Thursday, February 8, 2018

life lately

I can't remember if I blogged about it or not, but my Grandma died January 3rd. She had dementia the last 4-5 years, so in a way she's been "gone" for awhile, but now she is really gone. She was a wonderful woman who loved God and loved her family so much. Many a prayer and rosary I know she said for me as I lived with them on and off for 10 years as I went to college. Her funeral was beautiful and 36 out of 39 of her grandkids were able to come, and so many more great-grandbabies now, it was nice to see everyone. Including my own brother and sister who were able to make it. There was a brief window even where it was just me, Joel, and Elizabeth with no spouses and no kids, and it was nice to be 'just us' again for a bit.
January was a busy month for us.
Fell in love with this property, but coming to the realization it is very expensive to build, even a smaller house! So sadly this won't be happening for us this year. I even cried about it a little bit, it was a nice daydream.
However, staying in our home with it's affordable mortgage allows me to keep working part-time, and I do appreciate being able to be home this this little guy.
Who learned to walk in January!
peek a boo!
I've been doing an externship in the ER for my last class of my BSN and so August has had some extra babysitting days. This includes being dropped off at a friend's house and being essential boy #4 over there
My friend sent me this picture of her son's arm around August. Awwww!
And August turned 15 months, we had a check in with a growth specialist because he had fallen off the growth chart, and had some abnormal labs, but praise God everything is back within normal limits and the doctor said August is probably "just a late bloomer", that is a-ok!
I'm not very happy at my job lately, still understaffed and cycling through my patients feeling like I just toss their meds at them and run on to the next, no intrapersonal development at all, and I don't like that. So starting to look at some other options, we'll see, not seeing a lot out there.
Otherwise, life is feeling busy with school and everyday life, looking forward to spring and at least being done with school!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 Goals

Well 2018 is already almost 1/12 over, time for some goals!
I have been feeling very busy with work and school and family life. It's been feeling like more of a chore to blog lately, but I have a minute now with August sleeping and dinner in the crock pot, so here we go:
- Finish my RN to BSN. This should be attainable as I only have one semester left and I'm already underway. This last class is a synthesis class and I could have either spent 15 weeks writing a paper, which I thought sounded pretty useless. Or I had the option to be in the ER for a semester. So I picked that option. After 3 years of being a nurse I still feel uncomfortable in emergency situations, and so I thought the experience would be useful for me. I already spent one day in the ER and saw lots of flu, but also saw a brain bleed, and a guy with a nail in his finger. This semester is turning out to take up a lot of time though. I have to do 126 hours of on-site experience and there are also 9 self-quiz packets on various topics: ventilators, trauma, hemodyncamics, advanced hemodynamics.... each packet is a 50-75 page PDF with 30 questions at the end and they are just so hard. And there are also 8 other fill-in-the-blank quizzes over the semester. So I am feeling stressed. But I think it will be worth it in the end and will make me a better nurse.
- Do the Bible in one year devotion. My friend Liz sent me the app and so far I'm on track. It's awesome because my phone can just read it to me while I prep dinner or wash dishes or what not. Unlike last year where there were just readings, this one also has a devotion part where it expounds on the daily reading and it makes a big difference I've noticed already. I'm also halfway through the Romans study in my Bible Study Fellowship group.
- Make a decision to move or buy another rental property. We are in the middle of lots of talking about this. Talking with a builder, looking at rental potentials. We are really in a nice spot now where our mortgage is very affordable so it seems daunting to have that possibly doubled.
- I'd love to make it through this stack of books that has been on my nightstand for years now, seriously, one of those is for engaged couples and we are in year 3 of marriage already. Now, don't get me wrong I love to read, just finished a novel in 2 days, but these non-fiction books take thought, and you can't just breeze through heavy topics all in one sitting. So they take forever. But I'd like to read them.
Otherwise I'm pretty open to what 2018 has in store. We hope it will bring an addition to our family, but that appears, like all things, to be on God's timing. I don't see any international trips in my future for 2018, but I am looking forward to a trip to DC in May for a friend's wedding, and a family reunion for my side of the family in Colorado in the summer. Doug's daydreaming about a Key West trip, so we'll see. Would also love to make an out East or Maine or Nova Scotia fall colors trip happen if at all possible.
Same as last year I want to be more intentional with my relationships. God, Doug, August, family, friends. I was just rocking August to sleep and singing Baby of Mine and of course the tears are coming down, one day he'll be too big to rock and one day he'll be gone to his own house and family. But today he is my baby and I love holding him close.
Hoping for good things in 2018 and for a closer walk with Jesus!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

thoughts

My grandma died yesterday.
This was my grandma I lived with for nearly ten years as I slowly earned my first Bachelor's degree. I have so many good memories of her when we were children, pulling us to the park in the wagon, reading book after book to me on her lap, singing 'swing on a star' to me when we'd sleep over. I feel bad reflecting on the years I lived with her. I know one of my cousins had lived with them for a semester and I think they really 'lived life together' with dinner together and deep conversations. I'm ashamed to say I used their home more like a hotel coming and going. I would talk to them, and we did have dinner together from time to time, and there was 'life lived together'; in some ways how could there not have been, it was nearly 10 years on and off. But I don't think I was really present. I was very invested in my friendships in that season of my life, but I didn't seem to save much of it for my family. I feel badly about that now.
I was talking to Doug shortly before 2018, reflecting on 2017 and wondering what 2018 would bring. We are hopeful it will bring us another baby, but I also voiced a feeling that something bad would happen. And sure enough, days later, she passed. I don't know why, but somewhere along the line I've developed a superstitiousness that I don't really like. My grandma was 96 years old. Me saying that is not what made that happen, a person doesn't live forever. But I seem to think about that a lot, and probability. I remember being in a group with 2 other friends and thinking about that statistic that 1 in 3 marriages would fail, and I thought to myself "poor Emily, she's going to get divorced someday." What a crazy thought, who thinks like that?! And crazy enough, both I and the other friend ended up divorced. And I think about percentages like 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and since my book club friends haven't had one, that must mean I will. Crazy, crazy thoughts. And really, underlying fear.
Ever since I read a book by Joni Eareckson Tada where she prayed for God to increase her trust, and shortly afterwards she had a diving accident which left her paralyzed I have been terrified to fully pray that prayer myself.
And it makes me wonder, am I short selling my own life because I am not willing to let Him take me where He has for me?
I don't know. By His grace I was able to trust and follow Him as He led me through an unwanted divorce, and He was 100% faithful, and has blessed me beyond measure. He has proved to me that I can trust Him and He provides. But still, I find myself not wanting bad things to happen and trying to avoid hurt.
Today I was on campus as I am in my last semester of my BSN and I had to meet with the professor about an internship and I took August with me, as I'm walking out of the building a guy held the door open for me. I realized I recognized this guy, it was a guy I had a crush on at this college almost 18 years ago. We chatted for a little while, he was also divorced and happily remarried as well, and it just felt so reaffirming that God is good and He can take pain and hurt and bring healing and joy.
Long story short, He is trustworthy and I should trust God with everything!
My grandparents celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last summer, with their 8 children nearby. They have a total of 39 grandchildren, and 40 great-grandchildren, a number that keeps climbing. We are blessed because this couple chose to raise their children to know the Lord, and my parents raised me as well. "But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children" Psalm 103:17.
My grandpa fell last week and broke his hip, and was at the rehab. So my biggest sorrow is that as she died he was not there. However, she was with my aunt and uncle who they have lived with for the past 5 years. They moved there after my grandma fell and broke her hip, and was unable to be in their house anymore due to stairs and the begin/middle of dementia. She has been mostly wheelchair bound since then, and the dementia had progressed, so there is a peace about death in that fact. I remember living with her and talking in the kitchen once as we were making food or something and she was talking about her sister-in-law who had dementia and how she never wanted to be like that. So I am comforted to think of her in her heavenly perfection restored to her full body and mind. And my aunt and uncle have taken such loving care of her and my grandpa these past five years. It has been wonderful to see them be so loved and taken care of. What a sacrifice by my aunt and uncle, yet done from their complete selfless love for them. A true blessing to witness.
Doug and I were planning a trip for the end of January to go visit them once we'd heard about the fall. Now we will be going sooner. I am thankful that I was able to see them a couple times last summer, and fall, and that I have a few pictures of August with them too.
I thank God for the life of this wonderful woman who loved her family so much and followed and trusted the Lord herself. What a blessing and privilege to live for 96 years. Thank you Lord.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Reflection on 2017 Goals

