Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanksgiving in Mesa

Marty and I went to Mesa for Thanksgiving this year. I met all of the rest of his family on his dad's side and couldn't even name anyone at this moment because there were so many people. But they were all very nice and excited for us. I do remember his sweet grandparents, though. We also spent some time with the Smith side as well, but since I had met all of them at the reunion in August, it wasn't quite as overwhelming. Anyway, you'd think we'd have pictures of some family, but we don't. We just have pictures of our night at the lights at the Mesa Temple. They were beautiful. The day was warmer than the night, hence the shorts and coats. Thanksgiving itself was 80 degrees! Loved it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Big Apple - why do they call it that, anyway?

Marty and I had been planning on going to NYC this fall for months, but it depended on whether or not he sold his home in Cedar City. Clearly that happened because here we are! Our good friends and neighbors, Kirk and Heidi Tidwell, joined us and we had a great time doing just about as much as we could in 4 days. This first picture is just a pretty bridge in Central Park. Some of these pictures include eating at Lombardi's in Little Italy, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight, a ritzy, gorgeous neighborhood in Scarsdale, the new Yankee Stadium, and a bunch of Central Park. More pictures to come when I get a hold of the Tidwells' memory card...

Here we ate at Tavern on the Green for my birthday. Ironically, everyone's food was yummy except mine. Roar. But the ambiance was nice and the company was enjoyable :).

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Empire State Building at midnight. A breathtaking experience.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Last week we attended the Tidwells' annual Halloween party - always a ton of fun. As you can see, this year I went as a Geisha and Marty is supposed to be a Samarai Warrior. I didn't realize that we didn't get whole body shots of ourselves, which is really too bad because you can't appreciate how tight my dress was. I realized when I sat down in the car and the front came unsnapped that I hadn't sat in the thing when I bought it in Chinatown. So luckily I had leggings on since I had to hike it up over my hips all night in order to sit and not strip. My makeup wasn't an easy ordeal, either. I felt like my face couldn't move for the first hour. Once the photos were taken, I felt like I could let it crack. I bet real Geishas had way better white makeup than the junk they sell at the Halloween store. Anyway, I think it was clear who we were and it's all for the pictures anyway, right? After the photo shoot, we had a yummy dinner and played some dang hilarious games. Check out some of the other costumes...

Gary and Carleen Seljaas (the perfect costume for so many reasons)

Nate and Laurie Leishman as Charlie Brown and Lucy - loved it!

Kirk and Heidi Tidwell - the super heroes and hosts of the party

Alan and Patty Cottle as the hot Roman couple

Jana and John Taylor as H1 and N1 (aka the Swine Flew) - Ha!

Monday, September 28, 2009

One for September

I don't have any pictures of things I have done lately so I always wonder, will people bother to read what I write if they don't have a visual to go with it? We shall see. It's been a month since my last confession - I mean posting.

There are many big things going on in my life (with Marty) right now. Let's start with swimming. It's not like I've never had lessons, but those lessons were when I was about 4 years old and I doubt I was taught the breast stroke. I wasn't afraid of water growing up, just afraid of being out in water where I couldn't touch and having to stay alive. I never learned how to swim for real and so now I'm tackling that fear head on. Heidi Tidwell, my good friend and neighbor has been competing in triathlons lately and wanted to do better on her swimming. She asked if I would join her in a class given at Bountiful's Rec Center called Masters Swim Team. If that isn't the most intimidating title for a class I don't know what is. But I said yes with a knot in my stomach. I felt like this was my opportunity to finally figure this stuff out and at least become a better swimmer for my kids' sake. I literally had anxiety about this for 3 weeks before the big day. The only thought that calmed me down was that I had decided that if I really wasn't comfortable, I could always leave. Well, the class we went to started at 6am. I know. I barely slept the night before. When I got there, I soon realized how ill prepared I was. No goggles, cap or athletic swimming suit. I got in anyway and tried to get myself from one end of the pool to the other. I learned a drill that day that basically got me from point A to point B without having to worry about breathing. I pretty much did that for the entire hour. I knew I looked like the world's biggest fool in that pool. But since we basically swam in turns, nobody saw what I was doing to get to the other side of the pool and back (except the instructor). I knew I couldn't do that drill forever, though. The instructor said if I had proper equipment, it would be a better experience and gave me a store to try. I went to that place intent on getting a nose plug (at my instructor's advice) because I was always getting water in my nose. The cute English guy who worked there told me no. He would rather lose the sale than let me learn how to swim incorrectly. Because of his accent, I didn't push him. He proceeded to explain to me how I should be breathing. Nobody had ever really told me this before. It made sense in my head. After getting my proper equipment, I was ready to try again. This time we had a different instructor and I told him that I had a problem with breathing. He wasn't much help besides telling me that I'm going to have to put the top of my head in the water at some point. No kidding. I was trying! About halfway through class, it finally clicked with me. I kept thinking about my little breathing lesson from the guy at the store and started to breath out through the nose, in through the mouth. Sounds simple, but for a person who usually runs to work out, this concept was backwards for me. I was used to breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Anyway, I finally did it with more than 2 strokes. By the end of that class, I was able to make it all the way to the other side. I had the rhythm down and it made all the difference. Now, my kicking, strokes and everything else are horrendous, but one thing at a time. At least I'm not afraid anymore. My third and most recent class was the best because I was able to breathe and concentrate on trying to fix some of the other techniques. Heidi and I were only going to go to this for a month, but have decided to do it for one more because we are liking it. I never thought I would be comfortable swimming and though I still have a long way to go, I'm satisfied that I've mostly conquered my fear and that I'm learning something new and valuable to me.

