Thursday, August 25

The Upcoming

Since I have now officially been to all two days worth of my senior classes... I thought I would share about my upcoming Fall semester...

Currently, I am sitting in our "sunroom" listening to the weather channel about the future activities of Hurricane Irene. The news guy just said that the east coast is "preparing for the worst." North Carolina's coast is already evacuated of visitors and residences are to leave tomorrow... NYC is considering evacuation as well. It's kinda crazy! Earthquake a few days ago; hurricane in a few days!

I think I will prepare by filling up my empty gas tank and buying some water bottles... just to be safe!

Now back to my delightful fall semester. I am taking four classes this semester including human nutrition, mental health nursing, critical care, and population health. I am seriously looking forward to all of these classes!

Nutrition is self explainable... it's all about nutrition.
Population health takes a bit of explanation for it is a mixture class. We are studying genetics and genomics, older adults, and end of life care. We are starting off with genetics and genomics, our first assignment is to develop a family pedigree to analyze the genetic link between diseases and illnesses within my own family. I think it's kinda neat. There are lots of fun assignments in the class that I'm actually looking forward to like interviewing an "older adult" about their childhood and just talking with them about life! I think I will try to meet with my Pastor here in Lynchburg, since it has to be a face to face interview and he's practically the only older adult that I know here!
Mental Health deals a lot with psychiatric nursing. We will learn about various mental health disorders from schizophrenia to eating disorders to bipolar disorders to alcoholism. We have six clinical rotations for this course including one on a psychiatric ward, an AA meeting, an addiction recovery facility, a mental illness day house, and a few more. This class will for sure stretch my boundaries!
Critical Care will be my baby. This class adds to our knowledge that we've already acquired in our medical-surgical class. We will learn more about ventilators, hemodynamics, EKGs, sedation, trauma, and things of the like. We have 6 rotations in an ICU for this class which I can't wait for! I also get to spend all of my spring semester in the ICU since I am in the Critical Care Certificate Program.

My goal is to soak up as much information as I can in my last year of school. I want to take advantage of this time that I have left here at the ole LU. It probably boosts my excitement for this year that I only have class on Wednesday and Thursday...

My running schedule for the fall as slightly been edited since I've been here. Let me just say, running in Virginia is in no way like running back home in the flatness of Texas. Lynchburg seems to be particularly a hilly part of Virginia since we sit in the Blue Ridge Mountains but my goodness, can't a girl get a break?!

My new runners that my Dad got for me before leaving for VA
My training pace has increased about 15 seconds per mile since I've been back; the slopes are torturous. I am scheduled to run the Virginia Ten Miler in late September but I can barely run three miles now... I definitely have a lot of work to do in order to run that race! I definitely will run it but I need to train a lot harder in order to withstand the hills and altitude.

Looks like my hardcore training will be delayed until after Irene strikes!

Tuesday, August 23

Shaky Ground

I've been delaying writing a new post because I haven't thought of anything to write on... but the wonderful miraculous creator of this Earth just gave me a few thoughts as a 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook Virginia and Washington DC this afternoon.

I was sitting here at my computer working on a paper, that I ALREADY have, for my nutrition class when all of a sudden I hear the art on my walls rattling! The shaking suddenly got worse as my entire apartment building shook!
This was damage from a quake in CA // Credit
I sat here at in my zebra chair in a sort of shock... then after what seemed like a few minutes I thought "Well, what the heck am I doing here? What if the building goes down? Should I get out of here?"

I proceeded to run out my door then I turned and looked back and noticed that I still had my brand new Woodwick candle burning the sweet smell of "Sugared Pomegranate." My instant thought was well crap, if the buildings going down... I don't want it to catch on fire! So I had to run back to my sunroom to blow on the delicious smell then the quake settled.

Facebook has been jumping with statuses about this earthquake... for a lot of people it's their first one! There were even a few people who contemplated during the middle of the quake whether or not the rapture was occurring. The status updates are so amusing!

What's even more amusing is that the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building were evacuated. JFK airport even shut down!

I have to say that this was not my first quake. It was definitely my strongest quake at 5.9 magnitude but my first quake, I would say, was the most powerful.

The first earthquake that I felt happened when I was on a two week mission trip in Antigua, Guatemala. I think it was in 2007. I was down in Guatemala with a group of 5 girls and a couple moms with us. We did so many life changing things while we were down there but I have to say my favorite memory was of the earthquake. The ladies and I were sitting around our little kitchen table praying while the quake struck. We were praying through various attributes of God in alphabetical order. The group was taking turns praying words like "Awesome. Amazing. Astounding. All-knowing. Beautiful. Big. Creator...."

