DIY Pet Art

30 September 2014

After moving, moving, moving I decided to sit back and take a personal hour. What do you know? I had a pen and paper handy and decided to try my hand at the art featured on A Beautiful Mess. It was so easy to do and, while I'm not an artist, it turned out pretty well! It's already up in a frame in the guest room. I'm feeling inspired lately to reach beyond my obligations. I need to evaluate my time and my priorities and do what keeps me sane. 

Oh, and I'll update you on the Color Run soon. I had a blast with Noah and some pharmacy school friends!

Phone Dump

26 September 2014

It has been a really busy week around here! So for now, I'll just drop a few photos here from the past week. There's white coat ceremony, coffee with Ashley, the beautiful fall weather, studying, and taking little pockets of time to enjoy the animals when I'm actually home for more than five minutes. I'm proud that this week has gone pretty well, but I'd really love to have a break. Now I'm off to study for a quiz and work on a research paper. Wish me luck!

Color Run - Round II!

25 September 2014

Last May I experienced my first Color Run with my good friends and decided immediately that I'd have to do another one. This weekend I'm heading up with Noah and a few pharmacy students to the National Harbor for a 5k and the after party. I've almost forgotten, in the sense that life has gotten so busy I almost wonder if I'll really have time for it; then I remember that it was a blast last time and it'll be good exercise and a great experience. 

So here's to the Color Run and getting amped up. 

PS - Kicked butt on my exam and quizzes yesterday. It was a big day. Now, off to research papers!

Country Reunion

23 September 2014

This weekend was really busy for me but in a pretty good way. On Friday the pharmacy school held the annual White Coat Ceremony. It's a sort of "welcome to the program" to all P1s. Then on Saturday the family had a fairly sizable reunion out by the river. Sunday consisted of mostly working and catching up with friends in between study times. I met up with Ashley for coffee at the Espresso Bar then with Sam and Ben to watch the Maze Runner. I liked the movie alright, though not as much as I liked the Giver (but I'm an emotional sap, what can you expect?). 

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

19 September 2014

Lately I'm on a tea kick, getting up and putting the kettle on as I'm getting ready in the morning. I'm really feeling the Breakfast Teas and Chai. Oddly, the creamer I'd been putting in my coffee had an adverse affect on the feel of my morning drink, which pushed me back over to tea for the time being. I'm totally okay with this since I feel that tea is more of an autumnal beverage anyways. Soon enough we'll be getting into hot cocoa with little marshmallows in a mug for a football game.

A Jumble

18 September 2014

It's been a busy week, but a pretty good one. Last week was torturous for me with my first exam in IBHS and two car inspections (that both failed). Now we're already at Thursday over here... and that means my White Coat Ceremony is tomorrow. It's sort of a celebration of acceptance to pharmacy school and beginning that path. I'm looking forward to graduation a little more honestly once these next four years are done, but I'll certainly try to enjoy the journey along the way.

Some of the highlights this week have been Rob Bell's incredible video, Breathe, Heather getting us a pizza to study over on Wednesday, talking to a pastoral candidate last night, feeling the crisp fall air all week, and going out to celebrate Nic getting a job!

Fall Introspection

16 September 2014

I've gone back to read some of my old blog posts lately. It's so interesting to see problems that occurred for me five years ago that come back around. Another aspect I enjoy is reading about the different things I was thankful for throughout the years and what people in my life have played roles, whether major or minor. 

Today I am feeling pretty introspective. I'm wondering what I want out of life, my relationships, my career. In the future, when I look back on 2014, what will my impressions be? Am I as honest and open as I used to be? 

What friendships today will impact who I am tomorrow? What things will I have to let go of in order to move forward in life? 

Sometimes life just throws you curveballs and you have to decide whether or not you'll fight for what you want. 

Greek Olympics

15 September 2014

The Greek Olympics are held at the pharmacy school each year and it's a friendly competition between the professional fraternities. Since P1s can't rush until spring, we're the only group in the school allowed to have a team that's not a fraternity. 

The games involve such challenging sports as a hula hoop contest, water balloon toss, tug-of-war, egg balancing race, and a three-legged race. P1s took 1st place in three of the events which meant we took home the gold! The games I participated in were the egg race and the balloon toss which were loads of fun. It's a really great team building exercise and it was good exposure to the fraternities. The fraternities also had a few people making dinner for us before the games started and they even had veggie burgers. I was quite pleasantly surprised. 

I haven't decided yet if I'll rush in the spring or not; I'm keeping my eyes open when it comes to the numerous organizations at the pharmacy school. In fact, later today we have an Org Fair so I'll report back about some organizations that I'm interested in sometime in the near future. 

Canoeing, Just Us Girls

Life Currently - Pharm Student Edition

10 September 2014

Notice anything? Oh, my computer (aka master study tool) is in nearly every photo? Yes, pharmacy school is a lot of studying. In fact, it's a lot of class...but it's even more outside studying. I'm meeting groups at Panera, coffee shops, in little study rooms at our health building, and I study at home. The good news is I get to meet a lot of great new people, both students and professors. Our first exam is today so wish me lucky. Wouldn't you know it, I'm already out of my prescription skittles. No worries, I didn't overdose! 

50 Questions Part 5 (Round 2)

09 September 2014

  1. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Well, let's be honest, if they're all dying the best course of action is to bring them to me (selfishly) instead of wasting time trying to see everybody and only managing so few. But... I would take Noah with me, I'd go see Jake, and then drive with them to see my sister. 
  2. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No. No desire to be famous and attractiveness you could work on while gaining years of your life through exercise. May not be a knock out still, but live a quality life, sure.
  3. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? A plant is alive! I like plants, but I don't want to be one. Truly living means experiencing new things, learning from mistakes, and allowing yourself to feel. 
  4. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? When you know it is right. The problem is that things are (almost) never so black and white as to know exactly what the right course of action is. There's a reason weighing your options is valuable. 
  5. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? 1) Because we are social creatures. We're afraid others will judge us if we fail. 2) We're insecure. We will judge ourselves when we fail. I think we can be taught not to do this, but it takes a lot of encouragement, and I think, rather young, for this to work. If kids are taught that it's okay to make a mistake as long as they keep trying or come back from it then it's okay.
  6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Pass. (Also using the conditions of nobody would get hurt.)
  7. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Sunday morning! Our sunday school class was watching "Breathe" by Rob Bell and we ended up having the most interesting discussion on the video. Wow. Bell talked about YHWH, which is written that way because you can't say the name of God. The letters in the hebrew language represent breathing sounds... inhale... exhale. 
  8. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? Haha, first world problems I guess. I love my dog but I feel bad because I've been so busy with pharmacy school that I haven't taken him to the dog park recently enough. I'm afraid he doesn't know I love him. There are other things I love too and sometimes I'm afraid to show it and sometimes it just comes bursting out from me. 
  9. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? Yes and no. Yesterday and the day before I'll be able to tell you the outline. Now, Saturday was when Noah, Ashley, Allan, and I went to ComicCon so I'll probably remember that. And that's kind of the point isn't it? To make memories that will last a lifetime? I'm really, really trying to truly live my life. 
  10. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? Both. I suspect the answer to this question will always be both. If you make decisions just for yourself then you tend to be a selfish person who doesn't care about the consequences your decisions can have for others. However, if you only live for others then you don't allow yourself to be happy. I tend to weigh my options. Big things I look out for other people first - I don't like hurting people. Smaller, every day decisions I tend to lean towards my own wants and needs. Sometimes you have to look out for what you need because others won't and that's an odd thought to have. Hopefully you can surround yourself with true friends who will do what is best for you too.

