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.

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