Flash Forward

Helloooooooo readers.  Is anyone checking my blog anymore??  Let me dust off the ole’ keyboard here and get this baby back on track.  It’s pretty bad when you have to write 2 “catch-up” blogs in a month’s time.  So, since my last entry, I flew to Texas for a dear college friend’s funeral, and grad school started.  Doesn’t sound like much, huh?  Well, let me just tell ya, the latter of those two is sucking up alllllll my free time.  I’m purposely taking the night off tonight to catch up on other things in my life.

I want to take time to dedicate a blog entry solely to our dear friend Christina.  So for now, I want to just focus on everything else that’s been going on around here.  Oh, and I’ll be sure to go back and finish out those last few days of Israel (don’t worry, I didn’t forget!).

So like I said, grad school has officially started.  It’s all online right now, until I get to the point of adding clinicals to my schedule.  So on August 26th, I logged onto the online system and have been playing catch-up ever since.  I literally spent the first whole day just getting all my test dates and assignments organized on a calendar (or two) and figuring out how this whole thing works.  I’m still actually trying to figure out this grad school thing.  Having never taken an online class before, I’m having to learn how to work “Blackboard” which is basically my home-base for all things school.   It’s confusing, and I constantly feel like I’m check and double checking to make sure I don’t miss things.  There’s also a LOT of ready for grad school.  I’m gonna be honest, there’s no way I can read all the resources they provide for us.  I’ve been reading the textbook chapters and taking notes but they literally give us probably another 20+ links, videos, articles, etc, etc.  It’s great but SOOO overwhelming.  And considering I’m having to balance my full-time job in additional to all of it….oh boy.  Let’s just say I’ve had a meltdown or two in the the past few weeks.  I have a long way to go in all of this, and don’t even ask me how I’m going to add clinicals to this kind of schedule next summer.  I just pray daily that the Lord helps me through it.  That He takes away my stress (cause I don’t handle it well).  And so far He has taken care of me.  One day at a time.

My time is so precious these days.  I feel like I don’t get as much time with my husband as I would like (although let’s be honest, I think I could spend 8 hours a day, every day, with him and still feel like it’s not enough!).  I don’t get as much time to study as I should.  It would be nice to work some extra shifts at work lately (because they desperately need help, and they are paying some good money right now to those who can work extra).  But there just aren’t enough hours in a day, or enough days in a week.  And I just have to take deep breaths, and remember that each morning is a new day.  No matter how bad the day before may have been, I get to start over with each new morning.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 4:6-7

In other news, our house in still in construction mode.  Remember that laundry room we’ve been building?  Well, Greg has been making some good headway on it, but it’s still very much in progress.  The floors have been laid, walls are up, the door and window trim is up, and we are close to the point of actually installing things in the room (cabinets, washer and dryer, shelving, etc.)  I haven’t taken pictures in a while, but I’ll try to get some posted.

My garden was a bit of a flop this year.  The cucumbers did well.  I canned lots of pickles and gave away a lot as usual.  The tomatoes did ok.  We had SO MUCH RAIN this year that so much of our produce just rotted before it had a chance to fully ripen.  We didn’t get a single good watermelon or cantaloup.  I was quite disappointed.  They would start to grow, and get bigger and bigger, but before they could ripen enough to harvest they would rot from the ground up.  The last time I remember it raining this much was in 2011 shortly after I got Lily as a puppy.  I remember going through a spurt where it seemed to rain every single day for weeks at a time (because as a new puppy owner, having to stay cooped up in a house with an energetic puppy was not cool). 😉

At this point I’ve quite tending to the garden.  Things are still growing, like the bell peppers right now, but I’m not babying the garden.  The weeds are going crazy, but I’m not weeding.  Our pear tree has been doing well, but I’m actually still eating pears that I canned from last year from time to time.  So I just told my good friend Christine and her sweet little family to come over and they could pick and take home as many pears as they wanted!  Her little kiddos had a blast picking pears and I was just glad to see that they wouldn’t go to waste.

