Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Now boarding.

You know you are going somewhere awesome when everyone checking in around you is carrying a surfboard... And speaking in another language... And you have a layover in Panama City, Panama!... Surfers with foreign accents in tropical locations? Yes, please! Are we there yet?? See ya in a week, my lovelies!! =)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Liz, the soon-to-be: Mrs. Madaris

Meet Liz.
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Liz & I met Summer B (the semester before freshman year officially started) at UF... We had both enrolled in the same 2 classes (Sociology + psychology) and she quickly became the first friend I made in college when we spent the half hour in between our classes at Einstein Bagels sipping coffee + discovering all our freaky similarities.
We both thought Chad Michael Murray was the hottest man alive.
We both were only seventeen.
We both couldn't get enough of Jessie McCartney's Beautiful Soul.
We both had been raised by *amazing* moms.
We both were obsessed with Ashlee Simpson (her first cd and her show that premiered that summer).
We both had recently started dating our best guy friends' from high school... and were unsure about it.
We were both ?premed majors and Fall semester, we had chemistry together where we both had a huge crush on a kid in our CHEM1020 group.
Soon after, we both ditched our usual gym clothes attire and got fully ready (make-up AND outfit!) for our 8:10 AM class every Tuesday and Thursday
... and both our boyfriends noticed.
We told both of them... he's gay.
After that semester, we both changed our majors.
(And in case you're wondering, our chem partner actually went on to med school... and he's definitely straight... and he's still incredibly good looking... too bad Mr. K wasn't still single.) Source
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Throughout college, Liz & I remained close friends, meeting for TCBY every semester. No matter how much time lapsed between our froyo dates, we always picked up right where we left off! Not only is she super stylish and incredibly gorgeous, she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. An old soul, she is the wisest twenty-something I know and her idealistic realistic outlook on life is incredibly inspiring. Even now, when I stop in Nashville from time-to-time for dinner & drinks, we have conversations that could change the world... and make me forever thankful that I signed up for sociology & psychology the Summer of '04... because I made an incredible friend, forever.
Today she is marrying her best friend... the same best friend from high school she started dating seven years ago... the summer her & I met. They are perfect for each other. Jamie is a true gentleman and I couldn't dream of a more perfect match for the ever-lovely Liz! =)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FAIRYTALES DO EXIST.

Sometimes life & love IS EXACTLY like the movies.

... and THAT is why I do believe in fairytales. I do! I do! I do!

Monday, May 16, 2011

weekend skinny.

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A weekend off with nothing to do? What's a girl... who does not have sitting still in her genetic make-up... to do?
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How matchingly adorably cute are my roommates?!
Meg, Dave and I went for drinks Friday night at a saloon within walking distance from our house. Not expecting too much completely judging this waterhole by its outward appearance, you can imagine my delight when there was a {Scrabble!!} board on our booth's table!
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Scrabble after Connect4 after Chutes & Ladder after Trouble! game later, RedDog is hands down my favourite bar in S. Tampa!
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Saturday after a little thrifting and Chipolte with the roomz, I turned a lovely bunch of tuile in to an exciting gift for a sweet baby girl that will be arriving in August. Then I took a long hot bath, ate my weight in cookie dough and played Yahtzee via Skype with Kara in true wild-Saturday-night fashion!
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Sunday...sweet Sunday... was my favourite day! Miss Kate and her lovely mama, Rhonda came down to the Lowry Park Zoo and we spent all afternoon catching up and giggling and looking at all the fantastic animals!
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After the zoo, I sadly said good-bye and went for my long run Sunday. My mind has been running a mile a minute recently and my body felt the need to catch up with it last night! Coupled with my new Mizunos, Usher Pandora station and perfect, humidity-free weather at sunset I ran for forever and made a lot of little discoveries along the way...
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Not just these awesome stingrays that followed me along the bayshore but I discovered the cure for my abhorrence to all things Manitoba and I am super excited to come home for an entire 10 days this summer! Let go, much? =)

Friday, May 13, 2011

when life hands you lemons...

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give them to the adorable babe across the table so she can make sweet-as-lemonade sour faces at you! =)
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

seven sleeps.

seven sleeps until my world is filled of scrunch faces.
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seven sleeps until I am winning... at crib/yahtzee/skip-bo/scrabble tourneys with K.
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seven sleeps until I get to rub my bestie's growing prego belly.
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seven sleeps until the first friend I made SummerB of college will begin her music city wedding festivities.
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So much awesome will happen in seven days... how ever I am going to sleep?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

cinco de drinko & leopard print.

