Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yemma: update

My mom's surgery was last Wednesday. The doctor, as planned, did a complete hysterectomy and removed a lot of her omentum. Unfortunately, the cancer has started to coat some of her organs and that part couldn't be removed. The doctor seems fairly optimistic, but I am trying hard to cling to God's promises and not statistics or predictions.

The night after the operation, my mom didn't do so well. Her blood count was so low that it was thought that she was bleeding internally. She was rushed to CT at 2:00 in the morning and, praise God, did NOT have an internal bleed. She had to have four units of blood, but she's doing great in that respect now. She got to go home on Sunday and has been resting with her kitty cats since then. I hate not being up there, but am so comforted again by the huge support system she has. Nearly every time I've called to check on her, someone has been there visiting.

During the surgery, the doctor also inserted a port-a-cath, which will be accessed for chemo to be administered. It will start in about three weeks. My mom sounds great now and is in wonderful spirits, at least while on the phone with me...but I am afraid that the chemo will really wreak havoc on her system and make her feel awful. I know that I shouldn't worry, but I have a nasty habit of trying to imagine the worst thing possible so that whatever actually happens doesn't seem so bad.

Please pray for Yemma to respond well to the chemo - for the cancer to get outta town and for the side effects to be minimal. Please pray for peace for all of us and, especially, for our loved ones who don't know God to really see what He can do and to desire that in their own lives.

Thanks so much.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vegas: Day Three

Here is my album of Day Three!

Our third day in Vegas was a blast. Ryan and I slept in a little bit, then we met his parents in the buffet for a late breakfast. This time when he went to NAB for the morning, he took his dad with him, and my MIL wanted to rest, so I did my own thang. I walked around The Strip and took some (more) pictures, then decided to do a little shopping in the Miracle Mile shops. There was a Trader Vic's there and I SO wanted to see a werewolf (with perfect hair) drinking a pina colada, but sadly I did not. (If it had been Taylor Lautner I would have SCREAMED. Then, later, wondered why they would serve a pina colada to a seventeen-year-old. But mostly SCREAMED.)

Soon it was time for lunch, which excited me beyond measure. Yes, I had burned some calories and worked up an appetite walking around in the heat, but mostly I was anticipating my first ever trip to In-n-Out Burger. My MIL and I got a cab from the hotel and met Ryan and Phil (hehe, I enjoy that too much) there. The lines were crazy, but fast. We sat outside and I prepared for the first bite.

Ohhhh my gosh. It was perfect. And not just because I was expecting it to be. Honestly, rarely do I get a burger on which I wouldn't change a thing, but this was one of them. I didn't go for "Animal style" because it was a really hot day and chili is one of the last things that sounds appetizing to me in extreme heat. Nor did I get a double-double, because I would have felt like a pig. I just got a simple cheeseburger, and that was all I needed. I want another one right now.

Ryan headed back to NAB and my ILs and I walked over to the In-n-Out shop next store, where the cheeseball in me bought a T-shirt. We headed back to the hotel and my ILs and I went our separate ways again. I hated to be such a tourist, but it was SO HOT (have I mentioned that enough? Or used enough parentheses?) that I immediately changed into my new T-shirt because it was light and airy. I took off again with my trusty not-yet-rusty camera and went to M&M World.

How cute! It was fun to look around and mind-blowing how much stuff there was. M&M this, M&M that. Craziness. I was headed out the door when, for some reason, I felt like I should take a look behind me. I looked, and there was Yellow beckoning me to him. I smiled politely and started to leave again, then turned back around and asked some dude who worked there to take our picture. He obliged, and I'm so glad he did.

Afterwards, I headed to the Paris. I loved it from the outside and wanted to see if it was as cool on the inside. I was not disappointed. In fact, I liked Paris's shops the best. I even found the most adorable dishes in the world there. I'm still sad that I did not get them :( But they would have broken and/or pushed my luggage over the weight limit on the flight back home anyway.

Some more pictures, another trip through the Miracle Mile shops (whoops) and a change of clothes later, it was time to go back to the Venetian for our last dinner in Las Vegas and a gondola ride. We ate at a place called Valentino. Mmmm, the lasagna and the cannoli were perfect. Then Ryan and I took a wonderful gondola ride through the resort. I loved it! I was a little bummed that we had to share with another couple unless we wanted to pay a ridiculous amount of money, but they had fantastic British accents so it turned out great. And the gondolier sang beautiful Italian songs, too.

The best part? While we were there, we were approached by a guy who worked for the Marriot resort and we ended up signing up for another stay in Vegas that we can use any time within the next year - for a great price, half of which will be returned to us in the form of a Visa "entertainment card." Sah-WEET. I can't wait to go back!

All too soon, it was time to go back to the Monte Carlo, gather our things, and get on a plane. This was through an unfortunate circumstance involving Phil mistaking 12:35am for 12:35pm while booking our return flight. I was so bummed that I hadn't been able to catch a Bellagio water show at night - but guess what was happening as we drove past in the cab?! The driver even slowed down so I could get pictures! Yes, they turned out blurry, but awesome-blurry, if you ask me. It made me a little more at peace with leaving ;)

Little did I know there was one more small adventure to be had....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Vegas: Day Two

Here is my album of Day Two!

Our second day in Vegas was the first full day we'd have, so I woke up extra excited. We met Ryan's parents in the buffet downstairs, then sadly I had to say goodbye to Ryan for the day as he headed off to NAB. My in-laws kindly entertained my wish to go to The Mirage and see some animals, so that's where we headed first.

We bought our tickets to Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden and were told that it didn't open for another twenty minutes. So I had to sit down and enjoy an iced coffee first - bummer. ;) When it opened, we went in and got the lowdown on the animals (yeah, yeah, don't feed them, I know). The first stop was the dolphins. So cute! I wished I could swim with them, but I've been there and the freezing, salty water isn't something I want to revisit.

Next we saw some "white lions," which A) I didn't know existed and B) were not actually white, but just kind of pale. Like me. There were also silly alpacas and white tigers - three of them napping, one of them wiggin' out, which was funny.

We proceeded to the shops in The Mirage, where my MIL and I simultaneously laid eyes on a jacket that we knew Ryan would love. I wish I'd thought to get pictures of my silly self trying it on to see if it hung the same way Ryan's jackets normally hang on me (since he wasn't there to test out the fit). I kept raving about how great it would look with the sunglasses he'd bought the night before, and she got it for him!

Next, we headed over to the MGM Grand for more lions. (More thanks to my in-laws for putting up with me, ha.) Then my father-in-law (FIL? We'll call him Phil. I miss Phil of the Future.) wanted to eat at the Irish pub again, so off we went back to the New York New York. We were just walking in through the second-floor entrance when I saw them.

I knew that I had to have one, but we were on a mission for lunch, so it would have to wait for later. I enjoyed a corned beef on rye, then went back upstairs to buy my apple, which I would save to share with Ryan. As I pointed out the one I wanted (covered in caramel and peanut butter chips and drizzled with chocolate) and watched the lady box it up, I knew that I was feasting my eyes upon true treasure.
After lunch, Phil asked me about the "awesome sunglasses" he'd heard me talking about with Ryan at breakfast (and the day before). I told him of their glory - the ultra-reflective lenses, the "50s car blue" frames, how cute they looked with my vivid red hair (for which, yes, I pay dearly). We walked over to the Sunglass Hut, where he insisted on buying them for me! He said he felt bad that they got the jacket for Ryan and wanted me to have something too. I stammered, "but he's your flesh and blood!" and my MIL said, "Well, now you are too." What a sweet sentiment, and what generous ILs I have :)

My ILs wanted to rest after that, so I went down to the pool to check out the lazy river. Turns out it wasn't so lazy - the current was so strong that I couldn't prevent it from throwing me into things/people. There were definitely some awkward "getting to know you" moments with other hotel guests. Overall, it was great fun. I chilled in the hot tub for awhile, then spent a few minutes lying out to get dry and listening in on a conversation that a guy who sounded EXACTLY like John Ritter was having with some teenagers about how to get into "the business."

Soon, it was time to get ready for the evening. My MIL had gotten tickets for us to see "Phantom" at the Venetian. I put on a cute, "Vegas-appropriate" dress and greeted Ryan as he got back just in time to change and head down to meet his parents.

