Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March Madness

Well, Becca came to visit me in March. We had so much fun going to the beach, laying out, shopping, eating, going to the temple, and even hitting up the Great Park in Irvine to see the balloon. Once she left it was back to reality--homework and lots of it! 

Newport Beach temple

The Great Park
I had my eyebrows threaded--OUCH! But they look a whole lot better. Now I'm just in an awkward stage of trying to grow part of them out. Even Blake noticed--not a good sign. 

We had our apartment repainted. It was a pain to move everything, let it dry, 
and move it all back. It was worth it though--our place looks brand new!

I drove to work yesterday in San Clemente only to find out that I had been canceled but had not been notified about it. So on my drive home I stopped at my favorite beach--Strands. I hiked down the stairs and walked along the beach--in my bright red scrubs. 

I wish I would have had some work out clothes in my car. A run along the beach would have been nice. But I settled for a walk instead. 

Did I mention I started my last semester of nursing school? I honestly can't wait until September. I've got Senioritis bad! Only Psych, community health, and my preceptorship to go! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


photo via 

I wonder what it feels like to grow up

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a Wednesday post

To be honest, I haven't felt this way about a song in a long time.
It's beautiful and simple, yet it fills me up with something--not sure what it is. 
 For those of you who need a song to take your breath away for a moment:

Hero by Family of the Year

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


For the few of  you who read this--I wanted to thank you for praying/fasting for me this weekend. I also wanted to explain a little bit about my test. 

WGU is a competency based university, meaning that students--especially the nursing students--have to quickly grasp concepts and move on to other things. This applies to our course work as well as simulation lab. These pictures show a little bit of how we learn for our lab tests. We have anywhere from 3-5 lab days (7 hours each day) where we learn about different diseases/problems/issues that correspond to our course curriculum. During lab, we are taught what to look for with different diseases and problems. We work as a team, usually 4-5 students, to assess, medicate, start IV's, call Dr's, labs, radiology, etc. Working together is nice because if you forget something or miss something in the assessment, someone else will usually pick it up. However, this is also a disadvantage to us as we take our lab tests alone. For our test, we have a scheduled time to come and perform a one on one test with our Sim man. We enter the room with our test instructor, with a clipboard, paper, pen, and stethoscope. Our instructor gives us the "report"(small history and chief complaints of the patient) and leaves the room (there is a one way window which they watch us through. Our instructor is also the voice of the Dr, lab, secretary....anyone we need to call really. There is also a lab tech who acts as our the patient's voice through a speaker in the Sim man. WGU also records each test with 360 degree cameras, as well as microphones). We begin by introducing ourselves, washing hands, identifying the patient, making sure the room is safe, etc. The patient must be assessed, report called in to the doctor if needed, meds given, or even calling a code and starting CPR and using the Ambu bag to breathe for the patient. Like I mentioned before, it's easy (easier) with 4-5 nurses in the room but not in our test. Geez. Anyway, we have to pick up on things, like if the patient was given way too much Morphine (a respiratory suppressant), has a low respiration count, and is going to code (stop breathing). Especially for critical care (my current semester), all the scenarios are scary--heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure, diabetic keto acidosis, etc.  On top of that stress, WGU's policy says that if a student can't perform well enough after two tries (at different tests), they will be held back anywhere from 6-12 months before they can redo the entire semester over. They claim that most nursing schools have these tests as well, but, at least in southern California, it's not the case. NO students which I have talked to (from 9 different schools) even have lab tests, let alone a test as serious as ours. Another disadvantage to an online nursing school is the lack of lab hours we have to practice. In traditional schools, they have hours and hours each week, throughout the entire semester, where they learn to assess patients with these issues. We get one 45 minute round of "this is what to look for" and that is it. 

