Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Texas meets Maine Lobster Bake

Mmmm...Maine Lobster steamed in seaweed. That salt water smell brought tears to my eyes, because I miss that Atlantic ocean really bad.

My dear friend, Kristen and I

The "crew" that came out to enjoy the lobster bake, which turned into my going away party. The Dallas Cowboys jersey was ONLY worn on Sunday because I was forced into it. I'm still a NE fan, by heart!

The spread: Lobsters, marinated ribeye, potato salad, sauteed veggies, grilled corn on the cob, southern cheese biscuits

7 hours southwest...

First off, I apologize for not updating my blog in some time. As most of you may know, the last few weeks have been a little busy for me, but fun, needless to say. Secondly, I wanted to let you all know that in just a week and a half, I will be moving, AGAIN! Yes, I received an unexpected call from my recruiter last Thursday. She called to tell me some "exciting news," which were her exact words. The second she said that, I instantly thought that maybe they were able to secure the assignment I was looking to take at the end of January in Colorado; however it was the complete opposite! The nursing home that I am working in has been struggling with their budget for sometime; therefore, they needed to make some necessary changes by laying off a few of the staff. That being said, I was given a 14-day notice. So, Joy proceeded to say, "Kristi, you have been having a hard time dealing with this place since the first day you stepped into their doors, I think this is a blessing in disguise." After she made that statement, I paused for a minute and agreed that this was probably for the best. As my family has heard numerous times, I was not happy with the organization of the department and found myself sitting in pools of ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. From other staff violating patient's rights and dignity to the relationships within the interdisciplinary team, I never felt comfortable practicing within that environment. I take pride in my skills and practice and sure as heck respect my patients, unlike several of the staff working there. So, with that said, my last day at the nursing home will be November 6th and will pack up in Mrs. B's cottage on the 7th to drive 7 hours southwest of Pittsburg. I have been doing quite a bit of research on the new town that I will be living in and am rather excited! It's a town of about 20,000 people that draws in tourists from all over the U.S. The Quadalupe River runs through the middle of the town, making it a fantastic spot for floating, kayaking, and sight seeing. In addition, the town has an artistic and "outdoorsy" flair, which makes for an exciting place for creative discoveries! It's a place convienantly situated 50 miles northwest of San Antonio and 1.5 hours from Austin. I will be working at a private, fairly new, 126-bed hospital that has both an acute care and acute rehab floor, which happen to be my two favorite settings to practice. While working at the nursing home for the past 5 weeks, I found myself missing the craziness of acute care and ability to get to know my patients in acute rehab.

I am sad to leave my new friends that I have made here, but know deep down that this probably the best thing that could be happening to me right now. Everything happens for a reason and you meet the peole you meet for several of these reasons. When reflecting back on my arrival and the few friends I instantly met and connected with, I am able to make sense of why we crossed paths. I will take something from each of them, which in the end, has definitely made me a bigger, stronger, and better person.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To my precious Godson on his 1st birthday...

Tomorrow is my nephew and Godson's first birthday and it saddens me that I am not there to share it with him and my family. I love this picture of us because it was taken on the very first day that I met him and held him in my arms. I remember leaving and telling my mom that if I already loved Cole so much, I cannot even imagine how much love I would have for my own children. I feel so blessed and honored to be his Godmother and thank my sister and brother in law everyday for giving me this opportunity to play this part in his life. It was difficult enough for me to live three hours from him when I was in Boston and now I am finding it even more challenging to live over 1800 miles away. But I am fortunate enough to have such a wonderful family that sends me daily updates and pictures of him so I can experience each moment by just looking at his expressions in all the photos.
Just thinking about him makes me smile. He already carries such a vibrant, outgoing, creative, and loving way about himself, that I am excited to see what type of personality he will take on as he continues to grow and mature. He is the love of my life and brings so much joy into our family. So, Cole Michael, may you have the most beautiful and exciting first birthday! Eat lots of cake, because you know that your Auntie would be proud!
A Godson's Love
Samantha Ritcher
Tiny hands, tiny feet
i've waited so long for us to meet.
Who could've known a love so true
i'd given up hope, then along came you.
Innocent and perfect, you're safe within my arms
i'll watch over you and protect you,
i'll keep you safe from harm.
With mischief in your smile
and wonder in your eyes
watching you as you sleep,
feeling every sigh
i could look at you for hours
and always be content.
You became my living angel
when you were heaven sent.
Just the thought of you,
makes my world seem full...
you are my life,
my love, my Godson
my precious Cole Michael.
I love you baby boy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You're 27? Holy, I thought you were only 22...!

I celebrated my 27th birthday this past Saturday and was fortunate enough to share my celebration with my great new friend, Kristen. Her birthday followed a few days later. The pictures posted above are just some pictures of the important people that shared it with me. We kicked off the "birthday weekend" (yes, I do not like to have just a day, I enjoy an entire weekend of festivities!) by going to the Mount Pleasant County Fair, which was an experience in itself. It was such a muggy evening, thanks for buckets of rainfall the day prior. Kristen loves crazy rides and I thought I did too until the 2nd ride. I started sweating profusly and felt my stomach bounce off my other 27 year old organs. So instead, I decided to take pictures and watched Kristen laugh like a little kid as she jumped from ride to ride. In addition to the rides, we enjoyed gigantic corndogs, homemade lemonade and nachos with jalopenos (yum!). About 1 hour into our time there, a raindrop soon turned into terenchal downpour, so our time at the fair was cut short (i didn't mind). I have never seen so many large belt buckles, startched Wrangler, taperd jeans, and cowboy boots in my life...I stuck out like a sore thumb with my flip flops, rolled jeans, and tank top in addition to my lack of accent.
On my actual birthday day, we went to Mardi Gras Seafood (see picture above) which is basically a hole in the wall that has "ok" seafood (yes, I"m a seafood snob, but the Texans think it is the best there is) and live music. I got a shout out from the band and even was sereneded with a beautiful birthday song. I was fortunate enough to meet Kristen's family and more of her friends. Her friends now only refer me as "Maine" or "Yankee girl;" therefore I only respond to those two nicknames . The rest of the evening was history...but as I enjoyed my evening and heard nostalgic songs such as "Pour some sugar on me" which reminded me of college freshman year, "Take me home tonight" which reminds me of Maine, and "Black" my favorite Pearl Jam song, I refleced back on my 26th year. It was pretty damn good! I ran my first 10K race, survived an amazing vacation in Key West with my best friend, took on a big career change, moved home to Maine for a month, which ended up being one of my best summers thus far, learned how to crochet, bought a new VW jetta (her name is Jackie), discovered my love for running and yoga, was blessed with a beautiful godson/nephew whom I love dearly, and lastly shared a memorable cross country trip with my little brother, while making some amazing new friends along the way!
I cannot wait to see all the adventures that the year 27 holds for are only as old as you feel.