Scary Days

Saturday I did something really scary, but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Today was also a particularly scary day for me. It was my first day of nursing school!

It felt kind of strange. It’s something that I’ve hoped to do for so long and work so hard for. But for some reason it just felt like one of those days that I’d only dream about and never actually get to experience.

And today I experienced it. And it was scary.

However, I received the most awesome e-mail last night that made it not as scary. In my panic to prepare for the first day I was scouring the internet trying to figure out how to play a video on taking blood pressure. I took a breath for one second and decided to check my mail, only to be surprised with some words of encouragement from a reader and former nursing student all the way from Florida!

Heaven-sent.

At least through all the panicking, printing of syllabi, e-mail reading, and overall going nuts-ness, my eating habits have been yet again improved in accordance with my New Year’s resolution. Not only am I eating breakfast (even if this makes me have to wake up even earlier than I normally would before going to class), but I’m also eating at least three serving of fruit a day! Deliciousness.

A beautiful green apple makes the day a little less scary.

ang

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A Bit of an Understatement

Remember yesterday how I said I was getting nervous to start nursing school?

Well…

…I went and bought my textbooks for the semester today…

…and this stack of books is not including the two other textbooks that I need, the books that I had last semester that I can’t seem to find now.

Nervous seems a bit of an understatement now.

I should also preface this story with my plan for the afternoon. I wanted to purchase my parking pass for the semester, buy my books, get in-get out, and hit up the recreation center for a quick speed workout and possibly some strength training. If I want to do a pull-up this year, I better start building up these little muscles!

I went to purchase my parking pass first, but once I was about to buy my pass I decided against it. Campus is not that big, and I’ve found several places near campus where I can park on the side of the road for free. I decided I’d give walking a whirl before giving up fifty precious dollars to park in the campus lots that aren’t all that close to my classes anyhow.

Next I went to the bookstore…which was approximately half a mile from where I decided to park alongside the road.

About half an hour later I walked out with all of these…

…and had to walk the half mile back to my car to drop them off.

Needless to say, I crossed strength training off my afternoon agenda.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been talking about getting into nursing school for long enough (um, the entire life of this blog), and I’m beyond stoked that I actually get to start on Monday! It’s just scary. Life as I know it is going to change a little bit. I’m not going to have the time to sit and talk to Tia all day long, or hang out on my computer, or watch marathons of addicting television shows (hello Friday Night Lights). My textbooks might be accompanying me to my next several dinner club get-togethers. My new favorite cell phone apps just might be regarding medical terminology. And pretty soon I might be bugging all my family and friends to practice taking their blood pressures.

I guess it’s beneficial to me that I love a good challenge.

ang

Running is Hard, but Breakfast is Good

I only have a few days left to sleep in because nursing school starts on Monday. Of course I am beyond thrilled about this, however, a sense of fear and nervousness has started to creep in. What if it’s too hard? What if I won’t be able to work and keep up with school? What if I’m not a morning person anymore? How will I find time to study and to run? What if patients hate me? What if the other students don’t like me? And worst of all…

…what if I’m not good at it?!

So, instead of letting all those crazy feelings consume my every thought, I decided to live it up one more day and sleep in. Is it sad that sleeping in is “living it up” to me? Or acceptable? I’m not sure. After I had enough coziness it was time to start my day…which in accordance with my week one New Year’s goal meant eating breakfast.

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I’ve now started my day with breakfast three days in a row, and it has been magnificent! Before I wasn’t anti-breakfast. In fact, most days in 2011 I did eat breakfast…that is until December hit. Sleeping in and having no particular running goals left me with no motivation to go toast a bagel…or pour a bowl of cereal…or blend up a smoothie. Cookie parties also had a hand in eliminating my desire to eat breakfast. Wake up at eleven, eat a chocolate covered cherry cookie (hey, it has fruit in it), and call it a day…until noon, that is, when it was time for lunch.

