Visits From Angels

This is definitely going to be a really different post but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. Sometimes I wonder if dreams are a way for those from Heaven, our angels, to visit us. Shortly after my grandma passed away, she appeared to me in a dream and told me how proud she was of me and then she walked into light. When my grandpa passed away, I saw him and my grandma holding hands in the distance. They both waved at me and smiled from a distance. 

When my sweet little boy, Marty, passed away last August, he appeared to my sister in a dream not too long after his death and he was apparently very happy and healthy looking again which made me very happy to see. I saw Marty in a dream a couple of months after he passed and there was such a feeling of warmth and comfort. It felt too real to just be something my brain was just imagining. A few weeks ago, my sister said she saw Marty again and his hair was getting fluffy and he was becoming a “wooly mammoth” again, as we used to call him. Jokingly, I told her that God needs to give Mar a haircut.

Just this past week, I had a dream that we had this little pop-up tunnel thing in my living room at home and I could see and hear movement inside so I looked to see if Boo was in there and it was Marty. His hair had been cut in the typical Schnauzer cut we always had him groomed in and his little lion poof of a tail was wagging. I remember the noises he would make when he rubbed his sweet little face into the carpet. Whenever he finished, he would always let off this really deep sigh or sneeze and I could just hear him making those noises as if he really was there. I picked Marty up out of the tunnel and squeezed him so tight. He gently licked my face like the good boy he always was and I told my mom and sister that Marty had come to visit. I let him go and he went over to get some water. He was a very thirsty boy, that’s for sure.

Dreams like that make me feel so good and honestly make me feel complete again and it’s very clear that I still really really really miss Marty. I cry a lot over Marty and maybe that’s ridiculous that it has now been over a year since he left us, but he was my first dog and will always hold the most special spot in my heart. I think about him a lot and every weekend I come home, which has basically been every weekend since school started, of course I’m excited to see Boo and spoil him for the weekend, but I miss my Mar. I wish I could still hug him in person and hang out with one of the best little guys ever. 

Dreams like those I’ve kinda shared do make me wonder, are dreams a way for angels to visit us? I’ve mentioned this a bit already, but the feelings I’ve had, seeing my grandparents and Marty feel too genuine to just be my subconscious and my brain processing information. There has to be more to it. The feeling of comfort and security and warmth I get with dreams like these Without a doubt, it feels like I’m being visited by my angels. 

Have a good week everyone. 

Fall Colors in Nederland

It’s October, everyone! Life is weird but the sun still comes up every morning and fall is in full swing. Speaking of fall, my family and I made a quick little trip up to Nederland last weekend to take in the beautiful fall colors of Colorado!

We didn’t see as much color as I had hoped, but things were definitely changing especially with the aspen trees. Regardless, it was really nice to be OUTSIDE and enjoy some fresh air with my family. We even brought our dog, Boo, with us and he really seemed to enjoy the new scents and the lake. We didn’t let him go in or really even let him get near the mud, but he was veryyy interested in the water. It was really cute actually. 🙂

There’s this lake not too far into Nederland that we stopped at and walked around for some time and it was really nice. There were other families out and we all just really seemed to be happy to be doing something other than sitting or staring at a computer screen. I’m not all sure what Nederland itself has to offer, but I personally felt that going to the lake and walking around was a good enough trip.

On our way up, traffic was disastrous through Boulder and then up into the mountains. If you’re planning a trip to see the fall colors, plan on at least being in the car for an hour heading up and then an hour coming back. Obviously, things will depend on where you’re coming from, but if you’re coming from the Denver Metro area like I was, it may take you awhile. Totally worth it though!

I feel like this weekend would have also been a great weekend to go. Fall is always so pretty. I’m especially a fan of the trees with the leaves that turn red on top and then a more orangey-yellow on bottom. So pretty!! I hope you have a chance to get out this weekend, wherever you are and enjoy the pretty fall colors too. Have a good week!

