Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas fun!

Wow, I'm really not a good married woman blogger, am I? Guess I'll have to work on that!

Christmas was absolutely amazing. Jacob and Andrew were here from the Saturday before and went home yesterday. Our apartment has never seemed so empty. Liberty is sulking because her "little ones" are gone. We had so much fun with those sweet boys! We took amazing pictures in downtown Fort Worth in front of the giant Christmas tree. There was an insane amount of cookie baking. I think we watched all the fabulous Christmas cartoons and kid movies.

Christmas morning, we awoke to two very blessed little boys. My family poured their love and affection all over those kiddos. It was seriously Nerf-a-Palooza. After the Christmas present fun with just us, we got ready and went to dinner with Jason's mother and her side of the family. Liberty had to wear a Santa suit and by about 8PM, was so tired of not having her bed to sleep in, she hid under the Christmas tree and took a nap! Sunday, we relaxed, cleaned up the Christmas mayhem, and headed over to Jason's dad to say hi before they went back to their mom's house.

And as previously stated, Liberty is now moping around the house, watching the door longingly. She keeps sniffing the blankets and wondering why no one is giving her food under the table. It's a hard life for a dachshund.

I'm off today with big plans to watch all the Christmas movies that I knew Jacob and Andrew wouldn't want to watch! I think there will be de-decorating, but I'm trying to put that off as long as possible.

I have a very short work week, which is a blessing. Sometimes, you just need a break, you know?

I would ask your continued prayers for my little family. Jacob and Andrew did not want to go home, and it was so wonderful to have them for the week. We're looking to be up closer to them because they are needing us. A house in their neighborhood or close to it would be absolutely ideal! At this point, any decision we make has them completely 100% in the forefront!

Wow, still can't believe it's almost 2011! What a year this has been, and next year will no doubt be fabulous as well!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from Jason, Stephanie, Jacob, Andrew, and Liberty Russell!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My thoughts.

No, I'm not an employee of a transplant program anymore, but this does not mean I'm not still affected by what goes on. In my three years of employment in that position, plus the two on the heart floor, I came to call many transplant families part of my family. Or to be more specific, they made me part of theirs. I got to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries...of actual birth or the "heart birth".

Transplant is an ever changing science. A new and fabulous medicine is always in the works, but it never changes the fact that you are placing a foreign object in a body that doesn't want it. God created the human body perfectly. It rejects intruders. Even though that beautiful new heart is the gift of life, it is an intruder and the body wants nothing more than to get rid of it.

Transplant families are the strongest I know. They try to make a normal life for their loved one while they face the constant fear that something BAD may happen. They bond together as no one else can...as a clan who has seen their family member sicker than sick and made better by a gift from another person. Of course, this bond also leads them to experience the horror of transplant. The transplant gone wrong. Rejection. Infection. TCAD. Death. But in all of these horrible things and times, they still remain strong. Yes, they may crumble, but in the end, they hold fast because they believe in miracles.

I believe in miracles. I've seen them. I've also seen a "miracle" crumble before my eyes. That does not sway me from my belief that God is always in charge. ALWAYS. It's hard to see God in the crap that this life presents us with, but He's always there.

God will never give us more than we can handle. Ever. He says that, but do we believe it? I believe it. I've experienced it. The last year of my life has proven it.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who love me. I am also blessed to have people who have been through the worst and have seen the beauty that God has provided. Wow. That's a lot of blessings!

I can never thank God enough for the things He has brought to me. Who is that family? It's not just the biological one. It's the man He blessed me with. It's the family that God gave me. It's the transplant families who consider me part of theirs. It's the friends I have known forever who consider me the "aunt" of their kiddos. I am blessed.

That's it. The end.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Hello again! :)

Yep. I'm a Mrs. It has hit me a few times in the last few weeks. It hit me when I was introduced as "This is my wife, Stephanie". It hit me when I got to check "married" on my tax info. It REALLY hit me when I got my new Social Security card with the name STEPHANIE LYNNE RUSSELL! Crazy!

Our wedding was such a beautiful day. I got to say everything I always wanted to the man of my dreams. I got to continue family traditions by kneeling in prayer on the bench that my sister, my mother, and my grandmother kneeled with their husbands on. I was blessed to share the night with my husband and our closest friends. In the end, I look back and know that God has a hand in my life. If I still worked at CMC, I wouldn't have been able to invite some of the patient families that have truly amazed and blessed me. I had all of the people who have seen me from infancy to adulthood all in one room. Jason and I were so thankful to have these people here to celebrate our union.

We had an AMAZING time in Maui. I did not want to come home. I didn't even miss my dog (who would be very upset if she knew this, so don't tell her!). I got to spend 7 days with my fabulous husband swimming, golfing, snorkeling, driving, flying, eating, and just having an amazing time! My aunt let us use her beach front condo and it was so awesome! We rented a convertible mustang and ran around the island feeling fabulous and knowing that we knew NO ONE! :) I am a total foodie (and so is Jason!) and we really had the best time exploring all the fresh seafood that Maui has to offer. Seriously, it was so amazing that I didn't want to come back to lunchmeat and boring food. '

I was so lucky to spend my BIRTHDAY in Maui with my new husband! The night before, he and I went out on the town and had so much fun experiencing all the little cute "dives" in Kihei (the area of Maui where we stayed!). We got fabulous service because we told them it was our honeymoon AND my birthday. What else could a girl ask for? My sweet husband surprised me with a very adorable stuffed dachshund (complete with Hawaiian lei!) and a card. I love that he did that. It absolutely takes the cake as my most favorite birthday.

