Clearly, I am not the most dedicated blogger in the world. I have these great aspirations to blog my many domestic endeavors as well as its new experiences. However, as you can see those attempts have been futile. Instead of blogging about Valentine's Day mid-April, I've decided to give my recent projects a special mention and move on from there. I joined the Instagram world which makes random shout outs much easier than writing a full post. That being said a quick snapshot of our life right now can be boiled down to a few things:
1. A three month clinical with an hour and a half commute each way concluded at the end of March.
2. We are currently in limbo discussing plans for the next year and a half/two years
3. I am dreaming of home buying, my down to earth husband regularly reminds me that I would not be interested in buying the homes we can afford, touche my dear.
4. We are both preparing to finish up our programs of study. DJ will be getting his master's in August and is looking into beginning the CPA exams at that time. I will finish up with my doctorate of physical therapy in December so right now am prepping for the comprehensive exam, my final clinical, and graduation followed by boards.
5. I continue to pray that the Lord will give me a content heart during all of these changes and as we weigh pros and cons and try to consistently walk in prayer about each potential situation.
6. I have been so blessed to catch up with friends over the past few weeks who have offered sweet encouragement and joy. Such a fun weekend was spent in Greensboro with some college friends, which was followed up by catching up with others during a quick trip to Atlanta a few weeks later :)
7. I was so blessed to have my sister Lindsey and cousin Sydney visit a few weeks back, such a great time!
8. My research partner, Haylee, and I completed our research defense last Friday, which brings us one step closer to getting our red book and graduating!
9. DJ spent this past weekend in Atlanta, networking and enjoying some time on the golf course, catching up with his brothers and enjoying watching the Master's. So happy he took a (partial) break for the weekend from his crazy life of working full time and being a full time graduate student. I am so proud of all he does!
We are so blessed. So so blessed! I know so many of those things will seem trivial two months from now and we will be able to see the Lord's hand working through everything. I am SO SO excited to see where He will have us 6 months from now and how different our life will look!
At the beginning of February my family suffered a tremendous loss. My Nona, the sweetest most joyful and selfless woman you will ever meet headed home to be with Jesus. Since that day, we have all handled her loss in different ways.
We were blessed to spend a weekend together in Michigan celebrating her life, sharing memories, and mourning the fact that she would not be there to make further ones. Even now, I still get choked up just thinking about the fact that she will not be at family gatherings anymore.
She was a rock, not only for my grandpa, who was married to her for 56 years, but for all of us. She was the most wonderful woman, loving mother, and doting grandmother anyone could ever ask for. I know she is in heaven, with her infectious laugh, enjoying every minute spent with her creator. While I know she is in a far better place, my heart still wants her here with us.
Everything inside of me wants my Nona to be around to bless my (someday) children in the same way she blessed me. We were birthday buddies I was born on August 30 and she was September 1. I always loved getting to celebrate with Nona and feeling like we shared a special day even though we were two days apart.
She was always quilting and for that I am so blessed. Not only do we all have a physical reminder of the time Nona invested in us through beautiful quilts but also the memories associated with that. As we were gathered in Michigan, every single grandchild had a memory of Nona helping them sew something, remembering trips to Joann's fabrics, which we all thought was named after her, and picking out something special for a new project.
Nona was also an expert in the kitchen. Her baking repertoire had no limits in my eyes. However, one of my favorite memories in the kitchen with her had nothing to do with preparing a delicious feast. I loved squeezing orange juice whenever we went to their house using her motorized citrus juicer. So much so, that Nona would make sure to always have a full crate of oranges in the pantry whenever we would come to town. The sticky mess I made an left was nothing to Nona. This was a tradition I so much enjoyed, that I recall my favorite Christmas gift one year was a juicer just like Nona's of my very own.
