Monthly Archives: January 2015

Plan A

For the first time we have been able to get an assignment that was the kids first pick! I am super excited for them and hope they love it. Chad had a job interview also today. It is amazing to see things fall into place or not fall into place making a clear path. We will announce our next assignment location when we have signed the contract which should be Monday. Thank you for all your prayers!

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Decisions Decisions

We had lightly laid plans to maybe take the kids to the beach for a few hours, but Caleb woke up not feeling too well and running an increased temperature. So instead we lounged around the house and did one last load of laundry. My phone dinged repeatedly with texts and periodic phone calls In between. It is that time again where we busily trying to figure out what jobs are available, which ones would be a good fit for my skill set, and which ones are in locations that we would be ok with living in. Then with the submission of my profile comes phone calls for interviews with managers and offers. I generally take the first job that looks good and offers me the position. Now I have been offered a job in one direction. And, Chad has been given a job opportunity for a work from home job that would fit our travel life style but with training needing to be done that would require us to head in the opposite direction. As a trainee in a commission based job he would not be able to support us so I need to have an assignment in that area. This all came about today, but the positions where my profile has been submitted in that state have not yet called. This is not the strait forward close all the sites except the one we are supposed to go through answer to prayer that I was looking for. Unless we are to continue our policy and take the first job available. So prayers would be appreciated for guidance and for us being receptive to his direction.
Grandma and Grandpa had been planning to have Caleb for a few days by himself. Now with him sick and us not wanting to get them sick we had a decision to make. They still wanted him and were hoping I wouldn’t take him with us, so we did let him stay with a promise to keep his mouth and nose covered up when he is with them. He didn’t have to wear it outside or in his room.

We talked a while longer, had some lunch, and just enjoyed the moments.

IMG_2137 around 3:30pm we figured we better get a move on it since I did have a BLS class in the morning and needed to get some sleep. More as a joke I text my uncle telling asking him what was for dinner and that we were planning on crashing the party. He informed us that he was working from home and we should swing by on our way home, so we did. He had to pick up a rental car about the time we arrived so it was kind of a hi/by and oh by the way the jacuzzi is turned on if the kids want to go swimming. So while we waited for them to get back the girls played fetch with the dogs and swam in the jacuzzi.

When they returned we continued to visit asking uncle Richards advice on our dilemma until the kids came in saying they were hungry. We dried them off and got them dressed and ready to go out. The Mill was a delicious restaurant, but Eve’s Mac-n-cheese must have been laced with go go juice because she was being more of a sparkler than usual. We are now home, missing our boy and trying to figure out how we can maximize the time we have left here to be with our loved ones.

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ACLS recert

Imagine ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) taught by a surfer who’s dream retirement includes moving to Cuba and smoking cigars and medical marijuana until his heart explodes. I didn’t know it was possible to have such a low key ACLS class.
I left my grandparents almost a whole three hours before the class because I was so worried about getting stuck in morning traffic in San Diego. It only took me an hour, although there was traffic it all kept moving at a good 70mph except for a few slow spots. It left me time to crack open the book and watch some rhythm identification study videos off YouTube before going in. Besides being long winded, I enjoyed the stories and felt like the material was covered well. I missed two questions on the test, which was a pass and managed to get back on the road for my hour trek home at 4:00pm. With 9 lanes (two for commuters only) even though it was nearly rush hour the traffic was moving well and I made it home in plenty of time for dinner. BLS on Friday and then I should be done with recertifications for a while.

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Birth story beware

I personally believe that birth stories are very important to share.

