"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life's Changing

Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I posted, yes- But good news! I closed on my house January 18th!! I CLOSED ON A HOUSE. I have to type it in capital letters because I'm still trying to get used to it. Right now, I'm sitting in my office. Yeah. My office. I own it. Well, technically the bank owns it, but I will own it in 30 years! Woot! I've been drastically busy, but having so much fun renovating and decorating the house. My weekends have still been spent working Fridays-Sundays, and my mondays-thursdays have consisted of either:

- Packing
- unpacking
- cleaning
- painting
- spackeling (sp?)
- cutting things
- staining wood
- applying stained wood to wall (well actually my dad did this- I'm not allowed to hold big machines that nail things to walls)
- Cleaning some more
- making to do lists
- moving furniture
- cleaning said furniture
- taping painters tape
- untaping painters tape
- cleaning things I've already cleaned, again
- applying floor tiles
- buying a lot of crap
- making a lot of friends at Lowe's
- buying a lot of magic erasers
- cleaning some more with those erasers
- making a lot of decisions
- painting second coats

...And it goes on and on. Getting up early and staying up late, every day has been full! But FUN!
 I know that these are the days I will cherish and look back on in ten years. I will marvel at how far I've come in comparison, and cherish the memories I'm making with my dad and my boyfriend as we renovate. It's been hilarious, fun, and a tremendous learning experience.

For example, here are some small, some big, all useful things I've learned in this whole experience:

- It's not that hard to buy a house, especially if you're a first time buyer like me. A lot of the stress comes from selling a house. Buying a house isn't terrible once you've picked it out and have the money to do the down payment. The rest is thousands of phone calls and a shitton of paperwork and deadlines, more paperwork and a lot of signatures. But its no big.
- It's not as hard as I thought to paint. But everything needs a second coat.
- I'm not a good enough painter to not use a drop cloth. *sigh*
- Almost anything in your home can be fixed with the right amount of money and sweet talking with employees at Lowe's and Home Depot. And asking nicely.
- Always sample colors before you buy in the gallon size. But I've noticed the samples are sometimes just a twad different from the real thing so be prepared.
- I learned how to stain wood!
- Always let the stain DRY before you try and touch something with it on, and try not to let it get on your bare skin, its really not fun to get off.
- Make sure your ladder is definitely sturdy before getting on and off it a million times. Like don't use the one you found in the garage that was there when you bought the house.
- Keep track of how much improvement money you are putting into the house.
- If you think a room is small, just put on and take off painters tape around the perimeter of the room, on the ceiling and floor. Your perspective will change.
- Make getting blinds a first priority!
- Rome wasn't built in a day.
- It takes 24 hours for spackle to dry.
- Don't take painters tape off until you're certain whoever painted what they painted definitely did their second coat.
- LABEL BOXES when you pack, it will make it SO MUCH easier to unpack and maybe your box with the silverware won't end up under 20 boxes in your office or bedroom.
- ITs your house, don't be afraid to be daring and create your own ideas/designs. Think outside the box!
- If you hear a noise, go check it out. Make peace. Learn about your house.
- When you hire any time of professional, follow them around and learn about your house and what they are doing. That way you know more about your house and you know how to do what they did. Ask questions!
- If you think you may have a ghost, make friends with it on day one. I got mine some pumpkin seeds and she loves it.  I'm only partially kidding.
-Almost anything can be cleaned with a magic clean eraser.
- Its not the end of the world if you get paint on the molding, trim, ceiling, etc. Either it wiples off easily, or you can go back with touch up paint.
- Just give in and get the MyLowes card. Preferably not on your last visit to buy paint...

Anyway, I'll probably add some learning experiences as I continue to work on the house. We're still not done painting, we need 40% of our furniture yet, and still so much CLEANING. I honestly never thought I had it in me to clean this much, but I guess you grow up a lot when you have your own house. I first noticed myself caring about cleanliness when I had my very first dorm room in college. I had a single, so it was all up to me to keep it clean. If I didn't, I always was mortified when friends stopped by and saw my messes. So I finally understood why my mom was always so adamant about cleaning the house when company came over. But then by the time I was a senior in my single dorm, I really didn't care about my rooms appearance. I would *maybe* clean it for my boyfriend HA! Just kidding, I would let my boyfriend clean it, lol. Then after college I moved into an apartment with a roommate and I noticed again that I cared about it being clean. I thought, hey wow- I'm actually paying to live here, I should keep it looking nice. Now in the house, my house, its worse than ever. Get this- I used to think people that insist you take your shoes off when you enter their house were being overly meticulous and afraid of dirt. Now that I'm the one that has to constantly clean/swift/mop up trails of mud and dirt around the house, I totally get where those people are coming from!

