Monday, February 27, 2012

Back to the Blue Scrubs

When I was in nursing school, I got to spend 6 months working at St V's with some of the most amazing nurses. Claire is my nurse mentor, and still a friend 2 years later. I learned so much from her and and the nurses during my senior practicum, and it really helped solidify that my nurse passion is to be an OB nurse. The nurse lessons and life lessons from my time there will absolutely stay with me throughout my career and my life. From the little things, like don't let your IV run dry, to the scary things, like patients almost dying; from the life lessons, like family drama, to the wife lessons, like what to cook for dinner. I know that it was a very impressionable time during nursing school, and I am so thankful I got to spend time with such amazing nurse preceptors working in Labor and Delivery.

Yesterday was my first day back in L&D, and back to the blue scrubs. I had been there helping be the baby nurse, or the antepartum nurse, but yesterday was my first day training as the labor nurse.  I know there is a lot for me to learn, but I am excited to be taking this new step in my career!

Me being the nerd that I am, I tried to get a photo of my first day of training, but I was embarrased that someone would walk into the locker room, so I tried to be quick, hence the blurry photo. But oh well.

To add to my nerves of starting my new training, it was a little difficult to get to work yesterday morning. I had to leave extra early because we got about 3 inches of snow at our house over the weekend. I never imagined I would have to use 4 wheel drive to get to work when it was almost March. It is beautiful though!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gluten Free White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Eating Gluten Free has helped my stomach feel so much better, but I definitely miss out on some of my favorite foods- mostly sweets and baked goods. Because of this, when I find a comparable GF substitute recipe, it feels like I hit the jackpot! This recipe is gold, let me tell you. It took me three times to get it right, but I finally have created a comparable GF recipe to the yummy oatmeal cookies I found at this site:

Here are the yummy Gluten Free White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies:

Here are the ingredients:

-1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 cup white sugar
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-3 cups Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1- 11oz bag Ghiradelli white chocolate chips

Here are the directions:

-Preheat oven to 350°F
-Beat softened butter and sugars together until smooth
-Beat in eggs and vanilla
-Gradually add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix completely
-Stir in oats
-Stir in white chocolate chips
-Drop spoonfuls dough onto ungreased cookie sheets
-Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes

This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies, but we ate so much cookie dough that this last tray is missing a couple spoonfuls :) After baking, let the cookies cool & please enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Ski Trip

This last weekend, Brian and I celebrated Valentine's Day and our 7 years together by heading to Mt Hood for the weekend. We had so much fun playing in the snow! I am so thankful we had the opportunity to just spend time together.

I think Anniversaries and Valentine's Day are great reasons for presents. I think you can almost always find a reason to give presents. If you can't tell, I love to give presents, and obviously I love to get presents as well, duh ;) My favorite present ever is time. The time I spend with Brian I appreciate so much. When Brian and I first met at U of O, we saw each other almost every day, and it was the best. Then came nursing school, and during those three years we would go a week or sometimes more without seeing each other, and I would get into a "debt of Brian time." Throughout nursing school, Brian would always say, "Keep your eyes on the prize" because after graduation we would get married, finally live together, and get to see one another every day. That only kinda happened. 

After nursing school, I got my Dream Job as an OB nurse- the manager literally called me on the way to our wedding rehearsal, and I interviewed the day after we got back from our honeymoon. It was perfect...with the one exception that it was a night shift position. Obviously, I wouldn't turn down that position, but I wasn't sure how that was going to go. 

The first year and a half of our marriage I worked night shift and we would go almost a week without seeing each other... Literally a rotation of one person at the house, and one person at work with no contact at all for up to 4-5 days sometimes. This was not what I thought being married was going to be like. I went into a huge Brian debt, and I became so sad.

Starting this past December, I have been able to temporarily fill in for nurses on leave from their day shift position so that I have been able to be on day shift. I feel like a normal person again. Sleeping at night, eating on a normal schedule, have the energy to run, and actually getting to see my husband. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and most importantly, I am so thankful for the time it has given me. That is the best gift ever. 

With this new schedule, Brian and I were able to have time together for the long President's day weekend and go to a ski trip to Mt Hood. It was so fun! We stayed at The Resort at the Mountain for two nights, we played in the snow, and we had so much fun just spending time together!

On Saturday we went skiing. It was so great to be back on skis again! I did not fall nearly as much as when I snowboard, and it was a great workout! I loved it. It was Brian's first time skiing instead of snowboarding, and he was such a fast learner. He did great, and we had a fantastic time at Timberline together.

Ready to head out!
Look at all that Powder!
On the Chairlift

On Sunday we went snowshoeing along the circumference of Trillium Lake. It again was a great workout, and a ton of fun to play in the snow together.
Frozen Trillium Lake- So pretty
Our Snowshoes
Bundled for the hike
The Hubs, bet you can't see him...
because he's in camo.
Incredible site!
Happy Girl on a Vacay with Brian!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 7 year itch...

Happy Valentine's Day! This holiday is very special to my heart because this is when Brian and I had our first kiss and became "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend. That was a huge deal to me as a 20 year old sophomore in college who had my status as "single" on Facebook :) 7 years later we are husband and wife, and I couldn't have asked for a better husband.

It has been the best years of my life having Brian as my soul mate. It all started when we were set up for Brian to be my date for KKG's winter formal, the Sapphire Ball, and it worked out better than we could have ever imagined! Each anniversary is a fun time to think back to those first butterflies and first kisses, and how life has changed from year to year.

Sapphire Ball 2005. Our first dance together.

February 2006- Anniversary Snowboard Trip to Bend. 

February 2007- Go Ducks! Senior year at U of O.

February 2008- The Lewis River.
Where Brian proposed 2 years later!

