Thursday, December 22, 2011


Okay, okay. So I'm not passing blame, but the writing prompts was getting to me. Deeper than sitting on my to-do list saying "Hey! Look at me!" It was all about gifts. And frankly as much as I do (and don't) like gifts, I have a hard time thinking of posting all the way through December and talking only about gifts.  Although I suppose if I really tried I could turn each of them around and make each post revolve around The gift...I want t the few of you who visit to not have to read the same post only re-worded every day. That, and finals week was a killer. We're talking only 2.5 hours of sleep across 2 days killer. Will I pick up the "one a day" in January? Maybe. If I find a good enough prompt that actually has some kind of depth to it. Until then, I ramble.
  • Christmas is in 3 days. Holy schmoley. Where did THAT come from?!
  • Wanna know what I did today? Good, because I'm gonna tell you. I got to go to Science Central today with these sweet faces:

seriously, I get PAID to spend time with these wonderful children who so quickly worked their way into my heart. PAID. Can I pay them?I absolutely adore these 3.

So I hung out with them, filled my belly with Panera, and am now sitting at a favorite coffee shop playing on Pinterest and drinking a white chocolate mocha until I don't want to. And when I'm done with that? I'm gonna read a REAL book. Not about speech therapy. This book to be exact:

 I'd tell you why I'm obsessed with this author/story line/series, but that's for another post. But I'm reading books the rest of society reads, and I'm gonna read until I don't want to anymore. Moral of the story? Christmas break is my best friend. (Actually, it's been kinda nuts, and today is my first real "break-ish" day but I love it and am milking it for all its worth).
  • My grades for the semester, nothing short of the grace of God Almighty, came back better than expected. As in, passing.  ( And as I type this, at table of 3 older  ladies at afore-mentioned coffee shop, 1 just said loud enough for the whole coffee shop to hear "But yes! Speech therapy works!" I'm tempted to go shake their hands. And listen to the rest of their conversation. Must....behave....) 
  • I miss my grad school friends. If only seeing them all in one place again didn't mean having to start school again, and being back in Terre Haute...

when you're here, you're family.

I am sufficiently pleased with the number of pictures in this post.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 9

What gift do you regret breaking?

I wasn't exactly a graceful child, but I do remember being really upset when my toys would break. Mostly because I think I loved them each, and while I wasn't careful with them, I never liked breaking a toy. Do I remember one in particular? Nope. And it was a totally different story when someone else broke one of my toys. Devastation. Not so much in the obnoxious sense, but more...heartfelt. I just loved things fixed. It also came in really handy that both of my parents are quite creative/handy with and about broken things! (Probably because I got so upset when my things didn't work right.)
Is all of this telling of my personality traits now? Probably. But I think I turned out I'll take it!

I need to embrace this picture-less post. It's ok, right? I guess I'll just have to make up for it next week!

Day 8

What was your favourite thing you received below the age of 10?
She was my best friend, and came to me (thanks to a favorite uncle) right about 4th grade. I had (/have) her dresses, other clothes that weren't hers but I made her wear them anyway, I was in the American Girl Club (for the time that it existed), I read all the books at least 2 times, I own BINDERS full of their trading name it. I made a couple trips to American Girl store....I BREATHED this company. And it was awesome.I also can't believe I just admitted that here.
Maybe someday I'll let my future daughter play with them and it will be sentimental, or maybe I'll just keep her in her carrying case. (I told you I was all about this.) Regardless, she made my childhood what it was, and I love it :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 7

Some of my answers to these questions are becoming pretty boring. Does that mean I'm boring?! Maybe I should start making up some of my answers to make it a little more interesting. Maybe not. I'm not sure I could be that creative. I digress.

What was the strangest thing that ever made your gift wish list?

My Christmas list, as you may or may not have read earlier, is pretty standard usually. Clothes, something practical,movies, music, books, house-ish things. This year has to be the most unique, and few of these made even my own mother say "Are you sure?!". I think it has to do a lot with the fact that this is at the very tip-top of my list:

mhmm, you read that right. Ages 1-5. 

