Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reupholstered Chair

I finished another DIY project...I upholstered the chair that came with my desk. For this project, I was originally going to sand and stain the wood, and simply replace the fabric. HA! For the frame, I decided to steel wool it and then spray paint it with a darker brown matte spraypaint. When I took the fabric off the seat, I realized the original fabric was also still on it, underneath the ugly plaid (it was an even uglier orange). I also realized that when someone had reupholstered and reapplied the chair bottom, the screw holes were side by side, leaving me with a high chance of stripping the screw holes and/or splitting the old wood. Therefore my dad helped to trace out a new bottom on which we got new foam, and cut a new funky indoor/outdoor fabric I scooped up from Joann fabrics. Here's the pics of the process and final product :-) 
the chair before
 spray painting the frame
 fabric and new chair bottom
 chair bottom once finished upholstering
 trying to get a shot of the spraypaint finish
 the finished chair!
 did i mention it was a folding chair?!!?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Saying Toute A' Leure

Today wasn't the funnest day at work that I've ever had...but not for the reasons one would expect.

Today was my last day working down in Correctional Care Medical Facility as my boss hired me intermittently on unit 5A while in school, instead of intermittently on our unit. See, I still see it as my unit.

But that's what it's become. I threw myself head-first into work, with it becoming a huge part of my life. I made it a fun place to be, and developed relationships very quickly with all the staff. I relied on my Sheriff's every day and my co-workers, finding enjoyment in building relationships in which I could laugh and joke with them, have a sense of trust and comraderie.

And today was my last day, with me having to say good-bye to the Sheriff's who have supported me and joked with me and my co-workers who have challenged me and helped me.

It was so bittersweet. I know I'm taking steps forward but that doesn't mean I don't still glance behind and miss those that I've become close with. Hugging the Sheriff's and my co-workers bye today made my heart sink. I've been fighting back tears all day long.

What can I say?! I'm such a girl.

I already miss my Sheriff's...I miss Doc spilling trivia, The General howling and playing country music, Fish willingly opening doors while pretending to trip me, Ray giving his goofy smile and playing the grumpy one, Lee telling me I need to get to work, Kiger expecting me to pay up on unfulfilled bets, and Rodart yelling "yo Adrian".

I miss my charge nurses asking me to take vitals and joking with me about random patient care.

I know I'll have that on the other unit but Correctional Care became my home. It's hard saying good-bye to what became my comfort zone and my home.

So I cry.

I guess that's what happened when you get attached...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Finished Side Tables!

I finally finished my side tables!! It took me awhile thanks to doing a bunch of killer overtime. However, I finally have them (almost completely) finished! Here's some pics of the process :-)









The only thing left is the polyurethane coat on top to protect in case drinks or whatever are placed on it. But they are currently in the garage drying. Once they are in use I'll take a pic and show what they look like actually being put to use but that will have to wait until I move to my new place. I have quite a few other projects I'm working on. I'll post those once I have finished :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"You Are The Perfect Match"

On Wednesday December 14th I got a call from a lady at the bone marrow donation....the basic introductory name and where she's calling from, tagged along with she needed to talk to me about my blood samples, and then followed by the words "you are the perfect match for the donor".

FANTASTIC!!!

Since then, I have signed all the paperwork, found out more about the exact procedure I'll be doing, and today I had my physical/first appt for the procedure.

Here's what I know. I'm donating to a lady with acute leukemia, and I am taking part of a research study as I am not doing bone marrow donation, as in someone sticking a huge needle in my hip. I am doing what is known as PBSC donation. I will be injected with a chemical hormone that will stimulate my immune system to ramp up and produce lots of bone-making stem cells, WBC's, etc. I do those for five days and on the fifth day I go through a procedure known as apheresis. It will take approximately 5-6 hours. I'll be hooked up to a machine that is much like a hemodialysis machine, in which my blood will exit via one arm, go through a machine which will filter out the PBSC products, and then put my blood back in my body.

It will be painful in a way, as the injections will produce flu-like symptoms, and then having huge needles in my arms for 5 hours or more is not fun, but if that's all I have to endure to save a life, I'm going for it!!

So excited...and nervous....to do this donation.

I donate Jan 13th. In one week I'll start nursing school and donate bone marrow. What a week that will be!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

@update

It's amazing how times flies and just HOW much we can fit into smaller units of time. Life is...unspeakably busy and chaotic...and beautiful. Trying to cherish my life but when there's so much shoved into it, it's just flying by.

The latest updates:

1. I signed the lease on the apartment I'll be sharing with 3 other accelerated students...agh!! So crazy and exciting and nerve-wracking. All at once.

2. I have most everything figured out for nursing school...but still have to buy books. And it starts in about 3.5 weeks. Somebody please pinch me. That's way too soon!! And in less than a year I'll be done with nursing school. Ridic.

3. I am working on the side tables with my dad...all that's left is staining them (picture post to come soon).

4. I'm working crazy amounts of overtime. As in, working almost every day. Hence why I haven't been able to finish projects, post anything about life, or get anything done that I need to get done. Great for extra dough, tough on the sleep schedule, stress that I have, and overcommitment tendencies that I have. But the big boss called in a favor...couldn't say no.

5. I'm a bone marrow donor match!! I'll be donating sometime halfway through January!!

So much to do, so little time, so many emotions I'm loving and ignoring. Ah, isn't life bliss?!?! :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

It's the Season for Giving

My cell phone is constantly on silent or MIA anymore.

Since I started my job at Denver Health in April, I went from being completely reliant on my phone (was on my person at all times and every notification had a different ringtone, etc) to learning that being disconnected can sometimes be a beautiful thing. Training at nights, I learned how to become disconnected from being immediately available and since then I've transitioned to it being a habit that even when I'm not at work, it's on silent or not within reach most of the time as I don't need to be instantly available and I really just don't need to be that connected.

The only downfall, is I miss calls all the time. Which is why I always tell people, if I don't answer - and I probably won't, even if I look at my phone - then leave a message.

I walked out of class on Tuesday to see I had a missed call from a number I didn't know AND a voice message. Intrigued as I don't get many calls period, let alone from random numbers, I listened to the voicemail and got super excited!

Two years ago I signed up for the bone marrow registry. I've always been of the mindset that as long as my body is capable that I should use it to help others. I have been an organ donor since I got my driving learners permit and have donated time and money to several foundations/charities/etc. When I found the bone marrow registry it only made sense that I should offer a sample and be on the registry to help out others. I mean, it's bone marrow, it's not like donating a full-blown organ; it regenerates itself and I'm mostly healthy so it only makes sense!!

Fast forward to Tuesday and I got a lovely voicemail from a woman named Rose from the registry saying that my sample was a potential match!! She asked if I would be willing to continue with the process to see if we truly were a match and then proceed with the donation.

I never expected that I would actually get this call, though I hoped I would, as matching someone else is quite difficult.

Next tuesday I go in to give a blood sample and submit a full health questionnaire. In the sample I provided several years ago they match 6 markers. Once that match is found they call the donor in for a blood sample (as the first sample was a series of cheek swabs) to test for a full set of 10 markers and to see how the donor & recipient's blood interact. If that proves successful, then we start making plans for the donation process itself! Here's to hoping I am indeed a match and can help the health of another individual. By simply giving some of my bone marrow, I could help save a life :-) If I am I'll tell more about the donation process itself!

