Pinch Me

Over a year and a half ago I decided to embark on this adventure. Now after months and months of preparation from paperwork to research and even to emotional and spiritual prep work I can now say in a mere 12 hours my mom and I will be boarding that plane heading to Paris! EEEEKKKKKK. Someone pinch me!!

As most of you know I have been “down, out of service, or just plain out of it” for a good 4 days last week. Having appendicitis 5 days before your original date to leave is not how I thought my week would pan out. Like I stated in my last post I am so incredibly thankful for so much. From the wonderful care, to my mom and dad being such a big help and then a remarkable recovery I am one blessed lady. I can now say after working all that air out of my system from surgery and literally sleeping last week away I am 100% and I could not be happier! I stopped taking the medication Saturday night and have been off of Ibuprofen since early Sunday morning. The only irritation I have now are the incisions and still a little achy around my midsection.

Like I said I slept most of last week and did not get out of the house until Saturday when my mom and I drove to Wilson, Ks for my great grandpas funeral. He was a great great man but he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife. He will be missed dearly.. I was happy to be able to see all of my family because before this happened I was not sure who all I was going to get to see before I left, if any! Got lots of good luck and best of wishes as well as hope you get feeling better. I must say I was kind of out of it since I was still on the meds but all in all given the circumstances it was a good time with family. Saturday night I felt up to par (enough) at least to go out to dinner with my dad, grandma and Lori as my going away dinner. I picked Newport Grille because I love their scallops! We had a great time and it was nice to chat and enjoy each other’s company although they do tend to worry about my trip and me, DAD I will be fine πŸ™‚

It was nice to be off of my medicine yesterday because mom and I got a lot of stuff done for me to go. In these 2 days we have ran a ton of errands, packed, had appointments, made last minute arrangements and everything else! Definitely glad I had my energy to be able to do that, needless to say I am tired but I had a lot to get off of my mind before I go to sleep πŸ™‚ Speaking of packing I have no idea how I am fitting 5 months of my life in 2 suitcases and a carry on! SHEESH. I just hope they do not weigh over 50 pounds but it was actually not as hard as I thought it would be either. I have a suitcase for my necessities (everyday bag) and a bag literally just filled with clothing. In my carry on are my electronics, chargers, a couple books for the plane and my paperwork. I have researched for quite some time on how to pack for studying abroad and I think I nailed it. My style is a little bit different then the ones I have found online but I may have actually ended up with more (#) items then they packed. Hope that does not bite me in the butt when I need to bring it all home!

20140127-235341.jpg Black, black and more black. It’s the Parisian way!

I will try to take pictures of each “group” of what I packed when I arrive and get settled in so people who travel abroad can kind of get an idea. That would also come in handy to do when I leave Paris seeing as how some things I may wear some things I may not as much but that is on my to-do list so be sure to check back if interested!

Today I had breakfast with my dad, a few appointments and then met with my little sister. For those of you who do not know, I am apart of Big Brothers Big Sisters and have been matched with my little sis for over 2 years. I love her as if she were my real sister and am so thankful to have had this opportunity. For the time being she has chosen to stay with me while I am gone, this will help the process for whoever has gone through the legal work of being involved with this corporation. I took her to get her nails done and then gave her a few gifts to remind her of me and of us. One of them included a bag full of fortune cookies. You are probably thinking “how unusual” but one of our favorite restaurants to go to, and let alone my favorite, is Wok Hey (Chinese). It was totally relevant and she just laughed. So now she can open a fortune anytime she misses me or is having a hard time etc. Before she left we opened one together and I just laughed at mine. See below

20140128-000331.jpg I giggled because in more than one way each day I am shown that I have my spirits, angels, God and beyond watching over me. With me it really is the little things in life ❀ So thankful

Came home tonight and had a nice hearty meal with my mom for my “last” American meal and of course that included meat, sorry to any vegetarian readers. We had roast beast, I mean roast beef. Although the meat was more of a beast to chew (mom and I got a kick out of it) it was such a good meal. Mashed potatoes, corn and croissants along with our roast beef and gravy mmmm mmmm America lol. We then started putting all of my clothes in my suitcase and since my mom went and got me a big suitcase today we ended up not really having to modify the way we packed versus how many clothes I had to be packed, phew. My friend Katie also stopped by with a nice little going away gift, thank you, and a little of our lovely chats! Now I am showered, actually laying in bed and have to wake up in 7 hours.. My goal is to be tired though because I want to be able to sleep on the plane seeing as how the plane in Minneapolis leaves at 5:15pm but gets to Paris at 8:35am which is actually 1:35am Wichita time and typically my bedtime. So I need to be able to go to bed at about 7pm tomorrow smhhh. So sweet dreams bloggers, and I will talk to you soon.

