, it's delish all on its own!

Lemon-Dill Baked Tilapia
8 Tilapia fillets, thawed
1/4 c low sodium chicken broth
1 lemon
Fresh dill sprigs

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with the tilapia fillets. Pour the chicken broth over the fish to prevent burning/sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cover the fish with a thin layer of fresh dill sprigs. Cover the dill with thin slices of fresh lemon. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the lemon slices and dill before serving/storing.

Pepper-Basted Grilled Chicken/Turkey

6T olive oil mayo
1T lemon juice
1T vinegar
1T pepper
1t sea-salt

Shake all ingredients together in a small jar/bottle. Baste a thin layey on chicken/turkey just before removing it from the frill. Store remaining baste in the fridge until next time!

Slow Cooker Chicken Azteca

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c low sodium chicken broth
1 c no sugar added salsa
1 can low sodium black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cloves minced garlic
1t cumin

Cook over low for 6-7 hours. This is another one where I like to shred the chicken in the slow cooker and eat it over a bowl of salad with fresh tomatoes. The chicken is good warm or cold over a salad.

That's it so far... it carries pretty far if you're just cooking for one :)  This week I'm making a slow-cooker Country Captain Chicken and a slow-cooker Marmalade Curry Chicken. I'll let you know how they turn out next Sunday. Perphaps along with next week's recipes of Hungarian Chicken, and Applesauce Chicken.  Happy healthiness my friends!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Warm!!!!

Here's what I had cooking yesterday. My nourishment, my winter warmth, my way to fake the sun in the oh-so-sunless Pacific Northwest, and most of all my latest step on my healthy me quest. Bikram Yoga of Renton. A set of 26 postures held in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity for 90 minutes. It's 90 minutes of warm heaven --minus the light-headed nauseous moments where all you want to do is run outside and lay on the cold wet concrete... Or at least out to the lobby. But an exercise in self control and mind-over-matter is good for you. And it really is great!!! What is everyone finding for nourishment this week?

Monday, October 29, 2012

This Thing Called Sandy

I wrote on Facebook earlier that if I had a therapist I imagine we'd spend some time discussing the fact that Sandy is making my missing of NYC much worse.  Immediately after posting it I considered deleting it. But it was authentic at the time, so I left it. I think a therapist could seriously do me some good. I've even done the research and have one picked out to try first. I'm just too chicken to actually make the call. That's beside the point. It's not unreasonable to wish that I was in NYC for this particular epic moment. I miss New York nearly all the time. But it's the spirit of myf riends and neighbors that is making the yearning worse today. There is nothing I'd love more that holing up in my 15th floor pre-war apartment watching the storm outside my window overlooking the Hudson. I'd revel in the spirit of strength and defience and community that is I'm sure abounding. I'd even love the adventure that I'm sure would be getting from my humble abode on West 34th St to St. Lukes on 113th and Amsterdam.  It's something that can't be quantified for those who have never experienced this particular NYC magic.

Also, DC... this photo is from my favorite place in Washington. May God bless and watch over these honorable men now and always.

With all this missing of and longing to be in the East Coast --even and especially in these terrible conditions-- I think it's excellent that this week's wellness focus is on nourishment. I'm in need of nourishing, and I can't wait!! I have a little something in the works for tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tonight I got a ride in the back of one of these babies!!!  From the ambulance bay to the employee parking lot. Across the street. And I was still giddy as a little school girl. I still can't stop grinning. Believe it or not, I've never been inside one.  These guys are SO cool!!! :) (And yes, I called dibs on the airway if we got called to a call on the way across the street)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Being Healthy

First, a few discoveries I've made in my quest to eat clean natural healthy foods. You have to do dishes a lot more often. Your garbage stinks a lot more. Fresh foods go bad, I suppose this is a good thing. And most importantly, you just FEEL good! In every possible way. My skin is soft, my complexion is clear, my hair is radiant, my lips are luscious and don't need chapstick, my belly is happy, etc.  Today I came across this little board on Pinterest, and thought it fit well with the Weekly Wellness challenge.

I Vow To...

  • Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight
  • Never blame my body for the bad day I'm having
  • Stop joining in when my friends compare and trash their own bodies
  • Never allow a dirty look from someone else to influence how I feel about my appearance
  • Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think, breathe...
  • Quiet that negative little voice in my head when it starts to say mean things about my body that I'd never tolerate anyone else saying about me
  • Remember that even the girl who I'd swap bodies with in a minute has something about her looks that she hates
  • Respect my body by feeding it well, working up a sweat, and knowing when to give it a break
  • Know that I'm already beautiful just the way I am
  • Not let my size define me. It's far better for focus on how awesome I look in my jeans than the number on the tag
  • Surround myself with positive people
  • Accept the changes that my body is going through. I will rock what I've got
  • Remember that sometimes I will have down moments. And in those times I will remind myself of how awesome I am by looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm good! I can do this!"
  • Accept that beauty isn't just about my looks. It's my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole unique package
Go forth and be healthy my friends! Love yourselves, and be kind!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quick Notes

*Does anyone else think that perhaps the basis of choosing a leader for our country should be based on something a little more substantial than who he thinks should be able to marry whom?

*Mothers, motherhood is amazing.

*I'm taking a do-over on last week's wellness challenge. I didn't disconnect from any technology and I really look forward to the challenge. Quite frankly I just forgot. So I'll add it on to the end.

*Veggies this week... Yay!!!

*Be authentic... hmm, yeah. Yes.

*FedEx is almost like unto the post office. No bueno.

*Today I dumped all 120 of my crayons from their compartmentalized boxes where they were color coordinated in order into a giant pencil box. This is a big deal.

*I think my teeth are beginning to yellow, and I have arthritis in my hips. That or hip dysplasia like an old arthritic dog... Old age is rough.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ah, the Inspiration of 80's Rock

Lying awake and flipping through old photo albums on facebook reminiscing... And having my semi-annual geographical identity crisis. Wow, I've had some good times. And wow, there were some photos that are still hard to look at. And I really really need to start going to the gym again, because damn I look good in some of those photos!! Which reminds me... Wellness Week Three. How we doin' folks?  Was your nighttime routine as helpful as mine was? I sure do hope so. This week, stretch.  I'm not so much trying a new form of exercise as much as I am starting to exercise again. Slowly and healthily, not obsessively, but daily walks again will be nice. And in thinking of new forms of exercise, I'm kind of becoming fascinated by tai chi ...don't laugh. Anyone have experience? I like the balance and meditative factors.

Now, the geographical identity crisis.  And in the words of a great 80s rock song...and one of my life's themes, "I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been, hanging on the promises and songs of yesterday. I've made up my mind, I aint wasting no more time, here I go again. Though I keep searching for an answer, I never seem to find what I'm looking for. Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on, 'cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams. Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I've ever known..."  Because each individual road is the only one each of us know. And it is our own.  So is going home the answer for me? Is that quitting, or running away? Can I do it without feeling claustrophobic and trapped?  Can I do it and not loose the me that I've worked so hard to find? Do I want to travel again?  Maybe I really was born a drifter... I certainly would be in good company with many of my travelling friends who feel the same way.  But then you hear your nephew's sweet voice on the other end of the video chat, so excited to hear you, and that just feels so right. Is staying here or going somewhere new running away? Why am I so scared?  And it's not must my nephew. It's my brother. And my sister, and my two amazing in-laws. And my mommy and my daddy. It's a friend in New Orleans, a friend in North Carolina, one in Florida-now-Pittsburgh, one in Iowa, and another friend who hasn't spoken to me for years. It's the memories, and the photos and the people. Ultimately though, it's me. But I'm scared. It's terrifying. Moving my geographical location won't change the fact that my heart is in Seattle and my Soul is still in New York. But it also won't hamper my ability to travel, learn, explore, and discover. It won't change my friendships, I'll always have those, the true ones. So there's that.

