So, I ended the long week the way any smart woman does...by spending lots of money! haha!
We ventured into the big city today (with the help of our Garmin, of course) and purchased baby furniture at Treasure Rooms. I really love the set we purchased. We actually ended up buying 3 pieces, instead of the 2 I thought we would purchase. They had the three piece set on sale and since we live in IL, we don't pay sales tax (it's like the ONLY time in the history of the world where there is a tax advantage to living in IL). That saved us quite a bit of money. We also went ahead and got the mattress, too, although if I would have thought things through more carefully, we wouldn't have purchased the mattress; we would have put it on a registry in the future. Ah well. It's done and the set is so nice, I'm very happy with it.
We usually are BIG FANS of the dark, espresso furniture. And, they had the set we like in both a darker cherry and the espresso. We got to thinking about it and decided that we wanted something a little different than the usual. Our master bedroom furniture, the living room furniture, and the basement furniture is all espresso finish.
So, to be different and because we liked the finish of the cherry more, we went with that instead. And I'm really glad we did. I think it's going to look great in the soon-to-be-nursery.
Here is the set: (we got the sleigh crib, the 5 drawer dresser (not pictured) and the combo table (seen in the back)): It's the Carragio Collection by Creations:
While we were shopping, my mom called to congratulate Hubs on passing the EPPP (the national licensing exam for psychologists). She also said they would like to take us out to dinner tonight with the group to celebrate! SCORE! We're always up for food :)
Speaking of the EPPP, I am SO PROUD of my husband. It's very difficult to explain the journey he's been on in pursuit of his dream. He had four years of college, 5 years of graduate school (it's a 6 year program that he completed in 5 to save us money), a year long internship, and a year of post-doctorate work. All of this is required to become a psychologist.
Then, we decided to reside in IL. This decision made his life exponentially more difficult because IL is ridiuclous when it comes to licensing mental health professionals. Even with his doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, he needed more hours to become a mid-level provider, so he had to test at the lowest level (licensed professional counselor), which meant he required supervision (he couldn't practice independently). This meant we had to find an employer who had the required supervision staff AND separately, we had to find a licensed clinical psychologist to agree to provide additional supervision. Through the Grace of God, we found a relatively local psychologist and as God would have it, this psychologist had also interned at Girls and Boys Town in Omaha (where Hubs had completed his internship). One of Hubs supervisors at GBT agreed to contact this local psychologist and vouch for Hubs. Dr J agreed to supervise Hubs (having only met him ONCE) .
This turned out to be such a blessing. Dr J not only provided excellent supervision, he is a great guy for Hubs to have connected with early on in his career. He and Hubs are more than colleagues now; they're friends.
Two years later, he had enough post-doctoral experience to now sit for the mid-level licensing exam, which he also studied very hard for and passed. At this point, he became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Now he could practice independently (no more supervision nor was he required to be in a clinic with other MH counselors).
When people asked him what he did for a living, he would simply reply, "I'm a counselor."
I'm not trying to be petty, but he was WAY more than just a counselor at this point. He had his Bachelors degree, his Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, his Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology, he had completed a year long internship in psychology at a world renowned mental health facility and he had also finished his required post-doctoral year. He wasn't just a "counselor."
But, according to the state of IL, he was just that.
In IL, you have to wait until you are ONE year post-doc before you can sit for the EPPP. In my humble opinion, this is a crazy requirement. By the time you can sit for the EPPP in IL, you've had your doctorate degree for 3 years and you've been seeing patients for 7 years. You can defend your doctorate dissertation, you can see clients, develop treatment plans, bill insurance companies, but you can't sit for a stinking test? It's crazy.
He sat for the EPPP the first part of January and we've been waiting ever since for the results. Then yesterday (Friday) at 4pm, I couldn't take it anymore. I called the IL Dept of Professional Regulation to inquire about the status of his license. If he passed his test, his license should have already been issued. If he didn't pass, they wouldn't be able to give us any info except that they cannot issue his license. The gal answered the phone, looked up his application and said, "todays your lucky day. The license was issued this morning."
THANK THE LORD!
I was in total disbelief. Not in disbelief that he passed, but in disbelief that after all these years, we just learned that there is a license that says Hubs is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (side note: I even asked the lady to please read to me the title on the license. While she graciously acknowledged my request, I know she must have been thinking how crazy I was for making that simple, yet odd, request).
Three little words that mean SO MUCH to both of us: Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
This is such a simplified version of the reality that was our journey. There were many, many set backs (albeit, temporary set backs, but setbacks nonetheless). There were the countless internship applications that we mailed (many of which were likely never opened because one site admitted they only accept the first X number of good applicants for interviews...after they've met that quota, they stop opening applications...so, first come, first serve. WHO KNEW?!). There were several trips across the country for internship interviews, which meant there were accompanying credit card charges for each of those trips.
Then, on the evening of a family Christmas party at our house, we learned that Hubs didn't get the St. Louis interview
Then there was the IL committee who delayed one of his licenses because they felt Hubs didn't have enough Substance Abuse training. KNIFE TO MY HEART. He has a Masters AND a Doctorate degree in CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY. You're telling me that what we've scarified thus far and all of the education and training he's had isn't enough for a Masters Level license? SERIOUSLY?!
And we were supposed to feel better when they told us that "most" applications didn't have enough Substance Abuse training and were required to take a semester long course.
Again, they were saying that what he had done thus far wasn't good enough. I'll never forget the emotional breakdown I had driving to 54th Street Grill to pick up our dinner that Friday night we received the "what you've done isn't enough" letter. The poor gal who came out to give me our food looked horrified by the crazy blond haired, mascara-ruined, sobby faced, hysterical crier who handed her the debit card.
Forget that. Hubs promptly wrote his appeal letter; ultimately involving his program director of his doctorate program who also confirmed that the training he received more than qualifies him for the license he was seeking.
And, the state overturned their original decision. Turns out that having TWO graduate degrees DOES qualify one for a master's level license in this state. THANK GOD.
All of that to say, we're SO thankful and relieved that it's over. IT'S OVER. Done. There is nothing more Hubs can do in his profession. There is no higher degree, no higher license. Now, he FINALLY can take all he's worked for in this life and use it to help others.
And we all couldn't be more proud of him. His family and my family have been so supportive of us during these past 8 years. And now, there's someone else who is beaming with pride: Bubs. I just know it. In a weird way, it's such a cool feeling to know that Bubs was there when Daddy got the good news of his final success.
And tonight we'll CELEBRATE! We'll drink and eat and be merry.
And be content. And grateful.
Until next time....XOXO!