Thursday, December 31

recap of 2009

Following suit with what I have seen a lot of today...I have decided to do a little recap of 2009. It was a wonderful year, for the most part! The adventures (both good and bad) are as follows:

  • Had finally graduated college in December, and decided to take the CNA (Certified Nurse Aide) Course to get experience working in the medical field.
  • Since I had time to spare now that I wasn't taking ridiculous loads of science courses, worked on wedding planning almost every day!!! Now I know why people get wedding planners to do all the work for them!
  • We found out Tyler got into medical school (!!!) and our future in Denver began to take its shape.
  • Got my first job as a CNA at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab Center (fancy phrasing for a nursing home) and had my first day on the job on my birthday!
  • Celebrated my 23rd birthday on 2.16 with my family by having a Murder Mystery party! It was a Honky Tonk Homicide! And what a hoot that night was...I TOTALLY recommend a murder mystery party for people who haven't done one (or for people who have done many!). They're fantastic. I should start planning my party for bday #24...
  • It was one month til we walked down the aisle, and I was working full-time but lemme tell ya - also stressing full-time about wedding details! There are literally so many details...
  • Early April, we traveled to Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival to go to my cousin Ryan's wedding! The Ryans' wedding was a great time, and it was doubly awesome for me because my grandpa lives in DC, so we got to hang out with him. The Cherry Blossom Festival was incredibly busy, fun, and beautiful! Aside from a slight snafu when Tyler and I may or may not have locked ourselves out of the house we were staying in in Georgetown at 10pm...the trip was just peachy!
  • The BIG month finally arrived! We got married on 4.26 and it was such a wonderful day! The only thing missing was that my brother skipped out on us, and unfortunately, I don't think he'll understand the devestation that brought to me until he gets married. And maybe not even then. The day went off without a hitch, and we danced the night away with our closest friends and family - all 275 of them! We really learned how fortunate we were to have all that love and support!
  • We took a day to open presents (Christmas times 1 million!) then took off on our Honeymoon. We flew into Sacramento, CA and stayed for one day, checking out a museum and the "downtown" area. Quaint for being the capital. Next stop was Napa Valley! We cruised there in our stylish(?) rental - Plymouth Prowler - and it was beautiful! There were hardly any tourists, which was awesome, because we were able to sit and chat with all the winemakers at their wineries! We walked the little town and took a bike tour through the vineyards, which was really fun! The only bad part of our trip was that our hot air balloon ride got canceled on account of some cloudiness. Booooo - I was SO looking forward to it. So now we still have tickets to go on a hot air balloon (let me know if you know of anyone looking to buy some at discounted prices!). Guess we'll just have to go back! Lastly, we went to San Francisco. My new favorite big city!!! So eclectic and just incredible. We took advantage of the great public transportation but also explored the city on foot - taking in museums, tons of great food, Japan Center, Little Italy, China Town, the Hippie District, the much to do!
  • May brought my friend Erin's wedding, and I was honored to be a bridesmaid! It was such a fun group, as we had 10 bridesmaids!!! That wedding was a true party :)
  • That same weekend, we also moved out of our apartment by CSU - seeing as how neither of us were students anymore, and moved in parents. Yup. I said it, and I did it. I'm what you may call a boomerang child: I always come back home. It was interesting living at home, but we were so grateful for my parents allowing us to live there because it gave us a huge break financially.
  • We needed that break because we decided to buy a townhome in Aurora! It was a short-sale, and up til this point in my life, I had no idea what that was. Well, I'm now an expert, and to sum it up...short sales are time consuming and annoying and drawn out. We spent all summer being frustrated with the process.
  • We were able to travel to Danville, Illinois to visit my dad's side of the family and my great grandmother who is in her mid-90s. It is SO gorgeous up there! If I was banned from Colorado for some reason, I would live in Illinois! It was so much fun and we stayed on my great aunt/uncle's lake in their beautiful home and ate pretty much 24/7. That's what I call a vacation! Since Tyler and I were straight broke from all that wedding business, my grandpa gave us a huge unexpected gift and footed the bill for our trip so that we would be able to make it. Thanks, grandpa!!!
  • During the torrential downpour on the 4th of July, Tyler and I decided to ride our bikes to Merri and Jeremy's house to celebrate their engagement! We took part in a ridiculous obstacle course that was SO much fun, then moved along to see some other folks, and then on to City Park for fireworks. Successful night! What wasn't so successful? The long and hot bikeride home across town the next morning...
  • My sister turned 15 and that means she is behind a steering wheel can decide if that is good or bad...
  • This is when life was all sorts of uncertain for us! Tyler started school August 10th, but we still had no sign of legitimately closing on our townhome. So his aunt and uncle graciously hosted him for a few weeks while we got that sorted out. I also quit my job on August 1st, thinking we were moving then...but we weren' my job let me pick up shifts through August 28th, which was soooo nice of them! As stressed as I was, I don't know what I would've done without the kindness of Tyler's family and Lemay during this time!
  • On August 18th, I got a phone call from Rose in Denver about a few job positions, and they asked me to come interview in early September.
  • Finally, on August 26th, our realtor told us we were closing on August 27th! So we went to Denver, signed our lives away, and were all ready to move in to our lovely townhome...except the previous owner wasn't out yet. But it wasn't too bad because we were able to move in August 29th! Yayyyy!!!
  • That same night, I went out in Denver to celebrate for my friend Vanissa's bachelorette party! It was such a fun girls' night!
  • With me having no job, I quickly got the house in order and was making lists upon lists of tasks that needed done.
  • I had my interview at Rose...and was waiting and waiting for the answer.
  • All of this alone time made me get...puppy fever! On September 11, we went to PetSmart's Second Chance for Love adoption event and adopted a "lab-golden retriever-german shepherd" named Juanita. Haha - true story. As many of you may have noticed from previous postings' pictures, our little PENNY is most likely not any of those breeds. We're thinking a terrier mix. Anyhoo, she is the little love of my life now, and we are so happy that we were finally able to get a puppy together. It's hard work, but I love her so much!!! She's lucky, too, because with all of her health problems she has had, someone needed to take care of her with lots of love!
  • I got the job at Rose! Working nights as a CNA, and September 28th marked my first day of orientation - an exact month after my last shift at Lemay.
  • Getting started at Rose was awesome and intense! Immediately everyone was so kind to me and I got adjusted pretty quickly!
  • Interviewed at CU Denver Physician's Assistant program...
  • For Halloween we went to Fort Collins to KeyanJasonDillonMizeBen's house, and little Penny wore her pumpkin shirt, which was a hit!
  • Finally getting used to my crazy hours at work (7pm-7:30am), and making that work with Tyler's crazy class/study hours (all day, every day).
  • Found out I didn't get into PA school...boooo...oh well. I felt like we had so much change going on and so much going right for us that something had to go "wrong" soon.
  • Started a BLOG!!! What??? After some persuasion from some blogfans, I decided it would be a great way to be held accountable for goals I had :) And thus, ambition never goes out of style was born! Lovin it so far! 
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving in Fort Collins, Longmont, and Hugo...a lot to take in in one weekend! Nice to see everyone, though.
  • Day after Thanksgiving shopping with Linds was definitely a highlight! So much fun and got most of my Christmas shopping done!
  • December 1st meant I could finally put up Christmas decor (what little of it we had this year), and I was feeling the season all month long!
  • Work was going well when I wasn't frustrated from being low/volumed...
  • Celebrated Tyler's 24th bday with tons of cooking and not much hanging out, due to his finals that were on the next day.
  • My dad got laid off :/ booooo. How rude.
  • Christmas in Fort Collins and Loveland was lovely but also another long and busy weekend!
  • A little trip to Breckinridge to see some great friends and play in a cabin!
All in all, I'd call it a successful year! I am looking forward to 2010, just the same!

Cheery cheers :)

the new year's resolutions for happiness

This year, I resolve to try to better myself bit by bit. I hope to try to smile wider, laugh more often, be kinder, be more accepting, learn how to forgive (because I've found I don't know how), and continue to work on that balance between seeing others' needs as important, but not forgetting to put myself first sometimes, too. I will also continue to work on the goals I have mentioned since my first post on this blog: my fitness, Spanish, and using creative outlets to release stress and find enjoyment. That being said, I hope everyone finds it within themselves to work on just a small thing (or many small things, or even a big thing if that's what you want!) that would make them a bit more fulfilled in this new year :) Here is a LOVELY poem my friend Jamey shared with me this morning, and I love it!

A Wonderful Resolution for the New Year!

What amazing gifts the new year brings!
An entire year's worth of wonderful opportunities,
given to us one sunrise at a time.
Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as
ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance
to make something extraordinary out of them.
Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life.
The secret of success is in turning that diary
into the best story you possibly can. Have pages on
understanding and tales of overcoming hardships. 
Fill your story with enthusiasm, adventure, learning, and laughter.
And make each chapter reflect time doing these things:
Follow your dreams.
Work hard.
Be Kind.
Do what you can to make the door open on a day that is filled with
inspiration in some special way.
Goodness will be rewarded.
Smiles will pay you back.
Have fun.
Find strength.
Be truthful.
Have faith.
Don't focus on anything you lack.
Realize that people are the treasures in life,
and happiness is the real wealth.
Have a diary that describes how you're doing your best, and...
the rest will take care of itself.
       - Douglas Pagels

I thought this was fitting because it's about the diary of life, and I consider my blog to be my little public diary :) Blessings to everyone and MUCH MUCH love!!!


Monday, December 28

post-christmas updates and babbles

Over the last week, a lot has happened! I worked the night of December 23, and one of the nice things about being at work at midnight is that I could celebrate (in my head) when it was finally Christmas Eve! haha. I've had lots of interesting experiences at work lately, and I'll fill you in on a few:
  • On the 21st, I experienced my scariest moment yet as a CNA: it was approximately 6am, and a dad strolls out nonchalantly to the nurses' station where I am sitting with a Doc (well, a resident technically). He says, "Hey, so my baby has been spitting up...and now she's stiff as a board." Okay, so "stiff as a board" has never been an okay situation that I have ever known of, so I hop up and jog to his room, asking the resident to come with me. We get to the room and I take one look at the baby girl in her mom's arms: her back is arched, eyes and mouth closed, and she is purple. Yep, purple. I glance at the resident, and she is ZERO help, as she says, "um, should we call the pediatric department?" I quickly dial our charge nurse and she barges in, takes one look at the baby, rips her out of mom's arms, and dashes to the nursery. There, she tosses the baby under oxygen at 10 liters (that's a LOT of oxygen) and the baby pinks up within a few seconds. But seriously!!! It was scary for a lot of reasons (really - the DOCTOR had NO idea how to handle the situation, and the parents thought a purple baby was fine?!?), but mostly I was upset that I never really recieved training for what sort of protocol is supposed to happen in that situation. Thank goodness nothing happened, but I would have felt so responsible had something happened because I didn't do anything, really. Sheesh. 
  • On the 22nd, I got floated to work on the 4th floor, which is Telemetry. I had no idea what that was, so I quickly googled it before they sent me up! It is the heart monitoring floor, which basically means that after someone has been to the ER for complaints of chest pain or something like that, they are sent to that floor for 24 hours to monitor things before they are sent home. The experience in and of itself wasn't all that exciting, but there was kind of a funny thing that happened. So they had sent me up to be a sitter for this elderly guy. When my patient arrived, I decided to make small talk with the ER Tech who brought him up. I said, "So, how has your night been going?" He said, "Busy! Hey, are you married? Because you're beautiful!" I was kind of taken of guard, but said, "Yep, and thanks!" as I flashed my ring. He responded, "Wow. Okay, well have a good night, nice to meet you!" It was funny because I don't usually get hit on, and I told Tyler about it right away, but I also told him that in a weird way it's nice to be hit on every once in a while. Because I know that Tyler thinks I'm pretty, but I often feel like he is a little biased, you know? So that awkward interaction kind of made me smile a little more confidently. Haha.
  • Lastly, I got my first apple!!! Okay, so at work, when a patient wants to recognize you for doing a great job, he/she fills out an apple card with your name and why you deserve an apple. For the last 2 months on the floor, I was eagerly awaiting an apple! Because when you get an apple card, you also get an apple sticker, and people put these stickers on their nametag for the world to see just how many patients love them. I kept thinking, "This patient and I really got along, surely she'll write me an apple card!" But I didn't get any. Finally, on the 23rd, I got an apple card!!! Unfortunately, it was from 11/24/09, so I honestly don't rememeber the patient! I remember the name, but not the woman in particular. Dang it. Oh well, I got an apple and it is now proudly displayed on my nametag!!! Yay!!!
Okay, so work news aside :) I am super close to my weight loss goal of 10 lbs by January 1st. I have .6lbs left to lose! So after I finish blogging, I have to hit the gym of course! I have to hit it extra today because tonight I am going out on the town to the Rio and then off to some bars = 1.4 million calories of estimated intake...yikes.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I know we really had a fantastic weekend! We spent Christmas Eve with my family, and I really enjoyed our church service. It was beautiful, and the choir didn't disappoint with a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night. The handbell choir was fantastic, as was the sermon :) 

After church, my cousins, aunt, Tyler, and I went to this incredibly decorated house! It had lights coordinated to music and it was truly worth going! The family who decorated the house have been working on the programming since May, and started putting up the lights on November 1st! The coolest thing is that they take donations to benifit Habitat for Humanity because they, themselves, got their house from Habitat for Humanity. They are running their shows through January 1st, so you have a few more days to check it out if you want! Their website has all the information you need, and I totally recommend it. PS - I don't even want to think about their electric bill!!!

I certainly got a lot of great stuff for Christmas! I think my favorite thing I got is a ring that my lovely friend Katherine handmade for me! She has a gorgeous new line of jewelry called Moonspun Jewelry, and I had strongly hinted to Tyler that I would love something of Katherine's, but I didn't think I'd actually get one! My ring is similar to this one, but each piece is a little different :) 

Love it! I also got an easel, oil paints, canvases, paintbrushes, and pretty much everything else I need to get started on my dream of painting! I am so excited :) Thanks so much to my parents and Tyler for really hooking me up! I got a cute movie night kit from my sister (complete with candy, Blockbuster gift card, and Love Actually!) and gorgeous earrings, and an awesome brimmed beanie from my brother! I got spoiled!

Penny got a penguin with 16 squeakers!!! 
Lastly, I thought I would inform you of an interesting situation with Penny last night. We got home from Fort Collins and decided to put her to the listening test. I checked the mail and let her off leash to see if she would come when called. She started out well, but soon ran off. I sprinted after her, but seeing as how she is the fasted puppy alive, she ran around the corner and out of my sight really quickly. I was pissed and a little scared. Luckily, though, I went to our house and she was sitting by our gate to our backyard waiting to go in. So, on the one hand, she failed miserably at listening. On the other hand, I guess she knows how to get home from the mailbox at least! I had been wondering if she could find her way home because all of the townhomes look alike and everything. Guess she can. Sheesh. 

