Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 review

I don't have a 2012 review in pictures because one of the things that happened in 2012 was that my Mac became a brick.  Things are in there and safe (I hope) I just can't access them.  So eventually I'll need to attempt recovery but it's expensive.

So this is my 2012 review as it is.

2012 wasn't the best year but it wasn't the worst year.

In January I started my nursing classes, in December I finished my 2nd semester and graduated as an LPN.  I have had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of crazy days, weeks, and months.  The greatest thing is the people I have met and the friends I have that understand me at school.  I really couldn't make it without them. 

In March Mike and I celebrated TEN wonderful years of marriage. I really can not believe that it's been 10 years already.  Some days I feel like we just got married and others I feel like I never existed before we were married.  I'm so completely in love with that man, he makes my heart skip a beat and my stomach have butterflies just by walking through the door.  He understands me, he gets me, and we have the  same warped sense of humor.

September brought kindergarten for Gabe.  All day, every day.  He loves it.  He did have two first days in a row because of the school snafu but since he got a kitten out of it (Frieda) I don't think he minded much.  She's a little stinker and perfect for our family, super curious, not afraid of anything and ready to cause trouble.  She sleeps with him at night too.  Gabe is in Speech and making great progress.  He was in the winter concert and so adorable.  The concert has been the highlight of my mom career so far!! It was so adorable!!

December was one of tears and smiles.  My Grandpa passed away on the first.  Everyone is managing but we will always miss him.  He was an awesome guy and the best Grandpa I could have ever asked for.

Gabe turned SIX on the 23rd!!  I can not believe that my little baby is six.  He is an amazing kid.  I really couldn't have imagined how being his mom would feel.  We are so lucky to have him as ours.  He is quite the funny little kid.  He tells knock knock jokes, makes up stories, loves Legos, anything building related, stories and books.  He's sitting on the floor building with Legos right now, some machine that will probably fly, drive, and float if he has his way.  Being his mom rocks even when he drives me crazy ;)

In 2013 I look forward to getting back on track health wise, school through me off track but it's time to stop the excuses!!  I look forward to graduating school in December!  I look forward to my 11th anniversary, to turning 31, to Gabe being 7 and all the crazy ups and downs that I can't really even begin to imagine might happen but I feel like 2013 is going to be a long, tough year but good.  I just feel it.  Be a good year, be a good year! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gabe's 6th birthday

Today you turn 6.  I am amazed every year how old you are, how big you are and how much you've changed in one year.

This year I've been a bad blogger, picture taker, documenter.  I admit it, sorry kiddo.

You've started kindergarten, got your very own kitten Frieda and have grown and learned so much!  You still love Cars (KACHOW!), trucks, building things, legos and today you even put your new lego set together all by yourself by using the directions!  You can write and draw and spell, it amazes me how much you've learned in kindergarten already!!  You had a winter concert where you were on stage and sang your heart out! I'd been waiting for that part of being a mom and videoing that was so much fun. And while this year has had it's ups and downs you've handled them all and been a great kid through everything.

I love you so very much my little boy, I love that you're a big kid and funny and cute and still give me kisses.  Best Christmas Gift I've ever gotten was you.  Love you.
Kindy Xmas Party!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finding your people

I once had a very wise friend of mine tell me that the really lucky nurses found their people early and if I was lucky enough to do that, stay there and never move.  She's probably too busy in med school now to even be reading this but she knows who she is. 

Today at clinical I'm pretty sure I found where I'm supposed to be.  I've had an interest in hospice nursing since I started school and today I had a patient that was going home with hospice.  I know what that means, and she knows what that means.  We had an amazing day today (at least I hope she did because I know I did).  Her day went better than several previous ones, that's for sure.  She may never know it but this woman probably impacted me in a profound and life changing way.  I know that there are people out there waiting for me.  They need me, we just don't know each other yet and hospice is the place that I want to be. 

I'm aware that a lot of people think I might be crazy, and they might even think I can't do it, but I know better.  I know that deep down inside me I FEEL something.  I feel connected and I feel drawn.  I only hope that I can be the person that those people need me to be.  I know that being a hospice nurse might not be easy, and that many days it is going to be extra hard but that's okay because there are going to be a ton of wonderful days in there too. 

