Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A new beginning, again???


What's your "purpose" in life?  I've asked myself that question a million times, it seems, and I'm still not able to answer it with certainty.  I tell patients all the time "my job is being a mom, but my career is being a RN".  Are those two things my purpose?  Is there something else I'm to do with my time on this rolling ball of crazy??  Who knows, right.  I guess when I meet the man when it's all over, we can chat about it.

Until then... my purpose is to find my purpose!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All Souls signing

Well, today is the day... I get to meet "my friend Deb", you know the one that writes amazing books, the one that I chat with online.  Yeap - I'm a total nut case over this lady.  Anyway...  As many of you know, I was never a big reader - like ever.  I hated all things to do with reading.  The smell of books, the time wasted, the subject, the blah blah blah.  I couldn't read a People magazine without falling asleep.  The year I turned 35 I made a choice to TRY reading, because it was the adult thing to do.  How could I force it on my kids for school when I didn't do it myself?  Up until that point in my life, I had only read a few handfuls of books - Harry Potter, Twilight, a few biographies and other books.   I struggled, taking a month to read the tiniest of books (Harry Potter #1).  I kept at it though... reading different genres, searching for "the one" that made some impact on my soul.  It was on the recommendation of a friend, Corissa, that I read a book called A Discovery of Witches.  Something about the blurb had me very curious.  So, I got it from the library.  March 24, 2012 came & I read it in two days... in those two days something clicked, something finally made sense.  I wanted MORE.  I wanted to read!  I had finally found the love of the written word and it was magical.  I've read hundreds of books since then and have hundreds waiting for me to give them their turn.  Soooo....two years have past and her trilogy read, I get to meet the lady that changed my world - Deborah Harkness.  She helped open my heart and eyes to the beauty of books.  Without her, I wouldn't have found Christian or Gideon.  Liz Talley's brilliance, my most beloved BDB, the amazing Jamie Fraser, series after series, new characters and their stories...the list goes on and one and it's never ending.   I'm so grateful to Rick for getting me my first Kindle and for giving me this most amazing opportunity!  I have been like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning these last few days... Off to Scottsdale I go, with my books in hand.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

Finally one that is easy!  Church songs...

The Lord's Prayer, On Eagle's Wings or Ave Maria, when done RIGHT, will, and on several occasions has, bring me to tears.  I remember at my cousin Tammie's wedding tearing up when The Lord's Prayer was sung - my mom thought something was wrong.  The woman singing sounded like an angel - I know it sounds corny, but man, it was so beautiful tears just flowed.  I had my friends sing at our wedding and had them sing Ave Maria at the church just so I'd be able to really hear it.  They did a magnificent job and I cried.

Defying Gravity got me too when we saw Wicked.  It was powerful - lyrics & emotion smashed together with a great performer.  Awesome.  I was so captivated by that one song I came home and YouTube Idina Menzel's version and listened to it over and over again.

I think there would be more if I took the time to really listen to some songs.

Day 15: A song that represents something significant

There's always the moment in your life when you realize "this is gonna stay with me forever".  We've all had them and will, hopefully, spend our entire life having them.  Whether it's good, bad, happy, sad, scary, silly - every emotion is tied to something.  I think like is a great musical - always changing pace and keeping us surprised at what may be coming next.  I love it...I love that when I hear anything from Journey, I think about all the time I spent with my cousin Christine.  Pearl Jam, ex-boyfriend.  On Eagle's Wing - funeral, Keeper of the Star - wedding day, Hero - high school graduation, Sound of Music - driving back and forth to college with my friend Phoebe.  The list can go on and one.  A life without "the song" is, I'd imagine, a boring life. I want my life's soundtrack to be HUGE and so diverse.  Why not, right?  Hearing the same song over and over will pretty damn boring and I'm far from that.

Day 12: Something I find interesting...

Well, that's a VERY difficult one to answer.  I guess it's because there's no easy way to decide what to decide on.  Ha.

I'll keep it as basic as possible.... toilet paper.  I find it interesting that there are so many kinds of it and that it can be used for so many different things.  Even more so, I find it interesting that there is a "man" and a "woman" way to use it.  Weird eh?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 11: Photo that makes me ANGRY/SAD

I don't think I'll ever be able to put into words the emotions I felt walking the grounds of Auschwitz/Birkenau.  It's one of those places that ever single human being should be required to go to at some point in their lives.  For me, I'm glad I went and hope I never have to go back again.

Day 10: Me, recently

Enjoying another great European beer in Krakow, Poland.

But, this was even more enjoyable... after searching DAYS for one...