Aside from a new to-go coffee cup, everything I've asked for this year is either a toy or a game. I'm 22...I haven't asked for toys for Christmas in a LONG time. It's so much fun.
 It's one of the great things I love about speech therapy....we don't have specific toys that are strictly for speech (although there are some awesome companies who make toys that get done exactly what you need). We can take just about any toy and make it work for us.
The clinic here has a lot of toys, but I like having my own for a few reasons. If it's mine, I can guess a little better who's germs have been on it. Also, I know all the pieces (ideally) will be where I need them to be there when I need them to be there, and also so I'll have them with me wherever I go once I'm finished here soon.
Some other things I would l-o-v-e to add to my ridiculously growing collection of child's play things:

I'm obsessed with this. Velcro food that you can cut apart with a wooden knife on a cutting board. yes.

any and all children's books. I'm obsessed with using books/themes in therapy as much as possible.

Don't worry about gift wrapping them....just send them my way.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6

Do you like to try to guess your gifts ahead of time?

Yes, you caught me. Two posts in one day...I fell behind. I'd use finals as an excuse....but it really, my life this week ("dead week"...named so because you supposedly just have to study for next week, but it's reality that you are dead to the world because you have SO much that you have to do.) is a never-ending to-do list. It's fine.

I am undecided on my answer to this question. For a few reasons, actually, but I'll try and be concise. I like to know because I'm not a fan of surprises. It's the type A controller/planner in me, but I just like to know what's coming and how things are going to be, and then have them happen that way. You can imagine how hard I must work, on a daily basis, to let go of this (especially in grad. school. With my major. And my life.) A life goal is really to be able to truly "flop with the mop". So yes, sometimes I like to know. I tell people (mostly just my mom) what I want for Christmas and that's what happens. Beautiful.

Aaaand then sometimes I like for people to have stories and reasoning behind a gift, and have it mean something more than "you asked for it." Everyone likes to be thought of, right?

Personally, I like to think I'm a creative "I know you asked for that but I got you this because here's why" kind of gift giver.
Sometimes it's kind of hard to write a lot about these prompts. They're kind of boring, but I started with them and I WILL finish them. WILL.

This little gem was such a gift:
My wonderful friend Kayla and her husband Chris made this for me for my college graduation. I ordered it, but they surprised me by giving it to me as a gift! They're super talented, you should check them out (shameless plug!) It hangs in the hallway of my apartment and I just really, really love it. And was surprised by it. And life is still ok.

Day 5

What was the first gift you ever made another person?

My only regret about this post is that I can't share a picture (I have a real problem with picture-less posts.) My first gift I ever made someone (short of drawings I'm sure) has to be home-made/preschool made Christmas ornaments. My mother keeps every single ornament/Christmas decoration that any of the 5 of us children ever made and hangs them on the back of our Christmas tree every year (the side that faces the windows of our living room. Which is strategically far enough away from the road in front of my house to where you can only see the tree and lights when you drive by. Very sneaky, mom....)
If I were home in Bremen I'd have all kinds of pictures to post of them, because I love every single one of my ornaments that I've ever made. Because I fear I may the only one besides my mother who appreciates my art skills. My favorite decoration that I ever made remains to this day my toilet-paper tube nativity scene. Yes, every single character, including the animals, is made from a toilet paper tube. Baby Jesus is a peanut (literally) hot glued to a toilet paper tube (cut in half) and is under a yellow square of fabric (because he would get cold without it....duh....)
I love it so much that I may just post a picture of it later this month once I'm back in Bremen. And that way my mom will HAVE to get it out of storage. I win!

I stole this from google images, and it kind of looks like the real thing. But peanut Jesus really just makes it great. You'll see.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4

Sorry, neighbors. All I wanted was a bowl of soup.
It was actually going really well (although I remain terrible at sautee-ing onions.) until I went to add the bacon. Now I'm a huge fan of microwaveable bacon. But it's only 5 seconds per piece that you make, not 30.I made 5 pieces. So it sat in the microwave for 4:30 and not 25 seconds. Let's just say math is not my strong suit, and every candle in my apartment is lit, because burnt bacon/paper towel smells awful. (And so may the entry way to my apt. building. Sorry again, everyone else.)
So once I made sure my microwave did not blow up (although the longer I think about it, the more I realize that it very well could have) I ended up with this
Bacon and Baked Potato Soup
Easy easy easy. I left out the celery and green onion, mainly because I didn't have any on hand. It still tasted delicious. I also learned from this experience that I like thyme. Who knew.

