Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Normally in November I take to Facebook and update my status every day with something I'm thankful for. But I have no idea how to go back and read all of them from the past few years without taking forever. This year, I'm going to do it here, on the blog.  That way I will have those declarations in one place, no matter how many years go by.

I have been so blessed in my 31 years.  I have the best parents a girl could ask for. Amazing brothers. Fantastic friends.  I fell in love with my best friend and we have 2 beautiful children who remind me daily of God's love for us.  Those are the guaranteed things I'm thankful for.  But there are so many other things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful to have found a profession that brings me so much joy and fulfillment. So many people are unhappy in their jobs.  I can honestly say that I love mine.  I was truly called to be a nurse. But the beautiful part of this amazing profession is the ability to recognize when you're getting burned out and have many different avenues to travel while still being in the nursing profession.  I had found myself emotionally drained the past few months and I now have an exciting new opportunity in Clinical Research.  I'm so thankful for this change.

I'm thankful for Photobucket

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The coolest baked good I've ever made

So back to my recaps on Emmy's Tangled birthday party.  We've already talked about the decorations so now we're on the good stuff...the cake.

I love to bake.  I'd rather bake than cook.  For some reason, baking makes me feel creative and artistic. I don't get that feeling from cooking. Last year was all about being creative for my children's birthdays.  Noah got Lego cookies for school and a Lego cake for home.  When I started planning (or pinning) Emmy's party, I knew exactly what I was going to make.  I found this pin and knew this was perfect for my baby girl's party.
How perfect are these Rapunzel towers?!?!?!  A great twist on the classic cupcake.  I headed to Michaels and got my supplies.  They were quite easy to make too.  I used a boxed cake mix (I'm not above that) and prepared it per the directions. I put ice cream cones in a muffin tin to help stabilize them and filled them 1/2 way to 2/3's of the way up.  I baked them according to the box and they baked perfectly inside the cone.  I baked them all the night before because I knew I had 40 of them to decorate the next day.  If I could do it over, I would make sure the only task I had on the day of the party was the cupcakes because the cones got a little stale.  I'm not sure if being in the oven caused the staleness or because they were made the day before.  Either way, they were a huge hit.

My brother's girlfriend was a lifesaver and came over early to help me finish them.  I can't thank her enough because I'd still be decorating them months later if it wasn't for her.  I just love that girl so much!!!

Here's our Rapunzel Towers.  I think they turned out perfectly!
Our creations
That's a lot of cupcakes
My birthday girl
Make a Wish
And I have to share this picture because it captures Em's pure joy at her party.  She had the best time with her friends from school, her cousins, and our family. We're so blessed to have so many people who love our children.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Embarking on another First Day

Today I am embarking on a new journey.  Friday was my last day in the Outpatient Clinic and today I start my new role as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?  I'm super excited yet totally freaked out at the same time.  Bedside nursing is all I know.  That's all I've done for the almost 8 years I've been a nurse.  It's where I'm most comfortable. It's where I feel the most like myself. I'm at home at the bedside.

When I transitioned from Inpatient to Outpatient, we had just gone through a horrible period where we lost a few patients. It was very taxing on the staff (to say the least).  You come in every day and see the patients at their worst.  It wears on the soul tremendously. The opportunity to move to clinic allowed me some time to heal. I was now surrounded by the patients who are doing well.  They come to clinic every week, every two weeks, every month and they're healthy.  They're thriving. They're going to school and getting to be kids. It was what I needed to heal.

Recently I've realized that I might have healed too much.  I've gotten used to seeing the same patients day in and day out.  I've built friendships and bonds with them.  I'm by no means saying that is a bad thing. I love that I can go in to work and be able to be completely real with the people I'm caring for. But that too comes at a price.

I have found myself becoming too attached, too comfortable.  So with every relapse, it's hitting me even harder than before. It hurts that much more because I've seen them at their best. I've put so much of myself into taking care of them, trying to protect them from their disease. I've found myself saying "why didn't I see it coming?" or "why didn't I pick up on the slight change in their labs?" or "what could I have done differently?"  Each relapse has become a personal defeat for me.

Which is why I am welcoming this new position with open arms. I'm excited to take on a new role in the Hem/Onc/BMT world. It will be challenging, which I love. It will test not only my patience but my brain. It will challenge my ADD/OCD like nothing I've ever done.  I'm prepared to not be good at my new job at first, which will be hard because I'm a perfectionist.  I know I will miss being at the bedside.  I'm sure most days it will kill me. It was so hard to tell my patients I wasn't going to be in clinic anymore. But I know that feeling will pass.  And if it doesn't, I'll figure it out. But this is what my heart needs. It's what my family needs. And that's all that matters.

To my clinic family.......thank you so much for an amazing 2.5 years! I am so honored to work beside each and every one of you. You have each taught me so much and have helped me grow. You've put up with my health issues, my personal drama, my attitude, and my ridiculous sense of humor and I love you all for that. Never once did I feel like the "new girl." I instantly felt like part of the family.  You don't find a work environment like that too often and I'm thankful I found you.  I know things are rough right now but I'm positive it will get better. I will miss you all the time but I'm glad I can still cross that parking lot and come say hi when I need to!

Just some of my Clinic Family (including some of my new Research Family)