Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas Tree Hunting

Saturday my friends and I went up to the lake and cut down our very own Christmas tree! It was such a beautiful day and so refreshing to soak in the splendor of the Lord's creation. I never knew that people actually went into the forest and cut down their own tree, it was so much fun. We hunted for the perfect one (of course trying to get everyone to agree on the tree was slightly difficult). Treading through the snow, taking endless pictures, and of course laughing the entire time reminded me how the Lord shows His love for us not only through His creation but through the interactions between our brethren. During this difficult season of my life the Lord continues to bless me and He gives me eyes to see those blessings. Good is good, all the time.

riding through the snow on a...quad!

Monday, November 07, 2011

O.R. scrubs... oh are they?

Today was insanely awesome! I got to sit in on two surgeries- an open heart surgery and a craniotomy (brain surgery). I have never seen anything so cool. The heart surgery was beautiful- the cracking of the sternum, the heart pumping in all of its glory, the severing and reconnecting arteries with blood spraying out with each pump- it was unreal. I opted not to take lunch so I could join in on the craniotomy. I never knew the skull was so blasted thick, the surgeon drilled four giant holes and then proceeded to saw from hole to hole making a perfect rectangle and just grabbed the piece out and revealed the dura mater, then sliced through the dura mater to reveal the pulsating brain. u.n.r.e.a.l. I was six inches away from the patient's exposed brain- all thoughts, memories, desires, functions, and more are controlled by this organ, but after today it is even more apparent that we are not our brains. We are so much more, the breath of life God breathes into us makes us who we are. Today was a beautiful reminder of the precision and perfection with which God created us.

PS- please tell me someone in the universe gets my Rushmore reference?!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I think I want to be a farmer.

Yesterday I got to go "help" harvest rice with my friend, Peter. His family has been farming rice for generations; his sister, Katie, my dear friend, worked a season of harvest once too! I thought coming to Chico would give me that "slow pace, nature everywhere" vibe but it hasn't. There is still tons of people hustling along in life, cars everywhere, and drunk students lining downtown (granted it's way slower than Orange County!). I didn't notice my supressed desire unitl I started driving out to the fields, this is the pace I'm craving at the moment. My soul is at such peace staring at miles of open land. It was a day of much relaxation, just sitting in the bank out or harvester watching the rice being cut up, sucked in, and filled into trucks. I'm not sure where the Lord will take me in life but I am so thankful for the opportunities to slow down and enjoy His good earth.

This is the "top of the line harvester"- it even has air conditioning in the cab!

Peter let me "drive" the bank out for this picture. The bank out drives up alongside the harvester and receives all the rice the harevster (picture above) has collected, then the bank out drives away to dump the rice in to trucks which then take the rice to the dryer. Farming is an occupation that develops much patience and humility- your crops are totally dependent on nature, in other words- God. This is exactly how we should view our lives, I definitely need to be reminded of that!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

click on this video!

This is my passion, I can't wait to be one of the people who get to go out and make such a difference in the physical health of so many people. With this effort I pray that the Lord's glory and love will be revealed and impact the spiritual health of all those who are suffering.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

it's been a while.

I went to a Roller Derby bout a couple weekends ago, one of my classmates is part of the NorCal Roller Girls. I had no idea what to expect, so the night before I had a couple people over and we watched Whip It (awesome, btw). That night I decided two things 1.) My sister looks so much like Juno 2.) I can never play derby because I already have enough aggression as it is and smashing girls and skating fast would only exacerbate the problem. The bout was fun, it was different than the movie because they played on a flat rink, which means that the fans can totally get smashed by the girls falling, haha! I saw some hard hits and some pretty serious falls, it was very entertaining.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Voy a escalar las montañas.

