Jn 16:12-15

The Holy Spirit, Our Heavenly Road Map

The Holy Spirit leads us to truth and will never lead us away from Jesus or the Father because they all work together. When you need help, ask the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you. "What is true in this teaching or situation? How shall I respond? What would You have me do here? What is the next step I am to take?"

This is exactly how I've been praying lately. I've been asking for guidance now that I've decided to take the plunge into my Coaching business. It's been a weird transition and there's a lot of discomfort, but I've always found that with any new change — new job, new lifestyle, when I myself first started my workouts. 

We've been praying the rosary mornings and nights since the pandemic and shelter in home had started mid-March and lately I've been asking the Holy Spirit to use me to reach out to other people. I've been asking the Holy Spirit to guide me in my words when I talk to someone, a potential teammate. I have all the dreams and goals, but I only want to do what God wants me to do... what He created me to do. 

I do feel part of it is to create community, and to help people take care of themselves. I feel that calling. I've felt this calling in the past, the reason I decided to become a Nurse. 

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Acts 16:22-34 Thoughts

"Saints Paul and Silas lived a life of praise — they never lost hope" -Blessed is She

In all circumstances, they praised God because they knew whatever was going on He would provide. They preached to those who were unkind to them because they loved God, so they loved all men.

"We are called to a deeper love — one that does not expect reciprocity. It is offered freely and openly, on bad days and good, and can convert hearts" — BIS

"As we grow in our faith and become able to praise Him even in our darkest moments, we reflect the light of Christ to others. Living the faith is the best way to share the faith, and sharing the faith can save souls." — BIS

"As Christians, we are not supposed to pick and choose when we love God, nor should we pick and choose who is or is not worthy of our love here on earth." — Dr. MaryRuth Hackett

I can't be selfish with my love and only give it to those I think of as "worthy". I have to let go of my ego and allow my love to be spread all over. Those who are mean or rude are the ones who need love more. And I need to be reminded of that. I AM the face of Christ, and if I love God, I love His people. I can either turn others toward God or away.

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Parenthood Probz

One of the things I was frustrated about last week was when Nora was waking up multiple times through the night to feed. It's difficult since Dom works, I want to make sure he gets enough rest considering he has a 40-minute drive one-way to work and he works 10-hour days. The earliest I'll let him tend to Nora is 4am, which sometimes would give him a 6 or 7 hour sleep. I didn't mind since I'm able to nap during the day when she naps. On a typical night, I would feed her at 9 or 10pm, then again at 1 or 2am. And then Dom would feed her at 4 or 5am. It was tough, though, because she's not on a consistent schedule yet as she's still developing, so the inconsistency and the lack of sleep was starting to get to me.

So Wednesday last week, she woke up at 6am and Dom is typically getting ready for work at that time. I asked him if he could please use the snot sucker to clean her nose, as she was sounding nasally. Anyways, he gets the Snot Sucker, but proceeds to try to clean her nose in our room... after I just went to sleep 1.5 hours earlier. He asked me to hold her while he did it to hold her arms down so she wouldn't swipe away the thing. I was so frustrated, so I took the Snot Sucker that I had become Pro to using and proceeded to clean her nose. I started crying and when he asked me what was wrong, I told him that I hoped he would have taken her to her room to do it so I could get even a little bit more sleep. He apologized for having to go to work and tried to kiss me goodbye, but I was so upset and overwhelmed with exhaustion that I couldn't even kiss him goodbye so he kissed my forehead. I was overcome with stress trying to keep it together. It was his 10th out of 11 days working straight without a break and I just missed him. One weekened out of the month he has to work military drill, but he still would get his usual Friday off. This past month, his drill consisted of a 3-day weekend so he worked Clinic, Drill, Clinic until the following weekend.

Anyways, it was difficult. My Mom came over during the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday to help me out. She told me to rest, but all I wanted to do for whatever reason was clean... that's kind of my "me time". It's still not enough, though. Dom even asked me if he should ask his parents to drop to watch Nora for a little so I could rest, but that wasn't the solution, either. I could have a large amount of help, but it still wouldn't help -- and that's when I knew it was me missing Dom that was the real issue, not my lack of sleep or anything else.

Then our usual 3-day weekend hit. Finally. Dom asked his sister to babysit so we could finally get some quality time in that we desparately needed. We got food and drinks at Olive Garden and watched La La Land (which was totally the feels)... it was the perfect evening! I'm so grateful we have so much help so that we can go out and enjoy us, and work on our marriage.. the foundation of this family. 

While Nora Sleeps...

I can't believe it's been almost a whole year since my last post. It seems like I'm posting once every year, these days! So I guess it's time for my first post about our beautiful babe... Nora Marie.

She was born November 3, 2016. I was admitted November 1st to get induced. I started having contractions and every few hours I'd dilate just a little more, but Nora wanted to wait until the 3rd to come out... I'm assuming since she didn't want to share a birthday with Tita Babes.

After 22 hours of labor, 2 hours actively pushing (ended up using a vacuum) and 3rd degree lacerations later - she came out at 2:53am, all 8lbs 4oz, 20" length, perfectly healthy with 10 toes and 10 fingers. As soon as she came out, they put her in my arms for Kangaroo Care. I couldn't even open my eyes because I was so overwhelmed with exhaustion, hunger, and gratitude. The moment Don and I had waited since we first found out we were pregnant with LB in 2015. The past 9 months felt like a blur, but was filled with anxiety in hopes that we would get to this day we could meet the baby God intended for us to care for.

It took us a few hours to decide on her name, but we ended up with Nora Marie... it just felt right when I held her in my arms. The name came to me a couple months before she was actually born, so I put it on the list. It means "honor" and "light" which I thought was so fitting. After we lost LB and then later found out we were pregnant again, I felt like we were in this dark tunnel trying to make it to the end where the light would be, to our baby. She was the light at the end of a very dark tunnel for me and Don.

Now she's 2.5 months young and I'm sitting here typing as I watch her nap on the baby monitor. I'm learning so many things every day about what it means to be a Mom and how the challenges, exhaustion, and trials are always overcome by the love and gratitude I have for our beautiful babe.

I'm excited to witness the person she will become, but I'm trying to take it day by day and cherish each moment for what it's worth.

As I reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today, I am thankful that Nora will grow up in a country that tries not to judge people based on income, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, etc. That she will be able to grow up and reach her potential without having to feel stopped by too many adversities (at least that's my hope she grows up). 


I cannot believe a whole year has passed since my last entry!! And such a sad entry it was.

As far as updates go, we bought our first house August 2015. Celebrated our first wedding anniversary last October. Had our huge housewarming in November. Dom signed his first Attending contract. I got a new job at Children's. Dom just had his Residency Graduation a few weeks ago.

And on March 11, 2016 we found out we're having a baby... who may be kicking me as I write this.

We found out SHE will be due November 6, 2016. She is approximately 19 weeks and 4 days, and is such a blessing each and every day. She brings out a side of Dom that I've never seen before... such a warm, super loving, super affectionate side. He's always snuggling my belly, talking to BG (BabyGirl), and loving my pregnant body. Don't get me wrong, he's been those things, but it's like the past four years of love on steroids. He'll say things like, "I love this belly so much! This is our Baby's first home." I'm excited to see the amazing Papa... err Daddy? ... he's going to be. It warms my heart knowing that God has truly blessed us and guided us to this path and I am so grateful.

I pray everyday that everything goes according to His plan and not mine, but I can't help but be nervous. It's a little tough having a medical background... knowing all the things that could go wrong. But I know this is a test for me, to trust in Him and accept everything He has written for me and for us.

I also pray that He'll guide me to be the Mama Bird He wants me to be for our Babe.

We have a list of names in mind, but we decided we'll wait until she's born to choose. We could want Isabella this whole time and hold her only to find out she's a Sophia... or Mia... or Delilah!

There were other major events that happened as well...
Andrew and Maribel got engaged! JJ and Mike got engaged! My sister-in-law got engaged! Also, we seem to be doing a lot better (prayers answered!). 
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Gabriel LB Fano

Well, it's with a heavy heart that I'm writing this post. On April 6, 2015 I graciously peed on a pregnancy stick since I was a little more than a week late on my period. I just wanted to make sure I could drink since D and I were leaving for California later that week for Coachella.

