BEGIN 2017 | Corina's Corner

Grad School in England


This blog post is sort of disappointing to write and there's a chance that it will be pretty anticlimactic to read, but since I have technically been writing this post since October I figure I should just post it anyway. This little blog contains a lot of our history and is a journal of sorts and this is a big part of the next chapter of our lives and needs to be documented.

I've often heard that if you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans. I know that He has a much broader vision for our lives and can make much more out of them than we can alone. I trust His plans and the direction that He is leading us.

Back in October we decided that we wanted to make some changes. And ultimately we decided that we wanted to move to England so Jordan could go to grad school this Fall. We applied for schools, got accepted, sold our house, got a huge storage unit, and now we're not going. Life is so crazy.

Here's how it's been going down.

October 25, 2016

Jordan and I have been craving an adventure for a while now. And going on our Europe trip this summer only fueled this craving (I was hoping it would curb it but it definitely fueled it). I wish we could sell all of our stuff and travel the world for fun. But unfortunately that didn't seem like the best idea for our family, so we tried to think of some alternatives.

We came up with a few ideas. Like finding some kind of service to do for a year, or moving somewhere new (a different country) and finding a job. Maybe Jordan could get an online masters degree and we could travel around while he did this. Or Jordan could get a masters degree in a different country. Maybe we could buy an RV and drive around the United States?

With all of these ideas we weren't exactly sure how the funding would work. How are we going to pay for this? Is it an awful idea for Jordan to quit his job? His great job, with a salary, where we live comfortably and have all of our needs and most of our wants?

After thinking and praying about it for a while we realized that getting a masters degree in a different country was a very feasible idea. We had some friends in our last ward that did this. They moved their family to Scotland for a year while the husband got his masters. One of the reasons they chose Scotland was because it was an English speaking country. And for some reason, because they did it successfully we started thinking maybe we can do it too!

So we have been researching masters programs in the UK, specifically England. There seems to be a number of great programs over there, all which interest Jordan and would help him to further his career. It would be beneficial on that front, be an amazing experience for our family to live in a new place, and I love that it has a set time frame. If all goes according to plan we could start school in September 2017, and move back around September 2018 right in time for Reagan to start Kindergarten.

We're ready to sell our house and are fine selling our cars. We'll get a little storage unit and try to sell as much as wont fit in it. Since we've decided this idea could actually happen it's literally all I can think about. I've dreamed about it the last 3 nights. I'm so excited about it.

I still worry that it's not the most economical idea (we could stay in our house, Jordan could keep working at his job and he could get a masters at Weber or online at home). BUT the experiences we could have as a family and the places we could visit would create priceless memories and I truly believe it would be worth it.

So here goes nothing! Hopefully in the next few months you'll ask us how things are going and we can reply that we're moving to England and that we just sold our house and are well on our way to a grand adventure!

November 27, 2016

Here's where we're at as of today. Last night we submitted 4 applications: University of Nottingham, Loughborough University, University of Strathclyde, and Brunel University. Today Jordan also applied for the University of Manchester. We have a few other schools that are still on our radar and since the application costs are FREE we're thinking we'll hedge our bets and apply for a few others as well.

It took us a while to get everything ready for the applications. The reference letters took the most time to collect and then of course Jordan had to write his personal statement. We also had to order his transcript (which only took like 4 minutes but was another thing we had to do).

(Sidenote: I always kind of hated when people would say things like, "Well we're applying for grad/medical/law school soon....blah blah blah..." But now I truly want to talk in terms of "we" because yes, Jordan is the one who is applying, but we would be moving our whole life to a new place, starting a new chapter, and embarking on a new adventure. Not just Jordan. So I take it all back. WE'VE started to apply to grad school.)

We've started selling stuff on KSL and are really trying to pair down and organize so we'll be able to list our house around January 1. Crazy town!

December 18, 2016

February 6, 2017

Jordan was accepted to every single school he applied to! AMAZING! (He didn't end up applying to the University of Bath, University of Derby, or the University of Sunderland because the programs weren't as appealing)

Now we get to choose which school to attend and where we are going to live for a year. Since applying we have ruled out Brunel and Greenwich because we decided that we don't want to live in London. We have also ruled out Strathclyde because it didn't seem like the best location for us either, and neither did Liverpool. So that left us with Manchester, Nottingham, Loughborough, and Hertfordshire. Nottingham and Manchester are the highest ranked universities in that grouping so we are trying to choose between the two.

We are trying to do our research and make the best decision for our family. We are heading to England next week to see these campuses and cities for ourselves to make a better informed decision.

Also, since my last update we have put our house on the market and are officially under contract! We put it on the market last Thursday, had a very successful open house that Saturday and received two offers, one of which we accepted.

February 13-20 
Trip to England to explore universities: Manchester and Nottingham with a quick weekend in London.

April 18, 2017

Well there's no going back now! We've officially sold our house, moved lots of our stuff into storage and are well on our way to grad school in..... Nottingham! We had a hard time choosing which school and which city we wanted to live in but Nottingham feels like a great fit for our family. We bought our one-way plane tickets last week and will be heading to England on September 18th! Eeek!

