Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter blues

Man this weather has got me in a funk. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful and I don't have any problem with snow whatsoever. Snow can be fun and I enjoy it. But this ice has got to go.

First of all, my job doesn't close. Like the millions of other health care workers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response people and those we trust to keep our power on, I have to try to make it to work, risking my car and my safety. And then I will most likely be stuck at work for days on end. It's not the ideal situation, but we do it all the time. I want to sleep in my own bed next to my husband.

Next thing is Meah. If you've known us for very long, you are aware that she has hip dysplasia. We have known since she was about 9 months old. The ice and cold weather are the absolute worst thing for her. She can't walk on the ice, at all. Her limp gets so bad and it's so painfully hard to watch. This, above everything else, is why I loath this weather. I hate it because it causes our fur baby pain.

So winter, it's time for you to go.
Sincerely,
-Cas
Sorry for the rant my friends, I had to let it out.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A New Adventure

Looking back on the specific things I have prayed for and thought about, God has been preparing me for this moment. Especially in the last six months I know I have personally struggled with realizing that our story isn't going to look like everyone else's. Just because some friends are buying houses, or having babies, or getting their master's or whatever their next life step might be, doesn't mean that God has those things planned for us right now. That doesn't mean that they won't happen for us at some point, but God has definitely been teaching me to be happy and comfortable with the plan He has for us, not my plan for us. 

I've been praying hard for God help me to be content with where we are and to equip us for the future. It is after much prayer and talking with people close to us that Duane and I have decided to take our family on the road. In April, I plan on taking an assignment as a travel nurse and Duane and Meah will be joining me. Nashville has taught the both of us a lot, but we can both clearly see that it is not the place for us long term. We are hoping that God will reveal a awesome place for us to settle in while we are traveling. Past the decision to travel, we don't know where we are going to go or how long we will travel. We are trusting in our Creator to guide us on this journey. 

This is SO FAR from my comfort zone, I know I wouldn't have picked this on my own. Especially since I love my job right now and we are going to a church we love. I pray that God is going to use this new adventure to cause us to grow in our marriage and to lean on Him completely. I pray that I will learn to be more outgoing and intentional on making and investing in relationships with the new people that we come into contact with. 

I am so excited about traveling to new cities, trying out new restaurants and outdoor activities, meeting new people, and learning new things in a new hospital. I am actually so pumped about cleaning out all the extra junk in our lives that just gather dust and get in the way. It's really exciting to think about a "minimalist" lifestyle as we plan on taking whatever we can fit in our cars. The rest of our things will be stored (i.e. keepsakes, photos, etc), sold, given away, or thrown away. So that's it. Our big announcement. I love you guys...my blog followers... and this should give me PLENTY to blog about. :)

-Cas

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Selection - a review

On the back: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

So hang with me, I've never written a book review before.

First off, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games, or Divergent. It contains many of the same elements of that makes dystopian teen fiction so addicting. The book revolves around America Singer, a strong female character with whom I had a love-hate relationship. On the one hand she's strong-willed, has a definite sense of right and wrong, and its fiercely devoted to her family. On the other hand, she suffers from the same short-comings that you could see with any teenager with such limited life experience. She makes rash decisions based on emotions and doesn't always consider the consequences for those around her. Cass did a great job making her believable and lovable. I often found myself so worked up over America's actions that I would sigh with contentment, and yell with frustration. My husband gave me some strange looks and was slightly amazed that I literally didn't hear him at all when here tried to ask me a question while I was reading this book.

The other main characters that you spend a lot of time with are Prince Maxon and Aspen. I really enjoyed Maxon as a character. Cass continued to develop him as a character throughout the book and I was definitely rooting for him to find someone who would love and respect him. I won't reveal how she made his character evolve, it might give away to much, but he was not the Prince that I was expecting.

Aspen is America's "first love" but I wasn't so in love with his character. He seemed pretty one-sided to me. You don't learn enough about his character in my opinion to make him endearing, he just seems kind of selfish.

Overall I would say this book is like a mash-up of The Bachelor and a teen dystopian fiction novel. I thoroughly enjoyed The Selection, and immediately read the next two books, The Elite and The One. I was sad when it was over and I am still searching for my next read. It was nice not to worry about any adult scenes or read a lot of vulgar language. Overall I would give the book an A-. Mostly I wish it was longer because a few parts felt rushed to me.

I hope you enjoyed my book review. :)
-Cas

Sunday, February 8, 2015

update and an upcoming announcement

Hello friends and family.
Life has been pretty great since the start of 2015. We started off with a day for 21 days. No meats, no carbs, no sugars. Only water to drink, and fruits, veggies, and whole grains to eat. It was refreshing, and eye opening. I realized just how much I love coffee and that it's ok to be hungry and you truly don't need meat or carbs to survive. It also really helped me start off the new year with my heart and mind focused on God. I was very happy and proud when Duane and I completed it.

As soon as the fast was over I hopped on a plane and went to Texas to visit my sister, brother in law, and my nephews. I'm in love with their newest family member Ian. And my love for Isaac only grew as we spent time together. It was a much needed break from my everyday stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed the baby snuggles, toddler playtime, lazy couch days, and helping my wonderful sister settle into a life with two kiddos.

