Thursday, December 22, 2011

Been a bit busy...

This year has been so, so, so, so, so busy!  I've neglected my blogging.  I've neglected my digital scrapbooking.  I've neglected my family.  I've neglected my home.  So, what have I been doing? part of the requirements for the University of Utah Graduate School, I had to take two consecutive semesters of full time coursework.  So, in Spring and Fall, I was full time in the PhD program.  It was three classes a semester...which doesn't sound like a lot, but at the PhD level, it is a ton of work.  I learned a lot, and I survived.  I'm done with that now, and I look forward to getting back to a bit more of a "normal" schedule for this year.

I'm taking one course in the spring, and trust me, that will seem like a cake walk after this past semester.  For those who want to know "how much longer I have," that is a difficult question to answer.  It's not like being an undergrad where you have 124 hours to complete and a relatively regimented curriculum.  In a PhD program, you must complete your coursework (5 more classes to go for those who are counting).  You then must study for, take and pass your comprehensive exams.  I will study for several months.  After that, I have to write a dissertation proposal and finish my research and writing for my dissertation.  That is the great unknown...depending on the research topic.  So, I'm shooting for 2015 or 2016.  I know that seems like forever, but it's not.

I have a wonderful job that is always throwing me new challenges and opportunities.  I have three teens still at home.  I have a lovely grandbaby.  I have a lot to keep me busy in addition to the PhD work.

Did I mention that I am on three volunteer boards (like I don't have enough to do!)  I was honored to be asked to sit on the Alumni Board of Directors for my alma mater, Bradley University.  This requires regular travel back to Illinois for board meetings.  The board is a wonderful group of people who really care about the university, and it's a great honor to be a part of it!  I also work with my local of my favorite, favorite jobs in the whole world.  I'm also on our Council level PTA (one level up from local).  This is more administrative than anything else, and all in all, it doesn't take too much time.  My season heats up with PTA next month because I'm the Legislative VP and our legislature meets for 10 crazy weeks starting in January.  I'm amazed at how accessible our state legislators are.  I'm sure there is more to come on that front.

My husband and kids have tolerated me this past year.  Let's just say that sometimes I don't manage stress well.  I researched and wrote SO MUCH this year.  I haven't added them up yet, but I know that I cranked out well over a hundred pages (probably closer to 150 pages) of original work.  That is a lot.

In addition to my academic, volunteer and work stuff...we had a new grandbaby born.  We took a major family vacation to Arkansas and Tennessee (WAY FUN!), Dean and I went to Jamaica for my dear friend's wedding, Dean and the kids went on a road trip to New Mexico. Dean's grandpa passed away.  Dean's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been battling that.  Dean was released from the bishopric.

Yes, we have been busy.  But through it all, we are so very, very blessed.  We know the origin of all our blessings is our God!  We are so thankful for our temporal and spiritual blessings!  We're looking forward to a blessed new year!