Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Faves

Omg, could this day not get here any sooner? Nah, but forreal. It sure has been a stressful week at work, but at least it's Friday and I have some favorite things to make me feel better!


I could eat this for every meal. And it's not just regular bagged popcorn you buy at the store. That stuff is gross to me now. I have a popcorn popper that I put kernels and a little bit of oil in and that's it! Well, some popcorn seasoning too, but that's just some powder :] Ranch flavoring and garlic parmesan flavoring are my two favorites.


I'm like an old lady, I love the Game Show Network. Family Feud, The Newlywed Game, etc. The old stuff is the best. If I'm home on a weekday for some reason I will always watch Let's Make a Deal and The Price is Right. Who doesn't like game shows?


Which is not very clean right now, but I love nothing more than coming home to a clean house. It's what I do when I get home on Friday's now is clean my house so I will have it clean for the weekend and I can just relax.


Nick got me a spin bike for Christmas because he was tired of me telling his most of my gym workouts consisted of me on the stationary spin bike. I asked for the actual Peloton bike but he didn't want to spend a couple grand on me for Christmas, so he just got me the best one Academy had, which I really love and use 5-6 days a week!


I love Friday's now that I work a normal job like a normal person for the first time in my life ever. It's great being able to make plans every weekend now!

Everyone have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wild Nurse Wednesday: Things I Wish I Would Have Known BEFORE Becoming A Nurse

There are so many things I wish I would have known before I became a nurse. All I was thinking in school was, "OMG I'm going to be an RN, I'm so cool" (in a real preppy voice). It's not as great as some people think, and just like being a teacher, police officer, fireman, ect. we don't get paid enough for what we have to do. 

1. Say adios to your weekends and holidays. FOR-EHH-VER (The Sandlot!)

Everyone tells you in school you should start out on a med-surg floor at the hospital, and I totally agree. I learned SO much working at the hospital my first nursing job, and I was eager every shift because I was exited about being a nurse and all. I didn't realize just how many weekends I would be working, and then when it got to my first holiday, which was 4th of July, oooooh I was so mad I had to work. And then the big ones roll around. My birthday (yes, that is a holiday), Thanksgiving, Christmas..... I had to work every. Single. One. I missed my family so much, and working night shift I never saw anyone anymore except my work besties, who I would text at 2:30am while watching Netflix because I wasn't able to sleep due to my crazy schedule. 

2. Be prepared to get attached.

Some of your patients will complain all day long, but then there's the others who will be so appreciative of your help, who you will fall in love with. I remember one shift where I just had a horrible night. One of my patients coded and all my others were just awful. You'll have those shifts where one whole group is just AWFUL, and that particular night I was the chosen one. I was exhausted by the end of my shift, and I kept thinking to myself, "What in the world am I even doing being a nurse, I'm awful at this and I suck at life." I stopped by on my way out to check on a patient and their spouse that had been there for a couple months. I walked in to the spouse telling me what a good nurse I am and are going to be, that I'm so sweet and caring and they just loved me. I couldn't help but break down and cry. This was a family I had fallen in love with and one of the first of many I've gotten attached too.

This is sweet Mr. Pounders. I volunteered at an assisted living place in high school and that's when I decided I wanted to become a nurse. I went to see Mr. Pounders every time I was there.

3. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Sometimes these patients come to the hospital or in the doctor office who have no one to talk too.Yes, they may elaborate on their pain when you ask them their level or if they need anything else and they start on their life story. Whether you're taking care of this patient for their pneumonia or CHF exacerbation, you're also taking care of their emotional needs too. Even though you're two hours behind, you have to remember to take a little extra time to listen. Trust me, you're making more of a difference than those antibiotics are. 

4. You're SICK.

Literally, you're always sick. My first year as a nurse I stayed sick. I got the flu 3 times, even with the flu shot. If you're germophobic, get out now. You are going to be exposed to the most disgusting illnesses. Every different flu virus strain, Tuberculosis, EBOLA! Then there's always those wounds that will make you sick, with mold, pus, and maggots... Okay, I'll stop now for those weaklings :] 

Me cooking for Thanksgiving my first year as a nurse. Yep, I was sick.