So now. We're home. We're married. Settling in to married life! Jason is working a different route than normal, but it's seeming to pay off for us! I'm working full time right down the street and they seem to love me! They keep saying I'm above and beyond what they normally get. I don't think this is my forever job, but it's great for the interim while I'm working to get back into the hospital.

We had the boys over this weekend. We had an amazing time! There was golf. There was a cooking lesson. There was church. There was family bonding. Jason and I want SO much to live up by these two precious boys. Please pray for this. They need some stability and a family that says "You matter".

Jason is off making money for our little family. Liberty is mourning the lack of the boys and wishing they were around so they could spoil her ROTTEN. I am wishing our family was together, but praying that one day soon, it will happen. I would hope that you would pray for that too!

Friday, September 03, 2010


1 week. 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes.

I can't believe it is almost here! Jason and I were just talking about this yesterday. I mentioned to someone the other day that I was getting married "in September" and they said, "Um, Steph? It IS September!" It doesn't seem as though seven months have gone by since I saw my sweet fiance on one knee with a precious smile and heard that most beautiful of questions! SO much has changed since then! I am so blessed!

In a week's time, I'll have a new husband. This delights me to no end. I'm ready to be done with all the wedding planning and just have my husband to myself without the dreaded wedding bag, wedding website, or the 10 emails I have to respond to pertaining to wedding stuff.

Today, for the first time in 7 weeks, I'm working! It's not a hard job, but at least I'm able to bring in a little bit of money. Of course, it's also the first day in 4 months that it is sunny and mid-70's outside. I'm sitting behind a desk in front of some big windows that let me see the beautiful sunshine and soft breezes. But, I get to stay inside and answer the phone. And I am thankful.

The day after we get back from Maui (at FIVE AM. Ick.), I am starting a new job. It's not as a nurse or an educator, but a completely un-related field. It's completely a God thing. I was offered the job literally less than 5 minutes after walking out of the office building. Here are the reasons that make me know it's a God thing.
1. It's Monday through Friday, no weekends, little to no overtime.
2. It's TWO minutes away from my house which saves on gas!
3. They wanted me so much that they said I didn't even have to start training until after I get home from our honeymoon.
4. I have the opportunity to show off my organizational skills and experience working with physicians

Isn't that amazing? Right now, it's just a "long term temporary position", but it allows me to figure some things out while having gainful employment. The pay is enough to help with living expenses and allow for some breathing room. The team I'll be working with has two very personable team leaders. I'm not sure how long I'll be doing this job, but I'm very VERY happy about it while it lasts.

I'm so excited to start seeing all the family and friends come in for this fun weekend. I haven't been able to put my hands on my little sister for ELEVEN months and that is WAY too long in my opinion. I've got aunts flying/driving in, friends I haven't seen in months, and that's just my family! Jason's getting excited too! I'm looking forward to introducing Jacob and Andrew to the part of my family that hears me talk about them all the time but hasn't been able to meet them yet! I think they're pretty excited too...they keep asking and making sure they are going to get to meet certain family members.

I doubt I'll be posting again until after I'm a Mrs. You can always find me on Facebook to get the most up to date info and my current moods! Thanks for your prayers and I'll see you soon....as Mrs. Stephanie Russell! :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And it gets closer...

With less than three weeks until the wedding, my brain is often swimming with many MANY random details. Just when I think I've figured it all out, a new one comes sneaking in to try and stress me out. I refuse to let these take over. Why? Well, if you read my blog, you'll know that I'm desperately holding to the knowledge that September 10th is only the beginning of our story. It's one day in a long LONG adventure that we're planning to have. There's absolutely NO reason to sit and stress over it.

All the big things are done! Bridal pictures. Marriage license. Engagement pictures. Tux rentals. Food choices. 2 of 3 bridal showers. Ta DA! When I type it out like that, it does seem like a big accomplishment! Yay!

The things I'm most excited about are the vows Jason and I will make. The people I'll get to see. The vacation away from the continental US. I made Jason a golf tee time in Maui last week and the woman on the phone said "Thank you, Mrs Russell. We'll see you in a few weeks". Wow. It's crazy to think of myself as a Mrs!

The only big thing I did this week was sell my sweet car. I've been tossing the idea around for several months. Jason has two cars, and there was really no need for me to contribute a third. I happily paid mine off, cleaned her up, and made her all beautiful for a new owner. It was a hard decision, but in the end, it's the best choice.

Jacob and Andrew have been over here this week. We always have a hilarious time. The big hit this week has been "Just Dance" on the Wii. I've had that game for awhile, but have only brought it out in the last week. Jason even made a video and posted it on Facebook of Jacob beating me while dancing to the Spice girls (my pick, not his!). I can't even win a dancing game! They start school next week so we won't have extended weeks with them like in the summer. I may go through withdrawls...I really REALLY have a great time when they're over here.

I guess I should get my rear off this couch and have a productive Saturday. Jason and I are supposed to go on a road trip to get his other car, but that may be postponed. Right now, I'm perfectly content to sit here with my diet dr pepper, a warm and snuggling Liberty, and a book!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wedding preparation fun!

A month to go! Insanity!