The Stress of the COVID-19 Test

Recently, my apartment complex had to be tested for COVID-19 as a result of wastewater testing and I have a little story to share regarding that. Good news is, I’m negative, first of all. Second, I hope you are all staying healthy and doing the best you can to stay sane and optimistic during these weird times in the world.

Story time!! I received an email from my university’s housing services requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing. Understandable. I scheduled my test and was able to get in the next day. The test was self-administered meaning that I had the joy and pleasure of sticking a swab up my nose til I felt a little bit of pressure and then swirling it around a few times on both sides. Following that, I had to carefully break off the little tip with all my nose gunk on it and seal it in a little tube with some liquid and then place my tube in a biohazard bag that then went into a little cooler. Easy peasy. Yes it did hurt a little, but I’m thankful that my school offered a quick and free test for students. I hope following that experience, I never have to be tested again, but only time will tell.

The test itself wasn’t difficult, as I mentioned, it was the thoughts that led up to my test and those that followed as I waited for my results back. The convenient thing about the testing ordered by my university, was the turn-around of results. I heard back that my test was negative a little after 24 hours. I absolutely DREADED waiting to get my results back though. Yes, I have been asymptomatic. Yes, I have been wearing my mask and following all CDC guidelines and procedures to the best of my ability. Yes, I have been doing whatever I can to maintain a happy and healthy physical and mental state. But still, the thought of, “What if I have this virus and have to quarantine in my apartment all by myself?” loomed over me from the moment I got the email requiring testing to the moment I got the email with my results back. I had all this anxiety and nervousness about what I would have to do if I did have COVID-19 and I absolutely hated how on-edge and stressed out I was.

Like I said, I was pretty confident that I didn’t have the virus, but I thought a lot about, “Well, what if you’re just not showing symptoms? But you might be the kind of person to show symptoms, considering that you have asthma.” And then my head went in the direction of, “What if you really are forced to quarantine? Are we going to have enough food for two weeks?! What do I do if I can’t leave my apartment to get food but I’m all out?!” There was just a lot of unnecessary stress and panic. Maybe some of you can relate. The feeling of not knowing is a really scary and stressful feeling. In the end, I am grateful for my health and that negative result.

I’m not quite sure what can be done to alleviate the stress associated with being tested for COVID-19, or if anyone else has felt like they were in a similar situation, but it would be interesting to know how you all are dealing with this. And if you have been tested, how has that been? I just hope you all are staying happy and healthy. Take care of yourselves this week!! See you next Sunday. 🙂

Dear Freshman Ana,

I just had my first anatomy exam this past week and tomorrow I have my first macroeconomics exam. School is just chugging right along. It’s crazy to think that after this semester, I only have a year of undergrad left and then hopefully we’re off to dental school. I thought about that a lot this weekend and one of the things that I wanted to do was write a letter to past me and just reflect on how things were already so different from my freshman year. It’ll be cool to look back on this three-ish years from now too and see how different life is. It’s crazy to think about where I am right now and how far I’ve come! This post feels a lot more personal, so if you’re not here for that kind of stuff, I’ll get back to something else next week but this just felt important for me right now. 🙂

If you’re into these types of throwback-y posts let me know! It’s fun to relive memories! I’ve also thrown two pictures from freshman year in, so enjoy!

Dear Ana,
I’m currently sitting in that really loud chair in your future apartment during your junior/senior/whatever-the-heck-we-wanna-call-it year as I write you this letter. You don’t know it yet, but you really like your apartment and it is such an upgrade from that homey little room you lived in freshman year. It’s been nice having no roommate, that’s for sure though. I remember how motivated and excited you were to beginning your college journey. You were so determined to be perfect in everything you did. You knew what you wanted to do and that has been one heck of a confidence boost as we’ve taken this journey that is college. When we first added that business minor, I started to think that might not be the greatest idea, but it hasn’t been the worst thing in the world. We’re just not a big fan of macroeconomics right now. 🙂 And then we decided to add the chemistry minor… Ana, you are so funny and a bit ambitious sometimes but we’re doing the best we can!!

