Speaking of nursing school...LOVE IT. Really. I can't believe I'm already finished with my first year. I'm not so much a fan of the chaos that it adds to my life at times and the quality time that it can take away from my husband and other family and friends. My precious husband is my biggest supporter and I just don't know what I'd do without his constant encouragement on those days that I'm so tired because I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before and I just want to throw in the towel, or on those nights (many nights) when the only thing I have time to "cook" us for dinner is a bowl of cereal. The Lord is so faithful to sustain us when we are just flat out tired. Many people ask what area I want to work in when I finish my schooling. I love children. I love babies. As I look back and think of my work as a nurse in Allergy and Asthma for several years, my pediatric patients were always my favorite. The Lord impressed upon my heart some time ago the idea of working in children's hospice care. The most common response from people that I share this with is almost always, "Meredith! No! How could you do work in a field like that?!?" It's heartbreaking to think that the words "children" and "hospice" should ever have to go together, but the reality is that they do at times. If the Lord calls me to that field and provides the opportunity for work in that field, I would love nothing more than to love on those children, praying over them and their families, and sharing with them about the hope we have in Jesus, even in death.
I have so enjoyed my break from school this summer. While it has seemed fast and furious, it has been much needed. I needed to spend time with my husband, with our families, with my sweet Luke and Caroline. Oh, how I miss them when I have to go for any length of time without seeing them! They are growing like weeds! I can't get enough of their sweet faces. Luke was able to come spend a weekend with us recently and I just LOVE our time with him...he is quite the smart cookie and I just love his curiosity about the Lord. Some of the statements he makes and questions he asks just blow me away. I pray continually that the Lord would continue to draw that sweet boy to Himself. Aaron and I had the opportunity to go to Hilton Head with his parents and sister (and her now fiancé, Josh!) in May and earlier this month we headed out with my family for our annual St. Simon's trip. Since Aaron is our only income while I'm in school, we are so very thankful that our families still allow us to tag along with them on vacation! They bless us more than they know! I did have the opportunity to work a few days this summer with my friends at the Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Gainesville. LOVE working with them and am thankful they were willing to have me back for a few weeks! During these last 2 weeks of freedom before 3rd semester begins, I am trying to soak up my husband, cook substantial meals for us, get our house spotless (if that's ever possible!), sleep at least until my husband does in the mornings, spend unhurried time in the Word, prepare myself for a skills exam that will begin the first week of the semester, work on getting my husband packed and ready for his mission trip to BRAZIL (SOOO excited for him!), take walks with my husband, and anything else that needs to be done between here and there.
Speaking of taking walks! Some of you know and many of you don't know that I've had a "back issue" over the last year. I originally thought I hurt it when moving into our new home this past summer. We did lots of lifting, lots of painting, etc., so naturally this made sense. When it became the kind of pain that takes your breath away, I decided to go see my doctor. They agreed that I likely had a lower lumbar strain from the move and that it would take several weeks to heal. Several weeks turned into several months. I pride myself on having a pretty high pain tolerance, but some days, this pain was unreal. It was always worse at night after having been on my feet all day. I recall one night having to get up out of the bed to use the restroom and literally having to get my husband up to help me make my way there. Crazy, huh? Towards the end of this past year, we decided to go back to the doctor to pursue further testing. Long story short, I have a fairly high deductible on my insurance plan and the cost of having an MRI done was going to be ridiculously high, so I chose to hold off a little longer and Aaron and I agreed to continue praying for complete healing. Around this same time, I saw my ob/gyn for some other issues I was having and was diagnosed with what's called PCOS (poly-cycstic ovarian syndrome). She suggested a medication treatment option that I chose not to begin right away. I did, however, choose to begin treatment in May, and about a month or so after taking the medication, my back pain began to improve tremendously. Are the two related, the back pain and the PCOS? It is very possible, according to my doctor. All I know is that I can make it through the day now without having to take a single ibuprofen as opposed to taking them around the clock just to not be in tears. I have even been able to begin walking again for exercise over the past few weeks and this has been HUGE for me. Nursing school along with a gimp back has caused somewhat of a train wreck in the weight loss world. Many of you probably think that I've completely given up on my GFJ (get fit journey), that I've been on since 2007. Although I have had some MAJOR setbacks over the past couple of years, I have not given up! It will take some time to get me back into the groove of things, but as always, I just have to remind myself that I'm not in a race. So, if any of my Griffin friends out there are into walking, I need a partner. My sweet Mama was my faithful partner before Aaron and I got married and I now know how important that accountability is. :)
I will leave you with a few pictures from over the past few months/year.
March 2012 - Caroline "Baby Sis" joins us!
Luke's "summer spend-the-night" with Mae Mae and Aaron
My Sweet Mama came and spent a weekend with me and she helped to plant me a flower bed around my mailbox. Love it. :)
My Daddy got to go with us on vacation this year!! Yay!
Mama's surprise 60th birthday part in May! She got a kitty from her Sister's! :)
We got to take a tour of Savannah with Aaron's family during our vacation to Hilton Head! So fun!
I planted my first little garden this summer and these were my first fruits!
My thrifty find of the summer. I paid $25 for this antique find and refinished it. Love how it turned out!