Always, Katie: May 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Home Sweet Home: Craft Room/Jewelry Studio Progress

Now that grad school is over, I have been able to dive head-first back into decorating and cozying up our house!  Over the weekend, Ethan finished painting my craft room/jewelry studio, and I spent most of today moving stuff in and organizing it.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I already feel happy and inspired every time I step foot in this room :-)

Wanna see some pictures?  Good!  Because I can't stop taking and sharing them :-) My facebook friends are going to be so tired of this project pretty soon!

This is how it looked when the previous owners were here...

Many hours and two shockingly blistered thumbs later, the PAINTED on Ts were finally scraped from the windows. Ugh.

After a nice, neutral paint job :-) 
My packing and shipping station is coming together... I made that basket at VBS when I was, like, 10, by the way :-) It has all my jewelry baggies in it.

The bookshelves are holding mostly my novels, small business books, craft idea books, and inspirational magazines.  The table is split into general crafts (left hand side) and jewelry (right hand side).  The wall art is a series of 16x20 prints from Shutterfly of some of my favorite pieces I've made.  I got the Vera Bradley memo board for $10 from a yardsale page on Facebook!  All of my fabric is stashed in that tub under the table... I may try to get a cheap table cloth or piece of fabric to hide that... or not.  The corner by the windows is where I'm going to try and make a little jewelry photography set-up, I think the natural light will help get some really good pictures.  

I still need to get a big storage unit for one of the other walls (for allllll my craft supply miscellany), I want a smaller table for the other wall for my sewing machine and Camille the Cameo, and I am planning to put my jewelry inventory on the wall in the closet, where I have my packing and shipping station.  LOTS more work to do, but other than painting, everything else came together TODAY, so I'm feeling pretty excited about the progress! :-) 

I am hoping to have my Etsy shop open again in about 2 weeks... I have been doing some planning and sketching for a more streamlined product line, and can't wait to share it all with you soon! 
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Katie Hodge, M.Ed.

I still have a couple more days to turn in my portfolio, but my Master of Education degree was conferred this weekend!  Ethan and I drove out to Lynchburg, VA (about 8 hours away) to participate in all the graduation festivities.  It was an exhausting, exhilarating weekend, for sure!  

Since hotel rooms were crazy-expensive and booked up in January, Liberty opened up dorms as hotel rooms.  I haven't slept in a dorm since 2009, and... I'd forgotten how awful those mattresses are.  And twin beds!?  You'd best believe those got pushed together, haha!

We got up really early and got ready, then rode a shuttle over to the football practice field, where the graduates assembled before the processional.

I'm in there somewhere... with several thousand of my "classmates."

My lovely friend Abby and I made it on the JumboTron :-)  I'm so glad we were able to track each other down on the practice field so we could sit together!

After the big commencement ceremony, for the rest of the day, individual departments had their smaller degree presentation ceremonies, where our names and degrees were read, and we got to walk across the stage.  Since the School of Education is pretty big, they split ours into undergraduate and graduate ceremonies. Instead of being in football stands and having only a vague idea of where I was, Ethan was able to sit across the aisle from me at this ceremony :-)

Shaking hands with the Dean of the School of Education, and posing for the camera. :-)

Returning to my seat... I think it "hit me" about halfway back... :-)

The next day, we drove back home, stopped by my inlaws' house for dinner and to pick up our Charley-boy, and they had gotten me a congratulations cake :-)  We were all pretty amused at the spelling error... but the cake still tasted like an A+!

Ethan got me a pretty little charm with a graduation cap, diploma, and "14" under it :-)  I think I'm going to put it with my Charley charm on my "mom" necklace... two of the things I'm proudest of!

I am so thankful that I was able to accomplish this!  There were some incredibly frustrating moments... and some times when I wondered why I was even bothering.  But I am so proud of myself for sticking it out, and so thankful to Ethan and the rest of my family and friends for encouraging me and praying for me when it got tough.  I'm glad that my days of deadlines and huge papers are over, and ready to go full steam ahead into our BarBABYdos summer.  It's time to make another dream come true! :-)

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

IVF My local gyn (not the old RE) prescribed a monophasic birth control pill for me to start with my next period.  Which should have started, um, a while ago.  But I'm stressed, and none of us are particularly surprised by its tardiness!  The monophasic pill is something Barbados Fertility Centre specified, rather than a diphasic pill, which is what I was on for KRM.  I'm not sure what the difference is, or why monophasic is preferable, but I try to be compliant ;-) That gyn also agreed to do my pre-Barbados baseline ultrasound, so YAY!  Our family doctor wrote orders for a laundry list of blood work... we both still need to go have the blood actually drawn.  

Curious about the kind of blood work required for IVF?  Besides all of the usual hormone levels, which I've had drawn a zillion times (so I had recent results to hand over already) we are both being tested for: HIV1, HIV2, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, and Hepatitis C Antibody.  Additionally, I'm having blood drawn for: Full Blood Count, Antiphospholipid Antibody, Antithryglobulin Antibody, TSH and Rubella IgG.  Oh, and I have to have a recent gyn check-up, which I'm taking care of later this month... when insurance will let me :-)  

Grad School:  I finished my internship!  I don't think I've blogged at all since I started my second placement... the one at the high school.  This placement was such a blessing to me!  I had a lot of fun, and got to practice a lot of skills I've mostly read about in the last five years :-)  And my mentor at the high school was the mom of an old friend, and I got to know her professionally as an adult, which was really neat.  All of the counselors, teachers and administrators were so encouraging and good to me... when I left my final function on Tuesday night, I was fighting tears.  Hard.  And kinda lost that fight.  I am truly grateful to be ending my graduate school career with such an overwhelmingly positive experience!!  Speaking of ending my graduate school career, next weekend (May 10), I get to wear this: 

Around the House:  Housework has been slipping majorly since I started my second placement... it was exhausting!  But I made a shadowbox of our Disney trip, brought my wedding bouquet over from where my in-laws were keeping it safe while we moved, and discovered a new favorite cookie recipe (thanks, Pinterest!).  

We bought a football helmet display case from Michaels for the bouquet.  It fits quite comfortably in it!
I'll share the recipe soon!
Jewelry:  I finished jewelry for 6 members of a wedding party!  That was a LOT of fun!  I'm hoping the bride will let me share some pictures of the jewelry in use after her June wedding, but here's a little collage in the meantime.  Also... I got my handmade glass beads back from the studio where I made them, and I made myself a new long (32") necklace with some snake chain and jasper beads in a soft, spring green!

I also got a haircut.  Which doesn't really fit anywhere above, but now I think you're caught up on my last couple weeks :-)

I try to be honest with myself and all of you, so trust me when I say... I will NOT be back on the blog until at LEAST May 11!  I have a ton of stuff to finish up before graduation, so I need to buckle down and finish this journey strong :-)  Gotta make those future babies proud of their Momma... and their Momma proud of herself ;-)
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