So now I sit writing final clinic  reports, well, and this (my last Monday class at 8am is tomorrow morning for a whole year. I could weep with excitement), my Christmas tree lit (and lots of candles still), and a warm blanket. I'm content :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 3.

Here it is, the dreaded " I have no prompt for this day so what do I say?" weekend post. But then I realized that I had been blogging withOUT a prompt since I started rambling on this thing, and then I felt silly for stressing over a lack of structure.

Last night was one of those nights that you wake up the next morning from and your heart is still full. So let me tell you about my Friday night :-)
I desperately wish we had taken pictures, but I got to spend last night with 4 other CD grad students, mostly on a whim of "you have no plans, I have no plans, let's have no plans together!" But it ended so wonderfully. We did nothing that would seem significant, but we sat around and laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed. Most of our conversations revolved around the crazy men that are and aren't in our lives, but it delved into so much more. And then resorted back to discussing leaving a sweater in a professor's mailbox and TPing. (NOT TPing the recipient of the sweater. Well, that wasn't discussed long anyway....) After we ate, and ate, and ate (can I mention that I had my first gluten-free brownie and I looooooooved it!!) we sat down to watch The King's Speech. Yes, a room of Speech Pathologists (well, in about 1.5 years anyway) watching a movie about an adult stutterer. We had that man all KINDS of diagnosed.
In short, to describe it to someone who wasn't there, it was "a really good night". But to the 5 of us who were, it was such a breath of fresh air and a soul-refreshing night. And you just can't say "no" to that.
(Discalimer: I love all my speech ladies. I truly do. These 4 just happened to be the ones I spent time with last night. It would have been equally wonderful with any/all of them there)

In other news, I was also crafty  yesterday and now my living room end tables are celebrating Christmas! (Most credit goes to Pinterest...let's be honest.)

1-My new mini obsession is printables. (as seen in both frames above.) Save the file to your computer, print them out (either on your own printer or as a picture...I had mine done at wal-mart since my printer ink is EXPENSIVE and I had to go there anyway....they were less than 50 cents a piece!), stick them in a frame.
2-The rest of my apartment is much more Christmas-y than these. These are just the latest addition :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 2

I'm not sure what qualifies as "disappointing".  I could be a super-person and tell you that in all actuality I have a really hard time with people buying me gifts, how I'm sure that it's some underlying psychological issue that I should probably seek treatment for once I have a career and benefits that will cover it. Or how it's probably some kind of "I can't handle being the center of attention and I just do things for other people and I'm uncomfortable when they do things for me" but I won't. And today's prompt isn't about me right now, it's me as a child. And as a child, I loooved presents.

"Tuesday, December 2, 2011
What was the most disappointing gift you received as a child?"

I don't remember ever being disappointed by a present, but it was probably socks, or clothes. I remember being disappointed by presents I didn't get, like an Easy Bake. But it works now, because I can blame all my "adult" quirks on not having an Easy Bake a child.
I've heard that they're not all they're cracked up to be, but still. A girl could dream.

See, doesn't it even just look lovely? It would have fit prefect in my
Little Tikes play kitchen....

Now that this post isn't all about the gift I never got, I'd have to say that my most disappointing gift as a child still stands at clothes. Or socks. I hated getting socks.
On a side note, I just read on my writing prompt that there is none for the weekends. Weekends are for "free writing". So what do I write about then?! Christmas-y things? My homework list? Someone needs to tell me the rules to the job I made for myself.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 1. (otherwise known as "I can't believe I'm doing this")

