Friday, October 30, 2009

School Update

Ross and I have been waiting on tether hooks for his grad school acceptance letter. They were supposed to be out by the end of October. Fifteen students applied for the Interaction Design program and they are only accepting 7. This week has been stressful waiting for that, knowing I have night shift looming in front of me, and trying to manage the fact that even though I started work at my new hospital October 19, I don't get paid until November 13!

Today, Ross got an e-mail saying that things are going "slower than expected" and we should hear by the end of next week now. I guess there's nothing to do but wait some more! He's also getting antsy because while he got a job offer last week to work 35-40 hours a week, the manager has yet to call and put him on the schedule.

Needless to say, our little apartment has been fulled with stress and we're getting on each other's nerves. Please pray for peace in our household!

Back to Work

I'm finally done with 7 days of hospital/nursing orientation and sitting in classrooms. Tomorrow night, I have my first shift in almost 2 weeks. I'm ready to meet "my" new babies!

When I started work as a new grad, I worked night shift for 9 months. I learned a lot, I LOVED my co-workers, but it wore me out and broke me down. I don't even remember that summer because I was either asleep or working through it. Time warps depress me but this time I'm married and don't live alone, so I'm PRAYING things go better.

I'm just trying to stay up right now so I can sleep in/take a nap tomorrow. Here are some musings on nursing for you since I don't have anything else interesting to say.

Nursing means...
You will never be bored.
You will always be frustrated.
So much to do and so little time.
You will carry immense responsibility
and very little authority.
You will step into people’s lives
and you will make a difference.
Some will bless you.
Some will curse you.
You will see people at their worst--
and at their best.
You will never cease to be amazed
at people’s capacity for
love, courage, and endurance.
You will see life begin-- and end.
You will experience resounding triumphs
and devastating failures.
You will cry a lot.
You will laugh a lot.
You will know what it is to be human
and to be humane.
(Melodie Chenevert)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy Bees

Big day today:

1. I got my H1N1 vaccine via injection (FINALLY! None of that nasal stuff for me!)

2. I am OFFICIALLY Mrs. Therese Dansby. Ross didn't think I was really going to 'get around' to changing my name, so I made him come to the social security office with me... and the driver's license office... and the bank.

Monday, October 26, 2009


The Lord is faithful; He gives us what we need. Every perfect gift from Him is perfect, indeed. Gotta' love iPod song shuffle! This song has gotten me through some rough times, and I pray that it gets me through this one.

by Jason Mraz

It's something like, 'I apologize'
It's something I still can't decide
But I know it gets better
It only gets better

And I want to say that it's not always easy
but it's simple that way
and i want to stay and play it out
But I still have my doubts
So you say it gets better
it only gets better
better this way
better, maybe it's better this way

Beautiful things they never stay, oh, the same way
they pass, oh they pass away, they always change
Who are we, is who we are
when the act of love can get us so far
so good, I wish you would
think twice on me
'cause it only gets better

It only gets better
better this way
better, maybe it's better this way
just give it some time
just give it some space
just give it some time, maybe it's better this way
just give it some time
just give it some space
just give it some time, maybe it's better this way

Just give it some time
just give it some space
maybe, yes maybe, yes maybe, yes maybe
it's better, oh, this way
Promise me you'll always be better

If you haven't heard it, you need to. It sounds so much better than it reads on paper!

On a separate note, praise God for the sunshine and mild weather today! Also, TCU is #6 in the BCS rankings right now. Go Frogs!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Well, we've officially been here for a full week. Last night we drove around the Westside district of KCMO and Ross fell in love with a few blocks of old houses mixed with modern/green houses. I fell in love with this tree house in one of the yards!

This morning, we went to my cousin Jimmy's football game. Sadly, the Visitation 7th graders lost to the Visitation 8th graders; however, it was finally sunny and warm-ish and a beautiful morning to be outside!

I don't have much to say except that we miss Fort Worth a whole, whole lot. Also partially cursing the fact that we grew more social in the last 6 months we were there. New friends made is so much harder to leave! And of course I'm reminiscing about the SUNSHINE and Central Market, and our wonderful location on Hulen Street. *sigh*

Things to look forward to: going to church with Ross tomorrow, starting in the NICU Friday and working with babies again, going to Omaha in 2 weeks, seeing Ross' parents next month for an early Thanksgiving... Please feel free to add to this list!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"An Epidemic of Fear"

I was just reading my nerdy husband's Wired magazine and this article caught my eye:

The article is well-written and well-researched. Any issue is always better publicized when there are groups adamant about both sides, and the Jenny-McCarthy-vaccine-autism group is quite vocal, if slightly misinformed. Their questions and accusations can prompt vaccine makers to re-evaluate the safety of their product and hopefully create vaccines with fewer and safer preservatives, etc.