If I made today better for my one patient then I did a good job.  I'm so thankful for the chance I had to meet her.  I'm thankful that my instructor gave me that chance, even though I know she was nervous about me being ready for it. 

Today I did good, and I want to say thank you to that special patient whom I will carry forever with me. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gabe Kindergarten school starting

We are a couple weeks into kindergarten and it seems like Gabe is enjoying himself.  Of course getting information out of him is like getting information from a CIA agent, so it's hard to tell.

Now the fun part so I don't forget when he's older:

The school directly across the street from us (90 feet away) was full, which led to a fiasco of sending him to the other side of town, a ONE HOUR bus ride on the way home, etc.  After several emails with the principal and the superintendent of the schools we were told that we would be first on the list if there was an opening at our own school.  So Gabe started school across town at Kennedy Elementary School.  I received a phone call THAT DAY that there was an opening at Woodview.  Poor kid had two first days in a row, one at the "wrong" school and then the second day at the "correct" school.  He was a little confused to say the least, but at least he only had to do one day in the wrong place. 

He seems to like school so far, I haven't had any notes home about him being in trouble so he must be alright LOL!  Here's to hoping things continue to run smoothly!  I quite enjoy being able to see him on the playground during the day, and having him home only 5 min after school lets out. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On turning 30!

Yes it is that time again, my birthday.  There was no big count down or surprise party or sky diving but it did come anyhow, sort of like in the Grinch, it comes no matter what we do ;)

I think a lot of people feel like 30 is a OMG MILESTONE! so I figured I should too.  Except I don't, sort of, clear as mud right?  At 25 I was pretty scared of what 30 might look like, but now I'm thrilled to be here (beats the alternative right?), and I'm ready to BRING. IT. ON.

I'd like to take this time to tell my younger self a few things.

At 18 and 19 I'd make sure that I enjoyed my brand new husband, and that we'd just get in the car more and drive places.  I'd make sure to let myself know that things will never be how you planned, but they will be better than you ever dreamed.

At 25 I'd tell myself that you're doing a great job as a mom, and things won't get easier, but they won't really get harder either, they'll just change.  (Gabe was 8 months old when I turned 25).  Be confident in yourself and your choices.  They'll work out okay.

Yes you should go to school, no it won't be for a vet tech it will be for nursing (blows your mind right?!) why didn't you think of that at 18 or 19?  I think because you'll be a better nurse now than you would have then.

In the 30 years you might not have done anything that the world will remember or will write about but you do have a family that loves you and that does make you important.  I know that you will continue to grow and change and push yourself, just keep swimming!

In my next 30 years (hey I know that song!)  I'd like to have some fun.  I'd like to conquer more fears and work on being braver.  I want to try things that scare me, go places jut because they sound fun and try to just say YES to things that come my way more.  I want to spend more time with my family and really really enjoy them, and not worry so much about the other eleventymillion things that I "think" are important, because what's important is right there in front of me.

No one could really have prepared me for what I'd be like at 30.  The things about myself that have stayed the same and those that have changed.  I feel more comfortable in myself now that I did in my 20s.  I feel like this is me and take it or leave it.  I feel that I'm going to always be a work in progress and that is a good thing.  I mean after all if we get stagnant we'd die so we SHOULD be a work in progress and always growing and changing.

I'd like to tell my husband that he's amazing and that I love him and I know exactly how lucky I am to have found the love of my life so early on!

I'd like to tell my parents that I love them, and that I'm really grateful for all the hard work they put into me, even when we drive each other crazy.

I'd like to tell my brother that I'm glad we're friends now and we hang out.  I wasn't sure that we'd ever get there but now I can't imagine not having him around.

And now I'm crying, silly me!

Your 30s look like they are going to be great, embrace them! Love them! Don't hide your age, embrace it and be the best you that you can be!! Thirty can just BRING. IT. ON! 

