The Light is Here!

I enter my last semester of grad school tomorrow. I can’t believe it. I’ve had people start asking for interviews at work and I’m freaking out. I don’t feel like I’m knowledgable enough yet to start this new role. But it’s here, the light can be seen!

I started the first floor bathroom reno over Christmas break after having my beloved noir hex tile since last year’s President’s Day sale. The bathroom looks great, though many finishing touches still need to be had. I’m struggling with the hand towel and what that will look like, but more importantly where it will go. I’m thinking a hook between the mirror and door since there is no good place for a towel rack (except for maybe above the toilet) and a towel ring just seems too big. 

I’m envisioning a hanging planter in front of the window. A toilet paper holder under the window. A basket under the sink cabinet. Some art. No rug–I like the floor too much. Plus, smaller tile=more grout lines=less slippery :) Not to mention, in a bathroom that we never use the shower.

I really wanted an olive linen-like shower curtain but couldn’t find one.The graphite one I picked is a beaut, but makes inside the shower super dark., though I guess an olive colored one would do the same.

I wanted a cognac wooden elongated mirror, but couldn’t find one. I feel like I’ve settled, but I had little time and ultimately could return them if my dream piece is reasonable.

I spent more money ($70 a piece) than I ever wanted to on a mirror and shower curtain, but what gives?

The door still needs to re-hung. But I’m enjoying the view from the kitchen of the wood planks too much. Plus my #1 is out of town ;) I’ll apologize for the iphone photos at night now. See you in 5 months!!

State Champs

WOW, what a weekend. I over did it, that’s no secret. My baby brother, Kyle plays basketball for Covington Catholic High School. He’s a sophomore and starts JV. He started dressing for varsity near the end of the season. After they won region, the team headed to Rupp Arena in Lexington for the state tourney. SO exciting! I love basketball (go cards!) and Kyle playing high school ball is no different. I begged someone to come in at 3pm for me at work so I could head down to Rupp for the first round Thursday at 8pm.

Everyone was so excited to be here, from the students, to the players, to the parents. This was a text I recieved from my mom at 530pm: 

She cracks me up. I was hoarse after the win from the screaming and cheering. Home at midnight and back to work on Friday, off at 3pm and headed back down to Lexington for the second round at 8pm. We met up with some friends Jeff, Andy, and Sara had cocktails and headed to the game. Another win!

Afterwards, we went to the local brewery, West Sixth, to finish watching the UK game. We got home around 2am. I was exhausted! I had planned a wedding shower for months at my house for Angie who is marrying my favorite cousin, Erik. Johnny and I are both in the wedding. I spent all day Saturday cleaning my house and preparing for the shower on Sunday at noon. Semifinals were held at 8pm on Saturday, and we headed back to Lexington.

Another awesome win. The JV team played for about the last 17 seconds because we were up more than 10 points. It was then back home we went. Sadly, I had to miss the finals as the shower was right in the middle of the 2pm game time. Thankfully, I was able to watch it online. I got up Sunday at 9am to pick up cookies my friend Emily made for the shower. Everyone came over at noon. Shower was great.  Turned the game on at 2pm for me and my family. My mom missed the shower and rightly so. By 4pm, Cov Cath had won their first ever state championship and I cried. A selfie:

These boys just played 4 games back to back on a college sized court. What an effort! A homecoming was celebrated at school at 7pm, and of course we went. The bus was escorted by firetrucks, police, and ambulances back home. It was incredible. Coach Ruthsatz handed each player and coach their state medal back at home.

So proud of those boys and their efforts. Seriously. Their hard work was rewarded on Sunday. I’m hoarse and tired, and way behind on school work, but goshdarnit, it was worth it! Thanks for the memories!!

19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20′s

1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.

2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.

3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.

4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.

5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.

6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.

7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.

8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.

9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.

10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.

11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.

12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.

13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.

14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.

15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.

16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.

17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.

18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.

19. Stop being afraid.

I found this list here and here. It’s definitely long, but I do a lot of these things. It made me think and reflect, something I love to do. I’m guilty of #2, #3 when it comes to working out, and #5. What about you?

