Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Counting my blessings

It's been one year since I decided to leave Children's....and what a year it has been! Sure, I've job hopped a little bit. I've had a complete turn around of my home situation. It has all served a purpose. Every little miniscule event.

Leaving Children's was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. It meant daring to imagine my life without the stability I had known for the last five years. It meant being a nurse without the safety net I had established for myself. It meant financial changes that I was not prepared for. But enough about the negative! It has taught me SO MANY THINGS! It has taught me to realize who my true friends are. These are the people who aren't my friends just because we work together, or because I take care of their children. I'll be honest, it has hurt to see the friendships that I thought were real fizzle away...messages unreturned, calls unanswered. As real as those friendships seemed at the time, it was an illusion. My true friends are the ones who are still around...through the thick and thin of my last year. The ones who have shared my joys and sorrows without judgement or opinions.

I've also learned that work is not who I am. It does not define me. It is a way to show the gifts I have been given, but even when I was not working, these gifts were still evident. In looking back, I can see an element of pride that needed to be sucked right on out of me. Believe me, the humbling I have received during the last year has taught me to realize what is really important. My husband, boys, and growing daughter are important. Work is not. Work is how I make my living and demonstrate the gifts I have been given, but even if I stopped being a nurse tomorrow, there would still be opportunities for me to share those God given talents with others.

After my period of being torn down, ripped apart, and rebuilt, God is choosing to bless me and my family once again. The job that I started in January has just offered me a promotion to full time guaranteed hours. Wow. Did NOT see that one coming! I have a simply phenomenal husband who sharpens me as iron sharpens iron, something this stubborn red-head greatly needs. I have two amazing/hilarious/precious sons who teach me how to be a good mom every day. I am growing Miss Olivia, who has already taught me patience and I'm certain will continue this task all of her life (I was a strong willed child, I don't have hopes of birthing one who isn't!) My family has a roof over our heads, food to eat, and a Savior who demonstrates to us that HE is powerful enough to provide. He is all we need.

As Easter approaches, I find more and more reasons to be amazed and blessed. To think that God would give his ONLY son for nasty, sinful, and ungrateful humans is mind-boggling. I know I wouldn't willingly give up Jacob, Andrew, or Olivia for anything. I can't imagine knowing exactly what we as humans were going to do to Jesus that God still followed through with his ultimate plan...but that's because HE is God and I am not. I am not going to understand it. My job is to be always grateful and thankful that someone died in my place so I can be with Jesus for all eternity. God didn't limit salvation to a chosen few...those with good jobs, a certain number of friends, or the ideal home situation. He opened it up to ANYONE who would call on the name of Jesus and accept the most perfect and unimaginable gift.

This weekend, I will continue to be thankful for what I have been given...an opportunity to work, an amazing husband, three beautiful children, and the chance to be with family. I am blessed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


...loves to kick and squirm
...has a 4 chambered perfect heart with a normal aorta and outflow tracts
...opens her mouth, even in the womb, like she's trying to have a conversation
...has a stubborn streak like both her parents
...has already gained the nickname "spider monkey" by her brother Andrew
...is more awake at night than in the day
...still surprises me each time I feel her kick me
...is already daddy's little girl
...is loved by so many family members...grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so many more
...is named after one of the most precious and brave little girls I have ever known
...is also named for her grandmothers and mom
...weighs 1 pound
...has very long legs and likes to punch me right below the belly button
...is blessed to have 2 big brothers to protect her
...is fearfully and wonderfully made in the very image of God
...is Olivia Kaylynne Russell

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swooshing and Kicking

The absolute highlight of this week has been the small, but increasingly powerful kicks that I am now feeling! I felt the first one on Friday, and today, they are getting more and more strong! What an incredible feeling!

It's absolutely hilarious to feel baby somersaulting across my stomach and then launching out with a giant (at least to them!) kick or punch in the uterine wall. Andrew and Jacob are here this weekend and Andrew even got to feel one of the wild kicking sprees this afternoon! Both Jason and I think it's so important to keep them as involved in the pregnancy as we can.

I went back to the doctor this week. Baby is growing right on schedule and heart beat continues to be strong. I go back in 4 weeks for the dreaded glucose test and another ultrasound. They were going try and squeeze us in, but the sonographer was all booked up. No gender sono for us until the 11th of May!

In a moment of frustration, I put on Facebook that they couldn't get us in and we were now going to be waiting another month to find out. A former preceptee from Children's messaged me saying she had a friend who was studying to be a sonographer and needed practice because she was currently in her OB rotation of training. PERFECT! I got in contact with her and she is going to do a sonogram on Thursday at 1! Whoo hoo! Here's hoping this tiny Russell does not continue to be as fiesty as previous sonograms! I still have really strong suspicion about who this child is, but it will be nice to have confirmation of that and start the collecting of clothing!

This week, I was blessed by the family of the sweet little boy and his sister that I watch about once a month. They gave us a whole bunch of baby items! Bouncers, jumpers, bath seats...you name it! They didn't need them anymore and wanted to bless someone! Jason and I are SO thankful. It's so wonderful to have friends that care!