Call it an avoidance behavior. Call it caving. Call it an early New Year's resolution of sorts. Call it crazy.
Whatever the case, I'm doing it. One of those writing prompts through every day of the month kind of thing. December is probably one of the worst months to try and do this, since I'll be everywhere in the state of Indiana (more or less) with Christmas break and what have you, but I'm doing it. Why? Who knows. I had quite a few friends do this through the month of November, and since I'm only about a month behind, better now then never....I think. (Ps, here's my prompt, so you know I'm not making these things up.)
Day 1: What was the first tangible gift you remember receiving?
The first? Hm. Excellent question. The more I sit here and think about it, the more I want to say this gem:

 The 1993 original edition, complete with a few add-on sets.It was a Christmas gift, and I remember wanting it more than anything else in existence.I would have been about 4 when it came out, but I don't think I got it until I was at least 5 or 6. I also remember finding it in my sister's closet about a month before Christmas that year, and confessing after I opened it that I knew it was coming. Not much has changed.

This toy remains one of my favorite childhood toys, and as soon as I live in a place that I actually have more than a closet to put therapy/toy/therapy toys in, you better believe it's coming to live with me. Minivan and all.

There, day 1, done. That wasn't so bad.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If it doesn't kill you....

I'm really not a huge fan of the song (actually it kind of annoys me) but it's true: if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.
Now I haven't ruled out grad. school killing me yet, so I'll leave that door open slightly. However I feel like the chances of that are slim. To sum it up, it's midterms and I have never felt so far in over my head. I literally spent every waking moment(save basic needs and attending church this past weekend studying for ONE test that took me an hour and 20 minutes to take, and i'm not even sure i did well on. I have one more huge test, a presentation, an evaulation, 2 projects, 4 small-ish papers AND 4 clinic sessions to get through before Friday at 10 am rolls around. (Do I have time to even be blogging about this? no, not really.) I was talking with a classmate (lamenting, really) about how if all of this would have happened in undergrad I would have switched majors like it was going to save my life (and looking back, it really would have I think).
As I mulled that over,I questioned my motivation and why I'm doing this. Because it may be the new definition of insanity.  But I talked to myself about passion, and told myself that it's because I want to change the life of children. But then I really thought "Do I love them that much? Because this is crazy." And it turns out, I do.

Being given the ultimate Model of sacrifice, well, makes me feel like a complete whine-er. But yes. I will work this hard to be qualified to change someone's life. I will work this hard to be able to give someone the gift of hearing their child say "I love you, Mom" one day. I will work this hard to give people the chance to have life handed back to them.

So if infact, grad school does not end me, it will only make me a better clinician, a better person, a more APPRECIATIVE person, a more passionate person, a more alive person.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Breathe in, breathe out

So much as been happening lately I haven't had time to even breathe, let alone use my computer for much more than school e-mails and writing reports. It's October 2, a new month. So much has been happening and going on in my head and heart...but I'll see what I can do about summing it up.

I look back and remember what a great struggle and growing time this summer was for me, and somehow I had convinced myself that getting into grad school would be the last time I had to worry about anything school related....I was in and I could take it from there. Now as you shake your head with me, I think it goes without saying that I was completely wrong. This past month (plus a few weeks) has been almost as difficult as applying for grad. school; I go through about every emotion possible on a weekly basis. Some say that I'm still adjusting- but I guess I just never imagined that adjusting would take this long. I'm not sure how long I thought it would take, but somehow I had subconsciously imagined  being well-adjusted, succeeding, and merrily on my way by now. God, however, is continuing to teach me that I am human; a concept that I seem to have difficulty remembering. He's continuing to show me, on a daily basis. that I need him and I truly can not be here without him.

That being said, classes are hard and I'm continually reminded that His grace is perfect in my weakness, because I will be the first one to tell you that I am weak and incomplete. I'm having to put to death my perfectionistic, and independently so, ways and they aren't going down without a fight. I take everything on, and I have SO much more than I anticipated being put on me...all at the same time...and it is incredibly overwhelming. His power is perfect in my weakness-but how weak am I willing to let myself be?

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
"In due time". Sigh. How I need to let go of  my idea of timing. And "Cast"...that's a word that's really been standing out to me lately. How often do I really truly cast my cares on Him? Not just let go, or give away a tiny piece of, or let go and pick back up again, but to really cast them on Jesus? To truly throw them to Him and let Him handle things on His own?

