Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Always in my heart...

Well, I'm a little past due for this current post. I had full intentions of writing it up on his day, the anniversary of his passing, but unfortunately my computer had some gliches occur and then life got busy. I wanted to dedicate this post to my Papa, Irving. A man with a strong mind and warm heart. I will forever hold an image of his handsome face in my head; big smile, sky blue eyes, and clean-shaven face. He rarely lead a conversation, but when he did have something to say, you better be listening b/c it was the best advice/words of wisdom anyone could offer. I often find that my brother is very similar to him that sense. And, reflecting back, I can see a little piece of him in everyone...my aunts/uncles, parents, siblings, and cousins. I still, to this date, get chocked up when mentioning his name and still have a hard time seeing his flannel coats hanging on the coat rack in my grandparent's house. He really was a beautiful person. He made sure that all of his grandchildren knew just how much he loved us and continued to smile up until the very last day I said goodbye to him.

He was the only grandfather I had, but he made up for every Papa out there and I could never see myself loving any other grandfather as much as I loved him.

So, Papa, I love you and will always carry a piece of you in my heart...I miss you even more everyday and may you always rest in peace.

"A Papa is someone with silver in their hair and gold in their hearts."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Mexico...rich in spirit, love, and freedom

Well kids, it's official...my next work assignment is in Farmington, New Mexico. It's located in the Northwest part of the state and nestled within the San Juan River Valley. This adorable town is within sight of the San Juan mountains in Colorado and the deserts of Arizona and Utah. It's also located within the 4 Corners, so I am only a step away from some wonderful and exciting outdoor rec activities and beautiful sights! I will be working at an acute neuro rehab facility where most of my patients are of Native American descent--so cool! This town is surrounded by a few Indian Reservations; thus allowing me to be exposed to a fascinating new culture! After a short trip home to Maine, I will be starting early May and ending my time there the last week in July.

I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to be re-connected with some of my "East coast friends." I have a good friend living in Durango, one in Flagstaff, AZ, and Santa Fe...all within short driving distances. So, off I go again...time to pull out the boxes and pack Jackie the Jetta up again...pray for safe travels next month!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Distance makes the heart grow fonder....

Within this past week, I've been forced to reflect a little bit on my life and where it's headed from here on out. I went all the way back to the day that I decided to start doing traveling occupational therapy. I remember it being one of the hardest decisions to leave a wonderful job at MGH in Boston and leave all my amazing friends and family. I was determined to leave my comfort zone, to explore exciting places, meet new people, be challenged again both in my job and within myself, and of course make a little bit more money (the traveling agency pays for your rent). I remember a friend asking me if I really thought I could do it and of course, I stubbornly stated, "Yea, of course I can, why wouldn't I?" Seven months later, I would love for someone to ask me that same question again, because I am not so confident in my initial answer anymore. I say this for several reasons...one being that I miss my precious godson more than anything right now! He is at such a fun age and I do not want to have a relationship with him via telephone. Two, I miss my family more than I could have ever imagined...I wish I could see their faces when I am talking to them and have their hugs when I need one. Three, I miss the 4 seasons and the beautiful ocean view and salty smell. Four, I never expected to fall madly in love with a Texan and now that I have, I struggle with him being 7 hours away from me. And lastly, I miss my friends. No one can ever replace my Maine and Boston friends. I wonder why I am suddenly having such a hard time, but what I do know is that I am do not enjoy being so far away from the people I love the most in my life.

So...after talking with my amazing and very supportive boyfriend, whom always manages to create that light at the end of the tunnel for me, he encouraged me to look at past photos. So I did, and I wanted to share with you all just some of my favorites:

*I love this first picture of my parents and I because we look so happy and it's probably one of the few pictures we have of just us, especially recently! I am so blessed to have such loving and supportive parents! The second picture is of Cole and I this past summer. I was so happy to have the opportunity to take a month off in between jobs. It allowed me to spend a lot of time with Cole and learn about him all over again. This was our first swimming date. The third photo is of my grandparents first meeting Cole. I love this photo the most b/c of my Papa's big smile! That is one thing I miss most and love about him to this day! The fourth picture is one of me and some of my closest girlfriends from college...Liz, Courtney, Lisa, and Megan. I have been so blessed to have found such amazing girlfriends who have been nothing but amazing to me over the last 9 to 10 years of knowing each other! This, is unfortunately one of the last photos I have of all of us together. We went skiing in NH for a weekend for my friend Courtney and Megan's bday. The fifth picture is of my boyfriend, Michael and I. I had never traveled to Texas for my first travel assignment, I would have never met him. He has allowed me to trust and love again. Because of him, I am smiling more... Lastly, this picture reminds me of why I am doing this traveling therapy. There are endless opportunities and beautiful places to see and one will never be able to experience them until you move outside of your bubble...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl...ranks 2nd for amount of food Americans eat

Crazy huh? The first being Thanksgiving, obviously. But I can totally see why. Michael came to visit me for the weekend and for the superbowl we got all excited about cooking, that we overcooked without even realizing it. After expending all the energy during our cookfest, I found myself not wanting food after only eating 4 stuffed mushrooms. But, I was able to try some new recipes which I am happy about--so I have included some photos. We made sausage stuffed mushrooms (Texans eat EVERYTHING with either steak, sausage, or bacon), mini hotdogs wrapped in bacon and rolled in brown sugar, and 7-layer Taco dip! Needless to say, I sent home all the leftovers with Michael b/c we all know I have absolutely NO self-control. Besides, he can afford to get chubby, I can't.
I was happy to see the Saints win, I will admit. It was nice to see New Orleans have something to celebrate, especially after Hurricane Katrina. Although I didn't really watch too much of the game, b/c I was falling asleep every other quarter, I was able to wake up towards the very end to see the outcome.
What is your favorite Superbowl food?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Slight change in plans kids...

Michael and I on NYE in Austin
Best burger joint in Texas: Alamo Springs Cafe...where they have hand crafted burgers with over 10 toppings to choose from! So how did y'all spend your New Years? I spent it without work for 4 days, at an Improv Comedy show in Austin, and then finished it off the next day with a football game and then traveled to one of the top Texas burger joints in Texas! Yes, i've gained probably 8 lbs since I've moved down here but I'M HAPPY! I never crave red meat, let alone burgers, but the second I walked into this little cafe, my mouth began watering and before you knew it, I was shoving a 1/2 lb burger in my mouth. I topped it off with Jalapenos, avocado, bacon, and cheese! Yes, I know, it's a heart attack waiting to happen and I could literally feel my arteries clogging but I did this traveling OT gig to explore and experience new places and to be honest, I have no regrets about eating that massive burger! The other little picture that I have posted is of my lovely, charming, and handsome boyfriend, Michael. I know, same name as my Dad, my best guy friend, and middle name of my precious nephew and darling little brother. So why not bring another Michael into the mix? I love this picture of us b/c we look so happy and excited! And to be honest, it was probably one of the best New Years that I have ever had! He has such a tender heart and is probably the best thing that has happened to me in a long time...well besides becoming an Aunt; my little nephew/godson will always be number 1...well, until I have my own children (sorry Jenn, but I'm sure you understand!).
Aside from all of that, I did want y'all to know that I will be extending my contract here in TX until April 23rd. I was offered an extension with the hospital and after careful consideration, I accepted. I have really been wanting to get to CO for the spring/summer but for some reason, there has not been a lot of openings for traveling therapists. So, since my company is having a difficult time finding work in CO for me, I thought it would be safe to stick with Peterson Memorial while giving my company more time to search. I am not complaining, but I was really looking forward to another change of scenary and pace of life...so in the meantime, I 'll just continue to eat massive burgers at my new favorite burger joint! All for now and much love from the hill country of Texas!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, New Beginnings...

Grammie, Jenn, Trent and I Xmas Eve
Cole and I at Giles Xmas Party
Wow, it has been some time since I last wrote, and I apologize. But as you can all relate, the holidays are always a busy time for all. I was lucky enough to fly home for Christmas and stay for a week! I knew I missed home the second my little "puddle jumper" of a plane landed in Portland and I felt tears running down my cheeks. I never thought I would be so excited to see white grounds and muddy slush, but I was! It ended up being a long and tiresome, yet exciting day for me--Aside from the TWO layovers and crammed airplane seats, I made it home just in time for the annual Giles Family/Friends Christmas Party. I would say that it was our biggest turnout this year and looooongest...people stayed until the early morning hours...which was fun and of course, welcomed, but I had been up for 24 hours by that time.

It was so nice to be home and spend some quality time with my family, boothbay friends, Boston friends (I was able to make a day trip to my old stomping grounds) and of course my precious, nephew whom I miss dearly. I never thought I could love a little man so much as I do Cole. It was so fun to learn about him all over again while I was home. It's so amazing how 3 months changes one person. I applaud my sister and brother-in-law for being such fabulous parents to a very ACTIVE little toddler. You can see in the picture above that he loves cell phones and has the chubbiest cheeks--both of which I think he inherited from his Auntie! haha.

One thing that I had really wanted to do while I was home was go visit my grandfather's grave. The stone had not been placed by the time I left Boothbay in September so I was pretty eager to see it when I got home for the holidays. I went to visit him with my parents on the very next day that I was home, which happened to be the first snowfall that I had experienced this winter. The gray stone and blanket of white snow created such a beautiful contrast that his name was shining brightly. It was a short, but very sweet visit. I finally felt closure...everything was complete...The stone had a picture of his favorite German Shepherd standing next to a tree, which demonstrates his love for both animals and the outdoors. I still think about him nearly everyday b/c everytime I have an older gentleman as a patient, each and everyone one of them carries a trait that my Papa had. It is almost as if his spirit is living through each of them, which makes me smile everytime.

I never thought I would say this, but after a week of being home, I was pretty excited to head back to Texas. I just absolutely love my job right now and the people that I have met along the way. I only have about 5 more weeks left here and am excited to see where everything takes me next. I am looking into an assignment in Colorado...so hopefully within the next week or so, I will find out. I am so grateful for so many things right now and when reflecting back to this past summer, I am so happy I decided to make this change in my career. The southwest is a gorgeous area and I encourage all to visit at some point in their life! So from my lil apartment in Texas to all your homes, Happy 2010! May this year bring exciting opportunities and fill your hearts with warmth and happiness!