Pool Days and Study Daze

Top a’ the mornin’ to ya! Holy smokes… over two weeks have passed since an update post. I have a feeling this may be the single most random update post I do too. Plus I have some semi-monumental, semi-ambiguous updates for ya’ll regarding our future!

So, I’m sitting here this Saturday morning nomming down on some yogurt toast, drinking coffee, and have some old NYC Housewives playing in the background. I feel guilty though because I should totally be studying.

Yep! You heard that right- I am currently cramming for the GRE because I am hoping to go back to grad school next year to continue on in pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse practitioner. (I’ll talk more about this decision in another post sometime!). I have spent every little ounce of my free time (besides the moments I share here today), studying parabolas and words like “promulgate”. After the last 48 hours of the intensive neuro-close observation room, I am treating myself to a solid morning of blogging and horrible, no good, melt my brain television.

Rewinding (zrrrrr) back to Saturday, September 23rd. I went to a girls’ pool day with some of my great friends from Church. We snacked and chatted and fully relaxed. It was wonderful.


In the evening, DJ and I headed to Eureka for a date night!!! WOOHOOO!!!


I had their protein chopped salad with romaine//kale//quinoa medley//roasted beets//red onion//carrot//bean trio//feta//sunflower seeds//and red wine vinaigrette.


DJ had their Bison Burger with bacon-infused jalapeno jam//charbroiled tri-color peppers//grilled onion//and smoked mozzarella.


We left dinner with more than satisfied tums and walked around Main Street. I love their flowers and trees elegantly lit with lights year round.


Sunday, September 24th after church I had an unexpected encounter and experience that would dance in my mind for the days to come. Then I came back after a long run and studied, studied, studied while DJ watched football. I love LOVE studying on the couch while football plays in the background and fall candles are lit. It reminds me of our first year of marriage back in our Indiana Toho, bring on the nostalgic feels!

Monday/Tuesday 25th-26th we both worked. Those were two of the hardest shifts I have ever had. I won’t get into it, but it resulted in my hiding behind a pyxis machine hyperventilating and covering the floor in tears. (We can’t leave the NCOR room, so I literally was trying to hide from my patients so they couldn’t see me cry). But then I had a few great shifts later in the week that made up from them. Rollaaa costa! (Ohio Players reference, anyone?!)

On another note, my hair has lost it’s umph lately. I think the stress of this year is taking quite a toll on me physically, especially lately. Naturally, I have to add to the stress by trying to apply to grad schools and study for a massive entrance exam while working on my neurosurg. research project. (eye roll). Lol. I feel like I’m epically failing at life right now- the other day I realized we were out of toilet paper, and I started crying (there’s a tear trend here) because when you hit the level where you can’t even keep on top of the TP stock at home are you doing anything right?!

Anyway- I needed some serious hair help. One of my coworkers recommended a place called Limon Salon in San Jose. I have had a hard time finding a great hair place here, but I think I finally have a winner!


On Wednesday September 27th, I decided to go for more of an ash blonde for the fall with a balayage to the roots. This way I can go longer without having to get the highlights redone and nurse my hair back to health! (Maybe not “nurse” it back isn’t the correct word.. since I’m pretty sure nursing is what sucked the life out of it… harharhar). I sat in the chair and studied vocab while getting this bird’s nest taken care of, and was super happy with the results!

img_2049img_1890-7In the evenings lately, the weather has been the perfect temperature outside for a late night run. After work, I need to run to cope with the day. Having DJ tag along has been wonderful because it allows us to catch up and still get that stress out.

With the change of seasons comes the change in cravings! For breakfast most of last week and this week I have been alternating between sweet potatoes, avocado, spinach and an egg or my toast and yogurt combo. I actually don’t like the yolk of eggs very much at all, but for some reason I have been craving them lately. Anyone know why this is? (I think it might be the sulfites or something- I know I have some nutritionists out there!) So strange.


