Friday, December 30, 2011

a few photos

Christmas Eve lunch at Texas Roadhouse

My sister, Kate, whom Isaac adores

Our tree, Christmas Eve night

Sophie helping

The snowman ornament Isaac made for us in kindergarten

Stompeez...he had been asking for these for months

Playing at the park in Storm Lake on Christmas Day

Some ice on the lake, but no snow


Isaac's Power Wheels 4-wheeler we got the day after Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have graduated!!

It's true! I did it! I graduated!

Graduation was last Thursday night at the Boone campus. My mom, sister, husband, son and friend Joyce were all there to see me!
After the graduation reception, we went back for the pinning ceremony. Isaac and Mark got to come up on stage with me for that.

I still am in shock that I DID IT!

The last three days I've been in Ankeny doing "Live Review" for the NCLEX. It was a great resource and I'm glad to have done it. Hopeful to help uphold DMACC's 100% first time pass rate when it comes time to take boards.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Preceptor finished!

I am done with my preceptor!!!!!!
Finished up on Wednesday, the 7th.

What a fantastic experience.

My next to last day I got to watch a PICC (peripherally inserted centrall catheter) be placed. That was pretty cool to see and well worth staying late at the hospital for.

I spent yesterday and today finishing up my journal and got it submitted about 715 tonight. Glad it's done and complete!

I did a stint in the Boone schools this past Monday. Pretty interesting, but school nursing is not for me.

What's test on Monday. Graduation on Thursday night!

It's hard to believe that I wore my royal blue DMACC scrubs for the last time this week, I won't miss the color at all! I sat in my last class lecture last night.

What an incredible journey.

(I poked my finger really bad on a couch spring-think i hit a nerve so it hurts to type and i am sorry if my splling is bad)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 days of Thankfulness...

During the month of November on Facebook, people posting a daily "I'm thankful for..." post sprang up. I didn't technically commit to it, but tried to post every day. Here was my list...

2..Thankful we don't have a lot of carpet in our house. Sophie came in with mud covering her ginormous paws.
3. Thankful that my "injury" this morning from the cat/dog fight in my bed missed my eyes-only have 3) nice scratches across the bridge of my nose. Wow, did it bleed.
4. Thankful for warm, hooded sweatshirts with a kangaroo pocket. Perfect for these chilly Iowa days!
5. Thankful for a puppy that loves to play outside and loves Isaac too. 
6. Today I'm thankful for 54* at 840 AM! Beautiful weather for early November!
7. Today I am thankful for a boy that slept all his own bed.
8. Today, I'm so thankful for my DMACC classmates. We've laughed, we've cried, we've worked hard to get this far together.....Congratulations to all of us for making it this far. In another month, we'll be RN's!
9. I am thankful for a God that loves me unconditionally and will see me through. "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." So very true as I head into my final test today.
10. Today I am thankful to have passed what I view as the most difficult nursing class I've taken. It was difficult, stressful, tiring...but I did it.
11. Thankful for our veterans today. 
12. Today I'm thankful for a happy and healthy 5 year old. 
13.  Thankful to be moving into my preceptor this week. This is one of the last pieces of schoolwork before graduation... 
14. Thankful for my heritage today. Although after seeing them run rabbits on an obstacle course on Amazing Race last night, it makes me wonder about the Danish side of the family....
15. Thankful to know that Graduation is a month away. A MONTH AWAY!
16.  This sounds silly, but I am thankful for a comfortable bed/pillow! I was very tired and sore after yesterday and I feel good today! 
17. Thankful for all my friends today-near, dear and far away.
18. Thankful for these royal blue scrubs today. They tell you stories about my journey to becoming an RN. These scrubs are getting me to the finish line.
19. Today I am thankful for Starbucks, my sister and ISU Football.
20. Today I am thankful for my crockpot!
21.  Thankful for the opportunity to practice nursing on the unit that has become my favorite (of all our rotations!). The people and nursing staff on the oncology unit are fantastic! (Yes, oncology=cancer).
22.  Thankful for my sister who helped us out last night by watching Isaac. He had a lot of fun and got to see his beloved Kate.
23. Thankful for a day to spend at home baking and getting ready to head north
24. Thankful for many things today. A God who loves me. A healthy family. Friends and family to love and to love me back and the freedom to celebrate this day. Happy Thanksgiving!
25.  Thankful for a boy who slept in today! (7 AM!)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Can't believe that Thanksgiving has came and went!

I made a pumpkin pie and a chocolate desert to take to my parent's yesterday. I also tried a recipe for Texas Roadhouse butter that I found on Pinterest (yum!)
My sister, Isaac and I headed to my parent's yesterday morning. Her husband had to work and Mark had a lot of homework to do so it was just the three of us. My brother and his family had to cancel, so it was a small group. My uncle joined us, as usual.

my mom broasted the turkey and then finished it off in the oven. It was delicious! We had the usual mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, jello, green bean casserole, candied carrots, scalloped corn, stuffing.

After lunch, my mom, sister, Isaac and I headed to the park. We stayed there about an hour and then headed to another park, where we spent another hour! We could not have asked for better weather! It was fabulous! About 65* and sunny!! YAY!

