Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Crafty!

After a very emotionally hard week of work, it was so good to do a few things just for fun! It has been fun having my good friend Saskia staying with me!  We both love to bake, and I enjoy doing arts and crafts (though she is MUCH better at them than I am) so it is good having her around for projects so they actually turn out well!

We started off the week making my first pecan pie in the multiple attempts before achieving pie perfection for Thanksgiving.  Thanks to Julie Barnwell (recipe provider) the first pie turned out a success!  We have one more recipe we found for a chocolate bourbon pecan pie that we are going to try.  If anyone wants to be a taste tester let me know!  Ive always been a cake baker and this was actually my first pie ever.  Come to find out that pies are surprisingly easy compared to cakes... why did I not know this??  

Lindsey: Ok Sas, read the directions, I have everything measured out.
Saskia: Mix everything together and dump it in the crust and bake it.
Lindsey: ... what else?
Saskia: Thats it.
Lindsey: ... THATS IT?!?!?

Apparently the challenging part is making your own crust, therefore I must attempt this. 

The second project that we undertook was a wreath for the front door.  After searching online for a while to find a nice UGA door decoration for the upcoming season I was sorely disappointed.  Either it was generic or it was expensive, or both.  So while we were at Michaels buying yarn (for project #3), we decided to make our own wreath!  Total cost: around $15! (MUCH better than the $50 ones that were for sale online!)

We used a foam wreath and black glitter ribbon to wrap the wreath making a beautiful sparkly base, periodically tacking it down with hot glue.  I also took about 6 roses, pulled them off the stems and glued them to the wreath.

I then took pre-cut wooden letters and painted them red.

Once they dried, I added some polka dots!  I used the top applicator of a Dr. Shoals home wart remover kit for the perfect sized dots since it is a round foam top, it worked really well!

Using an online tutorial we made two different bows, the black one underneath very large, then the smaller red bow and tied them together, then attached them to the wreath.

Using a small loop of ribbon to hang it up, here is the finished project!

The third craft project (mentioned previously) is knitting a blanket!  I had started a baby blanket for a friend about a year ago but never finished it.  So I had all this very soft pastel colored yard (white, yellow, blue, green, and pink) just waiting to be used.  Saskia found a fun and easy pattern online and we are each in the process of making a blanket.  I will post pictures when I am done!  Having all the generic baby colors it won't matter what Matt and I have in a few years, the blanket will be perfect!

We are also planning on making some Muscadine jam.  Neither of us have ever made jam before, but we have all the ingredients so this will be a fun adventure in the next few days!  We currently have about 10 lbs. of muscadines in our fridge that were picked by my wonderful brother and sister-in-law while they were walking along the nature trail in our neighborhood.

Going along with the Thanksgiving dessert theme, I have to figure out a pumpkin pie.  There are two that I have found online that I am going to try, but if anyone out there has a good recipe let me know!!

Labor day is coming up which means a few things: 1) a 4 day weekend for me (since the office is closed Monday I get Saturday afternoon through Wednesday off!) which means a potential vacation to either the lake or Savannah, 2) My family will be enjoying Dragoncon which we won't be attending this year since I didn't know my work schedule I did plan on attending, 3) My 27th birthday!... I love being a Labor Day baby! 

Earlier last week we received an email from the home owner's association saying there was a position open on the social committee.  Ive wanted to get involved with the HOA since we moved in, especially on the social committee, so I emailed back saying I was interested.  Turns out that the position that is open is the social chair (the previous chair just moved).  I accepted :)  Can't wait for the first event!

Thats it for now!  Until next time!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 Sorry for slacking on my updates, but not a WHOLE lot has happened in the past month!

Matt and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary! We went to Lake Wedowee with a bunch of our friends to celebrate and ate the top of our cake.  It was really yummy!

At work I am really starting to get into the swing of things.  People are starting to request to see me (which is exciting), and I really love working.  It is hard at times, but for the most part it is very fun and rewarding.

We also had a joint open house with Natty and Hayden for the members of our Sunday School class at Connon UMC.  They came by for some food and to look around at our awesome home!  Here are some updated pictures of how the house is coming along:

Picture wall in the den above the sofa with the new clock

New wall decorations and new curtains in the den

Food for the Cannon members!  It was so fun making everything and looking for ideas on Pinterest!  We made: Sweedish meatballs, avocado stuffed pastries, a build your own fruit pizza station, rolo pretzel bites, oreo truffles, cucumber sandwiches, granola craisin cookies, and blueberry cucumber water and lemonade from scratch :)

Dining room table all set up!

screen porch furniture

more screen porch furniture
This week is the start of Saskia coming to stay with us for three weeks for her last externship!  It is going to be so great having her around.  Our mission for the next three weeks is to figure out the best pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes for Thanksgiving!!!