Cinco de Drinko

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MegDave live in a really awesome area filled with young professionals, Spanish culture and a lot of great bars/restaurants/happy hours! Last Thursday was Cinco de Mayo and since we both had the night off, Megan & I decided to channel our inner-Mexican and celebrated the 5th of May out in SoHo with the rest of the twenty-somethings of South Tampa!
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The beginning of the night did not look promising as I used a beer and sauce-seege to extract the swelling from my eyes while getting ready & the bouncer of the first bar asking "Are you gonna be alright?" but I was surrounded by good company and when Whipped Cream Flavored Vodka + Red Bull just so happened to be the drink special at Cheap!... I grew wings alright & the night turned out to be fabulously fun... and apparently, my camera captured the festivities exactly like I remember? it! Ole!
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

something borrowed.

(these photos were taken on my phone)
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Between weddings, working night shift, and me perpetually boarding a plane Megan & I have hardly had time to hang out in the three months I've lived with her in Tampa! A super short 3 weeks left, Meg & I are optimizing our last days as real roommates (although we'll always be roomies4life) by having little date nights just the two of us before I leave at the end of the month!
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Last night, we went to the Cinebistro for drinks, unlimited popcorn & to see the girliest chick flick out right now: Something Borrowed. I read this book sophomore year of college and was a tad bit excited that they made it a movie!
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The theatre was soo swirly with hardwood floors, leather chairs and a full bar/menu complete with wait staff to serve it to you! =) Watermelon mojito? Yes, please!
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Something Borrowed was super cute and followed the book so well... I can't wait for Something Blue!

And if I made a playlist after watching this movie, it would include the entire soundtrack starting with 1. Natasha Beddingfield - A Little Too Much ... because everybody hurts a little too much when they love and risk it all but I'd rather love just a little too much than not at all! =)

alfalfarella.

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As Reesey's hair grows long enough to fancy a bow in the front...
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... her hair has grown in to an untameable mohawk in the back!
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As much as it drives her mummy nuts, Auntie Awesome thinks its just Reese's natural way of channeling her inner rockstar at the ripe young age of 7.5 months old!
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Now if only we could weave in some feather extensions, she would be the hippest of all the little alfafarellas in the world! =)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

happy momma's day!!

Happy Momma's Day to all the yummy mummys in my life!
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Grams, Kara, Auntie Paulette, Auntie Linda, Jenn, Lori, Barb, Katie, Mamma Hallam and the soon-to-be momma, Jess! ... just to name a few!
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It was fabulous getting to see my own mum last weekend to celebrate Momma's Day a week early!
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It makes my heart happy to know that one day, some day I will get to join these elite group of women but in the mean time (Read: once I travel the world, accomplish all my life's goals + find a sperm donor)...
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I will be spending this Mother's Day getting my fill of motherhood in twelve hour increments mothering my tiny baby-patients!! =)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

nuts & bolts; mostly nuts.

Megan & I went to the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL playoff game tonight. We live an entire four miles from the St Pete Times Forum and tickets were only $20 so we would have been nuts if we didn't go! =) It was very exciting cheering on the Bolts (who are now 3-0 against the Washington Capitols in case anyone who reads my blog cares about hockey)... We made it in time to see the puck drop, I consumed churros & drank beer by the 24-ounces, no real fights broke out (thank goodness!), Megan ate pretzels & sipped cap'n + coke, AND the Bolts won... so we really couldn't ask for a better Tuesday night!

Monday, May 02, 2011

mean the world.

Three years ago today I walked across the stage of the University of Florida's College of Nursing and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. I knew I was beginning a career that would define a huge part of who I am... or as it was best said by my card reader, Linda:

You must work in humanities. It is your calling. You innately excel at your job because it is a reflection of who you are: kind, compassionate & incredibly sensitive to the needs of people around you. You have your passion figured out & that is half your life's work. What a remarkable gift!


Albeit challenging, stressful, frustrating & incredibly sad at times, I love my career. There is no other job in the world that offers the opportunity for an infinite amount of learning in a critical, face-paced environment! Where you can touch the lives of every client you come in contact with. Some shifts you spend rocking babies all day and other days you critically think so much that your head hurts and your heart is racing from adrenaline as you just saved a life for twelve hours straight. Everyday you make a difference + it. is. awesome.

