January 4, 2013

I be Educated

Just in case anyone was wondering, I've spent more time in Idaho than any other place I've lived.  I think it's now safe to say that I'm from here.

This adventure all started thanks to Josh Weed.  I was set to go to a local private university.  Already registered for classes, attended new student orientations, the whole bit.  Then Mr Weed, a newly returned missionary started urging me to apply for BYU-Idaho.  At first I was totally turned off by the idea.  You couldn't pay me money to go to a church school.  It wasn't like I was anti-mormon or anything.  In fact, nowhere close to that, but I just had no desire to go there.  It was too late though, the "Sprit of Ricks" seed was already planted in my heart and soon I found myself jumping for joy on my bed that I'd been accepted.

Here I am 10 YEARS later.  I have loads to show for those 10 years too.  One of my most recent accomplishments is a Bachelors degree, and I'm the first in my immediate family to do so!

I paid a lot of money to wear that cap and gown
My motivation to graduate-teach by example
Couldn't have done it without this hunk by my side
Grammy is one of my biggest supporters
Grad present from mom 
Ceramics Professor and mentor.  He put up with a lot
It's official!
I decided that instead of being embarrassed that it's taken so long, I will embrace the many wonderful and amazing things I have accomplished during those glorious 10 years.

You have my permission to stop reading now!

"Study abroad" for first semester of college- I did a study abroad of sorts my first semester on Vashon Island in WA.  We were a small group and just about all of us went a little nutty with island fever. While there I mastered the ability to shower during our 5 minute break, died my hair dark for the first time ever, participated in several service projects, spied on the boys dorms to see if they were talking about us, and ate way too much food.

We are Family- I was blessed to make some of the greatest friends during my single days.  My roommates quickly became family.  They supported me through trials and embraced my more wacky moments.  They are who taught me what unconditional love was.  They are who reinforced true gospel principles I was taught growing up.  I will forever cherish them <3

Manager at Cold Stone Creamery- You better believe I could mix up your favorite creation to perfection or decorate a bomb.com ice cream cake!  I even gave my take-home to the roommates on a regular basis. Ironically everyone liked me then ;)

Pulled my fair share of all-nighters- To be an art major and a perfectionist are a bad combo. Combine those with procrastination and you've got the perfect recipe for all-night art projects.  If only I could handle them the same today!

Served in almost every calling imaginable- Home evening coordinator, Special Events Coordinator, RS secretary, Activities chair, Temple Prep teacher, RS teacher, visiting teaching coordinator, Primary and RS President

Resident Assistant for almost 2 years- Man those were the days!  Hated by many and liked by few.

Snowboarding daredevil- Took my first and last jump while snowboarding and fractured a rib.  Subsequently I provided entertainment and lots of laughs for those who witnessed me hopped up on pain killers.

Served a 18 month proselyting mission- I went to the Cincinnati Ohio mission and served in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

The famous Cincinnati Chili
Married my sweetheart- Not 5 months after coming home from my mission I married Mr Medic. I've never regretted that choice for one minute!  Our love story can be read here.  

Grades- I'm not all there when in comes to learning new things, memorizing, test taking, etc.  Secular knowledge just isn't my thing.  This is where I won't mention how many courses I had to retake in order to get a passing grade! BUT, I did have one straight A semester and it was the most rewarding semester of my life.  

Tamed the Arc beast- Instead of one minor I did two small ones (also known as clusters) One of the was in applied arts.  I wanted to take courses that would supplement my degree in art.  I took "unconventional" (for Idaho at least) courses that would allow me to create using different mediums.  One of those courses was Welding.  I was one of two girls in the class.  The other was a beefy crass farm girl that Mr Medic said "could probably weld two pieces of cow poop together." Needless to say, I did not fit in.  I remember introductions- it was my turn to say why I was taking the course and when I responded "I want to make art with metal" everyone just stared at me like I was crazy.  I didn't do half bad, but when it came time for Arc welding I bawled like a baby.  I mean, seriously...have you ever seen the stuff?  Its like lightening bolts at your fingertips.  It was by far the freakiest thing I had ever done.  I wasn't lying when I said I bawled like a baby.  I was so terrified the first time I tried it solo that I ran out of the lab crying my eyes out.  The lab aids were probably laughing their heads off as soon as I left.  With persistence I completed the course and would actually like to learn more someday!

