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,


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.
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


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.


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.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Sorry about that depressing last post.

I go back and forth about my feelings on this program.
I am excited, I really am.
I realize that thousands of people apply, and few are accepted.
I know that painfully well, 
That fact is what made accepting my offer so difficult.

But I've accepted,
and I'm starting to get my stuff in order to make the move.
I'm adjusting to the fact that I'm not Mickey Mouse anymore.
I'm trying to figure out what to do with the roommate situation.

Last program,
I had banked on living with my best friend,
but due to different universities,
I ended up living with 7 complete strangers.
I now count those strangers as dear friends.
So do I go alone again,
and hope for a great bunch of roommates?

That seems to be the million dollar question here.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I know it's been a while since I last talked about the College Program.
It's been a rough go, guys.

The first time I applied, it was full of smiles, laughter and luck.
My character audition was awesome,
I landed a dream role,
I went with my best friend,
and it was the easiest decision I had ever made.

I've been accepted to the Fall Advantage 2014 program,
But it has not been an easy decision whatsoever.

So far, this experience has been 100% opposite from last time.
My audition was crap,
My role is attractions,
My best friend is not going,
And I don't know what to do about housing.

If you ask me how I feel about this in a few days, heck, even a few hours, I'll tell you I'm excited.

But right here, right now?
I'm more worried than excited.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Address

When change comes in my life, it comes fast.
No news on the College Program yet, so don't go getting excited.

Dana left for Peru on Wednesday
And I moved out of my apartment today.

Even though I have a very nice home to stay in for the next week,
I still feel homeless.

Feeling homeless is a really terrible feeling.

My family drove down this afternoon with a Uhaul to clear out my house,
and then I spent the rest of the day cleaning.
Locking the door behind me was so sad!
I didn't know what to do with myself for a few minutes.
I just sort of… stood outside my door feeling very upset.

I love adventure.
I dislike change.

There's a part of me that's hoping my apartment is still full of my furniture and I can go back to my desk and do some homework.
But the reality is, I'm sitting at the institute (alone, may I add) and I'm eating McDonalds because I don't have any pots or pans to cook with anymore.

Pity me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{Arequipa Peru}

My little sister decided to be a full-time missionary last year.
Today, she flew to Peru to start that mission.
I wasn't able to see her off at the airport, because I had a test and presentation in class. 

But I sent her with a letter to read on the airplane instead…
and boy was it long-winded. 
But I hope it was a positive start to her mission.

So for the next 18 months,
She will spend her time teaching the gospel,
and I will spend my time missing her dearly.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DCP Process- phone interview

Well, I just got off the phone with Brandon, my Disney interviewer. It's always such a confusing moment right after you hang up. You start to wonder if you did well, if they liked you, what you could have done better. It's stressful! But thankfully it is 100% out of my hands now. I'm at peace knowing I tried, and the rest is up to Heavenly Father and Disney.

The interview lasted 20 minutes exactly. The guy spoke so quickly I almost had a hard time matching his energy. He asked questions about why I wanted to do another program, my work experience, my ability to get things done on time, and a few other things. I answered them easily, and used a lot of nursing school examples. I will be honest, I paced through my entire apartment, I just could not sit still! He explained the logistics of the application, wished me luck, and we hung up. 

The only unsettling thing about the interview was every time I answered his question, there would be this long pause, followed by an "okay" that almost sounded forced… I'm probably overanalyzing this already.

So now I wait for my email from Disney, which will lead me to select an arrival date, or end my application process. Good luck to everyone applying!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DCP Process- schedule a phone interview

On Friday night, around 11 PM, I got my Schedule Your Phone Interview email, but I was way too tired to even look at the details. I waited until Saturday morning at work to open the email, and I followed the link to the scheduling page. Boy, waiting was a BAD IDEA! There were two days  out of an entire month that still had interview openings! Geeze! 

I picked this Thursday for my interview, and I had the option of 7:00 AM, a bunch of slots during class time, and then the next opening was 7:45 PM. So I begrudgingly took that slot and signed myself up for a day full of anxiety and impatient thoughts. I have to wait until practically my bedtime to do my interview! (Don't judge my sleeping habits… I'm a nursing student… sleep is precious)

So ladies and gentleman, learn from me. When you get the scheduling email, open it right then and pick a time! You'll thank me when you have a plethora of dates and times to pick from.

In sad news, my best friend, Leslie, did not make it past the online interview, so if I make it into the program, I will be going alone. This has put quite a damper on my overview of his experience, because I was so looking forward to our adventures together back in Florida.
I hate curveballs sometimes.


Friday, February 7, 2014

DCP Process- Online Interview

I know I posted earlier this morning.
I just got an email asking me to do the online interview,
so I did!
Funny thing is the exact same thing happened last time I applied.
I turned in my application, and did the online interview in the same day.

So the online interview is all about your personality.
It asks about personality type, things you value in a school, your work ethic, and your values.
It's just a lot of question reading and answering.
point, click, point click.

And the nice part is, at the very end of the interview, it tells you wether or not you are a good candidate. If the computer decides you aren't a good match for the program, it tells you right there, and you stop the application process. If you're a good match, you get the following message on the screen:

Congratulations - you have been identified as a strong candidate! Your next step is to schedule a phone interview. You will have the ability to schedule your interview appointment in approximately 24 hours.

I have heard there are two different types of candidates: strong, and good. I don't know if this is actually true or not, because with both applications I've been a strong candidate, and I've never met anyone who said they were a good candidate. But the rumor continues.

Now I will wait to schedule my phone interview, where they suggest you use a landline and a quiet place. Unfortunately I don't have a landline, but I certainly have that quiet place! Wish me luck!


DCP Process- Application

It's official, guys.
I just started my application!

It started with me applying on the Disney College Program website. You set up an account, or in my case, log in to an existing account after 2 years of never looking at it. Thank heavens for the password reset button! Then it took me to a very basic, straightforward application.

They asked my contact info, social security number, school, and work history.
Then they ask you about the DCP options. 
I indicated I was interested in Florida's program, and then indicated my level of interest in every single College Program role. I will be honest, last time I put some degree of interest on almost everything. This time around, because I'm in a vastly different place, I put high interest on two roles, moderate interest on about 6 roles, and no interest in everything that I absolutely wasn't interested in. 
That may be my downfall, but it also could be my saving grace.

So that's the application!
Now I will wait for an email from the program inviting me to do the online interview, or tell me I'm not a good fit for their needs this year.
I'll let you know how the rest of this goes!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Unexpected Hesitancy

I know I just posted that I am planning to apply for another DCP, but the applications opened up today, and I'm suddenly really freaked out/ stressed about applying. I don't understand why! I have looked forward to going back to Disney since the day I left, yet here I am, worried that I shouldn't apply.

This is going to take some serious prayer tonight and a long phone call with my mom. I'm sure in the morning everything will be okay and I'll start the application process. But tonight, I'm going to pretend it's still not open.

What is my problem?! Seriously!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let's Do It Again!

I'm going to apply for another Disney College Program.
I'm dying with excitement.
I'm waiting patiently
I'm checking the application website like a crazed Disney-aholic.

I just want to apply already!
I want to do my interview,
I want to start planning for my future!
I want to be back at the magic!

So many exclamation points!!!


Monday, January 20, 2014


I've already started taking things off the walls.
I'm antsy to get things squared away.
But at the same time, it makes me so sad.

I want to be able to remember all the little details.

It's nothing special,
but this room has been my home for so long. 
I'm going to miss it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Brown Paper Packages

I should really call them cardboard boxes, but that sounds less whimsical and more like reality.

In 7 weeks, I will be moving back to Draper and I'll make the 2 hour commute to class as needed until graduation on April 25. I am taking advantage of the down time I have now to start packing up the things I can live without. Of course, I don't know where these boxes are going, so I also have to pack according to temperature. I can't put my expensive Bath & Body Works candles in a box that's going to end up in some outdoor storage unit, that's for sure!

I went around taking pictures today so I could start taking down the decorations and such, which has made me uncharacteristically sad about this. I usually welcome change. I'm usually so excited for the next adventure. Somehow, I've come to the point where I don't want this adventure to end. It may be due to the fact that this is the longest time I have lived in one place (excluding growing up in my parent's house) and I have grown to love my home. I loved going home to my family and my big city, but it was always so nice to drive back to my home in Price, where all my things were waiting for me.

I don't know where I will end up next. I find that scary, yet terribly exciting. The possibilities are huge! This is a wonderful thing about nursing; I can go anywhere in the world and find a job. But this makes me wonder how to pack.  Should I pack according to necessity? Pack according to room? Usefulness? Importance? Should I toss the insignificant stuff? I am packing 19 months worth of stuff and memories into cardboard boxes, and I don't know their end destination.

When I moved to this tiny town in July of '12, I wished for the day that I would leave it. I made count-down chains and plans for my far off future. Now that it is time to move to the next chapter, I almost wish I could flip back a few pages and stay here just a little longer. Crazy how you grow attached to places you never thought you would miss.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

No Country Accent For Me!

So I took this fun American accent quiz a few weeks ago, just to see my results. 
I remember having a conversation about my 'neutral American accent' with Sharleen in Australia, so I was curious if the quiz would back me up. 
Lo and behold,
My results placed me in Reno, Nevada; Portland, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah.

Yay accurate quiz!
Go try it, see if your results are right!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Semester Thus Far

It's been a good week.
We were given our semester schedules, and I am very excited for what the next 4 months hold for me. We have clinical rotations scheduled up in Salt Lake during the last month of class, where I'll get to experience working at a psych hospital, a children's' hospital, and intensive care units. 
It's going to be a great intro to life in a large city hospital.
Not to mention, we are finally implementing 12 hour clinical shifts (though honestly they're going to add up to about 9 hour shifts between student meetings and food breaks).
People are already talking about signing up for the NCLEX-RN, and my optimistic anxieties are starting to rev their engines. 
I'm half thrilled and half terrified to be at this point.
Am I ready to be a graduated nurse in 4 months?
Maybe I'll run away to Disney World to treasure my last few months of 'childhood'.
That sounds pretty good to me.