Life has calmed down, kind of! At least the stress of it. I had a call about my Capstone project with my professor and we got rid of the stressful step and I think I can kind of skate on by now. I’ll put some time into it of course, but I just don’t think it’ll really be successful right now so I’m not killing myself over it.
My actual schedule has been really busy but I’m okay with it. The semester is way more manageable this time around since there aren’t any papers, so I feel pretty balanced. And despite having a lot of classes for work, they are shorter days typically so I can fit the gym in.
I’m back with the gym consistently, FINALLY! I went back to CrossFit this past week and have decided that I’m definitely going to pick it back up. My old coach commented on how much muscle I’ve lost and I definitely feel it big time. I was just telling Jon that a few days ago too. It’s not realistic to add it back in regularly yet, but hopefully in March I’ll have some more time.
I also took my day off this past week to just relax. I went to the gym, had coffee and crepes, and then picked my boy up from daycare early and we went on a long walk. It was so needed.
I feel like Jon and I worked some things out this weekend and I am past my overly emotional phase. Sometimes I think I just need a good cry and a reminder that we’re in this together and we love each other, and everything falls into place.
I’ll be so glad to be done with school and have time to blog and work on my own job and just enjoy having some slower days. Except we won’t have slow days right away because…
WE ARE GOING TO SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN! It’s not booked yet but I requested my time off and I’m hoping to get it booked this weekend. We had to firm up dates and check in with our friends (Adam and Jessie) that we’re going to visit. I’m really excited, even though South Korea has never been on my list to visit and while Japan definitely is, it’s not at the top of my list. But who cares! It’s going to be so fun.
I also plan to take a besties and babies trip this summer with Kass, Eleanor, and Gina, so I’m looking forward to that! Probably somewhere close because of the babies…
And Jon and I are talking about Scotland this year too. With Jackson, which would be a first for us! If that doesn’t happen, we are most definitely making it to Quebec City because I’m dying to go there. If we can get to 3 countries this year, I’ll finally be at 20 countries that I’ve visited and MOST of them have been pretty extensively traveled (via road trips or train). My goal is 40 before 40, so a long way to go.
Anyway, it’s almost 9pm and I need to go shower and relax for a bit. I just finished up a Powerpoint for school and should really be at the hospital around 8 for a project I’m doing in my unit (not for school). I want to get my stuff done in the morning so I can dip out to the gym before a class for work at 1pm. But we’ll see how the actually goes!
Today is one of those days. Ugh. Best way to describe it.
Adjusting to a new role at work is a little stressful, especially because I may be a little bit of a perfectionist and I have high expectations of myself. I typically leave working wondering if I handled a situation right. What could I have done differently? Would I have known what to do in another situation? I don’t want to be the person who just swooped into this unit and got hired- I really want to make things better. Yesterday when I was leaving work, I mentioned our census in the unit is down to 20 patients the rest of the weekend because of staffing. The night charge nurse asked if I was coming in today and I said no, I wouldn’t get any family time if I did (among that- I’d be working 4 12s in a row and not seeing Jackson at all- and I need time to get schoolwork done). She was like, “Well, welcome to being a supervisor. That’s a supervisor’s job” in a bitchy kind of way. I normally let things roll off my back. I welcome constructive criticism. But that got to me because I really am dedicated to my work, but I’m not at a place in life where I can pick up extra shifts, even if I want to. I rely on my parents for childcare and taking Jackson to daycare in the mornings puts my mom to work late. And it’s not her responsibility. I took this job and seriously extended my time living apart from Jon, so can I just get my 4 hours on Sunday morning with my family without feeling guilty? I didn’t really respond to the comment (now I wish I had- I don’t think she even knows what my family situation is- also reasons not to judge unless you’ve been in somebody else’s shoes).
School has been stressful. My Capstone project had late approval, so I ended up introducing it to the staff right before I had to go out of town. I got some negative feedback (but constructive really- I appreciated the feedback) from the ER supervisors when I got back (but I think it was more of a miscommunication). It’s been hard to get the ball rolling. My preceptor doesn’t seem into helping me with this project and I feel a bit brushed off by her. The ER has been crazy and had known I wasn’t going to still be working in the ER, I would have chosen my current unit for this project. It was too late to switch once I changed jobs though, so now I’m stuck trying to figure out when/how to dedicate more time to this project. But of course there is reluctance to help- it is CRAZY with flu season and the usual winter madness. I expected this, but I planned on having a bit more support. I’m fine with not having the support, but I hate feeling like a burden. And this project makes me feel like a burden. It also is taking away from where I really want to be focusing my attention, and that is on improving the unit that I am now working in. I’m just overwhelmed by this semester and am seriously counting down the three months until I finish my master’s degree.
