About Laura

With five kids, one with special needs, a handsome son-in-law, a perfect grandchild (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a even handsomer husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?

squad weekend

Can I just put it out there to everyone who was pretending shock and surprise that there was some kind of game going on this weekend you fool no one. So what you didn’t care about the Super Bowl. No one cares!

Especially these three…and the two people whom I know who were DOWN THERE ON THE FIELD with Cold Play, Bruno and Queen Bey herself…and her magnificent fan.

Squad goals!

My friends, Harmony and Kaylin, crossed this off their bucket lists. There’s that.

Meanwhile,

we shall imagine that my darling daughter on the far right above, was really into the play on the green of the Phoenix Open. She knows that her dad really was. And she knows that she had a great time with her friends.

As for me…

my squad and I enjoyed a great day at the Sacramento Zoo.

I can’t even begin to describe how good it was to get some face time with my grand babies. Actually I could but then again…just trust that this day with my squad was so magically delicious…yeah even when we sang “It’s a small world after all” with all that was in us over and over and over again because that is what my squad does.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were the perfect days for squads and their goals.

just the necessities

Add this to the No Matter How Old And Independent Your Children Are…or maybe think they are….They Will Still Need You files.

Abby had surgery today. Not a big deal, really. Except for her it was a big deal because she has never, ever had surgery…or an IV…ever.

Definitely a big deal then.

That’s what mom is for, I assure her. Mom is here to go with her to see the doctor pre-operatively, to help her ask the questions she needs to ask. Mom is there to help her figure out the scheduling so that she can be able to take off time from work and school during the busiest time of the year at work and the start of the semester. Mom, of course, will nag  remind her the night before to make sure all the consents are signed and that she has not and will not eat or drink anything after 8 PM. Actually she tells me that my nagging gentle reminding isn’t necessary at all because the pre-op instructions are literally in large font, bold-faced capital letters which most certainly tells her that she will likely die if she eats or drinks anything after 8 PM the night before.

The nurse in me tries to explain the rationale for nothing by mouth before a surgical procedure with anesthesia; but right now that’s not what she wants.

Fine.

I will be the mom. The mom who takes her to the ambulatory surgery center. The mom who waits until she is taken back into the OR to go get some coffee because how cruel would it be for me to be enjoying coffee when she has not eaten or drank anything since 8 PM last night? Random guy in the waiting room offers that he wouldn’t and couldn’t wait. I smile an think to myself that he is weak. More proof that males are truly, truly the weaker sex.

Waiting with her in recovery, I assure her that she looks just fine…my little girl looking small and pale and maybe a little scared all wrapped up in blankets. She might be a grown, young woman but right now she is my little girl; my little girl who needs me.

We get back to The Big Top where I get her settled and tucked in before I pick up her prescriptions.

What do you need?

My Baby, my cheetah blanket and my iPad.

The necessities, but of course.

Oh, and mom, because mom brings the ice packs and pain pills and antibiotics and all the favorite soft foods including a double order of miso soup from the favorite sushi place.

See?

No matter how grown and independent they are they still will need their mom.

Yeah, my heart is kind of full.

Don’t worry, Abby is just fine now.

I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

    Honestly!
  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.

showing up

January 2016 is winding down…FINALLY! Am I the only one who felt like this was an endless month? No, it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. It was actually an okay kind of month at least here under the Big Top. It just seemed like January was a long as a cold, dark Winter night.

Speaking of Winter…

I can neither confirm nor deny that Jodie was anywhere near the East Coast last weekend. I asked. Believe me.

But yes, January is coming to an end which, it would seem, be the PERFECT time for me to shake up my workout.  I never was a New Year, New You, New Workout or Joining a Gym kind of girl because anxiety girl hates the crowds. Still, struggling with the I’m getting older too season of my life, I am realizing that in order to maintain I need to do so much more than just run and throw some weights around occasionally; because it’s not just cardio vascular and muscular skeletal function that wanes in our middle ages…I realize that literally every single time I am crawling between ventilators, isolettes and parents kangarooing their tiny babies so I can hang IV fluids, administer meds or shut off an alarm, and then trying to get back up again. I won’t talk about the hobbled state of my back, my hips, my knees and my ankles at the end of a 12 hour shift.

