{What a Year!}

Sunday, December 16, 2018

This year I took nine classes and quit nursing school at least once a day in my mind. Never before had I done something so challenging and beautiful in my life! Everyday I made mistakes. I failed two exams, tried to plug in a Dinamap into an oxygen outlet on a patient’s wall ... I even hit Tim’s Jeep at 2am while trying to park after studying for finals (insert humble pie here). That said, I also got to do things that made me feel alive. I flushed my first IV, removed an epidural catheter from a postpartum mama, and got to sit with a patient who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I learned a lot from my classmates and professors, but mostly from my patients. They were gracious, hilarious, and reminded me often not to take my health, education, or family for granted. Each day after clinical I’d write down a lesson they had taught me ... They reminded me to make sure the diaphragm of my stethoscope was open before declaring a patient had a bowel obstruction. They showed me the absence of caring family members can be more painful than packing an unstageable pressure ulcer. They taught me not to take it personally when a patient calls you a $2 whore and to instead tell them you don’t do favors for less than twenty. They taught me I can learn more about a person by spending time with them in their room than I can from studying their file in Epic— that sitting with them for 10 minutes will feel more like 45. They taught me that one of the best things you can do for a patient who gets diagnosed with cancer is to offer them a ride to their chemo appointments. They taught me that sometimes you get to wake up new baby daddies on the couch only to discover they’ve been sleeping on half a sandwich and a handful of mayonnaise packets. I could go on but I’ll sum up the past 12 months by saying true growth happens when we do the things we’re terrified of failing at. Oh ... and remember the sweet 96 yr old named Shirley who emailed me back in August and was part of the reason why I decided to stay in nursing school? Well, my first patient was also 96. Bet you can’t guess what her name was.

Here’s to another semester of growth.

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dear Timothy James, since cutting down our Christmas tree we’ve A) almost watched it fall onto Stovezilla twice B) discussed lassoing it to our ceiling with kite string C) looked for Aunt Bethany’s cat hidden within its branches or D) all of the above. Dear Bravey Train, yesterday you asked if the sun goes into the ground when it sets and lights up people in cemeteries like a flashlight. Three points for channeling my inner Christopher Columbus for our discussion, two points for always making my day with your questions. Dear Dr. Pruitt, watching you receive your daisy award was sweeter than winning the Jelly of the Month club. So encouraged and challenged by the way you love, care for, and serve your patients in L&D! Dear Mr. Loerke, there are many things I love about the holiday season, you turning on our leg lamp each night is one of them. Ps- there might be a bowling ball under the tree this year with your name on it. Just sayin.
Happy Tuesday, y’all!

{Gobble Gobble!}

Friday, November 23, 2018

We spent the day stuffing our bellies with extra sweet potato casserole and elk roast.
My favorite memory (besides taking a mid-day nap on the couch) was playing
backyard soccer with Squanto and William Bradford. 
These three have been such a gift in my life!
Rowan's birth gave me the courage I needed to become a mom.
Bravey's birth showed me I could do (really) hard things.
And Maggie's birth inspired me to go to nursing school at 38 and become a midwife.
 Love your little people well today and tell them often what world changers they are.
Gobble, gobble! 

{Gratitude Lately}

Monday, November 05, 2018

Lately I've been thankful for warm afternoons and front yard chickens.

For slow mornings reading by Stovezilla.

For backyard pumpkins ready for picking.

For a new season of change.

And for chances to play hard after working hard.
Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
Happy Monday, y'all.
What have you been thankful for lately?

{Worth It}

Saturday, October 27, 2018

{The City Museum} St. Louis

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Watching Tim's relationship with Brave grow has been as magical as experiencing her birth.
Feeling nothing but gratitude for the little road trip these two took to St. Louis last week.
Tim, you give our little root so many opportunities to grow in courage.
You are impacting her more than you know!
What's something you loved doing with your dad growing up?

{Today's Letters}

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dear Timothy James, after long days on campus and regularly questioning my sanity about staying in nursing school you often remind me of why I started this journey in the first place. Thank you for helping me pivot back to my heart of caring for the vulnerable. Dear Fall-la-la-la-la, welcome back. You were missed more than thrifted flannels and leaf angels. Dear Resilience, lately you've shown me that I suffer more in my thoughts than I do in reality. Here's to growing in mental toughness and gratitude! Dear Brave, each morning you bang your pancake plate on the counter while trying to put it into the sink, leaving a trail of powdered sugar and syrup behind. Another six months and you'll clear this with ease, but for now it reminds me to embrace your smallness and all things sticky. Dear Mr. Loerke, to the man who loves the month of October as much as I do, please keep crushing cider donuts with me. To the moon!
Happy Tuesday, y'all!

{Stay Curious}

Monday, October 22, 2018

When you've been studying for 8 hours but your people bring you Thai food and cookies to help draw you out of your oxygenation and med admin hole.

Insulin draws served with a side of Sunergos coffee and humble pie.

How Brave and I really feel about diffusion and perfusion.
Keep channeling your anxiety into curiosity, brave ones.
Stay curious about the unknown ...
It will be one of the many things that help get you through nursing school.
Happy Monday.

{Mountain Rest}

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not healing, not curing, that is a friend who cares." -Henri Nouwen

I'm convinced the difference between living well and thriving is in part due to having someone who can help you see yourself and others more clearly. Call them a spiritual sensei, a mentor, a life guru ... either way they are delivers of hope suspenders of judgement, and messengers of grace. For the past 13 years this woman has been that for me. She's shown me the importance of self work and creating space to grieve all things, no matter how big or small. We work hard and play hard together. We support one another's families. We embrace the challenges of student life (only one more year until you have your PhD sweet Elizabeth!). We remind each other of how little we actually know and how much we are in need of forgiveness. I'm incredibly grateful for you, Elizabeth. The last four days in the mountains have filled my heartbox more than you know!

{Keep You're Head Up, Keep Your Heart Strong}

Thursday, September 27, 2018

This is the classroom where I took my first nursing class.
It's also where I fell more in love with OB and failed my first exam. Oops.

My ABSN program has by far been the hardest thing I've ever done,
but it's also been one of the most rewarding!

Hang in there felllow nursing students.
Keep doing the next faithful thing ... you're gonna make it!

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