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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My new year

My new year's resolutions....

Dear God, let me love others more than I love myself.

Let me always be thankful in other's joy before I am thankful in my own.

Let me remember that God has truly blessed me WAY more than I deserve.

Let me decide to live with JOY instead of with FRUSTRATION.

Let me remember to be the optimist instead of the pessimist.

Let me be thankful that HE has blessed me with the love of my life and not be worried about the little things.

Above all else, let me focus my life on what HE wants me to do, not what I want or think should happen. Let me be GOD centered, not ME centered. And let me be thankful when I am reminded of this, not offended because things don't happen the way I THINK they should. God is in control, not me.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My newest uplift.

At Your Feet by Casting Crowns

Here at Your feet, I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Here at Your feet, I lay this day down
Not in my strength, but in Yours I’ve found
All I need, You’re all I need

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet, I lay my future down
All of my dreams, I give to You now
And I find peace, I find peace
Here at Your feet, I lay my life down
For You my King, You’re all I want now
And my soul sings…

‘Cause I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

And I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

Here at Your feet
I lay my life down

If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to Casting Crowns before, I'd highly recommend them. They ALWAYS have a song that seems to speak to me RIGHT where I am at that moment. They don't pansy around with the lyrics of their songs either. Truth is spoken LOUDLY! This song is the latest comfort to me. I've attached the Youtube version so you can experience this with me!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Learning to accept change

As a little girl growing up in church, one of my favorite things was to spend the afternoon at a friend's house after Sunday morning services. We had to be back at church that night, so it was always fun to be a part of another family for awhile.

If you know anything about me in my personal life, I'm a wonderful ATTEMPTED planner, but it typically doesn't work out the way I've decided it should. These events were no exception. My friends and I would come up with this brilliant idea for lunch fun during Sunday school and then I was left to ask permission from my mother. For some reason, we always went to the other family first. Eight times out of ten, my mother would look at me and say "Now, Stephanie, you know I hate surprises." OOH! That would infuriate my free planning spirit! It didn't MATTER that I had all week to decide to do these little luncheons and call my friends ahead of time. It only mattered that I had come up with this GREAT idea, and someone wasn't letting me express it RIGHT then.

As an adult, I find myself more and more moving towards that "not liking surprises" mentality. I seem to get all flustered when things don't go according to plan, even though it was really just MY plan and not GOD'S plan for me. Do I not remember that patience is a virtue? Do I not trust that someone else has my highest benefit at heart? The One who created me always knows what's best for me....and I need to remember this more often.

I really don't have any one situation that I'm referring to. I'm just coming to realize that I need to relinquish the control that I have on my life. If I did, it would make it more easy to understand why things happen or to even just accept that there's a higher goal out there.

Things here in Euless are pretty stable right now, which is a nice and welcome change! Work is semi-peaceful. I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Orlando for a conference last week, and it was so nice to get away from work for a few days! Jason is wonderful...I'm going to spend Thanksgiving with his family this year, a first for me! I can't wait! Liberty and Oliver are spending their time beating each other up in love and sleeping. I am thankful for the stability that God has provided me with lately!

What's in the plan for the next few weeks? "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." --Isaiah 40:31

I think that's self explanatory! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Huh. Has it really been three weeks since I last posted? This seems ridiculous.

I've had a lot go on in that short time period. Most importantly, I've lost one of the small lights in my life. My sweet Hannah Olivia has gone to be with Jesus, and I am SO happy that she doesn't hurt anymore. No more pokes or IV's or echos or pretty much anything painful. She went to see HIM quickly and didn't suffer, which was an absolute blessing. I had the blessed opportunity to be with her mom and provide support, even though I had absolutely no idea how to handle that situation.

Today, I went to her life celebration and cried all the way through it. Hannah was an absolutely precious angel. Her family is so strong. On Saturday (her going HOME day!), her mother turned to me and said "Stephanie, I'm so sorry that she couldn't be your flower girl!" Imagine that. In her time of complete pain, she's thinking of me. What an amazing woman.

In nursing school, they warn us about becoming too attached to our patients. They school us all about how involved we should be with families. This idea has been thrown out the window when it comes to my patient population. I am with them TOO much to not have an emotional connection. I am the one who told Hannah's mom "We have a heart for Hannah" and "Her new heart is beating". I've been with them through the worst and the best. And I was there at the end...to hold that sweet baby and weep with every corner of my being.

My transplant team has been through the wringer this weekend. We lost three patients...some before transplant and some after. No one really can know how this feels except those involved, but I am so thankful to my friends and family who have just been there for me. It's more than I could ever handle alone.

Please pray for Hannah's family. Pray for Amanda, Jason, and little Cooper. They need to feel HIS arms around them. Pray for everyone who has been touched by Hannah Olivia's life. We are HURTING. This precious angel left such an impression on anyone she came in contact with.

Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Another day...

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I'm very much alive and well, sitting peacefully in Euless. I have two precious puppies who are completely sacked out in their beds after chasing each other around the house for an hour. I have a boyfriend who loves me and is working in Hearne (YAY for work!). I have a job where I can get told by parents "She wanted Miss Stephanie to kiss her stubbed toe!". I've got a good life right now!

I had an AMAZING time in Montreal! Becca and I roamed so much around the streets of that beautiful city! Of course, my trip didn't start off so well! I ended up oversleeping and missing my flight! I am RETARDED! It worked out well though, I ended up on the same flight as Becca, so we were able to figure out how to get to our hotel together instead of suffering alone! I did miss the wine and cheese reception, but no harm done! The conference was okay, but not what I expected. At one point, I snuck Becca into a luncheon, and we proceeded to be seated with the entire board of directors for the conference! Hilarious! There were SO many beautiful things to see in that city! We walked everywhere and felt totally safe at all times of the day! I fulfilled my fantasy of going to a Rachael Ray recommended restaurant AND bagel shop....and got to spend a lot of quality time with one of my best friends while doing it! Yep...when fulfilling Rachael Ray fantasies is my most exciting time, I know there's sadness abounding. Anyways, it was a great trip. My only regret was that since I packed in a RUSH, I had the most terrible shoes to traipse around Montreal in! Needless to say, these shoes have since seen the dumpster.

