Monday, December 26, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

I left my husband in a bit of a quandary this year. I never really shared with him what I wanted to receive from him for Christmas. The truth of the matter is, I couldn't really think of anything that I was in need or want of.

I am so blessed.

And yet, my lovely husband was still searching for something wonderful to wrap and give me on Christmas day. What I received was something that made me absolutely happy and overwhelmingly proud of my husband. I'd like to share it with you in hopes that you and your family may find this a worthy cause to donate to as well.

In my name, for Christmas, my love donated 13 farm animals to World Vision. Check out what World Vision has to say about this gift:

Thirteen small farm animals can save families from hunger! With this truly life-changing gift, you’ll provide ample protein and vital nutrition — including eggs, meat, and more — for years to come. As the animals multiply, families can sell surplus food for extra income. A bountiful and enduring blessing!

I couldn't be happier that my husband chose to spend our Christmas money helping others. Take a minute to visit the World Vision site and check out the different ways you can donate to others. They take donations from $25 to $1,000,000 (for those of you readers who have a LOT of spare change in your pockets), and you can donate everything from animals, to clean water, to medicines, to clothing, shelter, education.... All from an organization that is well known for it's commitment to helping children in need all around the world.

Go check it out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Friends!!!!

From our home to yours, wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas! Lets not forget that Christ our Savior and Redeemer came to Earth as a perfect sacrifice, and when God looked down on the manger that held His Son, He saw Good Friday.

O come let us adore Him! Christ the Lord!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Low cal offering

If you're anything like me, you might be looking for a reprieve from the rich holiday foods that are so easily available this time of year. Try working for a church where you get delicious goodies from sweet ladies every day. We've already discussed my penchant for white fudge covered oreos, and I'm proud to say that we've only bought and eaten 1 box so far this season. That's kind of a big deal.

Earlier tonight, we had a lovely time at a Christmas party and ate the most fantastic salad EVER. It was freaking awesome. It reminds me of this salad that I always get at McAlister's. So go and make it tonight. Your love handles will thank you for the break.

Chopped Salad

6-8 cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 Chopped Medium-size Pears
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1 cup Chopped Pecans
4-6 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
Poppyseed Salad Dressing (we had the T. Marzetti kind)
Balsamic Vinaigrette (Newman's Own Light version does the job nicely)

On a large platter or large bowl, combine the lettuce, chopped pears, cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppyseed dressing, followed by the vinaigrette (the recipe says that it's a 70/30 mix on the dressing; 70% poppyseed, 30% vinaigrette). Toss the salad around until it's well mixed. Feel free to add more dressing until your salad is dressed to your liking.

Then devour.

Let it be known that I obtained the above picture from the great equalizer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Counting down the days

3 weeks!!!

3 weeks from tomorrow, Passion 2012 will commence! I may be even more excited for this year's trip than last year's trip. I still vividly remember how wonderful Passion 2011: Fort Worth was, both for myself and for the dozen or so other folks who went along. There really are no words to express the kind of heart change that occurs during the week of Passion- it's just incredible. Try spending 4 days of your life investing in your relationship with Christ -with the help of some really incredible leaders (Louie, John, Francis, Beth... Chris, Matt, Kristian, Christy, David). It just doesn't get much better than that. New revelations and renewed spirits from Passion 2011 have really changed so many aspects in my life and in my Christian walk this year. I just couldn't be more excited for another incredible experience. I have high hopes for this year and I don't expect my Lord to let me down.

Jordan and I are taking a group of 9 high school seniors and college students to Atlanta, Georgia for Passion - which is.... an additional 10 hours longer drive than last year's trip to Fort Worth! I'm actually kinda-sort of-a little bit excited about spending 16 hours in a van with these kids, if only to get to know them in a better way. The Atlanta-bound church van will leave early on January 1, spend the night in Alabama and then finish the trip on the 2nd, ending up in Atlanta in plenty of time to register and get seats for the opening session. One of my dearest friends is offering up his home to us and I'm afraid he has signed up for quite an undertaking! It should be fun! I'm overjoyed to be spending some time with this friend and hopefully get to know his new lovely fiancee! (Even if we only spend breakfast and bedtime at the house!)

