World refugee day

So I didn’t learn this until last year but every year on June 20th is world refugee day

This day hits close to home since both of my parents are refugees

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The pic above is my parents at a refugee camp. My parents met in the USA, but the pic of my dad I think is very powerful

My mom decided to leave Vietnam one night and had a fairly easy trip- her boat had no engine for a few days and then got sponsored by her aunt and uncle since she married an American soldier

My dad is another story- he actually got caught and was on his way to prison but was able to escape since someone in his group was in the military and knew when the viet conf was changing guards and he ran for it. His cousins were in USA and knew he was on his way and told their sponsors about him and their church for someone to sponsor him

This is basically all I know. It’s a rather touchy subject for my parents to talk about but I’m so thankful for what they did for my life could be completely different.

To learn more about refugee day:

http://www.worldrefugeeday.us/site/c.arKKI1MLIjI0E/b.8092105/k.B369/World_Refugee_Day.htm

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Happy Father’s Day!

Yeah talk about life taking over. I’m still working on my recaps- I’m realizing I’m not good at taking tons of pics so gotta work in that.

But of course I wanted to write something for Father’s Day.

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This is a pic of me and my dad from my undergrad commencement in 2011 (?!?!?!)

I gotta thank my dad for giving me a pretty cool last name (Phu- like fu in Kung fu!) it’s short, simple ish, and so cool that many people call me Phu rather than my first name (if someone called me by my first name I know she know me from school/work)

The bonus of a short last name is during Scranton tests I didn’t have to take forever bubbling my name since it was short. It does suck that according to gmail, even with my first and middle initial, I still need 2 more characters lol

To papa Phu.

Teach me how to bustle, teach me teach me how to bustle

So, the other day as part of my maid of honor duties, I went to Jane’s bridal fitting to make sure I knew how to bustle her dress.

When I was maid of honor the first time, I remember Chelsea told me I needed to go, and I was like, “ok, it can’t be that hard to put a dress together.” I was confused- I didn’t remember reading about this in bridesmaids books I bought (I got quite a deal for them since at the time borders was going out of business, and I didn’t want to mess things up!my first time standing in a wedding and I’m the maid of honor?! Gotta make sure I knew what I was doing!) but I went.

And boy, I was like “wtf is going on” at that fitting.

It turns out, Chelsea’s dress was difficult, for we had to do a French bustle since her dress was swept to the side. The alterations lady, Sue even drew me a diagram! I was just speechless- how could something that looks so simple be so darn difficult?!

The alternations appointment was helpful, Sue made me dress Chelsea and gave me tips how to put her into the corset back faster by bending the string and all that jazz.

On Chelsea’s wedding day, I actually forgot the diagram Sue made me, so I had to improvise, but I think it turned out well?

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I had such a hard time finding the buttons, and it didn’t help that the photographer was there snapping pics! Oh well, it probably didn’t help that I didn’t remember how many buttons there were. Oops.

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So, here I was, at Jane’s bridal fitting and I got a pen and paper ready, getting my phone out to take pics, and once the lady shows me it’s just two buttons I need to find, I was relieved!

Obviously, I can’t post the pic of the dress since the wedding hasn’t happened yet (June 21!) but once it does I’ll post a pic so you can see how much simpler it was ๐Ÿ™‚

I also got my dress the other day, fits alright just gotta get some alternations since I’m not a busty gal, but it it’s a dress I really like and might re wear again (I’ll post a pic once the wedding happens and maybe you guys can really tell me if this is true or not)

Why do you want to be a nurse?

This is a question I get asked often once people find out I’m in nursing school. It often follows by “what kind if nurse do you want to be?”

With nurses week ending last week and it being the first week of my summer break, I finally had time to watch a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for awhile- a documentary call “Today We Saw the Face of God” through Amazon.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00IIJJT02/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?ref_=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_gUQdtb0G3EX7C

This movie had a special place in heart since it involves the organizations I work with when I go to Haiti.

Ok, back up- some background information. When I went away for college, I never really had too much of a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Being in health care sounded cool, but besides that I couldn’t tell you exactly what role I wanted in the scheme of things. I picked a major that had the word health in it, and picked the concentration of health administration and planning, it sounded interesting.

Towards the end of my undergrad days, I had to do an internship, so I did one at a free clinic and non-profit group mainly doing office work, and it was there I noticed I was always wondering what the nurses were doing, not really happy just pushing papers and relaying information on how to become a client at the clinic.

Also during my undergrad days, I was really involved with leadership development and community service- I would go on alternative breaks trips around the country. I then wanted to take it a step further- go international.

I tried to go with a group on campus but it fell through, and when this got brought up to one of my BFFs mom (who goes to Haiti regularly) she asked if I would go with her, and I immediately said YES!

So just like that, I signed up to go during my spring break of my super senior year- literally 8 weeks before I get my bachelors degree.

And that trip forever changed me.

It was the first time I ever left the continent. It was the first time I saw poverty fist hand, and the first time I saw how some people weren’t too happy to see Americans, and it was where I saw what else nurses could do.

I’ve been lucky not to have to go to the doctor a lot, so I mainly saw nurses as people I saw before I saw the doctor, the ones that gave me shots, the ones that often asked a lot of questions. That was my interaction with them.

In Haiti, I saw the care and compassion that nurses and nurse practitioners gave, the amount of knowledge they had about almost anything that got tossed at them, and I wanted to be them.

I came back and had to face a hard decision- I never took any classes to get into nursing school, do I really want to start almost all over again?

I decided yes, and went to try to pursuit that dream- taking chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology was tough, and to go from living on my own to back home was tough (and still is somewhat). I had many decisions to make- what route did I want to go with my education ( I had every route available since I have my bachelors already) It was rough, and after getting letters that said “No” I seriously considered giving up, I didn’t know what else to do. I can only try so much and improve my application in so many ways, and I felt I was reaching at the end of the rope. But I finally got a “Yes” and the journey has interesting. It has it’s ups and downs, but I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end.

I’ve been to Haiti 3 times now (2011, 2012, and 2013) this year was the first year I couldn’t go due to school, but it exciting to know the next time I go, I will have RN next to my name ๐Ÿ™‚

What kind of nurse do I want to be? I don’t know, but a good one. It changes every day- from an ER nurse, to nurse anesthetist, to birth and delivery (I start that in August!), to flight nurse, to a peds or family nurse practitioner, to a womens health nurse, or something with diabetes education, as you can tell, the list goes on and changes daily. But what I do look forward to is being able to give back not just on a community level, but globally also.

Liebster Award!