All my love and gratitude
Kels

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Things Happen for a Reason

Well as most of you know I have had quite the exciting week to say the least. I am trying to write this while I am on my pain medicine so please spare my “English” at this time as for I am quite, out of it πŸ™‚

Monday I went to counseling and then dinner with my dad, got home and hung with my mom for awhile and then started getting really bad stomach pains. Took some Advil around 9pm and that seemed to help for 3 or so hours and then come bed time I tried taking more because the pain came back. So I took a couple more Advil and nothing, so an hour later I took more (about 800mg which for me is normal). Well the pain started getting worse around the 1am. I could not sit, stand or lay still and I was doubled over whenever I tried to walk. The first thing that came to mind is “ahh sh*t I have food poisoning or the flu. I am sure most of you know I have a phobia of throwing up so that was quite the worry for me. I went downstairs and asked my mom what I could do to help the pain, keep in mind I am pretty healthy and rarely get sick let alone never had the flu or food poisoning (knock on wood). So I laid with her as long as I could stand it then went back upstairs to call my dad since I could not sleep. Pain started to get so bad that it was making my back, kidneys and everything around my midsection hurt. I then realized the pain was too bad to be food poisoning, the flu or even just gas. I thankfully never experienced nausea, never vomited or diarrhea and never ran a fever. I did have the chills at one point but I believe that was because the pain was so bad it was just making me shake. Around 5am my mom had the idea to rub some Peppermint Oil on my belly and that was the first time in hours I had noticed any sort of relief. I kept applying the oil to my tummy and gradually the stabbing pains resided. The only pain I was left with was a pain on the right side of my midsection. I actually got enough relief then to get some sleep from about 7:30am to 10am Tuesday morning. I then woke up with that same pain on my right side. I called my Kinesiologist to see if they had any advice as to what it could be or what I could do. I ended up going by and they told me I should go to my doctor or the ER. I called my doctor and they were at lunch so I described to the nurse all of what I had experienced overnight. My doctor called back about 1pm and said she suggested I go to the ER to get checked out. At the time I had done all kinds of research from gallbladder to kidney stones and then the one that made most sense to me, appendicitis.

I checked in at the Wesley ER west side around 1:30pm after my dad came and picked me up from home. Of course we went over all of my symptoms, they drew blood, got a urine sample and then set me up for an ultra sound. The ultra sound checked out okay, which was looking mostly at my kidneys and gallbladder they told me. So the next option was CT scan to look for appendicitis. At this point it is about 4pm and my pain still was at about an 8 but much better than the 15/10 I told my mom I was feeling the night before. After the CT scan the doctor reviewed the results and around 5:30pm came to tell me it was what appeared to be appendicitis and I was to be transported to the main Wesley to receive Emergency Surgery. So like any normal person who had been in extreme pain well over 12 hours, hadn’t ate in 24 hours and plans to leave the country in a mere 5 days, I started bawling. Although that did not last long because crying made the pain even worse. The ER doctor then got ahold of my family doctor to see which surgeon she suggested for the Emergency surgery. The ambulance came and got me about an hour later and at 6:30pm I was heading to Wesley on Hillside.

