Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When I can't protect you

Originally I had planned to write an up-beat post about why I love spending hours or time in antique stores and how they have something to offer everyone, but my heart is hurting and I need to share.

We have an awesome dog named Meah. She is intelligent and always wants to please us. She loves everyone and every animal, dogs and cats alike. The only thing she has ever growled at was a scarecrow. I mean, who wouldn't? I am devastated that this had to happen to such an amazing and wonderful furry family member. 

We have been concerned for a few weeks about her hips. Hip dysplasia is very common with large breeds and she was starting to show symptoms like limping, being stiff and slow getting up and down and just having overall decreased energy when she is still just a puppy, not even a year old. Duane and I took her to the vet today and even paid the extra for the x-rays which confirmed our suspicion. Meah has bilateral hip dysplasia. She has old lady hips and she's not even a year old. 

Why our beautiful baby? I know that she is "just a dog" but she is our pup and we love her. She is part of our family and I absolutely HATE that she has to go through this and there is very little we can do about it. We can protect her from this. She has to grow up too fast now. I know there are so many more problems going on throughout peoples lives and throughout the world, but today our world was rocked in a bad way by this news. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

mmmhmm Fall :)

Having lived my entire life in Georgia up until now, I rarely get to see the effects of fall. Georgia is pine tree central and the amount of hardwood trees that shed their leaves are far outweighed by the amount of evergreens. Tennessee is a whole other story though and it is absolutely breathtaking. It's like I woke up one morning and everything had changed overnight from a rich green to a chorus of yellows, oranges and reds. Duane, Meah and I took a walk on the local greenway yesterday to enjoy the colors while they lasted. 

Meah got caught mid-lick...or maybe I got caught?

Photo bombed by my foot :)

The weather was perfect. The scenery was magnificent. I love God's creation. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yay for visitors

We had visitors two weekends ago, the first since the big move. Fortunately I have seen the majority of our families since the move because of the plethora of weddings and showers back home. But this time, my dad and stepmom came to visit us!

We love for people to come see us BTW.

It was a wonderful weekend, not too crazy busy or rushed, just good quality time spent together. They arrived Thursday evening and we went to Chuy's on Broadway. Oh man is their salsa good! Everything is made from scratch (except fries and fish apparently) and you can definitely taste the quality in the food. One down side, it was sooo loud on that busy thursday night. I definitely had to yell for anyone to be able to hear me across the table so it wasn't exactly great for conversation. But we still left with our bellies stuffed with delicious food. 

Next it was off to the Commodore Grille where Dad and Diane got to see Duane play with Manditori in a writers round. They put on a great show as always!

Friday was a really relaxed day. We hung around the house throughout the morning, breakfast casserole, coffee and chicken and dumplings filled our morning and lunchtime and it was awesome! Then we went to Long Hollow Winery and tasted all of their yummy wines. Friday night Duane and I showed them the downtown area (the main tourist area on Broadway). We walked around for a while, ate at Margaritaville and got margaritas of course. Diane almost fell into the trap and bought boots in Nashville. I mean come on, that's a staple here and it's hard to pass up buy one pair, get 2 free ;). Then we got to see Duane play again! He played at Hotel Indigo with Alyssa Jayce and Jessa Shown. If you get a chance I would check both of these lovely ladies out on Facebook, they are legitimately awesome!!

Saturday was gameday. Vandy vs UGA. Not a great day for UGA fans. The weather was cold and wet and the game was a definite letdown. I will leave it at that, no reason to relive a bad moment :)

So that's the rundown. Sunday morning they packed up and went home. Hopefully y'all are really excited about it and will want to visit us too! 

Oh and Meah gave Dad and Diane lots of love. Lots and Lots of love. Probably more than they wanted. 



So I have all these thoughts swimming in my head and they probably won't fit in one post. Also, this might be rambling or scattered, but hopefully I can get all my thoughts and feelings out. :)

So moving is a struggle. Not past tense, I am over it and we are completely settled 5 months in, but still sometimes a daily emotional struggle. The only thing that didn't change was my roommate and He's here to stay ;). Job switch was o.k. and actually went very smoothly. Once I got over the sheer magnitude of the Vanderbilt campus I felt fine. I am confident in my previous training and nursing abilities and was blessed with awesome coworkers who are crazy and weird like me and beyond. 

Loneliness is the worst feeling. I have been sad before, but never at this level. There are days were I wonder why I should get out of bed at all, because I have no where to go and nothing to accomplish. All the lies that the enemy whispers in your ear when all you want is a friend to talk to brought me to some pretty low points. I felt insecure and unworthy of the love of my husband or the love of God. Luckily I have a wonderful God in heaven who loves me and a spirit inside who helps me detect those pesky lies and realize the truth that God is trying to speak into my heart. That doesn't mean they don't hurt, I just know that God never sees me in that light. I am His Beloved, He is mine. But the enemy has definitely tried to take advantage of my vulnerable spots lately, trying desperately to tear me down and derail me. 

