Changing the Locks

After being blond for over twenty-five years, I finally decided to try something else. My hair is naturally a “bronze” color – what some call dishwater blond (shudder!). It has been highlighted bronze and permed bronze, but it has never been any color other than brownish gold. Until… last week I at last took the plunge and headed to the local beauty school, where after nearly permanently dyeing my hair red they did a semi-permanent color.

Here is a before shot from our time in Virginia (with the orchids):

 

And here’s an after shot from today at Nupa:

I like it. I feel like it brings out my eyes. And yes, Chris likes it too.

Since we got back to Rochester, it has been go, go, go… and cold, cold, cold! Classes started two weeks ago and this semester is definitely more challenging than last semester. With Public Health and Evidence Based Practice, I will be busy in the coming months. Chris is finishing up outpatient cardiology (a fantastic rotation!)… and will be going onto four months of ICU, ED, and inpatient service. As you can imagine, he will be busy as well. Very busy.

One thing I am really excited about, however, is the book we are reading in Bible Study. We are doing True North by Gary and Lisa Heim, all about choosing to “go north” and follow God’s way in tough situations rather than “go south” and follow our sinful human urges. This book is full of truth, and I end with a quote:

“We really don’t know where we’re at with God until we face difficulty. Trouble and hardship, big or small, will expose what is truly in our hearts” (p. 31). 

Whirlwind Visit to Virginia

On Friday we headed into Denver and took a plane to Richmond Virginia. We were on a mission. My father-in-law was having a special birthday and his family was hosting a surprise party, and we were part of the surprise. We flew in Friday and had homemade barbeque while staying at Chris’s grandparents’ house. Saturday we went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and waited for the birthday boy.

Sure enough, he was surprised!

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There were no grim reapers, but there were some crazy hats and a couple walkers, and lots of friends and family. A good time was had by all! Afterwards we wandered around the botanical garden; I was especially mesmerized by the orchids. That night we went to another party that Chris’s dad had planned and met some of his pals. Then on Sunday we flew out. So… definitely a whirlwind trip!! We really enjoyed the Virginia weather while we were there – 30s-50s, sunny, NO SNOW. Oh, it was fantastic.

Getting home from Virginia was a little more difficult. While we were waiting at the gate in Richmond, Chris found out that our flight from Chicago to Rochester had been cancelled. We found out with enough notice that we could switch our flight to Minneapolis and take the shuttle back to Rochester, but many were not so lucky. And the amount of time and money it took to get home was exasperating.

Of course then we found out that the guy next to us had been waiting to get back to Minnesota for 3 days. And they’d lost his luggage so he hadn’t been able to change clothes, shave, or any of that good stuff. Our trials paled in comparison.

Next post: I do something else daring! Well, daring for me. Normal for everyone else. 🙂

Colorado Adventures!

We flew out to Colorado this week to visit my family. Because I worked both Christmas and New Year’s, there was really no good time to make the trip west… and of course now school is starting and work is ramping up. But we’ve had a WONDERFUL time. First, we had a great visit with my grandparents – a real holiday-style ham dinner! I don’t feel so bad about missing the Christmas and New Years’ feasts after enjoying some home-cooked green bean casserole.

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Please note the girls’ side ponytails!!! 

 

Then we took off to Glenwood Springs and the best ski resort ever, Ski Sunlight. “What is this Ski Sunlight?” you may ask. “I have heard of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge… but Ski Sunlight?” You haven’t heard of it because it’s Colorado’s best kept secret (and, unfortunately, no one is paying me to say that!) The lower slopes are gradual and perfect for beginners, but there are also some great intermediate and expert slopes higher up. And at night, when you drag yourself home, you can head to Glenwood Springs hot springs for a soak in the medicinal waters. (Note: we never actually hit the hot spring this time…. but we did hit the hot tub!)

I decided to be adventurous. I have skiied for over 20 years of my life and I can get down the mountain without much trouble. So I decided to branch out, push myself:

 

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Yes, I learned how to snowboard!! In perfect powder conditions which were great for spending lots of time on my behind (fallboarding)! I actually found snowboarding pretty fun because it is so much about core and balance. The not so fun part: you can’t hike easily with a snowboard. The second day I did a pretty flat green run with my family and ended up hiking up hills 4 times because I either fell or ran out of speed (hikeboarding). 

Except for the first time, I also fell every single time I got off the lift. Every. Single. Time. Let me know if you have any tips!

