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Hey there. It’s been a long time. Almost a year. That’s crazy. Insane. How does time go by so quickly? Well, if you’re new here I’ll give you a little bit of background with me. My name is Susanna and I’m 25 years old. I’m married to what I consider to be the greatest human on the planet and his name is Lionel [Lee-Oh-Nel]. We are coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary this year and together we have, what I consider to be, the most wonderful one year old child. His name is Evan Lionel and he smiles all day long and brightens up the atmosphere wherever he goes. I am almost 2/4 of the way finished with nursing school and that’s the main reason I’ve been MIA lately. It’s also what I’ve decided to write about today.

So, nursing school. You’ve seen the memes and heard the horror stories and I’m here to tell you although they’re funny, yes they’re also 100% accurate. 


I’ve been in college and taken lots of classes, but nothing [NOTHING] compares to nursing school. The reckless toll that this program has put on me is unfathomable and I’m pretty sure it should be illegal. [Just kidding, but not really.] First semester wasn’t too terrible. There was definitely a learning curve that went along with it, but I didn’t feel like I was losing my mind and good senses the entire time. First semester consisted of one actual nursing class and I had to take Developmental Psychology because I hadn’t taken it yet. The nursing class was called: NSG 101 and we learned about the fundamentals of nursing. The content wasn’t too terrible or stressful. The learning curve came with learning how to take these nursing school exams. Everything is aimed at the NCLEX which is the state exam you have to pass after you graduate with your nursing degree in order to actually practice and have “RN” at the end of your name. Soooo, these exams are taken on the computer and we’re not allowed to back track. It’s like Regis Philbin is there himself for all 50 questions asking, “Is that your final answer?” Every question in nursing school is sudden death, so you better be sure of yourself. Don’t even get me started on those dreaded “select all that apply” questions. It’s like trying to diffuse a bomb. In the end, I passed first semester and I felt truly accomplished. At this point, I thought to myself “Man, maybe I can actually do this.” Fast forward to the first day of 2nd Semester. This is me, “OH MY GAAAAAAHHH. What is this? What? They expect us to read how much? I have to answer how many questions? But I don’t want toooooooooooo!” The first two weeks of the semester I was seriously contemplating my ability to get the work done and learn the content. This semester we have TWO nursing classes, Med/Surg [which is basically a nightmare] and Psychiatric Nursing. The first lab for Med/Surg we had to complete lab competencies that consisted of 24 questions and it took me 10 pages front and back to complete. Not even going to lie. Those lab competencies had me considering whether or not I was making the right career choice.

It’s the middle of February and I’ve already taken 4 tests. 2 in each class. Some days are good days, but most days I feel like I’m drowning. You ever been at the beach and you keep getting knocked down by the waves and before you can get up you get knocked down again? That’s basically how I feel every single day. It’s hard to just keep my head above the water and breathe while I’m constantly feeling fatigued trying to stay afloat and not drown. I am sacrificing my free time and my family time and the latter is what gets to me the most. It’s hurts my heart to hear my child in the other room laughing, talking, and playing and knowing that I need to stay right here with my head in my book. When I told people that I was accepted into school, I received lots of good wishes and lots of warnings about how difficult this process would be. Honestly, I didn’t take those warnings to heart because “Psh. School has never been a big struggle for me. I’ll be fine.” I should have listened. This is hands down the most challenging process I’ve ever volunteered to be a part of. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. [Well, I kinda am but I’m still thankful for this opportunity.]

Today, one of my friends from Guatemala wrote me to ask how I was doing and I gave him a mini run down of everything I just told you. I told him how tomorrow I have to wake up at 4:30 because it’s my day to go to the hospital. He asked me what I do at the hospital and I just told him that the clinical instructor gives us 2 patients to care for the entire day. He said, “Chilero! Es lo que siempre quisiste.” Translation: “That’s cool! It’s what you always wanted.” I responded with, “Yeah. It’s just a lot of work.” What he said next is what I’ve been thinking about all day long. He said, “En Guatemala, muy pocas personas pueden hacer lo que les gusta. La mayoría hace lo que se consigue. Translation: “In Guatemala, very few people get to do what they actually like. The majority just does whatever they can find.” I haven’t been able to get that thought out of my head and off of my heart. I know that this is the case. I lived in Guatemala for 5 years. Have I been away for so long that I no longer thought about the people that lived there? The people that have been a part of my life and changed everything when I first met them when I was 15 years old.  Have I forgotten about them? I’ve wanted to pursue a career in the medical field for many years and never once did I think about wanting to work in the best hospitals in the United States. My main inspiration was seeing first-hand how the majority people in the beautiful country of Guatemala lived their lives. I wanted to better myself so I could help them better themselves. How could I become so wrapped up in my own “problems” and forget about them?

