Saturday, December 22, 2007

Updates coming soon!

I promise I will have them up soon! Been super busy with finals, then working at ProPack and then Christams. But soon I will have stories and pictures of Lisa's staguette and wedding, nursing school, working, and getting ready for Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful indeed



This morning I awoke to a cold, but crystal clear day. As I looked out at the view from our home, I felt thankful for many things, including the gorgeous view.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Crazy Busy!

The past week and a half has been nuts, meaning no blog posts from me. Sorry. Here is the catch-up:


- Got only 2 hours of sleep last Tuesday night because I was finishing my 20 page care plan. Thankfully, I finished it on time and that was my last paper of the semester.


- Got to have dinner with an old friend and catch up.


- Started working on the next group presentations.


- Had my good friend Jen come and stay for the weekend. We talked, relaxed, ate, watched MASH, and did homework.


- Had a good week at clinical


- Had my car break down. My wonderful husband came and rescued me at the hospital where I was stuck. He managed to get the car going and we got it to the mechanic. I'm hoping that it's just spark plugs and not anything else....

- Got to see some good friends that moved to California last year. They were up for Thanksgiving.(Phil and I with the Lucht Ladies from California)
- Had a girls martini night (always a good thing!)

- Did my debate in class along with a wonderful team of ladies. We won. (Really, was there ever any doubt of this :) )

- Took today off for thanksgiving.

There's my recap!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fat Boy

Phil has a cat (I'm not a big cat fan, so I refer to them as his cats) named Bandit that is all fluff! He is a huge cat and has earned the nickname Fat Boy. Our cats are outdoor cats and mostly live in our garage. Yesterday I was taking a nap on the couch and when I woke up, I saw THIS next to me!


Sarah's b-day

Last week we went to my friend Sarah's house to celebrate her birthday. She's the hot one in the middle with black sweater and red top.


Here's me and my friend Lisa! Gotta grab the pictures while we can - she is moving to Australia in January!

Wind + Garbage Day = Bad Idea

Phil and I didn't sleep very well last night because it was SO WINDY outside! It was so loud and we kept waiting for a branch to smash through one of the windows. I was kind of expecting some trees down or something when we got up, but everything was intact.

Since it's garbage day, I lugged our bin down to the curb and tried to secure it as best as I could. By the time Phil drove away 30 seconds later it had already blown over. Thus began my battle - me vs. the garbage bin. I went down several times to pick it up and try to stabilize it.

Part of the problem is that the bin didn't weight that much. I try to recycle and compost as much as I can which means that we don't have that much garbage. When it fell over again I thought that I would get smart this time! So I went to the shed, grabbed a shovel and several garbage bags and headed to the wheelbarrow which has some excess dirt in it from projects this summer. I'm sure that it was quite the site - gripping the garbage bag for dear life in my left hand, and trying to wield a huge shovel with my right. With much dificulty, I finally got two shovels worth in the bag. Even with that weight, the bag was still flying in the air.

Finally I got enough in the bag to hopefully weigh down the garbage bin. I struggled to get it down to the curb to put it in the garbage bin... except that there was no garbage bin. I looked up and down the street and couldn't see it anywhere! So I start walking up a little side street that is about 400 yards long. The road goes up a bit and then down into a cul-de-sac. I finally saw a garbage bin on it's side at the end of the cul-de-sac, but I figured that it must be the people from that house. Our bin could not possibly have blown that far! But it did.

So I picked up the bin and trecked back to our house. I felt quite stupid lugging it up the street and to make it worse, the wind was blowing so hard that at several points I couldn't even move forward!

So after these adventures, I decided to just put the bin back up by the house. We'll catch garbage day next time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gong Show!

So my family decided to do a family portrait this year that my mum can bring back to our relatives in Ontario when she visits them this Christmas. Sounds like a delightful idea. However, the implementation of this idea was a GONG SHOW!!!

We all (Jackie, Dave, Emmalea, Mum, Phil and I) went down to Wal-mart on Monday night. After finally getting all situated and huddling up close to fit in the picture we all slapped smiles on our faces. And this is where the wonderful photographer that we had would start waving the little stuffed frog and saying "Look at the froggie! Smile at the froggie!" in the attempt to get my precious little niece, who was up past her bedtime I might add, to smile. The problem with that is that it would sometimes take a bit to get Emmalea to smile. In the meantime, we are all starting to get sore cheeks from smiling, not to mention laughing over the froggie and the ridiculousness of it all.

