Life goes on...

Life has changed so much in the last 4 and 1/2 years. I was watching junior year’s cheer slideshow and cannot believe the flood of emotions that came back as I watched. When we were there nothing else mattered. We thought cheer was the most important part of our lives and that we might stay there forever…or die there…which ever came first:-). When I talk about it with people now I realize that I may have been terrified to tumble but I am not scared of life and I am so proud of the places I have gone since that time. I had my first NICU interview today and when the manager was speaking to me about why I wanted to work there I almost welled up with tears. I knew my junior year of high school that I wanted to be a nurse and that I would work in the NICU. Everyone told me that I would change my mind but I am knew what I wanted. I get to be apart of shaping an infant’s and their parent’s lives…I get be an advocate for not only their care but the quality of their care and I couldn’t think of anything better for me. When getting into college the pre-nursing adviser told me that I may want to think about a second major because the College of Nursing was highly competitive to get into…I told her no…that I would be graduating from U of A as an RN and there were no other options. Sitting in my interview today brought everything together. It is amazing what I now feel is important in life compared to in high school. The typical interview question was what do you feel your biggest accomplishment is? I do feel that being the first person in my immediate family to go to and graduate college is a major accomplishment but as I reflect, however, it’s not just an accomplishment…it changes your life. College has shaped who I am. I do not feel that I am better than someone who has not gone to college but it has made me a different person. I cannot wait to walk across that stage on Friday and know that I am finally done…for now ;-). I can honestly say that nursing school was not as hard or as scary as I thought it would be. Most people think I am crazy for saying that but I truly believe in life you make things as easy or as hard as you want them to be. I also think cheer prepared me more than I will ever know. When I was accepted to nursing school I thought to my self, “So you’re telling me I just need to attend class, go to clinicals, and study for tests...not practice Monday through Friday at 5am in the summer, Monday through Saturday for three hours during school, or throw my self backwards repeatedly for four straight years?!? Then I’ve got this:-).” People may think that is a ridiculous comparison but I got through nursing school without ever once thinking I was dying…so I guess it worked for me:-).



So much has been going on the last month I have not had any time to blog! Here's what has been happening lately:

-Meg and I have been doing LOTS of photo shoots
-We have driven back and forth to Phoenix a million times
-Saw New Moon at midnight with Jess and Maria
-My baby brother turned 16 and got his drivers license
-I have applied for about 9 RN positions...waiting to hear about interviews
-We found out that we are going to have a *nephew*...so excited for Meg, Mark, & baby Mason
-We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving
-I finished my thesis!!!!
-I've been getting everything ready for graduation
-I am almost done with classes...just doing final evaluations now
-I will defend my thesis on Friday the 4th
-Brant and I decided we are going to Seattle for our graduation trip in March!
-Best of all...I graduate in 17 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A new love...

Although I am done precepting and don't have much going on for school, I am still keeping very busy with photography! I LOVE it SO much! Why am I becoming a nurse again?? LOL JK! I love that too but being able to do something on the side that I am also passionate about and even better doing it with my BEST friend is AMAZING! I've had a great time this week shooting some wonderful friends in nursing and even more fun editing the pictures! I'll sit at the computer forever trying to get them just right and sometimes forget to eat but it's SO worth it, LOL! Meg and I have been talking back and forth so much just trying to learn everything we can and coming up with ideas. I can't wait to make it official and get our business license!! When we first started talking about this last year I think we were kind of joking at first :-) but as soon as we had our first DSLRs in our hands...we knew it was meant to be! There is still a long way to go (especially in the learning department) but we truly feel this is how it's supposed to be. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Meg working hard...


NICU life...

Today I volunteered in the NICU again. Every time I go I love it more and more! I was able to hold a little guy whose hand was about this size...he was absolutely adorable and incredibly tiny! I am so excited that I will be working with little miracles every day!


Almost a nurse...

The last five weeks I spent most of my time at TMC on the Women's Care Unit completing my preceptorship (or free internship for those of you who are like what in the world is that). We had antepartum patients on bed rest and women having gynecological surgeries. I worked with an absolutely wonderful RN named Korene who I was very sad to leave after my twelve shifts were done. She was very calm and confident in her own abilities and made me feel like I could not only be a nurse but a good one! I really enjoyed my time there and am so glad that it turned out better than I could have imagined. There is nothing wrong with being a PCT (and I have a TON of respect for those who are) but my year as a tech made me feel as though I might not like being a nurse...luckily that is not the case! Even while precepting I was able to really make a difference for my patients. Now I am done and only have lecture on Monday's and Community Health on Tuesday's until the end of the semester! Graduation will be December 18th at 2pm and I couldn't be MORE excited! Most of the hospitals will be putting their new grad programs up in November so that is when I can begin applying for jobs. I plan to apply for NICU, L&D, PICU, and ER at all the major hospitals in town. I really would love to be in the NICU right away (especially since I would like to go to grad school in two years) but there are some other places I would also love to get experience in. I am not worried about getting hired...just where I will get hired. Until then I will be working as a nanny and finishing my Honor's Thesis...I really need to get on that, LOL! Well that is pretty much all that has been happening with my school life.Brant and I are just beginning to work on this transition from college life to the real world and are so excited to see what God has in store for us! It will be so fun to move on to another chapter in our lives...our careers, babies, a house :-)...and just continuing to enjoy marriage.


