Sunday, November 15, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Last Tuesday was my birthday.  I turned 35 years old.  While I know this is not really old, I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I am 35.  Every time someone asks me if I have kids, I always think that I am not old enough to have kids, until I remember that I am!  My mom had three kids by age 35!  I will take my three hooligans that I have know instead. :)

Since my birthday was on a Tuesday, we were able to celebrate the weekend prior and the weekend after, because, November is nothing if it is is not National Keri Month!

To start off the festivities, we went to Perry Lake for a hike.  Kya insisted that she take her mama hiking and Kya is the boss at our house.

Kya and me on our hike

The five of us.  Mike and Katie joined us for the hike as well!

We always have fun with these two!

After our hike, we made our way to Lawrence for lunch and beers.  Mike and Katie both went to KU, so they love checking out Mass Street.  Ken and I just really love Lawrence and like to go whenever we can!

After a shower and a nap, Ken took me out for my birthday dinner.  This year I requested that we go to Grunauer, an Austrian/German restaurant in the Freight House District.  This place has quickly turned into one of my favorite restaurants.  

Birthday apple strudel, I do not mind if I do!

The day of my actual birthday, I was at the hospital for clinical.  Lots of exciting things happened during the day, including a lady coding and I got to start my second IV.  I nailed that bad boy, thank you very much!  

Brittnee and me leaving clinical.  It was her last one for the semester and I have one left.  

When I arrived home, we ordered pizza, drank wine and I some ice cream.  It was pretty much the perfect evening.

Ken has always known the way to my heart!  

I wrapped up my birthday festivities with Guns and Hoses with Katie last night and then a trip to my favorite local winery this afternoon with Jill and Michelle.  It was a great way to finish off my birthday!

The three of us had so much fun talking, laughing, and drinking wine!

Here's to being 35!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Royals Game...

I am sure you all have heard that the Royals won the World Series.  While Ken and I did not attend a World Series game, we did get to attend an ALCS game.  I know, we are Cardinal fans and not Royals fans, but when the opportunity to sit in crown seats presents itself, you go.  I must admit, after the game we did feel a little more like Royals fans.

Tom Watson, a KC favorite, threw out the first pitch.

We had wonderful seats!  I could not believe how big Salvy was in real life!  

It was a great day for a Royals' Win!

Ken and I had a lot of fun!

Look who I met at the game, the Marlins Man himself!

Thanks so much to Marty and Karen for inviting us!  We had a great time at the game and I am officially spoiled with the crown seats!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Its All About the Veins, 'Bout the Veins...

Nursing school has started and this semester it is all about IV's.  Yikes.  All about poking someone with a needle to find a vein.  It is not as easy as it sounds.  Shots, no big deal, you are not trying to find something so tiny, you are just poking.  IV's are a different ball game.

We had yet to practice IV's when I went to my first clinical this semester.  I had an opportunity to try an IV, but was unsuccessful.  The PICC team ended up being called in because the sweet little old lady had horrible veins.  I was super thrilled that I at least got to stick someone, even if I did not hit a vein.

That brings me to today.  I am dying to try to start an IV again.  Unfortunately, the floor I am on in the hospital, most people come to us from the ED or ICU so they already have IV's.  I am hopeful each time I go that it will in fact be D-Day or maybe I should call it V-Day you know, Vein Day.

With my undying devotion to want to start an IV comes me staring about peoples veins all the time.  I look at friends veins, Ken's veins, and now even strangers veins.  I was at the gym today and saw this buff man waiting on one of the machines.  I thought, oh he is buff and an older guy.  When I say older guy, you know, around 50 (just for you Mike!).

After I noticed his muscles, I was quickly drawn to the veins bulging on his arms.  I could see every single vein.  I was staring and maybe salivating just a bit.  I tried to look away, but I just couldn't.  I know he saw me staring at him and he probably thought I was checking him out.  In fact, I think some other man saw me staring at this guy too.  It was that obvious.  I debated about telling him I was not staring at him, but at his wonderful veins, but I decided that made me sound creepier than if he thought I wanted his bod.

