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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sugaring and Sweet

It's become a tradition every spring. A Captain on Shawn's department has a long lived family history in sugaring. They have a nice sugar house off in the mountains of central Vermont. Since we moved a few years ago we have made a visit while the guys are sugaring. Nothing beats an evening spent shooting the bull inside the steamy, damp sugar house while the sweet smell of boiling sap fills the air.

This year the sugaring has been much better and much longer. They have been boiling fancy grade syrup much of the year. I'm a fan of B grade actually. The thicker, darker stuff just is so much more rich and smooth in my opinion. In case you've never heard about maple syrup you can visit this website to learn more!

Maybe next year Emily will be able to actually help! This year she kept looking at her reflecting in the shiny steep of the arch (the metal system they boil sap in) and pointing at it saying "hot!" Oh, and we didn't get any fresh syrup this time, because they had just started boiling that evening and none was ready yet when we visited. There's always next spring!

Friday, March 22, 2013


I've taken almost two weeks off from work in the transition from one job to another.  I haven't had this much time off since maternity leave and I was so sleep deprived that I don't even remember much of those few weeks.  This time I am rested and have even (gasp) had a few days where I have stayed home and still taken Emily to daycare.  Its been amazing.  Its been peaceful.  

I've rediscovered daytime television.  I've also done things I haven't done in months, like gotten a hair cut and scrub the bathroom floor by hand.  

I live an exciting life, don't I?

All the stress has seemed to lift off my shoulders.  It literally has melted away and my mood has improved dramatically.  I haven't even done anything particularly special and I just feel so darned happy.  Maybe catching up on everything I haven't been able to is the reason, or spending extra time with Shawn and Emily, or maybe its not having the responsibilities of my former job. 

Actually, I have accomplished quite a bit.  All my EMT licenses have been renewed for another two years - all three of them that I have to keep current.  I've even managed to transition to the new Advanced EMT level is replacing my existing certification level known as "Intermediate".  I'm one of just over 2,000 in the country that has done the transition so far and I am glad to have that out of the way.  Also, I've spent a great deal of time photographing things.  The snow storm we had earlier this week was perfect for pictures.  Its the first time in two years where I haven't been working during a storm and could spend a large portion of time just meandering in my car, without Emily, taking photos.  Pure bliss.  

Pure Bliss.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Two Days

I have two days left.

Just two days.

It seems such a short period of time and I am not really sure how I will react when I have to pack up everything.  All the photos have to come down.  I am hoping I won't need a box.  That will just make it more sad and final.  Seeing the look on everyone's faces isn't going to be easy either.  There are a lot of people who are sad about this. 

What exactly am I talking about?

I am getting a new job!  That is the big news that has been brewing the last couple of weeks.  Now my last day at the nursing home is just two days away and I am feeling the bittersweet angst of new beginnings, new opportunities, but friendships and familiar faces fading away. 

So, what is this new job?

Finally, after a couple of years sitting, waiting, and scoping out various nursing career paths I've made the jump into acute care.  I'll be working at a rural hospital on the medical surgical floor and then transitioning into the ICU and ER once I gain some footing and experience.  I sincerely miss the hands on, clinical aspect of nursing care.  I miss the challenges that I had in my clinical experience when I was in school.  Plus, I am under the complete realization that I need a solid foundation in medical/surgical nursing before I'll ever be able or qualified to move into anything critical care or emergency related.  

One step at a time.  I'll reach my goal someday. 

And some of you are probably wondering why I am choosing to leave my comfortable nine to five, no weekend management job for one that's further away, with weekend and holiday requirements.  Well, one of the reasons is that its more in line with what type of nurse I am and in the direction that I have always said I wanted to go.  When I sat down in my seat on my first day of nursing school my teacher asked us to draw a picture of what kind of nurse we each wanted to be.  I drew an ambulance at a hospital and an emergency room.  I haven't lost sight of that and this is just another step in the journey.  

Well, in two days I will say goodbye to my friends, coworkers, and patients that I have seen almost more than my family for the last two years.  While I will still be per diem there its not the same.  I'll be out of the loop, there only occasionally, and faces will become unfamiliar.  I've been treated like a family member there, for the most part, and its going to be hard to sever that relationship, but ultimately its the best decision for me, my family, and my career.  

Wish me luck!! 

Friday, March 8, 2013


So so much has happened in the last few weeks. I wanted to start off by sharing someone else's good news... my husband's!  

If you didn't guess from the title he has been given a promotion!  From firefighter to Lieutenant.  It was a long, difficult testing process with half a dozen other firefighters on his department.  He was put against friends and coworkers, some with over two decades of experience on the department, and came out on the top.  Against the odds, him being the most junior guy eligable and testing for promotion, he was the number on choice and received the bugle.  ....In case you didn't know bugles are used to designate rank in the fire department.  The more bugles you have the higher your rank; ranging from Lieutenant with one bugle to the chief with five. 

My husband on the ladder truck at a structure fire a year ago.
Nothing makes me more proud than seeing my husband work hard and succeed at what he does.  All those nights spent leaving our warm bed and going into the station for coverage, all those overtime shifts, all those difficult calls, volunteered trainings, and extra classes he has attended at our own cost have all paid off.  Congratulations to him!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Year and a Half

Happy Half Birthday to my cute, mischievous, funny, adorable, loving, energetic, smiling, tantrum-throwing, high five giving, amazing little girl.  ...who looks no less than five years old in this photo! 

 I can't believe Emily is halfway to two.  She even says "two" perfectly now and is working on showing me two fingers when she says the word.  My, she is getting big.  The tantrums are still going strong and I am finding it hard to deal with them at times.  She can drag them out even if I ignore them and its hard to resist picking her up or giving her what she wants.  Emily has her mama's persistence for sure....  But I never realized, despite the meltdowns, that is was possible to love a person so much.  Its cliche, of course, but honestly I well up with happiness thinking of her.  When she runs and yells as I come through the door after work I beam with pride.  I know one day she will probably run away, yelling, telling me how horrible of a person I am.   Teenage girls are mean.  I know... I was one.  My hopes are to store up enough sweet moments to draw off of when she's going through less than loving phases. 

Also, there have been SEVERAL awesome things that have happened in the last two weeks.  Some of you probably know about them (if you're friends with me in real life).  There are some big changes coming and both Shawn and I are very excited.  I will eliminate one guess right away -- Emily is not going to be a big sister -- no no... so sorry.   But, I will have a lot more time starting in the near future to blog about it!