Saturday, November 10, 2012

Birthday celebrations...

As I mentioned in my last post, my mom was coming to San Antonio for a visit.  We had a fantastic time shopping for some home furnishings, decorating the house, sewing some pillow covers, cooking, and just hanging out.  There are a couple of highlights to mention too.  For our birthdays we went to see Symphony Fantastique at the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio... It was quite the adventure, as we forgot cash for the parking garage and had to do some quick improvisation, but thankfully we made it to our seats on time. Here we are all dolled up for a night at the symphony.  I have to say, we are looking pretty good for 35 and 65!  :)  The music was amazing and the venue is incredible!!  The Majestic Theater is  definitely a sight to see if you ever visit San Antonio.  Here is one side of it, with its faux windows and door fronts, which are on the other side as well.  The ceiling even has perforations to make it seem as if you are outdoors and the stars are out.  It is pretty cool and I want to see some other events there for sure.

In addition to the Majestic Theater outing, Michael, my mom and I went to this awesome Brazilian steakhouse for our birthdays.  I think I am in love...  It was one of the best meals I have ever had.  I almost mention it every time Michael asks "What do you want for dinner"?

It was so sad to take my mom to the airport, but alas, it was back to work and back to life.  Over the past few weeks, Michael and I have steadily been making small improvements to the house, and making it our own.  I also passed my Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist exam yesterday, so now I can squeeze a little more money out of the Army every month for being nationally board certified!  Yeah!  Now, it is time to get ready for my dad and Carolyn's visit over Thanksgiving.  :)  This will be our second turkey day in a row, and I need to get on the ball with ordering the turkey and planning the menu!

Anyhow, just making an effort to keep this thing updated!

66H7T out...    

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My, my... Time sure does fly!

I think to myself as I sit and realized all that I have skipped blogging about since December...  Yikes!  Well, I guess I should start with the new year!

I went to Seattle to see Leah and Danny the second week of December, and we had such a good time.  I always love hanging out with that girl, she's definitely one of my favorite people.  :) We went to a couple of local bars, and I had the worst Irish Car Bomb EVER...  Picture included (with random guy that asked if he could be in the picture), no explanation necessary.  We also checked out Pike Place Market, and the beach in West Seattle.   It was a hard-earned break from school craziness!  At the end of December, Michael and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Monterey, CA for our third anniversary.  We drove down Highway 1 (PCH) and stopped for several photo opportunities of the beautiful Pacific Coast.  We cruised around The Cannery in the early evening and ended up Tarpy's Roadhouse for dinner...  My favorite!  I took my last run of the year along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail for old time's sake, with a gorgeous view of Lover's Point at the turn-around.  We headed home after a nice tour of 17-Mile Drive, and hosted a small New Year's Eve fondue and game night with some close friends.

January found me back in school, and teaching an Advanced Med-Surg clinical rotation at Dominican University.  I will say that I had the best group of students; all of them were so motivated, smart, and kind.  I am excited to see them get out into the world of nursing and be awesome!  The quarter seemed to fly by and even though I only had 8 units, I was busier than I had been in the past with far more units!  I took and passed my Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse in February and by the time March rolled around it was time to buckle down and get my Comprehensive Exam written.

March was sort of a disaster in many ways...   I trained pretty hard for the Go Green St. Patty's Day Half Marathon, but the course was so poorly marked and the volunteers couldn't direct people very well, that more than half of the runners (to include myself) only ran an 11 mile course.  I was pretty upset because I was well on my way to running a PR of 1:36.  :(  Nonetheless, here I am looking pretty happy to be running.  Toward the end of the month, I was sick as a dog with a sinus infection and working on my exam.  Talk about the worst torture in the world...  Having to write the paper that determines whether or not you graduate with a slamming headache every day.   If it weren't for Breanne and Natalie getting my butt to the library every day over spring break, I never would have made it.  This is the view I walked into one day at the library...  Natalie had a little something else written on the board, but it wasn't too kosher, so only Photoshop knows the rest of the story!  ;)  But, on the first day of spring quarter, I had my first draft written and was just waiting for editing and content feedback.  I was so relieved to have it done three weeks before it was due!   Michael and I also found out that we were headed to Ft. Bragg in July, and that I was going to be the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the ED...  Until we found out that we were diverted to San Antonio, and that I would be teaching in the Critical Care/Emergency Nurse Trauma Course starting in June...  Exciting, right?!