Day 9: ME - ten years ago

Since the mainstream use of digital cameras, it's hard to find "old" pictures without having to sort through a gazillion photo albums, so this picture is from 2004, nine years ago.  If I remember correctly, this is from our month long road trip and this particular stop was in one of our favorite places - Knoxville, TN.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 3: Book - REVISED!!!!

Sometimes, something happens in your life that changes everything.  For some, it's getting married to their best friend, having their children, taking that trip they've always dreamed of.  I waited almost 35 years for my "Ah ha moment".

I really hated to read until last May, like with a passion.  My original post regarding this topic was back in April of 2010 and oh how things have changed since then.  Before May of 2012 I had read a dozen or so books in my adult life.  I remember reading the first Harry Potter book thinking "this is so painful" and it took so long to read it - close to a month.  My first "I LOVE THIS BOOK" was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I read it for the first time, and several more times since, at the beginning of last year after a few friends of mine had recommended it to me.  It's a beast of a book, like 600 pages, and when I got it from the library I never thought I'd get through it.  But I had read all the Twilight books and Harry Potter books by then so I knew, eventually, I would get it done.  To my surprise, it only take a few days and those were the most magical days!  I loved every single page of that book.  Something awoke in me when I finished it.  My "ah ha" moment was just around the corner...waiting patiently in all it's shades of grey!

For Mother's Day last year, after seeing me trying out this reading thing a little more and getting a few books on his Kindle, Rick thought it might be a great idea to get me my own Kindle and the new "Must Read" book out at the time.  Boy, he's never gotten me a better gift..

THANK YOU SWEET BABY J for the creation of the Kindle and even more thanks to EL James for giving us Christen Grey!!!!  Yeap, you guessed it, the Shades of Grey series gave me my "ah ha" moment.   I found my love for the written word and I'll never look back.  I devoured that series - twice in one week.  No you didn't see that wrong - twice in one week.  Since then I've read more than 150 books, 46 since January of this year.  Something else happened with the SOG series. I realized at it's completion, that I'm a big fan of the series.  I love series - really long, complicated and involved series.  I love the continuation of the story, the fact that it's not over just yet, that the characters still have a journey to make and story to tell.  And when it's done, it's like eating the biggest bowl of your favorite ice cream and lots of it!  Heaven.

In addition to getting my Kindle, I also joined a Facebook group started by a friend of mine from high school, Karla.  Boudreaux's Bookworms is a book club/group, a little happy place, for us gals to go to and talk about the books we are reading, have read or want to read.  It's an open forum and there are no rules.  We all have different likes and dislikes, but the one thing we have in common is that we all enjoy reading.  I've found some of the most interesting reads from these ladies.  They are my "go to"... well, them and Goodreads, for which I couldn't function without.  Some great things have come from this group too.  One of the members is also an author and a contributing writer on another blog called the "Ruby Slippered Sisterhood" (RSS).  Because of one of the threads that started on Bookworms - "Why do you love to read?", Liz wanted to feature us on this blog.  That was an exciting time for us all.  We got to "talk" with other writers and give feedback/answer questions.  I've read many of Liz's books as well as a several of the other RSS and loved them all.

Why do I love to read now?  That's simple...here's how I answered it on Bookworms:
"... reading allows me to travel to foreign worlds, smell exotic fragrances, taste exquisite foods, wear stunning clothes, and explore the unimaginable. We journey with some of the most amazing people and experience things that words can only attempt to describe. We get swept away with love and passion, danger and fear. I love meeting these new people and embrace the excitement and imagination they spark in me. I can’t wait to read the next story and go on the next journey… I love hearing the music that plays in my head when I read. And… I love that I can carry my favorites around with me – our beloved Matthew, Jericho, Gideon, Dufrene brothers, Reyes, Wallbanger, and on and on. But honestly, I read for a selfish reason – it’s MY time. It’s my break from my reality, my quiet time, my time to escape. And I love sharing my new finds with others that love to read. Thank you Christian Grey for turning me into a reader and for wanting more! Since May of last year, I’ve logged hundreds of hours on over 120 books".  

So my question for you is, why do you love to read???

Being a Nurse

Most people decide at a very young age what they "want" to be when they grow up - I don't think I was one of those people.  I'm not sure when being a nurse came to mind... guess it just kinda happened one day.  Hmmm, when was that???

