I am feeling very nostalgic today, thinking about our trip to Europe a year ago. We had so much fun exploring Germany and Switzerland, that we are planning trip number two for next June. Looking back at some of our pictures, we really wish we were there now!
So, I ran a marathon a few weeks ago! I had high hopes to really train and set a PR, but I ended up really slacking off in the long run department instead. I spent my time studying and running with Kya instead of running long runs. Guess what I learned? Long runs are an essential part of running a marathon.
We arrived to St. Louis on Friday night and met up with some friends. On Saturday, we made our way to the St. Louis Zoo! We had not been to the zoo since 2004, so we were thrilled to be able to spend the beautiful day walking around.
The giraffes are always a favorite at the zoo!
We spent some time with Ken's parents and then with our friend Nolan. Soon enough, it was time to go to sleep for the marathon!
Ready to roll!
I woke up on Sunday and was ready to head out the door. I walked a few blocks to the race start, lined up in my coral, and was ready to head out. I met a sweet lady named Sheila, that was running her first marathon. She was very nervous and called me an angel. She could not wrap her head around me being so calm, but I tried to explain to her that after jumping into the Ohio River, running a marathon did not scare me at all.
The cutest thing she did was point to her headphones and tell me she was listening to Christian Rock. If you know me at all, you know that I listen to dirty rap music when I run, which is quite the opposite from Christian Rock!
We took off and I knew it was going to be a long day. I managed a 9:09 pace for the first half, but my legs felt like bloody stumps at mile 14. The best moment of the day was around mile 15-16 when I saw an aid station with Stag Beer. I stopped at got a picture for Ken.
Ken used to drink Stag back in college and let's just say that his taste in beer has evolved since then. The guy passing it out called it Steak, Taters, and Gravy in a can. Yeah, it is that bad.
The last several miles were a sufferfest. I vowed never to run a marathon without training again. I crossed the finish line in 4:34, which is 17 minutes faster than my first marathon, which I trained for. It is funny how your body adapts over time.
After the race, I cleaned up and Ken and I headed out for a drink. We had heard of Urban Chestnut, a brewery in St. Louis, and wanted to try it out. We enjoyed a few drinks and then started our drive home.
Enjoying a beer and celebrating marathon #10!
Enjoying the Spring day with my #1 fan
We had a great little get away to St. Louis and cannot wait for our next little trip!
Up until January, I have always had a job. I worked a little during high school, when it was not softball season, and started working a full time job after I graduated. When I thought about not working, I had no idea what it would feel like at all. It feels weird.
Before I became a full time student/housewife, I had been working at home since August. That makes it exactly eight months that I have been at home without going to an office. That is about seven months too long. I need social interaction. I am one of those people. While I was working at home, my co-workers in Texas knew they would have to call me talk to me everyday, because I needed to talk. I like to talk. I love the days I have clinical because I get to talk my little heart out to patients and their families. I am that student nurse that is a motor mouth.
Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that it has been too long. I have been at home for far too long. Let me tell you a few of the signs:
You know exactly what time the mail man arrives.
In fact, the mail man arriving is usually the highlight of your day.
It is such a highlight, that you *try* to wait until he pulls away before you dart out the door to get your mail. You do not want to appear like a psycho that was waiting for him.
You realize that your attempts to look like you are not stalking the mail man have failed, when he sees you at the community mail box and knows your name without even asking.
You recognize the sound of the UPS truck, no matter which room you are in inside the house.
You also know if he is honking right out front of your house or if he is at the neighbors. Different sounds you know!
The said UPS man gives you strange looks because you want to talk way to long while he is darting away to get back in his truck.
You are on a first name basis with the trash man you see every Tuesday while you are out running at the exact same time every week.
Your husband begins to worry because he over hears you talking a little too much to your cats. (This is the straw that broke the camel's back.)
I know. Being at home sounds so wonderful, but the reality is, there is only so much Netflix you can watch and house cleaning you can do.
I am very happy that the ladies at the retail boutique I worked at a year ago called and asked me if I would be interested in coming back and working there again. It was like they knew I was bored out of my mind. With summer approaching, there is no way that I can sit at home for five business days all by myself!
I starting working about a week ago and am loving it. I only plan on working 10-15 hours per week and will probably spend everything I make at the store, but the best part is, I get to talk to people!!!
One thing that Ken and I love about where we live is our neighbors. They have two kids that we can treat like our niece and nephew, and they are really good kids. We love being invited to their birthday dinners for the kids and were thrilled to be able to celebrate Katelyn's 15th birthday on Saturday night.
Me and the birthday girl
Laura's birthday is next week, so we celebrated her birthday as well. At their house, all four of their birthdays fall within three months. Talk about a lot of cake in a short amount of time!
