Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap day.

A strange amazing day that comes only once every four years.
For the rest of time it does not "exist."
In mundane terms, it marks a leap in time, where the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. 
 But this day holds another secret - it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things,
A day of unlocked potential.
Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

jocelyn's daily affirmation.

I know this video went viral like 39 months ago {I loved it then, too!} but on my run tonight, I found myself channeling my inner Jessica when around every bend in the road I found myself saying... I love the quaintness of my neighbourhood. I love the way the city lights dance on the lake + the perfect three mile loop that goes around it. I love the smell of the blooming flowers + the subtle signs that spring is coming. I love my mizunos + how they have faithfully allowed me to add a mile on to my training schedule each week. I love receiving Valentines + that Reese is old enough to colour me her own this year {be still, my heart}. I love sloshing my Wellies in to the puddles created by the persistent showers + catching a glimpse of the rainbows that sometimes follow {I saw one on Sunday.} I love Starbucks cake pops + that the drawstring in my scrubs forgives me when I eat too many in one sitting. I love the support at my job + the overwhelming response of my return to work last week. I love that there are only two weeks left of classes + that makes me very close to spring break. I love the fiery in my heart + the calmness in my mind. I love my job. I love my sister. I love my niece. I love my grandma. I love my friends. My whole world is great. I can do anything good. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Sunday, February 19, 2012

a bird's eye view//passion.

I know I am lucky to have found a passion so early on in life. When you are passionate about the work you do, it is true what they say about it never actually feeling like work. You look forward to getting up before sunrise everyday and going to sleep long after it sets. It makes you innately great at your job, if I do say so myself. I landed my dream job right out of college and packed up my whole life on the East coast, headed West and have never looked back. I spent my twenty-second birthday on my first real shift as a real neonatal nurse and at the risk of sounding horribly lame, I knew it was "the one" the moment I walked in to the unit. I was working at one of the country's top childrens hospital, surrounded by an incredible support system and exposed to so many critical cases some n.i.c.u. (nick-you) nurses wouldn't see in their whole life. It was an incredible opportunity that laid an even more incredible foundation for my whole life's work. While working in Canada the following year, I was horrified by many aspects of the healthcare. I felt like I was torturing my patients watching them suffer and began to lose sight of my passion feeling trapped in a system resistant to change (the founding principle of what makes healthcare the amazing field that it is). I came to a point where I either needed to quit nursing or do something about it. I thought about walking away, I honestly considered it to deter walking away from other aspects of my life, but I knew if I could get back in an environment that fosters learning and empowers nurses to make a difference, I would rekindle my passion. In hindsight, the year I left work crying every day only further paved the path my career is headed down and I'm very grateful for the time I spent and the people I met while being baptized by ice up North. 
They inspired me to dream bigger and I started applying to grad programs that would allow me to practice in an autonomous role. Hoping I would find out where my life was headed late spring, I started travel nursing this time last year and wow! what an awesome experience it has been! Working in state-of-the-art units with the most progressive approaches to medicine here in the Pacific Northwest, I have gained a wealth of knowledge, met so many great people and found temporary homes in many awesome places along the way {Hey there, Seattle!} Grad school is a hundred times harder than I ever imagined it to be and last semester I wanted to stay by the bedside, enjoy my 4 days off a week and find contentment as a nurse {Read: drop out} but I'm so happy that, with the gracious support of my friends and family, I stuck it out because this quarter has been amazing! I find my way of critically thinking changing as I prepare for my new role. I am synthesizing information that I never knew I never knew and it feels so fabulous! After identifying an "abnormal finding" last night on an XRAY the doctors had overlooked {silly residents}, I thought, "Maybe I can do this! Eff that. I AM doing this!!" I have a year left of my program and I know I will still need a lot of support along the way because there is A LOT to learn in the next thirteen months but after spending fifty-three hours at work, eighteen hours in clinical and an unmeasurable amount of time doing school work this past week and I'm still excited to get up at sunrise tomorrow to go back to work, I'd say my human soul is most definitely on fire. 
How did I get off on this tangent? 
My intention for posting tonight was to share this article with y'all! It's so true. I + love + it.
I digress. 
Go find your passion. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

of valentines + vital organs.

