Saturday, January 27, 2018

::update on life::


      The post grad school tension is finally off my shoulders.  It took me months to stop waking up every morning and feeling like I had a baby to try and write during my 12 hour shift or while talking a toddler that never wants to watch shows into giving me a little thinking space.  

The toddler days and the paper days are past me now and I got to say that although I miss the toddler days, I don’t miss the paper days.  I’m so glad to be out of school and living life more connected to the moment.  Which leads me to…


      I spent the last semester of grad school shadowing at the best OB practice in the universe.  I knew this practice from when I was a nurse and loved them.  At first I was shadowing my sister in-law Rachel, who happens to be an OB/GYN at this practice.  But don’t forget that I knew Rachel from when I was a nurse and liked her so much I set her up with my husband’s brother.  Who she then married!  So – she is my handpicked sister and I might be a little biased because of how much I love her.  She really is an amazing doc and I loved following her around.  Then I spent the second half of the semester shadowing another doc in the practice named Dr. Sanders.  He had started up an addiction treatment program for pregnant mother and I knew I wanted in.
        One day in November of 2016 I was at work and overwhelmed with all the grad school crap I had to do.  I decided to do a job search and see if there where any jobs open that I might love.  I saw an opening for an NP that would work in the OB practice I had only dreamed of working in and it was as for someone also wanted to do addiction medicine.  
my official work portrait
Not bad for a girl that took math 152 three times and Purdue

      And I knew it took advantage of every single thing that my heart wanted to do when I got out of school.  Women’s health and addiction medicine.  I felt like karma had prepared me my entire life to do this very job and I pulled out every connection I had ever made to make sure I got the job.  Human Resources got my application but immediately kicked it out as I didn’t have the minimum requirements.  It took MONTHS of begging and bringing it up to get to the right person to FINALLY in A-P-R-I-L I got my official offer and snapped it right up.
Blurry picture of my sister/mentor and I celebrating my name getting added to the door. 

      My job is to be a women health nurse practitioner who specializes in addiction treatment for pregnant women.  I take care of regular OB/GYN needs but then I help run our drug treatment program.  Every day I spend time making sure the moms in the program are getting what they need to be successful and that their program is individualized for their needs.  Every patient presents so new loop hole, or area for growth, that hasn’t occurred yet and my job is to figure out a solution.  I love being able to help these women.  They have been through so much and they are usually SO motivated to get better.  I love being on the front line of stemming the opioid epidemic and I give this ladies my all.  We hug, we laugh, we cry, and we all are better people at the end of the day.  This is my dream job.  Plus, we working 4 ten hour shifts a week with the same days off and no holidays/call/or weekends has led to…

first day of school

      This is our first year to have all our children in full time school every day.  I really do miss having babies around this house, and at least once a week I wish I had another little person.  But I turned 40 this year and the little people from me are over.  So, we have decided instead to focus our energy on making Thursdays our date day.  We get the crew on the bus and then we make a nice leaisurely breakfast.  I make Josh his favorite breakfast which is called Egg-In-A-Hole.  Toast with the center cut out and toasted in the frying pan with an egg in the center.  There might be a TON of butter involved with this whole (or hole???) concept.  Then we take a nap, or go to a movie, or go on a mini adventure.  We have till 3:30 that afternoon to be just us.  Two kids on a date.  We had Lily 10 months after we got married, and Emma was two when Josh and I met.  We have never been just two kids on a date.  For a couple hours every Thursday we focus on our relationship and enjoying each other’s company.  (Seems like we talk about Disney a lot during that time, which never hurts.)  I have grown to LOVE Thursdays.  Around 3:30pm the crew starts rolling home and we happily get refocused on…       


      Oh, this crew of mine.  I have so much joy in having a family.  The boys are like two feral cats, but I just adore their boy brains.  Quinn is gigantic, 95% for height!  HUGE kid that is immune to all physical discomfort except hunger.  He can take cold better than anyone I have ever met.  He wears shorts all the time.  He is my most bull headed child, but that kid LOVES kindergarten.  He loves the learning and the other kids.  He has gotten in zero trouble, and seems to walk the straight and narrow. 

Mr. Max is such a calming agent for my heart.  Every since the baby we lost years ago, Max has been such a comfort to me.  He is such a different kid.  His thinking is in 400 directions and most of them are the most unique thoughts humans have ever come up with.  School comes to him easily and he is in advanced classes.  His ADD has not seemed to be much of a hold back to him.  His brain just ping pongs around and his charisma makes the world his oyster.  He just got a huge role in the school play as Mike TeeVee in Willie Wonka, and he was amazing.  (Again – maybe I am biased but I was blown away by him.)

