Story Time: When Are You Graduating College?

Good Afternoon, GP5 Fam!

I hope your Summer is adventurous, fun and that you’re being safe (and of course wearing sunscreen)! Our Summer has been interesting, to say the least. When is it not interesting in the Guerrero household?! Anyways, if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post– we are gonna talk about my college journey!

So, sit tight, grab a snack and get comfy!

My college journey began immediately after I graduated high school in 2007, I literally wasted NO time! I started classes two weeks after I graduated. I attended the junior college up the road from my home and took my general education courses (English, math, etc.) I was able to attend college on scholarship thanks to pageantry! My first two college semesters were merely funded by competing in various pageant systems. In 2008, I struggled to balance my load. I was dealing with my Dad’s stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis and working 2 part-time jobs. I stayed focused on my studies and during the week of finals my Dad’s health began to take a turn for the worst. He passed away the night before my finals, I went back to school the following morning after my Dad’s death (that was SO hard to do). But, I knew it’s what he would want.

The same year in 2008, I unexpectedly became pregnant during my second semester of college – (Hi, Skyler). After my semester ended due to my situation I left Arizona and moved in with Ric in Nevada, I used the last of my savings to enroll at College of Southern Nevada. My goal regardless of what obstacles I had to endure was to FINISH college! As I had promised my Parents that I would. During my six months at CSN, I was able to make the best of friends who became a huge support system during my pregnancy. They would drive me to Ric’s work at Discount Tire after class or hang out with me in the library until Ric was off work. And, some days I would just walk from my college campus to Ric’s work that was about 16 minutes away by foot. After my semester in Nevada, Ric got approved to move back to Arizona. And, as soon as we did I continued my education online.

In 2009, I gave birth to Skyler-Ian and was still enrolled in college. I was taking a class or two at a time just to make sure that I could balance the load. The following semester I took time off while I transitioned to go back onto campus for school. I completed all of my general education courses online and had to tackle bios and labs on campus and online. After completing my general education courses, I took a break until I could afford to go back onto campus. In 2010, I welcomed Spencer and in the same year graduated with my Certificate in Nursing Assistant.

I was able to find an online program which helped us (A LOT) and I graduated cum laude with my Associates in Applied Science in Medical Assisting in 2013, that same year I welcomed Katelynn! I was able to enroll online at Grand Canyon University in 2014 and begun my bachelor’s journey! I had to do A LOT of my college classes online due to being a single income, 3 kids needing sitters, etc. Although I had tons of help (thank you to my village) it was just easier on our little tribe if I did schooling from home. After a few financial struggles, I am happy to announce that I am FINALLY graduating with my Bachelor’s degree from GCU this Fall!

 

I just received this announcement today in my email and besides the fact I’ve been doing a lot of ugly crying this month alone. This one was tears of relief! I also received a scholarship to finish my final two classes! Woo Hoo! An unexpected death, a surprise pregnancy, an impromptu move out of state, a shot-gun wedding, another move out of state. Add 2 kids, a certificate, associates and a few years later — I’m FINALLY walking across the stage! (Cue WaterWorks)

Excited is an understatement – I waited YEARS for this! I always felt “defeated” in ways, cause I felt like I would’ve been finished years ago. But, I realized my journey was different and special. It took much longer, but the light at the end of the tunnel will be much more worth it!


To my valued readers who can relate to this, or who so happen to be on their own college journey (whilst balancing parenthood, marriage, and life in general) — You CAN do it! Trust the journey, trust the obstacles, trust every moment and put your faith in God (and, if you don’t believe in God– put your faith in the universe)! I firmly believe everything happens for a reason whether it’s good or bad, whether it was planned or not. The road less traveled can most definitely be a rewarding one!  It won’t be easy, there will be tears, there will be frustration, but, if you keep pushing forward and continue to strive regardless of the situations, I can promise you– those long nights of studying, or days trying to read chapters out of your textbook while feeding a newborn, or the mornings where you are struggling to go on campus cause its hard to leave your kids. I promise you, many years down the road you will look back at it and know that you did all of that for your kids, your Family, for Yourself!

I know you can do it, I have faith in you, so promise me– You won’t give up! I’m cheering for you and will be waiting for you at the finish line! We can finish altogether!