All of this is to say that I don’t want to complain anymore. I’m so thankful that I’m able to do exactly what I want to do. I’m thankful that I was able to get a spot in this program that so many others would have taken in a heartbeat. Although yes, this is the hardest and most trying time of my life so far, I will keep my head up and continue on because I can. I know that I’m capable and I get the opportunity to learn how to save lives. How many people get to say that? How many people get to do exactly what they like to do? Not a lot. So, I will not waste this chance. I’ll keep marching on no matter how difficult the process may be because I know that one day I’ll be marching across the stage and then I’ll really be able to do what I like to do. I’ll be able to travel and go to Guatemala and other countries where people don’t have the opportunities that I’ve had and I’ll be able to truly touch them.

No matter what you may be walking through just keep your head up because there will be an end in sight soon. Sometimes it takes some fighting on our end to get to where we want to be.

You can do this. I can do this. We can do this. I have to go for now. I have 154 pages to read for my psychiatric nursing class, 83 pages for med/surg, and more lab competencies to complete.

Until next time,


I think most little girls think about when they’ll meet prince charming, fall in love, and have a baby. [First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby…] I used to think about these things. I remember playing with my baby dolls and pretending to be a little mama; however, whenever I got married and the idea of becoming a mother was a real possibility I stopped thinking about it. You see, I never thought that I was ready to be a mom. I felt like I could barely take care of myself. How was I supposed to take care of a little person who would depend on me 100%? Ironically, these were the same thoughts that came swooping in days before I went into labor.

 So, yes…I ended up with a little bun in the oven. What a surreal experience that was. Throughout those 9 months, I could never really believe it. “What am I doing? Why am I pregnant?” [FYI, I knew how it happened.] It all started when I went to the doctor for one of those regular “women check ups”. Per protocol I had to take a pregnancy test beforehand. I was waiting in the little room waiting for the doctor to come in to begin the procedure when I heard a little knock on the door. The doctor walked in with her nurse and said, “You’re pregnant” while her nurse handed me the positive pregnancy test and said, “The first memento for the baby book.” [Btw, I haven’t even started a baby book. I have all the pinterestry ideas, but I can’t find the extra energy at the end of the day to make any of them happen.] Meanwhile, at home I took 6 [yes, SIX] pregnancy tests because how are you supposed to know for sure? Well, each one came back with that little pink line a little bit stronger than the one before it. So, I knew it. The first thing I did was call my Aunt Patty because I wasn’t really sure what else to do. She screamed a little and told me that God’s grace is sufficient and would meet me in this journey. [She was right.] At this point I was a mere 4 weeks along, but I was semi excited/semi freaking out so I decided to tell a few more family members. That night I went to tell another aunt and uncle and I swear to you the whole neighborhood probably found out I was pregnant due to my aunt’s screams of excitement. Her reaction was just what I needed though. It made me feel like this little life was worth celebrating. It made me feel supported. [These people have been there for me every step of the way.]

I made peace with the new season I was going to be stepping into; although, pregnancy definitely did not give peace to my body. About two weeks after I told a few family members the news, the nausea started and it continued into my 18 hours of labor [more on that later]. This was the most miserable part of my pregnancy. I woke up nauseous, went to work nauseous, came home and went to bed nauseous. After a while, throwing up just became second nature even though at the same time it’s not something you really get used to doing. I didn’t gain a single pound for the first five months. It was hard for me to find something to eat and whenever I did eat something that agreed with my stomach I decided that I never wanted to eat that ever again. [It’s still hard for me to think about Subway.] Apart from being sick all the time, I dealt with some serious acid reflux issues and my hips feeling like they were popping out of place all the time. It takes some guts to be pregnant and deal with everything that comes your way during those 9 months.

I swear I’ve never felt so much like a handicapped whale as I did towards the end of the third trimester. I waddled everywhere I went. I needed help to stand up. Whenever I would sit, gravity would take over and I’d plop down. It took me a good minute to scoot my big self out of bed the three times a night I had to get up to go to the bathroom. And forget about bending over. That luxury was no longer to be had. If I dropped something on the ground, it may as well have disappeared into a black hole because I was never going to see it again [unless I yelled loud enough and Lionel came to my rescue.]

