Friday, December 19, 2008

The letter N

I usually don't participate in these things, but for some reason I thought why not with this one. A friend posted 10 things about herself starting with a certain letter and challenged her friends to do the same. I got the letter N. It was harder than I thought to come up with 10 things.

Of course I realized that when I went to do this post tonight that it's supposed to be 10 things I love, but I'm tweaking mine to be just 10 things about me. So here we go in no particular order:

1. Nurse. I am an almost nurse! In April I will graduate from the UBC School of Nursing and I couldn't be more excited about a) entering my new profession and b) getting a break from school. I truly enjoy my new career path and all of the amazing/exciting/wonderful/diverse opportunities that come with it.

2. Nectarines are my favorite fruit ever. If I could, I would eat them morning, noon and night, 365 days of the year!

3. Never ending is God's love, grace, mercy and forgiveness to me and I could not be more thankful. God defines my life, shapes my life and directs my life. Period.

4. No kids. Since we have been married for 3.5 years, this is a common question that we get.
Do you have kids? No, not yet.
When are you going to have kids? Someday.
Could you be more specific? No.

5. Nickie. You might be thinking that this is an obvious one since it's in the name of my blog, but here is a random detail about me and my name - until I was 8 years old, I simply thought that Nickie was my name. Then Ilearnt that my legal name was Nicole, and decided to go by that since it sounded so much more grown up! When I was 20, I switched back to Nickie - I think that it suits me better.

6. Nice. I try to be a nice person. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I just need to try harder.

7. Normal. I wouldn't really classify myself as normal. Many of the dreams and goals that I have get odd looks when I share them. But that's ok. Thankfully, my husband once told me that he loves me because I'm not normal and not like everyone else. He loves me because I'm me.

8. Nerd. And building on the last point, I'm a bit of a nerd. I love school, reading, science, history.... yeah, kinda nerdy. But I've come to terms with my nerdiness and decided to just embrace it. And it's not so bad because I'm a nerd with social skills - it would be so much worse if I were anti-social!

9. Novels. I LOVE to read. I'm quite indiscriminate too. I'll read anything from biographies, to historical novels, to mindless trashy romances. It just depends on my mood. But I love to read. During school, I usually don't let myself have a book on the go because if I get too into it, I will literally stay up until 3am reading, even if I have to get up at 5. Not good.

10. Next. I'm always looking for the next adventure, the next challenge, the next place to go. Even if i'm not done with the current thing I'm doing, I'm always thinking and dreaming of what is next.

So there you go - 10 random things about me that you may or may not have known. If you want to play, leave me a comment and I'll send you a letter to work with.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Tour

My friend Shawna is hosting a Christmas Tour on her blog. So I thought I would join in the fun and post our Christmas decorations.


Starting with the tree of course, which we chopped down ourselves.

We got the star last year from Phil's parents as a Christmas gift and I just love it! We had to trim the tree a few extra inches to get to fit, and even now it's grazing the ceiling.

Stockings hung over the fire

Little Christmas houses light up our front room.

Our front windows have a Christmas bear, and....

Santa to greet you!

Candles glowing


and candles that are so pretty I can't bring myself to actually burn them. And Christmas gnomes.... sort of. They were Phil's grandma's and we think that she got them in Norway. I'm not sure if they are actually Christmas decorations, but they seem to fit in and we like them.

Just a couple of things to "Christmas up" the bathroom


Normal

So what have I been doing with my time since finishing finals? Trying to be a normal person! I'm probably sleeping more than a normal person right now, but oh well. Other than that, I'm gettin got do all of the things that I did not get to do (or at least didn't get to do much) while in school. So here is what has been filling my days
  • spending time with hubby
  • sleeping
  • working out
  • seeing friends
  • watching movies
  • catching up on email
  • baking
  • getting ready for Christmas

I've also worked a few shifts at the hospital. Somehow, it's so much less exhausting working there now because I know that when I get home, I can just sleep or do things that I enjoy, I don't have to do homework!

Last set of finals

In early December, I endured my last finals week at UBC. Even though I still have one term to go, due to the class schedule and my final preceptorship, I will not have to live through that grueling week where I try to cram 3 months worth of knowledge from 4 classes into my brain and then somehow get it all out on paper.

As usual, there were celebrations with beer after we finished. It was a bittersweet moment for us. Ok, more sweet than bitter, but it was still sad to know that this was the last time that our class would be all together since we scatter into our various areas of specialty next term.

Tree cutting

As in tradition in our family now, we headed out for Glacier to pick up our Christmas tree permit. On the way there, I made the requisit call to my good friend Kelly to complain that she and her family no longer live around here and that it is just not the same cutting down our tree without them.

The big difference this year was the complete lack of snow! As we headed up Glacier Creek road, we easily drove up the road, where in past years the snow has sent us back. We went as high as we could on the road, then kept hiking another 15 minutes.

Phil found the perfect tree (he is SO PICKY about the tree that we get) on the side of the mountain. I wondered if it was even safe to hike down to it, but of course there was no stopping Phil since it was the "perfect tree".

