Thunder and lightning

As I checked in at the front desk last night I was handed keys and told to hurry back to the OR my patient was delivering via emergency C/S. Here they have a certain person assigned each shift to be the circulator so the mom’s nurse is the baby catcher. This was my first time back in the OR since leaving Silverton, no worries though the OR is not as scary as it sounds to all you non-medically bent individuals. The NICU team was handling the recessitation with the pediatrician as orchestrator and baby was starting to pink up and get some muscle tone as I walked in. The mother, unable to see what was going on, was straining her neck and ears tuned in to hear that first cry that had not yet come. After a quick look at baby, color, and tone I was able to update mom on babies status, head of hair and cuteness factor much to the mother’s relief. It has to be so hard in that moment, as a parent, when you wonder if your baby is ever going to cry and then after what seems like an eternity it comes and all the fear and anxiety pent up exits your body with a flow of tears. This little one was adorable and after breathing became less of an overwhelming task and the NICU team left she laid there supported by her daddy on the pillow looking at her mother with the most expressive little face moving her mouth with direct eye contact as if telling her mother a huge exciting tale. Life, it’s delicate balance, and dramatic reminders that we are not in control are kind of an awe-full sight when witnessed first hand in this way. It is a good reminder that we are dealing with people and this is not just a job. As we wheeled out of the OR I got a call from the lead saying I was getting a labor admit….what? Someone else was going to take over my recovery and I needed to get going this pt was going fast. I am not as quick at all of the paperwork, admission process as most of the nurses here and the admission checklist is long so needless to say we got an IV site, pored in the bolus, got the epidural, and had a baby so the admission stuff didn’t happen until after delivery. I got my C/S mommy back after the recovery (and delivery of the new patient). Being two deliveries down on paperwork I was relieved to not be given the next admit. The other nurses were very helpful as I dug in with a shovel to unbury myself from the mound of paperwork and by 1 am I was pretty caught up. I have a feeling that there are probably a few things I forgot but I kept looking everything over and there was nothing I could find.
I stopped and picked up bread on the way home from work, walked Myra and then settled in at the table to wait for the kids to wake up. It didn’t take long. I managed to stay awake long enough to have breakfast and do most of the CC review with the kids. As I disappeared upstairs Chad yelled after me, “Hey, you can’t leave, what am I going to do with out my TA.” Lol, it’s good to feel loved. I woke up to a superman show of force by the underwear brigade.

Chad had planned a date night dinner for us for after the kids went to bed so he made them a separate dinner and then they got their scooters out to walk with Myra and me to the park.

There are no dogs allowed at the actual park so Myra and I paced up and down the road while the kids played. It was misting/sprinkling and we could hear the thunder and watch the storm clouds coming through, but we figured it was the end of the day if we get soaking wet who cares…it’ll be just part of the fun.

IMG_0814.JPG The breeze had picked up on our way home, so Eve and I walked with our arms stretched out singing, “think of the wonderful things, it’s the same as having wings.” And pretended that we were flying.

After the kids were all tucked into bed reading Chad surprised me with this amazing dinner.

IMG_0821.JPG so delicious.
The thunder/lightning storm was at a full rolling boil and it had not yet started downpouring so we took our dessert out to the back steps and sat in the dark watching the most spectacular, better than IMAX, natural fireworks show with surround sound thunder, the chirp of crickets and other insects, and the medium breeze and smell of cut grass and rain. I hollered to the kids who could hear through their window to watch the “fireworks” so they sat on Caleb’s bed next to the window and enjoyed the show too. Soon it started to rain so we reluctantly moved inside and watched from the dining room table as we sipped our ice tea and shared Chad’s hot tamales until bed time. When we headed to bed we discovered that the rain had made it into the open windows on the front side of the apartment and had gotten the floor and bed a little wet. We climbed in bed and continued to watch the flashing lights. It has slowed down now but what an amazing show I feel so blessed to have seen it. God is amazing!
I tried to get some picture of it and they aren’t very good but I’m going to share them anyway.




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Lake Superior!!!