Now, let’s talk about those 18 hours of labor. It’s called labor for a reason. It’s physically the most exhausting thing I’ve ever gone through, but it’s also a mental battle. Every labor is different. There’s not a text book to follow to know just what your experience will be like, but I’ll tell you about mine. My due date was February 9th. At my last OB appointment, my doctor said that she would induce me that following Monday, February 6th. Of course, this was the most tempting offer anyone could have placed before me at that time. I was tired, sore, and wanted this baby out of me. However, after consulting with my sisters and getting different opinions I decided to really pray about it. I knew that God always had my best interest at heart and that He would lead me to do the right thing even if people didn’t agree with it. So, after praying I really felt peace to go ahead and schedule the induction for that Monday. After I made that phone call to schedule it, I started to freak out because I knew exactly when all of this was going down and I didn’t think I was ready to be a mother. [A little late to be thinking that, I know.] Over that weekend I was showered in prayer by my family, my husband, and my in-laws. We showed up at Labor and Delivery at 1:00 AM on Monday morning. [Yes, 1 A.M.] Turns out the insurance companies don’t like to pay for more than two nights in the hospital, so they make you come in as soon as the day starts. [Shocker, right?]

After getting all the paperwork done I tried to sleep, but it was incredibly difficult because my mind wouldn’t shut off. As soon as the sun came up, I texted my cousins to get up and get over to Labor and Delivery to keep me company. So, around 10 AM my doctor comes in to break my water. After that, they were going to start Pitocin. At this point, I was already feeling uncomfortable and in some pain that the thought of Pitocin scared me because that stuff gives you contractions on steroids. So, I asked about the epidural. I didn’t have a birth plan and I’m kind of glad I didn’t because literally nothing went according to the way I thought it would happen. The anesthesiologist comes in and we get this epidural started.


Getting the epidural. [You can thank Lionel for this picture]

Apart from having your whole backside showing...yes, if you're wondering, yes it hurts.

The worst part is after your back has been numbed and they thread that catheter in. It’s a strange, horrible feeling but that nightmare only lasts a few minutes. After all was done, he started pumping that good stuff into my body and I was feeling great. I felt totally and completely pain free. I literally told everyone in the room that and I quote, “I was ready to party.” I was ready to talk and play the card games that I had brought with me. I felt this way for a grand total of 10 minutes before everything took a wrong and twisted turn. The alarms started going off because the baby’s heart rate dropped, so they came in and told me I couldn’t lay on my side anymore. Then, I started to toss my cookies all over my hospital gown. Side note, I went through 4 hospital gowns during my labor. FOUR. My epidural was too high. I was numb all the way up to my chest. I had a pounding headache and I couldn’t talk because my voice was so loud in my own ears. They eventually put me on oxygen. This lasted all day long. ALL DAY. All day long my cousins would replace the cold wash rag on my forehead with a new one. All day long the machines would beep because the baby’s heart rate was dropping too low. All day long the nurses would come in and turn down the dosage of Pitocin I was receiving. Eventually, my doctor came in and told the nurses to stop turning the Pitocin down because “without contractions, you can’t have a baby”. They would turn the Pitocin down because I wasn’t having regular intervals of contractions. I was contracting all the time and it was putting stress on the baby. Finally, the nurses came in and made me sign a consent form to have a C-Section if it came down to that. After they left the room, I motioned for Lionel to come sit next to the bed and I cried. I was scared. I didn’t want a C-Section. I didn’t want my baby to be hurt or in distress. I kept saying, “Did I make a mistake by deciding to do this today? Should I have waited?” At that point, the alarms went off again. This time it was because my pulse was too high. I was getting too worked up about everything. I was super shaky [epidural side effect] and it was hard to calm myself down.

