Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lub Dub...Lub Dub...

Nursing school is in full swing and it is kicking my trash.  Seriously, Tatiana asked me the other day when we were going to play together again and said, "When you're seven."  May 2014 can't come fast enough.

That being said, as tough as it is, when I really start to think about it, I'm having fun with all of this.  We started clinicals a few weeks ago, where we go to one of the local long term care facilities and get assigned to a patient and take care of them.  The first week was a little sad because in order to perform certain tasks, you need to pass them off during lab time at the college.  Week one we had passed off "therapeutic communication" so I talked...and talked...and talked...to anyone who would listen.  Turns out I'm pretty good at talking it up with a bunch of 70-90 somethings!

Last week in our lab class we learned about vital signs...blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, all that jazz, but before we could actually do vitals on patients and record them, we had to pass them off to our instructors.  Guess who passed!

Word. Up.

I can officially not only take blood pressures and temperatures on people, but I can record them in their charts and they are totally too legit...to quit.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Random Thoughts

I've got quite a few things going on in my life right now.  Aren and Tatiana have both started school - kindergarten and 7th grade - and tomorrow I have my first day as an official nursing student.  Overwhelmed doesn't begin to cover how I'm feeling.  In an attempt to keep myself calm today I opened up the Book of Mormon and it happened to be I Nephi chapter 5 during the church.  You all know the chapter.  It's the one where the boys finally get back from their trip back to Jerusalem and Sariah has been pretty vocal about her boys probably being dead, but then she sees them and says, "Ok, now I know there is a God and I'm happy and grateful."  Every time I read that I think, "But what if they hadn't come back?  What if she never saw her sons again?  Would her testimony still be strong?"

I started thinking about all the examples in the scriptures of where things are bleakest but always work out and it bothered me.  There had to be an example somewhere when things went horrifically wrong and still people stayed strong.  I often think about Lily dying and how everyone expected me to mourn her death, but still be strong.  Still have a testimony.  Still believe in a God who loved me and cared for me yet wouldn't allow me the one desire of my heart - to keep my daughter.  It was hard.  Damn hard.

And then it hit me - the 2,000 stripling warriors.  Well, not them exactly, but their mothers.  Their mothers were the Lamanites who's husband put down their weapons and vowed never to fight again and then were slayed in front of their families.  These women watched their dreams literally die in front of them.  Can you imagine their pain?  I'm sure more than one of them thought it could have all been avoided if they had just fought back.  I'm sure more than thought, "What's the point?  In the great plan, why was it so important that my husband not be here to help me raise my children?  Would it really have been so bad for him to stay?"

Unlike Sariah, these women did not get the opportunity to see their husbands again in this world.  They had to try to find their testimonies after watching their husbands die and use those testimonies to raise sons with a vision of God's plan and His love for them.  They were the perfect example of what to do, how to be, when everything goes wrong.

How grateful I am for the glimpses I get of a loving Father in heaven who knows me and wants me to learn.  I'm thankful that He knew there would be people on this earth who never received the miracles they wanted and didn't have the strength the carry on all the time and needed to know there were others who doubted and still made it through.  The scriptures truly have the answers if we will seek.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I finished up my second semester of college last week and I am pleased to announce that I landed a 4.0 this semester!  I was pretty nervous because I'm trying to get into the nursing program here and to do that I had to finish up two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology in one semester, so eight week courses it was.  I had a major exam each week and all of the learning was done via lectures online saving class time for labs and any questions.  Add on to that a math class to prepare me for the HESI, the nursing entrance exam, and things were crazy.  But this nerd did it and rocked it!

Now the waiting begins.  I should be notified the first week of June as to whether I've been accepted into the program, at which point I will give my family a big hug and kiss them goodbye for two years.  Totally worth it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Damn Hard

It's no secret that I have, well, a potty mouth.  I've tried to stop it and some days are better than others, but it is what it is and I offer no apologies.

Last night before going to bed Tatiana informed me that she had set a goal for Sunday and that goal was no whining.  Sounded perfect.  This morning within five minutes she was whining about something and I gently reminded her of her Sunday goal.  She looked at me and said, "I know, mom, but it's just so damn hard not to whine."

After apologizing to God for raising a sailor, I started thinking about the wisdom of my almost five year old.  She was spot on.  It is hard to not whine...damn hard.  Sometimes it seems I can go a whole day and all I hear from myself and everyone around me is how wretched everything is and truth be told, once you start it's hard to stop.  It's like a huge snowball effect.

I know I've talked about this before, but I'm too lazy to go through past posts and link up.  But let me just say that despite all the stupid crap that goes on, today I am not whining.  Today I am so grateful for my family, for the amazing onion seasoning I got from some home party because my potatoes tasted AWESOME because of it.  I'm grateful for the bishop for allowing one more testimony even though we were way over because the newly baptized member of the church reminded me of the miracles that can happen and the amazing generosity of those around me.  Today life is good.

Don't get me started on tomorrow, though.  I'm going back to the damn gym and that my friends really is going to be damn hard.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Forced Family Fun!

By the San Pedro
Our family is way too busy...well, Rick and I are way too busy.  Rick is of course working full time, but he also goes to school part time and has a part time weekend job.  I'm in school full time and studying is my job, so it's not often that we have one day, let alone three days, to be together uninterrupted.  But last weekend was just that.  I named it Forced Family Fun.  We were gonna be together and we were gonna like it.  Nay, LOVE it.  Glory be, it worked!  Who knew?

Friday night we left Aren and Tatiana at home and Rick and I went out to dinner and then I finally upgraded my phone.  Did you know they have phones where you can take decent pictures AND check your facebook status?  Yeah, I know.  I'm a little behind the times, but my phone is amaze-balls.

Saturday we divided and conquered.  Rick and Aren hung out and went to a churchy thing then out to dinner while Tatiana and I stayed home and watched whatever cartoon we could find from Redbox.  It wasn't good.  Seriously, a dollar I will never get back.

Aren likes his marshmallow nice and charred!
Sunday was fantastic.  We went to the San Pedro house and went on a little hike complete with a picnic by a pond.  Complaints were few and far between.  In fact, Aren wanted to keep going!  We came home and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs for dinner.  Showers were had without complaints and children went to bed on time and happily.  If I didn't know better I'd say we were being duped, that's how perfect the weekend was! 

Reality will set in this week as I'm studying for anatomy and Rick does nothing but work and plays a little Paper Mario World for Tatiana as she doses off to sleep, but we'll remember fondly our weekend of forced family fun and how it was a success!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I like Willow Tree stuff.  I don't get them very often, but every once in a while, Rick will remember how much I enjoy them and he'll buy me one.  Today he surprised me with the one called "Happiness" and I love it.  It's been a hard week in our little home.  I've been so sick, sicker than I've been in a long time, which made it literally impossible for me to do anything.  Aren was sick was well...we're still waiting on the blood work to confirm if he has mono.  We also celebrated Lily's birthday on Monday.  She would have been ten.  Having a birthday party complete with cake and ice cream and presents where you sing to someone who isn't there gets a little harder every year, but we still do it.

So, back to the point.  It was a hard week, and ending it with me turning 37 and getting this gift has helped me to remember all the reasons I have to be grateful for this week.  Some of us were sick, but Aren was on break so he didn't have to miss any school.  Rick kept his job delivering pizza so we were able to spend an awesome day at the zoo celebrating Lily, we went out to lunch, we bought gifts, and nothing came out of our regular budget...all paid for by tips!  I was able to spend a few minutes talking with Tatiana about her sister who she doesn't see and how families are forever.  I spent time with Aren laying on the couch watching haunted stories, one of our favorite things to do, because neither of us was up to doing anything else. 

The week that was full of sickness and sadness was really my week of happiness.  Thanks for reminding me Rick. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


A few months ago Aren won the Pueblo del Sol Elementary School Spelling Bee and he won it spelling the world "polyglot".  What the hell?!  Who knows that word?  Well, apparently my son did and he was told he would be participating in the county spelling bee in February.  He was pretty excited...e-x-c-i-t-e-d...and pretty nervous...n-e-r-v-o-u-s...but we were able to keep him calm, which is saying a lot since we discovered back in September that Aren suffers from panic attacks.  Nice.

