Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Can it be?

When I turned 2, my parents thought I was getting too old to use a binky. And apparently, I agreed, because I didn't put up a fight. Or so legend has it.

When I turned 10, I thought I was getting too old for curly perms (until I turned 19, and thought a "hair wave" for a trip to Italy would be tres chic, but that's another story).

When I turned 16, I thought I was too old for church dances.

And now at 22, I think I am getting too old for three consecutive nights of fun in Vegas.

Did I really just say that?

Too old?

Well, when I came home with a head cold the size of America's budget deficit (it made it's evil return from one week prior), and fatigue that couldn't be satiated by a straight 24 hour rest (I'm just guesstimating here), I realized....


I might just be too old for this.

I'm definitely not complaining. I had a fantastic time spent by the pool under a 75 degree sun, with long time girlfriends at my side, eating sushi and drinking mojitos by day, and rockin' dance clubs and Denny's breakfast by night.

Great memories were made. And there's a quote I like that says this....

And I definitely like looking back at this past weekend. And with a plethora of pictures snapped over 72 hours, it sure makes it easy to wax nostalgic.


when DayQuil is the only thing pushing me through this first day of my work week, I think it's safe to say,

that, yes, indeed,

I am getting too old for a 3 day crusade.

But... I don't think I heard anybody discount aging bodies taking it to the mattresses 2 nights in a row....


Friday, March 26, 2010

Like a Bird

And so I will.

I will land at 5:20pm in the rockin' city of Las Vegas.

Reality, I will see you on Monday at 3:40pm. Don't get too excited, because such an emotion will not be reciprocated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Wuv... Twue Wuv...."

This past weekend, my cousin Brad got married to an adorable girl named Beth. I had the privilege of participating in many events surrounding the ceremonious occasion, and always feel grateful for such opportunities.

1) Big life events usually summons copious amounts of extended family members- many of whom I only see at said events. Great opportunity to catch up and enjoy the company of those I don't get to see very often.

2) Chance to spend quality together time with my own immediate family. Mom, dad, Tanner, and Abigail made the 5 hour journey from Eagle (can I still say Boise?), Idaho to Salt Lake last Thursday. Parker and his wife Meegan made the 45 minute drive north from Provo. And I, stayed put.

We stayed up late watching movies (never realized A League of Their Own had so many great one liners), drank Nyquil together (a family that gets sick together, stays together, or so I say), and ate late night Wendy's (the use-french-fries-as-a-spoon-in-your-chocolate-frosty combo is so bomb).

My family is the ultimate gift that I have been given. When my friends took off for Vegas, I went home. Okay, so what if I am going to Vegas this weekend and I can't handle two Vegas excursions in one month. I still really, really wanted to see my family.

And here in Salt Lake and in Boise, my friends and I have created our own family. They, too, are my greatest gift. I hope to never take these two families for granted.


3) The faith I hold in family, and in particular, marriage, is always renewed at weddings. My family is chalk full of couples who have not only made marriage work, but are still so in love with one another. My own parents included. I strongly believe in the idea of fidelity and that living in a monogamous relationship is not only functional, but wonderful.

Though I feel far away from entering into a marriage (gotta meet the guy first...), I feel my own optimism waning when you hear stories of family members, friends, politicians, athletes, and celebrities succumbing to the temptation of infidelity, with abolished marriages as direct consequence. The latest examples being Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin; Jesse James and Sandra Bullock. Makes my stomach churn. I consider infidelity to be one of the most selfish acts in which one can engage.

With the divorce rate holding steady at 50%, I fear for the concept of the family. Will it become an everyday thing for children to be passed from house to house, every other weekend? Are we truly understanding the psychological effects this can have on a child?

I believe I have a soul. I believe that God, in whatever form God may be in, allowed us to gather with a group of other souls to create incredible bonds. I believe this to be a family. I also believe that these bonds are at it's strongest when all souls are connected. Connected by a marriage.

There are clearly times when divorce is necessary, particularly when it comes to the physical safety of either spouse or child. I do not want to patronize such unique situations.

However, I feel that divorce is too often used as an easy escape. I cannot speak from experience, but I feel I can understand that marriage takes work, effort, sacrifice, and compromise. But in the end, is worth it. It is worth having a companion at the end of the day, for the rest of your life.