So beautiful, so much more beautiful than Lake Michigan!
After church we turned north. We had not seen Lake Superior yet, and what better thing to do on a Sunday afternoon than a Sunday drive. Three hours and thirty minutes according to the GPS to Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


It is sooooo green here.

We walked to the first few overlooks.



We decided to walk to the lower over look.









The short hike down to the second overlook made us hungry for a longer hike so we ventured further down the trail another mile or so. There were way less mosquitos (nearly none) the kids nearly ran the whole way it was so fun. The beautiful beach at the end of the trail was the best bonus ever.





IMG_0626.JPG The roots and mud made for a really fun obstacle course.

The slow little river was dubbed, “the honey bucket river” due to it’s color.
















It was going to get dark on us and the hike was longer than the mile it stated on the sign so sadly we said good bye to the amazing beautiful and superior to all lakes, Lake Superior.





I was bare footing it to strengthen my feet and as a child I enjoyed the mud and sand between my toes.






With the lake behind us and sunset in front of us we headed home.



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Saturday in the park

We had planned a quick trip to Des Moines Iowa, mostly to visit the Capitol building, but I was tired and it would be a 6+ hour drive each way so we will save that for later. Instead we made a trip to the library to restock on books. After that we made our way back to the rocket park. The kids played while we read for an hour or two. Soon they were asking to read too so we headed home. At home we pulled out our dinning room furniture (camp chairs) onto the lawn. We sat in the shade of a big tree in the back yard and read until nearly dinner time. The girls had quit reading by then and had found a monarch missing a few legs to carry around on their finger as a pet.


IMG_0233.JPG They played in and around us. We were all just together, and enjoying being together. After dinner we went back out and I sat on the front porch watching Hannah scooter around the cul de sac while Eve sorted through the rocks next to the mailbox for the prettiest rock collection. Chad and Caleb played Settlers of Catan. It was a great and restful day. I finished Born to Run and am eager to start the next book.

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Hiking and a day at the beach Wisconsin style

Point Beach state park was an hour drive northeast from Neenah. The drive was gorgeous, but instead of taking pictures I just soaked it in as we drove past. Cute little towns, small farms and dairies, crops and old barns, lots of them reminded me of places I’ve been in Oregon and Idaho. We weren’t sure if the hike we had selected would have views of Lake Michigan or not, so we were pleasantly surprised when we could see the lake from where we parked the car. We had to check out the beach before we headed on out on our hike.









We were so excited for our first good hike since leaving Oregon (New Mexico was just too hot). We headed out.



We weren’t more than a half mile in when the mosquitos discovered the new meal walking through. We stopped and coated ourselves with a kid friendly mosquito repellent. Heading back out on the trail we found this big guy. So cute, I love beetles!





The scenery was great, it was so beautiful. The kid friendly repellent didn’t hold up to the barrage so we had to cut the hike short which we were all bummed about. That did leave a lot of extra time for playing on the beach.






After our late lunch Chad walked up the beach to find the light house while the kids and I continued to play and soak in the sounds of the wind and waves. I was pulled from my happy place by a strange sound coming from the parking lot. I turned, it was a ranger and he was addressing me. “Ma’am no dogs allowed on the beach!” I looked around, and down the beach. Chad was out of sight with the car keys. All three kids were in the water. I couldn’t leave them unattended. I finally got their attention and got them up on the beach. I had the big kids sit by our stuff, and Eve walked with me up to the car (it was a ways and meant the big kids were unattended while I did this which I guess was less worry some to the officer than the dog being on the beach). Then having no keys to put Myra in the car, I tied her to the bumper and quickly returned to the 7 and 9 year old. I looked around and saw no signs that prohibited dogs on the beach in case I had missed something the first time. As soon as Chad returned I had him check on Myra and put her in the car half expecting that he would return and say that she wasn’t there only a note saying the ranger had taken her because we had been negligent in leaving her tied to the bumper of our car in the parking lot. He didn’t, she was still there and fine. We knew that you couldn’t have a dog at the public parks in Wisconsin but it didn’t cross our minds that she couldn’t be at the beach either. I sometimes have trouble with letting one little thing ruin my whole day and it had been such an amazing day. I have let it go now, and some day I will be better at not letting these things get to me. I do feel like Wisconsin is such a beautiful state it is too bad that it’s so dog unfriendly it has been a total turn off. We will still thoroughly enjoy our time here but hopefully living here long term is not in our future. We didn’t stay too much longer after Chad got back. But we couldn’t leave without seeing the light house.