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Safety Town

Gabe finished Safety Town on Friday and it was great.  I think we learned a lot, him and I both!  He's definitely working on learning his phone number much better now.  He's got his address down.  He learned lots of other things while there too.  I think the most important thing was really that we need to make sure we're working on some of the things I know Gabe needs to learn each and every day so we don't end up overwhelmed and frustrated (both of us). 

I think that it was a great learning experience for him and me.  He got great responses from the teachers about being a good kid and listening well, of course I hear that he's the ham too.  He does need to work on some paying attention skills which I know is the age and the fact that he's had very little structured learning.  I think as a whole he is ready for kindergarten in the fall.  I'm going to bet that we do end up doing some speech therapy but I think at this point I'm going to wait it out and just see how things go when he starts school.

Gabe is really enjoying the summer so far and he loves being outside and especially playing with Matthew and Sarah.  He will play in the pool in the yard all day if I let him, and he will be taking swimming classes next month.  I'm hoping that will help him to get his face in the water and not panic if someone splashes him.  

All in all things are good and we're having a fun summer.  I do wish that we had a car during the day to just bop around places but we'll make it through and soon I'll be back in school and suddenly so will he!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Should I or shouldn't I? You decide!

In just 4 days I'll have technically completed Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  I pushed back my end date so that I will have gotten 30 workouts but I think I'm still short one or two.  Still all things considered it's pretty cool.  I actually like the work out. 

I'm looking for the next thing I should do.  If it's on Netflix or free somewhere on the internet even better!  So give me your ideas.  I like things that are in the 30 min range because I have time for that even with the kiddo home with me during the day in the summer, and during the school year that's all I'll likely be able to commit to on any one day. 

I'm not sure if I'll post the before and after pictures or not, because I took the before pictures in my sports bra and workout pants and I'm not really happy about sharing the stretch marks on the internet.  But I'll make sure I take two sets of after, one without the tank top on and one with, so you'll get a current picture of me.  I haven't lost much weight this month (I think the scale lies) but I'm obviously stronger now than I was when I started so I'm hoping that shows. I might be persuaded but it would have to be by a lot of people LOL!

Mike and I started doing water aerobics twice a week.  It is sort of fun actually.  We are the only people under about 70 years old but that's okay, they're inviting us to play Bridge :)  I did tell Mike I wanted to meet new couples but this wasn't quite what I had in mind.  At least we're doing something together and it is exercise.  Plus in the water is good for Mike because even if it has been 90 out Mike feels comfortable in the water.  I'm really thinking about a pool for us, something decent sized. 

Are you up for the challenge?  Convince me to post the actual before pictures.  And sell me your workout videos and where I can find them.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I really dislike the "new" blogger layout.  It's been that way for a bit now but it annoys me.

Anyhow that's not what this is about.  This is about the funk.  You know what I'm talking about, we've all been there.  You get into a funk, and sometimes for no discernible reason, and can't get out of it.  I'm pretty sure I'm in a funk because it's post party week.  I spent a lot of time planning and thinking about the party that I have post party depression. 

I'm attempting to drag myself out of it! 

To add to it I twisted my ankle and had to skip working out for two days, which is bad because then I don't want to go back to working out.  I know I gotta just DO IT! and then I'll feel better, or not but at least it will be done.  I'm frustrated with eating and working out, things just aren't moving for me right now.  I'm pretty sure I'm not tracking food as well as I need to be but I'm tired of it and it makes me annoyed and cranky (which feeds into the post party depression funk). 

Being off for the summer is a double edged sword.  I love not having to stress about school but I have no purpose when I'm off like this.  I make no money for the family, which stresses me out, and I have no goals like I do during school, which makes me feel productive. 

Gabe is busy doing Safety Town this week.  I think he likes it but it's hard to tell with him because he's a grumpy old man and doesn't like to talk about "school".  The teachers say he's a ham and a good kid so I figure he must be enjoying himself.

Currently we are number 4 on the waiting list for our preferred school.  It should have gone by address but this is a weird year and there are too many kids for this school (which is literally across from my house) and not as many in one of the other schools.  We're all in the same district.  I'm just crossing my fingers that things work out because I REALLY want/need him to be across the street from us.  It is one of the big things that sold us on this house.  So cross your fingers and toes, and even your eyes that before September 3 families with kindergarteners move OUT of our area of town. 

