Final Week of GRAD SCHOOL

You guuuuyyyysss! THIS IS MY LAST WEEK OF GRAD SCHOOL! Technically, next week is my last week, but whatevs. I’m having my final practicum meeting on Friday with my professor and preceptor and will submit everything over the weekend, so next week I’ll be done! I was planning to walk for graduation, but backed out last minute. Graduation is on a Thursday night (WTF) and it’s the week before we leave for Japan, so there is no way Jon can take time off to drive 7 hours to be with me for graduation. If my husband and son can’t be there to see me walk, then it’s not worth it. But I think I’m okay with that decision. I just can’t believe that next week, I will be able to fully relax on my days off and not even have to worry about school. Since I started college at 18, I took one year off for my deployment to Iraq, and another year off between my bachelors and masters. But during that time, I was travel nursing and preparing documents for licensure nonstop and studying for the GRE, so I was still focused on little tasks. I WILL FINALLY BE DONE!

Except that after I finish school, I want to become a Certified Emergency Nurse, so I need to test for that (not cheap- and not easy, I hear- so I’ll be studying!) and I also am considering looking into becoming a personal trainer. So… school isn’t done. Also considering getting into real estate so we save on realtor fees.

Had I not taken my job, I would be moving back to Charleston after this week. But I took it and I love my job.

Jon and I have been thinking a lot about our “next steps.” I think realistically, we’ll end up in Charleston for another 2ish years at least. But I’m chomping at the bit to move. One of my best friends is about to move to Denver and I’m so ready to follow her. Jon’s company hasn’t had any jobs out west (other than California and Portland- I can’t live in the constant rain in Portland and Jon thinks the gun laws are too strict in California) but I’ve been looking. I’d love for Jon to go back to school for some sort of IT degree since he really needs to get a bachelor’s degree anyway since his job requires it. Our goal is to be able to work remotely, which is another reason I’m thinking about doing personal training, since there is money to be made online now with that. And I can work in travel nursing, also. Those are long-term goals, but I want to start thinking about how to get there now. We’re also trying to figure out some investment options to get into within the next 5 years because money makes the world go around and we have big dreams that aren’t cheap. But really, I think we’ll work on figuring some things out once we know where we’ll be settled. We’ve talked about opening up some sort of business but who knows. Or flipping houses.

I just got tired of writing about my life, hah. I’m going to go do some schoolwork since I still need to shower and run errands before picking up my boy today. I went to CrossFit this morning and rowed almost 2 miles and jumped rope for the first time since way before I had Jackson and felt like my calves were dying. But it was a good workout and I’m starting to not hate rowing so much. I can’t believe how much stronger I’ve gotten just adding in CrossFit 1-2 days a week. It’s crazy. And then going to LA Fitness 2-3 days a week, typically… Then we’re going to mess this all up by getting me pregnant again and I’m going to lose my body again.

I need to start looking at Japan. We leave in 3 weeks and have nothing planned. I’ve planned a lot of trips 3 weeks out but I’m starting to feel some pressure since we have another couple traveling part of our trip with us. I also can’t believe that we are THREE WEEKS from going to Japan. It doesn’t ever hit me until I’m waiting to get on my plane, taking my Ambien so I don’t flip out on the plane…  I also want to go to Pittsburgh in June for a nursing conference but haven’t even looked at that. I need to get on my life. School had consumed me but now I should start having some more time.

Okay, for real. Time to go. Except the internet keeps going out and I need the internet for all of my school work.

 

 

Quick Updates

Long time no update again! I’ll do this number styled to make it quicker and less rambly.

