Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blessed. (#1161 - 1185)

Wrote this on Christmas Eve, one of the few days I wish that I work at an office, bank or store, or in nursing leadership or an outpatient clinic.
I wake up in my warm bed after working the night before and call out to Loki, who runs into the bedroom and jumps onto the bed, into his spot when I am sleeping during the day. I find my husband formatting the laptop that is for me (his mom's old computer). I give him a kiss, take a quick shower and get dressed in fun, Christmas scrubs. We sit down by our little Christmas tree and exchange the gifts we got for each other. Loki helps. Christopher got me the movie, Inception, a subscription to the magazine Prevention and a microwavable coffee mug to take to work that he knew I would like by listening to me say that I want to create no waste at work (i.e. no styrofoam cups). Any gift that I will use several times a week until it breaks is a great gift, in my opinion. In case you are curious, I got him ceramic ramekins, plastic spice jars and a gift certificate to a spice store that he has been wanting to visit. (Yes, all of his gifts encourage him to cook yummy food, which also clearly benefits me.) We open some thoughtful, fun gifts from friends and then we have a yummy dinner with eggnog for dessert. We talk about the next day when Chris will drive and I will sleep the whole way to Minnesota so we can celebrate Christmas with (most of*) our families.
And then a go to work, slightly grumbling about having to go to work at 7pm on Christmas Eve.
As I get report, the house supervisor goes into one of my rooms and starts a new IV for my patient. I have been at work for 16 minutes and he has already solved one of my problems.
I go into another room and my patient asks what I am doing for Christmas and I tell her that I am going home tomorrow, knowing that she will not.
Soon afterwards I enter another room, help out and talk briefly with that patient and I leave thinking that he will most likely not live another year.
I am thankful for some perspective, knowing that working on Christmas eve isn't all that bad. And, as stated above, I did have a fantastic evening. I can choose to see work as the blessing that it is and instead of grumbling, I can choose to be thankful.
After all, today isn't about gifts or yummy food or working or going home. Sometimes, even on Christmas, it is a good to get a reminder that it isn't about me. It seems silly that after reading the gospel accounts of Christ's life this month and preparing my mind and body for his birth, I still need that reminder. To reflect on my Savior, the beautiful story of his birth that highlights prayer and obedience and his life.
Merry Christmas!
* I have added an item to my bucket list: spend a Christmas in Beijing ... but I'll revise that if the Butz family moves somewhere else. Just an FYI for Chris and his family. =)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking a lot like Christmas ...

1148. My Savior
1149. hearing his life put to music, Handel's Messiah with my in-laws
1150. Their trip here also included yummy Indian food and breakfast at our favorite coffee shop. (I love that we are beginning to have places to call "ours")
1151. Eva. There are many reasons for me to be thankful for my friend Eva, not the least of which is how she called AAA and helped me get my keys unlocked from the inside of my car. 
1152. AAA 
1153. Schedules that align and roads that are clear for lunch in the middle
1154. Christmas gifts under our cute, little tree
1155. Celebrating Jesus' birth with new friends who I hope will be good friends. 
1156. Successfully navigating an issue in our relationship with Christopher
1157. Dinner with family in my grandma's farm house, and, how, in a coincidence, our visit coincided with my aunt and uncle's visit with two of their grandkids.
1158 and 1159. So I was served strawberry tea and read Winnie the Pooh books for a few hours
1160. Christmas is coming ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

list of fun things =)