I ended up precepting at Highland General Hospital with the ED CNS from April to June, which was awesome!  My preceptor is a fantastic CNS, and is involved at the state and national level with the Emergency Nurses Association.  She is pretty much the CNS I want to be when I grow up!  Because we turned our Comprehensive Exams in late April, Michael and I had a little time to do some San Francisco sightseeing in some rare beautiful weather.
One Saturday, we started at Coit Tower, lunched in Little Italy, sneaked around Chinatown, and took the 1 California home.  A few weeks later we rode the N Judah down to the Embarcadero, lunched at Gott's Roadside, strolled down the Embarcadero to the arrow, then back through the Financial District.  Here I am so tiny posing with the arrow! It has always been one of my favorite sculptures in the city, so I decided a picture was in order.  We tried pretty hard to get out and do some stuff in the city with the time we had left!  We found ourselves in San Antonio looking for a house in mid-May.  We saw almost 20 houses in one weekend and actually bought one!  We couldn't believe we found our home in one weekend, but it was meant to be and we love it!  At the end of May, Leah and Danny came out for one last visit.  We cruised around the city, went out to Land's End, the Sutro Baths, and the Golden Gate.  A great time, with great friends for sure.  :)   

Graduation came fast, and my parents, Auntie B, Scott, Lucy, Lauren, Rosie, Danielle, and David made the trip to San Francisco for the occasion!  I was so excited.  :)  Graduation was at Davies Symphony Hall and was so amazing...  I could not have imagined a more perfect venue for such a milestone.  :)  I miss all of my classmates terribly.  We were such a small group that we laughed together, suffered together, studied together, and truly love each other.  Here we are:  2012 UCSF Critical Care/Trauma CNS graduates!  Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to bask in the glow of accomplishment...  It was off to San Antonio for me a few days after graduation.  I was on the road again, with one last look at the Golden Gate, a car full of stuff, and Buttercup in the front seat.  We stayed in Phoenix for two nights, where I got to spend time with some good friends, Fred and Tracy, then spent two nights in El Paso with Tas and Angela.  Buttercup freaked out so badly driving out of El Paso, that I took him out of the carrier and he slept on my lap for the 500 mile drive to San Antonio.  I guess he had just had enough of the carrier!  Michael stayed behind to wrap up loose ends in San Francisco and arrived in San Antonio about 10 days after I did.

We closed on the house at the end of June and began the arduous task of unpacking...  AGAIN!  It really seems as if we pack and unpack more frequently than every two years, so I am hoping we will be here for awhile.  Here we are in front of our first home together right after we got the keys.  :)  I also started my new job right when I got to San Antonio.  Don't be jealous, because my new job is pretty awesome...  I get to teach Army Nurses how to be rockstar ED and ICU nurses!  It's a lot of work and pretty time consuming, but by far the best job I have had in the Army yet.  One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to work with David, one of my classmates from school!  It is pretty nice to have a familiar face around the office everyday.

I was pretty busy all through July and August, but got a little running in despite the blazing hot weather, and ran my first half marathon here in Texas.  It wasn't my best showing, but I hadn't been running as much as usual and the acclimatization to heat plus humidity was brutal.  However, I did meet my goal of two half-marathons this year, so I can't complain too loudly.  Here I am crossing the finish line, feeling pretty awesome that I didn't die.  :)  I also got some time off to go to Seaside, Oregon for a mini family reunion.  It was great to see my cousins two years in a row! The triplets were as crazy as ever, and my cousin Julie is expecting another baby girl.  We had such a great time with Auntie B learning how to make Grandma Rose's spaghetti sauce, going to the tide pools on Cannon Beach with the kiddos, and cruising around the shops in Seaside.  I even got a nice cool-weather run in along the promenade, which was a nice break from the Texas heat and humidity. Pictured above is the whole cousin brood on the beach at the tide pools.  :)

September went quickly, culminating in my 35th birthday...  I am not sure where the time has gone, but it certainly does not feel like I have been alive for 35 years now.  I came home from work to the most beautiful flowers...  I just about cried because the bouquet was so big!  Michael said that you needed to be 35 to get the "big girl" flowers.  :)  They lasted for about a week and I was so sad to throw them out.  My dad and Carolyn sent me a beautiful All-Clad stainless steel roaster and 12-quart multi-cooker.  I also got an amazing personalized Army Nurse CNS photo frame from Breanne.  I felt pretty blessed this year, even though I had a rough time with the number 35.  :)

And now here we are in mid-October!  My mom flies in this week to help get the rest of the art up in the house, get into some home decorating mischief, and have some fun!

