Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy (late) Thanksgiving!

I'm embarrassed I didn't actually finish my week of thankfulness on Thanksgiving, so here goes. I'm thankful for...

-a safe drive to Omaha on Thanksgiving.

-all the wonderful cooks in my family.

-TCU's final win of the regular season! (Against Ross' dad's alma mater no less).

-my parents and grandparents. How does a girl get so lucky?!

-my sweet youngest cousins Libby, Jimmy, and Tommy. They're always so much fun!

-the fact that Emily Gilmore and I were in town at the same time and got to go running outside in perfect weather!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm thankful for...

-The wonderful dinner Ross made for me before I went to work last night.

-6 days off after working five 12-hour night shifts in a row!

-the fact that Ross got Sunday off of work so he can at least have a holiday weekend, if not the actual day of Thanksgiving off!

-my health and the health of those I love. Every day I learn that I am so blessed and I take it all for granted, but in an instant anything could change.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week of Thanksgiving

To continue, I am so very thankful for...

-my Lord. He died that I might live and I can never do anything to deserve such love.

-my husband. Ross is so great! I know he was dreading night shift like I was, but he's been very patient with mood swings and very understanding of my schedule.

-Ross' job. He's going to be working a lot this week, but I know he's glad to be employed.


-parents who care so much about me driving safely to Omaha for Thanksgiving after working night shift.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today I'm thankful for...


-Ross, who sleeps on my side of the bed while I'm working night shift so it's warm when I come home in the morning. (I know that's probably sickeningly sweet, but I like it!)

-good books.

-yummy Cheerios and yogurt for breakfast.

-the miracle baby I took care of last night. Extubated (on purpose) at 26 weeks and doing great!

-the fact that it only takes about ten minutes to drive to work.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The list continues

I am thankful for (in no particular order)...

-anything that makes me laugh!

-the internet.

-Ross' job at Old Navy and the consequent discounts at Banana Republic and Gap. It's taken all my willpower not to go shopping yet.

-clean water. WATER IS GOOD!

-such a great preceptor at work. I love Kathy Cathey! (Yep, her husband's last name is Cathey and she took it).

-night shift people being so fun. At least it partially makes up for the fact that we're all at work at 4am.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cake Wrecks

After posting last night, I spent 5 hours (yep, five) looking at cake wrecks online and went to bed in a considerably better mood! Instead of a whiny post today, I'm going to start listing a few things I'm thankful for. After all, Thanksgiving is less than a week away :o)

I am thankful for...

-my family. I realize not everyone can say this, but I have been incredibly blessed.

-my friends. They know that just because I'm bad at keeping in touch doesn't mean I don't care!

-dishwashers (seriously, I should never complain about loading/unloading the dishwasher when you consider the alternative).

-heating and air conditioning.

-the fact that I have a job, despite the stress it brings.

-the babies I take care of! Like Don Herald said, "Babies are such a nice way to start people."

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Thanks to facebook postings, I had a craving for Piranha Sushi today. Problem is, it's 12 hours away in downtown Cowtown. However, thanks to some KC contacts I got wind of Nara Sushi in the Crossroads District of KC. It's not Piranha, of course, but it's a close second and I'm very excited we found it!
In other news, still nothing from KU. You'd think a graduate school program would be more on top of things.
Last week I blogged about how much I love sunshine, and it's been raining ever since. Until today. Yay!
I go back to work tomorrow and I feel like I have had way too many days off. Yet I didn't enjoy them because I can't fall asleep before 2am now and don't sleep well. I'm so over night shift.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves, like locked
rooms and like books that are now written in a very
foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot
be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions
now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
live your way into the answer."
—Rainer Maria Rilke

