Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Official

I PASSED and am employed!!!  Wahoo!  Hello paycheck!  Well after weeks of spending my days studying I am relieved to say that I passed the exam and as of Wednesday I will have an official license!  I took the test on Thursday and had to wait til Saturday afternoon for the results.  I was a nervous wreck for 48 hours.  I was relieved to receive a phone call on Friday from Mercy hospital.  I had applied to a RN position in the C/T SICU or Cardiothoracic and Surgical ICU.  This is a position that I have been hoping for and knew there were going to be limited opportunities for new grads to be placed into them so I have been trying my hardest.  I was offered and excepted the position and I start on October 3.  I cannot wait!!  Also, I did receive my diploma in the mail so I guess it is truly official from the U of A as well.

Now all I need is a frame because Bryan says that my diploma cannot sit in a folder.  I guess it is time to go shopping!  Thank you to everyone for all of your support and patience during the school time and study sessions.  I greatly appreciate it and while I hope to love my job I hope to never see any of you in my unit! (unless you come visit me!)

The Big Red Experience

After my return from Arizona, Bry and I tried out a new restaurant.  We have tried numerous new places however this place had some of the largest rice krispie treats I have seen.  Plus, they were delicious!

I also experienced my first Nebraska Husker football game.  It was an experience to say the least.  I have never seen that much red in one place!  It is unreal and the pictures do not do it justice.  We scalped two tickets and ended up getting them for less than face value and were in the 49th row.  Not bad.  We walked through campus, saw the Beta and Chi O houses, visited the bar Bryan worked at during undergrad and ended at the massive stadium.  It holds more than 85,000 people.  Unreal!  During tailgating, they hand out balloons for everyone to release when the Huskers score their first touchdown.  Then everyone in the student section takes off on shoe and raises their shoe in the air like we raise and jingle our keys.  The first time it happened it made me laugh cause it looks silly. 

The elevators at one of the places on campus

Seriously unreal how much red is in the stadium!

The boxes.  Can you believe they are actually building more?
The game was great!  Nebraska won and the whole experience was very cool.  Just in case you were wondering, I actually wore Nebraska gear to the game.  I am sure that will be a rare occurrence!

Here comes the future bride!

For five days I headed out to Arizona to celebrate Sasha's wedding shower!  I flew in Friday night and while I was on the plane I received two voicemails to set up interviews!  It was an awesome way to start the weekend.  I spent the night with Moody and Maggie.  It was so great to see my friends and just hang at their new apartments/condos.  On Saturday we went to the shower!  It was hosted by a family friend of Sasha's and she did a wonderful job!  She made tons of finger foods and desserts that were delicious! 

We played a few games and watched Sasha open her presents.  It was a fabulous afternoon and I cannot wait for the wedding in San Diego in November!  After the shower we decided to go bowling.  None of us are professional bowlers however we definitely survived without bumpers. 

The restaurants in Arizona got the coolest new Coke dispensers!  It is all touch screen and once you pick your base pop you can then choose to add all sorts of flavorings such as cherry or vanilla.  You then push a button and it dispenses into the cup.  Very high tech!

 Sunday Moody and I headed up to Cjo's apartment and laid by the pool.  Her place is great!  They have cabanas by the pool, multiple grills and these couches to lounge on.  We laid in the cabana then decided to grill out for dinner. 

The Chelseas at the "new" cabana

Maggie and Sash joined us for dinner and a fun night at Cjo's apartment.  I stayed with Cjo and then went to Janis' the following afternoon.  It was such a wonderful break from my long study days and I always love visiting my friends and the Fitch's.  After a fabulous 5 day vacation I headed back to Des Moines.  The great news is that I will see Moody the last week of September as she is coming to visit me before we to Chicago for a few days of fun!  Then I am looking forward to Sasha's wedding and to spending a weekend with the greatest friends in San Diego!

Des Moines Locals

Well life in Des Moines is starting become more routine.  My apartment is completely unpacked and the couch was finally delivered at the beginning of the month.  Bryan and I have continued to explore the city.  We found a cute ice cream place called Snookies that is right off the Drake campus.  It reminds me of some of the places in Michigan because you walk up to a window outside to order.  Also, it is only open during the warm months so it is sadly closed for the season as of Sept. 19.  We each ordered their specialty item which has soft serve, melted chocolate and a topping of your choice.  Little did we know that they were huge!  It was like 24oz of ice cream.  There are tons of tables and chairs outside so everyone just sits on their patio to eat their treat. 

Another awesome find is Gray's Lake.  The lake is about a 3 minute drive from my apartment and is open from 5am-midnight.  There is a 2 mile walking/biking trail that surrounds the lake and there is a park too!  You can rent boats to take out on the water and they host a free wine tasting with live band on Friday evenings.  I love the trees and it is so green!  It gets insanely busy on the weekends and from 5pm-7pm but has been so nice to walk during the day, especially for a study break!

