The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Have I mentioned how tired I am of clinicals? Really, enough is enough. I have two more (one more Labor & Delivery and Psych) and then I'm free (I hope) to begin the torment and torture of the 500 hour field intership, aka. 500 hours of hell in the back of an ambulance. I want that mad ability that Harry Potter's BFF, Hermoine has to make herself be in several places at once. Just think how quickly I could be done!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Moving next door...

John and I have created a new family blog together. I'll be keeping my solo blog as well but we'll be posting couple things on our new blog, Sport & The Third. If anyone knows how I can edit the header so the words are off to the side I'd be most grateful!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


So, some of the delay is my tendency to think that a post needs to be a perfect masterpiece and some of it is that John and I are trying to come up with a name for a new joint blog. Also lots of shifts at work, hospital clinicals, and school days.... I know, you don't really care. We'll get it sorted out soon, hopefully once John returns from the Seattle/Columbia river area where he's with his brother Aaron seeing what he reports as the best Dave Matthews concert he's ever been to. In the meantime, does anyone have suggestions for a new blog title for us???

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Red-eyes for sure!

We're home...very well relaxed, rested, suntanned, and way out of shape from eating famously and lying by the beach. That being said we are also super exhausted after long red-eye flights home with less that pleasant fellow plane passengers. We had a good five hour nap after getting home, just finished unpacking, are drowning in laundry and getting ready to go back on shift early in the morning. Both John and I have had the obligatory panic dreams that include missing gear, remodeled fire stations and other disconcerting factors that make us both wonder if we'll remember how to do our jobs!

Big thanks to Melanie and Portia for picking us up at the airport and leaving our fridge full of some basic food necessities so that we could have something to eat without having to hit the grocery store!

Anyhow, we had the best time ever and look forward to updating everyone with pictures and stories soon!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Scattered...that is how this post will most likely be. Apologies in advance, I'm tired!

Well, here we are, less than two days away from vacation and entropy rules indeed. John is working his last 48-hr shift before our wedding vacation and I have been running errands today on my day off between shift days. This whole packing a few days before a flight is for the birds! I can't be responsible for anything missing on our trip with this kind of schedule. :-)

Anyhow, I'm back at work tomorrow and then we leave Monday morning to travel to California for a little celebration with the Gulledge gang for a few days prior to flying to Maui on Thursday. I think I can speak for John as well when I say that we both desperately need a little mental check-out for a few days. As much as we are looking forward to a vacation we are both really looking forward to the wedding and in sharing the rest of our lives together more than anything. I am so lucky to be marrying such a kind, caring, loving, respectful, generous, funny man. Thanks to all of you that had a part in making him who he is and in bringing us together!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wedding plans in brief...

I know that I've been extremely lax in my postings for the last month or so. Because I am the luckiest woman in the world I have been able to coerce John, the sweetest, most amazing, wonderful man on the planet, to give you all a brief little update as to our wedding plans while I continue to study for my finals tomorrow. We promise we'll post to catch you all up on the events of the last month or so as soon as finals are finished and the studies cease for a few weeks!

John here: Let's try this again, the computer crashed when Trish was "proof reading" the last version of this blog! The last month has kinda been like that. Trish has been incredibly busy with paramedic school, shift work at the fire station, part time work as medical staff at polo matches and practices, hospital clinicals, and with all her spare time...planning a wedding. I have been working a fair amount of over time at the fire station as well...must pay off blood diamond. Consequently we have only been able to spend about one full day off together every ten days or so. It's all good because soon we will be on a beach in Maui. So I remember reading one of Robert's blogs about Angel asking him to blog for the family and I laughed. Well here I am. Trish asked me last night, or sorta just said, "I have a task for you..." So I am tasked with bringing everyone up to speed on the next few weeks.

Here's the schedule: On August 4th we fly to Orange County, CA to meet my family where we feel lucky to have Cheryl, Erin, and Susan join us in an assortment of family get-togethers. So far the plan is to spend the 4th at my Dad's, the 5th at my brother Karl's house in Laguna for a beach party, and the 6th (while everyone goes to Disneyland to enjoy the 97 degree heat, long lines, Micky Mouse and sticky melty treats) Trish and I will spend running around Laguna and Newport where I grew up. We then will fly to Kahalui, Maui on the 7th where I get to watch the stress of all the above melt away from my beautiful bride's face as we step off the plane and are hit with the strong smell of plumarias that Maui is known for. If you have ever been to Maui, then you know what I mean, the whole island smells like a flower shop (just without the air conditioning). It's like they pipe the smell underground throughout the whole island just to keep honeymooners and golfers coming back year after year.

