Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of the 2nd Degree @ EKU!

Well, the day has arrived that I start my first classes at EKU! I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am especially excited to learn about subject pertaining to my line of work! AmeriCorps is ending in a couple of days and very happy that I was given the opportunity. I have learned a lot over the course of the year about myself, the community, working environments, and much much  more. The relationship that i have made with the city of richmond and the people will be ever lasting! I have met many great people and excited that they will be a part of my life from here on out!

Goals for the semester:

4.0 every class (this is how i will get into the accelerated program)
Loss between 20-30 lbs. & get back into shape!
Soak up the experience at the hospital
Have fun, but not too much fun, and take in the next step in life
Relax and enjoy the next few years

I am also excited to walk to my classes with Jesse and study our lives away haha!

Here's to the next chapter and the next step in becoming a nurse-midwife!

Thank you to all that have supported me thus far! I can't wait to show you how great of a nurse-midwife I will be in the years to come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A note about the Money Fairy post...

I was thinking about it last night and i hope that i didn't come off arrogant or snotty in my previous post. I just get really frustrated at times. The purpose of the post was to 1 encourage others in hard situations to keep going and 2 to show the ones who have been given financial support to be grateful and appreciative! Also, i wanted others to know that they are not ALONE, that it does take a lot of work, and they can achieve it on their own! This is part of the reason why I chose a medical profession. I want/do work in an underserved area and there are loan forgiveness programs for certain medical professions. I am not worried about how the future pans out, i just stress about it sometimes. But I must say, I am most grateful for my support, the drive, passion, and importance of college that my parents passed along to me, and my heart and passion to help others. 

Like I said before, I wouldn't change how things have panned out. I wouldn't change choosing the school i did to get my bachelor's degree, i wouldn't change working throughout college, taking out loans, struggling financially at times,  etc. I have learned from every experience and it has helped me be grateful for the things that I have, a sound mind, supportive family and friends, and a heart that strives to make a difference.

This is why I am where I help the unfortunate!

The targeted group of individuals that I am suppose to service are teen mothers in Madison County! I hope that I helped one of those many needy children or have help them strive for their goals of being self sufficient, to have a job, to care for their babies, and achieve their dreams!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Dreams of a Money Fairy!

Some days, I wish that there was a money fairy that would erase my student loans and a few other debts. It is stressful knowing that the money is lingering over my head. But, then i think about the other route, no student loans, which would have meant, no college, working a low paying position, and not being able to fulfill my dreams, figure out life, and HELP OTHERS the way that I hope to as a nurse-midwife. It's hard for me to think about what my life would have been like if i hadn't gone to college. College was def. the right route for me! I would most likely have been not happy with life, living at home, and down in the dumps. I LOVE to learn, take on a new challenge, and progress in life. I am super proud of how far I have come and wouldn't take it back for a moment.

The older and wiser I become the more savvy i am when it comes to scholarships, loan repayment programs etc. I have found a few ways that will help me in the present and future. The hospital i am working at will help pay for books for a year's commitment, AmeriCorps will help with tuition this semester, and then IDA will help with next semester. These are all "now" help and won't help with the lingering loans. But, later down the road after I am a nurse-midwife, there is a program through HRSA that will repay my loans if i work in an underserved area for so many years. It allows me to travel to exotic places as well, just as long as they are US territories etc. This program couldn't be more PERFECT! I already do what this program is looking for, helping the underserved as an OB tech! It's just hard to think that it will be possible because it is very competitive and what would i do if i didn't get accepted into the program. But of course i am going to try and try again until i am accepted into the program!

Yes, the program would erase my worries, but the stress of thinking about how much i will have accumulated after going to school for my masters is daunting at times. It impacts me in the present day. I try to not let it and conquer it when the times comes and WILL figure it out! There are so many possibilities, i believe that I can find a way to have those loans forgiven! In the end, I will have two bachelor degrees and a masters funded all by myself! I will have been helped by academic scholarships, ida, Americorps, and grants, but the difference still adds up to a pretty hefty amount. I find myself asking, why does life have to be like this? Why can't college be free? (haha) Can you imagine how many more people would attend college?!

