Thursday, October 09, 2008

LOA - 3 of my favorite letters

Welcome back to me, after a long stretch of not updating my own blog. Tsk, tsk, I know. (And thanks to Maureen and others for the persistent nudges of guilt.)

I called work last night and requested an "LOA" - Leave of Absence. Not a permanent one like many of you are familiar with, but just one for the day. Bascially, I was asking for the day off. Because they don't do staffing in the hospital until about 5am prior to your 7am start, you don't find out if they grant your request until then. So, when 5:30am rolled around and my phone didn't ring, I shrugged off the warmth of my snuggly blanket and headed to splash some water on my face to the thought that I'd have to try again another day. I thought my ears were faking me out when my phone rang halfway through brushing my teeth at 5:36am. Of course, I ran to my phone - toothpaste foam in mouth and all - and heard the wonderful voice of the charge nurse at work.

Charge nurse: "Kristine, I'm giving you a 12-hour LOA."

Kristine: (shocked but giddy) "So... I don't have to come into work the WHOLE day?!"

Charge nurse: "That's right."


Usually, they grant you a 4-hour LOA, where you have to call later that morning to see if they still need you. So, I was definitely willing to take the LOA. And now, I figured, I had some time to blog and catch you all up.

Moving on.

Since I last blogged all the way back in May, much has happened, but I will limit to major events and illustrate with photos. :)

1. Survived an unusually painful summer of my adult internal medicine clinical rotation. Enough said.

2. Enjoyed watching Grace & Zane get married!

Our awesome life group!

3. Went on vacation to Hawaii for a week with my family.

At Black Sand Beach on the southern side of the Big Island.

Went to Kaulua Ranch to ride ATVs through the beautiful mountainsides where they film movies like Jurassic Park and shows like Lost.

Loco Moco! Mmmmmm..................!!!!!!!

5. Went to the OC fair, enjoyed some sinfully sweet treats, watched Junior gawk and oogle over a mop and savored every second of it.

I think Malena and I were too busy eating that we didn't get much more than this one photo.

7. Cut off almost 12-inches of my long locks and donated it!

Thanks to Paula Chisam for my haircut! I love it!

8. Got to hang out with my APU buddies and meet the newest member of our "extended" family, baby Peter. Congrats to Thu and Mathieu!

I can't wait until he fits into that sweater!

9. Got engaged! (I'll blog about the engagement story later!) Went to a bridal shop looking for a bridesmaid dress for Kathy's wedding. When Kathy saw a veil on the counter, she popped it in my hair and got this photo. Priceless.

Kat's idea for a photo - flippin' the engaged finger. Haha.

Not quite an engagement photo, but you get the idea.

10. Celebrated my 10-year high school reunion!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Haps

From time to time, a cousin will ask, "So...what's the haps?"

Filipino to English translation: "What's happening/What's going on in your life?"

A very brief photo recap.
Met up with Doris and Suzanne, two of my roommates from our days at UCLA, for some delicious Indian food at Shan's Restaurant in Little India in Artesia.

Went to a nursing research conference via NCEMNA in March (see previous post) and met lots of filipino nurses doing all types of research.

I ran into an old friend Sharee (front) who I also went to UCLA with. She's in the UCSF Master's-Entry level program to be a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and she's graduating this month! She introduced me to her classmate Renita, who's due with her first baby this month! Congrats, Renita!

Thankfully, I wasn't the only APU person there. Maisha was also accepted to be a Mentee for this year, and I was so happy to see her there... and so happy to know she's moving along with a healthy pregnancy with her 3rd baby girl! Little baby Nia will be due in August!

While in San Diego for the conference, I already knew I had to stop by the cemetary. If you don't know, my brother's girlfriend was died during a car accident in March 2007. The whole experience has been very vivid in my mind, and I was certainly fearful to confront my anxieties and emotions again by visiting her burial site. If you could, please continue to pray for my brother, Mae's family, and the people who have been affected, even now, a year later.

...Fast forward to this past weekend...

I celebrated Junior's 28th Birthday ALL weekend long. (* Quick shout out to little Miss Emma Platt who turned 1 on May 3rd! Junior says she's a lucky little girl to share the same birthday as him :).

