Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year of Surprises

Well, 2012, you have blown me and Luke away.  Or rather, God has blown us away in 2012!  It was filled to the brim with surprises.  It makes me think of this passage I wrote about here by Beth Moore in her James Bible study:

"Wait on the Lord!  So many presents are wrapped under your tree that it will take a lifetime to open them.  That's God's way.  He keeps telling us that there's something He's not telling us, like exactly how this whole thing is going to work out.  This we can know:  it's going to be perfect."

After a period of waiting for a few years in our lives, God revealed so many "gifts" to us this year!  I am in awe as I look back.  All of our waiting was not for nothing!  It was all a part of His plan.  And it was really neat to see part of the plan unfold in 2012.

Surprise #1:

January was pretty non-exciting for the first couple of weeks.  But then we received our first surprise of the year:  Our renters were moving out of our downstairs apartment!  Talk about a scary surprise!  But this "curse" turned out to be one of the biggest blessings when we decided to move into that apartment and rent out our upstairs one.  It was a few months of nonstop hard work as we renovated the apartment, and it was very stressful financially.  But God knows what He is doing!  He always made ends meet, and sent us renters for the upstairs apartment immediately.

It was a stressful and exciting time, but it also answered a few questions!  First of all, the entire time we were going through this, I was thanking God that He had not blessed us with a baby yet.  I can't imagine going through that stress with a child to take care of!  Also, I can now see that the whole thing was just one big preparation for the baby! Everything will be easier and more convenient on the first floor (not to mention, much more cozy!)  and the first floor apartment has a room that is perfect for a nursery.  I wrote this in a blog post on March 7, not having any idea that I would be pregnant within the year:

" our upstairs apartment, we had a room set aside that was going to be the nursery if we ever needed it.  But for some reason, I could never picture it as a nursery.  Maybe that's because it wasn't meant to be a nursery?  However, in the new apartment, there is a little bedroom which will be the office for now.  But every time I go in there, all I can see is a nursery."

I guess that's women's intuition for you! But it gives me chills to read those words!

Anyway, sometime near the middle or March, we moved into our cozy new apartment!

Surprise #2
Literally, the week we moved downstairs, we received surprise #2.  And it was not such a fun surprise.  I heard back from The University of Akron after waiting months the find out if I had made it into their SLP grad program.  I was sitting on the couch during spring break, relaxing one night, when I received the email.  I had been placed on the waiting list.  

No matter how much everyone assured me that the waiting list was not a bad thing, I could not be convinced.  I Googled the chances of someone getting pulled off of a waiting list for grad school, and they were not good.  I spent the next 2 months feeling like my last year of classes that I'd taken in preparation for grad school had been a complete waste.  I started re-planning my future, and wondering what in the world God was up to.  I also struggled with allergies during this time so badly that I ended up in the ER after spending a weekend unable to breathe.  To be honest, I was pretty fed up with life at this point, and feeling like God had forgotten about me.  In my heart, I knew He hadn't, but I was having trouble convincing my head!

Luckily I was able to get control of all of my health problems through eating right and taking dietary supplements.  I will be a proponent of this kind of "medicine" for the rest of my life!

Also luckily, this bleak period did not last long.  Sometime during the last week of April, I received surprise #3.

Surprise #3
I was accepted to my second choice of grad schools: Kent State University!!  I remember feeling like I was practically floating after receiving the email that I had been accepted.  I had pretty much given up hope by that time, so it was a huge surprise!  

Surprise #4
This surprise blew me out of the water.  It was a June evening, and I was busy eating dinner and rounding up ice and a water bottle for Luke's softball game.  I heard my phone buzz and casually glanced at it.  To my surprise, it was an email from The University of Akron, saying that I had been accepted!  I remember feeling so thankful that night!  Not only was I going to be an SLP, but I had finally been accepted to my first choice of graduate schools!  Everything had felt hopeless just a few months ago, but God was just making me wait and trust.  It had been his plan for me to be an SLP all along!

Finally after surprise #4, we had a few months of "boringness," which was a welcome change!  We spent our summer swimming, at softball games, camping, and taking one fun anniversary day trip to Presque Isle.

Then fall came, and although it didn't really bring many surprises, it brought a busyness that I had never known.  I'm glad grad school is a temporary thing, because I am not a fan of that fast-paced lifestyle!

Anyway, at the beginning of November, we received surprise #5...

Surprise #5:  THE BIG ONE

Not much explanation is needed for this one, since I've been talking about it for the past couple of weeks!  It's a funny feeling when you want something for so long, and then you stop trying, and then it almost immediately happens.  I know eating healthy has a lot to do with the reason I became pregnant, but I also think taking the focus off worked too.  People used to tell me all the time, "It will happen when you relax and stop worrying out it."

Honestly?  I wanted to punch those people in the face.  Because how in the world do you stop worrying about the dream you have that trumps every other dream?  The thing you've been wishing for since you were a little girl?  But apparently, it was all true for me.  Because when I stopped worrying about it, that's when it happened.

Also?  The real reason it happened when it did was because that's when God wanted it to happen.  No amount of controlling on my end could have changed that.  

On December 31, 2011, if I could have peeked into the future and seen today, my mind would have been totally blown.  

Every year from 2009 until 2012, I had thought to myself, "Next year HAS to be the year that I'll finally get pregnant."  I didn't let myself think that on December 31, 2011, because I was tired of getting my hopes up.  It's kind of a coincidence, I guess, that 2012 was actually THE YEAR.

God sure knows how to pull off a good surprise!

Dear 2013,
I have a feeling you're going to be one of the best years of my life.  I cannot WAIT to see what surprises you have in store!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Time for Christmas recaps, mine included!  This is one of those posts that you might just want to scan through the pictures.  Ha!  I know i'm probably the only one who cares about all these details.

Anyway, we have had a really fun and full week, with just a couple bumps in the road (I'll get there in a minute)

On Thursday night, JC came over before band practice, and we exchanged gifts. Luke and I got him a Ron Swanson bobble head, and he got us a Joann Fabrics gift card (for me) and some athletic shorts (for Luke) and this amazingness for the baby:

Now the baby can be witty and hilarious like his/her father before he/she can even talk. 

Friday evening while Luke was at basketball, I baked some cookies that I used as gifts for some people.  It was hard, because I was still pretty nauseous, but I pushed through.  

Peanut blossoms and chocolate cookies with Reese's Pieces.

