Friday, June 29, 2012

Those were the days

Remember the days when all that mattered was the design of your Lisa Frank folders, what type of backpack you had, or who was gracing the front of your lunch box?  Those were the days, weren't they?

My kids remind me daily about how easy life was back then.  The things that were important to us when we were younger (and often seemed world changing) are the farthest things from important when we grow up.  One day your day is ruined because your Lego creation broke. The next day you're worrying about your mortgage, bills, and where your kids are going to go to school.  It's like one day you didn't have a care in the world and the next day the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

I've been pretty open about my anxiety lately.  I'm trying my best to just relax and enjoy life, rather than stress about things.  I'm trying my best to live in the moment instead of worrying for the future.  I've found that seeing the world through my children's eyes helps calm me down.  It brings me back to reality and reminds me that life with what we create.

We should write our own stories, not have our stories written for us.

I'm determined to write my own.

And it's going to be a damn good one ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Because I can't get enough

I just have to share this face
This might be my favorite picture of Em...ever!  I'm already making plans of either blowing it up or making it a canvas (BTW I'm in love with Canvas People).  Here's another one of Em's complete Princess Merida outfit (from the movie Brave)
Doesn't she look like a real princess?!?!  And check out the shoes!  I want them in my size!!!

PS Sorry if you're sick of seeing my kid in her princess dress since I blasted it all over Facebook and Twitter already!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Debby chick is such a downer!!!

Let me just tell you.....

I'm over Tropical Storm Debby

I feel like she came out of nowhere and now she can't decide what she wants or where she wants to go so she's just hanging out off the coast, annoying the hell out of us. (longest run on sentence...I know...I'm sorry) Oh and let's not talk about the fact that Debby should end with an "ie" not a y! (sorry if anyone spells their name Debby)

I woke up Sunday morning in our hotel room, turned on the TV and the Weather Channel was on.  What did I see?  A reporter in full hurricane gear reporting live from Reddington Beach about the tropical storm off the coast of Florida (that I didn't know about).  That's about 10-15 min away from my house people!  How did I not know that a freakin tropical storm was headed our way??? So we packed up and headed home in this:
  As we got closer to downtown Tampa, it got worse and looked more like this:
We ended up stopping for a few hours because the rain was so bad and did a little shopping (the Hubs was in a very giving him and my Tory's!!!) before heading home.
At least we only had some small branches in our yard, nothing serious.  But the Hubs and I made sure that we moved anything that could turn into flying objects of death and settled in for a long evening of crazy wind, torrential rains, meteorologists, and Klystron 9. I had to sneak out and grab a few pics of the rain. {I'm kinda weird when it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms.  As much as I hate tornados and horrible rain, I love being outside in hurricanes.  Growing up, we were those kids that would play in the flood waters.  There's also a few home videos of us doing weather reports in hurricanes.  The Hubs hates this part of me.  He always says I'm the dumbest smart person he knows (in a loving way I'm sure) with not enough common sense to come out of the rain}
For the Hubs's sake, I did not venture out to check the depth of the water filling up our street (although I really wanted to!) but I figured why not capture the rain and play around with my camera at the same time.  We were lucky to have the rain stop a few hours later and no tornados come our way.  

Today it's been nothing but constant wind.  I can't decide which is better: rain or wind.  Either way, I wish Debby would just figure things out and make a decision.  Bridges are closed. We're pretty much trapped in Pinellas County.  This has started to really put a damper on our lives.

I hope everyone is staying safe and that damage from this ridiculous storm stays at a minimum.

Make up your mind Debby.  Quit being such a downer!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Am I THAT mother???

Growing up I had grand visions of the way my adult life would turn out.  I'd be married (check) with the perfect kids (check).  I'd be that amazing stay at home mom who always had the best meals prepared, the cleanest house, who had cutesy crafts/projects for the kids, and who took their kids to storytime and playgroups, etc (definitely NOT check).  I am anything but that vision I had growing up.  I work crazy hours.  I kinda hate cooking.  I'm not above giving the kids lunchables and the occasional soda. There's always some form of chaos in my house. I do like to do cutesy crafts for my kids classes and teachers. But I don't go to story time or playgroups.  I tried to get in the routine of taking Em to story time but all the moms there bothered me.  {Side note....The moms at my story time are very snobby.  If you're not a "regular" you're an outsider.  They talk about all the play groups they go to around the county and plan their children's daily routine around these events.  I'm sorry I only have 1 day off during the week and most of the time I'm too tired to get out of my PJs.  But that doesn't mean you have to give me the stink eye when I occasionally show up to story time.  I'm still a good mom, regardless of the number of story times/playgroups/etc I attend in a given month (which is usually a big fat zero)}  While I'm not overly concerned with the amount of Mercury my kids are getting exposed to, I am a tad bit crazy when it comes to one thing.....babysitters.

