Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago

He stuttered out the request...and I said yes.

Fifteen years ago today, Josh and I went to the homecoming dance at my high school...and I swore I'd never go out with him again. He didn't talk. He didn't know how to dance. He let me pay for dinner. It. Was. Awkward.

Life since has been a whirlwind. It has been very, very great at times...and very, very bad at times. We have struggled through so much, merely kids pretending to be grown ups, but we always stuck it through. Deaths, lost jobs, broken down cars, financial worries, sickness, surgeries, sleepless nights, lonely days, arguments, stupid choices, and a miscarriage were all balanced out by births, giggles, new jobs, hugs, goals achieved and LOVE.

"We may not have gone where we intended to go...
but I think we have ended up where we needed to be."
I love you, bun boy. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I Learned Today...

Today I had clinicals and was lucky enough to go to the emergency room, instead of oncology, like I was originally scheduled for. Not that I don't like oncology, or didn't have a good experience...but, seriously...the ER??? Of course I'm going to jump at the chance. Even though it is one area of the hospital that I feel the least comfortable in. I mean...go to oncology, you're gonna deal with cancer. Go to labor and delivery...babies. Orthopedics...joint and bone crap. The ER? You have no idea what is going to walk in...or be pushed in...those doors.

I was lucky enough to be paired with an awesome nurse. While our day wasn't exceptionally busy, I still learned a lot.

1. Drugs are bad. Just say no. They will lead you down a path you don't want to go down. (And that path leads to the ER.)

2. You can only be nice for so long...then you have to be stern.

3. You cannot help someone that does not want to help themselves.

4. Bored medical personnel will do some strange things to entertain themselves.

5. Avgard hand sanitizer tastes similar to a lemon martini. No, I didn't test this out...I decided to trust the word of the ER doc.

Did I mention that I have the ability to "kill" any department I'm in? If I'm scheduled there, they are guaranteed to have a slow day. True story. It is my own personal super power. It's happened to me, my entire nursing school career.

My nurse and I had two patients. The whole time I was there.


My powers live on. ;)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm A Bad Mom

Ever have "those" moments? Those moments when you look around, on some unsuspecting Tuesday morning and you're a bad mom.

You didn't even see your kids before they went off to school this morning, because you were still sleeping. You are a lazy, lazy woman, who worked late last night and just couldn't. drag. herself. out. of. bed. Due to their own schedules, you realize that you haven't seen one of them since yesterday morning, when she was getting dropped off at school. Hey, Mommy loves you...

Speaking of school...they have been back to school for a month now. Yet, you can barely remember your kids' teachers' names. In your defense, each child has multiple teachers, thanks to the way charter school runs the show...and the kid in jr high has like seven...all by herself. *thinking* "Three kids times three teachers, plus one kid times seven teachers, plus the Peanut in preschool is at least...108 names I'd have to remember." Maybe this isn't my fault, after all.

You used to be the Mom that would all but background check anyone who looked at your kids. Now, you get a random text, on a Monday afternoon, that says that your daughter's gymnastic carpool is set up. You don't have to worry about driving her. Three times a week. Thank you, kind, unknown stranger. You had me at "You don't have to worry about driving her. Three times a week." Your day continues until a few hours later, when you come to your senses and ask who the hell is at the other end of the text. Perhaps you should be better about saving contacts in your phone...

You also realize that you haven't done or seen very much homework at all in the last month. And I don't mean the kind that discusses ABG's, abruption placentae or PCA's. You've done plenty of that homework. I mean homework about the 50 states, reading comprehension, Latin or Spanish. Hey, kids, how's your homework going? Wanna trade? The weekly progress reports that you get in your email (and that you find time to read four days later) show that the kids are all passing and doing fine. Without your help. Well fine. No, guys wanna trade?

