Monday, May 18, 2015

Adventure Awaits

There has been a lot of excitement this weekend and we the fun is just getting started.  Tonight we are off to have a crazy and awesome adventure with my family.  We are going on a 10 day cruise!!  And it starts in RUSSIA!   Here's an almost accurate representation of our route:

Cruise Itinerary Map
We stop in Aarhus, Denmark, instead of Gothenburg Sweden after Oslo.

We will be hanging out in the Baltic Sea, site-seeing and having way too much fun together.  We stop in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, and then we go back to Russia.  This cruise has been in the works since last August and it's finally here.  I can't believe it.  We are celebrating my parents' 30th year anniversary and it just so happens to coincide quite beautifully with Jeremy's graduation. Perfect timing.  May 2015, I am a HUGE fan!!  Let's Celebrate!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Graduation Day has Arrived

We have been anticipating this day for many years.  Jeremy graduated from Dental School today!!  Jeremy's parents and my family flew in yesterday for the epic festivities and we are having a blast (mini golf, mani/pedis, delicious food, and late night movies).  We are all so excited that this day has finally come.

Getting ready for the ceremony.

Riley and I went early to drop Jeremy off and took some glamor shots while we waited for the ceremony to begin.

  Then we saved seats for the rest of the family and found some great reading material.

 Then we heard some great speeches, Jeremy's name was called, he was hooded, and we whooped and hollered like crazy.  I found myself getting so emotional throughout the whole thing.  I just can't believe we have made it.  He is a dentist!  And that totally blows my mind.

Jeremy's parents

Jeremy with his professors in the clinic (right).

 We found all of Jeremy's close study buddies after the ceremony.

 My family

The whole gang that came out to support Jeremy.

We did it!
(Because we know this was a team effort.)

Presenting Dr. Clover...

There are a lot of emotions swarming in my body.  I am so proud of Jeremy's hard work and determination.  I'm excited that he is a dentist and a little envious that he's a Doctor.  I am relieved that there are no more tests in either of our futures; I am so ready to be done with the student life.  I am sad that this awesome experience has come to an end and we will be saying good bye to Boston and so many good friends.  I am a little in awe that time really does pass and that this day actually arrived.  I am so happy that I don't have to make all the money anymore.  I am grateful for all of the love and support from our families.  I am excited for our next adventure and I am so in love with my best friend.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

To My Momma:

You have taught me so many things.  I am so grateful to you for giving me an amazing life.  I am so happy that we are such best buds.  I love you forever!!  Since you have been my mom for 26 years, I thought I would make a list of 26 things I admire about you.  I admire...
  • your bravery
  • your independence
  • your eagerness to help others
  • your ability to make any child want to be your best friend
  • your contagious laugh
  • your enduring strength
  • your love of adventure
  • your expertise planning the amazing adventures
  • your ability to always keep a full fridge and pantry
  • your thoughtfulness
  • your laid-back nature
  • your ability to laugh in the moments when most would scream
  • your acceptance of others
  • your trust in others
  • your love of our fun family
  • your selflessness
  • your crocheting and knitting skills
  • your willingness to be an instrument in God's hands
  • your unwavering testimony of His love for us
  • your ability to tap into the eternal perspective during trials
  • your tenacity while playing games
  • your knack for creating meaningful traditions
  • your fast brain
  • your love of spontaneity
  • your ability to throw great dinner parties
  • your constant support to those around you 
I love you momma!! See you in 6 days.  We are ready for a party of a lifetime to begin!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dream Big

So I took the beastly test yesterday morning...

 and I passed!

It was 170 questions on a computer and at the end, the score just popped up on the screen.  I was thrilled and all smiles after that.  I am so relieved to be done with that last hurdle.  (Well the hard part of it... just waiting for paperwork to get sent in before it's really official.)  I have dreamed of becoming an independently licensed social worker since I was 16 and I have actually done it.  I can't believe it.  Dreams come true, my friends, dreams come true.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Throwing It Back

My momma sent along a May Day package (which makes my soul smile, let's bring May Day back!) which included some Classic Salt Water Sandals.  Red of course, because red is more fun, my mom's favorite color, and just screams SUMMER! 

I remember wearing similar gems as a little tyke and I am fully embracing them as an adult.  I just love them.  They are way more comfortable than I ever imagined.  I expected a "breaking in" stage, but was surprised at how great they felt from the moment I slipped my little feet in them.  Long live childhood throwbacks!

