A Very Busy Productive Week

This has been a busy productive week.  I worked Sunday and don’t work again until this weekend.  I squeezed in two clinicals last week so that I could take a break this week and have several days to study for my test.  Originally, I was going to take it Thursday, but by Wednesday, I was ready to get it over with.  It worked out with my proctor, and I’m really glad I went ahead and took it.  I’ve spent a lot of time doing other things this week too.  We are SO close to finishing the master bathroom. Last weekend Greg hung all the bead-board on the ceiling.  I had to work so he was totally on his own, and although he said it was a very frustrating job, it turned out GREAT!  I thought it would be too busy with bead-board on the ceiling and the walls, but now that we went for it, I think it looks amazing.  This week Greg keeps running into issues with the plumbing, but hopefully one more evening of working on it and it’ll be finished.  I spent a few afternoons touching up paint, cleaning up from the plumbers’ mess, and cleaning the master bedroom.  We cleared the bedroom out for the most part since we knew it would be getting dirty with sheetrock dust and construction mess.  So, I’ve spent the past two nights deep cleaning the bedroom from top to bottom.  Everything had to be dusted. EVERY. SINGLE. SURFACE.  And since I’m notorious for starting a project and taking it to extremes, I went ahead and made some changes to prep for baby time 😉  I switched our nightstands so I can be on the side with more room for a bassinet.  I relocated the dogs’ sleeping area from next to the bed to the corner (cause Henry will get to have the bedside now).  Jack will have to get over it. 😉  I took down some curtains that were super dirty and dusty and washed all the bed linens.  We’ve been sleeping in the guest room for the past month during the renovation, so I’m excited to get back to our normal routine.  And it’ll be nice to get the guest room put back in order.

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The other time consuming (but fun!) part of my week has been the nursery prep I’ve been working on.  I went shopping at another consignment market last weekend and racked up on lots of goodies like clothes, bath towels, toys, a precious rocking horse, some linens, bottles, and a few other odds and ends.  Last night I did a few loads of baby laundry and started sorting through everything.  And then this morning, my mom, sister and I went to Buy Buy Baby and bought a few necessities that we still had not purchased yet.  The main thing was the crib and car-seat.  I can’t wait for those two things to get delivered.  🙂  Then I hopped over to World Market and got a laundry basket and some other storage items for the nursery.  Tomorrow will be fun cause my sister Katie is coming over and we’ll really start organizing all the stuff that’s just been thrown into the nursery.  It’s pretty chaotic right now, but tomorrow we’ll start putting things in their place and really getting the room set-up.

Mar28-KidsMarket (1) Mar28-KidsMarket (2)So yeah, it’s been a busy busy week.  Today I may have actually over-done it a little. Oops. I basically was on my feet non-stop from 10am to 9pm.  And now my back and feet are throbbing!!!  My ankles have definitely gotten swollen most nights this week.  I might need to slow it down a little.

Oh, totally off subject, but these little beauties popped up over the past week.  For some reason, last year they came up back from the previous year, but only one or two of them actually bloomed. I was happy to see a lot more blooms this year. 🙂

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We have another OB appointment tomorrow morning.  Nothing special- just checking vitals, measuring my belly, and listen for the heartbeat. Pretty simple.  Greg’s pretty bummed we don’t have anymore ultrasounds scheduled.  I’ve been measuring a week to a week and a half ahead of schedule the past two appointments, so we’ll see if that trend is continuing.  I’ll be sure to update with a bump picture and hopefully some good nursery pics tomorrow 🙂

Birmingham Rugby

I’ve talked about it before in a post last fall, so as you may know, Greg started playing rugby.  A few guys he works out with at the gym play and last fall they convinced Greg to come out and give it a try.  Well, I think Greg was hooked!  He only got to play in one game last fall since he didn’t really start until almost the end of the season.  Well the new season kicked in and he’s all in.  He plays with the Birmingham Vulcans rugby team. Oh and shoutout…Greg rebuilt their website 😉  You can check it out HERE.  They practice for 2 hours twice a week and have games on Saturdays.  So far they’ve had 2 games this season and many more lined up over the next 2 months.

