it is now unapologetically 2016

i came back. i now live in utah. i don’t have a valid utah driver’s license. i work three days, which means that if ¬†you do the math, then have four days off a week. honestly, it is jarring to have this kind of leisure time. i have not had this much free time since i was fifteen years old! i know, POOR ME.

anyway, i’ve got things to talk about so let’s get this ball rolling.

in january i went home to idaho for the month in order to prepare for my nursing boards, which went well, thank the heavens above. living at home was great. i would wake up and study for 8-9 hours a day, then go to yoga, take a walk with my parents, eat dinner, watch movies, read books, and let’s be honest, find myself on instagram in the middle of the night neck deep in feeds i had no idea how i had found? will someone take my phone, please?

anyway, this is what time in idaho looked like.

alyssa ball BSN, RN

IMG_0236yesterday i made the call. THE call to see if i had passed my nursing boards. we were on the chain bridge coming back from a jaunt to see the top of the washington monument. i had missed the turn to our house, on account of being a little preoccupied with my impending fate. i had taken the NCLEX the day before. my test had shut off at 75 questions, which meant i had either done very well or very poorly. i felt… okay, but to be honest, my thoughts oscillated between confidence and sheer terror. i mean, it was only what i had been working for two years for, right?

i was advised to call after 10 am, and it was 10:33. we were stuck in traffic and i couldn’t stand it any longer. i shakily dialed the board of nursing and overeagerly gave my social. there was a silence as the receptionist looked up my information and had me verify my identity. and then, just as the light turned and i made a right onto clara barton, the words “congratulations, you’re a registered nurse” came rolling through the speaker. !!!!!!!! feelings of relief and euphoria. i did it.

and if that isn’t enough, this week i also accepted a job offer in salt lake city, utah. yes, i am moving back. and yes, i am just as surprised as you are.

(the above photo is from my weekend in utah and my new home- helloooo inversion-induced beautiful sunsets!!)

november good times

another post! more photos! gee are you sick of me yet?

a lot A LOT of studying and work happened in november. i honestly don’t fully know how i made it through the semester and actually had time to do these fun things, too? maybe this is why my grades were so mediocre? heh

the highlights of this month, as evidenced above, the hightlight of this month was seeing¬†sufjan stevens in baltimore with friends. i didn’t know if i was going to be able to squeeze the show in because i was going to be putting on a health fair the entire day and giving a presentation on stroke in spanish (ha. oh gee that is a story itself!) but i bought the ticket anyway, and it was worth it. completely, utterly. if you get the chance to see him live, do it.

a new, well, actually old-but-restored, gallery opened up in november near the white house, so we went to check it out. i actually went to it three times, but the first time was my favorite. the renwick does not disappoint! happy to have friends in my life who enjoy looking at dead bugs, marbles, and twine!

my friend works at npr, and this month i got my own personalized tour! the place is like disneyland for news junkies. i loved it. i got to put on 30,000 dollar headphones and talk and listening to my voice was like 100x better than when i have to listen to myself in my head. thanks, lee! you’re a gem!

also you’re probably wondering what those two pictures of tables are? like, alyssa- what are you doing with so much food all the time? WELL november means thanksgiving, and you better believe i helped cut all those pieces of pie for my calling at church. yes, my calling involves preparing food and putting whipped cream on 300+ pieces of pie. not mad! speaking of thanksgiving, i worked the holiday, which was actually pretty fun considering it was a holiday. after all the customers left we had our own thanksgiving celebration with all the leftover food and drink. a happy thanksgiving indeed!

and that, my friends, was november 2015. isn’t playing catch up FUN??

when mom came to town

amid studying and trying to finish out the semester, mom came to dc for a weekend for my nursing school pinning. since i am a really great tour guide, we hit all the great stuff we didn’t get to do when she was here in the spring ¬†with my dad…. because if you recall, my dad isn’t really into shopping, art, or cupcakes. so this time around, we went whole hog! left nothing out! so here’s some pics and everything we did.


thursday night, we went to see the lights at the dc temple and got “redirected” when we tried to look at the nativities backwards. mormons and their rules! geez! afterwards we went to thai x-ing for dinner, which is one of the best meals i’ve ever eaten. and mom loved it! operations “get kris ball to eat curry and like it” was a success. then we went to the zoo to see the zoolights, only it was almost over and there was a beer fest going on? huh? anyway we rode an intertube down a grass hill and then went home.

friday i had to go to school, so we went to founding farmers for breakfast, and then mom went to do her own exploring. we met up after class in georgetown and went to sprinkles, and don’t let the cuteness fool you, baked and wired is about one thousand times more satisfying. we shopped around georgetown some, then went to 2 amys for the BEST pizza this city has to offer. afterwards we went home to get fancy, then went to kennedy center to see the national symphony perform with the one and only ben folds! it was great.

