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Monday, January 31, 2011

Love this quote.

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Thank you, sweet Miriam, for this lovely little quote. :) I can't get it out of my head.

PS - If anyone wants the full-size version to print, just email me!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My job.

I just uncovered these pictures that somehow never made it to the blog. They were from just before Christmas, but they're significant because they're one of about 3 times I've ever taken my camera to work.

Taking pictures of my job - however interesting it may be - is kind of like taking pictures of my morning tea. It's an everyday thing for me, and I just don't think about documenting it.

Anyhow, I thought you should get a little behind the scenes look of the aftermath of each night.

[ The tables. Starbucks cups, wine glasses, and paint everywhere. ]
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[ The brushes, waiting for a good cleaning. ]
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[ A finished painting. ]
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[ My very favorite co-worker.
It's rare that he helps out, only when we're super busy and shorthanded.
But I really love when he does. :) He looks so cute in an apron. ]
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[ My other favorite co-worker. ]
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[ Sorting clean brushes and setting up for tomorrow's class. ]
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Come visit me sometime! And if you do, introduce yourself, ok? I promise I would love to meet you!

P.S. - Speaking of my job, I do have the best coworkers there are.
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Aren't they adorable? I'm so, so thankful they feel much more like family than coworkers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Freezer love.

I wish I could say I serve this kind of meal to my husband every night.
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Gluten-free chicken mushroom rice tetrazzini casserole
But in this season, it just isn't possible.
So I've decided to do this:
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Making meals in multiples, then freezing what we don't immediately need.
I know it's not a novel idea - it's just novel in our house.
I think it's going to help so much when I can only cook maybe 2 nights a week. (At least I hope so!)


Anyone have any healthy freezer-friendly recipes you recommend?
I'm all ears!
(My husband thanks you in advance!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Some favorite blogs: Home edition.

Recently, I have loved perusing through design blogs. It is astounding how much inspiration you can find (and how much time you can waste) :) just looking through them and getting ideas. Here are a few I've been loving these days. Just click on the name to take you there.

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This is their real life living room. Enough said. The whites and the simplicity is just so beautiful, and there are lots of fun DIY projects here too!

This girl amazes me. She finds the greatest things at flea markets and thrift stores and makes them fit beautifully in her home. I love, love her daughter's room:
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Home & Harmony
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Clean. Beautiful. Looks like an Anthropologie catalogue to me. Oh, and they are adoptive parents which just makes it all even better in my book.

Holly Mathis Interiors
I love Holly's eclectic style, and the fact that she's not afraid to do design consulting over the internet. That seems so difficult, but she pulls it off beautifully. A lot of inspiration here!
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I wish I could frame every picture on her blog. They are gorgeous. I can't believe that's her real home! I especially love all the natural light.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You could probably guess where I've been.

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It's been a whirlwind since beginning nursing school a few weeks ago, and honestly, I am loving it. Today marked my first assessment where I had to take a fellow nursing student's vital signs and do a head-to-toe assessment (as if they were a bedridden patient) - all in front of my professor. It was nerve wracking, but so exciting. I love how everything I'm learning is just so practical. As soon as next week, I'll be using it in a hospital setting!

Some things I've learned so far: 
1. I adore scrubs. Especially ones that fit (those are hard to come by!). It's like wearing comfy pajamas to school and work! Any nurses out there have tips on good brands to try?
2. I've got to figure out some balance. I somehow get all my homework done and am still working part-time, but I haven't cooked a single meal since I started - or written hardly any blog posts. I miss both of those things. I'm trying!
3. I feel a lot of compassion for anyone who has to get a catheter. I feel even more compassion for the patient who I catheterize for the first time. (That last photo is of a catheter kit... for practice on mannequins, not on humans. Yet.)
4. I have a feeling, more every day, that this is what I was made to do: to care for people in their most vulnerable times. I cannot wait for my first patient!

Thanks for all the well wishes I've received! :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Be still and know that I am God.

It's just what I've needed after this past couple of weeks:
To be still.
To know.
To be alone in our home on a snowy morning, just me and Jesus.
To savor the mundane - whether it be clean dishes or family photos, bed making or paper writing.

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PS - A huuuuuge thank you to my sweet husband who fixed my camera! He's a master with a pair of tweezers, I tell you. I'm so glad to have her back in my life. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John Broadman Ware, my Granddaddy.

Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Just three days after Christmas, twelve members of my family packed our cars and took a long road trip east. We were headed to see my Granddaddy (my mom's dad), who had been courageously fighting esophageal cancer for the past year. At the forefront of our minds was the possibility that this may be our last visit with him - and definitely the last time as a family together with him - and yet the joy and the peace of our time together far outweighed the sadness.

When we arrived after our 10-hour drive, we knew he could only handle a few hours of activity before getting very tired.

We packed his little house with his four kids and their spouses and 6 granddaughters.
We ate fried chicken and macaroni and drank sweet tea.
We laughed at Granddaddy's famous corny jokes.
We sang hymns around the piano and recounted the Lord's goodness.
We prayed for one another.
We celebrated a life on the brink of eternity in a way I've never experienced before.

The hours passed quickly as we laughed and cried, then laughed and cried some more.

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Granddaddy, opening a book of letters from each member of his family, full of our favorite Scriptures.
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Singing hymns
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Giving his children copies of over a hundred poems and stories from his life
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He even showed us his "shed" with his vast record collection. This one is one of his own recordings!
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When the time came to say goodbye, Granddaddy embraced each member of his family, one by one, and blessed them. Nothing was left unsaid. When it was my turn, he stood tall and wrapped me in those long arms of his, tucked his face into my shoulder, and told me how proud of me he was... how he would never forget the first time he held me as a newborn... how he couldn't be prouder of Shawn and me and our hearts for Jesus. His words are treasures.

As we pulled away from his house, what struck me more than anything was this: death has lost its sting. When you're a child of God, the confidence that upon your last breath you'll be in Jesus' presence obliterates fear. Not only that, but there's joy! Joy that the temporary discomforts of feeding tubes and pain meds will be replaced with worship and unfathomable freedom. My grandfather had walked with Jesus since he was a boy, and the depth of his relationship with his Father was undeniably real.

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Seeing a photo of all of his children and grandchildren (and a great-grandchild!) together.
Just two weeks after this sacred day with Granddaddy, my mom had compiled the photos we took into a book and shipped the book to Granddaddy as quickly as possible. He was able to see these photos of his children together for the first time in years. He saw the love that surrounded him. He saw his faithful wife of 30 years, and the legacy of his granddaughters who love and follow Jesus. And I believe it was in part because of this moment that he was able to let go. He beheld the lavish love the Father had poured out on him in this life and was able to embrace Him in the next. Just a few hours later, Granddaddy went to be with Jesus.

Tomorrow is his funeral - or more accurately, his celebration service - and because of the demands of school, I'm not able to be there. It breaks my heart that I cannot grieve and rejoice alongside my family, but in a sense, I feel I've already been able to celebrate him. And I've been able to celebrate him in his presence. What a rare and priceless gift. I don't think anything can surpass that experience.

It was a privilege to be behind the camera that day, capturing our last beautiful moments as a complete family. It was a privilege to take this very last photo of him, one that exudes peace and has comforted our hearts.
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Mostly, though, it was a privilege being his granddaughter.

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Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5