Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Another good long weekend! Friday {date} night, we had a quiet evening at home celebrating Loren’s completion of his last grad school requirement (finishing up his elementary school externship) before going out to get Mrs. Curl for dessert. We were too busy saving all the ice cream from dripping down our hands to take any decent pictures.

 Saturday morning we slept way in after our crazy week and then made brunch together. And I did something for the first time…I cut Loren’s hair! Which was fun and terrifying. Kind of a long story – if you want to hear it, let me know. The rest of the day was spent running some errands, cleaning up the apartment and relaxing.

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Bacon, French toast bake and fresh strawberries

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Sunday we were finally back at church again and then headed to Cincinnati for some birthday celebrations in the afternoon. We had the most amazing grilled chicken, way too much cake and lots of fun activities out in my in-laws beautiful backyard. I love summer evenings with family!

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Teaching the kids how to play croquet.

We spend Sunday night with mom & dad and they took us to brunch Monday morning at the cute little Village Troubadour before we headed back home. It was fun to spend time with just them and hear some of their early-married-days stories.

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Creme brulee french toast and some of the best coffee.

Monday evening we headed over to Dawn & Keith’s for a little family cookout. Another fun family backyard evening. I am so grateful for all the family we have close by!

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Answer questions to entertain us.
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Good thing Uncle Loren is so tall and can help them see the loud ambulance driving by.
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Sisters! And a sleepy Brady.

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend!

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Graduation Parties

It’s Wednesday, but I’m going to write about our weekend anyway. Graduation party and wedding season has begun! And. Guys. I failed HORRIBLY this weekend. I took 2 pictures this weekend. TWO PICTURES!! And we had several things to be remembered.

Since we had our anniversary/date night on Thursday, we kept Friday night open to running errands and working on various projects.

Saturday morning we had breakfast and while Loren kept plugging away at his Sunday school lesson, I started getting all the food ready for his graduation party. Sometime early afternoon, we loaded up the car with crockpots and tortillas and balloons and everything else and headed up to Dawn’s. She and Keith were very gracious and opened up their house to us for the graduation party. We had originally planned to use their spacious and beautiful backyard, but the weather was not in our favor. It was cold and rainy. Isn’t it the middle of May??? So inside party it was! Dawn and I talked and got caught up while she helped me set up the food. Then around 5pm, the guests started arriving. Mostly family and few friends, but it still ended up being about 25 people for dinner. After our taco dinner, we played a couple games before dessert. It was such a fun night and we were so grateful for every single person that came. My only regret is that I didn’t get any pictures when the party really started. Oh well, anybody want to come back and do it again?

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Ready to party! Or take a nap, in Brady’s case.
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A picture I sent my sister of the hot food setup prep.
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Just in case you forgot what the grad looked like 😉

Sunday we had church, lunch, a nap and cleaned up the apartment. Pretty predicable? 😉 In the early evening, we went to one of our teens’ open house, then came back and watched a movie before bed.  And then it was Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend!

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Grads and Moms

He did it!!! Loren graduated from grad school on Friday!! I couldn’t be more excited and proud of him. We headed down to Bloomington early Friday morning for the first event of the day – externship reports – where all the SLP graduates shared their experiences in their respective hospital and school settings from the past semester. This was followed by a luncheon and award ceremony, and Loren received an award for all his hard work, leadership and most likely to excel in the field (or something like that). By then it was time for him to get ready to march in for Commencement! Loren’s younger sister graduated with her undergrad degree the same day down in SC, so Loren’s parents were down there, but Carrie (sister who is an SLP), Emily & Steve were able to make it to see Loren in his ceremonial robes. Such a fun and exciting day!

And here are lots of obligatory pictures:

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Receiving his award. #proudwife

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Can you spot him?

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Typical.

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Their practice together someday will be: “Crisp & Crisp: If You Can’t Say the Name, Come on In”

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So happy family was there. 🙂
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Ready for the next adventure!

Carrie spent Thursday and Friday night with us, and Saturday morning we all slept in after the previous days’ crazy activities. She headed back home just a few hours before we also headed to Cincinnati for Mother’s Day.

Sunday, as you are most likely aware, was Mother’s Day and we made a special breakfast with lots of bacon for Loren’s mom. After church, we had a surprise graduation party with family for Joanna.

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The almost-married graduate. 🙂

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Thankful for such wonderful parents!

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Just a few short years ago she was a freshman & my roommate. *sniff*
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Congrats to the grads!!

And that was pretty much it!
Did you have any family members graduate this weekend?

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Gut Churn: An Evening with Jad Abumrad

Last week I surprised Loren with tickets to see Jad Abumrad live in Bloomington as an early birthday present. We went to his show last night and he did not disappoint!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jad, he is the creator and host of the podcast Radiolab. If you don’t know what Radiolab is, here is the description taken from their website: “Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience”. Just go listen to some of the podcasts and you will be enlightened.