It was another beautiful and fun walk down to the beach on the other side of the park.



These days hiking, driving, playing in the sand are more fun than the big days and major attractions but I suppose that each have their place and it is good we do a little of both.

Rawley lighthouse must be a privately owned beach house as there were vacationers lounging around it with camp chairs and towels on the back porch.



It would be a fun one to climb. The board walk to view it was also fun.









We drove a different route on the way back home through more cute towns.





IMG_0563.JPG We came home to a package in the mail from Donna’s cousin Patty.


IMG_0566.JPGwe love it! So fun. Thank you Greg and Patty! Chad had declared it family movie night and had checked out a movie from the library for just this occasion. So we ate our dinner and I quickly walked Myra as the kids changed into their PJ’s and we piled in our room and watched “the Ugly Dachshund”

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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!


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A Sunday Drive to the Beautiful State of Michigan

Church was good. The president of a local Christian college spoke. After church the kids returned their church library books and checked out new ones and then we piled in the car. The plan was to go home where it was my turn to make sandwiches for lunch. Chad surprised me by turning to me and asking if I would like to go home and make lunch or grab something quickly on the way up north, taking a Sunday afternoon drive to the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Why sure, I love Sunday afternoon drives. And the hour and a half it would take to get to the border was nothing our road calloused behinds wouldn’t enjoy. We found a Culver’s, which is similar to Dairy Queen but specific to the area for lunch.


We think this Bus that was parked at Culver’s would make a great vehicle for our crew.

The girls quickly fell asleep after lunch, and Caleb and I focused on our books. Pretty soon Chad was announcing the cross over into the state of Michigan.


The view between houses of Lake Michigan was beautiful, and then we found a cute little beach where we could pull over, get out, and enjoy the view/warm sun/hot sand/cool breeze. The kids waded in the water and chased around the little frogs that scattered in every direction, but never could be caught.












The kids dug around in the sand for a while before we climbed back in the car.



We got home in time for dinner, and to all our surprise Superman joined us for the leftovers feast.

Then Myra and went out for our first attempt at a run. I was wishing for a bag to wear over my head. But it really did go better than I thought it would. Now time for bed. Work will come all too early in the morning.

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John Hancock Observatory or not…

Chicago has been on our radar for a while, with the weather here about to change we needed to balance. It was too rainy and overcast with predicted thunderstorms to do Noah’s ark and we weren’t ready for a longer trip yet like driving up the UP (upper peninsula) see Lake Superior then drive down to Lansing and then continue around Lake Michigan to make a big circle. We had not researched much in the way of Chicago must do’s but had heard that the John Hancock Observatory was fun. Due to traffic we got into Chicago about noon. We drove around the down town area looking for public parking having very little success. We found one place and just as we were getting ready to leave they said, “there’s a dog in your car! You can’t leave a dog in your car here it’s illegal.” Frustrated we got back in our car and drove around some more wondering what we could do in Chicago with a dog. If it is anything like Wisconsin no animals are allowed in public parks. As we drove I looked up the Illinois law which stated that it was illegal to “Confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.” With it being an overcast day, with the windows down and a bowl if cool water we feel like it is way more humane to have Myra with us than shut up in the house at home every time we go out. We found a public parking structure near down town and backed into our parking space. Knowing that we were not violating any laws because there was ventilation, fresh water, and no sun light intensifying the heat in the car, (I know some of my friends may get mad at me for this) we walked to the Observatory, now called Chicago 360. The cost would be 12 per child 18 per adult 26 for parking totally $98 to see Chicago from the observatory. I’m sure it is worth it but it was quite a line, and the kids weren’t that excited about going up either, so we bagged it for today and will hopefully get to do it when they are a little older. We drove by the Navy Pier several times and that looked fun. We had no plan but we were formulating a plan for next time. We decided on an early dinner of Chicago deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzaria. To our surprise they had GF pizza as well, which we weren’t counting on. Noticing we were only 15 miles from Indiana and 34 miles from Gary Indiana we decided to go there, in honor of the music man and adding another state to our list. The drive around that part of Lake Michigan was very pretty. Being in Indiana made me think of Michael Sherman. We were only three-ish hours from you. It would be fun to meet your family while we are in this part of the world.
