We brought our two exchange students along and they were SO delighted to be a part of the process. They said that in Japan, most people don't have Christmas trees, and the ones that do, buy them pre-lit and pre-decorated. Where's the fun in that?

Phil inspecting the tree before making the cut.
The girls posing with the tree

A busy day

A few weeks ago, Phil and I had the pleasure of gathering with a couple hundred others to celebrate 50 years of marriage for Leonard and Kathy. As people shared about their memories of time spent with L&K, a theme of hospitality and an open home where all were welcomed, and enouraged, to gather and celebrate life. I told Phil that I hoped at our 50th anniversary, people say similar things about us - that we had an open home and were known for our hospitality.

Here we are at the party

Later that evening, we got dressed up and headed out to Phil's Christmas party. It was a wonderful dinner and a fun time hanging out with friends.
Kristen and I
Phil and I - this is actually our Christmas card picture this year.




Monday, December 01, 2008

Nurse's Night Out!

After 15 grueling months together, our cohort had our last class all together on Wednesday. In January, we will split off into specialty groups, which is exciting, yet a bit sad because we have become such a tight group.

In honor of our achievment/celebration that we survived the term, a bunch of us went to a fundraiser for Sheway at Chivas to party the night away! The evening started at my friend Liz's house since we had a few hours to kill between our class and the party. We laughed, reminised, vented, drank wine and ate sushi - so fun!

After a somewhat dodgy ride over to the restaurant (I don't think that you are supposed to ride in the back of pick-ups - oops!), we enjoyed an evening of dancing, drinks and friends!





Thursday, November 27, 2008

Free Chistmas Music!

I'm not a big Oprah fan so I'm never on her website, but one of my friends directed me there for some free Christmas music! And they even post stupid easy instructions. It's going to be up for 48 hours - enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

For the moms

I know that several moms read this blog, so I thought I would share a cool blog I found. It was started by a man who wanted to make his wife's Chrismtas present. The present? A collection of letters from moms, to moms. The letters can be about any aspect of motherhood and many of them are quite beautiful.

If you go to the site, you can read through many of letters (just scroll down). If you decided to add your own letter, you will get a complete copy of all of hte letters once he compiles them. Enjoy!

http://motherletter.blogspot.com/2008/10/mother-letters.html

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spoiled generation

I saw this on my friends blog and laughed so hard! It's so true - the current generation is so spoiled and needs to be reminded sometimes about how life "used" to be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baking!

Tomorrow is my last day at Lions Gate Hospital, and I couldn't be happier!!! The unit itself isn't bad, it's just the commute that's killing me. 50 miles, an international border, two big ass hills and 3 bridges is just too much for 5:30am!

As a Thank-you to our unit, I did some baking this evening. I was on a roll and before I knew it I had Cranberry White Chocolate cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate cookies, and Pumpkin bread! And now it's all neatly packaged up for the unit, the other students in my group, and the rest for ProPack!

And best of all - I'm now totally relaxed!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A night with the Gallaghers

A little over a year ago, we said goodbye to our good friends, the Gallaghers, as they moved off to Oklahoma. We were lucky enough to get to visit them in the spring, but I still miss them like crazy!

Tonight we got to have dinner and visit with them which was SO NICE! They are on a whirwind trip of the Pacific Northwest with stops in Seattle, Bellingham and Anchorage! One evening seemed too short, but I'll take what I can get.

As Kelly was leaving, she mentioned how great it is that even though our contact is sometimes sparse, we do email and call, and when we get together, it's like no time at all has passed! So wonderful to have friends like that!

Here's Kelly and I posing - we actually have very few pictures of the two of us!
Molly and Ellery
Grady! So cute! And so much bigger than the last time he was here! (he was only 3 weeks old then).




So close....

This morning I had my practical exam, and thankfully, it went well. It's always nerve racking trying to "nurse" a mannequin and perform skills on a piece of plastic.... all while your instructors eyes bore into you. I'm definitely thankfull that I don't have to do any more of those!!!

Portland!

Finally, something fun to post about! For the third year in a row, Phil and I went to the Portland Ski and Snow Show with our friend Kevin who was marketing the hotel he works for, the Icicle Inn in Leavenworth. We always have a blast at the show and hanging out for the weekend. It's a win-win situation too - we get a cheap weekend away and free entrance to the show, and Kevin gets fun friends to hang out with, and someone to watch the booth so he can take some breaks!

Usually Phil is the one shopping at the show, but this year it was my turn. I was on the hunt for a new pair of snow pants. My current ones don't work that great - I'm usually soaked by noon. With some help from the Burton rep, I got the sweetest pair of gortex snowpants! And best of all, they were 50% off!!! My kind of deal!

We also hit the Addidas sale that was going on at the next pavillion at the expo center. They had the same sale last year so we went ready to stock up. We went on Sunday because everythign was the cheapest then. We loaded up on running shorts and tops for both of us, shoes, couple of hats, some yoga pants and a few other goodies.