I got to my room, hurried and got evaluated/checked in by the nurse and then the Resident came and explained the process of surgery and so on. About 15 minutes later I was headed down to surgery. It was weird being wheeled around the hospital on a bed like you see happen on TV or in movies. Totally different to be on the other side of that. They wheeled me into the surgery room which for those of you whom have not had surgery, yes it is a bright, white and cold room. The anesthesiologist cracked some jokes while I was getting prepped which helped to lighten up the mood, I giggled and looked over at him and said “you know it hurts to laugh right” and he was like “oh sh*t I forgot” haha. A few minutes later I was out and woke up not too long after, (actually 2.5 hours later to be specific) in the recovery room. The girls were chatting and then one of them started asking the other girl “which room is she in” I responded “826” and they both started laughing. I definitely checked out good for the awareness part post surgery πŸ˜‰ About 10 minutes after I woke I was being wheeled out to the waiting room where my parents were and then up to my room for the night. I do not remember much other than it was around 11:30pm when I got to my room Tuesday night and my parents left soon after so I could get some sleep.

Slept off and on all night, one because I was in a lot of pain and needed meds often and two because I could only sleep in one position. Woke up every hour with someone coming in my room checking on me and then every 2 hours for pain meds. Around 2:30am I asked for some Jell-O seeing as how that was the first time I had ate in 32 hours, man did that suck! Good thing I was in too much pain to notice otherwise I would have been quite cranky lol. Ate a couple bites and then slept on and off until around 9am when Amber came up to my floor. Poor baby Eastyn was in the hospital since Sunday with RSV but he is now home and doing much better! Amber took me for a walk around the halls, very important when you get this procedure done because they pump so much air in your belly during surgery that the only way to get that air moving and out is by walking and waking up those organs. Probably the most uncomfortable part about the recovery is having a belly full of air. Talk about bloating times 1000 which made walking pretty miserable! Dad showed up around 10:30am and then mom shortly after. I was approved to eat non hospital food so my dad went and picked me up some Wendy’s, only ate about half but it was fantastic! After being “evaluated” I was discharged around 3pm and got to come home.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing and walking as much as I could then showered and went to bed later that night. Slept a ton last night and today so that has definitely helped me feel more back to normal. Finally got my appetite back tonight so mom made some spaghetti and I made brownies earlier this afternoon which hit the spot! Other than muscle pain in my abdomen and back I am very thankful for such a minor surgery. That leads me to my next part, I am very thankful for many things! I first want to give the nurses, the doctors and my surgeon a big shout out and thank you! Everyone was so incredibly nice and took such great care of me, I am thankful that they help bring light and love to people each and every day with the stressful line of work they are in. Another big shout out to my mom and dad. From them being worried with little sleep since Monday night they were there for me through it all, I love you guys! Also my family and friends, so many people have been checking up on me and I just want you to know that means the world to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have definitely found many blessings in this little hiccup and I believe all things happen for a reason. Thankful this happened while I was still home instead of happening in Paris, thankful it happened 5 days before I left because that gives me enough time to rest and heal while only arriving 2 days later to Paris (and just in time for school to start), and most of all thankful it was such a minor surgery that I can even still go!

In a lot of ways this has been a huge eye opener. Who would have thought Monday when I was writing my last post that I would end up in the hospital the next day undergoing Emergency surgery!? Definitely not me! But this experience has taught me a lot and has helped me to be thankful for the things we forget to be thankful about each and every day; life, health and the ones who make those 2 things possible. One more big shout out, to my angels, spirits and the big man above. For the Faith I know and feel they have always had in me and the Faith I have always had in them πŸ™‚ Most situations are out of our control and with him by my side I never even worried! A good little reminder though

faith

God bless! Love to you all,
Kels

I have a DREAM

Today has been quite successful I might add! Wanted to write about everything so I did not happen to forget later on this week with everything going on. Went to lunch and saw family friends and then went to Dillon’s with a list FULL of necessities to get before Paris. Main reason behind that I hear it is much cheaper and if I have the room, why not! Some of the items included deodorant, bobby pins, notebook, pens and pencils, razors, shaving cream, Ibuprofen, sleep aid, and about 35 others… phew that is done. I can actually say I even packed it all in my medium size checked bag and I still have room! Also packed some of my books I wanted to take, I always prefer reading books instead of on iPad or Kindle, etc. As well as my prescription eye drops, contacts and much more.

