Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Blog

After a lot of contemplating, I have decided that I want to abandon this blog.  I don't do it enough to really keep up.  So I totally re-did a new blog that will live in a new location!!!  I would like to have all of you follow it, so please change where you index my link from so you can stay up to date!

My new blog promises to myself is to be more current with content.  Also, I am wanting to grow more followers and really write content that matters.  Thus, I will be blogging about more things than just my life.  I think you will like it!  Here is my new link:

Austin J. Miller

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Family Update

It has been quite some time, as usual, since my last post.  As there was great depth and a lot of good news with my last post, I figured I better update my blog. 

Over the course of the past few months I have been able to develop a relationship with my brother and two sisters that I have recently discovered in the world.  In fact, I had the once in a life time experience just over a month ago to meet my sister and brother who reside in Utah. This single event deserves some individual attention.

Following our initial conversations, we decided to arrange a time to meet.  Getting up to Utah county for me is a challenge as I have a complex schedule.  However, this was a milestone event and I made the effort to set a couple of days aside.  I went up to American Fork toward the end of March and got the opportunity to visit my usual family and friends. 

On my last evening in Utah County, I made arrangements to meet my 22 year old brother Shane and my 29 year old sister Shelly at Goodwood BBQ restaurant.  Unless you have have had the rare opportunity to meet your siblings later in life, no body would understand the intense emotional roller coaster it can be.  You experience and wonder many different things in your mind.  What are they like?  Are they at all similar to me?  Will the accept me?  These thoughts plagued me for hours on this special day! 

The time and come and my brother and sister came into the lobby of the restaurant and for the first time in 26 years I was able to shake their hands and come to a realization of 50% of the blood that runs through my veins!  The feelings and anticipation of new beginnings was nothing short of exhilarating. 

Following introductions we were able to enjoy a pleasant evening getting to know each other and hearing each others story on how all of this came about.  I came to really appreciate my brother for the kind generous soul that he is.  I learned what kind of a dedicated mother my sister is to 2 small kids whom I long to meet in the immediate future. 

This night changed my life forever.  This night put to rest a longing need that I had my whole life.  It had been the strength I needed at that time in my life and infused new energy into me on being a better person.  In essence, my family had expanded and I had new people to get to know, love, and cherish.  I just happened to be blessed enough for them to be like minded individuals who would allow me into their lives.  I recognize this is not at time the case with some.  My heart longs for those precious souls.  My experience sparked a new interest in me to help others in my circumstance to come into contact with distanced family members.  I thank the Lord that he has given this sweet blessing to me!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Family Milestone

Today was literally one of the most significant milestones of my life.  It takes a little bit of back-story to understand it.  There is a lot of you who may not know, but I do not know my biological father.  Back in the 80's my mother was living a wild life and had came into contact with a guy from Spanish Fork.  As a result of this little relationship, I had the opportunity of coming into this world!  The problem was that this gentleman had a family when all of this took place.  He was married and had some children already.  My mother elected to not let him know that she was pregnant, as she did not want to further impact that family's life. 

Years had passed and I grew up with the family I know.  I had a stepfather in my life who pretty much became my father.  The curiosity of knowing my "other half" had always been there.  My family made some effort to encouragement to just, "not worry about that family, they aren't really your family".  The desire to seek my father and siblings out grew intensely since last September when I lost my mother.  My mom was one of the only people in my life that really knew just how interested I was to one day meet my biological father.

This week a serious of events would transpire that would contribute to a significant milestone in my life.  Early last weekend I was using Facebook's new search tool and had a fleeting thought that I should look up my father's name.  Ultimately, I could not locate my father, but I found a lady who shared his name.  I messaged her after much courage and asked if she knew him.  Within a few hours she responded and told me yes.  This kind of shocked me and I didn't respond back as I didn't know quite what to say to drive the conversation further.  I would forget about this conversation and let a few days pass.