I vegan meal prepped on Thursday September 28th for the week with roasted veggies (eggplant, carrots, onion, mushrooms, and peppers in garlic olive oil), roasted butternut squash, cauliflower vegan mashed potatoes, and quinoa. For lunch or dinner I mix up a combo of all the fixings with either salad, a bean burger, or meatless crumbles, hummus, and pita bread. I can’t wait to re-prep all this for the next week to come. It’s all such yummy autumn comfort food, but super(food) healthy.


September 29th– Study study study.

September 30th- October 1st– Work.

werk werk werk.gif

October 2-4th: Study, Study, Study BUT………

October 4th, I had an amazing friend come in town! You may remember Dani from when her, Tammy, and I went to LA all together! You can check out those posts here and here.

She moved to Arizona as a traveling occupational therapist, but made a pit stop back here for a couple days! Gosh, I missed her something horrible. I took an Uber to Campbell to the local Aqui to meet them. It was SO crazy because the guy picked me up in a BLUE TACOMA! Blue Tacoma was one of the songs Russel Dickerson premiered on the very first time the three of us hung out. SERENDIPITOUS. We could not let this moment pass without a picture.



We headed into the epic Aqui (once again, how did I just find out about this place?!) and ordered drinks and apps. Dani tried their Tito’s Strawberry swirl, I tried the carlitos cadillac margarita, and Tammy also tried a mini margarita. Their drinks are fabulous. It’s what they’re known for, and they never disappoint!


We also all split the appetizer platter with avocado Dip, Hummus and Black Bean Dip with chips. #Addictive.



After, we headed over to Flights, a new restaurant in Campbell! DJ and I actually went here a few months ago when it was a different place, called the Socialite!


How it works: EVERYTHING is a flight on the menu from the drinks to the food. And every single item looked too darn delicious too.


We finally settled on their mac and cheese flight after drooling over the whole menu. It was SUCH fun and I can’t wait to go back to try more of their items.


It’s such a genius idea for a restaurant.

Last night, DJ and I went out for his birthday!!! I will include a post separately to talk about where we went 🙂

I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your Autumn! I am back to hitting the books now. I apologize to all my friends and family for being super MIA this past few weeks and being the worst at returning texts and calls. I’m also so sorry (and in some serious withdrawal) since I haven’t been able to catch up on ya’lls blogs in a while too. I’d much rather be keeping in touch and seeing what everyone is up to rather than trying to figure out this high school geometry and memorizing the circumference of a circle. BUT it will be my reward to catch up when this is all over! LOVE YOU ALL.

xo <3


65 thoughts on “Pool Days and Study Daze

  1. I’m so happy about your life update! Don’t be so hard on yourself: all my roommates + me forget the toilet paper and we work 15 hours a week hahaha! (I’m making up for the 10 years I worked full time and went to school full time, then graduated and was a corporate slave for 60+ hours a week!!!) 😉 #gottaproveimnotlazy

    The GRE is a pain in the neck but you’ll be fine. I did it!

    I’m so proud of you for having matching (and attractive furniture). #adultingsohard

    1. Hi, Love! I have been thinking about you! Lisa Bevere came to our church this past weekend! I think you mentioned her before?! she spoke at our woman’s conference.. I couldn’t go of course with work, but I heard it was wonderful.

      Now, you just made me feel SO much better about everything. Thank you tons and tons <3 You're the best. But man, you make me feel lazy, lol— 60+ a week?! WHAT. I guess we all have to do our due diligence, but goodness that is just too much. I took the GRE today, I think I jumped the gun by only studying a couple weeks, but I was desperate to get it over with. Only one school required it out of about the four I'm applying to. Anywho- thank you for the furniture compliment! I think that's about the only thing I've got going for me right now. Lol. #ADULTINGISSOHARD. Hope you are doing so well! XO

      1. I’m so jealous! Love me some Lisa. You can find her on YouTube. I’m pretty sure she gives similar conferences everywhere. I studied the gre for a year and got the same albeit crappy score from day 1 to the last day. I wish i only wasted 2 weeks of my life studying lol! No you’re not lazy at all! I moved countries so i could work 20 hours a week hahaha!

