Thursday, July 10, 2014

QUICK UPDATE.'s been a while!

Things have been just crazy in the last month. I know our culture values "crazy" and "busy" but truly my schedule has been insane and things are just starting to quiet down.

First off, I never like to talk about work here online, but my crazy has been all work related. I don't like to make complaints when I am having a hard time, but coming back from maternity leave I was having a pretty rotten time on my unit since all CNA schedules changed while I was out. I was working 8am-8:30pm, 10am-10:30pm. Swing shift is not my strong suit. I was very tired and childcare was a headache -- I was bouncing Lucas from daycare to friends and it made for some very long and hard days. Plus Lucas was asleep by the time I got home.

Fortunately before I came back from leave I heard of a job opening from an old coworker in the hospital in the Birthing Center. There are only two CNA's in the Birthing Center and it is not easy to get in. But through God's grace and a lot of chocolate, here I am two months later! I take care of moms and babies in Post Partum! It has been such a refreshing change for me and to boot I work 7am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. Childcare is now all through hospital daycare alone and it is so nice to take baby to work with me, feed him during my lunchtime, and take him home. That extra time with little man is so wonderful as are weekends off which is almost unheard of in healthcare.

I am so excited and blessed!

Second in the past few months I have started couponing. Insert groan here. At least for my mom anyway. My mom has women in her congregation who have crazy stockpiles I guess and she thinks they buy things they don't need. However since Mother's Day I have been learning a lot of lessons and saving a lot of money too, not to mention developing a modest stockpile. I have only been buying things I need at a fraction of the price, and I have started to get items for free or very inexpensively. I am no extreme couponer, but I am saving a very significant amount of money and I am working on doing even more.

There's a lot more to cover but that's all the time I have this evening. :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Dear Lucas,

This month has been full of ups and downs. I went back to work the first weekend in May and it is almost starting to feel normal to leave you with the daycare ladies. We had some schedule challenges since I came back to work and found my old schedule had been eliminated and I was instead working later and later hours. It's hard to find childcare for a newborn until 10:30 pm. I also had such a hard time coming home to my little love sleeping soundly without help from his mama. But you seem to love me still. I worry through the twelve hour days that you'll forget me. But you know my face, my voice, my smell. Just like I know yours.

I have enjoyed the changes this month sweet boy. You have filled out. Your arms and legs are fatter, your feet are round and chubby and you have a dimple on every knuckle. Your smiles are bigger and more frequent now. One day as I had you on the floor for tummy time and was taking some pictures you suddenly flopped on your side. Just like that. All on your own. Right there on camera. That's my boy.

I am obsessed with your legs and your feet. You have the cutest little rolls. I know it means you're getting fed well, but it is so much fun to see you grow.

Since I went back to work in May you also contracted your first illness. It all started with sneezing followed by coughing and lots of sad whining. You never spiked a fever or exhibited any behavior changes other than wanting to be held more and waking up a little more at nighttime. I took you to the doctor who pronounced you just fine with clear lung sounds. Next time I will just buy the stethoscope like your Grandma French suggested. Doctor Edwards said that had you been any younger we would have had to do a full workup on you -- including a chest X-Ray and lumbar puncture. It took almost two weeks to clear up but you made it (and so did your mom).

You also made it through your very first Stovern Mother's Day shopping excursion. Each year we get together and spend many hours marching through every store with a garden center so your Grandma Kay can have a nice garden. Shopping with Grandma is an extra special kind of torture you will only appreciate when you are older.

I think you look like my brother Daniel in this picture.

Love, Mama

Monday, June 16, 2014


I have been waiting to write for quite some time but there is so much going on right now I just have to stop already and write something. Sometimes you just have to declare blog bankruptcy and start right where you are. 

If you have been following my writings a while you may remember the couches we used to have. They were nice once -- real bonded (read:thin) leather from Ashley Furniture purchased during our first year of marriage where we stupidly bought a lot of things full price. They began to wear over the years but were still nice. Then enter a certain puppy.

One day when I was away a little too long she chewed the couch just a little. Then the next time she and Dakota chewed the couch -- down to the wooden foundation. I have been creatively photographing the couches for about four years now. I have covered them with slipcovers and we have moved them to three different houses. We have avoided situations where we had family and guests over. Each time I wished that we could get new ones. Not that we haven't looked. I have trolled Craigslist every Saturday in the hopes of finding something, anything in our price range. But each time it was too much, too far, or the wrong fabric. For me it had to be a neutral color, for James it had to be leather or a fabric that wasn't microfiber. That, my friends, is a challenge. Not to mention we only had a small window of time where we had a friend with a truck to haul furniture. 

Well today God lined everything up for new couches. Right price, friends and neighbors available to help, nice day, right fabric and right color. Right everything. Praising Him today for the very generous gift! It feels like life is ready to move on the right track again. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


When I was pregnant the days were short, stretching into long dark afternoons and even longer nights. One such afternoon I was at home by myself heavily pregnant and anxious about my impending motherhood. As the first Christian on my mom's side in five generations, I felt the pressure building. What does a Christian mom do? How can I be a better example of a Christian wife so my son will pick good a person to share his life with? I was on my church's website and looking for some sort of mom's group, anything.

And then I found the application for Next Generation Mentoring. I had seen videos about it at church but I thought I had missed the deadline. Turns out I was just one week head of it. So I applied. I poured my heart out on the application, answering some very detailed questions and sharing my testimony. And so it was that I started meeting with this group of wonderful women. Our second month together we went on a little retreat. I didn't have my pump yet so Lucas came with me. It was his first trip!

Our retreat was at Arrowhead Point Condos on Lake Coeur d'Alene. It was still quite a drive even though I live in the Coeur d'Alene area. Going on that trip was a major turning point for me. I had been at home all day and was so so disorganized. I couldn't find some of the things I wanted and I had been running errands all day long. I was yelling and huffing and puffing as I hauled a huge amount of gear for two people out to our messy car. And I had forgotten the diapers. All I had was the emergency pack of Costco diapers. And as we all know, that was a complete disaster. Leaks, leaks, and more leaks. No more Costco diapers for Lucas. We will try again with the next baby.


Anyway I went into this retreat with low expectations. I was thinking the condo I was chipping in for would be musty and wood paneled and the whole weekend would be awkward and awful. I piled my suitcase, Pack and Play, diaper bag, mentoring bag, purse, and the baby carrier onto the luggage cart and slooowly made my way to the condo. When I reached the door I was a little nervous about what would be inside. Musty wood paneling flashed through my head one last time. And then the door opened.

The d├ęcor was modern! And tasteful! And almost how I would decorate it. I was immediately at home and was able to settle in and relax.
I had a pretty hard month personally in March, and I wanted to use this retreat as an opportunity to reset. Not only my time with God, but my personal life in general. Anything can be a new start and I took the opportunity with this retreat.