Friday, December 28, 2012

Year-End Wrap-Up

Here we are at the close of another year. (Looks like we survived the great 12/21/12 apocalypse...whew! LOL!) At the end of Dec. 2011, I sat down & wrote several things that I wanted to work on during the 2012 year. I thought I'd take some time to reflect on those & see what (if anything) I accomplished off my list. Here's my original list....

1. To graduate nursing school, pass my NCLEX & obtain a job (or 2)....Well, I did graduate. I did pass my NCLEX & I have been working one job for close to 5 months & I even found that 2nd job & have worked it for a little while now. Beginning in Jan. 2013, I am going back to working just 1 job (the one I've had for almost 5 months now). I am beginning to find my place in nursing. Interestingly, it's in a type of nursing I never thought I'd like & in a position that a year ago I would have flat out told you I'd not even consider. Funny how life works that way...

2. Make time for me at least 3 days a week (preferably 5) in which I can walk for exercise, stress-relief, & mental wellness...This is an area in which I still need much work. I have improved on letting the little things go & on enjoying a good book once in a while without feeling guilty because I'm not studying or there's a load of laundry going unfolded. Still, I made this "resolution" to work on my physical health as well & there's a ton of room for improvement there.

3. Encourage Livi's running. She's working on something that I hope will become a lifelong love & habit for her...Although I continue to encourage Livi's love of running, this year has been a very trying year for her health-wise & her running has been set aside due to those health issues. I am hopeful that the new year will bring answers into what's been going on with her & that she can resume this activity that she enjoys.

4. Make time every day to really listen to Toby. Smile at him. Laugh with him.
5. Have a date night at least once a month. 
6. Vacation at least once this year with Toby & Livi...These are all areas that I still need to work on. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of nursing school is that you become so focused on what needs to be done that you forsake those around you. Then there's the cost of nursing school which sucks any extra cash right out of your family budget. Although, I think Toby & I have made some good strides in discovering what it's like to be a couple again, I think we also highly underestimated the effect that the changes in our family roles/dynamics would have on our family as a whole. It's been a big adjustment to go from him working outside the home & me taking care of things at home to us both working outside the home & sharing the "at home" responsibilities. It's an ongoing work in progress as we adjust to a new way of life.  We've yet to get to the once-a-month date nights & we had to skip a family vacation this year due to both financial & work obligations.

7. Try new recipes & keep my blogs updated regularly...This is something I really enjoy. I haven't been able to keep up with it as much as I'd like to, but now that I'm settling into my job maybe I'll have more time for this hobby in 2013.

8. Save for a new home. & 9. Save for a new-to-us vehicle...Saving money has never came easy to us. I know for some people it's a no brainer, but I am the biggest pushover when it comes to caving when Toby or Livi wants something so I've always been a poor saver. (And, I'm a self-confessed McDonald's Coca-Cola addict...)Toby & I have recently implemented some changes in how we take care of our finances & we're hoping that these new ideas will help us to be better savers. As for the "new-to-us vehicle", we've decided to hold off on that for a little while longer. There is something wonderful about not having an auto payment & every time I think about going into debt for a vehicle I get a little sick feeling so this is something that can wait for now. 

10. Be a better mom...Gosh, this has become a daily mantra for me. If I live to be 105, I'll still be getting up every morning praying to be a better mom, going to bed at night thinking I did it all wrong & praying for one more day to try again. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect mom & I'm not even aiming for perfection. All I aim for is to be worthy of the incredible daughter I've been blessed with. 

11. Help Toby expand his guitar business. Help make it possible for him to attend the seminars & workshops that he'd like to attend...We're still working on this. There's some ideas in the works, but I'll have to save those for a later blog ;) 

12. Be a better "bestie"...I've decided this is similar to being a better mom. It's one of those things you can work at every day but never be "done" accomplishing. As Steph & I have started on new journeys as nurses, our lives have become cluttered with mixed up work schedules & the juggling of daily life as working moms. Still, I treasure every second we get to spend together & I hope that 2013 brings us more opportunities to see each other & hang out. 