Well, I am really looking forward to seeing my old American Eagle coworkers tonight at our get-together! And then tomorrow we are headed to Breckenridge for some playtime with good friends and hopefully in the snow! Take care, stay warm, and think up some good (and realistic) New Years Goals, everyone!!!

Double Cheers!!!

This is from when Penny got spayed and had to wear her cone. Haha. I just had to share :)

Oh and actually, I forgot to mention that there is a really cool blog design give-away going on! If you go to Courtney's blog, you can read all about how to enter to win it!

Tuesday, December 22

o holy night

My ultimate favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. It has always touched me in such a spiritual way singing it at church on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. I am sitting at work listening to a beautiful rendition of it by Celine Dion (on Cozy 101.1 - duh, what else?!?). I seriously love Celine Dion anyway, but her incredible vocals paired with this beautiful song just puts me in a state of bliss. I have two more nights of work then am off for a week, and I cannot wait for my Christmas Eve church service! The choir makes my skin tingle and the handbell choir is such a beautiful treat! Aaaah I am so excited!!!

On that cheery note :D I also am happy to report that today Tyler and I went to pick out my easel for my Christmas present! I was a little anxious finally getting one because I have been wanting to do this for so long...and now I finally have the supplies - or the beginnings of supplies at least. So...I'll keep you posted as my artistic genius (???) flourishes!

I am also sooooo excited to give all of my loved ones their gifts! My favorite part of Christmas is doing all the shopping because I LOVE shopping for other people! Buying gifts is such a blast! Since my sister is in Mexico (feliz navidad!), she already got her gift, but everyone elses' is just waiting in wrapping paper and ribbons for Christmas morning! So much to be excited about, and I have to admit that sometimes I lose track of what the holiday is all about.

The birth of Jesus Christ and what that symbolizes to humankind. The giving of your self and your gifts to those who need it most. Why is it that people who are stingy dillholes 11 months of the year find it within themselves to be saints during the few weeks leading up to Christmas, and then go back to their regular ways on December 26th? I know it's easy to forget, but I wish more people would behave in a Christly (whether or not you even believe in Christ) manner year-round. The world would certainly benefit from more acts of genuine kindness! That being said - here's to everyone making a conscious effort to pay the good deeds forward all year long :)


Friday, December 18

what makes a friend

So I am going to be honest with myself and with you and say, yes, I take things very personally. You know those certain things about your parents that you hope and pray you don't acquire? Well, my dad is a very emotional guy, and he takes everything personally! It frustrated the hell outta me growing up, but I have ended up the EXACT same way. And honestly, it's not something on the forefront of the things I'd like to change about myself.

With that said, part of me being someone who takes things really personally means that I take friendship really seriously. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to invest my time and energy into a friendship and then expect nothing back. I truly see friendship as a relationship - a two-way road. Unfortunately for me, I have lots of "friends" who don't think the same way. So many people who I have believed love and care about me absolutely do not have the time of day for me. I'm not whining about people having zero time in their day, because we are ALL busy. I know schedules can be really incompatible at times, and it could take months to plan a time to hang out. I get that, honestly, I do. What I don't get are people who don't have time to respond to a phone call, text message, facebook wall post, or whatever. And these same people who claim to be sooooo busy and make excuse after excuse for why they haven't had time to return a text message for 5 months are spending all this time on facebook or posting photo album after photo album of wild nights out on the town. Really? That's fine if that's what you do with your free time, but at least don't lie to me about it and say you don't have any free time. Because I may be naive (see last post), but I'm not stupid. I can see on facebook when it comes onto my news feed that you have been busy with these activities. No, I'm not "Miss Social Scene" and yes, I do prefer to have an intimate dinner with close friends as opposed to going to a house party with one hundred acquaintances. There are SO many people that Tyler and I invited to our wedding because we saw them as important people in our lives. Had I known how many of them would have just disappeared out of my life...maybe we wouldn't have invited them. 

So what I'm really trying to do here is assess what it means to be a friend. This whole blogging process has not only been really therapeutic for me, but also really eye-opening. Throughout the last month, I have gotten so much love and support from my wonderful blog readers in regards to the goals I have set for myself. It's so interesting, because lately, the people who have been giving me the most of themselves and their time are people who I have always thought were really nice, but not people I really hung out with regularly. I find myself getting support from people not in my traditional "friend" category. It doesn't bother me that most of my friends don't read my blog (I definitely don't expect that!), that's not the issue, it is just making me re-think my friend category. I have gotten more words of encouragement from you all than from a lot people who have said they were a really good friend of mine. So, what makes a friend? I am finding that my "friends" aren't meeting my expectations, and my blog readers are actually my friends. So - I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive and kind to me :) Love you!

And honestly, I'm not trying to come across as whiny or self-pitying at all. I am legitimately trying to just sort some things out, and find answers to these questions I have held inside for years.

Have any of you experienced this? Am I just crazy for being so frustrated with this situation that repeats itself with friend after friend? Do I need to lower my expectations of people? What do you think... 

Wednesday, December 16

dove's promises messages

Hello! I am actually posting from home (weird) because work the other night was too busy for me to post (that's good news, means I wasn't so sleepy). At work I did, however, have time to eat 3 Dove chocolates - you know, the ones with the Promises messages. I got 3 different messages, and wanted to share them with you:

1. Don't go where no road leads, rather go where there is no road and make a trail.
Now, I'm not exactly a trailblazer, but I do agree with the first part about not going where no road leads. Sometimes we find ourselves on a path just for the sake of being on that path, and not necessarily because it will help us become who we want to be in life. Why have a job if it isn't making you fulfilled or helping you gain skills for what you want to do later in life? (I know, I know, in this economy it's difficult to be choosy about jobs) 
 2. Take an extra deep breath whenever you need it.
This is a good one to live by, and it is so simple, yet we forget to follow through with it. Why is that?
3. Dance with your heart.
This one is last, but certainly not least. It is my favorite one because, how can you not smile when thinking about what it means to lead a life where you dance with your heart?!? It makes my heart dance a little :)
I am always a sap for a good (albeit cheesy) quote to live by, do any you have good ones? I have a super cheesy thing I sometimes do in the mornings: when I first get up in the morning and go into the bathroom, I look my groggy self in the eye, plaster a smile on my face, and say, "It's going to be a great day!" Sooooo corny, but life is all about what we make it to be. If you start off your day with a positive attitude, it can make all the difference in how to behave and how you receive different things throughout the day. I'm not saying it will make your day perfect, but if I've intentionally decided that it is going to be a good day, and a stranger bumps into me, I am more apt to shrug it off, as opposed to turning around and trying to shoot daggers with my eyes into the strangers back while simultaneously saying, "Excuse you!!!" I would much rather prefer going about with a stupid grin on my face (think Amy Adam's character in Enchanted's) than live day-to-day with a negative attitude (think Bruce Almighty before he becomes God). I know this sort of positivity isn't attainable 24/7, and I also know that it can lead to a kind of she-looks-for-the-best-in-people-and-God-she-is-so-naive mentality others may have about me, but hey - I'd rather be naive than grumpy.  