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Letters

Dear May 2015,
Oh boy have we been waiting for you, since August 2011 I believe.  You are quite an exciting month for us. You have also been blessing us with the most beautiful flowers and blooming trees.  I will work on savoring every moment you have to offer. 

Dear Jeremy's Graduation,
You are a mere 2 weeks away.  I am so amazed that you are this close.  Not that I am complaining... I am more than grateful.  When Jeremy started dental school, it felt like you would never come.  And now you are here.  And life is happening.  And things are good.  I am loving this.

Dear Jeremy,
I am so proud of you. You are such a hard worker, dedicated to being honest in every part of your life, and have a way with people that makes them feel cared for and heard.  I know you are going to be unstoppable in your professional life because I am convinced that you are the best dentist ever. 

Dear Current Job,
You are getting in the way of all of the fun things I want to do.  I have sunshine to enjoy and beaches to sit on before I leave my dearest Boston.  It is a major plus that I enjoy my work and love my coworkers, but sometimes I just want to play hooky and spend my day enjoying these beautiful spring days.

Dear Cruise,
You are also fast approaching (like your friend, Jeremy's Graduation) and we are so excited.  I have never explored your methods and I foresee that this style of vacationing will be quite wonderful.  I have been researching our stops and there are so many fabulous things to explore.  In the meantime, we are busy praying that our Russian Visas will arrive in time. 

Dear God,
Want to know what I have learned this year?  I have learned that you are most definitely in the details.  There are just too many things falling exactly into place for any of this to be by happenstance.  Others might say coincidences happen, but I say God happens, miracles happen.  I want to say thank you for your influence and guidance in my life.  I know that you are rooting for me.

Dear LICSW Exam,
Bring it!!!  I think I am ready.  I will get studying and meet you next Wednesday.  Let's play nice, ok?

Xoxo, Katie

P.S. Happy May Day, Friends!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cause for Celebration

I got a job in Vermont!

I had a skype interview 2 weeks ago with a major counseling service in the area and heard back yesterday that I got the job... well, 2 different part time positions offered at the same company.  I will be working 2 days a week with past substance abusers in a medical setting (which is coincidentally right next door to where Jeremy will be working) and 2 days a week in an outpatient setting with general mental health.  Hooray for 4 day work weeks!  

The pieces are starting to fall into place, my friends.  We both have jobs in lovely Vermont.  To celebrate, Jeremy and I went to breakfast at the wonderful Blue Moon Grill.  They have legit gluten free options which makes me so happy.  The breakfast sandwich was top notch. 

Now all I have to do is pass a monster test to become a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).  I am currently an LCSW.  To become an LICSW, I need 2 years of clinical work experience and then I have to pass the monster test.  The extra letter means lots of important things I am sure... I am most excited that I will be able to start a private practice for outpatient therapy if I so choose.  Exciting stuff!!  I take that test next Wednesday.... so I suppose I better start studying. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

And so it begins!

We had our first bonfire of the season (and probably our last while living in dear Boston).  We got together with our good friends that are also graduating from dental school with Jeremy in about 2.5 weeks.  We have been through thick and thin with these good people (and watched their families grow) over the past 4 years.  It's hard to imagine the next part of our journey without them.  I am refusing to think about it.  Avoidance is a great way to cope, right?!?

We roasted hot dogs and of course we made s'mores (with reeses and andes!!) and we sat around the fire reminiscing of the great times we have had.  I'm still so confused that our time as arrived, 4 years have come and gone.  So weird.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cleaning House

We are starting to clean house around here.  It's starting to hit us that we are moving in a month, so tonight I tackled the book cases and everything stuffed under the bed.  I rediscovered the huge pile of papers I wrote and articles I read through grad school, pictured above.  I haven't looked at it for two years, so I decided it wasn't worth hauling to Vermont.  Good riddance!!

I love de-cluttering and simplifying my life as I prepare for a move. Refresh, refresh, refresh!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Abode Hunting

On Saturday we ventured to Vermont for a quick day trip.  It was a beautiful drive along rivers and through small mountain towns.  We were loving it.  Our goal: find a place to live.  We had a packed day with 6 different potential dwelling places on the agenda, starting in Manchester and then working our way down to Bennington. 

