A Brief Update on How Graduate School Is Going

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As you may (or hey, who knows, may not) know, the M.Div program has taken over my life. Most horizontal surfaces in my house are covered in papery detritus — books, PDF print outs, note cards of various sizes and colors.

They are everywhere.

I love it.

Of course, I’ve always loved school supplies but this time it’s more than that. There is something insanely gratifying about discerning your degree program, hunting down funding and making it happen. My position in life as a loan-less graduate student seems to be an odd one, but the amount of money I’m forking over for this experience every month serves as a tangible reminder that I’m here to do my best.
I’m not sure how curious any of you are about what I’m up to these days, but I thought I’d give you a quick update and if you’d like me to get any more specific (Perhaps we want fun canonical facts? We could do fun canonical facts!) let me know.

Here’s a fun fact that is not at all canonical.

The Classes
 
I’m taking three classes this semester: Christian Origins (Guys, it’s the New Testament, we don’t need to be so fancy with it), Human Psychological Development and Canon Law. The first two are requirements, the third is an elective that I’ve been told that “[I’ll] never use.”
Au contraire, mon frere. I love Canon Law. If it were possible to crawl inside the Code of Canon Law and live there forever, I would totally do it. It’s heartless, nitpicky and requires a vast knowledge of seemingly trivial factoids and pieces of information. If one class could embody my personality, it would be Canon Law.
Doesn't this look like a cozy place to curl up and spend the rest of your life?

Doesn’t this look like a cozy place to curl up and spend the rest of your life?

Which is great, because Human Psychological Development is the exact opposite of my personality. Y’all. People have so many feelings. To be fair, I had to learn a lot of this stuff when I was studying for my teaching certification exams, so it’s not coming totally out of left field. Still, I’m finding this course challenging because I never quite learned how to think like a person who’s “in tune” with their feelings. (Though I have learned to love the expression “meeting people where they’re at.”)

People have so many feelings, y’all.

All in all, I’m having a great time so far — which I know is probably not the most mature way to look at it. Any complaints I could have are not even complaints so much as questions about the program. One of the most exciting aspects of my school is the fact that all the courses are open to anyone — regardless of program. This means that I’m getting to meet all sorts of people who are doing all sorts of interesting things. On the flipside, I want to make sure that I’m staying on track with the information I need for my degree, because everyone’s program is so very different.
So there you have it — a very brief update of everything that’s been going on on the graduate school front. Want to know anything else?

A Fight, A Question and What I Wore Sunday

Can you believe it’s already Monday? I can’t. I’m not into it at all this week. Alas, time keeps marching on, so let’s do this thing!

Googled “Time Keeps Marching On” and got these sweet clocks. You’re welcome.

First, go check out my link up RIGHT HERE. If I can get three people to show me their weekends, I’ll actually pay for the fancy inlinkz membership so we can have thumbnail pictures and everything. Now, I’m not saying that it’ll be your fault if we don’t get fancy pictures from inlinkz, but it won’t not be your fault.

Here’s what I wore Sunday, so we can get the formality out of the way:

You probably can't tell from this picture (because I look so cool and composed) but it was seriously gross outside yesterday. Warmer than usual though.

You probably can’t tell from this picture (because I look so cool and composed) but it was seriously gross outside yesterday. Warmer than usual though.

Here's a mirror selfie, so you can see the sweet pattern on my blouse.

Here’s a mirror selfie, so you can see the sweet pattern on my blouse.

Now, I’d like to discuss a major fight occurring in my household right now. (Things are getting tense around here. I’m not sure we’ll make it.) Here’s the crux of the issue: When you travel to someone’s house — that is not your parents’ house (i.e. “home”) — do you hang clothing up in the closet? I say no*, because unless someone has a dedicated guest room with a dedicated closet, any hanging that I might do would require me to get all up in the host’s business. Others around me seem to disagree with this common-sense assessment of the situation.