Now that that's out of the way, I thought I would share kind of an exciting experience I had a work a few nights ago. A nurse specifically told me that this mom was Spanish-speaking only, and she asked me to go in and take her baby to the nursery so it could be assessed. So what do I do? Barge into the room and say, "Hi! I'm Kaitlyn, if now is a good time, I'd like to take your son to the nursery for a few minutes so we can weigh him and check his vitals." No response. Me: "Oh my gosh, that's right...habla Espanol?" Mom: "Si." I look at the mom's bedside table and see that there are two phones, which means I could easily pick up one phone, the mom picks up the other phone, and we converse via an operater whom we would both be on the line with. Instead, I see this as an opportunity to practice my Spanish. So I preface our conversation by explaining that I suck at Spanish, but that I am going to try. It's a bit of a muddled struggle, but we get through it and I was glad for the real life practice! I think she appreciated my efforts, though :)
Update on working out: I hit the gym yesterday and today, did lots of cardio mixes and a bit of lifting. I really need to lift more but I just don't like it, aaaagh. And taking a note from Pro, I really need to start utilizing the group classes offered at my gym! Honestly, I'm a big baby and too scared to go by myself! haha. So, that's why I haven't gone to a class yet. But as of today, I am down 8.4lbs and have 1.6lbs left to reach my goal on January 1! 

Just finishing up a movie (Made of Honor) snuggled with Penny, then it's off to dinner and games with Manuel and Andrew! Fun, fun!!! I hope everyone has had a great first half of the week, and has an even better second half! 



Sunday, December 13

ups and downs - so life goes

So...after Thursday's chipper post...things kind of came crashing down for about 24 hours. I was in one of those moods where I was easily annoyed - and I HATE when I am like that. Seriously, I'll be annoyed at someone for even calling me at an inconvenient time - as if they actually knew that it wasn't the best time. Then Thursday afternoon my dad called me to tell me he had been laid off. Who lays off a bunch of people right before Christmas? Thanks for 9 years of hard work, see ya later. I just get so mad when people who work really hard aren't recognized for all of their effert. My dad worked SO hard, even working mandatory 14-hour work days twice a week for the last month. So I felt terrible for my dad, and all of the bad mood and stress I had been experiencing earlier just built up and I had kind of an emotional breakdown. After crying for a while and feeling totally helpless, I decided to take my frustrations out at the gym. Good move - I kicked my own butt and it felt great. (Update: I'm down 7.8 lbs but i still have 2.2 to reach my goal for New Years! Yikes...after this weekend of eating, not sure I'll make it!) For the first time in a REALLY long time, I ran without earphones plugged into either an iPod or the machine to watch TV. I actually took that time to sort things out in my head and just have a genuine talk with God. I hadn't taken time for a genuine conversation like that in a while, and it felt really nice.

Friday consisted of another great workout, errands, and finally switching Tyler/my phone plans so that we are actually on the same plan! And for the first time ever - 100% financially independent! Wahoo! Feels great! So then Friday afternoon I met my dad/sister at the usual sister swap spot in Longmont to take Linds for the weekend. It took foreverrrr - so much traffic! But once we got back to Aurora, I started my weekend of cooking. I got Tyler presents and stuff for his birthday, of course, but I really know that his favorite thing in the world is food, so I planned a weekend of meals just for him! I found a website called, and they have these recipes that have been "healthified" so that they still taste great but have fewer calories and less fat. It's an awesome website! So Friday I made a Mexican Pasta Skillet, and it was really good! Then just lounged with my sister and Penny while Tyler had to study study study. Then Penny had the luckiest night of her life because, for the first time ever, she slept on the bed for the whole night! She loves her bed that is next to our bed, but we usually allow her a few minutes of snuggle time with us before we kick her out of bed. That night we both just fell asleep and never kicked her off! Oops.

Saturday, my sister and I got up and did a cardio circuit at the gym - 20 minutes on the stairclimber, 20 minutes on the treadmill, and 20 minutes on the elliptical. Talk about sweaty! We came home and whipped up some sandwiches then hit the Body Shop for an incredible sale they had. I got 60% off of all of my purchases - I seriously spent $80 but saved over $100! Finished up most of my Christmas shopping and of course treated myself with some Satsuma goodies (best scent ever created). After our Cherry Creek outing, we took Penny to puppy class! Awkward...but we were the only ones to show up! At Penny's first class there were 5 puppies...last week there were 2...and today was just us! Weird. But she got lots of 1-on-1 attention and ALL of the Pupperonis her little tummy could handle, so she thought it was great! Seriously, Penny LOVES Petsmart and puppy class SO much! I think Petsmart may be her favorite place on the planet. I was so proud though because her "teacher" said she was doing really well and that she could probably pass graduation right now! Yay! And she still has 4 weeks to go :) What a good girl I have! After puppy class, we went back home and cooked dinner - Spinach and Rice Casserole! Yum. I have had a newfound love for casseroles this fall! They are soooo easy and can be modified to use up whatever leftover veggies you have on hand! After a while, Tyler decided he had had enough studying, so he joined us and we watched Role Models (one of the approximately 25 movies I bought on Black Friday). Such a funny flick! I love Paul Rudd! Haha. The movie ended at 10:30 and by this point I was really eager for Tyler to open his birthday gifts (even though his birthday wasn't for another hour and a half). He had already let me talk him into opening one gift on Friday (Cranium! Funnest game ever!), but by 11:30 I persuaded him to let me give him the rest! Haha, I am such a pest. 

This morning, we let Penny come snuggle after her 6am potty, and I didn't sleep so well after that because I had a dog with a cone on her head trying to cuddle me. I basically had plastic in my face for the next 2 hours! Haha. When I finally decided to get up, it was time to start cooking again! For Tyler's birthday breakfast I made the Cheese Souffle recipe I posted a while back. I also made Garlic Mashed Potato Pancakes, a fun recipe by Cat Cora (incredible chef from Iron Chef America). And of course Tyler's favorite beverage ever - OJ! It was all a hit :) After breakfast, Tyler went to hole up and study, and Linds and I cleaned up the kitchen...only to immediately make a mess again because I decided to make lunch early. For lunch I made homemade Chicken Pot Pie - something I thought would be so difficult to make! But it was really pretty easy, very healthy, and one of my favorite recipes of the weekend! A perfect winter meal! We ran some errands, ate lunch, and baked Tyler's birthday cookies! We made oatmeal chocolate chip and raisin cookies. Then we piled them on the plate to make a cake out of the cookies - loved it! After chowing some cookies, Linds and I played some Wii. I haven't played Wii in so long! It was a blast! We took Penny for a walk and then all of the sudden, it was already time to drive Lindsey back to Longmont :( Boooooo. So, we packed up little Penny, turned up Cozy 101.1, and jammed to Christmas tunes for the drive. Penny and I said goodbye to Auntie Lindsey and turned right back around to head home. Once home, I made Tyler's favorite food to cap off the weekend - PiZzAaAaA! I made the crust, put some pesto spread and pizza sauce on the crust, and then tossed on mozzerella cheese, green peppers, mushrooms, olives, tomoatoes, and spicy sausage. It turned out so yummy! I like cooking, but we have leftovers for days now, and I have to admit I am glad I won't have to cook for a while!

Sooooo, I skipped the gym today, but will be right back at it tomorrow! Then I have to get the house put together for the in-laws to come to dinner and also get to work by 7pm. Big day ahead! I hope all of you had a great weekend and acheive your goals for the week!

Cheers - 

Thursday, December 10

how's your posture?