I could write a book about the wonderful memories I have with my Nona. However, I know, being one of the oldest grandchildren, I was blessed to know her as an adult as well. When I tell my kids stories about my Nona someday, I will have a husband sitting next to me who understands exactly why I idolized this woman as much as I do. She is a woman I loved and continue to love so much and want to emulate more than anyone else in the world. This is true to the point that I chose to wear her wedding dress which further represents how I will carry a piece of Nona in my heart always.
I know once many have passed their faults fade away and the good is all we remember. I tried to console myself by thinking of Nona's faults and shortcomings. But as I searched through all of my memories I could hardly remember a harsh words spoken to me from Nona.
Through prayer and petition I have searched high and low for the best way to honor Nona's memory. What I keep coming back to time and time again is to live like she did. To love with abandon. To find joy in all situations and circumstances. And to always have room in your heart and your table for one more. Nona was one-of-a-kind. And this blog post doesn't even come close to capturing the sea of emotions still raging in my heart. However I know as we continue forward, memories will fade and emotions will blur. And I wanted to ensure that I would capture to the best of my ability the love, admiration, and emulation I have for my Nona.
Such a crazy week with a wonderful break in the middle. DJ had Tuesday off and I was able to head home at noon. Both had a day off Wednesday and two hour delay Thursday. Tuesday night we had a fun but oh so bad for you date in with more hot wings than we could ever eat.
Wednesday the storm actually hit. Not anywhere near as bad as other places in the south, or as Columbia expected, but just enough to have a wonderfully fun day in the snow. Peyton could not understand what was going on, it was adorable :)
Tuesday night as the snow was starting. He was completely disinterested and was prancing on his cold little toes like nobody's business. So funny.
Playing in our winter wonderland :)
Hot chocolate and cuddle time while working on my defense paper :)
And then being stuck inside started getting to me, and I went all crazy productive, this is the project I am most proud of, its been on my to do list to paint and hang those shelves since I want to say approx. pre-Thanksgiving, just to give you an idea of how deep that to do list really was :)
The rest of the week was relatively uneventful, but we seem to be getting into a rhythm with my commute and schedule and I am enjoying getting to carry my own patient load at my clinical location., which is a huge praise. Its definitely a spread thin schedule, we aren't working out like we should and have little time for much else at night, but overall things are working out well and I am one third of the way through it :)
As I was running tonight, ridding myself of a myriad of stress I had accumulated this past week, I was thinking about the little things we can always find to be thankful for.
I started my 3rd clinical rotation Monday. It has been pretty intense so far, so much newness to quickly pick up on, new people to adjust to working with, and a whole new documentation system to learn. However, the actual clinical experience has not been as trying as the 1.5 hour commute that is tacked onto each end of the work day.
So, as I ran, block by block I began to unwind, which let me reflect on the awesome things the Lord has put on my plate that deserve my focus rather than those little inconveniences that are less than ideal and if blown out of proportion could wreak some serious havoc on my attitude.
This past week I was able to get through an entire Beth Moore book and a half on tape while driving. Her words directing my thoughts back to scripture helped me stay on track this past week and kept my eyes and heart open to the fact that the commute to this rotation is not just punishment, the Lord plans to and will use that time well.
I have two excellent clinical instructors who are going to teach, challenge, and mentor me, serving to strengthen my ability to work as a physical therapist with each step over the next 3 months. The department is small and all of the OTs & PTs alike are super patient and helpful, trying to share as much of their knowledge as possible to help direct my next steps so I can avoid the speed bumps and road blocks they encountered.
My husband is super sweet and supportive. He gets off at 1:30 on Fridays and spent this past afternoon doing laundry for me, so I could enjoy my Saturday. He has constantly asked "What can I do to help" and "What can I do for dinner." I have been a pill this past week and I know it. It wasn't intentional, and had I not spent 3 hours listening to uplifting and challenging words everyday, I can't imagine how much worse I would have been. Anxiety about a new situation + adjusting to a new work & sleep schedule did not bode well with me. Its not an acceptable excuse, but I want to give my husband the credit, praise, and appreciation he deserves for his patience and gracious attitude toward me, because his strength to perservere was undoubtedly from above.
