Monday, March 30, 2015

The Pixie is Back!

Every two years... Almost like clockwork... I am struck by an almost uncontrollable urge to get a pixie cut. Usually, the grow out begins right after the cut. This time I think I'm going to let it stick around... At least until August. Time will tell. But anyway. Here is a picture taken shortly before the cut...
And here are a couple after photos 
Avery was being silly and sticking her gum on the top of her tongue. 

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Apple Girl's Experience in the Android World

I realize this is a complete first world problem post, but I really wanted to post this, just in case there is some Apple fan person out there considering Android.

In December of 2008 I decided to ditch the flip phone and get a smart phone.  I purchased my first ever iPhone 3G. From then until 2012, I have been a loyal Apple customer.  However, I am a curious gal, and like to know if there is something I am missing.  I tried the Windows Phone for about 2 months before realizing I could never be happy with it; I missed Apple.  So back to Apple I went.

You would think I had learned my lesson, but nope.  Curiosity got the better of me again.  I was certain that I needed a bigger screen and the ability to customize.  I decided this past December to use my 2 year upgrade to test the Android waters, so to speak.  I got the LG G3 for no money down.
image source:
Boy was this phone BIG and the screen resolution, WOW!  This was it.  No more Apple products for me.  How awesome to be able to change your font without jailbreaking, change app icons with little effort, and use any ringtone your heart could desire with the Zedge app.  I liked it.  A lot.

The love affair didn't last long, though.  The first thing I missed was the fluidity of the iOS.  I'm not sure if it is just an LG thing, or if it is android straight across the board, but movement between apps was a disjointed and lagged experience. I convinced myself that it wasn't that big of a deal, though, and I did have a bigger better screen... so,maybe it was a good trade-off.

The next thing, and probably the biggest thing that I missed is probably the biggest advantage that iPhone has over Android... that is iMessage.  Hangouts does not even come close to tapping into what iMessage can do.  The built in text apps are even worse.  You can't send video unless it's crap quality and you can't get read receipts.  Sending plain ol' texts took a lot longer than with iMessage as well.  I text a lot.  I would much rather text than talk on the phone... usually, so for my texting experience to not be that good, well, that was a big deal.  If Android wants to win over iPhone users, they HAVE to get hangouts competitive with iMessage... allow them to send videos of higher quality, allow for a quick text messaging experience... this is REALLY important.

Apple's lock screen was another thing I missed.  The design is clean, simple, and easy to use with a security code.  I had to set my Android phone up to not have a pass code, because it was just so difficult for me to open my phone, especially one handed.  I know it has a one handed setting, but I couldn't handle the left or right shift of the touch buttons... I guess that's OCD or perfectionism or something... so it drove me more nuts to have my phone not centered, ha.  Even without a pass code on the lock screen, in order to open a notification on my lock screen, I had to swipe the phone open first.  WHY?  That is completely pointless.  With iPhone, if you don't have a security code then you can just open the phone up through the notification.  I can't be the only one who thinks it makes no sense to require you to swipe open a phone that doesn't have a security code... But whatever.  That was another small issue.  There are plenty of lock screen apps in Google Play to change this up, but that's a separate issue.

The customization of an Android phone is the OS's supposed BIG advantage over iPhone.  Well, to me, customization was a hassle.  I can see how some people would enjoy it, but I found it frustrating, because I wanted to customize, but in order to do so I had to download this app, that needed this other app, and that app needed another app.  Sure you can get your Android to do just about anything, but OH MY GOOOOOSH, what a hassle!  All this to get my Android to function like an iPhone... You see, iPhone doesn't need to be completely customize-able, because what I have found is that they get it pretty darn right out of the box.  The OS is pretty, clean, and the app icons are nice (with the exception of a couple like their games icon, which I find pretty lamely designed).  HOWEVER, if you like complicating your life and fixing stuff that isn't broken, then you can jailbreak the sucker and have it.  The iPhone isn't as anti-customization as people think.  All the customization this girl needs is to be able to change her wallpaper and her ringtones... all doable on iPhone.

Another small minor thing that I missed was iPhone's built in visual voice mail.  SO EASY TO USE.  SO EASY TO SET UP.  Getting my Android visual voice mail setup was almost a cause for me to return my phone within the first week, but I ended up getting it resolved and kept the phone.  I probably should have just taken it back...

The last thing I will talk about that I really missed about iPhone was the clean and simple OS and lack of bloatware.  The iPhone comes preloaded with a few crap apps, as I like to call them, and I used to find them annoying, until I got an Android.  HOLY "CRAP APP" OVERLOAD, BATMAN!  AT&T app this, Google app that... So many pointless apps... Android, if you are so big on customization, then give people a choice as to what apps they want taking up space on their phone.  Sheesh maleesh.  I think iPhone could work on this too, but their built in apps aren't nearly as pointless and overwhelming as Android.

