Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I can't believe I'm finding time to blog when I have a test tomorrow and my BIG INTERVIEW on Friday. But I've been going, going, going, nonstop for a long time, and I decided to let myself have a little break today to blog.

During our long weekend, Luke and I, with a ton of help from his parents, made a lot of progress on our home renovations! I wanted to document that progress today:

The wood floors are completely free of that nasty glue, and they are sanded and ready to be varnished

We installed lights in the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. All the lights throughout the entire apartment were fluorescent, so this was a nice change, and made the whole place much more peaceful.

living room



We painted the kitchen a pale blue color, with the trim and cabinets white. This picture is a really bad representation of the blue color, as it is quite a bit brighter than the picture shows. but you get the idea.

And as I type, Luke is downstairs measuring and cutting beadboard for our backsplash. Here is the first piece...I can't decide if I want to keep it white, or paint it blue. Thoughts?

We are starting to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we just have to put the bathroom back together, paint the rest of the rooms, and varnish the floors. Okay, so I guess it's a lot. But I'd say we're at least halfway done now!

Can't wait to update more soon! Happy Wednesday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Step Closer

This is a long post, but I really want to remember everything about this process...

Unless you're new around here, you know that I have gone back to school for speech-language pathology this year, after working in the schools with my teaching degree for four years.

I have been taking a year of undergraduate classes this year, things like "anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing," "articulatory and phonological disorders," "language disorders," and a whole host of other things. These classes are to get me caught up with content so that I'm ready to start the two year graduate program next year.

That is, if I get in!

When I began classes at The University of Akron, I knew I would be applying immediately for the SLP graduate program that would begin in fall of 2012. I also had heard that it was very competitive. However, I didn't know just how competitive...

My second or third week of class, a professor gave us the numbers, and I don't think I've shared them on the blog yet, so here they are...

On average, 300 people apply to the SLP graduate program at Akron each year.
Akron accepts 40.

Hearing those numbers threw me into a panic-stricken state. At that point I had made one other friend in the program: a post-bac student like me. She dropped out immediately after hearing those numbers, feeling like it was a waste of money since it was practically impossible to get in.

I chose to stick it out, knowing that this year of undergrad classes could be the biggest waste of time and energy of my life, and also the most expensive mistake of my life. (You have to have a masters in speech-language pathology in order to do anything with the degree. So if I didn't get into the masters program, I had just wasted thousands of dollars and a year of my life).

I was stressed out and nervous during the grueling application process last semester as I applied to The University of Akron and Kent State University. And even more grueling has been this semester of waiting.

I just keep praying that God would open doors here if this is His plan, and close them if it's not. Whenever I think about that, it takes all the stress away because I know this entire thing is in His hands.

The selection process for the program at Akron is a little different from Kent. For Kent I just had to fill out a lot of paperwork, get my letters of recommendation, and take the GRE.

At Akron, I had to fill out two separate applications, and send in more letters of rec., and a lot more paperwork. On top of that, they interview their applicants, which very few schools do. I've gotten to learn a lot about the selection process at Akron because my professors are very open about it. Basically, I believe the 300 applications are distributed to all the professors in the speech-language pathology and audiology programs. The professors rate their applications on a universal, non-biased scale (one of the graduate assistants even told me they cover up all names at this point.) They give a certain amount of points for GPA, a certain amount for GRE scores, some for letters of rec, and some for resume, statement of purpose, etc.

After they've scored all the applications, they then come together and pick the top ones. I'm not sure how many are considered the "top" ones, but I think it's still somewhere between 100 and 200. Then they send out invitations to their interview day.

And the whole point of this post is to say that last night I received my invitation to interview day!!!!!!

I hesitated to post about this, because if I don't get in I'm going to have to tell everyone. But I realized I would have done that anyway, so why not share my good news? And also, humbly ask for prayers for me a week from today. (Friday the 24th).

This definitely doesn't mean I'm in yet! But as my title says, I'm one step closer. The interview day is going to be fun and scary at the same time. Basically, we all meet for one big meeting about the program (led by my favorite professor, by the way, which makes it a bit less scary!) And then we break up into groups of 3 or 4 and go around to different places and have a series of 10-minute group interviews/informal question and answer sessions with the faculty. Then we get a big tour of the university speech/audiology clinic (I already spend hours there each week, so I feel like an old pro. ha!)

