I did it! I'm ABD (All But Dissertation)! I'm done, done, done with classes and on to research and writing. My goal is to defend my dissertation next June. It feels really good to have come this far, but I realize I've now entered the most difficult phase of the program. All the tools and skills are in place to write up and conduct research, however, from what I understand, this is a time when many doctoral candidates fall by the wayside. Suddenly the imposed structure of course work is gone and it is up to the individual to push forward. I've already heard of a couple of people who have let a year slip by without even beginning their work. I'm determined not to let that happen to me. So much so that I've already started on it. I had a slight shift in emphasis in my project so I've been reading like mad trying to catch myself up to my own timeline.
In other news, we got to go sailing with Web on the Hawaiian Chieftain a couple of weeks ago. It was spectacular! Web crewed on the Lady Washington from the Bay area up to Washington, where he took over as ship's cook on the Hawaiian Chieftain for the summer months. The night we went out with him on a battle sail, he crewed so we could see what it is that he does. He'll be in the Puget Sound area for the whole summer, so we will be seeing him again soon.
Riley and Emily are also back! Riley is stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station for the next three years. We've spent lots of time with them, including a day of house hunting. It's been a whirlwind few weeks at our house. It is an amazing feeling to have both boys back in the area, near enough to see whenever we feel like it.
Next up, a trip to Tahoe, where Eric will be running the Tahoe Rim 50 miler. We'll follow that with a few days of vacation, then it will be time to come back home and start writing. That's it for now - thanks for reading!