To compound the night, we have several people in our family, who in spite of being very good looking, simply aren't very photogenic. So between getting Emmalea to smile, and having all of us look decent too, it was quite the endeavor. I felt so bad for the photographer for having to deal with us, but she was a really good sport about it.

Portland!

This past weekend Phil and I joined our good friend Kevin in Portland for the ski and snow show. Kevin was working a booth at the show for the hotel he works for in Leavenworth, the Icicle Inn. It was so nice just to get away for the weekend and relax!

While we were down there, we drove another hour south and visited Phil's mom for the afternoon (his dad was out of town). She was so excited to see us and we had such a great visit!

Saturday evening we went back to Henry's - a wonderful little "tavern" that we found last year. It's got a really cool atmosphere and, more importantly, 50 different kinds of beer on tap!!! It was so yummy!!!

The other fun part of our trip was the Addidas sale that was going on in the pavillion next to the snow show. Addidas was clearing out 5 years worth of extra stock which meant that everything was SUPER cheap!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Finally House Pictures!

I have been saying for several months now that I will post pictures of our house, but I have simply never gotten around to it. Last night the house was all tidy, and I was procrastinating, so I thought it was the perfect time to do the photo shoot! So, here is our house!
The office - Phil and I both have our desks in here and there is a beautiful view of Mt. Baker!

Kitchen (obviously) :)





Looking from the living room to the dining room and kitchen.

Bay windows in the living room.

Living Room

Built in shelves in the front room

My favourite recliners!

Looking from the front room into the living room

Front door

Stairs


Our bedroom













The laundry room has SO much storage space! It's wonderful!


So there it is!

My latest food kick

I tend to go through phases with the food that I eat. I will find something new that I like and eat it all the time for a few months, and then get sick of it.

So, my latest food kicks are:

V8 juice
Tofu
Edmame beans

Although they may all sound boring and healthy, they are all quite yummy!!!!

And one more - I found a great recipe for an apple cranberry crisp!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saturdays

I should be studying on Saturdays. I should be studying all weekend. But somehow, Saturdays always end up being a write off. I get other stuff done, but never homework. Oh well - I guess that's what Sunday is for!!!

One really great thing that I got done yesterday was a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon! BLISS!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sun and Jogging

Yesterday I longingly looked out the windows of Peace Arch Hospital at incredible blue sky! I was delightfully surprised when I walked outside and discovered that it was warm as well!

In spite of having a massive mid-term on friday that I should study for plus a million other things to do, I put on my running gear and headed out. It was perfect!!!! I jogged out of the residential area and into fields and trees. The medley of orange, yellow and red leaves remaining on the trees and scattered on the ground made my run interesting and gorgeous!!!

Of course, I'm kinda feeling it today....

Monday, October 22, 2007

My messed up weeks

I have a pretty good school schedule: Monday and Tuesday I'm at Peace Arch Hospital for clinicals (usually from 7:30-3) and on Wednesday through Friday I go out to UBC. Sounds good.... except that I keep getting all messed up.

Monday and Tuesday go by so quick, and often they don't feel like school - they kind of feel like work. Then on Wednesday I go out to UBC and see all my friends, and I always want to ask them how their weekend was. I haven't seen them since the weekend and thus, Wednesdays feel like Monday. However, by the time I get home from school, make dinner, tidy up and sit down with the books, I'm pretty beat. So then on Thursday, I'm so tired that it feels like Friday. Like I said, my week is all messed up.

But then Friday.... glorious Friday!!! comes along. We get out of lecture at 3 on that day and then I'm free to go home for the weekend!!! Granted the weekend is usually filled with studying and on Monday I start the whole confusing process again.

Friday, October 12, 2007

One of those great friendships

Last night I went out for dinner with my friend Lisa. We've been friends since high school and even lived together for a few fantasticly fun months a few years ago. Unfortunately, due to life being so crazy, we don't see each other very often. But last night we hung out and I realized why Lisa is just one of those great friendships.

