Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tagged again!

Katie Brooks tagged me in her blog...I've done this before - this time it's the fourth picture in your fourth folder. So brace yourself for the excitement overload...

When we lived in Denver we went to this ice sculpture festival in Breckenridge. It was fabulous but so terribly butt-cold that we didn't really dwell long looking at the sculptures. I can't even really tell what this is! A hand envelope??

I tag...

Carolyn Smarszcz
Sara Tyler
Mary Wolters

Happy Birfday to ME!

I can't believe I'm 31!!! I still feel like a nerdy teenager!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back from NorCal

We had a fabulous vacation!! It was long enough that we got the rest we needed, had a ton of fun, enjoyed family and time alone, etc. But it was also long enough that by the end of it, we were happy to come home. We stayed four nights with Matt's mom and stepdad, and then spent three nights in Lake Tahoe by ourselves, and one night in San Francisco before we flew home. Adventure #1 for the summer was definitely a hit! I posted a good pile of photos on Facebook, but for those of you who don't FB, here are the highlights:

A relaxing stay with Rich and California Mommy!! (The sign says "Grandparents' house")

CA Mommy in her bright, shiny new kitchen.

The most comfortable bed in the universe!

Matt and Sarah and Rich

Our morning walks passed by some of the most beautiful scenery...

We spent Mother's Day with Matt's dad and stepmom Lois and had a riot playing games!

We always learn a fun new game at the Gouveia's! (This one was called "Manipulation.")

Matt and Lois

Our new back yard that we just had landscaped. Isn't it beautiful?! Okay, I wish it was our yard!

We hiked the Coyote Peak trail at Bothe State Park...

We ate sandwiches from our favorite place, Guigni's (say "JOO-neez")...

Then we headed to Lake Tahoe and stayed at one of our timeshare properties. This shot is dedicated to my friend's son, Adam, who used to smile like this for EVERY picture!

We were a quarter mile from Nevada Beach...can there be ANY better combination, mountains AND beach???

I was channeling Ansel Adams for this shot...

Who doesn't want a picnic table at the end of a dock overlooking the mountains???

We saw Emerald Bay...

Eagle Falls...

...and hiked the Lighthouse Point trail.

We hiked in the Desolation Wilderness near Meeks Bay...

Finally, we headed back to the city for our last day. When we were dating, we spent much of our time in San Francisco, and since I was a glorified tourist while living in the Bay Area, poor Matt had to pretend he was a tourist as well (which, actually, was fun for him too, because who ever does the cool touristy stuff where they live?). When I lived in the East Bay, we would take the transit system to Union Square, pick up the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf, eat ice cream at Ghiradelli Square, cable car back to Little Italy for dinner...or take the ferry to Alcatraz...or watch the surfers under the Golden Gate Bridge...or some combination thereof. So for our last day we tried to hit our hot spots.

So we got a token picture on the cable car...

...met up with Matt's brother Adam, who took us to his apartment on Hyde Street - check out the VIEW from his place!!!!!!!!!...

...ate dinner at Asqew (fabulous kabobs!) in the Marina District...

...and BART'ed back to our hotel (the transit system). I would have loved, loved, loved to just zoom back to Walnut Creek and kick back in my old apartment, but alas, that season is over! Home is Michigan, and I'm not gonna lie: we were happy to return to where there is so much green, the air is clearer, and there's not so much traffic. But what a great trip it was!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What the...

I work for the best hospital ever. Seriously. Of course there are days when I really would love the job behind Door #2, but that happens no matter where I go. But here we are in a bad economy, the hospital's tightening its belt, no one gets a bonus check this year or a raise, etc etc. No one really cares about any of that; we're just all happy to call ourselves employed (yes, even nurses are starting to bite their fingernails).

So it's Nurse's Week this week (have you thanked a nurse, BTW?). Normally it's a big to-do in every hospital (free t-shirts, coffee mugs, umbrellas, candy), but this year it was quite a bit more pared-down. Again, no worries. Today was the "employee picnic" in the cafeteria, a free picnicky lunch for all of the employees - not only the nurses. I'm off, but I went in for my free lunch (heck YES I did). Do you know what? We got a free lunch in a mini reusable bag, ANNNNDDDD a cash card for $50. Fifty dollars!!! "Hi, thanks for working, here's free food and fifty dollars." Well Lord love a duck, as my grandpa used to say. Sign. Me. Up.

I'm walking out of the cafeteria feeling pretty spiffy to have my little green bag, chicken wrap, pasta salad, cookie, banana, and CASH CARD...when I hear the lady behind me complain about the "chintzy bag" we were given. "What on earth can I use THIS for?" was her query.

Oh MY word. I wanted to claw her eyes out. The fact that you are carrying that *chintzy* bag, lady, means you are on someone's payroll. That bag contains free food and MONEY. Need I say more???

Gettin' the heck outta Dodge

14hours with no potty break, 12hours no food break, platelets 37, blood pressure 147/119, respiratory arrest, intubation, 3 c-sections, everyone doing well and healthy.......priceless

This was the Facebook entry of one of my coworkers in Labor and Delivery. It was the day that we ALL had yesterday, and it sums it up nicely!! What could have been a couple of disasters (yes, all of these happened on separate people, not just one!) - you NEVER want to hear a "code blue" called for the Birth Center! - turned out fine, with everyone happy (*and breathing*) at the end of the day. Praise the Lord!

And with that, I'm outty! Buh-bye Michigan, hellOOOOOOO California!!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Spring I think just happened...