But anyway, 2013 will be a huge year for me. I've got to learn how to start cutting coupons and paying attention to sales. I've got a friggen mortgage now, which is scarier than anything. I've always been the kind of girl that's afraid of commitment, and having a 30 year commitment to anything is nerve wracking to me. But I'm ready for it. This feels right. I fell in love with the house when I first saw it, and I plan to put a lot of love into it.

Look for more updates on the house, more to come! Maybe I'll tell you my ghost story.

- With love,



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not in My World

So this post is about an issue that has come up recently in my little nursing world. Very recently, only over the past week have I noticed it but it's happened 5-6 times in separate instances...

So in case you don't know my nursing history, I was an aide for five years until I graduated nursing school and was hired, at the same hospital as an R.N. For awhile I struggled accepting the differences between being a nurse aide and a registered nurse. I couldn't grasp the fact that now I had to delegate tasks to my coworkers that used to be the same position as me, but now they were beneath me. I knew how busy they were because I had been in their exact shoes. So I became determined to always try and do everything myself and only ask for help from the aides when my patients safety depends on it.

Then this year I came over to a new hospital, where it was a little easier to accept the boundaries between being an RN and the aide. I respect my new aides very much and still always try to help them out, even with patients that are not my own. I try and only ask for help when either I cannot do it or another patient needs me more or I just need an extra hand in the room.

 But recently, my patients (like I said, 5-6 different patients within the past week) have done something peculiar.

I go into the room to do my nursing assessment, or perhaps give them a medication of some kind. This one patient asked me the other day, "Do you have CNAs (nurse aides) or something?" I said "Yes, we do." She said, "Can you please send one in when you have a chance, I need some ice water." I looked perplexed, I  said back- "well I can certainly get you some ice water, I'll be right back." and she quickly said, "No no, you're the RN, you have much more important things to do. Send a CNA in." This was the first time I had ever heard something like this. I assured her I had the time to do it and I wanted to get her ice water and that I did.

A couple of other patients have done the same thing, and its only been recently. A male patient I had last night spilled a drink of water and needed a new set of napkins, and a towel to clean up the water. I said "sure, I'll be right back" and when I got back, he said, "you didn't have to do that, that is dirty work, i know you have more important things to do."

I looked up at him , almost incredulously- as this was the 5th or 6th this same instance had happened with other patients, and I assured him that helping him and making him feel better in any way was just as important to me as anything else. I don't mind doing anything, that is my job-regardless or not if it can also be the aides job. In fact I think I think it's even in my hospitals nursing policy that we do not leave any room without making sure the patient has everything they need and they are happy. If they aren't happy, we need to find a person with different capabilities that can make them happy. I don't know why my patients have gotten it in their head that the RNs are "better" than the aides. We aren't better. We just can do different things for our patients. Just like I don't necessarily consider doctors "better" than RNs, they just do different things. Sure, I respect the doctors I work with and they are obviously a vital part of health care. But so are nurses. And so are aides. Ok I've gone off on a tangent.

Anyway, my boyfriend has puppy eyes and is staring at me over top my computer screen waiting for me to finish, so I'm wrapping this up. Sorry for the short blog, I just wanted to write about it since its happened so many times recently....and it just doesn't fly in my world.

With Love, WNB


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Finally Enlightened

Hey! Wow, 2 blogs in < 48 hours! THats an accomplishment for me!

I hope everyone is having a good 2013 so far! I have a really good feeling that 2013 is going to be a life-altering year, in a really good way. I can just feel it.

