Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lifelong Friends

Yesterday, Sally and I threw a baby shower for Sara which has made me think some about our friendship. Sally and I were really good friends in 1st and 2nd grade and then we lost touch. Lost touch for 8-year-olds means that we weren't in the same class. :) Then years later, in high school, we had some classes together and our friendship re-blossomed. Sara and I met freshman year of high school and stayed friends all through school. So the three of us--and Diana, who I met briefly in 4th grade (when I went to Richland for a semester) and then became friends with in high school--make up what I jokingly call the dinner club, although it has become so much more than that.

So we were all friends in high school and when we were all in town on breaks from college we would get together and go to dinner- hence the name. Side note: we usually go to Houston's. Senior year, for senior-out-to-lunch days other people would go to Chili's or McAllisters or some place, but we always went to Houston's. Every time. As if I even had to say that. So it started out as dinner when we were all in town which led to conversations about life and everything that was going on. We were there for each other through breakups and bad times and also through excitement and engagements. The summer after we graduated from college, Sara got married. Then a year later Diana got married and Sally joined the married ranks a month after that. Then Diana moved away. Now the babies will start coming (although Sally and Diana promise that they aren't having babies for years).

At Diana's wedding reception

Confession: Sometimes I feel like they are leaving me behind. Like I am in a time freeze and their lives are going on around me. Last year, we would get together when I came in town from nursing school and they would talk about married life and work and buying houses. I would talk about my essays or studying for midterms. I know it's not like that at all though. In college when I broke up with a guy over Christmas break, Sara was the one that made sure I was okay and kept me occupied through Christmas and New Years. She was the one who called me on Valentine's Day that year to make sure I was alright (and the one who I broke down and cried to as soon as I heard her voice on the other end of the phone). I remember sitting on my bed in my dorm room when Sara called to say that she was engaged and asked me to be a bridesmaid. In August, when I won a trip to New York, I knew that I wanted her to come with me. She is the kind of friend that even if I don't talk to everyday--or even every week--I know that I can always call her and we can pick things up where we left off. When I am going through hard times, I trust that she is praying for me and that she will intercede on my behalf. She is a fabulous friend, a great wife, and I know that she will be an incredible mother!

Which brings me to why I really wrote this post: her baby shower! Yesterday, Sally and I gave Sara a baby shower full of baby trivia, baby animal names, and family feud. In true Sara fashion, she won every game. (When guessing the amount of M&Ms in a baby bottle, she was within 3!) I wouldn't have expected anything else. That's just another reason why I love her! So here is the shower- in pictures!

I wanted to do a craft for the shower. This was my practice stitching.

The materials...

And the final product! It's not perfect, but I was happy with it.

The sign Sally made

Clothesline displaying all the homemade clothes (Diana sent some onesies since she couldn't come into town for the shower)

Sally also made the diaper cake! So cute!

The guest of honor and mommy-to-be!

Mommy's group in the making

Hostesses with the Mommy-to-be! (I look so tall)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sisters Make the Best Friends

Today is my sister's 27th birthday, so this blog is dedicated to her! I am so thankful for her and her friendship. Sure, we had out share of fighting growing up. We fought over sharing clothes, who was spending longer in the bathroom getting ready, or who was on the phone more. We've also had a lot of laughs (like when we dated the same guy--not at the same time). She is a great sister and I have always looked up to her. She is a large part of the reason why I went to nursing school and I loved getting to live with her in Nashville and be such a big part of Marlee's life the first year. Here are just a few fun memories. I love you Jessica!!!