Work- Aside from managing at Cold Stone I have held several jobs while in school.  I worked at a phone survey company and honestly didn't mind the work too bad.  The people managing and the place on the other hand, were another story.  I put in SIX HOURS as Lady Liberty for Liberty Tax in the dead of winter.  I never went back to that one, and never got paid either.  I worked as a teachers aid for children with behavioral challenges, which should have given me all the preparation I needed to deal with the terrible twos.  I also worked at Melaleuca as a wellness rep, and on their market research team.  I eventually became a self taught graphic designer wannabe.  I have never taken any courses in graphic design, but really do enjoy it.  While pregnant with Twodles I worked as a substitute teacher, and I think even subbed 1 or 2 times after he was born if Mr Medic could be at home.  We went to scout camp for a summer, which was a paid position, but it was seriously nickels and dimes! The last job I had was for 6 hours during the 2012 presidential campaign season.  I called citizens to ask them whether they thought that Obama's policies have helped or hurt the economy.  I don't plan to work for money again any time soon, aside from the fun little earring-making hobby I have.  

Starting a Family- After almost 2 years of sometimes impatiently waiting we were blessed to grow our family.  Twodles was such a wonderful addition.  Then just over one year after having Twodles we found out we were expecting our second.  Family planning has been one particular area that we rely heavily on the Lord for guidance.  Whether it be the timing or financially preparing for children, the Lord always helps us know what will work for us.  

Couldn't ask for more adorable and sweet boys!
Reliving my Single Days-  One week before I gave birth to our first baby, Mr Medic was assigned to a lay ministry leadership position in a single college student church congregation.  We were both asked to attend and serve there.  I was assigned to help students who were going on missions or getting married prepare to go to the temple.  Weekly we would attend the single student congregation for 3 hours, and then Twodles and I would go directly to our regular congregation for an hour.  Along with my assignment in the singles congregation I also held a service position in our regular congregation.  It was such a neat opportunity to interact with and serve our peers. 

Single mom-  Mr Medic packed his bags for a 7 week internship when Twodles was just 5 weeks old.   Because of this, I was able to appreciate my own mom just a little more.  Parenting on your own 100% of the time is tough stuff.  I got in a groove and did exceptionally well, and before we knew it daddy was home.  That wouldn't be the last time though.  Mr Medic had a 2 week hiatus when Twodles was 1 while assigned wildfires during the summer, and then again for 1 month when Goob was about 7 weeks old.  The last one was by far the hardest.  Twodles was old enough to verbalize missing his daddy and as luck would have it, was growing in to his "terrible two" role.  

Participated in "Biggest Winner"- Six months after having Twodles I decided to take control of my physical condition and joined a program through the University.  Keeping track of calorie intake, portion control, and regular exercise enabled me to lose 20 lbs. during the 8 week program and then almost 20 lbs more after.  It was one of the most empowering experiences of my life.  It was proof that with hard work and determination I can do anything.  

Before                                                            After
Be Prepared-  Mr Medic and I decided we would fulfill one of his dreams to work at his favorite Scout Camp as a family for the summer.  We were in the great outdoors for 6 glorious weeks.  Twodles was nearly 1 by then.  Mr Medic was the Camp Medical Director and I was the Handicraft Director.  We stayed there during the week and came home for less than 24 hours on the weekend.  It was so neat to learn the scout culture.  I really did grow to love and appreciate that organization.  I think its wonderful to give young men a place to learn skills that will stay with them for a lifetime.  There were definitely some tough times.  Having a 1 year old in the wilderness and trying to meet his needs while still fulfilling our job responsibilities was hard.  We learned a few things from that summer: 1. Even though I struggle or occasionally seem to not be having a good experience, I am able to latch on to the positive and call it a great experience overall.  2. Mr Medic doesn't quite have that same skill.  He will more likely remember it as being a not-so-fun experience. 

National Bone Marrow Registry- Before my mission I registered to become a bone marrow donor, then thought nothing more of it, until we had a young man in our church congregation be diagnosed with cancer.  I was reminded of my commitment to save a life if the opportunity arose and I wanted others to have the same chance.  I organized the drive completely from scratch and we had great success with over 100 people who registered.

I could probably go on for ages with all that has happened in 10 years, but these are just a few that come to mind and have impacted me the most.  I am so grateful I was guided here and that I have had wonderful experiences to shape me into someone a little better each day.  I hope that my persistence in gaining a college education will be something that my children admire and use as motivation in their own lives.


  1. You have accomplished a ton, and no doubt you will do more. Proud of you chandee

  2. Great job Chandee! I am glad I am not the only one who has taken a while to get through school! And I am only doing an Associates! We are going on year 5 here... Good job for getting through it all! I struggle in school as well and I don't know if I could persist through to a bachelors!