However, the un-vaccinated children out there are only protected by the children who are vaccinated. We seem to think that some diseases have just "gone away" because this is America and we are not a third-world nation. But in fact, "In certain parts of the U.S., vaccination rates have dropped so low that occurrences of some children's diseases are approaching pre-vaccine levels for he first time ever." You and I may not have encountered polio face-to-face, but if this anti-vaccine trend continues, our own children may see the same disfiguring diseases that our grandparents did.

You might think that when kids start to die from previously "rare" diseases, parents would jump on the vaccine bandwagon again. Not so! There have been recent, fatal cases of meningitis in un-vaccinated children in Pennsylvania and Minnesota and parents continue to opt-out of routine childhood vaccinations. We're not talking about seasonal flu shots here.

If your newborn gets pertussis (whooping cough) there is a 1% chance that the baby will die of pulmonary hypertension or other complications. That may seem like small odds, until it's your baby coughing so hard that he or she turns blue. But those odds are unnecessary when no study has linked DTaP (the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine) to death in children.

I'll let you read the whole article to get a better idea of what I'm so clumsily and inadequately summarizing here. But I will leave you with this quote: "Nobody in the pro-vaccine camp [myself included] asserts that vaccines are risk-free, but the risks are minute in comparison to the alternative."

P.S. I have asthma and a history or bizarre illnesses that tend to occur in elderly populations (shingles, C. diff, to name a few). I absolutely get the flu shot every year, I got the DTaP vaccine last year when Pertussis was going around the JPS ER, and I plan to get the H1N1 vaccine in the next few weeks since I work with premature infants with compromised immune systems. And look, Mom, no autism!

*Disclaimer: Autism is a very serious spectrum of mental illness and in no way do I want to discredit mothers who are concerned about the well-being of their children. However, I do not personally believe that vaccinations cause autism. Also, if you're allergic to eggs or any other ingredient in a vaccine, of course you should say "no"! But in such cases, you would ideally gain some protection from certain diseases by virtue of your vaccinated peers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jayhawk in Training?

I'm still missing Texas like crazy, but I haven't had much time to think about it. My hospital orientation is INTENSE! I've been studying all night for two tests I have tomorrow. Yes, TESTS two years out of school :-( One is dosage calculation, which I expected. The other is on deep sedation which is over my head at this point! I'm just far enough out of school to "lose it" since I haven't "used it"!

I didn't want to post until I had something positive to say, so I'll say this: if I lay in bed without my glasses on and stare at the dresser, I can pretend we're still in our old apartment! But seriously, our neighborhood is full of trees and the leaves are all shades of yellow and some brilliant reds. I do love fall and if the sunshine would come back, it'd be gorgeous outside!

I start night shift next Friday and I work 7pm-7:30am that Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Quite the reality check. Ross and I are reading through the Gospel of Mark right now and the other night we read Mark 4: 35-40. Jesus is at sea with the disciples when a great storm hits their boat. Jesus is asleep while the men are panicking. They wake him up saying, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He says to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind stops and there is a great calm. Then Jesus asks the disciples, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"

Do I not yet have faith after 24 years?! I sit here feeling sorry for myself, but why should I be terrified of all these changes? Would God really just send me to Kansas to be miserable? Of course not! Yet all my prayers are selfish, that MY will be done over HIS. That is, when I remember to talk to God about any of this in the first place.

As Psalm 107 says, I should be giving thanks to the Lord, for He IS good:
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and his wondrous deeds for men [...]
Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
for they had rebelled against the words of God
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So He subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled and there was no one to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love!
Psalm 107:4-15a

Saturday, October 17, 2009

558 miles without cruise control (or "The Move")

Before I entered my driving coma yesterday on the road between Fort Worth and Kansas City (you know, you're in the "zone" and you aren't even thinking about where you're going or where you came from) I entertained a lot of unorganized thoughts about leaving and about life. Here's a sample:

-If Ross had stayed in the Peace Corps for his entire assignment, he'd just now be returning to the United States! Life would look very different right now.

-I made the decision to live in Ft. Worth twice. The first was when I chose to go to TCU. The second time was when I broke up with a long-distance boyfriend my senior year of college and asked myself, "what do I really want?" I realized I wanted to stay in Fort Worth despite all my homesickness! I love this city. I love speaking Spanglish at work, I love the weather, I love Central Market, I love the local food movement, I love the music (did I mention that Pat Green goes to Christ Chapel with us?), I love the big university (TCU) in a big city, and I love how clean downtown cowtown is.

-I will admit that I DON'T love the traffic. I-35 handed me a nice "goodbye" traffic jam on my way out of the city.