Sunday night was no fun in our house.  Luke had been trying to get rid of a cough for awhile already, but apparently something else hit him too because he was up all night Friday night with some kind of stomach bug.  It was really annoying when I woke up and had my couple of morning vomits that happen everyday (sorry, that's disgusting, but I have gotten desensitized after dealing with it for 5 weeks I guess) and we were practically fighting over the bathroom!  Luckily, Luke was able to get over the worst of it by Monday morning. Although he still had a headache and was feeling feverish all day on Christmas Eve.  I felt so bad, because he really NEVER gets sick.  That was the sickest I've ever seen him.  

We made the most of our Christmas Eve anyway, starting at the candlelight church service where Luke had to play in the band.  It was a beautiful service.
There were no seats left in the sanctuary when the band was done playing, so Luke got to watch from the sound booth.  I hope he doesn't mind that I stole this picture from his Facebook page!

After that it was time to party!  Dinner at my grandparents was first on the agenda.  We had lasagna,salad, and this amazing spaghetti squash and kale dish that I need the recipe for!  Also, lots of good desserts. 

Following tradition, we had a white elephant gift exchange, and then we spoiled the babies with gifts as well (can I still call them babies if they're almost 2??) 

We couldn't resist buying gifts for the babies either, so we bought Elin a little teddy bear (which is lame compared to Hudson's gift, but I had such a hard time finding a cute little girl gift!)  Hudson's gift requires a bit of a back-story.  He has always associated Luke with drums, and often follows Luke's name with "boom boom!"  When he is talking about him.  He has occasionally been found after a worship service trying his hand at Luke's drums.  So Luke couldn't resist buying him a little drum set.  Hudson loved it!  At first he really enjoyed sticking the drumsticks in his ears...

But then when they got all set up and he realized what they were, he got really 
excited!  We were happy the gift went over well...mommy was a very good sport!  (what mom would love this gift? ha!)  But we said they could seek revenge by regifting it in a few years if they get sick of it.  

Before we left, we opened our Christmas Poppers and got the obligatory crown picture after that (each popper contains a paper crown, a joke, and a little toy).
Luke was still a little under the can kind of tell in this picture

Next on Christmas Eve we exchanged gifts with Luke's family.  Even the baby got a few gifts!  10 weeks old  (on the inside) and he or she is already spoiled!

Speaking of spoiled, Luke and I are also still spoiled!  We got so many amazing gifts from Luke's family.  My favorite is my new Magic Bullet!  Hello, homemade baby food!  And I plan on using it a lot in the meantime for salsa, guacamole, smoothies, and milkshakes!

Christmas morning Luke and I woke up and exchanged gifts.  I got him some blu-rays, a Star Wars trivia book, and a gift card to a restaurant (that one's a bit of a boomerang gift, I admit).  He got me the Finding Nemo blu-ray, an Ohio State scarf, and new dishes and glasses!

Somehow on Christmas I decided to just put my camera (err,iPhone) down and just enjoy the day.  I figured I'll probably get at least 1000 pictures next Christmas, it being baby's first and all, so why not take a little break this year?  

Anyway, we spent Christmas day with family.  We had breakfast and a gift exchange with my parents to start out, then Christmas with Luke's mom's side of the family, then Christmas with my dad's side of the family.

Highlights of the day were seeing my sister, getting a new fireplace screen (and lots of other gifts!) from my parents, starting out the baby's library with the 6 or 7 books he or she already received, catching up with family, having my appetite partially back and not feeling nauseous so I could eat tons of good food, trying to solve the metal brain-teaser puzzles from Luke's grandparents (I failed), and this amazing tutu that Luke's cousin's baby was wearing:

#1 reason to be excited if our baby is a girl?  Tutus.  (I kid)

Luke and I got home Christmas night exhausted as usual.  Him more than me, because he was still fighting off sickness.  So he fell asleep in the recliner, and I secretly cheered, because that meant that I could watch my new Hunger Games blu-ray from Luke's parents with no complaints! Ha!  And watch it I did, crying no less than 3 times thanks to pregnancy hormones.  

The Christmas celebrations weren't quite over yet.  Yesterday, the day after Christmas, I ventured out in a snowstorm with the women of Luke's family to go see Les Miserables.  

Speaking of crying during movies...umm...don't forget your tissues if you go see this!  It was amazing!  I want to go see it again ASAP!  And it was fun to be out in the blizzard and have a pretty empty theater on a day when it would have normally been full to the brim.

I guess I didn't get enough of being out in the blizzard that afternoon,because later we had tickets to the TSO show in Cleveland.  We went with our friends Sarah and Doug, and despite the scary weather, we had a great time!  We ate dinner at Steak and Shake on the way, and then enjoyed the show.  

I hope your Christmas was as blessed as ours!  I know I'm looking forward to having a few days to relax before New Year's celebrations begin!  However, I have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do after the tornadoes of Christmas and morning sickness.  I have had a really hard time getting things done in the past 5 weeks, because I was basically in survival mode!  Luckily the worst of it seems to be over!  I'm only 10.5 weeks, so I know I still have couple more weeks until I'm completely out of the water, but I'm hopeful, and enjoying the past few days of feeling human!

Merry week after Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Decorations

When we moved downstairs last spring, I knew I couldn't wait until Christmas to decorate our new place!  The rooms are bigger, the ceilings are higher, and we have a fireplace!  I just knew it would be so cozy, and couldn't wait.

Well fast forward to the last week of November, and pregnancy hormones attacked my body with no mercy.  I have spent half of the past 3.5 weeks motionless on the couch, trying to settle my stomach, and the other half in the bathroom, losing that battle.  

Okay, I'm exaggerating.  But I have been pretty much out of commission for anything but homework, only because it absolutely had to get done.  Therefore, I wasn't exactly able to go "all out" with the decorations like I wanted to.  In fact, our decorating is probably more minimal than normal.  Luckily, I got a few things put out before I started feeling so sick, and Luke helped a lot with the tree.  Otherwise, I have no doubt that we would have had no decorations this year!

Anyway, here is what we came up with for our first Christmas in our "new place."

Here is our tree during the day!  Luke is a ... how do I put this? ... He's a light snob.  If every inch of the tree is not covered in lights, it is not up to par with his standards.  Luckily, he took care of the lights while I was out shopping craft fairs with my mom and sister.  So there it is in all its glory: 1200 twinkle lights.  I'm so glad he agreed to use white lights this year because I think they are so classy, and they are my favorite!