We got home about 6 last night. Isaac was pretty tired and went to bed without a fuss and then proceeded to sleep until 7 this morning. That hasn't happened for a while!

I spent last night after he was in bed working on some homework. Knocked out my philosophy paper and blog post for class for the week. I am plugging away at my preceptor journal.

This morning, Isaac and I went to Boone to hit up Wal-Mart. It was about as busy as it is on a Saturday. We got a few things and Isaac used his money to buy himself a new toy. I've been buying here and there today online for gifts. There are some good deals out there!

Tonight, Mark has to work at the hospital so I'm toying with the idea of taking Isaac to see the Festival of Trees down in Des Moines. I think we both would enjoy it a lot!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1/2 way through already!

How is it that I am already 1/2 way through my preceptor hours? I guess 3) 12+ hour days will do that!
I have enjoyed every minute I've been back on the oncology floor. I'm learning a lot and getting to do a lot of things!
I've hung a lot of IV meds (Piggyback), done IV pushes, done sterile dressing changes, watched a few IV starts (my turn is coming!), and participated in overall cares for my patients.
 I feel so very lucky to be where I am-I truly feel like oncology is where I am supposed to spend my nursing career!

It's easy for people to see a patient with cancer and feel sorry for them, treat them with pity, etc. On the oncology floor at MGMC, we don't see the person as their diagnosis. They are still a person and are most appreciative of the care you give to them. The families are great as well. They understand we have to ask questions, do lots of assessments, etc and are just overall fantastic.

I do 17 more hours next week, leaving me only 2 more days after that. I'm hoping to be able to board and then find a job at MGMC on the oncology floor!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I went and met with my preceptor yesterday.

Have I mentioned how excited I am that I am on oncology?? I could jump up and down!

I think I got my schedule hashed out now and will have to run it by her on Tuesday when I'm there for my first day. She's more than willing to work with me on all the objecives and skills I had to write about.

Monday, I get to shadow a Public health nurse. Then 2 weeks after that, I get to visit the Boone County Wound Clinic. I am also going to be doing a stint with the elementary school nurse in Boone in December. I'll probably end up with a shift at one of the doctor clinic's as well.

This is such an exciting time! We have class on Thursday nights from 430-630 and that's it! Lots of online stuff goes along with the class though.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Whew, I did it

Well, Adult Nursing is over and done with.

I passed. Now I get to move on to my preceptor experience! YAY!

It was a tough test. Last night was the first time I've stayed up past 11 pm studying for a test since I've been in school! I was up until 3, then couldn't get to sleep between the dog and having burns and intercranial pressure in my head.

I walked out feeling ok. While I didn't do the greatest, I passed the course. I'm happy I did.

I start my nursing seminar class tomorrow night and meet with my preceptor on Friday to start the ball rolling on that.
Monday, I work with Boone County Public Health to begin my community hours. Doing 4 hours there, 7 at an elementary school in Boone, 4 hours at the Boone Wound clinic and possibly a day at the doctor's clinic. I need 16 hours total there, but can go over. Since I'm at 15, I will either rearrange places to get to 16 or just have the extra.

We are going out to dinner to celebrate tonight!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What I read over the summer

**My goal was to read 32 books (since I turn 32) from May 4-August 24 (when I start back to school)).

This was my goal for the summer. I fell one short...if only summer break had been a couple days longer, I would have made it. 

*1. Ape House by Sara Gruen  Finished on 5/8/11 FANTASTIC
*2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Finished 5/9/11 I could not put it down!
*3. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (Finished 6/23) 3.8 stars. Sometimes hard to get into and stay with. I'm glad I have some medical background!
*4. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Backby Todd Burpo Finished on 5/21/11. Awesome book. I read most of it while walking on the treadmill at the Y.
*5.. Dewey's Nine Lives by Vicki Myron (finished 7/11) 5 stars for sure! LOVED this book, but not as much as the first
*6. The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick Finished 5/15/11 I'd give this one 3.5 stars. It wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, but I wasn't going to not finish it.
*7. These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf (started and) Finished 5/15 Takes place in a pretend town in Iowa, written by an Iowan author. Good book!
*8. Waiting for Spring by R.J. Keller (finished 5/26/11) 3-stars TOPS. There are many stories weaved into this one that confuse you. You question things never to have them answered. It was hard to get through. I finished because I finally was intrigued, only took like 2/3 of the book.
*9. Summer Secrets by Barbara Freethy (finished 5/31) 3 stars. Hard to get into, hard to follow at times. Maybe if I knew more about racing/sailboats?
*10 Looking for Trouble by Erin Kern (finished 6/1) 3.5 stars A quick little read for fun
*11. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee (finished 6/8/11). This book is not even one that should have been published. Not sure why people liked it.
*12. Faking It by Elisa Lorello (finished 6/7) 3 stars tops. It was an ok read, but I didn't like the ending.
*13. Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman. (finished 6/11)I could not put this book down. I cried, I laughed. This book told the story of how Mary Beth and Steven Curtis (Christian singer) came together, married, ended up adopting 3 daughters from China and subsequently lost one adopted daughter to a horrible accident.
*14. Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion (finished 6/13) An ok read, it got to be pretty predictable.
*15. A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman (Finished 6/17). 4 stars. A good story about forgiveness and how decisions we make affect others.
*16. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. (Finished 7/3). 5 Stars! I COULD NOT put this book down. I love Jodi Picoult and this book did not disappoint! What a fantastic story.
*17. Positive Discipline A-Z by Jane Nelsen, et al. (Finished 7/8) Looking for ideas to help with our boy. Hopefully, I picked up some new tricks to try.
*18. Goldendoodles by ? I read this to learn more about our dog breed, even though she is a labradoodle.
*19. Broken Laces by Rodney Walther (finished 7/23) I couldn't put this one down!! 5 stars!
*20. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (finished 7/26). So glad I listened to several people and read this book! FANTASTIC! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN~ I started 7/25! 5 stars
*21. A discipline book but it's in my bedroom so I don't know the name.
*22. Lay My Isaac Down by...(on my Kindle)
*23. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (finished 7/31) I love the Sookie Stackhouse series and this one was the same, yet different as the others. Many new questions are asked, some are answered.
*24. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (almost as good as The Hunger Games!)
*25. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (the final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I liked it, but not as much as the others.
*26. Edge of Grace by Christa Allen
*27. Charity by Christa Allen
*28. Faith by Christa Allen
**29 I deleted 2 off my Kindle w/out getting the names. So that takes me up to #30.
31. I don't remember what book it was but I do know I finished it the day before I started class. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

