Friday, February 15, 2013


Wow, so much has changed over the last couple years. I read back on my blog posts from a few years ago and am struck by so many converging feelings. One, I am grateful. Grateful for all that has truly "worked out" over the last couple years - from getting into nursing school (my first choice, no less), graduating from said school in a mere 15 months, continuing to grow in my relationship with Ben (the biggest blessing of my life), moving to the Bay Area without a job - and then landing a hospital RN job about 7 months later (unheard of for the vast majority of new grad RNs in this particular geographical area), surviving my first year of nursing (I wouldn't call it "thriving" quite yet ;) ... and...most recently, moving into a 1-bedroom apartment on the 10th floor of a San Mateo high rise with floor-to-ceiling windows (when did I become that person?),...AND buying my FIRST (DREAM) CAR last weekend, a 2013 4 door VW Golf TDI (it is soooo much fun to drive!).  And last but certainly not least, Ben and I are finally going to be tying the knot in October of this year - about three and a half years after he proposed to me on the steps of the OHSU med school - and almost eight years after our little romance began, and almost 12 years since we first laid eyes on each other in Interpersonal Communication. 

Going back to my "converging feelings" comment - in addition to gratitude, I also feel cautious about all of these positive developments. I will be honest in saying that, I'm not used to all this nice stuff. Nice California weather for one - but nice cars everywhere on the roads, beautiful homes everywhere you look - rolling California hills covered with a variety of native plants and mature trees. Ben always said that he likened the Bay Area (and the mid-peninsula in particular) to the land of milk and honey. Today it is a gorgeous, clear, sunny February day, registering at 66 degrees Fahrenheit. You might ask, what's the problem then, why are you cautious? Well, I know that all of these wonderful things don't last forever. Even my new car, which is PERFECT and our apartment which has an INCREDIBLE view... none of that matters if I'm not living out of my true self and am living an authentic, meaningful life. Not only am I not used to all this nice stuff - I'm used to feeling like things aren't quite the way I wish they were/the one that hasn't quite made it yet/the one that is still out there struggling to make things work. For one of the first times in my life - things are working - quite well actually. Sometimes it just feels too good to be true. I guess I'll just leave it there. I'm grateful, so grateful.

Even whilst I feel grateful, there are loved ones near and far who aren't always feeling overwhelmed by positive developments. First, my mom - after undergoing a radical mastectomy last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer - she recently found out that she also needs a hysterectomy. She has her LIFE, though. I pray for her that the surgery goes without any major complications and that she can move on with her life. She has a lot more living to do, I am sure of it. Second, my to-be-mother in law, Jan. After losing her best friend and lover of over 20 years to a heart attack last year, just a few weeks ago also lost her other best friend and only sister, Molly, to cancer. Molly fought a tremendous fight against her disease and lived many, MANY years past what the doctors or anyone else predicted. She was a sprightly, creative, smart, determined woman, and will be missed. Jan is also an amazing woman, with one of the biggest hearts I've had the pleasure of knowing. I pray that though the burden is heavy she might find rest and rejuvenation for her spirit in ways unexpected during the next few years.

I felt like it was time to update this blog (for myself mostly because I'm pretty sure NO ONE is reading this). From now on, I think my posts will be about things on my mind - like a public journal where anyone can chime in with their thoughts about stuff. I'll probably be talking about nursing, exercise, Paleo diet, weight training, and probably not wedding planning (who wants to read about that?). Plus I have pinterest for all my wedding stuff. Ok, blog... you are now updated. Until next time. Thank you for being patient with me. Love, Richelle.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dreaming of the cush life

I need to stop looking at pictures of prepared gourmet food on the internet. I dream of living in a huge country house with magical evenings of perfect food and drinks where friends can come and go and be filled and let go of the stresses of life. Our home would be clean and cozy all the time, with a live-in chef. Instead I live in a studio apartment with a fridge full of condiments, no proper cook wear, flat wear or serving utensils. Am I back in college?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Born Into a Light

This song sings to my soul...hope it will to yours also. xoxo

For everything that's wrong
There is a worried man,
There is a reason why
We just don't understand, but will...
You gotta keep the faith.

Be patient oh the past
is just a memory, and heal
Heal your vines,
You'll heal inside eventually

We were born into a light
We were born of light
We were born into a light

For everyone alone,
I wish you faith and hope
All the strength to cope
To be your own best friend,
have confidence and keep the faith

Be patient oh the past
is just the memory and heal
Heal your vines,
you'll heal inside eventually

We were born into a light
We were born into a light
We were born of light
We were born into a light

"Born into a Light" by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You Are Here

A beautiful reminder to be present where ever we are:

You wonder why you wonder when
You wonder how now and then
How you became who you've become
You are here and yet you dream of being there
Of being where you think the good life has begun

Every darkened hallway, every fallen dream
Every battle lost and every shadow in between
Will bring you to your knees and closer to the reason

And there's no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there's no turning back, no you are here

Who can say who made the choice
In the matter of your birth
Who brought about that fateful day
Well you are here and born with fire and desire
You're the only one who can stand in your own way

Every broken arrow, every hardened smile
Every foolish gamble and every lonely mile
Will bring you to your knees and closer to the reason

And there's no making cases
For getting out or trading places
And there's no turning back, no you are here

And every sign of love, every seed that's growing
Every sweet surrender, to that silent knowing
Will bring you to your knees and closer to the reason

And there's no making cases
For getting out, for trading places
And there's no turning back, no you are here

"You are Here" by the Wailin Jennys, from their album, Bright Morning Stars

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why do I still have this blog???

