#Asawesomeasitcanbe

Do you ever think you have it figured it out? You have your routines. You have your standard trips you go on every year. You know what to expect and what you are getting into. That maybe it is not as special because you have done it before. Well sometimes you need a reminder to show you how special every moment can be. Don’t take for granted the moments that seem routine just because you are in your comfort zone.

Each year my kayaking buddies and I make the pilgrimage to what we consider the promised land. You see living in Utah and being a kayaker has it’s challenges. It is kind of like being a skier and living in Wisconsin. Not ideal.  We have sparse water, not many large rivers and the creeks that do run during run off teach you to not flip over or you will lose your face!  Luckily Utah is situated just south of what is known as the whitewater state, the land of water and wilderness, the great state of Idaho.  If you live in Utah and you paddle, you either spend a lot of time in Idaho or you spend a lot of time staring at dry creek beds thinking about Idaho.  For this reason we have the annual trip to the Payette drainage. 4 days of endless whitewater, hot springs, great camping, and very minimal phone reception.  Paradise for paddlers if you ask me.
We always go in June when water levels are great and temperatures are high. This year I offered to give my sweet wife a break from taking on the kids alone while I run off on another adventure. I set it up so I would drop off my 4 year old at my sisters house in Boise on the way up. He would stay and play with his cousins for a few days and I would pick him up on the way home.  Amazingly enough, it all worked out.  So on Wednesday night we loaded the truck with all our gear to keep us entertained in paradise for 4 days and we left Salt Lake City. 4 kayaks, 2 surfboards, 4 grown men and one 4 year old named Emmett.
A couple of hours into the journey we made a pit stop. We loaded up on some snacks and drinks, made sure Emmett used the facilities and jumped right back on the road. Up to this point I had been pumping Emmett up and trying to get him stoked for the long late night drive.  Telling him how he is on a “dudes road trip”.  Or how we are so cool because he is on his first kayak trip. Every song that came on the radio with a good beat, Emmett would bounce his head or play a little air guitar. I could tell he felt pride in being on a legit road trip. It was at this moment that 4 grown men were blown away by the simplicity and stoke of a little dude having a brand new experience.  One of the passengers looked over at Emmett and asked “How awesome is this Emmett?” Emmett keeps jamming to the tunes and replies from his car seat “As awesome as it can be.”
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All four of us sat there slightly dumb founded by the simplicity of the statement. Emmett was completely right.  What seemed routine to me because I had made that drive a billion times was as awesome as it could be.  It didn’t matter where we were really going. We were getting after it and not letting the days go to waste. We were chasing passions and finding time in our busy lives to do something that we hold precious. It was as awesome as it can be at that moment.
The trip went off without a hitch. Emmett had a great time in Boise. We paddled as much as we could in 4 days and we all returned home to families, jobs and our busy lives. But one thing was different this time. We all appreciated the moments a little more.  Thanks Emmett for sharing your 4 years of wisdom. Every high five after a rapid or smile after a soak in a hot spring or greeting each other in the morning after sleeping through a rainstorm, the question was posed “how is it going?” The reply is now always the same.  “As awesome as it can be”.

Where were you 10 years ago? #tbt

I’ve been reflecting lately on the events from March 2004, a memorable and life-changing time for me.  I was living in Orlando, working at Epcot, making $6 an hour and having the time of my life.  I had a quick break in nursing school between my RN  years and starting my last year to get my baccalaureate.  Naturally, I took an internship with Disney World…makes no sense, right, but I loved it. I finally had one semester to enjoy college, instead of being at clinicals 26 hours a week, studying pharmacology and writing nursing care plans. Nursing school was a whirlwind for sure. I don’t remember a lot, including my professor’s names (weird?) but I have a lot of flash memories, consoling a patient’s mother after a scary diagnosis, learning to monitor a newly implanted pacemaker with external wires, helping 3 women give birth on my own 20th birthday, drinking a lot of Instant Breakfast and Go-Gurt in the car, showing up in the classroom in Ogden not really knowing how I got there. I was so tired and it was really hard. It was 10 years ago that I took my nursing exam while I was in Florida.  A friend drove me to the testing center and I passed on my first try. I’ve been a nurse for 10 years!

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Do you like my Mission: Space uniform?

Flash forward 10 years to the present.  I was lucky enough to be at Disney again, sharing the magic with all the Grewes, sharing all my insider knowledge and navigating the park like a pro!

Then I spent last night nursing Emmett, my most important patient back to health during his current cough and fever.

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If you want more, here’s more…

I was meant to be a nurse. It has been the perfect job for me. I spent 2 years working at a nursing home. Those are cherished memories and it was a special place. In fact last Halloween we took the kids trick-or-treating there and I saw two residents I cared for. I was able to tell them Hi and got emotional in the process. I learned a lot about compassion and hard work during that time.I did a 6 month stint in Post-partum care, this was a lot of fun.  I now laugh at my 21-year-old, confident self teaching first-time moms how to breastfeed and care for their infant. Did they even listen to me? If they did, I don’t know why. I’m sure I knew nothing. I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot about myself as a new nurse. I spent another 2 years at The  Cache Valley Specialty Hospital. This is where my first full-time, insured job was. Three nights a week, 6 pm to 7 am. Some nights we had only one patient, some night was had a full house.  Being in my hometown, I had the opportunity to care for loved ones, neighbors and friends. Then I made the wonderful move to Huntsman Cancer Hospital. I’ve been at that great place for the last 7 years. I spent 4 years on the surgical floor. Wow! This was an eye opener. I can’t even explain all the crazy surgeries and patients I’ve had in that time. It is still the craziest, busiest job I’ve ever had and can’t believe some of the miracles and tragedies I’ve seen. If you want to work hard for your money, work there. It is unbelievable. Since I had kids, nursing has still treated me well. I have bounced around the hospital for a time, trying to find a schedule that worked for my family, and finally feel at home. For the last 18 months I’ve been working in the Acute Care Clinic-an instacare of sorts serving the Huntsman population. I love my job and the people I work with and care for.