-You never hear me apologize/
For growin' up strong, growin' up right/
Livin' life by the Golden Rule/
Say 'Yes, Ma'am, Thank You'/
Green fields for miles an' miles/
Ain't nothin' but country on the radio dial/
I thank the good Lord I was born an' bred/
Corn fed.
*Corn Fed by Shannon Brown*

-I saw a billboard outside of Ft. Worth that that said DFW Airport is larger than the island of Manhattan. I always knew "DFW" was a real city in addition to Dallas (D) and Fort Worth (FW)!

-My life in Fort Worth may be ending, but it's still my life. It's okay to look back as long as I remember to move forward.

-Turns out travel nursing may not be a glamorous job in my future. I get too attached to a place and can't stand to leave.

-Don’t quit your high school football team halfway through the season/
Don’t bust your buddy in the nose when you know he didn’t mean it/
Don’t lose a girl you love at home for a night in Panama City/
Don’t rush off the phone when your Mama calls - you ain’t that busy
*Don't Ask Me How I Know by Bobby Pinson*

-This birthday billboard has been alongside I-35 for over a month now. I think it's hilarious!

-They have been doing road work on the interstate in Oklahoma for AT LEAST 6 years. Seriously not helping the state's like-ability ratings.

-I wanna love like Johnny and June/
Rings of fire burnin' with you/
I wanna walk the line/
Walk the line/
'Till the end of time/
I wanna love/
Love ya that much/
Cash it all in/
Give it all up
*Johhny and June by Heidi Newfield*

-There's nothing like packing up and moving to make you realize you're just as selfish and materialistic as the next person after all.

-There's also nothing like moving to make you realize how wonderful your husband is! Ross and I don't see eye to eye when it comes to packing/organizing; we like to do things in different orders and we have different ideas of relaxation and peace of mind. But when it comes down to it, he's thoughtful, selfless, and a very hard worker!

I got into Kansas at 11:30 last night. Ross had gotten the mattress out of the U-Haul and we both crashed pretty quickly! We spent our last night in Fort Worth on the floor because we didn't have the pump to inflate our air mattresses. Our real mattress on the floor in an otherwise empty apartment was a big improvement. Once I had a moment to sit still, the permanence of my drive finally HIT ME and the tears came.

Suffice to say, I don't tolerate change well and I have NEVER enjoyed moving. Ross just let me cry on his shoulder. After the tears passed, I realized that I'm going to be sad about this, and it's okay. It's going to hit me several more times I'm sure, but as long as I don't avoid making a life here, it's okay to be sad for a season.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Here comes goodbye

I think I'm still in denial. Brittnye and Evan came over last night to help Ross move the heavy stuff out of our 3rd floor apartment (and I mean HEAVY... washer, dryer, and treadmill). When we said goodbye to them, I didn't even cry. Denial. Either that, or I'm not worried about losing them because our friendship can survive the distance. Sweet Avery, their daughter, fell in love with my Cabbage Patch doll and giggled all night long. I don't want to think about how big she'll be next time I see her!

My last day at work was uneventful, minus the large amount of food people brought. Yum! Our new manager is amazing and she let me schedule 2 days of PTO after my last day so that I didn't have to accept a 37% tax on my PTO payout. What a blessing!

Ross and I are babysitting one last time tonight for Julian and Joaquin. Yesterday their mom told Joaquin (age 4) that Ross and I were moving to another state and he asked, "then they come back?" When she said no, he pouted. But she told him that when Ross and I visit Fort Worth, we can stay with them and he said, "fun fun!" This is the same kid who said, "oh drat, we're doomed" when he couldn't find a fireman hat at the toystore last week!

Well it's 7am and Ross and I are both awake, so I guess that means it's time to put boxes in the U-Haul!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Please excuse the melancholy

Moving charges you to sit up and take note of things that you'd previously taken for granted. Time, for example. Fort Worth. Friends.

Ross and I went to a wedding in Austin this weekend and drove home last night. It's always nice to come home but at the same time, I realized the finality of our decision to move to Kansas. Come Friday, when we click "Take Me Home" on the GPS, it will no longer lead us to the Stonegate Villas where I've lived for 2 years and Ross for 1. This is our last Sunday living in Texas and try as I might, I can't wrap my head around it. At the same time, it hovers like the clouds in the sky right now and creates a fog around me. I can't escape it.

I was reading Eat, Pray, Love again last week and this passage caught my eye:
"I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways, and all these acquisitions and accomplishments-- they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time-- when pursued like a bandit-- will behave like one; always remaining one county or one room ahead of you [or one city behind you], changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping our the back door of the motel just as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit that you can't catch it. That you're not supposed to catch it."
-Elizabeth Gilbert

We do have plenty of things to look forward to in Kansas, but right now I'm going to focus some more on the wonders of Texas:

Christ Chapel

We went to Christ Chapel one last time this morning and loved Ted's sermon, as usual! It's going to be quite a mission to find another church we both agree on as wholeheartedly as this one. Pray that our search is short and fruitful. It's going to be very easy to get caught in "church searching." In Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Screwtape (a highly placed assistant to the devil) writes to his nephew Wormwood (a demon):
"Do you realise that unless it is due to indifference this (fidelity to one church) is a very bad thing? Surely you know that if a man can't be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that 'suits' him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches."