less than a week!

Wednesday night marked my last Wednesday night class. Scary, thrilling, unbelievable!
Only have class Monday morning (3 hours) and then the final test on Wednesday morning (PRAY!).

As I reflect back, I am amazed at the tenacity of myself and classmates. Clinical was HARD, class was HARDER. I've had more knowledge put into my head this semester than any other, I think. I appreciate the opportunity that I've had to pursue this crazy thought I had 3 years ago. It's hard to imagine that it's coming to an end soon.

Next Thursday, we have our RN exit exam and then start our next class. This class coincides with the preceptor and is also web-blended. From what we've been told, it's very busy and intense, but in a different way than 551.
I'm getting really excited for preceptor because I'm anxious to see what I know and how I can apply it!

Prayers are appreciated this next week! Have to pass this test to pass the class!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Another Halloween has come and gone.
Isaac seemed to enjoy all the festivities he was a part of!

We joined a friend of mine from class and her 2 littles at the Zoo in Des Moines for Night Eyes. We've never done that and Isaac seemed to enjoy it a lot.

At his party for school, he was excited that his mom came to help!

We did trick or treat downtown in Boone. He acted like it was the best thing ever!

Trick or treat night in Ogden was the same as Boone. So, we headed to Boone for a bit and hit up our old neighborhood, his old babysitter's house and another friend of ours. Then walked around her neighborhood. We got back to Ogden and stopped at a few on the way home then walked around our neighborhood. Our house and one across the street were the only houses on our block that had lights on.

He had a great time dressing up each time as well. Can't beat buying a costume LAST year on clearance for dress-up and wanting to wear it this year. So, I was out $2 for a costume last year!

I'm glad the weather was pretty decent!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Clinical complete!

I finished up my clinical rotation on telemetry today! It was a make up day since I was sick a couple weeks ago.
It was an overall good experience. I was nervous because it is the "cardiac" floor, but happy to say no one went into cardiac arrest while I was there.
The last few weeks we had 2 patients/day. The first day was a bit rough, as I had to juggle numerous medications between my two patients. The second day of clinical always went much smoother.
I learned a lot on my rotation and am lucky to have that opportunity.

Class finishes up next Wednesday, the 9th. The 10th we have our RN exit exam and start our community health class along with our preceptor. I received my preceptor assignment and was so excited to learn that I got oncology, which was my top choice. I'm looking forward to going back there and learning a lot more!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A trip to the apple orchard

Last Sunday, my mom, sister, Isaac and I headed to Cambridge to the apple Orchard. It's quite the orchard-they even charge admission, but I think it's well worth it!
There are animals (ducks, chickens, goats, turkeys), a giant corn pit to play in, a giant slide, a big jumping pillow, rides to the pumpkin patch.....

It was a cool day, but perfect weather for the orchard. We wandered around, had lunch, went to the pumpkin patch (and came home with 2 more...bringing us to 10!) and did some shopping. I picked up the most delicious caramel apple ever. It was coated in caramel, dipped in white chocolate, rolled in oreos and drizzled with caramel. Oh. My. Goodness.

The trip came at a perfect time, as last Friday Isaac and I used up all the apples we had to make 2 apple crisps and 2 mini-crisps. I picked up a small bag of honey crisp apples that I am undecided what to do with. Probably eat since they are delicious!

The corn pit

Isaac and his beloved Aunt Kate sling-shotting apples

The giant jumping pillow

So close!

The first part of my final semester is quickly approaching! 9 November is the end...

