Friday, February 28, 2014

Last Love Month FF

1.  Seriously I can't believe it is the last day of February.  I must say this has been one of the best February's of my life.  It could be because I'm here in Phoenix where the weather is fabulous and I'm not having to scrape my windows or heat up my car so I don't freeze, or maybe it is because I am finally working and can't believe that I'm actually getting paychecks, or it is quite possibly because I've been able to spend time with one of the funniest aunts ever, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with this incredible man with blue eyes, long eyelashes, a little facial hair, a smile that melts my heart and 2 darling children that I'm quickly falling in love with.  
2. I have worked out at least 5 days a week for the past 4 weeks, stuck to my 1250 calories a day and lost 6.2 pounds and inches!  Finally back to where I was when I was diagnosed with the big OC.  And I finally have the muscle back that I lost!  I getting my killer calves back slowly but surely!
3.  Saturday was such a fun day.  It started with lunch with my friend Beth from work.  She is such a great friend.  We went to the Farmers Market and split a vegi pizza.
I then did a little shopping at Ann Taylor where I bought a cute, soft, gray sweater and a darling shirt, which I wore on my date with my new man and his 6 year old daughter and 9 year old son.  We had fun eating taco bell for dinner (I know romantic, but it was my idea and tasted so good), watching Prestige (very interesting movie), roasting marshmellows and making 'smores in the back yard (Mr. J is the best fire builder I've ever known) and one of the best parts was having one of the cutest little girls fall asleep in my arms!  Of course some cuddeling always makes for a great way to end the evening too!
4.  Sunday our church meetings were so wonderful and I enjoyed them so much.  In SS we talked about Lot and his wife and how she looked back.  I am not looking back but moving forward and excited about the future!  After church Mr. J cooked dinner on the grill, while I whipped up some Idaho Potato's!  When the kids had to go home to their mothers for a few days they gave me the sweetest hugs and said they didn't want to leave.  Unfortunately every night when I get off they are in bed and Mr. J say's I can't wake them, so I'm excited to see them this weekend.
5.  Of course my Wednesday Lunch date was fabulous and so is every night when I get off work!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lunch Date

This morning instead of going to the gym I went out for a jog!  It felt so good.  I'm finally able to jog a little without my feet hurting me so much.  I had to get my jitters out because I had a lunch date today!  Not that I was nervous or anything given the fact that we have seen each other nearly every day in the past few weeks!  And he has never made me nervous, just a little giddy!  It was so fun though, how often do you have a lunch date with a handsome blue eyed man in the middle of the week?  Not as often as it's going to get given the fact that he has Wednesday's off.  Plans for next Wednesday are already in the works.  I love trying new restaurants and he took me to one I'd never been to.  We had lunch on the patio which I love, especially being that it is still February.  We had a great conversation and I had a solid hour and a half of staring into the most beautiful blue eyes!  This man hugs me like no other man.  I love his hugs!  He told me today that I fit perfectly in his arms.  Ohhhhh!  Unfortunately I then had to go to work, even though he tried to convince me to call in sick; but not before I took him to one of my favorite places in Phoenix; under the grapefruit tree.  It's magical under there!

When I got to work my nurses who had no idea what I did this morning asked me why I was glowing.  Even though I was busy I had a hard time focusing on my work and even more so after I got this text, "I had lunch with this totally wonderful amazing woman who totally makes me want to have lunch with her everyday."  And then I had an even harder time focusing!  AHHHHHH!  And I will have to leave him for a time in 13 weeks.  I'm thinking it might be kind of difficult, but we will cross that bridge when it comes...for now I'm going to enjoy every minute I have with him!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Not that I didn't know it before, but this weekend confirmed to me that Heavenly Father's timing isn't always our timing and our timing isn't always His.  Just before I moved to Phoenix I remember having a conversation with my mom about dating.  I said to her that I wasn't ready for it, that I needed time before I told someone who I cared for about what I have experienced over the past 8 months.  Yea, that time was over yesterday.  The great thing is that he squeezed my hand even harder when I finally broke down and told him what my sisters were telling me to tell him all week.  He just kept shaking his head back and forth saying he couldn't believe all that I've had to go through and now I'm here with him.  (And he just sent me a text that said I was cute!)  At this point I'm happy for the timing that has placed this great guy in my life at this time in my life.  He makes me smile really big, makes my heart skip a beat and makes the perfect 'smores!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hooray For Fabulous Friday!