Praise God, He is so good to me, I am overwhelmed by His grace in my life! I am not only able to walk, be in nursing school, but I am able to climb! Last night was my first day back on the rock, it felt totally natural to climb- no fear, no hesitation, just climbing... wonderful!

ps- I was wearing my purple shoes on the infamous fall of January 9th, needless to say I wore the tan ones last night ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Perfect Sunday

Nicki Bluhm

Today was Taste of Chico, a food and beer festival. I was strolling along tasting some delicious treats when I stumbled upon one of my favorite singers- Nicki Bluhm. This made my freaking week! I absolutely love her, I posted my favorite song here months ago, you need to listen to it. Later on I got to chat with her in the beer garden, she wears heart shaped sun glasses too- we're soul mates. To top the day off, her husband's band, The Mother Hips, played as well. Thank you Chico, I love you.

The Mother Hips

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Simulation Center

Today we went to the Simulation Center where we got to practice on mannequins. These are fully operating computer people. There are babies, adults, and "Noelle"- the pregnant mother who actually gives birth! These things are crazy! "Noelle" can have her baby slowly, quickly, breech or she can have postpartum bleeding and start dying and her baby can start dying, etc, etc. The scenarios are made up by the professors and then programmed into the computer and these dummies actually act like real people. We can give them IV's, take their pulse, bp, respirations (their chest's rise and fall like real breaths), they have heart sounds and so much more! The Sim Lab is designed to put us in high stress situations and equip us for when emergencies happen. Stressssssful in Sim Lab, stressssssssful in real life.

Monday, September 05, 2011

iPhones and red sox

2.5 games behind, let's change that.

I didn't get an iPhone for many reasons, the main two being money and materialism. Since I was forced to purchase an iPhone for my program I have to use it. Let me just say the iPhone is pure magic, it does so many things so quickly and anywhere! I know I should say the most important app I have is my drug reference guide or medical dictionary but really it's my At Bat app- instant Red Sox updates. They will make it to the world series, they have to, I have the app for that!

Saturday, September 03, 2011


update: if I curl my hair it's much better. Phew, I almost had to brown paper bag my head...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

It's a long story...#6

The next week, my x-ray showed complete healing. My surgeon was surprised, I was surprised, my mom was surprised- the world was surprised. Surprise- God heals.

After five months, looking at the new x-ray, my surgeon surprisingly and awkwardly said “wow, you’re a really good healer” (yeah, 'cause I can do that...not) then literally said to me “get up and walk.” How great is it that I can declare that my healing did not come from man, for what man cannot do, God can! Now at that point I was terrified and did not believe what he was saying; my leg had atrophied, I hadn’t walked in six months, I was scared out of my mind but guess what- I got up and walked.

I'm not going to lie, my walking was super awkward, slow, and in a boot but still- I was not on crutches nor was I using a cane. Again, I'm not going to lie, I've had times where I still get frustrated with my progress and I forget what God has done, but truly my life is and continues to be a testament to who God is and how He pursues us, molds us, redirects us, and continually draws us closer and closer to Him even in our disobedience, failure, and lack of faith. Praise God.

It's a long story... #5

Luke 8:48
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace”

The Lord was reaffirming that through faith I could be healed, not for my glory or comfort, but to reveal His glory, here on earth. Our God loves to heal and restore, He loves to show us His power. This was part one to the lesson God was teaching me that week.

Luke 11:8b “yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

Once my eyes were opened to healing for God’s glory, He threw in part two. The Lord asked me to be bold and ask Him for healing. Up until this point I had not asked the Lord to heal me, I was of the mindset that whatever was going to happen was good because God was good. It was really hard for me to hear this, I heard God asking me to ask Him but I was so timid. My first prayer was this, “Lord, please give me boldness to ask you” (says Noelle, timidly), my second prayer was this, “Lord please heal my foot by August so I can go to nursing school” (says Noelle, still timidly). Now, it’s important to note that the Lord had revealed first that my healing was not for my sake, but for His glory (yet I was still timid to ask, oh me of little faith!).

