Wednesday, November 30, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The scarf was hung on the family cat with care... 
Hidden under the striped, yellow tent was the perfect tree...
for hugging & lighting & filling our hearts with so much cheer... and the living room with the sweet scent of a perfect pine.
As the sound of White Christmas played on in the background, the decorating of the tree is one of many favourite family traditions that I just love about this time of year! 25 days til Christmas!! =) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

keep counting + give thanks.

I survived my seventy-two-hours of using every lifesaving skill I possess {from catheters to IVs to blood cultures, the only thing I don't think I attempted in the last six days was chest compressions. Thank gawd.} ...and I can hardly wait to hop on a plane in the morning knowing that by nightfall I will get to cuddle my sweet reese and reunite with family and friends in the Sunshine State at approximately nine-thirty tomorrow evening. 

This past year has been a whirlwind of many incredible {albeit} scary changes... from hair colour to geographical location to career direction right down to the changing of the rhythm in my heart. When I reflect on last Thanksgiving, I was making the hardest decision I have ever had to make, one that would change every aspect of life as I knew it. One that brought me an insurmountable amount of happiness coupled with more sadness than I ever thought possible... One I {still} question every single day. 


When I left, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going... and most days... exactly one year later... my future is just as unknown as the day I left... This uncertainty can be horribly uncomfortable some days but I am so thankful that I keep finding the strength to continually push forward in the most unsettling of times. 

Two steps forward, one step back seems to be the new cadence of my lifeI set an intention 365 days ago to get in touch with all the things that make me internally happy, the vital gems of my make-up... and its these precious constants that have carried me through the darkest of days... and shed light on the grand scheme... that suburb of a utopia that feels closer and closer the further it slips away... but I'm eternally thankful for everything I have learned along the way about life and love and {mostly about} myself. 

Today I am counting my blessings + feeling full of thanks.  

I have been blessed with the most fantastic network of friends. I am thankful for every heart I've borrowed, every shoulder I've cried on, every one that I've laughed with and every memory I've made. 

I have been blessed with the most pathological optimism. I am thankful that I can find beauty in the smallest places, kindness in every person and laugh + learn at my own mistakes while forgiving others for theirs.

I have been blessed with the most amazing family. I am thankful for the bond that continues to strengthen between me + my sister, my baby niece who makes my heart grow bigger everyday and the rockstar genes of the Davis women who make me proud to be one of them. 

I have been blessed with the most innate ability to dream. I am thankful for my internal drive to achieve more, strive higher and never ever settle for the less than the life I imagine in my dreams.

I have been blessed with the most rewarding career. I am thankful for the opportunity it affords me to make a difference every shift, to challenge me as I learn something new every day and the flexibility to allow me to keep dreaming bigger + bigger from anywhere in the world.

I have been blessed with a life founded on the principles of love. I am so thankful for the amount of love that I feel surrounded by friends + family, at a job that allows me to love what I do best and a life that fills my heart with more love than it can anatomically contain... on a daily basis.  

Keep counting + give thanks.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

much-to-celebrate-monday.

Is it really Monday? I have lost all sense of time working these past few days... ever work two weeks worth of work in 6 days taking care of a screaming neuro kid and a septic micro-premie with a schizophrenic mother? Don't recommend it... unless of course it means you get to come home from a whirlwind wedding week in Winnipeg and then fly to Florida for Thanksgiving! =) I am sooo super excited to celebrate my turkey day on a plane to my old stomping grounds to see the lovely likes of Kara + Reese, Kate + Rhonda, Katie + her girl tribe, Jess + Ella, Megan + her diamond ring and my Gallos! The celebrating starts right now.

I am celebrating that when I got off shift this evening, I wrote an exam and got every question right!! Granted the content was on neonatal physiology {my bread + butter} but none-the-less, 100%. I think I'm getting the hang of this whole grad school thing...

I am celebrating that today is the two year anniversary of one of my favourite nights of my life... Megan and Danny's wedding! They make me believe it is possible to fall more in love with someone every single day...

I am celebrating my new place. Nothing makes me happier than pulling up to my red door with the porch light on knowing just on the other side, Buddy the dog will be there to greet me and it will probably smell like a fabulous meal smothered in garlic is in the works...

