Rhode Island weekend

Here are some photos from the short weekend trip Nick and I took to celebrate his grandpa’s 90th birthday. I had never been to Rhode Island before and I loved it! We were in Newport for the birthday celebration and then on Sunday Nick and I had some time to kill before our flight so we wandered around Providence with our luggage. We had a great time and saw some H.P. Lovecraft related buildings (a library that he use to write in and a house that was in one of his stories.) We also stumbled upon a grilled cheese place for lunch called U-Melt which was freaking amazing. If you ever go I suggest getting the “White Trash” which is a grilled cheese sandwich with mac and cheese and pulled pork. YUM! :)


Nick left this morning to go to China again! On his birthday! We had fun yesterday celebrating with friends, beer, french fries, and crepes! Happy Birthday Nick, I love you! :D Sorry if some people were cut out of the photos when I took these. That Belgian beer was strong and I am not going to lie, I was somewhere between tipsy and drunk when I took them.



Well I have had a lot on my mind lately so I thought I would “use my coping skills” like how I teach my kids at work and write a post.


It is difficult sometimes to have a job where at times you become emotionally invested in what you are doing but then not be able to really talk about it in detail due to confidentiality and whatnot. I have lately, due to a very special kid I have been working with, been so frustrated about how slow and inefficient it can be to make decisions for a kid with mental health issues who has no parents or family. I get so mad when I think about how difficult it is to 1. make any important medication changes, 2. figure out where kids are going to go. I don’t really know what the answer is but I know that the kids that I have met who are in this situation certainly don’t deserve to be hanging around in the hospital weeks on end without being able to go outside. We are a psychiatric treatment facility, but lets get real, how is that psychologically healthy?? Its not. It is hard to know who to even be frustrated with at times, but the ball is being dropped somewhere.

Anyway, before I make myself depressed I will change the subject.

 My mind has been flip flopping back and forth about graduate school. I know I eventually want to go but I am trying to figure out if I should go the route of becoming a school psychologist or a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Both would be in the field that I am interested in. A psych NP clearly makes more money, but a school psychologist also sounds so tempting with holidays and summers off… I will have to think about it. If anyone knows anything about either route and has any insight, I would love to hear it.


Finally relaxing

Well it is 12:15 and I just woke up not too long ago. I have been working like a dog as charge nurse this week and last night it was nonstop doing admissions. So needless to say I slept hard. When I woke up I felt like I got hit by a truck. I am now sitting here with my coffee, did my daily blog rounds and relaxing having a cup of joe while reading a Cup of Jo and now updating my blog.


I have read a couple articles recently about what a major problem it is with having psychiatric patients waiting in emergency departments to get beds on inpatient units. After being charge nurse and coordinating admissions I see why. It is a frustrating situation for everyone: the families who have to wait sometimes days in the ED before finding a bed; the ED staff who gets pissed at us the psychiatric department because they feel like we are upstairs taking forever twiddling our thumbs; and we (meaning the 2 psychiatric inpatient nurses and 2 psych counselors) who are so tied up doing admissions and making sure patients are safe that we don’t even have time to take a damn pee or eat sometimes. As you can see there is a lot of frustration and it is a system issue and not any one individual to blame. 

I was happy to see this recent article about Obama talking about Mental Health and trying to reduce the stigma. All this talk is great but have I seen any difference yet in terms of improving the actual situation? No. Not yet, but I hope to one day be able to get people the help they need sooner, be able to take a 30 minute lunch break without sitting crammed under a rack full of jackets and bags in a tiny break room, and to get along with the hard working ED staff downstairs.

I feel like this is an issue everyone can support. A mentally healthy society leads to less crime, better physical health, and overall just a better society for everyone. What I would like to see is the government throw some money towards insensitives for people to go to school for mental health professions just like how they did for nursing through HRSA. Basically: go to school, the government will help you pay off your school loans to become a psychologist/psychiatrist/counselor, etc, etc. If I could go to grad school to become a psychologist and could afford it I would do it in a heartbeat, and let me tell you I would be excited, motivated and damn good at my job. I hope to see the US put their money where their mouth is and actually address this issue.

I never thought I would be so fired up about an issue, but you know once you have cut a kid down from trying to suffocate themselves, or dealt with families who have waited forever for a bed it changes you I think.


