Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Blogiversary

Tomorrow marks One Year since “our” first post. You might be wondering why I use the plural here, but check back to our first post – August 31, 2010 Ally, the Pal of Ping and Pal, and I decided we should try out this blog thing together but we never really took off with it. I am so thankful that I have stuck with this blog alone though.

This blog has meant a lot to me, and looking back over the titles and posts of this past year is a little overwhelming. In this time I have been through a lot of wonderful – and a few difficult – times, and it’s been so amazing to have a place to share some of these emotions and events with you. I am constantly amazed by the people I have met through this blog world. I’m thankful for the little bits of encouragement people leave as comments – people I might not have ever even met or rarely get to see. I have felt a connection with you all by reading your blogs or knowing that you read mine.
Thanks for sticking with me throughout this year – a year filled up with a lot of newness: a new job, a new house, a new marriage, new friendships, new experiences, and of course, new books.
I read through our first post, explaining why we wanted to start this blog in the first place. At that time I was finishing a difficult book, Paul Elie’s The Life You Save May Be Your Own, that let me look at some of the reasons we write and what writing does to us and the people we share the writing with.
In my first post I included this quote from that book: "A pilgrimage is a journey undertaken in the light of a story...the pilgrim seeks not only to confirm the experience of others firsthand but to be changed by the experience. Pilgrims often make the journey in company, but each must be changed individually; they must see for themselves, each with his or her own eyes. And as they return to ordinary life the pilgrims must tell others what they saw, recasting the story in their own terms."
I remember thinking that a blog might be a great place to share my thoughts on the books I was reading and how they related to my life and what I experienced through them. I have had a wonderful year sharing these books and experiences with whoever is out there reading these posts. Thanks for sticking with me while I recast the stories in my own terms. Here's to another wonderful year of new experiences!

The Hunger Games Spoiler Post

Every once in a while I read a book that fits in perfectly with what’s going on in my real life – and the quotes work and what’s going on in the characters’ lives just fits with what’s going on in my life. I feel connected to them and find myself thinking how ironic some of the similarities are. And sometimes I read a book that I connect with from the beginning.
Here is where you stop reading if you are taking my recommendation and reading The Hunger Games trilogy. Seriously, please stop with this paragraph if you are going to read the three books. I am going to completely ruin it for you, but not before I tell you that I recommend you put the book down and stop reading if you are in an emotional state. And here’s why.

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Seriously stop reading if you are reading these books or seeing the movies. Come back when you are done reading them!

From the minute I picked up the first book and Katniss knew that Prim’s name would be called in the Reeping, I thought about my little sister. I followed Katniss through each Hunger Games arena and through this war and her love messes with the boys, all the while focusing on her relationship with her little sister. For some reason this wasn’t a love story between her and Gale or her and Peeta, it was a love story between sisters. A love story I continued to follow knowing somewhere in the back of my mind that if it’s really a love story, something or someone is going to be tragically lost. I buried this nagging foreshadowing my mind knew about thinking that I would be okay if Peeta or Gale had to die to end the book. I thought that surely the love story was about Katniss and her boys.
I was wrong and I knew I was wrong from the beginning. What I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the loss of this fictional sister. And here’s where the tragedies of the recent weeks all came flooding out. In the past few weeks I have watched two of my sisters each lose a friend, I have read about local tragedies of bike accidents and helicopter crashes and watched what they did to the people around, and I have prayed very hard for a stranger whose baby was born way too early and a coworker who is losing his father. And then, with the loss of this fictional character, I lost it. I was too invested with that little sister – so invested that I wish I had never read the book and I refuse to see the movies.
I did with this book what I do with most of my books, and had thought about it through the day and was invested in the journey with the characters. Most of the time this happens I have wonderful memories of where I was when I finished a journey with some character and what was going on in my own life. I will forever associate Little Women with late night talks with David when he was in St. Louis and I was in my little Plaza apartment. I will forever remember the first time I finished East of Eden and was in such awe. I remember finishing Fall on Your Knees in Texas with Sandy. And now, I will remember finishing the Hunger Games at a time when our city was experiencing a lot of loss, and I will remember that over the few weeks I was reading these books, I was thinking of my own little sister and terrified of where these books were headed. I know it was fiction, and it was a wonderful series. Very smart about the political situations and the terror of war. But also very smart about the feelings of loss. And at this time in my life, for some reason, I couldn’t handle it. To me,  I was reading over the course of three books, my biggest nightmare that I don’t even like to put words to and refuse to say out loud.
So I’m very sorry about pushing this book and I’m very sorry to admit that I can’t handle the thought of seeing the movies. And I’m sorry if I spoiled it for you. And I’m sorry for the dark post and negativity about a very wonderful book. I thought about not writing about it at all and just forgetting it. But I have posted about it and recommended you all read it so I thought I needed to wrap it up. But now I get to move on from it.
What are some silly, light, and easy recommendations you have for me? I think I deserve a silly, beach read.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Fallish-feeling Morning of the Year

Since this is a blog based on books and reading (or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be about), I thought I would share that September 8th is International Literary Day. My Better Homes and Gardens magazine had some fun ideas about how to celebrate this. Here are my two favorite ideas: e-book swaps and websites to find new favorites.
If you think about my first suggestion for a second you really should point and laugh because I don’t actually have an e-reader. I have chosen not to get into this craze just yet. I love holding my books. I also understand all of the awesome benefits of the Kindle and Nook and all others, however, I just don’t think I’m ready. I love folding back pages, highlighting, and holding a book. Please ignore the fact that my entire job is based around encouraging and training physicians to “go paperless.” But, and this is a big one, my job is truly around change management and helping people adapt to these concepts. So I am giving myself what I give physicians who need it – time to accept and change. And that isn’t happening for me until this Christmas-ish. I decided this winter I will give this e-reader dilemma a chance…..maybe.
But back on topic, e-readers can check out ebookfling.com to swap books with Nook and Kindle users for free! You get to check out books from your friends for 14 days. I think this sounds cool. But for all of you out there not like me and stuck in the dark ages of paper books, I think we should do a swap! Who’s in? Wouldn’t it be fun to grab a few people and all agree to send one of our favorite books to another swappee for a month. This would just be to “rent” these books and the swappee would need to return the book to the swapper at some designated time. I think it sounds great!
And then I also can’t wait to check out Pulitzer.org and nationalbook.org to see what my new favorite book might be. Along the same lines of my willingness to change and try an e-reader this winter, I decided it might be time to try some new Fall favorites that are not written by John Steinbeck. Don’t gasp or try to persuade me otherwise because I’m ready to throw this idea out the window (along with any dumb book that isn’t Steinbeck) if you let me. I think you should hold me to it. There’s no reason that I should spend all of October reading The Winter of Our Discontent and East of Eden again (for the billionth time). So I’m going to try to a new book from one of these sites. See. I’m capable of change after all. Well, check in on me in a month.
Speaking of a month from now and one more change I wanted to share with you so that you can hold me to it, my friend has convinced me to buck up and really have some goals for my running. I have been running for years now, and running a consistent 3-5 miles daily or every other day for a couple of years. Actually typing it out shows how silly this is. I have argued and fought back whenever anyone has told me to try an organized run. Running is the one thing I do that I just let myself do – I’m not competing and I’m not letting it become something that I have to do on my checklist. I love running and don’t want to change that. But my friend pointed out on our same old four mile run this morning that these excuses are pretty lame. I couldn’t really argue.
Last year she did her first half marathon and she seems all giddy and happy about this fact all the time. So I decided that since I am actually a pretty giddy and happy person too, that maybe I would try it this year. So there. We are 50 days out from my very first half-marathon ever. And 50 days doesn’t leave much time for training, but it also doesn’t leave much time for scaring myself away from it and backing out. Training started today.
And here’s how I will celebrate when I’ve finished my first half marathon: I will buy a Kindle and download a book that is not by John Steinbeck and does not include the names Harry, Hermione, or Ron, and I will spend October reading that new book on my e-reader after I’ve sent one of you readers one of my favorites in our swap. Deal?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Have My Permission to be Selfish