Yes my friends....I'm terrified to find babysitter for my kids. 

We have been fortunate enough that we haven't had to put our kids in daycare.  Our parents are amazing and bend over backwards to help us out on that front.  If the Hubs and I want to have a date night, we schedule it around our parents schedules.  If we don't have a parent to watch the kids, we just don't go out.  The kids have only been watched by 1 non-family member...ever....and it's only because it was my USF graduation and everyone wanted to be there for it.  So it was the Hubs's boss and it was only for 3 hours.  And I was stressed those entire 3 hours.

It's not that I don't believe in babysitters.  Heck, I babysat my entire middle school/high school years.  But the thought of leaving my kids with a teenager pushes me to the max.  I start itching, breaking out in hives, having chest pain....full on panic.  I've tried to avoid this part of parenthood with all my might but I've realized (with the prodding by a handful of people) that it's time to take the plunge.  Time to face the extreme anxiety inducing dilemma head on and find a babysitter.  And you know what, one fell right into my lap!  An adorable young lady, who I have known since she was in Kindergarten, just happens to love my kiddos and loves to babysit.  My mom even gave her the stamp of approval (she's a former student at my mom's school who just graduated middle school).  So I sucked up the anxiety and asked her if she'd be interested in sitting for us and her face lit up.  She gave me her number and told me to text her whenever (weird that I'm now texting a 14 year old).  

There.  I had done it.  I had conquered my fear. 

Yeah right!

The anxiety heightened more than I ever imagined.  Now I have this cute girl hoping that I'll call her. Now I have this girl who actually wants to babysit for me.  Now I have to let her watch them.  Without us.  OMG!

So what did I do?  Ignored her for a while (great strategy I thought).  But out of the blue, I get a text from her saying "Hi Jessica!  It's ________".  She's just saying hi.  How cute yet how weird?!?  I said hi back then got a text that took me about 10 minutes to decipher (I am just not cool enough to understand teenage text abbreviations).  But I figured it out and found out what she charges, what hours she's allowed to babysit, and her summer plans.  She seems excited.

Does this mean I have a babysitter?
Does this mean I have to leave my kids with her?
Does this make me a I'm a legit crazy person for stressing over a babysitter?

I'm sure it does.  

Could someone pass me some Benadryl? I think I'm breaking out in hives......

Monday, June 18, 2012

I've been trying to write this since Wednesday

I've been trying to write this post since Wednesday but every time I start, I just can't finish.  On Tuesday, at 10:30pm, we lost my Grandpa.  We've been expecting it but no matter how much you prepare yourself, getting that phone call saying he's not with us any longer is something you're never prepared for.  So as we celebrate Father's Day, I can't help but be a little sad since I now have no Grandpas left and my parents each have to go through their first Father's Day without their dads.

I can't help but feel a little bit empty today without my Grandpa.  But I know that he's free from pain and illness and hanging out with my other Grandpa up in Heaven.  And I know he's looking down on me and my family.
My Grandma and Grandpa at my wedding
My parents and my grandparents at my wedding
Me and my grandparents at my Nursing Pinning ceremony
My favorite picture of my Grandpa

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Social #2

Happy Father's Day to the Hubs (the only person I could ever imagine being the father of my kiddos), to my Daddy, my Grandpa's, and to all the Daddies out there!

I had such a good time with last week's Sunday Social so why not link up again?!?

Sunday Social

This week's questions are all about movies!  I just love movies!!!  So here goes.....

Favorite Movie of all Time?
This answer is a little weird.  All time favorite movie is The Never Ending Story.  It's an odd answer but I just love that movie.  To Kill A Mockingbird is a very close second.

