Thursday, September 29, 2011

organic oxygen bar.

In my spare time, I move mountains. 
I took a little break this afternoon from the insane week I'm having that hasn't provided much opportunity for sleep as I flip flop between day shift and night shift, work a few twelves, a random eight, one long sixteen, attend classes, work on group projects, watch lectures, write important dates in my planner, make a lot of professional phone calls re: my future... and went to the one place I've been dying to go where I would have no cell service and no internet access: Mount Rainier.  
 Heather and I went on a strenuous three mile hike down to the most serene lake. Seriously, if you stared straight down in to the emerald water, you couldn't even see that it was there; it was so clear!
The forest was incredibly quiet and peaceful and the wafts of alpine made me super excited for Christmas.

How professional does she look? I kept complimenting her on all her awesome hiking gear. Her response: If you are going to marry a {metro} mountain man, you should probably invest in proper hiking attire. 
The view from the top was absolutely stunning as the sunset painted the sky pastel colours behind the massive Cascades. It was exactly what I needed mid-week to STOP + clarify my mind.  
Akin to an organic oxygen bar, all that pure air has me feeling immensely refreshed and ready to take on the second half of this long stretch of go, go, go. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

{official} first day of school.

Today was the official start of {grad} school at the Dub & because my mum was not in Seattle to ask me how my first day of school was when I got home this evening, I thought I'd tell her about it via me blog... This message goes out to New Mexico. 

Well Ma, 
I put on navy tights under my favourite Fall dress from H&M, strapped up those awesome brown boots I stole from Kara and headed out the door early this morning to attend the school of nursing orientation. I took advantage of the free coffee provided, sat in a huge auditorium with fellow peers, made a new friend and took notes all day long about all the little details of the HUGE commitment I have made for the next six quarters, eighteen months, 1.5 years... I had a meeting this afternoon with the program coordinator and started dreaming of all the different places this adventure could potentially take me... San Diego, Alaska, Honolulu... seriously? I picked the right program, fo' real.  
Afterwards, I ventured around campus, earbuds blaring Lady Antebellum {if my heart could write songs, it would have written their new album over this past year. Especially this song. & this one. I digress...} taking in the atmosphere filled with excitement as the 40,000+ undergraduates started their new semesters. My, how I wish I could go back to my freshman year. Those were the glory days, for certain. 
UW's campus is incredible, though. There's so much history engrained in the cobblestone that was laid 150 years ago. The trees are massive and their canopy of leaves protected me perfectly from the rainy weather that has replaced my sweet sunshine. The ancient buildings make me feel like I'm wandering around the set of a Harry Potter movie. It's amazing.   
Wish me luck balancing work + school full-time this semester; I can still procrastinate like its nobody's business. Did I mention it is the #1 nursing school in the country? If vested interest in meeting the individual needs of their students has anything to do with the rating, I understand why they're at the top. Is it weird that my professors feel more like friends after just the first day? 
I think I'm really going to love it here... but if you could come visit me and pack my tin lunchbox full of Surfer Cooler Capri Suns, Fruit by the Foots and Oatmeal Cream Pies like you did in elementary school, I'd really love it! 
I know you said yesterday that me growing up is making you old but don't worry, I'll always be your little girl at heart, the one who swears ham sandwiches taste better when you make them.
Love, Squirt {future NNP}

Monday, September 26, 2011

much-to-celebrate-monday: me.

Today is my twenty-fifth birthday and as sure as I am that numerous posts in the near future will be permeated with the thread of something along the lines of "holy effing ish, i'm a quarter century old! Cue quarter-life crisis!"... today I am going to stay present, soak up this beautiful moment of turning another year wiser and relish in all the sweet birthday love I have been receiving since 12:00 a.m. EST. from everyone everfabulous who has ever graced a chapter of my life! There are delectable cupcakes to be eaten {thank you, Heather!}. There is rainy weather perfect for wearing my Wellies and my new sweater, a birthday present from Grams! {She is Brazil at the moment so you can imagine my surprise when I received a text from her & Auntie Paul from below the equator this morning wishing me a lovely day!!} There are perfect gifts arriving with my name written all over them {thank you, Carly!} There is fondue for two to be consumed with my bi-weekly bestie, Sammi! And oh. my. word. There is happiness radiating from every essence of my being. At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, today I am celebrating YOU ALL for making me feel so special... today and everyday!  Much-love-to-y'all on this fabulous loveyolife celebratory Monday!! Now if you will excuse me, there is wine to be drank, good conversations to be had, candles to be blown out and wishes to be made. Go getcha some!      

