Friday, January 31, 2014

Our story of the "Dusting" of 2014

Come on, it's been a pretty COLD winter for us Alabamians.  A month ago we saw a few days of single digits.  Tuesday morning started like any other cold day.  My plan on my lunch break was to go pick up Jacob's work coat from the dry cleaners {that's right, he didn't wear a jacket, only his undershirt and a thin button up shirt.....well and underwear, pants, sock and dress shoes, ANYWAYS...}.  I knew there was a possibility of snow, but never thought it would be as bad as it was.  I work in a pediatric clinic now & we had a booked day. At 8:00 when I got there -not the 1st sign of snow.
We realized that we need to close afternoon clinic and get our patients and us off the roads and get home quick.
Finally everyone in our clinic was gone.  MM lives an hour away and her car and the dangerous roads were no safe place, so I told her to just come home with me.  I kept getting word that the roads to get my girls were closed.  Thankfully my parents live in the same neighborhood as the home daycare they attend, so my daddy went to get them.  At 11:45 I started my 5 mile journey home.  An hour later I parked on the side of the road and walked a little ways through the woods to my house.  Due to icy hills that's as close as we could get.  It wasn't bad.  My poor husband was stuck in Birmingham.  In his work car, dress clothes with no jacket and a dying phone battery.  I was worried about him.  Thankfully he stopped at a gas station and got a charger.  I would check on him and his response was "I've got this, I watch Ice Road Truckers!"  and "Don't worry, I got my CDLs".  He was totally confident,  which did make me feel a little better.  But looking at the icy roads and crashed vehicles on the news made me so nervous.  MM and I tried to make the best of the situation, we played in the snow, using a pizza pan to slide down the snowy hill.  We couldn't make a was pure powdery snow.  Really a beautiful sight.  I felt bad for her, this was her 1st night away from her baby girl.

 Meanwhile, I was getting texts like this, to know that our girls were safe and having a blast together with Mimi & Pops!
After it got dark and Jacob still wasn't close to home, I was getting more antsy about him driving on the dark, icy, winding roads.  So I did what any caring wife would do... I cooked.  With MM's help, we made Italian crusted chicken breasts, hamburger steaks and gravy, wild rice, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, and julianne potatoes.  Finally~over 8 hours after him leaving work~Jacob safely made it home.  I was so relieved & happy.  Then...we all feasted.  Then he went and got my car.  I tried telling him that it could wait until morning...nah, he likes the snowy/icy challenges!  

The next morning, even though the roads weren't much better, we got Jacob's truck to take MM home!  She was missing her family so much, as I would have been.  We met her father-in-law half way.  Roads were still way to slick for most heavy 18 wheelers to make it up hills.  We saw cars who slid off the banks.  Those trucks in front of us were sliding trying to make it up the icy hill.  SCARY!
After riding around a bit, we got our girls and went home!  The next day daddy went to work late and the girls and I enjoyed the last of the melting snow.  Whew.  This snow storm was rough for a lot of people, but I'm so thankful to have been with my family and that everyone I know is well and accounted for!
Beautiful Bella (4)
Lovely Lucy (2)

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Thursday, January 30, 2014


This was a text from my mama on the morning of my birthday:

Last year on my birthday I jokingly told Jacob to throw me a surprise 30th birthday party.  But I knew  I was way too nosey for him to get away with it.  Fast forward to this year....

I noticed him being secretively texting earlier in the week and thought some thing might be up.

My birthday fell on a Saturday.  Jacob and I usually go out to dinner on my birthday.   We had decided to try a restaurant that we had never been to, but heard great things about it.  We took the girls to my parents around 5 & headed to Joe's Italian.  I was a little suspicious that a few close friends were there waiting on us...but when we got there I realized it would be just the 2 of us.  During our 30 minute wait, I saw Jacob texting my sister, who I thought was at work.  Dinner was delicious!
We were stuffed and headed home.  Jacob kept asking me was I disappointed that we didn't do some thing more for my big 3-0.  He was yawning, talking about how tired he was.  On the way home I noticed on Instagram where a couple friends were all dressed up going out,  I wondered what they were up to.  As we got closer to home, I figured the possibilities of going to a surprise get-together was getting slim. 

 Meanwhile at my house this was happening...
As soon as we left to go to dinner~my parents, sisters and close friends came to our house to clean & decorate.  When we got home about 40 of our closest friends and family were there to celebrate my big Dirty Thirty!!!   I had so much fun!  We partied late into the night with great friends!
  The next day I went to mama & daddy's house for lunch and my favorite cake.
Truth be told, 30s might be the best years yet!

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The BIG 3-0!!!

Today at 5:02pm, I will be 30 years old.  Do I feel old?  Heck no!  Sometimes I feel like I haven't even figured out how to be an adult.  I'm not afraid of my 30s, I hear most of my "older" friends say that their 30s are their favorite.