There are days that I complain (I'm working on this!) about the patient assignments, the ignorance of doctors or the difficulty of parents because my job is incredibly hard but it is these struggles that make me a better nurse. I spent most of the last year feeling so defeated by socialized medicine + the hostile environment created by nursing unions I honestly wanted to quit my career most days. I had lost the passion that used to drive me to get up at 5:00am excited to go to work on my days off to learn something new or stay over for 20 hour shifts or participate in committee work but now that I am back in an exciting environment where I know the babies are receiving the absolute best care possible, the fire has reignited inside me! I absolutely cannot wait to start grad school in June and take on an advanced role in saving lives of the most fragile patient population!!
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I experienced my favourite part of the job the other night. I came on shift to a micropreemie who had been too unstable for the new mama to hold. She had just carried this baby with her everywhere for 7 months and I could tell by the look of exhaustion in her eyes and sound of helplessness in her voice that she was feeling the stress that having a baby in the NICU places on parents, especially when touching the baby is overstimulating. While the baby had a bunch of lines/tubes/wires/bili lights/breathing machines, the babe had been pretty stable and would be okay if he wasn't under the lights for a few minutes. I carefully secured every wire & tube, swaddled the baby in warmed blankets & put on the smallest hat which was still too big and asked the mama if she wanted to hold her baby. She immediately sprung out of her seat and her eyes filled with tears and said, "That would mean the world to me." I fought back tears as I took pictures for them and they repeatedly thanked me. It was a fabulous night at work & their appreciation was a little confirmation for me as to why I do what I do.
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Second part of this story: A few days later, I was logging out at the nurse's station when the charge nurse (who was sitting on the other side) asked me what kind of shoes I wore. I thought I was going to be in trouble because of a snide remark (nurses' are snarky. point blank.) made about the professionalism of my shoes? so I shyly said, "umm... converse..." Much to my relief, she flashed a huge smile and said, "I knew it had to be you! A mom called the other day raving about how much she loved the nurse she had the other night but couldn't remember her name. She said you wore Chuck Taylors, had a really soft voice and smiled a lot!" Melted my heart to hear this... Confirmation #2! I guess I'm not known as "the traveler who always wore a braid", after all but I'll take "the nurse who wore Chuck Taylors, had a really soft voice and smiled a lot!" any day! =)

Super excited for the next three thirty years of my career in nursing!!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

on the seventh day, she swOOned.

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While I have discovered many new favourite things this past week {Kate Middleton's wedding dress, Pinterest (thank you, Rachel!), coconut water, feather hair extensions (thank you, Steve Tyler!)... just to name a few!} I'm swooning most this Sunday over all the little {self} discoveries I have made in Tennessee this weekend...
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I love how much summer is in the air! The farmers' markets are setting up shop. The patios are coming to life. Freezies are being consumed & my feet are swOOnheart happy in my new jellies when that not-quite-yet-summer-breeze breathes through them.
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My summer calendar is filling up with swOOndates. Road trips. San Francisco. Hospital orientation. Weekends in Vegas. Birthday parties. Roommate reunions. San Diego. Weddings. Start of semesters. Boston. Arrivals of new additions. Possibly even a homecoming will be thrown in the mix. This summer is going to be tres swOonworthy & I can't hardly wait!
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I'm loving how much this beautiful little lady adds so much joy to my life... & has brought my (at times) almost estranged family, closer together...for the first time in ever at least a decade ... to gush over her adorableness + admire her beauty. With each sugary sweet scrunch face smile, she's teaching us to love one another, unconditionally. With each gentle embrace, she's reminding us to hold tight to the ones you love. With each new milestone, she shows us that life is too precious to miss a single moment; you just have to be present to appreciate them. She is our {restored} common bond. It's a different dynamic... but it's a good different; a swOOn different.
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One of the many things I have realized recently about the necessities to my internal happiness is I must be in close proximity to the people who mean the absolute most. It meant the world to me for Jess to spend the day with me today! + her 25-week-along belly... swoon! =)
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.... And lastly, I love that I get to start this week off with one more full day with my lovelies & a play-off hockey game on Tuesday....
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Happy 1st day of May! Life is in full bloom! =)
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