And here it is at night. Magical. (And I've gotta say, my iPhone 5 takes a pretty good Christmas-tree-at-night picture!)

Our tree doesn't have a "theme." It is just a mish mash of ornaments that represent different periods of our life together.  There are special ornaments 

(Baby W even has a few already!) ...

This one is from Rachel and Jared

And this one is from Luke's parents.  It's an ultrasound picture that says "Praying, dreaming, and waiting for you"

We also have some less serious ones:

This one says "First Born - Dad's favorite"  (You know it's true, Julie. Kidding!)

And what would a tree that is partly my husband's be without a talking Yoda ornament?  Incomplete, that's what.

 And we also have a few purely for decoration.  I have a set of these sparkly bulbs that I love, even though the cats broke at least 2 back when they were ill-behaved kittens.  They have gotten a lot better with leaving the tree alone these days!

Moving on from the tree, we have a few other decorations around the living room.  My grandpa owned a nursery/floral shop for most of his life, and old habits are hard to break. I really think he is happiest when he is making something pretty for his loved ones.  He made us this beautiful candle stand a few years ago:

And this past Saturday he dropped this off for us (he made one for all his kids/grandkids.  He is the sweetest man on earth).  Isn't that mug too cute?  I love it.

And here is my dresser in the entryway with my nativity scene and some Christmasy candles.  We definitely need some kind of light over there next year, because it's kind of in a dark spot in the room.  We will tweak next Christmas.

And that's about the extent of our decorations this year!  It's not much, but it's cozy, and I will miss it once the season is over! 

Next Christmas, though, we will decorate every inch of this place.  Including a sweet, tiny Christmas tree in the nursery!  I know our baby will only be 5 months old, but I can't wait to make his or her first Christmas  special!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To My Friends Who Are Still Waiting

I was so excited to announce my pregnancy, but I did it with a little twinge of sadness, as well.  My heart still breaks for each and every one of you who are still waiting for a baby.  I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel, and no one deserves to feel that way!

Between the fear and wondering if I would ever get pregnant, the stab of pain I'd feel every time someone else announced a pregnancy, and the feeling that I was being punished for not being "good" or "holy" enough, it was enough to do a real number on my heart for the past 2-and-a-half years.  I would not wish that on my worst enemy.

I just want to say that I'm still praying for all of you, and I literally feel your pain.  I just know that God has an amazing plan in store for each and every one of you!

Please email me if you would like specific prayer in this area.  I would love to pray for you!

Don't lose hope!  No situation is too hopeless for Christ.  No heart is too broken for Him to fix.  Let Him be your peace!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Details!

Disclaimer: no detail is spared in this post, so consider this your TMI warning, and also an apology for the length!

In case you missed it on Friday, Luke and I are going to have a baby!  And it's pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Cutest little peanut I've ever seen, that's for sure!  But I may be a little biased.  

I am getting ahead of myself!  Let's back up to the beginning.  It's hard to decide when "the beginning" is.  I have been dreaming about this baby for as long as I can remember.  When I was 5 or 6 years old, my bedroom was full of baby dolls, and my favorite thing to do was pretend to be "mommy."  Forget Barbie or stuffed animals!

But perhaps that is going a little too far back.  Let's fast forward about 22 years to this fall.  I think that is the perfect starting point.  I had just finished a summer of intensely healthy eating.  My body was working better than it ever had.   My allergies were gone, my abdominal pains that had been plaguing me for 3 years had subsided, and best of all, I was ovulating after 2 years of many hormonal problems.  My cycles were still between 40-50 days long, but at least I was ovulating at all.  

After some debate, when grad school began this fall, Luke and I decided that we were not going to continue to "try" for a baby, but we weren't necessarily going to prevent it either.  We were just going to let God orchestrate things the way He wanted.  

Well the semester began, and immediately everything in my life was crazy.  I had no time for anything but school work, clinicals, classes, reports, and lesson plans.  Every once in awhile, the pang for a baby would hit, but for the most part, trying to conceive was the furthest thing from my mind.  However, I was still charting my cycles because my chiropractor wanted me to.  Luke and I had plans of really kicking the whole "trying" thing into high gear in the fall of 2013 when I was within 9 months of graduating, so she wanted to try to get my body right on track before that time (little did we know we'll have a newborn in the fall of 2013!)

So anyway, I was charting.  And I had a mini panic attack one Tuesday, on exactly cycle day 15, when my temperature skyrocketed, meaning I had probably ovulated the day before.  Let's just say Luke and I had "celebrated" the Ohio State win on Saturday ifyaknowwhatimean, so I immediately panicked, knowing that the timing would have been perfect (sorry Moms, that is way TMI).  All I could think was, "I never ovulate on time!  I can't get pregnant right now!  Not during grad school!"  But there was a voice shouting above all those thoughts, saying "I might be pregnant! I hope I'm pregnant!"  

The next week, Halloween week, was so busy!  There was a lot of stuff going on at school, plus hurricane Sandy hit, and Luke and I had 80s night at church, and a wedding on Saturday.  I was so busy that I honestly barely thought about the fact that I might be pregnant.  

But then 6 days past ovulation (when you've been trying for this long, time is measured by what cycle day it is, or how many days past ovulation you are) I started feeling this pain and tingling in my chest (again, TMI).  After all I've been through, I know my body backwards and forwards, inside and out, and that has NEVER happened before.  For the 3 days after I ovulate, yes.  The first few days of my period, yes.  But never a week after ovulation like that.  Of course I started to get my hopes up at that time, like I had many times before.  

There were other clues that I might be pregnant during the 2 week wait before I could take a test.  Namely, on my birthday (which fell on election day) I couldn't stop crying.  I guess my hormones were getting kicked into high gear already.  Also, it just FELT different this time.  I just had a gut feeling that I was pregnant.  However, I didn't let myself believe it, because I had been let down so many times before.  

Fast forward to Saturday, 12 days past ovulation (DPO).  I've read that the most sensitive pregnancy tests can pick up a positive at around 10 DPO, but most suggest that you wait for your missed period.  I usually start my period 15-16 DPO (I have long luteal phases, probably because of my hormonal issues) and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to take a test.  Luke was working, and I had to go grocery shopping anyway, so I picked up a 2-pack of digital tests.