I think I shared with you before how one day my mom turned to me and said, "Katy I give you permission to be happy." Today I want to share a blog with you that gives you permission to be selfish. And this permission comes from a doctor. Not that being a doctor makes this more credible than my amazing mom.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spotlight on Missouri Hospitals

The Help - Before I Actually Read or See It

Let me start by saying that I have not read or seen The Help. This may be enough of a statement for you to stop reading this post since I am obviously in no position to form any judgments or opinions about this hit book and movie. However, it’s next on my list to read (right after I have the courage to finish Mockingjay which hasn’t happened yet.), and I couldn’t ignore this email in my Inbox. I will tell you that without reading the book or seeing the movie yet, this email did enough to almost scare me away from wasting my time on doing either of those. What’s going to keep me going is the fact that now I have to read it to understand what this email is talking about.

I’m going to share this email below because I think that it’s important to read this opinion if you are going to also read The Help. My heart hurt for those affected in a negative way from this book and movie. I will form my own opinions and take this book for what it is, fiction, but I can’t ignore that I’ve read this email and now am more knowledgeable of the insults that go along with this “hit” movie and book. Did we just take a step backwards?

Here is the email of the open statement the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) sent to the fans of The Help:

On behalf of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), this statement provides historical context to address widespread stereotyping presented in both the film and novel version of The Help. The book has sold over three million copies, and heavy promotion of the movie will ensure its success at the box office. Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.
During the 1960s, the era covered in The Help, legal segregation and economic inequalities limited black women's employment opportunities. Up to 90 per cent of working black women in the South labored as domestic servants in white homes. The Help’s representation of these women is a disappointing resurrection of Mammy—a mythical stereotype of black women who were compelled, either by slavery or segregation, to serve white families. Portrayed as asexual, loyal, and contented caretakers of whites, the caricature of Mammy allowed mainstream America to ignore the systemic racism that bound black women to back-breaking, low paying jobs where employers routinely exploited them. The popularity of this most recent iteration is troubling because it reveals a contemporary nostalgia for the days when a black woman could only hope to clean the White House rather than reside in it.
Both versions of The Help also misrepresent African American speech and culture. Set in the South, the appropriate regional accent gives way to a child-like, over-exaggerated “black” dialect. In the film, for example, the primary character, Aibileen, reassures a young white child that, “You is smat, you is kind, you is important.” In the book, black women refer to the Lord as the “Law,” an irreverent depiction of black vernacular. For centuries, black women and men have drawn strength from their community institutions. The black family, in particular provided support and the validation of personhood necessary to stand against adversity. We do not recognize the black community described in The Help where most of the black male characters are depicted as drunkards, abusive, or absent. Such distorted images are misleading and do not represent the historical realities of black masculinity and manhood.
Furthermore, African American domestic workers often suffered sexual harassment as well as physical and verbal abuse in the homes of white employers. For example, a recently discovered letter written by Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks indicates that she, like many black domestic workers, lived under the threat and sometimes reality of sexual assault. The film, on the other hand, makes light of black women’s fears and vulnerabilities turning them into moments of comic relief.
Similarly, the film is woefully silent on the rich and vibrant history of black Civil Rights activists in Mississippi. Granted, the assassination of Medgar Evers, the first Mississippi based field secretary of the NAACP, gets some attention. However, Evers’ assassination sends Jackson’s black community frantically scurrying into the streets in utter chaos and disorganized confusion—a far cry from the courage demonstrated by the black men and women who continued his fight. Portraying the most dangerous racists in 1960s Mississippi as a group of attractive, well dressed, society women, while ignoring the reign of terror perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, limits racial injustice to individual acts of meanness.

