* First 5K race
* Met my time goal in first 5K race. :-D
* Excellent weekend singing/instruction with John Kilgore
* Homework homework homework
* Acing 2 tests
* Reminder of how great church family is
* Apparently, I don't look a day over 32.
* Having my friends sing Happy Birthday while I eat a complementary sopapia!
^That was for those of you that still know and love the Princess Bride. :)
The list of what I have been up to lately is rather short. It's just on a very repetitive cycle. The weeks are going by just about as fast as days normally do for me. Keeping a "balance" is almost impossible at this point. It's more like trying to do your best to keep as healthy of an unbalance as possible.
-I have 3 classes, two of which have class-linked labs with them. These aren't the kind of labs with Bunsen burners and microscopes, but the kind with hospital beds, NG tubes, and syringes to practice. In two of my classes, I currently have A's. In one class I have a B (I know that's not bad, but I'm trying to bring it up to an A). :)
-I was voted class representative. Not a lot of stress here. I just attend the faculty meetings and bring up any topics that have been reported to me from my classmates. I was not expected to be "elected." At the VERY last second, someone through my name in there and voila! But I'm happy to serve in this capacity.
-My teachers have been great.
is awesome. He is my biggest cheerleader and support staff. ;) He is picking up WAY more around the house and with the cats. I'm not sure how I would function without him.
-Oh yes, the cats. Cleo is a spitfire. She gets into EVERYTHING. She is quickly learning what the squirtbottle is for. She picks fights with Yzma. (Poor Yzma, her nerves are on edge all of the time. Never know when this gray spit of a thing is going to attack her.) Yzma can handle her own though. She's about 3 times the size of Cleo and has learned the art of body-slamming. I really hope I can get it on video sometime. Cleo makes up for all of her trouble-making by being a real snuggle bug. It's only a problem when I'm trying to do my homework and she INSISTS on snuggling on my shoulder. It makes me a little one-handed. I would like to get a baby sling to put her in. In the mean time, I zip her up in my sweatshirt and she falls to sleep like a baby. :) It's cute.
-My weekends are spent doing school. I am averaging about 30 hours OUTSIDE of class studying/doing assignments. I try to get it all done so that I can have Sunday off, but it doesn't always happen.
-I'm learning to run. A professor from last semesters is helping me. He has run marathons in all 50 states! I am not one bit interested in running marathons, but thought running may be a good, healthy stress reliever while I'm in school. I'm scheduled for my first 5K later this month. Woohoo!
My recent ponderings: What is the point of a car alarm when everyone just ignores it?
You can check out a couple updates on Momma's condition here
Surgery went well overall, but the healing process is looooooong and pretty lousy, especially at first.
Please say a prayer for her.
Here is our "Year-End" letter for this year. I've been horrible about sending out cards this holiday (and the past couple holidays)... Wanted our friends and family to know "what's up". This version is slightly edited for the public since I'm no longer gold. Happy New Year!
Dear Friends who are our family and Family who are our friends,
Peace and blessings to each of you! I wanted to drop a note to all of you to update what’s been going on in the Wells’ lives this past year and what to expect from us this coming year. 2012 has been a year full of blessings for us as each year has been before. It has also been a year of changes for us. We our 5th wedding anniversary this past September. For those of you who “can’t believe it!”, don’t worry, neither can we!
The biggest change in our lives this year was of me returning to the world of academia! Just at the turn of 2012, I was considering it and after speaking with an advisor, the words “this is do-able” clinched the deal for me.
In order to accommodate my new school schedule, I had to make some changes in my work schedule. In August, I went from a full-time to a part-time employee at PrimeCare Medicine.I enjoy my job and love the people I work with, but it was a difficult transition to make. I am so thankful that the people I work with (including my director of nursing) have been so understanding of this change and so willing to work with me.
Dan has been my rock in all of this. He is 100% supportive of me returning to school and has made great sacrifices himself. He continues to work as production lead at BlueCotton and I am very pleased to share that he won the Character and Integrity award once again! (This award is based on recommendations of his co-workers .) He continues to let his light shine! He is unrelenting in his support for me and doing anything he can to help me through school which continues to be one of my greatest blessings.
We have unexpectedly welcomed a new furry member of the family. A little gray stray cat darted her way into our living room one cold December night. I guess she knew a cat-friendly home when she saw one! We have since had her fixed and vaccinated. Yzma has been reluctant to let her in and share her food, but slowly they are becoming accustomed to each other. We have named her Cleopatra (Cleo for short), because she is a petite, skinny short-haired cat with large ears. When she sits erect, she looks like an Egyptian cat. She seems to be appreciative of the home we have offered her and returns her thanks in purrs and cuddles. She is also very active and enjoys instigating some chase fights with Yzma!
