Monday, November 29, 2010

back to reality.

So! Yes, it's been quite a while since I last posted. John's wonderful grandmother, Maw-joe, passed away a week ago today and it has been a heck of a ride the last few weeks. We went to Radford, VA the Friday prior to visit because we had been told that "it won't be long", etc for quite some time. But, as was her nature, she fought her way through the entire weekend! John and I came back Sunday night because I had an exam Monday morning, then returned to Radford right after my exam (a 3.5 hour drive). About one hour after we arrived, she passed away very peacefully and when she decided she wanted to. After that, it was a whirl-wind of a week, viewing Tuesday, funeral Wednesday, Thanksgiving Thursday, back that night and back to work all weekend for me. All well worth the craziness, because I know I was right were I needed to be, supporting John's family and doing everything I could to help them. Maw-joe did say on Friday, when she was last responsive to John and I, "Love ya" just as she always had when we visited her, and I know he and I will cherish that forever.

So back to reality for this chica! And, ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT OF CLASS!!!! Thank God! The end is truly in sight, and man it looks good! Some how, after studying MAYBE 2 hours for my exam last Monday, I managed a 98 on it, better than I have done in forever. I think that Maw-joe was sitting right next to me taking it for me because I can't remember one question on that test.

10 mile race in Virginia Beach is this Saturday! The Surf n Santa 10 miler! Even though most of the girls I had planned on running with have decided not to run, I still have a couple to buddy up with :) And the schwag for this race is awesomeeee! Probably not a great idea for me to have taken a week off from running while I was out of town this past week, but I ran a little over 6 miles with dad yesterday and felt pretty good after. My knees definitely started aching about mile 5, but I think the 10 miler Saturday will be fun and not too hilly. We shall see how it goes!

Off to do some NCLEX reviewing, especially since I am planning on taking it in a month!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow...

I saw this at Fresh Market the other day and had to take a picture.... What the heck is that and what can I make with it?!

SO! I just got my tail handed to me at the gym. To the point of STILL feeling shaky over 45 minutes post-workout. This is all in the attempt to start toning more. I have lost the weight and am SO incredibly happy with that, but now it's time to tighten up a few spots that could stand a little work. My awesome workout buddy, Caroline (whom I have made her swear to never charge me for training when she becomes professional trainer some day), had me doing a whole series of squats, arms, abs, all with 1 minute intervals on the treadmill in between each set at 8.5 mph... the last one literally making me almost throw up. I had a "biggest loser moment". I was also thrilled to see that the pool is ALMOST done at my gym, so I will definitely be jumping in ASAP! Maybe my fantasy of triathlons are not too far out of reach ;)

Any who, heard some bad news today... John's grandmother (Maw-Jo), who was just this past weekend placed in a hospice-like facility, has taken a turn for the worse and is becoming more and more unresponsive :( I wish so bad that I could be there for the family, but between school and work can definitely not make it there until at least Thursday. Maw-Jo is a hilarious 80-something who I have so enjoyed getting to know over the past 3.5 years, watching her in her rocker gossiping about some good 'ole Radford juicy gossip, her loving heart for her family and her dogs, and has never skipped a beat with her tough love. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, along with John and his family as they handle it the best they know how to... together. I feel so blessed to have each and every one of them as my family :)

Busy month coming up!!!!!
~Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning
~THANKSGIVING!!! :) :) :)
~Mom, my niece, and my soon-to-be father-in-law's birthdays
~Surfn' Santa 10 miler in VA Beach Dec 4th
~Final exam EVER in nursing school
~NCLEX review

WHEW! Exhausted just thinking about it all, but I can't seem to stop staring at my calendar! My motto, keep busy and it FLIES by! Even more exciting is the new countdown until I start my new job as an RN :) Only 69 days!

And ps, only 172 days until I'm a married woman!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My first half on my half!

I successfully completed my FIRST HALF MARATHON, with my 68 year old father, and on my half birthday! (yikes, half way to 28!) It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done, but I will definitely do it again. My time was around 2:20, but I'm still waiting for the results to be posted.... Next up, Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving day & Surfin Santa 10 miler on December 4th! Gotta stick with it if I'm going to make it a lifestyle for good! The best motivation to me is that I keep amazing myself with my accomplishments. I have been running now for almost a year and actually stuck to it (except a week here or there). I think I'll lay off running until next weekend, then start back up before the 10k since that is in only 12 days! I came across this quote and loved it: "Just like coffee, running is an acquired taste. And also like coffee, it can be quite addicting if you'rewilling to power through the initial bitter taste". Ain't that the truth!

So in my crazy nervousness last night, I made some Pumpkin Butter Oat Squares with Candied Pecans and OH MY were they delicious! I still haven't gotten tired of pumpkin, it's just such a perfect cooking element :) And the oat squares were a great treat for after the race!

Off to ice and nap a tad more... more later :)

Here are a few shots from the race....

SO cold!
Last sprint for the finish line!
DONE! Next please!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

HUGE weight lifted!

I got the most AMAZING news yesterday... I got hired at the hospital I wanted as a new grad RN on the post surgical and bariatric unit!!!!!!!!!!! A whole month prior to completing nursing school and I HAVE A J-O-B! I called John jumping and screaming with joy :) AND to make it even better, one of my favorite girls in nursing school is accepting a job on the same unit! Thank you God, because I feel so incredibly blessed :)

MORE awesome news, I booked a photographer for the wedding! Double whammy blessings, all yesterday! We had a phone interview Monday, and they told us someone else had inquired and talked about the same date, but they would give me first dibs if they tried to book because I had contacted them first, so sure enough, we got a call yesterday and had to make a quick decision... and I said YES to the photographer! ;) I'm a dork, yes, but a darn happy one!

