Monday, April 7, 2014

Sooooooo... Now What?

That's been the question of the year and I will give anyone as much money as they want if they can answer that for us.

In answer to many people's question I've been getting over and over since Jeremy graduated, we still have no idea what our future holds. Jeremy was given such short notice to finish his thesis that he never got past the point of looking for jobs let alone applying for them. Now that he is officially done with his Dissertation and has a life again, he has been diligently searching for any position that interests him and that he is qualified for. Applications have yet to be filled out however...

Thankfully his lab was just given a HUGE grant a few months ago that will fund Jeremy through next summer if it comes to that {hopefully it won't} so right now he has the safety net to be really picky about what he applies for and can take his time choosing the best fit for us before we finally pull the trigger. Another blessing is that Jeremy gets paid a PhD salary right away through the University which means I'm no longer the bread winner of the household! Woo Hoo!!!!

If it was up to his Adviser however, we would be staying a full year more until Jeremy can wrap up some of the projects he has in progress right now before moving on. He even spent a good chunk of Jeremy's defense celebration trying to talk me into convincing Jeremy to stay as long as possible in the lab before moving on. {To which Jeremy still responds with a firm no. After almost 6 years at CU, it's time to move on.} Now if you ask my opinion, I wouldn't mind staying here in Colorado through the summer. We have A LOT of fun events and special celebrations for close loved ones including weddings, graduations, 10 year reunions {say what???}, a Hawaiian getaway with the in-laws in September and a few camping/hiking trips friends have planned  in the coming months. In my perfect world we would get to stay here until the fall and spend one last fun summer celebrating big events with the people we love and then go out with a bang. But unfortunately I'm not in control and I don't get to make those plans. 

Which brings me to another obstacle: I have made two big commitments at my work that involve testifying in front of congress in another state and being  a keynote speaker at our annual state conference this year in the first week of June which means I can't leave my job until at least then because I don't want to leave anyone in a bind if Jeremy happens to get a job before then. If that does happen, we've already discussed that I would stay home to wrap things up here and sell our house while he went on ahead and we would do long distance for however long it takes until I can meet him in our new place which neither of us are crazy about. Not to mention that Jeremy is planning on walking at the CU hooding ceremony {his mom and I are making him} so I would love if he is still here at the beginning of May so we can still do a full on celebration for him with the rest of our family and our friends.

So to make a long story short: we are excited to get the show on the road {finally} but we also don't feel pressured to jump to any rash decisions because we feel rushed. Kind of a perfect place to be right now. I'm sure I'll be keeping the blog updated with any chances or hopeful options but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the beautiful spring weather, relishing my time with all of my family and friends {especially the little nieces and nephews who are growing way too fast for my liking}, and soaking in every single second here in Colorado while I still can. 

Stay Tuned....

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I'm giving fair warning now: this post is going to be incredibly mushy-gushy about my husband. I would apologize but I'm not sorry for it because I don't think I have ever seen someone more deserving of the praise than the guy I married so he's getting dumped with recognition for as long as I can drag it out before he makes me stop.

You guys.... Jeremy is a doctor. 


Do you know how long I have been dying to say those words?
Five and a half years. That's how long.

I'll be honest in saying it still doesn't feel real and I have to remind myself that it is indeed finally over. Jeremy finished the program {with flying colors I might add} and we are now ready to move on to the next stage of life.

I've talked to several people before how these last few years have felt like our lives were on pause while we waited for our real lives to start. We could never really feel settled where we are because we knew it was never going to last but now it feels like we have been given the green light to move forward and take that next big step into our future.

But I'm getting way ahead of myself so let me back up.

Once Jeremy's board gave him permission to finish up his thesis and set the date for the defense, he hit the ground running. From about mid-December until the end of March, I never saw my husband. He literally worked 60-80 hours a week. He was at the lab before I woke up in the mornings, he came home after I was already in bed, he had a few nights where he spent all night in lab, he worked on Saturdays and Sundays, and he would spend any time he was home locked away in our office so he wouldn't be distracted. His social life went down the drain and I ended up attending a lot of family and friend  functions by myself and remembering what it felt like to be single again. It was not a fun time for us.

