Tuesday, July 24, 2012

365 days

"I have quite the to-do list....I need to get on that blog", I thought about 5 minutes ago. So here I am!

This was my post 365 days ago exactly (which is really impressive, because I didn't even plan this.) I was 25 days away from moving to grad school and completely terrified. After all of the lessons, both hard and harder, that I had learned and that Christ was still diligently and patiently teaching me, leaving for my "Abraham land" as  I referred to it, because I was merely following a calling, was a huge step. I came here with not much more than that prodding, an acceptance letter, and what I could fit in a too-small U-hall trailer.

All that to say, here I sit in that apartment  that I got to "put my things in" one year later. It's incredible to look back over the past year at all that I've experienced; some anticipated (mostly that I'd be in school...that's about as predictable as this has been) and most that has completely unexpected, to me anyway. I can tell that grad school has changed me-for the better-but still, changed me. It's pretty amazing what can happen over the course of a year! I've walked through some of the hardest days I've seen in quite some time, and have had to sift through some buried lies that Satan has been speaking into my life for quite some time that slipped under the radar. 
Grad school, and my Terre Haute experience in general, has made me a better clinician, a better professional, and a better thinker overall. I've met some of the most incredible people, and have had the privilege of calling many of them friends. I've sat with friends in the middle of their seasons; I've sat though my fair share of seasons as well. I've watched relationships that I've cherished morph into long-distance relationships. I've learned that I have the most incredible support system a girl could ask for. I've laughed, cried, and worked harder than I ever have in my entire life. I honestly think I look at life differently than I did a year ago. I was given a gift not too long before my move last summer. It was something I had "picked out" and hangs in my hallway-the word "trust". Because up until that point, that was what I kept coming back to. Trusting in a God who is bigger and wiser and stronger and more able that I can  ever hope to be. And I'm happy to report that this same word is how I can sum up the past year-trust. It's been hard on LOTS of levels, it's been fun, it's been silly, and it's been scary even. But through it all it has come down to this:

This little sign I picked up at Hobby Lobby years ago and has made many a move with me, but still sums up things better than I can.

I know I have a lot more tomorrows, a lot more change, and a lot more "unexpected" ahead of me. And knowing Who holds it all makes it that much more exciting. 

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; "...Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”-C.S. Lewis; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pinterest Perusings

Let's face it. I have no idea how speech therapy happened before Pinterest. (Actually, I know those SLPs are just SUPER creative and I one day hope to be like them!) I was lucky enough to start grad school just about the same time as I discovered the big, big word of Pinterest, and it is clearly reflected in my therapy! Our clinic director even approached our class one day and said "Okay, what gives. Everyone  has therapy activities that eat things!!" (think the "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ________ " cereal box activity).
I love to wander aimlessly through Pinterest in my spare time when I should be doing a million other things, and this summer is no exception! I've started my "to do" list for materials to make between now and the beginning of our clinic semester! Here's what I've found, so far, that will be joining my already-too large collection of therapy materials.
Note-none of these are my creations, I just love them. Click on the link associated with each picture to check them out!
Glitter Bottle Time-out Timer
Glitter Time-out Timers-I'm thinking some of the small reusable water bottles would be a shorter time...maintaining behavior or those nasty meltdowns I'm proud to say I survived with my lower-functioning clients!
Artic + Lang Cards + Library Pockets. Game called BAZINGA! 
Bazinga! For those times when artic OR language cards are just a must (blech!) This makes it a little more fun, while maintaining a good number of opportunities! 
Customized Chipper chat with printables
Custom Chipper Chats-I.love.Chipper Chats. What's even better is that my clients love chipper chats! They'll even ask for it as a reinforcer (not by name, of course!) I'm not sure if they love the wand or the oodles of opportunities I can get from using one sheet, but I like to think a little of both ;)
Sweet website of 150 great childrens ebooks - All free!
This site is so cool! You simply select a charity, and you have access to a BUNCH of great books. The best part? It's free! I plan on using this as much as possible!
sensory bin
Sensory bins-I love them. All of them. Plain and simple. I also love using them for artic, language, you name it. 
I often times want to apologize when I go on "Pinterest binges" to some of the people who follow me that aren't Speechies/Educators...they must think I'm crazy. Or 6 years old. Or both :)

So share and share alike...what's on your Pinterest to-do list before the year gets going again?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Patio Garden Update

Well now that Indiana summer is resembling Indiana summer a little more, and Texas a little less, I decided to  update you on the patio garden! Let's just say it's turned out much differently than I anticipated!

The flowers:
eeehhh.......we'll just let these pictures speak for themselves, shall we?

I guess 2 weeks of 100 + degree temps just aren't for everyone. Also, you can't see it, but the pink flower that used to be paired with the green fern is also no more.
The Green Peppers:
I had 4 peppers almost ready to pick until the drought hit, but against my best watering efforts they were just too small to make it. I had all but given up on this plant until the other day I was watering and saw BLOOMS! They're tiny to see in this picture, but I'm holding out that these guys will make it!