My journey to being the big "RN" was one that went off the road a few times.  I graduated from high school in 1994 and went to college at Southeastern Louisiana University majoring in nursing.  I loved my time there - met some amazing people, experienced all things college and learned a few life's lessons.  I also met Rick during that time.  Well into my time at SLU, I realized that I would have to wait 2.5 years, yes years, before getting into the clinical part of the nursing program.  What???  During Fall break a friend of mine asked me "What would you want to do/be if you couldn't be a nurse?".  I'd never really thought about it to be honest, I still don't think I could answer that question if asked it again now.  Tossing around a few ideas, I decided on Interior Design.  Again, not really sure why, but that's what it ended up being.  *shrug shoulders*.   I took the Spring '97 semester off and worked at one of the local chemical plants as a receptionist before heading down the next fork in the road.  Now this is where things get interesting.  Not wanting to go to LSU I opted to move to Houston and attend the Art Institute.  So off I went...my first apartment, all by myself in a city of millions.  I was scared shitless, but determined to do it and be successful at it, and I was.  I graduated with honors and got a job right away with an amazing Architectural firm in Houston.  I began my professional career with the Interior Architecture, and eventually Healthcare teams at Kirksey.  There are no words to describe that experience.  It was amazing and I helped create some great spaces for our clients.  Making myself at home with them was easy - I was welcomed with open arms and there was an abundance of talent and knowledge surrounding me every day.  The people I worked with became my family and I became an adult in the real world with them.  The friendships I made will be forever lasting in my mind (that is if dementia doesn't steal them away).  I learned so many things in my short time with Kirksey and I never intended to leave there.  It saddened my beyond comprehension to leave them and part of me still misses the people and work I did.  I will always regret leaving, but alas, like they say, all good things must come to an end.  The departure from Houston had me arriving in the Sonoran Desert/Tucson.  I moved here in September 2000.  Rick and I were at a point in our relationship where one of us had to make that big sacrifice, give up what we loved doing, and move.  I pulled the short straw on that deal.  Jumping into my job here was not as easy as it was in Houston. Working at a branch location of an internationally known firm, HDR was now my home. It was a decent size (40 people or so), but I was the only Interiors person and only one of 6 professional women in the firm I worked at.  The others were architects or engineer.  Not good... Needless to say my time, although some was great, with HDR was short lived.  I no longer felt creative and my passion for interiors was fading thanks to the environment I was in.

So... back to nursing!  I started taking classes again while still with HDR, but  in January 2004, when Sydney was only 8 months old, I started clinicals and never looked back.  Nursing school saved my sanity, forged great friendships, and gave me happiness again.  I had found my purpose.  YEAH!  I graduated in December 2006, took some time off to recharge, hang out with the little person in my life and wait to see where the job hunt would end up.

Even on my worst day, after 12+ hours of walking the unit, rarely being able to eat or pee, it's worth it in the end.  I take them all to heart - the crazy ones, the demented ones, the sad, scared and broken ones... being puked/pooped/bleed on.  I love it and I love what I do.  I'd never be something other than a surgical RN - drains, tubes, fluids, smells, sounds.  Bring it on!!!  Happy Nurses Week to you all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

California Fun - 2011

Last Spring, we went to California for two weeks.  My parents came along for the road trip too. We loaded up a minivan and set out for a journey of the unknown, well only kinda unknown. It was a great trip!  It rained most of the days, was cold many of the days, fun all of the days.  We saw tons of great things and made even more lasting memories.  There were over 5,000 pictures taken of this little vacation, so making a photo album was a little overwhelming.  What should vs. shouldn't be in it took days to figure out - trying my patience and testing my creativity along the way.  I think the finished product is a good overview of the trip.  Enjoy...
Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | Start your own Photo Books | Create custom Christmas Cards

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 8: Photo I've taken

My favorite house in San Francisco

A wall on Alcatraz Island - I loved all the different textures of the vegetation.

Aurora's Castle (Sleeping Beauty for you Disney-challenged).  

I've always loved tulips and this one was just perfect.... 

How cute???

I love taking pictures of "stuff".  One of these days, I hope to get really good at it.

Day 7: Photo that makes me HaPpY

What can I say.... I LOVE my family!  Our motley crew makes me laugh, cry, hope and dream!  I can't wait to move closer to them and watch my kids grow up with Heather's 3 and my parent's.  

It's Time.... to get back on the blogging wagon!!!

It's been a really long time since I sat and blogged.  I used to do it fairly often, but then Facebook took over - damn you.  So, looking back, I need to catch up on my 30 days of Me, which shouldn't take very long and to catch up on life.

So.... what is it you want to know???

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 6: Food

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM..... food!  What can I say - I love to eat!  I'm all about carbs/starch.  Give me bread, pasta, potatoes... and a lot of them.

Breakfast is the BEST meal of the day.  I could eat it everyday, all day.  And not just a piece of toast and an egg... I want BIG BREAKFAST!  Eggs, bacon, ham, toast, pancakes, omelets, grits... you name it!