A couple more errands to run for hair and face products while of course packing all the last minute everyday misc., but super glad that is all taken care of and so far so good πŸ™‚ Spent some time cleaning out my closet and filled 2 bags with clothes to give away. Organized a little and now my closet is ready for the new! Or maybe I shall just live with simplicity for a while, sounds lovely. I am super glad I have gotten so much out of the way before this last week. It really helps me to be able to stay centered, not stress out and just go with the flow all while enjoying the adventures. Plus it leaves room for last minute errands and hanging out with family all while staying… sane πŸ™‚ I mean do not get me wrong I have plans everyday this week but also enough time to just take care of me.

Tonight I have counseling for the last time. Chuck has grown to be like a father figure to me and we have spent almost 3 years together! So much in my life has changed the past 3 years and even before but Chuck has always been there to help guide me to the light. I chose to embark on this adventure for many reasons. Honestly this was the first dream/goal I have ever had. It feels good to find your worth and then the desire to spread that out in the world. The experience of new places, new people, new cultures and new ways of life can help to build an even stronger foundation. College started off rough for me and my GPA suffered the first 2 years but I have worked my butt off the past year and half to raise it enough to be able to make my dream come true, moving to Paris for a semester. A lot of people say I am lucky but truth be told, what is stopping you? There are a few people in my life I can say that always had faith in me and knew in many aspects, I was worth it and I could do anything that was true to my path. Now, I embark on this adventure to further strengthen my being and go beyond thy “self”.

Thank you for the light and love!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. I have a dream Day
What is your dream?

Kels

Long Time Coming

I know it has been a few days but did not have much to write about this week. Spent Monday night at my work Going Away party which was a blast! Probably about 20 of us at Mike’s Wine Dive enjoying the good food and even better drinks, for some of us that is πŸ˜‰ lol.

Not quite sure what I did which days, they all kind of run together now, but spent some more time mentally preparing, running errands and getting as much out of the way in time for this last week.. Sent my “French” Birth Certificate off to get approved (required document for a few of the things I need over in Paris) and just hoping to get that back in time! Other than that I made about 6-7 copies of all the required documents I need to take with me and give to my school, my housing and etc and then made a copy of each to leave with my mom. I like to be prepared here! Went shopping one day for some more “Parisian” outfits and had some good luck with all of the awesome deals going on right now! I am not much of a shopper but I guess it was my lucky day πŸ™‚ Friday was my last night of work, bittersweet! I will dearly miss my work family but thankful for Facebook because that will be my main source of contact while abroad. Saturday I went and got my hair done for PARIS and then went and saw “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” which I might add was pretty darn good! Watched the WSU game (THEY WON) after with my dad and Lori then came home and got ready for my going away party with my girls! We went to Bella Vita and I will say if you have never been there you have got to put that on the bucket list. The best Italian food I have had to this day hands down! It is such a nice, quiet and fun place for a date or a night out with friends and family!

Went to see my brother today and ended up spending a good 2 hours with him just chatting away! Crazy to think I will not see him for a few months but I guess one of the many “see you laters” to come smhhh. My mom got home from her weekend getaway and we spent the afternoon catching up, took a lovely walk in the beautiful Kansas weather we had today and now settling in for a nice, relaxing evening of probably doing… NOTHING πŸ™‚ I do tend to appreciate doing nothing these days because my brain has been a tad overwhelmed so it is nice to just chill. I did happen to actually book my trip to Dublin, Ireland for St. Paddy’s Day weekend! I am super excited because one of my good friends Amber is going to join me In Dublin and Paris over her Spring Break at Wichita Stat! She will fly into Paris to meet me and then we will turn around and fly into Dublin, after dropping some of her stuff off at my place. When we return I will show her around the City of Love/Light/Fashion and so on, I am soooooo excited!!

I do have plans most days and nights this week that is why I tried to do as much last week as I could. Last minute errands and making sure I have all of the necessities to take with me as well as last minute appointments. My last time with my counselor, my kinesiologist and my massage therapist… sigh. At about 1am next Monday (Kansas time) I will be in Paris, can someone pinch me!? Still feels so surreal and yes I am still anxious, nervous, excited, happy, sad and all of the above! There definitely is a lot of letting go and just having faith that whatever is meant to happen will. In some instances the letting go is of things, friends and even family. It is time for me to spread my wings and fly!

I have a dream… and they do come true, depending on how bad you want it!

