Feeling Tired…

Why has the every other day, crazy-early day shifts kicked my butt this week? Maybe because I haven’t been getting to bed as early as I should. When you have a run of shifts you can recoup for one day then go exploring but if you only get one off in a row do you recoup or explore? I was so happy to find out that I would have postpartums, and less happy to do a full admit in the last hour of my shift, while still having all my couplets. And here you have to chart on every mom and every baby every hour, and one of my babies had vitals every hour. That and needing to tape report on all my patients made me stress that I wouldn’t get to something. I was just glad that she hadn’t come earlier as I would have imagined them keeping me doing the induction and my three couplets. Needless to say I was very glad to turn in my keys and phone and head for the car. A previous patient recognized me as I was walking down the hall, she called to me and waved. I ran to tell her goodbye and congratulations on cooking her little “bun” as long as she had. It is fun to be able to see on occasion that you do make a difference in people’s lives. I held the door for them as they got all of their stuff out to the car.
I’m still wiped, ready to crawl into bed and sleep for a couple of days, but it was just the reminder I needed to keep on plugging away doing what I was meant to do, even on the days I don’t feel it.

Categories: Friends, Fulltime, Travel Nursing, working | Leave a comment

Face From the Past

Yay! The day has come for a lunch date with a friend from Oregon in the nearby town of Fond du Lac. I met Kathryn, then called Cage in May of 2006 when having a D&C after my first fetal loss. She was a Midwifery student at the time and asked if it was ok to come in with me to the OR so she could watch. I was all for being someone’s opportunity to learn. I don’t know if it was a few weeks later or the next semester, but I started seeing her smiling face around the FBC in Silverton. She was a good midwife with a heart for her patients and I enjoyed working with her first as a student then as a midwife. She left Silverton for a job with less call hours, as she was planning to start a family. In June I noticed a few posts about them moving, not really paying much attention to where. It wasn’t New Mexico, I knew that. A few weeks ago I noticed a post about a Brewers game which is our local Wisconsin baseball team, so I sent off a message asking if Kathryn would like to meet for lunch sometime in the next couple of months. She did, and was just as surprised that we had both landed in the same state not all that far from each other. Wondering why I was here we talked back and forth over Facebook and discovered that she had some questions about travel nursing, because she was interested in going back to floor nursing as the 3 days/ week with no call hours is good for the growing family, she had questions about what it is like and about traveling with kids.
Ala Roma, a Yelp recommendation, ended up being a good pick and lunch was great. Chad and the kids took the opportunity to get some Chinese food.
We caught up, we talked about dreams, goals, major motivators, worries, stresses, motherhood, birth stories, educational plans, travel nursing and homeschooling. Two and a half hours later we were realized we barely touched our lunch because we were so busy talking, and we needed to get going as both of our families were waiting for us and ready to go.
Thank you Kathryn for the wonderful lunch I had a blast!


Categories: food, Friends, Fun, Travel Nursing, wisconsin | Leave a comment

Topeka Kansas to Columbia Missouri

It has been a long time since I have stayed at a KOA, it was clean and a lot like a camping hotel. Not a destination camp ground, but a place to stay on the way somewhere.  Beautiful green grass and ponds that we enjoyed this morning as we packed up and ate breakfast.






Our first stop today was the Kansas Statehouse (Capitol building) the second tallest dome Capitol building in The USA behind Illinois at 306 feet tall.  It is 17 feet taller than the US Capitol building.  We arrived at 9:00am just in time for a tour to start.  The guide was filled with tons of great information about Kansas and it’s Capitol Building.  Unlike Colorado, all of the marble in the Kansas Capital building is imported from all over the world, and they have marble from just about everywhere.

20140729-221722-80242551.jpg the Limestone in the basement (now the ground floor) however is from instate.

Kansas is the 34th state and our 34th president Dwight D. Eisenhower is from Kansas.


Also Emilia Earhart was from Kansas. We enjoyed the murals too.












We got to climb up to the top.







We then made our way to Kansas City for BBQ at a place that came highly recommended by credible BBQ fans, Nathan and Megan Colburn, called Oklahoma Joe’s.  On our way there, we experienced our first toll road on I-70.




20140729-230320-83000965.jpg the line was out the door and down the side of the building. That was a good sign.


20140729-230418-83058604.jpg it was fabulous! There was smiles all around.