Oh, all this learning, and I haven't even mentioned what I'm learning in school...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"It's Going to be Alright"

I could do with or without the video, but I'm 4 weeks (tomorrow) into grad. school and I can't stop playing this song on repeat on my iTunes. (Sara Groves has an incredibly soothing voice, to boot.)

I'll fill you in when I have the emotional/physical/mental capacity. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

T-shirt idea: Goodbyes Stink.

Tell me how to fill the space you've left to laugh instead of cry...tell me why does following my dreams take me far away from to say goodbye. -Michael W. Smith

I don't like change. And I don't like goodbyes.
I officially live ~3.5 hours from everything and everyone I've ever known. I love my apartment, and when the boxes are empty, I'll post pictures. But for now, on a daily basis (more or less) I want to jump in my car and drive north-east to familiar. To safe. To comfortable. To secure.To home.
Following Christ is none of those is neither safe, nor familiar, nor comfortable. It is secure, and He is home. And where He calls I will go, because I desperately don't want to miss out on what He is doing and where He is doing it. However, tonight...tonight is one of those put on the sad music and be very present in your emotion kind of nights. For tomorrow I "turn it off" and begin grad. 8am...and I become professional and strong, excited about my career and future.
I'm ready to be back into a routine, but it's hard when the people and places that you want most in that routine are not there. The girls in my department are very kind and seem friendly, and I know that soon they will become like family, but there is forever a Fort Wayne/ABA therapy/ IPFW/CSD 2011 sized hole in my heart. My apartment is flooded with pictures of the faces that fill these holes...faces that mean so much.
Will this go away? Probably, for the most part. I don't want to have to have it all completely go away, but I'm know my heart will grow to love this place...or at least the people here.
But as for now...

Well said, Michael Scott.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blessed be the Tie that binds

Northpoint had a going away service for me today. I can't think of a better way to leave than this.
Service was normal, however, cut short. They had a special prayer time for me, and then the congregation gathered in a circle around the sanctuary, joined hands, and Pastor Tom led us in all 4 verses, a capella, of "Blessed be the Tie that binds." I had told him before service started that whatever happened, he wasn't allowed to make me cry. And I did do well through the first three verses. But here is what caught me up:

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

Tom Bussen, a friend, confidant, and "rough time give-er" of the worship team stood to my left, and soon after the song started, he grabbed my hand. When we sang this verse, I couldn't stop the tears from coming, and I stood there and silently wept while he squeezed my hand. Pastor Tom pointed to me (which, I never realized he had such a wonderful voice) when we/they sang "but we shall still be joined in heart". I wept. Leaving family. Leaving the most wonderful group of people I have ever been privileged to surround myself with.
After the song, Tom B. and I were both in tears, and he reached over and hugged me for quite some time. Pastor Tom had me stand by the back door to the sanctuary, and as almost every person left, I was greeted with a warm hug, (even from those I didn't know so well) and so many well wishes and words of affirmation, thanks, and love. Some goodbyes were harder than others...Tom, Nanci Strahm (our worship leader's wife), the youth group kiddos, Janell MacIntosh, and of course Pastor Tom. I got to tell him goodbye last, once the sanctuary had emptied out, and he said nothing; he only hugged me and we stood there for quite some time. I, of course, wept, and when he pulled back, his eyes looked somewhat watered too.
I've never felt so loved, or like such a part of the body. Friends offered to come visit, made me promise to not delete my facebook, and promised to call often. I know that I will visit, and the reunions will be sweet, but for now the leaving is hard.
I must say that, in all of this, I am so blessed  to have been led to such a wonderful body, a family, of believers; true representations of the boundless and joyful love of Christ. Its wonderful to be loved, and to love these people. So while the tears fall and it hurts to move, it's even better to know that I'm not going alone. That I am surrounded by such a truly great cloud of witnesses.
It's rained all day which hasn't helped to lift my spirits, and tomorrow begins a week of goodbyes and see-you-later-s to clients, my wonderful babysitting kiddos, and everything I've called home and certain for the last 4 years. I talked with a friend this weekend over coffee, and she talked about saying goodbye as a part of  the grieving process. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to go through it this many times in one week. But where He leads I will go and where He leads He will provide. As for today, my heart is rejoicefully heavy and I so I've embraced today as a day of healing and really preparing my heart for what's next. It doesn't quite help the packing process, but Friday will come and I will be ready, because God is faithful.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Grad school finances freak me out. As in literally scary movie-style make me scared. This is a tiny detail, and that if God has supplied this far, he will continue to supply. But really, supply in the most serious of terms. I've started crunching some hard numbers and worrying. Because it's what I do. God is never late, but rarely is He early. This is know first hand. However I've come to that point again, another hiccup in the road, another barrier Satan has strategically placed in my way, where I start to worry. So here I am. Placing yet another REALLY HUGE PART OF THIS in Hands that brought it to be anyway.
But that doesn't mean I'm easily placing it there.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

