Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When the To-Do list takes a back seat

I love lists.
I love the satisfaction of crossing something off of said lists.
But I love spending time with my family more.

I had a very big To-Do list for this weekend. I was going to get every single piece of laundry washed, folded, and put away.  Grocery shopping was going to be done. The house was going to be immaculate. Every toy was going to be back in their place.  My book was going to be finished. My PCD for my annual review was going to be completed.  The Olympics were going to be watched...nonstop.  But as usual, my brilliantly planned out weekend turned into something a little different.

We did a pretty good job cleaning the house.  Most of the toys found their way back to their respective homes.  Some of the laundry got washed.  Folded and put away is a different story. {This should shed some light on the problem}  Grocery shopping eventually was finished.  I caught a few moments of the Olympics.  I didn't read a page of my book.  My PCD wasn't even started.  We ate out for every meal.  But, you know what?  It's completely OK.

Saturday the Hubs and I got to spend some "us" time at the movies.  I might have embraced the whole babysitter thing.  I don't know why I was such a crazy person before.  The Hubs and I enjoyed time with the kids over fro yo (well the Hubs and Em got real ice cream) and Hello Kitty spoons.  Sunday we spent the morning sneaking in a few extra hours of sleep before spending time together as a family at Church.  We ditched our housekeeping tasks in exchange for smiling faces at the Disney Store, a little Mommy shopping, and school shoe shopping (which of course took us to not 1 but 2 malls.  Gotta love private school dress codes).

While I'm scrambling to finish my PCD (it's due today), I'd never trade spending time with my family for anything. As crazy as I feel being out in public with them, I welcome the crazy.  I've learned not to take any day for granted.  And if today would be my last day on Earth, I'm happy that I spend the weekend with  my family, not with a bottle of windex and a vacuum.

Now back to today's To-Do list ;)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Social

After having a lofty To-Do list for this weekend and not really accomplishing any of it (I decided to enjoy life with the family instead of crossing things off that list), now I'm scrambling to get stuff done now that the kiddos are asleep.  So of course, sneaking in a blog post tops the list ;)

Sunday Social

1. What is your dream job? I honestly have my dream job.  I'm a Mommy and a Nurse.  I never grew up thinking I'd be a nurse but I am truly where I need to be.  I love what I do and I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time? I'd love to work for Disney as a PhotoPass photographer.  The Hubs thinks I'm nuts because of this but I just know I'd love it.  I'm in love with photography.  I obviously love Disney.  But how awesome would it be to capture those special moments of a child meeting their favorite character, someone proposing to their love in front of Cinderella's Castle, or just having a dream come true?  I couldn't imagine something more exciting to do with my spare time.

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was going to be a Pediatrician ever since I was 5.  And I'm so glad I'm not a doctor.  I feel like I'm smarter than a lot of the residents that work at our hospital!  

4. What piece career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field? Don't listen to those people who say you should work Med/Surg before going to a specialty field.  If you know you want to work Critical Care, jump right in and do Critical Care.  I think that Med/Surg nonsense is just that...nonsense.  Do what you want to do with your career.  Don't suffer through a year of something that doesn't interest you just because someone said to.

5. Biggest Pet Peeves either in life or in blogging or at work: Life: people who talk on cell phones in check out lines, boring baseball commentators, people who can't push a stroller at an appropriate speed in public, people who walk on the wrong side of the mall (we all know that each direction has it's own side of the building...stick to the correct side!!!), skinny people who constantly complain that they're fat (just being real), hangers that don't hang in the same/right direction Work: people who don't help out others, charge nurses who leave before checking in with every nurse who's on the unit to offer help, when pharmacy delivers meds for a patient and leaves the previous patient's meds in the same bin, when chemo orders have things crossed out on them, a messy report sheet Blogging: no-reply comments (I want to reply back!!!), people who make a point to say "follow back" (I follow blogs that I find interesting, not because someone asked me to follow back), hard to read fonts

6. Biggest Fears: clowns, heights, not being a good enough Mom for my kids, my kids getting a life threatening disease (unfortunately I think about this one all the time thanks to my line of work), failure