Since I got home, I've been completely run down with the dreaded swine flu. Every day in clinic, we diagnose another kiddo...and they are SO pitiful! Today's case was a sweet little 2 year old with the most PATHETIC face! I swabbed her nose and she didn't even CRY she felt so bad!

The puppies are absolutely INSANE right now. Oliver is currently stalking his sister. She's hiding in the crate and he keeps walking up to it and howling. He's parked in front of it, just waiting for her to come out so he can attack her. I've now fed them, so they will hopefully calm down! One never knows!

We're now watching The Dark Knight in surround sound. It's going to be a great night! This movie is CREEPY!

Anyways....guess I should sign off now. Not really anything going on right now. Except for the completely passed out puppies! What's going on in your world?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another Sunday night!

Liberty and I are having a righteous ol' time, here in Euless. We've been experiencing the wonders of the dog park on a daily basis. Today, Liberty got her head bitten by a ferocious bull dog who apparently had it in for Lib. She got over it with only a small amount of blood drawn. She has a tiny cut on her head, but I consider it her admission to the dog park of Euless. She'll deal.

Otherwise, I am up to no good as usual. I leave for a no doubt scandalous trip to Montreal on Wednesday! I am attending the International Transplant Nurse Society meeting in Montreal, Canada! Becca is going with me, as a secret and completely non member attender! She will party in the city during the day and then we will party together in the night time hours. Has anyone been to Montreal? Are there places, beyond what Racheal Ray might say, that I need to frequent?

Jason has been working this weekend. I am SO THANKFUL that he has been able to hold this subsitutute board that gives him more money, but I don't like it that much. Ah well, I will deal. The railroad has been exeptionally stingy in who they will allow to work, so I am thankful in whatever aspect my boyfriend is allowed to work! YAY Railroad! But only for today. I may very well change my mind later.

Ok. I am needed at the television for the Primetime Emmy watching. Yes, judge me as you will, but I love awards shows!!!! It allows me to examine all the fashions and realize how completely out of touch I am with reality.

So from the middle of the Emmy celebrations, I bid you goodnight!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A new normal.

Liberty and I are getting used to a new normal. Life in Euless is quite peaceful and good. I LOVE riding the train to work. It's ultimately fabulous that I get the opportunity to read a book whilst on the commute to work! I only get the chance to ride the train while I'm off call, but it is STILL much better than driving in traffic all the time!

Not much to say today. Been working hard, but not doing a lot of transplants. This is surprising considering we have about 15 listed for transplant. Crazy!

Guess I should go to bed. I am on call at 7AM tomorrow. For only three days. What sense does THAT make? See you later!

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Sleepless in Seattle classic!

When the sun is high in the afternoon sky
You can always find something to do
But from dusk till dawn as the clock ticks on
Something happens to you

In the wee small hours of the morning
While the whole wide world is fast asleep
You lie awake and think about the boy
And never ever think of counting sheep

When your lonely heart has learned its lesson
You'd be his if only he'd call
In the wee small hours of the morning
That's the time you miss him most of all

This is such a beautiful song! Of course, it's completely not applicable to my current relationship. It DOES, in fact, go with my sleeping pattern as of late! I've been awake for a long time already, and it's only 5:42AM! I end up either not being able to go to sleep, or most of the time it ends up that I can't STAY asleep. I think I'm averaging about 3-4 hours a night. Over a month's time, that tends to lead to CRAZY Stephanie. I've tried lots of different things with varying results. A quiet, calm, and cool environment didn't seem to make a difference. Benadryl makes me groggy, but I still wake up early. Ambien makes me clean out the fridge and straighten the apartment while sleeping...I completely don't remember it and I still only get about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It's starting to get really old, especially when I'm on call. I had chalked it up to moving stress, but seeing as I've been moved for 2 weeks now, that doesn't seem to be the answer. Apparently, I am just not destined for good sleep for awhile.

I am excited that I've got some fun things in the works! My birthday is a week from tomorrow and I'm hosting a happy hour at this yummy restaurant called Sambuca. I won it at the Dallas bridal show and thought I'd share the wealth! I also get to go to Montreal for a work conference on the 23rd! I am WAY excited about that! I got to go to Vancouver last September, now onto the other side of the country this year! Maybe I'm supposed to make this a pattern?

Well, I've got a few hours before I have to be bright and shiny. Maybe I could try and sleep? HA!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Life as it is...

WOW! Hooray for life in Euless! It's an absolute fabulous experience, right here in Euless, Texas. I am actually loving my life in the suburbs. It's quiet, calm, and comepletely predictable! BUT THAT IS OK!!!

I am getting used to the suburbs. I have MISSED this! My apartment is slowly coming together...it really depends on the moment with my decorating skills!! :)

Other than the moving, things are going well. Jason is working more than I would like, but I get over it. Liberty, Oliver, and I continue to hang out. Oliver got his blood drawn last week to make sure his levels of phenobarbitol were correct. All levels were good and he continues to be seizure free. Go Ollie!

Jason and I went to Costco today....in Southlake. What an experience! It is hilarious to watch pretty people! Sitting in the food court, watching the fancy people scarf down pizza for 2 dollars a slice.....is AWESOME!!!

And now I am asleep. Perhaps I should sleep!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hello from Euless!