Now I could try to explain the game and tell you what positions Greg plays, but I’m sure I would botch that up.  There are scrums, line-outs, 8-man, hookers…I know what some of this means and then some of it is just terminology swimming in my head.  What I do know is it’s basically the marrying of soccer and football.  They play two 40-minute halves, there are no time outs, just a 15-min halftime break.  The ball is essentially never “dead.”  There are plays but it doesn’t reset like downs in a football game. It’s one continuous play of game more like soccer.  You can’t throw the ball forward, it can only advance forward with a kick.  And if you get tackled with the ball, you just have to try to pass it off to a teammate who is standing.  And they don’t have touchdowns. You score points by successfully completing a “try” (but yes, it’s basically a touchdown 😉 ).  So that pretty much sums up my Rugby knowledge.

Greg has really gotten into it!  It’s been more of a time commitment than I expected, but he’s really enjoying it, so I try to be supportive.  And it helps keep him in shape and lookin’ good, so I can’t complain about that 😉  He has learned the game, and he gets out there, and he even scored his first “try” already this season.  I think it brings him back to his love for football and team sports, and that’s why he’s enjoying it so much.  He loves to try something new.  And he’s getting really good at it!  I took lots of pictures at his games the past two weeks.  The first game was against a team from Jackson, MS and then last Saturday they played against the University of Alabama’s club team.  This weekend he’ll be heading down to Mobile to play a team there.  So enjoy the pics! (they are the team in green).

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Beast of Birmingham

Greg has been working his tail off getting into shape this past year, and part of that has been the result of finding a gym routine that he really enjoys and wants to participate in throughout the week.  He ran the New Orleans half marathon 2 years ago, but he really hates running.  So when his office-mate invited him to check out his weight-lifting gym, Greg decided to give it a shot.  He ended up really enjoying it, and in January he joined Agoge Fitness which is downtown just a few blocks from his office.  In addition to finding an exercise regimen that he enjoys, he also participated in the Advocare 24-day Challenge.  And since his gym focuses on weight-lifting, and they have competitions every few months, he also started taking supplements specifically geared for muscle strength and fitness recovery.  And with Greg’s permission, I’ll give you some stats.  Before he started his gym routine and Advocare in January, he weighed 255lbs. And now, he is down to 219 lbs. and has replaced a lot of weight with muscle!  The pictures below on the  far left are from January 2014. The pics on the right were taken tonight. front

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He is actually starting another 24 day challenge tomorrow! If you want to join him, you can order your challenge here: Advocare 24 Day Challenge (Greg can also explain it a bit more if you want more information).

Anyways, so every few months his gym has a strong-man competition where they all compete against each other in various events according to their weight-class. This past Saturday, Agoge Fitness joined forces with another Birmingham gym, and there were about 25 competitors in all.  It was called the Beast of Birmingham competition.  The first event was a tire flip.  Each competitor had 30 seconds to flip a 500 lb. tire as many times as they could for points.

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Next, they had to carry 2 giant logs 20 meters and dump them into the back of a pickup truck, then push the truck another 20 meters.  And the fastest time got points.IMG_0169 IMG_0170 IMG_0174 IMG_0177

Next was a tire throw.  Each competitor had 3 chances to throw a tire as far as possible.IMG_0181IMG_0184  IMG_0185 IMG_0183Next was a press medley.  The had to lift and press an 85 lb. keg, then press a 70 lb. weight bar, and then do one-handed 55 lb. dumbbell presses as many times as possible.  They received points for every dumbbell press they did.

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Then lastly, they did a sled pull.  The had to run to a “sled,” load it up with weights, pull it towards them from a sitting position, then again from a standing position (approximately 20 meters).

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And of course at the end of the morning, they added up everyone’s total for a fun little medal ceremony.  Greg won for his weight-class!  (This was actually his 2nd win! He won for his weight class in this summer’s competition as well!)IMG_0220 IMG_0225 IMG_0229 IMG_0219 IMG_0221 IMG_0234

I am so proud of him.  I’ve wanted him to get into shape for years, and I’m so glad he’s found something he really enjoys and it keeps him healthy at the same time. 🙂

