January Hit & Misses

I can't believe January is almost over!!!!
This month went by soooo fast!
Here are my Hits & Misses for January!
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Wardrobe Wednesday!

Shirt: Dots
Scarf: Gabriel Bothers
If you like my Wardrobe Wednesday posts, then go on over to The All My Love Blog and check out what Lyndsay wears on Wednesdays too!

DIY Valentines Day Wreath

Valentines Day is coming up, so I went up to my attic to find some decorations. That's when I realized I have none!!! I have either lost them in our many moves, or given them away. I realized, the only ones I really have are Christmas and the Fall Wreath I made back in Fall of 2012! So anyways, I went to some stores and bought all the materials I needed.

  • Wreath: AC Moore
  • Valentines sign: AC Moore
  • Bow & Ribbon: AC Moore
  • Heart Picks: Dollar Tree
It was super easy, this is what I did:
I simply attached the bow where I thought it would look good. Then, I placed the ribbon around the wreath.

Next, I place the picks in where I thought would look nice. (The picks are long, I broke them in half before placing them in.)

Last, I attached the Valentines Day sign and hung it! It only took about 5 min! If I notice anything coming loose, I will probably hot glue it into place. 
Now that I am out of school, and I have the time to do cute and creative things, I am a craft-aholic! Stay tuned next month for my St. Patrick's Day wreath...

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 8

Casey had a PFT this afternoon and it was up from 24% to 27%!!! Her doctors are happy about that. They want to get a good dose of the IV Colistin in her which would be two and a half to three weeks so on Monday the 3rd she will get to come home!!! Then on the 6th she will have her UPMC appointment! 
Casey received a thoughtful card from our cousin Shannon , her husband Chuck and baby Wyatt! That brightend her day :)
She also got a package from her friends, Aaden, his mom Amanda and Marc! 
Aaden sent her a stuffed Dalmatian named Hannah. He also got a smaller one so they could match and named his Hydrant! This put a smile on her face. So thoughtful for a 4 year old. :)

How adorable is that!?!?!

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 7

Casey got a surprise visit today from dad and me!! And her baby Hemi! We went ahead and braved the snow. We also took some goodies up to her from our family and friends. Casey said that her friend Brad stopped again yesterday and they played a game of Monopoly that Tom got her. They didn't play the entire game but left off with brad winning. 
Our Aunt Rhena and Uncle Steve sent her these goodies! Made Casey Jo a shirt and light jacket with a little stuffed Italian Greyhound, candies and a card game!!

Our grandpa Dale sent up a head rest, candy and a card game!

Our cousin Zach, his wife Laticia and their daughter Kynlee sent cozy socks, an Etch A Sketch, coloring book & crayons, Chapstick, cards, gum and search a word!!

Her best friends from her former work place, Deena and Patty, sent coloring books, an activity book, crayons and a bracket making kit!!! 

Casey Jo is such a kid at heart!!!! 
Here are a few pictures of Hemi, myself and our dad while we were there today!

I Graduated... Again... For The Second Time!

Thursday was a special day for me.
I graduated from college...again...for the second time.
The first time around I went to school, I went into the Early Childhood program to be a preschool teacher.  Once I had my first job, I realized it wasn't for me.  It was fun, but just not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  So I went back to school when I moved to Texas. It didn't last long.  They never did tell me if any of my transcripts were ever going to transfer, and I really didn't like my professor.  I felt like he was trying to set the whole class up to fail.  I just felt like something wasn't right and that school wasn't for me. Once N & I moved to West Virginia, I started looking for schools. 
About five years before, I actually went through a certification program for phlebotomy. I really enjoyed drawing blood in hospitals & labs. It was good enough for me at the time.  In one of the labs I worked in, I made a friend with one of the laboratory technicians named Misty.  She was the sweetest person ever.  She would take the time to show me different cells, and talk to me about all the things she did in the lab.  She encouraged me to go back to school for it, but I never thought I was smart enough to do it. So when N & I found a house and moved across the border to Pennsylvania, I decided to find a school in PA that had a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program. I decided on Laurel Business Institute.  They had an 18 month Associates degree program.  Awesome! Better than a regular college because I could graduate six month earlier than I would a regular college!!! I was sooo nervous on my first day! I really struggled at first, because I didn't know if I could really do it! It was hard, and that is not an understatement!!!
Mrs. B, Me & Mrs.G
 I had some wonderful instructors along the way! These ladies truly care about each & every one of their students!
 Mrs.G & Me
Mrs. G was my main instructor...I had her for the majority of my classes.  I was so scared at first. She was strict, but that was for the best.  None of us wanted to disappoint her.  We all had so much respect for her. This woman believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. Because of the way she taught, I felt like we got a way better education than any other school I could have gone to.  I felt like we were very prepared once we hit internship. We all put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into these classes...no pun intended! Not only did we work super hard on the classwork, but we had to take each other's blood to practice certain tests...and let me tell you, nothing makes you sweat more than taking your instructor's and classmates' blood! I will be honest, this program really takes dedication.  It is hard because we had multiple tests weekly.  You have two years worth of information crammed into 18 months...I won't lie, there were days I just felt so overwhelmed I cried! Overall, my class became super close.  Not only did we spend every single day together, but all of us were overcoming personal obstacals along the way.
Some of the lovely ladies I got the chance to know, and learn with...great group of girls!

 Marisa & I
I honestly don't know what I would have done without M. She was my best friend throughout the whole process! When I was having problems understanding things, this was my girl! She was always there for me...And she was our Valedictorian!!!
Me Carly & Marisa

Brownie, Casey Jo & Me
I had such a great family supporting me along the way...especially my sister Casey Jo.  Casey helped me study for so many tests!!! It really sucked that she couldn't be there in person to see it.  However, my friend Brownie came up and face timed my sister so she could watch the whole thing! So in a way, she was still there.

My Daddy & I
I was so lucky to have my family be able to come up and watch me walk across the stage. I was worried about them all coming up for it, because it had been snowing and it was a 3 hour drive from my hometown.

Me with my Grandparents

Hubs & Me
I still can't believe I did it! This program was not easy by any means! You couldn't take your time or retake any tests.  It was very rushed, and lots of information was crammed in such a short amount of time.  I came from having no confidence in myself to graduating with high honors! I was even nominated for student of the month and said the invocation at the graduation!
This is my now my profession.
This has made me wonder about all the other lovely bloggers...What do you do?
What does the person behind the blog do for a living?
Please comment below on what your profession is...
I think this will be very interesting!

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 6

Casey had a barium study this morning which took a few hours. She had to drink two bottles of the barium and then tech took some X-rays. Haven't heard the results yet. After that was over, they hooked her up to an IV of iron. Blood tests showed her iron levels were low so they decided IV iron would be the best way to go. That took 3 hours! 
Her friend brad came up to visit her today! They had a nice afternoon. 

She also got another package today!!!! A box of chocolate covered Oreos from her friends Alex and Amanda!!! A few are missing ;)

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 5

The results to Casey's emptying study we're normal. Which is good but she was hoping to have an answer as to why she has no appetite. 
She is feeling better!!! She went for a walk down to the cafeteria and down a long hall way without having to sit and rest! She will have another PFT (pulmonary function test) sometime tomorrow. 
She had a very good friend, Tom, come and visit today! She said her cheeks still hurt from laughing and smiling so much!! He also brought her a Monopoly game to pass the time!
Casey Jo and Tom!

Wardrobe Wednesday!

Sorry this picture isn't as nice as my usual Wardrobe Wednesday pics, but I was in a rush today!

Dress: Kardashian Kollection
This is originally $79 and I got it on sale at Sears for $21!

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 4

Casey had her stomach emptying test done this morning. It's very boring and long test. She had to eat radioactive eggs at about 9:00am then stand with her belly towards the X-ray machine for 1 minute and then another minute with her back toward the X-ray machine. Then she got to sit and watch tv/play on her phone for an hour then X-rays again at ten, eleven, noon and one o'clock. So it takes 4 hours-boring but easy! She doesn't know the results at this time but probably tomorrow. 
She had a visitor come talk to her about transplant! The visitor herself had/has Cystic Fibrosis and has had a lung transplant! So she and her mom got to talk and ask questions and really enjoyed the evening. Casey received a willow angel from her visitor also! So thoughtful!

Casey also got a goodies package from one of her best friends, Christy, her husband and son!!! Lots of cool stuff! She was very excited!

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments, prayers & concerns. :)

Casey Jo Hospital Update # 3

Not much has gone on for Casey these last few days. Still running the IVs and trying to get better! She said she feels better than when she first came in! Still no exact date on when she'll get out though. 
She has a stomach emptying test tomorrow morning so hopefully she'll get some answers as to why she has no appetite. 

Casey had a nice surprise from her cousins Dalye, Peach, Kolten and Kade!!!! 

Casey Jo Hospital Update #2

Casey had a few visitors today! Her dad, her grandma, her dog, and myself! She said she had a wonderful day and even her nurse noticed she was in a better mood and smiling! She received balloons and a bunny from our cousin Becky and Whitney and flowers and a bear from her friend Shannon in Florida today!
Everything is still the same with her meds and they are going well so far. They talked about doing a stomach emptying test next week to see if her stomach is digesting food correctly/timely. Maybe we'll get some answers of why she's never hungry!

Here are the flowers and bear!

The balloon arrangement 

Hemi looking Dapper in his little bow tie. 

And here are a few of Mr. Handsome-Hemi :)
Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!!!!!!!! 

Casey Jo Hospital Update #1

Well, Casey Jo is in the hospital again. She had a follow up appointment on January 15th to see how she was doing after getting off IVs in December. Casey called her nurse a couple days before her appointment to let them know she wasn't feeling any better and they said to pack her bags. Her PFT's were down from 27% to 24%. She did gain 2lbs from last visit though!!!
On Wednesday they had to put in a normal IV because the PICC team could not fit her in on the schedule. They had to run the IVs very slow to not blow/burn the vein but at one point her arm started to burn inside so they had to run them even slower. Thursday, the PICC team came and got the PICC line in with only two attempts. She is on 3 IV meds. Vancomycin is every 12 hours with Benadryl because of her reaction, Zosyn is every 6 hours and they put her on an IV she's never been on called Colistin which is every 8 hours. Since she is on Colistin, she has to stay in the hospital the whole time.  She can't go home on IVs like in the past. Colistin can have a severe reaction of respiratory failure so she has to be monitored... that's why she can't go home. They said respiratory failure is very rare. She would first start feeling really short of breath and if that would happen they would just stop the drug and she should be back to normal in 24-48 hours. Another side effect is numbness/tingling of the lips and tongue which she has but the doctors like to hear that because that means the drug is working!

She was very excited to receive an edible arrangement from her former work place, Westfield Insurance Parkersburg office!!! (She had already started eating on it before the picture was taken) :)

Wardrobe Wednesday

White thermal: Body Central
Vest: Vanity
Jeans: LEI

"To Read" List for 2014

A few days ago I was reading all of my favorite blogging friends posts.
While going though them, I saw Tennessee Honey's post. It was called: To Read List for 2014. It inspired me to write my own list! I even went Goodreads and copied a description of each book. In no particular order, here are my 12 books I plan to read for 2014:

1. The Light Between Oceans:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
2. Every Day A Friday:
The title comes from research that shows people are happiest on Fridays. Pastor Joel Osteen writes how we can generate this level of contentment and joy every day of the week.
Known as a man who maintains a constant positive outlook in spite of circumstances, Osteen has described this message as a core theme of his ministry. Combining his personal experiences with scriptural insights and principles for true happiness, he shows readers how every day can hold the same promise and opportunities for pure joy that they experience at five o'clock on Friday.

3. Dark Witch:
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
4. Hollow City:
In 1940 after the first book ends, Jacob and his new Welsh island friends flee to London, the Peculiar capital of the world. Caul, a dangerous madman, is Miss Peregrine’s brother, and can steal Peculiar abilities for himself. The Peculiars must fight for survival, again.
(The prequel to this book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, is going to become a movie directed by Tim Burton!)
5. Secrets to the Grave:
Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.
When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy."
Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won't fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne's life is hectic enough-she's a newlywed and a part- time student in child psychology, and she's the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne's heart is stolen.
As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham's life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: Marissa Fordham never existed.
6. Best Friends Forever:
Best Friends Forever will delight fans and critics alike, following the ups and downs of a long-time friendship between two young girls who grow up to be two very different women. Addie Downs and Valerie Adler were eight when they first met and decided to be best friends forever. But, in the wake of tragedy and betrayal during their teenage years, everything changed. Val went on to fame and fortune. Addie stayed behind in their small Midwestern town. Destiny, however, had more in store for these two. And when, twenty-five years later, Val shows up at Addie’s front door with blood on her coat and terror on her face, it is the beginning of a wild adventure for two women joined by love and history who find strength together that they could not find alone.
7. Red Hill:
For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.
When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
8. If I Stay:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

9. The Fault In Our Stars:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
(They are making this book into a movie. Shailene Woodley is playing a main character!)
10. Wild:
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.
  At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
  Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
(Reese Witherspoon will be playing Cheryl in this autobiography/memoir!)
11. Labor Day:
With the end of summer closing in and a steamy Labor Day weekend looming in the town of Holton Mills, New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Henry—lonely, friendless, not too good at sports—spends most of his time watching television, reading, and daydreaming about the soft skin and budding bodies of his female classmates. For company Henry has his long-divorced mother, Adele—a onetime dancer whose summer project was to teach him how to foxtrot; his hamster, Joe; and awkward Saturday-night outings to Friendly's with his estranged father and new stepfamily. As much as he tries, Henry knows that even with his jokes and his "Husband for a Day" coupon, he still can't make his emotionally fragile mother happy. Adele has a secret that makes it hard for her to leave their house, and seems to possess an irreparably broken heart.
But all that changes on the Thursday before Labor Day, when a mysterious bleeding man named Frank approaches Henry and asks for a hand. Over the next five days, Henry will learn some of life's most valuable lessons: how to throw a baseball, the secret to perfect piecrust, the breathless pain of jealousy, the power of betrayal, and the importance of putting others—especially those we love—above ourselves. And the knowledge that real love is worth waiting for.
In a manner evoking Ian McEwan's Atonement and Nick Hornby's About a Boy, acclaimed author Joyce Maynard weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence, and devastating treachery as seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy—and the man he later becomes—looking back at an unexpected encounter that begins one single long, hot, life-altering weekend.
(This too is a movie in the making! It is coming out soon! The lovely Kate Winslet will play in it!)
12. Whiskey Beach:
For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore - and its secrets.
To summer tourists, it's the crown jewel of the town's stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it's landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it's home...
A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.
While Eli's beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing - including Eli.
He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim - and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House's many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach...
Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth - and to each other.
Tell me what you think!
Have you read any of these?
Any books you want to recommend to me???
Have a Goodreads account? If so, add me! My username is: Jessie Higgins-lane

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