Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Spiritual Lesson of 2012

Growing up in the LDS faith, I've been taught that 'being active' means weekly church attendance. One became 'inactive' when they stopped showing up each week, or started coming very infrequently.

According to those standards, I became inactive from January to May of this year. In the 5 months I lived in Florida, I went to church 3 times.
The exact opposite of inactive occurred. I have never been stronger in the church than those 5 months.

I lived with 7 other girls, all members of different religions, and at first, these girls were weary of me. They had a few misconceptions, and some were worried I would try to convert them.
Luckily these girls were open to me and my oddities, and never cast me out because of my religion. They let me bring the missionaries into our home, and some even participated in lessons.
I got to share my beliefs with character friends, and character coworkers. When people found out I was from Utah, the next question seemed to always be "are you Mormon?" To which I always confidently answered "I am" with a smile.
I got to teach people about my religion. I got to clarify rumors, and let them hear church music. I told people about church structure, and about modesty. I explained temple marriage and baptisms for the dead. I told people about almost every day. It was almost a mini mission. I got to serve my Heavenly Father through word of mouth.

For the first time in my life I handed out a Book of Mormon (most stressful moment of my life) a few weeks before going home. I don't know if it's been read, or if I made it home from Florida, but handing it over, and not being laughed at was a wonderful feeling.

I lived my life as an example of the church, and it was a fantastic feeling. Going to church those 3 times was a wonderful experience, and the long bus ride home was filled with happy feelings and church music playing in my head. Those 3 meetings proved to me that I love my religion, and there is no doubt in my mind that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true.

I felt the spirit every single day. I strengthened my testimony and learned how to share my religion with others. I learned how to open up to others regarding something I hold so dear. I got to see how the choices I had made all my life were for the best, and living without my mom a few hours away proved to me that I do what I do because I want to do so, not because my parents tell me to.

2012 taught me that being an active member doesn't mean weekly church attendance. It means holding to one's beliefs, strengthening a testimony, and being a representative of the LDS church every day of my life.

I am a Child of God. Every person on Earth is a Child of God. I am so grateful to know who I am, where I'm headed and what my purpose is.

Check out the blue I Believe button for more info on the LDS church ------->


Thursday, December 27, 2012

{why do i worry}

With Bri's engagement, and my Pinterest blowing up with wedding ideas from my trillion okay, handful of engaged friends, I've had my future husband on my mind an awful lot. 
I'm 21 for Pete's sake. This shouldn't be freaking me out so much, but I won't lie about how much it worries me. I know he's out there; I know I'm not meant to live alone the rest of my life. 

After work today I was unpacking my stuff and finding places to put my new Christmas gifts, when I opened up the binder from the 2 years I wrote Elder Green. Tucked in the back was, well, a very sweet love letter  chronicling our 2 years together. 
As I read that letter with a smile on my face I realized there's no reason to be worried right now. I have been promised an amazing husband, an amazing love story. Reading that letter, and reflecting on what a good relationship Chris and I had reassured me that Heavenly Father really does have the perfect guy waiting in the wings for me.
Don't know when I'll meet him.
Or where.
But I'm going to meet him. 

So sorry, dear readers, about this ridiculous post about some future husband.
But it's nice to get these thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Er- internet.

Hopefully this blog can start focusing on medical things. Hahaha.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Ya'll

Today has been a really fantastic day.
This past week (not being in Price) has been really fantastic in general.

The one thing that made this Christmas unique from all the other Christmas' past was that my life-long (and I am not exaggerating here) friend/ Pen Pall/ roommate/ confidant/ fellow spazz got ENGAGED today to her perfect match!

I was lucky enough to be involved in the proposal!! It was a cute little 'treasure hunt' that involved stopping at my house and a few other houses to get clues, love letters and a single flower. So she shows up at my house totally out of her mind excited, and we jumped up and down together for a few minutes. I gave her the next clue and sent her on her way to the next stop.
She texted me a few hours later announcing she was officially engaged, and stopped by with her new fiancee a few hours after that to show off her stunning ring.
Congrats Brianna!!! We've been talking about our 'perfect matches' for so many years now, I'm thrilled you found yours! You two are so perfect for each other, and will be soooo~ooo happy together. 