But all that time spent sprawled in the snow was worth it for the feeling of drifting like a falling leaf down the hillside. No poles. No crossed skis. No baggage. Just me, my board, and the mountain. 

After two days in the hills, we had to head back to real life.  Chris, my brother and I headed to Golden for a day and met my grandmother at Ali Baba for lunch – delish! Then we visited some friends from medical school and their baby in the Stapleton area.

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Those babies grow up so fast!

Yesterday my mom brought me along to observe her work as a school nurse. She works at a school for kids with past attendance or disciplinary issues, and I was so impressed at how their school works to accommodate the kids and families. They are working hard to help people and making a difference at a critical time in these kids’ lives. 

Today we went to the Denver Art Museum and saw the Passport to Paris exhibit. It was great to see such a variety of styles and times – my new favorite is British artist Sisley. They had a great Pissaro section with paintings from each decade of his art and it was cool to see how his style evolved and mellowed, from sharp geometrical shapes and “wild-urban interface” pieces to more abstract nature scenes. They also had some cool juxtapositions – a scene of Montmartre when it was all country, and a couple scenes of the wild nightlife there a few decades later. While we were at DAM, we also admired some of Thomas Moran’s watercolors and chromolithographs from Yellowstone. We finished our time downtown with some wine and cheese across the street. 

Lest you think that all we do is travel fun places and eat, Chris also made Mario Batalli’s baked ziti last night and in the process discovered that the pipes around the garbage disposal were clogged. Dirty dishwater was pouring everywhere; buckets, towels, flashlights were produced. But nothing could faze the Bugoshes! My dad ran some diagnostics, my mom snaked the pipes and upon discovering that it was beyond our level of expertise, we turned to Music Man to help Anna practice for the school play.  The new Music Man (2003) is pretty good, I must say, especially since we live so close to Iowa.  And the plumber is on the case right now. 

So it’s not ALL fun and games… but we usually end up having fun anyway!

 

A New Leaf

My New Year began with a number of great gifts. I only had to work half my shift on New Year’s Eve and then I got an EA (excused absence) ! As a result I was able to attend the Family Medicine Christmas party and experience a wonderful variety of white elephant gifts. Squirrel underwear, anyone? We were pretty lucky, walking away tapenade and fudge. The next day my parents came out for Great Gram’s celebration of life. Hailing from Colorado, they are not accustomed to the bonechilling winds of a Minnesota January… but we had a great time anyway. We took the dogs for their first walk in days (and boy, was it cold!)
 
 On Saturday we drove up to Chisago City and met with the extended family to remember Gram and celebrate her 102 years of life. Family members had collected pictures from her youth in the 1920’s, through her traveling days after she was widowed, up to the present. I loved seeing how her smile lasted from that coy flapper to a loving great-grandmother.
 
During the service, I had the privilege of reading one of the scriptural passages she had selected, Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” What a great life verse! And what a challenge! It is so easy to lean on our own understanding – we do it all the time. Lately, I have been “leaning” rather than “trusting” a lot as I think about our future living location. Chris is only 1/6 through residency but I’m already eyeing jobs.
 
What I should realize, after so many years, is… that’s not how it works! God will guide us to the place he wants us, to the right place, whether that’s where I think I want to be or not. After all, he knows what is best for us; I just think I do. He is able to know far more than I can possibly imagine. I need to trust him to make our paths straight, rather than trying to figure out where to put the bulldozer.
 
That’s not to say that it is silly or bad to think about where we want to end up. After all, God loves us and gives us the desires of our heart. But there is no need to worry about it.
 
***
 
As I look back on 2013, it was a wonderful year, a year celebrations. Chris has celebrated “a year free”; he graduated from medical school and we got to visit Napa and Maui. We got a house and dogs, and I continued to enjoy my dream job as a float nurse. On the other hand – it was a very safe year. In a way, I think it was a “recovery” year from the craziness of 2011 and 2012.
 
I don’t want 2014 to be just a safe year. I want it to be a year of adventures.
 
So yes, I still have all my usual resolutions. Exercise 150 minutes/week. Finish my book series and (maybe) look for an agent. Figure out the mysterious world of finances. Read the Bible eery day.
 
But also: have adventures. Make really good memories. Do things that are meaningful. Go to Paris. Try new things.
 
So – get ready!!! 2014 is going to be a great year.