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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Boards....looming ahead

Karsen in the sunshine, Memorial Day weekend 2011

We had a great Memorial Day weekend! We had family in town this week and I was still able to balance family time with study-time!

The weather was sooo gorgeous with highs near 90s for the most part, and then yesterday it got up to 94 degrees! Karsen was so happy to wear her new jumpsuit from Old Navy. Very summer-like! We even went to the pool, and it seemed like I hadn't felt the sun in years. LOL.

I did not get any pool pics, because I had a my head in a book the majority of the time.

I take the MPJE Pharmacy Law exam tomorrow afternoon and then the NAPLEX Thursday afternoon. The anxiety has kicked in.

 For some reason even though I feel like I KNOW alot, I don't feel prepared in the least. My brain feels completely saturated though. I have the rest of the today and a good part of tomorrow for last minute studying, but I don't know if my brain will hold out! It's test time!

My.Brain.Hurts. It is screaming STOP!

I will be very happy to get it behind me. It would be really nice to PASS! Continued prayers needed.....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

busy, busy, busy

Dylan got a new hat, and it is his latest favorite thing. What a cutie-patootie. He actually reminds me of Chris when we started dating. He always had a Atlanta Braves hat on backwards. <3

Things have been CRAZY since I graduated a couple weeks ago. We got home safely, but it is also safe to say that we were all completely exhausted! I have never had so much laundry to catch up on in my life. Ha!

Just one week after graduation, Dana, my best friend, that I talked about here....her Dad passed away after a very long illness. It broke my heart to not be there in NC to support her. He was her favorite person in the whole world, and it made me really sad to be so far away during a time like that. :(

A couple days after that I made a very quick road trip to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. My sister is have a MAJOR surgery there this August. After having very dissapointing results when she consulted UNC and Duke over the last couple years, she had a very poor outlook. Then she decided to get a 5th opinion. This appointment at Johns Hopkins was completely different, and she is feeling hopeful about her health situation for the first time in years. <3 I am so glad I was able to go with her, support her, and be an advocate for her.

This holiday weekend, home came to us, as we have family in town from NC. It has been fun showing them our new home and Columbus! AND...guess what?!....the weather has been cooperating. Shocker! It has been sunny and beautiful! They actually felt relieved to get away from the heat and humidity that has already arrived in NC!

In other news....earlier this week I attended New Employee Orientation, and it made me feel even more fortunate about my future employer. :) I am really excited. I start bright and early on Monday, June 6th. Feels like that day is just around the corner.

But before that happens I need to pass my BOARDS! Today I attended a NAPLEX, MJPE review at Ohio State! My exams are THIS Wednesday and Thursday, June 1st and June 2nd! OMG. omg.....no pressure, right?!

Prayers are really appreciated. I will likely NOT relax until after Thursday! Just breathe.....

So, that is in a nutshell is what we have been up to since graduation! Busy busy! I have some fun and exciting news to share about the kids with pics to come. :) I will be back as soon as the Boards are behind me! 

Hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

my sidekick, Dana aka "Patches"

Heather & Dana
Dana has been my sidekick in school from day 1. She is inarguably one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Her brain in a scary place full of a millions little tidbits and morsels of highly detailed information. Many days she would be bored out of her mind, because she already knew whatever the professors were talking about. Pure genious!

She was the person I could depend on to make me laugh when I needed it. Or feed me when I was hungry. Or make me study when I didn't want to. I couldn't have made it through the last 5 years without her!

This past week we went out for a girls' night after Boards Review....we went to the Raleigh rose garden and made time to "stop and smell the roses".  Neither of us have been able to do that over the last year and half. After that we went to the cutest lil' restaraunt and got fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits. YAY to the South! LOL~It was the most fun I've had in a very long time. I needed it!

Dana was raised the same way I was, and we both know that we truly beat the odds by raising ourselves up out of poverty and making it to and finally finishing Pharmacy school. While my family was moved states away during my 3rd year of Pharmacy school, she was tending to her critically ill father who has been in the ICU 13 times over the last year. It hasn't been easy for either of us. She would always sing this song out loud when the going got tough. At times it was daily occurrence.....I miss her already....the song she sang helped me finish school.

We did it, Patches! I love you and I am so proud of you, Dana! <3

Monday, May 16, 2011

graduation part I

Dr. Deciduous Heather
Doctor of Pharmacy
Master's of Science Clinical Research
Magna Cum Laude
May 13, 2011
I have officially graduated! What a whirlwind of a week.... We had a great time celebrating with family and friends. Chris kept asking me, "How does it feel?" I had NO words, and that NEVER happens! HA!
Finally after thinking about it for a while...I told him that if I had to put all of my feelings and emotions into words I would just simply say,

"My cup runneth over...."

