Thursday, November 4, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010


fast forward from last spring to the present season - autumn - and much has changed in our lives. so much so, that i still feel my head spinning from the whirlwhind that was this summer. a brief recap:

:: in may, andrew graduated with his masters in psychology and studied for and passed his licensing exam.
:: in june, i graduated with my masters in nursing.
:: in july, i studied for and passed my licensing exam to become a full-fledged nurse.
:: since last april, andrew & i fretted, cried, prayed, agonized, and prayed some more as we began the long process of applying for jobs. with a couple of emotional exceptions (mostly agony), that process continues - in understanding and trust that the Lord has a plan.
:: in june, andrew began a new job as a therapist for families and children involved in the department of child and family services...tough stuff.
:: aug 1st, we left our 400-sq foot apartment behind. our third move in two years, and perhaps the most physically grueling - third floor with no elevator. eternal thanks to the friends that sweated that one with us. my joints are still aching.
:: at the end of august, after weeks of interviews, waiting and let downs, i gratefully started a new job as a nurse. with that, the blessing of relief for andrew & me...and the collective sigh of our simultaneous exhale as we released the tension of the past several months.
:: in august, a & i packed all our summer fun into a 2-week-span including a wisconsin backpacking trip, a visit to Granny in florida, and my cousin's aussie-texan wedding in san antonio.
and these are merely the high points - the tangible bullet points that we can point back to and say that happened.

now, as life tends to do when the gush of summer's flow lessens and trickles into autumn, things are slowing down. and the coming season of dormancy welcomes me with the opportunity for reflection.
right now, life is good. we're still in the midst of figuring things out - always will be - but God has taken care of us these past few months and years of grad school in big and little ways we weren't expecting. our family and our friends have too.
anyways, that's all for now. today, both andrew and i had the day off. i stayed home, i baked bread, i went to the grocery store. i did no homework or research or studying. outside, the leaves fell and so did the rain. it was peaceful.
and in our hearts, i know andrew and i will always be 2poorgradstudents.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


this has been a strange summer. lots of transition and deadlines and applications with very little downtime. but when mom was here in june, we inevitably ended up in the china department at marshall field's because where else would we be. we nearly died over this deviled-egg dish because clearly, we're texan. the following week, i stocked the necessary goods for deviled-eggs, the quintessential summer-time treat. and contrary to popular deviled-egg dish lore purporting that these things only get used max once a year, my new deviled-egg dish has already housed multiple rounds of delectable eggs. m'mmm....thanks mom!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

study break.

while studying for my last comprehensive exam ever in nursing school at one of our favorite little neighborhood spots, Fritz Pastry, i picked up these delectable macarons so that andrew and i could have a sweet little date in the midst of a terribly hectic and strung-out week. and at 75 cents a pop, they fit our little budget just right.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

andrew's graduation.

on may 8th, andrew graduated.

we dressed, we drove - just barely getting there in time - for andrew to walk across the stage, shake hands, smile for cameras, and have his journey honored in a way that only a graduation ceremony can.

there was a moment when they asked spouses of graduates to stand. i felt that lump in my throat rise as i stood, realizing that these last two years have meant so much more than a degree.

for our marriage, for our friendship, for our sanity, we have struggled to rely on a strength not our own. at times, successfully; other times, not so.

nonetheless, in doing so, we reap immeasurably the graces of a God who knows no measure. He has sustained us when very little else could.

i know so much of our experience is perception, but these past two years have been tough. we've been stretched and bent and forced through some things. but it is all as it should have been. what a wonderful journey.

perhaps when things settle down, i'll find the pics...

Monday, April 26, 2010

today, two years.

...2 years ago today, we began. thankful for what's been and what's to come.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

today's mantra.

today, my first day in weeks where there is nothing (not one thing!) on my schedule, this is my mantra. go--do!

so much to accomplish in the seven--yes, seven!--weeks left before i graduate.

for andrew, only two--yes, two!--weeks until he graduates.

....with a recent slow-down in daily duties for him, he turned to me yesterday and simply said, "i don't know what to do with myself." we've been chugging along, trying to keep up with such a steady, swift, at times ferocious, pace of school and life, that when all that busy-ness halts in the coming weeks, we're not quite sure how we will handle the withdrawal.... with most things, i'm sure we'll figure it out. but for today, i must go--do!

via mocking bird. lyrics by this musician. stream his music here - you won't regret it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

long barrage of snowboarding pictures & videos.

:: pooped out from a long day at wilmot mountain.

:: surprising vertical on the wisconsin-illinois border.

:: andrew surmounting his fear of heights.

:: lost in the wealth of sunshine.

:: cheese and thank you.

:: attempt-at-christmas-card-photo-fail.

:: because i couldn't resist videoing andrew while trailing behind him down the hill.

:: because andrew is quite the learner, picking up snowboarding in a surprisingly short period of time.

who knew wisconsin snowboarding could be so fun?

:: because i was sitting on the tailgate, eating my pb&j, watching andrew finagle our 2 runaway boards....i just had to start snapping some pictures:

Friday, March 19, 2010

outside my window.

a couple of weeks ago, this was the view outside our window: a new piece of artwork tagged across the side of our neighbor's building ~ i rather like it:

by now, all this snow has been replaced with sunshine and an energized city, ready for spring. incredible how quickly the snow peels back in deference to the coming season. more and more people are coming out of their winter caves and filling the streets each day, making it that much more fun to call chicago, since andrew and i are ever so slowly and cautiously thinking about someday getting a dog, i've been randomly stopping and talking with dog-owners when i'm walking to the grocery store and other errands. spring-like weather + less snow means more dog-owners on the street with which to chat ;)

...more pictures coming soon of our recent getaway to wisconsin to enjoy the last bit of winter's snow!

Monday, March 15, 2010

michelle kwan can, why can't i?

people here typically speak of how fun summer can be in chicago. and while this is true, i believe the winter is equally enjoyable, just different. several weeks ago, some friends and i went ice-skating to enjoy chicago's winter:

:: just a short display of my michelle kwan moves and the joy that winter can bring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

working space.

:: this morning, i awakened, early before the sun, to come and sit here, at my desk:

:: a bit of space carved out on a wall between where we sleep and where we cook:

:: i'm not much of a new year's resolution maker, but over a month ago, long past the season of making resolutions, i decided to dedicate myself to quiet, early myself, in this space, where i can collect myself and gather together silent moments of not just work and study, but creativity and praise. it's too easy to get my brain wrapped up in all the piles of this:

:: located so conveniently behind me...beckoning me to immediately start working and forget the space and time needed for a life of praise and prayer.

:: so here's to continuing these quiet mornings, full of grace, the quiet before the storm.

Monday, March 1, 2010

pallet furniture.

this morning, between writing clinical logs and care plans for patients - because *ahem* i would never procrastinate or do anything other than my studies on a monday morning - derrr.....uh-huh - i came across this lovely headboard via apartment therapy:

andrew and i never bought a headboard for our bed because, honestly, that seems like the last thing one needs when paying tuition and writing term papers while double-fisting peanut-butter-and-jellies. regardless, as we're looking toward moving this summer to another, slightly larger apartment (think 700 sq feet over our current 500), we're dreaming up some ways that we could cheaply build our own furniture, to easily fit whatever space we end up in. between andrew's woodworking capabilities and my white-washing and sewing skills, we should be able to come up with something that works.

i also found these couches made from discarded wooden pallets via design squish. i'm pretty sure that i can finagle a few of these for free from costco and sew some cushions using quilt batting and thick muslin - cheap AND can easily be broken down for moving - which is always a plus for andrew and me. definitely will stick this in my back pocket for a weekend project this summer...

Thursday, February 25, 2010


today, the alarmingly bright blue sky had me dreaming of this:

but the wind chipping at my cheek and the ice still frosting branches reaching across the sidewalk to greet me this morning reminded me that spring is in my hopes, not in the air.......not yet:

but what a gracious host winter can be, allowing space and time and emptiness and dormancy in its guests. a bearing down and hollowing out. for only an empty cup can be filled.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

inside my window today.

There are so many things I could be doing, should be doing, right now...the careplan and paper I should be writing, the piles of junk on the floor I should be picking up, the laundry basket I should be emptying:

:: but sometimes, it's just more important to be still and do nothing

:: and today, I think I can handle that...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

art institute

we're not huge hallmark holiday-ers, but we can appreciate a good valentine's day celebration when need be. that said, this year i cooked up the idea of our going to easily one of my favorite places here in chicago, the art institute, to celebrate saint valentine and enjoy some incredible art. amazingly, i've been there 3 times, but andrew had never been. how this can be, i'm still not sure, but remedy the situation, we did.

even though the camera died, we persevered, enjoying a lovely (free admission!) day.....and in true grad-school style, we packed our own pb&j's for lunch, snickering at the lines of people waiting to eat an artfully arranged arugula salad in the cafe. i mean, COME ON, what's more artful or inspired than pb&j?!?

ultimately, it was a fully inspiring day. we forgot about school for the day, enjoyed being buddies, playing games in the galleries, picking out our favorite installations. in a sense, we fed our souls not only with some inspirational art, but with the joy of carelessly hanging out.

{and of course, the big finale came with dinner....we tag-team cooked milanesa - by andrew's request...a blessing of a day, it was, indeed.}

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This winter, we visited my family in Texas, and stopped by to chat with Mimi - one of the most stylish and intelligent women I know. In her nineties, she still drives, can tell you the rankings of every NFL and college football team in the country, quote Shakespearian sonnets, shop at the mall for Cole-Haan's just so she can return them the next week, and verify a fact by thumbing through her shelves of books faster than you can say, "google." With her artistic eye, she governs her home.

...Always serving fresh coffee in her mini-chocolate mugs...

...She peruses her shelves and drawers, looking for things to clear out any "junk"....

....With a keen eye, she observes and is brutally honest at times, rarely afraid to speak up and out for what she deems important. I cherish this about her, and to some degree, aspire to be able to speak up with such confidence. Perhaps, with another 50 years under my belt, I may...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

v-day tribute

Other than my husband, my faith, and my friends, there are few things I hold so dear as a solid cup of java. We've been through years together - since I was 15, I've been brewing you every single morning (with the exception of that one Lent when I foolishly gave you up). And so, a Valentine's Day tribute to the one who has kept me going for so many years, and to the one who Andrew and I can most likely attribute our vitality and sanity through these grad-school years.....the one and only, coffee:

:: to the many quiet mornings when you've accompanied me on the start of a very looong day

:: to the moments when you perked up my brain just enough to have something nice to say, rather than a grumpy-morning-grunt

:: to the numerous beloved stains I sport on every dang piece of clothing I own

:: our's is truly a love story for the coffee, thank you, and happy valentine's day....muah.