Favorite Movie Quote?
"Pregnant?  With Emotion?" or "Positive. Positive. Positive."  (or pretty much any great one-liner from Knocked Up).  Oh then there's always the classic "weweese the secwet weapon" said in the best Fivel Mouskewitz voice, you know, American Tail.

Best Movie to Watch for a Girls Night In?
The Notebook or Love Actually...I'm a sucker for a good love story.

Best Breakup Movie?
I have no idea on this one

Favorite Celeb Eye Candy?
Ryan Reynolds...hands down

Which Movie Star's closet would you want to raid?
Sarah Jessica Parker's or Reece Witherspoon


Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's OK

I had to completely edit my It's OK post because so much has happened since the day I originally wrote it.  On Tuesday night, my Grandfather passed away.  It's been such an emotional time for my family.  I'm headed up to Leesburg to see my Grandmother (and my Mom) for the first time since his passing.  I just know how devastated my Grandma is and I'm trying my best to prepare myself for how emotional things are going to be but I don't know if I'll ever be ready.  Please keep my family in your prayers.

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK......

~to be totally consumed by my home redecoration project
~to love my new desk!!!
~to be scouring the internet trying to find vintage copies of my favorite books for the desk
~to have a file of pictures that need to turn into canvases in the near future
~to want to move into Crate & Barrel
~that I turned down buying the Tory Burch sandals I wanted because I could use that money on the house (who am I????  I'm blaming this girl for this one)
~to be making my own coffee this pay period just to save money for the house even though it's so not satisfying  like Starbucks is (oh and my quest to the gold card is suffering because of it too)
~to be planning out the look of my EC Life Planner that I desperately need (Hubs....I absolutely need this!!!)
That was my original post.  It's funny to read what was on my mind a few days ago compared to what consumes my thoughts now

~to be thankful I've lived 29 years with all of my grandparents
~to be thankful for the amazing family that God has provided me
~to be thankful for the Hubs.  He never ceases to amaze me in these situations
~to be thankful that my Grandfather is no longer in pain and free from illness
~to be thankful that all my Angels from work get to hang out with both of my Grandfathers up in Heaven
~to be thankful for all the amazing friends I have in my life.  The amount of love and support that I've felt in the past 2 days has been tremendous.  I truly am a lucky girl!!!

My absolute favorite picture of my Grandpa (with Emmy in July of 2010)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Good Friends, Good Times

Friendship is a tricky thing.  It's ever evolving, ever changing.  One minute you are besties with someone and the next, you can't stand the sight of each other.  I've been on both sides of this.  I've been friends with people that I thought would be my friends forever and now I don't even talk to them.  I have become friends with people I never thought I'd be friends with.  I've also reconnected with great friends from my past.  I've learned the hard way that friends come and go but true friends are always there whenever you need them the most, no matter what your history is.  I've realized over the past few weeks that I truly have amazing friends and I've been blessed with the gift of true friendship throughout my almost 30 years.

This weekend was filled with these friends.  The Hubs started our weekend bright and early at Crate & Barrel for some bridal shower gift shopping/desk buying.  Let me just tell you....I love C&B.  Like big puffy heart love.  I wanted to move everything in that store into my house.  So we bought our desk, said bye to the kids and the Hubs's mom, and continued on our date day/night.  We did some shopping at International, ended back at C&B, headed to Westshore, went home to drop everything off and let the pup out, and then got all dolled up to celebrate my friend Mindy's birthday.

Side note....let me start off by saying my time at All Children's has allowed me to meet the greatest people.  Nicole, Mindy, Tori, and Whitney are amazing and I am so blessed to have them in my life.  We have so much in common and have such a good time together, even if we're all at different stages in our lives.  I'm thrilled beyond words that my transition to clinic hasn't affected our friendships too much.  I probably see them outside of work more now than I did when we all worked on the same unit.

So we headed out to the Columbia (best food ever) and had a great dinner, even if we did have to eat in the dark.  Then we packed it all in and headed to Channelside and Howl at the Moon for a night of fun, singing, and colored straws!!!
Me and the Hubs at dinner
The Birthday Girl
My girls!!!  Obviously we had a few cameras going at one time
Drinking from across the table
Up on stage with the other birthday girls (kinda making fun of them!!!)
Straws taking over the table
View from my seat
Our Happy Birthday message and a general statement about the night
The next day we picked up the kiddos, had brunch with the Hubs's family and then it was back home for naps.  I went out and had dinner with Becca.  Let me tell you, I've missed this girl.  I don't think I've seen her in person since before Haiti.....WHAT?!?!?!  How did that happen???  We had a great time catching up and enjoying each other's company.  And realizing that we were destined to be in each other's lives! We obviously took the obligatory picture and this is what happened:
What is wrong with my face?  Is it the sun?  Am I in pain? Is it the company?  
Finally a good one!!!  Profile pic worthy!!!!
Every day I thank God that I have these amazing girls (and many more people) in my life. I just can't imagine life without them.