Great questions girls!!!  This one might be my favorite yet!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A case of the "What Ifs"

I don't like regret.  I believe everything happens for a reason, regardless if we ever truly understand the reason.  But sometimes I find myself wondering what my life would be like if I'd made different decisions.
{Disclaimer....by no means am I writing this because I hate where my life is right now.  I have the most amazing family.  I get to spend every day with my best friend.  I have a career that I'm not only proud of but one that I truly love. And I'm surrounded by the best friends a girl could ask for. So don't think I'm jumping off the deep end, OK? Thanks}

What if I would have gone to school in North Carolina like I'd planned?  Would I have ended up being the Pediatrician I always dreamed of being?

What if I never left USF?  Would friendships that are broken today still be in one piece?

What if I never met the Hubs?  Would I still be in the dead end relationship that I was in, the one that was doing nothing but bringing me down?  Would I have always been looking for the right relationship for me?

What if we never had children?  Would we be traveling the world?  Would be feel fulfilled? Would we do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted?

What if Emmy was really born at 29 weeks?  Would our life revolve around doctors and therapy appointments?  How would Noah handle it all?

What if the Hubs and I really gave up on each other when things got really tough?

I find my mind wandering towards these questions when things get really rough for me.  But instead of dwelling on all the "what ifs" I think of all the amazing blessings in my life because none of these situations came to fruition:

I ended up at USF and had the time of my life.  I made amazing friends, had the best job anyone could ask for, and found my place in Chi Omega.  True I gave up on my dreams of being Jessica Trowbridge, MD (that's my maiden name) but I found my calling in nursing.  I had to leave USF in order to follow that calling.

In leaving USF, I had friendships tested and I learned so much about myself.  I took a chance on a cowboy I met in a bar and found the love of my life. I said goodbye to a person that was only dragging me down.  I had the wedding of my dreams and we started our family with a perfect little boy.

Our prayers were answered and we were blessed with a perfectly healthy baby girl after 9 weeks of tears, worry, fear, prayers, and emotions. Every horrible scenario we had prepared ourselves were just that, scenarios.  I survived the hardest and darkest time of my life.

The Hubs and I pushed our pride and stubbornness aside and worked our asses off to get back to a good place.  I realized that nothing is easy and we have to fight for what we believe in.  Fight for what is important.  And it's a fight I'd fight over and over again.

I'm constantly reminded how blessed my life is.  It might not look like the life I always dreamed of or planned out in my diary but it's the life I've created, the life that's right for me.  I don't regret a single moment, a single decision (good or bad) because it all led me to where I'm standing today. I'm standing here proud of what I've accomplished, proud of the life I've created, proud of it all.

My favorite quote from RENT sums it all up....
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Painting with a Twist

I can't believe I haven't posted on this yet.  I'm such a slacker.  Oh well....late's better than never.  So Nichole was awesome enough to plan a great Tampa Bay Blogger Gals meetup at Painting with a Twist in Tampa.  I know there have been plenty of posts about my experiences there but I can't begin to tell you how much I love that place.  Art has a special place in my heart.  It's always been a special hobby of mine, even if I've really slacked on it since getting married.  But there's something magical about creating something with your own hands.

So I headed over the bridge to Tampa to meet up with these lovely ladies.  Let me just tell you....these girls love their wine!  And to make it even better, Publix had BOGO wine that week (which I did not take advantage of...sad face) so bottles were being popped left and right.  After mingling for a few minutes, we took our seats and started our painting "Summer Coolness."  I will say that this was a painting that I knew I wouldn't have a place for in the house but I can't pass up a night at PWAT!  So we got started putting paint on our canvases.
Here comes the hard part.  For some reason I was incapable of drawing a martini glass.  My other glasses looked ok. But the martini glass was a doozy for me.  It ended up looking crazy so I turned it into a margarita glass, which is more appropriate for me and my love of tequila {side note....today (7/24) is National Tequila Day!!!}  I was so much happier with the margarita glass and the perfect green/yellow color that I came up with!
At this point, I was really hating my picture.  I was trying to figure out who I could pawn it off on.  But as more detail was put on the canvas, the more acceptable it became.
A little garnish and some dimension goes a long way.  Then we added touches of "glare" to our glasses and they really started to look like there was some depth to each one.  And I actually started to like my painting (but still didn't have a place to put it in the house)
The more this painting sat on my kitchen counter, the more I fell in love with it.  It is a fun painting that would go great in a bar area or something along those lines (which we don't have).  I almost decided not to part with it but my brother said he'd take it for his apartment.  Now I have JC originals in my house, at my parents house, and now my brother's apartment.  Now I have a grandma who's requesting a painting, another brother who is painting-less, and then the Hubs's side of the fam.

More than a chance to take home a fun masterpiece, it was awesome to hang out with the great group of girls I've met around town through blogging.  These girls understand the craziness of the blog world and embrace it.  They're also fun, crazy, and I'm so thankful to have met them.
I've even roped in the Hubs to do a "Date Night" PWAT!  This will be hanging on our living room wall in the near future:
With the initials JC and JT of course!!!!
If you've never done something like this, you definitely should!  Grab your sisters, mothers, girlfriends, and a bottle of wine and start painting!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cancer Survivors Day with the Rays

We all know how much I love baseball and my Tampa Bay Rays.  We also know how much I love my job and my patients.  Well, we combined the two and came out with a great event, Cancer Survivors Day at the Trop!  We invited all of our current patients and our program's survivors to come out and enjoy a day of baseball and hanging out with their doctors and nurses!  It was a great event and I can't wait to start planning next year's!!!

And I want to give the Hubs a big shout out.  Not only did he go and hang out with all of us, he got to the Trop early and helped us get things ready.  And he did all of this without complaining one bit.  Thanks Hubs!!!  It really meant a lot to me!!!  I love you!!!

We got our swag bags finished up, brought them inside, and then the fun began.  Passing out tickets and putting on armbands.  Taking pictures with mascots, players, and patients.  It was worth the sweat outside (I did not enjoy it one bit though) to see how excited the patients and families were for this.  Once inside, our guests were treated to visits from a few Rays players, Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Brandon Guyer (2 of whom I might have gotten autographs/pics from....hey I've gotta finish out my autograph ball!!), and then the mascots from Florida sports, as well as a few other MLB teams came to hang out.  Of course our mascot Raymond was there too!  Then we all went to our seats in right field to enjoy the game.  Our section got to lead the stadium in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and Todd Kalas even interviewed the inpatient unit director for TV.  The only huge issue I had with the day was our seats.  I don't really care for the outfield, especially right field, because I can't see that well.  I like to see every pitch, where the catcher places it, ok so I might be a little snobby about my seats.  But being right below the jumbotron, you can't see anything that goes up there and it gets so HOT.  The Trop is a dome so it's always 72 degrees but in our seats, it had to have been at least 82 degrees.  But despite the heat (and my snobby-ness about where I like to sit), it was a great day spent with friends and amazing little inspirations to us all!!!
Getting the swag bags ready
The All Children's Crew
Before I started sweating 
Love these girls!! Our awesome checker in-ers
Me and Wade Davis (see my ball?  I have an autograph collection...like a teenage boy)
Me and Jake McGee
The view from our seats
Me and the Hubs
On TV with Todd
My girls
And I was going to do this post without posting any pictures of me and my patients but this girl is just too cute not to share.  She's one of my faves!!!

Any time we get to celebrate our patients and the struggles and successes they have is an amazing time.  I know I've said this a million times but my patients are such inspirations.  They are resilient, brave, and stronger than me (and most people I know).  People tell me how special I am for the work I do but it's not me who's special.  I'm just doing my job.  It's these kids. These parents.  These families.  They are the special ones. They are the reason I go to work every day and keep coming back, day after day, no matter how hard it gets.  It's smiles from patients, like this one, that always remind me that this is what I'm called to do.  That I'm right where I need to be.  Right where I'm meant to be.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A little re-evaluation

I will be the first to say that I'm a huge procrastinator.  I've been one ever since I can remember.  For some strange reason I thrive under stress.  But my procrastination also makes me very a little lazy from time to time.  This is no exception to that.  So as I start my life as a 30-something, I want to start things on the right foot.  So here goes....

