Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Work, Homesickness, Relief, Love

I'm "relaxing". Really, I start getting comfortable and then I hear loud booming above my head (we don't have a third floor) so I sit up with a start and remember that it's the same heavy footsteps that have been tramping above in our attic(? -- I wasn't aware we had an attic) for the last thirty minutes.

I "cleaned". Really, I shoved things into a trash bag, piled my clean laundry on my bed, and put my clothes basket in the closet. I had books spread everywhere earlier this week but finally made my way to the library. I could see myself entering that building over and over in the future, always feeling my insides balance and become neutral as my feet step over the shadows along the main path. It's easy to put one foot in front of the other.

On Monday I came home from work feeling tired (quite exhausted) and upset. Actually, I had gone to Panera Bread after work for some soup and to read. It's my new "thing" I guess, to sit at Panera Bread, hunched over some popular novel that I picked up from the library. I was in the middle of this book, The Rose Variations, so emotionally involved in the main character's self-consciousness and it just made me sad. There was a letter on my bed from Ashley and with my already somber mood, I just became overwhelmed with missing all of my friends. It's not that I feel lonely, because I definitely do not (I've been introduced to such wonderful people), but it made me miss the familiarity of work and friends and school and routine. Tuesday morning I was hit with the realization that when I move to South Carolina *for real* it's going to be even harder to adjust. David said that this is ridiculous because I've "made more friends" than he did in an entire year, but it's just really hitting me that it's not so easy to escape Florida. I miss the springs, the beach, the long drives to work, coming home to Ashley.

Everything is lining up quite nicely here for me. I feel so much love from my partner, I feel doted upon, I feel beautiful most days, I feel confident and warm. I scour through novels and novels and feel like I did so many summers ago in North Carolina. I feel young and alive and unburdened. Without going into much more detail than that, I really am ready to make this state my new home, and I think it may be ready for me.

This weekend should be wonderful. I get to spend it in Charleston with my very good friends from Florida and my little honeypot. Sarah and I have been talking about things to do and regardless of what we do, I'm so ready to giggle with her (and perhaps hoist her upon my shoulders, as she promised).

And now, photos:

This is the main branch of the Richland County Public Libraries. It's located downtown and apparently won a national award in 2001 for best library. I rave about this place all the time, and finally brought one of my cameras with me today.

This is the long hallway you see after walking through the side entrance.. It was kind of cloudy out today but normally those metal beams along the window cast wonderful and intricate shadows. The foliage on the right come from the children's library below the main floor and are all healthy, living, wonderful trees/plants (:

This is standing on the main floor, looking up at the floors above (there is an escalator to the right, not pictured)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day Off

I have had a very busy (and weird) work week. Without going into super boring details about every single day, I will say that on Tuesday I got to see my first trauma -- a 16 y/o with two gunshot wounds. He was fully alert/awake/orientated when they put a chest tube in (no meds) and a freaking liter of blood just splurged out, went all over everyone. It was awesome. That night we went over to Lauren's house (who is one of our small group leaders) for ice cream sundaes and hanging out.

Yesterday I just had an education thing at the hospital, so afterward I went to the library (I keep forgetting to bring my camera there!) to return some books and check out more. I'm telling you Florida peeps - this library is amazing. Afterward I headed to Panera Bread (they got rid of the creamy tomato soup for the summer! psh) and read about half of one of my books, then met up with David at the gym. They were playing The Golden Compass in the cardio cinema, but I only got to see about 45-minutes of it. Looks pretty good, so I added to my Netflix queue.

I haven't been feeling well today so I've sat in bed and been sort of productive. Our hotel for Charleston is finally booked! I've been leafing through our Seattle books in an attempt to narrow down the places we can/can't see. Washington seems to be such an interesting and diverse state, and ten days just does not seem to be enough!

I've been realizing over the past few days that it is very difficult to keep up with everyone in Florida, especially over the phone. But I was able to talk to Abraham and Ashley for a bit last night and it simultaneously made me happy and sad. I really really miss Ashley.

On to happy topics! This past weekend we went tubing down the Congaree River for Josh's birthday. I don't have any photos from the actual tubing part (for obvious reasons), but we grilled out afterward [again, most photos by David]T:

This is Jay. He always makes faces at the camera. I think it's because he's a photographer and most of us photographers feel incredibly awkward when our equipment turns on us.

This is a creepy dog that was there.

This is Josh blushing. He's getting married in October!

Josh's Sponge Bob cake

David's always looking at my back

I took a million pictures of Jay with this girl because for once he didn't seem to notice the camera on him. The light was hard to deal with.

