Tag Archives: Nursing School

Doing Lots of Life

So, I have still been doing life. I just have not been writing about it. A lot of people say that planning a wedding is a busy time. A lot of people say that sisters planning weddings in the same month is busy bordering on lunacy. I say its the best busy we have ever been.

We always fill our lives with something so that when our friends see us at Starbucks and say “Heeeey. Haven’t seen you in forever! How you been?” we can sigh and smile wearily and say “Busy! Good, but man, so busy.” It’s a pretty boring answer that I think should be banned. In fact, let’s all just commit right now to say something good whenever we are asked that. Then at least 35 people will be having a more interesting conversation at Starbucks this week.

But since we all do some kind of busy with our days, it’s nice to be doing the business of wedding planning, school, and enjoying each day as much as possible. I wouldn’t dream of complaining that it’s crazy or stressful. For one thing, it’s just not. It’s a big party that I don’t have to clean up after. How is that stressful? Friends are giving me things and I’m getting to know a super hot guy that said he wants to marry me. This is not stressful people.

So, in the spirit of stress-free busy, here is a little photographic synopsis of what I have been up to this month.

Sister Megan had a smashing bridal shower. Our friend Soo hosted in her beautiful home with her elegant decor to which we added some not-as-elegant craftiness. Turns out that stuff looks good together. Megan was a stunning bride-to-be, her twin sisters wore matching stripes and were not ashamed of it at all and Shaun made a guest appearance via flat screen television.

Fiance Roger continues to do manly things like dig imu pits to cook pigs, build water tanks, and help me pick out table linens. He is secretly talented at everything but don’t tell.

I continue with studies, edging my way toward being a Family Nurse Practitioner. I miss clinical work but realize that if I were working full-time, Roger would have met Miss Crazy Pants and run the other way. Presently I do the occasional volunteer work in the office above. It’s no cubicle on the 30th floor but it’ll do.

Why yes, I did get an Easter manicure.

Friend Ellen visited for Easter weekend and we celebrated with egg dying, early church celebration, and lots of food. I love that Jesus is alive. LOVE IT.





The porky terrier continues to grow and I continue to find innovative ways to keep him from binging. He insists that he is a skinny starving dog on the inside.

It's just green cauliflower but it might be in my bouquet.

I’ve been on a Farmer’s Market kick and traveled 45 minutes to Waimea on Saturday to hit two popular markets. Today we visited the Ho’oulu Community Famer’s Market at the Keauhou Outrigger Beach Resort. Our friends Lewis and Carla Draxlir have recently begun a bread company called Bread Alone. They bake sour dough breads of many varieties in the stone oven that Lewis built. It is AMAZING. And so are they. Buy their bread.

I have been thinking about health and living fear-free. I would like to share these thoughts with you soon. Also, Roger and I will be staging a dramatic Facebook exodus upon becoming Mr. and Mrs. We are doing it to get attention but also to focus on more important things than status updates.  So you should subscribe to this blog if you want to keep hearing about E(with a new)B.

Remember to tell people something good at Starbucks.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Counting by Saturdays

Three Saturdays ago, I had a lunch that changed a lot of things. I already knew that Hayashi’s You Make the Roll Sushi is the best place to get sushi (Ever. Anywhere.) But now I am fairly convinced that it’s magic. And I have to keep getting weekly Ninja Rolls with special aioli sauce or the spell might be broken.

But that’s another post for another time. The point is, I am now counting my life in Saturdays.

Two Saturdays ago, one of my little brother’s best friends got married. I watched this kid grow up next door and both of our families have gone through a whole lot of life together. It made me feel old and happy and proud to see my little brother stand by his friend in dress clothes and Filipino sash. (Yes. Sam wore it and rocked it.) And it made me feel young and sad and humbled to hear my dad tell this new sweet couple what marriage really meant. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse. Both giving 100% because if one person has a bad day, you’re still covered. And then we dried our tears and ate more Hawaiian-Filipino food than I thought existed on the island.


So handsome.

Last Saturday, my nursing school friend Ellen came to visit for the weekend. Ellen is the first friend I made at the start of my RN-crazy-year. We discovered quickly that we were both tall and had names that start with “E” and we better be friends since everyone thought we were the same person. Past that, we also discovered we both had parents with cancer. She lost her dad, I lost my mom. We both liked to run and eat and read textbooks at the beach. And we spent about the same amount of time on studying for exams. Which in my opinion is the exact right amount. So this weekend we studied minimally, ate maximally, and went to the beach as much as possible.


Friends forever.

This Saturday will be the first social event of the 20s and 30s demographic of Living Stones Church. There are about thirty of us that fit the two decade span. Some single, some married. All very cool. And we have done enough together to warrant a cool name. Kainos. It’s Greek for “fresh” and “new” and I can’t help hearing it in Mr. Portakalos’ voice from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.



