All wrapped up

The Impact of Managed Care on Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families
Now that the semester is over, I had some time to finish up Christmas shopping and wrapping on Friday and Saturday. I really needed to finish up this weekend because next Saturday we are celebrating with J's side of the family and I have to work this week. 

My wrapping this year was inspired by the many ideas I pinned on Pinterest. You can check out my Christmas board here..

I went different than I ever have this year. I jumped on the brown kraft paper train.

I got the ribbon at Jo-Ann's on Black Friday on the cheap. I have a little left over but I think I need to go get some more because I love it. 

I got the tags at Olive Manna. I used the medium sized ones. I thought they were pretty reasonably priced too, at 20 for $5.00, especially since I got free shipping.

On some of the gifts I wrote directly on the paper and some I wrote on the tags, so I definitely. have enough to make it through next Christmas

 Lots of presents! We are all wrapped and ready to go!

Dear Diary

(This is a serious and pretty personal post, so be warned)

I survived my third semester of grad school! Wohoo! I am 75% finished with my master degree, which seems hard to believe and not so hard to believe all at the same time. Part of me feels like it's flying by and I'll never be ready and part of me feels like I have been in school foreverrr and I was ready to graduate a while ago. It's a weird feeling.

This semester was by far the hardest yet. I doubted at times that I would survive, but obviously I'm still here to tell the tale. Part of the reason it was so difficult was the classes, but honestly part of it was me. I have always had to work hard to do well in school, and I always (ok, most of the time) have tried my best, but something clicked with me this semester and I found motivation in myself I didn't even know I had. I found myself putting 40-50 plus hours into each paper I wrote and reading everything I possibly could. I think part of it was a great professor I had that really held me accountable and pushed me to keep doing better. I think the other part of it was that my internship has really confirmed for me that I am doing what I love and has motivated me to soak up as much as I can while I'm in school.

Most people probably think I have lost it for purposely picking a career that likely won't ever pay much, that can be emotionally difficult, and even sometimes a little dangerous. I have had many  people even tell me so. Sometimes when I say I'm going to school to be a social worker I get that awkward "oh"from people. When I tell them I work on a locked psychiatric inpatient unit for kids and teens I get the feeling that some people think maybe I need to check in myself. But I know that I made the right choice for myself.

There has NOT been a day yet that when my alarm went off at 6am, after only a few hours of sleep, that I dreaded going into the hospital. I look forward to it every.single.day. Seriously. How many people can say that?

This semester has been the best and worst all in one. I had way too many sleepless nights, but I also found my passion for working with children and adolescents with mental illnesses. I am exhausted and more excited than ever.

The icing on the cake was when my grades came in on Friday. I got 100% on a paper I busted my butt on from a professor that barely even gives A's. Then I found out that overall, I got a 4.0! I have never had a 4.0 in grad school, and if I did it undergrad it was because I was in joke classes to fill credit hours, so this is a big deal for me!

P.S. I celebrated with a HomeGoods trip. Details soon :)

Deck the Halls

With the insane amount of things I need to do before Thursday, I should not be blogging, but for my own mental health I am taking a quick break to do something I want to do, instead of have to do. I will keep it short though!

Last weekend we started decorating the house for Christmas. I love our house at Christmas time. All the lights and everything make it feel warm and cozy.

We started outside since it was so nice and we only have about 3 hours of sun each day. (Ok, I may be being a little dramatic)


We keep the outside pretty simple. Just a couple strands of lights along the front of the house. I think I am probably the only person, but I love the traditional big bulbs for outside lights. I also hung a wreath on the door and called it a day.

I love it all lit up!

Inside, we do much more. Our tree is far too big for our house but I do not care. We got it at a great price a few years ago.

See what I mean? Takes up 1/4 of our living room and we have to bend it down to get the star on top, but that's also the reasons I love it.

I generally try to stick to red and gold ornaments, but sometimes I find some that I can't live without.

We are dedicated Diet Coke drinkers in this house, so this is very fitting.

And this one is Penny's first Christmas ornament from last year.

Sidenote: Today is the one year anniversary of the day we adopted her.

I promised myself, quick post, so I'll just try to finish up just with pictures from around the house.

When this semester is over and if I survive I am going to try my hand at making an ornament wreath. I have all the supplies, I'm just waiting on the time.

Go out on Black Friday? When pigs fly...

We went out on Black Friday. Kinda.

We didn't hit our first store until around 9am because I wanted to get my normal beauty rest. I hadn't planned to go out, but those adds always suck me in. That's the point right? Well good job, it works on me.

We went to several places, but Menard's was really where we really cashed in. We went there for these table Foosball, air hockey, pool games for J's little brothers. They were out when we got there, but we asked anyway and they said they didn't have any. Later on in the store the guys we asked brought them to us! They were $6.99. Pretty awesome, considering they were originally $40.00 and the lowest I found in other ads was around $12.99 I think. I also got some other toys at great prices for our nieces there. Weird place to go toy shopping, but we got great deals and no crowds.

I can't share the details of what else I got there and other stores because who knows who will read this, but I am excited about my finds!