Caleb’s Birth Story

It was a Thursday night 1/27/2005. I had already called the midwife on call once. A thin mucous discharge that starts or gets worse as the case may be near delivery made me wonder if I wasn’t leaking a little bit of fluid. I didn’t really think it was, but it made all the worriers in the family happy. Calling it a night I took a hot shower to ward off the soreness you feel at 9 months pregnant. I wasn’t due for another week and I knew enough to not expect to early with my first baby most likely I would be late. 10:30-11:00pm I woke up with a start and ran to the bathroom to empty my bladder, then back to bed. There it was again, no worries I will just lay here and rest. Oop, maybe not. It might feel better to be up moving around I thought. I know, a shower had always worked before. I’ll try that again. Before I knew it I was singing Amazing Grace and The Lord’s Prayer in the shower as I swayed through more contractions. Finally convinced that we we’re dealing with the real thing I stepped out of the shower and called for my still sleeping husband to wake up. It was time! Bracing myself through each contraction in the car, I remember going over the railroad tracks into Silverton as being the worse, the whole time calmly telling Chad to drive safely and slow down this was going to take hours.

I could imagine the thoughts going through the nurses heads at the front counter of the birth center when they asked me how far apart my contractions were and I answered, “I don’t know, all I know is that they hurt.” I was shown to a triage room where when I was giving my urine sample the nurse noted the amount of bloody show and asked when that started. I assured her it just did. My cervix was 5 cm dilated which bought me a direct admission some time after midnight.

I tried the labor ball to get through the admission questions. Someone french braid my hair I’m not sure if it was the midwife or my mother-in-law then I tried the jacuzzi. At 8cm I was encouraged to get out of the jacuzzi and get checked. My water was broken and when the nurse and midwife were looking the other direction I dove back in the tub. (I’m sure they didn’t care) They got bags of ice to bring relief to my throbbing symphysis. I started feeling pushy, they let me push a little while in the tub then on the toilet, then squatting next to the couch on the floor. I was getting tired and so we moved to the bed using the squat bar and a sheet to play tug-of-war. Three and a half hours of pushing later at 6:28 am to my exhausted relief my little man finally came, stunned, blue and floppy. He was quickly taken to the warmer. A few breaths with a bag and mask turned him into a pink and screaming near toddler weighing in at 9lbs 3.5oz. I was shocked to discover the new life that had grown within me was a boy. Growing up with all sisters I don’t think the facts of genetics and the 50% chance of having a boy had truly sunk in. He had my heart immediately like I didn’t even know was possible. I was so thankful for my team, Louanne CNM, Brandy RN, Chad (hubby), Donna (MIL), my mother, two sisters and childhood friend Raylena, they gave me water when I needed it, rubbed my back and anticipated my every need.

I had accomplished the biggest feat of my life! I felt like super women, like I could do anything especially concerning my new baby. I knew then that my “team” had made it the empowering experience that it was. It could very well have been a defeating deflating experience making me doubt my abilities to take care of my new baby. Any time I doubted I could do it or felt out of control they were there to walk me through it.

Of course this was not the end of my birth story. My pain was worse after delivery than during labor. I had torn extensively and needed a lot of stitches, but believe me that baby and birth experience has been worth it. It was a long recovery, but despite the setbacks I have been so thankful everyday for my midwife and nurse who used evidence based practice and a wholistic approach in my care. They didn’t treat me like it was just another day at work and just another pt having another baby. They realized the long term effect this experience would have on me as a person and treated it as such.

I knew then that I was being called to labor and delivery, every women deserves the chance to have an empowering birth experience, to feel respected. There is too much at stake (confident parenting, bonding) for each patient for their personal needs, beliefs and desires to be disregarded.
Louanne you have given me one of the biggest gifts I have ever been given….A chance!!! That day I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy, becoming a mother, and the gift of a new life long friend.



My team…(this is actually my team for Eve’s birth but it was mostly the same people)

Prego picks from Eve. Caleb was pre digital camera at our house and pre FaceBook, so I have no pics besides a labor pic.



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Mission San Juan Capistrano and some birthday cake

Established in 1776 (ok kids what else was established in 1776…the United States as a nation) Mission San Juan Capistrano was built on the Southern California coast and served as a community church, school, home and center of industry for both Indian and Spanish residents of the area. The big Catholic Church collapsed in an earthquake during Sunday morning mass only six years after it was finished. It was still used as a school until the 1960’s and now on the property behind the historic mission stands a new basilica and mission school that is still in use.