... {lamb-stuffed squash and kale} by my fabulous roommate, Sarah... and ohmyword, am I celebrating her martha stewart like qualities... including cooking, sewing and baking cookies from scratch at midnight because we just so happen to have all the ingredients in the cupboard! Every night I have stayed up way too late sitting at the dining room table drinking tea and giggling like the school girls that we are {again}! 

Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! It's going to be a lovely few sunshine-clad days full of reunions, sandy beaches, counting my blessings, swirly sunsets, Reeseybird cuddles and shopping + drinking + eating!! Gobble til ya wobble, baby. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

hash tags + #thehighlightsofhome.

A picturesque sunset over the Pacific at the border set the tone  to the beginning of an incredible holiday in Manitoba last week! Going home was exactly the break I needed after writing midterms {maybe in between the ceremony + reception?} before the crunch time of finishing out the semester hits next week. I'm currently reaching a new level of exhaustion, working my third of six shifts in a row, but I am so glad I have some instagrams to remind me of my favourite moments {in no particular order!} to carry me through that seventy-second hour...
1. Sammi & Ryan's fairytale wedding... and waking up to a wicked hangover + a menu that did not serve "dignity"   #muchtomydismay
2. Cuddles with my baby cousins... in beanies and bellies. #eyesofanangel
3. Tournaments with Grams... her dicey skills are improving... rolling a yahtzee of sixes as I was walking out the door to catch my flight!   #thatlittlerotter
4. Sleepovers that consisted of an abundance of clarifying pillow talk with Tasha & a lovely dinner made by Baba... with the fabulous company of the soon-to-be bride! 07-07-12  #datesaved
5. Conversations over draft beers and bottles of wine with close friends. #friendsaresthefamilyyouchoose.
6. Family traditions... like the Santa Claus parade... and warm enough weather in November to enjoy it. #thankyoumothernature
7. Cheering on the local team after a family dinner relishing in the small town goodness of Dauphin... where everybody knows everybody. #everybodycallsyafriend
8. My dream date for the wedding... and the company of old co-workers turned forever friends.   #girlaftermyownheart
9. Planning our eurotrip in our jammies over a cup of coffee with an encyclopedia, a pen and paper watching the first snow fall out the window. #whoneedsgoogleimage
10. Learning that it is okay to realize that sometimes right where you started from is right where you belong... now if I only could figure out how to bottle up + preserve the happiness that is generated from the comforts of being home... #homeiswheretheheartis   #suburbsofutopia

Friday, November 18, 2011

oh, happy dream.

Its tradition. Every time I come home, I dig to the top of the closet, get the bright blue box down off the highest shelf and try on my mama's wedding gown circa 1984.
The fabric, a hand-stitched, Kate Middleton-esque lacy number, is beautifully embroidered with the tiniest beads along the sweetheart neckline... and just when I think there couldn't possibly be any more, I always seem to find a clump of confetti hidden amongst the veil, a palpable catalyst that sends my wild imagination in to overdrive, envisioning my blushing self in my own perfect dress bursting through wooden church doors with the love of my life beside me as we step out in to our forever for the first time. Oh, happy day.
As a child, the gown hung off of me like a giant, over-sized sheet and I would trip on the train as I walked down the aisle (Read: the hallway in the cabin)... but every year it seems to fit me more and more like a glove glass slipper... I feel like I am floating on clouds as I glide down the "aisle" and the train gracefully sweeps across the floor behind me. It's with each snuggier {I am the self-proclaimed queen of lexicons.} fitting, I swear I hear a quiet whisper amidst the swishing and swooshing of the crinoline,  "Your turn will come one day, too. Be patient. That perfect day full of love and family and friends that you have been dreaming about since you were ten will turn in to a reality. Every little detail. He's out there and he will be well worth the wait. Have faith. That serendipitous meet-cute when your two hearts intwine at first sight... it's faithfully written in the stars. Keep loving + carry on wishing." Oh, happy dream.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

merry movember: face grown & hand brushed.

I'm pretty sure Movember might be my new favourite month of the year. There's nothing that makes this girl's heart skip beats like a super rugged 5 o clock shadow! The amount of facial hair I have seen in airports, grocery stores, wedding parties, hockey games, etc. the past seventeen days makes me straight-up giddy! Moustaches are uber sexy but Matty's beard just might take the proverbial cake changing the face of men's health! =) I heart MO.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

me + the geese.

