new path trivia

Did you know…?
…boiled peanuts are the official state snack of South Carolina
…South Carolina produces more peaches than Georgia, the great “peach state”

…this year’s freshman class will graduate 10 years after I graduated high school
…the last class of students from my undergrad will graduate in May
BaylorBound…I’ve been to more IEP meetings in the first month of my internship than in my entire practicum experience (and it’s not even the spring!)
…I’ll be working with preschool kiddos & high school students this school year

challenges and change

For the last several months, I’ve been hesitant to post.  I want my words to add good to the world, especially in such a public realm like the internet.  So in a time of high stress and low patience, I chose to stay relatively quiet on this blog.  Out in the “real world,” I didn’t follow that trend, and I spent a lot of time whining and complaining, which I regret.

This semester/year feels like a completely different scenario.  I come home every day with things I want to post here on the blog.  Since I’ve been too busy to write down all the exciting things that are happening, I talk my husband’s head off at dinner or call/text my parents instead.  I’m thankful that those conversations have transformed from, “How am I going to get through this last semester of grad school?” to “I am excited about what’s coming next!”  What a blessing that is.

Continuing with the them of change, there’s a saying in Georgia, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will change.”  Life changes too quickly to focus so much energy on worrying about what we dislike.  In my seasons of waiting for things to change, I’d like to have remembered that more often.  While excited about what’s to come, I also anticipate that there will be more stress and challenges along the way.  This time, I want to do a better job at viewing stress as an opportunity to grow through challenges.

 

How are you handling challenges and change in the season you find yourself in today?

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praise for new paths

babymeme

Today begins my last week of classes. No, this is not going to be another sappy post about all the things I’ve learned in grad school.  You’ve stuck with me through enough of those posts.  No, this time I’m writing about all the things that I’m looking forward to now that we’re wrapping up this path and beginning on a new-ish adventure. Here we go:

waltdisneypaths

  • Celebrating more than Christmas with family
    • Birthdays, EASTER, Thanksgiving, Softball games, Sunday lunches, life
  • Starting a “big girl” job
    • & praying for excellent supervision on my internship
    • & meeting new people who love working as school psychs
  • Living 2 hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountains
  • New town (and new food places) to explore
    • farmer’s markets, bakeries, coffee shops…yes, please!
  • Praying for community and a church to join
  • Meeting new friends in our same stage of life
    • We’re planting roots this time, y’all.  Whether we’re there for a year or more, we are getting involved and making lifelong friendships.
  • Doing life with Case, wherever it takes us
    • that’s our mantra: doing life together. & I can’t wait to see what life has in store

Things I will actually miss about Wacotown:

commongroundsfarmersmarketpatneff

  • Sweet friends to share war work stories with
    • And the piano man
  • Authentic Mexican food
  • Day/weekend trips to Austin (my favorite)
  • Common Grounds (caramel coffee crunch=life)
  • Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market
  • The place where Case and I got engaged, started our married life together, and shared our first “home”
  • Believe it or not, Baylor.

last first day

IT IS FINISHED!…well, almost. The spring semester is done, and today is my last first day of school. Praise!  Someone take my picture and put it in a frame next to my first day of pre-school picture.  Yes, the one with the blue jean hat to match my blue jean outfit.  Thank you, ’90s.  Anyway, as a celebration for being almost done I wanted to write a post on some things I learned this year.  (Actual celebration to occur in real life with real people and real drinks to occur at a later date.  This will have to do for now.)

  • I found the right profession for me.
    Though I had my share of doubts some days I truly believe school psychology is a perfect fit for my passions and my personality. Organized and detail-oriented? Check! Passionate about kiddos and education? Check! Problem-solver and solution-finder? Check!  I love it–most of it.
    This year I started on practicum where I got to work in the schools with kiddos first-hand.  They’re so fun and fabulous, and I never went home without a story, good or bad.  I also got to consult with teachers, which I enjoyed more than I anticipated.

