My dear momma gave me a new flip calendar recently. You know, the kind where there is a different quote or whatever for every day of the year. This one is 365 Reasons to Eat Chocolate. She knows me so well! I've been getting a kick out of it. Not that I really need more reasons to eat more chocolate, but there are some winners in here, let me tell you!
Today's quote is "If your friends are worried about eating too much chocolate, eat theirs." Sounds like a good plan to me! But here's my favorite so far:
As I write this, we are flying home from our longest vacation ever. Twelve days. Holy shmolie. It's gone incredibly well. No complete disasters. Overall, attitudes and behavior have been good.
Being a family of five, and no longer having "lap children" on the plane, we can't all sit right next to each other. So we have tried out different configurations for this trip. At the moment, my dear husband and the older two are sitting right behind me. This works out well for him, because they are willing to sit and watch a movie even though he's got two out of three of the kids. And when they do need something, or course they poke their little fingers between the seats and jab at me. Even though the answer is probably "ask your dad." Because I'm the mom. Gracie girl is sitting between me and a gracious business man who has put up with a lot of singing and feet in his side. Not to mention, the girl has terrible gas. Sorry to everyone near us! Gracie girl is reveling in having my full attention for hours on end...I don't think we've gone more than 20 seconds during the entire flight when she didn't want my attention for someting, or need something. Jeepers. Thankfully, our seat mate didn't notice when she pulled up her shirt, tucked her baby close and announced that Baby Maggie was "hungry por mommy molk." We covered Baby Maggie with a blanket while Gracie rocked her, and wiled away at least three minutes of the flight. And then there was the moment out of the blue where she said, "Mommy, I luz you so berry much!" This flight is feeling forever long right now, but these little moments are priceless!
Today I was reminded of an important truth. The only reason we see the moon is because the sun shines and is reflected off the moon. Without the sun, the moon would be invisible to us. It would still be there, but we wouldn't gaze into the night sky with amazement at the beauty of it. My kids wouldn't excitedly point it out. And we wouldn't have its light to brighten the darkness.
I want to be like the moon. I want to reflect the Son so that when people see me, they see something special and beautiful. I want to shine light in this dark world we live in. And I want others to recognize that there is someting worth pointing out that makes me different. I want Jesus to shine through me, reflect right off me. It's not really ME they need to see. I'm just the vessel Jesus is using to show himself.
It was one of those days where I was needing a little pick-me-up. Who are we kidding...most days I need a little pick-me-up! Today, Starbucks was sounding pretty darn good. But loading the kids up just to satisfy this craving wasn't sounding so lovely. So good ol' pinterest to the rescue! I tell you, you can find anything there. And once again, it didn't disappoint.
A quick little search turned up a copycat recipe, which I readily tried. Since I'm not typically a coffee drinker, today I was super thankful for our Kurig. I love that I can just whip up a perfect cup of coffee to get my frappe going! So just in case you're needing a little pick-me-up too, here's the recipe, with a few little modifications to suite my fancy:
Java Chip Frappuccino
1.5 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup milk
handful of chocolate chips
a big squirt of chocolate syrup
1/3 cup coffee
Dump it all in the blender (Vitamix at our house) and blend. Next time, I think I'll add a little more ice...I thought it could have been a little thicker. But the taste was perfect. No picture because I devoured it too fast. Maybe next time. :)
Ok- confession time. Somewhere around 7 years ago, a friend who was cleaning out her closet, gave me a pair of jeans she didn't want anymore. I tried them on, and they became MY jeans. I mean, these things fit like perfection. I'm pretty sure I had never worn something more trendy than the basic boot cut jeans from Old Navy. But these jeans...these had been bought at Nordstrom and were some brand I had never heard of. In no time flat they became the only jeans I ever wore.
At least until that fated day when a hole appeared in one of the knees, entirely uninvited. It's true- I had legitimately worn my jeans out. So I did what any bargain hunting person would do. I found another pair on eBay for about 10% of the retail cost. Now, when you have one pair of jeans that you wear every day (and I do mean every day literally), you wear out jeans every few years. At least I do. So I've gone the eBay route a few times. And it's worked every time. Except this last one. Maybe they were mismarked. Maybe they were a different style and I didn't realize it. Don't know what happened, but it wasn't love like in the past. And because it's eBay, I'm stuck. Couple that with another recent eBay disappointment (but that's another story!) and I decided that I needed to actually attempt shopping for jeans again.