13. Buy Toby an Orange Amp...Okay, I didn't technically buy it but through a variety of trades & misc. guitar work, he has managed to obtain an Egnator amp & an Orange Amp. Please don't ask me which one, because I have no idea. All I know is he got the amp(s) he wanted. So, mission accomplished on this one! :) (There's probably a noteworthy connection between my inability to save money & the fact that 1 of the 2 100% accomplished goals for 2012 resulted in Toby getting a couple of amps...just sayin' ;) 

I'm actually surprised as I go back through that list at what I was able to accomplish & at the progress I've made on the ones that are still "works-in-progress". Many of these I want to carry forward into 2013 (no more amps, Toby...please ;) 

In many ways, life didn't go as I expected after nursing school graduation. I took for granted how the whole process had changed me, the ones I loved & the dynamics of our family. Some of my ideas of how things would go proved to be unrealistic, others proved to be not what I wanted after all.  I, incorrectly, assumed that we would pick our lives up where we left off when I entered nursing school & just hit the "resume" button. I never took into account how different everything would be. Not different in a bad way, just different in a "we-have-to-learn-to-adjust" kind of way. Nursing itself proved to be everything I expected & nothing I expected all at the same time.

If I can set just one basic goal for 2013, it's that I want the 3 of us to make this adjustment & become comfortable in the new roles & dynamics of our family. Personally, I hope to find the balance between working mom, wife & nurse. It's a challenge right now, but I do love a good challenge :) 

How did your new year goals/resolutions go in 2012?  Any new ones for 2013? 

Happy New Year! 



Well Christmas has come & gone. Livi's birthday arrived & she's now a big gal all of 14 (when did that happen!?!?) And, it's time to think about a new year.

First, a few pictures from our festivities...

Dad & Livi....sorry, Dad, I had too.
This picture is just too darn cute! 

My niece, Kyanna, nephew, Draven & Livi

Happy Birthday, Jesus celebration at Mom's :) 

LiviGirl & LilyBug on Livi's 14th Birthday!

Being surrounded by these people that I love so much really makes the holidays so special for me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quiet Saturday Morning...

Good morning! It's a peaceful, quiet Saturday morning here in the King household. I'm currently the only creature stirring. After while, we're heading to my mom & step-dad's to celebrate Christmas with them. :) I love that they always do Christmas early in Dec. We get to enjoy time with them without feeling rushed because we have to go to someone else's house too. Years ago, when my brother & I first were married with kids, they started doing this to help ease the difficulties of getting all of our schedules to coincide. It has worked out perfectly!

On a much sadder note, LiviGirl has been sick for over a week. I think she's finally on the mend, but, boy!, has she had it. I don't care how old she is, it still breaks my heart when my "baby" is sick. She went nearly 3 days without eating a single thing! I've been really worried about her. She's lost so much weight (& she didn't have any to lose to begin with!). But she says she's feeling better & her appetite is slowly returning so maybe she's kicked it. I am so grateful that we have a wonderful doctor who is understanding & takes good care of her.

Back to happier stuff, I have been at my new job for over a week now. I'm sill in orientation, but I fairly certain I'm going to LOVE it!! Once again, God has put me in a position to work alongside people with beautiful hearts who truly understand why I wanted to be a nurse. With both jobs I have, God placed the perfect people in my path during my training. I never cease to be amazed at how He works. I really had to take a leap of faith by taking this job. Financially, it will be several more weeks before I know for sure whether or not it is a better job than the one I turned down. But, emotionally, mentally, physically, & spiritually, I already know that I made the right choice & there is a lot to be said for those aspects of a person's well-being.  I feel so blessed to have not one, but two, jobs I truly enjoy & that I get to work with & learn from some really incredible nurses!

Toby & I headed out yesterday to start our Christmas shopping & we managed to get started & finished all in one day. Long gone are the lists of this Barbie & that specific Littlest Pet Shop & this movie & this game...this year LiviGirl had 1 request: Beats Studio Headphones. Green ones to be specific. Unfortunately, they are OUTRAGEOUSLY priced! In her defense, I have tried them out & they are fabulous headphone, but still...Toby's earbuds came from Big Lots & cost $10 & work fine, just sayin'....Anyway, LiviGirl is convinced that this is what we bought her for Christmas since it was the one thing she REALLY wants. Of course, she also thinks that I forgot the incident a few weeks ago when her not-so-cheap Lady Gaga Beats landed in a glass of Coke & fizzled to the bottom of the I guess she'll have to wait & see. She is my Princess, but there are limits even for Princesses...