I've also acquired some new hardware in my mouth. My wire permanent retainer was traded for a set of clear retainers to straighten my teeth. Basically it's like invisalign, just a different company. I'm really excited to undo the shifting of my teeth brought on from my wisdom teeth and being unable to wear previous retainers.

Anywho, if you happened to make it through my updates, you will get to hear about the upcoming blogs I've planned in my head. A week from now, we have a big announcement. It's been prayed over and talked over with close family and friends and decision day is in 6 days. So then we can announce it to the rest of our friends and extended family as well. I'm also planning a little book review. I just finished reading Kiera Cass', The Selection, The Elite, and The One. It was a quick and fun read and I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, and hopefully i can move on with my life and stop dwelling on this story. I think I have post book syndrome.

-Cas

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfulness


I'm thankful for friends. We had such a wonderful visit with an amazing college friend of ours this past weekend. Emily came to visit us and it was a much needed catch up. Saturday we went hiking at Bledsoe State Park and I think Emily liked it as much as we do. We had some amazing conversations about God and scripture and I forgot how important it is to have close fellowship with people who love Jesus like we do.

Saturday night we went to the OpryLand Hotel to see their Christmas lights and Nativity scene. The lights were absolutely gorgeous and it took over 2 hours to see all the lights outside and within the hotel.

It was sooo beautiful and I had been wanting to go for a while. It was a day full of free fun!!

We also went to see Mockingjay part 1!! It was pretty awesome but I won't spoil any details. :p

So today on Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for family and the non related family members that we call friends!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A day in the life

So I promised a blog about my new job so here goes!

Interventional radiology (abbreviated IR or VIR for Vascular and Interventional Radiology, also referred to as Surgical Radiology) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interventional_radiology) 



The above link will lead any interested parties to discover what our department is capable of doing on a regular basis. 



So we have an awesome team. Each outpatient starts off in the Radiology Care Unit (ROCU) to be "worked up." The ROCU nurses obtain specimens for specific lab work that is needed, an IV, and review medical history and medications the patients are on. The MD's go over the procedure and obtain informed consent from each patient. My job comes in once the patient is ready in the ROCU. I personally review the patient's medical and sedation history and determine if the patient is a good candidate for moderate sedation (aka conscious sedation, aka twilight sleep). Moderate sedation is: A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which the patient responds purposefully to verbal command, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation.  No interventions are necessary to maintain a patent airway.(http://www.sgna.org/issues/sedationfactsorg/sedationadministration/sedationlevels.aspx)


I then transport the patient around to the procedure room, get them on the cardiac monitor and start sedating the patient. The radiology technologist set up the table and get the patient surgically ready (i.e. patient scrubbed with antimicrobial cleansers and draped with sterile towels, etc.). Once everything is set up and *hopefully* the patient is sleeping quietly, the MD comes in to perform one of many minimally invasive procedures that we are able to do. They are typically assisted by another doctor like a fellow or the rad technologist. The minimal part stems from the fact that our procedures usually require only a very small incision (an inch or so) or just a arterial or venous puncture site. 
http://www.theduponthospital.com/interior.php?t=82

This is a good representation of some of the equipment in each procedure room. The C-shaped machine is the x-ray, which is able to swivel around the patient as they lie on the table. The monitors shown will display the live image taken by the x-ray. The Docs can see in real-time on the screen as them move the table back and forth under the x-ray. 

After the procedure is completed, patients return to the ROCU for recovery and stay anywhere from the time it takes to get changed up to being admitted for 23hr observation. It all depends on the procedure that was done. 

It is truly amazing what we can do at the hospital with technology now. It's so cool to be involved in fascinating procedures that spare patients a lot of extra pain and recovery time involved with more invasive procedures. Any questions? There will be a quiz Friday. .. JK

-Cas

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bledsoe Creek State Park

Saturday, Duane, Meah and I went on a lovely hike just outside of Gallatin. We are both very thankful to live in an area that has so many great outdoor spaces. Being a short 30-60 minutes away from many beautiful and unique places to hike  and enjoy the outdoors is truly an incredible blessing to us. The weather started out a little cool, being in the mid-high 50s with a cold breeze coming off the lake, but the work of Ridgetop trail warmed us up just fine. 

The stairs were our first challenge and definitely got me sweating! They were a fun climb though and the scenery was amazing. 

We saw some beautiful deer up close and personal, just 10-15 feet from us. I tried to respect them and go camera crazy though. It's always breathtaking to see wild animals that close. 
The Shoreline trail was also a part of the 3.1 mile loop that we took. It is literally a walk right along beautiful Radnor Lake shoreline  and it was pristine. Picture perfect for sure. I could've just hung up the hammock and stared for hours. 






We also saw "The Shire." Duane decided that the field to the left could'v been straight from The Hobbit or Lord or the Rings. 


Everything was perfect and Duane and I both agreed that we would love to go back to Bledsoe again soon! It had such a wide variety of landscapes and it was a nice relaxing hike with only a few challenging spots. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and Meah would too!

-Cas