All I kept thinking was that if only I had an IV kit in the car, I would offer to buy him a protein shake if I could stick him with a needle.  Mental note:  get IV kit for the car.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Colorado: Day 5...Hiking Mt. Elbert...

I did not sleep at all on Saturday night.  With an alarm clock set for 4:00 am, it does not really give a lot of time for one to sleep. Ken was so excited that he was up and getting ready around 3:00 am.  I guess that means he is an over achiever.

I woke up and felt a headache and wanted to cry.  We had been getting coffee or lattes at restaurants and did not have coffee at our condo.  I was not looking forward to taking on the day with a headache and no coffee, mama needs her caffeine.

I peaked downstairs to find Ken standing at the bottom of the stairs smiling, holding a big cup of coffee.  It looked like an angel in my eyes.  I am not sure that I had ever been so grateful for a cup of coffee as I was on that morning.  Ken had found some coffee in the freezer and googled how to make.  Score one for Ken!

I got ready and we loaded up in the car to drive the hour to the trail head.  We arrived just as the sun was rising.

These two look ready to hike!

The trail starts off somewhat moderate, considering you are hiking 14,439 feet. The hike is almost five miles one way and roughly 4400 ft in elevation gain - yikes!  

Kya and I were both excited to be hiking Mt. Elbert!

Kya was such a good girl on the trail!

Good morning from 10,100 feet!

We stopped to give Kya some water and she thought it was necessary to make herself at home on the trail while a few people went by.  

Kya, the North Mt. Elbert Trail head Greeter

A view of Mt. Elbert, just before we reached the treeline

We hiked on and reached the treeline around mile 3, which meant we had almost two really steep miles to reach the summit.  I mean, they were really steep.  It felt like double the steepness as hiking out of the Grand Canyon.

Ken and Kya almost to the treeline

I always think the best views are above the treeline.

A view of Mt. Massive, a neighboring 14er.

Kya was ready to get this show on the road!  You can barely see the summit poking out in this picture.  Note the steepness of the trail, and this was not even the steepest part!

Happy girls hiking Mt Elbert!

My two loves enjoying the view!

The three of us enjoying the beautiful day, hiking a mountain.

Kya was in her element and was so happy!  People kept commenting on how good she was and how they could not believe that she was hiking.  It was just another day for her, well until she had to hike down from the mountain.  :)

With about 3/4 of a mile to go, there was a melt down.  I know, you are probably thinking that it was Ken or maybe even Kya, but it was not, it was me.  The trail got so steep for my little legs and I could not get my footing.  I ended up on my hands and knees because I was afraid I was going to fall off of the mountain.  It was not dramatic at all.  

The most dramatic part was probably when I began to crab walk up the mountain, backwards.  Yes, that happened.  Ken and I exchanged a few words and I told him to continue on without me.  He told me I was being a baby, I mean, he was a super supportive husband and offered me words of encouragement.  I somehow realized that despite my fear, I was not going to tumble off the mountain to my death and carried on.  Needless to say, there was not a lot of conversation between Ken and me until we reached the summit.

Continuing on up the mountain!

So close to the summit!

After just under 4:30 hours, we made it to the top of the highest peak in Colorado and the second highest peak in the lower 48.

Look at the view!

We were so happy that the three of us made it!  We were so proud of Kya!  I made our little sign before we left and thought it added to our pictures.  

Since Ken and I have only one, blurry picture of the two of us after we hiked up Pike's Peak, we went a little overboard with the pictures.  After hiking the tallest peak in Colorado, we figured we earned that right!

The Jackson's at the summit of Mt. Elbert.

We were so proud of Kya, but in this picture I feel like she is looking at us with pride.

Ken did not cuss one time going up the mountain, except when he was being all encouraging to me on the super steep section.  I was very impressed with him!

I loved spending the day with Ken and Kya, even if there was a moment where I was paralyzed in fear.  It happens to all of us.  I suppose I am afraid of heights.

The two cutest hikers on the Mt Elbert trail

Family selfie at the summit!