Until next time!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

To Conquer List

The house is really starting to come along!! Besides hanging pictures on the wall (which you will have to come over and see all those), here are the MAJOR updates we have done in the past few months:
Guest bedroom #2, previously had nothing in it, now just needs some wall decor!

Foyer, now has entry rug and wall decorations.  Not pictured is the decorative stand beside the stairs with various wedding paraphernalia :)

Thanks to my Mom and Dad we now have a table and 8 chairs!!  Soon to come: 2 more chairs and a china cabinet (as soon as we have a few thousand to spend!)

We now have curtains in the kitchen!!

The start of some decorations in the den.  Not pictured is the awesome extra large clock over the couch that will soon be surrounded by photos
Projects for next month: Furniture for the screened porch and a rug for under the kitchen table. Get excited.

 I officially have a consistent schedule for the first time since I can remember!  I work Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, and usually don't have anything scheduled for the other 3.5 days out of the week!  It is awesome to know that I have time to be productive, or just sit around and enjoy life.  The sign is up, my "doctor" shirts will be in soon, and I am feeling more and more comfortable at work. 

Now that my life has begun to fall into a rhythm, I have had time to sit back and evaluate how far I have come in my 26.5 years of life. I hate the term "bucket list" because the meaning behind it is all backwards.  My goals in life are not things I want to DO before I "kick the bucket", they are things that I want to conquer in my real life goal of making every moment count.  So here is my as-complete-as-possible "To-Conquer List": (naturally the X means I have already conquered it!)

(X) Become a Veterinarian
( ) Own a practice
( ) Have enough money to not have to worry about money
( ) Be there for a pet and their family for a first puppy/kitten visit through the end of their life
(X) Save a life (doesn't have to be human!)
(X) Make research advancements in my field
(X) Play soccer at the college level
(X) Marry my best friend
(X) Be a bridesmaid
(X) Buy a house
( ) Start a family
( ) Raise my children to be good people
( ) Become a team mom
( ) Coach one of my children in a sport (hopefully one I actually played!)
( ) Plan/host a major fundraising event
(X) Be close to my family and my in-laws
( ) Host my family for Thanksgiving Dinner
(X) Go bungee jumping 
( ) Go skydiving
(X) Learn to SCUBA dive
( ) Dive Crystal River with my Daddy
( ) Dive the Great Barrier Reef
( ) Hike the grand canyon
( ) Hike a portion of the App Trail (talking like a week's worth)
( ) Visit every state in the US
( ) See Niagara Falls
( ) Go deep sea fishing
(X) Walk/bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
(X) Go white water rafting
(X) Visit New York
( ) Visit the Galapagos
( ) See the Northern Lights
( ) Travel to the United Kingdom
( ) See Stonehenge 
( ) Travel to Australia/New Zealand
(X) Travel to Central/South America
(X) Hike in the South American Rainforest
(X) See the Redwoods
(X) Travel to Europe
( ) Visit Henny in Germany
(X) Hear the Pope speak
(X) Travel to the Middle East
(X) Float in the dead sea
(X) Be baptized in the Jordan River
(X) Visit Petra in Jordan
( ) See the pyramids
(X) Travel to Asia
( ) See the Great Wall of China
(X) Ride a camel
( ) Ride an elephant
( ) Travel to Japan (this one is for Matt)
( ) Go on an African Safari
( ) Go to Wimbledon
( ) Go to the Kentucky Derby 
( ) Do an Olympic Triathlon
(X) Run a half marathon
( ) Run a marathon
( ) Run a tough mudder/warrior dash
( ) Run a color run
( ) Run a zombie run
(X so far) Stay physically fit throughout my life
(X) Donate 1 wig (4, 10 inch donations) of hair
(X) Learn to defend myself
(X) Learn to shoot a gun
(X) Learn to play an instrument

That is currently all I can think of.  Feel free to comment and leave suggestions!! I am always open for new experiences!!

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting in the Groove

The past month since graduation has flown by!

The first week, I decided to go to Charleston with Laura to visit Adrienne, Weatherly, and see the Matts (my wofford study buddies/lab partners, both named Matt).  We had SUCH a great time!! On the way down we stopped in Greenville to visit Rachel and Craig and see Chanel, all of whom are doing fantastic.  The beach was wonderful and VERY relaxing!