We headed down to Bloomington a little early so we could grab some dinner before the show.  Bloomington Sandwich Co., true to its Yelp reviews, had the best Reuben I’ve ever eaten.

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The show was sold out, and as we waited in line before the doors opened, Loren and I both noted the wide age range of the audience.
I asked Loren a few questions about the lecture and I think his answers capture Jad’s lecture very well:

What was Jad’s topic and how was your overall experience?
Jad discussed the “gut churn” of the creative process — that moment during creating when the creative feels like their stomach is about to turn inside out because of the pressure of the work and uncertainty that the work will be of high enough quality. Some other metaphors he used for these moments included “The Gap” (as described in this video) and “The German Forest.” It was an incredibly relatable and thought-provoking lecture.

What concept/idea stuck with you the most? 
The moments which seem the darkest and most unbearable (in the creative process and I believe in life) are very often the moments which offer incredible growth you would have never experienced otherwise. He referred to this as “adjacent possibility.” Knowing and experiencing this fact time after time should eventually take some of the pain out of it and help you look forward to what’s to come.


What was the most relatable thing he said?
Creative people are constantly swinging between “this is the best idea in the world!” and five minutes later realizing “this will never work.” Understanding that this exists and using those moments as learning moments to your advantage can propel you into more productive creativity.

Is there anything he spoke about that you will apply to your life?
Yes. All of it. Every single bit of it.

A favorite quote: 

“Sound is touch from a distance.”

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Thanks for a great lecture, Jad!

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Don’t Blink

This past week was full to the brim with adventures and traveling. I’m still catching my breath!
Tuesday night we celebrated Loren and his classmates finishing their grad school classes with a well deserved night out in Bloomington. I am so proud of Loren and all his hard work this past year and a half and am excited for him as he started his externship yesterday.
Wednesday after work, I flew down to South Carolina for a quick visit to see Joy graduate from nursing school. She has worked so hard for this nursing degree and I was so glad to be able to celebrate this special life event with her. 

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Dark and cloudy the whole trip.

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Finally reunited again!

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Waiting for Joy to walk down the aisle.

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She’s all graduated!!
After the graduation, I hung out with my cousin Dennae until it was time for her to get engaged!! Her boyfriend had planned everything thoroughly, and the surprise proposal was perfect. Dennae had no clue! I am so happy for them and am excited to see how the Lord will use them together in the future.
​So many wonderful things happened in one day!

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I had to get a hot & ready Krispy Kreme donut.

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She said yes. 🙂
After the engagement, I visited with my Aunt for a little bit before heading back to Joy’s for her graduation party. When everyone had left, Joy and I ran to Cookout for some late night fries and catching up after all the craziness of the day.

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And then Joanna joined us.
​Friday morning, Joy, Joanna and I had breakfast at the most amazing crepe place, Tandem, before Joanna and I started our 7 hour road trip back home.
​This was quite a whirlwind of a trip, but I’m thankful for every sweet moment with family and friends.

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Our one short stop for coffee & fuel on the way home.
And that was most of the week. Saturday deserves a post all on its own, so be looking out for that soon.
​ I hope you all had a great week/weekend and are almost ready for Christmas!

Things I’ve Learned Being a Grad School Student’s Wife

I have now been the wife of a grad school student for 6.5 months. The first few weeks were a breeze. Loren came home at a decent hour (often before I did) and he didn’t have an overwhelming amount of work to complete in the evenings. We would spend a good amount of time over dinner just talking and goofing off. Then the end of the first semester rudely interrupted and homework became more involved and time-consuming. And it’s only gotten busier.
So now Friday nights and Saturday mornings are my favorite because that’s when I get him all to myself. Over these past few months, I’ve caught on to some key principles that make life a little more pleasant:

Be Understanding: It’s not all about me. When Loren comes home from school, we spend some quality time together over dinner, but shortly after, he hits the books (or rather the computer and iPad) pretty much until we go to bed. But he’s not ignoring me. He just has deadlines to meet. As much as I want him to focus all his attention on me all evening after a long day at work, I even more want him to make good grades and get the education we are paying for. Someday he won’t be this busy, right?
If there is something I think is really important for Loren to do (like take out the trash), I have to remember that this priority (to me) is probably not at the top of his list at the moment. I try to ask him about little tasks like this before he settles in with his homework.

Be Encouraging: Not being in school myself, I forget how easy it is to get overwhelmed by all that school entails. But positive encouragement is powerful and can make tough days a little better. I love leaving notes in Loren’s lunch bag. When he gets home, I often ask him to tell me about one new thing he learned that day (life or school). When he practices a speech or shows me a project or paper, I try to focus all my attention on him and give positive feedback. Coffee and little treats don’t hurt, either. I want him to know that I’m his biggest fan!

