Thursday, December 30, 2010

seasons greetings

Riley and I enjoying our present from Jeff's mom; actually, it was Jeff's present but if you snooze you lose.

Merry (late) Christmas and Happy New Year!

It was just the three of us this year for Christmas which was different but nice.
I've been enjoying my break from school and Jeff is working hard as usual.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (holiday, Kwanzaa, Hanuka, etc.) and here's to new and exciting things to come in 2011 (holy cow, 2011??)!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Last Monday I got to spend the day in the OR. I got all suited up in surgical garb and followed a nurse around for the day. I really wanted to take my camera and get a picture of myself with the sweet hair cover on (see example below of sweet hair cover), but they discouraged us from bringing valuables into the locker rooms. I guess after a hard day in the OR some nurses are more prone to pilfer.

At first they placed me with a surgeon who had evidently had a student nurse anesthetist sign off on the wrong blood type for a patient the previous Friday. Needless to say he didn't want anything to do with any sort of student, even though as a nursing student pretty much all I can do is watch. Anyway, so I switched rooms and ended up with a great nurse and a surgeon who was very accommodating. He explained things to me and let me get up close to see what he was doing (well, within one foot because that's as close as you can get to the sterile field if you aren't scrubbed in). I got to watch an AV fistula repair and a fem-pop (femoral artery-popliteal artery) bypass which were both really neat. You can youtube either one of those and watch for yourself. I was surprisingly fine with all the blood and cutting into flesh. I bet you thought I would get queezy and barf, but I didn't!

Here's the best part. Are you ready for this? I got to put in my first catheter! On a real person! He was anesthetized but it still counts. You might be grossed out, but it's a nursing student milestone, okay?

I had a good experience in the OR but I don't think it's where I would want to work. OR nurses do a lot more than I thought and they have an important job to do, but I think I'd like to do something more patient friendly.

p.s. Jeff got a promotion and is now going to be a manager! He's learning a lot and working hard. Sorry ladies, he's taken.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

places to go, people to see

This is what I've been daydreaming about recently. Oh how I wish I could just travel. I also wish it didn't cost so much for airfare!





Bora Bora (to my family: I wasn't kidding about hiding in the suitcases)

Bali, oh I love Bali


Kenya, my birthplace


It's quite eclectic I know, but when you live overseas and get a taste of a little bit of everything, you just can't stop wanting to see more and more, whether it's Paris or Mombasa. Trust me, the list could go on and on. I made a deal with Jeff that once I graduate and start working that we're going to go somewhere exciting. We'll see if I make it to next December!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

dragon boats

A few weeks ago Jeff and I participated in the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival is a fundraiser for one of the hospital systems in our area, Mountain States Health Alliance (who is also Jeff's employer). East Tennessee is apparently the Mecca for hospitals. We have one on every corner.

The festival is basically a bunch a teams from local businesses, churches and organizations who raise money for Mountain States and then get together one Saturday to race paddle boats. This is harder than you might think, especially when you have 20 people on a boat and you're all trying to paddle at the same time. Okay, that still sounds like it should be simple, but surprisingly it's not. Anyway, Jeff's office got a team together. We definitely didn't win, but we had a fun time even though it was pouring down rain most of the time. Jeff's office did raise the most money though, so hooray for them. We also made the newspaper's website (which totally counts by the way) but I can't find the video anymore.

Parrot or dog? You decide.

Friday, September 17, 2010

things learned

Things I have learned in nursing school this month:

How to write a nursing diagnosis, care plan and how to chart.

How to do dosage calculations.

How to do a sterile dressing change. Is it a bad sign that I felt a little nauseous while watching the videos on wound care? Those wounds can be pretty disgusting (and that's without knowing how they smell).

How to put in a Foley catheter. I've heard some pretty gross stories about actually doing this in real life. Again, gross. Also, if your instructor, who is supposed to be watching you and correcting you while you practice, is talking with another instructor about their cats (no joke), how the heck are you supposed to know if you're doing things the right way? I blame her if I stick a tube where it's not supposed to go.

How to give intramuscular injections. Hold the syringe like a dart at a 90-degree angle and go for it (making sure you're aiming for the right landmark, of course). If you hit bone just pull back and act normal/don't freak out. Yikes.

