Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ppheww...wait....it's only TUESDAY??

I cannot believe it is only Tuesday. It seems like the past few days have been a decade, to be completely honest. It all started Saturday night after a wonderful dinner at Olive Garden. I was walking back to the car and got this sudden ache in my mid-back that went all the way across. Any good nurse should know this is also known as "flank pain", or in layman's terms, my kidneys were hurting!! It wasn't a sharp pain, just a continuous, dull pain. So I went home and took a Tylenol and called it a night.

The next morning I felt better so I decided to just forget about it. BIG mistake. By Sunday night I was on my couch hurting so bad I was screaming. I will put it to you this way: I did not scream when I was in LABOR at SIXTEEN years old. I whined a bit, but I never screamed. Well I knew it was something to do with my kidneys so I started trying to think back over the last couple of days to try and remember if I had been using the bathroom at a weird rate. Come to think of it, I had. So still, after all this pain and the fact I had felt like I had to pee all the time and then nothing would ever leave my body, I was still not going to the ER. Mainly because my ER copay was $100 and that is just freakin' ridiculous. Caleb actually used these words, "DIDN'T YOU JUST GRADUATE NURSING SCHOOL?", lol. Nurses are the worst patients I promise you that. So I take 4 Ibuprofen and head off to sleep. Around 1 in the morning, I wake up to pee and lo and behold, it is nothing but blood. At one point I actually thought to myself, holy shit, I am dying. And I had convinced myself of this. I knew it was not from a period because I am on a birth control in which you don't have periods so it has been over 3 years since I have had one. So that was out. I knew something was terribly wrong and it was time to head to the ER. Damn.

So after an agonizing trip down there, hundreds of tears, and so much screaming my voice is hoarse, I learned that I have pyelonephritis and urosepsis. Google it. Basically it is a severe kidney infection that if not treated can cause you to become septic (pretty much poison yourself by not getting all the waste out). So now it is on to a rough regimen of antibiotics, muscle relaxers, and pain medications. Oh and one medication actually causes my urine to be bright UT orange. It really is funny, and yes I look every single time to get a good laugh.

One thing I can say is thank goodness Ethan was with John because he did not need to witness all of this! Speaking of Ethan, he is loving LOVING school. He has gotten a good sticker in his folder every single day and I told him that is for the rest of this week he got good stickers then I would let him pick out any book he wanted to in his little book order form they send home each month. Bribery is wonderful, huh? He went to the dentist yesterday and no cavities! Yay! All the office workers at his school were getting so tickled at him because when my mom picked him up yesterday for his appointment he was so excited about the fact he was going to the dentist. This kid LOVES the dentist. He is such a rare find :-)

Last night I, along with Ethan and John's mom Jackie (or Nini as Ethan calls her) went to Ethan's school for his open house. I got to see his classroom and his seat where he sits every day. There was all of his artwork on the walls and it was all so good. Then he showed us the art room, the music room, and he even took me to the back of the classroom where the bathroom is and showed me how he flushes the toilet there. That's my boy. So for now I am so glad he loves it and I pray it stays that way! He is doing so good and is coming home each day and spelling all kinds of new words for me. He is brilliant. I also told him that if he is good all week we are going to the Grape Stomp this weekend at the Winery in town. He doesn't know that we are going regardless, but if it gets him to behave then I am all for it :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

nothing exciting.

Well unfortunately I have no fun pictures for this one. No cool stories. Merely a simple update for my thousands of loyal fans. ha. Tonight is just a quiet night at home with my sweet Ethan, who is currently watching a movie I dug out of the dusty movie box. It is a huge blast from the past. Ready for this? Harriet the Spy. Yeah, I am totally serious.

BIG NEWS!!! I got my Authorization To Test (ATT) today for my NCLEX. I can test anywhere from today until November 11. Holy hell. I better be ready for this. I study non-stop. Question is, am I studying the right stuff? Ethan, bless his little pea picking heart, is just as tired of me studying as I am. He knows how stressed it makes me. Just tonight he asked me what time he had to go to bed. I told him I didn't know, but that it is a Friday night and he could go to bed late if he wanted to. He then proceeded to say that he wanted me to go to bed when he did because he did not want me to study and "be sad". WOW. Talk about something controlling your life, eh? Anyway, there is DEFINITELY light at the end of the tunnel. All I have to do is call and schedule it, go take it, and I am D-O-N-E. Provided I pass. Pshhh.