What say you commentariat? Do you hang clothes in other people’s closets when you travel or just live out of your suitcase?

Give early, give often, give so the disembodied voice won't haunt your dreams.

Give early, give often, give so the disembodied voice won’t haunt your dreams.

Finally, I want to ask you all a question. It’s Annual Catholic Appeal time around these parts and it made me curious about how all of your parishes handle that. Does their protocol include the disembodied voice of the Archbishop? Ours did. I’m still digesting the experience.

What I Wore Sunday is a linkup hosted by Fine Linen and Purple.

*Obviously, if I’m there for a formal event with a big dress and a long coat, I find somewhere to hang my clothes — but I always ask before going in the closet.

10 Top Posts from My First Year of Blogging

1.) 25 Things You Can Probably Get Rid of Now

Channel your inner these guys.

I wrote this post in response to something Kendra wrote at Catholic All Year. She shared it to Facebook and all of a sudden I got a lot of new friends! Just a warning, though, I accidentally ruffled some feathers with this list — please know that I would never want to hurt your feelings.

2.) 7 Quick Questions — An Interview with My Husband

This was meant to be a throwaway post during our trip. Turns out that Kelly liked it — kind of a lot. So that’s cool.

3.) A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Kendra’s not that tall, y’all. Andplusalso, now you all know that I don’t live in D.C.

4.) Questions for My Priest: Is There a Secret Handshake?

I keep intending for this to be a more regular series, but most of the questions that I’ve been asking my priest lately are pretty boring. (Think: Do you prefer Times New Roman or Cambria?)

5.) Teaching your husband to cook is not as hard as you think

This was my first ever post that went vaguely viral. I’m pretty proud of it, to be honest.

6.) 7 Excellent Reasons Why I Don’t Talk About My Sex Life (The NFP Post)

Y’all. I never realized that my decision to not talk about my sex life would resonate so strongly with all of you. I’m happy that you’re happy that there are certain things that I’m not willing to talk about.

7.) 7 Things to Encapsulate in Your Fall Wardrobe

I’ve come out pretty strongly that I don’t do capsule wardrobes, but I had fun writing about the 7 things I would encapsulate in my fall wardrobe — you know, if encapsulating a wardrobe was something that I planned on doing.

8.) Hello from Prague and What I Wore Sunday

Here it is.

Here it is.

Turns out everyone loves Prague. And fashion.

9.)  7 Fun Facts about Our Trip

The world's only Cathedral made entirely of salt!

The world’s only Cathedral made entirely of salt!

If you loved Prague, you’ll love this post because it includes Prague and Vienna and Budapest and Krakow.

10.) “Parish Hopping.” (I don’t get it.)

 

Here, I created a little controversy because some people parish hop a lot, apparently.

A Very Happy Anniversary

Hello all!

As a bonus, we can all test our lung capacity!

Can you believe that it’s been a year since I started this thing? Me neither. And what a year it’s been! When I started on this magical adventure in public narcissism last year, my husband was an unemployed attorney who had never been to Europe and I was a full-time work-from-home contractor who had never been to graduate school.

And look at us now! 

My husband is now an employed attorney who has been to Europe and I am a full-time work-from-home contractor who also attends graduate school full-time. To celebrate our successes (and even our various not-so-successes), I thought I’d tell you all about my 12 favorite things that have happened during this year of blogging:

  • 12: Bret got a job!

…after a year and twenty three days of unemployment no less. Sometimes, we even go to fancy parties.

Which we all enjoyed even though the cover makes it seem like a creepy ghost story.

  • 10: GOMI noticed me!

…to be fair, it was for a comment I made on my good buddy Lladybird’s blog. Notoriety in any form, right?

…and we all discovered that she’s not 6’8”.

This was also thanks to Kendra. Which obviously means that we’re going to be best friends forever, right? RIGHT?

  • 7: I confessed a lot of embarrassing things!

Perhaps if my costume had been this cool, things would have been way different.