On top of the work/school stress, this morning I asked Jon if we could go for breakfast. Jackson isn’t the most fun to take to meals, but we still do it occasionally. Jon didn’t seem to want to take him but agreed. We drug our feet a bit today and when Jon was in the shower, Jackson was being a little awful. I decided it’d be too late to go get breakfast without hitting the church crowd and Jackson was in no mood to wait for a table (it’s also raining, so can’t entertain him outside). I was too hungry to wait to eat somewhere else if the place I wanted was packed, so why not eat at home and go get coffee together? But when I brought that up to Jon, he made a comment about how I can’t just accept his decisions and kind of made a jab at me.
I feel like our marriage has really been on the upswing, shockingly. We’ve been living apart but I feel like we hit a low last semester and have finally been getting along really well for awhile and it has felt good. So I guess to have that jab, on top of all the other stress I feel, it just ruined my morning. I’ve been emotional and a mess.
I just feel pulled in a lot of directions and like I’m not really excelling anywhere. I know it’s normal to be unsure in a new role. It’s normal to meet resistance to new projects in a unit (expected that). I don’t think my preceptor is actually brushing me off on purpose- I think she is just busy and I have been doing most of my internship with my current manager, so I’m kind of “out of sight, out of mind.” I get that. I hate being away from Jon and working and not having my equal parent around to take on the burden of childcare sucks. My mom is amazing but Jackson is not her responsibility, so I feel like I can’t commit what I want to my job. I haven’t had time to workout between school, work, momming, sick days, snow days…
Anyway, with that, I’ll be off to write a paper on a leadership book I read for school… Three more months…
I haven’t written in awhile because after going this long, I feel like I should come in with some big, exciting post. But that’s just not life lately. Life is pretty monotonous. It’s school, work, momming, trying to work out, attempting to spend time with my husband… It’s a busy phase of life.
Does anybody else ever feel like they just look forward to that next phase of life?
When I’m done with my bachelor’s, I can do travel nursing!
When I’m done travel nursing, I’ll be home with my husband!
When I deliver this baby, life will slow down.
When Jackson goes to daycare, I’ll feel more like myself.
When I finish my master’s degree, we’ll be a family again.
When I have another baby, we’ll get to really be a family again.
When the second baby comes, I’ll find a job outside of the US.
See? It’s always the next step. I love life how it is. I really do. I’ll be thrilled when grad school is done in THREE MONTHS and this whole Capstone project is behind me, but life isn’t slowing down. We’re still not going to be living together because I took this job. Is there really a phase where it’ll slow down and we’ll just be content existing? I don’t want to sound like I’m not content. I think I have a wonderful life and part of learning to not be depressed anymore years ago was appreciating my life and my journey. I have been intentional in setting my life up how I want it.
But will I ever get to a point where I’m not looking towards the next thing?
I know having kids and being “settled” is harder on me than I thought it would be. While I feel like I should enjoy this childhood phase, I tend to look at what I wish my life really looked like now. And that’s not as a mom or a master’s student or a nurse. It’s really just living in another country and doing my own thing. I see other free spirits and long for that life. But I do like the structure I have. I love having Jackson. I love coming home to a husband. I love having a home and being near family. I love the comfort of the US.
Is this my midlife crisis? I’m not sure! But I think that once I finish working before our second kid is born, I’ll be looking more towards the next step. I’ve started researching jobs in Australia. I would actually prefer to work in Europe but my options are slim for that (they exist- but are slim). I’m going to have to figure out how to set myself up. I may branch out from nursing, but I actually do love nursing so I don’t want to stray away from it too far. For now, I’m just going to focus on the now though… Finishing school, going on my graduation trip to South Korea in May, getting through the rest of the year away from my husband, and watching my cute little boy grow!
I have spent all week with Jackson since we are in Charleston and it has been sweet and slow. He has been so good and life in Atlanta has been super busy and it has been hard to enjoy time together. We needed this. We had slow mornings, playdates, fun times, family times… I’ve soaked him in and I’ve loved it. We head back to Atlanta tomorrow and back to the grind, so life will be crazy again until our next Charleston trip, but I’m glad we have these times. I’m glad I got a taste of that stay-at-home mom life again, just for a week. It reminds me that I want to be home more with Jackson and I can’t wait until the slower days come in May.