The sun is staying up longer, which I absolutely love. I am in no way signing myself up for a disorder such as SAD or anything, I know almost everyone prefers sunny days, but I love to at least see the sun everyday and today was one of those days. When I left the house it was gloomy and drizzling still, by the time I got back, there was a beautiful pink and orange masterpiece in the sky and reflecting off the river. It was breathtaking and I was once again reminded of the Lord's hand over everything. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
I am still finishing up Beth Moore's book So Long Insecurity on tape and it is speaking volumes into my life and attitude. I always knew pride was something I struggled with, but never went down the list applying it to my every decision and thought. Whether I am attempting to mask my insecurities through perfectionism or not even trying things due to fear of failure, it all comes back to pride and my oh so fragile ego. Living humbly in the Lord is my newest goal, which I know I will fail at miserably, but through prayer, petition, and repeated dedication, I am seeking to draw closer to the Lord by tearing that ugly wall of my pride down.
All that being said, the Lord is stretching me like never before and I am doing my best not to resist. I am starting a journey that I know will not be easy but it will be more worth it than anything I have ever experienced before.
I hope this will not be the typical "end of semester" or "school is out" post. It is quite a bit more than that for me this semester, it is the end of a chapter. I am one big step closer to graduation. I am excited, joyful, thankful, anticipatory, and honestly somewhat anxious. I have been in school pretty much non-stop since the age of 4 and it is all wrapping up. I am so thankful but also recognizing I can't pretend not to be a grown up anymore. I know I am responsible and capable, but it just doesn't seem right sometimes, in less than a year I will be a Doctor. I don't feel confident or mature enough to be a professional. I know I am completely competent and continue to grow in knowledge and experience daily. Will there always be a little voice in my head saying "you don't know what you're doing" or "how are you pulling off this charade?" I know it is little more than lies in my head, for the past couple of years it has been "you can't do this, you must've gotten into this program on a fluke." And now Satan must find new lies to tell me because the old ones have become almost obsolete. Two clinicals, two classes, and the comprehensive exam are the only things standing between graduation and myself and it is intimidating.
Which brings me to, but why???? What in the world do I have to be intimidated by? I have been re-reading the book A Heart Like His by Rebecca Manly Pippert lately and am in the portion where she compares David and Saul. Ironically I am also in the middle of Beth Moore's Bible study series on David. It has all centered on living confidently in the Lord, stressing that that is the only source for true confidence.
I drop the ball so often. I let my anxiety get the best of me. I get my little pity party on and get carried away. (Think grad school barbie depressing thoughts.) And where is the Lord in all of this? Right where I left Him. I don't say that condescendingly, but more as encouragement. He is never the one to waiver. I do that all on my own. I listen to everything around me but the peaceful calming voice of the Lord.
So, I am resolved to make this short break from the anxiety causing insanity of PT school to wait on the Lord. To listen to the Lord and overall, seek Him and His will above all in the things I do and say. Lord, make my heart open to receive your counsel and guidance, and Lord most of all, make me desire Your will above mine in the life you have given me. I am so blessed and squander that blessing so often with my selfishness.
Time with my in-laws is always difficult for me, which I often do not handle well, and only serve to cause anxiety for my husband and diminish the joy we might have spending time together. Lord, please do not let me steal the joy of others for my own selfish motivation or due to unkind words spoken to me. Lord, let me not become a selfish gossip, leaving a wake just because I want them to accept me, and acting as a crutch to others just because I am shown unkindness. My worth is not determined by anyone's opinion of me but the Lord's. Above all Lord, let me trust my husband to make the right choices for our little family, and in so demonstrate my love for him and confidence in You.
God I am so weak, but know that in You I am strong and you are capable of taking me and my life and completing something more than I could ever imagine.