While we were out yesterday, it hit me that 5 years from now, I'll be preparing for her return home for the holidays after her 1st semester of college. WOW! Where have the years gone?!? I can't even imagine a Christmas season without her here helping me decorate & listening to her tell me what ornament she's adding to her advent tree each day. Some people would say I should've had more kids, but I'd never have had another Livi. And, frankly, I don't want more kids...I want my LiviGirl. If you have little ones at home, the best advice I can give you is "don't blink"...

Well, I'm off to work on making Crack Potatoes for our Christmas dinner today. I've never made them before but I've heard they are awesome. Guess we'll find out. If they're a hit, I'll add them over at Mom's Kitchen. In the meantime, here's a few quotes I've collected recently to close things out...

"What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be." ~ Helen Claes

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." ~ Wayne Dyer

"These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one's self.

To mind one's own business.

Not to want to manage other people's affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one's dignity.

To choose always the hardest.” 
~ Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


How about a little Tuesday morning randomness?

1. Are you ready for Christmas? I've bought one gift. For the dog. Ssshhhh...don't tell her :) I've got to get my butt in gear! We're putting up the Christmas tree this afternoon. It's hard to believe that I'm getting ready to celebrate my 14th Christmas with Livi because it's hard to remember what Christmas was like before she came along. I took her last weekend to pick out her annual Christmas ornament. That's one tradition I really enjoy.

2. I start a new job tomorrow. EEK! I'm staying on PRN at my other job too. I feel fortunate that I'm in a field where I can work in more than one type of position & still have time for my family. Obviously, I knew when I went to school to become a nurse that I wanted to work as a nurse, but I truly had no idea how much I would love actually being a nurse. Sometimes I wonder why I waited so long to do this, but then I remember everything happens in His time & I know I'm where I'm suppose to be because he wanted me here right now at THIS time.

3. I can't hardly believe 2013 is just around the corner. After deciding to sit out this semester & start on my Bachelor's of Nursing the 1st of 2013, I can't believe my "break" is almost over. If I can get all my paperwork finished up & things go as planned, I should start on that in Jan. I already know that I want to go on & get my Master's degree so the sooner I get started on my BSN, the sooner I'll be done with my Master's. It's been nice not having to deal with school stuff (studying, homework, bureaucratic red tape...etc), but I know it will be even nicer when my education goals are complete. So, I guess there's no time like the present to get going on those :)

4. One nice thing about being a non-student :) has been being able to get back into doing things around home  that I enjoy. Like trying new recipes, reading, watching a movie once in a while, etc. I've got a new recipe going up on Mom's Kitchen today & another new recipe in the crock pot right now to be tried this evening.

5. Being that 2012 is coming to a close, I was thinking the other day about some of the goals I set in Jan. that I wanted to work toward. Sometime before the end of Dec. I'm going to attempt to go dig that post out & do a "end of year" update. Then it'll be time to set some more goals for 2013. I've found that one of the best ways of obtaining what you want is being able to put into words what it is you want & being able to see how you can get there. I'm always telling Livi, "you have to see it & believe it before you can be it". I firmly believe we can achieve what we set our minds to, but we have to see where we're going & believe that we can get there before there's any chance of success. 2013 holds a lot of potential for me, personally, & for us as a family. I'm truly excited to see what we can accomplish in the new year!

Well, that's enough randomness for now. I'm heading over to Mom's Kitchen to add a new recipe & then it's off to digging out the Christmas decorations. I love how things look all decorated for Christmas, but I sure do dread the work of digging everything out of the cold garage...oh well, it's worth it in the end :)

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

Since I can't seem to keep up with this, I'll just close out my Month of Thankful Thoughts 2012 all in one post.

Last 9 "Thankful Thoughts" for Nov. 2012...

1. New opportunities & doors that open when you least expect them to.

2. My memory. Might seem like a silly thing to be thankful for, but many people are being robbed of theirs daily. I'm glad mine's still intact...mostly :)

3. Religious freedom.

4. Financial stability. It hasn't always been (& still isn't always) easy for us to stretch our pennies into dollars, but I'm thankful that at the end of the month we are able to make the ends meet. I guess we all wish we had more money, but I know that many people in the world live on much less & do without much of what they truly need.

5. Unanswered prayers & disappointments. Both of which have taught me a great deal about myself & life &  continue to remind me that someone bigger than me is in charge of things & knows a lot more about what I really need.

6. My senses. What a boring world we would live in without the ability to hear, see, touch, smell, & taste things! I can't imagine a world without the sound of Livi's laughter or the sight of her beautiful smile or the soothing feel of my doggy's fur when I'm feeling down or the smell of being enveloped in one of Toby's hugs or the taste of Grandma's potato salad or Mom's apple pie...

7. My cell phone. Sometimes it's a pain in my rear end & I'd like to give it a toss, but I'm thankful that it allows me to keep in touch with those I love wherever I go.

8. Music. I may not have the ear for music that blesses Toby & Livi, but I still love unwinding to a great song.

9. Pictures. Some of my most treasured items are pictures. They capture a single moment in time, but how many pictures have you taken that when you look back at them you only remember the exact second the picture was taken? In reality, every picture is a snapshot into a moment, a whole memory. That picture takes us back to the day, the event, the time, & the people of that particular moment.

And to conclude my Month of Thankful Thoughts I'm posting the following video. It was made in 2010 & really puts the world into perspective. I've probably posted it before, but it's worth rewatching...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching -- they are your family." ~ Jim Butcher

‎"Never mind the odds against you. If you doubled your effort, what would the odds against you do -- send for reinforcements?" ~ Robert Brault

"It is impossible to be happy if you don’t get your mind off yourself and start reaching out to help someone else."~ Joyce Meyer

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." ~ James Baldwin

‎"I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar." ~ Robert Brault

"A father... knows exactly what those boys at the mall have in their depraved little minds because he once owned such a depraved little mind himself. In fact, if he thinks enough about the plans that he used to have for young girls, the father not only will support his wife in keeping their daughter home but he might even run over to the mall and have a few of those boys arrested." ~Bill Cosby

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” ~ Mark Twain

"A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked." ~Author Unknown

“Always you have to contend with the stupidity of men.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." ~ Anais Nin

"‎And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working." ~ Author Unknown

"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." ~Author Unknown

‎"You cannot outlaw one part of the people without endangering the rights and liberties of all people..." ~ Frederick Douglass (a young slave who escaped to freedom in 1838)

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties." ~Harry Truman

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"You can live your life so as never to rock the boat, but you could have done that by not being born." ~ Robert Brault

"Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.” ~ Donna Ball

"There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love." ~ Mother Teresa

"The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” ~ Thomas Sowell

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Between the wish and the thing life lies waiting." ~ Proverb

"Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have.” ~ A.A. Milne

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." ~ Robert Brault

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~ Lao Tzu

"When we are no longer able to change a situation... We are challenged to change ourselves" ~ Viktor Frankl

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.Dream. Discover" ~ Mark Twain

"How do we keep our inner fire alive? Two things, at minimum, are needed: an ability to appreciate the positives in our life – and a commitment to action. Every day, it's important to ask and answer these questions: ‘What's good in my life?’ and ‘What needs to be done?” ~ Nathaniel Branden

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

"‎Those who avoid the tough choices of life live a life they never chose." ~ Robert Brault

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." ~Albert Schweitzer

"I value the friend who in time of need is just a phone call away, but I cherish the friend who in time of need I don't have to call." ~ Robert Brault

‎"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst a spark that creates extraordinary results." ~ Unknown

"‎What a blessing it is to be alone with your thoughts when so many are alone with their inability to think." ~ Robert Brault

"‎Happiness is having a dream you cannot let go of and a partner who would never ask you to." ~ Robert Brault

"Once you become the mommy or daddy in your child's world, it is the only world in which you exist, no matter how much you fancy there is a separate world of your own." ~ Robert Brault

"It is only reality until you decide that you've put up with it long enough." ~ Robert Brault

"Complex things are easy to do. Simplicity's the real challenge." ~ Robert James Waller

I'm a quote lover. 
I'm a quote collector. 
I admit it. 
Years ago, as a teenager, I kept a big binder full of quotes, poems & songs that touched me. 
Some I'd written myself. 
Some I'd just heard or seen.
Either way, it was a big book of who I was at the time. 
Then, around my mid-twenties, I threw it in the trash.
An action I have long since regretted. 
I wish my LiviGirl could see the girl I was then all wrapped up in those words.
Truthfully, sometimes I wish I could see that girl again...for just a few moments.
But, as we all know, life moves forward regardless of where we want to hit pause or rewind...
or even the skip/next buttons.