We respect the stellar performances of the African American actresses in this film. Indeed, this statement is in no way a criticism of their talent. It is, however, an attempt to provide context for this popular rendition of black life in the Jim Crow South. In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Acronyms

I read an article today that starts with the statement, “Healthcare has chronic problems.” Well, actually, the article didn’t start that way – it was about midway through the article when they spit that line out that got my attention. I told you, some medical articles and blogs are bah-ore-ing! Anyway, back to the interesting part, healthcare has problems. And I don’t care what you say, these aren’t political problems or problems we can sit around and wait for the political parties to solve (or further mess up). The article I read from Healthcare IT News is titled: Real Health Reform is About Helping Clinicians Make Better Decisions. Not too catching, yet true.

So before I can summarize this (somewhat boring) article into something relevant to you, I need you to know two more acronyms: EBM means evidence based medicine and CDS means clinical decision support. In order for clinicians to be able to use either of those in a timely fashion they will need an EHR (woops, okay three acronyms, this one meaning electronic health record). So what does this mean? So happy you asked.

The use of EBM and CDS helps support physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other people in charge of your health to make better decisions at the right time and in the right place. This means they could have an easier time making decisions about  diagnoses, treatments, and the prevention of diseases. Pretty cool, right? Well, it’s cool if your providers are using these tools. And that circles back to the basics.

They are using these tools by putting useful information into their own EHR – in other words, if they are using this electronic record in a meaningful way they will be achieving …what’s the phrase? What’s the phrase?..oh yeah – “Meaningful Use.”  And again, in other words, if your provider is not using an EHR (typing up your visit instead of writing it on those tree killers known as paper charts) there is no way he or she is utilizing the tools that would provide him or her with the best care for you, the patient. There is no way they have access to the most current and helpful EBM or CDS while they are making decisions about your health. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

So to summarize, through the use of an EHR your provider has improved decision making, better control over medical errors, and reduced complications and costs because of the EHRs ability to use EBM and CDS.

Simple, right?


Today I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead of fighting it, I just laid in the dark and thanked God for any and everything I could think. I started slow. I started with the things that I am slightly cranky about and worked them out in my mind until I was thankful. How could I be cranky about getting up early to run? I have the physical ability to do this. I have a husband who supports this habit of mine. I have a wonderful friend to run with. And I love it. I am so blessed.

On this run today my friend and I got about three miles in before we noticed just how black the sky was getting. We went about a block more before we realized it was serious. We started listing off the people we knew that lived around. If we went one more block we would be at my parent’s house. Two more and a mutual friend’s. A half mile and we would be back to our cars. We decided to quit and sprint to my parent’s house because in the time it took to make our lists it started sprinkling. And then it started raining. Sideways, cold, heavy, dark rain. And by the time we made it to my parent’s house it was storming.

In those few minutes my friend’s husband called to check on us, my friend’s dad hopped in the car and was searching our route, my parents were waiting for us on their porch, and my husband was in the car on his way to get us.

We were cold and soaking wet when we jumped in my husband’s warm car, and I thought back to a few hours before and added all of this to my list of blessings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hunger Games....

.....a fad you should hurry and job on board with. I am halfway through Mockingjay, the third and last book of the Hunger Games series, and I can't post any of the comments I want to post about without giving away some of the magic and insight. When I finish this book I am looking up everything Suzanne Collins has written and ordering it. Well actually I will take a few days to absorb the humanity and strength of Katniss, Gale, and Peeta and all they represent and then order more. I will write more in those few days, but for now I just recommend you buy this series. Don't just buy the first book because as soon as it's over you need the second. And third. Okay go.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Day Before You

