Wednesday, January 16, 2019

twenty nineteen.

i'm posting this recap of 2018 and looking forward into 2019, two full weeks into the new year which i think says a lot about how 2019 is going. (spoiler alert: it's going slowly and a bit hectic.)

this year was a year full of changes, both exciting and sad. this year started off with me beginning my last semester of grad school. i took my board licensing exam during the semester and passed...which was exciting! so, when i graduated in May, i graduated as a Licensed Master of Social Work. we were offered a free week at the beach during the week of my graduation, which was a nice surprise!

i started a PRN job at the hospital in early June and got to train at a few different of our satellite hospitals. i worked full-time hours as a PRN but didn't have benefits. i accepted a full time position in October and have been working on a rotation since then, working 12 hour shifts. i do really love my job though, and can't believe how everything worked out so seamlessly.  

we were planning and researching building a house for about 5 months of 2018, but ended up deciding to buy a house in November. thankfully, things moved fast and we were able to close in 3 1/2 weeks. we moved most of our furniture into our house the week before Christmas, so it was a pretty hectic time. (we still haven't had time to move our dining room table into our house from storage, if you want a spoiler alert on how 2019 is going so far, haha!) but we were so excited to be able to move into our own space again, 6 months prior to when we thought we would be able to!

the holidays are always pretty hectic when you are married, because there are double the family gatherings to attend. it was interesting trying to work it out between my work schedule this year, because i do have to work on holidays. then, my grandmother passed on Christmas Eve, which was pretty tough. she had just gone on hospice but it wasn't something we had really known for months was going to happen. and it's just tough losing someone on a holiday.

overall, 2018 was a full year with a lot of changes and a lot of growth. looking back, it feels like a roller coaster and i am just glad that grad school is behind me. i didn't think we would end 2018 in a house of our own, and i didn't know if i would be in a full-time job by the end of the year either. both things ended up happening and it just feels nice to be somewhat "settled" in life again. 

this year got off to a little bit of a rocky start. my grandmother's funeral was the last Saturday of 2018 and then on Sunday i went back to work. in case you're wondering, it's really hard to work with patients who want to willingly end their life when you just lost a family member that you wish you had a few more years with. i mean, on a normal day my job is tough but i just felt it so much more while i was grieving my grandmother. so i was a little bit of an emotional mess coming into this year.

i worked a lot of weekend days in December and the first two weeks of this month. the last full weekend i had off was the weekend before Christmas, which was filled with tons of family gatherings. which were really fun but not super restful. my last weekend off prior to that was the weekend after Thanksgiving. so it's been a long few months with not being off of work at the same time Thomas is, and we haven't seen each other very much. i will be getting into my normal rotation beginning with this week, but if i am honest i came into 2019 pretty weary from my work schedule the last few months. we are still trying to find our new "normal" with my crazy work hours, but also super thankful that this job came along.

because we haven't had weekends off together, moving into our house and unpacking has been very slow going. we still have a lot of boxes in storage that we need to go through, and like i mentioned above we still haven't been able to move our dining room table into the house. but we were able to get all of the necessities moved in, so we are able to live in the house it's just a little bit stressful with still having a lot of stuff in storage. my goal is to be completely unpacked by the end of March. i'm not even kidding that it will probably take us that long based on how slow the past month has gone, haha! but i am fine with just taking our time unpacking since we have limited days that we get to spend time together. unpacking is a priority but not the biggest one at this point, and that's okay with me.

even though 2019 started off a little bit crazy, i am looking forward to it! it's the first year in a while that doesn't have grad school on the horizon. (and no, i'm not going back for a PhD, school's out forever!) this year feels like the world is open to us, haha! we are already settling into our house, and we don't have to worry about the stress of building a house for the next 6 months. i am settling into my job and really enjoying it. and i can't wait to see how 2019 unfolds!

Monday, December 31, 2018

30 favorite photos of 2018

it is actually kinda crazy to me, doing a recap post of 2018... because the beginning of this year feels like WORLDS AWAY! at the beginning of the year, i was starting my last semester of grad school, i hadn't even taken and passed my boards yet, and i had no idea how much life would change by December. yet here we are, i've got my dream job and it's near my house, and speaking of houses... we are ending 2018 in OUR OWN HOME! we haven't had our own house since May 2016, so we are just a tad excited!

last year, I did a post where I shared my favorite photos from the year. It was one of my favorite posts to do, so I decided to do it again this year! I have trouble narrowing down photos, so I am doing my favorite 30! last year I was able to narrow it down to 20 but this year I just couldn't choose! but I guess it fits because I turned 30 this year, so that sounds like a good number! haha! I added a short explanation of each photo below it! there aren't all my favorite for aesthetic reasons... but for the memories that have been captured. either way, enjoy!