Today is Valentine's Day. For many, it is a celebration of love filled with chocolate + flowers + cards but for as long as Valentine's Day has held any significance to me, it has been a celebration of life that only meant one thing: find a body of water and reflect. Whether it be an ocean, a lake, a pool or a bath tub, there is no amount of conversation hearts, even if they're perfectly glued on to red construction paper in a beautiful narrative of the story of us, that would compel me to spend today in any other way. So before I went to class this evening, I did just that.
Fighting rush hour + fairly certain it would make me forty-five minutes late for class, I disregarded reality + snuck away at sunset to a park close by that perfectly lines the Pacific. It is nestled in rolling hills tucked in to a ravine whose evergreen walls act as nature's sound barrier, drowning out the hum of the bustling city behind it. Moss-covered trees create organic bridges over trickling creeks + the only thing separating the park from the ocean is a train track that follows the shoreline... 
With solitude + a salty breeze, your mind tends to travel down those tracks like a runaway train. 

As the waves crashed on to the shore moving the smallest grains of sand microscopic distances, I started thinking about what it is that moves me... Dreams. Music. Sunshine. Culture. Babies. Cupcakes. Rainbows.

But most of all, my heart. On the surface, it is a vital organ. It is an intricate system of valves and chambers that supply blood to your entire body.  It sets the cadence of your life. I have counted the first beats of a new life + I have been the compressing force that keeps an asystolic heart pumping... 

As the sun began to sink in to the horizon tonight, I pondered what it is that figuratively keeps my fickle heart beating...

... I see the world through my heart. I think with my heart. I follow my heart. I put my whole heart in to every intention I set. I wear my heart on my sleeve and good gracious, when I have been lucky enough to fall in love, I love with all of its entirety. Love is my heart's driving force.

I still remember the moment I realized I was in love for the very first time. It was July 14th. I was seventeen. My heart was filled with rainbows + cotton candy clouds; I virtually felt like I was walking on moon beams. I had never been more simultaneously excited + scared in my entire life. I tried to run from it. I didn't get very far, though. In fact, I ended up in a laundry basket petrified + crying my heart out... while subconsciously superexcitedly placing my heart in to the hands of my first love, without reservation.

It was everything a first love was supposed to be. Intense. Wild. Reckless. A love as true as ours knew no bounds so when it ended a few years later {because we were growing up + growing apart} it hurt in a way I never fathomed to be possible. It took a long while to piece my heart back together as the feeling that a part of it was missing slowly faded. The cautionary scar that was left on my mended heart made me unknowingly seal off its deepest parts... to protect it from ever having to endure a pain that immense again.
The silver lining to having loved + lost is knowing exactly what your heart wants... and not being afraid to say it. I was recently reminded of that part of my heart that I forgot even existed... but the small chamber responsible for loving unconditionally, madly and from the deepest essence of my being feels alive again. While there is a petrified part of me that wants to pack up my cotton candy clouds and sail away in to the sunset, there is that excitement radiating from the deepest depths of my heart that thinks it might be worth it to stick around + fight for it... in true love fashion. 

Happy Valentine's Day. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


Currently mourning the loss of my Florida trip at a Starbucks in University Village, I contemplated not celebrating tonight. I'm having a pity party, migraine and all, curled up on the couch closest to the window... missing my roommates, my sister and my niecey... neglecting my research project and going through all 10,788 pictures in my iPhoto instead... 
wishing I was back in Apartment 2708 or at GameDay or eating a gourmet Gallos meal or graduating college or celebrating Halloween or running a marathon or nannying baby Kate or living in LA or cuddling with Reese or playing scrabble with Grams, anywhere but here really... 
but then I stumbled upon my album titled "Eurotrip" and instantly! My heart smiled, my tastebuds salivated at the thought of gelato and my stomach grew three sizes to compensate for all the pesto lasagne I will consume. 
Carly + I studied abroad five summers ago and before we even boarded the plane home, we were already planning our next trip to Europe where we would return to all our favourite places in Italy and backpack through Spain, Greece, Austria, Prague, the French Riviera, just to name a few cities on our european bucket list. 
We didn't anticipate that this many years would fly by before our european stars would align and we would get to return to our most favourite place in the world {Firenze, that's you mi amore!}... and right now, this fleeting thought is still in the "dreaming" phase... but if there is one thing I am certain about Carly + I + world traveling it is that we make it happen. 
We have a deadline... before we turn 27. I graduate next spring and there would be no sweeter reward for surviving grad school, working and living too far from home {I'm still at my pity party, people.} than take some time off before I start my big girl job {Read: Nurse Practitioner!} than galavant Europe with my backpack and my best friend six months prior to my twenty-seventh birthday. 
Carly's show just so happens to go on hiatus soon after I graduate from UW for roughly a month and when a discussion over the weekend brought this perfect EUROPEAN STAR ALIGNMENT into sight, we basically sharpie'd it in to our 2013 planners and called it a day, a much-to-look-forward-to-day. 
I'm sure I will have gotten over myself by next Monday and I can promise an over-the-top exciting, overly optimistic celebration! Happy Monday, friends! =)    

Sunday, February 12, 2012

it's like washing a black pen with a load of whites.

