Friday, July 31, 2009


Yesterday, after working a horrendous 6 days out of 7 total, I was tired. So tired, in fact, that when I woke up at noon-ish (a mere 4.5 hours of sleep, thankyouverymuch), I could not move. So I laid in bed for almost an hour, browsing blogs and facebook, until my limbs worked. I got up, stumbled to the shower, ate lunch, had a chat with my mom and sister, and came home.

The drive seemed longer than normal, probably because I was just. so. exhausted. Not sleepy, but physically TIRED. Finally I got to Birmingham, and promptly PASSED MY EXIT, which caused me to burst into tears and call Mark, crying: "I *gasp* just passed the 31 exit *sob* WHERE DO I GO??? *meltdown*" My poor brain was so overused and worthless at this point that I couldn't figure out the roads that I drove for four years. Mark lovingly talked me through it, even staying calm while I yelled at him, and I did indeed arrive safely.

I have never been this glad to see mark, except for twice before, out of the six years we've known each other: the first was after our summer apart while he was in spain, the second, after he returned from his safari in kenya. There are a lot of things I love about Mark. I've always loved them - but this last week, I MISSED them. We've never been apart for that long before, since being married. The one time we were apart for an extended amount of time was when I went on vacation with my mom and sister, and I was gone five days, and very much wanted to be away (not from mark, but wanted to be IN hilton head), and was NOT working and was NOT tired. And still, I missed him sorely. This time however, I ached for him, especially a couple of days. After I got home yesterday, I was weepy, mostly because I was tired, but partly because I was just so thankful to be with him again. Anytime he did anything nice or typically wonderful of him, I would cry.

Case in point:
Mark was saying that he really hoped I would hear something from my applications soon, so I could make a permanent move to this place we love. I agreed, but admitted that I hadn't called the manager or nurse recruiter or anybody. Mark shrugged, smiled at me, and said "Who cares?"
And I started to cry. Because he understands. Because for days, all I've heard is advice about being a pest until they hire me, about marching in with references and jobs falling in my lap, about calling everybody who works on that unit, about making myself known... Because this wonderful man I married knows how tired I am, knows that there's only so much that I can handle, knows I'm sick of hearing it, and just loves me. Job in Birmingham or not. And that, my friends, is why I love my husband.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm tired of working, and I'm tired in general, and I want to be at home in Birmingham with my husband and my kitty cat and my new apartment, making it pretty.

But I'm not. I'm in Chattanooga for my work week, which should bring me joy and be a blessing - I have a job, I have a paycheck, I'm doing what I love to do - but somehow, the only blessing I want right now is to get to see Mark. (It's been almost 6 days since I've seen him, which doesn't seem like a lot just saying it, but feels like a lot when you live it.)

Is that selfish? Or wrong?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I really miss Mark. Really really really you have no idea how bad MISS him. And everything I love about him. (Like the look he often gives me when one of my family members is getting on my nerves. It's this "I know you're upset, but i think this is hilarious" kind of look. It really breaks the tension for me.) It's been hard at the house a bit, sometimes, just transitioning back to living with lots of people who tend to have a bit more drama than I'm used to. I swear, after Mark, I could never live with girls again (excluding Elissa, who is always my exception.) It's hard, because now that I finally feel like a grown-up, I'm forced into a situation where I'm not exactly in the place of one (although my family, for the most part, is doing an excellent job where all that is concerned, and I am so blessed and loved and lucky to have them.) I just want my husband. I don't say publicly enough, or often enough, how much I love him and how just INCREDIBLE he is. And how lucky I am to have him. And how I have no idea how I managed to land him, but now that I've got him, I'm keeipng him forever. Being away from him makes me appreciate all the things I love about him even more, and makes the things that I sometimes don't love (like him always leaving packages of food open on the inside of the box so they get stale - HATE THAT!!omg) not seem so bad after all. (Because I'd rather have Mark and stale cheerios than no mark and crunchy ones...) And it's not that we're particularly co-dependent, because we're both clearly functioning just fine by ourselves - but I just MISS him, and I want to be able to sit down and talk to him face to face, and I want a hug from him and to cuddle and for him to make me laugh ...

I miss him :(

On a more positive note, since that sounded so broody...

-Just two more nights of work after these last 3-ish hours (please please go by quickly, hours!)
-On thursday, after I wake up, I'm headed back to birmingham to see mark :)
-I might (i hope i hope i hope) have somebody to switch with me so I can stay for a week in birmingham this time. :)
-I can sleep all day long today if I want. which I do want. Really badly. (Here's hoping I can just stay asleep today...)

Speaking of sleep ... I love it. I love, love sleep these days... Cheers to sleeping - how I love thee :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Now we wait

New developments:

I applied for a job last night. Here's hoping something comes of it...

Another new development:
Apparently Mark is going to try to do full-time grad school and get a part-time job, and if that part-time job is not in his field, he's also going to try to volunteer for something history-ish or library-ish. I don't like this plan. But the thing is, we're broke. Which is ridiculous, and makes me really mad that I have a BACHELOR'S degree and I have worked in an INTENSIVE CARE UNIT for TWO YEARS, and it doesn't pay enough money to make ends meet for two people. Thank God we don't have kids- I don't know how single parents on our unit do it. Hopefully one of these jobs in the 'ham will come through and I'll get more money, but still... I guess we'll see.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to being a not-adult again. Life was a lot easier then. But then I wasn't married, and I'd rather be broke and stressed with Mark than worry-free without him. Give and take, I guess.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shameless Plug

My sister is starting an awesome, natural jewelry business, and you should check out her website. You'd never believe that the stuff she makes began with a hammer, a big rock, and some pennies in our backyard :)

Go and look!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home :)

At long last, I have finally calmed down enough/gotten the camera to work/saved all the pictures on mark's computer - and am posting pictures of the apartment!! Yay!!

Here is the entrance to our apartment, and our lovely tree in front! So pretty!

First view of the inside of the apartment: not so pretty. Brown ugly texture before...

...matching cream paint and pretty painting from Andy after! (Still the icky texture though. Yuck.)

Dungeon-y upstairs bathroom before (again with the nasty brown textured walls...)

And after! Pretty seafoam-ish color :)

Also, ugly brown textured kitchen before...

And after! (If you can't tell, that's blue paint on the wall.)

Now - we have wallpaper! (Better than the ugly brown textured paint - but still eww.)

And after! Lavender with pretties :)

And the objects of my day of shopping: LOVE this painting. LOVE IT. Can't wait till it gets hung up :)

AMAZING patio table! Green mosaic tile, on sale at World Market. Woo!

My cool backyard. Mark desperately wants to plant grass back here. It will be a fun project :)

Friends!! Lissa with her hedgehog, Pliny - isn't he ADORABLE???

And then last night, before Mark and I drove home late late late, Matthew came over and we had double date night at our place. This is the boys washing dishes. We thought it was cute.

And that's it for now! More later, I promise. But at the moment, I'm in Chattanooga for my first "official" week of the "on" part - work tomorrow and Saturday, off sunday, and then on again mon, tues, and wed. And then home again! Hopefully it'll go smoothly .... we'll see :) And now it's time to eat! (Perk of living in Chattanooga - my mom's awesome food!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere (also, we love our apartment!)

Well, blogging world, I've survived my first Birmingham-Chattanooga-Birmingham weekend. It wasn't so bad. Not so limbo-y. I think I'm going to be okay. The excellent thing is that here (bham) I can be a housewife on a normal daytime schedule - we don't have curtains here yet, so the sunlight wakes me up early. It's nice - I can reset myself so much faster!

Unfortunately, my camera is dead, I can't find my charger (boxes EVERYWHERE!!), and I can't figure out how to get pictures from the memory card onto mark's computer to save. (I'm computer-dumb at some things. Good thing I'm married to a computer genius!) So no pictures today. But I will say - I love the apartment. The painting turned out WONDERFULLY, we just have the kitchen left to do in that aspect. The bathroom is done. I'm about to go tackle the bedroom - this scares me. And Elissa is coming today to help! Yay!

Things I like about our apartment:
-We have a kitchen window that looks out to our pretty tree in the "front yard" (ie patch of grass beside the sidewalk), and my pretty curtain-y thing from the last apartment that I made still fits!
-The new paint jobs look incredible
-The whole thing has the potential to look like actual grown-ups live here!
-We have a backyard. The living room has big sliding glass doors that look out onto our patio (big enough for patio furniture!) and a decent-sized patch of grass, and a fence around all of it! (And Mark's planning some sort of project for it. The yard, I mean. Woo!)
-We have BANISTERS! (It's my favorite part about the whole thing. I'll show you when I find the camera charger, etc.)
-There is a decent amount of storage space
-I love our living room :) (Or at least I will, when the boxes are out of it.)
-This apartment has POTENTIAL.
-The washer and dryer aren't in the kitchen! (And even better- they're in the bathroom! So convenient!)
-It has SIGNIFICANTLY better carpet than our last place.
-Our bedroom is huge
-So is the office :)

Love it!

