Wednesday, November 10

the perfect time of year because

of these beauties. My favorite fruit of fall.

Tuesday, October 26

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

"There's something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure.

We run when we're scared, we run when we're ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.

And when things look worst, we run the most."

Friday, October 22

running lately.

I love to run. People that know me know that I love to run. It all started my senior year of high school; wandering the halls of Lincoln High School, noticing a advertisement for XC try outs, and trying out. A XC season, a track & field season and a 1/2 and full marathon and I haven't looked back since.

I love to run, love to race. I wouldn't call myself a fanatic though. I am not one of those people who can run 6 or 7 days a week. I am one of those people who has the itch to work out 6 or 7 days a week though.... just not all consisting of pounding the pavement. Cross training, weight training, swimming laps, yoga [sometimes] and of course, running is what keeps me going week by week.

I'm currently training for another 1/2. This will be my 5th 1/2 marathon. I told myself from the beginning that I would never run this one. As a runner in the PNW, I told myself that I didn't need to run this race to call myself a runner. Whelp. I'm running it. 11/28, my dear friend MM, and the Seattle 1/2's hills. Oh well.... I guess it was bound to happen some time or later.

6 miles was on the agenda today. I went out for 7, but only got in 6 because of a] time and b] I was plain tired. To be honest, I'm about 3 [ish\] weeks behind on my usual training schedule what with finally deciding and registering only last week. But, MM and I are in it to finish and have fun. If a sub-2 happens, all the better [I won't be holding my breath though. I'll be saving it for those hills, of course.].

The 6 miles and a full work day have finally caught up with me. A wake up call for kickboxing [oh yeah, I like kickboxing too] will be happening sooner than I'd like.

Sunday, October 17

autumn has always been my favorite

Because I love cold October mornings; waking up and looking out of the faux stained-glass window to my right and seeing the sun filter in through the fleur de lis on my curtains.

I love spending days [like today] walking besides streams, between barns, and on tree-lined gravel roads in the sunshine. I don't mind sipping spiced caramel apple cider afterwards either.

I love drinking cups of tea or french press on my days off, sequestered in sweatshirts and slippers and finishing my stack of summer reading.

I love the excitement of marathon season beginning, the anticipation of races to come, and the motivation of running groups up the UWT steps on a fall evening. I also love running past students on their way home with their laden backpacks, relishing in my current season of zero classwork.

I even love the name autumn itself and used to want to name a future daughter after my favorite season. Who knows... maybe someday,

Happy [beautiful October] Lord's day.

Friday, October 1

two little boys.

I spent my last two evenings with two little boys. These little boys weighed about 1 kilo each. One ate 6 mls every 3 hrs, the other 12 mls other 3 hours. To put things in perspective, a tall coffee [12 ounces] is 360 mls. These little boys were both about 28 weeks old. That's 28 weeks gestation; from conception. Normal gestation [aka: a term infant] is at the minimum 38 weeks. Both little boys, despite their small size, had heart beats that sounded like washing machines. Their little hearts were too immature. They didn't have enough time to close properly. And both little boys were hooked up to dragers [vents]; a 4 inch tube in their trachea breathing for them.

Baby A had soft, black, downy hair; his little eyebrows connecting to his hairline. Every time I lifted the isolette cover, his little eyes squeezed shut. At the same time though, when his eyes opened, I knew he wasn't seeing me. His little tummy was soft and full; he had just started feeds that morning. His mama was sick, and thus, this little guy had no visitors. I was his companion for the night; checking in on him and listening to him every four hours, and feeding him every three.

Baby B was smaller and younger than baby A, but had fewer complications. I would put this little guy on his tummy on a pony [a rolled blanket] and somehow he would find a way to unswaddle himself and sprawl out in his little nest; his arms stretched out over his head, despite the numerous lines holding him in place.

I look at these little micro preemies and am just amazed. These little ones should have been in the womb for about 3.5 more months. But instead, they're outside living and fighting. And keeping me company. I'm spending my day off thinking about them; and wishing I could spend another evening by their bedside [or isolette-side].

Monday, September 27

straight curls

I love my curls and wouldn't trade them for anything. But straight hair is fun every 6 months or so.

Saturday, September 25

the post grad life.

Post grad life has been revolving around two very obvious trains of thought: [1] starting a career and [2] not being at school.

