Lay It To Me Straight Dr... Am I Gonna Die?

A month ago marked the three-yr mark of being graduated from University. I have a degree to show for it and a fancy lil "R.N." pin I wear on my name tag at work because, let's face it, nowadays it's not so easy to tell apart the nurses from the cleaning ladies because everybody wears scrubs.

Now, you think that I would be able to use some of that wisdom that I've learned and apply it to myself after my back surgery. You think that I wouldn't need to get checked out ONE LAST TIME by a doctor just so he can say, "Yep, things are going as expected, keep doing what you're doing".


Let me start off by saying, I am ridiculously blessed in how I've recovered. Seriously. I know that.

Pain in my back is like background noise. It's usually there but most times you are focused on other things and don't even realize it is there. Every now and then, I forget that I have the strength of an eighty-yr-old grandma and will try to lift a 300-lb. patient and my back will kindly remind me of my lack of muscle later but all I need is a quick reboot (AKA lay down on the ground for 4 minutes) and I am good to go again.

Basically, I need to work out and rebuild all that long lost muscle but every time I do yoga or lift weights or run and I feel a twinge in my back my overactive imagination sees my spinal cord getting twisted up in a rouge screw in my back and I just can't bring myself to continue. The odds of that happening are 1,000,000:1. But then again, wasn't my whole accident?

13 months post-op, this had to stop so I booked an appointment with my surgical doctor and went in with my updated x-rays praying that he would take one look at them and say, "Yep, things are going as expected, keep doing what you're doing" and I could go away knowing that the twinges I was feeling were the twinges of a weak, flabby back and not the strangulation of my spinal cord.

"Your back will never be 100%... Take care of it..."  blah blah blah
...and then he did said what I was hoping for.

I was throwing myself a mini-celebration in my head when he continued.

"One of the most important things you can do is keep your weight down," he gives me the once over,

"You've gained weight since I saw you last, haven't you?"        cue my mouth falling open. 

"Lose it; keep your weight down"

Maybe all those cookies I ate wasn't such a hot idea after all eh?

Good thing he cleared me to work out, do yoga, and just live life (albeit somewhat cautiously) because I apparently need to lose those 5 lbs extra I got laying around...

Ahhhhh, nothing like a Dr. laying it to ya straight. 

Washing Hair is for Days Off

Working a string of nightshifts in a row means good money. What it also means is...

I usually don't get ready much.... 

Sleep, eat, lay in bed, hang out with Shawn, maybe venture outside, run errands, kiss Shawn maybe go to church if I can drag myself out of bed mid-sleep (not so much yesterday) and jump in and out of the shower WITHOUT getting my hair wet...
(did I mention how Shawn stayed up till 5 am just so he could sleep in with me after my night shift? Love.)

So you see, my hair from day 1 is usually the same as day 3 and sometimes day 4 or 5.... When I have straight hair it's much easier to pull off... Curly hair can get frizzy VERY quickly and the curls kind of sag after being slept on two nights in a row.

This afternoon Shawn mentioned how he hasn't been to Heads Smashed In Buffalo Jump in eons so we opted for a good ol' random Sunday drive. We were so busy talking that we missed the turn-off by 40 km which was fine because we were really just wanting to be out driving, enjoying the gorgeous day that was to be had yesterday. Another reason for our drive was to see the cliff that was the cause of all those smashed in buffalo heads; I remember it being so much higher and more intimidating that I actually argued for ten minutes that we were looking at the wrong cliff and the actual one must be on the other side of the hill... I was convinced of that I was right until Shawn told me that the height of the cliff was much more appropriate than the massive ones I pointed out... His exact words would be 'you would have buffalo mush and splatter if they went off that cliff.' Never thought of it that way before.

By the time we got home I had the option of washing my hair or getting a nap in and just making my hair do for a third/fourth day.
No contest.
I brushed my hair, grabbed my chi to help fix the front curls and back curls and hopped right into bed.

Imagine my surprise when I walked onto the floor and everyone complimented me on my hair.. haha... maybe bedhead is a good look for me...


Never Mind the Date....

One day and one month until Shawn's and my 6-mo anniversary!!!!

If you are a guy, you probably are thinking that the only anniversary is the annual one but I beg to differ. In the first year after- well, just about anything- is marked small increment by small increment. Days, then weeks, then months. Only after you reach the one year mark do I switch to annual anniversaries.

Our wedding anniversary will be the exception. There will be the annual mark and the half-way mark.

The reason for this is simple. If it had been up to me, Shawn and I wouldn't even be married yet. I was dead set on having a June wedding (if you have ever seen "7 brides for 7 brothers" you will know why) or at least a summer wedding. Shawn wanted a September wedding so we comprimised and picked December 30th, aka the coldest day possible.

Just because we got married in winter doesn't mean we have to suffer celebrating our marriage every year in the cold so we agreed to bump the anniversary to the half-way mark, June 30th.  So in one month and one day Shawn and I will be celebrating our one-yr-anniversary six months after we got married. And I can't wait to have not a flake of snow anywhere around us when we do.


Was it a Full Moon Last Night?

I love my job.


Even when I come on shift at 11 p.m. and hear that there are not one, but TWO, men who were completely off their rockers... My night was definitely busy for other reasons as well, but mainly because I was chasing down bed alarms as my confused lil old men kept trying to crawl out of bed and I was rushing to prevent them from pulling out one, or all of their various tubes.

"I understand you think that you have to pee, but you actually have a catheter that is draining your bladder"

"No, you don't have to let the dog out because you are in the hospital"

"I don't think your friends want you calling them at 3:30 am, perhaps you might want to wait until the morning?"

Let's just say that I don't feel guilty about eating four chocolate-chip cookies after all my 100-m. dashes to catch my wandering patients. I was about to eat my fifth but a alarm sounding down the hall cut into my snack time.


May Long

This last Sunday we were lucky enough to be there for our newest nephew's baby blessing. 

It is such a beautiful thing seeing so much family gathering to support the new addition to the family. It's a long way for the majority of the families but as many that could come, did. We all crowded into the first three pews in one of the most gorgeous L.D.S. church I have seen. 

The original Taber church is so unique, and gorgeous! There are rumors that it is the oldest running L.D.S. chapel in Canada. If we move to Taber, I think I will try, plot and plan to ensure that we move into their ward just so we can go to that church. 

The Bevans clan with new addition
Daxon Hayz
Shawn and I meant to only spend the night but we ended up staying at Chandra and Rob's so we could spend more time with the family... and so we could stay up till 2 am playing Rook.

I love Rook. Slightly obsessed. 

The only problem is that I play it enough to get somewhat good, and then don't play it for so long that the next time someone pulls out the Rook cards, it's like I'm playing for the first time again. No more. I love this game and am not opposed to pulling them out and forcing people to play with me. Luckily, Shawn's family loves Rook more than I do. 

We played 4-person, 5-person and 6-person Rook and I loved every game but two particular games stood out to me, not because I won them, in fact, one of them was a HUGE failure for my teammate and I, but because they were hilarious. 

The first was in 5 person Rook. Shawn won the bid and called out for the 1 in Red to be his partner. It was me. I was psyched because I had the 1, 12,10 and maybe 3 other Red. I figured if he called me and made Red trump than he should have at least the 14, maybe the 13 and at least a few more and we should control a good chunk of Trump. 
Man, was I wrong.
I learned this out the hard way when I threw out the ten of trump, SURE that he had the 14 or at least the 13. Nope. Neither. Turns out that my husband/partner had a rubber neck and saw that I had a bunch of red and figured that we could do well since he had a lot of black. 
Man was he wrong. 
We bombed and all we could do is laugh at how ridiculous Shawn's plan was.  I was almost crying tears that it was so ridiculous and that I had the bad luck to be drug down by his ridiculous plan. You think that if you are gonna cheat that you would do good. Let this be a warning to all potential cheaters. It BLEW up in his face, in the tune of -140 pts. 

The next game that made my night was when Shawn and I were playing against Chandra and Todd. Shawn and Todd had taken the easy way out and bowed out of the bidding so it was between Chandra and I. My hand was crap, I had nothing but I couldn't let Chandra have it for 110 so we went back and forth 5 pts at a time till she got to 135 and I quickly passed. 
Chandra's face dropped so fast, I laughed.
Guess she was doing the exact same thing that I was and she got stuck with a mid-range rainbow. She just pulled a straw and picked a random color that we just happened to have. Shawn and I laughed all the way to 120 pts while Chandra couldn't believe her luck as they went down 135 pts. 

Writing on Stone Park
On the holiday Monday we all piled into our vehicles and drove out, past Milk River, to Writing-On-Stone (NOT riding on stone, like I used to think) Park. The hoo-doos are so beautiful and irresistible to climb all over. This was my first time, post-accident, that I ran and jumped and played as I did before the accident. Well, as much as I could wearing flip-flops. It wasn't too bad at all. I think I will never be back to what I was, which is tough to swallow some times but when it gets me down I just think of how blessed I am to be walking. 

Note to self: Carry sneakers with you in your car... It always seems to me that when around the Bevans, we do impromptu hiking trips and I am always in flip-flops. 

Did I mention that the weather was pretty decent? The majority of May longs are full of snow and wind. This time all we had to deal with was a light sprinkling, here and there. We'll take it. 

Shawn finding someone's stash of
matches and, yes, they still work

Mom and Dad Bevans
(with Daxon)


Love my handsome husband. 

A 'slide' that Heston fearlessly slid down when noone was watching. It was so steep
that none of us adults dared attempt so Heston showed us once again how it was done.
From top to bottom... Rob stood halfway in-between to make sure he wouldn't hit
the massive rock.
The weekend was great. Full of good food, family, hikes, and Rook. Can't complain about any of that. Love my husband and his family. 


The Other Vancouver

Some people just can't catch a break. The people of the of Vancouver Washington are a perfect example. Vancouver WA is a gorgeous city but I had never heard of it until my sister moved there last year. Two big reasons; it's literally across the river from the metropolis Portland, OR who steals all their thunder and secondly there is a MUCH more famous Vancouver about 6 hrs north in B.C. But even if we forget all about Vancouver's lil sibling syndrome let's discuss the state of Washington's name issue. 