Friday, September 23, 2011

an autumnesque afternoon + thoughts on Fall.

Today is the first day of Fall and while I have been in complete denial... soaking up every drop of sunshine in this 75 degree weather... that this summer will eventually come to an end, today I woke up (back on the West Coast) with a sudden change of heart regarding the change of seasons. I have had the absolute greatest summer but as the days are getting shorter, the nights getting cooler and the air getting crisper, I am suddenly {re}aware of just how much I love Autumn and all the turning-over-a-new-leaf-ness that accompanies the welcoming of Fall.  
I love change. I live for change. And Fall brings the best kinds of change. The change of weather. The change of wardrobe. The change of routine. The change of pace as life adds a little more responsibility and a little less free time... with the beginning of Autumn quarter and the sun setting earlier + earlier.  
I work the next three nights. My birthday is on Monday. Graduate school starts on Tuesday. My renewed contract begins on Wednesday. I work a day shift on Thursday... {my reward to myself if I survive is a little Keith Urban when I get off that night!} =) I will be certified to insert PICC lines on Friday... and then I will work the 3 nights after that before flying back to Tennessee for a little leaf-turning "Welcome Fall!" extravaganza with Kara, Grams and Reesey!  Fall forward, baby.
The long, hot days of summer may be coming to an end but I'm finally getting in to the swing of Autumn, embracing the fabulous Fall changes ahead. I'm ready for the wooly feel of boots/hoodies/scarves, the scent/taste of pumpkin spice/cinnamon wreaths, the sound of crunching of leaves and looking forward to the official start to grad school this week.  Happy Fall, y'all! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

baby bird turns one.

Wishing you a kazillion cuddles topped with extra sweet eskimo kisses. 
Love you to the moon. -Auntie Awesome

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a little slice of heaven.

This week is filled with all kinds of reesey goodness as we celebrate the first year of her life spending these final days of summer swinging in swings at the park, petting the animals at the zoo and splashing in the water at her favourite splash pad.  
Baby Girl turns one tomorrow and while there is a part of me that wishes I could freeze time and hold on to her little hand for forever, it has been a very exciting week watching her take her first steps without the helping hand of anyone.  
 And although my most cherished memories with her this past year were spent in her glider watching those bright blue eyes get heavy as she drifts off to sleep, she now falls to sleep all her own and I find myself savouring the moments right before she goes to sleep-- splashing in the tub a little longer, rubbing a little bit more lavender lotion on her little rolls, combing each one of her fine {albeit unruly} strands of hair a little slower.
 Nearly one-year-old, she's less + less a baby and more + more, a little girl... She takes her shirt off by herself. And sits up all by herself in the big girl tub. And babbles her own story as she reads books to you. It has been a little slice of heaven being greeted with the sweetest little "hi!" every time I enter the room. And see her clap along to "pat-a-cake". And drink from a sippy cup.

She is growing up too quickly as babies {bittersweetly} inevitably do. Her hair is long enough to form the cutest curls at the ends. Her belly laughs should be bottled up. & while she has started to look more and more like a little girl, I still see those precious lips and button nose from when she was newly born.
She sure is some kind-of-wonderful; the little slice of heaven kind.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

just that.

Sunday marked the ten year anniversary of 9/11. I read on blogs and facebook throughout the day where people were and what they remember about this day, a decade ago... and looking back, I'm unnervingly surprised by what very little I remember about my own life-altering experience that was Nine/Eleven. I revisit this day nearly every day... in the back of my mind where the decisions are made that defy the odds... as the shards of debris are continually unburied, processed and let go of... it's incredibly strange that a lover of details like me cannot remember a single specific about 9.11.01.

While I hardly ever talk about today in the ten-years-ago sense, it has been a weight I have carried heavy on my heart for awhile. Through a long process of forgiveness, I have finally reached a point in my life where I am able to let it go... and categorize it in past tense because that's exactly what it is: in the past. And while I have always refused to let today define me, it has undeniably shaped me in to the person I am... and the person I am very much so striving to be... and I have learned to embrace it.

