Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Five things nobody tells you when you get promoted

Many of you may know, many of you may not, but I was recently promoted to a new position within my facility. (If you're still lost, I am a registered nurse - formerly a LPN - working at a long term care and rehabilitation facility). Recently as in last week. My new official title is "Clinical Nurse Manager" which basically means I manage a single unit (there are six in my facility) and I report directly to the Director of Nursing (or DON in nurse-speak).

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had applied for a new position - but it was NOT this one. This one came as a surprise, kind of like one of those "one door closes and another one opens" kind of things. It came with insecurities and doubts and "can I really do this?" and "what ifs." It came with excitement and nervousness and encouragement.

When you accept a new job, it usually comes with many congratulations and many well wishes, but there are a few things nobody will tell you about being promoted.

1. Everyone will have their own way of doing things. No matter what field you work in, what position you start in, or what position you are promoted to, the people around you are going to have their way of getting the job done. In my case, I am being trained by multiple people, and each one of them have a different way of doing things. Starting out, I can already see what I am going to do different, but I can also see some habits of my own that I need to adapt and change. No one person is completely right, and no one person is completely wrong. I think it's important to take away something from every person teaching you.

2. Not everyone will be excited for you. Its just one of those things. There will be those who just don't think you're good enough, no matter what. There will be those that are jealous, those that wanted the job themselves and thought they were the better fit. This is when you just have to hold your head high and not let your own self doubts mix with the doubts of others.

3. The training period is never long enough. No matter if you get three weeks, or three months, you will never know everything you need to know before you're on your own. There are just some things that have to be learned the hard way.

4. Being someone's boss (especially someone who was your fellow peer) is really hard. I learned this when I became an LPN, then I learned it again when I became an RN, and I'm still learning it now, as a manager. If you've ever been promoted within a facility, chances are you are now your former peers' boss. And chances are you are now the one that has to tell them what to do, how to do it, and reprimand them when they get it wrong. It sucks. I haven't found a way to do it when it doesn't suck, so if you know of one, please let me know.

5. You will get things wrong. It's okay. Thankfully I'm still working under supervision so I haven't had a chance to screw up too badly. But I know it's coming. It always does. I am not perfect, nor to I pretend to be. I do however, try my best to get the job done in the most efficient and ethical way possible, while doing what is best for my staff and my patients, who are of course my number one priority.

Did you learn anything new when you were promoted/hired in a new position?

Monday, July 28, 2014


When Kate and Jackie announced their Don't try so hard link up last week, I couldn't wait for it: all of blog land (or some of it anyway) coming together, bare faced, to celebrate our natural beauty. 

Getting ready for work this morning: shower hair + a little exhausted from a great swim session
I have a hard time deciding what I think about wearing makeup. On one hand you have the women who are totally against it, who view it as a mask and a way to hide our natural looks. They believe it goes against womanhood and feminism to put even an ounce of mascara on our faces, because that means we are trying to cover up who we really are.

Then there are the women who look at make up as essential. They would never leave the house without it. Not necessarily because they are insecure, or they think they are "ugly" without it, but just because that's the way it is. 

I'm somewhere in the middle. I rarely wore makeup throughout high school. In fact, I think I only wore it twice during my senior year: for pictures, and for prom. During college, I had to teach myself how to wear makeup (and I'm still kind of working on it). Do I wear makup to work on a daily basis? Yes. Do I feel like I need it? NO. I am 100% comfortable waking up and going to work without a lick of makeup on my face. However. Makeup does make me feel prettier. More feminine. A little softer around the edges.

As I said earlier, I was super excited about this link up last week, but then the weekend happened. I was planning on taking a few shots with my "fancy camera" but I was too busy.

You can't read my hat, but it says "Life is Good" and oh, how I agree.
I snapped this at the boat ramp after a few hours of riding around the lake, looking at houses (most of which we could never afford) and wondering/pretending how awesome it would be to live in some of the mansions. We may have even done a little trespassing and sneaking around properties, looking in windows and sitting on porches. It was one of the best days I've had in a while and I think this picture perfectly captures me "not trying so hard" at all.

When I look at the two pictures above, this is what I see: I see a girl who has grass-green eyes and sort of thin eyebrows (but that's okay because she just learned how to fill them in). I see a girl with naturally straight teeth (thank the lort for not having to wear braces) and a sort of flat stomach that she works her ass off for. I see a girl with "beauty marks" a plenty, and with crows lines around her eyes, because she smiles so much. I see a girl who is happy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

The other week I was craving something cheesy and a little spicy. I thought about making a buffalo chicken pizza (one of mine and Derek's recent favorites) but for some reason I just wasn't feeling it. After a little brain storming (and kitchen inventory assessment) I decided I'd throw together two of my my most favoritest things: macaroni and cheese and buffalo chicken.