On a completely separate note, I have recently had the intense sudden urge to get another tattoo. Crazyyy I know. I have no freakin' clue what it would be. Or why I even want one. Heck I swore I would never even have ONE. So I think, to calm my craving, I am just going to have the one on my foot (my only one) touched up. So it will be like I am getting a new one, only I am not, yet it will calm these urges. John's sister Kelly is wanting one too, so as soon as she figures out what she wants then we are gonna go get some ink. Yayyyy. Unless her mom reads this and locks her in her room so that she can't. Ha. When I said earlier I have no clue what it would be, that was a lie now that I think about it. I know what I want, I have no clue where. In recent days I have had a lot on my mind with someone/somethings/NCLEX/my future and I have spent many hours collectively praying over these various things, asking for direction. Then the other day I walked past a sign that said PRAY WITHOUT CEASING which is 1 Thessalonians 5:17. This verse is what I have basically been doing since the beginning of nursing school and I want to continue to do so because my life has been so richly blessed since I realized the power of prayer. I want it somewhere on me. Now to figure out where........

Monday, August 10, 2009

real. fun. weekend.

The most common response I got was, "Lauren, you are insane." The second most common response was "Ok, they are not THAT good." These were my responses I got when everyone asked me what I was doing this past weekend. Because my answer was simply "I am going to Indiana to see the Killers. For the 3rd time in 3 states and 2 months." The first response is definitely true. The second response is just crazy talk. They ARE that good. To me. If they weren't, I would not put this much energy into making sure I am at every show within a day's driving distance. Crazy? Absolutely :-)

So Saturday afternoon, after deciding to actually do this about 3 days before, Caleb, Sarah, her husband Jeremy, and myself headed out to a little town called Elizabeth, Indiana for the Horseshoe Casino. We received our tickets in the mail the day before, just in time, and were ready to go!!

With the sacred tickets in hand of course....

So we get to the show pretty early because it was General Admission and we wanted as close to the stage as we could get. So we are following the directions that Mapquest gave us and we start to get somewhat worried because we are driving, driving, driving and see nothing but corn fields. Then all of a sudden...BAM! A Casino! In the middle of a freakin' corn field! And that is no exaggeration. Anyway it was pretty bad ass because they had signs and banners of The Killers up all over for the show. Just in case you want to know what they looked like....

There ya go. Anywho as we were walking up, Sarah and I were really psyched. We were actually in Indiana about to see the Killers. Again. Ha.

So we get in. First order of business. Drink stand. Duh. So after a combination of Miller Chill, Miller Genuine Draft, a Long Island Ice Tea, a Margarita, a Bacardi w/ Pineapple Juice, and a Strawberry Vodka Lemonade (among ALL of us, not just me ha) we were ready to find our spots. At this point it is about an hour before the OPENING band comes on. So we have to keep ourselves entertained. With just a camera. Ha ha. Don't worry I will spare you those pictures. At this point, it is 95 degrees outside and we are surrounded by about 1,000 people crowded up shoulder to shoulder at the stage. And it was still a good hour and a half before our boys were up. I honestly cannot remember being that sweaty or hot in my entire life.

But I had a sweet boyfriend to keep me company. And Jeremy had me laughing just about the whole time. So FINALLY the sun went down and the tunes turned up. They ROCKED it. Each show just gets better and better. In case you want to see my future husband, Brandon Flowers (lead singer)...here you are:

He is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. And has the voice of an angel. No doubt. Oh and my favorite thing? They have this K that they put on the stage that lights up during songs. Pretty bad ass. Take a lookie:

After the show, and what I can only consider somewhat of an out-of-body experience for me, lol, we decided since we were there...why not hit some slot machines! I thought I would feel like such an adult, and I did, so we gave it a whirl....

As soon as that second picture was taken, I realized I had lost my debit card. In a CASINO. Shit. But oh well. No fraudulent charges and got it cancelled, so life was good. Oh and Caleb decided to be a big spender and put in a $5 bill. He cashed out when he had won $2.25 to total $7.25. woop woop.

The whole weekend was a total success. It started out fun when I went out Friday night with John's sister, Kelly, whom I love to death and had an absolute freakin' BLAST with! And at some point she will read this so Kel I just have one thing to say..."The 80's called...." lol. Sunday was spent sleeping alllll day. Cuz I hardly did all weekend. Until next time...

Monday, August 3, 2009

one of those days.

Well, this day started out awesome. Today was Ethan's first day of Kindergarten. Well, kind of. We (meaning me, John, and the rugrat) went and filled out some papers, paid a lot of money, signed him up for the YMCA after program, and then left. He won't actually start going everyday like a real schooler until August 17th. This day is the birthday of a dear friend whom I miss so much and I wish she was here for me to celebrate with her, so I think it is God's way of saying Ethan is looked out for :-)

Anyway, that was fun. And I am glad John and I took him together. It is a day we have been thinking about for a long time and it was nice having him there. Then it was off to work. Which normally I would be bitching about, but at this point in my life I am so very thankful and blessed to the wonderful family who gave this kid a break. I was desperate. And God sent them right to me. So work was good. On that note, I got home and got to check out the pictures from the Green Day concert I went to with Sarah this past Friday night. It was a kick-ass show, which surprised me. I like Green Day's old jams, hate their new stuff, but we danced our booties off and it was nice having a night off after working 50 some odd hours last week. Check these out:

Sarah loves being artsy-fartsy.
wrong camera. oh well.