5. It's not all about the money, that's for sure.

I went in thinking nurses made a pretty good amount. The first W-2 I got I took a look at it and literally said out loud, "That's it?!" After working a couple jobs and making more and more money, I realized that all I did in life was work and I didn't want my life to be that way. Time away from your family is time you can never get back, and no amount of money is worth that. Don't make work your life. You can't take that money to the grave with you. Enjoy LIFE, not just a working life.

My sweet little family.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Top 10 Best Concerts of my LIFE! (So Far)

I have seen many AMAZING artists in my short 24 years here on earth. For today's post, I wanted share some of my best concert moments so far. Most of my concerts are with my Dad. We share the same love for the same type of music, mainly classic rock. I was raised right!

10. Eric Clapton

I bought my dad tickets to see Eric Clapton a couple summers ago I think it was. I paid a little extra to have some closer seats since this was his Father's Day gift. He came out and MAYBE played an hour. He played a lot of his new blues music and not enough of his best hits. Not my favorite but still awesome to say I saw Eric Clapton in concert.

9. Yes

I didn't know who this band was until my dad said he bought us tickets to go see them in Huntsville. They rocked it big time! We had a blast.

8. Bob Dylan

My dad, sister, and myself went to see Bob Dylan in Birmingham. He's so old we could barely understand the words he was saying, let alone sing along to "Tangled Up In Blue" like we do every time we're in the car. Still a good concert and again it's awesome to say I've seen Bob Dylan in my day :]

7. Destiny's Child

I will NEVER forget... Third grade Big Spring Jam. Mom and Dad let me and Sarah stay up SUPER late just to see Destiny's Child in concert. All I remember is being on my dad's shoulders and bouncing up and down and screaming constantly. I fell asleep in class the next day, but it was so worth it.

6. John Fogerty

Nick's mom won these tickets off the radio and I'm so glad she asked us to go with her! When I say us, I'm referring to me and Nick.. should have made that clear before :] He played a lot of his old CCR stuff and it was a great concert! CCR is one of my go-to jams for when I have my convertible top down.

5. Journey

I almost couldn't get anyone to go to this concert with me because it was during the work week, so my music-livin' Aunt Bebo came to the rescue and we had a great time! The lead singer ALMOST sounded like the real one.

4. Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller opened up for Journey, but they played better than Journey did! Steve Miller is also another one I jam to with the top down. They closed with Big Ol' Jet Airliner and it gave me chills.

3. Elton John/Billy Joel

I was 16/17 when Dad took me to Atlanta to see Elton John and Billy Joel in concert together. That was when they liked each other I guess. Such an awesome concert, two legends in one night. I saw Elton John again not too long ago in Birmingham with Dad and all his daughters and it was even better the second time. Here's a video of the second time I saw Elton John! Hopefully you're able to view it :]

2. The Rolling Stones

I mean, need I say more? Awesome show. Even though it was about 115 degrees outside and I was hallucinating due to a heat stroke I thought Bob Dylan showed up. Nope, it was still Mick Jagger. Brad Pasley opened up for him and Carrie Underwood AND Joe Walsh showed up. Rockin' night. This picture was taken from our seats. Not bad!

1. Hanson

I am the number one BIGGEST Hanson fan of all time. I've been with them since the beginning and I'm not going anywhere. I've seen them 5 times in concert, with the last one being in Birmingham with my sister. We showed up 4 hours early, stood in line for a standing room only, and I was literally touching the stage. The girl beside me obviously forgot to wear some D.O. and she had her arms up the WHOLE time, but I suffered through it to be able to TOUCH Taylor and Issac, get a guitar pick at the end from Issac, and have Zac smile at me. Literally, I was singing along and smiling at him of course and he smiled back and two girls beside me was like, "OMG HE JUST SMILED AT YOU." I literally cried when the concert was over. Best night of my life. The very first item on my bucketlist is to be able to have a meet and greet with all the Hanson brothers. I would die of happiness when it was over. Here's some awesome pictures of the most amazing night of my life.

