I’m BAAAACCCCKKK!!!!

Breckenridge CO, 2018

Let me catch you up.

Hey guys. I took a break from Facebook and my blog site back in 2017, but now I am back. The last two years have gone by so quickly. Now, I am back and will provide a quick, detailed re-cap.

During my Facebook sabbatical, I became hooked on Twitter. Here is a tip: If you are going to take a break from social media, make sure it is an all or nothing proposition. Also, because my Twitter feed automatically shares to my Facebook page, no one knew that I was NOT on Facebook. So, yes, my Facebook sabbatical was not without its challenges.

I did go back onto Facebook after Lent in 2017. Meanwhile, I had so many things happening. I was going through my fitness makeover. My family decided to reinstate our yearly family reunion. I was continuing my doctoral studies, and Arielle was preparing to graduate from high school. Then off to college. That was quite a lot.

Transitioning Arielle to college while preparing Benjamin and me to a life without Arielle was quite the experience. Soon after the family reunion in June, I jumped right into prepping for college. Purchasing towels, sheets, storage, cleaning supplies, and school supplies, I alternated between bouts of excitement and mid-level depression with the whole situation. Shopping with Arielle is always a grand experience, and prepping her for college by reliving my college experience provided the most significant point of connection for us and solidified our sisterhood.

Driving Arielle to college, in Missouri, was another bonding experience that I will forever cherish. I moved her into her dorm and had the loneliest drive I have ever experienced back to Texas. I am so grateful to my great friends that kept me company along the way. Sandra and Glennis took turns talking to me for hours as I drove through the scenic Midwest on my way back home.

After returning home, my next trip would be to San Diego for my doctoral residency. This residency was in November and was the second and final required gathering for the course. I met so many great people and had fun learning from the faculty of how to get this doctoral process completed as efficiently as possible. Walden knows how to do events RIGHT!

2018

The year 2018 was uneventful because I was plugging away at my studies. I was getting close to completing my proposal so that I could do the required research. I started the year in Vegas celebrating Glennis’ birthday and watching my Eagles continue their march toward the Super Bowl. Speaking of marches, this year was also the year of the demonstrations. I did the Women’s March in January 2018. Then there was a marchin March 2018 with Beto O’Rourke for gun control. I took my son, who is currently in high school, both as an awareness event for him but also because he could be directly impacted by gun violence at any time. All these things are happening, and I am plugging away with my studies and helping Benjamin manage his education and music. We had our second family reunion in Philadelphia. It was great to be back in my birthplace. I continued to coach jumps with the El Paso Wings. I travelled to Colorado to coach my jumpers in the USATF Regional track meet to Nationals in Greensboro North Carolina.

Benjamin started his junior year of high school, and Arielle began her sophomore year in college in 2018. I was beginning my push to complete my doctoral proposal. I had an eventful birthday month and spent lots of time with other September babies. September is also around the time that I met the love of my life. The whole love thing was wholly unintentional and fabulous, and that is all that you will hear from me on the whole love thing for the moment.

Toward the end of the year, December 2018, so many great and wonderful things happened. I went to my first NFL football game. The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys played, so my brother and his wife, my best friend from Florida, and myself all met up in Dallas to spend a weekend and go to the game. And all while this beautiful weekend was happening, I was in the throes of doing edits for my research proposal. This submission was the final step before the first oral defense of my doctoral study. My committee member wanted some minor, yet extensive, changes to my research before approval was granted to defend. So here I was, ready to do this great weekend, but having this monumental deadline looming as well.  I was determined to get both things accomplished and have a great time doing each one.  I love my family and my friends. We had fun at the AirB&B that we rented. We spent time touring around Dallas, and my poor brother had to protect three women!!!! We laughed, took pictures, went to great restaurants and enjoyed our time together. And when we were at home, I did edits and revisions to my proposal, while everyone sat around and told stories. It was a fabulous time. The Eagles lost the game in overtime, but the memories will last a lifetime.

I was also able to complete my proposal and submit my document by the deadline.  Yay me! I went on to receive approval of my project proposal and completed my oral defense for my committee.

After the proposal oral defense, I was able to complete my research application and submit it for review before Christmas. This timing was perfect for sending to me because the IRB review would occur while we were our two-week holiday break, and it did not cost me any class time waiting. The timing of my submission could not have been more appropriate. The year 2018 went out on a high note and I was looking forward to what 2019 would bring.

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