Happy weekend to me! I don't have to work til Monday, and I'm really excited about that! So I have been meaning to start doing a "daily ambition" of sorts (to stay true to the title of my blog), and here's today's: to work on my posture. There are a few reasons why I want to work on my posture:

1. Shoulders back, tummy in, chest out naturally makes your head held high and creates a look of confidence. Sometimes the best way to instill confidence within yourself is to first create the illusion of confidence - once other people see you as confident, it becomes easier to be confident for real.

2. Focusing on holding that tummy in creates that extra bit of workout via constant muscle tension/control...and let's face it, I need all the ab workout time I can get!

So there you have it :) I also have a progress update for one my ambitions posted on my very first blog. I talked about how I need a creative outlet in my life and I wanted to work on painting/sketching. It's officially on my Xmas wish list. Drawing and painting tools, and I spent some time tonight researching different kinds of paints, easels, paintbrushes, charcoals, etc... So anyway, looks like there'll be some of that in my near future! (hopefully...cough cough...Tyler)

So I'm working with a super fun nurse tonight, and we've been streaming KS107.5 (since the hospital decided Pandora should now be added to the list of banned website...grrrr), and lemme tell ya - it is really making me want to go out on the town! I haven't had a true night out since my girlfriend's bachelorette party in August!'s been almost 4 months! That's a little sad. Okay, that's REAL sad. I just get so comfortable with the routine, I forget to make an effort to shake things up! Plus, I need to get out and explore Denver a little more! So...if anyone wants to join me, let me know!!! I hope everyone has been staying warm these past few days! Seriously, Colorado, I like to experience the seasons individually and everything, but this is a little too cold for my taste...I heard it's supposed to hit the 40s this weekend though - talk about a heat wave! ;)


Wednesday, December 9

i'm actually the opposite of a genius

Hey folks - it's only 10:37pm...getting started on my entry for tonight kind of early! And FYI...I just found out that I can actually access my blog at I'm in no way a genius at all. In fact, I am even more of a dumbass for making myself jump through hoops just to get a blog written. I'm officially lame. Anyhoo - I thought you might be interested in the recovery of little Penny. So she had her Spay done on Monday, and her recovery has been really good! On Tuesday during the day, I had to sleep, and Penny gingerly crawled her hiney right up on the couch with me, cone around her neck and everything. She's not a fan of it, but at least she has learned how to sleep with it on. On Monday, she just couldn't get comfortable. The funniest thing, though, is when she goes outside in the snow to go potty. She typically sniffs all around in the snow so that she always has a neat little pile of snow on top of her nose. With the cone, however, she just ends up scooping tons of snow into her cone and getting really cold. Then, when she comes inside, I have to take the cone off and literally dump all of the show out of it. It's great :) She doesn't seem to be in pain, and I've let her do the stairs once, and she took them slowly so that was good. In a hilarious turn of events, Tyler decided to try on Penny's cone collar...picture to follow.

Moving on to my obsession with this season's Biggest Loser!!! I think it's so funny how I have never really been into that show before, but I LOVED it this season. Here's the deal: My name is Kaity, and I am a TV addict. Seriously. I watch a show once and then I am hooked. So there are all sorts of shows I have always wanted to watch, but I never let myself or I would end up like my fabulous friend Andrew who DVRs 32 shows a week...true story. Although I have to admit, I was a little jealous when I found out he can schedule that many shows to watch! Impressive! The only show I have really stopped watching was Nip/Tuck, because it's just gotten ridiculous. Yes, it has always been 100% jaw-dropping scenarios and dripping with raunchy sex, but that was fine. It just got really weird, and for the first time in years, I didn't find myself compelled to continue watching it. So, back to the Biggest Loser!!! Wahoo!!! Go Danny!!! He has been one of my favorites all season. He genuinely seems like a wonderful person who really deserves to win this. I am so happy for him and his family!

Here's how obsessed I am with this show: after all of my whining about being low-volumed Friday and Saturday night, I was kind of hoping for a low-volume tonight so that I could stay home and watch the finale! Haha, ridiculous. Alas, I did not get low-volumed. However, during my rounds to the patients, I took note of which moms were watching the finale, and I made frequent visits to them to check in and see how they were doing! So I actually took in a little chunk of the show, then I will just have to watch the whole thing when it goes up on This show is so inspirational, whenever I am working out and feeling lethargic, I give myself a verbal smack on the head and say, "If these people who weighed over 400 pounds can now run a marathon...I think I can run for 10 more minutes!" Biggest Loser may have nabbed me as an official fan for life :) Way to go to ALL of the contestants on this show, they look INCREDIBLE!

Cheers, Danny!

Tuesday, December 8

a new kind of genius

I have this new plan of action for writing blogs. So, at my job, I rely on the ladies to pop out babies, otherwise my night is pretty uneventful. It's 1:51am, and I have already done pretty much everything there is to do that is under my job description. This includes mom care, infant care, and various cleaning and organizing tasks. And I still have 5 1/2 hours left of work. Awesome. This leaves me with quite a bit of free time to surf the web and check my email 1,000 times to see if anyone has emailed me at this ridiculous hour. Oh yay, Bed Bath & Beyond emailed me a coupon! I'm officially a loser ;) Anyways, sometimes I want to write a blog but during my work week it doesn't always get done. And my hospital has put restrictions on websites we can visit (ugh - no facebook, FMLs, texts from last night, youtube...), and of course my blog website is restricted. Geez, it's like they think we'll all just spend hours upon hours stalking estranged acquaintances on facebook...which I probably would...but still! Now I just have to go to and stalk celebrities. They have hotmail restricted, but they haven't restricted my CSU email address. Score! Point for me. So now I can write a blog in the form of an email to myself, and then just copy and paste it the next day at home! Genius! So that's what I'm doing. Crap, it's still only 1:59, I've only wasted 8 minutes.
Today my precious little Penny got spayed. I had been very nervous, regardless of what other people say. Yes, I know that nearly all puppies go through this...but it doesn't make it any easier! She is the first living being whose care is 100% in my hands, and it's scary to wonder whether you're making all the right decisions for her health! But her spay went well, so I was so thankful. I was sad though, because I literally only got to spend 15 minutes with her before I had to go to work. She was so drowsy and shaky and whimpering :( Broke my heart! Plus - she hates that cone on her head! I hope she gets a wonderful night's sleep and feels a little better in the morning. My little baby.
While I'm in a rambling mode...let's talk about my very favorite sister! Linds is coming to stay with Tyler and me for the weekend. I feel like I have partial custody of her via some messy divorce from my parents because this is what it looks like when she stays with us: I talk only to Lindsey about our plans. Nope, for some reason I don't talk to my parents, I just trust that she will make everything happen. We have a meeting point at the McDonalds in Longmont. It's precisely the halfway point between my parents driveway in Fort Collins and my driveway in Aurora - 40 minutes for each party. We exchange a few words at the drop-off, take Lindsey's bags, and high-tail it outta there. No sense in dragging things out. Weird, but it works. So anyway, Linds is coming to spend the weekend! Yayyyyy! Getting her Friday night and dropping her off at McDonalds (whether or not my parents are there to pick her up) on Sunday. This is great for me because Tyler has a test on Monday, so that means he will be studying his poor little brains to death, and that means I'll be watching a lot of TV to keep myself entertained.  Aside from my 2-a-days at the gym, of course! Speaking of the gym, my sister is now a member of 24-Hour-Fitness herself, so we can just go jog and lift and swim and dance our hearts out as much as we want all weekend. What fun!
The other important event of the weekend is that Tyler's 24th  birthday is on Sunday! Poor guy, for his entire life, his birthday has always been during finals week. That sucked in high school, sucked pretty bad in college, and sucks real bad in med school. So I am going to cook for him all day on Sunday and give him his presents, but then we can relax on Monday after his big test. Everyone wish him a happy bday and good luck on his test!