 It's fascinating to me to look through old photographs and see all the people you used to be. To remember being in a particular place and at a particular stage of growing up in adulthood. "Ah, this is before I moved here and learned this." "You can tell that's a girl who is completely lost as to who she is." "Look how happy I am here."  I took quite a little journey tonight over the past ...few years of my life. It's too late to think about how many exactly. I can just say how truly grateful I am for the journey. For the moments of love and laughter. For the moments of abandonment and utter loneliness. For the mistakes and for the imperfections because, as I told a friend earlier this evening, that's what makes a person.  (Someone please remind me of this the next time I'm sobbing on my couch at three in the morning because I'm so alone.)  Those imperfect moments are still hard, and I have no advice on how to get through them, just to get through them. Even if it means taking a day and literally not getting out of bed. But just one day, then the next day you have to make yourself get up and do it. Go to your "have to" from The Rookie of the Year.  I still have no answers for many of the prayers that I've sent skyward in those moments. Hope is so important, and in the words of one of my 'go-to' Grey's quotes, sometimes "I need a sign that things are going to change. I need a reason to go on. I need some hope! And in the absence of hope, I need to stay in bed and feel like I might die today." Some days are just like that. But you won't die. And somehow, those days end.

I'm not sure that this is even making sense. It's a lot of jumble in my head that somehow makes sense to me. kind of. Some of it does. Some of it I just don't know.  I just feel like I've had a lot of friends lately who have been struggling with feeling heard and alone. I don't know the answers, but I know the feeling, and sometimes that is just as important as anything. We're all in this crazy thing called life together.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To-Do Lists

These are what keeps me sane. My 'save your money reminder board,' aka checklist, aka to-do list. The first one is a list of things I successfully planned and saved for. The second, my new list that replaced the old one this morning :) ...things I have in the works.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Early to bed....

How's everyone's week two challenge going? Everyone settling into a nighttime routine and getting plenty of rest?  I have just a couple tidbits I wanted to share after the first few days. First, one thing I've also discovered is that I don't need to force myself to sleep for 8-10 hours. And when I do force myself to stay in bed that long with the thought that I have to be responsible for saving lives all night long, I wake up more groggy with much less energy than if I would have allowed myself to get out of bed two hours ago when I first naturally woke up.  Also... and this one relates to my food and mental health issues as well. I'm trying to stay upright more. My college roommates and others who know me well are giggling now because we always laughed at how much we loved to just be horizontal.  But I'm realizing that I'm in a much better state of mind and again have more energy (and less heartburn) when I sit on the couch except for the hour before I go to bed. And sitting up while/after eating?  Genius!! Lol, it probably sounds silly, but I'm still in an true confession state of mind.

P.S. Things I'm grateful for today: neti-pots, and blenders.  Also, I'm reading the most fabulous book right now. I was belly-laughing so hard last night that I was crying. I'd have to stop after every sentence because I couldn't see through the laughter-tears. Look forward to a summary when I finish :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

True Confessions

How is everyone's wellness by the week going? I stuck to the drinking more water each day last week, and I must say it feels good just to know that you're doing something good for yourself!  This week, turning in early and establishing a bedtime routine. This one is different for me since I work until 0330 four nights a week. But I'm still applying the suggestion. Immediately upon getting home, I wash my face, and do my whole bedtime routine, then I wind down as I watch tv or read a book. I used to do it the other way around. I'd wind down and waste time for hours, then get ready for bed, frequently not getting to bed until around 7am. I found the previous two nights that by getting in a bedtime mood sooner, then unwinding I'm almost always asleep by 5, and I wake earlier and more refreshed. Good times :)