Next week Mike and I start our evening water aerobic class twice a week, and I'm really hoping that is fun.  It will be nice to have something to do together that is adult only too, even if it is a little corny.  I'm glad we're doing it together. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I really do love summer.  I love the warmth (Mike says I'm a reptile), I love the sunshine, the hours of light, the smells.  I do NOT love the mosquitoes.  They are annoying me already. 

Sarah and I are running together.  I'm really enjoying it.  We're doing the C25K (again for me) but this time it's all on the road which I haven't done before, I did most of it on the treadmill last year.  Road running is so different than treadmill.  One isn't better or worse than the other but they just are different.  I love having a partner to run with, it makes the time pass faster.  I didn't even mind the rain storm the other day, until it was raining so hard we couldn't see.  Luckily we made it home before the hail started.  Of course the power was out. 

I'm working on these last 20ish pounds to lose, but I'm really hoping most about toning the middle of me.  I hate my middle.  So if those last 20 come off, I'm hoping a lot of it is off that middle.  But overall toning and working out should make that happen. 

In addition to running I'm doing the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.  It is quick and fits into the morning easily.  I WILL do a full 30 days without missing.  I do have pictures but we'll see if I'm brave enough to post the before pictures or just the after ones.  Yes I'm a chicken, yes I've posted pictures before but this feels different, more out there, more personal. 

In just 10 days we're having a party for our tenth anniversary and I'm wearing a great fun party dress that I could not have fit into when we got married so I know I should be proud of myself (and I am) but I still feel like this is always an up hill battle.  I'm not sure when or if it will ever be "easy" but it is something I NEED to keep doing for myself.  I like the way I feel when I work out, and I like the way I look thinner, oh yeah and I'm sure I'm healthier too (but lets be honest, most of us work out to look good, not be "healthy"). 

So for anyone out there thinking they can't do this, take a look back at the weight loss posts here and the pictures, the struggles and the successes.  I know that even when there is a set back I'm still LEAPS and BOUNDS ahead of where I was before I got off that couch!  So just do it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Made it!

I made it, I finished the first semester of nursing school.  I did it with the help of my family and the friends I have made this semester!  Thank you all!  Thank you for the fun, for kicking my butt when I needed it, thank you for making flash cards, and letting me us your notes, thank you for the lunches, and the jokes, and picking on me when I really needed it, thank you for showing me how wonderful people really can be and I know some of us will be life long friends. 

 Thank you to my wonderful husband who never complained when I had to study late, or go to study group, when dinner wasn't made, when laundry wasn't done, when I went to bed at 8pm on a weekend because I was so beat.  Thank you honey, you'll never really know how much I appreciate you.

Of course there are three more semesters to go but I'm feeling great having the first one out of the way! 

This summer Gabe and I will hang out, play in the yard, go to the pool and just enjoy not having to be anywhere before 8 am.  Mike and I are signed up for an aquatic workout 2 nights a week starting Mid-June and I'm looking forward to some "us" time.

I'm looking forward to grilling out and burning stuff with my brother and Sarah now that they are next door.  I'm looking forward to just chilling out some!

I can't wait for the party in just a couple weeks! I'm worried its going to be 900 degrees, or 30, or raining LOL!  But it will be a blast no matter what. 

I'm looking forward to running and working out more! (I hope my hip agrees, its really sore after the first day of running on Saturday).

I just can't wait!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Just keep swimming....

I feel like I'm drowning.  I am starting to see some people start to lose it.  Just three weeks left of this semester.  I'm both shocked at how fast it is going and yet each day seems like an eternity.  Each morning my alarm goes off and I think I could sleep for days, maybe I will when I have that chance.  Gabe can fend for himself ;)  Tests, tests, studying, studying, clinicals and reading. 

Things just feel like they are all so far to the wayside that I can't even think about them much, laundry is a joke!  I mean I'm not great at keeping up on laundry normally but right now it is a complete and utter disaster!  Food....well I did gain 4 pounds during this semester.  That's pretty good I think considering the complete and total lack of working out I have done.  I am looking forward to having some time to work out soon.  I really do need the time to unwind but then I feel guilty for not hanging out with Mike or Gabe or studying, eating or even ...GASP!.... sleeping that I don't do it. 

