Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So far so good!

Just a few weeks into my job and I can honestly say that I am loving it! Of course, I've been on the "easy" side with the babies that are, for the most part, medically stable. There are some sad stories, even in the intermediate level, and I have come home from work every night extremely thankful for my life!

I am also feeling very blessed to have my job. I am aware that the nursing job outlook is dismal, and I know the Lord put me in this position for this time because He has a purpose for me. It is not simply a "job," but rather a ministry. When I was in college (the first time!), I was taught the importance of being a "Christian student" and not a "student Christian." In other words, the "Christian" part of my identity needs to be the overriding theme, not the student (or in this case, nurse) part. In a secular work environment, this could present a challenge. I just pray that, in all circumstances, I give God glory!

To celebrate my job, we decided to trade in our van (which was going to need a lot of work fairly soon), and get this:

One other really nice part of being DONE with school is the free time. When I get home from work, I still have the "mom" tasks to do (dinner, cleaning...although Luke and I believe that to "divide and conquer" is the best route), but that's it. We have enjoyed the freedom and have spent time riding bikes, going swimming, and enjoying west Michigan. Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Orientation is over...

...and the work of being an RN begins!

So far, I've done two days on the floor. They started me with the babies that are almost ready to go home, and they will gradually work me to the most critical babies.

I'm glad they started me where they did. I had the opportunity to hold lots and lots of babies. I know my job isn't "baby holder," but I enjoyed having that at least part of my job description!

After only two days, I have come to the following conclusion: Be very, very, VERY careful as to what you name your child! How the word is usually pronounced and how you choose to pronounce it should probably be the same. A beautiful baby had a name that sounded really nice, until I realized it was spelled in a way that made it look like a not so nice word)

At this point, I should probably stop in the blog and make sure I mention that I will never, ever, ever give details about anything related to patients and/or families. I don't want to violate their privacy (or lose my job). So, don't ask for any details, because I won't give them! More often than not, I won't talk about work at all (other than I held an adorable baby that smiled at me, or something really inconsequential like that)

Enough of that...I'm sure you all get the point!

And, to all my nursing friends getting ready to take their boards: GOOD LUCK!!!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Just a quick update

..No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth!

I've been enjoying life!

I had a wonderful vacation in Washington state, saw my brother-in-law get married, and TOOK MY NURSING BOARDS!

The funny thing? I took them in Portland, OR. I needed to take them ASAP so my license could get issued (couldn't start my job without it), and Portland had an open testing center.

God worked it all out, though. My now sister-in-law let me borrow her car. My parents arranged for me to have dinner with my former pastor and his wife (from when I was 4) and I spent the night with some friends of my parents (whom they hadn't seen in 36 years! Christmas cards and facebook kept them in touch!) The people with whom I met up with and stayed were wonderful, warm, Godly people who were so welcoming and comforting! Both couples prayed over me for peace and wisdom as I took my boards.

The prayers worked, because I passed! I took my boards in 40 minutes, and had the minimum amount of questions. I was calm and peaceful, and I know that was God!

So, now I'm home. I'm a RN, employed in my dream job, and just enjoying this "new normal!" While all exciting, this is a total change for our marriage. I have never worked full-time, and even my busiest weeks of nursing school didn't have me gone 36 hours/week. I now have to learn the art of balance and prioritizing. Thankfully, Luke is more than patient with me!

On another note...Wednesday is our NINTH wedding anniversary! Crazy, huh!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Today... "baby" is graduating from kindergarten!

I seriously think I am going to cry! This year has been an amazing year for her, and our family is so thankful for her teacher. (Okay, I AM crying now!)

When I look at who Mandy is, I am in awe. When she was so sick and in and out of the hospital her first year of life, I had difficulty looking past the immediate situation and into the future. I wish I could've had just a glimpse at who she is today as it would've helped me better cope with the realization that her illness was a temporary part of her life and didn't define who she was. Except for the surgical scar on Mandy's right side and the PICC line scar in her left arm, there are no visible traces of her illness. God has certainly been good!

Here is a picture of Mandy,leading her classroom in the song "Amazing Grace."

As a parent, it truly doesn't get any better than to see your child growing in God!

PS In case you were wondering, the job that I am going to start is as an RN in the NICU at a children's hospital near me

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

(Im)patiently waiting

So, the waiting part is the hardest part! I'm not a patient person. It's actually a genetic principle in my family to be impatient, and it goes back several generations (hello, Grandpa!) In fact, I have often joked that the Lord knew what He was doing when He had me deliver my girls 2 and 3 weeks early. I'm the type of parent who can't wait for Christmas and begs her husband to PLEASE let the girls open at least one present early!

But, there are times I have to wait.