Now, anyone who knows the first rule about peeing on a stick knows that you're supposed to do it first thing in the morning, especially if you're taking the test early like I was.  This is because the hCG (the hormone you produce when you're pregnant, which triggers a positive on a home pregnancy test) needs to build up in your urine.  So anyway, I knew that taking the test in the middle of the day wasn't the best idea.  I even chugged a Diet Coke on the way home so I'd have to use the restroom!  

So basically, I was about to take this test, and I was about 90% sure that it would be negative, even if I was pregnant, because I was only 12 DPO, and I didn't think I would have enough hCG in my urine to trigger a positive response anyway.  I had bought a 2-pack knowing that I would probably take the second test in a few days if the first one was negative (I know, I'm ridiculous.  What a waste of money).  

So I took the test, set it on the sink, washed my hands, and walked into the kitchen to start putting the groceries away.  When I thought 3 minutes had passed, I slowly walked into the bathroom, praying that God would comfort me when it was negative.  I slowly peered over the counter, waiting to see the words "not pregnant" like I had so many times before. 

...But the word "not" was not there.

I closed my eyes tight and opened them again, thinking that I just wasn't seeing it right.  But there it was: "Pregnant".  Oh My Goodness. 
I proceeded to grab the test and scream.  I was jumping around, screaming, shaking, and tears were streaming down my face.  I was completely shocked, to say the least!  After taking about 500 pregnancy tests in the past that were all negative, I stopped thinking that it could ever possibly happen.  And when it did, there is no way to describe how it felt.

Once I calmed down a bit, I texted Luke, asking him what time he'd be home.  I obviously couldn't wait to tell him, and normally he gets home around 1 or 2 on Saturdays.  It was 12:15, so I figured I had just over an hour or so to wait.  Here is his response:

So I had 6 hours to kill.  It was the longest day of my life!  I wish I could say I spent it coming up with some adorable, elaborate pregnancy reveal for Luke.  But nope...I spent it reading "What to Expect While You're Expecting" that I borrowed for free on my Kindle Fire, and watching episodes of America's Next Top Model.  Yep, random.  

I started getting butterflies in my stomach around 5, and looking out the window for Luke's truck around that time.  Of course he didn't get home until after 6.  When he FINALLY walked in, exhausted after his long day, I waited for him to come in the kitchen, and then I just blurted out, "I'm glad you're finally home, because I've been waiting ALL DAY to show you this!"  And I shoved the pee stick in his face with shaky hands (I always swore I'd never take a picture of my pregnancy test, or use it as part of a pregnancy reveal, but you just get excited and don't care in that moment!)  

I had not even indicated to Luke that there was a possibility that I might be pregnant.  I did this for 2 reasons: I didn't want him to get his hopes up and have to worry about it, and I wanted him to be totally blown away just in case I really was pregnant.

Well blown away he was!  He just kept saying "no way!"  and he finally scooped me up and we just celebrated and enjoyed the moment.

...One of the first things he said was, " I guess you can't ride the new ride at Cedar Point this summer then!"  Ha!  He would think of that!  I'd say it's a very small sacrifice to make!  Ha!

And that is basically the story (the long version, obviously).  In the past month we have enjoyed surprising all of our family and friends with the news.  I have to say, I think the celebration was about a million times sweeter than it would have been if it had happened 2.5 years ago like we wanted it to.  I know I'm appreciating every moment a lot more than I would have if I hadn't had to wait so long.  

I admit that I've even praised God in the sick moments.  The first trimester has not been kind to me. On my best days, I am battling nausea almost every minute, and on my worst days, I am vomiting 2-3 times and barely able to leave the couch.  Some days I'll even feel okay, have a craving, give into it, and then end up huddled over the toilet, violently throwing it up 5 minutes later.  Baby cannot decide what he/she wants!  (I'm kidding...I know the nausea is because of the hormones).  

On top of that, I've bitten my husband's head off for nothing a few times, and have certainly cried over some silly things (the other day I heard an 'N Sync song and cried because it made me miss the innocence of being 13.  I kid you not).  

I've always had basically no sense of smell, especially in the past year or so with all my sinus problems.  I am now smelling things that I didn't even know had a scent.  Sometimes it's amazing, and sometimes it has me running to the bathroom.  

And perhaps the most surprising symptom is the fatigue.  I'm going to be totally honest and say that I used to roll my eyes at pregnant women who complained of being so tired in the first trimester.  I thought they were milking it, and just looking for something to complain about.  But it is no joke!  I have never been so tired in my life.  It is like someone literally sucked every ounce of energy from me.  I feel energized for about an hour after I wake up in the morning, but after that, I am battling the urge to take a nap all day long.  (Or sometimes not battling it, like Friday when I slept from 2-4 on the couch with the cats.  After sleeping for 9 hours the night before.  I figure I have to sleep now while I have the chance!)  

I am not saying all that to complain.  I just simply want to record all of my symptoms so that I can remember everything! Plus I want documentation for the peanut when he/she gets older of just how sick he/she made me in the first few months! 

I will admit that I have complained my fair share to my family, especially to Luke and my mom.  But the truth is, I am secretly glad I'm feeling so terrible.  It is proof that my baby is in there growing and developing just like he/she should be.  

On Wednesday I actually woke up and felt completely normal.  No nausea at all.  I immediately started panicking, and prayed that God would make me feel sick so I'd know that baby was okay!

...stupid, stupid, stupid!  He certainly answered my prayer later.  And then some.  Next time I have vowed to just thank him for the temporary relief!  

Thursday was our first appointment, and obviously we were able to have our first ultrasound!  It was one of the highlights of my life.  We saw the baby swimming around a little bit!  Then I saw a little flickering thing inside the baby's body.  "That's the heart beating!"  the ultrasound tech explained to us.  I didn't know we would actually be able to see the heart beating!  It was the most amazing, beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life.  167 glorious beats per minute.  

Based on my last period, I calculated that my due date was July 22, and I was 8 weeks, 3 days pregnant at the appointment.  Well during our meeting with the amazing nurse practitioner (I don't get to see my actual OB until 10 weeks) she said that the baby was measuring exactly 8 weeks, 3 days.  "Exactly on track!  That almost never happens!"  

In that moment, I just felt God's hand on this whole thing.  I have had irregular periods my whole life, and obviously had trouble ovulating, and have probably never had a normal cycle where I ovulated on day 14.  And somehow, I had ovulated right on track and my baby was the exact right size, to a tee.  Textbook.  I felt so silly for all those times I had tried to control things in the past 2.5 years.  God had a plan, and it was going to be executed with 100% perfection when the time was right.  Oh, if only I could have seen into the future during all those months!  