Laura and her yummy dessert
We ate at Gram & Dun, which is place that neither Ken or I had been to before. Our food was absolutely delicious! The gumbo was amazing!!
Me with my wonderful chicken and waffles. I start drooling just looking at it!
We had a wonderful time and cannot wait until next year when we get to do it all over again.
Omaha, NE, only a short three hour drive from our house, yet we had never been there. I had the day off on Friday and Ken took the day off as well and suggested me make a road trip somewhere. I have always heard that the Omaha Zoo is wonderful, so we decided that was the perfect little spot for a quick trip.
We set off for Omaha at 11:00 am and pulled into the zoo right at 2:00 pm. The zoo was fantastic! The highlight for me was watching the sea lions feed and do tricks. I was amazed at all of the things the zoo keepers could get them to do! As we walked away I told Ken that I am sure the sea lions learned really quickly that if they do something, they get a fish. I mean, if someone were tossing Cadbury Mini Eggs at me, I would pretty much obey any command!
We hit all of the zoo highlights, with the exception of the elephants. The elephants are getting a new habitat, so they were off site at the moment. Another huge highlight was seeing the baby orangutan! It was so precious and I even saw the mama give it a kiss.
Mama and baby orangutan
The lions are also a huge favorite of mine. We were able to see two lion cubs and the mommy and daddy. I wanted to squeeze the lion cubs!
Ma, Pa, and Baby lion
After the zoo, we checked into our hotel in the Old Market area and hit up one of the local breweries. We tried all 12 of their beers on a little sampler.
Sampler at Upstream Brewing. I sent this picture to our neighbor that was watching Kya, and she thought these were 12 large beers instead of sample size! The clt, alt, delete was my favorite beer. It was a German style, imagine that right!
Hanging out in the Old Market area
After dinner and more cocktails, we ended up stopping at another little bar for a final drink. If I am being completely honest, I had to skip a drink at this stop. Mama was already at her limit with the beer tasting, and three glasses of wine.
Ken's new drink of choice, an Old Fashioned
Ken loves a good drink with bourbon!
We woke up early on Saturday, had breakfast, and was on the road at 8:00 am. It was a super quick trip, but a lot of fun. It was the perfect break I needed from studying and Ken from work. I am pretty sure we saw all Omaha has to offer in our 24 hours there. Thanks for treating me Ken!
Shots. We have all had them. Up until about six months ago, I used to turn my head because I did not want to see the needle. When I had to get my vaccinations for nursing school, I watched the needle go into my arm. I figured I could no longer avoid it since I would one day be the one sticking the needle into someone.
You can imagine my surprise when I learned that we give shots during our first semester of nursing school. Yeah, we practiced on hot dogs and fake arms in class. I was much less freaked out by needles, but it was still something strange to me. I thought the videos we watched were traumatizing, since the nurse on the video was basically stabbing the patient with the needle.
At my last clinical, we were told that we were cleared to give shots. As in into an actual patient and not a hot dog or fake arm. My patient did not require any sort of medicine via a needle, so I was certain I would not be giving a shot that day. Wrong. The nurse I was with needed to give someone a heprin shot, so I was the lucky person that got to do it.
I walked in and the nurse was walking me through the procedure when the patient had a horrified look on her face and asked me if it were my first time to give a shot. I told her it was but not to worry because....wait for it....I have practiced on a lot of fruit! She looked at me like I was completely crazy, I gave her the shot and was out the door. I have no idea why I told her fruit, maybe because hot dogs sounded less qualified???
I ended up giving to subcutaneous (into the skin on the stomach) shots that day and now officially feel like a pro! So, if you end up in the hospital and I am your student nurse, have no fear, I have practiced on a lot of fruit!!!!
This winter, there has been no shortage of Ms. Kya getting to hiking around Kansas. This girl has logged too many miles to count. Along with her hiking, she has also gotten to enjoy many miles running with her mama, you know, since her mama is a full time student now.
We had a few small snow falls this year and they happened on the weekend when Ken could join us for hiking fun! If you know a husky, you know that they love the snow.
Kya and me at the Arboretum
Ken and Kya enjoying the snow at the Arboretum
These two are quite the pair!
Ken and Kya at Perry Lake. Don't mind Kya's face, she is really happy about the hiking!
A family photo (sans cats) after a 9 mile hike in the snow
The sign that that it was a great day for a husky! A tired husky equals a good husky!
Kya absolutely loves to hike! She blazes the trail and loves leading the way. She is always on her leash, since she is a husky and would most likely bolt at the first sign of a deer or a rabbit. The furthest that she has ever hiked is 17 miles and usually goes around 12 miles most weekends when we hike. If you have a husky or a high energy dog, I strongly encourage taking them hiking. The best part is, it is good for everyone involved!