I'm excited that another weekend is here!  I'm starting to really love having my Saturday's and Sunday's off.  So much to look forward to this weekend.  Nothing fancy, just spending quality time with people that make me happy!
1.  Saturday was a wonderful day!  My cousin Janna had a baby a week ago and I got to hold her on Saturday.  She is absolutely beautiful.  I got my baby fix!  It was so fun to spend time with Janna, my Aunt Charla who came to help with Janna and her kids and my Aunt Leslie!  We ate homemade cinnamon rolls with maple frosting which made me think of my Grandma Young.  I'm thinking her spirit may have been there with us!
2.  After getting home from Janna's I went to my friend Aubrey's parents to celebrate her mom's 60th birthday.  It was so fun, the food was amazingly delicious and beautiful and I had the most wonderful time catching up with Aubrey.  I love this friend dearly!   I'm so grateful Heavenly Father had her drive up just behind Tenielle and I as we were arriving at BYU for the Summer.  It was fun for me to let her see me healthy and strong since the last time I saw her I had just gotten out of the hospital.  What a treasure it was for me to enjoy her family too!  It had been 14 years since I had been in their home and brought me back so many memories.  We picked grapefruit and the largest lemons I have ever seen on a tree!  And yes, I eventually took the wig off!  The hair is growing!
3.  I got a paycheck last Friday!  First one in 8 months.  Of course I had to buy a new shirt with some of my hard earned money!  I've been wanting a white blouse with black polka dots, instead I found a white blouse with small square's.
4.  Deborah and her family spent the weekend here since her daughter had a volley ball tournament up here.  It was fun to visit with her and her family!
5.  I had one of the best Sunday walks ever this week.  Of course it was because of the person I was walking and talking with.  Late nights have been my thing this week and I'm sure they will continue for the remainder of the time I do this shift or at least I hope so!
6.  I sent my check in today to pay off my up coming European River Cruise!  So can't wait to travel.  I also bought a plane ticket today to go home conference weekend and to enjoy some family time!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Last night I had a dream that I missed my flight from Phoenix to SLC to meet up with my travel buddies for our trip to Europe.  Worst part I left my suitcase in the cab.  I woke up before getting on the plane to meet up with them, so I don't even know if I made it.  Lucky me I'll be in SLC a few days before leaving for Europe so that I don't miss my flight.  Today I'm making my final payment for our trip.  I can't wait!  Only 14 weeks until our trip!

Remember the Borscht that I made last week?  It was delicious.  I ate it every day for dinner.  And I made it with canned pickled beets; simplify your life.

My hand is numb as I type.  This is getting really annoying.  I'm taking 1200mg of neurontin and no relief.  I'm trying to have endurance.

I'm falling for some really awesome blue eyes, that have kept me up late the last few nights!

A lady at the gym yesterday commented on the growth of my hair, stating every time she see's me she notices that it has grown.  Awesomeness that a stranger has noticed.  Come on hair grow faster!

I loved watching the USA/Mormon girl win a medal in Skelatan, the USA winning Gold in Ice Dancing, and am excited for the iceskating this evening.

Mom and Dad are now Skyping!  Hooray for Skyping!

I finally have enough hair for a good lather with a wee dab of shampoo.  The new pixie cut is on its way!

And now I'm off to the gym:  swimming and weight lifting today, even though I kind of want to sit here and watch TV...prying myself off the couch right now!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentines Night

Yesterday was just an average Valentines Day.  Nothing spectacular until the last hour and a half of the evening.  The last words from a hot man before I got in my car made me sigh and brought me a big fat smile, with a tilted head and his body leaning he said, "Happy Valentines Day."  And then I had a hard time falling asleep, because he was in my head.  And of course he was the first thoughts that entered my mind in my grogginess to pull myself from my bed this morning.  The End with a big fat exclamation point!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy LOVE Day FF

Since it is the day that is all about LOVE I thought I'd share with you some of the things that I LOVE that you might not be aware of!
1.  Thunderstorms and the smell of rain
2.  Greek food, especially taziki
3.  New In Town, You've Got Mail, Sweet Home Alabama, and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.  I'm pretty sure I've watched these shows a combination of 100 times!
4.  Tulip's, Daisy's and Sunflower's
5.  Capri Black Yoga Pants
6.  The smell of baby lotion on a baby
7.  Wind chimes and porch swings
8.  Aquaphor for my lips and Goldbond lotion for my dry hands
9.  Homemade bread
10.  A novel with the mix of mystery and romance
11.  Surprises, my friend Aubrey sent me a text yesterday telling me she was surprising her family this weekend and wants to get together with me tomorrow.  Such a great surprise for me!  Can't wait to see her and her family!
12.  Listening to the Classical Station in the car
13.  Playing the piano and organ
14.  When a patient sincerely thanks me for helping them

