Monday, August 30, 2010

'M' is for McCorkle

I met my beautiful friend Kimberly {Kimbo} in OT school. We went through alot together in those 3 years, right up until the end when we found out on the same day that we had both passed our boards and were seated next to each other for our graduation ceremony because she is now an 'M'.

She married Brock McCorkle in December of 2009 in a fairytale winter wedding...

Isn't that the most gorgeous photo moment ever? They are a model couple. Seriously.

I was sick and couldn't make it to her wedding and she and Brock moved to Texarkana right after. I was too scared to attempt to mail a gift that couldn't exactly be replaced, so she received a very belated wedding gift on graduation August!

She says they love it and I really hope so!
Oh, and by the way. Wedding etiquette says gifts can be given for an entire year after the wedding before they are considered maybe it's not so bad!

Kimbo, you're one of the sweetest, funniest people I've ever known! I am so glad we could enjoy this crazy ride together and I really hope yall will come visit sometime. Love you!

XOXO, Katie

Monday, August 23, 2010

Distressed Turquoise Kitchen Canisters

It seems like an eternity until we actually get to move into our new house, but if I think of it in terms of how many projects I'd like to get done before we do...I see things in a new perspective!

There are just 5 more weekends before we move in, and my goal is to get at least 2 projects done each weekend. Next weekend, we're going to Bentonville for a wedding, so I got a head start today and revamped this old kitchen rack with canisters that were my Meemaw's.

They were housing pasta and beans, but I needed containers for my flour, sugar, tea, etc. I wanted to give them a vintage-y/farmhouse/shabby makeover so I:
  1. Sanded then cleaned
  2. Painted the base coat white; let dry
  3. Rubbed a wax candle over the edges and any other areas I wanted the white to show through
  4. Painted the top coat a light turquoise; let dry
  5. Lightly rubbed the sanding block over the whole thing again, bringing the white undercoat through anywhere the wax was (The wax keeps the topcoat from adhering anywhere you put it)
  6. Labeled each lid with a calligraphy Sharpie.
And here she is!

Here's a close up of the distressed wood:

I love it! My style is so eclectic; I love mixing new with old, polished with worn, vintage with contemporary. And these will fit right in. I'll add in the 4th one, too, as soon as I decide what needs to go in it.

I hope yall have a blessed week! Thanks for stopping by...


*Here they are in the new home, broken in and still cute as ever!
Updated photos added 10-10-11.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Katie Marconi, OTR/L

Hey people!! This has to be the longest blog break I've taken yet, but with good reason...I had to get graduated! The last step before embarking on my professional career has been taken and I am SO glad it is over. The last few weeks have been the most hectic whirlwind and I've just been along for the ride! Here is what you've missed...

On Monday August 9th, I took the NBCOT, my national board exam for Occupational Therapy. Then, the next day, I had my first official day of work. I waste no time! I worked the rest of the week and tried not to allow myself to get overwhelmed, but it was hard. I hate new beginnings and not knowing things. I like being the one who has it together and can help others understand, NOT the one confused and asking all the questions! But, I'll get it.

Friday the 13th was my graduation day! But I am a working girl now, so I worked until 1, threw on a dress with lightening speed, and flew 2 hours on the interstate to make it to Conway. I didn't have time to eat, pee, or think all day and I was an anxious wreck! I called Sean when I realized I hadn't even had time to check the results from my test! He checks them for me but I'm too exhausted and stressed to even worry. He tells me the news...

I picked up my cap, gown, and hood and threw it on right out of the bag, then headed to the OT class of 2010 pinning ceremony.

Our professors were all on stage and each of us was "pinned" as our accomplishments and fieldwork was described. A slide show played of each of us doing all different kinds of therapy with patients. I loved visiting with our teachers afterward and catching them up on everything I have going on. They were WONDERFUL mentors.

It's crazy to think it was 3 years ago that we all barely knew each other, and planned the annual Halloween Dance for Workforce, the sheltered workshop for adults with disabilities. I'm the eskimo in the white on the center right side.

At times, it feels like a long road, and other times it feels like just a blink.
OT school conditioned us to step outside our box and be willing to do ANYthing at a moment's notice.

Whether it was braving the smell of formaldehyde while studying upper extremity nerves on cadavers... (I had to get over my fear of inanimate objects jumping up at me and convince myself that the bodies were NOT going to move...And then an arm would get knocked off the table and come flying at me. NOT funny!)

...Or knocking on a nursing room door on the locked-down psych unit to introduce yourself to an un-oriented patient and do an unannounced, impromptu treatment session...