If you are interested in bone marrow donation, simply go to this link:
Be The Match

It's a simple process to sign up to be on the registry. You simply fill out some brief contact information and do a quick, simple series of cheek swabs. It takes a whole five minutes and you could potentially be somebody's match :-)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Next DIY Project

My dad came home with a really sweet DIY project idea...and he's been chomping at the bit to actually do it!! So despite my crazy busy life and the three other projects I have to do as well, he decided we needed to go get the stuff for this project from Lowe's today.

Lowe's & Home Depot (though huge corporation stores and thus not my fav) have become hot spots for me lately.

Here's the project!! (and of course I'll post pics once it's done)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving came...and went...pretty fast this year!! It was a great day, with all of us together. As that sort of opportunity becomes even more scarce, it's always a great time to get everyone together and take family pictures :-)

After some baking but before gorging ourselves, we set out on the adventure of getting a family photo. From all the craziness, here are my favs!!

Mom and Dad
Kevan and Lily
Marshall and Jenni
My Brothers
the original four
a fun one
Family Foto
fun family photo!

After the day spent eating and conversating, I headed to work and spent the night with my Sheriff's taking care of prisoners. Just another Thanksgiving for the books. Onwards to Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY Me #1

So I have been in a very DIY mood lately. I've cleaned my parents house, been working on baking, started several projects, and started revamping furniture for my room makeover (which won't be complete until I move next month). However, I will say I am but a mere amateur in the world of DIY in some aspects but I am having a blast having fun with these little projects I am taking on!!

I baked five loaves of banana bread the other day, tonight I baked two pumpkin rolls (all the extra is to take to work for my co-workers and the Sheriff's), and I'm still trying to figure out what else to help cook for Thanksgiving.

As far as labor projects, I finished Desk #1 and repainted my lamp. I need to figure out some cute details to add to the lamp but as of right now, I'm not quite sure what to add to it!! But alas here are the pictures of my desk and lamp (before and after). I have another desk, a chair and a high chair all in the works to get done. All thrift store (or free on the side of the road) finds that I need to get done!!

Desk after sanding


 Desk after staining!
 love the imperfection of my sanding job!

 lamp before paint
 lamp after painting base grey...any ideas for fun detailing?!?! 

As I keep getting projects done, I'll keep uploading them. Onto the next thing!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Newest Goals

You know how we all go through those little personal ruts in life?! Well maybe it's only me who goes through those fairly often. And they aren't really ruts so much as they are times that I find myself unhappy with one trait or another about myself. Especially when I feel like I'm being pulled down from being in a cheery state.

Well I have felt as though my optimistic attitude was being jaded a little and I hated that. Immensely. There is no reason not to be happy. We all have to live so why not make it a blessed, fun, and happy existence. It's your life. It's what you make it. And we all have to work. So why not love your job and make it a fun place to be?!

Well, I felt like some negativity was getting to me. And I found myself in a rut. I found that I was complaining more than usual, which just spread some negativity around me naturally. I also found that my gossiping was just getting too out of control for my taste.

So here are my newest goals, and I've been working pretty diligently on them and trying to be very conscious and very aware of my actions and my mouth:

1. To stop complaining - really why complain?! It's just bitching, only whinier, which is annoying and just makes you sound immature and people don't want to hear you complain.

2. To stop talking bad about people - there's a difference between stating facts and bad-mouthing. It's a fine line but I'm trying very hard to find that line. Especially on my unit (correctional care) where you deal with behaviorial issues such as manipulation and mind games every day at work. I'm having to learn to way to find a balance between them.

3. To stop cussing - I will never fully eliminate cussing. It's just way too engrained in my language. However, I have almost eliminated the "eff" word...unless I'm really "effing" pissed. The sad thing is that it's just a perfect word for every situation and can be used in every way. I'm trying really hard to not ever use it...at least in certain settings where it can be reflective of me...in ways that I don't want it to be.

4. To keep my positive attitude, despite the world's attempts to jade and beat me down. I don't have to "grow up" to be grumpy and negative. I hope to never be. So I wish people would stop trying to convince me of how much life will jade me. I'm working towards it not!! I love life too much!! And why ever be miserable?! Life is too short and holds FAR too much beauty to waste it on the negative...


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HGTV!!

So I found a new form of crack...well a few.

I LOVE designing and creating and redo-ing and making things come back to life! Which means that I find inspiration and get ideas all over the place and have way too many projects going.

Well I found the world of HGTV! This channel previously held no value for me when I was younger but the shows that are on it now...oh Lord have mercy!! House Hunters (International even!), room makeover shows, Curb Appeal, etc. LOVE!!

And if you've never checked out www.apartmenttherapy.com you HAVE to!! It's filled with SO much inspiration and stores and wowsers!!

So now my biggest itch in life is the need, desire, want to re-design and re-do my whole life basically. It's like crack to me. And I'm doing it!!

Since I'm moving in a month I'm redo-ing part of my life. Gonna order a new bedspread, paint my dresser/nightstand/lamp, go find a desk at a thrift store and make it fun and cute and make some pillows. Oh here we go!!

I LOVE design and new projects!! Hopefully this time I can finish my projects :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

Do you ever have days that you feel whimsical? Like nothing could touch you?

Without reason, without cause, do you ever wake up...and despite everything else going on...and feel as though nothing can touch you? Your mood is just that light and that (for lake of a better word) untouchable?

Doubts can fill your every neural crevice..and yet somehow, there are those days, where you wake up and when you look in the mirror, you don't see every nit-picked flaw and "undesirable" personality trait...but rather when you look in the mirror that morning, you can't help but love the person you are, what you aren't, and everything in between. All of a sudden those imperfections don't matter. All those things in life that have weighed heavy on you are sitting in the corner of the area cowering, even if only temporarily.

These days of relief, of unwarranted and unexpected confidence, and sweet relief of oneself are days I treasure.

Monday just happened to be one of those days.

Those calm days where my heart rests a bit lighter are few and far in between sometimes. Playing my own worst critic, I am grateful for the days that I wake up and am not consumed with thoughts of anxiousness over everything, rather I know for certain all is well and all will work out.

Something about Monday afternoon reaffirmed my value as a person.

Though I doubt that sometimes, there are days where I know my worth is incalcuable via mortal terms and is sacred in eternal terms. I just have to be reminded of that from time to time. And when I am, my anxious heart goes calm.

Doubts and fears still exist, for very good reason, but that doesn't matter, because in the end my worth is measured in something much greater than us humans. Mortals cannot make me feel inferior without consent...Monday I remembered I was giving consent to be made feel less than I should be. Yet Monday, God gave me a day of peace. A day to clear the fog and remember, I am a woman to be treasured and a power to be reckoned with.

Just another case of the Mondays for me...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

May Today There Be Peace Within

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

[Mother Theresa]

Health as a Community

Though I am getting ready to venture into the world of nursing and western healthcare, I am learning more and more some of the qualms I have with western medicine.

Don't get me wrong. The United States is renowned for their acute healthcare abilities. But we practice and propagate sick care, not health care. The United States is not known for prevention, rather for treating once we are sick.

When it comes to health care, the biggest question for me is just because we can, or just because we have the capabilities, should we?

I have a dual approach to health care. I believe in education and prevention. I believe in taking from the earth, and following the natural practices that have worked for thousands of years. I believe in being resourceful and adequate, yet being lean and efficient. And I recognize the need for advanced health care and its benefits. But there comes a point where just because we can, should we? Should we save neonates at 20 weeks and should we prolong the end of life, simply because we can? Should we continue to cure cancer? Or is disease the earth's way of controlling our increasing overpopulation?

Healthcare in America focuses on patient autonomy and the individual. In a world of private insurance (don't even get me started on all that venture), we deny universal health care access yet expect to emphasis individualization and equality.