Blessed Assurance

God never promises us a life without trials.  In fact, James even tells us that we should “consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  James 1:2-3  To say that Greg and I have had our faith tested over the last few months would be the understatement of the year.  Being a Christian doesn’t mean we are exempt from the devil’s schemes.  In fact, I think being a Christian makes us even more desirable to the devil.  He desires to tear us down, to weaken our faith, and lead us down paths of destruction.  If we are not diligent about continually building and fostering the relationship we have with God by being in His Word daily and through prayer, we can easily be deceived by the devil’s schemes.  And before we know it, we may find ourselves down a path of destruction and sin, wondering how we got so far from the true path of righteousness.  But it doesn’t mean God gave up on us.  He never gives up on His children.  If we simply open our eyes to our own sins, and seek God’s instruction, He will lead us out of the darkness and back into His light.  Like a shepherd who seeks and finds a lost sheep, so does our God in our times of trouble.  And just as the father who rejoices over the return of his prodigal son, so God rejoices when we come back to Him with a repentant heart.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. -James 1:12

I have faced trials of many kinds, and God has pulled me from the depths of my sin and I can honestly say today I feel closer to God than I have in a long time, maybe even ever.  God has also been working in Greg over the last few months, testing his faith and producing perseverance.  We can see God’s work in our marriage as boldly as if it was written in black and white.  I always wondered when people said, “God told me this” or “I knew God was telling me such and such” what that really meant?  I always felt like I had a hard time distinguishing if I was really hearing God’s commands or just my own thoughts.  How would I know it was from God?  Well, I can assure you that if you dive into His word, it is much easier to know what God is trying to tell you.  I began reading through Proverbs, and it was like every chapter had clear instructions on how I needed to change my life.  And here’s something else.  In Sunday school about a year ago, our teacher gave all us ladies the book The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian.  And I took it home and never read it.  Well, a few months ago, I decided to start reading this book and HOLY CRAP!  It was like God breathed every word into this book just for me and what seemed to be random topics for each day of prayer, God absolutely orchestrated it so that our lives perfectly lined up with the specific prayers I would read that day.  I wasn’t even reading it every single day.  Sometimes I would skip days (usually on my early mornings of work).  But every chapter I read was EXACTLY what I needed to hear that day.  I have never been more convinced of God’s direction in my life.  Praise Jesus for his many blessings!

Like I said, Greg has been discovering his own journey as well.  We both grew up going to church, and we’ve been going to church together ever since we started dating.  We’ve been involved in a newly-wed Sunday school class since about our 1-year anniversary.  We even went to Israel with several other couples from our class last summer and walked where Jesus walked.  But something still kept us from really engaging in our spiritual walks with one another. We sort of just had our own walks separately, and didn’t really share them with one another.  Maybe out of fear or our own insecurities, I’m not sure.  But when God begins testing your faith, dramatic things can happen.  God can use anything for His own good and glory.  Even our sin.  And I don’t believe that God purposely allows things to happen that cause us to sin (that’s called temptation, and that’s the devil’s work), but He can take those circumstances and work in us for His glory.  God has done some amazing things in our marriage over the past few months.  Where we didn’t even see struggles, God has opened our eyes.  Greg and I have opened up a lot more about our faith and our walk with God.  We read the Bible together (I know, it’s really sad that we didn’t do that before).  We pray together.  We quit letting fear control our pursuit of God’s plan for us.

About a month ago, during Sunday morning service, Greg felt called to come forward and commit himself to baptism.  It was a desire he shared with me sometime last summer, but beyond that one conversation, we never talked about it again.  He had been “sprinkled” as a child in church along with everyone else his age at a certain time.  But now his relationship with God has deepened and he better understands His purpose in this life, and to show his faithfulness to God he wanted to be baptized by immersion.  And this past Sunday, we celebrated his baptism.  We were so blessed to have several friends and family come witness his baptism. His good friend John from Kentucky even drove down for the weekend.  We are truly blessed with wonderful friends who are there for us when we need them!  After the service, a big group of family and friends went to lunch together.  It was a dreary raining day, but we were filled with joy in our hearts.

Below is the video I took of the baptism.  Each participant gives a small testimony prior to their baptism, so you can hear Greg’s story as well.  I am so happy to call this man my husband.  My appreciation for him has grown tremendously over the past few months, as well as my love for him.  I pray God continues to do great work in us as we continue to seek Him.

