Wednesday, November 30, 2011


 This year I'm incredibly thankful. I have been blessed with so much in life. This year I am especially thankful for:

*A family that's always looking for new adventures

*Brothers that have become great friends

*Scares that turned into blessings

*Old friends that I can always turn to

*Newer friends that make life fun!

*A new car that not only looks cute but doesn't break down or overheat!

 *My job and co-workers that are supportive, encouraging, and into some cool stuff

 *A renewed relationship with extended family that always bring joy and excitement with each visit

 Eternally Thankful

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the 2nd mile

Tonight I went on a run. Whenever I run longer distances, I find a common theme; the 2nd mile is always one of the roughest for me. I'm not sure why, it's just always been a tough mile.

And when you run, you think, well I think. I think about life, about work, about friends, about whether that car is going to stop or if I'm going to have to make a sprint for it...oh wait, yeah, about life... And so I'm always running, and thinking, when that dang 2nd mile creeps up on me! The first mile I'm excited to be out running, I'm going fast, eager to hit my stride and really get into my run, but then....that 2nd mile... I go into it strong, but that's when exhaustion seems to hit, discouragement hits. I know where I'm going...and that's where I want to be! I want to be done; I'm tired, I'm sweaty, I've been going too fast, way past my good steady pace, I'm thinking "what is wrong with me? I can't run, I don't like I home yet?" (It's probably a good think that I run a big loop that is more than 2 miles because, were I not miles from home, I would probably just stop then and there)

It hit me right then, though, how this 2nd mile just might make a nice life analogy right now. And so the thinking resumed...

So, if life is a 5 mile run, I'm totally in my 2nd mile right now (the first mile is age 0-20, each mile = 20yrs, etc, follow?)Sometimes it feels like I'm in a holding pattern; tired, ready to move on, waiting for...well, just waiting.
and sometimes, life starts to feel a little 2nd mileish. I feel like I know where I'm going in life, and yet...sometimes...I wish I could just get there! Know what I mean?

But you know what, my run almost always gets better. I know that if I just push through that 2nd mile, I'm going to love it again. I'm going to love the journey, I'm going to stop thinking about walking back through my door and collapsing and really enjoy the pavement beneath my feet, the breath in my lungs, the wind in my hair.

And when I think about it that way... the 2nd mile's not really that bad...I mean, it's got a nice down-hill portion, I pass that cute little creek with the birds... The 2nd mile is a challenge, but maybe that's the most important part of a run. You think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Those that never knew

"Where were you on 9/11?" Everyone asks that. They say you'll always remember. I was in middle school. Yeah, middle school. It seems strange to me. How can such a strong memory of such a notorious day come from the same years that have been termed the most awkward and immature time in anyone's life? But, just as everyone has that strong memory, I have mine, from the awkward halls of your typical middle school.

I won't bore you with too many specifics; you can imagine how it went: kid in school, finds out what happens, don't know what to do with it, teachers don't know what to do with it or us, so we all proceed to deal with various strange, spur of the moment, emotional, and sometimes inappropriate ways until we get home and start all over again with our families. 

I found out as a burnt out and, especially that morning, frustrated homeroom teacher yelled at us to be quiet because "somebody died". She turned around to yell at us again, after flipping channels to find the one she was told to change to, and was shortly greeted with a silence that she rarely received from that class. I'll never forget the look on her face as she turned back to face the TV at witch we all stared. We had just finished processing that the smoking building on the screen was in fact in our country, not a movie, on a live news channel, and, taking all these things into account, actually happening when the news camera we were watching caught the second plane crashing into tower 2.

I remember thinking, oddly enough, not in the emotional, often teary manner I am prone to, about the events of the day. Sure, I felt for those missing family members and friends, I was deeply saddened by what had happened, and I, with as much attention a pre-teen could muster, feared for where our country would head from this day. I was and still am, thinking back, surprised by what I ended up thinking about days later. The people that lost their lives that day; the victims whose lives were taken, the rescue workers who gave theirs in attempts to save others, never got an explanation. We speculated that day, we talked about what may have gone on, who may have done it, but we didn't really know; and that was us on the calm and not disastrous side of the television. The people that day...they never knew. No one told them why they had to die. They never heard the explanations, the long drawn out reasoning, or even the conspiracy theories! That bothered me.