The Herbs/Chives:
I've had to cut both of these down several times and use them/give them to family when I visit, and it looks like I need to again! All in all they've done well...and are tasty!

(anyone else feel like I'm talking about people now instead of plants?)
The tomatoes:
These guys have been doing so well. Please don't laugh at the way I've had to tie them up...it's pretty sad resourceful! (C'mon...doll rod from a speech activity I made and some "Little Princess" ribbon I used when I was a camp counselor years ago? Works for me!) I have 3 green ones still growing, and have picked 2 already!

So for my first go-around, I must say I'm pretty impressed...I didn't set my expectations TOO high, but with what crazy heat we've had so far, I'm thrilled to have what I do! Although I must admit I do miss my flowers. Unfortunately the white ones didn't fare well, either. I don't do well in super crazy heat, either, so I can't say I blame them.

Also, I've started up another blog (I know, I know)....it's explained a little better over there, but I've decided to separate my "speech life" and "the rest of my life" a little better. So this one will still be just as active (and I'm still guest blogging at the end of the month!) but will remain a little more "food, life, friends, faith", with the occasional speech post thrown in. But for everything else, pop on over to Let's Talk Speech Therapy. It's just a baby, but I think it's cute and am excited about it!

How about you? Has the crazy heat effected what's come out of your kitchen lately?


Monday, July 9, 2012

One month, one day...

Ok, so it's been while. But, during an intense 5 week stint of grad school,2 3-hour classes, 7:30 AM 4 days a week, working semi-part time, my life looked a lot like this:

yes, that is a neuron. No, I do not want to talk about it.

Starbucks had a frappuccino sale...Mocha cookie crumble. Real life.

Notice a trend? My life consisted of a lot of reading, a LOT of coffee, and even more studying. I can easily say this was my HARDEST semester of grad. school yet (although if you ask my mom, she will tell you that I say that every semester. ...so maybe I do. )  I took this weekend and got out of TH, and it was spent doing wonderfully "normal" things-spending too much time on Pinterest, going to Target, falling asleep before 11, baking, and spending time with some of my favorite people I don't see near often enough. 

Summer II classes started today, but the good news is that I have just ONE class to go to and an online class. So that means there will be much more blogging, picture taking, food making, and life ramblings going on around here. So thanks for your patience! I've got a couple good posts in the works as we speak. Also, I'm a graduate assistant this 5 weeks (which is nothing fancier that sitting for 2 5-hour days in our clinic's material room. Did I mention no one is in the clinic over the summer? And it's in the basement of our building?) so I will have all kinds of time on my hands to write. Hold me to it! 

In other news, my dear friend K is engaged!! It's been a long time coming, but she and J are perfect together and I can NOT wait for her wedding!

This picture is old and neither of us like it...which is mostly why it made the cut to be here!
She's been my friend through thick and thin and far away...it's her fault I shamelessly watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Her wedding also marks the 5th  wedding that I am in between now and next October. So if you follow me on Pinterest and see me pinning just about every wedding pin that is out there, don't be alarmed. You're not missing out on big life information on my end :). 

Side note... at the end of the month, I'm guest blogging at A Step in the Journey, one of my favorites on my reading list! I'm quite excited, and I'm not sure if its because I've never done a guest post before, or if its because someone else wants me to ramble on their blog for a while ;)

Be well,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blessed beyond measure

The month of May has come and gone, and some days (although it was only 5 days ago) I'm convinced it didn't happen. It was glorious, in every form of the word. I saw a few folks I love (namely my family who I hadn't seen since...before Easter? Eeeesh.), took a killer day trip to my first Cubs game, and spent most of my time at MCC helping get ready for Adventure Week! (I love children, and Jesus, and administrative tasks, and the children's ministry staff...it.was.awesome.) 

After a long, HOT, day of walking St. Louis...but how cool is this?! I wasn't even mad it was at the Cardinal's stadium.I will also only briefly mention that the Cubs WON this game 6-4 :)

So for now, it's back to the books. I'm taking 2 classes this semester, Motor Speech Disorders (aka neuroanatomy, aka 7:30am, aka ouch) and AAC. I'm thrilled that I get to balance a class I would trade for just about anything (except math!) with a class I'm so passionate about. Since my first AAC class in undergrad, I've been completely borderline obsessed with the topic. Everything from the frustration and challenges it presents from the very beginning, to the sweet reward of watching communication happen....I couldn't be happier that this is a part of what I will get to do every day for the rest of my life!

AAC Poss-abilities Camp 2010 at IPFW; my first real introduction to AAC and all that it encompasses-I love each of these faces!

Which leads me to my first "blessed beyond measure": I can communicate. Any way I darn well please. I spend most of all day, more days that not, either working with or talking about delays, disorders and things that need "fixed" and I so often overlook the fact that I am completely capable of all these things. Without a second thought, most of the time. It could be, like I said, that my thought patterns are a little skewed, but do you know how COOL that is?!? 3.5 million Americans have communication needs. Holy moley. How blessed am I that I am not only not one of them, but I get to help them!! 