When I think of my life and who I am, I can't help but to think of the people and the experiences that have MADE me into the person I am today on this 30th Birthday.  I realize that I am not the same person that I was that I was on my 20th birthday and I have no doubt that when I turn 40, I will reflect on all the wisdom I have gained up until that point.  I am a moldable person with a solid foundation of who I am and what I represent, but I am ever-changing.  Learning and growing.

Here are some very important things that have molded me into the person I am today:
  1. My Lord & Savior.  I am constantly challenged with life.  He is my strong-hold.  My Savior.  The One that I turn to when I am hurting, lonely, scared.  He is The One that I praise for my blessings.  The Lord is the one thing I hope I can teach my girls about more than anything.  I hope to be more like Him every day.  To love like Him, forgive like Him, and be bold to do the right thing.  It is so easy to become what the world wants and give into my desires.  But I want with my whole heart to be still and be the christian He wants me to be.
  2. my parents.  Well I am confident in the fact that I appreciate them now more than ever.  At the age of 30, I can understand and see the sacrifice they've made for me over the years.  I recognize how good they are at raising us (yes I meant that in the present tense, because I am still leaning on them for their guidance).  I strive to be the type parents that they are to me.  
  3. Jacob.  When we 1st met him, we were only 10 years old.  How about I still remember that day!  We became boyfriend & girlfriend when we were 15.  We said "I do" when we were 21.  He has certainly influenced me into who I am.  We literally grew up together.  He has always been right by my side, supported me and loved me.  Our relationship has been tested.  It has it's ups and downs, but far more happiness and love than anything else.  
  4. my sisters.  I cannot even imagine my life without these 2 wonderful people.  They are my favorite!  I love them so dearly.  I have heavily relied on them for so much.  Even though I am the oldest sister, I am constantly looking to them for advice.  Serious business...they dress me almost every time I wear something other than scrubs.   I send them pictures/FaceTime them and they correct my fashion mistakes.  I don't think there is any closer bond that the one I share with my Lulu & KK.
  5. my grandparents.  My grand parents have always been very present in my life.  I think of them so often, daily.  I cherish the stories and memories they have shared with me over the years. I often try to put myself in their shoes, wonder what they did/felt when they were 30 years old.  I imagine it was a simpler life.  Not less challenging-maybe less distractions.  Because of them I strive to be live less distracted.  To live simply.
  6. our home.  I know it sounds silly to think that a home can shape you into a person.  But if you think about it, it is a huge impact.  My home is my safe haven, where I am most comfortable.  So many memories are made in these walls.  I really do love our home and feel happiest when I am here.
  7. friends~old and new.  So throughout my life friends have wondered in and faded out of my life.  I have no hard feelings toward any of them...only grateful that I learned lessons and shared laughter from those friends.  I have an amazing group of friends that I laugh with and confide in.  I feel surrounded by people that I know are there for me in a minutes notice.  And that is so reassuring.  
  8. Nursing school.  Oh, how I hated the challenges of nursing school.  Most people might not know that I failed my 1st semester of nursing school.  It was very upsetting and I was pretty hard on myself.  But I never gave up on my dream and I worked even harder the next time around and praised GOD when I passed all my classes and my state board exam.  Nursing school was probably the 1st time that forced me to dig down deep and really challenged me to my full potential.  Pushing myself to do more than what I thought I was capable of doing.  
  9. Being a nurse has taught me compassion.  It taught me not to whine about my physical issues...there are always who are struggling much worse that I ever have.  
  10. My teenager jobs. I had my 1st job when I was 13.  I worked for a family owned BBQ restaurant.  My daddy would take me every Saturday morning at 6:30 and pick me up around 2.  I actually enjoyed it.  Plus I thought I was super cool having my own EARNED money.  My daddy instilled a solid work ethic in all his girls.  My sisters and I have never not worked.  We were taught nothing is given to you, if you want something you must earn it!  After the BBQ restaurant job, I worked as a gymnastic instructor.  I learned that there will always be some more naturally talented than others, but the not-so-naturally-talented deserve just as much praise as those winning all the medals. And that effort is just as valuable as the achievements.  My boss's #1 rule was when talking to the children, "always follow a negative comment by a positive one".  {Sally Sue your legs were bent, but you did really good on your backbend!}  It has influenced how I approach touchy subjects with people now.  I also remind myself that there will always be others who are better than me and that's ok.