So there you have it: God took a heart and a body that were both hopelessly broken, and He fixed them both in His perfect way.  I probably look at that ultrasound picture a minimum of 3 times per hour to remind myself of the miracle that He has brought forth in my life.  

I hope my story gives you hope if you are still waiting for your miracle, no matter what that might be! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

There's Something I haven't been Telling You...

First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes.....

 Baby Wallace!

Making his/her debut around July 22, 2013.

Details to come!

Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm Back

I wish I had some pictures to show to make this post more interesting.  But literally, I have just not taken pictures lately!  What is happening to me?

But I'm writing today to say that at least for the next month, I'm coming back to blogging.  I had my last day of classes yesterday, and aside from 1 final and 1 presentation next week, I'm done!

...we won't talk about the fact that I'll have clinicals almost all through Christmas break.  But at just a few days per week, I can handle that.

I'm so sad that I had to put blogging on the back burner this semester.  But between homework, lesson plans, and trying to spend a little time relaxing with Luke, there was not much time left for blogging.

Not to mention, I didn't have much to blog about besides papers, projects, tests, and therapy sessions.  And something tells me those wouldn't have been the most interesting things to write about.

But the next 4-5 weeks will be filled with Christmas parties, candlelight evenings, trying new recipes, decorating, late nights with my nose in a book, and multiple viewings of Elf. material at it's finest.

and after Christmas break?  We'll see what happens.  All I know is I really miss blogging, and I'm going to try to do better next semester!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving, Christmas Trees, and other Festivities

I had a lovely Thanksgiving and break this year.  However, it was not as lovely as most years, simply because final school projects have been hanging over my head for the entire long weekend.  And instead of working hard on them, I worked a little, and decided to put the rest off until school starts back up this week. Good plan, no?  Grad school is  no joke, and there are some days where I find myself asking, "What the heck have I gotten myself into?!"

Regardless, I know it's all a part of God's plan.  And I know I don't have to do it all on my own!  So I am making sure those thoughts are at the forefront of my mind in the final 2.5 weeks of my first semester of grad school!

...But back to Thanksgiving.  Like I said, it was lovely!  We spent half of Thursday with my family, and half of Thursday with Luke's family.  We ate, talked, played board games, and even hung out outside for a bit!  It was a beautiful day, and the warmest Thanksgiving I can ever remember.

Friday I spent most of the day with my mom and sister.  A nearby town was having a tour of a bunch of little craft shops and other different Christmasy things, so we ate lunch there and explored all there was to see.  My favorite was this old Victorian house that we got to tour:

 And following tradition, Luke and I got our tree on Friday, and decorated it that evening.  It's my favorite tree of ours yet.  Mostly because we have a bigger living room this year, and Luke packed 1,200 lights on this tree.

Saturday we went out to breakfast with a bunch of family for my Uncle John's birthday party.  Later some friends came over and we lit the tree and a fire and watched Ohio State beat Michigan!  It was perfect.

I spent the rest of Saturday night hanging out with friends, and all day today relaxing and napping and really not feeling all that well, and also felling a little depressed about going back to school tomorrow.  Luke cheered my up by bringing dinner home after working on our car, so I didn't have to worry about cooking.  I'm so thankful for him!

Now to forge ahead in the next 2.5 weeks before Christmas break.  I have planned some activities for a client tomorrow around "The Little Engine That Could."  I think it might hit home more for my unmotivated self, though.  

I think I can, I think I can!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Be strong & courageous

I saw this on Pinterest today and it inspired me to write (another) post about trust.  These past few weeks I've been struggling with trust again.  Things are going so great in my life right now!  I am loving grad school, I'm nearing the end of my first semester, and getting ready to enjoy the holidays!  I am loving our new apartment, and I think it will be so cozy and nice this time of year!  Everything is just going great. 

And yet, every day, Satan tries to plant seeds of doubt in my mind.  If I let the seed be planted, and if I nurture it by dwelling on it and giving it attention, it grows into a tree so big, it blocks out all of the light of peace, love, and joy that God is covering my life with these days.  

So I guess I'm taking a stand today, and I'm not letting Satan plant those seeds of doubt!  God has a plan for my life, and He will use it for His glory, no matter what happens.  Letting Satan block out the light of that plan is only letting him steal the love, peace, and joy that I was always meant to have! 

...Just a thought.

Happy Friday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Birthdays Should Never Fall on Election Day

...unless your candidate wins.  Of course, I would have no idea what that's like.

It's about to get real around here, y'all.

(Sometimes I like to pretend that I can pull off saying "y'all".)

As I've mentioned multiple times before, my birthday fell on election day this year.  

At first I didn't think it would be too bad.  But at around, oh, 11:30 PM, EST,  It became the worst birthday ever.  

But I'm skipping ahead.  Let's begin at the beginning.  My birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, which means I was in class from 8:30 AM - 5:40 PM with a few breaks in there.  My day went pretty great!  Even though classes are no fun, I love the ladies in my program a lot.  They are a fun group to spend almost all of my time with, so a birthday was no different.  And I broke out for lunch with my sister from my favorite Thai restaurant.  

As I walked back to class after our lunch in the beautiful sunlight I was feeling pretty on-top-of-the-world!  

But then my last class, which is a counseling class, happened a few hours later.  We had the "pleasure" of having a guest speaker in our class.  He spoke to us about suicide and abuse.  Cheery topic, no?  Anyway, those are sad topics alone, and I've had enough experience with real abuse and neglect with my 4 years in the public school, that I didn't really need to hear all the intense, graphic stories he shared with us.  

When I finally got home later that night, I saw that my mother-in-law had brought us a delicious dinner!  Naturally, what happened around that time?  All of the stories that our guest speaker had told us came rushing back, since I had been too busy concentrating on driving to think about until that point (traffic was bad).  I was sobbing when Luke came out to the kitchen so we could eat dinner.  He gave me the strangest look ever, and I told him about the guest speaker and how I didn't understand why God lets people like that have kids and he won't let us have kids, and blah blah blah.  I was a mess.  And kind of laughing and crying at the same time, because I knew I was totally an emotional wreck, and Luke must have thought I was crazy.  

Anyway,  I finally pulled myself together, and we had a nice evening.  We enjoyed dinner, and I opened my gifts, which I am so thankful for!

