The Breakdown

We started compiling a list of schools we might be interested in attending based on multiple factors. Some we are very serious about (UIUC), some are kind of a joke (Northwestern), and some are a backup (NIU). Let's just say I don't think we'll be attending Northwestern unless we get some mega scholarships. We know that both of us getting into schools in the same area is a long shot, so wherever that happens, we will be grateful. We'll try not to complain too much if we get stuck in a place like DeKalb for three years.
We're still adding to the list of possibilities and subtracting from the current one. (Do I really want to pay the $100 fee to apply to Northwestern?) We are very open to wherever God might lead us. In fact, it would be kind of fun to go somewhere far away, but we're hoping to incur as little student loan dept as possible, and out-of-state tuition makes that a challenge.

Any suggestions?


It Begins

This feels like a good starting point for the next twelve months. Today, Kyle and I purchased study guides for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), respectively. Today we made the first big step in preparing for admission. It's going to be a long road, and for the next few months, I'll probably be talking about it a lot. I'm just giving you fair warning.
Some people get married and turn their blogs into wedding blogs. Some have babies and turn their blogs into mom blogs. Until about February 1, this will probably be an applying-to-graduate-programs blog. Then it might be a waiting-to-hear-from-graduate-programs blog. Feel free to stop reading. I probably would.
I hope not to be entirely consumed by this process, but I can't foresee what else might consume us in the next year. In fact, with the exception of getting married, I can't think of a bigger life-change in either of our pasts. Perhaps I'm being overly dramatic about the whole process, but everyone I know who has been through this tells me it is a very big deal, very exhausting, very frustrating, and very worthwhile. For Kyle and I to be doing it at the same time is an even bigger deal. If you should think of it, keep us in your prayers. We're nervous. We're apprehensive. We're thrilled.


Surprise Endings

I am terrible with surprises. I don't really like them. Well, let me clarify... If I know there's a surprise in store, I can't take it. I must know what it is. I will go to great lengths to discover said surprise. For example, one Christmas my mom made the great mistake of wrapping all my presents and putting them under the tree a couple weeks before Christmas. I carefully unwrapped each present enough to see what it was, and then carefully re-wrapped it so she wouldn't know that I'd peeked.

I don't even read books the normal way. Four out of five times I will skip ahead and read the end. My husband would say I take all the fun out of it, but it doesn't spoil my fun at all. In fact, I have much more fun when I know what's coming. I'm so relieved. No anxiety. No nail-biting anticipation. No heart-pounding nervousness. I can just relax and enjoy it because I know what's coming.

If Kyle ever surprises me, he knows he must catch me totally off-guard. I cannot see it coming, or the agony will get the best of me. Of course, I think he completely enjoys seeing me writhe in anticipation. He usually makes me promise that I won't go peeking for gifts or shaking boxes, etc. He has this strange power over me when he says, "Chelsea, promise me you won't..." I am completely unable to break promises I make to him. Ugh. It's so irritating.

I wish that, in life, you could somehow skip ahead in increments so you would know what's coming. The next year is going to be full of surprises, and we have no idea where we might be at the end of twelve or thirteen months. Then I think about where we might be in five, ten, fifteen years, and I can barely process it.

Our marriage started with a lot of surprises, and there have been all kinds of twists and turns along the way these last three years. In fact, I think that every single expectation I had was completely wrong. It has thrown me so much that I am trying not to have any expectations about the next stretch. I can't plan for anything, because I have nothing solid to plan for. All this not-knowing is complete torture for me.

If I have learned anything in the last three years, it's that God will provide a way for us. He's provided for every step along our unknown path so far, and I know he will continue to do so. I have one miraculous testimony after another. All of my anxiety isn't really fear, it's just excitement. I know that we'll make it through whatever God calls us to do, but I'm just excited to see how it's all going to end.

I know that this hero and heroine will survive the trials coming their way by the grace of God; I just want to know what they'll be like on the other side...



I've had bangs on and off over the last couple years, and I can never quite make up my mind. Every time I grow them out long enough to stick them behind my hears, I see a picture of someone like the lovely Jenny Lewis and I want to cut them again. So I'm taking a poll, should I cut them like hers...

or keep growing everything out like the lovely Hadley Hartz?


Peanut Butter Dip

Every time I make this, people beg for the recipe. It is quite amazing, I must say. You want it? You got it!

Peanut Butter Dip
Blend together:
1/2 C of your favorite brand of creamy peanut butter
1/2 C of plain yogurt
1/4 tsp of Cinnamon
1/4 C of mini chocolate chips

Tadah! You just had your life changed. I often top it off with some more chocolate chips. Serve it with slices of apples, graham crackers, pretzels, I've even seen some crazed people put it on potato chips and vegetables. It makes just about anything taste good.


Stars and Stripes Forever

I have several friends who, earlier this week, revealed that they didn't know who John Phillip Sousa was. This is for them, and for you. Please enjoy my favorite patriotic march by the world's greatest marching band, the Marching Illini. Happy Independence Day!