Steven, Stephen, and Jay having an intellectual conversation

And this is from today. Sarah has potted some unknown plants and placed them on our kitchen windowsill. The little green guys made me smile (:


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tucked In

Beautiful South Carolina skies as we drove balls onto the green. (:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Positive Feedback

Well, guys. I just read David's first post, and he is right (of course) - I do wish he would have told me about helping Mr. Chicken Wings out... I'm so proud of him! For those of you who don't know David (though I think most of you do), he is generally pretty reserved (especially with strangers) and quiet. And his attitude toward giving change out was spot on -- which is why I usually push him to the side of me when we're walking by said homeless person. I get really uncomfortable when I have change/cash in my pocket, super guilty feelings and all. Like he said, this isn't the right attitude to have, but nonetheless we have it. Anyway, I called him right after I read it. He acted really bashful about it, but I am just really really proud of him! I hope you all can encourage him when you see him to keep that servant's mindset for a lifetime.

I've had to work three 12-hr shifts in a row, and I was a bit worried about it, but it seems as though I have pulled through fine. Not too much had happened at work until today. I got to see my first real-live-in-person Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG - prounounced "cabbage") today! While our floor doesn't care for post-operative CABG patients, I went ahead and asked my nursing manager if I could observe a surgery for one our pre-operative patients. He coordinated the whole thing, so I went to work EARLY this morning so I could scrub in and watch a surgeon saw through a sternum, cut pieces of fat away from the heart, suture a triple bypass, and everything else that goes along with it. Tonight I spent almost two hours telling my entire experience (seriously, from 7:00a until 12:00p) to David. I know I could never be an OR RN, but I really like being able to watch surgeries once in a while. I was about a foot away watching a bleeding heart pulsate before my very eyes! This upcoming week will be pretty busy: for my program, we get to shadow in other areas where we are interested. So, on Monday I will be in a psychiatric/mental health ward/hospital (which is part of the hospital I work at) and on Tuesday I will be in the Emergency Department. More news on that later (I am SO EXCITED). Moving on...

Last night I met with a group of girls for a Women's Bible Study. One of the girls from Sunday School, April, has had this ongoing Bible Study on various topics, so I was able to finally join. I had such a wonderful time. Our discussion topic was faith, and it was so relieving to hear other women my age affirm things I feel in my heart. My Christian journey has been difficult this past year or so, and these past few weeks have just been really fruitful for me. I am starting to finally get the "big picture" of fellowship - that which I thought I really had with the men and women from my church in Florida. I now realize how different it is to find that in people your age, too. (This, of course, isn't to say that I'm unhappy with my experiences with Beacon back home, or even that I would change churches, but it is definitely an eye opener.) Anyway, we meet again in a few weeks and I'm really looking forward to it.

Tomorrow is Friday and I don't have work so I get to sleep in! Other planned activities: clean, go to bank, go to gym, wait for boyfriend. We have an action packed weekend - a scavenger hunt, church, tubing. (:

I feel so encouraged and motivated, so I am just praying that it shows through my actions and I can encourage and motivate others!

I hope you all have been having a nice week.

God Bless,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

David's First Post

Hey Guysss, EETS a ME, DAVID!

I used to write blogs when I was a younger lad. My first blog was a deadjournal way back in '02. Then I got a livejournal a couple years later when LJ became free again. Both have been x'nayed for lack of caring on my part. BUT, Rose is up here for the summer and she thought it would be nice to have this journal to commemorate such an experience, and I agree.

Rose is going to kill me for writing this out publicly before I tell her in person, but oh well.

So we stopped at the Vista Publix the other day. We were on our way to Glen and Miriam's for a cookout, and we were asked to bring a few things to satisfy Amber's veggie cravings. Amber stayed in the car because she was tired from the bike ride, so I went inside to get the boca burgers and a tea to satisfy m'lady's thirst. Right before I walked in the automatic doors, a man approached me shouting out "Excuse me, Sir!". I stopped and turned towards him and he came within a few feet of me and asked me straight up if I would be kind enough to buy him some food. I gave him the look over - He was wearing normal looking jeans and a regular t-shirt. He had what looked like an extremely heavy packpack slung over his shoulder with a rather large umbrella sticking out of it. And I don't know what came over me, but I said, "Sure!" Usually, I don't give people asking for money the time of day (might be the wrong attitude but it's what I do, I always think they are just going to get boozed up), but this guy was different for some reason. He looked so normal. If he had been walking around Publix without his backpack, I would have not even remotely though that he was homeless/hungry. I don't know what his situation was or where he was from, but I just wanted to buy this man some food. I asked him what he wanted and he said, "Ummm, chicken wings and ice cream please!" I scoffed at his want of ice cream and said I would buy him some chicken wings. So he thanked me and thanked me and I told him to walk inside with me. I told him to go get his chicken wings, I would get my boca burgers and we would meet back at the front. Well, I got what I needed then walked back over to the deli where he was waiting to be served and just stood next to him. When the deli man asked me if I needed to be helped, Mr. ChickenWingsMan (he told me his name but I forgot it of course because I have possibly the worst memory on the face of the earth) said, "No, he doesn't need help, he's with me" Kinda weird but also kinda cool. Once he got his chicken wings he said he needed something to wash it down with so I got him a cold "G" out of the fridge up front. I paid for the food, and we walked out of Publix together. He turned to me, poured out his thanks, and gave me a fist bump. I told him to take care of himself. And then he walked off.

