August 31, 2016


I finally bought a Spiralizer online. It's probably one of my better decisions in life. I'm trying to work toward eating more whole foods, and zucchini and squash noodles are one of the best ways I've found to do so. 
Not to mention, look at how fun! 
I'm still up in the air about the brand that I chose, but give me a few weeks and I'll let you know. 

August 29, 2016

My Cat

When Gracie and I moved out, she became really anxious. She had never been alone before. She had always had Sarge. The adorable and fun and cuddly boxer. 
And a seven year old Toby, who loved to play and cuddle with her. 
She had a backyard to dig in. (She loved to dig). And then we moved to this lovely new apartment. she got anxious. They say that's normal given the situation. We tried some herbal supplements. We tried some doggy Xanax (it's a thing). We tried the dog park. We tried taking her to doggy day care while I worked. We tried hiking and running and keeping her so worn out all she could do was sleep. And yet, when I would leave, she wouldn't eat. Left alone in her crate she would pant until her paws were saturated withsaliva. Eventually it was too much. Something had to be done. So I got her a cat. Enter Toothless. 
Adorable eight year old adoptee. Neutered, declawed, house trained, good with kids, good with dogs. FREE. He didn't much help with her anxiety, but he turned out to be the world's friendliest cat. Like legitimately. I have always been sort of indifferent to positive towards cats, but he is so cute and cuddly and sweet. And kids love him. And when I was in pain after surgery, he could totally tell and would make sure I wasn't alone. And then it turns out he's just a cute sleeper and he's just really grown on me. 

 So now I'm a cat lady and a dog mom. But you guys. I still have social skills and even though I wear sweats a lot because, I could blame surgery, but really just because, I still wear lipstick. And that has to count for something. 

August 28, 2016

My Heart

There's a Toby sized hole in my heart. God has helped to fill it with his love and his care, to soften the sharp edges, to lessen the sting. Still, sometimes I feel it. It happens suddenly. I'll see a picture. I'll think about something he said. Today it was the time we went to Hunter's soccer game and Toby wanted to make him a sign. We had done that for one of his friend's games and it was his idea. We made it in the car. 

Naturally, Hunter loved it. This was maybe the last time they saw each other, I don't remember. All I do know is that when I moved I left a sign on Toby's wall. 
You guys, he doesn't deserve this life. This life where there's no sense of permanence. Where he doesn't know how long someone will be there. Where just when he feels secure, his life is uprooted again. 

How do you explain that instability to a seven year old, or if you're like me, hope that someone is explaining it to him because you don't get to. I left a note in every book I gave him telling him how much I love him. But will he remember? 

I got some advice that every time I think about him I should put my hand over my heart and send him some love, say a prayer that he will be safe. That he will be well. And I do. And I hope he can feel it. But oh, my heart. A piece of me will always be with Toby. 

August 27, 2016

Real Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Flavored Candies: Artificially Flavored

What does that even mean? Whether they are real fake or fake real, I still like them. 

August 25, 2016

That Commercial with the Bouncy Balls

Do you guys remember that Sony Bravia commercial circa 2005? The one with the bouncy balls to Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez? My college roommate, studying film, showed it to us because it was in her eyes genius. I happen to agree. If you haven't seen it before: 

Today while participating in my favorite postoperative past time, browsing Etsy, I came across this necklace:
Which is basically that commercial in necklace form. 

You're welcome. 

August 23, 2016

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

August 22, 2016

From Trauma to ENT

I can't remember if I already blogged about how I'm switching from an inpatient Trauma job to an outpatient otolaryngology job. It was an interesting experience, as as over the course of multiple months, I had the impression multiple times that I needed to consider taking a part-time job in an ear nose throat clinic. I began thinking I should talk to a certain Doctor. The thought was on repeat. You should talk to Dr. so-and-so and see if he or any of his partners is hiring. So, I waited until he took a week of trauma call, but I didn't see him, so at the end of the week I sent him a text message asking if he or any of his partners was hiring. He said he would check with them and get back with me. Often times in Dr. speak this means "See you never." But this time he sent me a text a day or two later telling me that one of his partners wanted to meet with me. I met with the partner the following day, and left the office with a new job. A part-time job that provided health insurance. A rarity in clinical practice as a nurse practitioner. After accepting the position and telling people about who I was going to work for, I have heard nothing but good things. The OR nurses say he's good in surgery. The PA US nurses say he's nice to them. The patients and families love him. The emergency department loves him when he's on call. It is rare to find a physician with all of these qualities. Additionally, I have never felt quite so directed toward a particular position at work, and I have this overwhelming sense of calm and certainty that I am moving in the direction that my Heavenly Father wants me to. It's a nice feeling.