Good question. I'm not really sure. So much in my life has changed since the day I decided to start this blog. One, my boyfriend moved to Portland, and has been here since (almost two years now!). Two, I decided to pursue a career in nursing and stopped pursing a career in landscape architecture. Three, I started nursing school. Four, Ben and I are engaged to be married! WOOO! Four, I've moved to SW Portland - close to lots of hiking trails and downtown, Portland State University and, of course, the reason for the season - OHSU, where I am currently studying to be a nurse. Six, Ben's good friend from college, Mike, has moved in with us and has proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable housemate - he cooks, listens to good music (and is educating me on such music - apparently my horizons were pretty narrow...), reads avidly, is wicked smot, and is just all around a good guy to have around :) (Ladies, he's single too ;) Seven, I have officially joined the Episcopal church - not just my local parish, but the wider Episcopal communion. Eight - I AM IN NURSING SCHOOL. I know I already mentioned that but I think it deserves another mentioning because it is literally what I spend all of my time on...except for this one occasion of blogging indulgence. As an "Acc Bacc," (that is what we are known as at OHSU - Accelerated Baccalaureate students) my life is pretty crazy these days. I start clinical rotations this Tuesday - on the general medicine floor at the OHSU Hospital in Portland.

I used to have a lot of time to think about things deeply and reflect and make nice little coherent thoughts tying multiple ideas together in a somewhat organized fashion. These days - I spend my time reading article after article, page after page in my Pathophysiology or Pharmacology textbook, or otherwise trying to prepare for what is often a totally overwhelming and mind-blowing experience that awaits me each day of nursing school. I feel as though I cut in line for some crazy 15-month long ride and that at the end of the ride I'm supposed to feel prepared to go out and be a nurse...It's hard to believe.

I'm loving nursing school - don't get me wrong. My fellow classmates are fun, intelligent, beautiful, interesting, inspiring people. Our professors and instructors are top-notch and incredibly supportive. I am one lucky gal to be studying at this institution. I have to remind myself of that occasionally....which isn't too hard given that there is a Starbucks in the Children's Hospital and a Natural Foods store in the main Hospital - two places I frequent on an almost daily basis. Having easy access to good food and coffee is pretty much all I need to be happy. I know, this is more than eating good food and satisfying my desire for predictably decent decaf Americanos - but I'm not going to lie and say that those quiet moments at the Starbucks at 7 am before class starts aren't the moments I relish the most. Tuesday I start working with real patients and doing real nurs-y type stuff. Even though it's going to be tough and most days I will undoubtedly feel totally unprepared...I am trusting that this is where I'm supposed to be - that the same loving Guide that brought me thus far will continue to be with me through all of this. I somehow, miraculously, survived first quarter with all A's - so that's got to be worth something, right? I know some stuff - enough maybe to begin to ask the right questions. I guess that's right where I'm supposed to be .

This is all to say that I'm not sure where this blog will end up or when I will write next. It might be two years from now or two days. One day I hope to tie all of these ideas into a nice little bow - nursing-healthcare-horticulture-therapeutic gardening-sustainable design-design for the aging population-faith amidst uncertainty-art and faith-environment and's all connected.

One day. For now, my bed is calling my name.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Good" Friday

Sometimes I find it difficult to "enter in" to the depth and richness of some of the most important events in the Christian faith. As a catechumen this year, I was encouraged to really enter into Holy Week, taking the time to feel and experience as much of what this part of the Christian story might have to teach/show me. I am still struggling to "enter in," most likely because my mind and emotions are elsewhere (Microbiology, work, buying books for class, trying to get rid of my acne, running billions of Easter bulletins at Westminster, a friend whose metal rod got dislocated from her hip...) Until I read this...a poem emailed by Mother Esme at my church.

"Buried with him in his death" by Tania Runyan

We fought for one more sputter
of the old life. Even though a breeze passing
over your sieve of skin could send you
screaming, you muscled up your diaphragm
to whisk more air into the fire.

I held my own terrors to my chest:
failures and brush-offs, cancers and crashes,
all the anxieties I had grown to love
heaving and cracking like your ribcage
until we both gave out.

Then there was the mess of prying us loose:
wailing women and splintered lumber,
flesh stubbornly sticking to the nails.
But what swift hands, that Joseph of Arimathea,
what purposeful footsteps crunching the ground!

He wrapped us in linen and spices.
Only the hapless world could think of packing
fifty pounds of aloe around a dead man’s wounds.
But we drank it in like deserts
until finally even the lizards scurried home.

I lay in the cave and wanted to touch you,
but my hands were no longer mine.
They closed in on themselves like daylilies.
The stone rumbled over the window of light,
and then our difficult rising began.

Photo credit: "The Burial of Jesus" by Gustave Dore