Freshman year, you thought general chemistry was going to be the death of you but we actually learned that organic chemistry II was the bane of our existence. Yes, it sucked but we still survived! You thought that it couldn’t get better than your general biology courses, but I came to learn that physiology was actually one of the best classes I’ve ever taken and I’m currently really loving anatomy, despite the fact that there’s just so much to know. You were so eager to get into your more interesting, less general classes, and I feel like we’re definitely there now. Things are tough but they’re manageable and it’s helping make me a better student and more educated person.

I bet you never expected to live through a pandemic. That’s fully happening right now. Freshman year, the biggest thing you were concerned with was making sure no one found out that you were the one that threw up in the hallway that one night you randomly got super sick (cat’s out of the bag…. HAHA) and now I spend a lot of time cleaning and have to check to make sure I have hand sanitizer and a mask every time I leave my apartment.

The one thing I really miss about you, freshman Ana, was your confidence. We’ve lost that these past couple of years and I really miss the confidence in your silliness and just in yourself in general. We’re working on it now, but I hope we can get back to your energy and sureness one of these days. I remember that you were ambitious freshman year and little me, I just want you to know that we are exactly where we need to be. Maybe there were things you wanted to have accomplished by now that haven’t been accomplished, but I’ve come to learn that we are doing just fine. Everything leading up to this very moment has happened for a reason and everything is going to be great.

I’m proud of you for all you did and accomplished freshman year and I can’t wait to see what Ana another three years from now has to say! Keep your head up and stay awesome. 🙂

Love,
Ana

Some Fun on the Platform Tennis Court

My dad recently had to shoot some videos for the USPTA and gave my sister and I the opportunity to help him out. In each of the videos, we’re out on a platform tennis court and we talk about There are three videos each about a minute in length but I thought it would be fun to share those with you all this week. If you’re looking to learn a few quick things about platform tennis, now’s your chance!

In the first video, my dad talks about compact volleys in platform tennis. The court is much shorter than a tennis court which means that the ball is going to come back much quicker than you might think so it’s important to keep everything tight and compact. You might see from my face, but it was SO bright the day we shot.

In this video, my dad talks about serving in platform tennis. The paddle is shorter than a tennis racket (obviously), so the serve is going to look a bit different. Also, I’m definitely not right-handed and I had arm day the day before we shot these videos so I’m actually pretty proud I was able to keep my arm up for so long. It might not seem like a long time, but it SURE FELT LIKE IT!

In this final video, my dad talks a bit more about volleys but we played around with the positioning of volleys in platform tennis. More specifically though, my dad is showing how easy it is to hide behind your backhand volley. And from personal experience, I can agree that it’s better to hide behind that backhand volley. Things happen very quickly on that tiny court!

I hope you all have a great week and I’ll see you next weekend!

Cooking is Fun!

So I have a kitchen now and it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed using! And with that kitchen, I’ve been able to do a bit more cooking than I have in the past and I recently discovered that cooking and working with food is actually kinda fun!

In the mornings, I like to make myself avocado toast, scrambled eggs, or an omelet, and I also add some sort of meat, whether that’s chicken or some form of sausage. I’ve also recently discovered that cheese inside omelets is so good. I don’t know if that’s just a me thing or if that’s something that other people have also enjoyed, but I know that I enjoy it now! As far as how I make my eggs, I have an egg cooker that does all the work for me. Yes, this may seem like I’m not actually doing the cooking, but I still prep a lot of stuff to make sure I get my eggs just how I want them that morning. It’s a very handy, helpful little appliance. 🙂

cooking is fun

As I’ve grown in my cooking and food handling abilities, I’ve learned how to cut a variety of different things, my favorites being avocados (I just really like avocado) and mangoes. Mangoes were a bit tricky in the beginning but I think I’ve figured out a system when it comes to cutting those. I was not aware of the flat seed in the center when I cut my first mango and I wish you could have all been there to see my reaction. I thought to myself, “This is one strong mango!”, “Is my knife broken?”, “Maybe I’ll follow the hard parts of this mango as best I can but just cut around…” HAHA. After about ten minutes of struggling with my first mango, I washed my very sticky hands and proceeded to watch at least three videos on how to properly cut a mango. We’re good now. The internet is a great resource for learning how to prep food and make things and I’ve definitely taken advantage of it.

