Monday, January 26, 2015

Reads of 2015

Another year, more books.

I know there are sights like goodreads that you can keep track of the books that you read but I am sticking with the good old blog.  Check back to see as my completed books grows. As always many of the links are affiliate links and any support would be greatly appreciated.

Reading lists from 2013 and 2014.

This years reading list:

1. Joy to the World by Scott Hahn---I think Jen reviews this book better than I ever could.  I copletely agree that this book paints a more in depth picture of the characters of the nativity store.  It is a quick, easy read and will probably be reread each year as part of my advent.  Read it and be in awe of the incarnation all over again.
2. The Red Tent  by Anita Diamant---This book is....interesting.  I decided to read it because it was about some of the untold stories of the female characters of the bible and their role as midwives.  Great combo.  I almost gave the book up about 25% of the way through but decided to keep trucking on.  I don't regret it but while the book is good it is by no means great in my opinion.  In addition, it has periods of being rather mature.   Has anyone else read this?  What were your thoughts?
3. Ordinary Lives, Extrodinary Mission by John R. Woof---Read the review here.
4.We are Liars by E. Lockhart--- A quick easy read that keeps you entertained.  However I was not prepared for the twist at the end.
5.  Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler---  I read this book less than a year but enjoyed it so much that I have already reread it.  I enjoyed it just as much if not more the second time through.  It is so beautiful to read Truth and the light of Christ shining.  Read my review from the first read through here.
6.  The Giver by Lois Lowry----Somehow I had missed out on reading this book in high school which is rather unfortunate.  I was so fascinated by the predictive qualities of this book. The suppressing pills, the lack of memories, the control-all so fascinating.  The whole time I was reading it I wanted to have a high school discussion about it.
7.  The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion---I liked this easy reading fiction so much that I am reading the second book in the series now.  Not only did I enjoy it but it also inspired me to learn how to make cocktails.
8.  Come Be My Light by Mother Theresa--You know those books that sit and sit and sit on your nightstand and you only pick up here and there but when you do you wonder why you don't read it more.  Here is that book.  Which why wouldn't I want to read the personal writings of a woman on the path to sainthood?!  This book is full of line after line with Mother Theresa's desire to do the Lord's will despite personal struggles. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friday Fasting for Babes

The bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville has long asked the people of the diocese to fast on Fridays for the intention of life of the born.  Attending Franciscan it wasn't terribly difficult, there were always few meat options on Friday reminding you of the fast and giving you many meat free options.  However, now that I have graduated and moved away it is very hard to remember and honestly I rarely do.

As the anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes  to an end and another year has passed where it is legal to kill the unborn I am reminded once again just how important it is to pray and fast that this injustice is brought to a screeching halt.  

Therefore I am publically declaring a recommitment to fasting on Fridays for the intention of the unborn, not to proclaim it in the synagogues but to invite  others to join me and to remind and hold each other accountable.  

Who is with me?!  Let's join the army  fighting for life in a very concrete tangible way. 

Comment below.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NAS: Children and Babies

Do you have children in your life? What is your relationship with them like? Do you have godchildren, and how do you form a relationship with them? Does having children in (or not in) your day-to-day life make you feel happy, wistful, or wary (of having your own someday)? 

Thanks to Lindsay!

Once again linking up with the lovely ladies of the Not Alone Series hosted by Jen and Morgan.  Hop on over to Jen's blog to read all the posts. 

My life pretty much is babies (read by Day in the Life post).  The funny thing is I thought when I moved to Pittsburgh I would have less children and babies in my life.  How foolish I was because really I have even more.  But the babies at work aren't the same as children I really have relationships with.

At home, I have a family that I have grown super close to since they were my CORE members in youth group in high school.  They have three kids and one cooking in mommy's belly.  They are basically my niece and nephews.  The funny thing is the other day someone at Church thought the dad was my parents' son so apparently they are like my niece and nephews even to bystanders.  The little girl is also my Goddaughter and she is just the able of my eye.  She calls me NaNa as soon as I walk in the door and she could be rotten and I would still steal some sugar.  When I am at home I do basically everything with them-grocery shopping, school pick-up, zoo trips.  I actually know more of the preschool moms at our parish then the young adults.  That was a bit of a red flag for me when considering where to settle in when I was job searching.  It is beautiful to spend so much time with them and if I lived at home right now I probably would spend all my free time with them.  But I can't do that because their life isn't my state in life.  I can't be a mom without kids, I need to be a single young adult.  When I am living life with them I do want kids of my own because I would love my kids to grow up with them (which could still happen) but for the most part I just love loving on them and handing them off when they are particularly rotten. Perks of not being a mom.

I also nannyed when I lived at home. 