Right now, I am waiting on the state of Michigan. You would think, given the depressed economy in this state, that they would hurry and get paperwork moving. You know, so people who do have jobs lined up could start them. I have been waiting for over a month for the state to update my license application for nursing. Everything has been submitted, but the person who is in charge of actually entering the information in the computer has yet to update MY application! And because of that, I can't take my nursing boards. No nursing boards = no license. No license = no job start. No job start = very poor!

My hope was that I would start my job June 22, but the likelihood of that is slim to none. My new target date is probably going to be mid-July. I value the time I get with my family, but I REALLY don't want to lose the skill set that I just recently learned (it's been almost two months since I was even IN a hospital!)

So, please pray for me. Not patience (I NEVER pray for patience!), but rather that my paperwork comes through quickly!

In the meantime, I'm sure there's a closet somewhere in my house that needs attention!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going the distance??

It's no secret to anybody that knows me (or follows this blog) that I like to run. I know I have some of my best time with God during my runs as my IPOD plays Christian music and I find myself praying.

Sometimes, though, those prayers are more like, "God, please help me not to die. Please help me finish!" (I prayed that prayer quite a bit during my 25K run a few weeks ago!)

That prayer of desperation has reminded me lately of the verses in the last part of Isaiah 40:

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

As a youth (I'm still in my 20s, so I'm claiming myself as a youth!), I often find myself tired and weary. Not just when running long distances, but also with parenting my children, loving my husband, and serving my God. The Lord gives me the amount of strength I need for each moment. I will admit that, during my race, I DID grow weary...but I know that God Himself gave me the strength to finish.

On a different aspect of running...I am debating whether or not I want to train for a marathon in the fall. *Technically*, to train for a marathon, you "only" need to be able to run 20 miles (the first 20 miles are physical; the last 6.2 miles are mental). My 25K was 15.5 miles, so it's only another 4.5 miles of training. If I opt to not do a marathon, my goal is to run a half marathon in under 2 hours (I did it un 2:04:47 last time).

Who knows what will happen. Either way, I know I never run alone :-)

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Okay, so I'm a slacker

Well....apparently blogging isn't my forte. I have lots of other things I'm consistent with, but apparently blogging isn't one of them!

For the few people in this world who read this blog, here's a small recap of what's been happening over the past few weeks...

Graduation!!! Woohoo! Being completely done with nursing school is an incredible feeling! When I graduated with my psychology degree 7 years ago, I knew I had to start a graduate program. With a nursing degree, I actually have marketable job skills. You know, the kind people PAY you to have! I'll be 29 this year and have never had a "real" job (although, I've been home taking care of my babies...I know that qualifies for the "real" job category!)

We went to Disney World with the family and my brother-in-law and his wife (Logan and Staci). We had a WONDERFUL time! I got to know my children so much better. Mandy, who used to be cautious and careful, was carefree and up to try everything. She had a smile on her face the whole time and would get off a ride (even the one she was too short for, but after stuffing her shoes with socks, she magically grew!) and exclaim, "I want to do it again!" Nothing scared her, nothing made her hesitate, and her smile was so wide and genuine that my heart would melt.

Kayla, on the other hand, had a wonderful time....playing in the dirt, looking at the birds, and watching the people. She liked some of the rides, but she was very concerned about whether or not it would be scary. As a side note, my favorite Kayla story is when she walked into the bathroom with her Aunt Staci and asked, "What ride is this?" Precious! I spent part of my trip staying back with Kayla while the others went on a ride. Did I want to go on the ride rather than stay behind? Of course! But you know what? I had such wonderful conversations with Kayla about so many things that I have created a lifetime of memories. There isn't a single ride at Disney that's better than those memories. Of course, going and getting ice cream and she and I trying to eat it before everyone came back was a lot of fun, too!

While in Disney, I got an unexpected call from the hospital about a position I interviewed for in January. It is in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). I had to do a phone interview with HR while on vacation, and a few days later, I was offered the job! What an incredible blessing to land my DREAM JOB so unexpectedly. In the economic times we have, it is truly remarkable that I would get this opportunity. I know that God has something in store for me to learn through this job and I am excited to start that learning!

We got back from vacation and I ran the Riverbank Run. There are various lengths in this race, including a 5K, a 19K, and a 25K. I chose the 25K (15.5 miles). It was torture. I did terrible, time-wise. BUT, I finished, I wasn't last, and I ran the whole time. While I was running, I made a decision to NEVER DO IT AGAIN! The next day, I was already planning my training for the rest of the summer, with thoughts to maybe try a marathon in the fall. I wonder if racing is like labor--eventually amnesia kicks in? (As a side note, despite the fact I have two kids, I've never had a contraction, so the whole labor analogy is purely hypothetical!)

So, what am I up to now? I'm savoring the time with my family. My house loves me, too, as it is getting some much-needed attention. I'm enjoying simply being, instead of doing.

And, maybe (just maybe!), I'll start blogging some more!

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