So, if you are in Kona this Saturday and you are between 20 and 39 and 11/12ths, get in touch. It will be fresh and fun I promise.

Happy Tuesday everybody. I’m going for my weekly magic Ninja roll.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Panic and Promises

It’s been a whirlwind of a week with school projects, settling into the idea of staying in Kona, realizing some wonderful reasons for staying, and a host of emotions that I have ignored for seven days. Apparently it all caught up with me.

First I got sick. I did what every good nurse does. I pumped some vitamins and went on a run. Instead of feeling invigorated by fresh tropical air, I felt like I’d been pummeled in a boxing ring. So, I gave up the exercise for a couple days and buried myself in books. I seem to have quite a few PowerPoint presentations in my nursing school repertoire written on a Dayquil high.

I was pretty proud of handling a variety of life changes with my awesome fortitude until last night. I woke up almost every hour in the middle of some kind of panic. And realized I needed a lot more than my fortitude. And what fortitude I do have is certainly not awesome. I need more Jesus. I prayed myself to sleep and woke up to do some thinking.

God is  is opening new horizons as I do my best to follow his voice. But there’s always a crushing sadness to keep at bay. The sadness that Mom is not here to celebrate scholarships, advise on relationships, speak prophetically into my life, and go get a latte and a pedicure. But God’s word comes alive in this moment.

He is a father to the fatherless, a defender of  the widow. Psalm 68:5

I know God means he can give me the love of my mother too. Sometimes God’s word becomes real when we need it most. In the happy moments we still might need it the most. So hang on in the panic. God’s promises are real and he WILL do all that he has said. I’m seeing it more each day.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Clinically Impatient

I’ve always been somewhat impulsive. Or very. There are goods and bads to this character trait. I’ve talked about this before. (Choice Paralysis). But with this character trait, comes impatience. At six years old it manifested in convincing sweet twin Sara to get into all kinds of impulsive trouble. As a teenager it was more of an asset and displayed itself in making friends quickly and as a college student, I was very good at making plans and getting a bunch of indecisive people to thank me and come along.

But today it means that I want to be working in the nurse practitioner clinical setting like yesterday.

I know I need way more school, I need lots of hours and I needs lots of guidance. But gosh, I just want to be there. I did a mock health history and initial patient visit today and visions of infections and injections danced through my head. Ew, gross. But also awesome. I don’t miss the insanity of nursing school but I do miss the patients. I miss learning their stories. I miss the challenge of caring for them. I miss the questions they asked me even though I had STUDENT emblazoned on my little scrub shirt.

I miss it and I cannot start clinical rotations until May.

So I will patiently learn to adore my textbooks and remind myself of the need for excellence not impulsiveness.

Happy Tuesday everybody.



Tagged , , , ,

Nehemiah and NoHomeworkWeekend

Last week was full of 8-hour day study sessions and long drives to Hilo for labs. I felt SO sorry for myself because it almost felt like I had a job. Seriously, sit at a desk all day? Come ON. So on Thursday evening, I made a decision. I will be social. So I texted someone notoriously social who invited me to salsa dancing lessons at a little bar in town. That’s like the trifecta of awkward. 1. Bar with strangers. 2. Dancing actual dance steps. 3. Dancing actual dance steps with strangers. Never mind. I don’t want to be social.

But the next day I mustered the socialness that I did not use at the trifecta of awkward and went to a movie with friends. And that was the beginning of NoHomeworkWeekend. Saturday morning I attempted to read Pharmacology at the beach, got a call for a sushi lunch, closed the books and never looked back. It was a good weekend. Brother-in-law’s siblings and their other halves are in town. I’m not sure if double in-laws are technically family but I will take these guys. They make me feel 10x cooler just being around them. It’s like cool factor drafting. Combined with a couple other awesome people over the last 48 hours, textbooks were just unappealing.

But, it is Monday morning and I heard a sermon yesterday on Nehemiah. He built a pretty big wall in 52 days with a determination that said “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down”. We all have great works and it is our job in 2012 to figure out what the work is and do it with determination. I examined my thoughts over Starbucks after church and realized I have the first part figured out. My great work is becoming the best Family Nurse Practitioner that I can be.

It’s going to take longer than 52 days but with enough NoHomeworkWeekends to recharge, I’m game.

What’s your Great Work for 2012?

Tagged , , , , ,

Making 2012 the Best Year Yet: By doing pharmacology homework.

I had all these lofty bloggy ideas for New Year’s postings and they fell to the wayside in my upheaval of not moving. But now that I’ve cleared up my location, I can move on to being super inspirational about the coming year. And not doing my pharmacology work yet.