Why do i have to pay all this money and do it on my own financially (venting)? I look at others that have been helped by their parents and wonder how much they really appreciate it. I see others not appreciate what they have been graciously given and it really ticks me off because if i had that provided to me i would be ever so grateful. I wouldn't take advantage of the situation like some do. Don't take me the wrong way, i am super proud of how far that i have come and what i have learned, but at times wonder what it would have been like if i was given the opportunity that others have, what my life would be like with this burden lifted off of my shoulders? Maybe i wouldn't be as appreciate because i wouldn't have had to go through what i have, but think that i would be so appreciative because i have seen others go through the same.

The money fairy sounds better and better everyday, one less stressor hanging in the back of my head sounds so good.  But, i really appreciate how far i have come, what i have learned from this experience, and what i will teach others and my children one day. It takes a lot to be able to support yourself through college but wouldn't change it for the world! I can't wait to be a nurse-midwife, to catch babies, help in areas of need, teach the importance of breastfeeding, infant care, personal care, etc.

I must say that i have great support when it comes to going to school!  I know that my mom can't/couldn't help me financially but she has helped me in more ways than i can ever thank her for. She has been my support and wall through everything! She was there when i wanted to give up because things were getting hard. I know that if she could she would help, but it just isn't possible for her, especially being a single parent. I know that she is super proud of how far I have come and how i have dealt with situations. The more and more i continue on in life, the prouder she is.

To all of those out there that are going through college supporting yourselves financially, stick in there! It is hard and you must make sacrifices, but it will be worth it in the end! Look for opportunities like i have, AmeriCorps, loan repayment programs, and scholarships. Every last scholarship and grant will help you! Be careful when taking out loans and take only what you need and have a job on the side to help with bills. Don't give up and keep on keeping on, it will be worth it in the end!

Elective C-sections on the decline!

I am really happy that Oregon is doing this, one because it puts a stop to unnecessary surgeries and two it gives me a little more job security! The more vaginal births the better for my job and my views! I believe that c-sections can help if there are problems but most of the time, the mothers can birth their babies the natural way!

Friday, July 29, 2011

This fall's school schedule

As the school year gets closer, the more and more excited I am to be back in the academic world! I have missed being in an academic setting. Yes, I admit it, I have missed school. I think that's why i love the new job so much is that i am learning new things! My schedule is going to be a full load but believe I can handle it. On friday and saturdays I will be working at the hospital each a 12 hour shift! I am also excited to have the afternoons open to study and take a few exercise classes! While at MSU, i would work during the week and not be done until 5 and have the weekends off. This will be a nice change! Classes begin August 22! Only 24 days away!

My classes include:

Anatomy lab
Medical Microbiology

The fun ones ( 1 credit classes):

aqua zumba
cardio and tone

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Officially a CNA....soon to be an OB tech!

Well, as most of you all know, I have completed my CNA (certified nursing assistant) course and have passed the state tests! I accepted a job on an OB floor in London, KY about 45 minutes from where I live now! I was hired on as a CNA and through training/orientation, I will become an OB tech in the next few months. This entails assisting the surgeon with c-sections and a slight pay raise. All of this experience is going to be perfect for my application to midwifery school!

Things have been crazy ever since I returned to KY from visiting home for a few days. I am working full time at the hospital for orientation until classes start in late August, as well as working full time for AmeriCorps to make sure that I have all my required hours needed to complete my full turn! Things right now are all over the place. But I wouldn't change it for the world!

I have now attended 6 births, 3 of them being c-sections and 3 being vaginal. I am training in the areas of post partum, nursery, labor and delivery, and the OR. What do all these include? (I haven't learned everything involved with the positions yet, but this is what i know thus far)