In other news, Chris is done with his first semester today; he'll turn in his paper this afternoon. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! If you ask him what he is going to do during his month-long break from school, he would tell you that he is going to cook great meals and clean the apartment - basically take care of me when I am working. I hope there will be some of that but I also hope there will be some evening walks in the snow, a trip to our favorite park and an ample amount of board game playing.
In the mean time, though, his parents are coming to visit and we are going to go see Handel's Messiah by the Milwaukee Symphony. I am blessed to have a good, mutually enjoyable relationship with my in-laws and when we said goodbye to them after Thanksgiving and his mom said "maybe we'll see you before Christmas ... " it just made my heart happy. And now they are coming. tomorrow. another yaaaaaay!
Other fun things on the docket: a quick trip to the Dells to see a dear friend who is willing to drive 2 plus hours just for lunch. A trip to Oshkosh to visit my grandma on her farm. Getting a small tree for our apartment. And our first ever "Christmas Breakfast" - which I want to come up with a stellar name for because if it is a hit, we'll hopefully make a tradition out of it. And that is just in the next few weeks, don't get me started on the next few months 8-)
And, of course there are things to be thankful for.
1129. safety in the snow. The "blizzard" was less intense here 'cuz the rain we got the whole day before hand made the snow too wet to blow around like crazy.
1130. getting one of my car doors open when I thought they were all frozen shut.
1131. my fun Christmas scrub top - a pleasant change to my all green scrubs, another throw back to my Mayo days (incidental blue is the one color we can't wear)
1132. figuring out why I was so tired (nope, not pregnant ... actually/oddly just needed to sleep a little less)
side note: every time I write something that I think could possibly be interpreted as a slight suggestion that we are pregnant, I want to clarify that we aren't. So, just so you all know - you people who I love and e-mail me at the unintentional hint of a baby brenna on the way - when I want you to know, you will know. I will not hint around or hide it in the middle of a post. You'll know. I promise. So I'm not going to clarify any more . Okay dokie? (hmm ... baby brenna does kinda have a cute ring to it, huh?)
1133. Christmas carols. on pandora. on the radio. in stores
1134. snow covered evergreen trees
1135. Loki's boots. We are looking for a jacket for him 'cuz OUR routine to get ready to go for a walk looks something like this: put on long underwear and warm pants. Pull on sweat shirt and winter coat. Find hat, scarf and mittens. Bundle up. LOKI's routine to get ready looks something like this: Find boots. Find the 4th boot. Put on boots.
1136. Yoga. I heart yoga.
1137. phone dates. I heart phone dates
1138. my warm bed in the morning
1139. on-line shopping
1140. forming new habits: flossing, drinking enough water daily, keeping our kitchen table clean
1141. warm mittens
1142. soup simmering on the stove
1143. crystal light drink mix
1144. Christopher's words of truth lovingly spoken when I am discouraged
1145. a semester behind us
1146. kisses from my husband
1147. Yoga being interrupted because Loki thinks that since we are playing on the floor we should be playing with him

Today I felt like a Mayo girl ...

Of course where I come from will effect what kind of nursing care I give but last night I did a few things that are decidedly "Mayo"
- I put a flat sheet under my patient, rebelling against the way we are supposed to boost patients (with a chux for you nurses) because I simply don't like it.
- I took up the torch (again) for a mock code committee - actually just a mock code event. Having a plan (or an idea of who is going to show up) for something like that is a necessity, I think.
- I realized that scanning meds has made me type A - ish about charting meds (on paper here). And I'm not type A about much of anything, although in this case I think "type A" could be interpreted as "legal"
- My orientee - yes, I have an orientee - walked into our room and said "wow, your sheet looks so perfect" - that may be a 8MB thing and not really a Mayo thing, I'm not sure.
I can honestly say that the thing I miss the most (note: not my co-workers ... I said "thing") is policies. Mayo's motto could be "a policy for everything and everything has a policy" In my opinion that comes before computerized charting and doctors/residents rounding early.
I am learning that I can be glad to go to work even though I don't love my job. I can still give good patient care and, hopefully, instigate some change. In the mean time I'm going to use sheets how I see fit, campaign for a mock code committee and better med documentation and be really happy that I am a Mayo girl.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Loki,
Just a little reminder that your monthly budget is $50. 
There's always next month buddy!
the one who brings home the (figurative) bacon

Friday, December 10, 2010

A short list

1123. Fantastic tasty food filling our kitchen (and our bellies)
1124. the box from MN filled with love -- and anticipation of our girls Mexican vacation coming up.
1125. and Christmas songs, which rock.
1126. the unique nativity set on our table
1127. Books for Advent
1128. Loki. Hey, I can be thankful for him every week, right? You can't tell how cute he is in that picture 'cuz he's all black but that's okay because he was also a little worried about why I was trying to put the paper chain around him.

In other news, I actually make a plan for my blog - gasp - for next year. It involves the camera I am getting for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!), picasa and hopefully some more pictures of us people ... basically motivation for me to be creative and get to know a new camera and a way to share a quick glance into our life.

That's all -- like I said, short.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"just press play" ... my letter to Tony Horton ... (the guy who does P90x)

I had planned on writing down my gratitude list this morning but that would involve some pictures and moving to get them but since the laptop is carefully perched on top of Loki and some pillows on my lap, it doesn't seem worth it right now. So this will have to do, instead. 