[1] Life in the NICU:
Only 6 weeks in, I cannot explain how blessed I am to be where I am. Coming into nursing with almost zero NICU experience, I did not know what to expect. I'm finding that while the learning curve is extremely steep, I am loving the unit, the patients, the NICU in general. I am happy to say that I immediately found a sort of happy medium of compassion, while still being able to work in the rather sad environment that is the NICU. From my pediatric experience, I was worried. My memories revolved around standing by the bed of a 3 week GI baby for an hour just to be there since his parents never visited him; turning to the wall so my preceptor wouldn't see my tears over watching a 6 month old cry from being in a spica cast [that was a tough one]. But, I'm finding that while the majority of the situations in the NICU seem sad or unjust, I have been able to put that aside and care for these premature neonates in the moment of care.

Premature infants have senses that are amplified; talking over their isolette is like using a jackhammer beside someone's bed; putting a room temperature stethescope to their chest is like rubbing their bodies with ice cubes; and even the most delicate touch can bruise their fragile bodies. So are the emotions running through that unit. I'm still figuring out the anatomy of a NICU nurse, but I'm finding out that many of their senses/emotions are indeed amplified as well.

[2] School-less September:
Leaving school wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be in June. There were indeed some hard nights where I realized that my SPU chapter was closing quickly with nothing I could do about it. But I was joyful at the same time in completing my degree, and at the same time remembering the gift of the 4 years I had in Seattle. Leaving the relationships I've had in Seattle was one of the hardest aspects. The transition of moving back to Tacoma, studying for the NCLEX, and starting a new job kept my mind and body busy. Now that September is here, and the bustle that is SPU has started again, I'm finding that the hard part is now. I went up to Seattle the other day and made rounds to see some dear friends. Freshman move-in day was happening. I will never forget that day I drove up Ashton hill 4 years ago with my mom and battled for elevator rights as I moved my belongings into ASH 223. Those memories are so precious to me.

I visited four of my residents from my first year of being a Peer Advisor. I am so blessed to count these girls as friends still. One of them is now in her first year as a PA. It baffles me how time flies. I wish for a moment that I could be back to being 18 again and sitting down to my very first floor meeting; or bonding with my staff in the early days on the ropes course at Warm Beach; or sitting in gwinn on a Friday night at staff dinner laughing at hilarity of my emerson PAs. Again, such precious memories, but at the moment they almost hurt. Driving back to Tacoma after my day at SPU was tough. The realization that this chapter is closing has hit. And it has hit hard. The wonderful memories are there and I am blessed to have lived through them, but many of the relationships that I held so dear for the last few years won't be the same, I fear.

The chapters of life never stop coming and going. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is continually on my heart; my solace.

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Saturday, September 18

cafe dei

Went to Cafe Dei for the first time with Sara this afternoon; a recently opened vegan coffeehouse. I liked the ambience... big, open tables, a comfy couch alongside windows overlooking 6th ave, a free books sections, & handmade jewelry for sale in a corner. They have a menu of house "specialty" drinks. I got a thai coffee; Sara went for the aciarone [sp?] garnished with a curl of orange peel. Good stuff all around.

Before my cafe dei afternoon, I stopped by the REI garage sale on my way home from the gym! I went around 11am, so the line wasn't as nearly as long as it was at opening. I went immediately to the shoe sections [of course], or should I say the dozens of cardboard boxes filled with shoes section. An amazing pair of $4 tevas that have an easy to fix ankle strap and a pair of classic vibrams soon found me! I found the vibrams in one of the "excess" bins of stuff people already sifted through. Black, a tiny bit big, but for 75% off the normal price... I was sold [pun intended].

I take advantage of the garage sales whenever I can. Besides getting $5 pairs of shoes and whatnot, my favorite thing to do is read the tags on the items itemizing what is "wrong" with the product. Such as "worn and washed, doesn't fit well." Too bad you didn't look in the mirror before you bought it. Or "stain won't come out." Ha. REI is really too generous with their return policy.

Finishing my rainy day off with my leftover homemade matzah ball soup. Really, not to be boastful, but my matzah balls [dumplings] are fluffy pieces of heaven. I decided to make them yesterday after a looooong day at Good Sam [fighting fair traffic]. I made them forgetting that yesterday was Yom Kippur. Quite fitting.

Tuesday, August 17

Tale of the broken half.

I woke up last Friday to an aching right shoulder. Once I got to kickboxing, it started to get worse and worse. Along with my bum right knee that I've been nursing since March, I had a bum 1/2 body. On Saturday, I had a horrible workout as I tried to nurse my poor shoulder. I made myself rest and ice on Sunday. Monday turned out to be horrible too. The pain started gravitating up to my neck. I went to the doc this evening after work. Apparently I have [an] overworked muscle[s]. I guess all the weight training finally caught up with me.

