Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter, Hubby's birthday, and Journal Reflections


Excuse the ~2 week blogging hiatus, but [unfortunately] I got all caught up in real, grown-up life full of to-do's, responsibilities, and deadlines...which sucks...because I'd much rather lock myself in my room and just read your wonderful blogs and ponder upon my own life and write it down for ya'll to read. But it is what it is. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! 

 

Christ is RISEN!!!

He is risen INDEED!


I'm back on facebook, too. But it feels so weird. I feel very disconnected from it and I don't even want to keep checking it....it's no longer interesting and addicting. Lent bore some fruit!!! :-)

And it's my husband's birthday today!!! 
I sent him this:

...I also left him a nice surprise gift on the counter...that he discovered when he got home from work in the middle of the night. It included a handmade birthday card (since he always tells me not to get him a birthday card. I thought: fine! you don't want a hallmark card??? You're getting a handmade one!) I included a picture of us jumping from joy on our honeymoon and a sweet birthday poem. Of course he woke me up and showered me with kisses. Sweet boy. 


--------------------------------------
I will be back to write some updates on Friday because I have a million things to do for school and for my rotation until then.  Meanwhile, I leave you with some reflections from Holy Week, that I recorded in my journal ~3 years ago. It was a very fruitful Holy Week...God was teaching me lessons every single day. They're kind of boring..although very sincere...but you don't have to suffer through reading them. I just wanted to post them here and have them here for future reading/reference.


Monday April 18, 2011



Today’s lessons: 
Living in the present moment
Not constantly re-living the past
Forgiveness for past offenses

Lord, today You have shown me how much suffering it brings when a person we love hurts or disappoints us. Not only have you shown me, you made me feel the pain. It was just somehow, by accident, I opened up an e-mail from Greg from 3 years ago, when we had our first major argument and I didn’t know what was going to happen to us. Just re-reading that e-mail made me relive the suffering of the past. I’m still feeling very weird inside. Now I see why we need to live in the present moment, and never bring up past mistakes and past pain, because it hurts almost just as much, especially if it concerns a person dear to us. Like right now, I feel that I love Greg almost unconditionally. I am ready to share my life with him for the greater glory of God. I’m not sure if it was the devil’s work or if it was You, that made me find and open that e-mail, exit it, go back, and decide to read it. However, I do not need to know and understand everything, because I know that no matter what happens Lord, You can turn even the worst situation into revelations of Your great wisdom. You are all good and all loving, therefore, at your sight, all evil and sin are erased, and replaced with righteousness and wisdom. And opening up this e-mail has brought upon me a great epiphany. And it’s a perfect epiphany to ponder, especially during Holy week. I could barely handle the feeling of pain brought upon me by only a PAST MEMORY of only ONE person that I love dearly—so where does that put You, if You love each and every one of us unconditionally, but we keen disappointing You and hurting You, by either thoughtlessly or consciously engaging in sinful words, actions, and thoughts. How must You feel, Lord Jesus Christ? How much suffering are you feeling and how can you handle such deep suffering, all the while still LOVING us and FORGIVING US and ACCEPTING US back into your loving arms? This is incomprehensible for a limited, human mind. I can’t wrap my mind around it. ITS HUGE! Only an infinitely good God with infinite love and forgiveness is capable of loving a human being. Because we sure are messed up. And we sure need your bottomless ocean of mercy to stay alive. If You can forgive me a million times, why should I hold bitterness in my heart for something someone has done to me in the past?



Tuesday April 19, 2011


Today’s lessons:

Do not want what others have.
Do not try to have a 'better' life than others, simply for the sake of being "better" than them.
Do not desire great things.
Do not be a people pleaser.
Live simply and be happy with what you already have.

I just realized this when I thought about getting engaged and married. We all want to have the most beautiful and original engagement ring, get engaged in a more impressive way than others, and have the most beautiful wedding of everyone we know. Yes, all that sounds perfect, because it only happens once in your life (at least it should). But what happened with living simple lives? Love is rich in itself, yet simple. We do not need to dress up our love in diamonds and dresses. Because even without this, if our love is sincere, it shines brighter than anything in the world.

Wednesday April 20, 2011



Today's lessons:
Do not worry about what you are to eat, or what you are to drink
Do not worry about little things.

...You have a BIG Almighty God watching over You!!! You told me this as I stood in the 2 hour line to the confessional at St. Blasé’s. I was super worried because I had an 8 page research paper ahead of me that is due tomorrow. I was stressed out because it took me forever just to start the paper and I thought I was going to have to be up all night struggling to write it. But You told me to just enjoy the present moment—take advantage of the time You gave me at church. Obviously, if You thought I wouldn’t be able to handle this paper tonight because of losing two hours standing in the huge line, You would’ve sent me to another church at another time for confession. But this is exactly where You led me. So I quit worrying and instead focused on You and on my soul. I asked You for forgiveness—my sin was before my eyes—but You gave me great peace about it. Your message simply was “DO NOT WORRY MY CHILD.” And it was so powerful.

My confessor asked if I pray for my future husband. I said Yes. And He told me to please pray a lot for my future husband, because marriage will not be easy...and there are so many troubled marriages.  I didn’t know whether this was a unique message from the Lord, just for my future marriage...or if the priest has just been hearing many, many marital problems during confessions and he wants to help young people by telling them to pray ahead of time.

There are so many marriages that are on the brink of failure. We must strive to save the holy institution of husband and wife and family from destruction by evil. Thanks Lord for giving me so many revelations during this Holy Week. It’s the best Holy Week ever! I feel very close to You and You are on my mind ALL DAY LONG.  You’re my sweetness during this week (since I gave up sweets for lent) LOVE YA!

Thursday April 21, 2011—The Lord’s Last Supper



Today's lessons:
The beauty and meaning of the Mass and the Eucharist

 Lord, today I give You special thanks for making me see the beauty of the Catholic Church, the Mass, confession, and the EUCHARIST. I used to go to church as a habit. Church is a part of my culture. It’s just what everybody around me always has done. But thanks to You Christ, I fell in love with our church. Every Mass is a beautiful experience. Every Mass is a chance for reflection, growth, and strength from the Eucharist and the Word (“the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us”). I want Your every word to become A PART OF ME. I still have a difficult time with temptations and I have certain habits that I do thoughtlessly that I know I have to change, but still don’t have enough strength and determination to do so. However, I know You are patient and slow to anger. And Your Mercy is keeping me alive. Your Love gives me strength every minute of my life. The sacrifice of Your Body and Blood is the only reason why I’m alive. This is why I will “eat this bread and drink this cup” to be constantly reminded of what You have given for me—that You FREELY accepted terrible AGONY and DEATH, so that I may live. That is why remembering Your Sacrifice and receiving Your Body through the Eucharist GIVES ME SO MUCH STRENGTH. 

Friday April 22, 2011 - Good Friday



Today's lessons:
Do not be average.
Be an example.
Lead by example.
Lead by serving others.
Do not follow people who are not setting a good, righteous example.
Do not conform to this world (because you are in the world, but not of the world)

I STRUGGLED with this all day. I was feeling so average at work. I felt like I was just there to get my job done in a mediocre way and leave, period. Lord, I know You put me there for a reason. Keep convicting me and show me the way to not only be a better person, but through that infect other people with Your goodness, love, and righteousness. Do not let me be selfish and “average” but show me how to be an EXCELLENT person for You. Of course excellence and even humility does not mean that I should let people walk all over me. You have told me that I need to have boundaries and I need to know when to say NO to people. I need to find a good balance and stick to it and make it be my boundary. Show me what the perfect balance is. I want to help people and I want to set a good example of caring, loving, helping, and doing good things. However, it’s so easy to become prey to people who just take advantage of you...Especially at my job.

But You showed me that I don’t have to feel like a doormat at work.  I don’t have to always feel stressed, frustrated, and used. You taught me that THAT is not humility. Humility is being an empty vessel and letting YOUR WILL be carried out in my life, rather than my wants or feelings. That is why I feel so disturbed because I feel that I’m out of balance. I feel pulled in both directions. I pray to You Lord Jesus Christ for peace in my heart and to You Holy Spirit for discernment. I want to do what’s good and right. You know that I have good intentions Lord. But my body does not always follow my spirit. I don’t want to be lazy and I sure don’t want to escape from responsibility. But I also don’t want to be used by people. I ask You Lord to please help me figure out a good boundary so that I know when to step in and help out and when to say no.  

Saturday April 23, 2011 - Holy Saturday



Today's lessons:
Do not be greedy
Your money is not your own, but comes from God
(You are not the owner of anything, but a steward of it)

Today, You convicted me very strongly about greediness. Although I don’t like to think of myself as greedy, I felt so strongly that You are telling me to quit being so dependent upon my parents’ money. I have been freely using their credit card to buy lunches and snacks at work, and even sometimes clothes or other online purchases. On our way to Mike’s house tonight, I was trying to reflect upon my life because there still was a storm in my soul from yesterday. Instead, You  gave me thoughts of something completely different than I was trying to deal with. All of a sudden, I started feeling very badly about “using” my parents, since I work and have my own money and do not need somebody else’s. It was so strange because I just had such a  strong feeling about this that I decided right that second, not even giving it a single thought more, that I will simply stop using my parents money. I decided, very surely and firmly, that I will never again use their card. You blessed me with a job, you blessed me with plenty of money to take care of my own needs by myself. I felt that my parents need the money more than I do. Never before have I even considered this issue. Never have I been confronted about it. But you finally gave me the understanding—the truth. And the wonderful thing is that not only did my greedy human nature not rebel against this conviction, and my decision to change my ways was immediate, but that even later, when I no longer had that strong feeling and conviction—I stuck to my decision without any second thoughts. Thank you Lord for convicting me and helping me see and correct my faulty reasoning. Please keep doing that Lord. Because I really love that way you have already changed me and I would love to see more changes. I am free for you to mold me into anything you want. I am open—completely open to anything you want to do with me—or with my life. I belong to you. And that in itself, is so precious and so comforting.

Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes #32

 

#1 I had to skip the weekly 7 Quick Takes last week.
Why?

Because I was up until 4am writing a DI (Drug Information) Consult paper!
I slept for 3 hours, then got right back up at 7am to finish writing it. I had no idea it would take so long to write, so I, unfortunately had to skip my morning therapeutics lecture that went from 9-11am, since my paper was due at noon.I turned in my paper, then went to a 2 hour lecture on diabetes, and that was my Friday.



"But why didn't you write your paper earlier Agnes?" you may wonder

Because....

 

 #2 I started my first clinical specialty rotation
at Rush University Medical Center last Thursday!


My first day on rotation was sooooo cool and so exciting! I was so fascinated with all that went on and all that I was learning all day long. I wrote about this here: 5 Latest Pharmacy School Achievements. Meanwhile, here is some more pictures. 

The mugshot they took for my name badge at Rush


All the students on Rush pharmacy rotation with me..and I (second from left)

 

#3 Weekend on the farm in Michigan

 Last weekend, my husband and I went out to Michigan to visit my parents and their new ducklings! Yes, I can now officially say they live on a farm...with a one dog, two cats, 15 ducklings, and now little chicks newly-acquired-this-week as well.



 I was so excited to feed them! They're so darn cute! They also followed me around..it was pretty cool.

I took the doggie for a walk. This used to be my doggie when I lived with my parents. I got her for my 16th birthday...But she was so used to my parents and she slept with them every night that we did not bring her along into our new house. Now I visit her and she gets so happy when she sees me.

My brother and husband built a shed for the ducklings...all in one day!

 

#4 Meatless Friday Lenten Snacks

My friend (bridesmaid) came over the other Friday to watch the wedding video and to catch up with me since I pretty much have not seen her since our wedding in August. I had a hard time figuring out what to make for food since it was a Friday. So I ended up making yummy veggies sandwiches, a veggie tray, a fruit tray, and some baked goods!

Mini Veggie sandwiches

Meatless Lenten Snacks

 

#5 RUN BABY RUN!

Spring finally found its way to Chicago after a 6 month winter! Took it to my advantage and decided to wake up my body from this winter's hibernation and to oxygenate both my muscles and my brain via a 3 mile jog around the neighborhood. (Of course I ran and walked intermittently...don't worry, I did not just spring into running 3 miles after a 6 month long hibernation. Even though I walked a lot...I have still been sore and feeling every muscle in my body for the past 2 days. Today, I could barely get out of bed in the morning. But it felt good to jog...the sunshine in my face and smell of spring in the air!)


#6

Yesterday I went to adoration and to confession. As always, it lifted a weight off my heart and it was very refreshing and renewing! Here are some amazing things that confession does for/in us.

The Benefits of Confession. Father John Hardon



#7

Today was my second Thursday on rotation at Rush. Today, all of us students actually split up and were assigned to different types of pharmacists on different units of the hospital. I got to shadow a pharmacist and a pharmacy resident on the oncology unit...which is found in this brand new building of Rush UMC.


We went on rounds with the main attending doctor, two physician's assistants (PA's), and 3 physician residents that actually presented all the patient cases to us. It was very cool to witness all that goes on and all the decisions that have to be made by health care professionals about patients' lives every minute of every day..but it was also kind of depressing to see and hear about cancer patients...a lot of them end-stage or not responding to treatment. 

Then our preceptor gave us some time to eat lunch and work on our patient care plans and patient case presentations (the two big projects we have to deliver within the next few weeks). After that, we all went to this talk that a pharmacist was giving on the new treatment guidelines of hypertension, cholesterol, and heart failure. That was on the 14th floor of the "tower building" and it gave us a beautiful view of downtown Chicago. Anyways, the lecture was in a small conference room and it was more like a round table discussion with 14 students sitting around the table as well as the pharmacist.  I happened to be sitting right next to the lecturer and she happened to be probably about 8 months pregnant. I tried hard to pay attention to what she was saying but really, I found myself staring at her beautiful belly in amazement and just her whole person...she was glowing. It has been increasingly hard to have to tell myself that I need to wait to be done with school to have a baby. I have been having some serious baby fever over here. I don't know why I feel this way but I just do. I absolutely cannot wait to be pregnant!!!! I daydream about it all the time haha. Hopefully these next months will pass by quicky so I can finally fill my heart with the love it has been yearning for lately! :-)

And that is all, folks!  Leave some love in the comments!

Agnes

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Latest Pharmacy School Achievements

See Hallie for more 5 favorites!

A lot has been happening in pharm school lately, since I am now in my last quarter of didactic learning! 5 more weeks to go and then real life *tear, sob, whine* ..then off goes the young birdy, outta the nest, and onto a year of experiential education aka pharmacy rotations. Here are my latest pharmacy school achievements and other cool pharmacy things:

#1 Being all grown up and so darn cool to be on rotation at Rush Hospital

Pharmacy Rotation at Rush University Medical Center

Right smack downtown in Chicago!

I am soooo excited to be able to learn at this hospital, alongside some of the best clinicians. The 1hour 40 minute drive downtown on the first day was not fun, but this week my plan is to get on the highway before 6am (before all highways leading to Chicago become standstill) and get there by 7am and just study for an hour and a half...until I meet with my preceptor at 8:45am and then go on rounds at 9am.


#2 Even more cool with my Rush badge. 
OMG... This was probably the most exciting part of our first day on the rotation site.  
(Okay, okay, hearing about what our preceptor does and how he helps to save lives of critically ill and/or dying patients because he is a CCU (Critical Care Unit) pharmacist was even cooler.

Clinical Rotation at Rush University Medical Center
through Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy


#3  Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots

SHOTS ANYBODY?!?!

I'm officially immunization certified through APhA (America Pharmacists' Association).

I even gave my pharmacy manager a pneumovax shot last weekend (this was my first shot in real life, beyond our immunization training) and she said she didn't even feel it! I was so proud of myself! I really was. I'm so excited. I overcame my fear of blood and needles and I can totally give shots and they don't even hurt!

 #4 I got a thousand bucks from Walgreens! Cool
(Charles Walgreen Pharmacy scholarship)

And this coming Friday is our award ceremony. I made hubby take off work to go with me and be proud of his nerdy wifey and takes tons of pics of her ;-) Be on the lookout for pictures!

At least it's a $1000 off the heart-attack-worthy pharm school tuition haha

 

# 5 I gotta mention this little kitty of mine. 

He has been following me every single step of the way...and been with me while studying for exams and writing annoying Drug Consult papers. Thanks kitty...we're glad we found you just as you are glad you found us!

 

 

Love, Aggie :-)



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dear Papa John Paul II (Favorite Quotes by JPII, 9th anniversary of death)

 Dear Papa,

It's been 9 years since you've been gone. I never really knew you in person but all I know is that I miss you like crazy...I miss you so much it brings tears to my eyes. It's amazing how one can love someone they never even met...so, so much. There are no words to describe the feelings you inspire in me. 

I cannot believe it has been this long, papa.

I have been watching a lot of movies and videos about you, as well as listening to a lot of audios. I love watching films or even short video clips about you...just hearing your voice just shakes me up inside. There is something unbelievably powerful about your voice...something profound.

I talk about you on this blog quite often...but that's because you are probably my life's biggest inspiration. Your books have touched me in indescribable ways. Your life, the beautiful example of holiness you set before our eyes, even more so.

You completely revolutionized my life, especially my beliefs about love, marriage, and sexuality. I have been dating/engaged to my husband for close to 7 years before we got married (since we were teenagers when we met) and it is largely because of YOU that we remained chaste for that whole long 7 year period. If I had not read your Love & Responsibility and your teachings on Theology of the Body as well as interpretations of some of your secret writings and speeches kept at the Vatican until recently, I would have surely fallen to the sin of adultery and fornication...and probably contraception as well. I know I would have. YOU SAVED ME FROM IT ALL!!! Can I say you saved me from lying with my body, killing my soul, separating myself from God...from hurting God, myself, my now husband, and all the people we are an example to in our lives? Yes, dear Papa. I know can. I do not even want to think what my life would have been and would be like now without your influence, presence, love, wisdom, and holiness in it. It is truly hard to describe your greatness and just as hard to describe the way I feel about you...just as if you were my Father.

You are most definitely MY BIGGEST HERO. MY PATRON SAINT for life!

3 more weeks until your canonization! I am so excited. Even though I cannot be there, I will be with you. I'll be watching. And probably crying tears of joy.

Here is a little something I made for you...because you are already a Saint to me and have always been. No need to wait until the official day to declare it:

Saint John Paul The Great. Always in our hearts.




Some of the most amazing quotes by Pope John Paul The Great:

#1


#2

#3

#4

#5

 

 Bonus:



Read my other posts on John Paul II:
  1. My John Paul II Book Collection
  2. What We Stumbled upon in Colorado
  3. In memory of my Favorite Pope and Hero John Paul II
  4. Recap of Epic Summer 2013 Part 1
  5. Roe v Wade - A Death Sentence for our Nation


Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes #31

#1

 BUSY BEE

I'm very much buried in pharmacy school assignments and have some tests coming up, so I'm going to have to make this week's Quick Takes what they are meant to be: QUICK.  I have to write a 5 page Drug Information Consult paper, all based on original clinical research, have a quiz coming up in pharmacokinetics, and on the same day, an exam in pharmacotherapeutics. Oh....and 2 days after those two, I have 2 other papers due.  

Remember how I used to always complain about med chem aka drug structure evaluation class? Well, after 5 exhausting quarters of that...it is now OVER. Thank God. But now I have pharmacokinetics. I have always been a math wiz (I was a mathlete in High School and I helped our school win regional championships 4 years in a row) but integrating math, therapeutics, and pharmacy dosing kinetics is a bit much. But apparently, it's important in the hospital when you're monitoring someone's drug levels to make sure they're getting treated with the appropriate dose, but not exceeding the toxic threshold of the medication. So, PK is the new bane of my existence, haha! But no complaining Agnes, it's Lent!


#2

 CABIN FEVER!

Is it me, or has it been winter for like 6 months now??? Come on Midwest (Chicago especially!), warm up already. All this sitting-at-home-on-my-butt-all-the-time for so many months straight is causing me to feel very fatigued....like I have no energy...no motivation to do anything! (Plus, according to new research, I might get a blood clot by all this sitting and not moving my blood around.) I just want to be able to go on a walk outside with my husband and go jogging outside and oxygenate my brain and tissues after like 6 months of them practically hibernating! Not only has it been winter for like 6 months...we have only had a handful of days where it was actually above freezing. No likey. I need some vitamin D, oxygen, and sanity back in my life.

#3 

I found pictures on my phone that I took at my pharmacy school / university during 3 different seasons....and once again realized how badly I am over winter.


Midwestern University in late spring / early summer

 

Midwestern University in Fall

 

Midwestern University in winter




Now....can we go back to green grass and sunshine again? By the way, this will be my last spring on campus. A little depressing....(YES, I will actually miss school, I know I will. #NerdGirlProblems)
 

#4 

Going along with cabin fever and because this post has to be quick and I still have 3 more Quick Takes to fill up...here is some more pictures I found on my phone of things I am missing TERRIBLY about summer.

 

Our Pool is surely missed
The pool which we broke before we fixed it because we're such geniuses...but that's a whole another story. I swear this winter has been so long that I seriously almost forgot we had a pool until I looked out the patio door the other day (hey...we're pretty fresh to this house...and only used the pool for one summer...so one can forget haha)
 

My plants are missed
But I'm even more excited about this year, because hubby and I are planning on starting a veggie garden! Yaaayyy!!! We cook a lot so it'll be awesome to use our own garden veggies!

Burgers fresh off the grill are very much missed! Come on summer!

 

 #5 

What have we been up to?

Just watching our wedding video a million times over! Haha. We got it last month and probably played it like 5-6 times already (it's 4+ hours of footage). It really turned out great. I didn't cry the first, or even the second time I watched it. But then the third time I watched it, all by myself, I cried at this one particular very cute part where it's just me and him, holding hands and walking and smiling at each other and laughing and running into each other's arms. Too much cuteness!

 

#6 Touching

I went to my brother's house and was surprised to see these pieces of art hanging up on their pantry door. My 8 and 6 year old nieces made these. My brother said that they made them right after a really bad tornado hit their area a few months back. Wow. I'm glad to see that little ones like them understand that it is important to Thank God for just being alive...and not just for material things etc.




#7 

And while you're at it, also read about what a fool I am! It'll make you feel better about yourself and assure you never mistreat your husband the way I do :-)

May the peace of Christ be with you!
Agnes