We only have 2 repeat Passion-eers, who are serving to pump up their friends for the trip. I am surprised we have so many students going along, as it is both eating a week of their winter break and costing them a pretty penny (in college money talk). The Lord has brought together a group of great friends and new faces - 3 are high school seniors and the remaining 6 are college-age students. This is especially sweet because we just started a new college Sunday school class at our church. What a special time these kids will have to get to know each other on a deeper level!

So it would be lovely if you will be in prayer with me over our hearts during this time of anticipation. Then also over our travels when that time arrives (both for safety and sanity! 16 hours in a van with 11 people can be trying on everyone's patience). Then also over Passion 2012, that the Lord would be glorified and many would come to know His name. And finally that the Lord would iron out all the kinks and details that we aren't even thinking about at this time. I guarantee that a week spent in the presence of the Lord will have its share of challenges and all 11 of us should be prepared for difficulties.

Let the countdown continue!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Party Time!

The Spread

The Setup

The Surprise!

I don't know how it happened, but 20ish high school and college-aged girls were able to keep a major secret for several weeks!! A surprise wedding shower! Here's the setup: the bride-to-be is one half of a ridiculously fantastic pair of Sunday school teachers. Maybe I'm a little biased. So the cover for her wedding shower was our annual high school girls sunday school Christmas party. She believed we'd have holiday hors doerves and gift exchanging starting at 5pm. The girls in our class arrived a few hours early to transform our house into wedding shower central. It took her a second to realize what was really happening (see the change in facial expression between surprise picture one and two!) and was 100% surprised. She must have made a remark every few minutes about how surprised and shocked she really was. It was fantastic! And there's nobody that's more deserving of a great husband and a fun (secret) shower. The girls and I hope that she knows how much we love her, both as a teacher and a friend. Many many congratulations!!!

And of course no party is complete without a little food, girl talk.... and...

Just dance!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time keeps on slippin

Gah!! Where does the time go? It seems like I posted yesterday and it's been almost a week. Thanksgiving feels like it was a year ago now. Things don't ever slow down around here.

I failed to mention that on the way home from Thanksgiving in Houston, we hit a renegade herd of Javelinas (wild hogs for you non-Texans). It was dark and we were on a little podunk back road and these little stinkers just come shooting out of some bushes. We think they were part of a suicide pact, I mean, why else would 4 hogs run out into the road simultaneously? And just so we're clear, they weren't really all that little either. So we'll take the Jetta to the body shop on Monday and have $1400 worth of repairs done. Yeesh! Merry Christmas to us! Hopefully we'll get a sweet rental car. Last time we had to get a bodyshoprentacar, it was a Chrysler Sebring convertible. And lets face it, unless you're a postmenopausal woman, the Sebring is a little less than cool.

But instead of stressing, I'm indulging in a little chips & Chuy's Jalapeño ranch dip.

Continuing with the running out of time theme, once again this year, I'm deathly afraid that my Christmas cards will not be done and out in time for Christmas. I mean, it's the third of December, which gives me 21 days until Christmas eve. And these cards are so far from done it's not really funny. At ALL. Every year I wonder why I don't just order photo cards just like everyone else and every year I talk myself out of it and every year I stress until they're in the mail.

Stress level increasing. Quiet stress with chips and dip.

Has anyone done any Christmas shopping yet? I am so far behind. We aren't getting to make a trip to Augusta this year, which means my shopping has to be finished and en route to Georgia well ahead of the 12/25 deadline. And as if I haven't made it clear enough- time isn't slowing down to allow me some shop opportunities! Yesterday I thought I was doing really well: I ordered 2 Christmas presents from one place. 30% off. Free shipping. Purchased. 2 people down. Score! Right? Wrong. I got an email this morning from this lovely retailer letting me know that BOTH items I ordered were UNAVAILABLE. Curse you Banana Republic!!!

More stress. More chips. More jalapeño dip.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

L&D funnies

Recent funny moments from the labor unit:

-A baby named Twister

-A sister and brother (not twins!) named Una and Dos

-It's common practice to ask all of our age-appropriate patients whether they plan to tie their tubes after delivery. One of my fellow nurses said her conversation played out a little something like this:
RN: Are you planning on getting your tubes tied?
Patient: Nope
Patient's husband: Hey! Got any idea where I can go to get neutered?


