Monday, May 23, 2011


It all started four years ago, the beginning of my nursing career. Right here at this not so lovely place. I also was a patient once myself. So, for me, the attachment goes beyond what people might think. It's where I learned everything I know about nursing! 

The co-workers I have are amazing. We are so dependent on each other and because of our small unit, in an instant if someone needs something, in an instant, someone is there!

Tonight when I go to work I will be embarking upon a change. A change, I have to say, I have been dreading for the past few years. Yes, the new unit is nice with all of the new technology and new equipment, but I do not like how big and spread out everyone will be. This change is going to affect how we "nurse" (as a verb) and how we take care of our patients. Hopefully, we get used to things quickly and I'll end up liking it much better than anticipated! 

Here are some pics I took of the old and the new!




Central nursing station

Bigger room, stocked with upgrades in equipment. And each room has a window. Shocking, but in the old hospital, not every room had a window!

Now, there are individual charting areas outside each room. 
And, each room has a door. In the old unit, each room has a magic curtain!

I add the picture of the bathroom because in the old unit, there were ZERO patient bathrooms. So, now the patients who are awake and able, they have access to a bathroom! 

Hope you all have a good week ahead!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the jumping bean

This is a short video and it's the ONLY time I asked Stella to jump for my lunch. I usually am doing the opposite and telling her "NO ma'am" or "NO missy!"  
Keep in mind she is small...almost 6 lbs and the kitchen counter is hip-high (my hip...yes, very accurate measurements!) 

(it doesn't look like anything is there to watch...but there is...)

She's enjoying a little bit of a tuna sandwich.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

thoughts and things this week...

1. Island people are so nice. I was buying a pair of Jacks that aren't exactly cheap and I asked the sales lady if there was another pair because the only pair out was the sample and it was "worn" looking. Well, it was the only pair left in my size and color I wanted so she offered me 20% off!
2. I could live on seafood. Just not oysters or clams.
3. I want to move to the beach/warm climate.
4. If I move to warm climate, I would not want to work...ever.
5. I love the ocean breeze, but this is nothing new! It keeps me from sweating!
6. I'm getting SUPER EXCITED, BEYOND PUMPED about starting a Bunco group with some friends! Some other girls in my town? city? are joining that I've never met so I'm also really excited to meet them and make new friends! 
I said I feel like a stay-at-home mom with a job and no kids.
My dad called me a granny. :(
Why you would want to date me: I'm in a book club, a bunco group, and go to Florida with my parents every year {free vacation} to a retirement community. Yes, I'm a load of fun! Seriously...I am!
7. My Stella does not listen to me. She goes into her "condo" "house" {crate} so easily for my mom and sister, but not me. She runs and hides under a bed where I can't get her and isn't even bribed by a treat. And she even knows it's close to leaving time when I'm in the bathroom getting primped. She will go hide under the bed when I'm putting on my makeup. Why does she obey them and not me?! 

What are your thoughts for this week?! I'd love to hear 'em!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Romper Love

I remember when I was a kid I had a romper that I wanted to wear daily! And if I remember correctly, it was floral. Also, a HOTT summer trend! Thankfully my mom didn't let me and she would throw it in the laundry, but it was my favorite thing to wear in the summer!
My how the trends come 'round!
Here we are some 15-20 years later and they are all the rage again!
How cute are they! 
Romper Love

I will be ordering myself a few of these soon for summer nights and for summer days!
Are you feelin' the Romper Love?!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Happiest Mother's Day

As today is Mother's Day I wanted to talk about my own wonderful mom, but find it only fitting to share about my friend and lovely hairdresser and her husband's fight for parenthood. They have experienced a difficult journey of trying to have children, but have trusted in God to give them two beautiful children due in a couple weeks! 
Laura and Drew are two of the most Godly people I know and are most deserving of this miracle. They will be great parents and these two children are so blessed.

After joining the blogging world I have found people with similar problems. I had the idea to "interview" Mrs. Laura about their experience and share it with you all in hopes of giving someone else an idea of what IVF {invtro fertilization} consists of and some "advice." For those of you thinking of going through this process, already in this process, or have ever experienced something like this, I hope this gives you some sort of comfort in your own journey.
If nothing else, you can read about a miracle! 