It's all a catch-22. The healthcare field is not black or white, but a million shades of grey.

In my bioethics book, we are reading about health care, ethics, environment, and sustainability. I strive to be a green person. I wish more of us did. But I enjoyed the following passage that addressed the need to view healthcare not as belonging to an individual, but health as a membership in a community:

"Potter was strongly influenced by ecologist Aldo Leopold and geneticist C.H. Waddington. For Leopold, land was a collective organism - not merely soil, but a "fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals." People, he said, are "plain members of the biotic community." Leopold argued that a thing was right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It was wrong when it did otherwise. He thought that ethics and beauty should play an important role in deciding how to live on the earth."

"It is increasingly clear that the world of the twenty-first century requires a new bioethic that bilds on and recontextualizes twentieth century medical and public health ethics. Ethics may embody what we believe and value, but surely must also be informed by what we know to be true. If people are to survive on earth with lives of quality, all institutional sectors, including health care and public health, will need to take a hard look at objective wisdom, give moral consideration to entire ecosocial systems as well as their human participants. A new bioethic will emphasize interdependence and interconnectedness, duties and responsibilities as well as rights, and will celebrate humans as members of complex communities. The alternative is to plan for a past that no longer exists, while ignoring a future that will not be denied."
-Ted Schettler Toward an Ecological View of Health: An Imperative for the Twenty-First Century

I think that our healthcare system would highly benefit if we started looking at it from a community perspective, not from the perspective of "every man for himself." For when we look at healthcare, we look at the whole person. It's not an isolated and personal possession, but rather is something that connects us with others. Wendell Berry (in his essay Health Is Membership) says, "I believe that community - in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures - is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms." We can't ignore the problems that exist within a community, let alone the health of a community. So why do we? Why do we treat it as an individual event when part of what makes us healthy isn't simply the non-existence of disease but our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being as well...all of which are shaped by the community within which we live?!

Urbane Living

I don't get the chance to hop behind my camera too much...mainly because I don't find things too exciting in my life to photograph and I haven't been in the habit of having my camera on me so much lately. But one day I had my camera and was bored while staying at my friend Eamonn's. He lives in the Wash Park area, which is a hipster-ish wonderful neighborhood that's permanently stuck in the 70's-ish. It's wonderful and so urbane it's not even funny. So I decided to document my evening one night while making macaroni. I know right?! Not too exciting but I had a little bit o fun with it :-)





I need to get behind my camera more often....felt good to just take pictures of mundane and dull stuff. Welcome to my free time ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Auntie Nic

The past two weeks at work have been so crazy. Quite literally! Our psych patients are keeping me on my toes. It's frustrating and stressful....and makes me laugh so intensely hard at times at the ridiculousness that can be my job. I come home at night and it's all I can do to change into sweats before crashing into bed head first some days.

I came home friday night, absolutely exhausted, but trying to be in a chipper mood as I knew my brother and sister-in-law were there for dinner. I came in, said hello, and asked what sort of pies my sister-in-law was making and in answer my brother placed an ultrasound into my hands simultaneously saying "You're going to be an aunt...we're pregnant."

In all my infinite wisdom I said congratulations....and when they asked me if I was excited my response was "It's a little blob!" Great answer Nicole!

Not quite the most excited response I've ever given...and that's probably a mistake. I know I probably should have responded better but my processing is a bit slow. I won't really fully process it until she starts showing.

But I'm going to be an aunt!! While I'm still really unsure whether I want to be a mom one day or not, I LOVE kids and I can't wait to spoil my future nephews/nieces! I love babies and can't wait to rock the little one in my arms, and watch him/her grow, and laugh/smile, etc. I can't wait!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I am: enough. Enough: am I?

Why do I always seem to lose myself amidst the chaos? I've learned over and over again not to get too caught up in certain things, because when I do I start to lose myself. And then I find myself feeling a little lost again. But here I sit, and I find myself feeling a little lost, and I'm wondering why again this has happened. Sometimes it's mental.

I think part of it just has to do with being my age and being young. Because I feel it seems to be a theme for people my age. I think it's so easy to do when one looks at the expectations the world places on you, the expectations parents place on you, the expectations you place on yourself, and then allowing yourself to dream, and the extra little spice of life called reality that, though somewhat controllable, is always unpredictable.

Nursing school starts in 2 months. My anxiousness and excitement is remarkable. But also remarkable is the amount of self-doubt and self-questioning that always seem to make their way in. My biggest fear?! Failure. Although can I really fail?!

To head my own advice yesterday at work: I'd rather swing and strike out, then never step up to the plate at all. So why is my fear of stepping up to the plate so intense right now? Why do I always doubt myself so? I think my low batting average might have something to do with that. But my batting average can't get better if I simply allow myself to not step up to the plate.

Part of it is wanting to find my niche, in some way shape or form. I feel on a large part I don't have a niche, a place, a purpose. I'm looking for something to be my niche. And I know that they say when you stop looking for something is about the time you find it. But why stop looking? That somehow translates in my brain to give up hope and to stop caring, to become complacent. And that's exactly what I don't want to be.

I want to be happy. I want to be passionate. I want to love.

Besides that I don't know what I want. But I do know that I yearn to be enough, I yearn to be good. I yearn to shine. I yearn to be noticed. I yearn to be missed and important.

And in a lot of ways I don't feel that. And my fear is that nursing school will once again be one arena where I don't find a niche, find a way to be good, to be enough, to be important.

Or do I just constantly expect too much of myself?

Work, while I love it, has me jaded. It never ceases to amaze me how many people hate their job. And when everyone hates their job or is so glum it brings me down. I'm jaded on the attitude others have about being at work. Work is a large part of my life, because I have not much time to socialize with others and am broke, it's where I receive most of my interaction anymore outside of family. So when it's negative, that's weighty. I'm jaded on co-workers who aren't positive. And I'm jaded on the manipulation and negotiation that has come with my psych patients the past two weeks. It's tiring. And right now. I'd just like to take care of and give to someone who isn't out for some alterior motive, who isn't trying to take advantage of me, and be quick to be accusatory towards me and make simple basic care so damn difficult.

I've noticed I give so much of my energy to my surroundings, but have such a small supportive system, that I don't get positive energy fed back to me. Friends have become very distant lately, my family has so much stress and other focuses, and my social interaction comes from co-workers. I'm not being fed. The past couple weeks have been strenuous. And I'm not being given into, and all the while, giving my energy to others. I need to be filled. And I'm not.

It's become difficult. I just need some rejuvenation, support and reassurance.

But maybe I just need to find a way to pull that from within and stop whining.

It's my goal this next month to focus on myself and get myself not so lost. To become confident with where I'm at and not at once again. To come back to center and try to calm my nerves before the next crazy year I'm about to ensue on. Build up my confidence reservoir.

I am: enough.

However on a positive note, my brother and sister-in-law are expecting. I will be an aunt in June. Hopefully I can be a great aunt! Jenni wants me to be at the birth to photograph the experience. I pray that God will allow me that small miracle to be there so that I can partake in that blessing. We'll see what happens!

So much more on my mind, but for now I'm going to immerse myself in an old guilty pleasure I haven't immersed myself in for quite awhile. Since Halloween is tomorrow, I'm going to fall asleep to a horror movie. Old nightmares, is it time we say hello again?!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FALL-ing into place

Colorado, you are very so very mysterious. I love this about you! However, no matter how long I’ve lived here it never makes it any less puzzling. Mysteriously beautiful. Which is why you chose to pretty much keep summer around so long. However you decided it’s ok for mornings to continue getting colder…which is quite convenient for my 6:30am walk to work! ;-)

But alas, here comes fall, more like winter. Still refuse to give up my flip-flops!

