Monday, October 31, 2011

"A Clue! A Clue!"

Who woulda thunk that a couple of friends, a couple of margaritas, and a couple of goofy ideas would have led to a pretty fabulous couples costume.

Happy Halloween!

Steve and Blue of 'Blues Clues'

Bonus ladies shot:

From L-R: Me as Blue, Twin Beauty School as Hermione, Swagger as a Grecian goddess/Roman princess/prom queen, Kindergarten Teacher as a Teddy Bear, and Twin Unicorn as a Headmistress

Mingle 240

Friday, October 28, 2011

October Followers Fest

It's Fall, Y'all!
(Never gets old.)

Today, I'm linking up with 4 lovely ladies for this wonderful day known as October Followers Fest!  Seriously, go check it out - it's pretty awesome!


The link-up creators hoped everyone would talk about fall - recipes, traditions, decor, pretty much anything goes! 

I've already done participated in a little fall chatter this year, check it out:

One thing I haven't gotten the chance to touch on here on the ole blog is fall decor!  Being that I live in a 10x10 bedroom in my parents' home (with my husband - that's a story for another day), I don't get to decorate much at the moment, so I live vicariously through Pinterest.  And lucky you, today I'm sharing my favorites!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Source: None via Casey on Pinterest

Imagine how this would make your house smell if you used a vanilla-scnted candle in the middle...I die.
Source: None via Casey on Pinterest

Anything glitter...gets me every time.

Source: None via Casey on Pinterest

Book pages on a pumpkin - so cute!

Source: None via Casey on Pinterest

Adore this Fall centerpiece!

Those are just a few of my top faves - check out my Pinterest for all my fall decor pins and more!

If you're checking out Stress Case for the first time - thank you for coming!! Take a looksie around, maybe we can be blog besties - there's some things you should know if we are going to be BFFs, though, so fair warning. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things Thursday: Things to Love About Halloween

1. Candy corn.

2. The right to dress skankalicious with no minimal judgement.

3. Pumpkin patches!

4. Seasonal scents for candles and such - mulled cider, pumpkin pie, cinnamon vanilla...I DIE.

5. Little kids in costumes.

6. Dogs in costumes.

hahahaha I laughed out loud at work at this picture!

7. Fun-sized candies...that I end up eating 6 of so it really doesn't matter that it's smaller.

8. It actually starts feeling crisp in the air at night after what seems like an inevitable Indian summer every year.

9. Scary (or just Halloween-themed) movies on TV all month long.

10. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie - do I need to go on?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Proud Wifey

So, I need to brag.

I don't know if I've mentioned it here on the 'ole blog, but my Handsome Husband has had dreams of law school for years.  That's right - I'm a lawyer-spawn (sup, Gardening Mom?) and a future-lawyer-spouse.  I'm surrounded (don't eff with me!).

Anyway, one of the first steps in the law-school/lawyer-bein' process is taking one big bad bitch of a test:

the LSAT.

HH has been prepping for this test for a long time - lets just say he postponed the exam once a few times.

But the big day finally came the 1st of this month, and it.  was.  on.  For the weeks following, Hubs tried to relax and wait for his score, but he was a bit of a Stress Case (see what I did there?).  But the days passed on, and the test results came this week - even a few days early (gotta love that!).

My man did awesome!

He did better than he had done a single practice exam, and significantly better than his average.  He rocked it.

I gave him a couple pretty rockstar pep talks in the days leading up the exam, so I'm sure that's what did it.  (Why wouldn't this be about me?)

Moral of the story: My husband is amazeballs and I am such a proud wifey.  Lets get this law school ship on the road, I'm ready to be married to an Esquire.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Old Stomping Grounds

This weekend, it's Alumni Weekend at Handsome Husband's alma mater (and university he clocked many soccer playing hours at), and my man and I are off to San Diego - our old stomping grounds!

There are so many reasons San Diego has a huge place in my heart...I mean where do I begin?

San Diego is...

the first city where HH and I lived together.

where we were living when we got engaged.

the first place I lived away from home and really started my own life.

the city I met some amazing women in - Nurse Sarcasm, Dimples, and Future Dr. Babies just to name a few!

where I went to nursing school, and actually where I was when I realized I even wanted to be a nurse.

where Handsome Hubs went to and graduated from college.

the place where so many of our dear friends still call home.

the city that HH's old soccer stadium stands, and where I got to spend hours really getting to know Mother-in-Law Red and Grandma Beach Bum - hours I accredit to the close relationship I have with them both now.

the zip code from which I planned the majority of our wedding, which was actually held nearly two hours from the seaside city of SD.

the place we were living when we turned 21, and first learned the ropes to bar-stomping (in and around Pacific Beach, duh!).

the place where I saw my first patient pass away, where I passed my first meds, where I learned what it meant to be a nurse, and where I wondered whether I was cut out for the job.

I lived in San Diego, I loved in San Diego.
I found myself there, lost myself again a time or two, and re-found myself there.
I love Orange County, it's my home...but San Diego will always have a big place in my heart.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Fill in some blanks yourself, and go link up!

1. Nothing says fall like scented candles - mulled cider, pumpkin, apple spice, oh my!

2. My favorite autumnal tradition is pumpkin' patchin'!  Haven't gone in a few years, but my Handsome Husband promised me a trip this year!

3. My favorite fall treat is anything pumpkin - pie, cookies, coffee.  Love.  It.  All.

4. Fall makes me think of  school supplies because I remember being so excited to buy them every year as a kid!  (Still get overly excited about it, actually.)

5. Autumn free form word association, go!  school, pumpkin, Thanksgiving, family, sweaters, candles, boots!

6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is scrubs as of late.  But really - love leggings and sweaters with boots.

7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)  I actually really don't like Thanksgiving food (I'm a freak, I know), and I really like costumes.  Therefore?  Halloween.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things Thursday: Things To Use as Excuses For My Bad Blogger Behavior

1. Hello - new job?

2. 40 hours of working a week...this is new to this stressy Casey.

3. Microbiology - aka the most boring science class since Physiology.

4. My Handsome Husband actually likes to talk to me for more than 30 minutes a day.

5. Turns out I can't really run on 5 hours of sleep a night.

6. Taco Tuesday Club.

7. My DVR is practically bursting at the seams.

8. My online classes are calling my name.

9. Clocking hours breaking a sweat at the gym thinking about the gym.

10. Attempting to maintain an acceptable level of social contact with my beloved friends.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big Girl Job

So I've been a little MIA in my little blogworld the past few days, and it's because I've been prepping for a big day this week.

I got a big girl job!

That's right, girls, a full-time, benefits-offering, supervisor position!

I am now a proud employee of a wonderful organization that I truly have dreamed of working for since before I even was an active nursing student.

I won't divulge the company's name (I abide by the blogging rule of allude to what you do, don't give details), but the organization has hospitals in multiple cities, and I will be running an entire clinic!

I feel so blessed and grateful to have gotten this wonderful opportunity and am going to do all that I can with it!  

Quotable Tuesdays

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grateful Sundays

This week, I am grateful for a sweet lil gift from Tutor Girl and family.

Y'all know how last weekend I (okay, Handsome Hubs was there too) watched my main man, Lil C while his 'rents (Tutor Girl and her husband) went on a short weekend trip just the two of them.

It was an eye-opening weekend, and last week, I was grateful for a little gift from medicine called The Pill.

Today, Tutor Girl was so sweet and gave me the nicest little thank you gift for helping a sister out last weekend and watching her little guy.

Because I love to send mail (and also appreciate a good note of gratitude), I would usually send a Thank You note for something like this, but sort of had to draw the line at sending a Thank You note for a Thank You gift.  So instead, I'm sharing my gratitude with the entire blogosphere!  (That may be more impressive than a note?)

I won't share exactly what she got me because I'm just not that kind of Braggy Betty, but let's just say it was a cute little gift bag, filled with something with this fabulous logo on it:

Needles to say that was such a sweet surprise, and TG totally didn't have to that (but this girl whose purse is from Target ain't giving it back now!).

Thank you so much Tutor Girly!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things Thursday: Things I DON'T Want To Do

1. Go on a hike.

2. Chew on glass.

3. Go to Knott's Scary Farm.

4. Watch Unsolved Mysteries at night.

5. Read newspapers for fun.

6. Get sick.

7. Be trapped in a room with a raccoon (happened to me once, truth).

8. Lose my cell phone.

9. Get a paper cut.

10. Be wrapped in velvet (fun fact about me: I despise velvet).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Project Hope in Haiti, Part III

To read more about this little series of posts, and about Gardening Mom and Sister Swimmer's journey to Haiti, go HERE, and see part II HERE.

Wednesday, July 20
It is about 6 am and I am already showered and dressed and having coffee. I did not sleep well last night. Seemed more humid and buggier. I read later into the night and kept waking up and SS seemed restless too although she is still asleep this morning.

