Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I am currently in semester 2 of 7 of my graduate program to become an Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.

I'm enrolled in Advanced Pathophysiology and Nursing Research.

Patho has been...interesting. Without going into too much detail, our original professor who had been at the school for something like 20 years, suddenly was replaced with our new professor last week! Halfway through the semester, and we're left with little explanation about why he is no longer at the University, and now a new teacher with new style of teaching.

To be honest, while I hate this sudden change at the core, it has been good. The new professor is a Family Nurse Practitioner, has written 5 books in Pathophysiology, and plans to teach the course from a primary care standpoint, which I love! I need to learn this information in regards to how it relates to my career as an Advanced Practice Nurse. While the previous professor was incredibly smart in all things biology, patho, etc., I feel like this change is for the good in terms of learning patho in a clinical setting! She also does tons of research, so it's fun to hear about what she's doing in the lab. In addition, she's taken trips to Africa before with her students as a practitioner, which sounds amazing. I would love to do that someday.

Nursing research is...nursing research. It is what it is, if you know what I mean! Honestly, I don't hate it like some people, but I'm not all that engaged in this course. I am doing well on my papers, though, so that's encouraging. The thing is, I don't like learning about the research process, but I am intrigued by research in itself.

What I am currently internally struggling with is changing my concentration from Adult to Family. From the beginning, I've said that I want nothing to do with pediatrics, so why would I do Family Nurse Practitioner? But as I contemplate it more, having that overall knowledge would be highly beneficial for me professionally and even personally. I'm still young, so I'm not sure where my career is going to lead me. Perhaps it would be better to not limit myself to just Adults?
Especially since I love the preventative aspect of medicine so much. I'd love to look at the human body and health on a lifespan continuum. Without that pediatric knowledge, I feel like I am missing something. Also, pediatrics makes me nervous. I have no experience in it, especially with medications and dosing--it's a whole new world for me as an adult critical care nurse.

In addition, there's a lot of changes happening at the American Nurses Credentialing Center. They will be retiring the Adult Nurse Practitioner in 2014 and adopting a new credentialing certification.

Here is a list of all the credentials they will retire, as well as the link for more information about what this means:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatric & Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family Nurse Practitioner will stay the same.
With all of these changes, it makes me uneasy.

There is a little voice inside that is telling me to change...I'm not sure where it's stemming from, but I feel compelled to listen!

The crappy part for me is the extra semester of school. 8 semesters. Instead of graduating in December 2013, I'd finish May 2014. In my mind, this feels so far away, especially when I want to start a family soon. I'm not getting any younger at 27.

It's a big decision for me.
Any thoughts?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nine years and the dress

This past week, Mirza and I celebrated nine years together.

Here we are at  7 months into dating...about 18 years old...

So young and fresh! I still remember taking these photos like it was last month...not 9 years ago!!

And now, 9 years into life..26 and 27 (it was my birthday on the 17th)...

We are the luckiest people in the world to have each other.

This will be the last year we celebrate our anniversary as just a "dating" couple...next year, it will be as wife and husband! And we'll have a new anniversary: October 20, 2012. But I know that February 22 will always hold a special place in both of our hearts.
...which leads me to the DRESS.

I found it! I found the one.
I almost went back to the previous bridal shop with horrible customer service, but my friend/coworker and I decided to look at a different place one day after school.

And I am so glad that we did!  The customer service was excellent. Without going into too much detail, this dress caught my eye even though it is totally different than the one I almost purchased. It is clean and timeless. I love it, and I never thought I would say that about a dress. It was the first one I tried on, but we used the big, poofy skirt underneath, so it was almost too much dress for my petite stature, so I tried on about 10 more dresses. All were beautiful, but always lacked something. I almost left with no dress, feeling defeated again. However, this particular dress was also on a mannequin outside the dressing room, so every time I came out, I saw it. Always catching my eye. The style was different than all of the other dresses I had been trying on that day.

 I decided to try it on one last time...