Springtime Happenings

Y’all, I am done with another semester!!!!!!  *Cue hallelujah chorus*  As you know, as much as I hate not keeping my blog updated, I just don’t have the time or brain space to regularly post while school is in session. Forgive me for that.  If you used to be a regular visitor to my site, I hope you will continue to check-in occasionally. Because I will update it eventually.  I have no intentions of letting it completely fall off the radar.  So, with that, let’s do a little springtime catchup.

Shortly after my last post, we celebrated a gorgeous weekend together for Callen and Houston’s wedding.  Callen is Greg’s younger sister, and Houston actually was a fraternity brother of Greg’s at Samford.  The two of them got hitched at Gorham’s Bluff in Pisgah, AL on March 8th.  We got really lucky with the weather, cause it was still during that time when we were constantly going back and forth between gorgeous warm spring weather and rainy cold weather.  In typical Alabama fashion, for several weeks it was not uncommon for it to be in the 30s one day then in the upper 50s/60s a few days later.  So considering they had an outdoor ceremony and the location thrives on the beautiful views from the bluff overlooking the TN river, it was truly a blessing that God gave us such beautiful weather for the weekend. And since the location was about 2 hours north of Birmingham, it was a nice little getaway too!  All the bride’s wedding attendants (and our husbands for those of us who are married), stayed in the main lodge.  The rest of the property is full of precious little 2-story cottages that were rented out by family and out of town friends.  The rehearsal dinner was in the lodge, followed by a casual bonfire later that night that close friends and family could attend.  Then Saturday morning we had the bridesmaids’ luncheon in the lodge, followed by an afternoon of primping and getting ready for pictures and the ceremony.  And speaking of dinners and luncheons…all the food for the weekend was phenomenal!  I cannot speak more highly of the cooking staff at Gorham’s Bluff…they know how to cook a good meal.  Anyways, the ceremony took place on the bluff at sunset, and the views were breathtaking.  These were our views from the lodge Friday evening and Saturday morning…photo(16) photo(17)It truly could not have been a better location. It felt so casual yet elegant at the same time.  The reception was just walking distance down the road in a banquet hall.  All the Boggs and Holmes immediate family were able to sit and have dinner together in a loft of the banquet hall. Then we all joined the rest of the guests for a night of dancing and mingling.

Here are a few shots from the wedding day.  Actually, who am I kidding, I’m about to bombard you with wedding pics!  Their photographer, Ann Wade Shreve (Parrish) did an AMAZING job capturing it all. It’s practically impossible to just show you “a few” 😉11 12 13 1 2 15 16 14 22 17 19 18 5 4 3 6 9 7 20 8 10 21photo(14) photo(15)Beautiful wedding!  We are so happy for Callen and Houston.  Two peas in a pod, those two.

In other news, I think spring has finally come to stay here in Alabama. We’ve had some lovely sunny days a lot lately.  We spent a Saturday several weeks ago getting our yard in order (we’re bad to just completely neglect it all winter long).  I didn’t even tidy up the garden last fall.  Oops.  I just left all the wire vegetable cones and stakes up all winter long with dead tomato plants and cucumber vines all over the place.  So although I haven’t started planting anything yet for this summer, I’ve at least cleared last years mess out.  And honestly, I won’t plant nearly as much this year as I have in the past simply because of school this summer. I just know I won’t have time for a lot of garden tending.  I may just stick to tomatoes and peppers.  That’s what we use most of.  I usually end up just giving away most the cucumbers, and we haven’t even eaten all the pickles or salsa I canned from last summer.  Either way though, I’m really excited for warm weather and time spent outside. I’ve made the most of it so far by spending my study hours outside when it’s been nice 🙂photo(4) Greg has been tackling more projects around the house.  He completed the laundry room last fall, and it’s is so much nicer than doing laundry in the kitchen.  The space off the kitchen where the washer and dryer were removed are currently still a work in progress.  The plan is to turn that space into a butler’s pantry, since it’s right off the kitchen, and our kitchen could use some more cabinet and counter space.  For several months it just sat as a big empty space, but a few weeks ago we bought an unfinished bottom cabinet to fit the space.  So progress is being made!  His most recent project though was to add some storage space to the shed.  Shortly after we got married we bought a big shed for the backyard.  It’s been great, but we needed a better space for storing things like the lawn mower, garden tools and other outdoor equipment.  So Greg built an extension off the side, and I have to say, it turned out SO much better than I pictured when he first told me about his plan.  It looks like it was part of the shed all along.  And it was a fun project for him and his friends to conquer together.  Those boys love a good project.photo(11) photo(9)