Zac smiling at me. AHHHHHHHH!!!

I look forward to the day I meet Hanson! And all the other many concerts I attend. One piece of advice for anyone wanting to go to a concert: GO! Who cares if it's a work night or too expensive. I had the opportunity to see The Eagles and I couldn't get my dad or husband to go because they said it was too much, now I'm even MORE mad at them because we will NEVER be able to see The Eagles again! So spend the extra money and be tired the next day, sometimes you just can't pass up the opportunity for a good show!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snowy Saturday

The snow didn't keep me in today! Nor did it keep my husband in either. Nick got up at 3:30am and went duck hunting, something I've never had the desire to do. I don't like being cold, and I don't like being wet, and that's what happens when you go duck hunting.

Anyway, so today I woke up with the migraine I went to bed with :( A 27 hour headache stinks. I was craving something horrible for myself, so I got up at about 10am after my head was only slightly pounding at that point and make a cake. Mom always says it's okay to have cake for breakfast because it's got flour and eggs in it. Total legit reason to eat cake for breakfast. I drank some coffee with it and then I was good to go.

My sister stopped by and gave me some migraine medicine and motivated me to get out of the house and go to the gym. Benders now has a stair master AND a rowing machine!!!!! I tanned, did 15 minutes on each machine, and basically had to crawl out of the gym. I rarely go now because my husband got me a spin bike so I can stay at home to workout, but sometimes it's nice to get out of the house and actually go to the gym. Only sometimes.

I love to sweat. I love summer time because I kind of enjoy being hot. I know, it's weird. A little extra sweat during a workout never hurt anyone, it just burns more calories. I wear my sweat band every time I do cardio.

I came home craving some spicy chicken, so I made some PF Chang's chicken and brown rice. Half of the bag is 400 calories, so that's not too bad after a great workout. Doesn't it look yummy?!

And I had to have another piece of cake :0

After a full belly, I love nothing more than a clean house. I think I clean my house at least 3 times a week on a good week. While I clean I always light my favorite Bath and Body Works candle, Buttercream Icing, which of course is a fall scent so they don't make it anymore. It's okay, during a candle sale I bought 6 of them :0 So maybe I won't run out for a while!

Only thing left to do today is the dreaded WalMart trip. I'm also thinking of updating my living room rug and pillows, just to change some stuff up a little. I'll be looking for those today, too. I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Faves

My sister does a Friday Favorites post on her blog so I wanted to do one, too! Here's a couple of my favorite things.

1. Bath and Body Works

Oh my.. Anyone who knows me knows I can't spend less then $50 in Bath and Body Works. Their sales reel me in and I can't control myself. I've got a great stock going! Everything that cleans your entire body and makes you smell good, I have on stand-by. My true favorites are all the fall scents, which they don't have anymore of course, and I'm praying they come back with them next year. Check out my stash!

2. My car

When I got my first nursing job and started making my own money, of course I was ready to get a car. I've ALWAYS wanted a hard-top convertible, but the only non-luxury car company that makes them now is Chrysler , and I wasn't really in love with the way they looked. I passed by a private sale car lot and saw a hardtop BMW thinking, "No way I could afford that." It was a 2009 BMW 328i with extended warranty, even the oil changes were already paid for up until 100,000 miles.I couldn't resist not getting it. That car was my baby. Then I got a hospice job and drove for a living and couldn't put that kind of wear and tear on that car, so I traded it in for a Chevy Malibu LTZ. It was nice, but it wasn't a BMW. My dad told me since I started out with a BMW as my first car, I'll always compare everything else I have to the BMW. He was right! Well, anywho, once I quit hospice and started my doctor office job, I decided to just jump and get my dream car back. I went over budget, of course, on a 2012 BMW 328i hardtop convertible. Nick asked when I got home, "So watcha gonna get next?" Very funny... I didn't want to have to get rid of it in the first place! MMMMMmMMMMMMmmMmMmMm, isn't she beautiful?! 