So they say that when you work in obstetrics you get baby fever.  I can honestly say that most days this isn't true for me.  However when I have particularly great or particularly awful patients I want to be having my own baby.  Normally it is just a quick tug on my heart that quickly leaves as I change out of my scrubs but I can't deny that some days I really want to be the one with the big belly anxiously waiting for the first breath of my little one.

So yes, I have a lot of kids and babies in my life.  And yes, somedays it really makes my heart yearn to have little heads of my own to kiss but I know that the Lord's timing is perfect and in His perfect will little hands and feet will come.  Until then all I can do is learn and love the kids I already have around me.  
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why am I busy?

I recently had a very insightful conversation with a friend.  If you have been around this blog, specifically the NAS: Day in the Life, you know that I typically work 55-60 hours a week between my nursing job and my nanny job.  Before I got the nanny job I had alot of extra time on my hands and since getting the nanny job I have very little time that is allocated to a job or a scheduled event.  I love it and I hate it all at the same time.

Well my nanny hours are going to be drastically less very soon.  The mother of the family I nanny for is back at work and they need someone who has a more stable schedule than me, the nurse with an ever changing schedule.  Once they find someone I will be doing more PRN work for them (as needed for you non medical people). This means that I will have a lot more "free time."

I was talking to my friend and telling her about how I am excited about having more time available to visit localish friends, make dinner, go to Mass, and work out but I am also afraid I am going to have too much extra time making me feel lonely.  She challenged me asking why I felt the need to fill my time.  Was it related to deep seeded fear or just simply my extreme extravertedness?  Right now, I don't have the answer but I am fascinated by the question and want to dive deeper into it.

Part of this is I realize extra time is a fleeting thing that will pass when I one day Lord willing transition from singleness to a marriage and family so how so I take hold of my time and the special opportunities available to singles while still single.  What even is it I should be doing besides this elusive "discovering yourself" and more time in prayer.  How can I fill my time purposefully and with things that actually make me a better person.  

Part of the purpose of this post is a journal entry of sorts but I am also interested if you have any thoughts?  Past experiences? Current struggle?
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NAS: Looking Ahead to 2015

How are we going to make 2015 different than last year? What goals are you planning/making to be more YOU this year? These can be goals can be personal growth, spiritual life, physical/health, or even your love life! Maybe you don't have concrete ones yet, but it helps to talk them out and get motivated!

Another Tuesday, another round of the Not Alone Series.  Linking up with Morgan and Jen for a post about 2015. 

So I already hosted a link-up answering questions about looking ahead to 2015 (I extended the link up if any of you ladies who haven't already linked up want to) and chatted a bit about my word for 2015 but the NAS challanges me to dive even deeper. 

2015 is the very first year I will be a big kid for the whole year--a year of independence and pacychecks, a year of responsibility and bills.  I don't even know where this year will take me!  My goals really haven't changed much ever-pray more, exercise more, make time with people more intentional, be a more Christ like nurse, date :), etc, etc but I am not going to pretend like they are all magically going to happen just because I said they should.  I am going to continue to challenge myself to make small concrete goals to become the best version of myself.  There are going to be days that I feel like I am on top of the world and days that I feel like I am falling face forward.  No saint ever became a saint in a day but by intentionally living each day becoming more and more Christ like.  In short, my goal is to be one year closer to heaven by the end of 2015.  

Ladies, I pray that we are all able to achieve, or at least get closer to our goals and to become more like the saints we were created to be. 
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Monday, January 12, 2015


Sometimes things happen that you can't help but share.

As many of you have heard or experienced, the midwest just went through a deep freeze.  It brought bone chilling nightmares of last winter back.  Gloves, hats, double socks, boots, and triple layers were donned. We survived and we will survive again.  However, everything wasn't heated blankets and wool socks.

On Tuesday night, our landlord asked us to keep our pipes dripping in order to prevent our pipes from freezing.  Great, sounds good.  I woke up Wednesday morning, everything was great.  By the time I got home at around 4:30 all our bathroom pipes were frozen and me, the girl who grew up in a house built in the 80s, had no idea what to do.  After some back and forth with my roommate and our landlord he said we needed a space heater.  With some research, I also found out we needed to keep the faucets open so any pressure could release.  Wednesday night I took a shower at a friend who lives around the block's house and my roommate was going to get a space heater the next morning. Dandy.

