Sunday, July 29, 2012

a new chapter


Tomorrow is the first day of my new job, my first day ever working as a nurse.  So exciting, but kind of nerve wracking at the same time.  Last night, Jon and I had an unofficial date-night-in after Sam went to bed.  We talked about this exciting chapter in our lives that we are about to begin and the new adventures & challenges it might bring.  We cracked a bottle of champagne, slow danced in the living room {Coldplay, you always know how to get us}, and found ourselves reminiscing about the first time we met & falling in love.  It's amazing to think about how each decision and choice we've made has lead us to this moment.  Life may not always be easy, but it certainly is beautiful.

And I couldn't think of any better person to have by my side.
I love you, Jon.  Here's to the beginning of a new chapter!

Friday, July 27, 2012

a wedding

Last weekend we drove up to Seattle to celebrate the marriage of one of my best friends.  The wedding was perfect.  The weather, gorgeous.  The bride calm, relaxed & stunning.  And the reception, SO much fun.  Lots of good food, catching up with old college friends, dancing, dancing, & dancing.  Sam danced his little heart out, only stopping long enough to eat cake and gobble up jelly beans.  I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...


 Congrats to Margi & Travis!  Those two sure know how to throw a party!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the best chocolate chip cookies ever made


Chocolate chip cookies + peanut butter + oatmeal = the best chocolate chip cookies ever made

These cookies are one of my go-to treats whenever I'm in charge of providing a dessert.  So easy and so stinkin' good.  Sadly, I cannot claim any of the glory as I found this recipe on allrecipes.com last fall & have not changed one single ingredient. ever. {except to maybe add a few more chocolate chips, because as has always been known since the beginning of time: the more chocolate chips, the better}.  Anyway, these cookies ALWAYS get rave reviews.  I've had people ask me what my "secret" is.  I have no secrets, just a great recipe--that is now yours.

peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
{aka the best chocolate chip cookies ever made}

ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, wheat flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 7-8 minutes in the preheated oven.  These cookies don't "look done" quite like other cookies do, so you've got to just trust the 7-8 minute time frame & take them out to cool.  
 Enjoy!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

when you're a parent


When you're a parent, things change.  Your sleep pattern changes, your standard of clothing cleanliness decreases, your idea of a what makes a wild & crazy night suddenly becomes a whole lot less wild & crazy, and your special day becomes less about you and more about a smaller, cuter, someone else.  To the point that you rarely get to open your own presents {which may or may not be wrapped in leftover baby-shower gift bags that just keep on giving} and may actually find yourself having to open your present in the bathroom because mid-present-opening someone has to poop.

But the biggest change of all, is that you don't mind any of it one bit, and even if you had the choice, you'd never go back to the way things were before.  Not even for a million presents you could open all by yourself in a pleasing, aromatic environment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

a staycation in pictures

Jon's family flew in all the way from Nebraska to visit us for a whole week, which was filled to the brim with family, adventures, long car rides, bonfires, sand, food, and lots of catching up.















We sure miss you guys.

Monday, July 16, 2012

'workin woman' is my middle name


Big news... I got a job offer today!  An honest to goodness miracle for a new nurse in Oregon these days, and such a a huge blessing for my family.  We are so grateful, so relieved and so happy.  I've got a couple more weeks of summer freedom, then off to work for me! {And no, not that kind of a workin' woman, sickos!}  We celebrated by eating lunch at Costco, of course.  Because that's what high rollers do.

 A couple of weeks ago, I had a lot of thoughts running through my head and some big decisions to make.  I wrote out some of my rambling thoughts {below}, but never posted it.  I was just so torn on what to do.  But looking back on it now, I am at peace with my decision and am so thrilled by how well it works for my family.

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There are so many motivators in life.  Money, success, love, family, reputation, pleasure, the list goes on and on.  Oh, and pride.  That one too...

Remember this post from awhile back.  That was right about the time the bottom fell out of the nursing market here in Oregon.  And I've just been praying and praying ever since that I can get a job, any job, as a nurse.  Prior to that point in time I was so dead set on being a critical care nurse.  That was the only thing that would do.  I worked hard all throughout the five months of my preceptorship on a critical care unit, gaining valuable knowledge and experience, worked hard all throughout nursing school to earn good grades, and did my best to make connections.  But none of those things matter when the jobs just aren't there.  That was a humbling time.

Well things turned around a little bit for me on the job front last week.  An opportunity arose for a nursing job, a real life nursing job, and it's mine if I want it.  An answered prayer!  Not quite my *dream job*, but a wonderful option and a huge blessing nonetheless.

Then the next day, I got a call from one of the local hospitals about landing a follow-up interview on their Cardiovascular ICU.  My honest to goodness dream job.  I felt a rush of excitement and went ahead and scheduled the interview.  But once I calmed down and weighed the pros and cons, I knew that the logistics of this job {e.g. night shift, weekends, holidays, inconsistent schedule, not located by grandma to watch Sam} would be much more difficult on my family, requiring many more sacrifices of Jon, Sam, and myself.

Jon and I talked and talked and talked about it and decided that regardless of the outcome of my *dream job* interview, I should probably just accept the other position that is better for our family.  You see, in nursing you have the ability to reinvent yourself many times over the span of your career.  So, while I wouldn't be starting in my dream position, I could still slowly work my way into that position at a later point in time.  So that was the decision: a temporary personal sacrifice on my part for the betterment of my family as a whole.