Also a few minor updates:
-I am DEFINITELY going to India this February, after some wavering over the decision due to financial constraints. However, the Lord provides and the woman in charge of the mission is so convinced I need to be there that she has been fundraising on my behalf! I applied for the Christ Chapel scholarship and got it, so with that and a CCBC doctor's donations, I'm already up to $800!
-STILL no word from grad school.
-Ross has started orientation with Old Navy.
-My best friend from high school (and fellow Horned Frog), Emily Gilmore, lives in Connecticut now and we have been commiserating about how much we miss Fort Worth. We also need something to get us through the dark winters "up north" so we're going to start training for the 2011 Cowtown Marathon. 26 miles for our 26th birthdays! (Hers is in December 2010 and mine is in April 2011, so the marathon in February will be in the middle). I'm very thankful that Ross is willing to work out with me, and Emily has a gym 2 buildings down from her apartment, so we'll keep each other motivated from afar.
-Speaking of Horned Frogs, what an amazing week! This weekend's game had the biggest crowd in TCU football history AND in ESPN Gameday history. What a bad time to have just moved AWAY from Fort Worth! Can't wait to see the BCS polls tomorrow.
-And speaking of moving, my friend Brittnye pointed out that tomorrow makes ONE MONTH IN KANSAS already. Whew!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reasons to Believe

Sorry my last post was such a downer! In talking to several friends since then, I've realized life is pretty good. Sure, I'm stressed out and tired and things could be better, but things could also be a lot worse. I just shouldn't write when I'm going on 24 hours with no sleep. Fortunately, I have slept since then and things are looking up.

Ross still hasn't heard from grad school. We call weekly now, and the admissions guy is getting frustrated with the Interaction Design department as well. However, I get paid tomorrow for the first time in a month! I only took one day off between my old job and my new job, but my new hospital's paycheck system is very post-dated.

Possibly the best news, though, is that Ross got a job! Two, actually. Old Navy hired him as a seasonal employee and a valet company hired him to work in the Plaza. He's so excited to be a working man again, but I have to admit I'm really going to miss hanging out with him on my days off. We have spent A LOT of time together lately. We don't have a social life in KC and with me working nights and him being home, we're pleasantly surprised we haven't gotten sick of each other, despite our individual personalities needing "alone time" to recharge.

Sunshine has helped my attitude as well. I love sunshine! Our first week here was gloomy and rainy and cold but since then, it's been sunny and in the 70s! I'm sure if we had TV channels, we'd hear every KC weatherman parroting the phrase, "unseasonably warm." Even Omaha was gorgeous, warm, and bright when we visited last week. Reminds me of Ft. Worth. I'll enjoy it while I can because I'm sure Midwest Winter will attack eventually.

In addition to all of this good news, Ross and I have started running. There are several beautiful parks around and I very much needed to start working out again. With all of these factors combined, I feel that instead of singing "a long December," there's actually "reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last." (Counting Crows song. Good stuff.)

I was reading a novel recently (Ross and I have already joined the local library) and these words stood out to me:

"There is no point in treating a depressed person
as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now,
hang on, you'll get over it.'Sadness is more or less
like a head cold-- with patience, it passes.
Depression is like cancer." -Barbara Kingsolver in The Bean Trees

I understand depression, I've walked around in it and slept with it and spent entirely too much time with it in the last ten years. But I'm cautiously optimistic at this point. While moving was a great sadness, I will be okay this winter.

There are perks to living in Kansas City. It's only three hours to Omaha, for one. Ross and I had a great visit last week. My entire family ate dinner together on a non-holiday! It's been rare for all 6 of us to be in Omaha at the same time ever since I left for Texas and Tommy (I can't believe I have a brother turning 23 years old tomorrow!) chose a school in California. But now it looks like we're making our way back home. Home being where our family is. It's no coincidence that since Tommy and I were most affected by moving so much when we were little, neither of us felt too tied to Omaha after high school. It was much easier to go to schools in other states. It's good to be back though (she sighed, reluctantly).

I'm also excited to spend more time with my grandparents. I just learned how to make my Grandma's famous homemade bread. I need to try it on my own and see how it turns out! As for Ross, he has never lived near grandparents and mine have just taken him right in. It's fun to listen to him talk to them and learn all sorts of things about the past that I just took for granted.

Speaking of the past, my mom has been into old pictures lately. My Grandma Ginny (my dad's mom) is a great historian and has given us several nice old pictures over the years. My mom wanted some from her side of the family, so her parents brought over boxes and CDs when we invited them to dinner. The oldest pictures haven't been scanned it yet, but I got some good shots of my grandparents when they were my age as well as some hilarious photos of my mom and her two older siblings growing up! Next time I'm home, I'll post some with Aunt Kate and Aunt Susie (my mom's younger siblings) and pictures from my dad's side as well. For now, hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Monday, November 9, 2009

It still hits out of the blue...

