Friday, May 14, 2010


A few shots from Jonathan's MArch graduation from Clemson...

Shaking fellow architecture graduate's hand, President James F. Barker :) 


The architecture boys!! 

After Jonathan's graduation, I planned a drop-in for close family and friends at our church's MPR. Here are a few pictures!! 

Yes baby, yes!!! 

You have no idea how excited we were!!

His face was on the cake!!!

We are so appreciative to all our friends and family that were able to come (and to those that weren't able to come) to show their love and support. We could not have made it through the past 2 years without any of you!! 

2 Years Later

Done and finished. 

And there's a Masters of Architecture degree to prove it. 

2 years ago, in August of 2008, Jonathan and I (and I do say the both of us, because if you have ever been through ANY type of degree program while married, you certainly realize that both partners go through it) began the journey to becoming one step closer to his title of, Jonathan Edens, AIA. 

As long as I have known him, Architect was his goal. 
In 5th grade, if you asked Jonathan what he wanted to be when he grew up, the answer would always be.....architect. 
He is one of very few people that I have ever encountered to set a goal at such an early age and never waver from it. Ever. Everything he has done in one way or another has led him to where he is right now, completing his MArch degree, and ready to take the next step. 

The process to become a licensed architect is not only misunderstood, but also underestimated. The time, effort, studies, and sacrifices are somewhat comparable to obtaining a doctorate. And even furthermore, there is the misconception that the pay is comparable to what those in the doctorate field are paid (not even close....think much lower). 
And now that he has completed the rigorous 6 years of combined graduate and undergraduate studies, he must begin a series of 7 tests, known as the ARE, which to no surprise, are not free and not cheap. 
At this point, he is basically a little over halfway there. 

It must also be said that, these past 2 years have been many things to us. 
While the MArch degree has afforded us opportunities, experiences, and relationships that we couldn't have gotten anywhere else, and cherish with every bone in our body, it was definitely not an easy road. 
We were married July 19, 2008, left for our honeymoon, returned home, and in a mere 10 days, we moved to downtown Charleston to begin the 1st semester of graduate school at the C.A.C.C. Now, while Charleston is a beautiful city with much to offer, if you can imagine, it might be the ideal place for newlyweds.....that is of course, if you don't count the fact that said newlyweds will never see one another. And when I say never, I mean never. As in, the husband will come home at 4AM on Saturday and Friday nights only to sleep 2 hours, then get right back up at 6AM to return to studio (not including the ridiculous weeknight hours). This happened every single weekend. 
The C.A.C.C. program is the most demanding semester of the MArch degree, and if you were to ask Jonathan if would he like to take a trip to Charleston now, his answer is (and will remain for at least a few years I am sure), "uh.....heck no." We now say that, if our marriage (especially at the newlywed stage) could survive that, we can survive anything. 
This was and continued to be a trend throughout the remainder of his graduate program. Luckily, we dated throughout our undergraduate programs, so I was accustomed to the demands of studio on an architecture major. However, it's completely different when you're married, and moreso, newlyweds. 

I say all of this not to complain, but to remember how humbling the experience was. We learned a lot about ourselves and one another (which, when you've dated 8 years prior to marrying, aside from the obvious things, you can imagine that there wouldn't be much more to find out); how we handle frustration, how we should handle frustration and anger, how to effectively communicate with one another, and so much more. 
Now at the end of the graduate degree road and looking back and taking the time to reflect, I realize that, while it felt like the hardest and at times, worst experience, I am thankful for every second of the past 2 years (even Charleston). 

It has made us the couple that we are today and has made us better spouses, friends, and hopefully, better Christians. 

Fall semester, 2008, Charleston 

Spring Semester, 2009, Italy 

Fall semester, 2009, Clemson 

Spring semester, 2010, Clemson

May 7th, 2010 was a wonderful day in the lives of the Edens. My husband moved one step closer to achieving his lifelong goal. Throughout his entire experience he consistently exuded diligence, determination, discipline, integrity, and perseverance. 
And I have never been more proud of him.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Since everyone has been asking.....

...........I thought I would answer all at once!! :) 

Sorry it's been so long.....I miss blogging, but, we have been SUPER, CRAZY BUSY!!! So much and so many exciting things have been happening, and they've taken up a lot of our time.

Anywho, back to the question that everyone is asking.....
"When are ya'll moving in/officially settled in the new house???" 

Okay. Here's the deal. 
When we moved back to the States from Italy, while staying with my parents for some time, we looked for an apartment here in Clemson. We finally found one in June of last year, and signed a year's lease....putting us here until June 30th of this year. Then, we were able to officially move into our new house the day we signed, but of course, with a June 30th lease, there's no rush. 

So, in addition to having to completely and totally pack up our home life to make the move, I am also having to completely and totally pack up my classroom at work (due to construction in our classrooms). This is a lot of packing up and I despise packing up and moving, and we've already done it 4 or so times since being married. 
BUT.....with school not ending until June 5th for me, our ending lease date has actually turned out to be a huge blessing!! This gives us time to gradually pack up home all the while packing up school, and allows me to finish out the school year with less stress. We did however, tell the offices of our apartment building that should someone come wanting to begin a lease date June 1st, that we were completely willing (since this would save us an entire month's rent - cha ching!!) to make the early exit. 

Got the's OUR home!!!

The overlap in lease and purchasing also allows for some MAJOR renovations that we have decided to do before moving in. We're taking a wall out that stands between the master bedroom and the back 4th bedroom to create a lengthy, elongated, open living space. This is Phase 1 renovation of probably like 200 in the new house!! Ha :) 
Although it's a lot of work, sweat (and some blood), we are SO excited for the end result(s)!! And I mean, c'mon.....I'm married to an architect....he was born for this stuff!! :) 

Let the renovating fun begin...

The master bedroom before.

The "Clemson" (4th) room before. 

The architect hard at work :) 

Wall down in the master bedroom. 

Walls coming down in the "Clemson" (4th) room. 

Walls are down and all that's left are the studs. 

YEAH!!! Looking good and ready for the next step!!

This is a sketch-up of what the final product will look like!!

This is just a touch of what all has been going on out at the new house. Next up (after we complete the structural renovations to the new and improved "master suite"), is the refinishing/redoing of all the hardwoods in the house. 
Keep checking back, because I intend to update on all the progress!!! :) 

So to answer.....we will officially be IN with nowhere else to go on June 30th. :) 

Well, I had intended on blogging about the other exciting things going on in our lives right now, but I don't think I can keep my eyes open to handle next time, for sure!!!