      2. YES- she is so great! I’ll have to go listen to more of her podcasts. She is such a woman of faith. And I screen shotted this message and sent it to DJ and said “this makes me feel a lot better” haha. We are so similar– we have that right sided brain buzz for creativity and an adoration for language…. but math- no thank to the YOU! Honestly, this really did make me feel so much better. Thanks for sharing with me! And GIRL, you are living your BEST life!

      1. LOL! Yes — hard core!!! On top of working full time, trying to keep this house afloat, working on the research project, AND the studying I have been MIA in every aspect! And I’ve missed YOU! I can’t wait till the smoke settles (literally and figuratively) so that I can catch up on what you are up to!

      2. I’m so happy that the gre is done taking over your life so we can have you back! Hahaha! And your confirmation of Me living my best life was so wonderful to hear! 😄

      3. Hahahha! Yesss. Now I just have to get these pesky apps submitted, but that is way less crazy than studying that big ole’ Kaplan book! You are too kind. This made my day. And it’s SO true. I am living vicariously through your cultured experiences!!

      4. LOL!!!!! Whatever!!! Sometimes I feel like it’s anything BUT that. You are too kind to me. I hope your week has been So good, love!

  2. My sister’s also currently studying for the GRE 🙂 good luck with everything!

    And your hair looks GORGEOUS girl! Hope you’re having a great Sunday. xoxoxox

  3. I literally laughed at the wordplay with the word, “nurse”. That is right up my alley kind of humor. Right now, I’m in the throes of morning sickness and food aversions. I’m sure all that food was tasty, but I had to scroll fairly quickly through those pictures to keep my reflexes at bay. I can’t even stomach meat! (though, I can have eggs, and the egg pictures were okay and looked yummy). I’m glad you are finding *some* balance with work and studying!

    1. Hahahha- Yesssss, you get me 😉 Oh gosh! Those food aversions sound all kinds of not fun, but at the same time it also is a reminder that you ARE pregnant and that is always something to smile about and rejoice right now 🙂 But I hope that nasty nausea is better soon. can never go wrong with eggs for the time being though 😉 Thank you for stopping by, Katy. The encouragement means so much, life has been insane. <3 XO

    1. YAYY! I’m so glad you know it. Girl, just when I don’t think we can get more similar- big country fan too?! Thanks for the sweet encouragement, dear!

  4. Many many congrats and good wishes being sent your way! Grad school is so tough but so worth it. You will pass the exam with flying colors and then off to pursue your NP degree! Lovely food and visit with friends!

    1. Thank you, love!!!! I appreciate the kind words so much. It was a great time. I can’t wait until these applications are done so I can have a life again, lol. Have a great rest of your week. your comments made my day 🙂

      1. Yes – exactly! It’s the best feeling when it’s just out of your hands and you have to let the chips fall where they may! I hope you are having a beautiful rest of your week too, girlfriend! XO

  5. I literally type in your URL like once a day at work to see if you posted and here we are!!! I give you all the kudos in the world for studying and taking on the GRE’s. If you can get through nursing I feel like you can do anything!!! Do you have an idea of what schools you want to apply for?! I’ll pray for you girl, I wish you all the luck with that.
    Hair appointments always give me life lol I 100000% feel your struggle about finding a good hair salon. Took me a few tries before finding a good fit. Your hair is looking fabbbb! It’s 100% that pretty ashy pinterest worthy blonde! Doing a balayage is definitely the way to go too, way less maintenance.
    I wanna give you hugs and high fives for just continuing on with your job. Just reading medical jargon makes me want to breakdown and cry. Not just anyone can do what you do and that’s what makes nursing so admirable. You are one tough cookie Mack <3 <3 Plus there's nothing that friends, DJ, and good food can't cure! Which btw, Flights is for sure a place I want to eat at. I was looking at the menu trying to decide what I would get…. uh calamari, shrimp, ahi tuna…. CHEESE?!?! Like how do people even pick one thing??? haha

    Alright, love ya girl, have a super week!!!!!

    xo, JJ

    1. WAHHH!!!! Your comments make my world. And yes yes yes!! I will message you which ones- three for sure, but still open to applying to others! Thank you TONS for the prayers. I could seriously use them right now, lol. Life is ROUGH. Thank ya, thank ya for the hair compliments. Coming from the hair queen that makes me think I’m doing something right with this nest! Bahah. Ugh, you are the sweetest in the world. Thank you for your sweet encouragement.. today was pretty tough so this was super timely to read (I’m just not responding in a very timely matter, haha). Andddd 100%- heck yessssss food is always a great cure 😉 I’m telling ya… Flights was fantastic. Next time, next time… we will have to create our next list. Oooooh and I am FLIPPING OUT about you and Kate meeting. Like *tears*….. that’s the best thing ever. It made my heart so happy. Love you to pieces! XO

  6. Oh my goodness, you’re such a hard worker!!! I think it’s fantastic you want to go back to grad school to keep pursuing your calling (yes, I read your last post too). I know for a fact nursing isn’t easy but you’ve come such a long way and I’m so glad that you would like to keep going! I wish you the absolute bestest luck and I cannot wait to see what other updates you got 🙂
    Also, how cool that you got to have a girls day?! 😀 That sounds like a lot of fun 🙂
    One more thing… Food Flights looks delicious!! I love mac n cheese!! When I visit SF (eventually in what seems to be the very far far future) you should take me there or at least show me where it is hahaha
    Have a great week love! xx

    1. Hey girlfriend! This is a treat for me to read your comments <3 Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your encouragement. I need it so much right now.. I feel so worn down.. But yes, the girl's day was the best! It brings a smile to my face thinking about it. And girllll yesssss—- when you visit we WILL go to Flights and I can definitely give you the grand tour of SF/SJ. AHHH! I hope you can make it soon <3 I hope you are doing so well- I hate how behind I am on reading your blog. I feel like I am a prisoner of time right now, ugh! Sending you big hugs! PS. do you have an instagram? XO

      1. Awh that means a lot! 😀 <3
        And think of this way, all that hard work pays off when you get to enjoy days like this whether you're out having a girls day, or a date night with DJ! ;D
        I hope it's soon too! Alex and I have already decided that it's going be near impossible to buy our own home because we lack the savings and the income, so we're going to take advantage and travel! 😀 SF is at the top of my list, I plan on seeing as much as I can of the West Coast! hehe 🙂
        And no worries, it's totally okay!! I understand busy schedules! I'm behind on reading many blog posts LOL.
        And yes I do, I have my IG one and my personal one LOL. I can't believe I never followed you and we've been talking for months I believe 😀

      2. YES! The hard days make the quiet days all that more enjoyable! AHHH that makes me so stinking excited that you guys are thinking about visiting here! WOOOHOOO!!!!! Thanks for being so understanding, dear. It will be the biggest TREAT to catch up when life settles down a bit. I can’t believe we haven’t followed one another either?!?? That must change!

      3. To be clear, me, lol. Don’t give Alex credit hahaha. The only places he wants to go to are Japan and Hawaii (he has good taste). Doesn’t seem like he wants to travel anywhere else though but I’m going to have to drag him along 😀
        I saw you were following me, I made sure to follow back 🙂

      4. He thinks it’s cliche to visit touristy spots but I told him we practically would be tourists since we’ve never been there lol.

  7. Mackenzie! You rock. Seriously. I think you will do wonderful on the GRE and make an amazing NP!!

    Reading this post made me want eggs, haha. Also, I love your new hair. It looks beautiful!!

