- In mid-February, I was given the ever elusive "Permission to Write my Thesis" from my thesis committee. The following 6 weeks are a blur of being holed up in our second bedroom, drinking pots of tea and creating massive piles of paper in order to complete the final dissertation. 210 pages, to be exact. Writing a thesis is a somewhat painful process, both figuratively and literally. I would find myself losing hours upon hours of the day to simple formatting or searches for the proper bibliography. So much so, that I thought, at some point, I might actually give myself bedsores from not moving in the chair all day long. I also found myself neglecting simple tasks, like showering (poor Alex!), because upon awakening, I would immediately sit in front of the computer to conquer my tasks for the day. Thankfully, things turned out just fine and I successfully defended my thesis on April 6, 2011. My parents as well as Alex's parents were able to attend (and might I say? The room was surprisingly packed! Yay!). They all commented that they words they understood included "however" and "also"! Haha! The defense was a huge relief, and a long time coming. I've been addressed a few times as "Dr. Reid" and it feels a little weird.
- Thankfully, after the defense, I was able to head home to California for a relaxing week and a half vacation. Wait? What? Let me rephrase that! I headed home to California to do a little frantic running around Ventura County to plan this wedding! Woohoo! I dragged my poor Mom all over the place, searching out flowers, cake, doing the tasting for the reception dinner, picking linens, and trying to figure out things like favors, invitations, and all those little details that I always forget about. We had a great time tasting some different cake flavors, checking out flowers and all that fun stuff. I think my Dad especially enjoyed the food tasting for the reception because it included a little bit of wine! It was great to walk around the Pierpont again (it's almost been a year since I had been there) and to see the reception hall, the grounds, and the ceremony garden. I think the wedding is going to be a great time! For a while, I kept thinking, "Oh, it's a long time until the wedding, I have PLENTY of time to take care of x, y, and z!". But it's sneaking up right quick! A little less than four months to go! Eeek! I better get moving :)
- Another huge change that just happened is that I started a new job as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (aka CHOP). I am working in a lab that does diabetes and gut research, so it's been a huge change for me. The lab is great - lots of graduate students and a really excited Investigator (she seems to come up with new ideas on a daily basis, which is quite exciting!). I went from being the only person in my graduate lab to being in a lab of nearly 10 people, which is great. I am still learning my way around, but I am catching on quick (hopefully!). I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and learning a lot in this next year.
- In other news, Alex and his boss submitted a paper to a scientific journal called Development. He is awaiting their decision on his submission, but his boss seems optimistic that it will be published soon. This would be a really exciting step for Alex because he is next in line to graduate. He hopes to line up some post-doctoral work and defend (likely early next year). I think both of us are looking forward to moving someplace new (right now, the top contender is the Bay Area in CA, but we'll see!).
- Since there is never a dull moment around here, Alex also participated in a Half Iron Man Triathlon with his friend Mike and he did a Mud Run with a few of his friends from work. Both events were really fun to watch. Alex is a member of the Penn Cycling Team, and he raced collegiate cycling all winter. He has always loved biking, but it seems to grow during the months that don't include winter :) Alex is a true athlete, competing with people in their early 20s, heading out for 60 mile rides on a regular basis, and training with his team at a local bike shop. He enjoys it so much, that we acquired a bike for me (yes, we now have 4 bikes, no cars!). I am slowly but surely learning how to ride a road bike. I'm still a little wobbly, but lucky for me, there are some local trails near our house that are pretty nice to ride on, especially in the morning. Alex can be inspirational, racing all the time, so I decided to sign up for some fall runs. I signed up for the Philly Rock N Roll half marathon in Sept (right before the wedding!) and the Philly full marathon in November. I decided that running is a great way to keep the stress levels down (I learned this during the last few months in my thesis lab), so hopefully it will keep the stress levels down before the wedding. I have always wanted to run a marathon, and I am basically just hoping to complete it. Philly is a great city to run in, and the marathon takes you past all the historical spots, which is a plus. So, if you're in town on Nov. 20, head out the streets to cheer me on!
- Other that all those crazy things going on, I still managed to get my wedding dress fitted. I was told to bring someone with me at a later date to learn how to deal with the bustle. I'm almost disappointed that I can only wear my wedding dress once. It can't be that bad to put it on every once in a while, right? Haha!
- Alex and I have also been diligently taking dance lessons in order to prepare for that wonderful First Dance! I don't want to give anything away, but I hope it looks as fun as it is to perform. In the few hours of downtime that we do have, we love to kick up our heels, so hopefully you will too (at the wedding!).
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Where to begin?
Wow, it's been a while since I've updated this here blog. Things have been a bit crazy around here (as usual!). Here's a brief recap: