I Did It! I Survived Graduate School!

I did it!

This past Wednesday I took my comprehensive exams to finish up my master’s degree!  I was nervous about failing them but I passed all three of them!  Tuesday night I will give a twenty minute presentation over a paper I wrote and I will take one more final test on Wednesday night and then I am officially done with my master’s degree.  Commencement is on May 12 and I can’t wait to have that diploma in my hand.

Daniel commented the other day that my life was about to go from super busy all the time to having lots of free time in just a short amount of time.  Not long after I graduate, the school I teach at will be out for summer break.  I spent the past two summers attending graduate classes so I am really looking forward to a summer break with no plans.  I have a list of books that I am hoping to finish and I am looking forward to just hanging out with my kids.

Summer Plans

We have approximately three weeks of school left.  We also only have about three weeks of dance left as well.  The girls will dance in their recital the last week of May.  Shortly after that soccer and baseball will wrap up and we will have some major down time.  Swim team starts in June but for some reason it doesn’t feel as hectic to me.  I think part of that is because I’m not working all day and then trying to get kids to practice.  We get up in the morning, go to swim team practice, and then have the rest of the day to hang out.

We aren’t really planning on taking any major trips this summer.  The littlest babies just aren’t old enough to go too far and this mommy stay sane while traveling with five kids.  We are visiting a couple of cities that are within about four hours of our home town.  We are planning to visit an aquarium and a science museum.  I won’t be surprised if we throw some other places in this summer as well.

My biggest goal this summer is just to rest.  After graduate school, new babies, spring sports, and the nonstop schedules we have maintained for the last two years, I desperately need rest…mind, body, and soul.  That is my plan for this summer above all else.

Do you have any fun summer plans?  What are you reading this summer?

Hello April!

Wow!  It has been almost a month since I have posted a blog entry.  This past month has just been crazy and busy, but good!

World Traveler

My last blog post was on March 15 and I boarded a plane early the next morning to head to Italy!  I had so much fun in Italy!

I visited Verona, Venice, Florence, Assissi, Pisa, and Rome.  When life slows down a bit, I plan to share a couple of posts about what I did in Italy, what I ate, and my tips for traveling in Italy. For now, I’ll just leave with you some pictures!

Graduate School

When I returned from Italy, I jumped head first into finishing up grad school which is why I neglected the The French Lemon bit. I turned my last paper in this past Wednesday! One final and a seven-hour comprehensive exam at the end of April that stand between me and graduation!  I’m so close but yet it still feels like so much work.  I recently ordered my cap and gown so things are starting to feel real!

Spring Sports

Spring sports are heating up!  Jackson and Emily have both started soccer and Jackson is also playing baseball.  Lauren and Emily are both still dancing three nights a week!  There is a little over a month until the dance recital and I am so ready for it.  It will be nice to have a break from dance classes in the evenings.Hello April Spring Soccer

With all the activities, we are constantly on the go right now.  Jackson and Emily both had their first soccer games this past Saturday…at the same time.  I was trying to watch both fields and catch both of them playing!  They both played well and were happy to be back on the field.

Growing Babies

Harrison and Katherine are growing so fast!  I can’t believe that they are going to be eight months old in just a couple of weeks.  Both babies have two bottom teeth.  Harrison is currently working on cutting his first top tooth.  He also started crawling last week!  Katherine doesn’t seem to have much interest in crawling just yet. Time slow down!

Books

Guess what?  Grad school has gotten close enough to wrapping up that I was able to take some time and read a book for pleasure!  I had almost forgotten what that felt like!  After I take my comprehensive exam on April 26, I plan to do quite a bit of reading and I can’t wait to share what I am reading with you!

Drop me a comment and tell me what you have been reading lately!

Hope you all have a Happy Easter this weekend!

 

March Madness

Starting Out Rough

I had really high hopes that March would be a bit easier on us than January and February. However, that is not proving to be true so far.  Just four days into March and we have sick kids…again.  Poor Lauren has had a headache and congestion all week.  I’m pretty sure that it is a pretty terrible sinus infection.  Early Friday morning, Emily woke Daniel and I up to let us know that she had thrown up in her bed.  Daniel got her cleaned up and her bedding changed while I nursed Katherine.  About fifteen minutes after we all were back in bed, Jackson came to our room to let us know that he had thrown up in his bed also.  Needless to say, all five kids got to stay home from school with Dad on Friday.

Grad School Blues

Graduate school is officially kicking my rear.  I started this degree in June of 2015 and plowed through every semester without feeling too stressed about any of this.  This semester, however, has been awful.  I have absolutely no motivation and I’m finding it difficult to get anything done.  I have never struggled this much with any classes and I am barely getting anything read or done.  Forget doing the research I desperately need to do.   I have already checked out when it comes to grad school.

This week I received the information for my comprehensive exams that I will have to take (and pass) in April in order to be eligible for graduation. It was some overwhelming information.  The test will end up being a seven hour commitment and it is pass or fail.  It can cover ANYTHING from my coursework…two years of work.  I’m not even sure how to prepare for this.  Just praying to survive the rest of this semester.  69 days until graduation!

The Silver Lining

There is a little silver lining for March and the rest of this school year.  First, I leave for Italy in 12 days!  What?!?  I seriously can’t wait.  I need some travel time.  Sometimes I feel trapped at home and traveling is such a breath of fresh air for me.  Seeing how big the world is always makes me realize how insignificant most of my problems are.  With everything weighing me down right now, I really need that perspective. Plus, there is cheese, pasta, and gelato.  I may never come home.

Second, we signed Emily and Jackson up for soccer last week.  Baseball sign-ups started this past Thursday and we signed Jackson up to play that as well.  With the exception of football in the fall, I really love spring and summer sports.  I look forward to baseball and swim team as much as the kids do.  Jackson’s a bit nervous about baseball this year.  He is moving up from t-ball to coach-pitch and he is terrified that he is going to get hit with the ball.  Daniel has promised to practice with him a ton.  Hopefully, it will be a good season for him.

The girls are wrapping up dance classes.  Their recital will be in May.  I honestly can’t wait.  I usually really enjoy dance but with grad school it has felt really overwhelming this year.  Three nights a week the girls are at the dance studio.  I am so ready for a break from dance.  Once the recital is over, we won’t have any dance related activities until August!  Praise the Lord!

How’s your March going so far?  What are you looking forward to this spring?

 

 

February Recap

It’s the last weekend in February. I wanted to give a little February Recap and let everyone know what we’ve been up to this month!

Bye, Bye Illness

Our February wasn’t totally illness free but it was so much better than January.  The first two weeks of February saw the babies still recovering with the bout of RSV that they caught at the end of January.  Our oldest daughter, Emily, also tested positive for the flu that week.  Jackson, our oldest son, was diagnosed with the flu four days after Emily so we did have a little bit of a rough start to the month.

We finally all made it back to work and school on the thirteenth, just in times for Valentine’s parties.  It was our first full week of work and school after several weeks of illness.  Everyone seems to be feeling so much better and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.  The babies are still a little stuffy but nothing too terrible.

Growing Up and Growing Teeth

Harrison and Katherine are six months old today! I can’t believe how quickly the past six months have flown by.  It seems like just yesterday we found out that we were expecting our second set of twins.  They are both growing like weeds.  Both can sit up but aren’t very good at it. They’re still pretty wobbly. They aren’t getting nearly enough time practicing independent sitting.  With three older siblings, they are always being held and carried around.

Harrison and Katherine are doing great at rolling over.  Katherine isn’t really interested in rolling over like Harrison is.  We can no longer keep him on his back.  He rolls all over the place.  He scoots around the floor when we put him down for tummy time.  We’re anticipate him figuring out the crawling thing soon.

Harrison and Katherine had their first bite of baby food this past Thursday.  We started with pears.  Katherine loved them! We can’t get baby food into Katherine’s mouth quick enough! Harrison had a little bit of trouble warming up to them.  He does seem to be enjoying them a bit more by today.  Harrison also cut his first tooth this week.  He had been fussing for a while so I knew one was coming.  I’m just happy that it finally broke through.  No teeth for Katherine yet but I’m sure she won’t be far behind him.

School and Activities

We’re all still hanging in there.  I don’t know about the kids but I am so, so ready for summer break.  I’m just not feeling this semester for whatever reason.  I am really looking forward to some down time and summer activities.  Snow cones and swimming, any one? Graduate school is probably part of the problem. It’s my last semester and I have just really lost all motivation.  I’m finding it more and more difficult to get all the things done that I need to do.  76 days until graduation!  I can make it!

The kids are keeping us busy as usual.  Dance practice is still taking up three nights of our week.  Soccer sign ups are next week and I have two kids that are planning to play.  Baseball sign ups start in just a few weeks so we will be adding that to our schedule in late March or early April.

Looking to the Future

We have a lot of things coming up that I am really looking forward to.  I’ll be spending my spring break in Italy and I can’t wait.  I leave in 18 days!  The kids will be staying home with Daniel.  I’m a little nervous about that since we have little ones this year but if anyone can handle it, it is Daniel!  He is so fabulous with the kids.  He always has been!  I am looking forward to the break though…and cheese…and pasta…and gelato.  I honestly plan to eat my weight in gelato.

Like I said earlier, I graduate with my master’s degree in 76 days.  I can’t wait.  Daniel and I have been married eleven and a half years and it seems like at least one of us has been in school the entire time between us both getting bachelor’s and master’s.  I’m not sure we are going to know how to function without one of us being in school but I’m looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.