Early this morning, I was looking at my inbox on Facebook and discovered an unread message.  The message was from a lady named Shannon, it read "Austin I know you don't know who I am, and I didn't know about you until last weekend, but I am Kevin Augustus's daughter and I would like to talk with you".  She ended by giving me her phone number to contact her.  There it was, after 26 years I finally made contact with my sister!  I was beside myself with excitement about what the future could bring with this new found relationship.

Today I had the opportunity to speak with my newly found sister for a few hours.  We compared stories about what we knew about the past.  She allowed me to tell her about myself and I listened about who she was as well.  In the conversation I would later learn I have another sister and a brother who is close to my age.  I learned a lot about my father, including the fact that he doesn't do well with these kinds of things, but he would most likely "warm up to things".  The conversation ended with a promise from both of us to work on a relationship from here on out. 

This conversation opened a completely new, unexpected chapter in my life.  It excites me to think I have the opportunity to actually get to know blood relatives I have never met before.  In all of this, I can't neglect the thought that my mother most likely had everything to do with all happening.  Never has contact ever been attempted by either party and there was no knowledge about me with the siblings, but randomly all of this occurs?  My mother always knew the importance all of this had to me, and I am rest assured that she brought me to my sister on this day!  I plan to keep the blog updated on what future events occur!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


On September 6th, 2012, this past week, my mother Jan Williams had past away.  Not all of the circumstances are well known, but we believe it was due to complications of her End-Stage liver disease that she has been fighting for some time now.  I was in the middle of teaching an EMT class at my work when my uncle contacted me beside himself with the news.  At that moment, I packed up some clothes and began one of the longest, loneliness drives to American Fork from St. George (3.5 hour trip) I had ever taken.  During this drive, I had a lot of time that I could review my mother's life and what she brought into this mortal world to teach to others.

I entitled this blog post "gifts" for a reason.  My mother Jan gave me as her son many gifts that I will hold on to for the rest of eternity.  The very first gift my mom gave to me was the gift of life.  In March, 1987, in less than optimal circumstances of her life she brought me into this world as a single parent with only the support of her immediate family at her side.  For this I am grateful, because I had been given an opportunity to change the world and help others, and partake of the great plan of salvation.  I would learn that my mom was my very best friend growing up. This is the gift of life. 

During my mother's young childhood years being a student in school, she would learn of several challenges.  One of her most significant was learning how tough life would be with a birth defect on her cheek.  My mother had the misfortune of having a large birth mark on her left check that was very notable.  I learned that many of the kids in school would give her a terrible time over this and it destroyed a lot of her self-image.  She struggled with this for many years being chopped down by her peers and made fun of.  It got bad enough that my grandmother attempted to have it surgically corrected, however medical practice at that time was unable to change the appearance of the mark on her face.  The only way my mother over came this trial was by learning how to be strong and not letting others hurt her feelings.  This leads to her next give she would give to others, a big heart for those being treated less than fair.  My mother learned how to reach out to those who were less fortunate than her and bring the up and show them love no matter what their position in life was.  I recall her telling me as a child to never tease or pick on others because of how bad it can hurt them, and that we needed to love everyone because that is how we all can be happy people.  This gift was not just given to those she cared about, but to me that I will have with me forever.  I have learned not to care about how people look, or even what choices they have made.  I have learned to see the positive in others and love and care about them.

The next gift I was given came to me as a young child growing up with some struggles with my health. I had really bad eye problems where the muscles of my eyes had to be reconstructed.  This is where I learned how great of a caregiver my mother was.  She help reduce my fears of the surgery by making sure I understood everything, and only taking me to the best optical surgeons around.  I remember as if it was yesterday that she would make sure when I got out I was comfortable.  I remember coming home to a nice comfortable bed with warm blankets and a spot just for my mom as she did not plan to leave my side.  With this particular eye surgery, my eyes were "gooped" closed for a few days after.  I can remember just wanting to see my mom's face and the world around me.  She knew this, and spent a significant amount of time with a warm washcloth wiping down my eyes until I was able to open them.  I remember seeing her look into my new set of eyes and telling me how much she was glad I could see and gave me a huge hug.  This gift was of compassion for the ill.  My mother was one of the best caregivers around when you got sick or hurt.  Her nurturing skills were top notch as she cared for her kids and others.  It was here that I took this gift from her hands and carried it into my adult life as I became a professional emergency room nurse.  The caring I have for the job, I have felt wasn't something I developed, but rather obtained from my mother's blood!