Anyways, expecting to see "Not Pregnant" on the ClearBlue stick, I freaked out when I saw "Pregnant". At first I thought I saw Not Pregnant. And then I thought, maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me. It was definitely shock. I'm pretty sure I cried for a second because I just kept thinking, "Oh no, this is way too early. We didn't want to get pregnant just yet." I hate to admit it, but for a second I thought about an abortion, in case we both thought we weren't ready. That was a horrible moment.

I waited all day for D to get home from work. I left the peestick on the bathroom counter, so D could find it as a "surprise" when he got home. He always uses the bathroom as soon as he gets home. But then he got home and he didn't pee. And he didn't have to pee until almost two hours later after dinner. But when he did, he was like, "oh I see you took a pregnancy test-- OHMYGOSHBABE!" I had tears in my eyes when he ran to the couch to hug me.

Spent the next few weeks getting on prenatal vitamins, setting up doctor appointments, thinking of baby names, etc. etc. We started buying healthier items at the grocery store and I started purchasing more organic cleaning products to reduce the chemicals exposed to baby. D would kiss my belly good morning and goodnight everyday. We would then nickname baby "LB" for Little Babe. I would talk to LB all the time during the day when I was at home, cleaning or doing chores. I didn't feel so alone anymore. I kept close monitoring on the What to Expect app on my phone, because it was so interesting how quickly LB was growing inside of me. All those little body parts form so rapidly, it's amazing!

I was overwhelmed with how tired I became and how tender my breasts really got. I finally understood what they all meant.

I couldn't help the excitement and we told a few of our friends and Drewski, but tried not to make it a big deal incase something were to happen.

I celebrated my birthday and was overwhelmed with so much love from D, my family and friends, and of course LB.

Then April 30, I started bleeding a little bit. That weekend, we were so busy, so I tried not to panick. I read so many things that it could be ok, but it also could be a miscarriage. I tried to hope for best. D and I went to Drew's pinning ceremony, attended a conference, then a military ball, the pacquiao/mayweather fight and then a family military training thing Sunday morning. It was such a busy weekend and I just tried to focus on those things in hopes that LB was ok. I made an appt with the OB doc for Tuesday, but D was able to talk to him Monday morning and he told me to go to the ER. I'm so grateful for D having his doctor friends, the OB resident was able to talk to him and he told her what had been going on, so when she saw me she knew what to expect. D was also able to meet me in the ER and stayed until I was discharged.

We did blood tests and ultrasounds, went to my appointment on Tuesday (D was able to get out of work early to come with), I went back to the hospital to get a repeat blood test. The first ultrasound showed that we were just earlier than we thought -- we were at 6 weeks (we had thought 9-10 by this time since my last period was Feb 22). On Wednesday, when I got my second set of blood work done, D was able to ask the OB resident, Dr. Cewe if she could get our labs any quicker so I didn't have to wait until my next Dr. appt on May 18. Instead of doubling, the b-Hcg test decreased which was evidence of a miscarriage. I cried so hard that night.

Thursday was D's sister's graduation luncheon, so we went to that. We were so distracted with our loss and making an appt with our doc. Our OB resident was able to talk to our OB doc and was able to get us in the next morning for a D&C, a procedure which cleans all the extra tissue and such from my uterus to decrease infection and to help me start my period again. Thursday night, I was able to speak with Ate Claire about it and she helped me through it and sent prayers our way. That night D went to Journal Club and I stayed home. He kept telling me to stay if he wants and I said it's fine just go! He kept texting me if I need him to come home to just tell him.


And then around 7:30 I was on the floor, crying in so much pain. He came home right away. I even had a hospital bag packed. He layed next to me to try to calm me down. I told him let's wait a few minutes, I didn't want to rush to the hospital if it would pass. I took two Aleve and that helped. I was able to get up and about. I was in the kitchen and all of a sudden I felt this huge thing passing down there. I can't really find the right words to explain the feeling, but it was weird. I ran to the bathroom and I saw the placenta in the toilet. I made D come and look at it. The pain was gone for the most part.

