Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have the privilege to have wonderful friends. In June we all decided that while we all live throughout the city and are busy with our lives we needed to find something to give us all an excuse to all get together and hang out since we don't get the chance to as often as we used to.

On of my friends suggested a book club since several of us liked to read and she wanted to get into reading. So we all decided yes! We get together once a month for dinner/appetizers or something of that nature and then discuss the book and other things. It really is an enjoyable experience!

Being that I am in school I don't always find the time to actually sit down and read the books we choose. I am a frequent user because I can always find anything I need for about 1/2 price of most places. I am an Amazon prime member so most of the things are also free shipping. One day while I was on there they had an advertisement for their new sister company You could join for 30 days free and get 2 credits. A credit equals 1 book. You can also just buy books off their website without being a member. Once my 30 days was up I became a gold member and for 14.95 a month I get 1 free credit which is perfect. So I tried the audio book for our 3rd book and I LOVED it. It was so nice since I spend so much time in the car, going from home, to work, or clinical or to our site. I'm a BIG fan!

Each month someone picks a book and the first month which was July was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. You can see my book review in this post.

August was my choice and I chose My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult. I had read this book the previous January while on vacation and while it was a hard book to read I felt like it was thought provoking and overall I would give this book a 7.

September's book was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson. This was the book that I first tried the audio book with. I had to do this simply because it is an almost 500 page book and with clinicals twice a week, working twice a week and an exam once a week, it didn't leave much time to be able to sit down and actually read a book. But I have to say I loved this book. It was thrilling, and an enjoyable read. The characters were fun to follow and you really could feel for the characters. It is the first book in a trilogy, and over Christmas break I read the second one, The Girl Who Played with Fire. It too was a great book even better than the first and I just downloaded the last book The Girl who Kicked a Hornet's Nest  yesterday for audio since it's not out in paperback yet. Over all I would give the first book and 8.

October's Book was White Oleander By Janet Fitch. It was a hard read. I had seen the movie and always wanted to read the book but never got around to it. Again with clinicals I was forced to listen to it vs. read it and there was quite a few things that by reading the book made the movie a lost clearer. but I was till not a fan of this book in the slightest. It was just hard to read and relate to the characters and the mother was just pure evil! This book got a 5 from me.

November's book was In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alverez. This book is about 4 sisters who take a stand agains the regime of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. This was a beautiful book that was hard to put down. It's a fictional story based on the lives of 4 real women. The overall story is true but the details were from the author. The author was a Dominican American who got the idea for the book while she was visiting the Dominican one year. She tried to stay as close as she could to the true characters but also let the details take them where the were going. This was by far my favorite book we have read. I give it a 9. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is truly and enjoyable read!

Finally I come to December/January. We had decided to give ourselves a little extra time with the December book due to the holidays and we didn't want to stress about it. The choice for December was Dracula by Bram Stoker. The person who chose it wanted a classic book and many people she talked to pointed her to this book. I have to say after trying to read this book for about a week I broke down and had to buy it on audio because I just couldn't bring myself to sit there and read it. It was HARD to get through mainly I think because of the language. The book was written in the 1890's and the language they used is incredibly different from how books are written now. There is an extensive amount of detail and to be honest it is beautifully written it was just hard to get through. Overall I am really glad I was "forced" to read it because I enjoyed the storyline. I think it is amazing to me how similar all the vampire stuff is now to the original Dracula. Because while the lore about vampires had gone on for some time this was the first book to really put it into print. It almost amazes me how other authors really stuck to Stoker's version of Dracula when it comes to how vampires operate. I think this book deserves almost two scales to judge it on. The storyline gets a 8 from me because it was quite fun when thinking back on it but the literature and the amount of detail and how it was hard to follow at times gets a lower score which brings it to about a 5 or 6 for it's over all score. I am sure glad we had 2 months to get through this one!!! I recommend it to anyone who likes vampires and older literature!