Okay, can I just ask if I'm the only person who is actually scared of "Phantom of the Opera?" Yes, I know the music is beautiful. That doesn't mean it isn't also scary. I mean, here's a guy who murders people and is so obsessed with Christine that he makes a life-sized, wedding gown-clad doll of her in his creepy dungeon. Her response to him is equally creepy. She is worshipful of this freak (and I say that not because of his face, which my gosh, isn't all that bad - what's so horrifying about a little scarring? - but because of his aforementioned murderous stalkerness). Every time I mention that the show scares me, people are like, "Oh, but it's so beautiful." "Beautiful" and "scary" aren't mutually exclusive, nor does the beauty of the music justify the things this dude does.
The show was enjoyable overall. The guy who played Raoul was so good that he made me like the character. Christine, however, needed a tranquilizer.
To end the day, we went to Smith and Wollensky for a late dinner. Oh my gosh, the food. I had an iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing (even the tomato slices were beautiful and perfect), truffled macaroni and cheese, gorgonzola-crusted filet mignon, and for dessert...a trio of crème brûlée: milk chocolate, vanilla with raspberries, and toasted coconut. I could die just thinking about it.
All in all, a perfect second day in Las Vegas!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vegas: Day One

First of all, I apologize for not being able to blog while I was actually in Vegas. Internet cost $15 a day at the hotel and in all honesty, I'm glad I wasn't able to spend time online because we all know how time can tick by more than we intend it to. I don't regret being out in the sunshine seeing the sights instead of staring at a computer.

Second of all, I have decided to link my posts to my Facebook albums instead of incorporating pics into the posts because I could never decide on just a few. So here is my album of day one to accompany this post.

We landed in Vegas about 1pm Pacific time. We checked into our hotel, the Monte Carlo, and had lunch at the Italian restaurant downstairs. (I had sweet potato ravioli - yum!) Afterward, we decided to walk over to the Bellagio and have a look around. Oh, my goodness. It was amazing! The botanical gardens were so beautiful - probably the best I've ever seen, despite also being the smallest. I've decided that Iceland poppies are my new favorite flowers. (I still love you, peonies and hydrangeas.)

After doing some exploring at the Bellagio, we walked across the street to the Miracle Mile Shops. We mostly went to find a place to sit down and have a drink, but I got really excited upon seeing shops I've only ever seen in New York - hello, Betsey Johnson! I knew I had to come back later to do some more thorough exploring ;)

We headed to the New York New York next. Since my father-in-law is big into Harley Davidson, we browsed their store for awhile, then went to Nine Fine Irishmen for dinner. The food and drinks were excellent. I even walked away with a cute green pashmina and a Claddagh ring. :)

Later that night, we packed into a cab and went downtown. We got to see the Fremont Street Experience, which, for those who don't know, basically involves a canopy high above the street on which light shows are displayed accompanied by music. We arrived just in time for the end of a Queen show (bummer - I was even wearing my Queen shirt!) but got to see a whole KISS show (which kind of terrified me. What are they thinking? Scary.) All the same, the spectacle was pretty cool. I told my husband that the area reminded me of "a calmer Times Square," and he pointed out that it was Monday. I still insist that Times Square is nuts on any night of the week. ;)

By the end of the night, I was ecstatic and exhausted. It was, after all, around 2am "our time." So we got back into a cab and went to sleep. The end of Day One. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

Ryan, my in-laws and I are leaving for Las Vegas early this morning. I have never been and am sooooo stoked. We are staying right on the strip in the Monte Carlo. Ryan is going to be attending a convention where the newest equipment for film, etc. is premiered - right up his alley, so he's excited about that. I will be manning the camera and simply taking it all in. The weather forecast is showing 80s-90s and sunshine all week. Here's hoping that the conditions will really be that great! I tentatively plan on blogging each night while we're there, but from what they say, anything can happen in Vegas...and it's supposed to stay in I make no guarantees. :) However, the only way I won't be describing my adventures there at SOME point is if the city has a creepy ability to suck one's memories out of one's brain when one leaves. So get excited. I know I am!


For those who don't know, I come up with weird nicknames for my loved ones. My mom happens to be Yemma. She called my husband on Wednesday evening to let him know that she had been admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal pain that was probably due to kidney stones. She told him not to worry me at work, but he knows me - I would have been more upset if I hadn't known until the next day. So he called and told me and I prayed and, I'll admit it, worried all night.

The next afternoon, I woke up to a message from her saying that they wanted to keep her another night to run more tests. Almost immediately I felt like I should be up there with her. I called work and told them I wouldn't be there, then drove up to St. Louis and got in around 10pm.