This year my parents went overboard with the gifting, and I could not be more grateful! I'm writing this post on my new MacBook Pro!!! I am so thrilled to be able to have a computer in class to take notes, follow along with the slides, and Google stuff that comes up in class! 

I head back to Price tomorrow morning for my 4 day work week, then back to Draper I go Saturday night to spend New Years Eve with my mom and Leslie!!!  

I am so blessed to have such generous parents, and wonderful friends. This truly has been a magical year.


P.S. Thanks for our lunch date yesterday, Eric!! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 things 2012 has taught me

In no order of importance, of course.

1. I can easily live on my own.
2. I am financially stable enough to afford a 'fairly new' car.
3. Utah is a great state to live in, until it snows.
4. My husband will either have to love Disney as much as I do, or learn to tolerate it.
5. I am ridiculously lucky to have done the Disney College Program.
6. Thus far, nursing school hasn't been as 'life changing' as I thought it would be.
7. I am not a fan of small towns, I'd prefer to live in a big city.
8. Sometimes Heavenly Father gives you trials simply to test your faith in Him.
9. I seriously need to get in a choir next semester. Not singing is killing me.
10. Going 5 months without seeing my family makes me cherish being with them now.
11. I need to work on trusting the Lord's timing.
12. I went to church maybe 3 or 4 times while in FL, but my testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has never been stronger. I learned that being an active member of the Church does not simply mean weekly church attendance, it's much more. Stay tuned for a post about this lesson.

I've learned a lot this year.

2012 has been amazing. I'm sorta sad to see it end.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Most Amazing Year

When I stop and really think about all the things I did this year... it's almost hard to believe it really happened.

Before 2011 ended, I carefully wrote my goal for 2012 on January 1st.

I had no idea how many dreams would come true this year. 
This year has been truly incredible.
I am so blessed.

January 8th, I flew alone, for the first time in my life, to Orlando Florida.
I wrote this post during my layover in New Mexico.

The next day I checked in to the Disney College Program with my bestest friend, Leslie.
It was a long day, stressful, and exciting.
Leslie and I were put in separate apartments, which turned out to be blessings in disguise.
She became very good friends with her roommates, 
and I got to meet girls from all over the world.

Character Performer training was honestly an amazing experience. 
I can't share any details, sorry. I'm trusted to keep the magic alive.
Before I knew it, I was out working. 
Bringing smiles to people's faces. Giving hugs and autographs.
I had the best job in all of Walt Disney World.

I had amazing roommates.

And fantastic fellow character performer friends

I played in Disney Parks every day for 5 months.

Made epic memories with my fellow characters

And made amazing memories while working, like this onethis one, and this one.

I got drenched by a huge fountain in EPCOT,

And spent a fantastic week with my parents and Nate. 
It was so good to see them after 5 months of Skype.

I could go on, and on, and on about all the amazing things Florida gave me.
I will remember the Disney College Program for the rest of my life.

Working at Disney World, hanging out with Mickey Mouse, that was one dream come true.

And how fitting that my life long dream of being a nurse came true at Disney World too.
I remember the day I found out I made it into nursing school like it was just yesterday.

So many of my dreams came true this year.
It almost doesn't feel real.
But it is.

I'm loving being Courtney, Student Nurse.
(Even though I look like a barber, not a nurse in that horrendous 'scrub' top)

And I fulfilled a ridiculous dream of owning a 'sports car'
(aka, 2 door car) (named Tink)

Obviously I'm not covering everything that happened in this year.
Tiny dreams came true this year too.

Like living alone (in Price for the summer)
and going back to Logan for the day.
and welcoming home a missionary and sending one off.
Turning 21.
Living in a different state.
Becoming a seasonal employee with Walt Disney World.
Getting an international Pen Pall (Hi Naomi!!)
and adding to my U.S. Pen Pall list.
Getting the high score on a nursing school exam.
and being with my family.