My goal is going to be to write a book review for each future book. I want to be able to have my thoughts on these books down in print, even if it's in blog world. The book for Februrary looks like a fun one it's The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  If anyone wants to follow along I will post the future book on here so you can read along too and let me know what you think.
Here's to Happy Reading and Enjoying expanding our Horizons!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Off to a Swell Start

The first week of the semester is done! I have to say it's actually been rather enjoyable. This semester things are a little different than they have been in the past semesters. First of all I'm only taking 12 semesters. In this program they build in 3 credits this semester and 6 credits next semester to take general education classes. The only problem with this is that I already took all the general ed classes I needed because they changed their requirements so much. So I'm lucky enough to only have 12 credits this semester! (I'm not complaining!!!)

So this semester I have 2 clinical classes and 3 other classes. The clinical classes are split into 8 week increments with the first one ending the friday before spring break. So for this first 8 weeks I'm in my critical care clinical. One would think this would be done in the ICU but not at Marian. They think that surgery patients are critical care, when they often get up and walk 8 hours post surgery! (that might be a little bit of complaining) But the bright side is that I really like our clinical instructor. I think I honestly learned more from her the first day of clinical about the GI system then I did during anatomy, physiology AND pathophysiology! So to put it lightly she ROCKS! (one major plus!)

My only fear with clinicals is that I'm not going to upto date with my clinical knowledge for when I become a real, actual nurse? I have to say this thought right now gives me the most anxiety. I'm just fearful that I will not be able to take care of patients correctly. I feel almost dumbfounded everyday during clinical because I've missed something somewhere. I don't know if thats my fault for not paying close enough attention or if it's the what seems to be complete lack of organization of this program. I mean we don't get our schedules until the friday before classes start!(I'm not kidding!)

Either way I guess I just need to learn to be more comfortable and confident in myself. After all I've worked at the hospital for almost 2 years now and the nurses I talk to say that you learn the most after you are on the floor.
So as of right now my hopeful plan would be to get a job on the floor I currently work because I think the experience and knowledge I will gain from working there is irreplaceable.

But anyways other than the clinical class, I think the other classes, research, informatics and roles and are all just a bunch of busy work that it will just take dedication to stay on top of.

So thats where we are on this lovely last spring semester of nursing school for me! I have my first exam this Friday so I had better be busy studying till then! Hope everyone has a good week!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Coat

Being from Indiana there are a few months out of the year it's almost vital to have a winter coat. Something to keep you warm from the stupid winds and "blistering" cold. Now I realize that our weather here in good ole Middle of Indiana is nothing by comparison to Alaska or even northern Indiana but its' still cold. I used to dread winter while up at Purdue because walking to class in such "freezing" cold conditions was just miserable. In fact in High School i would go to school extra early so my dad would take me up the "trail" so I wouldn't have to walk.  After my 4 years at Purdue I remember swearing I'd never move north of Hamilton County because it just seems so much colder and windier as you go north...not much of a fan.

For those who don't know me very well, I despise Winter, the only thing that makes it even remotely worth while is Christmas. There is just something about snuggling up on the couch on Christmas with hot chocolate and fire going because it's so cold outside that makes me all warm inside. While I must admit these occasions didn't happen to often in my lifetime I think it's just the fantasy of the whole thing.  Well after the holidays I'm ready for 90+ degree weather. I absolutely LOVE the hotter than hot climates. Now I don't love all the humidity which is why I am not a fan of Florida but still at least it's warm out.

Well all of this cold weather brings me to the whole point of this post.  While in High School one Christmas my mom got me this really nice Columbia jacket. One that has a fleece lining that you could wear alone if you wanted. This nice purpley lavender periwinkle coat got me through all 4 years of blistering cold winters up at Purdue. However somewhere in the move back to my parents house and then 2 weeks later the move to Adam and my new house the fleece lining got lost. Meaning I have searched high and low through both houses and it is no where to be found. Mind you this was back in 2008.

Ever since then I've just really used my north face fleece or one of Adams many jackets for warmth. Being that I start complaining of the cold the minute it drops below 65 (and yes I still keep my house at 65 or lower during the winter...heat is expensive!) winter the past few years has been anything but enjoyable, especially those few -20 degree days.

