Tag Archives: graduation

following the path before me.

in light of the post below, i am excited to share a bit about where God has led me in the past 2 months…

previously, i touched on my fears of life after graduate school and that of a grown-up. little did i know how quickly the unknown would become so perfectly clear. two weeks before the end of my internship, i was told about a full-time position that would become available at that hospital. in the field of child life, after completing an internship, i would have been lucky to find an on-call/part-time job at a hospital. a full-time job would have been rare and really, super, incredibly lucky.

needless to say, i applied for the job, went through all the formal paperwork and interviews. i’d like to say that i felt confident the whole time. but i often had serious doubts, “why would they hire someone who hasn’t graduated nor any previous experience to take this position? wouldn’t they want someone more qualified? am i ready for this?” and yet, i constantly wondered about the path that God was putting in front of me, thinking that maybe this job would be the next brick…

with great anxiety the day and night before the interview, i took time to completely surrender the whole situation to the Lord. i knew that none of this was in my control. i could nail the interview or bomb it. and the result would be 100% in the hands of God. i spent all morning praying for my interview and for the plan that God had for my life. and in the end, the interview could not have gone better.

8 days later, i received a voicemail that i still have on my cell phone. it was from an HR representative offering me the job. full-time, inpatient, medical/surgical/oncology child life specialist. it was truly one of the most exciting moments of my life as i realized my dream was about to come my reality. i made phone calls, sent text messages, posted it all over Facebook. i was incredibly stoked/shocked about where God was taking my life. while all of this was amazing, it meant one big thing- i was moving to Washington. for much longer than 4 months…

during the time before my start date, i spent some quality time at home with my family and some friends.

coffee dates with L, celebration dinner with our favorite wine at our favorite Persian restaurant, farmer’s market with grams&gramps, & family adventure to a Giants game.

i graduated with my Master’s degree.

the fam at graduation. so much love!

went to the happiest place on earth.

took the trip of a lifetime with my wonderful family to the beautiful island of Kauai (which deserves a whole post of it’s own…).

unfiltered photos of the gorgeous Kauai.

and then i had to say “see you later” to my family, which was much more difficult than i anticipated. i spent some time journaling and discovered i was experiencing bittersweetness in it’s truest form. i was completely ecstatic about starting my career, yet absolutely heartbroken to be leaving my family in California. tearfully, i got on the plane to Washington and cried my eyes out on my first night back. there were a few times i questioned if this job was really worth the heartache.

i have now been “on the job” for 5 days. not only did i joyfully reconnect with my co-workers, but i have been so warmly welcomed back by nurses on multiple units, physicians, nurse managers, unit secretaries, social workers, volunteers, and even patient’s families. i had a 4-year-old sibling, that i knew from my internship, ask me if i was finished with school, i said that i was and now got to work at the hospital. the child proceeded to dance and sing “ how cool! how cool! how cool!” in the middle of the hallway. if this wasn’t proof of excitement, i don’t know what is.

duct tape welcome sign, my sweet little hospital, things from the first week of work, & my desk that my awesome co-workers decorated.

the job itself is very much like that of my internship, but with much more responsibility. the incredible team i work with is amidst a lot of transition, yet each person has so graciously made me feel 100% supported at i step into this position. i am easing into the job and all it’s responsibilities slowly, taking on one thing at a time. in each passing day, i receive confirmation that this is exactly where i’m supposed to be right now. through it all, i miss my family dearly. and i wish they, along with my friends, could all just move up here… but i continue to remind myself, this is GOD’S plan for me. not MY plan for me. i will continue to faithfully follow this path He set before me, in times that are trying and times that are exciting, because His plan is perfect. and His love is perfect. thank you, Lord.


growth in change: a post for [A Beautiful Mess]

— this past April, i had the privilege of writing for a dear friend’s blog (check it out here). this post was an honest display of my struggle with change and trusting in God’s plan. by His goodness and grace, i am excited to share the story of where God is taking me next. but first, i take time to remember where i have been. —

if you were to look through my art journal, you would find a common theme.


i really don’t like it. and choose to deal with it through writing, painting, ripping paper, scribbling, painting more, ripping more magazines/paper/tape… you get it.

change means things are no longer in my own control.
and change means that i must fully put my trust in the Creator of the Universe.
and that scares me. because, well, i can’t control the Creator.

while change is inevitable, time and time again i have stood face-to-face with change, showing her my angriest face. and as a result of that, all i found was deep pain. the changes occurred, despite my efforts to stop them. at times, i felt like my heart was literally being torn in half. these changes were significant- friends getting married, graduating from college, moving to a new city, moving to a new state. and now i face the completion of my graduate program- which means redefining my identity as a student to an employee, a workin’ girl, a real adult (i think…).


throughout all these experiences, i have been learning how to accept change with grace. i have also learned that i have serious control issues. it has become a bit of a joke among family and friends. i like being in charge and i like when things go my way. there are times when this control (or “organization”, as i like to call it) works to my advantage. but more often than not, it leads to a lifestyle of inflexibility and lots of disappointment. so, like i said, i’m also learning about grace. and as i learn about and practice grace in my own life- there is growth.

i find that the seasons can be the most beautiful example of grace and change and growth. here in the PNW, i have seen snow and ice turn into gorgeous shades of pink and yellow. as spring arrives, the trees start to bud and flowers begin to bloom. bright yellow daffodils grow wildly on the side of the freeway and tulips add sparks of color wherever i look. and the beauty of it is that the change from winter to spring is a process. these flowers did not bloom overnight. it has taken months. and there are still trees that need to blossom, flowers to open up, and vines to produce fruit. change, with grace, is a journey.


this next change is a big one. finishing my Master’s degree and learning a style and rhythm of life that does not include papers, research, and due dates will be an adjustment. what will i do with my time? what will my new rhythm be like? where will i live and work? as i finish up my internship in Washington, i begin to search out where God might have me in the next stage of life. and saying that, is a lot easier than doing it. i feel like i am constantly asking God for His lead in my next step. then i say, “amen” and start thinking about all the things i need to do. there it goes, i loose trust in Him the minute it becomes about me and what i need to do to make things happen my way… Lord, help me.


i vividly remember a conversation i had with Kristin a few years ago. i shared with her that i couldn’t wait until the day when i had my life, my emotions, my relationships “all together”. Kristin paused, and with the most love and grace said to me, “you will never have it ‘all together’, my dear.” and she’s absolutely right. things are always changing, growing, and adjusting. i am continually learning to show up to my life instead of being frustrated and anxious about each process. i can’t plan the next steps. i don’t know what will happen. and that.is.scary. but i know that the Creator is in control. no matter what. and for that, i truly am thankful. because let’s be honest, i am a mess. i am not in control of my own life. and i will re-learn this throughout my entire earthly existence. but by the GRACE of God, i am alive from one day to the next. i learn more about the Creator and more about myself through each situation that presents change. and invites grace. and produces growth.

crafty update…

i wanted to update you all on the crafty adventures of the last few weeks… i knew that mother’s day weekend/graduation weekend/birthday weekend was going to involve many, many creative projects. so here they are!

here’s the mother’s day card! it was so fun :) i’m loving the mini-clothes pins, trying to come up with more creative projects for them.

graduation festivities were a blast! so proud of our friend (and former roomie, pictured above) who completed her Master’s degree! and many other friends who graduated with their Bachelor’s- great, big CONGRATS! so proud of you all! Hayley and I, with some help from Kace- made this paper lei for Tiff. we had a blast making it and hoped that it would be something creative and different for her to have on her special day!

birthday cards for Kace and my dear friend Lauren. also made the little cake for Kace’s celebration. i truly enjoyed making a little something personal and colorful for each of them :)

last but not least, i spent a beautiful day in La Jolla with Lauren and our friend Lyndsey for her birthday. Lauren has been such a huge blessing in my life as a part of this program. through many tears, we had to say goodbye to each other as she is off to start an internship in Tennessee. she has been a loyal support and huge encouragement in school and in life. i am forever thankful that God brought us together through this program. while we are apart, i know that we will continue to be a support for each other through the next adventures in our lives…

well, that is all for the crafty updates!

life has been a little rough this past week. sometimes things happen that rock us to our core. we question and wonder all the “why’s” in the world. there will be a blog post on all of that at another time. but for now, i will leave you with this song that has been encouraging to me over the past few days. sorry for the corny video, haven’t quite figured out how to get just an audio track on here.