We are so full of thanks for the blessings of 2012 and looking forward to the blessings and challenges of 2013. I will be starting the BSN nursing program later this month. Many of you know, but for those who do not, nursing school is a very intense and time-consuming endeavor. I will be in this program for 2 years (4 semesters total) and, Lord willing, will graduate in December 2014 with my degree. Unfortunately, this means I will spend more time and attention on school in the coming 2 years and less on my wonderful friends and family. There will be many events and activities I won’t be able to participate in and for that I am truly sorry. My hope is that with the completion of this stage of my life, I will have more opportunity to be involved with the lives of those I love the most.
We thank God for each of you and the role you play in our lives and pray that He will shower blessings on each of you.
When I was 4 years old, my brother and I begged and begged and begged and begged to get a puppy. So my parents let us get a cat. (We should have started with a pony! Then we could have gotten a puppy!)
Clara Belle - We went to the Humane Center and picked out a scraggly little kitten that was gray and peach and white all mixed together. We drew names out of a hat and my name got picked! Clara Belle. She was a VERY good cat. She was very gentle with me (especially since I was so little), very snuggly, and a GREAT mouser. (She also caught birds, lizards, snakes, moles....the list goes on.) When we had to move when I was almost 9, Clara couldn't go with us.
Oreo Sylvester - A couple years later I begged and begged and begged and begged for a cat again. Daddy finally relented. He even told me that having a cat was the lesser of the two evils when compared to listen to me whine about NOT having a cat. Heehee. My devious scheme worked. I wanted a black and white cat to name Oreo so we called the Humane Society. Sure enough, they had one! So we picked him up. He was a brat. Of course, my brother didn't help because he would always wrestle with him and play and fight so Oreo wasn't interested in being sweet (which is of course what I wanted in a cat). Oreo didn't last too long and went back to the Humane Society where he could find a little boy to fight and wrestle with him.
Necie Slippers and Callie Boots - I could type an entire blog for these two alone. Not long after Oreo, a woman from church called and asked if I wanted kittens; her cat just had a litter. Daddy once again relented and off we went to pick out another little fur baby. I picked out this ugly little gray and white long-haired cat and named her after my invisible friend Necie (I made up the friend, I made up the name. Just so you know, it means "Loyal companion" Yes, I made that up too.). On the way home the poor dear cried so much Momma decided we needed to get another so she wouldn't be alone. So we went back and picked out her sister and named her Callie. Callie was a good cat. She obeyed, she wasn't loud, she didn't tear stuff up and she took turns sitting and cuddling with everybody in the house. A very very good cat. But Necie. She was MY cat. Or rather, I was HER human. She picked me and claimed me. If Callie and Necie slept with me (which Necie did every night), Necie had to sleep CLOSER to me than Callie. Necie was MY cat, for sure. They weren't beautiful, but they had the prettiest tails I have ever seen. Their long fur just fanned out so pretty. Necie wasn't much to look at, but she sure thought she was! In fact, Momma called her Queenie. I trained them to go outside on a leash. I would tie them up in the yard and let them pounce on bugs and such. They thought they were hot stuff. Necie got so used to the leash that I would take her for a walk up and down the sidewalk on a leash. I mean, c'mon, that's cute. She wanted to be with me so much that she would even go with me when I roller-bladed in the neighborhood. Mom has pictures. After I started with some health problems, some arrogant, stuffy, know-it-all doctor thought for SURE that I was allergic to cats and that was the source of my whole problem. Even though I did not react after THREE allergy tests, he declared that I was allergic to dust mites which grew on cat dander and the cats must go.
One of the biggest heartbreaks of my life.
Mocha Naomi - A woman from church so graciously hired me to come feed her cats when she was away. I loved the job of course and her kitty had just had a litter of kittens! How fun! She offered me one and I took the little one that looked like a Himalayan. She was a tan color with brown ears and feet and the most beautiful blue eyes. She was very gentle so I thought she was a good match. However, turns out she was just anti-social. She wouldn't snuggle with me and just wanted to sit high on something and watch. No touch. So she went to the Humane Society and the woman working there took her home that day!
Zane Gray - One day my Daddy stuck his head in the front door and said, "Shawnee, there is something out here that is in your department!" Sure enough, there was a little gray poof-ball that I assumed was a kitten. He was no bigger than a minute acting all sorts of weird. Turns out, he was being eaten alive by fleas! He was too small to even eat cat food. We had to soak the cat food in water and he would lap up the broth from it. We called the vet who said that he was too small for flea medicine, it could kill him! but if he didn't try it, he would die from the fleas anyway. So we tried it. Within 10 minutes the fleas started falling off of him dead and the poor baby got sleep for possibly the first time in his life. This little gray puff grew... and grew... and grew! By the time he was full grown, he was GINORMOUS! He would sleep with me every night and when he laid down, he'd reach his paw up to my ear and his back paws were at my knees. He was definitely a one-person cat and I was his Human. In fact, he was quite jealous of my mother. He bit her as often as he could no matter how hard he got whipped for it. But this time I had to leave him. I moved to Bowling Green to start a new stage of my life and had to leave Zanie there. I thought with me gone, he would make up to Momma, but he never did. He also got taken to the Humane Society where the woman working took him right home. He had this special love of being carried around on your shoulder. I did it so much with him when he was a baby and he never out-grew it. The woman working was so impressed with that she took him on the spot!