Sunday, December 6

words of wisdom from...kate moss?

So I got to work last night (yay!), and got to sleep 7 hours today (double yay!) while Tyler was wonderful and watched little Penny. Last night at work, I was reading US Weekly or some sort of celebrity stalker magazine like that and there was an article on celebs' advice for not overeating over the holidays. Considering we don't really have many social functions to attend, I'm not worried about the holidays per se, but I do have a tendancy to struggle with portion control in general. Something Kate Moss said struck me. Now let me say, I in NO WAY desire to have the body type of Kate Moss. A) That is impossible for me. B) Even it it were possible, I like having curves, so long as they aren't flabby. So anyways, she said, 

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." 

And there is truth to that. About 2 years ago, I was actually confident with my body for once in my life. I had reached my goal weight and remember putting on a bikini to take a dip in a hot tub and actually feeling sexy. And let me tell you, that feeling was amazing, and it is not a feeling I am/was used to. One year after that confident moment, I was back to my "usual" self - the one that feels uncomfortable in her body. So when I read that piece of advice from Kate Moss, I knew for a fact that there was truth in that, for me at least. For those 6 months where I felt good when I pulled on my jeans, it was so nice to not have that little voice of self-doubt in the back of my head. And I had been so proud, because I did it all on my own by eating well and working out almost daily. I miss that, and I hope that sometime in 2010 I can feel that way again. 

So, here is my progress: I've been running a lot, and doing ab workouts every other gym visit. Since my highest weight (ever) at the very end of the summer, I am down 6.6 lbs. I hope to lose another 3.4 by New Years, and another 15 after that. There you have it, my weight loss goals are out there on the table. Hold me accountable :) I hope to continue to hit the gym and be conscious of what I am putting into my body. That's my ambition right now.

Saturday, December 5


Hello ladies (and gents?), it is 9:45 pm and I am writing this blog before I go to work. You see, I learned a lesson in the last 24 hours. Last night (Friday), I was supposed to work at the hospital. However, 30 minutes before my shift was to start (I was already dressed in scrubs and had scarfed down a quick dinner), the day shift charge nurse called to tell me I was being "low volumed." Low volume = there isn't a whole lot going on, so we have no need for you. My response: crap. With the holiday season upon us, money is tight, and I need every shift! However, we decided to make the best of it, and I had a lovely evening with my husband and puppy. At 9pm, the night charge nurse called to ask if I could come in to work. At this point, I should've eagerly accepted and gotten back into my scrubs and driven to the hospital. But I was enjoying my night off and decided to stay in. 

Tonight (Saturday), I had just finished up my run at the gym and I noticed I had a missed call. Uh-oh. Unknown number...double uh-oh. Checked my message, "Hi this is so-and-so, and we're low-voluming you tonight." DAMMIT! It cought me totally off-guard, and I tend to cry when I am surprised in a bad sort of way, so I high-tailed it out of the gym and to my car so I could cry in peace at least. When you work 12-hour shifts, 3 shifts = a full week of work. When you are low-volumed for 2 shifts...that just means you aren't getting paid very much. I have the stress of being the breadwinner upon my shoulders, and I was just extremely frustrated. Luckily, I have the most understanding and amazing husband ever, and he immediately made me feel better once I called him. I got home, and he had cooked me dinner (chicken nuggets and oven-made french fries : gourmet, I know), and he just said all the right things. Man, I love him. He reminded me that we have his student loans to live off of if we need to, and that I should just enjoy the evening off. He was so right. We did just that. We watched Kung Fu Panda, which is a movie I have wanted to see for a very long time! It was really funny :) But a small part of me wondered if there was some karma action going on - since I chose not to go into work last night, I was low-volumed again tonight. Luckily, they called around 9:15 tonight to say they were going to use me from 11pm-7am. Phew. And technically, I can use PTO to get "paid" for the hours for which I was low-volumed. Alas, all will be well :) 

Funny how I need these life reminders from time to time. Things will always work out in the end.  

Monday, November 30

cheese souffle

Cheese Souffle
    - a seriously delightful treat!

You can use any oven-safe straight-sided dish with a 2-cup capacity. Feel free to add veggies or ham, if you'd like! But it delish as is!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

2 1/2 tsp butter
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
large pinch of salt
small pinch of paprika
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1/3 cup grated cheese, such as Cheddar or Swiss, tightly packed

Smear 1/2 tsp softened butter around inside of a souffle dish, and sprinkle Parmesan over it. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Melt 2 tsp butter in a small pot, and stir in flour. Let cook over low heat for a minute, then remove from heat. Pour in milk, whisking vigorously, and return pot to medium-low heat to simmer for a minute, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens. Season with salt and paprika. Remove from heat, and whisk in egg yolk.

Put egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. Add a dollop of egg whites to pot, and mix in along with about 1/2 of the grated cheese. Fold in remaining egg whites and cheese; transfer everything to the prepared souffle dish. Place dish on a baking sheet and set it in the middle of the oven. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees, and bake about 18 minutes, until souffle has risen and top is lightly browned.

Such a s fluffy and cheesy treat! I literally made it an hour ago and just finished eating it! I had some green enchilada sauce in the fridge and put some on mine and it was so yummy!

Let me know if you try this recipe!!!

Cheers :)

a very busy weekend - in the most beautiful way

I am sitting here at 5:45am completely rested! I just woke up from basically a 12-hour blackout of much needed sleep! I will now tell you all about my holiday weekend so you can see just why I may have been a little tired at the end of it all!

So, as most of you know, I worked 72 hours in 6 days right before Thanksgiving. I worked Wednesday night, 7pm-7am, and got a free Thanksgiving meal for working the shift before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving #1). Right after my shift ended, I came home and had to prepare for a weekend out of town. Cooking mashed potatoes, packing for myself and little Penny, and even throwing my Christmas Cards in the mail before we left! 

First stop on Thursday was Tyler's grandmother's house in Longmont (Thanksgiving #2). She is so funny because she is always so prepared for the mayhem that a gathering at her house will bring. She literally tapes down tarps on all of the exposed carpet so that spilled drinks and food (which are inevitable) won't be a big deal. Props to Grandma! Now, when I say mayhem, I mean the kind of noise and crazed wrestling that only 7 children under the age of 10 can bring to the table. Did I mention they are all from the same family? These adorable children (I'm not being sarcastic) go from cute to Energizer Bunny on crack in 3 seconds flat. I do my best to stay out of their way as they gang up on one family member after the other until they have bruised them all. Luckily for me, they know I don't play "band of monkies" (as I have titled them). As for Penny, she became the center of attention for quite some time. In an interesting turn of events, they actually didn't terrorize her like I thought they might. They were actually a little scared of her at first! But then, one of the boys decided to throw a snowball her direction. She happily pounced on the snowball and ate it up. The children were thrilled, and soon she had 7 kiddos tossing snow at her, much to her delight! Then one child decided to toss a stick in front of Penny. Penny was thinking these kids were the greatest! First snow, and now a stick! Once they saw her reaction, they ALL picked up sticks and started waving them in her face. I may have been a little worried she was going to take a stick to an eye, but I was mostly amazed at how one little puppy could tame the lot! This went on for over an hour and then it was time to leave Longmont and move on to Fort Collins.