Well, I am all moved in and somewhat settled! Liberty and Oliver are coping well, which is WAY different than before! I only have about 4 boxes left to unpack, but I'm putting them off for as long as possible!

It's SO different being in a suburb...rather than an urban area! I forgot how much I love it! There's restaurants close by! Walmart is 10 min away! Target is even closer!! What a delight! :) I really have missed being in the suburb frame of mind.

Today, I finally got GOOD cable (which is something I have been without for 6 months, at least!). I am settling in to my new "normal". A life where I ride the train to work when I am not on call. A norm where my puppies don't have a mile to walk to get to the bathroom. A life in the suburbs. It feels really GOOD!

Everything with my move went very well. The movers were on time and nothing has been damaged. They were quick and did an amazing job! My parents were here to help unpack the CRAZINESS of my apartment! I got to spend time with Jen, Michael, my parents, and Jason at a fabulous dinner. All in all, a good moving weekend...if one could even call moving good!

Liberty, Oliverl and I are learning this new way of life. I am loving being closer to Jason. I actually am loving being closer to all the action...halfway between Fort Worth and Dallas! It's quite the adventure.

For now, I am learning to adjust. Learning that what I have planned is not always what God has planned. And patience...which is the most difficult lesson of all! I am NOT a patient person! :)

So, from a well settled apartment in Euless, I will sign off. Good night!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The lull...

It's absolutely the lull before the storm. I am moving this weekend...which no doubt will have absolute chaos ensue. My parents are coming from Houston to help...which is absolutely appreciated! I have every single thing in my house except a week's worth of clothes and my computer packed. No kitchen anything! I have lots of little things from Central Market so I can have some sort of nourishment! I have plans for dinner with friends on Tuesday and plans for dinner with a drug company on Thursday. Friday? I get my Dart ID (so I can ride the TRE to work!), take Liberty to Connie's for doggy day care, sign my lease, move into my apartment, have my direct tv installed, have my time warner cable installed, and maybe even breathe? Saturday? My parents have volunteered to clean my old apartment, Jason is going to do some sort of "Kirby sudsing" of the carpet, and I will hopefully be unpacked. Sunday? My parents will have to go home (Sad!) and I will be left to start my new experience in Euless! Not busy at all!

Meanwhile, Jason is out of town all week working. I am eating food from my microwave. And Liberty is absolutely freaking out every time I even leave the room! That's pretty typical for her, so I'm not too concerned about that! Here are the good parts: Jason should be home by the weekend to help me move! I have netflix movies online to watch! I get to experience food from Central Market and that's ALWAYS delightful. I will see my parents this weekend which is always a good thing. I am experiencing a minimalist perspective...living with very few possessions is a new and enlightening experience.

As far as work goes? My sweet Hannah continues to be a miracle. She gets better every day and has finally gone through a weekend without a disasterous experience. It's a good thing, because my poor heart couldn't undergo much more. She is an absolute precious girl and I just melt every time I see her! If any of you are on Facebook, her page is PRAY FOR HANNAH. Her mama is an absolutely precious woman who has had more to deal with than I could ever imagine. Go support her!

Okay, Liberty and I are going back to watching our Netflix movies! Hooray for instant movies, right? Have a wonderful week! I'll hopefully be broadcasting from Euless next time!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Lifting her up

Many of my posts lately have revolved around sweet and adorable Hannah Olivia. She is absolutely one of my most favorite patients of all time. She also has become, although not of her own volition, one of the most stressful patients I have ever had. She is SO sick. Every week, she struggles to improve her condition...and every weekend, she seems to plummet down into all kinds of badness. I don't really understand this enigma, but it still happens...each and every weekend.

I wish that I could fix things with just a word...but I can't. I can only continue to tell people about her and lift her up in prayer. Jesus is the ONLY one who can fix her now...people here on earth are only pawns by which God can work His ultimate plan for sweet Hannah's life.

Please spend a bit of your prayer time tonight for my sweet almost 5 year old Hannah. She needs a miracle...and so do her parents. Bless them with your prayers....she's absolutely worth it. I'll put up a picture of her from May...the annual transplant picnic!

Isn't she beautiful?

Yep! That's my flower girl! :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A mystery.

God works in mysterious ways. I know this. Yet it never ceases to surprise me when He does.

Take Saturday. I am minding my own business, just hanging out. I get a text page that says "Please call 68352. Hannah coding". What a wake up call! My sweet Hannah, who was supposed to go home on Friday is now coding in the ICU! Not good. She was bleeding internally and had emergency surgery on Saturday night. Thanks to all my FB friends who prayed for her!!

Today? She has doctors who are shocked that she made it through the night. She is fighting the sedation that is supposed to keep her comfortable. She is squeezing hands when directed. She is Hannah.

This precious baby is a miracle. There's no other way to describe it. Go to FB and subscribe to the group "Pray for Hannah" and you'll see. God has a special plan for her. We don't know what it is at this point, only that she is supposed to keep on going right now.

Her family could use your prayers. They are an absolutely precious family who know when to freak out and when to be thankful. I wish more of my families were like this.

So right now, all I ask is for you to pray for this precious little girl. She is completely in God's hands. Pray HARD!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quiet is a good thing! Seriously!

It's a quiet night here at the Emerson household. Oliver and Liberty are happily chewing rawhides in their respective puppy beds. I'm playing on Facebook and watching The Bachelorette "The guys tell all". It's a completely edifying night here! :) I am serious, these guys are worse than women! They are cat-fighting with the best of them! Hilarious!