Now on to the full disclosure. This week I'm also starting something else in the way of being healthy and a whole person. I'm doing an herbal cleanse in conjunction with a healthy eating training plan. It's not a diet, and it's not one of those crazy 'drink only juice for a week' things. It's eating 5-6 small meals a day packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, turkey, chicken, fish, and healthy fats. And the cleanse portion entails a fiber drink with vitamins and probiotics. The first time I remember struggling with my weight and body image was in 5th grade. The truly sad part is that looking back I can't think of a single one of my girlfriends that didn't battle with their body image in some way or another. There were periods of time in middle and high school where I would not eat a single solitary thing during the week days. I was busy enough with school and after school activities that I thought I could get away with it as long as I ate on the weekends when I was spending time with my family. There were periods of time when I would eat nothing but carrots, and bring lettuce sandwiches to school. I had friends that ate nothing but the occasional bowl of rice. And ya know what, we were all beautiful girls! Clearly, we weren't quite healthy, but an outsider would not be able to justify our 'need' for extreme dieting. Thankfully, we've all become healthy beautiful young women. Yes, we're thirty and I'm still calling us young.

My attitudes toward my body image and the need to diet to get my weight under control have continued. I've tried almost every diet out there, unable to dissociate the way I look from my self-worth.  It's been a long road, but over the last few years I've been slowly able to accept myself for what I am. Self-perceived shortcomings and all.  I am what I am. I vowed to stop dieting and have worked instead on adopting a healthy lifestyle.  Even now for the last few months, while I've worked on everything else there are days when all I eat is a couple bananas, or an apple. Or a box of mac 'n cheese. Or a few cheetohs. And it's not because of the body issues so much, it's because I hate grocery shopping, and putting together homemade meals and planning and shopping for one is a LOT of effort, and I just don't do it. Until now. I deserve to eat real meals, and I am worth grocery shopping for so that I can have healthy foods! I've come to the blissful realization that I am beautiful and worth investing in. It's taken a lot of work to be able to go to friends' weddings and have photographs taken without feeling like I need to starve myself the few months before to look better in the pictures. I've accepted what I am fully. The key difference though is in accepting myself and accepting that I'm worthy and deserving of a healthy lifestyle, and not accepting what is and just giving up and laying on the couch all day. I am worth eating breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. I am worth drinking lots of water. I am worth living in a clean apartment, I am worth eating healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. I am worth putting makeup on and getting ready for the day, even if I don't have any plans. I am worth clean sheets on my bed, and a scrubbed clean bathtub. And I am worth getting daily exercise and putting only good things in my body. And it's not about loosing or gaining weight. It's about being healthy. Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy soul. And being happy. I deserve it. And so do all of you. So let's keep on with the wellness by the week challenge, and adapt whatever you need to in your life to obtain a healthy body, mind, and soul. We're worth it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wellness by the Week

I got this idea from a blog that I follow by the fabulous Meg  And I think it's fabulous.  Life is so cluttered and so busy, and this is a fabulous way to focus on small steps to being a more healthy and complete person bit by bit.  Who's in?!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seasons of Love

I'm afraid my heart is in one of those mooshy gooshy girl moods where everything feels soft and warm and I just want... something. My brain is craving something besides the peanut butter m&ms I left in my camping bag in the trunk of my car. The thing is, it's cold out there now, it's warm in here, and honestly, I don't want to put pants on... Anyway, back on track. My brain is craving a workout. A real barn burner of a think puzzle. Last time I felt like this I signed myself up for a second bachelors degree. Oy. I even downloaded a brain training app that's supposed to "give your brain a daily work out." And it does, but it's not enough. I need something. Something. I think it's the fall. There's something about the chill of fall that makes a girl long for a great pair of boots, a soft warm sweater, and a calloused hand to hold while walking down a tree-lined street. This is not an ideal time to watch Midnight in Paris in the absence of someone to curl into during the movie. Yet it's all that sounded good on my DVR tonight. I've been craving something lately, I can't put my finger on what exactly it is. I've dove into books that quench the thirst for adventure in a far off land, and movies that do the same. There is a stack of nine, yes, count them, nine books on my nightstand. Some I've finished and just haven't moved to my finished basket, some I'm in the middle of, and a couple I've started and then decided I wasn't in the mood for. ADD much? :) Each tale I read or play I see just makes me want to read and see more. My appetite for fantasy and adventure is becoming insatiable. It's a beautiful thing to be able to dream, no? Bring it on fall, I welcome you with open arms!

