Monday, October 02, 2017

project 12 | September

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year as i can. it's fun to look back on the details of our year at the end of it, as well as seeing how we change through the photos each month. :)


both of my professors for my saturday classes decided to have online class the week of labor day, so we didn't have to go to class that saturday! that means that me and Thomas got to enjoy a long weekend together, because we both had monday off of work/internship too! it was nice to start the month out with a little bit of some breathing room on the weekend and time to explore!

we have started going to a new church here and they have a saturday night service which we have been enjoying. since my classes go until 2:30 on saturdays, we eat a late lunch and then head to church. then, we have the entire day sunday to have our "weekend" together. it is working well during this season of life right now. i've been trying to get all of my school work done during the week so i don't have to open a book on sunday and so far i've been able to keep true to that. so, we only have a one day weekend, but at least we have the whole day and can take day trips to the mountains or just get outside and walk!

i have gotten to explore some other hospitals and facilities this month at my internship and that has been really interesting. i've only been in my internship for a month and a half but i feel like i've learned SO much already, which is great! i can't wait to see what all i will have learned come May when the internship ends and graduation is here! i can't believe graduation is only 8ish months away (but i'm so ready)!

September 2 - day in Asheville & coffee on a double decker bus
September 3 - Asheville & arts festival
September 4 - walked in the parks downtown
September 10 - walked on the swamp rabbit trail & in the park downtown
September 15 - took a walk in the park
September 17 - brunch, Indie Craft Festival, and a walk in the park (are you seeing a theme?!)
September 22 - our 7th first date
September 24 - thrifting & a trip to the orchard
September 29 - dinner for my father-in-law's birthday
September 30 - dinner downtown with Thomas's family

what have you been up to this month?

Monday, September 25, 2017

the first date | year seven

Thomas and i re-create our first date on September 22 every year because it has become tradition. me doing a blog post to commemorate our re-creation has also become a tradition. (you can see past posts here: 2014, 2015, 2016) thankfully it was just a simple low-key date of coffee after i got out of tutoring in accounting lab cause six years ago i was still working on my undergrad degree in accounting. it is so crazy that it's been six years, and so crazy how much life has changed in those six years.

it's also kinda crazy that this is the seventh year that we've done this date, but we've been together for six years. math is kinda funny like that sometimes, it can be confusing. i originally thought this was our sixth time doing the date, because it had been six years. but then i remembered we did the date the original time too so this is actually the seventh time we've done this date! but the sixth time we've re-created the date. i digress. either way, it's been a long time!

this year it fell on a friday, so i was planning on going decaf since i wake up early every saturday morning and go to class for 6 hours. #gradschoolproblems but then i thought about bubble tea and that sounded a lot better than sugary decaf coffee. so we changed it up a little bit this year and went to a tea place instead of Starbucks. and actually our first date was supposed to be at Dunkin because we both like their coffee more, but it was closed by the time we got there since i was in accounting lab until 8pm. little known fact :) also, the tea bar we went to is the same tea bar we had our third date at... so it all kinda fits into the theme!

i love the fact that we take the time to do this every year, and i hope we can do it until our hair has turned gray! and i like the fact that we changed it up this year. i mean, it's kinda the same thing because the date is basically buying way overpriced beverages. ;)

i think it's cool how our first date is always around the first day of fall each year. and this year it fell on the same exact day that ushers fall in! fall is both of our favorite season, and it signifies change, so it fits with the change that this date held in both of our lives! the bummer is that this year September 22 was SO HOT. maybe now that it's officially fall the weather can get the hint and cool off some!

what's your favorite overpriced beverage?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

sensory devotional for the mountains

we are so close to fall which means that it is time to head to the mountains! i love the crispness in the air and the gorgeous views around every bend. there is just something about escaping to the mountains and having slow mornings on the porch of a cabin that has a serenity to it. i always love to have a devotional when i go to the mountains for vacation, so i can really take advantage of those quiet mornings in nature and have a focused quiet time. 

Cathy Baker is releasing a week-long sensory devotional for the mountains & it is the perfect addition to a mountain vacation! the sensory part of the devotional really goes well with the quiet mornings in the mountains because you can really experience God's creation in a new way! 

i don't know when we will be taking our next week long mountain vacation, since i am buried in grad school right now. :) but we currently live with my in-laws (kinda like a family vacation?!) and their front porch has a view of the mountains... so i didn't have to wait to dig into this devotional and pretend i was deep in the mountains! 

each devotion starts and ends with a short prayer to help your heart and mind focus on scripture and the Lord's presence. this simple notion really helps me to be still and quiet my mind down by putting all of the demands of the day away for the moment. 

each devotion also has simple actions you can do to really involve your senses and it is amazing how one simple act can really transform the way you experience the study. something as simple as lifting my hands just has a more intimate affect and helps me to connect deeper to the Lord. 

i really enjoyed this devotional (and pretending i was deep in the mountains) and plan on taking this with me on each future week-long trip i take to the mountains. each trip and location is so unique that there is more to discover through the sensory elements encompassed in this study each time!

if you would like to order this devotional for your next mountain vacation, it is available on Kindle starting today! you can get to it by clicking here

what is your favorite part of a trip to the mountains?

p.s. if the mountains are not your thing, Cathy also has a sensory devotional for the beach that you can get on kindle also!

Monday, September 04, 2017

project 12 | August

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year as i can. it's fun to look back on the details of our year at the end of it, as well as seeing how we change through the photos each month. :)


this month was pretty busy with my summer semester ending only three days before fall semester started. i did have a few free saturdays before the fall saturday classes started so it was nice to have some full weekends again since my saturdays will be taken until next May. (i'm not crying, i just have something in my eye ;) so this semester i have 2 classes on saturday and 2 classes that are online. the online classes aren't always on a designated day, but we do have lectures and videos that usually add up to around the 3 hours an in-person class is each week. so it will definitely be a time intensive semester again.

it has been an adjustment getting used to working the 11a-11p shift, and different days each week. my supervisor covers multiple ER's so we sometimes travel to other ER's in the area during my shift too. we actually have to cover for an ER on the other side of town for 3 weeks during August & September, so that will be a little different too since we will be splitting the days. basically my schedule has been all over the place and i only know a month's schedule at a time so it makes it hard to plan things and keep my sleep schedule consistent. but i am enjoying the internship a lot and it is worth this crazy schedule for a year to get this experience!

we probably won't start looking for a house until during the spring semester because 1) i'm not going to have time to breathe during the fall semester and 2) we're paying for grad school out of pocket and living on only one income. unfortunately i have no time during the school year to work part-time so we are hoping to be able to build up some money towards a house since we don't have the apartment rent anymore! we are excited to find a house of our own and get settled, but we are also glad that my in-laws are gracious enough to let us crash with them this year so we can build up money and take our time finding a house!

August 5 - last day of my saturday class & trip to the mountains with my in-laws
August 9 - last day of my summer online class
August 12 - day hiking trip with Thomas
August 13 - family celebration for my birthday
August 14 - first day of my new internship!
August 19 - birthday party for my grandma
August 21 - VIP eclipse viewing at the science center (i won tickets on an instagram giveaway!)
August 23 - i turned 29 (getting too close to 30!)
August 24 - online classes for the semester began
August 26 - saturday classes for the semester began
August 27 - trip to an orchard to get apples & pet some animals!
August 29 - i had a system training for my internship
August 30 - live evening video class for one of my online classes

what have you been up to this month?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

birthday by the numbers

today i turn 29. yikes! that is a little too close to 30 for comfort! ;) i did a birthday by the numbers post a few years ago and wanted to bring it back this year cause i love looking at numbers! numbers seem to shed a different light on the story and give a frame of reference. at least, since i am a numbers person, that's what they do for me!

tomorrow i begin my 29th year of life. it is crazy to think that i have only been on this earth for almost 30 years, because it feels like forever to me! ;) of course, that's because this life is all i've ever known!

i just started my 3rd semester of grad school (4th if you count the summer semester) - which means i am about 66% done with the program!

Thomas and i have been married for 1,559 days, which is about 4 1/2 years. it doesn't feel like we should already be approaching our 5th anniversary, time needs to slow down!

i have published 382 blog posts since i created this blog. i haven't been blogging as often this past year because grad school has taken priority, but i still love coming here to document memories or process through life. i also love reading back through some of my favorite posts every now & then! ;)

i have worked 3 of my 12 hour shifts for my internship so far. they go by pretty fast which i am thankful for, but the fact that i am in the ER probably has something to do with that! ;) i am loving it & can't wait to see what this year brings!

i have been doing project 12 for 4 years now, and i love having our memories captured for each month of the year. it is fun to look back through & see how much we have done, as well as how much we have changed through the photos. 

i have written 373 pages for grad school so far, and that number will most likely double by the time i am finished with this masters program. which is completely crazy to me... i could've written a novel!

we lived in our new city for 13 months before moving back home to finish the last half of the graduate program. although it was only a little over a year, that city began to feel like home.

i have fed too many animals to count at interactive zoos that we find! ;)

what are some significant numbers to you this month?

Monday, August 14, 2017

grad school by the numbers | volume 2.5

i have been compiling a list of numbers from each semester of grad school (semester 1 & semester 2), so i figured i would keep the trend up for this past summer semester as well. i only took 2 classes and was not in an internship, so it was quite a lighter load than the past two semesters have been school wise. however, i was working two jobs and the summer classes were a little more intense because they were a shorter duration. one class was 12 weeks and one was 7 weeks, so they are more accelerated than the normal semester classes. it wasn't as crazy as a full semester, but once the second class started it was pretty close with both of my jobs & moving going full force!

this summer class was the first class i had exams in, as all of my other classes have had papers and presentations as our big projects. however, the exams in this class were essay exams and they were basically like writing a really long paper in a short amount of time. for instance, my midterm was 10 questions and i ended up writing 22 pages (all papers are double-spaced) for the exam. my final was 10 questions and i ended up writing 29 pages. so, for this reason i've included them in the count for the total pages written.

my Saturday class ended on August 5, and my online class ended on August 10 so i just finished up with both classes, and today i am starting my block week for my internship for the Fall semester & classes start next week. so there is really no break between summer classes and the Fall semester which is a bummer, but i am excited for this next semester!

grad school by the numbers | volume 2.5

semesters completed: 2.5 of 4

days of saturday classes: 11

articles read: 31

chapters read: 33

video lectures watched: 22

total pages read: 802

hours of work: 251

papers written: 5

total pages written: 96

presentations: 1

exams taken: 2

cups of coffee consumed: 124

classes taken: 2

length of classes in hours: 3.5

hours of internship: 0

walks around campus: 11

semesters remaining: 2

Monday, August 07, 2017

13 months.

we lived here in our "new city" for 13 months & last week we moved back home a year earlier than originally planned. originally the plan was to be down here for both years of the graduate program, so it would have been 23 months. when i found out that i could finish my second year of classes at the satellite campus and i was offered my top internship pick back home, the opportunity was too good to pass up!

although it's only been a year, this place has started to feel like home. it only took 13 months for the hottest city in the world to capture our hearts despite the heat & humidity. we have our favorite places and our favorite people. our favorites delis and our favorite used bookstores. our favorite parks and hiking trails. our favorite coffee places & cupcakes places. ;) we have our routines, our favorite back roads, our favorite time to go out to the lake and catch the sunset.

i've learned a lot about myself and i have grown. it was nice to have so much space this first year of grad school as i got used to the routine and not having any free time. honestly, i was glad not to have weekend plans because i spent almost every weekend doing school work anyways. it was so nice living close to my internship and summer job, and any store we needed to go to. it was nice living so close to the zoo & having memberships so we could just chill each time we visited.

it is a bit scary to think about moving to a place where no one knows you, but i think it forces you to confront yourself. it allows you to figure out who you are and who you want to be without those other voices telling you who they think you should be. these past 13 months have given me the freedom and space to process through life and what i want moving forward. it has been a nice break from the "should" so i could contemplate the "could" and "would." these past 13 months have been everything i needed them to be. and while i am excited for the next 13 months and everything they hold, i am sad to see this time in this city go. it will always hold a special place in my heart. i will always think of it as our second home.

what is your favorite part of the city you live in?

Friday, August 04, 2017

goodbye apartment life

i don't think i've ever actually posted photos of our apartment on the blog because grad school started shortly after we got settled in and it was hit the ground running. so i figure since we just moved out, now is a good time! these are photos from right when we moved in so things weren't completely set up (ex: most of these photos were taken before we put up curtains), but they were close. i'm glad i took these because i love having photos to remember places by! (although they were taken with a wide angle phone lens so they look like i lived in a fishbowl & the lighting in the apartment was horrible! but they're all i have!) you can also check out the photos of our first house here!

this was the patio off the back side of our apartment. the stains were included for free! ;)

things i will miss about apartment life:
o1; our apartment was bigger than our first house so i will miss having all the space! we will be living with my in-laws for a little while before we buy another house, so we are going from a 3 bedroom apartment to 1 room in the interim.

o2; not having to do yardwork or fix things when they break! holla!

o3; no steps! we were so lucky to be able to have a first floor apartment and it was very nice, especially since our basset has back issues. at the in-laws there are steep steps going into the basement where the bunnies will be staying, so i'll be walking up those every day! but at least they are indoors!

o4; the sunroom! i did a lot of my reading for school in our big comfy chair in the sunroom that was right next to the windows so the natural light was great!

o5; two bathrooms! in our old house we had to share a bathroom, and we will once again be sharing one at my in-laws... but it was so nice to have two sinks, two showers, and two toilets at the apartment!

things i will (most definitely) not miss about apartment life:
o1; all of the stomping and jumping our upstairs neighbors did for hours on end almost every day. (thankfully they moved out at the beginning of the same month we moved out so we did have a peaceful few weeks at the end there!)

o2; never being able to find a parking spot, which is really fun when you've got car full of groceries and there is a monsoon.

o3; having to pick up our dog's poop from the yard. and almost stepping in the piles our courteous neighbors left lying around our patio because they don't follow the rules. 

o4; our internet that couldn't reach through the steel walls of our apartment to the living room.

o5; random fire alarms going off at very inopportune times, and everyone has to vacate the building and wait for the fire department. #neighborbonding








have you ever lived in an apartment? what were your favorite & least favorite moments?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

project 12 | July

i love having my years captured month by month and plan to keep up with project 12 this year as i can. it's fun to look back on the details of our year at the end of it, as well as seeing how we change through the photos each month. :)


what a crazy month! working two jobs, taking two accelerated classes, packing our apartment, and moving back home (well, moving in with the in-laws). i am just so amazed at what all this summer has consisted of and that i survived the craziness that was July. my summer job was really busy the last month because we were closing out grants that i had worked on all school year, but it was cool to see it to completion! as of today i am completely finished with both jobs, but i am still in my two summer classes until August 10. (and then the Fall semester starts on August 14, sooooo soon) most of my papers/projects for my summer classes were due in July, which added to the crazyness, so i just have two papers and one exam left! woooo!

we have officially moved all of our stuff into storage and so we just need to set up our room here, but the BIG part of moving is done! yay! it was a lot of work because we had certain things going to my in-laws and certain things going into storage so we had to make sure everything was separated. we moved our animals up the weekend before so we wouldn't have to worry about carting 3 animals around on moving day, plus we needed to clean the apartment before moving out and it's easier to do that when there aren't animals in it! we are settling in though and our basset loves having a big yard to run around in again!

we did get to go to the beach with Thomas's family for an extended weekend for July 4th because i didn't have my saturday class that weekend. i did have to do work for my online class while we were there, but it was nice to at least get out of the routine of home and have a few days off of work! every other weekend of the month was filled with class & packing/moving things, so it was nice to start off the month with a little slower pace! my parents came down the weekend before we moved to help us cart the rabbits and some random furniture to my in-laws. then my in-laws came to stay the weekend we moved to help us pack/clean, so it was nice to have the help 2 weekends in a row and have a little bit of time to rest!

we also had a rather rough month with our basset. she is getting on up there in age and has had some back issues the past year or so. the day my parents brought her back to our apartment after our vacation she had trouble getting up and using her back legs. she got to moving around better but it was up and down on her legs/back for a week. we took her to the vet and they upped her dosage of pain meds back to the original dose and that seemed to help a lot. but she has been going downhill this past year, and while part of me thinks it's due to apartment life, the other part thinks it is just her getting older and everything that comes with that. after losing Finn last year i'm just not ready to go through that again. the average age that bassets live until is 10 years, and she will be 11 in October, so here's to hoping she'll be around for 12 also! 

July 1-4 - beach trip with Thomas's family
July 22 - we moved all our pets to my in-laws (less to keep up with on moving day!)
July 26 - last day at my summer job (& also where i interned last school year)
July 28 - my in-laws came to stay for the weekend & help us finish up packing
July 29 - i had a presentation for my saturday class
July 31 - moving day!

what have you been up to this month?

Monday, July 10, 2017

writing | life lessons

not everyone will be your friend
broken hearts need time to mend
your first chance won't be your last
but the time, it goes too fast

every action i make, i must own
one day we all have to leave home
i'm not the only one growing old
but it all ends well, or so i'm told

forgive and forgive once more
don't close too many doors
travel the world while you can
don't wait around for a man

it's better to say no
than to let frustrations grow
but say yes to that perfect guy
and let your heart touch the sky

give yourself time to grieve
leave if you need to leave
always keep your best friends close
cause they're the ones you need the most

these are the things life teaches me
through teary eyes and bloody knees
through days filled with laughter and grins
through losses and also through wins

yet every scar i have today
has furthered me along the way
to help me grow into me
a fierce lion, a majestic sea

check out other writing posts here!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

engagement session | Emily & Josh

my friend who i met through the graduate program got engaged recently & she asked me if i would do their engagement photos. i was excited and also a little bit nervous because i had never done engagement photos before. the school we go to has a gorgeous campus so we met on campus one night and took photos all around the horseshoe, which is this big grassy area with gorgeous trees. 

i also decided to get crafty & i painted peg dolls for them as a wedding gift and to use in the photoshoot. i am so obsessed with these little peg dolls because they came out super adorable! we got to feature them in the photoshoot and i think it added a nice touch! these two were a super fun couple to photograph and i think they were tired from smiling & laughing so much by the end - which means it was a good time! i think their photos came out so darling & i loved editing this session!