So there you have it.  Another whirlwind of a catch-up.  Hopefully these won’t become the norm.  But unfortunately, I feel like I can’t make any promises.  Don’t give up on me.  I hope you’ll keep checking in!  🙂

Anthropologie

Can I tell you how much I love this store!?  Seriously, if I could decorate my whole house and stock my closet with items from this store, I TOTALLY WOULD.  Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but I do love me some Anthro.  Although I would also need to make about 3x the living that I do in order to afford that kind of luxury, so….instead I’ll just daydream 🙂  So here’s some fun stuff I’m loving right now!!

Check out these rain boots.  OH MY! I love them. Perfect for when I’m garden picking!

rain boots

dishtowel

I hate this little card is sold out. I would love to have it framed in our kitchen 🙂  Although I could probably find it elsewhere online. It’s made by Rifle Paper Co. Love them!

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Totally off the subject…but where was this dress when I was shopping for a wedding reception dress?  Gorgeous.

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These little bowls make me so happy. They are so bright and cheerful. I have a few in various colors, but I will probably continue to add to the collection 😉

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And I don’t have any of these yet, but they are beautiful as well 🙂

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OH LOOK! These little friends are on SaLe! 🙂  Obsessed.

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And I’m liking this little number a lot.

dressSo that’s my little daydreaming shopping spree 🙂

Lady of the Night

Our census at work has been crazy high, as it usually is every summer.  It never fails. Clearly there’s not as much to do during the winter, except…cough, well.  You know.  And every summer we see the results.  Babies just start popping out around the clock.  So right now between the RNICU and our unit we have roughly 100-110 babies.  We are a PACKED HOUSE.  Unrelated babies are having to share rooms, twins are squished into single rooms, and we the nurses get calls on a daily bases asking to work extra.

Anyways, so desperate times sometimes calls for desperate measures.  There are a few people on night shift out on maternity leave or medical leave, so night shift has been really short during this time.  Day shift is short also, but it’s easier to sign up extra on day shifts.  So our manager sent out an email asking if any day-shift nurses would be willing to work night-shift for a little while until we get through this busy season.  I thought about it for a day or so, talked to Greg about it, and we decided the extra pay would help (especially with our Israel trip coming up), and it would probably hopefully help me adjust for jet-lag with Israel if I’m already on an adjusted schedule.  So last week I started back working night shift and I will stay on nights through the end of August.  Boy, I forgot what “night shift tired” felt like.  It’s totally different than any other kind of tired. It’s a tired that only night-shifters understand.  It’s a nauseating tired.  And it all came rushing back by my 3rd straight night last week.  Man oh man.  That was rough.

But I’ll adjust.  And it’s only temporary.  And I’ll be on 2 vacations during July, so I can’t really complain.  So if you wonder why I don’t answer calls or texts some days, just remember I may be cozy in my bed getting my good “night’s” sleep. 🙂

 

Everyday Smilies

So I was doing my usual poking-around-Facebook-and-Pinterest this morning before crawling out of bed.  Does anyone else do that?  On my days off from work, I almost always do a little internet-ing before I actually get out of bed.  Anyways, so this morning on Pinterest I was actually just poking around my own boards and things I’ve pinned in the past.  If you’re like me, you probably have so many project ideas, recipes, printables, and the sort that you’ve still yet to try.  Yeah, me too.  Although we did try a new tilapia recipe last night that I had pinned in the past!  But I found myself browsing through the things I’ve pinned to my “Makes Me Smile” board, and I decided I wanted to share a few of those things.