Whew. Sorry for the rant. Now for the explanation of the title. I truly believe that I have developed PTTSD--Post (and Pre) Traumatic Test Stress Disorder--from these tests. As much as I try not to think about them or worry about them, it seems the week before the test I can't focus on anything else. The night before the test I can't sleep. The day of the tests my heart beats so strong and so fast I think I'm having a heart attack. Once I get to the testing center I have a hard time breathing and I'm shaking so badly I can't write legibly on my paper when receiving orders, getting report, etc. Can you  imagine trying to start an IV while shaking uncontrollably? Or pulling out insulin from a vial? Almost impossible. Once in the test, I feel faint and my mouth goes completely dry--my tongue feels like sand paper,almost like I haven't had water for weeks. Also, I can't think straight. My first test (about a year ago), I walked into the room where my patient was choking (I was supposed to suction him right away) and all I could think of was, "someone needs to help this guy!". Luckily it didn't take me long to realize that I knew what to do and how to do it. The anxiety I have developed is unreal to me. I have never experienced such a feeling in my life. It's uncontrollable. I had Blake give me 2 blessings before I took my tests. Some girls in my cohort take beta blockers (which slow down your heart) to help them calm down. I honestly thought about taking one and then used my "nursing knowledge" to realize that would be a stupid idea since it hadn't been prescribed for me. Anyway, I somehow made it through my test, passed, and am going to graduate in September of this year (which was one of my fears of not passing. I have other things I want to do, like start a family, work, travel, and I didn't want to have to wait another 6-12 months to restart the program). I can't wait! Online nursing school has been an adventure so far and I hope the worst is over. No more lab tests--ever again!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quick Visit

The inversion in Utah is {maybe was?} crazy bad, so Tara, Steven and the kids surprised us with a quick visit to get some air and sunshine.  It was so nice {for me} to spend time with them--
such a nice break from studying 10+ hours a day!
Tara and I hung out with the kids while Blake and Steven were at work. 

Britton and  Spencer in the truck

Britton and Alli at Pretend City

Britton playing in the sand at Laguna Beach

Steven and Tara enjoying some sun

Aquarium of the Pacific-tiny jelly fish!

I had to put Blake on here to prove he exists during busy season. We went to Santa Monica Pier with his friends Craig and Erin a few weekends ago. It was so nice to have him for a few hours! 

This week brings a change of client for Blake and a big test for me!
I am hoping a new client means getting home earlier--like 8 or 9. 
As for me, my test is on Saturday afternoon and if I don't pass that one,
I'll be back on Sunday to try again. I'll need all the prayers and positive thoughts I can get,
so send a quick one my way!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A little trip

We took a little trip home for Christmas--a very white Christmas. 
We flew in on the morning of the 24th. Blake's parents picked us up and took us out to lunch.
It was snowing. I loved it.
Then we headed up to Huntsville with my family to hang out in the snow. 

A view of Pineview.

Our own two horse open sleigh. Pretty paint horses.

We went off a few lanterns--or tried, at least. It was windy and the flames burned our lantern.

We woke up to several white mornings. So nice. This was a long stay where we were able to see {almost}everyone we wanted to see and spend time with. 

I got strep throat and spent my New Year's Eve on the couch with a mask while the others played games.
This lovely little sickness also foiled my plans to go snowboarding. It will be three years before I touch those beautiful slopes again {sigh}.

Daddo (Blake's dad) retired on the 4th! This is his view from his office in the Church office building.

Did I mention it was freezing?! Because it was. 
It didn't get above freezing the entire time we were there. 
One night we left my house to go to Blake's and this was the temperature. 
I had to screen shot it for proof of how cold it was.

Now we return to real life. Real life during busy season is terrible--I rarely get to see Blake. 
It's a rough transition for me, going from family and friends to being alone almost 24 hours a day. 
I enjoy being around people--even if I'm not talking to them. Maybe that's super weird but that's how I am.

I hope your Christmas and New Year's was as enjoyable as mine. Here's to the New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cheers to 3 Years

Three years ago today, I married this fine gentleman. He is pretty neat and I wouldn't trade him for 
anyone else--even David Beckham--and that's saying a lot. 