But with the deadline of March 31st approaching, we both knew we just had to keep our eyes on the finish line because it was.almost.over.

Finally done with his Thesis! - can you tell how exhausted he is in this picture?!

I woke up the morning of the defense with butterflies in my stomach. I couldn't stop shaking out of anticipation/nervousness/fear for Jeremy and what he was about to go through. I mean, the guy had to give an hour presentation in front of a room full of the most intelligent people in his field and then sit through another hour while being grilled by those same people after.  Intimidating doesn't even begin to describe it.

The night before we were both tossing and turning most of the night so we finally got up at 5 and I consumed way too much caffeine with already heightened nerves. I'm pretty sure my entire body was physically shaking from the coffee and anxiety by the time we sat down for the defense.

We have amazing families on both sides who came to support him that day. His parents, my parents, my sisters and brothers-in-law gathered together to encourage him on one of the most important days of his life. We are so blessed to have such supportive family members who choose to celebrate along with us.

We walked into the building and were greeted with Jeremy's name on the building announcement board:

I sat through his 2 hour defense {barely understanding a word of it} but silently encouraging him on as he spoke and went through his presentation he had practiced many times with me before. I caught myself several times holding my breath during the more difficult parts of the defense and hoped he could see the support I was trying to give every time he looked at me. He even brought me and his mom to tears when he had two surprise slides at the end of the presentation with pictures of his parents and me thanking us for support during this time. Talk about a special moment.

And then before we knew it, we were being asked to leave the room so his committee could speak with him and test him one last time before deciding if he had indeed earned the title of PhD. He was in there for probably less than 30 minutes but they were the longest 30 minutes of my life.

We set up the cake and champagne, hoping for good news, and kept our eyes on the hallway waiting for some hint on his fate. It wasn't until one of the professors on the board came in much later, looked at our room full of anxious faces, smiled, and said, "Don't worry, he passed" when we were all able to breathe again.

They were four of the most beautiful words I have ever heard that made both myself and my mother-in-law start crying and hugging each other out of relief. It was finally over.

He walked into that room as a grad student and walked out with a PhD title behind his name.

I was too wrapped up in the moment to take a lot of pictures like I had been hoping to do so a lot of these are stolen from family members and I am SO thankful they were aware enough to document some of those moments because I don't ever want to forget them. I watched my husband's face switch from one of tension over the last few months to exhilaration as we celebrated with his lab and our families. Toasts were made, introductions were given and a lot of deep breaths were had.

 My mother-in-love and I with the cake and champagne.

A fitting cake for a PhD celebration.

And if you will notice the giant 5 pound gummy bear above. It's tradition for the lab to buy the new graduate a lot of their favorite type of alcohol as a gift but since Jeremy doesn't drink they had to think of something else. Anyone who knows my husband knows that he lives off of sweets and candy with a diet of a 10 year old boy {and yet he still manages to be as thin as he is} and gummy bears top the list of his favorite things to snack on. On any day you will find a package of gummy bears in our pantry or on his desk at work so they found a very fitting gift to present him with after he came back to the lab.

Digging in

After a quick tour of the lab for our family members who hadn't seen it yet, we headed out to one of Jeremy's favorite restaurants in Boulder to keep the celebrations going.

We missed the only brother-in-law, Caleb, who wasn't able to get the time off work but I was so happy everyone was able to be there for Jeremy that day.

And just like that... my husband turned into a doctor. My heart could literally burst with pride while typing that sentence out. This has been a loooooong time coming. Forever.

Our first pictures as Dr. and Mrs.

Time to go home and SLEEP!

The celebrations are definitely not over. I have a little surprise planned out in a couple of weeks for just the two of us, his hooding ceremony will be held on May 8th at Colorado University and we will have a bigger graduation party after that to celebrate with our friends and family. Jeremy deserves weeks and weeks of celebration after all of the hard work he has put in.

Con-GRAD-ulations my love! 
I can think of no one more deserving than you.

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