Right behind my computer screen at work is a picture of David and me at our rehearsal dinner and another of David and me dancing our first dance as Mr. and Mrs.
Today is our six month anniversary since that rehearsal and tomorrow marks our six month anniversary of marriage. Six months of me being a wife and him being a husband. And six months of making decisions and transitioning into a life with my best friend. I don’t know what exactly I expected in these first six months, but it wasn’t this.
Marriage to David has exceeded all of my expectations. Everyone kept warning us that these first months could be hard.  And we have been through some hard times, but I wouldn’t use the tone that most people use when they warn us about how hard it will be. We have had challenges, but what makes me not categorize these past few months as “hard times” are all the little ways that going through these times with the person you love makes them wonderful. Yes, even the hard times are wonderful when you are married to your best friend.
And before you start in on how we must have not hit these hard times yet and I’m just being annoyingly optimistic, let me tell you that we have been through difficult times, and all I’m saying is that it has been a blessing to go through these times with David – just as it has been such a blessing to go through the wonderful times with him. And we have had a lot of those!
Before we got married one of my bridesmaids asked me what I was most excited about. I said that I couldn’t wait to get to do everything I normally do, but to get to do those things with David. I would stick with that answer now, six months out. I love running errands with him, or watching a movie with him, or going out with our friends with him, or going to church with him, or working next to him in our yard. All of it. It’s all just more wonderful living my day to day life with David. Sister #1 sang "The Day Before You" at our wedding and I think I will listen to it on repeat for the next 48 hours.
Thank you for putting up with this mushy post and for being a huge part of our lives before our wedding, on that special day six months ago, and through these wonderful first six months!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Build Blitz

Yesterday my small group and I delivered a meal to the Habitat for Humanity volunteers. They are right now, as we speak (or read), building their 50th house in St. Joseph and celebrating their 15th year. This house is a build blitz that takes place, from beginning to end, in one week! So when you are saying your prayers of thanksgiving today, maybe you can add in a beautiful woman named Lynda who is joyfully working at Wal Mart to provide for her 5 year old and two grandchildren, and now will be a homeowner.

Here's us trying to contribute. We decided we might not be the best builders, but we CAN cook...or at least make spaghetti and cookies and buy the breadsticks from Fazoli's.

Step one: boil the pasta and put it in a big old pan.

Step two: add your homemade pasta sauce (or buy the huge jars from Sam's)

Step three: add lots and lotsa cheese! My favorite part.

(Picture from NewsPressNow)
Step four: Pray for Lynda, and click here to see how else you can help (http://habitatstjoe.org/)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A BBPoA - A Big Blog Post of Acronyms

Have you ever searched for a blog about EMRs, HIEs, Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2, or the ARRA/HITECH?
Okay, I’m sure you haven’t, but if you did, you would find a big fat nothing! At least nothing you would want to read. Why? Because this information is complicated and making sense of it is hard. Oh, you meant “why” would ya even want to search those things.
Let me tell you, you need to know about these things. At the very least you should have a high level understanding of the “what.” You should know that in Stage 1 of Meaningful Use your doctor or nurse should be using, in a “meaningful” way, an electronic medical record (EMR) to document your office visit. Yep. You should not see them charting your medical history in a paper chart. They need to be taking down your smoking status, documenting your allergies, ordering your prescriptions through e-prescribing, and doing all of this while confirming this information with you as they use the electronic documentation. If they aren’t, you should ask why there aren’t.
By Stage 2 (2014ish) they should also be hooked to a health information exchange (HIE) in order to be able to share your health information with other doctors you might see. That’s right. I’m asking you to get comfortable with the idea that your information is being shared. It already is when you move doctor to doctor, but now we are talking electronically. I know this sounds scary, and I know it can be intimidating, but do you also know that this will allow for better and safer patient care. Better and safer care for you. The patient. If you want to know some horrible stories about how an HIE might have saved someone’s life, I can tell ‘em. But for now, just know that it’s important that the day you are rolled into an ER when you had plans to be somewhere else, that the ER nurse can pull up your record and see that you are in fact allergic to med X if you can’t tell her yourself. Oh, and those expensive labs you have drawn at Clinic X and then two days later have them drawn at your specialist’s office, that won’t happen. They can both see the lab results from Clinic X and you don’t have to repeat them. Cool, huh?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“The Stimulus Act” or ARRA) was put into effect in 2009. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health act (HITECH) is part of the Recovery Act. What this does is designate funding to modernize the health care system by promoting and expanding the adoption of health information technology (that stuff like EMRs and HIEs we talked about a second ago). HITECH supports the adoption of health information technology by hospitals and clinicians. Your hospitals and clinicians are incentivized through Medicare and Medicaid payments for using those EMRs meaningfully. Different incentive levels come through these Meaningful Use Stages.

