Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Color Run

My friend J has this wonderful wife named Tricia.

Tricia asked if I wanted to do a 5k.

I hate running. I'm not good at it, I never do it. Ick. Running not for me. However, I enjoy 5k's for the fun times and charities they benefit. Hence why I've done several. Let me clarify that I normally walk these 5k's with others!

Welp, Tricia and her friends are runners. I'm not. But when she told me about the Color Run, I just COULD NOT pass it up.

The premise: a 5k to benefit The Childrens Hospital (well at least the one in Denver benefits The Childrens Hospital). The catch: you start off in a white tee and during the "race" they throw color on you!

HELL YEAH, sign me up! I get to get dirty and turn into a rainbow. I'll take it :-)

Needless to say it was a blasty blast! Lots of color, lots of cheer, lots of super nice folks doing the run. And let's not forget we were one bright hot mess when done. Woot woot! I will also admit that I'm super proud because I actually ran half of it. That's pretty impressive for yours truly!!

A few pics of course displaying the awesomeness of the festivities.

Spontaneity. Adventure.

I miss those two! So bad. Seriously.

There's nothing like a spontaneous adventure, especially because they throw you outside your comfort zone, caution (mostly) to the wind. When did I stop doing that?!


Crested Butte. A handsome fella. A truck. Two days. That was my latest adventure.

Yeah yeah. It's not like I white-water rafted down the Grand Canyon or climbed Mount Everest on a whim but baby steps y'all.

Of course, my camera was with me and I kept forgetting to get it out. (Remember the whole passion thing...I'm having to consciously remember my camera...I forgot how much I loved being behind the damn thing! Sad day).

So alas, all I have is a few iPhone pics. So lame I know. But here was my fav. What a wonderful view :-)

Normally this is where I would mention going back to the grind of nursing school. Which I am. But I'm also doing a few things this summer to keep some balance.

So when my bestie and her bf put pics on fb of some tickets to go see The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks I followed suite to go with them :-)

Good beer. Great friends. Rad music. Recipe for success :-)

Alright blog world, it is time for bed. See ya on the flip side!

Far from what I once was....

"Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be..."

Sometimes when I finally stop to take a moment at where I'm at, I look back and am amazed at what's behind me and where I am. Sometimes that amazement is a good thing and other times it leaves a heaviness in my heart.

Both can accurately be said when I stop and look back at several steps behind me. When I look back to a couple years ago, I'm amazed at where I am and who I have become. There have been some huge hurdles and tribulations to say the least. Events that I never imagined would happen to me have left me stunned and weakened, and blessings I couldn't fathom have blossomed from piles of ruins. Lessons have been learned, my heart has been shattered, and I am all the stronger for it. On the other hand, I look back with sadness at those times because of the "jaded scars" they have left behind on my soul.

When I look back to a year ago, I feel triumphant (and scared) that I am finally chasing dreams. Goals are no longer being talked about, they are IN THE MAKING! For awhile I doubted I would ever actually be doing and not just talking about. I also feel sadness as the amount of hope and faith I had at that time was so strong, stronger than it is now oddly enough (I hate admitting that).

When I look back to right before I started this program, I look back in longing. I have been headed down a slow path of losing sights of small bits and pieces of myself.

Little did I know that in chasing my dream of becoming a nurse, sacrifices of my heart and identity would have to be made.

"It's a means to an end" my mother has always said and I've always hated that quote. Because when one believes in that line, one can also dangerously fall into a trap of always being in the mean, searching for the end, and can sacrifice the journey and happiness of that journey along the way.

Nursing school has been intense. I think the accelerated program was a great choice, and horrible all at the same time. One year folks. That's not that long right?! 15 weeks. Meh that's nothing right?! Wrong. That's the amount of time it took me for finally dive into losing a good grip of balance and of my identity. That 15 weeks of pure sacrifice, where nothing but nursing school was all that existed, were enough to throw me into a tailspin. One I'm finally just realizing that I've been in.

What makes me tick?! What makes me thrive?! Social interaction. Though I might be a little shy at times, and a tidge socially awkward, I thrive on relationship. I thrive on positivity, humor, happiness, welcoming souls. I find so much beauty in this world, and in the small things. The joy and hope and faith that can be found were so vital to me. Love, the most important of all. Kindness.

I found that when I left working with my preschoolers to dive into the "real world" and working at Denver Health I left behind a huge part of myself. You see, kids just naturally are so vibrant and joyful. It's time and heartaches that jade that away from people. Naturally adults are lackluster in these arenas, a great majority of the time.