I hope all my lovely readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Jordan and I certainly did, as we spent the day with family and celebrated the first birthday of my cutie little Nephew, Jackson. We ate until we had to unbutton our pants, which has to be the measure of a meal's success. Now the true Christmas season can start! We are working on getting our tree up and house decorated. Lets all remember that Christmas is NOT about Santa or giving gifts or even White fudge covered Oreos. (swoon) Our true celebration is centered around the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer! O Come O Come Emmanuel!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Humans (another L&D post)

It's that time again friends.

thanks again Pinterest.

More from the wacky world of labor and delivery. On a daily basis, we nurses and doctors escort tiny humans out of their mothers' bodies. Lets think for a second how many babies I've delivered over the course of my obstetric career. I did the math the other day (with the aid of a calculator I might add. I'm a nurse, not a pharmacist.). Just bear with me and estimate I deliver 2 babies per day - well after all that useless math, I estimated that I've been involved with somewhere around 1200 babies. Give or take one or two. Now, I don't have any babies of my own, but considering 50% of the OB-GYNs in America are males, I don't think that literally having a baby is a prerequisite to knowing how to have a baby.

And with all this in mind, there are still lots of folks who think they know my job better than I do.

And here's an update (4/12): After months of having this post up and getting all sorts of feedback, I'd just like to step back and make a few declarations of my intention. I never in any way intended for this post to be judgmental or ugly. I never intended to turn people off. I like to think that my writing is light hearted and completely intended this post to be "tongue-in-cheek" so to say. A poking fun at both natural birth AND hospital/intervention birth, if you will. Since neither alternative is right for everyone, can't we just put our differences aside and stop forcing one method over another? Read along (if you so choose) and take it with a grain of salt! Back to Birth Plans!

So today's discussion is all about those lovely ladies who like to call the shots. Literally. All the shots. I think I'll affectionately call it "Birth Plans: Good Luck with that." And before you get all offended at the jaded nurse, let me show you my side of the story.

First, we'll look at the extremists. These are the ladies who refuse IVs, lab work, monitoring, vaginal exams, anesthesia, amniotomy - basically everything. To these women, I say: Go home. Seriously, if your goal is to have a no-intervention birth, then a hospital is not the setting for that to happen. These folks belong in their tub at home with a midwife. Let me make something clear: decades of evidence-based practice has dictated a manual of policies and procedures that if burned, would provide long-lasting heat to an entire Inuit village. I don't make the rules, but I am expected to follow them. Bottom line? I am not putting my license on the line for someone who thinks they should be the exception to all the rules. Please either go home and deliver or be open to appropriate interventions.

And as a side note: the idea that we follow policy that is derived directly from evidence-based practice means that all those little things I do for my patients are not arbitrary.

Now, lets look at those ladies who have a typical birth plan. Number one most important thing to remember (those of you who are pregnant and reading this): the hospital admission isn't the place to premier your birth plan. This is something that you should develop with your delivering physician before your due date- because I'll say it time & time again- your doc writes the orders, not me! I understand there are lots of variables to a normal vaginal delivery and I do believe that people should have some control over their experience. I'm open to special considerations and requests as long as they are also approved by the delivering doctor. Apprehensive about amniotomy? Talk to your doctor. Inflexible about induction? Talk to your doctor. Adamant about anesthesia? Talk to your doctor. Mean business about monitoring? Talk to your doctor. Got the picture?

Here's a truth that's well known to labor nurses and little known to pregnant women: A chart with a birth plan often also includes c-section papers.

What often comes along with low-intervention birth plans? A lack of anesthesia. It's not my business whether or not my patients want an epidural or not. In fact, for the patients who can keep it together, delivering epidural free makes my job a lot easier. The only problem is that most ladies come in completely unprepared for labor. Having a baby is largely regarded as the most painful experience known to man, and yet women who are adamantly against using an epidural will come to the hospital with no game plan for labor. And there's nothing more frustrating than having a patient who is in absolute agony with no coping mechanism. When I do have patients that go epidural free (it still exists!!), I remain largely hands-off. Not all epidural-free deliveries are scream fests. These women know whats up and can vocalize their needs, especially those who are experienced in natural childbirth.

