Thursday, July 25, 2013


On July 12, Darby successfully defended his dissertation. It was the culmination of 5 years of very hard work, and I am so, so proud of him. It's hard to believe that this stage of our lives is over (but in a good way!). The other day, Darby joked about going back to school for a second Ph.D.; then he said, "or I could join the Marines, I guess." I told him, "Honestly, at this point, I'd much rather you join the Marines. I mean, it would be hard, but you would be away from me for the hard parts. I don't think I could handle living with the stressed-out you for another five years." Of course, I was (mostly) joking, but I really can't tell you how relieved I am that this process is over. Darby did a great job of making our relationship a higher priority than school, and I am so grateful for that, but it was still so hard to see him under so much stress. It's been great to spend the last couple of weeks relaxing, celebrating, and looking forward to the next stage!

Darby and his adviser right after the defense. He was fortunate to have a wonderful adviser who truly cares about his students and understands that they have lives outside of grad. school. We heard so many horror stories about slave-driver advisers, and that wasn't his experience at all.
On the Sunday after his defense, we drove up to Chicago to meet Erin and Brendan, who were in town for a vacation. We had a great time eating brunch, walking around Taste of Chicago, and seeing a hip-hop version of Othello at the Shakespeare Theater. I'm so glad Erin and Brendan let us crash their vacation.  It was also nice to make one last trip to Chicago, one of my favorite cities.
As a surprise for Darby, I booked us a night at a little cabin in southern Illinois. The owner was so nice and provided us a delicious homemade dinner and breakfast. It was so nice to get away from packing and just relax. We spent most of our time on this couch enjoying the satellite television. We're easy to please!
The smiles of 2 people who are done with school forever!
Tonight, Darby threw the traditional Papa Del's pizza party for his lab in celebration of his defense. These are some of his lab mates.
And here are some more. I remember going to these parties for others when Darby first started. So happy that it was finally our turn!

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