Meow

This is not a feline-centered post, no. It’s just what came to mind when I had to type a title.

Wow-wee. For the first time in a long time, I feel relaxed! Sure, there’s day-to-day business to take care of, but it’s been so nice not having school anymore!!!! I’ve spent most of the week unpacking our clothes and doing laundry… things we REALLY neglected for…well…since we’ve lived here. And to say we both have a lot of clothes is an understatement. Mike is a gear-man so he has all sorts of random outdoorsy clothing and equipment and I never throw anything away and I love to thrift around and bargain hunt, sooooo yeah, it’s taking a while! We’re having a house-warming party this Saturday too, so it’s sort of important that we get things looking nice so our friends don’t realize we’re hoarding hillbillies.

I owe you guys some home improvement pictures too! But I’ll do that post after the housewarming party so everything’s looking lovely and staged ;o). There will be some updates to the dining room and the new kitchen floors! Eeeek!

Until then, here are some recent photos I haven’t had a chance to post!

Below is my favorite photo of Denver. Ever. And before you go calling PETA or something, let me preface! I was doing some studying and Denver was busy poking around the house getting into trouble, as per usual. Eventually I heard a clinking, clanking sound. What to my wandering eyes should appear but my dog. With an empty beer bottle he trash-picked from our kitchen. He was earnestly trying to lick at any last little drop of beer that might be clinging to the bottle. Hilarious. I knew he liked alcohol– if I leave a glass of wine unattended he’s been caught trying to slurp it up with that doggy tongue of his. Silly Denver.

Denver's "woe is me" look

Denver’s “woe is me” look

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Mike really wanted this photograph... I guess Denver didn't feel the same way.

Mike really wanted this photograph… I guess Denver didn’t feel the same way.

While Mike did our kitchen floors and I studied for my final exams, Denver stayed with Mike’s parents. He didn’t want to leave.

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Chester, Cody, and Denver

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Please don't make me leave Uncle Chester & Cody!

Please don’t make me leave Uncle Chester & Cody!

Once we were back at home, he tried playing hard to get for a while.

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But eventually, he came around.

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Until next time!

~Steph

I Am Officially The Proud Owner Of An AMI Elementary Diploma!

WOOHOO!!!

WOOO!!!!

WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Refrain.

It’s official! I got the call from my trainer! After 9 months of lots of hard work, lots of stress, lots of illustrating, lots of learning, lots of confusion, some delirious, hysterical laughter, and indeed, some tears, I have made the proud accomplishment of completing my Montessori training. I had moments of self-doubt over this year, but I can whole-heartedly say that I am doing what I am meant to do. Although this year was really challenging (wayyyy under-estimated the rigor of this course), it was the next step in moving toward my passion. I learned so much about the second plane child (that’s 6-12 year olds), so much about the universe, so much about the interdependencies that exist in our world, and so much about myself and what I want out of life. I could not be happier to move forward in my journey!

And let’s be real… I could not be happier to be DONE with the excessive homework and to welcome some much-needed free time to watch movies with my man, play with my pup, and to enjoy the outdoors. And work on the house.

This is a picture my mom took of me before my exam:

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This is how I really felt:

Pre-exam anxiety

Pre-exam anxiety

Note that these are not any normal exams where you roll up in sweats and write… we had those exams a month ago. These were our oral exams where trainers from across the country fly in to watch you present and question you about your knowledge, methods, and presentation for 4 hours.

After the stress-fest, a few of my classmates and I headed out for some much needed drinks at Prosperity Social Club, a little local spot literally down the street from our house…

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Taylor, me, and Meaghan

Even though we had finished our exams, we were all a bit high-strung since we didn’t know if we had passed or not. Our trainer calls everyone individually after everyone has taken their examination.

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Stacy & Bridget

Now we can officially relax and call ourselves Montessorians. My training course consisted of 12 students total, along with our trainers, Greg and Jamie. We ranged in age from 24 to 55. Men and women. Parents and non-parents. Clevelanders, Juneau-ans, Chicagoans, Pittsburghites, Darien-ers & beyond! We all entered this journey as strangers and if we had not found our ways to Montessori and to HMTI then we never would have crossed paths. We are all incredibly different but have have at least one thing in common, and that is our belief in the Montessori philosophy as the best method of education there is. We had our moments of wanting to strangle each other and moments of admiration and love for one another. We helped each other through tough times and even tougher times. After 9 months, 8 hours a day, and 5 days a week together, we are something like an odd buch of sibilings now.  Today will be the last time we are all together as a group and perhaps the last time some of us will ever see each other. But, no matter what, our lives will be forever changed because of each other and because of the transformative experience of our training.

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photo courtesy of Martha!

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photo courtesy of Martha!

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photo courtesy of Martha!

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photo courtesy of Martha!

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Thank you to these 13 beautiful people who have taught me so much, and who I know will continue teaching others so much. It’s been quite a ride!

And to end with a quote from the genius herself:

The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.

–Maria Montessori

Now it’s time to go get my graduation on.

Until next time.

~Steph

And We’re Back With Some More Home Improvements!

Hey all. Phew! Done with exams! Still waiting to hear back if we all passed, but I finally have some free time on my hands! Yay!

The past few weekends (before exams) Mike and I painted our dining room and made some  minor improvements to our front porch.

Though our work is no where near being done, things are looking a bit more cheerful around here, so I thought I’d share the progress. Sorry for the quality of the photos– I hadn’t been able to find the battery charger for my Nikon so these are all taken with my iPhone. But fear not- I found the charger so I’ll post some better photos later, once we’ve added some touches on the dining room!

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And look at the exterior- we grew grass!!! All of our neighbors have said they’ve never seen grass grow in our front yard…maybe it’s a good omen!

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So that’s all for now! We’ve ordered new entry doors and storm doors and an adorable patio set, so once that’s all installed and in order I’ll post it! The doors won’t arrive for a few weeks though.

This summer we hope to pressure wash and paint the exterior of the house too… we’re just not too hot on the pink.

Mike’s been working on restoring the hardwood floors in our kitchen. That job included stripping old grimy CARPET, then linoleum tiles, then scraping and sanding old glue for days, then staining, and now putting polyurethane down. I cannot tell you how excited I am for clean floors to walk on!!!! Anyway, many more posts to come now that I am not in school any more. YAY!!!

Until next time.

~Steph