On a random visit to Nashville
Christmas 2005

Step Sing... we like doing goofy faces
Spring Break

Thanksgiving 2007
With mom for her birthday one year

On my 21st birthday

Sisters trip to LA

Mer's bachelorette party
With Meredith
Halloween 2008

Before my pinning- we had a dance party

You are the best sister I could ask for and I can't wait to spend many more years and tons more fun times with you!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Certification exam...check
Place to live...check

So the past 2 weeks have been busy! I had 2 interviews last week (well 2 and a half...) Methodist was on Wednesday and LeBonheur on Friday. On the way to my LeBonheur interview, I got a call from a recruiter at Methodist offering me a job. So I went to the interview, tried to envision where I could best see myself, spent the weekend praying about everything, and accepted the Methodist job on Tuesday. This morning I went to meet with HR about insurance and benefits and all that adult stuff that I am so not ready for! Physical next week and background check and all that and then I'm good to go. Praise God!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On Your Left

Today was the final day of the Winter Cross Country Race Series. It's hard to call it a winter series when it was about 75 degrees today, but it it still February so winter it is! The series was made up of 4 races, a 3k, a 5k, an 8k, and today-a 10k.

During the 8k, I made a rule to myself that no one was going to pass me. Granted, I started near the back of the pack. I know that I'm not the fastest runner and trail runs are totally different on your body than the flat, paved paths I've been running. So, I start in the back and tell myself that no one will pass me on this course. It was a really fun run, but HOLY HILLS! Lots of hills! And by hills, I don't just mean ups and downs. I mean steep, narrow hills covered with mud and tree roots. Every step was an adventure (and the whole time I'm thinking to myself, "Don't fall. You don't have insurance.") So I'm running and watching my step and looking at all the surroundings. And there is nothing like the feeling of saying, "On your left!" as you run past someone! After I passed them, I was determined to keep up the pace so that they wouldn't pass me. And this was a narrow path so passing meant going off the trail and running on even more tree roots and leaves that you couldn't see what was under them.

Addressing what JB said in his sermon, PET PEEVE*** when people run with ipods and other musical devices. There is nothing worse than saying "on your left!" and the person in front of you makes no attempt to move to the side and then when you finally make it around them you can hear their music blaring. Ugh! If you are going to run with music, please only use one earbud (Is that what they are called? I don't do the whole music thing...) and preferably in your right ear so you can still hear me when I want to pass you. Kthanks.

(In case you were wondering, I did not let anyone pass me. I even beat Jane- the women that was ahead of me in the 5K)

Today was the 10K and not quite as successful. The reasons (yes, I know they are excuses but some of them are legit):
1. It was a lot hotter than I am used to running and I was not properly hydrated.
2. It was really windy and always seemed to be going against me!
3. I have been eating horribly the past 2 weeks or so and that has to change. I can definitely tell a difference in my runs.
4. I was sick. My fever broke on Saturday night and I thought about not running but I'm stubborn and wanted to push myself.
So despite all the excuses, I ran the race and finished it and have exactly 2 weeks until the half marathon...EEK!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Big V and Other Happenings

Yes, that's right... Valentine's Day! Those that know me best, know my feelings about Valentine's Day and I'll just leave it at that! Valentine's started for me on Sunday night. Two guys from church hosted a "Valentine's Day Blowout" complete with red carpet and chocolate fountain! The night started off with eating and some dancing and then turned into a CC (controversial conversation) on relationships among guys and girls and "Christian dating." My friends know that I am opinionated about-well, everything-but especially this topic. So I tried to keep my mouth shut and just listen to others viewpoints. People made interesting points. A lot that I agreed with, some that I didn't, but I listened to them. They didn't really change my views at all though. I'm stubborn like that! But it was a great night of friends and fellowship and real conversations.

Monday was the big day... I woke up around 8 and checked my phone and had a sweet message from my dad. It definitely made me smile. Then, I rolled back over and went back to sleep for a while! Sometimes a girl just needs to sleep in! The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. Got some more texts from friends and just hung out. That night I got back to my house a little after midnight and there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on the counter (which was a little creepy at first because I didn't know my dad had a key to the house, but after I got over that it was really sweet!) So Valentine's Day was a success!

While we're on the topic on Valentine's Day and love, I read an article this week in the Huffington Post called Why You're Not Married by Tracy McMillan. Well, for all intents and purposes, Miss McMillan is not a Christian and this article is not approached from a Biblical perspective. But marriage
is Biblical and God uses all things to speak to His children--even if they don't listen or don't know it's God speaking to them.