25 days and counting...

Where do I begin...I have an address! It's very weird, but it's very cool. It's a first floor apartment, with brand-new carpet...and it's mine. I get to put my things in it and I won't have to worry about anyone else, or their pooping dogs (you don't want to know). 25 days..that's it. I'm ready. Hand me the boxes and my keys, and let's do this! (Well, first, financial aid, can you send me my really large check that I'll be paying back to you and then some for a really long time? That would help tremendously.)
Emotionally, however, this is not quite my mindset. And today it's really real, for today it starts. Today is the first of my "goodbye date"s. I'm taking one of my clients that graduated from the ABA program in March (yeayy!!) to see Winnie the Pooh a) because he's one great little guy who I will, and do, miss and b) because I desperately want to see this movie! But it hit me driving home from church today...they're starting. The goodbyes, the "let's SERIOUSLY visit each other and not just talk about it", the "skype date!", the "let me know the next time you'll be in town" know the drill.  Their lives are going on without me, and some of these lives that I'm stepping out of, for however long, I've been invested in for quite some time. My life, too, will go on and no doubtingly change just like there's will.And somehow, I have to find it within myself to be ok with this.
I knew this was coming, I did. But was I ready for it to show up at my doorstep like this? Not quite.
Jesus never changes. And today, that's what I have to cling to. That, and a tiny 3-year-old hand.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everything is beautiful: Busy-ness.

I have a tendency to complain. And moan. And whine. Often. So to "turn my worries into prayers" in a way, I have turned them into thanksgiving. I have a book on my desk I keep all of these in, but I decided that they should go here, too. It just seemed...fitting. 
I am busy. I feel like I say that all of the time. Mostly because I am. It's already July 6th, and what have I done with my summer? Worked.. What happened to "lets make the most memories with my last summer in the Fort while I can with those I love? Who knows. But it has almost entirely not happend (give or take a few random bursts of memory-making). I know I should be kicking back, enjoying, staying up late and getting up even later, but I have rarely stayed up past 10:30 and even more rarely slept in past 7:15. Out the door by 8 at the latest, home by 5 at the earliest. Real world, being grown up, responsibility, call it what you will, it's my life right now. 3  in-home therapy clients (2 of which are attending camps that they need aided at every week this summer), babysitting, observation hours, my brother's wedding preparation, maintaining relationships...I'm beat. 
However, today I stopped to look at it, as I caught myself wishing it all away and wishing I could "just be 22!!" (how often I've said this in exasperation from my ever-growing clutter central of a home office). And it was while I watched my calendar, my summer, and really life as I know it, fill up and disappear infront of me, I realized how truly blessed I am to be in a position where I can't squeeze a single thing into my weeks anymore. I'm working. I'm making money...fairly decent money for someone in my position. I have 3 wonderful clients who, although some days I'm convinced don't progress out of sheer spite, not capability, give me huge grins and heartfelt hugs when I leave, even after the toughest of therapy days. I have 5 beautiful children that I babysit for who, while I would love to have a Saturday night where I decide what I do, giggle and can't wait to show me how they're growing each time I see them, and who have parents who trust me and treat me so well. I'm observing speech therapy and seeing the wonderful effect it has on so many types of kiddos, and it does nothing but fuel my passion for what I love.
So yes, I'm busy. Always. And I may not be able to lay by the pool all day every day. But I'm provided for. And I get to fall into bed every night with an accomplished exhaustion. And I'm thankful.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"What's wrong with him?"