Post partum:
  • taking vitals
  • passing water
  • changing beds
  • changing dressing
  • passing linens and towels
  • checking on mom's well being
  • Charting
  • Taking care of baby
  • Rounding up the little ones for the pediatrician
  • Taking baby vitals
  • Changing diapers
  • Bathing the babies
  • Recording feedings/outputs
  • Helping with circumcisions 
  • Helping moms with breastfeeding
  • Recording info in many books
  • Charting
Labor & Delivery:
  • Set up for deliveries
  • Assist the doctor with labor
  • Help mom push, hold leg etc.
  • Receive baby from nurse
  • Check baby vitals
  • Weigh, measure, clean off baby & mother
  • Clean up after delivery
  • Prepping the c-section room
  • Scrubbing in
  • Opening all instruments
  • Assist surgeon
  • Hold skin, hand instruments, suction etc. 
  • Assist suturing
  • Clean up room

I have passed the post partum stage and now on to labor and delivery. I think that this is the area I will like most! The area in which i am working is considered underserved/not everyone has all the resources etc. I hope that i can make an impact! The hospital is brand new so i will be able to grow with it too. I am going to see what can be done with my brochures and if I am able to pass them out to mothers. I feel that they would benefit from them!

I am so excited and very grateful for the opportunity that the hospital has provided me! The chance to be a part of births and babies is mind blowing. It gives me a look into what my future will entail! I can't wait for that moment when I get to catch the baby and pass the new bundle of joy to his/her parents!

Monday, July 4, 2011

To the great lands of Michigan I go......

I will be home wednesday afternoon! I am leaving tomorrow! I can't wait! I haven't been home since mid-August of last year when I left to move to Kentucky for AmeriCorps. Well, I am finally making the 10 hour trip home to Petoskey! I am so excited to see my family and friends! I have missed them all soooo much! I have missed the water and of course the sunsets......B and I are planning on going kayaking and can't wait! We are also rode tripping it there! We haven't been on a road trip together in years! It's going to be a great time! The time at home will be busy and probably go by fast, but I am very excited! Here's to MI and seeing my family and friends!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade French Onion Soup!

Yummmy! It was very tasty! Jesse enjoyed his as well! If you would like the recipe let me know and I can send it to you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Childbirth options and educating women!

A goal of mine as a nurse-midwife is to educate as many women, couples, etc, about their birthing options! This article helps reinforce that nurse-midwives, doctors, doulas, and child educators need to be more involved and explain all the options! Nurse-midwives are able to spend extra time with their patients and thus are able to go into detail on many different things and answer questions. I will do my best to convey all the options to all my future patients, classes, and others that I may come into contact with!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not store bought.....Jenni-made!! (Headboard)

Here's is the headboard I crafted! I am going to be painting my room a misty green! At the moment, i'm looking for a new comforter!

 Homemade buttons!
Almost finished!

Recent Craft Projects!

Monday, June 13, 2011

How AmeriCorps has changed my life......financially!

Be warned! This is a long post but bear with me and please read it all! I think that you will be proud to see how far I have come and all that i have done!

As you know, going into AmeriCorps, you aren't in it for the money. I am here to help others! I am provided a living stipend which covers my living expenses.

I have always been closed off when it comes to discussing my financial situation. I have felt embarrassed, not sure what others would think, scared, and confused. Now, I feel confident in saying that 1.  I needed help especially with being an AmeriCorps member 2. I still need help and will continue working with a financial counselor. 3. I am not afraid to tell others that i am working on my situation 4. I am slowly learning how to take control of my money 5. i loved online shopping and have now ceased my spending! 6 I am taking control! Here are the ways I have grown and couldn't be more proud of where I am today!

Here are some ways I have been more resourceful with my money as an AmeriCorps member. There is also a little blurb about how AmeriCorps has helped me through financial troubles. I hope that it helps some members in the future!

1. Haircut....what's a haircut : you know going to a salon, getting pampered, talking with other women.....i have no idea what that means any more! haha I have been cutting my own hair since moving to KY in august. I have done an okay job, but do miss that little bit of pampering! It has saved me a good amount of money. I am VERY picky about who cuts my hair, which is not the best thing in the world, but looking forward to getting one soon!

2. Food stamps....SNAP benefits: yes, i am a currently benefiting from food stamps. I would be sticks and bones if i didn't have this resource. It has helped me tremendously! At first i was reluctant to use it because of the stigma associated with using the card. But hey, i do need help to help others at this time! Advice for other members, if you are able, try and get food stamp benefits, they help immensely, especially if you aren't living at home!

3. No cable....not even the local channels. I have always wanted to see what life would be without having cable and this put me in the right situation.  I never had that push to jump into the world of no tv. But after doing it, i love it. I find that when i do get a chance to watch tv, i get bored and think about all the other things that i could be doing! This all started in Nov. I will continue this! I might get the local channels to watch jeopardy but other than that, i have been doing a lot of crafts (pictures to come soon), more cooking and baking, and playing with the kitten.

4. Riding my bike to work.... this has helped me in many ways.....1. the most important, it helps the environment and have even tried to convince others to ride their bikes as well, promote a green commute! 2. it gives me some added exercise. 3. saves on gas money.

5. I love coupons! I browse the red plums and smart source when they come in the mail. If i need a shirt or something, i print coupons off line to receive a discount. I only buy clothes from the sales racks and clearance areas. I must say i love Target and JcPenney.  I can really really cute things too! This will continue into the future and beyond!

6. Carpooling......I have learned how much i love my family. I have not been home in a year because of the distance and the expense to get there. I have really missed them. I know that every family has it faults, but i love mine and can't wait to see them! I am hopefully going to be able to go home with a friend in July! I wouldn't be able to go if it wasn't for sharing a ride and driving her gas efficient car! Thanks B, you are the best!

7. My furniture...I mean brianna's furniture haha. Basically, i have been passed on furniture from close friends of mine! Without the gracious donations, i wouldn't have any furniture to sit on! My table came from my grandparents, and the mattress i have was one that water leaked onto and the store sales man gave me a deal for. If you are moving, save furniture! See if any family members and friends are getting rid of furniture. Check out craigslist...but watch out for bed bugs!!! Ekkkk.

8. Discounts......i received a discount on my rent because i am an AmeriCorps member. I was loaned a bike to ride from a local bike shop. I am very grateful for both!

9. Little things here and there......i do not have a dishwasher, so i needed a dish dryer thing. Mrs. G was awesome and was able to find me an amazing, new rack for free! I am so glad for this. I have decorated my apartment with my craft projects! Paint. I am getting from! This is a great website. You are able to recycle things that you don't want anymore by giving them to those who need it. There are different groups in areas all around the world. I am going to be getting paint from someone in lexington, for free!

10. Future financial help....the education award....As you all know, i am  going back to school at EKU this fall to get a second degree in nursing! I wanted to be able to do this loan free and the educational award will cover tuition plus books! I couldn't be happier. This award has helped me meet my goals. I will be working as a CNA full time as well and will be able to pay other expenses and save money! AmeriCorps has helped me reach my financial goals of no student loans this year! 

11. The best thing that i have been able to do financially is be involved with a financial counselor through an IDA program. The IDA program was established to help low income families save money and purchase say a business, go to school, or put a down payment on a house. Since i am considered low income, I applied for a specific program. I have to save $500 over a 9 month period. At the end of the nine months, they will match my 500 by 8! I will be getting $4500 in January! This will pay for my second semester of college! With going loan free this coming year, i will have reached my goals. The best part of the IDA program is that i meet with a financial counselor each month. We discuss my goals, how my budget is going, and was to improve my savings. He has taught me how to budget correctly, how to save, etc. I will also be attending a financial makeover 8 week session! I have read a Dave Ramsey book and my counselor follows his teachings! I am ever so grateful for Dave Ramsey and my counselor.

One last thing I think is important is that Jesse has taught me the value of a dollar. He has guided me in spending and has showed me how to take control! He has taught me how serious money is and that I don't have anyone there to bail me out if i were to get into trouble. He has been my support and has even attended a counseling session with me. I hope that I have even taught him a few things here and there through my sessions and readings! I couldn't have gotten this far without his support and persistence. Thanks for standing by me through this time in my life and being my wall!

My ultimate goal is to be debt free, even mortgage free, one day! I would like to be able to help others and teach them how to take control of their finances! I want others to know that its ok to accept help. Everyone needs help at some point in time. I would love to be able to help a friend out or family member out, say they needed a car, i could go out and buy a $3000 car and it wouldn't even dent my financial status. It would be like owh yea, here is a car for you, please take care of it and make the best out of it! Of course, i would probably send them a book on managing their money etc. How great of a feeling would that be to know that i had come sooooo far and was able to help someone in need without it affecting my finances!