We celebrated a wonderful Easter Sunday last weekend. It was another warm sunny day.  We went to church together with my family, then Katie and Chuck went to lunch with his family afterwards.  Mom, Dwayne and Emily joined Greg and me at his family’s lunch.  We all gathered at Eric and Jordan’s house, played with the kids for a while, mingled with his cousins, and ate a delicious meal.  And later that evening we met back up with Katie and Chuck, and Chuck’s brother Kyle and his wife Lisa at a Baron’s game.  It was a fun night!

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And in 2 days, I will be on vacation from work and school-free for a week.  I can not wait!!  Hopefully going to get the garden going, tackle some small house projects, and spend some much needed fun time with Greg.  I just wish it would last longer than a week, but I’ll take what I can get.

the Morning After

As pretty as the snow was last night, it’s even prettier in the morning when the sun comes up.  And it photographs better 😉  I was so frustrated last night trying to take pics once I got home.  My camera would not cooperate.  And it wasn’t even dark.  All the white snow was reflecting so much moonlight and streetlights that you could see everything.  I could see all the way down the street without any trouble at midnight.  It was so strange.  Ok, maybe not so strange for those who are used to snow. 😉Feb 13-snow (2) Feb 13-snow (6) Feb 13-snow (7) Feb 13-snow (13) Feb 13-snow (8) Feb 13-snow (10) Feb 13-snow (15) Feb 13-snow (12) Feb 13-snow (18) Feb 13-snow (17) Feb 13-snow (16) Feb 13-snow (22) Feb 13-snow (21) Feb 13-snow (24)

For the record, we measured anywhere from 3-4 inches in our backyard last night.  And on the news this morning it said much of Jefferson County received as much as 6 inches.  And now, as I’m writing this, almost all of it has melted away.  Just some spots in the grass seems to be all that’s left.  I’m ok with that because I have to work again tomorrow.  No snow driving for me! 🙂

It Happened Again…

Are we sure this is still Alabama?  Did we really just get another winter blizzard?  I know, I know, blizzard” sounds a little extreme.  But y’all, that was a blizzard last night!  And if we thought snowpocalypse snuck up on us, this one went from 0-10 in literally a matter of seconds.  Thank goodness everyone had a good heads up about it, so hopefully most people (not me, unfortunately) were already safe at home when it hit.  I had to work my shift at the hospital yesterday.  I came to work prepared.  I brought my boots, a change of clothes, and stuff to spend the night in case I got stuck at the hospital.  Most of us had the news playing all day in our patient’s rooms so we could keep an eye on the weather.  And for the longest time it seemed like nothing was actually going to happen.  Hours went by and it just rained outside, or even stopped raining and just looked dreary.  Atlanta was getting pounded by ice and snow, and it just seemed like it was all staying north and east of Birmingham.  I was rocking one of my babies and watching the news around 4pm, and reports of snow were coming in from Jasper and Cullman.  All the weather reporters were talking about the storm system creeping down in a southwest direction (which is totally uncharacteristic for most weather systems).  But it still just didn’t seem like it was going to hit Birmingham.  My manager even walked by and asked if I was planning to spend the night, and I told her I was prepared to if I had to, but if I could go home I’d rather try that (assuming all the night shift nurses showed up for their shift).  Our charge nurse had started calling all the scheduled night-shifters, recommending that they start coming in to work to ensure they would make it (no one wanted another snowpocalypse experience, so they made sure night-shift was well informed about the impending snow).

Well sure enough, nurses started rolling in.  Even some Thursday scheduled day shift nurses came prepared to spend the night.  I was standing in a patient room at 6:05pm when the PM charge nurse and another PM nurse walked by asking if I was scheduled to work Thursday.  When I told them no, they asked if I wanted to go home NOW.  Night shift had starting rolling in and was prepared to start working so that some day shift nurses could try to hurry home before the storm hit.  I took up their offer, gave report, finished up a few things with my patients, and was clocking out at 6:35pm (an 1.5 early than my normal shift time).

