Wednesday, November 30, 2016

When Your Dream Job Disappoints You...

From the moment I entered nursing school, I knew I wanted to be nurse in the operating room.  That was it for me.  I got to go into the operating room during my first semester (and hold an appendix!) and I absolutely loved it, the operating room part, not necessary the holding of the appendix.

I starting apply for jobs in the hospital in February of this past year, and thought it was a huge sign that I received an interview for a Nurse Intern position in the OR.  I really felt that was where I was meant to be after the interview and even more so after they offered me the position to start in May.  I was ecstatic.  Operating Room here I come!

I started in May and my first few days were in a classroom setting learning about all things in the OR and sterility.  Fast forward to my first day at my hospital and unfortunately, I knew it was the wrong decision the moment the director of the unit introduced me to the staff.  I tried to pretend like it was going to be my thing, I mean, it was a Monday - Friday nursing job with no nights or weekends with the exception of call.  How awesome was that going to be for a new grad?

Alas, the hours could not shine this position up like a shiny new penny.  I tried to fight it for as long as I could, but I hated it.  I hated going to there every single day of my summer.  I was miserable.  With the exception of a few people in the OR and the surgeons (seriously, the surgeons where the nicest people in there), I have never met such rude and immature people in my entire life.  I felt like I was back in junior high again with some of the stuff that was going on.  One of the girls walked around and made the fart noise (you know the one that sixth grade boys make???) under her arm pit.

The same girl would tap her fingers on the sterile table as I would gown and glove myself.  You can imagine the look I shot her when I told her that was not going to make me move any faster.  The final straw for me was the day when another one of the girls started criticizing everything I was doing setting up my sterile field.  She was not doing it a "let me help simply for this for you way" she was doing it in a demeaning and condescending way and I lost my shit on her and walked out of the OR.

I knew that I would not be happy in the OR, but I had to come to terms with knowing I would end up working nights and weekends if I took a job on the floor.  Ultimately, I decided that I really did not like anything about the OR.  I hated scrubbing in on surgeries to stand in the same place for hours (including the time I held a man's ball sack scrotum for hours) and I hated positioning patients.  The only thing that I enjoyed was the part where I would go and get the patient and bring them back to the OR.  That is when I realized I really need to interacting with patients more.  That is why I am so grateful that I will be working in the ICU after graduation.

If you are still stuck on the teaser about the scrotum holding, do not fret, I am planning a post with many such stories from my time in the OR.  There is plenty of scrotum holding to go around.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November Wrap-up...

I am in complete disbelief that tomorrow is the last day of November.  Heck, I am in disbelief that 2016 is one month from being over.  Alas, it is.  Here is a peek at a few adventures from November.

Our weather has been rather unseasonably warm this Fall and the four of us were able to spend a day at the winery.  Outside.  In November.  Absolutely crazy for this time of year.

These two snuggled and then snuggled some more.  If there is a picture of true love, I think this might be it.

I found time to decorate for Christmas and enjoy a little wine in my favorite wine glass.

I found myself a present cat under the tree

Kya spent a weekend hiking with her dad.  This girl loves to run and hike more than anyone else I know.

Angel is know completely obsessed with her Uncle Ken...

Jill and I met up for wine!

Basically, that is November.  I am extremely excited for December, mainly because it starts off with a trip to Chicago and then...I graduate from nursing school!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we spent Thanksgiving with Rob and Michelle.  It had been since 2012 when we traveled home from Mexico since we had spent the holiday with them, so it was high time we did.  Michelle was gracious enough to host us and that meant that Miss Kya got to join in on the festivities!

Best friends and Friends Thanksgiving episodes.  It does not get much better.

We also had wine, lots and lots of wine.

Our day was very low key.  We watched TV, played Guesstures and watched the dogs play.  Side note:  Michelle and I always freak Ken and Rob out with how well we seem to know what the other is thinking while playing games.  It is clear that we share a brain.

This picture really sums up our Thanksgiving day

Some major bone chewing happened

Kya NEVER chews on bones at home, but when your besties are chewing on one, you have to act the part.

Charlee and Boise were napping and I caught Kya outside taking in the view and the cool air.  

The sign of an amazing Thanksgiving day.  There is nothing like playing all day and passing out at your besties' house!

Thanks again to Rob and Michelle for hosting us!  We had such a wonderful day with you guys.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

2016 Kansas City Marathon...

In my nine years of marathon running, I had never run the Kansas City Marathon.  That seems kind of odd to think about, considering I have run 10 marathons and only one was local back in 2009.  In my defense, I have usually been busy running the Chicago Marathon or doing an Ironman, so that did not leave me any opportunity to run my hometown marathon.  Well, that all changed this year when I finally decided to register and run the KC Marathon.