Cutest face EVER!

OK so I read this blog called Maybe Baby where the dad writes a blog about all he and his wife went through to have their little girl Nola and now what life with Nola is like. He is a really funny writer and even wrote a book about it! Well they had to take sweet little Nola to the ER due to excessive vomiting and I just had to show you the most ADORABLE picture they got of her. Apparently she was very upset that she had to drink Pedialyte instead of her mommy's milk!
*I hope it's OK that I am showing this picture of her, LOL!


We Moved!

A few weeks ago Brant and I moved into our new apartment! We went from a two bedroom to a one bedroom to save money...about $300 a month! In square footage it is smaller but all the rooms are bigger. I can actually cook in the kitchen and move around, LOL! The bathroom is strangely big but I'm not complaining :-)! We are pretty sure it is actually an ADA compliant apartment due to wide hallways and cut-outs in the bathroom but it's like they didn't quite finish it because some things wouldn't work at all. Best of all though about being in a smaller place is that I can finally keep it clean all the time and be a good house wife ;-)...it only took me two years! Now that we are all settled in it is time to start my last semester and Brant's final year of school!!! After all this time we can't believe everything is finally coming to an end! I feel like we can really start our lives after this year. I am actually very excited to complete my five week preceptorship (internship where you don't get paid, LOL)! I will be working at TMC on the women's surgical floor. It's not at all what I wanted but I thought if I was positive everything would work out. I will be working side by side with an RN who works with post-op patients and some high risk pregnancies who need to be on hospital bed rest. The RN I am working with sounds very nice and like she actually loves working with students. I start Wednesday so I'll probably have some stories after that!

Sedona Getaway

A few weekends ago Brant and I took off to Sedona for a night to get out of the heat!
It was a short trip but just what we needed before school started. We went out to dinner and then hung out in our hotel room. Sunday morning we went out to breakfast then did a little shopping at the Gap Outlet. Can't wait till our next vacation!


New Book...

So I finished The Time Traveler's Wife and I absolutely loved it! It was kind of a hard read because the date kept changing and I had to keep flipping the pages to remember where he was in time, LOL! But it was a really great love story. Many of us think our relationships are hard at times but what this couple went through to be together and make a family shows what love is truly about. I would give it TWO thumbs up and recommend it to others :-).

Now I am on to...
I am VERY excited! I love her and her show! Her family is absolutely adorable (probably why Brant and I really like the name Liam ;-) ). I have heard it's good and pretty funny so I'm looking forward to my next great read of the summer!


Bryce & Amy's Maternity Session!

On Monday morning Meg and I went out to CCV to take maternity pictures for Bryce, Amy, and baby Kaitlynn! At 7am it was already quite warm but Amy was such a trooper. We are SO happy with how they turned out! They have endured a lot to make sure Kaitlynn is healthy and it felt great to be able to give them a little bit of normalcy in this pregnancy. Kaitlynn is scheduled to arrive in about a month and we wish them the best of luck!



There were some really great dances tonight on SYTYCD but my favorite of the night was by Melissa and Ade "This Woman's Work". As both of my grandmothers had Breast Cancer...one making it...one not...it was an absolutely beautiful dance! Very moving and very hard to not cry especially when everyone on the show was. I don't think it would have been the same if it was done by anyone else. Ade is such a strong partner and Melissa is so beautiful and graceful.

Great Summer Books

I just finished reading Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. I usually read books in just a few days but for some reason this one took me months...not sure why. I was a GREAT book, though, as her's usually are!
I am now moving on to The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It looked good before but the movie previews made me go for it. Although I am sure the movie will leave out parts that will leave me wishing it had been made more like the book. My Sister's Keeper did that....::SPOILER ALERT:: I mean two totally different people die at the end of the book and movie. The way the book ends is much more powerful. I still cried during the whole movie but not as much as I thought I was going to. I guess you can't kill off a child star like Abigail Breslin in a movie, though.