saturday was pinning day! after pinning we took advantage of the amazing weather and walked down to the white house for lunch at old ebbitt grill followed by a tour of the wonder exhibit at the renwick gallery. we then hopped across the river to alexandria for boat lights and shopping around alexandria. we ended up sneaking into a boat club party in order to get a better view of the lights… you know, since we are rebels. i introduced mom to the deliciousness that is ted’s bulletin grilled cheese, and then rolled home in a cheese-induced food coma.

sunday mom’s flight took off pretty early, and just as fast as the trip had come, it was over. guess that means it is time to plan another trip? yeah?

i got pinned and this post is dedicated to it

guess what! i graduated from nursing school. my mom came out to celebrate my pinning ceremony, where i crossed the stage and she pinned me prom-style without stabbing me in the chest. also, when i refused to fork over 70 dollars for a special pin¬†my school was selling (because i wanted to eat food instead, lol. dreams and goals, i tell ya!)¬†she bought me¬†this pin amazon because she couldn’t fathom the idea of me not having a pin to go on my ribbon. she is great. anyway, here is a photo collage dedicated to me!

wordpress got fancy and so now i can make photo collages. wooooooop! if you click on one picture you can make it bigger and read captions. how lucky are you!


september and october 2015

resurrecting all these photos reminds me that i really do have a great crop of friends, also the fall colors of this area of the country are UNREAL.

first off, birthdays! and a random photo of the cathedral because idk, it was the golden hour and i liked the framing or something. amy had a birthday so we went to wharf and ate crab legs. and the sunset was pretty unreal.¬†IMG_6976IMG_6977after church there was a rare day that i didn’t get called into work, so hailey and i went down to the hirschhorn art museum. that is one thing i did a lot of in 2015- art. i think i developed a greater appreciation for it, or maybe just taking photos of the art? idk but when there is an andy warhol staring you straight in the face you gotta take a pic with marilyn’s lips! also that cheese plate was my consolation for failing some test i had to take. manchego fixes all life’s problems.¬†IMG_6978

in october i made it a point to buy everything trader joe’s sold that was of the pumpkin variety. mormon activities always have refreshments…. this was the first activity i had ever attended with corn on the cob as the institute food? weird. but strangely satisfying. also blythe came back from africa and all the chicks were in the nest! i was happy about that. and then i had to go to my internship and i was probably working a night shift and tired. ¬†IMG_6982one weekend we went to charlottesville, va to see BSU play and trounce UVA. it rained and we wore ponchos, which was my first time actually wearing a poncho, how fun. go bsuIMG_6979the following day we went to an apple orchard and i had my first apple picking experience. also, apple cider donuts are last meal worthy. IMG_6980thank you kolby for helping a sister out. those were the best apples of my life, and the size of my head.¬†IMG_6981i wore lipstick and took a picture in a CAR after giving a talk in church. i was relieved it was over. the leaves matched my shoes and this pleased me. i finished my gallery wall and it was perfectly haphazard. i hit my head on those bottom two photos all the time. AND i want this door in my neighborhood.¬†IMG_6975another weekend, we went camping somewhere in virginia. it was called shady acres or something, and quite honestly sounded like a pet cemetery, but it was quaint and fun and i came back smelling like a fire, so it was perfect. also we got a cabin so we didn’t have to sleep outside, and trent and i got to share bunkbeds. also, that bottom right photo is the one i shall put on the cover of my memoir because me and apple cores, ya know?¬†IMG_6983hiking in shenandoah. it was slap your grandma pretty.¬†IMG_6984

wow this post makes me look so outdoorsy. i promise you i spent most of my time this fall being super indoorsy, but whatevs.

florida fall break

oooooooooook this is old but to the blog archives it goes!

this is the face of a stressed out nursing school lady throughly enjoying fall break.

diana lives in miami and over my fall break i scored a super cheap plane ticket down to visit her in her super swanky resort-esque beach life. she was the best host! we ate all the food and i played at her rooftop pool while she worked all day. we rent running all over downtown and she tricked me into taking a pole dancing class with her… and honestly, it was one of the biggest highlights of the trip, in my opinion. props to all the strippers and ho’s because it is HARDIMG_7124miami lives up to every sterotype. everyone speaks spanish and the women are all¬†beautiful. dudes all over the place were wearing white linen pants. i thought i saw pitbull on every street corner (LIKE BELOW!). also pictured: diana being a hard working lady, the sunrise outside the window (!!!) and a sushi burrito that was actually gross don’t eat them.IMG_7123south beach has the prettiest water, so we couldn’t help but take a million pictures. of ourselves. can you tell i was happy to be out of the classroom and on a beach?¬†IMG_7119IMG_7120one day we went out to the art district for dinner and mural peeping.¬†IMG_7122IMG_7121thanks for the amazing time, di. thanks for living in paradise, and thanks for letting me sleep on your blow up mattress that has legitimately nicer bedding than my real bed at home.