Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Tisket, A Tasket, An Appendix in a Basket...

I am in full swing with clinicals at the hospital, having just completed my second clinical day.  I absolutely love it.  I was 100% born to interact with patients.  At my clinical this week, I was assigned to one patient to complete a full health history.  That was really a lot of fun, but mainly because my patient was super friendly and really enjoyed talking to me.

The patient I was assigned to was in the hospital for an appendectomy and once he told my clinical instructor how much he liked me and how helpful I was, she asked me if I would be interested in going into the OR with him.  Of course I was!!!  She made a call and got approval (which was surprising because I was only on my second clinical and they usually do not allow such early students into the OR), and I had to ask my patient if he was okay with me watching the removal of his appendix.  He told me yes on one condition, that there would be no peaking while he was under!  I thought that was too funny.

I ended up spending a lot of time with his family in the pre-op area and they were all so excited for me to get to see my very first surgery.  I kept apologizing to the patient for being so excited that he was losing an organ, but I kept telling him if he was going to be down an organ, the appendix is the way to go.

His parents treated me as if I was their own daughter getting ready to go into the OR for the first time.  They took pictures of me after I changed into the OR scrubs, because they wanted me to show them to Ken.  There is no way I could have had a better family to be with for so long.  Soon enough, it was time to head off to the OR.

So excited to go into the OR for the first time!  Never mind that the scrubs I am wearing are four sizes too big!  I could have fit into one leg of those pants.

Watching the surgery was indescribable.  I did not get grossed out at all and never felt like I was going to pass out like a lot of people do in the OR.  I am sure that a heart surgery or even something on the stomach will be a different story.  I kind of thought that it would be like Grey's Anatomy and I would be watching from a window, but I was literally right there in the operating room where I could watch everything.

After the appendix was taken out and placed in a small bag and sucked out, I asked the surgical tech a question and he cut the bag open and pulled the appendix out for me to see.  He placed it in a basin and one of the nurses brought me some gloves and told me to touch it.  I picked the appendix up and held it in my hand and could see the staples from the area where the blood supply was cut off.  It was really cool.  

I went with the patient back to the recovery room and his first question after waking up was to me and he was wondering how I did during his surgery.  

After I made it back to the floor with my classmates, we were in a meeting and the nurse I was assigned with all day came in to get me because the patient's family wanted to see me.  They were so sweet and asked me all about the surgery and how I did.  I feel so fortunate that I got to spend so much of my day with wonderful people and that the patient was going to leave the hospital pain free. 

I went home so excited to tell Ken about my day and me getting to hold an appendix.  

I look forward to many more experiences at the hospital!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Ken!

To most people, February 14th is Valentines' Day.  Well, not at our house.  At our house, February 14th is Ken's birthday!  This year he wanted to get up early and go on a hike with his girls and then go around Kansas City to all the different craft breweries.  Done and done.

We hiked 10 miles around Clinton Lake.  It was a great morning, except it ended up not being as cold as it was supposed to be and the ground ended up being muddy.  It was super muddy.  Oh well, we still had a lot of fun!

Kya tried so hard to stay awake on the ride home, but she was so tired from our adventure.

After a shower, we picked up Mike and Katie to make our way to our first stop of the day, Cinder Block Brewery.  We knew we were instantly in for a fun day when all of the fun stories began.  Everyone enjoyed a beer and then we made our way to The Big Rip Brewery, a mile or so down the road.  When Ken and I visited this place shortly after Christmas, we were the only people in there.  This place was completely packed this time!  Ken and Katie both really liked the milk stout that they served and I cannot remember the kind of beer that Mike ordered.  

The Birthday Boy!

Our next stop was KC Bier Company, which is a place the four of us frequent.  It was at this stop that I learned that Katie thought that instead of visiting each brewery for tasting, that we were going on behind the scenes tours of each brewery.  It was pretty funny!

Mike and Ken enjoying their dunkels!

Katie and me at KC Bier Co, dreaming of a beer garden in Munich.

Happy Birthday to my guy!

We left KC Bier Co and made our way to our stomping grounds at Martin City Brewing Company, where you can find us on most Wednesday nights.  I am not sure that I have ever laughed as hard as I did while we were sitting there.  We had so much fun laughing and telling stories.  

Mike and Katie at MCB

Ken and me having fun at MCB

Our birthday tradition is always dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  We have been doing this for Ken's birthday since 2008, when he was living in Nashville and I visited him on his birthday.  The best part is, there is never any waiting!

We left Martin City and made our way to BWW, where we continued to laugh even more about Katie thinking we were going to tour the breweries.  Mike, Katie, and Ken all consumed more dunkel, and I stuck with my water since I was driving us around.  Ken said that this was his favorite birthday ever, so I am glad we showed him a great time!

Celebrating 8 years of birthdays at Buffalo Wild Wings!

Happy Birthday Ken!  I am so glad you had so much fun on Saturday!  We always have fun with Mike and Katie and cannot wait for our next adventure with them.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Best of 2014...