My solution for this problem was church. Sounds like a good one right? Find the right one, get involved in a small group and everything will fall in place right? It's not as easy as it sounds. Friendships aren't made overnight and you can only get out what you put in. Back in Statesboro, I volunteered Saturday morning for set-up, Sunday to teach elementary school kids and help tear down after. Oh yeah, and we had small group on Friday nights too. It was hard work and some days I didn't want to, but I was fed so much and made many lasting relationships by working alongside other people. It hasn't been so easy here. There are many excuses as to why I haven't started volunteering, but none of them are very good. 

Unfortunately, unlike my last job where I was off every Sunday, now I work multiple Sundays throughout the month. The last month and a half the only sermons I listened to were via podcast and the only worship experiences I have had were either listening to the radio in the car, or on my iPhone while jogging. I am not trying to devalue these things, in fact, they have kept me moving forward and given me hope. However, there is something to be said about coming together as a group and participating in these things; praying, worshipping, serving and learning together, being able to lift each other up and having people nearby to call up in a time of struggle. This is what I am longing for. This is what I'm struggling to find. This is the first time I have ever really noticed all the things about "church" that I don't agree with. Not the church that Jesus intended, but what we call "church" that isn't always doing it's job. But that is definitely another post. 

God is sustaining me here. I honestly don't know how people go about life without him.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

updates cont...

So, where did I leave off in the story? Oh yes, Duane and I had just moved to Nashville (aka music city, aka nashvegas). 

Now I work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the adult hospital on the Cardiovascular Surgical Unit. Basically, we get LOTS of vascular surgeries (Fem-pop bypass, CABG, heart catheterizations, heart attacks, amputations, valve replacements, etc.). The vascular side is definitely new to me, but learning about it was pretty straight forward. Being that Vandy is such a large teaching institute, it is on the cutting edge of new technology and surgical techniques. Awesome right? Although I don't know everything, my nurse manager decided that I would make a good fill-in for charge nurse sometimes. After working for 3 months?!? I'm still flabbergasted by this and consistently deny that I would ever want to be in charge, but here I am, 1-2 days a week as charge nurse over a 20 bed unit. Crazy.

I love my co-workers. Night shift is so different and without awesome coworkers who value teamwork and being goofy and sarcastic, I wouldn't get through the long nights. Becki, Donna, Taylor, Mo, Kelly, Margo, Roy, June, Jane, David, Austin, Lucas, Brad, Terra, Salley, Laura, Christy, Beth, Hilary, Crystal, y'all are so awesome and I am so blessed to work with a wonderful group of people. I am so grateful to work on a unit that really does have such great teamwork. We might not always have the best night, but we get through it together. Y'all have held me up, and I will continue to do the same for you guys. :)

Duane has been job-hunting/networking and its working :) He has been playing with several different artists 2-4 times a week. He also has become a regular in the Long Hollow Baptist Church rotation for playing drum set sunday mornings and wednesday evenings. He has recorded two songs for artists that are either already available on iTunes, or coming soon and also has 2 upcoming tour opportunities. I am so proud of how hard he has been working to develop relationships and professional connections. He is not the out-going, never-meet-a-stranger type so this is BIG. He HATES calling strangers on the phone, let alone, talking to them in person. He is awesome and the people that he has met and played with truly rave about his abilities and demeanor. :) What can I say? I'm blessed. 

Meah loves our new yard, has a best friend (Abby) and loves the kitties down the street (Max and Bella). Everyone in the neighborhood knows her and all the kids love to pet her. She's definitely settled right at home into a routine. She's quite spoiled with her walks and the love and attention she gets all over the neighborhood. She's a great dog though. I am so pleased with her loving nature, despite the aggressiveness naturally associated with the german shepherd breed. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spur of the Moment

I will be the first to admit, that since moving to Nashville, my days off are usually pretty chill and relaxed at home with Meah and Duane (a.k.a. I'm a homebody). We usually straighten the house, walk the dog, eat meals, Duane practices, I read a book. It's quite exciting. So yesterday's events were definitely a welcome change.

Duane really wanted to go the Kurdish market, Azadi International Market and Bakery, check out the homemade bread and ask some of the local Kurdish people if there was any live music in the area. I honestly wasn't that interested in going, but was under the impression that the market was only a short drive from the mall so I agreed :) Come to find out, it wasn't :|

But guess what was on the same road as the market and we had no clue until we drove right past it....


We had an impromptu trip to the Nashville Zoo. It was a blast, the weather was beautiful and it wasn't crowded. It was awe inspiring and I had an amazing time with my goofy husband. The Gibbons were the loudest and most musical primates I've ever heard. I could hear them when we got out of the car. 


Croft Family Home

The old historic Croft Farm is on the land where the zoo is. It's this very well maintained house and barn, complete with horses, cows, bulls, and goats of course. The house looked awesome and had a great garden in the back that I would love to visit in the springtime. It was a neat and unexpected site at the zoo. 