 Dear Tony Horton,
My husband and I started P90x several months ago, after being inspired by success stories on-line. We had just moved and figured we had the time and motivation to do it. However, prior to this, putting my name and the words exercise and intense in the same sentence did not really exist. But still, we committed to it and have been going strong. We aren't doing it in 90 days, though, as that just isn't realistic for our life. Instead, we workout with you 4 or 5 days a week and that works for us.

Right now, we are on a rest week, which I think is an oxymoron ... kinda like the "breaks" during your workouts that involve running in place and jumping jacks. We got bands after about a month and I realized I had been dogging some of the lifting workouts and it has been rewarding to see see the numbers on my tracking sheet change.

I realize that there is a muted option and I understand why but so far we have yet to use it, opting instead to quote you and comment as you explain, yet again, the difference between static and ballistic stretches. As annoying as you sometimes are, you are motivating and the "just press play" phrase a good reminder that simply starting is the first step to success. The only time I am truly annoyed though is when you talk about not aging -- because even though you are probably aging really really really well, your body isn't the same as when you were 20, I hate to break it to you.

I don't have a favorite exercise (excluding StretchX) -- I like Yoga, Kenpo and Plyo all equally. But my least favorite is Legs and Back because of how sore I am after wards. And, I'm not going to lie, I'm not a huge fan of the recovery drink but when blended with some frozen fruit it is better and it does seem to help me feel better (i.e. no longer starving around midnight at work). I haven't seen much movement on the scale, which was frustrating. For some reason, I always think I should just be able to exercise and that that is enough but it isn't (for me). So now I'm keeping track of my intake and seeing some changes.

So, thank you for invading our living room several times a week and entertaining us somewhat in the process.

Still pressing play,
Rachel B

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Cards (for Liz .... kind of)

The topic of Christmas card came up during our Thanksgiving visit to MN and Liz, a dear family friend, declared that she just had to have a Christmas card from us. Now I usually dismiss the idea of Christmas cards with pictures and a newsletter and all the do-dads, even though I really enjoy getting cards from our family and friends in the mail. This year, though, it seems practical, seeing as we got married and moved – it will be a good way to send out our new address seeing as the cute “we have moved cards” never made it out of the box. 

Shutterfly has a huge selection of Christmas and holiday cards, making it difficult to choose a favorite. The selection is classy, easy to create and huge. In addition, they have personalized mugs – like the one I just gave my friend for her birthday and easy to make photo books – like the one the holds pictures from our wedding. I also think I will make a yearly photo book for us and have started to design 2010. The thing I like the most about Shutterfly is that it is easy to use and fairly intuitive. 

Also, Shutterfly is offering bloggers 50 free cards – follow this link for directions. Hey, we all know how much I like free things =)

And so, I am going to start a new thing and send out Christmas cards – but I’ve decided if they make it out anytime before the new year, I will be happy with that. So, Liz (and several other people) you’ll be getting nice Christmas card from us – enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1097. Pandora, Christmas style
1098. Safe trips to MN and back
1099. And a dog that travels in the car wonderfully
1101. Thanksgiving dinner: an abundance of wonderful food, family and friends
1102. Seeing my oldest friend, her family and her cute baby belly
1103. Playing monopoly ... actually that is a little deceptive ... i should say "playing a game where my little brother doesn't cream me" (okay, well, he just lost first but I'll take that)
1104. Sleeping in my parents' new guest room (aka Johnny's room)
1105. Relaxing time spent at my in-law's.
1106. Envisions of our children running around and enjoying Grandma and Grandpa's house as much as my brothers and I did.
1107. Loki - I have mentioned how much I love him, right?

1108. Realizing that praying for my husband is a gift and I can do it uniquely because I am his wife
1109. Small, simple, daily goals - and the "Yes" after them (I decided a check mark wasn't as motivating)
1110. My father-in-law's waffles on Sunday morning
1111. Friends who stay and play long after the fantastic meal is done
1112. Hugs
1113. The group of people who have welcomed us into their biblestudy recently
1114. Advent readings
1115. Apple cider, especially the second time around, after I realized it needed a little bit of sugar
1116. Afternoons when Chris doesn't have any school work scheduled.
1117. Knowing that home can be two places
1118. Talking with Chris about communication
1119. Long underwear
1120. Heat
1121. Slippers
1122. Christmas trees