Wednesday, August 31, 2011

During the final 4 days of my vacation, I read:

  1. The Invisible Wall: A Love Story that Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein - Bernstein's biography was recommend to me by a stranger I met in the airport on my way home from a family cruise this spring. I was telling the individual about Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (one of the most compelling books I have read in several years) and, based on my declared love of biographies, they suggested The Invisible Wall be added to my reading list. Set in England in the early 1900s, Harry's family lives on the Jewish side of the street while the other side is lined with Christian families. The many conflicts surrounding the social and religious boundaries of the time come to a head when Harry's sister falls in love with a Christian boy from across the street. Other than some interesting insights into Jewish culture, I did not find it to be a terribly compelling story. Prolly would only recommend it to the deepest lovers of biographies.

  2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer - Jon Krakauer, journalist, recounts his experience as part of the worst climbing disaster in the history of Mt Everest. Much controversy still remains over who was responsible for some of the events that took place which makes for an interesting story. There were many people involved in the climb that fateful day in 1996 which makes for a confusing read at times (I had trouble keeping track of who was who) but other than that, loved this book. I am hoping to see the movie soon to help put some faces to all of the names.

  3. Fidelity by Wendell Berry - Although Berry did not author any of my three favorite novels (Godric, Gilead and the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime), he did pen my fourth favorite (Jayber Crow) and he is quickly becoming my favorite all-around author. I have not read anything he has written (novels or poems) that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. His writings are beautiful reflections on community, relationships, faith, rooted-ness, nature, hard work and, as the title of this book suggests, fidelity (in all areas of life, not just concerning marriage). I would strongly suggest his works to any reader. Although the five short stories contained in Fidelity could stand on their own, I would suggest reading Jayber Crow first as the short stories in Fidelity concern other members of the Port Williams community. You don't need any background from Jayber Crow to appreciate the stories in Fidelity. However, falling in love with Port Williams through Jayber's story may result in deeper affections for the characters contained in Fidelity.


  1. The Help - I really enjoyed the movie. Of course, as always, the book is much richer and has the opportunity to develop the characters more satisfactorily, but I was pleased with what the movie was able to do with the story. There are some great performances by the women in this movie.

  2. Soul Surfer - I cannot remember the last time I cried that hard at a movie. I mean, I tear up a lot (after all, I am a crier by nature) but it is a rare movie that brings me to shoulder-shaking, breath-catching, desperate-for-a-kleenex sobs. prepared. The love and care that this family shows for one another (husband to wife, parent to child, AND brother to sister) is absolutely overwhelming. And I think it struck me even harder because it is not an unrealistic, happy-go-lucky, Hollywood kind of love and care. It is real, gritty compassion in the face of fights and fear and differing perspectives on how to handle a difficult and confusing situation. What an incredible testimony they have! My only complaint: Carrie Underwood is NOT a convincing actress. I love her voice, but she gets two thumbs down from me in the movie.

  3. The Conspirator - Prior to watching this movie, I knew nothing of the others (besides John Wilkes Booth) involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln (and VP Johnson and the Secretary of State...I never realized they were targets, too...). I really enjoyed the movie, although I could see how someone who is not intrigued by history may find it a little slow-moving. I found it extremely interesting to see the biased nature of Surratt's trial and the ways the authorities justified those biases. Made me want to go read more about the circumstances surrounding the assassinations, the nation's reaction and the fates of all those involved. Maybe on my next vacation...

and survived:

  1. An Earthquake - In all honesty, we were out on the lake when the earthquake struck, so we didn't feel a thing. We only knew about from all the texts that my cousin received and from the guy at the hardware store who said all of his tools were shaking on the shelves.

  2. Hurricane Irene - Thankfully we were NOT among the "hundreds of thousands" without power. The neighborhood where my aunt and uncle live was actually fairly well protected, although their town, just a mile away, was still without power when we flew out on Monday afternoon (storm hit us Saturday night into Sunday morning). The main effect of the storm for my family was changing all of our flight plans (a SMALL problem compared to all of the flooding/damage/power issues faced by so many in the region!!). My family collectively spent 12 hours on hold with airlines trying to reschedule our flights. Although it did cause some problems for my other family members (my sisters both cut their vacation short and flew home early and my parents both missed an extra day of work), I got an extra day of vacation and only missed 4 hours of work. No complaints here!