When I pulled out of our parking deck it still just looked wet and rainy outside.  I might say it was “flurrying” but it was just that light, wispy kind of flurries that don’t stick to anything and just kinda float around in the air.    Greg had just sent me a text saying “be very careful, it’s really bad.”  Based on what I saw around me, I figured he meant just watch for ice.  I drove down University Blvd, no trouble.  Even tried to call my sister about it (at about 6:50).  I decided to take I-65 instead of Greensprings because I figured it was flatter and less curvy.  As I was driving up the on-ramp the snow began to fall, and within a matter of seconds it was getting a little intense.  Within the next 30 seconds, I couldn’t see the lanes anymore.  I just kept following the car lights in front of me thinking “well, at least I’ll know where the road is…”  But then (only about 5 seconds later) that wasn’t even working.  For about 10 seconds, I literally could not tell where any 3 lanes of I-65 where or where the shoulder or even the guardrails of the bridge I knew I was approaching was.  I made a split second decision to just pull over into the shoulder to just wait it out (although in hindsight, that wouldn’t have even worked.  It’s not like rain that just passes. This was snow, it always just gets worse)…but regardless, before I could even act on that decision, I hit ice.  I fishtailed, tried to gain control, but with 2-wheel drive, all I managed to do was get to the shoulder facing almost a complete 180 degrees from my original path.  I am thanking God that I got to the shoulder instead of the inner lane where I could have crashed into the median.  I am also grateful because just beyond the shoulder is a woodsy drop-off.  And for a half a second I thought me and my car were going straight down that mountainside.  Thank you, God, for my guardian angels!

Somehow I stayed calm.  I’m usually one to burst into tears in high-stress situations or out of fear.  But I picked up the phone and called Greg.  (and I just looked back at my call history…this was at 7:02pm.  TWELVE minutes after I had just tried calling my sister to tell her it was barely flurrying). In twelve minutes I was now stuck in some snow off the side of the interstate. Ridiculous.  Anyways, he immediately called his friend with a 4WD vehicle and made plans to come rescue me.  For the next hour I was just stuck in my car, watching the blizzard come down in all it’s furry.  I had my windshield wipers on high-speed and still couldn’t see far for a while.  My biggest fear was someone else would slide like I did and knock my car off the side of the mountain.  And I just watched over a matter of minutes my whole surroundings turning solid white.  It hit SO FAST.  If you were sitting by a window at the moment it hit you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

So without anything else to do but wait, I of course tried to take some pictures…  They did not turn out very well since it was dark and I only had my phone.  But I tried…

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My rescuers finally arrived about 45 mins later.  Greg, Michael and his girlfriend came to my aide!  Then thankfully, Greg was able to maneuver my car out of the snow and drive it the rest of the way home.  Clearly, I am totally incompetent when it comes to driving in the snow.  Now I know. 😉  And I will be much less likely to give it a try again.  The only thing that flashed through my mind during my fish-tailing chaos was to turn the wheels opposite of the slide.  But actually doing that is much harder than in theory when your car is going back and forth both directions.  Greg is obviously much better at this.

We made it safely back to our neighborhood, and since I was no longer fearing for my life, we decided to make some fun out of our snow experience.  The park was GORGEOUS completely covered in snow.  So many people had come out to play in the snow.  We made some amazing snowballs.  The snow was so light and fluffy and there was just so much of it!  Nothing like the slushy wet snow we usually get. And the trees were so beautiful!!!  I think because the snow fell so fast and came in so hard, it perfectly outlined every branch of the every tree limb.  The snow we had 2 weeks ago did not do this.  I don’t know if it was the texture or the amount of snow we got, but this time it perfectly highlighted every little detail of whatever it landed on.

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And here’s a little comparison.  I took the first mailbox picture 2 weeks ago during snowpocalypse.  The 2nd one I took last night.

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Snowpocalypse…Our Story

Do you feel like we’ve beaten this whole “winter storm” thing to death at this point?  Everyone has a snowpocalyse story.  It was a CA-RAZY few days.  I mean, wow.  I told you how I spent my Tuesday (the snow day 2 weeks ago).  I basically laid low, stayed home, and took lots of pics 😉  But SO many people in Birmingham had an insane/horrible/terrifying day.  When I mentioned that some people were abandoning their cars…make that thousands of people across the south!  And Greg who was in route coming home in my last post, finally made it home after 5 1/2 hours.  He works 6 miles from our house.  And even at that, he was one who had to abandon his car 2 1/2 miles from home in order to get here.  And his phone died before he made it home.  So I was pacing by the front door for over an hour not sure if I was waiting on his car to come driving up the road or him to come walking.  Or worse, get stuck and not get home at all!!  And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to A LOT of people that night.  So many people were stuck on the interstate, highways, or wherever and slept in their cars.  Many many more slept in shelters at churches, rec centers, businesses, and schools.  I think I read that an estimated 11,000 students/teachers slept in schools in Alabama that night (most of those were elementary/preschoolers who’s parents couldn’t make it to their schools to pick them up).  Others slept in their offices around town.  My aunt slept in a Newk’s restaurant booth!  Like I said, CRAZY-TOWN around here.  Here’s a few pics I found on the internet of the chaos that occurred around town.  This first one has been going around a lot.  It’s a shot of Hwy 280.  Due to all the abandoned cars, Hwy 280, I-65 south and I-20 completely shut down till about Wed evening, maybe even Thursday.

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Wednesday morning some co-workers of mine started posting on Facebook about their work situation.  Only 1 night shift person showed up to work Tuesday night.  She walked to get there!  So Tuesday’s day shift nurses had to start rotating and work 6 hr shifts at a time, meaning half the group worked about 16 hours straight (while the other half went to sleep), then they switched out for 6 hr shifts at a time.  And they rotated like that until Wednesday afternoon when a few of us other nurses could make it to the hospital to relieve them.  So, Wednesday morning I posted on Facebook asking if anyone had a 4WD vehicle that would be willing to drive me to the hospital so I could help my co-workers out!  Thankfully, a friend of ours who is a resident at UAB was heading there as well, so he picked me up.  About 7 other nurses also showed up that afternoon to help out.  We were able to relieve some of the workload for the Tuesday AM shifters, but they still had to rotate shifts throughout the night Wednesday night.  FINALLY, by Thursday AM shift we had enough new faces to allow the Tuesday crew to head home!  They were sooooo ready at that point.  I ended up having to sleep in a recliner in a conference room Wednesday night.  But I was there to report for my scheduled shift Thursday and Friday, and that was my goal 🙂

Here’s Greg and I walking down our street to meet up with my ride to the hospital!  I had a duffel bag packed full of extra scrubs, blankets, food, toiletries, etc.  Anyone from the Tuesday crew would probably kill me for saying this, but it was kind of an adventure.  But I know I would have been super miserable if I’d been going on minimal sleep like they had been doing!
Jan28-snowpocalypse (9) Jan28-snowpocalypse (8)And would you believe by Saturday, we had the most beautiful warm weather!  The highs were in the upper 50s, and the sun was shining all weekend!  It was such a great sneak peek of spring 🙂  That’s Alabama weather for ya…

Snowpocalypse

It’s a snow day here in Alabama!!  And it came fast and with fury..  Since last night’s weather report predicted we would only get a light dusting, no one expected the frozen mess we have now.  It’s beautiful outside, don’t get me wrong.  As long as you aren’t in a car on the road.  News flash- no one in Alabama knows how to drive in the snow.  We don’t have chains, the roads weren’t salted, and everyone (including my husband) who got up and went to work this morning when everything was fine, are now trying to get home (or get to schools and preschools to get their kids) and the roads are a complete disaster.  Cars are sliding everywhere, interstate traffic is barely moving, some people are just abandoning their cars and walking somewhere for shelter or to get home.  The news is filled with video footage all over town of people trying to help one another push cars along the roads, towing cars out of ditches, and offering their businesses for shelter to those who are stranded and unable to get home.  Thank goodness I don’t have to work tomorrow, cause I would have to probably start driving now and spend the night at the hospital.  Most the staff at the hospital today will be spending the night and probably working overtime tomorrow.  It is a hot frozen mess.  That’s a snow day in dixie for ya 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve been home with the pups kinda enjoying the snow.  I woke up and took some pics around the house and then took the dogs across the street to run around the field for a bit.  They were loving the snow!  I did have to make a small trip to our renter’s house (about half a mile down the road) to take them a spare key. I debated walking, but it’s just too dang cold!  The crazy part is as soon as I drove on the roads one way, they were completely re-covered in snow on the trip back.  When I opened my car door a small avalanche fell into my driver’s seat!  haha. This is just nothing we are used to dealing with here in Alabama.