Practicing on dummies is NOT going to be the same as doing these things on real people.

When you ask the same question to different instructors, expect to get a different answer from each one of them. Helpful, very helpful.

I believe enemas and ostomies are coming up in the near future. Sounds like fun. Hope I don't barf while watching the videos!

You might be questioning my choice of nursing by my usage of the words gross, nauseous and barf in this post. I'm hoping these things will get better with experience. I can handle it, but it doesn't mean I'm not a little grossed out at times. We'll see what happens when it comes to putting things in peoples' open wounds, needles in their veins and tubes in their who-has (that's a medical term, didn't you know?).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

summer happenings

How is it almost September??? How did that happen? I guess time flies when you're sitting on your butt stressing out about school starting again.

After almost four weeks off, I'm headed back to school on Monday. Honestly, I've been enjoying doing whatever during the day and I'm dreading the stress and anxiety that comes with school. This is the semester we learn all the nitty gritty stuff and we start clinicals in the hospital in October, which by the way I'm freaked out about, probably because I don't feel prepared at all, but hopefully once that time comes I'll at least feel a little more prepared...but I'll probably still be freaked out.

This is what I have to look forward to:

I have a feeling I'm going to be like this:

Anyway, Jeff started a new job at the end of July. He is now a Charge Master Analyst. Don't ask me what all it entails, but it sounds cool right? He's working in the business office for Mountain States Health Alliance which is one of the big hospital systems in this area. So far he is enjoying it and learning a lot.

The day after I took my last final I drove out to Bethany Beach, Delaware to spend some time with my family at a beach house they had for the week. I wish we all lived closer together so we could see each other more than once or twice a year! Some of the pictures below are from Assateague Island where they have wild ponies roaming around.

A few weeks ago we decided to take advantage of Atlanta being only four hours away and we drove out for the weekend. We went to the Georgia Aquarium which has a ginormous tank holding 6.3 million gallons of water, four whale sharks and thousands of other fish (it's the world's largest aquarium exhibit).

And I betcha you can't guess what else we did in in Atlanta. Okay, okay, you guessed it. How could we go somewhere with a major league baseball team and not go to a game? We can't. You might be wondering why we have a picture of two strange men. Well, apparently they aren't strange at all (to baseball fans). The guy in the blue is Leo Mazzone who was a pitching coach for the Braves and apparently a well known pitching coach at that, and the guy holding the umbrella is Mark Lemke who used to play for the Braves. I wonder if these guys ever get tired of random people sneaking up on them and taking (or making) their picture. You might also be wondering what I'm holding in my hand in the picture below. They were giving out Moon Pies at the game. Yum.

Monday, June 21, 2010

good things to come

"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."
-Jeffrey R. Holland

I really should be studying, but I've seen this message mentioned in a couple different places today and thought I would post it as well. It is, as all of the Mormon Messages are, uplifting and powerful.

You can see the full talk here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

monthly update

Oh, hello there blog world. I'm sure you've been dying to know what we've been up to since it seems I've neglected to post my once-a-month post. Well, let me assure you that you haven't missed much.

Yes, that's a flip flop tan. They're trendy now, didn't you know?

About a month ago we took a short trip to Myrtle Beach and Charleston. While in Charleston we visited Boone Hall Plantation which was really neat (they filmed snippets of The Notebook there and, you know, lots of historical stuff happened there too).

We also attended the strawberry festival in Unicoi, TN to enjoy a little southern culture. We seriously need to take the camera with us everywhere we go because there are some great pictures to be made out here. Yes, you read that right. Out here in Tennessee we get our pictures made, not taken.

If I posted on this thing regularly, I would do a "you know you live in the south when" post once a week but let's be realistic folks, that's not going to happen any time soon.

Oh yeah, Jeff graduated and now is a master of athletic administration! Yay Jeff! And I started school which is another reason why this blog is neglected. I'd like to introduce you to my new best friends:

Actually, I really should've been studying instead of blogging, but procrastination was calling my name. I will leave you with this gem:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

oh dear

Dear Spring,

Thank you for gracing us with your presence. We've missed you. Thank you for bringing back the warmth and the beauty into life. I wish you could stay forever.