Speaking of fall, some things are falling in place. I was able to secure all the funding I need for the first 1/3 of next year!! Yes!! And yes I did just say it’s only the first 1/3 of the year that I got funding for. I have to wait until the next FAFSA period to get the other 2/3 but hey, for now I’ll take it!!

I’m moving into a townhouse with 3 other students, which I think is for the best. Hopefully it proves to be a good environment and fruitful and supportive for me. I think it will and you know what, I’ll make it that way for sure!

I’m getting very nervous and very excited! Very anxious. Some days I think I might be crazy and some days I think I’m completely sane. Either way, things are falling into place and it’s reassuring that for some reason it is!

So here’s fall, and with only 3 more months left til school starts, I hope more things continue to keep falling into place :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pre-Nursing Gear Up

Wowee!!

I sit here slightly freaking out, in both good and slightly anxious ways.

In roughly 2.5 months I start the most exciting adventure of my life to date...the adventure of nursing school, the adventure of the accelerated nursing program. One year of nothing but nursing school. Ok that's an exaggeration. There will be other things included in there, but nursing school is going to dominate.

It's going to be crazy, chaotic, intense, thrilling, challenging, stressful, blissful, scary, wonderful, and quite consuming. I couldn't be more excited and scared at the same time!

Preparation for the program is incredibly involved. After graduating with my first bachelor's I knew I'd be going through this process of gearing back up. But the last time around I wasn't gearing up and making preparations for a whole year of my life, (rather stretched out into 4 years), a whole year in which all of the education and experience would be packed into! But here I sit and here I marvel at what's unfolding.

Loan processing is still in the works. I have half of the funding for the first 1/3 of the year (why yes, isn't that slightly confusing) and am waiting for the approval for the second half of the funding I need. Hopefully the loans get approved!! They need to in order to start the program! I have scrubs taken care of, and the stethoscope part of it is still being figured out. Luckily I already have great shoes from working in the hospital so that expense is taken care of.

Housing is dependent upon loans but miraculously God is providing an avenue that if fruitful will allow me and three other accelerated students to room together in a townhouse close to campus. Not only will it make it more convenient for travel and gas expenses, but the support system of living with three other individuals who are going through the same thing I'm going through is invaluable. Not to mention convenient studying partners! Again it's all dependent upon my loans getting approved but God-willing it will work out.

Most of my pre-licensure stuff is taken care of, short the drug screen and the background check. The drug test will get taken care of on thursday and the background check will be initiated next month when I have more funds available to do so.

Once those are taken care of, the biggest things to take care of are making sure the loans go through, to get the housing, move into the apartment, and buy my books. Sounds so easy but I'm completely type A and freaking that I don't have more "for-sure" answers figured out.

But I keep reminding myself, God will provide if this is really meant to be. And selfishly I hope so. My dream is so close I can taste it!

While I'm not a fan of putting myself into so much debt, I haven't found any other way. Here's my dream...hopefully I can run full force ahead and make my dream a reality...and use it to pursue other dreams.

So much to do, so little time. Full throttle ahead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Music Within

I sit here watching this movie called Music Within. It’s the story of Richard Pimental who was a public speaker who, having become deaf via the Vietnam War, turns into an advocate of sorts for the disabled community. He was a prominent driving force behind the Disability Acts that were enacted in the 90′s and wrote the first diversity trainings.

What an inspirational and humorous story!!

It just reinstated the passion I have in my heart in creating a space of equality for all those around me and for making sure that each person is noticed, recognized, treated with kindness and respect, and is treated with compassion.

The story also brought some bittersweet feelings, as one of Richard’s greatest friends, Arte, has cerebral palsy. It made me miss my little Ethie, and more than ever made my arms feel empty and useless. Yes I embrace others quite frequently, giving hugs like free candy, and more recently give massages to others. But in a lot of ways my body feels a sense of uselessness not having my little kiddos to scoop up. I miss being an extension of Ethan’s body and using it to help him move!! As crazy as that sounds as it was back-breaking work, I miss it. I miss him. I miss his smile, I miss the fire of his life, and I miss the purpose my life inherently had because I got to be a part of his.

It warmed my heart to see the friendship between the two!!

Anywho, it’s a great story!! Check it out

"The differences that you make that are of the ones of lasting importance, they are the little differences that you make in the life of another person." ~Richard Pimentel 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PS I Love You

Alone or not you gotta walk ahead. Thing to remember is, if we're all alone, then we're all together in that too.


[PS I Love You]

It's how I feel right now....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Numbers, Pages

"See I'm all about these words, over numbers, unencumbered numbered words, hundreds of pages, pages, pages for words, more words than I had ever heard and I feel so alive..."
[Jason Mraz, You And I Both]

I think the words to this song just flat out explain my mood today.

I journal a lot, whenever I need to write and get things off my mind that have been there for awhile. I express my words best when I write...speaking for me provides some sort of dyslexic obstacle in which I find my mind working too damn fast and my mouth unable to adequately speak the words that most precisely express whatever it is that is sitting on my mind. I stumble upon my words and can't seem to get out what exactly it is I need to get out. Not to mention I look crazy as hell when I talk to myself so damn incessantly ;-)

Lately I've had a need to sit down and journal but I find when I sit down, a million thoughts spill out but no words are written. I don't know how to express the odd feelings I have inside that I need to splurge. I don't know how to adequately express the heartache and desperation that my heart feels right now, or the stress or anxiety, the nervousness and fear. Sure I just was able to write those words but the stories behind those words, the thoughts that are currently rolling around in my mind, are more intricate and filled with emotion than those words capture.

There's millions of thoughts and words, and they are all blocked by an obstacle I can't seem to quite get out of the way.

So many questions on my mind, with approximate answers but nothing that can adequately suffice these feelings, these thoughts. Enough to curb the edge but not enough to get to the core, the heat, the middle.

Life is so beautiful, yet so difficult right now. Nothing physically hard, that's for sure. Which is what makes the difficultness of it so damn...difficult. The difficulty is coming from within my mind, my lack of time, yearning, wants, needs, desires, dreams...and not knowing where to begin, how to make it happen, which direction to go.

On one hand I have some of these answered. The simple answer is I just want life to flow it's current...to go in whatever direction that it does. The beautiful part of life is that it's a constant journey, one that goes with the ebbs and flows as rocks and boulders shift around, and the banks grow higher or lower. Beautiful creatures flow in and out, making waves or smoothing the ripples, and it goes on for great lengths until it opens to the mouth of a lake or ocean, an even more beautiful level of life with greater riches (and greater torrents).

What I'm trying to say is that I don't want a plan or need a plan, I don't want to have all the answers, all I want is to know that my life is going to be filled with beauty and passion. Which at this point I feel dumb because it's within my power to keep those there. Isn't it?! But sometimes, just sometimes, I get frustrated with where I'm at in life currently, and that I can't make certain things happen. I know we have to work our way up and work our way through, but dammit I want to know I'm not going to miss out on all the things I want to do or desire to do. Patience is a virtue but how long is the wait?!

There are a lot of things I long to see, feel, taste, do, experience. When will I get to do them?! How long do I have to keep waiting?!

I try to keep anxiety, worry, and fear at bay. Some days are just easier than others. Some days require a little bit more glucose to keep all things working.

