Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And just a few more...

Zoe's favorite sleeping position. She wiggles and squirms until she gets those arms free from her swaddle blanket. It's pretty interesting to watch.

Us dancing to "Switch" by Will Smith.

Our big hike in Olympic National Park. Over 8 miles, and that was just to the trailhead and back, thanks to snow blocking the road. We all had a great day!

And, of course, her in the kitchen. She wouldn't be my daughter if she didn't get started creating early!

A few pics to tide you over!

Us at Panaroma Point in Olympic National Park.

Zoe looking her oh-so-cute self. She's finally figured those hand out!

Nick and Zoe resting after a 4 mile uphill trek.

Zoe taking in the sites of the Cascade Mountain Range during our break.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back to Work

Monday was my first day back after "maternity leave". We originally planned for me to stay home with Zoe full-time, but after several discussions and some calculations, we knew we could finish paying off all of our debt if I took a 3 month contract as a travel nurse. (Many of you know that Nick and I have been steadily working away the last 2 years to pay off all of our debt. We know we will be better able to serve God if we're not slaves to those we owe, and we know that God has provided for us, in many ways, to achieve this goal. When we got pregnant with Zoe, we took a slight detour, but we never lost sight of the prize at the end.) We were able to find a job in Tacoma, about 20 minutes from our apartment. The position was like my job at Barnes, recovering open-heart patients and managing their care. The best part - it was days only! No possibility of working nights, which I cannot and will not do. The unit is much quieter than Barnes and it's pretty straight forward, which is refreshing. So far, I like it a lot and can see myself staying her to keep my skills up-to-date (working 2-4 shifts a month to stay in the loop).

Lauren and I talked before her and Dane moved up and she agreed to watch Zoe for us. It has been a huge blessing! Nick and I can go to work knowing that Zoe will be well cared for in our home. We both agree that had Lauren not been here, I never would have tried to go back to work. We didn't feel comfortable leaving her with someone we didn't know; being new to the area makes it a bit hard.

I started Monday with a 4 hour orientation. It felt good to get back into the swing of things at work and I was really comfortable leaving Zoe with Lauren; no tears and no worries all day. Nick was home the next few days, so he and Zoe had fun Daddy/daughter days while I worked 8 hour orientation shifts. When I left her for 12 hours on Thursday and Friday it was a breeze. I knew she was in safe hands and Lauren wasn't having any problems taking care of her. I feel a little guilty that I'm not upset or sad when I leave her, but I also know my personality and know that I'm probably overly rational and under-emotional (I could have an accident just as easily as Lauren). I will say though, that I'm really happy to be at home when I get there; seeing her in the evening makes my entire day!

So, with my first week completed, I can say that I'm glad to be working for my family, but also glad that it's only for a short time and then I'll be home with Zoe for good! We know that God provides and also gives us situations of difficulty so we can lean on Him. Though work is good, it does make it harder at home but we know that endurance and reliance on God is built this way. 1 week down, 12 to go!

First Camping Trip = SUCCESS!!!

Sorry it's taken so long to post... a lot going on right now. But here are a few to keep everyone up to speed.

Last weekend Nick, Zoe, Dane, Lauren and I went to the Olympic peninsula and enjoyed the area, with Olympic National Park, the ocean and peacefulness all around us. It was amazing. Zoe was a little shy of 3 months old, so we were a touch worried about how she'd handle camping for the first time. We had no need to worry; she did GREAT!

We arrived on Friday morning to a first-come, first-served campsite on the ocean. We were hoping an early arrival would secure us a campsite, and our theory paid off. The only spot open was overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca (the Pacific Ocean) and across the straight was Canada and the Canadian Cascades. It was beautiful. We could hear the waves crashing against the bluff all day and night. The Lord really provided for us. We set up camp on Friday and headed to Olympic National Park that afternoon for a quick hike to Panaroma Point. It was beautiful and full of wildlife. We were within feet of mountain goats, deer and marmots. The views were spectacular. It was a lot of fun and helped us get ready for the next day's hike!

We arrived to the campsite around sunset, so the boys made dinner while Lauren, Zoe and I took a walk to watch the sun set. We found a great little rock beach and went back so the boys could see it too; Dane got some great pictures. We were pretty tired after dinner, so we put Zoe to bed (she just fell asleep in her swaddle blanket by the fire, so we put her in her car seat to sleep and let her rest in the tent) and hung out by the campfire until it burned out.

The next morning we woke up prepared for our 10 mile hike into the valley. Nick was carrying his pack with all our supplies and I was carrying Zoe in the Moby. We got to the park, took a long winding road on the side of one of the mountains when we found a gate blocking the road. We soon found that the road was closed the rest of the way due to snow, so we ended up re-routing. We were to make it to the valley, but found ourselves needing to hike 4 miles, one-way, to arrive at our starting point. So, we decided to continue the hike. We made it 4 crazy miles uphill to our starting point, but we wouldn't be able to hike into the valley. We enjoyed some great views from Obstruction Point and played, again, in the snow then made our way 4 miles back down. It was a long and hard hike, especially with the full packs and Zoe, but it was a ton of fun. Dane and Lauren make great company and we're so happy they're here with us to enjoy this all. By the time we got back we were exhausted. Another campfire dinner, Zoe to bed, s'mores and we were all out! The sounds of the ocean were great when Zoe woke up to nurse, and they lulled us all back to sleep.

The next morning we relaxed at the campsite. After breakfast we took a stroll around the campsite. There were historical sites of old Salt Creek forts from WWII and a few small trails. We then made our way down to the tide pools and played for a few hours. We made our way back, cleaned up camp and headed home to our next adventure; me returning to work!