Meg Joins the Navy

A new member of the Navy Nurse Corps and a proud wife of a Navy corpsman stationed together at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

28 November 2011

Quilts of High School Shirts

Basic Steps to Making a Quilt:
1.  Cut pieces
2.  Arrange & pin pieces together.  Then sew.
3.  Arrange over backing/batting & pin & sew.
4.  Cuddle.

I've made 2 quilts in my lifetime because I needed something to do with old t-shirts I never wore anymore from random high school events so I made a bunch of them into a quilt.  It was a difficult process the first time because I had so many and wanted to use them all, and unlike regular quilts where every square is the same size, the designs weren't so piecing them together was the biggest challenge.



I used a red & gray flannel backing (those were my school's colors) which added a nice touch.  For this one I used the "batting" to make it really thick and warm, which it is!  It makes it more difficult to sew in the end because it's SO THICK, but worth it.

That quilt didn't end up so well, it was my first one, basically teaching myself, trying to make it all work together, and I used the shirts I hated, soooo the visual appeal isn't so great to me. haha mistake right there.

The second quilt I made for a friend ended a lot better because I used fabric (not from t-shirts) to fill in the places it didn't fit in very well.



I also didn't use the batting and used the embroidery thread ties to attach the backing and front and use less machine sewing.

And of course since it's a gift, giving it in a pretty presentation is important!



24 November 2011

It's Thanksgiving!

I apologize for not blogging in a few weeks, but it has been a busy week at home, by busy I mean, I've been busy snuggling with my pets, watching movies, knitting, crafting, and shopping.

Thanksgiving isn't a big holiday celebrated with my family (although I have every intention of making it HUGE when I have my own.)  We have the typical turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more dinner, but everyone has always worked the day after Thanksgiving so driving 4 hours to Grandma's isn't an option.  This year it's especially different because it's just my mom and me, since my brother has moved to Florida.  The question came up from my mom this year about getting just a turkey breast instead of the full turkey, and we were really considering it, when we realized that my brother never ate turkey anyways and it's been my mom and me eating a whole turkey for years!  So the big, fat turkey is sitting in the oven right now.

I'm especially thankful this year for so many things!  Although my sailor is still out in San Diego and couldn't come home for this holiday, I'm thankful he'll be here over Christmas and that he has such good friends there that he has somewhere to go for a good Thanksgiving dinner, other than the chow hall.  I'm so thankful he's my man and I get to lean on him for the good and bad, and that we have a wonderful relationship despite being away more days than together in the past year.  I'm thankful we get to talk as often as we do and that he is succeeding in his career as a hospital corpsman.

I'm thankful for the family I have in my life and excited to see all the changes we will go through in the next year.  I sure didn't have any clue our family would go through everything we have in the last year.  I'm thankful how close I've become with my uncle, a whole new experience for me, after living without a fatherly figure for almost a decade.

I'm thankful for the friends I have, and was reminded of that 2 days ago with a big reunion of 9 girls at Olive Garden, eating probably 10 bowls of breadsticks and 8 or so bowls of salad between all of us!  (Check out my friend's blog here:  http://thechaseskandl.blogspot.com/  I also have great friends at college as well, whom I couldn't make it through nursing school without.  Choosing bridesmaids is going to be DIFFICULT!

I'm also thankful for the blessings I've received from God, to be able to attend college, be optimistic, have a home, a bed to sleep in, a career awaiting me after graduation, the smarts to make it through college, clothes on my body, and good health.


I'm ready to kick off the Christmas season now that Thanksgiving is here!  Christmas movies, decorations, cookies, crafts, travel, glitter, gift wrapping, etc.!  It all starts tonight with Black Friday at midnight.  My stops:  Old Navy, Target, Kohl's, Pier One. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

08 November 2011

Introducing... My Family

Here's a little about my family just to introduce them.  Although I currently live at school, outside of Baltimore, on an on-campus apartment, HOME is considered to be East Berlin, PA, a town with 2 stop lights and less than a mile long located between Gettysburg and York, PA.

My home consists of my mother.
One dog.  Nakita "Nikki" Mackenzie, who is the sweetest golden retriever ever, though she sounds ferocious, she'll hide under the table whenever anyone comes into the house.


And two cats.  First we have Maverick "Danger Zone," and yes, he is named for Top Gun.  He's only a year old and plays like a kitten but is 3x the size now.



