Do You Love Yourself?

Do you love yourself? I feel like most people respond to this question by saying “of course I love myself”. But have you really ever taken time and thought about it. I have personally taken some time and thought this question through. I dissected what love means to me and how I love others and how I want to be loved.  It’s something that I never really gave much thought to. I always just thought that it was a given that everyone loves themselves. I was definitely wrong about that. I thought of how I want my loved ones to be treated. I also thought of the things I find unacceptable for the ones I love. Then I reflected and noticed that all these ways I love and how I want my loved ones to be treated is not how I love and let myself be treated. This was my biggest breakthrough. If I really love me, then why do I eat crappy food but feed my children only healthy foods?, why do I tell my children they are perfect just the way they are and then criticize how I look in the mirror?. Don’t I love me as much as I love them?

I spoke to some of my friends and family about this question and I found that I was not the only one with the same issue.

I feel that the lack of self-love is a big problem that a lot of people suffer from. This is the root of other issues such as self-esteem issues, finance issues, success issues, etc. I think that any problem you are dealing with can be rooted back to love.

“Love is something we can choose, the same way we choose anger, or hate, or sadness. We can choose to forgive someone who has hurt us and begin to finally heal. We can choose to be grateful for what we have. We can choose love. It’s always a choice within us.” – Louise Hay

Do you know the saying “treat others how you would like to be treated”? Wel, I think you should start treating yourself, the way you want to be treated. If you want to be loved, first love yourself, if you want to be respected, respect yourself. It seems like an easy enough thing to do but it is something you have to actively work at. You have to constantly and actively love yourself and tell yourself that. Literally look in a mirror and say out loud “I LOVE YOU” and mean it. Recite this to yourself, make it a mantra, and meditate on it.

I want to share with you some thoughts and tips that I think will help you love yourself a little bit more and get closer to being the best version of you.

  • Be your own best friend
  • Love your body and be conscious of what you ingest. If you love yourself and your body, why would you feed it crap?
  • Shower yourself with love (Positive affirmations!!)
  • Don’t be judgmental of yourself (your only human, you make mistakes)
  • Look in the mirror every day and say “I LOVE YOU” and mean it
  • Embrace your imperfections
  • Celebrate your accomplishments and all your little achievements just like you would for your loved ones
  • Put yourself first
  • Respect yourself or no one will
  • Don’t take any crap from anyone
  • Treat yourself like you treat the people you love
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Focus on the positive things in your life

 

If you want to dig a little deeper into this subject of self-love, I would like to recommend a great person and author (Louise Hay). I have read one of her books “You can heal your life” and it really opened my mind to a lot of different things. Things that I have never really thought of but that resonated with me. I really believe this book is for everyone and it really makes you think. I personally love books that open your mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Sometimes it takes someone else’s perspective for you to see things in your own life that you did not before. This book definitely did that for me and maybe it will for you as well. I will put a link to this book at the bottom of this post for you to check out.

 

#Tips for Success

Hey guys so at the beginning of this year it was pretty rough for me. I hate to say it but I was in a bit of a rut that seemed at the time to be never-ending. I didn’t know at the time how I was going to get out of it and thought for sure I was going to stay right where I was in life. Normally I am never one to dwell on my feelings for a long time. Usually, I will bounce back from whatever is happening right away. This time it was different. It was just one hit after another in my life and I was just feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes life can get hard and make you feel like things will never turn around. Well that’s where I was but life definitely turned around for me. I want to share with you some tips and how I turned my life around and hopefully, if you are in a bad place in life or just in need of a change, you can use these tips to turn your life around too.

  1. Stop the pity party– I was guilty of this for a long time and I think it is the major reason why it took me so long to get out of my rut. It doesn’t matter if you’re complaining to others or just to yourself. You need to stop. You may think if you are just thinking these bad things to yourself that you aren’t throwing a pity party but YOU ARE, it’s just a party of one. If you constantly think or say out loud these phrases you need to quit it, “why me?”, “My life sucks”, “Nothing good ever happens to me”, “I never win at anything”. By just having these negative thoughts you are just making your self-fulfilling prophecy come true. Instead of thinking negative thoughts turn those thoughts into positive ones. You will be surprised how just a thought can turn things around. I will admit it is very hard to think positive when nothing seems to be going right. You just need to stop those bad thoughts in their tracks and just say to yourself, “Good things will happen for me”, “I am successful”, “I am beautiful”, and “I am worthy”. Positive affirmations are so important, if you think it, it will be.