Oh gosh, another year already!
Whelp, that time of year where I look back at my old goals and see things I totally forgot about, haha.
1) Plan vegan dinners 2-3 times a week - I would say this mostly happened, especially if we say 2 times. It was really hard for me to motivate cooking this year. I don't know why. My grocery budget was over $300 almost every month (for only 2.5 people!) and we still went out to eat a lot in addition. I don't know. It was harder to have time in the kitchen with a little one either on my back, by my feet, or yelling from another room, so I need to work on quicker things in the future and some of my favorite vegan meals (or regular meals) take a long time to prep.
2) Take a trip together. I really want to go to Acadia National Park in Maine. We are thinking maybe early October for a fall colors tour. However, a 15 hour road trip with a one year old? We shall see... - Yes! We went to Hawaii in May with August, back to Maui and also to Oahu. It was a great trip. No Acadia this year, but we did take a fall colors road trip around Lake Superior in October and it was wonderful. 1,300 miles with an 11 month old, he did pretty well. We tried to limit car time to 4-5 hours per day and we had a new hotel every night, but it was a great family trip.
3) Finish reading the Old Testament. - Nope, I was doing good until I switched phones and couldn't get my Bible app to work anymore. But I am about 3/4 the way through.
4) Breastfeed August to 12 months. - Yes! We are at 14 months, and I think we're now on the way out. I'm happy my body was able to do this, and I still have a freezer with 6 more months stored for him too.
5) Memorize one scripture passage per month. - Total fail. I just can't seem to remember anything. I had a new verse in my bathroom and read it several times each day, and I couldn't tell you any of them now. And the same one has been up now for months and I just can't remember it :(
6) Goal together with Doug, turn this house into our first rental property, and find a new house to move into. - Nope, we are still in our house, and there are some things I really appreciate about it so we probably won't move until "the perfect" one comes up. But we did buy a house and our first rental property is going well so far!
7) Spend as much time holding August as possible. - Yes and no. I really do not have a snuggler baby. He pretty only much lets me hold him when he's falling asleep. So I do hold him, look at his gorgeous eyelashes, kiss his forehead and nose, pray for him, sing to him, and then I go do my stuff. I have seen that somehow I have turned into a totally task-oriented person and I don't like that. People matter more than a clean house or chores, I just can't seem to put that into practice though.
8) Hug Doug whenever he wants. - Pretty sure Doug would say that was a fail too. Yes I'd hug him, but lots of times I wasn't fully present :( what is wrong with me, why can't I just stand there and hug and hold the person I love?!
My overall goal last year was intentional living, and I don't think I lived up to it. So many days I would just fall into bed at the end and think another day over and I just 'got thru it'. My word to focus on was grace/gracious, and I don't think I really was either. Man it's so hard to be fully present and be kind and loving in the midst of stress and the daily grind. I should give a little 'grace' to myself, but I also know I need to depend more on the Lord. I just flat out can't do it on my own. I need to find my fulfillment in Him and let that love overflow. I guess I'm not really sure 'how'. I'm already praying about this, involved in a small group, attending church... I know I can't earn it through my works, but I'm also asking for it through prayer, so I'm not sure. I am sure about one thing, I have a lot of continued growing to do in 2018!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cozy evening

