Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another year, come and gone...

It's the middle of the night and I really should be in bed asleep, but for some strange reason I feel compelled to write. I have so many thoughts rattling around inside my head just waiting to get out. It's been a big year for me, so I'd like to take a few moments and share the highlights with you.

I spent most of this year learning how to be a grown up. It was a frightening, sometimes painful, and all around exhilarating experience. I experienced many things this year, some of them good, some of them bad. I lived, I loved, I laughed, I cried, I made life changing decisions, I made a few bad choices, I prayed, I lost myself, I found myself, and most of all: I discovered that I'm okay being who I am.

Not only was this a big year for emotional growth, but it was a huge year for "temporal" growth as well. I graduated from college, received my RN, bought a new car, bought a house, started a new job, and so many other things.

Now I'd like to take just a moment and steal an idea from my cousin/roommate Greg's blog and list 100 things that I loved this year:

My first pair of designer shoes
Having more than one place to call home
New best friends
Old best friends
Great roommates
Eliot, my car
Scrubs (the t.v. show)
Scrubs (the clothing item)
Reading the classics
Reading the occasional trashy romance novel
Lake Powell Vacations
Henna tattoos
The beach
Sweaters with fur on the hood
Getting something I've wanted for years
Pink feather boas
Super soft bathrobes
Monthly pedicures
Friends' blogs
My new big bed
Soft sheets
Keeping a journal
My coworkers
Old jewelry
Homemade jewelry
Gerber daisies
Unexpected hugs
Talking til 4 in the morning
Textual Innuendo
Texting one person all day and not getting bored
Family parties
Zebra stripes
Polka dots
Having long hair
Dancing whenever, wherever
Being a rockstar in my car
Being the life of the party without even trying
Knowing I'm loved
Temple prep
The ipod
Finding new bands I love
Finding new albums from bands I've loved for a long time
"Love you long time!"
When my friends have "Annicka Days"
Popcorn with extra butter
Tuesday night movies in Hurricane
Sunday dinner with my family (my Hurricane family and my Salt Lake family)
Making up stories for unexplained bruises
Playing spoons at work
Going from dark, to blond, to redhead, and back to dark
Sunday crushes
Sunday crushes that turn out to be more than that
Reconnecting with old friends
Watching my friends find love
Searching for love
Utah football
Going to games with my family
Hockey game dates
Seeing my friends and family "find themselves"
Being happy
Laughing til my stomach hurts
Laughing til I can't breathe
Dinner parties
Ugly sweaters
Comfy pants
The lovesac
5 love languages
Other people's life stories
"Steven Tyler!"
Random road trips to Idaho
Black and white photography
The zoo
Giving good advice
Being a shoulder to cry on
Having a shoulder to cry on
Paint chips on the wall for 3 months
Facebook status updates
Myspace surveys
Being asked to take engagement photos for a friend
Lunch with the Brighton Babes
Cute boots
Ambient lighting
Butch Walker
"California is raining, let's go to Mexico"
Underwear shopping
Learning to cook
Watching it rain
"Yo' Momma!"
Giving strange anatomy lessons
Being "The New Girl"
Finally learning that I am a strong, proud, beautiful, independent daughter of God, and I am worth it!

I hope everyone had a fantastic 2007, and here's looking up your old address for 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

To love is the greatest gift of all

A few thoughts on love...

From the novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers:
"'Love,' this English word: like other English words it has tense. 'Loved' or 'will love' or 'have loved.' All these specific tenses mean Love is time-limited thing. Not infinite. It only exist in particular period of time. In Chinese, Love is ai. It has no tense. No past and future. Love in Chinese means a being, a situation, a circumstance. Love is existence, holding past and future.
If our love existed in Chinese tense, then it will last for ever. It will be infinite."

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone."
- C.S. Lewis

"Love—is anterior to Life—
Posterior—to Death—
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Earth—"
- Emily Dickinson

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."
- Henry David Thoreau

"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."
-Ingrid Bergman (This quote is a personal favorite)

"In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love you want the other person."
- Margaret Anderson

"Have you even been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...
You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love."
-Rose Walker (This is for anyone who's ever had their heart broken.)

And now a few thoughts of my own:
Without love we are nothing. When a human is deprived of the giving and receiving of love it stunts their physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional growth. It is necessary to human survival. To love, and to be loved, is the greatest opportunity in this world and the world to come. Don't take that opportunity for granted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nurse Annie Strikes Again

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on the subject of why I became a nurse. It's been on my mind quite a lot and then I received an anonymous comment on my last blog that really got the wheels turning. The comment went as follows:

Dear Annabelle,

I stumbled upon your blog while sifting through a google search and I wanted to ask you for some advice, if it isnt too much trouble. I love to read, write, and travel but I have been considering joining the field of nursing. Being a nurse, what drew you into the field what direction do you plan to take your career?

Dear anonymous- This is for you:

I've wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. As a child I didn't really know any nurses, but my grandmother was a retired nurse. Like any other child I went through various job-desire phases, but nursing is always what I returned to.

In high school, despite being more drawn to history/english/music classes I took the courses I would need to help me get a good jump on getting into nursing school. Like you, I love to read, write, and travel. For me, however, those were always more hobbies and interests than job options. I felt like if I pursued and english-oriented field I would lose my love for and desire to pursue the subject.

In all honesty, however, my love of reading and writing was my salvation in nursing school. Despite the hands-on qualities of the profession nursing school was made up of a lot of paper writing and textbook reading. This definitely worked to my advantage, however, since those areas are my fortes.

As for the travel aspect, there are lots of travel options available in nursing. There are many travel agencies that are always looking for RN's to join their agency. This is a prospect I have looked into somewhat. Generally they require 2 years of floor nursing experience. The great thing about travel nursing is that generally you work a 36-hour week made up of three 12-hour shifts a week. This leaves a lot of free time for exploring wherever it is that you've been sent to work.

As far as future career options go: I'd really like to be a stay-at-home mom. The flexibility of nursing will allow me to stay at home with my kids (once I finally have some) during the week and work a few night shifts to keep my benefits. It is the ideal profession to work around having a family. This is actually one of the main reasons I chose nursing, in the end.

So, my dear Anonymous, there you have it: my life story as told through the eyes of a nurse. I truly love my profession, love the fact that I get to help people everyday, love that I only work 3 nights a week and I get full-time hours, and I love that it allows me to support myself. Nursing truly is my passion, and I hope I've helped you, if even just a little, to find yours.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime...

Merry Christmas to my few blog followers! What a day, week, and really, entire month it has been. I have been so busy, but loving every minute of it. My entire family is home for the holiday, and I love that. It's so great to have all four kids, both parents, and even the dog under one roof for a few days. I realize that I only live about 5 minutes from my parents house (hey, it's still my own place!), but I spent last night and will be spending tonight at home for the holidays. So what if I'm sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my little sister's bedroom. We never had to share a room when we didn't get along, so why shouldn't we share one now that we do.

The most exciting update (for me, anyway) is that I'm writing this blog post from my very own, brand new laptop. I'm totally stoked to now be able to update you all from my bed. That's right, my bed. Thank you parents, Aunt Mary, and Santa for making this personal dream of mine a reality. (Joking about the personal dream, not joking about the laptop)

Second update: I had a FANTASTIC time last weekend when the crew came up to visit from St. George. Despite spending all day Saturday tossing up the contents of my stomach, I still had a great time. I love spending time with them, and it was so good to see them and feel like part of a group again. They are some of my most favorite people in the world and spending a weekend with them was just what I needed. It was quite an eventful weekend, so I'll spare you the details, but just know that if you want an... interesting... insight into my current state of affairs you are more than welcome to ask for more details. I'll just leave it at the fact that it was a GREAT weekend.

Third item of note: I brought a boy to my family's Christmas Eve bash (insert shock and awe here). A good friend of mine really didn't have anywhere to go for Christmas Eve, despite having family here in town, so he came to my family's party to eat and hang out and have a good time. He was a big hit. The little ones loved him (he's going to be a great dad someday, and I fell for him just a little further at that point), my parents adore him (my mom wants him to wise up and marry me), and I have quite the crush on him myself. We've been out on a few dates, he celebrates Christmas with my family, we can talk about anything for hours, and he makes it a point to see me several times a week... sounds almost like we're dating. Maybe someone should clue him in... (it won't be me. I'm forward, but not that forward). Such is the story of my life, once again I'm the cool chick friend. He'll figure out how amazing I am one of these days.

Well, that's enough updates from the home front. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I love you all, and miss those of you I haven't seen lately. Best wishes for the New Year!

Much love!

Friday, December 14, 2007

On my mind...

I'd like to take a moment to expound upon to mystery of a bridesmaid dress. Who made the decision that they need to be shiny? Inevitably somebody's somewhat overweight cousin/ sister/ friend/ girl- you- don't- really- know- but- your- real- maid- of- honor- shattered- her- pelvis- line- dancing (and that's not to say Julia Roberts is overweight, I think she looks fantastic in that movie) gets squeezed into some sort of shimmering tube in which she is expected to wait hand and foot upon the bride. It think this is a huge oversight on the part of wedding planners everywhere. I mean, really, I know you want to bride to shine, it's her day, she shouldn't be overshadowed, blahblahblah, but you think that when the bride and groom look back on their wedding pictures in 10, 20, 50 years you don't want them to go, "Oh, honey, what were we thinking? That chubby bridesmaid looks like Miss Piggy in that dress!" And if the dress isn't shiny it has some sort of awful pattern that looks like it came off the discount rack at K-Mart, not that I have anything against the discount rack at K-Mart. I just think that a wedding is something for which you should make an attempt at class. (As I side note, I apologize for the somewhat harsh tone of the above paragraph. I've been catching up on my gofugyourself reading and may have adopted the authors' style.)

I think child leashes are unneccesary. Unless your kid is a hyper-hypo, like Phillip, then I say go for it.

So I was talking to my mom this week about a coworker of hers, in her early thirties, who constantly laments the fact that she's not married. She feels as though she's being punished for something, etc. I, personally, take issue with this attitude a bit. I think that marriage isn't a reward or a punishment for anything, and it will happen when it's supposed to. I feel like until she changes this attitude about herself she won't ever get married. Desperation is not attractive... in anyone. Anyway, my mom was talking to her about it and said to her, in reference to me, "You know, I have a very independent daughter who may never get married, and that's okay. She has a career, she and a cousin bought a house, and her life is good. She doesn't let being single define who she is, it's just a state of being. And you know, if she does ever get married it'll probably be to someone who's been married before, probably someone with a few kids." Well thank you, mom, for the vote of confidence in my ability to be insta-mommy, but you really think I may never get married? A little disheartening when your mom has lost some hope in you before you even hit 23.

Tonight is my Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. I couldn't be more excited. Lots of my friends in ugly sweaters. Christmastime doesn't get better than that.

Today is the day! Finally! After months of planning, waiting, and being super excited it's finally here. The day my friends from St. George come to spend the weekend. (Okay, so there might be an interesting boy involved as well...maybe I should put the mistletoe to good use.) An update to follow later, probably in a few days.

Much love, and Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm it? Apparently...

I got tagged, so here it is, kids:

What I was doing 10 years ago: Let's see, 10 years ago I would've been 12, almost 13. I thought I was so grown up! I was probably begging my mom to let me wear make up, acting like I was better than my younger siblings, and helping take care of the then 9 month old baby that was McKay. I would've been in 7th grade, so I probably thought I was pretty cool to be out of elementary school at that time.

What I was doing 5 years ago: Hmm...I would've been 17, almost 18, and in my senior year of High School. I was singing with the A'cappella choir and December was a busy month for us, so I was participating in a lot of performances. At this point in time I was also finishing up all of my scholarship applications, and trying to have some fun amongst all the senior year craziness.

One year ago: One year ago I was living in St. George and just getting ready to start my last semester of nursing school. This was also about the time that I decided I would be moving back up north after I graduated. At the time I didn't feel like I had many friends to keep me in St. George. I was working as an LPN at the hospital in St. George, and really itching to graduate.

Yesterday: Hmmm, yesterday was Monday...I slept til about 1 or 2 since I worked all night sunday night. Then I did a little shopping (for myself, I needed boots), ate dinner at my parents house, did a little Christmas shopping, and then just sort of hung out til bedtime. I know, I lead a very exciting life.

5 snacks I enjoy: Ice cream, pickles, tortilla chips, fruit snacks, leftovers.

5 things I would do if I had $100 Million: Build my dream house, pay off my car, invest, and take care of any debt that my family has. This includes the future educations of my siblings, and my brothers' missions.