Things are coming together for our grand day on September 10th. In the last two weeks, we've managed to take my bridal portraits, organize the ceremony/reception site and food, find a pastor, take our engagement pictures, finalize flowers and cakes, and start collecting RSVP's! Whew! No wonder I'm exhausted!

I'm still job hunting and wondering what God has next in store for me in my career. It's a really hard lesson to learn, but I'm trying to do it with patience and grace. It's starting to get to the point where I'm wondering how God is going to provide financially, but He will not let me down if I continue to trust. I may not like how it works out, but it will be the best in the long run.

This weekend, I have a bridal shower thrown by Jason's mom. I also am going to help Becca set up and decorate her classroom. It should be relaxing on the wedding front, now that all the big stuff is done! :)

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" ~Philippians 4:19

Monday, August 02, 2010

An earnest request

In the grand scheme of things, my problems are tiny. I have good health, a roof over my head, and people who love me. Most importantly, I am redeemed. I am more blessed than I will ever know.

At the moment, I don't have a job. I left Children's in April to find out what God wanted for me in my nursing career. I did home health for a few months, and now have moved on from that. I'm desperately trying to get a job in a hospital, but to no avail. I have lots of experience, but apparently am un-hireable at this time.

Five weeks before our wedding is not a convenient time to be out of work. What is God trying to teach me right now? Patience? How to remain faithful through times of trial? How to get by on nothing? I have no idea at this time, but I'm eager to find out what He has in store for me.

I would ask for your prayers in this situation. Not necessarily for me to find a job, but for God's plan to be worked out perfectly as it always is. For me to sit by and trust that He is never going to give me more than I can handle? Perhaps. I have no idea. All I can do is pray and seek out His plans for my life. And eat ramen noodles in the process! :)

Thank you in advance for lifting me up. I know He is going to be glorified in the answer to these prayers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today in the life

Today has been an interesting day. I found out from a job that I thought I had an "in" that I don't. I took Liberty to the dog park and she acted like a fool. I watched Chopped with my aunt. It was all in all a good day. It had moments of disappointment, but I am so loved by my family and friends that I feel eternally blessed.

I haven't worked for two weeks because my patient is in the hospital and some other issues. I am praying daily for a position in a hospital where I can bless my patients with my skill and caring. I'd love if you prayed that too!

I'm getting married in six weeks. 45 days from today. It seems like it is all snowing in on me and I MUST remember that Jason and I will be pledging to each other in six weeks and then that makes it better! :)

Tomorrow, my mother is coming to town and we have such an agenda! We are meeting with the Tribute at 1 and then going to pick up my dress at 4! Thursday, I have no idea, but I am hoping that we can meet up with Jason, Jacob, and Andrew for dinner....and maybe buying school backpacks! Friday...the BIG day. Bridal portraits! I LOVE my sweet hair dresser CARINA (at Salon Pompeo at Mockingbird) and she will be doing my hair at 9AM and then we are headed to have pictures taken. I have no idea how fabulous I will be, but I hope that my pictures will be beautiful for my husband to see!

I would covet your prayers for the following week. I am still waiting on interviews from last week that will hopefully end in a job opportunity for me! I appreciate your prayers and good wishes for the coming week!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A new favorite!

I found this song this morning whilst driving around DFW on my bridal fitting errands. It's amazing to me...

"We will rise and we will fall" God lets us go through these trials and moments of perfection.

"The glory is YOURS alone" God knows what is to happen in my life. I can only be blessed because He has chosen me.


Aaron Shust - To God Alone (2009 Video & Lyrics)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And the days speed on by...

Seven weeks and counting. Fifty one days. Is time really going by this quickly? It almost seems unreal! Things are starting to come together at lightening speed. Our invitations went out Monday. RSVP's are starting to come in. I've got my bridal portraits next week. Engagement pictures will be following soon. We have a meeting to finalize all the Tribute details next week. Tux fittings have started. Final payments are due in about a month. WOWSERS.

I'm desperately trying to not get bogged down in all the details because when it comes right down to it, the details are unimportant. What IS important are the vows that Jason and I will stand up and say in front of God, our families, and our friends. It is important to start our lives together with the proper foundation. Whether or not the flowers get there on time or centerpieces are perfect is all fluff!

Last week, our little family had quite the fun time! Andrew had a golf tournament (he got 6th place! YAY!). Jacob and I scared off squirrels and other wild life whilst careening around the course. Tuesday, we all went to Six Flags! I seriously haven't been there since Becca and I had season passes one summer. That summer, I went so many times that I got TOTALLY Six Flags'd OUT and haven't been back! We had a great time, even though it was 102 degrees in the shade! I think we probably all lost a few pounds with all the sweat! I got my roller coaster fix and was completely amazed how much easier it is to go to an amusement park at my size! I didn't get asked to get off ANY ride and no one came and attacked me with their little size brick thing (if you've been big and ridden on Titan, you know exactly what I'm talking about!).

This weekend, I was blessed to go to Houston and take part in my first bridal shower! The ladies of my parents church (most of whom have known me since I was about 2!) hosted a shower for me on Sunday afternoon! It was quite the experience to be at a shower for ME! I've been to SO many and hosted SO many and it was odd to have the shoe be on the other foot. Jason and I got many beautiful things and I'm excited to have them in wherever we end up! I've extended the lease here in Euless for 3 additional months so we don't have to move AND get married within a few weeks. It will put us with a lease expiring in the middle of November so if you know anyone in North Tarrant county with a nice and inexpensive house to rent, we'd love to take them up on that after November 11!

