Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm grateful for my wonderful parents who are always there for me; an amazing brother serving a mission in India; for the green slime they squirt on planes, allowing them to fly in icy-cold conditions; and that I married a man who, in addition to all his other sterling qualities, knows how to extract birds from beneath fridges.

I guess there's a hole in the siding of my parents' house that the landlord thought he patched up. After we took care of Fenton (bird #1) and released him back in the wilderness of Seattle, Gertrude (Bird #2) and Gabby (Bird #3) made an appearance in my parent's bedroom. We opened a few windows and they left after some hand waving action and pleas to stay far away from the females of the house. Barry (bird #4) came later the next day. By that time we were bird releasing experts and Dad and Robb had him out in ten minutes. I made a movie of our adventures with Fenton and I think Robb has a future on animal planet if Mechanical Engineering doesn't pan out.

The rest of holiday was much calmer. Mom made us a wonderful turkey dinner. We went and saw the much awaited Harry Potter movie and we visited Boeing's Museum of Flight. Robb was in heaven. He wants to design airplanes after he graduates and walking around the museum with him was like having your own personal tour guide. There were exhibits from WWI, WWII, an airplane car from the fifties, and modern aircraft. It really is an amazing museum (I posted a picture of my favorite plane...look for the tiger jumping on a deer with Hitler's face :) ).

It was an amazing holiday and like always, the hardest part was coming back.

Friday, November 19, 2010


In fifth grade I endeavored to read The Fellowship of the Ring in order to earn more AR points (oh the nerdiness of me). By the time I finished, I felt exhausted. Tolkien had dragged me step by step through a plot line where short periods of excitement were bordered by long trudges, hunger, and random songs in elfish. Although his method of writing more accurately describes normal life (work, sleep, school, random adventure, work, sleep, school), we all know the movies were better.

Anyway, if someone were to take the last couple weeks of my life and turn it into a movie, this is what would make the screen play cut (and even then, you may still feel like changing the channel to something more golf :) ):

The Defeat of the Dreadful Dragon, Debt (of the Honda variety)
Yes, after a year and half of saving (plus making monthly payments) we have paid off the Honda Civic. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! We chortled in our joy! I know Debt has brothers, uncles and second cousins that will try and attack us in the future, but for now we are free.

The Ongoing War with Rhinovirus
I normally am a ridiculously healthy person. I constantly stand in awe of my immune system as it withstands the flu, fevers, and all the nastiness of the hospital year after year. But like all great heroes, it does have an Achilles heel--the common cold. Robb caught a minor version a couple of weeks ago and despite a strict cheek-kisses-only policy, it got me too...except, as usual, it mutated into something twice as strong with an endurance that makes Lance Armstrong look like a pansy.

I'm sporting an incredibly attractive yellow mask at work to keep my poor patients, who have enough health problems as it is, from catching something new.
The Last of the Seminoles
(Robb did not appreciate how I described his team's season of flag football, so he agreed to write this section)
As previously stated, Lakin's completely unfounded characterization of the quality and commitment of the 141st Ward Seminoles football team has necessitated my writing on her behalf.

The Seminoles (pronounced Seh-mee-noh-lehs) bounced back from a hard-fought 0-5 regular season to open the second round of the playoffs with a spectacular win over the mysterious "Team 217." The scoring effort was led by Ryan with two rushing TDs and one passing TD. Kade also scored on a beautiful 20-yard interception return to seal the deal. The first win of the season couldn't come at a better time, propelling the Seminoles to the Sweet 16.

That win set up their next tournament match-up with the ever-flatulent "Team Bean." The Beanos were unstoppable in their previous tournament appearance, scoring on every possession of the game. They entered today's match-up coming off an easy roll of 139th Ward. Today's game was a story of defense on both sides of the ball. Team Bean struck first with a long, slow march down the length of the field and a touchdown. The Seminoles had a chance to counter with a sustained drive all the way to the 3 yard line, only to be picked off on the next play after Ryan was blitzed and the screen dump missed its target. The first half ended 6-0 in favor of the Beanpoles. The second half saw another hard fought Team Bean score after Robb failed to sack the passer in time on a cornerback blitz. With time running out, the Seminoles once again reached the red zone only to be picked off after a questionable no-call illegal rush. Time expired on the ensuing Beanstalk possession, leaving the score 12-0, Beanie Babies.