What's the best plan when coming to the hospital to have a baby? Be flexible. Choose a doctor who is supportive of your wishes, make an appropriate labor & delivery plan and go with it. And for goodness sakes, be flexible. There are thousands of variables that can change or go wrong during labor, many of which I have no control over. Be aware that the ultimate goal is the healthiest delivery possible for mom and baby.

And please, for the love of all things lovely, bake your nurse some cookies. It makes all that epidural-free screaming just a little more palatable.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


How deep the Father's love for us.
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give his only son
To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss.
The father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen one
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

What can I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Again with the food?

It seems like I always post about hosting dinners and cooking for groups of people. If you haven't figured out yet that I both enjoy hostessing and baking, well then, you're just not keeping up all that well. Tonight is no different than usual. Jordan and I hosted the rest of the ministers and their families for dinner today.

We had pulled pork sandwiches. It was divine.

Can I just say for a second how much I miss the regional foodie goodies from my hometown in Augusta. I miss good Georgia Barbecue, which is of course, pork. Texans are big on this whole brisket thing, which is good - don't get me wrong - it's just not really barbecue. I anticipate I may lose a reader or two just based on that last statement.

Not only did we have pulled pork sandwiches and homemade barbecue sauce, but my husband made a pot of collard greens and I made a pan of macaroni and cheese. It was glorious. Top it off with a glass of sweet tea and it was like home again.

Except I didn't eat any collards. Not a fan.

The real hero of the meal was dessert, because dessert is always the greatest part of any meal. I made Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings and they were a huge hit! I've never made them before, and was reminded more than a few times that it's a no-no to introduce a new recipe when company's over. But I threw caution to the wind and ended up with a super easy, universally loved dessert!

Here we go again with the food. I gotta break the cycle. Next up: A new L&D post featuring my answer to the question about patients who want to go "all natural." Maybe I'll call it "What's up with a Birth Plan?"

But before I sign off, I want to take a minute to say how thankful I am for our church's leadership. We are so fortunate to be on staff with such great men of God. I love that we can meet up at each other's houses and eat and laugh together. It hurts my heart to hear stories of churches with staff problems and we are so thankful to be in a place where the pastors support, respect, and encourage one another. And not only are the pastors great (my hubby included!), but they have some fantastic families as well.

And one more thing. That is completely unrelated to the rest of this post. I went to my first BodyPump class yesterday. Today I thought I'd need Jordan to wash my hair, but I was at one point able to lift my arms above my head. Now that it's late, that might no longer be possible. Despite the soreness, I really enjoyed the class. Thinking I'll be ready to go again on Saturday, if only there was someplace closer than Corpus Christi to take said class. Oh, the woes of small town life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Why is it the only things I end up gleaning from Pinterest are foods?

I haven't made a rug out of tshirts.

And I haven't made a child's costume out of an umbrella and toilet paper.

And I haven't made wall art from paint chips.

...And I've never been to Boston in the fall.

But what I have made are lots and lots of Pinterest-inspired foods and meals. Feast your eyes on the newest conquest:

"Nutella Puppy Chow" This was the picture that was posted to Pinterest.....

And this was what it actually looked like finished. A little more like for real chow than exhibit A. Can I also just say how much I hate that name? Who really wants to eat puppy chow? I'm staging a revolt. Only, I don't exactly know what to call it. Regardless! It's delicious and addictive. I'll be 100% honest and tell you I made a double batch. I feel a responsibility to feed my coworkers so they get a bag. Tomorrow night is Bible study at our house and we'll have a bag then too. Jordan will take a bag with him to Staff Meeting tomorrow.

I'm channeling a little Oprah right now: "You get a bag! and YOU get a bag! and YOU get a bag!"

Anyway. Make some soon. I couldn't find hazelnuts at our neighborhood Wal-y-marts, so I went with slivered almonds instead and left them whole. It seems to work just fine, because you still have the hazelnut flavor and it gives a nice extra crunch to the mixture. It came together in about 15 minutes which is great when you have some unexpected company coming over. And it's a little dangerous when you're bored and hungry at home by yourself. Be careful.