Lunch/Dinner - I'm impartial to.  I eat when I feel like it, but never really into it like I am with breakfast.  I love a good steak.  Fond of really good Mexican & Chinese food.  Most Italian dishes.

My list of "Dislikes" is overwhelming to say the least - for others... for me, it is what it is.  A lot of it has to do with texture vs. taste.
Onions - little ones are ok, but never chunk
Shrooms - anything that can grow in cow shit, not my thing
Nuts IN food - gross, just shouldn't be allowed
strange cheese - nope
Mint anything... makes me sneeze and frankly, don't think it's tasty.
odd looking things... not going there
things that smell like shit - typically, in my mind, will taste like it too
jellied things - gross
fruit in foods - shouldn't be done either, especially in cakes
not big on fruits or veggies - will eat most berries, most melons, carrots, green beans, lima beans, corn, broccoli, cucumbers
I make things that I don't dare eat - I love to cook for others.
Not big on fancy, over the top presentation either.  Don't see the point.
Not big on snacks either.  I like the occasional chip or pretzal.

My favorite dessert = yellow cake with chocolate icing.  Wedding cake with buttercream icing.  Gummy Bears!

I know... I'm strange, but you love me anyway!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 4: TV Show

Now this is a good one... I'll break it down by age!

Late 70's-80's: I couldn't wait for the USA Cartoon Express on Saturday mornings. Add to that LOOOOOOONG list Jem, She-Ra, Monchichi's... the list could go on and on. I remember watching Charles in Charge, Different Strokes, Facts of Life and the one with Gary Coleman. I alway loved watching Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing and Dynasty with my mom. I think Falcon Crest was my fav. And who can forget the Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, 3's Company, Golden Girls, Designing Women, and Growing Pains.

90's: ER and Friends, Quantum Leap, Rosanne, China Beach and Tour of Duty, Melrose Place, 90210, Beavis and Butthead, Ally McBeal, Ab. Fab., Mad About You and Will & Grace and the West Wing! Just about anything... I spent a lot of time in front of the TV, like most people my age.

00's: I've not been too happy with the introduction of "Reality TV" because there's nothing really real about them. However, with that said, I watched/watch the Osbourne's, Jackass & Dancing with the Stars, Say Yes to the Dress, J&K+8, Cake Boss, Deadliest Catch... think that wraps up my reality show lineup. Ms. Bristow made her appearance in Alias, we said goodbye to our Friends, welcomed a new batch of interns @ Grey's Anatomy which gave birth to a Private Practice. We tried House, Heroes and got really lost with Lost. The housewives got very desperate. And Rick Castle has become my new Monday night love. Wonder what's coming up next????

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 2: Movie

This one is actually pretty easy for me...

One word - AUDREY!
My ALL TIME FAVORITE.... My Fair Lady! Closely followed by Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sabrina (1954 & 1995 versions) & Roman Holiday

Two words - John Hughes, the genius behind such greats as:
Mr. Mom, 16 Candles, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, She's Having a Baby, The Great Outdoors, Uncle Buck and Home Alone!!!

Three Words: The American President. Rick and I really love this movie. Annette Bening's character, Sydney Ellen Wade, was one of two (other being Sydney Bristow on Alias) reasons why Sydney was named Sydney. She's a strong, independent, assertive, aggressive, loving, dynamic, driven, and outspoken woman. All traits we hoped our daughter would some how manage to find in herself. I think we are well on that path.

Movies are magical. They allow you to "go to places far away" and that is awesome! I love epic movies with amazing photography. There's nothing that fascinates me more that seeing period pieces, architecturally overloaded pieces, lots of action, over-the-top costuming and make-up, memory making soundtracks and scores. Jam packed with details, lots and lots of details - the kind you miss the 1st thru 10th time seeing the movie only to be surprised when they finally catch your eye on time 11 thru 50.

Did I mention I can't stand 3-D movies!!!! And even worse, remaking of already great movies... just shouldn't be done. Or re-releasing on the 10th, 25th, etc anniversary. I mean really, how many times are they going to release Grease.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 3: Book

I'm embarrassed to say this.... I don't read. I read my first book only a few years ago. I know "GASP". I realized that as an adult, I should be reading. Everybody reads, or at least should. Much like a good movie, a good book can bring your mind to all kinds of fun, fabulous places. My first book was Lance Armstrong's first book, It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. It was a good book. But then again, I had nothing to really compare it too. My next book was required reading for me. For so many reasons I NEEDED to read this book and it was worth every single terrifyingly difficult turn of the page. Reading Down Came the Rain, I think, finished my healing from PPD. I saw myself on many, many - too many- of the pages. But what made me happier, none the less, was that I didn't see myself on some! It brought a new hope into my life. I realized that I liked reading these kinds of books. I was curious if I would feel the same about other styles. I then tried Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and Memoirs of a Geisha. Couldn't really get into either of those. Then a magical little boy came into my life. Not Ryan, but a wizard named Harry. I LOVE the Harry Potter books. They are fantastic. I know... they are kid books, but I really enjoy reading them. I'll move on to something more age appropriate in time, just not sure when.