I feel so alive; and I feel like I'm waiting. Waiting for what exactly? And sometimes I do wonder, waiting for who?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Messing with Video Blog

video 
So I decided, after finding this little movie maker thing on my mac, to do a little video blog because I've never done it and I didn't know how weird it would be...?! Still not quite sure about it. Very weird to simply be talking to my computer and rambling on but oh well! Just thought I'd pop in and "visually" say hi, and ramble a bit, like I'm good at. Enjoy the newest addition to my blogging repertoire :-)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Who Are You?

I heard this question on a documentary I was watching the other night...who are you? What makes you uniquely you?

I'ven been wondering that a lot lately. I haven't really figured out how to say some of the things I know about myself. Most of that stemming to the fact that I often think in vividly-colored pictures/scenes and emotions/feelings. I don't think very much in words. I feel/see something that then have to make myself come up with words to put to it, sometimes very hard to do with my limited vocabulary. And I express so much better when "writing", whether by hand or via keyboard.

I think I'm still very much on that path of self-discovery, and have been for quite some time. I have some things that are just inherently me...loose definitions. I'm Nicole. I'm fun, positive, spunky, bright, optimistic, emotional, strong-willed, fiercely independent, God-fearing, lively, adventurous, a smartass, joking, singing, funky, caring, passionate, lover of life! But who am I?! I'm just me...lover of comfortable jeans and flip-flops, lover of God, lover of nature, hater of negativity, lover of adventure, crazy, wacky. I'm OCD, and slightly neurotic. I worry more than I ever let people know. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I really care! I long to find some place that I can finally fit in and not always be the oddball. I do want to be loved but don't seek it out as I don't think I deserve it. I underestimate myself quite a bit yet have a strong confidence in myself because I have to. I thrive in relationship with others, as I'm crazy social, yet somehow still a slightly natural introvert. I have a hard time applying a filter to my mouth (wearing the heart on the sleeve thing sorta gets in the way). I'm a great listener and I talk a lot. I love learning and am quite intelligent. I can't sit still to save my life, yet do a lot of the things I want to do. I'm a huge procrastinator yet very skilled at multi-tasking and quite efficient when I want to be. I can organize like no one's business. I am ridiculously observative of human behavior yet gullible and completely unaware of the fullness of my surroundings a good grip of the time. I am innocently naive of some parts of life, sometimes by choice and sometimes by lack of experience. I try to remain judge-free and open to everything and everyone (yes I fail sometimes). Yet I am very knowledgeable and understanding. I'm multi-faceted. I'm describable yet indescribable, and that's the way I like it. I'm complexly simple. I have a very wild heart, but one that's open to everyone in my life. I'm way too trusting and because of it am always very vulnerable (add in very loving and it's sometimes disasterous).

Again though, is that all that I am?! Certainly not. There's so much to me, that I can't even think of all that I am.

My brain never shuts off!! Quite literally.

And what makes me uniquely me?! There are other people out there that fit all of the above. I'm not the only one. So what makes me unique?! I guess you'd just have to get to know me to decide what it is that makes me unique....

But I'm constantly evolving. A few years ago I was me but I was a different version of me. Every day, every new event, is an opportunity to learn and grow. And because of that I'm constantly evolving. I'm constantly learning new things about myself and being challenged, pushed, questioned, and made to think outside of my comfort zone.

I would never have imagined in high school that I would be the woman I am today. I'm not surprised as I'm too damn bull-headed to let anything get in my way or get me down too terribly long...but I would never have thought I'd have the tenacity or gumption to do and say some of the things I do now. I wouldn't have thought I'd have learned to be social and how to have so much courage. Part of it is always having been dependent upon myself to get me where I'm going but it's pushed me through "growing pains" I wasn't quite sure how to get out of...still don't know how to get out of some of those times. But I just keep going and learning and growing!!

My life's to-do list has changed, my bucket list has expanded, and my goals/dreams have been altered slightly. They always will continue to evolve. As I grow and learn and experience, those things will become part of me, memories, lessons learned, wisdom gained, failures I've gotten up from, and successes that I've flown on.

Right now?! I'm the girl who's anxiously and excitedly headed to nursing school in a few months with dreams as vast as the sky about the opportunities that lay afterwards. Yet I'm still the girl who dreams of traveling the country in a wooden Jeep Grand Wagoneer, camera in tow, and maybe a cute loving man by my side (or the companionship of a dog, who knows). I still dream of traveling the world and falling in love with foreign lands, yet coming home to the wonderful state of Colorado and marveling in her beauty. I'm still the girl who never discredits that life can change in an instant and God's plans are greater than mine. I'll always fight "growing up" and "getting old"....age is just a number and growing up is for people who take life more seriously than they should. I'll always be too responsible yet balanced by the wild carefree side of me that continually says "fuck it" and does that crazy thing that leaves you scratching you head thinking "whelp, that was interesting".

Realistically I have no idea what the future holds and I don't want to plan it. I've always had some goal in mind but never a plan...my plans never work out anyway. I just want to be happy, I want to be me, and I want to constantly experience and take joy in life.

That's what we're here for. Joy, happiness, experiencing the beauty of God, and to help others/leave this world a little bit better than we found it. At least that's what I think.

For now I'm going to enjoy the relationships that are in my life, the opportunities I get and I'm going to make each day as joyful as possible. If I make others smile, I've done my job well.

Simply striving to live a beautiful life, passionately. That's who I am. That's all I've got figured out for now. But that's more than I had figured out even a couple years ago....

Wild Hearts, Blue Jeans, & White T-shirts

"And I'll love you forever if I ever love at all, with wild hearts, blue jeans and white t-shirts..."
[The Gaslight Anthem]

I discovered the wonders of this band called The Gaslight Anthem this past week...a New Jersey punk rock band. Wow, amazing. I totally recommend them! I don't know how I've never discovered them before now but their music has just wrapped up my soul this past week.

I also listened to an EP I was given about a year ago by a friend. It's a group by a band called The Black Keys. I've loved listening to the sound of punk rock and classic rock lately. I think it's just sort of reminding me to be free, to be young, to be passionate, to be careless and responsible, to take joy, and to love that I'm the strong-emotion-feeling vibrant young woman that I am.

Yesterday I spent the day with two of my good friends, meeting up for coffee at one of my favorite haunts right now in Denver, Paris on the Platte. I've become an avid coffee-shop-goer. again..well always have been but now that I live in Denver 2/3's of the week I can actually partake in my love of LOCAL coffee shops. I refuse to support Starbucks if at all avoidable, especially because it's a nationwide money-guzzling cookie-cutter corporation and doesn't have the raw, genuine, come-as-you-are atmosphere of local coffee shops. Call me hipster or granola. I'd rather support those around me, those who are themselves, and the thriving atmosphere of a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop than a giant corporation who sucks us into some sort of definition of what it means to be a coffee drinker. I love seeing the people who come in and out of local coffee shops, the flaming and uninhibited personalities, as opposed to the stuffy image-driven people who haunt Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, and Dazbog. Not to mention, I love when the person behind the counter at Starry Night accidentally scorches my soy latte or the gentleman at Wild Boar recommends his favorite concoction of chai and doesn't charge me extra for the mixture of three different chais...and then proceeds to make a beautiful art picture in my foam! I just love the feel of something unique and genuine.

We met up, had some coffee (and I divulged in a delicious bagel and Noosa yogurt) for breakfast and then headed to go wander through Taste of Colorado. It was fun to frolick and admire some of the workmanship of vendors in Colorado and different things they make/create. Once done we headed to go walk the 16th Street Mall, in search of something to drink. We happened into Starbucks so they could get some iced teas (I simply got a cup of free water) and then sat down to people watch. One of my all-time favorite pastimes!! We somehow got onto the conversation of how we define each other. Sheree is the dramatic party rock girl. Britt is the typical girl-next-door, minus her sexual prowess. And me, well I don't know how to describe myself. I asked them what I was...and after a few seconds I was defined as the "happy, free and wild spirited, traveling, adventurous, laughing, care-free, slightly hippy girl".