After my appointment, I went to the Y for essentially a "boot camp" class. Circuits, sprints. I restrained myself and sat out of the upper body weight training, trying to satisfy myself with lunges instead. At the end of class, we were split into groups of threes and did relay sprints across the gym for about 10 minutes. OUCH for my poor shoulder. I probably shouldn't have done those. Oof. So, starting today, I'm making myself take it easy. No more weights, crazy running, or [boo] kickboxing for the rest of the week at least.

Hopefully the tale of the broken half will be no more.

Monday, August 16

Q. How do you know if someone is a vegan or not?

A. They'll tell you.

Since my sister works in an organic foods store, she comes home with organic jokes like this. Hah.

Saturday, July 31

Loving this:

1] Shopping this morning for vegetables at the Proctor farmer's market. The prices aren't so expensive as you might think. A bag of spinach, green and yellow zucchinis, a bunch of bok choy, slicing cucumbers, a dozen ears of corn, some beautiful galas, and homegrown garlic. Paired with some rice noodles, the bok choy, spinach, garlic, an onion, shredded carrots, and a handful of snow peas made for the perfect lunch at home!

2] Passing the NCLEX last Tuesday. Missing my exit in Renton, fingerprints and vein scans, and 93 questions later: Erin Arkin, RN BSN! To date, the hardest exam I've ever sat for. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have passed it.

3] Running my 5th Seafair Torchlight 8k in downtown Seattle with Sara tonight. We started running it in 2006. Today we're hoping to revert back to the 2006 racing times [rather than the 2009 racing times; our slowest]. I think we're as prepared as we'll ever be, with Sara outfitted with "Go, Erin, Go" on her back and me with "Go, Sara, Go" on mine. I haven't run for 2.5 weeks. Oh well.

Michelob Ultra times in 2009.

Monday, July 26


My car was loaded up with a sleeping bag, 4 NCLEX study books, one pair of jeans, 3 t-shirts, and 4 Jr. Highers before heading to Mt. Baker last Monday for Reformed Youth Ministries Camp. Beautiful sunshine, views... God's glorious creation awaited us.

My week consisted of waking up my cabin of 9 Sr. High girls in enough time for showers and make-up applications for them all [smile], breakfast, morning assembly, seminars [with me sitting on an outside deck under an umbrella studying], lunch, mega-rec [extreme recreation!... we're talking tug-of-war on a slip-n-slide], free time, evening assembly, small group discussions, campfires, and then attempting to fall asleep despite itching mosquito bites and giggling girls [again, smile].

I filled my free time with either burying my nose in my study books or hiking. Mt. Baker and the Nooksack River made for glorious hiking trails and views. Ventured out on what was deemed the "long" hike on Tuesday afternoon, but only made it approximately 2.5 miles in before heading back due to time constraints. Went again on Friday; 5 counselors and 3 campers, preparing to hike through dinner if necessary. Despite one fall off of a log into chest deep water at mile 3ish [yes, that would be me who fell], we arrived at the promised breathtaking view of the river and Mt. Baker foothills. Beautiful. The hike was approx 7.5 miles round-trip.

Our Thursday afternoon was spent in Bellingham on a scavenger hunt, or "quest for the granite gargoyle and golden cherub." While my girls didn't win, a scoop of cardamom ice cream was a happy ending.

The keynote speaker of RYM, E.C. Bell, a PCA pastor from Newburg, spoke on the sovereignty of God; a topic that literally "blossomed" before me as I went through the week. So many different aspects to this subject; suffering, power, wisdom, calling, dependence, and independence. As a small group leader, I was given a page of verses on the sovereignty of God. I "ate" up these verses throughout the week. Our final discussion on Friday night was on Rom 8 [one of my favorite chapters in Romans]. This chapter exemplifies the many aspects of Christ's sovereignty. This is a passage that I'm still re-reading and re-reading; and learning more and more.

The week was filled with fun times, challenging times, and enlightening times. I admit that it was hard to be fully engaged in the happenings of camp with my NCLEX study date looming over my head. I felt "angsty" all week. However, it was a good reminder and challenge for me to turn my thoughts and efforts not to myself [and to worry], but to others around me and the work that was before me.

Back home, I took a much needed shower, "calamined" my mosquito bites up, ate an enormous bowl of pho, and got 9 hours of sleep on Saturday night.

My goals for this week: KEEP RUNNING [despite a week long break] and kick some NCLEX *ahem* booty. The end.

Sunday, July 18

Since I've spent the last couple weeks secluded in coffee shop corners studying, I've bumped into some of the most interesting people. I've noticed something. Tacoma coffee shop frequenters are much more friendly than Seattle coffee shop frequenters. I'm not surprised. In Seattle, everybody is much too occupied in vying for the cool standard of sipping on fair-trade foamed coffee with their non-prescription eyeglasses perched on their noses than to hint at being courteous or even aware of other beings' presence.

