Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Nursing School Graduate!

I have been away for a long time. And there is a very reasonable explanation for that. Many, actually. But the biggest reason for my absence was nursing school. The past year has been a beast. And then with the whole Covid quarantine and school going online it got even worse. 
I'm done!!!! 
On Friday, May 11th, I took my final nursing school exam. All of my assignments had been submitted. I was DONE. It was a very surreal feeling. And there really was no closer. There was no final walk through the halls of school. No saying goodbye to the lovely ladies in the library, or testing center, or cafeteria that I had gotten to know and love. I was just done.
To help me celebrate my kids hauled all my books and binders out to the backyard for a little photo opp. Luckily, I only had about half of my books (I rented a bunch and sold a bunch back to the bookstore in the last 3 years) because the pile kept falling over. 
So, that is me on my very last day of nursing school. Very exciting and anticlimactic at the same time. It was a mix of emotions. It didn't feel real. And for the next week or so I kept having nightmares that I forgot to take a test or hand in an assignment. But it was a busy week with Mother's Day, my anniversary, and graduation so I had a bit to distract me. 

My friend and I went out to school to pick up our gowns and medals together. I hadn't been able to see her in a while, so it was so good to hang out with her again. We didn't get to do our typical lunch and drinks to celebrate the end of a semester (or the end of school, for that matter) but at least we got some time together. My other wonderful nursing friend took my cap and decorated it for me. I am so fortunate that I made such amazing friends to go through this with. We started out with 8 of us but only 3 of us made it all the way through (so far). 

I was able to stop at my mom's house and show her what I looked like in my cap and gown. 
My mom is currently in the hospital awaiting a valve replacement surgery (a story for another time), so any prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Since graduation would just be held virtually I told the boys they could all go up north for the weekend and get the work done that they needed to complete. When I woke up on Saturday morning I wasn't expecting much of the day. However, one of my nursing friends snuck onto my property and decorated my porch and yard with "Congratulations!" signs.
Not only did she decorate my yard, but she also left chocolate covered strawberries at my door that she had made herself. What a great way to start the day! And shortly after that I received a delivery of beautiful bouquet of flowers from my mom. 

PLUS, for any of you that have been reading this blog for a while, you know I love birds. All morning long in my backyard there were tons of birds. And birds that I don't normally see! Orioles, and blue jays, and indigo buntings, and cardinals, as well as sparrows and chickadees. They were everywhere! It felt like a sign. Maybe a message from my dad. All I can say is that it made the day that much more special.

Later on my bestest bud, Jen, came over to watch the virtual graduation with me. I have been with this woman since the first day of the Chemistry class I had to take before I could even begin my prerequisites. I can't tell you what it meant to have her by my side through all of this. I never expected to gain a best friend but that is exactly what happened. 
Jen brought her daughter over (who is Grace's same age) so our girls could play together while we watched graduation. It was actually a lot of fun to sit there with Jen and drink wine while watching. And Grace did a great job of getting some fun pics of us too.

After the ceremony was over Steph (the one who decorated my yard and decorated my graduation cap) came over to celebrate with us.
 Of course we had to get a bunch of pictures of the Three Muskateers who made it all the way through nursing school together. So grateful for these two.
Steph actually decorated all of our caps. She is so talented!
I really wasn't expecting much from the day but it actually turned out to be a wonderful graduation day. It felt really special.

When Todd and the boys came home on Sunday they came with flowers and balloons.
We celebrated with snacks and cake and watching a movie together. It was a fantastic weekend.
So, I am officially a nursing school graduate. Although, I still have to pass the NCLEX board exam. And that is a tough one. I have already started having nightmares about that test! And I start my new job in the Emergency Department at our local hospital on June 1st. Life is very full at the moment. But I am grateful.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson