Thursday, May 29, 2014

Welcome Home

Our last weekend was spent moving from one apartment to another and I must say I'm surprised at how quickly it all came together. All of our boxes are unpacked and out of the new place, all of our things are in their new homes, and we only have a few more things to put on the wall. I have to say a huge thanks to Matt's mom, brother, and my brother who came up to help us with the move! We couldn't have done it without them and it was great getting to spend time together, too. 

But without further ado, here is the new place! Be sure to read through the end... I am seeking decorating advice!

As you enter our apartment, to your left is the living area.
Big blank wall space #1. 

 And this is our amazing view off our balcony. Did we luck out or what?
Third story definitely has its perks!
Looking away from the balcony, there is the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Dude. This oven has buttons. My old one didn't so it's pretty exciting.

Big blank wall #2. Would the Beatles frame be too small for it? 
 And the whole reason for the move... the study!

I love this space. It is very quiet during the day and is a great place to get a lot of studying done.
Between the study and the bedroom is this little alcove, AKA the place where all other things go to live.

 And of course the bedroom

Pardon the ugly laundry hampers. We will be getting new ones.
The apartment has 2 bathrooms but I only took pictures of one. They're really not that exciting. Except for the shower curtain. I love it.

And looking from the hallway to the bedroom/study out towards the front door. 
So much floor space!
It is crazy what a difference having 1 extra room makes. The new place feels so much more open, comfortable, and relaxing. The awesome view is certainly a huge plus!

Now to figure out what to do with those big white spaces. The only big piece of 'art' we have is the Beatles album frame but I'm worried that it would leave too much white space on the right/left of it since it's oriented vertically. I have also thought about doing a gallery wall on the living room wall above the couch, but not sure I want to make Matt go through that process. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Years

It has now been 3 years that we've been married. Similar to our past anniversaries, it is hard to believe it's only been 3 years as it feels like we've been together forever (in a good way of course). But at the same time, I can remember our wedding day so vividly, from the complete lack of sleep the night before, walking down the aisle, to celebrating at our reception.

The last year has been a whirlwind with a lot of awesome memories and I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us! 

Summer 2012, Gatlinburg, TN
Summer 2013, outside New Orleans
4 weeks ago
Love you dear :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Masters Celebration

Sorry I fell off the edge of the earth. Between starting comps studying in earnest, traveling, and packing up our apartment, it has been go-go-go. I honestly am surprised I'm able to blog right now but I have a headache that's preventing me from reading comps material so I'm playing catch up! 

I wanted to do a quick recap of the ways we celebrated Matt finishing his Masters degree. He finished his last exam Thursday morning and then had to go to work (poor dude). Once he got home, though, it was party time! I surprised him with one of his favorite meals-- chicken enchiladas (from Cooking Light of all places; seriously these are amazing- make them!) along with chips & queso that I made in his new Little Dipper. For dessert, I made a slow cooker apple bread pudding dish, served with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. So good! 

Matt's loot
Yay! He's done!

Have to stir the queso
Chicken enchiladas

A little bit of back story: as opposed to getting him one big gift, I decided to go for a series of small things he has wanted but were hard to randomly purchase at the store. So yes, I got him a Little Dipper. While my waist line may regret our easy access to queso, it is totally worth it. Some of the other things I got him included Maple syrup (yes, we're silly) and an Amazon gift card so he can start ordering the books he has wanted to read. 

But anyway, we had a fun time eating good food and relaxing that night. We were a bit more adventurous on Friday. After I finished studying for the day, we headed out to one of the local Studio Movie Grills to watch the Captain America sequel. It was a fun movie but we had ordered chips and dip (can you tell we like this dish?) and might have spoiled our dinner a little. The movie was a lot more suspenseful than anticipated and that resulted in mindless eating. Oh well, it was delicious! 

Benefit to middle afternoon showings on
weekdays- theater to ourselves!
For dinner we headed to the appropriately-named Celebration Restaurant in Dallas. As soon as I saw the menu, I knew it would be the perfect place for Matt as it featured home-cooked recipes such as chicken fried steak. It had a nice laid back environment and we both enjoyed our food a lot, despite not being that hungry.
Have to have a bread basket!
My entree, a pecan-crusted chicken salad. So good!!
Matt's chicken fried sirloin steak with sides. You could get
seconds on these items by the way. Unfortunately we couldn't take
advantage of that as we simply didn't have room!
The graduate :)
Since Matt wasn't wanting to have a party or anything and since he didn't walk across the stage, that about sums up our formal celebration of his graduation. It was fun and relaxing though, both perfect qualities after all the time studying! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

He Is Done!

I told you we had something to celebrate today! As of 10:30 this morning, Matthew will be DONE with his Master's degree! He has to take his last final this morning and then that's it. Completed. Finished. Accomplished. All those good verbs. 
Texas A&M Graduation
And I'm just going to brag on him because he especially deserves it today. He did his Master's degree while working full-time which definitely wasn't easy. Even if he had to stay late at work, he still came home, watched the online lectures and/or worked on homework, and still made time to hang out with his wife. It took 2.5 years because he could only take classes part-time, so that was 2.5 years of not being able to relax, of having to do homework on the weekends, taking off of work to go to exams, and any number of other things grad students have to do. Matt got through it while only rarely complaining (seriously, rarely) and did awesome in his program, too! Plus we're still happily married which is a huge bonus :)

Matt with his senior design plane.
I know, more undergrad pictures!
He isn't going to walk across the stage and get his diploma, so we're going to have our own celebrations on our time. I will be cooking him an amazing dinner to surprise him with tonight when he gets home. Tomorrow we are going to dinner and a movie, both of his choosing, though I'm pretty excited about both. It should be perfect-- just relaxing and spending time together with minimal worries about school or work!

Recent photo, January 2014
I'm sure I will have some fun things to report! I hope you also have a great weekend celebrating Mother's Day! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It Is Set

Yes I realize how dramatic this is but right now I think it is warranted.

My department announced the dates of my comprehensive exams yesterday.

December 2 & 3, 2014.

I refuse to do a countdown of days but I know it is 7+ months away. The earliest it could have been was late October so I'm thrilled that it is in December. 

Unfortunately, it is the week right after Thanksgiving so it doesn't appear that I'll have much of a happy holiday. I'll probably send Matt down to Austin and spend the time in solitude. That sounds depressing, but I can't see myself being able to spend much time around anyone less than 1 week out. We'll see though. I don't even want to think about the rest of December and waiting to find out if I passed or not... eek!

Anyway, it definitely makes it more real having a real date that I'm counting down to. As soon as I submit an exam today, I'm officially done with this semester. I guess that should be a reason for celebration but I'm just not feeling it.

Thankfully I'll have plenty to celebrate tomorrow, but you'll just have to wait til then to find out! 

Because we all need more dogs in our life; source

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five for Friday

Well hello there! I figured I should come and say hi as it is a new month and all. How did that happen, by the way? I can't believe it's already May, especially as we just had another [mild] cold snap here in DFW. Had to break out the jackets and everything!

Anyway, on to our miscellaneous updates!
  • I am done with 2 of my 3 classes. Just have to finish a take home exam in the third one and I'm finished for the semester. Matt has 6 more days until he is done and will have earned his Masters. He isn't going to walk or anything so we're just going to have our own celebrations. The first will be when he gets home that Thursday as I have an awesome dinner planned. Then some point that weekend we're going to go out and actually do something for the more formal celebration. Should be fun!
  • Remember when my door handle fell off? Well I heard back from Hyundai and they are going to reimburse us the repair cost! Hooray for good customer service :)
  • My aunt from New Orleans came into town this past week so we had a lot of fun hanging out with her for a few evenings. We got to go to a Texas Rangers game Monday (hey, everyone needs study breaks, right?) and even though the Rangers lost, we still had a blast. 

Amazing weather & view!
  • Comps prep is really getting started now. The plan is to read and study for 8-9 hours/day during the week, work half the day on Saturday, and then take Sundays off. We'll see how it goes. It's definitely getting real now-- I even had a nightmare about comps on Wednesday night!
  • May is going to be a busy one for us! We'll be celebrating Matt's graduation, making a quick weekend trip down to Austin, packing, and moving. No, we haven't started packing yet. We've been putting it off until Matt was done with school. Plus we don't have that much stuff so hopefully we can get it packed quickly.
What do you have going on this month? Any trips or graduations?