I almost cancelled the interview with the CVCU.  But I didn't.  I went and interviewed, toured the facility, learned more about the position and felt the excitement bubbling up again.  I also learned that 200 people had applied for the position, only 6 got interviews, and only 1 will get a position
  1. This made me feel frickin' awesome.  {I beat out 194 other people for an interview??!  Who did I fool to get here??}
  2. I wanted the job offer. 
I wanted the job--but not really.  I already knew it wasn't the best option for my family.  So why did I want the job offer? 
Pride.  I wanted to know that I could have had it if I wanted it.  That even if I wasn't willing to accept this highly sought after position, it was still offered to me.  Isn't that silly?  I truly don't want it {atleast not more than the well being of my family}, but I want to say I could have had it.  Silly, I know.

I'll find out tomorrow if I get the *dream job* offer or not.  Truth is, even as much as I want to be the one to say "no", I'm praying I dont' get the offer.  Because while it might feel good to be able to puff out my chest and say "I coulda if I wanted to", actually saying "Thanks, but no thanks" might be nearly impossible.  Or just plain impossible.

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Update:  I thought I'd better clarify what ended up happening during the past couple of weeks since I initially wrote the above blurb.  The offer for the *dream job* went to a candidate with more experience than myself and the position I received the job offer on was the more 'family friendly' one.  Certainly made the decision a little easier :). 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

mama's boy


While I was away the other evening, Sam was missing his mama.

He told his daddy,
"I miss mommy so much.
I just want to see her...
She's so beautiful."

I'm not sure where this kid got his genius from, but boy oh boy, I think I'll keep him ;)

Monday, July 9, 2012

only a mother...

top & pants: Ross, shoes: Franco Sarto, purse: Vera Wang for Kohls, necklace: vintage, sunglasses: Michael Kors

  • would have the opportunity to wipe a poopy little bum that was being presented via downward dog while being serenaded with 'Kung Fu Fighting' by the owner of said bum.
  • would be okay with someone using her boob, bum, face, belly button, etc. as a "pillow"
  • would take delight in the response of "I know that" after telling her little guy how much she loves him
  • {or grandma--because they're really just the ultimate mom} would respond "Cool!" mid-bite while being told be a three year old how he knows that the pizza you're eating will turn into poop and that pop your drinking, well that will turn into pee.
  • could truly appreciate the talent in the off-key, monotone, more-like-yelling-than-actual-singing, three year old version of Adele's 'Set Fire to the Rain'.  "It's my favorite song," he says.
  • understands that "They hate me" in reference to his new flipflops actually means, "dear sweet mother, these fine shoes you have purchased me are quite aesthetically pleasing, but my little feet find them to be uncomfortable."
  • can comprehend the absolute, all encompassing, heart-melting-all-the way-down-to-my-toes, kinda love when tiny arms wrap around her neck.
  • should know better than to wear white pants around her dirt digging, raspberry eating,  leg hugging, little boy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

recycled glass hanging flower pots


So I have this slight obsession with glass jars.  Spaghetti sauce jars, baby food jars, peanut butter jars, doesn't make a difference to me.  I've been hoarding them for a while now & they even have their very own shelf in our kitchen {which Jon tolerates because he loves me} where they are patiently waiting for me to discover each one's special purpose.  Anyway, as we were planting our garden a few weeks ago, it hit me.  "I know my Ragu jars' special purpose".

I told Jon, and he was all, "you can't drill holes in glass".  and I was all, "why not?".
So we tried and it failed.
Then I hit up google.  And guess what?  You can drill holes in glass, you just need the right drill bit. a diamond drill bit {not as expensive as it sounds}.

A week later our drill bits arrived and I recruited Jon to drill the holes for me, but if you are Rosie the Riveter, you can just go ahead and drill them yourself.

I then headed outside and began planting.

They turned out just as I had pictured!  And I love that the dirt and roots are exposed--gives it a rustic charm.

And Sam, the worm hunter, approves too.
 
5 steps to DIY recycled glass hanging flower pots:
  • Step 1) Clean your jars.  Peel off the label, stick the jar in the dishwasher, and then use Goo-Gone to clean off the leftover label residue.
  • Step 2) Drill a single hole in the middle of the base so water can drain.  With the diamond bits, you need to keep the glass and the bit wet while drilling--Jon did this by submerging the jar in a bucket of water.
  • Step 3) Fill the glass halfway full with potting soil, place your plants in, fill the rest of the way with potting soil.
  • Step 4) Grab some thin wire {or rope}, cut to the desired length.  Take one end and tie it around the neck of the jar, making sure it is tight against the glass.  Take the other end, squeeze it between the glass and the wire that is already tied around the neck of the jar.  Push it through about one inch, then using pliers, bend the wire upward, creating a "U" shape.  Then twist the remaining portion of the 1 inch segment in order to secure it in place.
  • Step 5) Hang and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

bachelorette par-tay


 This weekend, I got to help celebrate the end of my good friend's bachelorette-hood before her wedding in just a few weeks!  On the agenda: attend a wine-tasting festival and enjoy a night out downtown with the girls. Unfortunately, I was being a lazy photographer that evening, so these pictures {which I pulled off my phone} are the only ones I have of the festivities.

The last set of pictures crack me up.  So much in fact, that all the laughing gave me a headache.  You see, the bride was teaching us our choreography for a little dance at the reception.  I sat out a round, just so I could snap these spectacular & high quality pics.

  We're still waiting to hear from Julliard about receiving our honorary degrees.

I do however have a confession to make.  There was a stripper.  We hadn't planned on one, but he just decided to surprise us with his naked bum.  You see, the girls swung by my house to pick me up and when the doorbell rang, a three year old who was in the bathtub at the time, decided he NEEDED to see who was there.  So he came clamoring out of the tub and running down the stairs.  I managed to throw his dolphin towel around him, but I guess it's difficult to say hi to your friends while wrapped in a dolphin towel, because once he got downstairs, he made the executive decision to lose the towel and say 'hello' in the buff.  You're welcome ladies.