Amazing friends on a very educational boat ride :)

The next week, I was off to Amelia Island for Melia's bachelorette weekend with some wonderful ladies.  I only knew two of the other bridesmaids before that weekend and the wedding, but now I am happy to say that I have several more friends that I adore :)

It was a little windy on the deck, but the weather for the most part was perfect!

For memorial day we spent the weekend in the mountains with my family.  We went to an art festival in Blue Ridge, did some fun afternoon runs up and down the mountains, and watched some awesome SciFi original movies :)

Then came Melia's wedding last weekend.  I was so honored to have been asked to be part of it!  The wedding was beautiful, and the reception was SO fun!  We had to have a search party for the groom's ring that morning, do some minor surgery on her veil, we had one plant casualty during the ceremony and a groomsmen near casualty right after the ceremony, but otherwise everything went smoothly!  The bride looked AMAZING, and I know the two of them couldn't have been happier.  I love weddings, and I love these two wonderful people!

Beautiful!  I can't wait to see the rest of the formal pictures!

On another exciting note, my brother and sister-in-law FINALLY got their house!!  While we were house hunting, they saw a house on the same street as ours (actually about 8 houses away) that was just PERFECT for them.  We signed the contracts for our house and theirs on the same day, but because theirs was a short sale, those are complicated and take a lot longer than a regular sale.  But they FINALLY GOT IT!!! They moved in this past weekend!  It has already been amazing!  Matt and I made them a casserole as a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift while they were moving :)

Hayden and Natty's new house!!

Yesterday was my first official day of work ever!  It was a little stressful trying to remember to dot my I's and cross my T's (since every hospital does it differently), but I know in a few weeks I will have everything down, and it wont feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off!  I thought that most of the day was just going to vaccine appointments, but it actually ended up being different and quite eclectic!  At the end of the day my brain was exhausted.  I think I am going to enjoy the "real world"!

Matt and I are also starting "Insanity" together (along with Hayden, Natty, and two of my new friends Elissa and Charlie), so we have an amazing accountability group to make sure we all die together.  We took the fitness test and wrote down where we are now so we can track our progress over the next 60 days.  Lets hope for some good results!

That's all for now!  Until next time!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


     When I was 6 years old, my second grade class had career day.  A veterinarian named Dr. Delahay brought a cat skeleton, a pig heart, and several other things to the class to talk about what he does for a living.  I was one of the very few people (and the only girl if I recall) to go and touch the things that he had.  From that moment, I was enthralled.  I went home and told my parents that I was going to be a vet when I grew up.
     Fast forward to high school... When I turned 14 I ran one afternoon (literally... I was suppose to be training for cross country) from school to Brookwood Animal Hospital and asked if I could volunteer to walk the dogs in the clinic.  They told me they hired high schoolers to work that job, but they had to be at least 15 to work.  I waited a year, and came back, filled out an application, and called almost every day asking if Dr. Yeomans had decided to hire anyone yet.  Finally he asked me to come in for an interview and I got the job.
     For the next 3 years I spent working the kennel, cleaning the runs, feeding the dogs, picking up poop, working spring breaks, Christmases, Thanks Givings, and every other holiday and most weekends making minimum wage (at the time: $5.15/hr, but I got a few raises along the way).  I did this because I knew that if I wanted to get into vet school, I would have to have work experience and a letter of recommendation.
     I went to college, on scholarship: academic, soccer, running track, and doing community service.  I majored in Biology and picked up Religion later on to be more "well rounded".  During school, I found that the best time to study was Friday night.  That was when most of the people we would partying, and I could have the biology building mostly to myself.
     Every summer I would come back and work two jobs: the first as a receptionist/veterinary assistant at Brookwood (moving up in the world), and the second a Zoo Keeper at Zoo Atlanta in the reptile house.  I got THAT job by going to volunteer to sweep and clean the glass in the reptile house, and after a week or so of that every day, they asked me to come and help with cleaning out a few of the enclosures, and eventually they let me clean out the enclosures by myself.  Before the end of the summer, I was hired.  Through that experience I was sent to Panama and Vietnam to do frog conservation and a Herpetological Survey respectively.  These were amazing experiences that let me have a resume that stood out among the others.
     I was accepted to veterinary school at the University of Georgia.  After 4 grueling years of work, constantly studying, and having very little life outside of the school building... I was done.  But not after one more challenge: Boards.  As you all know, I didn't pass the first time.  I studied almost every night from August until I took the exam in November, and still failed.  It seemed that after all this work and sacrifice, my dream would not become a reality.  Instead of giving up, I pushed on.  I took an online course, found an amazing study buddy (Sas, I <3 u), and together we dominated the exam the second time.  I not only passed... I killed it.
     Finally,  it was time.  there I stood on the stage at UGA with my cap and gown on.  Drs Cornell and Roth put the hood over my head and my life-long journey came to completion. I AM a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  I will be working at Brookwood Animal Hospital now as a Veterinarian starting in June.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something.  Don't every let circumstance change your desires.  YOU have the ability to make what you dream into a reality.  I was never forced to make any of these decisions... I made them because I saw the goal I was trying to achieve and I knew the path I had to take.  Im not saying I didn't have any fun.  I met friends that I will keep forever, I met and married the man of my dreams, and I have memories that will always be there.  I just knew that sometimes I had to make the hard decision... like getting a job and working during the summer instead of spending it having fun with my friends at the pool every day.  It doesn't matter your situation or your background, all that matters is how bad you want it. I wanted it.  And I got it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Final Countdown!