We crossed into Missouri and headed towards Columbia to meet up with a high school friend.

Missouri, like Kansas, is quite beautiful and covered with the most green luscious fields.
We pulled into Columbia around 4:30 and found the right apartment. It was good to see Travis again and meet Kim. The kids felt immediately at home.  Caleb thoroughly enjoyed Travis’ collection of Star Trek cards and books, and the girls made themselves busy about decorating a box with stickers Kim had given them.



20140729-231227-83547184.jpg Both girls are under the box playing.
About 6:30 we decided it would probably be good to get dinner before too much longer.  We don’t have Cracker Barrels in Oregon, so it seemed like a natural choice and we sure did enjoy it.


After dinner we headed to Mizzou for a tour of the school where Travis is working on his PHD.




Yep Hannah and Thomas Jefferson go way back.  Or maybe just Thomas Jefferson goes way back ;0).

Kim and Travis are the kids new BFFs.






It was quite late and quite dark, so the red eye is bad, but this is a sculpture of Beetle Bailey as the comic strip author is an alumni of Mizzou.
It has been fun to catch up with friends, thank you Travis and Kim for being such fun and kid friendly hosts.  The kids think they have died and gone to heaven with all the fun books, stickers and a box to decorate with them.  Thank you again.

Categories: Family Time, Friends, Fun | Leave a comment

My First Last Day

There are firsts for everything and today, actually last night and this morning, was my very first last day on an assignment.  Northern Navajo Medical Center sees so many travelers it is a wonder that they allow themselves to like or get attached to anyone coming through.  With that in mind, I feel privileged to have had the chance to get to know and be encouraged by so many of the staff who work in Labor and Delivery.  The shift started off on a busy note, as I had a fresh delivery and a triage pt.  It was plenty to keep the minute hand on the clock moving at a pretty good clip, which I appreciated very much, as I was a tad on the tired side and find it much easier to be busy than to fight sleepiness all night.  We snuck in a group photo for my “trip” memory book.  I don’t think the ladies at work will mind if I share it.

A multip walked in shortly after I finished getting caught up from the first part of the shift, even though she wasn’t mine, it provided an opportunity to be helpful and do something to keep the tired eyes at bay.  This night had both come too soon and not quickly enough, and it was going by too fast and dragging along.  I found myself both ready for the next adventure and knowing that the new friendships that I valued here won’t be able to come with me to the next place, making me want to drag my feet and take in each moment for at least two or three.  Barb surprised me with a beautiful necklace which will always remind me of my time at Shiprock, NNMC, and the Navajo people.  I wore it all night.


As morning drew closer my carpooling buddy, Valerie, asked if she could take me to breakfast, which sounded like a great idea to me.  The mommy delivered, we rushed around being all efficient and focused, and every once in a while the midwife that was on would note, when I set out to find the answer to a question she would ask, you probably don’t really need to know for your last three hours of working here.  What a thought.  This is over just as abruptly as it started.  The shift drew to a close, and I gave report for the last time.  Can I really be not coming back tomorrow?  Next week?  The manager had filled out a performance evaluation for me and noted that I was welcome to extend and that they would love to rehire me back anytime.  Chad and I have talked about that possibility, but since we are travel nursing to travel with the kids as part of their education, we really feel like we need to move on at least for a few more assignments, but possibly returning in a year or so.  Report was over, Valerie turned to me and asked if I was ready for breakfast.  I most definitely was after having a busy night to work up an appetite.  I followed her into the break room to grab my lunch bag out of the fridge and….surprise!
The unit had planned a surprise goodbye party/breakfast for the end of my last shift.  Really?  For me?  I couldn’t believe it, Valerie that little trickster was totally in on it.  I was all the sudden glad I didn’t ask her why she brought 1 1/2 dozen eggs to work.


(Kelly hiding behind the lid to the hash browns)
Thank you Shiprock (NNMC) L&D for everything!
It was fun to eat and joke in the break room for the next hour with the mostly day shift and providers who were there to party with us, and I left feeling thankful, loved, and sad all at the same time.  The drive home was uneventful, besides the constant reminder that I should have heeded my bodies warning and gone to the bathroom before leaving the hospital, so when we got to Valerie’s house she offered her restroom and I totally took her up on it.  When I came out of the bathroom she was burning some cedar and gave me a Navajo blessing with the smoke as well has a pot/vase as a goodbye gift.


20140726-051723-19043603.jpgWe hugged goodbye a couple times as we talked and encouraged each other in life and in striding towards our goals. I got in my car and turned towards home and it dawned on me that I did not pray a blessing over Val. Lord bless Val and keep her, make your face to shine upon her.  Thank you for bringing her into my life.  The two or three blocks to my apartment were quick.  I was glad to see my family and tell them about my day.
Chad was already knee deep in packing.

We talked for a few minutes, and then I headed to bed for a short nap so I also could make myself a little more useful around the house.

Categories: Family Time, Friends, Fun, Heart, new mexico, Travel | Leave a comment

A Day of Rest

It was sad to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa Sherman this morning.  It has been fun to share our new life with them, even if it was just for two days.  They watched the kids while Chad was in Honduras, and then brought them back, for which we are so grateful.
Church was good, Bible study was about faith as an action word, and the main service sermon was about the shield of faith, which was so appropriate as we have been learning about the armor of God.  We set up a play date for the kids with the friends they have made here.  They happen to be siblings and also homeschoolers.  It would have been fun to meet their parents earlier, as they seem like very fun people.  We have kind of started saying our goodbyes as we only have one more Sunday here which is such a weird feeling.
After Church, we opted for something that sounded fun, but completely away from our normal diet…apples, cheese, and crackers.  Caleb helped me pick out two kinds of unique artisan cheeses, Hannah picked out the apples deciding on Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious, Eve picked out the crackers, we checked out and headed home.  Lunch was fun as we took turns paring different kinds of cheese with different slices of apples.
It has been quite a while since we have had an afternoon nap, but what better way to spend our day of rest.  The kids all slept, with Me and Eve being the last ones up at nearly 6:00pm.  So late, we must have really needed our rest.
May we wish you all a good week.

Categories: church, Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

Diné Saturday Market and Shiprock Scenic Drive

We knew if we didn’t make a plan we would end up hanging out at the house all day.  Mom and dad wanted to do something with us that we had not yet done and we knew exactly what it was that we wanted to do, go to the flea market/Saturday market in Shiprock.  We all got ready to go out stopping at Dunkin Donuts for coffee on the way out of town.



Dad wanted to get some cash and being out of practice, I had forgotten to grab extra pull-ups, wipes, and change of clothes for Eve.  So from DD Chad and dad headed to Walmart, and mom and I headed back to the apartment and then on to Walmart so we could travel together out to Shiprock.  We found dad’s car in the parking lot and they were still inside.  Mom asked if I could get something out of their car for her and handed me the key.  I smiled, thinking we have keys to their car!?! It is our duty to move it then, just to make them feel loved.  Mom thought it was a great idea so we got in and and started the car moving it down the same row about twenty spaces. Just far enough to make them wonder if they were just losing it or did they really park it out that far.  We then parked nose to nose with their car and waited. They came wandering out soon and smiled as they recognized our car.  We had got them.  Dad said that next time we move their car we should put the seat back when we are done.  LOL.  I love to see him smile that boyish grin.
From there we headed to Shiprock and the Diné (Navajo people) flea market.


20140712-190709-68829301.jpg We had traditional mutton on fry bread for lunch (I had a piece of mutton no fry bread).



Also we got a new key ring that says hello and welcome in Navajo.

When we had seen the entire market thoroughly we left heading south towards Gallup a short ways. We wanted to drive up to Shiprock the geologic feature that the town was named after. We had driven around it before but were unsure of we were allowed to drive the dirt road that lead up to it. I had since asked at work and assured that we could drive up to it but not to climb on it at all for it was sacred to the Navajo people. Wanting to respect that we were careful and stayed on the dirt roads and did not climb on or touch the rock.

















We continued down the road, finding ourselves on a very scenic tour of the Reservation, including beautiful red rock formations and curvy dirt roads.  Keeping an eye on the clock and our gas situation we turned around and headed home just before dinner time.
On our way home we stopped at a little famous for the area tamale stand and bought tamales and Navajo fruit pies for dinner.


The tamales, bigger than most burritos, were more than filling and a great way to end the day.  It has been so fun to share four corners life with my parents.

Categories: Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

I Got My Babies Back!!!