The next morning, I came downstairs (I had stayed with my grandparents) and started walking toward my grandma's bathroom, explaining that I'd gotten nail polish all over my hand and needed to borrow some remover. She said, "Sit down first."

"Honey, all signs are pointing to ovarian cancer." And there it was. I was surprised at how not surprised I was. Of course, the thought had briefly crossed my mind and it was crazy to hear it affirmed, but thankfully God gave me immediate peace. There was no moment like you see in the movies when the character realizes something major and the camera zooms in on his/her face, making everything else "rush" by (or however that works - Ryan explained it to me once, but I've forgotten). I don't remember what I said, but I think "Okay" was the first word that came out of my mouth.

We went to the hospital and my mom was shocked into oblivion at the sight of me walking through the door of her room. She muttered, "Does she know?" to my grandpa out of the corner of her mouth. "Yes, I know," I replied. She and I agreed that we need to remind ourselves that God is in control and His plans are better than ours, even if they're not always what we want.

Let me pause here and say that I deserve ZERO credit for my attitude. It is 100% God-given; I am still flummoxed as to how I've kept my cool. Of course I've had my terrified, devastated, "imaginative" moments like any of us would, but in general I've had an overwhelming peace with this so far. I've always been envious of people who can recall defining moments when they could feel God right there with them, but now I have one too. He is right by our sides and will never, ever leave. It is ONLY by His grace that my mom and I aren't totally neurotic. We are praying that through this situation, God will show our loved ones and mere acquaintances alike who He is and what He can do. I'm telling you, this stuff is real.

Anyway, Mom's doctor came by later that afternoon to give us the scoop. They are pretty sure it started in her ovar(y/ies) and spread to her omentum, which is the (nasty) layer of fatty tissue that lies over the intestines. On Wednesday, a highly recommended oncologist surgeon will do a complete hysterectomy and remove all the cancer she can see/feel. Right now this is what we are focusing on, and we will hear what the doctor found and go from there. It looks like she will have a round of chemo about six weeks after surgery, but that is a tentative plan right now. It would probably be localized - she will have some kind of catheter that goes into her abdomen and the chemo will be injected straight into it instead of going all throughout her body. Whether this means she will still lose her hair, I am not certain. Again, right now we're trying to just focus on Wednesday and praying that it goes well.

Let me just say that I am so incredibly humbled by the outpouring of love, prayers and compassion we have received. We have heard from people with whom we've been out of contact for years. Of course, that fact can make the "c" word a little scarier given how seriously people must be taking it if they're making contact all of a sudden, but we are just so grateful for everyone's response to this. Thank you so much for every expression of concern, for every positive message, for every prayer sent up for my mom and for our family.

It was a little hard to leave today, but I know that my mom is in good hands. She has strong faith and a HUGE support system of incredible friends. When I called her this afternoon to let her know I'd arrived safely home, she was eating lunch and watching a movie with two friends. I'm so glad she's not alone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


People in the hospital say all kinds of interesting things. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes sweet, sometimes just worded in such a way that it's worth sharing. Here are a few interesting things I've heard on the rehab floor recently:

Nurse: "I have an important question that I have to ask you."
Patient: "Well, I'm married; I can't go out with you."
Nurse: "No, it's not that question. That one I don't ask in front of the wives."

(Checking on an adorable, confused lady in the middle of the night)
Me: "Are you comfortable?"
Patient: "Oh, yes. And how about you? Are you getting enough sleep?"
Me: "I haven't been sleeping. I sleep during the day, and at night I come here and take care of you."
Patient: "Oh, well, aren't you sweet?"

Patient: "I think my pants are stuck on my grabbers."
Me: "Your what?"
Patient: "Those, down on my feet." (Points.)
Me: "Those are your socks."
Patient: "Okay, whatever you want to call them is fine."

Nurse: "Now, if one of us walked into the room and found you unresponsive - not breathing, no heartbeat - would you want us to do everything in our power to bring you back? That means chest compressions, putting you on a machine to make you breathe, shocking the living daylights out of you..."
Patient: "What I want you to do is walk out of the room, close the door and say, 'That ol' boy had a good run.'"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


"Leave Me" WON the 36-hour contest! I am so, so proud of my husband and all of our friends who worked hard on this. I wish I could have been there instead of having had to work. In case it hasn't been said enough, you all did such an incredible job and blew me (and so many others) away with your talents. I'm so proud of you all!!!