I finished up my grading today (everyone passed!), clicked on "submit," and then sat back and thought, 'well what do I do NOW?" I actually have a day off, during which I have nothing to do, take care of my home again. My dear husband has sparkled in the 'helping without complaining' department: he does his own laundry, he does the dishes and unloads the dishwasher, he stops at the grocery store on the way home. But I have to admit that these are activities that I really enjoy, they give me time to think and decompress, and I feel a faint sense of accomplishment when I've completed them. Call me old-fashioned, but I do enjoy managing my household. So after six months of putting my dear home on the back burner (two months of that stats class, four months of clinical instructing+full time job), I'm pleased to take it back.

And I'm pleased to download a mittful of pictures from my camera that kind of tell a bit of the story of this spring. Not that it's a tantalizing story by any stretch of the imagination. We had what felt like a longer-than-usual and colder-than-usual winter. It started storming well before Christmas and just kept going...and going...and going. Even in the past couple of weeks we've had several days with less-than-desirable temperatures and precipitation. But looking ahead, I think the winter and icky Michigan spring is starting to bid adieu and summer is ushering itself in...albeit gradually.

So here we begin with a fine Michigan activity in which Matt and I partook regularly as winter droned on and on, whilst the calendar still laughed at us from the wall announcing that spring was supposedly here. It says it's March or April, but it's still butt-cold outside. So what do you do? You sit and rot on the couch and eat trash and watch (another) movie. Matt is displaying this swimmingly.

One one unusually warm spring day I did take the opportunity to plunk Molly in the tub (the commencement of spring cleaning...wash the dog first). Anyone who knows Molly knows how sweetly compliant she is. Even if it's something she hates, she'll allow it to you can see, the look on her face (as I tried to showcase my love for Trader Joe's castille soap as the perfect dog scrub) conveys exactly what she thinks of my endeavors. *And I'm taken aback at how huge her nose looks*

Have you ever tried to define the word "ironic?" Well, here's my definition: your friend from California meets a guy from Michigan and they get engaged. Then they set the date to get married - in GRAND RAPIDS - on the very day that YOU are flying FROM Grand Rapids TO California. This is my sweet friend Ellen, my coffee and workout buddy from John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA (suburb in the San Fran Bay Area). Ellen and I became friends when I was a travel nurse out THERE, and then she came HERE as a travel nurse last year. She met a boy and fell in love (funny how those travel nurses work), got engaged, and voila! They're getting married this coming Saturday back here in GR (she still lives in CA, and that's where they're going to live, but more family is in this area, so here the wedding will be). On that very day Matt and I will be lifting off the tarmac and headed to San Fran. ARGHH! But I was able to go to her wedding shower here in GR a few weeks ago.

One of our favorite Saturday morning rituals has been to walkto downtown (weather permitting) and go to The Good Earth or The Windmill for breakfast (The Good Earth is your neat, kitschy little coffee/bagel place, The Windmill is your quintissential, nothing-has-changed-since-it-opened-50-years-ago, everybody-knows-your-name place that sells amazing omelets for like $2). The Good Earth usually wins because The Windmill has a looooong line. Anyway, following breakfast, every once in a while we go to my favorite cottage/antique store. It's way overpriced, but their stuff is FUN. One Saturday, we bargained to swap all of our old windows (which we had saved after having them replaced last year) for store credit, and bought this window with the verse on it (which I know I could have made myself for a lot cheaper, but oh well) and the hutch. I've been looking for a new/old bookshelf, and now I have something for our books AND a place to store our games. The window/verse thing has yet to be hung, so it's still sitting there on the floor waiting for a productive weekend.

My forsythia bush bloomed. Loved that.

Kristin's (Bezoar's) husband's family owns an annual farm, and they offer a retail side called "Annual Ambiance." Each year they hold an open house, and you can tour the greenhouses. It's unbelievable how incredible these flowers are, as you can see! I bought some baskets and pots, which I'll pick up after we're back from our trip. The last thing I need is for my beautiful flowers to croak while I'm gone.

So this summer I'm looking forward to enjoying our sweet little house. Last year we replaced the shingles on the roof, added new insulation, replaced the windows, the doors, and the storm doors, made minor repairs to the foundation and put glass block windows in the basement, etc etc (no, Matt and I can't take credit for these things. We hired it out). As I write this, we're having the back yard fenced and the garage will be resided (if you've seen our garage before you know why it's being resided). As you may have noticed, some improvement in the landscaping is in order. I have a great palate to work with here (including two gorgeous peony bushes!), but will have to consult with an expert on what to plant, because I'm a gardening idiot. I have to point out some of my favorite things INSIDE the house...

A "niche" built into the wall (next to the laundry chute!)...

Barn-red original doors...

And beautiful original 1940 hardware on all of our doors!!!

But I digress....

So those are some of the "highlights" of the past few months that have seemed to whip by. I'm looking forward to thoroughly enjoying the summer, as it's the first summer in eight years that I have not worked nights or evenings. I would love to figure out a little more about gardening, and finish up some projects around the house. Beyond that, I'm looking forward to fulfilling my vision to have an adventure a month (things are shaping up well for that...California in May to visit Matt's family and go to Lake Tahoe; Door County, WI with a friend in June; Sonlight Camp in Pagosa Springs, CO in July with Matt; and a conference in Phoenix in September - just made the plans for that!). I want to ride my bike or walk as many places as possible rather than driving my car, hang the laundry out to dry (on our new fence!), shop at the Farmer's Market, and volunteer at the Mission.

And now I'll hopefully have enough time that I'll be able to post pictures and update you as the time goes by, not AFTER it went by. Thanks for hanging in for this long post!