Okay, this is where things get interesting. Finally, another anesthesiologist comes and decides that it’s best to turn the epidural off for a few hours because I was too numb and they didn’t want the numbness to reach my lungs. It was off for about 4 hours because I started to feel some discomfort. I let the nurses know and they come to check me out. This is where things get a little blurry. Some time has passed since they’ve turned the epidural back on [a lower dosage this time] and I’m still feeling the pain. It’s increasing, but it’s only on my lower, left side. This is what they call a “hot spot” and they are from hell. I was being told that there might not be anything that they can do because I was numb everywhere else except for this spot on my lower, left side. Well, now the contractions are really picking up and I’m feeling them. They’re topping off at 100 on the monitor. I’m screaming. I’m crying. I’ve never felt pain like this ever in my life. Then, to make matters more interesting, I start to throw up again while I’m having these contractions. Another anesthesiologist comes in to assess me and after about another hour I was feeling some relief. I could feel some pain with the contractions but the edge was definitely taken off. The nurses come in and I’ve dilated 4 cm in 1 hour. The nurse says to me, “It is complete” and my heart dropped to the floor. So, does this mean I’m having this baby right now? Yes. Yes it did. The nurses kept having me do practice pushes. I pushed about 3 times and they called the doctor in. She came in like a rock star, got her robe on, and sat down in front of me. I pushed for 15 minutes before this baby popped out of me and was put on my chest. He was a whopping 9 lbs and 4 oz. I couldn’t believe it. They seriously was a little person inside of me the entire time. For the next few minutes, they cleaned him up and wrapped him up and put him on my chest for some cuddles. [FYI, the doc said it was a good thing I decided to go through with the early induction because of his size. I knew there was a reason I felt peace about it.]

Now, I’m looking across the room and I see that one-month old baby sleeping on his daddy’s chest and my heart melts. I never knew my heart was capable of so much love. I also never thought that I was missing or lacking anything in my life, but after little Evan came along I realized that there was so much more. There was more joy to be experienced, more love to give, more laughs to be a part of. I spend a lot of my days covered in breast milk and spit up. Laundry never ends. We go through a lot of diapers and burp cloths. In my world right now, there’s no such thing as a perfect, clean house. Before, this would have definitely bothered me. However, I am learning to take in every minute. I choose to soak in the cuddles and to fold the clothes later. All those chores will be there later, but children only stay little for a short amount of time. Of course, I’ve already imagined him growing up and leaving me because what else would you expect me to do?

This is the most beautiful, messy, chaotic time of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.




You ever have those moments when you just feel overwhelmed and bombarded with your own thoughts? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m about to pop out a baby. A baby! I can hardly believe it. It feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. This journey definitely hasn’t been the easiest; actually, it’s been quite the opposite of easy. I feel like I’ve dealt with almost every pregnancy symptom that’s known. At the beginning I kept wondering to myself if this was worth all of this pain and suffering, but as I watched myself grow both inside and out I’ve realized that the pain will always be worth it. I’ve prayed that God would give me a mother’s heart. Maybe I won’t understand or even feel like a mother until the moment I finally get to hold my little boy, but being able to carry this child inside of me has let me understand a little more about God’s love for me [and you].

 I usually tend to think more at night when I’m in bed. It’s when the world gets quiet around me and I’m finally able to hear my own thoughts. Lately, before I fall asleep, I lean over to Lionel and whisper, “I’m kinda scared to have this kid.” Although I’m not thrilled to learn what labor is like, that’s not what I’m afraid of. I know I’ll only be in that situation temporarily. So, Lionel asked me why I’m scared and I told him this, “I’m scared because I would do anything to protect this little boy. He’s inside of me right now and I feel like I’m in control and I truly can protect him. But what happens when he’s right beside me instead of inside of me? How can I protect him from this world?” I know that I won’t be able to protect him from everything and I’m not naïve enough to believe that I can. However, how do I raise a child in such a broken world? Some may say that this world has always been up in flames. Who knows? Maybe I haven’t always paid attention, but I’m listening now and I don’t like what I’m hearing. Social media is bursting with hate filled comments and racial slurs. This country is divided and I don’t know how to fix it. I wish I did. I feel like there’s always some kind of protest/riot going on because people don’t agree with the government’s decisions. I’m not an advocate for any political party or figure. I don’t really agree with much that’s going on in our country right now. America should be known for being brave and beautiful and welcoming. I don’t know what needs to happen to fix everything that’s wrong in our nation. However, there is one thing that I do know. We need Jesus. He’s the only solution to the mess that we’ve allowed ourselves to get into. He’s the only answer to broken relationships between country leaders. I can allow myself to get caught up in the fight and trash talk I hear online. It’s very easy to let myself be dragged down. I have to choose to focus on the true things. Honestly, I don’t always make the right decision. The good news is that God’s faithfulness doesn’t depend on my emotional stability. He remains the same no matter what. He’s the same God that has delivered his people over and over again.