It's a long story... #4

After my surgery I felt relieved that I had finally started the healing process, with much naïveté I assumed I was on the path to climbing, running, and jumping again- modern medicine works, right? wrong. The surgeons did not know what state they were going to find my foot in, it was strange to say the least. I was informed that the healing could go one of two ways- it does or it doesn’t. “Whaaaat…. there is a possibility that is doesn’t heal?” Well, come to find out the chances ‘it doesn’t heal are far greater than the chances that it does.’ Let me repeat my reaction, “whaaaaaat!?” The best case scenario I received was that I would walk with a cane for the rest of my life- best case scenario=cane. Over four months of weekly x-rays there was no healing. My surgeon informed me that nursing school was probably not going to happen, I would not be able to hike, climb, run, etc. After that appointment I sat in the back of my Honda Fit, crying while my mom drove me home. That drive was a time of mourning the future I had planned, and it was good. This is where the story gets crazy awesome.

I went home and cried with my bible study, cried with my family, and cried alone. During this time I was convinced that the Lord would have His way with me and that if I wasn’t going to be able to walk, He would change my desires and make a new path for me. I never denied the Lord’s goodness, praise God for that. However, I never allowed God to do miracles in my life, although he had done them before, I wasn’t going to risk asking for more. During that week the Lord spoke, and spoke clearly. He asked me to be bold and ask Him for healing. He reaffirmed His voice when I was reading through Luke.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The thing about student nursing is that you need to have the appearance of knowing what you're doing. This uniform definitely gives me some points. Today, I learned how to scrub up for the OR, I can't wait for OR! Things are definitely shakey at this point, I feel like I know nothing and normally, in Micro or OChem, that equates to me sending mass texts to my friends asking for prayer for some giant exam... this time, my exam is a living being- I better not fail.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vital Signs are Vital

I got a Casio watch today for $24.99 at Target, it has a ten year battery life. Holla.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

scorekeeping, it's nice to be back.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

At home physical therapy is quite tricky, it's intentionally taking time each day to put yourself in crazy amounts of pain- thank God for the discipline He's given me, on top of the miracle of healing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free Fallin'

good cover, John Mayer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a long story... #3

About 3 1/2 weeks into "recovery" I knew something was not right, it felt like my foot was not connected to my leg (a retrospective "duh" always pops into my head at this point in the story). I went in to see another doctor and he took new x-rays. He suggested I start walking on it as much as I could even though I told him that my foot was not connected to my leg. When I "walked" it was like I was shoving my leg into my foot and using the whole thing more like a cane than a leg. Apparently he didn't understand and sent me on my way, there was no way I could walk so I was still on crutches while randomly shoving my leg into my foot. About 8 hours later I got out of class and found about 15 texts on my phone, 6 missed calls, and a bunch of voice mails.

After I had left the doctor's that day, the x-rays had been sent off to radiology for an expert to look at them. It was here where the giant fracture in my talus was found and the doctors started to panic for telling me to walk on it. I was immediately scheduled for surgery. They explained to me that the nature of my injury was very unique and there would be a team of 3 surgeons working on my foot. This isn't something anyone wants to hear, I wanted to hear "oh, we do this all the time, we know exactly what to do." Instead there was a looming unknown on both parts- the doctors and myself. It all happened so fast though that I didn't have much time to process any of it so I went in, came out, and knew that God had a plan for whatever was going to happen.

They were right, the injury was quite unique: I had fractured the dome top of the talus off and it flipped totally upside down and sat inverted for the month I had been misdiagnosed. Everyone is baffled as to how this actually was accomplished but the surgeons took care of it, drilled in a bioabsorbable pin (no metal!) to connect the two pieces and called it a day.