Let me not go down that departing road, however. Today, a middle-aged man who asked to use one of my highlighters commented on the huge study books heaped on the table in front of me. He then asked me, "Do your parents support you? Do they give you a pat on the back and encouragement to succeed?" How ironic. For two reasons. First, I have been thinking on what a wonderful support I have in my family, specifically my parents [my sisters are wonderful too]. I assured the gentleman that I did, he replied with a "good" and went back to his iced mocha and classifieds. 3 minutes later, in walks in my smiling mother. Just to check up on me. She wanted to make sure her daughter wasn't slowly dying during this particular 6 hour study session. And, as adorable as it sounds, she wanted to make sure I was buying things so I wouldn't get "kicked out." [Note: this is coming from a baby boomer not quite aware of the universal coffee shop rule that one purchase buys you infinite time] Suffice to say, she didn't leave until a scone and another iced tea were sitting next to my flashcards.

All this to say, I do indeed have a wonderful support system. One that I praise God for.

Friday, July 16


Whipped up a half-batch of some beautimous Toasted Coconut Lime Glazed cupcakes this evening. A little butter [substitute canola oil if you want to go vegan], light coconut milk, flour, shredded coconut, and a few other ingredients.... and voila! Powdered sugar, lime juice, and lime zest for the glaze. These baked off in just 22 minutes. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 14

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, July 8


LOVE: 90+ weather, headbands, freckles, sitting in the backyard with a hefe.
HATE [or dislike]: Being so terrible at studying for the NCLEX.

Thus, the face.

Tuesday, July 6


4th of July weekend is complete.

Spent the 4th, the Lord's Day, of course, spending time with the family and attending church [which was lovely]. Laura made her delicious vegan green curry that was fantastic [and served as my dinner today!]. After evening service, scattegories, fireworks, and artichoke dip & vino with friends filled the evening.

Today I had possibly the best NT shift of my very short career. A completely "all there" patient who I sat with for the sole reason of making sure his lower extremities remained still and to monitor the HOB. To be honest, he didn't require a 1-to-1, but I didn't complain. I even thought [for just a moment] about doing a double shift [but for just a moment]. An easy-going, humorous patient who loves baseball. I sat in the CCU recliner next to his bed [with a view of Mt. Rainier] to my left, watched a baseball game, and read "Into the Wild." [and ate leftover green curry for dinner, of course]

When the staffing office calls me in to work, I always say a quick prayer [for my sake] asking for a non-difficult patient [I've had one too many of those kinds]. These are the kind of patients I pray for.

Wednesday, June 30


Went to the gym last night for a 6pm workout. Walked past a fitness class that was just starting in the main gym and decided last minute to join. So great... but so tiring. It was a circuits class with trips out to the parking lot for sprints and lunges. Lots of males and females my age, which kept me [the ever competitor. ha] going. I was spent by the end; my body was done.

I've been pushing myself these past two weeks, and today I am feeling it. Oof. Went kickboxing this morning and did some free weights, but was not able to muster my usual "gusto." Rolling out of bed today, my glutes were screaming at me! I'm forcing myself to take a day off tomorrow. My body is tired. I felt like a slug today. Which was ok... spent the day with my nose in my Kaplan study book both inside and outside in the sun, painted my toenails in the sun, and watched Felix pitch a gem of a game against the Yanks. A perfect day for me, the slug.

Tuesday, June 29


At work the other evening, I was summoned from my watchful post in the ICU to help out on the extremely short-staffed med/surg/oncology floor. I was immediately given a shift report [half way through the shift, mind you] on 8 patients. Before leaving, the charge nurse asked me to check in on a patient who she thought might be turning septic. [Deep breath] I plunged forward. In reality, the patient was overloaded with fluid, making him feel extremely uncomfortable and just "not right" [a cue for patients who might be septic]. A dose of lasix and shedding of 1400 ml of fluid was blessed relief for the poor man.

It was hard to watch this patient; in mid-life, struggling with some diagnoses that are, in general, pretty fatal. Another patient of mine for those few short hours was a teenaged boy with an acute GI bout. He reminded me so much of what my sister Laura is going through. She has never had to been hospitalized though, thank the Lord. Finally, another patient of mine turned out to be taking an unfortunate turn toward unwellness. Going in to take her normal Q4hr vitals, I noticed her BP was extremely high [200+ SP] and that she was febrile. These two changes in vital signs are significant, especially in geriatric patients. Tylenol and some BP meds gave her some immediate relief, but her current state of health was not looking hopeful that evening.

