Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Puppy Love

I'm a huge dog lover. HUGE. Eric and I want to adopt a dog so bad.  Well, I do more than Eric does, but he said he doesn't mind if we get one as long as it's not a small dog and if I can find a way to take care of it.  That's the problem. Eric's work days on average are 14 hours.  On the days I work, I am gone for about 13.5 hours. I only work three days a week, but on those three days, the dog would be here alone all day.  Eric only works 10 minutes away, but it's not like he has a job where he can come home on his lunch break and feed/let the dog outside.  I work about 25 minutes away, and I'm not allowed to leave work for lunch either.  Even if I were allowed to leave, we only get 30 minutes for lunch. Right now I am kind of wishing we bought one of the houses we looked at with a huge backyard with a shaded porch.  That way we could have put a doggy door in the door to the backyard and left food and water out and the dog could go outside/inside at it pleased. But in our townhouse, we have no yard.  On the days I don't work I could take he/she to the dog park and go on walks.  We were thinking we could put some of those puppy pads that look like grass on our porch and put a gate up so it couldn't get out and put a doggy door in our door so it could come in when it wanted.  But I would kind of be afraid of someone letting the dog out or stealing it or something.  I've looked in to how much it would cost to hire someone to come over during the day to feed/walk the dog, but it's pretty expensive.  I can't quite come to terms yet with not ever having a dog for the whole five years we are here. I love them too much! 

To make matters worse, this week at the Arizona Humane Society, all adoption fees are waived! So practically a free adoption (don't worry, they make potential owners go through a screening process first).  I want to give a sweet deserving dog a good home so bad...just don't quite know how to do it yet!  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Mrs. Wise

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy One Year, Bentons!

So I didn't get to blog about this yesterday because my 12 hour shift at work turned in to a 13 hour shift and I was about to pass out when I got home (but that's another blog post). But yesterday was the Bentons' first wedding anniversary! Aimee and Garret got married one year ago (yesterday)! We love Aimee and Garrett.  Eric and Garrett have been BFF's since way before Eric and I even knew each other.  They have been through tons together and I'm so thankful Eric has had such a great person like Garrett as constant factor in his life.  And Aimee, I think we were separated at birth.  I mean, Eric and Garrett are basically the same person. They finish each other's sentences.  So I guess I should have known that they would end up with two girls that are exactly the same.  It makes me sad that we didn't know each other before Garrett and Aimee started dating because I know we would have been such great friends.  We first really hit it off on our road trip to Austin, Texas to visit the Gibsons.  We bonded when we sat on the staircase talking about what kind of engagement rings we wanted ;).  I can remember two weeks before their wedding when Garrett and the guys were in Dallas for Garrett's bachelor party.  Aimee and I were hanging out and we were picking out songs for their wedding.  I was lucky enough to see a picture of her in her wedding dress...and I cried.  There is just something about seeing one of your friends in a wedding dress. I don't know what it is.  Then Aimee introduced a song to me that I ended up walking down the aisle to at our wedding.  Love it.  Then we had so many great times watching bad (but awesome) TV; making Halloween treats; OSU homecoming (can't believe Garrett and Eric went with us); shopping, convincing each other to buy things we didn't need, and making our "no-more-tshirts-no-matter-how-comfortable-they-are" pledge; double sushi dates; frozen yogurts dates; our KC trip, etc!  

Their wedding was so beautiful.  Outside ceremony on a beautiful August day (but felt more like an April day, not too hot at all), and the reception was so fun. Filled with tons of love.  It was fun being engaged for two weeks together Aims. We love you two so much and hope you had an amazing first anniversary...and wish you tons more! 

Happy couple
Happy day!
We love you two! (Aimee I stole these pics from your facebook hehe!)