We got to my parents' house and settled into our old room from the summer (yup, we both lived there over the summer), and I immediately hit the advertisements for Black Friday. I had my shopping list on hand, and I went through each ad to see what time the store opened, what items I may "need" from said store, and how much each item cost. At the end of this, I cross-referenced my store needs to see who offered what for a lower price. A little OCD? Maybe. Productive and effective? Yes. Then, realizing I had been awake for 24 hours, I tooke a 45-minute nap before heading to my Aunt's house for Thanksgiving #3. The good thing about having a lot of Thanksgiving meals, is that I know I will have the opportunity to eat all this stuff again, so I managed to eat a normal meal each and every time. No gorging myself this weekend! At my aunt's, I was finally on my home turf for a Thanksgiving so I could really relax and enjoy the holiday. Penny attended as well, and played with her cousins Copper and Eli. The boys really like to gang up on her, but she holds her own mighty well. During the Thanksgiving prayer, she clearly wanted to chime in, because she provided a little background noise as her nails were digging at the back door, her plea to come inside, throughout the entirity of the prayer. We got back home around 10 and finalized the plan of action for Day-After-Thanksgiving-Shopping. Tyler, in need of a new laptop, was to hit Best Buy at 1am and get a voucher for a cheap laptop. Lindsey (my beautiful little sister, for those of you who don't know) and I would take care of Penny and get up around 4 to be ready to hit Wal-Mart at it's 5am opening time. As we settled in for sleep (Tyler for a mere 2 hours, and the girls for 5 1/2 hours), I pretty much zonked out.

With Tyler being long-gone by the time I woke up at 4 am, I began to wonder what I was going to do with Penny while we went shopping. Tyler was supposed to be back by 5:30, and we were heading out around 4:30, so surely she would be fine in her crate for an hour. Oh...the crate...which is in my car...which Tyler took to Best Buy. Hmmmm. Well, surely she will be fine shut in a bathroom for an hour. Yeah, no sooner had we planted kisses on her head and shut the door, we heard yips then full-on howels. Sorry, parents. So we decided she could come shopping with us. Of course, while I was getting ready to go, Penny took it upon herself to go say good morning to her beloved Grandparents!!! I'm in the bathroom, and I hear, "Kaity. Kaity. Kaity...your dog is in our bed." Ooops. Sorry mom and dad! She licked you across the face? My bad. We piled into the car with all of our supplies: dog, water, water bowl, treats, advertisements, coupons, shopping list, coats, Starbucks gift cards. We went to McDonalds for some sausage biscuit sandwiches and OJ to get us the pep to shop our hearts out. Only after we were trapped in the drive-through line did we realize this wasn't a good plan. The line wasn't even moving. By the time we got to the place to order, the most monotoned-I'm-So-Pissed-I'm-Awake lady said,"We're only taking cash." Well, seeing as how I only have a couple of bucks on me (at best) at any given time...that wasn't going to work. See ya later food. No time for another stop, to Wal-Mart we go. 

We get to Wal-Mart and park far away so that Penny possibly won't freak out with every person that walks by the car. We give her a kiss and march bravely into Wal-Mart. It is literally 5:04am, and people are already wheeling their carts out of there, packed to the brim with electronics and toys. Lindsey literally stared in amazement and asked, "How did you do that?" Giggling ensued. We head in, hearts set on the $2 movies! Found what we needed, bought about 20, and saw that there was a McDonalds in Wal-Mart. Perfect! As we hop in line, Tyler calls to say he is in the Wal-Mart parking lot to pick up Penny and drop off the computer vouchers (seeing as how I'm the Sugar Mama, I had to go back and buy the laptop). Foiled again on the food front. Oh well. We walk out to my mom's car (which we kind of hijacked for the morning) to meet Tyler. Oh, awesome, my car has a headlight out. Can't worry about that now though, we've got to get going to Target!

We get to Target and go to the movie section again! $4 new movies here! Yay. We also pick up $5 Jersey scarves just because we haven't gotten anything to match since our slippers we got last year. We get in line - such a long line - and I decide to hunt down some food for us. Amazing, the food court is open and has 2 sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches left! It was fate, I tell ya. I bring back the sandwiches to find that my best friend has joined Lindsey in line! Sydnie! Yay. She is every bit the Black Friday go-getter that I am, except she shops a little more for other people and a little less for herself than I do. Oh well. Target:check.

Moving on to Staples to buy an office chair! Our current chair was about $15 4 years ago, and kind of slopes downward now. That, added to the fact that it is about as soft as a wooden board with a t-shirt draped over it...means we are due for a new chair. Found a plush brown leather chair for $45 (regularly $90!) and waited in line...again. As we are in line, I notice little stands of random products along the way. I think to myself, "Hmmm. I bet they strategically place these products here so that shopping fiends will buy them just because there is nothing else to do." As soon as we get to the stand, my resolve to not buy anything else soars out the window, because they are wipes to clean computer screens! Incredible, how could I pass that up? I'm always griping about the fingerprint smudges and dust on my computer screen and don't know if Windex is an appropriate solution. And at 2 for $10...I was hooked.

Vouchers in hand, we head to Best Buy. THANK GOODNESS at this point it is 7:30am and the early crowd at Best Buy has gone. Early Best Buy scares the crap outta me. Not going to lie. We pick up our laptop that had been so patiently awaiting and a movie or two (duh), and head to the Geek Squad checkout. Success. A really awesome laptop for $400. To celebrate, we go to Starbucks and get holiday drinks: me, a peppermint hot chocolate, and Linds, a caramel brulee frappucino. Yum!

Moving on, we decide to go to the mall. We didn't really need to, but I accidentally on purpose didn't pack an outfit for Sydnie & Brad's wine party the next night, and therefore I had nothing to wear. We get into the mall, and they say that with every $100 we spend, we get a $10 mall gift card and a year subscription to Martha Stewart's magazin! Wow! Not that I would have ever subscribed to that magazine had it not been for free. But, wow! We head to the Limited, where I find an adorable version of the LBD, normally $80 on clearance for $54! Plus an additional 40% off! Yay! Perfect! Limited dress for $30. My sister ,being the great influence that she is, insists that since I got a dress on clearance, I can afford to buy accessories there. Well, what do I do? Buy earrings (for $4) and a necklace (for $12). haha. We then head to Macy's to buy some stuff for Tyler, and to Bath and Body Works to buy the Twisted Peppermint body cream I have been craving all year. I get there and ask for the body cream, and they calmly say, "Oh, we aren't carrying the body cream this year." Simple as that. EXCUSE ME??? It is a beloved nightly ritual of mine to use the Twisted Peppermint body cream!!! Ugh. Ruiners. So I buy two bottles of body lotion instead. I guess this will have to suffice. 

Sitting in the car in the mall parking lot, amidst the bags and boxes piled up behind us, we decide to head home and call it a day with shopping. I love that annual tradition with my sister, amidst the craziness of the holidays! We get home, and Lindsey suggests we watch Stepbrothers, one of our newly purchased flicks. I eat some left over mashed potatoes, and get maybe 45 minutes into the movie before I pass out. I sleep pretty much until 4pm, when I have to get up to go watch New Moon! 

