Friday, May 29, 2015

7QT #52 All kinds of amazing news

Another post in the 7 Quick Takes Series.

I have a lot of news to share with you this Quick Takes. Of course, if you're a regular reader of my blog, I have already shared some of these news in their own stand-alone posts, but for those of you visiting here from the Quick Takes are some updates about my life. And this will be a good general re-cap of how I FINISHED pharmacy school and where things stand as of right now.

#1 Finished my last APPE

That's right! I am no longer a student! Here is one of my very last selfies as a pharmacy student. I really enjoyed my 6th and final pharmacy rotation, which was at a small, faith-filled Catholic Hospital in the suburbs of Chicago. I met some amazing people there that I will probably keep in touch with long term, because we just enjoyed each other's company and presence and faith so much. I even got offered a job (within like 2 weeks of starting there!) but they knew I was doing a residency so they told me to contact them next year, a couple months before I finish residency and that I "have a spot guaranteed!" Ahhh...and my preceptor just loved me and treated me like I was her daughter. But more about this final rotation shall be described in its own post - coming soon.

#2 Found out I'm double blessed

To those of you who missed the big news, the Monday right before graduation I found out I am carrying a little miracle inside of me and that God blessed me DOUBLE! Even though the journey ahead is scary because the next 12 months of residency will be LONG and INTENSE and I get no breaks but a mere 10 personal days off....I am definitely seeing God's hand in all of this. A while back I had a long struggle about whether I should pursue residency or just take a retail job and start a family (because I wanted to be a mom so badly)....and I wasn't even sure I was going to match to a residency program since it is so darn competitive. I ended up applying, scoring interviews in 6 out of the 7 programs I applied to, and matching to my #2 ranked choice. I then finished my last rotation (as described above), and the weekend right after I finished, I just kind of did a "let's just pee on a stick for fun" kind of pregnancy test, not really seriously suspecting pregnancy since my period really was only 1 day late (which has happened before), and found out I had the lovely mother hormone in my pee pee (hCG).

So yeah, basically...after asking all these questions for all this time...and after praying...and discerning...and praying....and discerning some more...guess what the Almighty has done for me? He didn't want me to have to live with just one choice and not the other. He wanted me to HAVE IT ALL. HE GAVE ME A RESIDENCY AND A BABY - BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. I learned my lesson. With God, there is no limits!!!!!!!!! Do not ever put a limit on GOD! Ask Him for big things because He is just waiting for you to ask...and He'll give, give, long as it's in His Will. 

Read more in my original baby announcement post.

                                             And this cheesy one is what I sent to daddy's phone :-)

My favorite thing about pregnancy so far is eating without feeling guilty, hehe ;-)
And the fact that my body is awesome and is not protesting to the little being inside of me with nausea or other symptoms. I am completely symptom free and if not for the lack of my period and positive pregnancy test, I wouldn't even know I am pregnant. I'm still kind of nervous about telling my residency director. And I'm just nervous in general about giving birth in the middle of residency and not having a maternity leave. That's probably what scares me the most. It scares the crap out of me to even imagine leaving my few-day or few-week old, first-born baby and going right back to the stress of residency. I know I won't be able to focus because I'll be thinking about my little teeny tiny innocent sweetheart the whole time. But I pray about it..and I'm sure it will work out. Hopefully my husband will finally leave his current job and become self-employed, which will make him way more flexible and able to dedicate time to his family. This is what we need right now. FOR THIS I PRAY. AMEN! 

Keep those prayers and advice coming. I appreciate the outpouring of love, prayers, and advice I have received so far...I am taking your advice seriously and purchasing the books you recommended and reading the websites you passed along. Keep them coming...because I still don't know what I'm doing. :-D

#3 Had a little makeover for graduation

My co-worker (pharmacy technician) Sahira came over and did my nails before graduation. She painted on a dancing capsule and we called it "the happy pill." Perfect for the occasion :-)

I also chopped off my hair!!!!!! Woo!! It's so much easier now. Here is a BEFORE and AFTER photo. My last day of last rotation vs. right after I came from the hair salon. What a difference, huh? I think the last time my hair was this short was right after my First Holy Communion, when I decided to chop it off after growing it for so long.


#4 Started some serious studying for board exams

In just a few short weeks, I have to take 3 different board exams. One is the NAPLEX, which is a 4h 15min exam that tests all of your pharmacy knowledge. And then I have to take the MPJE for two states, since my residency is in Indiana and I live in Illinois. I have to take the Illinois Pharmacy Law Exam and the Indiana one as well. 

My RxPrep book is 900+ pages and the IL-Law and IN-Law study guides are ~300 pages each. So yes, perseverance in my studies is needed! And prayers!

#5 Got awarded Summa Cum Laude Honors at the Pharmacy School Commencement Banquet

#6 Graduated Pharmacy School and got my Doctor of Pharmacy Degree!!!!


#WheresWaldo Agnes
Don't even try to find me in here...because I'm towards the back and you can only see 1/2 of my face

Go to my original graduation post for a lot more graduation and grad banquet pictures!


...and will you look at these other cool things I got? Those are some of the same things I talked about here.

And now...that all the celebrations are behind me....

24 more days until residency starts.
240 days until baby gets here. 

I have always told you that 2015 was going to be a great year, full of hope and good things. And it is ;-)

Peace and God Bless,


Monday, May 25, 2015

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

I DID IT!!!!!!
I'M DONE!!!!!

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


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

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!!! 

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 :-) 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!