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I’m baaack!

Oh friends.  Needless to say, I have quite a lot to catch up on since going MIA about 4 months ago.  I knew grad school would suck up a lot of free time, but whew. So, let’s get straight to playing catch-up.  Again…

I survived my first semester!  And if I’m allowed to toot my own horn, I not only survived but got all A’s.  One semester down, five more to go.  Balancing full-time work and part-time school while trying to maintain some sanity was not always easy.  Poor Greg can testify to that.  I am beyond thrilled for the three weeks off I am enjoying right now until spring semester starts up, on my birthday (unfortunately).  Then it’s back to the grind again.  This semester I’ll be taking pharmacology and research.  I am sooo not thrilled about research.  It’s so time consuming and SO BORING.  And I’m betting pharmacology won’t be a walk in the park.  It involves a LOT of memorizing.  And since I have to take general pharmacology, not just neonatal, I’ll be dealing with anything and everything from infant to adulthood drugs.  Yay :/

Anyways, let’s talk about non-school fun stuff.  Thanksgiving was good this year.  Last year we only celebrated with my family.  The year before that we had 2 Thanksgivings since Greg’s parents were still living at the lake in Georgia.  This year, since both our families were in Birmingham for the holiday, we split the day between both families.  We spent the morning with Greg’s family for a few hours, and then over to Katie’s house for lunch and visiting time with my family.  Katie and Chuck live in my Nana’s house, the house my Grandaddy built and where my mom grew up.  For as long as I can remember until my Nana died 4 years ago, we spent every holiday celebrating in that house.  So when Katie offered to host Thanksgiving this year, we decided it might be fun to celebrate in that house again.  Granted it looks quite different.  Carpet has been ripped up, all the furniture is different, walls and cabinets have been painted.  But it’s still Nana’s house, full of so many great memories.  It was a pretty chill day even though we spent time with both families.  Just visiting, eating, couch laying, dog playing, then back home for the night.

Christmas is just around the corner.  Greg and I are officially done shopping and wrapping for the season.  Our big gift to each other is a new sectional, that we are STILL waiting on unfortunately.  We shopped for it on Black Friday and found a good deal at Ashley furniture.  We were told it would be delivered by Christmas, but we called last week and it’s on backorder.  Boo.  So now we wait till mid-January.  And since I have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas day this year, we are doing our “Christmas morning” tomorrow morning 🙂  Greg is basically off work all week.  He’ll spend Christmas with his family as usual at Jordan and Eric’s house with the kids.  And then we will do Christmas with my family on the 26th, just like last year.  Holidays with nursing careers are not always ideal.  But we make do.  And hey, if you ask me, what’s so bad about spreading Christmas out over a few days?  😉  At least I had all of Thanksgiving, Black Friday AND Iron Bowl Saturday off.  That was nice.

Of course I’m sad about missing most of the celebrations with Greg’s family.  They’re doing a big Christmas Eve dinner and dirty Santa.  But I’m most sad about missing our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service.  It is my favorite.  We sing Christmas carols, our pastor does a quick Christmas sermon, and we finish by singing “Silent Night” and the whole congregation has candles.  Yes, it’s nothing new. It’s the same every year. But I love it.  And anyways, when my job is to take care of sweet little premies every day, the least I can do is help give them and their parents a good Christmas.  And to be honest, until we have kids of our own to celebrate Christmas mornings with, I don’t mind taking that shift so others can have their Christmas mornings.  I’ll get my turn again one day.

I hope all of you reading (if there’s anyone left out there checking in) have a wonderful Christmas.  It can be a hectic time of the year.  Families can be crazy sometimes.  But savor it all, remember what Christmas is truly about.  A celebration of the birth of a Savior.  So give someone an extra hug.  Tell someone you love them.  Hold a door open for a stranger.  Drop a dollar bill in that bell-ringer’s bucket.  And wish them Merry Christmas.