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Category: Life

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 12/2/19 – The Jesse Tree Advent

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Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat!

Today I’m talking about our family’s tradition of doing the Jesse Tree Advent. If you would like to purchase the book I was talking about, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/2RbrKUx

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Nurses Are The Rockstars

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When I was 29 weeks pregnant with my son Scott, I started having contractions that would not go away. Eventually, I asked my husband to take me to the Labor and Delivery at my hospital. The triage nurse put the blood pressure cuff on my arm and my contractions left, never to return. My blood pressure was super scary high. High enough that they admitted me that night and I stayed in the prenatal ward of the hospital for the next ten days.

In that timeframe, the people who cared for me hour by hour were the nurses. They communicated with me, encouraged me, ministered to me. They relayed information to the doctor and back to me.

I saw my doctor every morning for about five minutes. The rest of my care belonged to the nurses.

After ten days, my body started crashing and Scott’s body started crashing and it became a race to see who the doctor could save first. I don’t think both of us were expected to actually survive the day.  While the doctor made surgical arrangements, one of my nurses came into my room.

She tried to talk to me but was overcome with emotion and just patted my shoulder and cried. I was really concerned for her, so I asked her if I could pray for her and she just started crying harder.

I had an emergency C-section a couple hours later. A nurse held my hand and walked me through the spinal block, making sure I stayed still and calm. She actually had me bent over her, hugging her while the anesthesiologist worked. I will honestly never forget how steadfast she was, how calm, how reassuring.

Once Scott was born, I was put into ICU. But, they’d given me magnesium, and I’ve learned that magnesium turns normally stoic Hallee into a very emotional Hallee. I was hyper, upset, frantic about my 3 pound baby. Finally, a nurse came up to me and grabbed both of my cheeks in her strong hands and put her face close to mine. “Your baby is fine. You are not. If you don’t calm down and trust us to take care of him, you’re going to die.”

I believe very sincerely that she saved my life.

During the next two weeks, we only ever talked to nurses in the NICU. We never saw the doctor. He never talked to us. He was present in the NICU, but wouldn’t come around when the parents were in the rooms. I thought that was very funny. But, we talked to the nurses all the time. My stoicness had returned, and I got to know the nurses caring for our little 3-pounder as if sitting next to them in a coffee shop. I wasn’t the panicked mom who needed reassurance. I was the calm mom who needed information as plainly as possible so that I could process it. They got that. They never condescended to me.  They never made me feel like I should be something or some way that I wasn’t. They just loved on Scott like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Two weeks later, we were transferred out of the NICU and into a room in the PICU. This was wonderful for us because I could room in the PICU with Scott instead of having to go home. The nurses in the PICU were fantastic. They’d come into my room in the middle of the night and watch television with me, hang with me, chat with me. They made me feel REALLY OKAY about our circumstances, almost as if what we were experiencing was normal.

Again, the entire time in the PICU, I did not talk to the doctor except during rounds. I don’t even know if was the same doctor that we had in the NICU or not.

I realize the doctors gave all the orders in these almost six weeks of hospital stay. I’m sure a doctor gave the order to admit me. I know my doctor was on top of my health and well-being during my prenatal stay and that he rocked the surgery and saved us both. I know a doctor gave orders and instructions during the NICU and PICU stays.

However, the rock stars were the nurses. They were the ones in the spotlight, being the face to me of  mine and our baby’s life-giving care. They never faltered. They never wavered. They never acted like the point of their 12-hour shift was a paycheck at the end of the week. Every nurse made me feel important, cherished, a joy to care for and to know.

I will never forget the nurses who were there for us during this unfathomable time. I am so in awe of what nurses do and the way God gifts them to do it. I am overwhelmed at the care that pours out of nurses day after day.

Love on nurses this week. They have so earned it.

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 4/8/19 – Intimacy and Passion in Writing

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Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Today I’m answering the question, “You include a lot of passion in your books, how do you find the balance between passion, intimacy, and crossing the line in your writing?”