But three days in a row with a healthy, well-rounded breakfast has got me feeling energized! Throw in some vitamins and a cup of coffee, and there’s no telling how much I can accomplish!

Yes, breakfast is good.

Next on my agenda of “living it up” until nursing school hits…go for a run. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can say for a fact that when I sleep in I have a much, much harder time convincing myself to lace up my shoes and get out the door.

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But after some moseying around, I finally threw my hair up into a ponytail and set out for a sunny eight mile run…my longest run in quite awhile. And it was hard. The hills. The blisters on my heel from my new shoes. The distance. The hills.

Running is hard.

Once my watch clicked to eight miles I walked back inside and realized that yes, running is hard, but it is so rewarding. I just ran eight miles. Eight. That’s really quite a lot. And actually, I felt even more energized than before I left!

I find it so true that taking the first step is really the hardest…but with a good breakfast, I guess anything is possible.

ang

 

What is Faith?

Today I feel like I was able to have my own mini celebration.

About nine or so months ago, I would wander around the university bookstore and I would always stop in the same aisle. It was the aisle that had the stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, along with various other nursing accessories. There was was thing in this aisle that I really wanted to buy. It was kind of silly really. It was just a red and black lanyard keychain that said NURSING all around it.

At the time I was afraid to buy that lanyard. I was afraid that I’d end up with this red and black lanyard that would only remind me of a failure…because I was afraid that I wouldn’t get into the nursing program. How embarrassing would that be?

So I didn’t buy it.

And in March, I didn’t get in…but begrudgingly, I kept the faith.

And today I am enrolled to start the nursing program in January at the University of Central Missouri!

I marched into that bookstore, I pulled that lanyard off the shelf, and I paid for it. It is no longer a symbol of failure, but a symbol of hard work and perseverance.

 And most importantly…that little thing is a symbol of faith.

While I was there, I decided to continue my little celebration with another special little purchase. Why not?!

My very first scrubs!

I really did have a moment when I took that small, unflattering piece of boxy fabric to the fitting room (i.e. public bathroom) to try on. It was a moment of reality…

…I’m going to be a nurse!

ang

Achievable and Challenging

I think there is a great importance to setting goals. Before volleyball games, I had my girls come up with goals as a team and come up with individual goals. At the beginning of the season someone would say, “Our goal should be to do good.” Well, that’s a given! I then explained to them that our goals needed to be measurable. We need to be able to actually see if we achieve them.

Once the girls grasped that concept someone would suggest, “Our goal should be to have no missed serves.” This seems like a great goal, however, these are middle school girls…and for many serving was not yet their strong suit. I had to explain that our goals need to be achievable. Then someone would blurt out, “Okay then, only ten missed serves.” Ten?! We’d surely lose the game is we missed that many serves. I then explained that our goals need to be achievable, yes, but also challenging.

Ooooohhh.

So for this month, I am setting some very measurable, achievable, and challenging goals for myself.

1. Decide which nursing school I will attend.

Obviously I need to make this decision because I’ll be enrolling in classes soon! Aaahhh! I am so excited to start school, I just can’t say it enough! I am definitely feeling a pull toward one school, but I’m not ready to make a definite decision. Soon, though!

2. PR on November 20th in my second ever half marathon.

I finished my last (first) half marathon in one hour, fifty-nine minutes, and ten seconds. I so want to beat this!

3. Finish my second ever half marathon in one hour and fifty-five minutes.

Yes, I’ll be happy with any PR, but to really challenge myself I want to finish 1.55:xx. I know that for so long (marathon training) I was focused on mileage rather than speed, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve really been trying to get faster!

4. Cook (3 meals a week and two great Thanksgiving sides). Read (1 book). Make (3 things from Pinterest).

5. Smile 334,918,374,918,327,419,834,719,238,471,903,248,102 times!

How are you challenging yourself this month?!

ang

Well Hello There November

I woke up bright and early this morning, threw on my marathon t-shirt to go workout in (it’s crazy how awesome that shirt still makes me feel!), ran hard, got buff, came home, browsed Pinterest, drank protein, showered with the most delightful buttercream flavored (scented?) soap, realized that the scent reminds me of fall, pondered about how I’m actually loving fall…

…and then I realized that it is November!

What a way to start the month! A run, weights, Pinterest, and buttercream?
Yes please!

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s look back at October…which somehow is over and gone, even though I’m pretty sure it just started yesterday.

In October I stuck to my half marathon training plan…kind of…well…for the most part. I did all my long runs, and I did most of my speed workouts, so I’ll call it good. I’m really loving long runs right now, especially in the cooler weather, and especially with good company (thanks Fallon)!

In October I cooked a little bit. I don’t think I could say that I cooked more than I cooked in September, but I didn’t cook less. The good news is that I’m trying here people. Glass half full!

In October I tried something pumpkin flavored…and loved it! So much so that I bought another six-pack a couple weeks later at a whopping $9.50.

In October I put my creative juices to work! I created menus for Spa Nova, and I actually sewed something that I found on Pinterest. My creativeness has been flowing in other directions, too, but still a work in progress…I’ll share soon, though, I promise. However, my ambition to spruce up this blog took a backseat to my Pinterest addiction…the only thing I added was my Pinterest account to my contact page…because I know you are just as addicted as I am!

In October I, sadly, did not read a book. But, I have chosen three books to read…now I just have to open one up and get started!

Most importantly, in October I kept the faith (although I may have faltered ever so slightly) and I was happy. I finally received the good news I had been waiting for, and now I am more excited than ever to conquer some more goals! (And I’m extremely excited for January when I get to start school again…still not sure where I’ll be attending yet…) I have also attended a church here in town a few times, and although the husband and I still don’t know if it’s the church for us, just going has been amazing. I love getting home on Sunday morning with a church song stuck in my head. It definitely makes for a great week ahead!

I have some pretty hefty goals for the month of November, so I’m going to dedicate an entire post to them later. For now I’m going to enjoy this beautiful November morning with a nice cup of coffee!

So-long October, hello November!

ang

Big Envelope

It came! That big envelope I have been hoping for. Dreaming of. Fearing not getting.

I had pretty much convinced myself that it wouldn’t come and that the other school I was already accepted to was the best choice. I checked the mail Saturday afternoon with no real enthusiasm or optimism. That’s when I saw it under the smaller envelopes.

A big envelope.

Now wait, Angela. Don’t get your hopes up. We have received many larger envelopes lately, mostly relating to health insurance or the husband’s retirement plan (or whatever all those papers are).

I nonchalantly reached in and pulled the mail out. I looked through the stack of bills before I dared glance at the big envelope.

It was from the University of Central Missouri. That’s when I knew.

I didn’t jump up and down or scream or cry or giggle. I didn’t immediately run back inside to tell my husband or call my mom or dad. I just wanted to sit with the satisfaction that finally, my hard work paid off.

As excited as I am about being accepted, now I am in a much different predicament than I was in the spring. Now I have a choice. A decision to make. A hard one.

There are so many pros and cons for each school…time, money, time away from my husband, timing of trying to have our first baby! These aren’t little things…these are HUGE things (especially the baby one)! It’s going to be a tough decision.

I plan on sitting down and completing the pros and cons list that you see above. I need to do a lot of talking with the husband, researching, and praying. I think the decision will ultimately be made by whichever way my heart pulls me.

But whatever I choose, the best thing about all of this is that I will be a nurse someday soon. It’s reality. It’s a dream coming true.

And it’s definitely a reason to celebrate!

ang

Dear Diary Ramblings

Dear Diary,

I am writing this to “dear diary” instead of my dear readers because I’m not sure if any reader will make it to the end of this post. When I was younger…way younger…I used to write to “dear diary” (or “dear journal” when I got older…because “journal” is much more mature than “diary”) all the time. Now looking back, when I wrote to said diary or journal, I usually just rambled on about the day, or the week, or whatever was going on in my life at the time and how I felt about it.