I drove Nick to the airport today and he left for China. He will be gone for work for about 2 weeks. I mainly feel jealous that I don’t get to go too. I have been working really hard and … Continue reading


It is almost 0430 and I should go to bed. It is weird to think I will be off of night schedule soon. It will be awesome to enjoy the day like a normal person. I will never take for granted being outside and getting sun during the day again.

Nick and I had a nice walk in the park today and came home and cooked dinner together. I can’t wait until we will actually be on the same work schedule. We are going camping soon in Shenandoah National Park with our friends which I am really excited for. I bought a huge tent that I have been debating setting up in our living room just for fun.

I can’t remember the last time that I went camping. It may have been the giant Model UN camp trip at U of A on Mount Lemmon. And if I remember correctly…that got a little crazy. I vividly remember Nick ripping an entire pine tree (a smaller one) out of the ground for fire wood and dragging it bag to the fire like a cave man. So much for leave no trace! :) I also rememeber that camping trip involving a lot of drunken shirtless college guys thinking it was a good idea to take turns jumping over the fire. HA!

The plan for this trip is to burn my scrubs. I don’t have to wear them on the psych unit so a scrub roast it shall be. Followed by s’mores of course.


Well. I am going to try to update this thing more regularly again. I am still here and still alive! I will spare you with excuses about why I haven’t been writing (because I have none) and just get right to it:

I am starting a new job. Still at Children’s National Medical Center, just on a different unit. Instead of taking the elevator up to the 6th floor, I will now only have to ride up 4 floors (secret reason why I picked the job because I can’t stand waiting while the elevator stops at every floor and people get on and off while I try and make it up to the 6th. Kidding. But seriously…) So on the 4th floor is the psychiatric unit, where I will be working. The floor is divided up into two separate units one for adolescent psychiatry and one for child psychiatry. I will eventually be trained for both but am starting and was mainly hired for the adolescent side. I am really excited to start. It feels great knowing that I will be using both my degrees and didn’t just collect a psychology degree for nothing at U of A. I will let you know how it goes, sadly though I won’t be able to share a lot of the details due to HIPPA regulations and confidentiality and stuff.

Nick and I have been living in Woodley Park since February and are still loving the apartment. We took a trip to Charlottesville the other weekend and stayed at this bed and breakfast that had chickens. After having fresh eggs in the morning, I have been obsessed with the idea of trying to be self sufficient with food. No, I did not go out and buy chickens for our apartment (although I want to, I realize that is not a good idea) BUT I did start a little vegetable garden on our patio. I am currently growing tomatoes, chives and cucumbers. They were thriving really well until yesterday when I over watered them and now they are looking kind of sad. I am hoping they revive. Someday though I will get some chickens! Maybe throw in a goat too.

If you can’t tell I updated the look of the blog. I was sick of the old one. The current picture if you were wondering is Monica Vitti (the glamorous italian actress and my hair idol) and her dog. Which reminds me, I STILL DON’T HAVE A DOG! I need to work on that. Everytime I go to drop off my rent I try to convince the ladies in the office to get one, but fail every time. “Even if it is reaaaaaaaallllllllllly cute??” did not work with them. A flat “No.” was the response that I got. I will have to work on that.

I think I am going to finish my coffee and walk across the street to the flower shop and get some soil for my garden.

All for now.
xoxo gossip girl. uhh whoops. I mean Julia. (No…I DON’T know what you’re talking about…its not like I have been watching endless episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix or anything…ok, maybe a little.)

Hurray for picnics!



Well Easter was fun! Nick and I spent the day with friends in Georgetown picnicking and kayaking. With the exception of a really painful sunburn I got on my leg it was a fantastic day! Can I also say that a coffee traveler from Starbucks is the best freaking invention ever and makes for primo outdoor fika time?! So good!Image


Nick decided since we had plenty of plastic Easter eggs at the picnic that it would be hilarious to fill them with grotesque/disappointing objects and put in obvious hiding spots for people to come find. My personal favorite was the easter egg filled with a lone mini dill pickle.

Kayaking was amazing! We went to Jack’s Boat House (because I had seen Samantha Brown go there and wanted to try it!) and it was a blast. And best of all, on my first kayaking adventure, I didn’t tip myself over!



Now that I am working all nights, it feels amazing to be outside when it is sunny! I feel like I want to roll around in the grass on my back like a dog. Is that weird? Nah, didn’t think so.