Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Babe is Born

That babe's birth was proclaimed many years before He was actually born ~ A savior was coming, and He was to be born in a manger

"For to us a child is born,to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this."

Isaiah 9:6-7

He was born just as God had said He would be:

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20 (New International Version, ©2010)

Merry Christmas to all of you. May you not forget the real reason for the season!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

We have a yearly family tradition of getting together during the holidays to make Christmas cookies. We always do sugar cut-out cookies and of course gingerbread men. We use cookie cutters that have been in the family for many generations and we all have our favorite cookie cutters. We actually have so many that some hardly ever get used. We argue over who is going to inherit which ones, but of course in reality we are going to share them forever.
Mom normally mixes up the dough the day before, the kids get to cut and decorate, I typically oversee the event and handle the oven (you see I don't like my cookies crispy ~ so I under bake them a touch ~ they are still yummy), Dawn is a great cleaner-upper and the rest of the gang taste tests as we go.
We cut, bake, decorate and eat all afternoon.

Here is Katie - she is old enough now to take over the task of rolling out the dough to just the right thickness. She did a fine job!

Nikki enjoying being in on the action this year.

Sarah decorating - notice the assembly line action.

Michelle teaching Nikki the fine art of flouring the cookie cutter just right so the dough doesn't stick

Mitch getting in on the action - it takes many bakers to get all of the cookies made!


Erika, Michelle and I

Erika and Tim ~ this was his first time baking so many cookies with us..welcome to our crazy household Tim! (hope we didn't scare him away Erika....) And notice Dawn cleaning away in the background.

Good, he is still smiling

Nikki concentrating on making the biggest and best bear cookie there ever was.

Sadly Mr. Bear did not survive being baked and transferred to the cooling rack...he sure tasted good though

We didn't just make cutout cookies - we also made chocolate/chocolate chip ones, snickerdoodles, and pecan sandies.

One tray done! We laugh because every year we say we aren't going to make as many. Everyone is so in to the process in the beginning ~ but after a tray or two the kids all seem to disappear and mom and I continue to bake by ourselves. This year people did come back and finish the decorating though. I think they must of heard me grumbling....
There were cookies everywhere. Some were packed up to give to the neighbors, many were eaten during the process and the rest we are still enjoying. The sugar ones are especially good with a cup of coffee in the morning!
Come join us next year ~ it truly is a ton of fun!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Favorite Part

My absolute favorite part of Christmas time has got to be the cards and letters that I receive from family and friends. It brightens my day to get paper mail that isn't a bill and I love to hear what is going on with everyone. I guess this is because I am a people person at heart...
I display all of my cards on the back of my front door. That way I see them all season long. I stop and look at them every time I leave the house and each night. I am constantly reminded to pray for these special people.

Not only do I display my cards, but I save them each year. It is fun to look back and see how
kids have grown and how people have changed
To some it may look
like a bit of a mess...but to me it is my wall of art. It just makes me happy.

There are cards from family ~

There are cards from friends ~

Cards from work friends ~
Cards from church friends~
Even cards from new patients and former patients ~

Oh how I love this part of the season!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Christmas is only 5 days away...I have so many things to catch up on...

My cards are not even started (well they are made, just not signed, addressed or ready to go).
I still have a couple of gifts to buy.
I have one gift wrapped...thank goodness I don't have lots of gifts to give this year.
Our fridge is about empty ~ so I need to go to the store.
The family wants to do our annual cookie baking.

At least I have the next 3 days off of work. I have some charting to do for one of my perinatal hospice patients that delivered a few nights ago, but I am not going in to the hospital even if they call begging for help. I just have too much to catch up on!

Work has been pretty crazy busy for December. We all keep thinking it is the economy and that people can't afford to go out so they just all stay at home - and 9 months later they get the gift that comes with staying home :)
It also has been pouring rain the past few days (well at least in southern California standards) Rain, or the change in the barometric pressure, can make a woman's bag of water break. So we have lots of mom's coming in to deliver. We have been working hard - that is for sure. At least I had good patients that has come in pretty frequently even told me that I was her "favorite nurse". The best part about working around the holidays is all of the extra goodies that people bring in. Yummy! Especially these cinnamon bagel chips that one of the doctors always gives us - they are to die for and you can't eat just one. So maybe it is good that we are busy ~ helps to run off the extra calories.

Tomorrow though it is time for me to get things done around home - wish me luck as I try to accomplish weeks worth of stuff in a couple of days!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Katie and Darlene

Tonight we got together to celebrate my niece Kaitlyn's birthday as well as my sister Darlene's. Kaitlyn got to choose the restaurant since she is here visiting from Oregon. She LOVES Joe's Crab Shack so that is where we went. And of course she ordered crab!