Lily bug has been rocking it out as a teenager.  She is 14 (WHAT!) and she is the most pleasant person.  She has occasion teenager breaks with kindness but they are rare and short and she seems to come apologizing back very quickly.  She has been getting solo’s in choir, and her vocal talent just keeps growing.  She got Wendy in her junior high play of Peter Pan.  They told her they didn’t give her Peter because they needed their best vocalist in the largest vocal role.  It’s really amazing to see her take her natural talent and her constant work at trying to improve it.  She has been singing since she was 10 months old.  She is thriving in her school and has really started growing into an amazing 
adult.  I can’t wait to see what this kid ends up doing with her life. 

      Emma is 19 years old.  Seriously, almost a real adult.  She is halfway through her sophomore year at Ball State and seems to be doing very well.  She’s got an apartment set up for next year.  I can’t believe she is going to be 21 soon!  We are planning on taking her to Disney World for her 21th with the female friend of her choice and taking her to all the fun bars we have enjoyed when we do an adults only trip.  Emma is a very funny and interesting person.  She has a seriously kick ass sense of humor and I really love the rare times we get to spend time with just her.  She is brave about food (accept sea food) and fun to travel with.  We will have such a blast with her. 

      With all these kids we are really enjoying our…


      Moving and renovating this farm was one of the most stressful things I have ever been involved with.  Living in a rental and the crew working on this house and all the uncertainty that involved was more than my little brain could take in my last semester of grad school.  We worked with the best company and they took such good emotional care of me, but it was still very stressful.  At the end of the day it was so worth it.  I’ve talked about almost every room of this house on here, but the biggest thing I have to say is I LOVE THIS HOUSE.  It has so much natural sunlight and the space is all so well used.  We got rid of 60% of our stuff before we moved and I don’t miss one thing.  This house is easy to clean and easy to live in.  My new bedroom and bath are the fanciest thing I have ever lived in and I adore it.  It’s like a dream.  The view from the giant kitchen windows is part of my soul.  I love this house.  It looks like a pretty little cottage on the outside and feels like a dream house on the inside.  Having our first Christmas here was wonderful.  And the best present of all added to our collection of…


      I have been begging for years to get an indoor dog.  I really thought I wanted a Wheaten Terrier but at the last minute the breeder had a Shih Zhu Bichon cross that was going to be ready for Christmas and I went for it.  I thought the more lap dog like personality of a Shih Zhu might work better for Josh then the terrier enthusiasm.  We went and picked her up and then hid her at my inlaws till Christmas morning.  I had this extensive plan about how I was going to sneak her under the tree.  She was out in our heated shop and then at 5am I was going to go get her and put her under the tree.  The three little kids all sleep in one room together on Christmas night and they were out.  We had it all ready, but I decided to warm up the puppies bed so she would be more likely to stay asleep.  AND THE LITTLE SPACE HEATER SET OFF ALL THE SMOKE DETECTORS!!!!!!  So we quickly threw her under the tree and told the now awake kids to comes on out.  They were so in love with her from the very start.  She is wonderful!  We named her Princess Popsicle Petunia Jingles Consuela Banana Hammock, but we call her Poppy. 
      The big dogs have had a great winter.  They have access to the green house when they are cold and they get to go on lots of long walks.  They have a large fenced in area and over all I think they are very happy together.  I hope this winter we can move our one sheep and our donkey home so they can play together. 
      We have about six chickens and two roosters.  The two rooster take turns being in the coop with the ladies.  If they are together they fight with each other.  One of our rooster is special needs, he has a birth defect and can’t walk.  He just flops around with his wings and oddly seems very happy with his life.  But if the two rooster get together the healthy rooster beats up the special needs rooster too much and I can’t take it.  The chickens currently lay not one damn egg a day, which is very annoying but they get like that in winter sometimes.  Hopefully they will start back up again soon.
      Meanwhile, I have been having a blast starting up…


      I have had a secret bucket list dream to have some kind of art that I make that I sell on Etsy and at art fairs.  I wanted to buy some custom Disney inspired mouse ears for the girls for Christmas.  But they where about $35 each and that seemed like too much.  I decided that I was going to make some instead.  I ended up overall spending WAY more money than it would have taken to buy those two sets of ears – BUT I found a new hobby that is bringing me such joy!  I have had so much fun making all kinds of different ears.  I make sketches about them when I have a little down time.  I dream about them at night.  I make them and send them to my friends little girls for free just cause I love sending them to people.  I love it so much that I set up a little Etsy shop to sell them.  They aren’t exactly flying off the shelf right now.  Honestly, I’ve only sold one so far.  But that isn’t getting me down.  They are joyful and enjoyable and my collection of personal ears has exploded!  We leave for Disney in a few days and we are going to have so much fun wearing our ears around the most magical place on earth.  Working on these ears brings a little Disney magic into my art time and it is helping me maintain my optimistic outlook. 

      I think this is the longest post I have made in years, but I’m so glad to have this back as an outlet to chronicle our little family and my adventure through life.    

Monday, January 15, 2018

::small house dining room::

Our new house is not a large place.  It's no tiny house, but it is compact.  Around 1900 square feet with three full baths and four bedrooms worked in.  There is no space for a formal rarely used spaces, so we need to utilize our dining space as well as possible.   

