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2014 Recap

Long time no blog! I didn’t mean to take such a long break, but I’ve been very busy with things. I started my new job as an Oncology Nurse at the University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center working on the Blood and Marrow Transplant unit. I didn’t think I would enjoy oncology nursing, but it has been an amazing experience so far. Not only has the staff been so welcoming and supportive, but the patients are truly inspiring. They have given me a new perspective on life.

We’ve also been in the process of purchasing our first home! We found one that we love, and if everything goes as planned, we will close at the end of January. I’m so flippin’ excited to have our own space to decorate and make our own.

2014 has been a whirlwind year of major changes.

January

I traveled to Nepal to volunteer at a children’s orthopedic hospital. It was such an eye-opening experience. I went to the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

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February

I celebrated my 30th birthday in Portland with sushi and and a surprise get to together with good friends.

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March

Our friends from KC stopped in to Portland as part of their road trip, and we had fun showing them around.

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My brother and sister-in-law also came up to visit Portland for the first time. We took them to the coast!

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We also took the train up to Seattle for Spring Break.

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April and May

Nothing too exciting…just studied pretty much 24/7. Tis the life a a nursing student…

June

We went on an amazing road trip through the San Juan Islands, Victoria, B.C., and the Washington Coast. We got to kayak with whales! So cool!

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Danny’s parents came in town for a family friend’s wedding (which I sadly have no pictures of).

I also had a flare up of my Crohn’s Disease and saw a naturopathic doctor for the first time. He recommended the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which I had great success with. I stuck with the diet for the next four months and switched to a gluten free diet recently which I’m doing great with.

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July

We almost lost Frank due to a collapsed trachea that occurred after he had dental surgery. He pulled through though. I think this dog has nine lives. #catdog

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We also went floating down the river with a big group of friends on July 4th.

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August

Danny and I went hiking in the Columbia Gorge. Of all the things I miss about Portland, hiking is definitely top three (food would be numero uno). :)

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We went to a friend’s wedding in Mount Hood. It was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to with a gorgeous mountain backdrop behind the alter.

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I graduated with a bachelors of science degree in nursing! I completed an accelerated program through Linfield College. It was tough with lots of papers, tests and clinicals.

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My parent’s came up for my graduation, and we showed them all the Portland sights!

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September

After a lot of long discussions, we decided to move back to Kansas City to be closer to our family. It was a tough decision, but we knew it was the right one for us.

I moved back to KC in the middle of September, and Danny joined me 6 weeks later. My parents were very gracious hosts during this time. They made our transition much easier.

I missed these faces. :)

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Before I left, I had to do one last thing…get a tattoo! It’s a little pine tree on the back of my arm. I love it.

October

We cheered on the Royals as they ended their 29 year drought and made it to the World Series. Love cheering for my hometown team. :)

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I ran my third half marathon!

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My mom and I had a Halloween sleepover with my niece and older two nephews. We decorated pumpkins, made homemade pizzas and smores and watched Monsters, Inc.

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We went with the entire family to the pumpkin patch and then later had the annual pumpkin carving contest (Danny won!).

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November

Danny’s brother and his girlfriend got engaged! So happy for them.

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We celebrated Thanksgiving three times! Once with each of our families and once with friends. So much turkey!

December

I started my first nursing job!

We began house hunting and went under contract on a house in a neighborhood we love.

We celebrated the holidays with all my favorite traditions including going to A Christmas Carol play at the KC Repertory Theater with my brother and sister and their significant others, opening presents Christmas morning at my parents and Christmas evening at Danny’s parents.

I’m so excited for what 2015 holds in store for us. Hopefully, we will be settling into our new house and looking to start our own little family. :)

Weekend: November 22nd

A little late in sharing pics from last weekend, but I wanted to be sure and post them. I love reading old posts, and I consider this blog my little online scrapbook. :)

Friday night, we stayed in, made fettuccine alfredo (with brown rice noodles), and roasted some coffee.

Saturday morning, we had smoothies and then drove down to the River Market in KC, MO.

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First stop, Quay Coffee. We are slowly making our way through K.C.’s best rated coffee places.

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We ordered a couple different pour overs (per the usual). They don’t roast their own coffee there, but they use mostly local and regional coffees.