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How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry

Happy Monday, #GP5Fam! It’s been a crazy start to our week here in the Grr-arrow household! I mean when is it not ever crazy in my household, psh! Who am I kidding! I live with crazies! Haha! (facepalm)

Anyways, with hockey & figure skating in full swing. I barely can keep up with the household chores and sleep– speaking of sleep, I miss doing that. And, it’s usually when everyone is asleep, is when I can bust out the phone (or laptop) and get my thoughts on paper.

So, as a warning. We are gonna get sappy in today’s post. So grab your favorite blanket, get cozy on the couch, and grab some tissues & let’s get heartfelt! On today’s post, ”How My 8 Year Old Made Me Cry.”

Today guys, I was a parenting failure! You’re probably thinking I’m being over the top dramatic. And, I wish I was. My TDL was beyond overwhelming. I had emails to tend too, tasks to complete, calls to make and let’s not even get to my list of household chores that desperately needed to get done. I got up early to do some laundry, only to realize the clothes that were previously in the dryer were still wet. So the kids helped me get the wet clothes separated from the dry clothes and placed back in the drier to get dry.

After that, I started getting the sheets off my bed and started piling clothes for the next load of laundry. Mind you I still have a load in the wash, a load in the dryer. 3 piles outside my bedroom door that STILL needs to be done. Sigh. It just seems neverending. I was also on a time crunch as I still had to get Skyler’s homeschool assignments together. And, log on to work!

Time was not on my side today, even though I woke-up decently early. As loads of laundry were going, I scrambled to make sure everyone was fed- from the dogs, turtle and of course the kids!

Once that was ”somewhat” situated I launched my laptop and started on my emails. Simultaneously, I was working on some schooling issues for the upcoming school year which resulted needing to be done via a phone call. Of course, in perfect timing. Katelynn decided to have her full-blown tantrum, complete with ”exorcist” back arches and laying on the floor. All because I told her she couldn’t have fruit snacks for breakfast. Oh, and I stood my ground while I tended to my important phone call. Honestly, I should’ve just given her the damn fruit snack so I could get through my phone conference.

But, alas, In her best, high shrill, Katelynn sang the song of her people — loud enough for the poor lady I was talking to on the phone to hear. And, she politely said, ”Shes got some lungs on her”. Oh, If she only knew how I tried to muffle the sound on the phone so she couldn’t hear and failed epically to balance the phone off my shoulder & pick up a flailing 4-year-old off the floor. All while struggling to also hold a pen & notebook.

After picking Kate up, she was still whining and whimpering, as she still begged for the fruit snack. I continued to stand my ground and put Kate on the couch and walked away into another room so I can somewhat pay attention to what this lady was saying to me. I think I repeated every other sentence back to the lady, to confirm we were on the same page & in all honesty, just cause nothing was clicking.

I walked back out into the living room and put the phone on mute while the lady kept talking. I quickly tried to multitask and tend to Kate. Which resulted in a bigger meltdown cause she wanted to be held — which I, unfortunately, couldn’t do as I needed both hands as I was taking notes during the phone call.

After I no longer could take the whining, I turned on the TV and Thank heavens for Nick Jr, cause whatever show was on calmed Kate. And, after realizing fruit snacks were out of the question Kate drank her milk & ate cereal. (THANK GOD!)

Mind you through this whole Katelynn ordeal, Skyler was (as always) playing hockey in the living room. So I felt like I was playing dodgeball in the house trying to weave through and not get hit. Telling him to stop seemed impossible, also I don’t think he understood my ”miming” since I was on the phone.

Thankfully, I was able to go through my phone call, multitask on the laptop & go through emails. Still, laundry wasn’t done & homeschool didn’t start. My conference and emails took up a chunk of my time.

Once I was finally off the phone the kids reminded me that we needed to get cupcakes and cookies (something I had promised them last week). I packed all my electronics and earpiece and decided that my work would have to be mobile today.

When we got to the bakery we picked out our cupcakes, cookies and headed back to the car. As I loaded the kids into the car I dropped the box which resulted in all the frosting and cupcakes to turn upside down. Fabulous. I scrambled to save what decency the cupcakes had left and headed home.

I tried my best to hold myself together and figured, “What else could go wrong today?”  when we got home, my Husband was there to greet us. I was ready to cry and go in full-Mom-meltdown. And, then Skyler said something completely surprising.

He began to tell Ric about our day, and, I was just waiting for all the epic Mom fails, I had. But, he literally didn’t mention how stressed or frustrated I was. All he took out of the day was– regardless of how busy I was I took time to make Kate food, and turn on the TV for them, and that I drove them to get cupcakes and cookies. Skyle, looked at all the positives I did today, all my multitasking and was happy they got cupcakes and cookies regardless if it was half smashed.