5 places I would run away to: San Diego, Italy, Hurricane, Ogden (it's where my best friend lives, don't judge.), or Brighton

5 TV shows I like: Scrubs, CSI, Sex and the City, That 70s Show, Law and Order SVU

5 things I hate doing: Being Cold, eating tomatoes, feeling guilty, being alone for extended periods of time, planning parties that no one comes to

5 biggest joys of the moment: My family, my friends (especially the ones coming to visit this weekend!), my job, my photography, and my house!

I'm supposed to tag 5 people, but I don't think 5 people read my if you want to do this go ahead.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Feeling better

Sorry about the truly depressing tone of my last post. I've really been struggling lately with feelings of acceptance, blahblahblah. I'm feeling much better now.

I spent some time this week with some good girlfriends. We went to dinner, and then went and saw Stardust. It was fantastic! I love that movie. It was also so great to spend some time with the girls. For the first time in awhile I felt accepted, wanted, and like people wanted to be around me. Granted, I had to plan the little get-together, but it was still so much fun and so nice to get out of the house. We also made some plans for future activites, a girl's night, and some other things. It feels good to have friends in my same city again.

I've also started to catch the Christmas spirit a little more. My shopping is mostly done, which is good. That makes me feel like I can focus a little more on what the season is really about. I love driving down the street and seeing houses all lit up, snowmen, and Christmas trees in windows. I love coming home to a house that smells like Christmas. Greg and I finally got our tree decorated (okay, Greg decorated the tree) and our house is all decked out. It looks awesome! I love walking in from a snowstorm to a house that's warm, cozy, Christmasy, and smells good. There are few things in this world that are better than that.

I'm also excited for this coming weekend. One of my favorite people in the whole entire world is coming to stay the weekend with me (yes, it's a boy). I've been looking forward to this visit for months and I haven't seen him since July. This is far too long, let me tell you. He, and probably a few other friends, are going to come stay with me for a few days. While they are here we are throwing an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party (everyone's invited, come play!), going to see the lights on temple square, and just having an all around good time. Okay, part of me wants to catch him under the mistletoe, too. I can't help it...

I had a long talk with a friend this week about marriage, dating, relationships, etc. It really made me feel better. She had a lot of very insightful things to say to me and really seemed to understand my feelings, apprehensions, and wishes on the subject. I feel much better and much more at ease about the whole situation.

Anyway, that's about all I have to update on at the moment. I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season. Love you all!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

So Unsettled

Something in my life isn't quite right, I don't know what it is. Lately I've just felt "off".

I've been overly emotional. The smallest things will set me off, I cry over nothing, I laugh too hard at things that aren't funny, and I'm even more easily annoyed than normal. Despite being overly emotional, however, I feel completely apathetic and lackluster about making any change.

Temporally, things are good. The condo is great, as is living with Greg. I much prefer living with a guy than living with girls. The utter lack of drama and backstabbing is such a relief. My job, while not my dream job, is perfectly fine for the time being. My family is good, and I love spending time with them. Being around them is about the only time I feel "normal" anymore. Maybe that's why I spend so much time at their house. I have friends, and while we don't hang out every night, I feel that my social life is picking up.

Spiritually I feel okay, too. I'm doing better about doing the basics: reading scriptures, praying, building a relationship with my Heavenly Father, preparing to go to the temple, etc. I feel closer to my Savior and my Father in Heaven than I have in a long time. I feel His hand in my life, guiding me in my choices and trials daily.

It's Christmastime, which I love. I love the selfless and giving spirit of the Christmas season. It's one of the few times that I feel like everyone is thinking about someone other than themselves. I love everything that comes with the season, except snow and crowds. I love the food, the decorations, the giving of gifts, the time spent with family, all of it. I love it that our Savior is thought about, talked about, and studied more at this time of year than any other.

Despite all of this, I'm lonely. There, I said it. I spend a lot of time by myself, and I get lonely. Working the night shift I'm home all day, every day. This is a lot of time without other human contact. Not only am I lonely in that way, I'm lonely for a relationship. I got thinking about it the other night and I realized that it's been 2 years since my last relationship. I've dated other guys in that 2 years, but no one exclusively. I miss the things that come with having a relationship. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm ready to settle down by any means, but it'd be nice to have someone there. Someone to cuddle up next to and watch a movie. Someone to just sit with and be in the moment. I miss having my hand held. I miss good-night kisses. I miss an arm around my shoulders in church or at the movies. I even miss taking someone home to meet my family. I'm finally in a place in my life where I'm ready for a relationship and I'm all alone.

How's that for irony?