I had been waiting and waiting to see the hotness that is shirtless werewolves, and the time had finally come! Lindsey, my mom, my aunt my cousin, me...and Tyler (what a sport!) set off to Cinemark. Now, Twilighters, don't hate me, but New Moon really isn't a good movie at all. Either Kristen Stewart is the worst actress alive, or Bella was the most annoying character ever created and Ms. Stewart does a fantastic job at interpreting her role. I don't get the appeal of Edward, and Bella and Edward's relationship just annoys me. Period. But the rays of light in the movie come in form of young Taylor Lautner. He is so HOT. Like, so very hot. Yes, he's only 17, so I feel like a total cougar. Oh well. And the Volturi was pretty awesome, including Dakota Fanning (one of my favorites actresses), so at least the movie had that. That being said, there is no doubt I will be seeing Eclipse this summer, even if I gag at scenes with Edward and Bella. 

Friday night, I went to Lucky Joe's to meet up with my fantastic friend in town from California! She is one of those really hilarious people who has incredibly strange things happen to her, and she recreates the stories in the best way! Heard many stories that night! So that was fun :) Getting into bed at midnight, I was exhausted. 

Saturday morning I woke up early, and made breakfast for my family! A Mexican egg casserole. YUM. One of my favorites. Topped with tons of cheese, of course! Tyler and I then decided to finally move the last of our belongings down to Aurora. We went to my in-laws' house and borrowed the oldest, and probably most unsafe, van ever to carry our gym equiptment, a spare bed, and a grill to our home. Hole in the floor of the van near the driver's seat? Check. It rattles like no other vehicle I have ever been in, due to the tools jostling like crazy all over the van. Needless to say, little Penny (who is scared of loud noises), was pretty uncomfortable and anxious for the duration of the ride! We got to Aurora, unloaded our loot, and then went to pick up my new glasses! They are awesome! Wine/burgandy colored rectangle rims, they look so great! I love them. I have glasses that I never wear because I got them sophomore year in high school. Yeah, a little outdated. So, I was stoked! Glasses on face, we head back to Fort Collins in previously described deathtrap. 

Not a good picture (at all!), but it's the first one of me in my new glasses!

Once back to my parents' house, we lounge around with Penny and Tyke, and *gasp* fall asleep! Thank goodness my responsible little sister woke me up at 6:15...we had a party to go to at 7pm. I hop into the shower, put on my new hot little ensemble, grab our wine, and head to Syd's. Thankfully my sister agreed to puppysit, and my mom sent me this hilarious picture of Tyke and Penny together. Tyke is kind of old and grumpy, and Penny is kind of the opposite, but they got along for the most part! Here is Tyke babysitting Penny:

 Penny loves and adores Tyke! She follows him everywhere and pounces on his head at all hours because she loves him so much! She is definitely not scared of the size difference...

Anyway, so this party at Syd's was like party of the preggos! There were 4 pregant ladies, and only like 4 non-pregant ladies! haha. That was a first. But I loved the happy glow on all of their faces! For the time being, I am content with my little Penny...but I know that someday I'm going to want to experience that joy! We went to bed at like 11pm that night because we had to get up the next morning and head to Hugo.

Hugo - never heard of it? Neither had I until I married into the Weigangs. Located about an hour East of Aurora (near Limon), it has a population of maybe 800 people. It reminded me of the town Radiator Springs from the movie Cars! Pretty run down, with a lot of abandoned buildings and homes. But the people that live there are hilarious! Since it is such a small town, they live to gossip. They know everything about everyone who has ever set foot in their town! So, I had Thanksgiving #4 and was honestly glad it was going to be me last one for another year! Penny was whiny, because the dog hadn't really slept much or eaten much all weekend. But she was a hit, nonetheless. We left around 4pm and headed home. Penny and I promptly passed out in the car and left poor Tyler to his own devices to stay awake. We got home, and Penny and I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch until 10pm when Tyler told us to come upstairs. I then slept again, so soundly, until 5am! At least 12 hours. And I am at last finally rested! I can't say the same for Penny though! As I drink my peppermint tea with honey (I feel a cold coming on :/), she is snuggled into me, asleep still. 

Well, I hope you all enjoyed my Thanksgiving weekend description...possibly the longest blog post ever! haha. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too! 


Tuesday, November 24

oh yeah, sleep is important

So, I've been trying to be uber healthy and everything, and there was one minor detail I was leaving out of my health regime...sleep! During 3 days, I only slept 11 hours... I always seem to forget that sleep is so key to overall wellbeing! So, since I have been working so much, I can either sleep about 6 hours during the day and hit the gym, or I can sleep about 8 hours before I have to get up and get ready to head back to work. As important as the gym is to me, I decided to really try hard to get a decent amount of sleep the last few days.

At work while it has been really slow, I have been doing lots of reading. I am just finishing up Marley & Me, and I have to say I loved it. It has so many similarities to when my family dog was a puppy! Such an insane yet adorable yellow lab that becomes an integral part of the family. I recommend it if you are looking for an easy and heartwarming read with a humorous writing style.

Our beautiful family boy! Tyke

While I love our lab, I must say it is a nice change of pace to have a) a girl puppy b) a breed that is not meant for running around all day. Haha. Alright, I have to get ready to go to work...only 2 more nights and then a week off of work and a week in the gym! I am really looking forward to that.

On Thanksgiving, I am planning to mail out our Christmas cards! They are all set! In the envelopes, stamps and addresses on the envelopes and everything. It is nice that I won't have to stress out over them in December! Have a good night everyone ~

Cheers :)

Saturday, November 21

holidayyyy (sang to the tune of Madonna's song)

Today I slept, of course, and we also took Penny to her first puppy class! She already is really good with the basics like: sit, stay (for a while), down, and come (when she wants). Puppy obedience training was delayed due to her icky cough that was around for 2 glad she's over that! She has selective listening when it comes to her name, so that's our homework. And using that clicker for training. So we'll see how that goes! Here is our Boppy's latest mug shot:

 As you can see...she is like a kangaroo with bat wings for ears...this leads to plenty of nicknames, which I am sure hasn't helped her learn her "real" name...Penny.

Yesterday at the gym I lifted upper body and did 20 minutes of speed walking on the treadmill. I took today off of the gym since I had to sleep and take Penny to class. But tomorrow will be a good makeup day, promise :)

I also ordered our holiday greeting cards, and here is a preview:

This is the image on our card, she has Superdog eyes (probably because of her BatDog ears)

On that note, I am going to hop in the shower and make some veggies and ravioli for dinner, then head to work! Have a good Saturday night! Here's to me actually having a night off tomorrow...


Friday, November 20

i wanna be a bookworm

So, last night was  LONG shift at the hospital! They decided to sit me at a desk doing infection control in the Intensive Care Nursery...which means making sure people wash their hands and put on gowns. But really, are there visitors after midnight? No! Soooo boring, but I was so glad I had my book with me! I finally finished Three Cups of Tea - the inspirational story of Greg Mortenson's journey to promote girls' education in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What I loved most about this story was the different perspective it gave me on American - Middle Eastern relations post-9/11. I believe this man was single-handedly doing more effective Terrorist control by giving the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan an alternative education to the fundamentalist jihad education offered to them. It truly is a story that exemplifies the impact one person can have on the world.

Basically, I recommend it to you! I am now moving on to Marley & Me, a abook I have owned for a year but has been on my shelf of books I need to read. I know it's a sad one, but I've been wanting to read it forever!

During this boring night of work, after I finished my book, I decided to start sketching! It was fun! I sketched things while I was reading that were inspiring to me. I'll post some of them in a few days. They're ammeture, but I am proud, nonetheless!

As for the gym, I was exhausted at the end of my shift so I didn't go! But I am logging off right now and going to the gym before work. :)

Have a fabulous Friday night! I'll be working...