For those who haven't read the book, Screwtape is coaching his nephew who is in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary man. The book is satire, of course. When they say that fidelity to one church is a "bad thing," the Christian reading it should interpret fidelity as a wonderful thing indeed which, as long as the fidelity isn't due to indifference, can bring us closer to God and our church community.

Hmm... that was quite the segue. Point being, we love Christ Chapel and will miss it!


Ross went to A&M and many of his friends are now scattered from coast to coast in various grad schools. We got to see a lot of them at the aforementioned wedding in Austin, though. There also happened to be a lot of the same people at Andrew's wedding who were at Mark and Merrell's wedding where Ross and I met over 2 years ago!

Since I went to TCU right here in Fort Worth, I do see a few school friends a little more frequently. By "a few" I mean 3. I got to see Emily Campbell and her cute 20-week baby belly while chaperoning Victory last month! Amanda Schaum and her husband don't live too far from us, but our schedules always conflict and we don't get to see each other much. We're not too worried, though, because they may actually end up in Kansas City with us soon so Amanda can go to KU for grad school as well. Kate Box and her husband are WONDERFUL, but they live in Plano so it's always an ordeal to get together.

Then we have Brittnye and Evan Hartfield whom we met through Nick and Kate. Brittnye and I love walking and talking and baking. She doesn't mind listening to me talk about "my babies" at work because she has a baby of her own-- sweet Avery who is already 10 months old! Evan is in architecture school right now, so he and Ross have plenty to talk about even when us girls aren't around. We love Nick Box for introducing us, but curse him for not doing so sooner! Our only small consolation is the fact that Evan has relatives in Missouri so we may be able to convince them to visit us every now and then.

Brittnye and me with our homemade pie!

I don't know if this falls in the "friends" category, but for the past two years, I've been babysitting for two precious boys aged 2 and 4. I met them when the youngest one was only 6 weeks old and I fell in love instantly! Now they both run around and chatter at a mile a minute and I will miss them dearly. Their parents are wonderful and if we were staying in Fort Worth, they'd be amazing mentors when Ross and I start to have kids in a few years. They're throwing us a going away dinner tonight but I really feel like we should be doing something for them instead! Going to their house makes me feel so happy and "at home." It's been a good steady base for me when everything else was changing (graduation, night shift, wedding stuff, moving).

We are incredibly blessed here! I just have to keep remembering what Mark and Merrell said to us this weekend: it'll be fun to make KC/Lawrence "our" city like they did when they moved to Denver. For now, it's time to go enjoy the time we do have left here with people we love!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Falling in Love

I have a problem. I fall in love with "my" babies at work and then I really miss them when they leave! I only have 4 shifts left at JPS so I haven't let myself get too close to anyone new in the last few weeks. However, I had grown quite attached to a baby who was in the NICU for 3 months. The little miracle baby with a big personality! She went home last week but now might get re-admitted for RSV... this virus will cause a cold in adults but for babies it's BAD NEWS. Lots of people are having babies right now-- when you visit the little one, WASH YOUR HANDS! Hand sanitizer won't help because RSV is a virus.

Please, please pray for "my" baby that she can fight through this just like she fought through everything involved in NICU life. She's such a happy, strong, sweet baby. I guess this is the downside of having a NICU cuddle-buddy.

"If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle." *Vincent van Gogh*

Friday, October 2, 2009

Texas, how I love thee

Well, the countdown begins... two weeks left in Texas. How did moving get so close already? And no, we have not started packing yet, thank you. I've lived in Fort Worth just over 6 years now, which means I've spent more consecutive years here than in any other city. That blows my mind! Before college, you could pretty much divide my life into 5-year segments: 2 years in Independence, 5 years in Omaha, 5 years in KC, 5 years in Omaha.

That means Fort Worth is "my" city. It's the place I chose for myself and so much of my life has happened here, for better or for worse! Right now I'm focusing on the "for better" parts and I'm really going to miss this place. I've been in my cozy little apartment for 2 years already. Packing may be harder than we're thinking.

As much as I resisted Texas pride at first, I will admit it's there for a reason. It's a great state! I'm really going to miss my friends here. Of course, the closer we get to moving, the more social Ross and I have become. Ironic, I know.

In our rush to cram in as much Texas as we can, we've been trying to tackle my checklist of all things Texan that I have yet to do.
My first dinner at Babe's. Yummy fried chicken!

More to come as we work through the list!