"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Isaiah 43:10

Monday, December 14, 2009

Love my Job

It can be stressful, draining, emotional, and challenging. We all have days like that at work though, right? But overall, I truly believe I have the best job in the world. It's the best job for me- maybe not the best job for everyone. I get to impact people on every level, everyday:physically, emotionally, spiritually. I was driving home the other night and I couldn't help but think, "What other job could I have done all of that at?" None. Saturday and many other days I get to:

-Educate: Here are the risks involved. This is what is happening inside of your body. It makes me feel good to provide people with factual information so they can make educated decisions regarding their care and life.
-Listen/Ask : How do you feel? Are you scared? Nervous? Depressed? I'm here. I'm sure you have a lot going on inside your head. I want to allow you to share and process your feelings if you want to.
- Touch: I get to put my hand on a shoulder or foot when I'm talking to my patients and they're in bed. Sometimes they need hugs and it's been a long time since they've had one!
- Pray: Prayer is powerful- I think every patient that has come back to see me or told me I impacted their day or stay in the hospital has been someone I have prayed with. Crazy, but that's just God. Sometimes I realize the most important thing I did in my day at work was pray with someone.
- Nursing duties: I can't tell you how many people say, "I can't believe you do this or that!!!" I guess poop, blood, and sputum aren't meant for everyone to work with. But, I can't help but think that that's not why I am a nurse- it's just part of what you deal with as a nurse. Sort of a means to an end. Like- I get to love on this person that God gave me to care for for the next 12 hours (and that may involve some poop, blood, or sputum- But who cares??)-Not me. Guess that's why I'm a nurse :)
- Rejoice: I get to cheer for people when they wheel down the hallway to go home. I have stood by my patients side on a few occasions when the doctors come in and tell them their pathology results-they DON'T have cancer. Oh my gosh, I ball like a baby right with them.

So many reasons to love being a nurse!!! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quality Time with Vanessa

My love tank is so full!!! I've had great quality time with people I love this week. Helen Monday. Helped a friend get a little more settled into her new house this morning, and hung out with Vanessa all afternoon. I drove away smiling thinking, "I am blessed". Vanessa had the sweet idea of baking our neighbors cookies for Christmas. It was really fun and yummy. Really, all I did was the chocolate chip ones-she did the rest. Another great day for heart to heart connecting. Yay! :) And of course it was fun to get to snuggle baby Ella. Girl day. :)

Random Facts about My Friendship with Vanessa:
- We met Sept 2002 in Anatomy 2A at RCC. Either her or I said "Hi, do you want to be my lab partner?" We sort of knew who the other was through mutual friends prior to running in to each other in class.
- We both were trying to figure out if nursing was what we wanted to do or should do. In the end we did both become nurses. Now we can talk nurse jargon together :)
- I love her laugh. It's distinct, but not annoyingly distinct. Cute distinct. I also love her hugs (Not everyone knows how to hug well!)
- I've known her husband Matt since Junior High
- I think she has a really discerning spirit when it comes to many spiritual matters. One personal example is the fact that she will call me after not connecting for awhile and say, " I've been praying for you. What's going on?" Sounds pretty basic. But every time I'm like, "what the heck?? How did you know?? Or really- how do you always know??" It's a God gift and I'm really thankful for it.
- She's another friend that has walked through some of my greatest joys and greatest sorrows. I'm sure life will bring us many more. It's comforting to know you have friends that will celebrate and mourn with you. It helps me know I can get through whatever comes my way!! :)
- These are words I think describe her: reliable, honest, generous, humble, trustworthy, good listener
- I stood by her side on her wedding day and she stood by mine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Helen, Beth Moore, and Pumpkin Spice

Really, could this be a better routine? This is my Helen. I look forward to Monday nights for many reasons. I love to share my heart with this friend. This summer we had the same thing on our mind- studying the fruit of the spirit. So we got the workbooks, and the videos. We've processed through a lot over the last 4 months. Just knowing a have a guaranteed place to go each week where I can be fully known is amazing.

Random Facts about my Friendship with Helen:
-We met July 2002. We had just turned 19.
- I soon discovered, "Wow, there is another person in the world who cries as easily as I do."
- Since we met we have argued over who will be the first to hug and kiss Jesus when we get to heaven, which means we argue about who will get to die first and who will have to admit defeat at the others funeral.
- I have numerous nicknames for her. Top 2: Pookie Pie (Don't remember how I gave her this one) and Milky (because of her perfect skin which I wish I had!)
- I've been friends with her husband Chris since we were 9th graders (met at youth group)
- We lived over seas together for 4 months (Republic of Georgia 2003- very fun)
- Her and I starred in a rap video together put together by Justin Kowalski
- I got to watch her give birth to sweet Jordyn
- She has probably walked through more sad or hard times in my life with me than any other friend. (and on the flipside, been by my side through some of my greatest joys)
- She is the first person I called to tell when I found out I was pregnant (In April, and besides Eddie of course)
- She's great and I'm thankful to have a handful of friends I've known for years like her :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pray for Kate

