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  1. Skype dates.
  2. Send him sexy underwear and shower pics.
  3. Make a list of date night ideas.
  4. Knit him socks for hunting season.
  5. Netflix.
  6. Dinner with the girls.
  7. Keep on with my running and exercise plans.
  8. Try out lots of new recipes that I think only I would like.
  9. Pick up extra shifts at work.
  10. Look forward to having my man back.

╚╗  Quick refresher on dinner etiquette by Cup of Jo.  I didn’t know that the silverware should rest fully on the plate.  My bad!

╚╗  8 Things Everybody Must Know How to Do.  I can’t drive a manual.  To the life list!

╚╗  Meet Mark and Angel.  See Mark and Angel Hack Life.

╚╗  Check out Sarah Von’s April Network of Nice Hookups.  You may be able to meet someone’s needs or find someone who can meet yours.  I’ll be going to Pittsburgh this summer….

╚╗  Nurses!  Share your story with Ian for his Book of Nurses.  I’m writing mine.

╚╗  Don’t forget to nourish your inner introvert.

 

Finally, a joke for all my medical nerds out there (courtesy of Dr. Grumpy):

Knock knock
Who’s there?
HIPAA
HIPAA who?
I can’t tell you that.

I laughed so hard.

I had never held a gun.  It was heavier than I expected, though just as hard and cold.

My parents refused to drive with me until I had completed Drivers Ed.  I turned the key for the first time with a stranger next to me and two random classmates in the back seat.  I learned the finer points of accelerating, braking, and turning with a snickering audience who had the privilege of private lessons before performing in front of peers.  I discovered blind spots and the carelessness of pedestrians.  I learned to merge into highway traffic while a man forced my knee down harder and harder onto the gas pedal.  I felt the rage of others.  I had never been more afraid.  This was one afternoon.

I still remember the thought I had when I first felt the power of metal and speed in my hands.

I could kill someone. 

The enormity of such a  responsibility was staggering; that understanding flooded my mind again as I considered the potential I now held in my hands.

There was no fear; the safety was on.  I held a gun for the first time standing next to a man I trusted.  I learned to check the chamber and load my gun.  I passed over zombies and aliens to choose a target that didn’t easily allow for a flippant attitude during a lesson in deadly precision.  I felt the weight of a ready gun in my outstretched arms.  I centered my sights, held my breath, and fired.

I had the lovely surprise of being nominated for the Versatile Blog Award by the pretty fucking fabulous  Fabulous RN – the latest addition to my blog feed.  Thank you!  Fab focuses on those special moments and victories that only fellow nurses can truly understand.  Sharing them with civilians usually results in a skeptical or horrified look.  Sometimes skeptically horrified. Those are the best.

With great honor comes great responsibility.  All nominees are to do the following:

1.  Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.

2.  Share 7 things about yourself.

3.  Pass this award along to 15 blogs you enjoy reading.

4. Contact your chosen blogs to let them know about the award.

 

Here are seven more things about me:

1.  If you ask me if I smell something, I usually don’t.

2. I always order the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden.  Even if it’s just to go.

3.  The tip of my right ring finger is slightly crooked from a basketball accident.

4.  I don’t like tartar sauce.

5.  My blood type is O positive.  I’m a giver.

6.  I shiver uncontrollably when I’m completely exhausted.  Everything is also very beautiful or very funny.  Either way I end up crying.

7.  White lights.  Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Now, without further ado, here are my nominations:

1.  A Work in Progress.  This is the first blogger I considered my blog friend. We will meet someday.  She’s a fellow nurse and an all-around amazing lady with the most adorable kids.  And she just beasted another half-marathon!

2. Head Nurse.  She is the nurse I want to be when I grow up.

3. The Bloggess.  She’s all the right kinds of crazy.

4. Zen Habits. I like a little balance with my crazy.

5. You Can’t Call It It.  Because I find names fascinating.

6. Smart Pretty and Awkward.  Tips on how to be smarter, prettier, and (less) awkward. Sometimes I need all the help I can get.

7. Crass-Pollination: An ER blog.  Nurse K is the shit.  That is all.

8. The Stay-at-Home Feminist Mom. She’s always good for a laugh and/or some righteous anger.

9. A Cup of Jo.  A sweet lifestyle blog.

10. Gala Darling. She exudes pink positivity. I read her mostly for the links she shares.  And yes.  That’s her real name.

11. Dooce.  I think this is the first blog that I started reading.  And still read.

12. Ordinary Courage. I first discovered Brene Brown through her TED talk. Her observations about vulnerability really hit home with me.  One of my most earth-shaking revelations in my early 20’s was the simple truth that I could not shield myself from feeling bad without also creating a barrier against the good.