The real story-line of the game came from Cankles McLoudmouth and his incessant whining to the refs on every play. Yes, every play. It was apparent to everyone present that he had no idea how to play football. We were all dumber for having listened to him speak. He was escorted off the field by campus police late in the second half for general idiocy. (Okay so I made that last sentence up, but it wouldn't have surprised me, given his overall lack of personal hygiene and moral scruples.)

Robb waxed a little more eloquently on his post than I was expecting, so I'll stop here :)
Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn Walks and Rocket Launches

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
-Albert Camus
I've finally accepted that summer is over. I'm not sure if it was the constant presence of Robb's homework and my hospital shifts or the two inches of snow on my car that brought on this realization...but fall is here to stay and it is beautiful. We decided to take a short stroll around our block to take it all in.

Robb is in the Capstone year of his program and for his project a team of BYU ME students will enter a rocket in NASA's annual competition. The finished product will fly a mile high and contain some sort of science project inside. For practice, Robb and the gang made a rocket to enter in the UROC competition (I didn't get to go, but Robb took pictures for me).

I finished with orientation at the end of September and now I sprint around three shifts a week trying to keep up the veterans on the floor. It's the most worthwhile and stressful thing I have ever done. Lately I come home after a shift only to dream about nursing. My dream shifts are always harder than the real ones and I don't even get paid, so I decided I need to retire from my dream vocation and seek employment elsewhere. Any suggestions would be appreciated :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multicultural families are amazing

Being raised by a Canadian mother means I have an intense love of hockey (field, not ice...the American in me can't skate), use a handful of words no one here understands (like calling the garbage disposal a "garburator,") and...
I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year.
You're jealous, I know :)

Happy Columbus Day or Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!!!
And thank you, Grandma Fredley for a wonderful dinner :)

Friday, October 8, 2010


I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but I'm married to one of the football players...he's kind of a big deal :)

Our ward has an inter-mural flag football team this year and Robb is playing as an offensive and defensive lineman. Unfortunately his team is having about as much success on the field as our BYU Cougars...he's having fun though and that's what counts. I love getting to watch his games. Not only do I get a weekly opportunity to admire my husband in uniform, but I get to chat with the other wives sitting on the sidelines. What I miss most about my nursing program are the other girls (and three guys) I spent two years studying with. I had a built-in group of friends and now that I'm done with school and Robb has started back up, I'm feeling a teensy bit lonely.

On the whole though, life is pretty much amazing :)
P.S. We're the Seminoles because some high school team recently ordered new jerseys for their team, only to find the school's colors or mascot (I can't remember which) changed over the summer. So free, spiffy jerseys for us...woot!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Employed x2

So I mentioned briefly in my last post that I got a second job...

I love it

for so many reasons...

To begin with, it puts me back into a hospital setting. I didn't realize how much I missed that until my first day. I love being able to focus on my 4-5 patients and really give them the best care I can (that's more difficult to do in the nursing home with 30+ residents). I love learning from all the other nurses on the floor. I feel like this job will stretch me and keep me from getting complacent about what I do know.

I get benefits. I've never had benefits before and let me tell you, they're a beautiful thing.

They also gave me a magical jug that gives me unlimited access to the soda fountain AND the world's most glorious pen (it has a squishy pad to grip with your work worn fingers and lights up blue when you click it on).

There are some downsides. Nurses are required to work every other weekend and some holidays at this makes sense, patients don't miraculously recover so they can spend Christmas with their families or rebound to lounge about on the still stinks though.

I'm really lucky to have found something I love this much. I was lying on our couch after a long day at work with my head in Robb's lap, my feet sticking up in the air (nursing=lots of standing), and Robb patiently listening to details from my day. In the middle of explaining a procedure I glanced up and saw Robb looking at me with an expression that made my heart go all mushy. "This is the perfect job for you," he said. I agree.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reader's Digest Version of August

Utah Valley Specialty Hospital made me an official job offer to work full time on their Med/Surg floor.

We traveled to Great Basin National Park which is located in the middle of Nevada. I personally have little love for the state (and if you had to drive through it every time you wanted to see your family, you wouldn't be that keen on it either :) ), but Great Basin apparently is their best kept secret.

According to the National Park website, Great Basin is the best place for star gazing in the continental US because it's so far away from everything. That night we got a breath taking view into the heavens. The sky was perfectly clear and hundreds of stars strung throughout the Milky Way were visible.

The next day we hiked. My favorite part were the Bristlecone pines (as an Oregonian, I have a thing for them sometime though, they are amazing).