This week I think I'm going to start school supply shopping for Jacob and Andrew. Jason and I printed off their lists tonight and I got giddy with the thought of crayons and number 2 pencils. We did find it funny that the kids are now having to provide things for the teachers besides the typical construction paper and kleenex. Andrew's list asked him to bring post it notes! I KNOW they aren't using them in his classroom, but I'm certain his teacher is! Scandalous!

Thanks for all the prayers for my job situation. I'm still at an impass at what to do. I've been to several interviews and am praying long and hard that God will lead me to exactly what he wants me to do. It's a hard lesson to learn.

Please keep my new little family in your prayers as the wedding gets closer. Jason and I are doing pre-marital counseling and I know that is going to be SO good to do! We covet your prayers!

Friday, July 09, 2010

My new normal

I love this new normal that I am engulfed in. It's a normal life when I'm sitting with Jacob and Andrew watching a marathon of Super Mario Brothers and Sponge Bob. Jason is working, but we're still hanging out. It's like a big sleep over. It's a new normal when Jacob says to me that he's "stoked" because my family loves to hear how he and Andrew are doing.

Jason and I are getting married two months from tomorrow. What an amazing thought! I'm ready to get rid of all the planning and just start the living as a wife and a mom! Having these two sweet boys with me this weekend makes me excited for that thought. It's a very real possibility that we may have one or both of these sweet kiddos living with us this fall. This thought really excites me!

I've got some work changes brewing in the near future, and I'd covet your prayers. I really want to get back into the hospital setting. I love my sweet home health patients, but I've always loved the hustle and bustle of the hospital.

Today, I had a conversation with Jacob and Andrew about quality of life. Jacob (14 yrs old!) asked me why I left CMC. I said it was because I didn't have quality of life. I asked him if he remembered me always on the phone and tied to the pager. He said "yeah, you always had to stop what you were doing and talk to the hospital people". I said that as much as I loved my patients, I loved my family more and that to me, quality of life was spending time with them and their dad uninterrupted. It was a very eye opening conversation for me and made me realize how my job changes have benefitted my family.

Well, I've got to get back to Sponge Bob. And an 8 year old who is hanging off the arm of the couch. Hilarious.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Seriously people, where does the time go? I really think that I just blinked and it was June. Now it's July! How did that happen? I guess having a few non-stop weeks of action helped it fly by!

A few weeks ago, I had the privledge to be the maid of honor in Becca's wedding. It was a delightfully fun wedding weekend...and there may or may not be pictures of me jumping on a sleep number bed. I'm just saying. I had a great time being there to help her start her new life with her wonderful husband. After her wedding, Jason and I zipped to downtown Dallas to attend the wedding of another dear friend, Jami. It was a beautiful wedding, complete with many of my Children's friends!

Jacob and Andrew have been over here quite a bit this summer. We've had a wonderful time! Andrew has had golf tournaments, Jacob's had a birthday, and it's been amazing bonding with these two and learning to be a family. For Jacob's birthday, we drove down to the Galaxy Drive In Theater in Palmer for miniature golf and Toy Story 3 fun! Yep, Pixar has once again managed to make me cry through a cartoon, but I'm okay with that. At that point, Andrew turned to me in the back of the car (he and I were laying down on top of the folded down seats) to make sure I was okay as I sniffled quietly. Hilarious.

If it's July, then there's just about 2 months until Jason and I say I do! Wow! There's still some things that need to be worked on...engagement pictures, bridals...actually getting a chance to meet with the pastor...you know, minor details! Jason's schedule makes it difficult and we keep having appointments for this stuff and needing to change at the last minute! Ah well, it's the price we pay for having a 24 hr a day on call job! I know it will all get taken care of, so I'm not worried about it at the moment!

Work is going well. I got a promotion this week and was told I'm going to start training for the case manager position! Wow! I've been with this company for 2 months and already I am blessed! I am now going into the office for 2 days of the week and working with my sweet little patient for the other two. Once I'm fully trained, I'll get a raise and move from hourly rate back to salary. It's so encouraging to have trust and faith placed in me.

Well, I'm going to enjoy my day off today! Not sure what I'm going to do, but it doesn't really matter! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I've seen a very welcome change this week. Last week, I sat wondering if I was ever going to use my nursing skills again. I felt like a failure because I wasn't doing what I know I am capable of. It was hard for me to go to work, and I'm not happy to admit that there were tears before several of my work days because of this concern. At the end of the week, I heard from my office that my patient no longer qualified for services. I felt sad for the family, but excited at the thought of a possible new direction for me. It was concerning that I might be out of work until a new family presented themselves, but I was willing to take that chance.

And then I met the sweetest and most needy family. They are absolutely precious. This sweet little boy requires all of my nursing skills, including those I haven't used for years. Trachs, tubes, diapers, you name it...he has it. The mother has the most amazing faith and she and I get along famously. She hugged me on Thursday and told me through her tears that she was blessed to have found such an angel. I certainly don't feel like an angel, but I am so glad to know that my skills are blessing another family. It makes me feel worthwhile! I'm working three days a week and my days go by quickly because I'm so busy!

I've had the most busy week! Between my new patient and having the boys over so much last week, I've been running crazy! Jacob and Andrew came over on Saturday and left on Thursday night. It was SO FUN to have a house full! We played games, went swimming, and generally just got to know more about each other as a family! Andrew is doing a golf tournament tour this summer and he had his first tournament on Tuesday. He didn't play very well, but he hadn't done the tournament thing in 2 years, so it was a nerve wracking experience for him! And a learning one as well! I did learn that boys will EAT me out of house and home! I thought I had plenty of food, but ended up making an emergency food trip on Wednesday! How on earth do people drink that much milk? ICK! :)

In less than three months, I will be married to the love of my life, ready to go on our Maui honeymoon. I can NOT wait for this! The planning, organizing, and worrying are not my favorite part of this process! I'm ready for the finished product! This week, I received a notice from my apartment complex that it's time to renew my lease...which reminds me that I have NO idea where we'll be living in three months! AAAHH!!! :)

That's all that's gone on the last few weeks. My best friend is getting married next weekend, and I'm certain that will be fraught with a whole host of FUN! She and I have been friends for 14 years and I am HONORED to spend her last night of singleness with her. It's gonna be an insane week! Working Tues, Wed, Thurs...then wedding fun on Friday and Saturday! I think the boys will be back on Sunday because Jacob's birthday celebration will be happening, as well as another tournament for Andrew! I love my life!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's been a long few weeks. I've been so grateful to have a job that pays me well for what I do, but it's really REALLY hard to work when I don't even feel that I'm doing nursing work! I've been a home health nurse before, but at least in that job, I KNEW that sweet boy had medical issues and I got to deal with them on a personal level. Now, I just babysit and deal with years of non-discipline. Last Thursday, my patient broke down into a fit of rage and in my nursing need to protect him, I got my hand kicked violently into the TV cabinet. I didn't have any idea how much it hurt until I got home that night and noticed that not only could I not move the finger, but it was swollen about three times its normal size! Those grooves you have in your knuckles? Gone. It was beautiful black and blue and let me spend Friday night in the urgent care center!

I need major prayers to stay in the job I'm in. I know that God has a plan for me and my career, but it's just SO hard to imagine that God would want me in a place where I'm not using any of my nursing skills. I've interviewed at several places and am waiting for them to make their decisions. It's SO hard to wait, but if this is what God wants for me right now, I will sit patiently and try to listen to what He wants for me.

Jason and I are fabulous! He and I got to spend some great time this past weekend together. We went to fabulous Colonial golf tournament on Sunday and weathered the blazing May heat together! We ended up leaving before it ended because of the endless "rain delay" in which we never saw ANY rain. Monday, Jason and my dad played golf while Mom and I ordered invitations and prepared food for our memorial day fun. After dad and Jason came back, we all went over to Michael and Jennifer's for a cook out! It was SO fun!

I've got some big stuff going on this week and COVET your prayers. Not to be greedy, but this would be a really big thing I've been dealing with that will hopefully be all figured out by the end of this week. I can't really say more than that, but I know my faithful readers will pray regardless of having more information or not!

Another big thing that's happening this week is Oliver is going to live with Becca full time. He's SUCH a sweet baby, but he doesn't really do well with kiddos. Jason's kids will be over here a lot this summer and it's just safer for them to not be around him, especially if either Jason or I aren't around. It is going to be really hard for me to not having him around, but in the long run, Jason's kids and their well being are more important. Becca and I would love to find him a place where he could live in the country and chase squirrels to his heart's content. Right now, he'll stay with Becca and her yard. Not quite sure what his ultimate location will be, but right now, that's the plan.

Anyways, that's the fun going on right now. These next few weeks are going to be so busy, but fun! I've got Becca's bachelorette party and wedding, Andrew's golf tournament, and lots of other random funness! I'm excited for the mayhem! :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It's been an extremely dreary morning. Over the last few days, the weather has been typical for Texas, but a true change from what it has been. We've regained the humidity and propensity for random thunderstorms! Arg! It hasn't rained any yet this morning, but it's in the forecast. Judging from the look of those clouds, it's a definite possibility.

What a week it has been! I started out last Saturday on a plane to Las Vegas! It was a blessing to have prepaid for that trip long ago because I didn't realize how much I needed to get away. Jason and I went with a group of friends and had an amazing time! Saturday night, we got to see Ka, one of the most popular Cirque de Soleil shows. It was insane! If you have ever seen one of these shows, you know that there's really no way to explain it. There's a lot going on, almost constant scenery changes, and mixed in there is a slight confusion as to what is actually the plot. All you know is that it looks AMAZING! Sunday, Jason and I broke off from the group and went to the famous "In and Out Burger", which is supposed to be like the west coast Whattaburger (I still think Whattaburger is better!). We also went to the Hoover Dam! What an amazing experience! The state is currently building this ginormous bridge just to the south of the dam and the feats of engineering in that space is phenomenal! We took a TON of pictured, were blown away by the wind, and had a great time just being together and enjoying the bright and sunny day. That evening, we went with the group and wandered around some of the casinos. I think we ended up walking through Harrah's, the Flamingo, Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, and finally ended up at Planet Hollywood for awhile. After the hungry bug started to bite, we wandered around looking for cheap steak and eggs! I think we found one of the shiftiest casinos, Bill's Gambling emporium (or something equally classy) and ate ribeye, hashbrowns, eggs, and toast at 2AM! Monday, Jason and his friend went to go play golf at a fabulous and award winning course while the girls and I went to the outlet malls. That night, we all got dressed up for an amazing dining experience at Carne Vino, the restaurant owned by Mario Batali from Food Network. The food was INSANELY good! Jason and I split a larger than life ribeye and the group had a great time being all dressed up and classy. We headed home Tuesday with plans to make a greater effort to get away and vacation!