  1. LAST MONTH OF SCHOOL! Actually, last 3 weeks of school. I have a ton of work to do, plus it’s midyear eval time at work (haven’t even started yet). I’m ready to finish up with all of this work and start picking up a few shorter shifts down in the ER again to make a little more money. But, man, the FREEDOM of knowing that I will be done with school forever is unreal. It’s also crazy that I’ll have a master’s degree!
  2. We booked tickets to JAPAN! We planned on South Korea to be the bulk of our trip but changed our minds. Since Jon doesn’t like taking too much time off of work, logistically, it wasted way too much time to have to fly into Seoul. So, we’re flying into Tokyo and Japan will be the bulk of our trip, with a 3 day trip to Busan, South Korea, to see Adam and Jessie’s little town. They’ll be with us in Japan for most of our trip too, which I am super excited about because we love Adam and Jessie! We also had a major Skymiles win and our tickets were only $105 total for both of us. And since Jon is a Medallion member, he even got to pick out the good seats for free.
  3. CrossFit is still going! It is seriously shocking how much stronger I am after just adding in CrossFit 1-2 days a week, even if it hasn’t been super consistent because of going back to Charleston. I also just found a Groupon for a 10 day punch card for $26 for a CrossFit gym down the road from my house so I’m excited to try that, and to only spend $2.60 per class, compared to the $17 I normally spend on my classes. I’ve been consistent with my own workouts at LA Fitness on my off days from CrossFit too. I just need to focus on my eating a little more. Not to change my body, but because I feel like I’m consuming way more sugar than I normally do and it’s so bad for your body.
  4. I still love my job, but it is time consuming. We have mid-year evals and a committee that I’m part of and I’m going to be shadowing with supervisors on other floors so we can see how we can improve our processes on our floor and I’m there a bunch next week for interviews with my manager. I’m kicking myself for not asking for more money when I took the job because I’m truly spending a lot of unpaid time there (which is fine for right now because it counts for clinical hours, but I’m almost done with that) and I spend a lot of time driving 40 miles roundtrip for just a morning or an afternoon there. I still wish this job was longer term, but it’s not realistic for our family. But I have no plans to leave yet.
  5. I found a medical relief trip to Cambodia that I really want to go on. It’s 2 full weeks though and I haven’t asked my boss about it yet. I did ask my sister if she could come in town for a week to help with Jackson and she will know next week. If she can, I’ll approach it with my mom and then ask my boss. It’s at the end of September, so obviously, we’d push back the next baby until after I get home. But I’m dying to go to Cambodia and I’m dying to go on a medical relief trip, so I feel like it’s such a good opportunity! But, I think if that doesn’t work (because of how long it is), I’m going to try and do one this year no matter what. There are some in August that I could look at (Ethiopia!) so I really want to look into it… I’ve been really wanting to do medical relief for awhile and I just feel like it’s such an awesome way to use mix the two things that I love doing (traveling and nursing).

Time to go get some work done instead of blogging and looking up medical relief trips!

Currently…

Stealing this from Jessie’s blog since I figured it’s been a long time with no update, but Jackson is currently not napping so I’ll be going to get him in a sec.

Reading … Building a Culture of Ownership in Healthcare for my master’s program, although I did pick this book out. Also, I totally forgot that I spent $45 on this book. It’s a pretty good read.

Listening … Silence. And my child crying. We’ve actually had no TV on during the days this week and it’s been so nice and Jackson is playing so well by himself.

Watching … Well, as above, nothing much. Jon and I did finish 60 Days In which is a documentary type show in the Fulton Co (Atlanta) jail, but now we’re done with it. Bummer. So we’ll be going back to Naked and Afraid until we find something we both like. I’m also slowly but surely working on Call the Midwife.

Planning … VACATION! Jon and I decided that instead of flying into South Korea in May, we’ll fly into Tokyo and just fly to South Korea for 3 days instead. So, Japan will be the bulk of our trip. Time to start planning! We’re going to book tickets tonight and shockingly, it’s a direct flight from Atlanta and will only be 85,000 points per ticket (Delta Skymiles FTW!!!!!) so we’re flying for free. I’ll even have enough points left over easily for a domestic flight on my account, which is wonderful. I closed out my AMEX so I’m not accruing points anymore on my account and was hoping not to have a bunch randomly left over.

Browsing … Nothing other than Instagram and Facebook. Going to work on stopping the scroll though and getting away from my phone again though.

Sweating … Not this week! I did a quick 80 Day Obsession booty day this week but I’ve been using nap times for school this week, mornings for playdates, and afternoons with Jon. So, not much sweating is happening. Hoping to get in a workout tonight and tomorrow, but I’ll be back at the gym once I get home so I’m not too worried. I’m still back at CrossFit 1-2x per week at home and loving it. I’ve gotten SO much stronger in just the short period of time I’ve been back.

Loving … Slow days in Charleston with my boy! After working and daycare days all the time in Atlanta, I really like just coming to Charleston and having playdates galore, down time, snuggles, and just spending time with Jackson. He just gets better by the day and I love that I get to hang out with him.

Reminiscing … I’m too busy looking forward to GRADUATION in a month so there’s none of that around here!

Asheville Weekend Getaway

Hey-o. So, I’m considering switching back to my old blog. I had plans of making this one more public and organized but I just haven’t. The other day, I logged into my old blog and was pulling up all of my travel nursing posts and I just feel like I can’t get into this blog as much because I wanted it to be something that it isn’t. I’m just never going to be an organized blogger. I don’t want to shorten my long, rambling posts. I want to talk about whatever I want, whenever I want. And truly, I still don’t love blogging about traveling, even though traveling is my favorite thing in the word.