Thanks for checking in!

66H7T (newly minted Army CNS) out... 

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A little rewind...

Back to October. I forgot to mention that an Army Nurse friend of mine and her boyfriend (Brandy and Dan) ventured out to San Francisco to see the 49ers/Bucs game on the 9th. They went off to see the sights of San Francisco for a few days, and then the four of us had a great time catching up, eating and hanging out over the weekend. Here are Michael and I at Candlestick enjoying the beautiful weather and a great win by the 49ers! I felt bad for Brandy, a die-hard Bucs fan, but she was a good sport and didn't sulk too long. ;)

Alright, now we can move onto November... The weather was absolutely gorgeous and prime for some great running all month. Michael and I also hosted our first Thanksgiving for my family and a few mutual friends... 14 people in all! It was a huge success and all of the food turned out amazing! The turkey kudos goes to Michael, as I don't think it would have turned out so well if I had cooked it. Here we are, just about to carve our inaugural turkey! Thank you Whole Foods Market, it was juicy and delicious. :) My mom was also instrumental in making the day a success. She bought and arranged some wonderful fall flowers, brought the giant table, some chairs and the good china. She did such a fantastic job setting the table and making it look beautiful! Here is a shot of some of the family getting ready to eat. It was so wonderful to have the family up to San Francisco to see our place and share in our last Thanksgiving here in California for the forseeable future. I am not sure where we are headed once I graduate, but I should find out near the beginning of the year... I can't believe it almost that time again. It feels as if we just got here and neither of us really wants to leave.

So, it's December now and the holiday parties are starting!! Michael and I got all gussied up last night for Limelight's holiday party at a great restaurant downtown. It was a cozy atmosphere with amazing food and pretty decent hosted wine and beer. Our downstairs neighbor caught us right as we were leaving and she insisted that we grab a picture before we left. I have to admit, we are a pretty handsome couple! :)

December also means that fall quarter has ended and I am getting ready to take a well-deserved mental break. The last half of the quarter was truly non-stop brutality in all of my classes and my teaching preceptorship. BUT it is over, I survived and did well, so that is really all that counts! I am headed up to Seattle next weekend to see Leah, which will be awesome! I haven't seen her since the ceremony last year, so we have a lot to catch up on and a lot of fun to have... Get ready Seattle, the girls will be on the loose and we know how to have a good time! :)

You are now caught up (for those that still stop by). Happy Holidays and I will be back in the New Year!

66HM5 out...

Friday, October 28, 2011

It is hard to believe...

That school is once again back in full swing! It is already five weeks into the quarter and we are coming up on midterms. Where is the time going?!

September was the best month! Michael and I had a great time in London and the Canary Islands. :) In London, Michael treated us to a two-day hired car tour of the city. We were so lucky to be able to see so much of the city, and experience parts of London that most tourists don't normally go to. For example, we went to St. Katharine Docks and incidentally met some of the local residents who invited us into the private slips to watch a barge race on the Thames while we were sipping coffee and tea! I also found my boat at the docks. :) We rode the London Eye, took a river tour of the Thames to see some of the bridges of London, visited Kensington Gardens, Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle. Here we are at St. George's Chapel out at Windsor Castle... What an amazing piece of history and architecture! We should have skipped the London Dungeon, and there were a few things we didn't get to do, but that just leaves us things to do for our next trip to London! :)

From London we flew to Gran Canaria, an island in the Canaries. It was SO amazing! Warm, but not hot and wonderfully relaxing. We packed a lot of activities into our week... Deep-sea dolphin watching (we had to go out 21 km on the ocean before we FINALLY saw them), a driving tour of the island with an awesomely funny tour guide, parasailing, and scuba diving! Here we are at Taurito Beach on our last day. We definitely did not want to leave and have decided that we will return to Gran Canaria again some day!

But, all good things must come to an end and we had to come home. School started again a few days after we came home and my birthday came and went pretty uneventfully.

I started the month of October out with a bang by running the San Jose Rock n' Roll 1/2 Marathon on the 2nd, achieving a PR of 1:45.44! I was pretty stoked considering I had only run 11 miles while on vacation, with no long runs in almost a month. Here I am celebrating the first race of my thirty-fourth year... I am now contemplating which 1/2 marathons I am going to run in 2012. I plan on two a year, but this coming year I may try for three! We'll see how it all works out. :) Other than that, I have been hitting the grind with school and just waiting to find out where I will be headed next... It is hard to believe that in 7 months we will be on the move again. :(

We'll see you again soon!