We had just reached the letter E as a gentle earthquake shook the ground... it was the most powerful thing I have ever witnessed! It was as God was responding to our adoration for Him right there in that instant. How miraculous! I will never forget that moment. It truly was a blessing!

Monday, August 22

Settling In

We've made it!

Jordan, Tyler, Brian, and I are all settled in our living quarters for the new school year! We made it into town around 7 pm on August 15th. There was truly only one disaster that struck! 20 miles outside of campus, traffic came to a DEAD stop. We literally sat in grid lock for an hour and a half. Yes, it was torture. The boys were antsy getting out of the cars, walking around, talking to truck drivers, and the like. Sheila and I sat in my little car quite amused as we were listening to the audio version of "The Help."

So why the standstill? Come to find out, a man had shot his brother and nephew on his front lawn. He proceeded to lock himself in his house, just off the highway. It was a four hour throw down between the police, SWAT, fireman, and other rescue workers. They started letting us drive by after the shooter was secure in his house... later the guy lit his own house on fire in which the rescue workers then entered his residence to find him only in white socks! Quite a story... especially when you've been on the road for 20 hours!

So needless to say... we are safe upon arrival!

Aly came up for a long weekend to visit Liberty for the first time. We had scheduled it at this time because Aaron, her boyfriend, was supposed to be playing baseball against the Lynchburg Wildcats at the time but was traded to a different team. He plays AA minor league ball. He was traded right before she came up! Crazy! We still had a blast!

We did the normal Lynchburg activities like Uno night, watching movies, touring campus, hanging out with friends, visiting puppies at the pet stores, and shopping! We had originally thought that the J.Crew warehouse sale was going to be in Lynchburg this weekend but it ended up that it wasn't here but in Charlottesville, about an hour drive away...

candles that we were narrowing down at the store
Aly and I did some shopping in Lynchburg on Saturday morning including going to the Virginia Candle Outlet where they sell Woodwick Candles for crazy good prices. We each got 5 candles for $15 total!! I even got one that smells like a Christmas tree - I can't wait until I can light it!

J. Crew Warehouse Sale
The craziness of the warehouse sale // credit
We decided to drive to Charlottesville to hit up the "once in a lifetime" opportunity for Aly to go to the J.Crew warehouse sale. We spent two hours at the sale and came out with some fabulous goodies! We then rounded off the afternoon with a bite to eat at Mellow Mushroom, one of the best pizza places ever.

We had a lazy Sunday morning and afternoon before I took her to the Lynchburg airport where she experienced a whirlwind evening since a thunderstorm went through after her plane was already delayed. She missed her connecting flight in North Carolina and had to catch another one to get to Dallas. Don't you love flying?

I had such a good time with Aly being here in my world! We had lots of fun and lots of laughs!

Friday, August 12

Packing Up

The packing has officially begun! Not so sure that I am exactly thrilled about this since I loathe packing but I suppose that it has to be done.

boxes from when we moved into our apartment last fall
Now, if you were to ask all of my wonderful previous college roommates if I liked to pack, they would surely exclaim "YES!!!" However, it's quite the contrary. My beautiful friends were tortured by my packing habits at the every semester's end because I would start a week ahead of time. They all waited until the day before they were going to leave to pack up their lives... however they weren't really waiting to pack but more so clinging on to the semester we were about to leave behind. Oh how gracious they were with my early packing! 

I start so early because I get overwhelmed by all that needs to get done. I just want it over with. I can't stand to have the lingering thought of having to pack... especially when it comes to packing to and fro college! How can you decide what things are necessary to your life for 9 months out of the year and not 3 months? And visa-versa? I always end up over-packing, no matter what I am packing for and no matter where my destination is...

As I already mentioned, the packing has begun for us. Well, for me. Jordan hasn't touched any of his things but we did manage to clean out the FULL closet at his mom's house a couple of days ago when we were helping Tyler do the same before he packed for his first semester in college! Tyler's closet was sifted through and narrowed down to stay at home, take to school, and to give away. Sheila, Tyler, Hayley, and I accomplished this huge task and I do mean huge considering the fact that Tyler still had clothes in his closet from when he was 12!

Jordan is more of a day before and day of packer because he enjoys procrastination.

This is Robert and Jordan.... being extremely helpful when we moved into our apartment...

