i'm sipping strong coffee at 9:00pm because that is my new life, a life in which my evenings are drowning in research papers and reading outlines. grad school, dear friends, is as hard as they say it is. and yet instead of being steadfast in my studies, i remembered that i miss this space, this corner of the world i call my own. so i'm here to update, if you're all still listening. we are three months into this sweet new season. some days jared and i feel like we just moved in, and other days we feel like we never left. which is funny because there was no "jared and i" the last time we lived in this city. i think that's one thing marriage does to you; it makes you re-imagine your entire world in a way that places your spouse in every memory and chapter of your story.

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jared is doing an amazing job over at JPL. i am epic proud of the way he wakes up early each day with energy and zest for learning. he'd never tell you himself, but he's received a lot of affirmation from people up top. beyond his work hours, he pours into his role as my partner here at apu. even when the fire alarm goes off at 3am, even when the boys next door decide that midnight is the best time to play dubstep at level 400, even when i have to leave in the middle of dinner to take a student to the hospital, or when i cry because i don't want to watch any more football (yes, this happened.), and even when he probably would rather sleep or be alone, he invests in what it means to be a reslife husband. i love him so much in those moments, and more than i ever thought i could. we are in such a fun chapter of life and i'm loving it. i am winning on so many levels. and he's encouraged us to sign up for a half-marathon which will be awesome and also my own personal hell. but an opportunity to achieve a goal with my bestest friend? sign me up please.

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my job is teaching me more and more about myself and my strengths and (mainly) my weaknesses. LOL at that one time i was like "i'm so bomb at this RD stuff!" there's still a lot to be learned. i am beyond blessed to be back in this building but OH MY GAHHH is it keeping me busy! there is so much pain and so many stories that need to be heard and with 400 students and only one me, i am a bit exhausted. but praise be to God for a living hope -- for trials that make us trust him, for grace that extends far beyond my inconsistencies. some days i feel confident in my ability to develop students and do this whole reslife thing, and other days i walk around doubting every move i make. i still feel shaky and confused some days, and there is always someone who seems to be doing a much better job than i am. and when i doubt my own ability or feel weighed down by insecurity, i receive sweet notes from students who make every ounce of this job worth it. i am blessed with a staff that keeps me laughing and reminds me to live enthusiastically. i don't know if i'm equipped to lead them in all the ways they need, but i know Jesus makes up the difference. i give my best, i care deeply, and i trust the process.

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there are people done with grad school and friends having babies and endless stories of promotions and it always beckons the question in my soul, "am i enough?"so i'm learning that to be present, you must not only accept your circumstances, but also your own effort. i am doing my best. 

you are doing your best. maybe you needed to hear that tonight just like me.