San Antonio Zoo, Austin, Best Cinnamon Rolls EVER!

I’m back from San Antonio! It was a great week with my sisters and my nephew! I think my nephew gets cuter and cuter every time I see him! The things he says just cracked us up all week long and he just melts my little heart!

Annie, Tank, and I landed later on Monday evening. We hung out for a few before heading to bed. Tuesday was a bit of a lazy day- we went out for a quick breakfast and then Tonie had to go to work for a few hours. Annie and I hung out and got our workout on! Tonie has a really nice treadmill and this set up in her garage:

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We had a nice home cooked meal that night and then hung out at the house for the evening!

Wednesday was a zoo day! After a quick morning workout, we headed out! I definitely enjoyed my day with Tank and it was such a nice day out! I didn’t get many good pictures of Tank because he doesn’t cooperate for photos at all, but we managed to snap a few of the sisters (the only ones we got)!

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Annie and Tonie

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Annie and me

We spent our evening making the best cinnamon rolls ever. Seriously. MAKE THEM. I’d cut the butter by about 1/2 and we also added about 1/4 stick of cream cheese to the icing the second time we made them and it was a delicious addition that I definitely recommend. I plan on making these for Jon’s work.

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Thursday we woke up early for a day trip to Austin! It was freezing cold and gloomy in Austin! Total bummer! We really didn’t spend too long there but we did get to see a few nice views of the city and experience a really yummy lunch at Slake Cafe.

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Our Friday was spent having another day around the house! We woke up super early to make it to breakfast at the Magnolia Pancake Haus since we heard it was a must-eat place. My pancakes were definitely good, but I’m more of a French toast girl and I wouldn’t put their French toast on my top 10 list.

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The rest of the day was spent lazing around and working out. I spent the night giving Tank his bath and hanging out with him. I tried to capture at last a few good shots for Gamma and Buppa (my mom and dad) but it was awfully hard with this kid moving around nonstop! His smile is the cutest thing ever but he will not smile for the camera!

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Annie, Tank, and I headed out on a 7:25 flight this morning (and I thought I was going to die on the take off- it was not fun taking off into a storm- my least favorite thing to do ever) so I was home in time for some coffee with Laura this afternoon and a few hours walking around the mall. I’m doing laundry now before heading to my mom and dad’s for the night since Jon has friends in town. Can’t be listening to a bunch of guys snoring all night long!

I plan to catch up on Nashville and The Bachelor tonight! I must say- I’m stoked.

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Quick update on a busy Monday!

I’m just stopping by for a super quick hello! I need to go shower and get packed because I’m going to Texas tonight for a weekend with my sisters! I absolutely hate flying (it’s scary) so I’m glad that Annie and Tank (my nephew) have a layover in Atlanta and we’re flying down to San Antonio together! We arranged our flight home on Saturday morning the same way too! Can’t wait to see my nephew tonight! I haven’t seen him since mine and Jon’s wedding in May and he is seriously just the cutest thing ever. When he skypes with my mom, he says things like, “Gamma, I just really love you right now” and then my mom says, “I’ve loved you all week long, Patrick” and then he says, “I’ve loved you all week long too, Gamma.”

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My nephew pointing at “tree feathers” at our wedding.

I worked 60 hours in the last week so that I wouldn’t end up short on my hours for this month with going out of town! It was a tough weekend. I spent 7 hours on Saturday with a hemorrhagic stroke patient (a brain bleed) and I am definitely not a neuro nurse! I actually enjoy neuro patients, but during the week our neuro educator comes down for all of our strokes and I haven’t had to have a critical stroke patient alone in a long time. I ended up going to bed at 9pm on Saturday night because I was so mentally drained. Yesterday I was on our critical hall all day long, which I was less than excited about. We ended up having traumas and cardiac arrests all day long and it was tough. The traumas all were fairly stable and our cardiac arrests didn’t make it, so it wasn’t necessarily long, intensive care, but it was just a demanding day. We had patients on other hallways actin’ a fool, people running down the halls, you know… typical ER stuff, but it was stressing my poor patients out and making my day harder! Thankfully, my patients that I had for the day were mostly set (aside from figuring out admission orders since they were all waiting on beds and transfusing two units of blood), so I was able to help the rest of the hall with their patients. Our teamwork is amazing there and it was nice to feel like part of a big team again, but I was more than happy when 7pm rolled around!