The Wises

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Husband, the Golfer

When people started finding out that Eric and I were moving to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, the first thing people would say was usually something along the lines of, "There is such great golf there! You are going to go golfing so often."  Well, if you know my husband you know that he is no where near a golfer.  He has never really been interested in golf and swore that just because he was moving to a place where everyone golfs, he would NOT become a golfer.  He had never even swung a golf club until his good friend Ryan Wicks from medical school started taking him to the driving range at the end of fourth year.  I kept telling him there was no way we would go the whole 5 years of his residency here without him golfing.  Well, I think he lasted about 3 weeks here before Mark, Eric's co-intern invited him to go to the driving range.  They started going every couple of weeks, and now, every Wednesday night, to the driving range they go.  Eric even played a round of golf with some of the other residents last week and loved it...and they are going again this Saturday!  To top it off, last night he came home with a new golf bag and his own set of golf clubs.  I knew it would be impossible for him to not golf here! :)
The new bag and clubs!
Working on the form.
A little golf club/guitar action.
Look at my golfer husband!

Hope you all have a great Friday, and maybe enjoy a little golf :)
The Wises

Thursday, August 26, 2010

UPDATE: Medical Mystery

Sara had an MRI done on her finger (see previous post, "Medical Mystery").  Bad news...surgery it is. I'm so sad about this! Sara is super squeemish and can't even stand to look at a vein popping out of an arm, much less stand getting an IV or having surgery.  Surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday.  The MRI showed a bunch of stuff (they aren't sure what) surrounding the tendons and bone in her finger and think it may be a bacterial or fungal infection, and are even considering a Tuberculosis infection.  They have no clue how in the world she would have gotten any of these infections and they don't really know what to expect when they get in there.  They just know they need to get in there and get that stuff out before it spreads or gets more swollen and she looses circulation or something.  For surgery they are going to make a zigzag incision from the tip of her finger down to about one inch into her hand and clean out the stuff around her tendons and bone. She may have to have a drain in her hand for a while after surgery to continuously drain the stuff.  Please please pray for Sara and a for a quick and pain-free recovery. Thank you for the prayers and I will update next Wednesday after surgery. Eric and I are thinking about you, sister!

In other news,  it was a bad day all around in the Howell household. In addition to the news that Sara needs surgery,  our  dog Cooper had to have 6 teeth pulled! Poor little buddy! It's OK though because if you are a dog in the Howell house you get spoiled all the time let alone if something happens. Mom said since he can't chew hard food right now he is getting roast beef. Not the roast beef flavored dog food, the roast beef that people eat.  What a rough life!  What can I say, we love our animals in this family! Here's a pic Mom sent me of the sweet little guy after getting all his teeth pulled:
Basking in the sun! Look at his post-anesthesia droopy eyes! :(

Here are some pics of Coop on a normal day:

Sleepy Coop
Our little fox!
Just look at that face and his furry paws!

Hope you're all having a good Thursday!
Mrs. Wise

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fear Not.

There have been a lot of things I have been scared/nervous/anxious about lately...living in a brand new city, a new job, and all of the new experiences that come along with those. I have been so focused on this anxious feeling the past few weeks that I didn't realize until the other day the ways God has been trying to tell me not to fear and to trust in Him. A couple weeks ago, Eric and I watched the movie The Book of Eli. Loved this movie. The main character is on a journey God told him to go on and despite fear he trusts in the Lord and completes this extremely important journey.  In the movie Eli recites Psalm 23.  After the movie, Eric and I got out our Bible and read Psalm 23 over and over.  At church on Sunday, we sang Matt Redman's song, You Never Let Go, and then the service was about fear.  It talked about how God will not prevent us from being in situations where we feel scared or have doubts, but if we trust in Him, He we be there in those situations to get us through them.  Monday was my first day at work where I was off orientation and I was scared to death, so Sunday night before bed, Eric and I recited Psalm 23 several times.  Then on the way to work and on the way home from work, I heard Matt Redman's song, You Never Let Go again.  God has definitely been proving to me a lot lately that He will never not be there if I keep trusting that He is guiding me down the path He has planned for me, and it is so comforting knowing that.  Whenever you get scared about something, go to Psalm 23 and I'm pretty sure it will make you feel better. How could it not?  

Psalm 23

THE Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in
green pastures;
He leads me beside 
quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the
paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Even though i walk 
through the valley of
the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou
art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff,
they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a 
table before me in the
presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my
head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and 
lovingkindness will follow me
all the days of my life, 
And I will dwell in the 
house of the Lord forever.

Doesn't this just give you the courage to stand up and face what you are afraid of because you know God is standing right there beside you? So powerful.  Here is Matt Redman's song You Never Let Go:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Medical Mystery

So, my poor sister Sara has this finger.  One day she just woke up and it was huge and painful.  She didn't jam it, sprain it or injure it in any way. She has been to several doctors and had so many tests done but no one can figure it out.  One of them told her she needs to go on the show "House" because he has no idea what she has.  She's been on hard core steroids and it didn't take the swelling down...it keeps getting bigger!  She saw a surgeon today and she might have to have surgery on it just to try to figure out what is wrong with it! Poor thing. Praying your finger gets better sister! Here are a couple pics...

I hope she doesn't hate me for posting these! :)

Sara's sister

Friday, August 20, 2010

One year ago today...

Today marks one year from when my sweet, handsome, loving husband got down on one knee and asked me to  be his wife!!! I seriously cannot believe it has been one year.  It was the most perfect night ever and the happiest day of my life (well, behind our wedding day). Eric and I were going out to celebrate our "official" 6-month anniversary. We had wine at his house, went out to dinner, and walked around the Myriad Gardens in downtown OKC, where he had one of my best friends in the world, Carissa Everett and her husband Jason hiding and taking pictures. He got a card out of his pocket and acted like it was a card for our 6-month anniversary. He was reading it to me and the very last line of the card said. "...Megan Michelle Howell, will you marry me?" It could not have been more perfect.  I think any girl will tell you, no matter how the love of their life popped the question, it was perfect.  It is just such a happy time, I don't think anything could have made it more or less perfect! I love that today, one year later, I am able to get that card out and read exactly what he said to me when he proposed, and I will be able to forever. I love you so much Eric...thank you for asking me to spend forever with you!!! Carissa and Jason, thank you so much for taking so much time to plan the whole night with Eric, and for being there to capture it on film. I love you guys!

Eric and Jason checking out the location the day before.
Eric reading me the card he wrote me...
Down on one knee! I'm not believing what I'm seeing/hearing here.
Eric checking out the new bling on my finger...he bought the ring about a month before. :)
Just so happy.
Thank you, wonderful Carissa for everything!
Eric, me, Carissa, and Jason.
Eric's best friend Garrett...celebrating!
Sweet Aimee! We got to enjoy being engaged together for about a week before she and Garrett got married! :)
Also, Check out this engagement slideshow Oklahoma photographer Josh McCullock made us!

The Wises

Thursday, August 19, 2010

501 ICU: I miss you!

So I only have one more day of orientation at my new job in the neuro ICU.  This 5 week orientation was a little shorter than I expected, so I'm a little nervous.  I'm confident in my ability to take care of the patients (which of course is the most important thing), but there is so much I don't know yet about how this new hospital is run.  Some of these things:

1. I don't know the doctors and they don't know me that well yet. 
2. I don't even know what all of the different floors on the hospital are yet.
3. I have ZERO phone numbers memorized (pharmacy, lab, dietary, blood bank etc).
4. 100% computer charting takes a little bit (more than 5 weeks) of getting used to.
5. Thank goodness for transporters because if not for them, every time one of my patients goes to CT, MRI, IR etc., I would get lost.
6. Every time I need a supply I spend at least 5 minutes staring at the supply cart trying to find the needed item before I finally give up and ask someone where it is.

These are just a few out of many things and I know they seem minor but piled up on top of each other they can make for a pretty long, hectic, run-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off day.

As I come to the end of my orientation, I can't help but to reminisce about my orientation at Baptist Medical center in OKC, OK as a brand new nurse. Here are some things I miss tons about working at Baptist/501 ICU:

1. LaRhonda Ricahrdson aka Best Preceptor Ever.  Seriously. I think I probably asked her at least 20 questions per night and she never got frustrated or annoyed with any of them, no matter what.  She gave me the right amount of freedom without ever leaving me feeling overwhelmed.  She seemed to know when I needed help and was right there to help me figure things out.  She is a great role model outside of being a nurse too.  I miss you LaRhonda! Thank you for being such a great teacher and friend.