(Sidenote: Why does society-or the church-act so surprised about the divorce rate? If God IS love, why do we expect two people who don't have a relationship with Him to have successful relationships with others? How can two people claim to love each other if they don't know what love is-who love is?)

So anyway, back to the article, while her intentions are misguided, she makes some great points. Like points that make me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and say, "can't you hear God speaking to you and trying to get your attention?!" After coming up with some bogus categories as to why a woman isn't married, she gives advice as to how to have a successful marriage. She says that, "...ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it." and later that, "the bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it."

Well, if that doesn't say laying down your own rights and extending grace, then I don't know what does! I know that I'm not married or even in anything that slightly resembles a relationship, so I'll be the first to say that I'm not an expert in this area. But I will say don't bother reading the article. (Maybe I should have said that earlier...) Why are you not married? Proverbs 19:21. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Thankfully, God's will for our lives is so much bigger and better than anything that we could have planned for ourselves! Trust in His unfailing love and run wholeheartedly after Him. Gives me a whole new outlook on Valentine's Day...

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Life Lately

Finally, a new post! My life has been crazy! So here's what's been happening recently (and by recently, I mean like in the past 2 days...) First of all, I finally took my boards this morning! I have been uber procrastinating because I already had my RN license so I wasn't in a super hurry. But Sally and Sara made me schedule the test- sometimes I need friends that are going to make me do things. So I scheduled it and took it today. I was told that you find out your score right away- that after you finish your screen goes blank and you sit there for the longest 30 seconds of your life and then the screen comes back and tells you if you passed or not. This information would be incorrect. I finish the test and the screen goes blank so I start praying saying that I know God's will is better than any of my own plans. At this point I feel as though my heart is going to beat out of my chest! Then a survey comes on the screen (I forgot people told me I had to take a survey) so I answer the random questions about whether the testing site was satisfactory and then the screen goes blank again. I continue to pray; my heart continues to pound! Then a notice pops up that I am finished with the test. I click okay and the screen goes back to the welcome page. Now all these thoughts are running through my head: Maybe something flashed on the screen while I was praying and I missed it. Maybe they only tell you if you pass and they don't want me to feel bad about failing so they'll just let me know later... I nervously grab my pencils and scratch paper and walk out of the testing room. After I sign out, the man gives me a printout that says, "Congratulations! You have passed the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination." Such a huge sigh of relief! So I calmly take the paper from him, get my things out of the locker, and go to the restroom and jump around and do a little dance!!! :) So, this is me: Jillian Payne, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC I have worked really hard for those 11 little letters!
I found this image by googling "ACNP." There was also a picture of Jennifer Wilbeck!

So now that I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I think I can be a real person again. I have been isolated from society for the last week or so. I literally had zero calls or text messages yesterday. I was in the zone. But I also realized that my optimal study times are from 10pm-3am and that I like to eat when I study to keep me occupied. That in addition to crazy stress and not working out all week are catching up to me. The weather is warming up and I think I may go for a run!

In other news, I am moving today! One of my mom's best friends offered for me to move in with her for a while so today is the day. It's in town and super convenient to everything (as in I can walk to Swanky's, the bank, Target, and "The Station" What else do I need?). I have known Nancy for pretty much as long as I can remember. She is like family- I think she really is Pam and Paula's long lost triplet! She has never been married, but adopted a son. So here are my new roommates- Nancy and Spencer! Feel free to visit anytime!

In unrelated and totally random news, I took an online test for a Jeopardy audition. I'm pretty sure I failed with flying colors! It was impossible. I'm not very good at history or literature and am useless when it comes to pop culture. Basically, if it isn't science, math, or random useless facts, I'm no good. But if by some lucky chance, I passed the test. I will have to take another test and have an interview. We'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Well I played around with some designs and changed things up a bit. It was my mini-break for the day. So much is going on right now! I have approximately 75 ideas for blog posts and no time to write them. I can't wait for this week to be over! Things to look forward to in the next few days/weeks:

* My OCD and idiosyncrasies
* More running
* Things I learned in college
* The Pauls in my life
* Hearing from God
* My jeopardy audition
* Moving into town
* Valentines Day
* Sisters
* Getting real mail
* Authentic community

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February Update

It's that time again... New Year's resolutions! Or at least an update on how mine are going so far- 35 days into the new year.