We were just too cool for school.
we thought we would both be artsy. we think it's cool.

That's when the beer made us dance :-)

Anywho, a great night with a great friend. Once I got home this day went down the toilet, for sure. Maybe it is me being selfish, maybe it is me being a big baby. But just for today, I am going to allow myself to do so. First of all, when I lost my job three weeks ago, I decided that this past Friday would be Ethan's last day at daycare since I was not working and could not afford it. Plus he would be starting school, so what would it matter. Well now he is only going 2 days a week until Aug. 17th and I am helping a friend out at their business M-F allllll day. Which is wonderful, believe me, because it is keeping the bills paid. But Mom sleeps all day from working the night-shift so she can't keep him during the day. My impulsive self should have thought this through before I jerked him out of daycare to save a buck or two. Oh well. Now I know better.
That is just my first complaint so please bare with me. Again, I am just being a big baby tonight. I want a job as a nurse, damn it. I worked my behind off and sacrificed EVERYTHING to do this. Now because of some mess at Hendersonville, I am no longer working there. Ya know how all you hear on the tv is how there is such a nursing shortage? Yeah, BS! There are jobs, alright, but no one will hire you as a new grad. They want experienced nurses. My boards have been put off until now and it is near impossible to find something. Which is depressing, especially since student loan repayment starts in a couple of months. ah. I know this will all be ok. It is just heartbreaking to work so hard for something, then graduate and feel like you will never get a job. I know something will come up, it is just hard to see that right now. But trust me, I am just thankful to have A job...any job. So I am content for now :-)
All of this stress is making me not a very nice person. Caleb is not liking it at all. And being an hour away from him, so only seeing him once a week if I am lucky is really wearing on us. God bless his soul for putting up with me. I just wish he could come down to my level for just a second and see where I come from. I don't expect him to get it. He has it all together. And I am beyond thrilled for him, as he has worked his butt off too. It just reminds me of how crazy/hectic/unorganized my life is and makes me embarassed because I am nowhere near where he is. I don't know why I feel embarassed because he loves me no matter what. Either way, all of this stress is wearing on us big time so for now I am just putting it all in God's hands. His plan is bigger. I just wish he would show me a little bit of it.
I have been praying for so many answers in my life lately that it is not even funny. Have you ever had someone who was such a huge part of your life at one point all of a sudden disappear? Then years later, for no rhyme or reason they are back? And it makes you rethink everything in your life. Why did you leave in the first place? If I give all this up for you, would it be like it used to? Well I have. God, please give me some answers. I am surely going crazy and making everyone else around me crazy as well. Until next time :-)

Oh and p.s. my mom just called and we have found someone to keep little man. What would I do without her?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Every Mile A Memory

For a couple of years now I have done nothing but complain about the ol' Oldsmobile Alero that I have called mine for 5 years now. So it was no surprise when, almost immediately after getting that first paycheck as a college graduate, I splurged and bought myself a new car :-) which I love entirely, might I add. I deserve it. Period.

But enough about that. Anywho, I sold that car about 2 hours ago. I thought I would be so glad to get rid of it. But once I pulled up in the driveway and it was gone, it hit me how many memories I had in that thing.

Yes, it pissed me off more than anything, ha, with its windows that do not roll up and down but rather you have to roll them up and wedge something in it to keep it from falling down. Anyone who has ridden with me in the last year when I went to a drive-through to order food, or if you were lucky to have been present at one of the many nursing group automobile bitch sessions, is sure to have heard me tell how embarrassed I was every time I went to get food because I had to open my door to pay and get my food, haha. They also heard me bitch about its rear-view mirror that fell off, the dent in the driver's side of the door that caused big fat rain drops to hit me when it poured down, the air conditioner that only blew air if you put it on level 4, meaning it was either melt to death, or get blown away. There was NO middle ground. The dashboard that looked like it melted. Cuz it did. For a while, the gear shift had no button to push in as you changed gears, so you had to stick a pen down in it to switch gears. And the turning signal did not work so I got the finger from other drivers at least 200 times. Fixed the last two things, though. All of these things were just the beginning.