3 more clinical days is a makeup since I didn't feel well at all yesterday. Having 2 patients isn't much more difficult that 1. This week, I had a total of 25 meds...for 2 patients! That's a lot of meds! The majority went to one patient. Last week was a light week, med wise. Have had no iv meds since leaving oncology.
This past Tuesday was a half day at clinical. We got to go down to the simulation lab at DMU and do a simulation! It was an ER, another student and I were the nurses and we had 5 med students as the doctors. Pretty cool scenario! The manequin had vital signs, "breathed" and even talked (the sim person).
We are still waiting on preceptor assignments. I'm getting anxious to know where i end up! I think I've mentioned that I want oncology. Fingers crossed!

Friday, October 7, 2011

3 weeks of clinical left!!

WOW! I can hardly believe that there is only 3 weeks of clinical left! I believe this past week marked the mid-term for us!

Had our first week on the telemetry (cardiac) floor this week. It's quite different than oncology. Next week, we will have 2 patients/week.

On Wednesday, after discharging my patient, I got to go to the cardiac catherization (cardiac cath) lab to watch a procedure. It's pretty amazing what doctors can do!

Had another test this past Monday and grades came in last night. Another decent grade, a little less than than the first, but enough to bring me up 5% overall! Test #3 is this coming Monday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another week down! It seems to go quickly at times and other times, it feels like the semester just started! Only one more week on oncology then the switch to telemetry. I'll learn a lot there, but I'm nervous!
The other day, I hung 6 IVPB and did another IV push. Good experience!

The other night during class, we went down and got to tour the cardiac cath lab. Pretty neat to see!

Last weekend, Isaac, my sister and I headed to my parents house. We spent Friday night there and then Saturday morning, the three of us along with mom, headed up to Spencer, home of the Clay County Fair.
My sister and i have some great memories from there and we decided to take Isaac too!
It was cold and chilly that day! My sister wearing Isaac's new Perry the Platypus hat.( lots of looks and comments)
We went through the buildings and shopped. I picked up some fantastic apple cinnamon jam and apple butter. Isaac got a new mini pillow pet-a triceratops.

Isaac rode some rides and had a lot of fun!

Today, 23 September, I picked him up from school like I do on Fridays. He said he wanted to go home, but I told him we had one place to go first......
This is the 3rd year we've rode Thomas the Tank Engine. I've found by going on a Friday, you save $3/person! He had fun AND I got out of there without spending a bunch of money on overpriced Thomas stuff.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 3 is in the bag!

It's hard to believe that I'm already 3 weeks into 5th term! I've been busy, busy, busy!!

I'm currently doing clinical on oncology. I'd been looking forward to this particular rotation. 
The people are fantastic and I'm learning new things and getting to do new skills.

I finally hung 2 IVPB (IV piggyback meds) this week! I did an IV push! I've now d/c'd a picc line! I've flushed ports.

I like oncology so much that I when I requested my preceptor assignment, oncology was my #1 choice!
One of my patients from last week told my primary nurse that I was doing a great job, was a great nurse and he was pleased to have me! NICE!

As for class.......Class is Monday mornings 830-1130 and then Wednesday nights 4-7 (after clinical). Wednesdays are super long days but only about 5ish more weeks of clinical.

We had our first test this past Monday. I felt pretty confident going in and walked out not feeling like I failed. Grades came back yesterday and I did fantastic!

Preceptor starts in November so I'm anxious to find out if I get my top choice or if I am placed somewhere else.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First week complete!

Isaac LOVES school! He's come home every day excited about what he's done and the adventures he's had.

The bus came for him on Wednesday and I was there as well. I wanted to make sure he got on the bus and got to daycare all right. He loves riding the bus! On Thursday, he forgot to give the driver his ticket so he needs to remember to give 2 on Monday (they are pre-paid so it's not like we didn't pay for the ride!)

He had his first school breakfast on Thursday, with me taking him into the gym and seeing how it goes. I left him there to eat his breakfast. On Friday, I dropped him off at the gate and made sure he told the teacher on duty that he was going to eat breakfast. I was so proud to see my little pre-k'er walk into school by himself. He told me later that breakfast went great.

Friday, he had music class. He thought the teacher's guitar was pretty neat.  I picked him up from school and we went to the library, had lunch and he accompanied me to get a pedicure. He thought it was pretty cool. Friday afternoons will be our fun time together: library, lunch, park, etc.

It appears that my boy is going to love school! I am thankful for that, as I believe a solid education is a needed attribute!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a new beginning...

Today is the day!

Isaac starts school! We decided with his birthday being in July to send him to Optional (pre, prep, whatever you want to call it) kindergarten.  This means he goes every day from 8-11.

We met his teacher this past Monday night (Mrs. "Hansom" as Isaac pronounces it) and saw his locker, classroom and school. He said he was going to be shy but he was totally the opposite, as usual! His teacher seems extremely nice and is very eager for her students to learn.

**Just got home from dropping Isaac off at school. It was good to see the routine. I walked him to the playground, where they wait with their class until 8 (unless the student is eating breakfast. Isaac will start that tomorrow). The principal spoke a little bit, I got teary eyed (but didn't cry!) and then we went inside. I walked with him to his classroom, he put his backpack (Cars 2), hat and sunglasses in his locker and went on in. He sat down to write his name (check in) then like an after thought, got up and gave me a hug, told me good-bye.

