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."