No. 1: Attaining my CMSRN certification. Oh man. You all know after months of reading about this that I am relieved! The test was more difficult than I expected (even after studying for it since August??) but I apparently did just fine on it. A lot of the things that I was expecting to see on there weren't, and there were an equal number of items that I was surprised to see on there. In any case, it's done and I will never have to take that exam again unless I let my certification expire without renewing. Thanks for all of your prayer and encouragement as I prepared for this exam! I'm thankful that it's over and that I am able to move forward now with fun things on the horizon. My instructor for the Med/Surg review course told us to buy something we really wanted when we passed or to do something fun afterwards. I haven't picked out what I'm celebrating with yet (there's a Kate Spade bag I've been eying for a while but can't quite bring myself to buy), but we'll be in Tampa next week and maybe that will be enough.
No. 2: Christmas music. Judge away. I've been listening to Christmas music a lot lately. A lot. Like every day when I'm studying or cleaning or writing grad school essays. There's still snow on the ground here and I still have to dress like I'm heading out into a Russian tundra every time I leave the house, so I'll continue listening to my Christmas music with my earbuds in, lest the rest of the world label me crazy. The Ella Fitzgerald holiday Pandora is my favorite, and I'm so glad that Pandora allows me to listen to holiday music year round.
No. 3: Books for fun. Currently reading: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I simply adored Gone Girl when we read it for book club a few years ago and figured that Gillian Flynn may have some other gems in store. My friend, Mariah, and I are working our way through this list throughout this year, and this is one of the books on there. This list has a lot of books that are also recommended by two favorite writers/bloggers of mine, Shauna Niequist and Annie B. Jones. I haven't met my goal of reading a book a month so far, so I'm going to make up for it by playing "catch up" this coming month. After Dark Places, I'll be working on Scary Close for long-distance book club, I am Malala (also for long-distance book club), and Big Little Lies, which I must return to my mom when I see her in Tampa next week!
Image source: Amazon
No. 4: Writing with my favorite pens. I have quite a few favorite pens to write with, and I just bought some new ones last week that I'm way excited about. Here's the current list of favorites and their various purposes I use them for.
Bic Mark It Ultra Fine Point
I use these ones for writing my book ideas on card stock or index cards.
They're a little too heavy for use on thin paper-- they bleed right through
on my planner. I wish they made a non-permanent marker version of this that
I could use daily for regular pens, but I'll have to stick to these for now!
Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker
These are new favorites for me, recommended by one of my
favorite authors for book-editing. I love these, but once again, wish
they didn't bleed through paper. The colors are amazing.
Papermate Flair Pens
These have been my classic go-to pens for studying, school,
journaling, work, etc. for years. These ones don't bleed through paper
as easily and aren't incredibly expensive, so I tend to buy these often.
Uni-ball Vision Micro Pens
Not as colorful, but a good go-to black pen. I used to use the
colorful version of these in high school, but they are kind of expensive,
so I stopped for a while. I re-discovered them for wedding invitations and
have not been able to keep enough of them in the house since. These
don't bleed through paper and are just good all-around black pens, but can
also be great for fancier writing needs.
No. 5: Lavazza Coffee. My dear friend, Brooke, from work introduced me to this coffee a while ago and now I can't stop buying it. It's a little bit expensive, but you get a decent-sized bag for the price and it's one of the smoothest coffees I've ever tasted. They have a shop in Chicago that Scott and I stumbled upon when we visited in November, but I've found Kroger selling it here in Indy, too. I highly recommend this one to coffee-lovers if you can get your hands on it.
No. 6: Kate Spade bags. This is the aforementioned Kate Spade bag that I'm currently eying. Way overpriced and sadly I haven't seen it in the colors I really want (coral or Tiffany blue), so I'll just keep looking at it online every so often.
No. 7: Burning candles. Ever since Shauna Niequist wrote this post back in January, I've been indulging in all of my favorite candle scents, even if not season-appropriate. For example, I've discovered that Wal-mart sells AMAZING 3-wick candles that are so much cheaper than Bath and Body Works' candles (and they last SO much longer), so every time I go to Wal-mart for groceries now, I'm sure to pick up a pine-scented candle or their Apple Pie one, which is a fall favorite. Something about candles feels so relaxing and lovely, turning any day into a better one.
No. 8: Afternoon hot tub visits. We're fortunate to have an indoor pool and hot tub downstairs in our apartment right near the gym (always reminding me that I should work out before going in the hot tub), and lately I've been using the hot tub as my decompression time. After exhausting shifts at work that leave my body sore and stiff, I've been taking a book down there and sitting in the hot tub for a good half an hour. It's both relaxing and helpful for my muscles. As I'm writing this, I'm now thinking I will go work out today and indulge in a hot tub visit post-gym. I love you, Saturday.
No. 9: Saturdays at home. Speaking of Saturdays, I've come to love having weekends off from work every so often. My favorite Saturday routine involves sleeping until 8:45 or 9, cooking breakfast with Scott, drinking 2-3 cups of coffee, and staying in my PJs for far too long. Saturdays are days that I like to go to the post office to buy pretty stamps (if I can remember to get there before they close at 1) and when I feel ok about going to our Wal-mart Neighborhood Market (so much better than the big Wal-mart when you just need groceries and candles!). They're the days I relax if I have no laundry to do (I better not have any more laundry to do for a year after doing 5 loads last night), and the days when I'm ok with not getting very much accomplished at all.
No. 10: An impending vacation to somewhere warm. I've got some overtime ahead of me at work this week and my first string of four days in a row in years-- I really think the last time I did this was as a new grad on 3 West when I was working a combination of days and nights. But after the string of four in a row, I'm hopping on a plane with Scott and heading to Florida where my grandpa lives, right outside of Tampa. We're meeting my mom, brother, and crazy dog (Gracie Lou) there for a few days. I simply cannot wait. Temperatures in Tampa this week are in the 80s, and I've already dug out my favorite bathing suits for the trip (even though my body is no where near bathing suit ready yet!) and set aside all of the books I hope to read.
I hope your week has been lovely and that you are having a relaxing weekend! Lots of love and hope to be writing to you again soon (once I get through those 4 shifts at the beginning of this week I may be up for some writing therapy!).