Thursday, I packed up all my craft supplies, my dresses, and my sweaters (in Dallas? Not exactly sure what I was thinking...) However, I did not even tackle any part of the beast yesterday since I spent the day in Dallas with my gorgeous mother and the darling Julie.

We are leaving bright and early Sunday morning with a caravan of four vehicles hauling Jordan and I with the addition of Tyler and his roommate, Brian, who is also a freshman. This means that Jordan's truck (the biggest car) has to be loaded and ready to go Saturday evening before our Summer End Dinner Party. This means, that I am actually packing LATE! Oh golly!

Today work will have to get done... after mom and I get pedicures, of course!

Wednesday, August 3

Moving Fast

I can't believe that it's been OVER a week since my last update! Wow! It has been quite the busy week. A little recap of my week:

  • Jordan left with Greg for Indiana on Sunday
  • Went out with Nola on Monday to get a new driver license since I lost mine
  • Visited the AT&T store with Nola to see about "bundles" for her new house
  • Got my 3rd TB test done at the Doctors on Tuesday... I have forgotten to get the previous to "read"
  • I started my new training for the Virginia 10 miler on Wednesday
  • Had lunch at Cafe Pacific in Highland Park with Mom, Sheila, Nola, Kristen, and Marianne on Thursday
  • Did a little bit of shopping in Highland Park with the girls; my best buy was a purse organizer which I desperately need after this summer of forgetfulness
  • Nola closed on her brand new house on Friday
  • Started housesitting for Becky again...
  • Jan, Aly, Mom, and I laid out at the pool for several hours
  • Ate Palio's pizza for dinner with the Holbert's
  • Jordan and Greg got home Saturday evening
  • Sheila, Nola, Hayley, Tyler, Mom, and I spent Saturday moving some things into Nola's house
  • The whole day Sunday was spent unloading and unpacking boxes for Nola
  • Jordan and I went to see Crazy, Stupid, Love that night.
  • Monday was the day of rest; had breakfast with Aly and watched the "Men Tell All" for the Bachelorette
  • Had breakfast on Tuesday with Aly again... watched the Bachelorette finale
  • Jordan found out he had an ear infection; he had  fever the past few days!
  • Completely finished unpacking Nola's pod Tuesday evening
  • Today is another day of rest - playing catch up!

I just exhausted myself by rethinking about what all I did last week! The true exhaustion comes from moving and unpacking! You forget how exhausting mentally and physically moving really is. As a college student, you get used to packing/unpacking your small little room every summer, but it hardly compares to an entire house!

Nola's house is just stunning. What a blessing! She seriously was practically moved in to the house in two days... The kitchen was entirely unpacked and organized - thanks to Sheila! I think she had maybe five boxes left to open after we left on Sunday. We were moving fools. Now, not everything is in its place... but its out of the boxes and in the house. Who knows what's more difficult... unpacking boxes or deciding where everything goes! Probably the latter!

I can't wait to see the house all put together! It will be such neat thing. :)

All this moving has led me to ponder the moving that Jordan and I will be doing in May. Wow! We will be done with college. I can't believe that we are soon to enter our senior year. We will walk on to our beautiful campus at LU for the last time as students! I am extremely excited for what the year holds yet it is also nerve racking! I am ready to be "my own" nurse but on the other hand, it is such a big leap to go into the "real world" and actually BE "my own" nurse. Nonetheless, this year entitles the excitement of critical care nursing, psychiatric nursing, and community nursing. Those are the three big guys and I am so intrigued! Yet at the moment that those classes are finished... I will graduate!

Graduation means a few things: moving back to our beloved Texas hometown, starting our careers, and following God's guidance for the new journey in our lives!

I am already dreading the moving part - I think we'll actually have to get a drivable uHaul to get all of our things back to Texas. It all should be interesting. At least, our precious family members should be there through it all to help us! Praise the Lord for many hands makes light work!

Since I am such a huge planner, I have already thought about when we need to start apartment searching and when I should be revamping our family budget. My thoughts may be a little to far in the distance, oh like 10 months or so, but I like to have plan!

Not only have I been thinking about our May Move... but I've truly realized how fast life moves! Jordan and I celebrated our one year anniversary this summer which just proves how much time flies. Entering our senior year is another point. This summer seems to have sprinted rather than paced by as well. My mom said her life has been a completely blur after her early twenties. She said it only gets faster and I can't even imagine that!

After all this mumbling of words, I have one phrase to wrap up my thoughts...

Life just keeps pushing forward in our times of joy and sorrow... the true constant is our Heavenly Father.