been a while

May 6, 2012

February left me working alot of hours at the hospital. Matt still works at Freedom Urgent Care Clinic and started school. He is taking two history classes and will have to take a full load during the summer as well. Matt decided that he wanted to plant a tree in the backyard since we have nothing that blocks our neighbors view beside the fence.  Also, we have nothing that gives any shade in the yard for bailey, thus our first Peach tree was planted.

March was spent celebrating my birthday and I turned my packet in to get out of the army! Big woot woot for that 🙂  Our peach tree that we planted in February was eaten by Bailey–and died.  Matt planted another tree and put a fence around it this time so bailey wouldn’t get a hold of it.

April my Mom came out for a week! So excited to have her here in Texas and to be able to do things with her while she was here. I had an OR class for two days, so it was nice to have an 8-5 schedule.  We were able to have dinner and were able to spend the other three days eating lots of barbeque.  We went to Saltlick for lunch one day. We painted my whole upstairs 🙂 And just spent lots of quality lazy hangout time together. It was sad to see her go home, but hopefully I will be able to go to the Van Meeteren river trip this year and will then take three weeks to go home!  I passed my last Army PT Test! So glad to be done with that and to NEVER have to do that again 🙂  If you haven’t forgotten about our lovely peach tree situation… well, Bailey reached over the fence and tackled the tree.  Another one bit the dust. Therefore, we have planted another tree but Matt made the circle fence around it bigger so she can’t reach it. I wish he would just get over this whole tree planting business but it has just progressed even further.  He has plans to plant a garden in the backyard. We have started out with a pepper plant and strawberry plants. I did not inherit my mother’s greenthumb AT ALL! I would like to one day plant flowers but really im not quite there yet.  Matt, on the other hand has become a little farmer because in

May our third tree died because of the heat and lack of water that we refused to give to a tree that really didn’t look great at all.  So, our fence has been torn down and Matt has posted his spot for the garden along the right side of our yard against the fence.  He has added a blackberry plant, a tomato plant, and bought another tree, however this is still in a bucket! We went to San Antonio the first weekend of May to celebrate our 2 year anniversary (technically May 13) and Cinco de Mayo.  Matt’s favorite comedian is Kevin Hart so we saw him at the AT&T Center on Saturday night….

2012 has arrived!

January 3, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 2012 is looking to be an amazing year and I am so excited for the challenges that lie up ahead. I am not making the typical list of resolutions that most people do, to be quite honest, I never keep them, so I’m hoping to live day to day by living life to the fullest.

2012 has already started out great. I worked, but that meant I was able to work with some amazing people! Plus, I delivered the only new years babies at our hospital! One was delivered Sunday morning and one was delivered on my next shift late that night! Ha.

Upcoming events/challenges to take on:

1. House projects: Organize Pantry, Set up office/craft room, Redecorate master bedroom/bathroom/closet

2. Fall: begin taking Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator courses

4. July-Aug: 3week road trip (Grand Canyon, Drive up the california coast, San Francisco, Yosemite) RIVER TRIP! 🙂

5. October: obligation done with Army Nurse Corp… who knows what I will do after?! 🙂

theres an idea about what to expect from me this next year!

I was reading my facebook feed and one of my friends had this story posted to her wall and so i read it… yes please keep nurses in your thoughts during the holidays.  They give up lots of time with friends and family in order to be working at the hospital.  I know that I grumble at times, but most often when I get to work I’m excited because my patient’s make my day. So if you enjoy a good read, please click!

I got to go HOME!!!!!

November 23, 2011

I took one of my four day weekends to go home. It had been over a year and a half since I had been back to california, so it was nice to be home to say the least.  My weekend was jam packed of family time.  Saturday started at 0800 for Shane’s graduation from the Rio Hondo Fire Academy.  Lots of people were able to make it out to help celebrate this special day with him.

Then for dinner we all met at Frantone’s Pizzeria to celebrate Shane’s hard work as well as to surprise my Grandma and Grandpa Van Essen with a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. Some of their friends were able to make it out to celebrate with them.

On Sunday, we took family photos since all of the Van Essen side was in So Cal.  So my Grandma & Grandpa, Stacy (youngest sister) and her family, Lisa (middle sister) and her family and my mom (oldest) and our family went to a park in Cerritos and took pics then headed back to mom and dad’s for lunch. The rest of the day I spent relaxing and watching football!

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It’s Official!

November 1, 2011

Well, it is finally official… Matt is out of the army! He doesn’t yet have a job but has applied at a few places and can’t start  school till the Spring semester so he is on full-time puppy duty, lol 🙂

Bailey is not quite fond of the leash and collar idea yet, so walking her has been difficult. She prefers to wander and explore.  She used to be good about being let loose out front, but has recently become less scared of the street and is starting to scare me more so her front yard time has been limited.  We have a fenced in back yard so that has been helpful in getting her active.  Here is a picture of their daily routine… standing guard and watching the birds on the fence-line.   Exciting huh?! 🙂



i got a puppy!!!!!

