Friday, August 31, 2012

August Photo Journal

Today was day 3 of my dinosaur class in Akron.  I really did choose a school with a beautiful campus!  I had to snap a picture on the way to class.

I filled some of my first Etsy orders today!

 My grandpa planted some Dahlias for us this summer. I didn't know if they'd make it with the dry weather we've had, but today they are blooming and looking beautiful!

We spent the evening with friends, pizza, and the Olympics tonight.  Luke was trying to get Elin to warm up to him here.  I'm not sure if it worked or not...

Tonight was the church picnic and baptism.  It was a great night, as always.  Elin was looking so cute, I had to take her picture.

This weekend is wedding weekend!  Tonight I tried my shoes on and practiced walking in them a bit.  It's been a long time since I've worn heels!

This afternoon I was relaxing and enjoying the porch when I noticed I had a little creeper spying on me from inside...

Luke had softball games tonight.  The weather was strange. It couldn't decide if it wanted to storm or stay sunny.  The result was this beautiful sky that appeared when we got home.

I spent about 7 hours at Lindsey's (the bride's) parents' house this evening working on wedding details.  I spent a lot of time making these pinwheels.  It was fun, and I'm so excited about the big day on Saturday!

Tonight was Lindsey and Richard's rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.   The dinner was held at a rustic lodge, and was catered with Bolivian food since Richard grew up as a missionary kid in Bolivia.  It was delicious, and we had a beautiful, chilly evening.  I thought the reflection of the clouds on the lake outside the lodge was breathtaking. 

Today was the big day!  Lindsey was beautiful, and so was the ceremony and reception hall.  I was so excited to stand with my friend on this special day!

I'm just spending the day today relaxing and recovering from this busy weekend!

I tried a new Essie color today.  It's very pink.  I will just have to wear it on days when I'm feeling extra girly.

 I've been busy checking items off of my to-do list for grad school. I can't believe it begins in less than two weeks!  I'm starting to feel a little nervous, but so excited at the same time!

Glass bottles on my mantle.  love.

I printed this message on my chalkboard today, because I need this reminder daily.  Life is good!

When Gabby's in a rare, good mood, she rolls back and forth on the carpet and stretches out like she owns the place.  It's super adorable.  And yes, we are aware that she's obese.

Tonight Luke and I had a date night!  We went to Carrabba's, and then to see The Dark Knight Rises.  I gave myself a little mani-pedi before the evening.  Nothing makes me feel girlier than a fresh coat of nail polish!

Today we went to a family reunion!  Lilly was being adorable as usual, so I had to snag this picture of her and Di.

I know this picture is boring, but I set up my study area today!  I am ready for grad school to commence.

 This picture is terribly blurry, but I was busy filling an Etsy order today!  I wasn't sure if anyone would buy these simple white flower headbands, but they seem to be my most popular item.

Today I went school shopping.  You are never too old for that, right?

It was day one of orientations for grad school today!  I needed a break and a little cuddle time after a day full of information and guidelines.  Ellie happily obliged.  It's good to know she loves me!

What a fun day!  I spent it out shopping (and eating!) with my aunt and grandma.  Then I went to a 31 Bits jewelry party at my friend Rachel's house. I bought this beautiful necklace, and the proceeds will go to help women in Uganda!  Win-win.

I've got some kind of faux-nesting effect going on this weekend.  I'm not pregnant, but I do know that my life is about to get crazy with grad school starting next week!  So I spent the weekend cleaning and beautifying my house. This included setting up these new K-cup holders I bought for $1 at Target.  If I could move in to Target, I probably would.

Today we celebrated Dad's birthday!  Julie and Andy came down to celebrate, and they of course brought Oopa.  We say she looks more like a Muppet than a dog.

My head is spinning today! All the new speech-language pathology students had our orientation today.  It lasted all day, and was totally overwhelming.  But my heart is happy, and I feel totally ready to begin.  This is a boring picture, but I wanted one that would represent this exciting week!

Well, I survived my first day of classes!  And they were great.  I came home, and couldn't find Ellie.  It turns out she found a new hiding place: this awkward shelf area between the living room and kitchen.  My mom and I made curtains to put there so it would be hidden (finally) over the weekend.  I guess Ellie likes to be hidden from Gabby!  I'm going to have to move our towels to a higher shelf...

The only "picture" I got today was this screen shot. I don't know if it technically counts as a picture or not, but I'm counting it.  I just had to rub it in to Luke that I got invited to hang out with Jim Tressel, who now works at UA.  

My human brain coloring book came in the mail today!  We get to color some of these pages for extra credit in my ABI class.  I think I'm going to like this grad school thing!

I have Fridays off this semester!  But I thought I should spend today working on a little school work.  I took advantage of the summer weather and set up a little study area on my front porch.  Brain coloring book: check.  Coloring utensils: Check.  Iced coffee: Check.  Parks and Rec on my laptop: Check.  Perfection.