 

  1. Set Goals– Ok, so now that you have turned your negative thoughts into positive ones, what’s next? You need to think of what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. Write down your goals. If it is down on paper, it makes the thought more realistic and concrete. I think it is best to make both long-term goals and then some short-term goals. If that seems too daunting to start you can make daily, weekly or even monthly goals. Make sure that your goals are doable in the time frame you choose, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Be realistic! Don’t just make a random goal and not give yourself a time frame because then that is just a wish not a goal.

 

  1. Execute– Great, so now you have your daily positive affirmations going and you have written out your goals, now it’s time to execute them. Put those goals into action. Remember to take baby steps, there is no need to rush. One thing that used to slow me down in the past was not having instant satisfaction. So on that note add this to your daily affirmations, “Nothing great ever comes easy or overnight”. This is the truth, prepare yourself for a long haul. Take pride in small wins. There is no such thing as overnight success. You have to work hard and be persistent at whatever you do and no matter what happens don’t give up.

 

I hope that these tips will help you in your journey to a successful year and a successful life. I know sometimes life will knock you down and it seems impossible to get yourself up but know that it’s not impossible. Know that you are the only one that can turn things around. You have all the tools you just need to put them to work.

 

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” –Mario Andretti

 

 

# Money Making Apps

I don’t know about you but I can always use some extra pocket change. So the thought came to me, “How can I make money, doing things I do every day?” So I did some research and found a bunch of blog posts and websites on how to make money doing everyday things.

Therefore I had to think… “What do I do every day?” I know it’s not just me that’s on their phone every day, for a really unnecessary amount of time. So that really made me think, how can I get paid for this??? So I found a few apps and tried them out.

The apps that I used for the month of March were: Inbox Dollars, Mercari, ibotta, OnGo Surveys and TextbookRush.

This is my review for all the apps I used and the amount of money I made from each.

  1. Inbox Dollars- $0

This app I marked down $0 income because I was not able to cash out at the end of the month. In order to cash out on this app you need to have a balance of minimum $30. The app is very easy to use and there are several ways to earn money on the app. On the app it gives you options to take surveys, watch ad videos, or even make money searching through their search engine. So far I’ve made $21.00. I’m going to keep the app for now until I cash out. If you want to try it out you can download the app on your iPhone or android device.

  1. Mercari- $141

I have made the most money using this app. I was referred by one of my family members and now I am hooked. I also have referred my sister and she’s referred her friends. It is an awesome app if you have some things at home you are trying to get rid of. The app is very user friendly and straight forward. You take a picture of the item you want to sell, you name your price and then you print out a mailing label which the app emails to you. I love this app and will definitely continue to use it.

Use my code “ZTGFUV” to join Mercari and get $2 off your first purchase! https://www.mercari.com/dl/

  1. ibotta- $24.75

This app is great for anyone that is in charge of grocery shopping in their household. I am that person in my household so it really worked for me. I go shopping about once a week and since I downloaded the app I’ve used the app every time I have gone shopping. This app is a little bit of a process but the cash back is definitely worth it. To get your cash back reward all you need to do is, scan the item that you have bought and then take a picture of your receipt. I will continue using this app when I go grocery shopping.

Here’s a link for you to sign up –> https://ibotta.com/r/iemfdoh

  1. OnGo Surveys- $12.35

I like this app, even though I did not make much using it, it was simple to use.I liked the fact that you only need to earn $10 to cash out unlike inbox dollars which is $30. The only thing I did not like is that there were not that many survey opportunities. Although if you do not qualify for a survey you are still credited $0.10 which is better than nothing. The surveys are quick as well. Some surveys are store evaluations which are a bit involved but I say it’s not too bad if you are going to a store you normally would go to anyway. If the store is out of the way of your daily life, I say just skip it.

