Ebola, whoopie pies, and other autumn happenings

Current tunes: Lennon & Maisy Stella, “Christmas Coming Home” 

This last month at work I think I outdid myself with way too many shifts.  One rotation I did an 8 day continual stretch of 10-12 hr shifts and it turned me into a zombie. My room started looking more like an animal’s den and my car had more clothes and pairs of shoes strewn across the back seat that I could have very easily put on a homeless girl themed fashion show. But after two days of rest, 4 loads of laundry, hours spent bleaching all my home counters, I am finally getting back in the swing of things since Vietnam. Since the year is coming to a close, my manager reminded me that it’s time to sign up for next year’s insurance plan. He then ironically followed up by asking me, “Would you like to join CRMC’s Ebola Response Team?” Since I was gone during the peak of this Ebola hoopla, I have had to educate myself a bit. And just in case you haven’t been following, Ebola is a third world viral disease originating in Africa and now we are facing the largest outbreak since it first appeared in 1976. It is spread through human to human contact of bodily fluids and mimics a very terrible and aggressive stomach flu which basically has you leaking from all ends (vomiting, diarrhea, and can eventually lead to hemorrhaging throughout the body…oh, and that’s doctor speak for bleeding). It’s a depressing, isolating, and miserable illness all around making it one that many would not want to risk being around.

I would never describe myself as fearless, but somehow over the last year or so my fear of death has faded. Not that it’s something I dwell on very often, but working in an ICU and traveling bring constant reminders of the brevity of my life here on earth. And somewhere along the way I no longer am scared of not being able to accomplish my earthly goals (and I’ve always been a Bucket List kinda girl so it’s pretty extensive). Two and a half years ago, my sister Milia got married. I remember the night before her wedding we had one last sleepover together in my bed. During our pillow talk, she said, “As excited as I am to marry David tomorrow, I would still give it all up to be with Jesus right now.” I remember thinking a million different selfish and juvenile thoughts at once…

“Whaaaa? Are you on drugs? You are literally less than 24 hours away from wedding bliss! We have spent so many days DIYing for these perfectly Pinterest nuptials. We have Etsy bridesmaid dresses! And there’s a donut cake! Oh God please let me have the chance to love and be loved by someone before you call me home. I have spent too many hours slaving over nursing care plans and wiping butts, too. I haven’t graduated! I haven’t lived!”

When I finally calmed my inner self, I realized the great disparity in my faith and trust in Jesus. While I spoke of His promises outwardly, on the inside I still wanted full control and relied on my actions rather than His guidance. I knew I had some work to do and prayed for the day that I would feel the same. And somehow this Ebola madness reminded me of that day and how much better and bigger Jesus is than disease, or really anything. So I turned to my manager, and while I thought I was about to say, “Hmmm…can I think about it?” instead I blurted, “Yea sure! I’m in. If Ebola is the way I go see Jesus, I’m okay with that.” My manager kind of just stared at me blankly for a few seconds, then chuckled and said, “Okay great, I’ll put you down.”

I know there’s a very slim chance we will even receive an Ebola patient, but if we do, we have to be prepared. And if we do, that person is going to be quarantined and cut off from their normal life. They are going to need some one to clean them up, a person to talk to, a hand to hold (and hands to hold back their hair I might add). They are going to need just as much more moral support as they will medicine. And as twisted as it sounds, I am honored to be a part of it. (Also, I am going to Africa in June 2015 with a small team of nurses which I am totally stoked about…but more on that in a future post!)

Checkout our hazmat Ebola TRAINING gear complete with suits with welded seams, three pairs of gloves, respirator mask, goggles, face shield, and booties. It’s like a sauna inside these babies, let me tell you. 

Okay so totally non-related but I’ve been meaning to also post about my fall flavored baking madness. I am obsessed with autumn colors and flavors.

Pumpkin. Apples. Sweet potatoes. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Pomegranates. Mmmmmm.

Here are just a few of things I have been whipping up for birthdays, baby showers, and weddings. All have been adapted from my favorite baking blogger, The Brown Eyed Baker. I have never made something from her site that failed me. Click on the links to view the recipes or open up my iEat section!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(made for my sister Milia’s birthday)

Salted Caramel Apple Cake
made for my co-worker’s baby shower)

Pumpkin Cupcakes
made for a friend’s fall wedding)

I also had the pleasure of being in a dear friend, Amanda’s, wedding in the beginning of November at the Cardella Winery in Mendota. Amanda is a flight attendant, an open minded dreamer, and has the biggest heart. She also is part of the reason my travel itch has grown (she has graciously given me the gift of discounted travel through her profession!) Amanda, or I should say Mrs. Paul Najera, was one the most beautiful and easygoing brides ever ever. She let each of her bridesmaids pick out their own dress as long as it was navy. And of course, my last minute self decided to ditch my first pick and I ended up renting a designer bombshell of a dress on Rent The Runway.
10700141_762561507112483_715504274706309884_o (1)Ladies, if you haven’t heard of this new online dress rental company I urge you to get on it. I mean how many dresses do you have in your closet that you have only worn once? Well why not rent a dress that is worn by celebs or at least a schmancy dress you would never purchase on your own and feel like the rockstar that you are? Seriously, if you invade my closet you will find that 75% are from consignment/thrift stores and clearance sales (being the child of immigrant parents is a blessing and a curse as it has turned me into a frugal, and I’ll admit a cheap, fashionista). You get to rent two sizes just in case the fit is off and they’ll overnight you a new dress if neither compliment your bod. Here’s my Monique Lhullier that retails at over $400 but I rented for $60 (with a promo code). 

Turkey Day is over and Christmas will be here before we know it.  Unfortunately I’ll be working (just like every other holiday this year) but am thankful for a job to go to nonetheless. I’ll post holiday decorations soon. Let me know if you try out any of those recipes!

Cheers and keep on wishin’,



2 thoughts on “Ebola, whoopie pies, and other autumn happenings

  1. I did the Ebola training last month. It is like a sauna in those things and my glasses insta fog!

    Like what you said about trusting Jesus. I’ve gotten a little sidetracked in my walk. It’s something I need to be more diligent with.


  2. Pingback: GET POKED: Vaccinations are your friend | the dandelion diaries

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