Sunday, July 3, 2011


I was recently blessed to be able to spend 5 days in Jamaica with my husband...who has been leading mission trips on the island for the last month...How great it was to spend some quality time together!

Since Jon had a week off and we hadn't seen each other in a month...we decided to spend our week relaxing and getting some quality time with each other. This was our first time vacationing in Jamaica...and thanks to Hotwire (again, I totally recommend using this site!) We got a great deal on a wonderful resort...We felt spoiled, spoiled, spoiled...!!

...We ate WAY too much....
It was all-you-can of course Jon ordered TWO meals when we went to the steakhouse restaurant...!

...Attempted to windsurf (we had lessons 4 yrs ago in Belize...but they apparently didn't do us any good...), Soaked up some sun, and rented a pair of wheels we had not tried out yet in Jamaica...

Jon is now convinced that he needs one of these...I will convince him that that is not happening :)

Please try to imagine the two of us on this with dorky helmets, riding through villages...Can you say tourists?! How embarrassing! We did have fun though, and it was quite useful as Jon had a meeting and some errands to run...!

Our resort had fun shows every night. My, oh, my these Jamaicans can dance!! JEALOUS!! I volunteered Jon to go up on stage (he was not very happy with this, but I loved the idea)...They made him do some funny dances, then him and 3 other men were arranged into a human table... Jon purposely kept the camera in his pocket during this ordeal...:( So no pictures...) !!

This is the stage where the shows were every night...

Great food, great shows, great beach, awesome pools, fabulous company :)

....but I can't help but think about the millions of tourists who filter into Jamaica each year, staying at a resort like this one, then going home thinking that they have visited Jamaica. Yes, the beaches and vegetation of Jamaica are exquisite...and the country relies on tourism...but to be completely honest, the resorts are so "Americanized", it doesn't feel like you are in a different country...

I kept telling Jon that, while I was enjoying myself, I just didn't feel like I was in Jamaica.... Fancy resorts, good steaks, big pools, fancy bars, elaborate buffets.....this is NOT Jamaica... I would love to give you taste of this beautiful country...but that will have to be another blog post :) Just promise me that when YOU go to will leave your resort so you can really experience what life is like on this beautiful island!

All, in all, AWESOME vacation...but I have to left me with a thirst to get back to doing mission next time, for me, I will skip the resort :)

For now, I will focus on praying for this he leads his last 2 mission trips of the summer...! <3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life Lately...

My blogging skills have been sub-par for the last month or so... Been a bit busy, but here is how life has been lately:

We moved into our new apartment!!

Credit to Erika Sanborn for the great new arrangement!!

We adopted a new puppy...Chiquita Nelson. Our cute, furry Havanese! She is the sweetest little pup...! Yes, her name is Chiquita, like the banana... As a friend said, it is maybe because she is spoiled like a rotten banana...I can't deny the spoiled part! But can you blame me? Look at her!
The one and only Chiquita Nelson :)

Jon headed to Jamaica for the summer. He will be leading 5 mission trips throughout June and July. I am missing him lots, but at peace knowing that if giving my husband up for two months means kingdom growth...hands down it's worth it! Check out how he is doing at !!

-love this picture! Taken in Jamaica last summer-

Had some of my sweet, kindred-spirit girl-friends, and my favorite babies come for a visit to Tulsa and to keep me company!

Love being goofy with this girl!

Soaking up the sun!!
Love seeing mama Sarah in action...she is such a great mom!

Summer is off to a great start!! Other than all this, I have been busy at work in the ER, almost done with orientation and scheduled to start on my own in the beginning of July. I am starting to get the hang of the ER routine and learning LOTS!

It is surely a different kind of summer for me...being away from home for the very first time, having Jon gone, and not traveling to do missions (for the first time since 7th grade!!)... Change is sometimes hard, but I am realizing that it is good too. We are blessed <3 Praise God!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's I get to brag about my mom!!