I love questions like this! I hope you learn more about me through my response:


halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Daniel Fast Menu Week 3

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The Daniel Fast is explained in detail in this post. Basically, it’s vegan extreme — only fruits and vegetables to eat, only water to drink. We consider whole grains allowable, which is why I’m serving brown rice and homemade crackers, oatmeal, and muesli. Our family also fasts from leavened bread while doing a Daniel Fast.

With this kind of diet and fasting, it’s important to menu plan. Here is my plan for week three:

Jan 16 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie Baked acorn squash

Grilled vegetables

Salad

Vegetable stir fry

Edamame

Brown rice

Jan 17 Fresh fruit

Raw almonds

Veggie wrap in homemade tortilla

Chips and salsa

Mushroom and asparagus risotto

Salad

Jan 18 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Vegetable soup

Homemade crackers

Sweet potato and black bean hash

Salad

Jan 19 Muesli with unsweetened coconut milk Leftover soup Vegetarian spaghetti sauce over whole wheat noodles

Salad

Jan 20 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie Baked sweet potato

Steamed broccoli

Salad with sunflower seeds

Roasted portabella mushrooms and veggies over brown rice

Salad

Jan 21 Fresh fruit

Raw almonds

Tortillas with pinto beans and guacamole Ratatouille

Brown rice

Salad

Jan 22 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Spinach and strawberry salad

Chips and hummus

Taco dinner – pinto  beans, Brown rice, homemade tortillas, guacamole

 

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Daniel Fast Menu Week 2

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The Daniel Fast is explained in detail in this post. Basically, it’s vegan extreme — only fruits and vegetables to eat, only water to drink. We consider whole grains allowable, which is why I’m serving brown rice and homemade crackers, oatmeal, and muesli. Our family also fasts from leavened bread while doing a Daniel Fast.

With this kind of diet and fasting, it’s important to menu plan. Here is my plan for week two:

Jan 10 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Tomato, kale, and lentil soup

Salad

16-bean soup

Salad

Jan 11 Muesli with unsweetened coconut milk Leftover soup

Salad

Falafel

Hummus

Salad

Jan 12 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie  Chips and hummus

Salad

Chickpea and butternut tagine over cous cous
Jan 13 Fresh fruit

Raw almonds

Baked sweet potato

Salad with sunflower seeds

Pink beans

Brown rice

Fried cabbage

Steamed veggies

Jan 14 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Sautéed veggies over brown rice

Salad

Vegetarian chili

Salad

Jan 15 Muesli with unsweetened coconut milk Baked potato topped with leftover chili and guacamole

Salad

Grilled Portabella mushrooms, onions, and peppers over brown rice

Salad

Jan 16 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie Baked acorn squash

Grilled vegetables

Salad

Vegetable stir fry

Edamame

Brown rice

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Daniel Fast Menu Week One

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The Daniel Fast is explained in detail in this post. Basically, it’s vegan extreme — only fruits and vegetables to eat, only water to drink. We consider whole grains allowable, which is why I’m serving brown rice and homemade crackers, oatmeal, and muesli. Our family also fasts from leavened bread while doing a Daniel Fast.

With this kind of diet and fasting, it’s important to menu plan. Here is my plan for week one:

  BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
 Jan 2 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Salad with sunflower seeds

Chips and hummus

Vegetable soup

Homemade crackers

Jan 3 Muesli with unsweetened coconut milk Leftover vegetable soup Falafel

Hummus

Salad

Jan 4 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie Apples with unsweetened almond butter

Salad

Pink beans

Brown rice

Fried cabbage

Steamed veggies

Jan 5 Fresh fruit

Raw almonds

Leftover beans and rice

Salad

Tortilla soup

Salad

Jan 6 Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts Baked sweet potato

Steamed broccoli

Salad with sunflower seeds

Sautéed veggies and mushrooms

Brown rice

Salad

Jan 7 Muesli with unsweetened coconut milk Homemade tomato soup

Salad

Sweet potato and black bean hash

steamed vegetables

Salad

Jan 8 Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut , cashews smoothie Baked potato topped with pinto beans cooked in chili spiced tomato sauce Taco dinner – black beans, Brown rice, homemade tortillas, guacamole
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