Tuesday, March 27

Spring Break Sweetness

Where should I start? How do you describe such a week like spring break?

Spring break has been over for a week and a half now. It's crazy. It was SO much fun but it was hard not seeing Jordan. I had only seen him for four hours in a 12 day period! It was crazy.

However, I truly enjoyed this much needed break! I would say it started off right... but I lost my wallet before we left for Florida... so that caused a little bit of chaos. No, I didn't find it before the trip but Sheila got a call from school when I was home saying that school has my wallet! Yay!

Well Sheila came into town to pick up Georgie so that he could go home with her and end his stay in Virginia. Georige will be missed. He's such a fun little guy. So quiet. So easy. So cat-like. ;) Jordan and I enjoyed a couple days with Shell in town. Then we picked up Sarah Marie from the train station late Friday night and hung out with Allison when we got back home for a bit.

Abbie and Allison came to pick Sarah and I up early Saturday morning and we were off to the beach! It took us about eleven hours to reach our final destination in CoCoa Beach. We stopped at Zaxby's for lunch which filled me with absolute delight! They have the best sauce in the world.

We rolled in CoCoa about seven at night. We checked into our hotel then went straight to the little restaurant on the beach for some dinner! It was so nice sitting outside, eating good food, and listening to the ocean roar. We then walked along the beach to get our sand in the toes. It was wonderful. I think this is the night that we went to Ron Jon too!

When we woke up early on Sunday, it was overcast and rainy. We were so bummed. The weather was supposed to stay like that all day. After we refreshed ourselves with some Starbucks we went over to my grandparents house to spend the day. They live about 25 minutes from CoCoa. My Papa had gone to the grocery store to get us stuff to make sandwiches for lunch. We chatted for awhile then we played the most intense game of UNO we had ever played!

Now, we play UNO a lot. We had a whole 'UNO crew' that we would play with all the time. So this was crazy intense. We played for five hours straight! Papa plays with points, where we normally don't, so this was one long game! The wait the points UNO works is whoever has the lowest amount of points wins. The points are added up from the cards left in your hand when someone goes out. Well the game is ended when the first person reaches 500 points. So naturally, since I was leading pretty much the entire time, Papa tried to keep Allison in the game (who was loosing) so that he could get a shot to win. Allison stayed at 497 points for six hands of UNO and then at 499 for two more hands. It was the best UNO she has ever played in her life! She was jumping for joy! She won so many times! Papa ended up winning because of his darn tactic. It was absolutely nuts.

We ended the night by going out to dinner with Papa, Grandma, and Grandma's brother and family. It was fun! I had some really good burger sliders on pretzel bread! We drove home and hopped in the hot tub at the hotel. It was so nice to relax in that thing!

We were up bright and early on Monday and literally spent the entire day at the beach! We had our Starbucks and snacks ready for the day. We just soaked every sunray in. Delightful!

We went out to dinner at this restaurant named Sunset. It sat directly on the water. We ate dinner on a dock over the water. It was fabulous. The best part was that we were the youngest people in the entire place. It was filled with all older people. It was hilarious because they had karaoke! We were absolutely loving it. I had a wonderful Steak and Cesar sandwich! Yum yum yum.  The best part about dinner is that the waiters were flocking to our table cause we were the youngest people there. We were dying laughing. By the end of the night, Abbie had been given two numbers! She was absolutely embarrassed but the rest of us loved it! I pretty much peed my pants over the things she was saying about it. It was so funny. Those will be moments, that I will never forget!

After our fun dinner we headed to the restaurant on the beach from some dessert. We got fried dough! It was yummmyyy! We were so full from dinner though that the four of us couldn't finish a basket of this fried dough.

Tuesday, we got up early and went to Christmas, Florida to go on an airboat ride to see the gators! It was an absolute blast. We went here last Spring Break but dad thought Allison & Abbie needed to do it! The place has a giant pig that lives there and they have baby alligators that we can hold. The boat ride was super fun. We saw tons of huge gators and gorgeous cyprus trees.

After our fun little outing, we headed back to CoCoa to get some more time on the beach. We left the beach about 4:00 pm to get ready for Downtown Disney. We met some of the guys from the golf team down at Downtown Disney for dinner and fun. We walked the boardwalk, went into some shops, and had delicious Irish food! Super fun! So glad I got to see my hubby's face!

Wednesday we were up early and on the beach again. We stayed on the beach until we had to go and get ready to head to the airport! Sarah and I both had flights out of Orlando about 8:30. So Allison & Abbie were to drop us off there and they were head on their way back to Lynchburg.