I took him out Saturday for a day of fun and relaxation. Went to IHOP for breakfast, then kayaking at Newport Harbor/Balboa (I'll get pics from Junior). Mike, our kayaking tour guide, was super fun and just awesome -- if you haven't been down there, definitely try it out some time. After, we rented some beach cruisers, then took the ferry to Balboa Island to have lunch at Amelia's (the lasagna was so delicious!) followed by frozen bananas at the original home of the frozen banana, Sugar 'n Spice (HIGHLY recommended!!!) Did some window shopping, riding our bikes, then headed off to Cloudmover Day Spa in Huntington Beach for a much needed massage. Then, off to dinner at Wood Ranch for some AMAZINGLY delicious Tri-Tip (Another place I HIGHLY recommend!), then dessert thanks to Great Dane Baking Co.

As if Saturday wasn't enough, the celebration and eating extravaganza continued Sunday. Enjoyed lunch, laughs, and a Laker game with Junior's hilarious friends at BJ's in Cerritos. Afteward, it was over to my family's house for a surprise party for my aunt, then to Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton to join Junior's family for pasta dinner complete with spumoni. Mmmm good.

Happy Birthday, Junior! I love you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Nephew Turns 1

My cousin's "little boy" Cooper turned one last week. She informed me she would be having some of her friends and coworkers over for a BBQ luncheon in honor of his birthday. How funny!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Only recently have I taken to frozen yogurt, with Golden Spoon boysenberry in the lead on my list of favorite flavors. I'm not much into the toppings. I firmly believe a good frozen yogurt should be able to hold its own.

I admit to trying Pinkberry ONCE last year at the urging of my cousin who is voraciously smitten over this unique recipe of yogurt which may be generously accompanied by toppings such as Captain Crunch or fresh fruit. I was not impressed much by Pinkberry and really feel all the hype was not worthy of its taste. It was bland, and the only thing worth mentioning was the fresh fruit toppings, which were the only things I enjoyed.

So, tonight, I met with my I WILL group at Yogurtland in Long Beach. I was very hesitant, given my experience with Pinkberry, but I figured everything is at least worth one try.

Much to my surprise, I like it. Can't say that I'm C-R-A-Z-Y about it, but it is good. Lots of appetizing flavors of frozen yogurt, like Pineapple and Banana, even things like Green Tea and Cookie Dough. Like Pinkberry, they have extras like the Captain Crunch and fresh fruit. It's (somewhat) reasonably priced at $0.30 an ounce, but just be aware that it adds up. Bottom line: Frozen yogurt = less calories & less fat with lots of flavor.

BTW, for all your RITE-AID ice cream lovers (myself included), I've heard they raised their prices. $1.20/scoop. I never thought I'd see the day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thinking Ahead.

(A picture of me with my nursing cohort and our significant others celebrating our RN licensure, Summer 2007)
A couple weekends ago, I went to the National Coalition for Ethnic Minority Nurse Association (NCEMNA) conference in San Diego. I left inspired.

When I'm in school, I have a tendency to become insular. I live in a bubble. I forget about what else is going on around me. My goals become short-term. My thinking stretches only to the next quiz, or to the end of the semester. No longer. I'm tired of this way of thinking.

NCEMNA accepted me to be a mentee for this next year, which means that they have paired me up with an AMAZING mentor, a doctorally prepared nurse researcher/scientist, Iris Padilla.

I am encouraged by her and many other wonderfully mature and visionary nurses to "keep on" to find develop my passions, talents, and abilities to do what I love and use this to care for the people I serve. I just got my RN license last year, and I'm only a year away from finally completing my master's degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner, but I'm inspired to pursue MORE.

A doctoral education is likely in the future. I want to teach. I want to become a clinical expert. I want to know my community and learn how to navigate it. I want to meet others who are passionate about who they are and what they do. I am so hungry to do and to be MORE.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

You Know You're A Nurse When...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Boys.

Not one. But two.

Dog-sitting for the week while my aunt is enjoying her vacation in Costa Rica.

They make for great study breaks. :)