I have had a rough couple of weeks. I will spare you the boring details but let me just tell you after cancelling my trip this weekend to see my favourite floridians + washing a black pen with a load of whites, it didn't shock me in the least bit when a bowl full of light bulbs committed suicide, randomly jumping off the closet shelf {unprovoked} and smashing in to a million pieces, spraying shards of super sharp glass all over my pile of now "grey" clothes...
...and that is when I decided to attend two happy hours on Friday. There is a bar here by the name of The 5 Point that has happy hour from 6-9AM and nurses often go there after night shift together. I had not worked the night before but instead, just woke up extra early to join friends, drink bloody marys and eat californian eggs benedict before sunrise. It was a lovely morning until I attempted to do a pilates reformer class afterwards, not realizing how strong the effects were of said bloody mary and suddenly I found myself hundred-ing in to a spinning oblivion.

After I napped for the remainder of the afternoon, my roommate {love her!} and I met some girls for happy hour at Odd Fellows in Capitol Hill. It was fabulous to be back in my old 'hood...

... It reminded me of my sweet, sweet summertime. No trip to CapHill would be complete without stopping by my favourite cupcakery {strawberry champagne flavour with tiny heartshaped confetti... swoon.} and finishing our night in the butterfly lounge at Grim's. 
This week marks the official start of my half marathon training as well as my return to the workforce. Thankfully, the light of this super long {temporary, its only temporary.} tunnel of class/work/clinicals is a non-negotiable trip to Florida in mid-April to bask in the sunshine with my besties. Sixty-five more days... 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

the vow.

Can a once in a lifetime love find a second chance?

Life's all about moments of impact... and how they change our lives forever. 

I vow to love you... and no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other.

You better believe this is how I will be spending my Saturday night.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

oh, in my white coat!

I started my very first clinical this week. It's my "normal newborn" practicum and I'm over-the-moon to be wearing my shiny, new white coat to dress the part of my new role! It reminded me of one of my very first posts evaaah like four thousand years ago when I entered my final year of nursing school and no longer had to wear those alarmingly white scrubs! I've written my first set of {real} orders! I attended a delivery today and I can't even tell you the feeling {Well, I cried if that gives you a clue!} of getting to hand a new dad {he was crying, himself!} their healthy baby and say, "She's perfect! Congratulations!" The NNP I'm following also runs the NICU {yup, all by her badass self. No doctor is even in house.} and I'm learning a lot there, too. Like how to tell a family we suspect their baby might have extra special chromosomes... it's a bittersweet place, the neonatal i.c.u. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

let it go.

turn away because I need you more.
feel the heart beat in my mind.
it's the way i'm feeling i just can't deny
but i gotta let it go. 

we found love in a hopeless place. 

Monday, February 06, 2012

Guest Post: Erin @

As y'all know, I struggle immensely with balancing life outside of grad school as evidence by this post so when Erin @ contacted me recently in regards to writing a guest post for the 'Burb, I immediately thought, "Absolutely!" Then, of course, life got in the way and it took me about three weeks to post the article she graciously took the time to write but after a week like last, I am using her helpful tips to manage this week's school/life balance a little better... especially tip #2... and #5.. and #6... and #7.. and #8. Without further adieu... 

Helpful Tips for Managing Life and Grad School

Grad school is stressful enough on its own, but all grad students have a life to handle as well. If you have roommates, a spouse, or a family, managing your time effectively becomes even more important. Here are some helpful tips for managing your life while in grad school.

1. Keep in contact with old professors. Just because you’ve left your undergraduate institution doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to your old professors. They can offer you recommendations for fellowships and jobs, as well as moral support when you’re stressed – after all, they’ve been to grad school too!
2. Know your workload. Between classes, reading, and research, grad school can be very time-consuming. Ask professors and current students how much time they devote to their studies. Can you handle the same amount of time, or even more, with your current lifestyle?
3. Set a budget. Make sure you are set financially for your full time in grad school. Whether this means saving up money or applying for financial aid and scholarships, you need to have a plan before you start classes. Perhaps this means a part-time job or taking on student loans.
4. Choose transportation wisely. If you plan on taking public transportation, look into getting monthly passes and student discounts. Some programs even cover transportation costs for students. If you want something more reliable, having your own vehicle will save you time, but it will cost more for gas, insurance, and parking.
5. Work now, play later. Many beginning grad students don’t realize that their workload will be far greater than what they had as an undergrad. If you want to prioritize your education, you should plan to give up some (but not all!) recreation and entertainment while you’re in school.
6. Have a support system. Grad school can be quite stressful at times, so it helps to have a trusted support system of friends and family. They will emotionally support you but also respect that you’ll need more time on your own for studying.
7. Make a schedule. Having a schedule is an easy way to organize your study time, especially if you live with others. Post your schedule where everyone can see it so that they know when it’s best not to disturb you – unless there’s an emergency. Even if you live on your own, setting a schedule will help you stay committed to your studies.
8. Be active. Everyone needs a break, especially from sitting and staring at a book or computer for hours on end. Exercising regularly will help you relieve stress from grad school and give you energy to dive back into your studies. 

