Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Project Complete

So, after several changes to my topic, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, tons and tons of help from my chair and committee members, a very weird dream and surprised doctoral project is done!!! And the best part?...I passed!

The weird dream I had the night before my project involved my whole family, including my side and Matthew's side, living in the same house all together; me waking up in the middle of the night to find Matthew missing; me going to find Matthew, and then realizing that I don't have any clothes on; me rolling and dodging family in a field because I have realized that I don't have clothes on; finding Matthew with another woman and Matthew excited about me being there; me running away from Matthew because of this discovery and Matthew finally chasing after me, only after he put clothes on. Needless to say I was a little mad at Matthew when I woke up, but once I realized it was a dream I was okay.

As stated above there was a lot of sweat and tears that went into this project. It was a hard project to put together because there is not a lot of research out there on the subject (Isometric Strength Testing in Individuals with Neuromuscular Disorders) and what research is out there is looked at in different ways. I had a lot of information to go over in a short amount of time and it was hard to decide what needed to be said and what could be left for questions. After a lot of work I got it all put together and although nervous, I was surprisingly excited to present. I think I owe this excitement to my recent experiences with teaching in church. Until getting married I never really had much experience where I had to get up and lead discussions and feel comfortable in front of people for a great period of time. My only experiences prior had been giving talks and that was at most once a year. I had a really good time presenting, everything flowed smoothly, I finished on time and although I had a lot of questions asked, I was able to answer all of them. I was even able to use some of the extra slides I created just in case someone asked me a question about material I wasn't able to go over in my allotted presentation time.

After the presentation I spoke with my committee and they said that they were impressed with the way I answered the questions and gave thought to each response. They passed me and asked if I would answer one more question after looking up some information. Afterwards, Matthew and I went to celebrate at our new favorite restaurant, Vinto; a wood fired pizza place. It feels so great to be done! Now I just have to finish this last semester of book work and two internships and then you can just call me Doctor!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This weekend Matthew and I went to the Greek Festival with his parents. We have been wanting to go for the last few years, but for some reason we kept planning the Timp Hike the same weekend.

Upon our arrival we decide to first take a tour of the Holy Trinity Cathedral which is one of several Greek Orthodox churches in Salt Lake. It is a beautiful church with stained glass windows of the life of Christ. It was also nice to read about some of the important items in the church and to walk through the museum downstairs and see all the history of the church. There were many pictures of weddings and of leadership on the walls. Matthew and I even found a couple of photos of the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church meeting with leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

After taking the tour and wandering through the museum we decided to move on to what is really the main event for most people...the wonderful food! And it was soooo good. When we got in line and saw all the choices we were worried we wouldn't have enough room, but after careful planning and teamwork we were able to try a little bit of everything, as far as the entrees go. My favorites were the Gyro, calamari and the chicken Souvlaki. As for Matthew, he really enjoyed everything, including the Dolmathes. After finishing our entrees we decided to also split some desserts. Ever since coming to the Greek festival several years ago, I had been wanting the Greek Scones or Loukoumades I had been introduced to, so we got an order of those as well as a Tyropita, which is a cheesy pastry. They were both great!

After stuffing our faces we watched some Greek dancers. They were amazing and you could tell that it took great effort, energy and strength to be able to dance like they did. After the dancing we decided to wander about the festival and look at all of the beautiful items for sale. There were many tables with elegant jewelry, clothes and bags. Before leaving, Matthew, Cynda and Steve had to have some Baklava and of course when they saw all the assorted pastries available they had to try a few extras as well (luckily these pastries were smaller in size then our 1st desserts).

We decided to sit outside in the warm sun to eat our little treats and as we did we were able to observe a small group of children sit and eat their treats. The adult with them gave the children instructions to stay seated while he took one of the other children to the bathroom. They behaved so well, none of them fought with each other, they did exactly as they were told and they seem to be enjoying their treats. That is until one of the little boys dropped his treat on the ground. The poor little guy just started crying, so trying to be a good citizen and save the day, I walked up to the little boy, picked up his cookie from the ground, brushed the dirt off it and said, "It's okay, here's your cookie." He took it, smiled and resumed eating it. When I went and sat back down by Cynda, she leaned over and said, "Good job, I was about to do the same, but you beat me to it."

After finishing our treats, Matthew and I headed home for a mid-afternoon nap before heading to a family reunion of Cynda's mother's siblings (the Otto Hansen Reunion). It was nice to meet some more of the family, even if I don't know them well. For that matter, I think now I may know them almost as well as Matthew does! Cynda was great at trying to help me remember names. There was one aunt (Matthew's Great Aunt) in particular that Cynda continued to repeat a nickname for. Her aunt's name is Gladys and she kept telling me that they call her Happy Bottom. All I could think was, "That's strange" and then I would continue to forget her aunt's name so she would repeat the same thing over and over again. Well, it wasn't until about a month later that I realized why they called her Happy Bottom...her name is Gladys. I won't say anymore about it. If you don't understand, try breaking down her name and if you still don't get it ask someone! Oh, I love my family!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Picture Perfect Weekend

On Friday Matthew and I met up with some of his old mission companions at Justin Jay Kofford's home. Justin, aside from being an old companion was also one of Matthew's roommates while we were dating and engaged. He and his wife Natalie got married 3 days after we did. Although my maiden name is shared with Justin we are uncertain as to what our relation is as of yet. Nevertheless we had a wonderful time catching up with him and a few other friends. We had a BBQ and spent time reminiscing about past experiences. Syd (a Sister missionary from Matthew's mission) and I also enjoyed holding Justin's new baby Bridger. He was as cute as a button and we all found it humorous that every time Bridger was brought close to someone's face he would open his mouth really wide, as if he were trying to take a big bite.

On Saturday Matthew and I spent most of our day completing errands, but that evening we were able to go to the temple. We planned on doing initiatories, but as we walked into
the temple one of the brethren at the front desk asked if we would be willing to participate in some sealings. We agreed that it would be a wonderful experience and we changed and headed towards the sealing office. Matthew and I had a great time and I could feel the spirit very
strongly. After completing the sealings we sat in the Celestial Room for a long time talking about the future and discussing changes that we felt we should make. Just as we were getting ready to leave, another brother came up to us and asked if we would be willing to stay for about 20 minutes to help complete some sealings, Matthew and I laughed and looked at each other like "Why Not?!", so we did a few more sealings and headed towards home. We were uplifted and excited for our next opportunity to attend the temple.

On Sunday we had Elisa and Alex over for a Lasagna Dinner. After a yummy dinner we went downtown to take some family pictures. Alex has taken photos before and was willing to take some photos of Matthew and I. While downtown we ran into this little girl who was v
ery interested in the pioneer statues! Can you tell what she is is doing in these pictures?!

After having some fun with the pictures and enjoying the wonderful weather we headed back to our apartment for dessert and
card games. Elisa and Alex brought strawberry short cake. Elisa was putting the whipped topping on mine and told me to tell her when to stop, well, I couldn't see how much she had put on and I may have waited a little longer than I should have, but man was it goooood!

We stayed up so late playing "Presidents" and none of us had school or work the next day so Elisa and Alex decided to just stay the night. The next morning they tried to sneak out without saying goodbye, but we caught them and told them we had planned on making them breakfast, so they decided to stick around. After breakfast they headed home and I worked on my Doctoral Project while Matthew did some chores. We were joined for lunch by Steve and Cynda and later on that evening we joined the Taylors for FHE. We planned on exploring the Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah, but when we got there we found out that they were closing early, so Matthew took the Taylors on a tour of one of the churches in our area. It was good to see so much family in one weekend.