Office Inspiration

As grad school approaches, I wanted to get the office in order. My #1 starts his MBA program this summer too. He scored a 710(!) on his GMAT (thanks for letting me brag on him). He’s still deciding on which school to attend, though he’s pretty much welcome anywhere. Xavier accepted him the SAME DAY he applied. Say What?! Oh, the life of a genius…

Last weekend we made the hike up north to IKEA. I needed a desk, and we wanted to check out their options for better storage to make the office more user friendly. We came home three hours later with a station wagon full of boxes.

My #1 has generously allowed me to be a part of his office. Moving his desk to left side of the room will allow for more ceiling to floor wall space. My new desk could then fit in the small nook next to the closet, which will allow the surf- photo gallery wall to be open. The bookcase/ TV stand and TV might live there, or find a new home in another room.

I bought TWO parson desks at IKEA because I couldn’t believe how cheap they were. I’ve been eyeing one for the craft room. I needed space to wrap presents and craft, so I bought one for that room too. $15 for the legs and I bought 2 different sized tops: $6 for the office one and $16 for the craft room top. Done.

VIKA AMON/VIKA ADILS Table IKEA The high gloss surfaces reflect light and give a vibrant look.

My #1 has a ton of junk stuff that needs a home. Electronics, magazines, books, ticket stubs, small trinkets, etc. Mostly it’s stored in shoe boxes or larger moving boxes in closets that have never been unpacked. In IKEA’s showroom, right next to the parson desk I was eyeing sat this bookcase:

BILLY Bookcase IKEA

He really liked it and picked it out all on his own. It had glass jars, white cardboard boxes and magazine holders in it, as well as books. He bought all it’s components to hold all of his stuff. I liked this cabinet because it’s exactly that. It has hidden storage as well as a glass display on top to show off prettier things. I like the big glass jars as alternative storage devices too.

We decided to pick out paint and get the office painted prior to loading everything upstairs. Ugh, picking out paint! I tend to always lean towards a light grey blue that looks almost exactly like our entire upstairs. I needed something DIFFERENT! My #1 said to pick 5 colors I like and then he’ll choose. If he had his way it’d be a rich dark ocean blue. But I thought that was too much for such a small room. I found 5 swatches which were all similar light blue-greens. I sat on those this week and finally decided I needed 5 different colors. Then, YHL announced their Ben Moore 2013 paint picks, and a couple dark blues stuck with me. Lucerne by BM:

The office is small, but has cathedral ceilings, and 2 windows that bring in a lot of light. I plan to paint the ceiling this color too for better flow. With light accents such as pillows and art, I think this color will work.

My dark grey curtains will be too dark with this color. I found these super affordable curtains at IKEA for $25 for the PAIR, AND they’re 95”.

JANETTE Curtains, 1 pair IKEA Eyelet heading works on curtain rods.

This family room will be my new inspiration. With Lucerne on the walls, the white bead board as our bookcase and new desk, and the grey couch as my #1′s desk, I’m in awe.

I emailed the color swatch, curtains, and this photo to my #1, and got the response “It looks rad!” Sold.

 

PS. Maybe I’ll use this same color for the craft room too. I’m not enjoying the pale green in there of late. And this inspiration photo with the bright white bead board is making me dislike it even more.

Finally a Place To Call Home

After a year of applying to grad schools and getting denied by two, but then accepted by one, I was grateful my journey was over. When we got back from Asia last month, I received an email from UC that began with “Congratulations”. I was stunned. Having been denied by most of the colleges I’d applied to, I assumed UC would deny me also, and Xavier would be my future school. UC’s online MSN program is ranked top 20 in the nation. It cost more, requires me to take a statistics course, allows me to start in May, is completely online, and most importantly, will make me a nurse practitioner in just two years. The pros ultimately won, and I accepted my seat last week.

I’ve been trying to live it up a little knowing I’ll have no life after May 6th. When I talk about “living it up” it only means having more than one beer and staying up until midnight. A couple of friends and I booked a trip to Florida to visit a great friend over St. Patty’s Day, which is always a blast. I can’t wait to share my last vacation (for a while) with them!

A Quick Review

I’ve searched for a decent lipstick for a while. And by search, I mean I’ve bought three different kinds the past year. I’m not a makeup enthusiast. I just wanted something simple and natural to bring my pale lips up to par. Nothing really has worked, or the color was too pink, and I always seemed to stick with my Burt’s Bees, until now…

Maybelline makes this stuff, and I bought two. I bought a peach and a purple colored one. It’s like chap stick and lipstick in one. It moisturizes, shines, and gives color. It goes on smooth and makes my lips smackable (is that a word?). The color amount is what I was searching for. Maybe this already exists and I’m just a lipstick makeup noob. This product doesn’t come without flaws. The color doesn’t last long, so frequent applications are a must.