This much awaited day has come.  It started with a phone call from Chad saying his flight from Denver to Farmington was canceled and that he would be on standby for a later flight.  I had a good night at work and was in a much better frame of mind than the previous day, so it wasn’t as upsetting of news as it might have been.  Roll with the punches, go with the flow, is the name of the game here and isn’t so bad if we recognize it as an exercise in flexibility rather than an inconvenience or mini crises.  It did however mean that I would not get to see Chad before work as I would have loved.  Sleep was good to me despite my poor decision to drink a caffeinated beverage before bed.  Jill and I had planned ahead in case of a flight delay and so we were prepared.  We left a little early for work and I followed her to the airport where we dropped off the car for Chad.  We then continued on to Shiprock and work.  Shortly after the shift started I got a message that my parents and kids were 17 miles out from the hospital and were going to stop and say hi on the way by.





It was a quick hello, but all those little hugs felt so great and did this mamas heart good.  Chad texted me that he had made it home, and a beautiful delivery soon followed.  It is well with my soul.  Now the count down is on until morning….I don’t plan on getting any sleep tomorrow.  It will be a family day for sure.

Categories: Family Time, Friends, Fun, Travel, Travel Nursing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A day with Jill

With only two and a half weeks left in New Mexico, I feel my time is quickly running out.  Jill, another travel nurse, and I had talked about going and doing something together before I up and leave.  Well, it was now or never.
So this morning bright and early for us night shifters (8:30) I picked Jill up and we headed towards Colorado.  When Suzanne and Jeremy were here we had visited a little lake (reservoir) up in the mountains above Durango.  It was so peaceful and so beautiful that I wanted to go back and see it at least one more time.  Jill loves scenic drives and was game to trying to figure out a way to get all the way around the lake.  We did it! We were wondering if we were going to need the 4 wheel drive a few times but we did it, and it was beautiful.  So worth the drive up.  Here are a few pictures from the back side of Lake Vallecito.












After our rough riding dirt road adventure around the lake, we headed towards Pagosa Hot Springs in Pagosa Springs.  I had seen pictures and was very excited to see it for myself.
It was definitely lunch time when we pulled into Pagosa Springs.  Our stomaches were insistent on that.  We picked a cute little restaurant called “Hoggs Breath” named after Boss Hogg, the founder of the establishment, originally called Boss Hoggs Restaurant and Tavern.  We enjoyed reading the history of this little place as well as of the town and the hot springs in their newspaper like menu.


Finally getting Frito Pie checked off on my experience list, I was pleasantly
surprised by the presentation and flavor. Not bad, not bad at all!


The hot springs was only another mile or two from the restaurant, so we got there shortly after noon.  I had been hoping for overcast, maybe some rain, but no lightning.  Well I got my wish for the most part.













We decided to take the scenic route home through Ignacio, which took us right past Chimney Rock National Monument.  It was before 5:00pm so we went in.  There were no more tours scheduled for the day but we got information on the ruins at the top and admired chimney rock from a distance.  It wasn’t much, but it would do.


The clouds were awesome and we were wondering if we really were going to get dumped on, or if it would be dry rain again.


Then the rain started, and we both rolled down our windows to take deep breaths of fresh air/ fresh rain smell.  Are we in Heaven?  No, still Colorado!


Then it happened, the major Dumpage and Farmington/Aztec first monsoon of the season.

With wipers on full blast and windows down slightly more than a crack so we could experience the weather but in a smaller dose… It was pure bliss.
Thank you Jill for a thrilling, exploring, memory making kind of day.

Categories: Friends, Fun, national monument, new mexico, Road Trip, Travel Nursing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

She’s Back!

Our car is back and shifting better than ever!!!  I am so pleased with the service and the timing.  They are very busy, lots of calls coming in while I was in the waiting area, scheduling maintenance and appointments out a ways.  How is it that they were able to get me right in and have it done the one day I could pick it up with our scrambling and feeling over extended?  I enjoyed getting lunch for the Mechanic guys.

My view from my temporary office out front.  Imagine warm temperatures, but I’m in the shade with a slight breeze.

Now she’s home running well, but needing a bath.

And I still have time for a nap before work.
Check this out….

I’ve never got an awesome customer discount before.  Who’da thunk it! A fun day was had at the mechanics.

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Honduras day 8

We finished the project today.  It was so exciting to see how grateful the pastor was.  It was truly a good experience to finish a project for the church.



Our before and after pics.

I strongly encourage everyone to go on a mission trip. It is a life changing experience.

Categories: church, Friends, Heart, Travel | Leave a comment

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