Thursday, I started work! Finally! I'm a nurse for a little 9 year old boy who has a host of medical problems, but is still active, talking, walking, and socializing! It's the easiest nursing job I've ever had! We play Wii, fix snacks, watch an insane amount of Scooby Doo, and I put him to bed and monitor for a few hours before I head home. The family has grown children and ended up adopting three special needs children later on in life. They've never reached out for help, but it's so evident they need it. They are angels! Last night, I went to church with them and watched the little boy and allowed mom to worship without being concerned for what her child was getting into. It helps because this family is SO appreciative and it makes it a joy to care for them. While school is in session, I'll be working 3-11 on Monday through Friday. No weekends unless I want more hours! Hooray!

Before I knew the job would pan out, I did about 10 more applications at local hospitals. I ended up getting three interviews next week! I have 2 with adult heart programs and one with a pediatric heart program. There's no guarantee that I will be offered any of these jobs, and I may not take any of them, but it is flattering to have the interviews. I'm still trying to piece together if home health is going to be the right fit for me at this time in my life. I figure, if I am supposed to do something else, the opportunity will be supremely hard to pass up!

So now, my new normal consists of a relaxing steady job, wedding planning for that amazing September day, and loving on my fiance, step children, and puppy dogs. After school lets out, my work schedule will change again and allow me to spend more time this summer with Jacob and Andrew. Hooray!

That's the low down right now! I hope God is blessing you right now as much as He is blessing me!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The way it is!

It's been almost six weeks since I worked, and it's such a strange feeling. I loved my job at Children's, but now I see how much it affected my health! I have been able to sleep without difficulty since my job ended. It's amazing how something like sleep can change a person! Being on call doesn't allow you to sleep well. It's like the calm before the storm, but one never EVER knows when the storm will hit!

I do miss my patients terribly. Being a part of someone's life that intimately is something that is not easily severed, but I am learning to move on. I know these precious babies are cared for, and that is the most important thing. My sweet K, S, D, B, T, C, and so many more will always have a special place in my heart. I am a better person for knowing them and their sweet families.

My new job hasn't started yet...and it's almost driving me nuts! It was supposed to start this week, but my patient's dad was hospitalized, so it's been postponed. I guess it's for the better. I'm going on VACATION this week, so it's probably better that I have some additional time off. It's going to drive me nuts next week if I am not doing something....

Oh yes, my VACATION? I am SO very excited! Jason and I are going with a big group of friends to LAS VEGAS! We've actually had this trip planned since last year and it's finally going to happen! We leave on Saturday and return on Tuesday. We're going to do all kinds of fabulous things....like Cirque de Soleil shows, visiting the Hoover Dam, golf, and just being with fun friends! It seems like I've been on vacation for the last month and a half, but I am certain it will be nice to be out of the state and away from all the drama here!

So, that would be the status of affairs here in Euless. Liberty is busy being a food snatching evil doxie. Oliver is with Becca. I am busy planning my vacation and wedding showers for Becca....and all kinds of other mischief! Including planning my own wedding! :)

Thank you so much to those who have me in your prayers. I still need it on a daily basis. I am a workaholic who is having to learn to not be crazy stressed and busy. I know God is in control and I am SO thankful for that.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new start

After lots of prayer and talking to those I really trust, I made a really difficult decision last Monday. I resigned my job at Children's and determined myself to take a different path in life.

It's been an interesting journey so far. I've had so many recruiters calling that it seems overwhelming! I've gotten lots of patient and co-worker emails and messages stating how much I'll be missed...that really feels good.

I absolutely loved my job at CMC, but in the end, it was the right decision to leave. God has been putting little bugs in my ear for the last 6 months, but I have been trying not to listen to them because I refused to accept the idea that I may not have all the answers. Well, I'm learning that lesson!

I am so thankful for my blog readers who I know will lift me up in prayer when I ask. It seems like I've been doing it a lot lately, but I know that those prayers have helped. Prayers are still needed. I have no job right now, but several good leads. I have a fiance who loves me and is going to work even more so he can help me if it takes longer than a few weeks for me to find a job. I have a family who supports me and knows this was the best decision. I have amazing friends who are willing to either talk about it or distract me.

So, here's to the next adventure! It seems rather weird to sit at home all day and talk to recruiters and do phone interviews, but this is my reality right now. That and play with Oliver and Liberty! :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Soap box

I typically don't like to rock the boat too much on my blog. I prefer to leave any statements of conflict or strong opinions to an actual conversation, not my written words. I find this works better for me...there's less of a chance for someone to walk away from a controversial conversation with me with the wrong idea than there is with a blog. It's like texting, there's no way to convey tone in a text. It's not a conversation, it's merely our society's way to limit our personal conversations and have a means to say difficult things without having to actually sit in front of a person and do it. Now, I'm not going to sit here and say I don't text. That's not at ALL what I'm saying. I'm a texting queen. When I look back at my cell phone bill every month, I'm always a little sad at the amount of "non-conversation" I have versus actual phone calls.

I've been taking some time off work lately to deal with some personal stuff going on. It's given me some time (sometimes I think too much time!) to look at some situations in my life that I've been too quiet about. I've had several things happen in the last few months that have really led me to take stock of my life and realize who my true friends are. These people are not shocked or dismayed when things go differently than planned. They don't lecture or judge. They just love. They call and offer support even if they don't agree with choices I've made. They don't ignore the misjudgement on my part, but they realize that everyone makes mistakes and don't label me as some sort of "broken" creature.