Also, I apologize for the low-quality picture but this was the first breakfast I had in my apartment and I was pretty proud of it, even if my poached eggs were a bit overdone. It still tasted good. 🙂 Something I haven’t made yet in my apartment but I’m excited to make is pasta. I’ve made rice and that has turned out pretty decent so far but I’m really excited to try out this yummy whole wheat penne and spaghetti I have. I have some sauce and sausage I could put it with and I feel like either the penne or spaghetti could be really good. We shall see!

If anyone has anything easy to make and yummy that they recommend I try, let me know! I’d be happy to try new things out and eat some good food. Who doesn’t wanna eat good food? Have a good week and I’ll see you all next weekend!

Review of the First Week!

first week

So this week was the first week back at school. That was an interesting time, I must say. This week, I just wanted to share my experiences with my first week back and this weird time navigating a worldwide pandemic and college classes.

Classes started on Monday, August 24th, and this first day of school was not like past first days. I didn’t try to dress cute or make myself look presentable which was honestly refreshing but also kind of disappointing. It made the day feel really different. Monday was a horribly busy day. I had five classes, cell biology, anatomy, a business class regarding the legal and ethical issues of business, macroeconomics, and my pre-thesis class. I basically sat at my table for five hours straight after I had breakfast and cleaned up and that was the worst decision of my life. After those five hours of classes and exploring the class pages and syllabi, I had lunch, and then it was time for more class work. I ended my extreme first day of classes with a pre-thesis meeting and then after that hour I crashed. My sister and I ordered Noodles and Company for dinner that night as a celebratory dinner and as a way of saying, “Yay we did it! We survived the first day of classes!” It was a good dinner and if you’ve never had caulifloodles, I highly recommend you look them up and then try them. 🙂

My second day of classes was a breeze. I had my online session for cell bio lab and then online lab for my anatomy class. For my cell bio lab we have an online portion and an in-person portion. I alternate when I meet in person every other week. When I meet in-person, I’m required to wear a face mask in addition to a mask which seems a bit excessive, but I understand the precaution, so I will do what I can to keep myself and others safe! For my anatomy class, we have a virtual dissection software that we use to understand and see all of the structures we need to look at. I was hesitant about an online anatomy course at first but I actually love the professor that does our lectures and the software we use for virtual dissection is actually pretty cool. That was basically all I had Tuesday, so I had a chance to do some reading for my econ class and was done with my work around 2 pm.

Wednesday, I had my cell bio, anatomy, business, and econ classes. It was a pretty mild day but wowza four classes in one day is a lot of work. I can handle it, but it’s just a lot of information to take in within a few hours. By Wednesday, I discovered that I really liked my business class. It has been very different from any other class I’ve taken so far and I really like how my professors are treating the course as a way of obtaining life skills as opposed to an actual academic course. Yes, I still get graded for the work I do, and there are still assignments and quizzes, but the emphasis is more on building the skills needed to run a business.

Thursday, the only true class I was the first-year honors seminar recitation that I teach. It was exciting to meet my students in person. It was just a very strange environment though. The tables were all so spread apart and it was odd communicating with people and trying to be enthusiastic and share my excitement for the honors program with a mask on. It was just a bit strange.

And then the last day of the school week, Friday!! Friday was another big day of many classes, those classes being cell bio, anatomy, my business class, and econ recitation. My econ recitation was an in-person class and that was interesting. For a class that was supposed to have thirty students in it, we were put in a decently sized lecture hall. All of the rows had tape blocking off all seats except one to enforce social distancing. Obviously we were required to wear masks. My TA basically just talked about how the semester is going to run but I found it most interesting that my TA found it strange for us to be meeting in-person. Our lectures for that course are asynchronous so it seems a bit weird for us to have in-person recitations, but I’m just going to go with the flow and see what happens.