Work has been busy, but I am still really enjoying it. I'm starting to see some of the same patients month after month. It's nice because I get to develop a relationship, but they are typically only there a few hours and don't come back for 4-8 weeks. It's also nice because the size of the clinic is small, and on days that I am just exhausted, I don't have very far to go! I've been working extra the past 2 weeks to help out with another nurse who is out for a funeral, so that will be a nice paycheck!

God has certainly been teacching me patience throughout this pregnancy, and I'm sure it's just a taste of what is to come with a tiny person. Hopefully, this week, I'll have more pictures of our little one and be able to introduce him/her to you by NAME!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The gift of thanks.

I am carrying life, an absolutely precious gift that I do not deserve. Heck, I don't even deserve to be alive myself, let alone be granted the ability to grow a person. I was smacked in the face with this realization this week when my friend was sentenced to bedrest at 32 weeks. Thankfully, she is healthy, her son (who is currently still cooking, PTL) is healthy, and God has once again shown that He is ultimately in control and our plans are just fluff. Even though I was completely confident that God was protecting my friend's precious son, I started to worry about our little one. The horrible "What IF?" monster crept up and started to do a number on my psyche. A hundred scenarios started racing through my already crazed brain of all the things that could go wrong. I sat on the couch, held my ever largening stomach, and worried.

Pregnancy doesn't seem real when you pee on a stick and it comes back saying "pregnant". It starts to feel more real when you have that first ultrasound and see that tiny flickering light, like a beautiful beacon in the darkness that says "Hey! I'm alive!". Being shown all the beautifully and wonderfully made body parts by a sonographer and seeing your child do acrobatic flips around the screen moves it closer to reality. For me, it was sitting on my couch, hands around my stomach, and feeling the flutterings of one very stubborn and VERY loved Russell baby dance around from one side of my body to the other.

I have no idea what God has in store for this child. I do know that this child of ours is fulfilling the plan of God for both his/her life AND our lives as parents. As humans, we are not promised today, let alone the future! What does all my worry do? Nothing! Does it get me farther in life? Nope. Will my child be more healthy, smart, or more loved because of it? Absolutely no. Worry is STUPID. Just because I say this doesn't mean I always remember it. I do have moments of relapse, just as I did on Thursday evening. It doesn't help to watch the news and hear of all the chaos going on in our country and others. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. God is in control. He tells us this, over and over. Like the stubborn children we are, we don't like to listen or remember. He will still remind us. He reminded me, as I sat on my couch and felt life dance through me. Perhaps I just needed to remember His words "PEACE. BE STILL".

This morning, I decided to sit down and come up with a list of things I am thankful for. And aren't you lucky? You get to read it! :)

~A healthy baby with a perfectly formed body who is half way completed on Tuesday
~My tight scrub pants because that means this baby is growing as they should
~A wonderful and supportive husband
~Two beautiful boys who teach me every day what it is to be a mom
~Being born into the family I have
~Growing up learning every day about Jesus and how much He loves me
~Having friends from all parts of life...work, church, school, you name it!
~Being taught every day that my plans are not HIS plans

Oh, the list could go on forever. For now, I will continue to remember who created me, loves me, and always has the best plans for me, even when I don't know them. I will sit here, hold my growing middle, and be thankful.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


This is exactly how I feel the last few days! Like a giant behemoth traipsing through life!

I got up yesterday to get ready for work. I put on my favorite scrub pants, noticing they felt a little more snug, but not really paying attention. Hey, that early in the morning, I'm lucky I'm putting on clothes that match. (Which is not a given considering my actions of last week!) I got to work, sat down in my work chair to open up patient charts and said "Huh. I'm not comfy". I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and saw that my abdomen had most likely grown about 2 inches, seemingly overnight. There was NOT a comfortable position to be had in the offending pants. I suffered through the next four hours until I could get home and escape into less binding duds. It felt SO much better! These sad pants have been retired to the closet, where they will mournfully remain until the fall when I am no longer great with child.

I spent much of yesterday running outside with Liberty and watching a whole bunch of interesting programs on Netflix instant. Jason went on a fishing trip with a friend, so Lib and I have been enjoying the beautiful sunshine and balmy (but not yet blazing!) temperatures. For someone who has been FREEZING since about November, it was a very nice change!

My food cravings have been getting so much more WEIRD. Throughout the entire pregnancy, my body has craved Chinese food. Yesterday was no exception. Except this time, it was joined by a desperate need for Cheetos and ice cream. I'm weighing myself every week at work (so I use the same scale), and my body isn't showing evidence of the new feeling of enormous, but I can see a difference in my body shape. Weird.

Today will be much the same as yesterday, I believe. I'm finishing up at work and will head towards home to go ponder baby shower decorations for my friend Becca's shower next Sunday. I've never hosted a shower with this many people before, so it's odd to think that all I am responsible for is the decorations! I should probably head to the other few stores and scope out what they have, but since I have off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, it doesn't seem as urgent!

I don't think there's much excitement going on in our lives this week, and that may be a welcome change. It's supposed to go from a high of 86 today to a high of 64 tomorrow..what's that all about? Texas is SO bizarre.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by to read the ramblings of a crazy pregnant woman.