Friday, August 12, 2011

operation: buy a house.

Crazy picture, huh?! There was some very strange weather the other day that left the sky looking like a beautiful painting...

So our newest goal is to buy a house... ie: pay off debt, save a little in the process, get our act together, and hopefully within the next year be ready to buy. Needless to say, I have been dragging on some credit card debt for quite some time now and am ready to be free of it for good. For this, I have made a pay off goal for each month between now and January and will hopefully pay it off by then with our own money, and the remainder to be paid by our tax return in January/February. Boring, I know, but so worth it in the end! Our lease is up in February, so I'm thinking we will sign one more and just save for the next year for a down payment. Can we do it? If I give our credit cards to mom and dad and instruct them not to let us have them, yes :) I can't WAIT to buy and not feel like I have a cloud of debt hanging over our heads 24/7. This isn't even talking about my student loans, which I just consolidated, which I hope to pay off by the time I die! Money SUCKS! Anywho!

I went to an information session for RN-MS today and am totally motivated to do it as soon as possible! I only wish I had started looking earlier so I could be starting this month! Instead, I will apply by Feb 1st and hopefully find out if I was accepted by May and start August 2012. If I do this, I will have my NP by Spring 2014... meaning full time school and possible full time work, WOW I'm crazy. But so so so worth it if I am done by Spring 2014 :) I really want to do the pediatric NP, but am hearing more and more that I should pursue family NP because there are more options available once I graduate, but I can still do pediatrics with it. Decisions decisions! Enough rambling, I need to run to clear my head.

peace :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Needless to say, it's been QUITE a long time since my last entry. Between the wedding, new job, and life period, I truly didn't have time to even think these last few months, not to mention blogging! So as of this past Sunday, John and I have been married 3 months :) The wedding was amazing and absolutely the best time of both our lives. The week prior could have been better, but no use in dwelling. Note to self: don't combine two families like that EVER again the week before the most important day of your life. BAD IDEA! The wedding went without a hitch and I was incredibly pleased with ALL of our vendors whom I obtained all on my own :) Here are a few of our favorite pics:

Poor Beau couldn't be in the wedding because he would have dragged my niece down, so just Lilo was in the wedding ;) But Beau did have a fantastic time at the beach!
LOVE the black and white pics :)

It's official!

Whatcha lookin at?!
So I have continued to run, even though I have slowed down a lot on the training. The next race I have is the Wicked 10k on Halloween weekend, but I am tentative about signing up for anymore incase "something" were to happen between now and then ;) Yes, John and I are TALKING about little ones, but still just playing with the idea, no definites yet ;) Mentally we're there, but is it a good idea of I'm thinking about starting back to school this coming spring? Should I go back earlier rather than later? Should we buy a house first? Mom's response to that was "you can easily fit a baby in your rental home!" Ha ;)

From what I have learned, if you don't have your NP or are not enrolled in an NP program by 2014, there will be none and all will be required to obtain their doctorate in nursing instead. I definitely DON'T want to do that, so NP it is! I'm actually going to look at VCU tomorrow for an information session about theirs in either family practice or pediatrics. I miss pediatrics! I love my unit, but with all the crazy changes and over-flow patients we have gotten recently, I'm wishing more and more that I was in pediatrics now... We shall see what the future holds!

More to come later, off to make some granola!

Monday, March 28, 2011

so close I can taste it.

Wowzers, 40 days! I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that if some little things don't get done, it's not the end of the world and the wedding will STILL be amazing :) We finished the ceremony music selection and the DJ list yesterday and those are mailed off, along with the details sheet for the photographer so they know what shots we want and where. I'm trying really hard not to freak out and over diet the next month, but it is so hard to do! My final dress fitting is Friday, along with the Monument Ave 10K Saturday. At least work prevents me from over doing the running and exercising because I simply can't run on days I work a 12 hour shifts.

So I have made a list of races that I want to do this year, and hopefully will do all of them (depending on what weekends I am working... we are required to work once every 3)

Monument Ave 10k 4/2
Ashland 10k 4/30
Carytown 10k 5/15
Patrick Henry 1/2 marathon 8/27 OR Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon 9/4
Capitol 10 miler 10/1
Wicked 10k 10/29
Richmond 1/2 marathon 11/12
Turkey Trot 10k 11/24

I really wish there were more in June/July, but I haven't found any yet I like.... suggestions??