Why am I telling you all of this? You asked. Remember? When you started searching things like EMRs, HIEs, and what they mean to you as a patient and active component in your own health.

Okay. I know you didn’t ask, but I wish you would. I think we will all need to take an active role in managing our health information and understand what is going on. It's exciting and it's new. But if you don't know what is going on and what it means for your health, it can be scary.

So ask all the questions you want to ask. Ask your doctor. Ask me. Ask your nurses. Ask your friends. And read. There's a lot of information out there, and it's all about you and your health. And if you think this post included a lot of acronyms, just be thankful I didn't get into the acronyms that really excite me. We will save PHR and ACO for another post.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Engagement Celebration

Last night one of my best friends from high school came from Texas with her Fiance for her engagement party. It was a beautiful night and was so good to catch up with some very special people in my life. David got to spend some time with some of my friends that he hasn't been around a lot since we are all scattered. We had a wonderful time drinking wine and celebrating the bride-to-be.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Thoughts in Pictures

MWSU and the Chiefs? Two things I love!!

Meaningful Use Stage 2 in one word: HIE. Okay, that's three words. Health Information Exchange.

What thoughts are you thinking this Friday?

Girl in Translation – Jean Kwok

This isn’t a spoiler, and I do think you should read this book.
There are a million ways I cannot relate to this character and her journey, but there are a million ways also that I do. No, I have no idea whatsoever how it feels to go to a school where I have trouble understanding the language of my teachers. No, I have no idea how it feels to leave that school each day and work with my mother in a factory until late at night for pennies an hour. And no, I have never killed a roach in my kitchen or feared that I might die of the cold in my home in the winter. I can’t imagine.
But what I do know is that being a teenager was tough. It was wonderful and I have some great memories, but it was a time of transitioning. It was a time when I had to translate my relationships because friends failed me and friends came through for me. I failed people and came through for people. I made tough decisions and some of them were wrong. I loved people who loved me back and I loved people who didn’t. I understand that Kimberly had trouble being a friend and growing up. So did I.
I get very attached to books if you didn’t know already. At the time that I should have finished this book, I couldn’t. I stopped for about four nights. Four nights that I was dealing with some hurt my friends were going through at the same time that I was going through the excitement of being offered a new career. And for four nights I knew that when I picked up that book Kimberly was going to make a decision. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle the decision she was making and move on with her. You see, the funny thing about books is that you can stop and disagree and refuse to accept the decision for a night or four. You can’t do that in real life.
So when I decided to stay up until late in the night and finish the book I knew that I might not like the outcome. I don’t want to spoil it so I will leave you with the last quote. And it was a perfect last sentence for me. For my real life and for my journey with this fictional, yet so familiar, Kimberly.
“Then I took a deep breath, got off the bed, and opened the door.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bo is 4!!

I love my little (he doesn't know he's 80 pounds) lap dog so very much. And today is his 4th Birthday!

Yes, he's wearing a tie and sitting in the front seat while David ran inside to get something.

Every year on our birthdays, my mom takes a picture of us the minute we wake up. So I did this to Bo today.