I want to tell you about my yesterday. No, not the "everything that's happened in my life thus far" yesterday, but literally my yesterday, 6/25/11.
Yesterday I had the privilege of discover another one of Fort Wayne's best kept secrets: Buckner Park. Yes, it's pretty, but here's the coolest part: a boundless playground. More specifically, a boundless splashpad.  A place for all kids to play; wheelchair-bound kids, special needs kids, just plain special kids...they all get to splash and play and laugh. All of them.

For you Fort Wayne-ers, seriously, check it out here. For you non Fort Wayne-ers, just get really excited about this with me. Because this is seriously cool (aside from the fact that it's a slpash pad.)
So yesterday I got to take one of the boys with Autism that I do in-home therapy with to the splash pad. At first, honestly, I was mad I had to work. It was Saturday, MY Saturday, and I wanted it! But I dragged myself out of the house, and was glad I did by the end of the day.
This particular kiddo has some pretty serious stuff going on; sensory, behavioral, you name it. But today he was just a little boy in an orange swimsuit laughing. (A bit too much? Probably. Laughing is a stim of his (Once he starts, he often can't stop). Know how hard it is to tell an 8 year old boy to stop laughing?) And jumping. (Again, a bit too much? Probably.) We went from the swings to the water, back to the swings, and back to the water yet again.
Another wonderful thing about this particular park is that mommies and daddies (or therapists, in this case) can walk in among the water spouts and spigots in normal clothes and not be completely drenched. So I walked and avoided the random shoots and blasts, just to prevent him bolting off in a random direction (mainly, not to the birthday party that was happening not too far from us) should he get so excited he not remember that no one likes a party crasher. He was laughing, I was laughing it was wonderful. Until he went to stand underneath the bucket that fills with water and then dumps on your head. Because when he got there, he ran into the other little girl standing there. He didn't care, he just wanted to get splashed. The little girl, however, cared. "Hey!! Stop!!" Nothing. No eye contact from him, no glance in her general direction of "whoops", no acknowledgement of her presence. That was not enough for her. "That hurt! What are you thinking?" More laughing and slight jumping in response. At this point, I was tempted to step in and wring her neck, but I didn't, I just stood. And watched. Until the girl saw me and associated him with me. "What's wrong with him?" she asked me.
I couldn't breathe for a second.
What's wrong with him? What's wrong with him?  I wanted to crawl out of my skin. It wasn't the little girl's fault...she didn't know that was mean. She just wanted to know, and was young enough to not know that's not the polite way to ask. " He has special needs, and sometimes talking to people, and watching where he's going, is hard for him to remember. I'm sorry if he hurt you." I replied. It was all I could think of at the time. Thankfully, it was all she needed for an answer.
From that point on, there was nothing "wrong" with him. For the rest of the afternoon, as he splashed, played, and ran (thankfully never to the birthday party!). He was 8. It was summer. There was nothing "wrong" with him, except he couldn't decide which water spout to play with first. It was a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I now have lamps.

I ordered lamps for my new apartment Saturday. What apartment? Well, I really don't know. I have yet to find an apartment in Terre Haute, which for the "planner" in me is driving me bonkers, but aligning schedules to actually make the 3-hour drive (and commit to a BIG financial undertaking) is proving to be difficult. However, I have lamps. And 4 pieces of furniture that will hopefully fit in some kind of living room. Why am I doing things so out of order? Because I'm anxious. I'm ready to move, I'm ready to get this next ball rolling. Most of the time, anyway.
Speaking of moving, I'm about 12 weeks and 2 days away from starting classes. In the meantime, what am I doing? Ha! I wish I could tell you. I know I'm holding down at LEAST 2 clients for the summer, and babysitting on and off again, with talk of another client being picked up for the remainder of the summer in the next few days or so. Bremen's VBS is next week, which holds the promise of  lots and lots of driving (my inability to say no to loving on 5 sweet faces got me committed to working 3 full days in FW that week, too) and the loss of about 5 pounds due to a lack of sleep and a LOT of song motions. 12 weeks and 2 days seems really far away, but looking at my work schedule makes it seem like it's almost here.
Some days I love the 12 weeks I have to watch Regis and Kelly 2 mornings a week and Google image yellow kitchen ideas, and then there are other days when I slightly want to start grad. school tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The beginning of the end