I'm beginning to get really excited about graduation! One more week left of my externship, then one week until graduation! May 5th cannot get here soon enough! I have been doing my externship at Eastside Animal Medical Center in Grayson. I love it! Everyone is so nice and they let me do everything... they even call me Dr. Verlander! The other day, I did a femoral head ostectomy! It was awesome!

Now that the board exam is over I have had time to run AND play some soccer! Running with my amazing sister-in-law through the neighborhood has been amazing. There is also a Grayson women's running club that I am joining. We have a 5K next weekend. Im pumped. Ive been playing soccer with Natalie on a co-ed team from people that she knows from work. It has been really fun! I just need to figure out how to keep my ankles from rolling :)

I have also had some free time to begin working on the house. Getting things put together, decorating, and picking out things that I would like to purchase to really make this house look nice.

After the board exam I decided to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get some decor for the guest bedroom... 1) because we needed it, and 2) because when I am depressed, shopping makes me happy :) If you don't remember, this is what the guest bedroom looked like in the condo in Athens. We had it basically the same way here in Grayson:

And here is how it is decorated now!

I love it! Ready for anyone who wants to come visit! I also purchased the bedding for the other guest bedroom, we just don't have a bed in there yet. When that is set up, expect pictures!

This is about as far as we have gotten in the Master... The headboard I made (because we don't have one... yet). Thanks Pinterest! I took 6 pieces of canvas and covered them in fabric, decorated them, then just hot glued them together. Didn't take long at all and was REALLY inexpensive. I think it turned out nice. The rest of the master bedroom is still in boxes... eventually things will be put up!

This is the master bathroom. We originally had white bathmats, soap dispensers, etc. and it looked really good in Athens because the bathroom was blue. Because it didn't go as well with the new bathroom, we moved the white stuff to the guest bathroom and got new slate gray mats and brushed nickel accessories. Love how it looks now!

Here is the white in the guest bathroom. It also looks good and transitions nicely into the new guest bedroom (with the blue).

Im sure that after graduation there will be some very exciting new purchases and decorations to come, so keep an eye out!

Until next time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Beginnings of the House --> Home Transformation


As an attempt to avoid studying at all costs, I figured I would keep ya'll updated on what we have done around the house! After the 12th, there will be a lot more posts (with exciting before and after pics!) probably for the next year or so as we slowly change our new house into our dream home. Its a slow process, but with Michelle Verlander's help (Matt's sister, who HAPPENS to be an interior designer!!) it will be AMAZING!!

While I was gone in Mobile for 3 weeks, Matt (because he is awesome) completed some very big tasks around the house. First: Fence in the backyard...

BEFORE, no fence for us, just our neighbor's fence:

Next task, paint the kitchen... Before it was a dark red color:

Now, BLUE!!

Third, and I helped some with this one before I left and after I came back, we sanded, painted, and sealed the old DVD shelf that we had... Before it was black (in the corner):

Now it is white, and he removed the back on it so that the fireplace and various cords can be accessed :)

He also installed a cat door :) No pics of that though, sorry! haha.

Thats it for now! Get ready for some exciting new additions once I get some free time!
Until next time!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Past, Present, and Future

My sincerest apologies for this update being late!! Its what happens when the bowels of the vet school swallow you. I decided to make this post somewhat organized in going over the things that have happened since the last post, the current state of affairs, and what the future has to offer as far as I can see (as in until May).