There's most of my loot, plus a nice Akron sweatshirt from Julie, and a cupcake carrier, complete with chocolate cupcakes from my parents.

After dinner, I had tons of lesson planning preparation that I had to, so I was busy with that until about 10 (I was exhausted because I had gotten up at 5:45 so I could vote before I left for classes).  And then I just wanted to sit on the couch and relax and do nothing for the rest of my birthday!  Of course I couldn't do that with all the election coverage going on.  It was so close for awhile, and I was so excited!  Then I fell asleep for about a half hour or so, and when I woke up it was over.  

As a big Romney supporter, I wish I could say I reacted like a grown-up person.  But I immediately lost it and started bawling.  You see, I had put my hope in the wrong place.  I had put my hopes in a presidential candidate whom I thought could take some positive steps toward ending abortion.  A candidate whom I knew would stop enabling the lazy, and taking from the hard-working (I just did a huge research paper on behavioral management.  In almost all of my research across the board, what was one of the main methods that worked just about every time?  Operant conditioning.  Rewards for good behavior, and punishments for bad behavior.  If you reward people for their bad behavior by giving them everything they need even when they are lazy, and punish people with good behavior by taking away the rewards that they have worked so hard for, that is the opposite of what has been proven time and time again to work.  To me, it's common sense.  And I know it's not just lazy people who get government assistance, and some rich people had everything handed to them.  But as someone who is married to man that works 50-60 hour weeks, and I am busy working my butt off to help provide for our family, it is hard to see it that way. But I will step off of my soapbox.  Clearly, I am not 100% over this yet).  And also a candidate who was willing to support our military and their families.  One who would enable the small business that my husband works for to continue to thrive.  My hope was in him so much, that when he did not win the election, my hopes completely shattered.  I am not kidding -- I cannot remember being that upset about anything for a long time.  I think I was going through the grief cycle.  I barely slept at all that night, so I had barely risen out of my funk by Wednesday.

And let me just touch on Facebook.  The gloating was a little annoying, for sure.  I had decided that if Romney had won, I was not going to post a thing to Facebook about it, because I  knew how that would be salt in the wound for an Obama supporter.  However, worse than the gloating, were the people who were complaining about how upset the Romney supporters were!  I almost said so many things I knew I would regretted, so I finally signed off of Facebook for awhile.  But please, just try to tell me it wouldn't have been completely the same, only opposite, if Romney had won!  I've gotten off on another tangent....

My point is, I had put my hopes in Mitt Romney instead of my God.  My prayer the whole time had been that God would pick the best leader for our country.  But I now realize I didn't mean that prayer.  I knew who I was really praying for as the best leader.  If my hope had been in Christ, my reaction would not have so dramatic and extreme.  

Over the past couple of days, I have mostly made peace with things, and have remembered who is really in control.  That's all that really matters in any situation anyway!

And in 2016?  The presidential election is on November 8!  No matter who wins, I will be able to enjoy my birthday that year!  Yes, yes...I realize how narcissistic that sounds. But you can come talk to me after you have to sit through a suicide and abuse lecture, and then find out the election did not go the way you wanted it to on your birthday.  Then you can tell me how fun that would be.   

Like I said, I'm mostly over it.  I am human, and I admit I still feel a little bitter.  I also tend to put too much pressure on my birthday to be the greatest day ever.  juvenile, I know.  I'm working on it!

More cheerfulness next time, I promise!!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

He Knows

I remember a few weeks ago saying that I had already survived the most intense week of the semester.

Then last week happened.  My professor moved the due date a week ahead for a project, and I was scheduled for a huge diagnostic session on Friday (today) where I'd have to learn 3 new tests to administer.  

Last Thursday, I had a major meltdown.  I let the stress take over, and all I could do was pray that the Lord would guide me during this stressful week.  

Of course He answered my prayers, and then some!  He knows how much we can handle, and once again He has proven that I can trust Him with anything.  

I had a big test scheduled for Tuesday and another one on Thursday.  Because of Sandy, a lot of people lost power, and my professor postponed the test until Thursday. Another professor got stranded in Pheonix, so the other test was postponed, and class was cancelled!  I got to go home super early on Tuesday to work on everything.  And then Wednesday I got the email saying my client had cancelled the diagnostic session for Friday.

At one point on Wednesday after I had caught all these breaks that I knew weren't coincidence at all, I burst into tears.  I just felt so loved and cared for.  I know God is carrying me every step of the way through this journey.  

I was even able to find some time for some fun things in the past week.  Things that are so needed in order to keep my sanity!

Last Saturday we had a party at our house for the Ohio State game with lots of our friends and their kids. I am SO glad I was able to dig out a bunch of books, a coloring book, and some crayons from my therapy materials to keep the kids entertained!  I should probably invest in some toys since so many of my friends have kids.  Anyway, Ohio State won, so it was a great night.

On Sunday the Wallace crew fried a bunch of donuts for Trunk-r-Treat night at church.  Sandy had just about arrived by that time, but we were able to stay covered, so it wasn't all that bad:

My iPhone 5 finally arrived this week after a month of waiting for it to ship!  I am in love. I told Luke it's so fast it practically does what I want it to before I click the button!

On Halloween our church had an 80s night to promote our new satellite church.  The band made a fun music video and went ALL OUT with their outfits.  We (the band + their women) actually had a shopping trip a few weeks ago to Goodwill where we picked out our outfits.  Anyway, It was such a fun night!  Everyone looked awesome.

 Umm, yup...that's my husband.  My hair totally would have rocked in the 80s.  

Luke and JC, BFFs

Also, November 1 has arrived, so it's red cup time at Starbucks!  I bet November 1 must be one of their highest selling days, because that red cup represents so much...the best time of year is here!!  The Polsky Starbucks at school apparently didn't get the memo about the red cups, but their little cardboard sleeves made me pretty happy.

So that's been my life for the past couple of weeks.  If God calls you to it, He'll bring you through it.  That's what I've learned lately.  On my own, I would have lost my sanity weeks ago.  I'm so glad I don't have to do this on my own.

And if all else fails, the words my friend from school posted on Facebook the other day keep ringing through my head: "...I just keep telling myself that sometime during the third week of December, I will take a nap."


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Day in the Life

I've seen so many people do "Day in the Life" posts.  I decided I wanted to start doing them during every life change, because I'm sure I will never remember these hectic grad school days if I don't document them.  So here is a typical Monday in my life.