The funny thing is that we practically ran out of gas. We got on the toll road and NO exits had gas stations! We took this huge detour through this creepy little perfect town to finally find gas. We exited with no hope though. I was freaking out because we drove on zero for a long time. So creepy but God had his hand in it. We made it safely to the airport!

I had the best time in Florida for break. This trip will always be remembered. Those three girls rock my life. Although we were missing Sarah B. who was back home getting her wisdom teeth removed, it will be remembered as a FABULOUS trip! We beached it 'so hard,' as Allison would say!

I made him home to Dallas about 10:00 pm. My parents and the dogs picked me up! It was so wonderful to see everyone! It put a huge smile on my face! Absolutely love it.

I had an interview with two nurse managers in Dallas on Thursday afternoon so my mom and I drove down their for the interview. It ended up being at the hospital that I was born in! When we drove onto the campus, my mom was like "YOU WERE BORN HERE!" We just started dying laughing. Crazy. The interview went well. The units were gorgeous.

I had another interview on Friday interview at a hospital in the metroplex. This interview was great as well. The nurse manager seemed to be more on top of it. She asked a lot more questions and difficult ones too. She seemed great. She told me that I would know by Monday if I was selected for a second panel interview that would be held the following Friday. The panel was willing to do it over the phone which was fabulous!

Friday evening, my parents and I headed to our little Red Barn BBQ place for some super good BBQ. My favorite is the jalapeno cheddar cheese sausage. It is so good! My mom loves their corn fritters! But we had some good food and then headed home. Mom and I just kinda hung out those two days around the house. Dad was there in the evening too! It was so nice to be able to hang out with the family. I've missed them!

Saturday, all three of us went to the Dallas Arboretum for the Dallas Blooms festival that is filled with tulips. It was absolutely stunning! I was amazed by the colors that the flowers were blooming in. We had so much fun. Then we went to Vapiano's for lunch in Mockingbird Station. Since this was St. Patty's day there were a million people swarming the streets of downtown Dallas all dressed in green. It was crazy!

On Sunday, we went to church and heard a wonderful message by Pastor Andy on the Hosea love story. It was very thought provoking. So good! Then we went over to Sheila's house and met Julie, Debbie, and Nola over there for lunch. Sheila had cooked delicious ham with cheesy potatoes! It was supposed to be for Tyler but she forgot that Tyler was leaving Sunday morning so we all celebrated Tyler without him! :) Mom and I hung out there for awhile chatting and watching some GCB episodes then went home and spent the evening with dad and the pups.

On Monday, mom and I met Julie and Nola out to get our toes done! Sheila joined us for lunch!  just as we sat down to lunch, I got a call from the nurse manager from HEB that I had been selected for the panel interview. I practically squealed. I was super excited!

Mom and I hung out at home for a while and ordered chinese for dinner when dad got home. We were in a crazy thunderstorm. Some of the thunder literally shook the house. It was absolutely nuts! It kept on going through the night. I woke up so many times in the night because of the storm.

I woke up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday to get on the plane. Dad dropped me off at the airport and I flew into Greensboro. My precious friend Ashley was there waiting for me to drive us back to Lynchburg. It was such a fun car trip cause we were able to talk job interviews and weddings since Ashley just got engaged and had an interview over break too!

Pretty much right when I got home on Tuesday, I went over to Libby's house to catch up with her. I stayed there until 1:00 in the morning! Sorry Isaac! ;) We just keep on talking and talking and talking! I absolutely love catching up with her. I had an absolute blast. She is such an incredible woman of God and love her for it! It's nice to be able to have a friend that's living practically in my shoes since she is young and married. I treasure our friendship!

When I finally got home from the Wendlands, Jordan arrived shortly after! It was so delighted to be able to see his face! I missed him dearly. I think he was happy to be home in a 'clean' and 'girly' environment since he got such a good reminder of what it's like to live with boys over break. He loves the smell of our place ;)

Eek! Well seriously, that was my crazy Spring Break. Obviously, I'm writing this a week afterwards so I've been busy. It's hard to get back into the swing of things after having a break so I've been trying to get things done. I'll do another update in the near near future!

I appreciate and love y'all,

Thursday, March 8

Recent Eatings

The past couple of weeks, I've been trying to make some of my pinned recipes on my "Delicious Food" board. Most have them, actually I think all of them, have been delicious. Of course, we have our favorites though.

Here's some of the recipes that I've tried lately...

Barbecue Chicken Calzones from Six Sisters' Stuff. These were delicious. I put cheese on top too! Okay, so my picture probably does not do these justice but Jordan love them!

Crock Pot Ranch Potatoes from Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. These were delish! They were super easy to prepare. I cut them up and put in them in my crockpot, left and got a long coffee with Libby, then came home and they were ready to go! So delish!