I have a dining room table that my father custom built for me about 15 years ago.  It is an heirloom and will be passed down through many generations.  I have no where to keep it besides in my house.  So our dinning area had to work for that table. 

The shape of the dining area leads its self to three different table positions.

1. Pushed against the wall daily use. 

2. Pulled out from the wall for family meals

3. Table top extender added for large family seating

I want to discuss the table top extender.  With this new house we now live very close to all of my husband Josh's family.  We needed a place that could seat 12 comfortably.  But remember how I said this medium sized table is an heirloom and is never leaving my house?  I had to find a solution.  

I saw this pin and knew it was the solution for us - an extra large table top that just goes right on top of a smaller table top but can be removed when not needed.  I put Josh right to work.  He modified they inspiration pin but the idea is the same - it's a piece of trimmed plywood with a lip attached so you can just lay it over the regular table to make it larger.  Then when not in use we just store it in our barn.  It has worked exactly how I wanted it to.  We borrowed chairs this year but I hope to get some stacking chairs for next year that I can get out for large celebrations. 

It has taken us about six month to agree on a chandelier for our dining space.  I needed it to be fairly thin and long to make visual sense over the table and with its location in the room.  But I needed it to be movable for the three positions that our table utilizes.
We found an antique section of a horse chart that is called a single tree - this one is large for its use and I suspect was for a large draft horse. Josh modified it with wire and two inexpensive light fixtures to become our chandelier. He put three hooks in the ceiling that I plan to paint with ceiling paint that are attached to ceiling beams for strength.  They each are perfectly spaced to accommodate the three possible table placements.   

The location makes it act as a great buffet serving area during parties, like my friends baby shower.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

::princess popsicle petunia jingles consuela banana hammock::

She surprised the kids with the most adorable tiny puppy of all time.  

I have been begging for a house dog for years and finally talked Josh into it.  

I had to get her a cat collar because she is SO tiny.  

She is the most snugly creature of all time.  

She is the same size as our one year old guinea pig.  He hates her in case you can't tell.  

Sweet little face. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

::farm dogs run in shed::

My two giant breed dogs are outdoor dogs.  They occasionally come in for love sessions but they mostly run and protect our farm.  With that said, I love these dogs like my heart might explode.  They are both well designed to withstand extreme cold, but I worry.  So I talked Josh into creating a space in my greenhouse to be their winter retreat.  Our long term plan is to build an extension off our shed for the dogs, but we need something right now that is more significant than their large dog house.   

First thing we had to do was clean out this disaster area that had become my greenhouse.  I had Rosie in there for a few nights when she got spayed and she did some really great decorating.  

It is FREEZING right now here and the short kids are all on break.  So we forced them into cold gear and made them help.  

It's hard to really explain how gigantic these dogs are.  Pictures don't really capture the proportions of these guys. 

Gus met our new house dog today.  He thought she was pretty boring.  

All cleaned up and fence built!  See the green fabric flap in the back?  That leads out into their run.  Gus figured out the flap in about two minutes.  Rose just followed him.  

Cat have their food lifted to a higher level and some comfy beds added for them.  I'm hoping this gets the ducks to leave the cat food alone.  

Hay is all added and the happy meatballs are tucked in.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

::i needed a mantel::

This poor man gets to build my ideas all the time.  
He just wants to go hunting but I rope him in to all kinds of projects.  
I've never had a house with a fireplace and I really wanted one in this house.
Budget kicked that idea out.
But I locked my brain onto a faux mantel.  

I wanted it to match the concept of what is already in the house.
Here is the base he built.

I wanted the scale to not be too large but still fun to decorate.  
The top is a piece of salvaged wood that we got from my father.  

I finished the top with just satin wax and it really shows how pretty the wood is.   

Then I primed it. 

And did two coats of the same white paint as what is on the trim.   

I still plan to add some more things to the interior box area.  
Maybe another level of trim? 
Fake painted brick in the back?  
I'm not sure - but it is a great start.   

Monday, November 27, 2017

::getting the tree - a family affair::

Craft station

It was pointed out to me this year by Emma and Josh that I usually ditch them and get our tree when they are not home.  We made a point of picking a scheduled date to all get to go together this year. 

Since we have moved we tried out a new place this year.  Turns out the manager had babies that I LOVED and got to take care of when I was a nurse.  What a fun small world.  I hugged her so tight I about squeezed her head off.  

The littles and I got there early and had a meet and great with Santa.  

Josh and Emma met us and off we went on our tree hunt.

Piney Acres is a magical place.  I have a not so secret dream that if I hadn't been a Nurse Practitioner I would have tried to start a pumpkin patch/tree farm.  It's just so flipping cute and agri-fun.  Josh would not have been suited for the intense amount of socialization that would have taken, so it worked out best that we just have a hobby farm.  Still - every time we go to a place like this I try to talk one of the kids into why they need their own farm when they grow up.    

Quinn felt like a big stud for cutting down the tree.  

Our cozy little house looks very festive.  


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