Life's What You Make It!

This blog is designed to keep you up-to-date on our familiy's adventures!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Gravens Conference

The Sheraton Sand Key resort where we stayed

Why does it always have to rain?

The view from our room

The pool

Enjoying lunch at Crabby Bill's. They had the best grouper sandwiches!

Our conference room

Clearwater Beach

I just love palm trees!

The three of us from work

Footprints in the sand

A beautiful sunset

Corey and I by the pool

A view of our resort from the beach

Creme Brulee!!!

Rebecca finally got Corey to smile!

Our view from the Iguana Bar & Grill on our last day

Enjoying lunch by the gulf

Homemade ice cream

We learned to never bring ice cream to the beach or you will be attacked by seagulls!

The pier

Well, I just got back from Florida!  Ever since Corey and I went to Fort Meyer's Beach last April, I fell in love with Florida and have been wishing I could go back. So, when the opportunity arose to attend the 24th Annual Gravens Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida, I jumped at the chance!

This conference was started by Dr. Stanley Graven--a leader in neonatology and developmental care of newborns. Dr. Graven is famous for pushing the creation of neonatal intensive care units in hospitals across the country and continues to be a tremendous advocate for developmentally appropriate, family-centered care. He is now in his 80's (I believe) and still conducts research and participates in conferences. It was fun to meet him and hear his stories about the days when parents were not allowed back into NICUs and physicians would give paralyzing drugs to babies and perform surgical procedures without any pain medication. We have definitely come a long way!! It was a full four-day conference attended by people from Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Italy and throughout the United States. I attended seminars on kangaroo care, family-centered care, NICU design, infant touch and massage, and infant nutrition. I learned so much that I can't wait to bring back and use to improve our NICU and my own individual practice.

The first day we arrived, there was a severe thunderstorm and winds! Nice! And although the weather was in the 60's and 70's, it was windy and chilly the first couple of days. Oh well! It was warmer than Minnesota and there was NO SNOW!!!!

I was so excited that Corey got to go with me. I also went with two colleagues from work and one of their husbands. Corey laid out on the beach or by the pool and slept and relaxed while I was at conferences during the day and then we had our nights free to sight see and spend time together.We spent time walking along the beach, visiting the pier, shopping, and eating out (a lot)! We ate at some absolutely fabulous restaurants! We tried Cuban food at a place called Columbia's, enjoyed fresh seafood at almost every meal, and had an amazing creme brulee dessert at an Italian restaurant called Cesar's On the Beach. I had so much fun and I'm already planning our next trip to Florida!

Now, today, back to snow and cold and shoveling the driveway....Sigh!! Only 6 weeks until vacation!!!

Kids~~ they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music

Taya had her first dance competition of the season on January 23rd at St. Cloud State University. Her dance team competed with their kick routine against six other dance teams from throughout the state. The girls did such an awesome job! They really nailed their routine! Taya's team took second place! Way to go girls! Taya was initially a little disappointed they didn't win first, then decided second was better because the ribbon matched her uniform!

Chloe's Party

We had Chloe's birthday party January 15th. I was so excited that she picked out an Eclipse cake! You can never have too much Edward! (Actually, her first choice was Justin Beiber but, luckily, they didn't have that design.) Chloe had so much fun playing with Jackie, Maggie, Molly, and Gavin (aka boyfriend).

And, yes...I still have the Christmas tree up. It actually has become a tradition that we leave all the x-mas decorations up until after Chloe's party. She likes to have her birthday presents put under the tree.  Happy, happy birthday Chloe! I hope you had a great day and a great party!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life's truest happiness is found in friendships we make along the way

Hmm...nurses on the Children's Center seem to have a preference for good-looking, bald men

Change is hard for me. I know that it is inevitable, and that change is the only constant, and so on and so forth. However, I don't particularily enjoy change even when it is for the better. Change always means making adjustments and feeling a little uncomfortable and even scared.

Friday, we had Tracy's going-away party at Granite City. She is leaving St. Cloud Hospital for a new job in Maple Grove. I know it was a hard decision for her to leave, but hopefully the hours will be better for her kiddos and her family. So...we gathered to say goodbye. It was a great turn-out even though the weather was pretty awful.

Even though it seemed like we didn't work together all that much, I will miss working with you Tracy. You were my first friend when I made a change and moved to St. Cloud and started a new job. I will miss seeing you in passing as one of us comes and the other leaves, miss coming into work to see Kristin Hurlbut written on the assignment board back in the NICU, miss you giving me a hard time about all my meetings, and miss your cackling laugh when you find something particularily funny! But, don't think you're getting rid of me that easy. I plan on vacationing together at the condo when we're both retired!!!   

Don't forget about us St. Cloud folk Tracy (even though we shop at Crossroads and not Arbor Lakes)!! We will miss you! Good luck! Talk to you soon!

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.