What I do remember. I remember I was two weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday. I do not remember getting ready for school that morning but I remember being in medical academy class (second period) when our teacher turned on the T.V. and the local news kept flashing back-and-forth between clips of the bellowing smoke of the first tower of the W.T.C. "A plane has flown in to the World Trade Center" and the president, who was at an elementary school 45 minutes North of my hometown, reading books to a class of innocent students.

I remember my mum had a hearing at 8:30 that morning that would decide if we could remain in her custody... but I don't think I understood the magnitude of what the decisions made in that courtroom would have on my life. I did not realize that my childhood would be taken from me that day. I remember being scared when a portly man named Brian Paul showed up in my principal's office just before school ended and told us we were not allowed to go home. We didn't hear from my mum for many weeks after that day...

& that is where I draw a blank. There is a coping mechanism, a glitch in my memory... that physically will not allow me to recall the day-to-day details of the next few months, next three years. Looking back, much of my adolescence was a blur. I entered a survival mode that enabled me to muttle through the next three years before my acceptance to college freed me from the hand I had been dealt that I couldn't change. I couldn't change the estranged grandparents I lived with. I couldn't change the ways in which my parent(s) failed me. I couldn't escape losing my mum... but somehow, mostly through watching my sister, I became incredibly aware of the things I could change.

I could make a life for myself that wasn't plagued by drugs. I could go to university and get a degree. I could surround myself with the greatest examples of the person I wanted to be. I could give back. I could make a difference. I could be overly optimistic. I could travel and see the world. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could dream as big as the sky. And I did just that.

And I will continue to do just that for as long as the sky will allow me to dream. & when I reach the sky's limit, I will shoot for the moon, seizing every opportunity that can be found in the smallest crevices of every day because as 9/11 taught us, the safe & secure world as we know it today can literally stop turning in an instant tomorrow.

My entire world stopped turning that day and while it hasn't been the easiest road to recovery, the ease at which my Earth spins on its axis today is something spectacular... as life's quest of discovering the reason why certain things happen in the sometimes catastrophic ways that they do is almost understood.  Every unfortunate tribulation truly does happen for a reason.  It's just up to you to find the positive blessings amidst all the negative debris to understand why.

And as the door closes on a decade long chapter, I've done just that.

Monday, September 12, 2011


oh, this Monday brings so much to celebrate! September is my birthday month and two weeks shy of a QUARTER CENTURY... there is twenty-five kinds of celebrations going on around these parts... you know the part of the country that only had two recordable days of rain in all of August and has broken the highs the last eight days topping the weather charts at a cool 85 breezy degrees.
Aaah, Indian summer. #thatswhatImtalkingabout.
I have fallen oh so hard for the Pacific Northwest... I knew I was going to love it, but THIS MUCH is beyond my wildest imagination. 
 I'm celebrating that on Thursday, I get to go back to the dirrrty South Tennessee and love on my little Reesey Bird for the first time since June. While that is reason enough to be throw a loveyolife celebration, the guest list for the partaaay makes my heart flutter something spectacular. Grams. Jess & Ella. Katie, Kylie & Piper. Oh yes, this weekend is going to be some kind of wonderful. 
I'm celebrating this past weekend in Vancity with Auntie Paulette getting triple skunked in cribbage at her little cottage in Sleepy Hollow, Canada... currently, my favourite place to escape to, walk down the seawall at sunset & fall asleep for twelve hours at a time in possibly the most comfortable bed in all of North America. We made a special *birthday* appointment where my world was rocked in an incredible way and this feeling of great things are coming was confirmed. 
I'm also celebrating that the next time I see A.P. & polka-dotted shoes will be for the first of many Canuck games this hockey season! 
 of course, we matched.
I'm celebrating how wonderful Sammi & I's biweekly friendship is working out. Saturday night we had my favourite date so far... the Taylor Swift concert. I was the girl that knew every word to every song, even when Vancouver native, Tal Bachman, came out and sang She's So High with T. Swizzer! Loved every minute of it. 

I'm celebrating the moon as it light dances on the water. I knew it had to be close to a full moon when I had a wild night at work last night and can only imagine tonight's shift will get even crazier... 
I am celebrating that after seven loads of laundry, I can see the floor in my closet for the first time since I moved in. Now if only I knew how to turn on my stove, I could be off to be a beautiful start to becoming a little bit more domesticated in my next twenty-five years.
Happy Monday, y'all! Celebrate your heart out.