Friday morning, the morning of my D&C, I was awake at 3am. I had to leave our bed and hung out on the couch because I kept crying. I kept thinking how they're going to take my baby away. It was one of the worst feelings ever. We got to the hospital at 7:30am, surgery scheduled for 9:45am. When the nurses got me prepped in the pre-op area, they were saying, "it's ok. you're so young. you will have so much time to try again." Many of them told me they had miscarriages and were still able to have 2-3 beautiful healthy children. It definitely gave me hope. Dr. Z came in and told me, "it's ok to feel sad, but do not feel guilty". He has been great through this whole time. He later told D after my procedure that this and telling people they have cancer are the worst parts of his job.

D and I were able to go home and Mom and his parents and Nick came over with food. They stayed with me since D had to work a few hours that night. They all brought Chinese soup and other deliciousness. Mom brought me flowers and helped clean up while I stayed on the couch with a heat pad and took it easy. It was really nice to feel the love and support of our families and to have everyone bond. It was nice to have my Mom there for me.

D came home and Mom left. We ended up going to DeWitt because D had his first half marathon (13.1 miles) Saturday morning. I was just so tired of dealing with everything, I wanted to get away for a bit and be distracted. D ran his half in 1:40:38 -- his goal was 1:45 so he did AMAZING!! He told me after that there were times he felt like walking, but he kept telling himself that he was doing this for LB. D got first place in his age division. LB and I are so proud of him.

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It was especially difficult because I feel like a Mom but I feel like because I don't have anything to show for it, no one cares. But D wished me a happy Mother's Day and Drew bought me flowers. That was all I needed. It was also nice to be able to celebrate our wonderful and amazing mothers.

So here I am, sitting in our apartment. Our little Angel, Gabriel LB Fano, up in Heaven playing with his cousins, Marion and Andrew. And I'm here left alone, feeling so empty inside.

Dr. Z said we can try again in two months, and that made me excited for a second, but I think we're going to try to wait a little while longer. I don't want to rush another pregnancy because 1-I'm scared and 2-I don't want to do it just to fill this void I have in my heart. I never realized how bad I wanted a baby until mine was taken from me. I'm trying very hard to accept God's will for us. I think D and I just need some time for us to heal.

RIP Gabriel LB Fano -- Mom and Dad love and miss you so much. You were created a little earlier than planned and taken way earlier than expected, but you'll always be our first Angel. Please continue to watch over Mom and Dad, LB.


Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!

It's already 8 days into the new year and it's that time for a 2014 recap!

Last year New Years, I spent the ball drop with my family getting home just 10 minutes prior to the ball drop. Dom's not really into celebrating the mark of a new year, like myself, so he was probably fast asleep already by that time. We spent new years day lunch at Tita Dang's.

In January, Ate Dee and I also took a quick trip to Toronto. We visited Ripley's Aquarium Canada and stayed in a fancy hotel near the CN Tower. Dom and I also took our engagement pictures in the freezing Detroit weather. We took them around Greektown and on the People Mover, where we had our first Sweetest Day date.

February, Dom took one of his board exams (the D.O. equivalent to the M.D.'s Step Three). I also asked my peeps to be MOH's/Bridesmaids.

In March, we had the Mrs. BNP Michigan Gala to raise funds for Ate Cyrene, our Mrs. BNP representative. It was a very joyous occassion! My whole family was there and Dom and I choreographed and performed our first dance together, along with the rest of the youth. It was pretty awesome! Definitely something I crossed off my bucketlist!


In April, we went to Kalahari to celebrate my birthday and Jay-R and Roz drove all the way there after they got out of work to surprise me and be with me at midnight when I turned 27! I cried. I was reminded of how awesome and amazing Jay-R is to me and am truly grateful to have him in my life. We stopped by a Waffle House, which was Dom's first time. Dom and I also went to a Tiger's game, for which we got free tickets from one of the attending's he worked with. We were the closest we've ever been!

In May, we attended one of Ate Dee's fundraisers for her work. It was called "Cheers to HELP" and we got to drink wine and be fancy at the Detroit Opera House. I also attended one of Samantha's dance recitals. Jay-R and I went to see Lana del Rey at the Masonic Temple. We stood in the freezing 54 degree weather for at least an hour. It was nuts! And a sold out show! We ended May with a Youth Ministry bonfire and celebrated JJ's medical school graduation! Also, we attended Jacqui and Sydney's wedding ON A BOAT!