The race usually takes place on a crisp, Fall morning.  Usually.  Of course the year I decided to run, the forecast was for temperatures in the upper 70's.  Of course.

 I really did not train all that well.  I was distracted with school and settling into orientation on my unit at the hospital, so I did not do all the long runs I should have done.  I was thinking that the usual 40 degree temperatures would help make up for the fact that the longest run I did was 16 miles on the treadmill.  Well, much to my dismay, the temperatures in the 70's with high humidity did nothing for my under-trained self.  Oops.

When you wake up the morning of a marathon that you did not properly train for, you have to call out the big guns:  the Ironman Louisville coffee mug.  I had to remind myself that at one time, I was indeed a bad ass.

You can also imagine how excited I was to learn that the winds were going to be in the upper 20's during the race and the first half of the race would, you guessed it, be into the wind.  Oh goody.

My favorite view during the marathon, overlooking Liberty Memorial

Needless to say, all elements were against me during the race and I have never wanted to call for someone to come pick me up more than I did during this marathon.  It is never a good sign when you are sweating like a pig during the first mile and you have 25 miles to go.  I like to think I learned a valuable lesson during the race:  Never run the KC marathon again.

My summary of the Kansas City marathon is that it was hot, humid, hilly, and windy.  Looking back, it was kind of a fun thing to do on an October Saturday morning.  I guess I like to inflict pain upon myself, obviously.  Did I mention it was my worst marathon ever?

Kansas City Marathon Finish Time:  4:55

I am pretty sure I am mumbling F-bombs under my breath.  On the positive side, I did receive compliments on my pig tails and my entire outfit.  

Post race with my friend Abby and my mama who had her appendix out a few days prior.  

A big thanks to Ken for coming out to watch me run my 11th marathon!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Wrapping up October Happenings...

October is one of my favorite months of the year, and this October did not disappoint!  Our weather was unseasonable warm, but we made the very best of the mild weather. After we returned home from our Colorado trip, we had quite the busy schedule.

Ken and me at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction.

I volunteer at the event every year, and these lovely ladies were kind enough to join me this year.  

We enjoyed many fires in our backyard!

The most important part of a fire for me is eating a s'mores.  Fire = s'mores in my book.

My friend Sier'a had a birthday, so some of us White House girls went to brunch to celebrate.  Sier'a is the cutie in the middle.  

I took my last nursing school final (yes!) and my nursing school besties and I celebrated with lunch afterwards.  The four of us have all sat together for all four semesters and each of us ended up with our first choice of specialty!

Mike was my date (and a volunteer) for the Nurse of the Year Awards that is hosted by the March of Dimes.

Ken and me at the Nurse of the Year Awards

We are adjusting to life with me being on the night shift and figuring out how things are going to work here.  I am not sure who has been affected the most by my messed up schedule?

These two have decided that hanging with Uncle Ken is not all that bad while mom is on the night shift.  They have learned that they get double the snuggles when they play their cards right!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Turning 36...

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. I am having a hard time believing that one year has passed since I turned 35, but alas it has.  I had a wonderful day spent doing many of my favorite things.  Kya and I went for a run first thing in the morning, which in my opinion is the best way to start my birthday.  I worked at White House for a few hours where I was greeted with the most delicious chocolate on chocolate cake.  I ate two pieces.  I did run after all.  After work, Ken and Kya walked me to Starbucks.

A birthday latte with this girl is one of my favorite things!

The red cups are officially underway!

Later that evening we went to dinner with Mike and Katie and wrapped up the evening with cake and wine at home.  

Enjoying my pomegranate martini

We were talking earlier in the night about me being 23 when we met.  I cannot believe how many years we have spent together.  It has basically been my entire adult life.  I am a lucky girl.

Ken knows the key to my heart is with a cake, ice cream cake more specifically.  It ended up being a three pieces of cake kind of day.  I was celebrating after all.  

It was a wonderful birthday and I am grateful year around the sun.  I am excited to spend a weekend in Chicago celebrating in a few weeks.  Basically, my birthday has been extended until December.  I know, lucky Ken.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Frisco, CO: Day 5...

We had plans to drive to Breckenridge and hike back to Frisco, but we woke up to rain.  We looked at the forecast and the weather was not going to be the best, so we decided to go ahead and drive home instead of staying the extra day we had planned.

We loaded up the car and hit the road!  We stopped for a delicious breakfast at the Log Cabin Cafe.  After our tummies were full, we hit I-70 and made our way back to Kansas.

Kya was ready to hit the road and get home to her cats!

