Friday, December 30, 2011

My little Moo turned 2!

The day before Christmas Eve my little girl turned 2 years old.I really do sound like a broken record, but time is moving so fast. I'm ready again for the long, lazy, slow days of summer time. My girl had a low key actual birthday, and we are celebrating her party in January. She wore a birthday girl shirt and princess tutu and proudly proclaimed that it was her birthday and she was 4 like her sister. After telling her, no Raiggie, you're only 2, she's followed it up with a compromise and say, I thwree (her version of 3).

I love this little girl to pieces. Here she is blowing out her candles of her birthday cake on her actual birthday.

We had a visit this week to Cincinnati Children's to see a pulmonologist about my girl's lungs. Things went really well and we are just ruling things out at this point to cover all the bases. There is nothing acutely wrong with her little lungs, but she seems to have more issues than your average two year old and that is why we landed this consult. I'm really glad we did because the doctor was fabulous and Raigan loved him. They measured her and she is a wopping 27 lbs and stands at 2 ft 11 inches tall. I learned in Pediatric Nursing that at a child's second birthday you double their height and that is what their adult height will be, so looks like both my girls will be towering above me.

On a totally different note, we got a new roof put on our house this week, because we had some wind damage from some storms this late summer/early fall. It looks great, and I'm proud to say our house isn't the sore thumb of our street anymore.

Things have been working out kind of on the crappy (I cannot come up with a better word at the moment) side of things until recently. We have had good and bad things happen, but it seemed to be weighted on the bad side a little more heavily. I think it was just our timing, because we have had things go so well and smoothly for so long, and that it was our turn up to the plate. I am really grateful to say that things are slowly starting to climb back into a great place for our family and our lives. I am glad too, because I was starting to ignore my self peptalks and "this too shall pass" chants.

Another thing that is pretty strange for me is to fall into a new routine that does not include class or studying. Normally I'd be scrapping up the last moments of winter break and be preparing for a new semester at the start of the New Year. It's going to feel a little strange for me when I don't go back, and I think that feeling is going to last awhile. I'm trying to find a nice healthy balance of work, play, housework, and all the other things that I've been neglecting because of nursing school. Housework has always been on the low end of my priority list because I always had tests, my girls ballet class, or whatever else that trumped it for such a while that now I'd really like to get into a routine of having a house that I'm wondering can even exist with a 2 and 4 year old little girl living in it. Some days it feels like I'm plowing snow while it's still snowing or climbing up the down escalator when I'm cleaning up after them.

The end of the year is quickly approaching which gives opportunities for fresh new starts and clean slates which I am gladly welcoming.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dreamers Welcome

My university's motto is 'Dreamers Welcome."

I accomplished one of my dreams this past Saturday.

I graduated with a Bachelors in the Science of Nursing 

from Northern Kentucky Univeristy. 

After many years, a lot of sacrifice, a wedding, and two children later I am a college graduate.

I am blessed to cross one more thing off my bucket list:

Get Married to the love of my life
Have children
Buy a house with a large back yard
Plant a tree
Impact someone's life
Graduate college
Leave the country
Go on an African safari
Visit Paris
Donate my first paycheck as a nurse to St. Jude
Make money taking pictures
Understand organic chemistry
Hike a mountain
Run a marathon
Go white water rafting
Go snorkeling
Shoot a gun
See the seven wonders
Go to carnival in Brazil
Take my girls to Disney World
Visit all 50 states
Be a big sister
Milk a cow

I am so thankful that my children will know that through perseverance and hard work anything can be accomplished. I hope they know that all the hours, days, and years I spent achieving this dream was more about them and providing a life for them than it was ever about me. That they were my drive. It wasn't all just my hard work though. It was with the help of my very supportive husband, an awesome mother and mother in law that helped me with my girls, friends that gave me words of encouragement, my peers that helped me study and were a support in itself because we were all after the same dream, a best friend next door that provided a quiet study environment, and many other factors.

I made it. I graduated from college.

I'm really excited about Saturday being the start to a new chapter in our lives. In so many ways it feels like this season in our lives resembles spring; birth to new beginnings, new dreams,  and a lot of life to enjoy. 