I want to thank every one of you who prayed for my sweet angel, Hannah. She's doing so well, transferring out of the ICU in the morning! What a complete answer to prayer! I told her mom on the first night she was admitted to the ICU that she needed to pull through so she could be my flower girl in the spring! Amanda assured me that she just knew that God was going to protect her life, and I'm pretty convinced that HE HAS! YAY GOD! :)

I am moving one month from tomorrow. Yikes. I have my bedroom mostly packed, except for my clothes. The closet is done, thanks to Jason. I need to move on to the bathroom and kitchen. I'm excited to get away from this ridiculous rent and the exceptionally loud upstairs neighbors that love nothing more than to bang around the floor. WOW. You can not even imagine how loud these people are! I wish I could start attacking the ceiling with a broom handle so they could know how loud they really are. ANYWAYS. I'm moving. I'm hoping that I will get motivated in the next few weeks.

Not much else is going on around here. Work is crazy, but then again, when is it not? I am busy and never EVER stop moving....but that's just the new norm. Hopefully some changes are in the works, but one just never knows.

I hope that your week is absolutely phenomenal! I surely hope mine is!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life in the fast lane

WOW. It's been an amazing two weeks! I actually had the opportunity to be off call for 2 full weeks at a time, and it's been a welcome relief! Of course, I've still been busy, with my at least 4 patients in the hospital at a time schedule, but it's all good.

As a quick update, my precious Hannah is doing SO MUCH BETTER! I can only attribute this to the thousands of prayers that have been lifted up in her behalf. There's no other explanation. From two weeks ago, where I sat with her mother and cried and wondered if she was going to make it through the night, until now...when she is talking and communicating and has basically normal heart function. PRAISE THE LORD! It's a giant relief and a complete answer to prayer. God still works miracles and this is an AMAZING one.

Other than that, I've been with Jason a lot...just being together and having a great time! We're hanging out with his family...and my family...and his kids...and my Liberty...etc... Don't worry, you'll be notified of any important developments! :)

I am moving in a month! Crazy! My bedroom closet is packed, mostly thanks to Jason and his love of packing. I still have to pack the bathroom and kitchen, and then I'll be done. Needless to say, I have no pictures or figurines...or anything in my house. It's pretty bare!

Ok. It's time for my latest addiction...So You Think You Can Dance! Must go watch! Night! :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A week past....

It's been a week since I have posted last. My sweet transplant from my last post has gone HOME (go DIVA go!)and I could not be more proud of her! I have had a new transplant kiddo in the interim, and he is doing well. I do have one precious transplant baby who is NOT doing well, and I am asking all prayers for my sweet Hannah. I know that her parents would welcome any help and prayers directed towards her. She is very sick and neeeding my blog friends to come together and pray HARD for her healing.

I've experience a sort of set back this week. I thought I would be headed toward nurse practitioner school in the fall, but there are no funds and no supporters, so I wait. And see if this is what GOD has designed for me. Keep praying.

Other than that, I have no new developments. My main purpose? To PRAY FOR HANNAH. This little girl needs more prayer than I have ever asked for. She is a precious little girl who deserves no less than the best. PRAY for her!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I am TIRED. Having my weekend ZAPPED by a transplant is always a double edged joy...happy for the patient who gets a new heart, but sad for me because I am up for countless hours and no sleep.

This week, I am totally prepared to be alone all week again. It's all good, I have the stamina to handle it, I just don't appreciate it!

I would ask your PRAYERS for my precious doctor friend who is dealing with all this crap alone at the moment. We have some really sick kiddos....and I do not enjoy having a stressed out doctor! She is too much of a fabulous resource for people to mess with!!!

This week, I really NEED to start packing. That's a goal. It may or may NOT happen. I loathe packing.

That's all that's going on at the moment. Night!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The craziness continues!

Never let it be said that my time alone at work was boring! This week, we've managed to evaluate two kids, admit more kids than I would like, and been attacked by WAY more paperwork than is humanly necessary. It's all good. I understand that everyone needs their time off....but it really is draining on the psyche!

In other excitement, poor Liberty had surgery this week. It was supposed to be a routine dental cleaning, but ended up where she had to have a tooth extracted. This brought on two days (and still going!) of sneezing blood and a generally crabby Liberty Grace. She is better today than she was yesterday, but still having some issues that I'm not entirely happy with the vet about. She's a tad pitiful, but having Oliver around to bug her doesn't give her much recoup time. Poor thing has to be crated with him all day...no telling what THAT is like!

Jason and I had our five month anniversary today! Of course, he's off working, but I am happy he is! He's had a really hard month and the railroad has cut back on the amount of trains it is sending out. Thankfully, it is picking up and he's back to work on a consistant basis. I do miss him being around, but I am glad things are starting to turn around at work!

I am moving in less than 2 months and I haven't packed a single box yet! This is exceptionally unusual for me! I guess I need to get moving, right?

One year ago yesterday, I was admitted for my eleven day stay at Baylor University Medical Center. It was the most horrific thing I've ever experienced, comprised of a TON of puking, scans, lab tests, and culminating in my gall bladder removal. It doesn't seem like it's been a year...but July 5 will be my one year from GB removal...and that seems BIZARRE! Thank goodness for my amazing surgeon (LOVE you, Dr Kuhn!) who tirelessly fought to figure out what was wrong with me!

Okay, I'm currently being sucked in to the TV series "The Tudors" (thanks Michael and Jen!). I'll update again soon...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Same story, ninth verse!

I bet you will NEVER ever guess what the title of this blog is about...oh yes, my friends...I'm moving AGAIN! Unfortunately my brilliant plan to save money by living right by the hospital isn't working out so well. So, I'll be moving in August...my ninth move since I moved to Dallas in 1999. Wow. Has it really been that long? Huh. Interesting.