I don't remember how I found their blog originally. I found it in July, when the McRae's journey with Kate and cancer was just beginning. I watched their video asking for prayer. Couldn't stop crying. There are so many things to pray for and to fight for in life. Sometimes it's overwhelming. But there are those things that prick your heart and you can't let go. You can't help but remember to pray. Kate and her family are one of those things for me. I can't help but ache inside when I think of all that her sweet little 5 year old self is having to endure. Her family is awesome. They love Jesus. They trust Jesus. They know He will see them through. But still, it is the most painful and difficult journey a parent could ever face. They need all the support they can get. Check out Kate's site or blog for updates and to know how to pray. http://prayforkate.com/#/home-page/
Warning: She will melt your heart. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jude and the Terrible Tickle Monster Auntie

Just a short, cute video showing off Judah and his cuteness :)

New York: Highlights

Going to ground zero was at the top of my list of things I felt like we had to do while we were in New York. It just felt wrong to me not to go. It is basically a construction zone right now. The other picture is what it will look like when it is done. Two pools where the towers used to be and Oak trees surrounding. It will open/be dedicated Sept 11th, 2011. It was sad of course, but I'm glad we went.

Went to see Wicked on Broadway. It was amazing. Almost as amazing as Central Park. Eddie looking very cute for our date day/night. We ended up changing out of our nice clothes and going to a Southern BBQ place. It was really good. I have never tasted such good Mac and Cheese in my life. That's Eddie and my idea of fine dining I guess...Mac and Cheese :)

Rockefeller Center

I guess going to Serendipity and getting frozen hot chocolate is just something you're supposed to do when you go to New York. It was a fun experience. I never thought to look at the price. We just ordered. 10$ for one. That's a lot of money for a beverage! If I knew how big they were we would have shared. Yummy, but slightly over-rated in my opinion.

Central Park turned out to be my favorite thing I saw in New York. It was more beautiful than anything I expected and way more gigantic than I ever knew.

The American Museum of Natural History. Dinosaurs here we come!!! We also discovered our weight on the moon. Feeling fat? Just weight yourself in moon pounds.

The beginning: Eddie and I missed our flight to New York. We were supposed to have a lay over in South Carolina. Took the next available flight, so our layover was in Philadelphia. Couldn't go to Philadelphia and not have a Phillie Cheese Steak sandwich. That would just be wrong...

Thanksgiving Highlights

I have so much to post so I'm starting with the most recent things and working my way backwards. Here are a few shots from Thanksgiving. We has Thanksgiving twice. First with my mom's family in Torrance (I forgot my camera that day), and then with Alyssa's family. The boys played Settler's of Catan. Jude is just enjoying his first Thanksgiving meal. Kirstyn is being a good girl and eating her pie on the tile (thankfully- the carpet would have had pumpkin pie in it :)) and Eddie and my mom bowled against each other on the Wii. It was fun seeing my mom. She lives in Texas, so we only get together a couple of times a year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sick of being sick

Why not blog about being sick? I mean, what else is there to do when you are really down and out? (And it's Sunday-there's nothing good on TV). My sick routine always includes watching The Price is Right at 10:00. But not today. It's Sunday. So, Eddie and I had a great time in Georgia with our family and in New York. Went to Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Time Square, Serendipity, The American Museum of Natural History, Ground Zero, lots of good food places. Thursday the flu hit me hard. Canceled our plans to head to The Statue of Liberty. Flew standby on Friday to get me home earlier. Could hardly move yesterday. I have never had such a bad cough that it literally brings me to my knees. My whole body hurts. I don't even remember the last time I was sick and really had a fever. Yesterday, 101.6 baby. Seriously, I feel helpless and again am thankful I married the most amazing man in the world. This morning I started to faint in the shower. Dove to the tile floor of our bathroom just before I blacked out. I know, it's a wonderful time we're having here in the Culin house. :) It was a pretty pitiful, but loving picture. Eddie dried me off, helped dress me, and put me back to bed. Yesterday he bought me jello, juice, drugs, and made me my mom's Chicken Soup. Hoping to feel better soon and get to posting pictures from our trip.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bible Character Night at Frontside

The whole group :)

Justin: Would you believe that he dumped tuna on himself to get into character? Can you guess???
He was Jonah...and he really did smell like he's been swallowed by a whale

Princess Esther and Princess Jezebel

Lazarus and Jacob

J's costume is a little more obvious than mine. I was the burning bush. I tried :) That's a lighter I'm holding in my hand :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

80's Night at Frontside

I was in love with Sarah's hair. She looked like something straight out of a yearbook from the 80's. :)

Justin looking very 80's with Sarah and Alana

The whole 80's bunch together :)

The night was really fun. I have to admit 26 is starting to feel old. So many of our students were like, "What did people dress like in the 80's?" They really had no clue. Maybe because they were born in like 1994....