Jackson is FINALLY napping! WOOHOO! We’ve had two napless days around here and he was so freaking tired this morning and fighting his nap, but he finally fell asleep. I feel like I just won the lottery. I can’t decide if I should nap, do schoolwork, clean, or watch Call the Midwife. Or blog, apparently.
I had big plans of finishing up Iceland posts but haven’t. I did upload over 500 photos to Facebook though of Iceland. I’m going to try and upload that whole Facebook album to Shutterfly and make it a vacation album. I want to make sure the quality is okay once it’s uploaded from Facebook though.
I DID finally finish Jon’s Father’s Day album (just a few months late). I need to start on the next one since it took my a full year to finish the last one and I have even more pictures of Jackson this year because he’s just getting cuter and cuter. I’ve also made a tiny bit of headway on some school stuff for the spring but I seriously cannot wait to just have this Capstone project behind me and have my master’s degree. I’m also thrilled to have tuition payments over with! Debt free master’s degree *PARTY HATS*
In other news, I never made it to Florida for Christmas. I got home from work around 8 on Thursday night and went to bed, so I had all of our packing left for Friday morning. Jackson woke up sounding like he was gagging twice on Thursday night but went back to sleep okay. He barely ate Friday morning, but I asked my dad to sit with him while I packed. Jackson was totally happy and started drifting off as soon as we got on the road (3hrs and 15 minutes of packing later, and 4 attempts at leaving the house later…).
And then he threw up. The only good part is that I was just on the south side of Atlanta and hadn’t made it too far. I tried to call Gina since I was right by her house but she was at the zoo. I called Jon panicking over what to do now. In the end, I threw a blanket under Jackson (NOT safe!) to keep him out of his huge puddle of throw up, stripped him down to his diaper, and blasted the heat to keep him warm on our way back home. He never acted sick still, but I didn’t know how we’d make it to Florida like that.
I got home, bathed him, spent 1 1/2 hours cleaning out the carseat and my car (and then another $110 detailing it on Sunday), and of course, unpacked EVERYTHING I had spent hours packing. My dad told me how Jackson ate so well and I was like, “He only ate half of his oatmeal and he always finishes it” and my dad was like, “But when I was feeding it to him, he ate so well!” Ugh. No wonder he threw up! Can’t spoon feed a kid who is clearly not interested in eating.
Jon decided to just come to Atlanta for the weekend since I was over the whole packing ordeal and did not want to deal with that on Saturday morning (not to mention that it rained on Saturday so I couldn’t get my car detailed and I couldn’t get the vomit smell out).
We had a super low key weekend. I had brunch with Gina and Laura on Saturday. I was really excited to be able to get together with them unexpectedly because I still rarely see friends. It was a pretty quick little hangout session, but still much needed.
We tried to find something to do on Saturday night but I wasn’t feeling great for some reason and Jon and I were both tired.
My parents went to Asheville on Sunday so we were alone at the house. We had my rings checked at Zales for the warranty and walked around the mall in the morning and then hung out at home in the afternoon. Everything was closed for Christmas Eve anyway!
We came back to Charleston on Christmas. It was an uneventful day, obviously… I had Jon drive Jackson back so I just got to relax on the drive. It was wonderful! Jackson is always good in the car but when I’m by myself, I can drink whatever I want because I don’t have to worry about if Jackson will be napping when I stop to pee. I don’t have to look at him or entertain him. I just relax and listen to music and drink my coffee. When we got in town, I went to my old gym (it’s a 24/7 gym so I used Jon’s key card to swipe in) and only 2 other people were there. I had such a good workout and got to use the cables. I rarely use the cable machine if people are around because I get kind of shy with it since I don’t have as much experience with it, but I’m working on it!
I’ve been kind of bored in Charleston this time around but it has been kind of nice! My neighbor just had a baby 10 days ago, so her family is in town so I haven’t seen her yet. My other friend is still in Florida visiting her family, but gets back today. But Jon and I leave tomorrow for Florida since we missed it last weekend and then we come back Monday. I plan to go back to Atlanta on Thursday since I work on Friday so I’m not sure how much of them I’ll get to see.
I took Jackson for a coffee date this morning and it was so sweet. He surprisingly did really well, although we didn’t get to sit and relax much. I’m trying to work on getting him to sit in his chair while we’re out and just behave. The place we went was super easy with a kid though since it’s spacious, not crowded, and nobody was working in there so I didn’t feel bad if Jackson was talking loudly about “fahfee.”