And because it is Valentines Day I thought I'd share my favorite Valentines Weekend of all...4 years ago I was driving from Harrisburg to Salisbury which is about 40-45 minutes.  I remember talking to my mom and telling her that I was seeing snowflakes.  I met Nick at his house and then he took me to the most cozy restaurant with a fire and we were seated by these windows that extended from the floor to the ceiling.  We ate dinner as the snow came down like crazy.  It was so romantic.  We then went to a Valentines movie and when we came out it was like a blizzard.  We went to his house afterwards and I eventually braved my way back to Harrisburg around midnight.  I was reprimanded by his grandmother the next morning for not staying in Salisbury and going out on the roads.  To be honest I probably should have stayed put because the roads were awful.  We went to Ikea Saturday morning, had lunch at Panera and then I worked the night shift.  Sunday morning I went from work to Nicks and slept a few hours before we went to church.  Funny thing is I put hot curlers in my hair and they weren't quite cooled off when it was time to go to church.  Nick refused to let me leave the house with curlers in my hair, needless to say we were a few minutes late to church, not something that he likes to be.  That evening we went to a fireside put on by the 5Browns.  It was awesome and they played the most beautiful piano music and bore their testimonies.  Nick surprised me with a beautiful necklace placed in heart shaped glass bowls.  It was an awesome weekend and one I will likely never forget!

This past year I truly have come to know love like I never have before.  I'm blessed to have the most wonderful family and friends a girl could ask for.  Happy Valentines Day to you my friend and family!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinach Shake Perfection

All those who are thinking gross...KEEP READING!  You all know I'm a fan of the spinach shake; so much that I drink one every day for lunch.  (I also eat 1/2 cup of cottage cheese so that I get my protein) I think I've perfected my favorite one so far...
I use all frozen fruit, unless I have a ripe banana that needs used.
1/4 cup Blueberries (or not even that much)
1/2-3/4 cup Tropical Fruit blend from Costco (strawberries, papaya, mango, pineapple)
1/2 banana
a few large handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp or so of frozen apple juice concentrate
blend and enjoy!

A few times a week when I work out really hard and need a protein shake I use:
Protein Powder (chocolate is what I have)
1 banana
a few handfuls of spinach
sometimes I add a tsp of Peanut Butter
Sometimes some strawberries; depends what kind of mood I'm in.

The great thing I've figured out is that I can freeze my spinach in Ziploc bags and my spinach doesn't go to waste because I haven't used it quick enough.  I love this!

Monday, February 10, 2014


"A strong person is not the one who doesn't cry.  A strong person is the one who cries and sheds tears for a moment, then gets up and fights again."

I love this quote.  I've never really been a crier.  I actually hate to cry.  But I admit, I did a lot of crying when I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.  I had a reason to cry for goodness sake.  Sometimes I would cry for a few minutes and sometimes it would drag on for an hour or so.  Mom would often threaten me with a pill when I cried too long.  It was then that I  would dry my tears quickly, because I didn't want to be reliant on a pill (ativan).  I often would cry when things settled down for the night and got quiet.  I would cry when we would read the quote for the day or my scriptures, especially when the subject was on faith and trials, or during prayer when someone would pray for me.

But being the strong person that I am I would shed tears for a moment and the next morning get up and fight.  I'm a fighter, always have been, always will be.  I'm so glad that I fought through the last 8 months, fought through surgery's, hospital stays, losing my hair and chemo side effects.  I'm a fighter and a crier and guess what, it's okay, because I'm a strong person!

P.S.  I'm glad the crying sessions are over!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fish Taco's with Kiwi Salsa

Today I cooked up a storm so that I can have meals throughout the week.  I made borscht in honor of the Olympics, fish taco's, and a pasta dish with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese.  Tonight we had the amazing fish taco's with Kiwi Salsa. One word:  Delicious!  I used sole as my fish, but I'd use talapia next time.  I combined this with my favorite lime dressing, cabbage, corn tortilla's, avocado and you have a delicious, healthy dinner.  You could also use black beans, but I didn't think about it until I was eating.