Today, I decided to add some of my favorite quotes to my blog. Sometimes I post them as statuses on FaceBook or as the occasional post title on here, but I want a way to truly "log" them so I decided to create the label "quotes" & start adding them to this creation of chaos. Over time, I'm sure it will become another snapshot of who I am at that time in my life...maybe this one I won't toss in the trash...

One of my current favorites:
"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives: Be kind anyway. What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight: Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it may never be enough: Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God: it was never between you and them anyway." ~ Mother Teresa

You'll see many of my faves come from Robert Brault. 
Visit him here or here for even more. 
I LOVE his thoughts! 

The trouble that finds me and not my child has taken the decoy. ~ Robert Brault

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"A good marriage is each for the other and two against the world." ~ Robert Brault

"When you speak, always tell the truth. But don't always speak...Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie." ~ Robert Brault

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." ~ Bob Marley

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." ~ Harvey Fierstein 

‎"Because that's the thing, the day before your life changes forever, it's just like any other day..."

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs"

"‎Always review a plan to make sure you have not assumed that anyone will use more brains than they have." ~ Robert Brault

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~ Douglas Adams

“The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.” ~ Heraclitus

"A rich man is one who needs the least, not the one who has the most" ~ unknown

‎"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible." ~ Claude Bissell

TRADITION: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.~ Albert Einstein 

Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom. ~ Unknown

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got....

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace...~Jimi Hendrix

Better is the sinner who hath thoughts about God, than the saint who hath only the show of sanctity. ~ Sadi

Here's to responsibility. Twice a week. ~ Jacob Black, New Moon

There are no rules that can bind you when you find your other half. ~ Jacob Black, Eclipse

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.

Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it. ~George Bernard Shaw

I'll be stormin' the heavens for you. ~ Sr. Kate 

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 18, 19, 20, & 21

Sticking with my multiple days in one post tradition, here's a few thankful thoughts to cover me through tomorrow :)

Today I am thankful brother. We don't always see eye to eye & we don't always get to see each other that often, but I always know he's there for me & vice versa. He makes me laugh. He's kind-hearted. He's a wonderful baby brother. In short, I love him.

I'm also thankful for my internet (I'm sure he'd see the humor in being thankful for him & internet in the same post!). My internet gives me loads to do when I'm bored (ie. Pinterest), helps me shop for less (always a plus) & most importantly, keeps me in touch with people I otherwise would miss terribly.

I'm thankful for my dog who always knows when I need a good snuggle. She misses me when I'm gone working & sticks like glue to me when I come home. In many ways, we would all be better humans if we learned to love one another like our dogs love us.

I'm also thankful for my little wiry-haired guinea. He speaks through squeaks & always makes me laugh. He's tiny, sometimes stinky, & always a hoot to watch. He reminds me to enjoy the little things in life when he "popcorns" around his cage in excitement over some new hay or a piece of romaine lettuce. If only human life was so simple!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

OK, I'm obviously VERY behind in my "thankful thoughts" so I thought I'd play catch up today. Maybe I should have just listed 7 things once a week. I might have been able to keep up with that...nah, probably not. haha!

Today I am thankful, reliable transportation. I often take it for granted that I can hop in my car & go about anywhere without worrying about it breaking down or not starting.

I'm also thankful for my grandparents. I grew up surrounded by numerous grandparents. I credit them for my  love of the elderly today & my passion to work with the geriatric population. I never cease to be fascinated & amazed by the stories these generations have to pass along.

I'm also thankful for hot water. Seems like a simple thing, but take it away & I bet you'll find some really grumpy people in your household. There's nothing like a hot shower to relieve stress & help you really think about choices you need to make. And, without hot water, none of us not-so-famous shower singers would be able to stand in there long enough to perfect our craft ;)

I'm thankful for the clothes I have to wear & the ability to buy what we need.

