Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Night Shift...

My first full week of working the night shift is in the books.  I worked three shifts in a row, which seemed pretty daunting at the beginning of the week.  What are my thoughts?  Just meh.  It was okay, not horrible, not fabulous.

The low point was definitely on Thursday last week.  Ken was working at home and apparently I came down stairs when I was supposed to be sleeping.  I stopped on the stairs and started crying and shouting that the cats were yelling at me.  Yep, that happened.  It was definitely the low point of the week and sadly it was only after one shift.

Sleeping during the day is a struggle. I usually sleep like a corpse from 8:30 am until about 1:00 pm, but then it is a struggle to stay sleeping.  I am hoping that this week will be better since I have two in a row starting tonight.

I think the part that does not help is that I do not have any desire to eat at all during the night shift.  I eat snacks and drink lattes, but that is about it.  When I come home I go to sleep and skip eating and then barely want to eat when I wake up.  I have always heard horror stories of people gaining massive amounts of weight while working nights and I am not understanding how this is possible.

Here's to week two of the night shift!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Life Lately...

Not much has been going on around here.  We were suppose to receive a huge ice storm, but it turned out to be only rain, which spoiled any plans of hiking over a three day weekend.

I made some skewers that were absolutely delicious!

Kya and I spent an afternoon at the dog park.  We had the entire place to ourselves and had a lot of fun wandering around.

Dog park selfie with my girl

Mike and Katie bought some wine while they were in Italy this past June.  They were kind enough to give us a bottle for Christmas.  I enjoyed cracking that bad boy open!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

NCLEX Celebration...

To celebrate my passing the NCLEX, we thought what better of a way than to go on a hike as a family of three!  Trust me when I say I wish the cats could join, but could you imagine the meowing that would take place?

We knew it would be chilly, so we packed a thermos of soup, with plans to start a fire and open a bottle of champagne.  Such a fun little celebration we had planned!

Out for a cold six mile hike complete with snow!

Our little set up complete with a lake view, fire, and a husky

Ken popping open our bubbly while Kya supervises

Pretty happy with soup and champagne!

Don't let Kya's Resting Bitch Face fool you, she had a lot of fun.  She was in her element hiking in the snow and loved celebrating her mama's hard work.

My two cutie pies 

Hanging with my girl that always allowed me to listen to her heart and lungs as practice when I first started school. 

Such a fun family day!

Afterwards, we drove to Lawrence and Kya took a nap while we went to Free State for a beer and snacks.  It was the best way to celebrate my becoming an RN.  Night shift starts on Wednesday, so look out!  I am ready with my Starbucks cards, blacked out bedroom, and sleep mask.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Passed the NCLEX-RN!

That's right, I am officially a Registered Nurse.  I took the test on Wednesday last week at 1:00 pm.  I had been studying for the test every day since December 1st and in reality, I had been answering NCLEX style questions since the summer.  In my opinion answering the questions is the best way to be successful.

The NCLEX can be anywhere from 75 questions up to 265 questions, depending on where you fall within the passing line.  I am very grateful that I only received 75 questions.  I am not sure I would have had the patience to answer 265 questions!  I packed myself a snack to put in the locker, in the event that I would be there long enough for a break.

My NCLEX snack, because, why not?

Thank goodness I did not end up being there long enough to need a break and get to eat my snack.  I took about an hour to answer my 75 questions and high tailed it out of there!  I got to the car and called one of my nursing school friends to ask her if she thought I passed or not.  Lucky for me, I got the confirmation on Friday that I passed!  

For any people that will be taking the NCLEX, I recommend Kaplan questions.  I did not take the actual Kaplan course, but did do the Q bank questions and tests and found them to be the best example of how the questions are worded on the NCLEX.

For now, I am super excited that I am no longer having to spend my time studying.  Less time studying means more time running!

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year's Day Hike...

We started off 2017 taking Miss Kya for a hike!  The weather forecast was nice enough and since we did not party too hard on New Year's Eve, we thought that there was no better way to start off our year.

We drove to Perry Lake and hiked 8 miles.  Afterward, we drove into Lawrence and enjoyed a little lunch and ice cream.  I am not sure that the year could have started off any better!

Kya and enjoying the mild New Year's weather

We were all smiles on our first hike of the new year!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Day in Hannibal...

The day after Christmas, we drove to St. Louis to spend time with Ken's parents.  The following day, we made a short little trip to Hannibal, MO.  Ken is signed up to participate in the Missouri River 340 canoe race this year and that boy needed a new toy to take out on the river.  So, we drove up to Hannibal for Ken to test out a new kayak.

If you are not familiar with Hannibal, I would like to remind you that you probably did encounter Hannibal as a child while reading anything written by Mark Twain.

Our first stop was downtown for a glance at the Mississippi River.  Anytime the Mississippi River is mentioned, I quickly remember Clark Griswald on National Lampoon's Vacation singing "Deeeeep Rivvvver" while the crew drove through St. Louis.  Do you not?

Ken and Kya checking out the Mississippi River.  It had rather large chunks of ice floating down stream.

The Mighty Mississippi

Ken and Kya with the Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain statue down by the river.

After we walked along the river, we made our way up to the lighthouse that was built to honor Samuel Clemens.  Ken and I had visited the light house way back in 2005, but I really did not remember a lot about it. It was fun to walk the steps with Kya.

The Mark Twain memorial lighthouse

Kya and me checking out the view of the Mississippi from the lighthouse.

Ken and me with Hannibal down below.

After wandering all around town, our next stop was Mark Twain Brewing Co.  We enjoyed a sampler of beers and the each chose one to enjoy.  

My beer of choice was the Blueberry Saison, which was delicious!

Our next stop was for Ken to try out a kayak.  We met up with the guy at his shop and Ken looked at kayaks while Kya and I walked around.  Ken decided on one that will hopefully be comfortable enough for him to paddle 340 miles of the Missouri River come August.

Kya checking out the kayak.  She approves of it!

Ken loading her up!  I laugh because I rarely see Ken stand on his tip toes.  Unlike me, I am always on my tippies.  :)

Super stoked about his new toy!

Hannibal, MO is such a darling little town.  It is so cute, that if we were going to live in a small town in Missouri, we would probably choose this one.  It was a fun little day added to Christmas vacation.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Review...

Let's take a peek at what all happened in 2016, shall we?


We spent January hiking as many trails as we could all around Kansas.  

Frozen whiskers for a husky are simply the best!

My two favorite hiking partners!


We celebrated Ken's birthday with our traditional brewery tour all around Kansas City.

A fun day with Mike and Katie


We celebrated Katie's birthday at a wine event, celebrated a friend's wedding, and I spent a lot of time studying for my third semester of nursing school.

Katie at me at Uncorked

Ken and me dressed up for a wedding

The three best studying partners in the world


We did more hiking around Kansas and did our annual trip to the zoo on Easter.

These two are in their happy place

A fun filled day at the zoo


I wrapped up my third semester of nursing school and starting work in the OR full time for the summer.  We also celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary and jetted off to Europe for a few weeks!

Our last walk to Starbucks during the business day

Celebrating 7 years at Manifesto

Back in our happy place, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

The Lauterbrunnen Valley

A day hiking with great friends!


We started June off in Europe and spent the remainder of the month recovering from jet lag.  

Munich, Germany

St. Gilgen, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Berchtesgaden, Germany

Hallstatt, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria


Miss Kya had a small eye surgery and had her teeth cleaned while she was under anesthesia.  Poor baby did not feel well.

A pillow and a blankie make everything better

We watched movies and snuggled.


We took a trip to the Missouri State Fair for the first time and I started my final semester of nursing school complete with night shift clinicals!
Winning games like a champ at the Missouri State Fair

The kitties extremely concerned about their mama sleeping during the day


We celebrated my accepting an ICU nursing position after graduation and we played around in the sunflowers of Kansas.

Cocktails for the win!

Playing around in the sunflowers that are taller than me.


We took a family trip to Colorado for a little hiking.  We also had a few events that we had to attend and I ran the Kansas City marathon.

A husky and her dad


March of Dimes Signature Chef's Auction

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year gala

Liberty Memorial as seen on the KC marathon run course


We celebrated my turning 36 and spent Thanksgiving with our friends Rob and Michelle.

A birthday martini

Thanksgiving day snuggles


We started off December with a trip to Chicago and then spent what seemed like the rest of the month celebrating my graduation.  I feel pretty bad because I feel like the last few months of the year centered around me.  That certainly was not planned!  We finished off the year celebrating Christmas with our little family.

Fun times at the Chicago Chriskindlmarkt

Proud new nursing school graduate!

Celebrating my graduation

Soaking up Christmas

Christmas lights with Angel

2016 was a great mix of very exciting times and everyday moments that I adore.  Our little family had a very good 2016 and I feel very fortunate for every single moment.  We have many big moments coming up in 2017 as well.  I have the impending NCLEX test coming up which will allow me to start my job as an RN.  Someone in the house has a big birthday coming up and an endurance event planned to celebrate the big birthday.  We have a few trips in the works as well, but are mainly looking forward to establishing the new normal again with me going back to work full time.  

Thanks for reading and Happy 2017!