Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I'm keeping up with my new favorite tradition of Birthday blog posts. It's my Mom's birthday today!

A famous picture in our family. The Bills kids.
Vicky: Happy Birthday to my "little sister." I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope you know how loved you are. I'm a blessed one to have you as my sister and friend. Life is easier because of you.

You didn't think she had that side to her, did you?

The whole famdamily at Ian's homecoming.

This one's a classic. Mom and Dad on Halloween.
Dad: I love Becky because despite how crazy I make her she still loves me and overlooks all my innumerable faults and wackiness and still supports me. Plus she's a total hottie!

Dancing at my wedding.
Cori: You're the best mom! I've thought about a lot of the fun things we used to do as kids with you. I can't count how many times we made the trek out to Neola or down to St. George for the weekend. I love our lunch dates, car rides and phone calls. We have had so many heart-to-hearts when you've taught me how to be a good person and succeed at life. I've never doubted that you've had our best interests at heart.

On my wedding day
Ian: Its Birthday time! All the kids are enrolled in college, got yourself a new job, its for sure a good birthday to have. May your next year be just as productive.

Looking for pictures, I noticed that Mom is almost always surrounded by family. 
Megan: One thing that I love about Mom is how well she knows each of her kids. She recognizes our differences and deals with each of us individually, something that's not easy to do. One of my favorite Mom memories was when we went to see Hairspray together. When we were driving home, we listened to the soundtrack and  had a long talk about life. She told me the story of how she and dad ended up together. It's moments like that that I love the most. Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you!

Meeting Bud at the airport.

Bud: Mom is super duper fantastically awesome. She is there when you need her and is always interested in what's going on in your life. She's never shy to share experiences or help you out in any way she can. Happy Birthday Mom! Loves.

At Jillian's graduation

Jillian: Momma is da best. She taught me how to work hard, support myself, and be hapy even when life is hard. Love you, Mama!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The first week of the 2nd semester

The primary president asked me to do a spotlight of myself in Primary. I decided it would probably be really short, because there's only one thing that takes up the vast majority of my time...

I made it through the first week of my 2nd semester. 1 down, 15 to go (or something like that). It seems like everyone in my cohort has a tendency to talk about how crazy this semester is going to be and/or how overwhelmed we are (both valid points, really) but honestly, I'm feeling pretty good about things. I was reminded that my instructors aren't trying to make me fail, quite the opposite actually, and a lot of people with a lot more crap going on in their lives have made it through this program, so I can too. I'm recording this so during the first week of November when I'm quite possibly in over my head, I can reminisce about how good the first week felt.

I've been seeing a lot of research lately about how taking notes with pen and paper rather than on a lap top is much better. After taking a bunch of NCLEX-style tests this summer, I have to agree. There were a bunch of times when I went to answer a question and said to myself, "I remember talking about that, but I don't remember what was said." Consequently, one of my goals this semester is to really learn it so it stays in my brain.

We went over cardiac physiology in class on Friday. My instructor drew a diagram of the rib cage on the board and reviewed the best places to listen to the different valves of the heart. I realized that I have learned that in theory, but I really don't know how to interpret what I hear on an actual patient. That's my clincal goal over the next few weeks, figure out what the heck it means when I hear something other than a normal rhythm. I guess that's the advantage of studying in St. George. Most of my patients are old people with weird heart rhythms. Exciting stuff, right?

There's really not much to report other than differentiating heart sounds. Ian's getting settled in to his course of study as a finance major (nerd!). It's hard to take the advice of the general authorities who say to "find joy in the journey" when we're both trying to be successful as students and employees, but we try. We're blessed to be able to go to school and have good jobs that allow us to provide for ourselves, and give us enough left over to do fun things. Life is crazy, but oh so good.