Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life is Happening.

To think of all that has happened in the past few weeks makes my head spin.

Graduation came and went. All but four of my family members were able to come to baccalaureate and pinning. That was such a special time for me, and I just felt all the love and support they have for me. I am so blessed. The whole graduation experience is such a funny one. It is such a big day. Such a big accomplishment. You talk about the day you walk across that stage for yearsssss, and then it's over! You celebrate for the day, and then you find yourself in a three day NCLEX class. Right on to the next thing.

We had the NCLEX class which was so overwhelming. So much information for such a short time. I spent most of my day in class and then would spend the rest of the time with my staff since they were getting ready to leave and there were final work responsibilities to fulfill. Then there were also all my friends who were getting ready to move out too, and it was such a hard balance to find.

After everyone had moved out and after I had packed up all of my things one last time, Noelle, Lindsay, and I went to French Lick, Indiana for a little getaway to our cabin in the woods. Noelle was so gracious in giving us this trip as a gift, and we sure made some great memories. I have been meaning to make a video of the experience, but I just have not gotten around to that yet. That will be soon.

Then Linds came straight home with me, and we spent a few days together before she went back to PA for good. That was so fun, but I still look back on it and think it was such a blur because it was at the end of all this craziness. I don't think it will click that she is now in PA for a while, especially because I know I will be flying out there in a few months for her wedding. Regardless, it was such a special time.

Since she has left, it has been all work and studying. I have been adjusting back to working at the children's hospital. Although I love it, it is always so exhausting in those first few weeks because I forget how taxing it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Despite all of that, I have been given such affirmation that pediatric oncology is where I want to start as a nurse. I am trusting God through the process but am still clinging to that desire of wanting to work there when all is said and done. When I am not working, I am studying. For that thing called the NCLEX. I sit in the library right by the window with my coffee and go to town. I could easily freak out over the whole thing and sit there trying to figure out how to get three years of nursing school to resurface everything I've learned on the top of my brain, but I just have this peace that if God got me through three years of nursing school, He is going to get me through the NCLEX - whatever that may look like.

Through these past few weeks, I have been surprised at the things that make me stressed. I don't like when people ask me what's next. I can barely tell you what is happening tomorrow. I don't like when they ask me where I want to work. I don't want to admit that I want to stay at the hospital I am at in the chance that I might not get a job there at all. I think I am striving too hard to make people like me at the hospital, and I wish I could just shut that off. I had to clean out my entire room to make room for a QUEEN bed. So I went through every little thing - literally everything - that was in that room. It is so crazy to see the things that I thought were worth keeping. Or to see friendships that I treasured in years past. Or to see how much I have changed in the past four years of college. Then there is that reality that that change is going to keep coming. Whether it is sleeping in a queen bed instead of a twin or paying my own health insurance, I am going to keep "growing up" in all senses of the words, and I just want to make sure I am keeping myself humbled through it all. Never once thinking that I am doing it on my own or forgetting to stop and praise God for all that He is doing. Life is happening, and this could be such a good and exciting thing if I keep Him at the center.

For now, I am grateful for days where I can go on a lunch date with dad before I study and where I can go on a Target shopping spree with my mom later tonight. These days that I get all this time with them are such a gift to me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Loretta's Prayer

This is going to be a rather jumbled one. Just a warning -

On Saturday, I ran that half marathon. After those months of training and years of telling myself that I could not do anything of the sort, I did it! I didn't walk and that was my only goal. There were definitely moments I was ready to be done, and I think there really were times when my mind was not connected to my body. I was convinced my legs could give out any second, but they held up! So I kept running. The support system - goodness - I had such great support. Between Ashley who ran with me every step of the way, and the station wagon full of girls holding up signs for Ashley, Kassidy, and I - it was all just so encouraging! I was and am still so grateful!

You would think that the moment of crossing that finish line would be the highlight of my week, but I am surprised to say it wasn't. That moment was given to Ms. Loretta Simmons. Lindsay and I have been mentoring Loretta for the past four years. She started high school. I started college. I originally signed up asking for a little girl to mentor because in my mind that would be easier. However, I was given a 14 year old girl from Marion High School and that was all I knew. My mind flooded with the endless ways that this could all turn out. I was supposed to meet with my mentee for two hours a week, so after the first few weeks of meeting with Loretta, I learned that she was actually not like how I had envisioned. She was so sweet, gentle, and slightly guarded. It took months to get her out of that shell. Over the years, she has become one of the biggest constants in my time at IWU. Her grandma's laugh and smile are things I was always looking forward to each week. There were definitely weeks we didn't meet, but Loretta was still someone I saw on a regular basis and was somebody that I felt like I always knew what was going on in her life. That seemed to be hard for me with everyone else - especially after three years of different staffs and different residents and then balancing my own friends, it was always hard to keep up with everyone. But there was always Loretta. We would always catch up over her preferred salad from Baldwin or chicken salad sandwich from Wildcat. There were moments throughout the years that I would get frustrated and think that I was in over my head. Moments where I felt like I wasn't making an impact. Moments where I wasn't sure if I was supposed to step in or sit back. Moments where she disappointed me. Moments where I disappointed her. I am so glad I decided to stick with it despite those moments. She has challenged me, encouraged me, and made me laugh on some of my worst days. She has helped me grow up, and there are not enough words to express my gratitude to her. So this past Thursday, she made my week - maybe even my year. Linds and I had our last dinner with her, and we got to give her the pictures we printed off from a photo shoot that Lexi did for us so we would have pictures to keep forever. We each wrote her a letter and then we read them to her. It was the day of the huge rain storm, and we decided to end our last meeting together with a good old run through some puddles. So we ran. We got soaked. The rain just came harder. But it was so beautiful. We then prayed in the rain. Loretta never liked to pray out loud. Occasionally she would, but that was so rare. But we went around in a circle and each said a prayer. I will forever regret not recording her voice at this moment. I wouldn't have even cared if my phone got ruined. I don't remember every word of her prayer but it went something like this...

"Dear God, I thank you for Emily and Lindsay and that they could be 
my 'big sisters'. Thank you that they taught me how to be a lady 
and how to go to college. I pray that you will help them both be nurses. 
Be with Lindsay and her future marriage. And help Emily to find
the love of her life out there. Ya, that's all." 

It was so perfect, and one of my most treasured moments. It made me laugh. It made me cry, and the rain just added that dramatic element. I have just grown to love that girl so so much. I am going to miss our dinners. I pray that God will continually place her on my mind, so that I will keep praying for her. I pray that she will not sell herself short and keep fighting for her future and her education. I also pray that she will also continue to seek the Lord throughout different chapters of her life. She and her grandma are hopefully coming to our pinning ceremony this Friday, and that would just be so special! My family, Lindsay's family, and Loretta and her grandma all in the same room makes me want to melt.  I praise God that I wasn't given that 'little girl' I asked for four years ago. He knew I would need this teenage girl and her grandma throughout college, and they have been such a gift to me. 

In the mean time, finals are underway. In my marriage and family final I just had, the professor wrote me a note that included the phrase "you're going to be a great wife and mom someday".  I immediately called my mother cracking up because at the end of finals in high school teachers would say "good luck in college" or "you'll love nursing school", and now, I am getting "you'll be a good wife and mom". I guess that is what people say at this point? Ha. Goodness gracious that still seems way far off to me. 

Family come Thursday. Graduation Saturday. Some real hysterical memories are about to be made. I just know it. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hodson Half

Creative title... I know. So I bet you can guess what this is going to be about...

I know my mind should maybe be filled with other things right now, like maybe the research paper I have due tomorrow that I haven't started, or the friends I want to be spending time with in this season, or the test I will be taking in two months to becoming a nurse. But alas, I am stuck on THIS...

I'm supposed to eat this before I run...

I'm supposed to wear these when I run...

 And I am supposed to run this far.

I had a moment of panic the other day. I almost dropped out. I don't normally quit things (aside from the swim team in 8th grade - that I quit after 2 weeks). I have never run this far in my life. When race day comes, which is in 18 days, I still - will not have run this far (I am only doing 11 beforehand). It seems very intimidating to me. School has been a little more demanding than I expected, so sometimes there hasn't been time to train, and I think I started panicking when I realized that running HURTS. I didn't know. No one ever told me. Now, I talk to everyone about it, and everyone tells me it is going to hurt. So now that I have come to terms with that idea, I feel motivated. I feel more ready about it than I did this weekend. I think my mind is back in the zone. Different people have given me pointers and schedules and things to remember. Gosh, everyone really has been so encouraging. So I am doing it. In 18 days. With Ashley - God love her for sticking by me through these weeks of training. Such a motivator. I will try my hardest to run without stopping, and I will maybe cry because I am so scared. It's fine. I really think I can do it, it just might not be easy. This post may have been more for me than for anyone who will read it, but people keep telling me to blog and tell them what's on my mind. This is me trying to share and sticking to my commitment to more blog posts. =]

Monday, March 25, 2013


There are a few reasons of a why a blog post is necessary at this time.

FIRST - I would like to give a shout out to Kim Oyler for redesigning my blog.  It needed some remodeling, and Kim knows what she's doing with blogs! I love it! I consider that talent.

SECOND - reason why a blog post is necessary: It's March 25th, 2013 and there is 9 inches of snow outside. I needed to record that date, and that is kind of how I view blogging. A place where you can go back and see important dates, pictures, stories, memories, milestones, etc. 9 inches of snow in almost April = memory.

THIRD - with that being said, I really have been wanting to get back into blogging. It has really gotten away from me this year. I think I said this in my last post, but this is a huge year of transition and I am constantly being reminded of that. I journal, but I think blogging is a little different. Lindsay started a blog, and I read it (obviously). She has just reminded me of the importance of sharing what's going through my mind. I just want others to be able to hear what it's like. To get ready to leave a place you have grown to call home and return to a place that has been your home your whole life but just feels so different now. To be able to read the highs and the lows. Know that it isn't always laughing and dancing, but it also doesn't have to be a solemn and morbid all the time.

FINALLY - I made a countdown. I don't like to count down the days to pretty much anything. I have only counted down the dates to this past spring break and now until graduation. I try really hard to embrace the present and not long for another season of life and what not. However, I think this transition is a little different, and because it does hold a lot of different emotions, I want to be reminded that it's coming. I don't want to push it off because I don't want to process it, and I can see myself doing that. I also want to be excited for myself. I have 1 month, 1 day, 23 hours, and 36 minutes left of school and nursing school that is - that's a big deal!!! All I have ever known is school! I am getting down to the last MONTH, and then I get to finally be a nurse (disregarding the looming concept of the NCLEX). I want to be excited, because I think that is an accomplishment and so should all the other seniors. So I will keep counting down. I don't need to look at it all the time, but as I run from meeting to meeting or finish up assignments in these last few weeks, I may need a little reminder sometimes. So it will just be on my phone when I need it.

Here's to hopefully many more posts in the next 1 month, 1 day, and 23 hours.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In This Time...

I know I haven't really blogged, and honestly, I am thinking about ending my blogging career.

That could change. It's just on my mind.

BUT - I did want to blog for today. I wanted to write something down for this date, for this season, and for this time. The frank reality that soon my world is about to look real different is sinking in. So as I sit here at an elementary school being a school nurse - handing out ice packs, teaching about lice, listening to kids tell me they feel nauseous, and chatting it up with Brenda, the school nurse (who is a PEACH), I will write down this date.

-To remember what it is like to be running from thing to thing, hour by hour, as a college student.
-To remember what it is like to be a part of such a blessed and enriching community.
-To remember what it is like to have professors who care more about teaching me the importance of a sabbath and resting than about that day's lecture.
-To remember what it is like to have so many great friends in one place.
-To remember what it is like to be able to chat with just about anyone - including Brenda - about the Lord and walking through different seasons with Him.
-To remember what it is like to train for a half marathon.
-To remember what it is like to feel a million and one emotions about things like NCLEX prep, RN licenses, job searches, finances, relationships, and apartment hunting.

A time of transition would be putting it in the least of words, but I feel the Lord's presence in such a special way. When I start trying to plan everything on my own and write out my own story, I feel Him tap me on the shoulder and tell me to let Him do it. He's better at it anyway.

This is an exciting time, and even if it feels scary sometimes - it is such an adventure, and I am feeling so very blessed.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Replacement

Two years ago, around this time, Danielle Faust made a blog post titled "They Found My Replacement" for when I was hired as the new ARD of Eastside.

Now, it's my turn to make a similar post. . .

Because they have found my replacement...

Paige Oler... 

There is no one else I would rather leave the ARD position of Beckett Hall East with. 

You are beyond capable. Your energy, compassion, and leadership abilities are about to flourish in this role. 

It has been such a blessing to me to watch you go from resident, RA x 2, and now my replacement. =] 

Look, I even have a picture of your very first on duty night.  

As you begin this journey with hiring process in just a few short days, know that I will be praying, loving, and rooting for you through it all. I love you to pieces, and I am so excited to see all that God is going to teach you through this role. 

Go get 'em tiger. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

I Forgot About Blogging

Goodness, I forgot about this thing. There's a huge jump from July to September - I need to make a list:

-I finished my externship and left there feeling so encouraged and so blessed.
-I almost got a tattoo but that was put on the back burner.
-I packed up my life in one day.
-Moved into IWU. Mom came to help.
-Started ARD training. Reunited with Noelle.
-RAs came. Such a great group. So grateful and so excited for what's to come.
-Spent some great time with the Lord throughout training.
-Decided to take a class with Jim Lo this semester.
-I live with Abbey now. Loving her. I have been so blessed by roommates in my college years.
-School started. Critical care. Oh boy.
-I love when I start to have a routine again.
-Mach and I learned how to start IVs on each other.
-We also started our clinical in Indy on Saturdays. One down, and I already learned so so much!
-Jim Lo class - SUCH a good idea. I am going to get pushed and disciplined all at the same time.
-The residents in BECKETT hall are so great. It is so great to see how different each group of girls are over the years.
-Loretta is a senior in high school, and Lindsay and I are going to help get her ready for college!
-I have started to crave running. I never thought I would live to see the day. I literally find myself looking for time to run in the day.

God has been teaching me so much on dependence and trusting Him fully. It is a constant lesson, and one that is not perfected in a matter of a few days. If I had to describe the last two months in a picture,
this would be it. I keep reminding myself of Psalm 86:11 too,

"Teach me your way O Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." 

Sometimes I only want to give parts of my heart, I divide it up and give Him the easier areas. But I need to be giving Him an undivided heart - full of every single area of my life and every single person in my life. That is just not the easiest sometimes, but He is so faithful, and I am really working on it. I have only been in Indiana for about a month, and I already have seen so much growth in myself. I am excited to see what's to come.