I teared-up and Ric just looked at me like I was insane. I later went on to explain the day from my point of view. How crazy, chaotic it felt.

My kiddo for sure just served me a slice of reality and a good one at that. Perspective.

Pinky_Signature

 

 

When I Graduate…

Hello readers!

If you’ve been with my blog since the beginning which was back in 2012 then you know I’ve been in college for what seems like FOREVER! You’ve been with me since ‘heyitspink’ was originally just my public online diary. I’m happy to announce that I am FINALLY graduating!

EEEK!!! Cue pomp and circumstance! Cue the graduation gowns & caps! SO EXCITED! Granted, I do have my associates degree and two state certifications and a national certification. So, I mean I technically graduated college! But, for those who have followed my educational journey you know it wasn’t always easy to obtain ANY of those degrees or papers! I couldn’t attend college on grounds or on campus, which made schooling hard. I was able to attend college on campus from 2007 to mid-2008. See, 2008 wasn’t an easy year for me. My Dad passed away from cancer, the home I lived in foreclosed & I found myself in a downward spiral of rebellion. I got pregnant out of wedlock in 2008 & moved to Las Vegas. I attended college in Las Vegas with what was left of my savings account and with the help of my boyfriend (now Husband). I passed my class pregnant and all! The end of 2008 I happily got married to my Husband and the beginning of 2009 became a new positive adventure. We moved back to Arizona & I continued my education. After, I had Skyler in 2009, I realized going on campus with a Baby didn’t seem doable (cause it technically wasn’t). Time slots for a class was impossible with a newborn and a hard working Husband. I attended several different colleges until I found the right college for me. I finished all my prerequisites on campus (thankfully) and thus the hunt to find online courses to accomplish my core classes was the new task.

In 2010, technically which would be my third year of college, I gave birth to my second child- Spencer. I had enrolled to do a certification to become a Nurse’s Assistant which was a 6-week program. My Husband and I rarely saw one another and I rarely saw my kids as we did a whole lot of pass-offs to Family and to one another to finish the program. I proudly graduated with my first certification that year in which I obtained a state certification. I was SO proud of myself. I could’ve never accomplished this without the help of my Mom, Husband, Brother, Grandparents, Cousins and Aunts, Uncles. They all took the time to watch my kids when they could!

I worked as much as I could during those years and continued my education online through Kaplan University to obtain my associates degree. I was able to accomplish my associates degree and graduated cum laude in 2013. With my associates I obtained a national certification as a Registered Medical Assistant. As you can see, healthcare was my niche. I was attending college to become a nurse. Although, it got to the point in my education where core classes online was difficult cause there were labs I had to attend, and some classes weren’t available online. Mind you, I paid for my own education via scholarships, grants and loans. So, that was another factor in finishing college. Sometimes I had the funds, and sometimes I didn’t.

After graduating with my associates, I was able to work at various hospitals and clinics to get a feel for the job, I absolutely LOVED it. But, something kept telling me this wasn’t for me.  When I graduated high school in 2007, I originally wanted to major in communications and marketing. It was my thing. I was good at it. Every job opportunity that came to me was related to marketing/Promotions/PR. But, a part of me kept pushing forth for nursing. A lot of doors closed and opened throughout the years. Many times I would force things to happen, only for it to fall apart because it just wasn’t meant to be. But, one door constantly and consistently remained opened. After my final option aka my final door in this educational journey, closed, I finally shook myself, and took a break. I really prayed about it, meditated, and looked for guidance. Sometimes we can spend hours, days, months, years trying to make things work and it just really wasn’t going to work. That happened to me. I spent a good 7 + years trying to make “nursing” happen. It just wasn’t and it didn’t. It was a very hard pill to swallow. Very hard.