I’m really looking forward to spring and summer sports and activities.  Soccer, baseball, dance recitals, and swim team are some of my favorite parts of this time of the year!  Bring it on!    What are you looking forward to this spring?

January Recap: What We’ve Been Up To

I had planned to blog so much more in January but life hit hard.  And not in a good way.  I hope to remedy that in February but I’ll be honest, February isn’t starting off on the best foot.  Here’s an update on the things going on in our household and what January looked like for us.

Back to School

The first week of January brought an end to Christmas break for us.  Our school district requires teachers to return to school a day before students to attend professional development meetings so I headed back to the high school that I teach at on January 2.  Since students didn’t return to school until the third, all five kids got an extra day at home with Dad, which they, of course, loved! I, on the other hand, had a hard time going back to work and was so ready to cuddle my babies when I got home that evening!

January brought other back to school moments too!  On January 17th, I started my last semester of graduate school!  I’ve been working since June of 2015 on my master’s degree in history.  My bachelor’s degree is also in history.  I graduate in May and I absolutely cannot wait.  It feels like it has been a long time coming.  I’ve enjoyed the classes I have taken but it definitely hasn’t been an easy task to accomplish while I’m working full time as a teacher, keeping up with three active kids, and adding another set of twins last summer.  I’m currently driving to the university I attend two nights a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  It is over an hour drive one way and each class lasts three hours so it makes for a long evening away from my family.  I’m exhausted and so glad the end is in sight. At one point in time, I had seriously considered pursuing my PhD.  While that may still come to fruition, it will probably be quite a while before I put any active thought into that.  I need a break and I need some more time with my kids.

Extracurricular Activities

January also brought the return of what I call our “busy seasons.”  Our three oldest children are very active and keep us running on all four cylinders.  I’m sure these new babies will be just as involved when they are old enough.  Our oldest daughter is a dancer.  She’s been dancing since she was three.  This year she is dancing tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater.  Our middle daughter is also dancing tap, ballet, and jazz this year.  Their dance classes started in September and will continue until their recital at the end of May.  Their dances classes have at least one parent and them at the dance studio three nights a week!  My poor husband has to take all five kids to dance practice on Wednesdays while I attend my graduate class.  He is such an amazing dad with all these kids!  Christmas break afforded us a nice little break from dance but we jumped back in on January 3.

While I call it our “busy season,” things are still pretty mild right now.  Soccer will start in March and we usually have two kids that want to play and our son will start baseball in April.  By May we will have two kids dancing, two kids playing soccer, and one playing baseball on top of work, school, and graduate classes.  That is when things get really crazy.  We wouldn’t survive those crazy months without an amazing family who helps us by getting various kids to any practices or games that overlap.

Business Trips and Sick Kids

The fourth week of January is where things really went downhill for us.  Daniel left for a business trip on January 23.  I picked the babies up from daycare the next day and noticed that Harrison was pretty fussy and didn’t have much of an appetite.  He crashed around 7 pm which is very rare for him.  We usually can’t get these babies to sleep until ten or eleven.    Around 11, I checked on him and found that he was burning up.  I managed to take his temperature without waking him and found that he had a 102 degree fever.  I gave him some Tylenol. He slept without waking until 2:30 am.  When he did wake up, he screamed and was inconsolable for almost two hours.  I requested a sub for the next day at three in the morning.

Both babies woke up the next morning congested and coughing.  Katherine’s eyes were matted shut almost as if she had pink eye.  I called their doctor as soon as the office opened and they set up an appointment for that afternoon.  Both babies ended up being diagnosed with RSV.

Since Daniel was out of town, I spent the next three days home from work rocking babies and trying to keep their fever down.  My mother was an absolute angel and took the three older kids for the rest of the week so that I could focus on the babies.  By Friday night, I was so ready for Daniel to get home.  His plane was supposed to land around six that evening but ended up being delayed several times.  It was after ten before his plane finally landed and he made it home to us.  I’ve never been more thankful to see him and have him here to help with sick kids.

Rough Start to February

While the babies are still a bit congested and coughing, they were fever free and were able to return to daycare at the end of this past week.  The rest of us, however, aren’t doing so well.  By the time that I left work on Thursday, I was running a fever, had a horrible headache, and couldn’t hear out of either of my ears.  Daniel made me a doctor’s appointment for Friday morning.  She diagnosed me with a double ear infection and severe sinus infection but I tested negative for the flu!

When I picked Emily up after school, she was running a fever and feeling terrible so Daniel took her to an after hours clinic where she, unfortunately, tested positive for the flu.  She will have to stay home from school on Monday.  We’ve quarantined her upstairs so that the rest of us hopefully don’t get it.

I’m over all the illnesses and am so ready for spring and summer!  I’ve never been a fan of winter and it seems like this is always the time when we all end up sick!

I hope you all had a healthier and easier January than we did!  There are so many things coming up over the next few months that I am so excited about and can’t wait to share with you!