Just a lovely evening cozy on the couch with the hubby, talking, sipping our teas, listening to a "crackling fire", smelling pine scented candles, kitty on the lap, with the baby sound asleep.
Feeling very blessed.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

home updates: kitchen sink and coffee table edition

We finally got rid of our old constantly stained sink. No matter how hard I scrubbed, or how long the bleaching comet sat in there overnight, it remained stained.
ew
At the same time we did this we decided to put in a reverse osmosis system. I had one at my parents and I've always thought they were the "gold standard" of water purification. Then later we were talking to a neighbor who told us that our city has the best water in several local counties.... whoops... well, can't hurt! The system was $200 on amazon and it's installed now so it's staying.
new sink from Lowes
It took Doug a couple hours to install it. I think a couple frustrating hours actually. He had issues with the sink strainers leaking and the instructions on the part said only apply a bit of silicone and the guys at Lowes were like "oh no, you have to load it on". So he had a few trips back and forth, but eventually the leaks stopped.
Ta-da! The new sink is a little deeper and quite nice. We don't have an 'after' of the under the sink area. But the reverse osmosis system takes up almost the entire right hand side with just a little room for the container of trash bags. Surprisingly we still have enough room on the other side for everything else. There was a roaster pan that went out to the shed, but other than that, everything fits. And since I've used that pan once since getting it at my 2010 wedding, I figured it didn't matter too much being stored in the shed. I do miss that little ridge around the old sink for holding the sponge, but oh well.
The other new thing lately is a lovely new coffee table my dad built for us.
In the summer my dad said he had a piece of walnut wood that he was wondering if I wanted him to make anything. He had just finished making a table for my brother, and had a lull in his work, so I think he was getting crafty. I can't remember if it's from a tree he actually cut, I think so.
We had been using the coffee table I got for a previous wedding gift, and it was just laminated wood and getting chipped and peeling and the edges were sharp for a soon-to-be little walker. So I suggested a replacement coffee table. And Dad got right to work!
Pretty soon he had made it into boards, sanded it down, and put the pieces together to see how I liked the order.
I don't have more of his 'progress' pictures, but pretty soon he had it all built, then we chose a stain, and he stained it, varnished, and applied a wax topcoat. And then delivered it.
I love how he followed the natural pattern of the bark to make the rounded edges, it's so unique.
Our last table had this handy feature that the top lifted up, so I definitely wanted this one to do it too. And actually this one brings the top to a more appropriate level for working on the laptop or eating dinner, so that's awesome.
It's so beautiful. My dad is so talented!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

food and concerts

Veggies to roast: potatoes, butternut squash, and rainbow carrots. August loves them.
We went to my parent's choir Christmas concert. It was really very beautiful. August was a good boy, I kept him busy by giving him one cheerio at a time out of my hand. It was like a 20:1 ratio of cheerios to songs, but oh well, they were multi-grain, and kept him quiet, am I right??
One song the attendees were invited to sing along with the choir. I had to post the words, they are so beautiful.
I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play And mild and sweet their songs repeat Of peace on earth good will to men
And in despair I bowed my head There is no peace on earth I said For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men
Then rang the bells more loud and deep God is not dead, nor does he sleep (peace on earth, peace on earth) The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men
Here's a link so you can listen and sing along! :) (altho no organ on this track)
The organ was playing and everyone was singing. These are the times I miss being part of a more traditional church and the hymns and the organ. I really do like our church, but I miss that! And they had a couple songs with handbell accompaniment, and I miss that too, I miss playing handbells. I guess I'll let a little my preference worship style slide for solid biblical teaching, but I wish I could have both.
The next day mom watched August for a half day so I could go to a communication in healthcare class at work. It was actually pretty good. Then we met up afterwards at Unos for lunch. My friend Matt said August was behind because I haven't given him crayons yet. So here ya go August,
and this my friend is why I don't give him crayons!
I think he'll catch up come preschool!