I got everyone on my list done, except my parents, the hardest people to buy for ever. Well, my mom's not so hard because we pretty much like the same stuff, but my dad is impossible. (I hope you read this and tell me what you want!)

I also bought myself a little something. This something is something that I have been thinking about ever since I saw it a week ago. I even talked about it at Thanksgiving dinner, which told me I needed to go back and buy it for myself.

A ceramic flying pig! I know, it's kind of weird but for some reason I am in love with him. Oh and we have decided it is a him. I texted my mom and my sister about the pig and they both called it, "him" so it was decided. I don't know exactly where he will land here yet, but I am happy he made it home with me! He was from TJMaxx so waiting a week can be risky, you know. It was fate I tell you. (or maybe no one in their right mind fantasizes about a flying ceramic pig). I'll let you decide.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! This year we are splitting the day between Jacob's parents house and my parent's house! Can I just say that I am thankful that they live like 5 minutes apart? I can't imagine having to choose.

I have so much to be thankful for this year...

My loving husband

 My puppy

Our families

A new niece

The best girlfriends ever

and...being able to go to graduate school. It's a pain in my booty right now, but I do know it's a privilege.

I'm also thankful for J's great job and the life it provides for us.

And maybe most of all right now...My pies and apple dumplings came out perfect for today!

Andddd after all that baking last night, hubby ordered Chinese!


Apple Orchard

We had another perfect weather weekend here in the Hoosier state. Sunny and warm. Loves it.

On Saturday we made our way to our favorite orchard which happens to be just down the road from our house. Since we live in the middle of nowhere with not much to do, we have been going a couple times each fall. On this trip, my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law joined us.

We started off by picking apples. This orchard is HUGE.  We walked a lot and barely saw all of it. 

They were 1/2 off if we picked our own.  Since I'm all about honesty here, there wasn't much left on the trees and we got bored part way through and ended up not being able to even fill a bag, so we bought some pre-picked apples in the end.

We did some taste testing out there though.

And a photo shoot.

We also checked out the pumpkins to finish decorating the front porch.

And finished up by browsing in the store.


Must See Video and Other Ramblings

I re-discovered this video today. She is a-mazing. Most people have probably seen this, but if not, you NEED to. Seriously.

Warning: This post is now going in a totally different direction, but it's still semi-relevant. Bear with me. I, for some reason, feel the need to explain or justify my behavior to myself (and apparently any blog followers).

Fridays are the days that I do the majority of my reading, papers, and studying for school. I get up like I am going to work/school and usually work on stuff until Jacob comes home. Lame, I know but it really helps me be able to actually sleep during the week and still have a life on the weekends. This semester (so far) I have been super productive on Fridays, but today I just can't focus for whatever reason. Hence, the two blog posts in one day that clearly evidence the fact that I am surfing the web.

Do people still say surfing the web?

In other news, my brothers 16th birthday party with his friends is tonight and they got the chicken limo. Although I'm not cool enough to ride in the limo because I'm not a 16 year old boy and I'm his is annoying older sister, I am pretty excited to see it!

Just so you know

I totally jumped all over on this offer, so I just had to share! Amazon is having a huge sale on magazines. As in $5 1-year subscriptions for a whole bunch of popular magazines.

Hurry up and check it out. It's only until October 11. Shop now!

I got myself some of this

 And a little of that


The hardest decision in the world

This and the chip aisle almost sent him over the edge. This is exactly why women leave men at home when they go to store. I would have saved 20 min, $20, and my sanity. Live and learn.

Mums the Word

The weather this weekend was absolutely perfect fall weather. It and maybe the fact I needed to study for a midterm really got me in the mood to start decorating for fall and doing other "fall-y" things.

One of the first items I tackled on my fall to-do list was decorating the front door, so that I can enjoy it for as long as possible. I started by adding some mums to my planters on the front "step" in pretty fall colors.

I got my mums at Walmart for just under $4 a piece. I bought four to fill the big planter and they fit perfectly. I know they look kind of pitiful now, but I picked the plants that had not bloomed yet on purpose in hopes that this would extend the time that I get to enjoy them.

Since I'm very impatient, forgoing my instant gratification has been a challenge, but I'm hoping that waiting will pay off in the end. I can't wait to see them when the flowers have fully bloomed, because I already am loving them!

Now for some close ups

And far away

To finish it up, (hopefully next weekend) I'm going to spray paint that white command hook black (if I can wait that long) and add some pumpkins. I'll be sure to post the finished picture as soon as I'm done!

Linking up with
Serenity Now
Thrifty Decor Chick
All Things Thrifty

Penny Turns 1

I'm just going to go ahead and admit up front that what I'm about to share may have been a little over the top and I may need to get a life. Judge me, go ahead. I know I'm a little nuts. I'm totally OK with it.

Penny's 1st birthday was today!

Against Jacob's will, I ordered a cake from Three Dog Bakery.

 Super cute.

Totally worth it.

I think Penster agrees.

She also is a big fan of her present.

Sorry these are blurry. She was going a little crazy here.

Happy Birthday Penny! I hope we have many, many more years with you!

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