Monday, December 20, 2010

Morrison Christmas Letter 2010

It's a convenient thing that I write a nice long Christmas letter. I haven't updated the blog in over a year, but the letter provides a quick recap. Maybe I'll blog more frequently over 2011. Maybe not. I have lots of knitting to do, and knitting, it turns out, is just so much more productively tangibly satisfying than blogging.

Dear Family and Friends,
I sit here to begin this letter with a full cup of coffee… Cut! No, not really; I drank half of it while checking e-mail and Facebook and making a couple of phone calls and texting a Navy co-worker. This reminds me that it is so easy to let the little busy things in life distract us from greater callings and blessings. We send this letter with hopes for a restful, reflective Christmas season.

Matt continues to work with Vann Pumping Systems; the company was nearly sold in November, but that hasn’t happened yet, so he still has his job. He worked occasionally at Breckenridge Village, something he’s done for years. Those occasional weekends find the rest of the family accompanying Matt and an entourage of special-needs adults to Subway, Walmart and other fun and exciting places. Matt continues to enjoy taking care of the house and yard; he recently converted to completely organic lawn care and is convinced this is why our grass is greener than the neighbors'. He’s excited about an Intro to Logic class he will be starting online through the Mises Institute in January. He’s currently reading How to Argue and Win Every Time, Spence (editorial comment from E – Should I be worried?), The Hunt for Red October, Clancy, Thinking as a Science, Hazlitt, and Principles of Logic, Joyce.

Elisa started working part-time at Bethesda Health Clinic in April. She loves providing healthcare in a caring, Christ-centered environment, and really enjoys spending time with her co-workers. In May, she spent two weeks in Nicaragua with the Navy Reserve on a goodwill-building mission to provide basic medical care in several small villages. Your taxpayer dollars at work! As part of the yard renovation project, she recently helped Matt plant 20 holly bushes to provide a screen in the back yard. In her spare time, Elisa knits, browses patterns and yarn online and in stores, and thinks about new knitting projects. Elisa’s currently reading The City of Falling Angels, Berendt, the book of Genesis (getting a head start on reading through the Bible this year) and is looking forward to starting Teaching the Trivium, Bluedorn.

Ethan is busy all the time, and it appears that the longer he’s left alone, the more creative he gets with his use of time. He and Noah attend First Christian Church Mother’s Day Out two days a week. His big accomplishments for the year were potty training (oh, wait, that might be one of Mommy and Daddy’s big accomplishments) and really improving in coloring skills, counting, singing the alphabet, negotiating, and picking up toys (again, these last two might be better categorized under What Makes Mommy and Daddy So Tired All the Time). He will be four in January. His favorite color is pink, and his favorite book is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Willems.

Noah also made great strides this year, literally. He started physical therapy and speech therapy 6 months ago, because at 15 months he wasn’t walking, crawling, pushing up to a sit, or talking much. He is now crawling on his own and walking with help, and while he doesn’t say much, the words he says are important ones. Chocolate, for instance. He says that quite well. Nothing like motivation to get you spitting out three-syllable words at 21 months. His favorite color (according to Ethan) is green, and his favorite books have to do with trucks and animal sounds.

We’ll close with an invitation to drop by any time you’re in East Texas. Our house may be messy (I can pretty much assure it if you drop by unannounced), but our arms are open.

Wishing you Peace and Joy, Matt, Elisa, Ethan and Noah Morrison

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blast from the Past

April 16, 1999
(excerpts from my journal entry, from back in the day when I kept a journal)

"I kind of wish I could just go to sleep and this would all be over... While I'm wishing, I might as well wish the really impossible: I wish I knew what the next ten years would hold for me either way... or, that I could turn the clock back just a year. People who are really wise and think things through always say they wouldn't go back, wouldn't change the past if they could..."

Ten years later: I had no clue. NO clue what the next ten years would hold. (Probably a good thing. I get fatigued just thinking about it now. I'd have probably opted for something less... exhausting.) I went to Honduras, spent more time in Mexico, helped my parents move from Pennsylvania to Texas, lived in Dallas for a while, then moved to Tyler to start nursing school. Near the end of nursing school, I met Matt. After graduation, I worked in L&D, joined the Navy as a reserve officer, bought a house, married, had beautiful children, kept going to nursing school, and finally finished a Master's. Yesterday, I passed my certification exam, and am DONE with school, at least for now. Still happily married to Matt and still happy in nursing.

I would have been shocked then to see things turn out like they are now. Incidentally, that journal only had two pages written in it. I cut them out, and the journal's much better for it. And no, I would never, ever turn the clock back (if I could) knowing what I know now about myself and life and love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Not Much Going on Here...

I've been unmotivated to post for a while; may be finishing school and the general feeling of relief has something to do with it. I've started knitting a pair of socks (below), am still working on a sweater from last year (I knew it was a good idea to start early!) and reading some light fiction.

I'm also wasting a bunch of resume paper by printing maps on it, because I invariably forget to switch out the paper after printing an extra copy of the resume (just in case!) before printing out the map on the way to an interview. Maybe if I did these things in advance, I wouldn't have this problem. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Few More Happy Words

I'm loving the fact that Ethan demonstrates advanced verbal skills, but in an amazing stroke of irony, I also love the fact that he pronounces some words like a two-year-old:

canaloper = can opener

gunder = thunder

blana = banana

shrubble = shovel

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Happier Post

My last post was a little cynical, even for me. Here are some things (little and big) that I'm currently happy about:

I finally remembered to use my last 42 cent stamp (and had a matching stamp to go with it).

Ethan sleeps on a little mini pillow that was Matt's as a child.

I've got a meal plan for the week, and a very short grocery list.

Matt's dad came and cut up the limb that fell on our house, determined there was no roof damage, and also got all the little branches off the roof. Also, it's rained twice with no leaks that I can tell.

I got my first job offer.

I'm within three weeks of BEING DONE WITH SCHOOL for a very long time.

I got my orders put in for annual training.

Matt bought a huge bag of peanut M&M's the last time he went to the store.

Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spicy Tortilla Soup

This is a super-easy soup recipe. It's a variation on ten-can soup that I found online, but I changed it so drastically that I had to type it up immediately so I wouldn't forget.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can chicken broth
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 large can chicken, drained
1 small can chopped green chiles

6 corn tortillas
oil for frying
avocado slices
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream

Pour all cans into a large saucepan, stir and heat. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Slice the corn tortillas into long thin strips. Fry until crisp. Drain, and set aside.

Garnish the soup with the tortilla strips, avocado slices, sour cream and/or grated cheese. Be careful! It is spicy. Serves 6.

Please note I didn't say "super-healthy". To make it more heart-friendly (only nurses use terms like that on blogs), substitute low-sodium soup, homemade chicken broth, chopped cooked chicken breast, cooked dried pintos and black beans, and fresh corn. Cut the cheese and sour cream, and skip the step where it says to cut and fry the tortillas. Serve with warm (whole) tortillas, and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Does This Lab Jacket Make My Butt Look Fat?

A quick update on what I'm doing lately: finishing school requires a 360-hour practicum. This means long work weeks doing 9-10 hour days. I've worked with Ellen, ANP, Shana, CPNP-PC/AC, Dr. English and Dr. King. I've enjoyed the experience a lot, and it's challenging as well. A definite highlight: the patient who was taking her sister's amitriptyline (an antidepressant) for her high blood pressure, and it was working wonderfully! Her blood pressure had never been better!

I'd appreciate prayer for the job search, and for the record, I'm pretty sure the lab jacket does make my butt look fat, but it's a security blanket sort of thing, and it's got great pockets, so I'll keep wearing it. Also, I have decided that the whole experience would be better if I could get my hands on some amitriptyline as well, so if you have any you don't want, send it my way. ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bookstore Bliss

I just did something I never do. I bought a brand new book at the bookstore. Other than textbooks, I can't remember the last time I paid full price for a book. I did not go home to see if I could get it cheaper on Amazon. I didn't look on e-Bay. I didn't wait for it to go on sale, did not pass Go, and did not collect $100. And you know what? I couldn't be happier about it. I would have paid $30 for that book, and when I got to the cash register with my exciting splurge, it was way less. On sale, and I didn't even know it. I love you, B&N.

In other exciting bookstore news, while I was there (out without the kiddos), I managed to find an empty armchair, and read this book

almost all the way through. It helps that the print is about 36 points... like you could read it from across the room if necessary. It was an excellent book, the sort of thing that new parenting classes should include, because taking beautiful pictures of your children is just as rewarding as... I don't know... having a clean living room, and much easier. When you have kids, that is.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Babywearing Project

I recently made a Moby-wrap style baby carrier, although, "made" might be stretching it a bit. I've wanted to try one of these for a while, so found some online instructions. Turns out, this is a piece of knit fabric, 20" by 5'. That's it. I cut five feet of fabric. No hemming or anything. The trick was learning to wrap it. Incidentally, the fabric piece I bought would make two more, so if you want one, comment or e-mail, and I will send you one (to the first two commenters only). :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reading Material for Nursing Moms

During my last postpartum period (which is a nice medical euphemism for "the emotional roller coaster of psychotic sleep deprivation mixed with incredible joy"), I occasionally wrote posts on what I was reading at the time. Currently I'm reading

The Christmas Sweaterby Glenn Beck
The Wall Street Journal
World Magazine
and I'm about to start
Scarpettaby Patricia Cornwell

I was thinking today about one of the books I read while nursing two years ago. It was a book intended, I think, to be hip and trendy and "insightful" all at once. Unfortunately, this is the sort of intention that often fails. In any case, it was set in New York City; I remembered one character who was cheating on his wife when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. In that moment of clarity (or horror, or whatever the author was getting at), the man left his mistress alone in her apartment and headed home to his wife, the point being that in moments of clarity (or horror), we act out our true character. I didn't think much about it at the time, but it occurred to me today that the author got it wrong. We act out our true character every day, on a daily basis, doing the mundane and not-so-mundane things we do. It is a nice fiction, appropriate for movies and chick lit, that in moments of horror, who we really are will somehow be better than who we really have been.