Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014

Cuties! Talin and his preschool buddy, Izzie

 December is such a busy time for me, on the work front. Add in the usual holiday work parties, fun neighborhood festivities, visits with family and friends, and heck, where do I find time for presents?? But, Santa did indeed come visit this year! Here is a brief pictage of our holiday at home.

Forrest's Holiday Concert! He's on the top in the red.

We FINALLY searched and cut down our Christmas tree!-Better late than never!  Can you tell who wanted a bigger one!??

Silly Talin, decorating the Christmas Tree

Admiring the growing Christmas card wall!

White Christmas Magic

The Advent Bottle came in handy on Christmas Eve for Santa's Helpers!

Final touches on the stock car track Santa left!

Christmas magic!

Talin's firehouse magic!

No white Christmas this year! Christmas Day was beautiful! I took a gorgeous run!

What's a holiday without special "tweets"? Talin waiting for his hot chocolate...

LOTS and LOTS of whipped cream necessary!

making it just "perfect"

Happy Boy Numero Uno

Happy Boy Numero Dos!
Wildlife Bingo with the grandparents!

Books with Granny

Fun with Grandpa

All suited up for some night time light up parachute action with Grandpa!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Special Forrest Pre-Christmas trip to visit Granny and Grandpa!

Forrest and I were lucky enough to be able to sqeeze in a quick weekend trip to go see Granny and Grandpa! At just a couple of weeks before Christmas it was a real treat. With the major "event" of the trip being my cousin Sara's baby shower, we jam packed in the fun pre-Christmas activities, just as we had last year! A special Christmas breakfast....

 Cookie making-His Favorite, stained glass window cookies!

And even growing Candy Canes!

He also got some good Grandpa time in with the coveted remote control motorcycle---though this mama wasn't able to get pictures of that one.....

And of course, feasting on a few shower treats!

Forrest is a pretty dang good traveler now, or perhaps I've just become the experienced parent with travel! Probably more of the latter. We had to deal with a late evening flight and a delayed plane, but a little hot chocolate and a Mom not afraid to take a bigger than normal toy on the plane led to a peaceful flight. Though it was only an hour ride! This mama is still a bit gun shy to take a longer flight! Though the flight attendant even gave me a free glass of wine...she must have sensed Forrest's feisty potential that was brewing...
Though the whirlwind trip for this 5 yearold kiddo was perfect. Keep him moving, that's my secret! Here's to more weekends of fun with Granny and Grandpa!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lots of fun with the litte guys!

 This December we've had fun with the smaller version of the monster steelhead and salmon you often see in our pictures. These smaller, younger steelhead are called half-pounders, similar to a trout, and are usually around 14-18 inches, or at least the ones we keep are! They are good to eat and very fun to catch, both for kiddies and adults. And the fact you can just saunter out your front door, down the river trail, and catch 10 of these guys in 2 hours is amazing to say the least. It has been an amazing half pounder year this year! This particular day was on one of my more rare Friday's off. I had to work a week bit in the morning in the local clinic and then made it home for a 2 hour fish session prior to bus pick up time for Forrest for Kindergarten.

 It was a blast! Just Alex, Talin, and I! Rain was occuring as you can tell, but it was a warm rain and Talin was having a blast helping to reel in the halfpounders. We kept a few of these for a lovely fish fry dinner.

So thanks to the little guys of our river for feeding our family and providing us with enjoyment to boot.

PS---As I write this we are STILL catching nothing but halfpounders, and it's 1 month later. I have a fish crazy hubby going nuts for the big guys! But we are still thankful, really, we are!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Thanksgiving Escape...

 We've made it quite a tradition to go to S. Oregon over the Thanksgiving break. The fishing is generally outstanding and it's a nice gettaway as I often have some days off. This year our friends from Santa Rosa joined us. They have two boys, ages 5 and 2. So, 4 boys 5 and under ruled our holiday! It was awesome! The weather did not cooperate and it dumped buckets on us the whole time, blowing the river out. Before the river got too high Alex did manage to catch a nice bright salmon for our first dinner with our friends.