Anyways, I'm actually moving out of my comfort zone and happy Dallas bubble. In looking at rent and freeways and traffic, I decided it probably wasn't a good plan for me to move back up to North Dallas. The tollway sucks money out of me and I don't want to go that route again. My next thought was over by my brother and sister in law's house...but then that puts me farther away from Jason in Fort Worth. Not a great option! So, I reached out of my protective Dallas bubble and feverishly searched the mid-cities area (Hurst/Euless/Bedford). I found a great affordable apartment in Euless and turned in my application yesterday! This time, I got smart and did it through a company which will pay for my move. DeLIGHTful! Those of you who know me at all understand that a moving company is a luxury I have always insisted on paying for. I'd rather eat ramen for a month than have to move myself! :)

So, effective August 21st, I'll be a Tarrant county resident. It should be interesting. My aunt lives in Euless and works in Dallas so she's got all kinds of lovely short cuts to save me from the drama of the freeways. It will be nice to be so close to her, although I'm sad to be farther from Michael and Jennifer. I just need to figure out how to get Jen over her fear of freeways so she can come and play with me more often! :) I mean, I'll live 10 minutes from Grapevine Mills! How fabulous is THAT?

This week has been the complete opposite work week than last! I have only had two or three kids in clinic, which is shocking for me. I'm used to having seven or eight every time! It's a nice break. One of my transplant docs is going on vacation today for 3 weeks, then the other coordinator goes for 2 weeks...so it's nice to get a calm week before the mayhem! :)

Guess I should probably get back to work. Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My amazing life.

God has blessed me with the ultimate amazing life. I have a job in which I get to tell people "HEY, we HAVE a new life for your child!". I also have a personal life where I have a man who wants nothing more than to make me happy. I am extremely blessed.

Life is a whirlwind at this point. My job is completely crazy...doing NINE transplants in FIVE months is a bit ridiculous. But I am coping. The fact that I have been on call for less of the transplants is FABULOUS! Of course, more than half of the kids are "mine", but that is ok. I can deal with the after effects of these transplants. I am just SO lucky that my babies are getting new starts at life.

In my personal life, I am so completely in LOVE. Well, not IN love, but I love a most fabulous man. He is not what I ever would have expected to fall for, but only GOD knows what is best for me. And I have found HIM. The one. But that's just between you and me. Although I know that "you" is multiple people....including my parents! So that's my statement of faith...that I have found the man I am supposed to be with. I must be completely crazy.

So, what else is going on? Not much. I am moving from my beautiful commute of 2 minutes to 25+ minutes of commute to be closer to someone I love. I am apartment searching in the mid-cities area (predominately the HEB area) because I feel I need to make a change in price for my apartment. I guess that's what we do for LOVE! :)

Work is WORK. It's nothing fabulous, but I do get to spend fabulous hours with children that change lives. I am extremely blessed. I realize this. And for this, I am thankful.

So, to the God who is INFINITELY able to do more than I ask or could even possibly imagine, I am thankful. For more than life itself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Did I really do that?

When I was rolled back to the operating room on April 21, 2008, I knew that my life was going to drastically change. In my pre operative meetings with my surgeon, he presented both surgical options. After my extensive research, I was already leaning towards the gastric bypass to give myself some physical consequences for poor eating choices. He told me that patients typically lose up to 75% of their excess body weight. He thought that with my determined spirit and desire to succeed, I would do even better than that.

The year hasn't been a walk in the park as far as my body is concerned. Two additional hospitalizations, one gall bladder gone, two endoscopies...none of these things were planned. 6 weeks of throwing up 5 times a day wasn't planned. Five months of trying to get recovered from all that fiasco wasn't in my thought processes when I was rolled into that operating room.

My life has drastically changed. If someone had asked me 9 months ago if I would do this surgery again, I would have no doubt laughed in their face and said not in a MILLION years! If you asked me now? I would wholeheartedly say absolutely YES without a minute of hesitation. Why? Because even through all the crap, I feel amazing. I'm told I look amazing. I go up flights of stairs without getting tired. My asthma hasn't been near the issues this winter. I can go into a store, pull a medium off the shelf and not try it on because I know it will fit. I don't have to use the "big girl" excuse of "Well, sizes just run small in this store". It's pretty amazing.

SO. Seven incisions=lots of pain! Three hospital visits=no fun. Weeks and weeks of throwing up=absolutely time to forget that. Losing 143lbs=PRICELESS! Hooray!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Early morning rising.

I am absolutely not a morning person, by any sort of stretch of anyone's imagination. I am not typically nasty, but I don't bound out of bed with a great big smile on my face and a raging excitement to start the day. You can imagine how excited it would make me to get up at 4:30AM, get ready for the day, trek off to work, only to find out 20 minutes after I get here that the transplant supposed to start at 6AM is now starting at 7:30AM. ARG! The oh-so-inept procurement coordinator (the person who takes care of the donor) told me happily "Now you can just go back to bed for a little bit!" No. Not really. I'm not going home (even though home is very close!) to re-anger the dogs, settle them down, get back into my bed for what will be a fitful sleep and no doubt make me even more crabby than I already have the potential to be.

So here I sit in my office, Dasani in hand, jamming happily to my iPod, which is currently playing Phil Collins. Ah yes, it's a thrilling life I lead! I am sad because today I was supposed to be going to the Main Street Arts Festival in downtown Fort Worth with Jennifer, and now I'm not going to be able to go. Seeing as I have had all of about 30 minutes of sleep in the last 24 hours, I don't think I'll be that fun. I don't even know at what point I'll get out of here or be coherant enough for conversation, let alone driving to Fort Worth. So I get to miss that. But a sweet baby girl gets a new heart...so I guess things could be a lot worse.