Relationships: I think this is an area that everyone can improve on.  But I want to be an example to my kids of how to be the best person, friend, Christian, family member that one can be.  I want to have strong bonds with the people I love and that requires hard work and dedication.  I am so guilty of letting life get the best of me and distracting me from the things that matter.  I'm determined to focus on strengthening the relationships that I have right now.  I want to let go of the pasts that are preventing me from moving on.  I'm ready to repair relationships that are wounded. I want to allow the amazing relationships I have to flourish.

Weight loss: this is a big department to touch on.  I was doing so well on program then I was lame and fell off the wagon.  I'm excited to say that I haven't ballooned back up but I also haven't lost any weight in like 2 months.  I haven't even weighed in for some time now.  But I'm getting myself mentally prepared for going back on program.  I have to be in the right frame of mind for it to work.  I've gotten comfortable with the 15-20lbs that I've lost already and I need to start feeling uncomfortable again so I will be 100% committed.  I'm sure that sounds ridiculous but it's true.

Exercise: I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I love the way I feel after I work out but I absolutely dread doing it.  I played competitive volleyball for years.  I was working out all the time and it never seemed like a chore.  I don't know when I started feeling like it was a bad thing (oh wait....that started at the same time I gained a ton of weight....ironic).  But I'm now ready to fully commit to adding exercise into my daily life.  The Hubs was amazing and bought me an elliptical about 6 months ago and we've barely used it.  I'm embarrassed to even write that. But now I've turned it into something fun. Granted its all new this week but I've been trying to get at least 30 minutes in every day (minus Tuesday due to the wicked migraine that attacked me).  But the best part is that Emmy wants to hang out with me while I do it.  I plug my iPod into the elliptical and play my music through the machine so Em can dance.  Monday night she even asked me if I would exercise so she could dance.  How can you say no to that?!?!  I might have found the motivation I need in the form of a soon to be 3 year old.

I'm ready to better my life, to make it as rich as it can possibly be.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Ok to be 30!!!

I'm totally putting a birthday spin on today's It's OK.  Today marks the beginning of the last month of my Twenties.  In one month from now I'll be turning the big Three Oh.  Most people have an issue with turning 30 but I've never really dreaded it (does that make me weird?) Here's why I think It's OK to be 30!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK to be 30.....
~because I have accomplished so much before this big day.  I'm married.  I have 2 kids (and I'm done having kids).  I have an amazing career.  We own a home.  I own my car (well one of them anyways).  That's a lot of HUGE accomplishments before turning 30
~because age is just a number.  It doesn't define who you are as a person
~because that means I get to be crazy whenever I want and blame it on a mid-life crisis ;)
~because even though I'm turning 30, most of my friends are still older than me!!!
~because I don't feel like I'm 30!  I still think I'm fun, cool, and I definitely don't feel old at all
~because it's like being a fine wine....aged to perfection!!!
And for the most important reason.....
 ~because I love my life and wouldn't change a bit of it!!!!

Bring on a new decade!  The past 10 years have been amazing ones!  I can only imagine things getting better!!  I'm truly looking forward to what the Lord has planned for me and what the world has in store for me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Here but There

Happy Wednesday everyone!!!  Come visit me over at Eat.Enjoy.Live while the lovely Helen is on vacation!  I'm talking all about dream vacays!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Social

I've been on a little impromptu vacay this week (ok let's be real...I had to use my all my PTO because we didn't have any babysitters for the kiddos this week), so why not talk about vacations in this week's Sunday Social?!?  I'm really liking this link up because I'm finding new blogs but it also has great topics.  Keep it up girls!!!

Sunday Social

Best trip you've ever been on: This one is a toss up between our honeymoon and our 5yr anniversary trip.  We went to Breckenridge, CO for our honeymoon (I'd never seen snow before that trip) and we went to NYC last August for a belated anniversary trip.  Both trips were absolutely amazing!  Breckenridge because it was our honeymoon and NYC, well, because it's NYC!!!!
Our Honeymoon in Breckenridge (January 2006)
5th Anniversary trip to NYC (August 2011)...ironically the Hubs is in Gator gear in both pics
Best idea for a girls weekend trip: When I think of girls weekends I always think of the beach for some reason.  I don't know if that's because we always spent any free moment we had at the beach.  I just love the idea of being on the beach, soaking in the sun, fruity drinks in hand, surrounded by my girlfriends.