First photo by yours truly, second two from Pinterest

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thought Keeping Me Up Tonight

Ok, its not so much keeping me up, that was probably my evening nap. But the memory does flit through my mind from time to time... That's just too long of a title. My third grade teacher, Ms. Crescent, told my parents once at a parent-teacher conference that while I was a delightful student to have in class, sometimes I needed to follow the rules. She showed them a piece of writing I had done and pointed out that while it was actually correct in the way I used it, she had taught us that day that sentences shouldn't start with"and." I did it right though! I'm still bitter about it. I don't know why. I can even tell you where her classroom was, where we were sitting in the classroom when she told us that, and that I was wearing hot pink pants and a hot pink and white striped button-down shirt. I need to learn to let things go.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Memoir

Today I lost a mentor and a friend; The woman who was my second mother through my teenage years, who loved me and helped teach me how to love others. When nursing school was a dream for me she answered all my questions and cheered me through the realization of my dream. She put up with my and my best friend's medical terminology quizzing, and didn't even seem to mind. She was a great influence on that nice kind sweet gentle person I used to be, that's still inside me somewhere.  And now she's in a better place, free of pain, and of the torture that pained her these last few months. Peace and blessings to her sweet and amazing family. She will be greatly missed.
As I walked into work today, I couldn't help but think that the clouds were dark in mourning, but they parted to welcome her home, and for her to be able to watch over us still. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that families are forever.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I believe in unplanned ice cream in a park with live music. I believe in taking one day a week for yourself with nothing that you HAVE to do. I believe in talking with your family every day, no matter your age, no matter the distance between you. I believe in a summer diet of watermelon, cucumbers, crackers and popsicles. I'm the girl who likes to reminisce over her own photos from years gone by; laugh, smile, and cry. I'm the girl who will cry like a baby while watching an HBO special on Derek Jeter's 3000th hit. I believe in going to bed before 9pm every once in a while.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Home Free

You'll all be very happy to know that they let me back in the country, and even more surprisingly, no one had to drag me kicking and screaming. Greece was absolutely incredible. I am still computer-less, and my ocpd won't let me write about it and post photos later. So stay tuned. Suffice it to say that each section of the trip had its own magnificence. Athens had the history, Mykonos had the beaches, and Santorini had the culture. Santorini was the pinnacle of the realization of an eleven-year dream, and I can't wait to tell you all about it! In the meantime, the things I will miss the most are the beautiful sunshine, the indescribable clear blue water, the sounds of the church bells over the nighttime city sounds, and the sounds of the beautiful Greek language. I am glad however, to be back in a land where people are allowed to flush their toilet paper, and smoking is socially unacceptable. And my bed, oh my bed. Always my bed!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On My Way

Here I am. At the airport. In my hands is a passport, a ticket that says Athens, and a chunk of euros. It's weird. Just weird. It's really here. My roommates and I all said in college that when we turned 30 we would go to Greece. And now here I am. That makes this the fulfillment of a goal I have had longer than any other in my thirty years. Longer than any of my college degrees or even my career. Not that those things just happened, because there was a LOT of blood, sweat, tears, and unbelievable hard work involved, but I set out to do them and withn a year, two at most, they were done. Eeeeekkkk!!!!!! I'm going to greece! :) ...and I tried to upload a picture of said items but I apparently can't upload it to blogger from my iPad. Grrr...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Playing House

Fair warning: I had this entire post done last night on a computer that isn't mine (mine died, very sad) and then somehow instead of publishing it it just reverted to only the pictures. I didn't have the energy to do it again, so I'm attempting now :)

Amidst the chaos that has been my life the past month with vacations and vacation planning and graduation (something I still need to talk about ...maybe when I have my own computer back) I've spent a couple weeks house-sitting for friends. A couple weeks ago I spent a week at a dear friend, Janice's house. Janice has three dogs. And three horses. I grew up with neither dogs nor horses. But she left me excellent instructions and I'm a quick learner so I figured I'd be fine. Did you ever see The Simple Life with Nichole Richie and Paris Hilton?   ...Well... The first night I brought my friend Siobhan with me for moral support. We were on our way to a farewell party for a friend at work (Read: we were in skirts and sandals)  but came to feed the animals before we went.  So we pull up in front of the house and Duke, the outside dog, began barking furiously. When we left the car and crossed the gate into the yard it became a ferocious bark and growl at the intruders on his space. I jumped back ready to run away crying, but Siobhan (who has a dog) saved me from the ferocious beast and we soon became good friends after a little food (not me thank goodness ;) ) and scratching of the ears --his, not mine. We met the other two dogs, fed them, and let them out to play while we ventured out to feed the horses. On our second guess we found the hay shed. It turns out there's a lot of sheds/lean-tos on a farm. Janice had explained to me what a flake is (a chunk of hay that a horse eats) and told me that she'd leave the scissors in a bale so I'd know about how big it was. Perfect. I had been assured that the hay would just fall right apart into the flakes, so it shouldn't be a big deal. I pulled on one end of a bale and nothing happened. Hmmm. So I pulled harder. Still nothing. I glanced at my surroundings and saw a pitchfork. I could use this! I stabbed the pitchfork over my head into the chest-high bale of hay, nearly whacking my friend with the stick end in the process. Sorry. The only thing the pitchfork helped us accomplish was tipping the entire bale up and almost on top of ourselves. At this point it occurs to me that perhaps the bale of hay is tied together with something. and that maybe the scissors served dual purpose. Aha. Those of you with horse/farm experience are getting quite a chuckle right now. So let's review. Lessons I leaned on my first day on the farm: Flip flops --not great farm-wear apparel. Dogs bark. Loud. And finally, bales of hay come wrapped in strings of twine, and will come apart much easier after you cut the twine.  Fortunately, I survived the rest of the week without incident and adjusted quite well to life on the farm. I quite loved it! Apart from the allergic rash on my arms and constantly runny nose from the hay. But the animals I loved. And I even got used to making every step with three dogs underfoot, because they followed me everywhere I went. Inside and out.  Here's two of my cuddle buddies from Janice's house, Lucy and Koda:

and here's Noble with a carrot fresh from Laury's garden ...this helped me get in her good graces :)

This week I'm house-sitting for another coworker who's on a sailing/camping/wedding extravaganza.  Only one pupae to take care of this time. Not really a puppy, but a beautiful 13 year-old golden retriever named Saba. I'm in love already.  She's just so sweet!! Never makes a sound, loves to play, and just needs to be in the same room where you are so she can make sure you're in good company.  I'm quite smitten.

Her favorite spot to walk in is right between your legs. She just wiggles herself right in there and could stay there for blocks if you let her. I myself don't have the coordination to do this for a long time without tripping and falling, but it does make me giggle :)

She's 13 and has arthritis and I still get worn out of playing fetch before she does!

She does poop our eventually though... at least kind of :)

I prefer to unwind in the very giant bathtub.... The view from this place doesn't suck either. Yes, I have it quite rough this week :)  In fact, if I wasn't going to Greece in a couple days it may be slightly awkward when Scott and Shelby come home to find that I'm not leaving and have commandeered their dog :)