fall’s coming… i better catch you up on our lives

I’m excited for fall. Ready for the cool weather. And it’s sort of been making its way here. The ants are finally beginning to disappear, the evenings are bringing cool breezes into our apartment again, and we have actually had some cloud cover recently. I’ve been drinking more coffee and even getting to wear my fleece sometimes. And it’s September. So it’s actually almost officially fall. I thought there were a few things I should catch you up on.

For one: Jeremy and I are officially small group leaders!

small group deal

Actually, technically he is the leader, but I am equally excited about it! We had our first night a couple weeks ago, and we have such a great group of people. Some we’ve known for a while now (from the last season of the EP Small Group) and some we’re meeting for the first time. I feel so blessed that God brings so many wonderful people into our home each week.

On a completely different note, we sold the Mazda! This is me kissing it goodbye:

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Unfortunately, I will be kissing it “hello again” this afternoon. The day after we sold it, the people who bought it called us and told us it was smoking when they got it home. Apparently they took it to a Pep Boys who told them it would cost $2000 to fix. That estimate turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration, but we’re taking it back anyways. Boo. We’ll take it to our own mechanic, get a list of what it actually needs done, and get back to re-selling. That was quite a downer for us. I loved the Maz, and it was a little sad to see it go, but we were kind of hoping that would be the end of it.

Fortunately, that very same day, I found a BIKE! Jeremy and I drove all the way to Simi Valley for this little number:

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I love it. I couldn’t be happier. It rides smooth and the frame is just my size. Our bike guru friend Austin says it’s a great find. All it needs is a new set of tires. Jeremy and I are going to Santa Monica today to spruce up our bikes so we can finally ride together again! I’m super pumped.

Aside from all that, my work is in full swing and Jeremy is just finishing his second week of school with his new batch of Cochran kids. His days and weeks are still incredibly exhausting, and he’s already had those days where nothing seems to gel quite right at school, but he’s keeping it together like a champ. I think it’s helpful for him to compare the year with his last school year. It feels 100 times better, easier and less scary. But it’s also a bit more discouraging to be running into the same problems he’s been seeing now for more than a year. He knows how to balance his life a little better now, and I’m sure he’ll reach TFA’s goals with his classrooms again this year, but it’s still Gorilla warfare.

Well, folks. That’s about it for now. I’d like to remind everyone from far away that we love it when you come visit us, and there’s always plenty of space on our livingroom couch for you. Much luv to you, fams and friends.

i love my job

Just for you–some old school (or as the author of this photo would say, “vintage”) nurses to be inspired by (or at least to enjoy):

vintage nurses

I cannot tell you how much I love my job. In fact, I barely know where to even start talking about it. But boy do I ever feel like I somehow landed in the perfect spot. I’m moving past that total deer-in-the-headlights-can’t-seem-to-remember-anything-from-nursing-school-feel-like-I’ll-never-get-the-hang-of-this stage, slowly making my way into the wow-sometimes-I-pick-up-the-things-I’m-supposed-to-be-learning-this-is-at-least-beginning-to-feel-kinda-like-home-and-I-like-it stage.

The first few weeks of my job made me feel like I must have somehow dreamt up all those years of being in nursing school. I must not have actually gone, because if I had, I’d have some idea how to take care of a patient.

I still feel not so competent in many respects, and the more I’m learning in my classes and clinical, the more I find I have yet to learn (of course). But for the first times, I’m having days that aren’t totally clouded by my lack of experience. I’m actually kind of getting the hang of some things. And it’s allowing me to see past all the tasks I haven’t mastered to all the things I really love about ICU nursing.

I LOVE ICU nursing. Love it. I knew it when I first stepped foot in the ICU two years ago. But even more than that, I love my ICU: the CTICU. The nurses are wonderful. The patients are incredible. The cases are wildly interesting and the medical teams are unbelievable. The other night at work I had to pick up a medication for my patient from the 6th floor pharmacy. As I reached the doors of 7ICU I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “How on earth did I get here? I can’t believe this is where I work.”

I know there are still difficult challenges ahead. I’m sure I’ve still got some bad days in front of me, and I don’t doubt coming off orientation will be frightening. But I’ve got to soak up and hold on to these times when I know for sure this place is exactly where I want to be.