I did make it to the gym on my days off work and went again this morning since I don’t know how much gym time I’ll get in while I’m in Texas (probably none- but my sister wants to go running together). I went to another CrossFit class this past week and I think I actually like the gym I’m going to for it (it’s off ClassPass) because it’s not a real CrossFit gym. It’s a gym with tons of classes and they offer 4 CrossFit classes a day. It’s not that hardcore and nobody there pushes me to try heavier weights! I used 35# for my cleans and front squats for the whole workout and didn’t feel pressured to go heavier (I can’t use anything heavier for squats because of my hip still- I’m not pushing it!). It’s kind of a nice change. I also was still sore from it, so I know I got in a good workout! It was nice to go to LA Fitness alone this morning (without Jon) cause I could work out for a whole hour in peace without somebody asking me when we were going leave! So I definitely enjoyed it today! My body still just feels really tired lately but I have no idea why. I’m not sick at all. Maybe it was the impending doom of being overworked, and now having worked too many hours in one week.

I’m too old for 60 hours in one week. Can’t be workin’ like a 23 year old anymore.

That was a longer post than expected. I decided to drink coffee and I can’t shower and drink coffee at the same time, so I just kept typing. I’ll check back in over the weekend!

Tuesday!

What a lazy feeling week! I don’t know what it is and I’m wondering if I’m going to come down with a cold in a few days or something, but I am so lazy lately! I had to work yesterday and thankfully, it was a really easy Monday for me and I also had a girl training with me (who is an experienced nurse), so it was mostly just completing easy tasks and helping my preceptee chart!  I was pleasantly surprised since Mondays are the busiest day of the week and are usually completely awful.

I was feeling motivated when I left work so I met Jon at the gym! He was about 15 minutes late so I sat on a chair waiting for him at the entrance (I forgot my gym bag at home so didn’t have anything to change in to) and I lost all motivation while waiting for him! I had a fairly quick and easy workout, but it’s better than nothing!

Jon got called in to work as soon as we got home, so I made a quick dinner and caught up on the Bachelor from Sunday night. Bitches be cray. I still don’t know how I got hooked on such a terrible show, but I’m just going to enjoy watching this Iowa farmer find his future wife. Although, I happened to read who he chose on Instagram accidentally and now the suspense just isn’t there.

This morning I was on call so I wasn’t able to plan anything exciting for the morning (as in, a ClassPass workout). Instead, I lazed in bed and then Jon and I went to Whole Foods and I ate a quick breakfast before having my meeting with my tax preparer. Sadly, we aren’t getting back nearly as much as I would have hoped, but I’m just happy that we don’t owe. I did learn that if you’re going to school to continue your education in the field you work in, you can claim it as a business expense. I believe he said something about the expenses being over $10,000, but I will definitely be keeping up with that when I go back to grad school! I’ll check with him when I file next year.

Once my exciting meeting was over, Jon and I made our breakfast casserole again, but this time we made a big pan!

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I had a little time to go to the gym this afternoon, but I’m not feeling it at all. I decided to continue giving my body a bit of a rest and I can get back to it Thursday night/Friday morning. I’m about to get ready to go up to the clinic that I volunteer at. Hopefully it won’t be too crazy- they asked me to come specifically because they’re short staffed tonight and I haven’t really gotten the flow down 100% yet (and it’s been a month since I’ve gone)!

Back to work tomorrow, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then I head out to Texas for a trip with my sisters and nephew!

Weekend Recap

It’s been a busy but very tiring weekend for some reason! I worked all day Friday and I swore they were trying to kill me- putting me in the children’s ER for 4 hours followed by the rest of the day in our A hall (critical hallway). I have no desire to work with critical patients anymore. And of course, I got one that we had to cardiovert after he became unstable and I was going back and forth between two cardiologists, one ordering who knows what (nobody knew what- and thankfully I questioned it cause we ended up not doing that). And I was just SO TIRED all day! I had such a hard time falling asleep the night before, despite my Benadryl.

I left work on Friday completely drained from the lack of sleep and I think just from working out so hard recently. I’ve been going to the gym 4-5 days a week and I’ve been doing all sorts of workouts, so I think my body is just overworked! I went to bed super early on Friday night and it was fabulous!

Laura and I went to Elevate Your Body again on Saturday morning for our favorite class! I was miserable the whole time! I had no energy! I couldn’t hold myself up and my arms were drained after doing 150 push ups at CrossFit on Wednesday! I was totally not into the class. (Thankfully, I had cancelled my Sunday ClassPass class early, knowing my body needed a break!) We had a really good brunch afterwards that made my miserable workout worthwhile. I had a hash with avocado and tomatoes and eggs! The portion was smaller than I would have expected and the service was very slow and inconsistent, but the food was good enough that I’d go back anyway! So, I think that’ll be a new favorite for breakfast!

Jon and I headed out to have coffee after I showered!

