Monday, August 16, 2010

A Battlecry

I feel the need to type some deep words. To offer my soul a bit of introspective. I intended to express my thoughts on people who have to do huge, life-alterinig things for the purpose of "finding themselves" and how God will show us who He wants us to be, we just have to look. In my thoughts about my thoughts (does that make sense?), my heart started aching a little. You see, I was feeling pretty good about how I don't need a big gesture in order to find who I am - I'm doing a pretty good job just living my life and satisfied right here where I am, but when I am really honest, I'm not. I am, but I'm not. It's so difficult for me to find a balance that allows me to be present and complete in this moment yet still look forward for the one that is to come.

Ben and I have been trudging through some muck lately. I'm so thankful for who he is, even though he drives me crazy sometimes. It is such a blessing to have a partner who you can be open with. Someone I trust enough to let him see even the ugly parts of me. Painted Grey is recording their first album right now, and they are pretty sure they are going to name it "We Wage War" (which is officially a secret, but I don't think anyone reads this blog, so I think me spilling the beans is OK). The song "We Wage War" is about the wars we fight in relationships and it's pretty fitting that Ben is designing the concept for the album cover. While brainstorming for an idea for the artwork, I saw a picture of a battle field covered with the ravages of war. Wounded ground, covered with the remnants of gunpowder and artillery shells, ashy smoke rising over the dark scene, a field wrecked with the wages of war. In the midst of the pain-soaked land is a couple standing in the midst of the now still chaos holding hands. I feel like that is where Ben and I are. Yes, the battle is not as fresh and the wounds are not as open, but we are there nonetheless.

We saw Eat, Pray, Love last night and to be honest, we were a little disappointed. I was because I read the book and it was so much better, Ben was because of the reason why the woman left her husband (it was very simplified in the movie). At one point, during their first negotiations for their divorce the husband cries out to his wife something like (I can't remember the exact words) "how can you just pick up and leave the moment you decide that what we want is too different to work thorough?" Ben was so offended that the woman chose to leave her husband because they wanted different things in life. You see, my husband is so loyal. He believes I am his wife. Forever. No if's, and's or but's. We took vows and we're in this for reals. That does not mean that we are disillusioned by the perfect vision of our life we both saw as we said those vows. This does not mean that we are always on the same page or that we both want the same things for our life. It simply means that whatever the case, we are in this thing together. We do want different things, but more than anything, we want to be true to the path that the Lord put us one. The one that put us together. As we said last night, I could have married a man that wanted to have babies right away, but just because his wants would match mine wouldn't mean that he was the perfect fit for me. I have my perfect match, but we sure don't match perfectly. Does that make sense?

So now, I'm standing here in this midst of the battle we're waging. Though it's currently calm, it's real. This life, this love, is something we're fighting for. Our days aren't always easy and the heaviness of real life is sometimes overwhelming, but we're here, in the midst and we're together. Holding hands in the middle.

Together, we wage war.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coffee Cozy

I wanted to share my new find with y'all! Check out my super cute new coffee-cozy!

While browsing the internet last week I saw a post about these cute little things and I had to have one. I always use a sleeve when I get coffee and I realize that it is super wasteful and not at all eco-friendly. Also, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I have (more than once!) grabbed someone else's coffee at work and took a swig only to realize that it wasn't mine! No good!

So, in the name of being "green", sanitary and stylish, I ordered my very own coffee sleeve.

(nothing like a sweet treat to keep my brain functioning during a Pediatric Advanced Life Support class!)

I ordered from, seller PinkGasoline. I choose the "Blooms of Hearts" pattern, but it was hard to make a decision because there were so many cute fabric choices!

This was my first experience ordering from Etsy, and I was so impressed! The girls at PinkGasoline produced a very nice product and they delivered it extremely well. I received a thank you note after I purchased my sleeve and then another note when it was shipped. What I was most impressed with however, was their speed of service. I ordered my cozy on Wednesday and it was in my mailbox on Saturday! From South Carolina to Oregon in 2.5 days! Wonderful!

I've tried my cozy on both a Venti iced drink (perfect for catching condensation) and a tall hot drink (both from Starbucks - what can I say, it's addicting and convient - we have a store in our hospital lobby!) and it fit great for both. I'm so impressed and thankful that not only will I be using less paper and not burning my hands but I will never reach for someone else's coffee again!

Here are a few other cute cozy's from PinkGasoline:

Go get one for yourself!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A New Challenge

I started my career as a nurse just wanting to work with kids. I was fortunate to start in the place where I did (Peds Acute Care). I developed a strong foundation and learned good time-management. I learned to prioritize and think critically. I became comfortable with doing what I was doing. I was good at it and I loved it. I loved knowing what to expect and how to respond to common complications. I loved who I worked with and I loved being able to be involved. Despite that, I felt like I wanted to do something more. Something a little less predictable, a little more scary. I wasn't ready though. I was afraid, intimidated. Then I wen to Haiti.

I went to Haiti with a group mostly consisting of pediatric intensive care (PICU) nurses and physicians (there were 4 acute-care people, myself included). I had the opportunity to get to know them and to see them in action. I remember a moment very clearly. I was working in the NICU (a corner of the PICU) when another patient's heart just stopped. I didn't realize what was happening right away, but Joanne (the patient's primary nurse) and Pam (the manager of our PICU) anticipated it happening a second before it actually did. All of a sudden, the two of them jumped up, grabbed the baby put her on the exam table and began CPR. I started freaking out. Shaking, goosebumps - a total mess! I could only stand there and watch in awe (it was all I could do to keep standing). They however, were so calm. At one point, Joanne looked over at me (as she continued doing compressions) and asked me, so calmly, for some epinephrine. There was no panic in her voice. No inclination of fear, just a solid grasp on what she was doing. She was so composed, so practiced, so perfect. So bad-ass.

They eventually stabilized the baby and afterward I told Pam how impressed I was and how I felt so utterly helpless during the whole thing. She simply told me, "this wasn't our first code." She made me feel ok with where I was as a nurse, and that I too, could do it in time. She even told me "we'd love to have you [work in the PICU]" after seeing my uselessness! Wow.

When I got back, I felt the urge to move. I battled with it for a while, but the Lord told me He had big plans for me. I had families to care for and a big job to do. It was time, ready-or-not, and when a position opened I took it.

It took a few months to make the transition, but it's official. I am now a PICU nurse. I started orientation on Monday. It's so different than what I am used to (partly because I'm on nights - I'm praying for a dayshift soon!), but it's good. I have so much to learn oh! I dived head first into ventilators and trach suctioning and after 3 days, I'm starting to get the basics - the very, very basics. I'm so intimidated, but in a good way.

Maybe someday, many, many days from now, I'll feel bad-ass too. :)