Monday’s Food for Thought: A Nod to Love

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm: for love is as strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. – King Solomon

As we come upon the annual day of love, I have been thinking about the meaning of love, and how through my own experiences, my definition of it has changed dramatically over the years.

As you reflect upon your own relationships, especially in relation to the graduate life, what does love mean to you? How do you maintain a sense of love in your relationship? Has your love (or the way you love) changed for your other half in graduate school? Do you celebrate your love more than one time a year? Do you love well?

Something to think about this Monday morning!

~Mandy

Love is…

So, I wanted to be all clever and write a lovely little post on love.  I started to do just that and  I recalled a beautiful poem by Marjorie Holmes  and realized she says it much more eloquently than I ever could.  I think many of us grad wives could easily add in another few stanzas saying something about…romance enticing us with riches and full time jobs and love promising commitment and encouragement even through the rough graduate school journey.

I hope these words speak truth and encouragement to you as we seek to remember what love really is all about.

Happy Valentines!

-M.C.

Romance is flying.

Love is safe landing.

Romance is seeking perfection.

Love is forgiving faults.

Romance is fleeting.

Love is long.

Romance is the anguish of waiting for the phone to ring to bring you words of endearment.

Love is the anguish of waiting for a call that will assure you that someone else is happy and safe.

Romance is eager-striving always to appear attractive to each other.

Love is two people who finds beauty in each other-no matter how they look.

Romance is dancing in the moonlight, gazing deep into desired eyes.

Love says, “You’re tired, honey.  I’ll get up this time.” As you stumble through the darkness to warm a bottle or comfort a frightened child.

Romance is flattering attention.

Love is genuine thoughtfulness.

Romance is suspense, anticipation, surprise.

Love is tenderness, constancy, being cherished.

Romance is delicious.

Love nourishes.

Romance can’t last.

Love can’t help it.

Beauty and the Budget: Valentine DIY

Happy early Valentines Day!  If you are like me, you take every chance you get to celebrate something and V-day should be no exception.  Mandy is not so much a fan :), but I am hoping to rope her into some fun V-day crafting with these amazingly simple, inexpensive (and almost free) DIY Valentines crafts I gathered online.  I have family visiting right now (yahoo!) and sadly didn’t have the time to share a few of my own, but the below are pretty fab to say the least.

 Let’s face it, we are graduate wives, we support, love, and sacrifice a lot during the year so let’s celebrate this season that honors all those things we are learning how to do best.   Treat yourself to a box of chocolates and have fun making some of these goodies for those you love.  Enjoy!

I am kind of into the “You light my fire” theme for some reason…and came across these two little beauties.  Super special and sweet. (for tutorials and sources click here & here)

Seriously….I couldn’t resist this.  Where oh where do our grad school spouses spend most of their days?  Bingo…love note library cards.  Genius. (for tutorials and source click  here )

I mean let’s be honest, who doesn’t wish we still said ‘da bomb’  (This is a great deal, fun to make and just think of how to put the leftover massage oil to work!) (for tutorials and source click  here)

Last but most definitely not least.  Yes, please!  It took me about two seconds to realize I must do this adorable little gift as soon as possible.  If you don’t have photoshop or a scanner, just make a small framed print of your actual thumbprints.  (I hope my hubs doesn’t see this because this is what I am making for him!) (for tutorials and source click  here)

So if even if none of these DIY gems enticed you into celebrating, at least try out one of these fun treats on Feb. 14th.  Yummm! (for ice-cream sandwich recipe click here)

The Glad Game

                                                                                                                       written by Stephanie – a current graduate wife

The movie Pollyanna has forever been one of my all-time favorites.   Pollyanna played “The Glad Game,” and her eternal optimism infected everyone around her.  Even in the face of adversity, she believed that there was always SOMETHING you could find to be glad about.  I think we could all learn a little something from Miss Pollyanna Whittier. As a graduate wife, I have tried to adopt this philosophy as best I can.