In addition to all this shopping, we also got to socialize! A few of Phil's friends came up for the show on Saturday and we went out for dinner after. Phil and Ryan's parents went to lamaze classes together so they have known each other their whole lives. However, Ryan and I have never met. Usually they hang out on snowboarding trips, which tends to be a guy thing. So it was great to finally meet him as well.

The whole weekend was great except for one thing - the food. After eating out for a weekend, I was craving some good old yogurt and fresh fruit!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Not a bad blogger

You might be thinking that I'm a bad blogger since I haven't posted in a while. Not so. I just don't have anything to post about. Sad and pathetic, I know. But only 33 more days until finals are done! And yes, I am the countdown queen!!!

As proof that I'm still alive, here is a pic of me this morning that I took when I should have been making breakfast. Oops!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One glass

One glass of wine = half the bottle, right?

Mt Baker

These pictures don't even begin to do it justice, but Mt Baker looked INCREDIBLE when I got home yesterday! This was the best capture of it that I could get with my little camera.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thanksgiving

I know, I'm a bit late in getting this post up, but better late than never, right?
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I spent a lot of time studying for midterms, but I set aside Sunday for cooking and family. The interesting twist to my weekend was that on Saturday night, I worked my first night shift! Thankfully I was able to get off by 3:30am and was home, showered and in bed by 4:30. After a few hours of sleep, I was up to stuff the turkey and get it in the oven. Like most days, coffee was my best friend!
We had about 20 people for dinner and it was so much fun! My family as well as a few other Canadians that we know down here all gathered to eat copious amounts of good food! We spent the evening relaxing by the fire, drinking coffee, and just hanging out.
Here I am posing with my sisters
Me and Jules The kids watching a movie (yay for owning Pixar movies - the kids always love them!)
Levi being goofy
Holding my beautiful little niece!
Sienna again - she's just too cute!
The kids lined up for dessert
Mami holding Sienna. Mami's had a niece born about a week before she left Japan, so she was so excited to be able to hold a baby!
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Getting Ready

This year I got to host Thanksgiving for my family which meant that I got to bake! Always a good thing for me. Our delightful exchange student, Mami, spent the afternoon baking away with me and we had so much fun!
Here we are in our aprons getting ready
All the supplies for apple pie!
Apple pie before the top went on
All the yummy pumpkin cookies!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin recipe

As per your request Treena, here is the recipe for pumpkin cookies! So yummy!!!

1 1/2 cups butter/shortening (I only use butter, but you can use a combo)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
16 oz packed canned pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamin
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour)
2 cups quick oats
2 cups chocolate chips

Combine butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamin, baking soda and salt. Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add oats, then chocolate chips.

Drop cookies in rounds onto the baking sheet and press down lightly. Bake at 350 degrees. The recipe says to bake for 8-10 minutes, but I usually do them for 12. They have a bit more of a cake/bread texture than typical cookie texture, but they are so good! Enjoy!

On my own

I love going to get my hair done - it's my little pampering treat every few months! The problem is always the day after I get my hair done. I have a new hairstyle, and I can never do it as well as the stylist does. I've asked for tips, had them show me, spent tons of time, and still, I never get it to look how they do.

This morning was my first time doing my new hairstyle, on my own. Although it's not as good as when Jenny did it, I think that I did ok!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pumpkin cookies

Once of the best things about fall is the pumpkin! The colors and cool crisp days are great as well, but really, I get excited about the pumpkin. I LOVE pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and best of all - pumpkin cookies! I made a big batch last night - yummy!

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Volunteer

I LOVE THE OLYMPICS!

Seriously, absolutely love them! I think that they are such an amazing time for people from all over the world to join together. It's embarassing to admit, but they also make me cry. When I see an athlete celebrating their victory, or when I see the Canadian flag being raised in a medal ceremony, I can't help it - the tears just come to my eyes.

On Tuesday I went to my interview to be a volunteer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. We had an orientation as well and it was really interesting to learn more about the games, and specifically, how Vancouver is going to do it.

I'm volunteering as an Anti-doping chaperone. Basically, I find the athlete, and escort them to the testing facility once they have been selected for testing. I figure that it will be a cool way to participate in the games, and hopefully catch a bit of the competition as well. I won't get my oficial offer to be a volunteer until the spring, but I have to attend some training in November, so basically, I'm in!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No Life

You make think that I have been negligent with my blog and not updating it, but the sad truth is, I haven't had anything to update on! I have no life right now! I go to school, I go to work and I do homework. And that's about it!

The only "thing" that has really happened was that I got quite sick last week. There is a nasty cold going around our class and I had the joy of a horrible sore throat and going through boxes of kleenexs for a week. Such fun.

I would probably go crazy if I didn' t have any socializing at all, so I did fit in a few brief moments. We went to Emmalea's 3rd birthday party on Friday night. The party was at the clubhouse at Jackie and Dave's place and it has a small gym attached to it... a small gym that delightfully echoes when a dozen children under the age of 5 decide to scream because they like the sound. If that's not birth control, I don't know what is!

Here is Phil holding Sienna when she is a week old.
Emmalea opening her gifts