...Or performing a dance on stage to 'Beat It' with the campers at ARC Camp, a performing camp for adults with disabilities.

...Or perusing through the local Kroger with a shopping list, while simulating a number of disabilities at once...

I think I had a stroke (carrying dead weight on my arm) and had some type of visual deficit (hence the goggles). I love how Whitney is looking at me!

Me and Kimbo after we were "ribboned." (We didn't spend money on the pin!)

I sincerely regret not taking more pictures, but my mind was just too crazy to even think to pull out my camera...I had to steal those.

Everyone headed over to the big graduation ceremony that started at 7. Keep in mind I still haven't eaten! Chaotic day, I tell ya.

{With Daddy and Nonnie before graduation.}

All filing in...I'm the 3rd in that closest line. We laughed at how all the family members and parents in the crowd smile, point, holler, and wave enthusiastically as if it's kindergarten graduation all over again! Some things should never change.

There I am in writing!

I spotted Aunt Mary in the crowd just before walking.

Here we go!

Getting "hooded." The higher you climb on the academic ladder, the dorkier the regalia gets! I got a little disappointed feeling as I heard them call "Doctor so-and-so" across the stage before us. Maybe one day in the future. For now, I am all schooled out!

Me and the man after it's finally over. What a relief!

By 10pm we are eating dinner at Razorback Pizza. Longest day and week ever! As we sit at the table, I am finally going to tell them the news.
I proclaim, "Announcement! I have an announcement!"

"a BABY." Phillip states knowingly.

"Ahhh mah Lord," Dad says.

NO!!" I laugh. "I passed my test!"

Sighs of relief all around.

It all flew by in a blur and I hate that I couldn't actually enjoy it. But the important part is that we all made it and are living our dreams of working as therapists. I can't wait for the time when I'm settled into it enough that it feels like a routine. But for now, I'm just trying to hang on and enjoy the ride!

Happy Graduation, UCA OT Class of 2010. We actually did it!!

XOXO, Katie

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bud Walton, Here come the Razorbacks!

For it's A-A-A-R-K-A-N-S-A-S for Arkansas!
Fight! Fight! Fi-i-i-ight!

My Dad gave me a program booklet a while ago, with a painting inside representing the inaugural Arkansas Razorback game at Bud Walton arena in 1993. The painting depicted a Razorback busting through the gym floor, and Dad asked if I could paint one like it for him. His birthday was July 21st and this is what he got...

Close up:
I was pleased with how it turned out. Only the best for the biggest Razorback fan!
Go Hogs!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'...

Today was the day! I just finished taking the NBCOT: National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy...and I'm relieved and still nervous at the same time. It was one of those exams where you come out thinking, 'I could have aced it or flunked it and I don't know which.'

I felt like I was on an episode of "House" some of the time with my little dry erase board and marker! ...Jotting down everything I knew about a client's symptoms and trying to decide the best treatment....saying to myself, "No, that can't be it. OH let's do this!"

Does anyone else do that? Talk yourself through an exam as if you are talking to multiple people? I guess it makes me feel like I'm not making decisions alone.

My life lately has consisted almost solely of studying for this exam, because I can't practice without it. My friend Meghan texted me this scripture just as I opened my book to study one day:

"Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.

Then, you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4: 6,7

For the past 8 weeks, I prepared as much as I possibly could and know my brain couldn't hold or comprehend anymore, so I'm just hoping for the best. It wasn't always easy to find peace and quiet to concentrate with 4 pups pulling you in all directions and wanting to have playtime! There were times I was doubtful, stressed, or overwhelmed.

But it is now out of my hands...It is what it is!

I'm not wasting anytime transitioning... I start work at my new job tomorrow! I'm an Occupational Therapist with Goode Therapy Services in West Memphis, providing pediatric and geriatric home health, public school, day school, and adult developmental services.

Adjusting to new things is always a challenge, but I'm so excited to start. I'm also excited about the new therapy facility being built that will be unlike any other in our area. The community, and us as therapists, will really benefit from having a facility like the one GTS has in the works...Central Arkansas, where I completed school and clinicals, is rich with nice, advanced therapy facilities, and the plans for ours remind me of them. I cannot wait to work in it!

But getting to that point without a HUGE setback, will require a passing grade on this I'm hopeful and waiting...

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the Godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 55:22


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amazing Grace Key Rack

I already miss my little Salvation Army store in downtown Conway. It was the perfect shopping solution for a grad student strapped for money...I would bring home 3 bags full of home decor stuff to tweak a little and be out merely a $10 bill. I went every couple of weeks and always found things I knew I could do something with, even if I didn't know what that something was when I bought it. That's how I felt about this little house-shaped knick-knack shelf when I bought it for $2.00 over 6 months ago.

