Coming Up For Air

rain in TX

The above picture was taken here in Dallas last week. This is what all the rain has done!

My last semester of graduate school is complete! After I take a comprehensive exam this summer, I will have my MA English diploma in hand!

These last few weeks have been a bit rough with all the writing and reading I had to get done. The boys actually started punishing me by destroying the house while I was studying! They are used to having my undivided attention, and the fact that I often had to shut myself in a room and write made them a little less than cheery. One night, they even stole all the batteries out of the remotes and hid them! Another, they re-arranged all the furniture in their room :/ Crazy little monkeys!

Fortunately for me, my husband is an English teacher (as am I, technically!), so when I needed help with editing my papers, he was more than the perfect for the job. I had a final deadline of midnight on Sunday to get two papers in, and my brain was so tired, it was like the words had dried right up. Jesse swooped in and saved the day, helping me talk through some of my finer points and conclusions so that I could fix certain spots in both of my papers. I got a real taste of what a great English teacher he is! And, in the end, I actually felt very confident about all the work I put in. In sports, they call that, “Leaving it all on the floor”, and I feel like I really did give it every ounce I had. I’m not even sure if there was anything I could’ve improved on, honestly! Turning in papers that you actually think are publish-worthy is a great feeling, especially after researching both topics and realizing that no one has written on your specific focus (here’s the part of the story where I could get extremely technical, talking about 16th century/Medieval England and Spenser’s Faerie Queene).

Any who, for the past few days, I’ve slowly been putting my life back together– tackling mounds of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, tending to my neglected garden, and even hanging out with friends. Sometimes I wish I could entrust all my house chores to the right house cleaners in the Hanover PA area.

Gregory in the garden 2015

Yesterday, I met a friend to go walking around White Rock lake. We had ALL 5 of our kids in tow, walked 3-4 miles pushing heavy strollers, and the weather suddenly got quite hot (ahem, 86 degrees!), so it ended with lots of sweat and crying, most of it from the kids 😉 Today, I had two old friends (one of whom just announced that she’s pregnant!) over for coffee and tea! Their kitchen remodeling tips helped me create the cook space I’ve always wanted. Just two days in to “freedom”, and I’ve already doubled my social life, ha!

The other task we are about to embark upon is a home renovation project. I mentioned a long time ago that our new house is just shy of 1100 square feet, which is not big enough for two growing boys. If we ever have a third baby or decide to start fostering kids again, more space will definitely be in order! We met with an architect last night to draw up plans for a large sunroom/family room off the back of the house, something a lot like this:

large-sunroom-plansWe also have a contractor coming out to give us a bid this Thursday as we need to get a basement renovation calculator to mark the estimates of the expenditure for the future. Once this room is built (hopefully sometime this summer!), we will use our current living room as our dining room, transform the dining room into a breakfast/sitting area,  and then use the new sunroom as a giant living room! A large L-couch someday would be nice for having a bigger family, and we definitely want a “homework” area somewhere in there. It’s honestly hard to picture right now, though, but Pinterest sure helps 🙂 We want the new living room to look something like this:

new living room idea

via Modern Organic Interiors

Once we have a bigger dining space, I am bound and determined to get a piano! We have a keyboard now, but I really want the boys to take lessons on an actual piano– I was a piano teacher for nearly 10 years, so I have some opinions about these things, yes?

Our summer is packed with lots of activities, complete with a vacation out to see family in CA, so even though Jesse soon begins his 3 month break (having a teacher for a husband is AWESOME!!), we will still be very busy. Hopefully I will have time to chronicle our home renovations and vacation here on the blog!

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  • Seana Turner

    Congratulations on finishing! You should feel so good about that terrific accomplishment. Now you can look forward to more fun things:) I think anyone doing a 4 mile walk in the heat with strollers deserves a gold star for sure. Looking forward to seeing your renovation unfold!