From my stint as a terrible liturgical dancer to the fact that I don’t understand what parish hopping means, we covered a lot of ground this year (including the time I was attacked by a herd of goats). I predict even more shameless confessing this year.

  • 6: We spent a lot of time discussing buzz words!

So many buzz words. So little time.

  • 5: The Bunny survived!
He's currently underneath this bowl chair, annihilating a corn cob.

He’s currently underneath this bowl chair, annihilating a corn cob.

…hip hop hooray.

…and so far we’re all still alive!

  • 3: I made new friends!

Like you and you and you and you and you and you and you and you.

  • 2: Super Swell Times was nominated for a Sheenazing Award!

I didn’t win, but I’m not going to let that get me down!

15 Nominee SA

…Which was definitely the coolest thing we did this year:

IMG_0501

TL;DR & WIWS

It’s time for another rousing rendition of TL; DR with Jenna at Call Her Happy. Plus, because I’m an overachiever, I’m going to throw in What I Wore Sunday, too! Prepare yourselves.

  • School is going really well — or at least as well as can be expected for three weeks in. I’m enjoying my classes and the routine of getting out of the house every day. So that’s all lovely and good.
  • I was nominated for a Sheenazing Award and although I didn’t win, I’m still pretty excited about it.15 Nominee SA
  • One of my “self care” strategies for this new graduate school adventure is to use my commute time only for personal reading. I don’t check my email, attempt to catch up on class reading or futz around. I just sit there and listen to music and read. It’s been great and, as a result, I’ve been plowing through a book or so a week.
  • Bret got me Rosetta Stone for Polish for my birthday! I’m pretty excited to pick up a fourth language.
  • Tomorrow is our first blogiversary! Expect some shenanigans.

And here’s what I wore Sunday:

Yes, I wore the green boots to lector in. It was a blizzard and we took CTA.

Yes, I wore the green boots to lector in. It was a blizzard and we took CTA.

It was pretty spectacularly gross yesterday, so I wore the coziest sweater dress I own. I’m also not so sure why my side/back looks so lumpy, but evidently I wasn’t concerned enough to make Bret take another one.

Here’s a bonus shot with my Budapest scarf:

It was cold, man.

It was cold, man.

TL; DR is hosted by Jenna at Call Her Happy.

What I Wore Sunday is a newly revamped linkup hosted by the newly revamped Fine Linen and Purple.

4 Random Thoughts for Your Thursday

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  1. Laundry, laundry everywhere.

    Laundry, laundry everywhere.

    Thursdays are simultaneously my favorite and most hectic day. I like what I do on Thursdays (tutoring/volunteering/picking up the church laundry), but it is kind of a drag to have to leave the house 3 hours earlier than normal. Oh well, I guess it helps on the “being intentional with my time in 2015” front.

  2. IMG_1736Speaking of time, Lent is coming! I’m certain this means that everyone in the Catholic blogosphere is currently obsessing over their first Lent posts. Because those will get Googled most of all.
  3. Awhile back, I was wondering aloud about how we were going to feed ourselves now that I’m in school. Believe it or not, it hasn’t been an issue so far. Bret’s been doing a lot of cooking on the weeknights and I’ve been pulling my weight by having a ready supply of side dishes and salads available in the fridge. This probably won’t work forever, but for now it’s alright.
  4. It’s time.

    All my Shonda shows are back tonight! We’re still four episodes behind on Scandal, so I imagine that that will constitute the bulk of our weekend activities.

Questions for a New Year

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Beth Anne tagged me in some questions for the new year. Which is good because I haven’t had time to finish any of my drafts so far this week. (sosorrysobusysointomyDVRthesedays.) Also, I just love answering questions about myself. So here you are:

Four Names That People Call Me:

  • Elizabeth
  • Eliza
  • Liz
  • Lizz — because there’s a Lizz at work and people get us confused. Which is fine because she’s pretty cool.