Then it hits you. Your house is still standing. Your kids are still thriving. Chores are still sort of being done. You have raised children that are somewhat self-sufficient and who are living in a house with support other than yourself. They aren't starving to death. (As evidenced by the 4 year old who thinks she is cleverly sneaking potato chips at 8:48 in the morning.) I hear you crunching! Perhaps you aren't a bad mom. Perhaps you are doing everything right, in order for your offspring to survive in this cold, cruel world.

So, you're welcome, children. You're welcome, that Mommy is a hot mess, flying by the seat of her pants, trying to make it through this last year of school. You're welcome that Mommy is working too many hours and really needs to learn how to say no. You're welcome that I haven't brought up the disgusting mess under your bed, because I'm just too tired to deal with it. (However, know that I am aware of watch the attitude, or you'll come home on some unsuspecting Wednesday and find that mess ON your bed.) You're welcome, that Mommy-guilt is real and you get spoiled on my rare days off.

Thank you. For being amazing kids.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Am A Nurse

I am a nurse.

Sometimes, I leave for work when it's dark...and I get home when it's dark.

Sometimes, I cry for you and your family. It's in the hall. It's in the bathroom. It's in my car. You never see it. But, I do.

Sometimes, I go my entire shift without eating a single bite. Of anything. For twelve plus hours.

Sometimes, I have to keep my "nurse face" on, while holding in my hands your poop. Or puke. Or...I don't even know what.

Sometimes, I'm scared. I don't always know what the answer is.

Sometimes, I see you at your most...intimate moments. It really is okay. I don't mind.

Sometimes, I see you at your most personal moments...thank you for allowing me to care for you.

Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, worried about you.

Sometimes, I don't sit down for entire shift. My back aches. My feet ache. My head aches.

Sometimes, I go home covered in things that no one should be covered in.

Sometimes, I miss an entire day in the life of my that I can take care of yours.

I never deserve to be yelled at, or talked down to. Especially when the matter is trivial in the "real world"...let alone the world where I am caring for your ill family member.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thirty-two Things I've Learned This Year

1. The older I get, the faster time goes.
2. Time heals all wounds; but scars can remain forever. 
3. Some people will surprise you. Let them. 
4. Some people will not surprise you. Don't let it ruin your life. 
5. I am lucky to have family. Family I was born into, family I married into, family I created and family I chose. 
6. The stress of keeping a secret, like a surprise vacation out of the country, was totally worth it. 
7. I can handle far more than I give myself credit for. 
8. You can point one finger and judge...or extend five fingers to offer service and comfort. The choice is yours, but remember that it speaks volumes about who YOU are...not the person you are condemning. 
9. Thirteen miles is every bit as painful as I assumed it would be. 
10. I can argue any side of any debate. I see this as evidence of an open mind. My husband sees this as being unable to win an argument. Ever. 
11. I have had the good sense to surround myself with people who have immeasurable amounts of patience. 
12. You can only control yourself; no one else. Likewise, no one has control over me. 
13.  Angels really are among us. I'm reminded of this daily. 
14. I am grateful for my troubles. In all reality, my troubles are minimal compared to what others endure. 
15. A hug can solve a lot. A good cry can solve what a hug can't. For everything else...there is wine. 
16. I underestimate my children's abilities. 
17. Having my first child start junior high was every bit as traumatic as I thought it would be. 
18. Nursing truly is my calling. It is hard, emotionally, physically and even spiritually...but I know, without a doubt, that I was born to be a nurse. 
19. Love is messy. 
20. It can be hard to walk away from things and say good-bye...even when the change is something you want. 
21. Know who you can count on and who you can't. Do not confuse the two and you will rarely be disappointed. Perhaps surprised...but rarely disappointed. 
22. I cannot be everything to everyone. 
23. Living your life your way may mean that some people choose not to walk your path with you. Allow them to self select out. Their time in your life is over and their purpose has been served. Wish them well. 
24. I appreciate time with my children now, more than ever. They are growing so fast. 
25. Do not be afraid to try new things. Try everything once. 
26. Broomsticks are useful. Random crap you learn as a nurse. No...I will not explain that one. 
27. Everyone has a story. 
28. Apologize when you are wrong. Mean it. 
29. I am responsible for my own happiness. No other person on this planet can define my happiness better than I can. 
30. I am terrified of dying alone. I want to be surrounded by love, when I go. 
31. I do not need to control 100% of things, 100% of the time. 
32. Love is personal. Do not try to define someone else's love and do not allow someone else to write your definition of love. Replace the word "love" with "life" and this statement still holds true. 
Happy 32nd birthday to me. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

