Journal | May 2017

Where to begin. Life is so full. I could say busy, crazy, overwhelming, <insert all the dramatic words here> but I like full. Bursting at the seams. Jack, age three, has just blossomed into this awe inspiring little human. I spend every day with him but often feel like I've missed some major transition between the leaps he makes, sometimes seemingly overnight. I often find myself saying, WHERE did he learn that?! He's amazing and sweet and just the coolest person I know, hands down. But let's be real for a second, he's 3 ... deep breaths ... and exhale ;) He reminds me every day that the hardest things we are faced with are often the most rewarding. He is most rewarding. At the end of the day no matter how hard it has been there's a sweet surrender in us all and we go to bed with lots of snuggles and promises of a new day and fresh start when we wake. Three years has gone by in a blink of an eye. I want time to slow down but at the same time love the growth and change I see in him and in our family as he gets older. It's such a mix of emotions this parenthood thing =) 

School marches on! I am moving along in the prerequisites I need to complete before applying to a MS dietetics program. It's gotten more challenging, partially because I've transitioned into taking classes completely online and partially because the classes are getting more difficult, but thankfully also more interesting! Learning sciences like organic chemistry without a lecture is a practice in resourcefulness and self-discipline. I think the hardest part it it is extremely more time consuming than a traditional in-person class, in my opinion.  I got into the college that offers the MS program I will apply to next fall. So that is one step in the right direction! The program I am applying to is a second admissions program, so after I take a handful of their specific prerequisites, I will be eligible to apply to their dietetics program. This winter semester was my first at EMU. I had a Nutrition class online at EMU and the organic chemistry class online was at a separate community college in another state. It's truly amazing how today's college experience can be. I feel so old when I talk about "when I was in college the first time..." haha... but literally things have changed so much as far as taking classes online and it being so common now that the hiccups that I experienced as a student 10 plus years ago have all been worked out, making online learning much easier now than it was back then. Not to mention the ease of textbook rentals and finding used ones for a fraction of the cost a lot of times! Also the access to infinite amounts of information online, from tutorials to full on lectures! Seriously so different from before. I also feel infinitely more dedicated this time around. Lots in my life has changed in the 10 years since I graduated with my BA. I feel like I have a lot more riding on school this time, I have a bigger purpose, a focus. I know what I want to do and I know why I want to do it. It's a pretty powerful feeling to have those two pieces in place. I don't think I had that sense in my early twenties. Now when I want to cry and just give up because I am not ashamed to say it's all so very overwhelming a lot of times, I have my little beacon that always pulls me back in and makes me put my big girl pants on and ramble on. 

This year I have a few goals I want to note to see how I fare a ways down the road. I'd like to find a better balance in my life. Marriage, kiddo, school, work, social life, me. All of those things do not currently have a fair share of time. And most of those get no time. I know it's a lot to ask for complete balance, but perhaps a shift in different directions here and there. That'd be nice. Another goal, blogging. I really want to find time to get on here more often. It gets pushed to the waaaaaay back. Like priority zero haha! But perhaps I can fit it in more often and make it related to something happening in my life right then, so it somehow fits in without too much effort. Extracurricular effort (aka time)  is always my challenge. And goals for Jack, potty training, big boy toddler bed (cuz yes he's still in his crib... he hasn't attempted to climb out and anyone I ask nearly screams NOOOOOO at me when I say I might just switch him haha... clearly they long for the crib days of old ;) ... but that will have to come eventually right? He can't be 16 and still in his crib hahaha!). We still struggle with his eating, so that's always and forever a goal. Daycare and preschool (hopefully combined) are in the works. And just more other kid time for him. Being an only child he needs to be around other kids as much as possible. So those are my goals for him this year! I know how time flies, so it will be interesting to look back on this in a while or a year and see how we've done. 

This journal is mostly to remind me of this moment in my life. If you're reading along, hello and thank you =) 



My road to RD: Getting started ...

When I first started researching the idea of going back to school to be a registered dietitian (RD), I asked a friend who is a registered dietitian where I should start and asked her some of the first questions I had. She was great and instrumental in pointing me in the right direction to find credible information. Along the way I've scoured the internet for personal accounts of how people have gone about navigating the path to their dietetics education. Because  above and beyond the hard facts about how to go about becoming a RD, finding someone who shares a similar situation makes the process feel a little less scary and daunting. Especially when you are coming from an entirely different field and also choosing a non-traditional route such as an online/distance program, like I am. Many of the personal accounts I have come across have shared wonderful insight into their specific journey. And while none have matched my situation exactly, I have learned tidbits of information from them all. So I thought perhaps there might be others out there that are looking for someone in a similar situation to mine while starting their journey to becoming a registered dietitian. Even if it's not the same situation someone else may be in, I may have one piece of the puzzle that helps! 

These posts about my journey to RD will be ongoing as I am currently working on the last few science prerequisites I need to be able to apply to the program I am interested in. I'll talk about how I got to where I am now and update as I move along! 