So, we will call this the Everyday Smilies post!  Who knows, maybe I’ll even make it a new regular post.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Israel Countdown

I can’t believe our Israel trip is quickly approaching!  Holy cow, it’s countdown time!  We really haven’t gotten any more information about the trip since we decided to go.  So it should be exciting! We don’t have a clue what to expect so we certainly won’t be disappointed 🙂

We have certainly been blessed with the generosity of family and friends who have helped lend financial support for us!  The trip will cost roughly $4,000 for both Greg and me.  To those who have given already we are SO VERY THANKFUL!!!!  You have no idea how much you have helped!  However, we are still about $1,300 short 🙁  We know God will provide, and we have seen His provisions already through the support we’ve received thus far.  But if you still want to help, please contact us through Facebook.  For safety reasons, I don’t want to publish our address here on my blog.  But most everyone who reads this is either friends with myself or Greg, so we can privately give you the info needed 🙂

Obviously, in addition to financial support we continue to ask for prayers.  Please pray for safe travels, not only on the plane rides back and forth but for safety while in Israel.  Israel and Syria are not on good terms right now, and although we have been assured that safety is a top priority as we travel, you can never be 100% sure.  Pray that God will put His hand over our journey and protect us from harm.  Also pray for the youth that will be attending the camps we will serve in.  It is my understanding that the children attending the camps have converted to Christianity.  Since most of the country is Jewish, with Muslim being the next highest population, many of these children are some of the only Christians in their communities.  Pray that they will find spiritual support and renewal during their fellowship with us.  Clearly there will be a language barrier between us, but I just pray that they would see God through our actions and love.  Lastly, pray for our own spiritual walk.  Pray that Greg and I would continue to grow and strengthen our own faiths.   There is a reason we have been given this opportunity.  I don’t know lessons God has in store for us, but pray that we would be open to His guidance and that our cups would runeth over with His teachings.  I want to soak up every bit of what God has waiting for us!

Thanks for sharing this journey with us!! We are getting so excited!

Swim, Bike, Run- Grandman style

We celebrated another Grandman triathlon with our family athlete this weekend.  Chuck and his friend Robbie have participated in races together several times before, and they both did the Grandman together 2 years ago as well.  The race was in Fairhope, AL (outside of Mobile).  We love Fairhope.  We lived there before we moved to Birmingham when I was 5.  It’s such a cute little town by the bay.

We drove down Friday, and picked Emily up in Auburn along the way.  Chuck’s parents and Robbie’s family came down to watch them race as well.  Friday night we all went to Wintzell’s Oyster House for dinner.  Great food and great company 🙂  Mom, Dwayne, Emily and I stayed with our family friends the Nester’s, so after dinner we went back to there house to get to bed early.  A 7am race Saturday morning meant an early wake-up call for us all 😉  Katie and Chuck brought their dog Rosco with them, so the three of them and Robbie stayed in a hotel.  We met up with everyone bright and early Saturday morning at the Fairhope pier.

Katie, Emily, and I are ready to watch the boys!June1-Fairhope (5)They started the race off a 1/3 mile swim (they jumped off the pier and swam into shore), then a 18 mile bike ride, and finish out with a 3.1 mile run.  Both guys did well. Chuck beat his time from last year and placed 4th in his age bracket.June1-Fairhope (3)June1-Fairhope (2) June1-Fairhope (4)June1-Fairhope (7)June1-Fairhope (6)June1-Fairhope (10)June1-Fairhope (11)June1-Fairhope (8) June1-Fairhope (9)After the race Chuck and Robbie’s parents headed back to Birmingham.  Katie, Chuck and Robbie stuck around for the award ceremony while mom, Dwayne, Emily and I went roaming around downtown Fairhope.  We went into a few antique shops and then down to another little pier down the road just killing time until we would meet Katie, Chuck and Robbie for lunch.

June1-Fairhope (1) June1-Fairhope (12) June1-Fairhope (14) June1-Fairhope (15)For lunch we found this really cool place.  It’s Windmill Market.  It’s an organic market with local fruits and veggies, 3 cafe’s you can order food from, and there’s all kinds of outdoor seating with live music.  There’s a giant windmill outside the building which uses wind to generate power, and I found some rain barrels scattered around which they use to collect rainwater to water the plants on the property. It was a very cool!  Birmingham totally needs something like this.  Here’s mom and Dwayne sitting out on the patio 🙂June1-Fairhope (16)After a long day on Saturday we went back to the Nester’s house to visit and get ready for dinner.  We went out for Italian at this pizzeria in Daphne.  Rachael met up with us at their house with her silly boy Lucas and they joined us for dinner.  It’s always fun seeing them again and catching up.  We’ve been family friends since before any of us kids were born.  They’re really like family actually.  Distant family, and we just pick up where we left off each time we see each other 🙂

So it was a wonderful weekend.  Another race in the books, and great times with family and friends.  Who could ask for more?