There is a difference.

I HATE talking about politics. Besides the fact that it's a social faux pas, it always puts people in a bad mood unless you agree with the person(s) in the conversation, and then, where's the opportunity for a new perspective? However, I need to say something.

There is a difference between having conservative political views and disobeying the Gospel. Jesus tells us to show love to everyone, to help people in need, to use the gifts we've been given to give others a leg up. Of course I will listen to what I'm commanded to do and obey. It is my privilege to honor the God that has given me everything. I just don't want to hand over the reigns to the government in this area.

Not all conservatives are selfish, power-hungry people and I rarely get angry, but I am outraged at being so quickly lumped into that category. (EDIT: after some thinking, I realized that is worded poorly. Of course I can be selfish sometimes - we all can. I should clarify that selfishness and a desire for power are not the basis for my political beliefs.) Getting into arguments with Christian liberals is very upsetting to me. These are people who love and serve the same God that I do accusing me of hurtful and downright inaccurate things. I do NOT believe in only giving to those who "deserve" it. Christians have been given eternal life and everyone knows we don't deserve it. My issue is that I would rather pray and be led to those to whom I need to give than to have that money automatically placed in areas that are going to help people financially, but not necessarily further His kingdom.

EDIT: I am not trying to convince anyone to believe as I do. I'm just stating where I stand and defending myself against an attack I've come under before.

Thanks, that's all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

To be fair, it was kind of obscure.

me: brb, laundry
brb, going to moon
me: umm, I think that's gonna be a long long time
Ryan: yeah, the brb is misleading
Ryan: bbn
Ryan: be back never
me: but do you get it?
me: if you don't get it, you're not the man I thought you were at all. Oh, no, no, no.

"Leave Me"

This past weekend, my husband and some of our friends made a short film for a 36-hour contest. (No, I'm not posting this to drum up votes. There are specific judges for the contest. Your "vote" would make us smile, but would be obsolete in the actual determination of the winner.) The films have to be about 3 minutes long and include certain elements for points. I won't tell you what the elements are here because I don't want you to be looking for them and end up distracted from the story.

The film is absolutely beautiful, and I'm not just biased. Pretty much everyone from whom I've heard a response says it's a tear-jerker. It's difficult to pack so much emotion into so little time, but it only took about ten seconds for me to tear up. Our friend Dustin directed, many more friends were on the cast/crew and the film features Ryan and my precious friends Mag and the Kruses! Everyone did an absolutely fantastic job.

When you watch it, make sure you're in a place where it's okay to be sad! I know that sounds dumb but don't say I didn't warn you if you end up blowing your nose in your cubicle.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Lately I've been realizing what a brat I am. I am so thankful that God is showing me this, because, as usual, it's only so that I can make the choice to either stay that way or be a better person.

Now, I don't think I'm more of a brat than the "average" person, but to me, that is no excuse. For one thing, I complain a LOT. Most of the complaints I make are inside my own head, but it's not any more fun for me to "listen" to them than it is for the people who get to hear the rest of my woes. I rely far too much on the things I like in my life - the things that make my life more convenient. If one of them is taken away even temporarily, I do not like it AT ALL. I whine and bathe myself in pity. It's disgusting. I read somewhere that a complaint is an emotional rejection of the circumstances God has put us in. Wow.

Thankfully, lately God has blessed me with an acute and immediate awareness of exactly how bratty I'm being, and most of the time I am able to put things into perspective and tell myself that it's not that big of a deal. Of course, SOMEtimes I decide to wallow in misery anyway. I am a stupid human.

One example of a lesson I'm learning is at church. Every other Sunday, I help serve tea before service. Tons of people come up and get tea or deplete the supply of ice water (which takes forever to build up) at speeds you wouldn't believe. If I had to pull a statistic out of thin air I'd say that 10% of the people say "thank you." I try to smile at and personally greet as many people as I possibly can. I say, "Hi, how are you today?" If I am lucky, I get a very quick, half-hearted smile in return before the person walks away, but sadly, most of the people act like I haven't said a word. (I used to think I was too quiet, so I started being louder but got scared, wide-eyed, "why is she shouting at me?!" looks in return.) It absolutely baffles me. I turn to the other girls and say, "HOW can people not even care when someone tries to talk to them? Why can't they even make eye contact?"

Then I get a tiny glimpse of how God must feel. He pours blessings on us, keeps us safe, tries to say "hi" in little and big ways all throughout our days, and how often do we look up and "smile" at Him? How often do we acknowledge what He is doing for us every single day? Shamefully seldom, at least in my case. But God does it anyway. He knew every huge and tiny screw-up we were going to make before he created this entire world, and He doesn't love us any less. That's kind of incredible, don't you think?

So I think I can put up with the gas in my house being off for the weekend. I think I can suck it up and show some extra love to the patient who is obsessed with pushing the call light all night, asking for someone to come fluff her pillows. I think I can continue to smile and greet the tea-takers every other Sunday whether they acknowledge me or not.

Of course, sometimes I'll feel sorry for myself anyway.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


A friend sent this to me. I'm not sure who wrote/compiled it, but in any case, I decided I needed to post it here because it is startlingly accurate:

Patients aren't always satisfied with how well nurses communicate, a recent Medicare survey revealed. Well, nurses had no trouble communicating with me after I defended them (last) Sunday. Nurses from recovery rooms, coronary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, ER and Trauma units e-mailed me across the country. Here's what they had to say:

Come walk in our shoes for a 12-hour shift. Come see the joy, the tragedy, the comedy, the 100 ways we are pulled and pushed, then rate my "pleasant greeting", "answers call light in timely fashion", "states name of patient."

Use the bathroom now, because you might not get the chance again until your shift ends.

Wear comfortable shoes. Don't worry if they're clean. They'll end up with blood and vomit on them.

We are the patient's advocate, the doctors' eyes and ears, and everyone's scapegoat.

We can page your doctor but we can't make that doctor magically appear.

We check your stitches, wipe your blood, drain your pus and empty your bedpan.

Nursing is a tough job, but we're tougher. We've been yelled at by administrators, supervisors and doctors. We've been kicked, slapped, punched, spat on, and sexually harassed by patients in various states of delirium, mental illness, arrogance, and intoxication. We've even had chairs and food trays thrown at us.

We work mandatory overtime, weekends and holidays.

We eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with coworkers.

We deal with families who ignore visiting hours, bring food to patients on restricted diets, and insist on staying the night even though it's not a private room.

We deal with the Florida son who orders us around to show a parent he's neglected for years that he cares.

We cannot be at your side every waking minute. We have 10 other patients.

We cannot answer 5 call lights at once.

We can't stop doing CPR on a patient because you ran out of tissues.

We are not maids, beauticians, or cocktail waitresses. We are professionals with college degrees.

We hate that we can't spend more bedside time with you.

Swearing at us will not make us move faster.

Taking better care of your health would help. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Start exercising. Stop drinking.

How do we survive? We ignore the nasty comments, the demanding relatives, the crazy staffing grids. We count to 10 before speaking. We pray every morning for strength and wisdom, patience and empathy. We drive home tired and frustrated, telling ourselves over and over , "I'm not the nurse I want to be, but I'm the best nurse the hospital staffing allows me to be." We fall asleep praying for the ones who won't survive the night.

There is no finish line, ever. Nursing is demanding, fulfilling, and we can't imagine doing anything else. Nothing beats washing blood and glass off a car crash survivor , stabilizing a broken neck, saving a diabetic's leg, keeping a cancer patient in remission. The day we send a patient home we relish the unbelievable resilience of the human body and spirit.

We did not become nurses for the hours, the salary, or the glamour of it all. We became nurses to make a difference.

We don't ask for much. One sincere "thank you" makes all the thankless hours worth it.

In all honesty, I wish I could say I agreed with the last part. How admirable it would be to say that all of that is worth it to me. The truth is, I didn't become a nurse because I wanted to be a nurse all my life. I became a nurse because I wanted to meet a guy in college and get married and be a stay-at-home wife, and nursing seemed like good preparation. Of course, I don't ever walk into a patient's room with the attitude, "Yeah, yeah, this is just my temporary gig until my dream comes along. What do you want?" My circumstances are NOT their fault and I try as hard as I can to never let my personal woes affect how I view someone in need. If I'm frustrated and burned out, it's because of everything you read above.