It's been awhile since I've ranted on here, so I decided it's time for an update. For those of you who have been "out of the loop", here's what you've missed:
- God's mercies never fail- I'm going to grad. school! In August I'll be leaving for Indiana State Univeristy in Terre Haute to get my master's MASTER'S DEGREE?!!? It hasn't fully sunk in yet, and I'm not sure when it really will. I do not in any way, shape, or form feel like I should be getting my master's degree. It blows my mind. I'm anxious about moving; leaving Ft. Wayne after just 4 short years of being here is a lot like leaving home again. My family is here- my life. My friends, my amazing church family, the sweet faces that I have babysat for the past 4 years (I've watched their family grow from 3 children to 5!), the smiling children with autism that I work with....I'm just supposed to pack up and leave. I know that I have a few months left here before I up and move, but I know that it will completely fly by. I know God will prepare my heart and that any kind of leaving is hard, but still, I cringe at the thought of being 3 hours away. Knowing NO one. Again. Hello, Abraham...
- I graduate from college in 2 days :-) My finals.are finished, all I have left to do is wait around for commencement. I'm so incredibly blessed to be a part of such a close, loving department. This group of girls has become my family, sometimes extensions of my brain. We've cried and worked and worried over the past 4 years together- what a beautiful support system. They're all doing the same as me in the fall-packing up and leaving for a brand new adventure. They're going to be some of the most wonderful Speech Therapists; any grad program would be lucky to have them. But again, they're my family and I will miss them each more than I can say. The whole family is coming for the ceremony which I think is a little bit crazy, but they're excited. It has been, and will continue to be, a whirlwind. 
Am I excited? Absolutely.Relieved after my waiting and crying and stressing and waiting and crying some more? Without a doubt. Am I ready? .....we'll see. 
                                                             My graduating class, minus 2.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

Your standard "graduation, pivotal point in life go-to verse.", right?  But this verse has played again and again in my mind a lot lately, and I don't think by accident. It's time. The time that everyone in my department eagerly awaits and dreads all at once...grad school notification time. The schools wrap up their decision-making and send one of three e-mails. "Yes", "No", or "We're not so sure. Here's our wait list!" I was not invited to the University of Akron's Interview Day (which is their form of "we think we want you, we just want to be sure"), so that's more or less a "No". Which leaves 3 more schools: Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Indiana State. 3 is not a large number.
So this verse resonates, and I probably don't even have to write it here you've heard it enough times, but God has really been breaking it apart and feeding it to me in bite-sized chunks, and it's taken on some new and fresh meaning to me.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord...." : I know your plans. I know them. So you don't need to right now, Rachel. I know them and that's what matters. Nothing that's happening right now is taking Me by surprise. I'm not guessing at what's coming next, I know. I knew it long before you were ever alive. They are My plans for you, and My plans are flawless. Every. single. time.

"Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you": I've brought you this far. I've provided again and again and AGAIN for you to not only know My power,but because I love you, and I'm not going to leave you out to dry. 

"Plans to give you hope and a future" : I'm not just giving you day by day, I'm giving you a future! And it's a future you should be and can be hopeful about! My plans for you are so much bigger and more wonderful than you could ever begin to imagine, let alone ones you could make for yourself. Get excited! I've got things not only right now, for this one step, but for every single step that's coming. Just you wait and see!

I know that God is faithful. And I know that something will eventually happen. Knowing and believing are two different things. The advice I would give myself if I were outside looking in...
But I continue to worry, and I continue to cry out, and I continue to control things that are out of my control (and with good reason!). I was made for more than worry and doubt that I will have a useless degree come May 11 and will be left stranded in more ways than 1. Yet daily, I take up that burden, and daily I loose focus of the fact that this is already taken care of, that I am taken care of. By the God of the Universe, no less! Oh, human nature...