I loved it. It made me happy on the inside. Even if it wasn't what I had expected, or worried what other people expected to see me in...this.was.it. I felt beautiful and timeless--those were my qualifications! I don't care what people expect to see me in, or what people expect out of a small, garden wedding. It it my wedding. I will only be married once. I want to feel like a bride!

I knew it was the one because my friend actually cried! And more importantly, I did not want to take it off!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Comparison Game

Since finishing my OnRamp classes at CrossFit a couple of weeks ago, I've had a huge problem with comparing myself to others, or not feeling strong enough. It was easy to feel strong when it was just me and the trainer, but when I'm in a WOD with a group and I'm one of the last people to finish--it can be a huge hit to my ego.

I understand that the point of CrossFit is to compete against yourself, and to see your own progress being made. I do, I get it. But I usually pick someone out of the class who I think I can surely "beat," but I fall short. The box is supportive, but sometimes, especially the young, strong guys--they finish SO MUCH QUICKER than me that they end up leaving when I am barely finished. It makes me feel like the biggest loser as I am out running during the WOD and I see people drive away...

Last Saturday, Mirza and I went to the WOD together.

  • Run 800 m.
  • 80 air squats
  • 80 sit ups
  • 100 m. over head plate walk 45/35lb..(no head rides, locked out shoulders)
  • Run 400 m.
  • 40 burpees
  • 40 slam balls
  • 100 m. over head plate walk 45/35lb.
  • Run 200 m.
  • 20 pull ups
  • 20 KBS 53/35lbs.
  • 100 m. over head plate walk 45/35lb.
For time.

I make the worst faces when doing CrossFit...it's scary..

I did everything as prescribed, except with the KB swings, I used 26lbs. I noticed tons of women finishing in half the time that I did. I found it incredibly defeating until I realized, some of them  literally only did half of the workout by cutting the runs in half or not as many reps. I think that I finished second to last, and Mirza finished last. Granted, not all other women did this, and they really did beat my time because they are simply in better shape and stronger.

 It occurred to me after  on the drive home that Mirza didn't realize some people were not doing the prescribed WOD, either. And this really made him feel bad--wondering how the heck some women were even so much quicker than him?  This is why it's so important to not compare yourself to others. You never know what the other person is really doing. I shouldn't be paying attention to them, anyway! I just feel bad about myself for no reason at all.

It is difficult though, since CrossFit literally displays your results on a whiteboard to compare your time to others.

I type these words mostly for myself because I still don't quite believe them. I still compare and feel bad about my times and weights.

For instance, the other night we were working on strength training with front squats. I had previously been proud of my one rep max front squat of 85lbs. I'm 5'3, 120lbs--I'm not a giant person, so 85lbs just seems like a lot of weight to me. Of course, this night, we took 90% of our one rep max and worked down from there. I was paired up with another girl. She was thin, but taller than me. I let my ego take over and mentally thought, "hmm, I am stronger than her." Wrong. She didn't know her one rep max, so she used my numbers...and completely blew my numbers out of the water. I felt like crap! This is stupid, right?

Hopefully I can get over myself and just do CrossFit for me, and for nobody else. Of course, I don't think I will even be faster or stronger than the men in class, but it would be nice to beat some other women of the same size and age as me at least once...right?

I know that it's going to take hard work to move up the board, but for now, I am going to keep trying my hardest and be happy that I am even working out and moving my body. Sometimes, I think I am too hard on myself. I've been doing CrossFit now for only one month and 2 weeks.
 I need to seriously check my ego at the door.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I'm pretty sure that I have found "the dress." It is different than what I thought I would initially pick out, but then again perfect for me. And when I walked out of the dressing room, my two friends/coworkers loved it. They said it's the most flattering on me. The thing is, I don't think I will ever be the girl who puts on a dress and then cries from it being the one! I just don't think that's me.

I am like 96% sure at this point. Part of me only wants to try a few other places just to put my mind at ease. I think what turns me away is the customer service at the dress store. If they were more receptive, then I probably would be 100%. That plays a huge role for me, apparently.