This week is going to be CRAZY! I am only working Monday through Thursday and then off Friday for VACATION! I'll probably leave early a few days to make up for this epic adventure I've been on in the last 18 hours. I first found out about this transplant at 11AM yesterday, but we didn't get the official call until almost 8PM. Needless to say, it's been stalking me!

Friday will be spent in the normal pre vacation mode...wildly packing and re-packing, the much needed pedicure (complete with neon vacation colors...I'm thinking hot pink!), and general pacing about until I can finally leave for the airport. The flight doesn't leave until 8PM, so there's lots of nervous pacing until I am safely on that plane and headed for vacation wonderland. Our fabulous hotel (it's at the airport, it almost HAS to be "fabulous"!) has a shuttle who will pick us up at any hour at the airport and take us back for a few hours of sleep. I'll no doubt spring out of bed nice and early on Saturday, completely excited to start our cruising fun. It's nice being a returning cruiser because now I have a basic knowledge of what's smart to do. For example, it's really REALLY smart to pack pajamas and a swimsuit in your carry on. Your luggage may not get there until 10PM, even after the boat has already sailed, and you may really REALLY want to put on pajamas and crawl into bed to start the fun times of free room service! We also got smart this time and booked the later dinner time slot...which will hopefully ensure that we won't miss every sail away from the islands or more importantly, the sunsets!

As far as what's been going on in my neck of the woods, it pretty much can be broken down into a few things. I've been working hard, but not harder than I have to. I'm doing my absolute best and am still striving to be the best coordinator I can be. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do when my lease is up in August. Yep, probably move...how'd you guess? :) I'm loving spending every moment I can with Jason, figuring out where we're going in our relationship and introducing him to as much of my nutty family as is possible. I'm still reeling in shock that my surgery was a year ago on Tuesday. See? Not much going on here!

I won't post again until after vacation, unless I decide to do a homage to Betty on Tuesday, which still could happen but will absolutely depend on how crazy the days get here. I'll leave you with a lovely reminder of where I'll be spending next week...Bon Voyage!

Thursday, April 09, 2009


As much as I would like to say my life is full of drama, I am constantly reminded that so many other people have it far worse than I.

I don't have a child in a PICU who has uncontrollable SVT. Meet Stellan.

I don't have a child who even in utero, is destined to fail, but by God's grace, is continuing to live. Meet April.

I don't have a child without an acceptable diagnosis who continues to have bizarre symptoms that don't seem to have a cause. Meet Keegan.

I don't have a child who continually tries to reject her transplanted organ and who consistantly tries to make her world a better place. Meet Ashley.

I sit here in awe of families who are consistantly broken over and over by the "drama" that overwhelmes, but does not break them. I sit and stress about a co-worker who angers me.

Sometimes, my life is so trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Yet, I have a job where I get to announce NEW LIFE to families. "We have a heart for your child" and "Your child's new heart is beating" are the two most favorite things I ever get to say.

But in my normal life, I have no stress even comparable to these people. I sit and wonder why I stress about what someone says or does when someone else is at their literal breaking point.

I need some perspective.

Thank goodness for a Savior who loves ALL of us. We are all important in HIS eyes.

I am humbled that HE thinks of me just as much as a family in true crisis. Everyone is equal in His eyes. And for that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Prayers are needed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Now THIS is spring!

The last few days have been absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I can't get over how sunny and warm (but not HOT!) it has been around here! I love it! It's been sitting mid 70's with no clouds and just a very light breeze. The back door has been open most of the time I've been home and the puppies have been soaking up every second of outside time.

I've been battling some sort of disgusting spring infection. It started out as strep throat (I didn't even know adults could still get that!) and gradually turned into some horrifying bronchitis. I'm on my second round of antibiotics, but I'm feeling so much better by the day. I need to keep my sleep caught up and then I'll really feel better! I'm still coughing and hacking, but I'm on the road to recovery. I'm guessing that simple penicillin antibiotics just aren't gonna cut it anymore...I'll have to move straight up to the good ones!

I need to get better quickly because I got drafted to be a camp nurse at transplant camp next weekend! It goes from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. My friend (and transplant doctor!) Lisa and I were drafted and I'm excited about it! I've been to the camp facility before during heart camp, but have never had the opportunity to stay there. It should be an interesting experience....30 teenagers and the outdoors! Hopefully there will be no large insects, reptiles, or rodents lurking about.

My cruise leaves five weeks from tomorrow! HOORAY! I am so SO excited! It's getting really close to time to buy plane tickets and shore excursions. I think that's when it really seems to feel real! I'm still attempting to find cruise/summer clothes. I think that's probably the most frustrating thing of all! I got some great sundresses last weekend at Old Navy. They were a nice surprise!

I keep squirting Liberty and Oliver with water when they fall asleep. Both of them were absolute beasts while I was trying to sleep last night! Oliver kept jumping in and out of bed. Liberty kept barking. Neither of these things equals good sleep! I figure, if they sleep this afternoon, they may not want to sleep tonight. This will NOT be acceptable. Needless to say, they are not happy with me the moment. Hey, people need SLEEP! They can get over it! :)

Me and my crockpot are having all kinds of adventures together. Tonight, I have created some sort of pork tenderloin wonderland. I mixed in barbeque sauce (no sugar added! Hooray!), onion soup mix, and some water and threw in a piece of pork. It's been cooking happily for quite some time. I bought my crock pot to transport queso for a superbowl party and we've been inseparable ever since! I'm turning domestic! Scared yet? :) I've also developed an addiction to doing laundry! Perhaps I've been overtaken by some sort of alien being! I guess you can't watch as much Food Network as I do without it rubbing off at some point.

I am on call this weekend, but hopefully I won't be getting as many phone calls as I did last weekend! Only one more week on and then two weeks off! Hooray!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Yep, I'm a slacker!