All in all, i have learned how to be more resourceful with what i have. I have learned to give up some things in my life, like haircuts and pedis, cable, and pricier clothes, and am very grateful for this lesson! The next time I am able to get a haircut, i will appreciate it more than i have any other time in my life! I am very thankful for the people that have passed down items to me and AmeriCorps for teaching me valuable lessons. I have learned how to take control and manage my money.  AmeriCorps has opened opportunities that I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

This is taped on my computer. Behind the "just say no" are my long term and short term goals. I use it when thinking about buying something online! I usually get roped in on the deals and sales. This has helped me a lot!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Plant a Tree! It's free! (and you can choose your state)

My director shared this with me today! Michigan is representing! Woot Woot! Plant a tree for free, add some CO2 to the atmosphere, habitats for animals, and some beauty!! This is an amazing idea! Thanks ODWALLA!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A dedicated husband....what a breakfast!

This man really loves his wife! He created fun little pictures/art out of the wife's breakfast. She is on bed rest....this is one way to liven up being stuck in a bed for months! There is a slide show of all the different creations!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Owhhh petoskey, you never cease to amaze me.....

I found this in the lansing state journal.......

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Madison County Build-A-Bed!!!! (tonight)

Well, after hours and hours of prep Sarah and I's build is tonight for Madison County! Updates will follow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Getting the news out.....!

Read me: (we are hoping that there will be someone at the event taking pics as well!)

Friday, April 29, 2011


I recently joined the bluegrass community connects for children council! This council is an informative way to get programs and events out to other community resources! Of course, i passed out the small fry monday info. Anyways, i chose to be a part of the education branch/group. We were given a decent amount of money and told to use it to help bring awareness on/about child abuse for the month of april. I created a poster on shaken baby syndrome! We printed it online, so it will be nice and sturdy and then going to be passed out to about 100 local day-cares, hospitals, and centers in 8 different counties. I hope that it helps people recognize how dangerous shaking a baby can be.  I actually learned a lot from creating this poster. I always knew/know never to shake a baby but this will help me in my career path by being able to "spot" symptoms or signs that a baby has been shaken and hopefully get the child out of the situation and some help!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am not an "eg-no-re-moose!"

Today, I had lunch today at Cracker Barrel and of course i had to try to beat the triangle. My papa and I used to play this all the time when I was younger! I am proud to say i am no loner a "eg-no-re-moose!" I left just one! I am a genius now. My papa would be proud!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Memphis MIHOW Conference

Recently, a few of us SuccessCorps members had the opportunity to attend the annual MIHOW conference in Memphis! The events were neat! I went to a story-telling session, a drug abuse and substance abuse session, and a SIDS session.

The story teller was a neat older lady! She had the most beautiful hair! He stories were fun and interesting and she taught us how by the stories people tell, you can figure some things out about them. I am going to have my moms tell stories! This way i can learn a little about them. Like how they got their name, which we did in class! The little squirrel was a finger puppet that she used to tell stories to her grand children and it reminded me of my papa! I couldn't resist taking a picture!

The drug abuse session helped reinforce my thoughts about my father and how he dealt with everything. It helped remind me that no one could have helped him until he decided to help himself. I liked it because if i ever encounter a mother or child going through this i can help them see through it all. If they are the person needing help that the only person who can help them first is themselves. If it is a child living with a parent, i can show them its not their fault etc.

Finally, in the SIDS session i learned that having a fan on in a child's bedroom helps fight the risk of them dying from SIDS. The air circulation is good for the child. You don't want the air blowing directly on the baby but the circulating air helps! Maybe this is why i have always had a fan on while sleeping! I love the fresh air and the sound helps me sleep granted i don't have to worry about SIDS, but it could stem from when i was a baby and slept with a fan on.

Anyways, the trip was great to get to know the other members a little better and talk with other MIHOW people! We even helped them with some of the issues involved with teen moms!