And that concludes my photo journal for August.  That's what I've decided to call these posts: photo journals.  Because calling it Project 365 is just too much pressure!  I've already failed at that twice.  

Dear September,
Bring it on!  I can't wait to fill your dates with pictures of fall candles, pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, and more miscellaneous school stuff.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Deets

Yesterday was my first day of classes!  I can't believe grad school is officially underway.  My first day was awesome. This semester I'm taking: Acquired Brain Injury, AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), Differential Diagnosis in Speech and Language Disorders, and Support Systems for Individuals and Families, which kind of deals with the counseling that goes along with being an SLP.  I thought most of my classes last year were pretty interesting, but oh my goodness!  I think I'm going to love these so much!  They are all so specific and completely applicable to what I'm doing right now in clinicals.

Speaking of clinicals, I am so excited about those as well!  I have a pretty heavy load for clinicals this semester.  Our supervisor told us some semesters we might have as few as 30-40 clinic hours, and other semesters we might have 70-80.  I added it all up today, and this semester I'm actually going to have well over 80 hours as long as I don't get tons of cancellations!  We need 400 hours by the time we finish the program, so getting a good head start on it makes me feel a little less stressed in the long run.  It also means I'll probably have a lighter load next semester.  

I think I have the coolest placements for clinicals too! (I would probably be saying that no matter where I had been placed, but bear with me.  Like I said: I'm excited!)  My first placement is in a school.  I am nervous to even mention this on my blog for confidentiality sake, so I'm not going to give any details about where it's located or what district I'm in.  But anyway, I am glad to sort of ease into the whole clinical experience thing in an environment that I'm so familiar with! (For those of you who might be new to the blog, I worked in a school for 4 years, and got my undergrad degree in early childhood education, so I'm very comfortable in a school setting).  I will be spending 5 hours a week in this school and working with 11 students! 11 is a lot, since a lot of my classmates are working in the clinic on campus and only have about 3 clients.  I'll be going two mornings a week with one other lady from my class.  Since there are 2 of us and just 1 supervisor to go between the 2, we're actually going to be doing therapy a lot on our own already!  I guess we're just getting thrown right into it.  I'm excited though, and I think it will really get me ready for my student teaching that I'll have to do my second year.  Today I had an orientation at the school and met a lot of the staff, and they seem great.  The principal was very welcoming, and said he would consider us as part of his staff for the next 4 months.  The only drawback is that this placement goes past the end of the semester, and I'll be going there until the district goes on Christmas break.  But I can deal with that, because I think I'm going to love this!

I haven't heard as much information about my second placement, because our orientation isn't until next week.  But I know I'll be working in the new telepractice lab at the university's speech clinic.  I believe that means that I'll be doing therapy through Skype, or something like Skype.  This is a new, up and coming area of speech pathology, and I'm excited to learn more about it.  

Can you tell I'm excited? I guess I may have mentioned that a few dozen times already. I didn't realize I was going to be able to take part in such unique and different experiences for my clinical placements.  My understanding was that they'd all just be at the speech clinic on campus.  It's a little scary to be thrown out and working with clients in the second week of class, but I think the best way to learn something is to go out there and do it!  

Ask me in about 6 weeks, and I may be totally overwhelmed and stressed out!  But right now I cannot wait to see what this semester has in store!  

All I have to say is that God is awesome, and I'm so glad He has given me this opportunity.  I would have missed out on so many blessings if things had gone the way I wanted them to.

I have one more day of class tomorrow, and then I'll be off for a glorious 4-day weekend.  I can't wait to sleep in past 6!  Anyway, I'm going to sign off for now, because I've gone way over my exclamation point limit for one post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And so it Begins...

Today (Monday) I had an orientation to the program that I will be a part of for the next two years.  I went in feeling optimistic and excited for the day!  ...and then I left wondering how in the world I was going to survive the next two years!  Ha!  It was overwhelming to say the least.  I think our clinic supervisor said it best when she said, "you need to put your life on hold for two years.  Don't plan anything. You can have a life after grad school."

I am mostly overwhelmed by the fact that my schedule is a lot fuller than I thought it would be!  In addition to having classes from 8:30-5:40 on Tuesdays, and from 7:45-3:15 on Thursdays, I also have clinicals in a school district about an hour and 15 minutes from my house on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and another clinical placement that hasn't been scheduled yet.  If you factor in driving time and study time, I'm pretty much going to have zero free time during the week, especially if I substitute teach on my only free days: Fridays.  I am going to cherish my weekends so much in the next 15 weeks!!  

I am so excited about this program.  All the professors and staff are so friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. And all the other students (all 40 of us are women, if you can believe that!) seem very friendly, and I'm sure we'll all become very close in the next two years!  