Among the many many hundreds of things that were so wrong about that day, this seems like it might just need to be included. I don't know where, if anywhere, I'm going with's just a thought. A thought that little, awkward, excessive amounts of hairspray using, middle school me had...and one that I couldn't quite ignore yesterday either.

For those that served and continue to today, I am thankful. For those that lost and are still, I'm sure, hurting today, I pray. And for those that never knew why this had to happen, I'll always remember.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I am a nurse

The first year of being a nurse is a journey. I should say, perhaps, (and assume fully to be true) that being a nurse in general is a journey. However, I can, as of now, attest only to the first year. I recently passed my one year mark as a pediatric critical care nurse. The journey has, thus far, been incredible. One of learning, terror, joys, nerves, laughter, tears, mounting self-assurance, and overwhelming insecurity.

I have days that bring me great joy; fulfillment in my work, the feeling of really making a difference. Days where I see progress and healing and rejoicing among parents and children alike for the obstacles they've overcome. I have days of frustration where I feel like nothing can go right, no one appreciates me, no one listens to me, and I can never seem to catch up. Then there are days of humility where the strength, perseverance, and optimism of my patients and co-workers uplift me and reminds me of the blessings in my life that I take for granted almost daily. There are days too, where pain, suffering, defeat and even death seem to encroach from all sides. Days where it seems to take more strength than I possess to make it through a shift.

But at the end of any combination of these days, I have to say, 1 year into it, I am proud to be a nurse. I am proud to work alongside some of the smartest and most caring, understanding, helpful, and encouraging nurses I could ever imagine. I feel blessed. Not only because of the enjoyment and fulfillment I get out of work. Nor just because of the amazing people I work with and meet. No, I feel most blessed to experience the joys of human reality day in and day out. Not many people see true joy, true sorrow, true thanksgiving, true desperation, and true rejoicing as often as I do. Sometimes all in the same shift.

So, I may not be a great nurse; though I have learned much, there is sooo much more for me to learn. But knowing now what the world of nursing really is and working with the amazing nurses that I strive one day to be like, I am incredibly PROUD to be able to call myself one at all. Thankful, that HE has brought me to this place in life. So, if you know a nurse, give them a hug :-) now that you know what each day may bring. They might appreciate one, they might even need one, but if not, I can almost assure you that they are, as always, ready and willing to give one.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This is how I felt the other morning. I have to admit, I did (a true technology generation kid) find out about the news from facebook. At first, I was just surprised to hear the news; after all this time, he had been found, and now he was dead. But as I scrolled down my homepage...I moved very quickly from surprised to amused that I was the only one, it seemed, who had not already heard, to shocked!

This news was the content of about 85% of my facebook friends' statuses...and many, if not most, of my friends were rejoicing, making jokes, or giving the "atta boy" to our country. Really? Was I the only one who was taken aback?

Yes, I am glad that justice has been served, that no further pain or suffering will will come from this man, and that those who were hurt by him can feel some closure. I am grateful for those who worked so hard to find him and serve so dutifully day in and day out. That is not the issue I'm seeing. But is it really appropriate to be rejoicing over death?

I don't know, I realize the conflicting ideas and feelings on the matter, and I think that the emotions of relief and appreciation are completely valid. was a sad day for me. We are upset when foreign countries have poor and judgmental opinions of us, but I think that if anyone were to pull up facebook or twitter yesterday, they would be completely validated in judging us insensitive and slightly cruel.

Is there not a remorseful thought out there? Is there no idea that this was someone's son, someone's brother? Is there no regret over a soul lost forever? I'm not suggesting anyone be overly upset or crying about it. Just...are we so desensitized that we can only see another bad guy shot down in a movie?

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Disney Princess

What did I do last weekend?

That's right...ran a half-marathon! What else?

How far is a half-marathon, you may be wondering
(because I actually did not know until after I had both signed up and payed for it, haha) Well, let me tell you, it is 13.1 miles!! (and yes, that 0.1 at the end IS important to say when you stick it in after 13 previous miles)

Why you may also ask... that I can't quite tell you the answer to. Though I've always enjoyed a nice short run, I'm not really a "runner" by any stretch of the imagination, but when two of my good friends (who are also not really runners) told me about their plans and asked me if I wanted to join in the training, I thought...why not? Something I've never done before!

So, come February, there we were! at 4:00am...thats right, AM, for our race! With Princess crowns, of course; we had to look the part!