Memorial Day by the Lake

Boy did we need a day to relax, and this past Saturday provided just that!  Memorial day was one of my holidays to work this year.  But, somehow I also was scheduled to work 5 out of the last 6 days.  That’s right, I worked Thurs, Fri, Sun, Mon, Tues.  It was rough.  So when I knew I was off Saturday for the holiday weekend, I wanted to make the best of it.  Since the weather has been mild lately, I really wanted to have a day in the sun.  So Greg and I decided to go to my grandaddy’s lake with my mom and Dwayne and enjoy a peaceful day with the dogs down there.  What better way to spend Memorial day than enjoying the lake my Grandaddy (a veteran) built and remembering him.  It was great! The sun was shining all day, the dogs had a blast as usual, and I finally got to put on a bathing suit for the first time this season. 🙂May25-MemorialDayWknd (1) May25-MemorialDayWknd (3) May25-MemorialDayWknd (17)May25-MemorialDayWknd (26) May25-MemorialDayWknd (25)Me and mom pretty much hung out on the dock all day, listening to music and reading magazines.  We brought our friend Michael with us, and he and Greg spent hours out on the water fishing.  Michael caught a huge catfish!! Definitely the biggest fish I’ve seen out there, although Dwayne does a LOT of fishing out there and he’s caught a few big ones too!  Of course this was the most exciting part of the day…we decided to filet the fish and take it home to cook later 🙂  I have several memories of my Grandaddy skinning fish that he caught and brought home from this lake.May25-MemorialDayWknd (7)May25-MemorialDayWknd (8) May25-MemorialDayWknd (10) May25-MemorialDayWknd (11) May25-MemorialDayWknd (12) May25-MemorialDayWknd (14) May25-MemorialDayWknd (20)

May25-MemorialDayWknd (16)We grilled burgers that night and sat by the camper after a long day in the sun. We were all so content 🙂  Such a great day!May25-MemorialDayWknd (28)May25-MemorialDayWknd (22) May25-MemorialDayWknd (29)

FOR SALE!

UPDATE: MORE PICTURES!!

No, not our house.  We’re way too deep in remodeling for any of that crazy business.  But there’s lots of stuff inside the house that we need to sell.  We had a big yard sale right after we got married since we had both lived on our own for a while and had lots of duplicate household items when we combined houses.  But now it’s time for another.

So if you live in the Birmingham area and would like to come check it out, let me know!  I can send out private Facebook messages with our address (just to be safe).  But we’re in West Homewood, more specifically (past Patriot Park and the Senior Center).  There will be RED signs in the neighborhood directing where to go!  The sale will be from 9am-noon this Saturday, May 18th!  Here’s a sneak peek at a few things we have for sale….

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Reading List

I love blogging.  And I hope you love reading it.  🙂  Even as a child I kept a diary (actually, I had several), and I would write about the day’s events.  I remember writing about holidays, especially Christmas when we would spend our mornings together opening gifts and then head off to my Nana’s house for lunch and family time with my mom’s parents and relatives.  I remember writing about fun days I would spend with my friends growing up, riding our bikes for HOURS all around our neighborhoods.  I wrote about boys.  My first “boyfriend” was this boy named Sean.  And when I say boyfriend, I just remember 1 time our moms drove us to hangout together (after school one day) at the mini-golf arcade that was at the end of my street.  That arcade is long gone now (the Krispie Kreme in Hoover took it’s place many years ago).  I even remember writing about the night our childhood pet, a sweet little Yorkie named Bitsy, got run over by a car…right in front of us.  Yeah, that was a little traumatic.  So the fact that I keep this blog comes as no surprise to me.  I really do enjoy it.  Sometimes I just go back and read through old posts.  I compare my garden from 3 years ago to the one I have today.  Boy, has that’s hobby grown!  I like to look through big events, like celebrating all the weddings amongst our friends last year.  And the best part of writing this blog is that for the past 2 years my sweet hubby and gotten a print version made for me.  So not only do I have an online chronicle of our lives, but I have a copy that I can look through for years to come (cause you never know…maybe one day the internet will be old news).  That’s hard to imagine, right?