So, basically, after nearly 3 months in the Android world... it's official, I like the iPhone better.  It wasn't without a lot of effort and periods of denial.  The things I think Android has going for them are few, but I will say that the file access is a huge one.  If I download a file on an iPhone I have no clue where that download goes, but with Android, there is a file folder where you can access all of your downloads.  That was so nice for school.  If I want to store downloaded files on my iPhone I have to get an app for that.  (Unless someone knows something I don't know).

Another thing I liked about my Android was the option of having extra storage, although I NEVER used it.  I think that is something that iPhone needs to consider incorporating into their future phone designs, because I know a lot of people who get the 32 GB models and run out of space on them.  I know iPhone wants to make money off of their higher capacity phones, but couldn't they do that through designing an SD type card specific to the iPhone/iPad that would allow people to expand their phone memory, but still allow Apple to make even more ridiculous amounts of money?  Wouldn't this also save them money because they wouldn't have to produce phones of different memory capacity, they would just develop, say a 16 GB phone and then sell the iPhone memory expansion cards?  A card is a lot smaller than a phone after all.  Smaller = less material = less cost? Right?  I mean, I can't be the first person to think of this.

However, other than those two things, I find the iPhone to be cleaner, prettier, less complicated, smoother, and much more effective in it's capabilities.  My android seemed to get clogged up, and I was needing to restart it every day because it started lagging and acting bogged down.  I would do the phone sweep thing, I would close out my open apps, and I would clean my internet history.  I just couldn't figure out how to make this phone meet my needs, and iPhone does it with little effort.

After all of this, I am back on an iPhone.  I found an Android fan boy that went iPhone and hated it.  He traded me his 32 GB iPhone 5 for my LG G3 straight across, no cost.  He got the newer bigger phone, but I am okay with that, because I feel like I have the better functioning phone.

Lesson learned.  I like iPhone, and as much as I want to like Android, I just can't.  So, Dear future Amy, if you get bored with your phone, just remember... you've done this twice now, and both times you end up back at Apple... So stop already.  Thanks.

I firmly believe that whatever OS you enter the smartphone world on is what you will usually be partial to, and that is what you will feel most comfortable operating.  So, if you are bored and looking for something new, get a case.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Second Semester

It has been a LONG time since my last post.  Honestly, this blog is the last thing on my mind, ha. Nursing school has been the most difficult thing I have ever done.  I love the friends that I have made in my cohort, and we help each other survive week to week.

A quick overview of my first semester goes like this:
My Foundations of Professional Nursing class was stressful, but mostly enjoyable.  I can insert Foley Catheters into a male or female, I can insert an NG/NE tube, I can check vitals, give a bed bath, help patients ambulate... and more.  Clinical for this class was so much fun and helped reinforce that nursing was a good choice for me.  My professor was so awesome... hilarious and she cared about her students.

Health Assessment was TORTURE... pure and utter TORTURE.  I do know how to do a good bedside assessment, though, and that was the point... I'm glad to be finished with this class.

Pharmacology was so difficult, but so great.  This was primarily due to an amazing professor who is probably one of the best lecturers I have had since starting school.  I still have so much to learn about Pharmacology, but I have a wonderful base of knowledge because of this class.

I held it together and stayed strong up until the end of the semester during finals week.  I have never worked so hard to make a B... And B's I made... in all of my classes.  This was difficult for me since I made A's all through my 4 semesters at Ozarks Technical Community College where I got my gen ed courses done.  In my defense, if OTC's grading system were to have been used, I would have made all A's... but alas.  I was warned that this would be the case, and truthfully, I brushed off the warning because I had good study habits and I was determined... but I just couldn't figure out what I needed to do in order to pull off an A.

Back to the melting down bit.  In Foundations we had to take a test called the HESI.  It is supposed to predict how well you will do on the NCLEX-RN (nursing boards)... anyway, the test was worth 5% of my grade if I passed the first time and I would get 2.5% if I passed the second time.  Well... I didn't make a high enough score to pass on the first time... and it hit me hard.  I cried and cried and cried... but I eventually pulled it together... got a study plan figured out, and on my second try I passed with flying colors.  I made a 1045... which the passing score is 900.  So YAY... But still I mourn that I could have gotten an A in that class if I would have passed the HESI on the first try... oh well... moving on to semester 2.

I am no longer a nursing school baby... This semester I am taking Medical Surgical Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, and Aging and the Older Adult.  I am nervous, and I do not know really what to expect, but one thing is for certain, I will give it my best, and I will hopefully survive to see semester 3.  It will likely be Summer Break before you see another update from me, but I wanted to let it be known that I am still here! ha.

The semester begins tomorrow.  Please wish me luck... say prayers... ha, whatever!  I'll take it.