You’re probably thinking, she gave up. But, I truly didn’t  I fought hard for 7+ years to make it happen.  “How did you know it wasn’t for you?” simple. After having the kids, I was at the point in my degree were I finally was able to attend core classes. No matter how hard I tried to get into a class, either finances fell through, or classes wouldn’t accept me. I also have to mention that I had no sitters available, we financially couldn’t afford a sitter during this time. So, day classes wasn’t an option. If you were to look at my college transcripts I literally tried every college available to me to try online classes or find classes that offered night classes. I even attended college out of state. There wasn’t anything. The doors were always closed. But, I fought relentlessly, for years! People or the nay sayers assumed I just had an excuse to everything.  I did get into a program or  I got accepted into several different programs. Just couldn’t go attend class. I couldn’t afford a sitter and to make things clear, my kids were never my reason why I couldn’t finish college traditionally. First of all, they’re my priority and my responsibility, not anyone else’s. My kids are my reason why I kept pushing for other options to complete college. I had to find the means to make both ends meet without having to live off in the streets. So, shoo haters and trolls.

So, I positively moved forward and accepted what couldn’t be. I cried several times, I was a nervous wreck & suffered greatly with anxiety. Imagine working SO hard towards a goal & really coming to terms it wasn’t meant to be. But, you’ve worked for YEARS to accomplish this. More than 7 years! But, I held my head up high and moved forward. I got accepted into Grand Canyon University’s online program for bachelors in marketing. I was excited and nervous. For years, I’ve been hired and successfully marketed and promoted for companies, I even worked for the National Hockey League for the Phoenix Coyotes!

I finally got an email today telling me I would be potentially graduating with my bachelors on August 6,2017!

Cue the drum roll. Cue the confetti. I finally did it! Three kids later, multiple career changes & a lot of closed doors, a lot of help from Family. But, I did it! I have had a lot of accomplishments in my life, but, by far this was one of the hardest feats I’ve had to accomplish and I’m excited to say although it took what seemed like forever I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So to everyone who is reading this, it’s okay. Time isn’t always going to be your friend, and sometimes things don’t always work out as you planned. But, don’t beat yourself up for it, just keep moving forward. You’re not in a race and there is never a time limit on education or working towards your goals. Work at your own pace, do what’s best for you. I’ve heard so many negative feedback even from Family saying, “The amount of schooling she’s done she could’ve become a Doctor.” But, you know what take those criticisms, and negativity and use it to continue to push forward. Brush off their nasty comments, you’re doing this for yourself and not for the applause or for anyone’s wellbeing.

Lets conquer the rest of this year readers, and lets rock 2017!

Smooches,

Pink

Skyler-Ian Kindergarten Celebration 2015

Ladies and Gents,

Bust out your tissue box, your hankie, or grab a shoulder to lean on- its about to get real up in here! Today, my oldest child graduated from Kindergarten, his school had a fast, small “celebration” for the parents on Thursday, May 14th.  He will officially be a FIRST GRADER coming August 2015! EEEEK!

There were so many emotions just from the morning to get him ready for school, it was way too surreal. I swear where did time go? But, regardless I am so unbelievably proud of Skyler-Ian! He has taught me so much about being a Mom, and continues to teach me every single day! He surpasses any expectation that I could ever imagine. I seriously think I am way too lucky and blessed to have been chosen as his Mom. If you are wondering if I cried during his 15 minute ceremony, I sure did! I held back the sobs though, I had to hold that in. I couldn’t really break down during a ceremony, ya know? ;]

Seeing him up on that stage, singing his little heart out and smiling and waving just reminded me of the many blessings God has given me since I found out I was pregnant with Skyler. See, I got pregnant at an early age, more so, in my freshman year of college. Unplanned, unwed, and unprepared. I don’t think I had fully grasped what was about to seriously go down. But, it definitely went down, alright. I walked through hell & back when I said no to abortion. I faced many hardships, underwent many challenges, but, thankfully, Ric was always there supporting me & providing. Along, with the generous loving hearts of some of our family members. Since the day that test said, positive, I had to change my perspective on life, and change who I was. I learned so much from just that experience alone, I learned what it was like to have nothing, I learned how to make due with what I had, and I learned the true meaning of love. But, most importantly, I rekindled a relationship with God that I thought I had lost earlier of that year. God knew exactly what he was doing when he chose Ric and I to be Skyler’s parents. I don’t regret anything that has happened. I can just say that it has only made me stronger, better, and more grateful. And, we are very blessed to have been graced with Skyler ever since.

To this day, we get compliments on how genuinely good hearted our 5 year old is, how well-mannered, and how sweet he is. I couldn’t agree more! So, in honor of Skyler’s kinder celebration I compiled this sweet video. Enjoy!

This is the video I made for Skyler ;] Below this video is the video provided by the school.

This video was recorded by one of the teachers ;]

 

Blessings,

Pinky G.