On Infertility
Q: Can you just describe a little bit of the treatment and process of invtro for you that you've gone through the past few years?
A: We started trying to get pregnant a little over 3 years ago.  After a year with no success, surgery, and discovering that I have stage IV endometriosis, I did about 6 months of hormone injections to try and clear it up.  We were still unable to conceive, so at that point we then met with a fertility specialist.  He was pretty direct in letting us know that IVF was our only option if we ever wanted to have children.  As I received all of the information and sat through our class to learn about all of the shots and how they worked, I must admit I was pretty nervous and overwhelmed.  As we continued through with it, our nurse was so sweet and comforting and it really wasn't too bad.  First, I was put on birth control to regulate my my levels, then another shot to suppress hormones and prevent early ovulation.  We then had many ultrasounds of my ovaries and blood work to check my estrogen levels.  Once we started the stimulation injections I would have more ultrasounds to monitor my egg production.  I didn't produce as many as they were hoping, but there were still enough to retrieve.  After about a week and half, they put me under for my retrievals which was the easiest part of all.  There was a little cramping the following couple of days after, but nothing too major.  After the retrievals they would allow for the eggs to be fertilized with my hubby's "goods".  The eggs were monitored and rated based on their strength over the next couple of days and then they were transferred back into my uterus, also very painless and easy.  Then the 2 week wait began. This was truthfully the hardest part of all. There were so many emotions and any little thing I would feel I would read into.  When I returned for lab work to confirm a negative or positive pregnancy test, I learned that afternoon that I wasn't pregnant.  I was so heartbroken and being that I was at work I had to pull myself together and finish out my day.  To say I was devastated was an understatement.  I felt so alone.  The next few months were very hard for both Drew and I.  I shed alot of tears and had lost alot of hope.  We decided to go back to our doctor for round 2 and since we didn't have any left over embryos we had to start from scratch with the whole process.  Just prior to our blood pregnancy test after our second IVF round, I had started bleeding and new that once again it had failed us.  I was required to test again.  I got a call back from the nurse explaining that I was pregnant, but my HCG levels were low.  The next week was nothing short of a roller coaster.  I was didn't think I was pregnant, I tested positive that I was, then I wasn't... it was crazy.  Come to find out my initial bleeding was a very early miscarriage and after many ultrasounds of seeing no growth, I miscarried a twin 2 weeks later.  Just when I thought things could couldn't get any worse, it did.  It was a whole other form of heartbreak.  Drew and I decided to take a break.  I emotionally just couldn't handle anymore.  We had prayed so desperately for so long and there was nothing.  We had decided at our first appointment that we would give IVF 3 tries, so we told ourselves that if I were in a good place, in a little while we would try one last time.  When the time came, we decided to try a new doctor that was out of town, but highly recommended.  Our experience was amazing.  Our doctor was so positive and reassured us that he could help us.  If nothing else, I had found hope again.  We went through a very similar process as the other two times, but with less medicine and a few other modifications.  After the long two week wait, we found out that we were pregnant with our miracle and my levels were great!  I was in complete shock and denial.  We waited another 2 weeks for our first ultrasound and I was a mess.  I was so afraid they would go in and find nothing like the last time we had miscarried.  Boy were we wrong.  We saw 2 little sacs
and 2 little fluttering hearts! Yes, I said 2!  We were having twins!!!  I'm am due in 5 weeks and we are so grateful :)
Q: How did if affect you emotionally?
A: Honestly, the medications weren't what really affected me, it was more the outcome.  After a failed attempt and two miscarriages I was just hopeless and sad.  I cried alot and became a little reclusive, it was all just so hard to grasp.
Q: Did you know anyone else that you could talk to and go to for advice? If not, did you meet anyone along this journey you could relate to and go to with questions or seek advice?
A: I did have a friend who had been through IVF that I talked and prayed with alot.  She got pregnant her first round so it was a little hard to relate with her after it didn't work because I realized at that point she just couldn't understand that side of things. 
Q: What has been the scariest thing for you so far?
A: In the beginning it was not knowing if I would ever be able to have my own children, now it is just that my sweet little angels with be born healthy.
Q: What has been the hardest thing for you so far? (if different from previous question?)
A: The fact that it changed me.  I didn't feel like it changed me for the better.  I can see that it has now, I am so compassionate towards women experiencing the tough battle of infertility.  At the time, it was really hard to be around people that were close to me that were pregnant.  It brought on so many conversations that I did t want to be a part of .  I had a lot of guilt for for feelings I couldn't control and baby showers just about threw me over the edge.  Now I feel like my role in all of our journey is to be supportive and prayerful of others experiencing the same hurt I did and for that change I am grateful.
Q: How has Drew been supportive?
A: He was so wonderful and patient.  He would let me cry whenever I needed, he would talk when I wanted to talk, and he knew when I just needed to be alone.  He never lost hope and always encouraged me.  Even in my hateful moments, he never got upset with me.
Q: What have you learned about yourself?
A: People change.  Life shapes us and molds us and we all go through tough times.  Infertility is such a tough subject.  Every one's story is so different and they cope in different ways.  I found that there really was nothing anyone could do for me other than pray and let me know they loved me.  I learned to let myself catch a break and that for once in my life it was ok to worry about me and not about hurting others feelings.
Q: How has your marriage been tested?/What have you learned about your marriage?
A: You know that is a hard question.  Drew and I dated for 5 years before we got married and then were married almost 3 years before we starting trying to get pregnant so we were pretty in tune with one another and the best of friends.  Our marriage is by no means perfect, but we never really felt like this process tested us.  We probably became closer, we intently prayed together and talked alot.  Both of us were upset, but having each other to lean on was what made things easier.
Q: Do you have a quote or bible verse you want to share that has given you strength?
A: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4: 6-7.  I know it is such a go to verse, but I experienced alot of anxiety as well through the process, especially in the beginning.  Choosing to be thankful in times that were trying was hard, but I knew it was necessary.  I would recite this in my head every time I would start to get anxious and the Holy Spirit truly came over me and gave me a peace.
Q: What advice can you give to others who might be going through the same thing?
A: Try your hardest to find someone encouraging to talk to, even if they can't fully grasp what you are going through.  It is so easy to close up and run away, but it will only make things harder in the end.  Again, every story is so different and I never found anyone to do anything to help, but just being able to vent is helpful for yourself.