Would I say I was prepared...almost, lol

But, with our princess labels too...

We did it!

Actually, it was incredibly fun! I ran the whole time, walking only long enough to drink the occasional cup of water (I can barely walk and drink, much less run, lol, just not that coordinated). I certainly didn't set any speed records, clocking in at 2hours and 30minutes, but I had a great time!

Yes, I was super sore the next few days.

And the last question I get asked: would you do it again?
totally! just not too soon :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where were You?

Let's be honest about pediatric nursing for a moment; sick kids make people sad. In general, I'd say that's true.

I hear all the time, "oh, I could never do what you do". And I smile and reply politely, "well, I can't see myself not doing it", or something of the like. And, in general, for those of us who do work with sick kids, it's true. We love it, wouldn't be there if we didn't.

The good moments often outweigh the bad. And the sad times, we usually leave at the hospital. Don't get me wrong, every sad story affects us, teaches us, moves us. But the fact of the matter is, every day is the worst day of someone's life. It can't always be the worst of ours. It just can't.

So we leave it there... When we can. So here comes the honesty: sometimes we can't. At least, sometimes I can't. Sometimes the sorrow, the pain, the agony, the hatred seeps in and I struggle. And as I struggle, I find myself asking, where was He? Where was He when that little girl was hurt? Where was He when that baby died? Where was He when that mother lost her son?

And on those days, I love this song. I believe this song:

"Lost, everything is lost
And everything I've loved before is gone
Alone like the coming of the frost
And a cold winter's chill in my stony heart

And where were You when all that I've hoped for?
Where You when all that I've dreamed?
Came crashing down in shambles around me
You were on the cross

Pain, could you take away the pain?
If I find someone to blame, would it make my life seem easier?
Alone, all my friends are asleep
And I can't find anyone to stay awake with me

Where were You when sin stole my innocence?
Where were You when I was ashamed?
Hiding in a life, I wish, I never made

You were on the crss, my G, my G, all along, all along
You were on the crss, You died for us, all along, all along
You were on the crss, victorious, all along, all along

You were there in all of my suffering
And You were there in doubt and in fear
I'm waiting on the dawn to reappear"

And so, honestly, sometimes I struggle. Do you?

And, honestly, sometimes we can't do what we do either. Sometimes we're just so many others. Waiting on the dawn to reappear.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My 2010 (Part 2)


July began with me saying goodbye to the job I've loved for the past 3 years. Working with special needs kids is still a passion of mine and I can't even begin to describe how hard it was to walk out of that school on my last day...

But new things were on the horizon as I started my first "real job"! I started working as a pediatric critical care nurse. This was not AT ALL where I saw myself working when I first started nursing school, but it ended up being the place I really love and have really found it to be the place that I "fit".

The month continued with my roomie's bridal shower! As maid of honor, it was my job to record the gifts and help keep her organized. The first of many really "weddingy" things we got to do together!


August brought one of the biggest changes of all as I moved out from my parents house into my new apartment with my good friend and now roomie.

Working as a brand new nurse plowed on as I continued to train on my floor as well as go through the many MANY classes required to start a nursing career.


Now that nursing school had officially ended for me and my two "nursing besties" we kicked off September celebrating in style by trashing our nursing school scrubs mudding on 4-wheelers.


We continued working through our classes and training at the hospital throughout October, but not without taking some fun breaks, like helping out at my neighborhood's halloween party for the kids, and creating some fun costumes, of course!


So much fun mid November, seeing cousins and family for Thanksgiving! The whole crew from my daddy's side reunited here with us where we had a slightly untraditional, but super special holiday.


December, as always, brought one of my favorite seasons! I love love LOVE Christmas decorations, cookies, shopping for the perfect gift for everyone, and spending time with my family all together! Even more, however, do I love the reason behind the season....

Celebrating the Day that HE was born to die is such an emotional, sweet, and heart-breaking time for me. The sacrifice of sending a son here for the purpose of a brutal death is breath taking.

I spent this year, as always, with my family, cherishing the time together, and the One who enables it all...

What this next year will bring, I cannot begin to guess. So many dreams, opportunities, and possibilities hover on the horizon. I can only ask that it be filled with His guidance and love and that I would have the courage and humility to follow as I'm lead.

Happy 2011! May it be filled with all the blssings of last year and the hope of all that is to come :-)