Then we have Chloe Ann, the older one who is very snotty and won't show you any affection but wants all of yours.

& I love them all very much! (Although Maverick is my favorite).

And I have an older brother, who moved to Florida a month ago with his best friend.

My mom has raised me on her own, while working full-time and being a part-time college student since January 8, 2003 when my dad passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack.  I knew I sure made her life more difficult throughout the years but I think I'm at the age now where I have learned to appreciate her.  I think she's done a great job on her own because I know it could not have been easy to get through losing your husband, taking on all the responsibility, going back to college in her 40's, sending herself, me and my brother to college, staying in the same house, etc.
     Because I've seen her go through it, I know if I lost my husband early that things do work out and I could get through it because I've seen it first hand.  There's no way in hell I'd ever want to, but there are always worse things -- like my children losing both parents.

In the future, I'll post a blog solely dedicated about my dad because he was an amazing person - Air Force medic, firefighter, EMT, part of the HAZMAT team, PEMA task force, trained search and rescue dogs, and more.

But that is my immediate family and our fur children :)

06 November 2011

A Medic & a Nurse

The nerds that we are, both in the medical field, Sailor as a hospital corpsman in the Fleet Marine Force, and me as a future Navy nurse in my senior year of nursing school, we like to get our medical nerd-talk on.  Not only do we send and receive texts of nerdy pickup lines about neurotransmitters, blood flow, dyspnea, heart palpitations, etc. but we get excited teaching each other new things we've learned.

Sailor has gotten more of the emergent care training... thorocentesis, fractures, burns, severe wounds, blood loss, etc. while I've gotten more of the chronic illnesses... cancer, diabetes, heart disease, system failures, asthma, COPD, etc.  So he teaches me about emergent care procedures, and I teach him why.  In Corps school they teach them a lot about diseases and systems of the body and what to do, but they don't tell them why.  So I get to teach him the cellular level of everything.

I really don't know what people think when they're around us because when we get to talking about medical things we start going off on tangents.  The nerds that we are shows so easily.  We both have such a strong emphasis on learning that we soak up the information we share with each other.  We're also slightly hypochondriacs.  Today I thought I was pre-diabetic.  Luckily, we have each other to tell us we're being ridiculous and we can see the reality. haha

01 November 2011

My Sailor Came Home Early!

For the past 11 days, I have been a busy girl with 2 tests, Saturday/Sunday clinicals, 46 hours of class, commuting an hour-fifteen from home, but the BEST WEEK (and a half) EVER!  All because my sailor gave me 48 hours notice that he was coming home!

I don't even know where to start.  The moment he told me he had landed on the east coast, I was a nervous wreck (no idea why) and had to go out to Texas Roadhouse for a very large margarita.
So that night, I got to see him for the first time in months!  I would give you a play-by-play of every moment but I'm keeping all the details to myself, but the whole week showed me how much he means to me, how well we work together, how similar we are in quirky habits, our OCD-ness, ideas, etc.


We got our Navy on in Annapolis one of the nights and I got to finally buy the Navy t-shirt, sweatshirt, and bumpersticker I've been dying to get!  I'm officially a full pledged Navy girl now!  My favorite part of our week together was being the obnoxious, hand-holding couple that I despise so much when he's away.


I was so spoiled when he was here, having someone to talk to all night and day, a warm body to keep me warm, flowers, dinner out, over a week free from doing homework, stress-free, hugs whenever I wanted them.  I am lucky enough as well to be seeing him over Christmas.  We gave in and told each other our Christmas surprises (one of those I'll tell you if you tell me because I'm going to tell you anyway) and we're looking forward to my gift to him (and myself haha), a couple's 1-hour massage.  His surprise is a day out in Pittsburgh and a Penguins game!  He surprised me, that's for sure.  He always has to beat me in giving or being sweeter so we're always trying to come out on top.

 I'm so thankful to have had that time to catch up with him and get all the lovey-dovey emotions out to hold me over till I see him next.  Every night I went to bed, face hurting from smiling so much.  No joke.  I took Tylenol one day because my jaw hurt form smiling and it was radiating.

It's so good to see and be reassured after those inevitable nights in a long distance relationship when you fear the next time you get together that things will be awkward or different but to know things are even stronger and you fall more in love than you could ever imagine possible.

And now I keep getting reminders of how amazing he is, after he has left, with hidden post-its in my room from my sailor.