We took our time driving back and decided to stop at Wilson Lake State Park which was about 10 miles off of 70.  We ended up finding a rather large lake that has a few hiking trails.  We might be making our way out here again for a weekend of hiking.

Wilson Lake State Park

We both welcomed the stop to stretch our legs.  Sadly, it was about 80 degrees, which we were not expecting.

A Kansas farm we saw along the way

We ended up having a great trip to Colorado!  We loved Frisco even more than we thought we would.  It was just the break that I needed to knock out the final few weeks of nursing school!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Frisco, CO: Day 4 - Hiking Quandary Peak...

It almost seems like it is not a vacation for us to Colorado if we are not hiking up a 14,000 foot mountain.  We had done some research in advance and had decided to try to summit Quandary Peak due to its proximity to Frisco.

We had debated and debated about whether or not we should do it.  I guess I should say that Ken debated and debated about whether or not we should do it.  One thing that we knew was that Miss Kya should not join us.  We had read in advance that there is a lot of rock and shale on the trail and I am not so sure that it would be too friendly on our princess's feet.  So, solo we went.

We stopped for lattes and a cinnamon roll before making our way towards Breckenridge. Moving forward, I think all hikes should start with such items.  I am just saying.

We arrived to the trail head and started our hike up.  Ken always remarks about how steep it is when we start out.  I always reply with something about it being a mountain we are hiking up and all.

Hello Quandary Peak!

Ken and his signature pose

It was pretty chilly out and pretty windy as well.  The temperature was in the 30's and at times the wind was blowing 30 mph.  Being from Kansas, we are used to the wind, but it feels slightly different at 10,000 feet.

Ken painfully aware as to where we are heading, straight up.

Excited for another 14er!

Getting close to being above the treeline

We reached a point where Ken said he was not sure if he had it in him to continue on.  I kind of laughed it off and he agreed to go to the next ridge and we would re-assess the situation.  We saw a few hikers coming down and they told us it was in the 20's on the summit and super windy.  Brr...

So much rock and oh so steep

We made it to the ridge and Ken said he was done.  He looked up at the impending trail and said there was no way he wanted to do it, especially since we would be exposed in the wind.  Now, if you know we very well at all, you know I was not happy about not continuing onto the summit.  

In my sweetest and most intimidating voice, I asked Ken if he was really a quitter.  Yep.  I went there.  He told me he guesses that he is.  We sat and ate some gummy worms for a while and I was hoping that would change Ken's mind.  After all, I could tell that he was having a little bit of low blood sugar and needed to eat something, home boy was a little cranky.  I thought the gummy worms might have enticed him to continue on, but alas, he was finished.  

Don't let my smile fool you, I am really mad at my husband here.

So, we started the hike down and we ended up seeing what Quandary Peak is known for, mountain goats!  We were super excited to see them and there was even a baby goat!  The baby started crying at one point and it was pretty cute!

Four mountain goats enjoying some lunch

Mama and baby mountain goat

All smiles with the mountain goats!

Hoping mama mountain goat does not decide to push me off the mountain

Apparently Ken has a knack for seeing wild life.  He wanted to see a big horn sheep in the Grand Canyon and he mentioned it and BAM, we saw a big horn sheep.  He mentioned the mountain goats and look, we saw them.  That lucky dog.  

Overlooking McCullough Gulch

Same spot we stopped on the way up, but the big thumbs down this time.

Some pretty views on the hike down

We made it back to the car and I was a little bummed, but we still hiked a little over six miles and did quite a bit of climbing.  We decided to go into Breckenridge for some beers and lunch.

Quandary has a reputation of being an "easier" 14er.  Looking back at it, I thought it was a more challenging trail than Mt. Elbert.  Just my two cents.

We had lunch in Breckenridge and walked around and shopped a bit.  We stopped at Crepes ala Cart for dessert since it was the first time we were in the area without the line being out to the street.  We still waited for 25 minutes and then I realized we would probably have to wait another 20 minutes for our crepes.  No thank you.  I will just eat ice cream.  Moving on...

We got back to Frisco and took Kya for a walk and then we all relaxed for a while.  

Mom and husky snuggles

After we relaxed, we took Kya to downtown Frisco to for shopping and to find a place for a drink and some snacks.  We decided on Bagalis for wine and appetizers.  

Kya and me walking and shopping around downtown

We also found a little park and a creek for Kya the water dog to play in for a few minutes.

Pretending to not be afraid.

We ended our night with delicious Cajun food at The Lost Cajun.  I really do love gumbo and beignets.

Even if we did not make it to the summit, we still had a wonderful day together and enjoyed the beautiful day.