The stars are aligned after much work and patience...

Only 3 days until the half marathon!!! I'm worried because I haven't run since Sunday, but I have been loading myself with carbs (PASTA PASTA PASTA!) and drinking tons of water, even going to add salt to my food the next two days (YUCK!) to help myself retain water a bit to prevent dehydration during the race... wow, I got hardcore all of a sudden!

No cooking for this chica today, but I plan to make something delicious tomorrow night :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

it was just a chili kinda night!

Even if it did get up to the mid 60's today, I still got that chili bug in my system and had to make a big ole pot for dinner tonight :)

Mom's Chili

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lb ground turkey
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3-4 cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup red wine

In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions & garlic and saute until onions browned. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Add all other ingredients and turn heat down to simmer. Place lid over pot and cook for at least 1.5 hours, longer if possible :) Serve & enjoy!

I LOVE this chili recipe because it isn't your typical spicy, hot chili. It has a tiny kick from the chili powder, but you can add green/red peppers or more chili powder if you like that extra bite in your chili :)

In other news, I had manager interviews for a possible RN job, and MAN were they nerve racking! How do you convince a nurse manager in a 10 minute "speed dating like" interview that you are the best person for the job? Hopefully I wowed at least one with my charisma and charm ;) Maybe I'll get some good news tomorrow!


Frost! Burr!

I think it's definitely a soup night tonight :) Maybe some baked goodies too?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

6 months until marriage :)

WOW how time flies! After feeling like the big day will never come and now being engaged for 1 year and 3 months... only 6 MONTHS until our wedding! Unfortunately, it will be just me and the critters tonight since John is headed to North Carolina for work, but it's still pretty special :)

AND only 6 days until the half marathon! I ran 5 miles today and was super sore after, but I blame it completely on the cold. Man that cold air hurts my joints! Thankfully, they are calling for 67 degrees next Saturday :)

On another note, we got a new stove! My landlord rocks. We emailed her to let her know that 2, yes 2, of the stove burners were not working (SO not conducive to my cooking addiction!) and her response: "Ok, guess we will get you a new one!" Score!

Anywho, enough for tonight... first Transitions test tomorrow and I have a LOT of studying to do. Good thing it's nice and quiet ;) After this, only 2 tests, 1 final, and NCLEX left for nursing school! 5 weeks left of nursing school!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life is such a count down these days... lots to look forward to!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I deserved an adult beverage after today.

What a day. So that I may abide by my patient privacy responsibilities as a health care provider, I will spare the details, but I absolutely had an "ah-ha" moment today, remembering why I wanted to become a nurse in the first place. The fact that I have had so many blessings to put me where I am today, that I have my health, my family (whom I love with all my heart), a roof to sleep under, food on the table, and a grand future ahead of me is why I was put on this planet to help those in this world who were not bestowed these blessings. Can I figure out why bad things happen to good people? No, but I want to help them and hopefully make a difference in their life just by being their care provider while they are at their worst, as a patient in the hospital.

Anyways, a sweet old patient told me I looked just like Ashley Judd :) Definitely never heard that one before! I got on the Wii Fit yesterday to see what my progress was, and as Nov 2nd, I have lost 18 lbs total since January :) Possibly gained all that back tonight from the Chipotle I had for dinner (comfort food!), but I am going to run tomorrow :)

I'm about to go cross-eyed from my 12.5 hour shift and I have early clinical on the ole pediatrics unit tomorrow... bedtime for this brain-dead gal! xo

Monday, November 1, 2010

I have the cutest puppy ever

My adorable sleeping Beau... He is a Catahoula Lepoard dog, about 7 months old now. Sadly, I discovered today that he has officially lost all his baby teeth :( They grow up too quick!

oh hai November!

BURR! The temperature only went up to the mid 50s today, a perfect start to November I suppose! Just makes it super difficult to pull myself out of my nice cozy bed...

I tried to start the day with a bang, sick of hearing my poor Lilo scratching, so I popped both the dogs in the bathtub (at 6am) and tried my best to relieve her of itchy skin and just clean Beau up (because I've discovered that boy dogs are just so darn DIRTY all the time!). After feeling so productive so early in the day, I made a Pumpkin Pie Monster, one of my many favorite treats from Angela at Oh She Glows, a perfect breakfast on the way to class & work!

Pumpkin Pie Monster

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2 large ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth!

I have added a banana occasionally when I am super hungry, which thickens it up nicely and fills me up more and longer! A girl from one of the units I work on frequently at work called me at work the other day to say "I just thought I'd thank you for telling me about Pumpkin Pie Monsters... They ROCK!". Nuff said :)

The rest of today was moderately productive after class... went for a 2 mile walk with the pups, cut the grass (hopefully the last time this year), weeded the front flower beds (hopefully without getting poison ivy like last time), studied a bit, and cooked dinner (Baked Chicken Parmesan) and some Buttery Apple Streusel Oat Squares... maybe a good desert with a scoop of pumpkin ice cream tonight?! The whole house currently smells like baked apples... YUM! John called me Betty Crocker... I asked if she was also a runner, then I would take the nickname ;)

Running in the COLD tomorrow morning... better get my fleece, gloves, beanie, and long pants out! Only 12 days until the half marathon!