Having a birthday the day after the New Year begins is like having my own personal fresh start. My 2012 Resolutions are also my 29th year Resolutions. This year I took a good hard look at 2011 and 28 and decided I can do better. Not because I failed terribly last year, but because every year should be better. I can’t help thinking that I want 2012 to be my best year ever. And then I feel guilty because it’s the first year devoid of Mom. But really, what makes a year GOOD? I’m going to take a few shots in the dark and offer some ideas. And I think doing these things when you’re missing a key part of your life, can still result in the best year yet.

Erin’s Tactical Guide to Making 2012 The Best Year Yet
(Or Things I Will Tell Myself Every Day in 2012)

1. Do hard things: when it’s right, even when other people don’t, even when you don’t see why.
2. Don’t whine about them: Suck it up, keep calm, carry on.
3. Get your priorities straight: Big things first, little things last (I stole this one from a sermon).
4. If it didn’t work the first time, change tactics: the hole is round, the peg is square. Stop sitting there beating on it, it’ll just wear you out and make you feel silly.
5. Eat well, exercise well, sleep well: There is a reason it’s cliche. It works.

I’m pretty sure if I remember these things, do these things, and trust a big and good God, I’ll be improving on last year. Let’s try it. And also let’s do pharmacology homework.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

What are you waiting for?

These are a few of the things that kept me busy this week:

Foam and wood block!

With all the hip blogs out there, I still find the best ideas in Living Magazine. Hard copy baby.

Sister's engagement party!


They're so great.

Last week I kept myself busy with all kinds of crafts and baking and even threw an engagement party for sister. Being a stay-at-home mom without a husband or kids is super easy! But then on Wednesday, I baby-sat my two-year-old niece. Zoe is awesome. She didn’t pitch fits, cry, or get injured. But I still once again stare at my twin sister in hero-worship awe and pray that one day I will be able to brush my teeth and take care of children.

During these un-busy transition seasons in life, I sometimes get cranky waiting to figure out my next step: where do I live, where do I do my next clinical location…but if I didn’t have to wait, when would I listen to God? When would I exercise my faith? It’s in the wait that the process happens. It’s in the wait, that I sit down on the inside and trust my good God.

Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’ birth and didn’t see the fulfillment in his lifetime. Anna and Simeon waited in the temple of Jerusalem until almost the very end of their lives before they saw the Messiah-child. But they all waited and they all believed because it was going to be EPIC. God still has epic plans in the works and my little life weaves into that somehow. Totally worth waiting for.

If you are waiting for something, maybe something that didn’t happen for you this year, keep your head up. Your life weaves into God’s epic plan too. Stay busy but sit down on the inside and trust our good God.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

It Is Well

Have you ever gone through something terrible or adventurous or just straight up scary and you feel the compulsion to make sure everyone in ear shot of your life knows exactly what you just endured? Maybe it’s just me. Airplane turbulence, stomach flu, Medical-Surgical clinical rotations…harrowing experiences that I need you to fully appreciate!

I feel this way sometimes when I talk about Mom. I feel like saying that my mom died from cancer isn’t giving her enough credit for the craziness that she endured. I want people to know the heroic years she fought and the way she lived her life. I know this sounds noble of me but it’s not. I get all riled up on the inside. I feel a building sense of unfairness, injustice…bitterness. Towards the anonymous public who is alive, the anonymous daughters who have healthy mothers.

So, Sunday morning I woke up with one of those half-baked trains of thought that occur in between the bed and coffee. I thought about Jesus the way I thought of Mom. I thought: theologians talk about what his death accomplished and the good work that was done on the cross. What about how much it sucked for his human body to go through that torture? What about how awful it all was? Let’s give him some more credit for the pain. I felt that same building bitterness. Towards an anonymous group of theologians.

Good grief.

And then I went to church and we sang the best rendition of It is Well With My Soul that I have ever heard. It is fairly well known that this song was written by Horatio Spafford after losing his fortune in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and  losing his four daughters shortly after when their ship collided with another crossing the Atlantic. As we sang, I was struck by the fact that it is well with my mom’s soul. Cancer ravaged her body, yet, because of the cross that ravaged her Savior’s body, her soul remained well. And you better believe, on the cross, it was well with His soul. He desires our gratitude and our worship, not our pity and anger at how he was treated.

No matter what our harrowing experience is, our soul always remains well. Bitterness is a prolonged and angry sense of injustice. I can be sad but I cannot be bitter that Mom suffered and that I don’t have her anymore. Because her soul is well. And mine is too.

I hope you spend some time today reading or listening to these words. I pray that you remember through the scary adventure that you are on, that It Is Well With Your Soul.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Tagged , , , , , , ,


I have some new initials! That’s right, I passed the big bad NCLEX. I know most of you thought I had it in the bag and were not worried for a second. I wasn’t worried either until the moment I finished the exam. It was a bright and sunny day….