As the snow rolls in and the temperatures drop below freezing, me + the geese are heading south for the winter... but I promise, my Manitoba, I will be back! You have completely redeemed yourself in all your comforting ways that make you + the cabin the warmest of homes! I'm so happy my {Canadian} love affair is back on... with a reckless abandon that leaves my fickle heart desiring more...

Monday, November 07, 2011

much-to-celebrate-monday.

I have two exams to write this week before I take off to the Great White North to celebrate these two stunning lovebirds and see all the beautiful people in Manitoba who I miss so dearly for six entire days. I have not had time to capture all the moments I am celebrating this week so I will leave you with lovely engagement photogs of the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. McVeigh... because they're really who this week is about! =)  
Have I mentioned my life is currently in boxes and bins between two different places in two very separate neighbourhoods that requires me spending forty minutes on the 5 to make the 8-mile commute between the two... and have I told you that I am working the next three nights when I have so much packing and cleaning and studying to do before I fly out on Thursday... from Vancouver, none-the-less? I'm so glad I spent my teenage years in a home that didn't believe in sleeping in... no matter how scattered my hormones were or what kind of growth spurt I was enduring... At the time, it only made me moodier but in retrospect, I'm thankful for the "sleep when you are dead" mantra that woke me up at 10AM every weekend morning. I never would have thought that teenage angst would have prepared me so well for my twenty-somethings when sleep was no longer a necessity but something I do exclusively on Sundays. Heinsight, always twenty/twenty.
Somehow, I still have the energy to celebrate today...Monday! My favourite day of the week! The fresh start where I can forget about all the things I didn't get done last week and draw out a schematic of the amount of hours in each day and appropriate each one to studying/cleaning/packing/working... the careful crafting of a master plan to get thru this week... pausing briefly to remind myself to breathe, inhale/exhale, repeat.
I am celebrating the changing of seasons... the red and yellow trees that pepper the streets are losing their leaves and turning every sidewalk in to an autumn-hued blanket of Fall. The peaks of the Cascades to the West and the Olympics to the East are covered in a blanket of snow off there in the distance and it gets dark here at a prompt 4:43 p.m. The temps have dropped to a mere 40 degrees in the evening but the sun in still fighting a strong battle, shining ever-so-brightly for ten glorious hours. Winter is coming, I can feel it in my bones... but how fabulous will it be to live in a winter-sports mecca where I will spend my days off snow shoeing and snowboarding this January? Renewed outlook, at its finest.
I am greatly celebrating that there is one month left of the autumn quarter. Contrary to what my circadian rhythm thinks, I might just make it through since I got a 94% on my last exam. (We won't talk about my patho exam...) School has proven to be harder and a heavier workload than I ever thought possible but I am celebrating the constant challenge that is pushing me outside my comfort zone and making my brain think in depths I didn't know I had, think cellular level.  
Remember how I mentioned I made a new friend on my first day of school? Well, I am sooo super celebrating that she is my new roommate in an adorable little house in the quiet parts of this bustling city!? She even has a dog and I am so super excited to walk him around the {green} lake in my new hood. I cannot wait to introduce you to her! I have absolutely loved living downtown, within walking distance to Pike Place, living above a Starbucks... but can we talk about how this major metropolitan city never sleeps? I would love it if the bags under my eyes would disappear. Excessive amounts of erasepaste isn't cutting it these days.   
{Sidebar: When I hear this song, I laugh and cry simultaneously thinking it could very well have been written about me! People don't really hoop and holler... do they? End sidebar.}  I am most excited to be going home this weekend. I have been looking forward to seeing all my old friends and my lovely family for the past month and no amount of... err, snow! will deter me from enjoying every cup of tea, every cuddle from my cousins, every round of scrabble at the cabin, every ceasar with my tristy and every two-steppin' polka at the reception! I am absolutely celebrating my restored adoration for all things prairie life and absolutely cannot wait to immerse myself in the small town goodness that is Manitoba this weekend!! Someone give me an "Amen!" 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

go dawgs.