That's ok though. Your attitude is what makes an experience. Usually. So I threw my heart and soul, and dug from the depths, and made work a great place to be. Because gosh darnit! If you can make others laugh and smile, and really care about them, it comes back to you. Though I admittedly found I have not been fed into in the same equalities I give to others.

One of my biggest strengths and weaknesses is my caregivers heart and always giving of myself to others. It's a weakness when my own well is not being given into.

Nursing school only intensified that. Thrown into an intense program that is so rigid and serious and all-consuming, with people who know very little about me, and unable to form very many deep quality relationships, I found that after awhile, not being able to do the things I enjoy or are my respite became a huge sacrifice.

Now here I sit. After two weeks of giving nursing school the middle finger and socializing with friends, family, and throwing myself back into my "life", I find myself realizing that I dived off the deep end of sacrifice and it left me feeling so empty.

I'm still mad. Super mad actually that I'm only halfway done with a program that consumes all my energy and time. I want to be OUT in the world, with friends, experiencing life! Sure my dream of becoming a nurse is important and is my passion (that after one awful clinical experience I am relearning all the reasons I wanted to be a nurse again), it's not everything.

There are much more important things! God, family, friends, relationships, happiness, love. Being a nurse won't define me, rather it will be an outward extension of part of my heart. I think I'm just mad right now that it's being made to define me. This year is defined as "the year of nursing school". Ick.

With that being said, I'm doing a lot of soul searching. I'm reigniting and relearning what it is that's deep inside me, what makes me who I am, and what makes me tick. Funny I was able to forget that huh?!

Here's what I've discovered.

My relationship with God is so important and needs more focus. Faith is something I need to start working on again. I had SO much faith, where did it go?! I'm quickly remembering how much faith my kiddos had in me, when did I lose faith in my God? And losing that faith has translated into a lot of doubt of myself.

Relationships. God I love relationship with others. What the hell is the point in living if you don't have people you love and care about and that know you beside you?! Here's to remembering to spend quality time with those that have gone by the wayside.

Passion, happiness, optimism, joy. I lost a lot of those and I definitely feel it. I could find joy in anything, and while I still do, it's not the same degree or intensity. Damnit, I want my emotions to be all-consuming and intense again!

Humor. It's just way too damn important to laugh your way through life. Really there's just no other way. Not to mention those who are happy and laugh live longer :-)

Love. This is such a deep area. I shut myself off to loving others, romantically. One blind date later and I realized just how much I had shut myself off to that. While I've always believed in fairy tales and true love and "happily ever after", I literally doubted God would even want or plan that for my life and in doing so, also shut myself off from taking risks. Risks that I used to take willy nilly! How can I possibly find love if I don't take risks. Duh. I might get hurt. We lose 100% of the risks we don't take. So here's to taking risks again! (Slowly and more mindfully of course).
And I will freely admit, I'm a sucker for romance. I might put on a tough bravado but romance...have always fantasized about being "swept off my feet". Well here's to hoping it might actually one day happen ;-)

So here's to me. I'm far from who I used to be, in both good ways and bad. I'm not yet who I'm going to be, and that's ok. But here's to strapping on my boots, realizing that this is just another part of the beautiful journey that God has laid out before me, and I'm stepping forward. While this is probably the gazillionth time God has thrown this lesson my way, I'm still gonna take it as a learning experience, that I might eventually peg down! So here's back to getting to myself, and to rediscovering myself, and rediscovering the beautiful parts of life, even with the bad and ugly.

Gosh it feels good to take a deep breath again and leap. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



That's really how I feel right now. A few years ago, vulnerable wouldn't necessarily make me sit down and reflect. That was sort of just part of my inner wiring. Very vulnerable to others, vulnerable to the world, a lot of guards down. Now I sit here a little unused to being so vulnerable as I was before, and when that feeling hits, it causes me to pause for a second.

My vivacious mother, whom I love to death, decided to set me up on a blind date.

Ok let's backtrack for a second here. After my very tumultuous relationship with Britton, followed by a horrible dating experience dating last summer, I have turned my head the other way on dating. For several reasons in fact. For one I just got plain ol tired of always being hurt, taken advantage of, and the sheer exhaustion that comes with a draining relationship/dating experience. For two, my life was starting to rear up in a direction I had been working towards for a very long time. I went from struggling week-to-week financially to obtaining a job at DH I loved, but that took me away from social circles (it's kinda hard to keep a social calendar with friends when you work weekend nights). Then I got accepted into Regis and I started gearing up for the accelerated program. I had to finish a couple classes, get a ton of paperwork started, worked my ass off to try to get my prereq classes paid for (those were out-of-pocket), all while helping my mother to take care of my grandmother.

