Monday, March 20, 2017

What's the news Agnes?

Hello readers, if you still exist. Maybe you gave up on me and left my blog. I promise I have not abandoned you. I'm still here! Life has gotten the better of me. Not so easy to find time to blog now that I am a full-time working mother. Just wanted to quickly share some news with you, which I will blog about in more detail later on (I know I always say that, but then it doesn't happen for weeks/months).

We sold our house in the suburbs of Chicago and moved to Northwest Indiana, a pretty small rural town. We bought a pretty humble house but it has 5 acres of land, on which we plan to start a "little farm." We already have a rabbit in the barn that the previous owners left us. Next, we are planning on buying some chickens...and down the line maybe some sheep and horses as well (previous owners had 2 horses, so barn and backyard is set up for them). Let me tell you, the PEACE AND QUIET of country living beats any day in the city. Would NOT go back in or near the city. Thanks but no thanks! I feel God's presence here :-)

As you know, I finished my residency last summer (thank God, HA-LLE-LOOOO-YA) and have been LIVIN' THE DREAM since then. They almost killed me during residency, but I survived and I love my job - my calling - my vocation. I am dedicated to my role as clinical pharmacist in a small [very] Catholic community hospital (which is part of a very large 14 hospital health system).

Now I am busy studying for my BCPS exam. It stands for BOARD CERTIFIED PHARMACOTHERAPY SPECIALIST. Pray for me. I have a month left until my exam and the study materials are probably like 900 pages, I kid you not. One of the chapters I tried reading yesterday (moreso on pharmacoeconomics and patient outcomes than pharmacotherapeutics), I swear was written in Chinese because everytime I read a page I had absolutely no idea what it meant. I probably read 10 pages of that chapter yesterday and I cannot recall a single thing I read. And apparently that stupid section is the highest percentage represented on the exam. I can tell you how to treat diseases and what medications are first/second/third line and what the side effects are, but I cannot do some crazy chinese sounding pharmacoeconomic/financial analyses.

Anyways, if I pass, more initials after my name. Agnes N, PharmD, BCPS ;-) I better pass, because it was $600 just to sit for the exam, not even counting the study materials. Prayers please!


Little Violette is 14 months old. We recently took a family vacation and Violette had her first plane flight. Violette is currently fighting with some nasty stomach bug. It is now day 5 of her diarrhea. 3-5 loose stools per day. And now her butt has a nasty diaper rash to the point of skin breakdown and raw skin. My heart breaks for her. I hope this bug goes away soon, as most of these are caused by self-limiting viruses. If it doesn't, we'll be visiting the doctor soon. Biggest fear is dehydration. Today I noticed she did not have much pee pee going on, just wet diapers from diarrhea :-(

But on the other hand, this MAMA is having more puppies! We just found out we are pregnant last month, just by pregnancy test, lack of menstrual periods, and breast tenderness. Have not seen the doctor yet - I need to find a new OB in NW IN - so we have no yet announced the news to anyone. Once I confirm that the baby is in there, alive and well, I will then make the grand announcement to the world. Baby is due late October 2017, so little Violette will be 21 months when we welcome our next little bundle of joy. Pretty good spacing I think :-) This was totally God's spacing/timing. We are always open to new life, and this is when God decided it was time to CREATE new life.

That is all the major news in a relatively short blog post.

Will try to hop on here more, especially once I'm done studying for BCPS.

And here are some more pictures for your enjoyment, since I have been MIA :-)

God bless you all,


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Violette turns one! A year of 'firsts'

Dear Violette,

What a truly amazing year this has been. Difficult, filled with tears and sleepless nights, and going to work on 3 hours of sleep - but worth EVERY SINGLE tear, EVERY sleepless minute, EVERY moment of exhaustion. You brought so much joy into our lives and we simply cannot imagine our lives without your sweet little face and contagious smile. Your tiny little fingers, chubby cheeks, cute babbles, innocent laughter, your little hands around our necks - they make mommy and daddy want to GIVE YOU EVERYTHING we possibly can in order to assure you grow into a happy, healthy, wise girl whose heart is filled with faith, joy, and love of God. If you ever get to read this when you're older, please know that you are our whole world. We will try our best to be loving parents, to keep you safe from harm, and do what we can to help you on your own life journey. You will always hold a special place in our hearts as our first baby. We will love you until our last breaths no matter what life may throw at us or in between us. 1 year of your life is behind us and many more in front of us - we cannot wait to watch you grow into a beautiful young lady. But meanwhile, we want to enjoy our sweet little baby girl for as long as we can. Don't grow up too fast little girl. Stay little and cute! LOVE YOU. 