Kiwi Salsa
4 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
2 green onions
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
dash of salt and pepper
combine and refrigerate for a few hours

Lime Dressing
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Mayo
Fresh Dill
sprinkle of chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder
a shake or two of tabasco sauce
juice from 1 lime

Friday, February 7, 2014

Finally Working FF

1.  Saturday was another busy day here in Phoenix.  We left early to head to the Farmers Market that I love so much.  Then we went to my cousin Laura's son's soccer game.  For lunch we went to Tia Rosa's which I had heard so much about.  The fish tacos and pinto beans were delicious!  We then went to Deborah's daughter's volleyball game.  She is one good VB player.  We met up with our friend's Matt and Janelle.  Matt served his mission in Nampa and has kept in touch with our family.  They have darling 2 year old twins.  They took us to Liberty Market where I had the most wonderful cuban sandwich.
2.  Sunday was church and then we went to Laura and Jesse's for dinner and the Super Bowel.  Jesse made pulled pork which he smoked and was just as good as in the Carolina's.  It was fun to sit around and chat with my cousins.  We brought dessert...I've always wanted to try the chocolate mousse cake from Costco.  It was AMAZING and $2 off and so worth the calories, even though I only had a 1/2 piece.
3.  Monday was the big go to work day.  I am so loving my normal life.  I missed it so much.  I picked up everything as if I was only gone for a week instead of 8 months.  I love what I do and the people I am working with.  And I admit I'm loving working the afternoon/evening shift so much that I asked to do it again next month.  I love having my mornings open to go to the gym, study my scriptures and not fight traffic.
4.  I love the gym that I'm going to.  The cycle classes are awesome and the salt water pool is too.  I am loving working out with kettle balls.
5.  Mom and Dad left Tuesday to go to Disneyland for a day.  It was fun traveling with them and having them here.  Of course mom had to have some grapefruit, a very large one too!


I love borscht, probably because I love beets.  Tristen once made a pot that was delicious.  As I was watching the Today Show this morning they shared this recipe, so guess what I'm going to try to make to celebrate this Olympics...borscht of course, probably without the beef though.

 Recipe: Classic beef borscht

  • 1 pound highest quality stew beef (beef chuck, boneless beef ribs), chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 cups beef broth (add more for thinner consistency)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium red beets, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • For sauce:
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce/puree
  • 3-4 tablespoon fresh tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Ground black pepper, salt
  • For serving:
  • Olive oil mayonnaise, sour cream, diced green onion and/or fresh bread
1. Heat a large sauté over medium/high heat and add several tablespoons of canola oil. Season beef with salt and sear the meat until darkened. Transfer beef into large soup pot. To same sauté pan, add mirepoix ingredients: onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until golden brown. Remove mirepoix and add to beef. Deglaze pan with beef broth.
2. Add remaining beef broth, salt, ground pepper, ground cumin, garlic and beets. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Braise the meat for 1 hour until tender.
3. Prepare the sauce. Sauté the onion in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat until golden brown. Add tomato puree, ketchup, 1 cup water and season lightly with black pepper and salt. Simmer on low heat for 7 to 8 minutes then set aside.
4. After braising meat for 1 hour, add potatoes, prepared tomato sauce, cabbage, dill and parsley. Set heat to medium and cook uncovered. Bring the soup to a simmer then set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, cover and remove from heat. Serve with ½ tablespoon of mayonnaise or 1 tablespoon sour cream, sprinkle of green onion and fresh toasted bread.
Note: Soup can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. The flavors will develop more overnight, resulting in a more savory soup. Simply reheat pot over medium heat

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Today was a rather slow day at work, which gave me time to sit and talk with my nurses and another provider about what I have gone through over the past 8 months.  As I look back it is almost mind boggling that I actually went through what I went through and actually made it out alive.  I still can't believe I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at such a young age, hospitalized for 15 days, had an NG Tube twice, spent 6 1/2 months with an ileostomy, went through 6 rounds of chemo, lost my hair and am now healthy, in remission and back to work.  I came across this quote tonight which for me say's it all...

"And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person you walked in.  That's what this storm is all about."  Haruki Murakami

Monday, February 3, 2014

Today's The Day

8 months ago from today I became the patient.  Today I am back to being the provider.  I can't wait for my shift which goes from 1:30-10 which I'm not so stoked about, but it will give me mornings to work out.  It is only for the month of February unless I want to also do it in March.  I wasn't happy about it at first because I want to watch the Olympics, but I will just have to turn the TV to the Olympics and watch it in between my patients.  Funny thing is they called me at 9 and wondered where I was, because I had 6 patients already.  Someone messed up on the schedule.  Glad it wasn't me who made the mistake.  I'm so excited to see my amazing nurses, especially Ruth and Lisa!


My mom has been wanting me to set up a blog for her.  She say's she wants to write when she can't sleep at night and her mind won't shut off.  I'm excited to see what kind of things she will write.  Her blog is!  Go mom!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bucket List Check-Offs

This week I was able to check off a couple of bucket list items on my way from SLC to Phoenix.  Here they are:
Bryce Canyon:
Did a little yoga stance at the Horseshoe:
Saw a cool Dam/Bridge:
And went to the Grand Canyon: