I love the worn look of the door and the ladder.  This was my grandfather’s barn and is now my father’s.  I climbed this ladder many times, for many reasons.  It leads to the hayloft.  The first obvious reason was to help put the hay up after it had been baled.  Another reason was that the hayloft made an excellent place to hide during a game of hide and seek.  It made a great spot for a fun game of tag.  There was a pulley up to the 30 foot tall ceiling that my brother and I used to pull each other up on.  I climbed this ladder to get a bale down for our bucket calves, or for the cows.  This image reminds me of how pure and innocent playtime is for a child.  My brother and I used to show this “passage” into our marvelous play spot with pride, and were the envy of many of our friends.  Life was simple and fun.

I have recently been hearing about extremely costly gifts given to children by their parents at Christmastime, and I’m reminded by this photo that children need only their imagination, some energy, and the outdoors to create their own fun.  This photo can be found for purchase on my etsy shop!

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So Sorry!

I have not been posting on here as often as I’d like.  I am currently working on another blog-maybe some of you would be interested in it.  It’s at mrsmamablack.com.  Feel free to visit and see what you think.  I was re-reading some of my posts on this blog-contemplating if I will keep this one going or not, and I do believe I will continue to write for this one as well.

I’m wondering if any of you out there have or had a child/toddler who WOULD NOT SLEEP??  I’m writing this with my eyelids almost shut right now, because I need sleep.  I have a little guy who is not quite two, and while I love him to pieces, I’d really love a night of sleep right now.  It’s been almost 2 years with very few full nights of sleep…I think we have tried just about every possible avenue-but maybe we haven’t-maybe some of you have suggestions I have not heard of or tried.  I’m always interested to hear from readers what worked and what didn’t.

Just after he was born, many, many people told us we would just need to tough out the no sleep thing for about a year and then he would magically start sleeping…oh contraire.  How I wish that was true.

We are now rounding the bend to two years old.  My husband is a saint.  He insists on getting up with me every time little guy cries.  I’ve told him many times not to, and that we can trade off…mostly because I don’t want to feel guilty when I don’t want to get up.  He still insists.

The other night,  he would not stop crying and “self comfort” as our pediatrician says, so we got up and went down to see what was going on.  Well little guy had pooped his pants (daddy gave him some hot peppers that day-that kid eats ANYTHING!).  So, at 2am I changed his diaper in a haze of drowsiness, my husband was in the room with me.  The next morning, I commented on how weird it was that our son had pooped at 2am( I didn’t know about the hot peppers daddy fed him the day before yet).  My husband’s reply was, “HE DID??!!”  I had a good laugh at that one.  I wonder what he thought I was doing with the baby, and a new diaper and the wipes…not to mention the smell that permeated the room!  Who knows?!

I know that someday sleep will not be the ellusive dream just out of my reach.  Someday we will have a teenager who may not be so quick to want to get out of bed.  I know that this is a test of strength, perhaps to prepare me for something in my future.  I once read a book that gave a good perspective on thankfulness.  In my own paraphrasing it goes something like this, “If you never had to pick up dirty socks, or clothes strewn all over the floor, you’d miss it, knowing what you know now of a good married life.”  I guess the same goes for children.  Someday, crazy as it may seem now,  I will miss these all nighters with my little one.  I will miss the sound of his cry and knowing that there is a tiny being who needs me.  Someday all too soon, I will be watching him drive a car for the first time, and then go to college; and then leave our home in search of his own life.  All a normal progression of life, and I’m sure I will be ever so proud of him, but at the same time missing these sweet days of his childhood.  So, I choose to savor every moment-to take it all in-sleep or no sleep.

All in a day’s work…

Today, my son and I set out for the park after breakfast.  This is always an interesting task, because no matter how many times I tell him that we will be doing something fun in a bit, he always ends up throwing himself on the floor in a tantrum…apparently mommy can’t move fast enough.  Before going out, we have to get up, get dressed, change a poopy diaper…or two, fix and eat breakfast, feed the dog, clean up the kitchen after breakfast (I hate coming home to a mess). Then there is the task of getting myself presentable, putting shoes and socks on us both, coats, bottles, snacks…and by the time 10am rolls around and we are ready to go, I’m exhausted.

So, we did all this today, and did end up at the park with two of my friends and their little ones.  It’s so interesting to me to watch how different aged kids interact.  My son, at 19 months seems to like other kids, but doesn’t get the concept of playing together nicely.  He saw another little one digging in the sand with a plastic shovel, so he went and took it from the other child, and then looked at him like he was crazy for crying.  After explaining to my son that we do not take toys from other children, and giving the shovel back, he happily trotted off as if nothing happened.

He is fearless, I had to climb up a rock wall to keep him from falling off a 10 foot platform that he was about to step off of, and the next moment I saw him sliding head first down a slide with his hands stretched out in front of him like superman.  I think he did this on accident, however was laughing as he careened toward the end of the slide-head first.  I’ve noticed that while my son has not inherited my gift of gab, he has inherited his daddy’s speed.  That little booger is quick!  His friends (who are both older by six  months) cannot keep up with him, nor are they as fearless!  I never thought I’d be climbing all over playground equipment as a grown adult, but I did today-to keep my son from getting a head injury!

He finally got tired, and we left the park.  He fell asleep on the way home after dumping his milk into his cookie cup.  I actually took a nap with him.  Guess I need to go to the gym and get in shape so I can keep up with him!  I have definatley run off all my pregnancy weight with him!  He woke 3 hours later, and we had lunch.  I have discovered he really likes to “help” me bake things.  Today’s project was minature pecan pies, and tomorrow’s project is chocolate pumpkin cheesecake.  I put the chocolate cookies for tomorrow’s cheesecake crust into a baggie and gave him a meat mallet and let him go to town on the cookies, which he thought was great fun!  My son who does not sit still for even a minute, is so enthralled by cooking that he stood on the chair at the counter beside me for almost an hour!  I did, of course, give him some cream soda and a grahm cracker to keep him occupied…but I couldn’t believe it!!  IT WORKED!!  He dumped some of his cream soda into a measuring cup and took a spoon and stirred it for all he was worth-then dumped that into another bowl, and back to the measuring cup again.  I love getting to know this little being God has given me.  He has a spirit that I adore more every day.  I wonder daily about what God has created him to do in this life.  Today I wondered if maybe he will grow up to be a chef, or a sky-diver?  Only God knows, but I have such anticipation in my heart at the journey that lies ahead of us!  A friend of mine wrote about how she enjoy’s opening gifts.  This is my gift-each new day is a present to be unwrapped.  Each little accomplishment fills my heart to overflowing!  I have to admit, this has been a rough week for me-I’m getting over the flu and have just been feeling down in the dumps.  However today, while standing at the kitchen counter with my son while he “helped” me, he reached over not once but twice from his kitchen chair perch, and hugged me, and looked up and smiled with that baby-toothed grin, and lit up the world around us.  Somehow the smile of my child has the ability to erase everything bad, and replace it with His innocent goodness!

Back in the Saddle

Hello again! I needed a couple day break to regroup after my last post. It’s amazing to me that I’ve been a part of people’s lives this last week who have experienced extreme, painful loss…and a part of people’s lives who have welcomed the newest member to their family. Last night, at 1010, my good friend looked into the eyes of her tiny son for the first time. I remember the first moment of motherhood clearly. The world stood still as I took in every tiny squeek, every little movement, every sweet breath. I got lost in the innocence of his deep, blue eyes. He was so tiny and so soft. I became ferociously protective the moment I laid eyes on him. It’s a love not even your heart can adequately communicate to your brain. It truly is one of the most monumental moments in our human existance…and so this morning, I write this post with thanksgiving in my heart again. I am so very happy for my friend who has now joined the ranks of motherhood! I wish her all the blessings and joy of parenthood. It truly is the adventure of a lifetime!
As for dealing with last weeks situation…I believe there are times when Jesus knows we cannot fully understand right now-full realization may not come for years as to why horrible things like this happen to people. He just calls us to be compassionate and to love.

