Monday, January 30, 2017

Looking Back.

I was browsing through old blog posts tonight, in an attempt to distract myself from reading about the various types of macrocytic-normochromic anemias in pathophysiology, and I came across this one that I wrote before before Scott moved to Indianapolis.  Oh, how my heart flutters reading this.  I remember writing this, and I remember the feelings. I had.  I'm going to insert the post here and then add a little comment at the end. Love you all and thanks for your patience with my lack of posts as I navigate a difficult time with school. The inserted post is in black, and I will return to the present by writing in black ink at the end. 
So here I sit, exactly one week and one day after hearing such wonderful and exciting news for Scott (the boyfriend): he has been accepted to Indiana's School of Dentistry!!! I definitely cried when he told me (he doesn't know this, and I don't think he reads this so hopefully he never will know :)).  Not tears of sorrow, but tears of immense joy for him.  Scott is one of the hardest working individuals that I know; personally, I believe that there is no person who deserves this as much as he does, and I am so so excited for him!  It has been his desire to be a dentist since he was a young boy, and it's amazing to see him being blessed with this incredible opportunity.
As for him moving to INDIANAPOLIS (10.5 hour drive from here, or a $300 flight... hmmm), I honestly think it's the most amazing thing for him.  He went to UNCW for undergrad and lived at home, so I feel like he got a very different college experience than most (though, no less of an experience).  He's also a good ole Southern boy (I think it was his Southern charm that first caught my attention 5 years ago), which makes me quite convinced that moving to Indianapolis will introduce him to so many new things and experiences.
I am obviously a teeny tiny bit sad and nervous because our relationship will change immensely from this.  Not only will the distance be greater between us, but the whole context of our relationship will be different.  We are used to hanging out in Wilmington or Chapel Hill and doing kind of the "same old stuff" (which is one thing I love about our relationship... I don't feel obligated to go somewhere to enjoy his company all the time.  We are totally down with just hanging out together with our families at home or going for a run).  I am certainly planning to go visit him in Indianapolis, as I have never been before and now have every reason to do so! Despite the few tears that I shed when saying goodbye to him on Tuesday, I 100% believe that God works through all things and uses all things for His glory.  I have no doubts that Scott and I will be able to continue our relationship and that we will both be stronger because of it.  A 5 year relationship isn't something that just ends because of a few hundred extra miles :)
Anyways, prayers on this matter are always appreciated as Scott starts dental school this coming week! He moves to Indiana TOMORROW (YAY!) and will start his orientation next Wednesday.  So so excited for him, seriously.  Despite any sadness at all, my joy for what is to come for him totally outweighs any negative feelings I have.  I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with such an incredible man.
That being said, I guess it's time to jump on board. Go Hoosiers!

I am laughing the way that God probably was when I wrote this.  The symbol above is now the symbol for the nurse practitioner school that I attend.  And we no longer suffer from long distance woes but are married, living in Indianapolis together, owning a house and dog in Indy.  What in the world? My poor little self was so worried when Scott went off to school.  I was trying to sound brave in this post, I do remember that.  But I was so terrified.  Scott had a female roommate his first year, and I remember being scared that he'd fall in love with her or some other girl.  Nevermind that we had been together for 5+ years at that point.  I was also terrified that I wouldn't be able to handle THAT kind of distance.

I remember my equal terror when things DID work out and I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom at Jessica's house a few nights before moving to Indianapolis.  I was moving into a super cute apartment with a view of downtown to rival any other in the city (an apartment that we ended up LOVING and that I miss terribly, even though we love our house).  I had no job, few friends, and a lot of love for the boy I would soon marry.  I listened to "Oceans" on repeat as I cried, terrified and excited and hopeful for all that was to come.

God has His hand in all things.  I am assured of that daily, and I am reminded of that as I read these little posts from long ago.  I am not going to venture into politics in this space but hope that you find deep rest and hope in the Lord and that you cling to Scripture desperately when you have no answers to what is happening in the world around us. 

Great is Thy faithfulness. 

Love you all,
C. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Reflections & Looking Ahead


I just read my dear friend, Shannon's, blog about the quick passing of 2016, and I'm thinking that I could not agree more with how the year passed ever so quickly.  As I scribbled "2017" on white boards in patient rooms yesterday, I could hardly believe that 2016 had already passed and that 2017 was commencing.  It was a big year in some ways, but in many others, quite small.

Here's a little of 2016:

  • Scott and I became an aunt and uncle to sweet Easton, who is now 5 months old.  That's certainly the biggest thing that happened in our lives this year.
  • ...Followed closely after by adopting our sweet dog, Doc.  I've never been snuggled so much, and in the days that he's been home in NC while I'm in Indy, I have surely noticed his absence.
  • Scott and I started Whole30 and became more conscientious of our eating habits and what we put in our bodies.  We, of course, abandoned all of this when we went home for the holidays, but after losing 14 pounds and feeling great post-Whole30, I realize now that I don't want to derail and eat poorly anymore.  
  • I made it to the halfway point of graduate school and am on the way to being a nurse practitioner.
  • We learned to love the outdoors and spending time communing with God in nature.  We began hiking, thanks to little Doc, who requires SO much exercise, and we learned to love little community parks and trails.
2017 is already upon us, and I have been in constant reflection and prayer about what this year will hold.  I originally selected the word "rooted" for this year, with the intention of being rooted in Christ's love, in Scripture, in what I believe in, etc.  However, since I've gotten back to Indy, the word hasn't felt like a good fit.  It doesn't feel like the word I'm meant to live out in 2017, even though I do want to live in a spirit of rootedness in these things.  And instead, my word for 2017 is bloom.  I'm using Merriam-Webster's definition #2 of bloom: 
"To shine out; to mature into achievement of one's potential; to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness, or excellence."