In spite of not hanging out in a year and being out of date on some of the details of each others lives, we picked right back up and talked for over 2 hours straight! It was so nice to just talk and laugh. And even though we don't see each other much, we still "get" each other.

Thanks for a great night Lisa!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Midterms!

The time for the dreaded mid-terms has come! In the next three weeks, I have 3 mid-terms and 2 papers. Such fun.

But I'm looking on the bright side....

- Tomorrow the weekend starts
- Only 7 more weeks of the semester left. And of those 7 weeks, 3 of them are 4 day weeks
- In 18.5 months I will graduate
- In 6 hours my most dreaded mid-term will be over
- Tonight I get to see an old friend that haven't seen in a LONG TIME!!!

So even though the next few weeks have some bumps, there is still plenty to be thankful and excited for!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Learning to talk

It is always exciting when little ones learn to talk. When they say your name, it's always touching. And when they say that they love you, it's beyond precious!

On Friday, my dear little niece Emmalea was asking for me all day (already that gives me the warm and fuzzies). Jackie tried explaining to her that I would be over on Sunday, but she just wouldn't give up. So Jackie called me and when I answered the phone, there was a small voice on the other end saying "hi aunty Nickie" to which I responded with a gush of loving words. The response? "I love you aunty Nickie." SO CUTE!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My first real patient

This week in clinical, I got my first real patient! Scary - I know. But don't worry, I wasn't allowed to do much with them. My patient on monday was discharged so I got a new one today. We were only responsible for some very basic things - head to toe assessments, hygiene and vitals. It was interesting to finally have a live patient as opposed to my lab partners!

This past weekend was very quiet for me since Phil was in Oklahoma. I know what you are thinking - Oklahoma??? Why would he go there???? Well, one of his best friends Joe moved there in August and Phil had a free airline ticket to use up, so it just made sense. I was quite jealous that I didn't get to go (I'm very good friends with Joe's wife Kelly) but I guess I'll just have to wait until Christmas to see them.

That's it for now.

Oh yeah, one more thing. My scrubs today were bright pink! So fun!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My first day at the hospital

On tuesday, I worked my first "shift" as a student nurse at Peace Arch hospital. I am very lucky and blessed to have not only a wonderful clinical instructor, but also a great floor to work on. While many students were simply thrown in on the first day, our group got to shadow an RN for the day which was SO nice! It gave me a much better sense of how the floor works and I learnt so much.

I got paired up with a wonderful nurse who has been practicing for over 40 years! So she is very old school is some things, but she knows so much and she is so cool! For 4 hours I followed her and listened and she spouted off information. She was so helpful and encouraging and I really hope that I get to work more shifts with her!

Other than that, school is going good. I have tons of assigments and mid terms in October so I'm preping myself for that.

And yes, I'm still LOVING it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My new toy!

One of my friends in another nursing program recommended that I get a PDA to download my drug guide to for working in the hospital. So, I got a Palm TX! It is so cool! Not only will I have my full drug guide on there, I can load up excel and word files and work on them on my PDA, plus I can load music (it has a head phone jack) and photos. And the really cool part - it has wi-fi so I can surf the web on it!

Commuting Fun

So far, my long daily trek to UBC hasn't been that bad. However, this week, my coming home trips were a bit less fun.

First of all, the buses have been PACKED which means that I have to stand from Granville and 49th to White Rock. Not fun. Yesterday, the standing was even less fun due to the major accidedn on the 99. The ride was going well and we were making very good time. In my mind I was planning out my evening (which included a nap on the couch). Right after we got through the tunnel, the bus slowed way down.....and then stopped. 20 minutes later the bus driver announced we were going to be there for a while. Finally, we started moving again, only to find out that the police were making everyone do a U-turn and go back north on the 99. So our bus, along with thousands of other cars, packed onto River Road to connect with the 91.

I finally gave up standing and just sat on the floor. I know that it's probably not the cleanest place, but I put my clothes in the dirty laundry as soon as I got home. The bright spot of our major delay was that I managed to read another article for school.

All in all, our delay and rerouting took an hour and 45 minutes!!! Quite the evening!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So how is school?

This has been the most common question I have received lately, so I figure that I will just answer it here. School is great! For those of you who don't know, I'm going to UBC's School of Nursing. It's an intense 5 semester BSN program that I will finish in April of 09 (not that I'm counting alread!)