Here are some of your "first" experiences of life:
First Day of Life

First Professional Photo

First Ride in the Car

First Bath at Home

First Night at Home

First St. Valentine's Day

First Time Shopping

First Easter

First Holy Sacrament - Your Baptism

First Mother's Day

First Dip in the Pool

First Father's Day

First Independence Day

First Vacation

First Halloween

First Christmas

First Birthday

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Love your enemies. What about your family? Struggles of an Introvert

Lately I have been struggling with loving people. People in my family. People that are very different from me, perhaps even opposite of me, and therefore are a bit more difficult to love than some others who are more "like me." Jesus clearly told us in the bible to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us and speak evil things against us. If we should love our enemies, then how can we not love our family members?

There are certain people in my family...and maybe I can even narrow it down to one certain person, who I am guilty of not loving the way Jesus wants us to love our brethren. Why? I don't know - I think simply because of the differences between me and this person. I feel like we are on the opposite end of almost every spectrum - and even though this person does not do anything to hurt me or bring out negative feelings in me intentionally - I have a hard time tolerating this person's words, actions, values, behaviors, etc.

I like...

  • peace
  • silence
  • deep thinking
  • acquiring knowledge, especially about my faith
  • writing
  • praying
  • homemaking
  • being absorbed in Jesus

Total introvert, is what I am. I could totally move to the ends of the earth with my husband and daughter and just live there peacefully away from people, noise, drama, and depressing news.

Whereas this other person that I am MOST struggling to love, I feel, has the complete opposite characteristics, such as the love for:
  • noise
  • excessive talking (about nothing of substance)
  • drama
  • living superficially
  • acquiring and showing off expensive things
  • always trying to be "better than," in terms of things and looks (again, superficial)

I don't know if this person even knows what it is like to live in deep thought, prayer, peace, live with a Greater Purpose than just acquiring things and having fun.

What drives me the MOST coo-coo about this person is their constant talking, talking that has no substance, value, meaning. Talking just to talk. Talking to bring attention to oneself. Oh my Lord, help me when this person talks, because I almost cannot control the way my heart feels. After spending even just a part of the day around this person, my internal peace feels very disturbed and my hearts begs to go and spend some time in silence to recover from the noise.

It is soooo hard for introverts (like me) to get along with people like this. Since we stay away from noise, we like to also stay away from noisy people. We like to have social interaction by having meaningful discussions, with one [wise] person at a time.

Now... It would be easier for us to just kind of ignore these people, block them out of our  lives, keep them at a distance, instead of allowing them into our inner circle. But are YOU a better person for it? Are those people better people if they are away from you? IS THIS LOVE?

What is the answer to loving someone whose words to your ears are like screechy nails on a chalkboard?

Again. If Jesus tells us to love our enemies, what excuse do we have to not love our family and friends?

What is the greatest commandment God gave us?
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Am I anywhere close to that? Nope. Not at this point in my life. That is precisely why I have been struggling so much.  I have been feeling helpless. These feelings of indifference and negativity overcome me every time I see, hear, or even think of these certain persons that are difficult to love. It's like an automatic visceral reaction. It's hard to even fake a smile when I'm around them.

Just because I don't "feel love" for them, doesn't mean I shouldn't "love" them.
Love is not just a feeling.
Love is a verb.
DOING loving things not beacuse of the great feelings we have for the person, but because God tells us to LOVE, on purpose.
SPEAKING kind, loving words to show the person we care about them, even despite our differences.

So maybe once I start loving these people with my words and actions, then the negative feelings and thoughts associated with them will leave my heart?

And what else is key? PRAYER!!! I need to pray, pray, pray for these people. Everytime I start experiencing negative reactions and feelings, I need to offer this person to Jesus and just pray for God to bless them, instead of cursing them in my thoughts.

I am so ashamed of myself for this lately, as it has not gotten any better, and everytime I go to confession - I am confessing the same thing over and over. I think it's time to start being a decent person and put a little more effort into loving people, on purpose. God loves ALL of his children. I should be more like God. I am a mother after all and I know I want my child to be loved by others - I am sure that is how God feels too.

Let me know if any of your have had similar experiences/feelings and what you have done to overcome them.


My current attitude, which needs to change. 

Lord have Mercy on me.