1. Start a blog-Check!

2. Coffee dates twice a month- Check! and more. I had some really great intentional time with sweet friends where we were able to catch up and see what God was doing in each of our lives. Such a joy! I'm reading Captivating right now and today I read, "Women friends become the face of God to one another--the face of grace, of delight, of mercy." I love that!

3. Share the gospel/Disciple monthly- This didn't look exactly like I had envisioned this month, but I was able to speak to some friends that I have been praying for and hopefully plant some seeds in their lives. I also think foundations were placed for mentoring and discipling some younger girls. I'm excited for this to take off and flourish more in the next few weeks!

4. Take more pictures- So far, so good! Continuing to document the memories and smiles and laughter!

5. Buy a dog- This resolution has been postponed. It will still happen in 2011, just not quite as soon as I had hoped...

6. Get certified to teach Zumba- I registered for a class next month! So excited about it! Now all the dance parties that I have in my room will justified...

7. Workout 4-5 times a week- 3 out of 4 weeks in January. I would like to say that I was sick the one week that I didn't meet this, but I'm pretty sure I was just lazy.

8. Earn 2011 Activity Points- I got 144 in January (which technically means that I'm behind by about 20, but that's like 2 good runs and I'll be caught up) We shall see how this goes...

9. Run 500 miles- I ran 54 miles in January (about 10 ahead of schedule)

10. Run a race every month- Check! I am running the MRTC Winter Cross Country Series so I ran the 5K and the 8K last month. So much fun! About a mile and a half into the 5K a deer runs right across the trail in front of all the people-awesome! And trail runs aren't the street runs that I've been training for. It was a fun change of pace and scenery!

11. Read 52 books- Read 4 in January and have started 2 more. Am taking a break for the next week to do some other things so I'm going to have to pick up the pace when I get back to it. I am definitely having to switch up genres and read multiple books at a time! Some books I can read a few chapters before bed and be fine and others I read a few pages and need to stop and meditate on the words and let them soak in so they take longer, but I'm really enjoying this resolution!

So that's it. Basically, I'm really OCD and if it goes on the to-do list, it will get accomplished (It was on the to-do list to write this post today). The list, which is really an Excel spreadsheet, goes from today until the end of May. Go ahead and make fun of me, but if nursing doesn't work out, I plan on being an administrative assistant, or a professional organizer!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I haven't done this in a while. I'm not quite as good at the whole blogging thing as I had hoped. I think of a lot of topics and start writing them in my mind and then get to a computer and get distracted by other things and so all these great blog topics get lost in my head! (and by lost in my head, I mean swirling around rapidly like a tornado that keeps me up at all hours of the night)

Which brings me to my topic... insomnia. I can't sleep. (At this point in the discussion, the healthcare provider would ask if I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Answer-staying asleep). This has been going on for a few months now. Sometimes I wake up twice in the night--sometimes seven times. I usually don't have trouble falling asleep but then my mind starts racing and I wake up thinking about 685 things all at once. Sometimes I make myself lie in bed until I fall back asleep. Sometimes I get up and try to get something done until I am tired again. The past few weeks, I have made it through the night twice. I'm still trying to figure out what was different about those nights than all the other many sleepless nights.

I am thankful for the friends that have provided encouragement and tough love--from the friend that texted scripture every time I woke up one night to the sweet friend that sent me a message as soon as I got online last night to tell me to turn off my computer and go back to bed immediately! I am continuing to pray for peace of mind before bed so that I am able to relax and get a good night's sleep. I am also thankful that most days I am able to sleep in and the restless nights are not leaving me tired the next day.

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8