Thursday, April 19, 2012

36 Weeks & Nesting.

Pregnant brain has finally kicked in.
I can't focus on anything that takes real brain power.
(don't even ask me how I made it through finals)
So, instead, I have turned to preparing every little thing for the arrival of our baby.
Cleaning, shopping, sewing, the works!
I'm starting to get anxious.
Discomfort has set in which makes me want to get this baby out ASAP,
but there is still so much to do for school before he can come!

Although I'm due on the 13th, I keep telling myself he is coming on the 9th.
Just wait... I'm going to end up going to 41 weeks and deliver on the 20th.
It's crazy to me that there is so much uncertainty. 
You can never be sure when the baby is going to come.
It kills me!
I'm such a planner but there is no way to organize my schoolwork/his arrival because there is no knowing when the big day will actually happen.
Good thing I love him already.

He's doing well, by the way.
He is still head down... and he had better stay that way!
His heartbeat is strong and regular,
he loves stretching out and squishing my lungs,
he gets hiccups at night,
he loves junk food... 
(that might just be me, but he can take the blame for now)

Just a few more weeks and I can post pictures of a cute baby instead of a big belly!

Nesting = Tasty Orange Muffins

36 weeks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Goodbye ICU, Hello Refugee!

I was absolutely terrified for this semester.
Intensive Care Unit & Mental Health Nursing.
Oh boy.
I remember my TA from my nursing communications class scaring the heebie-jeebies out of me when she told us about 5th semester.
It was a tough one... but I feel like she over-exaggerated.
Yes, I worked my butt off and did all of my reading...
but it was worth it.
This was the first semester where I felt like... "Hey, I can be a nurse!"
It was a semester where everything came together:
Critical thinking, prioritization, skills, the whole shebang!
Over the past 4 months I have learned so much, strengthened old friendships and made news ones.
Although I am getting so excited for the end...
I can't help but think about how much I am going to miss my nursing friends.
I often feel I take them for granted.
They are there every step of the way to answer questions, pick me up when I'm down and quiz me on random nursing facts before exams.
Very rarely do we see each other outside of class or clinical,
but Jenny, our clinical instructor, had us over for dinner and a motivational movie.
I loved how much talking and laughter there was. 
We really have become great friends over the past few years.

Here are a few pictures from a final hoorah with my clinical group:
Cute girls all cuddled up for the movie!
The boys, getting cozy together :)
Me and Angela: So excited for the movie!
Me and Jos: The pregnant ladies of the group & Jenny with part of our thank-you gift.

Love these people! Thanks for a great semester!!

Although the semester hasn't officially ended, I have already started working on Spring clinical hours.
Since I'm having my baby in the middle of the term I needed to get a head start.
I was bummed that I wasn't going abroad like most of my classmates, but I have found that this clinical has been a lot more eye-opening than I imagined. 

Throughout the term I'll be working with Refugees. 
I had no idea that there were so many refugees in the Salt Lake area!

Twice a week I go to a Volunteer Clinic in Provo.
The population we see there is mainly Hispanic... boy do I wish I spoke Spanish.
I've also interacted with Somalians at a Health Workshop in SLC.
While the adults were taught about reproductive health, I hung out with their children, colored pictures, played around and taught them about basic hygiene-- like how to brush your teeth.
They made me laugh so hard!

Paul and went to a special showing of "The Day My God Died"
It's about Human Trafficking in Nepal/India.
I wish this weren't a real problem. It's absolutely heartbreaking.
Following the showing, Anuradha spoke to us.
It was an amazing experience to hear from someone who helps fight against this problem.
She is pictured on the right in the picture below:

This past week I also went to an 8 hour Global Health Conference.
I was a bit skeptical about such a long conference, but most of it was really good!
It definitely made me want to go abroad and help those in need.
However, working with refugees helps remind me that there is a lot of work that needs to be done here.

The most recent refugee experience I had was this Sunday.
Paul and I went to a Thai branch for church.
I was so nervous.
You have no idea how much I struggle with language barriers!
Thinking about how scared I was to go to their branch made me contemplate the courage it takes for refugees to function here in the United States.

So far I have completed 25 hours.
75 more to go and lots to learn.
Bring it on, Spring Term!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Festivities

I was really excited for Easter this year.
So excited, in fact, that I bought baskets and tons of candy over a month in advance.
We had to tie the candy up in a bag and make a rule that it couldn't be opened until Easter.

On Easter Eve, Kait and Garen invited us over to dye eggs.
It was Garen's first time! How crazy is that?
We had a grand ole time with those love birds.

I couldn't get a normal picture of them. 
Just goes to show that they're meant for each other.
Garen serenading Paul.

