• Entered into the 8% of the USA’s population (with my Master’s Degree from CSU, Fullerton)
  • Wrote 60+ papers (5-20 pages per assignment)
  • Commuted 20,640 miles (multiply that by 2 for the hours spent in traffic)
  • Filled up my gas tank 128+ times between internship and classes
  • Accrued 1,100 hours of internship experience
  • Got into one bad car accident, and had one flat tire
  • Packed/unpacked my suitcase 32+ times
  • Received 18 A’s and 2 B’s, receiving an average 3.8 GPA
  • Turned a quarter of a century
  • Bought a home with my boyfriend
  • Moved my brother twice, and myself once
  • Made a few friends, lost a few friends
  • Memorized the Serenity Prayer
  • Read the “Hunger Games” series
  • Lost 25 pounds through Weight Watchers
  • Made 7 scrapbooks

I have learned more about myself, my family, friends, and acquaintances in these two years, than the prior 24 years of my life. Life is too short to take it too seriously. If I had any doubt in my abilities before this MSW program, I sure have eliminated them through this rigorous process. I balanced my family time, my friend time, my boyfriend time, and my “me” time. I learned to function with 6 hours of sleep and to be away from my best friend (my boyfriend) for long periods of time. I have grown extremely close with my best friend (Alex Figge), to the point where I feel I have learned the true meaning of unconditional friendship. I have learned that there is no point to tolerate rudeness, meanness, and/or selfishness from other people in my life; so much so, that I have learned to walk away and drop these relationships. I have learned how important honest and meaningful communication is to the maintaining of positive relationships. I have learned that “text messaging” is the poorest and most cowardly form of communication. I have learned that I have no control of others, and I have accepted this truth. I have learned that I am ultimately in control of my happiness, my relationships, and my life. I have learned that Semi-trucks are like the notorious “honey badger”—as I swear my life flashed before my eyes on numerous occasions. I have learned the importance of “self-care”, and not because I have written hundreds of pages about it. I have learned that family (my parents, my brother, my boyfriend, my best friend) are the apples of my eye. I have learned to say “I am sorry”. I have found other people in my graduating cohort who are just like me, and have the same goals, values, and ethics; this gives me hope for my/our future. I have successfully identified my priorities, and have successfully arranged them by importance. I have become a more “cup half full” type person because of the people I have met, the experiences I’ve seen, and the support/love/encouragement/empowerment I have been given. I have learned that life is not so bad, as long as you are learning along the way! And with all of this ‘learning’ going on, I am thrilled to be where I am at in my life : living in a BEAUTIFUL home with my supportive boyfriend, with a Master’s degree behind my name, and having a family that loves me every inch of the way.

Weight Watcher Journey

I started my journey on September 6, 2011. That makes today my 3 month mark. I decided to embark on this journey for a number of reasons but mainly because I did not recognize myself reflection in the mirror and was tired of crying about it. I felt the winter season would be the best time to start this, because I wear covering clothes, then be ready for summer 2012. I did not take into consideration that I would have to overcome Halloween’s unrelenting candy, Thanksgiving’s delicious turkey served three ways, Christmas’s never ending baked goods, and New Year’s alcoholic beverages! I have survived 2 of 4. I have lost a total of 17.6 lbs. My goal is to be at a total 20 lbs by New Years, but I am hoping to bypass that goal by 2-3 lbs. I am more active, am drinking 10 glasses a water a day, and slowly but surely loving my reflection again.

Mommy & Daddy detail (puppies)

I got a text from the boyfwiend today that said “these damn dogs are going berserk and driving me nuts, I am going to take them back to the shelter” (he was kidding of course). However, it got me worried. I called and offered my advice, because like with kids, mom and dad need to be on the same page when raising little ones. He agreed but I think he was too frustrated to say he agreed. He was so over the puppies bad behavior that he called his parents over to help out. As soon as they arrived at our home, of course the puppies acted like best buds. Brians mom is SO good with animals, and she offered tips all of which seemed to help while she was there. By the end of the night they were sleeping right next to each other! Silly puppies, creating all this stress for mommy and daddy! A great learning experience for B and I for sure; however, the timing wasn’t the greatest. I am thinking a trainer in our near future may be beneficial! Updates to come…

Becoming a Master of Social Work

It is hard to believe but I am one week and one day short of completing my 3rd (of four) semesters of Graduate school. I have 3 finals. I can only study for one (a 20 page study guide to memorize!). The other two are vignettes that we do on the spot! I am going into finals with all A’s, so I am hoping that my good standing through the semester will help me remain in high standings once finals are complete. Either way, I am almost there. Today I payed for my grad check, another step closer to walking across that graduation stage and bragging about my Masters degree!

Homeownership Adventures

Brian and I have crossed a lot of “house-to-do’s” off in the past 4 months. This week marks our 4 month mark of living in our very first HOME together. We said good bye to apartment living and never looked back. We are fully furnished, inside and out. We have lots of little things we want to do still, of course. My parents reminded me that being a home owner…you will be adding to that “to-do” list each and every day. We recently put up all our Christmas decor, our house lights, and stockings! Want to know the BEST news? We, Brian and I, are hosting the annual Stichter/Kraft/Cerini (and everyone else) Christmas White Elephant exchange party! We are excited to say the least, but have a lot of work to do! We get our Christmas tree this Sunday to make room for the rest of our decorations! Then TONS of cleaning because the even bestestest news? My family (Mom, Dad, and Brother) will be coming for the holidays! First time away from my parents home, but I still get to celebrate with them (and Brian!!!) in our home! Ready for a new chapter and new traditions!

With 2 dogs and graduate school finals and a billion Christmas gifts to make, I am going bonkers to say the least…but this is life, my life, and I will embrace today.