Thursday morning, still no water but hopefully the space heater in our bathroom and the space heater our landlord was going to put in the basement near the pipes that lead up to our bathroom was going to thaw them.  I get a text while I was nannying that evening that the pipes had unfroze, yeah!  I get home and I am not home ten minutes and the power goes out.  The space heater was just too much for the old electrical wiring to handle.  My landlord was going to be home within a half hour but I just wanted to go to bed.  Of course my phone and tablet were almost dead so I couldn't trust it to wake me in the morning.  Naturally, I turn all the lights on and go to bed so that when the electricity did come back on the light would wake me up.  Thankfully a quick switch of the fuse, we had electricity, I woke up, set my alarm and back off to sleep I was.

Friday was uneventful, but obviously this is not where the story is going to end.  We kept the space heater on when we were home and water dripping.  I go to bed Friday night confident that this was all behind us.  I wake up Saturday and quickly realize we don't have hot water in the bathroom.  Apparently it is so cold that the hot and cold water needs to be trickling.  Let me add that our house is by no means cold, it is just that these pipes run essentially in an exterior wall and apparently get cold fast.  I turn the space heater on nearly all day but still nothing more than a periodic trickle.  I go to bed Saturday night planning to take a bucket shower in the morning because we still have hot water in the kitchen.  I set my alarm for every few hours to check and see if the water came on.  Around 6 I text my landlord just to let him know that it is still off.  He realizes that the space heater got turned off with the power going off.  He turns it on and not a half hour later and we have water!!  Saturday night was the last day of the deep freeze and since then the temperatures have been at a balmy 28-35 degrees.  Ideal conditions for freezing rain but not frozen pipes.

What have I learned from this.  Don't take electricity, cold AND hot water for granted.
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Reads: A Look Back and A Look Forward

Another year is done including another year of books read.  This past year I began and completed 12 books.  I am not complaining.  Mind you there is a whole stack of books I have begun and have yet to finish-next year. 

I enjoy keeping track of books I have read on this blog for my own sake- to remember what I have read in the past.  However I know I enjoy seeing what other people read so I hope you enjoy my book suggestions too.  I plan on continuing to keep track of what I read on this hear bloggity and welcome any book suggestions and comments on reviews if you have read the book also.

Who knows how many books I will read this year, only time will tell.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

NAS: Day in the Life

After a winter break NAS is back!!  Excited to get the new year going and linking up with @Jumping in Puddles for a Day in the Life post.  Now I have done a week in the life post and another day in the life post from the summer as a nanny but I have yet to do one as an RN.

So a little disclaimer.  This day is still in my temporary job so this isn't what I will be doing everyday but just yesterday I accepted my full time permanent job in the WomanCare Birth Center aka the Labor and Delivery unit (eeek!!).  Right now I will just be orienting to Labor and Delivery but will gradually also orient to Triage, OB ICU and learn how to circulate in the OR. Also, I can't go into much detail about my work day because of HIPPA but I will give you what I can.

With out further ado....

(I wrote most of this in live time....)

5 am.....Alarm goes off.  Is anybodies else first thought when their alarms go off is when is the next time I can sleep in our is that just me?

Shower, coffee, dressed, make-up, hair, breakfast, Bible time.

6:00am.....Leave the apartment and drive to my parking lot.  Normally I can push it to 6:10 but we had snow overnight and I want to leave time for the rights to be bad.  Thankfully they weren't too bad and people were driving appropriately-not so slow, not like a maniac.

6:25....Park and take the shuttle to the hospital.

Get my scrubs out of the scrub machine. Change into my scrubs.

6:55 Clock in.  Today I am working in PMU, Prenatel Monitoring Unit.  I head downstairs and get situated.  Yesterday, our OB charting switched over to a new system so today should be interesting actually getting my hands dirty with it.

9:30-11:55....6 NST, non-stress test, including two sets of twins.  Simply put a NST reassures us that a baby is happy and healthy in utero by looking at the babies heart rate for at least 20 minutes.

12:45....Lunch time!  Ceasar salad and leftover chicken from Chinese with my parents.  Also chips, given to all the nurses to help soften the blow of switching OB charting. 

1:15-3:41.....Three more NSTs including talking to the cutest big brother and a twins mom who got sent upstairs to the birth center to be induced because we were not reassured by one of the twins.  

Quickly change out of my scrubs so that I can make the shuttle.  I will return them tomorrow because tick, tock.

4:05 Make the shuttle, get to my car, drink a protein shake and Swiss cheese for dinner while I drive over to the house I nanny at. 

4:25 Arrive at the twins house. 

Load the bottles in the dishwasher.  Play with and keep entertained any twin who is awake.  Around 6 their mom starts giving them baths and I get them dressed .  Start feeding them at 7 and they eat and fall asleep quickly.  I guess I did a good job at keeping them entertained.  

9:30.....Leave their house and head home.
And here I am sitting at my apartment putting the final touches on this post so I can get to bed.  I did my best at showing you a typical day but honestly my days are never really typical. 