ever faithful, ever true. He will never let go…

thoughts on graduation: what? it’s over?! but there’s life to come…

may 8, 2010 has come and gone so quickly. graduation was incredible.

with the stadium filled with thousands of friends and family, the class of 2010 could not have had more energy. as we lined up on campus, groups of friends clumped together filled with jitters and excitement for the moments to come. professors and friends came by, talked with us, took pictures, said their congratulations and went on their way. we lined up in what was supposed to be a single-file line and marched in to that stadium with pride and a sense of accomplishment of the last 4 years. as we were walking, we kept saying to each other “what are we doing here?!”, “how could this be happening?”, “where did these last 4 years go?” and “why the heck are we wearing these obnoxious hats and enormous gowns?!” we were in shock.

the graduation itself was pretty great. i was trying to soak in every moment, but it wasn’t easy. i was highly distracted by a professor cooking up hot dogs near me. and then zoned out a little bit when 600 names were being called and i was in the last 30… but all that said, walking across that stage was one of the greatest feelings ever. i shook President Wallace’s hand with a big smile and went back to my seat with my diploma (case) in hand. that was it- i graduated. with one last prayer and a giant cheer from the entire stadium, i left that night as a college graduate.

this has truly been a time of celebration. while it’s been very bittersweet, i am excited to move on. i’m ready to keep learning, to continue pursuing my dreams, to build on old friendships, and create new ones. i feel like i have come to an understanding on a few things in my life and know that there are still parts that need a lot of work. i have learned so much about myself and about the woman i am and want to be. i am ready to step into this new stage and so excited to see what it brings. this is not the end, it’s really just the beginning.

graduation is not doom’s day and it’s not the end of everything fun. i’m tired of hearing about the horrible economy and how hard it is to find a job. and while that is a harsh reality, i think most of us just need a moment to celebrate. we GRADUATED… from COLLEGE! we are less than 1% of the world. and that is something to celebrate! we have survived some tough papers and brutal tests. academically, we have learned A TON. and in life, these past 4 years have changed us forever. there have been experiences that we wouldn’t change for the world. and friends that will stand by each other for a lifetime. this is a time to celebrate. so here’s to finishing well, to creating more fun times, and to living this adventure called life.

thoughts on graduation: denial, then reflection, then tears

this month has been so strange… graduating in 10 days and i think i’ve felt every emotion possible.

i’ll be writing a little bit in the next week or so, to try and continue to process all that’s going on in my head. i have done some art journaling through some of this, but it has been mostly journaling. know that in art journaling: your journal is your own. write, paint, tape in pictures, or include all aspects. keep these things in mind and remember that it’s okay to journal in your art journal. the pages that you’ll see in the next week #1- have a whole lot of text and not a whole lot of art,  and #2- have been done along this process of coming to grips with reality… so bare with me :)

so here’s the story: i came back to school after spring break in denial about graduation. i actually stayed at home an extra day because i think i secretly thought i could push reality away if i tried hard enough. well, obviously that wasn’t going to work. so i made the long drive down the I5 alone, which turned out to be great. i listened to my brand new Wicked soundtrack (thanks Mom and Dad- it was one of the most incredible shows i have ever seen), and i found myself bawling my eyes out at the song “for good”. so much so, that i almost pulled the car over to try to pull myself together. but instead, i moved over to the slow lane and took some time to take in the lyrics of the song and let the tears slowly run down my cheeks… feel free to listen below:

all i could think about was the last four years. the incredible friends that i made my first year here, the great friends i have made in the last, and all those in between. people that i have had small encounters with, people that have challenged me, that have taught me, speakers that i have had the honor and pleasure of listening to, the list goes on. i suddenly became quite reflective and very emotional about leaving this place. this place that i came to 4 years ago, knowing only one or two people. this place and these people have been transformational in my life. and in the words of the song above, “who can say if i’ve been changed for the better- i do believe i have been changed for the better. but because i knew you, i have been changed for good…”

created on april 1, 2010

i want to say, “i don’t mean to get all emotional on you…”, but i have to be honest. that’s kinda where i’m at. like i said earlier, i have experienced a whole range of emotions over this thing called graduation- but for now, in this moment (and the moment on the I5) i feel… sad. i know that i will still see many of these friends after graduation. but the whole experience of college is over. and i am so thankful for every person that has been a part of that experience. so from the bottom of my heart dear friends: thank you for being you and for being a part of my life- no matter how great or small. you have made an impression upon my heart and i carry you with me.

more experiences and reflections to come…

expression of affection

times are definitely changing…

i’ve got graduation on the brain and sometimes i can hardly focus. for starters, i started writing this blog an hour before i had to go to class and take a test. i started studying for that test- about 30 minutes before i went to class… yeah, yeah, probably not the best use of time. cut me a break, i’m a pro at this going-to-school-thing! anyways, with graduation comes lots of change, which is why i can’t seem to focus. graduation means moving out of my apartment into a new place, re-structuring my friend group, acclimating to a new routine, and so much more. now don’t get me wrong, these are all exciting things! but it all just seems so strange. if those adjustments aren’t big enough, two of my best friends are getting married this year… talk about serious change! they are both marrying incredible men of God and i can’t wait to stand beside them and support this new chapter in their lives. (shout out to the soon-to-be Morellis and Potters!)

in the midst of all these changes, i have a few options. i can either pout about them and try to pretend that it’s not all happening. or i can embrace the changes with open arms, i can welcome them and accept the new challenges ahead of me. meanwhile, i go back and forth between feeling ready for change and not wanting to budge. and through the excitement and dread, i have found only one word to describe this part of my life- WEIRD. i am in a weird place in my life and that’s okay. i do not have all the answers. i have no idea what life will look like in 6 months and that’s all okay. it’s okay because i have God with me. i have the support of a Creator who already has the next steps of my life laid out for me. that gives me the ability to relax, knowing God’s taking care of me. and now i am able to embrace change, i can look at these next 3-4 months and hold them close with my arms, as an expression of affection.

it’s not easy embracing changes, treating them with affection and holding them close. but what it would look like if we welcomed change? if we were open to things that messed up our daily routine a little? i’m no professional at this, but i sure am trying to live this out. i hesitate when change comes my way, but i’m learning what it’s like to breathe and acknowledge that in most cases i don’t have any power over the situation. i’ve learned that worrying gets me absolutely no where and that no matter what, tomorrow will come. i can’t stop time. i can’t control circumstances. the next day, month, and year will show up whether i ask it to or not. i want to be in a place that is ready to face what comes next. that place is called openness and trust. and it might take me a few tries to get there. but we’ll see what the future holds and i am going to do my best in opening my arms and my heart to the unknown.

reflect and celebrate

well, now that you have a journal you love… it’s time to get started!!

let me explain a little: i am graduating from my undergraduate career in may. i have spent much of the last 5 months reflecting on the past 4 years. i moved to a new place and created a whole new life for myself. i’ve gone from comfortable and confident to uncomfortable and unsure and back again. i came to college knowing two people and over the course of a few years have made some lifelong friends (insert SAPPY moment here). all that to say, in a time of looking at the past- i can’t help but to look towards the future. graduate school seems to be in the books for me. while i always thought it would be “cool” to have master’s degree, i didn’t think i would actually pursue it. and here i am- applying, interviewing, and ready to move on to higher education. i’m excited for all that’s to come after graduation. and scared out of my mind, but i hear that’s pretty normal.

in a time of living between the past and the future, i had forgotten what it was like to live in the present. my mentor reminded me of the importance of living in the now and celebrating all that has been accomplished. with all this back and forth, i completely left out the celebration. i had a SOLID interview at the University of La Verne and my application is in process. it’s a program that gives my butterflies in my stomach because it is exactly what i’m looking for. and aside from that, i’m getting ready to graduate! i think i have reason to celebrate a little, don’t you?

i encourage you to find your own reason to celebrate. in times of stress and bills and to-do-lists, i pray that you discover something to celebrate. something that is worth writing, painting, and recognizing. maybe you made a delicious meal from scratch, did well on a test, went for a walk and got some exercise. or maybe you too are graduating, got a new job, maybe you’re getting married… whatever your reason, take a moment. inhale, exhale- you did it! celebrate and give yourself and your God some credit. we spend so much time worrying, overloading our planners with appointments, and watching our blood pressure soar because we just can’t take it anymore. take a deep breath and smile with everything within you. get those art supplies out, put on some party music, and celebrate!