Today we finished S's house, all painted inside and out. We left just after breakfast (eggs and toast) and worked until about noon, then returned to finish after lunch (lunch was Haitiian spaghetti which is plain with hot dogs and something like peas). The work crew wants to correct us often on how we are painting but most of them actually do not know much more about it than we do. I think they enjoy being in charge and being able to teach us something. The house is white inside and on the roof and the rest is a very pretty sea green. S did not want her picture taken today either and was going to at one point and asked me if I would bring her a copy when I came back to Haiti. I told her I would send her a copy and she said others have said that too and did not do that. S finally agreed to be in the picture with us at the end but Z had to practically insist.

S and the local children with A and Sister Swimmer.

The work crew, with K on the left in white tee, A in grey, S in the middle, Sister Singer with the shades and headband, and Gardening Mom in white tank.

We met S's mother today. S is her oldest child of ten, they all or most of them live there and this house that was built that we painted will allow S and her two kids and probably several others to have more space. The family mostly lives, cooks and eats outdoors, the houses are just for sleeping. When we were there painting, we attracted a lot of attention, mostly from the kids - about a dozen in the family group, but also from the adults - mostly the male adults, the women other than S and her mother and today her sister seemed to stay away. I wonder about the men and why they are not helping with the work. I wonder what all of them, men and women both, do every day and if they get bored. Watching them as the day goes by they seem very languid.

A and SS brought some of the bracelets they made today and gave them to the kids at S's. They were very happy to get them and even some of the older boys came by to get one and S's mother also asked for one. Their wrists were so small that the bracelets went twice or even three times around. One that had two colors instead of three turned out to be Argentina's colors and that was a hit as Argentina is a fave soccer team.

Thursday, July 21
We painted the other house today that we had primed earlier, inside and out. Pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato for lunch, lasagna last night for dinner. The people whose house we worked on today are not quite as friendly as S's family but the kids just as curious and as enthralled with SS & A. They gave them bracelets again and at one point when we were mostly done painting two little girls each took one of K's hands and were picking the paint spots off her.

There was a moment when we were all painting and the work crew was singing to pass the time and started singing
We are the World and it made me tear up. There was a woman there today who seemed very old but my guess is that she is probably about my age. I am actually quite ancient here, Haitians do not generally live long lives.

Someone came to the gate at the quad and wanted to sell us peanuts but I was not sure if he was saying peanuts or paintings or penis (
Stress Case note: imagining this conversation and miscommunication makes me laugh out loud) and had someone translate for me. Once I ascertained it was peanuts he wanted to know whether all four of us wanted them and when I asked how much for four of us he said $50 US which I thought was entirely too much for peanuts so I told him I would buy $10 worth and decide if I wanted more and he did not like that and left but later came back and said ok so I gave him the $10 and am curious if the peanuts arrive today and what they are like. We had coconuts yesterday at S's - one of the men in her family cut off the tops with a large machete and made a hole to drink out of and it was not as sweet as I expected but very refreshing and then when we were done drinking he cut up the rest and we ate the flesh which is different than Hawaiian coconuts, kind of slimier but still good.

I slept very poorly Tuesday night but better last night and K did not sleep as well last night.

The first night we were here we had a huge lightening and thunder storm, so loud that it sounded as if it was cracking right outside but K and A slept right through it.

When we were painting one of the rooms today there was a hole in the corner that really needed to be caulked but we had no caulk and one of the crew members said gum would work and of course I had my omnipresent gum in my mouth so I pulled it out and handed it to him and he was very pleased and stuck it in the hole and painted over it so now my chewed up gum will be in a house in Haiti forever.

Friday, July 22
We primed two houses today, finished by lunch. It was sad to know that we would not see most of the guys on the work crew again. The houses will be painted Monday but we will be gone by then. French toast for breakfast, ham & cheese sandwiches for lunch.

After lunch we went with into town. P gave us a tour, J was the driver. Driving is crazy here, there are motorcycles and scooters and big trucks and smaller trucks and not much in the way of traffic lines, lights or signs. So many of the injured, even in connection with the earthquake, were injured in car accidents - it is truly a hazard disproportionate to the number of vehicles on the road. Downtown Les Cayes makes Tijuana look luxurious. 

The shops are mostly open air and there are clothes and toys and housewares for sale all in a jumble and absolutely nothing of appeal even for a hard core shopper like me. P toured us through the open air market. Picture the swap meet, at least twenty times more crowded and compressed, with open baskets of fruits and vegetables and large piles of grains and meats that smell with flies all over them and you had to kind of step over and through some of the booths to get around and people were hawking their goods and staring at us like we did not belong, which of course we did not.

After that we went down some other streets in the car and the living spaces were close together and squalid and the people sitting on the front steps and looking out at us and looking hopeless and kind of resentful as we drove by and I am thinking that I would really hate for the car to break down. I am snapping pictures out the car window but feel like I have to kind of sneak them and am self conscious to be capturing the suffering of these people's daily lives on film for my vacation pictures.

We then went to an area by the water, kind of a beach, and the water and the view across is pretty but there is so so much trash on the beach, just piles and piles of it, and loads of people enjoying the waterfront nonetheless. 

We got out of the car there and have to hop across a puddle to make it to the sidewalk that goes to the beach and I miss it and step in the puddle which turns out to be more like sewage than a puddle and I lose my sandal in it and fish it out. Luckily, we are right by part of what is or used to be Espwa offices and P knows a man that is standing right by a gate right there and has me go unto the courtyard where there is faucet where I can wash my foot and sandal (and when we get back to the quad I wash it and scrub it more and still feel as if my foot is stinging but I think it is stinging from scrubbing it and not from the sewage but just to be safe I will scrub it more before I go to bed and may check to see if K has any alcohol with her).

We take some photos and P is telling us about some regional and historical facts, none of which I retain, then get back in the car and go to another beach that is more like a park, a bit cleaner but still a lot of trash and more people that I feel are looking at us in a hostile way, very different than how I felt in the village homes near Espwa. 

SS on left, A on right.

I am struck by the numbers of people just sitting on their porches and wonder what it is that they do all day, similar to how I wondered that in the village homes near Espwa, but at least those are in pleasant settings, with some space around them. Then back through downtown and more hopeless hostile stares as we drive through and I am afraid again of what would happen if the car was to break down, and am feeling very tired and really wanting to go back to Espwa or really wanting to go home. I think about Casey's blog (shout out to Stress Case, what what!) mentioning my humanitarian trip and try to wrap my mind around making the decision to actually stay here and help and what kind of person can do that, and realizing that I am not that person, which makes me feel somewhat shallow but also kind of relieved, and I can't decide if I think that the people who do that are truly admirable or crazy or both.

I think we are going to head back to Espwa now but P is not done with his tour and we head to Gelee Beach, which is a bit more like a beach town in Mexico, but without any of the resorts, but there are a few small hotels and food stands. Gelee Beach is also dirty but not with piles and piles of trash and there is a family that is actually walking through and picking up trash. P asks if we want to stop for a beer but the girls are seeming like they want to go back and we beg off and head back to Espwa. When we first got here, Espwa and the quad were so strange and different but today it feels familiar and comfortable as we return.

It looks like these recaps will end up being more than three parts - stay tuned for the next post!

Monday, October 3, 2011

True Life: I'm Not Ready For Motherhood

Yesterday I joked a bit about being grateful for birth control after my weekend-long babysitting gig with Lil C.  Today, let's get real about what the weekend taught me.

Let's back it up a bit...I'm going to fess up to a little recent baby fever.  While I certainly don't think my sweet Handsome Husband and I have quite all of our ducks in a row, I still found myself daydreaming of little pink and blue blankets and teeny tiny clothes.

Well, this weekend was a reality check.

Let me get things straight first - Lil C was very well-behaved.  He was sweet, and cuddly, and so fun to watch play.  There were times even that I felt my baby fever heat up a bit - especially when he giggled (how cute is baby laughter?).

But then there was Saturday afternoon, where he cried for 45 minutes (inexplicably and somewhat uncontrollably) and completely threw a wrench in my plans to head to the grocery store while HH was out.  (The mothers reading this probably have the same reaction as Gardening Mom and MIL Red - they laughed out loud at me and told me babies don't care about your schedule.)

And there was the fact that no matter who texted me with fun suggestions of things to do over the weekend, my answer had to be no.

And the fact that I got a total of 11 hours of sleep over the weekend.

And the fact that each time Lil C went down for a nap or down for bed, I was so tired that I wanted to sleep too, but there were dishes to do, meals to cook, toys to pick up, and even more exhaustingly, homework and studying to do.

It wasn't all bad - and it wasn't all hard either.

But it was a little looksie into what my life would be like with the addition of little one.  I don't doubt my ability to do it - but I realized that right now, I'm not ready.

I want the freedom to pick up and go out at a moment's notice.

I want a good night's sleep when I need it.

I want to be alone with my husband.

I want the freedom that only comes with a certain time and place in your life - and that time for me (and HH) is now.

I love Lil C, and I do know that Handsome Hubs and I will have a minivan-full of crying, but sweet, little kiddos in time.  But if this weekend taught me one thing, it's that now is not that time.

Mingle 240

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grateful Sundays

This week, (after spending the past 48+ hours with a 15-month-old), I am grateful for

these wonderful gifts from the world of medicine.

(deets tomorrow!)
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