I'm just glad we made it out before the locusts showed up...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday: August (Part 1)

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

1076) Lovely dinner at Chesters with lovely women.
1077) The joy of making people laugh.
1078) Finally putting on my big-girl-pants and getting my house refinanced. Reading through all those documents and realizing somewhere over the course of the past 5 years, I started understanding some of this stuff.
1079) Getting an awesomely helpful loan officer.
1080)My dear father who takes time out of his busy work day to talk through finances with me and that I can trust him to hep me make decisions.
1081) The girls on the Hem/Onc/BMT Practice Committee. I love that group. So fun.
1082) The joy I find in telling stories and making people laugh.
1083) Taking to Rebecca about church at Calvary - an invite for lunch after church next Sunday - seeing God's hand in the development of that relationship as I think about transitioning to a church in town.
1084) The breathtaking sunset.
1085) My sweet surgical patient who was so grateful despite her situation - kept exclaiming what a great day it had been and how Jesus had blessed her in so many ways - having the opportunity to talk about my faith with her.
1086) Friends who drive all the way down from the cities to visit - means so much to me.
1087) Sweet conversations with Julie at my kitchen table.
1088) Communicating clearly and directly at the Kenya meeting - not hiding how I feel.
1089) Dinner and a movie with my roommie. Relaxing evening. I love going to the theater and I adore my roommie.
1090) God's grace, sufficient for the day.
1091) Driving to LP and back with Chinwe. Love spending concentrated time with her.
1092) Good convos in the truck - the opportunity for me to process some things out loud and to listen & get to know her better.
1093) Chinwe's laugh.
1094) Mark and Emily got engaged!!! So happy for them! Love listening to them tell the story. Love Em's constant smile.
1096) Listening to the operatic song intro at church - makes my heart rejoice in such a unique way.
1097) Painful yet beautiful tears of worship.
1098) Serving a God who relentlessly pursues me.
1099) Good conversation with Jamie - honest communication and an opportunity to know her better.
1100) Grandpa's laugh.
1101) Finding out I get to stay on the Hem/Onc/BMT Practice Committee when I take over as chair for the Float Practice Committee. So happy....I love those meetings!!
1102) Confident communication with my manager.
1103) Three absolutely delightful patients.
1104) Having the BMT nurse manager tell me that the email I sent the PA supervisor regarding a staff member's poor communication was very well written and greatly appreciated.
1105) The opportunity to pick up overtime.
1106) A lovely conversation with my manicurist about her life in a refugee camp in Cambodia, immigrating to Rochester in the 80s, her new grandson, Cambodian culture, etc.
1107) Laying in the park with Penny, reading magazines.
1108) Sitting on the porch with Jill and Kristy, eating rum cake and talking about life.
1109) Dinner with Chinwe - laughing until I feel like I can't breathe, appreciating her honesty, striking yoga poses and praying with her.
1110) Our faithful God who causes the same sun to rise on the good days and the bad. Love his constancy.
1111) A patient, gracious God who welcomes us back even after we've gone whoring after idols.
1112) He rejoices over me with gladness, he quiets me by his love, he exults over me with loud singing.
1113) A covenant-keeping God who has proven his faithfulness all the way back to the days of Abraham.
1114) Receiving a sweet letter from Grandpa saying he loves me, he is proud of me, that he prays I will love and serve God with all my heart and that he looks forward to the day when he and Grandma greet me in heaven.
1115) An extremely generous and highly unexpected gift enclosed with the letter.
1116) Having the chance to work with Kristy - what a delight!
1117) Talking to Grandpa on my dinner break - so hard to know how to thank him for his generous gift. So good to cry tears of joy and gratitude with him.
1118) Telling my mom about the letters - neither one of us being able to talk because we're both crying so hard - being reminded how much I love being cut from the same cloth as her.
1119) Hearing Mom say that her "big gift" is getting to spend so much of her time with three of Grandpa's grandchildren.
1120) Breakfast with Annie & Chinwe - lovely to spend time with those women.
1121) Having time to read. How relaxing.
1122) The beautiful gift of Buechner's writing. It's amazing what he can do with words!!
1123) Afternoon naps.
1124) Finally watching Singing in the Rain with my roommie - what a delightful movie!
1125) Rest.
1126) Meeting amazing girls at church - getting invited out to lunch and talking about the sermon, the role of preaching in the church, the significance of the local church, traveling, missions, etc. - pretty much everything that makes me tick. :-) So good to have God repeatedly confirm his place for me at Calvary!
1127) Talking to every member of my family and my Grandpa (twice) this weekend - I love them all so very much and am so blessed to call them my own!!
1128) Laying in the park for hours reading with my dog at my side and the sun on my legs.
1129) Catching up with Josh - love the way he encourages me with the Word and sharpens my eye to look at things from a biblical perspective. Also love having friendships that run deep enough to withstand long periods of non-maintenance.
1130) Late night chats with Linds about church, relationships, sin, faith, futures and just about everything in between. Love. That. Girl.
1131) Oostra's 2nd year anniversary. Thankful to have both of them in my life.
1132) Lunch with Brenna's at BWW. Love. That. Couple.
1133) Being able to trust that certain friends always want to hear the long version.
1134) Getting a "random" call from Ray asking if I wanted to get more deeply involved in SNL - something that's been on my mind a lot in the last month. I love how God prepares our hearts for the ministries he has prepared for us.
1135) High-energy days.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

5 days into vacation and so far, I have read:

  1. Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman: Highly recommended. Mrs. Chapman writes with an honest, refreshing voice. She finds a beautiful way to balance the pain and humor of life and I found myself laughing out loud and weeping uncontrollably (seriously....had to put the book down because I couldn't see the words) at different points of the book. She doesn't sugarcoat the difficulty/confusion/searing pain/despair of losing a child and yet somehow the book ends up feeling hopeful. Insightful writing.
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as I was expecting to enjoy it. I think the recommendation I got may have built it up a bit too much for me. I was expecting it to be one of the best books I read all year, and it ended up being *just* a novel that I enjoyed. I'm glad I read it. I don't imagine I'll ever read it again. I intend to see the movie (hopefully with my sister who has also read the book) and I really enjoy reading the book before seeing a book-based movie, so that was a plus. Good storytelling. One good plot twist.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it. Really looking forward to seeing the movie on Saturday. Well-written. Meaningful attempt at addressing race relations in the 60s. For some reason, I have a feeling I may enjoy the movie more than the book, but...that's not to say I didn't enjoy the book. Just means how I can see how the story could be portrayed powerfully on the screen.
  4. A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard: Picked this one up off my aunt's coffee table and got interested in it. Somehow, I was oblivious to this girl's story (kidnapped when she was 11, held captive for 18 years and was found, along with her 2 children, in 2009). It's an easy read (in readability NOT in content) and provides an intriguing look at what goes through the mind of a victim in that situation. Graphic at times. I found myself vacillating between rage and despair over the depth of humanity's depravity. It is absolutely astounding to think about how disgustingly twisted a person can be and also astounding to think about what certain people are able to survive.
and watched:
  1. How Do You Know: Not worth your time. RomCom is somewhere mid- to low- on my "preferred genre" list and this was REALLY far down on my "RomComs worth watching" list. (Both of which are hypothetical lists, just to be clear). I don't have much more to say than that. Simply wasn't that good.
  2. The Adjustment Bureau : I enjoyed this movie. (Hmm...I'm getting tired. Suddenly don't have much to say. Will try to finish this....two more movies to go....). I like Matt Damon in this movie. Not necessarily one I would choose to watch again (I tend to judge books and movies on their re-readability or re-watchability) but I enjoyed watching it the first time through. So....moderate to high recommendation.
  3. Unstoppable (again): I saw this movie at my parent's place in May. Didn't necessarily plan on watching it again, but it was on TV while I was sitting in the room reading, and it grabbed my attention enough to pull me away from my book. So...that's saying something. Man, it's an intense movie. Really well done. I like Denzel and I am actually a big fan of the other actor although I don't know his name (I'm a fan of him in this movie....not even sure what other films he has done or if they are any good). I recommend it, but not if you're looking for a relaxing night at home. :-)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursdays: July (Part 2)

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

1006) Sleeping in past 5:30am.
1007) Having Linds around, in general. So good to see her, hug her, talk to her, live with her.
1008) Impromptu dinner & movie nights.
1009) Hand massages from Jill.
1010) Steak on the grill, corn on the cob and sweet potato fries. Yum! I love summer!! And cooking for my friends.
1011) Realizing my love for the church is not limited to Bethlehem - my heart loves THE CHURCH - loves listening to the church sing its praises & loves hearing the Word preached.
1012) Snuggling with Linds and Chinwe while watching So You Think You Can Dance.
1013) Running errands with Lindsay - forgetting for just a moment that she no longer lives here.
1014) Calls from my dad every Sunday. I love that man with everything that is within me.
1015) Lindsay.
1016) Sweet talks with Linds late into the night - relationships, vices, observations on each other's life - is there anything we don't talk about?!?!?
1017) Sweet tears from Linds as she said goodbye. I. Love. That. Girl.
1018) Chatting with Mom over my dinner break. Thankful for her and for our relationship.
1019) Having the courage to admit failure and the strength to genuinely apologize.
1020) Being able to trust friends to forgive and grant you grace.
1021) An evening with Chinwe. I love that girl dearly. I'm gonna miss our dinner nights.
1022) Reminders of WHO God is - trusting him to hold those I care about gently and decisively.
1023) Mailing gifts.
1024) Being recognized by the Hallmark ladies because I've mailed so many gifts this week. :-)
1025) Crossing off nearly everything on my list.
1026) Serving a jealous God who won't tolerate idols - what he commands is not only for his glory but also for my greatest joy. Amazing.
1027) Extra time in the morning to spend in the Word before work. Changes my whole day.
1028) Emails from Laurel. I love that girl. I also love living in the 21st century where I can "talk" to her from half a world away.
1029) Competent orientees.
1030) Daddy sending me an email asking what he can work on at my house while he is here this weekend. Love him. Love the ways he loves us.
1031) Having my patient try to set me up with her son. Awkward, but flattering.
1032) Finishing a four-day work week.
1033) Spicy chili.
1034) Independent orientees.
1035) Mom waiting up for me when I got home.
1036) Good morning hugs from my parents.
1037) The blessing of extended family.
1038) The weight of a baby in my lap.
1039) Baby giggles. Can never. get. enough.
1040) Laying against my mom watching Law & Order. One of my favorite spots in the world.
1041) Breakfast at Cheap Charlie's with my parents and my dear roommie. Love.
1042) Sitting at the kitchen table with Dad working on my watch together.
1043) Daddy fixing stuff around my house for me. Love the way he serves his girls.
1044) A quiet afternoon in the Word - time to just sit and soak up Truth. What a blessing.
1045) Curling up for a movie with my roommie.
1046) Walks with friends on a beautiful summer day.
1047) Dinner with my roommie - love my precious time with her.
1048) Honest conversations.
1049) Serving a God who does not change even when our circumstances do.
1050) Feeling grounded & stable.
1052) Real conversations about difficult things. Friends who trust me with some of their deepest heartaches. Being able to offer words of encouragement.
1053) Sitting in an individual assignment with a sweet Jewish family - seeing the loving and sweetfully respectful ways the generations interacted.
1054) Playing with a one year old. Making her giggle.
1055) The extremely helpful vet techs at Assisi Drive Animal Hospital.
1056) Seeing my freezer full of Mom's homemade strawberry jam. So yummy. So generous.
1057) Hugs from Pam after a massage. So sweet.
1058) Knowing that God hears our prayers and sees our tears (Isaiah 38:5).
1059) Texts from friends that show evidence of this - praising him for the beginning of answered prayer and the restoration of hope in the life of a dear friend.
1060) The beauty of Chinwe's photography - being reminded to try to see things from a different perspective as I was stunned by the beauty of a simple rose.
1061) Getting to the shuttle lot a half hour early and having a sweet time of prayer, listening to the birds while the wind blew gently through my open windows.
1062) Seeing my elderly patient and his wife napping together in his bed, holding hands.
1063) Funny patients who say things like "Breakfast tasted like someone ate it before I did."
1064) Chatting with Chinwe before bed. Good to see her after a full week of work.
1065) Josh Garrel's music. Finally listened to some of the lyrics - "I'm holding on to hope that one day this could turn out right." Amen and amen.
1066) Fried plantains in the morning. Yummy!
1067) The giggle of a 10-month-old. Pure delight.
1068) Large, brilliantly bright brown eyes. Such a beautiful baby!
1069) Asking just the right question to get a stranger to open up about the complicated story of God's challenges and faithfulness in her life. So encouraging to hear another example of how he works.
1070) The opportunity to hang out with some floor nurses outside of work.
1071) The amazing organ prelude before church at CEFC this morning. Causes my heart to rejoice in such a unique way!
1072) Listening to three generations read Scripture to the church. So cool to physically see that kind of legacy.
1073) The grandma's voice - thick with wisdom yet soft with a gentle love.
1074) The little girl's voice - pure, honest, innocent.
1075) Taking time to read. Loving Frederick Buechner's "Son of Laughter." Such delightfully beautiful writing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

T5 Most Detested Hospital Smells

It has been a while since I made a list. And I have been thinking about my friend Laurel a lot. So here is a list of 5 reasons to celebrate not having a sense of smell.

My T5 Most Detested Hospital Smells

5) Yeasty skin folds (I mostly hate this smell because it "sticks" to can still smell it on your scrubs, in your hair or in your nasal passage long after you've left the hospital)
4) Urinary tract infections (also a "sticky" smell)
3) Tube feeding formula
2) TPN/CPN* (liquid nutrition that goes into the vein)
1) The stool from someone with a GI bleed. (The only smell that has never failed to make me gag. Every. Single. Time.)

What smells do you hate at your job?

*Nurses, does anyone else absolutely hate the smell of TPN? Just curious. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that bothers me so much (maybe it smells too sweet? or artificial?), but it seriously is my least favorite smell other than GI bleed stool. Turns my stomach just to stand by the bag in the room. Blech.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday: July (part 1)

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

942) Watching Grandpa pet Penny - he nearly rubs her raw in one spot. :-)
943) Hugs from Grandpa.
944) Sweet conversation with Linda Day in the hot tub at the hotel. I know some incredible, insightful, honest, wise people.
945) Celebrating Em as she prepares for her last week as a Lundberg!
946) Hugs from Warren! So good to see him again.
947) BEAUTIFUL North Shore hiking!! How have I never been up here?!?!?
948) Catching up with Guy and Cassie. I really enjoy that couple.
949) Picnic lunch on Palisade Head.
950) Meaningful conversations around a beautiful campfire on the shore of Lake Superior. What a blessing.
951) Malbec-soaked roasted marshmallows. Brilliant. :-)
952) A drink of water after hours of waterless hiking on a hot day. Do I thirst for the Word like that???
953) Julie's reaction to jumping into Lake Superior. SO funny.
954) Kayaking with Penny on Lake Superior. So fun.
955) Good conversation with Megan on the ride into Duluth - so much honesty and vulnerability. I love listening to people open up.
956) Skirts.
957) More meaningful campfire conversations.
958) Friends who pray together.
959) Friends who care deeply about helping me think through different situations - who offer wise advice, give good feedback, offer encouragement and share their own stories.
960) Long, strong bedtime hugs from Kyle and Warren.
961) More great car conversation with Megan. What a blessing to get to know her better this weekend.
962) Time to chat with Chinwe - thankful for her honesty.
963) An opportunity to have a very difficult conversation with a friend. Trusting my words are in the Lord's hands.
964) Time alone after a weekend full of people.
965) My own bed.
966) Lindsay RUNNING across the lawn at DQ to greet me. :-D
967) A long, strong hug from Lindsay Lou. So good to have her in my arms again!
968) Asking for wisdom in a situation and feeling like maybe I'm just starting to get a little bit.
969) Sitting at DQ with Rach, Linds and Chinwe, forgetting for just a while that anything has changed (or will change).
970) Watching Emily get married - so happy for her.
971) Personally attending a laid-back bride - so easy/fun/enjoyable!
972) Watching Guy work - seeing how much he enjoys what he does.
973) The chance to catch up with all kinds of camp people - thankful for the many ways that place has enriched my life.
974) Hearing Em say how fun the day was for her.
975) Seeing Em look stunningly beautiful.
976) The powerful waterfalls in Temperance River!
977) Coho Cafe - great find in Tofte!
978) Running into two people I know while wandering around the North Shore. Always fun.
979) Physically driving away from all of the noise & busyness of life. So looking forward to a week in the BWCA!
980) Four lovely ladies to spend the week with.
981) Falling asleep in my hammock while listening to the croaking frogs and soulful loons join the leaves in their gentle windsong.
982) The gentle, repetitive sound of lapping canoe paddles.
983) The accomplished, tired feeling of having finished a difficult portage.
984) The first glimpse of water through the trees as you round the last bend of a long portage.
985) The grace and majesty of birds of prey.
986) Putting warm, dry socks on cold, wet feet.
987) Finding a BEAUTIFUL campsite. So glad we get to stay here two nights!!
988) Waking up and watching the sun slowly brighten the sky as I lay in my hammock.
989) Another day in the Boundary Waters with four beautiful women!
990) Sitting on a rock watching the sun set while listening to Jill read Scripture.
991) Lazy days in the wilderness with nothing to do but eat when you get hungry, sleep when you get tired and skinny dip when you get hot.
992) God's beauty and creativity displayed in nature.
993) Afternoon naps. In the hammock. In the Boundary Waters.
994) Back rubs from Linds. Purely delightful.
995) Snuggling with Linds and Jill while watching the sunset.
996) Good talks with Jill in the canoe. I love that girl.
997) Friends who pull extra weight at camp when I'm not feeling well.
998) Seeing an empty campsite after 8 hours of paddling and portaging.
999) Bugspray!
1000) Hugs from Lindsay Lou
1001) Having 1000 things to be thankful for.
1002) Long, hot showers after 6 days in the wilderness.
1003) Meaningful car ride convos about what it means to "be the church," what small group/Bible studies should look like and what the future may hold.
1004) Sitting in a hot tub with the girls, drinking wine after a week of physically demanding work.
1005) My bed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hanging My Big Girl Pants Out to Dry

In the past seven days, I have:
  • Worked 20 hours of overtime
  • Refinanced my house
  • Made daily phone calls with multiple office visits to get things set up for my dog to do a trial on a prescription diet (she's allergic to something and she is miserably itchy....trying to figure out how to make her more comfortable without dropping a boatload of money on a doggie dermatologist.....who even knew there was such a thing?!?!?!)
  • Renegotiated my cable/internet setup with Charter
  • Attended a meeting and worked on making a decision about an international trip
  • Driven a U-HAUL
In other words, I have had my big-girl-pants on for seven straight days. It was time to take them off. So today, I decided to take a break from being an adult and treat myself.

Just how did I treat myself, you ask?

I planned to:
  • Sleep in until 10:00.
  • Grab an Almond Mocha (milk chocolate) from Caribou
  • Get a manicure and luxury pedicure (including a leg mask and hot stone massage)
  • Get Jimmy John's
  • Eat it in the park
  • Lay in the sun with my dog and read
  • Hang out with a couple of dear friends and talk about life
  • Grill steaks for dinner with my beloved roommie and spend the evening talking and laughing with her
I did not necessarily count on:
  • Having an entertaining conversation about Disney princesses with the Hyvee Caribou barista
  • Getting a call from Hannah that reminded me how funny I think she is and funny she makes me feel (Thanks for laughing at my humor, H. Glad we have the same brain.).
  • Acquiring a fun new project/party to plan: my sister's 30th birthday (Life Rule #247: Nobody should have to plan their own 30th birthday party.). (Just two nights ago I was looking through my "planning notebook" and reminiscing over advent baskets, scavenger hunt birthday parties, themed birthday presents, etc. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. doing stuff like that. Now I've got my mind set on doing my sis's bday party. I think it could be epic.)
  • Having a lovely conversation with my manicurist about her life at a refugee camp in Cambodia, her experience as a 15-year-old immigrant in Rochester in the 80s, the mix of joy and shame she feels over being the new grandmother of her 19-year-old daughter's baby, and the culture/food/weather/fruit/landscape/amenities of Cambodia. It's amazing what you can learn about somebody if you just ask. I have deeply enjoyed getting to know those ladies.
  • Eating rum cake
  • Laughing until my stomach hurt
  • Semi-successfully performing a yoga pose

All in all, a lovely, no-big-girl-pants sort of day.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to bed. I am afraid I must wake up as an adult again in the morning....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Afternoon: A Story in Fragments.

Shucked corn. Thought the corn looked like it was moving. Realized I had just grabbed a handful of maggots. Threw it in the trash. Washed my hands. Almost threw up.

Washed my hands again. Took out the trash. Almost threw up. Washed my hands again. Felt like the trash still wasn't "out" far enough.

Almost threw up.

Washed my hands again.

The end.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful Thursday: June

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

836) Feeling healthy. Thinking clearly. Getting pieces of myself back.
837) Being able to leave the comfort and care of a grieving friend in the capable hands of her good God who lovingly cares for her.
838) Listening to the church sing.
839) The sweet experience of long-term friends who have loved you through every season of life.
840) Hearing my grandpa talk about his week and hearing him get choked up as I tell him I love him and he says goodbye.
841) Penny's excited little run to the stairs every morning and the way she crawls the last few feet to me on her belly.
842) Being called an "angel of mercy" by a patient.
843) Getting to practice small talk with patients when I am the Resource Nurse.
844) Relaxing walks with Penny when she follows the whole time right at my heel.
845) Reading through my gratitude list - seeing how faithful God has been to me through some dark months.
846) Convicting warnings from Proverbs regarding the folly of pursuing sin and idols - oh, how he cares for our souls!
847) The delight I find in making snapfish photo books. Working on Linds' birthday present right now - might be my new favorite gift idea!
848) Air conditioning on days when the heat index is over 100.
849) Chocolate zucchini bread.
850) Penny's cute little stretch.
851) Pedicures & manicures.
852) Purging possessions! Got rid of two garbage bags full of clothes and returned $200 worth of purchases. Yay!
853) 6 second hugs from Kristy. :-)
854) Sitting on the couch between two dear women watching So You Think You Can Dance with my dog in my lap. Love.
855) Sunlight at 9pm.
856) Breakfast, tears and prayer with my roommie. Love her.
857) Running into my neighbor on my walk with Penny and "chatting" for 30 minutes.
858) Realizing I like being neighborly and I might actually be good at it.
859) Precepting - realizing how much I know and how efficiently I work.
860) How excited Penny gets when we're training.
861) New mercies every. single. morning.
862) Things Penny teaches me about the kind of mother I might be someday and the encouragement/excitement that stirs up in me.
863)Things Penny teaches me about the kind of mother I might be someday and the time I have now to work on changing some of those things.
864) The joy of childhood - having fun playing with kids on the pediatric floor.
865) The end of 4-day work weeks.
866) Pho Tai with Brennas & friends - lots of good laughter (including Chris' impression of Ron).
867) Relaxing afternoons with my roommie - So You Think You Can Dance, dinner and nice conversation.
868) Random people in the gas station asking how I do my hair because they want to try to make theirs look like mine.
869) Game night at Emily B's - laughing until my stomach hurts and I have a headache.
870) Rhubarb cheesecake.
871) Beautiful imagery set to music used to describe the vast love of God - still not an adequate image, but helps us grasp just a glimpse of his love for us: "Could we with ink the oceans fill/And were the skies of parchment made/Were every stalk on earth a quill/And every man a scribe by trade/To write the love of God above/would drain the ocean dry/Nor could the scroll contain the whole/though stretched from sky to sky."
872) Good convos with Jill in the car as she rode to the cities with me. Love that girl.
873) Trusting that God has been holding my roommie these last two months and trusting that he can and will continue to do so.
874) Sitting with friends/community during church at Bethlehem.
875) Bando, Brenda and kids - love that family. Love how glad they always are to see us. Love how fun they are to be around. Love are great the kids are. Love them.
876) The opportunity to pick up overtime so I can go on trips next year and see people and experience the world.
877) Grateful patients.
878) Being able to speak with confidence on practice issues in the hospital - realizing that after five years I am really beginning to feel like a nurse.
879) Conan's humor (Dartmouth speech).
880) Waking up at 5:15 and realizing it's already light out - beautiful sunrise.
881) Beautiful summer days for long walks by the river with Penny (who gets compliments from every. single. person. we see).
882) Afternoon naps laying in a sun spot on the couch with my dog.
883) Sweet talks with the Bible study girls - what a blessing they are to me!
884) Enjoying days spent almost entirely alone. Feeling refreshed.
885) Laying on the living room rug cuddling with Penny while chatting with Emily on the phone about wedding plans. Fun to hear my dear friend so excited.
886) AMAKA MATCHED!!!!!! Answered prayer! Continuing to trust God's care and timing for that family.
887) Neighborliness - nice chats with Lora, her willingness to help with Penny and small ways I can help her, too.
888) Enjoying my roommate so much that I truly miss her when she's traveling.
889) The beautiful reflection off a full moon shining through a small break in wispy clouds - eerily beautiful.
890) The introvert articles that Laura has been tweeting - seeing strengths in my personality and being reminded that I am not the only one who sees the world this way.
891) Making patients laugh.
892) The things I learn from precepting new orientees - realizing how efficient I have become, how many decisions I can make with confidence, how well I interact with patients & staff, how much I now know instinctively, how much of the big picture I see, etc.
893) Seeing patients that I cared for the previous evening, asking how they're doing and getting the enthusiastic response, "Good, thanks to you!"
894) Ending my shift with a rough man saying, "You did good, kiddo." :-)
895) Nyquil.
896) My first IBM experience! Realizing that I love the physical nature of my job and all of the unique interactions it brings.
897) Casual convos with Chinwe as we roam (what felt like) the bowels of IBM. Man, I'm gonna miss that girl!
898) The joy I find in spending an afternoon in my kitchen making food for my friends.
899) Hearing the chatter of a house full of friends - I know some amazing people and I love them dearly.
900) Having my kitchen completely clean when people leave because my friends are so thoughtful and servant-hearted.
901) The joy I find in listening to someone speak with an African accent for an hour. Lovely and refreshing.
902) Opportunities falling into my lap to see my passions meet - so excited about Kenya.
903) Having the opportunity to deliver a meal to the Crowsers while Caleb is in the hospital. My placement in Rochester and familiar comfort with the hospital setting puts me in a unique situation to be able to encourage people during difficult times.
904) Hannah. Happy birthday, dear sister!
905) Angela. I. love. my. sisters.
906) First Baptist Church in Long Prairie. Love listening to Dave Ruby honor Grandpa - love being in a small community where people know each other's stories and are able to point to God's goodness and faithfulness in one another's lives.
907) Long walks with Penny by open fields on country roads at dusk. I love the country.
908) The dear man that I have the deep privilege of calling Father. Happy Father's Day Daddio!
909) The legacy of faith, hope and love that Grandpa has left for our family.
910) The opportunity to honor Grandpa at camp - seeing how thrilled he was to have the whole family there.
911) Grandpa's sweet tears anytime he tries to tell anyone he loves them.
912) Sweet convo with Teri Anderson after church - feeling like God gave me words of encouragement for her and encouraged me in the process.
913) Extended family - sweet convos with Susan and Faith during the weekend.
914) Jeed - being blessed by her eloquent tribute to Grandpa - seeing her deep love for our family - excited about the potential opportunity to travel to Thailand with her in the future.
915) Hotdogs, wine and pudgie pies around a fire with friends in Oostra's backyard on a cool summer night. LOVE.
916) Long, beautiful, honest conversation with Jules @ Common Root and walking around the park with Penny. Love listening to her process. Love processing with her.
917) Long, beautiful, honest conversation with Linds on the drive home. Love listening to her process. Love processing with her.
918) Long, beautiful, honest conversation with Chinwe over dinner. Love listening to her process. Love processing with her.
919) Being able to trust that God can care for his hurting children better than I ever could.
920) Chatting with Amaka - being able to tell her how genuinely excited I am that she matched.
921) A sweet patient with Parkinson's whose movements reminded me of my sweet grandma. Love her. Miss her.
922) An opportunity to talk to my orientee about missions.
923) My generous, helpful, servant-hearted mother who offers so much of her time, knowledge and energy to help me plan a weekend at the cabin. She's even offering to buy food to feed my friends. So ridiculous. So generous. So loving.
924) Watching my orientee learn things.
925) Re-discovering old poems that help me see how faithful God has been in my life. Oh, how he cares for me!
926) The cabin!!!
927) A FULL cabin - full of friends, laughter, conversation and fellowship.
928) Long conversations tangled in the hammock with Jill.
929) Mom driving my friends around the lake in the pontoon - so fun to cruise around with her.
930) Campfires.
931) Good follow-up conversations with friends who shared things with me months ago - not being afraid to ask tough questions.
932) Standing up for myself in a very difficult situation at work and later having the Nursing Supervisor tell me I did the right thing & that she was glad I knew what to do in the situation.
933) Having confidence that I made the right decision.
934) Penny got her hair cut and she's NOT ugly! Woo hoo!
935) A lazy night with Mom at the cabin.
937) Penny's pink bows - they crack me up every time I see them!
938) Cards with the Karlsgodts.
939) Sunny, lazy cabin days.
940) Picnic and cards on the pontoon. So fun.
941) Terry's humor and his self-satisfied smirks. He makes me laugh.