Tuesday, May 22, 2018

It's gonna be a good day

Last night I was in the shower thinking "ya know, tomorrow is going to be a good day! I should blog about it after" because 1. I miss blogging and 2. I like to go back and read through past life highlights that I blogged about to see what Sam May 2018 was up to. In my mind last night, the plan for today was to wake up at 6:30am, meet up with a few of my coworkers to carpool to a NICU seminar we've been going to this week, come home to enjoy the 85 degree day, go to my favorite yoga class,  eat some steak and corn that H and I bought at New Seasons, and end the night with a walk!

Well...here's what happened.

6am - H and I are rudely awoken by our neighbors obnoxious dogs. They back ALL. THE. TIME. Right outside our window. It has actually almost warranted us to call animal control, which we may do next. Last summer this same thing happened and they agreed to a 10pm to 8am quiet time where their dogs cannot be barking. Then, lately they've been letting them out and they bark at 2am, 4am, 6am, etc and every time we go out into our yard to garden or work on Holly's pond, the dogs charge the fence and bark at us aggressively. They wake me up during the day when I'm supposed to be sleeping so I can be in tip top shape to save babies lives........So. That's how the morning started. I couldn't go back to sleep and guuuuuurl I needed that extra 30 min...

7:15am - I meet up with my coworker Jess to carpool and we find out that my other coworker accidentally drove to work instead of to our carpool location (haven't we all done that? Ha), and my other coworker accidentally overslept. So it was just Jess and I. We drive to the class...neither of us are paying attention and I go 8 miles past our exit. 8 MILES! We go from arriving 10 min early, to 15 min late!! HA.

8:15am-4pm - NICU lecture after lecture. Sam forgot her caffeine so Sam sad and tries desperately to keep eyes open.

Driving back up to home, I took 2 wrong exits which changed my commute time home from 30 min, to 1 hour and 30 minutes. I added on 1 full our of driving because I took the worst turn and put myself right in the middle of I-5S traffic.

Then it was time for yoga. Here's where the day shifted. Yoga has become my recent obsession. After 7 months of practicing yoga, starting in the easiest classes possible because my body was NOT okay with being moved the way I was forcing it to move, it has completely changed my life. Every Tuesday I take Vinyasa I. This class was so hard for me at first that I quit doing it all-together until I could easily hold a plank for a full 30 seconds. I started back in it a month ago and now it has become second nature and I am almost ready to move to Vinyasa II. Yoga brings my body to complete stillness and peace. I look forward to the class weekly and I cannot see my life without it now. I have less body aches and pain, my flexibility has improved, my strength has SIGNIFICANTLY improved, and I find myself able to stay present and calm in times of stress...ahem my entire day today!!

So this is how this post goes from negative to positive, which I think is such an important thing to practice in daily life. Rather than focus on the negative, focus on what went right.

Bonus positivity points: we're going to MAUI next Thursday as a spontaneous birthday trip! Ringing in 25 in true Holsa fashion.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas check-in OH HAIII

Holy cannoli it is December 13th, 2017 and currently 5am because night shift liiiiiiife! I just finished my 2nd week on my own as a NICU nurse and I am still figuring out this night shift deal which includes: 
1. How to not go crazy when you live in forever darkness; something I used to love before I met Holly until she slowly made me love the sun, heat, and summer.

2. Do I transition back to a day-schedule on my days off? Which, by the way, is very difficult, bad for the body, and filled with many yawns, exhaustion and insomnia. 

3. How to stay quiet at night when I'm awake and Holly sleeping like the light sleeper she is. (Tips: do dishes and laundry BEFORE she goes to bed, open loud food packages in the bathroom, quiet yoga in the living room, save up youtube episodes to watch, puzzles, play piano keyboard with headphones).

4. Remember to eat...being awake at night is weird because my body wants nothing to do with food but also THANKS BODY because I've lost a few pounds. 

5. Reminding people that even though I may work on the 15th, that means 7pm the 15th to 7:30am on the 16th...and I must sleep after. So no, I cannot get breakfast with you on the 16th even though it is my "day off"...sometimes "day off" means I am unavailable until 6pm. Because sleep. Yes, I hate it too.

But overall, I love my job. I am only working part time which is 4 days (12 hour shifts) every 2 weeks. I work 3 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 9 days off. I also pick up shifts as I am able/want to which is great for making friends because errrrrybody will eventually need me to cover a shift for them and then they'll be like "OH HAIIII you're Sam, the one who picked up my shift. I like you." #winning

Other fun updates: I've been taking yoga classes at this wellness studio by my house and the classes are my absolute favorite. One of my top faves is a class called Candlelight Yoga which fantastically falls after I wake up from my long 3-days of shifts. The BEST destress from working 40 hours in 3 days. 