On Pregnancy and the Angels!
Saying his bedtime prayers :)

Q: What was it like when you finally knew this was "the one"- the pregnancy that would last?!
A: O man, I will never forget how hard my heart was beating and how shocked I was.  I just assumed that it didn't work again because of our other experiences so it was so crazy!
Q: How have you felt physically?
A: I have had such a great pregnancy and I truly feel like God made this part a little easier on me. I was never sick, I just grew really fast :)  its a constant reminder of my miracles, I love it.
Q: How was the first ultrasound appointment?
A: Mind boggling.  It was so hard to believe those two little lives were inside of me and that God would finally give me the privilege to carry them. It was comforting, but I would live ultrasound to ultrasound just to know they were ok.
Q: Have you had weird food cravings?
A: Not really, I always love food haha, but for some reason ice cream tastes a little better than it used to. 
Q: What have you done for relaxation?
A: I've just tried to be continually thankful for this process even now that I'm big and getting uncomfortable.  I wouldn't trade this for anything :)  I do treat myself to manis and pedis and of course prenatal massages!
Q: What is the sex of the babies?
A: Boy and Girl
Q: What are the babies' names?! (I love them! haha)
A: Brooks and Leighton
Q: How are you decorating the nursery? What color scheme, etc...
A: No theme, just colors and patterns.  Grays, blues, a little red.  It is very different :)
Q: What do you hope for the babies' futures?
A:That they would first learn to love Jesus Christ and to love people.  I pray already that they will have a relationship with God, so that when life throws curve balls they know that He is ALWAYS there even when it doesn't feel like it. 
Q: Are you going to try and have more kids in the future?
A: We aren't sure.  We definitely won't go through all of this again.  Obviously the expense and the emotional toll on us was challenging, but we are so thankful to be blessed by these two, we would never feel slighted to not have anymore.  And... you should probably ask me in like 3 years when the twins are like 3 haha. 
Q: Do you have any funny story you want to share or anything that stands out from this journey!?
A: I'm sure that there are, but I can't remember!  It has been a long 3 years!

This is a blog post written by Laura's husband. I love the life-lesson in it. 