5:30 AM - My alarm rudely awakens me.  I hit snooze at least 3 times.

6:00 AM - Roll out of bed and hit the shower.  Get dressed, do my make-up, dry and style my hair, and eat toast with peanut butter and honey for breakfast.  Possibly drink a cup of coffee if I feel I need it.

6:55 AM - Grab my class bag, my therapy bag, my lunch box, and any other random therapy tools I need (last Monday I was carrying around a Bernstein Bears game all day.  I felt cool.) and head out the door.

7:00 AM - I'm headed down the highway with Pandora blaring, and I'm singing along.  It is a relatively peaceful ride most days, unless I get stuck behind a school bus, or a bajillion semi trucks on the freeway cut me off, trying to pass other semi trucks.  Come to think of it, it is rarely a peaceful drive!

8:00 AM - Pull into the elementary school parking lot.  Head inside, trek up to the 3rd floor where the speech room is, and get all of my materials for the day ready.

8:40 AM - Head back down a flight of stairs to the computer room, which is ironically, absent of any computers.  It is not set up yet as a computer lab, so we are using it as the speech room until we get kicked out.

8:45 AM - Head out and get my first articulation group of kids.  There are three students in this group, and we are working on "th" and "s" sounds.  This group is fun, as  most of these students are working on their sounds in structured conversation.  This means we get to play fun games while they work on their sounds, like Hedbanz, Would You Rather..., and 20 Questions.  As we play the games, I give feedback about their sounds, and keep track of every correct or incorrect production.

9:15 AM - I get a break!  I usually work on lesson planning during this time.  I wish I didn't have a break, and was doing therapy at this time, because it would mean more hours for me.  I need 400 before I can graduate.  But the extra planning time is nice, too.

9:45 AM - Go out and find the 3 girls in my language group.  They are all working on different skills like vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and following directions.  That makes planning for this group very challenging.  Last week we read a book about libraries, and answered a bunch of questions about the book.  Sounds boring, but the girls seemed to like it, and were very engaged.  They are such a great group!

10:15 AM - Send the language group back to their classroom, and head to the resource room where I'll do my last therapy sessions of the morning.  My first session there is with an awesome little guy who is working on a bunch of different articulation goals.  For example, last week he was working on his "k,g,f, and v" sounds in sentences.  So we looked at a Halloween I Spy book, and searched for words containing his targeted sounds.  Then he would use the words in sentences.  He LOVED this activity, so the whole session was great.

10:45 AM - Last session of the morning!  By this time, I'm usually looking at my watch and wondering how the morning flew by so quickly!  My last session is with a little girl who is also working on a bunch of articulation goals (I somehow got matched with a bunch of artic groups this semester.  Not my favorite, but at least I'm getting a ton of experience in that area!  My area of interest right now if Autism, so hopefully down the road I will get more experience with that).  Last Monday, the student and I played the Bernstein Bears game I mentioned before.  She was working on multi-syllabic words, so she would spin the game spinner, it would land on a picture, and she'd have to tell me a story based on what was happening in the pictures.  We focused on multi-syllabics while she did this.  This was another fun activity that she loved!  She is so sweet, and so happy.  So I guess she is easy to please!

11:15 AM - Gather up all of my materials, and head back to the speech room to put everything away, copy my data for the day and turn it in, and chat with my supervisor and a classmate, who is also at this placement with me, about how the morning went.

11:45 AM - Jump back in the car, and make the 20 minute drive to campus, all while listening to Pandora and inhaling a quick lunch (usually a sandwich on wheat bread, some fruit, cheese, and maybe something else thrown in there, and a Diet Coke).

12:05 PM - Arrive at the parking garage at the Polsky Building, where the speech clinic is.  On good days, I find a parking spot without having to circle around the garage more than once, but it is usually on the very end of one of the last rows.  Noon is a high-traffic time on campus.  Most days I have to circle around a few times, waiting for someone to leave for lunch so I can take their spot.

12:15 PM - Arrive on the first floor of the Polsky Building and use my ID card to enter the speech clinic.  I usually spend a few minutes in the materials room, looking for inspiration or ideas for therapy the following week, and returning materials I used that morning.  Then I usually head to the grad room for a few moments (that's kind of like our study hall, I guess) and look through my lesson plans for my afternoon clients, and gather any materials I need.

12:30 PM - Enter the Telepractice Lab where my 1:00 session is held.  We use a program similar to Skype to do therapy through the internet, so the client does not even have to leave his home.  Anyway, I'm with two other ladies for this therapy session, so we spend about 20 minutes before our session just chatting and shooting the breeze, and the last 10 minutes preparing for the session.  What can I say?  We are speech ladies, and we are all very verbal and like to talk!

1:00 PM - The therapy session begins, and we swap the headphones/microphone back and fourth as we each take a turn leading the session.  We each get to lead for about 20 minutes, since it's an hour-long session.  This client is the cutest little boy in the world, and has the most supportive, awesome mom in the world, so this session is always a joy!

2:00 PM - We all chat with my supervisor about the session, and divvy up the lesson planning assignments for the following week.

2:30 PM - I begin preparing for my final session of the day, one I co-lead with one of my classmates (one of the same girls from the 1:00 session).  We usually have enough time to take a quick bathroom run, (barely, though. ha!)  grab the next client's chart, prepare our materials and our game plan for the day, and take a deep breath and pray that the session goes off without a hitch! (This is our most difficult session for various reasons.  I'll just leave it at that!)

3:15 PM - My classmate and I are hovering beside the clinic entrance waiting for our client since this is when the session is supposed to start. But normally because of the drive, traffic, and just getting out of school, we are waiting there until...

3:30 PM - Our client and his family arrive.  We usher him into the therapy room, and on a good day, we get him in there without any problems.  Most days we lead him through a bunch of engaging therapy activities, trying to be as animated as we can, and involving play-based therapy as much as possible.  This usually involves things like playing with the old-school Fisher Price car garage to work on prepositions, or a box full of wind-up toys to work on critical elements, or maybe a follow-the-directions coloring activity, or a fun book to work on sequencing.  It really is fun to plan for, and usually the client loves it too.  Unfortunately, the past few weeks we've been working on assessments instead of therapy, so it hasn't been quite so fun!  (This client doesn't think so either!) But luckily that will be over soon!  I can't wait to get back into therapy with him (although I'm NOT looking forward to writing the diagnostic report/treatment plan when testing is complete!)