We checked out a few places, imagining where we would put certain furniture, where we would go grocery shopping, etc.  Thinking through the possibilities is always fun.  We found "our favorite" in Arlington.  A 2 bedroom duplex that has a back deck with woods as the backyard, new appliances, lots of closets, and a cozy fireplace.  We were sold.  

With three more places still on the docket we headed south, stopping at Jeremy's soon-to-be-office on the way to time the distance from "our favorite" (16 minutes! no stop lights, amazing views!).  As we were pulling away, we heard an awful screeching coming from our car.  It sounded like metal grinding on metal.  We checked to see if anything was dragging and tried to keep driving, but it was too terrible.   I seriously thought our engine was about to fall out of the car with the screeching. 

We pulled into someone's driveway to get off of the narrow road and popped the hood to have a look (although we weren't sure what we were looking at).  Jeremy got on the phone with AAA while I chatted with the homeowner and a neighbor that had heard our car.  They took a look and since they knew what to look for, the neighbor decided that it was brakes, definitely not the engine.  I told him, "You are full of good news!"  So they went on their way, while we waited for AAA, said a prayer, and I called the next appointments to tell them that we weren't going to be able to make it.  One woman was getting ready to come pick us up and give us a place to stay for the night.  (Isn't she the sweetest?)  I told her I think we had a place to stay if it came to that, but that I would keep her updated. 

The guy came and towed us to their little mechanic shop.  He told us all about the area after we told him what we were up to.  I kept thinking, "People here are so nice!"  They gave us suggestions of little diners to walk to and hang out while they worked on the car.  We ended up walking a little over a mile to see one of the places on our list.  While checking out the place, Jeremy missed a call from the mechanic and checked the voice mail as we started our trek back.  To our surprise, the car was all set and it didn't cost a thing.  A little pebble got stuck in the front passenger side brake.  See below:

Needless to say, we were amazed that such a little thing could cause so much trouble.  Don't worry, we said some prayers of gratitude! We walked back with an extra spring our step, excited about our future in these lovely Green Mountains that seemed to be filled with angels that day.  We picked up our car and promised to write glowing reviews online after the shop refused all forms of cash payment.  I will forever be their customers.

We rescheduled to see one more place, although we knew it wouldn't be the winner (no washer/dryer hook ups).  But the sweet lady had offered to come pick us up in the midst of our car trouble, so I figured we should at least meet her.  It went about as we expected, so we officially crossed it off of the list.  At this point, we were starving and found a local pizza place that had delicious gluten free pizza.  See the Hawaiian below (so delicious!!).  Pizza has become my favorite these days!

We chatted about all the possibilities and narrowed it down to our top two of the places we had seen, eventually deciding to pursue "our favorite."  So our application is on its way and we are pretty positive we are the first to get it in.  Hopefully, it will be finalized within the next week.  We almost have a place to live. The next time we go to Vermont... will be when we move there in June!  :)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Welcome Sunshine, Please Stay

We had some wonderful sunshine yesterday morning, so Jeremy and I got out there to play some tennis for the first time this year.  (It was also the first time my leggies have seen the sun this year.)  It was way too much fun.  I love tennis.  I love being up at the net.  Jeremy knows to hit them really hard and right at me when I am at the net, because I just love it. 

In the afternoon we headed into the city to see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  I loved the Courtyard and Jeremy loved the fact that 2 thieves stole 13 pieces of art from the museum - a real live heist. 

After soaking in the beauty of the Courtyard, we wandered all around the museum wishing we knew a little more about history.  There were amazing tapestries, intricately carved screens and sculptures, and paintings galore.  My other favorite part was the Studio where Jeremy and I made our own mosaic tiles to take home (for free!!). 

Here are the finished tiles with grout and all:
The artist running the studio pointed out that Jeremy and I did the same basic radial pattern.  (We also ordered the same entree at dinner after our museum adventure.)  We are soooo married.

I also really loved this Secret Flower Sculpture on exhibit.

 It's so cool!  It's a peony... and I love peonies... and its made of glass beads.  WHAT?!


 We walked over to my alma mater (Simmons College, which is right next to the museum) after we explored the art.  We walked around the small campus and reminisced about our first time checking it out about 4 years ago.  Oh, how time flies!  Then we got some delicious dinner in the city and took the subway home.  It was a perfect day date.