I am glad I'm doing this.  I feel really drawn here to this point in my life.  I feel like something called me here.  The universe put a lot of things in front of me and I ended up here.  I'm loving the work and I love the theory, I can't wait to find my place and find MY people, the place where I'm comfortable as a nurse, the place where I belong, the place where I make a difference in even just one person's day.  I know its out there.  I have some ideas of where I think I might want to be but then I learn something new and get interested in that too, I'm like a crow going after things that are shiny right now.  Hopefully I'll just KNOW.

For now though one day at a time, one class at a time, and one test at a time.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring break

Well spring break came and went.  I didn't do anything exciting really but it was nice...sort of.  I find spring break to be a double edged sword.  I NEEDED the break...but I'm really just now actually relaxed from school and have to go back tomorrow...and we have a TEST!  On the first day back, yuck.  Whomever scheduled that should be flogged. 

There are only five weeks left of school this semester though and that will go by fast.  So I'm keeping my head down, and going to power through it! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life in a nutshell

I'm halfway through my first semester of nursing classes.  I am stressed, overwhelmed, but I love it.  Really!  I love the information that is being crammed into my brain every day.  I love the stuff that I think is gross.  I especially love the people that I am meeting and becoming friends with. 

Of course today I'm home sick with a little boy who's running a temp and worrying that I am missing a clinical day but overall everyone has been doing well during my "absence".  Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on things and Gabe and Mike are being neglected.  I know its only a short amount of time, and half way through the semester, means only 8 more weeks until summer anyhow.  Oh how I love that count down!!  Then I realize how short of a time that it really takes and it will be over.  How fast time goes!!

Ten years ago (on Tuesday) Mike and I got married.  Then I was a boisterous, funny, skinnier ;), very young woman and at 19 that girl would have never considered being a nurse.  She would have balked at the work, thought it gross, dirty, lowly and not fun at all.  Mike and I got married and had no plans to have kids, heck we were lucky to keep our cat fed then.  Now of course Gabe is 5 years old, I'm in school full time, Mike is still/again at FIS (or whatever you want to call it).  We're living in a great house and doing okay no matter the ups and downs we've had.  This 29 year old woman feels light years older (in a good way) than that 19 year old girl and yet I still feel the same deep down.  I'm glad that we've come this far together and I can't wait for the road ahead for life, school and family. 

To those that have been on this ride from the beginning I'm so happy to have had you there through it all, to those just joining us HANG ON! I hope you stick around for the next chapter(s). 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached

I better write all this down RIGHT NOW while I'm thinking about it.

Today was my first day of core nursing classes (the ones that really count!).  It was also Gabe's first day of daycare!!  Turns out Mother Nature has a sense of humor and the wind chill was below zero when we left the house, oh so early, in the morning. 

We did get out the door only to forget Gabe's boots, which didn't matter because it was too cold to play outside at daycare but still bugged me.  We got Mike dropped off at work and headed to campus.  I got a good parking spot (benefit of being there at 7:30).  I hauled my backpack, laptop bag, Gabe, his snowsuit, and his backpack all inside the school. 

I dropped him off and he barely said bye to me!  He was the first one there so he went off and was busy playing right away with all the cool toys.

Then I skedaddled to my first class, Pharmacology, which was at 8am.  I get there and we sit around for awhile and at about 8:15 another instructor comes in and apologizes that we were supposed to get an email that there was no class today, that it starts NEXT Wed.  Grrr!!  So now I have 2 hours to kill on campus while I wait for my next class to start.  It was a long two hours.

The next class is Nursing Fundamentals, we get settled in, do the obligatory paperwork, and jump right in.  It was an alright intro and seems like it could be interesting.  It is basically a theory class about the profession of nursing (subtitled "How not to get sued" by me). 

I am done at noon and head over to the daycare to pick Gabe up.  When he sees me he immediately bursts in to tears because they were just starting lunch and I interrupted him LOL!!  There were three other kids there at that point, two girls and a boy.  They all waved and said hi.  I did finally get Gabe to calm down and we took his lunch to go. 

At home he tells me that it was a boring morning because he was by himself for most of it (I think the other kids came around 10).  He did enjoy playing in the muscle room, where they play when it is too cold outside.   He waffles between telling me he's glad he went and wanting to never go back again!

Monday we do it all over again, but only for the afternoon since there was a last minute schedule change by one of my instructors :/ So we'll be on campus together from 12:30-4 and then head right to pick up Mike. 

I have about 115 pages to read this week for Fundamentals, my online Psych class will probably start posting things tomorrow or Friday.  So I'm off and running! Although I won't really be running because my backpack weighs a ton and is already stuffed to the max!

Monday, January 9, 2012

(not)refried bean burritos

Yesterday I posted the (not)refried beans and today I am posting to show what I made with them! 

I made little freezer packs to take to class with me for lunch.  The tortillas I used are quite small so I put 4 into a package. 

Ingredients, I didn't take pictures of the package of beans full, sorry.  There are also other ingredients in the recipe which I linked back to yesterday too!  They are DELICIOUS!
Then I set up a little assembly line and put 1/4 cup of beans into each burrito
I added a dash of cheese (less than 1/4 of a cup, just a sprinkle really), and 1/4 cup of beans was a LOT in this size tortilla.  I might go up a size next time but I like the idea of eating a lot at lunch (4) and feeling like I splurged instead of eating one big burrito LOL.
Then I rolled them up and put them into Ziploc bags.  I labelled each bag with the contents, date, and nutrition info I like to keep track of.  Each pack of 4 burritos is 350 calories and 20g of protein (for ALL 4 combined!!)
I only had one package of tortillas, and I made a double batch of beans so I had leftovers.  I took them and put them into ziploc bags, wrote the date, the size of the package (2 cups) and nutrition info for 1/2 cup of beans (60 calories):
I lay them nice and flat (helps to keep the air out too) and then freeze them like that.  After they are frozen you can stand them up if you need to in the door of the freezer.  I did have another cup and a half left over but I put them in a bowl in the fridge for lunch tomorrow ;) I couldn't resist! 

These beans are super tasty and WAAAAAY better than anything you're going to eat canned, and better for you.  Total time I put in today to portion and package everything up was about half an hour.  I'm not going to say my calorie counts are perfect but they should be close, and everyone's recipes will vary depending on exactly what you put into your beans and what burritos you use.  So make sure you figure it out if you need to be counting calories. 

I will definitely be making these beans and the burritos again!  Thank you so much to Budget Bytes for paving the way for these recipes!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Food I made!

I got all crafty (can you be crafty with food?) this week.  I've found some recipes I just must try this week before I go back to class next week.  So today I made (Not)Refried Beans.  They turned out marvelous!  They are tasty, I had to taste test to make sure, and look delicious too. 

Tomorrow they are going to go into some tortilla shells with a little cheese and then get frozen in two packs for my lunches for at school where I can pop them in the microwave.  I actually got the idea from another post by Budget Bytes where she made freezer burritos with store bought ingredients, so I figured I'd do it with homemade beans (which are SOO much yummier!) and next time I might even make the tortillas myself from one of her recipes too.

Freezer Burritos  and the Low Fat Flour Tortillas for next time.  So tomorrow I'll make my burritos and have tasty healthy lunches.  The tortillas I'm using are only 80 calories for 2 of them and they are whole wheat.  I'll add a little sprinkle of Mexican Style Cheese and be good to go for only about 300 calories for two of them. 

This week I'm also going to make my own English Muffins for breakfast sandwiches too.  I need to be prepared with foods for the weeks ahead when I'm going to be busy, lazy, frazzled and unable to think ahead well enough to make healthy tasty meals! 

I admit I go in spurts with trying new foods and recipes but since I'm on an upswing I figure I better take advantage of it and make as many things as I can to stuff in the freezer!  If you have any great recipes or blogs about food shoot them my way and I'll see what I can do.  I've already sampled Skinny Taste and she's fabulous, OBB is another one that I've tried a few but not many from, so spam me!