This is one of my favorite spots on the trail

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Well...I am officially a Des Moines resident!  I left Tucson a week and a half ago, after my CON graduation on Thursday.  I drove to Phoenix and ate dinner with Cjo, Kathleen, Bonnie and Maggie.  Then packed up my car and my mom and I hit the road first thing Friday morning.  We drove from Phoenix to Evergreen, CO.  Evergreen is where my parents have their cabin so we were planning to stay there for the weekend.  We got to Evergreen around 9pm Friday night after a 14hr. car ride.  My dad decided to meet us in Evergreen for the weekend.  We went to the wine bar, Country road cafe (One of the greatest breakfast places), shopped in Denver and hiked!
The beautiful hike!
My dad was supposed to leave on Sunday however he booked his ticket for the wrong day so he got to stay til Monday evening.  After our fun weekend in Colorado, my mom and I left at 7am Tuesday morning to make the 8 hour drive to Wichita.  We got to Wichita that night, made dinner and hung-out with my cousins.  I stayed in Wichita til Thursday afternoon.  While I was there we got inducted into the PEO chapter wahoo better watch out!  On Thursday we decided to stop by Dillons on our way out of town.  Dillons is the local grocery store but they have a good sized selection of furniture too.  I ended up buying a rug and kitchen table with 4 chairs.  However, the table came in a box that weighed 150+ lbs and my mom and I were the only two available to lift!  Also, I had close to zero room in my car to fit both of these items.  In 102 degree weather we had to load the table and rug into an already overflowing car and then we hit the road to Des Moines. 
The table and rug
The drive usually takes about 5.5-6hours however it took us over 7 hours due to a huge storm.  We had to stop at a gas station for an hour to wait out a storm with 100mph winds, hail and the craziest lightening I have ever seen!  Finally, at midnight, I arrived in Des Moines.  My parents spent the weekend with me and we got my apartment mostly situated. 
New duvet and pillows

On Saturday we attended the largest farmer's market ever!  It occupied about 20 blocks and had thousands of people in attendance.  They sell bread, pastries, veggies, fruit, plants, desserts, homemade pastas.  You name it they probably had it.  I even got flowers for my new place and Bryan brought some home to me!
The largest farmers market I have ever seen!
The flowers from Bryan and Cjo check out that new runner from Crate!
 We also checked out restaurant week over the weekend.  We decided to try this new restaurant, Alba, which is normally pricey.  However during restaurant week you can get a 3 course meal for $25.  I thought we could walk there but apparently there are two 6th St.  One is East and one is West.  That's the only difference but there are 12 blocks from each other.  Needless to say we were 30min late to our reservation and ended up walking close to 20 blocks each way.  Our feet hurt so bad the next morning!  However, the food was delicious and the restaurant was very neat.  Also, Bryan and I had a new experience this weekend...we planted our first potted plants!  Wahoo gardening may be my new profession haha
The new plant

My parents left Sunday and I have since started a Kaplan NCLEX prep class.  So now the studying must begin. 

Until next time!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My new place!

This past weekend I went to visit Des Moines and Bryan but I also got the keys to my new loft!  I haven't seen the place for a few months so I was starting to forget what it looked like.  When I saw it on Friday it was better than I remembered! 
Bryan in front of our larger than life numbers on the side of the building.
 My place is on the 2nd floor and is just over 1000 sq. ft.  I have one bedroom and one and a half baths. 

My Kitchen
My living room
 Also, my closet is bigger than my bathroom at my last house so I'm pretty excited for that!  I guess I need to go clothes shopping so I can be sure to fill it up!  Plus the loft has a great covered patio!  I need to get some patio furniture because I just want to be able to sit outside and drink wine! 
The patio which is covered so I can even sit out here in the rain!
So Friday morning I met with the property manager, got the keys and my own parking spot.  Then my mom and I moved my furniture into the apartment while Bryan was at work.  Afterwards, my mother and I went furniture shopping because I need a couch and a TV.  I found one and am hoping it will be delivered the first week that I am a permanent resident of Des Moines. 
The new couch
My mom left Saturday morning and Bryan and I spent my birthday frolicking around town.  We went to look at gyms to join and did join one.  Then we went to lunch, went to purchase the couch and went to a BBQ.  Also, we found an awesome wine bar, Sbrocco!  It is super cute, has a great bartender and the wine was delicious.  They have the neatest wine machine where the wine bottle is hooked up and then it can be served out of a tap-like machine instead of having to be poured.  It was awesome!  Bryan and I decided we would have to be regulars at this place.  Following the wine bar we went to the El Bait Shop which is known for the 110 beers they keep on tap. 
This is part of their wall of taps.  It's pretty incredible!
They even have the specialty beer I love, Tommyknocker Jackwhacker, from the small town in Colorado that is close to my parent's cabin.  I will keep you updated as the furniture is purchased and my loft becomes furnished!

Until next time!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The start of something new

Well this is my first ever blog post so I guess here goes nothing!  So today marks day one of being homeless!  Cjo and I officially cleaned out the cabana, loaded up our very full cars and off we went. 
This is the trunk of my car!  It was too full so I was unable to see but I did successfully fit everything!

This is my bedroom right before we left!  So sad but it was such a great room!
It is officially the end of an era.  I am now staying with friends for the rest of the week before heading to Des Moines on Thursday.  I am finally embarking on my last 5 twelve hour shifts on the ortho floor (which will hopefully never be my permanent place of employment!).  After the completion of the 5 shifts all that stands between me and a full-time RN job is the NCLEX.  Wahoo almost there!  Anyway, three shifts this week then to Des Moines for 4 days.  I am going to get the keys to my new apartment!  My mom is going to meet me there and help me move my bed, dresser etc. into the new residence, #207!  Bryan has been holding onto my furniture for the past 3 weeks and I'm sure he is ready for it to be out of there!  My mom will stay for a couple days and hopefully we can go furniture shopping because I am in dire need of a couch!  Also during that weekend is my birthday!  Should be a fun weekend away.  After the weekend, I return to Arizona for 2 more rotations followed by graduation.  Then hopefully dinner or drinks with the girls before finally heading off to the Midwest!  I am stopping to spend a few days at our cabin in Denver, then a few days in Wichita before finally reaching my destination.  I will keep you posted on the cross-country adventure!

Until next time!