We still have to work on visa applications and of course packing up the rest of our stuff but both of those will come a bit later.

June 7, 2017

Well I guess there was some going back. We are no longer moving to England in September. Jordan has put in his 2 week notice at his current job and will be starting a new job at the end of the month. He wasn't looking for a new job but an exciting opportunity presented itself in the form of a job interview at a cool company, a dream job of sorts. And they wanted to give Jordan the job. We had an AWFUL time trying to decide if we should still pursue a masters degree in England or accept this new job offer. So many late night conversations and discussions about opportunities gained or lost but when Jordan said that he felt like this new job would be more advantageous for his career than a masters degree at this point in time we knew we had to take it. Ultimately, I know that we made the right choice but it has been really hard and sad to know that we had to give up this awesome opportunity to live in England (at this point in time).

So we had to go back to the drawing board of life and kind of figure out our new plan. We already sold our house, so now we need to buy a new one. We've got a few plans in the works on that front, but it's just been so stressful to readjust EVERYTHING we had planned and start over. We're in such a transition right now; new job, new house, new plans. It's crazy. But like I said earlier I know it will all work out and Heavenly Father can make more of our life plans than we can.

At least we already bought our plane tickets (like I mentioned on April 18th) so we do still get to go to England in September. Now it's just a vacation instead of a trans-Atlantic move.

So here's to new adventures (just maybe less exciting adventures than living abroad for a year)!

San Francisco Getaway


I snuck away last weekend for a quick getaway to San Francisco to visit Rachel, one of my wonderful former roommates. I had the best time! I think I might want to make this an annual visit, because that city is awesome, and it's so rejuvenative to get away from your routine for a while. I found flights for $53 each way and decided I needed to go. We crammed so much fun into my short two days. We hit the ground running and visited so many cool sites.

We drove straight into the city and drove down Lombard Street, visited the Painted Ladies, got some delicious snacks at Tartine Bakery, and then headed over to Ocean Beach. We hiked down to Sutro Baths and then drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. While we were north of the bridge we tried to visit the Point Bonita Lighthouse but it was unfortunately closed, but while we were driving up there we spotted a whale flipping it's tail all around in the water so we considered it a win. We had a picnic up by the lighthouse and then headed to Muir Woods, via Sausalito. I always get so frustrated when trying to photograph redwood trees, because it is literally impossible to capture just how HUGE those things are. At Muir Woods we saw a baby gray fox, which was so cute. For dinner we headed to Castro Street in Mountain View where Rachel lives and met up with some friends for dinner at Blueline Pizza. We met up with Annie, who was in my stake growing up, and it was so fun to catch up.

We slept in the next morning and Rachel made delicious crepes for breakfast. Once we got going we headed back to Ocean Beach. On Friday we had tried to visit the Camera Obscura but it was unfortunately closed. But luckily it was open on Saturday! And I'm so glad because it.was.AWESOME! I LOVED it. It was a crazy day to be visiting that area because it just so happened to be Corgi Con and there were thousands of people (and Corgis) on the beach. Another reason we wanted to head back to this area was because there was another little hike we wanted to do. Land's End. It was a great little hike with great views of the beautiful bridge.

From there we headed to Japantown for an early dinner and of course to go to some stationary stores, my favorite thing in the world. After some great recommendations from Rachel and Spencer's friends we landed on Ramen Yamadaya. It was my first real ramen experience and it was great! After that we headed across the street to the mall to visit Maido, where I spent a little bit too much money. Then we were ready for a treat and Sophie's Crepes hit the spot! They put ice cream in the crepes. Delicious!

It was so fun to catch up with Rachel and get to know Spencer and tour around that beautiful City by the Bay! Rachel and Spencer were so hospitable and I had absolutely the best time!

^^This Camera Obscura was AMAZING! I had been wanting to visit this ever since my student teaching when we turned our classroom into a camera. Here is a little flier about the Giant Camera, with some information about how it works. There's a mirror that rotates around 360° which shines through two lenses and projects the scenes on a parabolic table. It's incredible. These pictures are all blurry but they kind of show what the images looked like. It was so so cool. I don't usually like using the term "geeking out!" but in this instance I was definitely geeking out. Photography is so cool.

Thank you Spencer and Rachel for the wonderful visit!! You guys are the BEST!

Huntsman 140


Jordan rode in a 140 mile bike race on Saturday. Can you even imagine biking for 9 hours straight?! I'm so proud of him. It's the longest he's ever rode by far and he hasn't even been ridiculously sore since the race. He's been biking and training a lot this summer and all of his hard work paid off. One of the things that he likes about biking, and especially organized rides is the variety of interesting people he gets to meet and talk to. He rode with the group above for the last about 50-60 miles and loved getting to know them and hearing about their lives (one of them won The Amazing Race!).

I'm so glad that everything went well for Jordan on this race because I was out of town and nervous to be missing his race. Next up, his 120 miler in 3 weeks. This guy is an awesome biking champion! Go Jordan!

This post is in partnership with the Huntsman Cancer Foundation but all opinions are mine, and all of the pictures and hard work was done by my awesome husband!
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