Best idea for a couples trip: With running the risk of sounding completely sappy, I think anywhere you can go where it's just you and your love is the best trip.  Since the Hubs and I were blessed with Noah so quickly into our marriage (Noah was born 5 days after our 1st anniversary), we haven't been on many couples trips. So any time we can spend just the 2 of us is awesome.  We're weirdos and love to spend time at Disney, just the 2 of us.  But I also long for the days where we can pick up and go wherever our hearts desire together (like every MLB stadium...hint hint).
Our 6th Anniversary trip to Disney
Best vacation on the cheap: If anyone has any ideas, please send them my way.  It's hard to do anything with 2 small kiddos on the cheap.  

Place you most want to visit:  Hands down....Greece.  Ironically enough I'm talking about this very dream next week in a guest post!!!  You'll have to stop by and check it out!!!
So amazing!!!!
Vacation/Travel necessities: I cannot go anywhere without my camera.  I love documenting life.  If I don't have my big camera, I usually have another point and shoot that will fit in my back pocket or I have my phone (and my brand new one has a flash now...so excited!!!)  I also can't go anywhere without a particular blanket.  When I was younger, I always loved going to my grandparents house because I loved this one blanket.  When I moved to college, my grandma gave me the blanket.  I can't go anywhere without it now.  


Friday, July 13, 2012

A day I'll cherish forever

Ever since I can remember, we always spent time with my Grandparents.  I have memories of going to Orlando for a weekend with my Mom and Grandma, grabbing a hotel, and just wandering through all the Disney hotels and Downtown Disney (back then it was just Lake Buena Vista).  We would spend days up at my Grandparent's house in Leesburg, fishing from the docks, riding our bikes, swimming all day long, and getting ice cream from the office every afternoon.  Then they stopped traveling as much.  We were lucky if they came down to celebrate Christmas with the family.  They never came to a birthday party for my kids.  They were just getting too old and too unhealthy to travel.  It saddens me to think that my kids don't really know my grandparents and now that both of my Grandpa's have passed away, they'll never get that experience.  So that is why this trip means so much to me.

My Grandma is having a very hard time learning to live without my Grandpa.  She just doesn't know how to function without him.  And she's in such bad health that she can't really take care of herself.  So my mom took a week out of her vacation to stay with her.  All Grandma wanted to do was get a hotel room in Orlando that had a balcony, so she could just sit outside.  Mom made it happen for her and we went up to join them overnight.  I loaded up the kiddos and my brother's gf Sharon and we headed up to Orlando to do something we've never done on any of our trips to Orlando....just hang out at the hotel.  We got up there and instantly hit the pool.  The kids love swimming and my mom enjoyed swimming with them and I caught my Grandma smiling as she watched them.  Mom took Grandma back to the room when she got too tired and then we grabbed lunch at the poolside restaurant.  Em got stung by her first wasp and thankfully she didn't have too bad of a reaction (the Hubs is allergic to bees and wasps).  Then it was back to the rooms and relaxation time.  Or so I thought....

Noah is currently OBSESSED with Legos.  There's a Lego store at Downtown Disney so we headed down there.  My grandma wasn't up to going so she stayed at the hotel.  We wandered through all the shops, hit the Lego store, grabbed a Goofy icee (in memory of my dad....I guess he gets one every time he goes), and then headed home.  My kids were in a great mood and wanted to pose for pictures whenever they could.  This NEVER happens so we took full advantage of it.  Then we headed back home to have dinner with Grandma.  When we got back to the hotel, my grandma was on her balcony and Noah instantly headed out to be with her.  He was excited to show her the Lego sets he bought and wanted to share with her all he knew about them.  I was fortunate enough to snap a quick picture of this precious moment that I will cherish forever.