I immediately knew I wanted it to be a little replica of our future house, but wasn't sure how I would use it...I just knew it was mine.

I wanted for so long to just go ahead and paint it white, since I wanted a WHITE house so bad. But I didn't want to jinx myself! So soon after we closed the deal on our new house, I gave this cutie a coat of spray paint in Heirloom White Satin. And the concept for the project finally came to me on my first trip back to church after moving home. I hate to admit but my mind had wandered from the sermon for a minute (I know I can't be the only one who does that!) and I flipped through the hymnal book looking over some of my favorites. I read the words to the 3rd verse of 'Amazing Grace':

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
'Twas grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

I knew it would be the perfect script to write on the shelf, which will be a key rack placed in the entry of our house. Since it's not all about me :) I changed the "me" to "us". And since we're not in our house yet, it is yet to be hung, it is!

I free-handed the script with a calligraphy sharpie and bought a pack of 4 white cup hooks for $0.97 that just screwed into the wood with a pre-drilled or nailed hole.

We can put little knickknacks in the cubbies when we first come in the door or just small pieces to display. It has to be one of my favorite projects I've ever done and it will be one of the first items hung in our new home. I hope you like it!


*Here's the key rack, now hanging in our home as a reminder of how far we've come and how blessed we are to be here.

In addition to obviously keeping our keys in check, the compartments are a lifesaver spot for sunglasses, jump drives, ear-buds, and anything else we need to grab on the go.

New photos added 10-10-11.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walkin in Memphis

Among the things I was glad to get back to with this move, was downtown Memphis. I missed the atmosphere, the food, the music. Little Rock was just never my cup of tea, especially when it took over half an hour to get there from Conway. I missed my quick trip over the bridge to the "big city". We've had so much going on lately, but here's a taste of what we've been up to on the other side of the Mississippi.

Sean and I met our friends Jessica and Brian, with their precious, now 1 year-old baby, Sophie at a Redbirds game last week. Jessica and I endured OT school together and they just recently moved to North-East Arkansas. Brian will be teaching and coaching like Sean and Jessica and I have both found jobs as OTs! I wish their frequent trips to Memphis had been merely for pleasure but instead they were for Sophie's visits to St. Jude to receive chemotherapy for Retinoblastoma.

{Cheering with her Daddy}

How adorable is she!? Of course we weren't there long before she was on the big screen for all of the stadium to see. She was the biggest trooper through everything...She had just been sedated that morning and was a bundle of joy that same day.

{Me and Jess at the game...gotta love Mid-South summer heat!}

They celebrated Sophie's "No Mo Chemo" Party back in the beginning of summer and we hated to miss it but were out of town. What a milestone to celebrate!

She just couldn't get any cuter. I pray for her and her precious family all the time and hope that these struggles will be a distant memory one day.

Last night (Saturday night) Sean and I headed to Memphis to meet friends for another Redbirds game. We thought the Justin Bieber concert was Friday night so we would be safe, but...we were wrong. Downtown was transformed into Bieber-Fever Maniac Tweeners and it was a jungle. We drove circles looking for a parking garage that was yet to be full, and when we finally found one, realized neither of us had any more cash! With nowhere to park to use an ATM, I had to dash half a block while Sean was stopped at a red light and make a lightening-fast transaction.

When we made it to Autozone Park, the line for tickets went for miles and the heat was sweltering just standing there. We decided a better use of our time and money would be to enjoy dinner and live music on air conditioning!

We split the Memphis Platter (we recommend!) with catfish, ribs, red beans and rice, slaw, and fries with gumbo for an appetizer. Memphis does it right!

As an interesting side note: As we were walking on Beale, I heard a VERY familiar voice and accent. I knew I had heard it somewhere. When I turned around, 2 cops were right behind us and one of them was Aubrey from TLC's "Police Women of Memphis".

I LOVE that show and if you haven't watched yet, it's the new thing! It is possibly the most comical and entertaining cops show on tv. And I love her!

I was too busy trying to clue Sean in to who was behind us that they turned into a bar before I could act like a crazy fan.

After supper and music, we met up with friends at The Flying Saucer for drinks.

The Fowlers

And Hayden and her boyfriend Tyler.

I'm glad I could enjoy some down time down town because this is my last week before taking my exam!! It's hardcore study time...I REALLY hope it pays off. Send me some prayers, positive thoughts, good vibes, or whatever you believe works and I'll hope for the best!