Victory over grout

So when we bought our house I thought the grout was meant to be this nice dark gray/black color. Yeah, not so much. It was meant to be white. I have spent hours upon hours scrubbing. I'm almost done and I'm quite proud. :)

Victory over grease :)

This is my friend Tammy. When she found out we bought a house she called me up to ask how she could help. I'm so glad she did, because I really needed it. Being a home-owner herself, she knew I'd have lots to do. Our kitchen was in desperate need of cleaning. I should have taken "before" and "after" pictures. Our stove had what I called "grease icicles" . I am not kidding- she spent 5 hours cleaning the stove alone. She kept pressing on declaring that she would have victory over the grease! She did. She showed that stove who was boss. I felt so loved. Acts of service :)

Monday, September 28, 2009


Why not share something about my heart? I have no idea where my cord thing is for the camera so I can post pictures on here about the move and all the people who helped us. So why not share about my heart?
Fear. Not a great word. Not a great feeling. But it came upon my fast about 2 weeks ago. After losing our baby at 10 weeks it was painful. We chose to follow the advice of our doctor and prevent pregnancy for at least 3 months. I think it was the right decision for us. Suddenly (about 2 weeks ago) I realized 3 months had passed. Now what? All of these emotions started overwhelming me. I was afraid. Preventing sort of made me not have to deal with certain fears. Fears about being pregnant again. Fears about "trying" but not being pregnant and the possibility that making me sad. A little anxiety about what "trying" even means for the hubby and I. Like, what is good for us? Just be relaxed about it, or look at a calendar? We've never done this whole trying thing. What is this time in our lives supposed to look like for us? What is best for my heart? Do you see the flood of questions that came upon me??... :)
It may seem strange, but the last two weeks have been the most painful time in this journey besides the time right after it all happened. It hit me all of a sudden that waiting has been really hard. Most women after a miscarriage want to get pregnant again right away to hope again. Waiting sort of has made the sadness linger in some ways. I don't think it's been a bad thing. Just hard.
I have amazing friends though. I thought, "This fear sure isn't right. Don't think I'm supposed to dwell here." So I picked up the phone and called three of my best friends and shared what I was feeling: FEAR. They prayed for me (and are praying for me). It's amazing how you feel lighter after sharing the things that are weighing your heart down. I felt renewed.
I've had numerous people tell me they read my blog. I would never know because they don't comment. That's okay. I'm a blog stalker too. You don't have to comment. But when you think about us would you pray however you feel led? I can't say that I have answers for some of my questions. Just less fear. I don't really have a plan. Maybe it's supposed to be that way...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Home sweet home

This is our house. Weird. "Our house". I'm pretty excited. I feel like I'm supposed to be like bouncing off the walls, "Ahhh! I'm so excited!!!", kind of excited. But I'm just excited. It's a house. It's not the most important thing in the world. Not even close. But we did pray about it- a lot. We prayed specifically : 1.) For a house we could use to be a blessing to others 2.) for a mortgage we could afford w/ me working only part-time (in case that's what I want to do when we have babies) 3.) that we would be WISE!! 4.) That we would bless God with the decision we make.
Crazy. I know it's just a house, but it's everything and more that we prayed for or about. I'm excited to see how God uses a house for his glory. By that I mean, this "just a house"is where our family will grow, our church family and friends will meet, and memories will be made- for His glory. I kind of just look at it and think "Cool, God. What now?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School Blues....sort of

I love having days where I can do whatever I want with my day. No work. No school. No plans. I usually rest, spend unhurried time with God, and maybe catch up with a friend or two. It's wonderful. But I started school again. It's not too bad. I take the winter and summers off so I'm really only in school 6-7 months of the year. I'm doing my RN to BSN online through Cal State Dominguez Hills. Much of it is interesting. Some of it is incredibly repetitive. This semester I'm taking:

1.) Health Promotion and Teaching
2.)Professional Collaboration in Nursing Practice
3.) Health Assessment

Yay for back to school... sort of :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kirstyn, where is your......?

I have lots of nieces and nephews. 3 Nieces and 3 nephews. Technically 4 nieces soon, since number 4 is due next month. This is Kirstyn, my little sister's baby girl. She is a crack up and she is really sharp. She loves when we ask the "where is...." question. Check out her bilingual skills. Pretty good for being two :)

Marriage Retreat Pics

These are just a few fun pictures from Sandals marriage retreat this past weekend. I seriously look forward to it all year. Eddie and I had so much fun together. I wanted to stay for a week!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh, Long Awaited Titus Bear... :)

This is Titus Bear Pardee. Isn't he perfect? This baby is special. He is a gift to two of the neatest people I know. I am so excited to watch him grow. His mommy (Lindy) and I became friends while working together in youth ministry at Sandals years ago. Her, and her hubby Justin have really been a blessing to Eddie and I was excited beyond what I can even express to meet him. Welcome Titus Bear! Muah! :)