Additionally, one of the things I looked forward about having a bigger paycheck as a nurse was Christmas and birthdays. I absolutely love gift-giving and trying to get the most thought-out gift that I can for someone. Like I legitimately try to pay attention to what people say they like/dislike all year and I write them down in my phone like a creeper. Ha! An efficient creeper. Before, it was always small gifts but I always poured my heart into them no matter the price/size. I am so excited to be able to bless others with larger gifts this year, including my lovely partner (we've been together 5 years this coming January WHAT). Of course I'd love to be able to surprise my entire family and be like: "GUYS WE'RE ALL GOING TO HAWAII!"...maybe someday. But for now, I am soooo stoked about this step up. I love that I am a go-to for my siblings to borrow money if needed. I love that I can pay more rent than my partner so that she can pay off her student debt. I love that I can afford to pay off MY student debt, fast. Money is not the most important essence of life, but it sure does make it easier and yasssss to no more eczema because living paycheck to paycheck was a stressful period in my life, and in anyone's life. 

Anyways, MERRY CHRISTMAS to my future self reading this and anyone who accidentally wanders on here.


I made it a 2017 goal of mine to live in the present after seeing this video which is one of my favorites now: 
We forget that our time on this earth is limited, that we could die any day, and that life is not meant to be a giant future-thought, but to be enjoyed presently; to love each other, to spoil each other, to make each other feel worth and to have fun ourselves. This starts with knowing who you are, what you want, and what means the most to you. I previously had a discombobulated vision of future self because of the inner-conflicts that came from being a young child growing up in a religion that didn't line up with the cogs of her mind. I had to fuss through instilled thoughts that told me I had to do this and that to be happy, and realize that that was false. I realized that the only thing dictating my own happiness was myself. And I realized that much of that happiness comes from being able to live presently and to enjoy the process of setting and reaching goals as much as the result. Though I do still struggle with this, I will keep that as a 2018 goal along with these: 

1. Train for Spartan race in August 2018. Hoping to do this race with my dad, brother, sister, possibly partner, and other family members. We are also trying to form a team to go to Spartan HAWAII on Oahu just a few weeks after our initial race. Training for this will include continuing my yoga practice, getting a gym membership and going consistently with Holly, eating healthful foods a majority of the time, balance. I will have to be able to run 5 miles, pull up my weight, etc...things I have not been able to do since I was 8 years old and pre-pubescent. I am literally going to be starting from scratch in terms of core strength and endurance. Now that school is no longer a distraction, I am determined. 

2. Yoga practice: side splits on one side and headstand.

3. Read 12 books; one for each month. So far on the list: Spartan Fit!, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, You Are a Badass.

4. Pay off 50% of my remaining student debt (with a goal to have all debt paid by December 2019).

5. Pay it forward by volunteering somewhere and/or donating money to an organization on a regular basis. Additionally, start planning my first medical mission trip.

6. Seek out opportunities, events, interactions, that are scary. Talk to people, spark conversations, and compliment people even if it feels awkward. This also includes being constantly out of my comfort zone at work by continuing to learn and offer to help coworkers with skills I've never done.

7. Live presently and BE HAPPY!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The final chapter!

I will graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Oregon Health & Science University in 8 short weeks; a dream that sprouted at age 16 when I began researching nursing schools. Never in a million years, looking back, would I have thought I'd make it to this point! I battled depression in high school that ran deep as I balanced chronic pain and hiding who I was, wondering each day how I'd make it to another. Well, now if I can stand tall as someone who can preach to another in-the-closet teen that "IT GETS BETTER" my life will be complete! Because it does get better. I met someone who complements my soul every single day and makes every day feel like Summer, and I've gotten my body to a healthy point of no chronic pain.

This coming term at school will be hard; 24-36 hours per week in clinical (Doernbecher NICU), working at my job part-time, class, lab, and other life balances will probably stretch me thin...but I am ready and prepared to dominate this term more than any before!!!

Other milestones to celebrate:

I made a lifestyle change 12 weeks ago to become plant-based vegan and not only have I lost 9.6lbs, every aspect of my life has benefited. Almost no anxiety, no indigestion, no eczema, better sleep, etc.

We just booked a "girls" trip to Hawaii for July with one of Holly's friends who is about to move to the east coast to finish her Masters degree in public health. She has never been to Hawaii so our plan is to get her addicted; won't be very hard.