So before I wax too strong on societal ideas, I want to thank my own parents for their example. I'm sure it hasn't always been easy (like when your own daughter was a rebellious teenager?), but I love and appreciate that you two still love and appreciate each other. And I like how you show your love for one another. Mom lets dad go hunting and fishing. Dad goes grocery shopping and does the dishes. It doesn't take grand events to show your love.

Congratulations to Brad and Beth. And congratulations to my mother and father, and the many other examples who have proven that marriage is good and right.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ripe for the Coughing

For the past two weeks, I have been on the cusp of falling ill. Scratchy, but not quite sore, throat. Fatigued, but not quite weak, body. Patronizing, but not quite productive, cough.

I was proud of my immune system for battling so well. It was fighting the good fight with its master in mind.

I even went home to Boise with hopes that a relaxing weekend with my family would reward my white blood cells for their efforts on my behalf.

Not so.

Thankfully, I do not feel ill. I can carry on as usual, but...

That fruitless cough decided it, too, was sick of hanging onto it's contents. Suddenly, I have very productive cough.

And it is disgusting.

Clearly, I have no shame. Because, I am the first to admit. It's gross!

So then I ask myself. I can still physically function and perform my job well, should I call in sick?


I'll just pull the, "Oh I'm sorry. That sounded gross." And cough into the V-shape my right arm creates when bent at the elbow. That'll have to do...

PS; Didn't you just love this post?

PPS; As gross as my cough is, the first draft of this post was even more gross. I think you should feel grateful for my ability to exhibit restraint. You have to remember, I am a nurse after all.

PPPS; Tara, the picture of the little green booger germ thing is just. for. you!!!

Spring and Green

It was a beautiful day in Salt Lake City yesterday. It's becoming a more common theme these days. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think spring weather may finally be winning the war against winter.

As I left work yesterday fully adorned in running attire, I walked outside and realized my extra Nike Maria Sharapova jacket was not needed. I decided to leave it on anyway because a little extra sweat prior to exercising is a plus. That way, after only ten minutes of running, I look so sweaty that passersby think I have done a half marathon and I have an excuse for already needing to take a break.

But as I felt the warmth of the outdoors, the first thought that crossed my mind, after deciding to leave my jacket on of course, was: You know winter in Salt Lake City is coming to a close when 52 degrees makes you want to lay out on your porch...

and tan.

I didn't. But I sure thought about it.

As Tara, my good friend and roommate, and I walked from our downtown apartment to the Green Pig pub to watch the Utah Jazz game and do a bit of St. Patrick's Day celebrating, it was STILL nice outside. It was nearly 8 o'clock at night. Do I thank Daylight Savings for that? Because if I shouldn't, I won't. I am still bitter about losing that one hour of sleep.

I had on my "spring" lightweight coat and, as habit has demonstrated, I left it on despite warm temperatures. But this time, it wasn't such a good idea. It now looked like I did my hair all nice and put on a J. Crew camel colored sweater to then exercise. Again.

Thankfully, chips and dip, time with two girlfriends, and green mardi-gras-like bead necklaces distracted my focus from my uber rosy cheeks and perspired brow.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ghrelin's Hayday

My order of Girl Scout cookies arrived at the office today.
And I already ate 5 Tagalongs. More than double the serving size. Planning to go for a run anyway today... so I guess I will eat 5 more.

For posterity sake, when I am 90 years old and decrepit and the Girl Scout cookies are the size of Big Macs, I will want to look back and show my grandchildren the definition of inflation.
Hence, here are some of my personal fatty, sugary favorites...

It's just too bad that as the recognizable boxes were delivered to my office, a class full of potential weight loss surgery patients saw them plopped onto my desk.

My credibility may have been totally lost, but at least my stomach remained loyal.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"For the Shelter of Storms"

As I was listening to my litany of selected artists on Pandora radio this afternoon, a favorite played it's melody over my computer speakers. Music is a fascinating medium that can produce emotions for me by simply hearing a tune. It can spur on nostalgia, excitement, the desire to dance and move, the motivation to sit and think, even tears and sadness. And then there are some songs that can produce vivid images of my home and those people who belong in my home; my family.

I find the music that inspires the aforementioned comforting thoughts usually stems from music played by those family members. In particular, if I hear any songs or artists my father listened to, I inevitably think of home. This time, Pandora graced me with the vocals of Mary Chapin Carpenter, and as she sang "On with the Song," my thoughts turned home.

And that is exactly where I am going tomorrow.