Things I don't like about the apartment:
-The washer and dryer came pre-installed, and they are tiny. I miss my nice big whirlpool ones :(
-There's not really a great place for the litter box
-There's this nasty texture on a lot of the walls. Paint made it better, but still - eww. Not necessary.
-I wish all the counters were white instead of beige-y cream-ish
-One of our bedroom closets has a hanging rod, and the other has all shelves. This is awesome. Unfortunately, the hanging rod is anchored only to the shelf above it, so it sags when you put stuff on it. This could potentially be a problem - we need a brace for it.

That's really all so far. Verdict: favorite apartment thus far!! I guess we'll see once we've lived here a bit longer, but I like it a lot :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moved In!

(But not yet unpacked.)

Well, I made it through. Funny how life is like that. You think you're going to just DIE, and then somehow, magically, you don't. You live to tell about it, and you gain funny stories, more experiences, more colors on your paint pants, new pictures for your scrapbooks.

These last few days have been so much easier than I ever imagined, mostly due to my fabulous husband and family and friends. On Tuesday, while I slept off a crazy two previous days, they (our band of 6 dutiful workers) packed up our entire side of the duplex and loaded it onto the truck in 3 hours. They came to eat lunch, and we went back and cleaned. About an hour or so later, we were off. Got to the 'ham around 5-ish, unloaded everything (just me, Mark, Dad, and Thomas) in about another 3 hours. (Dream team, right there.) It was a good day. Long, but good.

Then yesterday, we unloaded the washer and dryer and pushed them up a HUMONGOUS hill (actually, not me. just dad and mark and thomas. i would have died) to our storage room. Took the truck back, organized my kitchen, unpacked a few more things. Dad and Thomas left, and I went to buy paint.

Today, we started painting. Thus far we've primed a wall, a large bathroom, and a small bathroom, and painted on top of the primed wall. Not too shabby, I say. We still have to paint the office (Aloe Vera!), the bathroom (Delicate Mist!), the downstairs bathroom (Luscious Lavendar!), and prime and paint the kitchen (First Light!). So lots to do ... but we're going to try to finish everything but the kitchen tonight. Which means that I should probably get on that.

Pictures will come soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

early morning musings

Written at 7:15am, and posted now since my iPhone doesn't let me post
to my blog... (how cool did I just sound!?!)

I'm sitting in the conference room at work enjoying my breakfast of a
chik-fil-a chicken biscuit and a vent decaf iced vanilla latte from
starbucks... Ahh, what a way to end a night shift, only to begin a CPR
class without ever leaving the hospital! I'm bumming off Erlanger's wi-
fi (because there's not really much else you can bum off them,
including a respectable paycheck...) and sitting in the glorious,
momentary silence. I should have gone to staff meeting like a good
little employee, but darn it, I worked all night and I want a little
peace and quiet.

Going downstairs for my breakfast, I got to experience the side of the
hospital that is my favorite. Those early morning hours, when the
doctors are coming sleepily onto their shifts and everything else is
quiet - patients are still asleep, families haven't come to visit,
vendors aren't open, it is calm and still and I love that. It's the
only time that (the adult side of) a hospital has felt like a place of
healing to me. I'd forgotten how much I like it.

On an entirely different note, it is strange to think that in 24
hours, my world will be turned a but tipsy turvy. That I will never
come to work from our duplex after tonight ever again. That my husband
will live in Birmingham, and I will be limboing somewhere in the
middle. That every time I go back to the 'ham, it will be like I'm on
vacation, but with all my stuff there. I am so afraid of feeling
displaced, like I don't quite fit anywhere anymore. If course I will
always fit with mark, but the place, our home, won't really be home to
me. I think that I might become thankful of this unit, of this
constant in my life, where everything has schedules and laid out plans
and backup plans if those plans happen to fail. Here, we are in
CONTROL. We have it handled. It is our job, and it is what we're good
at. And when everything else is spinning out of balance, when I'm not
sure where home really is, I will come here, to the place where I will
always have friends, and always have babies who depend on me. And when
I get tired of being here, if being in control of everything, I will
go back to my semi-permanent vacation spot and spend time with my
sweet husband, who will let me fall apart and be out-of-control and
stressed and confused. Mark is the glue that holds me together some
days. And I love him for that, and so many other things.

I'm beginning to think that I may make it through these two years in
one piece. Here's hoping...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On Moving

Just a quick update:

We move a week from today. As stressed as I am about the next two weeks, and as worried as I am about the whole job thing (or lack thereof), I am really pleased with our progress toward the actual MOVING DAY. I'm a big list-maker ... and we have lists EVERYWHERE! Taped on the fridge are, I think, 3 different lists. Mark has earned the title of "Best Husband Ever" for putting up with me these last few weeks (as well as actually DOING what the lists tell him to ... I'm not so good in that area.) We have a bunch of boxes already packed, and have a pretty decent game plan for packing everything else.