Dear D.C.,

Thank you for always having things for us to do and see. Riley especially liked being a tourist and checking out the FDR memorial. However, she was not very fond of the gigantor replica of FDR's scotty dog and probably has nightmares about him. Don't worry though, we bribed her with treats in order to snap a picture. She'll thank us later. Also, thank you for the beautiful cherry blossoms. Unfortunately, we missed their peak but we got to see some nonetheless.

Dear girl walking up the stairs, thanks for ruining our picture.
(I took another one but Riley is cuter in this one.)

(The pictures below are Arlington Cemetery which we were able to go see with Jeff's aunt, Cheryl, when she came to visit D.C. in March)

Dear mom and dad,

Thank you for putting up with our nut of a dog when we come to visit. I'm not really sure why she loses control (of her bladder) when she sees new people. She just wants to be loved by everyone. She can be sane at times, I promise (see picture on right below).

p.s. Can you tell we love our dog? She's basically our child (bladder control problems, nuttiness and all).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

future plans

Who would've thought?

Jeff got into the MPH, Hospital Administration program for round 2 of grad school. He'll graduate with his master's in athletic administration this spring.

He was also chosen to be a member of the President's Pride which is a "student service/honorary organization unique to East Tennessee State University" (quoted from ETSU's website). Over 100 people are nominated, 50 go on to interview and 25 are chosen.

This weekend he'll be headed to Cincinnati, Ohio for the first round of the NCAA tournament with the women's basketball team cause he's been such a hard working grad assistant. Go Bucs!

I'm so proud of him and all he has accomplished!
(p.s. How cute is this picture?)

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I got into ETSU's accelerating nursing program for round 2 of my bachelor's.
(no comments on the picture please. yes, this is me, not a boy in pink overalls)

We'll both (hopefully) be graduating in December 2011. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Riley has been accepted into a treatment program for hound dogs with ADHD and anxiety disorders. Do they make Xanax for dogs? Cause I think they should. Don't be fooled by this picture.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

as usual

Well, here we are in the cold dreary months of winter. I’ve decided that I don’t particularly care for cold weather, and what I really mean by that is that I could really just do without the whole dadgum season all together. You know how some people like to have all four seasons and can't wait for colder weather when summer is blazing hot and vice versa? Yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not one of those people. The thing I do like about Tennessee is that we have days that are in the 50s interspersed among the freezing cold days. Where can we live that has three out of the four seasons? Cause I like the other three just fine.

Anyway, we haven’t done anything blog worthy for awhile, just the same ol’, same ol’.

Jeff has applied to the MPH program; he is finishing up his master’s in sports admin and is working hard as usual.

Lynn has applied to nursing school; she is working and trying not to tear her hair out as usual.

Riley is crazy as usual.

And it’s flippin cold outside.

But these two can always brighten a dreary day. A dog really is a man's best friend...right after his wife of course.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

home for the holidays

We spent Christmas this year in Northern Virginia (or NOVA as some locals like to call it, but we try to refrain from using the acronym too much) with part of my family. Christmas isn't quite the same with a bunch of adults and we missed my siblings who have little kids, but I'm glad we got to spend it with family nonetheless.

We started out our visit with a trip to the Kennedy Center to listen to the Washington Chorus. Even though I was hacking up a lung (which I seem to have been quite a bit this year...I blame the nursery kids), it was a wonderful concert and a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.

We headed out to D.C. the next day and went to the Holocaust Museum. I just cannot understand how any human being could think it's okay to do what they did to people. How did they sleep at night? If you ever get a chance to go to D.C., I would definitely recommend this museum, just give yourself plenty of time as there is lots to read and take in.

We then ventured out to Ben's Chili Bowl for some tasty chili.

We celebrated Sam's quarter-of-a-century birthday. If you ever need a haircut and you happen to be in the Rockville area, Sam will hook you up...even though she has never been to hair school nor does she do it as a profession.

And we topped off our stay with a trip to the Washington D.C. temple.

I'm not quite sure how it got to be 2010 but here we are. Hope you all had a great holiday season and here's to another year and new adventures (to warm places!).