 There’s a song I’ve been listening to and I can’t get over how much this song relates to what our country [and world] is going through right now. It’s “Heal Our Land” by Kari Jobe. [I know I’m always citing her, but I can’t help it. Kari is my girl.] We need God to heal our land and bring restoration to the nations. The hope of the future is in His hands and we need Him. So although I don’t have all the answers, or really any answer at all, I will continue to look to God. I will choose to raise my little boy to be fearless in this frightful world. I will teach him that no matter what happens we will always prevail because God’s love never fails and it will never fail us. I will teach my little boy to not be afraid when he hears the division all around him; instead, I will teach him to listen to that small, still voice that says, “Trust me. I am in control.”


Listen to this. This song brings peace to my heart. I trust it will do the same for you.


I've got a lot on my mind today. For starters, Thanksgiving is only two days away. TWO days. I think I value Thanksgiving so much because it's the only time a year that I get to see most of my family. I like having everyone get together and to see where I came from. Also, my sister had a baby last night. I still can't believe it. There's a whole new human in this world now and for the first time ever, I have a niece. So that's pretty exciting. However, none of these things are what I actually want to talk to you about today. I want to talk about towels. Yes, you read that correctly. I said towels. A few weeks ago I was folding laundry and I came across this super soft, cuddly towel. Immediately, I was taken back to December 2011 when I spent my last moments with my mom. During this time, I was living as a young, misunderstood [at least I thought I was misunderstood] missionary in Guatemala. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how to be an adult. I didn't understand myself or what I needed. As I look back, I see how much this was a time of growth for me because it hurt. Oh boy, did it hurt! You know, stretching and learning are never fun. It's much easier and much more comfortable to retract back into our current mold of who we are and say, "Listen, I am totally content with who I am. So God, please let me be and let me stay this way forever." Anyway, this trip to the states was the first time I had been back in my own country in a whole year. I remember getting back and feeling comfortable. I loved that everything seemed so simple and so easy. There was central heating for crying out loud. Most of all, going back to my mom's house felt right and peaceful. For the first time in a year, I could curl up on the couch with a blanket and not have any other cares in the world.

Let's get to the part with the towels. For some reason, towels are expensive in Guatemala. I was living on a very limited missionary budget, so I only owned two towels. However, I made it work. One day, my mom got a big box in the mail. We brought it in and opened it. Can you guess what it was? A huge box FULL of brand new, fluffy, wonderful towels. She had just ordered them and was very excited that she got them so fast. I remember picking up those towels and saying, "Mom, these are so soft. I love them! In Guatemala, I only have two towels and they're not very soft." I was just making conversation, but my mom [being the best mother] said, "Well here...take these back with you. I can always get more." In that moment I wanted to break down and cry. I said, "No mom. I can't take these towels. You spent a decent amount of money on them and I don't want to take them away from you." This whole story came crashing back into my mind that day a few weeks ago when I picked up that really gentle, soft towel. And I cried. I was overwhelmed thinking about the kindness of my mother. They may have just been towels, but my mom wanted to give me her best. She wanted to give me everything she had. So for the last few weeks, I've been thinking to myself "Am I willing to give up my [fictional] towels?" 

My mom struggled a lot [a LOT] throughout her life here; however, if there's one thing that she was always consistent about it was her kindness towards others. Even though she was hurt more times than any of us can count, she still let love shine through. When I think about my mom, I can see her crooked, beautiful smile. I know that she wasn't perfect [as much as I say she was]. I'm not naive. I know what she battled day in and day out. However, what really matters here is how she is remembered. What really matters here is how her legacy continues on without her. When I think about my mom, it's not hard for me to forget the hard times. It's not hard for me to forget about the struggles or the poor decisions. When I think about my mom, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and a desire to be the kindest person I can be. I remember my mom for her gentle spirit, her contagious laugh, and her abounding love. What will I be remembered for? 

It's incredibly easy to get wrapped up in this fragile life we lead here. I know because I get wrapped up in it every single day. Just earlier today, my mind was consumed with my psychology class and having to read 50 pages for one quiz. In those moments, that felt like everything to me. We spend so much of our time thinking about our future and who we will become and what we desire our lives to look like. In the end, none of it matters. People aren't going to remember me for being extra studious and reading those 50 pages in my psychology book. People won't remember all the A's I received in my college classes. So what will people remember? They're going to remember how I treated them. They're going to remember how I treated others in front of them. They're going to remember the things that I don't think they're paying attention to. 

There's this song that I've recently been listening to and it really puts all of this into perspective for me. It's called The Cause of Christ by Kari Jobe. I was just telling Lionel last night that I want to be one of those people that puts everything on the line for Jesus. Because honestly guys, none of the trivial things we deal with or pass through on this earth are worth it. These things that we put so much focus and effort into are not going to last. If I want the memory of me to live on, I have to spend my life here fighting for eternal things. If I go my whole life and no one can tell that I love Jesus, then I wasted every single second I was given. Like the song says, "The only thing I want in life is to be known for loving Christ". 

I'm sure my mom didn't think it was big deal to offer up her brand new towels to me. I'm sure she never thought that I would remember that about her after she passed away. With this seemingly small gesture, my mom taught me all about selflessness and how to be kind. I have to be willing to give up everything [even if it hurts] for others. I'm not sure I'm there yet and honestly [being brutally transparent], I'm not sure I ever will be. I want to be and that's a start.

But I want to encourage you if you're reading this, be willing to give up your towels for someone else.
Be willing to give up your best. 


Give it a listen guys...

Hey guys,


So I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that tomorrow we will elect the new leader of our nation. Have you been thinking about it? Are you allowing yourself to worry about the outcome? I know that I have let my mind wander down the hallway thinking about all the “what IF” possibilities. What if Hillary becomes Madam President? What if Trump becomes the face of our nation? What will happen? Will we get involved in more useless wars? Will we break the bonds we have with other nations? Will more innocent people die at the hands of an incompetent leader?


I have stayed away from posting anything political this entire election season. [Aside from Bad Lip Reading’s coverage of the debate. I thought that was absolutely necessary and relevant.] However, I feel like the time has come to speak up. Now, I am not going to tell you how to vote. I am not going to tell you what to believe. That is up to you and your conscience. What I want to tell you is this…it does NOT matter who wins the election. You may disagree with me and say, “But Hillary is this…” or “Trump is that…”. It does NOT matter who wins this election. Do you think that God is surprised by what’s going on in our country right now? Of course NOT. Do you think that God is concerned about this election? He already knows the outcome and He’s already finished writing the story for all of us. He knows how all of this will end.


Now, what we need to do is realize that we are only temporary residents on this earth. I know that can be a hard concept to grasp because right now this feels like our life. We are studying and working to become who we want to be HERE. We are trying to better ourselves so that we can have a better future HERE. But, what are we doing that will impact our eternity. It’s hard to understand that the 80 or so years we are granted on this earth are not the only years we will live. Therefore, I understand that it’s hard to see past the trials we face here. This presidential election may seem like the end of the world for a lot of you. I know I have had my share of concerns about going into the polls tomorrow morning. But, I need you to take this one piece of information away with you. It does NOT matter who wins the election tomorrow. Why? There’s a super simple explanation. God is still in control. Not Trump. Not Hillary. If we allow our hope to be anchored in the next president of the United States, then we are screwed anyway. There is no hope for the future. There is no hope for our children. There is no hope for humanity. However, the good news is that humans are ultimately not in control. Sure, they can create laws and pass bills that we may not agree with. But, you know that the Bible never said this life was going to easy. It actually warns us for times like these. There will be trials and tribulations, but we should never falter in our faith. We should never place our hope in temporary vessels.


So, tomorrow we elect the new leader and new face of the United States of America. No matter the outcome, this is still the land I call my home. No matter what happens, this is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t let politics come between you and your neighbor. Spread love, generosity, and kindness. Hate doesn’t have a place here. [No matter what the political advertisements might suggest.]


Let there be peace on Earth. 



Well, here I am. 24 years old and pregnant. Oh, but it’s okay. I’m married and people perceive that I have my life together. That’s truly a comical thought. Maybe one day I will. Or maybe this is just what adult life is like. For right now, I want to focus on this journey of pregnancy. People always ask me how I’m feeling and I don’t know how to tell them for the 20th time that I still feel like crawling up in a ball in the corner and shunning everyone. I’ve heard that pregnancy is hard, but I’ve also heard from certain people that they loved being pregnant and they couldn’t wait until they were pregnant again. Now, this is my first rodeo so I didn’t have much of an expectation. It took me long enough to get get to the point where I was okay with being pregnant. For a while I was uncomfortable with the thought and I didn’t know how I would respond to people who thought I was a pregnant teenager. When one of my nephews was a few weeks old I was walking around the grocery store holding him as he fell asleep on my chest. We walked past this elderly man and he looked at me and I expected him to say something along the lines of “Cute kid”, but instead he said “That’s just pitiful”. The expression I gave him was a mixture of “Excuse me, you don’t know me” and “I’ve been married for a year! This could very well be my child!” Sometimes people should just keep their mouth shut, don’t you agree?


Anywho, pregnancy totally turns your life upside down. I’m 108 days into this deal. I expected my world to be rocked when the kid gets here, but I’ve been dealing with a lot of life changing, world rocking circumstances since the beginning. Let me share them with you.


Number ONE: Exhaustion

I’ve been around enough moms and watched enough movies to know that sleep is a distant memory when the baby arrives; therefore, you’re always exhausted. However, pregnancy makes you feel like you’re taking care of a newborn when all you’ve really done is watch Netflix. Take advantage of the sleep you can get now. I know I sure do. Honestly, pregnancy is sometimes an excuse to stay in bed a little bit longer. But hey, I deem growing a human as a worthy reason to sleep in.


Number TWO: Nausea

Now, not every woman deals with nausea. Some women may have nausea during some of their pregnancies but not every single one. Every woman is different. Apparently, my body likes to take things to the next level. I began to get nauseous around week 4. I began to throw up at week 6 and guess what…I haven’t stopped. I never in my life thought that I would become so comfortable and accustomed to throwing up. I always joke and say, “This kid MUST be Lionel’s because he’s messing with me so much”. I began to write down my thoughts and feelings early on in this pregnancy and I’ll share some of those now.

On June 16th I wrote,

“I’m struggling like an animal out in the wild to find something I want to eat. The thought of most foods makes me just want to give up on life. Lionel brought me a frosty at work today and that made me think I NEEDED a hamburger from Wendy’s. On the way to Wendy’s we passed Subway, so naturally we went there instead. That flatbread sub was enough to make me sing. It was the only thing I could think about eating again without feeling sick. Like any normal [crazy, pregnant] person, I ate subway again for dinner. I could eat subway forever.”


On June 17th I wrote,

“I’m never eating subway ever again. I got up this morning and reluctantly took my gummy prenatal vitamins then forced some type of protein down my throat and walked out the door.”

On June 29th I wrote,

“Flash forward 12 days and I’m still struggling. I’m weak, sick, and dehydrated. However, today I had my first appointment at 8 weeks. The doctor did an ultrasound and I saw this tiny living thing inside of me and I heard that incredibly fast heartbeat. My mindset about the future and about life in general has changed. God has given me the opportunity to mold this child’s life, so how am I going to do that? I can’t believe I’m falling in love with this little thing that’s only half an inch long. How intricate has God designed us? There’s no denying Him.”


Number THREE: Everyday life

Yes, we still have to get up and live everyday. Doesn’t that stink sometimes? Yes, it sure does. After being so sick for almost 10 consecutive weeks, I contemplated the other day how pregnant women are still expected to be productive members of society. I believe that there should be special exceptions to the rules for us. After all, we are creating life. We are continuing the legacy of life and contributing to the world’s population. I believe that managers should be understanding [especially when you have to excuse yourself from your desk to go yak up your morning banana].

So yes, pregnant women should get preferential treatment. There I said it. I’m not saying we’re more important than other people, but we’re suffering for a worthy cause.

However difficult this process has been or continues to be, I wouldn’t wish away this circumstance I’m in for anything. I may not feel like a bona fide mother yet, but I’ve got this little life inside of me and it’s an unbelievable experience. Every time we have another appointment and I get to see the profile of my sweet child I feel as if my heart grows a little bigger. I didn’t know that I could love something or someone I’ve never met before. Although, sometimes I feel like I do know this child. He’s in my dreams and in my heart. Ever since we found out the gender of the baby, I find myself praying a lot more. I pass by the crib that was possibly set up prematurely [but can you blame me?] and I lay my hand down and say a little prayer for the life that will soon occupy it. Last night Lionel and I went out and we just stumbled into Old Navy. For the first time ever, I didn’t even look for something for myself. I browsed the baby boy section and I swear my heart couldn’t handle all the joy inside. As I picked up the little onesies and tiny socks, I pictured the child that would wear these clothes. I don’t believe I’ve always been super sentimental or emotional, and maybe it’s just the hormones or maybe pregnancy has changed me for the better. I’ve realized that the circumstances of life haven’t completely hardened my heart, even though sometimes I feel like they have. I’ve realized that I truly do love God and need Him now more than I ever have. I understand that the relationship I have with my husband is wonderful and I’ve never taken it for granted.