We came back to civilization.

My faithful laptop of four years died.

We went to Washington and helped my parents move into their new house (P.S. the picture wasn't taken in front of their house, that's where my mom works :) ).

We traveled to Medford, Oregon, the land of my youth and probably one of my favorite places in the world and went RAFTING (I love rafting, I love rivers, I love attacking random boats with dipsticks, I love the thrill of making it through a difficult rapid, I love spending so much time with my's amazing). Once again there were bears. I'm not sure why, but I decided a few years ago that being mauled to death by a bear was probably the worst way to die...and they've kind of freaked me out ever since. I guess my furry friends heard we are longer on good terms and now, out of spite, they are popping out all over the place. THREE bear sightings this trip, THREE!

And one of my mom's best friends got married around the same time so we got to attend the wedding. Congratulations, Brenda!
Back in Provo, Robb built me a computer (yes, he is that amazing) to replace the Mac and we prepared to start a new school year and a full time hospital job.

Life couldn't possibly better be :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


A few weeks ago, Lakin and I made the joyful treck back to Montana to visit my family. We had a chance to shoot some gophers at Brooke and Al's place while we were there. That's always fun. Mom and Dad also took us up to Glacier National Park for a few days. Lakin was terrified that we would be eaten by bears, but I guess my constant suggestion that this was very likely didn't help things.

Our first day in the park we were lucky enough to see a younger-looking black bear from the road. He was just traipsing through the rock-slide area by the roadside. We stopped and got a couple of pictures before the Rangers had us leave.

We spent three nights at the Many Glacier Hotel. I had been there before, but it was Lakin's first time. For anyone that hasn't been, you are missing out on one of America's most beautiful places.

Our second day in the park, we went on a red jammer bus tour. Red jammers are the old convertible busses from the 30's and 40's that the park put there to do tours with. The morning ride was hampered a little by rain, but on the way back over Going-to-the-Sun Road the sun was shining and we rolled the top down. It's definitely the best way to the see the park from the road.

The third day we were going to go hiking, but decided to head on up to Waterton Lakes in Canada due to the stormy weather. We took a nice little boat ride across Wateron Lake and ate at a local weiner shop. Later that day we did a little hike to Red Rocks Lake not far from our hotel. We saw a bear along the trail and there were numerous other sitings from others on the trail of a mother with 3 cubs. When we stumbled upon that bear, Lakin started walking straight back to the hotel. It was pretty hilarious. Luckily, Dad and I had our trusty bear-spray on the ready and we didn't meet any problems.

On the way out of the park the next day we saw a bear cub on the road. We got a nice picture of it grazing on the roadside grass (from our car, of course). We knew mama must be near, so we got out of there quickly once we had our pictures.

It was a great trip all around and we'll have to go back some day. The hilarious thing is that I've never seen so many bears in Glacier before, but now that Lakin was with us (who is an admitted melissaphobe) we saw 3 in one trip!

Quail-hawk, the official Hays family vacation mascot

We edited the name of the creek

Little bear cub on the side of the road

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mirad A Vuestros Pequenitos

June 9th, 2007

Before the old girls left we had a banquet/slideshow in their honor. It’s a tradition here…in seven weeks I will be the one saying goodbye. It struck me as I watched all our kids’ faces flashing momentarily on the screen how much has changed. OSSO uses the slideshow to give the new girls an idea about what they’ll be doing here and I can remember a time when those faces meant relatively little to me…now they mean more to me than I could have ever imagined. I know their personalities and what their smiles mean. I’ve put up with their tantrums and been the recipient of their besitios and sticky hugs—in short, I am their mother. They are in my prayers at night and in my thoughts during the day and I am dreading the 27th of July when I have to leave them.

The summer after my freshman year of college I decided, on the recommendation of a friend, to venture out into the great wide world and volunteer for a program called OSSO (Orphanage Support Services Organization).

It was one of the best decisions of my life.

With fifteen other girls (boys are allowed to volunteer too, my group just happened to full of females), I spent three months working in an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador with children under the age of two and with older children with mental and physical disabilities. I learned how to securely tie cloth diapers, successfully feed wiggly toddlers, and how to cuddle five babies at once. But most importantly I learned the meaning of unconditional love from the children who had nothing.

OSSO needs new volunteers for this upcoming year. If you have ANY interest whatsoever, please let me know (I can wax eloquent on this subject :)) or check out their website for more information.

“Behold your little ones…”