If this is the first post you're reading on my blog, I'll share a little background about myself. I graduated with a BA in Studio Art from UC Davis and have worked in the photography industry for the last 10 years. I also worked a variety of administrative jobs along the way to support myself through college and during the early years of my photography business. I still currently work in photography, just not as a photographer. In 2014 my husband and I welcomed a little boy into our lives and six months after he was born I decided to change my career and the following summer began taking courses towards becoming a registered dietitian. 

Because I had a bachelor degree in another subject already, I am considered a career changer. I found the information regarding the steps it takes to become a RD along with accredited schools and programs on the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics website, . Start there. And read everything! 

The steps to becoming a RD for me started with catching up on all of my basic science courses in order to take the upper division prerequisite sciences required to apply to a program. I had taken a basic biology class but that was about it. I had to start at the very bottom in chemistry, never have taken a chemistry class! I am glad I had to do it that way, while it took me a few extra semesters to get to the level I needed to be at, it gave me a great foundation and everything is fresh in my mind. It gave me confidence as well! It did take me a few semesters of sequential courses to get to where I am now but I took one science course in person at my local community college and then one course online that fulfilled my other needs each semester. For me this was a great way to ease back into school. With my son Jack, working part time and life in general, I found it challenging but in a very manageable way. I would suggest taking as many of the science courses in person as you can. I have now completed one major science course (organic chemistry) in an online format and it was the most challenging class I have taken so far. I know organic chemistry is an extremely challenging subject in general, taking it online was definitely a test of resoursefulness in addition to learning the subject matter, but it's totally doable. 

There is a plus side to taking science courses online. For me the school I am applying to is a distance/online program, with an in person, coordinated program in supervised practice experience. So I see the benefit being the more courses I take online, the better I will become at it. Just like figuring out how to navigate any program of study is a huge part of being successful, so is figuring out how to learn in an online environment. So I've started to find a flow to how I personally learn best in an online class. It's always scary to go into a new online class, because the pace and the amount of information and how it's delivered varies but I feel like I have found my groove quicker with each successive class I've taken. So I am thankful for the hard classes that make me manage my time efficiently, be unafraid to ask question, to make mistakes and to reach out to the professor and other students in hopes of creating the kind of community and camaraderie I'd find in a traditional classroom. But I won't sugar coat it, it's hard and there have been tears =P

I finished my winter semester and am now enjoying a bit of a break. I start my online summer class in June (anatomy & physiology for dietetics) and am, as always, feeling nervous but excited. I really do enjoy what I am learning!

During my break and this summer I am also starting to work on my application for the coordinated program I have my sights set on. There are a ton of components so I'm hoping starting now will have me in line with the deadline in January! I plan on sharing my experience as time allows... if you are looking for ideas on how to begin your education in dietetics and I can help answer even one question from my own experiences up until now, please message me! I'd love to pay the help I've received from others forward. 



Opening Up Shop

     When I first began thinking about what Ramble & Root might encompass I knew I wanted to blog, just personal projects and happenings, things for myself that I thought would be fun to look back on in time. I also had an inkling of an idea that I could someday sell some of the things I made or photographed. I wanted a space that didn't pigeon hole me into being just a photographer or just a painter or just a hand-letterer or just a maker... You get the idea ;) I love anything creative and artsy and I like to make things for myself and also to try different mediums to see what might stick. I had a dream of an etsy shop that featured a current series of pieces that I could make until my heart felt content and then when the creativity for that project began to run dry, move on to another. A sort of shop that someone looking for unique, one of a kind items for their home would be excited about. The kind of shop that I often seek out when I am shopping for my own home. Photographs of course were the first thing to come to mind, but the task of reviewing my own work often proves to be daunting and I shy away from my computer more often than not. So those are still in the works.

     Fast forward to the present, summer 2016. My love of fiber and textiles has been around for as long as I can remember. I tried my hand at knitting a few years ago, it worked but it didn't resonate. I learned to crochet this summer, I got it and I liked it! And it's on the table for personal projects... maybe because it was summer, I wasn't feeling all that excited about scarves and blankets ;)  But then I came across a wall hanging tutorial and thought, now that seems like fun... And it was! Ten wall hangings later with inspiration still pouring out of me, I thought, now here's a series with some promise, maybe other people would enjoy them in their homes... plus #hoarding ... not the direction I want my life to go, haha. I can see the headline now "missing family and family dog found amongst thousands of yarn wall hangings", no thanks! So with five wall hangings ready to go (and more on the way) I finally opened my Etsy shop! If you're in the market for something pretty for your wall or you know someone else who is, have a peek! RambleandRoot on Etsy -

     I'm always interested in reading about how people do what they do. So I'll share my simple approach for those of you who like that kind of thing too. My process is informal. Often my son and I go out on little adventures and gather branches, feathers and if we're lucky, seashells. He's 2, you can imagine his enthusiasm! I strip and sand each branch by hand. I love perusing yarn shops for materials that are luxurious and fit my current color palette and often pop into bead shops in hopes of finding the perfect little finishing touch. I hand tie each piece and once the yarn is complete I decide if it needs a feather or beads or shells to finish it. Sometimes the way the yarn hangs off a particular branch is just right and I leave it at that.  The possibilities are endless, I'm having so much fun! 

Now I'm off to play with yarn and branches ;) Thanks for stopping by!