I'm not going to lie, I've made this several times since I originally 'grammed it, and each time it's been a little different, so bear with me as none of these measurements are exact.

You'll need:

Shredded cheddar cheese (the amount varies, depending how much you like cheese. I LOVE cheese so I kind of tend to over do it a little. Generally 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup milk
1 tbs melted butter/margarine
3 tbs flour
1 cup (dry) whole wheat noodles
1 chicken breast, cooked, seasoned, and shredded
1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I used Texas Pete)
Italian bread crumbs (optional)

First boil your noodles. I'm not going to tell you how to do that because you should already know. Drain the water. Also at this point your chicken should be cooked and seasoned, but I would hope you knew that since it said you needed cooked, seasoned, and shredded chicken in the ingredients. Moving on.

Instead of adding the cheese directly to the noodles, I like to make a cheese sauce instead. It usually turns out a lot better, because it seems every time I add cheese directly to noodles, it gets all goopy and stringy instead of creamy (ps, does anyone else hate the word creamy?). I usually do this while the noodles are boiling because it doesn't really take too long. So to make a cheese sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan then lower the heat and add the flour. Stir until thick and smooth. Gradually add milk and let simmer for 2-3 minutes on low-med heat. Add the cheese and stir until melted and it's a "saucy" consistency.

Combine the chicken, noodles, cheese sauce, and buffalo sauce in a medium glass baking dish and top with more shredded cheese and bread crumbs (optional). Bake on 375 for about 15 minutes or until cheese on top is melted/slightly browned.

Now you need to go make you a bowl of this deliciousness and tell me all about it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Body Talk: Loving yourself no matter what

If you follow me on instagram (how many times have a led a post with that?) then you'll notice that I occasionally post some type of "progress picture" or "gym selfie" in which less of my body is covered than not. Not because I love showing off or talking about my body, because that part actually gives me heart palpitations, and not the good kind. But I do like to talk about loving myself, and not in a big headed, egotistical kind of way, but the soul-fulfilling, confidence-boosting, heart-warming kind of way. 

Because don't they say, If you don't love yourself, then no one else can either? Or something like that.

Loving ourselves is something that doesn't come easy. In fact, I think it's one of the hardest things we can do, and it took me a long time to get where I am today. And today I am nowhere near perfect.

When I say I love my body, it doesn't always mean I'm happy with it. I think people think that when they "love themselves" that they are settling for what they already have. I think people assume that when you work out or want to lose weight or become healthier, it means we can't love our body - because we're trying to change it. I completely disagree with this notion.

I feel that we can love our body before, during, and after changing it. I feel that we should actually love our body no matter what, not because of how it looks, but because of what it can do. I wrote earlier this year about going on a diet for my soul. It's been hard work, but I think I've finally arrived at a place of contentedness. I wrote the following:
We sit here day after day and beat ourselves up and compare ourselves to others, always thinking we could do better. Look better. Be better. But in reality, we need to focus on the ways that we are already beautiful. Instead of focusing on ways we can improve, lets focus on the things we have already mastered. 
I really have tried over the past few months to focus on the good instead of the bad, and to feed my soul the things it needs for happiness. Loving myself is hard. It doesn't mean I'm always happy, or that I don't strive to be better, it means that no matter what, at the end of the day I can still look at my body, know that I have worked hard for it and I can still love it.

Those pictures were taken only a few days apart, yet they look significantly different from each other. But you know what, I love both of those bodies. I love the one on the left: the bloated from good food, fish catching, bare footed, hasn't-showered-dirty-haired and ready to take a nap body. I love the one on the right: the lean, clean, swimming and running machine, fresh out of the shower and ready to take on the day body. Though they are different, they are the same. Though they have different stories to tell, the ending remains unified: they are both mine, they are both healthy, and they are both something I've worked hard for.

In what ways do you love yourself and your body?

Mr. Thomas & Me

Treating myself with Treasure Tromp!

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Day in GIFs

This is how a normal day usually goes for me:

0500 - My alarm goes off like:

0540 - 0700 - I go be fierce at the gym

0700-0800 Get ready for work:

0830-1700 - #workflow

And lunch break is like:

When my relief finally shows up:


On my way home:

1730-2100 No pants time

2130 - Bedtime

I'm a little ashamed to admit that it took me 2+ hours to make this post because GIFS duh. So distracting.