Life Moves Way Too Fast

I don't really even know what to write, so this is going to go stream of consciousness style.

It's already December of 2011, almost the end of it for that matter, and so much has changed this year. I'm not really even sure how we got here because it seems to all have happened in this crazy flash instant.
 The kind that people tell you about when you're a kid, but because you have endless hours of free time to spend with your friends, little responsibility, plenty of hours to playing video games or spend your time however you wish, you just can't relate to it for it to mean anything.

It seems as though the older my girls get, the faster time goes, and that is scary.

Now that I'm finished with school I hope that this crazy life can slow down a little bit, and that there are more hours in the day spent not doing anything, except soaking up life and enjoying it, because it is for sure short for certain.

I really hate to share anything that is not directly my story because I feel like it's not my place to share other people's story on my blog. When I write things on here that impact my husband in any kind of way I run it by him before I hit publish. My girls, they just don't really get a say so become it's not yet their job to determine what's best for them, it's still mine. This is a long explanation to get to the point that my family lost someone this past month that has been hard on all of us. Nearly two weeks ago my husband's grandma joined Jesus in heaven. I don't know if it's appropriate or not to write about this on my blog, but I feel as though I should. I should because she read my blog and I'm sure she still does from above. It's been hard to publish pictures of my girls here without a call from her to tell me how much she enjoyed reading here or thanking me for sharing pictures of the girls with her this way. She loved my husband and my girls fiercely.

It just sucks. It sucks because ever since eight years ago when my husband and I started to date and I met her for the first time and was nervous as ever, she hugged me and accepted me into our family like I had always been apart of it. She showed me love, grace, patience, and to smile my way through life. The way she passed was very fast and yet another reminder of how fast life happens, how fast it's over, and how that much more we should enjoy the short time we have here.

I'm going to try my best to enjoy the moments when my girls love to play with their favorite toy; the laundry basket.

I'm going to make time for the birthday parties and this sisterly love that they share:

I'm going to try to enjoy it when my Riley acts like a monster when we bake:

I'm going to enjoy hanging every last one of our Christmas ornaments:

I'm going to love our gindgerbread house even if it looks nothing like it's supposed to:

And embrace the fact that it's looks exactly the way it's supposed to because it's ours and made from love.
St. Nick Day 2011:

I'm going to enjoy potty training this little bundle of life, because it will most likely be my last time getting to do it. I'm even going to love and enjoy right now darn it while I'm writing this blog post and my kids are still up running around out of their beds for the tenth time crying and it's 9:30 at night.

I love their love for one another and feel privileged to capture moments like this.

My girls at my Nursing Pinning Ceremony:

My husband was most likely taking this very picture of my mom pinning me when our second born took off and was lost temporarily.  When we found her, she was on the stage, must have just missed her on my way back to my seat.

There are nights when I don't feel like enjoying anything and just want to retreat to my room and catch up on sleep, but I make the conscious choice to go to the Zoo;s Festival of Lights with my girls even though it's 40 degrees out on a cold December night, because we are going to keep family traditions and make memories dammit!

I'm going to snuggle these naked babies like it's no bodies business and I'm going to love every last second of it.

I'm blessed. Blessed beyond measures.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The post in which I write about some pretty rough months

I try to be a positive person. I think I was born a pessimist though by nature, but boy oh boys do I try to chant and talk myself out of the negativity.

I am now only 14 days away, well technically 13 days because today is nearly over from being finished with nursing school.

It's been a struggle with everything this last semester and a lot to balance all at one and so much responsibility to take on. There have been more than a few times where I have wanted to give up and throw in the towel, but then God would send me some freak sign that I was supposed to keep going.

A quote would come up in my day like this one:

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."
~ Unknown 

Or a patient I was caring for would grab my hand, look me in the eye and tell me, "You're a lot stronger than you look." People may think I'm crazy, but I felt the Lord talking to me through her when I needed that little nudge to keep on keepin' on.

These past 4 years have been a struggle, a pursuit, a dream and I'm only 13 days away from making it to the top of that gigantic mountain that took me years, blood, sweat, and tears to climb.