Thankfully Lucky

A few months ago I started volunteering as a nurse at my hospital affiliated free health clinic in Price Hill. Price Hill is not where you or I would prefer to live. In fact, the sign on the main entrance reads, “Dear Neighbor, we do not have medications, money or needles on our property”. If you know me, I like to be safe, and I was scared.

The clinic runs as a private doctor’s office. The physicians are volunteers also. We treat our patients as if they paid a $1,000 for this visit, and offer bottled water to them as they wait. These patients are used to be rejected. Rejected by friends, by employers, by their peers, by insurance companies, etc. And my patients are so grateful. Grateful for this establishment, for me, for the doctor that will see them for free, and for that bottle of water. They’ve never been waited on in their life. They have manners and smiles. For being able to give 3 hours of my time to make them feel cared for, I am thankful.

As a nurse at a city hospital, I am used to most patients expecting how they should be treated. Expecting to be waited on hand and foot. We joke that we are the “Good Samaritan Hilton”.  The clientele is so different from the hospital to the free clinic, and was so unexpected for me. A few bad eggs always ruin it.

 

Working in my profession it only seems fitting to count my blessings. Seriously. Not to mention the recent election and the constant debates that are encircling me. I can only be thankful that I’m lucky. Lucky to be born into an amazing family where I was given the chance to “follow my dreams”. Lucky that I was taught morals. Lucky my parents sacrificed for me and my siblings to attend 12 years of private schooling. Each. The majority of this nation doesn’t have that kind of luck. Sure, we are the nation of opportunities. But it’s hard when you weren’t guided in that direction as a child and instead got caught up in the un-ending circle of whatever it is your family chose. Do you know what I mean?

I am so lucky I have a job with benefits, and a chance to get a raise each year.

I am so lucky I can even dream about going to graduate school, not to mention, get accepted.

I am so lucky I have parents that care for me and are in good health.

I am so lucky my grandparents are able to live in their houses without much help, and are healthy.

I am so lucky I have the opportunity to leave the country soon and get paid vacation hours to do so.

I am so lucky to have a loving and protective boyfriend.

I am so lucky to be able to spoil my dog.

I am so lucky to be able to spend money where I want, and to be able to afford a new roof and skylights next week!

I am so lucky to be a home owner at age 26.

I am so lucky to have friends that would do anything for me.

 

Do you get the point? I am so thankful to be this lucky.

I Did It

After getting rejected from NKU and OU for grad school, I made a point to apply to more than one school at a time. I’ve spent the past few months  injecting my application pieces with steroids. I shadowed a current nurse practitioner at Walgreens (which I loved!) and got to use her as a reference, I starting volunteering at my company’s new free health clinic as a volunteer nurse (which I love!), and beefing up my letter of intent with emotions. These adjustments landed me a seat at Xavier University this coming fall (or maybe they didn’t, but let’s hope my extra work had some playing part)! The letter came last week, and my #1 wasn’t here to share my joy. So earlier this week, we fist bumped and cautiously smiled at each other as we BOTH head to grad school next year. #nolifeisonitsway

I’m hoping to take a couple classes this summer, which will not allow me to graduate any sooner, but instead have the following summer off.  I’ll thank myself later for that break in the middle of this maddness.

Now, on to start saving!!!!

Inform Yourself

No, not about politics. Well, yes, please be an informed voter, and VOTE! But we’re at the age or close to it (scary!) to having babies.

So watch The Business of Being Born, and it’s subsequent episodes.

www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

 

Where did September go?!

 

BullShit

All ya’ll are bitches. Working with ALL women (as in zero men) is so draining. I couldn’t do it 8-5.  I loved my all girl high school. So what’s the deal? Maybe it’s because we’re not in high school anymore!

My down fall is playing the role of “victim”. Victim has huge water filled eyes, and a quivering chin. She thrives off sad shit, and even plays sad songs to long further into her sorrows. This role playing gig is not for me. I’m constantly battling with her.

In the words of Johnny Sullivan, and now apparently American Eagle, “Live Your Life”. Easy? Simple? I wish. Words to strive for.

I could elaborate, but only in victim’s words, so I’ll move on, and, Live My Life.