Monday, September 26, 2011

an update

Hi all,

I hope this finds you all well. I can't believe how fast time has been flying by -- shouldn't we be in school or something? (I'm really, really glad we're not.) Anyway, the last few months have been some of the busiest, most all-over-the-place times I've had in awhile. Where to begin...

After I took the NCLEX, I started working part time hours again with my caregiving agency, Right At Home, waiting on my results...and waiting...and waiting. Clara and I took our tests the same day, and Clara got her results fairly quickly, about two weeks. After three weeks, I started checking the website every day, and eventually called the BRN. Turns out, they hadn't received my transcript and couldn't tell me my results til they had it. I found out that Biola's registrar had goofed and not sent it, and I ended up finding out I passed six weeks to the day that I took the NCLEX. Talk about learning patience. I felt confident that I had passed (that backdoor Pearson-Vue check worked), but it was so frustrating to wait, especially knowing that it didn't have to take that long since Clara had already passed. I definitely struggled with putting that in God's hands and letting it be in His timing.

Since then, I've been working more, around 30 hours a week. I'm working as a caregiver, still working at the messianic Jewish nursery, and helping my sister's neighbor who's a quadriplegic (gotten lots of practice with his Hoyer lift). In addition to my three paying jobs and occasional babysitting, I'm helping Andrew's grandmother with her showers, volunteering at my church nursery, applying for nursing jobs, and planning my wedding. I think I have too much on my plate. (Still working on the whole saying "no" thing, if you can't tell.)

Currently, I'm fed up with my hours from the caregiving agency and I'm pursuing a short-term (i.e. I can't commit because I might get a nursing job at any point) nanny job to replace it. So more applications. I'm concerned that I'm burning out on the type of work I do, and I want to recognize that and avoid it. We'll see what opens up, but I am very grateful to have a job at all, let alone more than one.

Andrew and I are doing well, though seeing each other is made difficult by our different and changing schedules. We just started a premarital class, which I think will be a great blessing and a good investment. We are excited to get married and see where we end up. Our plan is to move to wherever I can get a job, and I'm hoping that's out of state with California's cost of living so high. Ideally, that will also be an area that has a grad school that offers a paleontology program, as Andrew has decided to pursue his Master's when we're able.

Some of you who saw my Facebook status awhile back may be wondering what's up with me and the Army. I did decide to pursue military nursing, applying to both the Army and the Air Force. Before I even turned in the application (but not before spending a ton of time working on it -- it's 55 pages), I found out I was not eligible because of my fibromyalgia. That was a blow. I felt so strongly it was something I was supposed to pursue, but now I think I was meant to do just that and no more. I was disappointed, the idea of traveling and a guaranteed job sounded great (a huge challenge, too, but an amazing experience). Yet I knew that this was not what God had for me and Andrew, and that was ok. Incredibly, despite my Type A/control freak nature, I have been blessed to be able to give this job search up to God. I know that I can apply everywhere, but unless God opens the door, nothing will happen. I also know that anxiety about it helps nothing. This is, of course, easier said than done, but God has given me a measure of peace about it.

Oh! One more little thing, whose name is Fritz. In June, I took in a kitten, who was about 6 weeks old. Andrew and I named him Fritz because he is *crazy* and we like to say he's "on the fritz". It's fun to play with him and watch him grow (At 8 weeks, he weighed 2.5 lbs. Now 4 months, he weighs 7 lbs!) but the scratch scars on my arms will tell you he's not always nice. I haven't had a pet in about 6 years, so it's fun to have one again, but I will definitely be glad when he stops going nuts in the middle of the night (he sleeps -- or rather, doesn't -- in my room).

I think that about covers it. Thanks for reading this lengthy update, and I hope to see some of you in February!


Friday, September 23, 2011

A post.

So, I imagine most of you know... but a quick recap:

I picked up an Alaskan nursing license. I bought a car that died and then had to finance a second one. I enjoyed a couple weddings (IL and CA), said a difficult goodbye to my wonderful housemates, and then moved to Alaska. I live in rural, interior Glennallen, Alaska. I live in my own apartment and I'm learning how to cook a few things (I have only set off the smoke alarm once!). I'm a nurse at a small clinic where I "wear lots of hats"--from immunizations galore, to ER nursing, to dispatching ambulances and calling in helicopters, to assisting whatever they need assistance coordinating care with village clinics, to arranging appointments and counseling over the phone, to even calling insurance companies and figuring out billing. There is only one nurse on duty at a time, and I start working alone this Sunday! Scary. I will be working both days and nights...about a week of nights every month. I'm still confident that God has me here, but I still wonder at times what might have been if I traveled down a different road and stayed in Los Angeles... I did my first big grocery run since living here this past weekend...something different to have to drive four hours to stock up on hundreds of dollars of groceries. I love Alaska a lot, but miss a lot of things too. Mesmerized by the beauty, miss my friends and familiarity....I miss Chickfila, Target, Trader Joes...even stupid things like traffic, palm trees and sandy beaches. I have traded in my California's driver's license for an Alaskan one. Life has been crazy.

Check out my blog anytime:

I update it frequently with pics, prayer requests, stories and the like!

Love you guys...and miss your faces...a lot!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Changes [insert Tupac reference here]

Hi everyone,

I do hope that we keep using this blog as a way to communicate events in our lives. It really is so cool to see how God is moving in each person's life and where He is moving us too!

Speaking of moving: I moved to Burbank about 2 weeks ago.  I live in Burbank Hills, in a 3 story townhome with a lovely British woman named Sandra.  She is a Christian and has an amazing life story. I could talk to her for hours and sometimes I do! I am really thankful I moved. I felt like it was the right thing to do and it's been such an incredible blessing.  It's only about 20 minutes away from work.  It's nice to come home to a quiet, peaceful home... AND my own room :) 

Work has progressively gotten more challenging as I inherit or come to realize what my responsibilities really are.  I still feel very much that being a charge nurse at a clinic on Skid Row is where God has me, but the days can be long and difficult at times.  If you think of me, please pray for me and for the clinic as we are in a time of transition.  I love our patients, but they are difficult in more ways than one.  Please pray against the enemy, as I really do feel the spiritual warfare on a day to day basis.  Pray for our leadership, that they would have discernment and wisdom and be sensitive to God's leading.  Pray for my staff and the clinicians, or providers, that work at our clinic--the morale is low at times and they are fighting against burn out.  There is just a lot going on.  But amidst the difficulties, there are amazing stories of people, more specifically our patients, making significant changes in their lives or being touched by God's love and compassion. I am able to see and assess patients, which is great cause my skills don't have to go to waste.  Recently, I've also decided to get my ACRN (AIDS certification) due to the large volume of HIV/AIDS patients that are seen at my clinic. That was never part of my plan and never was interested in it before, but after seeing the need for it, I feel that this is something that God wants me to move forward with. Over the last few weeks,  I've been learning a lot from Rachel regarding how to teach and give care to HIV/AIDS patients and I want to be as useful as possible at the clinic.  I am excited about this! If anyone else is interested in doing this, let me know! Maybe we can do it together :)

Lots  of changes in my life! Including...a boyfriend.  This is still fairly recent, as in we made things official last Wednesday. His name is Clay. He graduated from Biola.  Some of you might know him.  I met him a few years ago, actually went on a group date with him, Clara, Krichelle and her now husband Chris and Paul Doyle.  I thought he was cute then when I met him, and kind of had a crush on him because I found him mysterious. HAHA. Anyway, nothing really came out of that...and as you all know, I kind of dated a few other guys.  This year, Clay and I would run into each other at birthday parties in L.A a couple of times (a dance party in February and another in March). We would talk briefly and nothing else.  We ran into each other again in July because we were actually in Krichelle's wedding...he was a groomsman and I, a bridesmaid.  He asked me for my number at the end of the day and then asked me out a week later.  We've been hanging out/talking ever since! We are taking things one day at a time and thus far it's been so good.  He is a lot of fun to be around and I feel pretty relaxed and chill when I'm around him.  He's also incredibly talented. He sings and plays guitar and writes his own music. He's in a bluegrass/folksy band called The Show Ponies and they play some shows around L.A.  If any of you ever want to come, let me know! They are really good... and I'm not just saying that because I'm the supportive girlfriend/groupie. HAHA.  Oh geez.

Well that's all for me. GEEZ. So many changes in such a short time! But such is the season of life we are in.

I hope that we can all be reunited soon.  It would be good to see your lovely smiling faces.