Monday, June 1, 2015

{I'm Back!}

After a year long hiatus, I'm back to blogging!

A quick recap of this past year:

  • I returned to Orlando, FL for my SECOND Disney College Program!
  • Spent a month exploring the rivers of the world at the World Famous Jungle Cruise
  • Ran back into the loving arms of Mickey Mouse and spent the rest of my program in entertainment. 
  • Made countless memories with incredible people from around the world
  • Met some wonderful girls that I am so grateful to call my friends
  • Endured the stickiest, hottest summer of my life
  • Moved back home in January
  • Took the NCLEX-RN 9 months after nursing school graduation, and passed with the minimum 75 questions
  • Accepted a job offer as a circulator in the Operating Room at a large hospital 30 minutes from home
So there you have it! I am enjoying my new life, but I miss the magic of Disney, too!

I'm excited to start this blog back up, and I hope to keep you entertained along the way!

~Courtney

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Beginning Of The End


During the lifetime of this blog, 
I have considered writing my last post
at least a dozen times.

But this website became my internet journal, 
and I couldn't find the desire to officially shut it down.

Now, the time has come.

I've decided that it's time to close the book on this little piece of the world wide web.

I have my reasons for this decision.
I know it's the right thing to do at this point in life.
I'm happy that so many people have visited this blog,
even though I'm just another blogger
with no claim to fame. 

I know I will come back here to reminisce on old posts,
because this blog is full of so many precious memories!

I love thinking about where I've been in life,
and it just gets me so excited for the future!
There's so much for me to go do!
There's a great big, beautiful tomorrow!

Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for loving me.

All my love,

Courtney


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day


Just became my favorite holiday!!!
Not because I'm a mom.
Or a "future mom" for that matter.
But because Mother's day is one of the TWO days we get to talk to our missionary!
(and I will be in Florida for Christmas, so I might only get this one time this year)



It was a rough go for Hermana Dana to find an internet café that had a good quality headset.
We originally planned for 2 PM, but didn't successfully talk to her until 9 PM. 
It was wonderful to see her face and hear her voice!
She spoke some Spanish to us, and we clapped like idiots afterwards. 
We are so proud of her! 

We talked about her new lifestyle,
she shared her frustrations about the language barrier,
and she told us about her tiny bunk-bed,
and the headless, featherless chickens that often occupy the dining table.
(Yuck)
She made us laugh,
and she made me cry.

I've always seen the mom as the focus when a missionary leaves. 
I never anticipated that being the sister is just as tough.
I miss her, yet I don't want to tell her that too much.
Nothing like encouraging staying on a mission by saying "I miss you!", right?

I ams so proud of the work she is doing,
though she doesn't feel like she is doing much.
She can't see the improvement she's making,
probably because there's no one around her that speaks English well enough to tell her!

Press Forward In Faith, Sister Brown!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nursing Graduation!


I did it!
I did it, I did it, I did it!

I am a graduated nurse!
(Though don't call me a registered nurse yet, I haven't taken the NCLEX yet)

It was a wonderful and fulfilling feeling, standing on that stage in my glowing white scrubs,
Knowing that I achieved a life-long dream.
I am so grateful for the way my life has turned out. 
I am grateful for the hard work I have gone through.
I am grateful for USU- Eastern's nursing program.
I am grateful to be a nurse!



Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Final One Bites The Dust


Look at all those beautiful brown X's!!

I remember being handed this schedule the same day I found my dear friend, Eric, died.
And I remember scouring this schedule a week later, when my roommate announced that she was joining the army and leaving me with 3 full months of rent unpaid.
I remember calling my parents and planning my early move home after lecture classes ended early March.

Even though some days were filled with sad and heart wrenching memories,
most days were filled with laughs, hugs, and encouragement.
I will always look back on this semester as the most fulfilling four months of my life.

I remember staring at that calendar thinking the days were moving too slowly,
yet at the same time the days were flying by!

I am here, the day before graduation, thinking
"Am I really ready to be a nurse?"
I know the answer is a yes,
because I've been waiting for this day all my life.
But I also wonder if I'll ever be completely ready to be a nurse.

Regardless of my feelings...
Ready or not...
Tomorrow is graduation day

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lip-Reading

Today was my first rotation at a big-city hospital. I was supposed to start yesterday, but I was given the day off to go to my aunt's memorial. I'm staying at my grandparent's house, so my drive to the hospital was just under 10 minutes, which is pretty stinking awesome!

I had a great day caring for patients, and the nurse I was assigned to looked just like my old roommate, Stephanie. She was so nice, and let me do a lot of stuff by myself.

Funny story:

I can't lip read. Here's a real-life example. After a few frustrating minutes of trying to talk to a patient who couldn't speak, they started to distinctively mouth each letter of the word. C.R.A.P
Me: crap?
Patient: looks a bit amused, and shakes their head
Me: crab? Do you want crab for dinner?
Patient: shakes head harder. Mouths C.R.A.P again, but this time I realize there's an E at the end
Me: oh, crepe? Do you want crepes?
Patient: starts to look really upset, and shakes their head (we've been at this for at least 5 minutes now)
Me: crapé? (Sounds a lot like frappé) 
Patient: forcefully mouths each word, with noticeable vocal sounds
Me: GRAPE! Do you want a grape popsicle?!
Patient: gives me a look that says "you are an idiot", but vigorously nods a yes

So they got a grape popsicle, and I felt like an idiot.

~Courtney

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cherish Life

I've always assumed the time period where the people I care for start passing away would be in my late thirties... but I was wrong. I feel that in my early twenties, I've lost too many loved ones already.

My aunt, Mary, suffered a cardiac arrest this morning, completely out of the blue. She wasn't sick, she wasn't having any troubles with her heart, and she was perfectly healthy when I saw her a month ago.

I am having a difficult time picturing the rest of my life without her in it.

Mary was an inspiration to me, for so many reasons.

She taught me that it is possible to overcome challenges.
Mary was paralyzed in a sledding accident when I was very little, which means I don't have any memories of her not being in a wheelchair. Even though she couldn't control her body anymore, she still found the strength to adjust to her new life, and find the positives in it. She moved into a home with an elevator, and started her own home health agency. She continued to be an involved mother, and often hosted family parties at her home. There were very few things she couldn't do.

She taught me that there is joy in the journey.
I never once heard her complain about her situation. I never once saw her mad or upset about her lot in life. I never saw her depressed or moping. In fact, I only remember her small smile and the way her eyes would sparkle when she chuckled. She found activities that she loved, she surrounded herself with people she loved, and she found true happiness in life. She showed me that regardless of my situation, it is possible to continually become happier, even in the face of hardship.

She taught me that it is okay to be yourself.
Mary isn't actually my aunt: she's my aunt's life partner. I still remember the day I figured out that my aunts Deb and Mary were different from other people's aunts. All my life, Deb and Mary had been a packaged deal; I didn't ever question that. It was completely natural for them to be together. It made perfect sense that Deb would feed Mary at meals, and steered her wheelchair so effortlessly. It made sense that they were together. In fact, it's too weird to think of my aunt dating any other women... that's just not how it works.
I believe that Mary and Deb are the biggest reason that I am such an open and nonjudgemental person, which is a unique trait among other LDS members who blatantly oppose homosexuality. Why does my opinion have any sway against two wonderful people sharing their lives together? Why don't they deserve to be civilly married? What does their marriage do to affect me? I'll answer that one... it does nothing. My life is not changed in any way with the marriage of two women, or two men.
So yeah, I'm a Mormon, and I'm a Democrat. My views don't completely align with those of my LDS counterparts, and for that, I am grateful. I believe knowing Mary has helped me shape my personal views, and I am so happy that I was able to know her.

Death weighs heavy on the heart.

This was just so unexpected.

Cherish every single day, my friends.
~Courtney