After dinner, I proved my awesomeness to my son and built both of his Lego sets in record time.  Mommy isn't the one who usually helps with the Legos so it was quite the accomplishment.  You could see Epcot from our hotel room (or the giant golfball as my kids call it) so we watched the fireworks and headed to bed.  The next morning, Sharon and I decided to take the kids to Animal Kingdom for an hour or two (oh the beauty of having an annual pass...being able to go for an hour and not feel like we wasted money) but that turned into a disaster as the skies opened and dumped buckets of water all over us.  So we packed it up, dried off as best as we could, and headed to Leesburg to pick up my mom from Grandma's and bring her back home.  It was hard saying goodbye to my grandma because I knew it would be the first night since my grandpa passed that she would be in the house by herself.  I just can't imagine going through what she's going through right now.  I know they say time will heal but for my grandma's sake, I wish she'd find peace sooner than later.

Here are a few (a lot) of pics from our trip:
Miss Hollywood ready for our trip
Our amazing view
Naturally we took a picture with Merida from Brave
Goofy Icee's for Dad
Family Lego Time
My new favorite picture
I can't wait to continue enjoying little moments like this trip while my grandma is still with us.  We forgot to get a picture of her, my mom, me and Em for a 4 generation picture but it's high on my priority list for the next visit.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Oh Kay!!!

I am so behind on blogging, especially with all the time off I have right now, but it's OH KAY!!!!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK.....

~to have amazing friends who will suffer through lunch with my kids and still talk to me afterwards!!!
~to be craving dinner something fierce tonight....pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce courtesy of Skinnytaste
~to be thankful I stumbled across the Skinnytaste blog because every recipe I've made has been out of this world and very WW Points friendly
~to be upset that I didn't take advantage of Free Slurpee Day (only one of my most favorite days of the year)
~to be planning a trip to Starbucks to try out their new Refreshers drinks
~to be thinking about dressing the kiddos up like cows for Chick-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day (and free food)
~to realize that this whole post is pretty much about food (tells you where my head is today)

~to be overly proud of myself for building Noah's Lego sets without any calls to the Hubs
~to secretly be enjoying this week off from work, even if it meant using up all my PTO just to stay home with my kids
~to be thankful that my kids were able to spend time with my Grandma yesterday.  I really hope it gave her some happy memories while she's still figuring out life without my Grandpa


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Social Time

Today is the big day. The day I leave my kiddos with a teenager.  Please send prayers my way (or actually towards the Hubs since he will have to deal with me) around 2pm.  My kids are stoked.  I'm in tears.


It's TV time on Sunday Social!!!

Sunday Social

Favorite TV show of the past: There are so many.....Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek, Saved by the Bell, Full House, Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, Friends, Entourage....the list goes on and on
Favorite TV show currently: Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, True Blood, Restaurant:Impossible, Glee, New Girl, Days of our Lives (yes I watch soaps)
Which Reality Show would you NEVER do?  I pretty much would never do any reality show that involves living in the elements, eating bugs, or anything gross for that matter.  So I guess Survivor and Fear Factor are definitely out for this girl!
Which Reality Show would you LOVE to do?  Project Runway for sure!  Not only would it be awesome to participate in those design challenges, I'd just love to be living in NYC, hanging with Heidi, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia.  But I'd actually need to know how to sew I guess....
TV personality/character that you feel is most like you?  I don't really know the answer to this one but I'll give you the Hubs's answer to this.  He always says that I'm Penny from Big Bang Theory for a few reasons (and not because I'm as skinny or as cute as she is).  Big Bang Theory sums up my life.  The Hubs is a comic book nerd.  Like he goes to the comic book store every Wednesday, he's constantly wearing a comic related tshirt, he has conversations about it, he has figures....it's bad. One day I'll post a picture of my garage. So I'm Penny because I'm the normal girl who has begun to understand the comic crazy yet still thinks he's a nerd for it.  I'm also a tad ditzy just like her.
TV character you'd want to date? I'm a big fan of most of the men on True Blood.  Give me some Jason Stackhouse, Alcide, Eric Northman (shirts off please) and I'm a happy happy girl!!!