I felt incomplete walking back to the car, like I missed an opportunity? Maybe I would have talked to him more if I wasn't in such a hurry, who knows. I felt like I satisfied his immediate hunger but not an eternal hunger he very well could have had...

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed those chicken wings Mr. ChickenWingsMan! Maybe I'll see you around sometime...

- David

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time Flies

I hadn't realized how long it had been since our last update until I got this semi-threatening e-mail from Kathleen tonight:

I hope things are going well in South Carolina. I've been stalking your
blog, but no updates :(

(If you knew her you'd understand what that seemingly innocent sentence really means.)

Anyway, work started this past week so of course the days went by pretty fast. My second 12-hr shift was pretty difficult because I didn't sleep well the previous two nights.. I honestly thought I was going to die during it. Blegh. Happy thoughts, though! I found out my preceptor is 11-days younger than me and that made me feel (1) old, (2) pathetic, (3) awkward. She's really nice though and I'm debating whether or not I should add her on Facebook. I don't want to seem like a major lurker (even though I am). Our patient/nurse ratio is 4:1, which is really great. Everyone is still really nice, just a different attitude than those that I've encountered in the hospitals I've done clinical at. I think I may have mentioned before how HUGE the hospital campus is. Well, it's HUGE. I'm thinking on one of my days off I'll take my camera down there to show you all the place.

Besides work, David has been wearing me out in a physical sense. I'm not used to so much exercise on a consistent basis and this weekend's bike ride kind of proved to both of us that we need to really work on my endurance and decrease the intensity for now. There is a wonderful Riverfront Park (for those of you who don't know - Columbia sits at the juncture of three rivers) that we rode our bikes to on Saturday. This was the first time really "riding" my new bike and, dude, I was so freaking out. I had a breakdown as we made our way through USC's BEAUTIFUL campus because everything was zooming by so so so sooo fast and I wasn't braking as easily as I wanted to. Anyway, David talked me down, as usual, and we successfully made it to the park and had a really nice ride along the canal. Biking in SC isn't the same as FL. You don't realize how flat Florida is until you move away and experience true inclines; the smallest degree up or down is easily detectable. With that said, on our way back, I felt like I was dying. We stopped at Mellow Mushroom to refuel, and by the time we made it to my apartment I felt like passing out. I don't know what happened physiologically with my body, but I definitely think I was experiencing some form of heat exhaustion. Later that night we went to Miriam & Glen's house to grill out and play games... I was super feverish and had all of these flu-like symptoms. Aye yi yi. WHATEVS. We had a lot of fun, and I want to go back when I'm not feeling so tired/sick. I'm not used to feeling like this - thus the fact that I need to slow down and take a breather (which is why I didn't play Ultimate this afternoon).

I absolutely love it up here. I really need to take a day for photos so you all can see the history and beauty..maybe tomorrow? In the meantime, here are some photos to hold you over, Kathleen [almost all photos by David]:

Friday night -- Game Night @ Jessie's

This is Reid. He cracks me UP! Seriously. So funny. (And he's single ladiessss)

This is Joel. He also cracks me up.

This is Jessie and Daron. They just got engaged yesterday!!!! Yay! (:

Saturday -- Riverfront Park Bike Ride

This is me suffering from more severe forms of dehydration

Funny (:

Mellow Mushroom

Cosmo @ Miriam & Glen's (:


Monday, June 1, 2009


Let it be known that tonight was the WORST for driving: a ton of rain just started pouring on my car. It was so bad that I had to pull over and I almost started crying because I already had a headache and muscle aches and it was past my bedtime.

I got home safe, though.


P.S. I swear, someday soon, David will be making a post. (: