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.