66HM5 out...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

My crazy summer...

Is winding down. I started with a preceptorship in the ED at San Francisco General Hospital at the end of June with a fellow CNS that graduated from UCSF in 2008. I had a great experience learning about how a Level I Trauma Center works, as well as how trauma data is collected and used. After the end of my preceptorship at SFGH, I had three weeks off to take care of all the little nagging things I needed to clear up. I got a lot done, but still have a few things to do... I also started my teaching preceptorship at Dominican University in late August with a UCSF PhD candidate that teaches undergraduate nursing pharmacology. It has been fun so far and I even lectured on the first day of class!

Michael and I headed down to San Diego on the 19th of August, so I could run my first 1/2 marathon in almost three years! I ran the America's Finest City 1/2, which was my very first 1/2 marathon in 2005. Despite forgetting that A Street and Sixth Street is a killer one-mile stretch of uphill after already running for 11-and-a-half miles, it was a great run and I hit a PR of 1:48.11. :) Here I am post-race with my "number two" hand gesture. Michael and I also had a great time at Legoland in Carlsbad and at the San Diego Zoo. Here we are in front of the mini San Francisco constructed entirely out of Legos... It was really, really cool! They also had mini versions of Washington DC, Las Vegas, New Orleans and a few other cities too.

I left for Whistler BC the week after the 1/2 marathon to hang out with two of my cousins that I haven't seen in roughly 17 years! It was so wonderful to see Ryan and Julie, along with meeting their significant others and children. Here we are (minus my cousin Ryan) on the Peak to Peak Gondola. One of Ryan and Amy's triplets, Lucy, is now my new best friend, as you can see here. :) I had the best time watching my little cousins play and have fun, as well as reconnecting with family in such a beautiful place... I just wish Michael could have been there to experience it with me. We ended our trip with the most amazing Raclette dinner at a French-Canadian creperie in the Whistler Village. We left the restaurant totally stuffed with potatoes, bacon, ham, salami, raclette cheese, cornichons, pearl onions and salad. It was the best (and most fun) meals I have had in a long time! As you can see it is quite the production and a bit of work to cook and eat at the same time...

So, I am now back in San Francisco for a few days before meeting Michael in London to start our long-awaited, much-needed honeymoon!

I'll see you all in a few weeks!

66HM5 out...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Random thoughts about Facebook and life...

I have been thinking a lot about some of the people that have "friend requested" me over the past few months. They are people that I went to middle and high school with, and a few of them were pretty mean to me back in the day. Now I know everyone grows up and changes, but how is it that the old scars (that should be distant and trivial memories) never seem to completely fade away. How is it that we can't simply let some things go? How is it that some people never seem to leave our memories, and others vanish so easily?

I was given the answer the other day... "That's just the way it is," and it instantly reminded me of The Rembrandts hit song "Just The Way It Is, Baby"

Do you remember once upon a time, when you were mine?
The stars above were bright and new
I pulled them down for you, just when I fell in love again
You said that all good things must end

Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby

I've never had a hand for solitaire, it's so unfair
That I should have my chance and lose
I feel like I've been used to help you through another night
You spelled it out in black and white

Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby

The tides that once had carried you away
That bring you back today
The time has washed away my pain
You'll find that things have changed and disappeared without a trace
You can't get back what you've erased
And I say

Baby, that's just the way it is baby - that's just the way it is
Baby, that's just the way it is baby - oh that's just the way it is
Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby - just the way it is
Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby, baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, that's just the way it is baby
Baby, baby, that's just the way it is baby

I guess it will always stay just the way it is...

66HM5 out...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Six years and counting...

That I have been in the Army now. SIX YEARS! How does that happen?! I swear that I just graduated and commissioned like last week. I am now at my third duty station, back in school, married, a veteran, and six years older. Time flies when the Army keeps you on the move!

As for what has been going on for the last two months... School flew right along and now I have finished my first year of grad school. I start my preceptorship at San Francisco General Hospital in a week and I am so excited to get back to the ED! Hopefully I will get to see some good trauma and get a solid idea of what being a CNS is all about.

Other than that, Michael and I have been hanging out in a great city and being grateful that we are living in the same place for once!

66HM5 out...