So after making some Nutella/chocolate/almond crispix mix and taking my lovely and sweet friend Megan a giant chocolate milkshake, I topped my sweet-filled day off with something incredible:

Yes friends, that grainy, iPhone photo is none other than Shane & Shane. Even though I found out THIS MORNING that they were in Robstown, since they're basically my favorite, I hightailed it out there and took in yet another awesome Shanes concert. I just can't say enough about how great these guys are! I've seen them at least half a dozen times in concert and they never disappoint. Even if the "concert" is in the midst of an annual associational meeting. It was a fantastic end to a great weekend.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

12 pounds later

I've been baking up a storm lately, and consequently have gained approximately 12 pounds. Urgh. Curse my love of baking and my only moderately fast metabolism.


I made a coconut cake at the request of a few of my coworkers. I used my grandmother's recipe, and considering she's both Georgia born and Georgia raised, her cooking and baking could put Paula Deen in a corner. It was a success, and completely devoured by the hungry nurses I work with.

A few days prior to my coconut cake undertaking, I made whoopie pies. They were also extremely well received (I fed them to my Bible study group to which one of the guys asked, "Hollie, have you ever died before?" I was bewildered by this question, until he then followed with, "Because I think I just died and went to heaven when I ate this deliciousness." Goofy kid.)

The one, lonely left over pie. I actually have a fantastic tip for some quick and easy whoopie pies....

I had a coupon for this "new" cake mix that includes filling in the box. I had originally intended to make creme-filled cupcakes until I realized that I don't have a regular sized muffin pan (how did that happen?!). Mini? Sure! Regular? Not a chance. So comes in the whoopie pie. Make the batter as indicated on the box, but spoon it out like a cookie onto a well greased sheet pan. Bake about 10-12 minutes at the temperature listed on the box and magically, you have fluffy, cakey, whoopie pie-like cookies. Once they're cooled, give them a good coating of filling and smush them into a cookie sandwich. Good times.

So my sister is in town this weekend, which has been awesome! It's her first trip to Rockport and I think we've broken her in pretty well. She even had a breakfast taco while here, just like any good Texan. We've stayed busy more so with church activities than anything, but it's also been a little chilly this weekend, so sunbathing wasn't really in the cards. She and I share a penchant for baking and so we tackled cake pops on Friday and cinnamon rolls on Saturday.

I can't be the only one gaining 12 pounds here. Just sharing the wealth.

We shared the cinnamon rolls with our ms/hs sunday school classes today and obviously, they were also well received. We made a batch of 60 and left the church with 6. One thing is for certain: if you bake it they will eat.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sharing the wealth

I've done this blog thing for a while and have picked up a few must-read blogs along the way. So I figured it's about time to share the wealth. Call me a stalker if you will, but I could spend a significant amount of time reading other people's blogs. Maybe it's because i've become a major homebody or maybe it's just because I like to relate with other people. Either way, I have quite the list of blog reads and they all make my day when I see new updates. Feast your eyes on some of my favorite blogs!

(In no particular order)

Erika is a girl I went to high school with and in many ways I feel like we're kindred spirits. Maybe it's just the haircut or maybe I'm just a kook. Either way, her blog is funny and real and I always thoroughly enjoy reading it. Although we (meaning the hubs and I) aren't currently trying to have children, I understand what it feels like to be the last person on earth who isn't pregnant or already with children. A well-meaning lady patted my belly today and asked where the baby is. Your guess is as good as mine, ma'am.

2. And Erika's blog led me to The 24 Year Age Gap.

Ok, so this girl doesn't know me from Adam. But let me tell you, her blog is HILARIOUS. I find myself laughing aloud almost every time she has a new posting. She doesn't seem at all interested in being politically correct, but truly says what everyone else is already thinking (I mean, just look at the picture. Totally hilarious and completely genius.).

So, I know that everyone and their cousin already read Kelly's Korner. But I like it. So there.

Three (of many) recipe blogs that I follow. Check out the recipe on Noble Pig for Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. Oh Heavens that looks divine. Now I just need a good reason to whip some up. I love these three sites because not only do they have fun recipes, but they're easy for a little home cook/baker like myself. Which reminds me, I have to find something to do with this chicken I've taken out of the freezer for dinner.

So this is yet another person who almost the entire planet reads, but if you are in the small minority that don't, then you should. I don't really know where this girl finds the time to have a life around all her home improvement projects, but she has got it going on. I've copied 2 of her "no-sew" window panels and regularly drool over her new lovely house things. While I may be a little gun-shy when it comes to tackling major jobs on my own, she has tons of great ideas. If there are any handy people hanging around Rockport thinking they'd like to put up some chair rail and such, hit me up.

Lastly, here's yet another girl-blogger who wouldn't have the faintest clue if given the opportunity to pick me out of a line up. This is my most recent favorite new blog as I just found it via Kelly's Korner. And then I spent a few hours catching up on the last year of this girl's life. Kinda weird and lame all rolled into one. Anyway, she, her husband, and child are currently living in the Middle East and her blog is all about life over there. Which goes without saying is a world of different from my life here in America, which makes things interesting.

So go check out these lovely blogs! And if you're in the mood for other great reading, any of the blogs on the right side of the screen are awesome too (Melissa, Carey, Erin, Bakerella, Allison....) ! Let it be known that I stole every single picture straight from these girls' blogs.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting back in the groove

I'm finally coming back to the Labor & Delivery questionnaire! Has it been long enough already? I only have a few questions remaining, but am always looking forward to new questions, so keep them coming if you're still curious about the lovely world of Labor & Delivery. There's always something interesting going on, that's for sure!

What's your advice for nursing students?

I'd like to expand this question to include another well-meaning group that often just doesn't understand what's really going on: friends and family members. But first, nursing students! I remember many years ago being in that dreadful place. It's awkward! Being thrust into real life situations with people you don't know and having very little clue as to what's going on. And we nurses aren't always friendly and receptive to nursing students, which makes the process all the more awkward. So first, to all my nursing student readers, I say keep your head up- it'll all come together eventually. (There's a reason nursing school is difficult and the standards are high... just like medical school is (more) difficult and the standards are high(er)- You're dealing with real people! Who really need medical care! Take it seriously!!) And now, some tips to make your experience in labor & delivery more enjoyable and more rewarding.

-Dont just sit there. There's nothing more frustrating than walking by the nurses' station and seeing 3-4 nursing students sitting around talking to each other. Especially if the staff nurses are busy with patient care. Offer to do ANYTHING. Take vital signs when they're due. Get the patient a blanket or some ice chips. Empty the trash can. Just do something! Simply spending time at the bedside, interacting with patients is good for developing your bedside manner. If the nurse assigned to your patient gets up and goes in the room, go in the room with her. Make your nurse aware of your scope of practice and offer to do anything that falls inside those parameters. Don't be sidelined or lay blame on grumpy nurses. You are solely responsible for your experience and can either sit in the corner and play Angry Birds or be assertive and productive and learn something about nursing.

-If you don't know the answer, don't pretend like you do. Better yet, if you don't know something, ask someone! We don't expect you to know the ins & outs of the mechanisms of labor (although you should know some basics- read up before you come so you aren't totally in the dark!), so ask questions if you need clarification.

-Be respectful of your nurse and her time. You will (hopefully) get into situations that are fast paced. Be aware that at that time, your nurse may not have a minute to explain why repositioning and oxygen are appropriate interventions for variable decelerations in the fetal heart rate. Stay out of the way unless you're asked to do something and save your questions for later. Patient care always comes first, obviously sometimes at the expense of education - but - if you pay close attention, you'll pick up more than you think.

And in the same way, it's appropriate for visitors to heed the same tips. There are also ways to help a nurse out: If it's indicated, you can get your pregnant friend some ice chips or help her fluff pillows or keep the room tidy and free of clutter. If you have a question about something, feel free to ask. Medicine changes and evolves regularly and things aren't always done the same way (especially since no 2 labors are ever the same!). If you aren't sure about the plan of care, ask the nurse or ask the physician when he/she makes rounds.

Not only that, friends and visitors should be respectful of the nurse's time. We often have more than just one patient and are continuously multi-tasking to make sure all of our patients have their needs met. Depending on what's going on at the time, your nurse may be stretched thin and only have a few minutes to devote to each patient, so make your needs clearly known (I can't read minds people!!!) and then be aware that the highest priority things will be done first (An epidural takes precedence over an extra blanket).