Moving from Trauma to ENT is not only a change of pace, but a whole new canon to learn. I have always loved learning, and as I lay on the couch recovering from surgery, I've been learning more and more about otolaryngology. Today while studying tympanic membrane (eardrum) anatomy, I looked at pictures of ruptured eardrums. I found it ironic that after going from trauma: broken femurs, open fractures, facial trauma and many other graphic injuries, I  cringed at every picture of a ruptured eardrum.  I guess I was imagining how bad it would hurt? It reminded me of how little tolerance I have for pictures or videos of violence, gore or injuries. I think it must be that when I have a patient in front of me there is a task at hand, but when I'm looking at pictures I just imagine how bad that would hurt if it happened to me. I can stomach most things in the trauma bay, but show my a picture of a broken arm, and I'm highly disturbed. 

The great news is that if nothing else I will now have empathy for people who have what appeared to be terribly painful ruptured eardrums, and at best, I have a lot of learning ahead of me, and I'm excited to see where my path takes me. 

Little League World Series

I'm currently in the middle of my favorite activity of my postoperative days: resistance free stationary biking. 


Sideways picture alert! 

But the really great news is that not only can I see the pool outside, the Little League World Series is on ESPN. I was mourning the loss of the Olympics, but this is a nice way to ease slowly back to real life. Does Little League count as real life? I hope so. I aspire someday to be a healthy and happy baseball mom. If you ever want to do something fun, check out how many major leaguers (sic) played in the Little League World Series as kids. It's a bit crazy.  I'm not saying I want my kids to be major leaguers (again, six) necessarily, but I would never say no to free baseball tickets for life, you know? 

August 15, 2016

Obedience School

I realize she's only gone for a little while, but I miss sleeping next to this face. 


Also, isn't it funny when dogs sleep like humans? 

And one more thing, you don't realize how much you love how happy your dog is to see you every time you walk through the door until your dog is at obedience school. So much absurd and ridiculous and wonderful excitement. 

On that note, you should probably get a box of kleenex and then watch this movie. 

"When someone you love walks through the door, even if it happens five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy."

And here's another picture of my dog just because. 


The Most of the Time

When we told Toby I was moving out, we told him we were having a hard time talking nice to each other and we were going to see if moving back to an apartment would help. I told him, remember when I lived in an apartment before and me and your dad could talk really nice to each other? Well we're going to see if it will help if I move back to an apartment. I told Toby that he could come and see my apartment whenever he wanted.

He said, "I'll just come with you right now." 

On the way to the apartment, he told me, "I'm just going to come live here with you the most of the time, and we can go visit my dad with Gracie sometimes."

I have never in my life experienced such an overwhelming mix of emotions as in that moment. When you become a step parent, you don't really think "if this marriage doesn't work out, I will happily take the kiddo with me." I mean, I know you don't really go into a marriage thinking that it won't work out, but you know what I mean. 

I had to play the child's advocate and say, "but your dad loves you and he will want to see you and he would be so sad" and "kids get to live with their moms and their dads," while I cried in the rear view mirror. I would have happily taken him and raised him by myself. 

And that is something so special about what Toby and I had. We were so secure in one another's company that if we could have, we would have stayed together for eternity. So don't you try to tell me that blood is thicker than water. If there is one thing I have learned, LOVE is thicker than water. 

August 12, 2016

Updates on Surgery and Such

Surgery this time has gone much better than the last. I spent the first night at home, cared for by everyone's favorite Grammy Helen. I've taken it much easier than the last time, taking the surgeon's word for it that I should remain on bedrest for the entire first week with my ice machine on 24/7. On crutches for a full month, whereas last time it was for only a week. Progressions made in the rehab process while this surgery continues to undergo adjustment based on research of what best aids in speedy recovery. 

Not to mention people have been so helpful. There are so many people who are inherently good, willing to help. Multiple people have offered to walk Gracie. I received a blessing from two gentlemen I know from the dog park, I know their wives, fellow dog moms as it were. Flowers, an edible arrangement, etc. I feel inspired to do and be better. To jump in and help when others are in need. Although, to be honest, it'll be awhile before I'll do any jumping. 


Look! I wore jeans! I'm not sure what it says about my state of adulthood that I felt jeans were so momentous am occasion that they warranted a photo and a blog post, but for the next 8 weeks it will be sweats and t-shirts while I lounge around with ice on my hip. So, here it is: Liz in jeans. 


Bouquets of Newly Sharpened Pencils

Well, Tom Hanks. I put these colored pencils in this little black vase just so I could fulfill your request from you've got mail. Look how lovely this bouquet is.