Greetings from the snowy billows of Spokane. Actually, it's turned into a frozen swamp now. We received from 51-60 inches of snow since December 18th and last weekend it warmed up to the mid 30's, quickly flooding everything in town. We're pretty happy about living on the second floor. No one in our apartment has been flooded out, but getting around our complex is pretty wet. One of the carports collapsed and a lot of the storm drains were pulled off by the melting snow. One of the local high school's roof collapsed, and they've had everyone from the national guard to local prisoners out with shovels. So it's a little crazy, but I absolutely love it! Not that we want peoples' rooves to collapse, but this is a real winter! At least before everything started to melt, this is such a beautiful place for snow! Every morning I'd get out and walk with Pele (after putting on a ton of winter clothes), and just admire the absolute beauty of the harsh weather. It was so crisp and cold, every pine needle was covered in snow, everything so white, the sun (when it actually shown) made everything sparkle, and the world felt so still and magical. I think hard weather is good for people because it helps to remind you you can survive hard things, and hard things still have amazing beauty to them. Plus, Pele thought she'd died and gone to heaven. I should get her a team and we could get around on a dog sled instead of a car. Speaking of cars, I never thought I'd be so grateful for a new car (well, we got it in August). But having the Subaru and a 4 wheel drive truck has made driving in this mess such a breeze. I don't think I've gotten cabin fever from this because we still get out and around. Though it does help to have a grocery store right across the street.
Jeremy, Katie Lou, and I had a great Christmas and New Years. We had friends over for Christmas Eve dinner and ate with other friends Christmas Day. I really enjoyed having such a peaceful Christmas Eve and morning. Jeremy and I talked several times about how to keep Christ the focus of each Christmas for our family and I hope we can continue to find good traditions for our family. New Years Eve was my last day of work at my first RN job. Shriners is such an amazing hospital and I loved it there. I thought about it that morning before I went in - I love being a nurse, taking care of patients, knowing the drugs, using IVs, and talking with the rest of the staff, but I don't know how to describe how good and right the decision to quit feels. I feel very at peace with that choice. There will always be more patients, more work, more hospitals, but this time with our family is so precious. If we had to make it work, I know we could, but my going to work was more of a choice than a necessity, and I'm glad I was able to experience it enough to make the right decision for me.
Jeremy has been studying his guts out. He's preparing for his final general board exam, USMLE Step 3 that he'll be taking Thursday and Friday, 8 hours each day. I'm so proud of him for working as hard as he has, but I tell you what, it'll be nice to have that done. Listening to him study makes me think that anyone who can keep that much information straight in their head (or just pronounciate any of it correctly) has to have more determination and organization in their head than anyone. He'll do a great job, he always does. We'll be excited to take a vacation to visit family when it's done.
I'm a little nervous to leave Pele for this trip, hoping that staying in a kennel won't give her PTSD since it took her about a month to come out of her shell after the shelter. I'm also nervous about the flight. Well, not really nervous, but this will be our first time flying with a little baby and I keep picturing a mom I saw at the airport one time who had a screaming baby she kept trying to comfort with nothing working and everyone looking around like PLEASE don't let me sit next to her. I think I had sympathy for mothers before, but actually being one puts things in such a whole new perspective.
This job is just not an easy one, and it seems like there's a never ending stream of things to make you feel inadequate or unimportant. Then I remember everything I thought about and felt as I was making the decision to work or stay home and I know that mom's are not just important, we made promises with the Lord before we came here that we would love, protect, teach, watch-over, and play with His children, however they come into our lives.
Those promises we made will strengthen us and bind the Lord to help us as we do our best. That doesn't mean that we'll know how to do everything (no matter what any of the mommy magazines say), it just means nothing is impossible and we can be happy with who we are as individuals, instead of basing our worth on accomplishments, looks, or whatever else the world says matters more than our souls.
I can see how this is going to become a way for me to gather my thoughts as I spill my guts every week. Hopefully someone is enjoying reading this. Just a few more notes about what's going on: I'm trying to make stockings for our family. I meant to have them done for Christmas, but I never seem to anticipate the correct amount of time needed to accomplish these types of projects. I'm impressed with my domesticatedness because I never thought I had it in me. I still have a LOT to do on the stockings, but I can't put away Christmas stuff till I'm done with them. Last year we threw our tree out after Easter, so I'm hoping to beat that record this year.
I think that's enough rambling. Till next time...