 We had a great time playing, visiting the fish hatchery near by, endless legos, long baths, movies, forts, cooking, and lots and lots of little boy energy. Fellow boy mom Marla is amazing and it was very nice to compare and commiserate!
Our friends left Saturday morning leaving us to have some alone time. Given the blown out river we headed for the Oregon coast and nailed a beautiful day!
 The rain had stopped and the kids had a great time on this wind protected beach.

It was an amazing trip and we're thankful for the great "gettaway" tradition we've started!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Katie update...for you Grandma!!!

Talin and I stretching out some sore hammy's after a run

This is for my Grandma Sheila. And it is NOT to replace a good, much needed phone call. My wonderful grandma left me a message yesterday while I was completing a Saturday at work, and I have yet to get back to her. That will happen tomorrow, (I promise, Grandma!) But, she mentioned my lack of blogging, as well as not knowing what the heck was going on with my job(s), life, etc.
So here is an update!

I am officially a part-timer at two jobs. I am officially a family practice PA in our local town of Willow Creek, as well as continuing on part time with my general and vascular surgical position in Eureka. This new schedule leaves me with many less hours on the road, and literally next door to Forrest's Kindergarten 2-3 days a week, with some Fridays off completely.
This is amazing!
Family practice in a rural area is very challenging, in a good way! There is quite a bit of urgent care/ER in all of it, just given the fact that we are one of the closest medical facility of any type for 50 miles.  I, thankfully, already know about 1/2 my patients through the surgical practice. I feel confident in my ability to suture and treat most urgent care type maladies. I also feel confident, through my ER experience, to be able to triage and "street", (call 911, send to the ER,) the complaints I know I cannot fully work up and treat in the clinic setting.
Yes it is challenging. I am seeing week old newborns and 30 minutes later seeing the local cennitarian.
I've had to really up my game with woman's health, (yes, of course made better by the fact I'm a woman and I've had two babies in the last 5 years). But, there is still a LOT more!
Peds, along the same line of thinking has been challenging, but again, easier, because of my kiddos.

Overall it is really a win win. I feel challenged. I feel lucky to be able to give those patients that need it, a direct route to a surgical specialty, (as those in a rural area DO need it, and when they need it, in general, they really need it!)
I've also already treated my local friends. My Mom Friends, my Neighbors, my kid's friends, my kid's teachers! This is amazing, to be able to help those that need it, be it just a case of sinusitis, or a life threatening infection.
It is also extremely hard.
I of course always try my damdnest to do the right thing, and for the most part, the 'right' thing is the best, and leads to healthy and happy bodies.
But not always.
And I'm working through the realization that that fact is a fact, and will happen.
But, back to the pros. I don't have to leave my house till 8am. I can drop Forrest off at school, chat with his teacher if I need to, and be to work in plenty of time for my 9am patient. My job is then flexible enough to be able to have Forrest at my work every Monday for 2 hours, after school. I'm home by 5-6 every day. (This is contrasted to 7-8 with the other job!) My charting is always done, by the time I leave the office, as my volume in the family practice setting is much lower, (compared to never being done, in the surgical job.)

So why keep the surgical job?
For a lot of reasons, actually. #1-I love what I do. I love the speciality that has fallen in my lap, namely, the vein work. To treat a patient from start to finish, seeing improvement in their compliant, be it a huge leg ulcer, or just super swollen, achy legs, is great, as a mid-level provider, (a PA). It's so great, that I had an opportunity to talk about it at a surgical PA conference in SF this last week!
So amazing.
First off, to network with high level colleagues, all motivated to learn more, seek more, and very interested in what I had to say.
And secondly, to realize, that my crazy rural area has given my the opportunity to be this highly trained in vein work, to be asked to speak at a conference about what I do.
And nerve wracking. Public speaking is absolutely something you tend to lose after school. But I think the talk went fine, and I had a great mini whirlwind trip to San Francisco this past week!

So, Katie is quite well, on the professional front.

On the athletic front? She's currently just, well, running.
I haven't been on my bike in months, actually.
Just told my Dad that very fact.
I think he had an issue with it!
Competed in a local 5 K this past weekend. It was as somewhat refreshing to train for such a short event.
Also was HARD. Hard trying to go fast. That anaerobic threshold business is crazy, when you haven't trained for that in awhile!
But it's keeping the Katie craziness at bay, so I'll take it!

I'll be talking to you shortly, Grandma! I love you!