Gary Indiana



Back through Chicago just before sunset.


I know you are all sad about there being no Chicago Owens family selfie…maybe next time.

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St. Paul Minnesota

Capitol under construction.
The Capitol building in St. Paul was very under construction. We went halfway around the building before we finally saw where you could go in.




IMG_0297.JPG In the front you had a great view of the Cathedral on the hill opposite the Capitol.


IMG_0293.JPG There was pretty awesome views of the city as well.


IMG_0303.JPG Inside two wings as well as the dome/rotunda area were closed do to construction. Windows were boarded up furniture and clutter lined the walls and the once beautiful stenciling was faded, lacked luster and the building as a whole was dark. At 109 years of age the building was in much need of the newly commenced facelift. We still enjoyed the tour but decided it would be good to go back in 2018 when the renovations are complete.















IMG_0321.JPG Spanish ceiling tiles on the ceilings of the ground floor.


IMG_0324.JPG German themed cafeteria in the lower level, open when the House and Senate are in session.


IMG_0325.JPG the carriage entrance to keep out of the rain and snow.


We found a really cute little town to have lunch in. The food was soooooo good.






IMG_0339.JPG the scenery around here is awesome!







IMG_0353.JPG we are home not too late to get a quick load of laundry done that will include uniforms for work and try to catch some zzzzzs. After these next two days we will be three weeks into this contract (one shift shy of 1/4 of the way through it).

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Minnesota…Mall of America

We had made plans to go to Bay Beach today, so we all piled into the car and started up towards Green Bay. The weather report had said there was a 50% chance of rain. We only made it about five miles before it started to down pour. Not the kind of weather you want to spend all day walking around in. So, on a whim, we did a U-turn and headed towards Minnesota and the Mall of America. We were saving that trip for a rainy day and it just so happened to be a rainy day. We had all grabbed an extra set of clothes in case it rained on us while we were at Bay Beach, so if we needed to stay the night somewhere we would be set. We enjoyed the scenery and the rain after we had made the decision to head west and knew we wouldn’t be out in it all day.




Our 13th state to hit on this trip.
California (we count that since we as a family jotted down there to get my CA nursing license), Washington (our goodbye family weekend at Great Wolf Lodge), Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and now Minnesota. Minneapolis was not too far past the boarder and only a short distance from St. Paul.
Mall of America here we come!















It was a fun day. Although we didn’t ride any of the rides or visit the aquarium under the mall, so it was kind of like visiting Disneyland and staying in the village looking in but never actually going in. The rides were about $10 per person, per ride, so it would cost our family $50 a ride. I’d rather save up and go to Disneyland.
Now for a restful night at our favorite pet friendly hotel chain so we can visit the Capitol building in the morning.

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1/3 done… With the weekend

I started with all post partums this morning so I was pleasantly surprised. Three, then another, two discharges then trade off for an admit induction.
Off only 40 min. late and no lunch (I don’t think anyone got a lunch today). I did some things a lot better and some thing’s I grimace to think how much better I could have done them, with a little less on my plate. This exercise in time management and the all out nonstop physical aspect of this job are a welcome challenge. I feel a lot less physically exhausted today my legs aren’t throbbing, they are getting accustomed to the pace. The pounding headache is most likely a lack of food issue the pizza we had for dinner should help that. The kids welcomed me home (up past their bed time to do so). I came in to find a birthday package on the table from my Mom-in-law which contained comfy clothes, sweatpants, two tank tops, and a sweatshirt. I quickly ran upstairs to change out of my uniform into my new comfy clothes. Chad headed out and picked up dinner, a celebratory GF pizza for payday.


Thank you Chuck and Donna for the birthday gift and the kids love their little ” I love you” (as Hannah called it) gifts too!

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