This Easter was my favorite for a few reasons:

1. I taught an Easter lesson for my CTR 4 class. I enjoyed preparing a lesson and teaching those little youngsters about the Savior, His infinite sacrifice and His triumph over death.
2. This was my first Easter as a married lady!
3. The weather was absolutely perfect.
4. I successfully contributed to Easter dinner.
5. I got to spend it with family.

Easter Baskets! Finally!
I hid eggs for Paul this year.
Next year, the little man and I will be the ones to go egg hunting.

We had Easter dinner at Ruth and Dan's house with Ben & Becca and Grady Burt.
We were sad that Teri couldn't join us, but we loved having Grady there.
We ate the Easter classics: Ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade rolls, green stuff and Grady made absolutely DIVINE lamb with mint apples.
For dessert we had pineapple upside down cake with whipped cream
While there, Paul helped Dan hide eggs for the kids.
... That's when they found snakes in the backyard!
Paul snatched them up so they could relocate them.
He's so brave!!

And that was Easter 2012.
A complete success if you ask me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

One of our Resolutions for this year was to stick within a budget.
But, we always seem to go over our budget in the "restaurants" category.
Thing have calmed down a little bit for the semester, so I decided to use some of my extra time to try a new recipe with Paul.
I cracked open "Our Best Bites" Cookbook (Thanks Annette!)
and found a yummy and reasonably easy recipe:

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes:
 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
3-4 Tbsp EVOO
Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
8 oz farfalle or bowtie pasta
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup pesto
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degees. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2. Place tomatoes and mushrooms on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with your fingers, making sure everything is coated with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 12-15 min or until tomatoes look plump and some of the skins just start to split.
3. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tsp salt and pasta to the water and cook according to package directions
4. While the pasta is cooking, place the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until the nuts turn golden brown and look slightly glossy, about 7-9 minutes
5. To assemble, toss the hot drained pasta with pesto and Parmesan cheese. Top with tomatoes and mushrooms and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Makes 4 main dish servings or 6 side dish servings

If I can do this, anyone can.
We would have loved the pine nuts, but due to cost, we left them out.
I also think we should have left our tomatoes/mushrooms in the oven a little bit longer. They were warm and delicious, but not all of them got wrinkled and split like they were supposed to.
We served ours with garlic seasoned chicken and homemade rolls.
We'll definitely be having this again.

I wish all of the tomatoes were like the one on the bottom right!
We also did a poor job when we split up the tomatoes and mushrooms between the pasta.
We used 1/2 the tomatoes and mushrooms on 1/3 of the pasta. 
That's why there are SO many on my serving. Whoops!
Easily makes 6 servings of the above size.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This past week, I realized how very little I have listened to music this year. Music is something I have always loved. Throughout high school and my first years in college, I would spend a few hours each week chilling on my bed, listening to tunes and relaxing.

Sadly, I have neglected music. When you get busy, certain things just get cut out of your life. I suppose that's what happened to all of my music time. Until recently, that is. You see, I have been pretty stressed out lately and I found myself feeling kinda down. I was in the middle of doing homework and I just couldn't make myself do any more. So, I stopped, grabbed my computer and opened up my long-lost itunes. I didn't even know where to begin. I ended up picking an old playlist from freshman year. It was exactly what I needed. 

I find it amazing how music is so easily intertwined with memories. Some songs can take you back to an exact moment in time and make you recall specific feelings, while other songs take you to a general time period and having an overarching feeling that summarizes numerous emotions.

While I absolutely love my life, it was extremely refreshing to relive past memories of less stressful times. It was during my reflection of past times and old musical favorites that I realized I haven't found any new music to capture this portion of my life. What an absolute crime! This realization has given me a new goal to make more memories now and to bring music back into my life. You could say that I'm pretty excited.

Any suggestions on where I should start with my quest to discover more music?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Birthday Boy!

March 31st is an important day. It was the day that Paul came into the world! (Thank you Kathryn!)
We had a great time celebrating.

First, we went to Denny's so Paul could get a free Grand Slam for breakfast!

Then, Paul opened presents:

As to keep with Hannibal tradition, I got Paul his favorite cereal.
Baby Hannibal wanted to join in on the fun too, so he got his dad a book. 
Paul also got a photo book and some moo-lah so buy a new mouse for his laptop.
To top it off, I got him some chunky peanut butter.
... I've never seen him more excited.

We watched the first session of General Conference and loved every minute of it.
Then I got started on his birthday cake...
I broke my first egg. It was sad.
For lunch, we went to Red Robin and Paul got his free birthday burger!
We splurged and he got a freckled lemonade too... lucky boy.

Two sessions of conference later, we celebrated with cake and ice cream!

Paul is the best. I really do love this man with all of my heart.
Happy 26th birthday, babe!