I’m definitely not used to staying home with him anymore and it’s been really cold here so we can’t spend a ton of time outside… We visited the Children’s Museum briefly yesterday but it is so packed with school being out. Everybody must have taken their grandparents that are all in town for the holidays because I swear there were 4 adults for every child. We also went to Barnes & Noble since the one near us has a pretty decent kid area. We’re running out to pick up Jon’s license plate today from his old car (he forgot to take it when he sold his Tahoe and apparently there is a fine in SC for not returning plates) and then I have a massage at my chiropractor tonight! CAN’T WAIT!
It has been a super busy month around here. What was planned to be a nice, relaxing month, ended up being packed full.
I accepted a new job, so I’ve been balancing my old job and my new job for the month. I’m now a part-time supervisor on our observation unit (falls under the emergency department, but separate manager and totally separate unit). I have my first day alone on Thursday but my job title doesn’t switch until January 1st. I’m really excited for the new job, but at the same time, a little bummed that this means I’ll be in Atlanta longer, away from Jon. Since it’s part-time, I’ll be able to spend more time in Charleston, especially once school is out in April, but it’s still tough to know we have at least another year of this back and forth! But really, once school is out, part-time is golden. I’ll do two 12 hour shifts a week and have one day still that I will probably intern (resume builder) and then I’ll be free to do whatever! I have a feeling I’ll spend a lot more time with Jackson once school is out and I’m really looking forward to that!
Other than that, I spent a weekend snowed in and I spent a weekend celebrating Christmas in Atlanta! Since Jon and I aren’t doing Christmas with my family, we got it in early. I leave this Friday for Jacksonville to go do Christmas with Jon’s family and then on Monday, I’ll head back to Charleston until the 4th.
Christmas is so much more fun with a kid! I had big plans of not buying many gifts, but somehow we ended up with quite a few. My big purchase was a kitchen set (on super Black Friday sale!) and he loves it! The stove makes noise when you put a pan or a pot of water on it (has to be the ones that go to it, obviously) and he thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. I also bought a Thomas the Train track that was kind of a disappointment since it only has one train that is battery operated (otherwise it doesn’t move at all), but Jackson totally loves it. The kid is obsessed with Thomas lately so it was a good choice! Between the kitchen set and the train, he has been awfully entertained with his new toys! Oh, and his new backpack that he insists on wearing all over the house. We had planned on making cookies and having a big Christmas day with Jackson, but my mom, who never gets sick, was sick all day so Jon and I took Jackson to the outlet mall to walk around since it was nice in the afternoon.
I finally made it back to the gym! My ankle still bothers me quite a bit so I can no longer walk inclines and I can’t do a lot of lower body moves. I can squat comfortably and I plan on deadlifting today, but that’s really about it. Anything else causes pain with flexion but I feel like it’s going to be a pretty chronic issue. The ortho doctor recommended physical therapy so I may try that, or he said that he could do an injection but I don’t want that. So I’m making it work for now and just doing quick, easy workouts to ease back into things and I’ve been so sore this week. I think I’m going to try to start really working on flexibility in 2018 since I’m so inflexible naturally and I think increasing my mobility would maybe help prevent injuries. I think I’m going to actually try to go to yoga once a week and maybe even follow some yoga videos off Beachbody and then just spend more time stretching in general. I was watching my dad put his shoes on for work the other day and he can barely get his foot crossed up on his leg anymore when he’s sitting- that can’t be me. (My dad is also 70, but still!)
I was going to add some cute Christmas pictures of my boy, but I had to take my cat to the vet (he needs a toe amputation due to osteomyelitis- FUN- and expensive) and then I had to spend FOREVER on the phone with USAA to sort out our automatic payments and find out that South Carolina had a rate increase and our car insurance is now $500 more a YEAR. So now I need to change and grab some food to head to a meeting at the hospital.
My favorite town that we came across in Iceland was Seydisfjordur. Most towns in Iceland are super small. The population of the whole country is only 330,000ish, and Seydisfjordur’s population is around 700. We heard the town was a must see though and since we didn’t think we’d be able to access the hike we really wanted to do due to ice (can’t even remember what it was- maybe Glymur Falls- which we later found out WAS accessible), we opted for the safe bet.
We headed into Seydisfjordur from the south and came across some amazing waterfalls along the way, not far outside of the town.