But despite all that stuff, that car holds more memories than anything else I have ever owned. One week to the day before my precious Ethan was born, John bought me this car. It was my second best gift from him, second to Ethan of course. I am going to name some memories I will always think of when I think of the A

I drove to the hospital in labor in that car. I brought my newborn son home in the backseat of that car. I have now watched him go from a rear-facing infant seat, to a forward facing carseat, and now to just a booster seat. I will never forget the hundreds of times I found that "missing" bottle of milk under the front seats, where the milk was in solid form (yuck). It took me to UT games, vacations, concerts, and just out for late nights. I have fought in it, screamed and cried. The first place I ever went as Lauren West was as I drove off to my honeymoon in that car, with it all decorated up. I also was in that car when we decided to end it.

I left my high school graduation in it. And I went to my first day of college in it. I also put my LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY sticker on the back window. And I also went back and forth, an hour each way, to every single day of college for 4 years (which may explain the 150,000 miles I put on it in less than 5 years). Then I arrived at, and left my college graduation in it. I have gotten all my tickets in it and had all my wrecks in it. On bad days, it was my peaceful place, where I was alone with my thoughts and my music to cry, scream, or talk to myself haha. To clear my head and gather myself. On wonderful days, I drove it like hell to get wherever I was going that made me so excited.

In between those two graduations, I fell in love while sitting in that front seat once. I spent many lovestruck nights cruising around with him and talking about how crazy we were about each other. I also drove away from that same love, in that car.

Heard the words "I love you" from my current love for the first time while driving down the interstate. In that car.

I have made friends and lost friends in it. Late nights riding around laughing so hard I was crying. Yeah, that happened a lot. Late nights riding around upset, asking advice from whoever was in the front seat, trying to figure out what I was going to do. Yeah, that happened a lot too. A few cigarette burns, when we thought we were too cool and got a little too hand-gesture happy while holding one of them. Countless trips in the middle of the night to go hang out with someone because they were bored. Gotten flowers, notes, cards, and all kinds of goodies left for me in that front seat.

It may seem a little silly. Writing all this. Thinking about all this. But when I look back I GREW UP in that vehicle. All my firsts and lasts of my life since I was 16 have been while I had it. Farewell, ol' red! You will be missed!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

fun in the sun

Ethan and I had a little visitor today, sweet little Brenna. Her daddy brought her over because apparently they were bored, too, which worked out perfectly for us!! Since Memaw was sleeping inside, we had to come up with something to do outside. So we pulled out the Shark Slip-N-Slide that the Easter Bunny brought for Ethan. Had I known the hassle this thing would be, I would have asked the Easter Bunny to bring something much simpler :-)

We finally got it up and running though, after three hose pipes, one bottle of dishwashing detergent (for extra good slippage), a huge hole, and lots of super glue! So while Jerred and I played Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It, the kids were up to no good on the porch....(by the way, Brenna didn't bring her bathing suit so she had to wear some of E-Man's swimming trunks, lol, too freakin cute)....

We *finally* got the mighty slip-n-slide done and it was go time! But it took Ethan a while, lol. Instead of running and sliding onto it, he wanted to jump. And I am pretty amazed that he did not break at least one leg....

Brenna *finally* tried it...and had a little trouble figuring it out, lol.....

They had such a blast! And I even got a little bribery for Ethan when he is about 16 and brings his girlfriend over :-)

Those little rascals even talked me into doing it...and it was **c-o-l-d**

All in all, a really good day! Ethan and Brenna had a blast and my tan is looking pretty good after being out there all day :-)

Another day in the sun tomorrow planned when we go over to Ethan's Aunt Doi (kelly's) house to swim with Doi and Nini. Should be a blast!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

....and bake at 350!

After having lunch with my grandparents today at Longhorns (delicious, might I add), Mr. Ethan wanted to rent a movie at Redbox so we did. Once we got home I figured it would be the perfect night to do what I had scheduled for last night and bake us some homemade chocolate chip cookies. He was super excited and so was I. We had a blast, made a complete mess, and chowed down afterward!

Getting ready for some hard core baking!

Adding some butter....

Ethan insisted on taking some pics himself...so...some more butter and sugar!

ethan got his little paws in the flour...so i joined along.

and that is when things took a wrong turn...or maybe a right one :-)

ok it's time to be serious. now adding the best part....

of course we had to have a taste test....

adding the finishing touches....

The best part of the cookies was definitely the process of making them. Let's just say we both got a little distracted and they were not as good as we had hoped :-/

Oh well. We had some fun. And Ethan loves to cook! Tonight was a good night, for sure. John came and got Ethan afterward so that I can study for my big test tomorrow. Caleb also takes his boards tomorrow so everyone say an extra prayer for him. I know both of us will do great! Somehow we always do.