But, to get back to this post… I spent this past weekend in Asheville with Jon and Jackson. We were visiting my oldest sister who just moved there, Tonie. Tonie’s new house is so beautiful!

Weekend trips with a toddler are much different than they used to be! We ran to the store on Friday evening to grab some stuff for Jackson to eat and then hung out at the house.

Saturday morning, Tonie and I went to CrossFit while Jon and Jackson went to a playground. I did 18.2 (the Open workout) and ended up cleaning 100#. I was really surprised since I haven’t worked on my lifts in a LONG time and it was an ugly lift. Jon was laughing at the video Tonie got because I managed to split the lift into two distinct movements. But it’s just so crazy because I worked SO hard to be able to clean 100# in the past and to feel so weak now, and still be able to go clean 100# was eye opening.

We showered during Jackson’s nap and then headed downtown to eat. We ate at Farm Burger (there used to be one near our old condo so this isn’t a new place for us) and Jackson was such a brat in line. I swear, Jackson is so dang cute but he is definitely in a testing phase now and it seriously drives me insane. Thankfully he was pretty good while we ate, but boy does he know how to make a meal not relaxing at all.

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Since walking around downtown doesn’t really work anymore, we stopped in a little rocky area downtown where Jackson could climb around and burn up some energy. Then we grabbed some coffee at High Five Coffee and headed back to Tonie’s for the evening.

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He loves sharing my coffee with me.

We got up on Sunday morning to hike. I didn’t even bring a carrier to wear Jackson (I planned on it but forgot it) so we knew it had to be short. We settled on Moore Cove Falls and headed on out! Jackson did surprisingly well and held our hands most of the way out to the fall. He loved the waterfall, of course! I definitely think we need to start hiking with him more. The hike was 1.5 miles total and that was a good length with him. Had we been able to wear him, I think we could definitely go a little longer, but he was worn out from walking that as it was nearing his nap. He passed out as soon as we got in the car!

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Jon had to leave when we got back and Jackson was still sound asleep. I normally do really well with the distance between us, but this weekend was hard. Jackson is getting older so he knows that Jon isn’t around. When I transferred him from the car to the bed, he started crying for Daddy before he fell asleep. When he woke up from his nap, he immediately started saying, “Get Daddy” and crying while he went to look for him. It just broke my heart and I couldn’t help but cry. Jackson is obsessed with Jon and Jon hates leaving when Jackson is awake since Jackson cries when he leaves, so it’s too hard for Jon to leave when he’s up. So Jon leaves during nap time but then Jackson always wants Daddy when he wakes up… It definitely makes me second guess accepting this job, because we would be two months from living together again if I hadn’t taken my new job. I just have to remind myself that this isn’t forever but man, is it hard at times.

Tonie and I took Jackson to the playground after his nap. It was such a perfect day and the playground near Tonie’s was so perfect for Jackson. A lot of high platforms for him to climb up, but they were surrounded so he couldn’t fall off. He had so much fun there!

We hung out on Sunday night and I did some schoolwork. The next morning, I woke up and had to rush to get packed since Jackson slept late and so did I. We left at 7:45 for an 8:30 workout at CrossFit. Everybody was repeating 18.2 so I ended up only rowing 3000m which isn’t really a workout in my book. I probably needed it though since I’ve been so sore from going back to CrossFit more often. More of an active rest day…

We went to brunch after the gym and ate pretty quickly.

Jackson and I headed back to Atlanta after that. He was perfect in the car. We ran errands when we got home and then I had to go get my eyes rechecked. Last night was the Bachelor so I sat and watched my show and then went to bed.

I was back at CrossFit this morning for a good workout. My goal right now is to go at least once a week, but some weeks I’ve been making it twice. I try to go to LA Fitness the other days that I’m not working and am aiming for 3-5 days a week at the gym. Totally depends on my week though. It has been so nice being back at CrossFit but it has really made me realize that my back is just so jacked up from pregnancy and pumping for so long. I have to hurry up and find a good chiropractor here and I’m even considering physical therapy for it.

Anyway, I should be off to get some work done. I have a presentation for a work class tomorrow and should get ahead on some school stuff. Thankfully I’ve had an easy semester so far, but April gets much busier with deadlines. But then I’m DONE FOREVER!!!!

Life Is Calming Down

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!

Tough Days

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…

Life Right Now

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.
When I…

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.