There are so many waterfalls all over the place in Iceland. You can catch a glimpse in that image directly above of how many little streams run down the sides of the mountains. I’m sure the streams were plentiful as the snowmelt in the highlands was pouring down to the coast while we were there, but it was just so different to be in a country like Iceland.
We found a random parking lot in the town and again, second guessed whether or not we could park there or not. But as we noted everywhere, you can really just park anywhere and nobody seems to mind.
We were greeted by these kayaks. They seemed so perfect sitting there with the buildings and mountains in the background.
Seydisfjordur was super quirky. We also walked into somebody’s house accidentally. It was on the backside of a shop and I swore it was the front door of the shop, but it was really the back door of the house. The people acted like we should have known but there were no signs.
Laura and I walked by two guys trying to take very posed pictures in these chairs. We stopped and chatted with them (they were from Wisconsin- holla!) and took like, 50 photos for them to get the picture perfect for them. It was so funny because Laura and I always feel so bad asking people to take our picture and these guys had no shame in asking us to take a million to get the perfect shot. We didn’t mind at all though and then they offered to take some of us. We let them take two and then we were done. My, how times have changed! My old vacation photos are like, 95% selfies and tripod pictures and now they’re 95% scenery.
This next picture I saw on Instagram plenty of times (I plan trips off of Instagram now- it’s the best for finding hidden gems). I actually had no idea it was in Seydisfjordur because Laura and I completely slacked on planning, so when we turned the corner and I saw the colorful street leading up to the church, I was completely surprised. It was so picturesque!
We only spent a half day in Seydisfjordur and really, that was all we needed. The town is small and quaint and offered us some nice down time for a bit. We also ate at an amazing restaurant where I took one super blurry picture of my food. It was the Nordic Restaurant at Hotel Aldan. Laura and I shared the sauteed kale and spinach and both got fish (I believe I got the cod with the buerre blanc sauce) and it was excellent. Also, take note of those prices. Food in Iceland is ridiculous. I’ll discuss the cost of things in Iceland in a later post!
Alrighty, well, I’ve talked about some of my other favorite places in Iceland so far, but Gjain was another one that topped the list for me!
I read about Gjain long before we got to Iceland and we weren’t sure it would be doable. A few places we really wanted to go were still snowed it when we went in May and we heard it may be hard to get to Gjain, especially with out tiny little car that was definitely not a 4WD (and by 4WD, they mean like, big Jeep cars, not just any 4WD).
Since Laura and I like to be adventurous and test our limits, we decided to head out to Gjain anyway. It took us awhile to figure out where we needed to be and I wish I could provide some insight, but I have no clue anymore how we got there. I do know that there are two sides to enter Gjain from (which we didn’t realize), and I have no clue if one is better than the other, nor do I know which side we entered from anymore.
When we arrived to the “parking,” we saw one other car there and a big, long dirt road. We spent a long time contemplating if we should drive down the road or walk the couple miles there, or if we were really even allowed to park where we stopped our car. (“Allowed” is relative in Iceland- people kind of just do whatever since it’s so desolate in most places.) Eventually, we decided not to risk our car and just walk to Gjain.
The walk was long and lonely. One car passed us on the way and we secretly hoped he was going to offer us a ride because we would have been all about hitchhiking at that time. I wish I remembered how long this hike was exactly, but I want to say it was about 2 miles. That’s a short hike, but it felt pretty long in the middle of nowhere, especially because we weren’t actually even sure if we were going to the right place or not.
After a long walk, we arrived to a “parking lot” and saw 2 or 3 cars and figured we must be close. We also took note of the other small cars that managed to drive the road just fine. We kept walking and saw this view:
FOUND IT! It was so amazing to walk down such barren land and then come to this magical green area in the middle of nowhere. Iceland never ceased to amaze me! We had to walk down a pretty steep set of natural stairs to get down into the valley.
It actually ended up feeling pretty warm down in the valley once we were protected from all the wind. We had a little picnic and relaxed for awhile, but only stayed about 1.5 hours since we had to walk back (uphill) and still continue exploring everything Iceland had to offer.
The deep blue glacial water is so pretty. I loved it when we caught glimpses of the deep blues.
In the photo below, take note of the photographer to the left of Laura. It looks like a small stream running by Laura, but it was much larger than it looks and she was actually standing at the top of a little waterfall that he was photographing.
We were hoping to catch a ride with a photographer who was there, but after chatting for awhile, he didn’t offer us a ride and Laura and I were too shy to ask if he could take us back. He passed us halfway through our walk back. Laura and I decided it was karma for passing up a hitchhiker in northern Iceland.