Last night I had to put some furniture together. Before I go on, you must know that there’s nothing I dislike more on this earth than putting furniture together. If my job involved putting together furniture, I would most likely go to hell. Not Rob Bell’s hell either, I’m talking about the real one, with fire and gnashing. There’s just something about that little allen wrench, and those little washers that get under my skin. They make me say and think things that aren’t human, things that only people who go to hell would say. When I finally assemble a piece of furniture, I look like I was mugged and beaten, by veneer. The instructions sheet is torn to pieces, the allen wrench is embedded into the drywall, and my conscience is about as clear as my garage. It’s kind of like a battle, like in ‘Braveheart’, only there are no skirts or other people, or horses. Come to think of it, it’s nothing like ‘Braveheart’.  It’s just me, the furniture, and cuss words. Also, hell.
But last night was different. Last night I was putting together two cribs. That’s right, two cribs. Not one crib, meaning only one baby. Two cribs, meaning two babies, at once. My wife is having twins, which is incredibly exciting. Currently, they’re still inside her stomach, but soon they’ll be out and they’ll need a place to sleep, which explains the cribs. It’s funny the reactions you get from people when you tell them you’re having twins. Most people smile, and then say something like “Oh gosh”, or “Wow, good luck with that”. Sometimes the really nice people will say congratulations, but it usually sounds more like a question, like “congratulations?”. People stare a lot too. Probably because I look like I’m 12. They most likely think we’re on ‘Teen Mom 2’, or are on our way to the Dr. Phil show to “figure things out”. And it’s not that I would mind going on the Dr. Phil show either, he seems pretty nice. Plus, he knows Oprah.
Three years ago my wife and I sat on a couch. It was perhaps the ugliest couch I’d ever sat on, yet surprisingly comfortable. The room had wallpaper, and carpet like they have at the airport. On the walls were pictures of female anatomy, not anything inappropriate, they were more like drawings and uncomfortable for me to look at. Across from us was a doctor, a man who had chosen to spend his life working with female stuff, an odd choice I know, but nonetheless his choice. I desperately tried to avoid eye contact with him as he discussed things I remembered laughing about in health class. He talked and talked, and I continued to squirm. Finally he arrived at his main point, you can’t have kids.
I won’t go into detail about our journey from that couch to now, other than to say it was a journey. A journey that left us grateful. And gratefulness changes us. So last night as I unpacked all the pieces and opened the instructions, it felt different than my previous encounters with the allen wrench. It was like I had a whole new attitude. It seemed more like a privilege, really, with this set of furniture. Instead of feeling frustrated by something else to do, I felt grateful for such an opportunity, an opportunity that we thought would never come. As I slowly pieced together the rails and frames, I couldn’t stop thinking about that couch, the ugly yet comfortable one. And I couldn’t get those words out of my head, ‘you can’t have kids’. I thought about how God worked even when it didn’t feel like He was working, about how close He really was when He felt so far away. I was grateful. Grateful for getting to put together a nursery, grateful for the allen wrench and washers, grateful for stuff I don’t deserve.
See, gratefulness really can change us. It can change our thinking, our attitudes, shift our desires. The other side of gratefulness is entitlement, something I’ve lived with for a long time. It’s a ‘you-owe-me’ kind of attitude, an irrational expectancy. It’s an attitude I had on that couch, and all those times I yelled at God for not doing what I wanted. Living with a sense of entitlement is frustrating, really. There’s lots of anger and pouting and fear. But gratefulness is different. Gratefulness can change us. If there’s one direction I believe God wants to push us all towards, it’s in the direction of gratefulness. I think He knows that when we live grateful lives, we inch closer to the people we were made to be. When we fully grasp what’s been done for us, we can live differently. We can live lives grateful for each opportunity, opportunities that we thought would never come.
I hope all mom's & soon-to-be mom's have a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Run for the Roses

Today is the 137th Running of the Kentucky Derby! As I am not home to celebrate, here are all things related for me to get my "fill" of the Big Event!

Last year I had a Derby Party which was so fun! We all paid $5 and drew a horse's name and whoever had the winner after the race won the "pot" of money! With 20 horses racing and each paying $5, there was a $100 winning! 
Hopefully next year we can have another annual party!
 Complete with Roses, Derby Pie and Mint Juleps!

Next year we should wear hats!
these aren't my grandparents, but their are displayed above their kitchen counters
My grandparents have collected most Derby glasses and have ones worth a lot of money. I would love to have their collection some day!  My mom has started keeping her own collection, and so have I. It's neat keeping something so special! I would like to start searching for the hard-to-find ones!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tote Bags!