While I'm on the visitor kick, here's a couple of other suggestions: respect the mom and her husband!! Not everyone enjoys having an audience while in labor, so please be sensitive to the fact that sometimes visitors aren't exactly welcomed. And PLEASE PLEASE stay out of the way in an emergency. Sometimes we have to move quickly and don't get a chance to explain things, but always remember, that the health and safety of a patient is my number ONE priority. This means I will ask for the room to be cleared when a baby is in distress. Be aware that sometimes, emergency situations necessitate care that appears rough or forceful. A nurse never intends to inflict pain on her patient (except for maybe that darn pitocin. A necessary evil.), but for example, when a baby is delivering vaginally and the shoulder becomes stuck under the pelvic arch - aka shoulder dystocia - one of our first interventions is suprapubic pressure. To a well-meaning family member, suprapubic pressure only looks like I've got my entire body weight on top of a belly, which is completely necessary to try and free that shoulder and deliver the body! I say all that just to drive home the point that situations can be scary when the nurses are moving quickly, but we work better when everything and everyone is out of the way, and can answer questions after the situation is resolved.

I guess I kinda got on a soap box there. Check back again soon for the next installment!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SYATP 2011

So this post is a little out of chronologic order, because See You at the Pole was a week ago from Wednesday. But it's never too late, right? Jordan and I went to the middle school first and it was still pretty early. By the time school started, there were over 100 students at the middle school flagpole. Awesome!

There was also well over 100 students at the high school campus. It is so SO encouraging to hear the students pray over their friends, their school, their teachers and leaders.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Girls Retreat 2011 "Made for More"

We have made it to the other side of this year's Girl's Retreat, and it was awesome. This retreat is my own "baby" and my way of really reaching our girls and forming relationships. We spent the weekend looking at Paul's conversion, the faithfulness of Rahab, and the 12 disciples. The main point was trying to get the girls to believe that they are "Made for More." Saul went from being a persecutor of Christians to Paul, the world's greatest missionary and author of half of the New Testament. Rahab went from a prostitute to being part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. The disciples were young and uneducated but helped spread the gospel of Jesus throughout the world. Our teenagers (and adults!) need to believe that they are created and equipped for an incredible journey. God's plans for us are always so much bigger and greater than anything we could ever envision for ourselves. Our responsibility is to leave our old junk behind and follow after Christ. My greatest hope and prayer is that God's Word was made clear and understandable to the girls, that they were encouraged, and they left with an excitement to continue studying and learning.

We ended up having a total of 31 people in a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom house for the weekend. We took 2 packed 15 passenger vans and an SUV three hours north to Industry, Tx. It was close quarters, but I think the whole bunch enjoyed spending time together. I am so thankful for the James and Donaldson families for letting us use the farm.

While each day had time set aside for group and individual Bible study time, we also incorporated games, movies, s'mores, manicures, tacos, scavenger hunts, songs, and plenty of other great things. Unfortunately, sleep didn't end up being on our list of activities.

Let me tell you, 31 girls can put away some food. We had each girl bring along a snack and a 2 liter drink. The drinks were drained by Saturday afternoon. The snacks were gone by the time we left. One of our brave adults, Bethany, took on the task of feeding 30+ people a total of 5 meals. This was awesome for 2 reasons: 1. She did an INCREDIBLE job. 2. I didn't have to worry about food or meal planning. While I'm handing out praise, I'd like to say thank you to the Chick-fil-A in Victoria, Tx for not screaming and running at the sight of 30 teenage girls walking in for dinner.

This year, small groups were incorporated into the weekend and I think both the leaders and the students absolutely loved the small group time. We ended up having 5 groups total, 3 of which were middle school students and the other 2 were high school (and college!). The group leaders were fantastic - I just can't help but believe that God hand-picked the right girls and the right leaders.

The weekend was an overwhelming success and I couldn't have done it without the other adult leaders (Bethany, Jessica, Jackie, Nicole and Kim) and the prayers of our fabulous church family. I can't thank you enough!!!!

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