In September Holly and I will be adventuring across the ocean to EUROPE. We will tour around London, Paris, Spain and Amsterdam in that order.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I have been a Registered Nurse for almost 4 months now. Since beginning to work in healthcare at age 18 I have seen life. I have seen death. I have felt my heart sink to the bottom of my butthole and my heart beat out my chest. I have seen a person go into cardiac arrest. I have seen a traumatic stillbirth. I have cried with a patient. I have hugged family members. I have wiped butts. I have put catheters in urethras. I have seen homelessness. I have seen drug overdose. I have failed to place an IV. I have succeeded in placing an IV. 

If there's any job that allows you to enter the utmost vulnerable place of another human, it's nursing. It's usually quite raw and ugly considering most people don't seek medical attention if they're fine, but if there's one thing I have learned...it's to be calm, considerate, and loving in all of your actions and to treat each patient like you would your favorite human. Some days I wonder what the heck I got myself into, with eczema running wild on my arm, and other days I go home so happy I could cry. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Forari chases a q-tip

I am currently awake because if I lay down my nose plugs like a dam. Then it's no breathing, crusty crust mouth edges, and miserable, coughing me. I seem to only blog when I'm sick lately. What da heck?

In about 4-5 months I will be finishing up my Associates in Nursing aka NURSING SCHOOL and within a month of that I will take and pass (you betta believe it!) the NCLEX. Then I am planning to take summer classes at PSU to meet my bachelors requirements. I'm actually pretty excited to take classes that do not relate to nursing - I'm thinking tap dance and feminist sexuality...yes it's a class.  I will also be working somewhere...possibly in Dialysis but if I can find a nursing job that doesn't require me to be up at 3am then hellz yes I am taking it. Holly and I want to travel and WOOFF. And then Bachelors starts in the fall! Bloody hell I have no idea where I will be going...and probably the next time I get on here to blog (most likely next winter when the next evil bug will strike) I will know. So dear future self, did you end up at OHSU, Linfield, or somewhere else?! Please RSVP soon because I am dying to know. Also, Sam, you need to get some scholarships. Get your shit together. Love, Sam.

***Forari is currently chasing and pawing around a q-tip...so glad he's healthy. He is still quite dumb though. It's a q-tip, man. Give it up***

Hmm what else for a quick update? I miss bad food but I have lost 5lbs in a month (3lbs of that brought to you by this terrible cold). Summer bod here I come. I love essential oils...I love tie dye. I make cloth pads now - I've been off of disposable menstrual products for 4 months now!!! I LOVE IT. And...I want bad food.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stages of Grief

My heart strings are so stretched out during this time of the year. Perhaps it's because I'm at the peak of my period, or just because I'm still grieving...

I ache for my grandpa, for his house, for our holiday traditions, family parties, watching movies in "the den" (Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, and Twitches, FTW!!!), dressing up knowing that we'd spend hours trick-or-treating bups neighborhood, then getting to sort through the candy in his living room, bake our tiny pizza's or cookies from Papa Murphys, then go out for more. We'd always get a pizza, KFC, or Subway to eat for dinner before heading out. I loved the excitement on my grandpa's face when he saw our costumes, or how he reacted to little trick-or-treaters. That man loved kids.

Yet earlier this week I looked through pictures of him, and I didn't recognize him. I didn't recognize the features of his face; not that I've forgotten, but how incredible that as kids we truly do not notice tiny imperfections, nose shapes, eye color, etc...we just notice people for being people. He was my grandpa. I wonder every day what it would be like to get go know him now.

So this time of the year kind of sucks. And now as an "adult" I find myself feeling this huge void...how do I made new memories when so many of them included him and his house?! He passed 8 YEARS ago and I still struggle. Perhaps scientifically and physiologically it's because it happened during a pivotal age (14) when I was still very much developing certain parts of my brain that controlled coping, memory making, etc. I don't know.

This is his house completely renovated; though thankfully it is still completely recognizable as his old house (EXCEPT THAT KITCHEN and basement. Holy shiznits).

How do you just wash away all the above memories though? SO many sleepovers, playing with cousins when they came to visit, my aunt Jeannie and cousin Laurie who would stay the summers, playing in my grandmas sewing room and sewing drawer that she exclusively made for me, so many crafts, so many meals, so many smiles and laughs. And now I can't go back there? You don't just get over that.

I've made it my new goal to someday buy that house. But would that even help? Or would that just remind me of him and all of those memories every day? All I know is that this home was/is special.