Zeke - I don't think I gave him a middle name. Another stray that came to the house while we still had Zane. In fact, they looked like they could have been brothers, but Zeke was a little smaller and had longer hair. He was almost like those ragdoll cats, you pick him up and he'd go limp. He was very well tempered. Even though Zane didn't much care for sharing space, he did "tolerate" Zeke but mostly Zane slept UP on things and Zeke slept UNDERNEATH them. Just before I moved, a family from church took Zeke to be their barn cat. The 3 year old carried Zeke EVERYWHERE and he never offered to scratch or fuss. It was a good match.
Lola Mina and Chloe - Sadly, I can't remember Chloe's middle name now. When I got married, I resigned myself to never have another cat because my husband sadly was allergic. I would rather have him allergy free than to ever have another cat ever again. And yet, in his kind heart, he found a way for me to have a cat... or two. We were living at "The Trailer" in what I like to refer to as Bovine Estates and we had a mouse problem. The landlord said we could get a cat to help control it. Now, I never ONCE asked for this - Dan in all his goodness came up with this and saw to it. Our good friends Kevin and Rebecca just had a litter so they had some ready kittens for us. We took two sisters, Lola and Chloe. Lola was a brown/gray striped tabby and Chloe was solid black. They were good kittens, but Lola was VERY loud and VERY gassy. One time while we were gone on vacation, Chloe got killed on the busy road. Very sad, but in my heart I was prepared for it. (The Landlord told us - if you get a cat, don't be surprised if it gets killed on the road. I had braced myself for that.)
Yzma Cat - Lame middle name, I know. But hear me out. One of the doctors I worked for BEGGED me to take a kitten off her hands. A 3rd cat? (This was before Chloe died.) Definitely not. But Dan was game so we picked her up. She cried alllllllllll the way home and then hissed and hissed and hissed and hissed at the other two cats. (We named her Yzma since she wasn't a really "nice" cat.) Ugh. It was awful! For a WEEK! I told Dan, this isn't going to work, I'll take her back to the doctor. He said, "Nah, let's give it another week." Sure enough, in one more week, they began tolerated each other. They were never really lovey, but Lola put up with her more after Chloe died. When we moved to our house, Lola ran away not to be seen of again..... Until 9 months later when she showed up at my door. I only had a few little minutes with her, but it meant so much to me to know that she was ok, well fed, and generally healthy. She obviously had found a new home. It was quite the blessing to know she was ok. Yzma stuck around and got fat and lazy. She still is. And she is spoiled rotten. We call her puppy cat because when she was a kitten she played fetch. No joke. You throw the mouse and she will return it back to you. A HUNDRED TIMES OVER. She also came when called. She still greets me at the door each time I walk in. She always knows when I'm sick and will cuddle with me on the couch. This is big because she's not a great cuddler or a lap cat. She was by herself too much as a baby.
Which brings me to my last point:
Cleopatra? Maybe. Cleo? I like that better. No name has been decided and we're not even sure if that's going to be her name...or if she'll still be there when I get home. But last night I heard a frantic cry at my door. Expecting to see Yzma, I was shocked to see a gray rodent that jumped up into my house. It wasn't really a rodent, it was a starving cat. Nothing but gray fur on a skeleton. She ate and ate and ate like she hadn't had a meal in days. She was not afraid of us at all and quite friendly. She jumped right up on Dan's chest and gave him a nose rub! Then curled into a ball in my lap and fell asleep. I think she has tummy problems - and of course I don't know what else. I plan to take her to the vet today to have her checked out. Yzma is not fond of sharing her space after being the solo cat for 2.5 years. There may be an adjustment period there. I don't know what her story is or what her future holds, but somehow, God knew there was a hungry cat and that I couldn't say no. Dan refused to let her be outside (25* last night!) and made her a bed and a litter in the garage. I'm hoping to plump her up and maybe she can grow a winter coat so she can play outside too. She's a dark gray with some stripes and HUGE ears. This reminded us of the Egyptian cats which led to the name Cleopatra, or Cleo for short.
No need to mention that I don't have time to run to the vet and field off cat stand offs, etc.... Somehow it will work out. :)