Raw Sadness

I have had several people ask me to write a book about my nursing experiences.  I have a love-hate relationship with this idea.  I am a decent story teller, and a book of this nature would give a bird’s-eye view to the general population about the human condition.  I have a broad spectrum of experience.  The down-side is that I’m in no way qualified to write a book…I didn’t major in English Lit; I do not have any strings to pull with publishers or editors; and I have seen the process a friend is going through right now to try to get a wonderful book of hers out there. It has been quite the journey for her.
With that said, I will share with you about my day yesterday, because I’ve found writing is cathartic for me.  I have a burden on my heart, and sometimes through writing I find the peace I’m searching for.
At 5:21am my phone rang. I reached for it, still in a haze of sleep, and answered it.  There aren’t many who call me that early…I get an occassional text from a nurse friend who works nights at 2am.  I have another friend who is expecting, and her husband like mine is a firefighter who works through the night many nights. So, I leave my phone on in case she calls to tell me it’s time to go to the hospital.  The only other place that calls that early is my work.  I had plans to go into take a mandatory hazardous materials class yesterday; however another nurse had called in sick, and they needed a nurse to cover her shift.  At first I said no, because I was already scheduled to take the hazmat course.  After I thought about it, (I would get more pay to go in and work than I would for taking the course) I called back and told them I’d be there at 8am.  I had no idea what I’d just agreed to. In the particular ER that I work in there are only two nurses in a 6 bed ER.  We have a desk person to register patients, and a tech who is trained to help.
It was a fairly quiet morning, with only a few patiens with minor things.  We had one level II trauma- which consisted of an elderly man who tripped and fell, but because he was on a blood thinner, and hit his head, he would need extra tests to determine that he did not have a bleed in his head.
Then at 2:00 pm, we started hearing radio traffic from EMS about an accident on a mountain highway.  As we listened, a sense of dread came over me about the patients who would be coming into our ER.  I have said in previous posts that I love taking care of a bloody, screaming trauma…but I love it because they are alive-they just need fixing.  The radio dispatcher announced that there was a single vehicle rollover, EMS responding reported there were victims ejected from the vehicle, one deceased.  I hoped and prayed that it wasn’t a family who had just lost a mommy or a daddy, but it was.  EMS arrived in our ER at 1452. The mother of two adorable children was sobbing-gut wrenching, heart-breaking sobs that shook her whole body.  The EMS responder gave her a long hug as she cried.  Then he gave report to me which revealed the whole, horrific story.  The family had been driving along- the mother was driving, cruise control set to 65 mph when she came upon a patch of black ice.  The vehicle began fishtailing, and she couldn’t regain control.  Her family was peacefully sleeping just before she hit the ice. The vehicle spun out of control, rolled, ejected her and her husband.  The vehicle rolled onto her husband, and killed him.  Her babies escaped without a scratch thankfully.  She told the story to me in her own words…the fear of searching for her family in the wreckage, and finding her husband mangled (her description is just too graphic, and painful to even write about).  She told about desperately shaking him, hoping with all her heart for some sign of life, but realizing he was gone.  She could hear her babies crying in the vehicle-and saw that they were okay.  People traveling on the highway saw the wreckage, and stoped to help her extricate her babies from the car, and called 911 for her.
All I could do was hug her and cry with her.  As she sobbed on my shoulder and asked how she would ever get through this my heart broke into pieces for her.  She went on to tell me he was her best friend, and that her babies no longer had a daddy. A grief this deep, and a sadness this raw is something I hate, because it is so hard to reckon with in your own heart, and I still had 4 hours of work to get through before I could get in my pickup and really have a good cry.  This one hit so close to home that I still feel horrible for this little family.  It’s so very hard to remove yourself from this equation, because it could happen to any of us. It’s something that causes you to be acutely aware of your priorities in life, and to be so, so thankful for what you have.  I write this today to tell you to NEVER take for granted, your family.  Love them with all your heart.  Lift them up in prayer frequently. Be a light in your family.  Most of all care enough to know where their heart is with God.
As for this dear woman, my prayer for her is that she can just focus on breathing…one step at a time, and that her pain will be dulled quickly.  I pray that God will wrap his arms of comfort around her, and protect her fragile heart and mind right now. I pray that she will not blame herself for this tragedy.  I pray that she can be there for her beautiful babies even on the hardest days.  I pray that she can find strength in this wreckage, so that one day she can pass on that strength to another who is struggling in the difficult mire of loss.
This job of mine forces me to deal with the issue of life and death-and it’s so very hard.  I asked God why He called me to this situation yesterday.  I could have just as easily gone to the hazmat class.  I believe I heard his answer today.  He gave me His heart yesterday-to hurt for this woman to provide heartfelt sympathy in her time of need.  He is also forcing me to think about how to provide comfort in devastating situations.  My husband and I have always said we would love to do disaster relief after our child rearing days are over, or possibly when our children are old enough to serve alongside us.  I have never truly thought about how I will be prepared to care for the most basic need of people after a disaster-their emotional state, and their questions of why me? Why us?  I’ve always just invisioned myself handing out clean water, and helping to re-build houses.  God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  I’ve heard it so many times, but yesterday I actually experienced it.  He gave me the strength to do my job, and to care for this hurting woman.  I didn’t think I could handle it emotionally-I even told the ER doc I didn’t think I could do it.  I did though, with strength that I would not have had without my Jesus.
When I got home, I immediately found my husband, hugged him, and told him I was so glad he was alive.  He laughed and said, “thank you”.  I went to bed last night with a truly thankful heart that he was lying next to me, and that our baby was sleeping soundly in his crib.
I would like to end this post by thanking counselors out there who listen to troubles of others day after day, and provide hurting people, like this mother with relief from her pain.  I could not do their job.  Each time this woman was forced to re-tell this gruesome story to family, police, our staff, etc, it drove her pain, and the mental image deeper.
These expreiences have a way of sticking to your heart.  Love on your family today and always.