As an adult, I would learn that life through me a lot of challenges that sometimes I wasn't prepared to handle or questions I didn't know how to answer.  The next gift of communication would then be revealed.  My mother would talk your ear off if you weren't careful!  However, she always seemed to have the answers to life's most difficult questions.  I remember that whenever I had a troubling problem, my mom was my best friend and the first one I would want to call out of anybody.  She had a way of turning your whole perspective around and you always had a smile on your face when you hung up the phone.  This gift of communication is a dear one of mine as I like to talk to those around me about their problems and help them through their hardships.  Sometimes, this gift gets me into trouble as I have an eagerness to get to know people too quickly! 

In my teenage and young adult years I would learn that my mother was quite the visionary for her children.  She had a vision and dream for all of us to succeed and do what we loved.  As a teen, I had a hobby of working with HAM radios.  She not only encouraged me in this hobby, but would drive me around to buy radios, meet others, and take the necessary exams I needed to take.  She always told me, "you have to dream big".  In these years I also wanted to become a police officer.  She would encourage me with stories, and help be arrange ride-alongs with the police department.  Then, when my interest changed over to emergency services and emergency nursing, she supported me 100% there, and helped me to dream big.  We would sit and talk about ambulance calls I would go on, have me buy her Life Flight shirts, and stay up watching the Discovery Health Channel all night long.  This was the gift of vision that I took with me into adulthood and often try to share with those around me, especially younger friends.  I know that it was the gift of vision that got me to where I am in my life today.  Thanks mom for having me dream big and making the world work for me in accomplishing my dreams.  I am proud that my mother got to watch two of those big dreams materialize as I became a Paramedic graduating from Weber State University, and then an emergency room RN at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. 

I could write a book about all of my mother's gifts she passed along, but there is one final one I would like to share.  The evening I got word that she passed away was about 7pm in the evening and I was teaching an EMT course in St. George.  Right then I obviously knew I had to get home to be with my family.  I packed a bag quickly and hit the road.  The sun started to fall and it became dark quickly as I began my journey home.  By the time I reached Cedar City, the emotions of loosing my mother hit me like a ton of bricks and I started crying uncontrollably.  I missed her so very much even this early on.  I knew there was no way I was going to make it home from there.  So I reached out to someone I hadn't in quite some time, my Heavenly Father.  I knew he was there, and that he was waiting to help me.  I pulled over and crossed my arms.  I said one of the most emotional prayers in my life begging him to help me make it home and not feel so alone.  It wasn't a long prayer, but when I got done with it I had the faith that it would work.  I took a minute to collect myself, and then the most amazing thing spiritually happened to me.  A sudden calm came about me and I knew things were going to be alright.  More significantly than this, was that when I pulled back out onto the freeway, I didn't feel alone anymore.  I knew there was somebody riding in my passenger seat with me.  Now, I can't be certain if that person was my mom or not, but it was either her or my Heavenly Father.  No questions, I wasn't alone that night.  When I thought the church had blessed me all that it could right then, I was proved wrong.  I called the bishop at home and told him I knew my grandma was very upset and needed to not be alone.  Without question, he told me he would head over there right then and take care of her.  When I arrived home, 4 hours later, I learned that Bishop Sharp had stayed beside my grandma the whole time until I got there.  When I learned this, I could not stop crying and I felt more love from being a member of the church than I ever had in my life.  I can not thank that bishop enough, and I will not be able to thank my Heavenly Father enough for being there that night. 

