A Busy Week!

I’m very thankful to have this week off. It’s turning into quite the busy week.

We had preschool graduation on Monday…Carver is off to Kindergarten in the Fall!

And Carver had his last day of school on Tuesday…

Look at how much he has grown the past 9 months! It has been so cold and rainy here, I can’t remember a May this cold! I had put away all the jackets and coats just long enough to pull them all back out again. I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy the cooler days before it becomes uncomfortably hot and I become uncomfortably large. Gannon is also pretty sad about this cold rainy weather. I had to peel him off of the swing set this morning, he had gotten all dressed up to go swinging in the rain. He was so mad to have to come inside.

Carver’s little league practice started this week and he got to spend some time picking rock with Craig over the weekend – Carver had a blast! About the only time we get to see Craig is if we find him in a field. Craig has still been able to work in the field, planting season is still in full force, but today and tomorrow it’s rain and cold all day.

Carver is having a friend over for a play date today and tomorrow I have a meet up with a few of my friends! Friday it is back to the old work grind but I’m for sure enjoying my time off! I hope you all are having a great week!

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Baby #3 is a…..

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve already heard the news! Baby #3 is a…

BOY!! We are just so so excited! I’ll be honest, I want to experience having a daughter some day but as soon as we got confirmation it was a boy, I could not stop smiling the rest of the day!

(P.S. I’m usually posting several times per day on my instagram stories, it’s the best way to keep up with me!)

It took so so much effort to get a good picture, I’m all about the announcements so I rallied up Craig and my mom to try and get the boys to pose as I wanted them to. It was ROUGH! Maybe you can tell, there’s two tiny imperfections that would clue you in to the photoshop I had to do! It’s much easier to photoshop than it is to have two happy kids at the same time!

Here is how things really were going behind the scenes:

I’ve got the boy mom thing DOWN! I’m so excited for another one – really, I am. I’ve gotten a few well meaning comments about how disappointed I must be. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve got a happy, healthy growing little boy! We’ve got all we need for hand – me – downs, third time is the charm! We’ve got this!

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Birthday Recap!

I celebrated my 27th birthday last week.

Looking back on my memories on my timeline, some years I had given a little summary of accomplishments that I’d checked off my list during that year of life. Here is an example from my 26th birthday:

“Year 25 will go down as the year I survived a global pandemic, the year I became an ICU nurse, the year I fell in love with biking, the year I learned to love myself, the year I launched my Etsy shop, the year I healed my relationship with food, and the year I realized some bigger dreams of mine.”

I look back on the past 10 years and I’ve been checking boxes:

  • Year 18 I moved out and earned my LPN
  • Year 19 I earned my RN, got engaged
  • Year 20 I got married and bought a house
  • Year 21 I became a mom
  • Year 22 I started teaching nursing clinicals (oof, this was a hard year)
  • Year 23 I had another baby and completely transformed my finances
  • Year 24 I lost my Dad and changed jobs, so did Craig
  • Year 25, well see the above paragraph, it was a big year.

Well, looking back on year 26, I stopped caring so much about checking boxes. I stopped hanging my worth on achievements.

I found happiness in the mundane day to day life. I found contentment in progress and small wins. My marriage is the strongest it’s ever been. I love being a mom more than ever. The highlight of my day is when Carver snuggles with me after school. I’m proud of myself, in fact I love myself more than I ever have. I’m so thankful for a healthy pregnancy. I’m working towards some long term goals of mine. I’m in competition with no one. I’ve got enough. I am enough. I know my worth.

Honestly, that’s my greatest accomplishment of all.

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Weathering the Storm…

I have news, it isn’t good or bad, it just is.

Many of you know I’m currently on a travel nurse contract. It’s about an hour from my house. I work three shifts a week in a little tiny emergency department on night shift. I love it. I can’t say enough good things about the facility, everyone is so kind. I enjoy it so much that I’ve renewed my contract through when baby comes in September! This is all good news.

There has been a huge shift in the travel nursing industry in the past week, unlike anything that’s ever happened before. It began on the West coast and has slowly spread across the country.

Remember about 2 months ago when congress had talked about capping travel nurse salary? I think they realized that wasn’t going to be feasible from their position.

There’s something else you need to understand about hospitals. You may go to a hospital, there’s a few in Iowa and Minnesota like UnityPoint or MercyOne, they are actually a chain of hospitals associated with or owned by much larger nationwide hospital systems. Kaiser is another hospital system that owns a ton of smaller hospitals. The owners of the much larger hospital systems got together and decided travel nurses were making too much money.

The hospital systems all told their travel nurses they were reducing their pay, some by x amount per hour and some by percentages (up to 50%!) and told the nurses if they don’t like their new rate they can leave.

Chaos ensues. So many travel nurses had to either accept a much lower wage, even lower than staff nurses, or they chose to leave their job with almost no notice. Many travelers opted to leave and just like that, hospitals across the nation lost a huge percentage of their staff overnight.

Can you imagine the stress that puts on the remaining hospital staff? Or the nurse managers who have to schedule around this nightmare? This isn’t just happening in “some places,” I personally know many, many nurses who are affected by this massive shake up.

Many of these travel nurses have rented apartments, signed leases, moved their family, even purchased homes with the intention of finishing out their contracts. It’s a very big mess and people really aren’t aware of all that’s going on.

As of now, as I’m typing this, I’ve been reassured my contract and my renewal is safe. However, I’m still on the chopping block. Keep in mind, these nurse managers, even nursing administration at these smaller hospitals don’t have any control over these decisions. It all is coming from the very tip top down.

That being said, our debt snowball, our debt payoff goal has been put on hold. We were due to be debt free by October before I go on maternity leave, a goal we’ve been working feverishly towards for 3 years. We were so close. Our plan is now to weather this “storm,” this unpredictability of my job, pile up cash, and keep on trucking. If I can get through my maternity leave and we still have the cash, I can secure another contract for January 2023, I’ll be glad to throw our savings at the debt snowball and in the scheme of things, there won’t be much time lost.

But I’m still kind of bummed.

So that’s what I know about our debt free update. It isn’t always big milestones, sometimes it’s just boring and buckling down to weather the storm. Thanks for reading!

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Mother’s Day…

Today is Mother’s Day. I was thinking about what to write for a blog post and I came across a few pictures that really made me feel proud to be a mom. Shout out to Craig who is usually the photographer of these photos. They really make me happy to look back on them.

I like candid shots. I don’t like posed and perfect. I like pictures that catch a giggle or messy hair.

Craig has caught some pretty good ones of me and the boys. I especially love the one where the boys are laying on top of me, I hadn’t seen that one before until Craig was flipping through his phone and I saw it.

I try to get a few good ones of Craig and the boys too. The middle picture was stop mid-biking adventure. I can’t wait to get out on the bike again this Summer! We are entering our very first days above 70 this week so hopefully we can hit the trails soon! I love seeing how much the boys love bike riding.

and my ALL TIME FAVORITE picture of the boys:

Anywho, wishing all the mothers of all kinds out there a Happy Mother’s Day! I’ll be sleeping all day, of course it’s my weekend to work (double whammy this year – I’ve missed Easter AND Mother’s Day!)

I get to have my 20 week ultrasound next week! I still don’t have a bump to show off yet, I’m sure it will come with time! Any guesses on if it is a boy or girl? We will be finding out if baby cooperates!

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The Pink Shoelaces is a blog about raising boys, life as a nurse, and everything in between! (buymeacoffee.com)