Our Most Unique Christmas

This year we spent all of Christmas Eve and half of Christmas Day in the Hospital.

J.R. started throwing up black blood around 1:30am on Christmas Eve. (Which is nicknamed coffee ground vomitus in the medical field just-so-ya-know)  When I told him that he needed to go to the hospital he very seriously said, "No I can't. I have to go to work."

I laugh about it now, because I think he was just in denial about how sick he was.

The ER admitted him into the Progressive Care Unit until they could schedule him for a stomach scope. The doctor who performed the scope was not able to pinpoint exactly where the bleeding was coming from, but he told us that J.R. has a medium sized hiatal hernia which may have caused the bleeding. It was frustrating not having definite answers but also a relief knowing that he didn't have severe ulcers or anything that was going to need immediate surgery that day.

The doctor who performed the scope does not perform surgery on hiatal hernias, but he was able to suggest another doctor at the hospital to call and schedule an appointment with.

After the scope, we went back to our room in the PCU. J.R. had really high hopes that he would be released since they were unable to locate the source of his bleeding - but that wasn't the case. We would be spending the night here.

J.R. was crushed. Christmas is his favorite holiday and now we were going to miss his family's Christmas Eve dinner and celebration. I tried my best to cheer him up. We listed to Christmas music on his cell phone while we played Yahtzee and then we watched The Christmas Story on TV. A group of carolers came and sang Christmas songs to every room in the unit, and our nurses were very kind. I felt like they went out of their way to interact and talk with us.

I was very impressed that people, especially the carolers, would spend their Christmas Eve trying to care for and cheer up strangers. Many of the patient in the PCU were very elderly and by themselves.  My heart broke that most of them would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone. At least J.R. and I were together.

The night seemed to last forever. (Which I think is very common for most people on Christmas Eve)  Until finally it was Christmas morning. J.R. hoped that he would be released first thing, but we had to wait for the doctor to arrive and review his case. There was a snow storm that morning and I was worried that the doctor would not be arriving for quite sometime. With each passing hour J.R. became more and more frustrated and depressed. His family kept calling, asking us for updates and when it became apparent that he wasn't going to be released anytime soon his dad said, "If you can't come to Christmas, we will bring Christmas to you." So they did. They packed up all the gifts, into two separate cars, and drove to the hospital.

Everyone crammed into J.R.'s tiny hospital room and opened gifts.  Towards the end, the doctor opened the door and with a bewildered looked on her face asked, "Where is my patient?" There wasn't any room for her to walk up to his bedside, so from the hall she said, "Well, would you like to go home? Let's get you out of here."

A couple hours later we left that room behind with a garbage full of Christmas wrapping paper and big smiles on our faces. We walked out into the frigid afternoon air that day with a greater appreciation for good health, family, and the blessing of being able to spend time together.

On the way home, J.R. said multiple times how concerned he was about getting our driveway shoveled. (I'm more laid back about it, but he hates having an icy driveway.) I figured I would probably have to shovel it tomorrow, but as we pulled up to our house I practically yelled, "Someone shoveled our driveway!" J.R. was seriously stunned.


We aren't sure who took the time during their Christmas day to come to shovel our long drive way, but we will always be grateful to them. It was one of the best gifts of the day and made coming home that much better.

This wasn't our favorite Christmas, but it was definitely our most unique. Do you have a unique Christmas story? I'd love to hear about it.

Choosing Clarity - Book Review

Last January I set a New Year's resolution to read five different books - all from a different genre.
I decided to read: an award winner, a mystery, a classic, a book for "young readers", and a self-help book.  (If you're curious to know which books I chose to fulfill each category click here)

Today I'm so excited to talk about the last book from my list - the self help book - Choosing Clarity.


The author, Kimberly Giles wrote an article for our local newspaper  a few years ago titled "Are you fighting for success in life or drifting?" Her article spoke to my heart, and I knew her message was something that I needed to learn more about.

Which was why I was very excited to read through her book. This book is easy to read, but it took me a while to get through it all. The chapters aren't long and the words are simple, but the message is deep. I found myself rereading paragraphs and even whole chapters, just trying to let the messages sink in.

The blurb from Goodreads says,
"Has Fear Become Your Comfort Zone? Fear will rob you of peace, joy, and motivation. It will damage your relationships. It is the root cause of most problems you face. Can you even imagine a life without fear, stress and worry? Author and popular life coach Kimberly Giles has created a simple system used by thousands of people around the world to beat fear and live with clarity, confidence and power. When you read Choosing Clarity, you'll discover Kimberly's revolutionary process to eliminate your fear of failure and loss, reprogram your subconscious mind and stop living on auto-pilot, feel better about yourself and your life, learn new ways to deal with people and problem, and write personal policies that create success."

One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
“Your life will always be the perfect classroom journey for you and every experience that shows up in your journey is here to serve you. There is meaning and purpose behind everything that happens. There are no accidents which means your suffering through difficulties is never for nothing."

It's definitely a book you'll want to read more than once!


What's been your favorite self-help book that you've read? I'd love to know.

What Running a Half Marathon Taught Me About Life.

Whether you're running a long distance race, or just having a tough time in life, these pieces of advice apply equally to both: 

Your mental stamina, and a good attitude are the most important things.

Just Breath. . Seriously deep breaths. It'll get better.

Friends make unpleasant situations almost fun.

The right shoes are more important than you think.

Dreams do come true, and goals can be accomplished, 
but you have to work at it everyday. 

Its really hard, but it's worth it. 


What has running taught you about life?

More Than a Beautiful Life.

Carolyn Costin

I admire women who have style and class, and I appreciate artistic photos and designs.
But I believe there is too much emphasis placed on beauty.

Am I saying it's bad to want to look good? Not at all! We all want to feel confident in who we are;  but who we are is more than a body and clothes, and more than our makeup and hair. 

I believe who we are is something that is felt more than seen. It's not easily labeled or photographed, but that doesn't make it less important. 
Some of the best things in life - some of the best things about you - can't be captured in a photo.

We all know that life online is a fragment of the real, breathing, and bleeding life we live outside of the internet. Life online is framed, polished, beautiful, and misleading.

My feed is saturated with specific types of blogs; the most popular ones showing me how to make my life more beautiful: the DIY Home Decor Blogs teaching me how to make my home beautiful, the Fashion Bloggers showing the prettiest fashion styles of the season, the Beauty Blogs with tutorials on how to style my hair and makeup so I can improve my look, the Travel Blogs showcasing beautiful places from around the world, the Cooking Blogs teaching me how to make beautiful and delicious food, and then there's the Lifestyle Blogs showing us that we can have it all - everything that we've dreamed of - in one beautiful life. 

Except, my life doesn't look like any of  these blogs, and I'm not sure that I want it to anymore.
I've decided that I want more than a beautiful life - I want a meaningful life.

The greatest value of our lives shouldn't be placed on whether or not it's beautiful.

I'm sure the women who work hard to create these blogs can offer us more than just pretty things.  
What if, as women, we joined together to switch our focus from making our lives more beautiful to making our lives more meaningful?

How would the blogging world be different?

How would the world be different?