Good heavens, this blog has been neglected! I just realized that I'm completely obsessed with checking other blogs, but it has somehow escaped me that people might want to know what's going on in MY life. Perhaps I'm wrong. I still see people coming to my blog, but maybe they are just using my blog as a jumping off point for visiting others!

Where do I even begin? I guess I can start with work. It's been BUSY! We've been transplanting like CRAZY and we've been seeing a TON of kids! That's good in one respect, but doesn't help my sanity level! I've had some really bad patient experiences the last month or so, so I'm working very hard on seeing the good in my job. I know God has me there for a reason, and it's taking every ounce of me some weeks to determine what that is. Perhaps it's just to teach me to be better in control of my emotions as they relate to patients? Who even knows. I get very involved in the care of these sweet babies, so it really affects me when bad things happen. I've been thinking a lot lately about justice and its place in my job. I've got sweet angels who are dancing with Jesus that took their meds every day of their lives....and bratty teenagers who refuse to take their meds and keep on ticking. Why DO bad things happen to good people? I'm working through this very question and am open to any/all suggestions on books to read or thoughts on the subject.

As far as non work stuff goes, there's a lot going on there too! I'm planning to go on a cruise in April, which I think I've mentioned before. I think there's 49 days to go now! I NEED this vacation and I can't even imagine how fabulous it's going to be! The differences since my last cruise will be most evident in the quantity of food I can consume, but that's okay. I can at least order the pretty food and just bask in its beauty! I went to a drug representative dinner last night and they kept begging me to order dessert! I kept saying, um, no thank you! Finally, I just gave in and ordered the "Death by Chocolate" cake, then promptly handed it off to one of the other people I was there with. It felt weird to be ordering sugar! At least on the cruise, I can order cheese or fruit for dessert and hopefully will not be judged by those around me! If so, who cares! :) I'll get lots of exercise roaming around Caribbean islands and snorkeling to my heart's content! I almost wish I could go back to the island where I almost died from all the hiking just to see how much better I could do!

My weight loss still continues to shock the snot out of me. A day doesn't go by when someone says "Are you done YET?". To answer all these questions, NO. I am not done. I will be done when I say I'm done. And that time hasnt' come yet. I think I've finally settled on a goal weight, but I still need to meet with my dietitian to see if that's a reasonable goal and how I stay there once I'm there. I really don't have that much farther to go. My next goal is to become more active. I've sworn off the elevator at my apartment complex, and I am starting to swear off it at work too. I need to actually get onto the elliptical machine at the gym...that is my next goal, I think. My endurance is SO much better since my jelly legs have basically gone away!

I've also got a new relationship that's making me pretty darn happy. I've endured a lot of garbage over the last couple of years, either the other person wasn't ready...or I wasn't ready...not meant to be the right person at the right time. I'm beginning to think I'm finally at that ready stage, both emotionally and spiritually. It's a nice place to be in. Just when I had all but given up, an amazing guy found me! We're having a great time and I'm just trying to understand it all. It's nice to be in a relationship that I don't have those typical girl panics in....will he call? Did I just make a fool of myself? What does he really think? We'll see where this is going, but right now, I'm exceptionally content.

Okay, I've been typing this for a really REALLY long time now. I hope your weekend is warm and happy...I know mine will be!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Honduras blog

PLEASE keep my friends in your prayers! Here's a blog from another friend who is down in Honduras helping save the lives of children with heart defects!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Healing Hearts in Honduras

Many of you know I had the fabulous opportunity to go to Honduras last year on a cardiac surgery mission trip. I didn't have the chance to go this year, but they leave tomorrow morning, bright and early. Please keep them in your prayers...I have many wonderful friends on this trip!

You can follow their progress at http://trenasue.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Movies and shopping!

Only in Texas can we go from an ice storm that shuts down the entire city to the next weekend which is beautiful, sunny, and in the 70's. I live in such a freaky state!

This week has been an extremely odd one. At work, it's been crazy and slow, all at the same time. I've had a lot going on, but it all seems to be over and done by 1:30PM to where I'm having to search for things to do! Let's just say I worked on a project for a doctor, cleaned my office, sent off a bazillion emails that meant nothing, and spent lots of extra time with my patients...and I was still leaving by 3 every day! That's the beauty and torture of being a salaried employee. Weeks like last week make me so HAPPY I don't have to clock in and out! Weeks where I'm doing transplants all hours of the night and admitting and discharging EVERYONE, I'd love to be able to clock in and record every single minute! It's the best of both worlds, I guess. Most of the time, I'd just like my co-worker to have to clock in so my boss can see what a colossal time waster she is!

Yesterday, I went to the movies with Jen and our friend Leah. We saw "He's just not that into you"....which is a brilliantly written movie. I'm serious, it's freakishly accurate! For those of you who have been married for awhile...or in a relationship forever...this is a completely eye opening view of singlehood. Almost every time the main character made some ridiculous relationship choice, I was thinking back to a guy that I have done the VERY SAME thing on! Guess I'm not as much of a dating retard as I thought, apparently everyone has the same retardation! I think the most blinding part of the movie was to realize how much blame we as women take on ourselves for crap that's not even our fault. One of the characters is married and her husband cheats on her. She attempts to justify it by saying "Well, I changed or I wasn't available". What CRAP is that? Yes, absolutely. Your un-availability made your husband go strip off his clothes and be with another woman. I think we need to realize that every situation is NOT our fault. No wonder we're relationship retarded.

I also bought a fabulous new dress yesterday! While I was waiting to go meet Jen at the movies, I stopped at Macy's to sniff around. I have a gift card I received for Christmas and haven't spent it yet...so I needed some excitement. I wound up finding this dress and it was even less expensive than I thought it was! What a delight! It's black and fabulous...I'll probably wear it for the cruise or maybe just around the house when I want to be fancy. There's no telling. It's completely a dress that I wouldn't have chosen, but once I put it on, I didn't want to take it off! Isn't it nice when clothes make you feel that way? Much better than just treating them as a reason not to go outside naked!

I have no idea what this week looks like. I'm sure it's gonna be crazy and disasterous. Oh well...I guess it's about time after the slow week!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The miracles continue...

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Texas weather is weird. There's just nothing else that can describe it. Only in my great state would it be 80 degrees last Friday and in the 40's on Saturday. Today, it's raining and cold with a current temperature of 30 degrees. It's only supposed to get colder as the night progresses which will no doubt lead to fun and games involving ice later on!

I was asked to leave work today around 2pm, which I gladly did. I made a pit stop at the grocery store and have since returned home to stay warm. I still have to take Liberty out this evening, but I'm putting that off because I don't want to go out in the cold. Besides, I'm already wearing my Tinker Bell pajamas and no one but me should have to see those! Liberty has also expressed that she would like to stay curled up in the wee ball next to my leg. Most of the time, she doesn't get her way, but I believe she will right now.

This week has been freakishly slow at work. I'm not quite sure why, but it just seems that way. Maybe it's the weather. Who knows!

I go on my cruise in 87 days. This disturbs me because I'm quickly realizing how few clothes I own that will work! I'm slowly buying shirts, but pant sizes are still changing monthly and I don't know what size to buy EVER! It's completely unnerving. I've finally crossed the boundary into a healthy BMI and am still in shock that I'm 131lbs lighter than I was 9 months ago.

I'm currently on call, but it hasn't been as bad as it could be! I've been relatively unbothered. I love my transplant families, but it's always nice to sleep uninterrupted. I'm hoping we don't have any transplants in the next few days, especially while the weather is so disasterous. There's no way we'd be able to go get a heart on a plane right now!

Last night, I had the opportunity to go to a fundraiser for Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. This 15 year old boy named Darius Weems went on a nationwide trip with 11 friends to get MTV's Pimp My Ride to pimp out his wheelchair. I'd seen the movie before with my friend Amanda at a film festival last year. Amanda got plugged in with the cast and the entire cast/crew came to Dallas for the screening. There were so many Children's friends there. I had a great time being with my friends and NOT having to think about or talk about work.

I hope you are staying warm wherever you are tonight! I know we are!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We live in such an electronic age! Only in this day and time would I be sitting in a hospital room blogging, listening to my ipod, and texting all at the same time. Not even four hours after our country gets a new president, You tube already has all the coverage online and the stories ranging from small (the hideousness of the first lady's green J Crew gloves) to big (the fact that the president was SO nervous he couldn't even say the oath of office without stumbling!)

Whether or not you agree with the results of the election, the simple fact remains that he is the leader of our nation. He was elected by the people in the very fashion that makes us American...the freedom to choose our leaders. Disagreeing with the government is a liberty we have been given. Thank goodness for that.

My aunt had surgery today, so I took off work to spend time with her. It's mostly to make sure no one screws anything up. So far, everything has gone fine and we're safe and sound in her room upstairs. She'll be staying the night so they can watch her closely. I will be guarding her bedside. It will be nice to see it from the other side.

I'm actually off until Thursday. It's really weird to be off in the middle of the week. I'm loving it! I wish I would have off more often during the time when everyone is working!

Hope you are enjoying the bright and sunny day!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I just realized how long it has been since I actually blogged! I've been faithfully reading everyone else's blogs...but I guess it didn't occur to me to update my own. Not really much has gone on, which may have been the reason I didn't do anything!

Work is work. Nothing new or different. I did tell my boss he could find himself another coordinator if he didn't do something about my co-worker. I'm hoping that the hiring of a new manager will make my situation better. I'm not asking for miracles, but I would like to only have to do my job and not someone else's as well.

I've been doing an insane amount of shopping! Apparently, this new body of mine requires clothes and I have LOVED shopping for it! How weird is that? I guess to some people, it's completely normal to love buying clothes...but not for a large person. It's a depressing and stressful experience. Nothing fits right. Nothing looks right. It makes one feel even larger than he/she is. The smaller I get, the more I enjoy it! When I put on clothes, they are always too big or just right. I don't have to tell myself "oh, this label makes clothes smaller" or "I must be retaining water". Things just fit. I went to the Allen outlets on Saturday and bought shirts and pants and even a fabulous "bubble" dress (in a size EIGHT!) for my cruise in April. It was a beautiful and perfect day! I even bought a shirt at Banana Republic, a store that I have admired the clothes but haven't been able to wear for years...14 to be exact! I'm ready to start feeling fabulous in my new clothes!

I am finally sleeping again. Being on call, I don't sleep. I wake up early in the morning and can't go back to sleep. I can't fall asleep. It's just a bad combination. I'm not even getting calls! I just somehow subconsciously know that I'm having to sleep with the phone and pager by my bed. It's horrid. I'm smacking my system back into a regular sleep pattern at the moment. It's a beautiful and precious friend named Ambien. I only have to take it for about three days after I come off call and I move back into a regular sleep cycle. Delightful!

I don't think I'm doing anything particularly exciting this week. I guess that's a good thing, right?

Puppies are doing well. Liberty is currently pouting on the top of the chaise lounge, angry because I won't let her sit with me whilst I eat some popcorn. Oliver is wandering aimlessly around the apartment, randomly chewing on toys and sniffing the trash.

Well, I'm actually pretty exhausted, so I guess I should head off to bed now. The Golden Globes are over...so there's not much else to do on a Sunday night...except maybe watch the Desperate Housewives I DVR'd....

I think bed is gonna win. Night!