The restaurant is an eclectic, noisy, fun place to go with dancing and other antics. Those who order a steampot even get to wear a fancy bib. My sister's said, "Crab Mommy", my brother in law's said, "Crab Daddy", my husband's said, "King Crab" and of course Kaitlyn's was labeled, "Birthday Crab". She sure was happy...
Look at all of that yummy crab. Yum! My husband shared a few bites with me and it was delicious~I myself had fish and coconut shrimp which was also quite tasty.
At the end of our meal my sister and niece got to run around the restaurant as 'birthday fairies', spreading birthday pixie dust on other people. It was so funny - I just wish I had been fast enough to pull out my camera and videotape them.
Happy birthday Katie and Darlene!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Card Attempt

Merry Christmas!!
Do you get those beautiful cards at Christmas time?

You know - the ones with the perfect families, maybe even with photos that were taken by professionals?
With the family in matching clothes and perfect hair?

Where no one has a dumb look on their faces and everyone is looking at the camera?

I certainly do...and I wonder why I can't ever quite get one of those done.

Our attempt at a halfway decent card looks something like this:
Silly faces

Smile please

Ok ~ just be serious

Look, smiling is easy!

Can we quit playing around and get this done???

Family - please, can everyone just look at the camera and not make weird googly eyes??
Next year - I am going to be more organized, hire a professional and make my family wear matching clothes. Of course it would help if we were able to be together all at the same time a little more frequently. Wonder if it would help if I schedule a day now?!?

We did actually get a couple of cute shots - but you'll have to wait and get your card in the mail. For those of you who I don't have addresses for I will try and post the finished product in a future post.
Thanks for humoring me, my sweet family. I love you all dearly!! Even if we aren't perfect.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It Must be Official

I just received this, and it quickly took up residence on the windshield of my car:
A student ~ at a university ~ in southern California ~

Guess that means it must be official!

I can hardly believe that I will actually be starting the program soon. I have waited years for this and have worked hard at getting all of the general education requirements done ahead of time.

Funny thing is, is that I haven't received my official admittance letter yet...I've been told it is coming...but hey, if you have the parking pass it must be for real...Right?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Whew - this has been one crazy week!

The week started with one of the craziest days I have worked in a long time.....I was in charge, the board was completely black with patient names and the patients just kept on rolling in. I had laboring moms in observation beds, started patients in the recovery room, had to watch my
own patients and to top it off the computer monitoring system went down for a while! I felt as if I was drowning. So at one point while I was talking to the IT department, trying to get our system back up and running I used my cell phone to post on facebook that we were looking for help. Most of the comments from my work friends went something like..."uh no - I'd rather poke hot sticks in my eyeballs". (actually we did get extra help to come despite the initial rejections) At one point I had a mom in the operating room when another nurse called me and said her patient needed an emergency C/Section. Now that took quite a bit of reorganizing
as I had to rearrange staff, open a second room and find another anesthesiologist. UGH! By this time I just wanted to cry!! The baby was out in about 10 minutes I guess you could say that all is well that ends well ~ right!?!? Never mind that the nurses aren't getting a break!

Then Tuesday rolled around - I had to go back to the hospital for a conference with one of my hospice patients. Got that done, gave them a tour of the units...then rushed off to school. I was only 5 minutes late. Came home from that class to cram for my chemistry final. Michelle and I left plenty early to get there and get settled in to class. Oh my gosh - that was the hardest test I think that I have ever taken. We were both so glad to get it done ~ now if we can just find out the results. We both had an A in the class going in to the final...but the final was worth like 250 points and we both did s0-s0 on the exam. I have been checking the school website everyday ~ but so far no grades have been posted. Keep me in suspense why don't ya?!?

Wednesday I worked again. It is amazing to me how one day can be filled with patients then the next is quite manageable. I had the nicest couple who wanted no interventions for their birth and I was able to provide that for them. She was up and about for her entire labor and gave birth to a healthy baby boy without any medications or much assistance from me. It was wonderful and renewed my faith in my work.

That night our chemistry study group met for dinner and drinks - to celebrate the end of that brain stretching class. That was a nice treat!

Thursday I had to take my math test - that one was actually pretty easy and I passed the class with flying colors.
Took Penny to the vet for a checkup, immunizations, a bath and nail clipping. She weighs a whopping 96 pounds now. No wonder she is hard to walk - she walks me, not the other way around.

Thursday evening I had the honor of attending our pregnancy loss support group. The group was finishing up their current session and had asked me to attend their potluck. Many of the parents I know because of my work with the hospice program. It was wonderful to see the patients and to see their progress. I will say though that I felt so undeserving to be in their presence ~ it was if I was in a sacred place as they shared photos and special objects from their babies. I just didn't feel like I deserved to be included in such a special event. It was pretty awe inspiring, and I shed a tear or two as I read a letter that one of the patients gave me. I read it after the group was done. The letter was from the 12 year old daughter of one of my patients. In her careful cursive writing she thanked me for helping her family and for being there for them. It was such a special thank you note, one that I will treasure and save. But, who am I to deserve such adoration?? The families are the ones that have done so much more than me!!