  11. My nursing jobs.  I worked as a nursing assistant at Russell Medical Center while I was in nursing school.  I saw and learned a lot that applied to the courses I was in.  I would highly recommend doing that to any aspiring nurses.  My 1st RN job was on the same unit:  OB & Pediatrics.  I worked 3pm-11pm for a while then 7pm-7am.  Evenings weren't so bad.  Nights...I couldn't stand.  After doing that for a year and half, I began commuting to Birmingham to St Vincents L&D.  I worked 3-12hr shifts/wk 7am-7pm.  I loved it.  I feel like in the 6 years that I worked there I grew leaps and bounds as a nurse...and as a person.  I met some amazing patients, saw some unbelievable things, cried my eyes out to see newborns become angels and worked with some a wonderful group of people.  While I was there I was challenged to become nationally certified in inpatient obstetrics.  {Which means that I studied hard to learn lots of ins & outs of inpatient OB...took a really hard test...AND PASSED}.  After having babies I reevaluated my career and home life and was very thankful to get a job much closer to home, working normal 8a-5p hours, no weekend/holidays at Coosa Valley Pediatrics.  It took courage to leave a place that I was very comfortable and confident in my knowledge to go to a part of nursing that I wasn't so knowledgeable in.  I'm learning more and more each day and hopefully becoming as good of a pediatric nurse as I was a L&D nurse.  Being in this clinic setting is also challenging me to get my Lactation Consultant certification.  {Which involves learning as much as possible about breast feeding...taking a really hard test...and hopefully passing.  Test is this summer-begin praying for me now please.}  I'm very grateful for the career path that I chose and all the job opportunities that have come my way.  I consider each one a blessing.
  12. Bella.  When I was 25 years old this 8 pound 11 ounce baby girl made me a mommy.  She has made me so happy.  She's taught me so many things.  As much as I am trying to teach her...she is really the one teaching me how to do this "mommy-gig".  She's so beautiful.  She's so loving and sweet.  I have watched her grow in awe with each new thing that she does.  She makes me want to be better.  
  13. Lucy.  When I was 27 years old, I learned that you can love another child as equally as you love your firstborn.  She's a precious one for sure.  She's tender hearted and so sweet.  She doesn't give us much trouble.  She copies everything her big sister does.  She answered prayers that I've been praying for many, many years.  You see with the love and close bond that I have with my sisters, I longed for my children to experience the same sisterly-joy.  I love seeing them together.  She makes me want to be better for her.  I want these 2 girls to be proud of their mommy.
  14. My weight loss journey.  After having those babies, because of things that I had heard other mothers say, I thought I was forever going to be stuck in that flabby, saggy, embarrassed, oversized version of me.  I was in a bad funk and believed that if I dug down deep maybe I could get close to where I was pre-babies.  Then I discovered that I could look just as good, maybe even BETTER that pre-babies if I lived a healthy lifestyle and stuck to exercising.  I set goals...worked my tush off until I achieved them, then I set new goals, until finally I was holding at 10 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight.  It was a tough but very liberating journey.  
  15. Running.  I told my running story here.  Even though I don't really like running it has shaped me into a person that believes I can do things that I originally though was impossible for me.  But I would have to dig down deep and try hard.  There is no cheating in running.  Just me against time.  Just me against my negative thoughts.  And each time I beat my previous time or overcome my negative thoughts of "I can't" has made me believe in myself a little more.
  16. Money.  I know this one is a little strange to.  But most of us young adults have learned that money management is nothing more that a balancing act.  How to I live responsibly & spend/enjoy the money that I earn.  I constantly battle with wanting to be debt free and wanting..._______ya know-->"stuff"_____.  The bible teaches us that 'the love of money is the root of all evil.' ~1 Timothy 6:10.  
  17. Photos.  I am a photo hog!  Obsessed with documenting our lives.  I cherish our old photos.  To me photos are preserved memories.  I wouldn't be who I am if I were taking pictures.
  18. My late nights alone.  So I'm a bit of a night owl.  My husband likes to hit the sack around 9:00. I will usually follow him to bed, but it's rare if I'm asleep before 10:30-11.  Then sometimes, I prefer to stay up do my thing.  Work on my photo books.  Write on here.  Clean.  Sometimes I think my mind is most clear when all is quiet, no distractions....until I realize that I'm staring blankly...then I go to bed.
  19. Organization.  Jacob would disagree, but I think I am a fairly organized person.  One thing is for sure, when things are unorganized I feel like my life is crumbling down.  It isn't a control thing.  I don't have to be in control of everything, I just like to know feel organized.  In place. I remember in high school, my binders were always color coordinated, never any loose papers.  I still get excited going down the school supply aisle at the grocery store.  This would also explain my obsession with baskets.  It's a pretty container...for things to be organized it it's home.  Get it?!?
I still feel like I'm 20, so I think it'll be just fine to stop here.  Did you really think I was going to do all 30?!?!  I'm sure your tired of reading anyway.  It's pretty tough coming up with 30 things that help created you into the person you are today.  Try it!  Bet you have a tough time too!
me.  maybe around age 3.

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