Thanks, Erin! For more information on getting a Master's Degree in Nursing, check out Erin's website @

Sunday, February 05, 2012

the very busy gradstudentillar.

There are currently fifteen fourteen thirteen more hours left of this week and I am going to start celebrating Monday's arrival at 12:01 tonight. Between spending the beginning of the week working in California, followed by three eight hour days of lecture, a two-hour coffee date with my professor {which was fabulous, btw}, two umbilical lines, one Michelada, one 10 hour day of clinical on a sunny, 60 degree Saturday {not bitter.}, one ginormous burrito at Chupacabra, one midterm, one froyo, one research project, one giant mushroom +truffle cheese serious pie...

one case study, one intubation, one Whistling Pig Hefeweizen, one chest tube insertion in to a chicken, one clinical log and about four hundred pages of reading, I feel like I'm about one slice of salami, one piece of cherry pie, one lollipop, and one slice of watermelon away from the worst stomach/heart/head/lifeacheever. 
Dramatic much? That might have been a teensy bit of an exaggeration but the bottom line is I'm unimpressed, 2012. Un.Im.Pressed. And as for you 2011, feel free to reclaim your permanent presence in my life at any time... Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get in touch with my inner Eric Carle, find one single leaf to make me feel instantly better before crawling in to my cocoon tonight... 
...because tomorrow I will metamorphasize {not a word? well, it should be.} into a beea-uuu-tiful butterfly... putting the lows of this week behind me and flying forward to a trip home to see five of my most favourite people... Kara + Reese, Jess + Ella, + Megan. It's someone's half birthday and there are cupcakes to be consumed.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

i couldn't see past me 'til I saw you.

I couldn't see past me 'til I saw you. I first fell in love with Josh Kelley when he did a residency at hotel cafe and Katherine, Carly + I went to every one of his shows four Wednesdays in a row. His crossover to country last year made me fall in love with him a little bit more... but seriously, Josh... this video might have just stolen my heart.  

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

small world, after all.

I realized last week that my watch was still set on London time... Astonished by how fast these first few weeks of twenty12 have flown by, I decided to leave it as is... blue, sparkly and six hours too fast. It's my own little shiny accessory-of-a- reminder to slow the eff down. How is it already February First? Five weeks left of winter quarter. Two weeks left of unemployment. One week 'til Florida... I promised myself I would stay put in this new year and I've already boarded four planes... and have two more next week... Perhaps, I should abolish routine/schedule/monotony from my vocabulary and just accept the fact that the only thing that will ever be constant in my life is change... until I get to where I'm going, of course.    
It has been an insane few days... starting with a flight to Northern California which turned in to a three day stretch where my morals were challenged immensely as the ethical dilemma before me weighed heavy on my heart... The assignment ended better than okay yesterday but I had been up since 430 AM and as I landed back in Seattle last night at 1:00 AM knowing I would be getting up in a few short hours for an eight hour day of class, followed by two more eight-hour days of lecture and my first clinical day on Saturday, I could not be more elated to be back, exhausted & drained but also safe & sound... with a heightened awareness of who I am... and definitely who I am not.
The trip wasn't entirely awful, though... I did get to eat great sushi two nights in a row, visit with my biddy, soak in the San Francisco sunshine, taste test a lot of Ghirardelli chocolate and use a groupon that was randomly expiring in eight days... Oh, and the highlight... The highlight of my weekend was running in to someone who said, "I know you from somewhere!?... Did you used to teach kickboxing classes at UF?" My response, "Oh my word!! Yes, yes, yes! One, two, threeee! EeEEEEE yaay! Having that been said...Jab/cross!!!" Well, not really but it made my heart smile to meet a past participant of A. Aerobix... on the opposite side of the country, no less... it really is a small world, after all. 

...even if said small world is super scary at times. Albeit its constant evolutions and revolutions and what not, there is always an element of home to be found within to alleviate the scariness and add back in the happiness, of the heart-smiling-variety.