Be Organized: I like to keep our apartment organized and clutter free. Mostly for my own slightly OCD sanity’s sake, but also to create a stress-free study environment. Lunch prep also falls under this category. It took me a while to catch on, but I finally realized that if I get our lunches prepared the night before, all I have to do in the morning is throw it all in the lunch bags! No more madly rushing around the kitchen way too early in the morning. Now I just calmly rush around.

Keeping the end goal—Loren earning his grad degree—in mind makes everything worth it. I wouldn’t trade this chapter of life for anything!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. Some of you have asked what I do in the evenings while he does homework. I just sit next to him and gaze at him hoping he will forget he’s in grad school. Just kidding. Or am I? More on that another day!

Meet Mr. Crisp

I mentioned the other day that I was interviewing Loren so you all could get to know him better!
So, without further ado, meet my man for life, Loren!

(thanks to Bailley for this idea)

H: First off, describe yourself in three words
L: Analytical, curious, friendly.

H: You’re going to Indiana University grad school for speech pathology. Why speech pathology?
L: Because I really like people, and speech pathology is one of the best professions for combining the ability to add value to somebody’s quality of life with creativity and a little bit of nerdiness. The more I learn in the field, the more I realize why I’m doing it. 

H: What is one thing you are currently learning about in grad school?
L: Right now we’re learning about stuttering: the effects on the person who stutters and more of the counseling side of things rather than treatment. I like that better because it’s more people-based.

H: What is your favorite aspect of grad school?
L: Probably just the hands-on experience we get, even though that’s also the most stressful. IU is good about hands-on. I also like giving presentations. But not preparing them.

H: You have an hour-long drive to and from IU. What do you in that time?
L: I usually listen to podcasts. It depends on each day what podcast keeps me awake. Sometimes the story telling ones like the MOTH are really good but then if I’m more curious about learning things that day, THIS AMERICAN LIFE and FREAKONOMICS are good. And I really like REPLY ALL and STARTUP. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because they delve into topics pretty deeply. Basically any podcast that looks at something in-depth then looks at it further. Then looks at it even further.

H: What is the hardest thing in school you have learned yet?
L: The anatomy of the brain. For some reason that detailed stuff doesn’t stick with me. I’m much more able to remember things that deal with interactions with people.

H: What is something you’ve learned about speech that you want to implement with our kids someday?
L: Not even related to speech, but actually behavior, one thing I’ve learned is that most behavior is generated from the desire to communicate something, but the inability to. Taking that into consideration when raising kids. Not spoiling them, but good to keep in mind when disciplining and communicating with a child.  

H: How do you handle stress during school?
L: Haha well I used to freak out a lot more, but right now I’m learning to step back and look at the things that are causing me stress and analyze and learn what is giving me stress.  Saying “Am I afraid about such-and-such?” and if so, what, and usually that it is a lot more inconsequential. So basically when I look at the cause of stress/fear, it’s a way smaller deal than if I keep it in the back of my mind. That empowers me to look and see how I can deal with the stress.

H: What is your current favorite hobby?
L: Drawing and sketching, mainly people. I think I’ve gotten out of practice, so right now a lot of it centers around basic practice and skill so it will flow more fluidly when I’m drawing.

H: Do you read my blog?
L: Haha yes!

H: Best post so far?
L: I don’t know. 
H: I haven’t written that one yet!
L: Maybe the “No TV” one because it’s more outward focused. It applies to people.

H: What is your favorite meal that I’ve made?
L: Haha probably your chicken alfredo. I was thinking about this on the bus the other day, “If I could eat anything right now, what would I eat,” and that was it!

H: What do you value most in our marriage?
L: That we can burp together. haha But seriously, just that we’re completely…well, we can completely unwind when we’re with each other. Either be completely goofy or pretend to be grown up and interview each other. But I feel I can be completely me when I’m with you. And that’s big for me.

H: What is your idea of a perfect date night?
L: Something simple, but one where we go out somewhere, wherever, and can just talk instead of whatever. Not extremely specific, more that it includes certain things. Like us being able to sit and talk, goofing off a little bit, and maybe twirling around in the living room. And then maybe finishing the evening by watching something. 

H: Favorite date/dates so far?
L: The first time we did the stay-at-home fancy dinner date.
    That one where we, I think before we were married, went to Cheddar’s and then got frozen yogurt and people watched.

H: What is something you want my readers to know about me?
L: That there are two sides to you. The more quiet, reserved, public side and then the completely goofy crazy side when you laugh till tears stream from your eyes. Also that you need a massage constantly.

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This stud. 🙂
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He put up with all my craziness. 😉
And now you know all there is to know about him!