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Next stop – River Market Antiques. Three floors of nick nacks. I’m really getting into the antiquing these days. :)

We saw lots of cool stuff, but since we don’t know exactly what are next place will look like (we are in a temporary place right now), we are hesitant to purchase any furniture or decorations.

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For lunch, we drove to the plaza to hit up The Mixx, which we are most certainly obsessed with. :)

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Danny ordered the Pretzel Chicken Sando which had grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, sweet onions, tomato, spinach and garlic aioli. It was served with a massive salad.

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And I ordered the Main Street Chop Chop which had turkey, chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, romaine, spinach and mozzarella with a mustard vinaigrette. They actually took all the ingredients, spread them out on a cutting board and chopped them into tiny pieces. Yum.

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The rest of the afternoon was notsogood. We had some car trouble and ended up getting stranded in some neighborhood off the plaza. Danny’s dad came and rescued us while our car got towed to the shop. Danny’s dad was kind enough to let us borrow his truck for the next couple days while our car was getting fixed. It’s pretty nice having family nearby.

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For dinner that night, we stopped into Zarda BBQ. Danny is on a mission to find the best burnt ends sandwich in all of K.C. The BBQ is good here, but unfortunately all the other things are not (fries, beans, etc.).

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Sunday morning started with some coffee. We do it Chemex style in our house.

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And pancakes. I used the recipe on the back of this package of Trader Joe’s All Purpose Flour.

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I sauteed up some apples to throw on top along with some toasted chopped walnuts.

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The pancakes were pretty good besides the fact that they weirdly did not brown up at all.

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For lunch, I threw together some tortilla pizzas with brown rice tortillas, pesto, spinach, and parm.

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And dinner was chili that had been cooking away in the crockpot all day. One of my favorite meals of all time. Topped with my family’s traditional things (Ashley style) – organic cheddar cheese, ketchup, crackers, cilantro and white vinegar.

Next post – all things Thanksgiving!

Kansas City Happenings

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So Danny and I have been in KC for about a month now (me a little longer), and we are just getting settled in. Here’s some things that have been happening over the last few weeks. 1. I got a job! Last week, I accepted an oncology nurse position at an outpatient bone marrow transplant […]

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From Grain Free to Gluten Free

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There are so big changes happening around here. I have some exciting news to report regarding the job search (more to come!). On the diet front, I’ve been experimenting with adding oats and brown rice into my diet. You may have remembered that I switched to a grain free diet back in June to help […]

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The Pumpkin Patch

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On Sunday, our family drove out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins for the annual pumpkin carving contest. This was the first year that Danny and I were able to participate in the Halloween festivities. I’m very happy I get to spend this holiday season close to my family. Since it was […]

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Lazy Days

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So I’m really trying to enjoy these days of unemployment between school and getting a job. I’m currently filling my time with running, working out, yoga, play time with my niece and nephews, and watching tons of baseball. This morning started with another smoothie. This one had almond milk, frozen strawberries, frozen banana, walnuts, and […]

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Party Like It’s 1985

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The Royals win the pennant and advance to the World Series! The Royals swept the Orioles with four straight wins just after sweeping the Angels. This MLB postseason race has been unbelievable, and I’ve probably watched more baseball in the last three weeks than I have in my entire life. Just. Wow. I just want […]

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Weekend: Fall Sleepover

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This past weekend, my mom and I planned a Halloween-themed sleepover with my nephews and niece (the babies stayed home). We made homemade pizzas, decorated pumpkins, crafted bats and pumpkins out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper, played Halloween bingo, roasted marshmallows for smores, and watched Monsters, Inc. We threw one heck of a […]

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Weekend: Football and Family

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Here’s some pics from the weekend. Saturday morning breakfast of eggs, spinach and avocado. Trip to the Overland Park Farmer’s Market. It was quite chilly and windy. Hello, Fall. Our purchases – lettuce, sweet potatoes, apples, chicken, and breakfast sausage. Salad for lunch – chicken, avocado, blue cheese and greens. Saturday night, I stayed in […]

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Warehouse Weekends

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As I’ve gotten older, my taste in home decor has changed quite a bit. I find myself drawn to old and eclectic furniture and decorations. If I had the budget and the ability to decorate how I pleased (dang, rentals), I would outfit our home in  mid-century modern style with eclectic used art and nick […]

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