I am very ready for my transition from Nurse Tech to Registered Nurse. In a little over a month, I'll be exchanging my 1 CORA/COSI patients or 10 med/surg patients for 2 critical neonates. For the life of me, I cannot tell you what I expect. Most recently, I have asking for special guidance from the Lord; asking Him to prepare me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as I prepare for these precious patients.

Thursday, June 24


While I am working a bit in this interim period of life, I can't help but love being a bum. I'll work a day or evening shift every few days or so, and then the sweet bliss of taking naps, reading my stack of summer reading books, making soup, eating fro yo, vino in the backyard. walking around lakes. sitting in the sun. reading NCLEX study books [not as blissful as other noted activities]. walking to places instead of driving. kickboxing. long runs. reading blogs. catching happy hour with friends. eating nectarines. making joy journals. The list could be endless.

A side note; I ran down to UrbanXChange yesterday with three bagfuls of unwanted clothing. I sold almost all of it. It has been a good three years since I have actually spent money at that store. As soon as my credit slip dips below $10, it always somehow get's a helpful boost. Yes, I've recycled unwanted clothing that I've purchased, and have even returned pieces from Urban that I no longer want, but still don't feel as if I'm actually ever spending money at Urban. It is a beautiful and vicious cycle. I don't tend to find extraordinarily remarkable items at Urban, but do find some interesting things for myself or as gifts for others. Wading through the unique [but unneeded] jewelry and shoes that don't fit, I generally find dresses or scarves to purchase. Yesterday though, I found a plaid romper! I like rompers, and I generally like plaid things, but not together [aka both plaid and being a romper]. But, I brought it home and transformed it. It is now a type of shift dress and PERFECT.

Bedtime, bedtime, bedtime. Went up to Safeco for the M's/Cubbies game [an unfortunate 14 inning loss] and got too much sun; which makes for a sleepy Erin.

Sunday, June 20

Sitting in church today, my bare legs peeking out of my pencil skirt almost froze off. And my poor feet, shoved into some flats, were still damp from running into a puddle in the parking lot. Oh well for June.

Otherwise, my day consisted of a good morning pot of french press, eggplant from Vien Dong [a Father's Day lunch], playing with my dad's smudge sticks [a Father's Day gift], a delicious 2 hr nap, church again in the evening [Pastor Rayburn' sermon on King Solomon's wealth and the visit of Queen Sheba was quite enlightening.], and then a few hours of rummaging through old papers, notes, drawings, and pictures. I smile when I look back on things I've written; notes friends have written to me in the past. While I feel like my childhood years were not too far into the past, when I look at these old "pieces of my history" it feels ages and ages ago. When in reality, it went by in a blink of an eye.

I smile when I think about tomorrow. My day is planned. Another good morning pot of french press [thank the lord for Kathryn and her weekly mark outs given to me as generous gifts], gym, Seattle friends for the afternoon with a much-needed happy hour stop.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll be ready to start work again on Tuesday. We'll see...

Friday, June 18


Post-graduation... my life as of late:

Summer reading has commenced. Before mentioning the titles I'm currently sinking my teeth into, I must not forget the overriding literary work of the many nurses and physicians that have written [can you sense the sarcasm?] the 2010-2011 edition of the NCLEX-RN strategy book. This work of art will be a part of my daily life; now until mid July. ---- In between times, however, I've got "My Life in France," [by none other than Julia Child], "The Ragamuffin Gospel," [a must] "Into Thin Air," [highly recommended by my dear friend, Sara] "Three Cups of Tea," [because I've heard so many good things] "The Red Tent," [another must read, this one recommended by my OB professor], "Living Stones of the Himalayas," [because I can never have enough global health], and "Fast Food Nation," [for fun... and to get me fired up]. 4 of these were picked up from the cute little book man at the Fremont Sunday Market for an insanely cheap price.

Check one off the bucket list. Yesterday afternoon, I walked down to the Korean supermarket a few blocks away and purchased some boba. Carefully preparing it according to the exceptional English directions on the back, I also made a blueberry/banana smoothie [with coconut milk]. Complete with boba straws and all, it wasn't as great as I suspected. I don't know what goes into making boba sweet... because mine was not. However, I made boba! We'll see if I stick to WOW and yunnie [I will!].

KICKBOXING & WEIGHT ROOM. Enough said. I'm back into the routine I love. Day 3 of the "let's get Erin's back ripped" routine has commenced. And perhaps, just perhapss, my poor knee that has been inured since March will decide to heal up on it's own accord [now that I'm not continually pounding it on the pavement.]