Ken made Kya her own sign.  I feel like she is pretty proud of herself in this picture.

I am pretty sure Kya thought it was worth the drive from Kansas City!

Kya and me.  This girl is the best training partner I could ever ask for.  

This picture completely melts my heart.  I have no words to express how much it means to me.

I love that Ken is willing to do all of the crazy things that I suggest!

Ken and his signature pose

One of the things about hiking up is that you have to go back down!  That hike down was a doozy!  Yowzers!  

We were up in the clouds

Heading back down.

The hike down was, um, steep.  It was so steep.  I was very grateful when we made it back to the treeline so the trail would be a little flat.  By a little flat I mean, not straight down and with a little bit of a switchback!

A view going back down.

Kya had a lot of fun hiking up, but said going down was for the birds!

It took us a little under three hours to hike back down.  We took our time and did not rush on the steep sections.  I was super worried about the steep sections, but had no meltdowns coming down.  Both of us had very sore knees by the time we made it back to the car.  Once at the car, Kya laid down and refused to move.  I guess we can say we officially wore out a Siberian Husky.  It only took hiking a 14er to do it!

We drove back to Leadville and stopped for a treat.  Ken got a soda and Kya and I had ice cream.  She was so thrilled to receive an ice cream.  

Kya thought her ice cream was the best thing in the world.  She is obviously my child.

We drove back to our townhouse and relaxed on the deck for a while.  We were all pretty worn out after our adventure.  Ken and I ended up going to dinner in Vail at the German place that we liked.  In all honesty, we wanted a dunkel.  

We heart dunkel!

We spent the rest of the night telling Kya how proud we were of her.  She was the best girl on the hike and really, the entire trip.  We are lucky to have her.  We woke up early on Monday to make the drive back to Kansas City.  We arrived at home around 7:00 pm and it was back to reality on Tuesday for the both of us.  

It was such a great trip and I will be forever grateful that we got to hike with Kya up Mt. Elbert.  It was a trip for the memory banks for sure.  Thanks for such a wonderful time Ken!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Colorado: Day 4...

We had our alarms set for 4:00 am to get up and hike Mt. Elbert.  Ken got up and then came back to bed and told me that we should wait until Sunday.  Kya still seemed pretty tired and a little sore and we did not want to push it with her.  So, our decision was made, we would wait and hike Mt. Elbert on Sunday.  Back to bed we went.

Poor, tired Kya had been having way too much fun!  She looks so precious while she is sleeping, and obviously spoiled with her head on the pillow.

Instead of hiking all day, we ended up driving to Leadville and leaving Kya at the townhouse.  I was so excited about seeing Leadville, especially since I hope to one day run the Leadville 100 trail run.

On our way to Leadville, we stopped in Minturn for breakfast.  At the suggestion of our friend Scott, we went to the Turntable for a boo.  It was an interesting place, but our food was really good!

We drove highway 24 to Leadville and it was super steep and windy.  It seemed like the drive took forever, but the views were incredible!

Hello Mt. Elbert on the left and Mt. Massive on the right.

When we arrived in Leadville, we quickly realized that the Leadville MTB 100 race was taking place.  I would have been more excited about the trail run that is happening this weekend, but I was still excited to see the race. 

I wanted to drive to Twin Lakes, which is on both the mountain bike and trail run course just to see the views.  

A mountain biker making his way along the trail

The views around Leadville were beautiful!

Ken pointing to the summit of Mt. Elbert where we were hiking to the next day.  I think he was really questioning why he allows me to suggest such extreme things???

After Twin Lakes, we drove back to downtown and had a snack and some drinks.  We walked by the finish line of the race and sat there for a bit to see if any finishers would come in.  So far only the 1-4th place finishers had made their way in.  It was fun to imagine people coming across the finish line of the run after 28 hours on foot.  Maybe one of these days...

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB finish line

We left Leadville and decided to go to Frisco for the remainder of the afternoon.  I told you, we loved Frisco!  

Downtown Frisco

After Frisco, it was early to bed for our Mt. Elbert hike for real this time!

The end of another wonderful day!