Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Love actually is all around"

Recently, I was thinking about my blog. Lame. I know. But it was thinking about how some people have themes for their blogs. Some people have fantastic designs and an unreal amount of comments left by followers that clearly find what they have to say interesting. And then there is this blog. My theme is love... how cliche. I write about my life which is less than extravagant. BUT I do think that people can relate to it. The reason is well put in the quote below.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. "

Yep, you guessed it. Love, Actually.

If you look too closely our world can be a scary place. I often find myself getting frustrated with people. People are hungry. People are hurting. BUT look at the love! I am continually amazed by the power love has to alter lives. The great thing about love is you get just as much fulfillment out of GIVING love as you do GETTING love. It is most certainly the best gift you can give anyone.

So spread the love, ya'll!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I've been stubborn... I admit it!

Advent is coming up and I have been thinking about what I will do to prepare myself for Christmas. Every year I promise myself I will pray for often, do Morning/Evening/Night prayer and I usually have moderate success with it. This year I felt like I should do something a little different but was having trouble making a decision on what exactly that would be.

A little background on me... I'm pretty hard headed. I would love to say that I am so agreeable and everything is happy-go-lucky all the time but that would be a major lie and I would have to run my little  butt to the confessional. The past several weeks there has been a rather popular link up called What I Wore Sunday. All my blogging friends are doing so why am I not doing it?

Well, my reasons aren't very good but bottom line is this: I don't go to church every Sunday. Before you X out of my blog and decide I am a poor Catholic though let me explain. I am a nurse. Hospitals never close. While people are enjoying there weekends with the rest of their families who also have the weekend off, there are nurses working their rears off to care for sick and elderly people. If we don't do it then who will? My job requires me to work every third weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) so it is impossible to get to mass. trust me I have tried everything. I have dispensation for the weekends I miss and while I have yet to miss a Holy Day of Obligation my dispensation includes those days, too.

The reason I have failed to jump on the What I Wore Sunday bandwagon is because I have been afraid of what people would think about me not going to Mass every third weekend. Unfortunately, I have come in contact with some Catholics that can be somewhat judgmental and I didn't want that. But after reading this article I felt somewhat empowered to get with the program and participate. What will I do the Sundays that I work, you ask? Well, since the so-called "theme" of my blog is love I will share with you some aspect of my Sunday caring for people. It may be about my love for my patients or it could be the love I witness between family members.... we will have to wait and see!

So, while I was very resistant to "conform" before THIS fiery redhead is gonna show ya just how good scrubs can look haha

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday spirit

 I am so not ready to do back to work tomorrow. That's the problem with good weekends... they have to end.

Friday I worked. When I got home Patrick was working on dinner. I showered, we ate and watched a few episodes of Duck Dynasty. If you haven't seen that show then you haven't lived. It is my kinda show... very quotable. Patrick and I are borderline obsessed (as in we are asking for Duck Dynasty merch for Christmas) and try to throw Si (the crazy bearded uncle) quotes into conversation as often as possible!

SEE WHAT I MEAN???? Hilarious.

Saturday, I cleaned the apartment to get ready to decorate for Christmas while Patrick went up to Holy Trinity for a day retreat. Our close friend, Dan, was Confirmed into the Catholic Church Saturday night and received his First Holy Communion. Patrick was honored to be his sponsor and the retreat was a sort of preparation for the actual celebration of the Sacraments. 

Converts to Catholicism are very special people. Not that the rest of us aren't but these converts experience things differently from us. They have a yearning to be a part of the communion of the Catholic Church. The have a desire to receive the Eucharist. They long to learn the teachings and be part of the Church that was started by Jesus Christ. It's not that the cradle Catholics like myself don't have these desires, but unfortunately if that is all we know we have a tendency to take it for granted. I confess... I have taken it for granted often. 

I have heard people say that these Confirmations and First Communions whether for children or adults should be done at separate Masses. I however, think that witnessing them enter into the Catholic Church helps remind us what it's all about. It helps us refocus and see the beauty in the unity. 

After Mass we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with Dan and his family and his fiance's family. I ate my body weight in quesadillas... I'm not proud of it.

Sunday was the first day that Patrick and I BOTH could sleep in in God only knows how long! I got about 10.5 hours of sleep! Heck yes! We had coffee, ate breakfast and went for a walk. Then, I finished decorating for Christmas! I freaking love Christmas.

My feelings about Christmas in a nut shell

More on that later :)

PS- I am really trying to get better about this how blogging thing. I'm a total amateur. What in the heck is this 7 Quick Takes business that everyone is doing? What's a link up? I seriously don't know how to do any of this stuff. So much still to learn!

Stationery card

Christmas card :)
Merry Polka Dots Christmas Card
Make unique Christmas cards this year at
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blending Families

As you may know, I have been married for almost a year and a half now. Last year was the first time I really had to deal with spending holidays away from my family. As happy as I was to finally be spending these special days with my new husband, I couldn't help but feel sad. My family has a ton of traditions. Some of them are silly and I really don't know how we started them but it was that familiarity, the consistency. I just loved it. Last year we spent Thanksgiving with my family in Texas and did Christmas with Patrick's family here in Kansas. It was good but it wasn't the same.

This year, unfortunately because of my work schedule, I will not get to spend Thanksgiving OR Christmas with my family. Initially I was pretty down about it but here we are Thanksgiving Day and I have to tell you my feelings have changed. We just got back home from the in-laws and if I didn't have to work in the morning I would have stayed all weekend. The food may not have been the same as what my mom made back in Texas today and the company was a little different but it was darn near perfect in my opinion for other reasons.

We drove down Wednesday afternoon after I spent most of the morning baking at home. My mother-in-law, Julie was in the kitchen when we got there and was doing some of the prep for the 'big meal' before my father-in-law, Philip, got home. She and I worked in the kitchen, I peeled and cut potatoes, worked on dinner for that night and we both talked. I realized then that I have a very special relationship with my mother-in-law that many young women don't have. She never had a daughter, just Patrick and his little brother, but she treats me like her daughter. She is so sweet and genuine and I absolutely love her.

We started talking about our families. She asked about my grandparents. One grandma was recently in the hospital and the other we had to put in a nursing home a few months back which has been hard on my grandpa. She asked about my sister who had just been accepted to college where I went. She asked about my crazy brother in Hawaii and my little brother in college in Texas. She asked about my parents, too. How many in-laws know that much about the extended families of their children's spouses? How many people would visit their child's in-laws without the child? Mine have but based on how I hear some of my friends talk about their in-laws, my guess is not many. And for that I am truly thankful.

I missed my parents and brothers and sister dearly today. I thought back to previous Thanksgivings and had to smile to myself for all the beautiful memories I have growing up in Texas with my family. And now as the Christmas season approaches, though I will certainly at times wish I could be in Texas, I no longer feel a sense of loss for not being with them. My family has grown. I have Julie, Philip and Brian (my brother-in-law) now. They love me and treat me as if I have ALWAYS been part of their family. Traditions may not be the same but one day when we have children of our own we will form our own traditions.

The process of blending our two families (especially since mine is so far away) as not always been easy. I will always be homesick from time to time. But I feel blessed to have so many loving people to call my family. After all, family really is what it's all about.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. My favorite month of the year has passed and we are moving on to the true "holiday season." How time flies.

While October is my favorite month, I have to say that November and December bring something truly special. People are thankful. People are thoughtful. People are thinking of the less fortunate. It is really  a special time of year and I can't quite put my finger on it but it seems to bring out the best in people. Every time I open facebook I see status updates stating what people are thankful for. And ya know what, 9 and a half times out of 10 people are thankful for people, not things. How beautiful is that?! It's refreshing, especially when you think abut the society that we live in.

I have a lot to be thankful for and to be completely honest I fail to thank my God for the blessings in my life. I am so blessed to have a loving and faithful husband that supports me in all I do. He loves me and challenges me everyday to be the best woman I can be. He lifts me up when I fall. He encourages me in my doubt. He is my greatest blessing. I have also been blessed with an amazing family. My mom, dad and siblings are my best freinds. We have history and they know everything about me. My in-laws are the best. They feel more like family than I ever could imagine and they are people I depend on often. I know that many young women don't have that kind of relationship with their in-laws and that makes it that much sweeter.

I don't always feel like the best child of the King. I fail often. But my God has been unwavering in love for me. In my darkest days God has reached an ever loving hand out to me and pulled me close. Almost two years ago now I was in a terrible car accident that resulted in the death of a person I never met. I experienced emotional pain and felt unworthy of the life I was living in the months that followed. But God touched my life and pulled me out of the darkness that lingered around me. I learned that God has bigger plans for me. I learned that my life was worth something and that I as a nurse could change the lives of my patients. As painful as my time after the wreck was, I am thankful for the connection it has given me to my patients. It has given me a new outlook on the little things in life.

My life has changed a lot in the past year or so since my marriage to Patrick. I never in my life thought I would be able to say this but I am so thankful for the life I have with Patrick here in Kansas City. I moved here with the intention of leaving as soon as he graduated but now I can't imagine us being anywhere else. This has really become our home. Home. What a powerful feeling, to feel at home. Our apartment is only temporary but we love looking at homes online and talking about raising a family in the Kansas City area. We have so much to look forward to.

This ended up being a much deeper post than I really planned but once I start on a topic I find it hard to get off. My point is this: We all have trials and tribulations in this life but if we look at the positive things, the blessing, we tend to be much happier. In all the imperfections of my world I feel joyfully at peace.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend with Rachel

I haven't written in a while but not because nothing is going on... quite the opposite. Since the last time I have written I suffered through the disappointment of election night, worked a lot (and I do mean a LOT!), spent a weekend with my little sister in Pittsburg, and went to an awesome country music concert.

Having my sister around was so nice. It is very difficult for me sometimes to be be so far away from my family but I know that this is where I am called to be. I have felt at times that I missed out on things like graduations, football games, and dance concerts when my little siblings were in high school. I have missed family days and holidays. I feel torn sometimes because as much as I miss my family in Texas I honestly love living in Kansas with my husband. Being away from so many people I love makes being reunited so much sweeter though!

I almost cried I was so excited when I picked Rachel up from the airport. She is the craziest, funniest girl I know! From the moment I saw her to the moment I said goodbye it was nonstop laughter. We talked about everything from boys to high school drama to the intense things I experience at work. She picked my brain about what life was like for me in college. We talked about faith and love and growing up. It was so special. I loved walking her through my old college campus and telling her stories that my dad told me when they brought me on my first college visit to Pittsburg State. We went to the football game and cheered on the Gorillas even though they lost. More than anything I loved seeing her so excited about her future! It reminded me of when I was her age.

My sister and I have ALWAYS been argumentative. We shared a room from the time she was born until I was a freshman in high school and for several years we even shared a bed. Being six years apart we have always had our differences but during this trip I saw a completely different side of my sister. She is really growing up into a beautiful strong young woman. I am so proud. She will still always be the crazy little sister that says "when birds fly" instead of "when pigs fly" but I love seeing her grow up and be so happy!

On a completely different note... I am pretty stoked about the holidays coming up. Im trying to contain my excitement and hold off on decorating the apartment until AFTER Thanksgiving. Wish me luck :)