Victory

  • Many things require effort; few things require stress.
    My husband always says that I stress too much, and until a few years ago I just thought that was part of my personality.  I thought that a “healthy level” of stress was required to get stuff done.  This year it really hit me that my high stress levels affect those around me, so I tried to tone it down a bit. (Tried being the key word…)  Come to find out, you can get things done without stressing 24-7 over them! Imagine that!  I used the 4 A’s of stress relief to help!

perseveranceJames

  • I need positive affirmation daily.
    I will doubt myself until the grades come in, especially if I’m not getting regular feedback along the way.  This year I especially learned that I either need to give myself positive affirmation or ask for feedback.  It also helps to communicate regularly with supervisors and call your mom every once in a while just so she can tell you how fabulous you are.

Nevertoolate

  • It’s never too late…
    For all the things I’ve learned and all the successes I’ve experienced this year, there have also been times where I wish I had done things differently.  Well, it’s never to late to brush yourself off and try again. (You can dust it off and try again, try again.  Sorry, excuse me while I channel the ’90s and Aaliyah.)

I  seem to be good at the vague posts lately, so I guess I’ll just leave this one here as is.  Happy first last day of class to all of you in the same boat!

chronic pain, you do have?

Guess what, y’all? I’ve been avoiding this blog space for a while now.  Sure, I’ve been writing the occasional monthly goal post and the random 101 in 1001 updates. Let’s be real, though…I haven’t been writing–really writing.  So here it goes:

lighteningpathI started this blog by being very transparent about myself and my goals in life. Numero uno was about avoiding traveling the same ol’ path over and over.  But guess what? I feel like that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Actually, I’m being dramatic and vague because I wrote this at 1am. Before I dive in, I first want to say that I am thankful for the path I’m on now.  Things are difficult and I’m challenged on a daily basis, but I do my best to see obstacles as opportunities for growth.  Marriage is challenging.  School is challenging.  Growing professionally is challenging.  ANDDDD I’m thankful for that, truly.

All of the challenges continually require me to rely on more than just myself, which I often fail at but I’m still working on it.  I do my best to lean on Christ first, even if the best I can do some days is fall asleep listening to the Bible on tape.  I’m leaning on my new hubby and learning more about grace. Also learning that there are always things to learn from parents, and I’m super thankful that I now have two sets. Double the wisdom!

Okayyyyy, so back to why I was being all dramatic about traveling the same paths over and over.  It’s the insomnia and the chronic pain and the constant thoughts of, “will this ever end?”  I was gonna bore you with the history and the details, but you’re welcome because I deleted that paragraph.  Suffice it to say that I still struggle with things I can’t explain, and I’m still working to find an explanation for the chronic pain.

yodapainmeme
Case says this is morbidly funny, but I think it’s hilariously accurate. So, I kept it.

So that’s where I am right now. Growth is wonderful. Traveling new paths in my marriage, with our families, and in my professional life are equal parts terrifying and beautiful.  And whether they find a root cause & cure for my chronic pain or not, I’m not going to let it hold me back in life.

I’ll leave you with a few links about chronic pain for you to check out if you are someone you know experiences this.  I’m by no means an expert, so I welcome any insight, prayers, etc. I’m posting these mostly because I can relate to the content of the articles, and they explain a lot of what I’m experiencing better than I could.
Understanding Someone with Chronic Pain
Tips for Supporting a Partner with Chronic Pain

I’ll also say that it’s a fine line for me between being honest and complaining. (I usually feel like I’m complaining, but I hope there are others out there who can understand and relate.)  I know that chronic pain comes in many forms for thousands of people, and that helps bring balance and perspective to my life.  My heart and prayers go out to anyone living with chronic pain, whether it be from arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, or another condition. I hope that you, like me, are encouraged to travel your path as best you can.

may goals

“Oh no! I completely forgot my April goals,” was my first thought when I sat down to write this post.  Obviously not a good sign. Yet, I somehow managed to accomplish quite a few goals this month.  May is perhaps one of my favorite months, so I’ve been thinking of some lovely goals for this season. Let’s dive in, shall we?

April Goals

  1. Get out and go:
    CHECK!
  2. Write some letters:
    y’all, I’m giving up.  I’ve tried for 2 months straight to make this happen, and the most I could manage was thank-you notes to my practicum supervisors & an electronic letter to my sponsored kiddo in Kenya…wait a second, that’s more than I’ve done all year!
  3. Health kick:
    Lost a couple pounds but not feeling healthier overall.  Definitely a priority for the summer!
  4. Preparing to move:
    Yes, yes, yes. We are SO ready! Winter clothes packed, furniture sold, moving plans made.  Hurry up, July!
  5. Take more photos:
    Yes! Took photos of the puppies and actually carried my real camera to a grad school function. #accomplished

MayFlowers

May Goals

  1. Knit a baby blanket:
    At the end of April I got a burning desire to knit something more than a darn scarf.  It is almost summer, after all.  So, since one of my best friends from undergrad is welcoming a newborn home this month, I thought a baby blanket would be a nice challenge & gift! (Here’s to hoping it doesn’t turn out to be a hot mess of yarn!)
  2. Dive into the Word:
    This was somewhat of a goal from April, and I started listening to the Bible before bed and going back to church regularly.  Planning to build on that even more in May.
  3. Relax:
    Having a short break between spring and summer semesters means afternoons by the pool and evenings with friends. Craft days. Lazy days. Movie marathons. Knitting projects. Book reading.  If it’s relaxing, I’ll be doing it this month.
  4. Preparing to move:
    Still working out lots and lots of details for our move, so I’ll keep this goal on here.  It will be a good reminder that July will be here soon & I’ll keep praying for God to prepare a place for us in SC.
  5. Teach Cooper new tricks:
    We’ve had Cooper for a few weeks now and he knows “sit,” but he doesn’t always do it.  I’d like to teach some more commands this month as well!

Bluebonnets-0011

welcome home cooper

As part of my 101 in 1001 and our new life together, Cason and I got a puppy! We were planning on waiting until we moved in July, but when we ran into someone selling mini australian shepherds at the farmer’s market we decided we could get a puppy a little earlier.  So, we welcomed home sweet mini Cooper last week.

We think he will end up being about a foot tall and weigh in around 25 pounds.  He was nervous his first night home, but he warmed up quickly.  He loves to play with rope toys and cuddle with his stuffed sheep.  He tries to play with our toy poodle, Georgia, but she does not much like being herded around like a sheep.

Cooper had his first vet appointment on Tuesday and can’t wait until June when he is up to date on shots and can play outside!  We are so excited to welcome him home and can’t wait to share updates with you!

april goals

March flew by, didn’t it?  Check out the post for updates on March goals and what’s to come in April.  Be on the lookout for 101 in 1001 updates as well! I’ve checked some exciting things off the list this month!

March Goals

  1. Get out and go:
    Accomplished! I went to the Waco Farmer’s Market several weekends and enjoyed the sunshine!
  2. Cultivate a sense of peace in my home:
    work-in-progress
  3. Get ahead in my academics:
    Thank goodness for Spring Break and getting ahead!
  4. Write some letters:
    oops! I carried around note-cards all month and didn’t manage to write one note.  We will carry this over to April!
  5. Spring cleaning:
    We got a lot done in this area this month! Still de-cluttering and preparing for our move in July!

April Goals

  1. Get out and go:
    This goal went so well that I’m keeping it around.  April will be a great month for spending more time outside and enjoying life there.  Adding to this, I want to make time for reading the Bible outside.  God’s word in God’s creation.
  2. Write some letters:
    Carrying over this goal from last month.  School should be more calm in April, so this will be a great month for writing snail mail to friends.
  3. Health kick:
    I started making green tea in March, and I’m not sure why, but it makes me want to have a healthier month in April.  Let’s start with cutting back on soda!
  4. Preparing to move:
    It’ll be good to continue sorting through things and donating items that we don’t need to take with us to South Carolina.  Hey, maybe I can even pack a box or two!
  5. Take more photos:
    I used to take photos all the time, and I loved it.  This month, I’d like to get the real camera out (less iPhone photos!) and take more pictures–nature, puppies, family, anything!

march goals

Well, we made it through February, y’all!  What a tough month it was.  And how relieved I am to see that March is already bringing positive changes.  That being said, there’s always room for improvement.  So, now a quick recap of February goals and the new and improved March goals!

February Goals

  1. Make my health a priority:
    While I’m still working on carving out quite time each day, I have started taking better care of myself and making my health a priority.  I’m thankful for the ways I’ve grown this past month, and I’m especially thankful for Cason’s support.
  2. Cultivate a sense of peace in my home:
    Over the past month, my awareness has heightened tremendously in this area, and I’m thankful because that is the first step towards progress.  We’re on a journey together, and it’s about the process, not the destination.
  3. Seek to grow professionally:
    While I still have room to grow where I’m planted right now, I am excited for my future, professionally.  I’m so blessed by the experiences that have brought me where I am, and I’m excited for where I’m going.  I am thrilled to have an internship in a school district in South Carolina, and I cannot wait to see how I continue to grow in the field!
  4. Stay connected with friends:
    Can I just take a moment to say that I’m so incredibly proud of my friends? I still would like to continue to work on reaching out to them better and being there when they call!
  5. Stay on track with our budget:
    Whew, this is a challenge.  Thank goodness every single day for Cason’s flexibility with a changing budget and ability to stand his ground when I need it!  What a great provider and encourager he is.

1Peter1.6-01

March Goals

  1. Get out and go:
    I would love to get out and go to the market on Saturday mornings or spend Sunday afternoons in a hammock.  I want to spend the weekends getting out more this month, weather permitting!
  2. Cultivate a sense of peace in my home:
    I like this one.  I’m going to keep it here intentionally for this month and continue to update!
  3. Get ahead in my academics:
    March in college means Spring Break. SB in grad school, however, means something totally different than it does in high school and undergrad: catching up on work and sleep.  That’s the plan this month!
  4. Write some letters:
    When I felt discouraged in undergrad, I tried to reach out to others and encourage them.  Recently, a friend or two shared how much that meant to them, and it made me realize it was something I truly enjoyed doing.  I would really like to spend time this month reaching out and sending handwritten notes to friends.
  5. Spring cleaning:
    I have a huge master list for this apartment, and I can’t wait to sell/donate old items, de-clutter our space, and deep clean everything!  Even if it doesn’t stay clean, I would at least like to make an attempt this month! Ha!

february goals

Goals

Why is this crazy girl making goals for a month that’s almost over?  I know you’re all wondering, and here is the reason.  It has obviously been a pretty tough month, and I’m guessing that’s not just true for myself.  I’ve seen many posts on Facebook recently by friends far and near about the difficulties of grown-up life and everyday struggles.  So I gathered some inspiration from a sweet blogger over at Bloom. Each month she posts about goals and updates readers on her progress from the past month. I thought that breaking down long-term goals into more manageable, monthly goals is something I could really use to help relieve stress now.

Now, back to the part where this month is almost over.  Well, I also thought that there’s no time like the present.  I’m also the type of person who makes a to-do list and includes things I’ve already finished that day.  Crossing off things I’ve already completed makes me feel accomplished and helps me build momentum for the things yet to tackle.  I’m applying that same line of thinking here. So here we go!

RefillYourCup

February Goals

  1. Make my health a priority:
    I need to restructure what little extra time I have each day so that I am the most productive and least stressed.  It is important that I carve out intentional alone time each day.
  2. Cultivate a sense of peace in my home:
    Home should be a place to come to and shed all the armor we wear into battle each day.  It’s not a place to rant and stress and bring in the yuckiness of life. We’ve worked hard to create a beautiful home and life together, and I want to do a better job at honoring that.
  3. Seek to grow professionally:
    I really want to put myself out there more by not being afraid to ask for feedback and encouragement from my supervisors and professors.  I truly believe that I am pursuing a career where my talents and compassion collide.  In order to be successful, I need to continue to build my skills and my confidence.
  4. Stay connected with friends:
    My friends are intelligent, driven, and beautiful, and they are out doing wonderful things in this world.  They are encouraging and inspiring, and I want to reach out and hopefully continue to encourage them as well.
  5. Stay on track with our budget:
    Overall, I think we have done really well with our new financial plans! I tend to stress when I shouldn’t, especially considering how things have gone so far.  We are tackling expenses together and living within our means, and I appreciate the type of discipline that teaches.

My only thoughts so far about these goals is that they are hard to quantify and track.  I’m gonna go with it and see how it goes.  If we need to add some numbers in next month, we will! What goals have you already tackled this month?