I Paid Money To Do This?!

So, picture this:
About four months ago, while taking the kids out for ice-cream, I get this crazy idea...
"Why don't we train, for the next four months, in the blistering heat, to run 13.1 miles? THEN, we will PAY someone, to get up at 4:00 in the morning, to ride a bus to the top of a mountain, to be left in the chilly air, with thousands of other people and a hundred porta-potties for a couple hours, before we run down the mountain???" Yeah...why in the hell didn't someone slap me and bring me to my senses?
For the next four months I trained. And trained. And trained. I trained on days that I wanted to train...and it was amazing. I trained on days that I did not want to train...and some of those days turned out amazing, too. I trained on days that I left the gym crying, upset that it hadn't gone the way I had expected. I trained on days that I had to get up at 4 am, to drive to a neighboring town and leave the car, to run home, just to get in enough miles. I trained on days where the pain from my legs was unbearable. I paid over $1,000 in medical testing, ruling out a stress fracture, torn ligaments and ripped muscles. Finally, after finding out it was more of a circulation thing and being prescribed compression knee-high "socks" (can you say SEXY?), I found some relief. I trained through my running partner's gallbladder removal surgery. (She trained through that recovery! Can you say ROCKSTAR???) I trained through school, finals week, a trip to Mexico, crazy long work days, days with migraines, "I don't give a damn" days, studying for and taking the NCLEX, starting a new job and days that I just wanted to quit. I trained.
"Believe in yourself and all that you are.
Know that there is something greater inside you,
that is greater than any obstacle."
No one tells you what you are getting yourself into, when you train to run these kinds of distances. No one tells you about the need to pee, so badly, that you can't stand it...and you're still 5 miles from home. No one tells you that you really do fear pooping your pants (which I will gladly say NEVER happened to me). No one tells you that your feet will swell and be painful to the touch. No one tells you that your toenails will feel like they are being ripped from your body, like a military torture session. No one tells you that your sports bra can rub a permanent mark around your rib cage that swells, turns red and BURNS. No one tells you that your appetite goes through the roof because you are running your ass off. No one tells you that it's possible that you will train for four months and not lose any weight. At all. No one tells you that although you didn't lose any weight, you finally got your bum more toned, "Heeeeyyyy, bottom buttcheek! Nice to meet you!" 
No one tells you that the greatest obstacle you will face with yourself.
The race we chose to do is Top of Utah, in Logan, Utah. Because it is about two hours from home, we decided to make a weekend of it and get a couple hotel rooms. It was important to me that the kids see me finish this goal I had set for myself and I figured that one last hurrah before my semester started, was well deserved. We arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon, picked up our race packets and went to dinner. By 9 pm we were asleep, knowing that we needed to be up at 4 am. We boarded the bus from our hotel to the park, where we changed buses and were driven to the starting line. Weaving through the canyon on the way up felt like it took forever. Knowing that we were going to have to get back down to the finish line, on our own, was a little daunting. At this point, the furthest run I had done was 12 miles. But, what was another 1.1 miles at this point, right?
We stood at the top of the mountain, with a couple thousand other amped up runners...and waited. Most people were fantastic. They were nice, they were helpful, they were friendly. There is always that group of "mean girls" that feel they need to stand around and bash other people. We quickly moved away from them...that wasn't what I needed to be listening to, before I attempted to do one of the most challenging things of my life.
When the gun went off, a cheer went up from the crowd...and we didn't move. That's what happens when you place yourself near the back of the pack. ;) You wait several minutes before you actually get to approach the starting line...but then it thins out rather quickly. The first seven or eight miles were fantastic. We ran most of it, walking only to take a drink and tie our jackets around our waist. I tried eating half a banana at mile 6 and it made me super nauseated, so I didn't eat again until we finished.
Mile 9...I hit my wall. I fought back tears and I had to dig deep within myself. I had to find that place where I can push through anything. I had to find that place within that doesn't allow me to give up. I had to pull up my big girl panties, swallow back my tears, squash down my doubt...and plug on.
Somewhere around the beginning of mile 11 we turned a corner...and there it was. I actually said out loud, "Oh. Shit.", as I looked at the hill. The next two miles would prove to challenge me, in ways I know now that I hadn't trained adequately for, as most of it was at an incline. (Which, let's take a moment to talk about. WHO DOES THAT? Who puts the last two miles of a half marathon on an uphill incline? Asshat.) This was the moment that I decided that I will never, ever, another half marathon. Again. Ever.
We could see the finish line for most of the last mile. It was like a mirage in the distance, that we swore kept moving. That was the longest mile I have ever run, in my life. But then...I saw them...and then, I heard family. They were screaming, and jumping up and down and holding signs and tooting kazoos. chaotic little bunch was there...and I was almost to the finish line.
They all ran along side us, for the last little stretch.