For me it just worked to have no interest in dating. There was simply too much going on.

Starting this program, it was a relief that I had no significant other, no children, no distractions, etc. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For me that's what worked.

Have I wanted a healthy supportive relationship? Yes. Have I desired to have a companion? Yes. Do I want romance in my life? Yes. Do I long for a lasting love? YES!

Was I willing to date yet another douchebag? No. Was I willing to distract from my studies? No.

You see, all of my relationship/dating experiences have had pretty huge negatives. Because that was my experience, I felt it better to just not even give it a thought for quite awhile.

However, being 24, I'm already realizing how much smaller the dating pool is getting. Not necessarily in terms of numbers (though it is...a lot of people are getting married and starting families). Rather, I'm meaning quality. There's a reason a lot of people my age and a little bit older are single at this point, most usually, and it's usually not a good sign. There's another reason to not date. Trying to wade through that pool of potential suitors seems daunting when you know the reason they are probably still single is not of a desirable trait.

Alright so fast forward again, my mother decided that after almost a year-and-a-half of being single, and a year of me not looking at all for dates, and after a year of me professing (yet again....as I have always done when I'm single) that I'm not interested in dating, she set me up on a blind date.

Now hold on a minute....what?! Yes my mother set me up on a blind date. I honestly never thought I'd see the day when that would happen.Nor did I expect it. I came home to my mother getting lunch and she slide a number across the table at me. Jigga what?! Aw hell no! That was my first reaction.

Long story (and amusing for another time) short I gave this mystery man a ring, and we went on a first date.

Pure petrification. I don't think I've been that terrified in awhile. And that's saying something, because I'm pretty nervous and scared every day walking into work or class, not knowing what I will be facing taking care of another patient.

However, I wasn't petrified for too long. Joking, direct questioning, laughing, and some talking later, I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

I got asked on a second date.

Pure nervousness and fear. Really?! He asked me on a second date?! Wow.

The reason I think I was so nervous the second time around is two-fold. He liked me enough to ask me to come out again. That shocked me, just because I wasn't expecting it. Also, it meant that with each time he asks me to see each other again, I become a little more vulnerable to him. That freaks me out. Because being vulnerable to others has gotten me in worlds of trouble.

That's not saying I'm going to flip my hard shell over and just be the belly-side of a starfish, begging to be preyed upon. But it does mean that the massive guards that I have slowly built up have to slowly come down. For the first time in a very long time, I might have to start letting someone in. Because it's who I am on the inside, past those walls, that someone wants to get to know, more than the superficial questions. That's a scary thought for me anymore. That includes an aspect of being vulnerable.

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, rather facing a realistic possibility. It's really kind of exciting and enthralling really.

With the unexpected, comes the most beautiful experiences :-)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Tyce & Tenley

My cousin asked me to take their children's pictures. As the one in the family who has a fancy camera, I'm automatically nominated as photographer for most family events. It's a good thing that the reason I even have a fancy camera to begin with is because I'm the one known for taking pictures and am halfway decent at snapping a good photo here and there.

Anywho, I was totally honored when they asked me to take Tyce & Tenley's photos! They haven't had their pictures taken together since Tenley was a month old. And Lisa just said she wanted some cute photos of them together, not in a studio, with all the contrived poses they do there. Thankfully Colorado is the most beautiful place to live and when she offers up that brilliant blue sky and sunshine, you can't ever help but get a good picture!! Here's a few of my favorites. (I can honestly say I don't think I did a half bad job!)

 Tyce & Tenley
 Tyce enthusiastically chasing butterflies!!

 Exploring what's in the water together :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Newest 'Do

I think most everyone has figured out by now that I can't have the same hair color too long without getting bored.

I think what really fueled the fire this time was having been my natural color for so long, coupled with being a part of the Stepford Wives atmosphere that is nursing school. When I got accepted into nursing school I changed my hair color from the blond that I had worked towards back to it's natural dark brunette. Which means that I've been brunette since roughly October.

Then I entered into nursing school and I'm around the same people all the time. Everyone has long hair, natural hair, and I enjoy my short messy do. But everyone has either brunette or blond hair, I wanted something a little different.

So I decided to flirt with red hair :-) And I love it!! I can't wait until we get it to the final color that I'm overall really wanting!!