So, the countdown:
I work tonight, and then tomorrow night. I'm off for three days after that, which will be go time for me. And then I work Sunday night, stay over for the CPR class, work Monday night from 1am to 7am, come home, sleep a bit, and then .... move! It's come so quickly, but I think this has been the best prepared that we have been of all the MANY times we've moved. I actually feel pretty good about things.

Life, bring it on.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stressed, Tired, and Defeated (almost)

I know a lot of you (friends, family, etc.) are getting tired of hearing about how much my life sucks. So I'm going to write this, and then try very, very hard to focus on the positive, be productive, and stop complaining so much. I work better with lists/categories/etc, so here goes...

Job searching:
No go, once again. I look, and look, and call, and have people send letters of recommendation - and still nothing. I keep wondering if it's me, if I just don't know the right people, or if I'm doing something wrong... But in reality, bottom line ... it just sucks right now. Job searching of any type. Because the economy just sucks right now. To put it in perspective:
I had a conversation with one of my managers the other day during which we talked about jobs and internet listings, etc. And in our hospital here in Chattanooga, there is one job posting for a position in the NICU on night shift. And my manager told me that the last time she checked, there were 180 applicants for that one job. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY. So. I figure that same issue, plus the HORRIBLE economy in Birmingham right now, plus all the hiring freezes, plus low census in general, compounds the problems I'm having into one big stinky mess.

I have switched my outlook. I am now planning to continue working in Chattanooga indefinitely, until something opens up in Birmigham. Which I guess was the plan all along, but I honestly thought I would have a job there by now. Oh well.

Scheduling issues:
This month is just going to suck, work and moving and scheduling-wise. I have a total of 6 days off until we move. Three of those six, we'll be in Griffin for the 4th of July. (Commence meltdown.) I work Thursday, then next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to pack nearly everything, then Mark will finish while I'm working Sunday and Monday. Another problem: I work Sunday night, then stay over an extra 4 hours Monday morning for a CPR recert class. I found a wonderful soul who will work my first half of Monday night, and then I'll go in at 1AM-7AM ... and then it's moving day. We move Tuesday and Wednesday, and then run errands Thursday, and on Friday I come back to Chattanooga for the weekend. Sunday I go back to Birmingham when Elissa, who I love and who is the best friend EVER, is coming to help paint and unpack and organize, which needs to be done by Wednesday night, when I have to go BACK to Chattanooga. I guess I'd better get used to it - this is going to be my life, for now.

Money stresses:
Cost of living (at least for us) is higher in Birmingham. I will be making the same, and Mark probably won't be getting paid for anything he'll be doing down there. At work, we're supposed to get a 3% raise in July, but they're also increasing our insurance premiums (and giving us LESS coverage in a move that only Erlanger could pull off...), so I probably won't see any of that raise at all. (This, by the way, is the first raise I'll have gotten in the TWO YEARS that I've been at the hospital. Yeah. Love that.) So our budget is gonna be tight. Add to that Mark's dental work that he just got done, PLUS we found out today that he's going to have to go see an oral surgeon to get his wisdom teeth out (which we weren't counting on), and he has to have a few more things done. All that adds up to $$$$$.

And yet, the silver lining (this is me thinking positively):
Our marriage will be stronger. We can survive most anything if we can get through all this. Which we will. And it will be fine. Just slightly upleasant for a time.
Mark and I are both becoming more sacrificial through this whole process. I've come to see HIM as my family, and want to travel where he wants and needs to go, and do what's best for us, not just what is more comfortable for me.
With me traveling back and forth, and being gone for 7-9 days at a time, Mark will be able to study adequately for his grad school classes and get all his reading done and still have time to volunteer where he needs to. And the time we will have together will be extra good.
I still get to do my dream job, and get paid for it (even if the pay isn't so great).
We're getting to see Jesus through our families and friends, who have been understanding and helpful and gracious and generous through this whole thing. Our families have been more than willing to help us out wherever they can. Several friends have freely offered their homes and apartments for me to stay in while I'm in Chattanooga if the need arises. I had one friend, who helped us move the last two times, actually tell me that he would be slightly offended if we didn't ask him to help us out again. Thank you. So much.
And honestly, these two years, however tough they may be, are a means to an end. A graduate degree (and two years for the economy to pick itself back up, hopefully) means opportunities for a better job for Mark, and better pay, and a better work environment. Which would thus give me the opportunity to have babies and work prn (or not at all, if possible.) Our family will be better because of this. And so even if I have to travel back and forth from Chattanooga to Bham for the entire two years, it will be worth it, because of the opportunities that will come afterward.

This will all work out. I have to believe that it will.