It was a strange first week of classes but it was also good in many ways. It was filled with a lot of mask wearing and hand washing but it was also filled with fun and I was especially happy to see a bunch of my friends again. Hopefully people make good and smart decisions and allow us to stay on campus until Thanksgiving break. Stay healthy, stay safe, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

First Apartment!

first apartment!

Another school year is right around the corner and today was move-in day to my first ever apartment! Wow! I’m exhausted but I felt that this was important and wanted to share. 🙂

My mom, sister, and I arrived back in the glorious town of Fort Collins around 9:30 this morning and began unloading the car and brought everything up to my fourth floor apartment . I was honestly worried coming into the whole apartment world because I signed for a studio and typically, studios are quite small. Not this one! It’s the perfect size, in my opinion, and I absolutely love it so far.

I have a small kitchen with the tiniest dishwasher and stove with oven that has hardwood flooring. I’m a big fan of hardwood flooring. To the right of my kitchen, I have my washer/dryer unit and then to the right of that, I have my small living space and cozy bed cave situation. There’s also a table and two chairs, perfect for studying/eating/procrastinating/etc. I think it’ll be interesting to not have a formal desk like what I’ve had the past two years, but I think it’ll work out just fine. My bathroom is on the right when you first walk into my cute lil’ studio and I have a nice shower in addition to the other things that a bathroom typically has. It’s a pretty good size! As mentioned, I’m also on the fourth floor and also the top floor of my building and I have a wonderful vaulted ceiling. It makes the entire space feel a bit bigger and it also makes my large window look even larger. 🙂 So cozy!

I’m so thankful the apartment came pre-furnished and that all of my amenities and utilities come included in rent, but the one thing I wish I could change was the color of the comfy “living room” chairs. They’re striped and brown, orange, and a strange greenish-yellow color and I feel that they don’t really fit the theme or color scheme I’ve tried to create but it is what it is.

The thing I’m most excited for with my apartment is my bed cave. You might be asking yourself, “Why does she call it that?” and to that I say, I call it that now because my bed is in it’s own little space. It’s in the far right portion of my apartment and it’s up against the wall. The foot of the bed is also closed off by a wall. In case you don’t get the picture, you can look up to the picture at the beginning of this post to hopefully get a better idea. 🙂 It looks like it’s going to be a very cozy, very comfy situation.

Maybe I’ll post a little apartment tour when I get fully settled and all of my stuff is put together! That could be something fun and different. And now with this done, I am going to bed because I’m pooped. Have a wonderful week everyone. See ya next Sunday!

I’m Rescheduling My DAT…

Some of you may recall, but earlier this summer, I announced that was taking the Dental Admissions Test or DAT in early/late August. I have been studying this summer and working up to the exam, but lately, things just didn’t seem quite right.

I was waking up in the middle of the night panicking about this exam. My brain would go through things like, “What if you fail?”, “What if you need to retake it?!”, “You’re not ready, you’re not ready, you’re not ready!!” I would literally work myself to tears. Lately, I’ve also noticed that I put off studying. I had such a good momentum going earlier this summer, but lately, I’ve honestly been avoiding it. Studying for the exam reminded me that I have to take it and that would bring all those horrible thoughts flooding back which I wasn’t fond of at all.

Pushing away my studying meant that I could not think about failure for a good portion of my day. Pushing away the organic chemistry and general chemistry and biology and math meant that I didn’t have to think about the time crunch that is the DAT and the intenseness of it all. In some ways, I’m happy that I pushed it away but I’m also frustrated with myself for allowing fear to partly be the reason I lost my motivation and momentum. I literally sobbed after canceling my original DAT appointment. SOBBED! Were they tears of joy? Sadness? Relief? I feel like it was a bit of everything. I was happy in the sense that I had just allowed myself some room to breathe and I would now have more time to prepare. I was upset because I had already spent two-ish months preparing for this exam and I was feeling like I had just wasted the money that went into that preparation. I truly felt like a failure for not just taking it when I decided to take it originally. But then with that I also felt relief in knowing that my exam was no longer weeks away, but now months away again. I also knew that I wouldn’t burn myself out coming into this semester which was REALLY important to me considering my course load for this fall.