The program moves very quickly and we are already starting our clinicals next week! Yikes! So far, we've had a lot of front loading on basic skills so that we will be ready to go into the hospitals. And that means A LOT of reading. Such fun.

The commute is going ok. It takes me about 1.5-2 hours from my door to UBC, each way. It isn't too bad though because I can park my car at the South Surrey Park and Ride and hop on a bus into the city. This is good for MANY reasons including:

- I don't have to drive and deal with traffic!
- I can relax and read on the bus
- It's cheap! I get a U-pass through school so my commuting costs are $25/month. Can't go wrong with that!

Unfortunately, the school didn't give us much info before we started, so I have spent the past two weeks running around trying to get all of my equipment and uniforms sorted out. Shopping for scrubs has been fun, but tiring. There are SO many styles out there, and none of them make me look like Meredith Gray! Grr. But I did finally find a style that I like and that are actually flattering. Urbane Scrubs. They should be arriving this week so I'll post a pic as soon as I get them.

The other students in the program are really great and our instructors seem to be pretty good so far too. All in all, the next 20 months are going to be an interesting adventure with many bizarre stories I'm sure! I'll keep you posted of the really crazy ones! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Whistler

Our friend from TWU Reid, and his lovely wife Laura, came up from Tucson AZ for a visit at the end of August. We had a great time hanging out, exploring Vancouver, going to Dublin's Crossing and to Whistler! They spoiled us by treating us to a gorgeous room at the Hilton up in Whistler! We wandered the village, ate some yummy food, and took the gondola and lifts all the way to the top!
Thanks for a fun weekend!!

(Click on the photo to see a bigger version of it)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My week off

As expected, my week off has been quite busy! However, it's the kind of busyness that I love - full of friends! I spent the first morning off sleeping and reading (BLISS!!!) but since then I have been on the go. I played a round of golf with Phil, saw my dear friend Jen when I went out to UBC, had a girls night with Julia, Jen and Jackie, had Travis and Kristen over (and Kristen's belly - she is due next week with their first!), saw my girls from college for brunch (yay for the piggy), and surprised my sister with an afternoon visit!

My trip out to UBC was good. My main reasons for going were to see Jen, buy my books and figure out the whole bus thing. Although I missed my stop, I managed to get another bus out to UBC and all ended well.

When I registered for classes, they failed to mention that nursing classes are cross-listed with weight training classes! My books are RIDICULOUSLY big! I couldn't even hoist my back-pack up with one arm. It took both arms heaving to get it on my back. I'm just praying that they don't make us lug them to school every day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Goodbye Gallaghers

Our good friends Joe and Kelly Gallagher are gone. :( They have been transfered to Bartlesville, Oklahoma (or as the boys call it - Okla-mo-fo-homa). We had a great last night of hanging out with them before they left. Their girls, Molly (4) and Ellery (2) were a their grandparents in Seattle so it was just Joe, Kelly and baby Grady. I got to hold Grady nearly all night - it was great.


Even though I managed to get Kelly to start a blog before she left, it's just not the same as hearing her stories face to face.

We will miss you guys tons! Love ya!

Isn't she cute????


Had to share this pic - she's just so cute!

Unemployed

I am officially unemployed! My last day at the Johnson Team (little bit of link action for you Rich) was on Friday. It was a weird day for me! I've had several "last days" of work before, but this one was harder for me. I was so blessed to work with such an amazing group of people and I am going to miss them so much!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tech geek?

I think that I might be turning into a bit of a tech geek. In the past two years I have learnt A LOT about web development, search engine optimization and placement. My realization that I am becoming a tech geek came about due to these two thoughts today:

Thought #1: Searching for a store called The Greenhouse in Bellingham. I realized that new businesses today really need to think about how unique their store name is and how it will show up in search engines. When searching for the store Greenhouse, all I got was results for actual greenhouses.

Thought #2: I thought that it was SO cool that the Woodland Park Zoo has the web address http://www.zoo.org/. They must have really jumped on the internet bandwagon early to get that one!

Wow - I am a geek!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears - OH MY!

Last week we had an office outing to the Woodland Park Zoo! Most people think that we are nuts when we tell them that and the truth is, we probably are. But we had a blast!

The six of us piled into Mike's Durango at 8am, hit the coffee stand and headed south. We wandered through the displays, watched some bears play around, saw the elephants, giraffes, hippos, birds, lions - everything. It was so cool! Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to miss the last two exhibits.




After the zoo we went down to Pier 57 in Seattle and went to the Crab Pot for lunch. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!!! We ordered 5 "Pacific Clambakes" for the 6 of us and it was MORE than enough.


So here is how it works: they put butcher paper down on table and give each of us a bib (very necessary), a small wooden board and a mallet. When our food was ready, they dumped it right on the table and we just dug in! Snow crab, Dungeness crab, muscles, clams, prawns, Andouille sausage, corn and potatoes - all seasoned to perfection and ready to be devoured!

And devour we did! Except for a few potatoes, we polished the whole thing off! We hurried to jump back in the truck and hit the road so that we could avoid rush hour and headed back north. A final stop at the Burlington Starbucks and our day was complete. And it was wonderful!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Catch up

Well, once again I am behind on my blogging. No matter my good intentions, I always fall behind. So, here is the re-cap/highlights of the past couple of weeks:

- Got to see my old roommate from Taiwan! Alicia was traveling through Vancouver on her way to visit Saskatechewan before heading back to Shanghai.

- Went to Brian and Vanessa Hammond's beautiful wedding! Got to see some people that I haven't seen in a long time and had a great time. During the afternoon (between the ceremony and reception) we went to Sharks club and I got to have a Rickards Red! They don't have it down here and I have missed that beer a lot! It was so yummy.

- Saw the Bourne Ultimatum. SO GOOD!!!

- Had my wonderful friend Jessica and her delightful other half David over for dinner. We played a fun new game called Blockus.

- By sunday I was worn out and needed some down time so I burried myself in my book.

- Had Carissa and Bob over for dinner - so fun.

- Got to see my good friend Jen Gilbertson and also Liezel and James who I knew in Taiwan.

- The in-laws were in town for the weekend. Had a good time relaxing with them.

- Saw my sister for the first time in two months!!! The joys of crazy schedules.

- My niece is cuter than ever.

- Phil and I started playing tennis. We aren't very good, but we had fun.

Pretty much I have just been trying to see as many people as possible before I become a student hermit for 2 years.

Only 9 more days of work left! yay!!!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Grady Patrick Gallagher

Our good friends Joe and Kelly welcomed their third child, Grady Patrick Gallagher at 7:20 on Monday morning weighing 8 lbs 6 oz! We went down to the hospital in Seattle on Monday night to see them and meet their precious little guy. He was so cute!!!!
While we were there, Joe needed to take the other two kids back to Kelly's parents place (they live only a few minutes away). We have often heard of their house, but never seen it. So after much insisting from Kelly that she was fine there, we went with Joe.

Below is a picture of Phil enjoying the view! They have waterfront property on Lake Washington with a STUNNING view of Mt. Rainier and the lake.
Joe took us out for a ride on the lake and even let me drive the boat. That was fun!!!!
After our gallavanting on the lake we went back to the hospital and just realaxed and visted with Joe and Kelly. It was super late by the time we got home, but so worth it for such a wonderful evening!

Manning Park

This past weekend we enjoyed the splendor of beautiful BC in Manning Park. We camped with our good friends Sarah and Kris at Coldspring and had a WONDERFUL time!!!
We spent a good part of the day on Saturday hiking around Lighting Lake and Flash Lake. It was such a gorgeous walk and we had a great time.

The boys were quite tired when we got back to the site and were eager to sit down and grab a few beers. After we got dinner going, Sarah and I were just as eager to join them. :)
We spent our evenings and mornings just sitting around the campfire relaxing, talking and laughing. Even though it was only a few hours from home, it felt like we were so far and it was great to just get away and relax.
And of course on our way home on Sunday we had to go to the theater and watch the Simpsons Movie. My dear husband claimed that he could not show his face at work on Monday morning if he hadn't seen it. So, after not showering for over two days, being on a long sweaty hike, and chilling around a smoky campfire, we got to go into a public setting. I was so NOT excited about that since I knew that I looked terrible and smelled even worse! But we had a good time and I must admit that the movie was more clever than I expected.