50 Questions Part 4 (Round 2)

08 September 2014

  1. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? What an eye-opening question. My instinct was to say the spring but as I'm thinking about it I'm not sure if that's true. Perhaps now? I guess I feel like I jumped onto this incline about a year ago, getting myself out of teaching and coming to the realization that I wanted to experience more as I went through life... and the climb is continually upwards, towards more. Now, I don't mean more as in more THINGS or I want my life to look like hers. No, I'm 25, and I want to look back and think I used my 20s well.  I'm traveling to caverns, having impromptu dinners with friends, hosting movie marathons, traveling to see different cities (see Charlottesville, explore Comic Con, run a 5k, camp in a bunk bed). Not all of my experiences have been so positive that I feel the need to repeat them but I've been saying "yes" more in the past year than perhaps any time prior in my life and that makes me feel alive
  2. If not now, then when? For most things... never. There are a few big things (such as seeing Iceland or Italy) that will certainly happen in the future and I really just can't responsibly take money to do them now. Yet, for most things in life if you're not willing to step up to do it for yourself then it won't get done. Oh, you want to volunteer? Why not now? You want to be fit sometime in your life. Now. You want to go on dates, form new friendships, and be more outgoing? Now. Think of the little things that build up to big things. If you think about what you want your life to look like five or ten years from now, you should start today. What's that saying? The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. 
  3. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? My biggest goal right now is becoming a pharmacist. So... for me I'm already on the path to achieve that. There's side goals along the way, but I stand firmly behind my purusit of them. I'm goal-oriented and I WILL get what I need in the end.
  4. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Yes.
  5. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because they don't support love. Not really. This is speaking as a young woman with a strong Christian background and a minor in religion. Oh, they're capable of love, but because their followers are human beings it won't ever happen. There will be open-minded people who try to change this, but in the end, people believing in these fictitious books that tell them so-and-so is sinning or your enemy... just ends in hatred. You could look at the shema and we would all be alright, but people want to feel like part of a club. The only way for them to feel special is for other people to not be special. It breaks me a bit because I think the world is special. God to me is humanity and doing things to better it.
  6. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? On some things, but not all things.
  7. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? No. My current job is as a student. I would be so happy to pay off those student loans and have an easy mortgage, but that's about where it would end. Maybe I'd buy Noah a nice section or king mattress while I'm at it? But in the end, it costs more than that to raise a kid nowadays. It's more like that's a big helping boost towards a job you do want because you could spend time working on side projects to gain yourself experience for free (such as unpaid internships) without sacrifices comfort of living. 
  8. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work I enjoy doing EASY. Let's be busy busy busy over here.
  9. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? No. In fact, I've only had one day exactly like this one so far at pharmacy school. I don't even like this question because it calls up feelings of pointlessness about life. You have to look at each day as an opportunity. If you feel like it's too routine, get out of your comfort zone. Take a new class, make something, learn an instrument, go to a new place and meet some new people. Don't let your life become zombieland.
  10. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? Is now an acceptable answer? There's a lot of things I feel in the dark on currently, but I know myself, and I'm a person who will fight through anything. 

50 Questions Part 3 (Round 2)

07 September 2014

  1. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? Joyful simpleton. I know this is the same answer I said a few years ago... and maybe I'm making too rash of a decision, but I think it's right. I really, really value my intelligence and ability to get through life with ease but the key word is "joyful". I'm already tired of worrying and I'm only 25. Just living life and being joyful sounds like a blessing. 
  2. Why are you, you? I'm me because of my surrounding circumstances, my life experiences, and my genetics. That's what set me up to be the person that I am. Now if you're asking what makes me "unique" or at least uniquely me, then that's a little tougher. 
  3. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? Sometimes? To most people. I guess I'm the kind of friend that a person in a relationship would want, but not necessarily my single/student friends. I'm available at school and I'm down to try new things, but I feel a commitment to my family, dog, home, etc. that means I am not going to be out at a friends every night. I do care about my friends, I respond to questions, I plan events, and I think about what would be the best course of action to gain a net positive outcome for the group. So, all in all, yes I do think so. 
  4. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? When a good friend moves away. A lot of my friendships are based on being able to do things and talking through our feelings. You can still talk from a distance, but it's hard to develop new shared experiences that make a relationship tighter. If you have a friend near you that you stop talking to, I guess I wonder whether you were really that good of friends to begin with. 
  5. What are you most grateful for? My dog. My relatively good health.
  6. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? Lose old memories. Let go of things, start fresh. If you can't make new memories there's really no point in living because you will never grow or find a true satisfaction in the things you experience. 
  7. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? No. You may have heard the truth but you won't KNOW for sure unless you really try to test it. That doesn't mean you can't take things on faith sometimes, but you're trusting the source of information to have determined that it is true before passing it on to you.
  8. Has your greatest fear ever come true? No. 
  9. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? No, at least not an individual time beyond maybe a few family-related events. Some matter and some d0n't. Sometimes it's just that those little arguments really add up or that someone really hurt you and you're not sure how to reconcile that... Yet, as a general rule, no, you don't remember the arguments. It sounds so easy to let go of those disagreements yet somehow it still is a challenge. This is probably similar to the "count to 10" method. Always counting before you respond in anger or an emotional state. I'm not good at that either. I don't feel satisfied unless I lash out at someone after I've been hurt. It's not fair to the other person or me. It's something I need to work on. 
  10. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? Going to the farm and feeding cows. My entire family was there and I always remember being happy at the farm. Being in a new place, feeding animals, and just having such carefree days... I hope I can always recall some of that feeling. 

50 Questions Part 2 (Round 2)

04 September 2014

  1. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? Tastefully say I disagree and point out good qualities. I wouldn't be embarrassed to admit it if someone was a friend and, since I believe my friends are good people, I would say why I think she is a good friend.
  2. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Be yourself and stand up for what you believe in. What others think of you may seem important, but when you have strong values and live by them that shows through. Be courageous, be social, interact with the world as much as you can.
  3. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Depends on the law, but almost certainly yes. I'm such a "lawful good" person that it'd be very hard for me, but if saved a life then probably.
  4. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Nope. Sorry, this one still just strikes me as a little odd. You can be both insane AND creative but I think that's obvious immediately. Never have I seen something go from being only insane and then turn to creative. 
  5. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? Live my life. I never got hung up on other people's opinions too much, never went through a heavy make up phase or a binge drinking time in college. I have always found fulfillment in doing activities and sharing experiences. Others experience that same fulfillment but I honestly believe most people my age are still coming to terms with living life for themselves. 
  6. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Well what fun would that be?! I mean, it might be easier sometimes because we could all agree, but there need to be differences in the world so that we can function. Fortunately, there are people in the world who do enjoy teaching middle school. God knows it wasn't me! I'm glad there are people who can take on the roles I wouldn't be happy with and I'd like to think they feel the same way about me. 
  7. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back? I want to go to travel more. It's a mix right now of time and money. You can't take off from a school program without delaying your graduation and I just took out big ($$$) loans so it'd be irresponsible of me to spend money on a big travel tour around Europe or flying to Yosemite. You could call them excuses, but I call it finding a balance. Just like you need a balance of work and life, you need a balance of spontaneity and responsibility too. I like to think that once you start working you could take off a little more time (or at least have more money), though I'm sure it won't be easy then either. 
  8. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yes. I guess. I don't want to let go of it.
  9. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? State - South Carolina (for Charleston) or Colorado/Wyoming area. They are both beautiful for different reasons. Country - Scotland. I could move to Edinburgh and stay in that glorious city.
  10. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? Not usually. No, I don't think it makes the elevator move faster, but it mentally makes you feel like you're doing something. And that is somewhat satisfying on its own. 

50 Questions Part 1 (Round 2)

03 September 2014

A few years ago I filled out my answers to the 50 questions that will free your mind (from the site Practical Tips for Productive Living). It was 2012 when I last answered and I thought I would go ahead an answer these questions again since my thoughts and beliefs have probably changed a bit since then. Plus answering these questions was one of the more insightful introspective activities I have done to date. 

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I'd probably guess between 25 and 30 which means, for the first time ever in my life, that I am the age that I feel I am. I have energy and motivation of a young person but am a bit more grounded by responsibilities in my life.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Definitely never trying. I used to think failing was, in a way, worse because it could discourage you. Failure can discourage you, but if you don't try then you will never build confidence from success either. It's important to try because you will succeed at more things than you thought possible. 
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? I stand by my old answer for this question. We do a lot of things we don't like because we are higher reasoning creatures than dogs and cats. We have obligations, responsibilities, and commitments to society. If we never stepped up to do something that we don't like then we wouldn't progress. The second part of the question is harder. For many it's a limiting factor of time/money/motivation. I think there are ways around that though. Prioritizing your wants and needs can really carry you a long ways. Get an accountability partner and tell them "We're doing THIS!" and follow through.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Yes. I firmly believe that I will look back and think I have done the best I could with this life. I think you will always wish you had done just a bit more, but now I'm really trying new things and am pursuing loftier goals. I hope as I continue to grow personally and with age that I will keep trying for higher and harder goals. 
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? I wish things were fair and people were nicer. Or maybe that people were introspective? For the lack of a better example, I wish people gave to others for the SAKE of giving to others. I had a bible study the other night and I mentioned that I don't really believe in heaven any more. Someone asked me what the point of doing good things was then and I was just stunned into silence. For me, the reason for doing good things is just that it's the best you can do for others. If you're doing it for a reward then it's not really doing a good service - it's a selfish act. So, I wish people would be a little more others-centric.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Playing with my dog. Taking pictures. Sitting at the top of a mountain. Singing in my car. I'd have a lot of little side jobs apparently. 
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? A mix of both I guess. Nothing I'm doing goes against my personal values or anything of the sort but I would be volunteering more. I'm hoping to join an organization at SU that does pursue volunteer hours though. Also, at 25, a little of settling for what I'm doing. Since this is my "second career" I feel like I owe it to Noah to stick to it. I like it! I think pharmacy helps people. I'm just worried because I'm four years out and have no guarantee of a residency. So that makes me nervous. 
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I'd probably have kids now. I don't know if I even want kids but if I had the pressure of time I'd rather err on the side of yes. I wouldn't pursue a doctorate that takes five years. I think the pressure to have enough money into retirement would disappear quickly - you'd probably just work your whole life. Instead of trying to make a cushy living I'd probably just work any old place and have enough to pay bills but then travel a lot or take a lot of time off work. Maybe a better work-to-life balance? With 80 years or so there's a pressure to work enough when you're younger that you won't struggle when you're older. 
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? I've controlled nearly all of it now (such a relief after my answer a few years ago). I made the decision to teach, I made the decision to stop. I decided to pursue a doctorate in another science field. I still have to compromise on things like how I spend my money, adopting an animal, etc. but I don't feel like that is really limiting me. I'd love to just do things on a whim but in a marriage it's a give and take. That is SO much better than the feelings of obligation about school/work/church/relationships. It used to feel like every big thing about my life was controlled and now I really have ownership of a lot of it. That is empowering. 
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Ooh. Both? I am definitely still preoccupied with doing things "right". What would people think if ---? I feel the need for a career and not just a job; it has to be highly respected. Yet I do things that feel right to me too. I'd still say I lean heavier on doing things right at the current moment in time, but I'm always working towards doing the right things. I hope one day I'll only say "doing the right things".

5 Words to Describe Yourself

02 September 2014

Joanna at a Cup of Jo posted about how our lives are in chapters and you identify differently during each of them. She quoted Nora Ephron will sit at dinner and talk about their five words. As you go through life you'll realize that you identify with different roles. 

Here are my five today:

  1. Wife
  2. Student
  3. Friend
  4. Instigator
  5. Dreamer

Hey Guys, Lets Make Goals for Ourselves!

My friends (and husband) all made fun of me for setting goals for myself all the time - I almost consider it a leisurely activity to relax. Yet, I do believe that making a list of things you want to accomplish helps you actually get to the point of DOING them. 

Now, I'm taking a well-rounded look at my life and I'm trying to decide how I want the next four years to go. Some areas are a little more grey than others. When I finished college I was pretty happy with how my years had gone (I'm a firm believer that it's hard to be unhappy at JMU). Yet looking back I still wish I had tackled a bit more during my time there. 

Getting my PharmD will take four years of my life and hopefully even a fifth in the form of a residency. So, while this exercise won't be perfect, I want to make a little road map of the sites I'd like to see along the way.

  • Have an officer position in the Class of 2018
  • Join at least two clubs
  • Have a high leadership position in one club
  • Be published by the end of my P1 year
  • Enjoy "girl time" at least once a week (Ashley, AJ, Allison, new friends...)
  • Workout 5/7 days a week
  • Date night once a week
  • Try new things. People want to go tubing? I'm going. People are playing paintball? Count me in.

I'm already a good bit stressed out from trying to balance studying (HARD), working out, friends, church, and the mortgage nonsense. I may make a bit more year/semester-specific lists soon but as an overview of my time I want to balance academics and fun. More important than anything else though is to make myself competitive for a residency. 

My Least Favorite Thing

01 September 2014

As terrible as it sounds I already know my least favorite thing about pharmacy school... 

All day my class (2018 holla!) is in the same classroom all day. While that in itself sounds like a problem, my bigger issue is that the classroom has no window. There's no outlet to the outside world to see sunshine, blue skies, or heck, even rain. We rely on professors to give us a break because there isn't one given between classes (they are back-to-back). 

Fortunately, most professors do give us a break, but sitting in the same chair with only two five minute breaks to look at the grass and the trees is torturous.
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