Matt and I have officially moved! We got the house that we wanted (previous post) and are now residents of Grayson, GA. We rented a UHaul and snagged a few friends and moved everything down to the house just in time for me to leave on externship to Alabama for 3 weeks :). Everything seems to really be coming together according to text messages from Matt, and once I get there photos will be taken and posted (I PROMISE!!).
We had to find a new home for Chanel. When we moved, neither cat really handled it well, and I decided to separate them until they both calmed down. After I did, both cats seemed to be MUCH happier without the other one around. Then I put 2 and 2 together and realized that for the past year I had been trying to make work something that just wasnt working. Strauss and Chanel never really got along, and they were both pretty stressed about the other one. So Matt and I made the decision to find Chanel a new home where she could be an only cat... and we found her the PERFECT home. She is now Rachel and Craig's baby and they are all doing SO well together!! It worked out perfectly, as all things tend to do.
I can officially say that I officially have a job after graduation and passing boards. I will be the newest Vet at Brookwood Animal Hospital in Snellville, GA. Therefore, everyone who is reading this post (except the future veterinarians) you are now required to bring all pets there. I will be starting (HOPEFULLY, pending Boards), in June.
I am also officially done with Athens, GA until graduation!! I finished my last rotation at UGA on St. Patrick's Day. No more basement hospitals for me!!

I am currently in Mobile, Alabama doing a 3 week externship with some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. I met Dr. Long my junior year at Wofford, giving him, his wife, and his son, Philip, a tour of campus, and helping host Philip for his deciding visit to Wofford. He picked Wofford, and started as a freshman my senior year. When Dr. Long found out that I was accepted to vet school, he sent me my stethoscope as a present, and he was one of the people that I called to tell. So when time came to pick my externships, I knew I had to do one with him. I have never been fed so well! The Longs are some of the nicest, most giving people you would ever meet :). I am learning a lot on this rotation as well. The clients come in all varieties/shapes/and sizes and I am learning every range of veterinary medicine. From the people that have 1 little white fluffy that is their baby and would do anything for it, to someone who has 6 dogs with heartworms and no money; and being able to treat both sets with quality medicine while meeting the owner's needs. Amazing.
One thing that I have noticed while being here is that for the first time in my whole life, I am homesick. I am a world traveler and have spend months away from home with little to no contact with anyone, and I have never once felt homesick. But for some reason after about 4 days here, I was missing everyone terribly, especially my family. I guess in my old age (;)) my wild and free spirit is becoming more tame... either that or marriage did it. But thankfully I had some visitors this past weekend! My parents came down and we had a WONDERFUL time on Dauphin Island and visiting Bellengrath Gardens. I would post pictures, but I forgot my camera cord... so in a few weeks (after April 7th), expect some!

I will be in Mobile until April 7th, then I am starting at an emergency clinic for my final rotation April 9th. The clinic is about 5 min. from our new house, so it will be nice not having much of a drive. I take the NAVLE on April 12, so I expect everyone that is reading this to be praying non-stop from 8:30AM-3:30PM that day :). Dr. Long said it best the other day, "You are going to make an amazing vet" then he shook his head, "having something like a vet license decided by a dumb test like the NAVLE is like having a soccer game end in a shoot out. You work so hard for so long to have it all come down to chance. Doesn't matter who is the best." That is a wise man.
Graduation is May 5th, then I will just be waiting around (probably doing a lot of decorating and home projects, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful weather) until I find out my board results mid-may. After that... who knows!!

Until next time (which I promise will be sooner than this one was, and full of pictures)!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

2012 has shown itself to really been a roller coaster thus far. It ranges from excitement that is impossible to contain, to let downs that feel like I am moving backwards more than forwards. I like to end on happy notes, so we will start with the let down...

I didn't pass the NAVLE. That was possibly the worst email I have ever gotten. It was like I have worked so hard for so long just to have it all come crashing down at the very end. Not only did I go to college for 8 years, sacrificing all of my free time and energy to the future, I also studied for this test more than most people I know that passed. 3 months for at least an hour a night, practice question after practice question, notes, handouts, reviews... all for nothing. All to just turn around and have to do it over again in April. I ruined my future job, our future house plans, wasted another thousand dollars on retaking the test... everything! I needed a 65% to pass... I made a 63%. And the worst part was that the breakdown of each species on the test showed that I did about the same for all the species. It wasn't like I did terrible on cows and just need to study cows more... I need to take the whole test differently. I have never been a strong standardized test taker and generally don't do well with multiple choice tests anyway. So for me, this test is not about what I know, it is about how well can I take the test. How well can I figure out what the person writing the question was trying to ask me. Basically, for the next 3 months, I am starting over.