What a day

It’s late…again. How does that happen? I have been so busy doing the tasks of the day that it’s already 11pm. I had high hopes of watching Extreme Home Makeover tonight, but it didn’t happen. Instead I prepared dinner, cleaned the kitchen, made lunches for tomorrow, cut up a humongous bag of carrots and celery, paid bills…etc. All this while my son is tearing my pots and pans cabinet apart to make a hiding spot for himself. VERY CUTE…and another mess to clean up. I used to be a nurse full time, and now I’m a nurse occasionally and a mom full time. With knowledge of the day in the life of an ER nurse, I never imagined I’d be so busy as a mom, and I only have one child so far! My husband and I have been discussing the possibility of another child. Our little one needs a playmate, however, the endeavor of two children is a bit daunting for me. I have to ponder the anxiety over two, because not even a blood soaked, screaming trauma patient rattles me-in fact it is exhilarating to me. I’m guessing the anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown, and the fear of messing up two little souls that have the ability to fill my heart with joy it’s never known until they came along. I have decided that children are an act of faith, and a lesson in trust in that God will take care of you and your little family through both the storms as well as the smooth sailing days of life. He will never let go of us and allow anything but His perfect will for us, as long as we are listening and obedient. This is a comforting yet difficult truth for me right now. He allows some things that are hard for us, in order to make us trust Him more-to lean on him more.  I don’t like things that are hard… Yet, I find it so comforting because He already knows the outcome, and I know that nothing can seperate us from His love. So my prayer for today is that my husband and I will be spectacular parents of how ever many children He chooses to bless us with, and that we will always seek His guidance in parenting and in life.
And with that thought, I must get some shut-eye…I have a long day of a mandatory class tomorrow called Hazardous Materials in which I will get a review on how to decontaminate patients who have hazardous materials on them. Fun fun!