Despite the gloominess of this WA June, I've welcomed summer in. How? I ate the most perfect apricot known to mankind last night. It's now officially summer [aka: stone fruit season].Studying is not over, but I'm in the dreamlike state of spending my days listening to Bon Iver, working out when and where I want to, drinking french press all day, cooking my own food out of the wondrous vegan-inspired Arkin fridge. Today after coming home from the gym, I made a quinoa, green pepper, and asparagus salad. DIVINE.

[oh, and I'm on call at TG until July 13th... when my Nurse Tech license expires. But, I prefer to think of only lounging around; because on August 3rd.........

I'll be Erin, Residency RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit beginning a 12 week residency. I received a job offer for a .8 night position one week after my interview! Coming right out of college, I am not surprised by working nights [I've been preparing myself for this all year, unfortunately]. However, having an offer to go straight into a specialty that provides critical care experience in addition to OR experience is one that is entirely a privilege and honor. In talking with the clinical nurse specialist, I was also told that I may have the chance at working variable shifts [non-night!]. We'll see... I will take what I can get. I am so, so blessed and blown away by this offer. Praise God!

All for now. Nap time for me.

Tuesday, June 15

4 years ago...

This girl packed up all her stuff and moved 40 minutes away to beautiful Queen Anne. 4 years at Seattle Pacific University have produced 2 roommates, 4 different residence hall floors, 1 appearance at the Women's NCAA Rowing Championships [5th place!], 3 1/2 marathons, dozens of beautiful friends, approximately 2500 gwinn meals, thousand of class hours, 2 years of being a Peer Advisor, 2 wonderful PA staffs [I love you, Ashton and Emerson], hundreds of 1.1's, 1 degree [BSN!], hundreds of clinical hours, many instances of crying over chemistry, many instances of joyously celebrating over triumphs, and the growth of one little girl into what can now be called... a nurse? A university graduate? It's in there somewhere.

4 Years later, my car is packed. I'm sitting on my stripped bed, in an empty room, on an empty floor. Not quite ready to leave Seattle. I've decided to fill my last hour in Seattle with a run... bridge to bridge [my usual jaunt I've completed at least a hundred times]. Very fitting. And then one more stop at Macrina. And then home for now. I hate goodbyes, so this run will suffice.

Hello to a transition. I'll try to figure you out.

Saturday, June 5

intermittent sunshine.

Today is a sunshiney Seattle day. A week of rain, a sunshine day, and then forecast for more rain. The sunshine makes my last Saturday of studying for finals bearable. I keep telling myself I'm almost done; a half-truth really. Once graduation festivities are complete, studying for the NCLEX begins. I'm telling myself to take just one step at a time though; finals first, then NCLEX.

Met up with MM at her boat for a run this morning. We planned on a Lake Union loop, but decided to run to the Space Needle instead. MM just bought some vibram's and is still getting used to running in them, so we took it easy on the mileage. And instead ran a fast pace... ouch. Between stopping at crosswalks and running around pedestrians, I remembered why I generally run on the Burke: NO TRAFFIC. The change of scenery was nice though.

After our run, we went and sat out on the bow of her boat and soaked up some vitamin D. I never get enough....
Errands, lunch, and now I should probably shower. And studying. [breathe] Here we go.

Thursday, June 3

running highs.

I am a sucker for running highs. I'm selfish. I never want them to end. I usually tend to love them so much that I over work myself, inevitably running me into a running low.

Regardless, on the treadmill yesterday, I knew that my body was breaking into a running high. It's been a rainy, pouring mess outside lately, so that [and the fact that most of my runs end up being at 9pm at night] has me running on the treadmill. I generally enjoy running on a treadmill; I'm not necessarily a concrete purist. While I do tend to get bored, I keep pace much better. Last week was bad as far as running goes. I barely had the time to run, and when I did, I felt like I was running underwater. Yesterday, before dinner, I ran a hard 5 miles and it felt good! Future running plans include a bridges run (Ballard Bridge/Fremont Bridge loop) tonight and a Lake Union loop this weekend.

So here's to running highs. A perfect way to get through my last week of finals. Ever. [at least undergraduate finals].

Thursday, May 20

5th emerson love.

Thank you to the many beautiful ladies who put so much effort into making me feel so appreciated yesterday.

I woke up yesterday to streamers, pictures of my face blown up all over the wall, a boquet of flowers, cupcakes, brownies, sweet notes, and jelly bellies [a favorite] outside my door! So very, very sweet.

On my way to breakfast, I discovered that the sidewalks of SPU had been graffitied with messages, acronyms, and drawings for ME. I had a constant blush as I made my way throughout campus.

My day ended with my girls taking me out to Queen Sheba [a fabulous Ethiopian restaurant] on Capitol Hill for injera and gomen sans utensils. We inevitably found our way to Molly Moon's. Heaven equals salt licorice and salted caramel in a waffle cone.

