Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm officially a PharmD!!! aka Pharmacy School Graduation in Pictures

I DID IT!!!!!!
I'M DONE!!!!!
I'M A PHARMACIST!!!!
WOOOHOOOOO!!!!

Since you've been following my pharmacy school journey since year 1..and I told you about how it all began...now let me tell you about how it all ended. 
*tear*

-----------------

Thursday night we had our Commencement / Graduation Banquet at a fancy banquet hall called the Carlisle in Lombard, IL. 


I had a crazy day filled with baking, cleaning...followed by driving 35 miles into the city to pick up my graduation cake...then coming back in bumper-to-bumper traffic..thinking the whole way that we're going to be super late to our banquet. Our trip back from the city took us almost 2 hours. When we got home, Greg and I had 30 minutes to each take a shower, get dressed...and in my case, do my hair and makeup. We ran around the house like mad, pushed each other out of the bathroom...but managed to leave the house on time and make it to the reception not only on time, but 7 minutes early. We're good, aren't we?!



Yes...I did chop off like 2/3 of my hair. More on that in the next Quick Takes.





At the banquet, we had good food, good company, and great laughs! I was at a table with 4 of my closest pharmacy school friends along with their parents and/or significant others.

I was awarded my awesome medal for my SUMMA CUM LAUDE honors...which were the highest honors (GPA > 3.9) and which only 10 people out of our class of 199 received.




My friend Joanna also received Summa Cum Laude and my friend Mitch received Cum Laude. As you can see, I kept with a group of smartypants throughout pharmacy school.




....
And on Friday May 22nd, 2015
I RECEIVED MY DOCTOR OF PHARMACY

and became Dr. Agnes N, PharmD













 My dear husband

 My parents

My parents and 2 of 3 brothers

Here is my mommy. Super excited about my diploma!
 

And my pharmacy school crew. We sat together in all lectures all 4 years of our journey!

Then I had a mini party for my family and close friends.


Check out my party favors!!! 

TAKE A CHILL PILL!! 
Which is really a pen that folds together so nicely into a small capsule. Very convenient to carry in pockets :-)

Take a shot!!!
Which is once again, a pen, in the shape of a syringe. This will be a pretty cool little gadget for residency as well :-)


Aaaaand...you can't beat my cake!!!

This awesome young lady named Sephora...who has her own mother-daughter (she's the daughter) bakery in Elmwood Park, IL...made this cake for me. I sent her a few pictures from pinterest and she designed around those ideas and made this amazing, creative, and unique cake!!! Here is a link to her bakery, in case you live in Chicago and are interested in her awesome work: Seph's Sweets.







Oh..and for completeness sake....and to let you know in how great of a pharmacy school graduation spirit I was...take a look at the nails my friend painted for me for graduation.

Not the greatest of pictures...but those are dancing capsules...or "happy pills" :-D
Yes, I'm silly :)


And my cards..


And last and most important of all...
Thank You GOD, I couldn't have done it without You! 

And thank you husband for being supportive and just plain awesome!

I just couldn't ask for more in life. God blessed me too abundantly!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Double Blessed???

Hey, remember those posts where I spilled my soul and pondered about whether I should do a residency, or have a baby, or perhaps both? 

These posts:


And then the posts (Post #1, Post #2) about my long discernment process and about my vocation? 
And then the post announcing that I matched to a residency program?


Well...here now is the post announcing the other part of my vocation.

So to answer the question of: Residency? Baby? or All of the above?

Turns out it's ALL of the above!!!!! 
God gave it ALL to me!

I prayed. 

He answered.

Conclusion? Be careful what you pray for...because God might just answer :-)

No detailed comments right now as I am still in a deep state of shock and I absolutely do not believe this...(and it's still very early in the pregnancy and nobody knows except the co-creators hubby and God.............aaaaand now the whole internet). All I can tell you is that I burst into tears yesterday and I couldn't figure out whether those tears were due to extreme joy, surprise, sadness, or anxiety. My guess is, all of the above. My husband was absolutely thrilled and he tried to calm me down, because He knows this is a huge blessing but that it will not be easy for me. I am also very happy as I have been praying about this baby for such a long time and praying for God's will to be done no matter what it is.... but seeing that GOD gave me A RESIDENCY and wanted me to take that route for a year...I guess I didn't expect Him to also give me the other gift I've been dying to receive: a baby in my womb. Now is the time to not only trust that this was God's Will, but also that this was His Timing. It for sure is a trial of my faith and trust in God and His Goodness and Plan for my life.

IT FEELS PRETTY AWESOME TO KNOW THAT I HAVE A TEENY-TINY APPLE-SEED-SIZED BABY IN MY WOMB, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones, with a unique soul created by GOD...but I AM KIND OF FREAKING OUT AND ANXIOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE BECAUSE I DID NOT EXPECT TO HAVE A BABY RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF RESIDENCY!!!!! My plan was to get pregnant in the fall and have the baby right after the end of residency, but this clearly was not God's plan.

I wasn't sure I was going to survive the intenseness of residency and I had the mindset (like all the other residents out there) that residency was going to be the primary FOCUS and SACRIFICE of my life for the next 12 months...but now from one day to the next, I am completely switching priorities. And now I have to survive residency while at the same time grow and deliver and care for a healthy baby. Is that even doable???????

Part of me is lifting up my hands screaming out "ALLELUJAH" in joy towards the heavens.
And another part of me is yelling with anger: "What were You thinking GOD?!?!?!" WHY NOW?!?!?

So in conclusion: I'm pregnant. And I'm starting residency in 4 weeks. And I have no idea where I am going, where God is taking me, how I will survive this. I cannot even imagine what the next 12 months will look like. For Goodness sake, I don't get maternity leave from residency...just a mere 10 personal days off!!! (*tears*) GOD, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK SOME MIRACLES IN MY LIFE OVER THE NEXT YEAR TO GET ME THROUGH THIS.  I don't know where I'm going, but I am blindly following His Plan for my life, because He has never before disappointed me and He has taken me to places I would never have reached without Him. I'm very, very scared and anxious, but I trust Him. He gave His life for me and therefore I am giving my life over to Him, and even though I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going, I am ready to accept whatever comes...for everything that comes from Him is GOOD.

Anyways..

When is it appropriate to make my first pre-natal appointment? I do not even have an OB/GYN picked out and I have never gone to the doctor except when I needed school vaccinations and physicals...and I've obviously never been pregnant before, so needless to say I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. I am totally unprepared. (And my earthly mother lives 2 states away). Therefore any help and advice is appreciated (along with a "congratulations" or a "ARE YOU CRAZY AGNES?!)

Thanks!

P.S. Other than that...I am graduating pharmacy school on FRIDAY, studying for board exams, and now reading pregnancy books instead of pharmacy notes. 


Will be updating you more on this craziness that is my life soon! For right now, I am too overwhelmed at how blessed I am. Earning the noble titles of Doctor and Mother all in the same month! 

"Resident, pharmacist, mom! I will make you anything and everything you want...all at the same time" - says the Lord.

My response? No words are appropriate here but Mary's Words (her Fiat...her Yes to God) when her pregnancy was announced to her (and these are the words I have been pondering): "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Or in Latin: "dixit autem Maria ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum et discessit ab illa angelus"



God Bless,

And don't forget to leave me advice...any kind of advice is appreciated. Oh, and if you have good recommendations for books/websites/ other helpful materials or info, that'd be wonderful.


- Agnes


Friday, May 8, 2015

7 Quick Takes #51 Pharmacy School and Random Ranting

Join other bloggers in the weekly 7 Quick Takes fun over at http://thisaintthelyceum.org


#1 Hello!

 

Not much going on here. 
Just on my last rotation as a pharmacy student, ever.

Life has been split between pharmacy rotations, studying, and chilling with my cat...and lately...since it warmed up...planting in my flower and in my veggie garden. It's Greg's 2nd month in a row of overnights - so I try to keep myself busy with pharmacy school work and prayer and hobbies so that I don't have time to be sad and ruminate on the loneliness I feel when he's not around. I have gotten somewhat used to it by now...but it would still be nice if my husband was with me on evenings and nights, instead of just on weekends. Such is life. God has got this. He has a plan for us.

Things will get better, we just gotta get through the hard stuff first. 

#2 My rant from earlier this week when I really felt the stress.......

BEGIN RANT: This is so sad. Graduation is around the corner. And summer. And getting licensed and becoming a pharmacist. 1.5 weeks left of pharmacy school EVER and I cannot enjoy it because I am sooo swamped with work. There is a 50% chance I might die from stress before I get that PharmD.

Just kidding. I just need to breathe and say "Jesus I trust in You." I have been having this crazy feeling like something is stuck in my chest....this heaviness...I have never had anxiety before so I don't know how it feels but I think this is it.  I'm usually a very calm person and I don't stress out easily.  I just have 5 days left of rotations and 2 major projects to finish and to deliver. One of my projects I will be presenting to the pharmacists and the other is an "in-service" that I will be giving to the nurses in the ICU. More about that when I write my APPE #6 post.

Anyways...all I'm thinking about is spring, gardening, flowers, and the glory of graduating pharmacy school after 6 years of hard work....and yet I have to still go and dig deep in my brain and use my critically thinking braincells to work on a research and a patient case project. It's veeeerrrrry hard to concentrate on my work now that it's so beautiful outside. There is a correlation between the temperature outside and my ability to focus on pharmacy school work. And it's an inverse correlation for sure. ONLY 5 MORE DAYS AND 2 MORE PROJECTS TO FINISH AND PRESENT. I can do this. I will do this. If I don't suffocate from this anxiety I'm having first.

END OF RANT.

Moving on....

#3 My parents got the cutest little puppy for their house/farm in Michigan.



#4 Spring Organizing continued...

We got this drawer chest at Ikea so I can finally have a place to organize all of my papers, office supplies, etc. Like all things from Ikea, it took hubby and I about 2-3 hours to put it together because it came in pieces. But it was quality time spent together on a weekend. Just us, and hubby's tools.


#5 Throwback Thursday!

My friend and bridesmaid just recently sent me these after she found them on her old phone. This is me, trying on  my wedding dress for the first time. Believe it or not, this was in 2012 and it feels like it was yesterday. Just 3 months until our 2 year anniversary. How crazy is that?!?!


#6

Picture of the husband and I, videochatting on FaceTime.

Unfortunately, phone conversations and FaceTime are our primary modes of communication while he goes through his 3-month long nightshift periods.

Can you spare a prayer?

Hubby is trying to become self-employed. We are absolutely sick and done with him working night shifts at the machining and welding shop. We are missing out on our youth and our marriage because we never see each other. Don't get me wrong. We are so grateful for we are so  blessed in life: We are young and healthy and in love (thank GOD)...but there is something missing. We absolutely miss spending time with each other like other young, married couples that are in love, do. WORKING OPPOSITE SHIFTS SUCKS. Like I said, I have gotten a bit more used to it now that it's been going on basically our whole marriage (going on 2 years). So I'm asking for prayers...prayers that Greg's self-employment idea works. It will involve investing some money to start the business (and money is kinda scarce around here, with me in pharmacy school...completing rotations which I don't get paid for...and buried in a crazy amount of student loan debt). So this will involve TRUSTING GOD that the money, time, and energy we spend trying to get this thing started and thus bettering our life and marriage WILL WORK OUT. Not only will it involve investing our money to start this, but also my hubby has to quit his job, where he has worked since high school...and possibly have no income until the business is a bit more well established. SO PRAYERS AND TRUST WILL BE KEY....We'll have to trust that we won't lose our money (earned by the hard work of my wonderful husband and saved by his frugal and wise wife [haha]) and fail at this. Because that would suck. Remember, even though I'm graduating, I'm starting a residency and I will be making crappy money for this whole year...and most of it will go towards my student loan payments. So we hope and pray this works. I am convinced this is God-insipred and the HE is the one that gave us the idea and led my hubby to be interested in this and to take steps towards setting it up. We are not just doing it out of selfishness...so that we could have "more time with each other." We are primarily doing this for OUR FUTURE FAMILY. We don't even have kids yet, but we're already thinking their futures. Since in the future, after I'm done with residency, I'll be the primary money maker in the household as a pharmacist and will need to work in order to pay for my student loans, my hubby will probably be the one that works less hours and spends more time with the future kiddos. Now, he can't do that while employed at a full time job as a CNC operator where he usually work around 60 hours per week. So he wants to be self-employed, so that he can set his own hours and his own workload....so he can pretty much be on his own schedule and flexible to the needs of our family. Because, yes, we want to give our future children a good childhood, and we want to raise them with LOVE and in our beautiful Catholic faith. I cannot imagine placing my children in a daycare center and not raising them in our home. Gosh, I'd rather abandon my professional career and be a stay at home mom. But that will be kind of impossible, especially now that I'm young and fresh out of school, since I have accumulated significant pharmacy school debt...and since I am pretty sure God is the one that CALLED ME to be a pharmacist in the first place.

Well, I know that things will work out. Because God is good. And He loves us.
But prayers wouldn't hurt :-)

#7

I leave you with beautiful Gregorian chant that puts your soul right at the gates of heaven. 

"VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS"
(COME HOLY SPIRIT)

Good timing, since Pentecost (meaning "50th day"...aka 50 days after Easter), or the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit...is upon us.