Baked Monte Cristo Sandwiches from Puff Pastry. Jordan and I's all time favorite sandwich is a Monte Cristo. He would get them pretty much every day when he lived in San Diego and yes, he is still skinny. If you have never had a REAL Monte Cristo, this does it some justice. This version is a lot healthier considering it's not fried. Try this guy! Soo good!! (Jordan had to have a side of powdered sugar to dip his in...)

Bacon Cheeseburger Buns inspired by Taste of Home. Get my version of the recipe here. These were simply delicious. Cheesy goodness! Fun new way to spice up a hamburger!

Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese from Evil Shenanigans. Okay, this was good except next time I will put a lot of more cheese in it! I mean it. I'm a cheese freak.

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna from Mommy, I'm hungry. Okay - yum. Except I would recommened using shredded chicken instead of cubed/chunked chicken. Just seems like it would be better. Really enjoyed the flavors and the creamy and cheesy-ness of the dish!

Cowboy Casserole by The Cutting Edge of Ordinary. This was good too! It was creamy and delicious. Kinda like a twisted Shepard's pie almost... which is my mom's favorite and Sheila's least favorite! ha.

So try some of these delicious things! Yum, yum, yum! Oh, other exciting recipe news is that I have successfully put all my printed recipes from Pinterest and magazines in a binder! It's organized too!! :)

Wednesday, March 7

How God Works

I thought I would share some of the recent workings of God's hand in my life with y'all. It's neat to be able to look back and say "Oh wow! That's why God allowed that" or "He knew best!" Isn't that what life is about? Being swiftly and fervently guided by the hand of God? Being able to look back and worship Him for the things he has done in our lives? He is so mighty and so majestic!

This little story starts with Spring Break this year. Last year, when I went to Florida with Sarah and Kari, we stayed at my grandparents house who live east of Orlando. My parents met us there too. We had an absolute blast. So when planning Spring Break for this year... I wanted to do the same thing... stay with my grandparents with a couple of my friends.

Well, when my parents had called and talked to my grandparents, they found out that my grandparents had some guests staying with them through Wednesday of my Spring Break cause those people were waiting to take a cruise out of the harbor. This was not good news. We didn't have a place to stay anymore. I thought the entire trip was going to be cancelled. I was super bummed. I didn't want to tell the three girls that were going with me. I didn't know what to say.

The next day, my dad had called me and said "I'm getting y'all a hotel." I was so surprised and so happy! Dad said he missed his senior year Spring Break and he regrets it. He wished he would have gone instead of staying back to write a paper. He said he's not letting that happen to me. So Dad bought the girls and I a hotel room for Saturday night through Wednesday. [Thank you again, Dad!] What a blessing! How exciting! The trip was back on!

So I told the girls about the change. We were going to stay in a hotel on CoCoa Beach until Wednesday the 14th when we would go stay with my Grandma & Grandpa. Everyone was good with it. Anyways, Sarah W. had a flight back Wednesday night to DC so it was great.

When we were first talking about the trip, we decided to take Abbie's car down because my little two door convertible would be impractical for the four of us to ride down in. Also, there is definitely not enough trunk room for us all!

When all this talk about the change of Spring Break was occurring, I was also hearing back from a couple hospitals back home that I had applied at. They were offering me interviews! One hospital would only do an in-person interview which is definitely understandable but not exactly good since I live over here in Virginia. These interviews were being held over my Spring Break week... bummer. The other hospital that I was doing two interviews through would let me interview over the phone. Such a blessing!

I was talking with my dad about all this job interview stuff and he just said, "Linds, you gotta come home." Well heck! How am I supposed to do that? What if I do not have the opportunity to interview at the hospital anymore since I had to decline since I wouldn't be in town? I talked with my contact person through the hospital and informed her that I could be home over that week.  Needless to say, I was still offered the interview. That settled it. Dad scheduled me on a flight out of Orlando late Wednesday night to fly home for my interview that would be Friday the 16th.

Another thing, I had a cold this entire time dealing with all of this. Not that big of deal but when I was scheduled for a double phone interview... it is a big deal. Especially since the managers would just be going off the sound of my voice which was awful. I was all congested. I was raspy. It was a mess. When I informed my contact person at the hospital that I would be home, she suggested that I moved my phone interview to an in-person interview. I thought, "Genius!" I don't have to do an interview with my horrid sounding voice anymore. This two week time frame or so would give me time to get over this cold by the time I had my actual interviews. So I scheduled the double interview for Thursday, May 15th in Dallas.