We started this training together. We made it through months of ups and downs to get here.
We for sure, were going to finish this, together! 
I have never, in my life, been so happy to finish something. I crossed the finish line, bent over and thought I was going to hurl, looked at Bek and said, "Meh. I might do another one."
After finally attempting to eat a little something, icing every part of our bodies, wincing every time I even looked at the rub marks that encircled my ribs and taking a short nap, we celebrated at Olive Garden for dinner.

Hell yes, we wore our medals to dinner. ;)
I had a date with the hot tub and the kids wanted to play in the pool, after dinner. It was a fantastic way to end an incredibly long, painful and amazing day.
My Fantastic Five
I'm happy that the race is over. I sacrificed a lot of time (and mental anguish) to train for this race...but I don't regret it. Bailey would like to run it with us next year and nothing would make me more proud, than to cross the finish line with my little ladybug. She has already started training and even now, I'm impressed with her and I can see the runner that she will become.
I'm happy that once again, I have shown my children the importance of setting goals and reaching them. The importance of pushing yourself past your comfort zone. I have shown them that nothing is unreachable, if you are willing to put in the time and the work. I want my children to know that hard is okay. They can do hard.
Luke: "Mom? I thought this was a race...? Cause you lost..."
Me: *laughing* "Darling, this was a race with myself.
No one else. And I promise you...I won today."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Whoa. Time Got Away From Me

It's been over a month since I blogged last. Yowzers.

I'll blame it on my lame computer. It became so bogged down with photos and so slow that I couldn't even work with it anymore. I've since bought a new computer and an external hard drive to play with. That should help. :)

I'll blame it on studying for the NCLEX, passing the NCLEX and then getting a new job! I've been working in a long term care and rehab facility for over a month now and I LOVE IT. It is crazy hard, emotionally and physically, but it solidifies for me that I have truly found my calling.

I'll blame it on training for my half marathon. I completed my first half marathon a couple weeks ago and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I must blog about it.

I'll blame it on school starting again. I'm only a week and a half into my new semester and I've already cried twice. I'm a tad overwhelmed with my life at the moment.

I'll blame it on the kids keeping me busy. Taekwondo tournaments and hyped up gymnastics schedules have kept me hopping.

But...I'm back. And I should post the last couple days of Mexico...and maybe I'll get there...but I have really just missed having my outlet. My place to vent and whine and discuss (with myself most of the time), all the goings on in my brain. :)