It has been very upsetting to think about that for the next 3 months I will be studying each evening (again) while all of my friends get free time with no stress. But trying to stay positive, I will have all of this information fresh in my mind when I start my new job (hopefully after I pass the April test!). I really appreciate the support of all my friends and family that have been standing by me giving me encouragement through this very upsetting and stressful time.

(on to positives) Speaking of job... I called my future boss, Dr. Craig Yeomans, to tell him that I had failed. I told him that I understood if he wanted to try and find someone else sooner, or if he did not want me to work there anymore since I failed that I completely understood. I would not find out about the results of the April test until the end of May and that even then there was a chance that I wouldn't pass again.

His response: I don't care, I want you to work here. So we wait another month, big deal. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?! That response really solidified that I was making the right decision to work there. He made the official announcement this week to the rest of the staff that I would be working there most likely starting the end of May pending the April test results. I feel very honored... and lucky.

Another BIG deal... Matt and I are going to try and make an offer on a house that we looked at the other weekend!! It is in a BEAUTIFUL neighborhood in Grayson, Wheatfield Reserve, which offers swim and tennis, and sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. The house is in a cul-de-sac and is just PERFECT for what we want. The address is: 15 Little Barley Lane, Grayson GA 30017. You should check out the pictures online here (doesnt do it justice) and let me know what you think!! KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED that everything works out and we get our dream home!!!

Thats all for now... Until next time!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Search Begins!

First, I would like to wish a very Happy New Year to my friends and family! I know hat 2012 has a lot of exciting changes in store, and I am looking forward to sharing all of them with you!!

Christmas was as wonderful as I could have hoped for. Everyone was together and the love at every event was tangible.

I have (almost) officially accepted the job at Brookwood Animal Hospital. I have verbally committed, and I will sign the contract mid-January. We have discussed the contract and pay etc. etc. The official contract just needs to be written up, and then we have the signing day! It sorta feels like I am in the process of beginning a pro-sport... Matt thinks I should get a signing bonus ;) I am excited because I will only be working 3.5 days/week! It will be SUCH a change from what I have been doing for the past year (working 24/7), it probably wont feel like I am working at all. The hours are stable, and it will give me time to begin working on other parts of my life (house, family, and actually getting to spend time with my husband).

SPEAKING OF HOUSE... Matt and I have begun the intense process of house-hunting. He was not as enthusiastic as I was about it (as goes most things), but he is coming around. We sat down and wrote out a "house must haves" list that was basically this:
- Under 300K (thats what we were approved for) in Grayson, GA
- 4-5BR/3+BA
- Open floor plan
- Big kitchen (lots of counter tops and cabinet space, large pantry)
- Formal dining room that can hold a table for 12
- LARGE master bathroom with tub and extra large shower
- Swim/tennis community preferably with sidewalks through the neighborhood
- (Matt's request) Driveway good for basketball... always thinking of the future, he has decided our children will be professional basketball players :)
- (my and Levi's request) Large backyard that is either fenced in, or easily fence-able to be done RIGHT when we move in
We have just been looking online, but when I find one that meets most of our criteria I will show him, and he will start deciding where he would put the furniture that we have. It is getting pretty exciting! Ideally, I would love to be able to move in around April to whatever we can find since my last two rotations are not in Athens, and my last one is in Grayson, there is no reason to stay living in Athens. The problem is that a lot of banks will not give you a loan on a house until you have worked at your job for at least a month... that means we wouldn't be able to move in until July. That is a lot of driving, and as you all know my Jeep is NOT the most fuel efficient car. So we are going to try and see if there are any smaller banks that will accept a contract to work, or if Matt can get approved for the houses we want on his salary alone. Grown-up stuff is complicated... but exciting! I can't wait to start looking at houses in person!!

Pending my NAVLE results (TBA end of Jan, beginning of Feb... unless I failed), graduation is May 5 at 10:30AM (118 days away, but who is counting??). I. CANT. WAIT. Everything that I have worked for since I was 6 years old will finally be a reality. A life-long goal achieved. 4 years of torture finally ending. I might ACTUALLY cry (which is saying something considering I didn't even cry at my wedding).

Until next time!