I'm thankful for my job(s). I immediately fell deeper in love with the nursing profession than I ever thought I would when I took my first nursing job. Part of that was the nursing profession, but much of that I credit to the phenomenal company I work for & the people I work with. I'm sad to be going part time with them, but excited to be beginning a full time job working with my favorite age group :)

I'm thankful for the friends I made in nursing school. My life has been greatly enriched by meeting & knowing these people.

I'm thankful for books. Go ahead & laugh, but I find great relaxation in reading. I love getting lost in a good book. Books take us to places & times we can only find in our imaginations. They are a wonderful escape from reality when reality gets too serious. Yes, I'm a book nerd & proud of it! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov.10

Today I am thankful education. I waited so long & worked so hard to get it. I'm so thankful for all the support & encouragement I had while pursuing my degree. I'm thankful for the financial aid I received that helped make it possible. I'm thankful for the wonderful professors, many who changed my life forever. 

Today I Am Thankful For....Nov. 9

Today I am thankful for...the food we have to eat. 
I often take for granted how blessed I am to even get to decide what's for dinner. While we whine about which food to have, many others go to sleep without any food at all. I'm so thankful that I don't have to ever put my daughter to bed hungry. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 8

Today I am thankful husband. 
Through good or bad, sickness or health, Ramen noodles or steak for dinner, he's been  my rock. Even on the worst of days, I love him & I can't imagine a life without him. Our life isn't always a perfect, but it works for us & every day I'm thankful that I get to share my life with him. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 7

LiviGirl & LilyBug...
Always making me smile :) 
Today I am thankful beautiful & unique LiviGirl. She makes everything in life worthwhile & brings meaning, purpose & light to even the darkest of moments. It may sound like a cliche, but she truly is my sunshine. Of all my blessings, she is without a doubt the greatest.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 6

Today I am thankful right to vote & all the sacrifices that went into getting me that right & protecting it still today. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For...Nov. 5

Today I am thankful dad. Today's his birthday & I'm thankful every day that I get to call him "dad". I'm a lucky gal to have a dad like him! Happy Birthday, Dad! Love ya! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For....Nov. 4

Today I am thankful health & the health of my loved ones.

Today I Am Thankful For....Nov. 3

Today I am thankful for...a roof over my head. It's hard to believe sometimes how many people in this world don't have a place to call "home" or even the crudest form of shelter. I'm grateful that I can put my child to bed in a home that is warm in the winter, cool in the summer & safe year round.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today I Am Thankful For....Nov. 2

Today I am thankful bestest gal pal, Steph.

I've written more than once about her. She's the bestest gal pal a gal could ask for, the sister I've never had, a beautiful soul & the kind of person that I'm proud to call "friend". I love her & I feel blessed to have her in my life!

Today I Am Thankful For....Nov. 1

Today, I am thankful mom.
I don't know what I'd do without her. She is always there when I need her. Always encouraging me & supporting me. I probably don't tell her nearly often enough, but I sure do appreciate her.
Love you, Mom!!!

Thankful Thoughts 2012

A couple of years ago, instead of doing the "Thankful Thoughts" on FaceBook, I chose to do them here. This year I decided to do another month of thankful thoughts for the month of November. Some of these may be the same or similar to previous ones & others will be new. One thing that always strikes me the most about doing a month of thankful thoughts is how positive it makes a person. The whole "feel" of FaceBook changes when people start their month of thankful thoughts. Sometimes we all need to take a minute & reflect on the blessings in our lives. November is as good a time as any to do that :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Be happy, and a reason will come along." ~ Robert Brault

What a beautiful morning it is out there this morning! I do love fall. I love the nip in the air & the gorgeous colors the trees turn. Give me a cool morning, a cup of coffee, my lounge pants & a hoodie & a good book & I'm in heaven...I'm definitely a spring & fall kind of gal.

It's hard to believe but Christmas is just around the corner. Where did this year go? The other day at work I was thinking about where I was a year ago at this time. Halfway through my 3rd semester of nursing school, I couldn't have even began to imagine where I would be today. Isn't life funny like that? We spend so much time "planning" everything for our futures & yet, life has a way of winding us down paths we never imagined. I'm a planner. Always have been. I like things organized & in order. I like knowing where I'm headed & having a distinct plan for getting there. But one thing I've learned is that sometimes it's better to just fly by the seat of your pants & go where life leads you. Sometimes we don't know what's best for us & it's hard to plan for something that we don't even realize is a possibility yet.