If you're still reading this, I'll go on to the other big events. Marty and I have been remodeling our basement and part of the upstairs for the last 3 months. We are almost to the point of posting before and after pictures so look for those later. I just had to say that I'm so happy to have Marty who is so capable and expert at what he does. Our entryway, semi-formal dining room and kitchen now has beautiful tile, the downstairs has a finished bedroom and nearly finished entertainment room. We are putting a bathroom in downstairs as well that is the least finished. We have carpet down the stairs and in the basement and have the doors hung. We are also redoing the wet bar which is about halfway done. So that's my excuse for not blogging. WE ARE BUSY!

Finally, I just have to say that this year has been one of miracles. I won't write them all, but this is another one to add to my personal list. I have been very unhappy with my job in the float pool for the past 2 years. Pretty much since we got a new manager who is more concerned about pleasing corporate than the nurses in her department. It has been a losing battle trying to find some semblance of the happy times the float pool used to be and I have been frustrated with a number of things. One miracle I will backtrack and mention happened in April when I got a call out of the blue from the manager of a floor that I had been trying to get on for 7 months. I had almost forgotten about it when this manager, Troy, called to let me know he had a position for me. I would be a shared employee, with the float pool being my primary department. That was fine because at least I could have some guaranteed shifts and they were in the Cardiac Procedure and Recovery Unit which I enjoyed working in. This unit was closed on weekends and holidays and shut down at 9pm every night. I am per diem which means I make about $10 more per hour by waiving my benefits than if I had benefits and was full or part time. The drawback is that per diem nurses are considered the most expensive so we are the first to be cancelled if the census is down. This hasn't been a problem until this year. I averaged 44 hrs/week last year, but this year it's probably more like 30. Huge difference. It's frustrating to plan on working one day, getting cancelled, and then scrambling to fit the hours in somewhere during the rest of the week. After 9 months of it this year, it has gotten old. It makes planning nearly impossible. Guaranteed hours were the way to go, but a tough thing to find for a per diem nurse. The only way I could still keep my per diem status was by being shared. Well, as time went on, I realized that when I went to work a float pool shift, I was pretty whiny about it. But I was happy to go to work on Troy's unit. Liz Packer is the only other nurse in the same position as me. Way cool girl. Anyway, we both happened to be working on Troy's unit last Thursday, complaining about the pool. Troy came over to talk to us and we complained to him (again). He said that he has wanted to have his own little cardiovascular specific per diem nurses who would float only in the Heart and Lung building but had never seen a way around it. But this day, he was determined. After about 30 minutes, he found us and said that by the end of the day, we would no longer be employees of the float pool and he would be our only manager. What blessed words! He was right. Liz and I couldn't believe how fast he made it happen and we were free from the pool forever. So now we get called by the schedulers of the other 4 floors in that building and get put directly onto their schedules (guaranteed hours). It's the only gig like it in the entire hospital and Liz and I are the only two who have this position. Such a dream come true. No more required weekends and holidays and best of all, no more ridiculous pool requirements to keep up on. There is a sad part of this story. I've worked for the float pool the entire time I've been with IHC which is 11 years. I have a vast knowledge from working at so many departments and know many people. It's been awesome to look at the experience and growth I've gained in my career. I have voiced my opinion in some of the changes the pool was making and got labeled a trouble maker. It seems that a nurse with a variety of experience would be asked to stay where she could be used most effectively and share with others some of what she has learned. Yet I left without my manager even blinking an eye or thanking me for the years I gave the pool. But she is new and climbing the ladder, not caring how she gets there. For that I am thankful to make this change and have a manager who goes to bat for his nurses and cares about them. I will miss the people, but not the floors. Nurses are the first place corporate makes their budget cuts because we are their biggest expense. This is becoming more and more evident as nurses get burnt out sooner as the workload continues to increase. I will not miss feeling like even after giving all I have, it is never enough. I love the population of patients I work with now. I have more time to visit with my patients in this setting and that is not usually possible on the acute care floors. Most of the time I come home feeling like I made a friend or was uplifted in some way by the stories of people I serve. It is a good change for me and one I feel blessed to have.

If you read all of this, you get points in heaven. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I have the best girlfriends in the world. Because of my many different stages in life, I have many different groups of them. This is the nursing group (not literally, just professionally). I met these gals during the first couple of years working as a nurse in the float pool. All of these girls worked in the float pool as well, and so we were always excited to find out when another one of us got assigned to the same floor. Those shifts were always the most fun. That was 10 years ago and we are still tight, though we rarely get to see each other at work anymore as life circumstances change. So we started an annual BBQ to stay connected and this was our third year. What this picture doesn't show are the husbands and constantly growing number of kids running around. I feel honored to be friends with such amazing women who are great examples to me professionally and spiritually. They are all awesome moms, wives and friends. I am hoping to glean from their wisdom as I eventually start a family of my own. Thanks for the fun night and for all of your years of friendship, girls! I love you! By the way, here are their names from left to right: Rori Boseman, Emily White, Natalie Barnes, me, Melissa Sartori, Nicki Williams.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Salem Days '09

Salem Days is a tradition. Every year we anticipate what kind of corny play the community is going to put on and hope that there is enough small town silliness to keep us laughing. It's usually a really long night while we anxiously await the famous fireworks show. This year Salem did a different twist. Instead of a play, we listened to 11 different bands/performers/singers. About 30% of them were pretty dang good, but the rest were a little bit painful. But that's what keeps us going back. The great unknown and the fireworks. Actually, the auction before the performances is always a good time, too. Marty said next year we're getting in on the bidding. So welcome to Salem, Marty. It's not official until you've attended Salem Days in all its glory. We missed the parade and the booths because we had to go to the Anderson family reunion earlier that day (we're trying not to be too sore about that still). We love you Andersons! Anyway, here are some cute pictures of my nieces and the Adairs having a good time.

Darling Aria with grandma

Ava with her favorite new buddy

I just loved this look

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hanauma Bay

Marty and I had a cheap underwater camera that we took to Hanauma Bay with us. We didn't get many good fish pictures. It's a lot harder than it might seem to take a picture of a darting fish while you're trying to look through the lens while looking through goggles. Anyway, we had a great time because there were tons of fish to see and they were really interesting and beautiful.

Shaka, bra!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Marty and I had such an amazing time in Hawaii. We did everything we wanted to do and had a blast doing it. The Sunday before we came home we visited Ana and Ben Char. I had taught Ana with Sister Chun as a ward missionary, which she still is after all of these years! She's now 83 and as adorable as ever. Ana and Ben made us a wonderful dinner and made me this delicious plumeria lei. Marty couldn't stop smelling it. He said it smelled like candy. The one he is wearing we got at the Polynesian Cultural Center a couple of days before.

Here I am with Sister Sally Chun. So cute!

Smelling a hibiscus flower at the Bishop Museum.

Marty trying to start a fire at the PCC. He gave it a good effort, didn't you hunny? It's harder than it looks.

Here I am trying to learn how to dance at the Tahitian village at the PCC. Marty tried it as well and was so cute! We have pictures...

Here Marty is getting attached to a ukelele. Ask us how it is REALLY pronounced.

Of course I couldn't resist talking to the sisters a bit at the Visitor's Center. The one on the left has been out a month and the one on the right is going home in a month. They were so fun to talk to. And like good missionaries should, they challenged us to give out some of the cards about the Church before we went home. We tried!

At the Christus. The whole VC has been remodeled and we have pictures of the rest of it. It's so much better than when I was there! The temple is undergoing a major revision and was closed. It will reopen in August 2010.

Our first night in Hawaii just walking along a beach in Waikiki.

At Pearl Harbor.

At the PCC. Don't we look authentic together in this one? We thought so. It's just so Hawaiian!

Sunset in Waikiki. What a sexy boy!

My sunset picture.

We went on a hike to a waterfall in Honolulu. Here is Marty in a grove of bamboo trees. They were so sweet!

Just a big old leaf in the rainforest on our hike.