Here are just a few of the fun shots from our wedding day...

Cheers to three years with my best friend. 
Love you Blake!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving--AZ style

This was our first Thanksgiving (being married) celebrating with family! We packed up our bags and dove 
to Tempe, AZ to my Uncle's house where we met up with my family.

This man drove the entire way, bless his soul.

If you ever drive out to Palm Desert, try counting the +/- 4,000 wind mills. I dare you.

A saguaro cactus with Phoenix in the background. 

Friday morning we hiked Fat Man's Pass. I'd highly recommend it if you're in the area.

Blake had seen this restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, so we had to go.
It is Mexican/Chinese food. Weird. But it tasted pretty good (they even had a gluten free menu!) It's worth going at least once to try it.

Saturday night we hit up the Sugar Bowl with the little ones. It's tradition.

Thanks for the fun time AZ cousins! Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something Like That

Life is kind of like road biking...or something like that.

No, really. Let me explain: Biking isn't about the final destination,
 it's about the journey.
You don't ignore the places you pass along the way, but rather enjoy their beauty. 

There is always someone faster than you--and always someone slower too.
Someone always has a nicer bike and components while others have the bare minimum.

Sometimes you want to quit, maybe while going up a big hill. 
You don't know how you will ever make it to the top, but somehow your legs keep pumping, one after the other, until the strain on your muscles lessen and you catch your breath at the peak.

You might fall down in public place. People may be waiting for you to move, but you just have to lie there 
for a moment, shoes still stuck in your pedals, and take the time to laugh.

A riding partner is also a good idea, one that you can keep a good pace with. 
Find someone who will push you without leaving you in the dust.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Calling

I have found my place in the nursing world: Labor and Delivery.
The past two days of clinicals have seriously changed my life and as far as I'm concerned, 
I could stop nursing school here and now. They had us "scrub up" so we wouldn't get our school uniforms dirty--because with all the fluids in L&D, they would have never been the same. I think this helped us (the students) get more respect. You can't tell that we look any different, so we are asked to do anything the other nurses are. I was in heaven. 

Learning about pregnancy in school has truly taught me how perfect our bodies are 
to create and to birth babies. Women are built to do this. The process of labor and delivery blows my mind
and I love coming in to celebrate the birth of a new soul into this world. (So far...), it has been a truly happy and rewarding place to be. 

I love everything about the L&D unit--well, pretty much everything.
Do I love doing vaginal exams? I don't love it, but I find it interesting and I don't mind doing them.
I think it is neat to be able to feel the cervix going from 1 cm to 10 cm, preparing for that baby to come!
It is just another way, proving to me, that our Creator really knows what he's doing.

A quick story about yesterday. My coach (a nurse who I follow/help/learn from) and I received a patient from triage who was 5 cm dilated. She came into her room and we began assessing her and asking her the admission questions, which takes about 10 min. She was having contractions and was in great pain, but until we admitted her we couldn't give her any pain medication (sorry!). We were almost done with the questions when I could tell she was starting to push. "Stop pushing mom!", I said. We were NOT ready for this baby to come. But she wasn't listening. She was letting her body take control. I called the desk and asked them to page her OB doctor to come for delivery. BUT, he was in the OR doing a C section. So, we paged for any OB doctor to come to her room--you do not want a nurse delivery if you can help it. We set up the table (full of sterile supplies for the birth), hoping a doctor would come before we had to deliver her ourselves. Thankfully, a doctor came in a moment later. We gowned him up, the mother pushed 3 times and that baby was out--no tears or episiotomy (cut in skin to allow the baby's head) needed. This mom was in our room for 13 minutes before she had her baby.  13 minutes! Crazy! You never know what you're going to get in L&D but every day is filled with joy as these little ones come into the world on their own time frame.

To my friends who are pregnant, I'm so excited for you all and want to hear the story of your labor and delivery (so Katie and Kristina, I'll be expecting calls in January).