24 April 2010


What a blog drought . . .
because the busy-ness did not stop after finals.
After all that came the busy-ness of graduation celebration,
and now the busy-ness of all Ben's family in town!

It's all been good busy-ness (what is the real word I'm looking for?),
but amid all the bustle, there's been another busy-ness going on in our heads:

—Ben's Master's in Landscape Architecture—

It's actually been in our heads for longer than just these past weeks. It started years ago, and came full-on over Christmas Break and into this semester. I've kept blog-quiet about it mostly so Ben wouldn't feel any pressure. But now it is time.
Maybe now I'll go back and re-cap it all in several posts. :)

THE DETAILS (for posterity's sake? scroll to the bottom if you're impatient) :

He applied to 6 schools. A couple "long-shots," a couple "for-sures," and a few in the middle.

We heard back from LSU (Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge)
in early February, just weeks after submitting the portfolio and application.
They are the #3 program in the nation, with a big emphasis on design and several faculty graduates from the #1 program at Harvard. Also home to my dear friend MJ, who I met in my early Graphic Design classes, and adored when we lived together at 27 Palace Court, London.

And then weeks passed with silence.
No letters—for months even!
A pair of rejections, but still nothing from the main LSU contender:
NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

LSU said "OK, we've already extended your deadline. We need to know now."

So we said "OK."

But they didn't ask for a deposit so we crossed fingers that meant no financial consequence for backing out. Then came phone calls and emails to the poor graduate admissions office in NC.
We finally got a faculty ally, and on Monday (19 April) he sent an email saying "You're in."
(Really! That's how it was worded!) And we'd need to accept or decline by May 1.

But then it was decision time. You see, we didn't favor NC over LSU;
they were equally good decisions for different reasons.

NC's program is #14, more expensive than LSU, but also, o-so-importantly close to family.
Jordan and hoodlums in Durham, and Kurt & Becky in Chapel Hill.

Monday, with Kurt and Becky close, just 3 days off the plane from Korea, we were feeling NC.
Tuesday, as we pondered LSU's credentials and the fact that they eagerly called Ben to accept him soon after applying (as opposed to being next off the waiting list at NC), we felt LSU.
Wednesday was back to NC after I had a dream about Jordan's kids not knowing me and a visit with a counselor who emphasized the art/craft and design culture in North Carolina.
Thursday I was invited to apply for a full-time designer position at a big stable company (where MJ works) meaning benefits, bonuses, and stability. Oh how we'll need that to get us through the jump in tuition from our cozy in-state private tuition here at BYU! Ben was also feeling LSU,

but he told me that day he didn't want to wait til May 1st. I asked when he wanted to decide.


I asked if he knew that would be an NC day according to our pattern... ;)
Friday morning, Ben got a reply from a professor at NCSU that graduated from LSU answering Ben's questions about the differences and strengths of each program. He forwarded the reply to me at work and an hour or two later popped up on the chat asking,

I didn't see it for a while because I was working on something...
but when I read it, I smiled. It was so crazy, because I really was feeling it too.

I didn't feel anxious after, or worried, or lost. It was just right. Awesome.

He starts July 1st.

. . .

(When I told my family, Josie went to grab an heirloom that's been looming upstairs— GO FIG: Sean and I both did our 5th grade reports on THE TAR HEEL STATE.)

Sean's State Report poster. Maybe as I pack away my life this summer, I'll find my poster.



Rebecca said...

I am so excited for you guys. What an awesome adventure! Maybe I'll have to come visit that state someday. It sounds lovely.

Amie said...

I'm so glad you'll be near some family. That will make a BIG difference. What a great opportunity for you both! Can't wait to see what the two of you will accomplish. :)

Coopers said...

oh that is exciting! it is so hard to make that final decision! but it's nice when it feels right.

Jane Hudd said...

It still sortof breaks my heart when I think about this... but I know you're going to love it there. We'll just have to make a point to visit each other once in awhile. I love you and I'm very excited for you guys! You're going to have SUCH an adventure!

Emma said...

This is great news! We will have to have you and Ben over sometime for sure. We are in Charlotte and we love it here!

Sue said...

Congratulations!! Can Ben re-design my yard someday? I am thrilled for you!

Jenna said...

YES! That's quite a bit closer to me so I can really hope for visits right? Glad that decision is over and now you can start planning. Like I've said before, this will be a fun, memorable year for you two. Congrats!

Kurt Knudsen said...


Devin Ann said...

Sounds like a good choice:) I'm sad to loose being so close to you guys...we'll just have to come visit, eh? So excited for you!! Dinner date before you leave?

tallia said...

july 1st!!!!!!!!!!
congrats to ben! and to you.
but july 1st is so soon!!!!!!
we will be up there may 8th hopefully.

Tawny said...

Good for you guys, you are both SO incredibly amazing, just the best. I'm excited for your new 4 year adventure!
ps. I'm slightly (just slightly) lieing because i'll miss your guts so so bad!!! but the funny thing is that we don't even see each other very much anyway...:) How terrible is that?? but i've always felt close...haha, those semi annual get togethers are going to leave a large hole in my heart. :)

Janette said...

Very exciting. I am sure lots of fantastic opportunities will await you in NC.

Ann said...