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This is the only pic I can find from work (at least from the digital age.) I think this was Thanksgiving Day 2008. Best crew ever! Ryan, Me, Kim, Bryn, Mary, and Emily-and Mollie’s finger.

Also, 10 years ago I fell in love with my Pitt-the most important and best thing that ever happened to me.

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Marco Island 2004


What a woman! Noelle Pikus-Pace

The commercials have worked and I’m now a fan of Noelle Pikus-Pace. It’s amazing what marketing does. Although, she deserves it. You HAVE to watch this interview with her from last night on NBC.

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I think America is connecting with her because she is a mom, one of only  3 other US Olympic athletes. When she won the silver, she was screaming “We did it!” And jumped into the stands to enjoy the moment with her family. Pure emotion, pure Olympic moment. She has definitely made known that her family comes first. Probably why she stands out from the crowd. Among other family members, her 2 kids were there to see her win yesterday. What a cool moment to witness for them. Those kids eat and breathe the sport just like their mom…

“They’ve been all over the world as a quartet for her competitions. She’s not the only Olympic parent, but she is the only one who travels to every competition and training with her entire family.

Parenthood among Olympic athletes is not common, either. In fact, of the 230 athletes who will represent Team USA in Sochi, just 22 have children. Of those, only three are mothers.” From Deseret News 

She is a Mormon too! In her immediate post-performance interview, she said “To the youth out there, remember who you are and what you stand for.” Can’t get more YW leader than that. I loved it! Go USA!! I’ll watch for a Church News article that is sure to come and post it here. You can follow Noellepikuspace on Twitter.

 


Move Over…

Move over Mckayla Maroney…We have a new “Not Impressed” Olympian…

Ashley-Wagner-Meme-thumbThis is Ashley Wagner, US Ladies Figure Skater. This was her face when she saw her score from her great performance in the team competition. Haha! I love this one super-imposed over the Opening Ceremonies glitch.  Not Impressed!

BUT, I was totally impressed with this lil girl, Yulia Lipinskaya

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I LOVED her costume! I can’t wait to see her skate again soon!

Check out this funny site with more satirical Olympic stories.


So, where is Sochi?

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And now you know! Known as the Russian Riviera, Sochi is a resort town located on the Black Sea-interesting choice for the Winter Olympics.  You can enjoy a sunny day by the lake and then hit the slopes in the high Coucosus mountains towering over you.  I guess they have been making snow for the venues for months and storing it all under tarps up in the mountains.Pitt and I are always having the debate of mountains vs. beach…maybe Sochi is the place for us.

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day -1

Did you know that Sochi is having the first ever Team figure skating competition? That’s right, Team. The last thing I usually think about is skaters being on a team together. They are such fierce competitors.  I’m really excited to see the skaters cheering each other on. The men’s short program starts us off.  Go Jeremy Abbott!

 

 


Olympic Winter Games: Sochi 2014

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I have always been a big fan of the Olympics. Really, who doesn’t like cheering for Team USA?

2 days until the Games open in Sochi, Russia and I’m getting revved up for some fun.

Some cool things I’ve discovered:

nbcolympics.com-the hub, enough said. I’m making this  my homepage for the next 3 weeks. They have funny 80’s yearbook photos of all the athletes, schedules, profiles of our team and interesting news pieces.

Google “Sochi 2014″ and check out the images that come up! You will see the venues, medals, logos, characters and links to sites talking about the Olympics.

Also, follow these Instagram users:

jabbott2014

Jeremy Abbott-American figure skater. He’s been posting since his arrival in Sochi. I think it’s cool to get an athlete’s perspective.

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graciegold95

18 year old American figure skater. She hasn’t posted for a while, but I’m still hoping. These girls always shine in the Olympics. (Remember Tara Lipinski. I was never a big fan, but I will never forget her huge smile)

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Shaunwhite

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Mr. Popular of extreme sports. Of note, slopestyle snowboarding and skiing will premier at these Olympics! Of course, Shaun is favored to get the gold!

#sochi2014

This one already has 154,000 posts. Tourists, volunteers, athletes, and media will be sharing here.

My passion for the Olympics was fueled by:

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“Light the fire within”

Salt Lake City 2002. I was an event staff volunteer at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and for alpine skiing events at Snowbasin. And of course, Michelle Kwan. Here is her short program from SLC 2002. Heartbreaking bronze finish behind Irina Slutskaya and Sarah Hughes (ugh!)


priority numero 99 (this blog)

I figured out why I don’t blog anymore. I never have time to create a post that I would enjoy. Sure, I can dump a bunch of photos and caption them meaninglessly. But I would much rather write about books, religion, travel aspirations, Netflix, being an oncology nurse, my weaknesses, fitness, and my darling family. Writing, or even thinking through these subjects require brain power, which for me requires quiet. I never have quiet time that I want to dedicate to my blog. My quiet times are few and far between due to my talkative and demanding 4 year-old. Gosh, I love him. But, no my life is not quiet. I could create quiet but that would require getting up early, planning, prioritizing, having a routine. Each of those words scare me to death and at the same time I long for them deeply. Maybe one day… 


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