Sunday, November 30, 2008

I miss you, friend...

Tomorrow marks four years from when a dear friend of mine passed into Heaven. Mya and her twin, Stella, were born on May 26, 2004 at 26 weeks'gestation. Mya had multiple internal anomalies that were not known until she began having severe complications. Her story is long and heartbreaking, and a blog posting will never do her justice. But I will suffice to say that for six months that girl won my heart and I loved her and her amazing family. Mya had a spitfire personality, was demanding and had a temper. :D She knew many lifetimes of suffering in her short life, and had more surgeries, infections, and complications than I can count on all of my fingers and toes. She had her family and her primary nurses on an emotional roller-coaster, which is par for course in the raw and fragile world of the NICU.

Mya's story is sad and humorous and sweet all at once, and there will probably never be another patient of mine who will worm her way into my heart the way that baby did. My heart goes out to all of those families who wear the garment of grief during the holiday season, whether it is because their child is ill, has passed away, or never knew life outside of the womb. To you I say, I am so sorry.

To Mya I say yet again, Miss Jenny loves you and thinks you're beautiful. I can't wait to see you in heaven where you are whole.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

Way too many things to be thankful for that we don't deserve...

1. Thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, without whom we are and would have nothing. Our favorite song sums it up:

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank you
The Father's wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank you
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank you!

2. Thankful for our marriage! We are each other's primary means of grace...which is a tough lesson to learn...and even tougher to act out...

3. Thankful for our families, who are loving and supportive (not to mention fun).

4. Thankful for our home, where we've lived for a whole year (Dec. 1!). It's small, but it's ours and it's enough. :D

5. Thankful for our jobs, which not only do we have when so many people are searching for jobs, but we love them too. Usually.

6. Thankful for our church - the dearest place on earth - and our growing circle of friends. Especially thankful for the accountability that Matt has found with a group of men. As iron sharpens iron...

7. Thankful for food on our table and clothing on our might not be gourmet and they might not be super-trendy, but we're cool sometimes!

8. Our health!! My heart still jumps around at weird times, but I probably do too, so it's probably just part of my charm.

9. I could go on and on...there's so much to be thankful for if you sit and think about it. Even if it's been a bad year (and there have been plenty of bad years unfolding around us for a lot of people). God truly is good. All the time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

X-treme Scrabble

About once a week, on one of my days off, I declare a no-makeup, air-dry-my-hair day. It just seems like a good thing to do: give my body a break from all the "stuff." Of course, I run the risk that, oh, I'll get asked to come into work because there were two STAT c-sections at once...or that Matt will call and say, "Hey, some friends want to hang out and grab coffee." Or both.

Such was the story of yesterday. I did go to work for about an hour and a half, bandanna and all. And PT2 (that's Pastor Timothy's street name - PT1 is Pastor Trent, for those who aren't in the know) and his wife Tracy asked if we wanted to join them at JP's (local coffee place). So we brought the Scrabble board, and I daresay we were the loudest table there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


On a hike in Tucson

I've been tagged by Maggie Smith! Here's how it works -

The Rules:
go to Your Pictures file
go to the 5th folder
open up the 5th picture and post it
then tag 5 people when you are done

Many of "my readers" do not have a blog...but those of you who do...I tag Mary W., Em and Sara, and Ellen S.!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You NEED this recipe!!

This is the best breakfast recipe ever! It's from my Betty Crocker cookbook and we like to call it "Yummy Egg Dish." It's a breakfast casserole and is perfect for the holiday mornings coming up. I made it on blizzardy Saturday mornings when we lived in Denver, and it just became a weekend tradition. It goes great with Scrabble! :D I usually make a half recipe and it's plenty for 2-4 people. Just have a good dose of Lipitor on hand.

Yummy Egg Dish

2 pkgs (12 oz each) bulk pork sausage
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 c frozen hash brown potatoes
2 c shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend)
1 c baking mix (Bisquick, Trader Joe's, whatever)
2 c milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400. Spray 13x9-in glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In 10" skillet, cook sausage, bell pepper, and onion over medium heat until sausage no longer pink; drain. Mix sausage mixture, potatoes, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in the baking dish.

3. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick, milk, pepper, and eggs with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour into baking dish.

4. Bake uncovered 40-45 min. or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c cheese. Bake 1-2 min longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 min.

If you try it and love it, let me know!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lake Effect

Well, the warm-weather honeymoon sure is over!!

This was on Monday. The first picture was in the morning, and it did that for the better part of the day until it cleared up a bit in the afternoon. Way beautiful, though!

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? We're sticking around Holland because I have to work Thanksgiving and the day after. We're dog-sitting for Husker (AKA "Huthker"), Molly's Goldendoodle boyfriend. This weekend we're dog sitting Tara, Molly's other partner in crime. I'm starting to think that we have created only one Gouveia family holiday tradition so far: dog-sitting for other people so they can go celebrate their holiday traditions!! hahahaha! Tara's "mom and dad" are bringing us back a load of Trader Joe's groceries in exchange, so it's definitely well worth it.

Other Gouveia news...let's see...

*Molly's gimping on her left rear leg. Amazing vet Dr. Wilson says it may be a torn ACL or meniscus, and the only way to tell is if she goes on COMPLETE REST (Ha. Ha. Ha.) for TWO OR THREE WEEKS. If she's still limping after that amount of time, it probably is in fact a torn ligament or something like that. If that were the case, I have no idea what we'd do. Sedate a dog and get an MRI?????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! And then PAY for it? AHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Fortunately, after a few days of imposed rest, Molly hates us but the limping has decreased significantly.

*I'm still passing stats. Over halfway through! I can calculate a mean standard deviation ("mean" being descriptive, like "phat." But I can calculate a mean MEAN as well) and z-score. And use fabulous terms like, "statistical analysis" and "Central Limits Theorem."

*We're reading this great book (I read it out loud while Matt shaves in the evening - way more fun than watching Deal or No Deal) that Matt's mom gave us called "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." It's hilarious!! It's a fictitious series of letters written by the characters to each other, and it takes place shortly after WWII and the end of the German Occupation on Guernsey Island, near England. The wit is fabulous, and if you've ever read a Jane Austen novel and then wished SO BADLY that you could speak so eloquently all the time (and say intriguing things like, "the import of which"), you'd enjoy this book. It's a fun way to learn a little bit of history too. Like I told Matt's mom, I'm a Gen-X punk who knows and appreciates little about the War, so it's good for me to learn, too.

*We STILL sound like a Tb sanitarium. If you can avoid the creeping crud/pertussis/walking pneumonia/whatever it is this season, please do so. Wash your hands. And get a flu shot. I was never a fan of the flu shot, but I changed my tune after reading the research. I'll spare you the soapbox and implore you to get it instead.

*Clearly there is no significant news to report this week and as I write this I'm increasingly aware of the not-so-riveting nature of our lives. But I'm surprisingly okay with that right now! Someday we'll have kids and I'll post on them at an obnoxious rate, and you'll wish for the days when I reported boring things again. HA!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to Hope I go...

Sue Dunn (remember her?) emailed me last week and said she had an "opportunity" to discuss. If you didn't read the post (back in, oh, probably August), she was one of my professors in nursing school, and is now the director of the nursing program at Hope. She has been about why I haven't gotten my kiester to grad school yet. Finally this past summer, during a day filled with what I like to think of as divine appointments, she helped me get the ball rolling. Hence, why I applied to grad school and am currently pulling my hair out over probability statistics.

Well, we met today regarding this opportunity to teach a clinical rotation of senior nursing students next semester. In the final semester of your senior year, you do a leadership rotation/internship, where you are honing your skills of balancing a patient load, delegating, etc. Demonstrating your leadership as a nurse, so-to-speak. The clinical instructor in this role acts as a guide and mentor to the students, is in relationship with their preceptors (the nurse who is working with them on the unit), audits their charting, grades their journal assignments, etc. It is considered a part-time faculty position. I'm feeling like a wide-eyed deer stuck in headlights, but how can I turn that opportunity down? So I said yes! Sue said it's the best case scenario as far as the time it'll involve (far less than taking on a full rotation of 10 students - I'll have four or five), I'll be able to be mentored by the other part-time instructor, and it'll be great for getting my feet wet teaching-wise.

So back to Hope I go. Go Dutch!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Majestic Molly Moo

Happy Birthday, Molly Moo!! Two years ago today, we picked up a skinny, spunky, stinky little yellow dog at the Denver Dumb Friends League. She was shipped there from a shelter in Kansas, deemed to be "about" two years old, and came home with us. (Our receipt says, "1 dog.........$100.") So we call November 11th her birthday and celebrate as such (with a can of wet food, if I make it to the store to buy it).