I also enjoy reading others’ blogs.  I follow my mother-in-law’s blog (Kendall Boggs Fine Arts and Crafts)…she’s kind-of a big deal 😉  I follow Young House Love for all their DIY and design-savy tricks.  I follow a few others that my friends write, but I want to expand my reading list.  So this is where I need your help!  What are some of your favorite blogs you follow?  I want your recommendations.  They can be family blogs of someone we may know in common, or blogs about home-decor, or DIY.  The sky’s the limit!  If you like reading my blog then we might have some common interests, so tell me what’s on your blogging reading list 🙂  I would love to know!  Ready, set, go!

Shocked, Excited, and Totally Freaking Out!

So yesterday I got some pretty big news.  I received a packet from UAB stating I had been accepted into the graduate school program for neonatal nursing.  I have to admit, I really haven’t been thinking a whole lot about it or stressing at all cause I felt kind of indifferent either way.  If I didn’t get accepted, I was ok with that cause in all honesty, I absolutely love my job right now and I can’t see myself wanting anything different.  But at the same time, I know I can do this if I really put my heart and soul into it.  And it was either get back to school or start having babies 😉  I know plenty of people who wish I’d just do the latter!!  But since neither Greg or I are 100% ready for kids yet, it made sense to go ahead and give grad school a try.

And the funny thing is it was probably the least stressful big decision I’ve ever made.  When I finally made up my mind to give it a shot, I did my application (which yes, that took at least a month to finish before I felt 100% sure I was done with it), but  then I just sat back and waited.  Not that I really could have done anything else besides that, but I just felt like if this is what God had planned for me then He would make it happen.  And He very easily could have shut that door, and I can honestly say I would have been perfectly happy.  But He didn’t, so He must know something I don’t.  God knows my strengths and I’m trusting He will help me through it.  Because I know it won’t be easy.  Nursing school in undergrad wasn’t easy, and I wasn’t trying to work a full-time job at the same time.  That’s really the part I dread.  I better have fun this summer cause once grad school starts, I’m gonna hit the ground running for 2 1/2 years…at best!

So the next few steps seem a little tedious.  I have to make sure I sign all these forms, submit all my medical records, register for a background check and drug screen test.  And then I have student orientation to attend in June.  It’s the little stuff like that that stresses me out the most!  I know one thing, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  One of the requirements for the neonatal program is having at least 2 years experience in a level 3 NICU.  And if you really get technical, my unit is not really a level 3.  We are the step-down unit from the NICU.  However, when the NICU is short-staffed, we get reallocated to work on their unit from time to time.  So I have worked on the unit, but even then, I’m not trained to run codes or go to pre-term and high-risk deliveries.  And I halfway expected the admissions board to recognize that and easily say that I didn’t qualify for the program.  But apparently not.  So over the next few months I’m going to have to teach myself some of those things that otherwise would come naturally had I actually worked on a level 3 unit.  I need to learn all the code drugs, their common doses and uses, resuscitation (which I’m certified for neonatal resuscitation, but I rarely have to actually put it into practice), and common neonatal diagnoses.  So although classes won’t start until the end of August, I’ll be doing some pre-school studying.  How fun, right?  :/

So yes I’m excited but I’m also very nervous.  I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about it.  But I’m going for it and just saying a prayer all along the way!  And if anyone reading this ever thinks about me, just say a little prayer for me too  😉