13. Smaggle.  I love her “Why Don’t You..?” posts.

14. Reasoning With Vampires. I share this with all of the Twilight fans in my life.  Yes.  I’m that person.

15. Quiet: The Power of Introverts.  We are here.  Hear us … speak softly yet powerfully.

 

Go forth and read.

 

°  I can hear an owl hooting outside.  I like it.  My dogs don’t.

°  I’m not usually that person who adds her pets’ signatures to cards.  However.  I left a gift at the door of my neighbor behind me.  Seeing as how my dogs love him (he always has treats for them), I added a note from them. “We wuff you.  Happy Howlidays!”  I know.

°  I’m trying this crafty idea for some gifts.  I’m stealing cute photos off of people’s Facebook pages and transferring them to tiny little canvases.  A few magnets on the back will turn them into pieces of art on their fridges.

°  I normally can’t sleep with any light whatsoever.  I even put a eye mask over my clock every night.  (I can’t wear it on days I need to wake with an alarm, because I use a light alarm clock.)  However, I love the warm glow in my room during December.  I leave the outside Christmas lights on just for that alone.

°  I’m working 12 hours this Christmas.  I’m bringing a radio for background holiday music in the station, and I’m making  pies-in-a-jar.  Tiny jars are the cutest! I’m hoping to have enough so everyone who visits my station can take one.

°  I’m happy to have spent a few hours over sushi with a pal who moved away.  Obe rolls are deliciously spicy.

°  I’m relieved my dog couldn’t get the wrapper completely off that fudge bar he grabbed off a table.  And that the bite of fudge he did get was too chewy for him to eat quickly. And thankful for buy two/get one free specials.

°  I’m still decorating the tree I got two weeks ago.

°  My latest favorite easy dish: black beans, chopped grilled chicken, cheese, and a spoonful of cilantro paste (find it in the Goya section of your grocery store).

°  Cutest things this week:  WordPress’s falling snow header and Marcel the Shell (Part I and II).

°  I just found out that Dr. Scholl’s makes cute shoes. And yes, I’m old enough to be very excited by this.

°  I’m looking forward to a New Year’s Eve dinner with good food and jazz.  And the return of Downton Abbey!

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to TodaysMama.com to get the details.

  1. Start an annual event.
  2. Run a 5K.
  3. Sunset skydive.
  4. Live in a foreign country for 3 months.
  5. Meet my sponsored child.
  6. Never work on my birthday again.
  7. Take a train across Europe.
  8. Be a mother.
  9. Throw a block party.
  10. Get a good driver’s license photo.
  11. Live debt free.
  12. Write a love letter
  13. Spend the night in a haunted house.
  14. Work only for myself.
  15. Write the story of my life.

all items found on etsy.com

You can never go wrong with the following: a nice stethoscope, pretty earrings (studs!),  or a beautiful (water-resistant!) watch.  Classic.  I would include a fancy pen (black ink!) except that they disappear faster than you can ask “Who took my pen?” *

I’m really into giving people useful items.  Here are a few more ideas:

The Spoon Sisters ID Blocker

Love this.  Nursing students have to be careful that the papers they use and bring home do not have any patient identifiers on them.  I used to carry a black marker with me just for the purpose of marking out that data.  It was that or cutting it off the page.  It would have been great to have this stamp handy.

Koko Michelle Lunch Bag

A cute lunch bag.  A friend gave me this one for my birthday, and I use it all the time.  It’s small yet large enough to hold my breakfast and lunch.  Once empty, it takes up very little space in my tiny locker.   No more searching in the fridge for my food that has gotten pushed around.

Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock

Clinicals start early.  Those heavy sleepers might find this alarm clock useful.  There are also alarm clocks that roll away, fly, and test your math skills.  I personally love my light alarm clock.  There are many pricey models out there ($100+), but I use the Homedics SoundSpa Sunrise Gradual Light Alarm Clock Radio.  It uses your own bedside lamp instead of a built-in light.

Anna shoulder bag by Christy Studio

We have a lot to carry.  This bag is large and has plenty of pockets.

Of course, these are things that I would have wanted as a student nurse (and still do).  Any more ideas?

*My favorite pen is the Pilot EasyTouch Retractable Ballpoint pen. (Gel pens are not your friend.) It is refillable, but I almost always break the clip by the time I use up the ink so I keep a pack in my locker.  I wish I could get them personalized.  That would make it a bit harder for the thieves to feign innocence.  I avoid letting people (nurses/doctors/patients) use them by keeping cheap free pens to give away in my clipboard.  (This clipboard holds everything!)