I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year for the 1st time in a long time. I can already feel the Christmas spirit creeping in & I love that. Even Livi said last weekend, "Hey, would you care if we watch a Christmas movie?"  Heck no, kiddo!!! Sign me up! :)

Today, I'm going to get busy cleaning out some things & reorganizing. Won't be long till I need to make room for the Christmas tree :) I've got some paperwork/bills/schooling type stuff I need to work on as well. I always took for granted how satisfying just working around the house could be until nursing school started & only the things that had to be done got done. It's nice to have some normalcy (whatever that is - LOL!) in our lives.

My favorite photographer captured my LiviGirl a couple weeks back so I can't close out this post without sharing a couple of my favorites with you. I never cease to be awed by the beautiful young lady she has evolved into...
Photo by Chad Goldman Photography

Photo by Chad Goldman Photography

Photo by Chad Goldman Photography

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Comes the Dawn"

by Veronic Shoffstall 

After a while you learn the subtle difference 

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul, 
And you learn that love doesn't mean security, 
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts 
And presents aren't promises 
And you begin to accept your defeats 
With your head up and your eyes open, 
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child, 
And you learn to build all your roads 
On today because tomorrow's ground 
Is too uncertain. And futures have 
A way of falling down in midflight, 
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. 
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting 
For someone to bring you flowers. 
And you learn that you really can endure... 
That you really are strong, 
And you really do have worth 
And you learn and learn 
With every goodbye you learn. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." ~ Robert Frost

I haven't disappeared. Although it may seem that way. It's been a while since I've written on here. The past couple of months have been very challenging. I guess I had an unrealistic idea of how easy it would be to find a job after passing my state boards. I truly never thought it would take a month or longer to find work. After all, isn't nursing suppose to be experiencing a huge shortage? I've never been an overly patient person & I badly needed to get my fanny to work.

"The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. 
Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. 
Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen."

Still, when one (&, at the time, the only) opportunity presented itself, everything in me screamed "NO!". I knew in my gut it was the wrong opportunity for me. I prayed for guidance, for clear cut answers, but it was not meant to be. And then, I got the call I'd been waiting & hoping for: an interview at my 1st choice of places to work. The interview went OK, but you know how interviews can be. They're stressful & you think of a million things later you should (or shouldn't) have said. When the "We'll let you know something in a week" turned into 2 weeks, I began trying to accept that it wasn't going to happen. 

In the meantime, everything I touched seemed to fall apart. The washer broke & the brakes went out on the car.I'd applied to every place I could think of in a 50 mile radius & no one was calling....I'll be honest, I began to lose faith in the choices I'd made. But, Toby & Livi didn't. 

One morning, I got up & went into the living room & found this: 

It wasn't but a few days later & the call I'd been waiting for came. I had the job I wanted! 

I've been working for a month now & I couldn't be happier! I LOVE the people I work with. I LOVE the work. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted, but being a nurse is a truly rewarding job! 

Just as it usually goes in this game of life, the washer got fixed, new brakes got put on the car, & things are slowly coming together. I've left Livi's note right where she left it for me. It reminds me daily of the beauty of unwavering faith.  I'm thankful for all the prayers that went up on my behalf & I'm especially thankful for all the people who never lost faith in me or in the choices I'd made. I am truly a blessed lady! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

LOVE this song!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Remember today, for it is the beginning of always..." ~ Unkown

The past few days have been amazing, tearful, exciting, scary, nerve-wracking...& about every other emotion you can think of. I hadn't said a whole lot to very many people, but on Sat. June 23, 2012 I walked with my bestest gal pal in the world into a room in an Indianapolis office building & finished what I started several years ago. I became a nurse!

I didn't know officially until today, but it's done.
I'm Terra King, RN.
Steph said it well when she said, "Never knew two little letters could take so much work....but it was all worth it".