2012 was the year that dreams came true.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I.... did it!


My first legit semester of nursing school is over! 71 beautiful orange X's through the most... interesting semester of my life.
How did I do on my finals, you ask? Best of the class. Pummeled them. Rocked em. Aced both of them. You know what? I may not have been the top of my class, and maybe that pharmacology final wasn't a beautiful, gleaming A, but it did turn out to be a beautiful A-! I did well. That's all I particularly care about. I am continuing on in this program, and that, right there, is an accomplishment not every nursing student can boast.
Not every nursing student graduates.
But I'm not gonna be one of em.

No sir. I'm gonna get my R.N.

Courtney Brown, R.N.

I've got 3 more semesters until I reach that goal. THREE SEMESTERS. It's strangely frightening, knowing in 3 more semesters I'll learn everything I need to know to protect and care for people's lives. But I know I can do it.
And I've got a frickin fantastic support system behind me.

So thank you to my friends and family, and thank you to USU- Eastern for accepting me to be in this program. I may not like Price, but I sure like saying "oh, I'm in nursing school".
Best feeling ever.


P.S. happy 12/12/12!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pondering My Future

I've decided that every month I'm going to answer the same questions for the 2 years i'm earning my R.N. I thought this would be a fun way to get me through nursing school. So here goes!

1. What are you scared of right now?
              my finals tomorrow and Wednesday!
2. What have you thought about most today?
             Christmas break. It's 2 days away!!! 
3. What did you learn about today in class?
              No class today!
4. What was your most recent test on?
              Pharmacology today, drugs affecting the endocrine system. 
5. What is your next test on?
              Nursing Fundamentals final.
6. What was the best part of today?
              Listening to the high school choir Christmas Concert
7. What are you stressed about?
              Making it through the nursing program without becoming a legit hermit.
8. What/ who do you miss right now?
             Salt Lake City
9. What did you have for dinner?
              Pancakes, bacon, and eggs! Thanks institute for free dinner!
10. What field do you want to work in?
              Oncology or a pediatric nurse.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When To Move On?

Yup. The post I've been forming in my head for the past few months is coming to fruition. And I realize this post will only reach the two people I know who actually read this blog. Kinda depressing knowing my own mother doesn't even check this blog out...
I digress.

Since moving to Price, I've fought the unhappiness inside my heart. I rationalized with myself that it took me 3 years to get into a nursing program, why on earth would I leave it?
Well, maybe because my Big City soul is decaying in this tiny town?
Or because I don't feel happy in the tiny hospital I do clinicals in?
Or maybe even because I don't feel challenged in this program. There are days I wonder if I'm learning the stuff i need to know to pass the NCLEX.
Not to mention my lack of friendships down here,
and the fact that every time I go home I seriously contemplate moving back in... 
which should be a huge red flag.

So yes. I will be applying to other nursing programs come January. 
Of course I'll still apply here in Price, It's only an additional year, I can suck it up, right?

It's just sad because I think back to this moment, when I completely lost my marbles with excitement to be accepted to this program. And now I'm here... and I'd give anything to be back in Florida.
Obviously I'm insane. Something needs to change.

So it's back into the stressful (and expensive) world of applications I go.
Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to apps I go.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 Clinicals Later...

Today was my last clinical for the semester, and I'm having mixed feelings.
Clinicals have been wonderful, because I'm applying what I learn, and I can see my actions having an effect on my patients. I get to watch the nurses chat with each other, and manage patient care. It's nice to move about, instead of sit still for 4 hours in a classroom.

But at the same time, these clinicals have been pretty, well, dull honestly. The patient's don't have thrilling diagnoses or have tons of holes in their bodies. In fact, none of my patients have even had a catheter. So I'm looking forward to next semester, where we do rotations in OR, ER and community health. Though I won't lie.. I'm a titch concerned about passing out in OR or ER... or both. Gulp.

Something clinicals has made me realize? I really like working with the little kids. Which, considering my babysitting past, shouldn't surprise me. I knew there's a pediatric floor, this isn't news to me, but when it really dawned on me that I could do peds... It was like this light bulb went off in my head. So now i'm adding peds to the list of possibilities, and wondering where I'll eventually end up.

Certainly not med/surge though, that's for sure.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Pondering My Future

I've decided that every month I'm going to answer the same questions for the 2 years i'm earning my R.N. I thought this would be a fun way to get me through nursing school. So here goes!

1. What are you scared of right now?
              Finals in 2 weeks. Gulp.
2. What have you thought about most today?
             My Disney roommates. And finals. 
3. What did you learn about today in class?
              Endocrine glands in Pharmacology and pediatric mental health in 1020.
4. What was your most recent test on?
              Pharmacology today, drugs affecting the CNS and nutrition and elimination.
5. What is your next test on?
              Nursing Fundamentals next Wednesday.
6. What was the best part of today?
              Walking out of the testing center after passing my Pharmacology test.
7. What are you stressed about?
              Making it through the nursing program without becoming a legit hermit.
8. What/ who do you miss right now?
              Leslie, Naomi, Chelsea, Lindsey, Heather, Briana and Brianna.
9. What did you have for dinner?
              Spaghetti and marinara sauce. Yum. Me love pasta.
10. What field do you want to work in?
              Oncology or a WDW park nurse.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

{when plans go differently than expected}

Sometimes we come up with amazing, wonderful plans, that give us joy and hope for the future. Sometimes those plans don't go the way we anticipated them to.

No, I'm not talking about my plans, I'm talking about my friend, David Zahm's.

He left on a mission In October. He is now home.

And I learned an amazing lesson from him because of that.

He was wondering why Heavenly Father would call him on a mission, just to send him home a few weeks after entering the MTC, and while we were talking, I realized something.

Sometimes Heavenly Father wants to see if you have the Faith to step out of the boat.

What the heck am I talking about? Let me refresh your biblical memory. One day, Peter, James, John and a few others were fishing in a boat. In the middle of a body of water. And Jesus Christ was walking on water near them. Peter, with extreme faith in the Lord, stepped out of the boat and took a few steps on water. Granted, fear took over and he started to sink, which is when Christ stepped in and took his hand.

So let me restate my realization.

Sometimes Heavenly Father wants to see if you have the Faith to step out of the boat.

Peter had the faith that he could walk to his Lord, on top of water. He had enough faith to throw his legs over the boat and stand.

David Zahm had the faith to step out of the boat. And when I say step out of the boat, he more like jumped out of the boat. He left at 21 years old, which is the age guys are when the return from a mission. He left a thriving business, siblings that were going to be moving to other states (and by that I mean Hawaii), friends, and a really good productive life.

So yeah, he's home. And he'll probably pop up in future posts. And I'm not gonna give details into a life that isn't mine. But know this:

Some boys serve missions to gain a testimony. To figure out who they are. To mature, learn to fend for themselves. To gain a true love for the Gospel. David's already got all of that. So yeah, he didn't serve a full mission, but he's just as great, if not more great than most of the guys who serve missions cause they 'have to'.

So welcome home David. I'm sorry you have to deal with people who will say rude condescending things to you about your mission. I'm sorry you live in Utah, home of some seriously judgmental 'holier than thou' people. But in the long run, I'm not sorry about you not serving a full 2 years. You left on a mission. You served. That's all that should ever matter.

Welcome home :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Post for a Pin

Seriously. That's the only reason for this post. So I could pin this to Pinterest. Photographer is Sydnee Palmer Mecham. Never met her or the couple in the photo, but I saw this and instantly fell in love. Hope the love birds don't mind, and the photographer is flattered that I love her idea soooooo much.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Do I Do These Things?

Guess what ya'll! It's.......


And I'm dying.