3. Ralphie

My dog is my child. I love him more than anything in the world. He is SO SMART! Ralph is a Toy Australian-Shepherd/Blue Heeler mix, which basically equals smart but doesn't get too big. He's only 20lbs and that's as big as he will get. One of my favorite things about him is when he's sleeping. He doesn't sleep in the bed with us except maybe to nap for a minute. He's usually in the living room on the couch. He's the sweetest when he's sleepy. Isn't he presh?

4. Carhartt Scrubs

Since I'm a nurse, I have to wear my pajamas, I mean scrubs, everyday to work. I used to love Greys a lot, but then I got fat and hated the fit. Now I love the Carhartt stretch. They are AMAZING. Never in a million years would I have thought I would wear Carhartt scrubs.

Everyone have a great Friday and be careful this weekend with this crazy southern weather! If anyone has any blog topics they think would be cool to write about, shoot me a message or comment. I need some good topic ideas!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

3 Reasons Why Being a Part of a Church Family is SO Important

Like many Christians, my own walk with the Lord has had it's ups and downs. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior in 8th grade in my bedroom after having a huge fight with my mom and almost moving out (seriously, Mom gave me trash bags to pack up my clothes in and told me I could leave if I didn't follow her rules. And I was about to, too. I was such a bad child). I had no where else to turn and I didn't really want to leave (for the record, I never left I just said I was going too) so I turned to Christ and prayed for Him to come into my heart, give me peace, and forgive me of my sins. I've never felt such a calming peace as I did that night when I truly accepted Him into my heart. In nursing school, I grew closer to Him because I constantly prayed and asked for His presence always. It wasn't until I got married when I really became involved in my church.

No church is perfect. During this time, we were 18 months without a preacher and we were about to finally have a new one! YAY! I was coming off of night shift and was excited to get back into church. I even got to join the choir again! Singing is my favorite form of worship. Since getting back in church I've learned how important it is and wanted to share a couple thing's I've learned that I think are so important for your walk with God.

1. These people want the best for you.

When I was getting married, the women of the church put together a big church shower. I didn't even know some of these women who took the time out of their Sunday afternoon to make food, write down gift names, clean up, etc. I mean, seriously?! These people must really care about me! One thing I learned from all these women volunteering their time is that when you love the Lord SO MUCH, you receive joy in giving to others rather than receiving. Because believe it or not, it is NOT all about you all the time, it's what you can do to help others in their walk and how you can set an example for them.

2. Surround yourself with those who will build you up and HELP you in your walk.

I love being a part of a small group. Believe it or not, I don't really have many friends (if any) that I hang out with on a regular basis. Our Sunday school class gets together when everyone can schedule a convenient time, which is a great way to just interact with fellow Christians outside of church. Another group I love is the women's ministry we have in the church called Abide. It's women of all ages that come together to do a bible study series, discuss thoughts, pray, worship, and eat. And of course I love my choir peeps! I sang a solo this past Sunday for the first time, like, ever in church and everyone was so nice and complementary. I'm so blessed to be a part of these groups!

3. Constantly learn, read, and grow.

Yes, going to church on Sunday is important. It helps to give you that boost of accountability for the beginning of every week. But just going on Sundays isn't going to cut it for those wanting to grow in their walk. It's a daily basis kind of thing. You must be reading your bible and praying daily. You can always fill your life with other things during the week and on the weekends. Nick and I went out a couple weekends ago to celebrate a friends 21st birthday and it made me realize why I hate going out anymore. I would much rather stay in and go to bed at 9pm every night. And I'm so thankful for that change of heart I've had. Those weekend activities are temporary and for some people regretful. Don't fill your life with that. Instead, take the time to grow in the word and learn about more important, eternal things. Being a part of a church family can help you with that!

Being a part of a church family can offer so much. You have those who love and pray for you, and you have so many opportunities to grow in your walk. I love my church family and can't wait to see how our church will grow over the years to come! 