Hailey Rose Evans 7.16.09

So today I was working on finishing up Jess's maternity pictures...I wanted to edit them in Lightroom instead of Photoshop...little did I know that little Hailey would make her way into the world tonight!!! Congratulations to Mommy and Daddy...you are going to be wonderful parents!
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Good Food!

A little while ago Meg introduced me to a blog called Picky Palate. The lady who writes it makes a TON of good looking food and I thought I'd try it out. Meg and Mark actually made this meal for us a while back and it was very good! The first time I made it a few weeks ago I accidentally put the oven on broil instead of bake and it completely burnt the edges of the bread...unfortunately you need the edges for the spaghetti to stay on, LOL! Tonight it came out much better! She has many other tasty things to make...many of which are desserts:-)...that I hope to be trying soon!



We had SO much fun with Meg and Mark in California this past weekend!

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New Moon...

Took this neat picture of the moon on our way from Phoenix last weekend! I had to mess with it in Photoshop a little because the sky was grey instead of black but I really like it! It almost looks fake.
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Playing Around...

Just messing around in Photoshop/Picasa:-).

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4th of July!

Mark and Megan were gracious enough to host 4th of July this year! We had a great time with wonderful friends, family, and of course FOOD! Actually we ate WAY too much food, LOL! But anyways the fireworks from their backyard were perfect and it was so nice just to relax and not have to go out in the crowds. Mark grilled for us and everyone enjoyed playing corn hole. I know that sounds like a funny name for a game but it is actually a lot of fun! The boys get pretty competitive...when do they not?! I, like Meg, kinda forgot about taking pictures. Luckily I remembered that I had my little camera in my purse so I was able to get a few shots of the fun:-). Can't wait for the next holiday party...what time should we be there Meg and Mark ;-)?!?

P.S. Are you happy with all my blogging Meg?! HAHA!

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Hailey Visits Tucson!

Last week my little sister was able to finally come stay with us in Tucson! We really wanted her to be able to spend a while here but she also went to Michigan so a week would have to do! I took her to the College of Nursing and she got her very own CON sweatshirt...I'm not pushing her to be a nurse or anything ;-). On Wednesday she helped me babysit and was able to meet my little Jack Jack, Donovan, and Andrew! Jack just loved her...mainly because she was willing to carry him around all day! Thursday we got her hair cut (it was ridiculously long and it was time, LOL), took her out to dinner and to .50 cent bowling! We think she had a pretty good time and we were said to see her go. Since going off to college and getting married, I have missed out on a lot in their lives and it is so nice to be able to spend some quality time with my siblings...well one of them anyway! My brother is 15...5" taller than me...and way too cool to be seen any where other than the skate park, LOL!
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~New Hair~

The week after Jon and Danielle's wedding...I too cut my hair off!!! It's a little different now because she had to fix it a little the next day...one side was way longer than the other, LOL! But I love it! I cut it short right after our wedding and have been wanting to do it again even since! I just had to wait until wedding season was over!
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Elyse Renee Photography

I don't have a lot of time to blog today...going to babysit the boys! But I wanted to write a quick note. So as many of you know Meg and I are working on starting a small photography business... Elyse Renee Photography...and we couldn't be more excited! If you didn't know already, the name stems from both our middle names...Megan Elyse and Heather Renee!It will still be a little while before everything is set and it is actually a LLC but thanks to Mark...the business guy... we'll be able to set it up to correct way! Brant was nice enough to design a logo for us too! What great husbands we have...they are willing to work for free HAHA! I could not be more excited to be doing this with my best friend :-)! She is such an amazing friend and while I know people say not to do business together...it actually couldn't be more perfect for us. The future is looking bright!


Manual is a Beautiful Thing

Shortly after Meg and I had taken our photography workshop we decided to go to the country club and take some fun shots of each other!

Hailey's Momma...


Great Weekend!

We had such a wonderful weekend in Phoenix! Saturday morning Meg and I went to our first photography workshop hosted by Kimberly Jarman and Jennifer Bowen (two wonderful photographers!). They showed us all how to actually take our cameras off of auto and shoot in manual or where you pick the settings that work best for the conditions/picture you want. It was pretty amazing to see what our cameras can and should (for how much they cost, LOL!) do! We are still DEFINITELY in the learning/trial and error process but feel like we are actually going to be good at this...especially since we are shooting a wedding next May :-O!

The boys spent their morning SKYDIVING!!! for Jon's bachelor party! They said it was absolutely amazing and I am so happy they were able to do that for him. Phil (the boy's dad) paid for a video to be taken of Jon and pictures...it was SO cool to see what he experienced! Afterwards they had a BBQ at Meg and Mark's and got Jon a little too intoxicated, LOL! As for the girls...we kept to the ground and opted out of the alcohol fest :-). Meg, Theresa and I went to Chili's for dinner and talked baby stuff :-) for the whole evening. It was nice to get in some relaxing girl time.