I am excited for him to start school. He seems to love to learn new things and he's so eager!

I'll meet him at school at 11 to make sure he gets on the bus to get to daycare. Even though I'm still home for a few days, we are going to get him started on the bus routine so he knows what's going on.

Monday, August 15, 2011


My sister Kat (Kate) was able to get discounted tickets ($20!!) to Adventureland through her work this summer. I hadn't planned on going until Isaac saw a commercial and asked when we were going. Knowing Kate could save us some bucks, I asked her to get 3 tickets (a savings of $40) and then we waited to find a date.
This past Saturday, Kate, Isaac and I trekked off to Adventureland. Isaac had been talking about roller coasters all week and was really excited to go on them
I had researched already and found he could go on the all the ones I liked-and NOT the Dragon (the one that goes upside down. Whew-I hate that one)

Picked up my sister around 940ish and we got to the park around 10. I've never had to wait to get into the parking lot before, but that day we did! We paid our $5, found a spot and continued on to the gate.

Sister and I had a plan-go counter-clockwise around the park so we could hit the coasters before the lines got too long. So, we actually went on the log ride first. Isaac was a bit nervous, but said he loved it. He sat in the back with Kat, while I sat in the front and got soaked right away. They snap photos of you so we decided to take a look. The picture is taken right after coming down the big hill. I had ducked down to avoid the big splash-Isaac's face was priceless so we plunked down too much money for 2 magnets to remember it.

Then we headed over to the Tornado. As you can tell, Isaac was plenty tall to ride. We got in line and waited about 15-20 minutes. Not bad, really. He again decided to ride with Kate. We had the last 2 seats on the entire coaster. Click went the seat belt, down came the lap bar and we were off.
I would turn around on occasion to look at him-he looked terrified. The first thing he said when he got off was "it was scary and bumpy and I don't want to ride it ever again". Ha Sad to me though since that meant I didn't get to hit up my favorite roller coaster there-The Outlaw.

We road the Sky Glider several times (all but 1 time he rode with his aunt). We spent too much money on 35 cent stuffed animals but Isaac loved it. He came home with a fox, 2 octopus, a penguin, a frog, a plastic hammer (someone gave to us) and a monkey inside a banana.

Waited in way to long of a line for lunch. We had tacos and lemonade and then dessert was mini donuts. Yummy!

We thought there would be less people there because 1-The State Fair 2-the straw polls were going on up in Ames and 3-it wasn't hot. The weather seemed to be bipolar, as my sister called it. The sun would shine and it would be hot. Then the wind blew in some dark clouds and it cooled off. Then the sun, wind, etc, repeat. We got there at 10 and left the park at 630. It was a fun, full day!

Driving back to my sister's house, we drove by Bonanza (Anyone remember those?) Yes, there is still one left in DSM so of course, we had to go! Memories of our great aunt and family dinners there. This was a pretty nice place, with a really nice salad bar. Isaac of course was to entranced with the raisins and Goldfish crackers to eat any of the cheeseburger he wanted.

Isaac and I got home about 830. he had a quick shower and was in bed by 9. He was tired and I was happy he had slept in until 730 that morning.

Isaac and I are going again Wednesday with my friend Jess and her family. Isaac will love having someone else to ride the rides with.

The rides we rode:
1-The Log ride (Isaac loved it)
2-The tornado
3-The Sky Glider
4-Bumper cars
5-sawmill splash
6-Ferris wheel
7-Isaac rode the Frog Hopper
8-The kiddi semis
9-Infant Ocean
10-the kid airplanes
11-the train
12-Kate and Isaac rode the Carousel

I was sad we didn't get to go on the Space Shot (Sister and I love it) but Isaac was too short and no one else to watch him. Overall, we had a fantastic time!

Thanks for going with us, Kate!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In honor of my 32nd birthday....32 things you may not know about me!

Yep. Today is my 32nd birthday. Wow, I feel really old.

1. I created and perfected my own chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's tasty!
2. I was an army wife for almost 8 1/2 years before Mark got out. We lived through one deployment.
3. I was born on a Tuesday.
4. I LOVE the Iowa State Fair. I haven't missed a year since I was about 18 (which was also the first time I went!)
5. I do not like amusement park rides that spin around.
6. I do like roller coasters.
7. I got glasses in 4th grade. I wore them until my first year of college (1997!)
8. I have an AA from Iowa Central Community College (Liberal Arts/general studies), a BS in Housing and the Near Environment from Iowa State University and will have my AA in nursing (RN) in December (God willing!)
9. I ADORE books. I love to read. I wonder sometimes how many books I've read in my lifetime.
10. I've only broken one bone in my life. I broke my right clavicle (collar bone) when I was a bit over 1. I fell down some stairs in my walker.
11. I love wearing flip flops, even though they do horrible things to my feet.
12. I am afraid of fire. Like a house fire, mostly. I don't mind campfires but an out of control fire, no thanks.
13. I was 25ish and taking swim lessons. I still can't swim.
14. I like the Beatles.
15. Mark and I lived about 8 blocks away from each other in Ankeny. Before we ever met!
16. I started cooking/baking around age 10.
17. My mom bakes me a homemade chocolate angel food cake every year for my birthday.
18. I've had 2 of my 3 cats longer than I've known my husband.
19, I tried to join the Air Force when I was 19. They told me that I was mostly deaf in one ear. I saw an audiologist outside the military which proved that I am not/was not deaf in one ear. They still didn't want me.
20. I still got to see Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX when my sister graduated basic training.
21. I used to want to be an English teacher or environmental engineer.
22. I almost went to UNI. *GASP*
23. Now I say I bleed cardinal and gold. GO ISU!
24. I'm looking forward to taking Isaac to his first Iowa State Football game. Hopefully, this fall!
25. I bought myself a dozen roses in honor of my birthday.
26. I've enjoyed my time being a SAHM with Isaac the last 5 years. I think it was great for him and for me!
27. I'm looking forward to finishing school in December.
28. I do most of my shopping online, but I do enjoy going to the mall once in a while!>
29. I love Target!
30. I went tubing for the first time this summer. It was a blast!
31. I have a crazy memory. I remember things from when I was pretty small and just random bits of life.
32. I love my boys! (But I bet you knew that!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#50 and news

Well, this is post #50! Slow going, but that's ok. I'm not in a race.

Can't believe summer is already half over!
So far, we have
*gotten a dog (Sophie, a 6 month old labradoodle)
*moved to a different place in Ogden
*celebrated a 5th birthday Phineas and Ferb style
*gone boating/tubing/swimming
*went swimming at the Boone pool
*went to Don Williams and introduced Sophie to the water
*went to the zoo 2 times
*Celebrated the 4th of July in Humboldt with grandma, grandpa and Kate
*got through a minor surgery (Isaac)
*read a lot of books

We've been staying busy and trying to have lots of fun.
Isaac is really enjoying having a dog and so am I. She likes (we think?) to swim when she's on the boat. She does laps around the boat.

Isaac loves to go tubing and swim off the boat. It's been fun watching his swim skills develop as he's taking lessons at the YMCA this summer.

Not sure what else is going to be on our agenda for the summer.....we'll play it by ear!

Friday, June 10, 2011

An old song

I heard a song today while I was out and about and it brought back a lot of memories...and made me cry. It reminded me of Mark's deployment and how I felt being by myself, with him thousands of miles away.
The first time I heard this song, I remember thinking that it's exactly my thoughts and what a wife of a deployed solider goes through. I learned how to get through a lot of things alone during that 18 months.
I'd like to say that the deployment (while it sucked), helped me become more reliant upon myself. I was the one in charge of our home, finances, yard, cars, etc while Mark was gone. I am not afraid to admit that I was scared, lonely, sad and sometimes angry at the Army for making MY husband go to Iraq.

As our time as an Army family comes to a close, this song is for all the military families who are living through a deployment.  "Come home soon...."

"Come Home Soon" performed by SheDaisy
I put away the groceries
And I take my daily bread
I dream of your arms around me
As I tuck the kids in bed

I don't know what you're doin'
And I don't know where you are
But I look up at that great big sky
And I hope you're wishin' on that same
bright star

I wonder, I pray

And I sleep alone
I cry alone
And it's so hard livin' here on my own
So please, come home soon
(Come home soon)

I know that we're together
Even though we're far apart
And I'll wear our lucky penny 'round my neck
Pressed to my heart

I wonder, I pray

I still imagine your touch
It's beautiful missing something that much
But sometimes love needs a fighting chance
So I'll wait my turn until it's our turn to dance

I wonder, I pray

I sleep alone
I cry alone
Without you this house is not a home
So please, come home soon

I walk alone
I try alone
I'll wait for you, don't want to die alone
So please, come home soon

Come home soon
Come home soon

Sunday, June 5, 2011

a dip in the pool

Friday, the 3rd, it was HOT!

So, I picked Isaac up from school and we went to the Boone Pool. It was the first time we've been there this summer (well, it only opened a week ago!) and he was excited!

I was too, since I like it to be really steamy outside if I'm going to the pool! The temps were high, the water was cold!

It was still pretty busy at 330 when we got there. He wanted to go in the "big boy" pool, rather than the smaller one. I told him that in the big pool he can't have his hippo (inner tube) and I wasn't going to hold onto him the whole time. It starts at 4', I believe. The smaller pool is 2'6" to around 3' so it's perfect.

I gave him his new pool toys-diving sticks and 2 little plastic squid that you can dive after. He had a blast doing that....for about 1 1/2 hours!

I soaked up some sun, waded with Isaac and just sat on the edge watching him. Oh, it was fantastic!

I am hoping to get to the pool at least three times this week since the forecast says it's supposed to hit the mid-90's!

Ike starts swim lessons at the Y tomorrow night. 4 nights/week for two weeks per session. We chose to go that route since the time works better with our schedules. I hope he does ok and listens to his instructor!

He loves to dive under, swim underwater, tries to backfloat and just in general loves the water.

I'll say this-I don't think he got any of those skills from either of his parents!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Why does it seem like kids always get sick on the weekend and/or holidays??