Well this year Adam apparently had had enough of my complaining and me using his multiple winter jackets (benefit of a hubby who works outside all year round) of course I made sure not to use the jacket he was needing that specific day. And after all for my first winter without it I had a measly 20 foot walk into the building I worked. Last year was a different story but a little cold never hurt anyone (tell that to my back that tenses up to the point of severe pain but oh well).

So anyway this year Adam decided he'd use his Christmas bonus (I'm still surprised he got one at all! yay!) on my new winter coat. Of course being nearly 6' tall and a little on the larger side this year finding one that fit was no small task. I must also say that North Face and Columbia has changed their sizes so they are smaller! I tired on XL's of both brands and I felt like they were cutting into my shoulders every time I moved PLUS if I were to reach for something I felt like my midsection would show. (For all of you who wish you were tall...take it back! I'd take short any day, you can shorten your clothes if you want, You can't add fabric to annoying). So anyway after me basically pouting for a few days I agreed to look at the Mens section..GASP! This was a very vein thing for me to be upset about I mean it's not like I'm THAT big,  and mind you the wind breaker part of my jacket still fits while I wore my other north face fleece with my old Columbia jacket, hence why I believe they changed their sizing! Thanks for making a girl feel like she's 300+ lbs!

After Adam did some EXTENSIVE research he found a jacket he thought I'd love. He must have called 5 or more different Dicks around the area and the new North Face store asking if they carried it and no one did. Finally he found it at Gander Mountain and just 2 days ago we went to pick it up. I must say That I'm pleased with it. It fits great, it doesn't cut into my armpits and the length of the coat and the length of the sleeves all fit fine. And best of all it doesn't necessarily look like a man's jacket.  We settled on the North Face TriClimate Jacket. I have to say I like the Jacket but I'm just still a little upset I had to go to the Mens. Where do girls who are larger than me get their coats? I mean it might not have been a big deal if I liked the trendy puffy coats but those are just not me. I needed something I felt myself in, I'm not an overly trendy person and those just felt way to girly!

So anyways I'm excited to finally have a winter coat that fits and will hopefully make these next few months not as horrible for a girl who really needs to live in the Caribbean!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Last night I had the opportunity to FINALLY attend one of my book clubs. This group of girls and I usually try to get together once a week to discuss a chapter of the book we read.

Last night I have to say we didn't get much discussion in about the book but thats perhaps what I love most about this book club. This group of girls are all strong Catholic women who all believe in many of the same things as I do. The reason I love this group so much is that I often feel at such ease with these girls. It's nice to be able to sit there and have spiritual discussions without feeling like I have to defend my choices or beliefs. I think the reason this is so important to me is that I'm not a very articulate person when it comes to many things including my faith. I know what I know, and why I believe what I believe but I'm not very good at explaining it to others and I just get tired of constantly feeling ridiculed when in other groups of people even those who believe the same things I do.

One of my least favorite parts of school is that this weekly book club often feels like too much and I am bogged down by trying to finish school work and often am not able to go. But I truly enjoy every one of the girls and their what seems like infinite wisdom when it comes to the Catholic faith. I  often walk away from these books clubs feeling like a better person who is stronger in my faith.
It's just so nice to get to sit and chat with women who's morals, values and goals in life are all pretty much in the same direction!
So last night was refreshing! I hope to be able to attend weekly because besides the wonderful company I feel it's good for my soul and my faith to surround myself with such wonderful people.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 I'm so excited for you!

2011 I am so excited for your arrival! So many awesome things are bound to happen in 2011!!
First and most importantly I officially graduate (God willing) this year! This is quite possibly the best part of 2011. I'm so excited to be a better child of God, wife, sister, daughter and friend to my wonderful friends and family who have suck with me on this often bumpy ride.
I am also excited to see where 2011 takes Adam and I as a family. I am hopeful that starting our little family is in our future but it is all up God. I put my full faith in his will and surrender all my fears and anxiety about it.
2011 you are bound to be the best year so far! and I vow not to go back to school for at least 5 years!!! :)