Off to prep dinner in the crockpot... These cold days always make me crave crockpot yummy dinners! More later on what I choose :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Beau was begging for Lilo's bone, knowing that he had already finished his, so he just stared at it... he's so adorable I can't help but take hundreds of pictures of him...

With only 45 days to go, needless to say I haven't put aside much time to update the 'ole blog! Wish I could say that all checks were signed, but there's going to definitely be a push over the next few weeks to finish paying for everything. Time to live thrifty! Oh wait, that hasn't stopped since nursing school ;)

Speaking of which, I am LOVING my job. I love my patients, crazy or not, and feel like a sponge at work, learning more and more every day. My preceptor and I have been working very well together and she gives me the space that I need and is right there when I need her which fits for me perfectly. It has been an adjustment from working for a state hospital to a catholic hospital, but I feel it is the change that I needed and will love in the long run.

And running! I slacked off for a little while, but I am improving over the last few weeks :) I have logged 16 miles so far this week with my 5 miles Saturday, 6 Sunday, and 5 more today. Feels so good to be back in the groove since the weather is finally improved! It was in the 70s today, but is getting colder this weekend, unfortunately since we have plans for the Irish Festival this weekend. Guess we will just have to bundle up Saturday!

Is it crazy that I am already thinking about going back to school? I am playing with the idea of starting my bachelors degree in nursing next January, but after telling this to someone, they questioned me "why don't you just do the RN to MSN track?!". Hmm. Much to think about. If I do my BSN, I can remain with the same nursing school that I was originally with in which I know the teachers and feel comfortable. If I do MSN, I have to go elsewhere. Comfortable or new?? Always something that I have had a hard time determining....

We had an awesome time visiting friends in northern VA last weekend :) felt so good to just let our hair down and be "goofy" again together :)
Oh, and my poor cat Twix had to have major mouth surgery. The poor thing had gingivitis and ended up getting so badly inflamed that she had to have 9 teeth pulled. 9 FREAKIN TEETH! My poor little toothless twix! She has, however, become a whole new cat since they were removed. She is crazy as can be and finally has tolerable breath :)

Well, back to my movie :) I am so loving the freedom of no school and just relaxing with my babe every night... Maybe school can wait a little longer :)
ps, John is about 2 months free of cigarets! I am SOOOO proud of him :)

My babies at the back door loving spring :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

i'm a bad blogger

I've been a very bad blogger. Laying around on this lazy Sunday morning, I thought to myself "wow, it's been forever since I've blogged!". So here goes, my crazy busy life...

First of all, has anyone had Sweet Frog frozen yogurt? OMG best new hot spot in Richmond, hands down. They have this amazing wall of frozen yogurt that you can mix and match whatever you like... my most recent was peach and chocolate mixed :) Then, you get to add whatever toppings from the amazing options. I personally LOVE the fruit/chocolate/nut/reese's pieces combo :) It's all I can do to ONLY indulge maybe once a week, but YUM!
So I have also been working on my DIY wedding goodies the past few weeks, including my shell frame which I painted a off white then glued shells that John and I have collected over the past few years and this will be over the picture frame "guest book" for our guests to sign at the wedding! I love love love this idea to showcase the "guest book" frame as something to hang on the wall, instead of the traditional guest books that get put away and never looked at again. It also makes me feel very crafty to do things like this for the wedding and putting my personal touches here and there :) There are a few others but life has been CRAZY the last month with the new J-O-B!
I have also gotten hooked to making granola all the time, even John has developed a love of it, too! He has been snacking on that more than he does on sweets now, choosing that for desert sometimes instead of ice cream... SO incredibly proud of him and the lifestyle changes that he has been making recently... including QUITTING SMOKING! We hit the one month Thursday that he has quit and I couldn't be more proud! He has become a gum-o-holic, but I'll take that any day over cigarettes! He is also working out with me at least 2 times a week and about to run his first race with me in a month at the Ukrop's 10k. SO proud I could burst! :)
So, my new job is amazing and I love love love going to work every day :) I have been working for 5 weeks now as a registered nurse and couldn't be happier with my life decisions I made to make it where I am now in my life. Over the past few weeks, we went through computer charting training, hospital orientation, and super preceptor where we got to practice all the skills that we didn't have the opportunity to do in nursing school. Of these, I got to place foley catheters, straight cath, NG tubes, OG tubes, IV starts, blood draws, central/PICC line pulls and dressing changes, Code Blue, tube feeding, blood administration, PCA pumps, and much much more. It was a great experience and I feel like just practicing and watching those things over the last few weeks will help to give me the confidence I need when I hit the floor for real starting TOMORROW! My first week of work and I am scheduled for 44 hours! Hit the ground running I suppose :) 3 12 hour shifts await me, along with a basic arrhythmia class to perfect my knowledge of EKG strips and recognizing different heart rhythms since all patients on my unit are on telemetry monitors. Needless to say, this is part of why I have been such a slacker on blogging, because I have been brain dead after work from the mass knowledge being crammed in ;) Did I mention that I LOVE my job?!
And to top everything off, only 69 days until the wedding! It's been rather cute to see Prince William and Kate's count down on TV since theirs is one week before ours :) Bet she hasn't done ANY DIY stuff for theirs! We started marriage counseling a few weeks ago and it has been very helpful and eye opening and I really think it is going to help us to be a better couple. We are both getting so excited about the wedding and I can't wait for it to finally get here! I had my first dress fitting yesterday and got all pined up for my alterations to be made and will pick up my dress April 1st! We also got a necklace yesterday for me to wear with pearls and shells that I fell in love with. The bridal shower is next Saturday and I am so excited to see all my girl friends that I haven't seen in forever :)