Christians are not perfect. Those who believe they are have some sort of piety that I am certain God doesn't welcome. What does God welcome? Those who choose to love the broken, hate the sin and not the sinner, and embrace those who realize their own shortcomings and are making valiant attempts to be more Christ-like.

The friends and family who really know me, know that the circumstances I have found myself in are not the norm. They are not who I am. It is those friends and family who realize this fact that I want to surround myself with. Not the judgers, the prideful, or those who would base how they respond to me on the circumstances, not by what they know of me and my character.

People can change for the good and for the bad. Striving to be more Christ-like is my goal. I hope that is evident. If it isn't, I welcome constructive criticism, but judgement isn't needed or wanted.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

How fabulous is that promise? It's so certain! It doesn't say, if you have trouble. It says WHEN. God knows we are going to struggle and has given us this most precious promise! When all the crap goes down, our God has conquered it all already and we just need to cling to Him and His promises.

That's my opinion for the week. If you're interested in talking more, most of you know where to find me. If this post spoke to you, than praise God because HE wrote it, not me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring-tastic picture fest!

Spring has sprung! It's been so beautiful this week already! I'm loving the change from 30's to 80's! Yay for spring! Of course, we still opened the spring season with 6 inches of snow, but hey, at least it was gone quickly!

The very next day, it was absolutely beautiful and the puppies and I felt we needed outside time!

Having beautiful weather means Jason gets to have fun on the grill. While I didn't get a picture of the actual steak he made, I did take pictures of someone enjoying the leftovers.

Isn't she pathetic?

Today, it's been another lovely day. I've been spending time on the porch making wedding crafts! I've been batting around the idea of those flower pomador thingys, but wasn't sure if I would be successful at making them. I also made a flower girl basket for a sweet friend. It may seem weird to have a basket when there's not a flower girl present, but it was important for me. I'm going to put it on the "In Memory Of" table with her picture, along with pictures of all Jason and I's important family members who couldn't be there either.

And here's Liberty, who was sulking because I wouldn't let her continue to eat my cilantro plant. She was refusing to look at me when I called her name...

Hope the beginning of your spring has been wonderful! Can you believe in two days it will be APRIL? Yikes! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Thanks to Maddie, I've been tagged! Well, this post will most likely be the most embarrassing and yet freeing post I've ever written!

Most of you know I've been a big girl for the greatest portion of my life. I've tried diet after diet to no avail. In January of 2008, I made the decision to pursue gastric bypass as a way to help me achieve my goals of healthy living. I'd endured YEARS of ridicule, diets that didn't work, and a stifled self esteem. It was time.

THIS was my before picture. My mom took it the night before my surgery.

If you've seen me lately, you know that I am 140ish pounds lighter than this. But I am still the same person. Just the outer body has changed...but not the heart inside.

Yes, I found the love of my life in this new body. BUT, I still have flaws. You can't lose this much weight without extra skin and folds. I am still ME, regardless of whatever extra stuff is there.

I absolutely celebrate those friends who have been there with me through the whole journey. Those who loved me as a big girl and now love me as a littlish girl. I can NOT fault my fiance because he didn't know me as a big girl. But he has seen me in that light...I don't hide ANY facebook pictures from him. He knows what I have been.

I am so blessed. Thanks to Maddie for having me take a minute to reexamine this part of my life. A part that is so essential to my being, but almost 2 years foreign to me. A weird thought, to be sure.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I don't have any reason to be overjoyed that it's Friday. Except that I am! My week has really been pretty smooth! I've been on my own this week, but it's been relatively slow. We've done a lot of evaluation of new heart kids, but all in all, things haven't been crazy.

Even though it's been slower at work, I've actually had a lot to do in the evenings. My mom came to town on Friday for a fun weekend of wedding planning and mischief. We actually got SO much accomplished! Saturday morning, we got up and ran some errands. On the way home, we stopped at Market Street. They were having a Bridal show thing and had some displays of what they offered for cakes, flowers, and catering. They also had some door prizes. We sampled, entered the contests, and ended up putting our deposits down on the cake and flowers, which we had already decided to get from there. We went home to relax. Later that afternoon, mom got a phone call telling her she had won the grand prize! She ended up winning $200 off the cake, $200 off the flowers, and $200 off catering! OH MY GOSH! What a fabulous blessing! That allows us to have big chunks paid off for those two things we already placed deposits on and a possibility for catering for the rehearsal dinner! YAY GOD!

Later on in the week, I got another phone call saying I had won the two free cooking classes! Yes, that's right, between the two of us, we won ALL the prizes at that Market Street!

Tuesday night, I ended up going to a dinner meeting for the transplant camp I always attend. It's fun to hang out with the teenagers all weekend, even if they do keep me up WAY past my bedtime!

Wednesday, I met Michael at his law firm in uptown and we headed down to see one of our favorite Irish bands, the Kildares. I "found" an unused St Patty's Day necklace and hat to make up for my obvious lack of green. We had a great time listening to them rock out!

Thursday was Jason's birthday! I made him a cake (with all my mad cooking skills!) and we happily ate mexican food!

Oh, I love him so.

Anyways, I've got some time off coming my way, so I've got a lot of errand running planned. YAY! Or nay. Depends on if you love errands. It depends on what mood I'm in! :)

Hope your weekend is smooth sailing!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away." --- Thalassa Cruso

Isn't that the truth? I seriously can NOT figure out the weather this year! It goes from hot to cold at a moment's notice! Today, it's cool and cloudy. Yesterday, it was warm and sunny! There's just no telling what this weather is going to do! It's hard because my mood really seems to be affected by the outdoors this year! Strange!

My agenda was to clean the house this weekend. I woke up on Sunday morning to 2 inches of water in the entire apartment. Dog bowls were floating across the kitchen floor and there was water shooting out from underneath the kitchen sinks. Turns out, there was some sort of leak. The pipe was fixed soon enough but I've spent the rest of the week dealing with the after effects. I actually didn't get my carpet fixed until Thursday, so walking around on wet soggy carpet was just FABULOUS! I think the smell is finally gone as well. They are supposed to come back and clean the carpets on Monday, we'll see if that actually happens.

Right now, I'm hanging out with Liberty while watching Twilight for the 99th time. I've got laundry in the dryer, but we all know how much I despise folding. I'm certain it will sit on the far corner of my bed for awhile before I actually do something with it.

Wedding plans are going swimmingly. Last weekend, my mom came into town to start some of the big decisions. I ended up finding "THE DRESS" and making some other big decisions. We picked out cake and flowers as well. I was able to show my mom the place we picked out to get married, she loved it! Sunday, Jason and I were scheduled to bowl in a fund raiser for Camp Soar, the teenage transplant camp. Even though I thought the day would be ruined by the minor apartment flood, we were still able to go. Jason brought his kiddos and they had a chance to meet my mother, which she absolutely loved. I know she's excited about instant grandchildren! :) We all bowled together before the tournament began, and mom ended up leaving right before it started to drive back to Houston. I was glad she had an opportunity to meet Jacob and Andrew.

This week is a busy one at work. We're pretty much seeing anyone we can see before my two main transplant doctors go on vacation. I think the other coordinator will be gone too, so it will be me, the new nurse practitioner, and the fellow holding down the fort! We'll be fabulous!

Well, Liberty and I are going to head back to our afternoon of snuggling and Edward Cullen drooling. :) Jason's at work today, so he's having to miss out on this beautiful experience!

Enjoy your day! I know we will!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I've been engaged for 2 weeks now, and the overwhelmed feeling hasn't gone away. I'm beginning to think it's gonna stay around until the wedding! It has been an awesome experience so far...getting to call Jason my fiance makes me pretty darn happy! I still feel so blessed to be starting this journey with him.

So, the countdown to September 10 has begun. By tomorrow, the contract will be signed for the ceremony/reception location. The registries have been started. The wedding website is being created. I've got 2 really good dress contenders. I think I have a color scheme. We have the people who will be standing up with us. There's a lot more details that need to be worked out, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective.

Liberty and I are spending a warm and toasty Valentines Day together. Jason got called into work, so we are snuggling on the couch. The remnants of the record shattering snow storm are quietly melting. I have tomorrow off, but have to go in for about an hour to do some teaching with one of my families. I have chili in the crock pot and the Olympics on the TV! The only thing that could make it better would be Jason's presence, but him being able to work steady is a GREAT thing!

Ok. Guess I should get back to my busy afternoon of Olympics and chili! :) Have a fabulously wonderful Valentine's day! :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I said YES!

Yep, you heard it right! I am getting MARRIED IN SEPTEMBER! I am marrying the most amazing and loving man imaginable. I do not deserve all the goodness God has brought to me.

Details to follow. Thanks be to God for all HE has provided for me!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adventures in motherhood.

I have been so blessed this year! I have a stable job, an affordable residence, and a family that loves me. My ultimate blessing this year has been meeting Jason and cultivating our relationship more and more every day. We'll be together for a year on January 26, and it's odd to think of my life before him.

Not only have I been blessed with the gift of Jason, but I've been blessed to be a part of the lives of his two kiddos, J and A. Since both Jason and I know that God has put us together to be with each other forever, it's weird thinking of myself as a future stepmother. I'm definitely not the kind of Cinderella step mother that I'd imagined in the past. I think I'm pretty cool for the most part. I've always loved kids and know that I'm probably going to have 2 or 3 of my own, but to be blessed with two from the get go is fabulous!

I'm not sure if I was supposed to mesh so easily with Jason's kids, but it's been a blast getting to know them. J is 13 and completely reminds me of my brother Michael. He's super smart, not that athletic, pretty quiet, and would spend every moment he could playing his DS or the Wii. He loves music and plays a mean guitar. He is the dark haired miniature of his father and has so many of his mannerisms it's scary! A is 7 (soon to be 8 in two days!) and ALL boy. He loves golf and pretty much anything that involves him running around like a tasmanian devil! He's also smart, but has a completely sassy side that reminds me of how I was as a child.

This weekend, Jason and I wanted to celebrate A's 8th birthday. We had cake, went to a REALLY cool driving range, and generally played a lot of Wii Fit. It's so funny to see the two of them react to me. I made them sandwiches for lunch and didn't stop getting thanked for about 2 hours after the meal! I baked and decorated a cake for the birthday boy, and you would have thought I'd made the most gourmet cake ever, even though it is pretty much the most basic cake imaginable! It's so fun to get to know these boys and know that it's going to be a relationship for years to come. I only pray that I am a good influence for these guys and grow to be someone they can really trust.