Anyway, back to the schedule. Once we hit island we meet with our wedding coordinator Julie, then on the 8th we gather up our wedding documents (probably at some post office/tourist info/fruit stand) to get our marriage license, and then on the 9th we are wed. At some point prior to that we need to meet with our casual island clergy, the mellow Reverend Joe Miles. I imagine this guy is one part long-board surfer, one part poet, one part mail order certificate wedding guy, and one part Barry White, but honestly after talking to him...he's perfect. He wants to meet with us to get to know us a little and he's mellow, which suits the idea of getting married on an island in the first place. From the 9th until we depart paradise on a red-eye flight on the 13th, we will snorkel and hike a little, lay poolside, and dine well, but that's generally it. We haven't over planned this trip on purpose. One reason is we are both pretty busy right now, and the other reason is that the resort is world class. This place is over the top elegant. So we really plan to mainly just hang out at the resort and enjoy the luxury that my gracious brother Aaron has gifted us for the small price of 720,000 of his hard earned business traveled Hilton points. He's a saint.

The day of the wedding is going to be especially fun. Trish is going to spend most of the morning getting her hair done and relaxing at the spa where they will make her even more beautiful. Then we will meet later that afternoon for a sunset wedding in front of a waterfall. Probably not the waterfall in the picture below or else we would need to be in bathing suits. We also will have a photographer with us for the whole "event" taking pictures at the waterfall and at the gazebo afterwards for cake and champagne. I say "event" like its a heavy weight boxing match, and with how big and elegant as the resort is maybe I should come down the stairs to meet Trish prior to the wedding with Rocky music playing in the background and wearing gold silk boxing trunks. What happened to mellow island wedding idea on the beach ? Not so much. In all seriousness its going to beautiful, and you will all be in our hearts and we will bring back many stories and pictures for you all to see. So in the meantime we stress, we plan, we stress some more, and she studies away.

Below are a few pictures of the resort. Maybe we'll even get a little crazy and update while we're there! Not likely, but who knows~

The Grand Wailea Resort.

The Wedding Chapel & Gazebo.

One of the resort pools. I think the waterfall is the water elevator!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I've got BIG News!!!

It's been a while since my last post but hopefully it's now worth the wait! Not much really had been going on in Trishie's world till this Tuesday...

John and I had a rare day off together and had planned to go for a hike. We decided to throw a picnic into the hiking plan as one has got to eat at regular intervals and anyone who knows me understands that I'm a much nicer person when I'm not hungry. So after I got off work Tuesday morning we packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the day pack and headed off to a hike up Boulder canyon. The day was perfect...nice warm temps with a cool breeze, clear blue skies with puffy white clouds and wildflowers popping up all over! We hiked and then camped out with a nice picnic.

At some point while I was napping in the sun on the blanket John mentioned that he'd brought dessert too.
I'm rarely one to pass up most types of dessert so I woke up a bit. The next thing I know, he's leaning towards me with a gorgeous diamond ring between his fingers asking me if I'd marry him. I was not expecting this question in combination with a ring and apparently just stared at him for a while. Once I realized what was happening replied, "Of course!" followed by "Yes, yes, yes!" and there you have it, that's that!

We had a wonderfully perfect day of a hike, a wonderful picnic together, a great cherry-pit-spitting contest, and with it all including three little deer that came and hung out under the trees near us throughout our picnic (I know, go ahead and vomit a little...)

Here's the kicker of it all. I sent a spam picture message to all of my family of the ring and then my phone battery died. So much for texting back and forth and sharing the good news. Anyhow, after we got home I plugged my phone in to charge and was able to reply to some animated messages from family. John's family is really happy and excited for us as well!

We had such an amazing day and are both so excited about meeting the rest of each other's family and starting our life together. We'll be in Utah to visit my family June 12-15 and then in Newport to visit John's family August 4-7. At this point we are planning to have a simple ceremony with just the two of us in Hawaii followed by a honeymoon in August as well during my break between paramedic school sessions. We'll keep you all posted on our plans as we know them!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Last night I finally got to experience the summer job of nearly all my siblings as I "scooped" at B&R, aka. Baskin Robbins. It was 31 cent scoop night to benefit the National Fallen Firefighter's Foundation and several of us from the fire department volunteered our hours to scoop. The lines were impressive, in and out of the store and all the way to the end of the shopping complex. People go nuts when something is up for a cheap price! Some people were coming in with extended family and going home with ten scoops each. Obscene really... I was happy to see that Rainbow Sherbet, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Butter Pecan are still favorites. Although I was a fan of Pop-Rocks candy as a child, the mere sight of green and purple ice cream with multicolored nuggets was a bit nauseating. As was the pink and purple Cotton Candy flav. Wrong. Anyhow, it was surprisingly fun. I'm sure I served up hundreds of scoops and ended up with blisters threatening my scooping hand (no thanks to Cookie Dough and Mint Chocolate-Chip, who knew ice cream could be so hard??) I'll be curious to hear how many scoops were sold and how much was raised for those who've lost a family member in the line of duty. The most impressive feat of the night was that I left without so much as a taste of the deliciousness we call B&R crossing my lips!