Four Jobs That I Have Had:

  • High School Debate Coach
  • Dining Hall Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Intern-at-Large

Four Movies I Have Seen More Than Once:

  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Fight Club
  • Au Revoir, Les Enfants

Four Books I’d Recommend:

  • The End of a Family Story by Peter Nadas
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Korea’s Place in the Sun by Bruce Cummings
  • The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley

Four Places I’ve Lived:

  • Seoul, ROK
  • Nashville, TN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Ann Arbor, MI

Four Places I’ve Been:

  • Krakow, Poland
  • Hong Kong
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Budapest, Hungary

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:

  • On a train in Poland.
  • Ice skating at the park.
  • At the zoo.
  • In a large chair at a library.

Four Things I Don’t Eat:

  • Beef tartare
  • Oysters
  • Okra
  • Most raw vegetables that aren’t lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers or onions.

Four Of My Favorite Foods:

  • Panang curry
  • Sourdough bread
  • Chicken fingers
  • Fried pickles

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year:

  • Planning another excellent trip.
  • Spending more time exploring Chicago.
  • Making various and sundry adult plans to do adult things like procuring a mortgage.
  • Getting deeper into my M.Div adventure.

Four Things I’m Saying:

  • You know, I’m going to have to look into that.
  • Absolutely.
  • And so on and so on.
  • And then I says.

Four People I’m Tagging:

7 Excellent Reasons Why I Don’t Talk About My Sex Life (The NFP Post)

I’ve gotten a few emails asking me about ye olde Natural Family Planning, known here in the blogosphere as NFP. So far, I’ve managed to demure on the issue but I’ve decided that now is the time for me to say something.

I’m not going to talk about it.

There, I said something. Happy now?

There’s a number of reasons why I’ve elected not to share that part of my life with you all for the time being and here are seven of them:

  • Because modesty is about more than just the clothing you wear.

Lindsay had a great post awhile ago about modesty in speech/how we ought to be very careful when we choose to share intimate details of our lives with friends, co-workers and baristas. I’ve really taken that to heart. At the end of the day, talking about NFP is not for me because I choose to keep that part of my life private.

  • Because I’m not twee enough to talk about sex like many married people.

Seriously. If I ever write the word “baby dust” in a non-snarky manner, you have my permission to call my next-of-kin and have me committed. Sex is great and beautiful and Holy, so I’m not why newlyweds feel compelled to adopt 12-year old AIM speak when they talk about it.

Which leads me to my next point…

  • And also because “we’re practicing” is the grossest thing ever said or written.

Hork

I’ve been thinking about the expression “We’re practicing!” and trying to articulate why it bothers me so much for awhile now. I think I’ve distilled it into a few salient ideas:

  1. It’s not cute.
  2. The idea that your entire sexual relationship up until pregnancy is “practicing” to get pregnant makes me sad. Do you really mean to imply that if the sex isn’t knocking you up (or practicing to knock you up) that it means nothing? Why cheapen your relationship like that?
  3. Along the same vein, I find the expression to be more than a little insensitive to folks that are struggling to grow their families (or maybe can’t have children at all). If you having sex with your spouse is “practicing,” then what is it for them? Pointless? Well that’s dumb.
  • Because I like my blog friends and don’t want to hurt their feelings.

This is us, friends! I don’t want to ruin it.

While I certainly don’t want to thoughtlessly offend any of my friends who may be struggling with infertility, I also don’t want to offend my blog friends who are out there being single and stuff.

Because — and be honest here — would you really still like me so much if my blog went hardcore NFP/TTC/WTF/BBQ all day every day?

  • Because my Dad reads my blog.

Hi Dad!

  • And also because half of my cousins and in-laws also read my blog.

I know you’re out there and I don’t want to gross you out, okay? Also, I never want to eat dinner with people who have been forced to read about basal body temperature. Ever.

  • Because my husband said “no.”

…and that’s a perfectly okay reason by me.

For more quick takes, hop skip and jump on over to This Ain’t the Lyceum.

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