I know, a post dedicated to a dog is a bit much. But if you've ever loved a pet of any kind, they're never "just" anything. Molly patiently scrunched into whatever space was left in my car for cross-country drives during our moving phases. She was a comfort to me during my season of panic attacks. She lends a sweet and peaceful and fun presence to our home. She's been the first to make friends wherever we've lived. She snores louder than my husband, runs like a maniac, and eats like a slob. She prefers hugs to doggy treats and sleeps with a pink fleece blanket. But she's never attempted to get on the furniture, and while she's obliterated toys that were supposedly "indestructible," she's never laid a tooth on anything of ours.

So Molly Moo, hats off to you. You're our best yellow friend and I guess we'll keep you after all. :D

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A fun Saturday

Post #3 today!! It's not that I think we have an almighty fabulous life. The biggest factor in multiple posts is that I can't for the life of me figure out how to get more than four pictures on a post at a time. Therefore, I create themes. :D

Busy week at the Gouveia's. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary, but between both of us working full-time, Matt helping V-man one morning a week and meeting with his accountability guys two mornings a week, AWANA on Wednesday nights, and me being in class, the days fly. The second week of statistics went well, so far so good. I kind of enjoy being self-directed in learning. Carolyn and I have been helping each other a ton, too, which helps. We work on our homework at work every chance we can, and then meet at a coffee shop at the end of the week to wrap up our assignments and check our work. This week we're going to learn about probability, which totally freaks me out (ever since the third-grade problems of "you have ten marbles in a bag. What's the probability you'll draw a black marble out of the bag?" HUUUHHHH??????). So Carolyn's going to teach me about probability by teaching me how to play Yahtzee.

The weather turned cold this weekend and the white stuff is starting to fly on and off. Matt and I had a fun Saturday morning together playing Scrabble, and then my mom came and she and I checked out a couple of craft bizarres. We had coffee and yummies at the Alpen Rose (mmmmm...), and checked out the Christmas decorations downtown.

In the evening Matt and I went to my "Apples of Gold" banquet. For the past six weeks I've been in a women's Bible study called "Apples of Gold" (based on the Proverb - "A word aptly spoken is like golden apples in a silver bowl), where the "older" women in the church mentor and minister to the younger. It takes place in someone's home, with a Bible study, quick cooking lesson (the first time I've ever touched filo dough - if that's how you even spell it), and then a very luxurious dinner. Anyway, it wrapped up this week and the older ladies hosted a beautiful dinner for us graduated "apples" and spouses. We had good fellowship, food, and singing. Dear Esther Harrington was there (see the Chinese buffet post); it's always a treat to be in her presence.

Ask and you shall receive...

I was just saying to Matt yesterday that I would like to keep my eyes peeled at antique stores or second-hand shops for a small desk or table where I can do my homework. We don't have many "surfaces" in our house for working, other than our kitchen table and the coffee table. Much of the time either of these tables can be covered with old mail, books, magazines, whatever. And I don't like to monopolize either of them anyway. We have a perfect little nook in the back of our living room that doesn't get much use, so if I could find a little something to put there where I can have my books and computer, that would be grand.

My mom came down yesterday so we could go to a couple of Christmas craft shows. One of them was okay, but the other one we went to at a church was your quintessential church craft bazaar. And there was a lady there who refurbishes old furniture and antiques in her basement - and her work was FABULOUS!!! I found this sweet little robin-egg blue desk and chair for $65!!! At my favorite shabby-chic store downtown something like this would fetch at least $200. It's complete with little glass knobs on the drawer. I had to snatch it up because people were literally lining up to ask for it.

So now I have a place to do my homework, AND the little nook in the living room serves a bit of a function. I put a different chair with it that's a little more accommodating for my (still bruised) rearius endius.

Another post for Sarah...

Sorry it's been a while since I updated!! It's been a very full week, but a good one. I'll probably post a few times today with a couple different fun snippets. But I've been wanting to put these on for California Mommy, who I'm sure would love to see the great colors we had this fall. I took a few shots on our street in October and at the farmer's market.

Sarah - I can't WAIT to show you what I found at a craft show yesterday. More to come this afternoon!!