    1. Hi, Allie! Girl, you are so sweet! Thank you tons and tons for your encouragement. It was a hard day today and your words put a big smile on my face. Hope you are having such a good week! XO <3

  8. So good to hear from you; did wonder if you were okay given the little silence. Figured you must be hard at work; and now I know you were studying like crazy as well! And now, I know the meaning of promulgate! (I looked it up! new word for the week).

    Thank you for taking the time to do this update, for all the yummy food pictures, and for encouraging us with your perseverance and authenticity!

    Hugs! Ju-Lyn

    1. AWWW! You are too sweet- I have missed blogging terribly and reading YOUR blog too. I can’t wait for these applications to be done so I can just get back to it 🙂

      And thank YOU always for leaving such genuinely kind and loving comments. I get so excited when I see one from you. Have a beautiful, beautiful day! ❤️

  9. Hey!! You are doing great and all of this and every tear will be worth it! I think it’s awesome that you are going to go back to school! goid luck, even though I know you don’t need it! 🙂 I love your hair!!

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, love ❤️❤️❤️ this means the world and I really needed this note of encouragement more than you know. I think about you often and hope that you are doing ok.. I send big hugs and can’t wait until these darn applications are done so I can jump over to see what you are up to! 🤗

  10. I love Mack update posts and the random the better! 🙂 And oh my gosh huge congrats beauty! And you are totally going to ace those exams! Also you deserve a day (or month!) of treating Mack Days!
    Oh my Lanta your food pics!
    Also girl you are the cutest! I am obsessed with that outfit!
    Awe huge hugs girl! I am so sorry you had such difficult shifts, but you are a rock star! You are! I know everything seems overwhelming, but sweets look at all that you are undertaking? SUPER WOMAN STATUS!
    Oh my gosh your hair looks gorgeous! Seriously #hairgoals!
    Umm can you come food prep for me? I am drooling all over my computer right now!
    And I love when friends come to town! Yay! And I love that memory! Definitely serendipitous
    Those drinks look amazing!
    And that restaurant sounds incredible! What a cool concept!
    Awe happy Birthday DJ!
    Huge hugs. Girl super woman. You are Super Woman! Seriously do not beat yourself up. If I was in your position I would have already sunk, heck I would be drowning! I do not know how you do it but I am in awe. We will all be here when you come through this (and ready to throw on our party hats and celebrate with you!) Love you mucho beauty! <3

    1. LOL!!! YESS, I am so glad you like the randomness, it’s basically a representation of my brain or the equivalent of “squirrel” from UP. You have NOO idea how much your encouragement means to me because most days I feel anything BUT superwoman. I embarrassed myself BIG time in front of a doctor that I really respect and I am turning red every time I replay the conversation in my head- UGHHHHHHH. Hahaa, so thank. You. I needed to read this right now. THANK YOU!! My hair has been bad news bears, especially recently. This might be TMI, but it has been falling out in clumps, and I don’t know what to do. It’s the stress, but goodness… I’m 23 and can’t keep the nest intact. But I felt good at least getting a deep conditioner and getting it somewhat healthy… and at least now I can slowly get it healthier without highlighting it all the time. GIRL- I will cook for ya ANYDAY. Seriously… I know your Aunt lives in SF, but if you ever needed somewhere to stay you can totally crash here anytime and I’ll whip ya up all the foooodz. I’ll send the sweet words to Deej, he’ll appreciate um! Thank you for living this with me! Sending you so sooo much lovee!

      1. Oh my gosh I love you! And ALL your randomness it rocks!
        Awe huge hugs. You ARE superwoman! You really are sweets! It is hard with everything you re going through to feel that way but you are amazing! Awe Huge HUGS! Girl you re not the first to embarrass yourself (We have ALL been there!) and also to that doctor you respect? He has been in your shoes and I am sure he had his own fair share of embarrassing moments (and if he didn’t who the heck is this person? Leonardo DiCaprio? 😉 Huge hugs here for you always! And seriously I just need to see you in person so i can give you the biggest hug ever!
        Nothing is ever EVER TMI! And awe hunn. I definitely recommend biotin and maybe a vitamin supplement? It might help. And hun if it is any consolation you can not tell from your pictures. It looks AMAZING!
        Oh my gosh I will be over as soon as I can catch a flight! ;p Oh my gosh you are the sweetest and I seriously might have teared up at that offer! (okay I did tear up at that offer) Thanks love! Awe seriously anytime sweets! You are the absolute sweetest and best an I admire you so flipping much! you got this! Sending YOU so much love!!! <3