Now, since it's been a fair number of years, I really didn't have any starting point. I mean, I know my size, but what style? Brand?
So for Valentine's Day, my sweetie suggested we hit the mall in a nearby city to try to find me a decent pair of jeans. He was even kind enough to suggest we hit up Nordstrom since that's where my other favorite jeans had been from before Nordstrom stopped carrying them. It sounded like a lovely idea until I pulled the first pair of jeans off the rack. "Distressed" is not my chosen style, after all, I can create that all on my own if I just wear my jeans long enough. And the $209 price tag made me nearly faint. This bargain hunter just couldn't handle it. (Nor could my husband who buys his jeans at Costco for roughly $15 a pair!)
So we ditched the mall and headed for Nordstrom Rack across the street. After the previous price tag shock, all the price tags looked good to me. Ten pairs of jeans and I had it out in the dressing room, and to my pleasant surprise, I was able to declare two winners! The first pair on felt like a long lost friend that I never wanted to be separated from again. (And we have been quite inseparable ever since.) The second winner was the lone non-denim pair I dared to try on. Bright coral, they were definitely a risk. But they felt amazing. And looked trendy! Seeing the "compare at $128" made me feel slightly better about $56 for jeans that I can't guarantee I will actually wear on a regular basis. And honestly, I was still questioning my sanity for spending that much. But I decided to splurge and go for it.
Now, this is when things got good. At the register, the helpful guy ringing up my purchase pointed out a slight discoloration so small I had to ask him to point to it again to see it.
"Are you sure you want these?"
"Where is the stain?"
"If you buy them, just keep the tags. If the stain doesn't come out after washing, just bring them back!
"Ok - I'll take them!"
And then it happened. He rang them up. And for some amazing unknown reason, $0.01 showed up on the register. The poor guy almost lost it. "Oh my ***! Oh my ***! Did you see this!? They are only a PENNY! You are so lucky! Oh my ***!"
Who knows who mislabeled those suckers, but I hit the jackpot. Um, YES! A thousand times YES I will take those jeans. And I don't care if that stain never comes out. I had to ask twice to find it in the first place.
(Pardon the mess I call "reality" in the background.")
So I guess it turned out to be a good thing my eBay jeans didn't work out this time...
It's a bittersweet day. I've been a labor and delivery nurse for nearly 12 years.
But I'm also a postpartum nurse.
And a lactation consultant.
And a postpartum clinic nurse.
And a mama to three little lovies.
And a wife.
And the coordinator of our MOMS group.
And I want to be more than just competent. I want to be confident in my roles. I want to know that I'm doing my best, and that my patients are receiving the care they deserve. I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but when things start to go south, I'm a walking mess on the inside. The basic, low risk labor patient? I've got it. Water birth, land birth, natural, epidural. Not a problem. It's when things start to look dicey that I get nervous. Sure, I'll bet that a lot of labor and delivery nurses feel that way. But I question whether I can really remember what I need to. There's just so much to keep up on. Classes to take, ever changing policies and procedures, charting standards.
So today, after much prayer, I gave it up. I pulled my supervisor over and let her know how I'm feeling. That my passion when it comes to work is breastfeeding. I love being there for the miracle of birth, but even more so, I love helping mamas figure out feedings with their little loves. And to my pleasant surprise, when I pulled her aside and said I needed to talk to her, she responded with, "You feel like you want to cry, don't you. I knew it was just a matter of time before you wanted to chat." To be honest, that was such a relief. She knows where my heart is. She knows it's hard to give up labor and delivery, but she respects that I don't want to work more hours to keep up every last skill. She knows the value of my family. And she also values that I'm as passionate as I am about my role as a lactation consultant when I am at work.
Even yesterday, I couldn't have predicted today would be the day. But as I was praying at work today, I felt a still small voice letting me know the time had come.
And so I must learn again how to describe what I do. It's no longer, "I'm a labor and delivery nurse, and lactation consultant." But instead, "I'm a lactation consultant and nurse in a family birth center."
**disclaimer: I feel like I have always been able to give excellent care to my patients, but I want that statement to remain true :) No one's care has been compromised on my watch.