Fast forward to June when I started working the day shift at work. I remember my first two day shifts, I was pulled to 5 East - Observation. Talk about one hell of a start! It helped me to really appreciate working on my "home" floor, 5 West - Med/Tele. Oh yeah, earlier 2014 the new South tower opened, so 5 East and 5 West were the only remaining floors in the old tower. We also attended Royal Oak's tastefest with RJ and Michelle. And of course, Bruno Mars Moon Shine Jungle Tour. We ended June signing the lease to our first apartment :)

July is when Dom started his 2nd year of residency! 1.5 years to go (from now)! Shopped for furniture and moved into our first apartment. We told everyone that Dom moved in first and I was second, even though I stayed there the whole time. We went SKYDIVING! We ended July with the Justin Timberlake 20/20 Tour.

In August, we celebrated Dom's 28th birthday with a 6-mile run (for him)/bike ride (for me). We also celebrate Kevin and Regina's wedding at the Westin Atrium and then later that night ON ANOTHER BOAT! We finished our last marriage prep classes. And my family threw us the best Wedding Shower I've ever been to! With LECHON! You know it's a big deal when there's lechon! We ended August celebrating 6 years of knowing each other at the Novi Chophouse (Aug 30).

September was full of finalizing wedding stuff. We applied for a marriage license. My peeps took me to Chicago for my bachelorette weekend! Had my celebratory dinner with my sisters - Ate Krystel, Ate Belay and Trisha! Ellie flew in to town!

And then OCTOBER. The best month of last year, by far. We celebrated our 6-year anniversary walking down the aisle, making vows and becoming a union with God, witnessed by so many family and close friends. We then took a crazy trip to Costa Rica, which will forever be my favorite vacation. We went ziplining, hiking through the rain forest to see the most breathtaking waterfall, and we rode ATVs. We ended October celebrating Sydney's birthday and Mom's birthday.

In November, Dom went off for a 4-day annual military training in Grayling. Spent sometime with my sister-friends in Detroit at Vicente's Cuban Restaurant. Dom, Kevin and Reju also ran the 10K Turkey Trot.

In December, I had a playdate with Ate Belay and Abigail at Detroit Kid City. Attended Dom's work Christmas party. Got a stretch SUV for Jay-R's Flirty Thirty celebration. Celebrated the BNP Christmas party, where the Little Lambs completely blew me away with their performance. Attended Paulson's wedding at the Inn at St. John, in which Dom and I got to drink and dance the night away. We ended up staying the night in Plymouth and saw little Andrew on his birthday. We hung out with Mark. We celebrated with the YM, ice skating. It ended up being Randolf's first time. And, as prayed. Ended December getting low census so we could celebrate our first Married Christmas together.

2014 - You were a great year. Because of you, Dom and his friends all had their weddings and we were able to reconnect with old friends. We were able to share such amazing experiences with family. We were able to both grow up individually and together, moving out for the first time, making lifelong commitments, taking once-in-a-lifetime adventures and crossing several things off of my bucketlist.

This year review definitely makes me appreciate how much happens in just one year and makes me excited for what the future may bring! 

25 Days....

Well.... a few minutes left of the day and I figure it might be nice to reflect a little.

Work has been going alright.... I'm thinking after the wedding is over, I'm going to look into getting a second job. Possibly home care? I was thinking about going back to school and then I thought about actually going back to school.... books.... notes....studying.....wanting to shoot myself. No, thanks.

My sinuses have been acting up like crazy. Snot all up in my junk, coughs, even watery-er eyes. Awesome. I just hope it calms down by the wedding. Because I feel like shit. And I'm paying so much, I can only hope and pray that I feel like ten million bucks that day.

As far as actual wedding planning........ well, I just made a list of priority things. That should definitely help. I wasn't too organized lately and that bit me in the butt. I hope I can get this shit together.

I've just been feeling quite overwhelmed. Everyone started asking for all this info and I'm just feeling a little in over my head.

As for Me Time? Yeah, I don't know. I'd like some of that, too... but it might just have to wait until after the wedding.

Let's see, what did I do this morning?