It's only day 10, and I'm already wishing it were December already.
It's a good thing really, get me to cut back on my sweet tooth and focus on eating good snacks, like pineapple and strawberries (gotta have my sugar somewhere) instead of chocolate chips and Pudding Cups.
It's like everyone knows i'm subjecting myself to this. 
There are 3 delicious looking chocolate chip cookies that Steph made sitting in the kitchen. 
I have a leftover bag of starbursts from Halloween.
My Pinterest peeps are killing me with dessert recipes.
There were chocolate baked goods around every corner at Wal Mart yesterday.
I have 2 different varieties of chocolate chips staring at me from the pantry.
And worse of all... Stephanie has chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream sitting in the freezer.
It calls me every time I open the door.
I better loose some weight this month.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Evolution of a Desk

Yeah, that's what this post is about. I've lived in 4 different apartments since graduating high school. I didn't have a desk while living in Florida, I just sat on my bed to use my laptop. For the other 3 apartments I've had a desk. So here we go, the evolution of a desk.

 Living in Valley View at Utah State was likely my favorite room layout of the two dorms. I had one half of the room, and Brianna had the other. My closet was small, my dresser was small, my room was small, but I loved it there.
My desk was huge. I could fit my printer on it! It was a good, obviously messy space that introduced me to the world of college.

 Take 2 at on campus housing. Reeder introduced me to friends that I still hold on to today. Bri and I split the desk here, and it was incredibly smaller than my first desk. Here I learned to work in cramped spaces. I figured out how to really organize myself, note the purple 3 drawer bin that took the place of my drawers full of pens, pencils, post-it notes and desk stuff. The closet was huge, and we had bunk-beds. It was epic.

And now to Cedar Hills Apartments. My own room, a huge closet, walls plastered with my art. The desk is old and ugly, with rusty drawers and uneven surfaces, but it's my nursing school desk, and I love it. My printer fits under it, my trash can fits, my chair fits. It's wide enough to have the computer on and my textbook open in front of me. My calendar hangs at my eye level, and the Disney all over the desk keeps me smiling.

So there you have it! The evolution of Courtney's desk.

I know it's random, but I thought it would be fun to compare.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Pondering My Future

I've decided that every month I'm going to answer the same questions for the 2 years i'm earning my R.N. I thought this would be a fun way to get me through nursing school. So here goes!

1. What are you scared of right now?
              Starting hospital clinical rotation on Monday.
2. What have you thought about most today?
              Going to Florida in June, and the subsequent trips I will be taking with my friends.
3. What did you learn about today in class?
              Anxiety and depression in 1020, and cardiac drugs in pharmacology.
4. What was your most recent test on?
              Mental Health, mainly communication styles.
5. What is your next test on?
              Pharmacology (in 3 weeks, glory hallelujah)
6. What was the best part of today?
              Eating cotton candy and cupcakes at work.
7. What are you stressed about?
              Making it through the nursing program without becoming a legit hermit.
8. What/ who do you miss right now?
              Walt Disney World.
9. What did you have for dinner?
              Mini Ravioli. Nothing like microwaving your dinner in 1.30 minutes.
10. What field do you want to work in?
              Oncology, interventional radiology, or a WDW park nurse.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Apartment Tour Anyone?!

Yay!! Apartment tour!!

A dark picture of our dining table

Love my dishwasher. Makes for a lazy nursing student

Overall a really great sized kitchen for the price
I had a picnic on this deck a few months ago. ...memories
Stephanie's uber comfy couch

My great grandma's rocker and lamp.
Our living room would look so bare without all of Steph's furniture

Our crazy linen closet. Name something
random and chances are it'll be in there.

Our bathroom looks like it's fit for a 4 year old.
Whatever, I think it's cute.
Huh. The sink actually looks clean. Amazing.
How cute is my room?

My study area

my prep area in the left corner

My personality corner

I love the size of my closet. Love it.
I made these drapes out of a shower curtain!

I spend most of my time in this corner of my house.
Well people, that's it! Of course, Stephanie has her room, and it's located in between the linen closet and the bathroom. It's a really great place, I kinda wish I could pick it up and move it to wherever I move after nursing school. Love how cozy the place is, though I would love to paint the walls and nix the dark wood everywhere. Eh, renter's can't be choosers.

Thanks for going on a tour with me, though really it was for me so I can reminisce in a few years once I've left Price in my dust.