So here's to fun, love, and friendships that last a lifetime!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Social

I was debating whether or not to link up this week (but honestly...I'm a sucker for fun link ups) but realized that I have quite a few new followers on my little blog so I figured why not!  So here goes my first installment of Social Sunday, courtesy of Neely and Ashley

Sunday Social

How did you come up with your blog name?
My blog name has changed since I first started.  The original name was A Day in the Life of the Crimella's.  Just rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?  It started as a way to update my family and friends on my pregnancy/bedrest and then evolved into something else.  It became more about life from my point of view and less about just family updates.  After meeting up with the Tampa Blogger Gals and realizing that I hated my blog name, Life With My Loves was born and I love it so much.  It defines what my blog is about, my life with the loves of my life.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I have met so many amazing people through blogging.  Who would have thought that I would connect with people from so many places on such an amazing level?  I've also found amazing girl friends through the process.  I'm getting ready to have dinner with this amazing lady tonight!!!  Plus it's awesome to have people in my life that actually "get" blogging

What is one thing you have discovered because of blogging and now can't live without?
Twitter and Pinterest.  I know that sounds silly but I never even entertained the idea of a Twitter account until I met some bloggers IRL and they convinced me I needed it.  Now I'm on it more than facebook.  And I think Pinterest goes without saying....everyone understands this one :)

Facebook or Twitter and why?
I can't decide.  I love Facebook because it's been a part of me for so long and I have all my pics on there.  But Twitter is so much fun and totally sucks you in.  Plus most of my bloggy buddies on on Twitter so that's how I can keep up with them (besides their blogs).  So I just don't know......

If one celeb read your blog who would you want it to be?
There's too many to decide....Lauren Conrad, Rachel Ray, Carrie Underwood, plus a multitude of amazingly hot men (Luke Bryan, Ryan Reynolds, and the list goes on and on)

What is something you want people to know about your blog?
I blog because I want to.  I'm not focused on how many page views I have or how many followers (I'm shocked I have as many as I have!!!)  I go through periods where I blog every day and then there are weeks that I'm lucky to get one post in.  I'm a little ADD so it's totally random on here.  One day it's a post filled with pics from a Disney trip and the next post is asking for prayers after we lose a patient.  But every post I write is from my heart.  I'm also on a journey of opening myself up completely so there might be a little more emotional substance, more being raw, than there was before.  All in all, it's just me!!!  


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Remembering the Blessings

Heaven got another angel this morning.  Another sweet patient earned his angel wings and has left our staff devastated in the process.  We all grow so attached to our patients and their families that we grieve along side them.  Please add the doctors and nurses of All Children's Hem/Onc/BMT program to your prayer lists.  We all need to be surrounded in His arms during this tragic time.  As we all try to wrap our heads around what's happened, I can't help but think about all the things that I'm so blessed with in this life.

First and foremost, I'm so blessed to have my health.  Sure I've had some health problems but nothing that I cannot deal with.  I'm even more blessed to have healthy children.  I thank God every day for this.  I don't know what I'd do if one day I woke up and had to face what our families face every day. And I pray I never will.  But if I do, I pray that I can be strong like our families are.

I'm blessed to have my family.  I have a loving husband, two amazing children, and the best family anyone could ask for.  My parents have been amazing role models for my brothers and I.  I can only hope that one day, my kids will think that the Hubs and I have been just as amazing as they are.

I'm blessed to be able to provide for my family.  We have a lovely home and the ability to provide our children with not only the essentials (like food and shelter, etc) but we can provide our family with the experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.  I know that not every child grows up having an annual pass to Disney.  Heck, I didn't even have one as a child.  But I know that the price we pay for this fails in comparison to the memories we've made and will continue to make as a family.