I'll take it!!

I posted the above song lyric as my facebook status (because I refuse to actually post where I'm at, what I'm doing, or anything revolving drama, feelings, etc as a status...I just stick to uplifting quotes, random song lyrics, or occasional happy big-life updates), and Britt's response "I love this. It's so you :-)".

I think it is so me. I love people, I love life. I love love. I love wearing my comfy jeans, being laid-back. I don't ever want to strictly fit into a mold. I love being happy and making life more positive and fun for others. And I have a wild, adventurous heart. I don't wish to ever change that! Rather find someone who's just the same who wants to experience life alongside of me.

Hmmm....let's see what God has in store for life in the next few months...and where I'm at emotionally, mentally, physically, etc....

Until then, I'll get back to listening to wonderful music, drinking my chai, diving into the world of bioethics, reading NPR.org, and dreaming of the days that I can frolick this earth experiencing all the wonderful people and places in it :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fall Already?!?!

Fall is already upon us and I can't believe it...where did the summer go?!?!

For various reasons I haven't been able to even relish in summer this year. Between work (thank you Lord for my job, really!!), homework (I took my two religious classes - prereqs for Regis' accelerated program), and taking care of miniGrams, I didn't have a chance to relish in my summer. In fact, I only spent two hours by the pool...so weird for me in summer time. I didn't get to spend time outside until the past couple weeks and get a tan, instead I am only one shade darker than my normal white self. And I didn't get to go do most of the things I planned.

I got to go to Portland, which I am SO thankful I got to go!! I needed the time off and enjoyed my time off. But I didn't get to spend time outside, didn't get to go on my hikes, didn't get to hike any 14ers, and didn't get to go to the lake. Sad day. But the Lord had other plans.

And it all paid off, in a way. I got into Regis!!

Now I'm left wondering where the summer went?!?!

Almost upon us is the time of pumpkin spice lattes (oh HELLS yeah to that one!), crunchy leaves, the colors of fall, and eventually some snow. I almost resent snow already being so close upon us. But it's my goal this winter, before the chaos of nursing school, to get on that damn snowboard and hit the mountains!! Even if only once!!

Nursing school will be my life starting Jan 9th so I'm sort of planning all of my "living" for before then as I won't be able to even think for quite awhile once I start school. Eleven-and-a-half months of pure chaos and hardwork are about to ensue.

I'm excited, anxious, nervous, scared, relieved, stressed, and unbearably enthralled for this!!

So with that, here is a list of things I hope to cram into the next four months!!

1. Go camping once
2. Go snowboarding (at least once)
3. Visit the art museum (again)
4. Nail down where all the local coffee shops are
5. Figure out the best bookstores to study in
6. Find a way to pay for nursing school
7. Ride my bike as much as possible (and find a place to live in Denver)
8. Spend the holidays with all of my family (as I won't get to really see anyone next year with the exception of 3 weeks) *won't happen, I got assigned to all the holidays*
9. Go for a hike on one of my days off
10. Create a goal list for the year after nursing school
11. Start scoping out hospitals to work at
12. Plan a trip back to Portland for 2012
13. Enjoy as many lattes as possible.
14. Invest in a hardy coffee pot
15. Enjoy every lazy morning that I get the chance to sleep in and NOT feel guilty

I'm wondering if I can actually get everything on this list accomplished. I DO have four months but really, four months flies by SOO fast!!

Relishing in the last days of summer....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

REGIS!

There's times when I'm so excited I can't hold it in and my smile goes from ear to ear and I can't sit still to save my life, there's times I'm so excited I cry, there's times I'm so excited I giggle and giggle and giggle....and then there's times where I'm so excited I really just don't know what to do.

The latest would be me!!

I spent Sunday evening in Colorado Springs having dinner with two of my dearest friends, former roomies Erin and Rene. An evening spent sipping Sangrias and having delicious greek cuisine on the porch of Jake & Telly's followed by guzzling 36 oz of New Belgium brew, talking and singing Irish tunes at The Golden Bee. I expertly surfed Rene's majesticly comfortable couch and was awoken by Rene's friendly face, informing me yoga was in 45 minutes. Up I got, brushed my teeth, threw on trusty spandex pants and a comfy shirt and off to yoga we went.

Amazing morning spent doing an hour-and-a-half of relaxing yoga, in which the instructor concentrated on celebrating our bodies how God made them and respecting where our bodies were at this point in our life. Our body is beautiful...God made it that way! No matter what it can't and can't do. Such a great reminder.

After such peace, I wondered with Rene while she searched apartments and finally home to get a blissful hot shower. Upon stepping out of the shower I saw that my cellie was blinking green (indicating I had an unread email). Of course standing dripping in my towel I looked to see what random advertisement email I had gotten this time...

Only this time it was an electronic correspondance from Regis, congratulating me on my admittance into Regis' accelerated program!!

FINALLY!!

I got in :-) Finally, I was good enough to be admitted into nursing school. Somehow between my paper and my interview, I showed Regis I was a good enough candidate!!

Now I have to live up to that. The intensity and craziness of the program is going to be SO chaotic...but isn't all of life?! Wow, Jan 9th is fast approaching and I have to get financials and housing taken care of...just some of the preparation for 11.5 months of nursing school whirlwind.

Can I survive?! You betcha!!

So excited I don't know what to do. It still hasn't sank in yet.

YIKES!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Portland --> Whirlwind

There's times when I'm so excited I can't hold it in and my smile goes from ear to ear and I can't sit still to save my life, there's times I'm so excited I cry, there's times I'm so excited I giggle and giggle and giggle....and then there's times where I'm so excited I really just don't know what to do.

The latest would be me!!

I spent Sunday evening in Colorado Springs having dinner with two of my dearest friends, former roomies Erin and Rene. An evening spent sipping Sangrias and having delicious greek cuisine on the porch of Jake & Telly's followed by guzzling 36 oz of New Belgium brew, talking and singing Irish tunes at The Golden Bee. I expertly surfed Rene's majesticly comfortable couch and was awoken by Rene's friendly face, informing me yoga was in 45 minutes. Up I got, brushed my teeth, threw on trusty spandex pants and a comfy shirt and off to yoga we went.

Amazing morning spent doing an hour-and-a-half of relaxing yoga, in which the instructor concentrated on celebrating our bodies how God made them and respecting where our bodies were at this point in our life. Our body is beautiful...God made it that way! No matter what it can't and can't do. Such a great reminder.

After such peace, I wondered with Rene while she searched apartments and finally home to get a blissful hot shower. Upon stepping out of the shower I saw that my cellie was blinking green (indicating I had an unread email). Of course standing dripping in my towel I looked to see what random advertisement email I had gotten this time...

Only this time it was an electronic correspondance from Regis, congratulating me on my admittance into Regis' accelerated program!!

FINALLY!!

I got in :-) Finally, I was good enough to be admitted into nursing school. Somehow between my paper and my interview, I showed Regis I was a good enough candidate!!

Now I have to live up to that. The intensity and craziness of the program is going to be SO chaotic...but isn't all of life?! Wow, Jan 9th is fast approaching and I have to get financials and housing taken care of...just some of the preparation for 11.5 months of nursing school whirlwind.

Can I survive?! You betcha!!

So excited I don't know what to do. It still hasn't sank in yet.

YIKES!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On the brink...