Believing The Plan

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

You aren't going to believe this, but I got the job! I had been applying and preparing for a job that I wasn't certain I would be taken seriously as an applicant for. I know in my heart I can do it, and I am passionate about it, but I wasn't sure everyone here would be able to see this since I've been here such a short amount of time (not even a year). Well, it all worked out and I received an offer last night that I plan on accepting today. I am very excited.

But at the same time I am anxious and upset for two of my coworkers who were given the opposite news. Monday, after I wrote that post about my child-like excitement, my mentor and friend called me to her desk to tell me that her morning didn't go the same direction that mine would go here. She was given her HR papers and my other coworker would likely be given the same. I was devastated. I know it's weird since we have known for a while that this would happen...two jobs, four people...but it hit us all Monday. And that excitement I had felt was real, I found out I would have a job offer, but the disappointment for my friends was overwhelming.

Last night I got the offer and still couldn't get past the feeling of worry for my friends. David helped me through it and celebrated the blessing we had just received. And that's when it hit me. How conceded was I in thinking that God had a plan for me but forgetting he also had a plan for my friends? I always find hope and peace when thinking of this Bible verse for myself, why was I not applying it to my friends? Did I think God had any less of a plan of prosperity for their future? So I am going to be peaceful for my friends today, knowing that God has a wonderful plan for their future. And I'm going to be excited for my future, and work hard knowing that it is all part of the Plan.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Make the Most of Each Minute

Today I woke up early after staying up late and started thinking, almost immediately, about what all I had on my schedule for the day. Running, Work, Meeting, Lunch, Meeting, Work, Dinner with Fam, Bible Study, Bed. That's a pretty quick recap, but it's what I am facing today. And then I had a rush of excitement like it was Christmas morning. I don't know why it happened, but I thanked God for my excitement for the day and prayed that I could wake up more mornings with that feeling. I decided that today I was going to make the most of each minute. I didn't lay and think about how tired I was because I stayed up too late reading or how I was a little mad at Bo for waking me up at 5:20 when I wanted to sleep until 5:50. I just was happy to lay there, thanking God for my silly dog, my warm bed with my warm husband next to me, and the ability to get up and run with a good friend.

I wanted to take a minute and wish the same for you. Today, I hope you are excited about everything on your to-do list. I know the economy stinks, I know our government let us down with our credit rating, and I know bad things are happening...really bad things. So today I hope you can find excitement in the little things around you. And I hope you have that second of Christmas morning excitement when planning your day.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Last night after work I made jam. How domestic am I?

My friend is from Canada and she couldn't believe that I had never made jam. She almost died when I told her I wasn't even sure if I had ever actually eaten jam. I don't live on the prairie I told her, and I thought mason jars were for drinking beer or decorating with. She rolled her eyes and told me that jam is a staple in Canada and she would buy all the supplies and I was to come over after work.

Supplies. Tons of blueberries and tons of strawberries.

Blueberries after the blender.

My friend wiping off the rim so that they will seal probably.

Tons of strawberries into the blender.

Stirring. And lots of it. You have to stir...I believe it called for you to do this "vigorously"

There you are - jam for the year. Next week we are making peach.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Girl in Translation

I started this book when we got home late last night from my Missouri Hospital Association conference at Tan-Tar-A at the Lake of the Ozarks. This conference was really wonderful and I learned a lot about Meaningful Use stage one and two. I wasn't sure that you would find this very interesting, but you might have to hear about it a little anyway, because like it or not, you are on this health care IT journey with me now. :)

However, for today, I wanted to leave you with a quote from the very first page of this interesting book. I stayed up way too late reading. I'm really loving it and have a lot to comment on, but for now I will keep my opinions to myself and let you think about this line.

"There's a Chinese saying that the fates are winds that blow through our lives from every angle, urging us along the paths of time. Those who are strong-willed may fight the storm and possibly choose their own road, while the weak must go where they are blown. I say I have not been so much pushed by winds as pulled forward by the force of my decisions."

Happy What I'm Reading Wednesday!