Starting Nursing School

Thought for the Day: “Whatever you do, work headily, as for the Lord and not for men,” – Colossians 3:23

Last semester I began the four semester process of completing a nursing school program in which I earn a RN certificate. I remember how excited I was to get accepted in April. It was the only school I applied to and I was accepted on my first try. It was such a blessing!

Austin and I moved back to Texas exactly six days after we said “I do,” and I started school three days after that. It was crazy and hectic but so much fun at the same time.

My first day of school was overwhelming. There was a schedule passed out, color coded for each class, lecture, lab, clinical session, etc. As I read over it I got more and more excited but realized even my OCD organization wasn’t going to cut it. I spent the first month readjusting. I learned to study, I learned to be organized, I learned time management, I learned how to put my homework down and say “I quit for tonight” so that I could save just a little piece of my sanity. Its hard work! But that’s just the part they warn you about before hand. The part they forget to mention is the worth that is hidden beneath the homework and class time. It’s incredibly humbling to be a part of this program and I love learning from some of the best nurses this world has to offer.

I’ve only been in school for 1 semester, 20 weeks, 94 days… but I’ve already learned so much. I understand why it’s difficult and why they pay attention to details. I understand why it will only become increasingly difficult as the semesters go by. It makes me feel blessed to attend a school that places that much effort into my education and into my future. After all, it will be the difference in someone’s healthcare experience. If I am ever a patient lying in a hospital bed, I want the very best caring for me. That makes me want to be the very best for everyone else.

Three more semesters until graduation! Here’s to working hard, learning a lot, and becoming the best possible nurse that I can possibly be.



Thought for the Day: “He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.” – Isaiah 40:29


Happily Ever After: Honeymoon

Thought for the Day: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

Saturday morning after our wedding we woke up, hit a CVS for the few items we forgot to pack and then hit the road. We headed to Newport Beach, California to spend a week relaxing and soaking in the sun before starting school the following week.

Now before I start telling you about our trip, I have to brag on my husband for a minute. He planned this entire trip by himself and did a fabulous job! Don’t believe me? Keep reading…

We arrived at our hotel and checked in. I was very excited to be out of the car. This was the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. He picked a suite that had so much space for us to relax.

IMG_0381Honeymoon 2After getting settled in, we found a local red box and picked a few movies to rent for the night. I was still exhausted from all the wedding prep so I didn’t really want to go out. We went to pick up the movies on the way to dinner. Austin drove down Pacific Coast Highway so that I could see the beach. He had me look up places to eat and we picked a little pizza place about 20 minutes away from our hotel. We ate early so there we had nearly the whole restaurant to ourselves. We sat by this cute fish tank so naturally I had to take a picture. The pizza was delicious!

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I practically begged Austin to take me to the beach before going back to our hotel. It wasn’t too hard because he was definitely excited too. We had a hard time finding parking spots that didn’t cost a lot of money. Most of them were closing soon anyway because the sun was getting ready to set and they close at dark. We pulled into a neighborhood and found a little park tucked behind some beach front properties. We parked at the park and simply paid a couple quarters into the meter and walked the extra 10 yards to the beach. I love the beach and treasured every second walking along the waters edge with my new husband. Before leaving I requested a few sand pictures for my scrapbook. He happily agreed and helped me draw pictures into the sand.

Once the sun had gone down we returned to our car and headed back to our hotel. I was exhausted and probably slept 14-15 hours that night. I woke up well rested and excited for the day. I google mapped an iHop for breakfast but it took us to a local breakfast joint. We were starving and decided to stay rather than find an actual iHop. There was newspaper articles on the wall that shared the story of the restraints owners and their family history. It was so interesting and made the wait go by super fast. I ordered a delicious tomato, sausage, and cheese omelet. YUM!

With our bellies full we drove back to our hotel ready for a nap, stopping by a Redbox to swap out our movies. We watched movies and napped until later in the afternoon when we had a fun couples date planned. Massages! I’ve never had a professional massage before but I loved it. Honestly, I thought it ended way to soon!

Austin let me pick the restaurant for dinner that night. I loved getting all dressed up and walking down to the restaurant together. There is a huge shopping center down the hill from our hotel so it was an easy and refreshing walk. On our way through the stores there was a giant coy fish pond. I loved it because you could see all the fish swimming around. I told Austin I needed one of these in my backyard someday but I don’t think he was convinced.

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Honeymoon 4This was my favorite meal of vacation by far. We sat outside on the balcony that only had two tables. If you looked past the construction there was a great view. It was so nice having our own private dining room. I was so full from dinner that I had to take my cheesecake to go. They forgot to give us forks in the to-go bag. You can imagine how stupid I felt calling the room service at our hotel for 2 forks. It was totally worth it though…


We got up extra early the next morning for DISNEYLAND! It was a short drive from our hotel and we were too excited to notice how early it was. While it was busy, we were still able to get onto plenty of rides.

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Honeymoon 6We had planned to stay until the park closed so that we could watch one of the shows. I only made it until dinner time. It was so exhausting, and I started getting a headache and stomach ache. We headed out early and slept in the next morning so that we could stay for both shows the following night. The second day went way better than the first because we started the day well rested. We got to hit all our favorites one last time before the shows and stopped for our favorite meal at Disneyland: broccoli cheddar soup in bread bowls with hot chocolate.

I was sad to leave the park because it meant going home the next day. I enjoyed our short little trip together and didn’t want it to end. It did though and we made the drive back to good ole’ Arizona. The excitement wasn’t over though. We had less than 24 hours to finish packing up to move to back to college. That however is a story in itself, more tomorrow!

Bridal Shower

Thought for the Day: “But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” – Psalm 103: 17-18

I was so blessed by my beautiful bridesmaids and maids of honor with a shower at the church where I grew up. With the help of my Mother-in-Law they made about a million cupcakes! They were all different and were set up like shoes on the food table. They went perfectly with the theme, “The Perfect Pair”. They also set up a chocolate fountain and other finger food snacks that were delicious!

Shower 1 shower 2 shower 3I was shocked with the support that I received. Everyone wrote the sweetest notes in the guest book that was set out. I was overwhelmed with the love that people have for me and Austin and it made me feel so blessed to be a part of the many groups that we are involved in. Austin and I received so many wonderful gifts that helped up set up our first apartment. It was so hard having to wait to put the frames on our walls, the dishes in the cabinet, and the pans on the stove to cook something yummy!

Thank you so much for all the support you have shown us through our dating years, engagement, and now in our marriage. We love the encouragement and advice that is shared with us by those so dear to our hearts. Thank you!

Happily Ever After: DIY Projects

Thought for the Day: “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” – Proverbs 13:4

Today I want to focus in on some of the crafts that I was able to complete for our wedding. By doing so much of the wedding myself (with some help from Austin and family) I was able to create a personal wedding that we had always dreamed of.

Because I planned so much of this wedding from my dorm room in Texas, there was only a few projects that I could accomplish. The first thing completed was our guest book. I designed it on snappish with our engagement photos and multiple blank pages for people to sign. They offered a lot of light patterns that made it cute but easy to see the messages that our guests left for us. It was all black and white which really made our photos pop. We put it out at the church for people to sign as they entered for the ceremony. You can see it in the following picture from our reception.

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Austin and I selected a sparkler send off instead of rice or bird seed or whatever. We spent a date night watching movies and making these cute matchboxes as favors for our guests. (If you are interested in designing you own, you can find tutorials online or ask me to email you instructions.)

My mother-in-law designed the cookies shown below the matchbox. She made one for each guest with their name on it for the table cards. She did such a good job and everyone LOVED them!

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I wanted to have cute table centerpieces that matched the rest of the wedding so I spent some time over spring break and over the summer making vases. I bought 30 vases at the dollar tree, ribbon and glue dots on sale at JoAnns, and rhinestones from some company in China via ebay.  (I found the same exact ones at Michaels for $5 a piece so this was a great find!) I used the glue dots to wrap a ribbon around each vase and tied a huge bow on each one. I glued the rhinestones on the ribbons and then placed white roses and babies breath in each one. We propped up pictures that I designed on photoshop with table numbers on them on the backside of the vase. They were all placed on top of some white sparkly tulle and beads displayed on each table. I think the pictures made them personal and I really liked the glitter!

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These are the major projects that we completed for our wedding. It was definitely worth the work and I would do it all again in a heart beat. (Not the getting married thing, just the crafts.)

If you have any questions or want to share your DIY wedding crafts comment, I’d love to see!





Happily Ever After: Picking the Perfect Dress

Thought for the Day: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

Last March I was able to travel home to spend Spring Break with my family. During that week we did A LOT of wedding planning including picking the perfect dress. I wasn’t able to share these pictures before the wedding and I kind of forgot about them. But finally, here they are…

We went to Davids Bridal just to “try on” and “get an idea of what’s available” so naturally I “fell in love” and “said yes to the dress”. My mom, Austin’s mom, and my sisters went to help me pick my dress and the bridesmaids dresses. I tried on quite a few but when I put this one on everybody was convinced that it was the one I needed to wear. I tried on more just to be sure but we kept going back to this one. When the sales lady placed the veil on my head I too knew that this was the one. It was then time to pick the bridesmaids dresses. They asked me if I wanted to change back into my clothes and I said no, so I spent the rest of the shopping trip in the dress. It was very fun!


DSCN5363To see more pictures of the dress and our wedding click here.

Happily Ever After: Wedding Day (Part 2)

Thought for the Day: “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Yesterday I shared photos of preparation for the big day and our ceremony. To see that post, click here.

After our ceremony we allowed our guests to have time to travel to the reception venue by stopping at a park for a few more pictures. These are some of my very favorite pictures from our special day!

Outside 1 Outside 2 Outside 3

Cherise, our photographer, did a fabulous job and in no time at all we were back in the limo heading off to the reception.

We worked really hard to make the reception both personalized and beautiful. We designed and created the centerpieces, seating chart, guest book, and more. My wonderful mother in law Valorie decorated our cake, and with help from lots of family members was able to do all the food herself. My favorite was the cake table with our beautiful cake and chocolate roses. She also made each guest a cookie with their name on it for the tables which were a big hit! I was so excited to share those with my guests.

DIY Projects Food

We arrived and had our grand entrance which was fun. Again, I couldn’t believe how many people had shown up to support us. We immediately cut our cake so that everyone could eat it after their dinner. Despite my begging and pleading, Austin shoved it in my face. He sure was proud of himself.


After dinner Austin and I shared our first dance together. He picked the song “She’s gotta way” by Billy Joel which was very sweet.


Afterwards I got to share a dance with my Dad and Austin did the same with his Mom. I was excited to reveal the song I had picked for my Dad, “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw.



Everyone had a great time and the dance floor was full the ENTIRE night. It was awesome seeing everyone have such a good time. Our DJ was awesome and did a fabulous job with the entertainment!

Later in the night it was time to do the bouquet and garter toss. My friend and bridesmaid Janine caught my bouquet which was very fun!


The night continued with more dessert and dancing but eventually as all good parties do, it came to an end. We shared one last dance and headed out to our car which had been painted and filled with glowing balloons.

JA Wedding 1506bwWe feel so blessed to have gotten to celebrate our marriage with such a special day. I enjoyed every minute of it and look back fondly of the memories of wedding week and our wedding day. Thank you to everyone who helped make it so special. We love you all!