This is our first mission, and we loved it. We each got a free audio tour Hannah and Eve got the kids tour and the adults got the fact walking tour.




























































2015/01/img_2093.jpg So so beautiful, we talked for a while to an artist there who was painting. There was a handful of artists in some kind of exclusive group who were their capturing perspectives of the beautiful mission.

2015/01/img_2102.jpg We enjoyed the the scenic drive back to Fallbrook where we enjoyed enchiladas and carrot cake per request of our birthday boy.






2015/01/img_2119.jpg Kindle Fire case for his birthday was a hit.


I can’t believe that 10 years ago tonight about 10:30-11:00 pm I woke up with contractions and at 6:28 am was born a beautiful bouncing 9lb 3.5oz baby boy whom we named Caleb Benjamin. He has made us smile and laugh everyday since what a blessing children are.

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Sleeping Beauty

That is no self proclamation of my beauty, but maybe an admission about how long I let myself sleep. Yesterday after work I went home, fed some carrot cake from Ricky to the kids for breakfast, took a shower, talked to the lady at the office of our apartment complex about giving our 30 days notice on the apartment, and headed down the hill to Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead’s house. We visited a bit then took Caleb to a favorite restaurant of my grandparents to celebrate his birthday which is not until Wednesday but I have a class on Wednesday and Grandma worked Tuesday and Wednesday so this was the only day that would work to go.

Grandma and Grandpa teased the waitress a bit since she had been there the last time and had made them a banana split but had forgot the banana. We took our seats, when I went to order they told me they had GF pancakes and totally made my day. The birthday boy looked great in the hat they gave him to wear.

The whole restaurant sang happy birthday and then danced this whole long modified Macarena dance. We each had to wear a “new to this restaurant hat.

2015/01/img_1948.jpg lunch was good, we all enjoyed it. We drove back to Fallbrook and feeling quite tired I decided to take a short nap before dinner. I am pretty sure I remember Chad trying to wake me up for dinner, but it was a text message at 8:00 am that finally brought me to consciousness a whopping 18 hours later. I guess I was more tired than I knew.

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A good reminder on a day like today

Two restful shifts were a blessing after a busy week, and now we will continue to rest in knowing God is in control. We are on the way “down the hill” now. Got some great grandparents to go love on and a birthday to celebrate.

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Desert Valley count down has begun

I just got my completed February work schedule. The count down is on. After tonight I have 14 more shifts here. That seems like both a lot and not enough. The time will fly I’m sure of it and we need to give our 30 day notice tomorrow morning. Seems so crazy. Also I will be submitted for our first choice job tomorrow morning. I want to be either accepted or rejected right away so I can get that out of my system and continue looking at the jobs that are probably more realistic. I am thankful for the opportunity to at least knock on the door and would like an obvious yes or no answer from God so I’m not trying to make something work that he is saying no to for my best interest.

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Skills Checklists

What have I been doing all day? It’s a good question since I think my backside has only left the couch a few times. Tests, application, and hours of checklists. It is a process getting everything in place for a new assignment it is nearly painful when it is with a new company. I haven’t taken any position yet but you still have to jump through all the hoops so they know you are qualified to be submitted. We would appreciate all your prayers that the right assignment would open up and be obvious. We have an idea of where we want to go. Things seem to be coming together for that, but we don’t both have peace about it. And, we have to both be at peace about it.

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Disney day 3/California Adventure 2015

2015/01/img_1821.jpgSlept in way later ok maybe 20 minutes and woke up feeling mostly refreshed. A shower then cereal for breakfast followed by packing up and loading the car. The hotel wasn’t available for a third night, but that was ok because they were going to let us leave our cars there for the day for a small fee ($10).
Such a weird feeling to be having so much fun together and know there was going to be no wind down. We were going to play all day then abruptly have to say goodby and drive away in a completely different direction from grandma and grandpa come park closing time. No point in focusing on that. We pushed the sad thoughts from our minds and made our way through the gates at California Adventure. The gates open there an hour before the rides so we grabbed a Starbucks and sat outside soaking in the morning sun and people watched. We watched the rush of people as the rides opened, giving it a little time to clear out so we wouldn’t get trampled by the crowd. It is amazing how busy it can be even during the slow season.

2015/01/img_1796.jpg Eve wore the ears that grandma got for her at the hotel gift shop. The first segment of the park, Donna referred to as movie land, had advertised a frozen show. With the bugs life show closed and the girls being such big fans of Elsa and Anna we decided to do that first. The line was short for the 10:30 showing. We loved all the little Elsas and Annas dancing around the room where we waited to be seated. Our own two joining in on the fun. The show was a sing-a-long/play with the main non animal characters from frozen. The show was a hit.


We split up for a few rides with the guys and Caleb doing tower of terror. Later Caleb said he shouldn’t have done that ride, it scared him and now he will probably have night mares. I told him that is why you have to protect yourself from seeing those things because once you have you cant just get the images out of your head. Maybe he learned something about himself. Of course then I should feel bad for making Eve go on some of the story rides with us just because we all wanted to go together. A parenting fail :0(. We loved Turtle Talk with Crush where he interacts with the crowd and ask us some questions while we ask him some questions. He picked Caleb for a question and he asked Crush what is the answer to the question of life the universe and everything. He answered “42, doesn’t everyone know that? And since you seem like such a smart guy maybe you can tell me something. I found this in the the beach the other day and have been trying to figure out what exactly it is.” (Holding up a bikini top) Caleb answered that it was some thing some girls use to cover their eyes when they are sleeping. Gotta love that kid. Then the kids met Elsa and Anna and got a few autographs.



We had to stop and take a few family pictures in front of the waterfall.


The bugs life section was fun too.



2015/01/img_1831.jpg carsland was awesome!!! It was being built the last time we were there so it was the first time we had a chance to see it. I think I could have hung out there all day. The music and retro feeling was so cozy. The company wasn’t bad either.


2015/01/img_1833.jpg Eve’s favorite ride of the day was the cars racing ride. That girl has a need for speed. Hannah wanted to ride California Screaming but was a little unsure so she watched the first time. She went the second time and declared that she regretted not going the first time as she jumped around declaring how awesome it was and how she felt like she was floating when she went upside down.



2015/01/img_1835.jpg Eve was showing us how tired she was so we stayed out of the next ride and she fell fast asleep. The Ferris wheel was awesome. You could see the entire park although I would have been game for one more time around.
Hannah thinks that the Parade (both in Disneyland and California Adventure) were the best parts of our whole visit and I agree they were well put together and very fun to watch.





















Eve got make up a ride she missed in her tiredness and Chad, Caleb, Hannah and I rode California Screaming again. I love that the kids love fast roller coasters.



2015/01/img_1917.jpg We had a late hotdog dinner and time for one more ride. Eve suggested the cars ride and we all agreed that it would be a great last ride!



2015/01/img_1929.jpg It was a fun fabulous day, I’m sure we would have enjoyed being all together no matter where we were but Disney does such a good job at all the details that make you truly feel like you are in another land, never never land maybe. When I was young and growing up I prayed that I would not ever marry someone that I knew at that time. I loved Cambridge and the childhood it gave me, I wondered about where I would be, what kind of family I would marry into. I could have never imagined how blessed I would be. God answered my prayers in a husband who valued my craziness one that I did not know in my youth. I listen quietly when other women I’m around voice their in-law struggles and know that I too have been blessed in that area. In-laws that not only warmly welcome me but count me as their own, boundaries have never been an issue and I know that has been a conscious decision on their part. Now here we are saying bye again to a piece of our heart. In a way it was good that it was not all drawn out. Chuck and Donna we feel your absence daily in our hearts thank you for the fun family memories made this week in Disneyland. And know that we recognize the gift we have been given in having you guys as parents, grandparents, in-laws and mentors. We love you!


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