Finally Friday rolled around - I wasn't sure I'd ever get there. It was the night of our unit Christmas party (yes, I am on the planning committee for this too....) The party came off with out a hitch! It was fun, the food was good, the venue different and nicer than in the past, the DJ was awesome and I think everyone had a good time. I never play the casino Buzz won me lots of tickets for the raffle prizes. I NEVER win though - no matter how many tickets I put in. Something just isn't right about that!!! I guess I am just not lucky at raffle draws...Most of the committee members stayed the night at the hotel - including Buzz and I. So we got up for a relaxed breakfast with the group. Thank goodness the planning is done. We didn't shed any blood as we struggled to get it all done!

Now I am just looking forward to somewhat of a down day tomorrow. I want to get our Christmas tree and start focusing on my family for the holiday. I haven't been able to do much because of school, planning the party and work...but this week should be better :)

Whew - that made me tired just doing a recap of the I'll leave you with a couple of silly party pictures.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dear Santa

Santa ~
I'd really love one of these for Christmas!!
I've been a good girl this year :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Not Around the Holidays

I love my job...most days...

Sometimes though, it is just more than I can handle. I just don't get why God does the things He does...

Like, take babies away from their mommies and daddies around the holidays...

I have worked many a holiday - it is just part of being a nurse. You know that you have to work holidays because it isn't like a hospital can close for the day...and I have seen many a baby pass at this time of year.
It never gets easier for me. It adds to my stress and dislike of the holidays. I think when I get to Heaven I am going to sit with God and pick his brain as to why He does some of the things He does. What was He trying to teach all of us??

I had one of these kinds of days this week. I had the privilege of taking care of one of our antepartum patients more than once. I got to know her and her family a bit over the past week. So of course when it was time for her to deliver I volunteered to be her nurse. I wanted to be there to support her and to be one of the first to welcome her little girl. We knew the baby was going to need surgery and would transfer to the NICU. Our hospital is unique in that it is connected to a Children's Hospital through an underground tunnel. It makes taking care of babies easier for we have access to expert staff and are able to make seamless transfers. Patients are also able to visit the baby while both are still hospitalized.
The family mentioned that they didn't have a camera that day. I offered to let them use mine and then print the pictures on our little printer. They seemed a little surprised that I'd offer that but I wanted to meet as many of their needs that I could. I knew that the baby wouldn't be staying with us in the recovery room so I wanted to be sure they captured as many pictures as they could. Smiles were had and tears were shed in the operating room when we heard the first newborn cries.

As I cared for my patient those first hours after the delivery we heard an overhead emergency page. She looked at me and asked if that was for her baby. I could honestly say I didn't know for I didn't know what room her baby was in...but in my gut I knew that things were probably not going well.
I knew that I had to figure out a way to get my patient over to the children's hospital to see her baby.
I rarely take a mom over while she is still on a gurney - fresh from surgery...but I feel it is important for parents to see and love their baby while it is alive so I did all that I could to get her over there.

I can't share all of the details of what it was like for my patient...
But for me, I think I did a good job. I provided for her needs, maybe even broke a few rules to allow her to see her baby, but I am so glad that I did...
I have thought so much about her and her little girl over the past few days.

I will continue to do my job, will continue to try and meet my patients needs ~ I may not always 'love it' ~ I know there will be days like this one where I go home in tears...I only wish it never happened, especially around the holidays...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Already?

How in the world did it get to be December 2nd already?? I've already received Christmas cards and everyone seems to have decorations up but me...unless you count the little Christmas tree rug in the kitchen.
I am not a real big fan of the holidays. It is so much extra work, there are so many unrealistic expectations and so many other things that get added to the calendar. I know that many of my issues with the holidays come from the many years when I was a single mom and trying to "do it all". Trying to provide for the children, trying to make memories, trying to fit in to everyone else's 'ideal' was hard to maintain all of that.
Add working full time to all of that 'extra' stuff and it is easy to see why people go a little 'bonkers' at this time of year instead of just sitting back and enjoying what Christmas is really supposed to be about.
We so often forget that this is the time of year that we are to remember our Savior's celebrate that Jesus came as a baby to live on this earth, to humble himself and then to die for our sins. I wish we could get back to the simple truth of that and not worry so much about all of the other extra things...
I am actually doing better this year - I'm in no way ready for the holidays...but I'm not as stressed about it either.
Merry Christmas! Remember the Reason for the Season!!