Praise God and thanks be to Him for bringing me to the CTICU.

woo hoo!

I had a long day at work today. LONG. Not bad, just long. Not really full of much of anything to talk about, but the point is that I left in a daze, my head so full all I could do was get in my car and blast pop music the whole 45 minutes home.

So I get home, see my wonderful husband, and in not too much time, I’m heating us up some leftovers for a little movie night (we’re free-trialing NetFlix right now–it’s great). As a result of the day, I’m really not thinking about anything at all. I mean my head is like completely empty. Nothing there.

So it comes about time for me to take the leftover pizza slices out of the oven. So I open my little drawer to get a lil hot pad and this is my exact view:

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OH YEAH!!! I got that yesterday! It’s like I’m getting it for the first time all over again!!! WOO HOO!

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I love taking hot things out of the oven!!!

Lepidoptery and Lovely Fridays

little butterfly

Good news. You’re about to read an especially upbeat blog post. Quite a contrast from the last I think you’ll find, thankfully. Why? I suppose it’s because I’m in an especially pleasant mood. Oh–but before we go any further, I should tell you upfront that, while this is a good-mood post, it is not a premeditated post… and you know how that can be.

Well. It’s Friday. 4:53pm on Friday, to be exact, and my husband and I are in a cool and inviting Barnes and Noble. There’s a grande iced Carmel Macchiato (only 1 shot of espresso, if you please) in my belly and the Manual of Perioperative Care in Adult Cardiac Surgery in my lap. Since seeking out mainstream air-conditioned places to congregate requires a trip to Glendale, we of course had to stop in our favorite store to exchange some knobs for these:

Yellow kitchen knobs

and to pick up this month’s incentive/reward for meeting my quantitative goal:

Oven mit anthro

I was supposed to work night shift this evening as well as tomorrow night but one of my preceptors called in sick so instead I’m working the day shift on Saturday like a normal human being.

All this lead to a lovely Friday at Barnes and Noble with Jeremy. Jeremy, by the way, has been looking through books here related to his new hobby (“life calling” is maybe a more appropriate term). He’s becoming a lepidopterist. I plan to become one as well, although he is blazing the trail first for the rest of the family. You’re probably wondering what the hey a lepidopterist is. These are the people that study, find, catch, and travel far and wide in search of rare (and common, of course) species of butterflies. Jeremy’s goal is to eventually have an office filled with cases of butterflies from all over the world. (You can apparently buy these pre-made, but what’s the fun in having them if you haven’t made them yourself, right?)

The only other recent news is that we sold the Schwinn so I’m officially on the hunt for an Erin-sized road bike. For those of you wondering, Monica Flannery is getting along just fine here. Her legs even appear to be getting better (no progress on the druling problem, unfortunately).

hot days and wasted time

100 degrees Lately it’s been in the upper 90’s in LA. I know I know, upper 90’s does not sound that bad. Heck, people in Arizona regularly endure temperatures into the 100’s. But 90’s in LA means about 1000 degrees in our apartment. I’m really not typically one to complain about the heat. Since as early as I can remember, being cold has been my least favorite thing, so being hot was something I’ve always been careful not to take for granted. But lately I’m finding myself desperately wishing to be cold.

We sort of pride ourselves on living in an old apartment with no AC. But this month, I feel like doing all I can to avoid spending time in our own place. “ANYWHERE with AC,” I think each day as the sun starts it’s trek toward its hottest place in the sky, “Must… get… somewhere with AC.”

The major problem is that I keep finding myself tired, drained, unmotivated, unable to focus, generally in a bad mood… and all these things usually even after a good full night’s sleep. I think it’s time to face the facts and blame it on the heat.

Sure, the local fires blowing ash into our apartment each day may have something to do with it. It can’t be teribbly healthy for your living room to smell like a bonfire all the time.

I guess the reason I’m telling you all this is because I’ve been home by myself for about six hours this evening and the only productive thing I’ve managed to do has been taking a cold shower (and let’s be real: how productive was that really? because I’m already sweating again). What was I to do next but throw up my arms in defeat and blog, hoping that by writing about the heat taking over my life, I would kick it in the face and get my night back.