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AHHH! I got nominated for Liebster Award from my BFF Lauren of Sister to Sister Running! Thanks Laur!
1. When/what was your first race?
If we are getting technical here, my first running race was the BTN Big 10k (but I did the 5k option) when it first came to Chicago in 2012. It was the first running event that intrigued me-mainly because not only do they involved all of the schools of the Big Ten conference, but you could sign up for your school (and I’m an Illini alum!) and my BFF Taylor is an MSU alum, so when she was in, we both signed up!
I just wanted to run the whole race, but I didn’t train, and I think I ended up walking about half of it? It was rough. I remember it was REALLY HOT that year, and I couldn’t move really afterwards, and I thought, seriously, there people that run for fun? Who are they? lol
But, fitness wise, my first race would be the AON Center Step Up for Kids Stair climb in 2012. My work does volunteer events, and if its an active one such as this/5k, you are allowed to participate in it also, so I was like, I’ll try it, I get to do it for free! I just wanted to make it to the top without stopping, which I was able to do!
2. What is the coolest swag and or bling you have received at a race?
I mean, this would have to be the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC-how can you beat a Tiffany’s necklace with ROTC guys in tuxedos with boxes of Tiffany’s at the end of the race!?
I also do look forward to the BTN Big 10k-since everything is made for your school, I love everything they give-from the shirts, to the medals, the foam fingers, sunglasses, anything orange and blue-I love it!
And the Hot Chocolate Run-they always have really good swag-that’s what got me to sign up-I wanted that zip up hoodie more so then the chocolate at the end!
3. What is your favorite distance to run?
I can’t say… I guess 5k/10k are good, they are distances I have ran many times before so I know I will finish! After that, it gets challenging…once I past the 15k mark, it gets really tough for me (which I feel is normal for most people)
4. What is your favorite quote or phrase to keep you motivated to run?
“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the coach.”
I always have to remind myself that even though I have friends that run (and they run much faster than I do, and have been running for much longer than I have) that there are people out there who aren’t even willing to go to and run a mile.
5. If you could run anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
I really like parks-I like that I can run without really worrying about stopping for cars and traffic. I’m really jealous that Lauren lives right across from a huge park in STL! I think as long as it’s a park, and not hilly, I can handle it!
I mean, beaches sound amazing to run and all, but the idea of running on sand sounds horrible. lol
6.ย What has been your favorite and least favorite race? Why?
Favorite: I once again have to say the Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC-probably because it’s my first half marathon! And I really thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it, since training was really tough for me. The atmosphere was amazing, and I would say this is where I got Runner’s High, I don’t really remember it being terribly painful (unlike my first run I’ve done after this race) It was also fun because I got to do it with my BFF Lauren and it was a mini vacation in DC! Its all about the memories.
Least: This makes me feel like a running snob (which is weird, I don’t really consider myself as real runner yet, I consider myself as an amateur one still) but I’m over The Color Run and The Electric Run. I like them because these fun runs are encouraging people to go out and giving running a try and to be healthy, but they are SO CROWDED. And, I feel you need to do these just once, I did both twice within the same year, so I think I’m done. lol
7. Do you prefer running alone or in a group?
Alone. I know I’m not a fast runner, and I don’t like feeling that I’m the reason you are going slow, let’s just pick a meeting point, and I’ll meet you there at one point, with cold water please. lol
8. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
I did struggle with finding a name for this blog, I really wanted to do something funny, pun wise with Phu, like phunny, but I noticed that if you didn’t know me, the name/words would look and sound strange. Therefore, I figured since I do so many random things, I feel like my friends are always like “Did you see what Phu did? She went skydiving! ” or “Did you see Phu did the Polar Plunge?” It’s always “Did you see Phu….” so I thought-Hey, it should be See Phu ____. It works since I just don’t want to write just about running, but anything I know I would post on facebook, but not write a novel along with my status update lol
9. Have you participated in any other competitive events besides running races? (Tough Mudder, Triathalon, Etc.)
Beside running, I’ve done stair climbs! It’s my goal to do all 4 that are in Chicago (and I’ve done 2 so far). I would love to do Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, a sprint triathlon, and a marathon. I just need to do these just once, just to cross them off the bucket list. And, I need to do an 8k and a 15k. I know these are rather random lengths, but Chicago has a few races with these distances, so I want to do them. And I would love to do a Disney run-the Princess and Tinkerbell Half Marathon! And another Nike Women in another city! And I would love to do the 3 Day SGK Breast Cancer Walk. Basically, I like doing insane things for charity.
10. What are your goals in terms of running/races for this year?
I really just want to get into a better routine of working out this year. I still can’t believe I jumped into running a half marathon from not being much of a runner at all, so I would like to make pure barre and running more of routine (and to make sure I don’t gain too much weight from nursing school! lol) It’s my goal then for next year to do two half marathons (Illinois Half Marathon and Chicago Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon) and I feel by doing those two I should be ready for the Chicago Marathon (I will run it next year-either by entering via lottery or by charity)

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hey everyone! Life has been… Hectic but I can finally say I’m on summer break! But I have been working a ton!

Just want to write a quick post for my momma-

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This is me and my mom at my high school graduation in 2006(?!?!)

My mom is one of my heros- not many people can say they have a mom that escape another country and came to the USA with nothing and somehow is doing just fine today.

My mom also gives me some bizarre advice from time to time. As a kid, I was a picky eater (somewhat to this day but not as bad) and since I loved Disney and princesses my mom use to tell me this-

“Any food you leave on your plate means you’re going to marry an ugly husband!”

I would get so terrified and try to scrap every piece of rice into my mouth! But hey, it worked! Gotta love creative parenting.