Which is what I’m about to do now.

I’ve turned into a mail stalker. Well, a stalker of my own mail…which isn’t very helpful when someone parks their car in front of your mailbox so that the mailman cannot even put the mail into the mailbox. You see, I’m waiting for my letter of acceptance, or yet, rejection, to nursing school from the university here. Last March when I became a mail stalker for the exact same reason, I ended up being let down when the rejection letter came. Rejection letter. So negative. So cruel. So accurate. So messed up. Me…the person who put in one hundred and eleven percent to make sure I had to grades to get in. Didn’t. Get. In.

Sick.

But I keep telling myself not to get my hopes up. I have already been accepted to another school for nursing. A different school. A great school. A school that is a little over an hour away from my husband’s job.

Oh. Therein-lies the problem.

But at least I have options. I’m not getting my hopes up. Or am I? I don’t know…I guess I’ll find out when the letter comes in.  Okay, so I think I am getting my hopes up, but I know I shouldn’t, so I’m trying (and failing) not to.

Okay, so I even sent a text message to our renters. “Hey, it’s Ang. Will you let me know if you get some mail for me from the University of Central Missouri?” I honestly don’t know which address the letter will be sent to. “No u dont have anthng frm there,” she says, “I will let u kno if somthng come.”

It doesn’t matter if the renters get the letter first and I cannot get it right away. All I have to know is if it’s a small envelope or a large envelope. Small equals no deal. Big equals accepted.

I know, Diary, you’re thinking why does it matter. You have already been accepted to another school. A good school…a great school. I am so thankful for that school, and I have even already put some money toward that school. But…I also know that means I’ll have to be away from my husband. Not all the time. Not everyday. But sometimes.

And I already know what that feels like. Just that “sometimes.” And I already know that I don’t like it.

We lived apart for the first five years of our relationship (dating). We survived it, but I didn’t like it. When Matt proposed to me I remember that he said, “I never want to be apart from you for the rest of my life.” Well, I’ve learned that sometimes wants are different that have tos. We lived apart for a semester last year (when we were married) when we were teaching in different cities. I was sad. It was hard. I could add a lot more three word sentences to describe to crappy (earmuffs) situation. We survived it…but that doesn’t mean I liked it.

I think that some people think I’m crazy. I moved away (not that far) to be with my husband. We spend most of our time together…just the two of us. We have fun together. All the time. Just the two of us. We argue, rarely, and then we have fun together again. When people refer to him as “my other half,” why then, they are absolutely correct. He really is my other half, and without him I am not me. At least I don’t feel like me.

So yes. I can get through it. We can survive it…being apart, I mean…but wouldn’t it be nice not to have to “survive” it again?

So yeah, I guess I’m getting my hopes up.

And why, you ask, am I bringing all this up now? Well, the husband is gone for the night for a coaching conference, and I watched some Grey’s Anatomy which made me think about my marriage (because Meredith and Derek just need to get over it already and make up (Grey’s seems a lot better when watched with a glass of wine) oh geez, I have parenthesis inside parenthesis now), and because I’ve had a couple glasses of wine. All perfectly good and explainable reasons. Yes?

And sometimes I feel sad. Sad because I want to have a baby. Like now. Not in three years. The husband has always been the one wanting to wait. He had this five year plan. I thought it was completely silly. Five years. Pffsssh! I thought I’d have a baby by twenty-five.

Definitely laughable now.