September 26, 2011

My friend Jenny came to visit this weekend!!!! I was so excited and had so much fun.  Jenny and I have been through everything since we joined the army. We both went to OBC together, we were in the same platoon, and then both stationed at Fort Hood. Anyways, she moved to Fort Carson, Colorado last march and I miss the HECK out of her. Even though I worked we got to spend alot of time together–lets just say I’m sleep deprived!  On Sunday, we were on our way to Barnes & Noble to go shopping and walked past a guy giving free puppies out. I have always wanted a black lab and just haven’t found one I liked out here. Well, we were standing there looking at the puppies and this one just kept looking at us. She was calm and quiet.  Jenny picked her up and that is the end of the story! We never made it to Barnes and Noble but instead went to Petsmart! lol.

Black Lab Redhealer Mix
Date of Birth: 13Aug2011
Joined our family: 25Sept2011 at 6 weeks old
Weighs 8lb 8oz.

Well, here is a slideshow of miss Bailey 🙂

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the reading continues…

August 10, 2011

15. Wicked by Gregory Macquire (4.5 stars)

16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (5 stars)

17. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (5 stars)

18. Financial Peace revisited by Dave Ramsey (4.5 stars)

19. The Duggars: 20 and Counting! (4.5 stars)

20. A Love That Multiplies by Duggars (4.5 stars)

Italian Beef Sandwhich

August 2, 2011

When Matt and I were in his home town in June we ate out at Boz’s for Italian beef sandwhiches.  Although its not like Boz’s, I have tried to attempt making italian beef. I have to say it is pretty good, even Matt asked for it twice within a week. Thought I’d give you the recipe and some pictures of the steps. It is really good, you should try it 🙂

4-5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (5 pound) rump roast

Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.

Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork. It is great with deli rolls.  You can put Mozzarella cheese on top of it, nacho cheese or peppers.  **Nacho cheese is my favorite  ENJOY


July 9, 2011

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Matt and I took a week of leave and visited his parents in Chicago. It was his birthday on July 1 and his dad’s on the 5th. let me just say that i gained probably a good 5 lbs. the first day alone. not kidding. the first day we got to his parents house I “had” to have Monical’s (pizza) for lunch.  eh. not that great but Matt loves it. Then of course for dinner we had to go to Aurelio’s (pizza again) for dinner with his parents and his brother.  BEST PIZZA I’VE EVER HAD. it is not traditional deep dish chicago pizza, its pizza that is flat but the pizza is bubbled. omg.  amazingness. I would have eaten alot more of that pizza had I not been pizza’d out having had my fill of pizza for both lunch and dinner.  We met up with some of his friends Sara and Jessica.

The next day we headed out to Sandusky, Ohio to go to Cedar Point for Matt’s birthday. It’s an amusement park that is known for having the world’s best roller coasters, and it definetly exceeded my expectations, it was pretty awesome. We ate at a little bar inside and the waitress brought out a birthday cake for Matt and everyone sang to him. The cake was suprisingly delicious.  Matt found a section of the park that was for the log/water ride. You pay a quarter and then get to shoot water at the people in the log ride. he sat there for a good hour and played that with a little girl who was there with her dad.  The three of them were manning all six water guns. It was pretty cute she kept laughing everytime they suprised the riders with a shot of water.

We then stayed in downtown Chicago at the Congress Hotel for three days. We went to Taste of Chicago two of the days. Went to the Field Museum. Museum of Science and Industry. Saw the Sears (now Willis) Tower. Saw all the shopping down Michigan Ave. The best part for me though was all the local hometown bars and restaurants that are downtown.  Matt and I have a tendancy to bar hop in whatever city we are in, and we found some really good Irish bars while in town.  Rush street, Hudson street and State street are full of good bars and restaurants.

The rest of the trip was relaxed I think anyways.  We went back to Matt’s mom and dad’s house in Bradley. Matt took me to “Poop Hill” where they tube when its been snowing. We went down to the old quarry and Matt fished… caught a big fish and a small one.  Matt brought me to a place called Perry Farms,  they have a long pathway that circles a wildlife/natural preserve. It leads down to the river, but Matt brought me to an area that has a pond. We eventually went and got Matt’s fishing pole and he tried fishing there.  They had lots of tadpoles and frogs… yet no fish.  I enjoyed sitting in my chair and reading my magazines so it was still a success 🙂

Well that’s all the fun we had. Thank you Ann and Ron for letting us sleep on your floor, it was greatly appreciated!  enjoy the photos

updated book list

July 1, 2011

so i’ve read a few more books since the last post i think that was in april?!

11. The End of The World As We Know It by Robert Goolrick (3.5 stars)

12. Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately (4.5 stars)

13. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (5 stars) … second time

14. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (3.5 stars)

currently reading:
– Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les & Leslie Parrott
– Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur
– More Than Enough by Dave Ramsey

… hope you (whoever out there that is reading this) are enjoying your summer and are getting a chance to take some time each day to read a little something something. i know i am 🙂