Next up: TV Shows!

Day 1: Song

Hmmm... this is a really hard one. Honestly, I don't think there is just one out there. With all the great stuff out, who can honestly say "______ is my all time favorite song" or "_____ is the best song ever recorded"?

However, with that said, I have favorites in many genre. You know, the ones that evoke that emotion or memory every single time you hear it. Those are my favorites...
  • I've, literally, been moved to tears by The Lord's Prayer and Ave Maria
  • I like just about anything from the 80's (who doesn't, right)
  • Pearl Jam's "Ten" CD. Evenflow is my fav.
  • Journey - Greatest Hits CD is the BEST, for obvious reasons
  • Sound of Music, King & I and Moulin Rouge soundtracks
  • All Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff - Phantom, Cats, Evita are on the top
  • Anything by John Rutter. Had the pleasure of singing Requiem & Magnificat in high school and they still put me in the best mental place possible. My choir director thought it beneath us to sing anything other than college level stuff. We even did the full Messiah a few times... talk about a long performance. She helped open my eyes to "beautiful music".
  • George Strait, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Faith Hill
  • I like Pink, Melissa Etheridge
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Big Hair Bands from the late 80's- early 90's
  • The Motown Sound - Temptations, Commodores, etc.
  • Pat Benatar is a powerhouse
  • Impressed with Ms. Taylor Swift
  • Rick will kill me for this one, but Barbra Streisand... wow...
  • I think singer/songwriters like the BeeGees, Dolly Parton, Carole King are genius
  • John Williams - the man scores the BEST movies. How can you not think of Jaws without "dun num, dun num"....?
  • Anything with a driving bass line or drum beat. Strong, diverse and powerful vocals
This could just go on and on... I guess I should have said what I don't like, that would have been so much easier!
  • Rap... some I can handle
  • What's "in" right now on the Pop stage
  • Punk
  • HEAVY metal
See. That was much easier. I love music - it's fantastic!

A Month of Holly

Due to a general lack of creativity at this time, I want to start a little program I saw on Nancee's SIL's blog to help give me something to post here besides absolutely NOTHING...

It's to inspire me to blog something everyday for a month. The subject: me.

This is how it goes:
Day 01 → Your favorite song
Day 02 → Your favorite movie
Day 03 → Your favorite book
Day 04 → Your favorite television show
Day 05 → Your favorite quote
Day 06 → Your favorite food
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 → A photo you took
Day 09 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 10 → A photo of you taken recently
Day 11 →
A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 12 → Something you find interesting
Day 13 → A fictional book
Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Day 15 → A song that represents something significant
Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 → A hero
Day 19 → A talent of yours
Day 20 → A hobby of yours
Day 21 → A recipe
Day 22 → A website
Day 23 → A YouTube video
Day 24 → A passion
Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
Day 26 → Your month, in great detail
Day 27 → A hope
Day 28 → A dream
Day 29 → A goal
Day 30 → Something you've learned about yourself in the past month

Should be an interesting adventure for me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sydney's School Music Program

There was a music program at Sydney's school on March 4th for the 1st graders. She practiced so much the days up to it...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

YES... I will!

So many things have been going on here and I think it's time to start sharing it all with everyone again.

Ryan & I took a walk with Nancee and Erica this morning. The weather is so amazing right now - cloudless sky, cool breeze and bright sun all make for a really enjoyable walk. I love the sound of all the trees rustling in the wind and the occasional wind chime. It's starting to feel like fall is on its way, even with the still 90+ degree days. I'm trying to get the house all cleaned and ready for Mom's visit. Although with the weather this nice it's making me want to do a "Fall Cleaning".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Have I lost it???

Interest in updating the blog gone.... I think, maybe? Should I get back to it... I think, maybe???

Monday, June 1, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Graduate!

Our Graduate!

with Mrs. Stonehouse - her Parapro (teacher's assistant)

with Mrs. DeMarco - the BEST teacher ever.

Katlyn, fellow GS. Sage will be in the same class for 1st grade next year.

They sang this song at the beginning of the ceremony. Didn't know it was going to happen, that's why I missed the first few seconds of it.