We want to wait until I’m done with school…and I’m the silly one who decided to go back to school. But a few weeks ago he put his hand on my stomach and said he couldn’t wait until we were going to have a baby. It made me feel all warm and happy inside, but I’m sure I just changed the subject by accusing him of calling me fat for rubbing his hand on my belly and even thinking about pregnancy. I do that a lot…accuse him of saying I’m fat…which is the most obscure and obscene thing in the world. He would never say anything other than the fact that he thinks I’m the most beautiful thing to have ever walked the earth. It has to be true, too, since he finds most actresses non-attractice. Or at least that’s what he tells me now. I guess he has to…ever since he told me he thought Jessica Biel was pretty I’ve accused him of having a major crush on her and wanting to marry her. But I think he means it.

He’s never made me feel anything less than a princess…since I was sixteen years old.

I guess life just turns out funny sometimes. I walk down the short hallway of our two-bedroom little duplex and wonder how we ever got here. It’s better than our last-even smaller-duplex, but nonetheless, not where I imagined I’d be at twenty-six. I look at my stack of anatomy and physiology books sitting on my desk and think it’s crazy that those ever ended up on my desk. Anyone who has ever known me never would have guessed I’d be going into nursing now. Why would I? I do art. I look at my little Tia’s face and think to myself how could I love anything else any more…but that’s because she is my baby.

But yet, even though things aren’t quite how I imagined…I know I’m still one of the lucky ones. I’ve overcome obstacles. I’ve rallied. I’ve persevered. And I’ve smiled and laughed and giggled more than most get the opportunity to.

And for that I’m thankful.

And if you made it to the end of this ridiculous post…for that I’m thankful, too.

ang

September in Review, October Underway

I simply cannot believe that it is October…October 3rd to be exact. September flew by insanely fast…the whole summer flew by too fast. And now it’s October. Crazy.

I know that I am going to regret saying this in a few weeks when I can’t stand the fall cold anymore (even though the weather is perfect right now, Missouri weather changes too fast), but I’m kind of glad that the seasons are changing. Dare I say that I’m looking forward to our first snow? (Insert my dad gasping here…he loves the snow and he knows I’m a summer baby!) Okay, snow is still pretty far off and maybe taking it too far. No, definitely too far. Nonetheless, I am kind of stoked that it’s now fall.

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The fact that September seemed so short, I’m not going to be too hard on myself about my September goals (and maybe because I already know that I did not accomplish very many of them!) Let’s be real here…in September I spent most of my time trying to overcome my post-first-marathon depression, and even though that wasn’t one of the goals I listed for myself, I think it was the biggest accomplishment.

I did achieve my first two goals: find a new race to sign up for and create a new workout schedule. I ran a 10K in September and I am registered to run my second half marathon at the end of November. I also created a new training plan for my half that I will share with you all later! Success!

My third goal was to strength train at least twice a week. I don’t think I completely accomplished this goal, but I did manage to weight lift once a week. Semi-success!

Two more goals were to blog more and cook more. These are both pretty relative goals, but I can say for a fact that I did blog and cook more than I did in August (which really isn’t saying that much.)

And now for the walk of shame…

Finish unpacking and decorating. Fail.

Do yoga. Fail. Not.Even.One.Time.

Find a book to read. Fail.

Create something artsy. Fail.

And last, but definitely not least, enjoy life. I did enjoy life…but not enough. I spent too much time being sad that my marathon was over and just being moody. Enough of that!

Now that it is a new month, it is time for a new mindset and some new goals!

1. Stick to my half marathon training plan. It is easy to blow off a three miles run here and there, but for the most part I want to stay on track! I’ve devised this plan a little bit differently, so I’d like to stick it out!

2. Cook even more. My body is telling me that it’s had enough frozen meals and frozen pizzas for a lifetime. So, why not make a homemade pizza, with homemade crust, instead of cooking one frozen? As I was preparing dinner last night (yes, I cooked last night!) I thought to myself this isn’t so bad. Maybe I could even start to enjoy cooking. Hmmm.

3. Be creative. I am in the middle of a fun design project for a spa company which I think is very beautiful, but I need to create something out of pure enjoyment! I just haven’t made enough time for creativity lately…and I think I need to get on the Pinterest bandwagon to get the wheels a’rollin! Add that to the goal…be creative and join Pinterest!