This is where you can download the app –> www.mysotg.com

  1. Textbook Rush- $51.78

This app was great for me when I needed some extra cash and I had some used textbooks from my last semester in college. I had shopped around a lot of sites to see where I could get the most cash for my books. As any college student would know, books are super expensive and when you try to sell them you get jipped because a new version of the text comes out every semester. Luckily I found Textbook Rush. They give you the shipping label and once they receive the package and evaluate the book, you get paid. It was a pretty quick turnaround for me. I will be using them again if I need to get rid of textbooks or if I need to buy new ones.

This is there website –> http://www.textbookrush.com/

Overall I earned $229.88 using apps on my phone in the month of March. I am really satisfied with my earnings and will continue with my money making app journey. If you want to keep updated on my monthly app income report, let me know in the comments below or email me.

#Birth control or Torture device? 

There are many methods of birth control on the market. If you’re a woman, you may have seen advertisements when you visit your GYN or spoken to your doctor about all the options available to you. For the guys maybe you’ve seen TV ads or you know the type your significant other uses. The point is there are a lot out there but not all of them are SAFE. This post is all about being cautious when deciding what to use as birth control. You never know that your choice might end with you dealing with lifelong health issues.

Throughout the years I have used a few different types of birth control. I never used the pill, which is the most conventional, because I hate taking pills in general so that just wasn’t for me. I took the shot version, also not for me (it made me fat 🙁 lol ). I’ve finally found a birth control that worked for me and that is the Mirena which is an IUD and I have had very minimal side effects. I feel very lucky to never have had a bad side effect from birth control. That is not the case with many women.

I want to share with you the story of one of my family members that has had a horrific experience with a certain birth control and has changed her life forever. The name of the birth control is Essure. It is a permanent form of birth control. According to Essure this is how the device works,

“A small Essure insert is permanently placed into each of your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy. While the natural barrier forms over time, another form of birth control must be used.”

I interviewed my cousin so that she would give us an insight to her experience with Essure. This is what she had to say:

Jaimie: How did you first hear about Essure?

Cousin: During my first prenatal visit in 2013 my doctor at the time mentioned Essure to me. At the doctor’s office they told me that it was non- surgical and permanent.

Jaimie: What made you decide to choose Essure as your form of birth control?

Cousin: I didn’t at first. I was scheduled to have a tubal ligation and it was at that appointment that a new doctor told me that I should get the Essure device instead of the tubal ligation I was there to get. I was ready to get my procedure done and had already signed off on getting it done that day. I felt very pressured and they scared me out of getting the procedure that I was already prepared to have. They told me tubal ligation would be more risky and that Essure would be my better option.

Jaimie: Did you know about the side effects of Essure before you went through with the procedure?

Cousin: The doctor really down played any side effects and only mentioned headaches. They only kept pushing the good things about the Essure, such as that it was non-surgical and was non hormonal.

Jaimie: What was your first sign or symptom that something was wrong?

Cousin: I was constantly bleeding. It was very abnormal for me. The bleeding was mild/moderate but it was every day for about 4 months.

Jaimie: Did you go to the doctor right away?

Cousin: No, I was a new mom and I have two other children so I was just busy and kept pushing it off. I never thought that something would be going wrong because of this Essure device.

Jaimie: When you finally went to the doctor, what did they say to you?

Cousin: When I went to the doctor, they told me that the bleeding was most likely due to the depo shot I was taking as a back up to the Essure. The doctor gave me some pills to stop the bleeding and in a few weeks it stopped. So again I just didn’t think much of it.

Jaimie: What made you finally do research on Essure after having it implanted for 8 months?

Cousin: I happened to stumble upon a post of Facebook that was about Essure. It was a woman talking about her bad experience with the device. I then found a whole community of woman who had been going through the same thing as me. As I read all their symptoms and problems they had, I started to put the puzzle together. THIS IS WHY I’VE FELT SO CRAPPY ALL THESE MONTHS!

Jaimie: Looking back now, were there any other symptoms besides the bleeding due to the birth control?