Almost three crazy weeks of working straight through, and there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

PORTLAND!

In T-minus 2 days :-)

It's hard to verbally explain the importance of this trip...but it is important, and symbolic.

For the first time, I am traveling somewhere I said I wanted to go. Instead of just saying, I am doing. Throwing caution to the wind. I have no plans, no map, and absolutely no idea what it is I will actually do with myself.

Granted I will be surfing my cousin's couch, but I will be in a new city...representing the gateway to this vast yet small world that I am so desperate to explore...all by myself, with only me to pave my way and go frolik as I see fit.

It's only 6 days, but it's six days of something completely new.

That seems to be a theme in my life and I'm loving it!

I'm on the brink of something wonderful, and beautiful, and spiritual.

I am back, and I am doing and going, and I couldn't be more proud of myself.

Never before has the fear of failure ever been so prevalent, in so many ways. But isn't that the beauty of life?! That despite stakes being high and the fear being legitimate that something wonderful and blessed might just be what awaits us?! Part of the inherent beauty of life is the risk-taking. And here I am, walking to the ledge in so many ways, still fearfully looking down at how far I could fall...but then I lift my head up and see how majestic the view is and it's totally worth it!!

Live a beautiful life, passionately....in whatever way that means to you.

Portland, I can't wait to explore you, and see what new things you awaken in my soul...and I can't wait to see what I bring back. An eye-opener is in store, more dreams will be rekindled and new dreams will be born.

Did I also mention my passion for love is coming back. So amusing how I shut off all of love last year. But love is what life is about...all forms, shapes and sizes of love are essential. And it feels SO good to love again. And it feels SO refreshing to be IN LOVE with life again. How did I lose that?! That doesn't matter...it's back, and I'm grateful for it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hand-Picked Flower and Some Java

I sit here this morning listening to the sound of birds come through my window. The sounds of summer are full in bloom, the sun in out and shining, a slight breeze ruffles the leaves of the trees. I'm not outside, rather being lazy inside working on my online courses and keeping an eye on grams.

I look back at the past three months of my life and it's crazy. It's been consumed by a new job, learning new things every day, meeting tons of new people, grams now going through medical turbulence, online courses, and relearning how to dream. My cheery attitude is back in full swing, I am laughing from the depths of my belly again, and my excitement at life is taking over. I can't believe just how much can change in three short months!

My dreams of traveling have been re-awakened and encouraged. And I'm doing it! Portland is so close I can taste it. Hopes of San Francisco and Sacramento are on the horizon for the next few months. No maps, no plans, just traveling if I can get the time to do it!

There's also a guy, who re-awakened that. I wouldn't have thought I would even be considering taking someone's hand and saying "lets try walking through life together". Here I sit, and I am, and I'm happy, and I'm excited, and I'm content.

As he said "You know it is a very moment in life when a person can be exactly who they are and not feel the need to hide or subdue portions of their personality. It's nice that I don't feel the need to hide with you :-)"

Who knows what the future will bring, who knows where my feet will go, and who knows how long I can slide my hand into his with him by my side....but it doesn't matter, it only matters that right now I'm exactly where I feel content and myself.

I want to travel and go on adventures, and I'm very much excited at the prospect of doing it with him by my side. But one step at a time.

Stolen kisses in elevators, cups of java, and hand-picked flowers. Life is good. :-)

Up & Down The Hallways

One aspect of life: work. I'm such a lucky gal to love my job.

I'm a lucky gal period. But life is so blessed when you love your job. I'm lucky to have loved all my jobs really. But I do love my current job. And I love where I am. There's a lot to be said because that hasn't always been the case. And maybe it won't always be the case. For now, it is and I'm reveling in it.

Work isn't easy, but it's fun! My co-workers on every floor that I've worked on have been great, I've had lots of laughs and I'm getting to know more and more people.

While I don't personally think that I'm doing a fantastic job all the time, I seem to be doing something right. All the managers on the floor seem to like me and want to keep me or have me come up and float to their floors. I gotta be doing something right. Or maybe I do everything wrong but do it with a smile on my face :-)

I just spent 3 days running up and down the hallways of 9A at Denver Health. I had my own patients, I ran in circles some days but it was wonderful. I learn something new every day, something not-so-pleasant happens every day, I get to laugh with patients and co-workers every day, I walk a million miles every day, and I leave at the end of the day feeling somewhat accomplished. Not always that I've done everything I could but that I accomplished something! It's a great feeling. Even on the worst days.

I got my two first heart felt "Thank You's" this week...all for simply doing what it is that Denver Health tells me I'm supposed to do!

I'm pretty excited about what lays in front of me, if I get into nursing. Excited to see what might happen! Excited to see what the future has in store for me :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now THAT'S What I Call A Day For The Books!!

Welp, you ever just have one of THOSE days?! And by those days I mean the ones where you are absolutely not winning by any means, are just so completely frazzled, yet the sun is still somehow shining out of your ass and you find yourself laughing your way through the day?!?!

Yeah?! Well that was my day!

Ok ok ok, most days are like that for me. But today was an extreme!!

I got to work expecting to be a ward clerk...because, well....because that's what my CNE (clinical nurse educator) told me I would be doing. I haven't been cross-trained as a Healthcare Tech yet (officially) and thought that was coming at a later date. But due to conflicts (basically caused by the indiscrepency in my position title and it lacking half of it as I'm the first to be fully cross-trained), it was do-or-die time.

You wanna learn?! Well jump in head first! And today I was shoved in head first...and I basically ended up belly-flopping but that's really beside the point....

So I worked the floor. I learned how to do vitals (which might I add that machine was almost the death of me today...it might be simple but it's lethal!), do the boards, do intake/output, and run in a million different directions. I learned to chart. I learned how to distribute trays, set up a room, all that jazzy shit they teach you.

BUT I learned it while learning how to ungracefully drop a tray, how to run into walls, how to run around in circles (quite literally, I mean that sincerely), how to ask a sheriff where to find shampoo, and most importantly, how to lock myself in a correctional care room.

However, I did it all with a smile on my face. For realz, laughter is the only thing that gets me through. I laugh at any and every thing. I laugh when I make mistakes, I laugh when people tell jokes, I laugh at myself, I sing, I dance, I make corny jokes, and put in ridiculous movie lines/song lyrics when necessary. And it pays off!! I had everyone in my unit in a good mood...despite my many many mistakes today. I was frazzled beyond belief but hey it's all good!!

And let's just not forget the most memorable part of my day. Well we had this new admit. We knew he'd be a "sitter" patient and that he was all sorts of coo-koo ca-choo. He came in and did not fail to deliver! He came down in 4-pt cuff restraints from the ED. After unhooking him he leaped to the other bed and next thing I know, all sorts of stuff starts happening and five sheriff's are on top of him. Apparently he started pulling out his IV, then tried to bite it, then tried to bite one of the sheriff's, then started fighting, and, like whoa!! Crazy, scary and thrilling all at once! And what was my reaction?! Oh you guessed it, I laughed.

Then I had to help insert a foley. A catheter. Into his penis. There's a first for everything. Oh and then he peed so much!! He peed 900mL in the catheter but there was so much coming out an additional 300mL came out around the catheter!! So we had to clean him up, change his bed...hmmm, what glorious fun!! And what did I do?! Sang a ridiculous song and laughed!

Doc: What's up?!
Me: the ceiling

Never gets old! Such a smartass.

But I will say, the power of please and thank you and asked nicely, so totally amazing!! The sheriff's love me because of my attitude and my joking demeanor and my corny jokes. And I think my staff all does too. I can joke with most all of them, pretty easily. Tis quite glorious!!