I got a call this morning from my job offering me a deal to come in for day shift hours and I would be allowed to leave at 11pm , instead of 7 am, so that is awesome and totally is what I needed. I ended up getting out at 11:45 and got to hear the radio dance party on my local station. It was awesome being able to bop along to my favorite 2012 songs, even if I was in scrubs, in the car, and not at a party or anything. It was such an unexpected treat to even be able to listen to it in the first place since I was supposed to be at work. Anyway, so when the radio DJ count-downed( is that a word?) to midnight, and there it is just seconds after midnight and fireworks are going off in the distance as I travel down the road, and I finally felt it. I was euphoric. And what was this, was I actually crying?? Yea. I have *never* cried tears of happiness, ever. Never ever. Which made me cry even more because I was so shocked I was crying happy tears. I was just so happy that I wasn't at work, I survived hell week (between xmas and new years in healthcare) and did a really good job, my boss told me I was a really good nurse....and my favorite songs were playing. I couldn't stop smiling.

So THAT my friends is how I know 2013 is going to be a good year. Because after so long of my emotions being shut down, guarded from heartbreak, I can finally feel euphoria again. I cannot wait.

Anyway, my yearly tradition of resolutions! If you're new to my blog, every year I go through my prior years resolutions and comment on how I did. After that I write new ones. Unfortunately, I read through last years and not much has changed. But its tradition! The italicized are last years, the normal font is me commenting on it. Following the whole set are 2013's.

1) Have at LEAST half of my book #1 completely written by 2013. Part of me wants to say write the whole book by 2013, but....I'd rather be proud of myself for accomplishing a resolution than to not because I set the standard too high. So, yeah. Half the book. I think this is definitely possible.
Haha. That didn't happen. But I have a good excuse. Last year when I wrote this, I was working night shift on a 12 bed unit, and although we had our fair share of insane nights, most nights I had time to write a little when all my work was done and my patients were sleeping. Well, then the summer got really busy, and then I got transferred, and at this new place- I barely have time to pee. My home life  has been pretty busy as well :(
2) I need to learn how to go with the flow....I'm 23, I have to stop trying to PLAN everything. Stop trying to overanalyze everything and just......be. Just do. Accept new challenges. Accept new people in my life. Do new things. Play new sports.
I did a good job with this one! I joined racquetball! I stayed with it! I didn't quit! I joined tennis lessons! I got out and did things I was afraid of this year. I took a leap of faith with my new boyfriend this year. I screwed the logical planning of every single step of my life. I like my life a lot better this way.

3) I want to really focus this year on becoming a much better nurse. I want to do a lot of research on my practice, and really better myself in unique abilities. My hospital is offering the position of a "wound care champion" that I might look into. It would be nice to be exceptionally good at at least one thing among the amazing nurses I work with.
I did end up becoming a wound care champion at my old hospital! It was pretty sweet to be good at something, and to my new job I therefore brought the knowledge of how to dress a wound pretty awesomely. Sweet. Also, being on a cardiology floor has taught me SO MUCH in so little time and I can't wait to be a proficient cardiac nurse.
4) Along with number 3, in general (in nursing and in life), I need to learn to be more confident in my abilities. In my self. In my knowledge. In my instincts. This is really hard. I need to trust myself.
I have serious self esteem issues and I don't think I will ever learn to be completely confident in myself. I always question myself. I just hate to do things wrong. I still have to work on this.

5) I need to learn how to COOK! Not just any cooking, but I need to learn how to cook in general and cook for lactose intolerance specifically. So, I really need to get on this because right now my food groups consist of: Rice, beans, chicken, chinese food, fish & chips, vegetables, chicken tenders, fries, and smoothies. So, More variety needed? Yess.
Okay. This was hard. Thats still pretty much my entire food group, except I eat less chinese food now, less fries, less tenders, and less fish and chips. So I basically eat: Fruit, veggies, BREAD (so bad), Thai food, chicken, rice and lactose intolerant specially made products. Sooooooo, yeah. HOWEVER, I have a lot of influential people in my life that have been teaching me how to cook real things. I've dated two people this past year that loved to cook and worked with my allergies and taught me how to make some good meals. My grandma is a great cook and did the same for me. My aunt has also been guiding me through some really dumb questions online! With buying a new house soon, I'm going to have a full kitchen to myself that I need to use! Goal: next year, I'm making thanksgiving dinner all by myself :)

