Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated my blog. A lot has happened in the past few months (the last time I wrote was at the end of January). First of all, I recently graduated with my masters degree! I remember two years ago when I was walking across the stage at my graduation for my bachelors degree thinking "I'll be back here in two years!" And those two years flew by and here I am - finally graduated after two long, hard years of graduate work. Justin graduated, as well! He now has his bachelors degree. It was an amazing night for us to share together and they even made a special announcement about us as "husband and wife graduating together" at commencement. And did I mention that Justin is starting graduate school in the fall!? And I'm starting to look into PhD programs even though I promised myself I would enjoy some time off from school. (Western Michigan University is looking very enticing though...) I'll just have to see where things go. I don't think Justin and I will ever slow down!
I also just finished up my first year of teaching college English. I'm not going to lie, it was a tough first year. I definitely had to fight my introverted, social-anxiety personality and branch out as a public speaker. Between going to school full-time, managing a home life, and teaching, it got a little crazy at times. But I'm proud to say I made it through my first year and will be returning in the fall as an experienced professor (and as an MA)!
I won another poetry award at IU South Bend this year in the English Department Writing Awards. After being at IUSB as a student for six years, I am going to miss it, especially my graduate program. We were such a small, tight-knit English-loving group and I will miss every bit of it. (Although not having to worry about homework has been nice...)
School/teaching is over for the summer and I am lucky enough to have the summer off until school starts back up in the fall. So far, I've been enjoying watching my little brother, Tyler, play on the varsity baseball team at his high school. (I'm so proud of that kid!) Justin started a new job about three weeks ago and works from 8:30 to 5:00, so I keep busy during the day by focusing on my writing and trying to work on my painting skills. I've also made several trips to the library and am enjoying reading and writing on my comfy front porch when the weather is nice. Life is good!
On top of everything else that has been going on, my sister (not biological, but we have been attached at the hip since we were kids) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Deanne had been misdiagnosed three different times in the past year by several different doctors and it was really hard to hear that she had a brain tumor. I didn't take it well, but I've been praying to and relying on God for peace of mind. Deanne has been handling it tremendously. I went to Indianapolis with her for her two initial surgeries back at the end of April and stayed with her at the hospital. She had a shunt put in to relieve pressure and then a brain biopsy taken in a separate surgery and then two weeks later was back to have the tumor removed. It's been so hard to see her in the state that she is in because she is such an enthusiastic and vibrant young woman, but she is making progress beyond what I thought was possible at this point in time. Her faith and perseverance are inspiring and I can't wait for her to get back to being her normal self. I love her with all my heart and can't wait to have my sister back.
I am really enjoying this time to just focus on things that I'm normally too busy for. I get to spend quality time with my husband in the evenings and on the weekends not have to worry about homework. I get to read and write for pleasure and take note of the little things in life. Did I mention my husband and I have been married for seven months!? Where did the time go?? I am thankful for him everyday and the life we share together.