Round one started and one by one kids were dropping like flies.  Rick and I would look at each other and think, "Idiots...i-d-i-o-t-s...idiots," anytime a kid spelled something wrong.  Then up comes Aren and his word is "knavery".  Wait, what?  Who the hell knows how to spell that?  Well, not Aren.  Our kid was the next idiot to get benched the first round.  Oh well.  We laughed about it and told him he could pick a place for lunch and he insisted Greek food could cure all idiot speller woes.  Smart kid, I tell you.

Aren and Rick right before the bee

Tatiana's response to me telling her she would have to be quiet during the bee

Aren and his teacher, Mrs. Silk

Who needs to win when you can lose and eat Greek food?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Aren is seriously my favorite son ever.  This kid has been through so much and just when I think his spirit can't amaze me any more, he says things that blow my mind.

A few days ago we were walking around the neighborhood, following Tatiana as she zoomed around on her scooter.  He turned to me and said, "Mom, do you ever wonder why Tatiana was the only normal kid that came into our family?"  I approached cautiously.  "Sometimes.  Do you ever think about it?"  "Sometimes."  "And what do you think, Aren?"

This is when he paused and said, "I think when I meet Heavenly Father and He tells me He's going to resurrect me and fix me I'm going to tell Him no thanks.  I'm happy just the way I am."

I love him.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Routines are good.  We had a great routine about two months ago.  Rick went to work, I went to class, Tatiana went to preschool, and Aren did regular school.  Add in some piano lessons, a meal out every now and then, life was good.  Our routine was good.

Then out of the blue we get a phone call saying that Rick is being furloughed; that's the nice of way of saying, "We're not firing you, just don't come back to work until we figure out what to do...and you're not getting paid."

We quickly formed a new routine.  Aren went to school, Tatiana went to preschool, and I went to class and studied...and studied...and studied some more.  Rick quickly fell into the roll of a stay at home dad and he was amazing.  Every morning Tatiana would wake up and say, "Dad, do you have to go to work today?" Rick would respond with his usual, "Nope," and Tatiana would throw her hands up in the air and scream, "Awesome!"  Tea parties and haircuts, Power Puff Girls marathons and lunches of chicken nuggets ensued.  It was an amazing routine.

Friday we finally got word that Rick would be returning to work on Monday, so it's time to figure out a new routine.  I'm not sure how Tatiana is going to deal with being stuck with me all day long as opposed to her tea partying daddy.  I'm not sure how I'm going to handle walking in the door from class and having Rick there with a diet coke in hand and a shoulder for me to cry on because I just can't handle one more day in my accelerated anatomy class.

One thing is for sure...neither Rick or I will try and change up our routine by pulling a Calvin.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Baker

My weeks are crazy.  Even with Rick being home full time for the past two months, we rarely see each other.  I have class Monday and Wednesday morning and Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Rick has class Monday and Wednesday nights and works at Papa John's (Papa's in the house!) Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights...ridiculous, right?  When I'm not at school, I'm studying and Saturday and Sunday seem to be the only days where I can find some time to get things done.  So this weekend I baked...and baked some more.

Saturday morning I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and then I was feeling adventurous and decided to make these lil' diddies - whole wheat cranberry orange muffins.  You can find the recipe HERE.  And this is what they look like...they really did.  Seriously.  Except they weren't on a red plate, but whatever.  They were dang good.  I'm not gonna lie, you can tell they're "healthy" but super good just the same.

Then, because I wasn't crazy enough, I decided that I needed to make these lil' gems this afternoon.  Holy shiz it made a ton of cookies!

You can find the recipe HERE.  I didn't have any M&Ms in the house so I used milk chocolate chips instead and we didn't have peanuts either, but I did have coconut, so I used that and man oh man...soooo good!  This recipe made about seven dozen cookies easy.  I baked up two dozen and then spooned out the rest of the dough on a cookie sheet then stuck them in the freezer and when they were all frozen, I put them in a ziploc bag.  Now whenever I want cookies all I have to do is drop the little suckers onto a cookie sheet and go for it.

So, there you have it.  Mommy moment at its finest.  Let me know if you try these.  Pretty sure you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Going Pro

I've been wanting to try out bike riding ever since I started having issues with my foot about a year ago, but we never seemed to be able to find the money to get one for me.  Fast forward to December and a super generous friend gave me her bike because she was moving and didn't have room for it.  Suh-weet!

I bought a helmet and away I went...all the way to end of the cul-de-sac and back.  I was a little nervous to be riding around.  A few weeks later I got up the courage to ride about two miles and then about a week ago with Rick by my side - actually in front of me - I rode all three miles to the college, had study group, then rode all three miles home and have totally loved it. 

It's my preferred mode of transportation now...I'm pretty much a pro.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Income is a Good Thing!

Totally wish that I could say Rick had his old job back, but not so much.  Still, I'm very, VERY happy that Rick got a job delivering pizzas.  The last of the money we've been receiving from vacation pay comes in this Friday and then nothing until we get word  about him returning to work, so this was a much needed blessing!  So remember to tip big when you see Ricky coming to your door with your order!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Everyone Look Out!

It's kind of been a long month.  Rick has been furloughed since about Christmas time which means that while he technically still has a job, he doesn't need to go to and he won't get paid for it.  We both started school and today in class my teacher actually used the phrase "Shit's gonna hit the fan" when referring to our list of tasks that need completing this semester.  Back to the job thing...no job means no income.  Luckily our church is helping a lot and Rick had some vacation saved up, but trust me, it doesn't go far.

Why am I telling the blogging world this?  Who knows.  I hate when people say, "This is my journal so I'm gonna say what I want."  I guess I figure this is my reality, so why hide it?  On the plus side, in the five weeks that Rick has been at home we've only had one little fight and I wouldn't even call it that...more like an ignoring session. 

So to sum up, Rick has no job, two semesters of anatomy at once is going to fry my brain, church food is good - except when they only send us one thing of cheese instead of the two we requested, and I like Rick...mostly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Squamous, Cuboidal...What's the Difference?

Do you know what this is?  I do.  It's simple squamous epithelium.  Are you impressed?  Me too, because seriously, I thought last semester I was crazy for going back to school, but this semester takes the cake.  I am trying to get into nursing school in the fall, but the only way to do that is to have both Bio 201 and 202 (Anatomy and Physiology) done by the end of the spring.  And how do you do that seeing as each class is a semester long and you need 201 before you can take 202?  Well, I'll tell you.  In a brief moment of hysteria you sign up to take each 16 week course in eight weeks and hope for the best.  AGH!  I have two, yes TWO, tests next week, just two weeks into the semester - a lab test where I need to identify way too many tissues and a test on Chapters 1-4.  Good thing Rick is on furlough so he can hang with Tatiana and Aren while I move into the library.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Seven Years

It's been seven years since Lily died.  Seven years.  That's a long time.  I did a paper for my developmental psychology class this semester on the gender differences in the grieving process of parents who have lost a child and it was painful to do.  Studies have been done that suggest even five years after the passing of a child, parents still think of them on a daily basis.  I should have been in that study.

I think about Lily as I drive down the street and see the park where she played.  I think about Lily when we go to Target and Tatiana begs to look at the shoes just one more time.  I think about Lily when I go to church and see a little girl wearing the same Christmas dress I bought for her just a month before she died.  I think about Lily every time I wake up and see her picture hanging on the wall, constantly taunting me because it will never change.  I think about her every time I come to the intersection of Foothills and Hwy 92 and see Hatfield's - the mortuary where we picked out her casket.  The director suggested a cradle, but I refused.  Lily insisted on a bed instead of a crib the last time she was in the hospital because she told me that she was a big girl.

I think about Lily when I hear people talking of forever families and in my heart I listen for that small voice to whisper that it's true.  That she is mine forever and I will see her again.