only ten hours

According to my navigator app, it only takes about 10-11 hours to drive from Manteca to Tempe…weather permitting…probably no stops along the way except for gas. Driving to Tempe from Manteca it is about that…not counting the stops for gas, for coffee, potty breaks, meals, windshield wiper blade replacement…and sometimes traffic.

It also takes ten hours to travel from Manteca to Tempe when one is flying…today.

Driving from Manteca. We left after dropping Daniel off at school which means we were on the road just after 9 AM…after we got coffee.

Windy, rainy and green because it has been rainy…FINALLY!!!

To Mineta International Airport because Southwest had super awesome, cheap flights that fit this SunDevil’s school/work/social/family schedule. I now accept the fact that I am supposed to leave her there on the curb with her luggage. Security waving me to move along helped just a little. I still don’t like that I have to leave her there. Yes, I still blame my darling husband for making me drop her off to kindergarten years ago. I left her at 11 AM,

I got home just before 1 PM which gave me time to do something worthwhile, like a load of laundry, before picking Daniel up from school.

Meanwhile…

Jodie’s flight was delayed three times. Today she learned that when you are a poor college student between paychecks, airport cuisine at Mineta International is too expensive for you.

Finally boarding!

This is her If I smile real big you’ll offer me extra bags of complimentary honey-roasted peanuts because I haven’t eaten since breakfast face.

5:35 PM landed in Burbank. Apparently it wasn’t a direct flight. I could have sworn it was a direct flight. No, Mom. It’s not a direct flight.

Finally at 7:15 PM a text announcing: Landed in Phoenix!

See? Only 10 hours. Yes, I’m ignoring the fact that Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time. 9 hours…might as well be 10 hours.

We miss her already.

Can it be May?

I’m pretty certain this is all her father’s fault…still.

 

 

press pause

Practically a week into 2016 and when am I going to take the time to post something, some picture, some thought, some moment of navel gazing…because people are waiting.

Heh.

Sorry.

Life distracts.

Taking time to consider my #oneword for 2016 as I have last year, the year before, and the year before that, I found myself anxious to sit down and share with you the right word for my 2016…again, because you all are waiting (in my imagination) it struck me that I had the right word for this year because whether you have been waiting and wondering, Big Top life has distracted…or perhaps readjusted the focus. So let me share with you…as soon as I pause this video.

What can I say, I love me a good riff-off.

PAUSE.

Pause is my #oneword2016.

2015 ended up being what I would call a fortuitous year. Actually I did refer to it that way when a friend asked to describe 2015 in one word. There were so many other potential words describing good, bad, anxiety, tears, fears, grief, happiness, joy…and on and on. 2015 wasn’t a stellar year but it certainly did not suck…mostly.Perhaps because (most of the time) I tried to deal as I said I would around this time last year.

Dealing, as I tried to do, I learned sometimes to just pause…take a deep breath…perhaps close my eyes…open my eyes…take another breath if needed…and in that way I would try to deal. There wasn’t always a fix or a solution or an ability to change but there was a moment, a break to realize the positive and where my strength lies.

So 2016, this year I will press pause…as needed…when needed.

Like today while running errands in the rain.

 

home (this year) for Christmas

Today my Timehop app reminds me that over the last eight years I was scheduled to work six of the last eight Christmas Eves and (or) Christmas Days. I’m not surprised. I am a nurse who works in a very busy Level III NICU in a very busy hospital. I have worked as a nurse in very busy Level III NICUs in very busy hospitals since 1990…since 1988 if you consider my days as a nurse’s aid and surgical tech. Since Hollie was very young, if it is Christmas Eve and (or) Christmas Day, I was almost always working and sleeping because I needed to work through the long night. It was strange. It was often hard. Extended family almost always never understood. But it was what I signed on for when I chose to be a nurse…and I was not alone…no, not ever.

We all have given up more than our fair share of Christmases with our families and the ones we love the most.

But this year, this Christmas Eve, this Christmas Day, I am home. I am home all day and all night and all day and all night for Christmas with my family circus. I am not exhausted from a long overnight shift just hours before trying to stay awake and not be so grumpy while enjoying a few, short hours of face time with my children and husband before I take a nap before work again. I am not trying to rest a little before work in a much too quiet, empty house because my circus is with extended family celebrating while I get ready for work. I am home.

As a nurse, to be home tonight and tomorrow is most always the exception rather than the expectation. I know that. Every bedside nurse knows that. My husband and my children know that. Every bedside nurse’s family knows that. It’s what we signed on for when we chose to become a nurse. It’s hard. We sacrifice much. Our families sacrifice much. It’s hard. It’s hard for us and for the ones we love the most. But, unlike those whom we care for, at the end of our long, twelve hour shift, we get to leave. We get to leave and go home when our shift is over.  That is one absolute truth nurses know Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And at the end of those shifts we go home and hug our family tightly…no matter how tired we are or how much we need to sleep a little before the next busy shift.

This year, as I sit in front of the perfect Big Top family tree with far too many gifts because it is a big family circus (a very big family circus) I am reflecting on the truth that I am home and I am thankful, so very thankful for so many reasons. Next year I am certain that I shall be working. Either way I am thankful and I am blessed.

Merry Christmas all…and extra special Christmas wishes to all those caring for the sickest and most critical of patients and their families right now.

 

holiday mad adorableness

So that impossibly gorgeous married couple I know so well because the wife is my darling daughter #1 shared a picture of themselves from a holiday party this weekend.

Naturally I grabbed a copy of it for myself; after I shouted, “Stop being so adorable!” Because, really, they are just too damn adorable. I wish I was that adorable! This shot really would be a perfect holiday card except for the fact that their even more perfectly adorable children aren’t in the picture.

Of course, that will not do because they are my perfectly adorable grand babies and they absolutely must be featured in their holiday cards.

Hollie and Ben, naturally, agree and they asked me to help them get the perfect holiday card photo.

You can’t imagine the fun.

Then again…

Meanwhile, the much-coveted Scarborough Family Circus Holiday cards are here and ready to send out.

Let me know if you want one.