We are so happy and feel incredibly blessed!  I am also very excited because we were able to get a professional photographer to capture some of the moments from graduation. I have seen the proofs, and I am so excited to see the final pictures. Here is one (uneditted) preview pic!

Nathalie Fuerst Photography
And just one more preview pic, cause I love you all!
Nathalie Fuerst Photography
More pics to come soon! Thank you to all my blog readers, loyal commenters and friends far and wide that have kept us in their thoughts and prayers. The road has been long and bumpy...some weeks were harder than others, and there were many, many moments of self-doubt. I could not have done it without Chris, Dylan and Karsen and all of our and family and friends! I love you all!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day 2011

I didn't get to spend Mother's Day with my family.
Instead, I was making the long road trip back down to NC
 for Pharmacy Board Review week.
It's mandatory.
A week of reviewing all the stuff
they learned taught us over the last 4 years.
It will be good to see all my classmates and catch up...
but I would have rather spent the day with THEM ^^
instead of driving.

Chris sent me this pic.
and it t made me smile.
You can tell alot from a picture. 
I can tell they are at our fave burger joint.
Their fries rock.

Both of them have chocolate milkshakes.
No cherry for Dylan.
Karsen will eat it for him.
Yum, they have the best shakes too.
Hate I missed that.

Dylan is playing with his spoon
instead of eating with it...
and reading a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.
Classic Dylan.

Karsen is wearing a carefully chosen outfit with
her pocketbook slung over her shoulder.
And I wonder if her hair
was brushed out all the way.
Classic Karsen.

They both have on brown.
My signature color.
Even though I wasn't there
to pick out their clothes for them.

I missed them today.
 I hope I have to never spend
another Mother's Day apart from my family.

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing Moms out there!

So even though I am down right now...
This week will end on a happy note.
Chris and the kids will be here for my graduation this Friday.
T-minus 5 days.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

before and after



Sigh, much better.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

columbus children's choir

I have exciting news! Well, exciting news if you are a Momma and you get excited when people say nice things about your kids....That would be me, and I AM excited. :) I wanna share it here anyway!

Remember I mentioned that Dylan and Karsen started piano lessons this past January? Well, their music teacher is awesome! She mentioned that when Karsen says her notes out loud that she "actually sings them" and she can hear "raw, natural talent"...WOW!! Now, Karsen and Dylan both love to sing and I have always thought they sounded great, but I thought I was a biased Momma. LOL. We have always sang in the car. Karsen learned to talk and sing at the same time. Some of her early favorite songs were by Martina McBride and Alicia Keys. Ha!
After her piano teacher mentioned this to me, the next week Karsen won a singing contest at school. I walked in to pick them up from after school and I hear someone belting out "Our Song" by Taylor Swift and knew it was Karsen right away. She was singing her little heart out. Awww! She won a MP3 player and was tickled pink.
She sings ALL THE TIME! She sings in the car, in the shower, in her sleep, during gymnastics practice when she should be flipping...ALL THE TIME. Right now her favorite songs are..
Adele's, Rolling in the Deep  http://youtu.be/rYEDA3JcQqw
Christina Perri's, Jar of Hearts  http://youtu.be/8v_4O44sfjM
She BELTS these songs out all the time.
Yesterday we got a referral letter home from the music teacher at their school for the Columbus Children's Choir, "Con Brio"!  They sing at the governor's mansion during Christmas...and do some very cool productions through the year. All of the teachers have graduate level training and it is a privilege to be asked to audition (or so other parents told me cause I knew nothing about it until yesterday! Ha!).
Her teacher said she hears a "very talented voice with great potential and she wants to make sure it continues to grow." The choir has an audition process (that makes me nervous) but she said she felt certain Karsen wouldn't have any trouble with it. It made me so happy to hear this.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE to sing, and always planned to be a BIG country music STAR in Nashville, TN when I grew up....but then I realized I have no talent what-so-ever I needed to be practical, so I went to Pharmacy school instead. I coulda been a big star otherwise, y'all. Sigh....but I digress. This post is not about you, Heather! Ha!
The fact that Karsen may have some talent in that area makes me very happy! I plan to schedule her audition after we get back from NC for my graduation!! I am proud of both of them and will keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a group date!

It started like this......
Dylan asked "Hey, Mom? Taryn wants to come over and hang out Friday night."
I replied without even skipping a beat.....""Um, no, I doubt it."
"Whyyyyyy, MOM?!"
"Because you are too young to have a girl over to hang out alone!!"
"How old is old enough?"
"I don't know, Dylan, but I know 11 is WAYYYYY too young. I won't even feel comfortable with that when you are 14! Let alone 11--ELEVEN!"
"Well, can she come over and we go somewhere else and hang out with the whole family?"
"Hmm, let me talk to your Daddy about it"

Three days later we decided.
"We guess we can plan to go get ice cream on Friday night, and she can tag along"

Taryn is Dylan's "girlfriend" by the way....his first girlfriend back in August and his 4th girlfriend present-day. LOL~It's been a dramatic year. Speaking of drama, Taryn was sleeping over with her friend, K, who happens to live directly across the street from us. Convenient, much? K is a sweet girl and I was glad to invite her as well...to make it much less like a date.