It seems like only yesterday, I looked at Toby & said "I want to be a nurse." That was several years ago & a ton of sacrifices from him & LiviGirl ago. He & I had been taking a hard look at where we were in life & where we wanted to go. We knew we weren't getting any younger & in order to change the little things we were going to have to change the big things first. We entered into this journey knowing it would be tough, but I don't think either of us realized just how tough some days were going to be. Still, never once, did Toby or Livi suggest we turn back. Never once did they say "Give it up". Never once did they say "You can't do this" or "I'm sick of sacrificing for this". Nope. Every single day they said: "I love you", "I'm proud of you", "You got this" & a million other words of encouragement. Livi, like the guardian angel I know she is, managed to single-handedly fight off my self-doubts on a few occasions by knowing exactly the right thing to say at the exact moment I needed to hear it. In a million years & a thousands chances, I could never have picked a better daughter to share my life with. She's amazing! And then there's Toby. He weathered my moods, held me when I cried, supported me when I was angry, celebrated my successes,  helped me remember to laugh & never stopped saying "I have never doubted you."  He has worked so hard to support us financially so I could pour all my efforts into school. He pinned so many of his hopes on my success & his belief in me never wavered. I am a very lucky gal to call him "husband"!

So where do I go from here? Well first things first, I have to find a job. I've started applying & making some calls. I know the right opportunity will present itself when the time is right. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that life does not always take the path we expect. I use to feel the need to guide my every step in the direction I thought best. Now I try really hard to let life guide me. It doesn't mean I don't still sometimes try to control it all, just that I'm getting better at realizing some things are better left controlled by hands other than mine.

In the few days since taking my state exam, I've already found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. It feels wrong & kind of weird to not be studying or thinking about studying or planning when to study or worrying about how to fit 30 hours into the 24 hours each day holds. I'm sure once I get to work, things will pick back up & be busy again, but for now, I think I'll spend more time cleaning, cooking, doing laundry & reading for pleasure. It's no secret that those things have all been sorely neglected during all of this.

But for tonight, as I sit here reflecting on all that has transpired in the past several years, I find myself filled with peace & contentment. So much I have learned along this journey was not related to the healthcare field at all. And while the actual nursing knowledge I've gained & will continue to gain is great, I think the other lessons about myself, friends, family & life in general may end up being the most important ones of all.

June 23, 2012. The day my journey in life officially rounded the bend in the road & started down another path...& I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Marilyn Monroe - Nicki Minaj

Thanks to LiviGirl for sharing this song with me. I love it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Special Happy Birthday

Toby & the nurse who saved his life 5-23-1972
40 years ago today, early on a Tuesday morning in Hereford, Texas, my best friend, confidante & soul's mate entered this world. It was not to be an easy start for his life. Within hours, a nurse noticed he had something terribly wrong & he was flown to a nearby Childrens' Hospital. He would undergo more than one surgery during his 1st year of life, but even at this early stage in his journey, he was a fighter. 

Toby & his Grandma Virginia 
Toby @ 3 mos

Toby - Fall 1972

Toby - Dec. 1972

He grew up alongside 2 big brothers in a fairly typical country-boy childhood. We still tease him about hitting a groundhog with his bicycle & "takin' it home to mom"! (Honest! Ask him sometime LOL). 

1st Birthday :)


Age 14 - Hard to believe, but in this pic,
 he's about the same age as Livi is now
Graduation 1990


Senior picture - one of my all time favorites :) 

       In March of 1997, our journeys collided & neither of us would ever be the same again. 

Christmas 1997
We had no way of knowing it when this picture was taken, but when the next Christmas rolled around we'd not only be married but we'd be holding the greatest thing either of us have ever taken part in: our precious baby girl.
Our wedding day (I LOATHE this picture,
but it's the only one we have from the day we got married )

Proud Papa

Our sweet LiviGirl

Over the years, we've both grown up...& older. We've weathered some hard times & we've celebrated some beautiful & joyful times. We've held steady through the "in sickness & health" & "for richer or poorer" parts of our wedding vows & I'm so thankful that I get to grow old alongside him. 

I've teased Toby for months now about turning the BIG 4-0, but the truth is when I think about the challenges he faced as an infant & some of the challenges that he's faced as an adult, I'm so happy that our journey has led us to his 40th Birthday celebration :)!  We've been through so many changes in the past few years & I am so excited to see what the next years bring for us. 

40 is just the beginning! =D 

We're celebrating pretty low-key with just some close friends & family over the next few days, but if you happen to see Toby out & about or on FaceBook feel free to wish him a Happy 40th! 

Love that smile! 
HAPPY 40th BABE!!!!!
Hey Toby,
Remember when I promised to save this for your 40th.... =D