6) I need to learn how to love again. But at the same time, I need to learn how to just be ok with me. I need to get to know myself better before I let myself attach to anyone else at this point. I feel like right now, when I "attach" to someone, or see someone, they are dating an empty vessel of a girl that needs to figure out a lot right now. I am in here, I promise. Just need to work on my firewall right now, let people in. Its a new year. New beginnings. Let our endings go. Forever, and ever, and hit the ground runnin! Woo.
I did this! I so did this! I'm doing it! I dated a couple young gentleman in 2012 but there was always something that was off.  After a couple bad experiences, I decided it was impossible to meet new people working night shift and the only other thing I did was go to Barnes  & Noble, the gym and out with my family and girlfriends. Plus, strangers don't meet and start dating anymore nowadays. And my friends tried setting me up and it just wasn't working out. So I threw in the towel and joined the ever so promising eHarmony. And within three weeks of my membership (and a lot of conversations), I met my amazing boyfriend. He lives in the town right next to mine, yay! We had talked online and through texting for about two weeks, until we decided to have our first date on a Wednesday. By that Friday, we were boyfriend and girlfriend. So it went really fast but everything just felt right. Which is huge for me, because I'm very picky. He is one of the main reasons I think my heart is opening back up to feel emotions. I held true to myself and am comfortable with myself, I know myself pretty well and I am strong. I don't believe in 1/2 and 1/2 makes 1 when it comes to partners. I believe in 1 + 1 makes 2. We do not complete each other, nor should we. Nor should anyone, because then what are you without them? We are each our own unique person, our own soul, our own complete set of strengths and weaknesses, and together we bring that to the same table and combine from there.

7) I already am doing this, but I want to draw a LOT more. I already have drawn so much since school let out and I love it. I also want to do more with my photography this year. Like sell it. Big time. :-) On that note, look for a photography post sooN! I am WAY overdue!
I drew a LOT this year. I got a drawing desk!!!! Its the best!!!!!!  I've been on a drawing hiatus because I've been so busy but I plan to go back full force this spring. My new house has room for my own studio :) Oh, and I still owe ya'll that photography post...ha

Alright so here's what I've got for 2013. I haven't thought about my resolutions until literally right now. Usually I think about this blog for like a week. Soooooo, here goes.

1) No more sugar. This is something I've been trying to do for a couple of months now, but it's so HARD. What I mean by no sugar is no OBVIOUS sugar. I still plan to eat fruit. What my problem has been, is raspberry friggen Iced tea. That stuff is packed tight with sugar and I've become addicted to it. I've also gained like ten pounds. I also eat more bread than..........Peeta Mellark. I seriously love bread. Its bad. I don't want to eat any obvious sugar. It will be hard, but I can do it. At least cut out 80% of it?

2)Lose weight. I am uncomfortable with my body and have to change. I come from a past of not being good enough for those I loved. My boyfriend now tells me he loves just the way I am and that makes me so happy but I can't stand the way I feel, the extra jiggles and lovemuffins. I hate the mirror.  So, by 2014 I plan to be holding steady under 130lbs. I'm 145 now. I can do that!

3) Budget- Budget- BUDGET. Buying a new house, its not like an apartment. There is no escape plan this time. If I couldn't handle the rent at any point, I could have left at anytime. Not with a mortgage. I have to cut coupons. And actually pay attention to sales. I have to think twice about buying 6 books that will sit on my bookshelf. I can do it.

4) Keep my damn car and room clean. WHY IS THIS SO HARD. I have the cutest little sports car, which looks awesome from a distance and then people get in it and realize its not suitable to non-julie human survival. Sad.

5) Join a badminton team . Join a swimming team.

6) Be smarter. Although I AM a LOT smarter as a nurse now than I was last year, there is still so much I don't know. I so badly want to be the nurse that the new graduate comes and gets and says "can you help me?" and I can just come in and teach and finally know everything and put it to good use. I want to maybe start school this Fall for my nursing MSN. I want to research more about my patients conditions.


Thats it, folks!! Love you all!
HAPPY 2013!!!!!
Make a difference. Make it your own.