I refused to look at a mirror in public when I was a teenager.

I especially avoided a certain mirrored wall at my high school.

I passed it day after day, and day after day I averted my eyes.

I told myself it was because I didn’t want to seem narcissistic; I didn’t want people to think that I thought I looked good.

The truth was that any time spent in front of a mirror was an incredibly vulnerable time for me.  No one was allowed to look into that mirror with me.

I didn’t want to remind them of my flaws.  I didn’t want them to see what I saw: linebacker shoulders, big nose, too small eyes, big forehead, frizzy hair, bad skin, no boobs, and knobby knees.

If I didn’t look at myself, maybe they wouldn’t look either.

***

I want to take that silly girl by her perfectly nice shoulders and shake away all of her nonsensical insecurities.

Ten years ago I would have jumped at the chance for some plastic surgery.  Now it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.  Now I’m afraid of ending up with a stranger’s face and body.

My nose will always be big, my skin is scarred, and my teeth are still crooked.

The difference ten years later is that those things are not what I see when I look in a mirror.  Instead, I see:

1.  My curly hair.  My hair was nice once I grew out those silly bangs that my forehead didn’t need and quit trying to beat it into submission.

2.  My eyes.  They look brown or green depending on my mood, and they are just the right size.

3.  My lips.  They are full and give me a natural pout.

4.  My arms.  They are lean and strong and soft at the same time.

5.  My waist.  It (along with a few other favorite parts) gives me a nicely curved torso.

6.  My sides.  I love the curves at my side where my waist meets my hips.

7.  The small of my back.  I love this little curve and the dimples found there.

8.  My butt.  It is one of my most complimented features, second only to my hair.

9.  My legs.  They are long and athletic.  I even like my thighs most of the time.

10.  My height.  I’m 5’8″, and it’s perfect for me.  Not too tall, not too short.  I can reach most things and still fit into small places.

***

 

This year was the first year that I wore a bathing suit without (much) thought about how I looked at any given moment.  I know that it isn’t my body but my attitude that has changed.

I love that each coming year leaves me more and more comfortable in my own skin.

*Post inspired by Kate’s Irrelevant.

My Happiness Project

1. Set a bedtime.
2. Make my bed every morning.
3. Always be reading something.
4. Move more.
5. Toss and organize.
6. Give proofs of love.
7. Leave the past.
8. Fight right.
9. Don't expect praise or appreciation.
10. Kiss more, hug more, touch more.
11. Aim higher.
12. Find some fun.
13. Ask for help.
14. Smile.
15. Realize it's possible.
16. Don't compare;be inspired.
17. Focus on what I have.
18. Beware of drift.
19. Take a chance.
20. Listen.
21. Be mindful.
22. Cultivate gratitude.
23. Spend out.
24. Do good, feel good.
25. Show up.
26. Have the courage to be imperfect.
27. Find joy in the ordinary.
28. Work smart.
29. Enjoy now.
30. Talk to strangers.
31. Go outside.
32. Start where I am.
33. Show up on time.
34. See art everyday.
35. Love with abandon.
36. Be colorful.
37. Dress the part.
38. Revel in accomplishments.
39. Learn something new.
40. Fear less.
41. Take pictures.
42. Speak with integrity.
43. Don't be critical about small things.
44. Manage my pain.
45. Surround myself with creative people.
46. Practice, practice, practice.
47. Don't force it.
48. Deal with something once.
49. Trust my instincts.
50. Avoid gossip.
51. Choose to see the best in people.
52. Take time to be silly.
53. Throw my own party.
54. Be a mentor.
55. Lean into my fears.
56. Find the others.
57. Do the unexpected.
58. Don't break the chain.
59. Do things others aren't.
60. Slow down.
61. Be cool with not being cool.
62. Be kinder than necessary and more generous than reasonable.
63. Pretend I'm good at it.
64. Keep in touch.
65. Row my own canoe.
66. Do what only you can do.
67. If it doesn't work out, find something that does.
68. Dream bigger.
69. Notice what's right.
70. Stop talking. Start doing.
71. When in doubt, choose laughter.
72. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
73. Respect everyone.
74. Be early.
75. Delete the unnecessary.

Three Simple Rules

1. If you do not GO after what you want, you will never have it.
2. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not MOVE forward, you will always be in the same place.

All I Need

1. Someone to love.
2. Something to do.
3. Something to hope for.

What I’m Reading

Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

U.S. States I’ve Visited

Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Georgia
Florida
Louisiana
Maryland
New Mexico
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Texas
Utah
Virgina

Countries I’ve Visited

Mexico
Colombia
Thailand
Vietnam
Bermuda (British territory)

I write about…