Result: Food baby extreme and studying put off until after my usual bed time. Worth it? YES.

Sunday, May 9

Four things.

1) I love my mama. I loved spending time with her this weekend; going to see Babies, eating pizza at the Hub, and picking up spring rolls at Vien Dong.

2) I love sleeping. After a particularly sleep deprived week, I slept for 9 hours on Friday night, and then took a 2 hour nap on Saturday afternoon. I felt wobbly and almost hung over when I woke up. Almost too much sleep; beautiful though it was.

3) I love baseball/softball. And am proud of my intramural team, even though we're 1-3.

4) I love sitting in the sun, reading, and counting the freckles as they pop out.

5) I love the view from the 520 bridge; rain or shine. This morning though, it was particularly beautiful, sun-filled and all.

6) I love free haircuts. One of my residents gave me a coupon for a complimentary hair cut/style at 7 salon in Bellevue Square. I was completely out of my element, getting my head massaged and sipping on a free cappucino while wearing a black robe. I usually attempt at cutting my own hair over my sink. Seriously. It was nice though, I'll admit. I could get used to it.

Oops. That was six things. My bad.

Wednesday, April 28

Psalm 25

When my enemies and the things of this world are breaking me down, the Lord will triumph.

Saturday, April 24


Hopped a bus to head downtown late yesterday morning. Needed an hour or two away from campus. Also needed an excuse to buy things. Having been on an unintentional no-purchasing-clothes streak since the first of Jan, I felt completely justified. That and the fact that I have discovered some holes and general rattiness on some of my favorite sweaters and cardigans.

At Nordy's, I discovered that I had left my debit card with my VM ID badge hanging on my stethescope in my room. Blah. Not one to carry cash on me, I was bummed. But, aha.... I found $$ from my recent nanny adventure in my wallet; I was saved. One more quick stop at Urban, and I was done. A chunky pale blue sweater and a luxuriously soft electric teal cardigan.

Today, I'm spending a close-to-home day. Mountains and mountains of studying to do today. I may venture out to Bustle's back corner, but can't think that far ahead yet. First, I'm letting my oatmeal digest in my tummy... and then 10 miles out in this brisk, non-rainy Seattle day.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 11


Virus, surging power strip,... I have no idea. All I know is that due to my computer-less state, the library and the numerous *click, click, clicks* of other students have become my home until the end of this week: aka macbook pro upgrade, my life slows down.

Hello, 13" macbook pro... I've been waiting to hold you.

Thursday, April 1

circadian rythym.

This quarter; the finale of my undergraduate college experience. I can't help but think of what my circadian rythym will look like for the next 10 weeks. A thought currently pertinent as I sit in pathosphysiology.

Circadian rythym; a 24 hr biological phase of all organisms. It takes on a new meaning for nursing students; for this quarter. Hurrah for the finale.

Sunday, March 7

Today I saw a rabbi riding a scooter on the Burke-Gilman. I don't know if that's allowed. I see the most interesting people running on that trail; especially after passing under the I-5 bridge, getting closer to UW. Always a story.

Friday, March 5


Three things.

1) It's officially March, and a countdown to my birthday. 2) I saw a man running barefoot on the Burke yesterday afternoon. I've seen this occasionally; yesterday was the first time I thought, "I'd like to try that." 3)I was literally dragged into playing intramural softball next quarter with my floor and "brother" floor of sorts. My final quarter of college, my last chance to participate in intramurals. This girl has not ever played in any intramurals sports (collegiate: yes, intramural: no). Softball . . . oof. I need to start practicing.

Thursday, February 25


Today I am grateful for:

- Blooming crocuses under the Ballard Bridge, I found during my usual bridges run. A little early for spring, but I don't mind. Like my dad always says, "You know it's spring when the forsythia blooms." Well, the forsythia has bloomed.

- Coloring pages with markers yesterday with clients at Fairfax. A self-soothing exercise that promotes focus. Indeed.

- Psalm 24, which I read last night before going to bed. But am still thinking about. Read it. Beautiful promises.

- Oatmeal. I could eat this everyday and be happy. Perhaps I'm more in love with what I put in my oatmeal though. Strawberries, almonds, brown sugar, PB&J, ect. It's not very often that I eat breakfast out in Seattle, but if I do, you'll find me testing oatmeal at various places. My favorites: Macrina and 5 Spot. Hands down.

- Blue sky. I went to sleep to pouring rain last night, but woke to a bird's egg blue sky.

- Running dates; happening in t-minus 41 minutes.

Monday, February 22

the ladro man.