After some thinking, and hopefully good thinking, I decided to reschedule my exam to better prepare myself mentally and truly crush this DAT. School has always been intense, especially this past year and I know that dental school is only going to be more intense, and there is going to come a time when I can’t just reschedule something until I feel more confident in my knowledge and abilities and ready to deal with that something. I’m thankful though, that I have the opportunity to learn from my DAT journey leading up to now. As of right now, the current plan is to take the DAT over Thanksgiving break. That will give me plenty of time to be very settled into my upcoming coursework and it will also give me plenty of time (hopefully!) to find my confidence in the knowledge and skills that I’ve already built for the DAT and then also to polish up everything so that I absolutely destroy this exam.

Hopefully I’ve made the right choice and we’ll see how round two of my study extravaganza goes for this monster test. Have a good week everyone and don’t be too hard on yourselves! 🙂 See you next weekend.

The Final Straw with ProctorU

I have a lot of issues with online testing, especially those run through ProctorU. If you’ve been around a while, you may recall my issues with the proctoring service last summer! How fun…

I’ve been taking biochemistry online this summer and our exams have been proctored by ProctorU Live, meaning that I’m proctored in real time by a real person. This person has complete control over my laptop when I give them permission and they force everything to be shut down: from my Siri command to my screenshot abilities to my access to settings. They monitor your eye movement, what your room looks like, and even where your phone is, all to prevent more students from cheating. Most of the time, I understand the precautions that the proctors take and are required to take.

This past time however, my proctor took it a bit TOO far. In my room, I have a tournament draw that shows my regional tournament from junior year of high school when I won the 2 singles varsity tennis regional tournament. There is absolutely NOTHING on that poster that would or could be used to cheat. I have four clear glass trophies from other various tournaments I’ve won on my desk too. In the past, I’ve showed proctors that there is no harm in any of them and they’ve permitted them to stay at my desk. Most proctors have also understood that people get nervous during exams and it’s nice to have a glass of water available to you. As long as it’s a glass and they can see that you haven’t somehow magically taped some notes to the glass, you’re set. This proctor though. Oh. My. Goodness. She forced me to take EVERYTHING from my walls and desk. Even my ID, which as needed to verify who I was, was no longer allowed on my desk. I had to fully show her the process of me attempting to get my tournament draw off of my wall and then show her where I placed all of my belongings. After all of the rearranging and moving, I still had my glass of water at my desk. She told me to move it and I stood up for myself. I mentioned that I had been allowed my glass of water on past exams and she very rudely told me that she would notate my exam and my request to have a glass of water. She also explained that my exam score may be compromised… FOR THE FACT THAT I WANTED A CUP OF WATER AT MY DESK. Goodness gracious did that do “wonders” for my mental state going into that exam.

Not only was my proctor absolute trash, but I had struggled to get hold of one in the first place. There is supposed to be a proctor prepared for your exam time when you schedule. That’s the point of scheduling before your exam- to ensure that someone is THERE for you at the TIME YOU REQUESTED. My exam was supposed to begin at 9:10 am but it actually didn’t start closer to 9:30 am because of all the crap I dealt with. I was a total mess during my exam mostly because I worried that my score may not even be counted!

In the end, I actually ended up doing alright on the exam, but still, the score was not was I studied so hard for. Regardless of that, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to test from home. I recognize that this is a stressful time for everyone and maybe my proctor was just having a rough day. I get that. I also know that there are things that I can and cannot control and the crazy, rude actions of other are something I have ZERO control over and that’s okay! I can control how I respond in situations like where someone is unkind, hurtful, and rude, and be the better person. Remember to be kind but also stand up for yourself!

If you have to use ProctorU through your university, I’m so so sorry. See if there’s anything you can do to test at a university testing center or find another way to be proctored. That’s what I’m doing for my last biochem exam! I’d be curious to know if anyone else has had major issues with ProctorU… Let me know! Anyway, have a good week everyone! See you next Sunday 🙂