This past Saturday night, Isaac woke up around 1230 crying and not acting right. He had told Mark that his (left) ear hurt. He was running a slight temp at that time.

With Isaac's history, we figured ear infection. He had a double ear infection about 1 1/2 months ago. Before that, it had been almost 1 1/2 YEARS since his last one!

I was actually thinking clearly enough to remember that Ames has an Urgent Care. So, we made plans to head there in the AM. Isaac slept in my bed with his dad and I slept in his.

We took him to Ames in the morning. Apparently, you have to have an appointment for Urgent care. So, we were there at 10, appointment at 1215. It was 10:10. So...we went to Target to kill some time. Then we went to Hickory Park for lunch and to kill more time.

Isaac looked like he did not feel well at all. He wouldn't eat (except for 4 cherries) and had some chocolate milk. Poor baby!

We got to the clinic around 10 minutes to noon and were out of there by 10 after 12! Just as we suspected: ear infection in BOTH ears. Isaac even told the doctor he had an ear infection. His temp was 101.4 at that time.

so, a 10 day course of Augementin and he's on the path to health.

He was disappointed that we didn't get to go the zoo on Sunday like we planned. But, he and I went on Monday then met up with my mom and sister for lunch.

Looking at him now, you would have never known!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


It's summer time for me! Yay!
Classes have been done about 2 1/2 weeks now and it's been GREAT to have the time off.

The last semester was a tough one. I enjoyed it, but it was mentally and physically draining. Between clinicals in Des Moines for 5 weeks (I think), regular clinicals and classes, I was tired. Overall, I did well.

My skills class gave me a scare, as I hadn't done as well as I had hoped on the last exam. That grade brought my overall grade down to a 79, need 78 to pass. I had a HUGE comp skills exam to get through that was going to make or break my grade.
I was so nervous going into the comp skills that I walked out feeling I hadn't passed. Praise God that when grades posted I had done well enough to pass, not only the skils exam, but the class. God was with me!

Come August, I will be in my "5th" term of the program. That means GRADUATION in December! YAY! Sadly, a good friend of mine didn't pass a couple classes so she won't be continuing on with us. We'll miss her a lot!!

I've been spending my days cleaning house, purging, packing. Packing? Yes! We are MOVING! We found a 3 bedroom house here in Ogden that will not only give us more room, but a little more in the bank every month.
We've signed the lease and will take possession on 15 June, moving in on the 20th. I am pretty excited as it's very close to the library, post office and grocery store!

What else.....
We put our boat in the water a couple weeks ago. The weather was perfect and it was great to be out there. I'm looking forward to many hours on the lake this summer! Isaac was excited he got to drive again.

Isaac lost his first tooth last weekend! He was pretty excited!

My own personal summer reading program is well underway. I've read 5 books so far since the end of the term and looking at finishing 32 by the time the semester starts. It's daunting but I hope I can do it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

almost there!

Less than 1 week and this semester is under my belt. Hard to believe that there is only one semester left!

Regular clinicals are over now. I had a good experience in OB-stood in on a C-section so that was cool. I have a makeup day next week in peds.

Time right now is being dedicated to the books. 2 finals next week (Monday and Wednesday) and a pretty big skills exam on Monday. That's what I am most nervous about right now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

1 more month!

1 more month and the 4th term of my nursing education is finished! Then one term to go and finish up in December!

I finish up my clinical rotations on the OB floor at Mary Greeley. Excited to get back and hopefully get in on a C-section this time around.

Mental Health rotation was in Des Moines at Iowa Lutheran. I wasn't a fan of the drive but the rotation itself was interesting, to say the least. 2 other ladies from class and I carpooled so we each drove 3 times, which was nice. I have my last day at MG mental health tomorrow-we go there 2 days.

Not sure what the summer is going to hold but I do know: LOTS of books! Bike riding! Boating!

I am an LPN!

YES! I am an LPN! I have my license to prove it!

18 March was my scheduled date to test for my license.

I was nervous! The GPS put me completely in the wrong area. For some reason, I ended up in the 7000 block of the road, rather than the 3000 block. Glad I was plenty early!

I found the location and got myself checked in: photo, hand scans, fingerprints. Then I sat to wait. Then the proctor could not verify my hand scan, although he had my drivers' license, a photo and me right in front of him! I was like, "Oh man, this is bad!"

I finally got in and went through the initial set up/directions of the NCLEX program. I was there for about an hour, all the while being videotaped/sound monitored. Nerve-wracking, to say the least.

I called Mark when I was done and he was confident I passed. Me-not so sure. I barely had over the bear minimum (85) questions when my test stopped.

All weekend long, Mark tried to convince me I passed. On Sunday afternoon, we were able to pay $8 and get "unofficial results". Well....I PASSED! I was in shock and disbelief! The following Friday, my license was in the mail! I haven't even received my "official results" yet!

I am glad it's behind me! I now have the experience of testing and will be more confident when I take my RN boards next year!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy 8th Anniversary...our wedding story

I sit here today, on my 8th wedding anniversary just in amazement how my life has changed in the last 8 years!

 It was really cold that day and it's snowing today!

Back at the beginning of the Iraq war, units were being called up and leaving quickly. Meaning: you got notified and were normally gone within a week.