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After we finished our coffee, I was wanting to get in some driving time in the Jeep! We decided to take my engagement and wedding rings in for their 6 month check (for the warranty), so I drove us up to the outlet mall!

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I didn’t do too terrible, but I did stall out once in the parking lot when I was stopped on a hill! But I corrected it quickly! We walked into a few stores but since we’re trying not to spend quite as much this month, we didn’t buy anything!

We ended up stopping on our way back south to get some Chipotle (fancy Valentine’s dinner) and then I drove us around for awhile to get in some experience and search out some possible areas to look at houses! We ended our exciting Valentine’s Day with some quick grocery shopping at Whole Foods!

It was an early night in bed for me last night. Still totally exhausted!

This morning, Jon and I went to the gym. I did about 10 minutes of inclines on the treadmill and then a few squats and deadlifts and we left. It was the quickest and laziest day I’ve had at the gym! We did some grocery shopping at Costco and then showered as quickly as possible so we could see a few open houses!

The open houses weren’t too exciting and we were both still super tired. We had told my mom and dad we’d go over for dinner tonight, so we stopped by there and ate and left shortly after.

I just cleaned up the house a bit and am finishing my food for work! I think we’re watching a movie and I’d like to be in bed nice and early since I am still pooped! Tomorrow is my first Monday at work since I’ve been home and I have not missed them!

Hashbrown Crust Breakfast Pie

I had a pretty fantastic Thursday off work with Jon today! I’m hoping he ends up with a full time gig soon, so I’m trying to enjoy our midweek days off! We slept in a bit today and once we rolled out of bed, I decided to try making the breakfast pie I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks! It was a major success!

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I basically heated up about 4 cups of frozen hash browns on the stove, then smashed the excess water out and lined a buttered pie bowl with the hash browns. I baked the crust at 450 for about 20 minutes until it was a little browned on the edges. While that was in the oven, I had Jon cut up my veggies and sautéed 1/2 a white onion with 8oz of chopped up baby bellas, and then I added in a couple of handfuls of spinach at the end and wilted that. Jon cut up and cooked about 6 slices of bacon. We added all of that to a bowl and mixed in 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 chopped up roma tomato that we smashed the excess water out of also. Add some cheese (maybe 1/2 cup) and as much pepper as you want and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes! (Like how fancy my “recipes” are?)

Seriously, this was the shit. And I made it all up on my own. I was pretty proud of myself! I think this is going to end up becoming a breakfast staple and I have a feeling the leftovers (though there aren’t many) will make a nice morning snack at work tomorrow!

After our breakfast, we worked on adding me to Jon’s new insurance plan so now we have decent coverage again with Coventry and if I get pregnant now, it won’t be the end of the world! Hallelujah!

We headed out for our routine coffee date and enjoyed our nice cup of joe. Then we looked at some more Jeeps and found a fairly decent price on one! Once Jon gets a new full time job, the new Jeep will be a done deal! We walked around downtown Roswell for a bit after and enjoyed the sunny (but cold) day!

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We ended up going home after our little walk and then it was time for me to go meet up with Crista for some PM coffee! I had already had some, so I just stuck with a hot chocolate that was seriously delicious!

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They had a pretty killer sugar free carrot cupcake that Crista enjoyed! It was really nice to have some one on one time with her since I’ve only hung out with her and our guys since I’ve been home! We can’t really catch up 100% in the company of the guys. Hopefully this will happen more often so she works so close to our house! I don’t think she realized how close we are to each other!

After coffee, I came home and then Jon and I headed out for our nightly driving lessons! I’m definitely getting much better at driving his Jeep! I learned a trick to manage hills without rolling back so much and I even drove on one of the “main” roads to go take out our trash (we missed trash day today). Our lesson lasted about 45 minutes tonight, which is longer than we’ve been able to go so far. I tend to get stressed out easily when cars are around because I’m really not used to driving a manual yet, but it’s getting way easier now! Luckily the road we live on is really calm at night and has plenty of hills and side streets to practice on, so we’re able to get a good lesson in without going far!

This was the first day off work in a long time that I skipped the gym! I had a pretty killer CrossFit workout last night, including 150 back squats and 150 hand release push ups and a 2000m row (I despise rowing). I only used a 35# barbell on the squats and definitely couldn’t go down as far as I’d like. I also noticed that I leaned to the left since that’s my uninjured side. But I had no increase in pain today so that’s a relief! I may add in squats to my normal workouts, but still at a really low weight and low reps until my form is able to improve again. Today I wasn’t feeling the gym at all and took it as a sign. Besides, I have been wanting to let my hip get a little more rest, and I’m going to ClassPass classes on Saturday and Sunday morning so I think having 2 days off the gym totally will probably be good.

Alright, time to go wind down before bed. I took 50mg of benadryl almost 2 hours ago and am still not tired. WTF. I need to go to sleep for work tomorrow! Ahhhh!

Looking at Expenses- Boring Adulthood

Happy Wednesday! I’m pretty excited because I had to take my PALS recert class this morning (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) and it was scheduled as an all day thing, but we finished in 3 hours! So I get pretty much the whole day off! Not to mention that it was super easy!

Last night, I got home from work and Jon and I decided to watch a movie. We sat down and by 8:30, I was telling him I may not make it through the movie! By 9:10, we were in bed. Lame. This is apparently what getting old is all about.

Another thing getting old is all about- painful joints. My knees have been hurting quite a bit lately and it’s only getting worse! It’s not like I’m doing anything crazy. I do stand/walk for probably 10 hours total for 3 days a week (when I work), but I never exercise over 4-5 hours a week and most of it really isn’t that hardcore anymore! I’m not squatting much, and if I do, it’s not much weight at all because of my hip! So why are my knees hurting?! I may try to take glucosamine and chondroitin, but it was expensive so I’m holding off until we pay off our Amex.

Speaking of paying bills, I decided to actually write in my sturdy ol’ budget notebook since Jon and I have been putting way too much on our Amex (however, we put literally everything but bills on our credit card so we can get miles and then pay it off in full every month). Although I can look online at what we spend money on, I just won’t do it. If I’m looking at it on paper, I tend to also want to minimize that number. My one exception: Grocery shopping. I’ve never tried to minimize our grocery budget because eating organic/healthy isn’t that cheap, but health is important, and in the long run, eating healthy will save money on medical expenses. I’ve always estimated about $140 a week in groceries, so I’m curious to get an average over a month.

But to take a quick look at what I’ve spent so far:

6th- $60.10 at Trader Joe’s

6th- $8.02 at Whole Foods

6th- $21.54 on Gas

6th- $26.00 at Cafe Sababa (unexpected dinner for Jon and me with Kassie and Billy)

7th- $8.18 at J Christopher’s (breakfast with Laura for me after the gym)

7th- $6.42 at Crema (coffee date for Jon and me)

7th- $8.53 at Sprouts (grocery store)

7th- $14.45 at Zukerino’s (for baklava for me, Jon, Mom & Dad, and a work friend)

9th- $28.39 at Costco (all on groceries)

11th- $70.10 at Whole Foods

I thought this was interesting! In one week (I realize it was 6 days, but I won’t go grocery shopping again until Saturday or Sunday), I spent $175.14 on groceries! For TWO people! I’m actually a bit surprised because that’s I felt like I bought our normal groceries in that time and was thinking I spent $30 less- so $120 monthly less. This is where I’m most curious to see a monthly average. I would consider cutting back somehow on that, but I doubt it’d be much. We probably buy 95% organic at home and all our fish is wild caught and meat and dairy is all grass fed/organic… I could probably pick cheaper fruit that organic raspberries in the winter though, but they still taste so good (at $5.99/tiny carton, 3 times a week).

Also in the 6 days, we spent $55.05 on eating “out.” Our week tomorrow will likely end with a coffee date, so that won’t change too much. I don’t think that’s bad for two people for a week, since technically we only had one meal out. But we could cut out the baklava for everybody and perhaps our coffee date (don’t want to though cause I love that new little tradition for us)… And not eat out every single week too (we usually only do maybe once a week).

Gas wasn’t bad. I’ll get a tank tomorrow but that’s about it.

Anyway, we basically decided we need to figure out where our money is going. Since Jon wants a new Jeep and a new house (demanding husband) and we’re talking about getting pregnant later this year, we need to really be able to look at exactly how much we can afford. Not to mention both Jon and I are looking at going back to school in the fall, which for him won’t be too expensive since he has the GI Bill, but I used mine up on my undergrad degree and have no more financial assistance for grad school and I will not take out student loans. I also absolutely refuse to be house poor- there is nothing I want about sacrificing my lifestyle so that I can have a little extra space at home. (Jon and I do differ a bit on this- a spacious house is more important to me, and I’d be totally fine having a kid in our 1100sq/ft condo). I also don’t want to be forced to work full time when we have a kid. So, this is the fun time in our life where we get to look at how much we’ll have to sacrifice in order to basically change our lives in order to have kids (since we would stay in the condo if our future didn’t entail sticky babies). Also, I am trying to open Jon’s eyes a little bit to our “unexpected” expenses (like paying for our taxes, car insurance every 6 months, health insurance, my 100,000 mile check on my car, other car expenses, the dentist visit, hair cuts). He tends to add up gas, food, bills, gym, and then say the rest can go to savings aside from a small amount, but all those random things really add up and are probably a huge chunk of money and take away drastically from what we could be saving.