My mom is all sorts of wonderful...  To me she truly paints a picture of what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Christ. Here a just a few things I love about her:

  • My mom is a teacher...over the years she has helped improve reading skills of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of young students, she also teaches teachers how to teach, and she is SO, SO good at it!! But the cool thing about my mom is that she doesn't limit her profession to 40 paid hours a week...she uses her knowledge to reach much further. On the side, she helps children of friends and family catch up or polish on their reading skills. She also invests her time in one of her ESL (English as a second language) students by loving on her outside of school, doing activities with her and really broadening her world-view. I know she is changing this little girl's life because of the huge smile this child gets when she is with my mom. It gives me the shivers...because it is SUCH a God thing!
  • My mom is a missionary...this summer, my mom and some other professional literacy teachers will be traveling to the country we love....JAMAICA!! She will be partnering with a local school to help educated the local teachers on ways they can improve literacy amongst their students. The school is so excited to have her and have even invited the the education "big-wigs" of Jamaica (the ministry of education) to the seminars. I love my mom's vision for this trip as she hopes this is a start of a long-term partnership with the local schools. She is also raising money to purchase appropriate books for the students. My mom has always had a huge heart for missions. She has always made it possible for her kids to participate in missions and now she is starting a mission that I no doubt will improve education in the whole country of Jamaica!! 

  • My mom is a mother...not only did my mom successfully give birth to two children but she also adopted two. She had a vision for a family that was a little different than the typical family of four that we started out as....and because of her faith she formed the BEST family of 6!! My mom has a huge heart for adoption. And I know exactly why, because through the adoption of my brother and sister I have seen God work so, so clearly... I wish I could write ALL about all the amazing "God moments" we have experienced through adoption...but that would be very long.. But mom, I want you to know that adopting my brother and sister not only changed their lives for the better, but it changed mine too! I am so, so thankful for the family that God put together and the family that you had the faith to envision!

So these are just a few things that make me raise my eyebrows and say, wow...what an awesome woman of God! She has SO, SO much love in her heart. It is rare to find a woman who finds the time to maintain a great career, be an awesome mom, AND is able to do so many cool things on top of it!! My mom is also very humble and might be kind of embarrassed that I am bragging about her. But how refreshing is it, to hear about a person who is constantly stepping out in faith to go above and beyond what the world expects of us do what God calls us to do!

Mom- I want YOU to know, that as a professional, missionary, wife, and someday mother I hope that I can take on each of those roles as gracefully and beautifully as you do. You really are my role model and the spitting image of Christ. God has and is continuing to impact many lives through you and do many great things. I know God is good to his children, but sometimes I don't know why I got so very lucky to have you has my mom. Love you, a bushel and a peck...!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trying to see in the dark...

My first week working the night shift...

 I was a bit worried going into the week, thinking  I would be completely sleep deprived after three 12 hour night shifts in the Emergency going into my first night shift, I prayed the words that so often come out of my mouth in pure desperation... Jesus, I lift this up to You, please give me strength...  And, oh my, I am glad I prayed that prayer and even more glad that we have a God that answers prayer...

My week started with the norm; Caring for the regulars who are found lying on the road intoxicated (even though they were discharged from our ER sober the night before), caring for the regulars whose "primary care provider" is the ER, caring for a few patients with chest pain, and some elderly patients who took unfortunate falls... things stayed at what we call "normal" until I experienced my first full-blown "code" we worked for hours and hours on a patient in respiratory distress...

I then realized for the first time...that sometimes in life...after the adrenaline wears off... there is nothing left to do but stand in utter disbelief... trying to make sense of what just happened...

When a young person dies with no found cause and after hours of meds and can't help but wonder WHY? Why would this person's life end is such a dark way? With no family around? No pain killers? No grasp of what was going on?

The doctor's words still ring in my head...Time of death:---  Good job, everybody, we did everything we could...

We did do everything we could...but it wasn't enough... Despite the expensive drugs and the bags and bags of just wasn't enough to save that life...

Over the weekend, as I tried to make sense of this dark situation...then I was reminded in the most beautiful way that, even though we can't truly save lives,...there is someone who CAN...a SAVIOR, a MESSIAH...our KING...!

....I am so thankful that we have a loving God who sacrificed his own life to give us HOPE beyond this life...