…And I had done all of the correct test-taking things. I started with sleep and nutrition. I have recently begun a nutrition plan with our friend Carol of Carol’s Cafe. She has me eating lean, vitamin-rich, and delicious. This healthy heroine packed me a pre-exam dinner and breakfast and post-exam lunch that I brought with me to Oahu. I booked a room at the Ala Moana hotel. I adore hotels. I also camp. But hotels and I have a special bond. So I slept like a champ and had a short little walk to the testing center.

I wasn’t nervous when they took my mug shot, scanned my multiple forms of identity, checked my person for cheating materials, and led me to the Cubicle of Truth. I also wasn’t nervous when I answered the questions. But then the computer went blank. I could have gotten anywhere between 75 and 265 questions for the Super Smart System to determine if I had what it takes. I answered question 75 and the Super Smart System either had had enough of me to know I couldn’t hack it or I had proved myself a lot more quickly than I thought possible and they booted me off with a “Thank you for completing the exam, please fill out this survey”.

And that’s when I got nervous. The shaking, eyes burning with tears, holding back the vomit kind of nervous. I got out of there as fast as possible and headed for the closest security blanket I could find, Starbucks. After I steeled myself with a few shots of liquid courage, I proceeded to shop for six hours straight.

If I stood still for too long contemplating clothing, I panicked about question #32 or yelled at myself for guessing. The good news is, I didn’t do too much damage for a marathon shopping trip, because I stuck to the cheap stores with the loud music so I couldn’t hear my panicky thoughts. The soundtracks at Forever 21 and PacSun are also great for covering the occasional outbursts of “Of course! Diabetes! Stupid!” Expensive stores are much quieter. Have you ever noticed that Nordstroms only has player piano music? Who knows what Nieman Marcus does since I only buy one Christmas ornament a year there. They probably have mimes.

I am not sure how Registered Nurse candidates of yore handled waiting for old-fashioned paper envelope test results. I logged on to the Quick Results website approximately 500 times even though it said to wait 48 hours. Hours?! How dare they call that QUICK? If I had to sleep the restless sleep of Post Traumatic Exam Syndrome for two months, I would not be fit for registered anything. At 6:30 am Saturday morning the website showed my results. I had passed. And as quick as the relief settled in, a billion more anxieties rushed in. Job, school, family, boyfriend (?!), travel. And I think it goes without saying but I will say that I wished with all my little stressed out heart that my mom was on the other end of a phone line to tell me how excited she was. So I had to make a conscious effort to enjoy the moment and thank God for his never ending goodness, his awesome blessings, his perfect grace. And I’m still choosing that.

EB, RN. Sounds good.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

God Bless 1972

Yesterday I received an e-mail informing me that I had officially been awarded a National Health Services Corps Scholarship for the remainder of my graduate schooling. This scholarship sends me through school, all reasonable expenses paid, in return for two years of service. That’s right, military style. Minus the boot camp, uniforms, and scary things. In explanation, allow me to give you a brief history lesson.


Some of you may remember the 1970s. I do not. I think my memories kick in around 1986. But I do have a good appreciation for things from the 70s including macrame belts, paisley shirts, Carole King, James Taylor, and the Emergency Healthcare Personnel Act.

This last item was signed into law in 1972 when healthcare professionals began realizing that they could make a whole lot of money by specializing and joining HMOs and practicing in big cities or generally urban areas. If I were practicing in the 1970s and the HMOs became a thing, I very likely would have followed the trend. So, no hard feelings. In fact, thank you 1972. Because of the way you turned out, the government allotted a certain amount of money to entice hard-studying future doctors, dentists, and nurses to stay in the world of primary care, particularly in rural areas. Since then, Congress has given varying amounts of money to this program based on healthcare shortages or surpluses. Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment in the last few years, the program is expanding again. And I have joined the ranks.

Basically, the two years of service will be doing exactly what I have wanted to do since I started nursing school – work with the under-served, rural community. The only catch is that it may or may not be in Hawaii. Apparently, it is quite the hairy process to become an approved site. There are only a handful of them in the state and there is no way of knowing if they will have a vacancy with my name on it in two years time. But I plan to work my tail off to find that vacancy.

But I’m not worried. God turned my attention to nursing five years ago when Mom needed nurses. He made me think I could be one of those nurses one day when I was on Ala Moana beach listening to someone I barely knew discuss her new career. Two years later, I got through all of the prerequisites for this insane program, finished the insane program, and have jumped in with both feet to Nurse Practitioner graduate classes. And right when I start asking God if he really meant to pick me, he throws this scholarship at me and says “what now!”. So even if I end up in the middle of the desert in the middle of the country serving the least of the least, I will still be sure that he meant to pick me.

Hey, he thought of me in 1972.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,