Cousin: YES, now looking back I realize that I had experienced a lot of the side effects of Essure. I just never thought that something my doctor recommended for me would be such a nightmare. Looking back this is the LIST of things that I had been feeling since the device was implanted: brain fog (unable to concentrate), light-headed, headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, and tremors.

Jaimie: Now that you found out all about Essure, what did you do?

Cousin: After I had put the puzzle pieces of my own medical mystery together, I went back to the doctor. I told them everything that I had been feeling and with a vaginal ultrasound they were able to confirm that one of the Essure coils had migrated and attached itself to my uterus. They told me the only way to correct this issue was a hysterectomy.

Jaimie: How did this make you feel?

Cousin: I was shocked, I had mixed emotions. I didn’t know what to think but I knew that this was the only way to fix it and it was something that had to be done for my health.

For my cousin this battle with Essure in her body lasted about a year. Luckily she found the real cause of all her symptoms and today she is Essure free and feels a lot better. Unfortunately she had to lose her uterus, both Fallopian tubes and cervix in the process. After she was coerced into getting this NON SURGICAL permanent birth control she had to have major surgery to remove it.

Moral of the story, please make sure you do your research before putting anything in your body and trust your instincts.

This is an image of my cousins Essure device that migrated to her uterus.
This is an image of my cousins Essure device that migrated to her uterus.

statistics

 

 

 

 

#Birchbox

Today I wanted to share with you guys the products I received in my March Birchbox. If you don’t already know what Birchbox is, it is a monthly subscription that sends beauty samples every month. I have been a customer of Birchbox since 2011. The company started in 2010, so I am a long time customer.

The way Birchbox works is, when you sign up for the subscription they ask you to complete some questions so that they can customize the box specifically to your needs. After you fill out the application, soon after you will receive your personalized box in the mail. 🙂

Birchbox is a great way to try out the latest products in hair and beauty with out having to go broke. Also all the products that come in your box are on sale on their site and they usually have great deals. Another thing I want to mention is that the sample sizes are usually pretty generous.

So here is what was in my March Birchbox:

 

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Photo Op Eye shadow trio in filter-Full size $28
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Smoothing Blowout spray- Full size $24
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Ultra Facial Cream- Full size $26.50
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Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M.- Full size $22
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Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads- Full size$18

 

#BachelorNation

This season of The Bachelor was my first time ever watching the series (I know I’m late, lol). My sister made me watch one night and I was hooked after one episode. My sister is a super fan of the show and its spin-offs (The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise). Did you know that the fans of this show call themselves “Bachelor Nation”, hence the name of this postJ. I couldn’t believe the following that show has. I mean, I’ve known about the show for years obviously (I don’t live under a rock) but I just have never really been interested in watching. Well that all changed this year.

Just to give you guys a little background on the show, here are some Bachelor Facts:

  • Show first aired on March 25, 2002 (I was 14 yrs. old!!!)
  • The show has run for 20 seasons
  • There has been a total of 12 proposals resulting from the show

*Most recent- Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell *

So now that you guys know all about The Bachelor, here are my thoughts overall. I think what captivates people with this show is that it is all about finding love. That is something that every human wants and hopes to find.  I know this is just a reality show and most so called reality shows are sometimes fake and scripted, but this show is really well produced. Also, the intensity in which the show plays out is just addicting. The women that are chosen to be contestants are such characters. They are so interesting to watch and sometimes so crazy, you can’t help but tune in to see their antics. I commend the casting crew. They do a good job.  You just never know what is going to happen. That is what had me tuning in every Monday night, the suspense. I needed to know who was going to get a rose and more importantly who WASN’T.

The season was definitely a roller coaster but a really entertaining one. My favorite girl to watch, well until she was sent home was Olivia. She was the “crazy” one. Watching Olivia speak was just insane, you just couldn’t believe the things that would come out of her mouth. She was beyond delusional but like I said before, very entertaining. Throughout the show there were many girls that were fun to watch. Every episode there was new drama. As the season boiled down to the end, I really got attached to JoJo. She was one of the final two in the show. I was so devastated when the finale aired this Monday night and Ben (The Bachelor) didn’t choose to propose to JoJo but instead chose Lauren L .