Way back in the day, there was a bit of a tug of war for the area, which is now Washington, between the British and the Americans. In the end, they sided with the Americans and, opting to become another state they submitted their preferred name "Columbia" for consideration, named after the famous river that flows through BRITISH Columbia (get it?) and into the state. Due to the capital of the U.S.A. bearing the name "The District of Columbia", the state was denied the opportunity to be named Columbia as they thought it would be too confusing and instead they were encouraged to pick another name. Their second choice decided to honor the first president and name the state Washington, and all was hunky dory until the capital went and added "Washington" to their name. After all that, the poor state of Washington is still perpetually overlooked for the more flashy Washington D.C. Can't help but laugh at it. 

Putting aside all the double name game problems, I love visiting the area. Tamara and Ryan have lived there for a year now and it's just gorgeous. Chelsey and I had a week off so we drove the 12 hrs and enjoyed a week of shopping, good weather and just having a good time. A bonus was that Shawn's sister   and brother-in-law lives in Portland as well so I got the wonderful opportunity to see them all again and meet our new niece, Natalie Newton!

Mary's Adorable 2-yr-old
Mary and Nick's oldest

Tamara and Ryan's one and only (so far)

Meeting lil Natalie for the first time
So freaking precious

Love these guys,
wish they, or we, lived closer

Random, awesome, drinking fountain
in Portland

Kash and I mesmerized by "Tangled"

Settlers of Catan!

Tamara killed us all,  we were so busy watching
out for Ryan we didn't see her

Clip-on bangs?? Yes please!
Always wondered what I would look like with bangs

Ryan Palmer M.B.A.

The Palmer Clan

Aren't my sisters gorgeous?

Joe Crab Shack; not a fan of sea food but a fan of Joe's

Opposite Schedules

Wow... Moving back to Lethbridge has changed things alot.

It's spring outside! Yes! The weather is nice, the grass is green, the days are longer. I love it. True, this only has to do with the season, not the city, but I am giving credit to Lethbridge just because I am so happy with the 20C weather...

My renewed love for bikes is abundant. Shawn seems to be getting slightly sick of me suggesting we bike ride to every destination, but I just love being outside. Oh how I missed the nice weather. 

I am actually working, alot! Ahhhhh everytime I return to work I am reminded how much I love my job and how much I love feeling productive and making money. Add that to Shawn being such a workaholic (172 hrs in 2.5 weeks) that he almost makes me feel like a slacker and I am excited to actually start saving some money for investments, houses, and maybe if I can convince him, a future trip to South America... And I actually come home from work happy, having had fun with my co-workers and with nameless stories to tell. Like my 55-yr-old pt who asked for a diaper so he wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee after he was walking around ALL DAY. Say what?? I will never choose a diaper over walking to the bathroom while my legs are functioning. You have my word.  

After 4 months of being together every moment that Shawn wasn't at school, we are now working opposite schedules. He leaves for work at 6:30 am, when I am most definitely still sawing logs and I come home at 11:30 pm, hours after he passed out. Luckily, shift work means it won't always be like this but it means I am all caught up on my t.v. and am able to do yoga each day... Man am I sore...  Also, it has made me grateful for every moment with him. 

Like this morning when I woke up to Shawn coming into the bedroom with breakfast in bed. My eyes were still half shut as I forked the scrambled eggs and toast into my mouth. How lucky am I??


World War Z

We have all heard of the Great War and World War II but I had never heard of World War Z until two weeks ago when I stumbled upon this book at Chapters. I am quite partial to reading books about the second world war but reading about World War Z was surprisingly fascinating. 

Unlike my sister, Chelsey, I do not have any fascination with zombies and this book was quite out of my usual genre but this oral history of the zombie wars book blew me away.   

Through countless interviews of people all over the world, the author documents everything from initial encounters with the virus in China to the world wide "Great Panic" to the (and this is my FAVORITE part) the eventual, gradual beginning of the world's winning the war of the zombies. What can I say, I am a sucker for happy endings and most zombie movies are lacking in that department so I was overjoyed with the optimistic tone in the ending.

Before you scoff at the idea of this book, I have to say that there are three times in my life that I have been thoroughly convinced that completely illogical things could very conceivably happen;
1) "The Ring" made me afraid to walk in front of my t.v. for days.
Every night when I had to use the bathroom I would sprint from the stairs to the hallway to deny the creepy lil girl any opportunity to kill me. 
2) After watching 'War of the Worlds', I spent the first two hours at work the next morning scouring the skyline and horizon scouting for killer alien tripods.
2) Reading World War Z had me locking my doors and curling up to a sleeping Shawn at night before I could continue reading. Sadly, I had no weapon of any kind except ensuring Shawn was sleeping on the side of the bed that was near the door. I have faith Shawn could thwart any zombie. 

But it made me think....

I could go two ways with this... I could study up on Zombie survival tips
I decided against that. Instead I just decided to reopen discussions starting a food storage with Shawn. There are so many good reasons to have a good food storage; helping us get through a improbable zombie invasion is just one of them.