Today Jessica was gracious and patient enough to let us take maternity photos of her and baby Hailey! Jessica is 36 weeks along and looks amazing! She has a pretty tiny belly still and in some shots we even had to have her move or push it out a little just to see it in the pictures...I'd be happy with that just one week before full term! We had a little trouble with our lighting (biggest part of a photo) but overall we are SO happy with how they turned out! There has been no editing done yet but I'll put a few on here for a sneak peek!

We are now back in Tucson until Thursday night when we will be driving home for Jon and Danielle's WEDDING!!! We are so excited for them and cannot believe it is already here! I gained a brother-in-law ,what seems like just yesterday, and now I am gaining a wonderful sister-in-law! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing family...and it just keeps growing!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:


2 Year Anniversary!

I can't believe we have already been married for TWO years! Time goes by so fast! I can't wait to spend the next 50 or so with him:-)!


My first photo shoot!!!

Kristen, Tanya, & Jason are some great friends that I have known for quite some time now. They are graduating this year and considering I needed practice and they needed pictures, LOL, we thought it would be fun to go on campus and get some shots. It turned out to be a lot of fun and I am pretty happy with what I got! I wish Meg could have been there with me...can't wait until we can do a shoot together! Photoshop was a little bit of a struggle but I'll figure it out!


Almost there!

So I have one day of clinicals left...EVER...and only one semester left of nursing! I am now just that much closer to being where I want to be. I cannot wait to finally be a nurse in the NICU and be apart of saving babies lives...I cannot wait to be apart of something bigger and giving back to the community! Random but I just thought I'd share:-).


Funniest Thing!

So I was talking to the lady I nanny for about how darn smart little kids are. Her 4 year old son always says the darndest things and this one I just had to share! The mom was driving with the little boy in the backseat..and the little boy pointed to something outside the car and said "Look Mom! It's the money you could be saving with Geico!"!!! He was pointing to this billboard! OMG, I couldn't stop laughing when she told me this...HILARIOUS!


Meg and Mark's Wedding!!!

My BEST FRIEND did it! She finally tied the knot after 7 long years, LOL! Their wedding was absolutely gorgeous and I am so thankful I was able to share in the day! My speech went well...I shed only a few tears but I can't say so much for the rest of the day...I had tears streaming during the ceremony and of course during her father's speech! It was an amazing day and I am so happy that they are husband and wife!!!

Unfortunately I ended up getting sick after the weekend of fun :-(. I have been out of commission since Sunday and it has not been fun! I am now finally starting to feel better thankfully! I go back to clinical tomorrow so we will see how it goes...now I just have to figure out how to finish all the work I got behind on. Didn't know you could get so behind in 3 days!


New Car!

This isn't exactly "new" news but about a month ago now we got a new used car! I was driving on a major road here in Tucson when the Rio died on me and I had to be pushed into a parking lot! A few days later we found out that the engine was completely done and it was going to cost more to fix it than the car was worth!!! I said NO WAY...not for a freaking Kia! It just wasn't going to be worth it and so the hunt began for a used car that was going to last us a very long time. After a few days we came across an ad on Craig's list for a 2004 Civic Coupe with only 26,000 miles on it! We thought it may be too good to be true but went to check it out anyways. In the end it turned out that the guy owned a very nice art gallery on 4th ave, had art work from people in Architecture in there, and even had his house built by Brant's new firm! Talk about a small world! Brant's dad was very kind to offer to help us with it and we were able to get it! It is only a VP (value package) meaning it came bare bones and is a stick shift with manual locks and windows but it is 1,000 times better than the Rio so I couldn't complain, LOL! We ended up putting an alarm on it, made the locks power, and tinted the windows. I now want to keep it forever! I was going to get a new car after graduation but I love this one so I hope it lasts for many years:-)! The pic isn't our exact car but you get the idea...hopefully ours will soon have a spoiler too;-)...but I have to get Brant and Mark to agree to put it on! Brant keeps making fun of me and telling me it doesn't do anything...but I always tell him that it makes the car so CUTE:-)!


Meg's Bachelorette Party!

So this weekend we had Meg's bachelorette party...it was AMAZING! So relaxing and best of all Meg was happy:-)! We went to Sundrops Nail Spot in Scottsdale, Paradise Bakery for lunch, checked into the Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, and then went to dinner at the Yard House and a few clubs all on Saturday! On Sunday we slept in a little and then hung out by the pool the rest of the day. It was perfect!