The girls arrived at 7pm (with matching red lipstick on) to ride with our family to get ice cream. K's Mom walked them over, because I wanted to make sure it was OK with her for them to go with us. We ended up having a blast. Of course I had my camera....

Dylan, Taryn, K and Karsen
The weather was great, and we stopped to pose with the tulips in the cute downtown area on the way to the ice cream parlor.

 I have never been more proud of Karsen than I was when she decided to sit in between them at the ice cream parlor. LOL. Karsen adores Taryn and K and really looks up to them. And since Dylan told me to make sure not to embarrass him, I didn't mention the fact that Dylan and Taryn look like they could be brother and sister. Ha!

After ice cream we decided to take our time and walk around the downtown area a bit. This fountain is new since last year. We had a good time, and I am genuinely glad we decided to go. Dylan looks happy, huh?

When he got home he said "I had a great time, thanks Mom and Dad" as he ran downstairs to the basement.
Awwww. Sigh...Bittersweet. I am glad he had fun because I am pretty sure that "Group" dates will be the way to go until he is about 17. LOL.

Monday, May 2, 2011

letting him go

Dylan, Summer 2008
Today Dylan left for school, and I knew I would not see or talk to him until Wednesday afternoon. *sniff sniff* It is the official departure day for the annual overnight 6th grade field trip. They are going to an outdoor adventure camp about an hour north of the city for 3 days and 2 nights of wild and crazy 6th grade fun!! God Bless those teachers! Ha!

I would be lying if I said I hadn't been slightly anxious about this trip for most of the school year over the last few days. He's only 11 years old! Yes, he is taller than I am, and his voice is changing....but he is ONLY ELEVEN! How can I let him go on an overnight trip like that? They can't be serious!?

At the beginning of the year, I comforted myself by saying, "well that is 8 months away, by then Dylan will be much more mature, and you will feel better about letting him go"...well 8 months has passed and I am still wondering if he is ready to leave for an overnight trip. I calmed myself by saying, well at least I could text him to make sure he was OK while he was gone. Then I realized that he couldn't take his cell phone. SERIOUSLY?!
 Talk about a leap of faith. I spent a good part of the day yesterday doing laundry, packing his bags, labelling his clothes, checking things off the list, and praying that he didn't get scared in the cabin at night. I packed his flashlight....and even extra batteries...ya know, just in case.

Along with extra socks, I packed clearly labeled bathrooms items....wondering if he would even open the soap. Likely NOT. As I packed his clothes, I thought that I wouldn't be surprised if he actually came back home in the clothes he wears to school tomorrow. LOL. I even felt like tying a ribbon on the brush end of his toothbrush so I could see if it even hits water while he is gone. I highly doubt it.

Maybe he will surprise me....

Maybe he will remember to change his clothes, use soap, and brush his teeth. To-be-sure he will...it is quite unsettling to know that I won't hear from him until I see him Wednesday afternoon. I packed a disposable camera so that he could take pictures of the fun they have, adventures they embark on, and mischief they get into on the trip. I hope he has a safe and memorable trip, and I know he will come home with lots of stories to tell!

Dyl & Mom, 2009
 After Chris left to take him to school, I realized that I thought I was worrying about how he will handle being away from home.....what I am really worried about is the fact that I am NOT ready to let him go.  No one really tells you how to handle this part of motherhood....when you have to trust that you have taught them well, step back, let go of the "control" and trust that they can handle some things on their own. I was never in control in the first place. Sigh. It is time for him to test out his wings a bit on his own...and I have to let him go (just a little).

While I wrestled with the emotions surrounding letting him go, it was oh-so-obvious that he was completely ready to go! He bounced down the stairs this morning, and didn't even take the time to eat breakfast...he was so excited as he ran out the door saying "bye, Mommmm!"

"Have fun, Dylan! I love you. Stay warm. Follow the rules"....and I let him go. 

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves, for childhood is fleeting and motherhood is forever" ~ Maria Edgeworth

Sunday, May 1, 2011

weekend wrap-up

donwtown dublin, oh; spring 2011

this weekend we...

saw so many tulips everywhere we looked

and I started reading a book

we went on a triple date

and got our fave organic ice cream, a flavor called "buckeye state"

the kids posed in front of a fountain

and went swimming at the Y

we took a nap

packed for 6th grade overnight camp

rode bikes

made homemade vegetable soup

and homemade butter too.

We had a great weekend.

How about you?

What did you do?

Deciduous Heather