Sometimes I come home from work and tell my husband that I wish he could follow me around with his camera during a shift, then air it as a documentary on PBS or something. If people could only see how what they think is important (running out of tissues) compares to what else is going on that I can't mention (the lady down the hall who could code any minute), I really think things would be different.

Well, there it is, I guess.

Greyscale Wrap Day

Well, it's over. It's been a crazy and incredibly fulfilling ride. We've met tons of new awesome people and learned more than we could ever describe. This is one of those things that I never, ever imagined would happen in my life but it makes perfect sense that it has. We are not the authors, my friends.

Saturday, April 4th was our wrap day. We started mid-morning and ended after midnight. It was a very fun day, complete with a fire truck. I even got to pretend to be dead on a gurney because they needed a stiff. Here's how that conversation went:

(Sarah approaches the set after returning from a Bread Co. run)
Ryan: "Umm...hey, Sarah?"
Sarah: "YES I'll be dead under a sheet!!!"

Call me weird. Call me sick. Call me macabre. You're absolutely right.

Anyway, back to the day's events. On camera, there were thugs, there was sneaking around a warehouse, there were paramedics on scene. Off camera, there were laughs, there were silly dances, there were random bursts of "Fiddler on the Roof" songs (shout-out to Mag!). We had a great and productive last day on set.

Here are some photos to enjoy. Myself and a bunch of other people were using the camera that day so photo credit goes to pretty much everyone.

Okay, so at some point in the afternoon I realized that between the area we were shooting and the room where the "suited-up" actors were waiting was a perfectly-placed wall:
Teehee. They were jealous of the fun we were having. I'm sure of it.

Moving on:
Fooooood. (I missed this. I was too busy jamming to Will Smith in my car on the way back to set after a much-desired shower.)

Adorable cake that Ryan's mom got:

I caught this gentleman deeply pondering who-knows-what:

Okay, here we go! Here I am getting strapped down:

And having way more fun than a corpse should have:

And there I am! w00t!

Thanks, guys!

Our lovely Marisa had other duties that day, but she made it just in time for the last shot.

Overall, I think our director was satisfied.

Thanks to EVERYONE on this project for making my life so much better. None of us will ever forget this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Egg night!

It's a little pathetic how long I sat trying to think of an exciting post title that did not involve an egg pun. Turns out there isn't one (unless you can come up with one), so "egg night" it is. It was way more fun than it sounds.

Some friends came over and we dyed, decoupaged, ate, talked, and laughed for a few hours. It was perfect!

Okay, the only picture I got of Gloria was of her making us sandwiches. A little embarrassing (you DO NOT see the empty paper towel roll on the holder or the casserole dish in the sink - to be fair, we had JUST used the last paper towel and the dish was clean, just drying) but here she is in all her glory - ha, ha:

Yes, someone else was making sandwiches for us. No, I was not at the top of my hostessing game that night. I had spent two hours trying to hollow eighteen eggs and managed to ruin half the crate before someone else took over. I was a little cracked. (I guess I'm giving up on the "no egg puns" thing.) Okay, let's move on.

One friend brought her amazing glass teapot o' goodness and wonder. We all sat in awe as we watched the tea blossom. 'Twas funny.

The lovely eggs:

My favorite:This egg isn't exactly beautiful, but it is an adorable bunny with a cane nonetheless (don't forget my obsession with old animals):

And I must say that I am quite proud of my "egg tree." Funny story - I spent a couple of weeks looking for the perfect branch on which to hang my eggs. Finally, on Saturday while running errands on Greyscale's wrap day (a post on that to come), I was driving up Memorial and found the PERFECT branch. I told myself that I would come back for it later in the day. A few hours after that, I drove up and down Memorial looking for it but didn't see it anywhere. I figured that it must have blown away and I was very sad. BUT - after we wrapped, while heading toward the BA, I saw it.

Turns out it wasn't a branch. It was a whole tree. Someone had evidently uprooted it and decided that the side of a busy street in midtown was a good place for it. Undaunted, I pulled over into an empty parking lot, put my foot down on the tree, and tore off a good piece. I threw it into the backseat of my car, feeling like a very silly criminal. I took it home, sawed off the torn edge and some extra twigs, and spray-painted it. It became my quirky little egg tree.
To think I almost paid $40 for a little egg-hangy-thingy at Pier 1...

All in all, we had an eggcellent time. Aww, man...