I love my mom more than anything in the world, and on September 12th, I will be able to lay her to rest comfortably in our hometown of American Fork, Utah.  No longer will she be in pain, struggle to breathe, be weak, or have to worry about the future anymore, and I know she is in the kingdom of God and is at peace finally after a long, hard life.  I can testify of the divinity of the Atonement and that Christ is our savior.  I believe that Christ walks alongside those who have been left behind by their loved ones as a comforter.  I know that the Gospel is everlasting and is our map for this mortal existence.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quest for Happiness

Life is a complex dynamic that we live daily. The ultimate goal for anyone of us is to achieve this state of what we call happiness. Over the past year, I have considered this idea quite a bit. I have had quite the paradigm shift on what is really meant by the state of "happiness".

I have this idea that happiness is actually a synthesis of three spheres of life. The first is the personal sphere. Within this sphere is where all of our personal dealings our. The most important dynamic here is what we choose to do when no one is around. There most also be positive balance here as well with recreational time to ourselves and time to evaluate our true position in life. Often, I feel that one of the reasons people don't lead happy lives is because of problems within this is the foundation of everything else. This is because our personal realm is the skeleton framework of our whole lives. This is where our life plans, desires, and philosophy reside. If no of this is existent, then our life does not have any direction.

The second sphere is our spiritual realm. This is also a very foundational realm to our existence. It is here where we have a connection to our superior creator. There is also a strong network of belief systems which carry us forward in this life on a path in which we hope there was life before and after this one. It also serves as a moral code in which we live according to in this life. It is the view of something greater, such as perfection, that serves as a primary driving force for us to continue on. This sphere accentuates characteristics such as motivation, drive, peace, patience, and a desire to push forward for something greater.

The third sphere serves as a mechanism of survival in this life, our professional sphere. It is here where we develop and make something out of ourselves. Some would say this is how we "make a name for ourselves". Hopefully, it is withing this sphere that we develop qualities which ultimately can be utilized for the greater good of humanity. However, intrinsically it is here where we accomplish self-worth and dominate the perfection of something complex and challenging. To me, in order to achieve true happiness through this sphere, we do not just have some random job that serves no greater function. The key here is finding and establishing a profession which parallels our own person life philosophy. It is something which we have a passion for. There is a challenging problem that is observable that we want to reach out and solve in our lifetime. In other words, we make our profession our life's work.

Ultimatley, these three spheres have to run in harmony with each other. There has to be balance between them all before true happiness is achieved. I have made the observation in my short life that when one of these domains struggles, then my ultimate happiness diminishes. Oh how great would it be to dominate all three? I believe this could happen if you pay attention to each and work to perfect each individual domain. Keeping your eye on the target of happiness can help us achieve the goal. But the question may be posed as to what exactly is happiness? What do we mean by this term?

I do not think that words can do this state any justice. However, I will attempt to illustrate what happiness is to me. For myself, happiness is a state where there is no anxiety. There is no worry about anything. All threats to your ultimate well being have been eliminated. You can wake up each morning and not have to worry if there is money to pay the bills. You do not have to worry if someone loves you, or if you have a comfortable place to stay. You have a focus on a greater good, which typically is humanity in general. There is no doubt that your eyes are set on the beautiful nature of this life all around us. There is a deep appreciation for human life and for the people who are in your life. You have a genuine interest in getting to know the true character of others. Relationships turn from materialistic to intimate. There is a movement from the fractured elements of life to achieving the oneness of life, love, and happiness.

The challenge with my definition of happiness is that one must overcome the natural characteristics of man. There is a lot of work that has to take place before any of this could come close to happening. First, I think you have to get your life organized and on a road which isn't as windy as life tends to be. This means taking charge and you controlling life, not letting life control you. Secondly, there has to be a major paradigm shift within the person. What I mean by this is that the perspectives we typically have must change. We can't let things offend us or worry us as they once did. We have to see life through a new lens if you will. We must always remember that perception is just that, its perception, its not a true reflection of reality. We are the ones who contribute to creating this state of happiness. The people in my life I know to be the most "happy" are typically people who don't let things bother them.

This is just a glimpse into what my views of happiness are. It is something I strive for daily in my life and long for. Don't let life pass you by. We only get the experience of mortal life once, we must not waste time! Do your best to be your best!