2. The dolphins.  Never thought I would say it... but we don't have them here and I am constantly paranoid I am going to make a med error and am checking patients' MARs 3 or 4 times before I give each med.

3. X=__   Y=__  N=__.  We use sliding scale for insulin here and it just doesn't work as well.

4. The awesome aides.  I will always appreciate how much you always did for me!

5. The calmer environment of night shift.  Granted, nights got crazy pretty often, but there are just so many little things that have to get done on days. Also, everyone just seems more stressed out on day shift, which stresses me out even if there is no reason for me to be stressed out for the time being.

6. Working in the same hospital as some of the people I went to nursing school with, and seeing them randomly during the shift.  

7. Every single nurse I worked with. I won't name you all, but just know that each of you helped me out so many times and I will never forget about you guys.  I had a great first year of nursing and I am positive it is because you were my co-workers. I will always think of the 501 group as my family and I miss working with you all so much!

Here are some of the awesome people of 501 that I miss so much!

Can't wait to visit you all!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting my feet wet: back in the pool!

For those of you who don't know, I was a swimmer my whole life.  I don't really even remember much of my life before I was swimming competitively.  It started with the country club team and just took off from there.  I can remember my mom trying to convince me not to start year-round competitive swimming (she was a swimmer too and knew how much time/dedication/sacrifice it took). 

Well, after swimming for 2 years at the NCAA level, I had had enough. I wanted to go to nursing school and was getting injured a lot...it was just time. So I quit swimming and never looked back.  After a while out of the pool I started getting my feet wet again, oh maybe a couple times a  month.  Thank goodness I had Tyler (and sometimes Darin) Kent to swim with or it would have been less than that! Ever since we moved to Phoenix I was thinking about joining a Masters swim team, but it wasn't until last week I finally made the move.  I was terrified to say the least for a few reasons:

1. I hadn't swum in months.
2. I absolutely hate walking into a place alone for the first time where I know no one.
3. Arizona is a very strong and serious swimming state especially compared to Oklahoma. What if all of the 
    swimmers there are SO much faster than I am?

These were all good enough reasons for me to put off joining the team.  Luckily, Eric is such a motivating husband and he gave me a little pep talk that gave me enough courage to do a trial workout....and it was amazing! It felt so great to get in the water again and to be coached. The coaches are fabulous and all swam at the national level.  They take it seriously and motivate you to work harder and correct your technique. And now here are the reasons I am glad I joined:

1. It felt so good to get in the water and do a REAL workout.
2. I have way more energy.
3. I'm getting back in to "swimming shape" a lot faster than I thought I would.
4. I've met great people!
5. There are people that I'm better than, but plenty that are better than me, so I'm always challenged.
6. Outdoor practices.  Year round (which comes with a horrible one-piece tan line)!

Thank you Eric for always believing in me and motivating me to try new things. You are always right :) 

Check out the Sun Devil Masters!

And with that I will leave you with a couple old swimming pics...sick I know, but it's fun to look back on :)

I think I was 7 or 8 here.

Me and Mom before my first ZONES meet. Check out my Birkenstock/socks combo! Not to mention my huge glasses. Ha!

High school swimming. Thank goodness my hair is less curly now.

Thanks for reading!
The Wises

Monday, August 16, 2010

Words from the Wise{s}: my first blog!

Ok, so I have had a blogger username for about six months now...and now I'm finally posting my first blog.  I was trying so hard to think of something fun and creative to blog about for my first post and came up with nothing, so I thought, why not blog about someone else's blog? 

Eric and I had the pleasure of being contacted by the author of the super-cute Snippet and Ink blog to ask if she could post our wedding on her blog! Would anyone say "No" to this?! Such an amazing opportunity! She asked me a bunch of questions about the details of our wedding, and posted the answers along with some photographs (courtesy of the absolutely amazing Josh McCullock Photography) and posted them on her awesome page.  I know Eric and I loved our wedding, but it's fun to know that other people thought it was fun too :)

Check out the entry about our wedding here...hope you enjoy!

The Wises