These are my sweet Upward Cheerleader girls. Upward is for kids to play basketball and cheer but a Christ centered focus. These girls are WILD, but fun :]

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wild Nurse Wednesday

I've been a nurse for a little over two years now. I learn something new everyday. Being a nurse is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I decided to make today's post about my wild nurse journey thus far.

Here's the day I got my acceptance letter. So skinny and tan and naive...

I started out in the hospital. Med-surg cardiac step down unit to be exact. NIGHT SHIFT> BLAAAAAAHHHH! Graduating nursing school as class president and passing boards like a boss (just kidding, boards took me almost five hours and I cried the whole time), I thought I already knew a lot about the world of nursing. WRONG. I am here to tell everyone who's in nursing school or even thinking about nursing school, you do not know anything until you take on your first shift as a nurse all by your lonesome. You will look like a dummy if you try to correct or talk back to a seasoned nurse. Seasoned, as in, way more experienced than you, little grasshopper. 

Anywho, I can remember my second week on nights by myself. I had a patient with a potassium of 7.6, among many other elevated labs, who was already on the verge of death. I WAS CLUELESS. How do I take care of someone who's about to code? All I knew at that point was how to get in the med system and hand out meds! I wasn't prepared to code my patient! That's when I learned what true team-work was. Every nurse on that floor took time out of their own busy schedule to help me with this patient. The patient eventually coded and I remember standing in the corner just staring, dumb-founded as to what was happening right now. I'm pretty sure I cried the rest of the night because of how stupid I felt, but I've never been so thankful for my co-workers.

Here's a picture of my first day at the hospital orientation. WOW, I WAS SKINNY!! Makes me want to cry!

I eventually became a fill-in charge nurse on nights and floated over to ICU every chance I got. Those 17 months was the best nursing experience of my life. I learned something new every night, and starting out on night shift was great for a new nurse because it was a little slower pace (notice I said little slower because even though it was night shift it was crazy madness half the time). I miss my night shift crew!

After being exhausted on nights, I knew I always loved the geriatric (elderly) community and thought hospice was what I wanted to do. Even though it was "easier" because there wasn't much nursing skill needed in the homes of these patients, the emotional stress was too much to bear at times. Being on day shift was nice, but then there were times on call, up and out all night after seeing patients all day, then having to work the next day.. whew! I loved being able to be a part of these families lives and comfort them toward the end, but when a daughter is holding her mother's almost lifeless body and telling her that it's okay, that she can let go now.. mmmm. I love my mamma, and that's all I could think about. That was one of the hardest moments for me. I could handle a lot, and a lot of times I looked heartless. Patient families were all crying and holding each other, and there I am just staring at the floor trying to not be in the way. One thing I wish my families knew was how much I was crying on the inside, that huge lump in my throat growing larger. Each death I had took pieces away from me. The driving, long hours, taking a lot of it home with me emotionally and physically, I just couldn't do it anymore. I am a true hospice believer. I know hospice nurses do everything they can possibly do to make these patients comfortable toward the end of life. What an honorable way to die is to be in your own home surrounded by the ones you love.

After doing some serious soul searching, I realized that time away from your own family is time you can never get back and no amount of money is worth that to me. I now work in a doctor office setting. I clock in, I clock out. Rarely do I work after 5pm, and never do I work weekends and holidays anymore. That is hard to come by as a nurse! The job will always be stressful at time because you're always going to have those people who complain about every little thing. Even though I've been there a short time, I've learned my wait time at the doctor is worth it, and there are LOTS of other people who have bigger problems other than my little check up. There are times when I receive a radiology report that a patient has cancer, have to go talk to the doctor, then the doctor has to call the patient, then the doctor puts in a referral to start on chemo and radiation, and THEN my next patient has to complain about having a 3:45pm appointment and it's 4:15pm and they are just ready to get home and watch TV. Another thing I've learned is to just bite your tongue. Lots of smiling and apologizing for things you can not control. Don't you do that in life anyway?

Here's my first day at my new job (taken just a couple weeks ago). MAN, how I've changed.