I am going home for no particular reason, other than longing to spend time with those who carry my same DNA.

And because I can.

I can pick up and leave and go home whenever I like because I only live 4.5 hours away. For this I am very grateful. As much as I hope to never make that distance farther, I know that the powers at bay beyond my control, may at some point extend the gap. So I want to take advantage of the current situation that sits before me.

I am looking forward to hugging my younger, but taller, brother tight, and holding my 5'6" eleven year old sister on my lap. She is still my baby sister, and even when she will tower over me at full growth, I will still hold her skinny, bony body on my lap.

I am looking forward to sitting and talking with my parents, and picking their brains for parental wisdom. It is amazing that even thinking about doing this makes me feel so loved.

I am looking forward to staying up late watching movies and eating junk food with my siblings, and to catch up over lunch with two of my best girlfriends.
And to try on my bridesmaid dress for one of those best girlfriends' summer wedding.

And like Karen says from one of my favorite movies, Love Actually, in reference to listening to Joni Mitchell, "I love her, and true love lasts a lifetime. Joni Mitchell is the woman who taught your cold English wife how to feel."

Except, this time it's Mary Chapin Carpenter who taught me, an unmarried American girl, how to wax nostalgic of home.

And what I find even more intriguing, when I thought of home, I thought of my parents welcoming me inside the doors of our new Eagle, Idaho home. Even more proof that home truly lies where the heart is....

I'm coming home!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shopping Bill of Rights

I consider myself to be a fantastic bargain shopper, rarely purchasing anything full price. And I know my mom would agree. (I had to add that in just so you wouldn't think such self-flattery was ill-conceived).

Well, on Saturday at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I fell in love...
with these Betsey Johnson's....

And of course, they were on sale!
As all you women know, when you experience love at first sight while shopping, there is absolutely no other choice but to buy it.
Or is that just my rule?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two Firsts

Yesterday, March 1st, at four o'clock in the afternoon, I went for my first run outdoors since November. It was a warm, blue sky, gorgeous day in Salt Lake. It felt incredible to run for a full hour without staring at a mirror in a gym. Trading the treadmill for pavement is something my mind absolutely craves. I simply wish my knees could feel the same...

And today, I officially registered for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on April 17, 2010. Feels really good to have another race on the agenda!

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

— Jesse Owens

Monday, March 1, 2010

Diary of a Bariatric Nurse

I am the daughter of a dietitian. I am a nurse for a weight loss surgery clinic. I learned about nutrition consistently throughout my childhood from my mother and I now preach nutrition in classes daily to patients.

You'd think my personal diet would be flawless, but it is definitely not without blemishes.

I definitely indulge in my fair share of Kraft macaroni and cheese, Hawaiian pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, french fries and candy. Some of my weaknesses, to name quite a few.
But more often than not, I frequently make food selections from the healthy section of restaurant menus. I routinely add a side salad to my chicken sandwich at St. Mark's cafeteria. I value how such foods make me feel and the lasting energy they offer. Recently, a patient offered in one of our classes, "No food tastes as good as thin feels."

I am also a firm believer that it is possible to make healthy selections from the grocery store, making the end price result the same as buying Spaghetti O's and frozen chicken nuggets.

So when I see my own hospital's cafeteria pricing not reflecting this promise I make to patients, it frustrates me.

When I stray from appropriate eating behaviors and I order a grilled cheese and a side of fries, I pay $3.15.

But when I stick to what I know to be good nutrition, I am punished. When I order a salad with veggies, beans, and light ranch dressing, I pay $5.90.

Nearly double the price of fried food.

I don't know if this is St. Marks' attempt at keeping their weight loss surgery program running, or to keep their cardiovascular surgeons in business, but this price imbalance is one that should not exist, particularly in a hospital setting.

Currently, more than 15 million Americans are obese, including the fact that 1 in every 4 children are obese. Likewise, if trends continue, it is predicted that by 2020, 40% of Americans will be obese. Clearly, we have a surmounting problem.

The underlying cause stems from a conglomerate of issues. Fast food. Dollar menus. Huge portion sizes. Large eating plates. Lack of knowledge/awareness. Genetic predisposition (yes, it is true). And the aforementioned pricey healthy food options.

Though I don't have a clear solution to this growing problem beyond what my surgeons and our practice does currently on a daily basis, I needed a chance to step on my soap-box.

That I did.

And now, I will step down.