It has been one crazy week with very little consumption of anything other than caffeine... and even less sleep... between working and studying and moving but I took a little time out after a pathophysiology review session to attend my first {and last} Husky game last night! I don't think any home game experience will compare to the Swamp but I was happy to know that UW prepares for big games much like the Gators do. We tailgated and watched real football {Read: the SEC games!} under a tent. We watched all the boats motor up to the stadium since the East end of the stadium is lined with water from Lake Washington. 
We shotgunned PBRs, barked our hearts out and then headed over to the Ave afterwards for some hole-in-the-wall gyros and a pitcher of beer at a very collegiate watering hole by the name of Finn MacCools...

Never in Florida did I wear a Columbia beanie and have hand warmers in my mitts as I sipped on a hot chocolate for the entire second quarter of a game. It was freezing but the crowd was crazy fun since Oregon is their biggest rival and it was not just the last home game of the season but for the entire next year when the Husky stadium closes for renovations! Go Dawgs!!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

the work you do while you procrastinate...

... is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. Less and less is nursing the work I feel compelled to do... Its part of the paradigm shift that is governing the unknown direction I am headed in this next twenty-five years of my life. A huge part of what sets an amazing nurse a part from the average RN is the heart you put in to each and every shift; the fervour to go the extra mile; the eagerness to learn more in a fast-paced environment that is an ICU. The extra care you use when you turn a preemie. The genuine hugs you give a new mom who begins to cry when she sees her tiny baby under bili lights in an incubator for the first time. The patience you must have rocking the chronic neonates for hours on end to try to ease their pain. The extra time it takes to teach a parent to change a microscopic diaper and perfectly tuck a baby in until his next feed. The critical thinking you must possess to catch a subtle cue that could mean the difference between life or death. It is a necessity to pour your whole heart in to the entire twelve hours of every shift in order to make a difference and ultimately, to save a life... As much as I give at my job, I take even more with me. The amount of tears I have shed when babies pass away or the anxiety I feel when growing babies get sick with an infection that will soon shut down every organ in their body is overwhelming, at times. Most nights, it scares me immensely working in an intensive care unit. Most days, I carry the burden of my fears everywhere I go... questioning why I was destined to do my life's work. I often wonder how I got here and where I would be if I wasn't in the medical field. What my life would be like if I pursued another passion...  

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

party animals.

There will come a day when we spend hours picking out costumes for our {future} children {instead} and coordinate the perfect family of five themed costume. Halloween will be a holiday full of family traditions, teaching our kids to say "trick-or-treat" and ringing the doorbell of all the cookie cutters homes in our suburban neighborhood collecting a pumpkin-shaped bucket full of candy. We will return home at dark and tuck our littles in to their tiny beds and struggle to stay awake to divide all their candy in to categories {chocolate. sour. chewy. etc.} before calling it an early night and fall asleep reminiscing about what all Hallow's Eve used to be like in the good ole days... Until that day comes, we will continue to party like scantily-clad animals for the good ole days are right now... 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloweekend.

I spent the last five days in my happy place.. Home Sweet Hollywood... with my happy people... celebrating Halloween in true LA fashion... so happily for four nights in a row.
Friday night, we crashed the same Harvard party we went to last year but this year it was right down the street from Carly's WeHo apartment at Voyeur... 
It was the dress rehearsal for our costumes as Saturday night was when I truly metamorphosized {not a word? it should be!} in to Hipster Belle with a morning date with Tate the Great where I kissed my blonde locks au revoir! We spent most of the evening creating a Disney Cover Band when our cab kept self-cancelling and we were left to do nothing but sing at the top of our lungs in the dining room before heading out to Beauty Bar... only to leave one beer later and eat our princess hearts out next door at Kitchen 24. Smack + cheese + peas, please!  
Sunday was spent perusing farmer markets and hiking the hills and pondering life at happy hour before going to see one of Carly's co-workers perform a spooky show at the Improv...
We finally made it to the West Hollywood Costume Carnival Monday night where I was deeply saddened to learn that there wasn't an actual parade of drags and floats and candy but the sea of 100,000 crazy people in absurd costumes made up for it.
My two favorites being Modern Family and the Costco taste-testing ladies complete with real samples.  
I can hardly believe that it is already November... which really only means one thing to me: I will be listening {exclusively} to Christmas music for the next seven and a 1/2 weeks...