God knew I need this little boy in my life and I’ll do whatever it takes to give him the life and opportunities he deserves.


It's quite possible that I've lost my touch at this whole blogging thing. Before, I could just sit down and write without a care in the world but now I catch myself thinking, "What will people think?" Eh, who cares. In my almost 24 short years on this earth, I've learned a thing or two about not trying to please people. [Because you can't. It's impossible.] So here I am searching aimlessly for the words to say. Like Michael Scott says, "Sometimes I start a sentence and I don't even know where it's going. I just hope I find it along the way." Yep, that's me 100%. 

Rainy days tend to make me contemplate on life a little bit more. The light barely sneaks through the windows, candles are lit, and hot cocoa is made; this is the recipe for deep, thoughtful conversations. What is life? What is life even about? I wish that we were given a survival guide to life whenever we were brought into this world. Yep, a personal survival guide would sure make things easier. It's hard to navigate through all the life changing, important decisions we're expected to make along the way. Some people may say, "My dear you don't have to have everything figured out today" or "Rome wasn't built in a day" or my personal favorite, "Just do what God tells you to do". It's not always so black and white. It's not always so simple. I used to believe that God would always tell me which road to take and/or not take. I believed that God and I were walkie talkie buddies and He would always be just a whisper away. Don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. I totally believe that God loves perfectly, has a perfect plan, and always wants His kids in the right place. I just now believe that God doesn't always speak up when we expect Him to. Sometimes it's super clear what God wants from me. I think that everyone hears God differently. Personally, I am led by peace. If I feel peaceful about a potential decision, then I know that it's okay to take a step forward in that direction. Sometimes an opportunity looks great through my human eyes, but I feel a knot in the stomach. That is how I know I have to step back and not go through with it. Then, sometimes I pray and ask God for guidance because I'm incredibly lost amongst the vast sea of decisions that have to be made regarding the not so big deal of my future A.K.A. the rest of the my life. Isn't it crazy how some of the decisions you make NOW [today, 5 minutes from now] will have an effect on the rest of our life. We are essentially a sum of all of our past decisions.

We basically moved to the states and just hoped for the best. There wasn't really a plan involved because we had no idea what we were doing. We just believed that something good would come our way and that the great big, tangled ball we were in would just straighten itself out over time. Some days [most days] I still wonder what in the world we're doing here. I used to pride myself on never wanting to live in the United States because I wanted to experience the world and help people and hug babies. So what am I doing here? Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere [for now]. The thousands of dollars we forked out for my husband's residency is enough to keep my feet on the ground for a little while. As I continue to study towards a degree so I can finally be a real adult with a real adult job, I can't help but continually think about my future. What does God want from me? Where in the world does He want me to spend my days? And please God, don't send me somewhere I don't want to be. Isn't it funny how we try to bargain with God like we know what's best for ourselves? I have to remind myself on a consistent basis that I am where I am right now for a reason. This season is hard and challenging and a lot of days I want to cry for multiple reasons. It's easy to feel trapped where I am. It's easy to feel like I don't have much support [aside from Lionel because he's perfecto]. It's easy to feel like I'm expected to be here. It's easy to feel like people expect me to take care of everything. And it's easy to feel like not many people care because they don't seem too concerned with how I'm doing. Sometimes I just need a little rant because this is real life and it's messy and it hardly ever goes the way you expect it to and no matter how much effort you put into something you'll probably never hear a thank you from someone until something tragic happens. It's sad how we as the human race don't care about someone or what they've done until it's too late to tell them. 

For now, God is keeping quiet about what the next season in my life will be; therefore, I can only dream that it will be full of wonder and life. Until then, I'll stick with where I am now and I'll probably cry a little more because let's be real [girls cry and sometimes we don't even know why we're crying]. That's just how life is. It doesn't matter who we are, where we live, where we work, or how many followers we have on Instagram. Life is messy, but we can choose to find joy in the midst of the mess or let it overwhelm us. I'd like to say that I always choose joy, but who am I kidding. I'm so not perfect and I let my circumstances overwhelm me [sometimes]. The good news is that we don't have to figure this whole life out on our own. Like I said before, God loves perfectly. Even though He may keep quiet at times, it is always for our good. There's a little thing called patience and it is super beneficial to us to learn how to have it. We're learning together. I'm right there with you. We're in this together, me and you. 

I'll be there for you [when the rain starts to pour]
I'll be there for you [like I've been there before]
I'll be there for you ['cause you're there for me tooooooooooo]