Tomorrow I'll have my first day of classes, and I'm so excited to begin!


I realized that last weekend was my final free weekend before the craziness began.  So I spent it doing lots of fun stuff, and being productive.  Here are a few picture highlights:

 This little one curled up right on my stomach while I was having a little Lost marathon on Netflix the other day.  She is the sweetest cat!

I've been working on some DIY projects lately!  I'm going to make a pinwheel banner for  my mantle, and then if it turns out nicely, I might put some in my Etsy shop!

 I went on a spontaneous shopping trip with my Aunt and Grandma on Friday.  I found these cute chalkboard buckets at Target for $1 apiece!  I'm using them as K-cup holders.  I think they're so cute!

My friend Rachel had a 31 Bits party on Friday night.  It is "jewelry made out of 100% recycled paper by internally displaced women in Northern Uganda."  Check out their website here.  I bought this necklace, and I love it!

I spent a good part of the weekend working on things around the house.  Like adding to my mantle collection, and purchasing new pillows for my couch.  I've been wanting to buy new decorative pillows for our couch for a long time.  I finally got around to it, because I was nesting.   Ha!  No, I'm not pregnant.  But I really had something going on that was very similar to nesting this weekend, because I knew the semester was about to start, and things were about to get crazy!  My mom also helped me make a curtain to cover an awkward shelf area between my living room and kitchen. I'll post a picture eventually. 

Not pictured:  Yesterday I spent the day with my family celebrating my dad's birthday, so that was fun too!

I'm glad I had a fun and productive weekend before the craziness begins!  I have a feeling I'll just be going, going, going, until May of 2014 when I graduate!  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things That Make Me Smile

~ Back to school shopping.  You're never too old for that, right?  I had fun shopping the clearance section at Kohls today and found some good stuff!

~ Fall at Bath and Body Works.  They are having a sale on hand soap: 5 for $15!  I couldn't resist.  I didn't even let myself look at the fall candles yet, because let's be honest: I would have just gotten even more carried away.

~ Having a day when Pandora just "gets" me.  Know what I mean?  Favorite song after favorite song that just totally fits my mood.  Today I was in the car and What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction came on, and then Someone Like You by Adele, followed by Glee's version of We Found Love, and then Idina Menzel's Defying Gravity.  it was like Pandora was reading my mind.  (you can see how dorky my taste in music is, I guess.  No shame).  It's better than the days when Pandora plays I'm Yours a million times.  Okay Pandora, you killed that song for me two years ago.  Let's move on.  

~New headbands in the Etsy shop coming soon! I'm loving the new lacey elastic I found.  Just for a quick Etsy update, it is going well!  I've sold mostly to people I know irl, but I literally have not really listed the link to my shop anywhere, so this weekend I'm going to be busy trying to spread the word a little better.

~  I have my first day of orientations at Akron tomorrow!  It's going to be a pretty boring one because it's just orientation for the college of health professions.  We will be talking about riveting topics like: universal precautions, professionalism during clinicals and internships,  ethics, and student judicial affairs.  *Yawn.*  But I am just excited because it means we are almost to the start of the semester, and this long awaited journey is about to begin!  

~I'm also smiling because on Tuesday night I had to take a CPR class to renew my certificate.  I took it in Akron, and one of the six other people in my class was also taking it for SLP grad school at UA!  What a coincidence!  It was nice to talk to someone in the program, and to know there will be a familiar face in my orientations and first days of classes.  Plus, I think a few of my friends from my post-bac year will be in the program too, so it's nice to go into it knowing that I'll know a few people. 

~And to finish this post out, Parks and Recreation is still making me smile. Today I saw this episode, and laughed so hard at this part.  This is exactly what I sound like when I'm singing a song that I don't know the lyrics to:

I just wish I could have found a clip of the scene before this one when Leslie's singing it at the bar: "Can't read my, can't read my, no he can't read my poker face..blah blah blah blablabla blah."  I do that every time I sing that song. I still have no idea what those lyrics are.  Anyway, I always need a little Leslie Knope in my life.

Why are you smiling today?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer, I'm Over You.

I love summer.  I love everything about it, including the hot, humid weather and the thunderstorms.  Especially the thunderstorms, actually.  I am not complaining today.  Nope, not one bit!  If I had to choose between a whole year of three-digit temperatures, and spending a normal January and February in Ohio, I'd choose the three-digit temps any day.  However, as much as I love summer, I'm getting ready for this:


Yep...I loved summer.  But there comes a point every year when I'm just ready for fall (and Christmas after that)!  And knowing that classes begin next week makes me totally ready.  Just looking at these pictures gives me warm, fuzzy feelings.  I am so ready!  Now, is it too early to start breaking out the fall decor?  Because I can't help myself.