So that's that: the next big thing. I hope I do okay! But I know God will open or close doors according to His will, so I have nothing to worry about.


This week is going to be the most exciting one in awhile! This weekend we have plans to make major strides with our renovations, including renting a sander for the floors! On Saturday we're going out to a birthday lunch with my grandma for her 88th! And then a late Valentines Day date. Tuesday I get to observe a speech pathologist in a hospital all morning, Wednesday I sub, Thursday I have class, and then Friday is the big interview day!! Hopefully all the busy-ness will keep me distracted from nervousness :-) I am so excited about the future!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Luke and I both decided that we're pretending Valentines Day is this weekend, so let's act like the 14th hasn't already come and gone, mmkay? We are taking a break from school/work/renovations this weekend to celebrate by going out on a date.

However, this week has included a few romantic Valentiney things, so I thought I'd share.

#1 - Homemade ice cream! Okay, so I lied and this has nothing to do with Valentines Day. But we finally used Luke's ice cream maker he got for Christmas to make vanilla-Oreo ice cream for Bible study on Sunday night. It was SO GOOD.

#2. Mom, Julie, and I went on a little Galentines date (Parks and Rec reference...). I got a text while working on Monday asking if I'd like to go with my mom and sister to see The Vow. Umm, duh. It was an adorable movie, and not nearly as sad as I was expecting. Loved it! We had dinner at Panera afterwards, and then I gave them a tour of our renovations progress.

#3. We are super spoiled. Both of our moms gave us little Valentines Day treats this year! Once a mom, always a mom :-)

#4. Luke and I also gave each other Valentines Day gifts. I made him his favorite treat: pretzel-Rolo sandwiches. And he got me flowers and dark chocolate. Two of my favorite things!

#5. We ate brinner tonight. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? In my husband's case, the way to his heart is through BACON. So I made brinner (breakfast-for-dinner) - French toast, scrambled eggs, and heart-shaped bacon! Thanks to Pinterest for the idea.

That's the extent of our Valentines Day festivities! Not including our big, romantic dinner-and-a-movie date coming up this weekend, of course. I hope everyone else had a great Valentines Day too, and that your schedules were less busy than mine!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love This

Happy Valentines day! I'm off to spend the rest of it with my love! tomorrow I'll be back with a real post.

But in the meantime, here is something I've been loving lately. My sister introduced me to this video a few days ago, and since then I've probably watched it 20 + times. I adore Kristen Bell, and I think this is the most adorable/hilarious thing I've seen in awhile.

"He's coming for the party?!"

Love it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kitchen Before Pictures and Ideas

I have so much homework due tomorrow! My first SLP observation report, a big research paper, and signatures from 5 oral mechanism exams I had to complete. But I have a good chunk of my work done, so I'm going to let myself have a little break to blog about our house project. It's been in the back of my mind all day anyway.

My focus today is the kitchen, because it needs a lot of work and because it will be my sanctuary. It looks like a nightmare, but all I see is a blank canvas that needs a whole lotta love. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Here are the "Before" pictures:
(PS - during some weird fluke with a Walgreens clearance ad mistake, Luke surprised me with a new P & S camera that he bought for $17!! Believe it or not, I've used nothing by my iPhone camera for the past year. I'm not complaining, but having an actual camera works better in situations like this where there's not much natural lighting. That's what I used to take the "before" pictures)

Okay, now for some ideas! Here's what we plan to do:

New light fixture/fan. Paint all the cabinets and put beadboard between the counter and cabinets as a backsplash (it's cheap and easy and we can paint it). We will paint the ugly paneling a very pale blue color. Cute hanging light fixture in the window. Little breakfast nook in the corner. Replace ugly brown fridge with the white one that's now upstairs. build shelving on the empty wall.

Inspiration photos:

I don't know why that last picture is aligned to the left, but there doesn't appear to be anything I can do about it. Thanks again, Blogger, for making things impossible.

Anyway, there are some cabinets above the stove that I think we will leave open and paint the inside like that last picture. Maybe we will add beadboard in there too, because I like the way it looks.

I'm so excited!! I can't wait until all the boring stuff is done (Refer to Monday's post where I talked about scraping glue off the floor), and I can get to the fun part: painting and decorating!!