Another issue is that American Airlines doesn't fly into Lynchburg so I had to fly into Greensboro. How was I supposed to get home from Greensboro? I thought about paying a friend to drive down and get me... I would have to pay both ways for them to drive. It would be nearly a four hour trip for them since Greensboro is about two hours away. Well, I was talking about all this stuff in one of my classes and my friend Ashley said she would drive me home! She lives in Greensboro and was going home for break so she would just wait for me to fly in on Tuesday and take me back! Seriously, could she have been more amazing? How wonderful.

So are you seeing how God worked this whole thing out? Are you putting the pieces together? My grandparents wouldn't be able to have us until Wednesday so dad got us a hotel. Sarah was flying back to DC on Wednesday night... Dad found a flight for me at the same time. We took Abbie's car... Abbie and Allison would be able drive back to Lynchburg. I got all three interviews scheduled for the two days I am home. Ashley is able to give me a ride home to Lynchburg from Greensboro.

Man, I love God. I love his ultimate planning. Everything happens for a reason from an almost cancelled trip to scoring three interviews in DFW. All this may seem a little silly because it's about Spring Break and job interviews...okay, well the job interviews are a big deal but I was able to truly see God at work. I love it.

Now I just have to sit and wait to see how the job thing plays out... Keep this in your prayers!

Extra Bonus God thing: For my interviews, I had to write an "exemplar." Yep, what the heck is that? It's basically a nurse-patient scenario and how the nurse was able to interact with the patient through different means of nursing... If that makes since. The coolest thing is that a week before I was offered the interviews, I had to write an "exemplar" for my leadership nursing class. God was preparing me of how to do this so that I would be able to do this for my interviews! Just fabulous!

Monday, March 5

A Capitol Adventure

I think I've mentioned it once or twice already but my best friend Sarah Marie W. is up in Washington D.C. this entire semester for an awesome internship. I've gotten to see her more than I thought so that has been delightful but what do friends do when one is stranded away from the group? Go and visit!

Sarah B., Allison, Abbie, and I all hoped in my little car at 6:00 am this past Saturday to head up to the capitol for a day's adventure with Sarah Marie! We arrived at Union Station where I parked the car shortly after 9:00 am. We headed down Second Street to meet Sarah Marie.

We finally found Sarah's little apartment and then walked to her favorite Starbucks to get some fuel for the day. After chatting for a bit, we headed on over to Eastern Market to scower the little market booths. The market was fabulous. It was filled with fruits, vegetables, paintings, jellies, salsa, clothing, etc. You name it.. it was probably there. 

From the market, we took the Metro and the circulator bus over to Georgetown. We walked up and down it's precious little streets stopping in stores like H&M, Juicy Couture, Steve Madden, and Betsey Johnson. Of course, we had to make a pit stop into my favorite store on the street... Dean & Deluca's. I think the girls just about died when they went it. It's almost magical!

Then we came across the line to get into Georgetown Cupcake, a cupcake store that has a show called DC Cupcake on TLC. It looked like the line was going to be forever but we only waited for 20 minutes. People have waited for hours before... craziness! However, I can say the cupcakes are definitely worth a wait. We each got different flavors and all died as we were eating them. I got the mint cookies and creme. The other girls got an array of red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, coconut, and salted caramel. They were so moist. Typically, I would rather eat the frosting than the cupcake but man, this was a GOOD cupcake!

We then took the subway over to Dupont Circle. We sat around the fountain for awhile and just people watched. It was so much fun! There were so many different 'characters' to watch. There were about a million different dogs, which I absolutely loved. I made friends with Winston (the bulldog), Sampson, Hunter, and Katie.

After a while we took the Metro over to Chinatown to get dinner at Vapiano's, a fun Italian place. It's a restaurant with a  new concept. It's a European based restaurant that has several locations in DC and a few scattered throughout a couple other states. There's one off Mockingbird in Dallas! You don't have a waitress. You're handed a card that serves as your tab throughout the evening. There are low, high, and medium tables that you seat yourself at. They have fresh potted herbs growing on the tables. The menu includes appetizers, pizza, pasta, and paninis. The food was absolutely delightful! I had a pasta dish made with a fun funky type of noodle, cream sauce, pesto, garlic, and chicken. It was yummy!! We loved it. We chatted around our table for awhile until we headed back towards Capitol Hill to drop our dear friend Sarah Marie off.

After the day in the DC sun, the four of us headed back to our reality in Lynchburg. I am speaking for all four of us when I say this, we had a blast! It was absolutely wonderful to be able to spend time with Sarah Marie in her new little location. The DC lifestyle fits her well. She is having so much fun being surrounded by politics, powerful people, nightly activities, and opportunity. So proud of her! Thank you Sarah for taking us around the DC on the "locals" tour! ;)

This trip was filled with immense laughter and joy. It will be remembered forever! Love you girls! I am so blessed.