4. Try something pumpkin flavored. I have been reading about everyones’ undying love for pumpkin lattes, coffees, creamers, pies, oatmeal, cookies, ect., so why not give it a try? I’ve always veered away from pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, but I actually tried a slice last year and I think I kind of liked it.

5. Spruce up this little blog of mine. It’s been on my mind for awhile to lose the “.wordpress” from my web address, but I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing. If you have any advice, please share it with me! So, maybe I’m not ready to go self-hosted, but I would like to add a few new pages, update my current pages, and just make it overall a little bit better!

6. Read a book. Let’s give this goal another try.

7. Have faith. October is destined to bring me some more news regarding my future in nursing school. Whatever happens, I want to know that it is the right thing and that I can get through it.

8. Be happy. Life is too short not to be.

What are your October goals?!

ang

A Serious Lack of Motivation

If you came here for motivation today, I am sorry to disappoint.

It’s after noon…

…and I still have my pajamas on. I just now finished my newest breakfast obsession, two slices of cinnamon toast. I still have a few sips of coffee left in my cup. I’m trying to decide if cleaning my car would count as a workout for today. I’m trying to decide if I even want to clean my car or if I’d rather snuggle up on my hubby’s new recliner and watch a movie. (Currently the latter is winning.)

Aside from creating a new snazzy blog header this morning, it seems pretty obvious that I am extremely lacking in the motivation department.

I’m trying to figure out the reason why I have no motivation today. I mean, it’s a beautiful day…the sun is shining and there’s a cool breeze. It’d be the perfect day for a nice run. I’ve had the biggest urge to do some strength training. Tia would love to go for a walk with me. I could start reading a new book, I could go to the library and find a new book, I could go to the store and pick up a few items that we’ve been needing around the house, I could do some designing, I could finish hanging decorations in my house. So why not just do it?!

I think part of my reason for having no motivation is because I am disappointed that I am not in school right now. I know this may sound crazy to many of you, but I love feeling like I am challenging myself by learning something new.

Even though I’ve dealt with the fact that I am not starting nursing school right now…a big part of me still feels like I should be.

I have such big dreams of being a nurse…and becoming a mother, and maybe someday building a house, and all these things…but for right now I’m just stuck where I am. I can’t move forward until I am in school…and until I finish school. I am twenty-six years old and I was hoping to be a mom by the time I was twenty-five. I know I’m still young and that I have plenty of time, but it is something that Matt and I have always known we wanted. It is harder than ever now because I can see how much Matt wants to start a family. He has always been the more apprehensive one…the one with the “five-year plan” and the one who needs all his ducks in a row. He is waiting on me now. Our future little curly-haired baby is waiting on me.

But I know that God has a reason for everything, and I really am trying my hardest to be patient. I know that our future will be beyond wonderful…that’s just why I want to be there already.

I’ve always had the most difficult time dealing with my not-so-happy feelings…just trying to cover them up with something more cheerful. I do have many positive things going on in my life…like my handsome and caring husband…but it does feel nice to get that off my chest. I do want this to be a motivational blog, but I think it can only be genuine if I am honest with my own feelings. It’s normal to feel disappointment sometimes. It’s okay to feel disappointment. Yes, Angela, it’s okay.

I think another part of my problem is a lack of a routine. And luckily, this is something that I can change right now! So what’s my plan? Wake up at a decent time and finish my workout (if I have one planned for the day). If I don’t have a workout planned or don’t feel like working out then I will take my pretty baby Tia for a walk. After working out then I will set aside time to blog and read blogs. This always makes for a nice, positive start to any day. After blogging I will do whatever needs to be done for the rest of the day.

I think a new planner is in order and would be a great way to turn this lack of motivation problem upside-down! Maybe I will go shopping today after all!

I need your help! How do you turn your lack of motivation upside-down?

ang