Worked on the program, called BB&B, called Donna (was supposed to call her back and totally forgot), tried to get a hold of a few missing RSVP people, looked for and printed contracts, washed dishes, ate breakfast and lunch, talked to Kat regarding Herbalife, and showered.

Mind is racing, so I'm up trying to do whatever I can to put my mind at ease.

And this cough doesn't help.


5 Months to go....

It's definitely been a while since I've posted on here. Don and I have 5 months until the wedding. I'm so stressed out. I'm constantly thinking about what something that needs to be done. There's just soooooooooooo much detail and my mind is constantly racing with thoughts about decor, food, marriage classes, rehearsal dinner, centerpieces, etc.

But then I get to the part of my day when I'm just hanging out with him on the couch, watching Dexter. And all I want is to not have to leave him at the end of the night when it's time for him to go to bed. And I remember at that moment why we're even doing all of this.

If I could take it back, I still don't think I could really do a small wedding. I'd like to, but I think I'd regret more if the people who've seen me grow up weren't there to start this new chapter in my life.

I don't know. I'm 50/50. I'm sure a small wedding would have been lovely and more intimate. But oh well, the save-the-dates have been sent.

I won't lie, there have been several "cold feet" occasions as of late. I hung out with JMo last night and I think I came to the conclusion why... we were talking about how huge a commitment marriage is and we're both still in shock that I'm engaged and getting married and SOON, nonetheless. Not shocked, but just the reality of how quick the time is going is catching up to me. Sure, I've never really been single for too long, but my previous relationships were long distance. And sure, they were somewhat "serious", but I was still able to remain independent. I didn't rely or depend on them. I was still free to do whatever I needed to do. Work when I wanted to, schedule my life according to whatever worked for me. Take a night class. Stay out late. Stay in. Stay in pajamas all day. Save on gas.

I think the idea of being at home with someone who depends on me and whom I depend on kind of scares me. Committing the rest of my life to be with someone scares me. Not being able to stay out late or stay up late talking to Drew scares me. Having someone depend on me scares me because what if I end up sucking at marriage? Sharing bank accounts scares me. Because what if one day he was to wake up and realize this isn't for him. I can't imagine the devastation it would take on me. And I don't mean to be so negative and Debbie about it, but it literally scares the shit out of me. I'm scared to disappoint. And that in itself is a lot of pressure.

But then I'm with him and I don't even recall having had cold feet. I'm with him and I realize how much I need him. And it's ok. The time spent away from him feel like years. I miss him even if I saw him the day before. And best of all, I know he needs me, too. I know he rushes to get out of work or sneaks out of Army just to get home, sit on the couch with me, and watch Dexter. And as we sit on that couch, I realize I could live like that forever. I realize I'm comfortable with him, so comfortable. There's no pressure. We're just Dom & Nikki.

Gahhhhh can't I just live with him already?! I'm glad we waited to move in because I'm superrrrrr excited for that. I'm just so excited for our life. I'm hoping we'll be able to travel a lot in the next couple of years so we can start having babies. Ever since we got engaged, he's gotten more affectionate with me and I'm absolutely loving it. The last thing he said that made my heart melt, "Wow can you believe it? We're getting married in 5 months." *snuggles his head in my nook* "I can't wait to start a family with you."

"I'm latching on to you."


Growing Up

It's Sunday night, 10:42pm and I'm sitting here contemplating the amazing weekend off Don and I had. Whilst doing so, I realized how old I really am.

Mind you, I used to dread getting old. When I was 21, I thought that in itself was such a milestone. I was finally able to drink. I had a job. I was in college. I had my own cellphone and car. I thought it would take FOREVER to get to my mid-20s. I had the world at my fingertips. I could do anything and be anyone I wanted to be.

I used to think partying and drinking was so awesome. I'm not going to lie, I even used to "enjoy" hangovers because it meant I had a great time last night. I used to wear crazy make-up and clothes/shoes that weren't that comfortable. I wouldn't say I fell into peer pressure, I just did whatever. I didn't have a thought about future stuff.

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with one of my "little sisters" and she asked me what it's like to get old. Hahaha... I laughed, but realized at that moment that I was very comfortable and excited. It was in that moment that I realized, I am getting older and I love it. I embrace it. I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with school and I'm working a big girl job.