Nursery Frame

Nursery Frame

Here is my newest creation! Wood burned message reads, “Before you were born we dreamed of you, imagined you, prayed for you. Now that you are here we hope for you, we love you and we thank God for you”. It is made from rustic, upcycled wood, with naturally occuring holes and knots that are incorporated into the design. Please see my shop for more information or to purchase! http://www.etsy.com/shop/rusticstory Thank you for taking the time to look!

Bright, Bright Sunshiney Day!

DSCF6583

BRIGHT, BRIGHT SUNSHINEY DAY

What could be better than getting lost in this beautiful, autumn paradise for 5 hours? That’s exactly what happened to a couple friends of mine, me and my 17 mo old son…It started out as a wonderful, sunshine-filled day. I felt like super mom prepared with bottles, PB & J for my son and I, water, sunscreen, rain gear, and jackets for us both; AND all of it packed neatly into my Kelty Kid Carrier with my son! The hike ended up being a serious climb up the whole way, with lots of loose gravel, and rock hopping-all while wearing my 26 pound son on my back for much of the hike (thankfully a friend’s hubby carried him up some of the way too!) After all the hard work, we were rewarded with spectacular views of vibrantly yellow aspens dotted among the green pines for miles. It’s hard to do this view justice in words. It was another one of those experiences that makes you think of God’s infinite goodness.  If He paints this earth with so many beautiful colors, what must Heaven be like??  My little brick was happily munching on his PB&J, oblivious to the fact that he was making us bear bait by smearing his PB sandwich all over inside the backpack he was riding in. We could see a storm moving in, and knew we had to find our way down the mountain. The sight of a storm is enough to fill any mountain hiker with a sense of urgency. We just hoped it wasn’t the same way we had come which was steep, and slippery due to the loose gravel. Guess what? It was the only way down. At the top of the hike was a sheer-faced rock wall that was about a 400 foot drop to the bottom. So after alot of praying, we turned and slowly started picking our way back down the mountain. It did end up raining on us, but my little trooper loved it. He can be such a good sport!
This picture was hard won, but worth every step! Enjoy, and please visit my shop at http://www.etsy.com/Shop/RusticStory

Goodyear

Goodyear

Today’s photograph is the Goodyear Bicycle my dad learned on. For many, learning to ride a bike is another tidbit of memory to be stored away and pulled out on those days when you need a lift. There’s nothing quite like the carefree feeling of coasting down the hills on the farm-feet off the pedals and hands close to the brakes; careening precariously out of control, yet loving every minute. This exhilirating ride went on and on, well after the sun had set and the fireflies were blinking all around.
As I look at this photo today, I’m anticipating the day when my husband and I are teaching our son to ride his first bicycle, and seeing the joy on his sweet, little face when he rides for the first time by himself. Part of the joy of being a parent is it’s ability to bring the wonder and magic of childhood back into your life. We get so caught up in our own world of rushing that the small pleasures of life are forgotten. I believe the blessing of a child is God’s way of bringing that anticipation of what’s around the corner back to us.

A Time to Sow

A Time to Sow

A TIME TO SOW

Harvest season is upon us. As I mentioned in other posts, this time of year is a favorite of mine…This is also the time when farmers begin all over again; planting wheat. The wheat is nourished by the nitrogen in the snow cover through the winter, and come spring, there is a brand new, beautiful layer of green shoots in the dark ground…a true sign of spring, and new life.  There is nothing like the smell of a wet field-fresh sod scent, after a long, cold winter.  This is yet another visual reminder to those who live on or visit a farm of the abundance that abounds in our country.  A tiny seed that is planted, not only survives the winter, but flourishes, and feeds thousands of people. What an incredible thought! When I see the abundance of a new, little wheat sprouts, I am reminded of God’s grace.  Grace flourishes too, under the harshest of conditions.  It thrives, even when we are not at our best, and it too awakens new life after a harsh winter season!
This photo by the way is not availiable on my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/RusticStory) it is a family photo that I will cherish! It’s my brother-using equipment that my grandfather used to sow wheat in these very fields.  Nothing runs like a Deere!