So back to my lazy Sunday... seems like everyone is napping except for me in my house! I think I'll catch up on some reading until John wakes so we can go for a run... Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

wordless wednesday: key west butterfly gardens :)

yes, I'm a dork :)

These pictures just bring a calm happiness to my heart :) Hope it does the same for you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

oh cheese and rice

It's been a long couple of days. My man is sick so my world has all but come to a halting stop. I spent most of my evening (prior to the Thera Flue and Motrin kicking in) convincing him that he really didn't need to go to the hospital and that he had his own personal RN to care for him. Until his fever disappeared, it was getting testy whether I was going to remain nice and caring, but thankfully, he is FINALLY on the mend :) Yes, there is a God! Anyways, I made my first delicious hummus today! SO EASY! I have discovered yet another wonderful vegan website Fatfree Vegan and found this:


2 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tahini

In food processor, chop garlic. Add chickpeas and lemon juice and pulse until blended. Add water until it becomes a smooth paste. Add cumin, paprika, tahini and pulse until smooth. Garnish with parsley and paprika. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to let flavors blend and become delicious :)

Yum and YUM! I'll have to hold myself back from eating it all so I can enjoy the chicken cooking in the crockpot....
ALSO, I made these delicious no-bake yummies from my favorite website, Oh She Glows, last night because I was craving sweetness in the stress of caring for my sick man...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chews

1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp organic brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Line plate with parchment paper. In bowl, mix peanut butter, rice syrup, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Microwave on high 35-45 seconds and stir well. Immediately add cocoa powder. Add rice crisp cereal until all coated. Wet hands and make 7 golf-ball sized balls and place on parchment paper. Place in freezer for 5 minutes. Let stand 5 more minutes and enjoy! Delicious little yummies!
Anyways, we went to Washington D.C. last weekend to chat with an old friend about marrying us, and she said YES! We officially have her, as long as we go to our 3 more meetings and work on us as a couple ;) I think the counseling will do us a lot of good, especially in communicating with each other and finding out what we can do to bring out the best in each other and grow as a couple together :) Back again in 2 weeks!

I start on my floor tomorrow at the hospital! I have completed my computer training for our electronic charting and now have to do unit and hospital specific orientation, then preceptorship, but I am LOVING it so much :)

Does anyone else HATE running in the cold, because I sure do. This winter seems SO much harder to run outside than I remember experiencing last winter. I'm trying SO hard to make it to the gym at least 2-3 days a week and running outside at least once a week. I did have an awesome workout today though, running intervals on the tredmill at 6.0 mph for .25 miles then up to 7.5 mph and repeating until I had completed 3 miles. GOOD LORD did that beat me up! I then did my upper body and abs workout, but I need something new because I'm getting rather bored with my regimen. I heard that Jillian Michael's 30 day shred it pretty awesome and I'm considering purchasing it... Any user reviews out there???

Off to finish cooking dinner...

P.S. I have a severe obsession with taking pictures of my sleeping puppy :) He smiles in his sleep.