In addition, I feel like a lot of pressure is put on the dress. I worry a lot about what others will think. And while we're only inviting people to our wedding who love us,  you still have to wonder how people will judge the dress that you picked. I've had numerous people tell me what they envision me wearing. Believe me when I say that I've tried every style of dress because I had no idea what I wanted. It turns out that a lot of times, no matter how beautiful the dress, it simply might not look good on me. I am sure some people might see me in a different style, but they weren't there when I went shopping, so they have no idea. I am limiting showing my crappy iPhone picture of me in the dress because I want people to see it when I have my hair  and make up done. It's only right!

I made our Save-the-Date magnets!

Just waiting for them to arrive in the mail, so I can begin sending them out.

I'm starting to stress LESS about our wedding at this point. I am realizing how good of a day it is going to be and it makes me so happy with our choices thus far. The garden wedding, small guest list. We're having a violinist during the ceremony, and music during the reception is tentatively a solo classical guitarist. We're not doing the traditional DJ, dance floor thing since it just isn't us. I want to feel completely authentic.
We've just about picked a caterer, too. I have to miss the taste-testing due to work, but Mirza will be there.

As for the rest of life...
School, work, CrossFit. That seems to be the run-down.

Saturday marked one month since I walked into the box and did my baseline workout. I know it's still new and fresh, but I am loving it.
Mirza goes,too!

I do need to be careful about doing too much, too soon.
On Friday, we did a Hero WOD. This is a workout that is dedicated to a fallen soldier. They tend to be difficult for this reason.

Five rounds, each for time, of:
135/95 pound Power clean, 5 reps
135/95 pound Front squat, 10 reps
135/95 pound Jerk, 5 reps
20 Pull-ups
Rest 90 seconds
One of the things we never really worked on during On-Ramp were pull ups. We just didn't really get to it at this point. When I try to do a pull-up without the band, I get about halfway with my elbows bent . He said that's actually pretty good, so he gave me a green band (Brag: Mirza has to use 2 bands!). If you take a look at the WOD again, you'll notice this is 5 rounds of 20 pull-ups. Yes, that would be 100 pull-ups!

For the weight, I only used 45lbs. I mean, my one rep max on a front squat is 85lbs, so obviously I could not do 95lbs for one round, never mind 5. That's what I love about CrossFit: You scale to fit your needs, but believe me, it's still difficult.
All of these shots were taken in-action, so my form looks off, but the trainer is right there and continually says that I have great form, so that's good to know! The last thing I need is to hurt myself. A good trainer who understands form is everything!

If you look pretty when working out...1. I hate you 2. you're not working hard enough!

Somehow, I still smile!

I think I need some better CrossFit outfits. Yikes. Moving on...
I felt incredibly proud of 100 pull-ups total. This entire work out took me 26 minutes when you take out the 90 second rests. During the last round, I literally had to take each pull-up one at a time. Whatever it takes to get it done!
However, I can now say that MAYBE 100 pull-ups was too much, too soon? Yesterday, I could barely extend my arms, could not lift my arms over my head straight, and my biceps were so swollen. I seriously felt like I had compartment syndrome, rhabdo, etc. This makes me sad because I haven't been able to do CrossFit since Friday.
So, I definitely need to remind myself of my edge. But the problem was that I didn't know!! How would I know since I have never done pull-ups! Maybe this is a stupid statement, but it is what it is! 
Either way, I am proud of my 100 pull-ups assisted with the band. I am proud that I am able to move my body and be alive!! That is the point of the Hero WOD. You move for those who cannot.

U.S. Army First Sergeant Michael “Hammer” Bordelon, 37, of Morgan City, Louisiana, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), based out of Fort Lewis, Washington, died on May 10, 2005, from injuries sustained when a car bomb exploded near him in Mosul, Iraq on April 23, 2005.
He is survived by his wife Mila; children Mike Jr., Jacob, and Johanna; mother Dolores; and sister Doreen Scioneaux.