I think the goal after this month of spending will be to really assess what we can cut out and then try to stick to a set budget. Since our wedding, we have actually managed to save a ton of money, but I see a lot of that going to down payments on the car (hopefully we make a big enough return on my condo that our downpayment on a house will be covered) and paying for my education. Since I’m a total planner/organizer (clearly), this is kind of fun for me (and stressful at the same time, because I think it’s important to be able to save money every month, and this month I think we’ll be doing just the opposite in order to pay off bills). Jon takes no interest in this and I’m going to have to sit down with him this weekend to look at his expenses and add them up too.

This was probably totally boring to everybody else! I’m not too sorry about it though. Now, to go back to being more productive, I think I’ll start prepping some dinner so that I can have Jon throw it in the oven. I’m doing a CrossFit class through ClassPass tonight and am hoping it’s not terrible since my lower body is in sad shape, but I’d have to pay to cancel and I’m not doing that! I’ll muster up something and bear through it tonight.

Making Your Health a Priority

Yesterday, Jon and I had plans to go to my mom and dad’s house for dinner. I had to work till 3 so Jon decided to head to their house in the later afternoon. I had already told him that I’d be stopping by the gym on my way there and invited him to go, but he said we already had plans and he wasn’t going to the gym instead. (I did try to tell him that there is no set time to go to my parent’s house, which he knows too, but he wasn’t having it.)

When I called Jon at 3:45 saying I just arrived at the gym, he sounded grumpy. I asked if he was mad that I came to the gym and he said no, that he was just disappointed.

I had actually been thinking lately about the sacrifices you make in order to work out regularly. Back when I was doing CrossFit all the time, I’d tell people we’d have to make plans at a certain time so that I could shower before we met up on a Friday night.

Or does anybody have this conversation with themselves? I have two hours before I need to leave for class. I can either shower and nap, or I can go to the gym and eat and just go to class really dirty again? or If my haircut is at 2, I can either shower and be clean for my haircut, or I can just go to the gym and show up dirty. Is that gross to make them wash my hair after sweating that much? or If I go to the gym right now, I will have to meet up with Laura in my gym clothes. Should I just go home and change or show up again in gym clothes?

Part of being dedicated to staying active is making sacrifices. Instead of being lazy on the couch like you really want to do on a rainy day, you get up and move. Instead of having time to shower, you go to the gym. (By the way, the gym almost always wins, no matter what the dilemma is.) Sometimes I have to postpone my plans with Jon so that I have time to get a workout in and take a shower. I also always meal prep the night before work because I don’t eat prepackaged lunch foods, so I always have to allow time to cook when I’m planning my off days. I really do plan a lot of my life around having time to maintain my health.

It can be difficult staying active when you’re married to somebody who isn’t nearly as active. I’m really glad that I’ve finally recommitted to the gym and go very regularly, but when Jon and I are traveling, he won’t stop at a gym so we can work out. He still gets disappointed if I show up to my parent’s house an hour late so that I can have 35 minutes at the gym for a day! And I get it. I’d be frustrated if he wanted to go shooting on all of our trips or go fishing. But, he can tell me I’m being selfish for stopping by the gym before making it to my mom and dad’s. In my mind, it’s not. I mean, I wouldn’t show up to a wedding late for the gym and I wouldn’t make my family wait on me for dinner- I was getting there well before dinner! I don’t think taking care of yourself is selfish- it is what will preserve your health for when your have grandkids or even just 15 years from now if I have to be a caregiver for my mom and dad in their old age! (Note: I was not upset with Jon for his opinion and he wasn’t really upset with me for going to the gym, but I’m trying to show the two sides of this in a marriage as well.)

But we have fully capable bodies and the way to keep them capable as we age is to be active and to use it! I work with too many elderly patients who are overweight, have osteoporosis, COPD (can’t breathe), can barely walk, and I never want to that to be me. I’m really trying hard in our pre-baby phase to make sure working out is one of my top priorities so that it will remain important throughout our life, so that when we are two saggy geriatrics sitting next to each other, we can still live our lives to the fullest. Besides, when I go out on a hike or to enjoy nature with friends or family, I don’t want to be struggling to keep up or to breathe. Doesn’t it take away from the beauty of what you’re doing if you’re more focused on how you feel like you’re dying? I don’t want to that to be me.