As I've mentioned before, Luke and I are no strangers to DIY-ing and renovating. Our kitchen in the upstairs apartment was a million times worse than the one downstairs. Here's the before and after of our project there. See? A little tlc makes a big difference :-)

(actually, I didn't get a before picture. This was after we had all the ugly stuff torn away and the cabinets mostly painted, but you get the idea)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Whirlwind of a Weekend and some Big News!

So much transpired this weekend, I feel like I don't even know what happened. I know I usually do my 1000 gifts updates on Mondays, but I'll try to do that later this week when I have a little more time to think.

Anyway, over the course of this weekend I...

...spent Friday shadowing a speech pathologist in the school where I sub and I loved it!

...Became a bridesmaid for my friend Lindsey's wedding! I'm so excited. she was in my wedding,too! And she asked me in the cutest way:

...attended a birthday party and a Super Bowl party where I got to see and hold lots of cute babies

...Watched my cousin's baby take some of his first steps.

oh, and there was one other tiny thing too:

... We ripped out a wall in our house and spent hours upon hours this weekend cleaning and working on renovations. Because...


See? Whirlwind. Where are we moving, you ask? Right downstairs in the same house we live in now.

If you're new around here, I'll give you the "Reader's Digest" version of our home story. Right after we got married we had the opportunity to buy a house that has three apartments in it. My grandma lives in the back one, we live in the top one, and we had renters in the bottom one. A great situation for us.

If you'll remember about a week or so ago, I wrote about how we had a big need and I was trusting God to meet it. Well, the need was that our downstairs renters had the opportunity to buy a relative's home, so they moved out.

So then we had some decisions to make. When we first bought the house in October of 2008, we really wanted to move into the bottom floor. Call me crazy, but I didn't love the idea of walking up 20 + steps every time I needed to enter my house. Especially with groceries! However, when we bought the house, there were already renters in both downstairs apartments, but not upstairs. And the upstairs needed the most work. So it made sense for us to move up there and fix it up while we lived there.

But now that the downstairs is available, it's our chance to fill it and rent out the upstairs apartment (which has been newly renovated by us).

It would have probably been easier for us to just rent out the downstairs apartment. But Luke and I just couldn't resist the challenge of fixing it up, and making it the perfect, cozy home for ourselves.

So here's a quick pros and cons list for moving:


~I can park in the front by the entrance, and I don't have to walk up all those steps

~We now can use the huge, wrap-around porch!! I keep picturing myself out on a porch swing in the summer sipping sweet iced tea, or barbecuing out there with friends.

~You guys, there's a FIRE PLACE. A dream of mine has always been to have a fire place in the living room. It isn't exactly in working order at the moment, but Luke assures me we can make it work.

~ The living room is huge and open and has beautiful windows. And we made it huger this weekend when we removed a wall. Because we're crazy.

~ It has high ceilings, and I can't wait to get a bigger Christmas tree.

~ Huge bedroom with more beautiful windows.

~ Bigger kitchen

~ A tiny bedroom that would be perfect for a cute little nursery

~Direct access to the huge basement (Living upstairs we always had to go outside to get to the basement).


~Even though the rooms are bigger, we are actually losing a lot of square footage

~It will be kind of a weird layout, as our bedroom will be right next to the kitchen. We are no strangers to weird layouts though, so it should be okay.

~ I won't have same-floor laundry anymore, and I'll have to go to the basement for that.

~Extremely reduced storage space. there are only three small closets on the first floor compared to the massive closets in every room upstairs. However,it will be helpful that we'll have direct access to the basement. And Luke is already talking about building a wardrobe for the bedroom.

~ Smaller bathroom

~It will be a lot of work. Luke and I really do enjoy this kind of work though (or else we never would have bought such an old house) so this won't be so bad. The areas that will need the most work are the kitchen and the bathroom. And we also ripped most of the carpet out. The carpet was glued on top of beautiful hardwood floor, just like in our hallway upstairs. So we are litterally scraping the glue off by hand. Because, again, we are crazy.

Glue-scraping progress after about 4 hours. See? Crazy.

I feel like we have just started another chapter of our lives! Posting may be sporadic in the next few weeks as we're renovating and moving and I'm also juggling classes, homework, and substitute teaching. But blogging is my outlet, so I bet I'll still be posting at least a few times a week :-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All You Need is Love

I got my old dresser as a birthday gift, and it has quickly become one of my very favorite pieces in my house. It's right in the hallway where I see it every time I walk from one room to another. I've decided to try to change it each month! Or at least with the seasons. So yesterday I changed it for February, with an obvious love/Valentines Day theme.

Super simple, but I didn't want to overdo it with the Valentines Day thing. I like it better this way :-)

This month I just grabbed a few red and pink candles I had stored in a cupboard, put the Amaryllis I got from my grandparents for Christmas on a cute plate, hung up the "love" print that was in our bedroom, and printed that sweet "love chapter" printable. I think it's cute! I've been wanting to make some sort of heart garland too, like the heart one found here, but I'm trying to be honest with myself and I realize that the possibility of finding time to do that is probably nonexistent at this point. Oh well!

I found the plate a long time ago at Goodwill for $.50! I think it originally came in a gift pack from Bath and Body Works. I love thrifting :-)

I found this print a few years ago at Hobby Lobby.

And this FREE PRINTABLE I found on Pinterest (where else?) is my favorite part.

I'm happy with the results of my update, and it literally took five minutes.

I love celebrating each season and the fun things that each month brings. I've really enjoyed making this focal point of our home reflect that!

Looking back...

Here it was in January with the snow theme:

And December, all decorated for Christmas:

(The drawers are almost never pushed in right. I try not to be too OCD about it :-P)

Do you decorate for Valentines Day?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Believe...

I felt like I needed to clarify a few things from yesterday's post, and I'm just feeling passionate about some things today. So this post was born. I threw in some fun ones too to break up the seriousness.

I believe:

...that our president deserves a little respect. Do I agree with him in most areas? No. But I can't think of too many jobs that would be more difficult or more stressful. And I get really sick of the hateful comments I see from a lot of people. Disagreeing is one thing, but mean, nasty jokes and comments are completely another. I guess this is one of the reasons I wrote my post about politics yesterday.

...That every winter should be like this one. Snowy for a day or two, and then warm the next few so it melts right away. I'm kind of liking the blue-skies-in-January thing too.

...that people who disagree with us deserve a little respect. This was also my main point yesterday. We're never going to all get along. Friendly debate can be a good thing. But I've seen a lot of "friendly" debates turn ugly. I've seen friendships end because of hateful comments made during political debates. This is not okay! That's what I meant when I said, "We need to stop letting the party line separate us."

...that some days you just need some chocolate!

...that as Christians our main job is to LOVE PEOPLE. Not condemn them. Not separate ourselves from those who believe differently than us. But to feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. And above all, LOVE LOVE LOVE. Call me a hippy if you want, but that's what I believe. We need to share Christ's love through ours!

...that these two are pretty good replacement babies for the ones I don't have yet

...that I can be a Republican and still think it's okay to be environmentally conscious. (to be completely honest, I'm not environmentally conscious. But I wish I was. I was just using that example for the sake of this point). Do I think it's more important to save unborn babies than trees? Yes. But that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to try to save the trees too. This is what I was talking about yesterday. That I'm a Republican, but that doesn't mean I disagree with everything a Democrat might believe just for the sake of disagreeing.

...that everyone needs to read this book (and most people probably already have! I was late getting on the bandwagon)

...that it's okay that I don't let myself get totally wrapped up in politics (hence my decision to stay off of Facebook on election day next year...until I realized election day was also my birthday :-P) I'm going to be totally honest with you: I literally panicked the day Barack Obama became president. Mostly because he is so opposite of most of what I believe. But I think in the past 3 years I've grown up a bit and realized that no matter who the president is, God is still God. No matter what the President believes or what happens to our country, God is unchanging. I can't put my faith in my government just like I can't put my faith in any human thing. I have to put my faith in God. That doesn't mean I should quit fighting for what I believe. But it does mean that no matter what is going on around me, I don't have to worry or stress out about it because God works all things together for good.

And with that, I think I'll cool it for awhile with this political/serious talk. I don't often write about things like this because I have this horrible "disease" where I basically get my heart broken whenever someone disagrees with me. Ha! But I'm learning to build a thicker skin and to just not care. That's the reason we live in a free country, right? So we can believe and practice whatever we want (within reason/the law, of course). My point is just that we should agree to disagree sometimes instead of hurting others!