It's a long story... #2

At about 8:45am my body was fully extended on the climb (meaning I was totally stretched out, not crunched up) and my left foot slipped from the boulder and unfortunately it landed right between two pads, a space of about 8-10 inches. I hit the ground and was slightly confused because I knew my left foot had just landed on solid ground but it was not in pain. Hmm... I lifted my leg up and my poor foot just sort of dangled there. At this point my brain was calculating that this was a very bad thing and my body almost went into shock, I warned the guys I was with that I might possibly faint and my nausea was out of control. Luckily, I did not faint and was able to control my breathing. One of the guys I was with worked at a physical therapy clinic and was able to palpate my foot without me being in very much pain, we both assumed my foot was not broken. He taped my foot up really well (by the grace of God I had thrown a roll of tape in my bag just for good measure). Everyone assured me that is was impossible to get cell reception out there but I tried calling my dad anyway. Miraculously the call went through and my dad, whose phone was on silent, answered. I told him the situation I was in and asked him to pick me up at the ranger's station at the entrance of the park. The guys dropped me off and I waited about an hour for my dad to pick me up. Thank God I had prepared for the desert cold!

My dad came driving up to save me and I felt better already. He suggested we go home, get some crutches from the garage, and call urgent clinics. We did just that and found a clinic with minimal wait time. I got in, got x-rayed, and was diagnosed with a severe sprain. I was not able to walk but the pain wasn't too bad. I was told it could take up to a month to heal so I trusted the doctor and went on my way.

It's a long story... #1

Alright people, this is the start to my amazing learning-to-walk-again journey! First off, perhaps I shall tell you the story of how I got put in this predicament. On January 9, 2011 I fell from an easy V1 climb on Chocolate Boulders out in Joshua Tree. I was bouldering, a type of climbing where ropes are not used but instead large pads are brought out to the desert for "catching falls." I had been bouldering off and on for about two years, steady for a year. During this time I had taken many falls, generally the pads paired with good spotters prevent injuries.

Friday, March 18, 2011

broken foot + flu + allergies + good sense of humor = nothing is going to stop me

Sunday, March 13, 2011

n.i.c.k.i b.l.u.h.m

a sweet song for a sweet monday.

"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet."
-Thomas Merton

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Marathon of Thoughts

You know that stage where your bed is so comfortable you do not want to get out of it but your mind is racing a million miles a minute so staying in bed is anything but relaxing? I feel like I just ran a marathon, in my head.

Throughout this season of helplessness, I am forced to surrender my future, yet again. It's such a beautiful thing to see God orchestrate my life, I have no idea where I will go next- but I know it's going to be good. But sometimes I get ahead of myself and try to over plan for a future I have no control of. Here's the low down:

Breaking my talus in January and being misdiagnosed for a month wasn't that big of a deal at first, things break, things heal, right? Now that I have a better understanding of the damage that was caused, and after seeing no progress in healing, I am forced to entertain the idea that I might not walk by fall. There are many logistical battles that go along with that but the one I lay in bed rolling over and over in my mind is nursing school.

I'm pondering the ideas of trust and expectation. I trust in the Lord, I know He is good and He will lay out a path before me that illustrates His goodness. What I'm stuck on is what that trust looks like. I was reminded by a dear friend a couple days ago of how many road blocks God has demolished for me to get into school, she asked if I trusted God to continue to get me into school. I don't know if I do. I know that God is good and if I am not able to go to school because of my foot then He has another, better path. I don't know if I am selling my faith short by not expecting God to fulfill this path, one in which I do feel like the He has blessed (and continues to, even now).

I guess I just answered my own question- He is blessing this path, next week I have an interview with LB's program and have been accepted to all the schools for which I applied. I now wait for the schools of nursing within those schools to accept me. I continue to excel in school even with this malady (all God- definitely not me). God is bringing me further and further along this path, it's me who is setting up road blocks for God- I won't be able to walk, I won't be able to do clinicals, I won't be able to be a nurse if I can't walk.

None of those things are from God, yes, those are possibilities but as of right now, God is still leading me down this path, therefore, I do need to trust and expect that He will get me there. If He doesn't, He will reveal that to me. I need to trust in the fact that our God is an interacting God, one who communicates with His people- even me. Praise God for His mercy and grace.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

There are many terrible things about being in a cast for 4 months, one that tops the list: Mold growing on your exposed toes.

Rock Harbor's 80's prom. totally.