February 2009- The Game concert.

February 2010- Returning to our roots!
U of O Basketball game 

January 2011- Grand Canyon.

January 2012- At our home in the snow!
From year to year, life has gotten better and better. I have loved every experience we have gone through together in the last 7 years, and I know that the years to come will be even more extraordinary!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Decorating the entryway of our house has been a fun project. I've loved using it as a way to decorate for the holidays, and to add a little homey touch.

When we moved in, this is what the mantle over the door looked like:

Not exactly like this, but it was empty. So why wouldn't our friends climb up there to drink beer, right?

So, after that, I decided that it needed a little something. It became a priority.

Last May I saw a Fleur-de-lis statue at a boutique in Bend. I thought this was perfect, as it is our sorority symbol, but I didn't purchase it at first. About a month later, I called the shop because the statue was stuck in my head. Coincidentally, the shop owner was flying up to visit her son, so she brought it to me in Portland! It was perfect. She didn't charge me shipping, but I did give her a ride from the airport to her son's house in downtown Portland. It was actually a little odd, and I am glad it didn't end like a scary movie.

Anyway, I then framed one of our engagement pictures, per the suggestion of my friend Brianne. I absolutely love our engagement photos and wedding photos that I use them in almost all of our decorating.

Our photographer was Natasha Reed and she is fantastic! I highly recommend her!
You can see her blog post of our wedding day here:

The last touch I just completed! I found these letters when I was shopping for a Christmas gift for my friend Nicole. I got her one set... and then I got a set for myself. I wasn't quite sure if we would use the hooks, so I wanted to re-purpose them into a sign. I found a small piece of wood and busted out my hot glue gun. Of course, after it was done, Brian suggested that I use wood glue, because that is what it is for. Awesome. This actually would have worked perfectly. Oh well. I will let the hot glue prove itself to me :)

I found some great candles and vases at Michaels, and we dug out our "Good Luck" horseshoe from my friend Anna. Here is our current, and much improved, entryway:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cowboy Cobbler

... aka The Brian Dessert Special!

When it comes to preparing food that Brian did not hunt, my husband can make a select few things: Canned Chili, Boxed Mac & Cheese, Cornbread, Frozen Clam Chowder, and Cowboy Cobbler. He's definitely a guy :) While I am not a huge fan of 4 out of the 5 items listed above, the Cowboy Cobbler truly is so yummy that I wanted to share!

Here are the ingredients:

Put 1-2 cans of pie filling in a greased 9x13, and spread the powdered cake mix on top:

Cut 1 stick of butter and place on top:

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown:

Enjoy a la mode :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kilee's Questions

My good friend Kilee ( answered a post and then passed it along to continue the fun. The challenge is to post 11 random facts about yourself, answer 11 questions, then pass it along to your friends to continue.
So here we go:

My Random Facts:

1. I love pink and turquoise.

2. I'm not fast, but I am a runner.

3. Brian is my college sweetheart <3

4. I love giving gifts.

5. I love babies, and I'm excited to have my own someday (not that I'm counting down, right?)

6. I think I have the best job in the entire world, but it's really hard work.

7. My biggest fear is not knowing what to do in an emergency.

8. I love to cook, bake, use my crock-pot, and eat!

9. Gluten gives me a belly ache, but I've found ways to still eat delicious foods. (see &

10. I'm trying to find ways to bring God into my everyday life.

11. My perfect day includes sunshine, water, country music, and people that I love.

Kilee's questions:

1. What is the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning
I look at the clock in a panic! I am still getting used my new schedule on dayshift, and first being on nights, and now days, my body has no idea when I am supposed to be awake or asleep! Also only working 3 days a week for my shifts at the hospital, I'm not ever quite sure when I need to wake up at 5, or when I can sleep later.

2. What is the scariest thing that you have ever done?
The first time I caught a baby on my own, and the baby didn't breathe. It made me so very thankful for the NICU nurses!!! I was also thankful for all of my training so that I knew how to stay calm and what actions to take while I was panicking on the inside. I had to go cry in the locker room after the baby was stable, and I still have nightmares about this experience.

3. What do you want to accomplish in 2012?
I want to run my second marathon- October 7th, 2012!

4. If you could trade a day in the life with anyone, who would that be?
Carrie Underwood!

5. What makes you really, really excited?
Seeing the people that I love.

6. What is your favorite dessert?
Cookies. Good cookies are the perfect way to improve any day!

7. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
At our home here in Brush Prairie :) I would just move everyone to our neck of the woods!

8. What is the nicest thing that someone has done for you?
Brian surprised me with a day at the spa in Maui with Nicole. A-mazing.

9. When do you feel your most relaxed?
After a good run, when my house is clean.

10. What is a habit of yours that you would like to discontinue?
Popping my knuckles.

11. How would you like to be remembered once you leave this earth?
 Exactly what Kilee said: for being kind.

Okay bloggers, I’m challenging you to 11  questions. Please tell us 11 random facts about yourself, answer the following questions, tag 11 new bloggers and come up with 11 new questions for them.


Tiffany & Chad in Real Life -

McBride Family Adventures -

Northwest Nightingale -


Teach Like Crazy -

The Pretty....and the Not So Pretty -

My Questions:

1. Who or what inspires you?

2. What is your favorite hobby or one you would like to start?

3. What would you do if your day had a few extra hours in it?

4. What is your go-to, last minute dinner you always have on stand-by?

5. If you could buy a vacation house anywhere, where would that be?

6. What is the best gift you have ever received?

7. What is your favorite childhood memory?

8. What is the best party you have ever been to?

9. What is your signature karaoke song?

10. What is your signature drink- coffee or cocktail

11. When did you start your blog, and what made you start?