Even though I was so sad for JoJo, I know she will be fine. Actually more than fine, she is going to be the next Bachelorette. I will definitely be tuning in to watch her journey to find love.

 

#School-Aged Tantrums?

So did you think that only toddlers and infants throw tantrums? Well you would be wrong. I have been dealing with my sons anger tantrums for quite a while now and I think I have got a handle on them now. But don’t get me wrong, I have really struggled and at times felt like such a failure as a mother because of it.

Just to give you a few examples of the behavior that I was dealing with here is a little list:

  • Stomping
  • Slamming doors
  • Throwing belongings
  • Screaming/Crying

So I would like to share some tips for you mother’s that might be dealing with a similar situation with your child :

  1. Be Calm– I don’t know about you but I have a short temper and I struggle with my patience. I really needed to work on my approach when dealing with my sons tantrums. Do NOT scream, it will only lead to more screaming. Remember children learn behavior from US. Speak to your child in a calm relaxed voice. They will follow your example.
  2. Go to their level– Towering over your child and demanding them to act a certain way is just going to fuel their fire. Imagine a person bigger and stronger than you towering over you and yelling? Not very fun. Take a knee and look them in the eye, get on their level.
  3. Ask questions– They are not acting out for no reason. The reason might not seem important to you but it is or was important to your child. They wouldn’t act like the way that they are for no reason. Even though you might think that is the case. Ask your child what upset them and why? Ask them if they think their actions were good or bad?  (You will be surprised at the responses)
  4. Compromise– After you have gotten to the bottom of the situation, come up with a solution Together. Talk it out. DON’T yell it out!

This method of diffusing tantrums has really worked for me and my children ( I have 2 boys ). My son now has tantrums significantly less but when they do happen, we handle them right away. And in a calm way not a screaming match.

I hope this helps any moms that might have run out of strategies or just want a new approach to dealing with tantrums.

#Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's

So today I want to share with you a serious topic that is very personal to me. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) has affected me and my family for a long time now. My father was diagnosed about 12 years ago with this disease. He was only 40 years old at the time. Everyone is always surprised at the age that he was diagnosed.

For a long time my father would down play his diagnosis and make me feel as though he could be cured eventually. But that is definitely not the case, if you did not already know, there is no cure for this horrible chronic disease. I was only a teenager when my father was diagnosed so I believed anything he told me. I had always been a daddy’s girl. Also my father didn’t have the “traditional” symptoms of PD. I thought that all persons effected by PD had tremors. My father did not and still doesn’t. So I never really looked into the disease or asked about what his doctor’s were telling him. He would go to his appointments, get his medications and then just tell me whatever he wanted me to know.

I truly regret not asking more questions and getting more involved with my fathers health early on. But now that I am informed and have gone to doctors visits with him and now I feel a lot better being in the loop.  My advice to anyone that has a parent or relative that is living with PD is, Get INVOLVED. They need an advocate. They need to be kept positive that there will be a cure.

What I feel people don’t know is that Parkinson’s looks different for everyone. Not everyone that has this disease is like Michael J. Fox or Mohammed Ali. My father actually doesn’t have any tremors. So if you saw him you wouldn’t know what he has. But my father is a strong man and a very strong Christian. I know that this disease will not overcome him, he will overcome this disease. This disease does NOT define him.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

-PD is a progressive and chronic movement disorder.

** Nearly 1 million people in the US are living with PD. Estimated 10 million worldwide.

What causes Parkinson’s?

-The cause is still unknown.

To find more information about Parkinson’s Disease and how you can get involved on helping to find a cure, you can visit these websites:

  1. www.pdf.org – this site has great resources for those affected by PD, has helped me so much.
  2. www.parkinson.org
  3. www.apdaparkinson.org
  4. www.michaeljfox.org
  5. www.unitywalk.org – I am personally apart of this charity. ‘Team Hernandez’ is the name of my team if you would like to join us in this walk for Parkinson’s awareness. Below I have attached a link where you can donate.

#My love affair…

My love affair

 

I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy since its first episode aired in 2005. I was 17 years old and I am now soon to be 28 yrs old ( you do the math). After all these years I am still a fanatic. I have watched every single episode, all seasons several times ( Its become a serious problem).

This show really just encompasses everything that I love to watch. Its about medicine/love/drama. How can you go wrong with that? I am a nursing student and this show inspires me more to want to be in the field of medicine.

The love story between Meredith ( the main character, if you’ve never watched and live under a rock) and Derek aka McDreamy ( he lives up to his name) is just intoxicating. I feel like I was in that relationship, lol. The story lines are just so great you get personally invested in these characters. If you are human, you will definitely be reaching for the tissue box almost every episode. I can go on and on about how great this show is. I will be in a depression when Shonda Rhimes (creator and writer for Grey’s) decided that she is done with the show.

If you have never watched, I highly recommend it. You can watch it on Netflix, all the seasons are on there. And when you catch up to the current season, it airs every Thursday night on ABC.

I guarantee you will be hooked.

#HappyWatching

 

#NursingSchoolJourney

I started my journey to nursing school when I was 21 years old. I had just had my second child and I knew I needed to continue my education. Not only for myself but to give my children a good life and be a good example to them.

At the time I started college I was living in South Carolina (I was born and raised in New York). I decided to move there because living in New York at the time was too expensive for me and I wanted to live comfortably. Thanks to my amazing mother that helped me with the move, I was ready to start school. I decided to attend a local technical college. It was the least expensive choice and they had a good track record.

Before I even started my first class I researched every class I needed to take and planned out  my whole college career. I knew what type of nurse I wanted to be and everything I needed to do to get there. But as we all know too well , “while we make plans, God laughs”. My very thought out plan did not go as planned.

When I started school I needed to take a lot of pre-requisites and that was totally OK with me. Unfortunately I am not a gifted mathematician, so I had to take some extra math classes. My goal was to take all the pre-req courses I needed to complete my BSN at a university. The competition to get into the nursing programs in all the colleges that were near me were SUPER competitive. Everyone had a 4.0 and a degree already (talk about pressure). That was not me unfortunately, I was a stay at home mom with a new born and a toddler. Getting time to study was hard for me but some how I passed all of my classes. I was in the middle of the semester of my second year of pre reqs and bomb went off in my life. I had to leave school and move back home to NYC.

I was so disappointed that my life plan was just shredded to pieces but I needed to keep it together for my boys. At this point in my life, I had to put my school dreams aside for a little while so that I could provide for my family. I had planned to get into a school in New York as soon as I arrived but again “We plan and God laughs”. That didn’t happen. My short break from school turned into three years away from school.

The reason why it took me so long to get back to school was that I just got comfortable making money. But after so long doing something that I didn’t love, it really started taking a toll on me. So after so long of not being in a classroom, I registered for classes at a community college near me. I transferred some of my credits  but only a few transferred to my new school. This was very upsetting to say the least but I just needed to keep moving towards my goal.

After two semesters in school in New York I was accepted into the LPN program. I was ECSTATIC when I got the news of my acceptance. What I have worked on for so long was finally coming into action. The semester was very grueling. So much to learn in such little time. I worked my butt off and I even left my job to focus on studying. I really was giving this nursing program my ALL.

clinicals
clinicals

Then life threw another curve ball at me. I got severely sick in the second month of school. I was in the emergency room twice and then admitted for 3 days. The worst part of it was that the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me! On top of not knowing what was wrong with me, I needed to be on my ‘A” game at school and I felt like I was dying. I still made it to class to take exams so that I wouldn’t receive a 0 for not taking the exams. I got the class notes from my amazing classmates that stood by me while my health was failing me. Finally I started to feel better and I was back at it, giving my nursing program all I had.

After all that hard work and after studying every spare minute I had, I didn’t make it to the second semester of my program. I was devastated to say the least. I did make the score I needed in one of the classes. The way the program works is if you receive less then a C+ in any class you fail out of the whole program (HARSH).

I am sharing my story to let you all know that no matter what life throws at you, you just need to keep moving forward. No matter what happens to me and how ever many curve balls life wants to throw at me, I will keep moving towards my goals. So I am going to start a new program this Fall 2016. I will not give up!

#FUTURENURSE #NURSINGSCHOOLJOURNEY