I am obviously way late to the party regarding a summary of 2014.  I enjoyed 2014 so much, that I could not miss an opportunity to relive the many memories.  Without further ado, I present the best of 2014.

We had an amazing vacation in Germany and Switzerland!  After visiting these two countries, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to go back again. 

In July, my office transitioned and I started working from home.  This is me getting Starbucks one final time during my Oakwood office life.

With me transitioning to work from home, I was able to enjoy many moments with my hooligans.

Obviously it was rough on the hooligans with me being at home all day!

On August 24, I became a two time Ironman finisher, completing Ironman Louisville on the hottest day of the year.

Ken and I went to a playoff game in St. Louis

We spent a week in Mexico with Mike and Katie

One other huge highlight of the year was me getting accepted into nursing school!  It was a long two years taking all of the general course requirements, but it was all worth it when I got accepted to the BSN program!

Happy 2015!

Monday, January 26, 2015

OHL Classic...

While we were in Mexico, Ken realized that there was a PGA golf tournament going on a few resorts down.  We knew that we had to go to the tournament since we were so close.  Plus, general admission tickets were super cheap and then you could pay a little more to have VIP tickets which included unlimited drinks and food, along with three special viewing areas.  Obviously, we chose the upgraded tickets to enjoy our day there!

Ken is ready to watch some golf!

The course was beautiful!  There were a few holes that ran right along the beach.

One of the funny things that happened was when Ken stepped into a hole of fire ants right as this group was getting ready to hit.  He was trying to be as quiet as possible swatting them off of him, but one group started yelling at him saying, come on mate!  It was so funny!  

While we were looking at the program, we noticed that there was a guy from the Kansas City area playing.  We decided to watch him play for a while.  Ken talked to him at one point, and he ended up being a super friendly guy.

Brice Garnett from the Kansas City area

I decided to cheer for a golfer from Munich.  At one point he made a shot and was walking by and I shouted out, Prost!  You know, it is really the only German I know!

Ken and I both had a great time

Before we wrapped up our day, we went over to the practice/autograph area to see if we could get autographs or pictures for our neighbor Kyle.  We ended up getting a ton of autographs and a few pictures.  Of course, Ken made me ask for all of the pictures.

With the famous Justin Leonard

With my buddy Alex Cejka from Munich

I decided to save the best for last.  Camilo Villegas is known for his spider man stance when he surveys his ball on the green.  He was walking away and was not at all interested in dealing with people.  For whatever reason, I took off after him and yelled, Camilo, Camilo, will you get your picture with me?  He instantly perked up and said yes, which made my day!

Just hanging with Camilo Villegas

I am so glad that Ken and I went to this tournament!  It was something we will probably never get to experience again and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to participate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Well, nursing school has officially began and I am no longer working, so what better time to update my blog with things that happened back in November?

Our friends Mike and Katie invited us to go to Mexico with them back in November.  A week on the beach with two wonderful friends?  Yes please!

The boat that we knew as the "Mystica"

Ken enjoyed hanging out in the private cabanas we had access to.

We spent the entire week relaxing and drinking far too many pina coladas.  My birthday also fell during the week of our trip and there is no better way to celebrate than being in Mexico with wonderful friends!

These three hung out in the cabanas while I had to go back to our room to work on homework.  Homework in Mexico does beat homework in Kansas City any day!

One of our favorite things to do is watch the sunset and the cruise ships leaving Cozumel.

Mike made friends with this guy.  We named him Ricky.

On my birthday, there were several attempts made to get a picture of Ken and me.  I am sorry to say that the below is the best we could get.  This includes the pictures that Mike took of us too.  

Happy Birthday to me???

We ventured into Play del Carmen to shop around and have lunch and cocktails.  I can honestly say that this will be the last time we will ever do that.  I can no longer handle the harassment and it seems to have gotten worse since the last time we visited.  

The water is quite beautiful in Playa.

We enjoyed having cocktails and watching 90's music videos at this bar. 

Ken and I ended up splitting the world's largest mango margarita at a cute little restaurant.

Margarita smiles!

We always have a great time with Mike and Katie.  Who knows what our next adventure will be?  Maybe a European vacation?  It does not seem to matter, these two always make us laugh.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I am only about six weeks behind, ha, ha!  This is what happens when you are working full time, taking 15 hours of college credit, and trying to stay in a size 0 pant.  Such is life!  The craziness is over; I took my last final today.  Now I am in a rush to take College Algebra in a three week period.  No biggie, right?

Anyway, back to Halloween.  On Halloween we went over to Mike and Katie's house to spend the evening with them.  They get a lot more traffic than we do, we live on a cul de sac.  Plus, they like to go overboard with decorating. The plan was to dress up and scare some kiddos.

Michael Myers was our driver

I made chili and bought some Monster Mash wine to be festive.

I posted this picture on Facebook and everyone thought it was super creepy.  This is Mike, and yes, he looks as creepy as creepy can be!

Michael Myers and his very loud shoes

Several parents would not let their kids come up to the door.  I have come to the conclusion that the current generation of parents are a bunch of pansies.  I guess this is how life is with a bunch of helicopter parents out there with their participation trophies.  The kids that were allowed to come over, we were really nice to and encouraged them for not being scared.  

A group shot.  Even Katie and I got in on the scaring!

Mike's birthday is November 1st, so we stayed until after midnight so we could wish him happy birthday.

We had a great time with great friends and cannot wait until next Halloween!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Race Report: New York City Marathon...3 Years Late!

In honor of the NYC marathon today, I thought I would finally publish my race report from that day.  The race happened when Ken and I were going through a rough time with selling our house and not knowing if we were being relocated or not.  Here is what I had to say about the race back in December 2011.

I have been so delayed in writing this.  Maybe it is because the race did not go as I hoped or maybe it is because we have spent the last few weeks packing up our entire house and moving into an apartment.  To say that I have been stressed and busy (I hate when people say busy) is an understatement.  I have had this written since December, but went back to re-write it because it felt negative.  We had so much up in the air while were in New York, that I feel I could not enjoy myself.
I was so excited about running this race.  I was a little bummed that it was taking place during a very stressful time for Ken and me.  We had debated about cancelling our trip all together with everything going on with our house, but I told Ken if the contract fell through and we cancelled our New York trip, that I might really hurt someone or end up in a mental institution.  So, we proceeded, stress and all. 

I was scheduled to take the 7:30 am Staten Island Ferry.  I slept horrible and woke up at one point to pee and noticed my throat felt a little sore.  Great.  Nothing like starting to catch a cold before a marathon.  I went back to bed, not before growling at Ken who had just returned home from having a few drinks.  I need my beauty sleep people.  :)  I want to be clear that my sore throat had nothing to do with my dead legs for this race. 

I made my way to the subway with my throw away clothes on.  A short ride later, we were down in the financial district ready to board the ferry.  Then, the waiting.  The wait was not too bad, but I was thrown off by the late start.  It is odd to wake up early for a marathon and then wait to start at 10:10 am.  I know there is no other way for the organizers to handle this, but it is a pain. 

The view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the ferry.

View from the ferry

Lower Manhattan with the Freedom Tower.

The Statue of Liberty

The Verrazno Bridge, which is the first few miles of the race.

The ferry ride was very cool and I was very happy with everything that I was able to see from the ferry.  I was really bummed that Ken was not able to see all of it with me.

My favorite part of the entire race was the start.  Hearing someone sing New York, New York gave me chills.  It was a great moment before the start.  We started off running across the Verrazano Bridge, which according to the elevation chart, was the steepest hill of the day.  I personally disagree, but maybe the excitement and the crowd made it seem like a smaller hill than it truly was.  At one point, it was so crowded on the bridge that I had to walk.  I thought the Queensboro Bridge was a much tougher hill. 

I do not want to write a long report complaining about this marathon, so I will just make a quick summary of the rest.  It was not everything I had hoped for.  I had read about the crowds, the crowds, and mainly the crowds in Manhattan.  Yes, there were a lot of people spectating in Manhattan.  I did not think they were loud and cheering.  They were kind of just standing there.  It was nothing like I had expected and nothing like I had experienced in Chicago.  I was kind of shocked. 

You know the runs that you go out for and you decide it was just not your day, you ditch the run and go out the next day?  Well, that was my day on November 6th, 2011.  At mile three, my legs felt heavy like they would at mile 18.  Great, this will be a long day, I thought.  I hung on, knowing I would see Ken around mile 17 or so.  We had a great plan and I was able to see him both times right where I expected to see him, which was such a high point for me in the race.

You can barely see me here.  I am wearing a pink shirt.

There I am running by with the pink shirt

This just was not my race.  My legs felt dead the entire time, and I could not go any faster.  At one point, I started thinking that it would ended up being my slowest race ever, but I somehow managed to keep running instead of being reduced to walking eight miles to the finish, but I made it.  Finishing in exactly 4:22, with an average pace of 10:00 miles.  The funny thing is, this is what I wanted to do for my very first marathon back in 2007. 

This was the most crowded race I had ever participated in.  It was absolutely insane.

I had said I would never run this marathon again.  I have since decided that I would, just probably not for a few years.  Ken is totally rolling his eyes about now.

Getting out of Central Park and back to our apartment took us what seemed like forever, but was probably about two hours.  Thank goodness Ken gave me his sweatshirt, because I was so cold after running and being sweaty.  We stopped and got pizza or as the New Yorkers call it, a pie, and scarfed it down along with a few beers in the apartment.  I was exhausted from such a long day.

I hope that one of these days after I finish nursing school that I will be able to run this race again.  I highly doubt Ken will want to participate, so I will be looking for a marathon mom.  Jill?  Michelle? Katie?  I am very glad that I can finally look back at this race and smile and think of it as a great memory.  Not everyone has the privilege of running such an amazing race and I am thankful I was able to do it.