My post yesterday was filled with sunshine and relaxation. Indeed it was such a day. But, as I finished out my day, I couldn't stop thinking about the cafe ladro man I observed out of the corner of my sunglasses.

Here I was, stting in my window seat, sun flooding the table I sat at. My sunglasses were a necessity [and are always helpful in keeping my creeper-status downplayed. Hey, I like to people watch]. Ladro man walked in, wheeling in a huge piece of lugggage. Attached to the luggage was a 10 gallon bucket, sealed with a lid. He wheeled right up to a table near my own, popped off the lid on the bucket, and proceeded to set up an office space.

While still absorbed in my book, I occasionally took glances up. Each glance held something new. A laptop came out of the bucket. A telephone complete with a phone jack. Papers and flash drives cluttered the table. 20 ounces of hot tea in ladro's sunny yellow to-go cups. This man was completely intriguing. He went about his business. Reading papers, figeting with his dark beard, his bald, shiny head bent over his computer, reflecting the sun pouring through the window. His clothes were clean, with a hint of unkemptness. I went back to reading. Another glance up, and I noticed he had donned some reading glasses. While one of the arms of the glasses remained intact, the other had a piece of string in its place. This piece of string wrapped around his entire head, tied off on the intact arm.

I felt an overwhelming sense of empathy. I wanted to know his story. Why was he here? What was he doing? I thought about the pairs of glasses that I own. My usual prescription pair; an old prescription pair kept in my glove box for the sole purpose of boosting my night vision; my various pairs of sunglasses kept in various places so that I won't have to endure one minute of being uncomfortable in the sun.

It made me think of the topic of homelessness; a topic I am comfortable around; people I enjoy interacting with; people I interact with on a daily basis; a topic I spent hours and hours on last year, as I worked with various organizations in order to raise awareness. I do not know if this man was homeless or not; most likely yes. But it gave me something to think about. Gave me a moment to think not of myself, not of the materials of the world that constantly circulate. Gave me a moment to think of the cafe ladro man, who tied his glasses together with string.

Sunday, February 21


My lazy Sunday afternoon was perfect. Spicy morning glory chai at Ladro in Fremont. Walked to and from, along the canal, literally soaking up the sun. Spent my time at Ladro with a book and Iron & Wine; and my huge cup of foamy chai.

Happy Lord's day.

Thursday, February 18

Don't run under window washers.

The scenario:

Beautiful sunny Seattle Thursday. Had a 4-miler to do today, so I decided to run my normal bridges run (across the Ballard Bridge to the Fremont Bridge), but ventured off the Burke-Gilman to get an extra .5 mile. Was pacing at a good tempo, and noticed a bunch of water on the sidewalk about 50 meters in front of me. As I reached the spot, I looked up and noticed nothing. Looked down and WHOOSH. 10 gallons of water; everywhere. A little scream and I look up at a very scared window washer who had appeared out of no where. I kept going, not breaking my pace. Funny.

Anyways, back to the beautiful sunny Seattle Thursday. Beautiful! My windows are wide open; casi cielo in my cup. I'm trying to soak up as much natural light as I can. It's supposed to stay sunny and clear throughout the weekend, which is the perfect equation for my upcoming staff retreat in Anacortes this weekend. Mmmmmmm. My freckles are thanking me advance.

Thursday, February 11

A little bit overwhelmed, disturbed, tired.

First week at Fairfax Hospital on their acute wing. Seclusion rooms, darkness, hysterics -- evenings in a mental institution. I am learning alot just by sitting in the day room; observing; talking to the patients. I played checkers yesterday with a very talkative gentleman, and won. I tried not to, but couldn't quite help it. I can't imagine processing what I've seen; haven't been able to quite yet.

Tired too. Been feeling extra fatigued for the past two weeks. And have been having trouble falling asleep. I'm about to start a melatonin regimen once again. Running too much? But running so much that I'm eating everything in sight. Where is the balance. Stumbled out of my bed this morning on achy knees. I've always taken great pride in my strong knees. Not so much today. Am still on the fence about the Mercer Island 1/2. Not sure if I'll be ready, but on the other hand, what a wondrous 22nd birthday celebratory event.

But I'm drinking my coffee, thinking of when I can squeeze in a siesta, and am one hour away from my usual 4 mile muddy jaunt on the Burke-Gilman. Hopefully the bridges stay out of my way for 35 minutes.

Saturday, January 23

Psalm 24:9-10

"Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty ---
he is the King of glory."

Thursday, January 14


Not resolutions; resolves.

My resolves and determinations: drink more h20, stretch more, read more, and play more speed scrabble.

Hydration status, better muscle tone/reflexes, and neural synaptic interaction. Sensible.