4:15 PM - We lead the client out of the therapy room, and to the observation room where his family, our supervisor, and an undergrad student who has been matched up with this client for a case study, have all been watching our session through a 2-way mirror.  (And no, that's not nerve-wracking at all.  #sarcasmfont).  We chat quickly, and lead everybody out through the waiting room.    

4:20 PM - Chat with our supervisor about the session.  Then quickly gather our 18-million toys, tools, folders, papers, books, etc, because there is another session in our room at 4:30.  Usually my classmate and I head to the materials room to regroup and discuss next week's planning.  We went to the grad room once, but then got locked in, and now we're terrified to be in there anytime close to 5:00, which is when the grad room closes.  Anyway, our brains are both completely shot by this time, and we end up saying things like, "Do you want to....."  "Next week should we....."  And other unfinished, trailed-off sentences like that because seriously, our brains are beyond DONE for the day.  Somehow we throw together some plans, and head out like zombies to the elevator, then parking garage, then our cars.

4:45 PM - Finally I am heading home!  I crank up my Carrie Underwood Pandora station one more time, but have no energy left to sing.  Traffic in Akron is usually not great, but also not horrible at this time, and once I'm on the freeway, I can just cruise-control it most of the way home.  Unless, again, semis cut me off left and right.  Grrr.  This is a huge pet peeve.  God wants to work on my patience, I think.

5:30 PM -  I pull into my glorious driveway!  The pumpkins and mums on my porch welcome me as I stumble up the porch with my bags and therapy tools that seem to have multiplied by 10 since the morning when they were all nicely and neatly organized and put away.

5:35-8:10 PM - This time is spent differently every week, but it usually involves:

  • Making a quick and easy dinner, or going out to eat like we did last week.
  • Packing a lunch for Tuesday
  • Completing any homework that needs to be finished before Tuesday, which is a full day of classes.
  • Writing and submitting my lesson plans for my elementary school for the following week, because my supervisor likes to get our plans a week ahead of time.
  • Picking out my outfit for Tuesday
  • Printing out power points for Tuesday's lectures and snapping them in my binder
  • Maybe a second cup of coffee to spur me on
  • Writing my SOAP note(s), which are basically a summary of the sessions at Akron's clinic for the day.
  • Hopefully loading/unloading/washing the dishes and cleaning the litter box.  But let's be real: this doesn't happen 100% of the time. 
8:10 PM - Throw on some comfortable pajamas, grab a fleece blanket, and curl up beside Luke on the couch while we watch How I Met Your Mother.  We start it a few minutes late so we can DVR it and fast-forward through the commercials.  Yeah, we are those people. Sometimes JC is there too (on those nights I do not have my pajamas on yet. haha).  Usually one or both of the cats jumps up to cuddle with us, because we are their favorite beds, I think.  I live for this part of the day.  

8:30 PM - Go back to working on my to-do for tomorrow, listed above.  I have yet to have a Monday night where I'm done before 10:30 or 11. 

11:00 PM - Jump in bed, and know that I have just survived the craziest day of the week.  It's all downhill from here.  Fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.

I am so glad Mondays are my most hectic days!  Actually, my week is set up so each day is a little easier than the last: Tuesdays I have classes from 8:30 - 5:40, Wednesdays I just have therapy in the morning,and have the afternoon off! ...And Thursdays I have classes from 7:45 - 3:15, but those tend to be easier days because everyone is in a good mood since it's our last day of classes for the week!  

And even though these days are CRAZY, I am so excited to say that I have just over a year-and-a-half left! If you count my 1 year of undergrad classes, which I took last year, I am halfway done with my 3 years of school!  It is flying by.  I am enjoying these days, but I have to say: I can't wait until life will resume normalcy again.  I can't wait to have a real job with regular hours, to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep at night, to stop accidentally skipping meals, and to have time to breathe!  ...Just keep swimming!

Friday, October 19, 2012

High Five for Friday

This week has been crazy.  In a nutshell it involved diagnostic reports, treatment plans, case studies, lesson plans, clinicals, classes, and homework.  Also, a tiny bit of eating and sleeping squeezed in there somewhere.  And one great night out with Luke and JC.

Since this week was insane, and I kind of feel like I'm losing my sanity as well, I thought it would be great to focus on the good things from this past week.


1. Spending a fall Saturday morning at home alone, sipping coffee and making breakfast while my Frank Sinatra Pandora station floats through the kitchen.  Then curling up in a blanket, and watching a few episodes of Parenthood, the best show ever.  Oh, and munching on candy corn and peanuts -- the best combination since chocolate and peanut butter.

(This picture is right-side-up on my computer, and when I upload it to blogger it's suddenly upside down.  Drives. Me. Crazy!  Oh well, you get the idea.

2. This little weirdo always hangs out on my lap when I have a rare moment to sit.  She's definitely sticking her tongue out at me.

 3. Autumn leaves.  I just wish they would stick around a little longer...

4. Knowing that after this week, I am officially more than halfway done with the semester.  I had my first gigantic school-related breakdown this weekend.  I was a mess.  Sobbing uncontrollably, just feeling completely overwhelmed and worried that I am not good enough, and that I can't handle the pressure and responsibility.  The good news is, I don't have to be good enough.  Praise God for that, because He is the strength in my weakness!  I had a meeting with my academic adviser on Tuesday and she said this to me, without me indicating at all that I had had a major freak out over the weekend: "Now I just want to warn you that almost every student I talk to has a major breakdown right around this point in the semester.  They have their breakdown, they get past it, and then it all gets easier and easier as you get closer and closer to graduating.  I also want to tell you that everyone always thinks they are alone in this, but I want you to know that it really is everyone.  And it does get easier."  I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that was exactly what I needed to hear.  After our meeting, I went down to the grad room and talked to a couple of people, and they were both talking about the fact that they had breakdowns over the weekend too!  They vocalized every one of my fears, and it was nice to know I'm not alone.  We all talked and encouraged one another, and I think we all felt much better afterward. The timing of those conversations may have been coincidence...but I think not.  And seriously...someone should do a psychological or sociological study on students in grad school for speech pathology.  The findings would be interesting, and probably terrifying.

5. It's the weekend!  And I have no plans whatsoever!  (Besides working on a research project, but I'm blissfully in denial about that right now).  I declare this weekend a time to REST and not feel guilty about it.

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28