I love where I am at right now. The schedule, the staff, the location, everything. I'm thankful for how far I've come in my nursing career so far and can't wait to see where it will take me in the future. Maybe I could just be a stay-at-home nurse blogger :D

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Transformation Tuesday-Our Home

Nick and I have been married for a little over a year now. We live in his parents rental house that is next door to his mom's house. It's tucked away in the woods and you can't see it from the road because our driveway is like a half a mile long. I found some pictures from when we FIRST walked in the house after the old renters moved out and thought it would be awesome to do a Transformation Tuesday post!

(I had to steal the "after" pictures from my sister's Home Tour blog post because it was definitely super clean and right now I have dishes out and the bed isn't made.)

First: our screened-in patio. The previous renters used the patio as storage. Nick and I love the outdoors, so we wanted to make this patio an extension of our living area.



Next: our main living area. I love open concept. Our kitchen, living room, and laundry are all in one area. The house is so old the laundry is in the kitchen, so when we build that is one thing I look forward to is having an actual laundry room!

The white thing on the wall is our heating/cooling unit. They are very eco-friendly.

I HAD to use bright colors in this house because, as you can see, the house is basically all wood.
One of my favorite things about the old house was this sink, so we had to keep it!

Guest bedroom. I love how this room is on the corner of the woods. The entire window view is woods!


Next is the office. This was originally going to be our bedroom but my sister-in-law had the great idea of making our master in the old living room, so now this of our office/Nick's closet/storage.


Next: the bathroom. I can't wait to have more than one bathroom in the house. Me and Nick are both small people, but even WE can't fit in this bathroom comfortably together. We didn't do much other than paint and decorate, which can REALLY go a long way!


Last but not least, our master bedroom. Like I said before, it was supposed to be our living room and our kitchen and dinning room were together, but we don't do formal dining and didn't need a huge dinning room table, so we decided to have a more intimate living area with an open concept kitchen. I LOVE OPEN CONCEPT. Definitely going to stick with the open concept once we build. And I love how our master goes right off to the patio. It's nice having the extra lighting in our bedroom.


(The renters were very messy people. They left tons of garbage for us to clean up.)


The house doesn't have much, if any, overhead lighting. We don't have any overhead lights in our living room or master bedroom. We use a lot of lamps! Even though half of the bedroom doors don't close all the way due to the foundation shifting, and every time I drop my chapstick it rolls all the way across the room, AND our toilet hasn't flushed all the way since Christmas, we still love where we live and know one day we will built an even more beautiful home right on top of where this one is standing.

It's amazing to see how far we have come with the house already! Some things have changed since these "after" pictures were taken (new pictures hung, different decor, etc), but I love how we have been able to make it our own and grow as a couple in the house we call home.

Monday, January 18, 2016

There's a new blogger in town!

Hello, blogger world!

I can't believe I am now a blogger. I have had a few changes in life recently, with one of them being a new job. As a nurse, it is very difficult to find a job with a "normal" schedule. I now work in a doctor office setting (three weeks and counting) and so far I love it, but most of all LOVE the schedule. I'm getting paid to be off today. WOOHOO!!

This blog will consist of my life as a nurse, my walk with the Lord, and just my daily life in general. Of course because of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), I will never mention any real names in any nursing stories because I would like to keep my nursing license for the rest of my life. I kind of worked hard for it. 

Eventually I'll have theme days like my little sister does with her blog. She's technically my "big" sister, but she's so skinny I like to call her my little sister. She's inspired me to blog! Here's a picture of her helping me with my wedding dress (my mom is on the far right)!

Since I'm off work today, I won't be talking about working. Instead, I slept in until 9am (I went to bed at 8:30pm), chugged some Spark, did my Peloton spin class, showered, then begged my husband to go to Walmart with me. I'm trying to save money here and there, so I've decided to make my own laundry detergent! Only three ingredients: Borax, Arm and Hammer Laundry Soap, and FELS-NAPTHA soap. I love easy recipes. I haven't washed clothes with it yet, but it smells pretty good!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the day!