There were about ten people scooping and one register...not the most efficient system.

Early in the evening before the fancy cones ran out. People are gluttonous!

Love the fancy apron and uniform combo!?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fire Academy Graduation!!

Friday, April 4th was the graduation ceremony for the first Career Fire Academy at Louisville Fire Dept. We had finished our eight week academy and the powers that be deemed us ready to go on-line. We spent the morning cleaning the bays, apparatus and station and readying things for the ceremony that night. Mom and Jared drove over on the 3rd from Utah to be there for me and we had a great visit for the weekend.

The graduation was really nice and included words of praise and expectation from the Chief, Division Chief, Asst Chief, Board President, and our trusty Captain and academy instructor, Capt Josh Schmidt. We were sworn in as Probationary Firefighters (weird), presented our helmets, shields and badges, congratulated by all, and shared a slideshow of our antics through academy with everyone there. One of the coolest moments was having my mom pin my badge on my uniform. Thanks mom, I love you so much! The night was finished off nicely with the traditional "burning of the red shirts" in a fuel filled burn pan. As strange as it had been to be issued red shirts that we were expected to wear through the previous eight weeks, they never really bothered me. In my eyes it was just another uniform to try to fit into my closet along side my FD uniforms, Pridemark uniforms, paramedic school uniforms, polo uniforms, and CU uniforms. They all really need their own closet...maybe a shed. Anyhow, regardless of my lack of hate for the "red-shirt" there was a somewhat satisfying feeling when I held it over the flames and dropped it in to burn completely. And it was fire, so we loved that! Louisville doesn't burn so we all got a little excited about seeing a little flame!

I am so fortunate to have such amazing family and friends supporting me and cheering me on through everything. Mama Cheryl and Jared drove out from Utah, Melanie and Portia sacrificed their evening, and John was there for me as well. It was really neat to be standing there with my fellow career firefighters in front of everyone looking out and seeing so many faces of people who love me, care for me, and whom I know I can count on inside a burning building and out. Thanks to all of you who were there in person or in spirit. I love you all and wouldn't be where I am today without each and every one of you!!

Due to the lack of timeliness by the UPS, my family's graduation gift had not arrived. I was shown the online photo of said item and was super excited for its arrival soon. When it arrived a week or so later I was beyond words. My incredible family had given me a custom hand painted Paul Conway Stars & Stripes leather helmet. Wow! I can't express in words just how awesome it really. It's a real firefighters helmet and the leather, tradition and heritage of it is really cool. I took it to work to show it off and one of my fire-medics James begged to get to sleep with it. Capt Schmidt tells me of a guy in CA that makes custom hand-painted shields. I'll have to work on that to top off this incredible gift. Thank you Mom, Suz, Erin, Rob, Meggie, Jar and families. You are all so fantastic and I feel so blessed each day to be part of the best family in the world.

Mom was able to stay for the weekend and then needed to get back for work, mostly I know she was anxious to return to Charlie's bedside and love him the way only a grandma can. Jar stayed for the week and was thrilled to catch up on sleep, just hang out, and ski with John at A-basin one day. They pronounced it a perfect ski day with tons of fresh powder and moguls that were chest high. (Sounds terrible to me, glad I was at school!) Tuesday night at the Fire Dept business meeting, awards were presented for merit and lifesaving, etc. I was honored to have Jared, John, Melanie and Portia there again for me when I received three awards; two distinguished service awards for outstanding support and leadership in the EMT program and outstanding training and leadership in the recruit program, and a lifesaving award for outstanding performance on a cardiac arrest call. It was neat to be recognized along with many of my other coworkers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I've been lazy, I'll admit it. At least in regards to updating this blog...

After my finals this Wednesday I'll have three weeks off school to catch up on all sorts of things, the first being to share with you all the happenings of late! Thanks Mom and Jared for coming out for my fire academy graduation, it was really special having you here.