Until I resurface,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nursing School

I'm here.  I made it... I'm in nursing school at Cox College.

I found it very funny to look back on my post where I announced that I was going back to school.  The initial goal is being realized, but what I want to do with myself as an RN is vastly different.  I started out wanting to do what everyone else seems to want to do as a nurse.  Now my interests have shifted, and my ideal job as a nurse would be cardiac care, recovery room, infectious disease, or triage of some sort.  Honestly, I think I will be too much of a beggar in the beginning to be a chooser, ya know?  So I think whatever nursing job I can land to get established will be what I will take.

I am in my third week of nursing school. So far, I have taken my first exam for one of my classes (I made a strong solid B, which typically I wouldn't be happy about, but I am honestly just trying to survive at this point),I have my first competency test this Friday for vitals, and we are going to be giving each other baths for our lab! *insert shocked face emoji*... Then, I am facing two more tests next week.

I love my professors.  They are all so vastly different, and they all seem to want their students to succeed.  That is so very important.  When they professor is rooting you on, then you are in good hands.  I am still nervous about everything, but I am beginning to not feel so overwhelmed by it all.

There is a mountain of school work I need to be doing, so I am out of here.  I hope to give more updates as I can.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


...but not the fantastical escape reality kind... no.  These are "big girl" books.  Looking at this stack almost makes me want to cry, but I have 12 more days until these books become my solitary confinement.  Three of them are as big as the HOLY BIBLE! Two others are even more ginormous... I'm in for it.

I am officially resigning myself to "no-lifehood" August 18th.  See you on the flippity flip.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Fourth of July

I ran my first 10k race early in the morning on the 4th.  I had such a great time.  I didn't get to train as hard as I would have like to for the race, due to school, but considering that, I did pretty well.  I am not a fast runner.  I am short among other deficits.  I usually run about a 10:15 min/mile, but during this race, I ran 3 miles under 10 minutes.  One clocked in at 9:13.  I was pretty proud of myself. On the normal, it takes me about 1 hour and 5-7 minutes to run 6 miles.  I ran this 10k (6.2+ miles) in 1 hour and 3 minutes.  I didn't place very high... but I wasn't last, and that is all that matters to me.  I didn't stop to walk at all.  I kept running the whole time.  The slowest mile I had was 10:54, and that was mile 5, when I usually hit "the wall." 

I plan on running a couple more organized running events before the year is up.  I think I will work on training myself harder to be faster. 

Later in the day we went to "Freedom Fest" which was being hosted by a few area organizations.  We got to spend some time with our church friends and relax watching a pretty decent firework show.  Besides the traffic getting out, it was a wonderful Fourth.

This picture was taken by my friend's husband. Not perfect, but glad to have it. I am barely in  the pictures.
 This is as good as dark firework pictures get with an iPhone.

 As blurry as this one is, it's one of my favorites. :)  Brendan was having an awesome time.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Classes Start Today

Shortly after I post this, I am going to be immersing myself in Statistics and Introduction to Professional Nursing.  I am so nervous about this summer semester.  I have a feeling I am going to be dreaming statistics. This has proven to be the most difficult math class for me so far.

This past weekend was a wonderful way to end my summer freedom, though.  I spent some time with my parents.  My daddy and I had another one of our meaningful chats.  I love talking with him.  We did family day with Dave's Army Reserve Unit, which is always an awkward day for me since I don't know anyone very well.  Then Dave, the kids, and I played cards... so much fun.  Last, I got to see my sister who I haven't seen in a while.  She has lived in Florida for the past 2 years and magically was able to move back in this area, so I hope I get to spend more time with her.  Our youngest daughters are only 1 week apart in age and so far, they like each other.  YAY!

I took a 4 mile run on the roads by my mom and dad's house... what a brutal run it was.  187 ft. gain.  This is a lot for someone who is just used to running primarily flat trails.  I won't lie, I probably only ran for 3 1/2 of the 4 miles.  I did get some pretty pictures from it though... Say what you will about it, Arkansas is really beautiful.

These are my running shoes that I got not long ago.  My hips would be in a tremendous amount of pain after a run, as well as my ankles.  These shoes have been very nice.  I don't know all the technical words runners use to describe what their shoes have, but they have a 0, 4, 8, and 12 mm offset heal to toe.  I tend to hit on the outside of my foot first, when I run, so these shoes are built to where they help offset that taking a lot of impact pressure off of my hips.  They really have been great.

Anyway.  Next weekend is another busy one.  We will be in Arkansas yet again, spending time with the family.  Then hopefully, my summer will get back to more of a routine rather than being so sporadic.

That's about all the dull boringness I can conjure up for this blog today.  Off I go to start torturing myself for the next 8 weeks.  Here's to an amazingly fantastic and successful go at Statistics.  Bring it.

Have a happy week you all.