If you're anything like me you have a closet full of totes, but always searching for even better one! I found a collection by Vera Bradley that I'm trying out for traveling. It's their new Dockside Canvas Collection. So far I like it! I bought the large tote so I wouldn't have to carry multiple bags, because I always seem to do that. I carry my purse, a carry-on, and extra stuff on my arms such as a sweater or light jacket. So, this is to fit it all! {I think!}
I think I just might start using it for work too because my work bag is falling apart!
Pic of bag on store display.
 Pic at home...both sides have a pocket! Very useful!
Inside shot. 
Floral print lining. Lots of room. And a newly added requirement for me was a zipper closure on top. Poor visual in this pic. I've owned too many totes with no zipper and that's the one thing that brings their score down from a "10" to a "6" or "Perfect" to "Ehh." Am I being to harsh of a tote grader?!

I don't actually have one of these bags, but I've heard great things: 
Vineyard Vines 
Their bag is designed for lots of colleges and I think they can be contacted to design a bag for sororities! {My sorority had one made my Senior year!} Great idea for Little Sis gifts! 
{and it has a zipper closure!}

I saw this on the website and made me smile for their sponsorship of our state's most famous 3 minute sport!

I guess I'm in coastal mode and mindset being as that I'm at the beach this week! 
What's your favorite totes?!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts & Things

1. Ok, Ok, So...last week in my Thoughts and Things post I said I didn't care about the Royal Wedding. Well, Friday morning I was at work and for some odd reason I got super excited at 4 am and turned on the TV in my patient's room and I was glued to it for the rest of my shift! Luckily I had an orientee who did all of the work, so I was able to watch every moment! I will say, if I wasn't working, I probably still wouldn't have been interested and still would have only wanted to see her dress; which was STUNNING...But, now I'm glad I watched it and I loved all the hats {or fascinators, as the Brits call them} and wish it was an American trend.
On another note...I used to date a Brit...too bad he wasn't the Prince!

2. The Wolfpack is back! That's right! THE HANGOVER II Coming out May 26!

3. These next two weeks I'll be spending time with my family for vacation. As I'm beyond grateful to be able to come to the beach for 2 whole weeks, I haven't spent 2 full weeks around my family {24/7} since I lived under my parents roof which was the summer after freshman year in college in 2004. So this could be tough! Hopefully we don't fight too much!

4. My thoughts and prayers go to those affected by the tornados in Tuscaloosa, and surrounding cities. I can't imagine what's it's like to go through such devastation.

5. I'm so sad I'm going to miss Derby at home this year. We had a Derby party at my house last year with all our local friends where we all put money in a pot and put all the horses names in a pot and each of us drew a horse and whoever had the winner by chance won the pot of money! Everyone brought food too! It was soo fun! This party is where we met Mr. & Mrs. D. I guess I'll pick it back up next year! I can't wait to see all the celebrities who attend and all the pretty hats...and of course who wins the roses!

6. Have you all seen the show Extreme Couponing on TLC? It's crazy! I go shopping and I don't get out of the store without dropping at least $75 for some toiletries, a few groceries, and extras such as lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, and TP. I'd love to learn to save and use coupons, but I don't think I could ever be one of them...

I was reading Mrs. Cheryl's lovely blog and found some awesome coupon websites that I will be checking out in the future to help my bank account! Here's one:

7.  Some awesome giveaways!!!
Shasta Anne is giving away a $100 VISA gift card! I could totally use this! But, who couldn't! Check out her blog for details!
Nautical By Nature is giving away a Shabby Apple dress! Check out the giveaway too!
Tracy is giving away her favorite perfume and I LOVE perfume so I would absolutely love to win her giveaway to try it!

8. After nearly 10 years the USA can finally give the families who were effected by the September 11 tragedy. I'm glad to know this mass murderer has been found and I find comfort in that he is probably not spending eternity behind the pearly gates.

How weird is it that on May 1, 1945 Hitler was found dead and May 1, 2011 Osama Bin Laden was announced dead?

From Mrs. MEllen
"Celebrating Peace"

 Ground Zero 2001

Some songs that come to mind are America the Beautiful, My Country Tis Of Thee, God Bless America, I'm Proud to Be An American, The Star Spangled Banner, Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning), and of course Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue! The List Could Go On...

Just some of my Thoughts and Things for this week...until next week...what are your thoughts?!