Hilarious find--another definition of bloom is "to become densely populated with microorganisms, especially plankton." That's not quite the vibe I'm channeling this year, but close.

So in 2017, without creating too large of an agenda or setting myself up for too much in the year, here's what I'm leaning into.

SPIRIT

  • Read Scripture every day.  I need to quantify this better.. so with that, see below.
  • Begin reading the entirety of the Bible using this reading plan.  I am embarrassed to report that I am a Christian who has never read the entire Bible, which I claim to cling to desperately.  This year, I want to read through it in its entirety so that I can understand the depths of its wisdom.
  • Find a way to serve my local community in a tangible way.  I'm looking into volunteering at a clinic that serves homeless and low-income families and will report back on this.
  • Re-invest in a small group.  After experiencing deep hurt by small group community this past year, we took some time away from community to heal.  I'm ready to spend more time with believers and am ready to be vulnerable and open to relationship again.
BODY
  • Nourish my body with good things.  We are beginning another Whole30 this week to initiate this, and afterwards, I hope to continue eating the amount of fruits and vegetables that I typically eat during Whole30. I want to cook more meals at home, eat less fast food and "on the go" meals, and be more intentional about what I put into my body.  
  • Exercise my body well.  This includes taking up running again.  I'm devising a plan of how many miles I want to run each week and am going to work towards the goal of running a Half Marathon this year.  I've trained before but never run one, and 2017 seems like a good year for that.  Now that Doc is old enough, he can also run with me, so I'm excited for this goal in 2017.
  • Stretch/do yoga at least 3 times per week.  I'm carrying a lot of anxiety and stress around in my body and feel it in my joints, my muscles, and in how I breathe.  I want to work on managing my stress better this year, which includes funding practical ways to live in a grounded way.  
WORK/SCHOOL
  • LESS work.  I have already made great strides in this by switching to part-time, but the financial concerns with this lead me to feel anxious and like I'm grasping at every overtime opportunity available.  I want to trust God with finances and take some steps back from the work that I do.  
  • Have a better, more godly attitude at work.  This has been a struggle for me lately.  I am being totally honest when I tell you that 5 years of working as an RN have burned me all the way out early in my career.  This is reflected in my attitude and in how I respond to my coworkers and patients, and I desperately want to change this in 2017.  Hopefully some of my other goals will help with this-- spending more time in Scripture, exercising and practicing mindfulness more.
  • This is my last full year in grad school, and I want to use my remaining time well so that I can be a caring, sharp nurse practitioner for the geriatric patients I will care for. I want to be intentional about learning for more than just the grades.
HOME
  • Replace our OLD windows
  • Finish painting the walls in the house
  • Declutter:
    • Have ONE place for each thing in the house (ie: all batteries go in this drawer, all cleaning products go in this cabinet, etc.)
    • Get rid of things we do not use
    • Be realistic about the small space we have
    • Get rid of junk mail before it enters the house (we have already started this and LOVE it)
    • Get rid of/pass on magazines to others after reading them
    • Donate items we have extras of
    • Follow the rule that if I am buying something that I already have, I must donate the item I already have.  Basically, to avoid a life of excess, if I want another coffee mug, I have to donate some of my current coffee mugs. 
  • Complete window bench project for Doc
  • Complete vanity (sand down and paint)
  • Remove plants we don't want in our yard
  • Make decisions about our porch
  • Clean out gutters (we haven't done this since we moved in!!)
  • Compost (we have a bin but need to build a stand for it and add more items to it!)
  • Start our garden earlier this year and maintain it better
  • Place new baseboards around house
  • BUILD OUR FARMHOUSE KITCHEN TABLE
    • So that I can gather more people around it! This is my biggest desire for our home--to squeeze more people in it!
RELATIONSHIPS
  • Spend more quality time with Scott.  Being more specific in this goal, I want to have one date night a month where we leave the house and one that we spend together at home (cooking, baking, doing something fun together)
  • Deepen friendships I already have an pray for my friends on a more regular basis
  • Write letters to my faraway friends (I did not do a good job of this in 2017)
  • Gather friends in our home at least once a month.  It doesn't like like much, but once a month is doable for us with school commitments right now.  I love cooking and having people in our home, and I would love nothing more than to do this more often. 
TRAVEL
  • Celebrate Scott's graduation with another trip to ITALY. Be still, my heart. 
  • Take at least 3 weekend trips to places we have never been to. Ideas:
    • St. Louis
    • Wisconsin (I want to go to Sun Prairie to go to Lindsay Letters' Shop on Main!)
    • Any lake town in Michigan
  • Waco, TX and Oklahoma for CHIP AND JOANNA/PIONEER WOMAN!
    • My dear friend Lindsay and I are trying to get this on the agenda for August 2017.  I am SO stoke for this roadtrip.  Can not even wait.  
BOOKS
  • Read 2 books a month.  I barely read one a month this year because of school and miss the feeling of becoming swept away in a story.  
  • Complete 10 more chapters of the Small Joys book.  Slow and steady!

I love the optimism that comes with a new year.  What are your plans for the year? What are you dreams? Your goals? Your ambitions?  

Love you all and hope you're having a wonderful start to 2017.  

Cristina