I thought my last semester was going to be a breeze, and it has by far been the most challenging past few months of my life. I feel like a mound was thrown on us at the end. One very difficult Critical Care Nursing class, an imperative huge standardized test to pass, 120 hours of Role Transition,  two other classes, and then work and the girls and regular life and responsibilities. A lot of other people put their lives outside nursing school on hold for this semester, but unfortunately I didn't have the option.

I have put in more doubles (16 hour days) than I'd like to admit to, hours studying, thousands of review questions, some tears here and there, and one hell of a drive to keep myself going. I really just hope that in a few weeks when I graduate that my girls will see it and know that when you try hard enough you can overcome anything and achieve. I want them to know that they are my driving force and that when I became their mother they gave me more strength than I thought I would ever be capable of.

I also cannot wait till graduation so we can engage in all our holiday traditions, I have more than 4 hours to sleep, and could possibly take a photograph and upload it to this blog for heaven sake!

Monday, November 7, 2011


I am still alive.

School is coming to a very busy close! 5 more weeks! It's really crazy to think about, but I don't have much time to even think about it because it has been so busy! I have two more exams and  72 more role transition hours to work (unpaid) at the hospital. (plus 2 more sociology exams, but that's nothing to worry about)

I did want to get down how much I'm in love with my 4 year old before I forget, or before she gets to me with her very strong willed personality that she must get from her father. Last night after bath and bedtime I heard my little girl in her bed chattering away which would normally follow a "Riley! Go to sleep!" but when I heard what she was doing I hestiated and told my husband not to go in there, becuase my sweet (some of the time) 4 year old was in her bed sounding out words and reading. Melt. My. Heart. I'm so proud of my little girl and am so excited about what all I know she is going to accomplish in her life.

Last week when I was cleaning her room and making her bed I found books under her pillow and it made me so proud. We must be doing something right.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Pickin'

After watching the apple picking episode of Caliou for the million time and wanting to indulge in fall festivities, I scoured the tristate for a You Pick Apple Orchard. Let me tell you, they're a dying breed.

One of my girlfriends had gone last year to this farm up in Ohio, but it was an hour away and they don't have late hours, so I lost faith that apple picking was gonna happen. Especially with our crazy schedules and jam packed weekends.

But if you want something in life, you've got to make it happen!

So a few Fridays ago, we all loaded up after work and school and were determined to make it up to Ohio before this place closed. We made it with about 45 minutes to spare and it was worth it.

When we arrived the man that worked there tried to lead us in the right direction because of our limited time, but when he asked what kind of apples we were looking for I hadn't really even thought about it. The true reason we had come wasn't even for the apples, it was for the life experience of picking the apples. I felt silly telling him that though, even though I shouldn't have. Life experiences with our families are really the only things that make up life. The apples will be eaten or rot, but the memories, traditions, and the pictures; they're going to last for forever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hopefully I'm Back

I wold love to get back to blogging and posting more often that I have been.

On Friday morning I passed the most important test of my life and now my life can go back to just normal crazy as appose to totally-crazy-stresstowhereithoughtiwasgoingtolooseit- kind of crazy. I will now for sure graduate and become an RN. The test I took is supposed to predict, based on your score, if you are going to pass state boards the first attempt. If you get a score of a 900 or above you have a 99% chance of passing boards the first attempt.

I got a 962.

When I saw the score I was pretty emotional because this test was literally life changing for me and if I hadn't passed the other two attempts given, I would not have graduated.

Talk about pressure.

But I got up really early, showered, put make up on because I convinced myself that it would make me even more confident, ate breakfast, a nice cup of coffee, and forced a smile on my face. When I felt my smile fade, I faked the heck out of it, and it really is effective at lifting one's mood.

In other aspects of life my girls are fabulous. Raigan is nearly Riley's size:

We have Kindergarten open house next week, and I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I cannot believe that my child is going to start her grades school career. I cannot wait though to see her in her little school uniform and for her to continue her love for school.

Even with school being really high stress we have managed to fit in some fall festivities. And as soon as I find that SD card with our apple pickin' pictures, I'll post them. And actually do it this time, unlike the time I said I was going to post pictures of a pumpkin cheesecake that I may or may not have eaten all of before I was able to take pictures of it.

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