Sorry I didn't include any pictures.  I should have atleast gotten a selfie but alas I did not.

Now the "required" questions.   

What is your favorite part of the day? On this day, I love being with moms especially the great ones that exude joy.  But I also love my days off or the days I don't work my other job and have some down time.  

What is your least favorite part of the day? I think a lot of people would agree with me that the worst part of the day is when your alarm goes off and you realize you have to get up.  After I get going I am very chipper but at first I just think about when is the next time I can sleep in.  

Are you making any changes to your daily routine now that the new year has started?  Honestly no.  I wish I could say I would would be working out more but honestly when I get up at 5 and don't normally get home until 9:30 working out most days just isn't going to happen .  The biggest change to my schedule will involve starting my job and working two 12 and two 8 hour shifts rather than five 8 hour shifts.

Don't forget to link-up with the other NAS ladies @ Jumping in Puddles.
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Sunday, January 4, 2015

12 in 2014

It is hard to sum up a whole big year of adventures in just 12 pictures.  I love pictures, they capture a moment of joy, excitement and contentment.  They hold that moment forever.  Here are 12 of my moments and memories from this past year.

1.  My little goddaughter is the apple of my eye and brings me unbelievable joy when I am with her and unbelievable heartache when I am away.

2.  What better way to celebrate senior year spring break than a quick 3 day road trip to Florida.  After a the polar vortex some sun, sand and waves was just what was needed.  Made even sweeter when I got to meet Jen.

3.  Household inductions.  Some of my favorite people even in household all in one place and all my sisters!  That woman with the baby, I started going over her house a few weeks after starting at Franciscan and by the end she was my sister, a close friend, and a beautiful example to me of a Catholic wife and mother. 

4.  After four years of nursing school I finally had on the cap and gown!

5.  My parents are adorable.  Here they are at a Knights of Columbus ceremony.  What a blessing parish life is. 

6.  Homemade mojitos in New York City with friends on a summer night.  Life doesn't get much sweeter than that.

7.  These boys.  Real life is riding bikes and walking beyond your brother with a mohawk and cowboy boots saying "You're doing awesome."  So glad I captured this moment. 

8.  I loved my summer nanny job.  This little boy and I became best buds.  Oh how I miss our daily walks, after nap snuggles, and hours of play. 

9.  You know coffee had to make it in to this post somehow ;).  This is actually a picture from visiting one of my best friends who now lives in Hershey with another one of my best friends.  These trips always involve great fellowship, long strolls and of course some chocolate.  

10.  My excitement overflowed when I found out I got my first nursing job and in OB!  I was so thankful for all the people who were excited with me.  

11.  Another trip to New York City.  No other place I would rather spend a three day weekend. 

12.  This year I got to witness one of my oldest friends become a wife.  What an incredible blessing. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015:A Look Ahead--Link-up

I have said this once, I will say it a hundred times.  For the forseeable future I really want this blog to be a part of my life and I want to make sure I dedicate time to it on a weekly basis.  What better way to start in 2015 then a link up about what you see your year looking like.

Please answer these questions about what you think your 2015 will look like, slap in the above picture and link up below by January 15.  Happy answering.

1. Do you think you will be going to school at any point in 2015?  If so for what?

2.  Will there be a job change for you in 2015?

3.  What adventure or event are you most looking forward to during this coming year?

4.  Do you think there will be a move to a new house/apartment/city/state/country in 2015?

5.  What do you see as the direction of your blog in 2015?  Design update plans?  Link-ups coming down the pipes?  More or less posts?

6. If you could guarantee that one thing could happen this coming year what would it be?


My answers.....

1. Do you think you will be going to school at any point in 2015?  If so for what?  Hmm right now that is really up in the air.  I may be starting midwifery school in the fall but at the moment I am not as sure as I have been in the past. 

2.  Will there be a job change for you in 2015?  Hopefully not but never say never. 

3.  What adventure or event are you most looking forward to during this coming year?  I am excited for some of the traveling I have planned in order to attend weddings, I am looking forward to witnessing one of my best friends transform into a mother, I am excited to see all the places the Lord wants to take me.  

4.  Do you think there will be a move to a new house/apartment/city/state/country in 2015?  We will almost for sure be moving to a new apartment this year but where and if there will be a third roommate added on is still up in the air. 

5.  What do you see as the direction of your blog in 2015?  Design update plans?  Link-ups coming down the pipes?  More or less posts?  I really just want to keep on, keep on.  Of course I want to post more but that isn't always the reality.  I can't wait to hear what everyone else says with this post!

6. If you could guarantee that one thing could happen this coming year what would it be?  To be honest, I would love if I could meet a great guy this year.  One that I could really discern marriage with.....we shall see!

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