I just saw via facebook (of course) that my friend Elizabeth is visiting Fort Worth soon. I was so excited! Then I realized... wait... now I'M not in Fort Worth. And I'm left feeling doubly sad.
Ross and I just spent a fun, albeit brief weekend in Omaha and it was so weird to keep thinking that I did NOT have a 12 hour drive home afterwards. Bittersweet, that's for sure. However, I'm loving this weather! I guess it's making up for the miserable cold rain that we had the week we moved up to KC. Now I'm at work on zero sleep... not the best way to end the weekend.
Also not good: we did not have any mail from KU when we got back this afternoon! Ross' acceptance letter should've been here last week... and now this week... They only have 15 applicants. Just make a decision, people!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Night shift makes me very contemplative, but it dampens my thought process at the same time. Tonight is the last night of five 12-hour shifts in a row. That means 60 hours of work in 5 days, during which most people were asleep! (I don't know how some people work 60 hours a week, every week). I'm exhausted, yet it's weird to think that when I'm off work, I have absolutely NO plans. How do you fill a day when you don't have school or kids or pets? How do you make a day useful/valuable/worthwile instead just watching re-runs to pass the time? Life is such a wonderful gift and I can't tell you how many days I have spent just "passing time"! It's kind of depressing.

Right before we moved out of Fort Worth, Christ Chapel was talking about a medical mission trip to India this spring. I really wanted to get involved, but with the move I didn't think I should try to be a part of a group residing in another state. However, the organizer contacted me this week saying they were desperate for more nurses! I'm going to apply for the "scholarship" and hopefully go to India February 11-21. I'm so excited! I'd been looking into Mercy Ships and Doctors Without Borders. I've been a nurse almost 2 years now. It's time to use my skills and my blessed education for a greater good.

Speaking of education, we're still waiting to hear from grad school. I can tell Ross is getting very restless and he's also frustrated that he has a college degree and can't find a job! If anyone has connections in KC, we'd be so grateful. He wants a job in the architecture/design/art realm, but at this point any job will do.

We have a lot going on right now and it's hard to put all of it into words. I often read something and it will strike a spark of recognition in my mind: 'yes, that IS the idea I was trying to form into words!' Therefore, I basically collect quotes. Here are a few that apply to my life right now.

*Tough times never last, but tough people do.*
-Robert H. Schuller

*Babies are such a nice way to start people.*
-Don Herrold

*Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate*
-Captain Jack Sparrow

*Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure).*
-Elizabeth Gilbert

*Who knows whether we have come into the kingdom for such a time as this*
-Esther 4:14

*For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin-- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time to still be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. Happiness is a Journey, not a Destination.*
-Alfred D. Souza

Monday, November 2, 2009

Missing my first hospital

I miss my old hospital terribly. I miss the comeraderie with my co-workers there and I miss the Neonataologists and NNPs there.

I also miss paper charting, but my old NICU was doing away with that anyway. Online charting is neater, more professional, and allows for more variation and flexibility, but I liked being able to glance at my flowsheet and know immediately if I forgot to fill something in or if I'd gotten behind.

Let me tell you what I like about the my new hospital as a whole, though. Ten years ago, the hospital was on the verge of getting shut down. Patient satisfaction was in the bottom 5% in the nation, funds were non-existant, and no one wanted to refer patients here because patient outcomes were so poor.

Due to a major re-structuring, it's hard to identify the hospital now with its condition a decade ago:
1.) We are a Magnet hospital, which I have mentioned before. This means that both the nursing staff and hospital have exceeded more than 150 professional standards of excellence. Magnet hospitals exemplify the best patient care and outcomes.
2.) We currently rank in the top 10 percent of more than 200 teaching hospitals in the country using the Press-Ganey survey.
3.) The hospital is ranked 56th among the nation's top 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare.
4.) We are number 2 amoung the nation's most prestigious academic medical centers in quality and safets, according to UHC's 2009 Quality and Accountability Study. This recognizes high-quality, safe, effective, efficient, and equitable care.

I finally finished my 7-day hospital orientation and this is my 3rd night on the actual unit. Night 3 of 5 in a row. That oughta' get me back into the night shift state of mind pretty quickly! In fact, it has already, in case you can't tell by this disorganized post :o)