So honoring my #oneword2016, I am pausing the running…kind of sort of because if I run, I run, and if I don’t, I don’t...instead I am walking more and as of last week, accepting Jodie’s challenge to get my Yoga on. Last week I discovered Adriene, whose playful humorous yoga practice is exactly what I need as I get back on the mat and accept the reality that is my ebbing flexibility and old lady joints. Five days into her New Year 30 Day Yoga Camp (while everyone else is almost done with it), I am learning to accept, create, embrace, awaken and celebrate that I am alive as I enjoy this one wild and precious life that is mine. There is more to come the next 25 days but the biggest thing I am coming to realize is not how flexible I am or, obviously, am not.

No.

The biggest thing is that I have shown up on that mat.

And that is kind of the biggest thing one can do literally in any relationship in their life whether love, friendship, work, your own self. If it’s important, if it’s valuable, you got to work with it, care for it, but first you got to show up.

Start here.

Show up.

 

Eilene Whitt Jessup

I remember the first time I saw my daughter Hollie sing in public. It wasn’t the first time I had heard her warble like a baby song bird because, like her mama, she sang all the time…while playing with her toys, in the bathtub, walking to the park, in the backseat of that old Pontiac to the radio which were likely totally inappropriate songs for a small child to be listening to. She had a beautiful voice I used to proudly tell myself which was no surprise because DNA. Then one Sunday evening, standing in front of an audience with her Bible School choir, at the encouragement of her teacher, little Hollie stepped up to a microphone and sang the sweetest little chorus ALL BY HERSELF!!!

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

In Your Word I praise…

And I literally burst into tears because…MY BABY GIRL!!! And OMG I had no idea she was going to sing a solo!!! And MY BABY GIRL!!!

I will never forget that moment, as mothers do.

I will also not soon forget the wonderful woman who gave Hollie the wink and nod as she encouraged her to sing the song that she taught her. I met Eilene shortly before Hollie was born. Her calming presence coupled with her quick wit was something I couldn’t help be drawn to. As time passed, most of our time together was spent with music…so much music because we both loved music. But beyond the music there was Eilene encouraging, mentoring all with positive kindness. When I thanked Eilene for the wonderful surprise that was Hollie’s solo, she smiled and told me that she couldn’t imagine anyone else who could emphasize that we must TRUST the way that little Hollie did.

Eilene was the kind of person who led, taught, loved, encouraged by example. Always patient. Always kind.

When I was a young mother trying to balance marriage, mommy-life and career, Eilene was an example to me as a woman who successfully balanced her life as wife, mom, grandmother (which all who knew her knew she was overjoyed adding that title) and business woman. She had a busy travel agency. in San Jose…back in the day before we all could research, plan and book our own travel thanks to the interwebs. When I planned MY very first trip to Disneyland…and Hollie’s and Zoë’s…Eilene was who I turned to. She offered all kinds of advice and options that would work for our little family while we vacationed with our kindergartener and 9 month old and she created what was the most wonderful first real family vacation package for us at Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, San Diego Wild Animal Park and a few other points of interest along the way. The cherry on top was the lovely, welcome to our vacation card from her waiting for us at the front desk of the hotel where we stayed during our juggling away from home adventure. Upon our return, when I thanked her for helping to plan such  wonderful family memories she smiled and thanked me back saying she just wanted it to be something special for us.

Earlier this week, after a life well lived, Eilene passed away. Naturally with someone as special as she, the tributes literally flooded my social media stream. With someone as special as she this was no surprise. I have read them all so far and have found myself even more fond of someone who truly was an example for anyone on how to live a life and truly succeed.

Blessing and love, Eilene! Thank you for your inspiration, guidance and, always, your love.

Eilene Whitt Jessup, May 16, 1936 – January 25, 2016