So, at Bible study the other night the topic came up that we were all forgetting things. Entire chapters have disappeared, a picture or reference instantly brings back a memory, but left to our own recollections, there are blanks. That being said, I want to try to update more often and photo document more effectively. (New Year's Resolution maybe?)
That all being said, I thought I would share my most recent housewife-y faux pas. Haylee, DJ and I have been rolling about it and thought it might bring smiles all around, and likely quite a few "oh, honey"s.
It all started about mid October when I decided to clean out the planters on our porch. I had basil and rosemary this year and they were so cute in their prime, but they had since withered and were now just a depressing remnant and reminder that winter was on its way.
I pulled out the plants & roots and dug around the bottom for the golf balls, wine corks, and stones I used to create a drainage system in the bottom of the container and was left with some potting soil. It didn't look like too much to me, so I figured I could just rinse the containers out in the kitchen sink and everything would be all clean for my gardening endeavors come springtime.
Had that been the case, this would be a pretty lame story. Apparently garbage disposals and dirt don't work very well together because the sink quickly became backed up. Eventually I got everything down the drain and cleaned up, just as I had pictured, all squeaky clean and ready to be put away. I moved on with cleaning & straightening things up, fixed dinner, and did not give it another thought.
It wasn't until the next evening as I was unloading the dishwasher that I was reminded of my not so great idea. The entire dishwasher was covered in potting soil, dishes and all. I repeated the cycle on rinse, which did absolutely nothing. On top of that the dishwasher was not draining, so there was a nice pool in the bottom of it. I unloaded a few dishes, hand-washed them, and used a cup to scoop as much of the water into the sink as I could and completely forgot to tell DJ about my issue until he was doing the dishes following dinner and I heard "oh my gosh, there is something seriously wrong with our dishwasher." He was seriously upset because we were just given a new one by our apartment complex and he was "so sick of dealing with everything breaking." I was in the middle of studying for something and only paying half attention until I heard "This is so disgusting, the entire dishwasher is covered in mold!" It was then that I explained the whole story, oh I wish I had a picture of his face. Big eyes, raised eyebrows, and and crinkled forehead that I knew was saying "you have got to be kidding me." We called maintenance and were told they would be there in the next couple of days.
Well, the next day, once again I had forgotten about our little problem I had been choosing to ignore in the dishwasher. Haylee came over to watch an online class at our apartment and brought some kale to make kale chips out of. She prepared and seasoned the chips and put them in the oven. Well, as luck would have it, maintenance stopped by to check out the situation. On the work order we specified "water in dishwasher," a completely true statement, but our maintenance man came slightly under prepared for the disaster he was about to meet. Haylee was completely unaware of what was going on, all she knew was that the kale chips were about to burn and burnt kale chips would smell a million times worse than regular kale chips.
The maintenance man left to get the shop vac, because, yes, it was that bad. During that time, we caught the kale chips right in time and I filled Haylee in on the happenings. The maintenance man came back and spent a long time trying to clean out our pipes, I felt soooo bad, and could not bring myself to make eye contact. The dust he stirred up caused my allergies to flare up, sending me into sneezing & sniffling craziness. So naturally, I went to sit on the porch, and left Haylee to awkwardly take responsibility for the issue.
All he said when he left was "have a good day." Praise the Lord because I have no idea what would have come out of my mouth had he said anything that required more than "you too, thank you!" We could not have done more to come off as the strangest renters in our complex. Who knows what type of leaves he thought we were baking, our incessant giggling definitely did not help, and the pipes filled with potting soil most definitely sealed the deal.
DJ got home soon after and between the smell of the potting soil, sewage, and kale chips, quickly decided we would be going to study at Starbucks that evening. Since this incident, both Haylee and DJ have had some serious conversations about "appropriate things to put down a garbage disposal" and potting soil is definitely not on that list.