Now more than ever, I'm blessed to have the job I have.  It's difficult on a daily basis. It's exhausting both physically and emotionally.  But I know that I'm making a difference in this world.  My patients are my heroes.  They are strong, resilient, inspiring, and full of life.  They are the reason I get up 4 days a week before the sun comes up to go to work.  At the end of the day, the paycheck doesn't matter.  It's the drawings, the homemade cards, and the pictures that are worth more than my paycheck.  It's the photo albums full of little bald heads. These kids are what matters.  I am truly blessed that I can play a small role in their big lives.

As I sit here tonight, at a loss for words over the loss of this patient, I can't help but smile because he was such a beautiful soul.  He never lost that childhood innocence even though he had gone through so much.  He found joy in the little things in life.  He had a smile that could light up a room.  He was one of my heroes.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The first one's the hardest

It's time to share some more stories from my life as a nurse.I can't thank Renee and Ana enough for this link up.  It's giving me a reason to share why I love my job so much!!! This topic, however, isn't a warm and fuzzy one.  It's about the one thing I feared more in my entire career.....a patient dying.

When I first started out as a nurse, I worked on a General Pediatrics floor (or Gen Peds as we like to call it).  We had quite a mixture of patients.  I sent my fair share of them to the ICU but never had to be a part of a code or had a patient die.  When I moved back home and started working at All Childrens in Hem/Onc, I knew it would be a matter of time before I had a patient die.  It was a short time after Christmas and we had a terminal patient who was on her last few days of life.  She was a sweet girl with a sweet family.  Her parents did not want her to pass at home because they didn't want to upset their youngest daughter.  I was blessed to have taken care of this patient for an entire week.  I had grown to love them.  When things got very grim, I would pray that she would make it through my shift.  I was not ready for that at all.  And every shift, I would give shift report and she would still be with us.  It got to the point where her family was ready to say goodbye.  We started a Versed drip in the hopes that she would drift into a coma.  It was that day I realized I was being so selfish.  All this time I was thinking about myself.  I wasn't thinking about these poor parents and these poor girls who were watching their daughter/sister slip away from them.  I had finally realized that this was not about me. It was about this family and this sweet girl.  I said goodbye to my patient who I grew to love because I had a few days off and didn't think she'd be with us when I returned.  But to my surprise, she hung on.

I was getting report and we had her on a drip that is usually used only in ICU (we typically don't have anesthesia drips going but this was a special circumstance), so the nurse and I were in the room messing with the pump. I heard her dad stirring in the chair beside the bed.  Her mom, her older sister and her father were with her.  Her youngest sister was at home.  I did a quick assessment, she was still hanging in there, and we left to finish up report.  Since she was so unstable, I was only assigned to her that day.  So once report was finished, I planned out my day and went back in the room.  By this time, only about 30 minutes had passed.  Dad was snoring in the chair.  Everyone was asleep and looked so peaceful.  I put my stethoscope to her chest and heard nothing.  Panic set in immediately.  I grabbed my charge nurse to confirm that I was definitely not hearing anything and then we got our attending who told the parents that their sweet daughter had passed.  Of course there was tons of tears, tons of visitors, and tons of commotion for the next few hours.  I was a mess but I was at least prepared for it.  Once the family was ready to leave, her mom found me and asked if it was peaceful.  I explained everything that happened that morning.  I strongly believe that she was just waiting for her dad to fall asleep.  I told mom that and it seemed to bring her some comfort.  Mom embraced me and thanked me for taking such good care of her daughter and of them.   As they left the room and the hospital, without their daughter, I couldn't help but picture myself in their shoes.  I don't know how I would be able to walk away without my child. I hope I never find myself in their situation but if I do, I hope I will have the grace that they did on that day.

As we were preparing her to go to the morgue, I was so overcome with emotion.  Everything I did, I did with tears in my eyes.  And when it was all said and done, I made sure the love note her dad wrote to her was securely in her hand, I gave that sweet girl a kiss on the forehead and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for having such an impact on me, for making me realize that I cannot be selfish in this profession.  She also helped me realize that death isn't something to fear. It is as beautiful as it is scary. 

I have experienced more patient deaths since then but nothing will compare to my first.  I will never forget the emotions that I felt that day. And it's because of those emotions and that experience that I can be a pillar of strength for my patients and their families as they go through one of life's most difficult yet most beautiful journeys.