More coming later this week...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Come on baby, light my fire!

Yesterday at work we had the fortunate opportunity to go out to the Suncor oil refinery and do some live fuel fire training. The Suncor Fire Department and Emergency Response Team members were all incredible; helpful, friendly, supportive, and so knowledgeable. They even offered to take pictures for us so we could just get out there and have fun. We had a complete blast!

The day began with some classroom time and then after lunch we did several hours of live fire evolutions. I was absolutely freezing all morning in the classroom so was really happy to get all my bunker gear on and out into some good heat. We started the afternoon practicing appropriate hose patterns, then single valve fuel fires, moved up to four and five valve fires, and ended the day applying foam to tanker fires. We all rotated through the positions; leader, nozzle-man, mule, and kinker (The fire service definitely does have some of the most interesting names and terminology!), and learned how important it is for all of the players/positions to communicate well. It was great practice for dealing with fuel tank vapor and fires and super fun to get to train with such great firefighters as well as a lot of live fire. The weather was perfect, the burn evolutions were great, no one got hurt, and we all learned so much.

Today we heard that our Suncor FD instructors were very impressed with how well we worked together, caught on, and learned quickly. They were pleasantly surprised that as a group of people with varying degrees of experience and limited time working together we did really great and were able to do a lot of more advanced evolutions. I felt honored to have gotten a personal "well-done" from one of our lead instructors, Manny. Thanks!

Everyone getting all geared up and ready to begin!

How much fun is it to have rainbow colored hoses? Love it!!!

Advancing in to keep the fire to the rear and away from the leader.

I'm at the nozzle on the far left team with the yellow chevron's on my helmet. We're controlling the fire from the top so it doesn't fall down onto the leader while shutting off valves.

This was the fire evolution where I was the leader with four valves to shut off. Bring it on, baby!

Carefully and deliberately moving in to shut off the first of four fuel valves. I'm in between hose teams one and two to the left of the photo with my arms outstretched shouting "Step!" "Step!" "Step!" "Step!"

Moving in with hose teams two and three to shut off the last two fuel valves. Imagine my surprise when a huge ball of flame flashed up into my face from underneath the hose streams from the tower straight in front of me while shutting off the lower valve!

The fire coming up around our feet was pretty crazy, I suppose that's a risk when you're wading in diesel/gasoline floating on water. It also gets really slippery and hard to stay upright.

What a sight... Sweet, sweet fire!!!!!!!

What am I doing?? I have no idea...

Power cone hoseline protection so the leader can shut off the valves.

Fuel tanker fire. Gorgeous, isn't it?!

The entire Louisville crew at the end of the day pleased with how well everything went. Such fun!!

I really love this firefighting stuff and feel so fortunate that all of my hard work over the last five years has paid off and I get to do this for a living each and every day. It truly is one of the best and most rewarding careers out there!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No thanks

So, each time I have a clinical at the hospital I appreciate all that nurses and techs deal with and appreciate even more so that I am not, nor ever will be, one. Today I got to help with several Foley catheter placements (eek), place an NG tube with gastric lavage (gag), coach...see threaten...a lady to drink her activated charcoal twice after an OD on kitchen de-greaser, enjoy her vomiting it...again twice, and relieving herself in the bed...can you guess?..yep, twice. Needless to say, she and I became buddies as only those who have cleaned up another's feces can be (just wrong). She even told me she loves me... ha ha!

I am grateful for the millions of thankless tasks and services that nurses provide under so much workload, but there is no question in my mind that it's not for me...ever.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fire, pharm, fun, and floor cleaners....

My life these days is all about fire training, work projects, physical training, paramedic school, pharmacology, and study time. Perhaps not super interesting to some, but really, I'm loving it. I will admit that we are all looking forward to the completion of our Fire Academy the end of next week and will be celebrating at our graduation ceremony on April 4th. I'm also amazed that this first phase of paramedic school is done in less than a month. My how time flies when you're living your dreams!

Going on air before entering the structure. We've got some fire to find & fight!

Squad 2 at the burn training center.

In the new ambo on the way to a visit/tour of Children's Hospital.

Studying during lunch at paramedic school.

Precisely why paramedics shouldn't do CPR.

Lunch break while training at an acquired structure.

Me with James, one of the paramedics I'll be working shift with.

My elbows rubbed right off doing "floor-cleaners" across the bay floor during PT one morning. Today several of us are still dealing with red, raw and painful elbows a week later!
(not loving that genetic double chin however...)