Kangaroo Kickabout
We saw this big girl show off for us (see above), dancing and drinking at the water hole. She was marvelous to watch.  

A really cool feature at the Nashville Zoo is the Kangaroo Kickabout. You can walk in the exhibit and be right up next to the kangaroos. Some of them will even allow you to pet them. One was standing up on its hind legs scratching its armpit. Classy. 
I see a goofy bird in the picture. Do you?

This little guy looks a little like 

Maybe we aren't such an old married couple after all ;)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

hopefully fall means turning over a new leaf

So, I it's definitely safe to say that I am an terrible-awful-no-good-very-bad BLOGGER. I let months of time whiz by with not even a fleeting thought of actually sitting down to write something. Not even posting pictures. I mean, some stuff has definitely happened and I have some pictures to prove it. If I remember correctly, I've broached this subject before and maybe even suggested that I should do better about blogging. Alas, nothing has changed. I read other blogs, and I very much enjoy it. Don't care to write in mine though. 

Moving on, It might be best now that we are seeing less and less of family and friends to try and keep this a little more on the updated side with whats going on in the day-to-day. So here goes, in a nut shell, a recap of whats gone on since March 15th, 2013.

Hubby and I both turned 25. Woohoo, quarter of a century down. 

I interviewed and was offered a job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville TN on March 26th. I accepted. 

We found a house to rent, 35 miles away from work :( but with a lovely yard and neighborhood for us to enjoy. And for Meah to enjoy also. 

Meah? Who's Meah you ask? She is our fluffy girl. Our loving and energetic german shepherd that we also got in late March of this year. She was 12lbs when we got her, she's 70lbs now! Although she is still definitely puppy in age and spirit, she is way to big to be called a puppy.

April was a complete blur. Packing, 2 weeks notice at East GA Regional Medical Center, goodbyes :( Lots and lots of boxes. Boxes Everywhere. 

May 1 2013 - Crystal, Meah and I loaded up her Jeep, hitched up an overly full U-haul trailer and hit the road for 7 hours of white knuckled, teeth clenched driving to Nashville. (Seriously, if I never pulled a trailer again, it would be too soon). 
I must add that Crystal was awesome and a life saver. She was such a hard worker, trying to help us get settled in our new place. She was up for anything and had no problem walking up to complete strangers and asking for some help with some of the heavy lifting. Love her. 

Between May 1st and May 5th, my mom, Duane's parents, Duane and Garrett all arrived to help finish off the unloading and unpacking that had to be done.

May 6th I went to work at a new job, on a new unit, in a new city where I knew no one. Eekkk!

Wow, I'm exhausted just writing about all of those things. God definitely laid out the path for us to go to Nashville,TN. He provided the job and the house and the help, all we had to do was step out in faith. It wasn't easy. It's still not easy. But (hopefully) I'll explain more later. 

Cas :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Eyes of a Child

Isn't it wonderful to look at life through the eyes of a child? Filled with wonder and excitement around every corner? Always inquisitive and earnestly trying to figure out the world and how things work. It is really inspiring and something I've actually gotten to do the last couple of weeks and it has definitely changed the way I look at my Bible, if nothing else. 

Lemme back up a bit. So since mid-december, a new church called Compassion Christian Church was launched in Statesboro and Duane and I have been blessed enough to be apart of it from the get-go. Next thing we know, my awesome and wonderful friend Crystal is their new Children's Director (she's awesome by the way!). Of course, she weasels her way in and next thing I know, not only am I helping set-up for services every Saturday morning, but I am also leading a kids small group. Never in my mind did I see myself teaching children in any fashion or shape or form. 

Now sure, I had people tell me growing up, "You'll make such a fantastic teacher one day!" While in the back of my mind...I'm saying "yeah right!" I always said that teaching was something I would never do. God got a good laugh out of that I am sure :)

So we are almost there. The Point, that is. 

So here I am, coming in every Saturday and Sunday, teaching this girls 2nd-5th grade small group during the first service, attending service number two and heading home. Wellllll, God had something more in store for me yet. 

You see, we have a fair amount of children who's parents serve as volunteers during a service, then attend a service. The problem with that is there children were starting to get very bored sitting through the same program and small group twice. It actually was starting to hinder the program because they wouldn't participate and were bringing down the morale in the group. That's not good. Not good at all. 

So Crystal (via the divine inspiration of God) knows that something has to be done and decided that I should be the awesome person to do it. So now, each week I attend service number one and serve in service number two by taking these "repeaters" and digging deeper. It is AWESOME!! 

I have to totally rely on God to provide me with material to talk about and He has done that and then some. Every time I open my bible, I read something that I want those kids to learn and know about Jesus. I find verse after verse that I want them to have as their weekly memory verse so they will know the promises of God deep in the hearts. I am excited to see them each week and to help them grow and understand what being a believer in Christ is all about and how that effects our lives and how we should live them. It's helping me see the Bible, worship and prayer through new eyes, and with a new excitement. 

Who knew that I would enjoy teaching? God did.