      2. AWWWW!! You just made me feel so much better.. you’re right. I think sometimes I don’t see the MDs or other nurses making mistakes.. so it’s easy to feel like I’m the only one. Perspective isn’t always reality. THANK YOU for the suggestion .. I actually was just thinking I should grab some biotin ASAP! Thank you for making me feel better about it though <3 And girlfriend, that offer ALWAYS stands. Muah!!! XO x32985076 (yuup, that much!)

      3. Awe I am so glad beauty! Huge hugs. My Mom was a nurse (neonatal) and she use to tell me how everyone use to treat the doctors like God, even though they were human not only made mistakes like everyone else, but also had feelings and emotions.
        Exactly! I LOVE that! “Perspective isn’t always reality” It is sooooo true. Huge hugs. Anytime sweets! Also coconut oil. (but make sure you have a full evening to let it soak and then wash it out, that stuff is messy!) Awe anytime sweets! Huge hugs. Awe so so so so much love! Bwahahahahaha Oh my gosh I love you! And FYI way more then Peet’s coffee!
        Sidenote I tell my nephews that all the time. Carter is like Auntie Kate I love you more then a Java Chip Frappucino 😀 I hope you have the absolute BEST day sweets! <3

      4. Oh my gosh, that’s right!!! I forgot you told me she was a nurse. It’s so true though. I think sometimes in perception it can feel like I am the only one doing anything wrong or screwing up in some way, but in reality no one is actually wearing their mistakes on their sleeves like that. Especially in health care.. everyone has their moments. So thank you tons for that reminder. Oh my gosh, I need to try the coconut oil! I’ve heard it works magic. I’m going to try it tonight. Ahhhh that is the CUTEST thing…. I love that.. You are seriously the best auntie ever. (also random side note— a java chip was the first ever starbucks drink DJ ever tried on one of our first dates haha). AND I LOVE YOU more even more than a Ghirardelli square sundae (GASPP!). XOXOO

      5. Pretty much my whole family has a medical science background….And then there is me! ;p LOL.
        Huge hugs anytime sweets. I think in general we all have those moments at a job even day to day, where we feel like we have majorly screwed up and are letting people down, but we ALL go through it. Though I definitely get when your in a high stressed job like medicine, it is even more compounded. But YOU have got this. And you are doing an amazing job!<3 It does it is the holy grail! I hope it works!
        Hehe thanks! Overtime they say it I grin from ear to ear! Awe thank you. I try I need those auntie accolades! ;p lol. Oh my gosh I love that! DJ would win my nephew over with that alone!
        Oh my gosh I love you! Seriously that just made my day! (and I now crave one something fierce and Some Mack time!) Ghirardelli and Peets! That is love right there! :p <3 <3 <3

      6. GIRL! I love it. I’m the opposite.. basically the only one in my family in medicine. Hahaha. It’s sooo true.. we all do. It’s good to remember that we’re not alone in that for sure. Thank you again for saying that I’m doing a great job so often.. I am starting to believe it <3 <3 <3 If kate thinks it then it must be true.. right?! 😉

  11. Mackenzie!! I love your blog! And I’m pretty sure we could both write posts on the med room for nurses’ breakdowns!! I know that all too well. Can’t wait to keep reading 🙂 So fun to find a fellow RN on here!!

    1. AWW! Thank you, Amanda!!!! I am super excited to see you stopped over here. Girl, yesss, I swear– every hospital should be required to have some type of “safe” room for nurses hahah. Have a great week ahead!!

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