o1; i mean, our adorable bunny catching snowflakes on her tongue?! you would be hard pressed to find photo cuter than that!

o2; if you know me, you know I'm an animal lover and slightly obsessed with donkeys. so when we had a resident donkey at an airbnb we stayed at, I was in heaven!

o3; this is spring in Chattanooga, and i love these colors so much! we took a short weekend trip to Chattanooga during my spring break, and we loved walking/biking on this pedestrian bridge!

o4; weekend getaways, coffee, and my husband... i can't go wrong with that combination!

o5; my in-law's baby chicks on top of my bunny, how much more cute could it get?!

o6; my family came to my graduation celebration at the satellite campus of my school and afterwards we hit up an ice cream/coffee place & my cool nephew rode with us!

o7; sunset silhouettes are my favorite photos to capture. this was a spontaneous beach trip that we got to go on, the week of my graduation! I think this one is so fun with the bird flying in the background!

o8; getting offered a free stay at the beach the week of my graduation was a fun treat! it was nice to have some days of relaxation to celebrate all that went into accomplishing a masters degree and licensure!

o9; every time we go to the beach, one of my favorite parts is going out to the point and watching the sunset. Thomas and I are sunset chasers, and the beach always tends to have gorgeous ones!

10; my sister graduated with her doctorate the day after I graduated with my masters, which was so fun. we took some photos before and after her ceremony and this one is my fave!

11; when our basset tags along on our hikes, it's always a photo opportunity! she's so adorable!

 12; i took some pregnancy announcement photos for some friends of ours, and this photo came out so sweet!

13; we went out to the beach one day after it had been raining, and got to see a full rainbow! 

14; the deer that live on the island we go to for family vacation, are used to people, so you can pretty much hang out with deer and it's so cool!

15; i just think these palm trees look so cool and representative of summer! i looked up when we were walking onto the beach and saw this and just had to capture it! 

16; I had my sister take a photo of us on my camera at one of our family get togethers, and it's one of my favorite photos of us to date.

17; just a boy having fun! i have such cute nephews! i love capturing random photos of them! 

18; my husband holding our newest nephew! so tiny! 

19; my husband took this of me when we were hiking one day (the same hike where he proposed) and i think it's so fun! 

20; of course i had to include a photo from when these blog friends came to town! I mean, if four bloggers hang out, there's gotta be a coffee photo right?!

21; reflection photos are some of my favorite in all the land

22; nephew feets, enough said

23; i love doing themed photoshoots with our pets & i think this fall themed photo came out so adorable! 

24; just look at that man that i married! ;) this was another weekend getaway that we took!

25; the budweiser clydesdales came to town to deliver beer down main street & we got some awesome close up photos of them!

26; the day we closed on our house & got the keys! so exciting!

27; nephew smiles & reindeer jammies

28; we stayed at my parent's house for a few days when we had a snow storm, because the roads near my in-laws were't driveable. i had a day off while we were there & spent the day doing puzzles and making cookies with my nephew! it was so much fun!

29; our gorgeous mantle and fireplace in our new house! i can't get enough of it!

30; the year ended on a sad note when my grandmother passed away on Christmas Eve, but we were so thankful we were able to see her 2 days prior and get this sweet photo with her!

what are some of your favorite memories from 2018?

Friday, December 28, 2018

how to | wall decor with scrabble letters

I shared about the scrabble themed gifts we gave most of our family members a few days ago, but I wanted to make another post for what I made for my sister-in-law's family. I was originally going to make it for them when they had their second child (in August), but they didn't name the baby until a few days after he was born, so I waited for Christmas since I didn't know what scrabble letters I was looking for until after he was born! I made a small wooden pallet with every family member's name on it, and room to add more kids if their family grows! although, if they have more than four kids, there may not be enough room, haha!

small wooden pallet
jar of stain
washi tape
burlap flowers
scrabble letters
hot glue gun

o1; using a paper towel, stain your small wooden pallet in the stain color of your choice
o2; arrange the scrabble letters in the order you want them to be on the pallet
o3; use the hot glue gun to secure the letters onto the pallet
o4; use the hot glue gun to secure burlap flowers (or other decoration) to any space that needs filled
o5; if you have an extra panel, use temporary decoration (such as washi tape) to make a design that can be removed without damaging the pallet (if more names need to be added later)
o6; use the glue gun (or heavy duty stapler) to secure the rope to the back side of the pallet, so the pallet can be hung on the wall

bonus tip: you can glue other decorations onto the washi tape, to add decoration temporarily but will easily be removed with the washi tape later

what's your favorite use for scrabble letters?