I truly believe that God protects us and gives us what we need when we need it. I always knew that the first time I saw a patient die would be incredibly difficult.  I don't think that experiencing this difficult situation the week of Easter was a coincidence... this week I needed a big reminder that we have hope and life beyond what happens here...and what better a reminder than a Risen King!

I am also reminded that God protects his children beyond what we could ever imagine...he protected me, he will protect my patients, their families, you, and your family... Thank you, Jesus~for being our light, our protector, and ultimately giving us life! And Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh, how I love spontaneous vacations...!

Being new in the ER, I am unable to pick up extra shifts so I am back to 12 hours, 3 days a week...which is very exhausting but also pretty great because that means I get 4 days off every week! It just so happened that a couple weeks ago I had a gap in my schedule... 6 days off! How wonderful!! So I decided to make sure that my husband also got 6 days off...then planned, what I like to think of as our first annual, SKI TRIP!!

This was Jon's first time downhill skiing and my third (?)... so being the very inexperienced skiers we are, we of course decided to tackle the sport head on and go to the biggest ski mountains in Colorado (go big or go home, right???!!)... ASPEN here we come!!!!

Thanks to hotwire (which I would highly recommend), we got a great hotel deal, thanks to Frontier Airlines we got some cheap plane tickets, and thanks to our waiter at breakfast the morning we flew in we found a great ski rental place!!

As a re-cap; I must say that this was one of our more successful vacations...nothing stolen, lost, crashed, etc... (we have a bad record of disaster vacations including our honeymoon...which was absolutely amazing regardless of the mishaps...) Here are some highlights:
  •  Got to see a good friend who lives in Colorado Springs!! She drove all the way to Denver so we could have breakfast and catch up! Miss this girl!

  • Jon insisted on making me ride up the ski lift to "Panda Peak" where 3-5 yr olds try out the slopes THREE times before going up the mountains..
  • Not long after Panda Peak, Jon decided he was ready for some jumps and "accidentally" led me down a BLACK DIAMOND!!
  • On our first day..65 degrees and sunny, so I decided to bypass the free sunscreen they were giving out (I rarely pass on free stuff, but it was SPF 70...!!)
  • Second day...we are both burnt  to the crisp, and I totally paid for not accepting the free sunscreen...with a SWOLLEN FACE!! How embarrassing!!

  • Snowstorm and blizzard keeps MOST of the skiers off the lifts...which was awfully nice except for the fact that the ski lifts all shut down due to lightning...they told us that NEVER happens, we just looked at each other and shrug...OF COURSE it happens when we are here...!

  • Day face= MORE SWOLLEN!! I am about to cry because never in my sunburn experience have I dealt with this type of reaction...finally I had to give in and take some Benadryl...!

  • On a more pleasant note...I must add that after everyday of skiing we relaxed in the resort mountainside hot tub...!

  • We left thankful for having been surrounded by the Rockies 5 awesome days...those beautiful mountains are a BIG, POWERFUL witness to how MIGHTY our God is and how completely creative and beautiful He is!!  

And to sum it all up...I learned some very valuable lessons: 1. ALWAYS use sunscreen!! (I have denied this truth for years...finally learned my lesson.) 2. If you have time off, treat yourself to a vacation...!!  3. Marry someone who will love you even if your face looks like a balloon <3

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In way over my head with this blog thing...

So I have been wanting to start a blog for a while now...because I so enjoy reading other blogs. However, anybody who know me well knows that I am not one to sit down and take the time to figure out how to actually set up a blog. When facebook came out...I was the same what did I do?? I had a much more computer savvy friend set it up for me...(thank you, Sarah Heineman!)! So of course I needed to get lots of pointers from her before starting this. Still then I wanted to add some finishing touches to make it just perfect...only to realize that a perfect blog is SO out of my scope of practice. And so I have settled with this simple blog...! Please do not expect fancy buttons or headers or anything of that sort...!!

My goal with this blogging thing is to write down my thoughts, experiences, maybe some crazy Emergency Room stories, or some "of course this happened to ME" stories (as bad luck and weird things happen to follow me closely). And so, since I don't scrapbook or journal (as of now)... I can preserve some memories and have some fun sharing it with you!