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Changes

It has been awhile since I have updated my blog! But I am pretty sure I am passed due for it because some big events have taken place in my life in the past month or so. The first of which was my experience taking the NCLEX-RN board exam. This is the exam they make you take in order to get a license to practice as a nurse, and many would say it is the hardest test someone can take in their life! Well I took an online review course which was $300, but it was worth every penny. I don't think I have studied for a test harder in my life! All I could do before this test was eat, breath, and sleep nursing content I have learned over the last 2 years! How could you do anything different when this exam means everything!
The dreaded day came, I went up to Sandy and had 6 hours to take this test. I remember I was quite nervous of what to expect. They are so serious about this test that they pat you down and search you before you walk in to take it! The reality hit me at this point. The test only took me an hour to do, but every time you answer a question I had no clue if I got it right or wrong. This test made you feel that there were no definitive answers, almost all guess work!
After the test I drove home not knowing what to expect in the 24 hours I had to wait to find out if I passed or not. I was just grateful to go back to Utah county to spend some time with my close friends which I don't get to see all that often. We all went out to dinner, and also to Tayten's birthday party (which was wonderful)! Then at about midnight that night, one of my classmates told me to check the state website to see what I would find. I logged onto the state nursing license website and searched for my name. There at that moment, I had found something I had been waiting for for over 3 years: Austin Miller, RN! This was an emotional time for me. I instantly got a knot in my throat and I honestly about cried. There is nothing I had worked harder for than this, and finally I was able to see I was successful in completing one of the hardest endeavors of my life. It was at this moment I felt life had opened up a huge door of opportunity to me. I simply got one step closer to my dream of being a flight nurse.
The second biggest thing which happened to me was nothing short of a blessing. I was able to stay in close contact with Christy Seely, a lady who I went to all of nursing school with and who was my best friend from class. She is also the mother of my roommate Dominick. Christy happens to work at St. George Care and Rehab as a nursing manager. Well, she decided I would be a good asset to their team, and she had pretty much got me a job at the care center. So, here I was, a newly registered nurse, and also one with a brand new job!
I started to work as a nurse for the first time last weekend. I have been assigned to be a night nurse on Friday and Saturday nights on the rehab side of the center. I trained with another nurse for 3 nights learning my new job. This was an awesome experience for me. I was able to pass medications, draw labs, and provide wound care. The weird feeling with this though, was that I didn't have any supervision for the first time in 2 years! It was all on my own, which presents its own challenges. I had to use my clinical judgment I learned in school, and I had to keep the care and safety of each patient in mind throughout all I did. By the third night, I felt that I was proficient in the job and felt I could be very successful as long as I worked hard at things!
Anyways, these changes have really reshaped my life for the better. I am really excited for the future and to see where life takes me. I expect a lot of things out of 2011, one of those is to gain better experience in the nursing field so I can move on to emergency nursing, and the second would be to become a paramedic. I know both of those things will happen as long as I keep head strong with everything I am doing. There is something I would love to happen this year also, and that would be to get a girlfriend. I feel I have done a poor job in my life of not pursuing such an avenue in the past, and I think doing so could only add excitement and a whole other dynamic to my life. I guess we will wait and see!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Graduated Nursing School--Finally!

So this past Friday, I graduated nursing school! I was extremely excited for this to happen. Most of this month has honestly been surreal to me because of being so busy with everything. I have been wrapping up nursing school, attending paramedic school, working full time hours, and trying to maintain some kind of social life! It makes me happy that it is the end of another chapter in my life though.
Graduation itself was a very memorable event. My friends Greg, Tayten, Bud, and Tara all came down Thursday night and spend the weekend being with me. I was very happy they were willing to make the trip down to see me. On Friday, my Grandma, mom, and sister all came down to spend Friday and Saturday with me. Also, to add to the excitement of all this going on, I was also moving into a new apartment! The apartment is in Washington city, it has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and I moved in with a friend of mine. To say the least, the weekend was very busy, but I was able to make a ton of memories and have a lot of fun. After the ceremony, we all went out to eat dinner as family and friends to a local Mexican Restaurant. Then, my family went back to the hotel in St. George, and just us friends all went to Mesquite for the night!