And to add a third blessing to this list, I get to spend the rest of my life loving on the people who have encountered, these, and other countless things who add them to the list of their blessings. It's had to remember at 7:45 in the morning when I'm in a classroom talking about neurons, but this is my calling- my God-given passion to love and equip and somehow better the lives of the people around me.

Without being a super nerd and talking about all the other crazy things I'm learning about the body, and communication in general, I think I can sum up what has been "hitting me over the head" so to speak these past two days:
1. " For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth." Psalm 139:13-15


And THIS is why I want to be an SLP.
I love my job. 


Monday, May 7, 2012

"Real" life

Well, the storm is over...I have officially finished my second semester of grad school (and lived to tell about it). So, in celebration, I have decided to tell you about the rest of my life, because, well, I have time. And I love that :)
-My patio garden is turning out MUCH better than I anticipated. I went in to the whole process half-expecting it to fail (let's be honest...this is coming from the girl who killed a pet cactus in undergrad) but things are suprisingly growing! It has been SO fun to have something to dote over that isn't a client or homework. A "brain break" at it's best!
my green pepper plant- the tiny white dot you see in the center is a soon-to-be pepper!!

The pink flower on the left isn't doing much, but it's probably just intimidated by the way the white flowers have gone CRAZY.

The smartest flowers I've ever met-they close up at night! Genius! Every time a bud dies, a new one is just about to open. They're called "self-eating"...whatever. I just like that they do tricks.

My sweet seedling spices. (Basil, oregano, and parsley.)  I was the most excited when these started blooming!
 So outside of that, life is pretty grand. I'm sleeping at normal times, I'm waking up at normal times...I could get WAY too used to this.I'm still working and doing plenty of filler activities, and grades have yet to be posted (so there's still a little anxiety) but for the most part I'm doing what normal people do. Cleaning, reading, grocery shopping, cooking real food, going to cinco de mayo cookouts, watching movies with friends, and drinking coffee. Speaking of coffee, a quick story:
   A few months ago (spring break-ish) I went through this phase where my coffee was bad. There was nothing I had changed about it, but it was watery and yucky and my mornings were rough. I even went so far as to get a new coffee pot, all to no avail. My coffee was not tasting right, and I was a sad grad. student.
I was at a friends house discussing my situation and she and I tested all kinds of things-was I making it right, was I only using one filter, etc. But everything in my life was fine! Until our very last test-we changed the type of coffee. She busted out her Dunkin Donuts coffee and we brewed that to see if I liked it better than the Folgers we were using. And sure enough...it tasted perfect.
We then came to the conclusion that I am a coffee snob, and somehow my brain had just up and decided that it no longer enjoyed the cheap red-canned grounds. So now, this is the scene in my kitchen:
The good news is, if you go to the actual Starbucks and have them grind it for you, it's a lot cheaper than in the stores (Whew)...I'm loving this change, but I somewhat wish that my brain enjoyed cheaper things.

Hope you're enjoying "real" life where you are...I know I will be until my textbooks for summer come in the mail next week :)


Thursday, April 19, 2012

All Kinds of Excitement!

There's a whole lot that I'm excited about right now:
-I never win anything. Ever. But I got this great little signature freebie (at the bottom) from 20 going on 80, a cute little blog I read about a girl who is 20 with "hobbies the same as your grandmother"....I love it :) She also has this cute little shop...so fun. So hooray for blog accessories!

-I have 14 days until May Break! I've never been so excited about 3 weeks to...read for summer classes? But 14 days until no clients (as much as I love them), no class, no reports. I've got a lot on my plate for those 3 weeks, (including but not limited to a trip to St. Louis for my first major-league baseball games....and it's a CUBS game!!!!, a trip home with my best friend, friends coming to THaute,....and textbooks. Eesh. 

-I've been therapy crafting like NUTS lately. Between Easter and sheer necessity, my little collection of matierials has become, well, not so little. I'll have to do a huge speech crafting post soon, probably once this crazy semester is behind me!

-Yes, I posted it on Twitter AND Facebook, but I just want to share the contents of a package I got today

I had no clue it was coming, and it was the BEST way to get me to the end of this week. It's been a doosey. (Someone clearly knows the best way to my heart!) I had never seen these and I can't wait to build with them. And then let my clients play with them. :) So thoughtful, and they last MUCH longer than flowers! I'm so blessed. 

-I got a hair cut yesterday. There are few worse things associated with living in a new town than having to find a new church, a new place to get your car worked on, and a new place to get your hair cut. It's not as bad because I know I'm not staying here forever (7 more months, to be exact!!), but I've been putting it off for TOO long, and so I broke down and asked a friend who is from here and she gave me the name of a great local place. I love haircuts.

-I'm starting a patio garden, as soon as the nights stop getting below freezing. If I have to be here all summer, I might as well have some fresh veggies, flowers, and herbs growing on my patio while I do it. It's going to be great, and I'm going to blog about it.

-The Office is new tonight, and was last week, AND it is until the end of the season. I don't care if Michael Scott is gone, I will forever love this show. And I want to marry John Krasinski, so it works out.

Hope you're excited about the small things in life, wherever you are.