My husband Josh is now amid his second year of medical school at St. George’s University in the Caribbean.   His first year was spent in Newcastle, England as part of the Global Scholars Program.   We had been married for only 4 weeks when we boarded that international plane to the United Kingdom.  Talk about a whirlwind first year.  It took me months to feel connected to anything and anyone in England and by the time it started to feel a little bit like “home,” it was time to uproot and move again, this time to the 22 mile long island of Grenada.   We will leave Grenada in May 2012 headed for hospital rotations in the States, but we won’t know exactly where we are going until weeks before we go.   Two years of rotations, God willing in the same place, will only be followed by a residency that will more than likely move us yet again.  I try to take each day as it comes, because thinking too far into the future only gives me a panic attack.  Not having a place that I can really call “home” is challenging.  I sometimes envy the graduate wives who get to, at the very least, stay in the same place for the duration of their husband’s schooling.

GLAD:  At only 25 years old, I am GLAD that I have had the opportunity to do this much traveling so early on in my life.   I’m GLAD that I get to experience all of these exotic places with my best friend.  It’s not a vacation like so many assume, but it IS a once in a lifetime experience.

Medical school is no walk in the park.  Josh studies ALL the time and there are many nights where I eat alone, watch romantic comedies by myself, and go to bed solo.  Date nights are often canceled because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to study.  Many holidays and birthday celebrations have to be put off because finals are only days away.  I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping.  I manage our finances, keep up with the financial aid paperwork, and stay in contact with our families and friends.  On my worst days, I feel like leaving and going home to California because after all, besides not having food in the fridge, a home cooked meal, or clean underwear, would he ever even notice I was gone?

GLAD:  I am GLAD that Josh is pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor and excelling in his classes, in part due to my support.  I am GLAD that having so much alone time has allowed me to take up hobbies that I always hoped I’d have time for.  I scrapbook, read, send letters to friends and family, exercise, participate in volunteer work, and started a blog

Most days of the year, we are thousands of miles away from our family and friends.  Last year we missed Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Easter, birthdays, friend’s weddings, family vacations, and so much more.  We see our families through Skype more often than we see them in person.   On top of that, we have nobody to run to when we are upset with each other, and nobody’s house to go to in order to get away for a little while.

GLAD:  There are times I am GLAD that we can’t run to anyone else when we are struggling with each other in our relationship.  It has forced us to work through our issues without the interference of our family and friends opinions.  When you live half way across the world from everyone you know, the only person to turn to is God and each other and because of that, our relationship has grown immensely this past year.

I didn’t go to graduate school.  Admittedly, this has been the hardest part for me in being a graduate wife.  There was a time when I was not going to be the graduate wife.   I was going to be the GRADUATE STUDENT.   I did all the work leading up to actually going to school.  I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology.  I did over 2,500 hours of work in the field.  I applied to more than 15 doctorate programs, wrote 13 essays, got the recommendation letters, filled out the applications, took the GRE, paid the money to apply, and went to the interviews.  My hard work paid off.  I got in to a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in Southern California.  I even paid the deposit to hold my spot for the August 2010 class.  But when Josh got into school and the decision had to be made whether or not to follow my soon-to-be husband to England, or to go to school myself, I made the decision to follow him.  Unfortunately, there are times when my resentment creeps up.  Moments when I think to myself, “What if I was in school right now?”  “What if I wasn’t following Josh around the world?”

GLAD: I am GLAD that I made the decision I made.  While being a physical therapist was my dream career, I reasoned that school would always be there if I wanted to go back, but I could NEVER get my first few years of marriage back.  Being on this journey with Josh has allowed us to become closer to one another than I ever could have imagined.  We are growing together.  Every week, I see subtle changes in us, changes that, if we weren’t physically together, would seem HUGE later on.   While my career aspirations might have thrived while I was in school, my marriage would have suffered.  And so I am GLAD that I’m here, on an island, growing and changing together with my husband.

Sometimes, as a medical school wife, it’s really challenging to find the GLAD in any given situation and on any given day.  But it is there.  It’s always there.  It might be a really small thing to be glad about, but if you look hard enough, you will find it.  If you can at least find a little bit of GLAD then it helps make the bad not so bad anymore.  Try to find the “Pollyanna” in yourself on a daily basis and I guarantee you will be a happier graduate wife because of it.

Do you ever find yourself playing “The Glad Game” in order to make dark days seem less dark?  If so, what do you find to be GLAD about?