Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer's over already?!

Seems like just yesterday, it was June and we were here, in Michigan, kicking off the summer with a great family vacation.

And now it's nearly fall (my most favorite season ever).  It was a fabulous summer; not too hot, lots to do with every one of us healthy and happy and able to swim, go to amusement parks, hang out with friends, oh, and work (well, Joe and I worked, the kids played).

I'm getting ready to have a milestone birthday next month...the big 4-0.  And you know what?  It doesn't even phase me.  Maybe it's because I talk to people in their 80's and 90's every day for my job, but 40 still sounds really young.  Maybe it's because life is good right here where I am, and I am trying to soak up every minute (even the sassy teen moments, and the fighting-with-Gabe-to-do-his-homework moments; yes, even those).  But seriously, look at how precious time is and how fast it goes.  When I started blogging, Gabe was just turning three and Isabel and Elijah were little grade-schoolers.  Look at that photo again...those kids are huge!  I'm so glad I blogged my way through those crazy years, and even though I'm not here often, I still love reading other blogs and watching time pass by through their lives, too.

I have good intentions about a "turning 40" post, complete with pictures from our trip we have planned.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


It's so funny to me the moments in our kids' lives that we cherish, they view in a completely different light.

Last week, Elijah accepted an award for Student of the Quarter of his freshman class.  What an honor, right?

Well, unless you're a fourteen-year-old boy who dreads the thought of getting up in front of an auditorium full of people to accept an award for being, gasp, a good student!  How horrifying...

Horrifying for him (though secretly I'm pretty sure he was a little bit glad), but awesome for his family.  Hearing praise from his teachers, watching him shake the hands of the school administrators, quickly wiping a tear from my cheek before I completely embarrassed was a pretty amazing evening for this proud momma.

Good thing he wouldn't even dream of reading this blog; he'll never even know I told you guys about this!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Off to a great start

2012...the year I lost the weight I wanted to lose, gained the job I wanted to get, and kept on cherishing the family I was always meant to have...

Still crazy about this guy, even after sixteen years!

Joe (38), Elijah (14), Gabe (8), Isabel (13), Me (39)
I am over-the-moon in love with this season of my life.  The kids are doing great in school and are so much fun to be with.  Joe and I are enjoying each other and the free time we find while the kids are with friends or in school.  I am busy learning a new job, and within the next month, I will be working from home, helping Humana Medicare members manage their health and stay out of the hospital as much as possible.  I miss blogging as much as I used to, but I am glad to keep in touch with so many of my blog friends through Instagram, Facebook and even Goodreads (where would we be without technology these days?!).

Here's to a fabulous and even better 2013, for all of us!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A different kind of nurse

I started this journey twenty years ago, when at the age of eighteen I walked through the halls of The Christ Hospital School of Nursing and signed up to learn the art of being a nurse.  Two years later, cap and diploma in hand, I graduated and entered the world of critical care nursing.

I have worked in five different ICU's, labor and delivery, floated throughout the hospital and worked on just about every unit there was (except the operating room and the nursery).  For the past three years, I have been the nursing supervisor over the entire hospital, walking those halls night and day, ensuring the safety of the staff and the patients within those many walls.

And now the time has come for a change.  My kids are grown.  I'm tired of working night shifts, and spending weekends and holidays away from my family.  I'm tired of the politics I see each and every day.  I'm tired of being caught in the middle, trying to do what's right but being told not to in the name of the budget.

A new opportunity has come my way.  The chance to work with patients again in a case-management setting, via telephone, from the comfort of my own home.  Yes, I will be working forty hours a week, which I haven't done in ages.  But I will be at home!  Traffic jams, bad weather, wardrobe malfunctions...they won't affect me.

I have five more shifts left at the hospital.  It is bittersweet.  I will miss the friends I have made there over the years, especially the many people I have met as a supervisor.  I will not, however, miss the ever-increasing stress of the job.

The best thing about nursing is the opportunity to do so many different things with your degree.  There is no reason to get burnt out...get out and move on.  That's what I'm doing...and I can't wait!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sixteen years and counting

October is a great month in so many ways.  The cooler temperatures, the gorgeous colors, the ability to wear boots with every outfit...

We have lots of reasons to love October this year.  Our 16th wedding anniversary, our family cruise vacation coming up, my last-year-in-my-thirties-birthday, a booming photography business with lots of photo shoots scheduled during the month.  I am loving October of 2012 so far, and we're only four days in!

Joe and I kicked off our celebrations with a day trip to Caesar Creek State Park, hiking and taking pictures and being silly together.  I love that we can still have so much fun, probably even more fun than we had while dating.  We are so comfortable with each other; even when we get on each other's nerves, we know that we are in this for the long haul and we learn to just get over it.  As his beard gets grayer, and my hair requires more frequent coloring to hide my own grays, I hope that we have even better days ahead.

Happy anniversary, honey.  I love you like crazy, even when you leave your dirty laundry on the floor :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer 2012 (Walking off the pounds)

It started with a prompt on Facebook.  A group called "Get into your jeans regardless of your genes".  Led by a friend and joined by other friends, I checked in every day and followed the "rules".

Drink lots of water.  Eat lots of protein.  Eat less sugar/carbs.  Eat every three hours.  Move.  Do different exercises.  Measure.  Weigh.  Support each other.  Succeed!

August 1st was the first day.  I had a goal of 15 pounds to lose (the weight I gained while back in college).

Kay joined me.  We modified our eating habits (never once calling it a diet...I hate that word.)  We walked at least three miles a day, five or more days a week.  At least three days a week, I lifted weights and walked an  additional three miles on my own.

As of today, we have both lost weight and inches.  We are energetic and happy.  We are having fun, feeling great and looking better than we have in years.  I have three pounds left to lose to meet my goal, and I hope to even beat that goal in time for our family vacation in October.

From now on, the summer of 2012 will be remembered as the summer of weight loss, Kay-and-Heather-style!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hurry up, Autumn!

Officially, the calendar still says "summer".

The weather outside screams "hot and humid".

The flowers in my pots are tired and spent, ready to trade places with mums from my favorite local nursery (I prefer the rust and maroon...what about you?).

I had the house to myself yesterday.  I couldn't wait one more day...I headed downstairs, braved the spiders in the storage room, and got out the containers brimming full of fall decor.

I scattered pumpkins and leaves and spiced candles all around, from the entryway to the kitchen, the living room to the guest bath.  I got out my favorite fragrances from Bath and Body Works:

And I got recipes for turkey-pumpkin chili from a friend:

As long as I don't step foot outside into the sweltering heat, I can convince myself that fall is here!

When do you decorate for fall?  Is it still hot where you live?  And have you ever tried pumpkin chili?