Welp, that was definitely a day for the books. Bet tomorrow will be too. An adventure is in store I'm sure. Which means I need some sleep to prepare for it.

Off to Never Never Land I go. Tout a'leure and sweet dreams :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NOH8: Light Through the Darkness

We threw our second NOH8 party...this year's theme was The Light Through the Darkness. We incorporated Born This Way and the It Gets Better Project as well. Love celebrating LOVE!!

Here are a couple photos...more to come soon :-)

This first one is meant to be controversial. It's supposed to be ironic. And it's supposed to stop and make you think "Wait, aren't they supposed to be promoting love and acceptance?!" Well we are, but if this little gesture can make one go up in arms and feel offended, imagine how much our words (something that holds SO much more power and meaning) can affect how you make someone else feel...and we are so less careful about what comes out of our mouths and how those words are portrayed to others. So stop and think the next time you open your mouth!! It's also one of Dan and our's sayings "fuck it!" It's just how we feel about what others think of our own 'labels'.


Last year Dan and I didn't get a photo together, despite being the co-hosts/co-creators of this party! So this year we made sure we had one :-)

Love Love Love, Me

These past couple weeks have been CRAZY!!

Wow, so I totally forgot how demanding school can be! Either that or these online classes are abnormally demanding. I'm pretty positive it's the former more than the latter but eh, ya never know!! Either way I'm loving my classes. Well, I'm absolutely loving my Philosophy of Religion class. I love how it pushes me to think in a way I haven't been pushed for awhile. It bites at some controversial issues and I can't even tell you just how MUCH I missed those hard conversations and people pushing my beliefs and opinions. Totally flourishing in it. The other class is nothing but a bunch of Christians talking about western religions from their sheltered point of view but the readings are extraordinary! I'm loving being back in some sort of education setting, even if it is from my computer.

I submitted my nursing application (albeit, PUSHING THE LIMITS) and send for my transcripts. Now I'm sitting here figuratively biting my nails and literally watching the NursingCAS website to see if my last transcript gets in by tomorrow. Oh how I hope I didn't shoot myself in the foot. Procrastination, though art just awful and I need to get rid of you, you awful dirty habit!!

With that, I hope that in 4-6 weeks I am getting an offer to come in for an interview so I can prove myself. Fingers crossed, hardcore crossed, white-knuckling crossed almost. AH!!!

Work is great. I'm FINALLY down on my home unit, the Correcitonal Care Unit. It's scary and fun and exciting. Trying to learn how to fit in and really hoping I'm doing well. It's a small unit, a small family. I'm new to it so it's sort of like starting from square one (yet again). And in a couple weeks I will be doing my healthcare tech training! Which will also be a square one spot again. And I might have my nurse educator send me up on another floor at the end of that sometime, so I can get a taste of another floor. Which will again be scary but WOWEE!! Talk about a long time of being out of my comfort zone! So good for me though. I've enjoyed getting to know everything and being on the edge of my seat. Sometimes it's so exhausting but great character building that's for sure :-)

Grams is back in the hospital as of this morning. COPD - Liver Failure - Retaining lots of water - Hit her head - Disoriented - Hiatal Hernia - Epigastritis - Gastritis - Colon polyps - Precancerous Tumor. The list goes on and on. Grams fell down and hit her head at some point last night and didn't even recognize us this morning. Just kept trying to go potty (though she didn't have to go). So she's back in the hospital and will be admitted into a nursing home probably, because she needs 24-hour care.

I hate to say it but that's a good thing. My mom has been stressing so hardcore trying to take care of my grams, even with everyone else's help. It will be good for us to not have to worry about changing every aspect of our lives as my grams' care needs are just SO high demanding right now. Not to mention, my mom is petrified of coming home to find grams dead so it will be good for that not to even be a possibility for her right now.

Just so crazy, and so stressful.

Other than that, just trying to plan a trip to San Fran & Portland. And also trying to plan a couple 14ers!! Hopefully the first one will be at the end of June :-)

Hakuna Matata!!

[Film on the Rocks watching Footloose with one of the besties!!]

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Love, City


I spent the day downtown today with one of my best and oldest friends.

We went and had tea at The House of Commons, which is a beautiful tea house. Then we walked around Denver, hitting up the 16th Street Mall and the People's Fair. Live Music. Sandals and sunglasses. Amazing crafts.

Was a beautiful day full of people, sun and deep breaths.

I need more of those :-)

Wish I didn't have to come back to Brighton. Wish I lived in Denver. Wish I had roommates. Wish I had more reasons to breath easy.

Wish I could be given a chance...by several people.

I wish I could get to know N*** better. I want to be opened up and blossomed. I want someone to make me laugh more. He is the kind of guy I have looked for. Calm, relaxed, joyous, fun, young at heart, loves to travel, loves life. Just want to be given a chance. Even just to be friends.

Can't wait to travel. Can't wait to see the world. Can't wait to live more!

Need to stop wishing and start living.

Ha, welcome to conversations in my head!

Great day to be alive :-) No complaints. Just sun :-)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

My goal for this summer: to get out as much as possible on my days off!!

Well between online classes and taking care of grams.

Grams has been sick, and it's been crazy...definitely stressful on the whole family having to take care of her, with her not being able to take care of herself.

My goal: one 14er per month for the next four months. Think I can make it happen?! I think I can and I think I will!!

I need to keep busy this summer, keep my body active, and keep my mind off men. Especially one that I'm getting in dangerous territory with currently. This guy could open up a world I crave...the only catch is I don't know how serious he is about ME. So should I take the chance or just keep myself closed off?! But the more I keep myself closed off will it make it harder in the long run to open myself up to someone?! Who knows. Stop overthinking things. Just because others have hurt you in the past doesn't mean he will Nicole.

I really want to live in Denver. I have the itch to move so bad. I want a place of my own. But I can't afford it. I want to be near something with things to do and people to see and places to go. Tired of the suburbs, tired of this old B-town. Ready for something more my age, more my style...but am I really?!

So many questions, so many desires!

I wanna travel. I wanna go, I wanna do, I wanna be. Why does everything rely on money and time?! Even know that I might have a little time, I don't have the money...like normal!

Mind racing...need to find an outlet for it....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Silver Anniversary

25 years is no easy feat in marriage...especially now-a-days with the divorce rate being higher than 50% and marriage something people do over and over.

I am proud to say that my wonderful parents have made it to this wonderful milestone!!

May 24th 1986, both my parents got married in a little church in Riverton, Wyoming, exchanging vows to support and love each other through both the good times and the bad. And that's exactly what they have done. They have faced some very hard times and some very wonderful times together. They have stood together and fought their was through raising four kids. There have been times where their support and devotion to each other has actually been frustrating to me, but I respect their commitment to each other that comes before their commitment to their children.

Us kids, though not having much money, decided to throw them a little surprise party to celebrate their silver anniversary. While it didn't go without a few bumps and a TON of procrastination, it was a success and I hope it showed them how special their love for each other is :-)

Hopefully I'll have more money to do something even more special for them on their 50th (GOLDEN!) Anniversary :-)




Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Re-Awakening

There are little parts of me that I've tucked away for quite a while starting to come back out!

Passions are slowly re-awakening; hopes and dreams are coming back. And I am laughing again...as in my real full-bellied laugh.

Wow, I want to fly.

I'm still trepid with slight fear. What if I get hurt or what if things fail?

But then I remember....the only way to fail is to have tried and to have dreamed and given my all. And why would I not do that?!

I'm excited.

Now let's see what happens from here....