Mark and I had been together just a little over 1 year at that point. He had bought the house in Boone and we were living there  running the "Madsen Motel" as Mark called it. Life was clicking along, I was working in Boone as well.

Mark went to January 03 drill as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. Sunday night, he told me they were being deployed, "so, you wanna get married". WHAT? Deployment? Marriage? Oh my goodness. I remember just being in complete and utter shock. So, what did I say? Yes, of course!

The next day was a whirlwind of phone calls, plans being made, ideas being thought of, paperwork being done. Mark got one of the few guys working that day to go along with us to the courthouse to apply for our marriage license. I called my mom and remember asking her if she had plans later in the week (Friday, to be exact). She wondered why-I told her that I was getting married and to call up to our church and talk to Pastor R and get it arranged.

This was only Monday and the rest of the week was spent at work, making plans in the evening, trips to Ames to the mall for clothes/rings and dinner.

By Friday morning, we were both exhausted. I still didn't have anything to wear but a friend of mine from CDS did my makeup and lent me a skirt and blouse. My friend Sara skipped one of her vet school classes so she could head up to Humboldt with us. She did my hair at my parents house before heading up to church. My sister Kat also skipped a class or two at Iowa Central to be home too.

Friday evening, 5:00 pm we are at the church. In attendance: my parents, Mark's parents, his 2 brothers, future sister in law, my sister, her boyfriend, my brother and his 2 boys, our friend Steve (best man), Joyce, Sara, my great-aunt Luella, my mom's friend whom I'd known forever, Donette, and my long-time friend from Humboldt, Amy. Pretty small group. It was a pretty short and sweet ceremony. My sister stood up for me. My mom was able to find sunflowers at the end of January so my sister and I could each have a bouquet!

We just had dinner in the reception hall at the church. We had broasted chicken, cheesy potatoes and cake. I think I might be missing something? My mom got all the food together on a week's notice and even thought to get a cake!

I remember clearly my nephew Michael (5) asked if he could come spend the night at my house that night. (He often came and spent the night with us). Um, nope bud. We're exhausted and Mark has to head down to Camp Dodge early the next morning. We got home and fell into bed that night, just to wake the next morning to see the space ship exploding as it took off.

While Mark spent the remainder of that weekend at Camp Dodge preparing for a deployment, Michael did indeed come and spend the weekend with me.

I don't clearly remember the chain of events, but as you know, Mark's unit did not leave in January 2003. They deployed in April, 2006.

It's hard to believe that it's already been 8 years of marriage. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I know there is no one else more suited for me! Happy Anniversary, Mark and here's to many more!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 weeks in...1 test done

I have already finished up the first 2 weeks of my 4th term! The first week was spent mostly in the lab learning how to start IV's and push meds through. Intense week! On top of that, Isaac was sick and we ended up going to Urgent Care at 6 pm one night for his cough/wheezing/breathing. Luckily, he's on the mend and feeling better!

I'm doing my clinicals on the pediatric floor this round. We are now functioning as an RN so we can do all the IV bag changes, meds, etc.

The first test got out of the way yesterday. I always think the first one is the hardest since you never know what to expect. Unusual for me, I was one of the last to finish. Hope that's a good sign!

It's cold and white outside. At least the sun is shining and it's not -30* like yesterday.

Have homework, housework and errands today then a birthday party to attend tomorrow.

Stay warm!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting ready...

Well, in 3 days I start the second year of my nursing education! hard to believe! It's been a much-needed break these last 24 days.
I'm ready, excited and nervous to go! We'll be picking up a few new to our class students so our class will get a little bigger.

My clinical rotation starts in Pediatrics again. Then we move to Mental Health in Des Moines and finish the semester with OB. I'm looking forward to clinicals, as that's where we put our knowledge to the test!

Christmas was great. Isaac was spoiled but plays with most of all his gifts. He especially loves Hi-Ho Cheerio from my sister. We play nearly every day. He also got a Penguin Pillow Pet that goes everywhere with him, including Wal-Mart, the grocery store and every car ride, even if only to the library!

Mark bought be a Kindle, which I LOVE! He kept giving me the impression that I wasn't going to get one so I was somewhat disappointed and resigned myself to the Sara Palin book he said he bought for me (I don't like her). Mark and I exchanged gifts after Isaac went to bed on Christmas Eve. He bought me an orange ceramic reusable coffee mug (LOVE IT!) and a book. I knew it was a book from the wrap and what I felt.
I opened it up and indeed, it was Sara Palin. I was really sad and disappointed. I opened it up, hoping to find an IOU or a gift card or something. Well, lo and behold in the middle of the book was my Kindle! He cut out a part of the book and made a spot to nestle the Kindle inside! He's so sneaky, tricky and creative! He always does something out of the ordinary with my gifts. He also included a lighted leather cover for it. I take it everywhere! It's so handy and fits right in my purse!

I stayed busy over break. I cleaned the house, did laundry, cleaned most of the carpets. It's nice going into the next semester knowing that the house is somewhat clean.

Today would be a good day to read, but I want/need to finish up the laundry and clean Isaac's room (again).

Happy 2011!