Kels

The Final Countdown

Thought that was a proper Title considering last night we were at a Piano Bar in Vegas and they sung this song and some of this post has to do with Vegas so it just seemed.. fitting! The fact that my departure date is now down to less than 2 weeks is absolutely mind boggling! I cannot even begin to tell you the emotions one goes through during this process but I will do my best these next couple weeks to fill you in on the happy times and the not so happy (but soon to be happy) times as well.

Just got back from Las Vegas a couple of hours ago and man was I happy to see my mom and kitties! I might also add that one of the best things about coming home from vacation is a freaking shower lol. Not that I don’t shower while away but I love my loofah and all of my washes! Vegas was fun though, a nice little getaway before my rather large getaway. I met my dad there on Thursday and then his wife (Lori) and her daughter (Lizzy) met us that night. Spent some of Thursday at the CES show looking at car stuff, totally up my alley. Then my dad and I went and had a wonderful dinner at N9NE Steakhouse which might I add was marvelous! Even met chef Barry Dakake who is a celebrated chef to say the least. Here are a couple pictures of the meal. (Most people know I appreciate a good meal and pictures is apart of that memory as well)

Salad
My wonderful salad… mmm tasty πŸ™‚

Steak, potatoes and aspargus
My Filet and shared potatoes (mashed of course) and asparagus

photo 3 (1)
And Crème brûlée compliments to Barry!

Let me just say that restaurant was EMPICABLE! Barry has all kinds of pictures with the top celebrated stars and we had fun chatting about that while he showed me pictures. The atmosphere of N9NE topped most places I have ever been to (restaurant wise).

We wrapped up that night visiting the JL Audio booth located in the 2 story sky villa of the Palms hotel and that was bad a$%!! Here is a view from the balcony with the POOL.
Sky Villa
Should have brought my bathing suit!

Friday we got up and ventured towards The Fashion Mall. For anyone who has not been there and likes to shop, I would put that on your bucket list! I do not even enjoy shopping but I love that mall. I might add I was also on a mission to find a Michael Kors store and that was a success! I have never been one who spent more than $50 on a purse, EVER. But I have been a MK fan for awhile now and needing a purse for Paris was a must so why not!? I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. Hello fashionista πŸ˜‰
MK

We ate lunch at this wonderful Italian place inside The Venetian and this spaghetti was sooo tasty! Dreaming of the day I will actually be in Italy eating all sorts of Italian.
Spaghetti
I am a sucker for a good spaghetti with mushrooms. Plus it is my favorite dish to make πŸ™‚

Later that night we ended up going to Cirque Du Soleil: Love and even though I have been to Vegas over 10 times, this was actually the first time I have been to a show and it was fantastic! Love is the show based on the Beatles for those who may not know, I didn’t until we decided to go but it was magnificent. Such talent these performers have!

Saturday we headed down to the M&M and Coke Factory. These have been family favorites ever since I first started going. If you have not been to the M&M Factory that is attached to MGM Grand then you are missing out on M&M heaven.

M&M
A picture of the wall filled with all kinds of M&Ms ranging from every color of the rainbow to peanut, plain and even pretzel M&Ms!

We stopped in at the Coke Factory after and each enjoyed a glass bottle of Coke, been doing that since day 1. I thought about asking them if they had Pepsi though… πŸ˜‰ After walking through casino after casino and hotel after hotel we went back and got ready for dinner at the Eiffel Tower! Of course I have pictures of that too.
photo 1
Our view during dinner πŸ™‚

photo 2
Ventured out and got the sea bass which was superb!

photo 3
And of course the Eiffel Tower’s sample of chocolate

photo 4
Along with the Apple strudel

We also found out that this replica of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas is only half of the size of the original in Paris. In 2 short weeks I will be visiting the original! Eeeeeek.

Spent lunch today with Lori’s High School friend along with her friends’ family and that was fun! Then made my way home and have surprisingly unpacked everything, phew. I guess it does not count that most of my stuff was dirty so I get to do all that laundry tomorrow smhhh. As for tomorrow I have another day of appointments and errands topped with my Going Away work party at Mike’s Wine Dive with my faves πŸ™‚

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Thank you again for almost 200 views in only a little over a week. God bless πŸ™‚

Kels